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fitness friday: RnR SD 26.2

17 Jun


A little less than two weeks ago I ran my fourth full marathon – RnR San Diego.  It was a wonderful day and despite the fact the course is challenging and I went in with minimal expectations, I managed to PR with a time of 3:43:38.

I have an interesting history with this race.  I did the half in 2012 and loved it.  It was also the first place I broke the 1:40 barrier in the half. In 2013, I ran my very first full marathon on this course and it was a battle.  The last 6-8 miles were a struggle and it was a huge learning experience.  This time, I went in with a plan to just use this race as a gauge of my fitness and to get another 26.2 race behind me.  I had trained for LA in February, but about a month before the race I developed pretty intense plantar fasciitis and opted not to race on that day.  In the interim, I’ve ramped up my cross training (cycling and swimming) and resistance training through Tone It Up.  I’ve also cleaned up my diet, and felt the difference on my training runs for RnRSD.   I didn’t do a long run over 18 miles for fear that I would injure myself, and didn’t really follow a comprehensive training plan, so I wanted to start out slow (first 6-7 miles no faster than 8:30) and then get faster.


The night before the race I got dinner with some of my #DTLARunning guys – I wasn’t really nervous until we all got together and I realized I was going to be running for a long time the next morning.  Woof.


I was lucky to stay just a block from the start line with my  friend Ryan.  We watched some frivolous reality TV which also helped keep my nerves at bay.  And the best part?   I recognized the first contestant on a Fox reality TV show from college.

IMG_7202 (1)

Why yes, I was a big Loggy fan in 2010.


As I was unwinding, my #DTLARunning friend/training partner Alvaro messaged me and said he was going to pace me and that my plan of starting with 8:30s was stupid because I was going to get tired anyway.  Gulp.  We arranged to meet in my corral and he’d pace me.  He is confident I have a BQ in me – but I did not want to put that pressure on myself at San Diego, knowing I was undertrained and also knowing there’s a beast of a hill at mile 21.


I met up with the #DTLARunning crew, found Alvaro, and we were off.  I really enjoyed the first 10 miles or so, through North Park and Normal Heights.  There was good crowd support and fun signs.  Alvaro and I kept it sub-8 (on accident on my part, less sure about him) and we rolled into the half at 1:42.  I listened to podcasts the first half, and then turned my music on as a “treat” later on in the race (yes I realize that sounds absurd, things get weird in my brain during a full mary).

I started getting a little tired around mile 16, in the Mission Bay area where the course got a little bit boring.  I stopped to walk a few times here and there, but was generally just enjoying being out there.  While I did get tired, I never felt gassed out or like I was experiencing glycogen debt.  I also did not experience cramps or crazy charley horses (like I did in my last marathon).

IMG_7213 (1)

The race went by quickly – all of a sudden we were at mile 20.  And then that beast of a hill… We sped up the last mile or so and the finish really did seem to go on forever.


I was really REALLY happy with a PR on this course (and a 6-minute course PR as well).  More than anything, this was the best I’ve ever felt post-marathon.  I was a little sore for two days after, but was able to exercise and get my muscles moving.  Definitely hungry now for a sub 3:40 and an eventual BQ.

After the race, I hung out with Alvaro and the #DTLARunning crew. IMG_7209

And then indulged with Ryan with mimosas and views of San Diego.



It was a great re-entry into the marathon distance and boosted my confidence at my fitness level right now.  Even writing this made me feel those #endorphinwasted vibes I love so much.

On the fitness docket for me this weekend is a Saturday morning run with #DTLARunning and checking out the Shape Magazine Movemeant Foundation event, and a spin sesh on Sunday with Electric Flight Crew.

How are you sweating this weekend?  


#Mountains2Beach Marathon Recap

25 May

Yesterday I ran my third marathon – Mountains 2 Beach which started in Ojai and ended on the beach in Ventura. I wanted to get my recap done ASAP to remember all of the highs and various lows from this race.  Overall, it was a fabulous race experience and I also learned a lot for future training cycles.

My training going into this marathon was better than my previous two — I got in more long runs, and my pace was consistently better than it has been in the past.  I felt strong, and I wasn’t nervous heading into yesterday.  This is in stark contrast to when I ran LA in 2014 — I was a ball of nerves the entire week before because I had put a lot of pressure on myself to do well, even though I realized no one really cares about my time except for me.

Anyway,  my parents generously agreed to come up to Ventura with me on Saturday.  We hit up packet pick-up at Ventura High School on our way, which was a huge chaotic mess. I loved this race but their organization was awful at packet pick-up.  Various unmarked lines and very little space for the number of people it was trying to accommodate.  Also, the expo was really tiny and there wasn’t much going on, but it at least made it relatively easy to make quick work of it.


My parents and I headed to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ventura which was great — we walked onto Main Street for an early dinner at Bombay Burger Bar which beyond hit the spot.  I’m pretty sure if you’re craving something the day before a marathon you should not deny yourself that craving and my body was telling me I needed a hamburger.  Granted,  my body tells me this a lot, but I listened on a pre-race day.  It was insanely hard to watch my Dad have a couple of beers while I drank water.  But there’s a first time for everything.



I managed to get to sleep around 9:30, which was helpful because my alarm was set to 3:15.  This race shuttles everyone from Ventura up to the start in Ojai, and my shuttle time was 4 a.m.  Waking up that early is never easy, but pre-race adrenaline got me going, and once I got to Ojai I ran into my #DTLARunning buddies Alvaro, Cynthia, Kevin, and Kendra and that helped pass the time.  On the shuttle,  I met a guy who had done this race before who suggested I stay to the left because sometimes the water stations are only one side.  That tip came in handy later on.

My race strategy was to conserve the first 10, pick up the pace the second 10, and to hang on for the last 6.  This worked very well for the first 20 – and the first part of the race was nothing short of euphoric.  We started in Ojai and essentially did a big loop to add mileage.  I was hovering in between the 3:28 and 3:33 pacer for this portion.  There’s one very gradual uphill for about a mile at mile 6 and I made a conscious effort to slow my pace and not to push it.  My iPod was set to shuffle and everything was on-point, one great song after another.  I had this amazing feeling of “this is going to be my day…I’m going to shatter my PR.”  Even the signs were inspired.  My two favorites were ones that said “One if By Land – Boston Bound” and “San Diego – 200 miles.  Boston – 22 miles” held by someone at mile 4.

  • Mile 1: 8:00
  • Mile 2: 7:53
  • Mile 3: 7:36
  • Mile 4: 7:44
  • Mile 5: 7:37
  • Mile 6: 8:11
  • Mile 7: 8:07
  • Mile 8: 7:54
  • Mile 9: 7:31
  • Mile 10: 7:20

The miles were sort of blurring together and before I knew it I was at mile 10.  At this point I realized I could pick it up if I wanted to, so I accelerated when I felt like it and used the downhill.  I passed the 3:28 pacer.  And then I passed the 3:23 pacer. I knew I’d slow down once we got to the flat portion for the last 5 miles or so, but I figured this would give me a solid buffer to still BQ.

  • Mile 11: 7:33
  • Mile 12: 7:19
  • Mile 13: 7:05
  • (1:40:xx at the half)
  • Mile 14: 7:17
  • Mile 15: 7:39
  • Mile 16: 7:49
  • Mile 17: 8:02

Around this point I started to get a little bit tired, so I started walking through the water stations.  It was starting to get hot, and this portion of the bike path did not have a lot of cloud cover.  Based on my rough math,  I thought I could slow to a 9 min/mile average and still BQ, so with small walk breaks I’d be about 9 minutes per mile with my running pace still around 8 minutes/mile.

  • Mile 18: 8:49
  • Mile 19: 8:34
  • Mile 20: 8:51

Somewhere in the 21st mile is when things got rough.  I started to feel the beginnings of muscle spasms earlier in my race, and I had taken a salt pill to try and prevent them from taking over. In mile 21 I took another pill, and walked A LOT.  At one point when we made the turn off the bike path, I started running again and BOOM.   Both calves instantly seized up at the same time.  Every time I tried to run, they’d be okay for maybe a minute or so, and then spasm again.  Literally charley horse after charley horse with both calves.

  • Mile 21: 8:30
  • Mile 22: 12:39


I thought I’d maybe have a chance If I could get my calves to cooperate, but by now the 3:23 and 3:28 pacers were long gone.   At this point, I saw my parents who were cheering.  I told them “it’s gonna be close” as I ran by — I was still hanging with the 3:33 pacer.  Little did I know my calves would only get worse, essentially leaving me to walk the last 3 miles. Every time I would try to run both calves would seize.  

  • Mile 23: 8:23
  • Mile 24: 11:46
  • Mile 25: 12:58
  • Mile 26: 12:42
  • You can see the pain.

    You can see the pain.



    Total Time:  3:46:11

    This was unbelievably disappointing — I never really felt like I went into glycogen debt and I felt strong most of the way.  I crossed the finish line and started to cry.  Not from the disappointment of missing the BQ — I frankly did not deserve it with that race and that day will come.  What frustrated me is how EVERYTHING else was perfect — my nutrition,  the course, the music, the weather…Ugh.

    I rallied myself to a slow walk back to the hotel, showered, and took some standard social media photos.



    Later, my mom did some research and we think poor hip extension is the cause of my muscle spasms/charley horses.   So I will definitely be working on that and adding yoga into my routine.

    Overall, I am proud of what I accomplished yesterday and I loved the race.  The course was BEAUTIFUL and FAST.  I didn’t love miles 17-19, but I would know that for future years and plan accordingly.  I also loved that the race started at 6 AM – making it much easier to beat the heat, since it never really got THAT hot, although it did get sunny.

    I spent the rest of the afternoon eating In-n-Out and drinking an IPA while watching Pitch Perfect with my mom.  Fat Amy’s “horizontal running” even seems too taxing right now…

    Thank you to EVERYONE who sent me positive vibes and social media likes the last couple of days.  Yesterday was an emotional ride but so worth it.

    the oc half. [race recap].

    9 May

    This is one of my favorite races I’ve done. A bunch of different factors converged to make Sunday a great race.

    My best friend Whitney had signed up too – and this was her very first 13.1, so it made this weekend that much more exciting. We drove down on Saturday morning and quickly went to the Expo. While I loved this race, I did not love the expo. It was pretty crowded, we didn’t get goody bags of any kind, and the shirts were okay. The standard number of vendors were there, but it just wasn’t awesome. Surf City had a much more fun expo.

    We checked in at the Newport Beach Marriott which I loved. We were directly in front of the start line and it just made everything about the weekend easy. The fact that they accidentally booked us in a room on the 15th floor with a panoramic view of the ocean didn’t hurt either. Pro Tip: save the hassle (and money) of parking at the hotel by parking for free across the street at Fashion Island.


    We set our alarms for 4:50 for a 6:15 gun time. I had my usual pre-race instant coffee (Starbucks’ VIA packets really aren’t terrible) and 2/3 of a Clif Bar.


    We met up with some of Whitney’s colleagues in the lobby and our friend Hannes from HS got dropped off by a cab. Around 6 am we walked across the street for the start. Hannes and I were in Corral 1. On our way there, we saw our former cross country coach, Christina Lightfoot, who crushed the half in a time of 1:29.

    The race start was pretty seamless. The race director made some mildly offensive disparaging comment about LA, but redeemed himself by offering a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon. The horn sounded and we were off.

    I immediately had a lot of problems with my SPI-belt. It wouldn’t sit right and my iPhone was in it, and it kept flapping and bugging me. The first 3 miles were pretty much filled with me thinking about how annoyed I was and trying to fix it. The first mile had a  little bit of a hill, and then major downhill to get to PCH. The weather and views of the homes and the water were really gorgeous. Finally around mile 3 I took my iPhone out of the belt and held it.

    Also in mile 3 or 4, a friend from Loyola, Danielle, caught up to me. We ended up running probably 4-5  miles together, and chatted. It was a great way to pass the time, and since she is from Newport she knew when the hills were coming up. I ended up pulling away from her a little, but she finished just a few seconds behind me.

    Danielle and me.

    Danielle and me.


    My race photos are somewhat of a monstrosity. My pronation has never looked worse.

    316056_10102066576291353_1658872170_n 934923_10102066576281373_828199339_n 603545_10102066576261413_1283528624_n

    Yeah, no.

    I took 3 shot blocks around 40 min and a gel when I passed the gel station (mile 9?). I normally only fuel once but I think having something twice helped me. Whitney’s cheering section were at miles 7 and 11, but unfortunately I didn’t get to see them.

    The beautiful views though and relatively mild terrain made the miles go by pretty fast. I wasn’t really focused on my time – I wanted to try and keep all of my miles under 8 minutes, and to maintain a relatively even pace. I knew trying to beat my PR of 1:38:55 would be a long shot, so I just tried to maintain a relatively steady pace.

    One of my law school best friends, Blake, was volunteering with the race, and had told me he was stationed between miles 11 and 16 of the full marathon. The half/full split was at mile 12. He said he’d be at Mile 12 unless he had to go pick someone up or attend to something in a different part of the course. As I turned the corner to see the split, Blake was standing in the street directing traffic. It was AWESOME seeing a familiar face that late in the race. I darted to the side to grab a high-five, and headed to the last mile much more energized.

    During that last mile, I realized I was pretty close to my PR…but not close enough. I finished in a time of 1:39:56 (7:38 pace).

    After the race, I met up with Hannes (1:33 – which was a “bad day” for him…joke), and we cheered on our friends as they came through the finish. Also running on Sunday was our high school friends Sam and Kelsey, as well as Kelsey’s fiancé, Drew. I was so happy for Whitney when she crossed the line – mostly because she wasn’t in pain, had fun, and wants to do another one!

    OPHS alumni: Jeff, Sam, Hannes, me, Kels and her fiancé, Drew

    OPHS alumni: Jeff, Sam, Hannes, me, Kels and her fiancé, Drew

    Whitney, Kelsey, Hannes, and me.

    Whitney, Kelsey, Hannes, and me.

    Overall, this is one of my favorite races I’ve done to date. Great course and so awesome to share it with so many long-time friends.

    I am now contemplating doing a full marathon ASAP. My goal is to do a long run this weekend and gauge whether or not a June marathon is a possibility. Stay tuned.

    Anyone else race this weekend?

    irrationally obsessed.

    4 Sep

    I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend! My Saturday started off with a run with the LA Leggers in Santa Monica (4 miles – woo) and then I high-tailed it outta there to the Conejo Valley to spend the majority of the weekend with my family! I was able to get coffee with my old friend from high school, Hayley, at our local Starbucks – it was great to catch up and hear about all of the fun things she’s been up to in the last year (!). I also tried a new Starbucks drink – the Cool Lime Refresher and loved it – even though it’s not a true coffee drink.

    I did some other odds and ends – the most exciting of which was getting new running shoes at Future Track. I am SO happy I got to ditch my moon-shoe Brooks for sleeker and lighter Aasics (but still super sturdy to compensate for my pronation issues – rough life). At least I won’t feel like such a newb out there with 2 lb. running shoes. The coolest thing about going to Future Track, though, was seeing a plaque my XC team gave to the store (who supported us big-time) after we made it to Nike Team Nationals my senior year. Yes, I know it was 6 years ago, but it was still one of the coolest things ever, and seeing that plaque was pretty awesome.

    And now, to the title of this blog post. I have a BUNCH of weird obsessions…some of which may be entirely irrational. Here are the current ones:

    This song:

    I’m hyper-sensitive to racial issues for some reason and I’m not totally comfortable with the title of this song, but I’m overlooking it for the sole reason that it is incredibly addicting. The whole album is great, though, let’s be real.

    and this song:

    architect Frank Gehry. Especially love the fact I get to see his works SO often in DTLA.

    Walt Disney Concert Hall - DTLA


    Guggenheim in Bilbao (January 2011).

    gehry's "fred and ginger" in prague, czech republic (April 2009).

    this child prodigy

    these state pillows. want.


    the message behind this children’s book

    my current alarm clock (not a joke):

    and of course – coffee. Totally using law school as an excuse to have it at least 2x a day.


    Note: I didn’t include a photo of an IPA or the city of Barcelona because, well, that would just be redundant.

    Do we have any irrational obsessions in common? What’s your funkiest obsession?


    26 Oct

    While I could inevitably write a post every day until I head back to California (no, I´m not going to include the cliche ¨back, back to Cali, Cali¨ reference, mostly because no one in California actually calls CA ¨Cali¨), there is one salient difference that has been on my mind the last few days. What´s the issue? Race.

    There´s no doubt that Spaniards are less politically correct than the people I know back home. In California (and probably much of the United States), people tip-toe around potentially inflammatory statements, even avoiding making racist jokes in case they could upset a listener. Spaniards, on the other hand, are more to-the-point with their descriptions.

    This week, my school is getting ready for Halloween. I asked one girl what she´s going to be, and she responded that she´s dressing up as a ¨chino¨ (Chinese person). Harmless kid stuff, right? Well, I´m not so sure. Here, anyone of Asian descent is filed under the ¨Chino¨ distinction. Additionally, most ¨Chinos¨ are known for owning and operating two types of stores – small snack shacks called ¨Alimenataciones¨ as well as the Spanish equivalent of a 99 cent only store. If you´re looking for something peculiar that isn´t available at a grocery store, a common response is ¨Go to the chino shops…the chinos have everything.¨

    While this isn´t necessarily racist, it´s interesting that such racial sentiments and broad, sweeping conjectures are issued without so much as a flinch. While I think in some respects, it´s neat that Spanish culture isn´t as ¨precious¨ as that of America, I think race is one thing it´s okay to be sensitive about.

    Have you experienced different views of race during your travels?