There is no speed limit or dream limit on the oval.
Coming in for that high five like my life (or lap?) depends on it.
It was opening week of official Wednesday workouts with the Arete Oakland-East Bay team. The first real “track Tuesday” night of my life was a win sandwich. Win: simply making it to track after fully psyching myself out. Fail: poor fueling all day resulting in a workout I heavily modified as the wheels threatened to wobble, but didn’t fall off. Win: being smart and simply making the most of it. And well, damn, did I enjoy running on the track.
Perhaps what Connie didn’t know as I came in for that high five — or maybe she wisely did — was that she said exactly what I needed to hear that night.
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.
After just three weeks of remote coaching, I can understand why folks swear by it. There’s something rather lovely about both the accountability factor and receiving a daily text reminder about what the training plan is for tomorrow.
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 →
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 →
My running dreams and aspirations have snowballed over time, exacerbated by all the new and exiting things I never knew about that I have discovered via social media. It seems like just yesterday I was toeing the line at my first race ever – a San Francisco 5K I ran with coworkers.
I distinctly remember running down the Embarcadero with my coworker Jenni. Neither of us was necessarily ‘well trained’ for the event, but we were young (and to a certain extent a little dumb, or at least, I was,) and excited to try something new. I was determined to run with her even though she tried to tell me to go ahead. Three point one miles felt so far! I remember being so happy when we reached the turnaround point. The smell of sourdough was in the air, the tourists were abundant and I was already dreaming about breakfast. It wasn’t until the end where I had some legs left and she was beginning to tire, when I heard our boss yelling from the top of a stairwell “Come on Ignacio, finish strong!” that I left her side, pushed and ran hard through the finish. It was my first race ever and there were no medals, no big arch, no photographer, just a taped off chute and some volunteers removing timing chips (whom I nearly missed in my excitement of being done.) I had done it: I had run a 5K!
Little did I know that would be the first of many races. Since that day back in 2009, my reach goals for running have changed greatly.
Read my recap on the inaugural Dumbo Double Dare Part 1: the Disneyland 10k here. Now, for the second installment!
Before we knew it, the Disneyland 10k was in the books.
Obligatory pre-race photo at the Disneyland 10k
A 10k novice, my friend Kari (dressed as Alice) and I both had a great time. We even managed to meet up with a couple of friends who had made some great run costumes. They had the best Tweedle collars I saw all weekend, and they made their own sparkle skirts. Freaking cute!
Kari and I stayed up probably a little later than we should have making sure everything was ready. When we had arrived Friday, I had sized her apron – a modified cloth napkin with trim and elastic – to fit for running. She had made a great iron on for her Will Robinson outfit for the half marathon, which she applied in the hotel room. We were hydrated. We had our ‘flat runner’ outfits laid out.
Flat me Maleficent! Spoiler alert: I ditched the tank top, but wearing my competition brief proved a stellar decision.
Now all that was left was to sleep and RUN THE RACE!