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: Races
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…
I’ll keep today sweet and simple. Thanks to all of your encouragement and support, the Dublin Shamrock 5K was a success in more ways than one: a new PR and a 2011 goal is now complete (placing overall)! It wasn’t as painful as I had expected and am now considering all 5Ks a Band-Aid race. You don’t really want to do it, but if you just breathe and yank it off – it will be over in a no time. Plus, you’ll realize it wasn’t all that bad.
Overall Female: 3rd
Age Group: 1st / 157
Overall: 37 / 1618
I wasn’t the only one who got to enjoy the festivities though. I scooped up free post-race pizza and sandwiches for Chicken Face – this is how I pay him for being my personal bag check!
And yes, that jersey is sucking my insides out. The new running club that I joined was nice enough to loan me a jersey when I got to the race – little did I know it would be about five sizes too small for me. They called it the “5K Corset” and I’m considering it my initiation.
Day 71: 5 miles
Day 72: 13 miles
Day 73: 3.1 miles
Day 74: TBD
WARNING: This post is full of cheese. The uber-cheese that may make you uncomfortable or wonder when my endorphins are actually going to start wearing off. This cheese is courtesy of getting off my ass and digging deep a.k.a. my Surf City half marathon race report.
On Friday I talked about how the work week had kicked my butt, steam rolled over me and almost forced me to forgo my southern California adventure. I wanted more than anything to just stay in bed and do absolutely nothing. However, as part of my 2011 (and 2010!) resolution, I vowed to ensure that I live life to its fullest and not pass up an experience or opportunity that may come my way. Thus, it was off to Huntington Beach I went.
Saturday was awkwardly perfect. I’m not used to traveling by myself or spending an entire day by myself in a new city for that matter. So I set out to explore, visit the expo and find an outfit for my trip to New York next week (more on that later). My early morning flight meant that I would get to the expo and beach as the surfers will still catching waves and the crowds at the expo were minimal (if not non-existent). It was beautiful to say the least.
I saw tweets complaining about the line at the expo, the heat and the horrible parking, but if you want to have a pain free experience similar to that of mine, GO EARLY! Easy parking, no lines, I got the shirt, the bag and the samples that I wanted to all under 20 minutes. After the expo, I let the girl in me reign free: I went shopping, got my nails done, tried Susie’s Cupcakes for the first time and went to dinner with the girls. Don’t judge…it was fantastic.
I had set out to simply run under 1:50 as my body was still exhausted and I wasn’t in the mood to give it my all. But when I saw my corral (which is apparently based on time) right after the elites, it hit me. I spent how much money, time and effort to come all the way to southern California and now because I’m tired I’m not going to give it my all? HELLO! Who is this person? It sure as hell wasn’t someone I recognized. I’m always the person that is telling my friends that if you want something, it isn’t going to just come to you, you’re going to have to work for it. So about 120 seconds before the horn blew, I decided that I was going to work for it, dammit.
The marine layer provided the perfect temperature and despite a lack of crowd support, the energy was redolent. Mile one, solid. Mile two, moving quickly. Mile three through five, I can feel my legs starting to rumble and question the speed. Miles five through 13, I started digging. I dug, I dug, and I dug some more.
By no means was this race easy for me. The out and back course was a bit stale and the subtle hills were just enough to give you a run for your money. I felt my body working hard the entire time and it was 13.1 miles of mental motivation. You know how they say that running is 40% physical and 60% mental? This one was more like 90% of full, mental determination.
My heart was pumping hard the entire time and my legs got heavier with each mile. But something within me refused to submit to the pain and instead was propelled forward by the possibility of a new PR. Every step felt like I was digging into my strength to find the speed I need to PR. I literally dug, dug, and dug some more. I dug until 13 miles rolled around and finished the last .1 on pure adrenaline. I don’t know where it came from, but I set a new PR.
6:57 avg. pace
2nd in my age group
I crossed the finish line with what felt like a ridiculous grin. Added bonus? They have ridiculously cute medals!
People say that sometimes things come “out of nowhere.” While this can be true, I think that we don’t give ourselves enough credit. If you want something bad enough, the only bad ass that’s going to make it happen is you. So get out there and get ‘er done! I hope everyone had a great weekend and don’t forget to tell Danica and Keri congrats on their engagements!
Day 40: Rest
Day 41: 13.1 miles
I won’t lie. This week has been tough. I’ll spare you the details and leave it at I’m simply exhausted. Training was minimal as other priorities called. The runs that I did get it felt as if I was just sloshing out the miles to get them done. At this point, I honestly wouldn’t mind crawling into bed and staying there the entire weekend.
But, that’s just not going to happen, now is it? When I lose a bit of hope and begin to seriously lack motivation, one of the best inspiration is YOU GUYS! Creeping…err…reading your blogs is the best inspiration a gal can find! What are your favorite blogs to read for inspiration? (P.S. If you have a Blogger blog that has comments in line with your post – i.e. not in a pop-up window – my computer is going crazy and won’t let me comment. Sorry about that!)
After a solid commute hour home reading your blogs, I’m ready to take on the weekend. Tomorrow morning I’ll be heading to SoCal for the Surf City Half Marathon and to meet up with my lady friends. I originally had lofty goals of perhaps squashing my half marathon PR, but at this point, I am just aiming for anything under 1:50 and to simply enjoy my time in the warm weather.
I haven’t been back to this part of SoCal since Chicken Face and I got engaged; thus, I’m sure this trip will be a bit reminiscent, event though he won’t be with me.
Also, I’m bringing my new toy (taaa-daa….a Nikon D90…and yes, I took a photo of a nice camera with my cell phone) so hopefully I can capture something better than iPhone photos for this here lil’ blog. Do you know of any cute yet functional camera bags? I’m on the hunt for one now…
Happy running and I’ll be back with a full race report!
Day 37: 7 miles, speed work
Day 38: Last minute emergency = 0 miles.
Day 39: 6 miles
Goodbye January, hello busiest month ever. February 2011 is not for the faint of heart, but I couldn’t be more excited as it kicks off my race schedule for 2011 and has some very exciting surprises in store. But before I spill the surprise secrets, I thought now would be better than ever to share my 2011 races schedule (thus far) and see who else will be there.
Surf City Half Marathon: February 6, 2011
Why hello first race of the season…you’re this weekend! I’m looking forward to heading down south to see Danica, Maritza, Tara and the whole gang as I add this race to the roster. I may or may not be doing this race solely for the incredibly adorable surf board medals and because it’s part of the California Dreaming series.
Oakland Half Marathon: March 27, 2011
Did you know that Active.com now has a Groupon-like feature? Heck yes it does! It’s called Schwaggle and is the reason I scored $50 entry to this race. I love a good deal!
Boston Marathon: April 18, 2011
Big Sur Marathon (The Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge): May 1, 2011
I’m still not sure how I’m going to make it alive, but as we all know, I love a good challenge. Here’s to the beautiful views, time with friends and some extra race bling blang.
The SF Marathon: July 31, 2011
For more reasons than you would care that I explain…the SF marathon in July! The hills, the fog, the rain…everything makes me so excited for this race! I better see all of you out on the hills with me then!
In 2010 I got a bit race happy and while racing included some of my favorite memories from the year, my wallet felt the pain. Couple that with a wedding and you can see how it’s become a priority for me to only sign up for races that I really want to run in…not just because they’re having a race.
So there we are (thus far) folks; one race a month for the next four months. However, I would love to continue racing once a month to keep the energy alive. What races do you recommend for June, July and August? Will I be able to see any of your smiling faces at the races above?
Day 36: Had to leave for the office at 5:45 this morning. Will try and get in 7 mi. tonight….
If you want to get to the core of me, there are only three words you need to say.
I love you…Nope. Not it. (Well, sort of.)
Want some cheese…Try again.
I brought Starbucks…Close, but no cigar.
Ok, ok, I’ll fill you in: I challenge you…
Stop the press! That’s the one folks. The one phrase that inevitably dupes me into my competitive mode. However, I’m not necessarily competitive with you people, but with myself. The pursuit of personal accomplishment is what keeps me, and I believe most runners, moving everyday. Whether it’s your first 5k, 10k or marathon, a challenge is enough to motivate on even the laziest of days. That’s why when I heard about the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge, it took no more than a couple of minutes to decide that I was in.
What is the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge?
Beginning in 2010, the challenge is an ingenious idea by the folks at the Big Sur Marathon to lure Boston runners back to the west coast to run what is hailed as one of the most beautiful marathons in the country. Open to 400 participants on a first come, first serve basis, the race challenges runners to two marathons, two coasts, in 13 days. That’s right, head out east for Boston, then in almost two weeks, head west for Big Sur. Have I ever done back to back (almost) marathons? Never! This will definitely be a first for me and a challenge that I am crazily excited for.
Why am I doing this crazy nonsense?
Hello, they have the word CHALLENGE in it! Well, that’s part of it. But I also considered this possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Who knows if/when I will ever run Boston again and I want to make the most of what 2010 gave me in 2011. I also wouldn’t be telling you the whole story if I didn’t say that they have some AWESOME swag, and we all know I’m a sucker for the bling-blang. Not only do you get Big Sur’s traditional marathon swag (shirt, medal, etc.), but you get an additional Boston 2 Big Sur jacket, training shirt (see below), special bib, and an additional medal. But who am I kidding? This challenge comes at a hefty price and in the long run I’m essentially paying for all of these things.
Also, one of the most important things I’m looking forward to is running this race with Aron. I have a feeling that we’ll be pulling each other through most of this to ensure that neither of our trampled bodies are left behind on the course.
What are my goals for this challenge?
Finish ALIVE! Seriously. I always tell myself that I’m just going to enjoy a race and not actually “race” it. But inevitably, I always end up somewhat racing. Given that I’ll be fresh off the heels of Boston, this is the perfect opportunity to simply run a race. No goal time. No pace charts. Literally just running and enjoying the apparently breathtaking views. I’m looking forward to the simplicity of this strategy.
Personally, 2011 is the year to take on new challenges and achieve what you otherwise thought could not be done! What are you challenging yourself to do in 2011?
Day 31: 6 miles with the speed bumped up