When your clumsiness forces you to take a running break

So aside from the 6.1 earthquake on Sunday morning (epicenter was about 20 miles from my house), I ended up breaking my baby toe yesterday :( Was I playing soccer or doing something awesome, you ask? NO. I rammed against something that was lodged underneath the ottoman in my Grandma’s living room (aka she has way too much stuff in her house) and BOOM, insta-pain. I spent the rest of the day resting and icing it, and it’s a nice colorful rainbow of purple, black and magenta, with hints of cerulean. My favorite bruising usually includes green and yellow, so I’m waiting patiently for that haha

Ragnar Napa Valley is in just 25 days, so please send all the good juju you can to:
Sheena’a Baby Toe
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California

It could really use it to be ready to go in time for the 2-day team relay!  Until it heals, no running for me, which worries me quite a bit since I’m upping the overall mileage for the relay from last year… womp womp womp

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ClassPass launch party at Barry’s Bootcamp

I was lucky enough to get an invitation to the ClassPass launch parties in San Francisco this week. If you’ve never heard of ClassPass before, it’s this super awesome company that has a network of great fitness studios in your city, you pay $99 a month and can take 10 classes per month at any of the studios! This is a really great option for people who want to change things up and not do the same routine day in and day out. Some days you need a good stretch and need to get those muscles long and lean with yoga, and some days you just need to spin your sorrows away (truth). With ClassPass, you can do just that and so much more! They are currently in New York, Boston and Los Angeles, and finally launched in San Francisco. Since it’s my birthday week, I had other stuff planned after work so I couldn’t make all three launch parties (sad face), but when I saw that Tuesday was at Barry’s Bootcamp, I knew had to sign up for that buttkicking on my birthday eve. I was introduced to Barry’s when I attended a fun party at the Lorna Jane store on Union Street, and a couple of their trainers were there. This was before Barry’s was even open, so everyone was intrigued! I headed over to Barry’s after work (and had to fight the crowds since Beyoncé and Jay Z were at AT&T Park that night, just blocks away), and got there a little early (like always). IMG_6552.JPG Signed in, put my bag in a locker and got ready for the class to start at 6:30pm.  The 5:30pm class was still going on, and it was too dark in the room to see what was going on, but every once in awhile someone would come out and the music was BLARING!  While I was waiting for 6:30 to roll around, I looked around and Shauna Harrison was there! I fangirled for a few minutes, tweeted/checked in and she replied to my tweet immediately. It was pretty flipping awesome. I got to meet her after following her on Twitter, IG and Facebook for awhile, and that totally made my night. IMG_6553.JPG When the 5:30pm class got out, they were DRENCHED in sweat, literally, and I may or may not have had a mild panic attack that the class would be way too hard for me.  Especially since  everyone else waiting for the 6:30 class was teensy tiny or all muscly and I really should have second-guessed not wearing looser fitting clothes! The class is split into two groups, one on the treadmill and one on the floor. You each take turns doing a set, and then switch sides of the room. Do another set and switch again. You’re on the treadmill and floor 3 times each. I started on the floor and did what felt like a million squats with a 12 pound weight. MAN OH MAN. Then I switched to the treadmill and did whatever the heck the instructor told me to do. Increase the incline, increase the speed, increase your heartrate!  Sprints, slow it down, increase again. Then it was time for the floor and we did more squats and that jazz, switched the treadmill again, etc. By the time the 3rd and last set came around (on the floor we used resistance bands – HOLY HELL!), I didn’t think I could give any more, that’s how intense it was. I’ve run over 12 half marathons, and countless shorter races. I somehow managed to PR both my 5k and 1/2 marathon time this year, and this class made me realize just how “out of shape” I am, how much more strength/core work I need and how much having a stronger body overall can really improve my running. I was sweating about 3 minutes into it. I’m pretty sure it was buns and legs day and they were DEAD after the class.  I was pouring with sweat after each round (I’m a super weirdo and I love that feeling. Makes me feel super accomplished).

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They have a pretty awesome smoothie bar there – they’re a little pricey but have tons of really great ingredients in them, so worth it for a post-workout meal.

After the class, they had goodie bags for us, which was pretty awesome, Urban Remedy was there sampling out a few flavors of their organic juices (Watermelon Cucumber was SO good), as well as ProYo (high protein frozen yogurt) – though I had to sadly skip these samples since it has dairy in it. When I was finally able to take a look at the goodie bags, they were filled with some awesome treats: EOS lip balm, a little Birchbox sample box, water bottle, ClassPass tank top and a GoMacro macrobar (excited to try this out!)

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Tiny blonde in the lower left corner was our class instructor. She was intense!

I normally don’t tend to drift towards classes where someone is constantly yelling at you to motivate you, or make “jokes” about being on all fours with the resistance bands around one of our feet to do donkey kicks – “ladies, you should get this form right away… you know this position well!” (call me old fashioned, but I didn’t think this was funny or appropriate), but it was one heck of a work out, and I think if done once or twice a week, could really help improve my running and speed!

 

I’m leaving at o’dark hundred tomorrow for vacation and will have zero internet access until the 17th, so the blog will be quiet until I’m back stateside! Have a great week everyone!

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Birthday week fun!

It’s my birthday week! HOORAY! And it’s jam-packed. Here’s what’s on the agenda and why I won’t be getting my normal amount of sleep:

Monday – work all day and then Happy Hour with a bunch of work people (myself and another co-worker have the same birthday)

Tuesday – Work all day and then going to a ClassPass launch party at Barry’s Bootcamp.  ClassPass is launching in San Francisco and they have 3 launch parties this week, including a sweaty workout at every party.  I’ll be sure to take notes and picture, and put up a blog post on how the evening went down!

Wednesday – BIRTHDAY! Suzie (coworker from Boston) also arrives in San Francisco; shenanigans commence! Work all day, long lunch methinks, and then dinner with my parents. Hello my favorite lettuce wraps!

Thursday – work all day and then trivia night with Suzie and her friends, plus sleepover in the city.

Friday – work a 1/2 day. I had an earned 1/2 day off months ago and decided to cash it in for Friday afternoon. Since I won’t get home until 9:45pm or later on each of the above nights, I have ZERO TIME to do laundry, pack and get ready for the cruise!

Saturday – leave my house at 3:45am to go to the airport (yes, you read that right. I booked myself a 6:30am flight to give myself as much time with my fmaily in Texas before the cruise)

Sunday – CRUISE TIME!

I’ll be completely offline during the cruise and extra 2 days in Texas with my family, and will pop back in on Twitter, FB and Instagram during those last 2 days, but won’t be doing anything heavy until I get back to California until the 20th.

HAPPY AUGUST!

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Running solo safely

As someone that’s not. A huge fan of treadmill running (unless I have to), being able to run outside is an absolute must. When I lived in San Diego, running at almost any time was pretty amazing, since the views (and sounds) of the ocean were plentiful. Then I moved back up to Northern California and started commuting 4 hours a day. That pretty much cut out being able to run in beautiful San Francisco before, during or after work, and in the winter, completely eliminated outdoor running.

I’ve been running sporadically on Saturday or Sunday early mornings or afternoons, depending on how blazing the sun is, around town, mainly in the surrounding neighborhoods. If listening to music, I always keep one earbud out and am constantly scanning my surroundings, trying to be as safe as possible.

At the end of July, a friend posted on Facebook that a man had been arrested on suspicion of felony battery and sexual assaults after two incidents that involved female joggers. Both of these incidents happened in the nicest, most expensive neighborhoods in our city. Even more scary? Turns out he worked at a gym in the next town over – in the kids play room!

One week later (just 2 days ago), a 16 year old girl in an unincorporated neighborhood of our city was jogging near her home (another nice area) and was attacked. He approached her from behind and asked for directions. He then attacked her> She was luckily able to get free and run away.

The ages of the attacked victims: 16, 36 and 45. The age of the man who attacked the first two women: 23. The approximate age of the man who attacked the young girl? About 18.

WHAT IS THE WORLD COMING TO?!

I haven’t run outside since hearing about these attacks and am honestly pretty scared.  How do I run more safely? How do I attempt to not be the next victim?

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Happy birthday month

to me!!  HOLLA to all my fellow Leos :)

augustHB

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SF Marathon 2nd half race recap

I was lucky enough to be able to run this race for Nuun since they were the official on course support for the race- only the 2nd half marathon was still open for registration, so by default it’s the one I ran (and I’m glad!).  The first half marathon course starts under the Bay Bridge, runs along the Embarcadero, through Fisherman’s Wharf, through the Marina, across the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Presidio and finishes in Golden Gate Park.  Since between Rock n Roll San Francisco 1/2 marathon, Nike Women’s 1/2 marathon and Mermaid Series 10k, I’ve covered all of that before and wanted a change of scenery.

The 2nd 1/2 marathon course ran through parts of the city that I’ve never had the chance to run through before, so I was really excited to see new parts of the city that I normally might wander through to find food or shopping, but have never had empty streets to myself.

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The 2nd 1/2 marathon starts at Spreckel’s Lake in Golden Gate Park and finishes on the Embarcadero alongside the Main Marathon Finish Line. You run  GG Park, then out of the park on Haight Street, through Haight/Ashbury, the Mission District, Mission Bay, and passes AT&T Park, finishing just before the Ferry Building, by Cupid’s Span.  

I worked the Nuun booth all day Saturday so both K and I (both running the 2nd half marathon for Nuun) were on our feet all day (though she worked the expo Friday as well, while I was at my regular FT job all day).  We stayed Saturday night at a hotel in Union Square, had our pre-race dinner after the expo, and back up to the room to get ready for race morning.  Since our race didn’t start until after 8am, we were able to sleep in a little bit (whew!), and while normally we start races at 6:30am, we were able to set our alarms for that time.  We grabbed a cab in the morning, he drove like a madman (typical SF taxi driver) through multiple “yellow” lights and dropped us off in the park. Turns out, NOT at Spreckel’s Lake, but at Stow Lake, which was semi-close to where the 1st 1/2 marathon finished.  Ont op of that, no one seemed to know where the start of the 2nd 1/2 marathon was, and there was literally no staff at the 1st 1/2 finish to ask.  Volunteers had no idea, so we had to wander quite a bit and ended up walking an extra 1.5 miles to get to the start, so that was our warm up since we were hustling!

It was already warm by the time we got there, all in tanks and shorts, said our goodbyes and good lucks at the gear check trucks (K is speedier than I am, so she was starting in Wave 2), headed to the long port-o-potty lines, and then jumped in with Wave 4.

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…don’t mind my ashy legs!

Thanks to the random girl behind me in the port-o-potty line for taking pictures! When you offer to take someones picture (who is struggling with selfies) at a race, 9 times out of 10 it’s because you secretly also want one yourself, and need someone to take it for you because you’re running alone haha

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The race atmosphere just gets you so pumped up!

Originally when I registered, since I haven’t run a 1/2 since April, I registered for the last wave (Wave 5, 2:30-3:30).  Since we needed to stop at all the aid stations to taste the Nuun to make sure it was properly mixed, I knew that would add some time, plus my slow, untrained self would add some time, too! I just wanted to finish the race in about 2:30, but when I saw the waves and the pacers, I had the urge to jump in with the 2:20 pacer, full of hope haha.

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Since I’ve run multiple races in SF before, this elevation chart didn’t worry me. Multiple people told us there were quite a few nice downhills in the second half of the race, and that sounded pretty good to me!

We headed off into the park and it was a really nice few miles through one of the most beautiful pieces of land the city has to offer. Most people don’t realize how large the park is, and everything that it offers. Sure, trees and fields, music festivals, but there’s also museums, the Japanese Tea Garden, beautiful music concourse, waterfalls, windmills and bison. It’s pretty effing spectacular.

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Shortly after this, I had my mild panic attack (normal) that I somehow veered off course and would actually run the full marathon distance. It too me a minute to remember, “duh, Sheena. You’re running the second half of the marathon. Of course you’re on the same course as them!” It didn’t help to ease my anxiety that all of the mile markings in the park were for the full marathon.

I turned a corner around mile 4 near Stow Lake (where our stinkin taxi driver dropped us off) and saw this fabulous guy in the familiar Ragnar Relay jacket – so needed a little motivation at that moment.

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now THAT’S excited! Also, first time I realized how low-cut this awesome tank top is. I’m sorry or you’re welcome, whatever your feelings are haha

By about mile 4.5, the sun was out in full force, so it was incredibly warm and direct sun. Every water stop I’d grab some water and then grab a second cup (or hose if they had it) to throw on my arms and chest since they were on fire.  We continued through the park for another couple miles and exited at mile 6, right on Haight Street. That’s where the party started! There were people cheering, ringing cowbells, with signs and even a stroller with a bubble machine (sidenote, if your bubbles are made of soap, while it might look cool, it sucks to be the runner that has to inhale/choke on soap bubbles or get them in your eyes).

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See that lovely hill in the distance? BAH.

There were people having coffee and breakfast at cafes watching the race, and I was STARVING at this point.  By mile 2 I started to feel a deep hunger pain right under the top center of my rib cage and I knew I wasn’t going to make it all the way through, so I texted my friend who lives in the Mission that if she happened to be downstairs in about an hour with some bread with peanut butter or something, I’d owe her big time. Luckily she lives right along the course, so she agreed!  We finished running through Haight/Ashbury and headed toward the Mission. I knew exactly what corner she would be on and the thought of her with food was what got me through miles 6-8.

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Kristina the Lifesaver! At mile 8 with a kids Clif bar.

I snapped this picture, grabbed half of the Clif Z bar and shoveled it into my mouth. I don’t even think I chewed. I couldn’t even tell you what flavor it was. Flavor delicious, that’s what it was.  We continued through the Mission (where the lovely SF urine smell decided to make an appearance. Was totally expecting it, so I made sure to breathe through my mouth for parts of it) and on to Mission Bay.

Around mile 10 I started to realize that my fingers were incredibly swollen and I had trouble making a fist since they were so tight. Since it was so warm, I was sweating more than normal and the electrolyte levels in my body were incredibly low (turns out SF Marathon didn’t purchase enough electrolyte products/water/cups for the race and most aid stations were depleted by the time I got there). I hadn’t had electrolytes since mile 1, and minimal amounts of water between miles 1 and the finish. I started to fatigue and ended up having to run/walk for the last 3 miles of the race, but was still ahead of the 2:20 pacers, so I was happy.  I made it to the finish, stopped my Bia watch when I crossed, and went straight to find some electrolytes because I was super shaky at that point.

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Happy finisher! Official time: 2:17:47 – my 2nd 1/2 marathon under 2:20! I’m starting to feel more confident with my running since I was FINALLY able to break 2:20 not once, but twice this year!

I guzzled that Zico coconut water like no other. Normally I like to wander around the finish area, but it was a madhouse trying to get from exiting with your medal and getting into the finishers area, so I sat on the curb, stretched out my hips, slammed that Zico (and the weird boxed water they handed out, which ended up spilling everywhere instead of going into my mouth), grabbed my gear back and walked the 1.6 miles back to our hotel. The further I got from the race finish, the less runners were around and the looks people were giving me got even crazier. I’m super glad I decided to walk back vs take an uber or taxi because I really needed to stretch the hips out and cool down my muscles.  Got up to the room, promptly double-fisted 2 bottles of Watermelon Nuun.

It was a fantastic weekend full of Nuun, and I’m incredibly lucky for the opportunity to run the race for them.

I’ll post the official race photos soon (The SF Marathon is super awesome and provides digital copies of your photos FA FREE! You heard me, you can get your race photos for $free.99)!

 

Did you race last weekend? How did it go?

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SportRx review: Tifosi Rx sunglasses

I’ve been running for years with just my regular glasses (for distance).  If I’m being honest, it completely sucks.  They’re clearly not made for any time of activity, since they move around, slide down, need to be adjusted if I’m running or jumping, etc. Don’t even get me started on attempting to do yoga in them – SO frustrating! I would constantly need to push them up on my nose when they slid down and to be honest, that’s just wasted energy! I tried at first to run without any glasses and that didn’t last long, since I couldn’t see in the distance (oh hey street signs, you’re kind of important) and was squinting.  They I tried to run with regular non-Rx sunglasses and it was pretty much the same thing. When you’re attempting a long run and your eyes are used to being corrected 24/7, headaches come on fast and furious!

I knew that after 4.5 years of running like this, I was long overdue for running sunglasses.  I’ve always been super jealous of people who can just pick up a random cheap pair of $5 sunglasses (and cute ones to boot!) and rock those, for everyday life and running.  Going to the expo and seeing people buy really awesome running sunglasses for their race the next day with no worries about being able to see!  I have a pair of cute prescription sunglasses before, but when my car got broken into last year, they were in my center console and got stolen :( Major bummer since they are NOT cheap.

If you’ve never heard of SportRx, seriously, look them up.  They are based in San Diego (I miss you SD!) and have fantastic customer service. They carry so many different brands of glasses, regular and sunglasses, casual and athletic, nonRx and Rx. I sat on their website for a good 2 hours looking through the different options and unsuccessfully narrowing it down to about 30 pairs haha.  I contacted them and explained my situation, how running in regular glasses that I need to adjust or push up every few minutes is really ruining the fluidity of my running. They totally  got it. They’re athletes and active people themselves. They run, they cycle, they surf, they swim, etc. They know what’s up.

After going back and forth via email, I agreed to be completely surprised with a pair (scary but awesomely exciting as well!).  I emailed them a photo of my prescription (yay eyes getting worse and astigmatism!) and literally less than a week later, I got a box in the mail!  I ripped open the box and was so excited to see what was inside.  Inside was a pair of Tifosi Core sunglasses.  I put them on quickly and realized since the sunglasses were my recently updated prescription, my poor eyes weren’t used to it yet, so I had to sit there for a minute, letting them adjust to the slightly stronger Rx.  Since it was already late, I put them in my purse to wear the next day on my walk to work.

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Thankfully Karl the Fog decided to stay away for awhile the next day and the sun was shining. I had a jaw appointment in the afternoon, so it was the perfect time to test them out!  Since it’s the updated Rx, it was crazy what a difference just a small change can make! Everything was much more crisp and clear and I wasn’t squinting to read the street signs haha.

I got home a little early that night and the sun was still out – time to put them to the test for a short run!

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These ones are a little wide on my face I think, so my next pair of running sunglasses will be a smaller frame most likely.  I went for a short 5k run around the neighborhood and these babies were amazing! I didn’t have to adjust them once, they stayed on, didn’t slide, didn’t bounce, didn’t move.  I didn’t have to squint once, even when I was directly facing the sun.  Even though my face was sweating (it was probably still almost 80 degrees out), they didn’t budge. I even stopped to jump around and they still stayed put. Super impressed, trust me.

I got home from my run and was stretching in the garage. Normally when I do any kind of stretching or yoga where I have to dip my head, I have to either take my glasses off, or not get annoyed that they’re just dangling there off my face.

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They didn’t budge!!!  Also, I cropped this to spare you a ridiculously gratuitous boob shot. You’re welcome.

Since that was just a short 5k run, I wanted to put them to a big test before doing a full review, and they got their chance this past weekend at the San Francisco Marathon (race recap coming soon!). I ran the 2nd half marathon, so they were going to get taken out for 10 miles longer than they’ve ever seen!  The weather had taken a slight turn and was forecasted to be pretty stinkin warm and sunny, so a perfect test race!  The weather channel did not lie and it was HOT. and sunny. I’m so incredibly grateful to have had these glasses during this race, because I honestly don’t think I would have gotten through without them!  I used to get headaches all the time after long runs because my eyes had no protection and I was constantly needing to squint. I didn’t squint once in 13.33 miles. I didn’t need to adjust them (although force of habit, I did reach up to push them up the bridge of my nose, even though I didn’t need to. I sometimes still do that even when I’m wearing zero glasses. 15 years of glasses-wearing will do that to you!).

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I made it! Seriously though, if you’re in the market for any kind of glasses, I can’t recommend SportRx enough. They have amazing customer service and you’ll get treated like you’re their only customer, every time!  They have so many different brands and styles to choose from that you’ll probably have a hard time choosing just one. A few days after I received mine in the mail, I was on their website again looking for more casual sunglasses that I could still potentially wear running, but could also easily transition into casual, everyday sunglasses, since these do look more athletic.  By the end of my 2 hour session, I still had about 10 tabs open. This is NOT going to be any easy process choosing another pair!

 

These sunglasses were provided to me by SportRx in exchange for my 100% honest opinion and feedback.  I can’t say enough good things about their company, what they stand for and their team. I was in no other way compensated for this post.
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Happy National Drink Watermelon Day! #DrinkWatermelonDay

So it’s #DrinkWatermelonDay! That makes me VERY happy! I started the party early though, since I was guzzling my Watermelon Nuun last night while foam rolling my IT band and watching So You Think You Can Dance. I’m going to celebrate today by only drinking watermelon Nuun and then most likely devouring at least 1/3 of a gigantic watermelon after work. It’s all about hydrating, right? Moderation shmoderation.

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According to the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, NC, July 24th is the hottest day in the contiguous United States (I don’t think San Francisco got the memo). Hottest day calls for some cooling off! The National Watermelon Promotion Board has declared today the first-ever “National Drink Watermelon Day!” Smart cookies over there.  I’m thinking I might just extend this holiday through the rest of the week since I need to hydrate for the SF Marathon 2nd half marathon this Sunday anyways. 

Did you know that watermelon is 92% water?!
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Don’t forget to head on over to the Watermelon Board website to get some awesome watermelon recipes!

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Beyonce knows what’s up! haha

What’s your favorite way to eat or drink watermelon?

 

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Running a race with no goals

Much like running “naked,” it can be pretty freeing. On July 27th I’ll be running the 2nd half of the San Francisco Marathon (for the mathematically challenged, that’s 13.1 miles) with Nuun (they signed on to be the on course support), so instead of racing for a time, I’ll be running with no stress, drinking ALL the Nuun on course, and encouraging runners along the way, especially those who may look like they’re struggling a bit.  This is a big change for me because normally when I run a 1/2, I want a PR!! PicMonkey Collage Chances are that I’ll still start out going too fast because in my head I’m still thinking “race mode!” I’ve run 1/2 marathons and other shorter races in San Francisco, but most have been along the Embarcadero, into the Presidio and towards the bridge (and some across the bridge), or into Golden Gate Park, finishing (or starting) on the Great Highway.  This will be a new course for me to run, since it starts at Spreckel’s Lake in GG Park, runs through Haight/Ashbury, the Mission, Mission Bay, passes by AT&T Park and then finishes along the Embarcadero. It might be a Boston Marathon qualifying race, but it FA SHO isn’t flat!

Are you running the SF Marathon? I’ll be at the Nuun booth at the expo on Friday evening and all day Saturday – come say hi!

How often do you run races without a goal?

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Bucket list of travels

Anyone else keep a list of amazing far-off places (or not so far-off) that you’d love to visit? I would randomly write places on the pages of my journals, but then new journals would be started, we moved and journals were lost and all of my partial lists have been lost! I had some pretty awesome places on there, if I remember them correctly!

Every time a friend travels to a new country (or national park), I start stalking their Facebook and Instagram accounts so that I can live vicariously through them. I have a friend that we exchange postcards with each other when traveling. He did this awesome backpacking trip and sent me a postcard from every single country. I did the same when I was in Europe in 2012 and it’s just an awesome thing to do! I love snail mail and love postcards from different places even more.

A few of mine include:

– Maldives
-Iceland
– Kayaking in Croatia
– Nepal
-Philippines
-Ghana
-Malaysia
-Patagonia
-Turkey
-Morocco
-Scotland

 

What’s on your travel bucket list?

 

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