Seriously??? It’s been a month since my last training update???? That’s just purely embarrassing! Here is my attempt to get caught back up with where my workouts are and how my training has been going:
May 26 - Rest day: wine tasting. Also known as the day I threw my back out…whomp whomp.
May 27 - On the schedule was a 6 mile run through the neighborhood. What actually happened? Pill popping, back rubbing, and a lot of IcyHot applications.
May 28 - On the schedule: 15 mile bike ride + 3 mile run. None of that happened thanks to my wonderful inability to stand up straight.
May 29 - Rest day. Nailed it!
May 30 - Another rest day but starting to feel better.
May 31 - Had an easy 5 miler on the schedule but I decided to just run 4 miles instead. I lead the ZOOMA training group run from Emeryville and took it nice and slow. I finished the run in 42:35, which I was not complaining about. I had some tightness by the end of the run but I was just really happy to be breaking a sweat!
June 1 - Another sweaty day! I had a 20 mile bike ride on the schedule, but when I got to the end of the Bay Bridge trail, my back was starting to tighten up so I just headed straight home. I ended up covering 13.4 miles in 1:03:07.
June 2 - I had 50 min spin plus 20 min of core on the schedule. Instead I bike commuted 6.9 miles before rushing to take Matt to urgent care after he was hit by a car door on his way home from work. That kind of derailed things for the coming week (which probably wasn’t bad considering I was still coming off of the back issues).
June 3 - Bike commute of 6.9 miles.
June 4 - Unintended rest day spent running around to appointments and trying to prepare for Matt’s surgery/rebooking our flights to Idaho for the weekend.
June 5 - Matt’s surgery day became my rest day.
June 6 - Vacation (which started with a 3:30 am wake up call); another rest day! (I’m starting to realize just why there was no update in the past month!!)
June 7 - Decided to get in a brick workout that I’d had on the schedule for earlier in the week. I started with 40 min on the bike but since I was in Idaho I used the spin bike at my mom’s gym (woof) and covered 14.7 miles. I was supposed to head out for another 40 min of running but I ran out of time and only covered 2.3 miles in 21:41. And FYI, the altitude was miserable.
June 8 - Post-beerfest “long” run. After a long day of drinking and eating way too much PLUS two weeks of minimal workouts, this run at altitude was one of the worst EVER. I covered 4 miles in 40:39 and was pretty certain death was imminent.
June 9 - Bike commute of 5.55 miles.
June 10 - Got workouts back on track with 6.9 miles of bike commuting + 30 min on the bike trainer.
June 11 - A LOT of workouts going on: starting off with bike commuting, I covered 7.25 miles. I also did a track workout when I got to work in the morning, but I was short on time so I did 1/2 mile warm up, 4 x 3 min at half marathon pace, and 4 min of recovery. Overall the workout was 3.01 miles in 26:30. I also did 20 min of core work and stretching at night.
June 12 - I did a commuting brick so after biking to work in the morning, I went out for a 30 min run and covered 3.41 miles. After work, I biked home to make the commuting total 6.9 miles.
June 13 - Rest day with 6.9 miles of bike commuting.
June 14 - The big 10 mile ZOOMA training run!! Heading out from Athleta, I did an out and back on the Bay Bridge and an out and back along the Marina in 1:36:56. And BIG props to Matt and Pepper for manning (and dogging) the water station :).
June 15 - I did a double brick with 20 min run to start, 1 hour bike in the middle, and then wrapped up with 10 min running to finish. Overall I covered 17.17 miles in 1:28:28.
June 16 - Rest day with 6.9 miles of bike commuting.
June 17 - Bike commuting with 6.9 miles followed by a spin workout. I did 10 min of warm up, 10 x 1 min 1 leg drills, 3 min easy, 10 x 2 min power ups, 2 min easy, 5 min at 80 cadence building to Z3+, followed with an easy spin to 1:10. Woof. My legs were DEAD.
June 18 - I did 6.9 miles of bike commuting. After getting into work in the morning, I headed out for a tempo workout. I did 30 min of tempo running followed by 5 x 1 min striders with 2 min recovery jog in between, and 10 min recovery. The total run was 6.08 miles in 55:01. And with that, I called myself ready to race!
June 19 - I had a short brick on the calendar with a 30 min spin and 20 min run, but my legs needed the recovery time more so I gave them a little TLC instead.
June 20 - Rest day!
June 21 – Du Toes Duathlon! 3.6 mile run, 22 mile bike, 1.8 mile run…and a 1st place AG finish to boot!
June 22 - All about recovery with less than a week until ZOOMA Napa Valley! I had a 30-50 min recovery run on the schedule. But after taking a big spill mid-race, I decided my body could use recovery time more to start mending the wounds.
Wow. That was a LOT of miles to recount! I swear I’ll try to be better about recounting these crazy workouts. But as you can see, I did a solid job of relying on my base with a few weeks of solid training going into the duathlon on Saturday. Now I’m hoping the same tactic will prove successful for this Saturday’s half marathon…especially since it’s going to be 90 °F in Napa this weekend!!!! :/
Your Turn: What kind of workouts have you been digging lately? What’s been the best butt-kicker?
After returning to East Bay, Matt and I picked up our keys for our new apartment in Oakland and started moving that afternoon! With dead legs I carried boxes of books from our 3rd floor apartment to our new 3rd floor apartment. All I can really say following that experience is this: racing a half marathon hard + moving will produce more soreness in your legs than any person should ever have to endure! But I’m still excited about my PR and I’m loving our new apartment, so I think it was worth it :).
I also wanted to mention that Matt and I loved the town of Windsor and wanted to spend more time there, which we unfortunately did not have that day. So instead, we went wine tasting with my family on Memorial Day – Windsor has a tasting room for Mutt Lynch and Deux Amis wineries that is dog friendly! Pepper came along for her first wine tasting experience, and we enjoyed a wonderful day drinking great wines with my family in Windsor. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re looking for a dog-friendly wine tasting experience!
Your Turn: Have you ever run one of the Run Wine Country races? Do you have a favorite dog-friendly winery in the area I should check out?
With ZOOMA Napa Valley just 1 week away, it’s time for the final installment of the Runner Report! And in an special edition, we’re featuring ourselves – the ZOOMA Napa Valley Ambassadors!
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.
Runner Report: Running On Waffles
Current City: Oakland, CA
Race: half marathon
Why are you running ZOOMA Napa Valley?
I have loved the mission behind the ZOOMA race series and have wanted to be involved with the organization for years. Having the opportunity to be an Ambassador for the new Napa Valley race was really special, and celebrating with everyone at the finish line will be the icing on the cake!
When & why did you start running?
I started running in the spring of 2009 after putting on a substantial amount of weight in my first semester of graduate school. I had always been an athlete growing up, but hated running. One day at the gym I decided to give the treadmill a try…and I became addicted. While I originally stuck with running to help lose weight (dropping 55 lbs), it has turned me back into an athlete and given me an incredible amount of confidence.
How many races have you done & which was your favorite?
I have raced several shorter distance races, often using 5-10Ks as part of longer training runs to get more start line experience. Bigger races, I’ve completed 4 marathons, 9 half marathons, and I’m racing my 3rd duathlon tomorrow morning! My favorite race would be a tough call, but I think I’d have to pick the Philadelphia Marathon. After trying to break 4:30 at 2 previous races and overcoming some major injuries along the way, I finally accomplished my goal and reached the finish line feeling amazing. It probably helped that I sang “Call Me Maybe” for the last 6.2 miles :).
If you could pick one celebrity to run with, who would it be & why?
This might be a weird choice but I’d have to go with Bill Clinton. I was a big politics junkie before living in DC for 5 years and he’s one of my favorite presidents. Also, I have to admit I have a bit of a crush on him.
What is your favorite running memory?
I’m not sure I can recapture that moment as well as I did in this blog post from almost two years ago. (Must say, one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written.) But basically I was out running one morning before school when I caught a glimpse of a woman running across the street from me who I had seen several times before when I was a new runner. More than a few times she had provided me with inspiration at the gym to keep pushing myself to accomplish more and to run farther. When I saw her that morning, it was not only a moment in which I realized just how far I had come myself as a runner, but how influential one person can be to helping motivate others to become more active. In that moment I felt empowered, strong, and transformed.
What is your one running must-have?
A good sports bra.
What is your favorite post-run indulgence?
Shipyard Pumpkin Beer and apple cider donut holes while taking an ice bath. Seriously, that’s how I’ve survived training for 4 marathon and nothing says fall marathon to me more than that.
Who is your running inspiration?
Of course I look up to the great American runners like Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, Lauren Fleshman, and Deena Kastor. Who doesn’t? But running right now is about becoming the best and strongest woman I can be. Something I’ve talked about more in the past but that I am working really hard to overcome in my professional life is Imposter Syndrome. It’s very common in female scientists as we’re still jockeying for our place in a traditionally (and still) male-dominated field. But I don’t want to be held back from accomplishing my goals because of those issues, and running is one place where I can really help develop my self-confidence. So my running inspiration is the woman I am trying to become, because that woman is pretty amazing.
What is the most important lesson you have learned from running?
This lesson has actually been present throughout my entire life, but it wasn’t until my first marathon that I grasped the beauty of it. “Earned, Never Given.” It’s a Marine Corps motto (my first marathon was Marine Corps in 2011) and it’s one of life’s greatest truths. No matter what I’m working towards, this mantra is never far from my mind. And it pushes me to work even harder.
Want to read about more of our amazing ZOOMA Ambassadors? Check them out here:
Will you be joining us on race day? Make sure to join us for the Honest Tea Mocktail Party the night before the race at 7 pm – RSVP here!
Well, it’s a little embarrassing to be posting this now since I raced the Golden Bears Du on April 5! But since my next duathlon is now just 6 days away, I figured I should get this bad boy posted ASAP!
We got to the start area with just enough time to get our transitions set up and use the bathroom a couple of times before the pre-race instructions meeting started. I ate my typical breakfast (waffle with peanut butter, an apple, and coffee) at home, ate half of a bagel with cream cheese when we got to the race, and then split a Honey Stingers waffle with Matt before starting. It left me with plenty of fuel but no gross heavy feeling.
After the pre-race meeting, we had 2 minutes before the race started so we threw our jackets in the car and got lined up. For the first run (5 miles) I knew I needed to be smart about pacing so I didn’t bonk later in the race or mess up my hamstring, which had been giving me some trouble all week. At first I struggled to keep it near a 9:00 mile. The course starts with a steep downhill, and it’s really easy to pick up speed on it and not ease back up. Eventually we settled into a pace just under 9:00, which I felt we held pretty well. This part of the course was 2 different out and backs. The first one was new to us and there were definitely some rolling hills. I felt pretty good on most of it, and was trying to gauge how my hamstring was responding, but it never hurt much during the race. We watched several of our competitors take off pretty quickly at the start of the race, but near the turnout for the first out and back, we started to pick them off one by one. We made our way to the second out and back, which was the same route from Du 3 Bears, so I knew what to expect from the course. The first half was great, since it was downhill, and then I just focused on running consistently on the way back up. We came back up the massively steep incline (where Matt told me I should pretend I was doing hill repeats) and into transition. My legs were tired, but not dead, and my breathing seemed well-controlled. I was happy with our pacing for the first leg, and the results show our time as 43:08. Pretty good!
Transition went really well. I dropped the long sleeves I had on over my tank since the sun was coming up and transitioned into my bike gear pretty quickly. I ate some Jelly Beans, drank some water, and took off. (I’m not sure about our transition time because they currently still have bike and both transition times lumped together.) Hopping on the bike, I was really excited to see what kind of progress I could make from the last race. Without the crazy wind and rain, I wanted to take the downhills stronger and push myself on the climbs more. My goal was to shave 5 min off of my time from the previous race (1:25:24). I flew down the first downhill and biked strong through the early rolling hills. Once I hit the flatter section, I kept pushing but ended up getting passed by another woman. I was a bit crushed, but just kept on pushing hoping that she’d burnout on the big climbs (especially since I’d already passed her once on the run). I kept passing people that were doing the short course and felt really proud, and that gave me a big boost going into the hills. I took Mama as strong as I could, trying to use both the upstroke and downstroke of the pedal for momentum. I was feeling pretty good at that point, but when we started to reach the base of Papa, Matt dashed my hopes by telling me there was no way we’d make our bike goal. I’d already been passed by another racer that I’d passed on the run, so I just made it my goal to push as hard as I could and try to catch him. Shortly after, on the climb up Papa, we ended up catching him, which gave me a boost to keep pushing. I was going too slow for Matt, so he went around me and I ended up using that gap to try to chase up (and yelling things like, “You fucking own this hill”) to get myself to the top. I was rewarded by a brief downhill before a little incline that leads into the major downhill of the course. My legs were shot for that uphill, but I ended up screaming down the other side close to 35 mph! It was AMAZING! Until a turkey ran into the road and I had to break to let it pass. But it was a blast. From there I kept pushing until we hit Baby Bear. Right before the base, I caught sight of the woman that had passed me earlier, and it became my goal to catch up with her. Unfortunately, as soon as I started climbing the last hill, my legs informed me that they were pissed. Pedaling became ridiculously difficult and it was all I could do to make it up that last incline. I’ve never been so happy to reach flat terrain! The last probably 7 or so miles were fairly flat with some easy rollers, so I started after my goal of catching my rabbit. I told myself that if I could at least keep her in my sights on the bike, I could catch her on the run. I did my best to stay with her, but she was a pretty fierce beast on the bike. About a mile or two out from transition, Matt told me we could still hit 1:20 if we kept up the pace, and after pushing with all I could, I think we managed to come in right around there.
I was happy to see that as I racked my bike, my rabbit was just starting to leave transition. I told myself to swap shoes as quickly as I could and get on the run course ASAP. My total bike and transition time was 1:22:55. Getting out on the last run, I was happy that my feet were not as numb as the last time. I’ve been wearing my bike shoes looser lately, and I think that combined with the lack of cold rain made a big difference. I took the steep downhill and tried to use the momentum it gave me, but my legs felt dead and I didn’t know if I could push the final miles. I knew I had given everything I could on the bike course, and that even if I ran an 11:00 pace I would break 2:30. So I was happy, but trying to make my legs move I thought there was no way I was running sub 9:30, but at one point, Matt told me we were running sub 8:00! I knew I had gravity helping me since we were on the downhill section, but I was pretty ecstatic considering how heavy my legs were feeling. When we got to the bottom of the downhill, there was a slight incline before flattening out for about a 1/2 mile. That small incline was when I began to doubt everything. I knew I’d finish, but it was a struggle. Matt told me there were guys up ahead that needed ‘chicking’ and I shortly realized that one of the runners was my rabbit. She was passing another racer, a guy who was really falling off, and I knew I could pass him. But I told Matt there was no way my legs were strong enough to catch my rabbit. I told him I just wanted to finish as strong as I could. So we made our way to the turn around, came around the loop, and then I realized I was gaining on my rabbit. I gave everything I had to pass her, and I was ecstatic when I finally did it. My sole goal at that point became staying in front. Shortly after passing her, I turned to begin the track back uphill. I could barely get in oxygen at this point, and I was convinced I was going to collapse. My legs were shredded, my breathing was beyond labored, and all I could think about was putting one foot in front of the other. It was miserable and hard, but I managed to get myself off of the trail and onto the flat pavement section. It was there that I was able to catch my breath and tried to mentally prepare myself for climbing the last and final hill. When I came around the corner and saw the course marshal flagging us in, I took one last look over my shoulder to make sure my rabbit wasn’t near and pushed up the hill with everything I had. I have no idea how much I slowed down trying to get up, but at some point Matt asked me if I had an A+ goal for the race. I told him I’d been too scared about the A goal to bother, but mentally when he said that I instantly came up with 2:25. At the top of the hill I practically fell forward to get across the finish line, grabbed water while they took my timing chip off of my ankle, and looked up to see Matt shoving the Garmin under my nose: 2:24:56. I couldn’t believe it! I ran the last 2.2 in 18:52 (slower than last time).
I am so proud of how hard I pushed on the course. It was tough but I left everything out there.
Total time was 2:24:56. Finished 1st in AG, 1st female 39 and under, 4th overall 39 & under. And beat Matt ever so slightly :).