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Nike Women’s Half Marathon in the books!

Race Recap Summary:

Race course = Great!

Finish-Line festivities = Poor!

It’s the fifth time I am running this race. First in 2009 as a full marathon and then as half marathons. This year the course changed and everyone freaked out before the race – including me. LOL.

But really there was no need for this. I LOVED the new course (Darn it! This makes me want to run it again…). Even the hill at mile 10 had nothing on me. It probably helped that we ran it during several Team in Training runs.

Read the full race recap here: No Heels Just Sneakers – Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco 2014 – Race Recap

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Getting ready for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon 2014

This is the fifth time I am running the Nike race in San Francisco. My first Nike Women’s race was the Full Marathon in 2009. Then I learned you get the Tiffany’s necklace when you run the half marathon. Hence, with all subsequent races I took the smarter, “I am only half crazy” option of the half marathon.

View my full re-race report on No Heels Just Sneakers – Getting ready for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon 2014.

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NWM Preview Run

putting on a brave face before the run

putting on a brave face before the run

First of all there were no snakes (and I never mentioned that we saw one wriggling its way through the running trail at the Trail Hog race the previous week and my running buddy L. jumped up 6 feet…).

But we had an adventure nonetheless. Our Team in Training coaches totally missed to remind us that it’s always cold in San Francisco and coming from the South Bay Area you will need an extra layer of running clothes. So as I opened the car door, about to take off my long-sleeved jacket, the wind hit my face and so did the cold. Car door slammed shut and the jacket stayed on. I was crying for ear muffs and gloves.

So we took some brave photos in the cold wind to announce our impending run to the whole world via Facebook and waited for our run start. Our coach gave us last instructions on where to run and where not to get lost, but missed to tell us that it’s uphill both ways… This was our Nike Women’s Marathon preview run. We ran 10 miles of the actual course to be well prepared for the race. Well, I have run NWM a few times before and just enjoyed the scenery again – and the reminder that it can be COLD on race day!

On the way out (uphill), we had some awesome views of the Golden Gate Bridge. I don’t get to see the Golden Gate Bridge in the clouds very often (bar the time you see on my blog header – a lucky shot), so I loved the beautiful views:

At our turnaround point we saw a tiny little glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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a tiny glimpse

We just knew the great view would just be around the corner, so off we went, a little rogue, straying from the designated course. Luckily, I was well prepared for an adventure off-course as I just had a coaching event the previous day about “making your own rules”. Who would have thought this learning came in so handy this fast. LOL. Less than a quarter-mile after the official turnaround point, we were offered this great view of the bridge. It would have been a shame to have missed this photo opportunity as we traveled already so far (remember, all the way from the South Bay… LOL).

Here is our “running rogue” victory photo.

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On the way back (uphill again), the aid station was already packed up. No more peanut butter pretzels for us there. We made it back to the starting point and caught up with the rest of the team by the ocean. You saw the happy team photo already. But before that photo happened, I briefly braved the waters by myself. Yes, it was crazy cold!

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I don’t want to leave you without my second favorite photo of the run. A beautiful view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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The Monkey on my back… literally…

When you have THE MONKEY you don’t need enemies. 😉

For the past 5 years I have been running at least one race each year with Team in Training to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This year I had help in form of THE MONKEY who got into all kinds of trouble…

THE MONKEY has friends, but luckily, they are pretty tame and don’t follow his mischievous footsteps.

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One day, THE MONKEY decided to sneak into my bag and come to work with me. Oh my, what a day that was…

First, he found the printer… monkey butt prints anybody??

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A little later, THE MONKEY found the break room. I guess he totally wanted a soda or maybe was just monkeying around.

He forgot that soda is free at my office and you don’t need to sneak into the vending machine and steal…

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A little later I caught THE MONKEY on the phone. It was actually quite cute. He called up all my friends and asked them to help with my fundraising: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sj/nikesf13/tkudla

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Cute as THE MONKEY is, he took a break.

Talk about cliches…

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Even for a cute MONKEY, dating life is tough.

But really? Do you have to go this far, MONKEY?

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THE MONKEY somehow managed to get out of the office, follow me home and jump into my purse. That’s how he ended up in the bar. And I can’t tell you whether they checked his ID. I am just saying…

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Maybe a few too many, MONKEY??

I hope it was worth it…

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Apparently, we are not to discuss the night before.

Even THE MONKEY sometimes has a hangover….

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I used these cute little photos for my fundraising for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon and I thought, you’d all enjoy the adventures of THE MONKEY as much as I did. 🙂

If you have a donation budget left and would like to support me, here is the link to my fundraising page: http://pages.teamintraining.org/sj/nikesf13/tkudla


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1000 miles

Woah! 1000 miles!

Well, I did say I would run 500 miles more back in May last year. LOL. And I finally did it. 20130911-194126.jpg

Training has been going very well and I am getting close to my pre-foot-fracture time. I logged over 70 miles in August, which is pretty awesome and I can run 10min/miles again (at least at track). With two half marathons ahead of me this fall that’s all good news.

Shouldn’t forget about hill training. Both races, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon and the US Half Marathon, San Francisco, have some pretty and darn steep hills. I am super excited about running across the Golden Gate Bridge. So far, I have driven across, cycled across and walked across, but this will be my first run across. YEAH! Hence, the next 500 miles are just around the corner (or something…).

And I would walk five hundred miles
And I would walk five hundred more

~ The Proclaimers


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US Half Marathon, San Francisco

My running buddy L. has a very bad influence over me. LOL. Maybe she is just enabling me to get back into my race mojo, so that’s good influence actually. 🙂

After my rant about Nike+ (still sucks) yesterday, I figured it’s time to move on and find new races. In comes the US Half Marathon in San Francisco in November. We will be crossing the Golden Gate Bridge (YEAH!) and are promised beautiful views over the San Francisco skyline, the Bay and national parks. I am loving the sound of this one.

The Nike Women’s Half Marathon will hence become my training race for this one. I am running SF this year! Can’t wait for both races and I am sure I will love both for very different reasons. Before that a few more weeks of grueling training. Track training tomorrow. Hill training on Thursday. And a Nike race preview run on Saturday. Bring. It. On!

“Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it will not survive. Every morning a lion wakes up and it knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be moving.”

~Maurice Greene (attributed to Roger Bannister shortly after running the first sub-4 mile)


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Nike+ sucks once more!

I don’t understand how Nike gets things wrong again and again with their Nike+ site. Shouldn’t they get their best people on the job of making sure the site and apps works properly?

I received my Nike Women’s Half Marathon registration confirmation today (YEAH!). In the email (sent to me directly by the way – this becomes the point of irritation…), Nike advertises their new training and update app for this event. Great. I want in! To get to the training app that may or may not share updates on the event as well, I am asked to sign in with my Nike+ login details. Seems easy, right?? Especially since I have been a Nike+ member for several years.

DENIED

Apparently, my Nike+ credentials are not matching my registration. Nike peeps, here is a hint: you sent me an email with the race registration and guess what? That’s the same email that is linked to my Nike+ account. What else do you want from me to log into your app???

Yes, I am frustrated, because the DENIED message tells me to go to the FAQ to find out how to link my registration with my Nike+ account. If only I could get information on the FAQ page. Absolutely nothing on the FAQ page to help.

So, here I am not able to link my Nike Women’s Half Marathon registration with my Nike+ account and with absolutely no help from Nike to resolve. Yes, frustrated once more by Nike!

NIKE FAIL! 😦