Saturday, February 21, 2015

Running on 2 Turfs

Well lets just say I decided to do dual run in one day, which is normal for me but this dual run was different. Different because its on two different turfs... different worlds. First run was all pavement and the second a trail run. Something I have never done but there will always be a first for everything right?

The morning run was on pavement which was a 10 mile route. I was telling myself to take it easy when I woke up but umm that didn't happen. Haha! When I started and I had my music going, I got into a zone. I need up running a lot quicker than I have planned. Oops! 

Anyways, this route was the Torii Station to Lighthouse run. Its about 5 miles out and 5 miles back. You can choose to either run the hilly route or the flat route. We all decided to run the flat route just because of the scenery. With the pace I was going, I knew I was going to be worn out for the trail run. 

Once we finished the first route. 5 of us had to meet the trail runners. Whom have been waiting for quite some bit. Haha! By now, I was already too worn to run but yet again, I decided to suck it up. haha. 

So once I swapped out my pavement shoes to my trail shoes. It was on. The sun was up and shinning down on us. It started to get hot but sometimes there would be a cool breeze that would sweep through to help cool us off. 

The route was a bit dryer then the first time I have ran it but maybe thats because WOOT (Women of Okinawa Trails) ran it so much it just dried up the place. haha! Just messing. Anyways, this route is actually great. There were quite some obstacles if you think about it, which kept my mind going. Also, when I am sprinting down the hills as I run pass trees and bushes. 

Well towards the end, I was practically done. Exhausted to the max and lost my train of thought at most. haha! It was the sun's fault. I was running low on water but it did last me 6 miles of trails. Like my races, I feed off of other runners positiveness to give me a motivation boost. So it was fun, these ladies are strong runners. They lasted way longer than I did. 

Overall the lesson to this is that, you cannot always run on one certain path. You'll end up getting bored. So make a right into the woods and enjoy nature first hand. At the same time, trails do work different muscles in your legs too. To also push your body to its limits to see where it stands. So that you can learn how to observe it and learn how to surpass that. 

It does not matter which boundaries you are in or whose turf your running on. Everyone shares the same passion, pain and experiences. 

Special thanks to Dar for encouraging me to run both routes, even when this was her first trail run on this route. Such a strong woman runner, kept leading the pack even when she didn't even know the trail. haha! 


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Okinawa Marathon

Well first off.. Don't you like how the Japanese advertise their races? Pretty neat I say. Anyways, first marathon race of the year. It has been a long wait and I have been preparing myself for this race. Rumor has it that this was going to be a hilly route. So what do I do? Hit up hills and lots of it. 

As you know me already, there is no race without pre-race photos. Especially with the greatest group ever and familiar faces. Nothing like to start a run on a positive note that everyone will endure this journey and knowing that you are not a lot. That there is a lot of ways to dig deep and pull out some motivation from one another. 

Well the race was set to start at 0900 I believe and being in our corral for a while kind of hyped me up a bit but then the sun came out. Yes the sun came out before the gun went off. Anyways, as they announced that the race was to begin. So I started try to zone out and get pumped with my music. Bang! Before I reached the first mile, I was already sweating like I was in a sauna. It was crazy hot and the only breeze I was able to feel most of the time was from cars passing by from the opposite lanes. 

The sun stayed out and never went away. Yes, I understand it was a beautiful day, according to those that didn't run this race. haha! But seriously though, that sun sucked all the energy from me way too soon. Used up my water from my handheld but I was so in the zone for the first 10 miles. Running at a high 8 minute pace. 

I could be the pace that drained me but it was definitely the sun that drained everything from me. Anyways, lets talk about these hills. When someone posts the the hill elevation and it does not seem like as much as we have been training on. Well remember that the photo seems a little scrunched together. So it didn't show the gradual hills, now that was a straight up screwed up my mental side. haha!

I mean I had no problem running or not stopping during the first few hills but what also sucks is that. Every hill we approached, I knew how it was going to be because I've driven it. Yup surly the hills kept coming and I slowly ended up slowing down. Then to a walk/run method. 

Starting somewhere on mile 18, my right leg decided to toy with me with muscle cramps/spasms. So every time my leg was about to cramp/spasm. I would stop and walk it out. I did this throughout the whole way. Some I would try to run further but some were short. While I was doing this, I was trying to compensate by putting most of my weight on my left leg. Doing so, my left foot ended up hurting real bad. Even after I decided to stop with the compensation, my left arch was killing me. So yet again, I was enduring more pain. This time it really slowed me down, there was more walk/run. 

Anyways, I did walk at the last 1k of the race. Crazy right? Haha! If you knew how much pain I was going through. Well once I reached the track, which was the last stretch of the race. I decided to sprint it out but about 10 paces from the finish line. BOTH OF MY FREAKING LEGS DECIDED TO CRAMP UP! Haha! So I ended up hobbling to finish. 

Crazy thing was that before the race, I was deciding if I should bring my handheld water bottle, music and compression sleeves. Glad I decide to take them with me. I would rather over carry things than carry less because I can always strip it off me. OH! and my damn Nike GPS watch froze on me on mile 18! MOTHERFATHER! haha! Looks like Im going to invest in a Garmin. 

I did reach my goal of running a Sub 5 run. Im counting my chip time because thats when I crossed those pads. So I finished at 4:59:48. Hell yes! Thank you Tabatha for showing me and brightening my day. haha! 

Okinawa Pavement Pounders!

Special Thanks to Desiree and the Stroller Warriors who were posted up at the best spot where I needed it. They were my oasis in a desert. Thank you for your support. As well as Kevin Spain for stick with me through the painful parts of the race. Same with Shirley as she cursed her feet, which we will never speak of again. haha! 

Overall though, if it wasn't for this wonderful group. I think I would of ended up just running on my own and not racking up my medals and milestones. So thank you all for the great motivation, inspiration and as always great friends. 

Music that made this race

Friday, February 6, 2015

Nago Half Marathon

First race of the year 2015, it was a long time coming. Anyways, during this race I was determined to try to beat my PR (Personal Record) but then I decided to just try to run it under 2 hours. So prior to this race, I was told that there were only two hills. WRONG! There were multiple hills but the good thing about it was that I was prepared.  Since I've been on an elevation gain challenge. So it paid off. 

As usual, Okinawa Pavement Pounders were there in full force. It seems like this group is just growing and growing. I didn't realize how many attended this race either on the Half Marathon or the 10K. Overall, it's always great to be running with people you know. It feels good towards the end when they are cheering you on for a strong finish. 

Anyways, the weather was a bit cold, while we waited but it turned out to be the best thing when we started to run. Like any other races, we ended up bottle necking it at the start for a bit. I was in a happy mood but once I reached mile 2. Knowing I was alone, I ended up getting into the zone. I started to keep a pace and passing runners. 

I have never ran this course at all, so I never knew what to expect but with every hill I've reached. I wouldn't stopped no matter what. As I continued to push, my mind only had a few things going. Not to stop and endure the pain. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Starting the New Years!

So I was asked to run 26 miles to start the New Years. Well I accepted and warned the other better runners that I will be slow but they didn't care. It was all about the journey rather than it being a race AND that is what I love about this group. They know everyone's weaknesses and they try not to discourage you on a normal run. 

Anyways! So this route we took was my number one place to run. Well when I left my place, it didn't seem that cold, just a little warm. So I still brought my hoodie with me as usual. Weeeeeeelllllllll since I love being the early bird to these meets. I was first to find out how freaking cold it was and to top that it was also windy. Which didn't make it any better. haha! 

So, while the other three runners, were prepared and had their warming layers just sitting in the car. I was stuck with a sweater with a miniature parachute attached to me. Haha! So when the wind blows the right angle, my hoodie would blow up, which was giving me a bit of a resistance. I managed to run the whole route with it, without taking it off. 

Okay, enough of the complaining, this route turned out to be a unique one. Instead of running on five different islands. To include Okinawa. We ended up running to two more islands, they were small but they were extra islands. So tell me, where in the world can you say you've ran on seven different islands in one run? Hmmm? :)

So throughout the time, I was eager to beat my marathon time last year of 5 hours 48 mins. I ended up running this route in 5 hours and 13 mins. Yes this route was .2 miles shorter but that does not matter. I freaking PR'd. Overall I felt great this run because I didn't bust out my headphones or music overall. I only had a gel shot and a power bar. So I felt way better than my last marathon. It's because I was prepared for this one. 

Anyways, today I dedicated this run to one of the best influential runners in my life. I was always up for sooooo many challenges with her. Yes, knowing she's a way better runner. I knew what I was getting into and I am that crazy for saying yes. So if it wasn't for her, I really don't think I wouldn't be where I am at now. Yes an easy pace but longer runs.