Category Archives: race recap

Fast Flats and Magic Macs: 2017 Oakland Half Marathon Recap

Days later, I’m still riding the high from Sunday. Was it even real? Did it really happen? Sure, that blood blister you didn’t ask about on my right pinkie toe says yes, that was real, but even with over 40 races under my belt, this is the first time that I have ever walked away from a race and wanted to pinch myself. It’s Thursday now, and it’s still surreal as ever.

It has been a long time coming, but it started with some great coaching, some confidence boosting and my “party dress.”

There’s something to be said about having a uniform. A competitive soccer player growing up, uniforms were something special, something with a sense of pride and a sense of something bigger than oneself. Practice uniforms were only for practice. White uniforms were for home games. Wearing our colors were so we could represent on the road. As a member of the Oiselle Volée team, I see my singlets the same way: they are uniforms, and they only come out on game day.

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Pacer Power: San Jose 408K Recap

Before I even share about how this year’s San Jose 408K went down, there are some folks I need to thank.

Thank you Represent Running for both another awesome San Jose 408K, and for giving me the opportunity to toe the line as part of Team Run the Bay for the third year in a row. It is truly something that fills my run-local-love cup.

Thank you to my Ekiden coach Jenny, for keeping me on task and for giving me a workload that helped me be more prepared than I mentally thought I was.

Thank you to my husband Colin, for all the coffee, bananas, encouraging words and toddler wrangling, both on race day and every time I had a “but I need to run” or “can I foam roll in peace?” moment.

And last, but definitely not least, a huge, heartfelt thanks to my amazing pacer. My cousin Dan is a very modest guy, but I think he’s a quiet badass, and I definitely wouldn’t have had the race I did had it not been for his pacing.

All that being said, I’m sure it’s pretty clear that this year was different. From running remotely, to running pregnant, to running postpartum without high expectations, a fourth go at this race left me a little lost. Should I try to PR? Should I just see what happens? Should I sleep in and skip it?
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Oh Say, Can You Sing: an unexpected challenge at the Across the Bay 12K

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With mini flat Dani, Emmalouise. Ashley and Dani pre-race.

This year, I was very excited to get to run the 12K at Represent Running’s Across the Bay race as last year, I was pregnant and chose to stick with the 5K instead.

Part two of their three part “Run the Bay” challenge, I had put a lot of pressure on myself to do well after my surprisingly speedy San Jose 408K. Despite all the anticipation, I will fully admit that race day crept up on me. One thing had lead to another, and work and life became easy excuses for skipping out on training well.

Little did I know come race day, running fast — actually, running, period — would be the least of my worries.

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We Run the Town: Half Marathon Recap

See part 1 of my Oakland Running Festival We Run the Town Challenge recap here.

Runners are a wonderfully crazy bunch, and I am one of those crazies who do things non-runners (and sometimes even fellow runners) don’t understand — or in some cases, things even I myself can’t quite explain. Case in point: seven months postpartum and just beginning to get back into a regular fitness routine, I decided it would be a good idea to run a 5K and a half marathon on the same day. Brilliance abounds when you’re sleep deprived.

After running an accidental PR in the 5K, I had a bit of waiting before the half started. I didn’t realize at the time that I had run a PR; all I knew was my legs felt not quite as fresh as I’d have liked, but I couldn’t figure out why. After grabbing my bag (as bag check at the Oakland Running Festival is phenomenal – it was so easy to get my bag checked, run, get it back, check it again – you get the picture) I settled in under a tree. Sweats on to keep warm, check, change of socks almost out of superstition, check, fuel… that’s where I failed. I couldn’t eat the protein bar I’d brought, but managed a banana and some Skratch Labs fruit drops. Thanks to social media, I met up with a coworker, which automatically put me more at ease. From there it just seemed folks were rolling in. Continue reading

We Run the Town Challenge: 5K Recap

One month, three races. While I didn’t necessarily plan to hit Spring running so hard, events stacked up that way, and after last year’s “speed bump racing season,” I for one am not going to complain.

My running challenges have varied as the years have ticked by: Ragnar Relay, the Dumbo Double Dare with a 10K one day and a half marathon the next, my first (very much not flat) marathon. This past Sunday I took a new challenge, one the folks at Corrigan Sports call the We Run the Town Challenge. What town? THE Town, naturally! Oaktown, or to most of the country, Oakland, CA.

Married to an Oakland native, born and raised, Oakland has become a spot in the East Bay near and dear to my heart, the first city that welcomed me home to the Bay Area when I left college in San Diego. A number of my coworkers were talking about running the half marathon, and I was still longing for another go at the marathon course as I had not run as hoped in 2015. (A pregnant second marathon was not in the books for me.) When opportunity arose to tour Oakland again by foot, I jumped at the chance and decided to go for the challenge. Challengers ran the 5K at 7:30, then had a break (depending on their speed) before running the half marathon at 9:10. For someone who is runDisney 5am trained, that was a very late half marathon start! Continue reading

Those Splits Are Bananas: San Jose 408K

For the third year in a row – and second time racing ‘live and in person’ as opposed to running remotely – I toed the line at the San Jose 408K, a race that has grown in importance for me every year. The first year, I ran remotely. Last year, I ran with my parents while quietly pregnant. This year, I was honored to run with my tall, speedy cousin. South Bay born and raised the 408K is becoming a ‘family’ event for me — and this year was quite memorable.

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While I was bummed I couldn’t get out to San Jose early enough to pick up my Represent Running ambassador gear. Under Armour hooked us up big time with shorts, shoes (yes shoes!) and a great “Represent Running” screened tee, I was still excited to be part of the crew. I kitted up in my long sleeved Oiselle Volée top thinking that if I couldn’t rep RR, I’d at least shout out to my fellow flockstars. (Sadly, I didn’t see another bird on the course. Bummer.) I even made good on my threat of bringing a teeny flat version of East Coast RR team member Dani so she could be part of the action too! Continue reading

Don’t Call It a Comeback: Let’s Go 510

After a first postpartum run on October 9th, I tackled my third Let’s Go 510 10K on October 26th. Quick math can tell anyone that there wasn’t a lot of training heading into this event. However, it was training like I had never experienced before. My neighborhood is not flat in the least; even if you want to run a mile there will be incline involved at some point. Running hills is the only choice and now, with Mini Beastling in the picture, I can’t just decide “I’m going for a run” and take off. Now when I run, she comes with me. Take a ~25lb BOB Revolution Pro, add a ~12lb baby and it’s time for some legit resistance training over any given distance.

Total runs pre-race: 8
Total mileage pre-race: 16.75mi including cool downs
Longest pre-race run: 4.51mi
Runs without the stroller: 0
Confidence level when the race actually started: surprisingly high.

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