Monday, December 30, 2013

The #YearOfRunning13 Post

Pavement Runner is becoming my favorite running person to follow on twitter, instagram and his blog. 

He is funny, insightful and runs A TON! 

I saw his post inspired by Miss Zippy and I KNEW I had to join in the fun!

So here is my 2013 in running!


Best race experience? 

This one is easy. This year I did my first marathon. Yeah, I said first….of many, I hope.  The sense of accomplishment and pride I feel from that one experience still flows through me.  Before I ran this race, a friend told me that a marathon is a “life-changer”. So true!  Because of the marathon I got a renewed sense of “I can”!  I was even chosen as a Spotlight Runner for the local news station.  But more importantly, the support I received from my family and friends was BEYOND my expectation.  You know what is a life-changer?  Someone you love and respect telling you that you’re magnificent  or someone telling you that you look beautiful after you just ran 16.5 miles.  Those moments are life-changers.  Read about the  best day of my life here.  OR see my Spotlight from KTLA!

Best run?

The first time I ran 20 miles.  Training for the marathon was really difficult.  It’s like having a second job.  I trained with two other girls, but they had similar paces and I was much slower so I spent a lot of time alone and towards the end of those training runs often felt exhausted and defeated.  The day we did 16, I broke down and said, “I don’t think I’m going to be able to finish.” Because I had just spent the last 3 miserable miles trying to do the math in my head of how fast I would need to go in order to make it.   AHHH, but the day we ran 20 miles.  I was exhausted, but not defeated! I was sore, but not broken.  I almost wanted to keep going, just to prove I could.  That day, was the day I KNEW I could run a marathon.  You can read about that day here.

Best new piece of gear?

I love all my gear, but haven’t gotten much new EXCEPT a fabulous Flip Belt.  I saw these at the Surf City and thought they would be perfect for the marathon. I bought one and then forgot to pack it (along with my hat and sports bra).  Luckily they had a booth at the expo and now I have two! They perfect for running and biking when you need to bring your phone and some cash (even tampons-sorry guys!)
Learn about them at 

Best piece of running advice I received?

To stop calling myself slow.  Yes, I am slower than my friends.  Yes, I’m not breaking any tape or qualifying for Boston, but I AM doing it.  I’m not slow, I’m pace challenged. Just kidding.  I am allowed to discuss my pace when necessary, however, I no longer call myself slow in a derogatory way.  Plus, I’m getting faster!

Most inspirational runner?

How do I chose, I spent the early part of the year reading about runners like Matt Long, Scott Jurek and Ben Davis.  I run with incredibly strong, kind and wonderful people. I have found people like Pavement Runner and Distant Runners inspirational as well.  Of all of those, I think I will have to go with Devon Johnson from the Facebook page Distant Runners ( and of her own blog

She is funny, kind and approachable and her commitment to health and faith is something to admire.  Her recount of her Boston experience is not to be missed.

 If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would it be?

This was the year I threw “can’t” out the window and lived a life full of “can”.

This was the year I stopped telling myself I couldn't do things.  I ran a marathon, I got an awesome new job and I got chosen to be an Ambassador for the San Francisco Marathon.

I'm living proof that you don't need to wait "until".

Your life is now, it's time to go out and live it  AND don't say you can't.  There are very few things we "can't" do.  We can accept the things we won't do or can't do YET.

2014 will be another year of "I Can"!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Guess Who's Back?

Who knew running would be my greatest teacher?  (NOBODY!!!!)
Who knew I would be too stubborn to learn? (EVERYBODY!!!! )
Look if you know me at all (and most of you do…but if you don’t read my other blogs then you will), then you will know that patience is not a virtue I possess when it comes to myself.

Find a parking space, don’t worry I’ll drive around.
Wait in line, I can do it patiently.
Get over an injury – HELL TO THE NO!

I put off physical therapy because I wanted to do my races and I knew it would do far worse damage to my spirit and my mind to not run than the damage that would rock my body.

And I was right. (See even I know me!)

Physical therapy has not been easy.  It’s physically difficult and mentally trying. I tried to keep my same patterns.  I went to Treadmill Class and walked on the treadmill.  I met the gang on Saturday mornings and walked.
I waited patiently to get the okay to run.

Until I couldn’t.

I wanted to be fixed, so finally I said to my physical therapist, “You HAVE to let me run.”

I didn’t yell. I didn’t cry.  I said it matter-of-factly.
And he did.
I’m approved for short, slow, flat runs.

I’m starting at 0 (aka 4.5 on the treadmill), I’ve lost all that speed I trained for in the spring, but I feel like it will come back more quickly.

I’m still not running pain free, BUT I’m not in pain after a run, which is a HUGE deal!

And I did my first race back  and it was awesome!              
On Sunday December 8th , I did half of a half. OR a Half-Marathon Relay with Ditto.
A bunch of our other friends joined us for either the relay or the half marathon.
It was freezing.  I know some of you are reading this in places where the temperature often dips low. That is not the case for us Cali kids.
20’s and 30’s is FREAKING COLD and we are all ill-equipped for such conditions.
We bundled up, wore long sleeves (the HORROR!),  head warmers, gloves, etc. and went to Ventura to run the awesome Santa to the Sea!

If you’re looking for a fun race in the LA area in December, look no further. This race is well-organized, easy to navigate, family-friendly and everyone gets a medal!

One of my favorite things about this race (I ran the half last year…) is that they have a contest for the neighborhoods you run through for the best neighborhood spirit.

It is just really fun.

And it was awesome to do it with my friends.
Neil and Erika did the half marathon.
The relay teams were:

Team Ditto

Deb and Cody

Marcy and Angela.

Cody, Ditto and Angela waited in a warm coffee shop until it was time to get us….It was really cold, but we sucked it up and jumped around before the race.
The corrals got warmer due to body heat and when it was time, we were off and running.
This race also has a costume contest so I was running with Frosty, Santa, elves and even two girls carrying a surfboard with Santa chillin’ on it in a lawn chair.

My goal was to not be in pain and to run the whole time. 
I won’t lie, it didn’t tickle to run.  My left leg is super tight, regardless of how much I stretch.  It just is.

I feel like my legs belong to two different people.  One relaxed and one uptight.  (Maybe this is indicative of my personalities?)

Anyway, I just ran.  I ran as fast as I could without feeling sore or winded. I’m rebuilding my breathing too.  It’s crazy how much you lose.

I kept moving forward. I walked at water stations and didn’t stop to pee once (which for me is a miracle, but the lines were so long and I knew Ditto was waiting for me!)

I ran a little under a 13 minute mile.  It felt good. I actually piggy-backed on some ladies doing 30/30 intervals but instead of run/walk I did jog/sprint.  Now, my sprint wasn’t all that fast, but it worked for me and I may work this in to my marathon training….which starts next week!!!!!!

I got to the relay area in 1 hour and 22 minutes, gave Ditto our ankle bracelet and she was off.

Deb and Marcy were waiting for me. They had been in for about 5 minutes, so I felt like I did a great job.
We hopped on the shuttle bus and headed to the finish line. (The two disasters of the day were the shuttle between the relay point and finish line and the line for bag check!)

After meeting our peeps, we took pictures and celebrated our victories…
Both Angela and I were running our first race back after injuries
Deb hadn’t run a race since June!
Marcy had never done anything further than a 5K!
Ditto running with Litto in her belly!                                                             
Cody getting back in the swing of things!
Neil and Erika both got PRs!!!!

All in all it was a great race and I am thrilled to be back. 
I’m not 100% yet, but I’m getting there.

It’s taking longer than I anticipated and my patience is waning, but as long as I’m allowed to run a little bit….I’ll be happy!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

It's Not You, It's Me.


Dear Running,

We need to take a break.  Believe me this is not what I want, but I have to look at a couple of very important lessons that you taught me.

1.       Be a little bit selfish

2.       Take care of yourself

So, that’s what I’m going to do.

I want to thank you for our last Hurrah!

The Nike Women’s Marathon was AWESOME!

You really hit our last date out of the park.  It wasn’t our best time (3:07 and change) but is was a great time!

Let’s recap, shall we?

Friday night we drove up to Redwood City with Sara.  We took the long way, cruised the coast, stuffed our faces in Solvang. 

We had some laughs! Remember when I almost wet my pants on our way to Gilroy?  What a hoot!

We had deviled eggs and quality time with Nonnie and took her out to dinner!

Saturday we all got up early…here are the highlights:

1.       Getting our bibs was painless

2.       Buying Nike gear was painful to the wallet, but I look good!

3.       Lunch at Pompeii’s Grotto

4.       The beautiful view of the bay

5.       That Ghiradelli sundae.  Remember when I was half way through it and I said I was going to puke….then I finished the sundae…good times.

6.       A cable car ride

7.       Seeing our names on the Nike Wall

8.       Seeing Kara Goucher and Joan Benoit Samuelson speak with our hero Craig Moss

9.       Finally finding our peeps!

10.   Dinner at Cheesecake Factory

11.   The HUGE group of friends we found!

12.   Our Anime Hotel!

All of these are memorable times!

Then came Sunday morning! We were freezing but happy! A little giddy!

We ran with Sara most of the way and Ditto the whole way! What a treat! We’ve never run a half with someone before….we may be spoiled now! Is it weird that I like threesomes?

We ran slow but steady, stopping to use the restroom, walking the hills, walking when it hurt.

And we finished.

We got the coveted Tiffany necklace from the fireman.

We found our friends, had adventures in traffic and made it home safe.

But now, Running, we need to take a break.

I have to take care of myself and that includes (finally) rehabilitating that angry hamstring.

Please believe me when I say that this is harder for me than it is for you.  For the last 3 years, we haven’t gone a week without spending some time together.

But now I have to take a break.

I’m terrified of what life will be like without you, but think this time apart will make us stronger and (hopefully) faster.

I’ll miss you,



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Suck It Up, Buttercup!

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend 2013

I’m a little worried I’m going to upset some folks with this blog, but just a little.

Although I had a wonderful weekend with my friends, I didn’t L-O-V-E my Disney Half Marathon experience and it’s all my fault.
I went in to this weekend unprepared physically, emotionally and attitudinally.

It’s simple.
I don’t love Disney races.   I know, you’re all gasping in horror! WHAT?! How can you not love the Disney race?

Running through the park!
Awesome T-shirts!
Multitudes of BLING!

This is all I can say; it’s not really my thing.

I will attempt to explain MY feelings about this knowing that how I feel is not indicative of the race or experience I could have and should have had.

What I should have done is sucked it up, instead I simply sucked.


There are a few key reasons why this race was not a favorite of mine and my sincere hope, dear readers, is that someone, anyone learns from my mistakes.

1.       Don’t sign up if you can’t afford it.

Disney races are expensive.  I’m a Grad Student in between jobs.  I didn’t know I’d be in between jobs when I registered for the race, but I still have no business throwing $300 at entry fees not to mention the costs of staying near the park and eating out in a tourist area for almost 4 days.

I need to be smarter about the races I choose. They need to fit in my budget in totality, not just the entry fees.  

Disney does give bang for the buck, but let’s be honest; once you’ve done one Disney race you’ve done them all. The shirts change, but the medals don’t. The speakers at the Expo are not varied and the finish line expo is the same.  Even the course through the parks is pretty much the same in all the races (sometimes you go in a different direction J ).  I’ve done the 2011 Disney 5K, Tinkerbell in 2012 and 2013 and now Dumbo’s Double Dare.  Not much has changed except for my resentment at the money I’m spending to do the same thing again and again.

2.       If you expect a certain OUTPUT your INPUT needs to match.

In the words of Fiona Apple, I’ve been a bad, bad girl.  I have been lessening my workouts (see next lesson) but not what and how much food I put in my body.  I’ve been neglecting the most important part of my desire to be a better athlete; nutrition.  I’ve simply ignored the fact that I have to fuel my body properly.  I’ve been tired and nauseous at workouts because I think it’s smart to eat a bunch of candy right before.  I haven’t been drinking enough water or eating enough vegetables.  I have been ignoring my pants getting tighter and my face getting rounder.  I’ve been neglecting ME!

I know first-hand how great workouts feel when I’m eating healthy.  I remember with fondness how great my body felt and wonder if I’ll ever feel that way again.

As if I don’t have any control over this.

I have all the control.  My goal is 2 marathons and an Olympic Tri next year.  This is doable, but I will be miserable if I don’t fuel my body properly.


3.       Sometimes you need to rest if it hurts.

I have a strained upper hamstring.  It comes and goes in waves, hurts most when I’m sitting and has been troubling. The Physical Therapist says he can rehab it in 2-4 weeks, as long as I don’t run for that long.

I haven’t NOT run at least once in a week since late 2010. 

I have races coming up.

I am still going to have to run, but I need to listen to my body.  I need to take it easy. 

I want to be an old woman runner.

Although I will continue to run to train for my last two events this year, I’m going to cross-train as well.

Walking and swimming and upper body/core workouts will become more prevalent as runs will become less.

4.       Going into something with a bad attitude will equal a bad performance.

In the corral on Sunday I said to my friends, “I’m going to get my worse time today” and I did. I let all the things I didn’t like get to me.  I was tired. I had to get up early. My leg hurt a bit. It was fixin’ to be a scorcher that day. I don’t like Disney races. Lo and behold…. I sucked!  Nearly 15 minutes slower than my worst half marathon time. 

I literally gave myself permission to SUCK. Who does that?

Take it from me; it didn’t make anything any better. My attitude didn’t give me more sleep, it didn’t make the day cooler, and it didn’t make my leg hurt less.

In fact, my bad attitude made all of these little things seem enormous.

Stuff’s not always going to be awesome, but really why make it worse?

5.       Find the races that motivate you.

The truth for me is that Disney races aren’t a motivator FOR ME.

I think it’s so wonderful that these races give people an opportunity to step out of their fitness comfort zone and doing something amazing because running and walking 13.1 miles is amazing. 

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a slow runner.  My goal is to get faster.  My injury is kind of making me start back at the beginning. I gained a lot early in the summer and pushed too hard, now I’m paying for it.

At most races, I’m a “back of the pack” runner.  Because Disney is rookie-friendly and many people do it for the Disney experience instead of the race experience, at Disney races, I’m a “middle of the pack” runner.   This somehow made me believe yesterday that I had no pressure to perform.  I don’t need to get better; I’ll be in front of people.

I know, I just got the middle finger from a bunch of you and I deserve it.  But think about why you run and what you run for. Maybe it's not the same for you and me.

I run to better myself.

Running has made ME a stronger, more patient, kinder, happier person.  Competition has done that for me.  Not competing against anyone else, but striving to be better and to catch people.

I know I could have done that yesterday.  Plenty of people were in front of me, shoot, plenty of people passed me! But I need to strive to be with the middle of the pack.  I will probably never win a race and I’m cool with that.

I just believe that other races are better for me.  I can change my attitude about it and I will try, but until then I want to pick the races that challenge ME.

That’s not to say I will NEVER do another Disney race, I think I just need to go about them differently.  I need to get a bunch of friends, sign up as a group, ensure we all want to stick together, find silly costumes and stop everywhere within the park to take pictures.  We could cross the finish line together, holding hands and laughing our butts off….that is how I think I need to do future Disney races.  THAT sounds fun!

I also got to experience a few things I already knew, but are worth mentioning.

1.       Great friends can make any experience worthwhile

I am LUCKY.  I must have done something right in a past life to deserve people like Heather and Cody and Neil and Ryan and Sue in my life.  I KNOW I made the right decision joining #Run3rd because Sean is so motivating and it helped me reconnect with Stephanie and I feel like I truly have new friends in #Run3rd Captains Tracy and Dawnley. 

It was so fun to pass Jason on the course and smack him in the buns and get the same treatment when he passed me.

It was so fun/funny getting horrible service everywhere (do we have a sign on our heads?) and reveling in the great service we finally received at Bubba Gump’s (Thanks Abe!!!)

I loved spending Monday at the parks with Vayden and Laura and celebrating Neil’s birthday! (See I don’t hate ALL things Disney, I’m a season pass holder!)

Despite my bad race ‘tude, I had a wonderful time and my great friends loved me despite my grumpy butt face!

Blessed indeed 

2.       Being proud is a really great feeling

Listening to Sean speak about inspiration was, well for lack of a better word, inspiring.  He can articulate how I feel about lacing up my shoes and hitting the pavement.  Becoming a runner is truly a life-changing experience. I know not everyone has a runner inside of them, but I encourage everyone to find their passion and raison d’etre and to be the best they can be. 

In my darkest time I once wrote, “I want to be inspired so I, in turn, can be an inspiration.”

Running inspires me and I feel confident and proud saying that I have inspired others.

Watching the #Run3rd video and seeing my face up there after a multitude of races warmed my heart and puffed out my chest a bit. 

Nothing wrong with that.

AND…I got the opportunity to be SUPER proud of a friend.  Kanika got a bib the day before the race and bravely weathered the heat and 13.1 miles to finish her very first half marathon.

Her guts and determination made me realize that the day wasn’t too shabby!

3.       A positive attitude at the right moment CAN change a day.

The very best part of the Disney Half starts around mile 8.5.  You run by a lumber yard and their sign out front read, “The time to quit is never.”  This made me smile. 

For me, this was the point of no return.  Even at my strongest I would not have been able to get a decent (for me) time, let alone PR.  My self-fulfilling prophecy was coming to pass, but the sign made me smile and remember to not give up.  Finishing 13.1 miles is pretty cool, so I went a little faster. Then we got to the classic cars.

Kudos to Disney for “dressing up” what could’ve been the most BORING part of the race.  The cool cars, the lovely people offering high 5’s, these things

And then you’re running THROUGH Angel Stadium.  I will admit, I came out of that tunnel and stifled a sob.  I felt so small and so HUGE at the same time.  I was so busy smacking people’s hands and getting their good energy that I missed myself on the Jumbotron.

This all led to a mid-race revelation.

“Heather, you may have started this race with a bad attitude, but you don’t have to finish that way. You’re performing poorly, but that doesn’t mean you have to behave poorly.”

I finished the race smiling and happy and accomplished.



I ran a 10K on Saturday (finishing moments ahead of Joey Fatone of NSync, I hope I can find a pic!) and a half marathon on Sunday. That’s a pretty big deal.

Go ME!

All in all, I wouldn’t trade my Disney experience (well, maybe my half marathon time alas….). I love my friends and I learned lots of great things about myself and that’s really the most important part, right?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Don't Provoke the Injured Runner

I’m annoyed.
Oh, and I’m in pain.

Yesterday I couldn’t run.

Seriously, it hurt. It hurts to walk. It hurts to sit. BLAH BLAH BLAH. It HURTS.

Now I’ve had some crappy, miserable runs before. I’ve even had crappy miserable races (Surf City 2013, I’m lookin’ at you!) but I’ve NEVER gone to Treadmill Class and not been able to at least ATTEMPT what the instructor asked us to do.
Yesterday, I walked. 3.6 for 45 minutes on a steadily increasing incline.
I hated every second of it.

I have been exhausted to my core in this class. The instructor has had me run at paces I will probably NEVER see on a sidewalk and yesterday I almost quit on a 3.6.

When I got off, she said, “Look, you’re here.  Every minute go up .5 incline until you get to 10.” So I did.
But I hated it.

Ditto on my left ROCKIN’ her workout.  I could see it was difficult and she looked awesome.  Erica on my right, that chick is superwoman.
Me. Walking.

5 years ago, if you had told me that not being able to run would put me in a funk, I would have guffawed in your stupid face.

I’m not running the Summer Series 5K tonight and I’m really worried about my weekend 7 miler.
I feel like I will DIE if I can’t run. But I’m in pain.

The back of my leg is constantly on fire. To the point where I brought a pillow to work because it feels more comfortable to kneel.
Yesterday, someone saw me kneeling and jokingly asked me if I was praying and in my head I screamed, “YES!!!! For my A$$ to stop hurting!”  (It’s not really my butt, but from the bottom of the left cheek to the middle of my hamstring.)

Running has become such a HUGE part of my identity.  I am miserable. It’s like someone took away my favorite toy.
The other day when I was at Treadmill Class, the instructor was making me do a quarter mile at an 8:34 pace then rest 30 seconds and repeat.   For me, this is fast.  My average comfortable pace is a 12:00 minute mile.  I was miserable and told someone that it was my idea of hell. Take something I love and make it impossible.

NO, THIS is my idea of HELL.

 Take something I love away.
I have a race in 6 weeks (actually 2 races, Thanks Disney!) and I really want to do well.

I don’t want to be injured or tired or in pain. I just want to run.
I will rest. I will stretch.  I will foam roll. I will ice and I will Biofreeze.

I will continue to work out in other ways so as not to lose all of my hard work.
But I gotta run.

I just gotta run.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Running for the Hills!


When I was training for the marathon, I didn’t want to sign up for a race.   I was worried that I would be too exhausted. Then I won an entry to the Hollywood Half and then someone talked me into San Francisco.
San Francisco was a race I really wanted to do for a variety of reasons.
1.       I was born there.
2.       You can run the full marathon, the first half of the marathon or the second half of the marathon.
3.       If you run the first half you get to run over the Golden Gate Bridge.

So I signed up for the first half of the marathon.   I signed up and made a plan to go visit my Nonnie and run with some lovely folks from my gym!
While I was training, I found out something pretty cool.  My beloved Nonno, who passed away a few years ago, actually WALKED across the Golden Gate Bridge the day it opened on  May 27,1937.  Then, I found out you could actually customize your bib.
So I did….

It was like he was running with me that day!

But first things first…
I drove from Southern California, stopping in Santa Cruz to visit my friend Nichole and headed to Nonnie’s.  She and I had a fun-filled Friday! I took her to the doctor and our time together consisted of deciding where, what and when we were going to eat next! Love it!
On Saturday, I picked up my friends Jodi, Christy and Jodi’s daughter Maddie at SFO and we went directly to the expo to grab our bibs and race goodies. We did this so quickly. It’s funny how the more races you do, the less time you spend at the expos and the fewer pictures you take!
We checked in to the hotel and made our way to Union Square so we could visit Lululemon and the Niketown.  You never know what you may need!
My dear friend is the General Manager of the Cheesecake Factory in Union Square so I made arrangements for us to have dinner there….it was delicious and perfect. Then we went back to the hotel to get much needed rest for the next day.

Team #Run3rd was meeting at 4:15 the next morning….my wave wasn’t until 6:30am and I didn’t want to get there so early…BUT I also didn’t want to miss a meet up. Since our hotel was so close to the start line, I decided to go down in my pajamas, say hello to my fellow Team Captains, take pictures, then head back up to get race ready!

My plan worked! I met up with Lupe and new friend Amanda and we talked for a bit while we waited for our fearless leader to arrive. Lupe is a fantastically organized leader, even at four in the morning! She had her #run3rd stickers, her signs and her positive attitude.  I am not sure I was even fully awake and I had left ALL my #run3rd stuff at home in So Cal –Thank goodness she was so prepared! Thanks Lupe!
She also took WAY better pictures with her camera then my camera took and was sweet enough to send them….I was thrilled to receive these and see her around mile 1.  She’s always a fabulous cheerleader! 

I am also in TOTAL AWE of how adorable Lupe is at 4am! Me? Not so much!

After a little while, I had to go and get ready for my own run.  Maddie and Jodi are speedier, so they got ready first for their early wave.  Christy and I took our time and snuck into Wave 6 instead of our real wave 8!
Maddie and I were doing the first half, while Jodi and Christy were rockin’ the FULL marathon!

As I stood in the corral, I turned to look at the Bay Bridge and managed to capture this:

Not too shabby!
And we were off.  I felt great for almost this entire race!

Here are some fun facts:
1.       I used to work for Applebee’s restaurants as a Corporate Trainer.  Applebee’s just so happened to be opening a new restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf  at this time and one of my best friends was working there. As I ran by, I saw she had put a sign in the window that read “ <3 SB” SB is our nickname for one another, it means “Sexy B*!ch”  I tried to take a picture but the sun and the tinted windows made it come out poorly!
2.       The morning was GORGEOUS! I took this picture from Chrissy Field
3.       I don’t usually run with my phone, but I did this time since I was finishing at a different place then some of my friends.  (My finish line was at the half way mark of the marathon) So I decided to have fun and post to Facebook and take some pictures.
4.       My first facebook post was a poem.  I couldn’t escape the urge to pee….

Not even to mile 3

Already stopping to pee
5.       Then I got to the bridge. This was magical. It was so cool running over and back that I didn’t even realize how far or how fast I was going, I just enjoyed the moment, the music and the fact that I was retracing my Nonno’s steps!

This was heading towards Marin; This was heading back into SF 

6.       Then the hills came. I walked a bit on them, but I kept a good pace.  This part of the course is up up up with teeny downs in between.  You go up up up, then you go down just a bit.  I wanted to quit so badly about mile 12 but I kept moving….
7.       AND THEN VICTORY! 12:03 pace, sub 2:40 finish… A PR for me! Plus double medals since I did this one AND LA!
8. When I got the email from the company that took the pictures I had to laugh because I was smiling in! Even the ones where I didn't know there was a photog there!
This was such a wonderful race and I’m so glad my friends talked me into it!  I may even sign up for the back end next year (another special medal) and maybe the full the year after (medal whore!!!!)
I love to run, I loved this challenge and I can’t wait to get back out there again! 









Friday, May 31, 2013

Marathons ARE a Spectator Sport!

I’ve decided that I’m going to stop calling myself slow.  Although my pace is not with the masses, I do my best and I finish. That being said, I’m usually at the back half of the pack. This means two things:
1.       I always have someone at the finish line.
2.       I don’t always get a moment to cheer on the people behind me. 
When I finish, generally, we leave because everyone else has been hanging around.
I’ve hung out at a couple of finish lines in my time, but mostly for 10k’s and 5k’s but standing there watching people run in after sacrificing their bodies for 26.2 miles was an incredible experience.
Let's start at the beginning:
Last weekend I went to the Mountains to Beach Marathon and Half Marathon to support my friends Cody and Neil who were running their first full and half respectively.
Ditto and I left at 6:30am to head to Ventura. The race started at 6am and we had mapped a place that would put us at mile 21ish for the marathon (mile 8ish for the half) and it was walking distance to the finish (the last 5 miles were a “fish hook” shape). 
We had spent the evening before making posters and crew shirts!  Team Ditto was in FULL EFFECT!
Cody, Neil, Ditto and I all love the TV show “How I Met Your Mother” so we used their NY Marathon episode as inspiration for signs and also re-used the signs Angela made for us for our marathon! 

 We also cut up oranges into wedges and bought pretzels and water for runners.
 So, we go there and held up our signs and held out our snacks!
Watching the runners go by was so inspiring and I got so jealous!  I wanted to run. Ditto and I both wore running clothes in the hopes that the boys would need us to pace them to the end…but they stayed strong!
I LOVE to run. Some may even say I’m obsessed with it. But let me tell you something.  There is SOMETHING to watching.
Having people laugh out loud at our signs and stop and take pictures. (One guy told me my sign was so funny it was what would get him through the last 5 miles of the race!)
Seeing the passion in the eyes of the guy in the front…the guy who won this marathon did it in 2:35!
Hearing a small child yell, “Go Mommy!” when they see their mom run on by.
Seeing the determination of someone who is struggling and just wants to finish.
Heading to the finish line and watching people make their dreams come true. I felt so privileged to be there to witness it.
Watching this FIRED ME UP! I cannot wait to stay strong, get stronger and meet more goals.
But I’m also excited to watch other people stay strong and meet their goals. 
AND I’m super proud of my friends!
Cody and Neil- You guys are superstars! I totally have medal envy =D

Kathryn Switzer was right when she wrote
And I believe her.
But you know what else I believe?
If you lose faith in yourself, run.
Any distance will do.