Friday, November 30, 2018

Friday Feels

It's Friday! Happy Friday! 😎

You know that feeling when you want to celebrate and sleep at the same time? Yeahhh you do.

I always love Fridays, but some days it holds SO much more value, like today. It's been a long stressful week with so much is going on. I'm trying to recover from a lost week of work due to vacation and I'm just not feeling my absolute best and brightest. I'm excited to run the Rock N Roll Half Marathon this weekend with my boyfriend and friends, but right now all I can hope to accomplish is more laundry, packing and a nap. Time to get rested up for this weekend!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What To Do When A Training/Workout Friendship Goes Bad

Let's talk friendship, guys.

Running and training for sports with a good friend can be such a blessing! You can push each other to do your best every time, catch up on life with good conversations, sign up and train for races together, shop for workout gear and help each other along the way when an injury or a mental road block rears its ugly head. Sometimes that friendship you thought was so great can go the other way as well. Over-competitiveness and jealousy can quickly turn that amazing friendship into something Cady Heron from Mean Girls would consider a "frenemy".

If you have ever experienced this in your life or are going through it right now, here are some ideas on how to deal.

Talk To Your Friend

If you feel that your friend is suddenly quieter or not including you in hangouts and get togethers when you used to be invited all the time, try talking to them. Tell them that you've noticed how things have changed, and see if there is a reason. It might not even be about your friendship; they may be going through something personal that they don't feel comfortable telling you about, and they might not realize that another person may read their behavior differently. Communication is key!

Try Something New

If you notice your friend pulling away and can't figure out why even after talking with them, suggest doing something different. For example, if you only workout together, suggest seeing a movie together or grabbing brunch. This may help put your friend's feeling of competitiveness at ease, and also take stress off the friendship. Not to mention, who wants to talk about one topic only, and all the time?? 

Notice Red Flags and Toxicity

Friendships don't turn toxic overnight. Competitiveness is healthy, but when it stems from jealousy and only feeling good when one friend constantly beats the other one isn't healthy. If you begin noticing your friend working overly hard just to beat your times, keeping you away from their other friends or only talking to you when:

A.) they need something that will benefit them directly 

B.) it's about how well they did in a race, or 

C.) they only call you to talk badly about their other friends behind their backs, these could be signs. 

Now I'm not talking about those friends who are just really bad at keeping touch, I'm talking about friends who went from besties to ghosts faster than you run your mile repeats. Jealousy can often leave a grown adult behaving like a spoiled 3 year old, so if this is the case, and talking won't work, it might be time to give the friendship a little space and try again later. I've never had much luck reasoning with someone who isn't in touch with their feelings enough to realize what they're doing. 

Remember, you should NEVER have to stop doing your best, being your happiest or put yourself down just to keep a friend. Be careful of toxic friendships. 

Expand Your Running Group

Making a handful of good running friends in your area is a blessing. Not only do you become close with a fun group of people, expanding your group keeps everything fresh and full of adventure. I have a group of friends I love to run with in my area and I love how happy and fun they are to hang out with! Your group can also bond over more than just one thing, and having a diverse group of friends allows you to step out of your bubble and learn new fun stuff. Expanding your group can also help relieve the negative feelings your friend may be projecting, and can also give you time to get back into your own positive place. 

Don't Do All The Work

Have you ever had a friendship where you are the only one reaching out, to eventually get rebuffed by the "I'm so busy" excuse, only to see that same friend posting photos of  weekly social engagements online? If you find yourself in this situation, you're tired of reaching out and talking won't work, it might be time to get busy doing other things. Maybe your friend will notice your absence and reach out, and maybe not. The relationship may have gone from a well rounded close friend, to a sport specific only friend, to a non-existent friend, and that's OK. Don't ever do all the work in a friendship; if it's not an equal one, it's not worth your time. Aaaand that leads me to my last point.

Distance Yourself

If nothing else works, the friendship may not be meant to survive; that's just a part of life. If the friendship has become toxic and nothing you do has been able to solve that, moving on isn't such a bad thing. I've noticed that the bad friendships I've had in the past were because I chose to stay around far longer than I should have. I always thought that that person would start being nicer, valuing the friendship more, etc. I'm sure everyone has had that happen to them in the past, and while it wasn't a good situation, it's a learning one for sure.

And hold on to those good friends, they're irreplaceable!
Cheers to training for all of our sports and to good friends! 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Marathon Training And Vacation Vibes

Happy Monday guys!!!

I know I haven't posted for a few weeks, but things have been absolutely crazy. I was in Belize for a week with my boyfriend and his bestfriend and his best friend's family, and they are some of the nicest people you will ever meet - really chill (sometimes haha!), great conversation, positive attitudes, and they don't feel the need to "impress" anyone. My kind of people. This last week I was able to keep running, but had to drastically cut down mileage in this area because while it is a beautiful country, I don't feel safe running more than a few miles out in a 3rd world country with different (or not the same) laws that we have in the U.S. You gotta keep it safe, after all.

This pretty accurately describes my vacation 
Thanksgiving followed that, so my workouts have become a bit derailed after all the sand, sun and good food. I also miss BMX racing so much it hurts. I LOVE running, but as someone with two sports I want to keep up with I don't like spending all my time on one thing, and I don't feel guilty about that either. After my second marathon is over in April I think I will take a marathoning break for a while and keep it to the shorter distances, and that way I can ride again. Until then, the weekly training starts up again tomorrow.

To all my marathoning friends out there, cheers to keeping up this crazy schedule!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Marathon Training: Week 9

I can't believe my first marathon is coming up in January! All those last few years of thinking about it and knowing that I wasn't ready to commit to training for one seemed like forever ago, and now it's real and I couldn't be more excited (and nervous - let's not lie here lol!). For the marathon plan I'm following, I chose one for beginner runners who have about a year of running under their belt. While I'm not a beginner, I wanted to work more on hills, technique and speed and I feel that this plan will allow me to do that to a greater extent come January for April's marathon. 

Week 9 felt like it climbed up there with the amount of mileage, but I think it was also because I made the choice to switch my long run day from Sunday to Saturday, since it rained a lot more on Sunday. It put more mileage on at once without those rest days in between

The week 9 breakdown went like this:

Monday 11/5: Rest Day - ahhhh yeah! Makes my Monday feel complete as soon as quitting time came around. At least in that "I still have other things to do" kind of way.

Tuesday 11/6: 4 miles at the park today, in the dark. It was nice though, no creepy "I'm running by the dark woods" vibes today. At least mostly. Just gotta keep running.

Wednesday 11/7: Rest day again, which in my book was great because I wasn't feeling the best. 😷

Thursday 11/8: I made it 1.4 miles on the treadmill at the gym (out of what was supposed to be 6), and ended up scrapping it. I wasn't feeling that great and just didn't have it in me, so I moved this run to Friday, which was supposed to be a rest day. 

Friday 11/9: 6 quick miles in the park today. It was night and there were only about 3 other people on the trail, but I clutched my tiny can of mace with all my might, turned Queen on the speaker of my phone and got that s**t done. It was a good feeling.

Saturday 11/10: 12 mile long run at the park. It was about 50 out, mostly overcast and drizzled ever so slightly (not enough to call this a rain run). I forgot my Gu gels I had bought two days previously for this run, and instead ran on determination, grit, and the image of something in the food section of Walgreens in my head. I just drank a lot of water in the meantime since I had a good sized breakfast. It worked, but I don't recommend it, it wasn't smart. 

Sunday 11/11: 4 miles on the treadmill and the hydro-massage chair after. Today was pushing it because my legs were the tiniest bit sore, but I plugged in to some Spanish soap opera para practicar mi Espanol, and just did it.

The chair was SO nice after.

SO nice.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

It's almost time...

It's almost here and I can't believe it. Like, HOW, exactly, did the year fly by like it did?!
I guess it's true what they say about time flying when you're having fun. I'm SO excited about the Holiday season, everything from checking out the amazing River Oaks Christmas lights to making hot cocoa to seeing the snowfalls with my boyfriend to having (finally) faster run times and not sweating like crazy when I get done riding my bike.

One of my favorite things to do during the holiday season is decorate, and Target is my go to place. Not only does Target have the coolest stuff, but their price point is right on. I've found a few items on the cheaper side to fit my budget, and I can't wait to pull the boxes full of holiday decor out of the shed and put everything up! I picked up a few bottle brush trees and the wreath below and they will look so good up. I mean, HOW cute is this? If you're interested, click here for the link!

Continuing on with race season, the Rock N Roll San Antonio is coming up in a few weeks, and thanks to marathon training I can safely say I'm actually prepared this time around! It's supposed to be hillier than Houston but that will be good training for Big Sur. 😊
And on the fashion side...PUFFER COATS! They were EVERYWHERE in San Francisco and recently ASOS and Urban had about a million of them. For whatever reason since elementary school I'm really feeling them this year. They'll most likely go by the wayside like every other piece of highly coveted fashion eventually goes, but I don't care, they're cute! Is anyone else digging it too?

Well, it's almost Thanksgiving and besides the family and the food, I am SO HAPPY to watch my favorite Thanksgiving movie of all time....Charlie Brown! Until then, I will be preparing for Thanksgiving on the beach somewhere!

What is your favorite thing about the holidays? 

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Marathon Training: Week 8

I can't believe my first marathon is coming up in January! All those last few years of thinking about it and knowing that I wasn't ready to commit to training for one seemed like forever ago, and now it's real and I couldn't be more excited (and nervous - let's not lie here lol!). For the marathon plan I'm following, I chose one for beginner runners who have about a year of running under their belt. While I'm not a beginner, I wanted to work more on hills, technique and speed and I feel that this plan will allow me to do that to a greater extent.

Week 8 was full of new PRs and records, and it made me so happy to be able to feel like my running is getting better with all that practice. 

The week 8 breakdown went like this:

Monday 10/29: Rest Day - just what this Monday needed! 

Tuesday 10/30: 4 miles at the park today.

Wednesday 10/31: Happy Halloween! I was supposed to do a 1 mile time trial but it was pouring outside so badly so I rescheduled that to later in the week, just ate Chinese food and chilled at home with a movie. 

Thursday 11/1: 4 fast miles at the park today while working on better breathing. I am such a
"bad" breather - you can hear me a mile away and it affects my running. Practicing diaphragmatic breathing has been helping and has already lowered my times.

Friday 11/2: 1 mile time trial today! My time was 8:22, which is a definite PR since I haven't done any speedwork in at least two years lol! I was so happy!

Saturday 11/3: 4.5 miles at Memorial Park with Robyn. We did a slower pace which was nice since the speedwork from the other day had my legs a bit sore.

Sunday 11/4 15 mile long run today! This has been my longest run yet in...well...EVER! WOOHOO!!! Those last few miles were challenging but I got it done! I learned that even though I want to keep running I need to fuel properly, and also to not skip the sunscreen, even when it's cloudy out. There were some people I kept passing on this trail (I did a little over 7 laps at a little over 2 miles a lap), and we gave each other thumbs ups and encouragement each time we passed each other. It was AWESOME! And that feeling of finishing after and thinking of all the Los Cucos I was going to eat was the icing on top of the running cake. 😍

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

RUN & RIDerful Wednesday

It's important to take stock in life's everyday blessings. Sometimes I have so much going on that focusing on the small things make me smile, as well as force me to live in the moment and not take things for granted. My goal is to set aside one day a week to discuss a favorite quote that currently resonates with me when it comes to running, BMX, or just life in general.

This week's thoughts include:


Patience is a virtue that I never quite had growing up. I was always impatient, weather that was to learn a new skill, save money, or get the heck out of my not so fun high school. Through the years, and probably beginning with BMX, I have had to embrace patience. If I wanted to become great at a particular skill like gates or turns, I realized that consistent practice and patience was key. Once I finally got the hang of incorporating a little patience into my life I began to really like it. 

The passion and strength I hold for my favorite hobbies and other areas in my life are awesome, but they only truly last with patience and time. Recently I've been off my bike for what feels like forever, and that has to do with almost constant rain in my area. I was recently asked by someone if I still rode, and of course the answer is yes 😊. However, I am strong and patient enough not to feel like I need to talk about doing something all the time. If I decide to, that's great, but I am secure and patient enough in my love for what I do that I take pride in not feeling like I need to talk myself up when I fall off the grid for a little while. 

Recently having patience has been a challenge. Dealing with waiting for my local tracks to dry up on a consistent basis and dealing with the travel challenges that come with a long distance relationship have me impatiently hoping for a change, but I also know that now is a good time to accomplish so many positive things, and I just have to be.....I'll say it! Patient. 😎😄 

Friday, November 2, 2018

Running A Race That You're Not Trained to Run

You did it! You signed up for a half marathon and you plan on crushing it! Well, a day goes by, then another day, then a YEAR, and you are stuck on the couch one week before race day, freaking out and determined to finish it anyway. After all, what's so bad about running a longer distance race, like a half marathon or a marathon, without training for it? You just might get a little sore the next day, right?
Wrong. And I don't mean that in a Debbie Downer kind of way, either.

There's more to a race than just running it with absolutely no prep. Pushing one's body to do what it has never done may seem heroic and gutsy, and in some instances it is. However, when you aren't faced all of a sudden with doing something out of necessity, and you had that year to train and decided not to, it's not a good idea.

Having been involved in sports, I understand the value of proper training; not only do you get better results that you can be proud of, you also respect your body; health is so important. We only have one body, so why misuse and abuse it with little concern? Like anything else we strive to accomplish in life that's tough, running requires discipline and consistent practice.

Here is what can happen to your body if you don't properly prepare yourself for a half marathon or longer, according to Women's Health Magazine:

"You May Have to Walk... A Lot
Things might start out just fine, and if you're relatively conditioned from other types of exercises, you could cruise along even for the first few miles. Then, your lack of running-specific training will start to catch up to you. Between the elevated heart rate, labored breathing, and muscle fatigue (not to mention some other symptoms that you're about to read about), you will have to slow down, no matter how much desire you have to sustain your pace. "The brain monitors the status of what's going on in your body, including indicators of tissue damage, temperature, hydration and fuel status, electrolyte concentrations, etc.," says Hamilton. "When it senses that things are getting out of hand, it will intervene and force you to reduce the stress on the body." But Hamilton also warns that you shouldn't assume that, worst case, you can just walk it. "Whether you run it, walk it, or crawl it on all fours, 13.1 miles is a long way to go—four hours if you 'just' walk. The word 'just' doesn’t belong in that sentence."

You'd Hurt
During a half, your leg muscles will experience micro-tears, which is what leads to soreness after the fact, even for those who've trained well for the race. The untrained runner is even more prone to these, so aches can begin even while you're still going, and will most certainly be more unpleasant later. You could also suffer from tendon damage, which could be more serious and lasting, leading to tendonitis or tendinosis for long after the race is a distant memory. Stress fractures are also a risk, especially if you have undiagnosed osteopenia (the precursor to osteoporosis). "Going from zero to a half-marathon in one shot places you at a much greater risk than your fellow runners who've gradually trained their bodies to withstand the mile after mile of pounding," says Hamilton.
You Might Feel Really Hot (or Really Cold)
Temperature regulation is a challenge for an exerting body, especially one that's sweating up a storm. If you suddenly get the chills after you've been working up a sweat, you may be depleted of electrolytes. While this can happen to any runner who doesn’t do a good job rehydrating or refueling her body, it's especially of concern if you haven't trained your system for this type of endurance activity. "When you're not well conditioned, you tend to sweat a very concentrated sweat, meaning more electrolytes are excreted than from someone who is well conditioned," says Hamilton. "Your body hasn't learned to conserve those resources like someone who's done a lot of long runs."  Untrained runners are not only less efficient at temperature regulation, they're likely generating more heat because they're working harder to sustain their pace than someone who put in the miles beforehand—meaning they're more likely to overheat, as well.
Your Head Could Hurt, and the World Could Spin
Disorientation, dizziness, and lightheadedness all are possibilities if you become dehydrated, your electrolytes go completely out of whack, and/or your body goes through all of its available sources of energy-sustaining glucose. If you feel any symptoms affecting your head, trust us, it's not all in your head. You need an aid station and electrolytes (salt and other minerals), and/or quick-digesting sugar pronto. Even still, you may not be able to continue. "Bottom line, you have to respect your body and listen to its signals," Hamilton says. "Pain is your body's way to tell you that something's amiss. If you ignore that, you do so at your own peril.""
What are your thoughts on (not) training before a race?