Running on Vacation

Happy Friday everyone!

Tomorrow is the first of day my 11 day hiatus from work aka vacation time!! I have 2 days off in San Francisco so I can get all of my packing/shopping/laundry/running in before my boyfriend, Rich, and I take off for Florida on Sunday night. It’s going to be a 9 day trip full of beaches, family, weddings, jiu-jitsu tournaments, Disney World and/or Universal Studios and I can…not…wait! I’ve never been to Florida before, so I’m super excited. I AM in the middle of marathon training, which is a little cause for concern-with all of the goings-on, how am I going to maintain my training schedule?? I am going to do my best to set alarms and get up just a little bit earlier to get my running in, but being on vacation I know this may not be easy. I’m going to give it my best shot and hopefully stay on the wagon!

Which leaves me with my next order of business-my blog. I’ve been a little hit-or-miss when it comes to blogging as-is lately because my computer is not functional at the moment. So I steal Rich’s when I can :) I probably won’t be able to post until I get back (I am not talented enough to create a good post using my iPhone app), so if you want to follow my vacation and running exploits, you can follow me on Instagram or Twitter (and I will follow you back!).

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Speaking of being hit-or miss…I haven’t properly thanked Cat over at Cat’s Mewsings for nominating me for a Liebster Award! The running community is so crazy supportive of one another, and I’ve found such a home in the blog world with tons of other running bloggers. I feel so honored that she thought of me for this award! Now go check out her site!

Well, I’m off to work for the evening…Let’s get this weekend started, shall we?

Cross-trailing

love to run, but I think it’s always good to mix up the routine. This past week I took advantage of the beautiful spring weather we’ve been having in Northern California and hit the hiking trails! On Monday, my boyfriend, Rich, and I had a day off together-which is super rare! We decided to make the most of it and take my greyhound, Emmi, on a day hike along the Coastal Trail at Land’s End. I’ve written about this place before, but it’s a gorgeously scenic route along the coast of San Francisco.

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You can see the Golden Gate Bridge!

The combination of warm sunshine and breezy ocean air was heavenly…

LandsEndMy2Favs LandsEndTrail

On Sunday, I planned another day hike with girlfriends. This time we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge…

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…and hiked trails in the Marin Headlands.

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View from above!

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It was another gorgeous day outside, and quite an adventure. We got lost at one point, met tons of adorable dogs and even narrowly escaped a snake! Okay, so the snake was probably 10 feet away-but that’s too close for comfort for me! We ended our day with brunch at the Dipsea Cafe:

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It isn’t brunch without mimosas!

I personally think hiking is GREAT cross-training. Exercise that doesn’t feel like work is the best KIND of exercise, am I right?

-J

9 miles in Napa Valley

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Yesterday, I decided to get out of The City and drive to Napa Valley for my 9 mile long run! That’s right-wine country. You know how this is going to end, right?

I solo road-tripped from San Francisco and it took an hour and fifteen minutes to get to Napa. I had no real plan of where to run, so I spent another hour scoping out my running route. I finally found a place to park, and decided I would run toward the Silverado Trail. Even though wine country is relatively sparse, most of the space is taken up by vineyards and I couldn’t find any runner-friendly trails. So, I ended up running in bicycle lanes along side roads and highways.

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There wasn’t a lot of traffic, but I used extreme caution and refrained from using headphones.

I haven’t run in Napa since the 2013 Napa Valley Marathon, and it was good to be back. Running amongst the grape vines and mountains is beautifully epic.

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The weather was much hotter than I am used to, so I kept my pace comfortably slow for most of the run. The sun started to set during the last 2 miles of my run and I actually finished at a much faster pace than I started, so at least I ended on a high note!

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I planned on grabbing a bite to eat and glass of wine in Napa before heading home, but I was bright red and completely drenched in sweat! Napa is a fancy place, full of fancy restaurants and fancy people…so I decided to spare everyone from my rancidness. I stopped at a market instead, and picked up a nice bottle of wine. I made the hour and fifteen minute drive back home, and I ended my day in Napa appropriately so with a fantastic glass of wine with dinner:

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T-Vine Grenache..my favorite!

A successful Sunday runday, I would say :)

-J

 

 

 

Challenge Accepted! (I promise this is about running, not TV!)

Is anyone else still recovering from last night’s emotional roller coaster ending of  How I Met Your Mother?? Seriously though, I wasn’t a long time fan of the show and I only started watching 2 years ago. But a Netflix marathon got me hooked. I don’t like reading spoilers online so if you are behind I will just say this-beautiful ending IMO :)

ChallengeAccepted

Anywho, on to running! I wanted to talk about my April challenges. I’m in the midst of training for my second full marathon, and this time I’m determined to finish stronger than the last. I’ve taken on a few additional challenges this month as added motivation to stay on track and amp up my training.

Challenge #1: The ATWRBR

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I, along with about 40 other runners and bloggers, are in the middle of the Around the World Running Blog relay. If you don’t know what this is, you can find information on Kyla’s website, Early Bird Fitness. At the beginning of the relay, I challenged myself to run 160 miles (257.4K) in the months of March and April. So far I have run 71.7 miles (115.3K), leaving 88.3 (142.1K) left to complete. With almost 5 whole weeks left in the relay, I’m right on track to meet my goal!

Challenge #2: This Chick Loves to Run

At the beginning of the year, I had hoped to try and run a race every month. I have so much going on in the month of April, I’m not going to have time to run any kind of official race. SO! What to do? I signed up for my first virtual race! Fellow blogger/Nor-Cal runner Tatjana has been raising money for Team in Training for several years now, and she created a virtual relay race to act as a fundraiser. Check out No Heels, Just Sneakers for more info. For a small donation, I signed up for a 26.2 K race, which I will complete by the end of April. I can run the miles…er kilometers…all at once or over time.  I even got a bib:

Jamie Wisto

And will receive this adorable little medal!

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All to benefit a good cause :)

Challenge #3: Planks

I’ve decided to take on a 30 day plank challenge as well! Planks are uncomfortable for me and I hate them. So naturally I avoid them at all cost. Except when the yoga teacher makes me. But then I just sweat, shake and tremble until I collapse after about 2 minutes. Obviously, my core needs some work. And a stronger core, means a stronger runner.

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The challenge starts at 20 seconds on day 1 (I could do it in my sleep!) and ends with a 5 minute plank on day 30 (#@$%!). It is such a short time commitment each day and I’m looking forward to seeing my progress.

These challenges I’ve taken on are not only beneficial, but also add some fun to my training. If fitness is not fun, then it feels like a chore. And who wants to do unpaid chores?

-J

Balance

After scouring the internet and the pages of Runner’s World, I have decided to use Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 marathon training plan to prepare for the San Francisco Marathon!

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It seems intense enough to get me to the end of the race without being all-consuming. Just mostly-consuming :) I LOVE to run, and I LOVE to run races-but I’m all about balance. I have a busy work schedule (as I’m sure most do!) in the coming weeks, and I also have several trips planned or in the works between now and race day, so I want to accommodate as much as I can in to my life. I’m also a firm believer in down time. I’ve heard that a lot of runner’s get anxious on rest days. I do not :) I look forward to time off, an extra hour of sleep or a day or two of not being held to a schedule. I feel awesome after a good run, but I can appreciate some R&R as long as I’ve put some work in.

The Novice 2 plan calls for 4 days a week of running and this is perfect for me. My training schedule will look something like this:

Day 1: Rest

Day 2: Run easy

Day 3: Run race pace

Day 4: Pilates

Day 5: Run easy

Day 6: Yoga

Day 7: Long run

“Day 1″ will either be Sunday or Monday, depending on my work schedule. I try to avoid running too many days back to back to give my legs a break. I do work long, late hours on my feet, sometimes until 3 or 4 in the morning, and I definitely feel it in my legs. Believe me, I’m not complaining-I would never do well at a job that requires me to sit all day long…it just can be tiring.

Last week was my first official week of marathon training and the plan called for 19 miles. However, I actually ran a total of 24.06 miles because I ran the Oakland Half Marathon last Sunday. I’m going to do my best to NOT deviate from the plan from here on out (even over-training can be bad!), but I feel like it was a successful week. I’m starting my training with a much better running base than my last effort at 26.2, so I have high hopes for a strong training camp. There are 17 more weeks until the San Francisco Marathon and I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s going to be a long journey, but so worth it in the end!

-J

 

Goal Accomplished!

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At the end of last year I made a list of running goals I want to accomplish in 2014. The #1 item on that list: run a half marathon in under 2 hours. I’m so happy to report that yesterday I ran the Oakland Running Festival half marathon with an official finish time of 1 hour and 58 minutes! I achieved my goal!

This was my 7th half marathon to date, and I’ve always stagnated around the sub 2:10 mark. I’ve never really ran a race with a specific goal pace in mind, but this time I did. I told myself from the start that I wanted to finish in under 2 hours. I kept myself on pace and I pushed when I needed. And it worked!

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After I crossed the finish line, my Nike + app alerted me that I broke a new half marathon record, with a finish time of 1:55:

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The app also said I ran a total of 13.4 miles, so I knew my official time would be slightly different; however, this got me thinking about my new half marathon goal for the year. I’ve decided I want to achieve an official finish time of 1:55 by the end of the year! I will be working on a full report of my experience at the ORF this week but until then, happy running!

-J

Registered!

So I finally took the plunge and registered for my next race, the Oakland Running Festival Half Marathon!

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This event takes place next Sunday! I’ve actually been training for this half marathon, but I wasn’t sure I would be completely ready. Ideally, I could use an extra week to train-but I ran the ORF last year and it was so fun I didn’t want to miss out. Plus, the San Francisco Marathon released a 20% off coupon code for this race yesterday so I felt like it was meant to be!

On Saturday,  I ran 12 miles and I’m confident it’s going to be a good race for me: 

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I finished these 12 miles in 1 hour and 53 minutes. I’m getting so close to running a half marathon in under 2 hours, which is my #1 goal this year. Who knows, maybe it will happen next week..we will see!

Happy Sunday!

-J