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Archive for April, 2012

Dear La Jolla Half Marathon,

I have heard stories about you ever since I moved here almost four years ago and ran my first half marathon.  I didn’t hear about your pretty views or running through neighborhoods with street names named after story books and fairy tales.  No, I heard about you and your hills.  Not only the monster hill you give runners half way through the race, but all the other ones you scatter here and there just to make sure the runners know you are still thinking about them.   I skillfully avoided signing up to run you for the last three and a half years by convientantly always working the weekend you came into town. I do not know what came over me this year, but suddenly I had the weekend free and I knew we had to meet.  Up until the day before, I still was not sure if I was going to see you.  You require a lot of hard work and dedication in order to hang with you, and ( I know you don’t want to hear this) but I just did not have the time to give you what you needed. But not to worry, as you know, I still showed up.  I knew you wouldn’t see me in my best form, and you would probably break me down, but I knew it was time that we finally met after all these years.  I’m not going to lie, I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to see you all the way through, that I might have to walk, or that my splits would be really slow (In case you didn’t know, I have been running really well lately!) But I decided to take a chance on you anyways.

The weather you gave all of us this morning was perfect!  Nice and cool (but not cold!) and cloudy.  I had no idea how popular you were!  There were cars lined up for miles trying to get to you.  Luckily, my hubby knows some secret ways around and got me to your starting point in plenty of time.  I love how prompt you are! No making all of us runners wait around, you started right on time.

I love the inspiration that you showed me right away!  A runner who was blind, another runner with a prosthetic leg, a team of heart transplant survivors, and another runner who had last 140 pounds running a half marathon every week for a year!  It was like you were telling me to get over my ego and stop worrying about my pace and if I could finish without walking- you showed me runners who had overcome way more than me to be here and I thank you for that!

I knew you could tell I was holding back the first mile, and that even though I wanted to run faster, I had to try really hard to not to go out too fast because I had a long road in front of me.  The first mile was familiar territory, the same course of my 10K in March!  It’s amazing when there are not 70 mph winds blowing how much more managable that first hill is!  I had wanted to keep my miles around a 10:00min/mile pace.  I knew that would feel way slow at first, but would hopefully help me make it to the end!  I cruise through mile 1 at 9:58, with my best pace in that mile 9:09.   Mile 2 came and went by 9 minutes and 40 seconds later – my best pace here was 8:18!  I felt myself going to fast so tried to keep it under control.

At mile 3, you showed us your first hill.  It was a little one but oh so steep! I slowed down to 10:07 pace, still feeling good going up the hill.

Right as we headed into that downhill, is when, LJ, I decided you hated me.  I was all excited to be cruising downhill when all of sudden the worst pain I had ever experienced while running hit me on the outside of my left knee.  LJ, I felt like you had sent someone with a hammer to slice my IT band apart.  I got really scared and stopped for a second, hoping it would go away, but every time I started up again, it got worse!  I knew in my head that there might be a chance that I may not finish you, but I didn’t think I would have to part ways as early as mile 4!  I run/walked mile 4 and finished in at 10:37.  I saw the monstrous mountain that is Torrey Pines in front of me, and I wanted so badly to try to conquer it.  I couldn’t quit now!  I knew I was risking a potentially major injury, but my stubborness was higher than ever.  I even managed to finish mile 5 and my fastest pace of the day – 9:51, all the time while it pain.

I started the climb at Torrey Pines, and amazingly, NO MORE PAIN! Not one single bit.  My pace slowed tremendously, but I realized that for the rest of this race, the hills were going to be my friend and the downhills were going to be my enemy. LJ, how did you know, but you the route you gave us ran right by the very spot I got engaged at!  It made that yucky hill all that much better.  Could you see how happy I was when I reached the top and I did not stop even once to walk??  I felt like I could finish the race right there and be happy.  In fact, I was confused why we had to keep running after we conquered that hill.  Wasn’t that enough for you?  I guess you wanted to see what we were all made of.  Miles 6 through 8 had the most elevation gain, as you could tell through my pace of 13:16, 11:06, and 10:57.

The next three miles my knee pain became more dull like so I was able to pick up my pace a bit (but not too much, I was really hoping to finish you at this point).  I made the decision to walk through all the water stations and stretch a little bit.  In my mind, I thought that would help things! I took a GU at mile 10 (mmm peanut butter) and I appreciated you being nice to me for a few miles.  I finished miles 9, 10, and 11 and 10:06, 10:00, and 10:12 respectively, with my best pace in all those miles being around 8:20-8:40.  You even included on your course the spot where we got married almost 11 months ago to the day!! I liked that too.

Mile 12 came and I swear you made that longest mile of my life LJ!  After my stop at the last water station, that excruiating pain in my left knee came back ten fold.  Thank you for giving me a hill at the end.  While everyone else was cursing you, I was so happy because that meant no knee pain.  However, you ended us on the steepest downhill ever.  It was so bad I almost started crying!  I even had to stop 100 yards before the finish to walk because it hurt so bad.  Yes, right by the finish – this was normally when I would be sprinting! But not today.  When I realized that walking didn’t even make it matter, I hobbled on through to the finish, limping all the way.  My mile 12 pace was 11:59 (pain all the way) and my finishing pace was 10:02.  I stopped my garmin during the times I was stretching at the water stations and walking through them, because I just wanted to know my average running time.  My total running distance ended up being 12.91 miles in a time of  2:17:54.  My total elapsed time was 2:25 (aka my official chip time).

LJ, thank you for teaching me many lessons today.  You taught me how to be humble and let go of my ego and I learned that just because you may have to stop and walk a little bit, completing 13.1 miles in any form is a pretty awesome accomplishment.  You showed me that no matter how bad I think I have it, there are others who have overcome far worse and are still out there kicking it.  You taught me that you really can make it to the top (of a hill) if you really set your mind to it.  You also taught me that I need a rest day and which is why the remainder of my day will be spent on the couch with frozen bags vegetables stuck to my knees.  I also please ask that you didn’t leave me permanmently damaged.  I have some fun races coming up I want to do!

Until next time –

Kait xoxo

La Jolla Half Marathon

Garmin Time (for 12.91 miles) 2:17:54

Chip Time: 2:25

Clock Time: 2:28

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Changes and Happenings.

Spring is a time of change, growth, and renewal.  Even though there is not a true winter time in So Cal, I always welcome the changing of the season to spring – the warmer weather and longer days comes with a new sense of motivation and determination for me.  This spring has brought with it the most change for me and life that I have seen probably since graduating college four years ago and moving to San Diego.  Here’s a snippet of everything that has been happening!

Job: This is probably the biggest change and transition that I am going through.  After four years at my current position, my contract is up is a couple of weeks.  It is crazy how fast the past four years have flown by working where I am.  When I moved out to San Diego for the position four years ago I could not imagine the professional growth and development I would acheive, or the amazing work relationships I would make.  When you are nurse, you commonly hear that your co-workers become your family.  I was lucky enough to find that where I work. As for what I am doing next, I will still be working a labor and delivery nurse.  Right now I cannot imagine doing anything else.  As for where I will be doing it, I am not sure!  When a transition period comes up in life, it is always the battle between branching out and trying something new, or remaining in a comfortable spot and continuing growing and learning there.  I am excited and nervous to see where I end up!

Yoga:  I have been practicing yoga for the past 2 years or so, and developed a regular practice (3-4 times a week) about a year ago.  When I was planning out this spring, I knew I had many vacation hours I had to use up or I would lose them.  The hubby and I talked so much about using this time to travel, a passion of both of ours, but ever since the fall I kept getting drawn to the idea of completing a yoga teacher training program.  The idea seemed very intimidating to me as I am still quite new to yoga myself, but I just couldn’t get the thought of doing a teacher training program out of my head.  It’s like when you are shopping and you see an amazing dress, you leave without buying it, but can’t stop thinking about it for days and days.  That’s usually a sign that you should get it.  That was the approach I took with this idea of teacher training.  As much as I wanted to get out and travel, I knew if I didn’t follow my gut and do this training now, it would never happen.  It would most likely be a long time before I had this much flexibility in my work life to allow me to complete and focus on a teacher training program.  Currently, I am half way through the program.  It is a lot of work, but I am loving every second of  it.  I am required to practice yoga 5-6 times a week on my own.  My body is slowly being broken down and built back up, and I am learning to be humble with myself and realize I cannot push myself as hard as I would outside of teacher training when I am only practicing three times a week.  I currently have a pulled muscle in my back which has forced me to slow down my practice even more, but slowly I am starting to shift my focus inwards and dive deeper into the internal aspects of the yoga practice.  It is still hard, but I am working on it.  Besides the individual classes I have to attend, I have training sessions twice a week with a great group of people.  I can honestly say I enjoy everyone I am completing this program with and its wonderful to have such a great support system.  When I graduate the program, I am still not sure what I want to do – start teaching right away, or engage is some more learning.  I honestly change my mind every single day!  One avenue I do want to explore is getting certified in prenatal yoga, as that will be a perfect blend of my passion for yoga and my knowledge of what it is like for a woman to be in labor!  I hope to share more of my journey of yoga on this blog in the coming future.

Running:  With the amount of time I am investing into my teacher training, running has taken a bit of  back seat currently.  I am loving doing my weekend races and seeing myself PR, it gives me such a rush and a sense of accomplishment as I never thought I could be running as fast as I have been!  I had hoped I could keep my mileage up during my yoga training, but after the first couple of weeks I learned I would be killing my body if I tried to do that.  I needed some rest.  I have a half marathong scheduled for this Sunday, but with my lack of training, I am not sure if I will be running it.  I am fine at shorter distances, but 13.1 miles is far, and even with all my cross training, I don’t want to put my body at risk.  I have two smaller races in May, and another half in August, so I may set my sights on that one.  I know if  I don’t run on Sunday it will be the third time missing out on a half this year, but for me it is more important to complete a race healthy and smartly, as opposed to running it just to say I did, or write about it on here.  I still love running more than anything and there is nothing better than getting out to do a quick three or four mile run with no pressure.  I am excited for August and want to train properly and smartly for it.

Crossfit:  I am still loving crossfit, but, like running, has taken a back seat to the yoga training right now.  I started going to a different time slot at my crossfit gym, and I love the coach.  Even after just one session with me he knows what I need to work on.  He is also an endurance coach and a lot of the members who come to his session are endurance athletes, so I am excited to have him help with my running.

Family Life: The one year anniversary is coming up and things are great!  We love having a puppy and have a nice vacation planned for the beginning of June.

“The only constant in life is change” – Fracois de la Rouchefoudcauld  … Bring it on! 🙂

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This will make you want to get up a LIVE (and travel).

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Super cute running commercial by Nike!

And the pink shoes! Love.

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On Saturday April 7th I ran the ACT! for military families 5K/10K to benefit families with children with autism.  The race was held around Fiesta Island in Mission Bay.

I am calling this is the 10K that wasn’t because the distance my garmin recorded was only 5.84 miles…… Yeah. Not cool.

I stayed home sick from work the day before with a nasty head cold.  I debated staying home to rest instead of running this event, but it was a gorgeous Saturday morning and I figured the sunshine would cure me.

The race began at 7:30AM and packet pickup was held before hand.  There was plenty of parking at the event, it just involved running a mile to get to the start line.  Easy way to warm up, right?  I was able to get my race number and timing chip easily and waited around for about 10 minutes before all the 10K runners were called to the starting line at about 7:20.  A race that tries to start on time – I was already liking this.

There were probably about 200 or so 10K runners.  We all gathered at the start line, and then some weird warm up happened.  There were also a couple speakers thanking everyone for coming out to support the cause.  All the runners finally took off about 7:40.

I was still coming off my PR high from last week and was excited to see what this race would bring.  However, since I was also under the weather, I was not expecting anything earth shattering.

Mile One  8:23 pace

I felt great at the start of the race.  I think I felt myself going out too fast ( I was running under 8:00) so I tried to slow it down.  I had to keep reminding myself this was a 10K, not a 5K, and needed to pace myself.  The first mile marker matched my Garmin and I finished right around 8:20, and I was happy with that.  I felt good but not like I pushed it too much.

Mile Two 8:42 pace

I was still feeling good, but was very confused when we passed mile marker number 2 and my Garmin said we were only at 1.66 miles.  That’s more than a little bit off. I hoped it was just a one time mistake.  Half way through mile 2 my body reminded me that I was still sick.  My lungs were getting tight and my nose would not stop running.  I knew I had to slow it down so I could actually finish the race.

Mile Three 9:28 pace

Yes, I slowed it down a bunch.  I figured I could give myself a break and pick it up for the last half of the race.  It was frustrating seeing runners that I was way ahead begin to pass me, but I had to keep reminding myself that my body was not at 100% .  Alot of this race was a mental mind game for me.

Mile Four 8:58 pace 

I was able to pick it up a little bit for this mile. I really was trying to focus on my breathing like this girl and this girl taught me to do last week, but when you can’t breath in and out of your nose, its a little bit hard.  And since I was mainly mouth breathing for about an hour my lips and mouth were sooo dry, it was gross.  There was a water station halfway through the course but it did little to help me.

Mile Five 10:02 pace

And this is the point where I almost died.  Not only could I not breathe correctly, I was having awful pain in my right inside ankle and through my right side body.  I usually am able to get rid of side pains when I run through deep breathing, but as you know, I could not breath period because of my cold.  I am blaming the ankle pain on needing new sneakers about three races ago.  It’s now on the top of my to do list.  During this mile I was yelling at myself for getting out of bed, thinking rest would have been a better option.  I couldn’t tell if I was more upset because my whole body hurt or because my pace royally sucked.

Mile “6” 9:22 pace 

I tried to power through at the end, and I at least kept it under a 10:00 mile pace.  I was annoyed when I crossed the finished line at the distance really was only 5.8 miles.  The mile markers were off the whole time.  My Garmin time for those 5.8 miles was 53:26.  My PR for the 10K had been around 57:00, so I like to think that I still would have PR’ed if the race distance was correct.  I finished annoyed and feeling like crap in general, so I really didn’t care at that point.

There were a decent amount of vendors set up for the after race portion.  We got bottles of gatorade, cliff bars, oranges, bananas, muffins, and bread.  Not too shabby for a smaller type of event.

Even though my race time was less than spectacular, I decided to look on the event website to see how I placed.  I got really confused because apparantly there was a 10K race, and then a modified 10K race. What the heck is a modified 10K?  Wasn’t running only 5.8 miles a modified 10k?  I don’t know.  I guess I ran the actual 10K race because my results were listed underneath there.  According to Gemini timing, my official time was 52:51.  I came in 2nd in my age group, 14th overall and 8th female.  Um, what?  I guess the hundreds of people who passed me were only doing the modified 10K.  I’m so confused.

The rest of the day after the race was over was great – I spent the rest of the morning paddle boarding and doing outside yoga in the sunshine. My cold got worst, but with the warm sunshine, it didn’t matter.

Looking forward to another 5K this weekend!  Let’s hope my body cooperates.

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Friday: Rest

Saturday: 60 Minute’s Beginners’ Yoga

Sunday: 5K Run/75 Minutes Anusara Yoga

Monday: Rest:

Tuesday: Crossfit

20 Minutes AMRAP:

700 M Run

15 Ring Dip Pushups (modified on knees)

25 ab-mat sit ups

35 Double Unders

Total Rounds: 2+15 pushups+ 25 situps+2 double unders

60 Minute’s Surfer’s Flow Yoga

Wednesday: 60 Minutes Vinyasa Yoga

Thursday: 60 Minutes Vinyasa Yoga

Friday: Rest

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March in Photos

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[Sailing on the Bay]

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[Temecula: Wine Tasting]

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[Wine Tasting]

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[Wine Tasting]

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[Crossfit]

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[ Girls on the Go 10K]

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[Yoga teacher training]

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[Hot Chocolate 15K]

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[Kona at 4 months ]

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