Taper Time

Wow. So weird to say that I am now officially tapering for my first marathon!

I’m actually not going through cranky running withdrawals like a lot of people do. I’ve been so busy with school that I have had very little spare time, and not having to go out on 1-3 hour long runs is actually nice!

run pumpkin patch

Ran past the pumpkin patch that Kyle and I used to go to. This year we are poor and will not be spending $30 on a single pumpkin like crazy people.

I’ve actually switch to treadmill running for some of those shorter runs for 2 reasons:

  1. I have been studying a lot and I want to be able to watch some TV haha. #embarrassing
  2. To slow myself down. I physically cannot run fast on a treadmill. It’s just impossible. When I ran outdoors (on some of these taper runs that I’m supposed to take easy) I found myself speeding up when I ran around other runners because I didn’t want them to think I was super slow. How stupid is that?

But man, it seems like it was only a few weeks ago that I decided to start training for the Morgan Hill Marathon.

My friend Michelle had contacted me and wanted to give me a race entry because she’s awesome like that (she is pacing the marathon!). Prior to this, I always said that I wasn’t sure I was ready for a full marathon.

But for some reason, I impulsively said yes (my only hesitation was that I had already signed up for a half marathon that is one week after the Morgan Hill Marathon. gulp.). And just like that, I began my new goal of blackening all toenails and discovering new areas to chafe.

Watching my awesome blogger friends do marathon after marathon inspired me and helped me make that crazy decision. Some (of many- so sorry if I forgot to add you to this list) of the awesome-marathon-runner-blogger-friends who seriously helped inspire me:

Michelle
Sarah
Scott
The 3 Cheap Runners (or 2?)
Lauren
Karen
Shanna
Shawna
Emmeline

Thanks friends :)

And on to the fun stuff- my Athleta Giftcard Giveaway Winner!

rafflecopter giveaway winner

Congrats Emily!

The winner was emailed this morning.

Are you one of those people who gets cranky during tapering? Usually, yes.

Do you speed up on some of those easy runs so people don’t judge you? *guilty face*

Who inspired you to start running?
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Athleta Gift Card Giveaway {CLOSED} + My first yoga class!

I know I’m super late to the yoga train (like so late that I had to chase the train to hop on board), but I am excited to say- I loved yoga!!!

Now I will no longer feel guilty about wearing yoga pants. Ha. Like I ever felt guilty about the comfiest invention ever.

After my 20 mile run on Sunday, I headed to my first yoga class with my friend Shanna.

yoga shanna me

Earlier that week, we signed up for the class using fitmob.

Logo-fitmob

fitmob offers various workouts (ranging from cardio to strength training, dance, and yoga) with top trainers in many neighborhoods in the Bay Area! What I like about fitmob was that members (free to join!) can workout in various neighborhoods and you can pay weekly. Oh and members never pay for inactivity (um. you know how you say, I’m not going to cancel that gym membership cause I’m definitely going to go tomorrow… hello bag of chips. and then you pay for a year to NOT go to the gym)

Right now you can get a free 7 day trial, and we decided it was the perfect opportunity for me to try yoga! We selected a Vinyasa Flow class at Yoga Tree.

yoga tree

I had tried some yoga videos online. Honestly, I hated them. I didn’t like how slow everything was, with all the pausing (which seemed like forever), so I tended to get bored.

This class was completely different!! Vinyasa Flow moves at a faster pace (relatively speaking) and each movement flows into the next. If you were like me and thought yoga was boring, try a vinyasa flow class! Oh and I’m definitely going to try to find some vinyasa flow yoga videos online :)

I did tell the instructor (Nanci- who was awesome!) that I had never taken a yoga class before. She insured me that I would be fine, and it’s perfectly okay to hold a pose if you cannot move on to the next one. Throughout the class she stressed good form, which I loved. She said it was much better to have good form in a “beginner modified” pose, than to have bad form in the advanced pose. She made all levels feel welcome, which was actually one of my biggest concerns (feeling out of place)!

yoga tree studio

Inside the studio

It was a great workout! I thought that I was not going to be able to do anything because of my 20 mile run, but it actually helped me recover. I was able to stretch out those muscles and workout new muscles! Shanna (who does yoga frequently) told me that it was the best yoga class she’s ever been to and that the next day she was sore (so was I)! I know it was a good workout if this girl can get sore doing yoga:

Again, she's in the middle (doin the splits)

She’s in the middle (doin the splits)

Here’s your chance to win a $25 Athleta Gift Card and buy your own yoga gear (or something else)!

This giveaway will close on 10/22/14 at midnight (PST). The winner will be announced 10/23.

Click on the following link to enter! {CLOSED}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

NOTE: Those who enter may be contacted by fitmob via email. The winner’s email and contact information will be sent to fitmob and they will send you your giveaway prize. This post is sponsored by fitmob. All opinions are my own.

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My last long run until my first marathon!

Happy Monday everyone (and Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends :) )!

This past weekend was incredibly chaotic and fun!

Kyle and I had our housewarming party on Saturday. I hope to post a recap of that some time this week, but I have to get photos from someone first!

Sunday was an equally hectic day, but in a more physically demanding way. I had my longest run to date (and my longest run until my first marathon!!)- a 20 mile run!

So thankful that my super sweet friend, Michelle, ran ~18 miles with me. She really is the nicest person ever. She kept encouraging me the whole time and made me do some rolling hills- which really sounds like punishment but it was for the best since my marathon will be mostly hilly. I’m sure I would have told you something different (and perhaps given you a certain hand gesture) as we tackled those hills around mile 15…

P.S. All the awesome running photos are courtesy of Michelle! Thanks Michelle!

But let’s go back a bit. We met up at Quarry Lakes at 6:45 AM.

quarry lakes run with michelle

We spent the first few warm-up miles on the trails. What’s nice about this location is that you can choose paved or unpaved routes.

quarry lakes run with michelle

At a time when I didn’t want to chop off my legs

We did a lot of (different) out-and-back loops. We wanted to make sure I got those dreaded hills in, plus we didn’t want to get too far away from the water fountains and restrooms. Not going to lie- nothing about this run was easy. My legs felt like lead the whole time. I think it was a combination of taking 2 weeks off (yes. 2 WEEKS!) from running due to illness+school+party planning, AND the fact that I had spent all of Saturday (from 8:30AM to 10PM) on my feet. Whoops. Note to self: don’t do this the day before your marathon.

quarry lakes run with michelle

One of the paved paths

Back on those rolling hills again. They weren’t super steep by any means, but I promise it was steeper than it looks in this photo.

quarry lakes run with michelle

Here we are at around mile 18. Michelle had to take off so I ran the last 2-ish solo. Good practice for race day!

quarry lakes run with michelle

Those last 2 miles were unbelievably hard. Actually I ran closer to 20.4 miles because I forgot to unpause my Garmin after a water stop, but I still wanted to end on an even 20 (and I promised Michelle that I would ;) ).

All of it was hard. Probably one of the hardest (physically speaking) things I’ve ever done. You long distance runners are beasts. I’m fairly certain I was going so slow that you could have walked past me. Unfortunately this was discouraging and all I can think about now is, what pace do I run at for my marathon??

I’m not making an time goals for this race, but I’m a numbers person. I need to know what pace to run at or I will go crazy. Should I go with my 15 miler pace where I was running hard? Or should I go with my 18 miler that I ran at an easier pace? Or am I just going to suck on race day and run at a super duper slow pace?

Clearly I’ve got some confidence building to work on during these taper weeks.

After my run and a LOT of eating, I headed out to my very first yoga class with my BFF, Shanna. We took a Vinyasa Flow class and I will be sharing more about my experience + a giveaway soon :)

yoga shanna me

What is the hardest thing, physically, you’ve ever done? I’m expecting some “giving birth” answers, which will make me feel like a weakling ;)

How do you determine your race pace?

Experienced marathoners- what pace should I go with?

What’s your favorite type of yoga?