12.31.02 - Washington Resolution Run
01.19.03 - San Diego Marathon
07.13.03 - Tri For Real #2
10.23.05 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
11.23.06 - Sparks Turkey Trot
05.05.07 - Marathon de Mayo (Half)
05.13.07 - Moms on the Run
10.??.07 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
05.10.08 - Moms on the Run
06.21.09 - Pleasanton Spirit 5K
07.29.09 - San Francisco Half Marathon
10.04.09 - SJ Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon
10.18.09 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
11.01.09 - New York Marathon
11.26.09 - Spark's Turkey Trot 10K
02.20.10 - Bay Breeze Half Marathon
03.14.10 - Shamrock 'N Half Marathon
03.21.10 - LA Marathon
03.27.10 - Scheel's Fanatic 5K
04.25.10 - Marin County Half Marathon
05.02.10 - Reno Rock 'N River Half Marathon
06.05.10 - See Jane Run Half Marathon
07.25.10 - San Francisco Half Marathon
09.05.10 - Pier to Peak Half Marathon
10.10.10 - Chicago Marathon
10.30.10 - Healdsburg Half Marathon
11.07.10 - U.S. Half Marathon
11.25.10 - Scheels Turkey Trot 10K
02.06.11 - Surf City Half Marathon
03.13.11 - Dublin Shamrock 5K
04.18.11 - Boston Marathon
05.01.11 - Big Sur Marathon
06.11.11 - Lake Tahoe Relay
07.31.11 - San Francisco Half Marathon
09.11.11 - Walnut Festival Run 5K
09.18.11 - NorCal Half Marathon
11.24.11 - Scheels Turkey Trot
12.03.11 - Las Vegas Santa Suit 5K
12.04.11 - Las Vegas Half Marathon
03.11.12 - South Bay Duathlon
03.25.12 - Oakland Half Marathon
05.20.12 - Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon
06.24.12 - Silicon Valley Intl. Triathlon
07.15.12 - Ironman 70.3 Vineman Triathlon
03.09.13 - Lucky 13 Half Marathon
04.28.13 - Eugene Half Marathon
05.11.13 - Folsom International Triathlon
5k:19:17 @ Dublin Shamrock 5k 2011
10k: 41:01 @ Scheel's Turkey Trot 2010
Half:1:30:07 @ Oakland Half 2012
Full: 3:31:44 @ Boston Marathon 2011
70.3: 5:20:07 @ Vineman 2012
Tag Archives: Boston
Tonight, I came back from dinner to some shocking and sad news. Rest in peace, Steve Jobs, and thanks for the continued inspiration and innovation that will forever change the world.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
With that in mind, the scent of change is in the air…but more on that later (oh the anticipation)!
In the meantime, let’s talk travel some more. I’m now in Boston and have already come to love the city more than I did when I visited the first time. Here’s a look at my first day in Boston as told through my iPhone:
Well hello, Mr. Washington.
The Citgo sign! Last time I saw this I was on my way to finishing an infamous 26.2.
Running along the Charles River.
I ordered a slice for lunch- as in a singular slice. The pizza here is ginormous!
(And seriously, tell me what you are up to!)
Big Sur, I love you.
Your gorgeous views, unforgettable challenges, and blissful 26.2 miles will forever go down as one of my “happiest” races. So simply blissful, in fact, that it’s almost enough for me to forgot your relentless hill climbing. So without further ado…the Big Sur 2011 marathon race recap!
Throughout the week leading up to Big Sur, I experienced the kind of pre-race jitters I’ve never had before. Instead of pressure that I haven’t trained hard enough or I wouldn’t meet my goal time, I worried about whether or not I could even finish.
Never before have I done two marathons so close to one another (13 days to be exact) and never had I been that sick before a marathon. (I know what you’re probably thinking, “Man, that girl is always sick.” Yes, I feel like I get sick more times that I would care to count and I blame my commute…sitting in Bart for two and a half hours a day is a germ Mecca.) Thankfully, by the time the weekend came, all that was left was a runny nose and a bit of anxiousness. I didn’t obsess about the weather, the course, or fret over any of the other details that one normally would. Because the pressure of a goal time was off, it was as if my body was telling itself, “We’re going for a really long run on Sunday. Whatever happens…no biggie…you just need to finish.”
One quick road trip with Aron, Tara and Susan, and we were in Seaside, California, doing our normal pre-race duties: eating, hydrating, eating, hydrating, expo, eating and hydrating some more. We soon met up with the rest of the ladies (Alyssa, Jessica, RoadBunner, and Kristen) to let the marathon weekend commence.
As one would expect, we talked mostly about running the way a sixth grade girl would gush about a Jonas brother, and ate enough carbs for a small country. Luckily, I was in bed by 8:30, leaving ample hours of sleep for our 3:30 wake-up call.
Because part of highway one collapsed, the course changed to an out-and-back, meaning the buses dropped us off at the finish…which happened to be conveniently located next to a Safeway. I imagine this is what the world would look like if there were only 2,000 people left and the only building still standing was this Safeway. Throngs of runners camped out in every aisle trying to stay warm and wait for the race to begin. It was epic (I still can’t decide if I even like the word “epic,” but I’m going to throw it in there for shits and giggles).
Multiple port-a-potty stops later, it was time to line up. The sun had thankfully decided to appear, so off came the multiple layers and HELLO tank top and tempo shorts. Aron and I entered the corrals with our matching lime green Boston shorts, Boston 2 Big Sur bibs on front, and our Boston bibs on our backs. My first matching race outfit was a success.
As I stood there with waiting for the start gun, I gave myself another shot of reality.
I AM NOT IN THIS TO IMPRESS ANYONE.
I AM NOT IN THIS TO TRY AND WHIP OUT SOME SUPER SPEEDY TIME.
I AM HERE TO ENJOY THE SCENERY, ENJOY THE MILES, AND JUST BE.
Oh…and did I mention…I turned on my Garmin only to get the flashing “low battery” signal of death. DAMMIT! While I was totally freaking out at first, in some weird way I now look back and realize that the running gods did that for a reason as running without a pace glaring in my face would be the only way that I would be able to truly relax and run just for the fun of it.
At 6:45 a.m. we were off. I struggled for a bit wondering where my pace would steady off. Big Sur is touted as one of the most beautiful courses in the country, but also as one of the most challenging. They say you should add anywhere from 10-20 minutes to your PR time to account for the hills.
I compare Big Sur to Beantown like this: Boston has hills — lots of rolling hills with a few good climbs and some spurts of flatness. But you see, my friends, Big Sur doesn’t have rolling hills. Instead, it has 26.2 miles of climbing up and then climbing down, with barely any flatness. Allow me to put the emphasis on climb. Kapeesh?
When I saw the 3:50 pace group right in my arena, I thought that would be a good place to stick. And so I did for all 26.2 miles.
This was actually my first time ever running with a pace group. At first, the pack was pretty big with a lot of chatty Cathys. I exchanged casual conversation, but kept to myself for the most part. Oh, and here’s the kicker. I DIDN’T USE MUSIC ONCE! I don’t know what happened, but the scenery was enough to keep even the most distracted runner focused. I even put in my headphones once and couldn’t stand to keep them in. WIN!
So back to the pace group: the leader of the pace group was fan-frickin-tastic. It was almost like he was my own personal coach on the course:
“Ok, we’re approaching a big climb. Keep your strides short and slower. We’ll pick up the pace up top.”
“Keep your arms moving.”
“Remember, what goes up, must come down.”
His casual mantras were enough to keep me focused while I gazed off into the stunning scenery, and because I didn’t have any sense of time or pace, I at least knew what I was maintaining as I ran with the group. Throughout the race, I felt fantastic. My energy was strong, I fueled appropriately, I smiled at the course piano player and the old men handing out strawberries…each mile reminded me why I love running.
Aron caught me and snapped a mid-race pic. HOLLA!
As we covered more ground, the rest of the pace group fell off. Around mile 20, it was only the pace leader and I holding steady and strong. But it was around mile 21 or so that my joints really started to ache and I was ready to be done. Are my hips going to give out on the course? What if my knees buckle in?! But I suppose that’s what comes with running two marathons so closely.
We climbed up, we climbed down, and a soon it was the push to the finish. My joints were screaming, but I finished in exactly 3:50:00. Talk about a pace group!
I hobbled along to get my medal and I heard someone from the back calling my name. It was the pace group leader. To my complete and total surprise, he came up to tell me that during a race, the pace group leaders nominate someone as their hero. Apparently, because I had stuck with him from the very beginning through the end, he had chosen me as his hero and awarded me with a $100 gift card to RoadRunner Sports. I was so shocked, I cried.
I later found my way to the Boston 2 Big Sur tent where they handed out the extra medal and jacket that suckered me into this challenge in the first place. As soon as I had those bad boys, I knew I could rest easy – the challenge was complete.
I’ll save the rest of the weekend shenanigans for a later post, but I couldn’t have been happier. The race was nothing but casual bliss for all of the girls who came…Jessica and Alyssa even PR’d! It’s races like these that rekindle your love for running and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
And so I say with more emphasis than ever before…Happy Running!
Can I beg you to stay with me for one more Boston post? Then I’ll shut up about it…promise…well, maybe. Because our trip was so jam packed, it was near impossible to cram it all into one post, thus, I had to spread it out. This post is definitely not in chronological order, but highlights the rest of our trip outside of Marathon Monday. Plus, I’ll try and let the photos do all of the talking.
First and foremost, I’m going to be a whiny baby and say that Boston was freezing. Leisurely walking around to enjoy the sights and snap photos was instead, “Holy crap. This wind is ridiculous. I need to buy gloves. Do we have more layers to wear? Why didn’t I bring a thicker jacket!”
After our red-eye flight in on Friday night, we snuck a few zzz’s in then made our way to expo. I must say, I am actually a really big fan on expos. I love picking up my number, exploring all of the new goodies, pretending like I don’t know what I’m doing and letting the people give their little speeches then score free gear, and of course, the shopping. However, this expo failed to meet my standards. It was spread out between multiple rooms, small aisles and simply not enough space. Essentially, quasi-organized chaos. However, the highlights of this particular expo includes TONS of free samples and meeting Josh Cox where we exchanged Twitter advice.
Chicken Face is always such a good sport for spending a couple of hours with me at the expo. This time around, he assured me that, “Ryan Hall has got nothin’ on him…” and that he is “Almost positive that he didn’t steal this bar, but he’s not 100% sure.”
Also included in our Beantown adventure was a a lot of walking around the city to see what we could stumble upon, a trip to Fenway Park, photo ops at the finish line, a fantastic blogger meet-up hosted by the fabulous Kim, exploring Harvard, a failed attempt to go to MIT and the Samuel Adams brewery tour, and oh, and lots and lots of food.
A note to everyone who will ever travel with me (i.e. Aron and Tara this weekend): don’t allow me to provide directions. Instead of heading to the Quincy Market in downtown Boston that would have only taken us about 10 minutes to get to, I moronically took us on a 30 minute train ride all the way to the city of Quincy where there was a 7-11 like store called the Quincy Market. But hey – at least the trees were in bloom.
All in all, it was a good trip with good friends, good food and good times. I’m so thankful that I was able to experience Boston in this way and with people that I’m proud to call my friends and my fiancé.
Here’s to memories of a lifetime and happy running!
How could one possible talk even more about Boston? Well, it can be done and it’s going down now. BOOM! For this week’s Friday Favs, I wanted to capture some of my favorite Boston photos that don’t quite fit in a typical post – they’re just some of my favorite bites of Beantown randomness (I’ll post the last portion of my “real” Boston posts next week!)
I have a minor obsession with giant soft pretzels and mustard. Scratch that – a major obsession.
Some random drunk man from the UK stopped to talk to me about the race, but I insisted on asking to wear the Kate mask for a photo opp. Those damn paparazzi are everywhere!
We’re mature like that.
This is my sad face.
Seriously, Ryan. Don’t try to outrun a gal in jeggings and a shirt with shoulder pads. Psha.
Happy Running and have a great Easter holiday!
This must be what authors feel like when they write the final chapter of a novel that they’ve put tireless effort, hours, tears, and work into. It’s a bit bittersweet, a bit rewarding and a bit daunting trying to determine where I should start and how I can ever find the right words to close such an important chapter in my life. So allow me to do this a little bit backwards: first, I’ll tell you about the race. Later, I’ll fill you in on the entire adventure that was Boston.
P.S. This post is GIGANTIC. So grab some tea and ice cream…you may be here for a bit.
I made every effort to be well rested and well prepared the night before. Pasta dinner? Check. Back to the hotel at a decent hour? Check. Prepping all of my race gear the night before and having Chicken Face (i.e. the perfectionist) master the ironing of the letters? Double check. I was in bed by 9 p.m. and was able to sleep pretty well…well, that is if you don’t include my dream of having two of my teeth fall out and my “dream-self” insisting on racing even if I was toothless. I was up only a few moments before my alarm and seamlessly got prepared: clothes, gear check bag, oatmeal…we’re ready to rock. Before you knew it, I was on my way to the buses which hauled you to the start line.
As seemingly innocent as this bus ride sounds, it was a bit daunting. The wind was ripping back and forth, voraciously mocking the runners as we all prayed for it to be a tailwind. The further we rode on the bus, the more I thought to myself, “My God. We have to run this entire way back!” In addition to the wind, it was cold and I cursed myself for not bringing a blanket. Once we arrived at the “Athlete’s Village” I grabbed the free bagel and other goodies, met up with Aron, Cate and Emily, and found a way to entertain ourselves for a few hours until it was go time.
As the loudspeaker beckoned us to our assigned corrals, Aron and I marched the three-quarters of a mile to the start, anxiously excited for what was to come. With a swift goodbye and a hug, we were both on our way to our individual adventures. I only had but mere moments to perfect my shoelaces (runner’s loop, double knotted, not too tight) and we were off. It was a bit strange that there was no gun, no national anthem, no big send off that I could see or hear. Instead, it was just cheers and we were off.
As you may or may not know, the infamous “they” always say to pace yourself during the first portion of the race. With the rolling hills and numerous downhill stretches, it’s easy to be “the jackrabbit” and get ahead of yourself. Being the “jackrabbit” will, in turn, destroy your quads as the downhills are as much of a tricky little devil as are the uphills. I was determined to heed this advice and was cognizant of my effort. However, whenever I glanced down at my watch, I was way behind my pace. The narrow streets were crowded and while I wanted to watch my pace, I didn’t want to gauge my time by staying in a much slower pace group. So I tried to weave a bit to get with the 8 minute pacers, but again, the narrow streets proved to be a hindrance so I worked with what I could.
The first 10 miles were perfect. I felt strong, my legs (I thought) were managing well, and I was effortlessly cruising. This was also the first time that I’ve ever ironed my name on my shirt and I must say — it was awesome. People wouldn’t only scream your name, but almost look at you directly and give a motivating expression as well. I giggled and loved every single person who unknowingly cheered for the girl with the giant letters plastered on her shirt.
After mile 10 or so (I can’t really recall) is where reality set it. For reasons unknown to me, my legs started being uncooperative, I could feel my energy dragging, and my stomach was sloshing around already. The marathon Gods also changed their minds and decided, what the heck, let’s make today a h-o-t day! From wicked wind and cold, to what felt like an overly sufficient amount of heat, it was soon time to readjust my gear. I was wearing my orange Oiselle sleeves – which I LOVE because they almost act like mittens with a perfect little thumb hole. However, this thumb hole that I usually adore proved to be a problem. I needed to completely take off my sleeves and not just push them down, however, my Garmin was strapped on top of the sleeves. Thus, in order to get the sleeves completely off and shove them into my bra, I needed to take my Garmin off. My hands were already a bit full as I was using my handheld water bottle (which worked out perfectly, BTW) and a fresh pack of ClifBlocks.
In the process of removing my beloved sleeves, my Garmin flew out of my hand and back a ways. Noooooooooo! I have no idea how this happened, it just did. So there I was, with the heat seemingly starting to beat down on me, shoving sleeves into my bra, fists full of other gear, and I had to back track to go and find the damn thing. Upon finding it, I noticed that the clasp-thing-a-ma-jig that enables you to actually strap it on your wrist had broken off in the fall. Again, I have no idea how this happened, it just did. So I scooped my Garmin up, probably spouted off a few profanities, and made my way forward. A mile or so further, I could feel my legs getting ever heavier. When I glanced down at my Garmin (which I was now holding in my other hand), I noticed a fairly decent pace. What? No way. Upon closer investigation I noticed that in the great fall of the Garmin, it had stopped working. So there I was, with no idea what my pace was, what my actual mileage was, or even my overall time. I started to really beat myself up and wondered if this entire race would be a wash.
But then, I thought of my dad. As much as we may have rolled our eyes at him as kids, I can honestly say that I have used every single one of his mantras, despite how much cheese they may consist of. This time, the one that renewed my focus was simple…
It’s not what happens to you, but how you handle it.
This race was just like life: shit happens. And more than ever, I’m trying to adopt the mentality that as much as we think we’ve prepared for something, it’s likely that something will not go as planned. So instead of throwing your arms up in defeat, do something about it. Life will happen – the good and the bad. When the bad times roll in, the only thing you can do is slap on another smile, dig deep, find a solution and keep moving forward. And that’s what I did…
I made my way through Wellesley and the screaming co-eds, laughing at their clever signs. I vowed not to walk any of the Newton hills. Oh and that whole “Heartbreak Hill is a killer” rumor? Um no, that’s a lie, it’s totally manageable. What aren’t lies are the two hills that came before Heartbreak – now those are gasping-for-breath-worthy. Nevertheless, you keep on keepin’ on.
At this point, I have more stuff shoved in my bra than I can remember. I’m dousing myself with water every couple of aid stations. I made two bathroom stops and instead of beating myself up for the time wasted, I accepted it and just moved on.
The specifics of miles 20 through 25 are actually a bit of a blur for me. But I do remember seeing the throngs on drunken college kids get deeper and deeper. I remember the distinct smell of someone barbequing along the course. I remember the Citgo sign peeking above the skyline in the near distance. I remember hearing more and more people shouting my name and giving me thumbs up. I remember telling myself to embrace it, but also begging for it to be over.
All this time, I had no real knowledge of my time or pace, but as I have always told myself: finish fast (plus, Chicken Face told me I need to pick up my feet so the final stretch photos actually look like I’m running – ha!). So the final sprint began. What seemed like thousands of people packed the final stretch and somehow, you find it deep within you, buried behind the past 25.2 miles of pain to pick up your feet and turn them over faster than before. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Go. Finish.
I finished with a new marathon personal record!
More important than deconstructing what went wrong and why I didn’t meet my goal time is discussing what went right and why I am so happy with this new PR. What seemed to be race hardships were actually challenges that tested me and forced me to become an even stronger runner – both mentally and physically. It’s not what happens to you – but how you handle it.
I must admit, after I finished I went to the med tent because I was shaking pretty badly. Not from being cold, but most likely a bit of dehydration (which is odd – given that I fueled exactly as I normally do. I’ll discuss this in a later post). No worries though – I came out ok and Chicken Face was oh-so-kind to capture my exit from the med tent – lil’ jerk!
This race was the most challenging marathon I’ve ever done. It pushed my limits and enabled me to dig for something I wasn’t sure I had at first. As tough as it may be, I hope that everyone gets to have this experience – even if it’s not at Boston. Oh, and you better believe I ripped open that jacket as soon as I could!
And again, THANK YOU for every single one of your comments, tweets, thoughts, emails, calls, everything! Checking my feed after the race was the most uplifting and encouraging moments ever – you all never cease to amaze me!
I loved this race and the memories that accompanied it. Until the next post where I’ll share our weekend nonsense…
The Boston Marathon is 26.2 miles that truly tested my determination, pain threshold, and threw so many curve balls my direction that I had to remind myself, “It’s now what happens to you, but how you handle it.” But in the end, I survived with a smile on my face and a new PR!
Not my goal time, but I’m extremely happy with my new little BFF and am proud of every step it took to get there.
We’re still in Boston until tonight, so the longest race report of your life will be coming soon!
And most importantly, thank you SO much to each and every one of you who supported me through this entire process. You are all truly the reason I was able to get through it and I can’t believe what a wonderful community this is. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Friends, I have news — I think I caught something…
Symptoms include pounding chest, fluttering stomach, rosy cheeks, inability to focus and overwhelming energy highs and lows. I turned to trusty WebMD and they didn’t have anything with said symptoms. So leave it to my two and half years of being a science major in college to provide a self-diagnosis. It was so clear…
I have Boston fever!
I wanted to warn you all first as this fever seems to be spreading and taking hold of many of my friends. In fact, it’s spreading so rapidly that officials had to put out a quarantine early on in the year to try and prevent many people from getting it.
As I read more and more about “Boston fever,” they alluded to more symptoms that may be overtaking my system soon, some of which include: inability to sleep, achy legs, a propensity to spend an entire paycheck in one day, and uncontrollable laughing, crying, and cheering in your head. You may even start having Olympic athlete hallucinations (mine are of the Paula and Kara variety).
So how do I cure this Boston fever? Unfortunately (and fortunately), it will last for about five more days and the only way to (hopefully) cure me is by going for a 26.2 mile run.
Sheesh. Sounds like a lot of work. Can’t I just take some NyQuil?