Monday, June 23, 2014

Back From Vacation

Hello to everybody. I am back from my vacation and am getting back to my training. Actually, last week I put in a lot of running miles just because I could not pass up the opportunity to run in a new location. If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, you probably already know that the vacation was awesome.

We were able to get a decent hotel right on Sunset Beach where we spent most of our time just relaxing in the sun and watching the kids play in the Pacific Ocean. I spent some time trying to perfect my body surfing but I never really could get the hang of it. I did get a much needed tan. No more ghostly white body for me anymore. Woot!


We went to a Dodger baseball game for my birthday and it turned out excellent. The Dodger pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, threw his first "no hitter" game and it was amazing to watch. The energy of the crowd was electric and intensified with every "out". I am a big Dodger fan and I am sure Kershaw and the Dodger's played so well just for me. :)

The next day we decided to go watch "How to Train Your Dragon 2" in 3D. It was entertaining but it wasn't as good as the first movie. The choices for family movies was pretty slim.

The following day we decided to head down to Huntington Beach and rent a 4 person bicycle called a surrey. It was fun to cruise along the beach path. We let the kids have turns steering which was a little unnerving, especially trying to go through the crowded areas. We ended up not getting hurt and not hurting anybody so it was a successful adventure.


It was a much needed vacation and of course we were sad to return to our normal lives. I am already looking forward to the 4th of July because of the 3 day weekend. :)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Holcomb Valley Trail Run 15 Mile Race Recap

Happy Friday the 13th to everyone. Last Sunday on the 8th I ran the 15 mile Holcomb Valley Trail race. There was a 7 mile and a 33 mile option for racers but I felt the 15 would be perfect for where I am in my training and abilities. It turns out I was right. I had a great time and I had a great race.

Before the Race

I live an hour away from where the race was being held in Big Bear City, CA. I had the opportunity to actually run the course a couple times in the weeks leading up to the race. I had never previewed a course before and I do believe that it gave me an advantage. Something that I noticed though was that previewing the course did take some of the fun out of the course because I had already seen everything.

Big Bear Lake

Race Day

The start of the race was going to be at 7:45 am and because I live fairly close we decided to just wake up a little early and drive to the race in the morning. I was a little worried about this plan because of the last two races I have ended up late for the race starts. Being late for this race would be a bigger problem because it is not chip timed. So my time would be going whether or not I was actually at the start. Needless to say this added a little extra stress but we ended up getting to the race area in plenty of time. I picked up my bib, visited the port-a-potty, and had a little time to do some nervous stretching and to waste time. I had decided to only bring one handheld water bottle with me, one Island Boost packet, and one package of Clif Bloks.

Getting some safety pin sticks much needed help with the bib.

Good luck smooches and hugs from everyone.

The race director gave a little safety brief and the race started right on time at 7:45 am. I started in the middle of the pack because I knew the first three miles were going to be rough.

I only looked this nice and refreshed for a half mile. Than I was gasping for air.

Miles 1-3: Average mile pace 12:39. The race starts near the lake so the first three miles you run up the mountain. I decided to take it easy for this part just because it is early in the race, I need time to warm up my legs, and I need time to get used to the thin mountain air.

Miles 3-7: Average mile pace 9:38. After reaching the top of the mountain the course drops down on the other side and goes through a meadow. First aid station was at mile 4 so I topped off my water bottle and tried to take advantage of this part of the course. I ended walking for a minute and eating my island boost at mile 6. Although I took it easy coming up the mountain, my legs just could not speed up and felt heavy.

Miles 7-9: Average mile pace 12:53. This part of the course goes back up the mountain. My legs continued to really feel heavy and I was doing more walking than I wanted to on this part. I would do about a minute of slow running and than a minute of power hiking. I ended up eating all my Clif Bloks during these miles while walking. The 2nd aid station was at mile 8 and again I only topped off my water bottle.

Miles 9-12: Average mile pace 10:54. These miles run along the PCT trail on the ridge. It had several rolling ups and downs and I really did not have an uphill gear left in my legs. I just tried to keep running and to not stop to walk. I was able to keep running until the last aid station at mile 11. I took my time getting water and walked a bit. My knee had started to feel sore from all the uphills and the PCT trail is slightly cantered to one side.

Miles 12-Finish: Average mile pace 9:56. All running down the mountain back to Big Bear Lake. There are several technical and rocky sections so I could not fly down the mountain as I had wanted. My legs were exhausted, and my knee was feeling sore so I decided to be conservative coming down the hill.

Official Time: 2:37:51
Overall Place: 22 out of 85
Age Group Place: 10 out of 13

I didn't run the race. I just stayed in that trash can for a couple hours.

Finished strong.



I really enjoyed this race. The course was awesome. There were only a few aid stations but they were well stocked with water, and food. One sponsor of the race is Hammer Nutrition and so they had HEED Sports Drink instead of Gatorade at the aid stations. I haven't tried HEED so I just stuck to the water. The volunteers were friendly and were great. Race participants were treated with post race smoothies and chili. Our swag bags had some Hammer Nutrition samples,  race T-shirt, logo water bottle, pin, and a race finisher sticker.

I stuck to my race plan fairly well. My age group was very tough, 6 of them finished in the top 10. I was very pleasantly surprised with my top 25% overall placing. I beat my goal of finishing before 2:45 but did not reach my "dream" goal of before 2:30.  I am happy with my race. I really struggled on a couple portions but was able to continually pass runners, so I must of been doing better than I felt.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Almost Crapped my Shorts

Yes, you read the title right. Don't worry it was for a personal best. The tummy rumbles started about mile 3 of my 6.2 mile run. I immediately started making a mental map of where the bathrooms were on this route. Not much is open at 5am though besides a few gas stations and the hospital's emergency room. I was running really well and had a feeling that I was on track for a personal best and I did not want to stop. So I continued on and each time I passed a possible bathroom the tummy would rumble more. So I would increase my pace, which would make my possible personal best better and less willing to stop for a bathroom. I was stuck in this painful, sweaty catch-22 that I created for myself and I wasn't willing to give in. I reached the end of my 6.2 mile run with a personal best time but I did not have any time to celebrate. 

So was it worth it? I think it was this time because I finished with clean shorts and an awesome time. If it ended any other way than I probably would have a different answer.

Any one want to share their "close call"?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Recap of the Month of May

The month of May went really well for me. I ran my first road half marathon, and I had my farthest run ever. It is a very exciting time in my running because I have been injury free and have been setting multiple best's in running distance and time. I have also been doing really well in my cross training with lots of swimming and some mountain bike and stationary bike mixed in. Here are some stats for the month of May.

May Stats

Total Miles - 101 miles
Longest Run - 15.9 miles
Total Time - 19:38:35 (hrs: mins: secs)
Elevation Gain - 9,343 ft.

May Races

May 4th - OC Half Marathon (recap)

Official Time: 1:58:46
Overall Place: 1872 out of 10389
Age Group Place: 216 out of 650
My May stats are all records for me. I have a lot of momentum going right now and have lots of personal bests to create and amazing races to run. I have finally created a short list of possible choices to pop my marathon cherry this fall. I should have one picked out by the end of June. It is going to be epic!
June Plans
I have the Holcomb Valley Trail 15 mile race this Sunday. It is going to be a tough race for me and will be the longest race I have attempted yet. Other than that, I have my birthday coming up on the 18th and my family and I will be going on vacation for a week. So I believe June will be another great month for me.
Stat Total for the Year

 Total Miles - 370.7
Longest Run - 15.9 miles
Total Time - 64:10:15 (hrs: mins: secs)
Elevation Gain - 27,969 ft.
Tell me one great thing that happened for you during May.