|Meb & Me|
Julianne: Meb, I'm gonna jump right in. I asked my friends and blog readers to help me find out more about you. And, Dennis from San Jose wants to know if you chafe at all.
Meb: Do I chafe? Yes, definitely and a lot during the off season. I chafe between the thighs and under my arms because I run without a shirt! And if I don't use Vaseline I'm in big trouble.
Julianne: Most of us "regular" runners chafe all over (and I gestured all over) and we definitely wondered if the pros do, too.
Meb: *laughs* Of course we do! But definitely on long runs and races, you should use something like vaseline or Body Glide to prevent chaffing.
Julianne: What's your pre-race ritual or favorite food before the race? Mica from Urbana, Illinois asked.
Meb: Definitely pasta the night before a race. I can't wait to have that tonight. I totally love spaghetti with meatballs. I am totally ready to go the next morning. That's my ritual. But I also love Mexican food, like burritos especially on my hard run days. And I love eggs.
Julianne: I love eggs, too! You have a fantastic website and you're very active on the social networking thing, like Facebook and Twitter. Has it changed how you race, network or interact with fans? This one is from Layla in Lodi, by the way.
Meb: It's been really great to connect with fans and friends online. It's so much easier this way. It's also a big honor for me to meet my fans and interact with them. Twitter is all about me letting people know where I am and what I'm doing. I guess being online is the trend right now and it's where the market is. When I was up in Rock n Roll Seattle earlier this year, I mentioned on Twitter that I was going to be at the expo. And one fan apparently drove up from Portland to meet me after he saw my Tweet. I was really honored.
Julianne: Wow, that's awesome! Jason from New York City wants to know if you're planning on winning New York City Marathon this year?? And how do you stay motivated to win such a big race?
Meb: That's my goal to win New York City Marathon! God gave me this talent to run and if it motivates people than it's my job to do it. I keep going because the talent from God isn't tapped out yet. I'm still running races and PR'ing so, I feel really blessed.
Julianne: Do you ever have days when you don't feel like running and how do you get yourself motivated? This one is from Katie in Boston.
Meb: There are days but it doesn't happen often. It's really an honor to do a job that I am really passionate about. Just like any other people, when I'm feeling under the weather or something, I don't feel like running. But, once I'm out the door, I do more than I set out to do. Again, I try to remind myself that I have a responsibility since God gave me this talent for running. It's really an honor.
Julianne: I heard you injured your hip back in 2008. What was the road to recovery like? Quan from San Jose wanta to know.
Meb: Actually it was my pelvis and I had to take 10 weeks off. It wasn't easy! The most difficult part of the process was getting the correct diagnosis. It was originally diagnosed as a sports hernia and got examined by the doctor in NYC (who also happens to be the medical director for Rock n Roll) and got scanned at Columbia U. Good news was that no surgery was required but the bad part was that I couldn't run.
Julianne: Yeah, I guess it's easier to treat once you know what it is. If you're guessing what's wrong with you, how do find treatment right? My next question comes from Audrey in Los Gatos. She wants to know which celebrity you'd like to pace in a marathon if you ever got a chance?
Meb: *laughs* Well, I did meet Halle Berry once so maybe if she asked, I'd love to pace her in a marathon! My wife said if they ever make a movie about me, then Halle needs to play her. *laughs again* Of course, I'll play myself!
Julianne: Meb, what's going through your mind the last few miles of a marathon? You must be exhausted at that point?
Meb: It all depends. If I'm winning? I have all the energy in the world! I could go forever, I think!
Julianne: Um... I don't know what that's like but wow, that sounds pretty amazing.
Meb: Well, if there's someone ahead of me, I'm thinking I need to catch up very soon. Or if there's someone right behind me, I need to get away. I just need to keep up the speed and the endurance.
Julianne: This is so exciting. You won RnR San Jose last year and you plan to win tomorrow, yeah?
Meb: Oh that's the plan I plan to do the same thing I did last year, from here to NYCM.
Julianne: Good luck tomorrow and next month at New York!! And thank you for your time today!
Did I mention Meb won the race again yesterday??? Yes, he did! He won by quite a margin, too. Part of the RnR SJ Half is an out and back course and I saw him when he had just entered the 13th mile. That guy was sprinting the whole way but he didn't even look tired. Of course, I was only at mile 5 or 6! Really awesome to see him and as I yelled out to him "Go Meb!" I felt like I was cheering on a friend. It was really an honor to meet him and getting to talk to him of course! Thanks to all of you who helped me with the questions. :-)
Ps. I don't know if you noticed the little "inset" looking image of the Sony Walkan MP3 player (on the bottom left corner) in my picture up at the top... It's actually not an inset but a little pop up card that was on the table. Meb trains with the Sony MP3 player is a huge fan! I love this pic of Meb running! --->
On a related note, I'll be pacing the 2:20 finish group for the RnR SJ Half! So if you're running the half, look for me. I'll also be at the expo on Sunday. I'm thinking there's a pacer's booth?? I'll also be pacing the Inaugural Morgan Hill Marathon in November!! If you're in the area, come join us for the half or the full. I'll be pacing the 5:00 finish group.
It's also been uber hot this week, 100+ degrees in the Bay Area this week. I've been running in the mornings instead but don't have as much time to put the miles in. It's supposed to start cooling down today so looking forward to getting in 8 miles after work. I'm hoping it will be overcast and even COOLER on Sunday morning for the half marathon!
Ok so questions for Meb?? :-)
Yes, Happy To Me! (Our 3 year old niece used to say that at OTHER people's birthdays... So cute!)
It crept up on me again. My birthday... For the first time EVER, I have no desire to celebrate. I'm thinking I can deal with a low key celebration this year. I've never had any issues getting older, but having some difficulty swallowing the fact that I'm 36. Wow. Deep breath....
At the same time, I can't believe how lucky I am with all the blessings in my life! I have so much to be thankful for! Really, I am so blessed. Life is so good!
I've been trying something new. with my running routine. Running after my boot camp in the morning. I've been trying to do 3 to 4 miles in the morning and then trying to get another 4 to 5 miles after work. It also works out on evenings when I have plans (like tonight and tomorrow) and don't have time to get the runs in... Maybe I'm uber warmed up but I've been pulling out like 9 minute miles. I can see some improvements with the speed and it's really encouraging. Hopefully I can run at consistent sub 9 pace again! (Although, this morning's 4 miler was kind of crappy but then I did have quite a few glasses of Pinot Grigio last night at dinner.) I've also been trying to lose the weight that I've put on the last year. Ugggh, it's a never ending battle! If only I didn't like to eat so much???
It's a happy week with so many birthday celebrations but at the same time, it's been sad, too. Duane's aunt passed away last week and it's never easy when a family member passes away. My thoughts and prayers are with Lauren, Kyle and Uncle Mas... They are really lovely cousins and very funny uncle...
1. It's so easy - Right? You just go out there and run! You don't have to even run far at first. Maybe run around your block at first, around the school track, on a treadmill for a mile, and build up your distance slowly!
2. Yet so hard - According to the article, running burns more calories than any other cardio vascular activity. The harder you run, better workout you get! But we all know, it's NOT easy!!
3. Your knees will thank you - I always thought running tore up your joints and knees but apparently that's an old wives' tale. So go run!! It's better for your knees!
4. You'll stress less - Duh. No brainer, right??? Who doesn't feel better after they go for a good run?
5. It can prevent disease - You run, burn calories, lose weight, better better better for your body! Something else I didn't know, besides running prevents heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, high blood pressure, and boost immunity to colds and other viruses, treadmill running also improves your vision! Go figure!
6. You'll probably live longer - There are slew of benefits to running. Living longer for all off the reasons above and then some. How awesome is that???
Again, more details and why you should run here. It just made me all around happy reading it. Today is my rest day but made me want to go out there to run!
Thoughts?? Do you agree, disagree, or are there other reasons that the article missed??
I've begun my training for NYCM and CIM officially! Ran 10 miles on Sunday with Duane and met up with the ROHOs (Aron, Kristin, Tara and Maritza) and other awesome local runners (Audrey, Layla and RoadBunner) for brunch in Walnut Creek.
|Yummy pancakes for brunch!|
|Girls who run together brunch together!|
Me and my synchroFules, first time out!
So in my search for the perfect running shoes, I'm always talking to some shoe specialist at Fleet Feet or Sports Basement trying to find the "right" shoes. A few months ago, I was contacted by the wonderful people at Pearl Izumi to try out a pair of syncroFuel running shoes. I was really hesitant at first. What if this pair tore my feet up, too? I took a huge chance accepting the pair without trying them on. I figure, what do I have to lose but a few blisters??
Back in first week of May, I received my pair of syncroFuel and took it out for an easy 7 miler. There are some running shoes that I'm totally ok running in for a few miles but anything over 5 or 6 miles, I'd notice discomfort. I'm happy to report that the syncroFuel was absolutely wonderful. The moment I took the first step, I noticed this bounce and cushion, like I was on a trampoline (ok, hyperbole, sorry)! And it hugged my feet in ALL the right ways. I love being hugged by my shoes. You don't know how ecstatic I was on that run!! And, it just made me realize my current New Balance just didn't have that "right" fit. I had to buy slightly bigger to accomodate my wide feet. 3 months later, I'm happy to report that I STILL LOVE these syncroFuel shoes!!! Last few months, I've put many miles in these shoes but I swear I could still feel the bounce. I'm probably due for another pair REALLY soon and felt comfortable enough to write a review finally!
So, a few things. The syncroFuel is extemely well cushioned and is really awesome for the mild/over pronator like me. A few other things:
- High-abrasion Seamless Race upper with hybrid mesh combination.
(100% recycled polyester mid-foot mesh and breathable forefoot mesh)
- 360º of reflectivity for added safety during low light conditions.
- SKYDEX® Heel crash pad.
- There's even a trail version of these shoes!
More from here:
Honestly, I think I found my go-to running shoes and I plan to stock up, just in case!!! Pearl Izumi syncroFuel, I heart you!!
Athleta needs your help designing the best running clothes ever. They are looking for runners to attend a focus group and share your opinions. In order to participate, you must run at least 10 miles a week and be available to attend a focus group in San Francisco on September 9th. They will pay you for your time. If you are interested, please email: email@example.com or call Arline at 650-871-6800 ext 3006.
I know Danica is also part of the Sony sponsorship... Anyone else???
This is going to be pretty awesome and can't wait to tell you all about it.
Oh I also need to write up my race review for See Jane Run and The Giants Half Marathon... I'm getting to those!
There was also a Susan G Komen 5k Saturday morning of our visit... Only discovered by accident when we went to the Boise downtown farmer's market. If I had known, I woulda ran it! Oh well, I shoulda done some research. But needless to say, I didn't get much running in this past weekend.
By the way, my friend Heather is one of the most talented women I know. She's really into digital scrap-booking and photography. She once was a director of a Montessori school, education consultant to the state of Idaho and fabulous athlete. Recently she's been a stay home mom and with her 3rd child due in 8 weeks she's a very content and very busy stay home mom. If you know anyone who needs an event/wedding photographer in the Boise area (maybe after August), check out her photography website!
Yesterday it rained on and off for most of the day. Since when did it rain in May in the Bay Area? And it was a lot cooler than normal. I went out to my usual running spot and hoped that the rain would cease... As I left work the rain seemed to be dwindling but once I got to Pt Isabel, it was POURING. I was disheartened... Thinking: I shoulda went to the gym straight. And also secretly happy that I got out of running. I decided to go home and rest. I was feeling under the weather after all and been coughing all day. I drove about half a mile and noticed blue sky peaking through the north part of the my hood! And I thought about the 2 upcoming half marathons and I REALLY wanted to run... So I drove back. And waited several minutes for the rain to pass. Low and behold, not too much later, the rain stopped and I bounced out of my car in my new SyncroFuel Pearl Izumi shoes. (More on the shoes later!) Maybe because I didn't think I was gonna be able to run, I was really excited and happy. I felt good the whole time, too. It was still cool (mid 50 degrees) and overcast, which was perfect. I ran pretty evenly at about 9:33 min average/mile pace! I've been clocking in 10+ min per mile lately so this felt really really good. I don't think I'm going to breaking any records in June for my two half marathons but I think I'll run them at a decent pace!
I am hoping for a longer run today, hopefully a 8 miler. It's a beautiful day today. Nice and sunny. :-)
Last weekend, I ran a super duper fun relay! It was The Relay: 199 Mile Relay from Calistoga to Santa Cruz. Technically it ended in Davenport, a few miles north of Santa Cruz. I have a good story to tell about Davenport (one day)... it's about me in high school, sneaking out at 2am, getting the car key locked in, hitch hiking and somehow making it back home, etc. Anyway, back to The Relay! The distance was 199 miles broken up among 12 runners. Our team consisted of The ROHOS, Katherine, Kristen and a few others. Our team name was "That's What She Said (TWSS)" and the entire weekend's conversation ended up with someone saying "That's what she said!" Funny enough, it didn't get *that* old. I had one of the easier legs.... I was runner #2, with 13.9 miles total. More details on each of the legs here.
Aron, Maritza and Katherine have written up awesome race reports already! I just want you to know that I SURVIVED. Considering I ran maybe 30 miles total for the year before this relay, I wasn't even sure I could complete my legs!
Leg #2 (Easy) 4.7 miles - 43 min @ 9:08 pace
Leg #14 (Hard) 5 miles - 50 min @ 10:00 pace (Can we say hills?)
Leg #26 (Easy) 4.2 miles - 39 min @ 9:17 pace
Runners in order (in our van):
Runner 1: Maritza
Runner 2: Me
Runner 3: Kristen
Runner 4: Tara
Runner 5: Mark
Runner 6: Katherine
A few notable things. It was eeky hot during leg #2 and I went out way to fast! I clocked in my first mile at 8:40 min and I knew I had slow down. My second run (leg #14) was in complete darkness (can't see nada) and ran with a flashlight. But I loved it. It was eerily quiet but at the same time very serene. I wasn't the only runner out there of course. Various other runners from other teams were also out there but we were spread apart so it definitely felt like I was out there alone. But when runners passed me up or team vans drove past, I knew people weren't far from me. Not at any point did I feel scared or afraid, I never felt like I was in any kind of danger, either. My last leg was down in the backside of Stanford University and by this time at 10am it was getting to be quite hot. Again, I am so glad I had one of the easier legs. Because that course had some REALLY tough climbs!
They call this relay "California's Longest Party" for a reason and I have to say it rang true for me. Being stuck with 5 other people in a van, showering in random places, numerous Porta-Potties and eating/sleeping at unusual hours was... REALLY FUN! Maybe it was the team, our van-mates but overall I had a really great time. And did I mention for a great cause? We raised over $800 for Organs r Us! Thank you all to those who donated!! And yes, I would totally do it again!!! But I promise, I'll train a little bit more next time around.
And now, here comes the pictures. Maritza and Aron both posted awesome YouTube photo montages on their site... These are all from my iPhone. Excuse the crappiness! Oh and one more thing, our TWSS team was sponsored by Punk Rock Racing Gear!! Thank you Ron! :-)
And I'm off to Boise for the weekend!
What an exciting day! Found out that I got into the New York City Marathon via the lottery!!! Yay. There was some confusion at first because I signed up both Duane and myself and when I saw the charge for 1 entry, I wasn't sure who got accepted. Turns out, it's me! Good thing November is still months away and I get my ramp up my training and actually be ready. I'm also really excited to go back to NYC, I haven't been back since I left in April 2008!
I went out last night thinking I was going to do 5 miles but ended up running about 6! The overall pace was about 10:30 min per mile and although my legs were tired from getting so much exercise in 2 days. I also stopped and walked briefly around the half way point, I was tired! My legs are pretty sore right now and debating if I want to go out again tonight. What would you do? I also got up at crack of dawn this morning to go to my boot camp session so I'm kind of sleepy, too. I won't get a chance to run again until Saturday morning... So maybe I should?
Who else is going to NYCM??
I actually signed up for the Napa Marathon again this year but I didn't run it. I couldn't even give away my bib! I heard the weather was much better this year than last... I am running The Relay with the ROHOs and a few other fabulous runners so I thought I'd better put my butt back in gear. I dusted off my poor neglected Garmin 405 and went out for an EASY 5 mile run last night. In all honesty, I did do a few miles here and there on the treadmill for a few weeks before but it wasn't easy. Good thing I have one of the easier legs of The Relay. I am in no shape to run up any hills or some of the longer legs!
The weather was gorgeous yesterday after work and I ran one of my usual routes along the Richmond Marina. I guess I got a little excited because the first mile I clocked in at around 9:45 min pace. The rest of the run was uneventful and around 10:10 min pace... A few times I wanted to stop and walk but decided to press on. I haven't had that much JOY from running in a long time. I was so bogged down with training that running became a chore for me. Old habits die hard and I kept glancing at my 405 to see how fast I was running. I definitely put on some weight during the winter (that's what happens when you eat like you're training for a marathon but no running) and I could tell on my knee joints... And the speed definitely was suffering. But, I figure it was a good start. I'm going to try for another 5 miles tonight after work and see how I feel. I LOVE that feeling of pavement underneath my shoes and the wind in my face.
Am I back blogging? I don't know, yet. But I did start this blog as a running journal so I'll try my best. Oh anyone else waiting anxiously for the NYCM lottery tomorrow???? I also signed up for the Nike Women's Half today. I am not doing that marathon again anytime soon.
It's been a while. I haven't been here since mid May. I needed a break. Not worry about turning on my laptop after dinner or sneaking in a blog or two (or 10) during my work hours. And strangely, it's been a nice break and freedom.
But, I definitely miss the runners and the running community... and wondering what the heck is going on with you all!
I just dropped in to say hi and tell you that I completed the following while I was away!
June 20 - Stadium to Stadium 10k 54:22 (PR'd by 4 seconds! ;-)
I still have
Also, I got an email today from the director of Hope Runs that the 777 Challenge has been cancelled. Due to the current economic climate and fundraising issues, they have decided not to pursue the endeavor anymore. This is VERY disappointing, of course. I wasn't anywhere close to where I needed to be and have been on the verge of resigning from the team. But I was hoping to see the challenge carry out and provide exposure to the runners and the organization. They may start up again in the future but no definite plans right now. A HUGH THANKS to all of you who've supported me emotionally and financially... THANK YOU SO MUCH.
I guess I'm being "flexible" but at this point with so little time left, I am counting on the training that I put in for Big Sur last month. I plan to do my regular weekly runs and my last 20 miler this weekend but I hope that's enough. It's been also getting really warm out here in Northern California!! I miss my winter, already!
My biggest concern is pacing Maritza for her PR goals at SD. I don't want to struggle to keep up pace with Maritza when I'm supposed to be her pacer!!
Very excited to meet so many bloggers that weekend. There's an email going around discussing blogger meetup/Tweetup on Saturday for lunch. If anyone else is running RnR SD and want to meet up, please leave me a comment with your email address! :-)
If you're wondering about my blog post title, I'm not having a bad day. It's a title of a song from Hella Sound. I was interviewed by the fabulous John Frenette at Hella Sound. Hella Sound is custom running music sync'd to your pace. Seriously, it's amazingly effective. I usually do my easy training runs at about 9:20 average pace. When I listen to "How To Turn Around a Bad Day", I run at about 8:40 average page. I turn the music on and I go into auto mode at a faster pace. It's simple amazing how your feet moves to the beat! Anyway, please check out my interview here and if you're more interested in how Hella Sound works, please click here!
Now, for those of you who wants to hear the rest of the details (that would be oh about 3 of you, maybe)... here we go.
The weekend started off great, weather was great and we both felt good about the race. Originally, it was just me racing on Sunday. But via Twitter and Bart Yasso (@bartyasso), I was able to snag a comp entry for Duane. I was thrilled, we could experience Big Sur together. I knew it was going to be a tough race for Duane since he didn't train. But the last few half marathons he ran, he didn't train and still pulled out a sub 2 hour finish! So I thought he could do it. I was concerned, though. We've all heard of men who die on marathon courses? Well, he's in that age category. So we told ourselves that we were going to take it easy and just have fun. No need to push hard.
Half way down the trip to Big Sur, which is about 2 hours away... we ran out of gas. Literally. We knew we were low on gas but we had so much fun talking that we totally forgot. (Note to Duane: See? If I was on Twitter and tweeting, you might have remembered to get gas!!)
Thankfully, we rolled to a stop about 200 yard away from a gas station as we tried to glide off the exit ramp... And quickly, D was able to get a gallon of gas.
We were on our way again! Yay!! We got go the marathon expo in time to meet up with our pals Shelly, Michael, RoadBunner and Dennis... Although, I only remembered to get pic with Shelly! The expo was packed, there were supposedly about 10,000+ runners that were doing the marathon, relay and various other distances. We picked up our bibs, shirts and shuttle passes and checked into our hotel.
Next morning, or rather 4 hours later, we were up and at it. Here's my race outfit... Although, it was so cold, I ended up running with my long sleeve the entire race. Btw, I found some great deals on Priceline.com for the Hyatt at Monterey... for about $130 a night. They normally go for $350+! Needless to say, I was very happy with the deal and the beautiful hotel.
So the race started at 6:45am and we crossed the start line a few moments after. We started with the 3:40 pace group because Shelly and Dennis are fast! But soon after, the 4:10 pace group caught up to us. We stayed with the 4:10 pace group until about mile 10 when I *had* to go to the bathroom. Apparently, I didn't finish all the business before the start!!!!
Um, of course, I picked the Port-a-Potties near the Taiko drummers and it felt really odd. I could feel the drum beats while I was "going"! Oh and did I mention how windy it was? I was scared the Port-a-Potty was going to tip over!!
We went from 100 ft to 600 ft of HILL, over 2 miles! Talk about a tough climb. Up until this point, we were doing ok. Even with Duane's non-training we were still able to pull out a 2:20 half marathon split time. If it wasn't for the darn Hurricane Point, we would have a much more decent half split time. We thought he might even PR! Anyway, this is where things stated to go downhill for Duane. Literally. His knees started to hurt and so did his old Achilles Heel injury. The downhills hurt his knee so bad, he had to walk gingery most of the time... Poor guy. I thought he was being a wimp and I got mad at him. Oops.
Too bad something got in the way!
We ran with Jeff Galloway's group for a long time. For a good 4 miles anyway. I definitely noticed that it was easier to walk and run! Duane's knee on the other hand, didn't like the stopping and starting again... So we walked. Starting mile from about mile 21 we walked, all the way to the finish. I thought about going ahead and leaving Duane behind but misery loves company and he wouldn't have been in that misery if it wasn't me. I felt responsible and well, at that point, I had kissed a sub 5 hour finish good bye. Might as well stick together, right? And, honestly, I was happy to walk, too. Marathons are no joke. I don't know why I never remember the painful parts of the marathon when I sign up for these!
Since I’ve started fundraising for the Hope Runs 777 challenge, I have been blown away by friends and strangers coming out of the woodworks to help me. Not just financially (which is great and still need more), but also in ways to promote my cause!
Here are two great examples…
Chris Russell (also @cyktrussell) from RunRunLive offered to interview me on his famous running podcast! I was totally nervous about my first live interview for a podcast but everything seemed to fall into place. (Even if I did bumble up a few times… *sigh*) Maybe good practive for live TV one day? Well, one can only hope! If you’re interested in checking out the podcast, you can either click here OR search in the iTunes Store for “RunRunLive” and download episode 63. Let me know if you listen to it one day. Again, I can’t thank Chris enough for willing to feature me. Wow!
Ethan Austin from Give Foward (an innovative giving/fundraising site) and Play City (where you can use sports to make a positive impact on our local and global communities), who offered to interview me on their Play City blog. Ethan has not only been fantastic in giving me fundraising tips and ideas but providing really great emotional support. My interview with Ethan just went live today and you can check it out here. There are pictures of me on the blog post.
Most of all, thank you ALL for being part of my adventure. I love my social network/community on my running blog, Twitter and Facebook. You make me feel like I’m not doing this alone!
Oh, a quick question... I'm totally new to the running podcast thing. Do you listen to them while you run? And if you DO listen to running podcasts, what are they? I'm looking for recommendations! ;-)
Race for Roses wasn't just ANY half marathon for me. It was my first race as a pacer and for Alisa. I was a bit concerned because my hip has been bothering me for a few weeks now... Not sure if it's my IT band or sciatica nerve or the hip socket. Sometimes, it feels like all 3 of them hurt at the same time. Last Sunday, I had planned on a very hilly 18 miler and around my 10th mile, my hip flared up so badly, I had to tell my hubby who was out riding his bike on my run to go back and get the car. It was that painful. Discouraged, I had taken the whole week off and only went out on Saturday to make sure I could even run! Fortunately, Saturday's 6 miler proved I could indeed run. I took it easy and ran 6 miles at about 9:10 pace. It felt good to run after a week off.
I flew up pretty late Saturday night and when I got to their guest bedroom, my awesome race shirt and bib was sitting on the bed! (Hello, a small tech shirt? I love this race!! I normally wear a medium or sometimes large. Ugh!)
The next morning around 5am, we downed some toast with peanut butter and yummy French press coffee (the best way to drink coffee ever) and headed out to the race. One thing I really loved about this race is that the race starts right outside the Portland convention center so you can actually wait inside the center. The weather was perfect but still, a little chilly at 6:30am...
Oh, we also ran (literally) into Cindy around mile 4... She was doing the half marathon as part of her training run for her Vancouver Marathon in a few weeks. She was going to run another 7 miles after the race! Yes, she really does have sexy legs in real life! ;-)
Alisa did super well for the first half... she went out strong and ran it faster than her normal pace. But of course, I know first hand what a fast start does to you... She did slow down in the second half but she pulled off a strong race. I definitely had to pull a drill sargent act once or twice but Alisa was definitely motivated to PR on Sunday. She definitely didn't give up. I admire you spirit Alisa. I know another huge PR is waiting for you around the corner. Maybe RnR SD?? :-)
I told Alisa I would make her sprint near the finish... and she did. When the finish line was in sight, she took thoses long long legs and sprinted past me. It was like a giraffe graces whizzed by me. I had no chance. I was the hippopotamus!!! So that's how she got her new nickname on Sunday. The Giraffe.
Oh, btw, she did PR. By 11 minutes! Alisa's official half marathon finish time is 2:27:04!!! I came in a second later according to the official chip time. I know I was there to encourage Alisa for those 13.1 miles but really, it was ALL Alisa. Congrats on your PR, Alisa. You totally deserve it!!
Amy, Jen, Alisa, Emily and me. Sarah was running a little late. :-)
One last thing, I also ran my half marathon for Tim and Jeannine Oberholzer. Jeanine passed away on Saturday from Cystic Fibrosis... Here's my finisher rose from the race and the medal that I dedicate to them.
Here’s where I am so far with the fundraising. I have officially raised $900. (The Chip In widget on the right doesn't have all the totals!) A paltry amount to $45k. But, this is from my personal network of friends and family (and some of you), who opened up their wallets to support me. I have had donations as big as $100 to as small as $5. Every little bit counts. And I thank you very much!! I also had a small Tweetup last Frday at SNOB (Sonoma, Napa or Beyond) where I was able to meet some great people from Twitter. I absolutely LOVE my network on Twitter. I didn’t raise a whole lot of money there but it was great to network and meet people who gave me some great advice.
Give Forward has generously offered to partner with me and Hope Runs to help me gain more exposure and fundraising. Thank you Ethan for your willingness to help and offer up so many great suggestions!! I am hoping this partnership will also generate a lot of exposure for me and Hope Runs!
I have a few other events coming up in the next few weeks. On April 3rd, I am hosting a Ghetto Gourmet style dinner at an undisclosed location in the San Francisco East Bay. It’s a gourmet 4 course meal with wine pairing by a talented chef who has worked at various upscale restaurants in the Bay Area. One of them being a Michelin Starred restaurant. It’s a major deal to get a Michelin Star, by the way! Here’s the link, if you’d like to attend (or know anyone who might).
Another event I have is a Guest Bartending gig at The Boardroom in San Francisco. I’m doing it with a few other girlfriends (including Tara and Maritza), who are willing to donate their time to make you some delicious cocktails. ALL CASH tips will go straight to Hope Runs. So, if you’re in the area on April 9th, please stop by and bring lots of dollar bills!! (Larger bills are ok, too!)
One last thing, are we friends on Facebook? Would you like to be part of my Hope Runs 777 Challenge group?? And I have another blog over at WordPress to document my fundraising efforts... (Don't ask me how I am planning on keeping up with that one since I have a hard time keeping up with *this* one!!!)
Thank you for reading! :-)
So, the painful memories of Napa Valley Marathon dissipated pretty quickly although, the remnant of the running plagued for several days! Blisters from the marathon lingered around my feet but I also got more. Ugh. Turned out, I had the wrong type of shoes for my wide feet. I needed more stability than motion control. Anyhow, I was directed to the "right" shoes by my new favorite shoe guy at the Sports Basement. Hello, Mizuno Alchemy 8! I ran on it a few times and it's SO much better!
Two Sundays ago on March 8th, I ran my first free race ever: The Sports Basement 5k in Sunnyvale. There was a 175 cap on the runners and it was definitely a fun run. There were bibs but no timed chips, although our finish times were recorded as we crossed the finish line. Nothing fancy but definitely a run I'll do again. Mega points for free t-shirts and great swag for a free race! My official finish time was 24:35! Not bad considering my PR for a 5k was 24:15, when I weighted 10 lbs less and it was the first time I ran after Napa Valley!
This past Sunday, I ran my first 12k at the Emerald Across the Bay 12k in San Francisco. It's one hilly ride but a beautiful course and well worth the pain. I also got to run it with Maritza, Tara, Kristin, Sandra (she was in an earlier wave) and my good friend Michaela. We all ran a fantastic race and I'm really proud of my 1:04:56 finish. That is a 8:48 min average pace... which for me, is pretty decent. In all honesty, I was disappointed that I didn't run faster but really, I'm pretty happy with what I did. As you can see, I looked very happy running it, too. I'm such a ham in front of a camera! (Did I mention it rained the WHOLE time??)
While I was up in Portland last week, I also got to do a Tweetup with fellow runners: Christine and Michelle from Running Chicks in PDX (top)and Amy, Alisa and Justin (bottom). :-)
Oh and did I mention I have now joined "The Fellowship of Garmin"? Or the "Church of Garmin"? I bit the bullet and threw down some serious cash for the Garmin Forerunner 405. If you remember from my previous post, my Nike+ Sportband died in the rain. And I was so hearbroken, I couldn't get another one to replace it... So I decided to upgrade to what the "serious" runners use. I had issues setting up "Kermit" the first day but I soon figured it out and now we're happy as can be.
And guess what? I was asked to pace the San Francisco Marathon in July!! I didn't have much choice but I am pacing the 4:45 finish group. I don't really care about the time, I know I can do 4:45 easy. I get to run my 5th SFM for free!! Woot!
I also ran the Mermaid Half Marathon (a women's only event) this past Sunday. I thought I was ready for a PR but turns out, I wasn't. There were some strong gusty winds in both directions and towards the end rain... again. AND mud. Lots of mud that felt like I had 10 lb ankle weights on both legs! Below is me, our friend Shelly and Tara at the start. Oh things started so well... We started off at sub 8:30 pace and I soon petered out. I finished at 1:58:35. Not my best finish but considering, not bad! We also saw Audrey at the end but we didn't get a pic together. :-(
By the way, thank you ALL for your encouraging and supportive comments on my Napa Marathon post. I got choked up thinking how lucky I am to have such an amazing running community behind me.
OH and we had an unexpected surprise Saturday morning! My sister delivered 3 weeks early. Averie Eunhae Lopez showed up at 11:15am weighing 5.8 lbs and 18" long. Thankfully, my sister had a wonderfully short labor... less than 2 hours and pushed for only 15 minutes? I hope that's all genetic! Here's Averie at Day 2! Both mother and baby are doing wonderfully!! (More gushing about niece to come!!)
I woke up Sunday morning at 4am to the sound of rain. It was expected. The weather forecast called for rain on Sunday. All week. I saw the heavy clouds forming by Sunset. But, I really really hoped that the rain would hold off until later Sunday. Like after I was done with the marathon. I've never run further than 8 miles in the rain and it wasn't because I chose to. I got caught in the rain! I heard the sound of rain, which I normally love but that morning, it was a sound of dread. I fell asleep for another 45 minutes and woke up. I got dressed, ate my pre-race peanut butter sandwich and faced the music. Questioning my sanity the whole time. I live about an hour away from Napa and as Duane drove me and my friend to the starting line, I saw the windshield wipers moving back and forth, back and forth. The rain was coming down. During the drive, I had all sorts of thoughts. Should I not run? What if I didn't finish? All sorts of doubts.
We parked not to far from the starting line and I had to use the Porta-Potty as usual. This was supposed to be a smaller race, with about 3000 runners. Apparently, everyone and their mother had to go because the lines were really long. To make a long story short, I started 6 minutes after the gun went off. I kissed Duane good bye, even took a photo of me at the starting line and then, off I went. Marathon #7! I wasn't really nervous or all that excited. I figured I'd just enjoy myself and see where the run took me. It was actually kind of nice to start late because I didn't have to weave through people and saved me a lot of energy. Maybe that's why I started off too fast. Maybe if I started on time, I wouldn't have rushed in the beginning? Did I mention, it was still raining?
The first couple of miles were a breeze, I passed a bunch of people and felt I even caught up to my pace group. I must have been running around 8:30 min pace. There were a few hills in the beginning, actually, hillier than I expected but I still had a lot of energy at this point. Then, around mile 3, I felt wetness all around my feet. My shoes were wet. And so were my socks. At almost mile 4, I glanced at my Nike+ Sportband to see how fast I was going. It was blank. My watch died. I totally panicked. I didn't even know how far I had gone! I saw Duane around mile 5 and I shouted to him, "My watch died! Please go find my other watch in the bottom of my gym bag." The poor guy had to run with me for a few yard to catch what I was saying. Good thing I brought my gym bag with me where I have an old Timex Ironman watch. When Duane caught up with me around mile 8, I was completely soaked, freezing and already tired. My shoes sloshed and felt really heavy. Duane passed my the Timex and when I looked at it, it was an hour off due to the Day Light Savings from last year! Ugh, why didn't I check before??
It went downhill pretty quickly from there. I was still on target for a sub 4 hour finish at around half way point. I was running a bit too fast and Duane actually missed me twice, somewhere around the half way point and also at mile 18ish. I didn't see him again until mile 23. I had expected to see him and was really sad that I didn't. I was really struggling and could have used his lovely smile. The amazing thing is that at time when I didn't see Duane, I got to see the ROHOs! The girls had told me that they were coming up to cheer for me, which was the most awesome thing ever. I had text'd them at 5am to tell them not to come due to the rain but they came anyway. All dressed in ROHO gear with the BEST signs in tow. I think I heard them from half a mile away, with their cheering and cow-bell'ing. There wasn't much crowd support for this marathon, not sure if it was the rain or not... but it was pretty lonely out there. So whenever I neared any kind of crowd, I figured the noise came from them. And it did! They were like a little ray of sunshine during a storm... literally! If you haven't seen their spectator reports, go check out Aron, Tara, Maritza and Kristin's blog. They have some awesome photos!! I love the signs!!
So, besides the little spots of ROHO sunshine, it was a tough run. So let's see, where was I? I was soaked to my socks, my Nike+ died... My Timex had the wrong time and I forgot how to set it and didn't bother to even start the timer. Oh and my left ankle started sending out sharp pains. And the best part was that I started to feel lots of irritation on the soles of my feet. Yep, blisters were forming. I did something really stupid. I bought brand new shoes a week before my marathon and I figured since they were Asics GT-2140s, shoes that I have never had issues with, I was good to go. Maybe under normal circumstances, that may have been ok even to run in a marathon. But in the rain, brand new shoes were probably not a smart choice. I felt irritation and pain in areas that I don't normally feel. Like on the balls of my feet. I am not going to share these blister photos with you because I wince every time I look at my feet. And I don't want to gross you out! I have a total of 5 blisters the size of a quarter EACH. One of which I freshly popped and drained tonight. They all hurt like a mother during the race but somehow, I was able to block them out!
Anyway, back to the run. Somehow, I managed to make it to mile 16 but at this point, I was done. I thought about quitting. But the idea of a DNF was worse than any physical pain. I knew Duane and the ROHO girls were out there waiting for me at the next landmark and I couldn't let them down! I already felt bad that they had to wait so long for me! Slowly, my sub 4 hour finish started slipping away from me. I had to walk a few times, every few miles, I walked for a few minutes. Around mile 22, I knew I couldn't stop anymore. Because it just hurt too much to start running again. My feet were screaming murder and I figured if I ran, I would finish that much faster. A few times, I had to choke back some tears, also because if I started crying, I knew I would hyperventilate. It was hard enough to breathe as it was!
And when I crossed that finish line and saw my finish time of 4:20:XX, I was a little surprised. I thought I would finish much later.
My official chip time is 4:15:19. Not my best but certainly not my worst. It was probably one of the most emotional and challenging race, ever. Not because the course is hard... The Nike Women's Marathon takes the cake for that one but because so many things went wrong for me. If only the weather cooperated, if only my NIke+ didn't die, if only my shoes were broken in, if only my ankle didn't hurt, if only my feet didn't blister... if only I had trained more, if only... Gosh, let me get out of my pity party. There are so many "if onlys" but it is what it is. I don't want to dwell on all the things that went wrong. There will be good races and bad races.
And this will be one of those that I'll learn from. I ran 150 miles each in January and February but I don't think those miles really prepared me for this race. As for the post-race hoopla, I didn't have the energy to do much. I congratulated other finishers and took pictures with my friends from Twitter (who, by the way all happened to all PR or run really great races IN THE RAIN) got my post-race soup. All I wanted to do was get out of my wet shoes and clothes. I was a little delirious at this point and almost forgot about my friend Dennis, who we gave a ride to! Oops. He also PR'd by 12 minutes and finished a 3:36 race. Hello, 12 minutes? Grrrrr. I was supposed to meet up with the ROHOs but I just couldn't. Emotionally and physically, I was drained. We got back home and Duane made me the most delicious cheeseburger ever. I ate two. And then passed out promptly. I needed some alone time to lick my wound and forget about the morning. I woke up feeling much better. It looked like it finally stopped raining, too. I thought about my finish time and didn't feel so bad about 4:15:19. After all, I ran my 7th marathon...
Oh, did I also mention I signed up for the Big Sur Marathon on April 26th?
I seriously am questioning my sanity right now! (Why am I such a glutton for punishment?)
Thank you for reading my long race report... (again!) I apologize if my grammar isn't all correct... it's almost 1am and I'm pooped but I had to write my race report! And now that I got all the whining out of the way, I'm kinda proud of myself!!