TMI Questions Vlog Tag

Hey guys! After seeing quite a few of you posting answers to the TMI Questions, I decided to jump on the bandwagon, but wanted to do a video post instead (thanks Monica for the inspiration!). I managed to get 33 out of the 50 questions, whew!

1. What are you wearing?
2. How tall are you?
3. Any tattoos?
4. Any piercings?
5. Favorite show?
6. Favorite band?
7. Something you miss?
8. How old are you?
9. Zodiac sign?
10. Qualities you look for in a partner?
11. Favorite actor?
12. Favorite color?
13.  Loud music or soft?
14. Where do you go when you’re sad?
15. How long does it take you to shower?
16. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
17. Ever been in a physical fight?
18. Reason you joined YouTube?
19. Fears?
20. Last thing that made you cried?
21. Last time you said you loved someone?
22. Meaning behind your YouTube name?
23. Last show you watched?
24. Last person you talked to?
25. Relationship between you and the last person you texted?
26. Favorite food?
27. Place you want to visit?
28. Last place you were?
29. What instruments do you play?
30. Favorite piece of jewelry?
31. Last sport you played?
32. Last song you sang?
33. Who should answer these questions next?

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Ragnar Relay Deals and Discounts

ragnar header

Ragnar has some pretty great partnerships this year, and they are running some discounts to get you all prepared for your best Ragnar Relay race yet! … and hopefully it’s Napa Valley with me :)

If you’ve been looking for a reason to sign up for Ragnar, look no further than some of their awesome partners and the sweet discounts they’re offering Ragnarians!

nuun discountYou know I love me some Nuun! Seriously, the entire bottom drawer of my nightstand is full of empty tubes that I want to create a crafty project with, but I have an un-crafty mind so they’re just sitting there. Any ideas?

jaybird discountI haven’t had the opportunity to try out Jaybird earbuds yet, but I have heard some amazing things about them! I recently read an article about them, how far they’ve come in such a short amount of time, and how they’re really taking the audio world by storm (also, anyone awesome enough to partner with Jesse Thomas speaks volumes!)

procompression discountSocks, socks, socks, socks, socks, socks everybody! Compression socks are bomb.com, and PRO Compression just knows how to do it right. They have a bunch of different styles (golf anyone?) and colors, have a sock of the month, and always come out with really awesome holiday socks and sleeves! I have 2 pairs of their Trainer Low socks, a pair of their sleeves for during races over a 10k, and 3 pairs of their marathon compression socks (Christmas, Shamrock and Ragnar ones). LOVE THEM!

bondi band discountI have Mufasa-like hair that needs constant taming. I use Bondi Band headbands already because they keep the sweat from dripping in my eyes, keep my hair back (and my eyeglasses from sliding), and don’t need readjusting during a 1/2 marathon, which is awesome enough by itself! They have a million different headbands to choose from, so you can’t go wrong!

kt tape discountI’m a big fan of kinesio tape. I can’t really get into the science behind it or if it really works, but in my head, it definitely helps! I’ve been a longterm sufferer of shin splints (and one episode with a stress fracture that we won’t get into) and tight IT band, and taping before big events has really helped!  And now KT Tape has a Ragnar edition tape that I would love to try for Napa!

nite ize discountAnyone who has done a Ragnar Relay race knows that night safety equipment is not only smart, but required. Between “dark hours,” each runner (and anyone outside of your van) needs to be equipped with reflective vests, blinking LED light on their back and a headlamp. Last year I bought a reflective vest about a week before our Ragnar, but didn’t own an LED or headlamp, so our van of 6 people shared 2 headlamps and LEDs. I remember how much I was sweating during my night leg (and it POURED for half the race), so I knew I wanted my own this year.  My Nite Ize Inova STS headlamp just arrived and I’m super excited to try it out and review it for you guys soon!

my id discountSpeaking of safety, wearing a bracelet with your information, known allergies, emergency contact, etc., is a rally great idea for not only Ragnar or any other races, but anytime you head out for a run by yourself. You never know when something can happen, so it’s good to have that information handy. MyID bracelets will give you that peace of mind!

They have even more sponsors offering great deals and discounts, so head over to their main page to find out where the next Ragnar Relay is and to sign up your team :)

 

 

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Boston Marathon

Was emotional to watch last year. As a runner, it really hit home for me when those bombs went off, and the aftermath that ensued. We gathered at Chrissy Field shortly after to honor Boston and show our Boston Strong unity.  I knew this year would be even more emotional – watching footage from last year, watching the tributes, hearing people’s stories, etc.

I started watching the live footage as I was waiting in the carpool line at 6:15am PST. I watched the elite ladies take off and sent as many positive thoughts as I could to Desi Linden and Shalane Flanagan. They had been training hard and had a good chance at winning!

At around 6:30am, the elite men lined up and got ready to start.

20140422-115954.jpg I continued to watch the live stream while in the carpool line and then once I got picked up, I put in my headphones. I then continued to bawl silently for the hourlong car ride because I’m emotional as it is, but Boston made me more emotional. I tried to blame it on allergies.

20140422-150754.jpgShalane leading the pack of women. At this point in the race, the women’s group was still together but Shalane was in front from the beginning and looked strong. Meb was also in the front pack and looked strong. I was so pumped!

20140422-150910.jpgCan’t you just feel that energy!?

When I got out of the car, I still had a 20 minute walk to work and my phone died 5 minutes into the walk, dang it! I walked as fast as I could and turned on my laptop. As soon as the feed started, I knew we were in trouble – Shalane was nowhere to be seen :( Started out fast, staying in the lead and not drafting affected her later in the race and she faded behind the lead pack of women.

20140422-151049.jpgMeb was still in it to win in though!

20140422-151119.jpgWatching Rita Jeptoo win for the 2nd year in a row (and 3rd time in her life!) in 2:18:57 was pretty awesome. One of her last few miles was downhill and she ran it in 4:47. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! She ran an entire marathon 4 minutes slower than my PR for the 1/2 marathon! She also set a new course record.

The mens race was pretty close to giving me a heart attack. Meb was KILLING IT, but in the last 2 miles, Chebet really started gaining on him. The last mile and a half you could see Chebet behind Meb, but with camera angles, you don’t really know how close it is. The announcers started with Chebet being 16 seconds behind Meb. Then the lead started dwindling. A grimace on Meb’s face equals my stomach dropping. I wanted him to just hang on for another 6 minutes.  He grimaced again, but the lead went to 10 seconds. GOOD LAWD!  Then something inside of him ignited and he looked strong again.  Chepkwony literally came out of NOWHERE to battle with Chebet and it was a super close finish.

 

20140422-151131.jpgBut he did it! I got goosebumps as he realized he was going to win (and got them again as I typed that sentence). He finished in 2:08:37, and is the first American man to win since 1983!  Chebet finished 11 seconds behind Meb and Chepkwony was only 2 seconds behind Chebet. That’s how awesome this years field was. And how even more awesome Meb is!

I’m so proud of him. I’ve had the awesome opportunity to meet him, to run along the bay in San Diego passed him, to say hello, shake his hand and give him that runners nod as we passed each other. He moved to San Diego when he was a kid and we share that community love for the city. This win couldn’t have happened to a better man!

CONGRATS MEB!!

 

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Dealing with dealerships

After a long and stressful process of course!   I hinted in my last post how looking for a new car was not the business.  I’m still almost positive that’s the truth.

Last weekend I was looking on the local dealerships website to see what inventory they had, to narrow it down in my price range and then go from there. I’m OCD about certain things, so I had created a couple spreadsheets (on graph paper. Yes, I’m a nerd) with prices, car make and model, a range of years, prices based on mileage (from a dealership and CPO), MPG and size (shoulder room, etc., + length/height/width).  Then it was getting hard shuffling through the papers, so I put it on an Excel spreadsheet to make it easier… and then I color-coded it. Our local Nissan dealership had 3 cars I was interested in test-driving, so we headed down there on Saturday afternoon. Since I was looking for a car 2010-2012, I steered clear of the new cars, and was trying to find the used ones. After some confusion from me and my dad, a salesguy came out and told us that they don’t keep all their used cars together, but that they are spread throughout the next 4 dealership lots, since they are all owned by the same group. But that they did have some on their lot that were parked in a row facing the street. We went to look at those ones and quickly realized that none were marked. No paperwork, no years, no prices, nothing. Let me tell you, that may be how they get you going back to the salesperson, but it’s not convenient for anyone if the salesperson has no idea what year or mileage or price the car is off-hand (oh hey, that’s why we mark them!)

We had to go back and forth with the guy to look things up in their inventory, him telling me all the cars I might be interested in were “way out of my budget” and that he’d take a walk with us to find some cars.  My dad had hurt his foot a couple days before and was in NO mood to be walking (like literally, his foot was black and we thought he broke a toe).  We walked for a bit to another dealership next door, passed the car he was looking for (thankfully I saw it), and realized it was the model below the one I wanted to test drive, was pretty stock, etc. I test-drove it anyways, just so I’d know for sure it wasn’t what I wanted. It wasn’t. Then we went back to the dealership and I asked him to look up the 3 cars I had found, so that I could test-drive those. He banged away on his keyboard and then tells me they don’t actually have any of those in their stock, and that their online inventory is only updated once every 2-3 days. I’m not sure what the point of having an online inventory is if it’s not updated regularly.

He kept asking me if I wanted the one we test-drove, and I said I didn’t think so, and that I wanted to go to the Nissan dealership in the next town over to see if they had what I wanted. SHOCKER! They own that dealership, too. So he walked away to check their inventory and my dad and I waited for about 15 minutes. Where did he go?! 20 minutes after he walked away, another guy came up, introduced himself as the assistant manager and said he had to send the other guy to bring a customer home (aka they brought in their closer).  He kept pushing the car we test drove, and I kept telling him I didn’t really care for that one, and that it seemed really overpriced for what you were getting. He wasn’t super friendly and finally was just like “ok, well have a nice day” and walked away. So did we.

We’ll definitely not be going back to Momentum Nissan (or any of the Momentum-owned car dealerships in the Bay Area).  After our experience a week ago, I’ve heard from many that have been car shopping at Momentum dealerships that they are horrible. They have horrible customer service, aren’t knowledgeable and some are downright rude and ignorant of their product (not mention that they have higher prices than some other dealerships in the area).

We went home and I spent the rest of that night online, looking at dealerships a little further away, in the East Bay, Marin and Sacramento areas. I also had the online help of a friend who had just purchased an Acura TSX from Acura of Pleasanton and had a great experience with their Internet Sales Manager and highly recommends them to anyone looking for an Acura (or any used car they might have) that’s in the Bay Area!  We were each scouring a bunch of dealerships websites, and I found Maita Nissan in Sacramento that had a few cars I might be interested in, so I sent them an email asking for more information (since it was 9pm on a Saturday, the dealership was already closed).

… next update on what happened next!

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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.

balkon

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

time chart

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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