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Posts Tagged ‘six miles’

I know I’m very late on posting my end result.  Before I left to Maui, I was working about 12 hour days just to make sure I had everything done before my seven day vacation. Once I arrived to Maui, I did not have access to a computer.  After the vacation, I have been working non-stop until yesterday and today which are my first days off.  So now it’s here, the end of my journey. But really, it feels like the beginning of my new life because of what I have accomplished.

We arrived in Maui on Wednesday September 12 early noon. Maui is simply gorgeous and breathtaking. William and I were surrounded by beauty.  Everything was green, clean, and radiant.  It’s a beautiful island to visit.  Prior to the vacation, I had one of the most busiest months at work and was only able to get some quick runs here and there. However I was not as nervous anymore. I knew that no matter what, I was going to finish the marathon even it took me many hours to finish it.

Once in Maui, we had until Sunday to get excited for the marathon. There was one morning where we ran in the sand for probably two miles. Mostly every day we were active with something, either snorkeling, hiking, walking, or eating.  Saturday evening, we made sure to go to bed early since we had to be at the bus line at 3:00am. The marathon was scheduled to start at 5:30am on Sunday.  We woke up at about 2:00am and got ready.  I made myself eat some cereal as well. We walked to bus line walk awake. It was very early and I began to get tired.  I slept most of the bus ride to our starting area.  We arrived at the starting line at about 4:00am.  William and I ate a muffin and a banana for some fuel.  That’s when I decided to pay my first visit to the bathroom which was good because I did not want to go once I started running.  We then stretched and did some warm up routines with the crowd. It was pretty funny watching everyone do the same warm up routine.  Right before the marathon was going to start, I had to go to the bathroom again. So I took advantage of the opportunity and went again. Once I was finished, everyone had walked already to the starting line. William was the only one waiting for me. Lucky for us the marathon did not seem over crowded. I heard from somebody that the maximum count would be 2,000 runners.

We were now at the starting line waiting for the gun to shoot. I will still not nervous and was feeling pretty happy.  The sky was still was night and there was a slight breeze. Once the gun shot was heard, the crowds started to move and spread apart from each other.  William stayed near me the whole time. The plan was to start slow and easy and not run too much the first half of the marathon which is when we were going to get all the hills. I wanted to save energy for the end of the marathon. I felt confident and I told William that I wanted to finish the marathon in 5.5 hours.  I did not know if that was realistic but I was feeling good about it.

The first few miles went by quickly. We were running through the city and the residences.  At about the third or fourth mile, the sky was turning gray and there were some clouds in the sky. It was nice to run this early and watch the sky transform.  We walked some of the time but mostly kept a steady running pace.  I started to look around at the runners to see who we can possibly run by.  There were couples, seniors, a lot of Japanese runners (the marathon was sponsored by Japan Travel Bureau) and not a lot of young people. Most runners looked like they were in their thirties.  There was a loud annoying couple that we kept passing by that did not seem to get along, there was a girl with a lot of curly hair that looked like it was her first time running, and there were some fast walkers.  A nice range of runners I would say.  My left leg was very tight. My hamstrings had not been stretched out properly so I was running with a lot of tightness on my left leg.

At the 6th mile I was still feeling good except for the left leg. We stopped a few times to stretch it out hoping it would help.  William and I found a fast walker who we over heard saying that he usually finished his marathons in about five hours, at the latest five and a half. So we decided to run around him so we wouldn’t fall behind. It seemed to work. Anytime he started to creep up behind us, we began to run and once we were ahead of him, we would walk a bit. I did not want to get tired early in the race. William and I were both very excited to be running with each other.  I think it was one of our most exciting moments. We talked about all kinds of things during the run and I think it was good for us.  I’m one lucky gal to have him around!

At about the tenth mile we started to slow down. I started to get hungry and I wanted a piece of a banana but none of the stations had bananas, they had oranges.  I knew that if I had a piece of orange, I would probably go to the bathroom again. After the 12th mile, there was a water station with bananas, yay!  I had a piece and felt better.  We finished half of the marathon in two hours and 37 minutes.  Not bad since I had done my Montecito half marathon right under 2.5 hours. We were not so behind but I knew that my legs were getting tired.  The muscles on my left leg were no longer tight but now it was about endurance.  I knew that I was going into the hard part, the part I had not really trained for.  After the 13th mile, my bowels were moving again and had to go to the bathroom bad. There were porta potties at each water station and I finally saw one that did not have a line at about the 14th mile.  It was so disgusting in there.  It looked like there had been some accidents in there from previous runners.  I did my business not fast enough and I started to gag because of the smell. It was also very hot in there and it seemed I started to take a shower in my own sweat. This was probably the only bad experience of the marathon-using the potta potties. So gross.

Once that experience was over, William and I ran a bit more. We had lost our fast walker that we were supposed to pace it with.  Once we reached the 15th mile, I had to walk. At this point, we were walking and running right by the ocean. It was a beautiful view but it just started to get very hot. We made sure we drank water and Powerade at each station.  After the 15th mile, the marathon was becoming more difficult to run and we had to walk more. The sun was beating down our necks and the feet were becoming numb.  I did not know what I was feeling in my legs but just knew that I did not want to stop.  I was disappointed in myself for walking but William reminded me that it was not about the time, it was about finishing.  He reminded me that this was more than just a marathon, it was about not quitting and proving that you can do anything you want in life.  This helped my attitude. We passed through more miles and I felt like I started moving slower. Once we reached about 20 miles, I was beat.  I couldn’t get myself to run again so we tried to walk fast.  My goal of 5.5 half hours was turning to 6 hours.  My miles went from averaging 10 minutes, to 15 minutes, to now about 20 minute miles. We finally reached Front Street and only had about four miles left to go. We passed by the Banyan trees and the shopping strip that we had previously visited. People were cheering us on and yelling “you can do it!” I felt like saying to them Why don’t you try it? I know I was just being cranky because I wanted to finish. It was the longest and slowest four miles to go.  I would say that this part was the hardest part because your body does not have anything else to give and now it’s just up to your mind to keep you going.

We started to see our destination two miles away. I was not excited yet. I was not going to be excited until I crossed the finish line. The finish line was at the Westin Hotel, our neighbor hotel to where we were staying at the Hyatt Regency.  About less than a mile to go and we were almost there. We started to see runners that were already done and leaving and were still cheering us on. We got closer and started to see the finish line so out of nowhere we began to run together holding hands. I don’t know where I got the strength to run but we did and ran the last portion before we crossed the finish line.  We got laid by seashells and got our medal, finally!!!

I don’t know if I have ever experience something this hard. There have been some beastly mountain hikes I have taken but this was different. It was a great victory that I thought I never could possibly accomplish. I never thought myself as a runner and here I was, crossing my first marathon finish line with the love of my life.  Running this marathon is the start of a new chapter in my life.  Since I have read Born to Run and finished this race, I have decided to make some changes in my life in the way I eat and live. I want to live simple, eat less and better, and continue running.  I want to continue being physically active with new obstacles and run another marathon someday.  I have new positive perceptions in life and I want to continue inspiring people to push themselves to their limits. It’s a great outcome.

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Oh July, how painful you have been!  July has been a big challenge for me. My work schedule has been getting in the way of my training. I’ve had to work every weekend in July and when I do that, it’s usually a heavy offsite where I’m working a 14 hour shift on a Saturday on my feet non-stop.  This means that I instead of running my long run on Sunday, I run it on Monday and do a lousy job because I’m still recovering from the offsite. This also puts all my other runs during the week behind.  William and I also decided in July that we should sign up for a half marathon the weekend where I need to accomplish 14 miles, which happens to be my birthday weekend as well.  Why not start my birthday with a half marathon accomplished!  It was perfect. This way I got a little experience from an actual marathon and it also made me stay on track for July with my training.

We registered for the Run Montecito-Summerland 1/2 Marathon.  It’s a 1/2 marathon that William found online that would take place on July 21st right up the Santa Barbara area. One day before my birthday. It was a perfect plan. We would drive Friday night, run Saturday morning, wine taste Saturday afternoon, have a lovely dinner by the wineries, go to the beach Sunday morning, and return Sunday evening.  We were able to book two nights at Hotel Indigo right on State Street near Stearns Wharf and downtown Santa Barbara.  It was a last minute decision that we didn’t really plan early but we were both excited to make this trip happen.  We were also trying to get friends to go but last minute plans for everyone else did not work out.

Like I said earlier, training this month was very difficult.  My 10 mile run that I had to run on a Monday was difficult because I was super tired from a wedding I had worked on Saturday. Since it was a weekday, William decided to run from work to the house to accomplish the 10 miles. I had the day off so I ran from my house and met William at the fifth mile and run the last five miles together towards the house.   I remember my legs were tired and I did a lot of walking the last three miles of the run.  I was able to finish the 10 miles in two hours and 32 seconds. Not the best time, or at least not the best for me.

Running on Fletcher Street

The following weekend I was supposed to run 12 miles. It was also the weekend before the half marathon. This meant that this 12 mile run was very important to finish.  However, I worked both Saturday and Sunday!  Saturday I worked for about 12 hours and Sunday I worked about 8 hours. Both dates were me being on my feet. It was awful and I was very tired.  William was very good about giving me back and leg massages to release some soreness from my body. I knew skipping the 12 mile run was not an option.  But how was I supposed to run it when my legs did not have the energy? Monday came along and I was super tired and still in pain. My lower back was not at its best.  William texted me at about 5:20pm to ask me if I was ready for my run.  I responded to him that I would start it closer to 6pm. I did not know how I would accomplish this but I got dressed and made myself go out there.  I walked  the first half mile to get my body warmed up and then started running after the half mile.  My back was killing me and my legs were very tired.  By the time the mile ended I was walking again. I thought about my options and knew that I did not want to turn back and quit. I also knew that running 12 miles was not going to happen. I thought of how I’ve told myself before that I would try my best at whatever I do and at that instant, my best would be to walk until I met up with William.  I tried running a few more times but by the 2.5 mile I was walking again.  I walked all the way to Silverlake and got to 4.2 miles and still no sign of William. I did not want to continue walking too much because I should also be recovering and give my legs some kind of rest.  I thought maybe I missed William somewhere so I decided to turn back.  While I was walking on Fletcher, William came from behind me and found me! I guess he had started to walk on Silverlake thinking I was close by. I turned a little too early.  He agreed that it was the right thing to do was to walk miles instead of nothing.  Somewhere a long the way, my left calf to my achilles tendon started to hurt really bad. I tried to stretch it out but it wasn’t helping. By the time I got home, I was limping.  I was not sure what I did but I figured I would wait a day and find out where this pain was going.

On Tuesday, the pain did not go away from the achilles tendon area. I know hurting your achilles tendon can be very delicate and sometimes it can take a long time to recover. This is the last thing I wanted and were just a few days from the 1/2 marathon.  Tuesday night I worked a long day.  I still had the pain on Wednesday and still limping at work.  That Wednesday night, William rubbed my calf and leg.

By Thursday morning the pain was gone!  It was just a tight muscle that I had and William was able to release some pressure I had there.  Thursday evening we had to get another run in between the marathon. Besides my 8 mile walk on Monday, my last run had been on Friday the 13th for 6 miles. It was time to get another one in.  We ran only 5.3 miles because we also wanted to save strength for the 1/2 marathon on Saturday.  I was feeling confident that I was going to do good in the half marathon.

Friday morning we were both very excited. We packed, went to work, and started our drive to Summerland at 5pm. We made it there just in time to pick up our bib and shirt.  The location where we picked up our bib was Cafe Luna which was also the start and finish line.  This is when I started questions.  It had just hit me that I did not bother to ask how difficult this course was or how many people were involved. We asked the volunteers there how many people were registered for the 1/2 marathon and they responded that there were only 160 runners.  Yikes!  This was going to be competitive! I had not realized how small the group was of runners. I finally started to get nervous about the race. What if I would be the last one finished!  I did not want that.  What if I had to stop and go the bathroom a lot of times? I started having second thoughts about the race and started thinking that I was physically not prepared for this.  I had not even accomplished 12 miles yet!  My farthest run I had done was 10 miles and the last week I only got in a 5 mile run.  I was in panic mode.  That Friday night we went to bed early at the hotel so we would have a good night sleep and wake up at about 5am to be at the location by 6am. I also had to wake up early because I had to do a 5 minute run before the marathon so I made sure I went to the restroom.

The whole night I couldn’t sleep. My mind never went to sleep. I kept dreaming that I missed the marathon or that I was very behind. Finally the alarm went off and it was official.  The half marathon was just two hours away and I was wide awake.

 

 

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Getting injured during training can be very frustrating.  After I ate it on June 12th, the training became a little difficult.  The next day after my knees were badly bruised, my body was very sore and especially my back. I think it’s because I hit my left side of my body against a wall as I was falling down.  I felt like I had been in a car accident. Luckily it was my rest day and I had also made an appointment with my chiropractor. I went to the appointment after work and I described to my chiropractor my fall and she said that I had been whiplashed.  I receive a 50 minute massage well needed!  At one point I fell asleep and snored a little. It was relaxing. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a massage.

The following day on Thursday was my my 4-mile run.  I thought I was going to be ok with it but it was very painful on my knees. They were very swollen and it caused me to stop a lot and walk instead. I still managed to finish the run in 42 minutes.  On Friday I went to work and my knees hurt the whole day.  Friday was supposed to be a 3-mile run. After work I decided to instead take a walk instead of a run. What I did not want to do was to baby my knees too much but I also knew that they needed to heal. At this point my left knee had a huge scab that cause my skin to tighten up. It hurt every time I had to straighten my leg or bend it.  I was able to walk to Fresh and Easy which was about a total of two miles.  It was the first run I’ve had to skip since I started my 16-week training. I was bummed about it and worried that I was not able to run over the weekend.  Fortunately Saturday was a rest day and relaxed the whole day.

Sunday the 17th was my first seven mile run!  William and I wanted to run it in the morning and not wait around. We had oatmeal in the morning and by the time we got out of the house it was about 10:30am.  The day was clear and sunny with a nice California breeze.  Immediately when I started the run, I felt very heavy and tired. It wasn’t necessarily my knees that were hurting, it was just very difficult to run.  I wasn’t even lasting a mile without stopping! William was way ahead of me and did not seem to be having the same challenges I was having. I didn’t know why it was so difficult. I was so tired.  Then it started getting hot and felt that this run was taking forever!   The run was towards San Pascual and instead of stopping by the trail, this time we had to run to Arroyo Blvd and stop at Madeline Drive and come back. I didn’t realize that Arroyo Blvd was an uphill.  I was in hell!  This has been the worst run ever.  My body was rejecting every second of my run!  William was not being soft on me either. He kept pushing me (which I think helped me finish it) not to stop.  On the way back, probably on my fourth mile, I got very emotional and teary-eyed.  Too many emotions started running through my head and felt very frustrated and restrained from everything.  What a painful run.  My knees also began to hurt and felt like they were very swollen.  I don’t know how I made it back home but finally did. I didn’t even complete the seven miles. I only accomplished  6.23 miles. I don’t know what went wrong this time. Was it the time of day? I’ve been running only in the evenings after work. This one was my first morning run in a long run. Maybe I didn’t have that much energy in the morning, but I had my oatmeal!  Maybe it was the heat getting me tired.  I don’t know. I just know that it was awful! I was very disappointed with myself.

My fourth week of training started on Tuesday the 19th.  My knees were still bothering but I felt I did not feel I had room to slow down, especially about going through that dreadful run on Sunday.  It was only 3 miles on Tuesday and knees did begin to hurt by the end of the run. It was very had to run downhill.  My knees were getting pounded on the downhills and I don’t think it was helping the healing.  Wednesday was rest day and Thursday was five miles that I did a lot better.  I still had to stop to rest my knees from the pain but did manage to finish 5 miles. My running has been looking good now!

 

Tomorrow will be my first 8 mile run.  I’m a little nervous and I need to make sure that it’s nothing like last Sunday.  I hope I do better!

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May was finally better for me. I felt I was running more consistent than before.  It’s the month I added some hikes to build endurance and something different.  I was also trying to add more healthy meals to my diet. At one point I even started to count my calories to make sure I was not being a pig. Because as a reminder to all, I work in a restaurant and I’m around food all day!  So I downloaded this app that would help me track my calories.  I was trying to eat smaller meals and more meals a day. It worked for about a week and then I got tired of researching how many calories each meal has. It takes forever!!! My goal in all of this was to eat healthy while I’m running so much.  I want to maintain the energy I need for my runs.  I hear too many different things on what to eat.  “Eliminate your sugar and dairy,” “Don’t eat too many carbs” “High on protein, lean on fats” “Carbs are good, they are your energy,” “Don’t eat fruit” “Eat fruit, it’s natural and healthy.”  At the end of the day, there are many different ways to eat and I still don’t know what’s the best for me.  So what I’m going to do moving forward is to stop listening to all of these other diets and maintain a balance diet as best as I can. This means that I will allow a little bit of everything in small portions. For the most part I will stick to my basics. Here are some examples:

  • Breakfast options: either oatmeal, protein shake, or scrambled eggs with vegetables
  • Lunch:  either homemade chicken meal, tuna sandwich, or salmon meal
  • Dinner:  either protein shake, small sandwich, small meal on whatever I cook
  • Snacks:  apples, zucchini hummus, nuts, seasonal fruit, chocolate silk soy milk

When I cook, I think it’s pretty healthy. I always buy organic meat, buy the gluten-free pasta, lots of green vegetables, and I also use a lot of spices to flavor the meals.  I just have to make sure I don’t stuff myself and stop when before I get too full.

Going back to my runs for May, I ran about a total of 60 miles.  My longest run was a 6.5 run and my longest hike was about 10 miles when I hiked Mt. Baldy.  My average run was about five miles. I wanted to make my minimum run six miles but there were days where I wanted to get home and do other things and did not have the time to make my run longer.  The above chart is a snapshot of my runs for May through Nike Fitness. There are some runs that are not recorded because I forgot to take my iNano with me when I ran, but I do remember which runs they were.  Overall I’m pretty happy that I was able to get my runs in May.  At the end of the month, I still got worried because I realized how close September is and I’m still only at about 6 miles.  I started to panic because it seems that I will not get to my goal of 13 miles in July!  Gotta keep trying!!!

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The Mt. Baldy hike that I did on May 12th did wonders on my body (Mt. Baldy post to follow soon).  I almost forgot how a hike helps the body in so many ways.  Some time this week I managed to come up to 6 mile runs each time I ran.  The hike I did last Saturday really helped a lot on my endurance. After Saturday’s 10 mile hike at Mr. Baldy, I was sore for a few days.  I was not able to run until Wednesday May 16th where I actually felt good to run after being so sore from my legs. I was ready to change it up a bit and asked William what my goals should be for the week.  He responded that I should focus on the length of my run rather than my distance. “You should be able to run at least one hour after hiking Mt. Baldy,” said Coach William.  I thought it was good idea and remembered reading this somewhere.  It’s not about the distance, it’s about how long you can take it!  So I decided to run about one hour.  I ended up running five miles up towards San Pascual Avenue and back to my house.  I felt very energetic like a ball of fire running through the streets of Highland Park. I almost did it in one hour. It was getting really dark so I only did five miles in 53 minutes.

I did it again on Friday evening after work and this time I ran down San Pascual Avenue, to the park, and to the beginning of one of the Arroyo Seco trails.  It was 3 miles to this point and did it in 30 minutes. I ran back to my house after hitting the beginning of the trail. I realized that I was running more and walking less.  My legs felt they were on a good pace for the most part of the run.  I ended with six miles in one hour and three minutes.  I was very happy to accomplish this part of my training.  I felt more confident in achieving my goal that I have which is to run 13 miles by July.  Just a few months ago I was running two to four miles runs and now I feel that my minimum I should be running is six miles during the week.  I actually feel somewhat of a runner!

I hit a brick wall on Sunday, May 20th.  I had the most laziest Sunday ever and knew that I had to get in my run. This Sunday run was supposed to be my long run but I had no energy or motivation to get my legs out there to run.  I did not want to quit but I did not have any urge to get up and run. William did not look like he was giving in.  He was determined to do a run on Sunday because he had skipped a few runs during the week. We had also been indulging in munchies and treats because we were busy watching the basketball playoffs. Now it was time to run and I had to do it.  I got dressed and started my run with William. Immediately my body felt heavy and my knees felt they were getting pounded on the concrete.  I stopped a few times to walk on this awful long run.  I did not want to quit. How could I after hiking ten miles and running a total of 11 miles this past week?  So I pouted and pushed myself and tried to keep up with William.  What a big difference from Friday’s run to Sunday’s run. We were almost at the midpoint from Friday’s run when William turned around and asked me if I wanted to turn around.  “I made it this far feeling like this, we might as well make it to the midpoint and then turn back,” I responded. “Yeah! That’s the spirit!”  William was very happy with my response.   We started late on the run and once we reached this point, it was dark and turned back.  I know that I would have not made it this far if it wasn’t for William. He made this run happen.  Sometimes it’s just one of those days and Sunday was one of them for me. On the way back I finally started to feel I was at a good pace.  The last portion of the run I ran steadily but it basically took me the whole time of the run to get this pace!  Oh what a drag. I ended up running 6.45 miles in one hour and thirteen minutes. I would say that this has been one my most difficult runs I have done.  And it wasn’t even the road, it was me and the lack of energy I had.  I hope they get better!

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