Gear list for ECSNY Half Marathon Race 2015

I'm a huge believer that having quality gear makes any sport experience a lot more enjoyable. Here's a short list of some of the things I plan to bring if you're mildly curious:

1.) My trusty Salomon Speedcross 3 trail running shoes. These are new pair that I just broke in to less than a week ago, and I have used once during a field hockey game. The grip and foot protection on rocks really matter when it comes to deciding which shoe I need for technical terrain. It was a hard decision between my Hoka One One Challenger ATR  and the Speed Cross 3. It's still a hard decision. And I may switch last minute on which shoe I race in. I've swapped out the cushiony Ortholite insoles for Superfeet insoles because I don't like too much bend on my shoe when I run. I like my shoes stiff but forgiving. It gives the Speedcross 3 a more of snug fit, which I loved about my Challenger ATR. See! You can't have everything.

2.) I've ended my quest for darn good socks with these Darn Tough Vermont endurance wool socks. I no longer wear non-wool socks, except for when I play field hockey. I love these socks to death. And I love the fact that buying these always makes me happy about supporting Made-In-America brands from NEW ENGLAND. 

3.) Ah, yes. I need something to strap the girls in tightly to my body, and I've chosen the Moving Comfort Rebound Racer bra just to do that. What I love about this sports bra is that it actually has an adjusting strap in the back. Not like most sport bra that you pull over your head. The shoulder adjustments loop through the bra using velcro.

4.) Ultimate Direction Ultra Vesta hydration vest. This is my second race vest and has easily become my favorite. If I ever do a mix of hike and long distance trail running, I can easily latch my trekking poles onto the cords. It also fits a small hydration bladder in the back. I can also store all my energy chews and shots into the front pockets. Not to mention, the fit is awesome and attractive.

5.) Race attire by The North Face. This is a TNF race afterall! I'm also using leg compression sleeves.

6.) Energy chews and shots. I've never been on a race where I never had thoughts about food. As a matter of fact, most of my thoughts while running involve food even if food wasn't the protagonist of my thoughts. So to combat any hunger thoughts or even pangs, it's good to carry these around: Clif Shot, GU Chomps, and Honey Stinger chews. I'm likely not bringing all three, but I'm choosing either one or two to take with me.

So there you have it. That's some of the stuff I'm bringing/wearing on the trail tomorrow. Should be a good one since this is my longest trail race thus far. Planning to do a marathon length next year for the Endurance Challenge in Utah. I'm already looking forward to it.

If you want more information on the Endurance Challenge Series Race by The North Face, here's a link. Obviously, a very great organization. :)

Trail Running Agenda for April 26th, 2015

This is a day late but I thought I would post it anyway. 

My agenda was to run the 7 miles of the Skyline Trail in Middlesex Fells Reservation. I wasn't alone on my run this time because Marius decided he would join me, which was great. However, instead of running the entire loop, we did hike some parts of it because Marius had a blister on his foot and he's not a fan of the uphill running. I don't blame him. Sunday was suppose to be my "easier day" anyway, so I didn't mind just walking/hiking some. It was definitely a great and surprisingly warm day for it. 

I'll post a follow-up of what happened this weekend with some photos. All I have to really say right now is that I'm feeling really good and confident that I'll do decent in the race. Can't wait!

Trail Running Agenda for April 25th, 2015

Today, I'll be running a shorter distance of 9 miles at the Blue Hills, Skyline Trail right outside Boston. It should be hilly and technical enough for practice for next weekend, minus the 5 miles. It has 500 feel of elevation gain which is not a lot when you compare it to Bear Mountain, NY. 

Healthwise: feeling a slight pain on the left knee, but I think it should be fine. Overall, I'm feeling pretty healthy and awake this morning.

I'll be getting dropped off and starting at the Shea Rink (east) and making my way to Houghton's Pond parking lot (west). I haven't set a goal time to finish because it's really hard to say on trail but it should be no longer than 2 hours.

Happy trails!

What's a Rest Day?

I've been working out really hard to prepare myself for this race and to do some general strength building for the other sports in my life but I've realized I don't allow myself time for recovery. I'm hoping this Sunday after a long training day on the mountain, I can give my body some much needed rest because God knows how stubborn  I am.

The last time I said I would give myself a rest day, I signed up for another gym membership at another gym AND I took TWO different work-out classes that same day on top of running 5 miles. The next couple of days, I was so sore that I was forced to take a rest day. So when I ask 'what's a rest day' I really mean it. And just to clarify when this happened, it was last week. Haha.

When I pour my heart into something, I just really fucking aim for the stars because I love it so much and need it in my life. I invest in the nicest gear. I do extensive research from diets, best conditioning exercises, to recovery techniques. I really put myself out there, at the expense of my own foolishness.

Earlier this morning, my personal trainer with a straight-face asked me if I'm a perfectionist. The real answer is no. But what I actually told her was that "I try really hard." The question caught me off guard which made me reevaluate my actions and what I said in that moment.  Whatever set off this notion may have been due to the fact that I've set such a monumental goal for such a short timeline to prepare and maybe I said something that would exude being overconfident. The thing is, I'm not trying to finish first. I want to surprise myself by finishing at a good race time and not dying by falling off a cliff. To me, that's perfect enough. This is not my first mountain race. I've been down this path before where mental preparedness was a huge part of my regimen even if it comes off a bit superfluous.

 I think we're all different in how we mentally prepare for a race. There are people who get nervous and/or have self-doubt. And there are others who  believe they're winners before the race even started. 

Maybe I'm just a little pumped?

Maybe I'm just a little excited?

Maybe I just need to calm down and take a rest day already!

This photo was taken on that said "rest day."

This photo was taken on that said "rest day."

I'm kinda in love with Zumba

My mom use to tell me how she loved going to the gym because of her obsession with Zumba, and I just remember thinking it's just another cheesy fad and how lame it sounded. Oh boy, I think being wrong warrants some sort of phone call: "Mom, you're totally right about Zumba." There would be no "hi mom" when she answers the phone because I should spare my words for important shit like how much I'm in love with Zumba. No time for small talk.

Anyhow, I  had a super  awesome time at the gym. Ran a good few miles on top of me getting down on the dance floor. The instructor told us to free-style dance in between a series of Zumba moves. And I was like, "LADY, DON'T MIND IF I DO." I pretty much took half of the gym floor kicking my legs in the air, I could feel the judgement coming on so strong from the other girls. Too bad I didn't have zero fucks to give.

Tomorrow morning, I have a personal trainer scheduled who specializes in training for races. Then the following week, I will have another session with her before my race. This is getting pretty serious. I can't even... right now. I should just Zumba my ass through the entire race.