Monday, April 23, 2018

My Quest to 50 +1 , 15 Down 35 to Go (West Virginia)

 My Quest to 50 +1
 15 Down 35 More to Go

                       Charleston, West Virgin
                       April 7, 2018

Earlier this month I completed my 27th Half Marathon and my 15th state toward my Quest to 50. I haven’t ran in a couple of years and my last half was April 2017. The last 2 years I was focusing on triathlon training, the sport can be very expensive and the training is a lot more than just running.

Day before the Race
Drove down to West Virginia with 2 friends that also have a goal of running 50 states, it was a long 8 plus hour drive. When we finally arrived to Charleston we went straight to the University that was hosting the race to pick up our race packet, the weather was really nice and after we went to get some dinner. We ended up at a place called Burrito and Brews, not my first choice to have Mexican food a day before the race but there weren’t a lot of options. I wasn’t a fan of my dish but everyone else liked their dish, guess I’m just very picky when it comes to food lol. After our meal we went to check in to our hotel to only find out we were booted to another hotel across the street. After we had settled in, we prepared our gear for race morning and relaxed.


Race Day
Race morning we woke up and it was 30 degrees and flurries out, when you sign up for a race down south you would think the weather would be somewhat warm. We arrived at the start line with about 10 minutes to spare. At the start of the race I ran with my 2 friends for about a mile, after feeling good I decided let me push the pace and run ahead and try and make good time. After half way through the race I thought to myself I should have stood with the girls, the course was very residential, I ran by myself for a while and it was very boring, running through the same area about 3 times.  Although mostly flat I could have pushed for PR but kind of gave up once I knew I wouldn’t beat my time so took it easy after that instead of giving it all I have, which I definitely had more to give. I think if I would have pushed more I could have come in 3rd place in my age group which was kind of a bummer also after realizing that so came in 7th.  Lately I have been struggling mentally in my races which I am working on, it’s been about 3 years since my best half marathon. I know concentrating on my triathlons I have focused more on that then although I do feel like I have gotten faster. Overall I think it’s more of a mental struggle then physical and I need to get over that hump.
I watched the girls cross the finish line and then we went to enjoy the post-race festivities which included a live music and yummy food after, we even tried maple syrup cotton candy which was interesting.

We then went back to the hotel showered and wanted to head out to check out the town. We went and found a market which was actually an old train station to walk around and then went to the Capitol building where they had a museum but we got there 15 minutes before closing.



Day after Race
We are now heading back home but not before we have a good hearty breakfast before the long drive back. I found this place called First Watch which was delicious, was hoping to try local WV food but found out this is actually a chain restaurant. I had a bowl with potatoes, eggs, chicken, chorizo and chimichurri sauce yum, this was the best thing I ate the whole weekend oh and let’s not forget a side of biscuits with gravy.


I completed my 15th state and hoping to do a few more this year if finances work out. My next state is Seattle, WA but may have to cancel due to finances but we shall see.

Until next time Happy Swim, Bike, Run, Box, Hike!!

Monday, December 11, 2017

My Quest to 50+1, 2017 Race Year!

14 Down 36 More to Go
2017 Comeback Season

As we are coming to the end of 2017, it’s time for me to reflect on my race year and the goals that I made for myself. Last year around this time I made a list of race goals and I’m happy to say completed each one, injury free.  My 2017 plan was to complete a triathlon a marathon and a couple of half marathons and that’s just what I did. I did travel to some states but they were states that I have already raced in so my quest to 50 still remains at 14 states completed.

This year my biggest goal and my main goal was to complete a half iron triathlon which is a total of 70.3 miles (1.2m swim, 56m bike and 13.1m run) and yes I finished. Although I finished almost last in all the legs I still finished and that is what counts. I say this now but it took me a while to let it sink in and not be so disappointed in myself with my performance and my accomplishment.  
major accomplishment I had this year was a swim race, it was a 1.2 mile swim in a river in NJ and I did really well, I sighted well and finished at my goal time.

My next goal was MCM marathon in DC 26.2 miles, I felt good  until mile 16 where I became dehydrated and the water stations were too far apart, don’t usually run well in the heat either and the temps were mid 70s which i need to work on dealing with the heat better. I am happy to have marathon #5 under my belt.

My last half was the Rocky Challenge, which was a 5k followed by a 10 miler, the temps were really cold 24 degrees and I was sick with a  sinus infection but it didn’t stop me from running this race which has been on my bucket list for a while. The race turned out well and it was an amazing day in Philly.

I completed 2 more races coming this month December Jingle Bell Jog and a 15k. The Jingle Bell Jog was my friends first race which I was super excited about, one was coming from retiring from obstacle course races and the other one was her very first race and they both did amazing.

My race goals for 2018, I plan on going back to the Adirondacks to complete a half iron again and doing better than I did this year, NYC Tri July 1 and a half ironman later in the summer. I’m hoping to complete 3 states and 2 marathons one of which is NYC Marathon.

2017 was an epic race year and met new friends along the way, looking forward to see what 2018 brings.

Until next time Happy Swim, Bike, Hike, Box, Run!!!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Timman Triathlon 70.3


June 24, 2017 

Two weeks ago I completed my first half iron distance triathlon 70.3 which consist of 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run. It has taken me about 2 weeks to acknowledge and celebrate what I have done. I still have the tan lines of the numbers on my legs and from my shorts to remind me what I accomplished but I was still left disappointed in myself. I didn’t finish with the victory I had wanted, I didn’t have so much of a time goal but I had an idea of when I would finish from how I have swam in the past, how fast I am on the bike and run.


I started training for Tinman back in November/December, I knew I wanted to do a half distance triathlon after completing my first 2 triathlons back in 2016. I am not a good swimmer or a great cyclist but I knew what I wanted so worked towards that goal. When I was laid off in December from my job, I hit the pool more and worked on my form and endurance and was able to do an hour with limited stopping which was a great improvement when I first started swimming I could barely complete 2 laps without stopping. I put in my miles on the bike and the run well I was consistent with my running until I sprained my ankle and took a few weeks off. I competed in an open water swim in NJ a month before Tinman to gauge how I will do in my swim, I actually did pretty well, I finished my 1.2 mile swim in an hour and 44 seconds and pretty much stood on course the entire time. This gave me the boost and confidence I needed for my swim for Tinman.

Race Day- 1.2 mile Swim

I woke up for my race ready to go, feeling confident the nerves didn’t hit me yet. I suited up for the swim and still felt relaxed and at ease. Took a few steps into the start of the lake and waited for the horn to sound. I started to swim and right away I felt the choppiness of the water, the lake had waves due to the wind. It took me a while to get into a rhythm, I wasn’t the only one having a hard time. I started to get nervous, and so many thoughts went through my head, can I downgrade to a shorter distance, do I quit now, keep going you trained for this. My goal was just to make it to each buoy, I swallowed tons of water and felt as I was just fighting the whole way. As I reached the last buoy going out, I thought to myself the waves will help me going back into shore. As I swam back to shore the waves gave me a push, I was blinded by the sun and had a hard time seeing the buoys but kept going, I was at the home stretch. More than half way there and I caught a cramp in my calf, I signaled a kayaker and grabbed onto it so I can massage my calf and then continued to swim. I still had a hard time seeing the finish so the kayakers guided me towards the end. I see my coach standing there and he tells me you just did the hardest thing in your life, which he was right and I cried. I’m not a strong swimmer at all and I fought through those waves and didn’t quit.

Race Day-56 mile Bike

After my swim I was still a bit emotional and get to my bike, had to stop and use the bathroom grab some fuel and head out for my 56 mile ride. I started pretty good and comfortable on the bike my stomach was feeling a bit bloated and upset but figured it would pass. Once I left the little Town of Tupper Lake I felt the winds pick up, there was side wind and head wind throughout my ride. I saw 2 of my teammates on the side of the road, one had problems with her bike and the other was checking on her. I told them I had stomach issues and they gave me a potato, it helped settle my stomach temporarily and I took off. The ride was long and lonely, but pushed through the wind  and 2 miles in the rain. I thought I can catch up on time on the down hills, the wind was blowing I barely had any speed, didn’t even use my breaks on the downhill which is usually scary for me.

Race Day- 13.1 mile Run

Finally finished my bike after over 4 hours riding, my coach grabbed my bike and he said you’re ready for this run and to catch up to everyone. The run is my best of all my 3 legs and I was so ready to finish in at least 2 hours. I started off slow, made myself slow down and made sure I got my legs back after the long bike ride. By mile 2 my stomach started to act up again and was feeling bloated and sloshy, didn’t want to drink anymore because I felt so full but I know I needed to. Mile 3 I find a porta potty, thank goodness because I was ready to go into someone’s front yard haha. I used the bathroom, had a coke to see if it settled my stomach and it didn’t. Throughout the 13.1 miles I ran/walked the course. This became totally frustrating for me because my legs felt fine but every time I started to run again my stomach would feel it. I figured maybe I need food, so I had pretzels, oranges, and watermelon and still nothing helped. The last 2 miles I was so disappointed in myself, how I didn’t do well in swim, the bike and the run, I felt as I failed myself and thought maybe I wasn’t ready for this distance.

I saw 2 of my teammates at the last mile and said we are running to the finish line, we are almost there. I crossed the finish line with them and saw the rest of my team at the finish line cheering, was an awesome finish to a long physically and mentally draining day but the end was epic and brought me to tears. Felt honored to race with amazing athletes and have an amazing coach cheering for us at the end.

Now I somewhat celebrated, I rested and yet something just feels … off. I’ve spent the last several months training and living a this lifestyle in anticipation of a giant life moment. Suddenly it’s over. I have lots of free time, I definitely have the off-season blues. I am thinking what is next for me. I would like to do another Triathlon but right now the funds are right for me to sign up for anything else, perhaps a full marathon is in my fall future.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

My Quest for 50 +1 2017 Comeback Season

                        My Quest to 50+1
                    14 Down 36 More to Go
                    2017 Comeback Season
It’s been a few months since I wrote my last blog. This past weekend I ran my first Half Marathon Ladies First Half in Brooklyn since March of 2016. In the past I would run several half’s a year. I was focusing on my Triathlon training last year and then running the Chicago Marathon until I found out I had a hip labrum tear and decided to drop out of the race and take a break.
My first half was my comeback half, my first long distance run in a while. It was an easy course but the weather conditions made it more difficult and felt as if I was walking or standing in place from the strong winds. Even though I didn’t set a great time or close to my PR I am just happy to be racing again.
Although I am training again for triathlon (half distance) this year I still have my goal of 50 states and hoping to complete at least 2 this year. I say at least 2 since I am just getting back to work after being laid off for a few months and need to play catch up. Hoping to do New Hampshire and Maryland this year and that would make 16 states I would complete. I will try and qualify again for next year NYC Marathon so I will stay busy doing my 9 races with NYRR. The focus is to continue cross training (strength training, hiking, swimming, boxing, cycling and running) which is key to staying healthy and strong. 
Until next time Happy Running, Swimming , Biking!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

My Quest to 50 +1, Every Setback Paves the Way For A Major Comeback

My Quest to 50 +1

14 Down 36 More to Go
2017 Comeback Season

As we end the month of November and have one more month left til the end of 2016 can’t help to think about my 2017 goals. Although I don’t have my races yet set in stone as I usually do  around this time of year,  I have a mental list in my head that is constantly keeping me motivated , focused and determined. My list consists of a few half marathons, marathon, and a triathlon, hoping to fulfill a few more states on my quest to 50 since I didn’t get to complete any in 2016.

My running season ended abruptly this summer due to a hip injury and had rolled my ankle back in June from falling off my bike.  Not knowing what kind of injury I had I kept running for a few more weeks and went to Physical Therapy until I decided it’s not worth running through pain and I took a little over 2 months off from running. During those 2 months I decided to strength train, cycle and boxing but my hip was still feeling a bit uncomfortable and decided to suck it up and get the MRI that I was prescribed. I was nervous since I never had an MRI done let alone with contrast where they injected a needle into your hip so they can see better results. In October I found out I have a small labral tear and hip retroversion which is the alignment of the femoral bone, I was really bummed and upset and depressed I’m usually really careful when I run and not to over train and couldn’t believe this happened to me. After the initial shock I decided to work on where my weaknesses are and talk to one of my sole sisters (She-Ro) Cynthia Martinez who has also struggled with a labral hip tear and has been able to run strong and compete in the Boston Marathon and kick asphalt.  I have had other friends with different issues and able to run pain free again so decided to see a FMS (Functional Movement Specialist) and after my initial visit with her I felt confident enough to start running again and continue strengthening as I go. Strength training is just as important as cardio so don't forget to do it minimum twice a week. I can say that I slacked on it during the summer as I was triathlon training, I only strength trained once a week.

A few weeks ago I had my first run, from wanting to just start out at 1 mile to see how I felt on the track I finished with 2 miles and felt good. I thought it would be easy to get back into it after 2 months but like that saying goes “If you don’t use it you lose it”, I have the drive and focus to run again but I just need to pace myself and not get too excited that I am running again. This past weekend I set out to run 5 miles and finished with 4, mostly my fault since I didn’t initial use my first mile as a warm up and my song on my playlist kept saying “you better work b*tch” lol so I started out too fast and by mile 3 I was kinda done haha.

The month of December will be my base period where I focus on getting back into running, more strength training and building my endurance again and January I will start training for my first half in March. I have also been working on my swimming so I can compete in a triathlon again for 2017; my swimming is one of my biggest weaknesses but will stay consistent to get better, “Consistency is the key to success”.

Until next year! Happy Running, Biking, Swimming!!

Friday, September 16, 2016

My Quest to 50+1 Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened!- Dr. Seuss

It saddens me to say Chicago will have to wait for me for another year. My 5th Marathon will have to be put on hold and my Quest for 50 (15th state) well another time. This week I deferred my Chicago race for 2017. I’ve had goals on my mind in kicking that course behind and setting a new record.  I’ve had some obstacles that were stopping me in giving my best and training my best.  From rolling my ankle back in June, I was able to continue and train for my triathlon but had to slow down on my running and 3 weeks ago after a 14 mile ok run, wasn’t my best long run I was stretching and I strained my hip flexor. I rested after that and then ran again 15 miles with minimal pain then again 16 miles the week after. I decided to let myself fully heal I had to completely stop. I have been going to therapy twice a week and will take a few weeks off from running maybe few months depending how long it takes to heal.  I've had seen numerous time people running through pain and injuries and not be able to race again or run without pain. I’m bummed out that I am not running Chicago but I know my training wasn’t the greatest to give it my all and PR. Why even go run a race and risk further injury that I know I wasn't going to give my best in. I say alot when I take classes and I'm hurt or sore I don't like to half ass anything. It's give it my all or nothing. 

I will be sticking to low impact activities; boxing swimming, biking, rowing, strength training and I will add yoga into my routine.
Although my race season is over this year, I am happy what I have accomplished one of my biggest goals this year and that was to become a triathlete, completed 2 triathlons this year and I am so proud of how far I have come on my swimming and biking. I still need work on my swimming but I know I will get there and put in the work.  I will focus on healing; strengthening and I will come back next year stronger and faster.
Good luck to everyone running their first races, big races this year. I will be on the sidelines cheering everyone on for NYC Marathon.
Here are a few highlights from my race season, more so my triathlon year.





Until next Happy Running, Swimming, Biking!