Tuesday, July 31, 2012

San Francisco 2nd Half Marathon Recap!

A week or so ago, I thought I wasn't going to be running the San Francisco 2nd half marathon due to another commitment.  Well...turns out, I ended up being free to run the half!

The day before, the entourage (Anthony, his brother, his brother's girlfriend and me) headed out from Sacramento to SF.  We checked into the hotel (which we got the reservation two days before from Alyssa by a small miracle) and headed to the expo.  We also walked around San Francisco after dinner.  I'm always stunned by how cool of a city San Francisco is.   So beautiful. 

(On a side note, I found out that day that a high school teammate of mine, Ben Horne, passed away on a climbing trip in Peru.  I told myself that I would run this race joyfully and think of him if things got tough.  Too often I forget to be thankful for the opportunity to be running.)

The next morning, my alarm went off at a fairly reasonable hour of 6:00 AM and I walked over to catch the bus that took us out to the start of the race.  The 2nd half of the marathon starts in the middle of the full marathon. 

Once we got dropped off, I randomly wandered around until I found an open coffee shop (with a bathroom too!) and had some coffee while I waited for the race to start. 

I hung out at the start and I noticed a familiar looking girl decked out in Asics gear.  Holy cow it's Molly Pritz!!!  Like the creeper I am, I followed her around for about a minute wanting to be like "OH HEY MOLLY I LOVE YOU RUN FAST!!".  Then I realized she looked super focused and probably didn't want to be harassed by me.  So I left her alone.  As a note though, she is way prettier in person and she went on to run a 1:10 half PR! 

One cool thing about the start was that I could tell who was about my speed by bib number.  Basically my corral meant people had applied based on times between a 1:30 and 1:40 half marathon.  I'm not used to being in front, so that felt cool.  It also allowed me to befriend anyone with a similar bib number to be my running buddy for the race!  I didn't feel like I was in PR shape but I figured I'd try for a 1:36 or 1:37.

The race started unceremoniously without a gun or a national anthem and we filtered in with the marathoners.  I ran the first three miles or so with a girl named Michelle.  I wanted to take it easy and run by feel.  This was the only time during the race I felt grumpy or like I didn't want to be there.

7:19, 7:32, 7:28

Around mile 4, I started feeling a little better and started running with some other girls I'd talked to at the start.  I ran past Sesa at some point who yelled "Faster Bunny" at me.  That was fun and cool!   

7:17, 7:01, 7:22

I was still trying to keep my splits in check and not book it too hard because 6 miles into a half marathon isn't even halfway.  

Miles 7-9 were mostly downhill, especially right around mile 8 where there were some crazy downhills.  I told myself to not brake in my stride.  This hurts, but I think it helps speed a lot on the downhills. 

7:16, 7:06, 7:25

At some point, I started wishing that there were more water stops.  There were stops about every 2 miles or so, but given that we were running (dodging?) the full marathoners, it was tough to get water.  I also didn't want to be a jerk by running into any full marathoners walking at the water stops because you know...they had run a hell of a lot more than I had! 

7:19, 7:13, 7:11, 7:17

The last few miles, I started running faster.  I felt pretty good and felt comfortable enough about myself to push harder.   I thought of Ben and remembered to enjoy the moment of the race.   I ran the last few miles of the race with one girl who kept yelling encouragingly at the marathoners.  I'm still blown away by how nice the girls were that I ran with. 

The last .1 hurt like it should.  It felt great to finish.  I know this is totally against everything I stand for, but I know I ran extra in this race.  I'm not sure if it's my crappy tangent running/dodging people or if the course is actually long and I guess it doesn't matter.  But it makes me feel better about my ability to run fast on a course with less maneuvering required. 

Time:  1:36:34.  About as good as I could have hoped for!  I want to get faster and knock off some PRs, but this still made me happy enough!

The best part?  They had freaking Jamba Juice at the finish.  It was the coldest most refreshing thing I'd ever had in that moment. 

I scrambled back to the hotel where everyone was waiting (they all ran the 5k!) and quickly showered.  We checked out, and spent the rest of the day on the beach at Point Reyes. 

Final thoughts on this race:  I loved running through SF.  I've heard that the 2nd half isn't as pretty as the 1st half but I thought it was plenty enjoyable.  I wish there had been more water stops and dodging the marathoners was a little tough.  But it was also fun.  I would definitely run this race again - hopefully next time with a little more serious training under my belt.

Overall a pretty fantastic weekend!  Thanks, SF!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Adventures in Social Media

In full disclosure, I DNF'd a 5k this weekend.  I'm not super proud of this fact, but these things happen right?  (ImaQuiitteerr.)  I have nothing but minor excuses so I'm not even going to write them.

Also, did anyone watch the Bachelorette last night?  I had a hard time getting into this season.  Mostly because I'm convinced Emily is a super hot robot.  Love Jef though.  And they are cute together.

Everyone on Social Media Is Insane.

Today, I want to talk social media.  I feel like I have a billion accounts at this point, which really just means Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram. If having all of these accounts has taught me one thing, it's that people are insane.  Myself included (I am guilty of much of the insanity below!). 

The awkward Happy Birthday

Having a birthday means a lot of things....time with friends, cake, reflection on the last year and....getting "Happy Birthday" Facebook well-wishes from people who you spoke to once back in 2007.


I have a ridiculous amount of Facebook friends, and this is not because I'm a really popular person.  Basically I've had the account for over eight years.  That's a lot of acquaintances!  Combine that with a terrible memory for names (AND people who got married and changed their names) and I have no idea who 10% of the people writing birthday wishes on my wall are. 

Granted, I really appreciate it.   But I'm convinced that the people who write on everyone's wall for birthdays don't remember me either.  Maybe they log into Facebook daily and spend five minutes sending birthday wishes to everyone? 

"I have no idea who this girl is, but it LOOKS LIKE SHE NEEDS A HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!"

At least that's how I envision this happening.  


Dude...what exactly IS fitfluential?  Does anyone know?   I'm not against it or for it, I just don't get it.  All I know is that people use that hashtag a lot and it's usually accompanied by "#proof" (Equally confusing.  Proof of what?)

I wanted to find out, so I went to the homepage.

...Yeah still totally in the dark. "Fitness Found"?

I also don't understand the ambassador thing.  Usually people are ambassadors for products like Brooks.  But unless Fitfluential produces protein bars I'm not sure what's trying to be sold here. 

If you're an ambassador, please fill me in!

The Random

This is where I'm very guilty.  I send completely irrelevant tweets.  I love twitter.  It allows me to talk to so many of my blogging friends.   But if you follow me, I apologize for 80% of the tweets.  Most of them are constructed when I'm sitting at work and am feeling frustrated.  So I'll tweet something that makes no sense.   


Or worse.

Sigh. It seemed funny at the time! 

But I can't stop.   It's an outlet.  Maybe I can try to break the habit by writing tweets but not hitting the button.  Sorry sorry.  

The Overshare

Every once in a while I'll see something like this posted:


This will be accompanied by a million comments underneath by people who don't think this is weird at all.

"Oh thank God the rash is gone!  Can you post pictures???"

A distinct subset of the overshare would the the political overshare.  These are actually my favorite crazy people.

The qualification criteria to be in this category is to
1) Post political articles on a daily basis.
2) Make sure they are as inflammatory as possible.  Like....


Sometimes I'm tempted to hide these people from my feed, but then I realize that I love them and make me feel like I am not insane in comparison.


One of my good friends told me that she always asks herself before posting things "Will this make anyone's day better?".

Which is awesome.   I should do that.  But hey...if everyone did that, I know I'd miss all the crazy people.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Older, larger, and more treadmill!

Hi there!  It's easier to write a post with several bullet points than it is to flesh out one full idea so here's my attempt at a post!  

I turned 30 last weekend. 

The impending 30th birthday has loomed down on me for the second half of 29.  OMG 30!!! REAL ADULTHOOD!!!

I celebrated down in San Diego with a mish-mash of people that I love.  It was nuts because Comic Con was happening the same weekend as well.   Chiara and her husband came out!  And after they left everyone else said "who was that girl she was really cool."  No joke.  Here we are at the W being classy.   I even put on a semi-skanky dress for the occasion!

I may write a whole post about looking back to my 20s if I can think of anything insightful but for right now, I'm just happy to be 30.  And why not?  In the words of Tim McGraw, "The Next 30 Years Will Be The Best Years Of My Life".

I'm getting larger. 

Apparently getting older also means a slower metabolism.  I went to the doctor this week and I've gained a good seven pounds since my appointment last year.  No, it's not muscle.  Granted, I'm not even close to overweight but very few women (myself included) I know are happy to see the scale go up.  I've been trying to eat more intuitively in the past couple months, but this strategy doesn't work because I'm a fat kid who loves to eat at heart.


I'm also confused as to what to do about it.  On one hand, I don't really care.  I don't think I look bad (in fact sometimes it's nice to be less sinewy), but I'd like to get back to where I was before.  I also don't really want to haul around extra weight at races.  I'm trying to eat more healthily and hope that that it just slides off.  This is tough because I freaking love food.   Especially things like red meat, cheese, and ice cream.  Oy.

A Time Trial...ish...

I was planning to run the San Francisco Half Marathon in two weeks but now I might not be available to do it.  We'll see, but some things from Anthony's side came up and so I may be busy that weekend. 

On one hand I'm really disappointed because I was looking forward to it.  On the other hand, my training has been pretty sub par for a distance event, so maybe it's for the best.

I also figure it's time to get back to the 5k revolution.  I just signed up for one this weekend AND I decided to try to build some confidence this morning:

This morning, I time trialed myself on the treadmill to see if breaking 20 is even possible.   It is! 

Yeah yeah...I know it doesn't count.  The treadmill might be off-pace, I only had it on 1% incline (1.5% is probably more accurate at this speed).  Hell, maybe I just let the treadmill run for 20 minutes while I stood by it and did some stretches and then took a pic. 

And...I'm just faster on treadmills.  I don't know why, just am.  I think it's because the weather is great on them, there are no hills, and all you have to do is just run.  No worrying about pace. 

But if I can break 20 on this machine, maybe I can have the confidence to do it on the road soon. 

3.1 x 6:25 = 19:56.  Sweet. 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Training Update and Faster Bunny Lochte

When I trained for the Eugene Marathon, I felt really burned out.  I was trying to increase my mileage, and I got it above 50 miles a week a couple weeks.  While that's not a lot for some people it made me really exhausted.  I was also doing a ton of speedwork at the same time, so the combination was more than my legs could take at the moment. 

So I decided to take a new approach after Eugene and listen to my "Run Less Run Faster" book.  I freaking love the title of that book.  Why yes, I would like to run less AND get faster! 

Basically the premise of RLRF is to do three quality workouts a week and do whatever you want the rest of the time (cross train, run easy, whatever).  But the three "quality workouts" are no joke.  The track paces are way faster than anything I usually do repeats at (3:00 800s, 6:18-6:20 1600 meter repeats, etc.). 


RLRF says to do about three miles of track work (think 6x800m), a 4-6 mile tempo at a little faster than goal half marathon pace, and a long run  of 10-15 miles around marathon pace. 

I really enjoy the premise. 

Unfortunately I've been kind of half-assing the program.  I find it hard to run hard three times a week since I'm out of town a lot (and lets be honest, on those weekend nights I'm out of town I've probably been out late, had a few beers, etc. and the odds of getting a high performance workout in the next day are slim to none.  Come on...a girl's gotta have fun, right?).  So I've more been attempting a track workout, a tempo, and a more relaxed longer run weekly along with some really minor strength training.  I'm probably averaging between 30 and 35 miles a week.

I've also thrown in some races (a 5k and a 10k) even though the goal race is the San Francisco Half marathon in three weeks.  Initially I thought I wanted my goal pace for the SF half to be a 7:10.  After an average 5k performance and a really difficult long run yesterday (11 + 5 at goal half marathon pace turned into 3.5 at goal half marathon pace), I'm beginning to think that's too much of a reach for me this summer.  Hopefully I can keep it below 7:20.  Maybe that's still a stretch?  Oy.

As a deviation from the RLRF program I'm planning to do an indicator type workout soon where I run eight miles at goal half marathon pace.  I figure if I can can run eight miles at GHMP during a grumpy-before-work training session by myself, running 13 in a race is doable. 

Luckily my lower mileage has given me more time to try other stuff like...


It's been an entertaining experience.  I'm terrible.  I still spend the first 5 minutes in the pool simultaneously wondering if I am going to drown and wondering if the lifeguard is thinking "HOLY CRAP THAT GIRL IS SLOW". 

It's true. 

I'm the slowest person in the pool and yes, that includes small children learning to swim as well.  It took me several sessions just to learn to exhale under water and now I'm trying to keep my body long and straight, breathe on both sides, not look like a manatee, you know...the usz.

While I usually hate talking to people when I work out, whenever I go swimming, I pray that a person who knows what they are doing will take pity on me and tell me how to improve.

It's probably time to buck up and take a private lesson.  I know just the guy to help me out.
Oh what, he's busy training for the Olympics?  Alright, maybe he can pencil me in after London...  #callmeryan

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Seattle and Surf City 5k Recap

I hope you had a wonderful 4th!  July 4th is one of my favorite holidays.  BBQs, hanging out with friends, being all patriotic, fireworks...  Plus I look just fantastic in red, white, and blue.  I also like that it's not a very politically/religiously polarizing holiday.  No one feels left out, and also, it's not one of those holidays where it's not as fun if you don't have close family ties (Thanksgiving), a Sig-O (Valentines Day)....etc.

Which is why it's kind of odd that I spent my 4th of July night watching a Keeping Up With The Kardashian's marathon.  But I was super spent due to two things:

Weekend Travels to the PNW

Last weekend I went up to Portland to see Anthony where he's on project and then we drove up to his old stomping grounds, Seattle.  That place is awesome.  And beautiful. 

Seattle is probably the 2.5th most beautiful city in the US in my opinion.  

We spent the first night out with some friends downtown, and then stayed in a another friend's house whose back yard was ON A LAKE!!!  So relaxing.   We spent the whole day eating, drinking, and hanging out with Anthony's old friends who were a lot of fun. 

We also went back to Fremont and walked around the next day.  They were selling a t-shirt that said "Amazeballs".  Every blogger needs one!

The next day we (sadly) headed back to Portland.  When I flew out back Monday morning, I geeked out at all of the Olympic trials athletes hanging out at the PDX airport.  No, of course I didn't stop any and say "Omg did you run at the trials that's so cool". 

All in all a very fun but exhausting trip. 

I ran a 5k yesterday

I'm not devoting a whole post to it because well...I just don't want to :).

Sarah Oual, Kristina, and I signed up for the Surf City 5k Run last week and decided to make this fun way to start the 4th!  This race is pretty cool because it's got a lot of great runners in it, has a festive atmosphere, and a 4th of July Parade afterwards. 


 I didn't do great last year, and I wanted to redeem myself.  I woke up yesterday morning and felt really tired.  Definitely didn't feel like racing!  I hoped I would feel better as I sugared and caffeinated myself.  

My goal for this race was to keep up a 6:26 pace (20:00), which sounds doable in my brain, but is apparently much harder for me to pull off (spoiler). 

I warmed up, found Sarah and Kristina, and then saw my friend Pam in the starting corral.  I was pretty flustered but felt better when I saw Pam because she's such a sweetheart and sort of a calming force! 

Some girl sang the National Anthem and I remember thinking "oh wow, this girl is pretty good".  I found out several hours laster that it was Leann Rimes singing.   I'm oblivious as always.  I wished I'd paid attention because I want to see if she is as skinny and fake boobed as the tabloids say! 


The race started and I told myself to run a smart race.  My first mile was exactly at 6:26.  I just didn't feel "on".  I felt kind of bored which is a weird feeling in a 5k.  My second mile was a 6:28 and by then I told myself to just make the last mile a 6:30 and while I wouldn't meet my goal, I'd be close. 

No dice.  Mile three was a 6:44 and I plugged on in at 20:29.  I'm not sure I even kicked much.  I just wanted to be done and hadn't really shown up mentally or physically. 

Granted, 20:29 is only three seconds off my PR (the last 5k I ran in January), so it could be argued I should stop complaining.  But if I can't improve in 6 months of hard training, what do I really have to show for myself?  I don't want to be happy with something that is less than my best. 

Kind of discouraging, especially given that I've been pretty happy with my training the last couple weeks.  (haven't written much about training lately but I'll try soon!). 

On a pretty cool note, Kristina came in right behind me and her chip time ended up being 20:25 which was something like a three minute PR for her!  She mentioned that she'd been pacing off me which is hilarious because I bet if I'd run two minutes faster she would have run that too.  She's that good! 

I saw Oual and Pam finish which was cool, and poor Sarah had her shoe come untied during the race.  So freaking annoying to have that happen!  

We cooled down together and I headed back home.  I spent the rest of the day glued to the couch feeling like I'd run a marathon, so something was probably a little off in my body that day.  I still feel weird and off actually. 

Despite my dissatisfaction with my performance, this is a really fun race.  I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to kick off July 4th in a fun way, and it would be fun to dress up or run with friends. 

One day I'll run three 6:26 miles!  Yesterday was not my day.  If anyone has any great success in improving their 5k times I'd love to hear what worked for you!