Monday Miles: April 7-13

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend and were able to enjoy plenty of sunshine. According to my Twitter feed, there was plenty of good weather to go around all over the country, which is a pretty nice change for many of you I bet!

After racing the Golden Bears Duathlon (I promise you the recap is coming but if you’re really impatient you can see a write up on the CT3 Racing website here) pretty hard, last week was all about recovery. The goal was to come out of last week with my legs ready for big workouts – seriously, my training plan for this week is more than a little scary…especially the track workout – so I’m glad I took it as easy as I did.

Monday - Rest day plus bike commuted for 5.7 miles.

Tuesday - After 4.9 miles of bike commuting (I attempted to meet Matt at the Bart station for free ice cream day at Ben & Jerry’s but the line was outrageous), I spent 45 min on the bike trainer doing an easy ride. Even Harry Potter couldn’t distract me from the pain that is indoor riding.

Wednesday - Rest day.

Thursday - Bike commuted for 5.9 miles. Was also supposed to do an easy shake out run but I was not feeling it. I figured I’d do an easy run during lunch on Friday instead.

Friday - Rest day. I ended up being too busy during lunch to go out for a run so that was a bust.

Saturday - The ZOOMA Napa Valley kickoff event at Athleta included an easy 3 mile run around the Presidio. I have no idea what my time was, but it was a very conversational pace. I also spent the afternoon biking around Berkeley with Matt, covering what we estimated to be about 7-8 miles.

Sunday - The toughest workout of the week: a bike ride at a length of our choosing. Keeping it easy, we biked along the Marina on a beautiful morning covering 17.39 miles in 1:19:20. It was an incredibly beautiful morning that left my back very sun burned. One of these days I’ll remember I live in California and NEED to wear sunscreen all of the time!!! Until then, you can see some crazy weird tan lines on my back. Along with aloe containing lidocaine (SOOOOOO thankful for whoever invented that!).

I don’t want to give away any of the excitement for next week’s post, but let me conclude with this: it’s only Monday evening and my legs are DEAD. I guess that’s what it takes when the next race on your calendar is an A race with a pretty big goal attached to it! Is anyone else running Windsor Green Half Marathon? And do you want to pace me to a sub-1:54 finish??

Your Turn: Now that spring is here, what big racing goals do you have for yourself? Spring also means baseball season, so who else now has a commute that is hampered by home games?

ZOOMA Napa Valley Runner Report: Megan Ayala

Runner Report Logo

The ZOOMA Napa Valley Ambassadors are excited to bring you our “ZOOMA Napa Valley Runner Report!” Each week we’ll be featuring a ZOOMA Napa Valley half marathon or 10K runner on each of our blogs. As women runners, we want to use our role as Ambassadors to highlight and share the stories behind the incredible women preparing to run ZOOMA in June. Each runner has a special and unique story, and we invite you to learn about our runners through this series. Please feel free to click through the links at the end of each post to read about additional ZOOMA racers.

ZOOMA Napa Valley Ambassadors

Runner Report: Megan Ayala

Megan Ayala

Age: 31

Current City: Santa Maria

Race: 10k

Why are you running ZOOMA Napa Valley?

 I love Napa! Wine, great food, massages, and gorgeous views.

When & why did you start running?

I have a new found love for running. I ran track on and off in high school (14 years ago) and I tried to pick it up again 5 years ago when I moved out of my comfort zone and took an internship in San Diego. In January of this year I decided to give it one last try. I have fallen in love with my early morning runs and learning to push myself farther than I ever thought I could do. It’s a really good feeling when you feel like you can’t do something and then you blow it out of the water.

How many races have you done & which was your favorite?

I have done San Diego Rock n Roll (5K) , San Diego Color Run (5K) and Ventura Color Run (5K). All of which I walked several times lol. My favorite was probably Ventura Color run because I took all my kids with me.

If you could pick one celebrity to run with, who would it be & why?

Does the celebrity have to be a runner? I’m really not sure. Someone to make me laugh the whole time. That way time would just fly by.

What is your favorite running memory?

This last Saturday I went to the beach to run in the chilly am hours. I was tired but I knew I had to do at least 3 miles. I wanted to stop the whole time but at mile 3 I got a surge of energy. I ran another 2 miles making my distance 5 miles! My farthest yet! I was so proud of myself.

What is your one running must-have?

My Nike+ GPS watch. I love that I can see my pace and distance on the watch and when I plug it into my computer, it shows me vividly the path I took, the elevation, where my pace slowed, and each mile marker. Ahhhhmazing.

What is your favorite post-run indulgence?

A ginormous veggie burrito. They sell them down the street from where I run Saturday mornings.  On a normal day after my run I eat an egg white scramble and ½ a wheat tortilla. Im usually not very hungry when I am done running so I eat what I can.

Who is your running inspiration?

Dimity and Sarah from Another Mother Runner. After listening to their blogs and following them on all media sites they have taught me to balance my life as a worker, mother, and runner.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from running?

To have faith in yourself. If I cant push myself who else is going to do it. Running keeps me calm and makes me appreciate being able to run and in return it helps me cherish moments with my children more. I want them to see me as a runner and cheer me on at finish lines and hopefully run with me someday.


Want to read about more of our amazing ZOOMA runners? Check them out here:

Christine on Long Run Happiness
Meg Gudgeirsson on Dream Body Warrior
Janet Carlton on Fitnessmomwinecountry
Sally Bellinger on Reason to Play
Tiffany Dewald on Welcome to Karadise
Andrea Atchison on The Slow Life

Are you running ZOOMA Napa Valley and would like to be featured in our Runner Report series? Email for more information!

Three Things Thursday

Hello friends! Want some good news?? We’ve almost made it to Friday! So crazy. With excitement for the coming days building, I thought I’d throw up a quick Three Things Thursday post (my intention was to post this last night, but since Pepper decided she wanted to knock a full glass of red wine all over the sofa, I spent the night learning how to remove red wine from my light green sofa instead!).

1. Tomorrow we’re kicking off the ZOOMA Napa Valley Runner Report! I’m pretty excited about this series :). I originally got the idea from my friend Kristy after she created a similar blog series for the Shamrock races in Virginia Beach, and after recruiting some of my ZOOMA Napa Valley Ambassadors to help, I think we’ve created a pretty awesome series.

Runner Report Logo


Check in tomorrow morning to see the first post in the series, and make sure to click on the links at the bottom to read about more of our runners. We’re looking forward to sharing the incredible stories behind the ZOOMA Napa Valley racers with you! (And if you’re running Napa Valley and want to be included, send me an email and we’ll get you on the schedule!)

2. ZOOMA Napa Valley training kicks off this Saturday at Athleta in San Francisco! I have been super excited for this event ever since I heard about it. One of the reasons I was thrilled to become a ZOOMA Ambassador is that I really love getting to meet active women and hearing their stories. Getting to be involved with training for the race and encouraging women of all ages at all points in their running careers means so much to me, and I’m looking forward to officially kicking off training!

The event will include a short group run, refreshments, goodie bags from Athleta (!!!), and raffles. How can you turn that down?? All of the fun starts at 9 am on Saturday at the Athleta on Fillmore. If you haven’t yet, you can RSVP here. I hope to see you there :).

3. The course maps for the ZOOMA half marathon and 10K have been posted!

ZOOMA Napa Valley course mapsIf you want a larger version, check out the posting on the website here. This course guarantees some beautiful views of Napa, and some of my Google maps scouting indicates we’ll be running right by The French Laundry! I’m getting giddy just thinking about the course…and the wine at the finish line. I think working the expos and getting to know some of our runners has really gotten me more and more excited for June 28.

Sorry for the ZOOMA overload, but you may have noticed I’m just a tad bit excited to get things underway. Enjoy your Friday’s everyone!

Your Turn: What race has been on your mind a lot lately? Are you coming to the kickoff event?

Monday Miles: March 31 – April 6

I know, I know…it isn’t Monday. I ended up spending the majority of the night last night working on a blog project that will be forthcoming starting Friday and didn’t actually have any time to write. So let’s jump into it!

Last week was all kinds of stupid easy miles since race day was Saturday and I wanted to keep my legs fresh and ready to go!

Monday – Rest day.

Tuesday - An easy 45 min on the bike trainer. Nice and slow.

Wednesday - Originally the schedule said 50 min easy run. I ended up deciding just to run to REI to pick up some nutrition for the weekend and back home. I kept it ridiculously slow (it actually kind of scared me how hard the easy pace was) and covered 3.46 miles in 34:39.

Thursday - Rest day.

Friday - I had an easy brick workout on the schedule (20 min bike + 10 min run) but I ended up scrapping it so I could get cheesecakes made for the pop up. That and my legs just begged for extra recovery prior to racing.

Saturday – Golden Bears Duathlon! 5 mile run, 18.7 mile bike, 2.2 mile run all accomplished in (drum roll please) 2:24:56! DOMINATED! (Actual race recap to come…)

Sunday - Rest day. THANKFULLY!

And now we’re onto a week of easy recovery :). I’m definitely enjoying it!

Your Turn: Did you race this weekend? How did it go?

Golden Bears DU Goals

Lately I feel like I could start every post by saying, “What a week!” And today is no exception. I had really hoped to spend some time earlier in the week talking about my goals for tomorrow’s duathlon, but you probably noticed that that did not happen.

So tomorrow is the big day. Duathlon #2. And this time, there’s no massive storm with sideways rain on the forecast! I’m hoping that means I can actually take advantage of the downhills without having to ride my brakes the entire time. Read: everyone I pass on the uphill section of the bike ride won’t pass me on the downhills.  At least I hope.

At 8 am tomorrow, I’ll be lining up for the Golden Bears DU around the San Pablo Reservoir (same location as Du 3 Bears). I’ll be racing the long course tomorrow, which is a 5 mile run, an 18.7 mile bike, and a 2.2 mile run. In essence, I’m adding 2.5 miles of running to my last race. And hours of experience. Experience with running after biking. Experience with actually biking (you know, more than a handful of rides on my road bike). And experience with duathlon itself.

I won’t lie, my hamstring still isn’t great and I’ve been experiencing what feels like a pinched nerve in my left buttock all week. It isn’t great, and I think the two are related, but I’ve made sure to take it easy heading into the weekend to give my body the best chance possible. I don’t want to push myself so hard that these twinges turn into actual injuries, especially with an A race lurking on the calendar next month. But I do have some goals in mind for tomorrow:

A Goal: Finish in 2:30. I finished my first duathlon in 2:08:xx. If I can manage even 5 min faster on the bike (which I’m REALLY hoping to pull off give the vast improvement in conditions), I think this goal is easily doable.
B Goal: Finish in 2:45. There’s no way I should take more than 2:45 to finish tomorrow, unless I really slow up with injury. Fortunately, my butt/hamstring issues only bother me when I’m running so the majority of the miles being on the bike works to my advantage (for once).
C Goal: Finish strong & healthy, chicking as many men as possible at the end. I won’t deny the huge ego boost I got from passing so many men in the final run leg last time. I’d like to think I won’t have so much catching up to do after getting off of the bike tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean I won’t still enjoy picking off as many people in front of me as possible.

Last time I checked the registration list I was still the only person registered in my AG. Maybe that means I’ll come home with another 1st place plaque tomorrow? :)

du 3 bears

I’ve also instituted a reward system because I work best when there’s something on the line. So after working really hard to get back on track financially from moving out here and FINALLY saving money last month for the first time in a year, I’ve told myself that if I break 2:30 I can pick out a new item from the Oiselle line at Title Nine in Berkeley. I think that’s a pretty good incentive to push hard tomorrow!

Additional incentives? I have a CRAZY schedule post-race tomorrow, so any time I can cut off of my finish time will be important.

Immediately after finishing, I’ll load up my gear, grab food from the finish (seriously, Wolf Pack Events has the best finish line food imaginable), grab my plaque and head home for a quick shower. Then it’ll be a race to get into the city where I’ll be working at the ZOOMA booth at the Rock n Roll SF expo. (If you’re going to be there, come say hi! I’m going to try to get there by noon and will be working until close.) THEN, because that isn’t enough fun, I’ll be heading to the Outer Sunset for dinner at a pop up restaurant where dessert is being made by none other than yours truly. After working with the guys from Shokomonk, we struck up a deal for desserts in exchange for dinner. Considering the menu looks ridiculously good, I think I’m getting the better end of this one! If you’re in the area tomorrow and looking for a dinner option, consider this option (and then let me know how awesome you think the cheesecake is!).

pop up menu

The most important part of tomorrow, though? A certain little puppy turns 1!!! I can’t believe how much she’s grown since we brought her home to California with us last July, and I’m so thankful for how much happiness she has brought to our lives. Miss Peppercorn has certainly been keeping us on our toes!

Puppy Miss P Photos

Pepper 1 Year Pics

It’s going to be a very busy Saturday, but it’ll be a good one. I’m hoping Sunday will give me enough time to get all of the work work and blog work accomplished that I have piling up. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Your Turn: What’s on your calendar this weekend? Are you racing anywhere?