Saturday, December 31, 2016

Home For The Holidays...

I've been on vacation mode since Christmas Eve when I came home for the holidays. And not my usual vacation mode where I work out every day (which is what I should be doing), but an actual "I've only exercised once in the 8 days I've been here" vacation mode...

Christmas Eve was spent traveling; hanging out with family; and doing Snap Chat shenanigans with my baby sister...

Then we went over to my cousin's house and hung out with him for a bit...

On Christmas morning my family and I went to Church; then we went back to our respective houses and finished our Christmas Dinner food preparations; then we had a wonderful Christmas Dinner together; and then we opened presents. My favorite gifts were a top that says "Faster in Jamaica"...

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tales from the Trails {Ragnar Trail Alafia Race Recap -- Part 2}

"...that misery loves company, and happiness is only real when it's shared..."

[If you haven't read Tales from the Trails Part 1 check it out and then come back and read the rest of the race recap here]

So my first leg (the green loop) was officially done. My "shower pill" shower consisted of scrubbing every reachable crevice with my Shower Pill athletic body wipes. And my first real meal (since breakfast the previous morning) was chicken with rice and black beans. The rest of my Friday afternoon (into the evening) was spent waiting for my phone to charge at the charging station. 

Ragnar Trail Tip #6: Bring a powerful portable charger. Even with the latest mobile devices and their claims of extended battery life, chances are you will need to recharge your phone a few times over the course of the Ragnar weekend. I brought a portable charger with me but it took about four hours to charge it at the charging station... 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My Interview on The Ragnar Life Podcast...

While you're waiting for "Tales from the Trails Part 2" (which will be posted this week) please check out my interview on The Ragnar Life Podcast...

To listen to the episode →→→ LeAnne's interview ←←←

You can also find the episode on iTunes and Stitcher. If you check out those websites or just go to http://theragnarlife.com you can also listen to the experiences of other Ragnarians who have all endured "a little sleep deprivation (because it) is a small price to pay to watch the sunrise with... friends"

Don't forget to come back and check out the rest of the Ragnar Trail Alafia Race Recap!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Tales from the Trails {Ragnar Trail Alafia Race Recap-- Part 1}

"We believe that being a Ragnarian is about more than being a runner..."

I joined my Ragnar Alafia Trail team in much the same way that I joined my Ragnar Chicago team (back in June of this year): I saw a post on Facebook about a team looking for runners... I asked if they were competitive or not (since my pace is slower non-competitive teams work best for me)... the team captain assured me that it was a non-competitive team... I registered and paid. This time, however, I convinced my friend Mary to join as well.

The week leading up to the race was filled with your typical "pre-trail race prep". Mary and her husband have gone camping before so they had all the camping gear we thought we would need. So really I just had to make sure my running clothes and personal equipment etc were ready and suitable for trail races.

Did I mention I had never run a trail race before? Yeah... never. I did one practice run (on what I would soon learn was a "baby trail" compared to the trails for the race) in the week before Ragnar and that was the extent of my trail experience. I had also never gone camping before. In general, I'm not really an outdoorsy kind of girl. I'm more of a "I need a hot shower and an air conditioned insect-free area to sleep" kind of girl.

Anyway, since Mary and I were traveling from the same area we decided to embark on the 300+ mile journey together the day before race day. Once we got there we just followed the line of cars heading into the wilderness campsite...

Friday, December 16, 2016

No One Runs Alone {Weston 1/2 Race Recap}...

The Weston Half was the day after Ragnar ended (I'm still working on that race recap but I promise it will be posted soon), so as you can imagine I was pretty exhausted. But I decided to push myself to do it anyway since perseverance is the key to success. Well, that and race registration wasn't refundable.

Once I got to the race site I headed straight to packet pickup (which was quick since very few other people were there at 5:30am) and then went to use what I can only describe as THE BEST PORTA POTTIES EVER!!!
(I borrowed this picture from the web... this is what the female porta potties look like)


If you're a runner you can appreciate that porta potties are a necessary, but often unpleasant, reality of our running and racing life. However, these porta potties are impressive. They don't make having to use them magical, but compared to what you normally experience at a race they come pretty damn close!

Anyway, while in line for the porta potties I was talking with my former interval group coach (Anne Marie) from the Memorial Milers group that I used to train with. Anne Marie was with Yvette, who was running with the Milers for this training season, and I overheard Yvette say that she always finishes the race by herself. Well, I figured that no one should run alone (unless they wanted to) so I offered to run with her. At races, and even in training, sometimes we runners like solitude, but I was all up for having a running buddy to distract me from the miles and miles ahead, and so was she.

At the start of the race I saw a few other people that I know from the running community including Andy...

But once the race started Yvette and I kept pace together. We spent most of the 13.1 miles filling each other in on our running, races we've done, races we want to do, work (we both work at the same hospital and didn't even know it!), and our kids. It was really nice getting to know a new running buddy at an actual race.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Almost 30 Miles Later...

I'm still alive guys! I survived the trails & the post-trails half marathon, and I still love running despite all those miles 😊. Each race had it's own set of unique experiences and both were amazing...

I'm working on the race recap for both races and will be posting those this week. In the meantime I'm resting my legs (well, until I run tomorrow) and preparing for my final race for 2016...

Have you ever done a Hot Chocolate 🍫 race before? Is it as yummy as it looks?

What's your final race for 2016? 

What's your first race for 2017?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Out Of Office Reply...

Thank you for stopping by This Is My Faster! Unfortunately I'll be away from my blog for the next few days making memories along the Alafia River at my first ever Ragnar Trail Relay Race!

You can "picture follow" my trail journey by checking out my Instagram posts via THIS LINK ðŸ˜Š.

Or you can deprive yourself of the picture updates and wait for the race recap (which will be posted early next week).

Life is short though... and there are alligators along the trails... so if you want to make sure I'm surviving camping and trail running just check out my IG 👉 <here>

See you next week!!!!

Always & Forever,
This Is My Faster aka LeAnne 💜

Sunday, December 4, 2016

My New Celebrity Crush & Sunday Miles...

First things first: I'm in love with Baby Groot...

I mean just look at him 😍... look at his cute little eyes!!!

Baby Groot was my favorite part of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, so the second movie is going to be amazing! He is as cute as a button!
(including that button he is not supposed to push 😉)

The Verge did a brief article recently that had a link to a new trailer (movie trailer with Baby Groot) and I've already watched it three (ok fourteen) times 😊.

In addition to obsessing over Baby Groot, I spent some time running this morning. I did 6 miles; two with Jani...

Then we paused to meet up with Andy and Tabitha (they were doing 23 miles this morning) so we did two miles with them, and then for the last two Jani and I ran back to our cars...

I was still half asleep by the end of the 6 miles with absolutely no motivation to do any more. Plus, with all the miles I will be doing next weekend pushing for more miles this weekend wasn't a part of the plan.

The rest of my Sunday (and this upcoming week) will be all about preparing for Ragnar, which means ensuring I have (or have access to) all of these things...

What are your Sunday plans?

Are you a Baby Groot fan? (if not look at those eyes again...)

What other Ragnar/Trail running/Camping gear do you think I need?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Diet Pizza, Trails & Exciting News!!!

Since my 💔 experience at the NY Marathon (😞 you can check out that post here), I've been on an emotional roller coaster regarding training and my marathon (& post marathon) weight gain. So, the thing with the emotional roller coaster is that I'm an emotional eater... which invariably leads to more weight gain since I'm not only eating my feelings, but also eating like I'm still carb loading for a race...

Dec 1st was the start supposed to be the start of my renewed focus on training and my "training diet". But I had pizza for dinner last night🍕... and breakfast this morning... so things aren't off to a great start. Although... it was a thin crust and didn't have any cheese so it's more like "diet pizza" right?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Longest Week Ever...

My post-NY Marathon rest week is finally coming to an end...
I know that the general idea is to take a break from any racing or intense training so I did just that. And on top of that I decided to take a break from everything. I even slacked off on my "10,000 steps a day" goal...

Except for a 1 mile (slow & steady) evening run on Wednesday, I spent this week relaxing, eating whatever I wanted, trying out a new red blend wine, and sleeping in...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The "Good", The "Bad", & The "Why Am I Doing This?!" {TCS NYC Marathon Race Recap}

I have a ton of emotions surrounding the NYC marathon so it's hard to figure out where to start. I guess starting at the beginning is as good an option as any, but before I do that let me just say that (regardless of what I felt during and in the immediate aftermath of the race) I'm proud to be able to display this badge...
I was well rested for the event thanks to Daylight Savings Time and the fact that I didn't have to leave for the race until 7am. I took my time to get ready, met my friend Will (who was also running), and walked to the Staten Island Ferry Station well before my 7:45am ferry departure time. The race staff encouraged everyone to take the first available ferry so Will and I (along with half of New York) shuffled our way on board...

Once on board I spent my time trying not to focus on the fact that I have motion sickness and unwisely boarded the ferry without my anti-motion sickness bands (not my finest moment), and taking pictures of the Statue of Liberty...

Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Expo & The Parade...

I flew into New York yesterday morning and it was a non-stop day of activities... 
The morning started out as any other travel day: up early -- pack last minute items -- get to airport -- still get annoyed about taking off shoes in security line -- search for food -- find a Starbucks -- all is now right with the world :)

Kai and I were on the same flight as Will (who is also running NY) so we were talking about race strategy until it was time to board. Once we got on board I ran into my friend Alex from the law firm where I used to work...
Alex was one of my favorite people there. Always super cool. We spent the entire flight talking and catching up on what has been happening in our lives. Once we landed we said our goodbyes and Kai, Will and I made our way out of the airport into the Big Apple! Whenever I saw a bridge I asked Will "Do we run over that one?!"...
(I don't remember if this is one that I will run on, but the picture is nice right?)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Seventy Five Percent Club...

This morning I ran my final long run. Most of my usual weekend running group were missing because of races (Halloween Half Marathons and the Marine Corps Marathon); so that just left Jani and me to try and tackle 8 miles...

And now that my long run is done I can proceed with my plans for the rest of the weekend...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Million Eye Rolls...

I was doing a routine scroll through my Instagram (IG) feed the other day and came across a runner who was lamenting about the "excruciatingly slow" pace of his last run. It was around an 8:30min/mile pace. And he was "devastated".

I totally get it. I would be devastated if I ran an 8:30 pace too; since the only way that would happen is if I died... (and then got reincarnated and came back as a fast runner)
On some level I understand not being excited about how you performed on a run. I mean, if you normally run a 5-6min/mile pace then 8:30 will feel slow. I'm just not sure "devastation" is a necessary emotion for anyone that runs a sub-10 minute mile (unless you're a professional/sponsored athlete at risk of losing all your funding and not being able to feed your children...or buy new running shoes).

I mean, no one wants to run slower. The goal is always to get better right? And for some people (dare I say most people) that means running faster...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Taper...

I am tapering, I promise. But, yesterday was the ZOOMA Amelia Island Half Marathon and I'm a ZOOMA Race Ambassador. So obviously I had to do it...

Unfortunately I wasn't able to travel up to north Florida for the race on Saturday morning because I spent all day Thursday and Friday course directing an advanced trauma nursing course...

So instead of being able to enjoy all the festivities of the event I ran the race virtually...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Last Long Run...

This morning I ran 21 miles as my last really long run before the NY Marathon...

I ran the first 16 with my friends Mary and Will...

And then I ran the last 5 miles with Will (Will is also running NY). We decided to do loops (since it's so much easier to refuel that way) but because I don't pause my watch on the really long runs (or at least I try not to because I can't figure out how to turn off the auto save feature on Garmin) our two stops for refueling messed up my splits...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Weekend...

Well I did my half marathon training run this morning...

I broke it up into two segments because I was running at different times with different friends. The first 5 miles were with Jani, and we started at 4:30am...

Then as we finished the 5 miles I joined Mary and Andy and ran 8.1 miles with them...

Friday, October 7, 2016

When You Have Less Than Thirty Days...

I woke up this morning and realized that I'm at the "less than thirty" point in my marathon training...

So, with that looming over my head (and Hurricane Matthew out of the way) I decided to go for a run...

It's been a while since I've been able to run at a sub-12 min/mile pace for five miles, especially since I included some "hill work" in this run...

It's not much of an elevation but this is the closest I'm able to get to hill work right now. Where I live is as flat as a pancake and the highway overpass near my house is the closest thing I have to a hill. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Thirty Two...

While the rest of the city goes into panic mode and finishes all the gas at the local gas stations, I'm monitoring Hurricane Matthew primarily to figure out how many of my training runs will have to be rescheduled due to storm conditions...
"Please let the weather be good. Please let the weather be good. Please let the weather be good"

It's not surprising that I'm still focused on running and marathon training because apparently that's all I talk about...
(and considering how often I mention Garmin I'm surprised they haven't made me a brand ambassador yet... 
even after I wrote them such a lovely letter).

In thirty two days I'll be running through the boroughs of New York City, taking in the sights and sounds of the Big Apple, and hoping that my training and the last several months of preparations will get me through the race injury free. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Second Half of the Chicagoland Series {Chicago Half Marathon Race Recap}

Race morning started pretty early (as usual I guess) with a 5am Uber pick up from the hotel. We drove about 30 minutes to the race site (or as close as we could get) and then walked about a block and a half to the closest corral where we could see other runners waiting. My mom, sister and I joined them...

We knew it was going to be a long morning. It was around 5:45 am and the race didn't start until 7am (for Sanya and me) and 7:45am (for my mom who was doing the 5K). But the time seemed to pass by quickly and we eventually exchanged good luck hugs with my mom, then Sanya and I went to find our corral. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Because... Bees (and let's talk about what's next)

So there are bees in Chicago in September. Not cute "honey nut cheerios" bees, more like "annoying, on the verge of stinging you" bees. They were EVERYWHERE. Well, everywhere outside including all along the 13.1 mile Chicago Half Marathon course. I'm going to post the full race recap in the next few days, but in the meantime I'll fill you in on some upcoming stuff...
I have one more really long run and one more half marathon before the NY Marathon in November. The 20-23 miler was originally scheduled for next weekend, but it may have to change to this weekend (I'm still trying to figure out the logistics etc). 

If I could afford it, I would travel to a cooler state for this training run because I'm really over humidity right now. It was humid in Chicago for the race on Sunday (which did not help to control the bee situation); it was humid this morning when I ran; and it's been humid for the past four months. I think the last time I had ideal running weather was during the Miami half marathon in January. 

My upcoming half marathon (ZOOMA 1/2) scheduled for October will be run as a virtual race. I have a major work conflict that is going to prevent me from traveling but I'm being allowed to run it virtually (thankfully!) so I'm looking forward to that. 

Apart from those two major runs, the rest of my NY training (over the next 39 days) will consist of 10 mile long runs, 3-5 mile midweek runs, strength training, swimming, and waiting patiently to find out if I got into the 2017 London Marathon (I should know by October 18th!)

Once I know what the status is for the London Marathon I can start continue planning for next year. There are a couple of swimming events already scheduled (January & April), the Miami Marathon (January), and a Ragnar Relay (temporarily scheduled for May). 

2017 already looks like it's going to be a pretty busy year (I can't wait!)

How far ahead do you plan for races/events?

What does your 2017 running schedule look like?

Is anyone planning to run in the London Marathon next year?

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Third Time This Year...

I'm back in Chi Town!!!! This is my third trip to Chicago this year, which makes so much sense since it's my favorite city to visit! In May I was here for the Chicago Spring 1/2 marathon (in June I was here for Ragnar Chicago) and now I'm here for the Chicago Fall 1/2 marathon (as part of the Chicagoland series).

I signed up for the series because... race bling (you get an extra medal when you do both the Spring and Fall 1/2 marathons). My May trip was a "mommy daughter" trip and I was able share my favorite city with my favorite person (Chicago is now one of Kai's favorite places too). This trip is a "girls trip" and I here with my mom, my twin sister, and my baby sister...
(Yup, we are all running/walking in the event on Sunday!!!)

My mom and Jule (baby sister) signed up for the 5K at the race expo and Sanya (twin sis) had decided to do the half with me several months ago (my bib color is different because of the Chicagoland series). 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

9 miles + 11 miles...

I was thinking about the significance of today as I was driving home to type this blog post. Kai and I had just finished watching Sully (you should see it if you haven't already) and I was once again in awe of the miracle that occurred when that flight landed safely on the Hudson River. Today as we remember one of the saddest days in the country's history, most of which centered around New York, I was able to watch a movie that celebrated something amazing (which also centered around New York). I by no means mention the movie in an attempt to take away from the significance of today. September 11th 2001 will never be forgotten. We will always remember where we were when we heard or saw tragedy unfolding right before our eyes. We will never forget how we felt in that moment. This day will always remind us to never take any day for granted. To always tell the people we love that we love them. To thank those that risked their lives on that day, and those who continue to do so every day.

This morning's "9 + 11" run went well...