Returning to running

It’s been awfully quiet on the blog lately and that’s been somewhat deliberate. I never got around to writing my Chicago Marathon recap (although I swear I still will!), mostly because I got burnt out from the marathon training process. I made the mistake of signing up for some post-marathon races since I thought that would keep me motivated. In reality, I should’ve just taken a break and focused on yoga, spinning and the occasional winter run. I pushed myself too hard after marathon training and ended up with some pretty bad pain my glutes, which kept me sidelined for a while. I finally started feeling better and made a gradual return to running in January but had to take a few breaks due to my international trips to Guatemala, Belize, Mexico and Colombia. Those are all fabulous countries filled with beautiful places and people but some of the destinations in those countries are not very runner-friendly. That’s for a separate blog post.

It’s hard coming back from losing almost all my running fitness after marathon training. I’ve learned that I’m not a runner that can continue to push my body after the marathon distance. I also experience burnout after marathon training and not only do I end up with physical problems, running becomes a chore instead of something that I look forward to every day. I look forward to marathon training again somebody but for the near future, I plan on taking a break and focusing on shorter distances. I have some events in the near future that I’m really excited about, including:

  • Golden Gate Relay in May with some good friends of mine

  • Ragnar Northwest Passage in July with team #sixpackracks

  • Oiselle #birdcamp in August (the week of my birthday. Yeah!)

  • Oatmeal’s Beat the Blerch at the end of September. Birthday cake and nutella? Sold!

  • Rock n’Roll Vancouver at the end of October. Pretty sure this is going to be my sub:2 goal race

 I also look forward to posting on a more regular basis. When I can’t run, I neglect my blog and sometimes even Twitter. It’s not purposeful. Even when I can’t run, I still want to cheer for my running friends and Oiselle teammates. As much as I don’t want to admit it, it’s difficult to log on to Twitter and see the constant bombardment of PRs, race recaps, etc. I’m trying to be a bit better about logging on, even when I’m not able to run as much as I’d like. I miss connecting with my running friends.

Worst Race Photo EVER

Because of my work schedule and crazy travel schedule for the early part of 2013, I wasn’t able to run any of the races that I had signed up for. May finally rolls around and my coach asks me to sign up for a 5k as kind of a fitness test so that she could give more accurate pacing guidance on future runs. My instructions were to go all out and if I didn’t feel like death when the race was over, I did it wrong. I’m not a fast runner by any means but I’m in much better shape now than I was when I set my previous 5k PR at 28:56.

I searched the Internet for last-minute 5ks in my area and decided to sign up for the Kirkland Half Marathon 5k, well-known in this area for its hills. Hills, shmills. I wasn’t going to let some hills keep me from setting a shiny PR. The race started and the first half mile was flat and I was flying and I felt great. I looked down at my Garmin and saw my average pace was 7:15 and I was like (*&(@*#)(%)*&%#. I didn’t realize I was going that fast and I knew that I couldn’t keep it up for very long. During training runs, I’ve sustained an 8:15 ish pace over a 3 mile distance but not any faster than that. By the time I realized how much I effed up, it was time to tackle the first big hill. I don’t know what the total elevation for the course was (need to go look it up again) but I do know the hills felt giant and never-ending, especially when I went out of the gate at a pace that I knew I couldn’t sustain. Despite the fact that I felt like dying only 1 mile into the race, I kept running, albeit much more slowly than my start pace. Continue reading

Back at it

After the Marine Corps Marathon, I decided to take a break from running since I had been training non-stop since last January. Plus, I find it really hard convincing myself to get off the couch and run outside when it’s in the low 40s, dark and raining. I’ve lived in Seattle for over 10 years now and the Florida girl in me still can’t stand being outside in gross, nasty conditions. Continue reading

Labor Day Half Marathon Recap

I was debating whether or not to do this race for a few weeks (will it throw off my mileage? Is trying to run/race during marathon training a dumb idea? etc) and I finally decided to sign up the evening before the race because 1) there aren’t that many half marathons 5 minutes away from my house 2) the course is pretty flat – a rarity around here and 3) Sarah posted an awesome picture of the race tee and I was instantly sold. Probably one of the most shallow reasons to sign up for a half but whatever. I woke up at some ridiculous hour so that I could get to Marymoor Park as early in the day so that I could register for the race.  They were running low on race shirts and I almost didn’t get one but luckily the XS fit. If they were out of my size, I might’ve just said nevermind 😉

I headed over to the Nuun tent and saw Lauren and she gave me an awesome Nuun tattoo which people at work thought was real. I also ran into Dawn and got to meet Megan and Andrea. I was also trying to find Sarah before the race but I’m a dufus and was standing by the start line for the kids’ dash instead of the real race. Whoops. Continue reading

The Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon. Yay!

When Lululemon first announced they were going to host the inaugural SeaWheeze Half Marathon on August 11th, 2012, it took me a couple of minutes seconds to sign up for this race. I’m obsessed with Lululemon (hence the blog name) and the race was super close to my birthday and they said it was going to be wonderful and fun. What’s not to love?

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When I signed up, I had never run a 5k or any race of that sort and up until Stacie convinced me to sign up for the Rock ‘n Roll Seattle half, it was going to be my first half marathon. Luckily, I had a blast during my first half marathon so training for and running this race was also enjoyable. The other thing that I didn’t anticipate when I signed up for SeaWheeze is that I would also be training for my first full marathon, but that’s another blog post. Continue reading