Half Marathon + Spartan Training Update

So, I registered for the Wild Land Fire Awareness Half Marathon 2 weeks ago and in that time, I've been getting my running groove back and I've noticed a few differences already in my training.  Since it's a trail race, I'm hoping to get more trail running into my schedule.  So far, I've ran trails once each week and I'm hoping to stick to  1 or 2 trail runs a week.  I'm so grateful to the awesome running groups I'm a part of.  Some of these ladies are avid trail runners, so it's not hard finding group trail runs to join, since I'm still nervous of running on trails alone.  I am usually in the back of the group, but I'm ok with that ;) 

Another difference this time around, is that I am way more relaxed when it comes to my training schedule than I was my other 2 half marathons.   In the past, I have been very consistent with my Hal Higdon training schedule, but these few weeks my trail runs have been longer than what the training plan called for and I was totally ok with it.  I've also skipped some shorter runs and either called it a rest day or added strength training instead.  For you more experienced half marathon runners, is this normal?  Does this happen to you too or do you still stick to your training plan? 

Having the Las Vegas Spartan Super coming up April 18th also makes this half marathon training a bit challenging.  I want to keep up with my running schedule, but I also know I need to work on my endurance and strength training if I want to complete the Spartan Super without too many penalty burpees!  Spartan races are so much about upper body strength and  Body Pump and Kettle Bell classes at LVAC are big parts of my training.  I also meet with my personal trainer once a week and we do full body workouts with an emphasis on upper body strengthening and core work.  And of course, no Spartan training would be complete without a few visits to Camp Rhino!  Ya'll know how much I love this place.  Every Saturday they offer practice obstacle course races in their facility, where you get to try out the cargo nets, tire flips, getting over walls, and tons more!  They are now also offering Spartan Trail Practice races up until the Vegas Super.  This allows you to check out the obstacles in a more realistic outdoor setting.  I personally think this is a MUST DO if you want to get a feel for what the race is going to be like.  Vegas peeps, check it out!  Thank me later ;) I'll be out there soon getting my butt kicked for sure!  

So, there you have it.  Lots of training planned for the upcoming months!  I'm feeling confident about completing my first trail half marathon distance, just really going to work on getting stronger for those inclines and hoping to get faster.  Now, what are you training for right now?  I'd love to hear how your training is coming along too :) 



Trails of Glory 12K | Race 13 of 14

This past Saturday Jason and I ran the Trails of Glory race put on by Desert Dash.  We also ran their Blood, Sweat, and Beers 10K trail race earlier this year and loved it.  Trails of Glory was also a great time!  We ran the 12K distance, but there were also 8K, half marathon, 30K, and full marathon distances.  Vegas is a small town and it was a local race, so we saw lots of familiar friendly faces and even saw one of our neighbors there!  For being a local race, there were lots of folks that came from all over the country and even Canada to run this race.  

The race started at 8:30am and it was sunny and warm!  We could not have asked for better weather mid-November!  The trail was just as advertised, not too technical, no steep inclines, and lots of fun.  The trail started with a bit of a decline, which was super nice and got me off to a fast start.  Jason took off ahead of me soon after the start.  He was never too far ahead, though.  At the first mile we ran by the famous "Duck Tree".  Apparently it got it's name because bikers would have to duck under it and yell "duck" to warn anyone coming behind them.  Eventually, people started putting ducks on the joshua tree for decoration and voila, Duck Tree was born.  I was having issues with my headphones and had to slow down or stop a few times to fix my music.  I seriously need a new phone!!! Anyhow, at some point around mile 3 or so I passed Jason.  At that point I started to get a little tired and the trail's elevation started to go up nice and steadily.  I slowed down some till I got to the aide station and then it was fast-going again and I had a strong finish.  I looked down at my Garmin I noticed it read 6.90 miles, not quite the 7.45 miles a 12K should be*(more on that later!).  I was sort of bummed, but didn't make a big deal about it.  I felt great and was able to take a few pictures of Jason coming through the finish line.  He came in about 10 minutes behind me.  He wasn't too happy with his time, but he hadn't been training for this race and was just happy to get out there and run a good trail.  We hung around a bit, took a quick pic with our pal, Lisa (she's awesome!) grabbed a banana and called it a day!  

We live about 12 minutes from that trail, so we stopped by our house to shower and change before picking up the kiddos at my sister's house.  When we got there we were greeted with mimosas!  I know, I say it all the time, but my sister really is the best!  Of course, we were starving after the race so after picking up the kiddos and enjoying our celebratory mimosas, we went to our usual breakfast spot, Egg Works!! 

*So, turns out some jerk (not anyone running the race) was seen removing some of the race flags and signs and most of us running the 12K missed a marker and turned too soon, cutting our race distance by half a mile or so.  Why someone would do this, is beyond me!! Grrrrrr.....

I've got one more race to run before 2015 to reach my goal! Woohoo!! How are you doing with your fitness goals this year?  

Tuesday Ramblings & Updates

I have a few things to update and share so I figured why not do it all in one hodgepodge sort of blog post!  It's been awhile since I've done that ;) 

First of all, I'm happy to say I'm feeling great and back on track.  After the Spartan Sprint fiasco, I had a hard time finding the motivation to get back on track with my eating and workouts.  I got back to my 5-6 day workouts pretty quickly, but the eating part is a different story.  I kept allowing myself to make bad choices or over-indulge in sweets for a couple of weeks (YIKES!) Well, I finally woke up and said enough!  We've been so busy this past month that we didn't even have time to go food shopping properly.  We would grab a few things we needed at a time or we'd go out to eat, which you all know is just setting yourself up for failure!  Eating out and eating healthy are two very difficult things for me to do simultaneously.  Anyhow, we finally hit the grocery store and stoked up on food, so no more excuses ;) 

I know a big thing that got me back on track is also the fact that my hubby and I signed up for a 12K trail run, Trails of Glory by Desert Dash!  The race is Nov. 22 and will be my 13th race of the year.  This past Sunday was my first trail run since September's Spartan Beast in Temecula.  I'm not gonna lie, it was a rough uphill start, but I managed and really enjoyed the downhill. Plus, I also have Spartan coming up in January.  Not only am I running the Spartan Sprint that was canceled in September, I'm also signed up for the Spartan Beast.  Turns out we didn't run the full 12 mile course, only 11 miles, so I'm automatically signed up for the Beast too.  Yup, this means I'll be getting back to some major workouts soon, as well as another month at Camp Rhino!  I really love that place :)

What else has been going on? Oh!! I am beyond excited for my friend, Evelin, who'll be running World's Toughest Mudder on November 15th.  I have the privilege of being part of her pit crew and cannot wait to be out there supporting her and her team, which just so happens to be making history as the first all female team in World's Toughest Mudder.  No pressure!  I'll definitely be doing  a recap blog of the event and of course sharing pics on Instagram!  

Regarding non-fitness related events, we've been busy photographing some pretty awesome weddings this month.  You can check them out on my photography blog, The Emerics (shameless plug!)

I'm also really looking forward to this weekend.  I've got book club on Friday and it's our 2nd year anniversary and some additional fun stuff is being planned.  We're also going to dinner and a Wine Walk on Saturday with friends!

So, now that we're all caught up on what's been going on in my corner of the world, feel free to share a bit of news from your life! xo