Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Race Report: Bay to Breakers 12K (better late than never!)

Following Laura's example, here is my race report for the ING Bay to Breakers 12K that I ran on May 18th, 2008. (Do I win a prize for the most delayed race report?) It's been sitting in my draft folder forever and I just never had a chance to wrap it up... until now!


As I mentioned when I first signed up, Bay to Breakers is a HUGE event in San Francisco. I've heard anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 people participate. For most people, it's a huge party where everyone dresses up in costumes with their friends and booze it up while they walk the 12K as part of one massive parade of nonsense. My friends and I took this approach for six years in a row and always had a blast!

This year, I decided to change things up a bit and actually try running the thing. I wasn't sure how it would go since the race is so packed (with drunk and/or naked people, no less) plus there was that steep hill on Hayes Street. My friends were suprised that I planned to run it - in fact, one of my good friends that did the six previous B2Bs with me even asked, "Do people actually run that?"

Well, I was gonna go find out! Luckily, my friend Renu joined me for the race - her first B2B experience! We decided to dress up as 80's girls - it was the easiest, last minute costume that met our requirements for something lightweight (we were in a heatwave at the time), easy to run in, and cheap!

[Note: This is as far as I got in my original draft ... so the rest of it comes straight from my memory which is why there isn't much info. Oops - sorry!]

B2B is fun but like many other point to point races with a huge number of participants - it is a huge pain to get there and get back. Actually, it's not that bad to get there. But a lot of trains were packed on the way there. It was pretty cool when we finally arrived - you can see huge packs of people in all their crazy costumes. And the floats! People really go out of their way.

We got into our start corral and participated in the tradition of tortilla tossing. You wouldn't think they would hurt but when they smack you in the head, it kind of does!

It took us about 16 minutes to get to the start line after the race started... and then took us a little longer to weave around all the walkers. It was fun to see people's costumes on the course.

(I was a little disturbed by these old folks. I guess I appreciate their "spirit" but I wouldn't want my grandparents running around with these shirts!)

One of the highlights is seeing the running salmon that always run the race from the finish to the start:

After mile 2, we got to the dreaded Hayes Street Hill:

I planned to walk part of it but Renu motivated me to run most of it. It wasn't too bad.

We still saw some fun costumes once we were past the hill, but eventually it got less entertaining when it was just us runners.

The race was still pretty crowded which surprised me since I thought the race was mostly just party people. Unfortunately, there were still a lot of naked runners. Yikes!

It was pretty nice and quiet toward the end and we finally crossed the finish line. We hung around Footstock for a little bit and then eventually got in the crazy long lines for the Muni back to the start. If I ever do this again (which I probably won't), I would definitely try to have a car somewhere near the end. Or arrange for a pick-up.

Official Results:

Distance 12K
Clock Time 1:38:39
Chip Time 1:22:41
Race Pace: 11:06
Overall Place 8162 / 22439
Gender Place 2767 / 11518
Division Place 856 / 3017

To amuse myself, I found the results when I did the party version of this race back in 2002. Here are my results from then:

2002 Bay to Breakers Results:
Clock Time 3:39:03
Race Pace: 29:22
Overall Place 30590 / 31351
Gender Place 15041 / 15501

29:22 race pace??? Is that not the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen or what? I think this can be attributed to making lots of stops to dance on the roofs of people's houses, keg stands (not me, my friends), bathroom breaks, and other nonsense.

As a final "treat", I now present you with a history of my B2B costumes over the years - enjoy!

2001 - The "Pink Slips" : Lay offs were in its hey day at the time... it was hilarious to see a bunch of big guys walking around in pink lingerie (size XXL, of course)!

2002 - Running of the Bulls: My friend and I actually made that paper mache bull that doubled as a large styrofoam cooler for our booze. Labor of love, I tell ya!

2003 - Mr. Personality Rejects: Does anyone remember this show? We actually saw another group that had a similar theme and they even had the host, Monica Lewinsky. (Well, not the real Monica.) Anyway, it was cheap and easy for a last minute costume.

2004 - Doctors and Nurses I had a dance competition that morning so I had to join this one halfway through the course at the panhandle. I learned that B2B isn't quite so fun when you're stone sober and all your friends are drunkity drunk.

2005 - Flight Attendants: I got completely separated from my group at this one and even got lost in Golden Gate park trying to find them once the course was re-routed.

2006 - Schoolgirls: Had fun with my friends but I think we all learned that maybe six in a row are enough B2B experiences for us.

2007 - No B2B for me - had a last minute business trip in Asia instead.

2008 - 80's: Totally rad!

Monday, December 29, 2008

I knew it was gonna hurt...

So I haven't really run or done much of any kind of exercise since the Nike half - which was about two and a half months ago.

Since then, I've been home to Ohio a couple of times for some holiday vacation time, went to Japan on a business trip, and oh yeah, have become obsessed with Twilight :) I know a lot of you get antsy when you're not out there running. Me? Not so much. I definitely like being out there with my Nikes and my Garmin but I also am totally content with being a lazy couch potato. And the traveling has kept me busy as well.

But it is time to get back out there and start rebuilding my running base... especially now that I am eyeing some 2009 races.

I started today and took it nice and easy - 2 miles. I just went out there for a nice enjoyable run with no Garmin or heart rate monitor. The weather was gorgeous so it was great. BUT wow - two measly miles took a beating on me. I was kind of embarrassed but I knew I deserved it. I was panting so heavily at the end of my run - I wish I had worn a HRM just because I was curious how high it went up.

I am glad that I did get back out there again. I just need to keep at it. But I am pretty certain that I will not be doing the KP half in February.

For the lovely ladies that I will be seeing on Wednesday, please take it easy on me. ;)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thoughts for 2009...

Like everyone else, I've been compiling my race list for 2009 for quite awhile now. So although I haven't been actually running, I have been thinking about it - that counts for something, right? (Right?)

First, here is the list of anything and everything that sounded appealing to me...

2009 "Everything but the Kitchen Sink" Race Calendar (blue = bike, green = duathlon) (UPDATE: Just to clarify, I don't plan to do all of these - they are just the master list of race ideas)
  • Feb 1st: KP Half Marathon or 5K
  • March 15th: Emerald Across the Bay 12K
  • March 22nd: Mermaid 5K/10K/Half Marathon - Mountain View, CA
  • April 4th: Cinderella Classic (65 mi)
  • May 17th: Cleveland Half Marathon
  • May 30th: See Jane Run Half Marathon - Alameda
  • June 7th: Mermaid Duathlon - Fremont
  • June 7th: America's Most Beautiful Ride - Lake Tahoe
  • July 12th: LiveStrong - 5K or Bike ride
  • July 19th: Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon
  • July 26th: SF Marathon / Half Marathon / 5K
  • September 27th: Mermaid Duathlon - Santa Cruz
  • October 18th: Nike Women's Half Marathon
  • November 1st: ING NYC Marathon
  • November 14th: Mermaid 5K/10K Run - San Francisco, CA
  • November 15th: Big Sur Half Marathon
  • November 26th: Cleveland Turkey Trot
  • December 6th: California International Marathon
  • January 2010: Goofy Challenge, Walt Disney World

But after the craziness of 2008, I think one of my main goals for 2009 is to simply: s p a c e * m y * r a c e s * o u t ! ! !

Also, I've really only run once since Nike so when I get back to running next week, I'll have to rebuild my base all over again. I might be interested in running the KP half again (especially now that it is chip timed - FINALLY!) but I just don't think a month will be enough training for me to run a decent race.

So here is what I *think* I will shoot for:

2009 Race Targets

  • May 17th: Cleveland Half Marathon
  • June 7th: Mermaid Duathlon - Fremont
  • July 19th: Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon (already registered with Team ROHO!)
  • October 18th: Nike Women's Half Marathon (assuming I get in)
  • November 1st: ING NYC Marathon (*** at least do the lottery to maintain my shot for 2011)
  • December 6th: California International Marathon (goal: sub-5:00 finish which would mean a PR by 25 minutes - shoot for the stars, right???)
  • January 2010: Goofy Challenge, Walt Disney World (goal: finish and have fun)

I might try to squeeze in some 5Ks and bike rides in there as well, but I will just play it by ear.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else is planning to do!

Monday, December 22, 2008

TIART: A Year in Review and Blogger Meet Up!

Better late than never, right? After a month's absence from my blog (bad Audrey), below is my response to last week's theme from Take It and Run Thursday - A Year in Review in 52 words or less.

2008 Running Highlights (52 words on the dot!)I'm very distraught about the last one because it literally happened this morning - more than two whole months after my last half marathon! I've bruised toenails in the past but they usually just grow out, not fall off! To be honest, I was pretty grossed out. Oh well, at least it's not toe-exposing weather.

In more fun news... I had a blind date Friday night.

... with the awesomely fun Aron, Maritza, and Tara! Let me just tell you, it was so wonderful to meet such great girls that share my love for running (OK, maybe not so much love from me in the last couple of months) and Twilight!!! Is it wrong for adult women to squeal and giggle at a movie? No, I don't think so. If you haven't read the books, just give in to the hype and check them out. You will thank us later. And be sure to get the entire 4-book series, you won't stop at the first one. :)

Here's the four of us at the movies (thanks for the pic Aron!):

These girls are just as nice and fun as they are on their blogs - can't wait to hang out with them more!

Happy holidays everyone!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

4th Photo Tag

I saw this on POM's blog and it seemed fun!

1. Pick the 4th folder on your computer
2. Pick the 4th Picture
3. Explain the picture
4. Tag 4 more peeps.

Since I don't have photos on my work computer, I went to Snapfish for this... here it is!

This is the back of my adorable 17-month old nephew. The pic was taken at the Cleveland Zoo last month when I was home for a visit. My sister was trying out some new "leashes" for the little tike which kind of sounds cruel but it helps so much! He actually liked this one and had a big smile on his face while wearing it. The trick is to keep a little slack on the leash so that he doesn't know he's being held back. Plus, it's totally cute, isn't it?

We tried another one that had a bracelet around his wrist - yeah, he wasn't digging that. I don't really recommend. But the doggy backpack one is great!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Updates to the race calendar

Since Nike, my "Upcoming Races" list has been empty. That seemed rather sad so I added a couple more this week.

- Turkey Trot 5 mile run on Thanksgiving (Update: In Cleveland!)

Can you believe it will be Thanksgiving next week??? The year has flown by. I think it's also weird to have holidays around the corner considering we've had 80 degree weather this weekend. Anyway, I'm excited to run this one because my cousin will be joining me!

- Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

This one is not until July - I was considering it this year but then it sold out before I could register. I had to sign up for next year when I found out some cool kids were running it as well.

In other news... I haven't been doing too much on the exercise front. I was sick one week and then I just got lazy. I did manage to squeeze in a 12 mile bike ride today which was nice although the trail was really crowded today due to the beautiful weather.

By the way, did any of you catch SNL this weekend? There's a Beyonce video spoof with Paul Rudd and Justin Timberlake that is completely hysterical. I must have watched it half a dozen times already. You can check it out on my other blog.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Race Report: Nike Women's Half Marathon

First things first... YAY!

OK, back to running...


Uh oh - my friend, KB, posted her Nike Marathon race report which means I am *really* behind. So here goes:

The race was an absolutely wonderful experience - just like I hoped it would be. With this being the fourth one in two months and having the most challenging course out of the bunch, I decided not to stress about time and Just. Have. Fun. And that's exactly what I did!

  • PERFECT running weather - cool temps in the 50s and overcast. I would love to have these race conditions the next time I attempt a full marathon (don't know when that will be... it will happen though!)
  • I found myself smiling during the race... and crying as well (good tears - more on that later). I never once thought, "This sucks. Why am I doing this?" - which may or may not have crossed my mind during some of the other recent races...
  • I loved the hills! Seriously, they rocked. Yes, they made the course challenging, but they really helped to break up the race and make it fly by. Instead of thinking "7 more miles, 6 more miles, 5 more miles" etc, it was more, "OK - small hill coming up and then it will be flat for a couple more miles, but save your energy because the big one comes at mile 7" etc. It doesn't sound fun - but it was! And you can't beat the views.
  • Even though I did not run for time and even turned off my pace display on my Garmin, I still managed to finish this ridonkulous course...

    (Note: This is actually the elevation chart for the full. After mile 12, the half marathon course was actually pretty flat to the finish...)

    ... in the same time I finished the relatively flat SJ RnR half (actually - five seconds faster!) - I LOVE COLD WEATHER!
  • I finished strong and was able to maintain a sub 10:00 pace for the last 1.1 mi of the course
  • I felt no pain during the race (OK, Tylenol helped with that) or afterward! I found this amazing because I was limping around like an old woman after the Chicago and San Jose halfs. I flew down the downhills so I was totally expecting to regret that afterward. Sure, my body was sore for a few days but it was nothing major - it was more like I had done a hundred lunges or something. But there were no sharp pains in my left knee and I could walk up and down the stairs just fine the next day!

I had an early wake up call at 4AM. I live about an hour south of SF, so I arrived at Union Square a little before 6AM. It was a familiar scene since this was my third year running Nike. Lots of Team in Training purple, lots of bright lights on Union Square, and lots of crazy commotion in the start corrals. Luckily, there were no lines at the potties so I made a visit there first.

I then headed to the Club Run VIP tent which was where the expo was held. I hung out there until we were ready to start. It was a really nice set up as usual, complete with:

- Lounge areas
- Big stretching area with mats
- Refreshment bar with coffee, water, mini luna bars, and more
- First aid station with sunscreen, vaseline, band-aids, lip balm (Luna freebies), etc
- Fun music
- Private bag check

It had been awhile since I'd been able to run with Nike, so it was really nice to see so many familiar faces again. They weren't people I necessarily knew, but they were ladies (and some men) that I had been used to seeing every weekend for our long runs in SF and/or Danville. It was nice to see my favorite pace leaders, who were off the clock and running their own race that day. I was already starting to get "giddy" for the race.

Once we got closer to the start time, one of the coaches gathered us all in one of the rooms to do the warm up, similar to what we would do during training. Talk about getting energized! Yeah, we hooted and hollered while doing our squats and what not. Exercise is fun!

At this point, I felt like I was at a party and it just got better because KB arrived! We took a quick pre-race pic:

And of course, I had to take a pic of her lovely shirt. I should have fixed it better but I think you all know what it says:

With about 15 minutes left until the start, I ventured my way to our start corral with the other Nike club runners. Another perk - being right up front! Here is the view from my start position:

The Actual Race

Joan Benoit Samuelson spoke, the national anthem was sung, and off we went! I almost teared up at the start because I was genuinely so happy - the weather, the familiar faces, the familar course, the sense of relief knowing this was my last half of the year... it all combined to pure giddiness. But I didn't really cry - that happened later.

And for all the fast runners that had to weave around the Nike Club which included all those packs of walkers and slower runners (um, that would be me) - I'm so sorry! I tried to stay out of your way as best as possible and kept to one side of the road.

The Hills (this time, I'm not talking about Lauren and Heidi and crew)

Being pretty familiar with the course, I knew exactly when I needed to mentally prepare myself for the challenging climbs. The first three miles were rather easy and enjoyable but once we got to Fisherman's Wharf, I knew the hills would be coming soon.

They had a course detour this year because we had to avoid Aquatic Park. This really wasn't a big deal but the detour included two short blocks of inclines - luckily, I was prepared for this because one of our past training runs included this portion on the route so that we could get familiar with it. They weren't too bad but then we get to Fort Mason which is that small blip you see on the elevation chart between miles 3 and 4. The funny thing is that it doesn't quite feel like a blip when you're running it - it definitely slows you down. I think I may have heard a couple of runners behind me say, "This is it." and I sure hope they didn't mean this was "the big hill" because they would be in for a big disappointment.

But once we got over the hill, it was back to more fun, flat running along the marina. Then after mile 6, it was time to tackle some serious hills. I think they changed the course here, too, because I could have sworn we ran further down Crissy Field before heading up.

But anyway, I won't bore you with the details... but it was hard. I did push myself a little bit so that I only walked during the water stops.

On the way up, I passed one of the Pedi-care stations (not pedi-cure). I knew this meant free socks so even though I had no place to put them, I grabbed a pair anyway and just held on to them for the rest of the race. I actually used them to wipe my sweat, heehee. Anyway, they had other things for your feet at the station like vaseline, band-aids, etc.

As other runners have mentioned, this is a very heavy Team-in-Training event. (I actually ran it as part of TNT last year.) And sure, the purple cheerleaders don't really care too much about us non-purple folk, but I pretended to not notice. In my head, they were all there to cheer and support ME! I have to say, it is kind of fun to run a race with so many "coaches" lining the course. I especially liked the one that alerted us to when we were getting close to the top of the big hill around mile 7. It was cute because when we did get to the top, one of the runners said "Good job ladies!" and we all cheered for ourselves.

On my way down the hill, I really tried to let my legs and gravity take over. That was a little scary but fun to fly by people. Then we had some more hill running around mile 9 but I knew it was all downhill after that, literally. The view coming down the hill by the ocean was so amazing!

Then it was off to Golden Gate park. I knew we would have just a couple of miles there. One of my favorite moments was seeing the sign where the full and half marathoners split because last year I did the full and it was so fun to be able to return to the shorter course this year. A lot of the runners yelled "Good Luck!" to each other as we went our separate ways. After the split, the half marathon runners made their way through the Ghiradelli mile where we received those delicious chocolate squares. (I was tempted but I waited until after the race to enjoy them.)

You eventually could hear the music and the announcer and the rest of the commotion from the finish. We made our way out of Golden Gate park and turned right on Great Highway - finish line was in sight. I got a huge smile on my face as I finished the last stretch. I hadn't been checking the clock too much during the race so I was thrilled when I saw a 2:17 on the clock as I had been expecting to finish this one around 2:25-2:30 based on the previous half's.

Crossing the finish:

Red carpet treatment, of course:

Garmin Splits:

1: 9:24
2: 9:51
3: 10:05
4: 10:42 (Baby hill)
5: 10:09
6: 10:13
7: 12:43 (Monster hill)
8: 9:22 (Wheeeeee!)
9: 12:01 (Monster hill)
10: 10:03
11: 10:17
12: 10:57
13: 9:46
0.20 mi: 1:47 (9:01 pace)

Official Results

Overall Time: 02:17:03
Overall Pace: 10:28
Overall Rank: 2655 / 11533
Female Rank: 2436 / 10939
F30-34 Rank: 421 / 1887

Post Race

After the race, I went through the finisher zone where I received my necklace, a little blue Tiffany bag, a water bottle, a banana, a heat sheet (so welcomed because as soon as I crossed that finish line, I thought, "woah, it's cold out here!"), and the Nike shirt. Time to get some food! I got one of those little free Jamba Juice smoothies and the bowl of yogurt with Bare Naked granola. I forgot that I had a hot buffet waiting for me at the Club Run post race tent so I headed there next.

The post-race tent for the VIP runners was pretty much the same as the previous two years - definitely a nice treat which included:

- Buffet of both hot and cold foods with a special dessert section that had a chocolate fountain
- Coffee bar with an espresso machine
- Big seating area with tables covered with white tablecloths
- Massage tables - I heard there was about a two hour wait, but they did have a little lounge area next to it where people could wait
- Fancy porta-potty's... I should have used one just to see what it was like. They were raised up... reminded me of the kind they had during the Avon 3Day breast cancer walk
- Same big stretching area with mats
- Bag pick-up

After I had stretched and eaten, I headed back to the finish line to cheer on KB. She is crazy fast and I knew she was going to finish in under four hours. On my way there, I stopped by the finish area stage to see Joan Benoit Samuelson announce the winners of the half marathon (the one that didn't have controversial results).

I quickly found an empty spot along the Great Highway. The nice thing about KB's pace is that she was easy to look for because there weren't that many people finishing then... usually 1, maybe 2 runners at a time. I eventually saw her making her way to the finish... she finished her FIRST marathon (on a hilly course, no less!) in 3:48. That's why I call her hard core, or HC for short.

I found KB as she was making her way through the finishers' area. I was so excited for her! I saw the look on her face and I could totally relate to that sense of relief and exhaustion and being emotionally overwhelmed by what you had just accomplished, etc etc etc. I gave her a big hug and could feel those damn tears coming on. She went on to get her T-shirt and stuff and while I went to meet her on the other side, I had full-on tears coming down my face. I seriously had to tell myself, get it together, girl!

It just reminded me so much of when I finished my very first half marathon - which coincidentally happened to be Nike in 2006. After I finished, I found my friends at the finish line and as I was telling them how it went, I just started crying and I couldn't even talk anymore. I couldn't tell if it was because I was so tired or so proud or what... I remember thinking, I don't know why I'm crying! Ah, races... too funny.

Here's us afterward with the ocean in the background. The heat sheet made a nice skirt, dontcha think? And as you can see, I also busted out my brand new pink Nike marathon hoodie.

The Goodies

The race shirt... I think it's cute but the dark brown parts of the design sometimes look like sweat spots. And it's crazy long... granted, I received a size L (I don't like shirts too huggy) but it completely covers my tush! Also, it seems like it is a similar material to the shirt from last year which is called DriFit but in my experience, it doesn't do much to wick away sweat. But it is cute, though.

The "medal" in its fun little blue package:

Close-up of the pendant:

The back of the pendant:

Here is my collection of Nike necklaces... hmmm, looks like some might need some polishing.

All in all, it was a great race experience - the kind where you think, wow, I'm so glad that I am a runner and that I could take part in something like this. I would love to run this race year after year. I definitely plan to get my running friends (local or not) to throw their name into the lottery.

Other race reports:
21st Century Mom
Aron (Spectator report!!!)
Marathon Maritza
Miss Allycat
Running Knitter

Sorry this was so long... if you made it this far, wow - I commend you. Seriously.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Spectator Report: US Half Marathon

Yesterday morning, I found myself at a half marathon and I was running.

No, I didn't sign up for another half. I wanted to cheer my friend on as he finished the US half marathon in SF and I was worried that I was going to be late! :) Still, I had to run almost a half mile from the parking garage at Fisherman's Wharf to the finish between Aquatic Park and the Fort Mason hill - wearing jeans and a heavy hooded sweatshirt, carrying an umbrella, and with my purse flopping around. I was not as aerodynamic as I could have been. But I did have on my Pegasus shoes so the running wasn't too bad. This was my first time I had done any kind of running since Nike and I remember thinking, oh yeah, running is kind of fun!

But anyway, I did get there in time and I was super excited to be a spectator because I had recently acquired my very own cowbell! Seriously - everyone should get one. I bought mine at one of those costume type of places. I think Saturn gave them out at the RnR SJ expo.

The finish line was just to the right of the bottom of the Fort Mason hill so I made my way up the hill to a spot where the runners were coming around the bend and I just started ringing that bell. For about 20-30 minutes :) It was really fun! Sometimes I would yell out supporting things, otherwise, I just stood there smiling and ringing the bell and it seemed to be really welcomed. A lot of them said thanks, or just smiled, one was all, "yeah, bring on the cowbell!" I know I love hearing it so I'm glad these runners did, too.

Plus, you couldn't really hear the finish line music from where I was (which was probably less than 100m away) so I think people appreciated hearing something that told them they were almost there.

I finally found my friend so I ran with him toward the finish banging the cowbell in his face - heehee. Once we got to the bottom of the hill and the finish line was in sight, I decided to bark at him in my loudest, deepest voice, "RUUUUUNNNNN! RUUUUUNNNNNNNN!" I think people around us laughed... or so I tell myself so I don't feel embarrassed for acting like such a dork.

Here's me with NL and his wife, RL, at the finish - congrats NL!

As you can see, NL and RL have a fun surprise on the way. RL was really popular at the race as a lot of runners loved her sign for NL which read, "Go NL Go, That's my baby daddy"

NL and RL are awesome friends that cheered me on at the Nike marathon last year. RL even took pics and video clips! RL also joined me for the Bay to Breakers 12K this year (1 of 2 race reports that still need to be posted.)

All in all, I had a lot of fun spectating and hope to do it again soon.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I suck at writing race reports

Seriously - how do you all of you crank out such wonderful, detailed race reports so quickly? I guess I'd rather read everyone else's than write my own. But the Nike race report is in progress and hopefully will be out soon. I will say this - I had a fabulous time!

Anyway, in other news, I took the entire last week off from all physical activity. That was nice. Surprisingly, I still managed to post a teeny tiny weight loss for the week for Viv's Independent Weight Loss Challenge.

My goal now is to get reacquainted with my wonderful (and unfortunately, pricey) gym. It's a great gym, the spa-like kind, but I would just rather be outside running with friends rather than be inside lifting weights and stuff. But I also need to get my money's worth, so my goal is to go at least 2-3 times a week. Even if it's just to lift weights for half an hour.

So far I'm off to a good start as I took a Cardio Dance class last night and even stayed afterward to lift weights! I can't even remember the last time I did that so I'm definitely feeling it today in my arms, abs, and of course my legs. Tonight is spinning with my favorite teacher.

I do have at least one more race for the year - the 5 mile Turkey Trot back home on Thanksgiving day. And, like everyone else, I've been compiling my race calendar for 2009. I did not want to go overboard like I did this year, but I keep finding new races I want to try! Stay tuned for the tentative list...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Friday - Another tag

I read this on Laura's blog and thought I'd join in on the fun...

Rules: Each player answers the question themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment letting them know that they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve answered the questions on your blog.

10 Years Ago (1998):
- I was living in Dallas, TX
- I shared an apartment with one of my BFFs
- Was a bit more huggable and had really bad skin (Love the Accutane!)
- I was finishing up a sales engineering rotation program with about 40-50 other new college grads from schools all over the country - mostly Big Ten and Big 12 schools
- As a result, I watched a lot of college football that year

(On a side note, I loved that Laura was playing on the internet in her early teens. When I was that age - I know, I know, I sound like my parents! - I was making music mixes from the radio by using the record and pause buttons on my pink cassette player!)

5 Things on Today’s "To Do" List:
- Make pretty powerpoint slides
- Get a pedicure after work (after all the HMs, my feet need help!!!)
- Stop at Nordstrom's to pick up some goodies
- Take out the trash
- Finish my Nike half marathon race report!

5 Things that I would do if I were a millionaire:
- Buy a home near where I live
- Hire someone to clean that home
- Like Laura, hire a personal trainer and maybe a personal chef while I'm at it
- Buy homes for my siblings as well, maybe another one for the 'rents back in the motherland (Philippines) - this is assuming I am a multimillionaire
- Travel / see my family more often

5 Places I have lived:
- Michigan (Troy from 0-5 yrs, Ann Arbor from 18-21 yrs)
- Suburbs of Cleveland, OH
- Dallas, TX
- Hoboken, NJ
- Northern California (My home base for the last seven years)

5 Jobs I have had:
- Concession stand (ice rink during the school year, pool during the summer)
- Extra for a VH1 music video countdown show (OK, I did this once but I did get paid!)
- Party dancer for a bah mitzvah (OK, I did this once but I did get paid!)
- Internships at random places including NASA in Cleveland - I didn't do anything cool there but I did enjoy sneaking off to the Visitor's Center to buy freeze dried ice cream
- Various sales / marketing roles in the semiconductor industry

I now tag......


Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's Nike race weekend!

I am in the final stretch people... my last half marathon of the year! It will be the fourth one in under two months. (If I only knew then what I do know now...)

I'm looking forward to this one. Despite it having the hardest course, I consider the Nike event an "experience" and I'm just excited to be a part of it.

I think another reason is that I had to earn my spot. I couldn't just hand over my $$$, I had to tackle this:

Since I wasn't lucky enough to get selected in the lottery, I had to earn a spot with the Nike Club Run frequent runner card. Each punch on the card represents a different "task" - such as attending a Nike club run, bringing a friend, doing a shoe trial during a training run, etc. This is the third year in a row that I have earned a spot through the Nike Club Run SF.

None of it was tough as I love training with the Nike running club! Plus you get free stuff! Every time we did a shoe trial, we got a free pair of Nike dri-fit running socks. So I have at least a half dozen new pair of socks from this year alone.

And after getting 15 punches, we each got this:

I *love* this shirt - it's a high quality, dri-fit shirt. The last two years we received cotton T's so this was a big upgrade for us. By the way, for those running Nike, I plan to wear this shirt with my black running skirt (again!) and a light blue Nike running cap.

After 25 punches, we earned an entry into the race (but you still have to pay). After 30 punches, we get the VIP treatment which means access to special pre- and post-race tents and a special start corral at the front (behind elite runners only). It took me about 7 weeks to finally earn my spot at Nike.


My friends and I headed to the Expotique Thursday evening for "Ladies Night". We were only there for a couple of hours, but we could have stayed there all evening with all the activities going on (which all had long lines!). They had drinks and appetizers as well as massages, manicures, gait analysis, free iPod engraving, photo booth, shopping, etc.

Here's Niketown during race weekend:

And once again, they had the names of all the runners on display - can you tell?

A closer look... can you find mine?

It took awhile, but KB and I both got our iPods engraved:

Afterward, we picked up some Nike merchandise. Normally, we'd rather wait until after the race, but we just couldn't resist. I picked up a hoodie and a tee. I should note that I bought the exact same hoodie at last year's race in maroon, but it is my favorite sweatshirt and so comfy, I figured - how about another?

So that's it for now... I don't have any grand expectations for this race. I've only done a handful of runs (3 miles or less) since San Jose RnR. My left knee still feels a little off from time to time so hopefully the downhills aren't too harsh on me.

I was also hoping there would be some pace teams for this race but I can't find any information on them. Oh well! On my own again. I definitely plan to bring my iPod this time around so I need to do some work on my playlist.

Good luck to my dear friend KB who is making her marathon debut this weekend! And I'm hoping to see a lot of you bloggers out there on Sunday :)
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