Five for Friday

The Mountains Are Calling

1.  Since I’ve been able to take my sling off since September 5th, I’ve managed to log over 70 miles on the trails! I am in love with the trails and can’t wait do my first 50k in December!!

IMTUF100

2.  Best trail moment this past month:  Pacing Alexander (center) for his 100 miler in McCall, Idaho and hanging out with one of my besties:  Joshua!  BTW — Josh has his 100 miler is coming up soon!!

feetures!

3.  A great thing about being a Feetures! Ambassador:  I was selected to wear test some new socks and provide some feedback.  This was post trail hike/run, thus the dirt.  If you haven’t tried Feetures! socks … they are my absolute favorite.  No blisters, no chaffing, no rubbing.  Soft, comfortable, and reliable!  Find them here.

PS … My shoes are by Brooks!  These are the Pure Grits and are my favorite trail shoe!

lake padded trail half

4.  Lake Padden Trail Half is coming up soon and it’s not too late to register!  Date of race is October 18, 2014.  It is USATF National Championships so there will be some elite runners that you won’t want to miss!

This awesome photo is by Glenn Tachiyama and was selected for this year’s poster!  Check out Glenn’s work here!

Register for the Lake Padden Half here!

real time pain relief

5.  While I was working the expo booth for the Lake Padden Trail Half last weekend, I had the pleasure to meet Ken Foster and his lovely wife who were selling this product:  Real Time Pain Relief.  This stuff was amazing and I had to have some!  My collarbone and shoulder is often sore, but after applying this product, I have had zero pain.  The ingredients rival other products out there and to make it even better, it has a great smell (for real!).  This product has reported effects of:  reducing inflammation, relieving joint pain and sore muscles, increasing circulation, helping muscles to heal, relieving cramps, relieving sunburn and so much more.  I am a believer after using it on my surgery site and also on my banged up and swollen knees after falling the other night.  Visit the webpage HERE and enter promo code: 22128.  If you have questions, Ken Foster can be reached at kjpainaway@gmail.com.

HAVE AN AWESOME WEEKEND FRIENDS!!

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Three Things Thursday

1.  The Bachelor.  It’s my guilty pleasure while doing my indoor trainer.

Guilty pleasure - Bachelor

2.  Brooks T7 Racer.  Just tried them yesterday for the first time.  Minimal and very light weight.  I like them!  I think I will use them for my next 5K!!

Brooks T7 racers

treadmill

3.  Vitamins!!  These are the BEST tasting vitamins of all time.  I seriously love them and look forward to taking them everyday.  And, no … I’m not preggo, but why not?  My good friend, Jess, got me hooked.  And, yes – she’s preggo.

vitamins

***

What are your 3 Things Thursday?

Las Vegas Rock ‘n Roll Race Report

I flew into Vegas on Friday, December 1st, and promptly checked in to my hotel — The MGM Grand.  I couldn’t wait to get over to the Expo – located at the Sands Convention Center, inside the Venetian, so I unpacked and organized my clothes as quickly and neatly as humanly type A possible, and then made my way to catch a taxi.

I forgot how expensive taxi’s are in Vegas.  Ridiculous!!  At any rate, I made my way over to the Expo and found it to be well organized.  A huge open space to pick up race numbers according to your corral (I was in corral 2), then onto picking up my tech T — by Brooks!  Finally, the swag bag, full of mostly brochures, but I like them empty so I can fill it with goodies from the expo.

check in

Race Bib:

Race Bib

First stop, Brooks Cavalcade of Curiosities!

IMG_1579

Have I mentioned how much I love Brooks? I won a t-shirt and tried my hand a new pair of shoes (I didn’t win the shoes).

I made my way through the expo, had a few healthy protein nibbles and was back at the hotel and ready for bed by 8:30 pm.  Exciting for Las Vegas right?! But hey – I had a race to run!!

The next morning, I met my friend from Virginia and we made our way to the Expo so she could get her race packet. I chilled all day in this attire (not very Vegasy, I know):

run happy cupcake

(I love this Brooks Run Happy Cupcake Tech T — so soft and comfortable.  I also wore my CEP compression socks all day!)

RACE DAY:

So the race didn’t start until 4:30 pm.  I knew I didn’t want to eat much of anything, so my last meal was around 10 am and consisted of eggs, ham, and an english muffin.  Nothing more until after the race.

Brooks race kitRace ready!!

yellow shoesResting my legs before the start.

So … the start::

I almost missed my corral.  I was in the longest porto-potty line EVER! By the time I got out, they had just started Corral 1.  I sprinted nearly 1/2 mile, dodging and weaving and about 100 “excuse me’s” through the masses of other runners and spectators.  By the time I made it to the start, Corral 2 had already taken off and the runners were at least 300 feet down the road …. ACK!!  So, I started … SOLO …. as Corral 3 was still being held back at the start line.  hee hee … 🙂 Why not?

I quickly found my pace and held stead fast.

WHOA — wait …. what’s this?

WIND?!!!

Sideways, hard, pushing.  UGH.  This is not going to be fun.  Stay focused I told myself.  Get in behind others and keep moving forward.  So, that’s what I did. I felt good during the entire race and enjoyed seeing the STRIP AT NIGHT! At about mile 8, I had 1/2 a gel, and I only took in a few sips of water.  At mile nine, I was coming into the back side of Freemont and saw a spinning stiletto heel.  ….. LOVE!

Turning back towards the Bellagio, total headwind, HARD, for the final 3 + miles.  Everyone I tried to get behind was slowing way down, so I just pushed harder to catch someone else to run behind.  I found a skinny dude and followed him for about 2 miles, until he stopped to walk.  WHAT?! We are almost done!!  I kept at it, pushing, knowing that I would PR.  And, a PR, I did!!

IMG_1790

Now for the nitty-gritty:

Yes – I did PR … but, I almost started crying when I finished.  I looked down at my GARMIN, which showed I had an average pace of 7:45 and 13.23 miles in 1:42:44.  How is my time not closer to a 1:40:00 ???  I was shooting for a 1:40:00.  A 7:51 average pace should have given me a 1:40:00.  What the heck?

garmin results

I asked other runners what their Garmin’s read.  Everyone I talked to said their Garmin’s showed 13.2 something.  That’s it — the course was long!

Wait — it could haven’t been another 2 minutes.  Still dumbfounded — I just couldn’t get past why I didn’t come closer to a 1:40:00, especially after running a solid 7:45 average pace.  DANG!

I tried to brush it off as best as I could and feel great about my performance and my PR, but still …..

I met up with my old high school buddy, Eric, and his wife, Sharon, for a night of fun.  Here is our after race photo:

after race photo

It wasn’t until the next day that I found my training mistake ….

For whatever reason, my last few runs were at marathon pace, not at 1/2 marathon pace.  So I had 7:51 stuck in my head, not 7:36 …

This, my friends, is what I call my DUMB ASS training moment #537

Overall — this was a fantastic race and I’m glad it was a solid effort and performance.  No injuries – great running – and awesome friends to train with.

This is what I call SUCCESS!

Three Things Thursday

***ACK!  It’s been a week and I missed my blogging.  To my credit, I was in Vegas Friday through Tuesday and follow that with two 10 hour days of work and you have one tired girl!

Here are my Three Things Thursday to get me back on track:

1.  I ran a race on Sunday!!  Not just any race, I ran the Vegas Rock ‘n Roll 1/2 Marathon!!  A race re-cap will be forthcoming (I promise)!  For now, here’s a sneak-a-peek:

results

2.  YES! This was a PR (Personal Record) for me!! WOOT!  My previous best was a 1:44:37 in 2008 at the Holualoa Tucson 1/2 Marathon.

ASIDE from the PR, my biggest achievement was coaching two athletes to their very first 1/2 marathon!! One was from Virginia (who I had never met until Saturday) AND the other was a co-worker of the hubs that had no real plan until I sent him one.  BOTH of these athletes did fantastic during their training and nailed the 1/2 marathon on Sunday despite the EPIC headwinds.  I’m so excited for their next races and am grateful to have been a part of their very first 1/2 marathon experience.  Thank you Rebecca and Jeff!

3.  A special shout out to Brooks Running for selecting me the last 4 years to be a part of the Inspire Daily team.  I wore their race kit proudly Sunday!

Brooks race kit

Three Things Thursday

1. I’ve been addicted to Frosty the Finger Puppet since Black Friday. He’s taken over my Instagram and has his own hashtag: #frostythefingerpuppet

I also thought it would be fun to share the love of Frosty with a couple of IG friends. One of which is @emysue — she just got Frosty today and began snapping up her own fun pics!! I love it!

The next person to get Frosty is a surprise! I will let you know soon!

Here one of my favorite Frosty pics from this week:

I called this one: Glamour Shots

2. I leave for Vegas tomorrow!! ACK!! I’m not even packed yet — well, sort of packed. I have my running clothes ready to go, if that counts. I think it does — I mean, really — the most important thing is my race attire, if you ask me. I narrowed it down to four outfits and posted to my IG friends for their input.

Here are the choices:

My IG friends are mostly split between the top RIGHT and the bottom RIGHT.

Do you spy #frostythefingerpuppet in each photo? 😉

ALSO — Which outfit do you like best?

3. I got a package from the Fed-Ex man tonight! Here’s my loot:

3 pairs of Injinji Socks and an assortment of GU Energy Gels and GuBrews!

Where did I get all this cool loot? Well, my Twitter Friend @milelonglegs was having a giveaway on her blog (which I entered and won!)

Thank you @milelonglegs!

******

ps …. I must to go to bed now … alarm is set for 4:30 am – one more run before I leave for VEGAS! Woot!

pps … What are your Three Things Thursday?

Tempo Tuesday in the Dark

Alarm – 3:50 am

***Yawn***

Decked out in my Brooks Running Nightlife apparel – I set off to pick up Jess for our tempo run.

Today’s workout:

1 mile warm-up

2 x 1 mile at 10K pace with 3:00 min recovery in between

1 mile cool down

I was shooting for somewhere in the neighborhood of a 7:15 to 7:30 pace for my one mile repeats.  Since it was dark pitch black outside, I didn’t worry about watching my pace, rather I went by feel – so I could keep my eyes on the barely lit road illuminating from my tiny headlamp that probably needs new batteries.

 Jess and I finished and I checked our splits.  To my surprise, my first interval was right on and the second one was way faster than I intended.

I felt pumped by this performance!!

Today’s totals:

Interval times:

1st – 1 mile:  7:23 pace

2nd – 1 mile: 6:46 pace

WOOT!

5 more days until Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll 1/2!!

3 more training runs!

Alarm is set for 3:50 am …. another early morning run is calling. Night all! xo

How I survived Black Friday …

Black Friday … hmmm.  Some love it and some hate it.  I’m somewhere near Switzerland on this one.  I see it more as a spectating event and perhaps maybe a deal or two stumble upon me.

Black Friday for me starts on Thursday.  The mother unit and I get two newspapers and go through them – reading the ads and looking for anything that peaks our interest.  Nothing this year seemed 4 am worthy, or even midnight worthy for that matter.  We decided to leave the house somewhere around 5:30 am on Friday.

I woke up about 4:45 and my mother was still sleeping.  So, I decided to let her sleep a bit longer — after all, there was nothing imperative we HAD to buy.  I leisurely got ready in my Brooks attire … hey — it’s comfortable and stylish at the same time.  And – if for some strange reason I HAD to run after something … GAME ON!

***

There:: that’s better.

***

Starbucks in a mug.

Brooks Run Happy hat.

And a smile.

***

Best not forget these two gems:

Women’s Adrenaline GTS 12

Women’s Utopia Thermal Cozy Pant

***

I then woke the mother.

ACK!  Big mistake letting her sleep in.  Apparently, she wanted to get up early.  Oopsie Daisy.

After another 30 minutes or so, we were out the door in the pouring rain to power shop people watch and sorta shop.

First stop —

Need you wonder?

This, my friends — makes every day start out just right.

Next up:: JcPenny.

Total craziness people.  Especially in the shoe department. I stood by and watched everyone dig through boxes of boots, because they were all on sale for $20 or $25.  Yes – I love a great deal on shoes.  In fact, some would say I might have a bit of a shoe problem … however, NOT TODAY.  I have my limits and today was not a shoe shopping day for ME.  So, I stood by and watched and took a picture or two.

I shopped around a bit, found a few great deals, then waited patiently in the longest line EVER — (it felt like ever!)

Key here:  patience.

No peeking!

****

Another stop to Freddy’s, then guess what?

More fuel! What better fuel than some more coffee and a yummy pumpkin scone to share?! Mmm.

See how I’m making this day work?  It’s all about priorities.

My favorite find of the day?

Of course, I had to get him.

This (and Starbucks) is how I survived Black Friday.

***Tell me — what do you do for Black Friday? Any fun finds?

Taper Ten

This morning marked my last “long” run before my 1/2 marathon next weekend.

It’s taper time — so doubts are starting to creep in …

Did I do enough mileage?

Can I actually PR?

I hope I don’t get sick….

….these are just a few of the thoughts swirling about my taper head.

I decide to push these thoughts aside for the time being and focus on something really important.  Like, what I’m going to wear on race day.

I’m pretty sure I’m wearing these gems:

Brooks PureConnect

Jess and I set off for our usual 10 mile loop around Ferndale — although today we did the loop backwards (or the other way from which we normally go).  It was a chilly 40 something degrees and the fog was keeping us company.  About 1/2 way through, the sun was peeking out from the clouds and it looked to be shaping up to be an awesome sunny/chilly day.  Our run went well and actually a little faster than we intended on running.

Total mileage: 10.31

Total time: 1:30

Average pace: 8:43

Thank you Jess – for another great run!

8 days to go!

Fabulous Friday 11 Mile Run

On deck:

11 miles.  2 warm-up miles, 8 at marathon goal pace (7:51), 1 mile cool down.

First things first:

Today’s running clothes brought to you by Brooks Running! Well isn’t every day a Brooks Running day? Why yes, it is!

Brooks Running Shoes:  Pure Connects

Next up:

Out the door I go for my run.  After a couple of warm up miles, I hit my stride.  Here are my totals and splits:

::brought to you by Strava

Overall, I’m very happy with my splits (except mile 8, where I was a titch off). The Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll 1/2 Marathon is right around the corner and I’m feeling pumped for a PR!

Post Run Reward?

Have a wonderful weekend friends!! Run Happy!

Terrific Tuesday Track that almost wasn’t …

I wasn’t terribly excited for my track workout tonight, but I did want to get outside and run.  5 x 1k’s did not sound fun tonight … if I’m being honest.  Those are hard.  Give me 200 or 400 repeats any day.  Give me hills.  Something …

…but the plan called for 5 x 1k’s @ 5k pace and that was what I was going to do.

5 pm hit and I’m off to the locker room to change, when I discover something very important missing from my favoritist Lululemon gym bag … MY SHOES!!! ACCCKKKKKK!!!! How could I forget my shoes?  It’s track tonight! I need to be fast.

Crap.

I’ve already changed and now I have to walk out to my car in search for a spare pair in the trunk (I always try and keep at least a couple of trusty Brooks in the trunk).

Ummmm ….. shoot.  I guess I have to wear my dress shoes out to the car?!  Nice.  Real nice Gina.  (please – oh please – oh please … let me just sneak out …)

Can’t I just click my heels and make my running shoes appear?

ONE – TWO – THREE:

Ta-Dah!

These trusty Brooks Launch helped me complete my track workout tonight.

2 miles warm-up

5 x 1k @ 5k pace (7:08, 7:01, 7:02, 6:53, 7:05)

1 mile cool down

7 miles total.  1:01.  Average pace of 8:42.

***Overall, I felt good about my 1k splits.  Those suckers are toughies.  Not to mention, it was raining and I was soaked by the time I was finished.  Thanks to my friend Judy for coming along for the run!!***

ps … I didn’t quite make it out of work without one of my co-workers spotting these gems.  OOPS. 😉