Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What Did I Get Myself Into?

Last night I signed up for the Sacfit training program. *Insert applause and nervous laughter*

Ultimately, by December, I should be able to run the California International Marathon (CIM). Although I do plan on completing all of the training, I'm still unsure if I will participate in the actual marathon. I figure, if anything, I'll get more exercise in, and I'll be able to crush my half marathon time by October. Hopefully.

The past few weeks I've been running a lot more than I have in the past, thanks to Lauren and Leti, and the Nike+ app. Lauren and I ran together almost every evening or morning. Leti would join us on Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings. Running with other people really helps me stay on track and holds me accountable, which is one of the reasons I decided to sign up for Sacfit. I refuse to run without my phone attached to me. One of my favorite parts about running is analyzing and reviewing my completed runs with the Nike+ app. No joke. After every run I spend a good solid ten minutes just gazing at the route I ran; I become fixated on my split times. Then when I hit the "done" button, I like to watch my total miles increase. If I don't have access to this app, I seriously won't run. I don't want to run any distance and not have it be counted towards my total miles. Yes, I am that person.

Anyways...the Sacfit program starts on June 15th, and is held every Tuesday and Saturday until the CIM on December 8th. The best part about the group is that on the first day you determine which pace group you should be in, based on a one to three mile run. Eventually the majority of your training runs will be conducted with your pace group. I think this component is really going to help me reach my half marathon time goal. If I can keep up with my pace group, I think I'll pursue the CIM challenge. Maybe.

Lauren, Leti, and I have been talking about signing up for Sacfit for awhile, but now that I've actually signed up and paid, it's real. And now that I've blogged about it, it's even more real, if that's possible.

Friday, May 10, 2013

American River Parkway Half Marathon

This past Saturday, Lauren and I completed the American River Parkway Half Marathon. I still haven't gotten good about training, but I did run a few times during the week prior to the race. Baby steps.

The entire race was on the bike trail, which I really liked. I grew up near the bike trail and now I can recognize many of the landmarks, which really helped the 13 miles go by quicker. I was running at record pace (for me) up until mile 10, then the heat really got to me. I guess the heat was getting to everyone else too. I saw several ambulances and firetrucks taking runners away before they were able to finish the race. I didn't want to have another incident, so I thought it best to walk a little bit. I think I walked about .25 miles, which set me back a few minutes. But I'm okay with that. I rather finish the race a little slower than not finish at all.

I carried a PowerBar Gel and a Gu Energy Gel with me this time; both were mandarin/tangerine flavors. Before the race I had decided that I was going to consume both of them while I was running, even if I didn't feel like I needed them. I figured even if I didn't need them, they would only help me more. So, I planned on eating? drinking? one of them around mile 6, and the last one around mile 10. After reading the packages I discovered you're supposed to drink water with them, hence I had to wait for water stations. I ended up drinking the PowerBar Gel around mile 6.5 and the Gu Energy Gel around mile 10.5. Both times I split the gu's with Lauren. I preferred the PowerBar Gel because it wasn't as thick as the Gu Energy Gel. But Lauren liked the Gu Energy Gel better because it's thicker. It's a toss up.

We did end up beating our personal records, even though we did walk a bit. My final time was 2:44:29.21, which is ten minutes faster than my previous best. So I'm happy with that.

We're considering running the Davis Moo-nlight Half Marathon in July. We ran this race last summer, but I didn't care for the course too much. The race starts in the evening, so the majority of the race is run in the dark...on the trails. Personally, I didn't think the course was that safe. But now that our times have decreased by about 40 minutes, perhaps we wouldn't be running in the dark for so long. We did get a cool glow-in-the-dark medal I'll consider it :)