Buying a new car…

and why it’s NOT the business.

Here’s my driving story in a nutshell:
I didn’t get my license until I turned 18 (there was no drivers ed in high school and my parents weren’t going to pay for it or let me drive their cars, so there was no point).  Turns out my freshman roommate in college didn’t have her license either so a few months into our first semester, her mom took us both to the DMV and we took our written tests together (both passed!).  I didn’t get a car until a year and a half later, right before my 3rd year of college (a lilac colored Saturn). I drove it for a year before I moved to Germany for a year. When I got back from Germany, I bought my Dad’s old Honda Accord from him, so he could then buy a truck to accompany his Harley.  Backstory on the Honda :) My great-grandma purchased it brand new in November 1993 (it’s a 1994 Honda!). When she passed away in 1997, my Nana kept it and drove it.  About 6 or so years of driving it and she wanted a PT Cruiser, so she sold it to my dad so he’d have a car to drive to work in when it was raining too hard for the Harley.  He drove it for a few years and when I returned from Germany, I needed a car and he wanted a truck and BAM! I bought it from him.

Bottom line, this 1994 Honda Accord (who I named Gunther) has been in the family since his birth, and has gone through 4 generations of our family. He’s now a little over 20 years old and fading. He had a good, long life, saw many adventures and roadtrips, was broken into 3 times and stolen once. He survived all of this because he’s one loyal dude. I think 20 human years equals about 80 in Honda years and he’s creaky and arthritic and just wants to retire.

I’ve been actively searching for a replacement for him for a couple months (without his knowledge… didn’t want to hurt his feelings), and car shopping is something I can say I do NOT enjoy anymore.  The salesmen are pushy (I put on my gameface), but the whole back ad forth game they play with them and “their manager that they need to get approval from” is tiresome, and I hate that their inventory online doesn’t match what they actually have on their lot.  In our hometown (and the town over), the same group owns all of the dealerships, so it’s impossible to get a better deal or search around at another dealer to see if they have what you’re looking for.

5 dealerships down, who knows how many more to go! (wish me luck and send any extra juju you can spare!) 

 

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Rock n Roll SF: Lucky 1/2 #13! #RnRSF

I didn’t sleep very well the night before. Combine the noise from the street (some lady was SCREAMING for a couple minutes straight before someone finally got her to calm down / I’m pretty sure the police were called to calm her down. Kids, stay off drugs!) and the fact that I was so nervous I’d oversleep my alarm.

I woke up at 12:30am to go to the bathroom (rare but I was super hydrating with Nuun so that’s probably why!) and to turn off the heater because we were all sweating bullets. Fell back asleep and then woke up probably a handful of times between 12:30 and when 4:25am when I got up.  Kim and I had set all of our stuff out the night before and both slept in our race capris (made it super easy. I already had my lucky race undies on!) and were both packed up and ready to walk out the door at 4:50am.  We had a short walk to the shuttle pick-up area (perfect location, just 3 blocks away!) and I was pretty amazed at the organization and efficiency of this race! Normal RnR races are HUGE, so it can be quite a cluster, and after doing Nike 1/2 in SF for 2 years, I can tell you that race is ALWAYS a cluster.  We literally walked right up to a bus, got on and were off about 30 seconds later. We drove to the city to the Great Highway, and were off the shuttle bus at 5:30am! Crap. We thought it would take longer; now we had a whole hour to kill haha. We grabbed snacks (thanks race directors!) and walked around to warm up, people watched (my favorite thing to do) and saw the VIP people in the nice warm building across the road enjoying their clean toilets and buffet. I think I drooled a little on the pavement.

We dropped the gear check bag (again, about a 20 second wait in line), and walked towards corral 1 at 6am to try to find Brian aka Pavement Runner to take the pre-race picture. Since there was a time cutoff for the bridge, they put the slowest corral up front and let them go way before 6:30am, so it was crowded when we got there. I couldn’t spot him, so we turned around to head to corral 4 (the lowest corral I will probably ever start in haha), and ran into him about 30 seconds later!

me and paveyWe got in corral 4, listened as corral 15 took off, and then maybe 5-10 minutes later we heard the national anthem start, and then the regular corrals were off! Kim left me as soon as we crossed the start (which she very well should have since she’s so fast!) and after the first turn, we already had a hill. oy vey.  The very first initial stretch is flat along the Great Highway, and then runs through Seacliff and the Presidio (houses I’ll never be able to afford), past Baker Beach and then over the Golden Gate Bridge (I ran the bridge last year during this race and the view is beautiful when it’s clear!).  After the bridge, you have a little downhill (YES!), and then some flatter areas along the Marina, through Nob Hill, and finally finished Downtown at Civic Center Plaza.  San Francisco is pretty freaking beautiful, especially when it’s a nice clear day like we had on Sunday. It’s absolutely beautiful with breathtaking (literally) views.

course map

what the HILL?!

The hills killed me. Pretty much every single one. This wasn’t a PR race, trust me. But what it lacked in quickness, it more than made up for in beautiful sights!Miles 0-8 had no bands since the Presidio and Sea Cliff neighborhoods have noise ordinances in place before 8am. They had jugglers and fire eater people, which was cool to watch for a second, but had they not been there, I would have been more than ok.

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Beautifully clear skies!

I ran the race last year (it was a completely different course), and both years you got to run across the Golden Gate Bridge and back. Last year you ran on the sidewalk and there weren’t as many people running the race, so it never felt crowded (the entire 13.1 miles).  This was definitely not the case this year.  Once we got to the bridge it was WAY too crowded. We had 2 lanes for the race; one heading out and one coming back.  Despite having 2 lanes, there was no room.  Since we had caught up to corral 15 at about miles 3, the course started to get way too cramped and on the bridge at times it felt somewhat dangerous with how little room you had to actually run.  This is definitely something they need to work on if they keep the bridge on the course (which they definitely should!)

PicMonkey Collage

I need to work on my selfies when trying to also include a super nice background.

I had to go to the bathroom by mile 3.5, but there were no bathrooms for the 4 miles until the end of the bridge, so I held it until we got off the bridge and started our downhill towards the Marina.  Since I knew where the public restrooms were under the bridge, I pulled off the course and headed through the parking lot to the bathrooms. No wait and flushing toilets! Saweet! It probably added about 2-2.5 minutes to veer away, go and get back onto the course, but totally worth it! At that point things start to flatten out and my legs were super grateful! I like to people watch and the Marina has the added benefit of house-watching as well since they are so nice! I always try to look into the front windows to see if anyone is having their morning coffee, watching the race. Nada.

Once we headed into the neighborhoods, the hills started again. It was getting pretty warm by this point, but you’d get an occasional whiff of wind that felt amazing. Winding through the city (extra hills and all) is pretty great because there is SO much to look at, and by this time in the morning, people are awake and walking around getting breakfast and coffee and waving and cheering for you, which always feels great!

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Getting to mile 13 never felt so good!

Sprint as much as I could to the finish and I was done! I downed the rest of my Nuun in my handheld, grabbed a bottle of cold water and dumped that in my handheld, added another Nuun tablet, and stood in line to take a picture with my medal.  It was perfect timing because right when I was walking through the grassy finishers area, they had Melody on stage to announce how many people she passed!

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How many do you think she passed? 2,000? 3,000? 3,500? 4,500? Nah. She’s a baller and passed 7,569 people!!! Can you believe that?! That’s the most people anyone has ever passed, and the biggest check they’ve handed out. Yay for $7,569 going to the amazing St. Jude’s charity!

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We finally got a picture together after being online friends since… 2010 I think?!

My legs and hips needed a good stretch and there was plenty of comfy grass to plop down in.

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image_7Hooray!! It makes me feel good to see the progress I’ve made (even if it’s only a smidge) since I started running, and especially when I run a race more than once. Even though this course was MUCH hillier than last years course (and Nike, I think), I stopped for photos and to say hi to friends, and had to walk breaks and pull off the course for the bathroom, I ran it only a couple minutes slower than last year, and MUCH faster than Nike!

We then walked the 4 blocks back to the room, showered, packed up, checked out, stored our luggage and headed to Cow Hollow/The Marina area for a delicious lunch/brunch/post-race drinks at Balboa Cafe (even bigger perk? You get to draw on the tablecloths with crayons!), then walked around the Marina and over to Palace of the Fine Arts to drop dead in the grass for some sunbathing :)

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ps, if you’re ever around that area and needing a caffeine fix, walk away from the numerous Peet’s and Starbucks and head towards Bereka Coffee on Lombard between Scott and Pierce. Small joint (with wifi!) and they make every single cup by hand individually. Deliciously smooth and the family that owns it is super nice.  If I’m ever in that area again and need a coffee, I’ll be stopping there! Love local little joints like that.

image_9Chrissy Field was hoppin!  We had to take a roomie picture before we left. April celebrates 10 years and 8 months since we became roommates freshman year of college in the dorms. Crazy how much time has gone by!

How about you, did you have a race this past weekend? Have you ever run across the Golden Gate Bridge?

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#RnRSF expo day

I won a race entry from Brooks Running, so I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to run this race for the second year in a row (last year was their inaugural year and I ran it with Brooks last year as well).  This would also be 1/2 marathon 13, and 13 is my lucky number, so I definitely couldn’t say no! I knew it would be a HILLY race, but the weather was forecasted to be nice, so I planned ot just enjoy this race. Take everything in, stop for photos, and walk the hills if I needed to (and trust, I needed to).  Since Rock n Roll introduced the Tour Pass, I had a couple friends flying up from San Diego to run this race as part of their unlimited Tour Pass this year (I’m thinking about getting one next year, but think I’d only be able to do the 3-race pass since I would still need to afford flights and hotel for any destination races!)

Another friend in the city hooked me up with a SWEET room in SoMa (we were the first ones to sleep in it!) so we would be just blocks from the shuttles in the morning to the start line, and from the finish line, aka PERFECT.  Many drinks were had with friends on Friday night, and then waking up on Saturday feeling like garbage, we realized we’re getting old.

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The view from our 14th floor AMAZING room!

I said adios to alcohol (I’m not a big drinker at all anyways, so this is probably the first week I’ve had more than one drink since last year) for the day, they headed off to do an Alcatraz tour, and I walked down to the expo to see the awesome Melody (aka run4margaritas) do her Q&A with the Penguin himself, John Bingham.

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Always ready to rock!

Melody was chosen by Transamerica (race sponsor) as the races Tomorrow Chaser. She started as the very last person in the race, and for every person she passed, they would donate $1 to St. Jude. Melody and I have been web friends for quite some time through Brooks and then Fitfluential, so it’s always nice to finally meet in person!
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After the expo we headed to The Grove for some delicious food and relaxation and slowly made our way back to our room to rest up for dinner.  My friends cousin and other friend drove down to have dinner (and drinks for the non-runners) with us at Firenze by Night Ristorante in North Beach. If you haven’t been there, it’s super cute and delicious! They had a drink before our 7pm reservation, we all had a yummy dinner (yay carbo-loading!), and then we went for drinks afterwards. My coworker was in town from Boston, leaving the next morning, so he trekked all the way down to whatever dive bar we ended up in, which was super nice (him meeting us, not the dive bar haha).

We headed back to our room in SoMa around 10:30pm and I set my alarm for 4:30am (yikes)…

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Commuting and Fitness

Any other commuters out there? I would love to hear your opinions/stories/gripes/whatever you’ve got if you commute and still manage to somehow be active during the week.

With Daylight Savings Time, now that we set the clocks ahead an hour, it makes it really nice because now sometimes when I get home, it’s still light out.  I leave my house every day at 6am, so it’s still pitch black (and cold! Alright, relatively cold. Sorry Polar Vortex folks!), and let’s be honest, I’m not about to get up and run at 4am outside… I LIKE SLEEP.

I get to carpool about 620-630am, and usually get picked up by 645am, and then carpool into the city, hop out of the car and then walk to work. About halfway through the drive, the sun comes out, so my entire walk to work is full of light (and sometimes sun, when San Francisco allows it!).  This commuting allows me to get to work by 8am usually (if there aren’t any accidents or heavy traffic), so my morning commute (driving, standing in line, driving again and finally walking) is about 2 hours.  I work a full day, and then walk back to the carpool lines (about 30 minutes walk), stand in line anywhere from 25 minutes to and hour, and then ride home (another hour to hour and 45 minutes depending on traffic) and then about 15 more minutes to get home once I’m dropped off, which brings my total afternoon commute to anywhere between 2 hours on a fabulously perfect day (rarely happens) to 3.25 hours total. Commuting time each day = 4 – 5.25 hours. BLAH.  Before the time changed, it was pitch black when I got home, and I don’t live in Mayberry, so running at night doesn’t make me feel super safe.  So basically, Monday-Friday = NADA. 

When I lived in San Diego and worked at the university, it was super easy to work out during the day. Often times my co-worker and I would change in our office and head up the hill (a literal 5 minute walk) to the gym and go to a yoga or pilates or spin class. I think we even did lunchtime water aerobics, too! There was a huge locker room and showers, so getting sweaty and smelly was never an issue.  At my job in San Francisco, there are no locker rooms and no showers. We’re in a tiny closet of an office (literally, 2 months ago this was a storage room), and we share bathrooms with all students and staff.  The Embarcadero is only a few blocks away, which is SUPER convenient for running during your lunch break, but again, no showers.  There is a gym a block away, but the monthly cost is $169 WITH OUR SCHOOL DISCOUNT. What the eff. Absolutely no way I’m paying that to take a group class twice a week or use their showers. I don’t need gold-threaded towels or someone to wipe the sweat from my forehead.

I need your help!  Who also has a crazy commute but somehow is able to fit in some sort of fitness?! I’m dying.  My endurance is taking a hit and so is my spirit.

 

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Gone for a Run review

Along with my super awesome ambassadorship with Gone for a Run, I also get the great opportunity to try some of their stuff out and spread the word to my readers.

GFaR

scoopneck

The first thing I chose to review was the Scoop Neck Long Sleeve Runner Tee in my lovely state of California design.   I have a “Virginia is for Runners” tshirt from the time I spent in Virginia and really wanted to add a West Coast version.  This one did NOT disappoint!  It’s super soft, I love the wider scoop neck and best of all, the sleeves are long enough for my monkey arms!  I wore it with jeans the first time, and then under a puffy vest and then tried it with leggings and each time was so comfortable! I’m pretty sure my neighbors thought I never did laundry because I was wearing it so much!  This will be a good one to bring when I’m traveling and can show my state pride!

 

 

commuter cup

The second thing I chose was the Stainless Steel Monogrammed Commuter Cup. I get up at 5am every day, leave my house at 6am, commute to work, do a full day at work, and then commute home. I usually get home between 7-745pm each day.  If you are calculating, that’s about 4-4.25 hours every day of commuting. EVERY DAY!  I never really drank coffee before this job. I try to keep it limited because coffee does NOT agree with my very sensitive stomach.  Whether it’s coffee or tea (LOVE LOVE LOVE), I need something that I can easily commute with and that’s the main reason I chose the Commuter Cup – and the fact that anything monogrammed makes me feel extra fancy!  This one is the perfect size at 15 ounces and is sturdy since it’s stainless steel.  If I could change anything about the cup though, it would have the lid be extra reinforced (because I’m clumsy and often put my cup in my bag when walking to work and if there’s any liquid left in it, I don’t want it to tip over and spill all over my laptop or running clothes).

If you’re in the market for anything running related branded with your favorite state, definitely check out their “Run Your State” collection – they have everything from apparel, bibFOLIOs, medal hooks, coasters, decals, glasses and more!

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Women’s Running Series: San Diego Half Marathon Recap

You probably already read my last post about the entire weekend recap (wait, what?! You haven’t read it yet? Go read my last couple blog posts to get the full effect before reading this one!), but I wanted a special post just for the Women’s Running Series 1/2 marathon San Diego race.  Since I had hurt my foot 2.5 days before the race, and mid-January was the last time I had run over 4 miles (and not successfully. It was an immensely painful race and I was hobbling for days afterwards), I went into it not even knowing if I could finish it.  I wanted to see how far I could get, and anticipated walking the second half the race, if at all.

I woke up at 4am and left the hotel at 430am.  I had set everything out the night before, per usual, and quickly (and quietly) dressed and got my stuff together, as to not wake anyone else in the hotel room. The weather was forecasted to be pretty decent, so I opted for a tank and shorts (something I haven’t been able to race in for a LONG time in San Francisco).  Getting to Liberty Station was a breeze that early in the morning, and there is so much parking in that area that it took me 5 seconds to pull into a spot. It was pretty chilly and still early, so I stayed in the car for awhile before heading to the start area.

I walked around for a bit checking out where everything was situated, stood next to the gear check table as long as I could before having to give up my longsleeve shirt (haha) and then headed to the port-o-pottie lines (even that didn’t take long!).  I headed to the start line, said hello to one of my previous Team in Training mentees, and then lined up with the 2:30 pacer. My goal was to not get too behind the 2:30 pacer and to try to finish the race as much as I can.  I knew my roommate from freshman year of college would be around mile 7 and my family at mile 8, so I really wanted to at least make it that far.

I started off at a regular steady pace, and listened to how my body felt instead of constantly checking my watch. One great thing about smaller races like this is even if you’re a bit slower, you’re not waiting to cross the start line for 40 minutes. I started in corral 2, with the 2:30 pacer (so there were 3 pace groups ahead of us) and still crossed the start line 1 minute 30 seconds after the gun went off. AWESOME! I made up my mind at the start to not  use my watch very much. In case I was hurting and going really slow, I didn’t want to know it! I just listened to my legs and lungs and slowed down when I needed to and sped up when I thought I could.

Everything seemed to be going ok when I hit the 5k mark. With every step I took, I was waiting for pain to shoot through my right foot or my knee to start feeling stiff, but it was feeling ok at that time. I kept telling myself “if you go faster now, that’s less time for something to start hurting” (what a genius plan, Sheena).  Since I wasn’t looking at my watch, I didn’t really pay attention to what my pace was, but by mile 4 when I looked at the clock under the mile 4 sign, I saw I was doing decently well. I’m sure running in beautiful San Diego helped, too!  By mile 5, I felt like I had hit a really nice groove. At the mile 6 marker, I had to pull over and try to fix my hair because it was falling out of the bun and no one wants tangled mufasa hair during a race. I used that time to call my cousin to see if they were at mile 8, because I was only 2 miles away. They were still looking for parking, eep!

My college roommate Kat was right in front of the mile 7 marker and as soon as I saw her I yelled “KKKKKAAAATTTTTTT!!!” since she was talking to the other people standing there. She had made a sign and everything! I stopped to take a picture with her, fix my hair more securely this time, ask her if she wanted to come to breakfast with us after the race and then I was off again.  We are both injured, so she completely understood how nervous I was about the race, but we promised each other we’d finish our upcoming races (my race that morning and hers in San Francisco in April)… even if we had to crawl.

katbean collage

#katbean #friendiversary hashtags are all the rage!

After I left her and turned the corner, I started to get close to Shelter Island Drive and look for my family on both sides of the street.  I finally saw them, but before the mile 8 marker and still walking towards it on the opposite side of the street. I was ahead of schedule and they were behind schedule.  I just yelled “CROSS THE STREET, I’LL COME BACK AROUND!” to them as I ran by. I was a little bummed at that, but kept on going. I ran around Shelter Island and at mile 8 looked at my watch.  When it looked around, I saw that at some point I had passed the 2:30 pacer because they were on the opposite side of the loop.  I realized at that pace, if I kept at it and hit mile 10.5 by 1:55, I could beat my previous PR of 2:21:21 and possibly even the 2:20 that I’ve been after for so long!

The family should have been around mile 10 so I kept looking for them but never saw them. I pulled over at about mile 10.3, called to see if they had gone straight to the finish, and they said they kept walking and were with Kat at mile 11. So I starter running again and told them I’d be there soon.  I saw them coming up, right where the mile 11 sign was, and as always, was running with a huge smile on my face, so happy to have some crowd support. I waved, pulled over, kissed the baby a few times for good luck to finish the race, told Kat “if I don’t die, I can PR!” and she said “What are you doing!? GOOOO!!

PicMonkey Collage course

I took off on Harbor Drive and still felt pretty good! I knew I was slowing down, but was still moving at a decent pace. Normally I hit the wall around mile 9, but having that excited feeling of looking forward to having people along the course cheering for me really helped me from hitting that wall. It distracted my mind from focusing on me being tired or things hurting, and helped to focus on something awesome and positive.  At mile 11.5 I could see the 2:15 pacer waaayyy ahead of me, and I knew if I could just keep her in my sights (even if it was way off in the distance), I was definitely going to break 2:20, and I was ecstatic! I stopped/slowed down for one more cup of water and to spit a few times (am I the only gross lady out there who salivates profusely while running?) and made the final turn to the finish shoot. I could still her in the distance and estimated to be about 3ish minute behind, so I was super excited about a 2:19 finish!

I ran the last part as strong as I possibly could, crossed the finish line without looking at the clock and stopped my Garmin. I looked at my watch, looked up, looked at it again, and then looked at the 2:15 pacer who was still nearby high-fiving the ladies who ran with her. I went up to her, asked in what time they finished, and then gave her a big hug, thanking her for pacing me in the final couple miles, even though she had no idea.  Goal A) finish. Goal B) Finish without being more injured than I started. Goal C) Finish in under 2:45.

garmin time

Unofficial time.

I think this might actually be the closest my Garmin has ever been to being accurate haha.  I couldn’t believe the time (and still can’t, a week later).  Not only did I finally PR my 1/2 marathon time, AND finally break 2:20, if my watch was close to being accurate, I somehow broke 2:15. I BROKE 2:15! Somewhere in the universe, cosmos are aligning.

I walked around the finish shoot, got my medal and found my mentee who had finished just a few seconds behind me, which was awesome!  I was looking around for my family, but didn’t see them, so I kept walking to get my water and snacks before grabbing my gear check bag.

They had champagne and cookies at the finish (I skipped this. I have a sensitive stomach, so it really can’t handle alcohol after a half marathon), a massage area (skipped also because the wait was 1.5 hours), and went to the merchandise area. At the expo I had told myself I wouldn’t buy anything because I didn’t even know if I would finish. I was so ready to buy that tank top I saw at the expo now that I had not only finished but freaking PR’d! Totally worth the $40+ I spent on it.

freshen up

There was also a Freshen Up tent that was pretty awesome. They had 2 tables set up with body spray, aerosol deodorant, hairspray, mirrors, hair ties, face wipes and body wipes. When you put on a ladies only race, they sure how to make up happy! I’ve never seen anything like it at a race before, so it was pretty awesome.

medal

Look how awesome this medal is!! It was bigger than my hand (I have baby hands haha) and comes with a removable hanging charm, so that you can make a finisher’s necklace as well, to show off your accomplishments on a daily basis!

Turns out my family didn’t come to the finish, so I had to walk to my car (no finish area pictures sadly) and drive to where they had parked, so we could head to breakfast.  I annihilated a plate and some hot tea at Broken Yolk Cafe and we went back to the hotel to get ready for the rest of the day.

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Post race posing with the beautiful Pacific Ocean in the background!

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Official finish time and pace chart.

Overall, this race was bomb.com. I would do another Women’s Running Series race in a heartbeat.  I’ve done so many HUGE Rock n Roll events in the past and it was so amazingly refreshing to run a smaller race that still had everything you could possibly need and more.  Their customer service went above and beyond, were so quick to respond to any questions you had, put on an amazing race and really spoiled us all!  It was the perfect race, a fabulous course (running in San Diego and especially in that area NEVER gets old), perfect weather, great course support and obviously the best one I’ve ever run. My previous best 1/2 (judging solely on how I felt), was my previous PR time in April 2013 – another race I went to severely undertrained, and I went into it just knowing I was running it for fun, but not for a time.   Funny how those ones work out for you!

Thank you WRS for an amazing race and being part of what will be such a great memory for me – a race I thought I wouldn’t even finish and you helped me to a 7 minute, 9 second PR!!

 

I was lucky enough to win a Twitter chat with Fitfluential and the Women’s Running Series. My prize was an entry into this race. I wasn’t compensated in any other way, but honestly, this was compensation enough! DO THIS RACE!

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Roadtrip: On the way to WRS 1/2 San Diego

I’ll do a race recap in a little bit, but wanted to talk about the weekend as a whole.  My aunt and cousin flew in from Texas, and my other aunt, cousin and nephew got together to drive down to San Diego. They were all originally supposed to be running the race with me, but they all bailed on me in early November! At Christmas, they decided to still come, but to make it a girls roadtrip (+baby boy).

The drive down I-5 is long. Long and boring. And smells like cow poop in some parts (if you’ve driven it more than once, you know where, and you are always ready to roll up your windows and turn on the air circulation in your car to keep the smell at bay).  The baby did extremely well on the long car ride and only screamed for about 45-50 minutes in LA/Orange county since his normal sleep was interrupted and he couldn’t go back to sleep in the carseat.  He finally pooped himself out again and fell back asleep right around San Clemente.

We stayed in Coronado, and it was an excellent choice! Beaches were right behind the hotel, there was plenty of restaurants and plenty of things to see.  I was so glad to be back in my old stomping grounds, and it felt really good to be a tour guide! I picked up a rental car (since I had a few extra errands to run that weekend) and headed straight to my favorite sports massage miracle worker, Anthony. If you live in San Diego and are looking for someone to work out the crazy stuff your body is putting you through – SEE HIM NOW.

After my massage/torture session I raced down to the Harbor to the expo, before meeting my family for food (something we all love and we all get hangry very easily).  Parking can be a bit nuts in that area, especially on beautiful days. It took me awhile to find parking, and thankfully I had change in my purse for meters!  It was sunny and warm and the tourists were out in full force. The expo was small but awesome. We got cute shirts and goodie bags, and there was loads of stuff to buy. I was good and didn’t buy a race shirt because I wasn’t sure at that point how my legs (now sore and bruised) or my poor foot were going to handle the race. I didn’t want to buy a finishers shirts and have a permanent reminder of my first DNF. I skipped the gear (sadly, since they had some cute stuff!), filled up my water bottle, popped in a Cherry Limeade Nuun tab and headed back to my car, but not before snapping a couple pictures.

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I drove back to Coronado, we walked around for a little bit and then met a friend at Miguel’s for a drink and delicious Mexican food.

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A little more walking around, visiting with friends and then went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We had planned on going to OB Noodle House after my cousin saw it on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network, but when we got there, the wait was almost 2 hours. There was no way we were going to wait that long, but we needed to carbo load so we went to Pepe’s Italian restaurant in OB instead (DE-LISH!). They all wanted to support me, so they carbo-loaded, too! : ) FYI – pesto gnocchi is bomb.com

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After this, we went back to the hotel. They had messed up our reservations and didn’t put in a couch with pullout bed, so I slept on the floor for about 2 hours of sleep the night before, and then that night got about 5 hours of sleep on the floor. Not the best pre-race conditions at all, but it’s better than sleeping in your car?

The next day was race day (that’ll be saved for the next blog post), and after the race and breakfast, we went to the hotel so that I could shower (no naps happened sadly), and everyone could get ready. We went up to the rooftop terrace and snapped a few pictures with Point Loma and the Pacific Ocean in the background before heading out, since it was so beautiful.

PicMonkey Collage rooftop After that we headed to La Jolla to walk around the Prospect Place area (is it me or have most of the shops shut down?), and then walk down to the water (by this time, legs were SORE and right knee was a bit stiff so I was doing a semi penguin, semi-one-legged pirate walk).

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hahahaha you’re welcome :)

After that we wanted to try for OB Noodle House one more time and headed that way through the scenic drive through Bird Rock.  We go to OB and the line was out the door! We dropped my cousin off and then went to find parking. We fond parking pretty quickly and she called to tell us it was going to be an hour and 45 minute wait. Nope.  So we decided to get it to go, went and stood line for about 15 minutes, placed our order, but still had to wait about an hour to get our food to go. The baby was not pleased (neither were our hangry selves).   We took the feast (literally, we ordered SO much food) back to our hotel, attempted to have a drink on the rooftop terrace to toast our weekend (it was cold and all of the seats were wet), and then chowed down. So good!

The next day was pretty stinking beautiful, so we headed down to the beach to take a few pictures before we packed up the car (they were leaving that afternoon to drive home while I stayed one more day and then flew back myself).
gridBest way to end a roadtrip runcation weekend!

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When you’re a klutz

So I have a 1/2 marathon on Saturday. It’s in San Diego and we’re making a weekend of it, road trip and all. I’ve been wearing my running shoes all week because the ball of my left foot has been feeling sad and bruised. I’m 99% positive it’s from wearing flats and boots with zero cushion every day. During that time I was walking 25 minutes in the morning to work and then another 25 minutes after work. Brisk walk with zero cushion and I have super skinny feet with no cushion or fat to begin with so it’s basically like walking on your bone.

To rest it up for the half, I’ve been wearing thick socks and my running shoes to help make it happier.

Today I was walking to carpool after work, stepped off a curb onto a grate to cross the street and it was one of those one in a million chances that I stepped just right onto the edge of one of the grates with the exact outside of my foot, causing my ankle to buckle, my foot to turn vertical and slide right in between the two grates with all of my weight. If you’re picturing it in your head, yes I fell, and even though it was literally so quick and I popped right back up, I was mortified, dodged eye contact (some jerk honked at me) and booked it cross the street.

I could tell it wasn’t happy when I was walking but thought it was just still in shock from how ridiculous I am. When I got to carpool, it looked ok but clearly scraped and a little red from where the grates hit it. Fast forward to 1.5 hours later when I made it home and finally had a chance to look at it in the light. It was 2.5 hours after it happened and it already looked like this:

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Swollen and already yellowy-green.

And it was starting to really hurt when I put weight on it. I grabbed an ice pack and iced it while I was eating dinner, and now I’m barked on the ledge of the bathtub while it’s soaking in warm Epsom salt water. After a soak, it’s getting a compression sock and more ice.

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How am I supposed to run 13.1 miles on this on Saturday!? I feel completely ridiculous because of how it happened and am determined I not let it ruin my race.

Please send all good juju to the ball of my left foot and my now bruised, swollen and sore right foot. Klutzes unite!

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Where has the time gone?

I’ve been MIA. So much has been going on the last few weeks and there’s been virtually zero time for social media, blogging, anything other than work and sleep. I’m tired. But I need to update! This is what’s been going on in my life since the last time I posted…

20140216-144256.jpgRemember that one time the Seahawks were in the Super Bowl? This is my not impressed face when it was raining that afternoon (my hair was not amused).

20140216-144426.jpgSkittle and beer are all I needed to get into Beastmode status.

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my face at the beginning of the 2nd half, after Percy Harvin ran that ball back in for a TD in the first 12 seconds of the quarter!

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SUPERBOWL CHAMPIONS!!!

20140216-144639.jpg This warranted a nice little visual on Monday morning for my co-worker (from Colorado) who is a HUGE Broncos fan. We had been going back and forth since we knew it would be our teams in the Superbowl.  He was a pretty good sport…
after ripping these off his door:)

Then we had a work trip for NorthAm meetings… We have 3 offices in the US – ours in San Francisco, one in Boston and one in Miami. For a few days in the beginning of February, you’d think they’d choose Miami, right?

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WRONG… welcome to Boston.

They chose the coldest of the 3 locations. Myself and another coworker barely made our flights on Tuesday before they started cancelling them Tuesday afternoon.

20140216-144731.jpg This is what we woke up to on Wednesday morning…

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But Friday after the meetings they treated us to box seats at the Celtics game – my first NBA game and in a box?! I’ll take it!  After the game, we went to a place near TD Gardens for drinks and dancing.  At the end of the night when they were closing up, we went to get our coats and bags and my jacket was gone. My guess – some drunk girl thought it was hers. Luckily I had put my wallet in a coworkers bag when we got there, but that still meant  I was coatless in 20 degree weather, with no gloves and my awesome Koss headphones that were in the other pocket were goners.

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Some sightseeing on Saturday… before my flight home was cancelled and I had to haul butt to the hotel to pick up my bags and then to the airport to attempt to make the last flight out. I found out it was cancelled, called the airline, got in a taxi, to the hotel, got my bags and taxi’d to the airport, worked with someone at the counter, went through security and RAN to the gate. All in an hour. I’m pretty darn proud of myself.

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Finally got in a run in SF! I tried casual carpool for the first time, got to the city WAY too early for work, changed, answered a few emails, got back to work, cleaned up and changed and started working before anyone even got there!

20140216-144932.jpg This awesome photo was taken with a current coworker and a friend that was in town from Vancouver. We met each other in September 2006 when we all studied abroad in Germany in college, and were placed in the same language class. I currently work with the one on the left, and saw the one on the right when I went back to London in 2012. This was the first time the 3 of us had been all together since July 2007!  It’s crazy where life takes you.

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This little guy wearing the Valentines shirt I bought him – Auntie’s #1 Admirer for sure!

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How has life been for you?

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Gone for a Run BibFOLIO

Last month I was in contact with Gone for a Run and they gave me the awesome opportunity to review one of their products. Since I know all of their products are fabulous, I told them to surprise me.  They sent me their Peace, Love, Run BibFOLIO and I fell in love as soon as I opened the box.  Gone for a Run makes a ton of running related gifts that would be perfect for the runner in your life! They make medal hangers, BibFOLIOS, jewelry, decals for your car, apparel, running gifts by state, and can turn your bib into practically anything!  I’m 110% positive I need at least 1 of everything.

Since I started running seriously (as seriously as what I do actually is) in January 2010, all of my race bibs have just been put in the middle drawer of my nightstand, mixed in with scrapbooking stickers and decals, fabric glue and iron-on letters for race singlets. Not the most luxurious locations, and they were never displayed at all.  Since they’d get all wrinkled and gross during the race and then just shoved in a drawer afterwards, there was no chance of them looking presentable.  My race medals were similarly kept – ribbons wrapped around the medal and then put in a tiny chest that my aunt made for me for my high school graduation. Some were wrapped in tissue paper from when I moved back up to northern California. I haven’t even unwrapped those ones since July 2012.  I had been thinking about things to display my accomplishments for quite some time, but just never ordered anything.

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At least my bibs were next to my personal stash of Nuun in the REI bag :) and my medal box was surrounded by my Seahawks clock, all my longsleeve running shirts and running hats :)

I thought they’d just send me a little album to put them in, like a photo album, and then I could just put it on a coffee table or something.  What they sent me was even better than I could have imagined!  The Peace, Love, Run is the perfect choice for me, and they even put my name on the front, which makes it even better!  I started putting it together immediately (super easy – you just unscrew the rings and then thread them through the holes at the top, and then screw the rings shut), and then tried to organize my bibs by date (for the most part I write the name and date of the event if it’s not on the bib itself, but there are a few plain bibs that I’m trying super hard to remember what they’re from!), and then put my very first race bib inside to display.

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Horrible lighting, but trust me, it looks even better in person!

At the top of each of the vinyl sheets, there is a space/different material that allows you to write on it, so that you can write the name of the race, your time, the date, whatever you want!  I thought that was pretty awesome, since I’ve been trying to write all that info on the back of each bib and have been clearly been slacking! It’s especially great if that race is a PR for you!

Note that if you’re buying a BibFOLIO, make sure to also add additional vinyl protector sheets. Each BibFOLIO comes with 2 sheets, so I still have a TON of bibs that need to be displayed, so I need to make an order so I can fill it up and display them all.

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How do you display your medals and bibs?

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