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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

NWHM-race-day (2)


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And she is still running…

After the first 10 minutes you don’t know anymore that you are running in the rain. It is the first few minutes while I am getting wet that are the dreaded minutes. Once I am wet I can run miles and miles in the rain.

20140302-192225.jpgAs I mentioned in yesterday’s post, it’s been raining and I have been out running in the rain a few times and it’s only half as bad as you may think… There are reasons to run in the rain. One of them is that the trails are empty. This past Saturday we ran a pretty much empty trail and had someย  rainy views from the top of a hill that we never ran up before. Therefore, by default the (never seen before) views became AMAZING (even looking down on to a highway in the rain…). ๐Ÿ™‚

We need rain in California and you can see that the reservoir is still pretty low. You can also see the highway and yes, we ran all the way up from there! In the rain!! RUNNING HEROES! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Elevation gain on our run was over 1300 feet, which was more than the Austin Half Marathon that I ran 2 weeks ago.

20140302-192300.jpgThis brings me to my next topic: The Austin Half Marathon. I already wrote a full race recap of the Austin Half Marathon and it was a fun race. Half marathon #22 and third race of the year! I am starting to get burned out of racing already and skipped a race this weekend and though the medal was great, I don’t feel I missed out. Instead I went shopping and bought 2 gorgeous dresses, but I am digressing…

A fun project I have been working on is my next fundraiser in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I have created a virtual race for the month of April and would love for you all to check it out. The medal looks great, but see for yourself.

If you are interested in the THIS CHICK LOVES TO RUN FOR A CURE – Virtual Race, please check out my No Heels Just Sneakers Virtual Race page. I am so excited about putting this race on. A friend of mine created the design of the medal and I think it looks beautiful. All proceeds go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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?


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!):


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! ๐Ÿ™‚

How are your 2014 challenges and resolutions going?


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).


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


And there is ice-cream at the finish line:


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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? ๐Ÿ™‚


Challenge #1 completed


You may remember my 5 challenges for 2014. Well, I completed the first one.

Challenge number one was to complete 26 miles in January. In fact, I am up to 34.4 miles and this is how I got there:

Track training and long Saturday runs with my Team in Training buddies. A weekend ago we ran on the trail to Lexington Reservoir and were greeted with thisย  beautiful view:


My running buddy and I grabbed some water and GU (peanut butter) and headed back, but not before we took a “turn-around” photo:


Yes, as you can see from the gloves and headband it wasn’t quite super hot, but actually pretty perfect for running.

This past weekend, my team went for another long run and I ended up running 9.4 miles and passing the 26-mile challenge with another running buddy:


We just love those picture at the “turn-around” point. Selfies are totally acceptable while running, right??

Now we do have some great coaches who know our needs and mark the trail:

20140113-202753.jpgWith one challenge down and 4 to go, I think this has been a great start to the new year. ๐Ÿ™‚


NWM Half race recap

It’s been a week and I think I have recovered, but I don’t really know as I jetted off to Belgium for a work event right after the race. Maybe, beer, chocolate and waffles ARE the best race recovery food after all? But more on that in a later post.

So, I have run the Nike Women’s (Half) Marathon now 4 times:

  • 2009 – NWM full marathon
  • 2010 – NWM half marathon
  • 2011 – NWM half marathon
  • 2013 – NWM half marathon

And I can truly say that this year’s run was my strongest and – I just checked – even my fastest on this course. I beat my 2010 NWM Half by whopping 4 seconds. I didn’t train for speed. I just wanted a happy first half marathon after I broke my foot early this year. Mission accomplished!

I think I already gave it all away. LOL. But here is a more detailed recap.

Before the start line: I abandoned my Greater Bay Are Team in Training team after the early morning team photo and send-off to stay a little longer in the warm hotel rather than to go to the start line an hour early. That turned out to be a great move. TMI alert! I did the smart bathroom routine: line up, get out, line up, etc… All in the warm hotel.

The start line: I eventually made my way to the start line, which was appropriately “Taylor Street”. I ran this race in memory of my running buddy Jay Taylor who ran my very first half marathon with me and lost his fight against cancer earlier this year. Two of my Austin Team in Training friends found me in the corral and we started the race together.

Mile 1: I am not even trying to run my intervals. It’s very crowded and dark. I am wearing my sunglasses in the early morning darkness, because the sun will come out eventually according to the weather channel (the weather channel was wrong…).

Mile 2-3: I am feeling great! I am sticking to a slightly slower speed as I am not running intervals and feel like I am on top of the world.

Mile 4-6: I see some of the Team in Training staff members from Austin and Denver (friends I know from previous Team in Training seasons). I missed the Greater Bay Area staff. It’s so great to hear your name being called out in a group of 30,000 runners and see familiar faces on the side cheering you on!

Mile 6-7: The dreaded hill. This is my slowest average mile. That’s ok. I never planned to run this beastly hill. I think it’s somewhere around mile 6/7 when a volunteer shouts out that we will be rewarded for the hills with a beautiful view. Unfortunately he stands with his back to the Bay and is not seeing the clouds and fog barring any view. I applaud his enthusiasm though.

Mile 8-10: I am losing my running buddy Rob here somewhere. But nothing spectacular happens here. More hills, which I don’t remember being here at my last race. The mind forgets what it doesn’t want to know…

Mile 11: I am still feeling great! I am kind of surprised how strong I still feel. My training is paying off. I see my Team in Training coach and tell him that I finally agree with his training method (I was doubting preparedness as we had very few long runs…) and he just laughs. So I tell him I may be on his team again next season.

Mile 12: The Chocolate Mile! It’s about time though I don’t feel like chocolate, but that’s what spibelts are for: take the chocolate and keep it there for later.

The finish line: OK, I now know I could have run faster as I am still feeling way too strong, but I am not going to get upset. I didn’t run for speed, I ran to have a good time on the course and I did. THIS Tiffany’s necklace is well deserved!

After the finish line: This was a disaster. Dear NWM planners: It took me 40 (forty) minutes to get through the finish line. Very poorly organized. Though I am a big fan of Whole Foods, I wasn’t impressed with the post-race food they provided. I want Safeway back as a sponsor. Also, having the photo-op-firefighters standing in the middle of where ALL runners tried to get through wasn’t helping. Dear NWM planners: you used to have photo booth back after necklace/shirt/food pick-up. Why in the world did you move the photo-ops into the finish line? That was stupid!

My verdict: The running was awesome! Team in Training coaching and support was awesome! Race organization was poor specifically at the finish line. A LOT to be improved upon. And really put a damper on this race. The NIKE NWM app was crap (excuse my language). Race info was hard to find. No, NIKE, I do not want to scroll your Facebook page for race info that is hidden in some comments. Get over it and build a proper race page like all other race organizers. It’s about time after 10 years…