July 30, 2010

By the Numbers

1. Now that I've been officially hired at my new job, I feel like I can finally share some details with you! I'm working at Fleet Feet Sports in Sacramento, a store geared toward all things running. Some of you may have a FF near you as they're scattered across the country and know about the amazing service they provide. I'm so excited to be a part of that! Plus, I get to talk about running stuff all day. Not bad for Rachel : ) Oh, and did I mention a little something called employee discount? So far I love it and I'm learning so much! The people are great and the whole atmosphere is just fun and welcoming. Right now I'm working on learning all about the FF fit process and trying to memorize every model of shoes!

2. Recovery from the marathon has been going well. My schedule only had one rest day planned for after, but I decided to take a few more, especially since I was also working those days and on my feet from 9-5pm. I was extremely sore for about 2 days following the race. Some of my coworkers worked on my legs with a trigger point which seemed to help, then yesterday I went in for a massage! As of yesterday my muscles feel back to normal, and I'm planning on testing them out tonight on an easy 4 miler. I've noticed, however, after a couple previous marathons that while my muscles feel better after a few days, I feel a bit fatigued for much longer. Since my next marathon is just a few weeks away I'll be jumping right back into training this weekend with an 11 mile long run, so we'll see how that goes. I'm planning on taking it easier than usual until I know how my body feels. But I've done it before and I'll do it again!

3. Yesterday I took the plunge and registered for my first triathlon! On September 19th I'll be completing a 400m swim, 24k bike, and 5k run at the Aflac Iron Girl Lake Tahoe Triathlon! I'm more than excited to take on this new challenge and switch things up from just straight running. I chose this particular tri for several reasons: it's an all-female race, it's in Lake Tahoe (hello, gorgeous!), the distances are doable for me without a ton of extra training, and you get a sweet medal (most short distance triathlons don't give out bling). I'm not going to start tackling the swim and bike stuff until mid-August (oh, right, I need to buy a bike first!), and will really focus on it once the E.T. Marathon is out of the way. I'm most nervous about the open water swim, but luckily I found a group in Sacramento that does practice swims at Folsom Lake, so I plan to drop in and get at least one open water swim under my belt before race day. Once I get my first paycheck I'll be investing in my first road bike - any suggestions or advice? I think I'm going to buy new since I haven't had any luck finding a good used bike in my size. I'm a little nervous about making such a big purchase but also super excited! Yay for triathlons!

4. Marathon number 6, the E.T. Full-Moon Midnight Marathon is now just a few weeks away! This will be my third marathon in three months, completing my trifecta challenge and qualifying me for the Maniacs. The race is held in Rachel, NV (I kid you not - this is partly why I wanted to do this race!), a couple hours outside of Las Vegas near Area 51 : ) My mom is coming with me and we're making a weekend out of it. We'll be staying at Bally's in Vegas and hitting up the Cirque du Soleil Beatle's inspired show,  LOVE while we're there! My mom will also be volunteering for the race so she'll be able to see me out on the course running in the middle of the night! Should be fun : ) I'm currently planning my alien-themed outfit, complete with plenty of reflective gear so I'll be all aglow in the desert.

5. Mid-week I'll be heading to Santa Cruz to meet up with my parents for our annual family vacation. I should be there Wednesday to Saturday and will be able to get in some great runs in a new, beautiful place!

6. The nail on my big toe finally fell off : /

July 28, 2010

San Francisco Marathon (Race Report)

What a race! Despite my initial plan to just have fun and take it easy on the notoriously hilly course, things just clicked and I felt great, surprising myself with a 6 minute PR!!

I headed to San Francisco Saturday afternoon, only to hit mad traffic and make it to the expo just as they were starting to shut things down. After picking up my packet I briefly met up with my aunt who I was crashing with to get the key to her room, then headed out of the city to Berkeley to try and relax and hit the sack early. I was staying in one of the Cal dorms and it was just my luck that the night I stayed there was an obnoxious concert going on right outside my window. Somehow I managed to fall asleep eventually, only to be woken a few hours later at the lovely hour of 3:30am. Followed my usual pre-race morning routine, then set out for the city around 4:15am. I gave myself plenty of time to get there in case of traffic, but the most I ran into on my way was a bucket in the middle of the street that got stuck underneath my car - ha!

Got to the start with plenty of time to spare, found a parking garage, and decided to take a little nap instead of heading out into the cold. When I finally made my way to the start line I passed by a public toilet with a very short line and figured it was better than a porta potty, so I hopped in line. Well come to find out it was actually some new-age toilet with a "self-cleansing cycle" after each use, lasting an entire minute! Water actually came out of the ground to clean the floor, meanwhile no one could use it til it was done. So that "short" 7 person line actually took almost a half hour! Afterward I hurried to the start line, dropped off my bag, and ran to hop into the next wave.
Nothing like starting a race while it's still dark!
Eager runners waiting the start!
Initially I was going to run with an official pacer - the 5:15 pacer was in my wave, and I figured that was a decent goal on a challenging course. I chatted with the girl while we waited to start, then finally we were off! It was a perfectly cool morning and would remain so throughout the race, which I think played a key role in my performance. What a difference from my hot runs here in Sacramento! We started off along the Embarcadero with plenty of sights to see, passing all the piers including the famous Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Ghirardelli chocolate factory. Around mile 2 we hit our first short-but-steep hill as we headed up to Fort Mason. At the top we had a great view of Alcatraz in the distance, as well as our first glimpse of the Golden Gate!
Pier 39
Fisherman's Wharf
Ghirardelli factory, yumm!
A nice girl offered to take an action shot!
The first hill of many!
Next up was Crissy Field. It was around this time that I actually started to worry a bit because my hips and legs were hurting already! I knew that wasn't a good sign so early on in the race, but I also knew that I would push myself and keep going. I was going to finish, even if it was miserable (ironically I felt much better late in the race). The next part of the course was the highlight of the race and took us across the Golden Gate Bridge from miles 6-9. As I ran along the bridge, shrouded in it's usual morning fog, my mind completely wandered from my aches and pains. What an exhilarating experience!
View of the Golden Gate from Crissy Field.
Heading up the looong hill to the bridge!
Almost there!
Simply amazing.
From the bridge we headed through some neighborhoods and hit our first long downhill. All I'm going to say is that after running this race I understand why downhills can be just as hard as uphills! Still, I followed my technique and found myself passing several people who had to slow down. Around mile 11 we entered Golden Gate Park where the full marathon split from the first half marathon, and where the second half marathon began. It was a little tough as the halfers were speeding up on there last mile when I knew I wasn't even halfway, but at the same time I swelled a little with pride as I veered to the right with the rest of the full marathoners. Speaking of which, once we split runners were much more sparse since most were doing one of the halfs. It was around this time, running in the beautiful park, that I started to feel great and had one of those "this is why I love running marathons" moments. I hit the half mark in 2:26, and it was then that I started to realize that I could actually PR if I kept it up!
First big downhill!
Golden Gate Park
: )

We spent almost 7 miles in Golden Gate Park, and although it was beautiful the hills were never-ending! The whole race I stuck with the same strategy for hills, running at least the first half if not a little more, then walking to the crest. This allowed me to save some energy without wasting time walking the entire thing. One complaint I have is that they had the full marathoners run right along the finish line of the first half, past all the runners with the medals and the lines passing out food. Not a great sight to see when you're still only at mile 17! Needless to say when we left the park at mile 19 I was pleased to finally leave the rolling hills behind : )
Pretty lake within the park.
Lovely trails.

From there it was on to Haight-Ashbury. The next few miles had a couple nice downhills plus a few more moderate inclines. Around mile 22 I spotted my mom and her friend who had drove in for the day which was a nice boost just as I headed up a particularly steep hill. The last 4 miles I started to psych myself out. I still felt good physically, and I knew if I kept up even a slow jog I had a PR in the bag. So I kept trudging along, and finally was back along the Embarcadero, running along AT&T Park, home of the Giants. When I saw the Bay Bridge in the distance I knew I was close and mustered up what I had left for a finishing kick. The course was long (I measured an extra .36) so once my watch beeped 26 miles I knew I had to gut it out a little bit longer. I crossed the finish line and checked my watch and couldn't hold back a big grin when I saw my time! Negative split the second half giving me an official time of 4:49:15!!
AT&T Park
Finally spotted the Bay Bridge - so close!

Isn't it funny how your legs will carry you to the finish line but as soon as you cross it they know and immediately start to hate you!? I always seem to forget just how much I hurt after a marathon...which is probably a good thing because otherwise I might not want to do another! All of my joints throbbed, my feet hurt, and I was just tired. We took some pics with my awesome medal then after wandering for a while in search of a restaurant that was open we drove to Pier 39 for lunch. I was starving by that point since I hadn't eaten any of the post-race food. I ordered a veggie burger with fries and a beer, which totally hit the spot! Then before I got too tired or stiff my mom dropped me off at my car and I headed back to Sac, luckily not hitting any traffic this time.
Happy and proud finisher : )
My personal fan club

I'm really happy with my race, and it makes me wonder what I'm capable of on a flatter, faster course. Reflecting back on the race I've come up with a few things that I think contributed to my surprising performance. The first and perhaps biggest factor was the weather. After training in much warmer temps lately, my body thrived in the cool, overcast San Francisco climate. It was seriously perfect running weather! Secondly, my nutrition felt spot on. I took 6 Gu, one approximately every 45 minutes, and a salt capsule every hour along with water and never felt drained. I wasn't a fan of the course drink, Cytomax, and the salt capsules seemed to work well as a substitute. Thirdly I think my short walks on the hills really helped conserve my energy. And I think the hill repeats I've been doing actually helped, too. Overall I had a blast! I highly recommend this race to others - it's like a tour of the beautiful city of San Francisco - on foot!
Marathon no. 5 is in the books!

July 24, 2010

San Francisco, Here I Come!

I'll make this quick, since I need to get on the road soon! Tomorrow I will be running the San Francisco Marathon. This will be marathon number 5 for me, and number 2 in my 3 marathons in 3 months challenge. But despite having run the distance several times before, I'm still a little nervous. The first half is rumored to be super hilly, but mellows out in the second half. I've been incorporating hill repeats into my training but I'm not sure if it'll be enough. But on the flip side, I'm running this for fun, to take a tour of beautiful San Francisco on foot. I would like to finish around 5:15, but if I don't make that no big deal. I'll be carrying my camera once again so I can document my trek through the city. I think I'm most excited to run across the Golden Gate Bridge!
Golden Gate Bridge, miles 6-9!
As for feeling prepared, I'm a little half and half. I know that I've put in the training, and I did just run 26.2 last month, so I know I physically can do it. I think my problem is mentally psyching myself out and convincing myself that I can do it. It's sort of weird but right now it doesn't feel like I'm running a marathon tomorrow! I think it's because everything leading up to it has been so different than previous races. Since Sunday's tapered long run I only got one more run in - a 6 miler Tuesday morning. It ended up being more frustrating than anything else though. There was some construction going on on one of the bridges crossing the American River, so part of the trail was shut down, forcing me to reroute my run and adding on an extra mile (which I walked as a cool down). I opted to skip out on my other runs for the week since I started my new job (more on that in another post!) and was on my feet (walking constantly) for three 7 hour days in a row. I also did some trigger point work on my legs and they feel a lot better after. Hopefully this rest week has left my legs fresh and ready to go tomorrow!

The race starts bright and early (first wave at 5:30am!) and I'll be commuting in from Berkeley, so hopefully I can get some good sleep tonight. Typical summer temps in San Francisco are usually around the 60s F so we should have perfect, cool running weather, especially in the beginning! Other than hitting up the expo this afternoon I have plans to meet up with a couple friends and my aunt who's here form Italy! Hopefully I'm not on my feet too much though and can relax a bit. My parents aren't coming with me this time, but my mom and a friend are going to drive up tomorrow morning to catch the end and finish, so that's something to look forward too while I'm running. San Francisco, here I come!

July 18, 2010


This past week of of training didn't quite go as planned. I had some scheduling conflicts that required me to rework my running plans, and while they weren't all done exactly according to the plan, pretty much all of them got done. Reflecting back on the week, I see how important flexibility is with training plans. As I mentioned before, I like seeing on paper what workout I have planned for the day and the rest of the week, but as we all know life happens, and things can't and don't always go according to plan. With that said, a quick recap of training week 3:

Monday evening I went out for 4 miles with my pup, and Tuesday I upped the miles to 6. Due to scheduling conflicts I had to switch my usual Wednesday 4 mile/NMTZ workout with Thursday's hills. This week I had 4xhill (8 repeats on my half-hill), and man oh man was that extra hill repeat a challenge! For whatever reason I was pretty tired throughout the whole workout.

Thursday I used as a rest day, and ran 4 on Friday. I had plans to watch a movie Friday night so I went out a little earlier in the evening than usual, which ended up being a big mistake. After a hot day in the triple digits it hadn't cooled down that much. I also started out much faster than I should have in the heat, and after about a mile both myself and my pup were hurting. I pushed on, but on the last mile I had to intersperse walk breaks for my dog's sake just as much as my own. I was definitely overheated and was a bit nauseous for a while after I finished.

Although Saturday is usually reserved for my long run, I had a whole day full of other mandatory activities, so I took Saturday as another rest day and moved my long run to Sunday. Saturday night my parents and I went to see the Steve Miller Band in concert and had a fantastic time! They definitely put on a damn good show.
My folks and I before the concert.
Steve Miller Band!

Sunday I managed to drag myself out of bed, still feeling the consequences of the previous late night, but much later than my alarm had been set for. As a result I didn't start my run until almost 9am, and by then it was already pretty warm out. Since San Francisco is in just a week (!!) it was only a taper "long" run of 11. I was exhausted from the start and not quite into it mentally, so it wasn't the most enjoyable run. I manged a decent 10:35 pace, taking water breaks here and there to combat the heat. I ended up doing my last few miles around McKinley Park like a couple weeks ago and then just having my mom pick me up. I think for some reason I'm having trouble, psychologically, running back to my house on long runs! I actually have yet to do it : )
My pup peeking out before my long run, hoping she could come along : (

p.s. Thanks for letting me vent in my previous post about my job dilemma, and thanks for the advice! I have made a decision that I'm happy with and will post more soon!

July 16, 2010


No, I don't have a torn muscle (knock on wood). The title actual refers to my brain, torn between two things and I can't make a decision! After moving home a month ago I, like so many other recent college grads, found myself unemployed. Things were fine at first, but my empty days got boring fast, and my bank account was slowly dwindling. And so I set off on the job hunt, reading ads, sending emails, filling out applications, and submitting resumes. Within just a couple shorts weeks, on the same day in fact, I finally got two responses asking me to come in for an interview.
Some quick background: I got my BA in psychology and am taking a year or so off before going to graduate school to earn my doctorate degree in clinical psychology. My hopes for my future career lie in some sort of therapy practice. Part of the reason I decided to take some time off was to gain more hands-on experience in the area via work or volunteer opportunities since most of my experience during college was research oriented. Now that I've explained that...

One of my potential jobs is related to the area of psychology. I was offered an entry-level position at an autism center where I would be working with children of various developmental abilities. The job would be part-time with a pretty flexible schedule, good hourly pay, offers experience in the field, and I would leave with a letter of recommendation. I should also mention, however that I am already volunteering at a youth crisis hotline which is also great hands-on experience, and deals with a larger variety of psychological issues. As fascinated as I am with developmental disorders like autism, I'm just wondering how much I would enjoy the work. I don't plan on working in this area after grad school either. Plus, I know it would be mentally demanding and require a lot of patience.

The other position, however, is at a running store (which is why I am posting my dilemma on here). It would most likely be full-time with decent salary pay, but I would have to work a lot of weekends (possible issue for my training and racing?). Plus, I would get to talk about running all day! It would definitely be a fun job, but would add little to my professional resume.

So, I am completely torn. As much as I should be excited that I went from unemployed to having two great job offers, it causing me more stress and frustration! I have to decide asap, so any advice or suggestions are much appreciated. Hopefully I can decide soon and get this huge weight off my shoulders : /

July 12, 2010

Week #2

Week 2 of my training plan is now in the books and went according to schedule, for the most part. Monday my dad decided to skip his usual treadmill run in the air conditioned gym and I decided to move up my usual late evening run so we could run together. This meant heading out the door at 5pm, the hottest time of the day, with the temps in the high 90s. Let's just say I don't think we'll be doing that again any time soon! The first couple miles were decent, but by mile 3 the heat started to get to us and we were dragging. My dad decided to walk the remaining mile, so I went ahead and jogged back to the house on my own. For just 4 miles I was pretty spent!

Tuesday I did 5 miles on my usual route along the river with my dog, and actually ended up with negative splits for each mile! I kept my pace well under 10 minutes and averaged 9:33/mi. Wednesday I did NMTZ once again. Although I'm getting more familiar with the moves, they still kick my butt! I wish I could do it more than just once a week but I don't think I could run and do NMTZ in the same day...yet : )

Thursday I had the same hill workout as last week, 3xhill. I warmed up with a quick mile around the neighborhood, then hit the overpass hill hard. I'm kind of wondering what my intensity should be when running hills... Should I be running them hard, or trying to keep a steady, "normal" pace? What will be most beneficial? After running up and down 6x (my hill is only half the prescribed distance) I cooled down with 2 more miles to finish with an even 4. I'm starting to wonder if NMTZ followed by my hill/speedwork day is a smart idea...or maybe my body just needs more time to adjust?

After resting up Friday I headed out early Saturday morning for my final long run before tapering for the San Francisco Marathon in 2 weeks. I had 18-20 planned, depending on how I felt. Since I only did 15 last weekend, I wasn't sure I wanted to put my body through such a big increase of 5 miles. In my opinion, the difference between doing 18 miles versus 20 is mainly psychological. Before every marathon I've done a 20 miler, and for me, it prepares my psychologically to tackle a marathon. But physically, I just don't think those 2 miles make a huge difference. I also have to keep reminding myself that just a month ago I ran a full marathon, so there's no need to overdo it before the next one. With all that said, I opted to do 18 miles. My dad came along on his bike for the entire run which was great and made for some company which I don't normally have on my runs here in Sac. I tried out a new route, running along the American River parkway all the way to Old Town Sacramento, through downtown and past the capitol, all the way to East Sac and through Sac State. The last few miles were tough - it was hot, and my joints were really screaming at me! Oddly enough, however, my last mile was my fastest! Guess I just really wanted to be done : ) About a mile and a half from home my Garmin beeped 18 and I collapsed onto some grass while my dad headed home to get his car and come pick me up : ) I definitely could have physically run home, but that would've put me at 19 something, and then I would have had to add on more til I got to 20, and mentally that was just too much at that point! My body was pretty sore, especially my hips, and it was hot! About halfway through the run I think I decided to do 18, and once my mind settles on a number it will get me that far, but then it shuts down. Running really is so mental.

One thing I've noticed on my long runs lately is that fueling has been harder than usual. Maybe it's due to the heat, but I find myself parched and then drink too much water, and Gu has been extremely difficult to stomach (usually not a prob for me). I've been drinking Nuun and plain water on my long runs, which seems to work so far, and I've tried supplementing Gu Chomps for one or two regular Gu. I guess I'll just have to hope I figure things out for race day! Does anyone else have issues fueling in the warmer weather?

I was supposed to get in an easy 3 mile recovery run yesterday, but failed : / Saturday night I met up with some girlfriends from high school that I hadn't seen in years, and we ended up staying out way later than I planned catching up and enjoying the local "Second Saturday" festivities downtown. A late night and early morning to watch the World Cup Final made for a very tired Rachel. Plus we had a late dinner, so I settled for resting up and skipping the run. I hope to not make this a habit on Sundays in the future, however, because I think incorporating a recovery run after long runs will be beneficial for me. I think I might try to substitute swimming and/or yoga once in a while on Sundays to switch things up.

With just two weeks til marathon no. 5 and 2/3 of the 3 in 3 months quest, it's time for a mini taper! My weekly runs aren't changing much, but next week I'm back down to "only" 11 miles : ) On another note, I realized a couple days ago while I was looking at my training plan that I had one of my marathons on the wrong weekend! And I didn't give myself any rest days after my marathons! So I had to go in a do a little reworking, but now I think my plan is perfect : )

July 5, 2010

Stars & Stripes!

Happy (belated) 4th of July to all my fellow Americans! I hope you all had a wonderful and safe holiday weekend. I had a fantastic 4th, spent with some of my amazing friends and family, and even snuck in a little workout!
Stars & Stripes!
 Could our flag be any bigger!?
To start the day off my dad and I hopped on our bikes (I rode my mom's, still on the hunt for my own!) and rode into East Sac to watch the annual parade. The neighborhood was super festive with banners hanging across the streets and flags everywhere, and tons of people, young and old, were out to celebrate Independence Day. The parade was fun to watch, basically just made up of people decked out in red, white, and blue walking through the streets, but every once in a while you'd spot someone who got a little extra creative! Since my dad was born and raised in Sac he knows just about everyone, much of our time was spent with him introducing me to endless people : ) Once the parade was over we took off on our bikes, stopped by my grandmother's for a quick visit, then got lunch at Pita Pit before finally making our way home to relax before the night! Quick observations on the biking: it was definitely more of a workout than I was expecting, and I now understand why cyclists wear padded shorts! My butt is still sore : /
East Sac Parade
An actual float!
  My dad and I : )
 Festive doxies!
All the streets were decked out!

Our first stop that evening was at the home of some great family-friends. It also just happens to be where my best friend, Liz, lives : ) It's kind of a tradition for us to BBQ there on the 4th with some other friends, too, but this year we had other plans so we just stopped by to say hi and hang out for a bit. It was so great to see my friend and catch up as it's been far too long! After a glass or two of sangria we headed to our main destination.

My dad's cousin had invited us to her place for a low-key dinner and fireworks which was great! The food was amazing, there was good company including two adorable little boys, and the conversations flowed. After stuffing ourselves silly we all relaxed until it was dark enough to start the fireworks show! It was so fun to watch the little boys' reactions to all the lights and noise : ) By the time the fireworks were finished my dad and I were both pretty exhausted but both agreed that it we'd had a pretty spectacular 4th!
 Waiting for the fireworks to start!

Oooohhhh, ahhhhhhh!

July 4, 2010

Week 1 Training Recap

Well folks the first week of my multiple marathon training plan is complete! Here's how it went:

Monday's 4 miler was followed by 5 miles along the river Tuesday. On Wednesday I decided to do NMTZ instead of the 4 miles I had planned. Since my plan calls for 6 days of running, I've delegated Wednesday as interchangeable with cross-training like NMTZ, yoga, etc. Since it's a short run day anyway, it makes for a nice midweek change from running. And man alive that Jillian Michael's sure kicks your butt! It felt a tad easier the second time around but I still felt it for days. Thursday I didn't get out until it was almost dark and then to make matters worse, when I put my Garmin on it beeped then went dead! I plugged it in immediately and waited til it was charged about 20%, figuring I'd see where that got me. The plan called for 3xhill, with the hill being approximately .25 mile long. However the hill I decided to use, the overpass near my house, only ended up being about .1 mile long, so I had to double the number of repeats. Since I was racing my low battery I did a quick mile warm-up around my neighborhood then went up and down the overpass 6x, then added on a little more to round out the workout to an even 4 miles. It was quick, hard, and exhilarating! Friday was a rest day of course which I spent trying to get psyched up for Saturday's long run...

I was a little nervous about my long run this morning. Last weekend's 11 miler was pretty challenging for me and this week called for a pretty big increase, 15 miles. I even dreamed about it last night and woke up several times feeling very anxious! I woke up and got going much earlier than last weekend which really helped save me from some of the intense heat. I actually went the same basic route with a few adjustments and detours. When I got to McKinley Park in East Sac, I decided to get more of my mileage done there since it has a nice, soft, shady trail along the perimeter, is very runner-friendly (so many out there today!), and has a lot to look at, including a rose garden and duck pond. Plus, one loop is just under a mile so it didn't feel like I was just running in circles! I got to 12 miles before I headed back toward the American River bike trail.
The beautiful rose garden!
Perfect, shady path for running : )
Duck pond! Beware of the geese!
Since I did so many laps at McKinley I ended up reaching 15 miles much earlier than planned (~2 miles from my house) so I had my dad come pick me up. This run definitely went better than before, although the last few miles were still a bit of a challenge. I carried Nuun with me this time in my handheld and also substituted a usual Gu for a bag of Chomps I ate intermittently every few miles or so. I think both of these things really worked for me, and I plan to test them further in the future (hopefully will review Nuun soon!). For some reason Gu has been sitting weird in my stomach lately...maybe it's the heat? The chomps were an easier to stomach alternative. I also made new playlists the night before which made for some great entertainment during the run. I actually surprised myself with the pace I maintained (10:36 avg.), however I did take several quick breaks here and there to fuel, refill my handheld, stretch, etc. and stopped my watch. Looking at the overall time compared to how long I was actually running, those little breaks sure add up! So the plan for next weekend is to still allow myself breaks if I really need them, but I need to at least be walking during them and no stopping my watch! I'm sure this will cause a slight increase in my pace, but it also simulates a race much better. Although tomorrow calls for 3 recovery miles I'm going to take a rest day to enjoy my 4th of July with wonderful friends and family : )
Sac State Bridge
American River with 'J' Street Bridge in background.
No that's not a tan line, it's dirt!
 My relaxing view after finishing the run!
So overall I think week 1 was a success! I actually think I'm enjoying having a schedule to follow, while still being able to be flexible when necessary. Let's see how I do next week!