Portland Marathon Training – Week 16

Portland Training:  Week in Review:

  • Sunday – The Giant Race Half – 13:1 Miles
  • Monday – Bikram Yoga – 90 minutes
  • Tuesday – Track Workout – 7.5 miles
    • 3 mile warm-up
    • 400m @ 5k Pace, 200m recovery, 600m @5k, 400m recovery -x4 = 4 miles
    • 0.5 mile cooldown
  • Wednesday – 45 minute spin class and weight workout
  • Thursday – 5 mile run
  • Friday – OFF
  • Saturday 20 Miles

Total Miles – 45.5 Miles

45 miles – wow!  That is one of the highest mileage weeks I have run in a long time.  It was mostly due to the fact that I raced on Sunday so I did my long run Sunday instead of Saturday last week.  I was worried how my track workout would go on Tuesday after racing Sunday but I actually felt super strong.  We even ran our last 600m interval faster than the previous 3!  Spin on Wednesday morning was a bit rough to get going.  I didn’t have much recovery time between track and spinning (as in only 11 hours) so my legs were tired for the first 10 minutes.  Once I was warmed up though, I felt good and got a nice workout in.  I took my run on Thursday morning easy in prep for my 20 miler on Saturday am.

My long run on Saturday actually got off to an interesting start.  I was supposed to run at 6:30 with the early group to get 6 miles in before the 7:45 scheduled long run.  I actually had planned on arriving at 6am to get 2-3 in before the long run.  I had plans to camp for the night about an hour north of SF on Saturday and I was anxious to get up there.  I figured the earlier I could run, the sooner I would make it up to meet my friends.  My friends had gone up on Friday night but I had to stay back and get my run in Saturday am.  My plan to run early and get to camping earlier failed.  I accidentally set my “weekday” alarm and my alarm never went off on Saturday morning.  I woke up at 6:20 in a complete panic.  I actually was out of my house in 15 minutes (thank goodness I had everything ready to go the night before) and made it to the run for 7am.  I was able to get 4.5 miles in before the big run started so I was only about 1.5 miles behind the rest of the gang.

Hog Island Oysters!

Hog Island Oysters!

The first part of the run went well.  I had a strong first 8 miles and started to feel a bit tired at 10.  I knew that wasn’t good with another 10 ahead of me.  I kept pushing though and did okay through mile 15.  After that I was really getting tired.  I was actually only scheduled to run 16 this week but my family will be in town next weekend and I didn’t want to have to run 20 miles while they were here so I swapped the weeks.  I knew why I was only supposed to run 16, once I hit 16 I was ready to be done!  Our big group had broken off so it was just me and another guy so we were on our own.  He was awesome and helped me get to 20, he took it easy with me and kept chatting.  (He was only doing 16 so he was in much better shape than me)  Long story, I finished.  It HURT when I stopped running and walked to my car.  I did a bunch of stretching but was actually really hurting on my drive home.  I managed to find time to take an ice back, hydrate, eat and take some Aleve and by the time I was out the door for camping I felt much better.  I forgot how much those 20 mile runs take out of you and certainly can hurt.  I have 3 more to go, I am just hoping that this will all pay off in Portland!

I spent the rest of the weekend camping in Olema which is up near Point Reyes.  It was really fun!  It basically was a relaxing weekend with no plans and outside of the city.  My friends and I went up to Hog Island and got 2 dozen oysters.  I’m not a big oyster person but decided to give them another go seeing as they couldn’t get any fresher!  We had a bunch raw and cooked some as well.  I actually really enjoyed the raw ones!  They were salty which tasted so delicious after running 20 miles.  We also had cheese and crackers and made burgers for dinner.  Of course we complimented all that with some adult beverages!  It was a very nice and relaxing evening sitting around a camp fire.

Our Campsite!

Our Campsite!

Today we hung out in the sun at the campground until about 2pm.  Living in SF in the summer can really get to you.  We have no summer.  It’s cold and foggy every day so spending time in 70+ degrees in the sun was a real treat!  It was a great weekend!


US Half Marathon – “The Other Half”

Last Sunday I ran the US Half Marathon “Other Half”.  I ran the first “half” of the Marathon back in November.  (Read about it here)  It was probably one of my least favorite runs because the organization putting on the run was horrible.  No medals, horrible “traffic” on the bridge, running up a mountain, etc.  I really didn’t want to run the second half because of that experience but I decided to run because I wanted the “other half” of the medal.  It’s advertised that the two medals fit together into one medal.  I figured, I’d give them another chance and get my completed medal.

Number pick-up was at Sports Basement in the Presidio.  It was organized and very quick which I appreciate.  I got my t-shirt which is a nice women’s running short sleeve shirt so that was great as well.

US Half Marathon "The Other Half" Women's Shirt

Sunday morning the race started at 7am about a half mile from my apartment so I figured I’d run there, it would take about 5 minutes.  I actually had to run 22 miles that day as it was my last “long” run for my Eugene Marathon training.  I got up a little later than I planned 6:15 and wasn’t very organized the night before so I didn’t have anything ready to go.  Opps!  I left my apartment at 6:54 for a race that started at 7am.  Turns out I wasn’t the only late one, quite a few runners coming down Van Ness were also headed for the start.  As I neared the starting line the race began.  I was able to jump in line and start right on time!

The first 3 miles of the race are flat and easy.  The race then makes a left into the Presidio and from there on out it’s pretty much uphill through Mile 10.  You travel up and down hills in the Presido eventually up to the Golden Gate bridge.  I was having horrible pain in my calves through the hills.  I have no idea what the deal was but my calves were so tight.  I stopped to stretch them 4-5 times but it wasn’t helping.  It was so frustrating!  I knew that I was killing my “time” but I needed to try to stay healthy, I still had another 9 miles to run when the race was over.  The Golden Gate Bridge experience was much better this time.  Both sides of the bridge were open to us so we went out on one side and returned on the opposite side.  We went on a dirt path down under the bridge and then back up another big hill and back on the bridge.  The views were gorgeous but I didn’t stop to take any pictures.  (I want to check out that path on another run so I can take some pictures)  We headed back through the Presidio but now it was downhill and then flat.  The last few miles were okay, I was struggling, it wasn’t an “easy” run day for me.  I was keeping a 9ish min mile pace which was where I wanted to be given it was a 22 mile run.

Running over the Golden Gate Bridge

The race finish was fine, overall organized.  We got plastic reusable water bottles to fill instead of plastic disposal bottles.  (Very green, very San Francisco)  I was then handed my medal and instantly bummed.  It doesn’t latch together with my other medal, it’s just a duplicate. I know it’s silly to get bummed out about a medal but I do love my collection and was really looking forward to my unique 2-in-1 medal.  Here are some pictures of the medals.  If you place one top of the other they do kind of look like one but it’s not the same.  Oh well….

US Half Marathon Medals

US Half Marathon Medals

One on top of each other - I guess they make one medal....

I most likely won’t run those races again.  Been there, done that.  They are nothing to write home about.  It’s great cause it’s 5 minutes from my house but I’d rather spend my money on other races.

I ended up running the race in 2:00:19.  A bit hard to swallow because it was my first race with a finish time over 2 hours since my first half marathon.  I know that it was correct to run that pace because I had 22 miles to run but I still prefer to see a 1 instead of a 2.

After the race I took a quick break and then headed out for anther 7-9 miles.  I ran 3.5 miles out to AT&T Park and then back along the Embarcadero.  I felt okay so I added on another 2 miles on my run home.  After the race I took an ice bath, my quads were sore from the hills so I felt like the bath would help. I then showered, FaceTimed with my family in NH at Easter and headed out to meet my CA cousins for brunch.  After brunch I was on the couch the rest of the night, just the way I like it.

In other news, it’s been a fun last few weeks.  Lots of fun work events like the Opening Day Viewing Party we hosted at AT&T Park and the PGA Golf Tournament this week.  I’m off to see one of my favorite bands Zac Brown Band at the Shoreline Amphitheater tonight.  Tomorrow I’m running the Presido 10 – another run over Golden Gate Bridge.  It should be another fun weekend!

View from Tee-Off at PGA Event

Eugene Marathon Training – 18 Miles


I ran 18 miles in prep for the Eugene Marathon.  I had a really tough long run the week before and really wasn’t looking forward to this run.  In order to motivate myself and switch it up I decided to try running with a local running club – the San Francisco Road Runners Club.  They run on Saturday mornings (my preference) and you can run anywhere from 5 miles all the way up to 24 miles.

Saturday morning I was up at 7am.  I had prepared the night before getting my Gu and Water Belt all ready to go.  Typical long run morning routine, roll out of bed, wash up, make an English muffin with Almond butter and jelly, glass of water, dress and head out the door.  I met the club down at the Marina Green at 7:35am.  I introduced myself to one of the leaders and he gave the run down on pace groups and introduced me to another new member.  As I was chatting with the other new member I heard another lady say “I just moved from Boston 2 months ago” so of course I went over and introduced myself to her as well.  I ended up running with both of them in the 9:00 min/mile pace group.  The run was sort of typical run for me, through the Marina and out to the Presidio but when you live in a city that is 7 miles by 7 miles the options are limited.  It was so nice to have people to chat with!  Most of our group turned around for the 8 mile run but 2 girls stayed to do 10 so I stuck with them.  We headed back the Marina green and finished at about 10.5 miles.

I had 7.5 miles to go but I planned it well!  My friend Katie wanted to join me for part of my run so she met me at the Green at 9:30am.  We headed off down the Embarcadero for another 7.5.  She stuck with me the whole time which was great.  It’s just nice to have company, even if you aren’t talking, having that person there is nice.  It’s a nice change from iPod too.  The music starts to get old day after day.

Overall, I had a great run!  I think the company definitely helped but physically I felt much better than the week before.  My legs were strong and only started to tired around 15 miles.  I powered up the Fort Mason Hill at Mile 17 without an issue and felt great after my run!  I was a little sore but nothing crazy.

New running shoes!

That afternoon I headed out for some errands.  I made my first stop at Sports Basement for more Gu and Electrolyte Pills that my Dad got me into for the last marathon.  I ended up buying new running shoes as well.  I needed a new pair but kept putting it off.  I ended up with the same shoes Brooks Adrenaline  but after trying on the 2011 and the 2012 models ended up with the new model.  They are much lighter than my previous pair.  The best part was they had them in pink – I have never had pink running shoes, they are bright and obnoxious but I love them.

The rest of my day was spent running errands and then I crashed on the couch.  I was in bed at 9:30pm on a Saturday night.  That’s what marathon training and a long week of work does to you.


I was up at 9:30am, made a good breakfast (egg whites, english muffin and fruit) and off to the gym by 10:30.  I spent about 45 minutes doing a weights workout.  I focused mainly on my upper body and core to let my legs rest after 18 miles but got a few leg exercises in.  I hit the foam roller for about 15 minutes after that.  I’m a little concerned my right IT band is acting up.  I spent a lot of time trying to roll that out along with my right calve.  It felt great to stretch and foam roll after my long run on Saturday.

I headed out on a hike with friends around 1pm.  The weather was ify but who cares – just nice to get out in the mountains.  We went south of the city to Pacifica and hiked up Mount Montara.  It’s an 8 mile hike with a good incline but nothing crazy hard.  It got my heart rate up and was definitely challenging at parts.  It turned out to be sunny for most of our hike.  We had a great view of the coast and could see all the way to SF and see the top of the Golden Gate bridge.  It was a perfect hike for a recovery day, challenging but didn’t beat me up.  After that we got post-hike beers in the Mission and headed home.  It was 7:15 when I got home and the sun hadn’t set yet – love it!

View from about halfway up Mount Montara (SF is towards the back of the photo)


Last night I went to yoga.  It was a great class, I definitely pushed myself and got a great workout in.  I love when I have a good Yoga class!

Tonight I’m off to my first track workout with the running club.  I’ll share more in the next few days!

San Francisco

So it’s been quite some time since I wrote.  I didn’t mean to neglect my blog but life got VERY crazy in July.  Packing up your life and moving cross country while starting a new job is very time consuming.  It didn’t leave much time for running or blogging.  I will assure you that I did more running/exercising then I did blogging!

So I arrived in SF on August 7th with just a little bit of luggage.

I guess that’s how you travel when you move across the country.  It’s certainly cheaper to check boxes at $25 each then to ship them UPS.  Fortunately, my brother and sister-in-law were nice enough to drive me to Boston at 6am on a Sunday morning and my new co-worker was super nice to pick me up at the airport in SF.  Couldn’t have done it without them (not kidding).

My parents, friends and family were pretty awesome to me before I left.  Showering me with gifts, wine and dinner.  Here are a few highlights:

Dinner with my parents at MC Perkins:

My dinner:

View from dinner:

My 10 Mile run through Ogunquit:

I little Mani/Pedi with Aunt Marie and a little R&R on Friday afternoon:

My “see you soon” cake (It may or may not have traveled a long way to get to me and melted/slid in the car)

Back to SF….

The first week and a half has been really great.  My co-workers are friendly and welcoming.  My cousins have been nothing but great to me.  I currently have 4 boxes at my cousins apartment in SF and 4 boxes and 4 suitcases in Alameda where I’m spending most of my time.  They are super helpful and have invited me right into their family.  It’s been really wonderful to have them.  I’ve been learning public transit very quickly.  So far I’ve taken the Bus, Ferry and BART (subway) to work.

View when I walk off the Ferry...I love the Palm Trees!

Sidenote: My car did arrive on Monday morning safe and sound!  It will be nice to have it to do some shopping this weekend!

I found an apartment last week!  I quickly decided that I wanted to live in the Marina area.  The area basically has 2 Newbury streets that run parallel to each other and have all kinds of bars, restaurants and cute places to shop.  It’s also in a flat part of San Francisco (great for running) and close to the Golden Gate Bridge.  My apartment has a roof deck overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.  It’s beautiful and I can’t wait to use it!  The one problem with the Marina is it is VERY expensive.  I had to face reality and SF housing prices and get a studio instead of a one bedroom.  It’s a large studio apartment with a giant walk in closet and a separate kitchen area that even has room for a table.  The plus side is – I have a lot less furniture to buy!  I move in on September 5th – I can’t wait to get settled in my own place!

I have gotten a few runs in since I’ve been here.  I most have run in Alameda which has a nice beach to run along in the morning.

View of SF from my Alameda runs - just a little bit of fog...

That’s all for now but more about trying Bootcamp and upcoming races soon!

Kick-off to the Long Weekend

Keith UrbanYesterday my good friend Laura and I purchased tickets to see Keith Urban at the Boston Garden.  Yes, I admit – I’m a country fan.  I wasn’t always a fan, in fact I hated country music a few years ago but now I love Country music.  This is my first Country Concert and I’m very excited!  The concert is next Friday night.  We will get dinner and drinks before and have a nice girls evening!

I went to my favorite spin class during lunch yesterday for my weekly cross-training.  It was a good class, a little more relaxed than usual but I needed that.  I did dead-lifts in my weights routine Wednesday and my legs were really sore.  It was nice to take it a little easy.

View from our table at Legal Test Kitchen

Last night I had dinner with the girls at Legal Test Kitchen in the Seaport area.  It wasn’t our first dinning option but it was crazy down in the Seaport area and we refused to wait 2.5 hours for a table.  It ended up working out perfect!  We were seated at a table outside (awesome!) and had a great meal.  As we were finishing up our wine Fireworks started going off over the Boston Harbor!  The were beautiful.  After some “googling” we determined the fireworks were the kick-off to Boston’s 4th of July celebration.  After dinner we headed over a to bar right on the waterfront and had a drink.  It was beautiful and a fun end to a much-needed girls night.

Today I conquered a 10 mile run.  I was supposed to get up early and run but after last night that didn’t happen.  Fortunately I got out of work at 2pm today so I headed for my run this afternoon.  I never run in the afternoon so I knew it would be more of a  challenge for me.  It was close to 80 degrees when I headed up so it was much warmer than I’m use to running in.  I had a great run though, I maintained an 8:40-8:45 pace throughout average an 8:42 min/mile.  I would have liked it to be a little faster but given it was a late day run and hot I’m happy with it!  It also feels great to be doing long runs again.

Spotted on my run - the cruise ships are back in Boston!

Tonight I’m headed up to Maine spend the weekend with the family after I pick up my cousin at the airport.  I’m looking for a much-needed day of sitting on the beach and taking a day off from exercising tomorrow!

I hope everyone has a great Fourth!

18 Miles

I’m exhausted so I’m going to try and keep this short. I had an awesome run today. I set out to run 10 miles and then bike most of the rest of the “run” at the gym. Well, that didn’t happen. After an awesome 10 miles and no foot pain I decided to run the whole thing Mentally I’ve been stressing that I have a 20 mile run on the Marathon course that will include the “hills” in 2 weeks. Getting more than 15.5 miles in before that run would help a lot.

So when I started out it was lightly snowing. It was actually really pretty. I layered and wore my knew waterproof Nike jacket. (I love running in new things)

The first 2 miles were tough. I wasn’t warmed up, my breathing was heavy and I was running at an 8:35 pace. Fast! I started to warm up and relax and headed from Southie to the North end. Miles 2-5 were strong. I felt good. I stopped at 5 for a Gu and some Gatorade/water. I stretched quickly and headed through Back Bay eventually BU to get in another 5.5. Again, I was feeling strong and I knew I had a good pace going. At 10.5 I went to the gym to get my new shoes that were in my locker. I ran the first 10.5 at and 8:42 pace. I decided to do the next 5 on the treadmill which I knew would be better on my foot because it’s an even surface. I did those 5 at a 1% incline and at a 8:52 pace. I then headed back out for the last 2.5 to my house. My foot was a little sore on the run back but nothing I hadn’t dealt with before.

I did my 18 mile run in 2:38:58. That brings me to 8:48 pace. I was thrilled! I have never run that far at that quick of a pace. It gives me hope that someday I will qualify for the Boston marathon and that I may run this marathon stronger than I thought! I also took 13 minutes off my fall 18 mile training time! (a 9:33 pace)

My foot is a little sore tonight but I think I’ll be fine tomorrow. It’s not nearly as painful as my last long run.

I had to share a picture of the back of my leg. Got to love running in Boston in February with the salt and snow!