Tag Archives: Races

Nike Women’s Marathon 2012 Race Recap

What kind of idiot makes a hilly as hell race as their goal race of the year? Yeah, I'm just not a very smart person when it comes to running…. Or anything else for the matter of fact. However, I chose the race, I am stuck with it, no choice!!

Nike expotique

I was a bit disappointed this year, but it is still a lot better than most of the race expo I've been to. Safeway gave out these awesome containers with various nuts combo and it was awesome! We also got some Paul Mitchell's shampoo samples.

Race packet pick up:

Very quick- no lines at all on Friday. I heard it was crazy on Saturday though.

Race day:

 

 

 

As usually, having 25,000 women all gathered at union square can get a bit crazy. We got dropped off by my husband at the Westin Hotel for potty needs. We then walked to union square. Luisa (my running partner) and I went to our coral (7:30-8:59) and said good bye to my niece.

Our coral got pushed up closer to the front and I started to panic when I see the sub6 min sign next to me, are we gonna get run over?? Oh well.

The race started on time. 30 seconds after the gun started, we crossed the finish line. And for nike womens marathon, means that we are lining like right behind Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan.

Get my garmin started… Wait a minute, what happened to my fields… I lent my watch to my friend Luisa, and it came back with all the fields messed up. The only thing I can use is instant pace, which is obviously useless, and I can only tell my pace for the previous miles when it shows briefly AFTER the mile has been completed. Not good.

Mile 1: 7:52:<— WTF, this is my 5k pace…. Feeling nauseous, imagining I will be walking the last 3 miles because of this. Puhleeeease slow the heck down. I give it that this is a slight downhill mile, leaving downtown, heading to the embacadero.

Mile 2: 8:27

Still too fast for my fitness level, I wasn't sure if what I was feeling was okay. I know this is not suppose to be easy, but I shouldn't feel like its hard work either. Running along the embarcadero, heading towards fishermans wharf. I felt like I was working slightly hard, and panic a little. Trying to look for pacers to see if I'm doing okay,

Mile 3: 8:30

Hit a couple of steep hills, but just one block long. Head up, down, then up down again around aquatic park, ghiradeli square. Life is good. I am feeling a bit better now, found my groove. Looked up and saw someone holding a pacer board. 3:20 marathon sign. OMGF. should I slow down or hang on as much as I can??? I don't even know what pace 3:20 marathon is since it is so out of my league. We also have our first real hills here after aquatic park climbing onto fort mason. I powered up this hill, and surprisingly, I was able to control my breathing and recover very quickly.

Mile 4: 8:37

I've done a tempo run here on this route before, so I was just trying to remind myself that. It was very foggy that day and you cannot see the Golden Gate Bridge at all, sorry visitors, or else, this is one great route to run with awesome views!

Mile 5: 8:33

Still running steady, but I know as soon as I hit mile 6 with those hills I will no longer see the number 8 in front of my pace. I also saw some cool street dancing on our left side and got me excited! I was tempted to jump in and hang out for a few sec, but that might not be a good idea if I was trying to PR.

Mile 6: 8:52

Here we climb up from crissy field up to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Look at the massive amount of people powering up this hill

So I was a bit surprise that I was able to maintain 8:52 for this mile since its a non stop climb for a mile. It takes you up from sea level on crissy field up to the base of Golden Gate Bridge. Then it continue on to my biggest fear, the presidio. It is one massive hill that never ends. A lot of people slowed way down here. There is a girl that was very strong, apparently trying to get her friend Carmen to run a sub2 half marathon. Every 10 seconds, she would turn around and say “Carmen, you are looking strong” “Carmen, power through the hill, you got it”…. It was getting a little old, but she was doing her best to encourage her friend which was really struggling.

Mile 7: 10:43

Here you can see, I started my dreaded walking breaks again, I was a minute faster than last year at this mile, so I did cut down my walk break. To be honest, could I have run those hills more instead of walk? Absolutely. What worried me was if I do power up these hills, would I have enough energy to play catch up on downhills? Or even survive when I get out of the cliff house area and finish running on the flats? All these kept coming up on my mind, and because of my way below average hill running skills, I decided to walk a bit here and there to preserve some energy.

Mile 8: 7:52

I love downhills. I know I've lost a lot of time on the damn presidio hills, so I must make some time up here and I got it. I was also a little bit concern about my quads shredding running this fast, since there are two more hills I have to conquer. I didn't care, I tried to relax and just let gravity do the work.

Mile 9: 10:00

This is the rolling hills area in the neighborhood where they give out oranges and wet napkins. Wet napkins ???? I later found out its for people who were eating the oranges so their hands won't be sticky. Seriously, what kind of race does this shit??!! I'm trying to PR, why would I be worrying about eating oranges and wiping my hands…oh well. I was really struggling, I had to fight my massive devil thoughts of wanting to walk. I gave in many times but I try not to walk more than 10-20 steps. I kept looking at the clock to see if I can make any of my goals, because my garmin is not showing ANYTHING. But I cannot do math while running. *gives up*

Mile 10: 8:30

This is a combo of some uphill and my downhill miles. I just looked at my garmin data, and I ran down this very steep hill between 7:00 and 7:30, really using it to make up my lost time. Here we run down from the crazy rolling hill neighborhood down sea cliff, gorgeous view. My husband said he will be taking picture for me on great highway and I was looking for him as well. Yep, he was on my left and he got some pic of me!

Mile 11: 8:42

Continuing with this mile to get ourselves into the golden gate park. I'm sure part of this is still the residual of speed from the downhill splits, since at this point, fatique was setting in, and I'm paying interest for the loan shark I borrowed for running so fast at the beginning.

Mile 12: 9:25

I really hate the golden gate park. Here we have a mile long slight incline. I can see it but it wasn't like the ones I encountered earlier. However, I was tired, just all over tired. Mentally I was almost done. Honestly, nothing hurts right now. I was tired, overall fatique, yes, legs a bit heavy, but nothing really hurts. I really need to push and finish strong. I have absolutely no idea if I could PR at this point since I have no garmin data to look at. The only thing I can go by were those clocks by the mile marks but apparently I can't add. At this point, I was in survival mode,I had alot of evil thoughts of wanting to walk, but I really tried not to. I can't remember if I walked or not, maybe a few steps on some steeper sections, but probably not much. I really want this over with now.

Mile 13: 8:12

This is a slight downhill. As you can see, I can no longer keep the 7:xx pace like the earlier downhill areas where I flew down. My legs are getting heavier and heavier. I know I am very close to the finish line, I was very grateful that this was downhill. I don't think I can keep a sub9:00 min mile if this is flat…. Where is the finish line for god sake???

Mile 13.1: ~7:10

I never remember to press the stop button on my garmin, so I don't have this last bit of data,but just moving my cursor along the last bit of the garmin graph, my best guess was it was around 7:10.

Official time: 1:56:01<——— can I not just run 2 seconds faster to get it below 1:56???? Well, I didn't have my damn watch to look at, so I had no clues was that close.

I will take this though. I ran the Nike 2011 was 2:04:xx, more than 8 min PR.

My HM PR was 1:57:58 on a flatter than pancake course.

Overall, I am very happy with my result. I missed my stretch goal of 1:55, but I do understand that this is a tough course, especially for someone who has a major weakness on hills.

Things I learn from this training cycle:

  • Ryan Hall training plan works (even though I did not follow it carefully, I move around the workouts in a very dangerous fashion, like running all 3 hard workouts within 4 days etc)
  • I am not very injury prone and response well to hard speed workouts, but I should not take this for granted
  • I really need to embrace the hills if I want to continue to race this course.
  • Check garmin to make sure everything is functioning day before the race, not during the 10 second count down.
  • I believe I have it in me to get below 1:50, it may not happen next year, but I believe it will happen with hard work.

 

 

 

 

 

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My SUB25 5K race report

5Ks are never my thing, it's the hardest shit ever, the entire 3.1 miles is painful. My niece is a Giants fan and we ran this last year together and thought it was a fun fun thing to do, so I did it again this year, we literally have friends all doing this together, and it was a fun fest. My niece, her friend, my husband, my friend Susan, her two brats, I mean kids, all did the 5k, and my other two friends Stephen and Jinny did the half marathon.

It was perfect weather, not too cold or not too warm. I do not know how to run a 5k period. I want to get it under 25 minutes, but I didn't even know what pace needed to be run in order to achieve that goal, failed.

 

My husband and I at start line, we are such cute couple.

I didnt want to be near my husband or my nieces friend because I hate having someone I know running next to me, peer pressure. So soon after the gun start, I took off like a jack rabbit, but having to dodge the gazillion people running 13 min mile pace staring in the 8 min mile coral,I was pretty annoyed.

 

 

Mile 1: 8:06- shit, will this be good enough? Should I run faster? Where the hell is the turn around point??

Mile 2: 7:38 – people say that mile 2 is the hardest, why am I not hurting yet, wow, I must be a super star… Ummm no. I just die later. I saw this yellow tank girl that is running slightly faster than me, but I wanted to hang on to her, at this point, I can still see her, but she is moving faster and faster..lost her eventually

Mile 3: 7:46- clearly I started to die here. Not dead, but dying. But granted its only one more mile, in my head, I stay, 10 more min, just like a tempo run, push it through. I did.

Of course I fail at running tangent even for a 5k race, total miles ran, 3.16, not too bad. Last 0.16 miles ran at 7:06. Not too shabby for a slow person!!

Official Time: 24:07

6/250 in my age group

Very happy with the result!!! Hopefully I can get it sub23 next year!!

 


5K really is not my thing

This is my race report from a trail race put on by the amazing race org- Brazen!!

Drag N Fly- love the name. Drag your ass up the hill, and fly down the other side. (not)

Great things about this race??

  • Race day exactly on my birthday Sept, 8th. Brazen gives out medals to all distance finishers, so it's extra special for me to have a medal with my birth date engraved!!
  • I placed first in my age group! For the first time, holy cow. This may be a norm for a lot of people, but rare for me, I'm always #4. My secret goal for this race was to get an AG place, so I opted for the 5k because I do not have hill endurance for 10k, and this gives me the best odds! 1/20 in my age group, not too shabby. But wait, what's my time?
  • 29:51, avg pace: 9:08 —- no, my math is not wrong, brazen calculated the pace based on the actual length of the course, which was 3.25.

 

Running on these dirt pack road with holes all over… Since I don't have my right ACL, I gotta be extra careful.

Nearly fainted when I saw this, little did I know this was not the only one,

Who in the hell place first with a 29:51 time on a 5K?? I know 5k is not my strong suit, since I do not like the near death feeling, but this is a minute and 21 seconds slower than my very first 5k when I did not even know what pace was.

Anyhow… The race, let me just repeat, I do not like hills, I hate hills, I die on hills and it's not fun. After running on grass with holes for 100m, I met hill number 1 and I wanted to walk already. Let just say, that was a baby hill.

Mile 1: 8:27- pretty good considering the hills

Mile 2: 10:45 – cannot effing deal with those hills, even with the downhills, the rocks and sand..omg (NEAR DEATH)

Mile 3: 8:50- too tired to run after the hills tired me

Mile 4 (0.27)- 8:30

 

After the race, I stick around because I was pretty sure I was able to place , since I looked around I didn't see any older looking woman (my age) was around. Yep, first place. Very happy getting this, albeit a little bit embarassed.

 

Greet birthdy gift!!

However, this stressed me out a bit. Will the hills at Nike do this to me? Throw me off so bad that I cannot continue with my pace even on downhills and flats?

 

How do y'all deal with hilly races?

 

 

 

 

 


Fallen off the face of the earth

OMG…. I have not updated my blog since January. Lots have happened, I wish I have an excuse like some life changing experience happened, but not really, mainly due to laziness. So let me just summarize what are some running related awesomeness and not so awesome event that happened:

SUB-2 Half Marathon –CHECKED

Guys- this is HUGE, as in GINORMOUS. I wish i had written the race recap for this, maybe I'll add it later, but it this was accomplished at Kaiser Half Marathon, San Francisco.

Diablo Half Marathon Challenge— PW 3:30

I know… its trail, its tough, it has 8 miles uphill, but dude…. 3:30??? I'm so embarrassed. But this really really taught me that I am NOT a good hill runner, at all. My friend Luisa cannot stand my slowness and left me at like mile one, no i'm not bitter. No, i didn't feel like a total loser, thank you very much.

 

I went temporarily INSANE and signed up for my first full marathon- San Francisco Marathon

The Wall Street Journal had labeled this The Race Even Marathoners Fear. Great. I was talking to my customer/friend Michelle excitedly that I signed up for my first marathon. She is a great runner and BQed and all that glory stuff.

Michelle: Great!!! Which one?

Me: San Francisco!!

Michelle: ……quiet…. with a blank face, hint of worried

Me: Oh no… what?

Michelle: This is not appropriate for your first marathon if you want a good experience

I already paid like $100 to experience this torture, it's too late. As usual, I have no training plan, nothing.

Pacing Luisa for her last 13 miles of Miwok 100K race

No, I don't know tthis runner, but I know his name is Willy, I'm very good at eavesdropping. No, he wasn't peeing down his pants, it was very hot that day and he poured 36 bottles of ice cold water over his head and requested the aid station volunteer to give him 3 cans of coke, no, I am not kidding.

I continue to run anywhere from 0 miles a week to 20 miles a week. Until April…. I started to freak out. Actually I freaked out because I have to pace said friend that left me being fried by the sun at Mt Diablo for her first 100K race, Miwok 100. I ramped up my weekly mileage from teens to like 35 in a week (thank goodness I am still healthy), and ran some hills in San Carlos by my neighborhood and pretend that I will be able to run the hills in Marin Headland. Long story short. After some crazy climbs, gorgeous views, getting lost in Dipsea trail with a very DIM headlamp, we made it to the finish line. She ran for 17 hours. OMG. Superwoman indeed. She asked if i would consider doing a 50K sometime. No, thank you very much.

 

Marathon Training

I still don't have a definitive plan. I looked up Hal Hidgon's Intermediate 2, and did not like having a goal Marathon Pace run (like 10 miles, wtf??) the day before my long run. This back to back hard workout IMO is not cool. I did tried it for one week, while I did not died, it left me very tired. So I revert to the San Francisco Marathon Training plan Sesa sent me. Followed it for another week and looked forward to the future long run weeks… hmmmm too much. I am still not sure what to do. So far, roughly, this is what I'm planning to do for the remainder of the 10 weeks.

Mon: Rest

Tue: Track

Wed: Easy (mid week med long run 8-10 miles—these are truely bitches)

Thur: Easy on hills or Tempo/GMP (I seriously don't know what the difference is)

Friday: Rest

Sat: Easy

Sunday: LR (somehow fit in another 18, and 2-3 more 20 miles)

 

What I've accomplished so far…

Finished my 16 miler by myself (5/13)

Luisa got the runs, so this is my first time in many many months running long runs on my own. I was very nervous because i read on the internet that you are suppose to be nervous for your furthest distance long runs. Woke up at 6:30, left around 7am and off I went!! I ran to Luisa's house to visit her and Marco (the dog) and pretend it's an AID STATION, that was mile 6ish. Had another Clif Bloks and burped, YUCK. I tasted the milk from my cereal in the morning and I continued to taste it in my throat. That's it. NEVER again I can eat these shot bloks. I continue forward till the trail end and turn around. Finished my run. 16 miles, no more, no less. Uneventful.

 

FINISHED my 19 miler with my husband, Stephen, Luisa and Marco (5/19)

I was again very nervous for my long run. It was suppose to be 18 miles, but the route workout to be 19, its all good. This is the first time I brought along a small water bottle (ifitness clip on) with me since I freakn hate carrying anything with me on my runs, except my iphone. But since last weeks nasty milk regurgitation, I am scared to eat the bloks, plus I really do have a hard time chewing these ginormous gels, so I reverted back to some Expresso Love and Chocolate Gu Gel. I would be lieing if i tell you they are yummy, but I tolerated them ok. I ran to Oracle alone (3 miles), my husband drove there to meet me. Luisa ran from her house to meet met there, and Stephen drove from his house to meet us. Complicated, huh? We took off and ran to foster city. At mile 4, Stephen turned around to go home, he doesn't really run that far. Edwin, Luisa and Marco continued with me, we stopped by Luisa's house to drop off Marco and had some gatorade. The 2 miles leading to her house was the toughest. I must be running at like 11 min/mile and dying. I had a piece of sausage at her house and all of a sudden got the 2nd wind. We all ran back to oracle, and Luisa ran another 1 mile to the park to meet her husband and daughter, my husband went to his car, had a can of iced cold diet coke, while his poor wife continues to run another 2.5 miles. I was feeling strong, so I finished the last 2 miles faster than the previous 17. Uneventful.

 

5/20 Bay to Breaker-

In case you don't notice, that was my attempt to dress like Audrey Hepburn… Epic fail.

I'm surprised after 19 miles of running, I was able to run another 12K the next day, faster than the year before where I actually ran it. (This year, the first 3 miles I wasn't really running).

Until I can really sit down and write out my plan, I'll roughly follow the SFM plan. Time to start worry about my track workout.

Okay. I just fitted 5 months worth of crap in one post.

 

 


2012 Running Goals

Its only October and I’m already making goals for next year?? Yep, you bet!

Loosely, I would like to see myself racing every month, 5K, 10K, and HM. I don’t know how this will pan out, but it should be doable given that I live in the bay area.

5K time
My 5K PR was at 28:35. This will be fairly easy to beat since it was my first race ever, with barely any training.
Inspired by Sesa , I decide to secretly set my 2012 5K goal to sub25. How in the hell I’m going to obtain this? I don’t have the faintest idea, but I may give Sesa’s plan a try, using the Couch to 5K, but obviously, you will be running the run portion at or near your goal pace, not just jogging while talking on the phone and taking picture pace. She suggested that to do it like a pyramid, starting at 9:xx and increasing the pace to spare me from dying early on.
If anyone has other suggestions, please let me know!

Sub2 Half Marathon
I never thought about doing this when I ran my first half marathon. I honestly thought it would be like a bucket list item for me to check off, and I have no idea how long it usually takes for someone to complete a half marathon. now that I’m more serious in running, I really would like to complete one within 2hrs. I ran the easier half of the SFM at 2:05, and recently, my PR at the Nike Women’s Marathon (half) at 2:04:10. I should be quite proud of myself, being as lazy as I am as a runner, (whoa, did I just called myself a runner???), the course was very hilly, and I really really hate hills, I think I did the best I can, even though I’m still quite embarrassed that I walked quite a bit.
Could I’ve run a sub2 if the course were flat? Honestly, I don’t know. While I freakn crawl up the hills, again, I’m not exaggerating…. Who runs their hilly portion of the race 2-3 minutes/mile slower????

Miscellaneous goals that are running related:

  • Try to have a running plan and stick with it
  • Take training paces seriously, meaning, do not try to chase pace during my long runs. I have to admit, I run my long runs quite a bit faster than what I should be doing base on my fitness level. In my mind, I kept thinking that if I run it faster, say at 9min/mile, I will able to sustain a 8:30min/mile for 13 miles. WRONG- this actually mademy long runs quite miserable, and my race time did not improve.
  • Do not cut down the number of intervals I’m scheduled to do, if I am unable to finish them, it means that I think I am fitter than I really am, so slow down.
  • Try to enjoy races rather than thinking that I have to PR every race, I don’t want running to become a stressful thing.

When I feel lazy, and start to make excuse, just remember this:

HAPPY MONDAY!!!