Category Archives: Running

CIM Training Update — It Didn’t Happen

Since I attempted to do a series of posts on CIM training, and since CIM has long come and gone, I thought I’d write one last post to wrap it up.

Ironically, like my incomplete training posts, I also did not complete this race.

In fact, I never even got to the Start Line.

Let’s rewind back to November 13th, three and a half weeks before CIM.

My workout called for 6-7 hill surges. I felt strong running the first six intervals. But on the seventh one I felt my good ‘ol hammy pull. The same hammy that gives me problems once a year. Over the next week I took great care to ice and use my TENS machine on it, and by the following Sunday, it felt good enough for another long run.

I had been doing all my long runs in Golden Gate Park because 1) hills and 2) foggy weather. I felt great from the start of the run and forgot all about my hammy problem. I decided to run up the steep hill from Ocean Beach to the Cliff House so I could get a photo of Lands End.

This photo wasn't worth the pulled hammy I got running up the hill to take it.

A photo posted by Naomi (@njnsf) on

As I ran up that hill I felt my hammy pull again. But I was stubborn and kept running on it. The longer I ran, the more my body compensated for the injury and soon I felt pain in my opposite hip. The longer I ran the more intense the pain and I only managed 13 miles that day.

So once again, I spent the next week icing and using my TENS machine and by the next Sunday felt good enough for another long run. This time, the hammy held up fine (in fact, it never gave me problems again), but my hip still hurt.

I only managed 13 miles again that day, a day that should have been my peak week long run. But stubborn as I am, I was still convinced that I could run CIM.

But my hip kept getting worse to the point where it hurt just walking my dog.

I attempted a final “long” run the Sunday before race day but had to cut that one short as well. By then my Achilles started to hurt while running and that’s when I knew CIM wasn’t going to happen for me. The Achilles is something I will just not mess with.

I had two reasons for running this race:

1. Redemption from my DNF in 2011.
2. To celebrate a milestone birthday.

Although disappointed, I also felt okay with my decision to DNS. There’s a lot of things I will risk to run a race, but an Achilles injury is not one of them. In the grand scheme of things, it just wasn’t worth it. This was so unlike me, but I guess with age comes wisdom (?) – at least that’s what I keep telling myself :)

So instead of running, I decided to still make the trip to Sacramento and cheer on my coach and other friends who were running it.

We made it to three different points along the race course and got to see for everyone that I planned to at least once.

It was a fun day and in my own private way, I also found closure about having to DNS in 2011.

Since then I’ve taken two weeks off from running to rest my hip. I can finally walk without feeling any hip pain and plan to start running again this week.

My chiropractor pointed out that I am a notoriously slow healer. So for now I’ve decided to train for shorter distanced races. In hindsight I under-estimated my body’s ability to bounce back from an extended period of rest (almost a year!).

Once again, the CIM Finish Line eluded me, but I’m confident that I’ll meet it one day.

I’m not sure I’ll post weekly training recaps for the next few races I’m targeting. There are some other topics that I’m burning to blog about, but I’m sure I’ll share training updates along the way.

As always, thanks for reading!

CIM Training: Weeks 6-11

Continuing on from my last post of recapping the past few weeks of running…

CIM Week 6, Sept 8 – 14:

The week after the Giant Race was all about recovery. Being that it was my first double digit run in 10 months the DOMS was real – especially in my hips, quds and hammys.

I got a massage from my massage therapist, took an extra rest day and also saw Dr. Eva, my chiro for some ART and adjustments.

I also had a follow-up visit with Dr. Ponce. Back in January she had me do a saliva test to see what my cortisol levels were. Now that I was getting into double digit miles again she wanted me to do a follow-up test for comparison.

What she didn’t tell me at the time was that my test results from January were the second highest levels she’s ever seen (she didn’t want to alarm me with just how messed up I was). The results from this recent test were much, much improved. However, my adrenal hormone levels were still a little off. And my gall bladder wasn’t fully functioning which is why I’m still bloated. She adjusted my supplements to address these issues.

CIM Week 7, Sept 15-21:

I continue to struggle with GI issues. It was particularly bad this week and I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t eat marinara sauce – it upsets my stomach too much (running or not).

I also struggled with time management. During this particular week it was challenging to fit in the workouts, keep up with work responsibilities and of course Coco and social time.

One new thing I did this week was change how I “foam roll.” I often feel like rolling on the floor is too intense in some areas (hello Upper IT band) so I’ve been experimenting with ways to modify it.

I went back to using my Yoga Tune-Up ball and rolling out my quads, glutes, hips and even rhomboids while standing against a wall. I found that its so much more effective for rolling out the kinks.

CIM Week 8, Sept 22-28:

Months ago, when I joined my new gym, it came with a complimentary private Pilates session. I didn’t schedule it until this week (after they kept hounding me to do so).

I met with the instructor at the gym’s studio for a 1-hour session. OMG it was so good. We did the basic Reformer and Cadillac exercises. I was so amazed to see that they hit all the areas where I always have muscle imbalances (hips, back, glutes, etc). And as a plus, the workout also stretched out my back and hammys.

By the end of the session I was hooked and dished out big bucks for 12 more private sessions. I’ve scheduled them for once a week which will take me through the end of the year.

At the end of the week I flew out to NYC for a work trip. I got in on Saturday evening when it was still 80-degrees at 11 pm.


A photo posted by Naomi (@njnsf) on

I did my long run the next morning in Central Park. I was going to run with my cousin Michi, who is training for NYCM, but I couldn’t get up early so she left without me. I forced myself out the door at 10ish am and felt the thick humidity.

My schedule said to run 10-miles but I only managed nine – with a lot of walking. If I lived in NYC I would not be a runner. I melt in heat and crumble in humidity.

CIM Week 9, Sept 29 – Oct 5:

Seen on the run… #selfie

A photo posted by Naomi (@njnsf) on

I remained in NYC through the following week. I was busy with work commitments but did manage to fit in another run. I started running on the West Side Highway and made my way to Central Park. It wasn’t as hot as it had been on Sunday. I noted that Central Park is great for CIM training – so many rolling hills.

At the end of the week I came home to a heat wave in the Bay Area. I just couldn’t escape the misery.

I did my long run at Sawyers Camp because there was a music festival in Golden Gate Park. It was hot, I got covered with bug bites and battled a cold the entire time. It took me HOURS to rehydrate from this one.

CIM Week 10, Oct 6 – 12:

One of my all-time favorite spots to run.

A photo posted by Naomi (@njnsf) on

I did my long run at Sawyers Camp again and like last week, it was hot. I got more bug bites and it was a strugglefest. Again. It hit me just how hard long distance running is. It was foolish of me to expect to be back where I was last year after just a few runs. After all, this run was just my third double digit run in 10 months. Yet, while it was humbling, this realization helped me take off any pressure that I was putting on myself.

And oh yeah, I am still struggling with fueling on the long run. I get bat-crazy hungry by the end of it.

CIM Week 11, Oct 13-20:

One hour in a 105-degree infrared sauna…it's like going to Bikram yoga all over again…

A photo posted by Naomi (@njnsf) on

I had heard that infrared saunas are great for recovery. And it just so happens that Dr Ponce has a sauna in her office, so I booked my first session in it for Monday, the day after my long run.

The irony is not lost on me that for someone who crumbles in heat, I’m using heat for recovery.

The best way for me to describe the experience is to say that its like going to Bikram Yoga without having to do all the poses – just savasana for a full hour. The sweating was intense and I had to step out every 15-min. I also drank an entire bottle of water.

After the session I felt refreshed and rejuvenated, like how I always felt after a Bikram class. But other than that, I didn’t feel the amazing recovery I expected.

At the end of the week I returned to Golden Gate Park for a 15-mile run. After three weeks of gross, hot weather, I was finally treated to some cool fog. It was running heaven.

And for once, I didn’t feel intimidated by the distance. Mentally I broke it up into three 5-milers and just took it easy, enjoying the miles.

Other than GI issues that attacked my gut after eating a gel on Mile 10, the rest of the run went great. Legs and lungs both felt good and I didn’t feel any post-run stiff or soreness.

It was a great way to end the week. Maybe that infrared sauna did make a difference after all.

CIM Training: Weeks 2-5


Best run I've had in a while…

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The second to the last post I left off with two months ago was a recap of week one of training for the California International Marathon (CIM). I’m now (about) 11 weeks in and feel obligated to provide some sort of update of how its been going. But instead of a typical weekly workout recap I’ll share a summary of highlights and takeaways.

Here’s a recap of Weeks 2-5:

CIM Week 2, Aug 11-17: Started wearing a heart rate monitor (HRM)

I haven’t worn a heart rate monitor in years. I could never get it to work and it always chafed me. But I’ve been intrigued about HR training since getting a VO2 Max test done a couple of years ago at the UCSF Run Clinic.

I read about Scosche RHYTHM+ Armband Heart Rate Monitor on DC Rainmakers blog. It wraps around your forearm vs chest so I thought I’d make the investment and give it a try.

I programmed the HR Zones from my VO2 Max test. They’re probably outdated but I went with it anyway. I found that I consistently went from Zone 1 to Zone 5 in minutes. So basically I was running too fast and out of shape.

Fascinating. From this week on I purposefully worked on dialing my pace back on easy and long runs. Essentially, if my coach didn’t prescribe specific paces, I worked on staying in a lower zone vs trying to speed up my pace.

CIM Week 3, Aug 18-24: Relearning how to fuel for long runs

I missed a good chunk of training this week due to work travel back east. I did my long run that weekend when I got back. Its been so many months since I’ve consistently ran “long” runs that I sort of forgot how to fuel for them.

I took the fuel that I planned on using to Dr Ponce, my functional medicine doctor who I’ve been working with for the past year. She did a muscle response test to see my my body responded to them:

* Honey Stinger gels: approved
* Nuun: approved
* Lara Bars (chocolate flavor): not approved. My body did not respond well to them so she suggested trying another flavor, perhaps fruit. I’ve since started eating the apple

CIM Week 4, Aug 25-31: Dealing with plantar fasciitis

After months of walking my dog wearing slippers (flip flops), my fear of plantar fasciitis came to fruition. I could feel it coming on for days but ignored it. And now I was at the point where I couldn’t even walk Coco without limping.

I had plantar fasciitis back in 2008 so I knew exactly what the pain in my foot was, how I caused it and what I needed to do to treat it.

I ordered a night splint from Amazon (with my Prime membership I got same-day delivery!). I also started wearing shoes, even when just at home. The only time I didn’t wear them was when I slept. I also rolled my calves and foot at every available moment. Oh and got a massage.

CIM Week 5, Sept 1-7: The Giant Race – Half Marathon #22

My triage on my foot worked and I was able to run the Giant Race half marathon. It was half marathon #22 and my first double digit run since the Big Sur Half Marathon last November – 10 months!

In all honesty, I’m not sure if I’ll write a full race recap of it. So the highlights were:

* I was undertrained and the struggle in the later miles was real but felt a weight off my shoulders when my Garmin read double digits.
* And it wasn’t a personal worst (PW)!
* My foot held up! Miraculously, it was a non-issue and hasn’t caused too much trouble since.