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.
In the spirit of keeping it real, I don’t read manuals. If it has more words than a Lego how-to guide, I more likely than not set it aside (cough cough, lose it in a pile of manuals) and only rummage it up if the Internet and I can’t figure out what I’m after. Over the weekend I was toying around with my Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire when I realized I could create my own activities for tracking.
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 →
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.
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 →
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.