Marathon Training – Week 13 – Lucky All Around

I love the number 13!  Where some consider it an unlucky number, to me it’s not.  It’s a lucky number for me and I like it.  I’m a numbers girl … I love the number 13 … And I started off this very lucky numbered week with Lady Luck!

When they said, "Running Heaven," they weren't kidding!
Start line Shaka!!! =)
Peace and Prayers ...

Sunday:  It was an invitation.  I let it sit in my inbox for awhile, only paying attention to it by chance when I went to delete the massive amounts of junk mail that I receive on a daily basis.  I only opened it because it contained the heading “Half Moon Bay International Marathon.”  Whatever, right?  I’d just open it and peruse, then trash it.  But instead, I was intrigued.  An invite to run the Inaugural race in Half Moon Bay.  Who doesn’t know me?  I love Half Moon Bay.  I was sad when we decided to pass on running the Pescadero Artichoke Half Marathon in April.  So … Of course, I was “In.”  You didn’t have to ask me twice.

Scott Jurek ... Ultra Runner Extraordinaire!
Done! Cool spinner bling!
George Miller, HMB Race Director, and I!

It was to be a very small race.  Only 500 lucky people for the Marathon, the Half, and the 10K.  Sounded soooo perfect … soooo intimate … sooooo me!  A run in a beautiful part of Nor Cal, on a beach … Really?  And they promised miles of “Running Heaven.”  How could I get so lucky?!

The expo was small.  Just a few vendors, and of course packet pick up.  Easy.  I missed Scott Jurek’s talks because I had gotten there late, but I was fortunate enough to meet him at dinner at Sam’s Chowder House, where he gave a short speech that was a great motivation.

Race day was perfect!  The weather a very cool mid to upper 50’s, a little fog.  It was perfect.  I was once again running alone.  I knew no one there, but it was okay.  I made a few friends while there.  Like Monika from Utah who was also running the Half.  She took my pics at the start.  Then there was Eric, his wife Cathy, and their friend, Christian.  Eric had noticed that I was running around their pace and asked if I would like to be running buddies.  Of course.  We all ran together until the turn around, then as the path narrowed, Christian went ahead, I was behind Christian for awhile, then Cathy caught up to me then to Christian.  I’m not sure what happened to Eric.  He told me when I saw him at the finish that while his wife was great towards the end, he had slowed down.  It was okay.  We all finished within minutes of each other.

The volunteer support was amazing.  Standing at various points they cheered us on and offered us encouragement.  My husband offered to volunteer his services during this event.  It was fun to see him at the 5k turn around point, cheering the runners on, and then to see him on the way back … that was cool.  =)

The run was gorgeous as expected.  Beautiful paved trails thru Half Moon Bay, scenic waterside, then we hit the dirt trails which was equally beautiful.  The water and aid stations were plentiful, as were the porta potties.  The water stations had plenty of water.  It was to be a “green” event, so there were volunteers who had pitchers if you wanted your water bottle refilled.  Towards mile 6 they offered Shot Blox and Cliff Shots, and at every station they offered water and Gatorade.  Along the route you could find the trail clearly marked … one of my biggest fears in running is that I’ll be around no one and get lost.  Stop laughing, it’s happened to me twice in races!  So I made sure I asked George, the race director, how clearly the course would be marked.  He assured me that the course would be clearly marked … and it was.  Lot’s of “Moony” markers everywhere.

As for the running … my running … what can I say?  It was amazing.  I ran effortlessly with a huge smile on my face for the entire race.  And as I ran, I encouraged other runners and I thanked all the volunteers for being there for us.  One volunteer who noticed me once on the way up, then on the way back commented on my enthusiasm and HUGE smile.  I wish I knew her name.  I was not really tired, just my right foot with my plantar fascitis issues started to act up.  When it starts to ache, in an effort to “save” it, I start to favor it which in turn makes my left foot take the brunt of the energy/pain, causing me to run crooked.  When this happens, my hip gets out of whack and my left knee gets wonky.  So … It was really the last mile that taxed me physically.  Mentally I felt strong, and I know that I ran strong.  I know I ran strong because I heeded my new Brooks clothing advice and “Ran Happy.”

Crossing the finish line, I was greeted by the announcer announcing my “amazing” finish, then by the one and only Scott Jurek who placed my medal around my neck and gave me a congratulatory hug.  I found my new friends and congratulated them as well as others on their finishes, grabbed my post race banana, water, and Cliff bar, then immediately made a bee line for the massage booth as it started to drizzle a little!  What fitting weather! By the time I made it there, I could feel my right foot seize up and I was thankful to have made it to the finish and to the massage booth!  My masseuse was beyond wonderful.  As I had gotten there a little early and I only waited for a few minutes, but I was paired up with a lovely woman named Karen who was absolutely fantastic!!!  She took care of my poor foot and aching calves!  She had magic hands, and she was awesome!

Overall it was a gorgeous race.  I dedicated this run to my friend Karen Martinez and her husband Craig, who recently passed away.  Half Moon Bay is one of Karen’s favorite places, and she visited there quite often with Craig on many occasions.  Throughout the entire run, I prayed for my friend and for Craig, may he rest in peace.  Will I run it again?  Oh, heck yeah, without a doubt.  I was happy to hear that my hubby wanted that to be his first marathon!  So … HMB 2012 … look out!  The Wallen’s will be headed your way again.

Monday:  I skipped ALL of my workouts today.  Oh my God!  I can hear all of your gasping sighs!  What the heck was I thinking?  I know.  I know.  But seriously … I’ve been working my body out pretty hard, beating it to a pulp some days.  My little body was seriously begging and pleading for a break, so I granted it one.  What’s one day?  Instead, I hit my Chiropractor’s office with my son, Nate, and he adjusted me from the top of my head, to the bottom of my feet!  No joke.  I love a good manual adjustment.  I love hearing my spine click into place.  My family thinks I’m a little creepy when I talk about it, but seriously, I even have my son Noah asking for them.  My Chiro, the awesome Dr. Crawford, is an integral part of my health and well being, and he plays an important part in keeping me active.  Anyhow … Chiro, traction table, and a massage … Ahhhhhh!  Lunch with my girlfriend, Linda V, where we both had HUGE California Omelettes, then dinner with 2 out of 4 favorite boys.  Yep, I ate my weight in comfort food!  LOL!

Tuesday:  Double double today!  It’s back to the grind today!  Yep 2 workouts for me … =)  For my morning workout, it took me awhile to get started.  Wanted to go early, but ended up going a little later and talking my hubby and my son, Nate, into going with me.  I am thankful that my trainer was up for taking in my men and showing them the way!  The workout was somewhat difficult, but doable and I love that I was able to workout with Nate.

The Warm-Up:
800m Run
15 PVC Up & Overs
15 PVC OHS
20 Hug Me’s

Strength:
Perfecting the Snatch
It’s a lot harder than it sounds to get the move/form down. It got slightly tiring also repeating the move over & over! I used only the 35# bar, but like I said repeating the movement several times over in 20 mins … I’m sure I got a good workout in that itself!

The Workout:
3 Rounds of –
3 x Turkish Get-Ups each side (12# DB)
6 DB Push Presses each side (12#DB)
9 Burpee Box Jumps

Yep! It was a good workout. I loved working out beside Nate. He loved it as much as I do! Chris … I’m not sure. I have yet to get Noah in there with us, but he’s been away so far thus week while on break!

As far as the second workout … I hit AMAA for Becky’s class which rocked!! Weighted jacks, weighted knee raises, as well as weighted core work … Can’t forget awesome cardio work of punches and kicking. Lateral jump squats, punches, move laterally with more squats, then jump squat back. Just so you know, I caught some major air with my jump forward squats! 3 rounds and I rocked ’em! I left dripping! And I had fun withy peeps – Becky, Lorin, Rich, Susanna, Mark. I encourage everyone and I’m kind of obnoxious, but they all know me and we all have fun! =] Love AMAA!

Wednesday: Got get up, get up, get down!  Heehee!  I love getting up and heading to the gym!  I knew that today would be a good day.  Honestly, I wanted to skip it.  I wanted to just stay in bed and veg out, but it was not to be because … BECAUSE my husband actually woke me up and was the one who wanted to go!  Really, Chris?  So of course, I’m all for him working out, and I’m not gonna let my man down!  So I got up and off we went …

The Warm-Up
Run 800
20 seconds of each
High Knees
Butt Kickers
Leg Swings
Arm Swings
Squats
Quad Stretch

Strength:
Worked on form for the clean and hangs. 45# for me.

The Workout:
7-14-21-28 reps of:
Pull-Ups
Clean and Hangs
Wall Ball Squats with a 20# ball
GHD Sit Ups

Run 800m

Yeah. I left completely soaked, out of breath, and spent. But I got it done, and so did Chris! =)  In the afternoon, I brought Nathan who actually begged to go … OMG!  What have I created here?!?

Thursday:  I woke up this morning with a feeling of blahness.  I know I’ll go workout later, it’s not that.  It’s that feeling of dread.  It’s me dreading that damn CIM that’s coming up in December.  In all honesty, I have absolutely NO – NONE – ZIP – ZERO – ZILCH – desire to run a full marathon.  And yet, here I am training for one.  The eff?  Then there was an invite to run some Clarksburg 20 miler in November from Mac.  No thanks.  I’ve got seven races from now through the end of the year.  No thank you.  Then there’s Ms. V who posted that she never wanted to run again … what’s happening here?  Oh my.  Yeah … I just don’t want to run this freakin’ marathon at all.  But I’m obligated because I talked my friend, Beautiful Cory, into running with me … I’m crazy!  I just don’t have it in me.

Next year, I won’t be running as much.  I’ve got a few races planned with some friends, and some races that I will run because I am a legacy runner.  But not nearly as many as I have run this year.  It’s not even October yet so far for 2011, I have run 13 halfs, 1 -10 miler, and 3 -10ks.  I have left one duathalon, 4 – half marathons, 2 – 10Ks, and a full marathon.

My workout today was actually fun.  I worked out beside by Irish Twins – Nathan & Noah, and also my hubby.  We had a lot of fun, or at least I did.

The Warm-Up:
2 rounds of
Run 200 m
10 arm swings
10 arm swings high
10 deep lunges
10 jump squats
Run 200m

The Work Out:
5 minutes of Double Unders (108 for me)
50 Burpee Box Jumps (5:30)
1000m Row (5:01)
Max Plank Hold (3:30)
Run 800m

Holy crap. I thought I was gonna die after the burpee box jumps! Nathan and Noah rocked. Chris does what he needs to do to finish. I love working out with my fam bam! They rock! But it was soooooo HOT today in the afternoon!

Friday:  I had missed my workouts today because I had a class that took all morning.  It’s okay.  I’m not stressing.  I know that I got some good workouts in this week, so it’s all good.  I know that my boys went and hit the gym this morning, and they said that the workout was good!  I’m sorry that I missed it.  =)  Today starts my three day weekend to work, so we’ll see how I hold up.  I have my shoes and gear ready to hit the gym in the morning right after work … =)  I love how people believe that I get all weirded out when I don’t hit the gym or workout or run.  Hello … I’m just as human as the next person, and I’m not *that* OCD about getting all my workouts in.  I mean, if it’s been a few days, yes, I do wig out a little, but if it’s a day here and there … I really don’t stress unless I *need* to get in that gym!

Saturday:  I got no data for you.  Zip!  Zero!  Nada!  I had every intention … I always do.  Instead, I got off work in the morning and slept!  Yep!  You heard that right … I went to sleep!!!  Night shift’s been kickin’ my butt!  I’m not complaining.  I am thankful to have a good job, it’s just that sometimes it’s rough to get the necessary training in after working a long 12 hour shift!  Some days I get’er done, some days I just go to sleep!  What can I say?

That’s a wrap for week 13!  Not a “bad” week … could’ve been better, could’ve been worse.  However … Week 14 is another week!  No worries.  October’s my favorite month, and it’s about to get crazy up in here!  Muddy Buddy on the 9th, then Nike Womens, then Stockton Half, and maybe the Down and Dirty Mud Run …  I love October!  It’s my favorite month ever!!!

I finished up my ever so ambitious 2012 Racing Schedule!  You can read all about it here!  It’s pretty off the hook for someone who doesn’t want to run!  I know, I know.  It’s almost impossible to take the runner out of me.  I’ve got BIG plans for 2012!  =)

I’m finding my running happiness again.  It’s my reset button … my control/alt/delete!  I keep saying that I’m done, but I know that I’m not.  You can take the runs out of the runner, but you can’t take the runner out of the running … I dunno, something crazy like that!

This week I finished up my 30 day training switch up.  30 days of pure resistance training coupled with cardio and running.  What can I tell you?  I can tell you that the resistance training has made a significant difference in my running!  I can tell you that I have dropped 5 pounds, and a few body fat percentage points!  I can tell you that my legs look sleeker, and more defined, as do my arms and abs!  I can tell you that I feel like a million bucks!  My running has been less of a struggle, and I am happy!  I have enjoyed training with my trainer who in the beginning assured me that by his training me he would make me, that he would show me that I was a “Phenomenal Athlete.”  He didn’t lie, nor did he ever let me slack.  He never let me take the easy way even in the beginning.  In the beginning I was intimidated and afraid.  Now, I jump into the workouts with enthusiasm and joy even though I believe that I am about to get killed.  Hey!  At least I’d die a happy, happy girl!

My new Brooks Launch ... Running Happy!

I got some new kicks!  I had to find something with a little more cush for the long runs!  I love my Kinvara’s, don’t get me wrong, but after 12 miles my right foot starts to question my sanity!  I decided to try Brooks … I just like their motto … “Run Happy.”  Plus, I used their clothing for my HMB run and I loved them!  So I got the Brooks Launch … I got lucky and found a pair of Nike Frees in my closet also!  I know.  I was cleaning out my closet, getting ready to toss the empty shoe boxes and there they were!  I train in my Nike Frees … I love them for training at the gym!  So … my feet are happy!  Laughing and sighing and happy to have some new kicks!

Have a great week, everyone!  Run happy!  Hit the pavement.  Kick some asphalt.  If your week wasn’t the best, make this one coming up better!  There are no judgements in running.  Just do what you need to do to get through it.  Remember, it’s a blessing to be able to move and even more of a blessing that we can run as there are so many out there who can’t.  Train HARD.  Train SMART.  And remember to have fun in the process!  Catch y’all next week!  =)

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