Santa Cruz Half Marathon

Hi!

I’m back to the blog. Honestly after this race I felt like I lost my motivation and discipline and needed sometime to get back to my routine. I’ve also been traveling these past few weekends so it was hard to make time for blogging with my 9-5, teaching, and life in general!

Anyways, race recap blog posts hold a special place in my heart. I started writing these posts back in college and it’s always so fun for me to look back at them years later and relive the race experience. I feel like they are posts I write for myself more than anyone else but hopefully you still find them entertaining ☺.

I usually recap the race by breaking it down into mile chunks but honestly I didn’t feel too differently in mile 3 than I did at mile 10! So instead, I’ll focus on three key factors of the race: mind, body, and nutrition.

MIND:

I was genuinely so excited about the Santa Cruz Half Marathon. It was a great excuse for a one-day getaway to a beach town with my parents and my boyfriend and I was excited for a chance to run another race after my IT band injury last year.

I didn’t experience the normal anxiety and nerves I usually do with half marathons and I think there are a couple of reasons for that. Number one, I’ve done a few half marathons by now so I know what to expect at a race; two, I didn’t put too much pressure on myself for a finishing time. Yes I knew I wanted a sub 2 hour final time but if I didn’t achieve it I knew there would be more races.

BODY:

Training was relatively short at eight weeks but it was consistent. I ran three times a week and paired my runs with strength training and POP Pilates training. I feel like core strength and lower body strength made a huge difference in a running. Thanks to Fleet Feet SF’s training program, my runs were a mix of hill training, speed work, and challenging long runs!

NUTRITION:

This was my first half marathon after I started to work with a nutritionist and my diet change helped a lot with my energy levels. In the past I’d feel tired and uncomfortable after long runs and I think it’s because I’d refuel with food that didn’t sit well with my stomach. This time around I had more control of my energy level.

THE OUTCOME:

I PRed at a time of 1:52*!! I shaved off 10 minutes my last PR: part of the difference is due to the fact that SC is far less hilly than SF, but I also think the mind, body, and nutrition prep did wonders.

I felt like a million bucks right after the race but a couple of days later I felt like I lost all discipline. I think I need a new goal again ☺.

*1:52 is my approximated time because for some silly reason the race ended at 12.7 miles…I had so much more energy left in me I wish it kept on going! I added 5 minutes to my official time of 1:47:18 to get my PR time.

Santa-cruz-half-marathon

The Half Marathon That Didn’t Happen – Recovering from My First Injury

 You know how they say you aren’t a real runner until you get injured?

Well maybe that isn’t a saying but I feel like all runners have experienced some sort of pain or injury with the sport. Running has many great benefits but unfortunately, some side-effects too.

I was supposed to run my seventh half marathon yesterday at the San Francisco Marathon but instead I’m writing this post to whine about my injury.

Fine, it’s not that bad but I can be impatient at times.

Here is what I think happened: I undertrained & overexerted.

First, I went SoulCycle the day before a 13-mile practice run and in hindsight, I should have rested. Especially since I had not run more than 4-5 miles consecutively that month so my body was not ready for distance.

The first miles were fine but after a few hills I felt a numb pain in my left knee. I figured my body needed to warm up before it felt better so I kept going. Fast-forward to mile 8 and the pain is getting progressively worse and half mile later, I could barely walk!

I think I was suffering from “sleepy glutes” and I overcompensated my stride with a lot of hip action. Not so good on my IT band and hamstrings. I had to cut my run short and felt pain walking up and down stairs for a few days. Once the pain subsided, I tried running again only to find myself in pain after 2-3 miles. Darn.

Even though I really wanted to run the half, I made the smart decision to rest. I’m still staying active by doing more yoga, POP Pilates, and rock-climbing! I’ve been stretching/foam rolling a lot more and have gotten a couple of sports massage (which are the complete opposite of relaxing).

I don’t know when I can start running again…hopefully soon since I should start training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half in San Jose! Wish me a speedy recovery :).