Category Archives: 2013

RECAP: Los Angeles Marathon 2014

Last year I had to take a DNF at mile 10 due to a IT band injury. This year is my revenge on the LA Marathon!

I arrived late Friday afternoon. I was a bit weary at the start about my right foot. I was having some issues with it a few weeks earlier. I tried to stay off of it as much as I could prior to Sunday.


The expo was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. My main goals were to pick up my bib, quickly check out the expo and stop by the San Francisco Marathon booth.

Bib pickup was easy and quick! Absolutely no lines or issues. Awesome.

LA Marathon

I made a quick walkthrough the expo. Walked past all the usual expo vendors. Found the San Francisco Marathon booth. Chatted with them for a little bit and I was on my way.

For an early dinner we had some really good homemade spaghetti. I tried not to eat too much, but I failed. I was full and content.

I relaxed the rest of the evening, watched a movie, and laid out my clothes for the race. I double and triple checked to make sure I didn’t forget anything. I was asleep before 10:00PM.


Alarm went off at 5:00AM. I was up and ready within 20 minutes. We left for the start line at 5:30 and arrived just after 6:00AM.

Side note: They changed the entry route to the start line this year, but it didn’t add any additional time to get to the start.

A bunch of my fellow San Francisco Marathon Ambassadors were running too. We decided to meet at 6:30AM for a quick picture. After the picture I did some stretching, used the restroom and made my way over the to corrals.

The corrals were REALLY full. I couldn’t find my way into one until the gun went off around 7:30AM. I squeezed my way in. Slowly made my walk to the start line.

Mile 1-4. Ran out of Dodger Stadium and down past the Disney Concert Hall. Just after mile 4, I needed a bathroom ASAP. Luckily there was one right there with a very short line. I was in and out in under 2 minutes!

Mile 5-9. It was nice to see a lot of people lining the streets cheering everyone on. Feeling awesome running through Downtown LA!

Mile 10. Just entering Hollywood. Last year, at this mile I decided to take a DNF (read more about that here). I knew that that I would get somewhat emotional here. My eyes welled up a little bit. But then I had a huge smile on my face. I made it further than I did last year. Wooohoo!

Mile 10-12. I was still excited about making it past mile 10 AND I was feeling good. These miles were kind of a blur.

Mile 13.1. On Sunset Strip. Half way done! Feeling awesome. Foot felt good. I still had a lot of energy.

Mile 14-16. My right foot was starting to hurt. I tried to not run on the side of my foot that was hurting. Looking back I think that didn’t made the foot feel any better.

Mile 16-20. I had to run/walk. Foot wasn’t getting any better. It was getting warm.  Every water station I ran by I grabbed some water.

Mile 21-24. Zombies everywhere. People just didn’t have anything left in them. It was now HOT. About 85 degrees. I was exiting the VA at the point. I tried to run when I could. As soon as my foot started to hurt I stopped and walked.

Mile 25-26.2. Almost to the ocean. Coming around the corner I could see the finish line! I decided to sprint the short distance to the finish line. I was done! SO excited. And really, really warm.

After I received my medal, I REALLY needed water at the finish. Unfortunately I didn’t see any close to the finish. I did see a cold, wet towel, which I grabbed. I did eventually find water, but it was a ways away. Ack.

Super excited about finish. Not so excited about my foot. Lots to think about and work on.

After two years of running (well a DNF and a finish) the LA Marathon, I think this will be a yearly race for me. I love the course and the weather!


RECAP: Seattle (Half) Marathon 2013

3 years ago my first race was the Seattle Marathon. I was undertrained and overconfident. Needless to say the race didn’t go as planned, which you can read here.

I woke up at 5:30AM sharp! Got ready and caught the bus  to the Seattle Center. The bus was 5 minutes late, go figure!  I arrived and walked fairly quickly to the start to get into the mass corral. Lucky I arrived with 15 minutes to spare. Though I didn’t have enough time to check in my bag. A friend was nice enough to hold it. I made my way to the corral, but for the life of me couldn’t find an opening through the barricades. Me, and everyone else, climbed over the barricades into the corral. I made it just in time. The National Anthem was starting.

BOOM! The gun goes off. It took a few minutes to get to the start line and for the crowd to open up. I started my Garmin. It was the last time I would look at it until the finish line. Miles 1 -4 were great! Running under the monorail tracks, through downtown and then eventually onto the I-90 Express Way. I was running at a comfortable pace. I felt really good.

After coming off I-90, the course turned onto Lake Washington Blvd. Miles 5-6 are my  favorite miles of the entire course. Running by Lake Washington and the great views of the other side of the lake. This part seemed to go faster than I expected. I didn’t want to run too fast, so I ran behind people who were running a decent pace.

I knew what was coming up. The part of that course I wasn’t looking forward to, miles 7-9. Hills. Big hills. These hills kill my legs. I knew that I couldn’t power up them. I ran to the top of the first hill and had to walk for 30 seconds before running up the next hill. Geesh! Needless to say I was really happy when I was at the top.

Miles 10-12. I was starting to run out of steam. I popped a couple of Cytomax chews. It gave me the boost I needed to get through miles 10 and 11. Mile 12 was tough. I was spent! I knew I ran at race at a faster than I wanted to pace. Did I mention this race was the furtherest I ran since my ITBS injury earlier this year? And it was the first long run for my LA Marathon 2014 training.



The last mile I gave it my all. I knew the finish line was close. Before I knew it, I crossed the finish line. I did it! I got my revenge on the Seattle Half Marathon!

I finished in a faster time than I expected – 2:00:05. I planned on running a lot slower, easier pace and not pushing myself too much. Overall not a bad training run!

LA Marathon 2014 Training – Week #2

Definitely getting back into my

I used my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 instead of the Mizuno Wave Sayonara. I realized at the end of this week that I like running in the Mizunos more. My ankles moved too much in the Adrenalines, which caused my ankles to be very sore this week.

Had to cut my 5 mile run on Saturday short due to the ankle soreness. I rested on Sunday and didn’t  run my scheduled 6 miles to rest my ankles. From this point on it looks like I will be mainly using my Mizunos.

The weather is slowly getting colder and colder. Luckily it has been pretty dry – no rain!

11/19/13 46 3 3 8:56 0:26:49 Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13
11/20/13 34 5.04 5 9:19 0:46:58 Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13
11/21/13 28 3.6 3 9:25 0:33:53 Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13
11/23/13 28 3 5 9:28 0:28:24 Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13
11/24/13 6

LA Marathon 2014 Training – Week #1

The first week of LA Marathon 2014 training is complete!

I have to admit, the first few days were tough. It’s been awhile since I’ve done back-to-back-to-back runs. I’ve taken a different approach to my training this time. I’m running my mid-week runs a lot easier than I have in the past. They are about a 1-2 minutes slower than my normal pace. Pace control isn’t one my strong points, needless to say it’s been a bit of a challenge. Overall  a really good first week.

I will be using two pair of shoes for training – Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 and Mizuno Wave Sayonara.

11/12/13 48 3.05 3 10:02 0:30:38 Mizuno Wave Sayonara
11/13/13 52 5.36 5 9:21 0:50:04 Mizuno Wave Sayonara
11/14/13 46 3.01 3 9:15 0:27:48 Mizuno Wave Sayonara
11/16/13 39 5.07 5 9:16 0:46:59 Mizuno Wave Sayonara
11/17/13 46 8.88 9 8:57 1:19:56 Mizuno Wave Sayonara

Hood To Coast 2014

It’s only two months after Hood to Coast 2013 and I’m already writing about Hood To Coast 2014!

Unfortunately the team I was on this year (Pure Michigan) did not get selected in the lottery for 2014.

Hood to Coast 2014!

Fortunately I was lucky enough to have a friend who needed runners on their team. I will be running Hood To Coast in 2014 on team Need4Speed!

LA Marathon 2014, Revenge!

After I DNF’d, which you can read here, during the 2013 LA Marathon I told myself that I would be back the next year…for revenge!

Registration for the 2014 LA Marathon opened on October 1st at 9:00AM. I was registered at 9:06AM. I’m IN! Training starts in the middle of November.

LA Marathon Registration

Are you running the LA Marathon?

RECAP: Hood To Coast 2013 – Team Pure Michigan

This journey to Hood To Coast all started here.

Quick intro about the team – The team name is Pure Michigan, because all the members of the team (except for Chris and I) have ties to Michigan.

I flew into Portland early Thursday morning the day before Hood To Coast. I was to meet my teammates for the very first time in person. The only person I have met prior was fellow San Francisco Marathon Ambassador, Chris. I met a few of my teammates then it was off to pickup the rental van.

We piled into the van and we’re off to Mount Hood! We made a quick pit stop at Safeway for some food and snacks for the next few days.

We stopped off at a condo in Government Camp (6 miles from Mount Hood) where other teammates were staying. It was nice to meet more  teammates! We were only there for about 10 minutes before we were off to the Timberline Lodge where the rest of the team was staying, including me.

Me (with sun in my eyes) at the start line of Hood To Coast.

Me (with sun in my eyes) at the start line of Hood To Coast.

That night all the  team met up for a late dinner and team meeting. It was decided that we all meet at 10:30am the next morning to decorate the vans.

On Friday morning I woke up at 7:30am, visited the start line to watch teams start and bought a Hood To Coast hoodie. I never buy any merchandise from a race unless the race is really special to me. This was definitely one of those races!

At 10:30am we met in front of the Timbeline Lodge to decorate the vans.  After the vans were looking pretty awesome we headed to start line to wait for our start.

Decorating Vans #1 and #2

Decorating Vans #1 and #2

The first runner took off at 1:15pm. Hood To Coast started for Pure Michigan! We hopped into van #2 and drove to the first major exchange which was the parking lot at a Safeway. Everyone bought some lunch and waited a few hours for runner 6  to arrive.

Our first runner took off at 6pm. We drove to the next exchange and waited for the runner. While we waited I finally met another fellow San Francisco Marathon Ambassador, Holly. Nice to finally meet her! We exchanged runners, drove to next exchange.

I  couldn’t believe this was really finally happening! And I couldn’t stop saying that out loud.

I was a bit skeptical about how my legs would perform during HTC. My IT band wasn’t 100% and my calves were pretty sore the week prior.

Leg 10

It was finally time to start my first leg – 5.12 miles! I was really nervous, but excited to run. It was pretty dark at this point, so I was wearing a headlamp and a reflective with LEDs. Both were required. I stood at the exchange with the rest of the team anxiously awaiting runner 9. I heard the volunteer yell out our team number. I saw our runner get closer. He handed off the slap bracelet. I was off and running! So much emotion happening at this point. THIS was finally happening, I was running Hood To Coast!

My first leg was very interesting. For awhile it was just me, the darkness, and the weird creature noises coming from the bushes. No other runners anywhere to be seen. FINALLY I heard a runner coming up quickly from behind. He started to pass and exclaimed “What a great night for a run! Have a great run!”. Now I really didn’t think the runners would be very talkative. Boy I was wrong! From there on out I pretty much talked to every runner that I ran by. Even if they ran past me, which they usually did, I  said “Nice pace!”. I always thanked the volunteers and spectators when I ran by them. Even gave one of the volunteers a high five! One of the spectators yelled “You’re second!”. I yelled back, “Yeah! Second to last!”. I could hear them laughing as I ran away.

About halfway through my run I heard something on my right. I looked and saw two green eyes. Holy *&^%! I had no idea what it was, but I ran FASTER! I  heard gun shots, which I think was from a gun range and also heard some guys arguing in a backyard.

I really took everything in. I had to keep telling myself “This isn’t a race. Enjoy yourself and surroundings!”.

Overall it was an AMAZING run. Probably the best night run I have ever ran. As I approached the end of my run I could see the exchange. I yelled my number out to the volunteer and they yelled it out to the exchange. I handed off the slap bracelet to runner 11. I felt AWESOME!

Exchange 12

Runner 11 ran, finish her run and passed off to runner 12. After runner 12 finished we decided that we needed food before we fell asleep at the next major exchange. We drove all over St. Helens, Oregon looking for some food. EVERYTHING was closed! We finally found a 24 hour Mexican restaurant (Muchas Gracias) thanks to a billboard. I can honestly say that I don’t remember how the food tasted. At this point I just wanted to fall asleep. Everyone ate, hopped back into the minivan and made our way to the next major exchange.

We arrived around 1am at the exchange. Me and two other teammates found a nice spot in the field with other fellow runner zombies. I initially fell asleep, but kept waking up every 15mins or so. I had to use the restroom really bad. I didn’t want to leave my comfy sleeping bag. Plus I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find my way back. Around 2am (I think) it started to rain! I covered my head with the sleeping bag and kept on sleeping. I woke up around 3:40am, rolled up the sleeping bag and made my way to the minivan. All of my teammates were standing there ready  to send off the next runner. I decided to finally use the Honey Bucket. I was in a groggy daze at this point. It still seemed like a dream!

We did more of the same that morning: Drive to the exchange, drop off runner, pick up runner. Repeat!

Leg 22

Is it my turn to run again?! Out of the three legs this is the leg that I was not looking forward to running. It was about 1.75 miles uphill and 5.06 miles all downhill for a total of 6.81 miles. I wasn’t sure how my IT band would handle the uphill.

We drove up the exchange and the first thing we all noticed was this steep hill all the runners were running up. Do I have to run up that?! Wasn’t expecting that! I quickly hopped out of the van, because I had to use the Honey Bucket and runner 9 was going to be at the exchange very soon! I used the restroom and waited for the runner. Before I knew it, there he was! I was almost caught off guard. I grabbed the slap bracket and made my way up the steep hill from hell.

The steep hill wasn’t too bad. I was glad that was the only steep part of this run. I made it to the top of the hill, which was about 1.50 – 2 miles of uphill to climb. My IT band was screaming at me the entire way up. It seemed like it took forever. I was so excited to be at the top of the hill. It really took a lot out of me. I knew from here it was all downhill. I FLEW down the 5 miles of hill. I talked to every runner that I ran by on the way down. Everyone I talked to was in good spirits. My team drove by and yelled. I was so happy to see them! Luckily they caught me on the way down the hill and not on the way up. I looked pretty terrible on the way up!

I handed off the slap bracelet to runner 11 at the exchange. The leg that I wasn’t looking forward to actually was a pretty good run!

Exchange 30

We decided just to head straight to the exchange to eat and rest up. We arrived at exchange about 3-4 hours early. A teammate and I immediately headed to the food stand to order some burgers. I’m pretty sure we ate those burgers in under 3 mins.

Exchange 30 traffic jam.

Exchange 30 traffic jam.

As I walked back to the food area to buy some waters I noticed Lonnie’s (who I know from twitter) team van! It was great to finally meet him!

Everyone pretty much lounged around until it was time for runner 7 to run again.

Leg 34

My last leg and shortest of my legs at 3.36 miles. It looked like an entirely flat leg. Right!  I waited at the exchange for runner 9. He was flying along his leg. I knew he was going to be there very soon. Before I knew it, there he was. SLAP! And off I go!

My leg started off pretty flat. Then some hills appeared. What the? Flat course? Nope! I really wasn’t mentally prepared for the hills. I was prepared for a nice flat leg! I was pretty fatigued and hot, but I powered through the hills. I talked to the runners along the way. They also were wondering where this flat course was!

I was about 2 miles in when I noticed two girls on the side of the road. They had a wheelchair with a bin on top filled with water and apples. One of the girls asked if I wanted to cool off. I splashed my face with  the water. I had no idea what other grimy hands or faces had used the water previously. I was so hot that I really didn’t care!

I could see the exchange! I was almost there! I used the last of my energy the last .36 miles. I handed off the slap bracelet to runner 11. I WAS DONE! Words can’t even describe how I felt as this point. I just ran Hood To Coast!

Seaside here we come!

It was finally time for our runner 12 to run the home stretch to the finish line at Seaside! The entire team waited in the holding chute at the finish line waiting for our last running. There she was! As soon as we saw here running toward us the entire team cheered! We all walked through the start line, which was pretty congested. We got our medals and took the official finish line team picture.

We celebrated with beers on the beach! Some even dipped themselves and their medals into the Pacific.

Needless to say, I had an AMAZING time during Hood To Coast. It was the most challenging and fun races that I have ever ran. I was lucky enough to have the nicest, most amazing teammates a runner could ever have!

Hood To Coast BIB and Medal

Hood To Coast BIB and Medal

Giveaway: Win an entry to the Berkeley Half Marathon!

Berkeley Half Marathon

What exactly is the Berkeley Half Marathon?

It is a 13.1 mile point-to-point race route that was created to show off Berkeley’s favorite spots – from the city center to the UC Berkeley Campus and the beautiful waterfront and marina, this 13.1 mile race will not disappoint. The route is flat, fast, and net-downhill, so it’s perfect for a new PR or tune-up before your next big event.

Course map is here!

When and where is the Berkeley Half Marathon?

It is on Sunday November 24, 2013 at 8:00am. The race is in Berkeley (duh!), California.

Now, how do you win an entry to this awesome race?!

Click here: A Rafflecopter giveaway!

Giveaway starts at 12:00AM PST on August 13, 2013 and ends at 12:00AM PST on August 21, 2013. Winner will be announced on August 21, 2013.

Hood to Coast is a few weeks away. What to bring?

Hood to Coast

Hood to Coast is a few weeks away. I’m making a list of what I need to bring with me. It’s never too early to plan. Plus I love making lists. Oh, and buying new gear.

Hood to Coast has a great recommended packing list here. I used their list and added/removed items to make my own list.

□ Three sets of running clothes
□ Running shoes – Hard to run without my running shoes!
□ Change of clothes for beach
□ Gloves for running – Just in case, but most likely won’t nee them.
□ Sandals – Bringing a pair of flip flops.
□ Glasses – Can’t run without my glasses. I will run the wrong way!
□ Towel
Sleeping bag/small pillow – Will just use a hoodie or rolled up clothes.
□ Toiletries (Deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, etc.)
□ Reusable water bottles – Have plenty to bring!
□ Reflective vest (for nighttime legs) – Recently bought the Amphipod Xinglet Flash LED
□ Plastic Bags/Ziploc bags for wet clothes
□ Handy Wipes, antibacterial
□ Extra Batteries for headlamp
□ Cell phone/charger
□ Petzl headlamp
□ Sunscreen
□ Camera/charger – So my iPhone doesn’t die taking a bizillion pictures 😉
□ GoPro Camera plus head mount and cables – It will be fun to document the journey!
□ Hoodie  for the “cold” nights
□ Compression sleeves – A must for recovery.
□ Headphones to listen to tunes between legs
□ Backpack to hold all my stuff
□ Arm strap to hold iPhone while I run

Cytomax was generous to donate a lot of nutrition for the team. They are the best! Thank you Cytomax!

I’m sure stuff not on this list will make its way into my bag. Never fails.

San Francisco Marathon 2013 Recaps

Usually I would be posting a recap of the San Francisco Marathon. However I was unable to run it this year due to an IT band issue. Instead I’m posting the recaps of my fellow AWESOME San Francisco Ambassadors.

First Half Marathon Recaps

Heather Gonzalez – San Francisco Marathon First Half – Race Recap


Second Half Marathon Recaps

Alisyn Gularte – #SFM2013

Paulette Ference – SF 2nd Half Marathon Race Report

Full Marathon Recaps

Krissy Murphy – WORTH THE HURT: The 2013 San Francisco Marathon Recap

Christopher Malenab – Race Recap: 2013 Wipro San Francisco Marathon

Alyssa Yell – Race Recap: The San Francisco Marathon, take 3

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