Thursday, November 27, 2014

The BHM & Cool Runnings

The Berkeley Half Marathon RR

On November 9th I ran The Berkeley Half Marathon after some off and on illness and it was a total blast! My time was not exceptionally special (1:44:30), but I did have an amazing time seeing old running friends, jamming through my old digs in Berkeley (some of my very favorite runs of all-time), and hitting the pavement for a half-marathon distance. I hadn’t run a half marathon race since junior year of college, so I was thrilled that afterward I could still function properly (not the case with marathons).

Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Curious Incident of the Runner in Transition

This will read more like a stream-of-consciousness essay than a running update. But if you've been curious, the cathartic writing is here to explain:

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Big BQ: Mountains 2 Beach Marathon Race Recap

This post has been in the works since sophomore year of high school; it has taken me a year and a half to gain base fitness, 11 months to plan, and 14 weeks to train. All this amounted to one very nervous me standing on a start line at 6 AM yesterday morning. This was the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon, but the battle had been fought on the long runs and sore muscles and trial-and-errors and self-doubt and self-reliance of the past 3+ months. The only thing left to do yesterday, I tried to convince myself, was hold on for the ride.

My spectacular family had driven all the way down to Ventura (an hour south of Santa Barbara) with me for this race. My sneaky sister had previously told me she couldn’t make it to this mini-milestone, but, of course, was waiting for me when I walked out of my apartment on Saturday morning to begin our adventure. What a lovely, unexpected surprise! With my parents, my best friend, and my sister all in toe, we made our way down the coast. All the while their high spirits were both hugely comforting and mildly stressful, as I knew I’d share either a great triumph or a relatively crushing disappointment with them in the next 36 hours.

After a six-hour car ride, 2 huge meals, and a whole lot of ‘together’ time, I was at last crawling into a lumpy hotel bed hoping for some restful z’s before my 4 AM wake up. And, naturally, none were to be had.  So after maybe 3 hours of sleep, my gracious mom and I were climbing into the car and heading to the start line. This wonderful lady drove me 35 minutes into the mountains on windy backroads so I could avoid the 3 AM wake up required to catch my allotted shuttle time. How great is my mom? Really though, that’s love.

Friday, May 16, 2014

9 Days to Go!

Would you look at that? I'm 9 days out from my first attempt at chasing the unicorn and I am flooded with joy and prickly fear and gratefulness. For those of you who aren't toeing the line of insanity about qualifying for the Boston Marathon, 'chasing the unicorn' is Runspeak for 'trying to qualify for Boston'; this is because, naturally, the symbol of the Boston Marathon race is a unicorn:

So what does it take to qualify for the most prestigious marathon in the world? Well for my age group, I have to finish the race in under 3 hours and 35 minutes, which calculates out to 8:12 minute/mile pace maximum. My crazy-ass goal for the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon is a 7:43 pace, but my real-person goal is to cross that finish line in under 3:35. There you have it. Inked in Internet-land for all to see, for better or worse.

But as I mentioned in my previous post, I run because it's love and it's life and it's every embodiment of earning and sowing and getting out of something so much more than you put into it. I've had a lot of time during these long runs and speed workouts to contemplate why I prioritize running over movies and nights out and drinking with friends and eating large quantities of chocolate cake in my yoga pants on my bed (though much cake has still been consumed, for good measure).

Friday, May 2, 2014

Week 4: Race To Taper

< ONE MONTH OUT. It's time to get down to business as I have 23 more days until the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon 2014! I am a hop, skip, and a jump away from the notorious distance runner mantra "the hay is in the barn," meaning, of course, that the work you've put in up until this point is what will be carrying you through the race - not the work you put in on the day of the race itself. Let's dive into a recap of what I've been up to from the second half of last week and this week:

The end of last week stumbled by with Berkeley Lululemon Run Club, Hot Yoga, a 3 mile jaunt, an unintentional Saturday rest day (sometimes real-life is a struggle) and then my first 20+ run of this training cycle.

Sunday 4/27
21 miles
7:43 pace

Monday 4/28
3 miles

Tuesday 4/29
Fever (!!) ..stuck in bed
and this ended up being my evening:
Trader Joe's Salad & Born To Run

Wednesday 4/30
6+ miles tempo
Berkeley Run Club

Thursday 5/1
(make-up from Tuesday)
7 x hill + 2.5 miles there and back

Friday 5/2
5 miles

My long run last weekend was most notable because I was actively trying to regulate my pace as consistently as possible. This was a test-run of what I can hold in my gas tank. Finishing 21 miles in 2 hours and 38 minutes means that even if I drop down to 8:10 minute mile pace for the last 5+ miles, I would still qualify for Boston in under 3:30. You would think I would be STOKED on this realization, but if I'm being honest, as I've vowed to be on this blog, I'm not counting my chickens just yet.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Week 5: & 6, 7, et al.

In the hub-bub of marathon training, working full time, studying for the GRE, and trying to maintain a social life that allows me to still have friends, I've been a real slacker on writing any of it down. I am technically down to week 5 right now, but would like to recap the last week and half of training:

7:26 pace 18 miler on 4/12: Laps Around Lake Merit, Oakland

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Week 8: Ragnar SoCal Race Recap

Can we talk about how time isn't obeying any kind of normal metric and is instead flying past in complete disarray? ...okay, that's a bit dramatic; but really, time is on the move and training days are zooming along. So without further ado, I would like to share my 2014 Ragnar SoCal race recap:

What is Ragnar SoCal? I'm glad you asked! Our race covered 195 miles, beginning in Huntington Beach and ending at the convention center in downtown San Diego. My lovely team included 11 other crazy runners, with each of us taking on 3 legs of the 36 leg race. The race is basically structured like a batting order: once you run your leg, everyone else on the team has to run one of theirs before you start over. Essentially, we ran in order 1 - 12 three times in a row.

I was runner #3 (and therefore runner #15 and #27) for our team, afterNUUN run. As a proud member of Van 1, I joined the likes of Keith, Kristina, Chris, Wes, and Erin -- some of the most badass runners around -- for a 26+ hour adventure in a mini-van. The second half of our team, cozily jammed into Van 2, was comprised of Alisyn, Matt, Meg, Bruce, Miriam, and Paulette -- each of which are even more impressive, hilarious, and fit than even their Strava accounts and blogs allude to.

There is enough adventure packed into this nearly 200 mile, 2 hours of sleep, half marathon or more running per person extravaganza to fill a novel, so I'm going to spare you the gory details and go into a photo montage with minimal commentary instead:

Van 1 LOVE! The gang showing off our Ragnar race tees, Zensah calf sleeves, and Nuun bottles

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The San Francisco Marathon Post: 7 Wonderful & Little-Known Benefits of Running

I'm proud to share with you all my post from The San Francisco Marathon blog page! See the official posting: HERE.
Graphic borrowed from The SF Marathon Blog

7 Wonderful and Little-Known Benefits of Running

So you’ve made it to The SF Marathon blog page — a hearty congratulations to you! You must already know that running is a wonderful, magical, superhuman barrel of fun, right? You plan your weekends around going to bed early and racing the sunrise to the highest points within 20 miles of your house, right? At a moments notice, you can name your exact personal best time in every distance from a 5k to a 50-miler, right? Okay, okay, maybe you’ve only been running one time ever. Maybe your brother / sister / significant other / best friend / boss / mother-in-law is a runner and you’re pining to know the secrets of their emphatical joy. Well, you’re in luck; whether you’re an elite runner or a curious novice, this post is for you. I give to you: 7 Wonderful & Little-Known Benefits of Running.

1. Running Improves Joint Cartilage — For ALL Ages

Wait, isn’t running bad for “older” people? HA! The wives’ tale that running damages the knee / ankle / hip joints is about as accurate as saying that a woman’s body can’t handle running a marathon. And just as Katherine Switzer showed us in the 1967 Boston Marathon, sometimes conventional “knowledge” is far from true. According to a 2013 study of osteoarthritis and hip replacement risk, “long-distance running does not increase the risk of osteoarthritis of the knees and hips for healthy people,” and “might even have a protective effect against joint degeneration.” Whoa! The New York Times also covered this phenomenal phenomenon here.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 9: No Pain, No Gain

Week 9 of training is very nearly a blur. Remember last week when I said I was looking forward to dialing into training and parsing back on post-work things? Well I may have had a bit of a lofty goal. Let's jump into last week's training recap:


7 m easy

Hot Yoga

4 m easy before work
6 m pace Run Club

5 x 800 Yassos
+ warm up/cool down

8 m tempo


16 m tempo
7:30 pace

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 10: Too Much of a Good Thing

I'm a little late with my weekly post, but that is simply because there are so many things going on. It's a wonderful problem to have, of course, but I am looking forward to dialing back on the weeknight engagements and focusing a bit more time and energy toward training. My weekly training update is as follows:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Week 11: One Month In, 10 Weeks Away

Another week has flown by in my running adventure; chock-full of heavy hearts, new perspectives, and training challenges and successes. How has it only been seven days since my last post? Well, let's get started with a training recap:

13 miles at 8:09 pace

3 m easy
Gym lifting

Unintentional rest day
Gym lifting

6 m tempo
Run Club
Gym lifting

4 x 800 (Yasso 800s) + 2.5 miles
Track Workout

FRIDAY 3/14 - Pi Day!
9 mile tempo

4 m easy

So, if all goes according to plan, I'll be hitting just below 40 miles this week, which is right on target 10 weeks out from the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon. My hip flexor / upper quad is dying a little bit after a weird stutter-step at Run Club on Wednesday, so I might skip my run and go to yoga instead tonight (correction: I decided to run 9 miles at 7:30 pace because the weather was so nice. AND, my hip flexor / upper quad felt way better after). Bodies are complicated things (correction: no pain, no gain).

Sunday 3/9: 13 miles up Grizzly Peak + around Lake Temescal

Friday, March 7, 2014

Week 12: Run Your Race

If you ask a runner what could be more important than a long-run Sunday, they will likely come up with a very short list. 

I'm on my full rest day of the week and enjoying the subtle joy of not being pulling toward my running shoes for one whole day. That is to say, I am trying to convince myself that my body needs to rest and recover in order to be best prepared for my weekend runs. And yes, I did eat a cookie today. Rebel without a cause.

I have two objectives for this post: 
  1. To recap my training, now 12 weeks away from my first marathon of the season, Mountains 2 Beach Marathon
  2. To explain a very important running and life lesson: things don't always go according to plans.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Honest Secret: An Introduction

I can't promise this will be a unique read. I can't promise you will learn much about how to improve your pronation or drop your mile splits. And I can certainly not promise that I am in any way an expert about what I've decided to write about; although, by Malcolm Gladwell's standards, perhaps I qualify for that 10,000 hour minimum. But what I can promise, or at least wholeheartedly aim for, is that this blog and these posts will be honest.

It is about time that my secret life of running -- the good, the bad, and most definitely the uncouth -- be put somewhere for safe keeping. That is what I've set out to do and to the extent possible, will continue to write about here. And so, without further ado, this is my humble story: