Monday, October 13, 2014

Week in Workouts | It's Taper Time!

And it's Monday again... but I'm not complaining because I only have to work two days this week then we're off to Chicago to see my fam for 5 1/2 days!!

Let's get on to the marathon business...  This week in training was less than ideal.  Ok, I'll be honest -- it just sucked.  Somehow I went from being on cloud 9 and feeling like a rock star to feeling weak, tired and incompetent.  I don't know what shifted but I was exhausted this week, I ate like crap, I missed a run (which I never do) because I ended up napping, and I was in pain on my long run.  It was just ugly.  But now it's time to taper and I am so grateful.

really digging these natural huma gels with chia seeds!

#runselfie = any excuse to take a break on a hard, painful run

I am a bit concerned about my hamstring because it feels like I pulled it.  It hurts even when I'm just walking or when I try to straighten my leg.  That's new. I've never had a hamstring issue in my entire life.

Word to the wise:  try to avoid strange new physical activities weeks before a race.  What started out as a teeny tiny little pain a few weeks ago was exacerbated by all the jumping and leaping I did on Saturday at an indoor trampoline park with Brittany's 8 year old brother.  Trampoline parks are no joke, you guys!


This means I seriously need to rest so my hammie can withstand 26.2 miles in a few weeks.  Rest is not easy for me so this should be fun and interesting.

After I mentioned my goals for NYC I got a lot of feedback from all of you and started to re-evaluate my expectations.  There are two things I did not realize or even consider and now I am slightly freaked out:

  1. It's a hilly course.  Yes, I should have known this but I didn't and I haven't trained on any hills.  Whoops!  
  2. The crowds create a massive obstacle.  Considering NYC is the largest marathon in the world, I should've known this too, but I didn't think about it.  I've heard that this is not the course to PR on simply because of the number of runners.  The first 8 miles are so jam packed you will waste tons of energy if you try to zig zag around all of the people.
I decided that since I'm terrible on hills (because I avoid them at all costs) I should just kiss that PR good-bye.  But then I read the most inspiring race recap from one of my favorite bloggers, Ms Fit Runner. She just qualified for the Olympic Trials on a tough course, in the rain, where everything that could go wrong went wrong.  

It made me realize all of these obstacles are just obstacles. They will make my race harder but I can either let them slow me down or I can fight even harder to run fast and finish strong.  Either way, it will be an incredible experience but I can't give up my goal simply because it will be more challenging than I originally planned.  I am tougher than that.

Week in Workouts

Monday: Spin Class (1 hour)
Tuesday: 6 miles (8:05 avg)
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 6 miles (5 @ 7:30 pace)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest (Whoops, I fell asleep!)
Sunday: 16 miles

Onto the fun stuff: Eating

Less than 3 weeks 'til race day and I really need to clean up my act when it comes to nutrition. 

I am all about giving into cravings and not depriving myself but this weekend I basically binged on junk. I hung out with an 8 year old which led me to eat more sugar than usual and then we had a girls junk food night where we ate pizza, mashed potatoes, rice krispie treats, candy corn and the most insane dessert cookie ice-cream cake.  My belly is rounder and more prominent than usual and I just feel pretty icky.  

No matter how much sugar I eat and how icky I feel, I will still crave more sugar and dessert. It's nuts.  But luckily I can turn to my tried and true mock fro-yo.  It is amazing and whenever I make it I ask myself why I'd ever want real the real thing when this is even better and not at all bad for you.

I ate about 2/3 of this blondie cookie cake with vanilla bean ice-cream myself.
which is why I am now making this.

 Did anyone run Chicago or Long Beach or another marathon this weekend?

Are you a sugar addict too?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Marathon Goals, A Party Foul & Athleta Winner!

Let's kick this Thursday off with the randomly chosen winner of the Athleta Gift Card!

Drum roll puh-lease....

Caitlin Frates

Thank you for liking my page on Facebook, you now get to buy some sweet workout clothes from one of my favorite stores.  Enjoy, my dear!  You deserve it.


The New York City Marathon is only 24 days away (gulp) and I am starting to think about what my goals are for this race.  Originally, I thought I would just run it for the experience (because it is one heck of an experience!) but lately my running has felt so incredible that I think I may be able to do big things once I get there.  I also have a lot of fight in me right now because Ventura was such a bust and a huge disappointment.  You don't train for 15 weeks to have a terrible race. It just isn't right. NYC has become my redemption race.

If you throw the 15 weeks of training for Ventura on top of the 7 weeks for NYC, that's a whopping 22 weeks.  A lot of speed, strength and endurance is gained in 22 weeks. I believe my terrible race in Ventura was due to my depleted iron stores and the heat, both of which I don't think will be a problem in New York.  The weather should be great and I think my iron stores are getting back to normal (at least it feels that way).

So here's the plan, man. I'm going to start with the 3:30 group and just see what happens.  Maybe I hang with them, maybe I fall back.  Who knows?  I've said this before but I really, really mean it: I have never been more excited for a race, ever!  The weekend is going to be a whirlwind -- I'm flying in Friday night (Halloween) and leaving just a couple hours after I finish the marathon.  That should be fun... I am hoping and praying I have a chance to take a shower but that's a big question mark right now.  YIKES.

And my party foul...

This perfectly demonstrates the glamour that is marathon training.  
My good friend Teresa had a little dinner party last night and typically, I show up everywhere (besides work) in workout clothes because I am always rushing from work to a run to wherever else I have to be.  And seriously, after a day in heels, the last thing I want to do is put on anything that isn't extremely comfy.

I emailed T before the party and asked if I needed to get ready and dress in normal clothes or would it be kosher if I showed up in leggings with my hair in a bun (after showering of course).  Her answer: "oh yeah, super casual!"  So I raced home from work, did a quick run, took a quick shower, and then ran to Whole Foods to pick up my contribution and as soon as I walked in I realized I would be the only one in anything even remotely comfy. Dresses, heels, full make-up -- yeah Teresa, SUPER CASUAL! I just shrugged it off and was "that girl" all night.  I guess that's just the life of a full time working gal training for a marathon while trying to maintain some semblance of a social life. Oh well...

Ever show up to a party completely underdressed?

Just me? Okay...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

15 Things Nobody Tells You About Marathon Training

I've trained for several marathons and I've read everything I could get my hands on regarding running.  I've scoured the internet, magazines and books for tips, training plans, and advice and have gained a ton of insight on the subject.  However, there are some things that nobody told me and I had to figure out for myself.  I thought I ought to cover them since I currently have "marathon brain" anyway, and who doesn't love a good list?  (I'm looking at you, buzzfeed junkies.)  Without further ado, here you go, people.

  1. You will be perpetually hungry. Like can't-be-trusted-alone-in-a-bakery kind of hungry.
  2. You will think a 12 mile run is "short."  You may even need to bite your tongue or risk sounding like a jerk when someone gushes about finishing their first half marathon. Congratulate them and don't mention that 18 miler you did yesterday.
  3. Your idea of excitement is when a new issue of Runner's World or Running Times comes in the mail.  Seriously, it will make your day.
  4. You may lose toenails. But even if you don't, you'll still have some gnarly, unattractive feet. Think of your hideous feet as badges of honor.
  5. Things like gels, goos, chews and chomps will become a staple food group.  They're pretty nasty at first but over time you'll actually start to enjoy them.  
  6. People will constantly say things like "you can eat whatever you want because you run so much." You will start to believe them and subsequently eat loads of pizza and ice-cream until you realize you've actually gained 5 pounds. It's okay, we've all done it.
  7. Your entire weekend will revolve around your long run.  Repeat after me: "I can't, I have a long run tomorrow." You'll use that phrase often.
  8. Your idea of the perfect Friday night will be take-out, a movie and bed by 10 PM.  You can go ahead and put your party pants in storage for now.
  9. Nobody cares about your running.  You'll be met with a glazed-over look whenever you start talking about fartleks and tempo runs so save the run talk for your fellow running nerds. 
  10. Running isn't actually free.  Race entries, running shoes, running clothes, gear, and travel costs associated with races ain't cheap. You'll need a separate line item in your budget for running related expenses.
  11. Cross Training is your best friend.  I know you're madly in love with running and you two want to be exclusive but you just can't be. You'll need to cheat on running with cross training, strength training and yoga.  It will do wonders for your training and keep you injury-free. 
  12. You will become a human GPS.  You'll know the exact distance to everything within 5 miles of your house and you'll know of every public restroom and drinking fountain. Who needs google maps when you've run every possible route countless times?
  13. Running becomes a form of transportation.  You'll need to squeeze all those training miles in whenever possible.  Meeting friends for lunch 4 miles away? You'll run there.  Need to drop a letter off at the post office? You'll run it.  People will get used to you showing up places sweaty.  It's okay, you're training for a marathon.
  14. You might crap your pants or pee yourself while running.  It happens to the best of us, just trust me on this one.
  15. You are stronger than you think.  Nothing builds character like a 20 mile run in the pouring rain or taking a shower after some serious chafing (feel the burn!) or a hill workout in the blazing heat.  You will endure more than you ever thought you could and will soon realize you are really freaking strong.

I'm sure I'm forgetting some. 

What would you add to this list?

Monday, October 6, 2014

My Week in Workouts & A Special Giveaway

How is it already Monday...again?  This happens every single week so you think I'd be used to it by now but nope, it's like a slap in the face every single time.

As you may know, I had 20 miles on the agenda for my long run this weekend.  The weather clearly didn't give a hoot about my long run plans and decided to be blazing hot, so what did I do?  I went to the gym and ran every freaking mile on the treadmill.  All 20 of 'em!

I brought all my goodies to make my run as comfortable as possible.  This includes the iPad so I can watch Showtime shows, gels, water bottle, band-aids (just in case), Beta Alanine, and lots of towels to mop up the sweat.  I have a whole station set up and I'm sure I look like a total weirdo. Oh well. You gotta do what you gotta do to get the miles in, right!?

Tried out this all natural gel with chia seeds. 2 thumbs up!

I just hop on the treadmill, set it to a 1% incline (which we're told mimics outdoor running and I pray this is true), then I turn on my guilty pleasure show and cruise.  It isn't all that bad. I get into a groove and before I know it I'm at 18 miles and only have a couple more to go.

This weekend I had to go straight from my run to get my hair done so I had no time to foam roll, ice or do any sort of recovery stuff.  I hopped in the shower, ran over to Brooklyn Bagel to get a breakfast sandwich, then went straight to the salon.  All I really wanted was a nap but I fought through and met up with a friend for coffee after my hair was all nice and did.

post run gym selfie
Sunday, on the other hand, was a day full of naps!  I love having one lazy day each week where I have nothing on the agenda and I can nap as I please.  I am also trying to soak in the freedom to rest because I know one day when I have little ones running around, this luxury will no longer exist.  I napped not once, but twice, and then went for an easy 5 miler with Gunner and Brittany once it was dark out and had cooled down a little bit.

we all napped. a lot.

My Week in Workouts

Monday: 4 miles
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 7.5 miles (mile repeats: 6:44, 6:40, 6:40, 6:41)
Thursday: 3.5 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 20 miles (average pace hovered around 8:20)
Sunday: 5 miles

Total: 40 miles
No cross training, strength training or yoga this week...whoops. I really need to get better about that.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

As you may know, October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  I am fortunate because I haven't been directly affected by breast cancer but I am well aware that could change at any moment as this is a prominent health issue facing hundreds of thousands of women. It continues to be the second leading cause of death in women and this in itself is horrifying.  Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.

If you're a regular reader, you know that I love a good giveaway because I love getting you guys free stuff.  Well, this giveaway is special.  You have a chance to win something, yes, but more importantly, $500 will be donated in your honor to help breast cancer patients. How cool is that?

The Breast Cancer Site is sponsoring this giveaway to support and promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Breast Cancer Site was founded to help fund free mammograms for women in need — women for whom early detection would not otherwise be possible. Since its launch in October 2000, the site has established itself as a leader in online activism and in the fight to prevent breast cancer deaths.

So here's how it works:  Enter HERE for a chance to win a free pink ribbon sweatshirt plus a $500 donation to help breast cancer patients. Every entry will receive 4 FREE pink ribbon camouflage pins to wear and share.  This is quite literally a win-win and a great way to get involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Spread the word!

How was your weekend?
Tell me all about it!

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's finally Fall! Or is it?

The other day I posted this picture on the Insta because it was finally starting to feel like fall in these parts and I even found some crunchy leaves to step on...

...And then I saw the forecast for this weekend.  Why San Diego, why?!  Don't you know I need to run 20 miles this weekend and I'd rather not die of heatstroke?

I was just getting all amped up about cooler running weather and then this happened.  I didn't even run until 8pm last night (because I got sucked into an amazing awful Lifetime movie) and it was like 85 degrees still!  I cannot wait to visit Chicago in less than 2 weeks and run in colder weather and then run a marathon in NYC where it will be nice and brisk. I never thought I'd miss cold weather, but here I am, in sunny San Diego craving a reason to drink a hot pumpkin spice latte while wearing boots and a scarf.  And it ain't gonna happen any time soon.

Instead, I started pinning a bunch of fall fashion shit on pinterest.

Follow Kate's board fall fashion on Pinterest.

This weekend, I plan to live in yoga pants and eat lots of delicious food. Why? Because I can!  I will have burned over a pound in calories by the time the week is said and done-- gotta love marathon training and a great reason to eat more!  Whenever I have a really long run, I tend to veg out after and take it easy with just a nice little recovery run or some cross training the next day. Gimme all the food and all the stretchy pants.

I need this mug!! Found it on

I also plan to finally try out some of the free workout videos by the Sweaty Betty team.  They recently did a 30 Day Sweat Challenge and 3.1 million people across the globe participated! What!? Where was I? I totally missed the boat but lucky for me (and you) all of the stuff is still on their site and available to watch and use.

Even though I belong to a fancy gym (with a price tag to prove it), I never do any of my strength training or core work there.  Instead, you'll find me scouring the web for free workout videos to do in my living room. I get intimidated at the gym and I feel silently judged by all the buff men pumping their big weights. Does anybody else struggle with this? It's absurd, I know, but it's just my preference to do that stuff at home.

That is precisely why I am turnin' to the hot ladies at Sweaty Betty for some home workout ideas.
Sweaty Betty has created an awesome community of women who love to sweat, like you and me. You should check it out-- they're a fun group.

What are your weekend plans?  

Do you prefer to workout at home or the gym?

Don't forget to enter my Athleta gift card giveaway here!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sweat. Smile. Repeat: Athleta Giveaway!

Lately, I really want to move to San Francisco... but I won't because I'd have to change my blog name to NorCal Runner Gal, buy a new domain, yadda, yadda, yadda.  But anway, San Francisco truly is my favorite city in the world!  It even beats out Paris in my book which is saying a lot because je t'adore Paris! There is something magical about SF and it feels like home to me.  And now I want to live there more than ever because they have something San Diego doesn't... fitmob!  This new fitness concept is sure to spread across the country in no time and I can't wait for it to make it's way down south to us folks in San Diego. I hate missing out on cool new fitness trends.

The Big Idea Behind FitMob

The peeps at fitmob have reinvented the fitness industry and created a community-based, FUN approach to working out. It enables people to workout both indoors and outdoors within their own neighborhood in a supportive yet challenging environment with others who share the same goals. 
Bingo! I love it and I'm all about it.

So how does it work?  

Sweat. Smile. Repeat.

Yoga, spin, TRX, bootcamp, kettlebell cardio, circuit, barre, indoors, outdoors, you name it! Every type of workout is offered through fitmob.  It is also WAY cheaper than your typical boutique fitness studios with the same quality of workouts and an amazing community.   The more you work out, the cheaper the classes get so you're actually being rewarded to get fit.

Who started this brilliant idea?  

Snapfish co-founder and entrepreneur/VC Raj Kapoor as CEO, tech guru and martial arts champion Paul Twohey as CTO, and worldwide fitness expert Tony Horton as co-creator of this wonderful concept.
Right now, fitmob is based in San Francisco as I mentioned earlier (sad faced San Diegan right here) but it will most definitely be taking the country by storm so keep your eyes open if you aren't in the NorCal area.  I feel like I am missing out on the party and it's killing me.  
If you're in the Bay Area, try 7 days of workouts fo' free! I'm serious!  Best deal ever.
Because the folks at fitmob are so freaking cool, they're giving away a $25 Athleta gift card to one of my readers! I'm giving you a ton of chances to win, so be wise!

I l-o-v-e Athleta and would love to buy some clothes from there... so one of you is REAL lucky!

Enter to Win!!

Be sure to use a valid e-mail address when entering so fitmob can contact you!
A winner will be chosen October 9th, so stay tuned!

May the odds be ever in your favor...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My Running Related Addiction

If there is something I am obsessed with more than running, it might be running shorts, running tops and of course, shoes for running.  I have a serious problem guys, like I need a 12 step program.  It's one of my many addictions and I know I am not alone.  The funny thing is, I constantly complain that I have nothing to wear and instead of buying real people clothes, I continue to buy MORE running clothes.  I am able to justify this addiction because I run (or workout) about 6 days a week so I “need” a lot of running clothes.  And how can I resist when there are awesome brand name clothes on clearance and I don't even have to leave my house to buy them (thank you, I have a VERY hard time saying no to a good deal. I actually had to cut myself off from this site awhile back because it was just getting out of hand. 

On that note, I am back on the bandwagon, and I think running the NYC Marathon deserves a new piece or two for race day and I’d love your help shopping!  I hate making decisions and this will be like shopping with a friend, so give me your opinions.  Thanks in advance. ;)  Since I refuse to pay full price for workout clothes when I can get them up to 80% off, I’m definitely shopping on The Clymb.  Here are some options I’m throwing around at the moment:

#1 I love yellow and believe it or not, I do not own a single piece of yellow athletic wear.  The see-through mesh portion at the top is super cute!

#2 This would be perfect for NYC temps, don’t you think?

#3 I just think this looks comfortable and since I rarely wear anything pink, it might be fun to mix it up.

#4 I like the asymmetrical top on this one and the loud color.  It helps when you’re in a sea of runners to stand out. 

#5 These would obviously go PERFECT with the top above.

So what do you think? Which are your favorites? Help a sista out! Should I just buy them all?

I am good on shoes right now but want to give you a heads up that The Clymb has Men’s and Women’s Mizunos on sale right now, so act fast!  Their options are constantly rotating.  

I don’t “need” a new pair, but these sure are pretty…

Opinions please – I’d REALLY like some new stuff in the mail ASAP. 

Is anyone else addicted to buying workout clothes?

Should we start a support group?