Sunday, March 29, 2015

Race Report | Warrior Dash So Cal

I've done one Warrior Dash (mind you, nearly three years ago), and another mud run last year ... lemme tell you, they never get old. They're a gret opportunity to kind of get out of a running rut, change things up and challenge yourself aside from running in a straight line. Never  mind that this was 6 days post-marathon and apparently a challenge enough...

Doug, Jumah and I signed up for this about 6 weeks ago - it was just down the road from us at Prado Regional Park, so what was there to lose with it being all of 15 minutes away? I was excited to do another WD, and this was Jumah's first all-out mud run.

All clean and ready to go!
We had signed up for the 10:30 wave, which was part of the St. Jude waves, at an extra $10 donation per person. We opted this due to timing  mostly, since Doug had a conference Saturday evening out in Palm Springs. We had a discount code though, so we really only paid $5 extra, but still had $10 going to St. Jude, so a great cause supported by a fun effort. All-around win! 10:30 turned out to be perfect - not stupid early, but befor the heat really set in for the day - it was hot by the time we finished at 11:45, so I felt bad for anyone that had waves later than that.

The downside to Prado is that it's dusty - I mean, you can say that about anywhere in California right now (hooray drought), but we ran on dusty, dry roads for nearly the entire route. In fact, our first obstacle wasn't until at least a mile in - which I found pretty annoying. Not even a mile in, my ankle started feeling sore too - but more on that later - and so we ended up walking most of the entire course (supposedly, 3.2 miles).

Warrior Dash used to have four signature obstacles, all at the end - the great warrior wall, the junkyard (or "Road Rage on their page), the fire jump, and the mud pit at the end. I could have sworn that those four were at every WD, regardless of location or year (considering all others change based on race location and amenities). At any rate, we had neither the junkyard nor the fire jump and I was supremely disappointed - my guess is that with our drought, and the park being dry enough as it is, there's probably no way they would have gotten approval to have the fire. Still, a disappointment.

Mud pit to the finish line - Jumah in front, then Doug, and me.
Some obstacles were new to me though - a lot more with cargo nets, which I apparently can scale pretty easily. My legs couldn't handle the great warrior wall, so I begrudginly had to walk around while Jumah and Doug tackled the monstrosity. All in all, a great time. Thankfully, there were quite a few with water...

Coming down off Goliath - a FREAKING SWEET slide! 
Despite it being warm, the day was pretty nice. Not a cloud out, but again, that made it for just hot enough by the time we were done. At least we were caked in mud and couldn't feel it all...

My one major complaint about the post-race is the weak showers - just pipes that had water running through (PVC), but they were weak so they took forever. Not to mention that they drained down into the grass, right where the changing tents were, so you couldn't put anything on the ground while you were trying to change into something (relatively) clean.

Warrior Dash also has a new system where it's a sort of self-serve bag check. You zip tie your gear check tab off your bib to your bag, stick it on whatever table you please. After the race, when you go to pick it up, there's a one-way-out line, where a security guard checks to make sure the bib number you're wearing matches the bib number on the bag. Seems okay, but also leaves people open to rummaging as they please. We had no issues, thankfully, but it was an interesting system to see in place.
Love this guy! 
Major high fives to the folks at Warrior Dash for free race photos - and a ton! They were hard to search for, considering they can rarely see your bib number (you know, there being mud and all), but thankfully we were able to get our hands on a whole bunch. Hooray free race photos! Major high fives in my book. The shirts are a win again - I pretty much wore out my one from three years ago, so I'm excited to have a new one in the rotation to wear over and over - they're so soft!

Thanks, Warrior Dash, for another great race - see you next year maybe! And hopefully by then Southern California might allow for a fire jump...

Have you ever run Warrior Dash? Is the fire jump your favorite obstacle too?

PS - if you want the Go Pro view, check this out. A pretty great recap of the race!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rock 'n Roll Las Vegas + Injuries

Fun things first, 'caus life's better that way, right?

Rock 'n Roll's Las Vegas race is back this year (because I doubt in a billion years they'd ever cancel it) - and race registration opens on April 1! Much like last year, the kick-ass team at RnR is doing a mssive kickoff launch party and YOU'RE invited.

All this party entails is that you run a 5K between now and April 1 (yup, even around your neighborhood), submit your proof of distance (by uploading a photo), and this sweet shirt (or tank!) is yours! It's like an actual virtual race... for FREE!

Many thanks to Ashley at RnR for pretty much the best gifs in the history of ever.
Who's in? Make sure you Instagram, tweet and share your fun with #LVkickoffnight!  You can also sign up for a registration reminder here, in case you forget that April Fool's Day is the day to NOT be a fool and make sure you sign up to run the #StripatNight. I ran the half in 2013, and while it wasn't my favorite race, running the strip is pretty cool - you can check it all out here!

As for me? I'm not sure running a 5K is in my immediate future. I spent yesterday at the doctor's, both for this nasty cough that's been getting at me since the LA Marathon (I sweeeaaaarrrr I'm working on my race post), but also to check out my ankle - something's not been quite right since last Friday and it finally got to the point that I needed to figure out what.

She grabbed the back of my ankle (think Achilles-ish), and pushed her thumb into where the inside is of my heel and I pretty much yelped - to her quote, "Yep, that's pretty much some overuse syndrome right there... definitely tendinitis."

So now I'm on resting orders until things feel normal - many thanks to the powers of Google, this could be weeks or months. I am far beyond prepared for the idea of months, but know that resting is absolutely mandatory so I can be back sooner rather than later. Womp.

Sooo... who knows what this means. I'm signed up for an actual 5K race on April 11, and then thankfully not until May 3 (OC Half) and of course Pixie Dust weekend May 9 and 10. I can only pray that with rest and careful strengthening exercises, I can keep my ankle in check and be back to good fairly soon -- keep your fingres crossed for me!

Since it's Spring Break this week, I was all ready for some fun runs, maybe down at the beach and everything, and now I'm just gonna chill on my couch... and maybe finally write some race recaps. :) More coming atcha soon!

Have you ever been diagnosed with tendinitis? Other suggestions, things to do? How long did it take you to recover?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

LA Marathon | Goals

This is it, kids. It's marathon weekend. I've been training for this race since October, registered since November, and all of a sudden, it's here. While my nerves are nowhere near what they were for the first 26.2 mile adventure two years ago, it's still a sense of nervousness.

I'm stronger, smarter, and even a little faster than I was two years ago. I've trained smart (most of the time), have listened to my body on days I could push it and days I couldn't. I've PRed my 5K and 10K during training, a time where it isn't about speed but endurance. And I could have kept going.

So here's where nearly 500 miles of training over the last 500 months come to play: the stadium to the sea.

All weekend, they've been blasting the 10-day forecast everywhere and are expecting near-record, if not record, highs for the weekend. Awesome. Considering the corrals don't start until 7:25 am, that's already a late start if it's going to be that hot. While I'm bearing that in mind, I'm sticking with my original goals for the race. Ready? Here goes.

Goal A: 4:20
My one and only marathon time is currently a 4:58. I was undertrained, not smart, and though I made my goals, I knew I could have done better. In hindsight, I'm not sure I could have... but now? I'm ready. 4:20 is a 38-minute PR (HUGE), and still only a 9:54 mile. I know I am fully capable of maintaining such an average over 26.2 miles.

Goal B: 4:30
But should the heat get to me, there's always a Plan B, right? A 10:17 average mile would get me to a 4:30 finish time, which is still a super-stellar 28-minute PR. Seriously? Also totally acceptable in my head.

Goal C: Just Get Me a PR
And, well, because we always know that race day can throw whatever it wants your way, I'd just be happy with knowing I did better than the first time around. While I know that I'm smarter, stronger, better than two years ago, you really don't ever know what race day will throw at you, and sometimes you just gotta roll with the punches and play the cards you're dealt. If worse comes to worse, a PR is good enough for me!

It's scary putting these out there. It's scary knowing that it's already here, when I thought 5 months would drag on. This has been such a great focus for me, especially as I've ridden the ups and downs of job searching, which has been a marathon all its own. And it's all coming to an end... or at least in 2 days, 26.2 miles. Eep!

Meanwhile, I'll be working the expo on Friday evening and Saturday morning for Sparkly Soul
, so come say hi and get your sparkly goodness! Otherwise, see you on the course, or at an aid tent or the finish line!

You can also track me here - I'm bib #E9137. You can track online, and if we're Facebook friends, my feed will update for me. You can also follow me on Twitter, where my splits and updates will be. Send me some love - while I won't be reading 'em, I know they'll be coming! 

Are you running LA? Spectating? Watching from the comfort of your couch, thanks to it being televised in LA?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Marathon Music

I legitimately don't run  with music anymore. As in, I couldn't tell you the last time I ran with headphones, nor the last time I even downloaded a song because I thought,  "Oh! That'll be great on my playlist!"

In fact, even when I made a playlist for the first full marathon I ran, I didn't even listen to music, but instead talked to my friend Michael the whole way. Whoops? Truth be told, I very much weened myself off of running with my phone in two phases: first, when I got my Garmin because then I didn't need to track on RunKeeper or anything and secondly, during marathon training for Surf City because I ran inside so often and wanted to be able to focus. I am very much the type that gets lost in the song I'm listening to. Which isn't always bad...

So my plan for LA isn't that I'm running with music. I'm running with people. However, I'd like a pump-me-up, kick-it-to-the-finish kind of playlist to get me through the last 6-8 miles, right when I need that kick in the pants and a good beat to let me drown out the tired, heat, and pain and be able to push strong to the finish.

Here's where you come in. As I said... I have old songs. Last song I downloaded?

Check out that 'added' date. Sad, huh? I mean, truth be told, if I DO listen to music around the house or whatever, it's usually off Pandora or Grooveshark, so it's not like I've had to download songs in recent history. But still, sad, because I know there's some great stuff out there!

So alright... lay it on me - what HAS to go on my playlist for this Sunday's magical 26.2 miles... or rather, last 10Kish?

What's your current go-to song for a good push?

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Race Report: The Coaster Run 10K

The Coaster Run 10K | 10th Anniversary | March 8, 2015
Knotts Berry Farm, Buena Park, California

YOU GUYS. Two whole race recaps in one weekend?! Who am I? Well (spoiler alert), I'm the girl that just PRed two different race distances at two different races in one weekend. I'm on fiiiiiiire.

I desperately wanted to run the Coaster Run last year, but it sold out before I got my act together to get registered and stuff, so as soon as I had the cash for it (slash, it was on sale at the Surf City expo), we jumped on it. Doug wanted another shot at a 10K, and I just wanted to do this race! Even being the week before LA, and the day after Dairy Aire, I knew I had to make it happen. Snoopy everywhere? Yes please!

Rise and shine!
The time change hurt a little bit, no lie, but we made it work - in the car at 5:45, down to Knotts-ish by 6:10, dressed and out of the car by 6:30 to make the short walk across the street, into the Knotts parking lot and the madness that was race day pick up, gear check, and the like. I had no idea how many runners would be there today, but it's safe to say that it's one of Renegade's biggest events, if not the biggest. 

Both the 5K and 10K were separated into corrals (see! Tons of people!) and Doug and I were both in Corral 2. Corrals were to be separated by 3 minutes. The race started a few minutes late, but no sweat, as we still had time to push-and-shove our way into the right corral. And then like that, we were off!

I had no real goal for the race - run smart, see what you're made of, but if your legs are tired from yesterday don't push too hard, you've got a big race next Sunday! Enjoy it and let's see where this run takes you! 

Heading into the park at the main gates!
Mile 1 - 8:53 - I honestly thought it'd have been slower than that because of the early congestion in getting out of the corrals, around the first few corners, and underneath the Beach Boulevard tunnel and into the park. Apparently I was still chugging along pretty good, even when turns got tight! This was entirely through the park, which I just love. Who doesn't love running through amusement parks before the rest of the world gets to come in?!

Mile 2 - 8:44 - This even included a stop with Lucy and Charlie Brown! I wish I had gotten it on my phone, but I didn't have my phone out at that moment and I literally ran right into their arms, snapped the photo and kept going. I'll have to wait until the official race photos are out! 

Mile 3 - 8:40 - Just after you pass the mile 3 marker is where it gets boring for real, as you've run all the paths for the main park and Soak City by now, and are officially on nothing but city streets. Lucky for me, I knew exactly where I was - except for a few turns in the park, the Santa Hustle Half took me on the exact same route (and then some), so I knew everything that was up ahead. It was about here though, that I realized my watch was about .10 of a mile behind. No biggie, just hoped it wouldn't be too off at the finish.  

Mile 4 - 8:36 - Nothing but loooong stretches of city streets ahead. Yawn. Again, luckily I knew it was all coming, so I just geared myself up and gave myself a little pep - two more miles! That's nothing! Keep pushing. Mile 4 is by far the worst, as it turns you into the backside of the mall parking lot, runs the length, and doubles-back to put you out on the road again. Snooze! Thankfully, there were tons of people cheering at the U-turn, since it literally ends up being across the street from the finish line, so they could cheer at 4.75ish and then walk across Stanton to the finsh and festival. Easy peasy for spectating! 

Somewhere in here I started doing math for this potential PR. Unfortunately for me, though, I couldn't remember my 10K time - 52:50? Nope, that was the split during the LA RnR. 54:something at Dino Dash, that's all I know. Just beat 54 and you've got this made. 

Adorable, no?
Mile 5 - 8:24 - Last stretch of roads. Cheered for people, kept myself motivated by trying to give others the boost along the way too. Apparently it works wonders for your own confidence! A woman I'd been leapfrogging with the whole way finally passed me at 5.5 and I made it my goal to make her my bunny until the end - she finished just ahead, but not by much! Apparently she works for Brooks (jealous; hi Toni!) and loves to pace people who are wearing Brooks shoes in races... lucky she found me! 

Mile 6 - 8:15 - Um, hi? Where did that mile marker come from? It's almost over already? Let's do this thing. 

52:39. Stoked to have a new 10K PR in the bag, just about 24 hours after setting that new 5K PR too! What an amazing race weekend! To boot, I finished 4th in my age group of 35 ... by 25 seconds. Serves me right for taking that photo with Lucy and Charlie. But still, killer overall and I'm beyond happy. 2:13 off my time from the Dino Dash! BOOM.

I waited for Doug to get in, and afterward made our way to the other coveted finish line token - a free slice of Knotts' boysenberry pie! Truth be told, while it's delicious, it was way more tart than I had expected and not what I wanted post-race. Oh well, it was good and a fun bonus. 

Final course map, per Garmin.
Turns out when I said there were a ton of people ... try 2800+ for the 5K, 1500 for the 10K and all the kids who did the 1K fun run! When I left the park for good outside Soak City at mile 3-ish, they were still counting down corrals to leave! Holy moly. 

So glad I got to make this race this year - and won't hesitate to make it part of the plan every year! 

- Great course! Even the city streets, which get boring, had great volunteers cheering and high-fiving
- Easy course at that (see elevation below)
- Awesome finish festival, tons of vendors
- Adorable medal & shirt (Snoopy everywhere!)

- Just the congestion... but can't be helped with a race so large!
- Oh, and the Nesquick truck ran out of milk. Just a bummer. :( 

Please observe those mile splits closely because I have never, ever run such perfectly progressive miles during a race - not to mention that save for looking at my watch at mile 1, 3, and 4ish, I wasn't clock-watching and going solely based off "feel." I had no idea I was moving quicker with each mile! Bring it on, LA Marathon!

Renegade does some of my favorite races around here (like the trail races I did all summer last year), and I'm planning on supporting as many of their events as I can! Thanks Renegade and team for another great event! See you next year!

What's your favorite post-race treat?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Race Report: Dairy Aire 5K

Chino, CA | March 7, 2015

I haven't done a 5K recap in so long, even though I'm still racing them, but I feel like today's deserves a post all on its own (even with another race coming up tomorrow morning!). This was the last race of the Chino Triple Crown series again (Reindeer Romp and Run for Russ being the other two).

With the big race just 8 days away, I wasn't sure how hard I wanted to go on this one. I knew that I wanted to push it, but maintain a solid pace so that I wouldn't burn out in mile 1 like I did in December at the Reindeer Romp. With a PR of 25:10 from just September, I wanted to aim for something around there - but whatever it was, I wanted to be consistent. With that, I wanted to be uncomfortable. An usual word, I know, especially when it comes to racing, but here's the way I looked at it: I can be uncomfortable for 3 miles, easy. Because it's over soon. But next weekend, at some point during those 26.2 miles, I will be plenty uncomfortable - tired, sweaty, hot, sore - and I want to know that I can break through the mental tired. Can I make it happen?

Post-race happy.
Mile 1 - 7:48
A little too fast, but when I was not even a quarter-mile in, I was banking a 7:07 mile. That'll be trouble. So I backed off, tried to control myself from booking it with all the elementary school kids and keep me legs under control. So in the end, a little too fast, but not dentrimental.

Mile 2 - 8:17
I walked through grabbing a cup of water, though I knew I didn't really need it. Mental excuse, I guess, to slow down for a hot second.

Mile 3 - 8:18
Well, at least now I'm a little consistent, right? It was here that I caught up to a mom and her daughter (maybe 7, 8 years old?) who I had trailed for a bit at the Reindeer Romp in December. Her mom was pushing her along pretty good, but you could also tell the sheer determination in this girl's face. If I only had that sort of determination that young! But anyway, turned the last double-back, walked for a second to gather any last momentum and made my way to the end. At the double-back, I had just .4 miles to go and just over 3 minutes to make the PR time cut-off.

.10 miles - 6:25
At least I know I can still book at the end!

A solid 25:00 (dead even) finish (25:07 per gun time, which is how this race rolls, boo!), but we all go by Garmin time, duh. Better yet, once I got my results text (I love Race Wire for that), I saw that not only had I PRed, but came in first in my age group too!

Age group winner.. holla! 
I definitely hit a point where I was uncomfortable - I'm a little disappointed in the fact that I stopped to walk, even if it was for all of 10 seconds, but I know that next weekend, I'll be able to push past that mental barrier and settle into the uncomfortable for a bit. God willing, this pays off next Sunday!

I love this race for so many reasons, and would encourage you, if you're in the Chino area, to make this a family-fun race with you and your kiddos. It benefits the Chino Youth Museum, and there's both the 5K and kids fun run offered. You get adorable tech tees (the cow design changes every year!), medals, and age group medals on top of that. For a race that's just $30, you really can't beat it.

Better yet? All the chocolate milk you can drink afterwards. It pays to be from Chino, sometimes. Mmmm... chocolate milk.

Tech shirt (complete with punk cow), finisher medal (black), age group medal (blue). 
What's your 5K PR? Have you ever PRed during marathon training? I feel like you're not supposed to... :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ragnar Del Sol: Part 1

Ragnar Del Sol | Wickenburg to Mesa, Arizona
February 20 - 21
Team Del Sol Sisters

My bestie, Tina, jumped on a Ragnar Del Sol team a few months ago... and apparently this team just couldn't hold on to folks because sooner rather than later, she had two more fabulous running friends on board (Erica and Mandy)... and not even a week before the race, I had an offer, too. Honestly, Ragnar is a great time but I wasn't sure it was in the books for me this year, but this offer was pretty financially amazing (I paid for van rental, gas, and my team shirts) and it was too hard to turn down. Perks to being unemployed? I can jump and go when I want.

Thursday I subsitute taught all day and at the first chance to get out after dismissal, I hopped in the car and beelined for the car rental facility (thankfully, not far) to pick up my car and hit the road. Without thinking that it was a Thursday afternoon at 4 pm, I hit monster traffic all the way through Palm Springs, and was already antsy to get to Tina's house.

Stateline! Woot!
Amazingly, I still made it in about five hours, but with the time change, I didn't get to Tina's driveway until just after 10 pm. With a 2:30 am alarm clock, I pretty much rolled in, got my stuff organized for the morning, and passed out.

Like I said, our alarm clocks were set wayyy too early - a 2:30 am wake up call so we could get up, get our stuff together, pack the van, and be on our way by 3:15 am for the hour drive to Wickenburg. Out the driveway at 3:12 am - are we good or what? We made it to Wickenburg in just about an hour, also right on tap, and in time to get me situated, fed, and dressed for our 5 am start time. As Runner #1, I was the one that really needed to be ready to go that early - lucky me!

Have I mentioned Wickenburg is kind of the middle of nowhere?

And that this middle of nowhere, desert town is really, really cold at 4 am in the middle of February? It was beyond freaking cold, but being the brilliant person I am, I brought one pair of pants to lounge in, and nothing longer than shorts to run in because in my head, "Oh, it's Arizona! I won't freeze." Wrong.

So I froze until start time. To further add to the mess, my Garmin died as soon as I hit 'Locate,' despite being charged all of Wednesday night (or so I thought). Frustrating to say the least, but luckily my rockstar teammate Erica let me use her Nike band.... until we realized its memory was full! What a weekend for technology!

So at 5:06 am, we were off! Bright dark and early, along with probably 25 other teams. Leg 1 was 8.6 miles, with a pretty nasty incline throughout:

Not a hard incline, just a long, treacherous one through dark desert hills. It got to me more than I had hoped it would, but I still knocked out 8.72 miles in 1:27 and change, just two minutes over my projected time and a 10:00 minute pace overall. I wasn't super happy with my first leg, but knew that it could only get better from there, right?! Right.

I had also hoped that my leg would get me some stellar views of the sunrise, but it actually worked in my favor that sunrise didn't hit until after my leg was over so I could enjoy it even more. Toni's leg was flat and gave her full view of the sun peeking over the cacti and brush, and left me seriously in awe of what I had woken up so early for. Arizona wins at sunrises, hands down, y'all.

The day was surprisingly cool, and just about any time I was outside the van, I had a hoodie on, if not pants and a hoodie too. Who knew Arizona actually had cool weather? I kid, I kid. Runner after runner, cowbell after cowbell... soon, it felt like we'd been going at it for hours and hours. Toni finished her first leg, then Mandy, Erica, Alicia, and soon enough we were on to Tina's first leg to wrap up the first round for Van 1!

We sent Tina on her way and made our way to the first major exchange to meet Van 2. Mind you, aside from the Facebook group, I literally hadn't met anyone in person, as I had missed van decorating fun the night before since I drove in so late! So I was excited to actually meet everyone - our captain, Stacy, and Olivia, Molly, Angie, Camie (runner turned drive due to injury) and Dawn! It was finally coming together - it's nice to meet people and see faces rather than just profile photos!

Del Sol Sisters, minus 1.
Tina came flying in (that girl ran her fastest mile EVER in the first mile of her leg, mind you!) and we got our team photo, amidst some chaos with the photographer, so really the 'team' photo turned into a team of 11, or 7, or 8, depending which version you've got. Hilarious. At any rate, we said our quick 'hi's' and 'byes' to Van 2, and we got our selves re-situated, out of the dust bowl of a parking lot, and on to our most coveted destination: FOOD. Chipotle on tap, which is pretty much the best post-long-run food ever and we were beyond excited. So excited, our van 1 photo had to wait until after food so we were all happy enough to smile...

And just like that, it was on to the next major exchange for a little downtime... but more on that soon!

Did you run Ragnar Del Sol?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

February Recap

I'm far behind in race and month recaps, but February turned out to be pretty freaking fantastic, so I decided it was worth catching up for!

Total run mileage: 118.5 ... new highest monthly mileage ever... and in a short month, too! 
Highest weekly run mileage: 33.3, thanks to Ragnar! 
# Runs: 19
# Rest days: 10 
# Cross-training workouts: Errrr... 1. Whoops?
# Races: A few. Seriously, so far behind on recaps! But Ragnar posts coming soon! :) 
     - Surf City Half Marathon
     - Run for Russ 5K
     - Ragnar Del Sol 

Favorite run: I mean, honestly... even with (some) stranges, you can't beat an experience like Ragnar. I was lucky enough to get a very last minute spot on a Del Sol team that was pretty financially reasonable considering Ragnar is usuallly anything BUT that, and though I knew 4 of my van-mates, the other two I got to share a smelly van with for 37 hours were pretty phenomenal, too. Lucky girl, over here. More on Ragnar soon, promise!
You can only be so lucky, right?
Most hardcore run: That 16 miler I rocked almost entirely by myself! Save for those 3 miles during the 5K where I got to run with 900 other people, I rocked a half marathon totally and completely solo... and turned out to be exactly at race pace average time. Booyah. 

It was after this run that I thought, "Yes, yes I CAN do this," and yes, my goals are possible. (Spoiler: goals coming soon for that little race I've been training for...)

Current need: Good vibes. I had a pretty kick ass interview last week that I am desperately waiting to hear back on, and one more tomorrow that I'm pretty excited about... there's lots coming down the pipeline, I just need something to work out. Please and thank you. 
Current favorite: I'm super excited Sparkly Soul released gift cards, just in time for all the holidays - because people know I love them, and have a billion, so what on earth color to choose? Well, now you don't have to decide for me, kids. You can just gimme the card and I'll decide for myself! 

Current triumph: Knocking out a killer last month of marathon training - 118.5 miles is my highest monthly mileage ever and it was a short month to boot, so I'm pretty stoked. I'm also excited to be an ambassador now for the Lexus Lace Up Running Series - so that means more discounts! Check out my Race Discounts page for information and money-saving codes! 

Current goal: Well, it's officially marathon month. So basically, I'm trying not to freak out all that much and take the next two weeks in (literal) stride as I make my way through our taper peroid and into race weekend. March 15 is the big day -- my official race goals will be up next week, so for now... you'll just have to wait! 

Looking forward to: honestly... race day! Can you tell I'm excited?

What are your biggest accomplishments from this month? What are you looking forward to next month?