Lake Hodges 50k – 2017

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This past July I decided I was going to run my first ultra marathon. This decision came to
me in my journey to eventually qualify for Boston. I’ve noticed when I run longer distances not only do I become stronger but mentally my mileage becomes less. I’ve learned it allows me to run faster and longer. Adding miles to my runs, especially trail

drop bags!

drop bags!

runs gives me the strength I need to become faster. I could just get into interval training on a high school track but I find trails a little more exciting and my style!

I decided to run Lake Hodges 50k because the course looked challenging, the race director was organized, and the October date was appealing for nice weather…. It also gave me 12 weeks to train. Training was smooth, fueling for longer distances is fun for me. I like the science behind it and how nutrition plays a role in the way I preform. Since 31 miles isn’t a whole lot more than a marathon. I altered some of

first mile in and looking perfectly spooky for a Halloween race!

first mile in and looking perfectly spooky for a Halloween race!

my gels and actually added food (yes, food) to my training. It’s so hard for me to eat anything while running. The night before a run I can’t eat past midnight, I can stomach one Health Warrior Bar or gel and that’s it! It really sucks but that’s my body. So taking on an Ultra was exciting, it let me challenge myself and play nutritionist at the same time ;p

On October 28th, I woke up around 3:45 to make a 7 am start time. The race was held at Lake Hodges hence Lake Hodges 50k which is in Escondido. About 45-55

The long stretch before hills, this is where the sun started to poke out!

The long stretch before hills, this is where the sun started to poke out!

miles from my home. Since I had schedule two races this weekend, the 28th and 29th I wasn’t able to make packet pick up in between work and managing a LA packet pick up. So I got to the race by 6 to pick up my bib and shirt. The packet pick up line while long was fast, as it was organized well. I was able to pick my bib up, check in, and collect my crazy thoughts, lol. I originally put together two drop bags that I 86’d that morning and

decided to go “All IN” on the aid stations and my Orange Mud HydraQuiver Pack.

Before the race, I did some final stretching and prayed. I prayed for strength, I prayed for the other runners, I prayed for whatever God had planned for us; we would accept and try to understand his plan, whether we DNF or finished. Before I knew it I was toeing’ the start line and off into low

Photo by Scott Crellin

Photo by Scott Crellin

laying fog amongst the brush. The first 5k was easy and relaxing, from tips of previous ultra runners, I knew to start slow. I got into “my” comfortable pace. My pace was strong and my mind was open. I kept telling myself that finishing was more important than time, with the exception of course cut off times ;p My

Past the hills and getting closer to finishing, 24.5 miles and 6.5 to go!

Past the hills and getting closer to finishing, 24.5 miles and 6.5 to go!

goal for my first 50k was a sub 6:30, I wasn’t sure 5k or even 10k into the race if I’d hit my goal.

I continued to run and at 4.6 I came across my first aid station, it was after a hilly .5 of up and down. I stopped and refilled my bottles. I kept my nuun Performance in the pockets of my HydraQuiver. That helped me maintain my electrolytes and carb balance. My goal was to
intake between 100-250 calories per hour, as well as stay hydrated and energized.

Back at Lake Hodges and close to finishing!

Back at Lake Hodges and close to finishing!

Once I trailed off the aid station, I told myself to make those stations “markers” and utilize them as much as possible. The aid stations for this Ultra were

awesome and included anything you could think of. They really spoiled my first Ultra experience. The next aid station was 8.5 and the course during the

photo by Scott Crellin

photo by Scott Crellin

last 4 miles was back tracking the hilly .5 to an overpass that lead to open area and yay, hills! Between 8.5 and the aid station at mile 13. I started talking to a woman who was an ER nurse. This part of the course had long stretches of miles and farmland. She told me she ran this race before and remembers this part being boring as she ran it alone. Running through it, I felt free. I enjoyed the stretches and was happy for no incline, yet. Mile 13 we hit another aid station, I took my time

Back at Lake Hodges and with about a mile to go!! Smiles for days!

Back at Lake Hodges and with about a mile to go!! Smiles for days!

and my new running friend did too. We were there about 30 seconds, a refill and few pretzel sticks did the trick. This section is where the hills kicked in and I slowed down a bit. Only 13 miles in and I didn’t want to exert myself just yet. I still felt strong and I had my new running friend by my side. We were each other’s cheerleaders and it helped. The next aid station approached at mile 18, at this point I just refueled my OM bottles and snacked on some almonds I had packed myself. I took a Honey Stinger gel, and started back on my way. The way back to the next aid station just backtracked from mile 13 to 18.75, then 18.75 became 24.5. Getting through 18.75 and 24.5 was the toughest. My legs were on fire, hills for days and I also let my running buddy go so she could crush a PR! During this time I chatted with many runners, we both kept each other’s spirits up and managed to get through to the next station. 24.5 aid station until 28.9 I was running solo, trying to feel comfortable and stay headstrong. The ground at that point was flat but sandy. I started chatting with a young man who runs marathons every week. Some twice in a weekend. He was truly inspiring, I let him go at mile 30…so he could crush his PR. Between the last mile, I came across men and women who we

I finished!! Officially an Ultra Marathoner!

I finished!! Officially an Ultra Marathoner!

cheered each other on; keep it going; stay strong; see you at the finish! Coming along the lake once again, that familiar single track path that you started with was rewarding and so exciting. I saw the finish line in the distance and started my sprint. You can’t help but speed up and finish strong! Crossing the finish line was amazing, my sister surprised me with my boys and flowers. People were cheering and ALL the food was ready to eat!

I had finished my first 50k in 06:42:42, 12 mins longer than hoped but I finished and couldn’t be upset over a time. I didn’t know if I wanted to cry or laugh. The experience was amazing!!! I knew I had picked the perfect race for my first. I recommend Lake Hodges 50k to anyone whether you are running your first or 10th ultra marathon. The race actually has different distances, so you can start at a mile kids run, 15k, and then work your way into the 50k! This race spoiled me during my first ultra marathon experience. I’m now planning my next challenge, a 50 miler and hopes of the change to run MiWok 100k next May. I know this challenging and rewarding experience will lead me to Boston in the years to come. For now, I’ll enjoy new friends, miles on trails, and adventures with my boys!

Running while Breastfeeding

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Pumping at 3 AM before heading to the start corrals!

My second son was born during a year I had signed up for a lot of races. Giving up running when he was born wasn’t going to be an option unless my doctor told me otherwise. So, I had to revise my training schedule around feedings and nap times. I knew I wanted to breastfeed him, just as I did my first son for a year at the minimum. When I was cleared to run at my 6 week postpartum appointment, the planning begun. My shorter runs included me feeding baby before I would head out the door. This was easy, it was going to be my longer runs I would struggle with. What helped me the most was obtaining a breast pump through my insurance. Being able to feed my son before a long run, then pump 6-8 more ounces after relieved tension and weight.

I ran my first marathon when my son was 4 1/2 months old. I had to average out being away for 5 hours, when I normally would feed every four. My plan involved me feeding and pumping before I headed to the start line, which stretched my time out to 7 hours without feeding. My son would have milk to drink but this didn’t help me from leaking or feeling super uncomfortable. So by planning to have Mav meet up with me around mile 15-16 I was able to pump enough to get me to the finish and back to the hotel. Strategic planning, feeding schedules, and a pump helped me run while breastfeeding. Pumping after feedings and while my son would sleep through the night, allowed me to create a stock pile of milk. So even on some longer uncomfortable runs I was able to feel as ease knowing my son wasn’t going hungry.

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Breastfeeding at the finish line of RNR Las Vegas!

The Breastfeeding Shop is a perfect go to solution to obtain your breast pump. They work exclusively with your insurance company so you don’t have to pay for your pump out of pocket. If you plan on running while breastfeeding and don’t want to have to worry about being uncomfortable or baby going hungry while you are out; you are going to need a breast pump! Please check out the breastfeeding shop and fill out their form to get your pump today!

Surf City 10 – 2016

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New PR by 4 minutes! I’ll take it =)

The Surf City 10 was my first race since giving birth to Little Little. I was 8 weeks postpartum and cleared two weeks prior to the race to run, so I wasn’t sure how I would place. Throughout my pregnancy I continued to run, but as I approached month 8 and 9 I became discouraged with my time and pelvic pain. I wasn’t going into the race unprepared but not with as many miles as I would have planned. I opted to run the 10k as I knew I was strong enough to make the 6 miles down PCH. I really wanted this run to measure my strength and to challenge me mentally as I’m currently training for my first marathon in January.

Baby Baby had to join in on the fun!

Baby Baby had to join in on the fun!

My previous 10k time to beat was 57:37, which I ran back in March at 15 weeks pregnant. I knew this was definitely something I could do, especially with a mostly flat course and the sound of waves crashing in the background. The morning of the run I was excited and ready to go. I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep but I had a lot of energy. I received an adrenaline rush shortly after walking over to the start line. The first 3 miles of the race were smooth, I was well hydrated and had a positive mindset. Mile 3-4 was the turn around which had a slight incline. It didn’t keep me from maintaining a 9 minute pace. Shortly into mile 4 I picked up momentum which gave me a push into a 8 minute pace. As I entered the last mile I kept my focus on all the positive things in my life over the past year and how good it felt to run free again. I finished the 10k at 53:26 which averaged to a 8:36 mile pace.

Surf City 10 is an awesome race and the views are breathtaking. The race is designed for runners of all distances which allows them to train for the Surf City Marathon in February. This year’s Surf City 10 will be special for me as it marks my new 10k PR. The race was great for me to test where I’m at in my running. As I’ve mentioned before, I enjoy registering for races to hold me accountable. I only hope to gain speed and strength over the years. My next race is less than two weeks away in Las Vegas. My time to beat is 02:13:06! It’s my second half-marathon and this time I won’t be 6 months pregnant, lol. Training has been going well and I’m looking forward to a new PR!

Post race family hangs <3

Post race family hangs <3

Angels 5k & Fun Run

Angels 5k & Fun Run

Angels 5k & Fun Run

I love my 5ks! Especially after those trail runs, lol. They are bittersweet; the first mile is a breeze, the second I’m debating if I’m going to pick up my pace or die, and the third goes by so fast I don’t even realize I just past the finish line! Well, that’s the way I see my 5ks =) My most recent Angels 5k & Fun Run had to be by far my favorite run and course. I wouldn’t think at 20 weeks pregnant I would say that.

Post Run "bump" Pic!

Post Run “bump” Pic!

The event itself along with the charities the race supported was enough to get me to register, let alone it was at Angel Stadium! Go Angels! I did study the course a few days before the race, not like this always helps as the course could change but it at least gives me an idea of where I’m going.  Being pregnant (I forget sometimes) I wasn’t expecting to get a good time. This run surprised me though I did manage to maintain a 8 minute mile. The course was a nice flat surface with a slight dip when you ran through the dugout near the end of mile 3 inside Angel Stadium. I think I’m still in “awe” that I wasn’t running uphill, hahaha. The weather was calling for rain but started just after we finished the race. This run reminded me a lot of the OC Fair Run; awesome vendors,  great location and a whole lot of fun. I know I’ll be registering again for this run next year, this time with a double BOB ;p

Not to shabby for 20 weeks pregnant! I'll take it =)

Not to shabby for 20 weeks pregnant! I’ll take it =)

One Big Fun Run & the OC Fair! 

Better late than never!! Our first 5k together was so much fun! The fair was a blast! So, we made a short little video documenting our day =) I managed to export at 90% …. I’ll take it! Enjoy <3