Monday, March 18, 2013

The week before LA Marathon

Monday I started the day feeling kinda ill. I was worried it would develop into something worse and the timing was awful, but by lunchtime I was feeling much better. By the end of the day I felt 100%, just in time for Bar Method!

Tuesday I went down to Village Runner to get a form analysis done by a Newton rep. She gave me some tips on my form and let me try out a pair (third time now) for Village Runner's weekly fun run. I met some nice people but ultimately ran with Ed who has run 30 marathons and planned to run his 20th LA Marathon on Sunday. He told me about the four Rs: Relax, Rhythm, React, Resolve. I listened as he shared his wisdom and before I knew it we had run 5.5 miles at a sub-9:00 pace! I definitely felt like the Newtons helped me fly up the incline from the beach path to the street and finally felt ready to take the plunge and buy a $175 pair. Especially since the rep assured me that they last longer than regular shoes and don't wear down the same so can be worn for walking and running. I figured I'd keep an eye out for them at the marathon expo to see if they offer any deals.

Wednesday I joined iRunMB for their weekly fun run which was sponsored by New Balance. I didn't win a pair of shoes but I did win a towel and I got to see Monica who is one of their awesome reps who conducted a gait analysis at Fleet Feet Encino a while back and introduced me to some running concepts like posture, cadence, lean and and midfoot strike.

Thursday I took a rest day but Friday I got one last workout in at Bar Method and tried to take it easy so I wouldn't be sore on Sunday. That night I got to bed around 9:30 because I was so tired and figured I wouldn't get a full night's sleep the next day.

Saturday Andreia, Kasia, Lauren, and Mayra came over and we went to the expo for the LA Marathon. We got there just as they were running out of supplies so Mayra and Andreia didn't get any goodies in their goodie bags and a few minutes later they even ran out of bags and people were asking us where we got ours! There was also an issue with information on the bibs being printed incorrectly and we all had a good laugh with Kasia who was one of the victims.

After picking up our bibs and race shirts, we headed to the Asics shop to look for LA Marathon themed gear. I got a shirt that says "Los Angeles is for runners" and a running tank. Then we walked around the expo a bit and I stopped at the Newton booth to buy the shoes I tried on Tuesday. They were 15% off and I even got free socks!

After the expo we got lunch then went shopping for dinner. Kasia had to leave but the other girls were spending the night so we rented a couple movies and made an early dinner of pad thai, Blue Dog's Happy Cow salad, and a steak and potatoes dish (I didn't partake in that one). We watched The Perks of Being a Wallflower as we ate and then prepped our gear for the next day. Our goal was to be in bed by 9pm but it was about 10 by the time my head hit the pillow.

This week was amazing for donations! I got 16 donations from friends, family, and even Mike's coworkers (who I may have bribed with baked treats). It was a great last push and got me all the way to $2,960 as I went to bed Saturday night. Up next... LA MARATHON RECAP!!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

One last long run before LA Marathon!

Monday I went to Bar Method in the morning and was rewarded with a Hurley Nfinitank for participating in one of their contests! Later in the day I met up with Sarah to run/hike in Palos Verdes.

Tuesday I ended up working late so I took a rest day. Wednesday I went to Bar Method and halfway through class I started wondering if I accidentally signed up for Level 2 because the pace was really fast with less set up than usual! Turns out it was a regular class but the instructor even commented at the end that it was nearly a level 2 class! After class I met up with Mike at iRun MB for their weekly fun run. We did the 5k course and I tested out Newtons but neither of us won a pair in the raffle. Maybe I'll buy some after the marathon! They also had snacks and recovery drinks like water, Nuun, and beer!

Thursday I hit Bar Method for a third time this week! We had to do fold over with a mini mat which is like this:

But you take a small mat, fold it in half, and hold it in place behind your knee. Now this is already extremely difficult but now try it with pants that are a little slick! Sufficiently annoyed? Ya, me too. I kinda wish they did like Crossfit and posted the workout of the day so I would know if grippy pants were needed. It was still a good class though and I couldn't tell if I was still sore from Wednesday's class or Wednesday's run. Either way, it made class that much more challenging.

Friday I went to Bar Method for a fourth day this week! That's a new record for me! I also tried L today  which I haven't tried in about a year and last time I definitely wasn't ready. L is an option you take in Round Back where you hover your non-working leg (like Burr below) thereby making the exercise much harder.

It was sooooo hard but it felt great to at least get a few reps in before having to bend my leg again like the girl in the white tank above. I started thinking about how all the aches and pains I used to get during class have actually gone away. I have read many stories about people turning to Bar Method because they have back pain or knee pain and this alleviates it, but I never experienced any of that for myself until now. I think it's because prior to these last couple months I was only going once per week. Now that I'm going three times per week regularly I've definitely seen an improvement.

Saturday I met up with Barbara for 6 miles along San Vicente Blvd., which also happens to be the last few miles of the marathon course! It was pretty surreal to run along the greenbelt knowing that only a week later I'd be running the same route but in the street. After we finished up I ran another 2.5 miles before heading to the pier for yoga with Sandy and Wie. The forecast was pretty chilly but the weather turned out to be perfect!

In the evening I met up with my Ragnar team which is my next running endeavor after the marathon. We went over the basics for those who will be doing it for the first time but also just got to spend some quality time hanging out.

I got a few more donations this week and am up to $2,360. Still far off from my goal but I'm hoping a few more will come in the days before the marathon. If you are reading this and haven't had a chance to donate yet, please click HERE and give what you can. The Center for Assault Treatment Services does amazing work for victims of abuse and assault and they are less than $2,400 from the team goal of $50,000!  

Monday, March 4, 2013


Monday I went to Bar Method and then met Sarah after for a run. Since I was having some pain on top of my left foot I thought it would be a good idea to run in the sand so I wouldn't have to wear shoes. We started out running in the sand but it was really cold and difficult so we sprinted in the sand to the next opening in the wall, then walked on The Strand to the next opening, and continued switching off. We covered about 2 miles before ultimately deciding that we'd had enough.

Tuesday I started doing a little research about the pain in my foot. I found out that walking (and I presume running) barefoot and/or without arch support is the worst thing you can do for it! Apparently my brilliant sand running idea wasn't so brilliant after all. Even though I got home early enough to do Bar Method and run, I ended up doing neither. My foot was still hurting and I had no idea if activity would make it worse so I decided rest couldn't hurt.

Wednesday my foot hurt too much to wear heels so I headed to see my old friends at Woodland Hills Physical Therapy where Rod was nice enough to squeeze me in and work on my foot. He said it was okay to run on which made me feel way better and he also said he thinks I can run the marathon in 4 hours 30 minutes! I don't know about all that but it definitely gave me confidence. Even though I got the go ahead to run I took one more rest day.

Thursday I worked from home which gave me the chance to go for a lunchtime run with Sarah. It was quite warm out which felt good at first but also made me glad we were only running 3 miles. That evening I went to Bar Method.

Friday I was able to make it back from work just in time to hit the last Bar Method class of the day. I was pretty happy that despite being somewhat injured I still managed to hit Bar Method three times this week and run twice before my long run.

Saturday I met up with Sandy and Barbara to run 9 miles before meeting up for Roga (run + yoga). When we pulled into the parking lot we saw our first indication that the marathon is imminent, special marathon parking rates! We headed down the pier to the boardwalk and caught some great views of the sun coming up. In addition to running along the boardwalk we incorporated some tough inclines and ran through some beautiful neighborhoods before meeting up with Wie back at the pier to do a 5k. We had originally planned to run a bit more but wanted to guarantee we'd be back in time for yoga. Thankfully we had gorgeous weather and practicing yoga on the Santa Monica Pier was just incredible!

After Roga and some well earned brunch, I headed over to the expo for the St. Patrick's Day 5k to volunteer. I thought it sounded like a good way to engage in my community even though I didn't plan to run the race, however I quickly found out that typically only high school track students trying to fulfill their volunteer hours do this sort of thing. It made me feel good that most people assumed I was a high school student too! But then it made me feel old to hear them talk to each other. It was still fun though and I got to check out the special edition LA Marathon Asics that I'm really tempted to buy even though they are not the right type of shoe for me.

Sunday marked exactly two weeks til the marathon and while I feel confident in my training, I'm not satisfied with my fundraising. Last year I raised $3,000 and while I am nowhere near my goal this year of $4,000, I really want to at least beat my total from last year. I am so grateful to all my friends and family who have donated and not only supported me with their acknowledgment, but supported an amazing cause with their dollars. The Center for Assault Treatment Services does incredible work to help victims of sexual abuse and assault and as much as I wish they didn't need to exist, as long as there is a need I want to see them keep their doors open. Please click Donate Now at the top right of this page to make a donation.