Category Archives: Training

Chicago, here I come!

After not getting into the NYC Marathon for the fourth time (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015). On a whim I decided to enter the lottery for the Chicago Marathon.

Bank of America Chicago Marathon

“Congratulations! You have been selected to run the 2015 Bank of AmericaChicago Marathon.”

I’ve been wanting to go into the actual city of Chicago for a long time. I’ve been to the airport about a dozen times, but have never been in the city. This will be the first time in years that I’m running a race in a city I’ve never been to before. I’m very excited!

What should I see while I’m in Chicago?

 

 

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The North Face Locals Ambassador

Early in July, I was invited to apply for The North Face Locals Ambassador program. Of course, I jumped at the chance!

#TNFLocals

Yesterday I received the news that I was selected as one of The North Face Locals Ambassador! I look forward to my journey as a #TNFLocals Ambassador!

I'm excited to be chosen as a @TNFLocals Ambassador! @TheNorthFace #TNFLocals

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Team Chocolate Milk interview: Jen Ator

You read my interview with Team Chocolate Milk member Apolo Ohno. If you didn’t, check it out here.

Another member of Team Chocolate Milk is Jen Ator, Women’s Health Fitness Director.

Jen is currently training for the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in October. Follow her training at GotChocolateMilk.com.

She hit the pavement with Apolo in the streets of Seattle in her first Mission Apolo: BUILT WITH CHOCOLATE MILK race – Rock n’ Roll Seattle Half-Marathon.

Unfortunately due to Jen’s travel schedule I was unable to meet up with her prior to her run. I was super bummed!

However, she was awesome to answer some questions via email.


How do you balance work and training?


Balancing work and training is far from easy—both are demanding, and both have to be a top priority. Working out in the morning has been crucial for me—not only in terms of being able to balance both, but also to be fully present at both. When I’m up in the morning, the only thing that matters is my training. That has my full attention. Then, once it’s done, I can get to work and be completely focused on what I need to do that day at my job (rather than being distracted or stressed about getting my workout in later that day). It also has helped me stay consistent with training; if something comes up at work and I have to stay late (which happens a lot), it doesn’t mean missing a workout.

I think the other big component to balancing everything is that going into this journey I knew I would have to make sacrifices in other areas of my life and I was comfortable with doing that. It might mean I have to skip that happy hour or pass on taking a long lunch break with a co-worker. For me it’s worth it because I know what my priorities are right now and that’s where I need to be focused. My schedule is pretty simplified these days: train, work, sleep, repeat.


What has been the biggest obstacle in training? How are you getting over it?


I think two of the biggest obstacles have been nutrition and sleep. You can only train as effectively as you’ve recovered, which means how I perform in my workouts is directly linked to how I take care of my body during the remainder of each day, outside of my training. With all that I need to get done in any given day, it’s all too easy for nutrition and sleep to fall off my radar and not get the adequate attention they need.

With nutrition, it’s all about setting myself up for success by planning ahead. I stash a bottle of chocolate milk in my gym bag so I have it immediately after my workout (I have a freezable lunch pack that I use each day to keep my meals cold while I’m at the gym – really useful!); I do a little prep work each week so that I have simple ingredients that can be tossed together in less than 10 minutes for dinner when I get home late; I keep healthy, well-balanced snacks in my office so that I can grab something in between meals if I can’t get away from my desk.

Getting enough sleep is an everyday struggle—there are not enough hours in the day! Like I said before, when something is a priority in your life, you find a way to make time for it. I’m turning off the TV earlier (or not turning it on at all), and trying to create a habit of unwinding before bed—10 to 30 minutes without my computer, or phone, or other distractions to help improve my sleep quality.


Which event (swimming, biking, running) are you the strongest? Why?


Running is the event in which I have the most experience and that I’m the most comfortable with but that doesn’t mean it has been easy. Coming back from knee surgery, I’ve had to adjust to a slower pace and tolerate a few more aches and pains along the way. I really enjoy swimming and biking in general, but both come with their own challenges when training for this race: I’m an anxious swimmer in open water and I will be learning to ride a TT bike for the first time.


Jen has a busy schedule , but really knows how to efficiently make the most out of time and stay on top of her training!

Be sure to follow her journey at GotChocolateMilk.com.

Team Chocolate Milk interview: Apolo Ohno

I had the pleasure of meeting eight-time medalist for short-track speedskating, Apolo Ohno.

Apolo is on Team Chocolate Milk and currently training for the 2014 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in October. Follow his training at GotChocolateMilk.com.

I had a quick meet and greet with Apolo after an autograph session at the Chocolate Milk both at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle expo.

RunWithWes and Apolo Ohno

My first question was, “Are you running the Rock ‘n’ Roll half or full marathon?”. He was running the half marathon and shooting for a 1:45 finish, about a 8 minute mile.

Apolo was born in Washington State. I asked how it felt to be back in his hometown. He was excited and happy to back and see his family, even if it was only for a few short days. Side note: his dad was at the booth too.

I asked which event of the triathlon – swimming, biking or swimming is the the toughest for him. Running is definitely the hardest event. He said that he needed more open water swimming practice. He has been mainly practicing in a pool. The other tough part of training was shedding mass to be leaner and faster for the triathlon.

Apolo Ohno After Rock 'n' Seattle

Apolo Ohno After Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle

I caught up with Apolo after the race. I was eager to find out how he did. He happily said he finished in 1:36, which is about a 7:20-ish pace. Definitely an awesome time for someone who doesn’t like to run!

Overall, Apolo was a down to earth, chill, easy to talk to guy. I wish him good luck at the IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii in October! He is going to kill it!

Be sure to follow his journey at GotChocolateMilk.com.

 

I signed up for my first ultra.

After  reading all the great recaps and tweets about The North Face Endurance Challenge – California, it sounded like an awesome challenge. I wanted to run it.

The North Face Endurance Challenge

The North Face Endurance Challenge has a couple of race lengths – 5k (3.1 miles), 10k (6.21 miles) , half marathon (13.1 miles), marathon (26.2 miles), 50k (31 miles), and 50 miles.

The events take place in the  Marin Headlands, the course features scenic views with some drastic elevation change.

Guess what I did? I signed up. Duh. 50k. Go big or go home, right?

This will be my first 50k AND first trail race. I’m scared, nervous, excited and can’t wait to run it!

Now it’s time to read every article and blog on training for a 50k…

Do you have a favorite blog for training for an ultramarathon?

RECAP: Seattle (Half) Marathon 2013

3 years ago my first race was the Seattle Marathon. I was undertrained and overconfident. Needless to say the race didn’t go as planned, which you can read here.

I woke up at 5:30AM sharp! Got ready and caught the bus  to the Seattle Center. The bus was 5 minutes late, go figure!  I arrived and walked fairly quickly to the start to get into the mass corral. Lucky I arrived with 15 minutes to spare. Though I didn’t have enough time to check in my bag. A friend was nice enough to hold it. I made my way to the corral, but for the life of me couldn’t find an opening through the barricades. Me, and everyone else, climbed over the barricades into the corral. I made it just in time. The National Anthem was starting.

BOOM! The gun goes off. It took a few minutes to get to the start line and for the crowd to open up. I started my Garmin. It was the last time I would look at it until the finish line. Miles 1 -4 were great! Running under the monorail tracks, through downtown and then eventually onto the I-90 Express Way. I was running at a comfortable pace. I felt really good.

After coming off I-90, the course turned onto Lake Washington Blvd. Miles 5-6 are my  favorite miles of the entire course. Running by Lake Washington and the great views of the other side of the lake. This part seemed to go faster than I expected. I didn’t want to run too fast, so I ran behind people who were running a decent pace.

I knew what was coming up. The part of that course I wasn’t looking forward to, miles 7-9. Hills. Big hills. These hills kill my legs. I knew that I couldn’t power up them. I ran to the top of the first hill and had to walk for 30 seconds before running up the next hill. Geesh! Needless to say I was really happy when I was at the top.

Miles 10-12. I was starting to run out of steam. I popped a couple of Cytomax chews. It gave me the boost I needed to get through miles 10 and 11. Mile 12 was tough. I was spent! I knew I ran at race at a faster than I wanted to pace. Did I mention this race was the furtherest I ran since my ITBS injury earlier this year? And it was the first long run for my LA Marathon 2014 training.

Proof!

Proof!

The last mile I gave it my all. I knew the finish line was close. Before I knew it, I crossed the finish line. I did it! I got my revenge on the Seattle Half Marathon!

I finished in a faster time than I expected – 2:00:05. I planned on running a lot slower, easier pace and not pushing myself too much. Overall not a bad training run!

New York City Marathon 2014

The last two years I entered the lottery for the NYC Marathon. No luck either time. This will be my third year entering. Unfortunately they stopped the guaranteed entry after three failed attempts. Here is hoping that I get in!

NYC Marathon 2014

LA Marathon 2014 Training – Week #2

Definitely getting back into my

I used my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 instead of the Mizuno Wave Sayonara. I realized at the end of this week that I like running in the Mizunos more. My ankles moved too much in the Adrenalines, which caused my ankles to be very sore this week.

Had to cut my 5 mile run on Saturday short due to the ankle soreness. I rested on Sunday and didn’t  run my scheduled 6 miles to rest my ankles. From this point on it looks like I will be mainly using my Mizunos.

The weather is slowly getting colder and colder. Luckily it has been pretty dry – no rain!

DATE TEMPERATURE MILES GOAL PACE TIME SHOES
11/19/13 46 3 3 8:56 0:26:49 Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13
11/20/13 34 5.04 5 9:19 0:46:58 Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13
11/21/13 28 3.6 3 9:25 0:33:53 Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13
11/23/13 28 3 5 9:28 0:28:24 Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13
11/24/13 6

LA Marathon 2014 Training – Week #1

The first week of LA Marathon 2014 training is complete!

I have to admit, the first few days were tough. It’s been awhile since I’ve done back-to-back-to-back runs. I’ve taken a different approach to my training this time. I’m running my mid-week runs a lot easier than I have in the past. They are about a 1-2 minutes slower than my normal pace. Pace control isn’t one my strong points, needless to say it’s been a bit of a challenge. Overall  a really good first week.

I will be using two pair of shoes for training – Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 and Mizuno Wave Sayonara.

DATE TEMPERATURE MILES GOAL PACE TIME SHOES
11/12/13 48 3.05 3 10:02 0:30:38 Mizuno Wave Sayonara
11/13/13 52 5.36 5 9:21 0:50:04 Mizuno Wave Sayonara
11/14/13 46 3.01 3 9:15 0:27:48 Mizuno Wave Sayonara
11/16/13 39 5.07 5 9:16 0:46:59 Mizuno Wave Sayonara
11/17/13 46 8.88 9 8:57 1:19:56 Mizuno Wave Sayonara

Hood To Coast 2014

It’s only two months after Hood to Coast 2013 and I’m already writing about Hood To Coast 2014!

Unfortunately the team I was on this year (Pure Michigan) did not get selected in the lottery for 2014.

Hood to Coast 2014!

Fortunately I was lucky enough to have a friend who needed runners on their team. I will be running Hood To Coast in 2014 on team Need4Speed!

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