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Running a race with no goals

Much like running “naked,” it can be pretty freeing. On July 27th I’ll be running the 2nd half of the San Francisco Marathon (for the mathematically challenged, that’s 13.1 miles) with Nuun (they signed on to be the on course support), so instead of racing for a time, I’ll be running with no stress, drinking ALL the Nuun on course, and encouraging runners along the way, especially those who may look like they’re struggling a bit.  This is a big change for me because normally when I run a 1/2, I want a PR!! PicMonkey Collage Chances are that I’ll still start out going too fast because in my head I’m still thinking “race mode!” I’ve run 1/2 marathons and other shorter races in San Francisco, but most have been along the Embarcadero, into the Presidio and towards the bridge (and some across the bridge), or into Golden Gate Park, finishing (or starting) on the Great Highway.  This will be a new course for me to run, since it starts at Spreckel’s Lake in GG Park, runs through Haight/Ashbury, the Mission, Mission Bay, passes by AT&T Park and then finishes along the Embarcadero. It might be a Boston Marathon qualifying race, but it FA SHO isn’t flat!

Are you running the SF Marathon? I’ll be at the Nuun booth at the expo on Friday evening and all day Saturday – come say hi!

How often do you run races without a goal?

Summer goals?

Do you have anything that you want to accomplish before the end of summer? Nail a new dance routine, get that 6-pack, go on a vacation, spend more quality time with yourself or loved ones, etc?

I’m working on staying injury free and hopefully cleaning up my diet a little bit. I never really drank coffee until I started my current job and began commuting about 4 hours a day (ROUGH). I know that coffee isn’t good for my my body personally, as I react very easily to coffee and it makes me sick, but I was looking forward to that warm mug of liquid gold every morning when I’d come into the office, freezing. A co-worker and I are going coffee-free from now until the end of August to see if it helps both of us with our stomach issues (and since I can’t drink mine black, will help lessen the amount of sugar I’m consuming in creamer!)  This will also hopefully help the waistline since I’m leaving on a cruise in less than a month!

 

How about you? What are your summer plans?

Restaurant.com gift certificates

For some strange reason when I woke up this morning, the first thing I thought of was that I had an old restaurant.com gift certificate and I needed to use it ASAP! Back in 2012 when I was fundraising for Team in Training, I bought a bunch of gc’s at a lower rate to sell as fundraiser items. Some I sold, some I used as raffle items and I bought so many that some weren’t used, so I sent them to a couple friends and family members. I thought I only had one left over (frantic wake-up reminder one), but when I logged into my account, I found out I have 4… 4 $25 gift certificates. And here I am, supposed to be better about what I’m eating and not eat out as much, but now that I’ve remembered them, how can I say no to free food?!

TMJ update and seeing a specialist

On Thursday morning I went to see a a dentist that specializes in TMJ to see if there’s anything we can do. I’ve talked to my regular dentist + an oral surgeon + my old regular doctor to no avail. Basically a bunch of “change your diet to softer foods and that’s about all we can do.” Awesome to hear as a 28 year old! I was referred to Dr. Larson from the chiropractor I’ve been seeing that’s been doing ART Therapy and Graston on my shoulders, upper back, neck and jaw (if you’ve never had Graston, look it up. It’s painful and intense and makes me want to cry sometimes, but it’s really helping with muscle tightness!)

I had pictures taken, an exam done, and then my head was hooked up to this super awesome cranial thing (I wanted to ask if I could take pictures to post but didn’t want them to think I was a total weirdo), but this is what it looked like:
tmj tracking

The white thing was put on first, and that was able to digitally track movement of my jaw when opening and closing it, and clearly showed the “hitch” that happens on the left side, and showed restricted movement when moving side to side (when it’s locked, I can barely shift my jaw to the right).  After that, sensors were put on both sides of my jaw, right at the joint, and the little black headset was put on. I did the same exercises, and this time the monitor showed the amount of noise that my jaw was generating when opening and closing. Not surprisingly, it showed a POP! of noise when opening and closing my jaw, coming from the left side.

After my consultation, I had to go to an imaging place to do x-rays and 3D scans done. I already feel like it’s going to be a financial nightmare since the imaging place doesn’t accept ANY insurance, so I get to deal with that on my own, and had to pay out of pocket $479 for everything that day.  I’m not sure about other people living in San Francisco, but I can’t just drop five hundo every single visit for treatment, though I know it’s something that really needs to be dealt with and fixed.

 

 

BAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH is how I feel.
Anyone else ever deal with TMJ?

July 4th – Happy Independence Day!

I know Canada Day was earlier this week (we celebrated by watching a gut-wrenching Team USA be blown to smithereens during their World Cup match. Seriously though, Tim Howard was the only American there that day), but we wanted the chance to celebrate our day too, as the annoying downstairs neighbors haha

The fireworks started in our neighborhood last night around 9pm, promptly scaring the pups (and me for that first big POP!) and they came into my room and wanted to lay with my in bed (they NEVER want cuddle time in my room, only the living room!)

This morning I was able to sleep in until 8am (HALLELUJAH!) and then got some breakfast and made a cup of tea so I could turn on Wimbledon since they were showing my main man Roger Federer playing in the semis. Promptly at 9am I switched to the World Cup to cheer on Germany!

20140704-093118-34278162.jpg Don’t worry, I busted out the red, white and blue when the two matches were over.

Today will be filled with family, sun, swimming, food and fireworks. How are you celebrating?

Week in review: June 29

I just got finished housesitting for a friend last Sunday, was home for a couple days and started housesitting for my old boss Wednesday after work. My parents dogs think I moved out and every time I come back they’re SO excited! Makes me feel pretty awesome haha. Also awesome? Housesitting = I can walk around with no pants. WINNING!

I had a couple doctors appointments this week (lady bits and chiro for some A.R.T Therapy and Graston work = YOWZA! to both)

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Update on the UPS debacle: STILL fighting it. My box showed up like this, and this is just one view. The other side was also ripped open and there was a big hole at the bottom. Awesome job UPS!

Lazy movie night with the pups. In case you were wondering, pugs are LOUD snorers and when they sneeze they get snot everywhere.

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Weather at home is fabulous and WARM! I have a windy day at work in the city and then get home and it’s still sunny and 75*+ so that naturally means backyard sun time! I’m taking FULL advantage of housesitting this week.

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Working Saturday at REI for Nuun. Upside: I get I talk to customers about hydration, dehydration, electrolytes, active lives, traveling, etc. Downside: I drink the ENTIRE time = 3x the bathroom breaks that I normally take.

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Baby G came to have dinner with me after work last night and had never really been around small dogs. He was SO intrigued, especially by their curly tails. He was also down for giving them all open-mouthed, full tongue kisses.

20140629-111645-40605539.jpgAfter awhile, he picked his favorite of the three and just wanted to love on her. He’s a good judge in character since she’s the sweetest old lady dog ever!

Carmen and I called each other out on Facebook yesterday for not being consistent with training (she had a baby a few months ago. I have a food baby daily), so we met up at 7:30 this morning at the Lagoon for a run. By 7:30am it was already sunny and 71*, so we worked up a sweat!

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Today is filled with a little more time in the sun, World Cup (holy heck Holland!), work and taking the Grams to BINGO tonight.

How was your week?

World Cup fever

… is here to stay! When I studied abroad in Germany 2006-2007, we missed the World Cup being hosted by them by just a few months (major bummer).  I got my very first parking ticket during the 2010 World Cup because I refused to leave a Dutch cafe while watching one of the Netherlands matches (my meter was expired for 8 minutes. THEY ARE FAST).  And now it’s time for the World Cup again and we’re so excited! Working at an international business school makes for a very interesting World Cup because we have students from all over the world. We have one classroom each day dedicated to showing matches and you can hear them yelling from time to time when their team scores (or sadly, gets so close to scoring but doesn’t)

We have a league going between our office, colleagues in Boston and Miami, put in our predictions every day and hope and pray that we picked the right score! I’ve been agonizing over my points since day 1 (ridiculous, I know). We have the audio for most games going in the background of the office, and for the Germany-Portugal game, closed the doors, ordered in pizza and beer and just watched the match (DEUTSCHLAND!)
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Now that it’s Round of 16, who are you rooting for?

Running with a jogging stroller

…is brutal! You ladies and gents that regularly run with a stroller are my heroes!

This morning I woke up early and drove over to Fleet Feet Davis to take part in their “Big Shoe Off” event. Reps from 10 different shoe brands had shoes for you to test out, you collect raffle tickets and then turn them in at the end for a chance to win prizes. And they had coffee, water, fruit and muffins for you as well. It was 64* when I left my house at 725am, so I knew it was going to be a warm one. I tried out a few shoes and ran around the downtown area to see how they felt, and then picked what felt like the most comfortable out of them (surprisingly the New Balance 870!), asked the rep if I could take them out again for a longer run to see how they did, and took off around Davis, finishing up a 3.63 mile run. I even somehow managed a 5k PB (why can’t this happen during a race so I can PR?!). Not only a 5k PB but a few seconds, but one by almost 2 minutes. Holy heck. Must have been that mini chocolate donut I shoveled in my mouth while running out the door haha20140614-212843-77323651.jpg

The event ended and I actually won a backpack (that I’ll most likely give away because I’m a bag hoarder as is and don’t need to add to the collection!) and headed back home. Traffic was BRUTAL and it took 20 minutes longer than it should be.  I picked up lunch for me and my grandma, brought her lunch and enjoyed the AC in her house, since it was already in the upper 80’s. Side note, she’s digging the Haves and the Have Nots and can’t wait for the new episode! She doesn’t know who Tyler Perry is, but loves his shows!

After spending some time with her, I went to my cousins so that me and the nephew could get some quality time in / his parents could clean up the house without a little hurricane following behind them. I decided to give his jogging stroller a whirl (I’ve never run with one, and he’s had minimal exposure to the jogging stroller. They are NO JOKE!

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He was a champ! The first half was slowed down a bit because every 30 seconds he was saying and signing for more Grape Nuun, so we had to stop at every corner/STOP sign for awhile for him to hydrate. Stroller living is hard!  He loves it!  We stopped halfway (the turnaround point is conveniently a froyo place) and shared a little cold, delicious treat since it was so warm out. When we left the house, it was grey and muggy, and about 1/4 of the way through, the grey went away and the sun was shining BRIGHT.

6.8 miles for the day and I’m spent!

 

How was your Saturday? Did you celebrate day 20 of #RWRunStreak with a long run?

Dehydration and the “bonk”

Saturday morning I headed out bright and early to speak with the SF Marathons training group, Run 365, to talk to them about the importance of hydrating properly not only during the race, but before and after as well. Nuun is the official hydration sponsor of the San Francisco Marathon, so it will be the on course drink for runners.

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In case you were wondering, this wasn’t even all of the Run 365 group! And surprise for me, San Francisco Road Runners AND Team in Training were meeting at Sports Basement that morning – oy. Every single runner hit up my table as they entered the store after the run – something I wasn’t counting on since I thought it was just customers and Run 365. I went through 2.5 ENTIRE boxes of Nuun and had to stop when I ran out of product and the 450 cups I had brought with me.

We all know dehydration isn’t good, but how much do you actually know about it?

  • “Suns out, guns out” no longer applies – dehydration can make you weak.  Even just mild dehydration can make your muscles weak. Nobody likes the weaksauce!
  • Dehydration can slow you down big time (experienced firsthand!) If you’re a crazy sweater (guilty), dehydration can come on faster as well.  The more dehydrated you are, the less blood your heart heart pumps per beat. No bueno. AKA that oxygen-rich blood your body is filled with? Not getting to your muscles, and now you have to work even harder to maintain your intensity level (or in my case, slow waaayyy down because my body can’t sustain that intensity level if it’s not getting all that oxygeny goodness)
  • Dehydration can make you hangry – and by you, I really mean it makes me hangry, so I’ll just assume it makes everyone hangry so that I feel better about my own personal hangries/rungries.   People often associate dry mouth/dry lips with beginning to get dehydrated, but if you’ve already made it to that point, you’re already dehydrated.  Along those same lines, your belly might start to get rumbly and you think “dang, I’m hungry!” but in all reality, that’s your dehydration talking. You’re not really hungry, but your body is craving the liquids. You grab that bag of Doritos fruit and start munching. Hopefully you grabbed something healthy haha. If not, you are getting the foods small amount of water content, but now you’re getting unwanted (and chances are, unneeded) calories. BOO. My advice: get your drink on BEFORE you eat to make sure you’re properly hydrated, and that way you know how hungry you actually are.
  • Dehydration headaches are THE WORST – I get headaches and the occasional migraine on the regular, even before I started running. Then when I first started running, I was figuring out fuel and hydration as well. I didn’t know anything about it, so I wasn’t hydrating properly and after my long runs with TNT on Saturdays, I would basically be dead for the rest of the day. I got bad headaches that would knock me out for quite a few hours afterwards, so I would take long naps, and then my entire Saturday would be gone. No fun.
  • The BONK – No one wants to bonk. No one wants your brain to poop out on you, and you start running around like a nincompoop.  Even mild dehydration can affect your mental capacity. I’ve done a run before work, and didn’t hydrate before (since I commute 2 hours to work, I didn’t want to have too pee halfway through the drive), went straight into my run, and then dove straight into work while I was done. Not smart because my brain was fuzzy and I could.not.concentrate
  • Frequent travelers – if you travel a lot for work (or fun, I’m jealous), dehydration can be a big issue. I like to sleep on planes, so that’s time taken away from drinking water. On an international flight, that’s a LONG time to go with no fluids. Not drinking enough during the flight combined with the fact that there’s little humidity in the cabins and boom, insta-problem.  This is also true if you’re traveling somewhere with unclean drinking water. Drink it, you get sick, poop and/or vomit for days = very dehydrated and sad you (and your companion)lebron-james-crampLebron James should have been drinking Nuun so he didn’t cramp up during Game 1 from dehydration.
    GO SPURS! haha

    My advice? Drink up and drink often. Make sure you’re replenishing everything you’re sweating out of your body. Drinking water is great for staying hydrated, but if you’re being “more than normal or an average day” kind of active, water can flush out the electrolytes that your body naturally produces, making dehydration inevitable. Solution? Drink Nuun! There are plenty of flavor options, so you can pick your favorite, or mix and match (I’ve been digging a 1/2 tab of Strawberry Lemonade + 1/2 tab of Watermelon lately).

20140608-213801-77881307.jpgYou don’t have to have the above spread, but it certainly helped me out on Saturday when I was hydrating, filling and lifting those heavy beverage containers, standing for hours of end and talking to every runner as they came in.

Then Sunday I went to go for my #RWRunStrek run, but then this happened:

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I was already sweaty in the car from just being outside. There was NO WAY I was going to run outside in 107* degree direct sun. Sorry streak, but you’ll have to wait! I went inside and downed a tall ,ice cold glass of my great-grandma’s age-old Sun Tea recipe + a tablet of Tri-Berry Nuun. YUM! Sugar-free flavored ice tea = amazing.

 

How do you hydrate?