Drinks that make me go mmm!

Now that the weather is getting really warm and nice, I’ve gone back to some of my favorite drinks. I didn’t really stop drinking them all together during the winter months, but they are just more refreshing in Spring and Summer and I’ve been drinking them more often now.

I’ve previously talked about the things I eat and drink or my “nutrition”. I try to eat as healthy as I can. Yes, I don’t do it 100% of the time, but as much as possible. I drink beer and champagne and a mixed drink occasionally. I eat chips and salsa (duh!) and a little ice cream (courtesy of my boyfriend’s sweet tooth) or root beer floats here and there. I don’t deprive myself of things I like. I just eat or drink it in moderation and try to balance it all.

photo(30)I discovered kombucha a couple years ago and love it. This beverage is high in antioxidants and probiotics and I could drink it all day long. When I find it on sale, I’ll stock up. GT’s or Clearly Kombucha, a brand I just discovered, have a lot of great flavors to choose from and taste great! I discovered Clearly Kombucha because it was BOGO at Safeway and caught my eye. What a great deal! They are cute 12oz bottles that come in Black Currant, Tangerine, Chai Cola, Asian Pear, Grape, Strawberry Hibiscus, and Raspberry Ginger and Raspberry Lemonade (I haven’t tried these last two yet as they were sold out when I went shopping the last two times). Some of GT’s Kombucha products also have chia seeds in them and I love these as well. Bonus!

Speaking of chia, I love chia seeds! I like to add them to kombucha (if it doesn’t have it already in it) or in coconut water. And they are so good for you! I recently got an energy gel from a local bike shop. It’s made by Vitalyte, called Chia Surge, and comes in pineapple-orange and raspberry. I had never seen a sport energy gel with chia seeds so I was excited to try it. I decided to try the pineapple-orange and took it with me on my 15 mile run this past Monday. I’m not a “gu” or “gel” kinda gal but I liked the idea of it having chia seeds. I normally eat Shot Bloks every 4 miles on long runs, so this was going to be an interesting test as the package says it was one serving and to take it every 1.5 hours “for maximum benefit”. I wasn’t sure if I should just down the thing since I had never had it before on a run, so I just took little bits of it every so often. I really liked the flavor and consistency and was surprised at how well the seeds went down. I was afraid I would have a mouth full of them and would have to chew them up. It seemed to digest pretty well also. Looking back on it now, I probably should have taken the whole thing at once and maybe brought a second one with me because I didn’t feel a great amount of energy boosts from the small amount I was consuming each time. But I would definitely try it again.

Here is an article about the benefits of chia seeds and 10 reasons why you should add them to your diet:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/06/03/chia-seed-benefits-_n_3379831.html

I also drink coconut water as often as I can. It’s so delicious and refreshing and a great way to hydrate! It also has a lot of potassium, so if you don’t eat a lot of bananas, like me, this is a great way to get some of this much needed mineral into your system. Runners need potassium! I drink the brand Zico a lot (it comes in regular, chocolate, pineapple and tropical fruit), but there are so many other brands of cocount water on the shelves at your local grocery store and most taste pretty good. Try it!

alo1-main1On occasion, I will also drink aloe vera water (juice). We drank a lot of this on our trip to Costa Rica and Trinidad & Tobago. It’s really refreshing and also has a lot of health benefits. It has a lot of vitamins and minerals, hydrates and helps with digestion among many other benefits (see the link below). There are also chunks of the aloe vera plant in the water that I find quite delicious.

http://skinnywithfiber.org/14-really-important-health-benefits-of-aloe-vera-juice/

I am not sponsored by any of the brands I wrote about above (although, that’d be cool!). I just like those particular products and brands. There are lots of other brands to choose from, so do a little taste-testing and hopefully you may find some of these drinks and products as tasty as I do.

If you have any other healthy drink suggestions, send them my way!

Oh life…

I’m lame. I haven’t written a blog post in a while. I have let life get in the way. Oh, that thing called LIFE. Well, there were some tough things going on so I guess had no motivation to post anything interesting about my running.

cd0eedca32c6d4fd92938b8c65842970I officially started my training plan for Eugene about 8 weeks ago. So, I have been running just fine getting short and long runs in. I also decided to become a member of the Sacramento Running Association (SRA) and started a free 8-week training last week. I figured it couldn’t hurt to get some extra training and an extra push for my next marathon. I feel really good about it!

Last Wednesday I did a double workout. I had missed my workout on Tuesday, so I didn’t think too much about doing this. I got in a cardio/weights/lunge workout in the morning, then met with the SRA training group for a speed workout in the evening. Everything felt great. Then I did a run Thursday morning and the side of my knee felt a little sore after, leading me to think maybe my knee popped out again. I had done some intense cycle and lunge work and then a hard speed workout back-to-back on Wednesday, so I thought maybe just my inner quads were sore. But after a couple days, I knew it wasn’t just sore muscles. I haven’t had any problems with this since January or maybe even December. It’s been quite a while. But I just knew something was off.

I iced and continued to pay close attention to the sore area. It wasn’t as bad as it had been in the past (last November), but I knew I should get in to see my PT. In the meantime, I got a long run in on this Monday and it was fine. My knee never hurts when I run or walk or anything, just after the run is when it’s a little tender. I met with SRA last night for a Fartlek workout and everything went great! I felt good and after the run, my knee didn’t feel sore. Of course! The day before I am supposed to see my PT, now my knee doesn’t hurt. But I was still going to see him anyway.

So,  I saw my PT this morning. Right after I laid down on the table, my PT saw that the back of my leg had fluid on it and was swollen. I didn’t even notice this morning! But I know for sure it wasn’t like this yesterday. He checked different spots on the knee to see where it hurt and then tried to pop it back in. He realized he wanted to do some muscle massage and stimulation to the hamstring and calf first before popping it in. I hate the stimulation machine thing he uses. It’s a tingly sensation that feels so weird. The massage mostly feels good until he gets to the super tender spots in the muscles that you didn’t even realize were tender. Ahh!

After all that, he was able to pop in the knee and everything was fine. It actually didn’t hurt as bad as it had in the past, which is also good. He also said my quads and calves are looking rounder and beefier, which is great. I have been working on my inner quads a lot the last 6-7 months to make sure this knee-popping thing doesn’t keep happening. I need those inner quad muscles to be stronger.

photo(30)He wrapped my leg up with Rock Tape and now I’m all good to go! I’m going to take it easy today and tomorrow with some cycling and strength training and continue with icing. I have a 15 mile long run planned for Monday and he said I should be fine to run that.

I asked him what could have caused the knee to pop out again. He said it could have been anything. He said maybe I stepped wrong. I explained that I thought maybe my shoes might have contributed to it also. I had recently (about mid-March) gone back to my old shoes that still had some mileage on them but were coming up on 300 miles. I finally looked at the bottoms of the shoes a couple days ago and noticed the wear on the tread on the heels. Yup, these are dunzo! And I had put 298.5 miles on them as of Monday. Lol! He said maybe I should only put 250 miles on my shoes instead from now on.

One thing I have learned over time with all this constant running is to listen to your body. As soon as I feel something different or have a feeling something is out of whack, I get it fixed as quickly as I can so that I can recover faster. I’m not stressed about this. It just goes with the territory.

Oh life…as a runner.

I hope you all are running injury free and having a great Spring!

My next 18 weeks of training

Technically, last week was my first week of training for my next marathon, the Eugene Marathon! I have been casually running for several weeks now but not digging in or doing a lot of speed training yet. Just maintenance and keeping up with some miles. Nothing major. I have been also working a lot on my strength/cross training and doing a lot of inner quad, quad, and core workouts. I guess you could say it’s a little prep work.

LogoThe Eugene Marathon is Sunday July 27th and I’m looking forward to some nice weather. I am just hoping since they moved this race from April to July, the temperature doesn’t change too much. I hear the course is flat, and nice and scenic, so it would be a great race to run fast. I’m excited to run my next marathon where legends have run and finish the race on the historic Hayward Field. I mean, this is “Track Town USA”! How could this not be an amazing race and experience!?!

On Monday April 21st, I will be running 26.2 miles. I committed to run this mileage in honor and support of the Boston Marathon. The BAA put together a Boston Marathon World Run for people who wanted to virtually support this year’s Boston Marathon. After last year’s bombing, many people from all over the world wanted to participate in the 2014 Boston Marathon, but the course can only handle so many. This way, runners have an opportunity to be involved. You could pledge to raise money or commit to run any amount of mileage you want. You get a bib to wear, if you choose, and get a digital medal when you finish. So, I have tried to run some longer runs to gear up for this. I won’t be running this at race pace, but my goal is to just finish for Boston.

If you are interested in learning more: http://www.bostonmarathonworldrun.org/

After this 26.2 miles, I will recover and then start working on my training for Eugene. I am aiming for a 3:35-3:38 finish time. I’d like to beat my last CIM time if I can. So, I will just do my best with my speed training, hill training and strength training. I will also be running the Bay To Breakers in San Francisco in May, so this will be a good race to work on my speed.

eventbritepagerevamp

I will keep you posted on my training, nutrition and anything else that comes up between now and July.

Any exciting races you have coming up that you’re looking forward to??

This little lull

I’m purposely taking a little break. This break is from end of January February 9th til the end of March/early April. By break, I mean, less running, but still maintaining. Strength training, but no serious training. No set schedule. Just chillin’ and running when I want to. It’s kind of nice. Although, I have to admit I do have days where I feel like I HAVE to get a run in.

photo(25)So this little lull, well, it’s interesting. I have thought about races that I’d like to run, races I am going to register for, races that kind of fell in my lap (thanks Brian for the Bay to Breakers bib!), and a race that I am waiting to hear the outcome of the lottery. It’s hard to plan the rest of the year when I am waiting on the lottery results of the NY Marathon. But other than that, I am not sure what my 2014 plans are. I always think of traveling, just not sure where to next (I need some money too!).

So, while I am in this lull, I still maintain my normal eating, other than carbing up for long training runs or races or when going to weddings (oh gosh, too much alcohol!). As far as nutrition (for those who asked for me to include more of this), I have a high metabolism so I can eat a lot during the day. I tend to eat smaller meals and spread my food intake throughout the day, rather than just three meals a day.

Breakfast usually consists of eggs with avocado and fruit, sometimes a breakfast burrito with eggs, cheese, avocado, or I may have yogurt with a KIND bar (or Odwalla bar) or yogurt with granola. I do have a chai tea latte frequently, but I make it at home using the Tazo concentrate and almond milk. And I may have a snack later in the morning because I get hungry like 1-2 hours later.

Lunch is usually a turkey, cheese, and lettuce sandwich with fruits and veggies on the side. I eat (low sodium) soup pretty regularly, especially during the cooler months. I will have chips and salsa with it sometimes. Sorry guys, chips and salsa are a staple in my house. And I may make a small salad.

There’s usually a snack in between lunch and dinner. Could be pretzels, plantain chips, (unfortunately) chips and salsa, fruits, or veggies and dip. Hummus is a great dip with veggies or pita chips. I also eat almonds because they fill me up.

Dinner is something that we try to make at home as often as we can. We try to eat lean meats so we eat a lot of fish and chicken. We also make large salads with beets, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, carrots, green pepper, artichoke hearts, avocado or whatever veggies we have at the moment. We are salad lovers so I almost always have a salad with my dinner. And we will have a veggie with our protein as well. This could be steamed broccoli, yellow squash, asparagus, green beans, etc. And because I need more calories than my boyfriend, I will include maybe some steamed red potatoes or we will eat this delicious organic brown rice we found at Costco. I really like black beans, so I may have some with chicken or turkey tacos.

I’m not going to lie, there are times we are busy and don’t have time to make dinner or don’t want to, but we still try to stick to healthy foods. If we go out for dinner, I still look for chicken or fish or a salad to keep things fairly healthy or things like grilled fish tacos or Pita Pit. And we love sushi, so that’s not too bad. If we end up at one of our favorite restaurants, Tres Hermanas, I now get a ceviche tostada instead of the dos enchiladas platter, which I used to get. Not only am I saving money, but ceviche is way better for me.

So, back to that lull…I will probably meet up with the gals I do speed training with here and there and I will probably see my PT to get some maintenance as well. But I’m not putting too much pressure on myself right now. Taking a break is a good thing. I don’t really want to stress about too many things right now, especially with our next event coming in April, bsbf-updated-distressed-small1so not having a training plan is okay with me!

P.S. The event I am referring to is our testicular cancer awareness event – Sacramento Ball Sack & Beer Fest. It’s coming April 5th!

Are you taking a mini-break? Do you like it? How do you feel?

 

Priorities

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been slacking. Really, it’s more like I haven’t had anything interesting to say. I try to stay true to what my blog is – running all over the world. But since Berlin, I haven’t had anything exciting going on in relation to this.

As I arrived home from Berlin, I basically had to dive into our zombie run planning with just a few weeks until the event date. We were really busy getting last minute things planned and dealt with. The run was on October 26th and everything went fairly well, except we had a much smaller attendance than last year. We really were stressed whether we were going to be in the “red” or break even. Luckily, we did barely break even and everyone had a good time. I’m no Race Director, but I guess I am a rookie event planner and we are still finding our way and learning things as we go. We worked our butts asses off promoting our event this year and we just couldn’t get the same numbers as last year, which meant we couldn’t give nearly as much back to our beneficiary, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, this year. I felt bad about this. We realized we were up against so many things: 1) Sacramento has been inundated with so many “fun runs” in 2013 that people can’t do them every single weekend. They have to pick and choose and spend their money wisely. 2) There were like five other runs or events on the same day as our event! But I had to remember, as long as people had a good time, then we did a good job.

After we were able to take a moment and breathe the day after the zombie run, Clint was back to the cancer center for round three of his chemotherapy treatment. Going through this with him has been hard for me too, but I am still getting in the time to run and go to the gym. I feel selfish about it at times but I know I feel better physically and mentally if I put in the small amount of time each day.

I am training for the CIM, California International Marathon, coming Sunday December 8th. This will be my sixth consecutive year running this race and I am excited about it. I kind of don’t want to break my streak of running it each year (we’ll see how many years I can keep this up). It’s in my backyard and it’s a special race to me. As of today, I am 2.5 weeks away from the race. It’s funny, because I probably shouldn’t run another marathon this year, but I won this entry (I like freebies and it’s my first paid entry!) and it’s great to have friends supporting me throughout the race and at the finish, which rarely happens when I go out of town for races.

1381780_10152578526483484_626913000_nIn the last couple weeks, Clint and I have been catching up on odds and ends and wrapping up things from the zombie run. He brought up “priorities” when we were talking about getting an oil change for my truck that was overdue. I kept forgetting to do it because of all the other little things we had going on. He made a comment about maybe not running my long run in the morning and getting the oil change done and then running later in the day. We kind of got in an argument about it. I got a little mad and defensive.

It’s not that I wasn’t making my oil change a priority, it’s just there are other important things going on and since I really don’t drive my truck that often, I wasn’t THAT worried about it. And really, running IS more of a priority to me! Ha! I’d rather run in the cooler weather in the morning that when it’s warmer in the afternoon or evening. And I’d rather start my day with exercise and feel good than stress about oil changes. Yeah, this argument probably sounds silly, and it is, but it just made me realize how much I do love running.

Everyday we have lists of things that need to be done – bills, calling so-and-so, going grocery shopping, researching something, taking dogs to the vet, doctor’s appointments, taking kids to school (if you have them), and the list goes on and on. But sometimes, there photo-1are certain things that are set priorities or that we MAKE a priority over other things. It doesn’t mean you push the other things to the side and don’t get them done. But if you want me to be happy, healthy, stay positive, laugh often, and just live a fun life, running is my outlet to maintaining this. It’s become a passion of mine. I’ve always exercised and have been active, but running continues to brighten my world in a lot of ways. Not only can I see the beautiful fall colors in the trees as I run by them, or smile as I run in the warm sun while listening to a song that touches my soul, but I can see other parts of the world that I have never seen before. I can create goals and come up with a new list of cities and countries I want to visit. This is also a priority…traveling the world. I can’t wait to see what happens in 2014.

Is running one of your priorities?

Will it pay off?

Over the last 6 months I have incorporated a few different elements into my training. Some of it was intentional and some just happened.

After I ran the LA Marathon in March, I took 3 full weeks off of running. Then in April, I started a circuit of lunge and squat cross training (provided to me by my gym owners who are also personal trainers) that I would add into the mix of my weight training once a week. This was intentional. I wanted to see if this would make a difference in my normal marathon training. Some weeks I would add a few of the exercises into another day as well, but I did this circuit at least once a week. Some weeks I was more sore than others, but every week I sweated my ass off when I did this series of exercises. I also know it has helped build my endurance and has helped with my speed. My last 20 mile training run I ran at an 8:20 average pace, so I was pretty happy with that. My legs feel stronger too.

photo(22)Recently, I also started adding more organic and raw foods into my diet. This was partially due to Clint wanting to change his diet during his chemotherapy treatments over the next four months. He started juicing in August with his Breville juicer and then got his Norwalk cold press juicer a couple weeks ago and that makes even better, more nutritional juices and drinks. There is a reason cold press juices are $10 each for a 12 ounce bottle at Whole Foods. The process takes longer and you get more nutrients in each drink. If you have ever juiced, you know how long the process is – you prepare a LOT of fruits and veggies which result in a small amount of juice. It’s almost sickening. But it is worth it. With the Norwalk, we can spend a couple hours juicing and prepare several servings at a time in sealed mason jars, rather than juicing what you need for that day. It saves time in the long run. And you are getting as much of the raw nutrients as possible.

I started drinking more kombucha. This wasn’t intentional. Since being introduced to it last Fall, I really took a liking to it, but it can be expensive. I would support our vendor friends, Kombucha Kulture, whenever I saw that they were going to be at the local Midtown Farmer’s Market or other local events. But it can be $4-5 for a 12 ounce cup and that adds up! I love the taste and how refreshing the flavors can be. It’s also really good for you – it’s organic and has probiotics, detoxifiers, antioxidants and are highly nutritional. I’m drinking one right now! GT’s Enlightened Organic Raw Kombucha – Gingerade…yum!! (This brand goes on sale at Safeway fairly often for $2-2.29 a bottle.)

photo(23)Because my life is super busy, I had to grab things from the store that were good for me and full of calories, but good calories. I turned to Odwalla superfood bars and juices. These are great mini-meals and full of really good ingredients. I try to eat and drink the items that don’t have sugar added, are mostly organic, and have higher calories. I also have been drinking some of their protein drinks after long runs. They taste great and are perfect for putting calories back in my body after running long miles. And it’s been great having a friend of Clint’s donating the superfood and protein juices while he’s going through treatment. So, we are saving a lot of money right now on those too!

I also went to my physical therapist a few more times this training, rather than only going to him when I had an injury. This was also intentional. I pretty much was using him for regular maintenance and injury prevention. When I saw him yesterday, he said I look lean and my quads look good and well rounded, rather than flat, like most runners. I was happy to hear this because that means all the squats and lunges must be helping! He said I should have a good kick at the end of my race. Well, I hope so!

I feel like I have put in a good effort, despite all the things going on in my life. I have always lead a busy life, but it got really, really busy these last couple months. Will all this pay off? I really don’t know. Does it mean I will have the best race ever in Berlin? I don’t know that either. But it was worth a try and I can at least say that I am trying to live a healthier lifestyle, feel good, and will continue to do these things moving forward!

Fitness-Motivation-Quotes

Are you doing anything different with your training lately? Have you seen any differences or improvements?

It’s been one month

Monday September 9th marked the one month anniversary of when Clint had surgery to remove the cancerous mass in his testicle. I really can’t believe it’s been four weeks. I feel like it’s been so much longer. We’ve had so much going on in these four weeks and there’s still more ahead of us.

I am also less than a few weeks away from running the Berlin Marathon. I can’t believe this is coming up so fast! It’s been almost a year in the making and it’s right around the corner. But it’s also bittersweet. I am mentally (and physically) trying to get ready for being away from Clint during this time I am in Germany, but also mentally trying to be ready for this race. I honestly have no idea how I will do. I’m not saying my training runs lately have been bad or anything, just my focus is on lots of other things, so I am going to have to get back on the race mindset soon.

I ran my last 20 mile training run a couple days ago and felt pretty good. I can’t complain too much about an 8:20 average pace, so I’m happy that my training seems to still be going fairly well.

When I run, there are days I think about everything under the sun (I’m sure this happens to all runners) and other days when I think about how I want to run this upcoming race wearing my American Cancer Society singlet and can’t wait to run this for Clint. I know he’ll be on my mind while I run this next 26.2. This singlet has even more meaning than it did before. I never thought when I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2012 as a charity runner for ACS (helping the lovely Miss Jenny Cox raise money for this great organization) would I be faced with cancer in my own immediate family so soon. I have had family members with leukemia and breast cancer, but when it’s your significant other it’s even harder to process. He is my best friend, my partner, my love and I would do anything for him. But I know everything will be ok and after we throw some punches to knock this cancer down, we will come back stronger than ever. So I will be going against my normal attire for this race, which is wearing my last race’s participant shirt, and will be proudly wearing this blue tank.IMG_5752

I also think I am ready to watch Spirit of the Marathon soon to get some great motivation. I’m thinking the night before I leave I will want to get lost in the film and think about my race.

As you can see I’m already planning details. Yes, I’m a planner. I’m already starting to pack and have been making my lists of things I need to bring to Germany (well, I’ve been doing this for months) and lists of who needs to be here to help Clint while I’m gone.

Lots more to do and lots more to come!

Life’s obstacles – one day at a time

I haven’t written anything since August 8th. Little did I know when I posted my last blog entry that later the same day I would find out my boyfriend, Clint, has testicular cancer. Literally hours after I posted about the SF Giants Half Marathon that I just ran and had a great race, I would be faced with something WAY more important.

It all happened so fast and by the next morning my boyfriend was in surgery to remove the testicle. We had no time to think about what was really happening and how the next few days, weeks, and months would play out. We barely had time to call family and let them know.

In the back of my mind, I knew I had to keep running to stay on track with my training and to just get out and run. I exercise almost every day, so it’s something my body craves. After my boyfriend’s surgery and the surrealness (is that a word?) wore off, it occurred to me that we have a trip to Germany coming up and I am running the Berlin Marathon. While my boyfriend’s health is much more important, I still wondered if we could pull this off. We have been looking forward to this trip for several months and had our flights booked since March.

Not only was this trip on my mind, but I am also an event coordinator for a 5k zombie run coming up in October and my boyfriend is also my partner in this business. I realized that I am going to have a tough couple months ahead of me while we finish planning this year’s event. I am going to have to do a lot of it by myself.

Everything was changing so fast in front of me and I had to figure out how to make it all work.

Surprisingly, I have been very calm about my boyfriend and his situation. I guess I know he’s going to be alright. It may be tough now, but I know he is going to pull through this and he is going to conquer this cancer! If I really think about it for a long time, I know this is CANCER…it’s a big word. So many people have cancer, have gone through treatments, are going through treatments, have died from cancer, and have survived cancer. It’s a reality (unfortunately) for so many, many people on this Earth. But his is one of the most treatable and curable (thank god!) so I know everything is going to be just fine. He is really lucky that it’s not a worse situation and that it was caught early.

I have still been getting in my training runs. I may have had to alter my schedule a bit or just swap days or make some minor changes, but I am bound and determined to get the miles in. I think it gives me something else to focus on too. Some days I feel guilty when I leave him for a bit to go run, but friends keep reminding me that I need to do things for myself too and keep my spirit up. And running makes me feel good, so I know I must continue to do it.

So here we are – one week into my boyfriend’s treatment. He’s had five full days of chemotherapy for five hours a day. I haven’t left his side. He’s 25% of the way through his treatment for this cancer. This is no sprint; this is a marathon. Kind of ironic. We need to take our time and get through this. There are going to be days when things don’t go so well and days where things are great. But we will get through this. There’s no doubt in my mind that we will kick this cancer’s butt and will carry ourselves differently after this is all said and done.

It’s really just one day at a time. We will overcome this. We will make it to the finish.

Mike’s progress

It’s been a month since I last introduced Mike. Check out my post on June 19 if you want to read the introduction. With the SF Giants Half Marathon coming in just a few weeks (August 4th), I wanted to update you on his progress.

One of the biggest things that’s happened is Mike finally registered for the race! Lol! I didn’t even know he wasn’t registered til a little over a week ago. You’ve got to register for the race to do the race. It’s a major component!

So now that he’s registered, he’s just continuing with his running. He’s been doing really well! I got a little nervous though after he told me he tweaked his hamstring about a week ago. He had a rest day scheduled the day after it happened, so that was good. I just suggested he be careful and don’t push too hard. I would hate for him to injure it any further and not be able to run the race.

However, last Sunday he ran 10 miles and he said he felt great and could have kept going. This is so awesome! But, he said he was dehydrated after, as he didn’t bring any water or electrolytes to refuel. It may not be humid here in Sacramento (like in Boston, where I was constantly drinking water and it still wasn’t enough), but it is pretty warm, so you need to get those fluids back into your body.

He did start asking me more questions about water intake, energy chews, what to wear on race day, and all the stuff that goes along with this. I also reminded him about the Expo and maybe refraining from walking all over SF the day before before the race. I gave him as much advice as possible. I really wanted him to train with the energy chews or Gu’s to find out which ones he liked better. It’s better to do this during training than on race day. Not everyone likes the same flavors or consistencies of them. Or they may not always agree with your body. I also recommended Body Glide for chaffing and possibly a technical shirt, rather than a cotton one.

He did also mention that “the one thing that really helps is the days off.” He used to run more than 40 miles a week, running everyday, but he feels way better now during most runs because of the rest days in between.

Mike said that he was going to run 12 miles this weekend and 14 the following week, which is the week before the race. I advised him not to run 14 miles. I just think that’s way too much before the race. I told him maybe he should swap these and do 13 this weekend (if he wants to do that much) and 11 the following week. I told him about the taper period the week of the race and I just don’t think 14 miles that Sunday is smart. I told him that usually you don’t train past 12 miles on your long runs. So Mike said, “Oh ok good. So if I can run 12 I can run 13.1.” I said, “Yup!”

As Hal Higdon says, “Inspiration will carry you to the finish line, particularly if you taper the final week.”

We communicate mostly over Facebook messages, so I gave him a few questions to answer -

  1. With 2.5 weeks left til the race…how are you feeling? And how’s the training coming along?: I feel great other then tightness in hamstrings. Right on schedule [and] have not missed a workout. Have not had to cut back.
  2. How’s the foot?: Foot is good (He’s a man of many words!)
  3. Anything you’re concerned about?: Only concern would be hills. All my running, other then occasional overpass, is flat. (SF races/courses usually consist of hills)
  4. Do you still have the same goals? Time goal? Etc?: Most [of my] runs are sub 9 min miles so goals for under 2 [hours] really haven’t changed, but I am leaning toward the 2:10 pace group since I will be in a crowd and there will be some hills.

I honestly think he will be able to do this race in under 2 hours, but I told him to do whatever he’s comfortable with. I think he’s going to kick ass! I can’t wait to see him on race day and see him experience his first half marathon!

And if the SF Giants AND finishing the race at AT&T Park weren’t enough of a reason to do this race, check out these awesome medals we get when we finish. Super excited!!

The far left one is the half marathon medal

The far left one is the half marathon medal

More to follow…

Meet Mike Messina

I’m not an official coach or anything like that. I’m not certified or have a license. But I do like to help people if they are interested in training for a race or just trying to get some running into their exercise routine.

images

August 4, 2013

Recently, I signed up for the 2013 San Francisco Giant Race (Half Marathon) and Mike, my friend’s husband, decided he wanted to do it as well. He’s a big SF Giants fan and sports fan in general, so I think this is the perfect race for him. It will have great energy and fans along the entire course. He asked me for a training plan to help. I have many training plans for half marathons and marathons that I’ve run. Once I sent it over, he said it was a “serious plan”, but he was down to make it happen. So, I decided why not feature him on my blog! Since it’s his first half marathon, I wanted to show his progress and his experience.

The race is August 4, so we are still several weeks out. I check in with him periodically to see how he’s doing and get feedback and answer questions he has. I was a little worried a few weeks ago when he mentioned he was having issues with Planter Fasciitis. This is not pleasant and some runners have a harder time with the pain and not being able to run. But he seems to be okay now.

Mike also ran 7 miles the other day and felt “weak” and wanted to know what he should be eating. I gave him some tips on what to eat before the run and what he should be carrying with him on long runs – Shot Bloks, Gu, etc. I recommended he start training with these before the race so his body is used to it.

Mike and his dog Gracie

Mike and his dog Gracie

Here are some questions I asked him to get to know him better -

1. How long have you been running?
“Have run off and on for 20 years.”

2. Have you run a 1/2 marathon (any races) before? Which one?
“Never ran a half in a real race. I have only ran 5k fun runs.”

3. Why do you want to run this race?
“As a big Giants fan I think it is cool to finish in PacBell AT&T Park.” Me too!!

4. What keeps you motivated?
“Reaching goals.”

5. How do you like the training so far?
“Training has been fine; it has taken me a while to get used to it. I am used
to running like 5 or 6 miles a day everyday (with) very few days off. Now with the training I have days off and really only 1 DAY of a long run.”

6. What have been your challenges?
“Only challenges have been fighting foot injury (planters) and have to switch days around due to my basketball tourney schedule.” Mike’s a high school basketball coach.

7. What is your goal?
“My goal is to run my race and not worry about any other runners faster/slower, etc. Time goal – not sure, prob 9 [mins] per [mile].”

8. How old are you?
“50 years old.” But he assured me that he’s not your “typical 50 year old”!

9. Do you do any other cross training besides running?
“A little rowing machine box, jumps, b-ball.”

I’m really excited for Mike and can’t wait to see him cross the finish line! More updates to come…

Here’s the link to the race – http://www.race-sfgiants.com

Any of you have tips for Mike?

If you are ever interested in running or training for a race, let me know. I’d be happy to help!