When you’re afraid to succeed.

Hi! How are you? Me, I’m great. Been thinking about this for a while.

Success.

What you input during training is what you will output during race day.

I trained so poorly for my last marathon. I could give you a list of reasons, which also double as a list of excuses. When I toed up to the starting line I knew my goal was to finish and that’s all I wanted. My time was disappointing, my performance was mediocre, but it’s exactly what I knew it would be because that’s the kind of work that I had put in. A mediocre amount.

I have worked really hard this time around. I have trained really hard, focused, dialed it in. It makes me scared to think that I have no idea what to expect on race day. What if I still have a mediocre performance? What if I excel beyond belief? I don’t know what will happen. I’m anxious about what will happen.

I have to trust that everything will be better than I can even dream it to be.

Cheers to 2 weeks til marathon day!

-Vanessa

SR Marathon Training Recap: July 2018

Hi! How are you? Me, I’m great. I can’t believe my 2nd month of marathon training is done.

It’s been another good month of running. I struggled a little more than I did in June but still came out strong! Here’s a recap.

Week 6

    Sunday, July 1: rest day. NAILED IT!
    Monday, July 2: strength training
    Tuesday, July 3: speed drills. Track work. My legs were DEAD that day!
    Wednesday, July 4: 4 mile easy run for 4th of July! The strength training gym was closed for the holiday so I ran instead.
    Thursday, July 5: 6 mile run with two middle miles at half marathon pace. I made my pace goals, which felt good.
    Friday, July 6: 2 easy miles before my race the next day
    Saturday, July 7: Dirty Dozen 6 hour endurance race. I did 20 miles with my friend Melissa! Was scheduled for 17 but coach Patrick said I could do up to 20

Week 7

    Sunday, July 8: rest day. Highly necessary after 20 miles
    Monday, July 9: strength training
    Tuesday, July 10: 60 minutes easy run. 4.32 miles total
    Wednesday, July 11: strength training. I and ran 2 miles after work because my head was going to explode after work that day and I needed some outdoors time.
    Thursday, July 12: 6 miles with two middle ones at race pace were on the calendar. I had to run before work because I had a family dinner that evening and so I only had time for five but was really surprised my legs were in good shape. I hit my paces.
    Friday, July 13: 3 easy miles were on the calendar but I needed an extra rest day so I took it
    Saturday, July 14: I had 18 miles on my training plan and drove an hour and a half to run with some friends. Well, I got lost! My plan was to do two miles before everyone arrived and since I didn’t get there early, I just did 16 with the group and called it a day.

Week 8

    Sunday, July 15: rest day. I’m really good at these.
    Monday, July 16: strength training. I also had the day off work and went for a 3.6 mile walk with a friend. I also got a pedicure because my feet needed some pampering.
    Tuesday, July 17: hill repeats. I love hill repeats!!!!!!
    Wednesday, July 18: strength training
    Thursday, July 19: 6 mile run with three middle miles at half marathon pace was my assignment. I did not make any pace goals but got the distance in.
    Friday, July 20: 3 easy miles were on the schedule but I took a rest day since my Thursday run was so hard on my legs.
    Saturday, July 21: training plan had 12 mile long run, and was the start of a taper before my half. I got a few miles in and had my marathon training meltdown (first one of the season!!!!), and called it quits at ten. That was a hard decision to make because it was JUST TWO MILES and I felt guilty, but I knew I wanted to have a good race the next weekend and now was not the time for mental or physical burn out.

Week 9

    Sunday, July 22: rest day.
    Monday, July 23: strength training
    Tuesday, July 24: went for an easy run and did 4.11 miles
    Wednesday, July 25: strength training. I died a little during burpees and wallballs.
    Thursday, July 26: 5 mile easy run was on the calendar. Did 4.8. Taper for the race was in effect.
    Friday, July 27: rest day to prepare for race
    Saturday, July 28: 2 easy shakeout Miles on calendar. Went to the official San Francisco Marathon shakeout and got lost so my friends and I did 2.4 miles!

Week 10

    Sunday, July 29: The San Francisco Marathon, first half marathon. Hardest 13.1 I’ve ever run. Also one of the most fun though! Finished in 3:02
    Monday, July 30: rest day. Definitely needed it. The hills in the race killed me.
    Tuesday, July 31: 4 recovery miles on the calendar. Didn’t quite make it to four. My legs were tired still.

Recap

  • July miles: 110
  • June/ July Total miles toward marathon training: 222
  • August Goals
    • Keep consistent with activity. Slow miles are better than no miles
      Roll out more. My legs and feet need it.
      Hydrate like crazy
      Trust the taper
      Run a freaking marathon!

    Cheers to another month of running!

    -Vanessa

    The SF Marathon 1st half recap

    Hi! How are you? Me, I’m great.

    I can’t believe I can say I’m now a 13 time half marathon finisher. Isn’t that like a golden celebration, like when you turn the age of your date of birth?

    Last year I signed up for the 2nd half marathon at The SF Marathon (you can do the first half or second half as a 13.1) the day I left my job. I didn’t really know anything about the event but I needed something to lift my spirits.

    I knew last year after I ran that event that I would have to do the first half of the course this year because I’m a planner like that 😊. So naturally I signed up ages ago. I never actually got a confirmation email so when I went to the expo to get my stuff, I prayed I was actually registered (they told me over Facebook chat I was but none of their emails came through. So weird). I signed up for this event ages before I was even considering running a marathon at the end of the Summer but fortunately the timing worked out well.

    Anyhow, there were some changes to the event after I registered. The first half marathon was supposed to go over the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a long story, but about 4 weeks before the event it was announced that that would not be happening due to permitting issues. I was bummed but it was what it was and I still wanted to run.

    Another item which wasn’t a change but I didn’t learn til just days before the race is that they don’t allow backpacks with bladders on course. I’ve been using my trusty camelbak for ages so that freaked me out. Luckily I found my old handheld and it worked for getting it done.

    Coach Patrick and I had decided it would be best to run this all out for a baseline for my upcoming 26.2. I know these events are super different since Santa Rosa is flat and this was not, but I needed some kind of assessment to push myself and feel more grounded for what I can manage on race day.

    So, to recap!

    Saturday, July 28

    The event hosts a shakeout run at the expo Saturday morning. I drove down really early and met up with my gal pals and we did the shakeout run and attended the expo together. It was a blast, despite us being slower pace because my friends are awesome at ran at my pace with me, so we lost the group and made up our own shakeout run course.

    Because the event didn’t allow backpacks, I didn’t have anywhere to put my phone so I bought a SPIbelt at the expo. Nothing else really peeked my interest but we did enjoy lots of photos and giggles.

    I had brunch AND lunch with my fabulous friends before going to my sister’s and brother in law’s house to have dinner and spend the night. They always spoil me when it’s a race weekend and make me the most delicious meals. 🤤

    My dad also supported my night before a race carbs and brought a pie over for dinner 🤣

    After lots of eating and lots of family time I fell asleep around 9:30 because the alarm was set for 4:40. Clothes were laid out and ready to go.

    Sunday, July 29

    Clearly the source of my good luck was this awesome drawing my four year old nephew taped on the door for me.

    My brother in law gave me a ride to the start which was so generous and great. Dealing with parking down there is a nightmare. I got there as the last few waves of marathon runners was starting, and they announced the first place marathon lead was running a 5:12 pace and was about 10k in at that point 😮😮😮.

    My wave was the last wave so we started about 6:50. Off we went.

    I had a plan in place for running the event. I told myself to shoot for the first six miles around 1:22-1:24 pace and the run mile 7 and then get the last six miles a little faster than the first six. I knew that was ambitious given that all the hills were in the back half.

    My first mile split was pretty solid but I freaked myself out that I wasn’t settling into a groove well. I needed a sign and I got one. My husband and I had our first date at the aquarium on Pier 39, and right as I ran past it “Can’t Stop the Feeling” came on (which was my theme during my first marathon training in 2016) and lasted up until I ran past the restaurant we had dinner at on Fisherman’s Wharf the day be proposed to me. Okay running gods, touché.

    As we got into Crissy Field the wind was head on and it was strong. I was not expecting that. It was a beast to run through, and definitely made me make some decisions about how I tackled those miles because I knew I had to save myself for the hills. I stayed even and kept my head down and just barreled through it without trying to push too hard, but it definitely wore me down.

    Finally by the time I got to mile 6 some climbing began, with a huge climb at mile 7. I knew I was gonna lose time on the ups so I made up for it on the downhills. It was the only way I could even attempt maintaining a speed.

    It was a bummer running with my handheld because I lost time at the aid stations. My backpack can carry 50 ounces and my handheld about 16, and with the amount of fluids I lost running those hills and sweating I knew I had to stop a lot. I stopped at almost every aid station, which really killed me.

    After the one big initial climb of a hill going up to the bridge area, the rest of the hills felt a little less daunting. I’m glad I’ve been doing lots of hill running lately. At one point I laughed to myself and thought “a half marathon is basically two Thursday tempo run days since I do like six miles those days”. It really put it into perspective for me.

    It was hard to recover after that wind but I knew I had to keep going. I was eating Skratch Labs chews every 45 minutes and taking in Nuun at the aid stations which helped.

    I kept a pair of gloves on until mile 6.5. I could have tossed them sooner but wanted to keep them on until after I got out from near the ocean. Glad I kept them on that long. Helped keep me warm without adding an extra layer.

    Around mile 9 when I was in golden gate park, my watch flashed a LOW BATTERY signal. Now, I didn’t charge my Garmin the night before because I thought I would be ok and I prayed to the running gods that my battery would last (luckily it did). I laughed because my friend Melissa and I ran at the shakeout run the day before and her watch died and it died when we ran Dirty Dozen, so in my head I thought “quit trying to be like Melissa’s watch and knock it off” 🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Honestly miles 9-the end are kind of a blur. I was determined to run the hills which I did. A lot of people slowed down to walk them but I powered up them like a champ. That’s a good feeling.

    Things I kind of remember while running:

      If you honk at the course monitors because you’re annoyed the road is blocked off, they’ll just smile at you and dance to ignore you and high five the runners
      I saw some people doing tai chi in golden gate park
      I remember being so tired and one point towards the end and saw some half marathoners walking and holding hands on the course and thought to myself “WHY ARE YOU SO HAPPY WE ARE ALL SWEATING TO DEATH OUT HERE”
      I was glad I decided to run in shorts and a tank even though it was cool temps.
      At one point I was trying to do math about how long it would take me to finish. To hard to run and do math at the same time. Stick to one.
      I really thought I was gonna come in under 3 hours but missed it by a hair.
      I knew the course was going to be long because around mile 5 my watch was not in sync with the mile markers and stayed that way.

    Getting to the finish line was amazing. I also felt a little disoriented since I had run so hard. That hasn’t happened in a while. The course was long (13.2) and I got a second medal for running both half marathons back to back.

    My sister came and picked me up which was awesome. She also brought me a chocolate and a ham and cheese crossaint and some Gatorade. I ate both crossaints. Don’t judge 🤣

    I ran negative splits by ten seconds (ILL TAKE IT!) which is a good feeling because my watch said I had 700 feet elevation gain….

    I’m sore and I’m tired but I’m feeling good. Proud. 26.2 at The SF Marathon next year? We’ll see….

    Cheers squad!

    -Vanessa

    Dirty Dozen recap

    Hello! How are you? Me, I’m great. Excited to share my recap of the Brazen Racing Dirty Dozen!

    If I wasn’t training for a marathon I don’t know that I would have been compelled to sign up for this, but since I take my long runs on Saturday this fell perfectly into my schedule and I got a free race entry for volunteering at a race in June!

    The premise of the event is that you can either do 6 hours or 12 hours. The course is a 3.37 mile loop and at the start area there is a camp area you can set up camp at to change, rest, refill water etc. At the final hour (5th and 11th hours) they open a little loop which is about a half mile you can complete to get more miles in. If you aren’t back at the finish line when your event ends, whatever loop you were in does not get credited to your total mileage. They also have a 5k/10k in the morning and another in the evening you can run in addition to your 6/12 hour event or just on their own. Capiche?

    I was signed up for the 6 hour event. I had to do at least 17 miles per my training plan. I went to Fleet Feet two days before the event and asked Coach Patrick if I was feeling ok if I could do more. He said yes, but no more than 20 (don’t worry, wasn’t a concern!). Deal.

    My husband was doing the event too but was more excited about what food they were serving than how many miles he was gonna run 😂

    Pre-Race

    We rented a canopy from Sports Basement and had a cooler and a wagon full of stuff to set up our camp area. Hauling it up to the race was not fun.

    Many of my friends were running the event so we set up camp next to them. We picked up our bibs and I was less than thrilled to see my number 😑

    7:00 am and we were off, but not without a FtoF selfie 😍

    Time to run!

    My friend Melissa was there too doing the 12 hour, and she has been a great friend through my marathon training. She is training for a marathon the week after mine so we have been bonding daily over how our training is going. It’s neat to share this experience with someone. When I was lined up for the event to start, she was walking over and found me and we started running together. At first it was a rather hearty crowd of people, but since I was doing run/walk intervals, I seeded myself towards the back and eventually the crowd thinned out. It was an absolutely beautiful morning, and since I had never run the event before I was taking in the course. Melissa had done it before so she knew what to expect, which was good since I wasn’t really paying attention 😂

    To sum it up, the course is hard packed dirt (anyone who is a roadrunner and considering this event, you’d be just fine), and there are a few small climbs (that get bigger as the day goes on 🤔), and one small section of single track trail. The views are beautiful.

    I was really excited when Melissa said “look it’s Tony!” who runs the page “I am Endorphin Dude”. I love his page and have wanted to meet him for ages so it was great that he ran up to us and took a selfie!

    About 1.5ish? miles in there was an aid station. We took a quick bathroom break and then enjoyed some of nature’s best food in the universe!

    We continued on through the first loop and when we finished, stopped at the aid station at the finish area, and decided not to stop at our camp site and kept going.

    Lap 2

    It was hot and I could tell. I was drinking water like it was going out of style. We headed out again and I was still feeling pretty good. I had no idea how many miles I had run because we were laughing the entire time. We stopped at the aid station again and I desperately needed electrolyte drink. Thank goodness they had it there! We finished and I needed to fill up my water and get another pack of Skratch chews. I was eating one serving of them per lap. Off we went again!

    Lap 3

    We went out again, and I was still feeling pretty good. We made our usual stop at the aid station for water and electrolytes. I think this was the lap I became privy to the fact that they had an ice bucket with sponges at the aid station and OH MAN did that feel good. That sun was a beast!

    As we rounded the bend to the start area again, we saw Stephanie and I think this was when we all synced up to run together. I stopped at the finish line aid station for a little boost, and off we went again.

    Lap 4

    I did a lot more walking this lap which was a good change of pace. Stephanie always tells me in trail running to walk the uphills. Well, in yesterday’s case I did that plus a little more 🤷🏽‍♀️.

    It was nice to chat with the two of them for a good long while. We finished the loop and I stopped back at camp to get more water and more fuel. They did the same, and around we went again.

    Lap 5

    Stephanie ran with us for a little bit again but then broke off to continue on with her mileage goal. Around this time and during the previous lap we ran they started putting out funny posters. We saw a lot of hilarious signs as we ran. Here are a few:

    The big decision

    When we finished this loop I knew I wanted to go for more. At the end of this loop my Garmin hit 16.75 miles and the clock said I about 70 minutes left until my event was over. I had two choices.

    1. Go for another big loop and push hard to make sure I finished before the cutoff
    2. Run a bunch of little loops when it opened at the 5th hour

    Now, I knew right away what the right choice was. I had to go for the big loop. It would put me a hair over 20 and I had plenty of time to complete it if I stayed focused. I am so glad I had Melissa with me to have someone to talk to! We stopped a camp and she changed her shoes and I changed my socks and we went off again.

    Lap 6: the final!

    We went for it. I gave it a little extra push and was carefully watching the time to make sure I made the cutoff. I knew even if I didn’t make the cut off, that I still put the miles in, but I still wanted it on record how hard I had worked!

    I made a stop at the aid station and just got a little extra fluid to push me through the end. I had about 3 ounces of coke which helped give me a sugar boost.

    As we rounded the bend I could see the clock and was like YES!!!! There were about 10 minutes left and I had made the time. I got a little confused about where to go (there were two archways set up, one for the little loop and one for the big), but crossed and got my medal and celebrated that I had crushed 20 miles! Melissa gave me a double high five and because she’s a beast, she kept going since she was doing the 12 hour event.

    Done and done!

    As soon as I got back to my camp area I sat down to take my shoes off. My husband quickly advised to be careful sitting on the ground because we had a guest….

    Oh heck no.

    I knew I needed to eat but the line for food was long and I needed to rest and drink fluids. I rolled my legs out and elevated them and found a snack. That salt tasted so good 😍

    Eventually I got some real food at the BBQ. I was mighty proud of myself because they were giving out Its It’s and I didn’t take one since I knew a milkshake was in my future!

    We hung out for a while and watched runners go by. The energy was contagious hearing people cheer each other on. I also met so many people while out running. It was a joy.

    Eventually around 3:30 we decided after hanging out for a few hours that it was time to go home for showers and dinner. I said goodbye to everyone I saw. But before we left, we got one last picture.

    Dinner time

    I promised myself when I signed up for this marathon that the day I ran 20 miles I would eat burgers and a milkshake. Accomplished.

    Until next time Dirty Dozen, and there will be a next time!

    Mercury Mile Box

    Hello! How are you? Me, I’m great. Trying to find my legs again after my long run/race yesterday 😂. While I was running my Mercury Mile box came in the mail! I had never heard of them before but my friend Stephanie at Run Strong Run posted discount code “BibRave10” for $10 off the styling fee so I gave it a whirl.

    The premise is that you fill out a survey of types of activity you do, distance and frequency of running, what you prefer to wear for weather and comfort, colors you like, links to your social media and any specific notes you have. You choose a date for delivery and then they charge you a $20.00 styling fee for your box. Anything you choose to keep out of the box gets charged to your credit card and your styling fee gets applied to anything you keep. You return the items you don’t keep in a prepaid package that comes with your delivery within 7 days and keep the ones you like. That simple!

    To recap my profile, I wrote I liked long shorts and capris and never wore pants, tank tops that were loose, bright colors, training for two marathons this year and linked my Instagram. Here’s what I got.

    Introduction

    I received a letter from my stylist highlighting some of her choices, as well as some basic instructions for the package and a list of price points for items if I kept them. Here was her introduction:

    So let’s see what I got…

    1. New Balance Ice 2.0 top

    I love color but this color wasn’t something I normally wear. I would have liked to see a tank version of this. The fabric was breathable and the color was fun, especially since I rarely wear something in this color scheme. I wear lots of jewel tones or neon in my regular and running life. I was disappointed that I specifically said in my profile I only run in tanks and got a shirt. This missed the mark.

    Verdict: return

    2. New Balance Impact Capri

    I LOVE these capris! And I mean LOVE!!!! I have such a hard time with buying clothes because of my quadzilla quads and finding stuff that will stay on my waist. These were comfortable, stayed up, and felt great! Highly recommend these.

    Verdict: I’m still not sure! I feel conflicted because I love these so much but I also have been running mostly in shorts lately because it’s been so hot. My concern is spending the money on these capris only to not have them fit when cooler temps come around. I’m fairly certain I will return them but purchase them later down the line when the cooler temps come around and I’ll be a smaller size.

    3. Sarah Marie Design Studio tank

    I love everything about this tank. I’m glad they sent it in an XL instead of an L because I could tell the cut of these would be too small in a large for me. I prefer my tops to be loose. It’s a great moisture wicking fabric, comfortable as can be, and something I would not normally buy for myself so I’m glad they sent it!

    Verdict: keep for sure!!!!

    4. Brooks 7″ Chaser Shorts

    These were more of a loose fabric and not the tight spandex/compression style I normally wear. They had pockets on the hips too. The fabric was comfortable but they looked horrible on me! These aren’t cut for someone of my body style. I’m too curvy and everything just bulged and it was bad news bears all around.

    Verdict: return

    6. Asics 5.5 inch cool shorts

    I did not like these at all. I prefer a much higher waist band, a much longer short, and thought the bunching because of my curvy bottom half would make these very uncomfortable to wear to workout.

    Verdict: return

    Freebies

    They also sent me a laundry detergent sample and some Sarah Marie Design Studio nail wraps which was very kind!

    Overall

    I think some of the items missed the mark in my box, but some were spot on. Next time I’ll be even more specific in my runner profile. I appreciate that they were able to send me items that were my size. I always hesitate because I’m afraid there will be a lack of stuff in bigger size but this was great.

    Thanks Mercury Mile! Until the next one!

    May I please have two sets of chopsticks?

    Hi! How are you? Me, I’m great. Excited it is the weekend! I had a great thought yesterday and wanted to share today.

    I picked up some Vietnamese food yesterday for lunch and decided to get an appetizer as well as an entree so I could eat half for lunch yesterday and half for lunch today. I realized upon doing that I needed to ask for two sets of chopsticks and had a flashback moment

    When I was in college I would regularly order potstickers and chow mein for dinner if the cafeteria was closed. I had a big love of Chinese food. I would also go to the all you can eat Chinese buffet and eat my weight in, you guessed it, chicken chow mein and potstickers. When I would order my takeout, I would request two sets of chopsticks. I was under the delusion that the restaurant staff would think I was taking home my food to share with someone. I’m sure my 264 pound body said otherwise. It was not apparent then but is now that I can look back, that I wasn’t fooling anyone and my overeating issues were deep.

    Then and Now

    When I picked up my lunch yesterday I was proud knowing that both sets of chopsticks would get used. I haven’t completely defeated my food demons, but I’m learning to live with them.

    Cheers to always trying to be our best. ❤️

    -Vanessa

    SR Marathon training recap: June 2018

    Hi! How are you? Me, I’m great. Feeling good about how June went for the first month of 26.2 training. Wanted to share a little bit of what that was like.

    I didn’t have an official date that I started training. Since I work with Coach Patrick I sort of just… run all the time, but the intensity dialed up right after Memorial Day weekend after I ran the Armed Forces half.

    I’ve found that the mindset of doing as much as I can, even if the miles are slow, is what’s going to get me success on race day. I’ve been mindful of sleeping enough, eating better (with the exception of three donuts in June I had no other sweets! That’s huge for me). I haven’t nailed all my workouts perfectly, but I’m glad that when I open TrainingPeaks I don’t see a bunch of missed workouts, which is something I struggled with during my last marathon training because I did not run as much as I should have. I wanted to share my experience of how training has gone this month. In addition to running, I’ve worked at least 40 hours a week, volunteered every Friday in June on my lunch break to serve lunch to kids at the local park through the food bank and spend two Saturdays volunteering for other things. I’ve been busy!

    Here’s a recap on month one:

    Week 1:

    • Wednesday: May 30: strength training
    • Thursday, May 31: I was supposed to run an easy 5 but took a rest day
    • Friday, June 1: strength training
    • Saturday, June 2: this was my first official change to Saturday long runs, which was a hard shift in routine at first. I was supposed to run 13 miles but my legs were toast from strength training the day before. I ran 9 miles and decided to switch strength days to Monday/Wednesday instead so I could feel fresh on long run days.

    Week 2

    • Sunday, June 3: rest day (nailed it!)
    • Monday, June 4: strength training
    • Tuesday, June 5: speed drills. Warm up then 10 sets of 3 fast, 2 easy and a cool down. This was brutal to start but once I realized I had finished my 10th set it felt like time had flown by. This was the same day I impulse bought a pair of AfterShokz and this was their maiden voyage. I do not recommend testing new headphones on speed drill days. I love them now, but they were hard to figure out and I was totally distracted during my workout.
    • Wednesday, June 6: strength training
    • Thursday, June 7: scheduled for a 5 mile easy run. Got in 4.5 miles because I was meeting up with friends for dinner that evening.
    • Friday, June 8: scheduled for a 3 mile easy day but took a rest day.
    • Saturday, June 9: was the day I apparently decided I was invincible. I was scheduled to run 13 miles but ran 14. That day has been a big turning point for this round of 26.2 training because I totally exceeded my own expectations that day.

    Week 3

    • Sunday, June 10: was a rest day but since I took a rest day Friday I ran my 3 easy miles this day
    • Monday, June 11: strength training
    • Tuesday, June 12: speed drills, warm up, 5 fast minutes, 3 easy minutes, repeat 6x and cool down. It was very, very hot that day and I was already intimidated by the 5 push minutes and so I did the workout but I struggled. I talked to my coach about it and he said because it was hot, I did the right thing by doing my best.
    • Wednesday, June 13: strength training
    • Thursday, June 14: I was scheduled for 6 miles but I did 5. I stayed late at work and was exhausted, and remember being so tired during this run I was surprised I got 5 miles out of my legs.
    • Friday, June 15: scheduled for 3 easy, but did a 2.2 mile loop around the lake
    • Saturday, June 16: volunteered at the Double Dipsea. Tons of fun but I was so tired when I got home at 4pm I skipped dinner and went straight to bed

    Week 4

    • Sunday, June 17: scheduled for a 14 mile long run with rolling hills. I got in 11 miles, some of which on an extreme trail that was entirely too ambitious. I was still feeling that same exhaustion from Thursday on this day but got in those 11 before calling it quits
    • Monday, June 18: strength training
    • Tuesday, June 19: speed work. We had an all day meeting at work and I knew I wouldn’t be able to run after work and when I had asked Coach Patrick which workout to skip this week because of it, he told me to go running before work 😂😂😂. No excuses with him I guess! So I did my speed drills before work. This was my first time running before work.
    • Wednesday, June 20: strength training
    • Thursday, June 21: 6 mile easy run
    • Friday, June 22: I chose to skip the 4 mile easy run Coach Patrick assigned and do it on Sunday instead because I wanted to go to bed early for my long run. The weather prediction for Saturday was mid-90’s so I skipped the run to go to bed at 8pm so I could get up at 4:15
    • Saturday, June 23: 15 mile long run. It was very hot, but I hunkered down and stayed focused and was mindful of hydration and fueling. I then went home and took a 4 hour nap. Training for a marathon is seriously hard stuff and I have no shame in my early bed times and naps!
    • Sunday, June 24: Easy 4 miles that I skipped Friday

    Week 5

    • Monday, June 25: strength training
    • Tuesday, June 26: I was scheduled for speed drills but my husband and I ended up at the local fun run. It was nice to spend time with him since he works 6 days a week. I ran 2.1 miles at the fun run.
    • Wednesday, June 27: strength training
    • Thursday, June 28: 6 mile tempo run. Was supposed to do 2 easy/2 at half marathon pace/2 easy but I only managed one at HM pace. I did get in all six miles. It was so hot and again, I texted with my coach to make sure I made smart choices.
    • Friday, June 29: scheduled for 4 easy miles, got in 3. It was going to be 90 degrees so I went before work. I like going before work! Maybe I’ll do it more.
    • Saturday, June 30: 16 mile long run. It was again, a mid 90’s weather forecast so I went right when the sunrose. Glad I did because it was HOT!

    Recap

    • June miles: 112. I’m so proud I hit over 100 miles this month. I don’t know the last time I did that.
    • Miles in SR marathon training cycle: 112, I suppose?

    July Goals

    • Meeting up with friends for some of my long runs. Doing next weekend’s 17 mile long run at Brazen Racing’s Dirty Dozen for some on course support and to see friends and planning a few runs with friends
    • Running the first half of the SF marathon on July 29. I have no time goal, but my coach has built in a taper period so my legs won’t be totally trashed on race day
    • Play with hydration. I lose a lot of salt when I sweat and since it has been so hot lately, I’ve sweat more than usual. Working on finding a good balance of fluids both during the run and outside of it for myself
    • I’ve been utilizing checking in with my coach more often and plan to do that more. I think I might also see if he has time for an in person check in soon because I know once I get closer to my 20 miler I’ll get more nervous, and I would also just like to talk out how training is going

    Happy June running! Ready to kick butt in July!

    Armed Forces Half Marathon recap!

    Hi! How are you? Me, I’m great. I’m so excited to write this post because the Armed Forces half marathon was a blast and I’m so happy I registered for it on a whim this year.

    Registering for the event!

    After the Eugene Half marathon on April 29th, I felt really good and strong and proud of my performance and decided two things:

    1. I wanted to run the Santa Rosa marathon this year
    2. I wanted to run another half marathon in late May or early June

    Now, I have a rule for myself that I wait about a week to register for a race after I run a race to make sure I’m not being impulsive with my runner’s high, and that I’m not trying to force myself to run a distance too close after running a race. I had originally decided to upgrade my Windsor Green 10k to do the half, but I decided I would rather do a different race and experience a new half marathon instead. After lots of research, the Armed Forces half was the winner.

    • Morning of packet pick up
    • I could drive there that morning
    • 3:30 course limit (I knew I would be near three hours and like the extra cushion)
    • Was on a Saturday, and I’m starting long runs on Saturdays now. Also, my husband had to work the same day and I knew I would be bored out of my mind

    So on May 9, just 2.5 weeks before the race, I pulled the trigger and registered. I was a little nervous because I didn’t know anything about the race, the race started really early, meaning I had to leave early, and I would be going by myself. Now, I know I’m 30 years old, but I’m also supremely introverted and have a hard time going to new places alone so the fact that I was going to give that a try was a big step for me.

    But I digress.

    Race week

    After my performance at the Windsor 10k I was so surprised by my pace that I texted Coach Patrick in a wee bit of a panic.

    He chatted me through a plan and a pacing goal which really helped me align. I am in no shape to PR but I also feel like I have no sense of how strong my little body is right now. He told me to stick to the plan for the week that he had given me, which I mostly did except on a whim I got invited to audition for a musical the same week I was tapering so I had an unexpected hour dance evening during the week. Fortunately it wasn’t too treacherous on my body, but it happened.

    But Tuesday before the race I was at work, and my calf had bothered me during the Windsor 10k but loosened up and then I stepped off a curb at work walking between buildings of my company, and something in my right calf tightened up and I panicked! I went running that night and I couldn’t do it. I was so upset. Was I going to miss my first 13.1 race???? All because I stepped off a curb funny???

    I rested on Wednesday instead of running what was on the plan, and on Thursday went for a massage, where she worked just on my calf. It felt better but I felt so loopy and woozy afterwards. I drank a lot of water and ate some popcorn and went to bed and told myself to run my shakeout on Friday and see how I felt.

    Friday I laid out my clothes and ran about 20 minutes. I felt a dull feeling in my leg but it was tolerable. A friend had invited me over for dinner and let me elevate my leg at her house and I told myself to wake up the next morning and see how things felt. If I was really concerned, I wouldn’t go, but I had faith.

    Race morning

    I had to wake up really early. It was brutal. I felt good and decided to go to the race. If things were bad, I would stop at an aid station and asked to be picked up. Easy as that. But I didn’t think I would need to.

    Because I woke up so early I couldn’t stomach any food and saved my pre-race breakfast for the course. Did I mention I had to get up SO EARLY?!?? I had to leave the house at 4. FOUR FREAKING AM.

    And off I went. It was really dark and I’ll be honest when I say I did not love driving that early when it was that dark. I got about 5 hours of sleep the night before so I was nervous. Next time I’ll consider that and probably get a hotel room for races that early.

    I got on site around 5:25 AM. I am glad I left as early as I did because I was so bamboozled trying to find where I could park. I knew there were garages but I didn’t know where they were. I also walked in on someone who didn’t lock their port o potty so that was an exciting way to start the race 😑

    The event, the Armed Forces Half Marathon, honors a branch of the armed forces each year. Last year was the first year and they did the navy and this year it was the army. I don’t have any family who has served, but I know two people who served in the army and I was sad I hadn’t thought to invite them to join. It was a really neat starting line with the army men and women, and vehicles.

    The start line quickly filled up a few minute before the start, and they sang they National Anthem. They also played taps as a moment to honor. It was exciting to see everyone in their patriotic running gear, and runners wearing shirts noting what branches they served in or hearing them talk about it. If you have served, are serving, are a veteran, I thank you for your service.

    I found a friend who I knew was running the race, Lupe, and was chatting with her at the start. We had talked online about the event and I told her maybe we could run a bit together. Off the race went, so we ran and talked.

    The course goes through what is known as Bunker City” in Concord, CA. The early part of the race had an incline and across the course a few ups and downs.

    It was HUMID during the race and I mean HUMID. I could feel sweat just pouring out of me during the first two miles of the race. I was worried I wouldn’t be warm enough just wearing a tank top but I was so glad I had because it was so humid out.

    The course had great on course support and cheering. There was a trio of runners doing the event with full rucksacks and army boots, and also many people running with flags. It was really quite beautiful to see.

    The course was mostly flat with a few rollers throughout and one big incline about halfway where you could see the entire Bunker City. It was a rad view. At one point in the race we saw the first place runner pass by us on the out and back potion, which is always fun to see. On the course there were kids cheering at the aid station, a DJ on course and there were cows!!! They were too far away to photograph.

    I was doing 2/1 run walk intervals and my goal was to hold a 13:30 pace. I wasn’t even paying attention to my times but my body felt I was holding that pace.

    Lupe and I were running and talking and I don’t even remember the first 11 miles of the race because we were talking the whole time! I thought we would run just about 2 miles with me so it was a total treat to run with someone that long. We parted ways at mile 10.75 and I finished myself. At mile 11 the reality of running my 12th half marathon hit me. Because I had been talking to Lupe for so long it didn’t even register in my mind! I was proud of myself for toeing up to the start line today. I knew the course would be long because my watch hit mile 11 before the sign came up.

    Finally when I was hitting home stretch, I knew I was really close and found something deep in the bottom of my soul to give it a little more. I felt really strong going to the finish line and when I saw the clock said 2:58, I knew I had to book it to finish under 3 hours. Which I did, 2:59:01! Course was 13.22 according to my Garmin. Race time said I ran an average of 13:40, but my Garmin said (since it registered 13.22) my pace was 13:32 so I totally did what Coach Patrick and I aimed for, which I happily texted him at the end of the race!

    I found my friend Lupe at the finish line festival and we hugged and said our goodbyes and that we would have to do it again soon! Shout out to her because she told me it was her 72nd half marathon!

    I quickly got in line at the bagel shop near the finish line to eat something and then got in my car to go home. I wanted to leave as soon as possible due to 3 day weekend traffic. I would have liked to stay and visit the post race festival but I was concerned about how long I would be stuck in the car to come home.

    All in all it was a great race and I’m so glad I registered on a whim. I’m so glad my leg behaved and everything was a great day. I can’t wait to do it again!!!!

    Cheers runners!

    Have you thought about a running coach?

    Hey, runners of the internet —- guess what!!! Have I got an exciting piece of news for you!

    Coach Patrick and I have teamed up because I’ve made myself the first unofficial ambassador of Good Fit Coaching! 😊

    Whether your goals are to run your first 5k, or PR your marathon time and everything in between, he’s a great coach to help hone in on your needs and provide you custom plans and support.

    Why work with a coach when there are training plans online? I used to just do all my training from free things online but working with Coach Patrick has totally changed who I am as a runner. Working with a coach provides me real time ability to have someone who sets plans for me that are realistic to my schedule and abilities, but also push me a little further than if I was training on my own. He listens to my fears and my doubts, but also lets me have running related laughs and encourages me to be the best athlete I can be. It is great to have support, receive feedback, and have someone to bounce my struggles and my celebrations with. In fact, he is almost always the person I text first after a race!

    I’m excited to share that if you’ve been toying with the idea of working with a running coach, that he is offering a discount on online coaching, available to anyone even if you aren’t local to where I live! If you register for online coaching and use discount code VanessaF2F will get you $10 off a month for at least your first three months.

    If you want more information or have questions, feel free to send me a message, or check out https://www.goodfitcoaching.com

    Cheers runners!

    Vanessa

    Motivated Monday: For those who struggle with weight

    Motivated Monday: For those of us who struggle.

    I’m here.

    I’m bringing the honesty forward. Paleta in hand, forty pounds gained back and all.

    Food isn’t the enemy. Food is just food. Ice cream isn’t evil and kale isn’t angelic. You aren’t a bad person if you eat too many French fries and you aren’t a martyr if you eat nothing but unseasoned chicken breast. We all have setbacks. Sometimes we gain four pounds and sometimes we gain forty.

    That doesn’t mean we are failures. We only fail the moment we decide to give up.

    I have been working for the last year to believe in myself again. To find my spark to lose weight. To rediscover my love of eating right. But mostly I’ve been looking for the ability to forgive myself for gaining weight back and to stop being so hard on myself.

    It has taken time and a lot of self care but I have finally made peace with what the scale is telling me and have decided that I am worthy of putting in the work to get to where I wanna be, though it will be hard. I don’t share for pats on the back or applause, I share because there’s lots of celebration of success but little talk of struggle and perceived failure on social media.

    I’m here to remind you you CAN do it. If you KEEP TRYING you WILL GET THERE. It is only when we give up on ourselves that we have failed. I am not giving up. I’m going all in. You can too. Now that I’ve found forgiveness in myself to be better and do better, my happiness around my food is back to being positive and balanced.

    Let’s do this together.

    Cheers to never giving up!

    Vanessa