Sunday, October 28, 2012

Week of LA Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

Monday I got home from work to see that Kelley and Dale had made a donation to the Center for Assault Treatment Services just when I was thinking my goal of reaching $1,000 by 10/31 might not happen! This week was a little light on running in order to prepare for Sunday so I'll jump straight to Wednesday.

I drove up to Palos Verdes and ran along the cliff. While I was running I started crafting a clever status update to encourage more donations so you can imagine my surprise when I got home and found that my brother and his wife (and their daughter) had made a donation! It was a really windy run but it was gorgeous and I got to use my new Nike+ GPS watch! I'm so glad Trey suggested I wait for the white one to come in, it's so stylish! I'm still getting used to the interface but it was pretty easy for the most part.

Thursday I took another rest day but was thrilled to see that my cousin Carmen and her family and my friend Zon had made donations! It was so exciting to see that I'm only $30 away from $1,000 and still days away from the 31st.

Friday I took my last class at Pop Physique. It was a Blackout class with a Halloween theme so they blacked out all the windows and turned on black lights. It was really fun and they served pumpkin champagne after which was delicious!

Saturday was jam packed! I got up early to go for a run with Sarah. We ran just over 2 miles and then got brunch. Then I headed up to Marina Del Rey for Yogaqua. Even though I was a bit worried about doing this the day before my race, the deal I bought was for three classes and if I didn't squeeze this one in I would only get to take two classes. I was glad I went because it was a gorgeous day and a really fun class. I don't have pictures from this one but here's one from my first class:

After that I headed over to the expo for the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Downtown. After picking up my bib and shirt, I got to check out the medal I'll receive for doing two Rock 'n' Roll races in one year. Also got to see the medal I'll receive in January for the New Year's Race.

Then I wandered over to the Spartan Race booth and saw they were having a burpee contest. Mike really wanted the shirt that said "I'm training for a Spartan Race" so I asked them how much. They said 15 burpees so despite having worked out twice already, I dropped and gave them 15.

Sunday was race day. Last year I had to forego this race due to injury so I was extremely thankful to finally get redemption. I was pretty nervous about running in costume, especially since the wing straps dug into my armpits, but it was a huge success! No chaffing anywhere! The halo kept falling off so I carried it most of the time but that was no problem. I finished the race in 2:27:36 which was about 10 minutes longer than the Rock 'n' Roll Pasadena Half Marathon but considering I was wearing a costume I think it was okay. My favorite part was when we turned around on the 6th Street Bridge and got a really nice view of Downtown.

As of 10/28/12 I am still $30 away from my goal for this month so if you can spare some money to help  the Center for Assault Treatment Services continue to provide free services to victims of sexual abuse and assault, please click the top right Donate button or just click HERE.

Thank you so much to everyone who has already donated, the response has been overwhelming and I'm way ahead of where I was last year! That goes for the team as a whole too, this week we passed the $10,000 mark! You are making a difference, thank you so much!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Nutrition, Zombies, and 10 Miles

Monday I did my weekly cross training at Pop Physique with my favorite instructor again! It was the last class on my Living Social package but I'll be back there one more time for a free Blackout Class next week. I made Vegan Kale Pasta for dinner. It's a good go to and pretty easy to make!

Tuesday I had planned to go to Pierce College after work to do some speed work at their track. When I changed at work I realized I had forgotten my Garmin but I pressed on anyways figuring I could just use an app on my phone. Then I got to the track and discovered construction was blocking the normal entrance. I could see a football team practicing on the field so it was still open but despite searching and asking around I couldn't find a way in! Just as I was deciding I could use the night off to clean up and get some errands done around the house, I looked up and saw there was an accident on the freeway blocking three lanes. I was approaching the exit for Fleet Feet Encino and new they were having a nutrition night so I quickly decided I would rather spend my evening there than stuck in on the freeway for two hours.

I am so thankful for the technology that allowed me to salvage my night! I got to see my friends since there was a training run that night and I got to listen to the nutritionist from Phase IV talk about fueling for training. Even though I had heard some of the information earlier this year while training for the 2012 LA Marathon,  I still learned a lot! Like my daily bowl of oatmeal with almond butter and half a banana is filing me with carbs and sugar which cause inflammation.

Wednesday I met up with Sarah for an evening run on The Strand. We caught a bit of the sunset but I brought headlamps for both of us so we could see once the sun went down for our 3 miles. We went to Mucho Ultima after for dinner and I had the Vegan Enchiladas which were soooo good!!

Saturday I did my first 5k obstacle course... with zombies! It was so much harder than I thought it would be because there were tons of hills and there was a lot of sprinting to avoid the zombies. It was tons of fun though, even though I died by losing all three of my flags to mean zombies.

Sunday I had promised myself a 10 mile run to prepare for my half marathon next weekend. I decided to try out what I learned from Phase IV so I made myself some quinoa, red peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, and avocado for breakfast.

I definitely didn't have any stomach issues and the first 7ish miles felt great, but I kept running too fast so when I got to the final miles I was really dragging. Not sure if it was the extra hill work from the zombie race or the healthy breakfast that kept my speed up for so long but hopefully I can pace myself better on Sunday!

I still haven't thought of a good incentive for reaching $1,000 by Halloween but the costume Laurie chose arrived on Saturday and it looks great! I learned how to add a "widget" to my blog so now you can click on the top right to donate OR you can click HERE. While incentives are fun and I'm trying to keep it interesting for everyone, I hope you'll consider donating simply to help the Center for Assault Treatment Services break the silence about sexual abuse. Yet another heartbreaking story came out this week about a girl who was raped at Amherst College but couldn't bring herself to report it because of shame. When she finally did report it you won't believe the reaction campus officials had! CATS is working hard to create an environment where there is no shame in reporting sexual abuse or assault and they will do everything possible to help convict an assailant.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Marathon Training Week 2

Last Monday I ran 4 miles with Ali and Jaime. We wanted to be sure we are ready for the Zombie Race on 10/20. After we ate at my favorite vegan restaurant, Native Foods!

It's true, I eat a mostly vegan diet! I started last December while training for the LA Marathon after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives. Then I read Brendan Brazier's book Thrive. What I saw and read made sense to me so I figured I'd give it a shot and if it got too hard I'd stop. Well, it hasn't been that difficult and the more information I discover the more reasons I collect to continue eating this way. I know it's not for everyone but it works for me!

Tuesday I stopped by Body Dynamix to have Dr. Eddie look at my heel. It started hurting Sunday but not super painful. Just enough to feel it with every step. He said it didn't seem to be plantar fasciitis and should be better in a few days. He applied heat, ultra sound, ice, and "scraped" my leg with what looked like a dull scalpel. None of it hurt!!

Wednesday I went to Pop Physique for some cross training and to give my heel a rest from running. My favorite instructor was teaching, she is a runner too! I noticed that instead of the typical Lululemon attire worn in barre classes, she wore running pants so one day I asked and sure enough, she's a runner.

Thursday I drove up to Palos Verdes to run on a trail along the cliffs and enjoy the gorgeous sunset. It had rained during the day and was still raining in parts of LA so I got an amazing view! I only ran about 3 miles but it included some steep trails as I explored the area.

Friday was movie night at Fleet Feet Encino to raise money for the Center for Assault Treatment Services. We paid $10 for admission to see Spirit of the Marathon and another $10 for a raffle ticket to win a Nike GPS watch. The movie was great and definitely got me pumped for my own marathon. After the movie was over it was time for the raffle. I mused that I had been having problems uploading runs from my Garmin lately so I sure wouldn't mind winning but I was floored when my name was called!

Saturday I ran on the wood chip trail which cuts through both Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. It's very well maintained with plenty of water fountains, mile markers every quarter mile, and workout stations every so often. Since my heel wasn't 100% yet I figured this would be the best terrain to accomplish the 8 miles I had in mind in order to prepare for the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon at the end of the month. I only encountered two stoplights along the nearly 4 mile trail which were a bit tricky to navigate but ultimately much better than typical city streets. And there were tons of people out running too which made me feel safter when crossing streets.

And now for my fundraising update... a week ago when I posted I was at $150 and today I am at $700! I am just so pleased with this progress!! As for the contest, Laurie Adami is in the lead with her $500 donation. Laurie and I used to work together and she is a wonderful woman and an incredible fundraiser! She raises money to research cures for blood diseases (like lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma). I am so grateful for her donation and the donations from my friends Joelle and Putri. This money is so necessary for CATS to continue providing free services to victims of sexual abuse and assault by highly skilled nurses and other staff. Please donate if you are able:


I'm trying to come up with a good gimmick if I reach $1,000 by Halloween. Please send me your ideas!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Warrior

Okay I hate the term "Weekend Warrior" but this post is recapping the weekend and I'm not feeling particularly creative while writing it so I guess I'll use it. I mean, I run on weekdays just as often as weekends and I despise the hint that just because running (or any other sport) isn't my profession that I'm just dabbling in it. The worst is when the news covers a marathon and refers to the Elite Runners and the Weekend Warriors as if there is no middle ground. What about the people who ran on a Thursday at 5am to get their training miles in? Or the people who ran 12 miles on a Wednesday evening? If anything I think it takes just as much dedication to train for a marathon when it's not your livelihood as when it is! I'm sure there are many who wouldn't agree with me, but I just think we need a new term for the non-Elite-but-stil-worked-their-butts-off runners. And hopefully the media thinks of this term before March 2013!

Saturday morning was the first official "long run" on the training plan for LA Marathon. I had to use quotes because I don't consider 2 miles to be a long run, but I definitely don't knock anyone who does. I myself started with Couch to 5k a handful of years ago and at the time running for 2 miles continuously sounded just shy of impossible. I certainly would have laughed in the face of anyone who said I would one day run 2 miles as training for a marathon.

Although I'm not participating in Fleet Feet Encino's excellent training program this year because I live too far away, I attended this run because it was for all members of Team CATS and actually started at their facility in Van Nuys with a breakfast after! Once we were done running, Dr. Eddie of Body Dynamix in Tarzana led us in a cool down stretching session.

Once we were done stretching the CATS staff led team members on tours of the facility. Since I had my tour last year, I stayed back and helped team members set up their Crowdrise pages. In clicking around and showing someone my page, I discovered that I had received a donation overnight! I'm sure I've said this before, but I really feel better about receiving donations than if I was receiving the money myself... and that's saying a lot for someone who loves to shop! So now my cousin's in-laws are in position to choose my halloween costume for my half marathon at the end of the month.

Earlier this week, Gail, the Special Events Manager for CATS, asked Lauren and I to put on a short skit on fundraising since we were both so successful last time. We briefly discussed it on our Wednesday fun run and shot some ideas back and forth via text and email but never actually rehearsed. Luckily Lauren was the only one who had to do any acting since she played the person who knew nothing about the cause and I got to play myself, asking for a donation! Normally I would be scared to death to stand up in front of a group like that, but there really is something to be said for knowing your subject matter. That gave me the confidence to show my team mates just how easy it is to bring up fundraising in conversation and then to follow up via email with a link to the donation page.

Although I've been through this training/fundraising process before, there is still so much I don't know. In our training manuals that we received, I learned that $500 pays for one audio and videotaped forensic interview of a victim. The interview is conducted by an expert interviewer and used as evidence in the investigation of a suspect. I also learned that $1,000 pays for one medical evidentiary sexual assault examination for the purpose of collecting evidence to assist law enforcement and the District Attorney's Office with the investigation. So now that you know what the money is being used for, please consider donating any amount. It all adds up and helps CATS do amazing work! I was thrilled to see that my dad already donated too! Well on my way to the first goal of $500... by the end of October??


Sunday I had planned to run the Santa Monica 5000 which is the race that started it all when my cousin and her husband completed it two years ago and inspired me to train for a 10k. I did a bit of fundraising for iEmpathize which also does amazing work rescuing victims of child sex slavery and had created a running team for the race. Unfortunately this event was the same day as the Long Beach Marathon which many of my friends were running so I wanted to go down and support then. Since the 10k started at 8am there was no way to do both so Andreia and I hatched a plan to meet in Santa Monica at 7am and run the mostly closed 10k course before driving down to Long Beach. We eventually caught up to the 5k racers crossing the finish line but it didn't feel right to cross so we went around.

We got to mile 23 of the marathon which was also approximately mile 11 going the other direction. This was great because we got to see six of our fellow running buddies and cheer them on!

This race was really awesome and much lower key than the LA Marathon. Although there are about 23,000 participants, only 5,000 run the marathon! It was really cool to actually be able to see people cross the finish line (unlike LA where it is jam packed with people and there is no hope of getting near the finish line) and kind of emotional thinking back to when I crossed it this past March. I just might consider doing this race next year... that would mean TWO marathons in one year!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Choose My Costume for the LA Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon!

Much like last year at this time, I am yet again embarking on the amazing journey that is training for the LA Marathon. But this time is different. This time I have a basis for comparison. Not only will I be trying to finish the race faster than 5:14:20, but my even more important goal is to raise more than the $3,000 I raised last year for the Center for Assault Treatment Services... with the help of my amazingly generous friends and family!

I've been running with much more regularity than last year at this time and you can read about the 200 mile I ran recently here. I've also got a Zombie Run on 10/20 and the LA Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon on 10/28. Since the half marathon is so close to Halloween, everyone dresses up in costumes so I figured it might be fun to turn my costume choice into a fundraiser...

Whoever donates the most between now and midnight PST on 10/15 will get to choose my race costume. It has to be eligible for Amazon Prime so I can be sure it arrives in time and obviously cannot inhibit running (nothing that hangs down below the knees). Otherwise, go crazy! Just click the link below to donate online or contact me if you'd prefer to donate by cash or check.


Even though the marathon training schedule is pretty light this early on, I need to be ready for 13.1 miles by the end of the month so I joined some of my Fleet Feet family Monday morning for a 4 mile trail run.

On Wednesday I joined Fleet Feet for the weekly fun run and also bought a new pair of shoes! I've been needing a new pair, especially before I start training so when I walked in and saw Trey wearing the hot pink Asics and he said they were similar to the pair I normally wear I was sold. Turns out I wasn't the only one either...

Now don't forget to donate before 10/15!! RIGHT HERE