Monthly Archives: March 2011

Straight to Summer


AM: 7-miles

The Bay Area has skipped Spring and gone straight to Summer. The past 2 days have been in the 80’s, which is pretty much equivalent to 100 degrees in everywhere else in the country. If you’ve read any of my blog posts from last summer, you will know that I HATE HEAT! Ironic for a girl from Hawai’i, but its true.

Given that last night was warm, I forced myself out of bed at 5:30 am this morning and out to the track by 6:15 am for a 7-miler. It would have been much more convenient to just run from my front door, but I felt a little soreness from running on concrete and asphalt on Sunday and Tuesday. The softer surface of the track would be much kinder to my body.

When I got there, it was still dark and I was the only one there. But before I even finished the second mile, the sun was starting to rise and other people arrived for their morning run/walks. I forgot how much I love starting my day this way.

As I was logging my workout, I clicked over to see how many miles I had on my shoes. Then I clicked on the Training section, something I don’t usually do very often.

I was pleasantly surprised to see this:

Total Miles:

{running, spinning and swimming}

Running Miles:

I think this is the most miles I have ever run in a month. With the first 2 marathons I have trained for, I have gotten injured and had to skip workouts. So far, knocking on wood, this time seems to be better so far.


30-Blogging Day Photo Challenge

Day 04 – A picture of your night

I spent the evening using all of this stuff to stretch and roll out my tight muscles….

…while dying in the sauna that is my apartment.

The Truth About Dining Out


Monday AM: Spin/Core
Monday PM: Yoga
Tuesday PM: 7-mile run
Wednesday AM: Strength Training w/Trainer
Wednesday PM: Spin
(You can read details of all works here.)

Other than my race report of the Oakland Running Festival, I haven’t blogged regularly for almost a week. Life has been busy and I’ve hardly had time to keep up with the basic daily basics….like blogging!

Last week I went out to dinner at the Elephant Bar. I noticed that they have started to include calories on their menu. Now I know that there are a lot of calories consumed when eating out, but after reading their menu, I was honestly shocked!

Seeing how much calories were in every item really impacted my decision on what to order. I love sweet potatoes fries – but not for 720 calories!

I ended up ordering the Garlic Noodles with Shrimp, which was a mere 780 calories.

Less than some of the items on the “Light Menu.”

Back in the day, from college up until 2003, I ate out for practically every single meal. I never grocery shopped and didn’t know how to cook. The staff at the local restaurants knew me by name and what my regular orders were. It’s no wonder I was 50+ lbs heavier back then. I wish all restaurants printed nutritional data on their menus. I think it would really influence the decisions that we all make.


Picking up on my 30-day Photo Challenge (which is now a “30 Days of Blogging Challenge”):

Day 03 – A picture of the cast from your favorite show

I watch a lot of TV. I mean…A LOT of TV.

Sunday: Amazing Race, Brothers & Sisters
Monday: Gossip Girl, Hawai’i 5-0, DWTS
Tuesday: Biggest Loser, Glee
Wednesday: Modern Family, Law & Order: SVU
Thursday: The Office, Grey’s Anatomy
Friday: Blue Blood, Who Do You Think You Are
Saturday: Law & Order: Los Angeles

And there are a lot more (like GH since I’ve been watching since I was 5 yrs old)…

I don’t watch any of the shows live; I TiVo everything and save it all for Sundays so I can fast forward through commercials and the story lines I don’t care for.

For obvious reasons, I picked Hawai’i 5-0 as my current show. Whenever I watch it, I feel closer to home!

Oakland Running Festival 2011

I volunteered at last year’s first annual Oakland Running Festival. It was my first time volunteering at a race, as well as the first time I got to see winners cross the Finish Line. As I handed out mylar blankets at the Finish Line, I heard runner after runner yell, “I hella heart Oakland!” in reference to the amazing crowd support provided by the residents of Oakland. I wanted to experience that for myself making it a “must-do” race for me this year.


I met Layla at the expo where we moseyed around, checking out sales and such. Usually, whomever I’m at the expo with rushes me through so it was nice to take our time and browse around. The only purchase I made was several packets of Espresso GU at Layla’s recommendation (double the caffeine!).

After the expo we had some lunch and made plans to meet up in the morning. We are both training for May 1st marathons (me in Vancouver, her in Eugene) and were using the half-marathon as a training run, with a total of 17 planned for the day. So we decided to do our extra miles before the race because honestly, who wants to run extra miles after the Finish Line?

Race Day:

I woke up on Sunday not feeling that great. I had stayed up my later than I should have and knew I was going to pay the price for it. The full started at 7:30 am, and the half started at 9 am, so Layla and I planned to meet up around 8 am, which would give us plenty of time to get our 4 miles in before the start.

I dressed in shorts and a double layer of long-sleeve of t’s, bringing along warmer clothes just in case it was colder in Oakland. When I got there, I parked at the Marriott where the expo was held. It was a warm place to wait at with real bathrooms – no porta potties! When I walked outside, I knew I had dressed perfectly; it was overcast and cool – perfect running weather!

We made our way to the Start area and took a few photos:

The half and full races started on separate courses so we decided to run the first 2 miles of the full course which is up Broadway, hanging a right onto another street. I wanted to take it easy on these miles, knowing I still had another 13 ahead of me. Once we reached 2 miles we turned around and headed back, just in time for the start of the half.

At this point we parted ways as Layla moved up to the pace group that she was aiming for. I settled in with the 10-min/mile group and found myself standing next to one of my colleagues! It was nice to see a familiar face in the crowd.

I quickly ate one of the Espresso GU’s and before I knew it, we were off. While there were no corrals, there wasn’t too much bobbing and weaving. The streets were wide so there was plenty of room for everyone.

I don’t spend much time in the East Bay, let alone Oakland, so although I’ve lived in the Bay Area for the past 13 years, I had never seen most all of Oakland. Oakland has a reputation of being a rough town, and seeing officers stationed at every corner kinda confirmed it. But the crowds, officers included, were so spirited and supportive. There were people (not huge crowds, but loud enough) lining the street through almost every neighborhood. To say I wasn’t feeling the greatest was an understatement, so the high-fives from the spectators and officers were definitely a pick-me-up.

There were also a few members from the Oakland Fire Department who ran the race. The course passed by several fire stations and at each one the firemen lined up outside and cheered on their own, as well as everyone else.

Admittedly, I was a little nervous to run through West Oakland, but I think that’s where the best aid station was! There was also some interesting graffiti. One in particular said, “Stay Punk!” It reminded me of the East Bay’s own Green Day (WHO I LOVE!). I wish I took a photo of it.

I can’t remember where, but somewhere along the course I saw the Lululemon cheer van. I ran over to high-five them and saw that they were handing out free stuff! I got an orange headband! I stuck it in my fuel belt and sadly dropped it at the Finish area when I took it off to take my Finisher’s photo. I am SO BUMMED about that.

I started to feel tired a lot earlier in the race than usual. Then I remembered, “Oh wait, I had already done 4 miles.” As my headache continued, I started to feel a cramp develop in my right calf – in the area right below the outer knee. It had given me problems the week before on my 15-miler, but went away pretty quickly, but I started to feel more intense with every step. I double-fisted my way through the aid stations thinking I must be dehydrated and hoped that it would help. It didn’t.

Soon it was all I could think about. As we ran along Lake Merritt, through mud, every step on the right leg hurt. It didn’t help to try to stretch it out because it’s such an odd area, I wasn’t sure how too. I kept telling myself, just make it to Mile 11 where Kerry was spectating.

As soon as I saw her I started waiving my arms. I was so happy to see her! I stopped and we chatted. I gave her an update on the race, she gave me an update on other friends who were also running the race and then she snapped this quick photo.

After seeing her, I had only a mile and a half and I knew I could do it.

This girl in a pink shirt and I took turns passing each other. I made it my goal to finish before her. But every time I tried to take a surge I felt the cramp and had to lay off. At the start of the last mile Dr Dre’s, “I Need a Doctor” came on my iPod. How appropriate. On the home stretch, down Broadway, the girl in the pink shirt made a push. I thought, “oh no”, so I willed myself to push too. I remember running down Broadway thinking, “Where the heck is the Finish?!? I can push like this for much longer!” Then the course turned and I saw the Finish and sprinted for it as Green Day’s “American Idiot” blared in my ears. Oh the irony.

The Finisher’s area was extremely congested, but I was able to collect my medal, grab some water and oranges, and take my Finisher’s photo. Then I headed straight to the medical tent. They sat me down and summoned a massage therapist who started working on my calf. He found the knots immediately. It was painful, but extremely helpful. After about 10-15 minutes they put some ice on it and wrapped it in an ace bandage and sent me on my way.

I wanted to wait for the others who I knew were running the full, but I had left my change of clothes in the car and I was absolutely freezing. Karin had paced Ron up until the last few miles and had told me he should be finishing about a half hour after me. As I walked back to the Marriott, I passed by the Finish Line and saw him crossing it! Perfect timing!

I spent the rest of the day, parked on my couch, downing a double double with fries.

I think this may have been my slowest half marathon in terms of pace, but I did not run this race for time. I ran it for the experience and Oakland did not disappoint! The crowd support definitely lived up to its reputation. Thanks Oakland! And congrats to everyone who ran this year!