Showing posts from 2012

My First 10 Marathons

For the last 5 years, I have been running 2 marathons a year. I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and look at my first 10 marathons:

1. 8/3/08 San Francisco Marathon - 4:44:17
2. 10/19/08 Nike Women's Marathon - 4:40:06
3. 11/8/09 Stinson Beach Marathon - 5:00:25. 3rd in AG 
4. 12/6/09 Northface Endurance Challenge 50k - 7:42:18 (I know it's an ultra but I'm including it here)
5. 4/25/10 Big Sur International Marathon - 4:38:42
6. 7/25/10 San Francisco Marathon - 4:20:23
7. 11/5/11 Stinson Beach Marathon - 5:54:29
8. 12/4/11 Dallas White Rock Marathon - 4:09:43
9. 7/29/12 San Francisco Marathon - 3:58:40
10. 12/2/12 California International Marathon - 5:09:46

Things I learned:
Respect Mother NatureRespect HILLSHmm, I haven't done a full marathon on Mt. Diablo yetDon't wear brand new shoes on race dayTrail races are different than road races F.I.R.S.T. Training plan seemed to work for me (Run less, run faster)High mileage may not be my thing I…

California International Marathon

California International Marathon

This was the wettest marathon I've ever done! The roads were flooded, gusty winds, rain coming down in sheets! It was right in the middle of the storm, and the marathon started during the worst part of it. The best part is the warm sunshine broke through at the end, and everyone had a chance to dry off and enjoy the post-race bliss.

This was an easy race to get to by train. I took the Amtrak Capitol Corridor. It's $28 each way. They have a cafe with food on the train, and it's just a 2 hour trip. I stayed in Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza, near the train station. The finish line and the expo at the Convention Center are walking distance and a bus picks you up at the hotel and takes you to the starting line. You do have to plan your breakfast ahead of time, as there is not much open at 4am (Great opportunity for food trucks)!

The fleet of school buses came to pick us up at our hotel at 5am. It seemed as if the entire hotel was booked up by marat…

CIM Training Week 12 - Run Wild!

Run Wild - The annual fun run for the San Francisco Firefighters Toy Drive, helped get me out running again after being sick all week. Sometimes you need a cause to get you out there. I'm supposed to do a marathon next weekend. Ha! Most of the week I felt like my throat was in a vice and chills and aches, but feeling better now, especially after that run.

The course used to be at GGP but now it is at Crissy Field. I managed to speed up each mile and finish strong. I like 5ks, they are over pretty quick! I am going to try out the compression tights and see if they help the ongoing hamstring tightness. I feel like I only have a few more miles left in me this year then I need a little break.

Taper food:

CIM Training Week 11 - Taper

This is it. Probably the most drastic taper ever, but I ran in the rain the other day and now I feel sick. Just what I needed before the marathon! My throat is killing me and I'm feeling chills and aches. I hope it goes away before the race. I am just stretching out and trying to rest and eat right.

CIM Training Week 10 - Taper

Week 10 of CIM training and decided to start the taper, well, actually the legs decided. Going for a swim with my Water World Swim group on Sunday helped with the soreness. We had a great time swimming around the wall and riding the current on the way  back in.

I cutback way more on running this week than I wanted to. I have run 334 miles in my training so far and without realizing it passed the 1,000 mile mark this year. 1,028! Just a few more weeks until marathon madness!

CIM Training Week 9 - Apex

46.24 miles, I reached the peak! It was a good week of running back-to-back days, and this is the highest weekly mileage of the year. Last year I peaked out at 49 and the year before at 50. That is definitely my threshold. I think if I wanted to go farther, I would have to increase the daily runs of 10 miles a day for a while. This requires more of a time commitment! I did lose some weight this week alone just running 2 hours a day at night. According to the CIM training plan, I have 2 options now. I can taper now or extend the peak. I will have to wait to see how my legs feel.

 What helped me keep going were the Run4NYC and TwitterRoadRace . The Clif Bar 2 mile challenge is happening now!

CIM Training Week 8

Bumping up the mileage. Even though it's not as much as my training plan called for, I think that's all my legs called for. Hopefully this week I can peak out.

Hempseed Horchata

In my search for a whole foods alternative to a carb drink I can take running with me, I finally looked to my latin roots and realized horchata has everything I need. I gave it a little extra protein boost with the hempseed.

I love hempseed and hemp protein and eat it everyday. Can we please legalize hemp so I can grow my own?

Hempseed Horchata

1 cup of rice* cooked with cinnamon stick
1/3 cup hempseeds
4 cups water
1 TBSP powdered cinnamon
1 ripe banana or your favorite sweetener

Blend rice and hempseeds with a little bit of water in food processor until creamy. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled or warm.

*If worried about rice because of arsenic, then you can use oats. It depends on where the rice is grown. I've heard that white rice in California has the lowest levels in the U.S. and rice from India and Thailand rice is also safer. White rice has less than brown rice. The water in the Horchata dilutes the serving of rice.

New improved recipe:

This reci…

CIM Training Week 7

This was a challenging week, having a late start on the miles means there is no room for flaking once the week starts running out. My long run was only 17 miles, I feel like an inchworm. I'm supposed to hit my 20 miler on week 9. If I add a mile and a half on the next LSDs I will get there.
I kind of like the 42 mile weeks that are structured like 6, 12, 6, 18. It would be ideal to do those every week. On the long run I packed my camelbak with homemade gels and a flavor pouch of pureed kiwi, date, coconut water & chia. I did break down and grab some pretzels at the gas station. I think that I need some starchy carbs, so will try some rice or potatoes next time. There are so many exciting races and events going on in the fall, but I'm just going to stay focused on CIM.

CIM Training Week 6

This was another solid week, with consecutive days of running. Took the homemade gels and coconut water with chia seeds on the long run, and it worked out great! I noticed I don't get as hungry early in the morning as I do in the afternoon runs. I found a pouch I can put pureed organic whole foods in called Little Green Pouch. Can't wait to try some running recipes! For post run recovery, I've switched over to hemp protein mixed with fruit. It can also be mixed in with almond butter for sandwiches.
Hemp Goddess Supreme Organic Protein Drink
Strawberry 3-2-2-1 Protein Shake

The days are getting shorter, and the runs are getting longer!

CIM Training Week 5

That looks better. I finally got my mileage back up. This week is supposed to be an easy week, followed by 3 peak-building weeks.

I've been doing the homemade gels on the long run, but I got really hungry even after having pre-workout meal of quinoa and millet. I think next time I will bring a few dates and add the chia gelor hemp protein. Raisins also have energy and a little protein. Some people like to bring baby food. What do you like to eat on the long run?

I'm abandoning the store-bought stuff to avoid the GMO Soy protein isolates. There are a few trusted brands for endurance athletes that are non-GMO such as Clif, Vega, Hammer, and CORE foods. To find out more about GMO in our food, please visit California Right To Know.
10 Natural Race Food Alternatives

CIM Training Week 4

I missed the long run this week but I had a great time on a weekend getaway! The circumstances made it difficult to find a place to run for 2 and 1/2 hrs. Sometimes it's hard to balance running and quality time with loved ones, but on the other hand, I'm now more inspired and motivated by my personal life. Happiness!

CIM Training Week 3

Another great week of steady training and building mileage on the track, hills and trails!

 I'm trying to mix it up and run on different terrain, so I biked to Cal Train and did my long run on Sawyer Camp Trail. It was really hot but there are lots of shaded areas and little scenic rest stops along the way.  This was perfect for a 12 miler, as the trail is 6 miles long. There are plenty of restrooms but the water stop is at the end of the trail on the north end, so plan to bring water and and a refillable container.  I brought my Ultimate Direction marathon belt/bottle which holds 24 oz of water with homemade gel, and 2 bottles of water on the bike which worked out fine. Pre-workout snack of PBJ sandwich on the train. It is a short 5 mile bike ride from the train station, and there are lots of places to eat on 4th street. On the Long Slow Distance, I just let my pace be what it is and enjoy the scenery. Later on in training I will worry about Goal Marathon Pace. It was a little ch…

CIM Training Week 2

Added a few more miles this week and explored some different trails. Running is a great way to explore the city!

Here are some of the places I explored this week:

Strawberry Hill, the hill surrounded by Stow Lake at Golden Gate Park. Just run on any of the footbridges that lead into the center. There are also some nice trails around the Conservatory of Flowers and Fuchsia Dell. Here is a map showing some of the trails in Golden Gate Park (In GMap Pedometer, just click on the OSM button to see the trails).

George Sterling Memorial Park, named after the poet, is another good hill run. Lots of stairs and great view of Golden Gate Bridge. It is between Larkin and Hyde near the Aquatic Park.

Stevens Creek Trail is accessible by Cal Train, and provides several miles of bike and pedestrian paths unobstructed by traffic.

Weekend on the Bay - CIM Training Week 1

Had a great weekend on the SF Bay volunteering for swim events! The weather on both days was excellent and the Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival was also going on, need I say more. On Saturday, The SERC Alcatraz Invitational with 861 finishers to swim from Alcatraz. It was a very well organized event, the winner Peter Kline in 29:40. I helped with the bag check. On Sunday a beautiful Water World Swim Golden Gate Bridge Swim with 18 Swimmers. The conditions were so good that the WWS GGB record was broken by teen Hunter Wright in 22:32. I helped with the timing. There were only 3 women  participants so they all got awards! Their times were amazing. We then had our regular Sunday Swim and I got to kayak. There are lots of new wave swimmers in our group that are learning at a young age to become great swimmers. I didn't realize that the first week of my marathon training had already started, so I tried to squeeze some miles in on both days. It's 30 plus weeks from here on out!


Aquatic Park

The sun came out on Saturday for a beautiful swim at Aquatic Park. The currents were just right so Lisa and I ventured out to the opening to check out the view. There are several swim events coming up this month that I'll be volunteering on: SERC Alcatraz Invitational, WWS Golden Gate Bridge Swim and Alcatraz Touch and Go.

WWS Alcatraz Swim with the Centurions

This weekend I volunteered on the Water World Swim 10th Annual Alcatraz Swim with the Centurions. It was pretty spectacular, with over 200 swimmers jumping off the ferry! The fog had subsided but it was a little windy, and that means choppy waters. It was one of the roughest Centurions swims ever, which makes the finish even that more gratifying. The first one to shore was Richard Clark, wetsuit division, in 27:41, followed by Zebron Lemke in the more prestigious non-wetsuit division in 29 minutes. Full Results. We had a great volunteer team and stellar coordination this year. Click on the photo above to see more of my snapshots of the event. We also had several professional photographers that will be posting their photos there.
Volunteers on WWS Events get T-shirts, food, and Alcatraz swims. Volunteer activities include, registration, body marking, setup, breakdown and cleanup, food, timing, awards, assisting swimmers, boat escort, kayaking. It's fun! contact info [at] waterworl…

Climbing Weekend

Had a fun weekend outdoor climbing and camping in the Santa Cruz Mountains! My climbing partner and I did an intro class with Adventure Out. Our guide Shawn was very knowledgeable and I learned alot. It definitely helps to go out there with guide, especially in the beginning. Castle Rock is only a short drive from San Francisco, and Saratoga is a few miles away. You can pretty much camp light and eat there. We camped at Sanborn-Skyline County Park. The weather was nice and slept outside under the stars. Even though it was right next to a creek, surprisingly, there were no bugs. There are no wood fires allowed, so you must bring charcoal. Also, it is a short hike in to camp, so it's a little more work. The road to the campsites is paved and going uphill, so you might want to bring a cart.

This is the view from campsite #7:

I look forward to going back to Castle Rock!

Strength Training

This week was IronStrength week. This challenging whole body workout takes about an hour and will make you sore the next day!

IronStrength workout
2 minute WU (jumping jacks, jump rope, lunges)Plyometric Jump Squats - 6-8 sets of 15 with 20 sec restSuperset of Plank Rows, Pushups, Situps ( All Supersets are 15 reps ea then repeat, 5 minutes)Superset of Lunges, Toe Touches (15 reps ea, 5 minutes)Superset of Mountain Climbers, Legs Up and Down (15 reps ea, 5 minutes)Superset of Deadlift High Pulls, One legged Overhead Push Press, One legged Bicep Curl (15 reps ea, 5 minutes)Burpees - 3 sets of 10, work up to descending ladder from 10, 9, 8... w 20 sec restPlanks - 1 minute dolphin planks each side and centerStretch - Seated hamstring, spread leg, back twist, modified pigeon, yoga lunge, standing side stretch

Burpees are evil, aren't they? I'm hoping this will prepare me for the next round of marathon training. This month will focus on base m…

What I did all week




I like to try out different training plans. The one I used focuses on speed, then efficiency, and you can adjust your mileage/cross-training to suit your needs. If you are interested in getting a copy I can send it to you. I'm a low mileage person (25-35 mi) who likes to cross-train. For me, this keeps me from injuring my legs, but do what is right for you. Before the marathon training, I had been doing short races and a lot of speed workouts in winter/spring, so I thought this would be perfect for me. All my runs except for track workouts had some hills in them. You can never get enough hill training!
Now SFM is over, I'm going to take a week off, SWIM, then 6 weeks of usual running focusing on hills and strength, then another 12 weeks to get ready for CIM.  They have several training plans on their website. A little strength training goes a long way! For the first time at SFM this year, I felt like I was using my whole body to get up the hills: from my legs, glutes, core, a…

The SF Marathon

Finished the SF Marathon in just under 4 hours at 3:58:40, a 10 minute marathon PR and 20 minutes PR for this course! Also managed to raise some funds for Back on My Feet, thanks to everyone who donated! Every little bit helps.

It was a good day out there. I always enjoy this race. It makes me feel like I'm going down memory lane as I pass by several familiar spots and neighborhoods I used to live in. It has a great vibe with all the great views, rockin' live music and DJs, awesome volunteer support, lots of aid stations and cheering. The Coast Guard was handing out medals this year, which made it very special. The Rock The Bike Pedal-Powered stage is just awesome.

And now for the details:

I started out intentionally slower on the first mile, then found my pace. Had to make a pit stop before Ft. Mason because the bathroom lines at the start were way too long. I was thinking I could catch up to the 3:40 pace group, so I tried to blow through Crissy Field. There was a moving wea…

SF Marathon Expo

SF Marathon Madness weekend is here! Started off the day with a nice and easy 3-miler at the SF Marathon finish line with Bart Yasso, fab SFM ambassadors, and other fun runners.

Then biked over to the expo with some Boudin SF Sourdough and Acme Sweet French Baguettes for the Tweetup! The expo was so dense, I could have stayed there all day!

I got my bib (41015) and shirt, moved my wave up, scored some new kicks at the Fleet Feet booth, some socks, KT Tape, Clean Bottle, SFM wristband and tasted some goodies. The chia shots with coconut water were pretty good! It was so nice to finally stretch out in the Sports Basement runners lounge. Aaah!

Got some great inspiration from Bart Yasso's slideshow to top it all off! Good to meet everyone!
Now to get off my feet...

@runwithwes @libbyruns @NJnSF @paulettezf @Kiwi05 See you at the finish line!!!

Week 11

My training last week: 4 runs for 24.5 mi and 2520 calories burned. Paying attention to rest and increasing carbs intake. Critical test run to plan a race day strategy and gauge expectations.

Races I've done this year:
Zombie Runner San Francisco Run 1/2 Marathon
DSE Coastal Trail Challenge 10k
Presidio 10 mile
Oakland Running Festival 5k
DSE St. Patrick's Day 5k

 I did a lot of 5k training in the winter, 10k - half-marathon in the spring, and now it's time for the marathons!

Thanks to everyone who donated to Back on My Feet! You rock!