Tag Archives | Running

The SF Half Marathon | Second Edition

Last weekend I tackled the SF Half Marathon for the second year in a row. Last Summer this race was my very first Half Marathon and set off months of excited running and racing. Between the end of July and the beginning of February I did four races – The SF Half Marathon, the Women’s Health 10K, the Golden Gate Half Marathon, and the Kaiser Half Marathon.

When I signed up a few months ago, after taking a little break from running, I was extremely excited. I started a new training program and was setting some goals for myself to work on over the Spring and beginning of the Summer.

Unfortunately, a week before the race, I re-injured my back. With an existing spinal injury, running is all about finding that delicate balance and I work hard to find a program that works for my needs {I talk more about my training in Race Training for the Injured.}

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{Lululemon Tight Stuff Running Tights // Lucy Racerback Tank Top // Saucony Guide 10 // long-sleeved Asics shirt}

  • Course: Since I moved to South Beach last year I’ve had little to absolutely zero hill exposure during my weekly runs. Needless to say, I wasn’t excited for the hilly stretches… But, despite that, the San Francisco Half Marathon is one of the most beautiful courses I’ve ever run. From the Ferry Building along the Embarcadero and around Fort Mason until you’re running straight down Marina Blvd surrounded by fog and stretching to see the Golden Gate Bridge as the sun comes up. Just amazing!
  • Organization: The expo for this race is serious business – From gear and tech gadgets to food, drinks, and supplements. They’ve got it all. The big day went smoothly as well, the volunteers were great, and the aid stations were excellent. I loved the Gu Energy Chews available on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Race Day Vibes: It was a MASSIVE crowd. Finding your wave and the right start time was a little intimidating with the sheer number of people milling about, but everyone was excited and encouraging which helped ease the tension. The post-race vibe was great too – Everyone was so psyched and all the volunteers I chatted with after finishing were funny and helpful.
  • Personal Performance: After re-injuring my back, I wasn’t actually sure whether I was going to be able to run. Each day I felt a little bit better so I tried to keep an open mind and just waited to see how I felt on Saturday. Truthfully, I went out to the starting line Sunday morning planning to just start the race and see what happened. I wasn’t sure if I’d walk the course, just run a mile or two, or turn right around and go home. Luckily I found a friend a few miles in and we kept ourselves relaxed and enjoying the race, and I was able to finish the full 13.1 miles. So, while this race wasn’t anywhere near a PR, I would call it one of my favorites because I was just so thrilled to be out there!

This is the third post in my Virgin Sport #GoFitYourself series to get us all excited and prepared for the Virgin Sport Fitness Festival in October {check out the first post here – Virgin Sport San Francisco}. If you want to join me in October to celebrate fitness, or run the SF Bay Half Marathon, I’m excited to say that I have a discount for anyone who wants to join!

Use “LAVIE” and you’ll get $10 off the cost of registration for the SF Bay Half Marathon.

Sigh up here!

Have YOU run a half marathon? Does everything always go okay on race day?

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Race Training: What I Eat on Training Days

Training for a race is a lot of work – Running, cross training, recovering, keeping yourself healthy, and – My favorite part – Fueling your body.

As I talked about in my Race Training for the Injured post – I love running, but due to my chronic injuries, I’m not able to follow a standard training program.

Even with only one run a week in my program, I’m still working very hard in preparation for my next race, and fueling my body with whole foods. And plenty of them.

My diet right now is decently high in carbs and fat, and really high in protein. A challenge with a vegetarian diet, but not impossible.

Race Training What I Eat on Training Days Running Runner Half Marathon Vegan Gluten-Free Paleo Vegetarian San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger

Here’s a peek into what I’ll eat on a standard running day.

  • 7am – Coffee or tea & half of a No Cow Bar
  • 8am – Head out for a run w/ the other half of the No Cow Bar in the pocket of my running tights
  • 10am – As soon as I’m home from my run I’ll make a quick smoothie
  • 11am – After the quick hit of carbs and protein from the smoothie, I’ll make something more substantial like a veggie scramble. High in protein, fiber, vitamins & minerals
  • 2pm – Pasta made with zucchini noodles and chopped veggies & tomatoes
  • 5:30pm – A large salad or roasted vegetables with a veggie burger on the side
  • 7pm – Bedtime snack of apples or rice cakes with Fluffbutter

What do YOU eat on training days? How do you fuel your runs?

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Race Training for the Injured

As a long-time athlete, I’ve learned a lot about my body. For the most part, I can tell when I should sit something out, and when I can push myself. I’ve trained and competed while injured many times of the years. Broken collarbones {gymnastics}, dislocated shoulders {volleyball}, and spinal injuries {diving} haven’t done much to slow me down over the years. But what they have done is taught me how to listen to my body and how to train smarter instead of longer/harder.

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Leggings & Tank – Fabletics

Active Colorblock Windbreaker – Forever 21

Sneakers – Saucony

Here are a few things that I’ve learned to apply to my programming over the years:

  1. Rest when needed – No matter how careful you are with training, you will hit a wall at some point. You need to learn to listen to your body and realize when fatigue can’t be pushed through.
  2. Recovery is vital – Giving your body time to recover is important, but you also need to think about the foods that you put in your body which also impact your recovery.
  3. Fuel is everything – How you fuel your body before, during, and after training is imperative for keeping your body in top condition. All of your hard work will be wasted if you try to keep yourself going on Hot Pockets and Coke.
  4. Invest in your equipment – Whether that means a bike or running shoes, you want to research what will work best for your needs. Quality equipment can stave off injury as well as help you heal.

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So how have I applied these to my own training? With back and feet injuries, I realized that following a traditional half marathon training schedule wasn’t feasible. Attempting 2-3 runs a week left me in so much pain that I couldn’t get through all the runs and my cross-training.

What works for me is, like I spoke about in my Workout Schedule: Weight Training & Race Prep post, is one run a week. I do either a longer, somewhat slower run, or a shorter, faster run. From a cardiovascular standpoint I’m capable of running 13 miles if I manage my pace, so training is much more about preparing my body to take the intense physical beating. 3-7 miles once a week does just that – My joints and muscles stay in top shape, without being overworked to the point of increasing my pain levels.

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{Photography by Brad Wittke of Pacifica Gallery}

I’m sure by now some of you are thinking – Why do you keep running?

Because I love it!

I started running in my 20’s to get outside when I became utterly sick of the gym, and I quickly became addicted. And I just LOVE racing. I may not be fast, but the excitement and fun and rush of race day is a total blast.

I’d love to try a half triathlon in the future, but for now I’m stick to a few foot races a year. In the past year I ran five – The Guardsmen Presidio 10 Mile Race, the San Francisco Half Marathon, the Women’s Health 10k to benefit the Feed Project, the Golden Gate Half Marathon, and the Kaiser Half Marathon.

Have YOU ever trained for a race or competition while injured? Any tips?

Reminder: I’m not a doctor and I don’t have background on your specific injury/injuries. Please do not take this post as a personal recommendation to you for race training – Please speak to your doctor about what would work best for you.

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Kaiser Half Marathon

I was excited to kick of 2017 on a healthy note by running the Kaiser Half Marathon on February 5th.

After getting the bug last year, I ended up running four races in 2016: The Guardsmen Presidio 10 Mile Run, The San Francisco Half Marathon, the Women’s Health Run 10 Feed 10, and the Golden Gate Half Marathon.

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Read on to see what I thought of this one and how it compared to last year’s races!

  • Course: I haven’t had a chance to do much running in Golden Gate Park {other than crossing the San Francisco Half Marathon’s finish line}, so it was really fun to get a change of scenery for this race. The first half of the course was around the park and then there was a stretch on the Great Highway with really breathtaking views. And – Bonus – This was without a doubt the flattest course I’ve ever run!
  • Organization: Very well run – No pun intended. Tons of staff to answer questions and hand out water cups and cheer for runners. And, I have to say, this is the first finisher shirt that I’m actually keeping. Usually the sleeves or the torso are too short, but this long-sleeved tee is perfect!
  • Race Day Vibes: It was a big crowd and everyone was packed in to hear the introduction and watch the 5K runners take off. The Half Marathon started with lots of excitement and the course was great since it offered a chance to see the leaders head back towards the finish line. It kept me going to see the top runners push themselves and getting cheered forward!
  • Personal Performance: Between the Golden Gate Half Marathon and this race, I moved from Telegraph Hill to South Beach. Which means that I started running exclusively on flat roads – Virtually no hills or trails. I was very curious to see how (or if) that would impact my race time. Luckily, there was only a little elevation for this race, so I was able to take nearly 10 minutes off my time.

Side note: I didn’t do extensive training to shave time off, I was just feeling the race day vibes at the start and kept pushing myself. When you’re running you need to be sure that you’re listening to your body and not pushing beyond your capabilities. Your body can take a lot of punishment, but you don’t want to cause injuries.

What’s YOUR first goal for 2017? What’s on the calendar for you this year?

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Running the Golden Gate Half Marathon

Last weekend I was excited to participate in my second Half Marathon race – The Golden Gate Half Marathon.

2016 has, unexpectedly, turned into the year of racing for me. The first race I signed up for was The Guardsmen Presidio 10 Mile Race earlier this year which was really fun and got me hooked. After that I ran The SF Half Marathon followed by doing the Women’s Health Run 10 Feed 10 charity 10K race.

So how did the Golden Gate Half compare?

Golden Gate Half Marathon Running Runner FitLife Race San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Race Day

  • Course: Similar to the previous four races, this one also crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. What was a little different, and especially fun for me, was that we do a little off-roading on the Northern side of the bridge. After crossing the bridge we spent about half a mile on trails, and even going up hill, it was fun and had a KILLER view.
  • Organization: Really well executed. The bib pick-up and post-race expo were held in Crissy Field and were organized and efficient. Per usual though, the race shirt is sized for a toddler. Seriously – 4 races this year and so far not a single shirt fits an actual human body.
  • Race Day Vibes: Over 4 thousand people were shuffling around Aquatic Park at 7am on the 6th before taking off up Van Ness to turn on Bay Street and head towards the gym. The mood was excited, and a little sleepy, and determined. I had to remember to pace myself because everyone took off like crazy on that first mile!
  • Personal Performance: I inadvertently deactivated the tracking chip on my bib halfway through the SF Half Marathon so goal #1 this race was to actually get an “official” time. I did, however, pull up my Nike Running App screen shot from July and compare it.
    • SF Half – 2:00:07
    • GG Half – 1:56:22 {which included a bathroom break}

The courses were similar, but I think that the GG Half had a bit more elevation, so I’m pretty thrilled with my time. Hills aren’t my strength so I felt pretty good about being able to stick with my pace time. Even more exciting? When I looked at the splits, I had three 8:10 minute miles, including the last two.

I love a strong finish! 🙂

Do YOU have a favorite race? Have you done a half marathon?

 

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