Monday, February 25, 2019

Big Sur Marathon (9 weeks out)

(A.K.A. Cramps and Lethargy and the Marathon Countdown...Oh My!)

Well, it's been interesting.

This last week has been a good mixture of actually training well and having cramps to the point where laying on the couch all day became completely acceptable. I hope that's not TMI for some (sorry not sorry), but every once in a while it completely messes with my well cultivated and carefully thought out training plans. All I want to do is knock myself out with a Benadryl and sleep it off. Of course this has happened before and it'll happen again, but each time I get SO frustrated at myself for not being able to pull through on my training plans, so right now I'm trying to give it a few days and just wait it out.

This week has been a seesaw of positives and negatives where training has been involved, and I want to be real here and not make anything out to be like it's been perfectly smooth sailing this entire time.

Training for me usually means sticking pretty well to a plan, but sometimes things happen that derail those plans, and after an initial freak out about not being prepared, I take a deep breathe, shake myself out of it and get back on track as quickly as I can. Things happen, right? They come up and have to be dealt with, whatever they are, and we deal with them the best we can. It's really all we can do.

But because this has been a different week, this week's breakdown will be different too. πŸ˜„

THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN TRAINING THIS WEEK:


POSITIVE:



  1. I got to go visit my boyfriend and train with him for our upcoming marathon, yay! 😎😍
  2. I incorporated weights into my training, including squats and jumps
  3. I did speedwork for the 3rd week in a row! (I'm on fire here!!)
  4. I got to run with my boyfriend this weekend (when we're treadmill racing I still get beat by his fast mileage haha!)
  5. I got to run in some perfect 50 degree weather Thursday
  6. The Woodlands Half Marathon this weekend will get to be my long run, so that's cool! 
  7. So far my new shoes seem to be doing the trick! No pain at all. 

NEGATIVE:




  1. Cramps suck. I had to take a few days (including today) off just to feel normal again. 
  2. I had allergies SO bad last week, probably because our trees and plants are already blooming and acting like it's Spring. It killed my running for a few days earlier last week because I just couldn't breathe at all. 
  3. I'm wondering about being fully prepared for the Woodlands Half next weekend because my long run (10 miles) didn't happen this week/weekend. 


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

RUN & RID-erful 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 or theme that currently resonates with me when it comes to running, BMX or just life in general.

This week's thoughts include:

LIVE YOUR LIFE FOR YOU😊

(WAAAY EASIER SAID THAN DONE, RIGHT?!)

https://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/have-the-courage-live-life-true-yourself.html
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I don't know about you, but I can be a worrier. When I was a kid I'd worry about anything and everything, weather it was something that deviated from my sense of normalcy or someone who didn't like me for whatever reason. Teenage mean girls can be a tricky thing to navigate in middle and high school, and in some cases, the BMX track. The more I grew and experienced things the less I stopped worrying about what people thought and the more I let go of any idea that I should live up to someone else's expectations. Having that life experience allows us to put things into perspective.

You might agree or disagree with the following statement, but here's what I've come up with:

Caring so much about how you're viewed by others, or if someone likes you, ultimately gets you nowhere besides forcing you to live a life for others instead of yourself. 

Live your life for you. You can't please everybody, and it's useless to try. The right people will be there for you. Of course I also mean you should care about the people around you, but don't live your life to please them. Everyone has different paths to travel, so respect their journey, and if you don't get that same respect from them then move the heck on.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Marathon Training - Big Sur (10 weeks out)

I can't believe my 2nd marathon is already happening in April! I'm a little less nervous this time around, and I went over things to figure out what worked and what didn't. Since I don't have as long to begin to completely re-train with mileage, etc., I'm taking an intermediate training plan and modifying it to meet my needs. I want to work more on hills, technique and speed and I feel that this allows me to reach those goals in a shorter time period. 


10 weeks out


Monday 2/11 Rest day today. I tried going to the gym and did about a mile of speedwork until I gave up and went home. I should have listened to my body in the first place. Slept about 10 hours. 

Tuesday 2/12 6 miles at the park. I took my new Brooks Ghosts out for a spin and was really impressed with this newer model. The stiffer soles were just what I needed and I shaved nearly a minute of my mile time!



Wednesday 2/13 Weights today, mostly core and arms at home. 

Thursday 2/14 6 more miles in the park today. My time was a bit slower but it was also a lot warmer (70 degrees) and pretty windy. It was a great run though, I felt unstoppable! 

Sweaty post run photo? You bet! Haha!

Friday 2/15 Racing at Pearland BMX. I missed this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What my car's backseat looks like on weekends πŸ’“

Saturday 2/16 Spin class with a friend today. Working on those quick feet and uphill climbs! 

When you feel like flying

Sunday 2/17 "Long Run Day" 10 miles in the park. I stopped a lot on this one. My body hated the humidity and I find it's always hard to push myself during these runs, but I'm really proud because I didn't give in and I got it done! 


Tiffany blue diy nails for today!


That was a tiring week! McLovin votes for nap time. πŸ’“πŸ˜Έ


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Budgeting My Life

Happy Saturday! The (work) week has finally come to an end and we all survived Valentine's Day weather or not we love it, hate it, or something in between. Since my boyfriend knows I've never really put much emphasis on V Day, he surprised me with beautiful flowers one day before Valentine's, and told me "these are NOT Valentine's Day flowers, they are "just because" flowers, which made my whole week anyway. He's just really thoughtful like that.

Aren't they just the...beautifulest??? 😍 Not a bad backdrop either. πŸ˜‹


Since this year has started out with a bang in the running department with my first marathon, followed by much needed track time and now training for ANOTHER marathon in April, the need to go over my budget (both money AND time) became pretty insistent.

www.pinterest.com
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 Training for a marathon (and longer) is like nothing else when it comes to time put in, and with that one event everything else has to take a temporary backseat.

The Big Sur Marathon is taking place 1.) In April - that's Spring Break time, meaning hotel rates are sky high and 2.) is in a small town, meaning we will have to fly into San Jose, rent a car, then drive the hour and a half to our destination. This all means that this race will be the big trip of the year, both in training time and fun money. Add to that one ANOTHER destination race (a half marathon) in San Diego in the Summer and our year is pretty much planned out. (Don't get me wrong, I'm still super pumped to go!)

www.pinterest.com
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This year most of the further away BMX races, including nationals just won't fit the bill, 😭and it really bummed me out until I talked to a good friend, S, who's on his own way to crushing the national circuit this year (he's on FIRE with all those podium finishes). He reminded me that it's OK to switch some things up, and that even though this year's not going to be like many other years, it's still a big accomplishment. It also makes me so grateful for BMX (I still have TONS of locals to race this year 😍), and grateful for the next time I get to be on the national circuit!

www.pinterest.com
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www.pinterest.com
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Budgeting, while it wasn't always a priority, is now very big in my life if I want to do the things I love. While I can't do it all, and it has allowed me to be very grateful and to work super hard for every competition and never to take anything for granted.

www.pinterest.com
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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

RIDE & RUN-derful 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 or theme that currently resonates with me when it comes to running, BMX or just life in general.

This week's thoughts include:

NEVER GIVE UP 

(For anyone who is in need of a little pep talk, keep reading.)


Champions aren't the ones who always win; they are the ones who lose about a million times, who always get back up and try again and who show up over and over and over, tirelessly. They're the ones who keep at it even when the day or the week or the month or the year isn't going their way. They are the ones who start winning and doing well, then catch the attention of others who think that they came out of nowhere. Keep showing up, keep working hard, and keep getting back up when things aren't going your way. People may not understand why you are relentless in the face of failure, and when you do well they may not understand the hard work you put in, chalking you up to a "natural" or anything external. Anything to avoid accepting that you worked hard for everything you have. I've experienced it, and I'm perfectly okay with whatever someone else wants to think. In the end it doesn't affect me. Keep doing you because no matter how hard that can be, it's a lot easier than trying to please everyone else. Keep rocking your life!

Monday, February 11, 2019

Superheroes Vs. Villians 10k

This last Sunday a friend and I got together to catch up and run a 10k (12k for us, but I'll explain later😜). The Heroes Vs. Villains run an inaugural half marathon and 10k put on by Heart and Sole races, a group out of Houston, TX and benefitting the Snowdrop Foundation. I originally signed up for this one because a friend of mine is on her way to getting back in shape and getting her mileage up and mentioned that she would like to run it. However, after I signed up she decided to run the Rodeo Run with my other friends instead. Le sigh. Luckily, another friend of mine had signed up as well so we got to run it together. I ran as a villain while she ran as a superhero, so that was pretty fun!

https://runsignup.com/Race/TX/Houston/SuperHeroesVsVillains12Marathon10kandfamily1milefunrunwalk
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The cost of the race was pretty average for a 10k/half marathon four weeks out, with the 10k being $40 and the half running a good $80. Usually for that cost the medals are a little different, but in this case the medals were the exact same.

In anticipation of the craziness race morning can bring, I stopped by Run On! located on Gray St. in River Oaks to pick up our race packets. For the first time ever I also decided to get my gait analyzed, and picked up some Brooks Ghosts (I already ordered some from Brooks, but since I saved 20% on these, those will be going back). I got our packets, which was super simple and easy, not to mention everyone there was really nice.

My new Brooks Ghost 11's. Used them on race day and they were AWESOME, with more room in the toe box than the Brooks Launch.
On race morning I got up at 5:00 AM with the help of my alarm clock and my boyfriend's wake up call. I got up, got ready and was at MacGregor park, near my old university, in plenty of time. It was a smaller race than we were expecting, and there was tons of parking. It followed the same path that the 2018 Women's Quarter Marathon did, except the half marathon did two loops.

Once we got some last minute path instructions and got going, it was tough to pass anyone. That combined with our tiredness from training and past races meant that we ran at a comfortable conversational pace and just enjoyed the run. There were plenty of water and Gatorade stops along the way, but no snack stops which was fine for the 10k but could be useful for the half. There were plenty of police directing traffic at the roadways (but always watch crossing a road). I thanked most if not all of them on the way and they were so nice!

The only issue we had was the cut off for the 10k runners to turn into the parking lot to get back to the finish line. The volunteers were talking and not directing, and the 10k sign was turned toward the road. We figured this out after talking to a girl running the half and realizing that our watches had almost 7 miles on them. We ended up going a little longer than needed and turning in, so our 10k turned into a 12k haha! Really we ended up running 7.63 ish miles total.

Post run with our medals and smiles πŸ˜ƒ

After we finished and got our water and our cool pop-arty medals, we headed to a taco truck set up and purchased a couple of the best breakfast tacos ever. The majority of the food at this race was limited to apples, bananas and juice drinks, and we were taco level hungry lol.

Moon Rooster, the NASA themed taco truck. YUM. 
All in all, this race was put on very well. Everyone was so nice and it was a great excuse to get out and run on what felt to both of us like a lazy Sunday. I feel that the cost of the run itself was a little high for such a small race, but the medals were bomb and the theme was really cute. I think that the 10k and the half bibs should have been different colors; that might have helped prevent the turn around confusion we had. The volunteers also couldn't help us out when we asked them where to go when we got off course, but is it a new run, and like every new thing kinks have to be worked out.

Such an awesome medal! 
This is a race I would recommend for its cute theme, awesome medals and friendly community. Way to rock it Heart and Sole!! You made my Sunday Runday a good one! It was also cool seeing everybody in their costumes. I know, I dropped the costume ball on this one, but I didn't feel like making anything. These last few months have been really tiring.


The rest of Sunday Runday went a little something like this....



Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Start to Marathon #2 Training

IT'S MARATHON #2 TIME...ALREADY! πŸ˜„

www.bigsurmarathon.org
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In my wildest dreams I honestly never saw myself running a marathon, let alone enjoying one or training for TWO back to back, but here we all are, and thus begins the first week of marathon training for race #2! Dun dun duuunnnn.

I know enough now from training for the first one about things that worked (and didn't), such as:

What worked: 



  1. Sticking to a schedule. I found a good beginner schedule and just tried my best to stick to it. This was important especially around taper time and when I wasn't really sure that a 20 mile long run would allow me to successfully finish 26.2. 
  2. Never skip a long run. Even if I had to miss a short run day, I tried my hardest not to miss a long run day. 
  3. Diet - keeping properly fueled and limiting "junky" foods made a BIG difference in recovery and performance. 
  4. Not trying anything new on race day- everything I used was tried and true, old and somewhat beat up.
  5. Getting enough sleep. I LOVE to stay up late at night, but for the last few months I forced myself to go to bed at a good time, and it definitely helped when I had 8-13 mile runs scheduled after work! 

What didn't work:


  1. Training for mileage over speed. While I was able to finish my race, my time wasn't as great as it would have been had I been incorporating speed workouts. 
  2. Not cross-training or switching anything up. After awhile it became solely about mileage, and I began to get dis-enheartened and bored. I'm all about the cross training now, because after all, we do this for FUN. 
  3. Not running anything past 20 miles prior to race day. I know now that 20 miles is the distance you need to hit to ensure finishing the race, but let me explain. My shoes didn't seem to like me much after 20 miles, and now I'm dealing with a toenail with an uncertain future. That said, if I had run 21 or 22 miles, I might - MIGHT- have noticed the issue before hand. As of now I will be trying out a different shoe for the longer distances for awhile. 
  4. Worrying. Way too much. Trying anything new for the first time comes with some anxiety, and this was one of those occasions. However, I put way too much pressure on myself and didn't feel that pressure loosen its grip until I was on the route. I'm not really sure why I was doubting my abilities in the first place. When I was doing the race I really enjoyed it, but even the night before my stomach had some major butterflies. I think this is one of those "hindsight is 20/20" type things. If I could do it again I wouldn't be nervous, just content with the thought that I would try my best and whatever would happen would happen. Que sera sera. 

Big Sur is going to be a WHOLE new beast, hence the "I'm never going to learn not to be nervous" hindsighty thing I talked about above- but maybe I'll be a little LESS nervous and that will be very helpful. This marathon is big on elevation, so lots more hill training will be involved. I also have to make sure to keep up my pace, since the time limit is no joke (for me at least).


That said, I'm excited to train for it and to incorporate cross-training and speed-work into the mix. I'm running the innagural Heroes and Villains 10k this Sunday (I get to run as a VILLIAN - woohoo!!) and the Woodlands Half Marathon after that (my code is ERIN15 if you want a discount😊), so it will be good to see where I am time wise. I'll be blogging about my journey in the meantime, mostly because I like writing and I like to have something to look back on for progress. I also love reading other running blogs and following other's along on their journey as well.

A few months ago someone told me that while we enjoy succeeding at things we work hard to attain, a good part of the enjoyment lies in the journey, and to that I couldn't agree more. Here's to the next races, the next daily runs, the next everything and to the journey above all!

http://www.bradyswinewarehouse.com/event/bradys-bubbles-a-holiday-champagne-tasting/
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Friday, February 1, 2019

1st BMX Practice of the Year

This last weekend I got to go to Pearland BMX to practice and see my team and friends. I haven't been on my bike at all in 7 months due to some rainy days, and eventually when the mileage got high from marathon training my legs just wouldn't go anywhere else. It felt SO great to ride again and I'm crossing my fingers for next weekend as well since it's supposed to be about 70 degrees outside. I think I'll start signing up to actually race again, because I'll never feel ready and like I talked about in my post this last Tuesday on training schedules, there's no place like the deep end of the pool. πŸ˜‹πŸ˜Ž

https://www.redbubble.com/people/mrtartbottom/works/35553298-the-wizard-of-oz-dorothys-shoes-yellow-brick-road
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As always, 4 wheels move my body but 2 wheels move my soul. This has been my BMX mantra, and I know if you ride as well you feel the same way. πŸ™‹

I'd also like to give a BIG thank you to my sponsors for 2019!! To visit their websites click on the names above their logos below: 









Sunday Funday:

Got to chill with some of my team, including a new member for 2019! Love Gold's Gym!!!

I'm the one behind the gate in the pink shoes, with 2 of my awesome teammates and all of these wonderful BMXers 😊.
Thank you, Pearland BMX for the photo! You guys rock!