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, and arms. At the end of the race my arms were actually sore from sprinting to the finish. 

As you can see, my whole year is planned around RUNNING!


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:

SF Marathon 2012
SF Marathon 2012

SF Marathon 2012I 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 wear Blue to Remember contingent there that cheered us on. I was just a few minutes behind, so I tried not to lose more than a minute or two on the hills. It was hard to pass people on the bridge, and had to stay focused on pushing the pace. It was quite foggy, so even though the view was misty, it's always mind boggling to see all the little colored dots of thousand of runners on the Golden Gate Bridge and realize you are one of those colored dots! And we were running on the bridge, not on the sidewalk! There is a fun downhill after the bridge so I tried to take advantage of it. By the time I got to Golden Gate Park I realized I was now a half mile behind the 3:40 group. I knew this because I had my virtual running partner programmed in my Garmin and I could see it. I also made a pace band and I knew how many minutes I was behind them. By the time I got to Stow Lake, I finally saw the leader of the pace group leaving the loop, just as I was entering it. I knew then I was now a good mile behind them, or 10 minutes. I kept on going with my ultimate goal in mind, a sub 4. I knew I needed to have that higher target in mind in order to get me there, so I'm glad I set my race up this way. The hills drained me though and even though the second half is "faster" than the first half, the legs were not, so I couldn't regain my ideal pace. I saw the Daily Mile Team Aid station and said hi to Hugh B., who is great inspiration and support. They had oranges! Though I love Golden Gate Park, I just wanted to get the heck out of there and be done with the loop de loops. I thought I could fly down Haight St., but by now the hills were catching up to me. I just tried to stick as close to 8:00 - 8:30 pace as possible throughout the race and not get farther behind. By doing this I got to an average pace of 9:00 LOL! Once I left the park, I hit the RESET button, and just ignored everything I just ran and tried to click into 10k mode. I was happy at the end I was able to do a 2 mile progression run so I could finish on time. I saw some guys sprint by us within the last 5 miles and thought, WOW! But later on some were walking. Feels good to finish strong with a PR!

SF Marathon
My Garmin
I biked to and from the race. Running after a long bike ride is hard, but an easy spin on the bike after a long run actually feels good! I highly recommend it!  Running green: I brought my own water bottle to refill at the aid stations every 5 miles and a carb flask to keep my homemade gel mix in. If I have an extra gu packet, I time it so I'm at the aid station near the trash can and deposit the trash there.

Congrats to the female winner Devon Crosby Helms. She has a great blog with lots of recipes.


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.

SFM Shakeout Run with Bart Yasso

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!

SFM Expo

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!

SFM Expo

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

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!


Week 10 - Taper Madness!

Run: 29
Taper madness is here! Only a few more days to donate to Team Back on My Feet and get your name on my race singlet! This image shows my marathon training mileage for the last 10 weeks, about 303 miles. I really felt it this weekend! I was so fatigued on the long run, even after starting to taper early. I never felt so awful on the long run before. The legs were really sore. I peaked out on week 7, and am  in maintenance and recovery mode. I felt so much better after eating bread, which I usually don't eat, and swimming in the bay. I had a teff porridge and carb drink in the morning and afterwards ate tons of good old San Francisco Sourdough at Boudin! In a carb-loading frenzy, I went straight to their factory and had some clam chowder in a bread bowl, watched how they make the bread and brought home a baguette! Sometimes you have to listen to your body and what it craves. How can you resist bread crafted into cute animal shapes?

Boudin Bakery

See you at the SF Marathon Tweetup! I'll bring some San Francisco Sourdough!


Week 9

Run: 20

Took a little vacay down in SoCal to spend some quality time...

Warm beaches and blue waters! Practiced my marathon pace over the weekend, and it felt really comfortable. I didn't run long this weekend because I had to re-adjust my training to the trip.
Went to Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach. The Flying Tortillas were performing there, it was quite impressive seeing them in person!


Week 8

Run: 37
This week training plan said to scale back. The hammies were tight and the running was slow. I felt like I was in a fog.

SF Fog

I went swimming in the bay so that helped erase all the little aches and pains. I was so happy I finally got to swim with Lisa again and also with JoLynn! So awesome to finally see her doing open water swimming!

Lisa took this awesome pic with her gopro.

Next 2 weeks are peak weeks. Woo hoo!

I'm training/running the SF Marathon to raise funds for for team Back on My Feet. Please donate if you can or join our team! Happy running!

April Recap

Spring is here! Proceed with caution!  I managed to ramp up my activities, adding in more bike rides and swims, and taking the time to d...