Tag Archives: Race recap

RNR Arizona 2017

17 Jan

After the 4th snow storm in the last 5 weeks, we were ready for some sunshine.  Too bad the entire 3 days we were in Phoenix there was no sun.  It did rain on Saturday but we were just happy it wasn’t snowing!

We did our annual see all the friends and eat at all of my favorite restaurants while we were there weekend + a 13.1 mile run.


This race was much different than all the years in the past.  I am heart rate training now so all my running has been slow. Slow!! If you have never tried heart rate training, it is definitely different.  Since I started with my new coach December 1, there was no way to start the heart rate training and still run fast for this race.  I was absolutely ok with that.

Here were the instructions from coach:

First 3 miles—Easy; hold back

7 miles— Tempo; moderately paced

last 5K— I could go as fast as I wanted

My only real goal was to negative split.  (I was pretty sure if I followed Liz’s instructions I would.)

I didn’t have to look at my heart rate! Which was nice but it is usually a nice guide.

My friend Abbey, dropped us about 1/2 mile from the start.  We did a short walk, a short warm up run, and got in the corral about 10 minutes before go time!


Dan and I started together and neither of us was real sure what was going to happen.  He hadn’t been training much and I haven’t been running fast very much.  We started out “easy” very conversation pace.  We bought some new wireless headphones at the expo.  We tried them out on our shake out run on Saturday and we both had problems.  I wasn’t going to risk it.  He thought he had figured out the problem.  But they still didn’t work and he put his way.  I put mine away too and we chatted.

We got to the 5k mark. I’m pretty sure slower than in any 1/2 I’ve done the last 4-5 years.  Which was fine.  I wanted to make sure I would be able to speed up the last 5k.

We kept running and kept chatting.  We sped up a bit.  Still feeling good.  At mile 7, Dan peeled off to use the portie potty.  I told him to catch up.  I would at least see him on the hill between mile 9 and 10.  I put my headphones back on and kept on trucking.  I of course felt like I was going much faster than I actually was! 🙂  I know I had dropped the pace a bit more.  I did check my heart rate at about 8 just to see where I was.

I got to the turn around point and saw Dan not too far behind me.  By the time we got to the bottom of the hill he had caught back up to me.  He asked if I was going to speed up and I didn’t think I could.  I sped up coming down the hill so there was no way I was actually going to speed up more than that.

I still felt relatively good.  I knew if I wanted to sustain the pace: 9:45ish it was going to be a hard last 3.1 miles.  I thought I would just see what happens.  Dan left me at about mile 11 to see what he had left.  I kept up my pace and finished strong.  He beat me by 2 minutes.

Dan is keeping the Fastest Pancake Award.  I thought I might have a chance but he was able to sustain the pace.  (To think he didn’t even want to do the half but really only did it to get his puzzle piece.  (I explain later)

I finished in 2:13:59.  Slow.  But it was good.  I negative split and definitely left everything out there!  I had fun.  I ran with Dan way more than I thought I would.  It was a very progressive run.   I averaged 10:40s for the first 5K. 10:14s for the middle 7. 9:48s for the last 5K.  I feel like it was a very successful run!!  I have confidence that the heart rate training is going to work and my runs are just going to get better and better!! 🙂img_2705

We got our 3rd puzzle piece for our 4 medal series.  I had understood that for 4 years we were going to get 4 medals that were eventually going to fit together.  We got our first 2 (’15, ’16) and then this year everyone got the regular medal and if you had run ’15/’16 we would get the third puzzle piece.  The same will go for the 4th next year.  I don’t think that was the intention when they set this up 2 years ago but who knows. People like medals.


My after race treat: Baked Bear  I had a cookie/brownie combo ice cream sandwich.  It was well worth it! They make the ice cream sandwich and then put it in a fancy cookie warmer where the ice cream doesn’t melt. AMAZING!!


Another awesome trip!  A great start to the year!! Until next year!!!

RNR Las Vegas 10K

23 Nov

We decided to sign up for RNR LV late in the summer.  I signed up for the half and Dan signed up for the 10K.  The big reason for the trip was my brother and SIL just had a baby.  We wanted to go meet Josie for the first time.  We were set for a double-header.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago!  I’m burnt out from running.  I have had a sore foot for months.  I got home from Hawaii and didn’t want to keep running long.  I did lots of 6 milers.  I did a track work out.  I saw my PT.  She said I could do the half if I wanted.  I wasn’t sure that I really wanted to do the half at this point.

The week before!  I kind of wanted to do the half.  A friend was going to run the half…at a run/walk…I kind of liked that idea.  The problem was the logistics.  The half and 10K started at different places.  Dan would have been done with the 10K as I was starting the half.

The weekend of!!  We got to Vegas Saturday morning and went straight to the expo.  It was still unclear if I was going to do the half or 10k.  Not sure when I really decided…I guess Sunday afternoon.  It was just going to be easier logistically.  I didn’t really want to run 13.1 miles anyway!


My very loose goal went from a sub 2 1/2 marathon to a sub 1 hour 10k.

That was going to be a stretch but maybe the race day magic would take over and it would go well!

My mom dropped us off about an hour early.  We didn’t know how traffic would be so it was better to be safe than sorry + we know the back roads!! 🙂


They had music playing and people were stretching in a big field that they have concerts at.  We did a short warm up + dynamic stretching.  We headed to the start line.  The Star Spangled Banner was sung by a rock band and it was awesome!!!

We were off right on time.  It was time to get uncomfortable.  I only do one 10K a year.  I don’t really know how to race a 10K.  I know you need to get uncomfortable pretty quick.

Dan left me pretty quick.  We were having a battle of the Pancakes and he wanted the crown back!  I knew pretty quick it was going to be a long hour.


I was trying to run fast.  I just don’t have much speed these days.  I thought I would just see how far I could at the pace I was going.   There is not that much more of the story than that.  My watch clicked at the 6 mile marker but I wasn’t at the actual 6 miler marker so I looked at my watch and I was at 58:xx.  I knew my sub 1 hour was out the window.

I tried to pick it up as much as I could!  I finished strong.  A positive split, which rarely happens, but not by much.  It was a fun race.

Dan took home the Pancake crown.



It was a super fun race.  The medal is awesome!  We had a fun time in the sun!!  We will see if I can win back the crown at RNRAZ!!!


RNR AZ 2015 ReCap

20 Jan

We arrived in Phoenix on Thursday. We spent many hours at the zoo on Friday walking around. We went to La Grande Orange for lunch. We headed to the expo for a quick bib pick up.
Image 1-20-15 at 11.25 AM
You may or may not have noticed but RNR is personalizing bibs this year. We had already signed up for the race when we got an email saying we could personalize them. Dan could have given a care less. I was trying to decide what I wanted on mine. BUT I decided for US!! I put LesLovesDan on mine and DanLovesLes on his. I didn’t tell him and it took him a few minutes to notice. He wasn’t exactly excited!! I said no one even notices anyway!!! (I thought it was clever) 🙂

We also signed up for next years race! Maybe we will be living there by then. (wink wink)

Saturday: Shake out run in shorts and t-shirts. Hello Phoenix in January!!!

Sunday: First race of the year. (spoiler: It was a goodie). Rock N Roll Arizona. This was my 3rd time doing the half. My course PR was a 2:12(2008). They did change the course in 2012 so I have not done the “new” one yet. They switched the half and full courses in the opposite direction. So I had seen some of it and it was also on the IMAZ bike course. Things looked familiar.

Goals: To have fun. I didn’t really want to worry about time. I just wanted to gauge what I could do at this distance with a little bit of a taper.
Image 1-20-15 at 7.34 PM
The Loose plan was to start with Dan and Abbey. We saw Kat (randomly) at the start. It was very loose cause Dan and Kat went off as soon as the gun went off. Abbey and I stayed together until about mile 1.25. I was on my own. I did not have headphones either. Well shit I was just going to have to do this on my own.

The miles clicked by. They had some good bands and DJs on course. I watched other people and listened to other conversations. I tried to notice brands of shirts people were wearing.

I would say the first 5(ish) miles were flat.

Miles 5-8.5 were a light incline not awful but a little bit noticeable. My breathing was comfortably hard. I could feel the burn but I still thought I was ok at the slightly faster pace.

There was an out and back from about 8.6 to 9.8. It was a hill for sure. I felt pretty good but was wishing I had spent a little bit of time doing some hill work. (I know for next year)

At the top of the hill there was a really awesome view of the city. I really wanted to take a picture but it was in a baggie in my shorts and I thought it would take too long so I for-went the photo!!

{just pretend there is a cool view of the valley HERE}

At the 15K mark I was at 1:32:xx(this was the last time I looked at my watch) and I thought I could probably do a 2:10-2:12.  Once we made that turn off in Papago Park it was mainly downhill with a few little ups.  I was still feeling good.  My breathing was still comfortably hard.  It was getting warm and I was happy I was not doing the marathon!

I was mentally in it.  I was happy to be running.  I was totally in it mile after mile.  All of a sudden I was going over the Mill Street bridge (which again I had been over multiple times in the past) and thought just keep pushing you are almost done. I had sped up and it was hard. I was pumped I was almost done. I just kept pushing through to the finish line. I was in shock when I looked at my watch and it read 2:07:34!!! What?! What?!  I was just over my PR. I could not believe it!!! Seconds after I went over the finish line the winner of the marathon was finishing!!  What a day!

Of course I always wonder what if?! What if I had music? Could I have possibly PR’d?!  I don’t think that I could have pushed it any harder than I did. I feel like I paced it just about perfectly.  The splits showed a progressive run in terms of pace and definitely a negative split. I was happy with my performance and super happy with my time!!  I definitely think that I am capable of a PR at RNR PDX which is where my PR is now.  I am excited to work hard for the next 4-5 months to see if I can PR my open 1/2 and my 1/2 marathon within my 70.3 tri!


I met up with Dan and Abbey.  Then met up with some other friends!! We hung out and watched the Wallflowers play for a while.  The sun was amazing. We soaked up as much as we could before going to brunch and watching football!!

Dan had me on a strict(I use the word very loosely) 🙂 no dessert regimen for the last couple of weeks so I was pumped for some ice cream.  I had a big big problem with picking which place.  Abbey gave me 2 options:  Sweet Republic and Churn. There was no way I could pick just one.
Image 1-20-15 at 8.44 PM
I got the toffee caramel sundae with almond butter crunch ice cream at Sweet Republic. I got a mint chocolate chip cookie sandwich with mint & cookies ice cream from Churn. Both were amazing and well worth every calorie!!!

We had an amazing time in Arizona. My 6th RNRAZ in the books. Can’t wait for next year!!!

NYC Marathon ’14 Recap!

5 Nov

Dan and I arrived in NYC early early Friday morning. Looking back not sure that was the best idea. I think that it turned out to be fine but I thought I would sleep on the plane and I did not! I did sleep really well at week and felt like I was fighting a cold off. Definitely didn’t go into the weekend at 100% but by Sunday I was feeling pretty good. We got in and took the air train and subway to the upper west side where we were staying.

Kara, Dan, and I made it to the Nuun Ambassadors shake out run at 9! We had a nice run through Central Park and got coffee and bagels afterwards. I felt really good. Those 3 miles were faster than I wanted them to be but they felt good!

Melissa, Kevin, Kara, Stephan, Me

Melissa, Kevin, Kara, Stephan, Me

We hit up the expo at lunch time which was a HUGE mistake because every New Yorker that was doing the race was picking up their bib on their lunch hour. We waited a half hour in line just to get into the convention center. We got our bibs and shirts. Took a quick tour of the merchandise (which I wasn’t too impressed with nor did I want to stand in yet another huge line to buy anything!), hit up the Nuun booth (and got yet another water bottle), and was out of there rather quickly. We were in need of lunch way!!

Nuun Goodie Bag!!

Nuun Goodie Bag!!

Saturday: We had an awesome night sleep. Went to brunch and just hung out and watched football most of the day. It was raining pretty good. I do think it was a blessing in disguise because had the weather been nice we would have wanted to do/see more! We had an amazing Italian dinner at Otto. Dan and I shared a pasta/eggplant dish and a pizza. It was so delicious!!! We watched the Oregon/Stanford football game and got ready for the early morning! Slept really well again.

Race Day:
We were up at 5:45 (the next 4 hours would go by in a flash) 1st breakfast(bagel and chocolate/coconut pb spread and Nuun)
Out the door at 6:30 to grab coffee (small vanilla latte)
In the subway terminal at 6:50 (the 1 taking us to the south ferry terminal kept being delayed) so when the first train got there and the marathoners were getting on. We decided to ask a group of the women for some help and ended up talking to them for quite a while)
Staten Island Ferry terminal at 7:40 (We had missed our 7:30 time but nobody seemed to care)

Hanging with 50,000 of our closest friends!

Hanging with 50,000 of our closest friends!

Staten Island Ferry at 7:45
Not a bad view from the ferry!

Not a bad view from the ferry!

Got off the ferry and used the portie potties there, stood in line for the shuttles, and were on the shuttles until about 9:30 (ate Skout bar)
Finally made it to Fort Wadsworth for the staging of the NYC marathon. There are 3 color waves all in which had their own village. Got in the portie potty line again and off we went to find our corrals. Gu at about 10:15
We were in the 3rd blue wave in the B corral.

This is where it got interesting. We were told to wait. Wave 2 was going off and then we would be able to get into our corrals. We were told the race had started late and we would all be backed up a bit. No biggie. Finally wave 3 was allowed into their corrals. But literally the entire wave 3 in our area was trying to get into corral F (we were in B) because we were told we had to go through that area. After about a half hour of literally waiting. The woman says if you are in A-E you can go through this is only F. Now this group of hundreds of people need to get to A-E. We made it to B and almost didn’t let us in. The guard gave Kara the worst stink eye possible and said we were late. IT IS NOT OUR FAULT!!! By the time we got into our corral we were mixed up with the E/F corrals which was fine. We literally didn’t know what was happening and we thought we better take off all our warm clothes (as we were walking). Kara was like there is the start line. SHIT!! No time to think about it. I didn’t even have my watch on yet.

10:34: All of a sudden we were starting the New York City Marathon!!! Holy Shit this was happening!!!! It was go time!!! In retrospect I think it all worked out great because we weren’t standing in our corrals getting nervous we literally walked up and started walking to the start line.

Miles 1-2: Up and over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It was WINDY. So windy. I imagine that this bridge is always windy but because of the high wind warning we were having it was even worse. We were trying to keep it slow. You really don’t feel the uphill. The wind was so nerve-wrecking we couldn’t really focus on anything else anyway! The downhill was nice!!

3-13.1: Brooklyn. Pretty flat. Some incline from mile 8-9 or so. I think this was my favorite part. The crowd was amazing. The aid stations/volunteers were amazing. This was a really fun section. I had my name on my shirt and everyone was screaming for me like I was winning the race! We took it easy. We took in our nutrition. There was an aid station every single mile. This is the only marathon(outside an Ironman) that I have seen an aid station every mile. They are usually every 2 mile. We always welcomed a quick break.

I really thought it would be hard to run with 50,000+ runners (especially in the first few miles) but these miles were great. No weaving in and out of people. Everyone had their own space. Even when we merged with the orange and then eventually with the green waves it didn’t seem to make a difference.

(sidenote: there was 4 waves this year for the first time ever so maybe that had something to do with not having a congestion problem!!)

13.1-15: Queens. We hit the half way mark at 2:18:xx. I thought it was good but I was nervous we were a little too fast. We hit it on the Pulaski bridge. I was running on feel and Kara seemed to be doing fine. We will see how the 2nd half plays out.

We went through a couple of neighborhoods not huge crowds but there were some people cheering. I knew we would get to the Queensboro bridge pretty quickly.

Up and over the Queensboro bridge was not bad. We just took it easy but ran the entire way. It was a little packed on the bridge and there seemed to be way too many people walking. It was not that hard!

16-19: Getting into Manhattan. 1st Avenue. You can hear the crowd as you start to make your way to the 16 mile mark which is close to the bottom of the bridge. You make a sharp left off the bridge and the crowd is 5 deep cheering!! It was truly amazing! Everyone screaming, yelling, and cheering for everyone!!

We saw Dan and friends at about 16.5 for the first time. It was really fun to finally seem them after 2.5 hours of running. Here was there sign:

Dan also told me later that I didn’t look so good and Kara looked great. In retrospect I felt great and Kara felt like shit. I just think I was trying to save energy and not get too excited. We still had 10 more miles to run. The crowds were amazing up until 18ish. You get into Harlem and it is a little ghost town-ish with a few crowds. The aid station was good going through. We took a little longer at the 18th mile aid station messing around with salt pills/Advil/Gu getting something to water it down with while dealing with our gloves!

1st ave is a long stretch with somewhat of an incline. I have yet to talk about the wind. It was windy and it was cold. The wind was coming from the north and almost the entire marathon heads north. At times it was not bad and at times it was awful.

They told us in a pre-race meeting to wear a beanie instead of a hat because of the wind. I did not even bring a beanie but was contemplating not wearing my visor because I didn’t want to lose it in the wind!! I ended up buying one from CVS last minute to wear. I am glad that I had it. At mile 18 I told Kara that I could not believe I still had it on. I thought for sure it would come off in the first couple of miles!

I also had not looked at my watch since the half way mark. I just didn’t want to know. I felt like we were still at a good pace. I still felt good. I didn’t really want to jinx myself. I told Kara that at about 18. (Dang a lot was happening at mile 18) We decided we would check the time at mile 20.

20-21: Bronx: We got up and over a small bridge into the Bronx. They gave us a warm welcome. There was a big crowd out. A couple DJ’s playing Michael Jackson.

We hit the mile 20 mark at about 3:33. At this point I felt good but I still wanted to finish strong and not leave anything out on the course! This was a much different feeling than I had in Chicago! 10K left I just had to keep it together for 6.2 miles. Just over an hour. Keep it together!!! It was on. We got over the Madison St bridge and headed to 5th Ave.

21-23: Back to Manhattan. 5th Ave: Again the crowds were unbelievable. What a day for New York City. Everyone comes out and has a party! The crowd is lining the course. At this point in the race. I was feeling good and I was ready to finish this strong! Here was the problem! Remember those runners that I thought would be congesting up the first few miles here they were walking the last miles. We were weaving in and out of people. Up and over curbs. Trying not to sideswipe them. There is a hill that is quite long.. It was hard but we were staying strong. Digging deep.

23-26.2- Central Park: Again the entire park is lined with spectators. I was literally smiling the entire course. I felt really good. I was positive and confident. I never looked at my watch again. I didn’t want to know. I was so excited that the race had gone so well. I was soaking in every bit of the crowd and the cheering. The park has some rollers which felt like mountains but we got through it. (and much better than I thought we would!) 🙂

We saw Dan and friends at about mile 25.8ish and that gave us our last boost of energy. We were so close but so far away. Lets just get this done!!

The beanie still on!

The beanie still on!

There is yet another “tricky” mountain hill (as Bart Yasso calls it) right before the finish line. All we could do was push forward and there was the finish line. After 4:38:13 we had finished together. Kara and I didn’t know if we would run the entire way together or not but we did and it was an amazing experience!!!!!

I had walked away with literally the BEST marathon of my life. I PR’d by 5 minutes. I dug deep and finished strong. I had a smile on my face the entire race! It was one of the greatest days of my life! WE didn’t negative split but we were close to even. We had a few slower miles at the beginning of the second half but the last couple of miles were the fastest of the race!!

Thanks Kara for an awesome day and race!! Thanks Dan, Todd, Breslin, and Jess for coming out and cheering.

Monday: Dan and I did a lot of walking. My legs felt pretty good. My feet were sore and are still sore. We took a water taxi around the Hudson and East Rivers. We saw the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty.

We picked up a NY Times to find my name in the finisher section!! WE learned that the millionth finisher was a 40 year old gal from Brooklyn and her time was 4:43. WHAT?! They were just a little off when projecting when that person would come in!! It was probably the WIND! 🙂

We checked out the High Line and Chelsea’s Market too. I got an epic ice cream sandwich to celebrate.



Hood To Coast: 2014 edition

28 Aug

The last weekend of August has come and gone. Hood to Coast 2014 has come and gone. Just another blur to this summer. Besides the shitshow traffic back up at exchange 24 and the anti-climatic finish line. #HTC14 was another great one!!

I was in van 2 this year. Runner 10. I like van 1 better but I was a good sport when I was assigned to van 2 this year.
Pros for being in van 2 —>
Sleeping in on Friday
Not having to drive all the way to Hood.
Not being at the coast to early.
There is always more traffic for van 2.
It takes longer to get to Jewel(next major exchange after Mist(which is also very hard to get to)

Van 1 starting us out at 9am.

Van 2 heading to Sandy.

We got to Sandy and waited for the rest of 8 Ducks, 3 Bearcats, & 1 Lumberjack to show up.

Leg 10. Hot. Very little shade. Flat. 5.12 miles. Average 9:59s.
I was actually really nervous to start. I knew there was no shade and it was already hot out. I forgot my salt tab. I always try to run the first leg conservatively.

Well executed hand-off!
Amato handed off to me and I was moving!

I felt relatively good. I just wanted to cruise along. A few people passed me at the beginning. I passed a few people who were walking and moving slow. I talked to a gal who said she had been trying to catch up to me. That was nice for a few minutes but she stopped to walk and I kept moving.

I was just moving steadily forward and enjoying every second that there was a speck of shade. I stayed hydrated with Nuun. Every mile clipped by just a few seconds faster than the last and all of a sudden I could see J-Lee waiting.

Rough first hand-off but I took a Mulligan and tried again!

First leg was done. I knew it would be the hardest because of the sun!

Leg 1 exchanges!!

Leg 1 exchanges!!

J-Lee and I dropped off Dan, Amato, and Kat at our place to shower/eat while we went to pick up J-Dub. Found Van 1:

Showered, ate, and relaxed until it was midnight when we would be off to run our 2nd legs!

Leg 22. Perfect temp. Uphill to downhill. 6.81 miles. 9:40s.

My second leg is almost always my favorite leg. It is cool. I try to pick a runner (position) that the 2nd leg is the longest because it is my favorite. I like running in the dark too.

I got up the 1.6 mile steep climb that was hard but do-able. Started cruising down which was way more enjoyable. Passed a ton of people. There were a few baby rollers on this downhill stretch. This leg was fun!! So fun!! I saw a few sub 9s and thought I better slow my ass down but I went for it!! Finished strong and it was hard to believe it was 4 in the morning!

Exchange 24 happened. It happens every.single.year! Back up. Traffic back up that you can not even believe! There is no cell service out there so there is no talking to the other van! Period! Until you see there shining faces. This year was a little different. The back up started miles before the exchange and we weren’t even moving at a crawl. We were literally at a dead stop for 10-15-20 minutes at a time.

This is where I fell asleep for over an hour. I didn’t wake up the multiple times J-Lee opened the door and got in and out. I finally woke up at 7:30 as J-Lee and J-Dub were getting back in the van. I couldn’t believe it was so late. Hettie was right on time handing off from J-Dub but she was stuck standing there for an hour waiting for us to pull up. There was a massive amount of runners waiting for their van 1s to get there. It was a total shitshow and an even bigger one than usual!

We headed to Jewel for showers and food. Took us a long time to get there and than back on the road to the last major exchange. We took another hour or so nap and back on the road!!

Leg 34. Hot. No shade. Rolling hills. 3.4 miles. 10:02s.

This is my perfect leg of rolling hills except that it was hot. I didn’t want to carry any water with me but I did. I was happy to have it and continually poured water over my head. It made a huge difference. Again I passed lots of people on the death march.

I just wanted another steady run. I would have liked it to have been faster but it was good.

I am happy to report that a girl who looked much more like a runner then me passed me about 1/2 mile after the exchange. I didn’t let her out of my eye sight. She would walk up the hills and I would get that much closer. I finally passed her with a mile or so to go and never looked back! 🙂

We finally made it to Seaside!

Waiting for van 1 to show up and J-Dub to cross the finish line!

Waiting for van 1 to show up and J-Dub to cross the finish line!

The finish line was again an even bigger shitshow than normal. We don’t know if it was from all the back up from exchange 24 that caused more teams to finish in our time frame or if it was just not organized! We finally “finished” and got our medals!!

Until next year. Hood To Coast 2014 in the books.

I like the colors this year.  This medal is the best of the 4 I have!

I like the colors this year. This medal is the best of the 4 I have!

Last chance at the Pints to Pasta 10K giveaway!

TOP 10 at BIG SUR!

29 Apr

As most of you know I ran the Big Sur International Marathon on Sunday! The plan was to run, have fun, enjoy the views, and take pictures. The secret goal all along was to come in Sub 5 hour! Kara somehow talked me into doing this marathon last July.  Race weekend was finally here!

We got to Monterrey Saturday afternoon. Got checked in and hit up the expo!
We saw some Nuunies and chatted with them! I met up with one of my readers, Jonathan, and talked strategy about the race. 🙂

We checked out Fishermen’s Wharf and had a great “early” dinner. The day was gorgeous!

We had crepes for dessert! It was delicious and did not disappoint!

It was surreal to be at the start line at 5:15am in the dark with all the other crazies that were doing this event! As we made our way to Wave B: Kara and I both looked at each other and said: We are going to RUN a marathon today. 26.2 miles. This cannot be real!
I decided to do a little different re-cap this time around. Since we were running for “fun!” Here you have the:


10. The weather. The weather was perfect. I know it is not perfect every year but it is usually pretty good. Good time of the year!

9. The finish line. It is not really anything special but you can hear the announcer and you know you are getting close. It is something special after you have conquered this ultimately tough course!
We had time so we stopped for one last picture!

We were done! We had just run 26.2 miles! How did that happen?

8. Embrace the hill! The elevation chart does not do the course justice. You are constantly going up and down! At least you know when you go up you get to go down! The climb up Hurricane Point really is not that bad. Just long and steady. It is the ups and downs of the second half of the race that are HARD! Tip: Train on hills of all sizes. Do hill repeats. Practice the ups and downs of the later part of your long runs. Running down hill in training is just as important as running uphill because your quads are toast by the time you get to mile 20. It only gets harder the last 10k!
Going down at about mile 9! But you can see the climb up Hurricane Point in the distance.

Lowest point on the course! Getting ready to go climb up to Hurricane Point!
At the top of Hurricane point looking down at the decent and the Bixby Bridge.

7. The medal. The coveted ceramic medallion. It is just as cool in real life. Miles 24-finish were all about: Lets just finish this. The medal is waiting for us! Can’t wait! We are almost done! How have we been running for 4+ hours!!

6. The mile markers. The mile markers were all so creative! Make sure when you run this race you read all of them! Here are some of my faves:

5. The strawberries. Everyone said there were strawberries at mile 23. I had forgotten about them until we saw the mile 23 sign. There was an aid station. BUT NO strawberries. Instead of getting sad we had our water, Gatorade, and just kept truckin’ along. We started to go up yet another hill when we saw some strawberry balloons along the sidewalk. We were getting closer to Heaven to the strawberries. Everyone was right when they said they were delightful. They were more at 23.5 which was a nice “surprise” at the top of the hill! Tip: eat as many as you can. I had 3 and wish I had grabbed about 10 more.


4. The entertainment. Tip: Do not wear headphones. Listen to all the sounds of the ocean, talk to other runners, enjoy the music on course. It is funny how some parts were real quiet and somehow it was ok.
The cow at mile 7ish. All of a sudden there was this cow all by himself moooooooo-ing. It was the cutest thing ever. We didn’t know if he was just cheering or telling all the runners to get the hell out of there or he just needed help getting off of the hill he was on! 🙂 It was too cute!

The Taiko Drummers–at mile 9.8 to give us motivation to get up our 2 mile climb up to Hurricane Point.

Martin Martinez–at mile 13.2. We knew the song he was playing but couldn’t put our finger on it! He was a very popular guy!!

3. You get to RUN over the Bixby Bridge!


We were half way home!


2. NO pressure to PR. Since it is such a hard course it would be difficult to PR on. Take pictures and enjoy every minute of the race. Tip: run it with a friend! It is well worth it!! Tip: Run watchless. No need to worry about your splits!
Even at mile 25. The sun started to come out. There was still 2 more hills to go. It was hot. But you have each other to keep it going!

1. THE VIEWS!! You cannot even imagine how gorgeous these views are unless you have been there! It absolutely takes your breath away! Tip: Take a camera! We weren’t looking for a PR so we had time to stop. We weren’t stopped for very long because we could enjoy the views while we were running.

Our first look at the ocean!

The Point-Sir Lighthouse

Somewhere between miles 15-20
Sometimes you had to look behind you for a view!

This was absolutely my favorite marathon!! If you ever have a chance to do run it!! Just do it!! We signed up in July and it was sold out in an hour. You have to be ready for it!!

My ONLY complaint: The banked highway. The entire way. It is noticeable also. Especially in the last miles when you can feel everything!

If you stay in Monterrey/Carmel after the race you should check out: Refuge It is a relaxation spa. You go through a hydrothermal cycle. Hot(Shauna or Steam) to cold water plunge to relaxation to warm/hot pool to relaxation and repeat 3-5 times. There was a coupon for 2 for 1 in our virtual goodie bag. Probably our best idea we had all weekend!!

Who wants to do Big Sur now? Anyone already have it on their bucket list?

NW 1/2 M Race Re-cap

23 Oct

Nike Womens 1/2 Marathon 2013
GOALS: 1–To have fun
2–I did not know how my legs would feel. My right hamstring was a bit cranky. I barely did anything between Chicago and this. I know you guys are probably thinking … Oh yeah right. She probably swam, did spin class, biked to work, was running still… No none of that. I knew if I was going to survive this race I better rest up! I did a 4 mile shake out run on Thursday. THAT.IS.IT!! 🙂
3–When I did this race in 2009. We all ran together. Had gorgeous weather, stopped and took lots of pictures…ended with a 2:27:xx. I kind of wanted to beat that!
4–That is all!

4:35: Awake. It was so early! Had breakfast, got dressed, and we were out the door by 5:20.

5:45: Kara and I met up with Kristen in the 8-8:59 corral.

At HTC I joked with Kristen about how she should have a recovery run(she runs faster than me usually) and run with me at NWM! She said yes!! SCORE!

6:30: The three of us took off. Kara ran the first 2 miles with us but she was going for a sub 2 so she broke off. I was only there to survive! Kristen and I had a nice pace going.

credit: NWM FB page

credit: NWM FB page

We started in the dark at Union Square. Starts on a slight downhill through downtown to Embarcadero. Flattened out along that stretch. We just cruised right along. The miles flew by. (10:06, 10:10, 9:56)

We went by Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf. The first hill comes at 4ish right at Ghirardelli Square and continues over Fort Mason. (10:05, 9:42) We cruised along the bay. Usually there are epic views of the Golden Gate Bridge but it was super foggy. 😦 (10:05)

We got into the real work at about this time. Up through the Presido. Straight uphill. I slowed but kept running. Kristen went a little ahead of me but I caught her at the aid station. (11:25, 9:29)
Me: You can leave me whenever you want!!
Kristen: We will see! If anything I will meet you at the finish!
Me: Perfect!

We just kept cruising right along. The miles were still going by fast. Running through the Richmond neighborhood. Up some more hard climbing Kristen and I got separated a little after the 8 mile maker. (11:02) I put my headphones on at 9 miles and it was still foggy!! (10:04)

We had some nice downhill running along the Sea Cliff and by the Cliff House. I had not been watching the watch at all. I had no idea how I was doing. At mile 10 I thought I would take a look. 1:42. Not bad at all! Quite exciting actually. I still felt relatively good. (9:55)

Big crowd going into Golden Gate Park because we were real close to the finish line. 2 more miles in the park and then back out to the highway for the finish!! The miles clicked by just as the entire race did. (10:18, 9:40)

DONE!! 2:14:50! SO.MUCH.FUN!!! I even beat my time from last time. Maybe it was a good thing it was foggy or I would have wanted to take more pictures! 🙂

I reunited with Kara and Kristen who both had great races!!


We had an epic brunch at Outerlands. It was a huge wait but well worth it. We were so hungry we could not even get any pictures!

Before I flew out Sunday night we met up with Alana and Don in Berkeley. We hit up Cream for dessert. IMG_3119[1]

I want to franchise one of these places in Portland. I think it would do good!!!

My life MOTTO!

My life MOTTO!

Thanks to Kara for an AWESOME weekend and Thanks to Kristen for an AWESOME run!!

Did anyone else race last weekend??