I’ll admit to being a horrible blogger again, but for good reason. I’ve had a job application due for the full-time position on my campus and a funding application due for classroom/newsroom equipment for my students. On top of those things, I had curriculum working its way through the system.
The good news is almost all of that is coming to an end soon. I’m waiting for signatures on paperwork right now.
I ran my Valentine’s Day half marathon and did OK. It was the best performance since my daughter was born I’ve had. It’s not where I want to be, but it’s a start. The wear on my body also has me rethinking some upcoming races (specifically trying to fit a full marathon in come May, which doesn’t look probable now).
One thing I know for certain: I’ll be at the start line for the June 21 See Jane Run Half Marathon. As a race ambassador for a third year, I’m excited that this weekend the store is hosting local festivities.
I’m bummed, though, that my babysitting schedule is all out of whack this week and I’ll likely end up NOT being able to go out for a store run. (I’ve exhausted my goodwill babysitting for this week already.)
Fear not, though. You can join a great group of Janes in Northern California if you have time Saturday morning. The three See Jane Run locations – in Danville, Oakland and San Francisco – will have runs at 9 a.m. followed by an informational session about the race.
Instead, I’ve offered myself for questions from the “mom” group I belong to. Quite a few of our members are signed up to run. Some for the 5K and others for the half marathon.
We had a conference call a week ago about the race. One thing that came up was the post-race food. It looks like there will be some changes in that general area. I’ll have more on the race as I get more information and in April I’ll be giving away a free entry to the race.
So stay tune … and I promise when things at school die down, I’ll be regularly posting again.
Pregnancy does a number on a woman's body. I say that, now 11 weeks postpartum, only minutes after trying to find professional clothes to wear to a formal event. It, obviously, changes the abdomen. Even though everyone swore I was "all tummy," my legs and arms feel deflated.
I'm going to count myself in the minority of new parents who get MORE sleep after welcoming a baby. I've been an insomniac since my first year of grad school. I rarely, if ever, sleep through the night. Instead I usually wake up four or five times, barely get back to sleep and then wake up again.
I must admit, I’ve been doing a great deal of staring at this little face for the past three weeks. It’s about all I’ve been doing because I’m not allowed to do much of anything else as I recover from my C-section.
My “all clear” date is likely going to be May 23 if I take everything easily.
That gives me one day less than a month to get ready for my first 5K in a very long time. And I’m so glad that it’s going to be the See Jane Run Bay Area race on June 22.
I’m ready to lace back up.
I really, really miss my running shoes (which now fit me since my swelling has gone down significantly since my daughter’s birth). I’m hoping my base is sustained a least a little. It shouldn’t be hard to hard for me to get back to 3.1 miles. I’m not aiming at a PR race now. I’m just hoping to finish after having major surgery only about eight weeks before.
That said, I’m hoping one of my readers CAN make this into either a personal best 5K or 13.1 with a little help from me.
I’m giving away a race entry (either 5K or half marathon) for the See Jane Run Bay Area race on June 22. The event includes the two events, plus champagne and chocolate at the finish.
You’ll be running with a group of amazing women, many of whom will be running their first 5K or half marathon, as the See Jane Run race is a popular destination for first timers.
All you have to do to enter is leave a required comment telling me WHY you started running and what inspired you and like See Jane Run’s race series on Facebook. There are other options, via RaffleCopter, to earn more entries as well.
The contest runs through May 17.
***CONTEST HAS ENDED***
You know you want to. It’s a fun run and there’s champagne and chocolate at the end. Plus, there’s 1980s-theme aerobics before the race and a ton of “girl power.”
I’m still working on my birth story for Cecilia’s arrival. Her original expected due date was yesterday and it was a very emotional day for me, especially since she’ll be three weeks old tomorrow instead. I didn’t realize my heart would be so torn about all that happened. I’m happy and excited that she’s here and she’s perfect, but her labor and delivery – and the subsequent time in the hospital – were incredibly hard for me.
I’m finally starting to feel like “me” again. I’m incredibly excited to get back to running and fitness by the end of the month too.
This was last year, after my course best at See Jane Run in Alameda. It was a ridiculously hot day to race, but one that was made much better by champagne and a nice medal, with shoe laces attached, at the end.
I’m looking at a completely different, incredibly exciting reality now. Looking down at, I should say. This photo is from my prenatal massage, thanks to a gift card from my mom, earlier this week. At nearly 31 weeks, I’m waking up multiple times during the night and feeling rather uncomfortable in everything I do.
I’m not going to talk about weight gain, outside of saying that I’m carrying baby girl mostly in the front. My shirts would fit if I didn’t have a big baby bump in the way. My thighs are a little thicker, but I’m still wearing maternity jeans from the second trimester. Only now am I moving into larger shirts, just because the bump is growing more and more each week.
But overall, I’m not feeling a great urge to lose weight, yet. Maybe in the next nine weeks that will change.
I do, however, have a great want to get back to fitness. And running. And being able to actually do asanas at yoga without having to move my legs out to avoid my belly.
That’s why I’m incredibly grateful to have been chosen, for a second year, as an ambassador for See Jane Run. The Oakland-based running store hosts its San Francisco Bay Area run in Alameda on June 22 this year.
Baby girl should be about two months old by then. Last year I ran 13.1 miles.
This year, I’m planning on doing the 5K. My first run “back” and my first 5K in a very long time. I’m considering it a “baby” step for myself. I know the route, I know the parking situation. I know nearly everything about the location. It will be comfortable and fun, even if I am uncomfortable doing it (who knows what shape I’ll be in then).
I’d like to think I’ll be running more than a 5K by then.
Part of my plan is to be able to run twice that far to be on track to run the 2nd Half Marathon of the San Francisco Marathon on July 29.
Two races signed up for already.
Today, though, I got an email about the bigger picture for 2014. Let me make it clear: Baby girl’s arrival is going to be the biggest event of my year. My husband would agree.
But I want something else too: Another chance to earn a PR at California International Marathon in December.
Sign ups begin March 1. I’ll likely deliberate it for awhile before actually signing up, but I really, really want to run 26.2 again this year. I don’t know if that is even a feasible goal, but I’m hoping that it can and will happen.
I’d like to be back in Sacramento with my husband and baby girl taking on this year’s challenge.
To get there? Those baby steps I mentioned before. All starting with See Jane Run in June. It’s perfect that I’ll be surrounded by so many inspirational women my first race post birth. I can’t think of a better way to introduce baby girl to racing than at an event like See Jane Run.
The good news is that I have a 10-percent off coupon code for See Jane Run Alameda’s 5K and Half Marathon for my blog readers so that you can join the party to. Interested in signing? Use SJRAMB243 to secure the discount. Even better, the code is ALSO good for online or in-store purchases from See Jane Run and its website.
Plus, some of the Bay Area See Jane Run stores will be hosting kick off events on March 1 to celebrate the official start of race season and promotion of the awesome events.
The kickoff events begin at 8 a.m. at See Jane Run’s San Francisco, Oakland and Danville stores. Representatives from Moving Comfort, Altra Running and 2XU will be on site at each store (for more details about which presentation will happen at which store, click here). Each kickoff starts with a run, also walker friendly, and includes a clinic about half marathon and 5K training.
It’s time to get serious about training, or in my case start planning for the next step of training in my post-baby come back to running.
That image is from my first major breakthrough PR at the Brazen Summer Breeze race last year. It was my first experience of achieving a sub 2:25 finish with a 2:22:45 finish. It was my first half marathon where I averaged under 11-minute miles.
I’ve run many, many more since then under 11-minute. My San Diego PR stands at 2:16:41.
Tomorrow, I’m running Summer Breeze for a second time. And I’m not sure what to expect.
The reason? Those previous PRs kind of came out of nowhere. I hadn’t necessarily been running faster in my training runs. I feel like San Diego was almost completely a fluke, kind of my reward for weeks upon weeks of constant races. If that’s even possible.
I don’t know.
My PR streak was broken in June at the See Jane Run Half Marathon when the heat was just a little too unbearable for me to get it together. I had also run a half marathon the week before. I finished, though, in 2:24:11, still much better than my previous times before my 2013 racing season began.
I think the hardest part of PRing is not knowing when it will happen again. I held my half marathon PR time for almost a year from 2011 to 2012. I started feeling like I’d never run a 2:27:20 or better ever again. Then I shaved five minutes off my time. I chalked it up to just “it being my day.”
But I’ve show, now consistently, that my “day” is turning into a strong racing season. It doesn’t make getting to the start line any easier, especially with my anxiety.
I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. I don’t know what to expect.
Am I finally getting better at the half? I don’t know.
Should I go out with confidence? I don’t know.
Am I surrounded by self doubt? Yes. And I hate it.
That moment when you realize that you’re going to have to go out of order on your race reports because you’re just so excited about the half marathon you did today? That’s happening now. Never happened to you? Too bad.
Today, I ran the See Jane Run Half Marathon in Alameda. My PR streak is now officially over, standing at my 2:16:41 half from last weekend, but that’s OK. I had business with this specific Bay Area race course. I had a score to settle. For chocolate. And champagne.
In 2011, I ran See Jane Run as my third half marathon.
If I’m counting right, today marked my 19th try at the distance.
I was just very ill prepared for my third half marathon. That was around the time I discovered moisture-wicking socks. And started wearing running clothes that weren’t made out of cotton. It was basically around the time I started taking running more seriously.
And you know what? I learned a lot of lessons that day. But I ended up walking most of the end of the course and being near tears at the finish. My official time was 2:42:16.
So I had a score to settle.
Note: The face of a woman with a score to settle. And a really bad selfie. You get my point.
I also knew two things: 1) It was going to be hot day. As in, an hour into the run it would be creeping into the 80-degree range. As in, I should run faster to avoid being struck down by the sun. 2) My legs were tired. After two record-setting half marathons in two weeks, they were, essentially, out of juice.
So what did I do? I lined up with the 2:15 pacer hoping for the best.
Probably not the greatest idea.
Let me go back to the beginning of the day.
My husband dropped me off at Washington Park around 7:15 a.m. I’m kind of a pro at this race, since I’d done it in 2011. And I don’t like to wait forever for bathrooms, plus I like my privacy, so I remembered the finish line wasn’t too far from the start. So I headed to the row of toilets I knew would be there.
Behold: Glorious portable toilets and only ONE person in line. This would change later when it seemed other ladies caught on to my clever “avoid the lines” plan.
Ten minutes before race start, I wandered back up to Washington Park where the pre-race aerobics were already in full swing. This is one of my favorite parts about the See Jane Run race.
Because you CANNOT go wrong with Cyndi Lauper-fueled warm ups. It was nearly time to start the race, so the half marathoners headed over to the corrals. I found myself way to close to the start, so I meandered my way back to the 2:15-2:20 groups.
Once there, I lined up the aforementioned 2:15 pacer. The race started promptly at 8 a.m. And we were off, with a slight downhill on the street toward the bay-front trail that would lead us around Alameda.
Mile 1: 10:06 — I could already tell it was getting warm. I was wearing a lightweight Lululemon shirt and my MPG capris (from See Jane Run in Oakland). No heavy clothes. I hung in with the pacer.
Mile 2: 10:37 — I literally got to the end of the second mile then my leg cramped up. My first thought: This is the end. I’m going to bonk this course again. I can’t bonk this course AGAIN!
Mile 3: 11:23 — Up and over a walk bridge leading to the second island. We hit a congested path, but it’s not too bad. I think the heat was more than anyone expected. “OH MY GOD, WE’RE RUNNING STRAIGHT INTO THE SUN,” a woman next to me said to her counterpart. Yes. It was going to be a hot one.
Mile 4: 10:33 — Gu. Feeling a little better. My left IT band, which I swear hates me with a passion lately, starts to show signs that it’s going to be fussy. Of course it’s going to be fussy on a day I have something to settle on a course. OF COURSE.
Mile 5: 10:57 — Then I made the conscious decision to slow it down. The 2:15 pacer was nowhere in my sight. This would not be the day to PR. I was going to make the most of this experience. And you know what? That’s when it started getting fun. I started chatting with women along the course. This is also where there were some trees…beautiful, amazing shade.
Mile 6: 10:49 — Picking it up again. Feeling a little better. Again, slowing it down.
Mile 7: 11:15 — I started walking more slowly through water stops. And pouring cups of water on my head. I would grab two cups of water just to throw on my head, then a cup of water to drink. And a Gatorade.
Mile 8: 10:40 — This was one of my favorite miles. It’s right along the shoreline. The air comes at you in a nice breeze. And you get an amazing view of San Francisco, the city I’ll be running 26.2 in next week barring my IT band doesn’t decide it really hates me. More Gu here.
Mile 9: 10:53 — Making our way back to the bridge crossing. I started talking to a couple women running their first half marathons. They said they weren’t prepared for the heat. I told them I wasn’t either. By now, even though I was hydrating well through the stations and hydrated well the day before, I was feeling really, really parched.
Mile 10: 11:30 — Back across the bridge, into the neighborhoods. I’m feeling better. Then I see the 2:20 pacer pass me. Yikes, I think. In March I ran Oakland in 2:20. I did another Gu. I also had a guy refill my water bottle and pour some water on my head again.
Mile 11: 11:15 — I picked it up a little, but by this time, the sun was baking me. I was getting tired. My leg hurt. My body was tired. I was spent. I started walking.
Mile 12: 11:14 — Then I got the greatest pick-me-up ever. The 2:25 pacer started encouraging me. “You’re almost there! You have this,” she said. Then we ran together for a minute or so. She told me my form was good and that I looked strong.
Mile 13: 11:18 —And those words of encouragement propelled me into the finish. Just like that.
Mile .18: 1.43 — I was exhausted, but incredibly happy. The moment I crossed the finish I was handed a super cute medal that has shoelaces as the band (see above). The actual “medal” is detachable, so you can hook it to your gym or running back, which I definitely think I’m going to do.
Official time: 2:24:11
And I’m honestly, totally fine with that. Because it’s a course best. Plus, it was really hot by the time I finished. I was hot nearly the entire way on the course. But I redeemed myself from my ill-prepared first journey on the See Jane Run course.
I also had a really, really good time.
Then I got See’s Candy and two glasses of champagne. Who can argue with that?
In case you’re wondering, my shirt was so drenched in water (and sweat … gross) that my husband brought me my bag with my race shirt in it. I promptly shed the very wet shirt and opted for the drier version to enjoy my chocolate and champagne.
I’ve always said I’m not a fan of big races. I’ve never much loved any race that welcomes more than 9,000 people to it. That’s one of the reasons I choose to race smaller ones, including the Oakland Half Marathon, California International Marathon and the San Luis Obispo Marathon.
That’s one of the reasons See Jane Run appealed to me when I registered for it in 2011. It’s not incredibly small, but it’s intimate enough to not feel overwhelmed. It also brings together an amazing group of women with a “go get it” attitude. That’s one of the reasons I signed up to be an ambassador this year. According to the results, 1,570 people finished the half marathon. It’s kind of like going for a run with a very large group of encouraging, fun friends.
Fun friends who have the same love of champagne as I do, as evidenced by the lengthy (yet quick moving) lines to fill up those awesome glasses that are part of the race rewards at the end. (On a side note, I will again say how impressive the medal is this year. Two years ago I heard women complain about how small the medal was, but I thought it was a more than fair tradeoff for the chocolate and champagne glass at the end. I was extremely impressed by the medal/glass combination this year. Plus the race tech shirt was high quality and well designed. You definitely get your money’s worth with See Jane Run.)
Today, I could be dwelling about how I didn’t get that 2:15 personal record. Instead, I’m glad to be part of a group of women who pushed through some ridiculous Bay Area heat and battled the sun to have an epic good time. (And women who pushed me to the end when I was ready to give up and walk it in.)
I also got to partake in the views, minus the trash cans in the first image, before heading home. Today was a good day. It was a win in my book.
Even better, my race bib scored my husband (and race driver) a buy one, get one deal at Chipotle, one of the race sponsors. You better believe we took advantage of that.
Chicken burrito. Yum.
See Jane Run’s manifesto states that one person finishes…everyone else should have a good time. I don’t think that’s anywhere more obvious than on the course with 1,500-plus other women who are helping push each other to their goals. So to celebrate, I bought myself a “course PR” shirt. Or at least that’s how I justified it. (I don’t really NEED a reason to shop, but it’s good to have one.)
I’m wearing it now — proud to be a part of what happened in Alameda today, proud of myself for hanging in there with tired legs under a sweltering sun and proud to be am ambassador for an organization that promotes running for all types of women. Especially all the women I had a “rockin good time” with today on the 13.1 mile course.
(Disclaimer: As a See Jane Run Ambassador I was given free entry to this race, but the views reflected in this blog are my own.)
I’ve had an incredibly busy week. We made last weekend a long one, adding the extra day at Six Flags Magic Mountain. Then I came back to a 10-hour work day to catch up on my freelance assignments. Yesterday, my boss for freelance left for a well-deserved vacation. She left me a ridiculously long to do list.
My anxiety is a little off the charts right now. But I’m trying to handle it.
My biggest concern was the See Jane Run expo happening this week. This race, unlike many of the ones I’ve run lately, is on a Saturday. It’s nice because it gets my long run done at the beginning of the weekend. But there’s no Saturday expo, either.
I spent all Wednesday trying to figure out when I’d have a free moment. Then I realized my husband worked incredibly close to the packet pickup area. So I politely asked him to brave the expo and pick up my race packet.
I have to say, I was a little nervous. I kept expecting a phone call. It never came. He brought home my race packet perfectly tonight. I was worried he didn’t grab my chip, but it was on the back on my race bib.
The race, which includes Chipotle as a sponsor, includes a coupon for a buy one, get one deal at the restaurant. It also has the amazing “champagne glass” ticket at the bottom ready for me to claim my chocolate and champagne after the race (I’m so very excited for that!).
Plus, the race packet actually came in an incredibly cute back with the See Jane Run manifesto on it.
It’s a good size too, one that I’ll definitely use for lugging around things. I’m a big fan of reusable bags. I have quite a few little backpacks from Rock ‘n’ Roll series runs. I also have some reusable backpacks from the past two marathons I’ve run. But this bag is not only functional, it’s also cute.
I’ll definitely be using it a lot.
The best part of my packet?
The race shirt!
I LOVE the shirt design and color. I’ve always been a fan of my bright race shirts, but this one is perfect for running in the evenings around town. (I’d rather wear something bright, because people tend to pretend like they can’t see me, even though I made myself pretty visible.)
Words cannot express how excited I am about this race. I know that barring nothing horrendous happening on the course, I will definitely do better than my 2:42 time from 2011. If my recent races are any indication, I also know that I’ll have a good time while pushing myself hard. That part of running is all new for me.
This is also my last long run before the San Francisco Marathon, which I’m excited to finally get to as well.
Lots of amazing things have happened in my running life lately. And I know See Jane Run will be another chapter in that.