Tag Archives: running

new year’s race [alternate title: that time i was a 10k vigilante]

9 Jan

On Saturday, January 3rd I ran my first race of 2015 at the New Year’s Race in DTLA.  I jumped on the New Year’s Race bandwagon late in the game since a bunch of people from my DTLA Running crew were participating and I had a serious case of FOMO.  A lot of them decided to run the half marathon, but I am nowhere near 13.1-ready right now so I opted for the 6.2 mile distance.

(Fun fact:  I signed up to run the 13.1 two years ago with my BFF Jenn, but I ended up bailing on her when I got invited to a wedding that same night.  As it turns out, the course was a beast and that may be Jenn’s first and last 13.1.  But who am I kidding, she’s friends with me so I’ll get her to do another one).

(Even more fun fact: I recently took the Meyers-Briggs personality quiz and I am an ENFJ, which explains this “make my friends do ridiculous things” trait I have.  The more you know…)

ANYWAY.  Things I would not suggest doing prior to racing 6.2 miles:

  • going wine tasting
  • wearing shorts in the coldest LA weather we get
  • not charging your iPod shuffle
  • not looking at the course map at all
  • not checking gear so you are freezing at the finish line

Despite those small bobbles, it was a fantastic race experience and set the tone for lots of miles and PRs in the year ahead with my running peeps.

We met up about an hour prior to the start for photos, selfies (I think 2014 was the year of the GoPro/Selfie Stick, and I don’t hate it), and pre-race encouragement.  I had no goals for this race (again, out of running shape), and I have no fast-twitch muscle fiber so I didn’t plan to run fast, oh, and this course is a hilly beast. (Turn-around point is the entrance to Dodger Stadium).

Here are the only photos in which my eyes are open.  Not sure how I managed to blink in photos taken at night with no flash, but I digress.


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I ran into Linzie of Sharp Endurance at the start as well as Andrea Barber!  She humored us with a photo.


My plan was to hang with my buddy Andres who was running the half — we are similar in pace so I thought that would be no problem since I was running half the distance he was.  Easier said than done).


start line at 7th & Grand.

The race started and I went out too fast (what else is new), but got into a little bit of a rhythm.  My Garmin got a little messed up going through a tunnel, but I think the first two miles were (relatively flat and thus) sub-7.  I slowed down on the third mile, heading toward Elysian Park, where Andres passed me.  I train on this course a lot, though, so I liked the fact that even though the course was challenging, I knew where I was in relation to the finish the entire time.

As we headed toward the turn-around, I noticed there were three women ahead of me who were running the 10k.  I remember thinking “Sweet, if you pass one of them, you’ll make the podium.”  I also remember thinking “You have NO KICK so you need to do it sooner rather than later.”

As I headed down the hill coming out of Dodger Stadium, I saw the woman who was in 3rd intentionally cut-off the woman who was in 2nd and she passed her.  I assume it was intentional because (a) there was no one else around and (b) the woman who was cut-off had to visibly change her stride to accommodate this woman.  I was maybe 50 yards back at this point and said, out loud to know one in particular “Oh my god.”  What made this whole thing even crazier was that I recognized the woman who did the cutting off through healthy living blogs/social media.

Caution: SUPER attractive photos ahead.

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Screen Shot 2015-01-09 at 5.37.00 PM

Don’t say I didn’t warn ya. Anddd that was a Taylor Swift reference. #WHOAMI?

As I headed back toward the finish at Grand Park, the 10k course converged with the 5k, making it harder for me to spot these two women.  By the time there was less than a mile left to go, the woman who had done the cutting off was now in 3rd, but still a solid portion ahead of me.  With less than a quarter mile to go, I realize I had a little bit left in me, and she was not picking up her stride.  I passed her in the last 100 m or so — something that literally never happens.

I finished in 45:30, 7:23 pace per mile.  I was the third woman, and 2nd in my age group. (997 total participants).  The story behind getting 3rd made it even sweeter, and one of my running buddies (Abel) dubbed me a “10k vigilante.”

gassed out.

gassed out.

After the race, I kept the Angel City beer garden warm for my friends who were running the 13.1.  Great idea in theory, but pro tip: if you’re a girl alone at a post-race beer garden, dudes will come hit on you.  Wearing shorts and having good taste in beer probably didn’t help, but whatever.  Finally my DTLA Running crew showed up and we talked about the race, shared our experiences, and obviously staged photos for the ‘Gram.


Looking forward to more races this year, I have a few goals, but nothing too TOO crazy.  I want to specate the heck outta the LA Marathon (for my mom and for DTLA Running and because I am in a wedding the night before), run Ojai Mountains to Beach (ideally in 3:34:xx because Boston), and run a few halves.  The New Year’s Race was a great kick-off, and next year I will probably run the half so I can run inside Dodger Stadium and lessen any remaining FOMO feelings.

Happy Running in 2015! What are your goals?


eat sleep race repeat.

11 Dec

So I have been the worst blogger ever — I am overdue for two race recaps (which I realize no one really cares about but I mostly write for myself anyway so whatever).  I guess if this is technically at least partly a running blog I should share with the world when I actually, you know, run.

This past Saturday I ran the Lexus LaceUp Half Marathon in Irvine.   This is a new race series put on by Lexus and Equinox — there were races earlier this fall in Ventura and Palos Verdes, and the series finishes out this weekend in Riverside.  I was privileged to be selected as an Ambassador (so my race entry was comped), but that will not color my review or my experience.

I didn’t really set out to PR or anything — I didn’t really train for this because it had never been a “goal race.” Oh yeah, and I flew to Vegas that afternoon. Soooo my priorities were more along the lines of not dying rather than to gun for a PR.  Of course, I can say that to myself as many times as I want but as soon as the race is off of course I was trying to hang with the 1:30 pacer for a few miles.  COOL GILLIAN.

The field was itty-bitty:


I ended up letting them go a couple of miles in and quickly realized I was DEEP in no-man’s land.  Literally, no one was around me almost the entire race which made trying to keep low-7s nearly impossible.  Around mile 4 or 5 I decided to wave goodbye to any PR dreams and just hang out at a comfortably hard training pace.  So glad I made that call.

The course itself was very favorable — it was almost entirely on a bike path, but it was also boring. Irvine is already boring enough, but there was almost nothing to look at and very little crowd support.  I am so glad I made the decision to treat it like a training run because  it was mentally tough slogging through those monotonous, solo miles.


The splits (aka a primer on how to literally run slower every mile)


Mile 2 – 6:55

Mile 3 – 7:17

Mile 4- 7:14

Mile 5- 7:29

Mile 6- 7:41  –> humbling realization that today is not your day

Mile 7- 7:42

Mile 8 – 7:37

Mile 9 – 7:40

Mile 10 – 7:38

Mile 11- 7:30

Mile 12 – 7:36

Finish 12.85 miles: 1:35:21 //7:25 pace

Although it was a little annoying the race was short (I think they likely didn’t account for the tangents on the bike path), I was not bummed at all.  I would have been bummed if I was on pace to PR, but since I was 90 seconds to two minutes off, I was happy to call it a day a little early.

This was not my best race by any means, but it was a nice reminder that they can’t all be amazing “oh-my-god-this-is-incredible” experiences.  As my Dad said during our post-race debrief: “it’s like an International Friendly soccer match.  Sometimes two teams just get together to play a game.  They don’t all have to be the World Cup.”  WORD.

Overall, I REALLY liked the race experience — it was a small field (250 people ran the half. I was the 6th woman and 2nd in my age group.  See, tiny) so parking and packet-pick up was an absolute breeze.  The size of the field made the race more challenging (I FEED off having other people around me during races.  And also pretty much all the time). The sponsors were top-notch, and there were free brunch options at various food trucks.  This race is also awesome because the official charity partner for the race was none other than Back on My Feet — I am unsure how much was donated but it’s great they recognized BOMF and likely spread the word and helped to raise awareness.

The race started right on time, and there were also 10k and 5k options.  A few of my homeboys came out and ran the 5k and 10k — and they made fun of me for being less than thrilled with my performance. Love them.


So ultimately, I was impressed by Lexus LaceUp and would run a race with them again, but maybe not this exact course.

Way back on Thanksgiving Day, my mom and I ran the Conejo Valley Turkey Day Dash together in Thousand Oaks over at Cal Lutheran University! I’ve done this race before (in 2012 with my old friend Hannes).  In 2012 I finished in exactly 22:56.  This year I did the same thing in 20:56, so that was exciting. My mom has gotten a lot faster since she’s been SERIOUSLY training for the LA Marathon, and she finished in 31:21!

My splits:

Mile 1 – 6:26

Mile 2 – 6:42

Mile 3 – 7:11

5k total: 20:56//6:44 pace//2nd in my division.

ONE DAY I will run negative splits in a race.  ONE DAY.



Another fun thing about this race is that it’s super local — I spotted a few people I knew from high school.  The COOLEST thing though was finally meeting Emily @ Haute Chocolate Runner in person. (Making friends through the internet? Not weird at all).  Anyway, she crushed her FIRST 5k ever.  Now if only I can use her legs in an eventual BQ attempt…

So that’s the race news for me — and I don’t have any races on the horizon (typing that made me freak out, I need to get something going STAT).

Anyone have any fun races coming up in Jan or Feb? 

that’s tight. [pro compression sleeve review].

10 Dec

Disclosure:  Pro Compression sent me a pair of their calf sleeves to review through my relationship with Fit Approach/Sweat Pink.  Of course all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

So if you follow this blog or any of my (highly ridiculous) social media channels, you have probably figured out that I sorta like to run.  I am by no means an expert on gear or injury prevention or any of that stuff, but one thing that has worked for me over the years has been wearing compression sleeves or socks post-race to help aid my recovery.  Sometimes I’ll even wear them as I run when I’m feeling particularly gunnerish.

This past Saturday, I pulled a gunner move and ran 13.1 in the morning (well, technically 12.85 but that’s a story for a different day) and then high-tailed it over to Vayyyyygusss for a “girl’s weekend.” (In quotes because who am I?).

Anyway, I wore compression sleeves under my skinny jeans the whole first part of the trip. OH WHAT.


As a compression sleeve fan, I was pumped to have the opportunity to take a pair of Pro Compression‘s sleeves for a spin this morning.   I have a couple other pairs of compression sleeves that I like (from Zensah and Thirty48), and some compression socks from Pro Compression, but had never tried their sleeves.


My legs are still coming down from half-mary number 16 (see, gunner), so I wore them on a short 2.5-er this morning. What’d I think? Well, it seems only fitting that I break this down into a pro and con list. #punny.


  • The fabric felt a little bit itchy at first, but I adjusted after a few minutes.
  • The sleeves feel slightly less breathable than the ProCompression socks.


  • These babies were TIGHT.  My calves felt compressed.
  • I like the black – inoffensive and boss-like (although there are tons of different colors).
  • ProCompression has TONS of styles/colors  — they have a style of the month and tons of different themed options.  (I have a holiday pair and a patriotic pair which have come in handy.  I need to secure a Turkey-themed one for my annual Turkey Trot, though, to keep the running dorkdom meter off the charts).



Interested in checking out ProCompression?  Use code PINK2  for 40% off here:  http://procompression.com/

#RnRLA recap.

30 Oct

Last Sunday, I ran my 15th half marathon — at #RnRLA in DTLA!  I am not sure I would totally recommend running two half marathons in two consecutive weekends, but I had a lot of fun at #RnRLA with my DTLA Running Group posse.

I headed to the expo Saturday morning.  I was obviously swooning over these themed pint glasses, but I saved my cash for some Nuun and a couple of Gu gels.


I also hit up the Got Chocolate Milk? booth for a tweet-up hosted by Pavement Runner.  I met Pavey at this race last year, so it was cool to reconnect.  I also got to meet Andrea Barber and Michael @ Point One Miles.  I love a good tweet-up because I love having the chance to connect with people who share a hobby that is so important to me.

Later that day I obviously organized all of my stuff (I went with the Halloween colors theme, way too lazy and also way too gunnerish to wear a costume). Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 9.04.33 PMI also got a playlist together.  This was the perfect blend of heavy beats and some up-tempo tracks. Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 8.09.43 PM

On Sunday morning, I set my alarm for 5:30.  My first thought was “wait…why am I getting up? OH YEAH….13.1.”  That was weird.  I had some GF oatmeal and grabbed a coffee on my way to my running group’s meet-up spot at LA Live.  We chatted strategy and took some photos before heading over to the start in time for the 7 AM Race start. B04MIpIIUAAHxGL


I didn’t really have any discernible goals for the race.  Sure, a PR is always nice, but I knew that would be pushing it after my amazing race at NWM the week before.  My running buddy and training partner Andres was hoping for a PR.  Last year, I ran 1:42:42 on this course and he ran 1:46.  His goal this year was to go sub 1:40 which I knew would be a cake walk for him.

I know this course well after having done it last year and training regularly on the route.  It starts out really flat for the first 4 miles over to USC and around the Coliseum.  There’s a very gradual uphill on the way back.  I prefer the second half of the course – up Flower street to 3rd, down to Central, over to 6th and across the 6th street bridge, and then back.

I started in the second corral and just kind of tried to do my own thing.  I knew Andres and I would run similar paces, but he was in the third corral. I listened to my music and didn’t really focus on my watch.  For the first few miles, I was trading places with another DTLA Running buddy of mine, Kevin, who was running his first half-marathon!

My splits were a little bit all over the place, but I felt pretty good for the first half.  I thought I *might* have a chance of PR-ing because my pace was relatively similar to Nike Women’s and the course doesn’t have any big hills.  The start was pretty uneventful, except as always there were people who should not have been in the second corral that I had to dart around to avoid at first, but that’s okay.  In the second mile or so I saw Pavement Runner at the turn-around for the 5k — he is a beast and ran the 5k super fast and then did the half while they were still letting out the later corrals. I let out a “get it, Pavey!”

Out to USC was pretty fun and fast and uneventful.  I liked scoping out the costumes (the guy in the Dorothy outfit complete with Toto in a basket was…aggressive).  I kinda just did my thing out there for a bit.  I took water at every aid station for NWM and that worked for me, so I did the same for this race – except I took Gatorade when I could because electrolytes.

The funny thing about the way #RnRLA releases corrals is that you can see people in higher or lower corrals on two out and back portions of the course.  Last year I saw a bunch of DTLA Running people this way so I kept my eyes peeled.  At maybe mile 4 or so I saw my long lost friend Joe heading toward the Coliseum while I was leaving — he was super loud and energetic which put a little pep in my step.  Pavey told me later he said he saw me twice on the out-and-back portion, and YELLED  “Gillian” both times and then said in a softer voice “. . . is wearing headphones.”  Guess my music was a little too loud and I was in the “zone” for awhile. Whooooops.

On the way back toward LA Live, I could start to feel a little soreness in my IT band.  This is my least favorite part of the course — it’s pretty monotonous and there’s some gradual uphill.

The biggest hill is up the 6th street bridge — it’s not a typical hill, but it’s relatively steep.  This is where I saw some of my DTLA peeps — I saw my buddy Steve coming down when I was about half way up. I saw Andres *right* behind me at the turn-around, and I saw a few other people not to far behind him.  I bumped into speed demon/my running idol Cynthia going back through the tunnel.

I turned onto Flower and headed into the finish. In the end, I was pretty close  to a PR, but alas, no cigar.  I ran 1:37:02.  My Garmin has 13.51 total miles (7.11).  I know the course is a little bit long, but I think the 3rd street tunnel could mess up the GPS a little bit.

Andddd the splits:

  • Mile 1 – 7:02
  • Mile 2 – 6:50
  • Mile 3 – 7:08
  • Mile 4 – 7:09
  • Mile 5 – 7:25
  • Mile 6 – 7:34
  • Mile 7- 7:22
  • Mile 8- 6:51 (no clue, maybe some good music?)
  • Mile 9 – 7:20
  • Mile 10- 7:48 (hill)
  • Mile 11 – 7:22
  • Mile 12 – 7:51
  • Mile 13 – 5:54 (wrong, I think the tunnels messed it up)
  • + change – 3:30

no clue how my feet function.

Although I don’t like to “lose,” I like it when my friends PR even better.  Andres finished behind me, but he crushed his PR by 10 minutes and beat me.  Pretty awesome. (Also, check out how close our paces were.)

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Kevin and Cynthia finished right with us as well — the four of us took a few pictures, grabbed some food in the finish chute, and headed to our obvious first stop, the free beer.


Kevin, Andres, Me, and Cynthia.

Pretty quickly, I was getting antsy for actual beer. Andres and I moved the party over to Tom’s Urban.  I had an IPA  (obvi) and delicious breakfast sliders. There was some football on in the background but I was too busy social media-ing and riding the endorphin high to really engage.


Overall, #RnRLA was a great event and I had a ton of fun with my running buddies and supporting some first-time half-marathoners. But, this course also made me HUNGRY to try and see a 1:35, which is scary to even type.

My body DEFINITELY took a hit on this one, though.  Walking was a struggle the rest of the day and all day Monday, but I felt better after lifting Tuesday morning.

Any suggestions for a 1:34:xx course? 

the best weekend in the bay

26 Oct

I spent last weekend in the bay area, and if you follow me on social media, you probably saw me use the hashtag #bestweekendever a few times.  Well, it was. When you combine all of my favorite things and many of my favorite people, it’s bound to be memorable.  Here’s all of the fun things I crammed in:

To maximize time in SF, my friend/former roommate/coworker/sorority “sister” Jenn and I flew up EARLY Friday morning so we could work out of our firm’s SF office.  We took a lyft from my apartment at 4:45 and got to LAX with PLENTY of time for our flight.  We chatted the whole way and were ready to hit the ground running when we landed.  Jenn joked that the commute from LA to SF was shorter than her commute from where she lives to her office in LA – sad, but true.


We did some work, and popped over to a local mexican food place for lunch.  This was the view from the guest office where I planted myself on Friday.


I am such a sucker for a pretty view.

After we wrapped things up, we met some of our friends from our sorority at Local Edition on Market Street.  Our friends Megan, Kathleen, and Michelle joined us — as well as Michelle’s boyfriend and Jenn’s fiancé who also flew up for the weekend from LA.  Old friends + IPAs + SF + a race on the horizon = Gillian in her element.


We shared old embarrassing stories (mostly about them, I never do anything embarrassing) and caught up.  It was so nice and I need to make the LAX –> SFO jaunt a routine. We also went out to dinner at a place whose name escapes me (hello sleep deprivation and IPA haze).  Afterwards, I spent the night at Kathleen’s apartment in NoPa (two blocks from Alamo Square — you know, where the Painted Ladies are — aka the Full House houses).

Reasons I am the worst guest ever: at 6:30 AM, my alarm went off so I could be in Union Square for a shake-out run #NikeLA invited me to.  I am so glad I went.

After waiting in line for a little bit, we got to hear Nike greats Shalane Flanagan and Joan Benoit Samuelson offer tips about race day.  The common themes were to run your  own race, trust your training, and to do nothing new on race day.


Afterward, we headed out for a 2 mile shake-out run.  Nothing but silence and chills as I ran with these amazing Olympians.


Rosa and I took a mid-run selfie – there’s Shalane!


After the race, our group of “Nike VIPs” headed out to a private location for brunch!

I realize I never gave the full low-down on how I got involved with #NikeTrackClub: Over the summer, I got a twitter DM from the @NikeLA twitter account, asking if I’d be interested in running the Nike Women’s Marathon on Nike. UM YES I WOULD.  I went to a training party/kick-off at the Nike Track Club/Finish Line Del Amo store in Torrance one night as a “study break” before the bar exam and met these girls and got amped for the race.   Over the course of the training, Nike sent us gear and positive vibes for the race.  The brunch was an amazing final send-off.

Nike Track Club is a partnership between Finish Line and Nike, and these stores are beautiful — they have all of the latest running gear as well as running clubs and events. I wish the Torrance location wasn’t so far from DTLA or I’d probably be there all the time.


We headed to the Dirty Habit for a seated multi-course brunch.


Busted doing the Instagram thing.

At our tables were our bibs and race packets, the Nike Women’s singlet, Nike socks, a gorgeous overnight bag, and this jacket which is now my favorite thing to wear.  On our way out, we also got portable phone chargers — the perfect gift for runners with social media problems. 10606253_10103586341998693_369488509352489402_n

(Again, the fact that I was at an event as a Nike VIP blows my mind).

After brunch, I headed back to Kathleen’s and got ready to BART over to the East Bay to head to Berkeley for the Cal/UCLA game.

Before heading onto BART, Kathleen introduced me to the wonder of Philz coffee. I am a self-proclaimed Blue Bottle fiend, but Philz was pretty amazing. I let Kathleen select her usual (Jacob’s Wonderbar with medium milk and sugar) and it was one of the best cups of coffee I have ever had).

We took BART to West Oakland where we met up with my Uncle Casey and my Dad who were also going to the game with us (s/o to my aunt Melinda for giving us a ride to Berkeley!) My Dad has not been to a Cal game since he was a sophomore in college (at USC) and came up for the “weekender.” (Pretty sure only USC calls it that, at Cal away games are just “away games.”)  My mom opted not to come to the game, so instead she ran 7 miles around Lake Merritt. #boss.

Our first stop was the obvious Henry’s. Pitchers of Racer 5 for everyone!! (Well, at least for the people in my immediate vicinity or those who have a refined taste in beer).

My Dad was hesitant about coming up for the weekend at first, but I am pretty sure the Henry’s experience changed his mind.  We’re planning on making it to an SC game later this season but I am not sure how anything can top this.


Here’s a photo my Dad and I *both* posted on Instagram.  My Dad is trying to coax my Uncle into joining some form of social media, but he reads my blog which is probably all you really need.  10659236_10103587784423063_5245975484230125776_n

We drank, recapped the last night, and looked for people we know. I ran into BOTH of my little sisses from my sorority (so awesome).  It is weirding me out that we are now those old alums who comes back and say things like “WHAT!! This wasn’t here?!” and “Yeah, our two favorite bars from back in the day don’t exist anymore.” (RIP Raleigh’s and the Bear’s Lair).


Me (probably blinking), Jenn, and Kathleen.

I ran into my good friend Bryan’s sister, Rachel.  Rachel has lived down the street from me almost my entire life, so it was awesome seeing her randomly!


After the beer, we made it to the game!  It was a nerve-wracking and close game, but in the end Cal couldn’t get its act together in the 4th quarter and we lost.


After the game, my Dad, Uncle, and I headed over to Clark Kerr for a BBQ put on by the players’ families. My uncle is family friends with #38  so we had a beer with him and his family and friends before heading back to Oakland.

My aunt and uncle cooked a delicious meal for me and my parents, and I drank a ton of water in an attempt to undue the stadium food and beer I’d fueled with all day. The remainder of the weekend was spent at the race and driving back home with my parents.

All in all, this was an amazingly memorable weekend and a reminder that I need to make it up to the bay area more often 🙂

What three things make up a perfect weekend for you? 

In no particular order…

1. A race

2. Some event involving beer

3. Family and Friends

the race of my life. [NWM 14 race recap]

25 Oct

Last Sunday I ran the Nike Women’s 13.1 in San Francisco (thanks again, #NikeLA for having me!)  It was an incredible race in so many ways — I want to share all of the aspects of the weekend but the race recap comes first.

I spent Saturday night at my aunt and uncle’s house in Oakland.  They cooked an incredible pre-race feast (post Cal game — post on that to come) and I did the usual pre-race shilling for instagram likes photo. (Isn’t it cool how well I know myself?)


My uncle graciously dropped me off near Union Square at about 6 AM (the race started at 6:30), and they later met me at the finish at Marina Green.  There was a little bit of traffic coming off the freeway, but it was not nearly as bad as the time I ran #RnRSD when Jenn drove me to the start and traffic was so bad I freaked out, left a car full of people and ran to the start, so I wasn’t sweating it.  I walked to my corral and it was super easy.

I’ve done NWM twice before (in 2011 and 2012). This is the 11th year of the event and with that came a brand new course.  We started in Union Square, meandered through the Tenderloin, popped into Golden Gate Park, wound through the presidio (and up a pretty steep hill around mile 11) and finished in the Marina.  I LOVED the new course — it was pretty challenging, but it was a great blend of scenic views, rolling hills, and a couple of steep grades.

I seeded myself in the second corral (6:00-7:59/mile pace).  It was incredibly thin, which was awesome.  I don’t think I’ve ever started out that close.


The race started just a few minutes later and we were off!  My only criticism of the course is that I wish we’d started at 7 or so – my first 5 miles were in the dark.

Before the race started, I tweeted that I didn’t plan to PR and my goals were just to have fun and enjoy the day.  Famous last words (Spoiler Alert: PR ahead).  Again right before the start, I took a deep breath and reminded myself not to go out too fast, to have fun, and to just chill out.  I wanted to keep as even splits as possible, even if they were on the faster side.

The race started and I went out fast — not crazy fast, but more like comfortably hard.

In the second mile, I noticed a couple of familiar runners pass me on my left side. HOLY COW.  I was literally rubbing elbows with Joan Benoit Samuelson, Shalane Flanagan, and Jordan Hasay.  These women are crazy inspiring.  I didn’t cry, but it was just an insane moment of “how is this happening” and “what the heck are you doing up here, Gillian?!?!” and an overwhelming feeling of luck and gratitude.  I settled into my pace after the third mile or so and enjoyed the course and my jams.


The best moment of the race may or may not have been when this song came on my iPod as I came off the final hill. I also may or may not have yelled YES!!!! at that point, too.  I also loved seeing the November Project cheering squad at that big hill as well — Pavement Runner said they’d be out there in full force and they were. I totally fed off their energy at that point.


  • Mile 1: 6:56
  • Mile 2: 6:49
  • Mile 3: 7:40
  • Mile 4: 7:13
  • Mile 5: 7:09
  • Mile 6: 6:57
  • Mile 7: 6:50
  • Mile 8: 7:31
  • Mile 9: 7:29
  • Mile 10: 7:21
  • Mile 11: 8:08 (HUGE hill)
  • Mile 12: 6:45
  • Mile 13: 7:14
  • 0.3: 1:58

Total Time: 1:36:02 (PR) – My garmin had 13.29 miles for an average pace of 7:14.

101st finisher (of about 25,000).


Needless to say, it was an incredible race. I cannot believe I ran as fast as I did and I kept thinking “what are you doing, you’re going to have to stop at mile 8 and walk the rest of the way” but that never happened.  My splits were decently consistent, and I never felt super gassed out. I also felt strong when I finished.


The moral of the story is never trust anything I put on twitter.


But seriously — this whole weekend was really crazy and reminded me obviously how much I love this sport but also how far I have come as an a runner and as an athlete.  I was the slowest kid on my youth track team, was consistently the 8th fastest girl on my HS cross country team (top 7 is varsity), and did my first half marathon in 2007 in 1:57.  My previous NWM times were 1:48 and 1:47.  Never in a million years would I DREAM of running the race I did last weekend.  The whole race was like an out of body experience watching someone else’s race as opposed to actually living it. This was a great reminder that if I can do this and see this much improvement, just about anyone should be able to.

It also makes me think I should reassess some of my goals (like helllooooo maybe it’s time to get your life together Gillian and train for a BQ).

Anyway, I don’t mean to #humblebrag (okay may I do just a little) but NWM 13.1 was awesome and I can’t wait for next year.

What was your best race ever?? 

busy is better.

12 Oct

Hi everyone!  I have been the worst blogger ever lately — I guess adjusting to my job could be blamed for that (and also feeling like I have been pretty boring lately) – but I wanted to share what has been keeping me busy lately!

I am really enjoying my job so far – but it is definitely an adjustment.  I will do a more job-related post at some point, but I have an image I am trying to maintain of not being a total nerd. BAHAHA who am I kidding. Nerd city, population 1 over here.  When I haven’t been working, here’s what I’ve been up to:

Logging mileage 

I have a couple of races coming up — the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon (next weekend!) in SF, and then #RnRLA on October 26th in DTLA.  I have been running on Saturday mornings with my DTLA crew.  Last week, we participated in CicLAVia (such a cool event).  A bunch of streets became closed for cyclists around 9 AM, so we met up at 6 to get our run in before the cyclists and before the sun was out in full-force.  We logged 14 miles to East LA and back.  On the way back, I hung with our group’s fastest guy (Alvaro) for a few miles, and realized we were clipping along at 6:45 pace for a few mile.  Scary.


Yesterday, I got in 11 miles through DTLA and along the LA river.  Really a great way to start the weekend.  Andres and I pushed it the last few miles (errrrr he pushed it and I followed because I can’t say no)


This has been my motto lately (I am normally in a good mood but this last week was pretty roller coaster-y for me, which is weird because I am pretty even-keel normally).


Girl time

I know, you’re thinking WHAT?!  One of my good friends, Alexis, lives in my building and last Sunday she concocted her specialty vegan smoothies for us — it was a great way to catch up and wind-down before the week.  I call Alexis my “personal cheerleader” because she is one of the most upbeat and supportive people I know — and she is a mini-me in that she is a total law school gunner (she is a 2L) and is a workout fiend. So talking about work and school over protein smoothies pretty much sums us up!


#lawlife events

I’ve gotten to attend a few great events since joining my firm about a month ago — I got to go an installation and awards dinner for the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, a dinner put on by the Association of Business Trial Lawyers about a fascinating case called Chevron v. Donziger (seriously google it), and this week I attended an event for the Association of Corporate Counsel about using appellate counsel to prevail at trial hosted by my firm at the Beverly Hills Montage. (It looks swanky — and it was — but I promise my life is not that glamorous.  I came home at 9 and worked for two hours).


Body pump because obviously

I have kept the 6 AM BP obsession alive and well — I took the new release, Body Pump 91, for the first time this morning at my gym.  I liked some of the songs (especially this one) but I didn’t think the release as a whole was as challenging as some others.  Any BP fans out there agree?


DTLA lovin’

Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here obsessing over how gorgeous DTLA (and this building) is.  Last night I grabbed a drink with my high school friend Heather at the Ace Hotel’s rooftop and swooned over this view.



What’s keeping you busy?

Body pump people – what do you think of 91?

Fav workout song right now?