The following week we had 11 miles on the roster, however I signed up for the Santa Monica Venice Christmas Run. Since it was only a 10k, I met up with my dedicated running buddies at 6am to knock out 5 miles before the race. It was beautiful seeing the sunrise and running along the beach:
After the 5 miles we set off for the 10k:
I kept a very comfortable pace and took tons of pictures in hopes to make an epic blog post but we all know how that turned out. During the race we saw one of our fellow Fleet Feet training buddies, Melissa, so we took a picture after we all finished:
Here I am crossing the finish line with Sarah and Lauren! Still need to order the digital image.
And here I am with my awesome running buddies:
The following Tuesday at our 4 mile tempo run, Lauren, Melissa, and I all wore our race shirts:
Of course I've been keeping up with my Wednesday runs which have included running in extreme winds and almost always running with a group that is much faster than me. Luckily Jason always slows down for me. Even though it's tough, I enjoy attending the fun runs at Fleet Feet Encino because they always have great sponsors like Saucony and we often get to try out shoes or apparel:
The fun run group is pretty small but it has grown a lot from when I first started and hopefully it'll get to a point where Jason can join the speedy folks because I'll have my own pace group to run with.
At the Brooks fun run I won a super cute tech tee!
Thursdays have still been my yoga day with Ko Ohka and I definitely feel I'm improving. I've also been going to Bar Method once a week (for the most part) and bought a Groupon so I can keep that going. And of course I'm still going to Woodland Hills Physical Therapy twice a week to keep the aches and pains at bay.
This past week has been especially hectic with Christmas so I skipped Bar Method AND yoga but I did attend all my runs. Tuesday Coach Trey promised us "a team of special guests" that he booked 4 months in advance to come work on our injuries so we were super excited to see what was in store. Of course I had my suspicions about the build up and they were confirmed when we returned from a gentle 3 miles to find Trigger Point rollers:
Trey is awesome and conducted a great foam rolling class to help us roll out our injuries. Every runner needs a foam roller!
Wednesday I drove out to Santa Monica to join my girlfriends from church to run 6 miles. We had such an awesome time chatting and running along Ocean Ave and back down the boardwalk. We planned the run to end up in the heart of downtown Santa Monica for happy hour and stumbled on a great place called Pourtal. The wine was fantastic and the atmosphere was perfect.
Finally Saturday, Christmas Eve, was the day I had been waiting for. We had 14 miles on the roster which would be my furthest run to date. I was also super excited because my dear friend Lorie was joining me for the run. She is an amazing runner and easily kept up with the front of the pack. She did drop back for a bit to chat with Sarah and I. It was fascinating to listen to the two of them talk about science stuff, they are such smarties! It also made that part of the run fly by with a sub 10 minute mile in there. Of course this didn't bode well for the rest of the run and again I struggled with pace but ultimately pulled off a 10:30 overall pace. I have such a hard time balancing efficient running with carefree running but so far I seem to be managing to complete my runs without too much thought. I took my first ice bath after the run. A few folks at physical therapy recommended it and I decided no better time than my longest run. I didn't actually use ice, just cold water but it was still excruciating. Just for a few moments though, it wasn't too bad after the initial shock. I think it helped but we'll see how this week goes.
As for fundraising I've hit a bit of a dry spell after my climb to the top 3. I'm currently about $300 behind my faux nemesis Lauren (aka LoMo). I'm still determined to reach $2,000 and I know I can do it! I'm still taking orders for macarons or anything else your heart desires (within reason). Don't forget to make those tax deductible donations before year end... Saturday!! Just go here: http://www.crowdrise.com/crystalarrieta