Tag Archives: running

Renegade Racing Santa Run

After blogging about it for a few weeks now, this past weekend I finally ran the Renegade Racing Santa Run.  While this wasn’t a race to get a PR time, I definitely got a PR in FUN.

This was the first race that the Englishman and I ran with a group of friends, and definitely something I want to do again in the future.  My friend from San Francisco flew down for the occasion and Karla from Foodologie joined us with her boyfriend and a couple of their friends.  Since we had a decent sized group, we decided to get into the holiday spirit by wearing antlers and becoming a “reindeer crew.”

Renegade Racing Santa RunAnd just for the record, running with antlers makes any race 10x more fun, even if the antlers kept falling off because of the wind.

As for the actual race itself, it was great seeing people dress up and get into the holiday spirit. My only complaint about the race would be that the 5K and 10K racers start at the same time and are running together until about 1.5 miles in so it got pretty congested at the beginning.  I think it would’ve been better to have the 10K group start a bit ahead of the 5K group so people weren’t trampling all over each other.

The course itself is a basic out and back through some paved/dirt trails in Irvine with a few small inclines scattered throughout.  There were some points on the trail that it felt a bit congested, but it thinned out pretty quick.

Santa Run MedalOverall this is a great race to run with friends and to help you get into the holiday spirit!  Every finisher got a Renegade Racing Santa Run medal too which I thought was awesome.

Even though my 10K training is done (for the moment), I’m going to keep posting running/race recaps as well as training updates as I figure out my next race.

Here’s this week’s update:

Monday:  6 mile run @ 9:17 pace

Tuesday: At Home WOD (100 pushups, 150 sit ups, 200 squats, 3 mile run) @8:47 pace

Wednesday: 3.45 mile run @ 9:08 pace

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: Crossfit

Saturday: Santa Run! @10:45 pace

Sunday: Spinning

I need a new goal race for 2014.  Any suggestions?

10K Training

So I like to run.  And crossfit.  And eat lots of delicious food.  And since running has become such a big part of my life, I have created a new tab on Sweet Potato Bites that’s dedicated just for running.  This blog will always primarily be a food blog, but if you are interested in running/training for a race/etc. the  brand new running section will have all that good stuff.  So let’s start with 10k training.

I have a very complicated relationship with the 10k distance.  I have only done one 10k race to date, and that was the Dana Point Turkey Trot in 2010 where I crashed and burned hard.

Crashing mid-race.  And what on earth am I wearing?

Crashing mid-race. And what on earth am I wearing?

I had made the mistake of training for the race on a treadmill in my apartment gym, and when the cold race morning came, my lungs couldn’t handle it and I ended up having to walk part of the course to avoid getting an asthma attack.  Thankfully my friend slowed down and walked with me, which was much appreciated.  I spent the rest of the afternoon tired and with sore lungs and didn’t get to enjoy my Thanksgiving dinner properly.

Starbucks run after the 10k disaster.  I decided to drown my sorrows in Joy tea.

Starbucks run after the 10k disaster. I decided to drown my sorrows in Joy tea.

So what went wrong?  First off, I trained solely on a treadmill which is fine, except I never added any elevation, speedwork, nothing.  Second, I never trained outside so my body could adapt to different weather changes.  And third, I just ran, with minimal cross-training and strength training.

With a half marathon and a recent 10 mile race under my belt, I figured it was time to face the 10k once again and really see what I’m made of.  This time around, I’m incorporating speedwork, long(er) runs, and crossfit and am hoping to smash my previous time of 1:02:18.

And my redemption race?  The Troutman Sanders Santa Run on December 14 (disclaimer alert: I’m one of Renegade’s social media reps.  Sign up for the race here, and enter ALLISONDISCOUNT for a cheaper entry fee).  I initially thought of revisiting the Turkey Trot for my redemption race, but I have my sights set on doing a speedy 5k that day, especially after running a 7:49 mile in crossfit (which is not that fast for most, but fast for me).

So for the next 6 weeks, I’ll update the blog on Mondays with my training from the previous week to hold myself accountable.  And then hopefully on December 14, I’ll finally have race redemption.

10K Training Week 1: October 17-November 3

Sunday: Surf City 10 Mile Race @ 9:07 pace

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Crossfit

Wednesday: 4.25 mile run @ 10:12 pace

Thursday: Crossfit + 1 mile @ 7:49 pace

Friday: Crossfit

Saturday: 7 mile run @ 9:20 pace

Sunday: 3.1 mile run @8:29 pace


On Running a Half Marathon

So obviously Sweet Potato Bites is a food blog, and you are probably wondering why this post is titled “On Running a Half Marathon.”  In addition to making and eating delicious food, I also like to run.  I just completed my first half marathon with the Englishman, and I wanted to share my thoughts here.  But not to worry, I have an awesome “power cookie” post coming up later this week!

On Running a Half Marathon:

I remember when I ran my first 5k about four years ago.  One of my friends had talked me in to running one with her and I remember crossing the finish line in just under 30 minutes with a sense of pride and accomplishment.  Prior to that 5k, I had never run in a race ever, and only ran on the treadmill off and on.  After that 5k, I ran another, and then another, and eventually did a 10k but never progressed further than that.  A half marathon was always on my “bucket list,” but I never thought that much of it, because quite honestly the idea of running 13.1 miles was kind of terrifying.

The Englishman started running with me and we began doing short 3-4 mile jaunts around the neighborhood, and even ran in a few 5ks.  Then we moved to a new neighborhood surrounded by wonderful running paths and the idea of a half marathon began to slowly creep back into my head.  Could I run 13 miles?  I decided to make it my resolution for 2013 and before I knew it the Englishman and I had signed up for the OC Half Marathon on May 5th.

I decided to put together a training plan that had us running no more than 3x a week since there are other workouts we enjoy like Barry’s Bootcamp.  The plan ran from January to May which gave us lots of flexibility should any conflicts arise (illness, work, injury, etc.).

Of course starting a training plan in January meant lots of runs at 6am in the dark, in the cold, in the rain and in the fog.  I’ll be honest, March and April were my favorite months of training.

There were good runs and not so good runs.  Runs where my legs felt light and our place was flying, and runs where my legs felt like lead and were so sore that I wanted to cry (and I did cry, which I’m sure other runners on the trail appreciated).  And as we ticked off each long run, my confidence began to grow.

Which brings me to race day, the day that we had been anticipating for 4 months.  I had a few rough time goals in my head but had no idea how I would do since I had a few rough runs in the weeks prior, and my garmin had conveniently stopped working, which meant I was going into this race blind which in hindsight was actually better.  We lined up in the corral and got ready to start.

OC Half marathon startThe horn went off and we started making our way around Fashion Island and down towards PCH.  The first few miles seemed to tick by, especially since we started on a nice downhill.  We made our way into the fancy neighborhoods in Corona del Mar and before I knew it we had hit the 10k mark.  I knew we had some pretty intense hills coming up (since we ran them on our long runs), so we both tried to pace ourselves and started taking our Honey Stinger Chews (love these btw!).

We started to make our way into Costa Mesa and hit our first big hill and ran up that with ease.  The next couple of miles were a bunch of rolling hills with the exception of one unwelcome hill around mile 9.5.  After that it was a bit more downhill and one more big hill push before we started to make the turn to head into the finish line.  I’m not going to lie, those last few miles were hard.  My legs were burning and I just wanted to be done.  But then I saw a dude running in a target sundress and spandex shorts and encouraging everyone to give it one final push so I gave it my all and sprinted towards the finish line.  I was shocked to learn my finish time was 2:05:21, which was one of the “A” goals I had given myself going into this race.

OC half marathonNow I’m not a super fast runner by any means, but I am incredibly proud of the Englishman and myself and how we ran this race.  We trained smart, tapered smart, and ran smart.  And I ran a half marathon!

The point of all these ramblings is that anyone can run a half marathon.  Really.  If you put in the time, and put in the training, you can and you will complete the race.  I fully believe this after running the race that I did.

So will I run another one?  Yep, but probably not for awhile.  The Englishman and I started to get burned out on running towards the end of training and are ready to try new workouts such as crossfit and focus on short distances for awhile.  But I definitely hope to achieve a sub-2 hour half marathon one of these days.

And those are my thoughts on running a half marathon.  Next post will be all about food, I promise.




Happiness Is…

…A Cheeseboard Waiting to be Demolished

….Warm Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

…..Fresh Fish and Vegetables

….Celebrating birthdays and birthday dessert

…..Brunch with a best friend

…..Homemade Irish Soda Bread

…..Going for an Afternoon Run

……Roast Chicken for Dinner

……Quality Time with Friends and Family

What made you happy this weekend?