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January running recap

Alrighty, I know I know. February is already going, but I didn’t want you to miss out on my amazing January recap. 🙂

In fact, I did finish 2 races, one of them being a half marathon. That warrants mention, right?

So, January was in running-terms quite successful, but even more important FUN with an amazing group of Greater Bay Area Team in Training running buddies.

The first race of the year was a 10k: New Year’s Day Brazen Race (race recap).

This one came with a beautiful medal that showed a sleeping sun and the words: “Good morning 2014”. How inspiring is this?

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The second race of the year was a half marathon, another Brazen race, the Coyote Hill half marathon (race recap). Luckily this one wasn’t quite as hilly as the usual Brazen races. We had a group of 6 running buddies out and it was a great day for a run. The medal was a coyote (duh!):

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Of my 5 challenges for 2014, I managed to complete challenge #1: run 26 miles in January. Actually, I ran 81 miles in January which is putting me well into challenge #2: run (virtually) to Mexico.

A great start to the year. Now I just have to keep it up! 🙂

How are your 2014 challenges and resolutions going?


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Race recap: New Year’s Day Brazen 10k

You should know by now that these Brazen races are all ultra races, so this really was an Ultra-10k (6.4 miles) with a Monster Hill. Yes, a MONSTER HILL. Here you go:

2014NYD10K-monster-hillThe views weren’t quite as spectacular due to the smog that was plaguing us here around New Year, but nonetheless, I reached the top hill (and never want to do it again… until next year that is).

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Brazen races are amazing. They come with beautiful medals. This ones reads: “Good Morning 2014”:

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And there is ice-cream at the finish line:

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Lo and behold, despite the Monster Hill, this was my fastest Brazen Ultra-10k. But don’t get too excited, “fast” is a relative term with these 10ks. But I loved starting the New Year with a PR. 🙂

Because I love these races soooo much, I signed up for a half marathon later this month. It wasn’t on my original 2014 race list, but I am adding it right now.

Which races have you completed already? 🙂


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What a year it has been!

I was going to call this blog post “life in the fast lane” and then I realized I have been picking the slow lane on the highways as drivers in Silicon Valley are insane and I better get out of their way… I am digressing already without having started the post really… Oops…

So, yeah, 2013. What a year!

Walking in the mud at bottom of Box Hill

Walking in the mud at bottom of Box Hill

The year started off great with a job offer in sunny California and as I prepared to leave London I broke my foot. What an irony. But life just works out one way or another, so with an unplanned rest I arrived in California ready to start a new chapter in my life.

Maybe the not able to run thing worked out for the best. I had to start slow. I easily adapted to my new job, the new company, the new work colleagues. I used meetup.com to get out and explore and make new friends. And then finally in May I was allowed to start running again, so I joined Team in Training again and made fabulous new friends.

20130921-170012.jpgI loved “learning” how to run again in 2013. There was no way I was able to aim for a PR. I wanted to let my foot heal and strengthen, so I took it easy. That is until I found trail racing… I wouldn’t call these “taking things easy”… Those hills are beasts! 🙂 I love those trail races. They happen in the mountains around the South Bay Area and usually come with great views from the mountains which – you may have guessed – you have to run up first. I found a partner in crime when it comes to running crazy races, my new BRF Lauren (you should check out her adventures training for a triathlon right now). Overall through Team in Training I found a whole new bunch of running buddies and friends who I am so grateful for.

I ran 4 races in 2013:

There are a few things that I slacked on last year. One of them was healthy eating and despite all the training in the second half of the year I put on weight again. California isn’t quite as healthy as its reputation. Something to tackle in 2014.

IMG_8646I also got to travel quite a bit for work: New York City, Seattle, Lake Tahoe, Brussels, Berlin, London. These trips were quite intense, but with most of them I also got to meet up with friends. I met an old university friend in Seattle by chance. Met a great friend in New York City, my family in Germany and my London friends in London. Though I did lose a bit of sleep traveling, it was worth it.

20130706-192911.jpgI had a few friends that came and visited or that I ended up meeting somewhere close by. These were always great opportunities to explore more, like Big Sur (which I have come to love) and the beaches. My brother came also for a visit. Sunny California does have its perks.

What I learned in 2013

  • Dare to dream! Your dreams may come true!
  • Ice bath with my awesome team mates from Team in Training

    Ice bath with my awesome team mates from Team in Training

    Team in Training participants are awesome wherever they are!

  • Listen to your Physical Therapist!
  • California really is sunny!
  • Silicon Valley driver’s are crazy!
  • California isn’t quite as zen as expected!
  • Business Class is the way to fly!
  • How to sleep on a long flight!
  • Sleep is good! Get it when you can!
  • Chocolate is still best in Belgium!

It’s been a great year! I really can’t complain (I try sometimes, but I really shouldn’t). I am trying to take a slower lane in 2014 not just on the highway, but cutting down on a few personal projects, so that I can enjoy my time in California even more.

Looking forward to continue chatting to you all.

Happy New Year!


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Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series – Rock Encore Medal

Nice gesture.

As I am sitting here scrapping most of my planned races for this year, I finally get my 2012 Rock Encore Medal from the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series. I got this medal for running two Rock ‘n Roll races in North America, the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon and the San Antonio Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon, last year.

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Rock Encore Medal – Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series

It’s a pretty nice medal. It goes really well with the World Rocker Medal that I received earlier last year for running a Rock ‘n Roll race in North America and one in Europe. I also ran the Edinburgh Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon which I really loved. The course was hilly, but very picturesque. I can definitely recommend the race for the scenery.

World Rocker Medal - Rock 'n Roll Marathon Series

World Rocker Medal – Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series

I didn’t get the Triple Crown medal. This one – at least last year – was only given out if you ran 3 Rock ‘n Roll races in one region (either North America or Europe).

This year I won’t be collecting any Rock ‘n Roll medals. So maybe 2014 will be my triple crown year?

Here is my 2012 race list. The list for 2013 will be much shorter:

January – NIKE+ Women’s Half Marathon – actually, 13.9 miles run

March – Regent’s Park Jog 5k (28:53)

March – Richmond Spring Riverside 10k (PR @ 1:03:20)

April – Whole Foods Breakfast Run in Kingston 8.2 miles (PR @ 1:22:00)

April – Edinburgh Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon (2:26:18)

May – London Bupa 10k (1:04:36)

June – San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon (2:23:28)

July – British 10k (1:05:29)

October – Cologne Half Marathon (2:21:35 – second fastest half marathon ever)

October – Shock Absorber Women’s 5k (27:20)

November – San Antonio Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon (really slow)


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And then there is running…

You can’t be blamed for thinking I have given up on running. Let me assure you. I have not! The Olympics were just so much more fun to talk about.

Well, I did actually take a break after the British 10k. I sustained a back injury after the race and took a running break. I even went to see a physio therapist and he finally cleared me for running again last week.

I can’t say I didn’t workout during the Olympics. I walked miles and miles. I wish I had used my NIKE GPS to log the miles. My leg muscles are still going strong. 🙂

I started on short runs this week 2x 20 minute runs and a 3-mile run. I am going to add another 3-4 mile run tomorrow. I have a half marathon coming up in October. I think it’s looking good.

However, I do want to change my workout routine a little and run fewer miles every week and spend more time on strength and speed training. Does anyone have some good tips here?

Today will be another walking day. Off to find more of my now beloved Wenlocks and Mandevilles. I found probably half of the 83 around. It’s time to look out for the other half.

These two inflatable Wenlock & Mandeville outside St Paul’s Cathedral don’t quite belong to the series, but isn’t this a pretty picture?

Inflatable Wenlock and Mandeville outside St Paul’s Cathedral


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I am inspired

What an inspiring weekend!!

There was no time really to blog or even upload any of the many photos I took.

It all started off with watching the Women’s triathlon on Saturday which was great to watch live.

Mo Farrah winning gold in the 10k was my personal highlight. I have been running “with him” in two London 10k this year and last year. “With him” of course meaning he was in the pool of elite athletes nearly finishing the race before I even got started, but still we ran the same race. 🙂 It was so great see him run and win the 10k!

I also loved Jessica Ennis winning gold (even if that meant my home team Germany had to settle for silver). Jessica Ennis as one of the faces for the Olympics has come across in the many interviews she has given over the past year as a truly loveable person and she worked so hard for this moment.

Today, the excitement just kept going. I watched the women’s marathon from the barrier, waited in the rain and was just amazed at the pure strength of the athletes. I did think though that they would be a little faster, but alas Tiki Gelana did run a new Olympic record.

Another great event to watch was the men’s 100 meter final. Usain Bolt did it again. What kind of power was in that 100 meter race? It was mind-blowing to watch. Second fastest 100 meter ever.

One of the London 2012 goals is to create a legacy and inspire young people to take up sports and become the future of the Olympics. I am already inspired! I didn’t know that I would be this captivated and in awe of what’s going on at my doorsteps. But I am loving every minute of it!

Here is to even more inspiration next week!

Happy Olympics!


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Race report: British 10k

I know, I know, it has been 10 days and I haven’t had a chance to write my race report yet. I am shocked myself…

I was in desperate need of vitamin D and decided to elope for a few days to experience some sunshine and do nothing but hanging out by  the beach. It was bliss.

Back to the British 10k.

Actually, most of the action is before the race. The race starts on Piccadilly close to the Wellington Arch near Hyde Park. Getting there is a 1.5km walk from the bag drop area. This in itself is not that bad, even though with 25,000 runners (or how many made it out in the rain) that takes a while. Foolishly, I thought I was in the front half of the pack, there were so many people behind me, it was crazy. The whole of Piccadilly was just full of runners. And it’s a long road…

Running in the rain – I don’t think I look happy… 🙂

I am not quite sure if this was a royal guard brass band or just any brass band, anyway, they marched down Piccadilly right before the race and made it all look proper British… (it is the British 10k after all).

I was in a great position to see the start of the elite runners. In fact, I was in perfect viewing position seeing them set off. It was quite fun and I wished I had a camera… oh well…

Then came the long wait until I finally reached the start line. As I was just about to get started the announcer said that the first finisher reached the finish line. Nice…

The race itself was pretty uneventful. It rained. I got wet. I wasn’t too happy about that. At mile 5.5 someone run into me and he knocked my GPS watch off. He didn’t break it, but the watch stopped and I didn’t notice until a few minutes later. I don’t want to say it was a pushy race, but there were some inconsiderate runners out there… more than usual… might have been the weather. I get it. Rain makes me cranky, too.

British 10k medal

The best part of course was getting my medal at the end. That’s what I ran for after all. 🙂

I might skip this race next year. It is way too pricey for a 10k, but then again you get to run on Piccadilly, through Trafalgar Square, along Embankment and ON Westminster Bridge. Big Ben actually rang 11am when I passed it. Maybe it isn’t that bad after all. And I believe a lot of the course is similar to the Olympic Marathon course.

So, I did it! I ran the Olympic Marathon course. LOL.