Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Two weeks means twice the fun!

I missed a week, oops! I had to go to Utah for work and was so busy I didn't have time to update and have been busy ever since. I know that's no excuse. In fact, one of my favorite running (shaming) quotes is:

And guess what? I DID make time to run! So let's start with the week I missed. I ran from my hotel to the base of the gorgeous mountains pictured below.

It was about 2.5 miles one way but even as I got closer the mountains still seemed so far away. When I finally got there I went up the trail just enough to take some pictures. There was still snow on the ground but not enough to make it dangerous. I took a 360 degree shot and then headed back and saw the Christmas Village just a few blocks from the hotel.

I was extremely short on time while there so the last day before my flight home, I got up early and actually ran 3 miles on the treadmill. It was my first time on the treadmill in so long I can't even remember. Definitely years! I tried to go fast to make up for the fact I was kinda cheating (and I just wanted to get it over with) but I'm just not a morning runner and ended up slowing down to be able to finish. I was glad to at least get two short runs in before my long run though.

On Saturday that week I met up with my training group for 15 miles along the Santa Monica/Venice boardwalk. We actually started in Marina Del Rey to ensure we got the needed mileage. It was a really chilly morning so I bundled up but it warmed up nicely and I was sweating before I knew it. We started a bit fast for my pace so it was a struggle for the first few miles but I eventually hit my stride and only dragged for the last mile or less.

Unfortunately no cross training that week or this most recent one either. Tuesday I did make it to Body Dynamix for quick pre-hab session before heading over to Fleet Feet Encino to receive my Team CATS race shirt which also has my name on the back (like last year) for raising $1,000 before the deadline. Thanks everyone for making that possible!! We did speed work and ran just over 3 miles before heading back to the store for some ab work.

Wednesday I joined the Fleet Feet fun run for a run through Candy Cane Lane. I've driven through it for years but never even walked through, let alone run. It was super fun seeing all the kids get so excited and everyone was saying "Merry Christmas" to each other. I got 4 miles in because I finished out the last block that the course didn't cover.

On Saturday I met up with Peachy and Barbara to do something I didn't think was possible... run 16 miles in the hills of Griffith Park. Between a rough 15 the week prior, a really really tough time doing a few miles at Temescal Canyon, and a very unsuccessful 12 miles in hills last year I was very hesitant. But the girls convinced me and I figured the worst that would happen is I would have to turn around and walk back. Luckily that didn't happen and when Peachy told me we were running to the Hollywood sign, it was just the motivation I needed to keep going! Despite living in LA my whole life, this is something I had never done before. It was pretty awesome to see the back of the letters!

Unfortunately fundraising has hit a bit of a standstill lately. I haven't been dedicating much time to it so I'm doubtful I'll raise $677 in the next week. But I did get a donation from a total stranger thanks to my friend sharing my link on her friend's Facebook pages! I have to say that felt pretty awesome. If you believe in this amazing charity that does such amazing work for victims of sexual abuse and assault, I would really appreciate you spreading the word. Whatever that means to you, whether just in conversation, through email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This friend of mine shared my link on about 70 people's pages and one person donated. So it takes a lot but I am so grateful to her for doing that and hope others will do something that feels manageable to help a great cause! Don't forget, your donations are tax deductible!! Click the orange box on the top right to donate now!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Power of Corn

Nothing makes a busy, stressful week payoff like running a race in a costume and raking in the donations! But first, the rest of my week. Monday I took my last class at Bar Method West LA. My Daily Candy deal finally expired and while all the instructors were great and the studio was nice, I'm really looking forward to using my deal for Bar Method Hermosa Beach. I thought killing time in West LA would allow time for traffic to die down but the worst part of my commute is AFTER West LA and the traffic stays surprisingly late so I'm eager to just get home and take class whenever I want (or have time) and not have to time it just right.

Tuesday I stopped at Body Dynamix to get some pre-run treatment, then I joined the Fleet Feet training group since they were celebrating Team CATS raising $20,000. We ran for 12 minutes then turned around which ended up being just under 2.5 miles for me. Once we got back to the store Phase IV gave a talk on cross training. Then we went over to Yum Yum Yogurt to have frozen yogurt to celebrate raising $20,000. We took our froyo back to Fleet Feet where one of our teammates shared her personal story for why she is on the team. It was heartbreaking to hear about her attack but so inspiring to hear about the amazing work the Center for Assault Treatment Services did to bring her attacker to justice. Thanks to the excellent data collection, he will be imprisoned the rest of his life! I felt proud to be supporting such a meaningful organization and really hope that I can meet my goal of $4,000.

Wednesday was a rest day but Thursday I ran 4 miles along the Hermosa Beach Strand and got to see both piers lit up for Christmas.

Friday I picked up my bib for the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run and got everything ready for the morning. Saturday I got up at 5:00 a.m. in order to run 8 miles before the 10k to fulfill my scheduled 14. Unfortunately I left the house a bit late and had some parking issues so by the time I started running I quickly realized that I would have to cut it short if I wanted to start the race on time. I ran 6 miles in just over an hour then donned my corn costume as promised and ran the 10k in 1:03:12.6. I don't know if it's a good or bad sign that I run just as fast dressed in a costume as I do normally. I sure got an earful on the course though! Aw shucks, 'ear me out... my ear was cold! Wish I could remember the rest. Mostly just a lot of shouts of "Christmas Corn" and the occasional "banana?!?!" Coming into the finish with people yelling "Go Corn!" was pretty awesome though.

As I had suspected, the costume got me a much needed uptick in donations! I'm so thankful the race costume idea has been so successful. I got $199 in donations just since Saturday and probably close to $500 generated by love of the costume. I still have quite a ways to go if I want to hit $2,500 by the end of the year but I'm hopeful I can make it happen and stay on target for reaching $4,000 for CATS!

With that said, my next race is January 5th: New Year's Race Los Angeles Half Marathon! It's at night so please make a donation and then send me your suggestions for a costume... maybe something glow in the dark and/or with lights?

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Congrats on $20,000 Team CATS!

I finally got a chance to review the training program Peachy suggested and realized it includes 4 runs per week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Since I was off on Monday, I figured I'd get started. I drove up to Abalone Cove but the parking lot was closed! Luckily there was another small, free parking lot right next to it but it was only 30 minute parking. The area wasn't very big so this ended up being just enough time to get a quick run in. It was really beautiful and not terribly steep so I had a great run!

Wednesday it was rainy and gloomy and I almost thought about skipping the run but I wouldn't have any time to make it up. I ran 5 miles with 2 miles at tempo. I tried to keep my tempo miles close to 9:00 pace but actually went a little faster for some parts. It felt really good, much better than my tempo runs last year!

Thursday was my only chance to get to Bar Method but that almost didn't happen either. I left work with enough time to get there for the 6:15 class but when I turned on my GPS it said 6:30. I called them up to say I couldn't make it and they offered to switch me to the 7:30 class. Although I hated the idea of getting home so late I figured I better just do it. Martine was the instructor and she really pushed us. Normally the instructors will call out a general "get lower" or "get that arm/leg higher" but she actually singled people out which made me nervous so I tried a lot harder to avoid having my name called. Ultimately it was a good thing because my triceps were really sore on Friday.

I had planned to run 3 miles on Friday to stay in line with Peachy's schedule but after a tiring week I just couldn't manage it. Instead I conserved energy for my 13 mile run on Saturday. My brother signed up for the Spartan Race in Malibu on Saturday so I decided to get there early and run before his race. The parking was at Zuma Beach and since I ran there earlier this year I knew I there was a decent course. It took about 2 and a half loops of the course to get my mileage in but I got to watch the surfers and there were plenty of other walkers/runners out for me to exchange pleasantries with. I even got a compliment on my shoes! The run went well but I'm still having a hard time getting used to my Nike+ GPS watch. I've noticed that it'll show a fast instantaneous pace throughout my run but when I look at the average pace it's much slower. Since the watch only shows two fields at a time, I usually have instantaneous pace and distance showing so I'm always surprised to see my average pace is slower than expected. For example on this run I didn't see an 11:00 or slower pace the entire time I ran, however I had 2 miles that were that slow. My fastest mile was only 10:30 despite seeing 9-something many times! It also doesn't have as many statistics as Garmin when the run is uploaded to the website. I love the way it looks and I like the social aspects but I'm still not sure if I should fix and keep my Garmin or stick with the Nike. I need to decide soon because I plan to sell the other one and donate the money to CATS!

After my run I met up with my dad and Mike to go watch my brother race. It was super muddy so I couldn't get around the course as planned but I got a picture of him with his team at the end and my shoes to show that even the spectators got in on the action!

Sunday after church I took class at Bar Method again with Nick. He was hilarious as usual calling out one of the girls because it was her birthday. He piled on the reps but told us to "get over it" and explained that our leg should be straight, the opposite of him! He was really sweet too when I told him at the beginning of class that my shin was bothering me. He brought mats over during thigh work so I could alleviate some pressure and it helped a ton! I really love how knowledgable the instructors are!

There hasn't been much action on the fundraising front this week for me personally but I'm hoping to garner more donations once you all see how ridiculous I look dressed as corn for the Christmas Run. Don't let that hold you back though, feel free to donate now by clicking Donate Now in the top right of this page. This week Team CATS hit the $20,000 mark and 10 of us will get our names on the back of our race shirt for raising $1,000 by 11/30! Thank you so much to all who have donated so far, I'm so thankful for your support and your money is going to such wonderful people who help victims of sexual abuse and assault. I can't wait to reach my next goal, hoping to reach $2,500 by the end of the year!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Made my November goal, costume choice revealed!

Monday I made it a point to get to Body Dynamix to let Dr. Eddie torture my shins. He also showed me a few foam rolling exercises and encouraged me to do them every day. We practiced a few which was pretty painful but that just means I need to keep it up.

Tuesday was full of ups and downs. I was super sick but I received four donations which put me over my November goal of raising $1,500! Can you believe I got sick the week of Thanksgiving again?? Reaching my fundraising goal definitely kept my spirits up and helped take my mind off my lack of appetite and extreme boredom.

Wednesday I was still recovering so took another day off working out but Thursday I was determined to get a Thanksgiving run in. I had been wanting to check out the Portuguese Bend Reserve for ages but needed daylight to do it so this was my first opportunity. It was chilly and overcast when I left the house but as I drove up the hill I realized that long sleeves were a bad choice. The trails are fairly steep but the views are amazing... or at least they will be on a clear day. I ran/hike/walked about 2.5 miles before rushing back to start Thanksgiving festivities. I also got a donation from my aunt so it was a great day!

Friday I got a much needed cross-training trip to Bar Method in. There was a cute family in class: a mom, dad, and their two sons! The instructor was pregnant but still managed to work us hard to burn off all those Thanksgiving calories.

Saturday I met up with Peachy to run our scheduled 12 miles. She suggested we run our usual Santa Monica boardwalk but instead of staying on the path, we would head up Temescal Canyon and include some trails in the route. I agreed and we easily climbed the street up to the start of the trail. Unfortunately the minute we began to ascend the trail I started losing steam. I don't know if it was the elevation, the lack of food this week, or some combination, but I had to take frequent breaks to climb the mile and a half trail. Finally we reached the waterfall we had been promised, however it was dried out and not quite the payoff we were hoping for. When we reached our starting point it was just shy of 11 miles and I asked Peachy if we could call it good since the trail had taken so much out of me. When we started the fog hid the ocean from view but by the time we were done it had burned away.

I'm sure you've been eager to find out what costume I'll be wearing on December 8th at the Christmas Run so here it is... I'll be running the 10k as CORN!

If you weren't able to get in on the fun of helping me reach $1,500, never fear! I'm on my way to my next goal of raising $2,500 by the end of the year. Since the costume incentive seems to be working I'll agree to wear one for the New Year's Race on January 5th. It's a half marathon through Downtown LA at night! So please click the Donate Now button to the top right of this page and start getting your costume suggestions ready.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

11 miles

Monday was a rest day but not for fundraising! I announced a little motivation to help me reach my goal of $1,500 by November 30th and SIX of my friends donated! The costume choice is still undecided but I promise it'll be good.

Tuesday I joined friends for a 3 mile trail run at 6am. It should have been longer but unfortunately my asthma got the better of me and I decided to rest after a mile and a half and wait for the others to finish their hill repeats and rest of the trail. This gave me a chance to take in the view of the Valley which was pretty clear after last week's rain.

After the run I went over to Body Dynamix to take care of the shin splints I noticed after Saturday's run. I had this problem last year and it got to a point where I couldn't run so I want to take care of it early. Dr. Eddie used ultra-sound, muscle stimulation, and something that looks like a scalpel (a duller version of course!) to whip my shins into shape. Then I met with Gail, Lauren, and Scott to discuss the Center for Assault Treatment Services' Facebook page. Since Lauren and I are fairly technically inclined and Scott is a social media expert, Gail enlisted our help to make the page the best it can be. We had a great time chatting and benefitting from Scott's experience.

Wednesday I ran about 3 miles to the Manhattan Beach Pier for their pier lighting ceremony. It was a lot of fun with Christmas carols, free cupcakes, and tons of people. After I planned to run back, however my shin was hurting again so I decided to walk back for fear of doing any damage. It was disappointing to have to walk and I'm really hoping this isn't a sign of trouble brewing.

Thursday I dropped into Bar Method in Hermosa Beach for a free community class with Marah, a teacher in training. This worked out perfectly because I wanted to work out but didn't think I'd have a chance to go to the West LA location. Marah was really great and friendly and actually made a suggestion I'd never heard before: to use a riser for round/flat back due to tight hips. I don't know that it necessarily helped my hips but I could reach the bar easier which allowed me to press into it and get my leg straighter!

Saturday morning I got up early to join Peachy and Barbara for 11 miles in Pacific Palisades. We had planned to do a trail run in Temescal Canyon but we had to switch to the boardwalk along the beach for fear of slippery trails. Just as we parked we saw a deer cross the street into the mountains! I tried to snap pictures but it was too quick. We kept our pace around 10:30 min/mi which felt great, so great that I picked it up for the last mile and finished really strong. I didn't have any shin pain while I was running but they still have that bruised feeling so I foam rolled and iced when I got home (no ocean today, not supposed to go in after it rains).

I wore the hat I got from CATS for reaching $500 to help protect me from the rain but luckily it held off pretty much the whole time! When I got back home I ran into our neighbors. Turns out Jean walked the LA Marathon 10 years ago and raised money for Leukemia with Team in Training! They were kind enough to make a donation after I told them about CATS!

Later in the day I joined Marah at Bar Method again for another free class. After class on Thursday she had mentioned that her audition to be an instructor was on Sunday so she wanted to have one more class on Saturday with people who are familiar with the class so she could focus on her timing. When I showed up on Saturday it was me and two instructors! I was thrilled for the small class but also knew this meant I would be receiving a lot of corrections (something Marah was also working on). The class was really tough but also fun because I'm familiar enough with the classes that I could make some helpful suggestions after.

I was out kind of late Saturday and didn't get to check my email but when I woke up on Sunday I had a pleasant surprise... two more friends had donated! So now I'm only $50 from my goal of $1,500 by 11/30! Please help me get there, less than two weeks to go. Click HERE or click the Donate Now button in the upper right of this page.