Surfs Up Dude

  • Disclaimer: I received free entry to Surf City 10 Sundown race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Sun down surfs up! Surf City 10 is breaking all the rules, not only do you have the opportunity to run along the beautiful beaches of Huntington Beach, but you get to do it at sundown!! I do not know many other races that are at night so this will be really special. And with the longest distance being 10 miles, you have plenty of time afterwards to party and celebrate your accomplishments at the finishers party! The three distance are 5K, 10K and a 10 miler. The course goes along a closed down Pacific Highway 1 – a historic and beautiful highway along the coast of California.

Want to join me? Thought so! Click here to register and make sure you use code “SC10BR10” good for 10% off registration!!!

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Just Survive

I was not prepared for the amount of hills that the Run Rock N Roll San Diego course had in store for me. There was one moment where it was just rolling hills…they seemed never ending. But then you get to military mile where we are reminded of those who sacrificed so much so we had the freedom to run and do something we love. A mile of photos of brave men and women who gave up their lives followed by flags being held by volunteers and soldiers alike. It was a truly beautiful and emotional moment during the 13.1 mile race.

I had the pleasure of sharing a room with Cassie, another BibRavePro and that was so much fun! We ate, we took selfies, got to know each other, enjoyed some cookies and so much sleeeeeeppp haha we had both traveled by car about 5+ hours to make sure we had arrived at the race expo on time. No amount of coffee could help us and the pasta we had for dinner put us in to food coma. Staying with Cassie made waking up at 4am a tad bit easier and dealing with a lost Uber driver less stressful. We were able to meet up with the other BibRavePro runners, Mai, Nicole and Fallon and get a pre-race photo!

Cassie and I were also able to finish within minutes of each other without knowing and meet up for post race photos with Mai, unfortunately we were not able to meet up with the rest of the ladies.

But first want to say that I had a blast during this run. I was in pain, I was purely surviving at one point but I had a blast. What I didn’t enjoy was how massive the corrals were and how I was put in corral 32 even though I entered an approximate 2:30 finish time. I ended up going into a different corral shhh! But honestly I do not see how much of a difference it makes when there are thousands of runners participating and everyone is crowded around each other, eager for the race to begin. Another frustration was after I finished running through “military mile” there were a group of runners, to remain nameless, who after already being disqualified, cut through the gates and joined the race, were loud and obnoxious and made it known they had already been disqualified. However, even though they had been disqualified, I spotted them in the beer garden line with medals! I believe the Run Rock N Roll crew and volunteers need to ensure this does not happen again, where disqualified runners receive medals.

Other than those two mishaps, Run Rock N Roll always throws a great party race, and wow did the San Diego community show up! There were plenty of San Diegoians out supporting with their chairs, signs, music and alcohol! There were party bars set up with shots of tequila, beer, mimosas..now I did not participate but the people that did looked like they were having a blast. I just personally prefer to stay away from the alcohol until after I finish the race.

Music, party, alcohol, thousands of excited runners, medals, the BibRaveCrew ladies and a new runner friend, the weekend ended up being short but a blast!

**No professional photos as Run Rock N Roll photos are not free**

Recover the Delicious Way

Disclaimer: I received an Ultima Replenisher to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

We have all been there, you finish a long run or a hard workout and you need the electrolytes and to replenish what you lost but still want it to be good for you and to taste good. This is where Ultima Replenisher comes in. With several different flavors there is a taste for everyone. And good for you? You betcha! The products have ZERO sugar, ZERO calories and ZERO artificial flavors. Add in 3 of the most important electrolytes: 100mg of Magnesium, 250mg of Potassium and 55mg of Sodium to help you rehydrate and bounce back to the badass you are! Oohh also, and these are huge, Ultima Replenisher is Certified Vegan and Autism approved! How amazing is that? A company that truly thinks of everything and makes sure every consumer is able to enjoy their product and how can you not want to support a company that puts you first?

As soon as I received the product, I rinsed out the super cute water bottle and mixed in the lemonade flavored refresher and was pleasantly surprised when it tasted as if I had made fresh squeezed lemonade. I also tried the grape flavor and not being the biggest grape flavored anything besides actual grapes I found myself wanting more, which is great since the product is completely natural. My mom was curious about the product as well since she cannot drink plain water. She enjoyed the lemonade the most and I have found her sneaking some of my lemonade flavor for herself.

Personally, I have zero complaints about this amazing delicious product except that I did experience some chest tightness when consuming the product. However, there were many times when I would have my Ultima Replinsher before coffee or after since I found myself wanting to drink it throughout the day, not just after a workout. So I am not sure if it was the product itself or mixing it with coffee.

But other than my personal experience, as I have not heard of others having this issue, I highly recommend this product for all of your hydrating and replenishing needs.

You can find out more about this product and learn how to purchase at Ultima Replenisher

Saturdays are for Race Expos

Race expos are always a great time, pick up your bib, get your t-shirt and all the goodies and be surrounded by thousands of people who are just as crazy as you are. Today was no exception.

After leaving my hometown of Turlock, CA at 6am to make the 6+ hour drive to San Diego for the Run Rock N Roll San Diego race expo, I was tired but excited to meet up with another BibRavePro, Cassie Balzarini (cass_ontherun) and to make our way through the chaos that is the Run Rock n Roll expo. One highlight, besides meeting Cassie, was finding my name on the race t-shirt. Run Rock n Roll has begun printing names on boards as well as t shirts based on the race distance and your last name. My name is never on anything, it has gotten to a point where I don’t even look. Especially after my name was left out of the list at the 2018 Run Rock n Roll Las Vegas list. So of course I was beyond excited to find my name that I purchased a shirt that was three sizes too big for me just to have the momento.

Always plenty of booths and vendors and goodies to try. We laughed, got to know each other and tried some questionable tasting protein shake and then made our way to dinner in downtown San Diego.

I wish I would have gotten a photo of the pesto alfredo pasta at The Old Spaghetti Factory because it was amazing!!! There are plenty of shops, restaurants and bars in downtown San Diego and the weather ended up being perfect for a night out but we were both so exhausted from driving that we decided to call it a night. Maybe next year we will have more energy and time. Maybe even catch a Padres game! But for now just relaxing in our hotel with some of the best cookies around and about to call it a night because 4am comes way too early!

One last thing, I almost forgot, my night before the race flat lay

My flatlay includes:

My BibRave singlet

Lululemon leggings with all the pockets

BibRave buff that I will probably use as a towel

My Knockaround shades

AfterShokz Trekz Air (The gentleman working the AfterShokz booth after I told him that I was looking for a charger because I forgot mine at home and mine were dead, he gave me HIS charger free of charge!! Elliott you are a god send and a lifesaver, I really hope they give you a raise over there at AfterShokz

Brooks Running Run Rock n Roll Limited Edition Marathon series Launch 5s (I purchased a new pair today, cannot wait to break them out for marathon training).

GU Energy Gels in the best flavors

Forever21 sports bra

Good night everyone and good luck racing tomorrow!!!

Rockin and Rollin to San Diego

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Run Rock N Roll San Diego race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

It is that time of year, Run Rock N Roll is back in San Diego and this race has been on my bucket list for some time now, thanks to BibRave I finally get to check it off.

Run Rock N Roll races are always the most fun, full of energy, biggest support and best locations. Getting to run along beachside is a favorite of mine and there are not many beaches that are as gorgeous as San Diego so this race should be a major treat. Another treat is that I am rooming with another BibRavePro for the first time and she seems like the sweetest girl ever so this trip is for sure going to make some of the best memories.

Now back to the race, I have not looked at the course map, I tend to not do that and then I’m always surprised when I realize how hilly the course is, and according to a fellow runner friend, this course is all about survival for the first 6-7 miles. Lovely. Thankfully I am using this race as a fun race with no expectations or goals. Just going to go out and have fun and see where my fitness level is going into marathon training.

So no expectations, beautiful San Diego coastline, BibRavePros along side me means 13.1 miles of nonstop fun, can’t wait!!!

Running Birthday Wish List

I feel as though I am twelve again making a birthday wish list but then again at 12 years old I was so not into running, especially not running marathons…no thank you!

But now I am about to begin training for my 2nd full marathon and have my 8th (I believe) half marathon next weekend so naturally I had to scour Amazon for all the running goodies and compile a list just in case any of my lovely followers wanted to purchase something for me (Birthday is June 7th). Just kidding, you don’t have to but I mean, if you want to by all means…..

  1. 26 Marathons
  2. Orange Mud
  3. APL
  4. Brooks
  5. Run Fast Eat Slow
  6. Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow
  7. Race Distance Wine Glass
  8. Race Medal Display
  9. NormaTec

**Will be adding to this list….Stay tuned!

Run Like Its A Party

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Silicon Valley half marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

You ever have one of those races where you are absolutely exhausted because you were not able to sleep the night before but yet you still end up having an absolutely fun race even when you are exhausted and sore? That was the Silicon Valley half marathon for me. I ate late which upset my stomach and on top of nerves I could not sleep. I slept for just about 2 hours which is not ideal the night before a race. However, as soon as I arrived the energy made the start line feel more like a party than a race start line. It was a Represent Running race after all and they sure know how to throw a party, I mean a race. Plus with Meb Keflezighi a co-founder of the Silicon Valley race and pacing the 1:30 group, there was a special feeling in the air. We were blessed with a starting line motivation speech from Meb himself and then we were off. The course was 13.1 miles but honestly felt longer, plenty of straightaways through parks and beautiful neighborhoods to make the course feel never ending. But I had a genius idea, I would listen to Rachel Hollis’ book, “Girl, Stop Apologizing” on Audible because she is hilarious, a runner herself and goodness gracious if she can’t get you to want to change your life then I am not sure who can.

This race showed how amazing the running community truly is. So much support for each other not letting another runner quit and making them push just a little bit harder. Always cheering and getting you to dig a little deeper.

And then suddenly you are at the hill before the straightaway to the finish. You are pushing with all your might and trying to ignore the aching pain in your knees because you forgot to tape it prior to the race. And then there is your dad cheering you on and joining you on the race course. Only for about 10 feet but it is the best 10 feet of any race you have ever done. He recently got into running, just mainly treadmill and for short periods of time but it meant so much to me for him to do that. I was able to finish with a huge smile on my face and that triumphs everything!

Having your family support you in everything you do, including wanting to run 13.1 miles…for fun…is huge and helps push me when things are tough.

The finishing zone was a maze but a blast! Food trucks, booths, thousands of runners smiling, relaxing and rehashing the race. I was even able to try out the Boston Marathon 26.2 brew – which is delicious by the way. But the highlight of the finishers festival was being able to speak to Meb one-on-one about what it took to run a 1:30 half marathon and have him sign my medal!!!

I will cherish this medal forever

Is this a race I will do again? IN A HEARTBEAT and you know I will be chasing after that 1:30 PR!

Thanks again to BibRave and RepresentRunning for the opportunity to run this race! Cant wait to do it all again next year!

Let’s Go Streaking

Everyone is doing it! No, not that type of streaking….it’s a RUN STREAK guys!! Join the BibRavePro team as we run every day from May 1st through May 31st…Just run (or walk) one mile every single day and log it on Strava, that is all you have to do. It is really easy and a great way to discover your love of running if you are a newbie or get that mileage count up if you are a novice.

Simply follow the link below to join the BibRave Run Club and get ready to go streaaaakkiinnnggg!!

https://www.strava.com/clubs/bibrave

Also, clothing is very highly recommended it, everyone thanks you. Of course if you are running alone at home on your treadmill then that is all you and just…go you!

Expo Fun

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Silicon Valley Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outBibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

The Silicon Valley Half Marathon #SVHalfBR was small but the Represent Running Crew knows how to put on an expo! From the music, vibe, friendly vendors, ease of receiving my bib and runner goodies which include a 1/4 zip up long sleeve shirt and a Decathlon camelback back pack that I cannot wait to use. I also “won” (by won I mean I spun a wheel and landed on ball but received a hat instead) an OrangeTheory hat. Is it bad if I rock this hat even though I have never attended an OrangeTheory class? Also received some bath salts and a recovery lotion that shh! has some CBD in it.

Expo goodies

After visiting all the booths, I wanted to walk around one more time. Because I mean, Meb Keflezighi was there, how could I pass up an opportunity to meet him again. Yes, I have met Olympian, past Boston Marathoner winner Meb Keflezighi before. It was at the 2017 Run Rock N Roll Las Vegas expo and he was just as sweet and kind and inspiring then as he is now. I was in luck although I do feel bad because the poor guy was trying to leave, but I caught him right before he left the expo. See photo at top of this post. I am looking forward to hopefully running with him some tomorrow as he paces the 1:30 group. Am I a 1:30 half marathon runner? Hahahaha definitely….NOT! But when you have an opportunity to be paced by one of the greatest that has ever done it, you take that opportunity and push yourself! I might die, but it will be oh so worth it.

After the expo, my pops and I (this has been a tradition for us to go to my expos and races together) decided to drive down to Santana Row for some appetizers, beer and people watching. We browsed the menus of all of the great restaurants in the area but we finally decided on Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub. Dad had fish and chips, I had calamari and we enjoyed some delicious Irish beer before we walked around the area. Post race tomorrow I highly recommend checking out Santana Row for post race fuel! I am hoping that Yard House will be open early for some Sunday brunch before I head home.

Calamari and Irish Beer hit the spot

Looking forward to having an amazing and fun race tomorrow and hoping it does not get too warm since the race starts at 8:00am!! Good luck to everyone racing tomorrow, remember to dig deep and remember your why!

Silicon Valley Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Silicon Valley Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

You mean to tell me there is a race in Downtown San Jose where Olympian Meb Keflezighi, who is a founding investor in said race, is pacing the 1:30 half marathon runners and you are not signed up??? What??? Okay okay how about the fact that runners of the half marathon not only get a BACKPACK but also a 1/4 zip up long sleeve shirt?? Alright how do you feel about food trucks? How about literally running after said food trucks in a 5K that does not begin until noon? Do I have your attention now? Thought so!

If all of this has caught your attention, you need to sign up for the Silicon Valley half marathon happening on April 28th in Downtown San Jose! Runners chasing after PRs, beautiful San Jose, food, beer and all the post race festivities PLUS MEB KEFLEZIGHI! How often do you get to say you ran a race with Meb??? Come on, that right there should be enough to want to sign up!

And when you do go and sign up (<<—CLICK) make sure you use code #OaklandRave19 good for 10% off your registration fees!! HURRY! Registration ends on April 26th!!!

I’ll Race Ya to the Wine

Wine and beer and all the food. But first you have to run 13.1 very hilly miles that take you through a journey of vineyards and a 4 mile park and all the hills. Are you down? First we will start with a fun warm up directed by some very cheerful people who did not miss their morning coffee and then line up at the start line. Music, excitement, nerves and runners eager to cross the start line so they can start their Garmins (or in my case, Apple Watch, I’m a rare one I know).

Finally, its time to take off. And those nerves I mentioned? Yep, they are there in full force! Not to be TMI but the morning bathroom stop was…..unsuccessful. But I think it was just me being worried about ALL.THE.HILLS. Good lord I did not realize how hilly this race was. I never paid attention to Livermore, I am usually just passing through on my way to the bay so it never occurred to me that it would be almost as hilly as Honolulu. ALMOST! There was a break from the hills and it was 4 plus miles through what appeared to be an abandoned park that you could tell was suffering from the affects of the California drought. There was a warning of wildlife in the park but I chose to not read it, partly because ignorance is bliss and I did not need to have fear be part of my race along with all the things that go through your mind while racing (side note: what do you think about when you are racing? I’m curious. Please share below). As I was going through the park, I realized that if there was going to be any type of wildlife, all the runners more than likely scared them away. I mean, they are as scared of us as we are of them. I was very uncomfortable but kept trying to push through. I was not going to let nerves get in my way with this race.

Then I made a friend. This seems to be a common theme with my races which is one of the THOUSANDS of reasons I love the running community. We became friends over the grueling race. Thank god for Laura though because she had done the race before and was able to warn me of the 2 miles of hills ahead, but after that it was all DOWNHILL! Best news a runner can hear right? “It’s all downhill from here!” Well, that and there is free beer and wine at the finish line! We continued through the hills and “beauty” that was Livermore, running past golf courses and wineries. Running and walking and laughing and bonding over race stories.

Before I knew it we were on mile 10 and then 12 and then the last mile. FINALLY! Almost there. And then we finished under 3 hours. Which unbeknownst to me was apparently the time cut off for the race. 3 hour race cut off? Crazy! Got our medals, wine glass, shared IG names and were off. There was a wine and beer festival free to runners, just provide your complimentary wine glass for completing the race. This was pretty rad being able to try out wineries that you may have not had the opportunity to try out. Only downfall is that it was not made big enough for the amount of runners and their family members or loved ones to maneuver around the festival. Lines were long and people were waiting in lines even though they had just got out of the same line and had a full cup of beer. Which the last two parts I know the race cannot control. Perhaps a more spacious area for the post race festival? The location was ideal though because it was right smack in the middle of Downtown Livermore so you had access to all the downtown restaurants. I ended up back at Hops and Sessions for a beer because I had to have the official Livermore Valley Half marathon Runner’s IPA to commemorate the event.

Overall, the event was great. Was not the most scenic race I have ran but I would run it again with more training on hills of course. So what do you say? Follow me to the finish wine in 2020?

Follow me to the Finish Wine

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Livermore Valley half marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Race day is one sleep away yet I am wide awake, might have been the margarita I had earlier but the nerves are starting to kick in. You know the nerves, the nerves where you start thinking about everything that could go wrong, scared you are going to forget something, but also so excited to get to that start line.

The Livermore Valley half marathon is tomorrow and this is a race that is going to be a big party, I can already tell. I mean shoot, the expo today (one of three) was at a taproom with self-serve beer called Hops and Sessions and the expo on Thursday was at Altamont Beer Works – a brewery located in Livermore with the launch of the official beer of the Livermore Valley half marathon! The second expo on Friday was held at the Sunrise Mountain Sports shop in Livermore. The people of the Livermore Valley half marathon think outside of the box when it comes to the expo. They create these locations where it is easy to get in and out but also makes you want to stay and enjoy a beer, good food, shop and enjoy the company of fellow runners. No convention center or what have you where you have to maneuver around hundreds of people, simple, quick, easy and fun!

In all seriousness, I am very excited about tomorrow’s race, nervous yes, but excited. 13.1 has quickly turned into my favorite race distance, enough of a challenge but not long enough to kill you, at the very least you will pass out first. And if I do pass out, please pause my apple watch, thank you so much! And besides the party, I am looking forward to pushing myself on an unfamiliar course and making new friends and memories. I can already tell this is going to be a great race.

Okay, I have to go now, need to sleep so I can be nice and ready for tomorrow!

Livermore Valley Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Livermore Valley Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRavePro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!”

Racing, medals, vineyards, wine and beer! What could be better?

The Livermore Valley Half Marathon has it all! The race course winds through beautiful Livermore vineyards and ends at a food festival of runners dreams! Enjoy free alcoholic beverage and food as well as your complimentary wine glass with your medal post race 🍷

I’m so excited for this race, it’s a new area and atmosphere for me that I’m looking forward to experiencing! Hope to see you all there!

Make sure to use code #BRLIVVIP good for 10% off your race registration and join me in Livermore!

#LivermoreBR #BibChat #BibRave

Race to the Row

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Represent Running 408K San Jose race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I was so hyped for this race, I am not even going to lie. And being able to run this race representing my Bib Rave Pro family was a very special extra bonus! I have had my eye on this race for a couple of years, that is once I learned that it was not actually 408 kilometers (which would be equivalent to 656.612 miles -NO THANK YOU!) But the race is actually just about 5 miles or 8K! The 408 I believe stems from one of the San Jose area codes. But this is very important when telling people about this race because if you don’t inform them that it is actually only 5 miles, you are going to get a lot of “you are insane, man!” looks and nobody wants that. Unless running that many miles is your type of thing, then have it! But not for me.

I live about 2 hours away from the race location but didn’t want to have to pay for an expensive hotel room by myself. So I made the drive up two separate days but really worth it. I was lucky enough to arrive at the expo at the very beginning, before it got crowded and lines got long. Was able to park, receive my bib, get my free shirt and my picture taken all within 10 minutes! RACE EXPO RECORD!!

Having never been to Santana Row before, which is where the 408K San Jose race expo was held, I wanted to shop and brunch but unfortunately nothing was open. So we piled back into the car and headed home. This allowed me to run, rest and prepare for rest day! Which included my first #BibRavePro #flatlay of course!

Because what is better than a BibRave singlet right? And if you think I’m crazy for wearing shorts for a February race where Mother Nature was threatening rain, you must not be a runner! Sure, you want to layer, which is why I have the hoodie but you don’t want to be so layered that you are dying from being so hot. Also, it is so much fun that my Limited Edition #BrooksRunning #RunHappyRNR Launch5s matches literally everything!! (I will do a review on the Launch 5s soon!

Race morning was early! Got up at about 4:30, left at about 5:00AM! All I had was one simple cup of coffee for you know, energy and that pre race poop. What? We all do it! The drive was a breeze, I didn’t sleep surprisingly. Pre race environment was electrifying! Music, dancing, cheering and runners everywhere!! The DJ was dropping all of the current hits mixed in with the classic tracks. 7:45 the countdown begins and everyone is lining up in their proper corrals, I was the turquoise corral so I was in the first one. As we are getting prepared to start, the most beautiful rainbow appeared, getting brighter as we counted down.

Also, while the national anthem was being played, completely unplanned a plane does a flyover as it comes in to land at the San Jose airport. Everything went perfectly during the start of the race! And the rainbow stayed with us the entire race and it didn’t rain until I was back in the car headed home!

Waiting patiently, setting the apple watch, getting the playlist right, all of a sudden a 10 second countdown. Then 5…4…3…2…GO! Ooohhh I love big races but also so many people to maneuver around to get your running pace going. But the energy is still high and the race is going to happen no matter what so you can’t stop.

A mistake I made? Not viewing the race course. Wasn’t expecting the hills. They weren’t major just an under the overpass hill but were definitely unexpected. There were people of all ages and skill levels. We ran through the back roads then through the gorgeous residential area where I fell in love with all the houses! The course was fairly easy besides a couple of hills. I even tried for a mid run selfie

Although the race was easy, I did find myself stopping a lot but I would keep going a few seconds later. I’m slowly working on becoming more of a runner than a runner/walker. It’s a process.

Coming into the finish line in Santana Row was a party! So many people cheering and celebrating, which was a huge difference from the actual race itself where the cheering squads were few and far between.

Mariachi bands throughout the last mile and being a welcoming committee as you cross the finish line. Unfortunately, the photographer caught me mid stopping of my video…lol but who really ever gets a great finish line photo right? RIGHT?

Lol I told ya!! But I’m still proud of it, I don’t care!!!

And of course I have to include the obligatory finish line medal photo:

The finish line path led you to the finish line festival where there was water, bananas, treats and chocolate milk! Backdrops for photo ops and Amazon passing out shirts, towels and arm bands with a pocket!

After we made our way through the festival, we headed to the car to put on some warm clothes and then back out for some food! We were lucky enough that the Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse was right above our parking garage BECAUSE they were treating all runners and their families/partners, etc.. to complimentary mimosas or cocktails and a delicious and juicy plate of steak bites, linguica bites and I believe some pork wrapped in bacon. HEAVEN! So delicious! I wanted to stay for brunch but they didn’t open until 11:30 and it was only about 9. So we decided to just get some Starbucks and head home. Oh man that was a great idea in theory. The one and only Starbucks in Santana Row was crammed packed with runners, so that was a no go.

3 or so hours later, I had gone home, showered and was finally eating at my favorite brunch spot at home (Turlock, CA) at Loza’s Wine and Crepes – so good! I had what was supposed to be a bagel breakfast burger but the toasted bread was still good with a strawberry mimosa of course! Photo below – try to not drool! Oh and yes, I did eventually get my starbucks for those wondering. Just about 4 hours later but better late than never?

After all the traveling, the racing and festivities, I was ready for bed but there was a game on and I somehow stayed awake through the entire game, don’t ask me how!

All in all, it was a great race weekend and I am excited to run the Silicon Valley Half Marathon (10K and 5K) on April 28th, just another race included in the Represent Running bay area races challenges! Check out the 408k.com website for more information.

Oh and are you wondering my results? See below!

Daytona Beach Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I’m promoting Daytona Beach Half Marathon event as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!”

Running Daytona Beach half marathon this weekend? Wondering what to expect? Well you are in for one awesome treat with this sunny winter race! Ok so there is a high chance of rain but what is more fun than running in the rain? RACING IN THE RAIN ON THE DAYTONA 500 SPEEDWAY! Yes, you get to race on the speedway, how amazing is that? I really wish I was able to participate in this race, because this sounds like a pretty epic moment, especially if you are a NASCAR fan!

Also, just for being a runner, you get all of the perks! I personally love when races put together perks for the runners as a thank you for joining them for another year. You can find all of the Runners Perks here, they include: Free beer and food per legal age, a complimentary finishers towel, and a FREE general admissions ticket to the Advance Auto Parts Clash and Daytona 500 Qualifying by Kroger on Sunday, February 10th, to name a few. Pretty rad right? Get to start and finish on the speedway, complimentary food and beer and a free ticket to watch some NASCAR all for the price of registration? Sounds pretty rad to me!

Lastly, just want to say stay dry, run fast and have a blast! Cannot wait to see all the photos!

Zwift Virtual Running Pod

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift Virtual Running Pod to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I, like most runners, am not a fan of running on the dreadmill, I mean treadmill. I have tried to watch Netflix or even YouTube videos but nothing truly held my attention. And then an opportunity to test out and review a really cool gadget called the Zwift Virtual Running pod. Essentially, the pod clips onto your running shoe laces and you connect it to the Zwift Running app on your smartphone or tablet and answer a few questions, select a location and then off you go. Sounds pretty easy right? And for the most part it was. The most difficult part for me was trying to figure out how to take apart the pod to insert the battery and then connect the pod to my shoe. Unfortunately the directions were not very clear but I did watch some youtube videos that assisted me with preparing the pod for use. Once I had the pod attached to my shoe and selected running on the app, I was ready to go. I was surprised as to how well the pod stayed on my shoe and did not budge whatsoever. I was worried it would not stay on my shoe or come loose but it held really well. I only did a couple of miles as I was not feeling the best and wanted to test the product out on a short distance. The scenery and visuals were really spot on and there were even background noises of cheering, cars and birds chirping, I really felt as though I was running in Central Park, NYC.

I am more of a run/walk type of runner and the only major downfall I found with the app is that when you slowed down under a certain pace, your running aviator would stop until you built back up to that pace. I do feel it would be effective to have an option to run/walk and not worry that once you begin to walk your effort and progress will not be tracked.

On the screen where it shows you running, there are a few different stats going on at once. You can track your effort, your mile splits, your average pace and the leaderboard as well as your miles per hour, distance and elevation. These stats are great way to track your progress without having to rely on a treadmill.

I found this product to be very useful in wanting me to run on the treadmill as well as feeling as though I am running in locations that I may never be able to run in. Now if only it could do the running for me.

Super Sunday

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to 408K San Jose race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Super Sunday! Super Bowl Sunday! Sunday Runday! Let’s be real, you were going to run Sunday morning so you are ready to go for all the festivities Super Sunday brings so why not join me in San Jose for the 408K presented by Represent Running? And no, it is not an ultra, it is actually just about 5 miles. Perfect distance for a recovery Sunday run. The race finishes at Santana Row so post race you can stroll down and find the perfect spot for that post race brunch and beer or mimosa! This is another race I have had my eye on so I am excited to join my fellow #BibRavePros and have a blast!

Want to sign up? Use code #BIBRAVE to get 10% off registration and see you on February 3rd at the finish line! #408KBR #BIBRAVEPRO

Giant Race San Francisco

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to Giant Race San Francisco as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I am so excited to have the opportunity to run the San Francisco Giant Race and participate in the Lou Seal Challenge and run both the 5K and the half marathon throughout San Francisco on September 8, 2019 courtesy of BibRave and being a BibRavePro! The race takes you all throughout beautiful San Francisco and if the stunning views and bistling city views don’t get you, perhaps the opportunity to finish the race ON the San Francisco Giants AT&T Park field might! (I know the name is now Oracle but it will always be AT&T Park to me.) Yes! You get full access to the same field that is home to Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik, to name only a few! Also, when participating in the Lou Seal Challenge (completing two race distances in one day, whether it be the half marathon and 5K or the 5K and the 10K) you receive an EXTRA MEDAL ALONG WITH YOUR SINGLE RACE MEDALS! Because let’s get real, we do it for the bling! Plus you have all of beautiful San Francisco at your fingertips, and may be able to catch a game later on that day as well.

Want to sign up? Thought so! Go to GiantRace.com and register using CODE #WERUNSF19 and get $10 OFF registration!! Go now!! Hurry!!!!

I have an announcement

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to 408K San Jose race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I have big news! You will be seeing me doing a lot more races and promotions this year all because I am officially a…..BIB RAVE PRO AMBASSADOR!

BibRave is a website where runners can post and review races they have participated in or are planning in participating in. You can read my reviews here!

Wanting to be a BibRavePro Ambassador is the reason why I began this blog to be honest. I had applied back in July and sadly was not selected. However that did light a fire in me to be more active on their social media accounts, engage more, build a following and this blog. Well it all worked because I am starting 2018 off as a BibRave Pro! Being a BibRave Pro means I gain the possible opportunity to participate in races for free in exchange for promotion across all social media accounts! As well as promote products exclusive to runners.

Pretty exciting stuff, eh?!

My first race I am participating in will be the 408K in San Jose on February 3rd – yes, Super Bowl Sunday! 5 miles of beautiful San Jose and finishing the race at Santana Row for some delicious brunch before the big game! Plus, the race is a Represent Runners race so you know it will be a party! (You can learn more about Represent Runners and try to not get FOMO from all the fun they have at their IG:@representrunning)

Register at this link: http://run408k.com/ using code: BIBRAVE for 10% off registration!!!

Want to join me and run the 408K in San Jose?

If you register please comment below and let me know so we can plan a meet up!

Sport and Exercise Psycholgoy

I have begun my late start class at the local junior college, and I am very excited to dive into this subject. The class is Sport and Exercise Psychology, although it is not directly linked to my major, I am looking forward to learning more about the “mind of the athlete” and what drives athletes to succeed and to meet other athletes in the area. I will update about the class as much as possible if you guys would like to hear more about it. This is only the first week so not much to go on here especially since I am still waiting on my books that I ordered from Amazon, saved myself so much money by NOT ordering the $115 book from the school bookstore. We will also have to be submitting journal entries throughout the class so you know I will be sharing it with you as well. That is all for now, happy Thursday and happy running, friends!

Don’t Beat Yourself Up

I was asked today if I still run and how often. My answer made me cringe. I haven’t been running consistently and my miles are not there. (I have mentioned this in almost every single blog post, I know). But in this blog post, I am going to focus on the mindset we should have towards taking time away from doing something we love.

I find myself getting guilty when I don’t get up early Saturday to go for that 10 mile run or when I get home from work and don’t immediately put on my Brooks Launch 5s and hit the pavement. Or when I do, I don’t run the miles I originally set out to do. I beat myself up to the point where I ask myself what is wrong with me, why can’t I just go do it? I mean, my timelines are filled with other people going out and running crazy miles every day and week with these paces I wish I could achieve.

BUT where is that getting me? Where is feeling guilty and beating myself up getting me? It definitely is not getting me out the door and it for sure as hell isn’t going to make training suddenly happen and get me across that finish line. Guilt is not going to get me the 3:30 marathon time so I can BQ (Boston Qualify). Instead guilt is going to make me feel bad, make that run go horribly wrong, it is going to make me stay in bed later and put off that Saturday morning run.  And with all of this, it is going to lead me to compare myself to other runners, to people who are dedicated and appear to make it look so easy. This is not healthy.

Instead I need to start being aware of when these feelings are coming up and knowing that I am in this conflicting space for a reason. And with being aware, I am able to welcome those feelings and then get rid of them as soon as they appear. By not allowing these feelings of guilt and comparison to unpack and make themselves at home, I am allowing myself to have more time to identify why I am here in this situation and how to move on from it, so I can get back to regular running schedule, which is obviously where I wish I could be.

Which brings me to why am I not running consistently and almost not at all. How did I get here? I could sit here and blame anxiety, blame time, the weather……it can go on and on. When in reality, the fault is on me 100%. I am the one who makes the decision to not run, to not push myself to run more miles and not just call it quits when I start getting uncomfortable. To allowing myself to sit on the couch scrolling through Instagram for hours (we have all been there…) when I could be out having an amazing run. By admitting this and sticking to this, knowing I am at fault, I have no one else to put the blame on, therefore, I have no real reason for excuses.

You would think having races ahead of me would be a big enough motivator to get going. I mean, shit, I have PRs and medals to chase, the euphoric feeling of completing something that a very small percentage of people can say they have actually achieved. I am part of that 20% (taking a gamble with this number) of people in the world who have completed a marathon, and I did it in one of the most beautiful places on earth I mean, fuck, that is pretty damn amazing and a huge blessing as well. But fuck, instead of using these as a motivator, I beat myself up for not achieving more, for not putting in the effort. I can’t do that anymore, my passion and respect for running is too high. I love and admire running too much to let it down. To not give it the utmost respect and effort it deserves. Running has been there for me when I couldn’t even be there for myself. It has saved me in so many ways. For me to feel guilty or regret not appreciating it and participating in running (Is it something you participate in or is it something that participates in you?) is not showing it respect. The way I can show appreciation for running, is to go fucken running.

So to sum it up, please DO NOT beat yourself up if you are not out running or you couldn’t do that long run that your training plan is calling for. We are all going through something different and have situations that might come up. Instead, when those feelings come up, become aware of those feelings, know they are there and then let them go. I know this is a form of meditation but it is important. It is important to not let these feelings get to you and make you not want to run (pun intended) towards your goals. Instead, figure out why you are not doing it and then work towards making things happen again and go out and chase those running highs.

Note: This is all new to me and something I know will take practice every day but I am ready to bring it on. Also, check out the “New Mindset, Who Dis?” Podcast – All about mindset and becoming the best you possible. I was listening to this podcast while typing out this blog, it’s a great listen.

Note Note: The photo to start out this blog post is post Honolulu Marathon. I was in pain, could not see because of my headache from lack of hydration and under fueling. I felt so defeated, I could not fully enjoy what I had just accomplished because I was too busy wallowing in my own pain. The photo may be ugly or not “picture perfect” but it is real and honest and shows that not every run is going to be pretty or sometimes things are not going to go as planned BUT THAT IS OKAY! Just pick yourself back up and continue on.

STUNNED

I was going to write about a recent 5K where I got first place women….and then I saw it, another young runner killed while out  for her daily run. This time it seems to be random and in Washington, D.C. I am STUNNED! Although we do not know all of the details of the motive and what exactly happened, that does not stop me from being even more worried about going out on my next run. I know we cannot allow evil to win or have them stop us, but this causes me, who already has anxiety, to question if I should even venture outside today to run or if I should just sweat it out on the treadmill.

Why does this keep happening? Why are beautiful, young women who are simply trying to better their lives and do something they enjoy keep being killed? We may never know the answers to these questions, but there has to be a way we can protect ourselves from allowing it to happen again. I carry mace with me on my run, although I know it will not stop everybody, it does, or did, give me a sense of protection, especially after the senseless killing of Mollie Tibbits, a young runner who by telling her killer no, ultimately led to her death. In fact, there was a time I lost my mace and I would not run until I purchased a new one. Although I do have a mace now that leaves an invisible powder on the person I use it on, it is not enough. Do I have to carry a knife? Do I need to be armed in order to protect myself? Or like currently, do I just not run at all? We tell ourselves and others not to let fear stop us and show evil we won’t back down but sadly, I have been letting it win. I let it win when my mind convinces me it isn’t safe and that I should just skip running today, plus my legs are tired so it would be best to give them a rest. Instead of not allowing it to control me, I give in and tell myself I will try again tomorrow. This continues until I have to force myself up out of bed or off the couch to run at least one mile. It has come to the point where I am happy if I am able to get in one or two miles, and anything more than that is not possible. Or that I could continue down this long street but there are a couple of cars parked with people inside, I better not run pass them because who knows what could happen. I probably should just turn  around and head home, it is getting late anyway and I do not have any lights besides my iPhone flashlight and we all know how well that works. So the mind tricks win again. I head home, frustrated and agitated. Frustrated because I have to be extra cautious on my runs now, frustrated that I do not have it in me to run those long distances anymore, but I’m most frustrated with so many women runners being killed.

Although so many of us have never met and probably never will, we are a community, a strong community based on one thing, our love (and let’s be honest, sometimes hate) for running. When something happens to one person in our community, it happens to all of us. We all feel it and it takes a little piece of our hearts every time. So lets come together one more time for Wendy Karina Martinez and for every single runner in our community we have lost or who has been attacked. Even if it terrifies us, we must come together and not let evil win. Our lives depend on it.

The Half that Wasn’t

I BROKE 2!!!

A goal I did NOT know I would achieve or want to achieve years ago. I honestly did not know it was possible to be honest….the day was PERFECT!

But wait….that is not where this story begins. The story begins March 2017 at Modesto Marathon. The shit show of a half marathon that actually wasn’t. I stare at my medal now and honestly I did not earn it. Everything was against me with this race. Instead of requesting the night before race day off I went in for my closing shift which was a whole other shit show on its own. I did not get off until around 11pm, was not even close to being prepared for the race, could not sleep because my mind was too awake although my body was exhausted. Plus I was too worried about oversleeping. But you know when you are trying to not go to sleep your brain automatically takes it as if you are trying to use reverse psychology on it and you end up falling asleep anyways? I am not sure what time it was, perhaps 2 or 3am and I pass out cold. And guess what happens next? Yup, I OVERSLEPT! I woke up at 7:00AM – RACE STARTS AT 730 in a town at least 15 minutes away. STRESS LEVEL TO THE MAX!! I hurry up and get ready and end up having a pathetic granola bar on the way there. I get to the starting line, everything is already torn down! No markers, no start line…nothing! Now mind you this is my first time running this race so I have no clue where the start line actually begins and the course itself is completely foreign to me. With everything being torn down and no way to start the time tracker on my bib, I HAVE NO OFFICIAL TIME! I told you, a shit show.

I ended up having to guess the race course and run through a not so safe course. I was off, MAJOR! I do have to give a HUGE shot out to all of the police officers and volunteers that helped this poor runner who probably looked like a total lost mess. You all are the real mvps of this race. I also was told it was a flat course, I was lied to.  I turned the corner and there it is, “Heartbreak Hill” which is really just an overpass that I will have to not only go up but also back down when I loop back around. Remind you, besides the volunteers and police as well as some random homeless, I had not seen anyone else. When I reached that overpass and saw people, two things ran through my mind: “I’m not alone” and “I’m not going to be last”.

I stopped, I paused my Nike running app…or at least I thought I did – this information will be important later on. Took a couple of selfies and then kept going. There was a family out supporting and cheering on the runners, the little boy had donuts, he was very sad nobody was taking them. I was sad I didn’t take one either little boy…very sad. But the race had to continue. Finally, more people, more runners and walkers. I was starting to feel better until mile 8 or 9. I looked at my watch and it was over by a few miles. A few miles is huge when racing. Remember, I not only thought I paused it but I also did not receive an unofficial or official time for this race so I was just running (pun intended) om estimated time. I later figured out it was never paused that it was right because I did not run the actual course. I found this out when I ran the same exact course this year, what a great revelation in the middle of a great race.

The rest of the race was a blur, I remember music, cheering groups and being so excited to reach that finish line, hear my name being called out and knowing the time on the large clock was not official and this race, this medal did not count.

On top of everything else, I had left the job with my parents to bring me my post race bag with my ID in the bag so I could get my post run beer and they forgot it. Because of course, at this point you would think I would find everything comical because that is the only way to describe it. I was too exhausted and let down by the experience to laugh. So much so I ended up crying at my favorite post race restaurant, Dustbowl Brewery Tap Room located in Turlock, CA. I highly suggest the PB&J Burger, its life changing! Talk about humiliated. My parents were great though, they understood and knew I had a hard day. So I finished my beer, got the food to go and went home.

I slept off the exhaustion from that day, but it is something that still stings. I have a medal I did not earn, a half marathon that I did not run and a lesson learned. I wish I could tell you my time and the amount of miles I actually got in, but honestly, I don’t care to look back at that time.

So there it is, the story of the half marathon that wasn’t.

 

These photos are true race photos, you know, the ones where you try to look cute but fail. They also represent the craziness of the day..I mean, look at that outfit!! But what can you do right?

Shirt: City Supply Co based out of SF

Shorts: Forever 21 (Shorts are out of stock, but there are other great options)

Socks: Pro Compression (Out of stock as well, I’m so sorry guys! But their inventory is AMAZING! Something for everyone)

Shoes: Brooks Running Launch 5s (In Stock and ON SALE)

Pink Trench: Forever21 (Item is sold out as well but found one that looks almost exactly the same and it is ON SALE!

 

Why I Put Off Training For A Week

I was all set to start training at 14 weeks. Had my week written out and was determined to get going, until I wasn’t. I had all the excuses, it was hot, the smoke is affecting my lungs, too much going on. I let these excuses get the best of me and I decided to wait. Which I am glad I did because I had to make the decision to not have a December race, the California International Marathon (CIM) will have to wait until next year. Which  means I am only running the Run Rock N Roll Las Vegas half marathon in November. (By the way, hoping to plan a meet up on race day, SO STAY TUNED!!) So obviously I had to switch up my training plan.

Coming from a daunting full marathon training plan and having to not only change your plan but change your entire mindset was quite honestly, a relief. Because I am not fully over the Honolulu Marathon yet. I am holding on to it like a 5 year old holds onto their favorite blanket. But I know I need to come to terms with that day and then let it go. It wasn’t a horrible race, besides getting an ocular migraine at mile 24, you can read all about this race Here, and walking a lot of it, I had an amazing time. So why can I NOT let go of this race? Why is it still holding me back from achieving my Boston Marathon qualifying (BQ) goals? I am still trying to figure it out. I do know though until I do that, I will not be fully ready to run a full marathon and nobody wants that. Because the saying goes,

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And quite honestly, nothing has been more accurate. It is holding me back, hard core. Plus, my legs are really sore and my hips are in desperate need of a chiropractor and a massage. More excuses I know. I will work harder to get better. I will do yoga, I will get my body moving and then I will run. Run slow and then fast and hard. I will get back to my normal running,  I will. I have to. For me. For me and my goals. It will happen…slowly but surely….

Night Before Training

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Night before day one of training and runners were supposed to be sleeping but too excited and nervous to sleep. They lay out their day one running shorts and favorite sports bra, check their laces on their Brooks Running shoes making sure they are nice and tight. Make sure they pack their RunGum and GU Energy Gels, double checking their favorite water bottle is clean and ready to go! Once they are done and swear they are going to go to bed early, it is 1AM and they are up typing out a fucken blog post about beginning training tomorrow, typical me!

First day of race training for me is always exciting, nerve-racking and to be quite honest, down right scary. It is scary because you are beginning a new chapter of your life and taking on this challenge that is bigger than you. And you have to make sure all the variables come together and you don’t get injured and are able to get to the start line, let alone the finish line.

But that is the fun part, right? The unknown, finding out how far you can push yourself and come out on top. How many miles your body has in it and how much of a total bad ass you are! As scary as training is, if you do it right and focus and allow it, it can change your life!

Cheers to happy fall/winter race training!

Honolulu Marathon

Honolulu Marathon. A goal race, a race that up until that Tuesday evening on Twitter in May when BibRave announced they would be giving away two entries to the 2017 Honolulu Marathon, I didn’t know I wanted to nor would score the opportunity to run. However, my gifs and charismatic conversation skills paid off and I was one of two runners who won an opportunity to do just that. (Side note: BibRave is a website where you post your full reviews of any and all races you participate in. They also do a weekly Tuesday night #BibChat that consists of about 5 questions focused around fitness and running. If you are on twitter I highly recommend looking them up and participating in the next BibChat).

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As excited as I was and honestly in disbelief until race day arrived, I knew it was something that was going to be more expensive than probably any other race I would participate in. Plus it is in December, you know what else is in December? Christmas. This was not going to be an easy trip to make happen. But by the grace of God and the love and support of my parents, we made it happen. I mean, how could you not right? It was a free entry to the fucken Honolulu Marathon!

Training was what you would expect training to be. I learned a lot about myself during my first marathon training experience. I learned I could do it, I can go out and achieve what ever I push myself to do. I also learned that no matter how much you eat you will still be starving after that 18 mile long run. I fell in love with running, I fell out of love with running and pushed myself past limits I did not know I had. I was constantly sore and yoga became my best friend. Sleep became my best friend and coffee my saving grace.

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Travel day had come. I could not believe it was here. I was actually going to be flying to Honolulu and actually rocking this race. Or so I thought…there was a speed bump before we even took off. There was a threat sent over WiFi and a fellow passenger picked it up. We were all told to evacuate the plane but not given a reason. Once we stepped off the plane we knew. We were greeted by the Air Marshall, police, SWAT, bomb sniffing police dogs and were left wondering for a hour and 15 minutes if were ever going to get to beautiful Hawaii. And if we even wanted to get back on the plane after everything. We did get back on the plane…a little, okay a lot scared but also with the reassurance knowing they did everything they could possibly humanly do to make sure our 5 hour flight over water would be safe and we would arrive at our destination in one piece. We even received a free cocktail but you know I had to have a few more to make that flight bearable since we did not have any access to any wifi or television. The staff was great, super sweet and tried so hard to make sure it was a smooth flight. I am not one to clap and cheer when the plane lands but after this flight, everyone was cheering and celebrating. I cannot imagine a time when I was so happy to be off a damn flight.

The trip itself was perfect. Hawaii has a way of taking away your worries and making you be in the moment. We snorkeled looking for turtles, attended the annual North Shore Pipe Masters surf competition (another item crossed off the bucket list), had amazing food, shopped, made some new friends and lived it up. Now I highly recommend doing this but also remember you are there to race and your body needs rest. Between making sure I got a run in every day, not the best move when one is supposed to be tapering, and staying busy with exploring everything the island had to offer, I was tired come expo day.

Once you walk through those expo doors you realize its all happening and you’re in this large space with hundreds of other people from all over the world who is wanting to complete the same goal as you, to complete this amazing race. Picking up the bib for my very first marathon was on another level. Something I have had in the back of my mind but was not sure I was ever going to achieve. I almost got emotional but I saved that for crossing the finish line. I honestly cannot remember much about the expo, I do recall over 1000+ booths, hundreds of people and getting blessed for race day.

The night before the race included pasta at The Cheesecake Factory with a pre race celebratory drink and plenty of KT Tape. I made the mistake of taping practically my entire body without shaving any of it beforehand. It hurt so bad to take off the next day. Imagine for a minute your skin is covered with one big band aid and you are sweaty, drenched from the rain and now you have to rip this tape off and ouuuccchhh. I lost so much hair when I did this, it was horrible. Anyway, I set my flat lay out, set about 10 alarms because 3:00am was coming quick. I was so worried about not waking up in time (this has happened sadly, but I will save that for another post)that I almost didn’t sleep. Thank goodness I was able to get some rest and was up before my alarm. All ready to go walk less than a mile to the shuttle which was right down the street from my hotel.

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Eagerness, excitement, anxiousness, tiredness but ready. The shuttle was full of all of it and then some. Plenty of chatter and flashes from selfies and group shots and people sitting quietly taking it all in. This was the short ride to the starting line. No turning back. It was happening. The starting line location was abuzz with eager runners setting their watches, finding that perfect song to get them pumped to run 26.2 miles at 5:30 in the morning and frantically trying to find their correct corral and pacers.

Countdown…one hour until go time…30 minutes…20…10…5…1…and then BOOM…FIREWORKS! Have you ever experienced fireworks at 5:30 in the morning with thousands of other people who are all there with you for the same goal? It was something I never thought I would ever experience and something I would never forget.

The race had begun. It was warm, really warm, people were covered in sweat by mile 3. However, running down downtown Honolulu with locals and tourists sidelined with music, signs and cheering you on makes you forget about all that. The spectators came out in a big way. There was food, drinks, music and plenty of support the entire race. Luckily for me, I went into this race without a goal time, without thinking about Boston or landing a certain time. Did I want to do well? Fuck yeah but my main goal was to take it all in and enjoy the race and my surroundings. I stopped and took in the views, the smells, the scenery and a rainbow that appeared when it started raining hard and fast around mile 10, talk about a cool down. It was refreshing in a way where we were all sweating but also not welcoming because we were all soaked and so was everything we had with us. Then you remember where you are at and realize you got this absolutely amazing once in a lifetime opportunity to run this beautiful race and there is no reason to be upset.

Until there was. Mile 24. Heartbreak hill. Almost done. Almost there and I could officially call myself a marathoner. One problem. I under fueled. Gels were not doing the trick. I was getting a headache, but not a normal one. It was an ocular headache. My vision in my left eye was going, this was the wall. I had told myself I did not hit the wall but I did and this was the moment. I could give up now and I knew if I stopped at the aid station they probably wouldn’t let me continue on. Okay keep going, shit walk if you have to. Just get over this hill, try and laugh at the college guys who are handing out beer at the top of the hill. Yes, you are at the top of the hill. It is all downhill from here. Good. You can see the finish line, hear everyone cheering. There is your dad. Go hug him now. Don’t cry, not yet. Focus. Almost there. You can do it. Just keep going. And finish line. Hands in the air like you just don’t care because you are a fucken marathoner. Head ache is getting worse. Get your medal, let the tears fall, which is very weird when you are having one of these migraines. There are the ladies with the medals, awe, she is so sweet, telling me its okay and that I did it. I did do it. Now to find my parents, get my malasade, I have been thinking of this donut since mile 25, and my t shirt. Okay got my donut, omg this is so damn good where has this been my whole life? Now my T-shirt, why is the t shirt booth all the way in the back. Ok but where are my parents? My phone is almost dead. Shit. Ah finally my parents, hug my dad, don’t cry don’t cry next is my mom, don’t cry don’t cry. All I could think of was a Jamba Juice acai bowl for the time being. Something healthy. This hit the spot, runners everywhere, I had mascara down my cheeks but I didn’t care. Photos on the beach with my medal because when in Hawaii it is a must. Now back to the hotel for food. Sleep. Get called to go to the hotel pool. Finally, a celebratory beer. I’ve earned it. And food. and ahhhh it’s done.

Honestly, the rest of the day was a blur. I do remember some overpriced Mexican food that did not live up to the hype. After dinner, I rested in the hotel while my parents went to check out the city. There was no way I was going to go for a long walk after the day I had. In fact, I don’t think I posted on social media until hours later, I was that drained.

The rest of the trip was a blast. Spent Monday beachside with my medal of course because you know how much us runners love to brag! Had the best burger and smoothie and just enjoyed some time to myself to soak in everything that happened the day before. Unfortunately, on Tuesday, our last day there, while at the outlets, it rained. It rained so much our luau was cancelled. This was a blessing in disguise I think because we landed a table overlooking the sun setting on the water at a rooftop hotel with the best food and drinks. I was not ready to go home, I was so sad and heartbroken to leave paradise, I almost cried while waiting in the lobby on our last day while waiting for our taxi.

This flight went so much smoother than our previous flight, although we were separated, I was fortunate enough to sit by a really cool Bay Area guy who kept me pretty entertained the entire flight.

Back to the cold December valley weather and reality of real life. Looking back on the trip, I would not change a single thing, well, perhaps, the under fueling during the race, but other than that not one single thing. It was the perfect trip and I could not thank BibRave and the Honolulu Marathon enough for this experience.

Oh and I ran a 5:22:24 with an average pace of 12:18!!!

 

What Is Running?

What is running? What is running when you take an unexpected 5 plus rest days in a row? When you’re mind and body can’t get on the same page? How do you not go insane?

What is running when you can’t even remember when the last time you did a run over 4 miles? (Also, you got logged out of your Nike + App and you no longer have the email for that account and had to start over.)

I love running. I love the feeling of running and knowing you are hitting your goal paces and the runners high and the sweat and how my body feels after a long hot humid run. I fucken love feeling unstoppable post run.

What I don’t love is when I decide to go running and then get side tracked and before I know it, I have a list of things to do and never get to it. Or I set out to run all the miles and two to three miles in I am headed home and not even sure how or why.

It is all so damn frustrating…..

I will admit it. I haven’t ran over 4 miles in days…weeks…months….I wish I knew why. I really truly do. Whether it has to do with my anxiety (Refer to previous post) or my body trying to tell me it needs rest, I HAVE NO CLUE! I just know it sucks, big time and I have not been the best person because of it.

It is true that working out and running improves your mental state and makes everything easier to handle and deal with. Plus, in the words of Elle Woods,

Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.

However, I have not been the happiest, or the most cheerful person. I miss running and pushing myself and the feeling of accomplishment after a long run. Half marathon training is coming….shit….its that time of year. Am I ready? Ummmm…..ask me again next week.

What I am going to need is to be held accountable. I can’t do it all by myself. So if you all, my wonderful readers and followers, can help keep me accountable, I will make it worth it and get a huge PR! Okay obviously that is a huge fucken promise to make but it gives me something to work towards.

Now to get myself out the door and run. Just run…..