Nike Women’s Half Marathon Race Recap

I wrote this 2 weeks ago. Yup, still a slacker!

After dropping out of Chicago due to a strained popliteus (so weird, don’t get me started) I was able to rehab and make it to the starting line of the Nike Women’s Half in San Francisco. It had been 5 years since I ran this race and was eager to get back.

I flew into SF on Saturday and went straight from the airport to The Westin to pick up my bib. Packet pick up was a breeze! Thank you volunteers! I took my sweet time and walked around the outdoor event in Union Square (lots of samples, photos, earring scavenger hunt location, booth to buy last minute needs, etc) and eventually made it over to my hotel to get checked in. I know the city well and stayed within walking distance to everything I could need for the weekend. Including the start line. I got settled in, chilled out for a bit, and then met my girlfriends for dinner.


The race started at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday. I was able to sleep later than most given the start line was directly outside of my hotel and headed to my corral around 6:10. The weather was so nice; 62 degrees and no fog! Beautiful compared to our warm, humid SoCal mornings.

I had no intent on racing (Was released from PT one week prior. So bummed as my original plan was to just go for it) so I moved into the the middle of my corral (wave 1) and waited for the gun.

At 6:30 sharp we were off!

I was stuck in what felt like a slow moving pack for a long time and just went with it. The hills started right away but man, it was beautiful.


Around the time we entered Golden Gate park (5k mark?)  the race started to break up. There was a lot more room and overall it was a lot more calm.


I grabbed a honey stinger gel along the way and took that around mile 6.

At mile 9.5 we started the climb up the Presidio and got a stunning view of the Golden Gate bridge. Nike Run Club was out in full force encouraging people to make it up the tough climb. So great to see the community support. Way to go NRC!


I cruised downhill to the finish (picking up salted caramel chocolates along the way, yum!) and crossed around 1:49 and change. It was such an enjoyable race. You can tell in my photos that the effort is easy and that I was having fun. I loved it!


After I crossed the finish line I was handed a pink Nike water bottle, a reusable bag filled with food and a little blue Tiffany’s box. Someone handed me chocolate milk as I waited to meet up with friends.


The finisher’s village had men in tuxedos out in full force with lots of sweaty ladies swarming for photos. There were very short lines at that time so it appeared to be going quickly. There was also a boutique that had finisher gear for purchase (all available online and in stores). I whizzed through to take a look as I am a sucker for grey and Tiffany blue. I didn’t check gear but saw people grabbing their stuff and it looked to be organized. There were large signs for the shuttles and folks making their way out. I opted to use public transportation because I am cheap and will never pay $20 to get a ride back unless there is no other option. The Muni is $2.25. Win.

The course was beautiful and well organized and overall I had a great weekend.

So for the $200 reg fee I got:

A gorgeous race

Tiffany’s Necklace

Tank Top

17 race photos!

Reusable Bag

Reusable Nike Women Water Bottle

Food at the finish

It’s a crowded race with a high price tag, but a lot of fun to do with friends. It’s cheaper than Disney with a later start and the necklace is so pretty.

Would I run this again? Sure. It’s not a priority since I’ve done it twice, but it is fun. I love the city, the vibe, and the weekend away. The race is well organized and not as crazy big as some of the Rock N Roll races I’ve done. Is it a “must do?!” For me Boston was a must. NY was a must. Chicago? YES! This is more of a “fun run with friends weekend away.” Does that make sense?

I have had such a chill year when it comes to racing. I PR’d in the 10k and ran my first 10 miler but other than that, not a whole lot on the race front. I have one half marathon left this year and, if I train right, may push to break that 1:38 hanging over my head. I’m due. Just need to put in the work…and then we will focus back on 26.2. Maybe. Ok, probably. Who am I kidding.

Until next time…

“Life is so much brighter when we focus on what truly matters.”

January: Bodies In Motion and the Star Wars Challenge

I don’t know about you, but for me it feels like December was like a week ago and now it’s mid February. At this rate it’s going to be Halloween by next Tuesday. Maybe I should start looking at costumes. Wait, is that even an option at this point? Not going to think about it. Have I confused you yet?

Speaking of confusing our weather is all kinds of backwards right now. It’s a balmy 85 degrees on this glorious winter day. I know, rough. How ever do we Southern Californians survive? Truth be told it is pretty brutal. Not the sunny perfection, but the lack of the wet stuff. We need rain. A lot of it. Stat.

Since it feels like August, let’s talk about January, shall we?

On January 11th my sister and I attended the Bodies in Motion event hosted by Lululemon Athletica La Jolla. This fun running/yoga shindig was limited to 150 people and all money raised went to the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). If you don’t know anything about this organization get yourself educated stat. They do great things for great people.


The day started at the entrance to Petco Park. We were told we were going to run 3 miles to a secret location where we would then participate in a 45 min yoga practice followed by a healthy happy hour. Sound fun? It was. Even in the rain (Pretty sure that was the last time we saw water fall from the sky).


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We about a mile around the embarcadero and then looped back past the ballpark and ended up at


Mission Brewery.


Nuun was on site along with Suja and The Perfect Bar. Rain be darned, we made it to awesome town in one piece.

Our mats were all laid out (hello new friends!) and we did about 30 minutes of power yoga and ended with a nice, 15 minute relaxing cool down. It was a lot of fun…even if I did accidentally kick the guy behind me in the head. Still sorry about that Ryan!


Once all was said and done the brewery was open for drinks and I believe food trucks were outside (It was announced but I never checked). My sis and I stayed around for about an hour just chatting and enjoying the moment.

Best event yet put on by Lulu in San Diego. Great way to engage in the community, sweat and raise money for a fantastic organization. I hope they do more of these in the future (hint hint North County location). I’ll be at every single one.

The following weekend I participated in the inaugural Star Wars Rebel Challenge. It consisted of a 10k on Saturday followed by a half marathon on Sunday.


Per the usual the expo was totally out of control. The outside floor with the usual vendors was fine, nothing super awesome to report. It’s getting in to actually look at the race stuff that is impossible. Well, not totally if you are cool waiting in a 2 hour line. I’m not cool with it and there is nothing I need that bad so I skipped it. Again. So no photos. so sorry.


Course was fast and full of characters. I had decided when I got there that I was just going to run by feel and if I could PR I would go for it.

After a fun intro the race started at 5:30 a.m. sharp. As you can imagine it was dark the entire race making my Garmin useless (too lazy to try to turn the back light on).

I remember crossing the 5k mark in 22:XX and thought if I ran hard I could PR. There was a man just ahead of me and I decided to make him my rabbit.

I knew I was speeding up but I didn’t know by how much until well after the race. I crossed the finish line at 44:55, a new PR. When I looked at my splits my first 5k average was 7:22, second was 7:07. Negative split. Average pace 7:13. I like running in the dark; no watch, no pace stalking, just running.

I haven’t done a lick of speed work (don’t hurt me for saying that) so this was all guts and a darn good base. If I would just suck it up and get back to incorporating repeats I may be able to accomplish some really fast times. Maybe a goal for year 36? We shall see.

Half Marathon:

I almost didn’t run it. Actually, I tried to miss it but it didn’t work out. My husband made sure I got out of bed. Seriously, he has some kind of internal race alarm (I was thankful HERE) and there was no way he was letting me not go.


After spending the entire day at the pool post the 10k I just didn’t feel like running. I moved to the back of corral A and went out easy and kept the pace that way for all 13.1. It was awesome. The course was great (best one yet Disney, don’t change it) and the weather was perfect. The miles ticked away quickly and it overall was just a really nice run. One of those runs that make you love the sport. I crossed the finish at 1:48:30 (or close to it) and went directly to Starbucks for coffee.

I like coffee after running. Unless it’s hot outside. Then I love chocolate milk or pineapple coconut water. I’m all over the board.


That was January. Pretty rockin’ month. I didn’t have a single PR in 2014 (deservingly so as I didn’t put in the work) so this just felt good. Like I got my mojo back. Maybe.

I made a last-minute decision to run the Cal 10/20 race this weekend. 10 miles of beauty. Can’t wait.


Dusting off the blog…a look back at 2014.

It’s been months. Months. As time passed I found that writing about Boston 2 Big Sur was no longer relevant and New York, well, that too has come and gone. There is such a small window of time to recap a race and once it’s missed that’s it. People just aren’t interested. So much changed in 2014 and sadly I just couldn’t find the time to fit in blogging. After long days of work travel and family fun I just didn’t have the energy to stay up late and write. Lazy? Maybe, but sleep has become more of a priority these days.

My love of running (and yoga, strength training and good eats) hasn’t changed but racing in 2014 just didn’t happen. My training became more of a run-when-I-can-and-or-feel-like-it-plan which is not conducive to running a strong race. Weird right? 🙂 Next year is going to be different. As I start to goal plan I am going to go back to basics and focus on what motivates me. What can I do to get myself back on track? Where do I need support? I find that writing these things down is helpful so that I can remind myself of where I want to go. This applies in life, work and athletics.

So with that I will recap my year as I prepare to ring in 2015 with all of you. I can’t wait to see what the new year has in store!


Happy 2014! I ran the Carlsbad Half Marathon to start the year. This is a local race for me so it was a no brainer really. I have run both the half and the full and highly recommend both.



4 weeks into my Boston training and I just wasn’t feeling it. Weekly mileage was low and the thought of running a 20 miler made me want to poke my eyes out. I just remember feeling exhausted for all 28 days. Coffee, however, never sounded better 🙂

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Birthdays galore. So many family parties in March makes for an awesome month!

Carlsbad 5000- All day 20k. This used to be a 25k so kinda bummed that they removed a race and didn’t decrease the entry fee. I get that they want people to stay for the elite race, but throw us a bone!



How did I celebrate turning 35? By taking a week and a half long family vacation to run 2 marathons on 2 coasts.

Boston- Emotional x1000. You’ve seen the video. There aren’t words. I worked my butt of to qualify and will be back there again one day.


Big Sur- Beyond beautiful. I ran this 5 minutes faster than Boston. Backwards, I know. If you haven’t run this race is a must. So many different distances but the marathon and the 20 miler get to experience all of the beauty. Do it. Now.

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A transitional month for me. My baby turned 7 and I was contemplating a career change that had landed in my lap. It was also the one year anniversary of Mama Kay earning her wings so it was tough.


Started my new job in a totally different field within my industry. A very scary and rewarding leap of faith!


I took my first work trip across the country and did some exploring in New York. Spent the 4th of July with family and celebrated summer!



Back to school. My littlest started Kinder this year and my big guy is in 2nd grade.


September was a blur. I was all over the place. From SF to Chicago my bags pretty much stayed packed.


Can you say ORANGE OCTOBER?! I went to the World Series and celebrated my Giants winning their 3rd in 5 years. It was incredible.



Off to NYC for Halloween and the NYCM. There is nothing more fun than family vacations. Or dressing up like a banana. Just because.



NYC has my heart. I had a bad race (worst marathon time since the beginning of 2012) but I loved every minute of it. I would do it again in an instant. Love, love, love New York.



Disney Avengers Half. What can I say? Windy conditions and a whole lot of fun!


Turkey Trot 5 mile race. Determined to redeem myself I finished in 36:xx. While not a PR (not even close) I needed to find proof that I could get back to where I was in 2013. This was it. If I can run 7:20s with no training/speed work I will be back in the high 6’s for short distance in no time.



Filled with lots of love and family fun (and one last trip to SF). I ran the SD Holiday Half and surprised myself with a 1:42 finish. That was all heart as I had not run a distance longer than 6 miles during a 3 week span. The race organization started out wonky (bag check disaster and a 30!! min late start) but once we got going all was well. It has a lot of fast downhill (net loss of 711 feet or so) and is a PR course for sure. Well, not for me this year but for those who train for it should smash it!

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So there you have it.  Sayonara 14. It’s been fun. Here comes 15 and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. I can feel it.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  Proverbs 16:9

B2B- A few thoughts

I finally made it back to Southern CA late Sunday night and have been trying to find the right words to recap the past week. It was more than I imagined it would be in a totally different way than I expected.

Here are a few quick thoughts…

When I arrived in Boston my first reaction was that I didn’t belong. I was out of my league. Everyone around me had “been there done that.” Most were up early running each morning; sporting their jackets from years past and mumbling about PR’s. While each morning I was still in PJ’s,  adjusting to East Coast time, drinking coffee and making plans to explore the city.

The night before the race I cried. It was probably a combination of things (I’m such a girl). The high emotions of a come back race after tragedy paired with my own self doubt. I worked so hard to get to this great city and then completely let my training fall apart. I did not have one single 20 mile training run. Many weeks I was so tired from work that getting any run in was a miracle. More than one weekend I skipped out on a long run completely. I was kicking myself. Too little to late.

I woke up on Monday April 21st and couldn’t eat. I was nervous. I got dressed, met my Mom in the lobby and made the walk to the bus loading station. As the bus pulled away and headed toward Hopkinton I had no idea that this race was going to change my love of running. And that going to Big Sur in the following days would give me a confidence I never knew I had.

Recaps are coming, for now a few photos from the trip.

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Our trip to the expo yesterday was pretty quick given the kids were not feeling it. It’s big and set up like IKEA with numbered aisles and all kinds of stuff!






After picking up a few goodies we dropped off our stuff and headed to Fenway for the Red Sox game. A lot of photos are on my regular camera so there will be much more to post once I am home!








It was pretty cold in our seats since we were in the shade but we had a blast. The kids actually got photos with a lot of the players but they aren’t in my phone! Dang it. I can’t believe I forgot my camera cord.

This was my first time at Fenway and I loved every second. Really cool to be in a ball park filled with so much history. Loved being around fans that are so passionate about baseball! Not as fun or cool as Giants fans, but pretty darn cool 😉

After the game we headed down to the finish line to take some photos before heading to dinner






Now it’s time to celebrate HIM! HE is what this weekend is really all about.

Happy Easter my friends! More to come!


I cannot believe I am here!


Lots of photos. Lots of video. Lots of everything to come. The road to Boston has been an emotional one. So many of you have been through so much with me. My heart is so full and I cannot wait to share this adventure with you.

I always wanted to get to Boston and now I’m here. And so is my family.

It’s going to be one awesome weekend

Hope you all are enjoying this GOOD FRIDAY! See you tomorrow from the expo and then the Red Sox game!!

“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with ME in Paradise.” Luke 23:43

Cabo for Thanksgiving, Christmas and racing

This year for Christmas my parents gave us our gift a little early. We were all gifted a Thanksgiving vacation in Cabo. And it was AWESOME.


We were there for 6 days and it was seriously the best Thanksgiving I have ever had. Seriously. I just reflected on all 35 Turkey Days and this one takes the cake. No work, no phones just fun.



It was around 80 degrees the entire week so we spent A LOT of time poolside.





During the last few days the kids wanted to attend “kids club” at the resort which gave us a few hours to explore


And ride sea-doos!



View before a morning run


Most importantly we all got to spend a week together with no distractions. That was the best part of all.


Thank you Mom and Dad. Love you so very much.

And now we have just a few weeks until Christmas is here and then we will be ringing in 2014. We will be staying home (hooray!) and my FIL “Pops” will be staying at our house to celebrate. We are so glad that he will be here with us. It’s our first Christmas without Mama Kay and it’s going to be tough.

I will be running the inaugural SD Holiday Half (which is close to a sell out so register now if you want to run) while he is here and if LD can get everyone out of the house it will be Pop’s first time to see me run. It’s not going to be pretty, but I’ll get it done.

Speaking of racing, here is what I am registered for in 2014

January: Carlsbad Half

Feb: SD 10/20

April: Boston Marathon and Big Sur Marathon

November: New York Marathon

I will add some shorter races in if I am up to it. It still blows my mind that I BQ’d and got into NY. It’s going to be one heck of a year…now if I could just get motivated to train.


1. What did you do for Turkey Day?

2. Any plans for Christmas?

3. Races?!

My brother’s first marathon- my recap

Long Beach. I had no idea what to expect. It was my brother’s first marathon and I knew that no matter what we were getting across that finish line.


Since we were staying at different hotels I sent Joe a text to let him know I was on my way to the start around 5 a.m. We decided to meet at the portapotties since it was well lit and made it easy for one last bathroom break.

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We made our way down to the start and shoved out way into the crowd right behind the 4 hour pacer. I figured that would force us out slow so that I could try to help keep an even split (goal) and if Joe had anything left in the tank we could try to pick it up at the end.

A few minutes before the gun went off I got to meet Sandy. We have been at so many of the same races and always miss one another. Really cool that we found one another in the dark in a large crowd!

Gun went off and away we went.

Goal was to go out nice and easy and then get comfortable around 8:50-9:00 pace. Based on Joe’s training runs I knew that would be a great pace and it could mean a finish right around that 4 hour mark. The weather was abso-freaking-lutely perfect and we tried to get into a groove pretty quickly.

Mile 1: 8:58

2: 8:48

3: 8:53

4: 9:01

5: 9:06

6: 9:05

As we past the 10k mark we celebrated being 25% done. We were right alongside the water and it was nice and flat. Beings that there is no such thing as flat in my hood this was a sweet change!


Mile 7:  9:02

8: 9:01

9: 9:00

10: 9:01

11: 8:58

12: 9:16

13: 9:05

We crossed the half way point under 2 hours and at that point it was looking like we had a solid chance of staying on track for that 4 hour finish. I remember we high fived and just kept chugging along.

Mile 14: 9:14

15: 9:21

I remember Joe telling me he needed the bathroom but when we passed the portapotties there was a long line. I knew he didn’t want to stop and wait as that could be a recipe for disaster. I think it was at 15 that he finally got to go to the bathroom? I just remember taking his water bottle to fill it up and then we continued on.

16: 9:32

17: 10:12

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At mile 18 is when things took a turn. I knew we had been slowing down so I went into motivational coach/cheerleader. Seeing my sweet, hard working brother hit the wall was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. I felt helpless as we rode the roller coaster of emotions. There was nothing I could do or say to make it better but I just kept trying. We decided together to move onto a 5:1 plan to try to help get through. Run 5 minutes, fast walk a minute and transition back to running.


Mile 18: 11:31

19: 10:47

20: 12:56

Around 20 I started to use my talk to text on my Iphone to let the family know where we were and how we were doing. I’ll give Siri some credit for doing a decent job of getting it right. Seriously, I talk to text messages to my best friend A LOT and Siri royally jacks them up.

21: 12:19

22: 11:40

Around 22ish there was a group of boyscouts handing out otter pops. We hoarded them! Every race should have otter pops. I’m serious. I think we talked about how good those otter pops tasted for the rest of the race.

23: 13:03

There was a hill at this mile and we ended up in a sea of walkers. Hills in the late miles can be soul crushing. I wasn’t going to let the hills destroy our race. We went into run the flat walk the hills mode and it worked. Well, worked as well as it could, right Joe?!

24: 13:19

The last few miles of a marathon are always hard. Always. I think these miles were especially hard because Joe wanted his legs to go so badly but the mental battle makes it tough. More than once we held hands as I told him we were almost there. He was almost done. He was going to be a marathoner!

25: 12:33

26: 11:24

.2: 8:39

This is when we saw our family. They were at 26.10 screaming and shouting and holding up signs. They were the motivation that pushed us through that last .10



We crossed the finish line together in 4:28. Joe did it. He battled through all 26.2. We hugged and cried and took pictures. We reunited with the family and celebrated a finish that was 24 weeks in the making.


My brother hated running. Loathed it. And now he is a marathoner. All it took was a little courage- and believing that there is so much more after that first step.

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“But if what we hope for we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Romans 8:25

Now it’s time to gear up for Boston training. I.can’t.wait.