Monday, September 5, 2011

Rainy Day, Don't Go Away!

Today is the perfect rainy day. I woke up early to go to hot yoga with my friends Kate and Ashley. Last night, Kate had a small dinner party that Ashley and I went to, and it was wonderful as usual. Kate is a great entertainer, and she was prepared with smoked salmon (that her father smoked, of course), pork roast, and fancy cocktails. It was a great night, and I am so blessed to have such great friends. Of course, cocktails and wine do not bode well for an 8 AM hot yoga class... 

Kate and I made it, but Ashley did not. I don't blame her at all... she has been working hard and deserved to sleep in. The class was waaaaaay harder than I anticipated. It was hot power fusion, so it was over 100 degrees and I could not take it. I felt like fainting and/or throwing up multiple times during the class. I had to revert to child's pose multiple times. I am in awe of Kate- she takes all these workout classes with me and Ashley and she always outlasts both of us! She is awesome!! We did bodypump on Sunday and she stayed for kickboxing while Ashley and I hobbled out of there with our tails between our legs.

After getting out of the hot, humid room I immediately felt better. As soon as I stepped outside, I knew it was going to be a great day. It was cloudy and slightly warm and humid, kind of tropical. Jeff and I took Toby for a leisurely walk through the park, and came back and made eggs for breakfast together. After lounging around for a bit and cuddling with Toby, we went to see Captain America downtown (which was SO GOOD by the way). When we came out of the theater, it was actually raining. Hmm rain in San Diego while the rest of the country seems to be having sunny weather? I guess the tables have turned! I love this type of weather. It makes me just want to curl up at home with a book and some tea. Which I think I am going to do soon!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sunday Funday

I finished my second AFC half marathon on Sunday! Woo hoo! That is a new accomplishment- I have never done the same half marathon twice. In fact, I am pretty sure I have never done any race twice. Oh except maybe the Father Joe's Thanksgiving 5K, which we have walked with Toby for the last 2 years. We will definitely be doing that one again this year. I am always amazed that my dog Toby can last for over 3 miles. He has such short little legs- but I think he just keeps following his nose and the adventure keeps him going.

So yes, I finished my half marathon on Sunday. It was actually nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be. My goal time was 2:30. I figured I hadn't trained, and I wasn't planning on running the entire thing. Well it turns out that, despite having to take a 5 minute bathroom break in the first 2 miles (I had coffee on the way to the race! And of course there was a line), I didn't do too badly! My time ended up being just short of 2:20, so without that bathroom break it could have been close to 2:15. Considering my best time is around 2:03, that's really not bad. I think the main part of the race my non-training affected was how sore I was afterward. I could tell it would be worse than normal, and on Monday I found out that I was correct. I think it had something to do with only getting 5 hours of sleep the night before (we got home from a baseball game/Dierks Bentley concert around 11 and I woke up at 4 to walk to the race buses 2 miles away). But the feeling of finishing was all worth it.

After the game, my friend Kate met me bearing gifts. She is who I want to be when I grow up (and yes, I have told her this). She may only be a few years older than me, but she is my role model. I know that might be weird. But seriously, she is the nicest, sweetest person ever, and not only that but she is an awesome hostess. Whenever I show up at her place for dinner or wine, she has a cheese plate prepped and cupcakes in the kitchen. Amazing! And of course this time she didn't disappoint- she brought homemade lemon scones. I had had coffee before my race (luckily Lestat's coffee shop was on the way to the buses in the morning, and they are open 24/7- sidenote: there was a couple on a date there, I am pretty sure, at 4:30 in the morning! What the hell??), and my stomach was a little bit iffy when I finished. I also felt kind of lightheaded during parts of the race, more overexerted than I normally feel (again, attributed to my lack of training), but I ate the scone anyway. It made my stomach hurt a little worse, but it was definitely worth it. It was delicious.

After chatting with Kate for a few minutes, I walked over to Jeff's baseball game across the bridge and watched his team, Cali's Finest, demolish the competition! It was a great game; I am pretty sure the final score was somewhere around 12-4. And how they are in the finals! Ashley and I will be going next Sunday to cheer him and the other guys on to win the championship! After his game, we showered and then walked over to Small Bar, our Sunday brunch place of choice, to meet Ashley for brunch. We were both tired from our respective athletic feats of the morning, and Ashley was hungover. The perfect brunch combination. The only thing missing was a bloody mary. How does a brunch place that specializes in bloody marys run out of them?! To be fair, I could see that lots of people that had run the race went there for brunch (in their running gear and tech shirts). So I guess we runners sucked them dry of tomato juice. I settled for a mimosa and a beer, and proceeded to walk home and pass out for 2 hours with the dog. If Toby knows how to do anything, it's nap. He is really good at it.

In addition to my 2 hour nap, I slept another 10 hours Sunday night. I woke up at 8:15 Monday morning in a daze- I really needed that sleep. I could barely pull myself out of bed even after all that sleep, I was so sore. Walking was difficult. Luckily I knew that would happen, and made no real plans for Monday, sans a dentist appointment. I ended up going to Corepower Yoga later in the day to do their Hot Power Fusion class, a class that blends regular Bikram yoga (poses) with vinyasa (flow). The room felt way hotter than normal to me, and with my soreness I struggled a lot during the class. But boy did I feel great afterward. The teacher adjusted me during class, and afterward asked if it was okay or too much. I told her that it was just enough, I really needed the extra push.

I took yesterday off from all activity (not including going to work and back, and walking Toby), and today I am going to more yoga, although not hot yoga this time. Ashley's new workplace, Fitzee Foods, offers free yoga on Wednesdays and boot camp classes on Saturdays. Their whole philosophy is centered around a healthy lifestyle, and their main business is making packaged meals that are healthy, organic, and sustainable. Pretty cool! I have tried the banana flax pancakes with agave, and those were awesome. And last night I tried the tilapia with rosemary hash, which was amazing. I can't wait to try more healthy dishes! I may pick some up tonight after yoga... Not only will the yoga help de-stress me tonight, I am treating my heart to some antioxidants- by way of red wine. Ashley and Kate (different Kate than the aforementioned, but just as great) and I will be going to Wine Steals and continuing our de-stressing post-yoga. Some girl time during the week is a must for me, it really helps me decompress. So does hanging out with the boys! But having balance is key.

I am really not sure how my running is going to go from here on out. My next race is the Silver Strand half marathon, in November. If I train, I really think I can hit my PR. But I am not sure if I feel motivated to do that. It's a flat course, so even if I don't train it won't be a terrible run. I will just have to see how I feel in the next week or two. I am perfectly happy with my hot yoga 3 days a week and my spinning and bodypump classes in between... I am getting a little too complacent with that and I maybe need to switch it up a bit. Hmm... lots of thinking to do!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Anticipating A Lazy 13.1

Wow, it's been over 2 months since I last posted- I am pretty lame!

I haven't posted much because I have not run much in the last couple months. Not only that, but I haven't really even wanted to THINK about running. My marathon was not only physically taxing, but it completely mentally wore me out. I kind of lost interest in running for a while, and I am sure it was because running pretty much took over my life for a good few months. I have a half marathon coming up in 2 days (the AFC Half, which was my very first half marathon a year ago), and I am not really looking forward to it. I guess I am not NOT looking forward to it either... I am just indifferent. I haven't been training for it, so I am looking at it like a leisurely run. I am going to take my time, take in the scenery along the ocean, and just pretend like it's not even a race.

Not training for a marathon has freed up my time for other things I had been wanting to do on the weekends, which is great. I have been able to go to Jeff's baseball games, which is always fun. His team, Cali's Finest, is 8-2 this season and in the playoffs! His first playoff game is right after my half marathon on Sunday, and very conveniently within walking distance from the end of my race. I have been able to go hiking, go to the beach, go to street fairs, and just relax on my days off. When I was training for my marathon, my Sundays would be spent running and my Mondays would be spent doing errands. So it's a very welcome change. Actually, Jeff's team is taking a season off from baseball so when he is done with the playoffs, I plan on making some quick weekend trips. Camping, hiking, and wine tasting (oh my!). It will be really nice to just get away with him for a few weekends.

I have still been exercising since my marathon, of course. I have just been doing everything except running (okay, a tiny amount of running maybe). I have kept up my lifting routine (taking Bodypump classes at 24 hr fitness helps keep it fun), have been training with Angela, and have been spinning with my fave teacher, Najia. Actually, funny story, she said that one of her other students googled "Najia's spin class" to find class times, and stumbled upon my blog! So funny! Najia, maybe you are even reading this now... haha :-)

The major change in my exercise routine has been getting back into yoga. Hot yoga, specifically. A little over a month ago, I decided to purchase a Groupon for Corepower Yoga. My friend Ashley makes fun of me because I have Groupons and Livingsocials for pretty much everything, BUT $59 for a month at Corepower was a pretty good deal. Usually a month by itself is $159 (a membership is a little cheaper)! Hot yoga is a whole different experience, you come out of class all sweaty and exhausted- it's gross and refreshing at the same time. Especially yoga sculpt which is my favorite- weight lifting and hot yoga go surprising well together, if you like torturing yourself, as I do.

Because I had a month unlimited, I ended up going 3 times a week. I like to get the most for my money... I am by no means a yogi, but I have tried to adapt some of the yogi lifestyle. I don't think I could ever be a vegan, or give up caffeine (no more cappuccinos from Twigg's? Not possible), but I have tried to mentally put my yogi shoes on (although I don't think yogis wear shoes...). Before when I took classes, they would just be another workout class to me, and my mind would still be running at full pace. But I have tried to really listen to my body and release my thoughts while in the classes, and I think it has really helped me deal with the stress going on in my life.

Not that there is much stress in my life at all. I have a great life and I am incredibly happy.
I just started a Corepower membership this week, as soon as my month was done. It's pricey, but for me is a worthwhile investment. I plan on taking full advantage of unlimited yoga; it keeps me grounded and makes me feel great. Well, I guess it's a combination of yoga and the awesome people (and Toby) in my life that keep me grounded and make me feel great!

Namaste :-)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Solitude Of A Morning Run

This morning I went on an early run. I like running with other people sometimes (depending on the person, haha), but this morning a solo run was just what I needed. The setting was lovely. The sun had just risen, dawn had just broken. I am thoroughly enjoying that the sun rises before 5:30 AM these days and doesn't set till 9, oh the joys of summer. The skies were a little bit gray with light rain clouds, and it had begun to drizzle when I set off on my run. I ran from my apartment, to Balboa Park's museum area, through some of the botanical garden, through some dirt trails, and back home. I passed a couple runners, but for the most part no one was out. I was alone with my thoughts, and considering the minor drama in my life right now, it was nice pound the pavement and sweat it out.

It was my first real run since my marathon, and I wasn't sure how it would go. I skipped anything involving exercise on Monday, I deserved a break after 26.2 miles the day before. But I did a light workout Tuesday and did spin class (although took it easy) on Wednesday. I didn't work out Thursday, but I could feel that my legs might still be a little tired this morning. My knees were a little bit creaky as I started out, but I completed my 4.75 mile loop, and it was hilly at that. Although I felt more sluggish than normal, I felt so good afterward. Totally worth getting up early and resisting the urge to hit the snooze button a few more times (after the 5 times I had already hit it...)

I was also maybe a little bit more light on my feet than normal because I had ordered a new running skirt the week before and was finally trying it out. I had been skeptical about them; before I started running I had no idea people ran in skirts. I could barely run in shorts without chafing. But Body Glide does wonders. I slathered myself up in some of that and, after conquering running in shorts, tried out my running skirt. So comfy. I could definitely see buying another. I bought one because was having a National Running Day special, 15% off. So maybe I will wait for another deal like that. But it's so cute. Black, teal, and purple argyle. I am not going to lie, I got a couple honks from cars this morning. The skirt made my legs look rather awesome if I do say so myself. And I got a matching sports bra. I think my new exercise goal will be getting my stomach to the point where I am comfortable just wearing a sports bra and shorts (or skirt) to work out. I will probably still never do it, but I would still like my abs to look nice.

That morning run definitely set the tone for the rest of my day. I am feeling happy, and I love the feeling. Plus I earned that beer I am going to have after work today! :-)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rock n Roll San Diego 2011

I finished my first marathon!!!!! 

It is seriously one of the best feelings I have ever experienced. It's been a day and a half, and I am still overwhelmingly elated. It's incredible.

Saturday I went with Jeff to the expo for the marathon, and it was awesome. We took the trolley down there, which ended up being a great choice. I hate driving down there in the first place, but traffic was even worse than usual. We went early and good thing we did- it was already packed. It was a huge expo, but very well-organized. According to the announcer, SD's Rock n Roll was the first one so I guess they've figured it out by now. I got my bib, my tracking chip, and my shirt, plus some Clif Shots (I have always used Gu chomps, but Clif shots taste a lot better!), and we were out of there. 

I decided that since I needed to be carb-loading, we needed to have brunch at Pappalecho. They have the BEST cappuccinos I have ever had- tied with Twiggs, which is conveniently right across the street from our new apartment. I ate my entire plate plus a side of potatoes. But it's okay, because I needed the carbs... yeah... this was followed by pasta, mushrooms, and asparagus for dinner. The perfect pre-run meal nom nom nom! 

The morning of the race went really smoothly, better than I could have asked for. I woke up at 4:30 to give myself time to make a little coffee and eat breakfast (Honey Bunches of Oats with soy milk- not really common pre-race fare but it's what I had been eating before my long runs, so I figured it was probably a good choice), and make sure I had everything ready. Oh yeah and the most important thing- I foam rolled. I think it saved me during the race. Jeff drove me to the start line, and it was already light outside which amped me up to run. Right before the race, I got my fill of my trashy tv stars- Ali and Roberto from the Bachelorette were there, and so was Tamra from the Real Housewives of the OC (with her boyfriend, Eddie). Um- awesome. If I had to pick anyone to see, it would have been them anyway. Jeff's mom can confirm this. I am a little obsessed with my shows...

Before the race, I got to my corral and just wanted to get going. Unfortunately, the race started by corral, which was dependent on your estimated finish time. Mine was 4:20 so I was in the middle. Instead of starting at 6:15, I ended up starting closer to 6:35. But by then I was excited and just wanted to get going! It was a beautiful day in Balboa Park, perfect for running. Finally, after bouncing around to warm up, our corral (number 17) got started.

The first part of the run was actually the same as a 10K Jeff and I did last year, the AIDS walk San Diego. We are doing it again this year. It goes around Balboa Park and then through some of the museum area. I was fully focused on my run except for one thing- even though I had used a port o potty before the race started, 1 mile in I REALLY had to pee. Like, badly. I kept waiting to see which port o potties were least crowded, and somehow they were all really crowded. Ugh. Finally at around mile 3 there were 3 people in line for 3 bathrooms and I decided now was my chance. Even though it added 5 minutes to my time, it was worth it. Better then than that mile 18 when I wouldn't be able to start back up again. 

After that I felt refreshed. I ran the next 10 miles nonstop. It was an awesome run. I got to run on the 163 freeway, a road I have to drive all the time. I have never seen it without cars; it was a little creepy but really cool at the same time. It was hilly but so fun that I barely noticed. Plus a group of guys carrying a flag that said "England" ran by in their tighty whities- interesting things like that help keep the focus off the actual running part of the race.

After mile 14, things got a little more difficult. The run was just as pretty, through mission valley past the mall and to the ocean. But since I am used to half marathons, anything beyond 13.1 miles got immediately difficult. I was okay until about mile 18 and then I realized, WOW this is tough. I slowed down a lot. I walked and ran off and on, luckily more running than walking. Getting to mile 20 was hard but once I got there, I realized that it was the furthest I have ever gone at one time. That made me feel awesome. After that it got even tougher, but the race organizers planned the race well. The last 6.2 miles were right on the ocean, through mission bay and then around fiesta island. The temperature was warmer but not too warm. 

I really started to struggle during the last 5 miles. I was surprised that I ended up hurting where I did- my feet, my lower back, and my knees. My knees didn't surprise me, but I figured it would be my hamstrings and quads hurting. I had brought my phone with me knowing Jeff was going to meet me at the end, and I texted him that I would probably be another hour. The response I got back seriously almost put me to tears. Let me explain. I was already emotional. I have this thing that I get emotional when I work out. It's really weird, I admit it. I remember one time I was on the treadmill and "Hoarders" was on. It was an episode in which this lady owned a barn and kept all these animals in horrible conditions. There was a goat that was pregnant and had gotten hurt months before and it wasn't treated. It's leg was torn up and probably broken. It made me tear up. I think strong feelings + crazy adrenaline pumping through my system= Amanda crying. Awesome. Anyway, Jeff texted me that I was great and he couldn't wait to see me at the finish. And it was the encouragement I needed to finish the race. So even though I walked a lot in the last few miles, I ran the full last mile and felt strong. I was soooo happy to be done, not only because I was physically exhausted, but because 16 months of training had amounted to this. I had definitely not trained as much as I should have, but I was still able to finish. It was such a great feeling of accomplishment. Yayyyyy!!!

Jeff just barely missed me cross the finish line. Not his fault- the way the spectators had to get the finish line was ridiculous. There was no parking and instead they were encouraged to take the trolley to the nearest stop- over a mile away. But he was there at the finish line and I found him, and seeing him there made my day. I walked with him back to the trolley stop (after 26.2 miles, what's another mile?), and went home to soak in the bath tub before my beer consumption began.

A bunch of friends and I went to Small Bar for some beers and food, and it was just what I needed. Having my friends there to celebrate my accomplishment made me so happy. I spent the rest of the day eating (I earned that Cold Stone ice cream!) and resting, and just feeling great. That feeling lasted through today, and I hope it will last a while longer. I had a cappuccino with Ashley and Twigg's this morning and we hung out with our dogs in the sunshine, and this afternoon I had a 90 minute hot stone massage and pedicure to complete my post-run pampering. And now I am watching the Bachelorette with Jeff and Toby (yes, Jeff puts up with it- one reason I am marrying him). The perfect ending to a perfect day. This has been a perfect weekend. I am happier than I have been in a long time and I am excited about it. I want this feeling to last, and I am confident that it will. I am going to savor this feeling for as long as I can :-)

Friday, June 3, 2011



That is how I am feeling right now. It couldn't have anything to do with my iced latte from Twigg's this morning.. T-minus 1.5 days until my marathon. The San Diego Rock n Roll starts at 6:15 AM sharp on Sunday, and I am actually feeling ready. This will probably change at about mile 18, but for right now I am savoring how I feel. Angela said that the miles will go more quickly than I think and that I should savor every mile. I am sure I will "savor" every mile... it will probably feel like every mile is taking forever!

The last month has been quite an adventure. I found my wedding dress (so happy!!) and  moved into a new apartment in a lovely area called University Heights. I love being within running distance to the park, especially when the weather is as good as it has been recently. It makes me want to run. Moving is always an ordeal, and we are still unpacking, but somehow amidst everything else going on, I found a little time to train. Jeff has started running with me again too, which is always nice. The time always goes by a lot more quickly when I run with him!

This past month has been great overall, but this past week has been a rollercoaster. I am sure this happens to everyone at some point or another, but sometimes when things seem to be going really well for me, something unexpectedly flies up and hits me in the face. Figuratively, of course. Hitting me in the face literally would probably be a bit worse. Anyway, that happened this week. I thought everything was running really smoothly in my social circles, but apparently it was not running as smoothly as I thought it was. I won't go into details. The point is that I almost let it affect my mood, which would in turn affect my training and my outlook going into this race. Instead, I realized that what was happening was out of my control, and I had done everything I could to prevent it. I had done my best, and at the end of the day that's all I can do. Everyone has their own opinion and their own way of seeing the world, and I can't change someone else's outlook. But I can control mine. Epiphany! No negativity for me. I feel fantastic going into this race! :-)

My 16-week training is coming to an end, and more than anything it has taught me what to do and not do next time I want to train for a full marathon. I did some things right and a lot of things wrong. I am sure next time will not be perfect, but I know more what will work for me and what won't. I ran into a few roadblocks, mostly when it came to my schedule, but it hopefully will all work out and I will finish my race. Next time I train for a full marathon, I definitely won't be planning a wedding (one is enough for me! haha), and I hopefully won't be moving. I can't believe that in the span of 4 months I will have started planning a wedding, moved into a new apartment, and completed a marathon. I just joined a site called The Daily Mile, which is a forum for runners and other athletes looking for some advice and encouragement. I have already made a few new running friends and I am looking forward to their kind words.

I know I have said this many many times, but I am soooo thankful for those people in my life that have supported me through my training. Number one goes to Jeff, who encouraged me to take 5 hours out of our Sundays together to go on my super long runs, and who put up with me not being able to move after said runs. He also gets double brownie points for driving me to the start line on Sunday at 5 in the morning- he's a keeper! My sister, parents, and friends have been more than supportive, and I have learned a lot from both the runners and non-runners in my life.

You can tell you have ADD when you are not just thinking about the race you've been training for for months, but also what your NEXT goal is going to be. I am definitely focusing on the marathon, but my mind can't help but wander to what I will attempt to accomplish after this accomplishment. My goal for the end of the summer will be a sub-2 hour half marathon at AFC. I completed last year's at 2:03:54, and that was my very first half. So I am confident that with the right training I can meet my goal. And if not, then oh well! I will be happy with my best!

The next goal will be triathlons!

But for right now, all I can say is... I am ready to Rock N' Roll! See you at the finish line :-)

Monday, April 25, 2011


I don't know what happened over the weekend, but for the first time in a couple months I am actually feeling pretty confident about this upcoming marathon. I think it's a mixture of things. I had a great long run yesterday, had a fantastic picnic on the harbor with my boys, had an awesome workout with Angela this morning (I usually have terrible workouts post-long runs!)... but mainly I think it's knowing how many people are supporting me. Not just in running, but in all aspects of my life.

My fiance Jeff is the one I rely on the most. He is my best friend. And he has been nothing but supportive. Training takes up a lot of time on Sundays, which is the only weekend day we both have off from work. But he always encourages me to go when I say I have to take off for a 4 hour run, even if it takes up a big chunk of our day together. Knowing that he genuinely wants me to be happy and achieve my goals keeps me motivated.

My friends have also been really supportive- even if they do try to get me to drink with them the night before my long run! Haha... I heartses them.

My trainer Angela has instilled some confidence in me. Not only does she give me killer workouts (like she did today), she is a runner herself. Today she told me that before her first marathon, she never ran more than 18 miles at one time. And for any marathon she has done, she's never run more than 20 at one time. Considering I worked myself up to 19 miles, that makes me feel a TON better. Only one reason I heartses Angela!

Time to celebrate my recent workout success (and my completion of folding the laundry) by cuddling with Toby!