Sunday, January 29, 2017

Hip Hop Run Recap

Earlier in the week, I made a last minute decision to sign up for the Hip Hop run—I had five miles on my training schedule and thought it would be fun to get my training miles in and get a medal for it.  I found out a few of my friends were also running it, so that made it even better.

The Hip Hop Run is a new race series—so new that the San Diego event would only  be their second one (the first having been in San Jose.). With new races, the expectations aren’t as high and I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  After checking out their social media pages, I knew at the very least, I would have fun.  Anything on top of that would be a bonus.  This race has two distance options, a 5K or a 10K.  I ran the 10K.


After running this race, I would say that it has the potential to be an awesome event—there was some things that we done right and some things that have some definite room for improvement.  

In my opinion, some of the things they did well were:

Packet Pick-Up
They had two packet pick-up options—one the day before and one on race morning.  I opted for the day before which happened to be at one of my favorite running stores.  (Although I definitely love having the race day pick-up option). Getting my bib was easy and you got a fun shirt with your registration.  There as also a discount coupon for the running store and I picked up a few things.

Kids Run Free
Yes—you read that right.  Kids run free and it was awesome to see so many families out there getting their hip hop on.  

Pre-Race/Post Race/Course Entertainment
The pre-race and post race entertainment was so much fun!  Before the race, they had people leading a warm up with the best music and the fun continued after the race with more music and live performances.  There were also three DJs set up along the course providing the perfect soundtrack for a Sunday morning run.    


The Medal
The medal is so much fun!  Medals aren’t the only reason I run, but I definitely love a good medal.

Food Trucks
At the end of the race, they had food trucks set up where runners could purchase food.  There was a good variety of choices—I got a Thai Tea with boba and it was delicious.  (The only opportunity here would have been the location of the food trucks—although we ran by then during the run, I’m not sure a lot of people knew they were there.)


I had fun at the Hip Hop run—it was a beautiful morning and the energy was awesome.  But as I said, there was definitely some opportunities.  In my opinion some of the things that could be improved to make the next event better are:

Start Time?
Leading up the race, all communication stated that the 10K started at 7:00am.  At around 6:40am, an announcement was made stating that the 10K would be starting at 7:30am, with no explanation as to why.  (I’m guess it had to due with road closures or something, but that’s just a guess) I know it was only 30 minutes, but that’s a big difference for people who may have made plans for after the event or people like myself who plan their fueling around race start times.  The above mentioned entertainment was good and kept the energy up, so it didn’t seem like a long wait, but it still wasn’t the best first impression of an event.  

Source: www.facebook.com/hiphoprun 

The Course
I will admit that I rarely look at course maps, so I had no idea where this race went.  And I didn’t know that it was a 5K course that the 10K runners would be running twice.  The start and finish were at Balboa Stadium which was great for easy parking and the starting point. The course left the stadium for an out and back course through a part of downtown San Diego—this wouldn’t have been bad except that we were running with traffic and I am not a fan of running along side of cars and their fumes.  Not only did I get to run this one, but twice as the 10K made a second loop.  The second loop had a few points of frustration—since we had started later with the 5K not started far behind us, there was some congestion at several points during my second loop.  The course did have the perks of some hills—with every uphill run came a downhill and that was probably my favorite part.  I’ve run several 5K or 10K events in San Diego and this is the first time I’ve run this course.  I’m curious as to why and how this particular route was chosen.  My Garmin also showed the course as short and after talking to a few people, we all had different distances so I'm not entirely sure I ran a full 10K. 

Source: www.facebook.com/hiphoprun 

Water Station(s)
Prior to races, one thing I usually look up is the water stations.  One of the run’s Facebook posts stated their would be three water stations for each distance and one showed one water station on the course (I’m not sure if they were considered the start and finish line to be a water station). Because of the inconsistency, I brought my own hydration.  I’m glad I did—there was one water station on the course.  The first time I ran by it, it didn’t have anyone working it and there was no water out for the runners.  The second time I ran by it, there was water.


Overall, I did have fun at this event.  The race’s theme is fun and every runner I saw seemed to be energized about it.  The things I think that could be improved come down to organization, but again I recognize that this is a new event and still in it’s learning stage.  I would run this event again and it was a fun way to start my Sunday.  
   
Have you every run a race that was new?  What was your experience like?

Until next time, happy running.
Jen13.1

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Ultra Training Week Fourteen

This was an interesting week-- I went from running in full rain gear to running in shorts and a tank.  I definitely struggled this week and I need to work on getting "out of my head."  As physical of a sport that running is, there are definitely times when it more mental than anything else.  This was one of those weeks for me.  

Sunday
After my long run on Saturday, I was feeling pretty good and headed out for a few miles.  It was still overcast and gloomy, but I brought my own sunshine with all the colors.  It wasn’t my best run, but it wasn’t my worst.


Monday
I headed out early afternoon in chase of three miles.  I just couldn’t get my head into the game.  It was another rainy day run and I think the rain was putting me in a funk.  This run felt like more effort than it should have.  (It was so bad, I didn’t even take pictures of it) It was such a struggle, that I stopped after a mile and decided to make this my rest day.  

Tuesday
The rain had finally stopped, but I was still in my running funk.  Nothing felt right.  The only bright side of this run was the amazing clouds that were out when I went running.  I have loved clouds since I was a little girl and I am always in awe when there is good cloudage.  


Wednesday
The rain and clouds were finally gone—we had sunshine!  I can’t even explain how happy I was.  I headed out to the trails to get a few miles in and it felt amazing!  Nothing helps a funk like sunshine and dirt under your feet.


Thursday
My speed work day—I have a love/hate relationship with these runs.  I know they are helpful, but I am still struggling to find the right paces for me.  I went down to the bay and it was another beautiful day, so I ran at the pace that felt right.  But that ended up being too fast to start with, which isn’t helpful if I’m burning out the first few miles.  But I will continue to work on it.  


Friday
I started my morning with the #RUN619—I had missed the past two week and I didn’t realize how much I missed this group!  It’s a great way to start my day and these are always good runs.  


Saturday
Eighteen miles scheduled for this run.  Eighteen miles didn’t happen.  I can’t pinpoint exactly where it went wrong, I just know that it did.  I fell- twice.  I ran out of hydration and fuel.  I had dizzy spells.  Simply put, I was a hot mess.  Around mile eleven, I decided I needed to listen to my body and my body was telling me to stop. I was frustrated and disappointed—there were tears.  But I also knew that pushing myself could make it worse for me in the long run.  I am struggling to find the right fuel for my longer runs and I suspect this was part of problem during this run—I ate after my run and almost immediately felt better.  Later in the day, I went to a local running store and picked up some different fuels to try.  I’m hoping to find the right balance in the next couple of weeks so that I don’t have a repeat of today's run.  


Total Weekly Miles: 37.5

Do you ever get in your head when you run?  How do you deal with it?

Until next time, happy running. 
Jenn13.1 

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ultra Training: Week Thirteen

Week lucky number thirteen of my ultra training brought more miles in the rain than I have ever run, but it also brought my highest weekly mileage to date.  I’m feeling pushed and challenged, but I know that the things that are worth it won’t always be easy.  Here’s how my week went:

Sunday
I started week thirteen of my training with the Carlsbad Half Marathon. It definitely wasn’t the race I wanted.  Around mile eight, my whole body started to cramp and these weren’t just leg cramps I could shake out.  My back muscles were cramping with my leg muscles—it was enough to make me stop for a medic and get some salt.  Then somewhere around mile nine, I received a text message relaying some bad news to me.  I generally don’t look at my texts during a race, but I had my phone out because I had been texting friends once I started cramping—I was very close to pulling out of the race and their encouragement and support is what got me through the last few miles.  (Their first priority was my safety and they made sure that I wasn’t at risk of hurting myself as I pushed my way to the finish). The last few miles of the race, I did walk/run intervals and I’d never been happier to see a finish line.  


Monday
Three easy shake-out miles started my Monday and it’s always a great way to start the day.  As much I would love to sleep in, I never regret getting up and meeting my friends for a 5:00am run.  


Tuesday
It was a beautiful day and I went out for my run mid afternoon.  It almost felt like summer.  Seven miles at a pretty steady pace.


Wednesday
This is what I call my active rest day—the least miles which I typically run as a slow and steady pace.  I ran a little more than I had planned to, but it was one of those runs that just felt good and I didn’t want to stop.


Thursday
I headed out for my run, hoping to catch a break in between the rain storms we were having.  I got lucky—no rain, just some puddle and mud fun.  Seven miles, working on my steady pace—it didn't feel great, but it didn’t feel awful so I consider that a win.


Friday
I forgot to set my alarm for Friday morning so I didn’t get to join my weekly #RUN619.  This meant heading out into the rain later in the day for three miles.  In the past few weeks, I’d run in the rain but nothing like this.  I’m grateful I was only running three miles because I’m not sure how many more I could have run.  By the time, I got back to my car, I was drenched.  It was awful and amazing at the same time—I love running in the rain, but don’t like the aftermath trying to get warm and dry.  


Saturday
This was the run I had been dreading—every weather forecast was calling for rain and I was not looking forward to my long run in the rain.  I woke up, got my rain gear ready and headed out only to be pleasantly surprised.  Not only was it not raining, but there was some sunshine peeking through the clouds.  
I pushed myself during this run—I’m not sure if I was just excited it wasn’t raining or in a hurry to get home before the rain came again.  I ran harder than I should have and in hindsight, I know that wasn’t smart.  Sixteen miles at a pace I don’t normally run isn’t a great way to maintain my training.  I plan on taking it easy the next few days.  


Do you ever run in the rain?  What’s your favorite part about it?

Until next time, happy running.
Jenn13.1

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ultra Training: Week Twelve

Someone recently told me that I shouldn’t build my life around running, rather build running around my life.  (I am paraphrasing and they said it much better than I am). Week twelve of my Ultra Training was definitely an example of how life was busier than I had anticipated and my running was definitely impacted because of it.  This week’s recap is a little different—a little more general in how the week went with a few pictures.  I’ll be back next week with my day by day recap.


I knew going into the week, my mileage would be impacted due to a last minute race I decided to run.  Because of the race, my typical Saturday long run got switched with Sunday’s mile—this meant that I was supposed to run five miles on Saturday.  Midweek, I decided to go up to Disneyland on Saturday and would be leaving early so I could support my friends who were running the Star Wars 10K.  Did I run five mile on Saturday? No.  Do I regret it? No.  Sometimes you have to make a choice and on Saturday, I chose to have fun and support my friends.  (I still ran a mile before leaving to make sure I continued my streak)


The rest of my runs during the week were pretty much on target.  I started some speed work this week and that will definitely be a challenge.  I’m still running everyday—I am currently on day 231 of my streak.  I am still learning how to fuel before, during and after my runs.  I’ve noticed that I recently I feel hungry all of the time so I’m working on finding a balance.  If you have any suggestions on food and fuel, send them my way! 


That’s my week in a nutshell.  It was pretty uneventful as far as my training went.  I know that some weeks will be like that.  Honestly I was a little discouraged that I only ran 31.5 miles in week twelve, but then I saw that I’ve run 94 miles so far in January and realized the training isn’t going as badly as I thought.  (Sometimes I am my own worst critic!). I already feel that week thirteen is off to a better start and I can’t wait to share how that week went with you.  



Have you every had a time were life was so busy that it impacted your running?  How did you deal with it?

Until next time, happy running.
Jenn13.1

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Ultra Training: Week Eleven

Week eleven of my ultra training began with the start of new year, which meant a time for new goals and new beginnings.  I’m not a big fan of making resolutions so I went into week eleven with the goal of getting through week eleven.  I’ve decided that by taking it a week at a time, the idea of running a 50K won’t seem as overwhelming.  My weekly mileage increased this week and this is how it went:

Sunday
Sunday’s miles were a combination of running and urban hiking.  I met up with a group from San Diego’s Moms Run This Town to do the Seven bridges hike in San Diego.  It was a fun adventure and I ended up with seven miles this day—seems pretty fitting since there are seven bridges.  If you’ve never done the seven bridges hike, you should.  It’s a fun way to explore San Diego.



Monday
Another meeting of the #5amRunClub started off my day.  It’s a great way to start the week—this week we added a little bit of hill training.  As much as I dislike hills, it was definitely great to have the support and encouragement of my friends as I ran up the hill.  



Tuesday
I woke up with a serious case of the Mondays on a Tuesday and I knew the best rememdy for this was some vitamin sea.  Although the weather was gloomy, I headed down to the boardwalk to get my miles in.  I went later than I normally run at the boardwalk and wasn’t used to weaving in and out of all the people.  But it was still a peaceful run and the scenery did not disappoint.



Wednesday
Usually my scheduled rest day, but this week I switched it up.  I was meeting up with Jennifer, who I met through Instagram.  She was going to be in San Diego visiting and reached out, asking about places to run in San Diego.  We decided to meet-up and went for a run around the harbor.  I had promised her that San Diego was a beautiful place to run and the sunrise over San Diego definitely let me keep that promise.  It was a great run and it’s always fun to meet other runners from social media.



Thursday
Rain, rain go away!  It seems like it’s raining a lot more in San Diego this winter than it has in years past.  Since I ran more than I normally do on Wednesday, I decided Thursday would be my “rest day.” I headed out for another run in the rain for a few easy miles around the lake, with some puddle jumping mixed in.  



Friday
Like most Fridays, I started my day with the #RUN619.  This week we did a route we refer to as “Town and Country,” which gives us some road running and trail running.  This group is the best—always encouraging me to do more and push harder.  Even though we all run at our own pace, we run together.  



Saturday
My run scheduled for Saturday was the longest so far in my training and if I’m being honest, the longest run I’ve done since my marathon training at the beginning of the year.  It would also be my longest run on trails since I’ve started trail running. I was nervous about completing sixteen miles, but the idea seemed less daunting when I found out a group of my friends were hitting the trails for fourteen miles.  Two miles by myself at the end would definitely be easier than sixteen miles by myself.  I also go into my long runs with the notion that “I can’t let my coach down.” She’s expecting me to do the work and she wants me to reach my goals.  That won’t happen if I don’t do the work. 
I met the group  at a place that I had never run before and it was beautiful!  We had rain recently and though there was some mud, everything felt so clean and green.  I got my sixteen miles done and as I write this the next day, I am surprisingly feeling pretty good.  That tells me that the training is working.  I definitely expected to feel a lot more sore than I do.  I did discover during the run, I will need to play around my run fuel a little bit.  I brought what I normally do for a half marathon and a little extra, but it definitely wasn’t enough.  I also learned that I should keep post race fuel in my car—I was so hungry! (I stopped for a protein bistro box at Starbucks before my forty minute drive home.). I’m glad that I am learning these lessons early enough in my training so that I can find what works best for me.    

Total Weekly Mileage: 46



I mentioned that I switched my scheduled mileage around a bit during the week and though that’s okay, I completely forgot this was the week I was supposed to be adding speed work to my plan.  I talked to my coach and because it was the first week it was scheduled, it isn’t anything I should stress about.  Whew!  I will definitely be making sure it happens this week.  I am also determined to get back to the gym this week for strength training and have a few people checking in on me for accountability.  


Have you ever followed a training plan?  What do you do for accountability? 

Until next time, happy running!
Jenn13.1

Monday, January 2, 2017

Ultra Training: Week Ten


It’s official—I have registered for my first 50K.  I am just as excited as I am nervous and know that my training is definitely real now.  I have a 110 days to get it together.  This is how week ten went:


Sunday
After Christmas Eve’s lackluster run, I was hoping today would be better.  I debated between increasing my mileage to make up for the lack of miles on Saturday or to stick with my plan.  I stuck with my plan.  It was a beautiful day and it was fun to see all the families out at the lake enjoying themselves.  


Monday
I’ve been running on Monday mornings with a group of friends, calling ourselves the #5amRunClub.  Due the holiday, we slept in and met at 6am for our run. We ran down to the harbor in San Diego and made it just in time for a beautiful sunrise over the city.  


Tuesday
Tuesday’s run was a fun 5K—the Bumblebee 5K or Holiday Bowl 5K.  It was a small race that started fifteen minutes  before the Holiday Bowl Parade that went down the parade route and finished up at a  great viewing spot of the parade.  It was another beautiful day in San Diego and the course was along the harbor—you can’t go wrong with a run there.


Wednesday
Wednesday was a hectic day and I wasn’t sure I was going to get my run done.  It was just one of the those days, but in the afternoon I found some time to get my run in.  An easy few miles to clear my head and get some miles on my feet.


Thursday
I headed out to the trails for this run.  It was a little crowded at my “go to” trail and and though it was a little congested at spots, I love seeing that many people out enjoying the trails.  


Friday
I headed out Friday morning for the #RUN619 who were running this week to celebrate me as it also happened to be my birthday.  I got to pick the route so I picked my favorite which includes two local bridges.  It was a great turnout and I definitely felt the birthday love.  I’ve said it before, but I love this group!


Saturday
I wasn’t looking forward to my run on Saturday—I hadn’t slept well the night before and missed my group run in the morning.  I had fourteen miles to do and the idea of running them solo did not sound fun.  When I finally dragged myself out of bed, I headed to my local running spot and kept my fingers crossed it would hold on raining for a couple hours.  
When I arrived to the lake, I ran into Jenny so we ran a warmup mile together before going separate ways on our run.  About three miles into my run, it started to rain—it wasn’t a hard rain, rather a heavy drizzle.  I didn’t dress for the rain, so I had two choices—either head back to my car or keep going.  You learn a lot about yourself when you face decisions like this—I kept going.  I got all 14 miles done—they weren’t pretty, but I was proud of myself for getting it done.  When I got back to my car, I was grateful for the towel I had in my trunk and the Starbucks a block away—after this run, I needed both!


Total Weekly Miles:  43.73

The start of the year often means more people are the gym and other places.  I will be one of those people at the gym—one of my goals this year is to work on my strength training and I’ll be adding that into my running mix.  I’m hoping people have patience and remember they were once new to it too. 

On a completely random note, I am excited to announce that I have been selected to be an ambassador for Pro Compression and Orange Mud.  I love both these companies and they have definitely helped me in my ultra training.  I am looking forward to working with both of these great companies.  

What are your goals for 2017?

Until next time, happy running!
Jenn13.1

Ultra Runner Crate

A few weeks ago, I went on Instagram to see if anyone I knew has tried the Ultra Runner Crate subscription box.  I was intrigued at the idea...