Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Running, Exploring, & Dancing

I participated in yet another virtual race organized by Gametiime who also partnered with Nuun. This virtual run was open to the Nuun community that included #teamnuun, nuun employees, and #nuunbassadors.

It was pretty much the same type of deal as The Puppy Run. It was called #RunRideHydrate and you could race the 5k, 10k, or 15 mile bike ride.

Because this virtual race fell on a holiday weekend (4th of July), I was off the grid camping at a beautiful place just an hour away from Placerville. I had no cell service. I was camping but a ½ mile away from a gorgeous trail called Caples Creek trail. I signed up for the 5k, but the trail was so wonderful to run on that I ended up running the 10k and then added two miles for a total of eight. This was my first time on the trail and it was a real treat! Not too much climbing, but elevation was just high enough to feel my lungs clutching for air. It was an amazing morning out on the trails and overall a fabulous weekend camping at the river and exploring a nearby lake.

Shanon & Mark with puppy dogs in tow

Me--A shadow running in the meadow

Swoon worthy picture

One more swoon worthy pic
This upcoming weekend is The San Francisco Marathon and the first time in three years that I will not be running the race. While I am a bit sad to miss out on running in a gorgeous city with some fabulous friends, I have been keeping myself busy organizing an event for my community.

Shameless promotion...Why yes, I think it is! I, on behalf of the El Dorado Arts Council, have worked very hard on a festival in celebration of National Dance Day on July 25. There will be dance performances, dance lessons, vendors, live entertainment from a swing/jazz style band, the Tepid Club of Cool, food trucks, and beer from Old Hangtown Beer Works (Yum, my favorite) and wine from MadroƱa Vineyards. I am super excited for this event. And while, it certainly has nothing to do with running, it does celebrate health and fitness through another type of endurance sport; dance!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cuddling Up to my Running Journal + Giveaway

Confession time - I still write in a calendar that lives in my purse and travels everywhere I go. And yes, I do also use a digital calendar. You would think double dipping would get to be a bit repetitive, but I suppose I am old fashion in the sense that I like putting a pen to paper. I feel like this caveman motion helps me to remember things better. And frankly, I could use all the help I can get in the memory department.

Completely stocked that JournalMENU approached me and asked to review their running journal! While I do keep digital logs on all my run adventures and workouts, I do not write them down. There is something magical about writing your goals out on paper versus just inputting them into a boring old spreadsheet. I’d like to think that years from now, I mean thousands of years from now, lying underneath a pile of rubble, someone just might discover my journal and get inspired to keep a running/workout journal of their very own.

Back to the present, I was able to customize my very own journal! There are many color and theme choices as well as different workout journals to choose from such as yoga, weight lifting, everyday workouts, the list goes on!
Inside, the journal holds pages beyond pages of awesome information such as pace charts and training plans. 

I am able to log my personal records, all my training runs, and can even write a review on each race I participate in. Bonus, there is a motivational quote on each page!

Why I love this journal -
It is customized just for me
I can geek out on my training with noone to judge
If I put it in writing, it has to be achieved
I can look back to review progress or lack of, and adjust my training accordingly
I can cuddle with it in bed all while dreaming sweet running dreams

I am very impressed by JournalMENU and highly recommend you give this whole pencil to paper thing a try. In fact, I have the opportunity to present one winner with their very own Customized Journal. You know the drill. Enter below to win. One winner will be announced on Friday, June 26.

Disclosure: JournalMENU gifted me this Running Journal in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Use caution when cuddling up with JournalMENU in bed. JournalMENU is not a proper cuddling companion.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 12, 2015


I participated in a virtual run called #ThePuppyRun hosted by Gametiime.
First off, I love Gametiime! Such a fun company and uber supportive of the running community. Gametiime is no stranger to me as they were also a sponsor of our afterNuun Run team at the SoCal Ragnar relay last year.

I patiently awaited the goody package that was delivered in the mail upon registering for the virtual race. It was a bit of wait, but when the swag package finally fell upon my doorstep, it was like Christmas in June! So much Swag that included a cute puppy dog medal, a collapsible dog dish, fresh baked cookies for Penny the Pup, a sticker, a dog bandana and a super cute and comfy tee for mee. I love the colors gray and red. Bonus, it looks super cute on me! Oh yes, and a bib was included.

Penny and I ran the 5k from my house to the El Dorado Trail. We took the run in leisure with my friend Beth joining us. As always, the route was hilly. In addition, it was quite humid, but the run was fun all just the same. Truth be told, we ran five miles (the over achievers that we are), but I split the run in half to portray the 5k time. That’s not cheating right? It is all in good fun all just the same!

This was my first time I payed for a virtual race and I have to say, I really enjoyed the overall experience. Proceeds made from the race will benefit Valhalla Canine Rescue to boot!  I was able to connect to the Gametiime website and see other participant race times. On the Puppy Run Facebook page it was super fun to see posts and pictures of other runners from across the country. And, of course I loved seeing all the cute adorable puppy dogs! I love dogs and this was a great virtual race for Penny the Pup and I to participate in! Gametiime is also offering prizes for tons of categories. Beyond the fastest times, they are awarding prizes for cutest picture, biggest team, best collage, etc etc. These awards have yet to be announced, but I do know that I have already won one! #hashtagcrazy! I found every bloody #hashtag on the Gametiime website. My biggest accomplishment yet!

Kaji Kitty was feeling left out so I built him a kitty fort.
Gametiime did a wonderful job on getting people out there with their dogs, whether the participants were runners or not. And beyond all the swag and prizes, that is really what it is all about--Leading a healthy and active lifestyle with our four-legged bff’s!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Runtastic News

Last Monday, Veterans Day, I ran the Wounded Veteran 5k race in Folsom. It was a fun morning even though, I was also on the clock. In addition to running the race, we (El Dorado Arts Council--my place of employment) had a booth promoting our free Veterans’ Voices Writing Workshop.

Veterans’ Voices is an opportunity for all veterans, especially those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, to write down their experiences. New data released by the department of Veterans Affairs in 2014, shows a dramatic 44 percent increase in vets under the age of 30 commiting suicide, that equals 2 a day. Yikes! These facts are a reality and sad, to say the least. Clearly, I am passionate about working for an organization that offers such important programs to the community.

I ran the race where the proceeds went to a good cause, finished the 5k in 24:23 (which I might add is my fastest 5k time this year, but not overall) and placed 3rd in my Age Group. I also got to spread the word about our free program. It was a great morning overall! Just another day in the office!
Folsom Trail Runner friends!

And then, fast forward a few days later, I received a very important email. In that very important email it stated that I am now an official 2016 inaugural Pony Express Marathon Ambassador. Woohoo! I am very excited to represent a race that is taking place right in my extended backyard (Sacramento), on May 1, 2016. It is a Boston Qualifier and other race distances include a half marathon, 4-person relay, and a 5k!  All distances are USATF certified. Upon crossing the finish line, there will be an awesome beer garden hosted by the delicious Yolo Brewing Company. There is so much more fabulous information to share, but for now, I will leave you with that! Who wants to come run this inaugural event with me? Everyone who signs up gets a puppy! Best bribe ever! ;) Okay, so I don’t have puppies to give away, but I do have a lovely discount code. Use code: RUNIN#PEM16! upon registering!

Disclosure: Runinsyn cannot give out puppies. The above statement was used in jest. No puppies will be given away on this blog post, though it is a nice thought.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Returning to the Surf

For the fourth year in a row, I participated in the Surfer’s Path Marathon and Capitola Half in Santa Cruz. This year however, I did not return volunteering for the event, serving on the race committee, but was able to be apart of the event as a runner!

I love this race! Not only is it well organized (and no, I am not just being bias), but running in a town that I absolutely adore with coastal views makes this a destination race not to be missed. It was so awesome to be able to actually run the course!

I originally signed up for the half with my badass ultra friend Cara, who had recently just completed a 50 miler race where she overworked a muscle and had a slight injury. She was able to run six miles, but not certain if she could run the whole 13.1 miles. Not wanting her to waste her runcation, we switched flawlessly to the relay at the expo the day before the race.
Stolen picture of  me in the air
I ran the second leg and met Cara in Capitola where she passed the slap on bracelet to me and I passed the keys to the car back to her. The relay  transition was awesome and smooth. Before Cara was even at the transition area, our bib number was called out and I was able to meet her with ease and grace. I was off and the first few miles were awesome and at a sub 8 pace. I love running at sea level, I really do!  At 4.5 miles, I got a horrible, no good, very bad, side stitch. It was unlike anything I had experienced before. I walked and stretched it out a tad, came to an aid station, gulped some electrolyte where it immediately ceased. Thank goodness. The pain was so bad I almost thought I would have to stop running completely. So happy that this was not the case. On I went. I saw Paulette cheering on the course, passed the boardwalk and then, soon enough, I was crossing the finish line!
Cara and I at the Finish
Paulette and Kevin at the finish

Paulette and I at the start
Apparently the timing company had marked our time wrong, and it had us with a finishing time of 1:37:00. While it would have been fantastic to finish in that time, that simply was not the case. Instead, we received an overall finish time of 1:47:00, 13th overall out of a hundred and something teams. Not too shabby! I think my split was  6.9  at 53  minutes! Happy relay team! Go us!

It was super fun to see Meg and Kevin at the finish line too! I just love the finish line festivities. It was like a run party on the beach!

Cara and I also had an opportunity to go on a brewery tour where my friend Keri joined us for a beer! It was a great full packed weekend. I definitely will return to run this race again! I love the Surfer’s Path!

First beer stop - Discretion Brewery

Monday, April 27, 2015

A Double 5k Weekend

Months in advanced I registered for back to back (Saturday and Sunday) 5k races not knowing at the time that I would be engaged in one hectic week leading up to the events. Just days before I went out to Sacramento for Confluence 2015, which was a "California for the Arts" conference involving Art Council and Art Organization professionals. It was busy, tiring, and amazing! I was not able to fit any running in that week and then fast forward to Saturday morning - Race day!

The Sugarloaf Stampede is a local race on a course I know oh too well. In fact, I had won the Gold Rush 5k and 10k on this exact course years before. I am quite a bit slower than those glory winning days, but I was excited to participate in a local race where I did not have to wake up super early. In true Alisyn fashion, I still arrived at the race with plenty of time to go to the restroom three or four times, pickup my bib and buy some raffle tickets. I bumped into an AMP Fitness fellow bootcamper and we both guiltily chatted about our lacking attendance at bootcamp these last few weeks. Finally it was time to toe up at the start line and with a brief announcement, we were off.

The course started above a school field and led us to the El Dorado Trail where it went up and up and up a hill. A few guys were in front of me and another chick was close behind. Admittedly, running up the hill really took a lot out of me, but I told myself to take it easy until I reached the turn around. I pushed and at the turn around point I sprang into a sprint--down, down, down. Running downhill is the best thing ever! The next mile and a half was pretty uneventful as I cheered on other runners and went through all the mind games that occur when running. Before I knew it, I was back on the field running through grass and then I crossed the finish line! I finished in 25:57, 4th overall, 1st female, 1st AG. Of course this was not a PR, but I will take the win all just the same. This was a great, well organized race overall. My only qualm was that at the awards ceremony they did not recognize the overall winners but only announced the Age Group winners. Strange. Oh, but I did win a raffle  prize, a new pair of Brooks Running Shoes. It was a day of wins!

Shoutout to my faster half who decided at the very last minute that he was going to run the Mokelumne River 50 miler on the same day as the Stampede. UMM ran well, but I would expect nothing less! Go UMM!

On Sunday, Penny the Pup and I went out and ran the Mighty Dog 5k out at Granite Bay. This race was geared specifically for runners and their dogs. Instead of age group categories, there was small, medium, and large dog categories all eligible for awards. I had Penny the Pup, (26.5lbs) under the medium category that was 26 - 69 pounds.  That is a huge category. Sadly, we did not qualify for an award, but had a fun time out on the trail! Penny pushed me when I needed to be pushed and I did the same. We made a great team! So cute to see all the dogs off and running at the start! They were all very excited, and UMM told me afterwards, that we left a cloud of dust. It was a super fun race! The Race director did inform everyone that the next race would have more dog categories! I will definitely participate again if that is the case.

Doggie Dust Bowl

Penny the Pups tongue might be sticking out, but she is smiling for sure!

It's hot out, but still smiling!

Crossing the finish line and yep--Still smiling!

Even Penny appreciates ice water baths!

Overall, it was a fun running weekend!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

HotShot Trail Half

The inaugural Hot Shot Half Marathon was held on the beautiful Bullards Bar Reservoir Trail in Dobbins, Ca.

This race was in memory of Mike Kelly, a Tahoe HotShot. When he passed away, the Wildland Firefighter Foundation was incredibly supportive of his family. All the proceeds of the race were donated to this worthy foundation in his name.

I can't say enough amazing things about this race! In true hotshot fashion, always going the extra mile, the course was actually 14.5 miles instead of 13.1. The trail was absolutely beautiful and freshly swept of needles and weeds. Stumps and roots in the trail were painted bright red and the hand made mileage signs and course markings were clear and everywhere! There was no way you could get lost on this course for at every intersection was stationed volunteers and cheer support. Honestly, I have never received so many cheers and seen so many spectators on a small trail race course before, and I absolutely loved it as the positive energy was just amazing!
The only picture I took out on the trail
Just us chicks!
Joel and UMM
Leading up to the race, I confess, my trail running had lacked as did my long distance training. The trail was just so breath taking however, that I immediately felt that runners high. I ran strong for the first seven miles enjoying the rolling hills, gorgeous views of the reservoir, and the conversations I was having with new friends I met out on the trail. It was around mile seven or eight that I switched from running to power hiking. Up and up I went. Of course, what goes up, does eventually go down. My favorite part of trail racing--running downhill! At each aid station I made sure to fuel properly with oranges, bananas, and the electrolyte drink that they offered. Sadly though, it wasn't enough as I skipped breakfast. I do this often. I just can't get myself to eat so early in morning and then I pay for it later while running. I definitely felt my energy levels dropping, but I was having so much fun that I just ignored that blah feeling. And then, at mile 11, I tripped, and took a brutal fall. It was at this time that my calf seized up and I was in serious pain. I lost my runners high after that and I lost my beautiful trail stride. I limped a bit after that switching to a wog (walk/jog) and finished the race in 3:09. It certainly was not the time I was expecting, but I was just happy to have finished.To have run on a beautiful new trail. To be apart of this inaugural event!
Mike Kelly Senior coming into the finish with his entourage
Penny the Poser
UMM was there to greet me at the finish line where he finished in 1:49. We received finisher pint glasses, never ending portions of chili, baked potato, fixings, and a large assortment of drinks. A great finish line party! Did I mention, the race also included free camping? We camped at Hornswoggle where after the race festivities, we fished (yes, I fish!) and then celebrated with an after party.
My lil rock climbin' dog

No fish were caught by us! :(
Why, yes that is a banana slug on my cup
Overall, I give this race a five star rating! For an inaugural event, I was very impressed by all the attention to detail that other race organizers tend to miss their first time around. It truly was an amazing race to be a part of and I can't wait to do it again next year!