Sunday, June 14, 2015

Hiking Mt. Whitney

On Friday June 5, thirteen of us set out on an adventure to summit Mt. Whitney. Only two of the thirteen had done the hike before, so for the other eleven of us, we knew it was going to be an adventure. 

A few got there on Wednesday, but the most of us arrived on Thursday. When we went to pick up the permits from the National Forest Office, we were told that we would most likely only make it to "Base Camp", which was about 6.5 miles into the 11 mile hike due to the snow. We were told after "Base Camp" we would need crampons and an ice axe. Most of us in the group had never used crampons or an ice axe before. After hearing this I made the decision that if we could not summit I was not going to be disappointed. I was going to enjoy the hike, and learn as much as I can for the next time. 

Friday morning we woke up at 2am. We started our hike up to Mt Whitney at 3am. We would stop every hour as a group to eat, and to "regroup". We all wore headlamps because the first 6 miles of the hike were in the dark. At about 11,000 feet of elevation, which was at about mile 6.5 was where the first person in our group got altitude sickness. They were throwing up, so we sent them back down the mountain with a partner. The moment someone throws up from altitude sickness, that means their body is dehydrated, and there is no way of coming back from that point. If they were to continue the hike, they could of got a lot worse. 

Once we got to "Base Camp", we filled our water, put on more clothes, and ate for a little bit of food. From here on out we knew it was going to be colder with snow. I was wearing Brooks Puregrit trail shoes, so I put plastic bags on my shoes to help make it waterproof. We hiked a little past "Base Camp" until we got to the cables. For me, passing through the cables was the hardest part mentally. I am afraid of heights, and I always forget that until I'm in a situation where I am reminded! (The cables are shown in the picture above.) Once I got through the cables, with the help from
others, our group was then at a standstill. After the cables was where we realized what everyone had been warning us about with the snow. This was where the 99 switchbacks began, and there was snow everywhere. The two experienced hikers in our group made the call that anyone with Micro-spikes and Yaktracs were allowed to continue, and those who did not have it was would not be able to continue. This was a safety call. Only six of us were able to continue, and the rest turned around. It was too risky for someone without Micro-spikes or Yaktracs. 

Now we were down to six. The 99 switchbacks were tough. There was not much space to put our feet, and there was a lot of sliding even with the micro-spikes and Yaktracs. (Side note: I was wearing Yaktracs with Brooks Puregrit 2 trail shoes.) Once we got up the 99 switchbacks to the top of the chute we could see the other side of the mountain. And boy was it beautiful! Probably one of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. At the top we stopped for a quick snake snake before we continued on to the summit. At this point I realized I ran out of water. Thankfully one of the other hikers gave her me extra water bottle. Without that I do not know what I would of done. Once we got to the top of the chute I could not stop shivering! I was so cold. 

From the chute to the summit was a long trek because few people in our group were starting to get altitude sickness. 

Once we got to the summit we were not up there very long because there was a storm coming in. We did not want to get stuck in it so we started to head down the mountain. I have heard stories where people had to stay in the hut at the summit because they were stuck from a storm. 

The hike down the mountain was a lot easier than going up. Not because it was down hill, but because the snow was smelting and was more slushy. This made it easier to step in the snow. The way down was slow. People in our group were having issues with hips, knees, and just from being on our feet all day. The last 3 miles were in the dark. We were all joking about how we were all "seeing" things that were not there. One person on the hike kept seeing pizza on the ground! Being dark, and tired does not help the imagination. 

About half a mile from the bottom we ran into a few people from our group who went down earlier. They came out on the trail to check on us and walk with us back. They had made us soup and brought us waters!! It was heaven! That made me smile so big seeing them, and having warm soup never tasted so good! 

All in all it was a beautiful hike! I would suggest for beginner hikers to get a permit later in June to avoid snow. I definitely want to do it again! So if anyone wants to go let me know! 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

3:06:27 Marathon- Trained Hard, But Not my Day- The OC Marathon

Leading up to the OC marathon I did everything "perfectly". I trained hard. I did speed work about twice a week, and did all my long runs on hills. My legs were ready.  But come race day, my stomach was not having it. From mile 8 on I felt like throwing up. And I actually did throw up during the race. At mile 10 and at mile 19. Because my stomach was so upset I didn't eat our drink anything from mile 8 on. And as distance runners, we all know that isn't good. By not eating and drinking you are not giving your body the energy it needs. But it was a choice I made because I knew if I continued to eat or drink I would of thrown up more. You can do everything "perfectly" leading up to any race, but some days are just not your days. Some people have asked me why I was throwing up. And honestly I don't know why. It could of been that fact that I ate too much too close to the race? Or because I had peanut butter when I normally don't. (Yes I know that was a mistake.) 

Looking back on the race I know I made some mistakes. But hey, that's what racing is all about. Each time I race I learn something for the next time. As long as each time your improving, then your doing something right. I ended up getting 5th place female, with a time of 3:06:27.

Fun Fact: The ran the race in the Brooks Launch 2 and the CEP calf sleeves. 

This was my first time running the OC marathon. It was a beautiful course. The first half we ran through multi-million dollar homes. Where people were sitting on their front porches cheering us on. The whole time I kept thinking.. "Man they have the life." The second part of the race was throw industrial buildings, which was super boring. The last two miles were on the bike trail. And before I knew it I was at the finish. To me the finish came up pretty quick. The longest part of the race was mile 17-24, which was through the industrial part. I would definetly sign up for the OC marathon again. I felt it was very well organized and had a beautiful course. 

I was very fortune to have my husband, my parents, and a few of my closest friends there to cheer me on and to be there at the finish. I feel very blessed.

Monday, April 20, 2015

10 Things You Need to Know About Picking the Right Running Shoe

1) Go get fit at a speciality running shoe store. 

2) Do not worry about the way they look- it's all about comfort. 

3) You should get your shoes a half size bigger... maybe even a full size bigger. 

4) Just because Meb wears them doesn't mean their great shoes for you.

5) Very few people can run in the Nike Free and your probably not one of them.

6) Running shoes already have great inserts.

7) Shoes have a lifespan of 400-600 miles, and should never celebrate a birthday. 

8) The moment you start noticing injuries, that probably means you  need new running shoes. 

9) Running shoes don't need to match your outfit. "Wear a blind fold at your next shoe fitting."

10) Walking and running shoes are the same thing. 


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Inspirational Quotes

It is not about how hard you hit it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward 

Pain is temporary, it may last for a minute, or an hour or a day or even a year, but invincible, it will take its place

You have a dream, protect, if you want something go get it

You have to believe something different can happen.  He who says he can and he who says he can't are both usually right

Our deepest fear isn't that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure

Your body is more powerful than you think... As long as YOU win the mind games your mind plays during a race, you will succeed what you had planned to accomplish. 

Make a choice of who you want to be and how your going to get there

I'm going to show you how great I am 

When someone can't do something themselves they want to tell you that you can't do it. 

Your already in pain and your already hurt... So go get a reward for it 

Show them your a different creature 

Everyone is human.... Nobody is a machine.  The trick is to make other people think u are a machine

You have to be consistent and never ever crack

With each step is a decision to make another.  Is that all you got? Are you sure?

Winning is a choice

You only regret the things you didn't do

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

A "Runners" Body Type

From the moment I started running I was judged. I was judged by the way I looked. I was "told" that I did not have a "runners" body type. What does that even mean?  What is a "runners" body type?  Oh... Is that their way of saying I'm too "big" to be a runner? 

When I talk about my accomplishments I am constantly judged because I do not have a "runners" body type. (So people tell me).

And here is what I have to say about it. 

Yes. Maybe I have to work harder because I don't weigh 100lbs. And maybe I chafe more. But you know what? I am mentally strong. So strong none of that matters. 

One of their first responses after they are told about my accomplishments is "you do not look like a runner."  And very politely I respond with "thank you" :) But deep down it hurts every time I hear that. I have worked so hard to be the runner I am today, and I do not need someone to judge the runner I am because of the way that I look. Instead, people need to focus on the races I have accomplished, and the times I have achieved. 

If I were to of listened to every "coach" (yes they don't even deserve that title) or to anyone who told me I do not have a "runners" body, then I wouldn't be where I am today. I would of never tried my first marathon, my first Ironman, or even my first Ultra-marathon.  Thank goodness I am stubborn! :) 

I am tired of being judged and I am sure every other runner who isn't a 100lbs feels the same way. People need to get over what a runner "should" look like and focus on what the runner has accomplished. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Learning to Run Free

Learning to Run Free

I realized a little bit ago that when I'm running or cycling I don't look around at my surroundings.  I am not talking about not paying attention to cars/other runners/other cyclists, I'm talking about not paying attention to the scenery around me.  I was running up a hill the other day that I run about 4 times a week.  For some reason that day I chose to look past the trail and at the homes around me and realized they were gorgeous! How could I have missed them before? That was when I started to think about the way I ran.  

This past month I have been really trying to run for the love of running. I have been trying not to stress if I can only get a 6 mile run in, and I have been trying to keep my runs to an hour max. I know, sounds crazy, but stuff like that stresses me out. I used to think there would be no point in going out for a run unless I could run for more than an hour. Dumb I know. 

I feel I am a much better runner now because of it. Not stressing over the little things and enjoying being able to be out there running and seeing where my legs take me. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My FIRST Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon

This was my first year running the Boston Marathon.  I had heard so many amazing things about it that I knew as a runner I had to run it.  I qualified for it at the Surf City Huntington Beach marathon last February with a time of 3:17. When the time came to sign-up, my friends and I jumped at the chance.  We
booked our hotel and plane tickets, knowing nothing else about the race.  I think the only thing we knew was you  needed to qualify for it. 

Training for the race was not as strong as I wanted it to be.  I took running off for a bit because of my Ultra I did at the end of January.  My knee was hurting pretty bad at my Ultra so I cycled for a bit.  When I did run though, I usually would run a long 15-20 miles only during the week in the hills behind my house.  

The City
This was my first time ever being in Boston.  We had to learn how to use the T, find our way around using maps, and take the shuttle around.  We tried to get the transportation down as best as possible since our hotel was pretty far away from the start line.  We did the walking tour, which was about 5 miles. Walking from historic site to historic site.  Yes, probably wasn't the best idea since we should of been resting.  On Sunday we also took one of those Duck tours around the city.  It's a car that can go on land and on boat. 

The Expo
The Expo was by far the best Expo I had ever been to.  They had every running company you could think of there.  From Brooks, to Fitletic, to Powerbar.  You could spend all day in there.  It was a runners play ground.  Good thing I didn't have extra money to spend, or else I would of come home with another suitcase.  

Night Before 
The night before the race, we went out to dinner to an Italian restaurant, where I ordered my usual pizza and salad and hydrated.  We went back to the hotel where we put all of our stuff out for the race that we needed.    We had been talking to different runners throughout the weekend who would tell us about the course.  We didn't know much about it.  We were told it was a bunch of rolling hills.  Rolling hills was exactly what I wanted because that was what I had been training on.  In training you need to train for the downhill.  As silly as it seems, downhill can make you very sore if you don't train for it.  I wasn't nervous.  I was excited.  Excited to go for a long run.  

Morning of the Race
We woke up at 4:20am to catch the 5am shuttle.  We took the shuttle to the T (train) then the T to where the buses are that would take us to the start.  We arrived to the buses at about 5:45am.  We hung out for a while at the tents.  People watching.  Thinking how studly the other runners  looked. 

The Race
Standing at the start was crazy.  There were so many people! I was in coral 3 wave 1.  When the race started, it was so hard to go around people.  I was able to make it to the outside, where there seemed to be less people.  Weaving in and out of people.  Yelling at myself in my head to go fast on the down hill and trying to stay on the side as much as possible.  I was averaging a 7 min mile pace.  The hills and weaving around people slowed me down.  Which is why the whole race I was talking to myself trying to motivate myself every chance I could.  I was hurting.  I didn't train to run this fast. I had just come off an ultra... What was I doing? Something that is so fascinating about the human body is not matter how much it hurts, your brain can keep it moving.  It helps tell you that you are GOING to PUSH through the pain.  Every time I went through a time spot I knew my family would be receiving my time.  This also helped me push through it because I knew they would be a little nervous about how fast I was going.  They were probably thinking my legs were going to pop.  The last 10 miles were super hard because I had to use the restroom very bad! I didn't want to stop because I had a good pace going.  I was nervous if I stopped I wouldn't be able to make up the time.  At mile 24 I honestly thought I was going to go in my shorts.  I was praying the whole way that I don't embarrass myself on front of thousands of people.  I finally made it to the finish line! With a time of 3 hours and 9 minutes.  My Personal Record. 

The spectators were incredible! They made each of us runners feel like we were in first place! The whole race felt like the end of the finish line! There were so many people the whole way! With signs of support, cheering for us on the whole way.  All I kept thinking about was what happened last year.  About how no matter what happens runners and everyone from all around was not going to let anyone stop them from doing what they loved.  It was such an amazing experience.

My recovery was pretty good.  I was a little sore the next couple of days.  I hurt my hamstring a little, which was find because I was still able to ride.