Month in Review: May Highlights

Note: Thanks to everyone for your suggestions on my marathon training ‘burnout’ on my last post. I decided that this week I’m taking a rest week and hopefully I’ll bounce back more eager than ever next week!

Wow, it’s June already?? May was a pretty exciting month running-wise. Some highlights from this month:

1. Highest mileage month ever!
As I get closer and closer to the SF Marathon in July, my mileage continued to climb. This month I ran a total of 137.78 miles – wow! I realize for some folks out there that isn’t that impressive, but for me it certainly is.

2. Ran >40 miles in one week.
I also hit my highest mileage week ever in May, coming in at 40.18 miles.

3. Gave trail running a try.
I finally tried out trail running – and I’m hooked! My first adventure was out to St. Joseph’s Open Space Preserve, and then two weeks later I was running up even taller hills at Joseph D. Grant County Park.

4. Hit a massive half marathon PR!
I broke my old half marathon PR by nearly 14 minutes at the Capitola Half Marathon! I didn’t have a time goal for this race, I was simply running it to get a sense for pacing the SF Marathon in July. I never thought in a million years that I would break the 2 hour mark, but I did! I finished in 1:58:55.

Here’s to an even better June!

What was your May like? Any PR’s? Races? Milestones?

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Race Report: Capitola Half Marathon and a huge PR!

I’m back from our weekend in Santa Cruz – what an amazing time! On Saturday we headed to Capitola Village to pick up my race packet and swag bag. It was my first time in Capitola, what a pretty place!

We hung out at the beach for a bit and then I carb-loaded with the most AMAZING falafel EVER at a place called Mr. Kebab & Falafel. Seriously. I’ve eaten my fair share of falafel, and this stuff was no joke.

We managed to score a super cheap motel room near the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, so after lunch we headed back in that direction. We kept it low key…mostly just hung out at the boardwalk.

The race had a 7:00 AM start and so I wandered over from the hotel around 6:30 AM or so. I was able to watch the sun rise over the ocean, it was so pretty!

The race started right on time. The first couple of miles were pretty crowded and I ended up doing more weaving than I would have liked. It wasn’t a big deal though, by mile 3 I seemed to have settled in to a nice groove.

The scenery was absolutely fantastic! A lot of the course was right on the coast and so we were treated to spectacular views. I managed to take the following picture while running, so I’m not sure how it turned out so great. I’m also not sure why it’s in black and white, I guess I must have hit a button on my camera somewhere. Taking a picture while running is NOT easy!

I went into this race without any real time goals. I was pretty sure I would beat my old half PR (2:11:48). I figured I would come in at 2:05 or thereabouts. At mile 11 I looked down at my watch and it said 1:41 – I couldn’t believe it! It dawned on me that I could break two hours and so I decided to go for it and kicked it in to high gear.

I ended up finishing with a time of 1:58:55! Never in a million years did I think I was going to break a two hour half marathon in this race! I was dumbfounded. All of the miles I’ve been putting in lately seem to be paying off. Must mean I’m doing something right!

I couldn’t be happier with how this race went. Other than my delicious falafel wrap, the day before the race I mostly ate bagels and bananas. I woke up two hours before the race start, had a cup of coffee, along with yet another bagel and banana. I sipped some Gatorade while walking to the race. I definitely have no complaints about carb-loading, I felt great during the race and I didn’t feel hungry at all. I lived off of the race course, mostly drinking water and a tiny bit of Gatorade at two of the aid stations.

Anyhoo, this was the inaugural year of the Surfer’s Path Marathon & Capitola Half Marathon and I have to say the race committee did a great job! Everything seemed really well organized, the swag bag was great, and at the finish line they handed all of the runners a giant sack of carby goodies (bagel, banana, orange, trail mix, granola, coconut water, and some pb). The shirt is pretty sweet, too – I needed a long-sleeved technical tee!

I’d like to thank Elise once again for holding the giveaway for a free race entry on her blog. Since I was laid off from my job a couple of months ago, race entries are obviously one of the first thing I am going to cut out of my budget. Coming back from foot surgery in 2011, I am SO thankful to have the chance to race and see what my foot can do. It was great to meet you and ya’ll put on an awesome race!

Post-race pancakes at Saturn Cafe that put me into a sugar coma….a delicious sugar coma.

And now I’m off to pack – I’m leaving on a very short business trip tomorrow morning (it’s a job interview, so cross your fingers for me!). Sitting in a plane should be…fun? Any tips for flying the day after a race? I don’t have compression socks, so that’s out, but if you have any other tricks up your sleeve I’d love to hear them!

Capitola Half Marathon Here I Come!

I wasn’t planning on racing much this year, save for my very first full marathon, the San Francisco Marathon, in July. Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to find out I had won an entry into the Capitola Half Marathon in May, courtesy of PhD Strides!

Santa Cruz is such a beautiful place. Even though I live 40 minutes away, I rarely find myself traveling there. I’m definitely glad to have this reason to head down. I think the husband and I are going to snag a hotel room and make a weekend out of it.

Source

This half fits nicely into my marathon training schedule and I’m eager to see what my time will be. The last half I ran was in 2010, where I ran a 2:12:XX. I’m going into this race without a set time goal in mind…instead I’m focusing on racing for the first time in almost two years and seeing how I perform so I can more accurately project a pace for my full in July.

Thanks again, Elise!

And so it begins….2012 San Francisco Marathon here I come!

I’ve been quite impressed with how my foot has been dealing with increased running mileage after foot surgery late last year. So far so good. It gets achy when I run (or walk) on uneven ground, but since I live in an urban environment 99% of my running is on asphalt or cement.

I’ve had my eyes on running a marathon for awhile now. In 2010 I was training for the Dean Karnazes Silicon Valley Marathon, but ultimately had to drop out due to some IT band issues.

So here I am. 2012. I haven’t raced since 2010. Sure, there are is a plethora of races in the Bay Area. But racing is expensive and it just hasn’t been a financial priority for the past two years. No biggie. But I sure would like to cross running a marathon off of my bucket list. And what better way than by running the San Francisco Marathon – known for it’s beautiful route, including a run across the Golden Gate Bridge.


Right now I’m running about 20 miles per week. I have 18 weeks to train, which coincides with a Hal Higdon beginner marathon plan I’ll be modifying.

The one problem I foresee is that San Jose is flat, flat, flat, and driving to hills is out of the question. I have a few ideas in mind, including treadmill hill sprints (ugh) and stair running (double ugh). Should be interesting!

Here we go!