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WeSPARK 10k [race recap].

14 Nov

It all started with this tweet…

I had been itching to do another race since last month’s SF Nike Women’s Half, so I decided to do a last-minute 10k on Sunday. After reaching out to the Twitter-verse and my parentals, I decided on the WeSPARK10k benefitting a cancer support center at the Universal Studios backlot because I thought the course would be fun – and Universal isn’t too far from my apartment!

A couple of days later, Whitney asked if she could tag along! I was so happy to have a willing spectator – as well as one willing to get up at 6 something for no reason on a Sunday! I kicked the idea to my parents as well, and they both decided to run the 5k version (my dad is also training for the LA Marathon!)

Whitney and I got to the start in plenty of time and met my parents who beat us there by a little bit, I grabbed my small swag bag (a new Clif bar product and a T-shirt – I didn’t want to wait in line so I just grabbed an XL, cool) and we walked to the start.

This was most definitely NOT a runner’s race, and while that was frustrating at first it ended up still being a really fun event. It started about 10 minutes late, but as the cute guy next to me at the start pointed out, Wayne Brady was on the sidelines. Turns out he was sounded the horn and we were off!

My new 10k playlist was pretty clutch as well:

go ahead and judge.

I’ve never taken the Universal Studios Backlot Tour, and the 10k course was two loops through the whole backlot! I passed tons of awesome sets – the Psycho “Bates Motel” was beyond creepy, ran through the plane crash from War of the Worlds, and passed the Jaws lake. The best part for me at least, though, was running through Wisteria Lane!

It actually reminded me of a street in Westlake Village, CA. Funny – but so cool! Another cool thing about the course was since it was two loops, I got to see everything twice! But the not-so-cool part was having to pass slow walkers and runners with strollers who were doing the 5k. I am all for everyone doing physical exercise, but am not that down with having to ask people to move so I can pass them.

Mile 1 (and 4) was ALL downhill – hence my accidental first mile pace of 6:27. Whoops! Miles 2 and 5 were relatively flat, so I was somewhere in the 7s for both of those. Miles 3 and 6 were really hilly, so my pace was over 8 for both of those as well. I’m not winning any even splits awards, but I kept a consistent effort level throughout.

running through a (fake) plane crash.

This guy and I ran together for a few miles – he ended up beating me but made a point to tell me after that it was fun running together and that I helped him! I said the same – it was nice having someone on my tail – and to work to try and catch once he did pass me. Love the running culture sometimes, that’s for sure!

almost done...

This guy and I ended up racing to the finish. Again, it was so fun having an actual “race.” I looked up the race results – and while it was super close, I got him by 0.1 seconds.


After the race, I found my parents and Whitney. My parents had fun with the 5k – they enjoyed the course and my mom especially liked Wisteria Lane.

my dad!

my mom's finish!

I only remembered seeing one woman in front of me, but I wasn’t sure so I wanted to wait around for a few minutes until the “awards” ceremony. I grabbed a banana and talked to a few other runners, including my pace leader from my marathon training group! The results were posted, and I noticed that I won my age group, and I thought I was the 4th female finisher overall. My time was a PR by 2 seconds officially – 45:14 which is an average pace of 7:22.

After some more waiting…

what a trooper.


…it was finally time for the medal ceremony. The announcers were straight-up embarrassing and my mom totally called that these people are NOT runners. They botched every name, didn’t announce times for winners, and announced places 1st, 2nd, then 3rd, and not the standard other way around. I was driven nuts, but had to wait my turn for the 10k Female 20-24 category.

i have always had a big head. and not just figuratively.

winning. it's not just for charlie sheen.

We made our way to the parking structure (where both Whitney and I AND my parents forgot where we were parked. Whitney and I recovered before my parents – who I am sure are still relieved that the car was not actually stolen. Phew!).

We took off and headed to Starbucks (aka my 3rd home – in whichever city i’m in) for a post-run breakfast.


The rest of the day involved some studying, making some class-related playlists (i’ll save that excitement for another post) and a quick dinner with Whitney, Jenn, Bryan, and Matty at The Farmer’s Market‘s Lotería Grill. I chose something different – enchiladas in “de pipian” – which was basically a red pumpkin and peanut sauce. It was deliciously different. Also had to go with a side of chips and salsa!

We thought about sticking around for the Grove’s Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, but decided to avoid the crowds and the chaos. I nabbed this festive photo, though!

It’s still too early for me to be totally into the holiday spirit, but again I’ll save those views for another post. I hit the hay early because I was tired from my 6 am wake-up.

Here’s where the real race news comes to a head – I was anxious for the results to get posted online so I could look at them and compare my results, Turns out, in typical fashion, I read them wrong originally. I was actually the 2nd female finisher overall! Kinda cool, but as SkinnyRunner has stated before that if you enter a race that is small enough (and not entirely TOO competitive), placing will not be that difficult. In hindsight, I wish I stayed until the end of the awards ceremony, but I have an e-mail into the race director to see if I can get my plaque or whatever obnoxious item they’ll give me.

Beyond placing, though, I am happy that the race was so fun, the weather was great, I got to spend a fun morning with my best friend and my parents. All in all my idea of a perfect Sunday morning!

I would definitely recommend this course for anyone who wants a fun, challenging but not too terrible, and dynamic race experience! It’s not for super hardcore athletes (one guy proclaimed that it was like being an obstacle course to me at mile 4 and I agreed).

I am also thinking about trying to do a race (5k, 10k, Half-Marathon, or Marathon) once a month for the indefinite future, effective immediately. I am currently deciding on races for the next few months, so if anyone out there has any suggestions on must-run races in Southern California, digame por favor!

Did anyone else run or race  this weekend? Give me the deets! 



28 Apr

Yesterday was my lucky day! Nike e-mailed me to let me know my lottery number had been selected – I got a spot in the Nike Women´s Half Marathon in SF on October 16th. Embarcadero, Blue Bottle coffee, and 13.1 here we come!

This course looks difficult – but I am planning on training relatively hard for this. After all, I need to feel like I EARNED the Tiffany´s necklace that is given out to race finishers. My mom also entered the lottery, but as far as I know her number hasn´t been selected :(. I´m going to see if I can convince her to do another one with me though – perhaps the Petaluma Moo-Cow Half or a shorter race in so-cal this summer. I´m also planning on recording my workouts more diligently and have heard good things about DailyMile.

My luck continued yesterday with the ¨ida¨ (also known as Game 1) of the Semi-Final round of the Champion´s League between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. While the game started out slowly, Lionel Messi came to the rescue with two beautiful goals. Next week, the teams face-off again and one team will move into the championship round. I made sure to wear my FCB jacket to the bar where we watched the game, and got a surprising number of thumbs ups and ¨que buenas!!¨ on my way home. Viva Messi, anyone?


23 Mar

The following amusing anecdote occurred yesterday:

I had two of my first-graders, Lucia and Pedro, out in the hallway going over some vocabulary words. In class, they´re learning all about animals, so Pedro felt that it was necessary to tell me that the word ¨bull¨ is in the team name ¨Chicago Bulls.¨

Me: Yes, I know! They are from my country!

Pedro: Y…¿son tu equipo favorito?

Me: No…my favorite team is the Lakers.

Pedro: ¡VALE! ¡VENGA!!!! ¡A MI TAMBIÉN!!!

Me: And who is your favorite player, Pedro?

Pedro: PAU GASOL!!

(runs and finds his teacher, Amaya)

Pedro: ¡Amaya! ¿Conoces a Pau Gasol?

Amaya: Sí, claro…

Glad to see the Laker pride is going strong in central Spain.

Thoughts on a slow Friday

18 Jun

It’s been an incredibly hectic week for me and I’m learning more and more about what the “real world” is really like. While I’m not paying rent, buying groceries, or even chipping in for utilities, the 40 hour work week gives whole new meaning to time management. A couple of unexpected stress-inducing things last weekend and this week made me even more excited to take a 9-month hiatus from “the grind” at the end of September when I’ll move to Madrid as a Language and Cultural Assistant. In the meantime, however, I’m still working 40 hours a week at Lenmar Enterprises, Inc. in Camarillo, while also interning very part-time with the UK-based gap year/travel website and blog, I Wish Gap Year. This weekend is going to be a legit attempt at “r & r” even though I hate sitting still and doing nothing.

Here are some random things I’m interested in/currently doing:

  • Reading “The Facebook Effect” by David Kirkpatrick. I am easily addicted to Facebook – referring to it sometimes by nickname “the book” and experiencing that inevitable burst in endorphins at the site of that red notification. This book is awesome – it delves into the history of the company’s founding and gives a lot of insight into the social media world’s formulation. Every time I make a valiant attempt to read fiction, I get sucked back into the “real” side of the literary world with a book like this.
  •  Contemplating purchasing an e-reader. I noticed Borders has some for under $150 and I just know that an 8 oz. reader storing up to 1,000 titles makes more sense than lugging 4-5 books with me overseas.
  • Marketing/Social media. With both of my jobs, I’m learning more about the social marketing/media worlds. Today at Lenmar, I spent some time looking at what other companies are doing in the CSR realm, and brainstormed how we can market our endeavors. While I am undeniably driven to the law realm, I’ve had fun pursuing these side projects this summer.
  • Personal Growth blogs. Through some chats with my friend Amy, she’s convinced me to add Tim Ferriss’ “The 4-Hour Work Week” to my list of the next books to read, and I’ve stumbled upon (not literally) a helpful blog called Graduated and Clueless. These last few months have shown and taught me a lot and one of those things is to make the most out of your time and really LIVE your life. Yeah, money’s important, but it’s how you spend the time you’re “wasting” to earn it that matters most.
  •  “Figuring out where I’m going to law school.” The list of  schools is continually expanding, but it’s been fun to daydream about which city I’ll end up living in for 3 years. While the Law School Predictor isn’t helping, it’s encouraging that it tells me I’ll get into a few places, haha.
  • Maximizing Lunch breaks. I am lucky to get a full hour M-Th for lunch (hellooooo 24 hour fitness) and 30 min. on Friday during which I hit up the local Starbucks :).
  • Sports. Ron Artest’s jubilant press conference last night was incredibly endearing, and the World Cup is equally exciting – USA’s game today (thank god for Twitter updates) and Spain’s loss to Switzerland have definitely intrigued me and kept me tuned-in to #worldcup #usa and #esp twitter feeds.

That’s it for this uber-nerdy post. If you made it all the way here, thanks and show me some love with a comment!