It’s winter, it’s cold… It’s the most runderful time of the year. haha! It can be challenging to run or do anything active this time of year due to busy schedules, crappy weather and the short days. However, I always feel so refreshed after a good sweat, so I try to make things fun and prioritize runs. This is where doing a virtual run series comes in.
This Saturday, I am running my first FULL marathon. 26.2 miles. This was not a last minute decision, I have been planning on doing this for some time. If you follow me on social media, you have noticed I’ve been running longer distances and more days a week. I have mentioned it a few times, but I never really formally announced it. I’m not sure why I wasn’t shouting it from the rooftops. I am excited about it, but I think I avoiding announcing it because I was worried that I might not succeed. I wanted to see how the training went before making it official. I also wanted to keep in mind the real reason I am running this race. I’m doing this for myself, not for anyone else. I am all for sharing goals on social media & using it for accountability, but I also think that sometimes it can lead to forgetting why you are doing something. So, it’s official – on Saturday we RUN!
Why Run a Marathon?
I wanted to run a marathon to prove to myself that I CAN run a marathon. I wanted to challenge myself. I had gotten really comfortable with the half marathon distance, and decided that 2016 was going to be the year a ran a marathon. I may not run another full marathon after this, but I need to at least try it and see how it goes.
The marathon is this coming weekend, 26.2 miles of rockin’ miles at Rock N Roll Seattle. I choose Seattle for a few reasons. First, I think it would be extra awesome to run my first whole marathon in Seattle. Second, I will be running this race with a TON of my friends. Lots of them are running the half marathon, but running with amigos makes the experience that much better.
How is Training Going?
Training has been going okay! There have been a lot of fun races and a few grueling training runs along the way. Honestly, the long runs are what I was dreading the most. The thought of running anything over 15 miles is intimidating, but they have not been that bad. The worst part about them is how time consuming they are. In half marathon training the most you run on a weekend is 10 miles. Taking 2-3 hours to run on a weekend can be harder to schedule than you might think.
Unfortunately I have skipped a few runs along the way due to trips or other plans. I tried to prioritize running as much as I could. I feel like I’m going into this marathon prepared enough to finish, but not prepared enough to run it strong the whole way. I feel okay about it, but I know I could be more prepared.
If I run another marathon, I want to find a plan that allows for more cross training and other workouts besides running. I do love to run, but lately I feel like that is ALL I have been doing. I like more variety in my training, it feels more well rounded & my body is happy. Don’t get me wrong, I love to run and have enjoyed this marathon training journey, but I’m ready to run a little bit less and have more time for the other workouts that I love.
Race Day Goals
I have two goals for race day. The first goal, which I am 99.9% sure is going to happen, is to finish the marathon. I feel ready to do this! The second goal, which I am less confident about, is to finish in 4 hours and 30 minutes. I am not sure that I’ll be able to maintain that pace, we will see how things go on race day.
Running predictions are tricky; so many factors go into how things pan out on race day. When I did my 20 mile training run, I took plenty of walking breaks and maintained about a 10 minute pace per mile. My legs felt like they were going to fall off at the end, but overall it wasn’t so bad. However, this last weekend, by the end of the half marathon I couldn’t imagine running 13.1 more miles.
So, honestly I have no idea how things are going to go on race day. All I know is I’m nervous, excited and ready to ROCK! This week I will be sharing more about the marathon, like some must have accessories and the playlist I plan to use. Stay tuned for those posts & let’s connect on social media as I’ll be posting updates there first!
I had a fun weekend of running planned at the Carlsbad 5000 in Southern California. On Saturday, I ran the 1-mile race, and then I was back on Sunday to run the All Day 20K which is about 12.5 miles.
What is an all day 20K? It is an event unique to the Carlsbad 5000. Basically, you run the 5K (Carlsbad 5000), 4 times. The 5K is split into age groups, Males 40 & Up, Females 40 & Up, 30-39, and 29 & Under. If you are participating in the All Day 20K, you run with every age group.
I picked up my bib and shirt on Saturday, so Sunday I just had to get there, check my gear bag and run. Parking on Sunday was not as easy as Saturday. There were many more people participating in the 5K, so parking was scarce. Had to park much farther away & barely made it to the Rock N Blog meet up before the first 5K.
It was so great to meet some of my fellow Rock N Bloggers in real life! Diane, Smitha, Debbie (who I had met briefly at Blogfest), & Kristin.
It was off to the first start line! I was trying to run the first 5K slow. I wanted to run negative splits, meaning I wanted to run each 5K progressively faster. I figured that having a break every 3.11 miles would make me less tired.
Wrong. The break every 3.11 miles actually made me feel more fatigued as the day went on. It was nice though because you could get fluids, use the bathroom and grab a snack every 3 miles, so I was well hydrated and fueled!
Crossing the first finish line, I grabbed a water and a snack and headed back to the all day 20K tent. Thankfully we had our own area that had port-a-potties just for us, snacks & water (incase you didn’t grab any at the finish line), tables, chairs and our own gear check.
I loved that we had our own gear check because you could access your items in between each race. I kept taking off layers in between races. The port-a-potties were also nice because it kept you from having to be in huge lines.
Between races, I had anywhere from 5-30 minutes. It all depended on how quickly you ran the 5K. For me, the quickest turn around between 5K #2 and #3. I only had about 5 minutes between those two races. I literally went from finish line back to the start with no time in-between.
About a mile into the 3rd race, I saw a gal ahead of me in a really cute outfit. I thought, “she has a pink hat like Jenny!” Then I realized, it was Jenny!! I was so excited. I sped up to say hello and take a runfie!
Jenny (aka @runnylegs) is a fellow BibRave Pro and an Insta-friend. I love her outfits, she has the sweetest husband (more on that later) and her runs and posts really inspire me. It was so great to finally meet her!
As I was going thru race pictures, I realized I ran right by fellow Rock N Blogger, Carlee! She was in front of my on the course and I didn’t even realize it.
I felt great all day. It was warm but not unbearably hot. The last 5K was the hardest of them all; the finish line felt so close yet so far. The last 2 miles were mentally hard. My legs were tired, I was getting hot, and I wanted to finish that last 5K fast. I wasn’t running as fast as I had hoped, but I stayed strong thru the finish. When I crossed the finish line for the last time, it felt so good!
I checked my stats, and I achieved my goal of running each 5K faster than the previous one. While I didn’t finish in the top 250 of my age group like I had hoped, I still had a great race + lots of fun. The fun factor is what really matters. Carlsbad was beautiful, I got to meet a lot of running & blogging friends, and the swag was awesome.
I loved the course. We ran through downtown Carlsbad, right by the iconic ‘Carlsbad’ sign, along the beach for at least half the course, and had a downhill finish. The views were great. I was concerned about getting bored running the same course 4 times, but it was so beautiful I was glad I got to see it 4 times because you could really take it in.
Crossing 4 finish lines in one day was such a crazy and cool experience. You got the race day adrenaline four different times instead of just once. There is no other way that I know of to be able to run that many races in one day! We got a 5K medal, and we also got a HUGE All Day 20K medal. Not only is it huge, but the detail is amazing. It has real sand!
At certain races, Rock N Roll will bring out elite runners. This race is one of them, and the elite runners get their own heats which take place after all the ‘regular’ runners are done racing. The women race first followed by the men. I grabbed a coffee and met up with Jenny and Sean to watch the elites run. Getting to spend time with this adorable running couple was so great. You know those ‘best friends’ you have on social media, but they don’t know they are your best friend… that is how I felt. Only thing that would have made it better was if Andy was there. Jenny & Sean (@ultrarunnerSD) are both awesome and inspiring people! So glad I got to connect with them in person. Made me wish I lived in San Diego so I could run with them more.
Watching the elites race was so cool. They are so fast!! The Carlsbad 5000 course is referred to as ‘The World’s Fastest 5K’ because it is where the world record for a 5K road race has been set multiple times.
Jess O’Connell, a fellow Ultima ambassador, was racing in the elite race. It was SO cool to watch her do her thing and cheer her on!
I even got to meet up with her after the race. I was totally fan-girling when I met her. I can’t wait to watch her at the Canadian Olympic trials this summer.
I had an awesome weekend out at the Carlsbad 5000. It’s a great race, in a great location and totally worth running. I highly recommend the 5K or the All Day 20K if you are looking for a unique experience or more miles.
I can’t wait till my next Rock N Roll tour stop: SEATTLE! Join me! There is an 8K, half marathon and full marathon. Use code SWEETBLONDEFIT for $15 registration (any Rock N Roll race).
How is it already almost April?! This year is flying by, must mean we are having fun right? I’ve got quite a few Spring races lined up. Here is a quick look into what I have on the calendar for April, May & June.
I’ll break it down by race, date & location, why I chose to run it and
share any discount codes I have!!! Of course, this is subject to change, meaning I may add races to this #runnerproblems
Race: Rock N Roll Carlsbad 1 mile Date: 4-2-16 Where: Carlsbad, CA Why I’m Running: I have never run a 1 mile race! I am excited to see how quickly I can run one mile. I feel like it is going to be over super fast. I have a few friends running this with me, looking forward this new race distance and experience!
Race: Rock N Roll Carlsbad All Day 20K Date: 4-3-16 Where: Carlsbad, CA Why I’m Running: Really, I just needed an excuse to go to Southern California. This is a unique running distance too. Basically, you run the 5K (Carlsbad 5000), 4 times. The 5K is split into age groups, so you run with every age group. 12 miles split into 4 parts won’t be so bad. Plus, I am going to finish up this race with a trip to my favorite brunch spot in Encinitas, Swami’s!
Race: Blooms 2 Brews Date: 4-10-16 Where: Woodland, WA Why I’m Running: The last 2 miles of this race are run thru tulip fields. Sign me up!!! Plus the course is flat. 🙂 I don’t run for beer, but you also get to finish this race off with a custom IPA that is brewed specifically for this race. I am turning the weekend into a race-cation. Going to visit Portland on Saturday and run on Sunday! I can’t wait! Discount Code: flatandbeautiful – $8 off any distance
Race: North Olympic Discovery Marathon (NODM) Date: 6-5-16 Where: Port Angeles, WA Why I’m Running: The scenery. The Washington State Peninsula is beautiful and I don’t get over there enough. This course has won most scenic race course, so I can’t wait to see what it is like. I am running this with a few of my virtual running friends, so I can’t wait to meet them IRL (in real life)! I debated running the full marathon here, but decided to stick with the half. Discount Code: BibRave16 – $5 off any distance
Race: Snoqualmie Valley Half Date: 6-11-16 Where: Carnation, WA Why I’m Running: It’s a flat and fast course thru the forest and beautiful Snoqualmie Valley. Carnation is about a 30 minute drive from downtown Seattle, but you feel like you are much farther away. I don’t mind hills, but I am looking forward to another flat course! This is also organized by my favorite race company in Seattle, Orca Running. They put on great races with awesome swag, I can’t wait! Discount Code: SWEETFIT – gets you 10% off registration
Race: Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon Date: 6-18-16 Where: Seattle, WA Why I’m Running: I have been wanting to run this race for the last 2 years. Something has always come up, either I have been out of town that weekend or I wasn’t trained enough to run a half marathon in June. I am making it happen this year and I cannot wait! #RNRSEA is a really well known race and the course is beautiful! There is an 8K, half marathon and full marathon. I may bump my registration up to the full marathon but I’m not sure yet. We will see! June is an awesome running month in Seattle. I hope to see a lot of you at this race with me!!! Discount Code: SWEETBLONDEFIT – gets you $15 off any distance
June is a popular race month. Right now I have no races on the schedule for May. I am hoping that will change, but I am not sure yet. I am considering the Color Run in Seattle (never done a color run) and the Brooks Trailhead 15K. Because June is really packed with races, it may be good to run all of May without a ‘race’.