Star Wars Medals

A little late, but here is my #medalmonday post from the two Star Wars half marathons. More posts about these races to come.

MedalMonday

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I’m back

I realized recently that I really missed this blog. It helped me put together my thoughts while I was training for my first half. Going to kick this off again seriously. 

Let’s go. 💪

2016 Star Wars Half Marathon

So I caught up to Alea and am now also the proud owner of a Star Wars Half Marathon medal! I ran my first half on January 17, 2016–just this past Sunday, with our other friend and her brother, but not Alea this year (saaad!) It was quite an experience. I’ll try to cover as much of the feels/highlights as I can:

Pre-race

I definitely learned my lesson from last year–absolutely nothing but food and rest the day before, and minimizing the Downtown Disney shenanigans/staying up late. My friend Erin and I did pretty well here–Friday and Saturday were pretty low-key and revolved around food and napping. What I didn’t expect was my new caffeine habit and how it would affect my well-being. I foolishly did not pack enough coffee and started to get a raging frontal headache. Thank goodness Erin pointed it out and reminded me to stock up at brunch, which solved 90% of the pressure in my brain. Lesson learned: do NOT mess with your routine–if your diet involves (legal) substances (ahem), golly, now is not the time to go cold turkey.

Sorely needed coffee, and welcome sustenance.

Race morning

I had a small dose of coffee packed, along with my French press. Drank that and water first thing after getting up. Had a slice of bread folded up with some Nutella and PB for sustenance. Thankfully was able to go to the bathroom, all was well–just nerves. Got on the shuttle with no major drama.

This year I decided to wear a throwaway sweater to the start line–thankfully there was no rain, just cold. This year’s weather was very good, quite warm (high 40s-low 50s) at 4 am, and just a touch of fog. Sat in the corral bundled up until it was time to go.

Nick, Erin, me at 4 am!

Race proper

The 2016 course was not well-designed. A series of narrow lanes in the first five miles created noticeable bottlenecks where everyone had to slow down to a walk. Granted, there’s not much you can do about it while in the park; space is what it is, but I felt like last year’s 10K still allowed you to enjoy the park and go along for a jog without feeling hindered. The route opened up once you came out onto Harbor Blvd and into Anaheim itself, but it took about 45 minutes to get to that point.

Hello California Adventure!

After an hour in, I was able to run/walk fairly consistently, but I noted an energy crash right at mile 8. I hadn’t practiced with race day nutrition/gels/bars, so I was somewhat worried about accepting some of the Clif energy gels at the nutrition station. Next half, I want to practice this, because the energy deficit really slowed me down. My legs weren’t too bad, nor was my breathing, but the lack of food and core strength whittled away at my pace.

Steampunk Chewie.

Finish line

I was fortunate this year to have my family at the finish line with me. My aunt and uncle waited at mile 10, and my parents waited at mile 13. It was somewhat nerve-wracking, wondering if they’d found their way to the course, but once I saw them and passed them by it was like an emotional boost. I wasn’t too tired but there’s something about knowing people are there for you–not just the cheerleaders, bands, and random folks coming out to watch–but someone there to see you. I know I won’t always have this type of back-up at all my races, but for my first big race, it felt really good to have them there.

Candids at the recovery area. My parents made signs to greet us with!

I also am glad that several of my friends ran this race with me–even if we weren’t on the course together at all. My friends Nick and Erin came from the Bay Area to run, and one of my local running buddies, Steven, was there with his team. Everyone went at their own paces, but we managed to meet up at the finish for a group photo.

My first half!

Parting thoughts

I had a lot of fun in my half–barely thought about anything, really. There were too many emotions and events to really feel down, and that crowd boost really buoys you through the tougher parts. Every time I participate in a race, I appreciate volunteers and bystanders a lot more. Perhaps this is due to understanding the struggle one goes through during a race. At any rate. I’m still a bit sore in the legs and back; haven’t quite recovered yet, so my focus for the next few weeks will be rehabilitating and getting back to the schedule. I have a 5K lined up for February that I want to PR on–so it’ll be back on the track for me soon enough.

2016 update

Still here, just busier. Still running. Not bouldering as much anymore, because I sprained my right wrist pretty badly in September and it made me scared about missing time off work (which is primarily computer-bound.) I’m mostly running and lifting for now.

Star Wars Half Marathon is in TWO weeks. Two weeks. It hasn’t sunk in yet.

I hope the mental training I’ve been practicing will allow me to stay calm and focused for race day.

I’ve been running without music for the past few months. It’s been weirdly liberating–now I’m not worried about draining my phone battery, but it’s also been somewhat illuminating to spend time listening to my thoughts. Letting them come up and practicing pushing them away in my mind. Learning what makes me speed up, or what demotivates me. Sometimes I think of a song with a fast beat, and my feet move accordingly.

I’ll be back later (hopefully) with a race update/etc. or perhaps a lifting update, but for now, hooray it’s 2016 and we’re still here trying our best to be healthy. The new season begins.

It’s been a while

Hi. It’s been a while. A long while, in fact. The last few months have been busy in many ways. There’s been work, a wedding to plan, and a half marathon to train for. We’re actually three (?) weeks away from the Avengers Half. I’m not sure if I’m ready for it, but we’ve been chugging away at increasing our mileage.

We knocked out the 9 mile run today. We left a little to late in the morning, though, and it was hot and we were dehydrated by the time we got back. Next week is the ten mile run, so we have that to look forward to.

The long runs are hard, but I have to admit that especially after the six month running hiatus, it feels nice to be running consistently again. I’m trying not to make the same mistakes I made the first time around, so we’ll see what happens. I even created a costume for this race, which I’m also using as a Halloween costume.

Climbing has been off and on. We had a several week hiatus from climbing a couple of months back and have been struggling to find a regular schedule since then. I think we’re going to try for doing it about twice a week. I think that’s probably a fair amount.

So, posts that I probably have lined up:

  • Running in Switzerland
  • Training for the half marathon
  • Half marathon post
  • Climbing (?)
  • Maybe the Rock n Roll Races?

Not sure what else, but I thought a check in post would be a good first step.

Firefly 5k (7/25)

Firefly

It’s been a while since I ran a race. I ran parts of the Veteran’s Run I did in May (?), but have been low key since then. Since my last post, I have done a few runs, but nothing too big. The new shoes I got definitely took some adjusting to and I finally got insoles for my primary pair. It’s crazy how much of a difference insoles make.

The race was the Firefly Run 5k. It has nothing to do with the show. Chris would have signed up if it did. Instead, he came to see me off and wait for me to finish. This one was a night race and we were given light up arm bands to wear. A night race in the summer really doesn’t do much, though. It didn’t get dark enough for the lights to make a difference until I was almost done with the race.

Otherwise, the run went well. I did my normal 3 min/1 min jog/walk stretches and clocked in just under 45 minutes. Not great, but also better than I expected. It wasn’t the most scenic location, but it was fun and I think I saw Manchester United’s bus during the run (they played Barcelona in Santa Clara earlier in the afternoon). I don’t know why I didn’t take a picture of that.

It was a hard 5k though and that makes me a little sad. It doesn’t seem like that long ago that 5ks were a breeze. Guess there’s a lot of chugging to do before I’m half marathon ready again.

Still counts.

image1 copy redV0

 

These V0s scared the crap out of me and were (IMO) v difficult mentally. My body didn’t want to cooperate; my legs didn’t trust the last few footholds for the final boost up to the top.

I made it up there thanks to the encouragement (heckling) of my fellow climbers. Thank you people in the gym with me.

Every new hold touched counts. All effort counts. It is something more than old me would have ever done, so it’s already 1000000000 times better than not attempting at all.

I am close to being overfatigued and overtrained this week because of lack of sleep. Climbing takes a lot out of me and takes up a large portion of the night. But in 2.5 hours I get a total body workout + lift time at the end (squats, chest, biceps, shoulders) that I feel is a good routine. My body is responding to the load and is changing slowly. However, I need to be cautious as not to lose any more months to injury or sickness.

I am still afraid that one day I’ll lose sight and fade out or hard quit working out.