2016 Santa Barbara Triathlon Race Report

On Sunday I competed in the Santa Barbara Triathlon for the first time and got my first age group win! Although Santa Barbara has been my home for the past five years, I always had other things going on (like giving birth!) in August that prevented me from doing this race. Last year I was the runner in a three person long course relay team and had so much fun I knew I had to do the full tri this year. I initially registered for the sprint women only race, but after switching my first half ironman distance race plans from Tempe to Superfrog late last month, I thought it would be a good idea to do the long course instead.

For the past few weeks I have been preparing both physically and mentally to do the long distance course, but those plans got derailed when I came down with the worst flu bug I’ve had in years last week. I got hit so hard I literally thought something very serious was wrong with me and almost had K take me to the ER on Wednesday. Thankfully things started to turn around and I felt better by Friday.

Since the SB Long Course was supposed to just be a training race for Superfrog and not my goal A race, in the end I felt it would be best not to do it. I’ve heard it’s a pretty challenging course and I was worried if I attempted to do it not feeling 100% ready both mentally and physically, I might set myself back in my training for Superfrog. I had already lost almost an entire week of workouts during peak half Ironman training and didn’t want to chance setting my recovery back just as I was starting to feel better, so I opted to do the short course instead. I think I made the right choice and in the process scored my first ever WIN!

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imageRace morning I didn’t get up much earlier than my usual 6:00am wake-up time. I still wasn’t feeling totally back to myself, but since it was a short sprint I thought “What the heck, let’s just do this!” I must have been one of the last to arrive to the transition and some really nice ladies had to move their bikes to open the tiniest spot for me.

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SWIM

I didn’t have enough time to get a warm-up swim in, but I did at least take a quick dip in the ocean so I could adjust to the cold water for a few seconds. I started the swim towards the front all the way to the right like I usually do and entered the water much more aggressively than usual. I did a dolphin dive and started swimming confidently in a good rhythm out to the first buoy. When I made my turn around the buoy from the far inside, my foot got tangled in the buoy rope which put me in a mild panic. It was hard to get my rhythm back after that. I couldn’t seem to calm my racing heart.  I ended up stopping every couple strokes or so to catch my breath. Needless to say it was not my strongest swim, but I still managed to get out of the water ahead of a lot of the other girls in my wave.

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Swim time = 13:41

T2 – 2:34 – need to work on a quicker transition although it was the fastest in my AG.

BIKE

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On the bike I can really make up time and catch people. It was a short 6 mile bike course, but I quickly caught and passed three girls in my age group and finished with the fastest bike split in my age group.

Bike time: 21:04

RUN

I felt good coming out of T2 and with only a 2 mile run I knew I could crush it even though I didn’t start the race with the full energy I usually have. Once again I neglected to drink any water on the bike and so I was pretty thirsty on the run. I stopped at the aid station to guzzle some water and totally missed the turnaround that was just beyond it. I made it to the wharf and noticed there wasn’t anyone really in front or behind me. I looked down at my Garmin watch which showed I had already run over a mile. Oops! I knew I missed the turnaround, so I started sprinting back. I was so mad at myself for not paying attention. I have no idea what I was thinking about that caused me to miss it. I guess I rely too much on volunteers to direct me. Haha. Lesson learned. I had no idea how many girls in my age group were ahead of me, but realized all I could do at this point was finish strong. I caught and passed one girl in my AG in the last half mile, but still thought the mistake had probably cost me a podium spot. I was completely shocked and totally elated when they posted the results and I was in the #1 spot! After a tough week where I missed most all of my training and seriously had doubts about racing, it was beyond sweet and a huge confidence boost to take home that tile!

Run time: 19:07

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Total time 58:37 – 1st Age Group

Win or not, I think I made the right decision switching to the sprint course. In the past I would push myself even if I wasn’t feeling well, but now I try to pay attention to when body signals I need to slow down or back off. I’m not getting any younger and I have two boys who depend on me, so I can’t be as reckless in the way I treat my body as I once was!

Thankfully I’m feeling back to myself and ready to get back into full throttle Ironman 70.3 Superfrog training this week. 25 days and counting!

XO

Christina

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SKINS

Australian based company SKINS recently launched a new DNAmic line of compression clothing and I was given the opportunity to review any garment from this line.  I decided to go with their new DNAmic Tank Top because it’s stylish and I haven’t tried a compression top yet.

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Since my training recently has been focused around building endurance for the marathon I just completed and now IRONMAN 70.3 training, I’ve become a fan of wearing compression clothing and socks both during and after my workouts. As a busy mom who needs to make every workout count, quick recovery between intense workouts is extremely important to me. SKINS’ BioAcceleration Technology™ claims to increase oxygen delivery to active muscles while in motion and reduce lactic-acid build-up for more power and less recovery time. I love that they have scientific research summaries available on their website to backup these claims.

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The SKINS DNAmic Tank Top is surprisingly comfortable considering the tight fit. The design is sleek and very flattering. I felt very well supported during my runs. It fits almost like a second skin with absolutely no chafing. The breast support is fantastic, with strong, thick straps that criss cross over the back. This was a great feature since the majority of my running tops require me to wear a sports bra underneath. The only downside to this top is being compression and tight, it’s a bit of a struggle to get on and off.

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SKINS touts a unique sizing system based on Body Mass Index (BMI)/anthropometrical algorithm which wraps and supports key muscle groups to reduce movement and focus direction for less vibration in your muscles, less soft tissue damage and less soreness after exercise. This held true for me.

The SKINS DNAmic Tank Top is available from the SKINS website. Check out their full line of DNAmic compression clothing and head over to my Instagram to enter to win a garment from the SKINS DNAmic line. Use code SWEATPINK-SKINS20 for a discount good though July 31st!

One prize per person. Open to U.S. residents only. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from SKINS through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner.

This post was sponsored by SKINS and Sweat Pink, but as always all opinions are my own. 

What’s Next

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Hello friends!

Now that I can put a check next to Mountains 2 Beach Marathon (wahoo!) on my bucket list, thought I’d discuss what’s next.

Up next is my second “A” race of the year, Ironman 70.3 Arizona. Ever since I first took up triathlons in 2011, I have dreamed of doing an Ironman event and I’m so excited that this is the year to make it happen! My training has been focused on building endurance for the marathon, so seems like a natural transition to build upon that solid base to segue into training for my first half Ironman. For those not familiar with this event it consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (half marathon) run. Fun! Fun!

I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not this is the right time to take on a coach and ultimately decided (to K’s wallet’s relief) that it wasn’t worth the cost right now since my main goal will be to just finish. I’m an ambitious person by nature, so after that, I know I’ll have new time related goals (as I already do for the marathon). Maybe I’ll hate it and never want to do another one again (not likely, haha). After this season I will reassess and think about getting a coach for the 2017 season. In the meantime, I’ve been scouring TrainingPeaks for the best 70.3 training plan.

In terms of running, I’m super excited to join the first ever RADrabbit team! Rabbit is an awesome new running apparel brand started right here in Santa Barbara by two local competitive runners who happen to be women!

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This summer, K, the boys and I are doing the entire Nite Moves series (a weekly 5k race through August). I also plan on doing a couple local 10k races and a sprint and Oly tri as part of 70.3 training.

As far as marathons go, I’ve been considering the California International Marathon (CIM) in December, but not ready to pull the trigger and sign up just yet. I know I want to do another one for sure, but also think my body deserves a break from heavy training after Ironman 70.3 AZ. We’ll see!

A question I get asked frequently.

How do you find the time to train as a working mom to twins?

Family time comes first. I get the majority of my workouts done super early in the morning before everyone else is up, during my lunch break (there is a pool right next to my office) and at T & C’s nap time or after tucking them in bed at night. And runs pushing them in the BOB stroller are my favorite! If I miss a workout because one of the boys is sick or wakes up early from a nap, I don’t stress over it. I’m also fortunate to have a mother-in-law next door who comes to watch them if K is at work or out doing errands. K supports my passions just as I support his and together we make it work. We do our best to balance our individual hobbies and passions so that they do not take away from our family time.

What’s next for you?

Happy training!

XO,

Christina

2016 Mountains 2 Beach Marathon Race Report

You guys I’m a MARATHONER!! It’s three days post marathon and I’m still on a major endorphin high. It all feels like a dream and the pain is already starting to fade (with the help of Advil).

The weekend started out with a joint 1st birthday party for two friend’s boys. T & C had a blast and being out around friends helped ease the pre-race jitters that had been building all week.

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Later that day we headed down to Ventura, a 30 minute drive from Santa Barbara, to the race expo. Parking was fairly easy and collecting my bib was even easier which was majorly nice with two toddlers in tow.

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After the expo, we headed to Ventura Spaghetti Company for dinner. We arrived at 5:30pm and the place was already jammed packed, mostly with what looked like groups of runners. It took over 45 minutes for our food to arrive. I don’t think they got the memo that a sold out marathon was happening in their town the next day. After quickly scarfing our pasta down, we headed home and put the boys right to bed. I set out everything I needed for the race and it was lights out around 10:00pm. I was surprised by how calm I felt and feel asleep really easily. So easily, I forgot to set my alarm! Thankfully K had the mind to set his. I was up at 4:00am feeling fresh and ready to race!

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My MIL arrived at 4:30am to watch the boys while K dropped me off at the start. The race provided shuttles, but K insisted on driving me so he could be there to send me off on my first marathon. We arrived at the runner drop off which was one block from the start line at 5:30am. That’s when it really hit me that I was doing this thing. I’m so glad K was there to talk me out of the car!

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I rarely ever hit the porta-potties before a race (I usually take care of business at home) but I felt a grumble in my stomach and knew I was in for trouble (or at least one non-planned stop during the race) if I didn’t. The line was long (no surprise), but thankfully I got in and was out right as the national anthem was playing. Less than two minutes later I was off and running!

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There was never any doubt at any point during the race that I would finish. That’s not to say I ran a pain free, perfect race.

I started out in the vicinity of the 3:58 pacer. My main goal was obviously to finish the marathon since it was my first and I did not know what to expect, but I had a loose goal time of 3:59 in mind. I don’t usually like running with pacers, so did my best not to focus on where he was on the course.

The first three miles were uphill which I expected after reviewing the course map. I passed the mile 3 marker feeling great with my pace right on target.

After mile 3 it was downhill back to the start. I picked up the pace a bit to an 8:30/avg. At around mile 6 a nasty side stitch came on. I tried not to panic, backed off the pace a bit, walked through the next water station and took my first gel. This did the trick and within minutes the stitch was gone and I was back on pace.

I crossed the halfway point (13.1 miles) at 1:56:00 according to my Garmin (1:57 officially) which put me right on track. I thought I had a good shot at finishing with a sub 4 at that point since I was feeling great and *thought* the entire rest of the course would be all downhill.

Between miles 14 and 18 there were several rolling hills that I was not expecting (guess I didn’t pay close enough attention to that section of the course map) and my pace slowed significantly. Apparently there was a new course this year and although still net downhill, these rollers surprised a lot of people. I put Eminem’s Lose Yourself on repeat and powered though those baby hills. I started to develop a pain in my upper right hamstring up to my sit bones, but did my best to ignore it. It was also at this point that I saw the 3:58 pacer pass me and that was the last time I would see him.

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Marathon Start and Road shots

Tears welled up in my eyes as I passed the mile 20 marker and realized I was doing this. I was running a MARATHON and felt good while doing it. I couldn’t get my pace back down to a 9:00/min avg, but I didn’t care because I WAS REALLY DOING IT.

The last 10k was hard, like really, really hard, but I kept pushing forward. I passed a ton of people walking at this point and repeated to myself “keep on keeping on.” I knew if I stopped to walk (other than at water stations, I walked through all those) it would be way more difficult to start up again than it was to just keep on running to the end no matter how slow.

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When I hit the 25 mile marker after turning a corner to the final mile stretch along the waterfront to the finish all the emotions bubbled up and I couldn’t hold back the tears. There were so many spectators and people cheering along that final stretch, it gave me all the strength I needed to finish strong. When I rounded the last corner to the home stretch, I was so overcome with emotion the finish line was a total blur.

I found my family after crossing the finish line and collapsed in K’s arms. I bawled for a good couple minutes. A mixture of happiness, pain and relief to be done flooded out.

Official chip time: 4:07:49

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The top question people have been asking since the race is “Will you do another one?” Without hesitation my answer is always “Heck yes!”

XO

Christina

Race Week and the Taper Blues!

It’s race week and I haven’t felt such a mixed bag of emotions since I was pregnant with T & C!  One minute I’m feeling on top of the world and ready to conquer anything, the next my mind is filled with doubt and I’m crying at the drop of a hat. There is a reason they call it the taper crazies and boy do I have a raging case!

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Aside from my intense emotions, a few things about this week:

  • The boys ear infections have finally cleared (fingers crossed they don’t come back!)
  • K scored a huge account he has been working on for the last 2 years! So proud of him!
  • Living on the foam roller at night while catching up on episodes of  Silicon Valley (how awesome is that show?!) and the new season of The Bachelorette. Santa Clause made the first cut? What will they think of next?? Definitely a guilty pleasure, but I can’t stop watching. haha.
  • Race outfit selected and stocked up on fuel after multiple visits to my favorite local running store Santa Barbara Running.
  • I actually got some chores done and even had time to paint my nails and put on a little makeup!
  • Staying well hydrated thanks to Nuun.
  • It’s shaping up to be a beautiful weekend with great racing weather.

All that is left to do is create my playlist (ideas welcome!) and oh yeah run 26.2 miles AT ONE TIME!

XO

Christina

 

Marathon Training: Week 16

Bib numbers are posted for Mountains to Beach Marathon. I’m #785! It’s suddenly getting very real and very exciting that this marathon dream I’ve had for so long is close to becoming a reality! If you are interested in tracking me live during the race, sign up here 🙂

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This last week felt like a roller coaster ride, filled with highs and lows. The week started out with a trip to urgent care on Monday (with T) and then Tuesday (with C) who both have ear infections. Wednesday they were doing better and K was home from his trip, so we headed out for Nite Moves week 2 where I earned a new 5k PR. By Friday I was back at the doctor with T who was put on a new antibiotic. Thankfully the week ended on a high note with an awesome last long run before M2B and a great day at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History with two happy boys on the mend!

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I think one of the greatest things I’ve taken away from marathon training is that it has taught me I’m so much stronger than I thought I was.  In training and racing there are highs and there are lows, just like in life. We all love riding that high of nailing a workout and meeting our goals, but the real key to finding happiness and success is how we handle ourselves during the lows. Do you fall apart? Or keep pushing forward? There were some definite low points this week in my training and life that made me question why I was doing this. Then I realized the tough things happen to teach us something. To remind us the best things in life don’t usually come easy and without the lows we could not experience the fullness of the highs.

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As my first marathon nears, I’m excited for the challenge that comes with doing a marathon, but more than that I’m excited for the opportunity to learn more about myself. I’m going to do my very best to embrace those lows that are bound to come during the race just as much as the highs.

13 days to go time!

XO

Christina

Marathon Training: Week 15

I made it through peak week! Man oh man was it a tough one. I’m not one who looks forward to tapering, but I am so relieved that it’s here.

The plan was to hit 50 miles last week, but I fell a little short at 44.4 (no accident on the 4’s). 4 is my lucky number. After I cut Thursday’s run short and realized I wouldn’t hit 50, I went for 4’s across the board. The week started great with my usual easy 4 mile stroller run. After Tuesday’s track workout felt tougher than it should have I started to get the feeling I was in for a long, hard week.

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Wednesday was supposed to be an easy run day, but since it was the Nite Moves season opener, there really was no chance (as many times as I tried to tell myself not to go guns a blazing) I would go easy. Note to self: Not a good idea to follow up a track workout with a race the next day, even if it’s only a 5k (5 miles total with warmup and cool down).

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Nite Moves is a weekly 5k race that occurs each Wednesday all summer long followed by food and music on the beach. K and I both had a blast (or at least he tells me he did) 😉 running all 18 weeks of Nite Moves last year trading off the stroller pushing duties. I was soooo looking forward to this opener until T came down with a fever that morning. K insisted I go anyway while he stayed home with the boys since I needed to get a run in one way or another. I went and ran fast enough for 5th of 45 in my age group, but my heart wasn’t really in it without my family there.

Thursday morning K left on a work trip to New Orleans at 7am. The plan was to get up extra early so I could still get a full 8 mile run in with time to spare before he left. Plan failed. Alarm went off at 4:45 and I promptly hit the snooze button. I did get out shortly after 5:30 and got in 4.5 miles. I probably could have squeezed in 6, but that would have required me to go faster than my legs were willing to move that morning after the previous days hard efforts.

Friday was a MUCH needed rest day. I treated myself to a massage before picking T & C up from school. That evening I took them out to Taffy’s with my mother-in-law for some major carb loading.

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The next morning my mother-in-law came over at 5:15am to babysit the boys so I could head out for my last 20-miler. My marathon training has really been made possible by her and my wonderfully supportive K. We try to do as much training and errands as possible while the boys are sleeping and she is always happy to come over for baby monitor duty and playtime with them until we get home.

In the beginning weeks of my training, I would start my Saturday long runs after the boys went down for naps around noon. As the runs got longer and it started heating up, I decided it would be better to start them early in the morning. That made a HUGE difference in how I felt during and after the runs.  It must be my Swedish blood. My body does so much better while running in cooler temps.

Even with the early morning start, this last 20-miler felt much harder than the first 20-miler I did just weeks prior. I knew almost immediately I was going to have to dig deep for this one. My legs felt heavy and I had to will them to move the first few miles, but then they loosened up and I was able to do 10 miles at goal marathon pace  (8:45ish avg). The next eight miles at easy pace were much harder, but I pushed through the thoughts of quitting and finished strong.

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Sunday I took the boys out for an easy 3 mile stroller run (again didn’t feel so easy on sore legs) followed by play time at the park. It was the best way to celebrate. The only thing that would have made it better was if K was with us. He was still gone on his work trip (I’d like to talk to the person who thought it was a good idea to schedule a conference Mother’s Day weekend). He didn’t forget to send flowers and delicious treats though. My most precious gift were the flowers T & C made for me at school. This blog and my social media accounts are largely devoted to one aspect of my life, training and racing, however my boys are by far my greatest accomplishment. My biggest goal in life is to make them happy. I’m not perfect, but so far I’ve managed to balance it all pretty well.

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Although it wasn’t my best training week, it wasn’t my worst either. I am beyond happy to have come this far and to have made it through the toughest weeks of training. On to the taper!

20 days until I’m a marathoner!

XO

Christina

 

Marathon Training: Week 14

It’s marathon month! May came so fast! Seriously, these 14 weeks since I officially began training  really have flown by. Cliche to say maybe, but true! I feel prepared and ready, but the butterflies are starting to set in as I enter my final peak week of training before starting to taper for the race. I ran a total of 183 miles in April. My highest mileage month ever, by a lot.

This last week was a “step back” week, meaning a reduction in mileage, but not intensity. I focused on making every run count and added speed work to my long run. The highlight of the week was watching T & C run in their school’s Jog-A-Thon. They are already such good little runners!

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Here is a recap of the week:

Monday – 500 meter swim, 3.6 mile stroller run. Although the plan I’ve been following called for complete rest, I was feeling good after Saturday’s 20 miler and was jonesing to get in a swim so decided an easy 500 meters was in order. It felt so amazing to get back it the water. Later that afternoon I took T&C out for an easy stroller run, but the hurricane strength winds (at least it felt that way pushing with the double BOB) made it more of a test of my strength.

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Tuesday – 8 mile track speed session. Started with the usual 3 mile warm up, followed by (1×400 + 1×1200 meters) x4 and a 1 mile cool down. This one was tough, but felt great!

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Wednesday – Another stroller run battling the winds. I almost turned around after a mile. Pushing 80 lbs+ in the wind is no joke! The boys seemed to enjoy it so I pressed on for what seemed like the longest 4 miles of my life. 😊

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Thursday – HRT Run – 7 miles. I love this group run in my neighborhood. It’s hilly and challenging.

Friday – Scheduled rest day. Had a blast at T & C’s school Jog-A-Thon! T ran 17 laps and C did 15. They both ran/walked the entire time, even when some of the other kids in their class stopped to take breaks. At one point, we stopped to get water and T wasn’t having it. He got right back in the loop and kept going! I try to be conscious about not forcing my passions on them, but I think they just may be natural runners. 😉 Later that day we headed to the Santa Barbara Fair for some fun rides and funnel cake!

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Saturday – 12 mile long run. Instead of slow and steady, I decided to add some speed work to my long run this week. 2 mile warmup, 7 miles @ tempo (7:58, 7:49, 7:49, 7:52, 8:08, 8:12, 8:17) and 4 miles 30-45 seconds slower for an 8:24 avg pace. Completing this workout gave me more confidence that I can actually “race” the marathon.

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SundayEasy 4 mile stroller run. Best way to end a great week of training!

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This week is peak week. Mileage goes back up to 50+ with one last 20 miler before taper time! Let’s do this!

Happy training!

XO

Christina

Marathon Training: Week 13

It was a week of milestones in my training. On Saturday I completed my first 20 mile long run and hit 50 miles total for the week. When I signed up for Mountains 2 Beach marathon last summer, I honestly wasn’t sure I would make it to this point. I consider myself a fairly confident person and I definitely don’t lack the drive. In the five years I have been racing I have never failed to complete a race I have signed up for, even if that means doing it while sick (like recently at the Santa Barbara Half…yeah probably not the smartest idea), yet just before marathon training began a few months ago I came very close to dropping down to the half and it has always been in the back of my mind that could be an option.

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With 5 weeks left to go until race day, I’m still nervous about the race itself, but that little voice of self-doubt that crept in my head is gone. I have a loose time goal, but no matter what the end result is, I’m so incredibly thankful for this journey.

Each week of training I gain more and more respect for my body and it’s abilities. Before running came into my life (and at times after), I struggled with body image issues and definitely didn’t have a whole lot of respect for it. In my 20’s I drowned it in alcohol and junk food. No matter how much I abused it, it never gave up on me. I’m still in no way perfect, but I’ve come to appreciate this great vessel God has given me in a way I never have before. It carried and birthed twins and now it’s carried me through my longest run yet. I think I’m close to truly embodying one of my all time favorite quotes:

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not
to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is
against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.”
George Sheehan

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I’m not saying I’ve totally stopped comparing myself to other athletes similar to me or stopped looking (stalking) at their stats on Strava, but I have let go of the thoughts that I can’t do this.

This week is a recovery week (yay!) which means a little reduction in mileage to about 40. No big deal, right? 🙂

Happy training!

XO

Christina

 

Chardonnay 10-Miler Race Report

Saturday was a beautiful day for the Chardonnay 10-miler, a scenic race along the Santa Barbara waterfront. This race fit perfectly into my marathon training schedule since I had a shorter long run/test race scheduled. I ran this race once before back in 2012. 2012 was a year of breakthroughs and PR’s. There were many highs for me that year (qualifying for the USAT Nationals), but also some lows (struggles with getting pregnant). In 2013, I tapered back from the heavy training and put all my energy into my dreams of starting a family. Since that dream came true in 2014, I have been working hard to get back to the level of fitness I had reached in 2012.

This year, in addition to the new goals I’m chasing of completing my first marathon and 70.3 Ironman, I thought it would be fun to do a few races I ran previously. The first was the Santa Barbara Half Marathon, followed by Superseal Triathlon.  I beat my previous course PR in both races. Next up was this race.

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I started the morning with a Clif bar rather than my usual peanut butter banana toast. I woke up late and didn’t want to eat much so close to race time. The boys being, well, boys don’t sit still for long periods of time in the stroller anymore, so K dropped me off at the start, went home to get T&C and was back in time to watch me cross the finish line.

I was able to get in a quick 1.5 mile warmup which was nice since I usually don’t get to a race early enough to do much of a warmup these days. The race started at 8:00am with the 10 milers and 5k runners starting at the same time. The plan was to start out conservatively, but I hate running in crowds and lets face it, still get overly caught up in the excitement of the start and ended up going out faster than I should have. The first mile was uphill which I didn’t mind. It’s a hill I run weekly with the boys on our stroller run. Easy peasy.

Mile 2 was all downhill after the turnaround. It crossed my mind that I was probably going faster than I should at under 8 min/mile pace, so I eased up a notch and stopped at the mile 3 water station, but no water or volunteers in sight! Okay no big deal I thought, there’s another one at mile 5. It was a warm morning and I don’t carry fluids for most races if it is advertised that there will be water stations and an electrolyte drink of some kind. Mile 5 arrived and all the cups of water at that station were empty! There were two volunteers putting water into the big empty containers, but a lot of people just kept going. I stopped to wait because I was already so thirsty. I must have lost close to a minute waiting for them to fill the water!

Hill #2 was just around the corner and as I started up my beats wireless headphones started blasting a super loud static noise. Nice. I stopped again to fiddle with them, but decided it was best to just take them off and run without music. The funny thing is I was contemplating not wearing them for this race. I have been doing most of my training runs (with the exception of long runs) without them. Although music can really help motivate me, especially a power song in the last mile, I have found I enjoy running without music more and more lately.

At this point I was starting to lose steam. I took the one GU gel I had on me and powered up the hill. Around mile 6 my pace slowed and I was feeling the pain, but I dug deep up the last hill after the turnaround point. It was a huge relief knowing it was downhill and pretty flat from there.

I managed to keep a steady pace from mile 7 to the finish, but not without a hefty amount of pain. I was hot, thirsty and all I could think about was guzzling water at the finish. I crossed the line in 1:27:28 which was 2 minutes off my 2012 time. Although it would have been nice to beat that old time, I’m happy with the result. It was a faster time than the 10 miler I ran back in August and according to the McMillian Running marathon pace predictor I’m within reach of a sub 4 hour marathon.

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Thankfully there was plenty of water (and wine!) at the finish. After I guzzled about a gallon, we headed out for a fun afternoon at the beach. It was the best kind of day!

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6 weeks and counting until Mountains 2 Beach!

Happy training!

XO

Christina