Nike Women’s Half Marathon (#19)

Signed up for this race a long time ago. I have not run over 2 miles since my full marathon two months ago.

Nike Women's Half Marathon Elevation

Nike Women’s Half Marathon Elevation

Nike Women's Half Marathon Splits

Nike Women’s Half Marathon Splits

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Santa Rosa Marathon (#1)

There was very little social media lead up to this event because I had my doubts about finishing. That a DNF was entirely possible given the training the past month and my injury status. So it’s understandable that my friends didn’t know it was my first full marathon!

It’s a pretty phenomenal feat. I am still pinching myself because it feels like it was a dream. It is definitely not something to take lightly and think you can finish without training. Deep respect for the 26.2.

The race started a little below 60 degrees. I started in the back of the pack (at the finish line) and chatted to a couple people as we left the streets of Santa Rosa and entered a park.

I’m delirious when I have to get up at 3am to make it to a 6am start. I started in the back near the finish line.

Along the course, I started talking to a woman who kept leap frogging with me. She was doing intervals too. So I made a new friend, switched to her intervals around mile 6 (90 seconds run/45 seconds walk) and we ran to mile 25 together. It was great to have a distraction from the miles. I bet my mood would have gone south had she not been there to talk to.

The weather was overcast until about mile 24 when the sun started to peak out and it started to feel a little more like 70 degrees.

During the run, my right foot swelled and I had to loosen my shoe. I loosened it 3 or 4 more times and even at its loosest the top big toe joint was still pushing on shoe. My left Achilles starting hurting around mile 14. My back was tight during the run and I stretched it a couple times at aid stations. I did my usual high knee kicks every once in a while to keep things loose.

The course was pretty with all the vineyards around that were pumped full of grapes. It made me very excited to run the Healdsburg Half with my sisters next year when the fall leaves will be turning.
 I had a 1/2 banana on the route, along with my two packs of chews and I drank Gatorade plus a cup of water after mile 20. There was an aid station every 2 miles, which was awesome! I drank water at every aid station except the last one. I started drinking two glasses because I could feel the thirst. In previous races, I never drink at every station and rarely stop at stations to drink for halves. I ate two chews every 2 miles after mile 4. I didn’t use the porta potty along the course.

We slowed at mile 17 then by mile 24 I was pushing the pace again – I was ready for the race to be over! With a blessing from Carla, I took off. Luckily, we had just caught up to her husband so she had company for the last couple miles.

At mile 25, after I had given up hope that I’d see the NP tribe along the course… thinking that they had gone off to brunch with the other finishers. I was on a walk break and fairly tired then I heard someone calling out my name. It took a decent amount of coaxing and two tribe leaders flanking me on both sides to get me to run again. We ran to the finish together and I found my last and final wind.

The photographer at the finish wanted me to raise my hands. It wasn’t going to happen. I was spent.

There was no food at the end. No bagel. No banana. No milk. No foil wrap (not that it was needed). It was all gone except for watermelon and bottled water.

Never try anything new on race day. Except I did.

  • I had oatmeal breakfast cookies, which were similar ingredients to my typical morning meal before a race (additional egg whites and banana).
  • I also wore two pair of socks, the outside layer being compression socks. I’ve never run in compression socks and never doubled up my socks.
  • Also, I pinned snack baggies to the front of my skirt, put my chews inside them and flipped the baggie inside between my underwear and the skirt. This worked out well for grabbing my chews on the go.

Post Race Assessment:

  • I have some sore spots. Some new spots creeped up during the run, but nothing that kept me from completing it.
  • After the race, the right foot, left Achilles and knees received brief ice.
  • My back and groin received ice on the 20 min drive to breakfast.
  • My right knee hurt the most on the drive home – the one stretched out for the gas and brake.


  • I would change my morning caffeine to decaf. My pee was bright yellow after race and was thirsty half way through the race.
  • Otherwise, I think fueling was decent.
  • Definitely liked the baggies pinned on the front of my skirt. There was one point where it started to chafe my leg but adjusting the baggy fixed it.
  • Having someone to talk to while running the race definitely made it feel like a breeze.

Outfit Report

Fuel Report

  • Morning Of: Oatmeal Breakfast Bars: ½ c oats, 1 banana, 1 tbsp honey, ¼ c blueberries, 2 tbsp slivered almonds, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 2 egg whites. 1 cup cold caffeinated tea
  • During: 2 packages Pro Bar Bolt one with and one without caffeine; water; Gatorade after mile 20 aid stations; 1/2 banana.
  • Right After: Muscle Milk; black grapes.
  • Later after race: gf waffles with peanut butter, almonds, bananas, blueberries and syrup; water.
  • Tried eating but body said NO!: I looked at the picky bar in my bag and decided to forgo it.

Soreness/Injury Report

  • Pre-race Injury: The weekend prior my right calf seized which kept me from running the full mileage the last week.
  • Taped: Both knees, groin, hamstrings, calves, shins with KT tape. The PT put arch supporting tape on both my feet.
  • During: Left achilles, right top of foot, twinges of pain here and there in my right calf and right shin. My back was tight. Toward the end of the race my glutes were burnt out.
  • Post Race: Did not stretch after race.
  • Day after full: Calves were fine and so were shins. Top of right foot was achy and stiff. Left Achilles hurt when wearing shoes. Groin is a little sore. Iced knees and Achilies and top of foot.
  • Two days after race: Bottom of right foot stiff. Left lower IT Band sore. Top of right foot was achy and stiff. Left Groin is a little sore. Achilles and knees were slightly sore. I was feeling phenomenal otherwise, and wanted to go run a couple miles. Iced knees and Achilies and top of foot.
  • Three days after race: My right foot felt like it was being pinched of circulation and that it would go numb at any moment. The PT said my right leg was entirely swollen and did electrodes + ice. I also ice massaged that even and the next day.

Course Elevation

The race directors said it was a flat course; Nike plus said the elevation was 524ft.

Santa Rosa Full Marathon Elevation Map

Santa Rosa Full Marathon Elevation Map

Run With The Foxes Trail Half Marathon (#17)

My first Indiana trail race and my sister’s first trail half marathon. It had been raining prior to the race so the trails were super muddy. The course was flat, with only 3 “hills” that required walking. There were a few areas that had switch backs as it climbed the hillside.

Though it was flat, by the time mile 10 hit, we were exhausted. I wasn’t used to the 75 degree humid weather nor the mud nor running this much on a trail race. This was the farthest my sister had run on a trail.

This was organized by the Hoosier Hiker’s council. There were no timing chips – it was old school that everyone ‘starts’ with gun time and then finishing they will input your bib into a sheet along with the time, then a section of the bib gets put on a string in the order that folks came in. This is similar to the 5 mile turkey trot I did last fall. The aid stations were plentiful (5 for the half marathon) and contained only water and gatorade. The finish had chips, pretzels, cookies, bananas, popcorn, and gatorade. Unfortunately, everything was stale because of the humidity.

We had fun getting muddy.

Run with the Foxes 2015


I had a really hard time before the start deciding, which trial shoes to wear. I chose the known of two evils (lesser of two evils). The Solomon S-labs were not broken in and the last 8 miles I ran in them cause blisters and a weird ache in my right foot. So I went with the Newton Boca AT that are too small and cause bruises on my big toes. Luckily there were no hills so my big toe didn’t hit the front of the Newtons except for one downhill and thus no bruising. After this race, there was a noticeable pain in my left ring toe, which may have been caused by the shoes. Also, chose the Newtons because there was a stretch of the race that was on road and there are little cushion in the S-Lab, though the distance was short and I would have been fine in the S-lab in that respect.

Outfit Report

Fuel Report

  • Morning Of: Oatmeal with rasins, crasins, almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon; 1 cup hot caffeinated tea with splenda.
  • During: 1 package Pro Bar Bolt without caffeine; water; Gatorade at aid station mile 11.
  • Right After: Banana; fritos; Gatorade; cookies; potato chips; Clif Protein;
  • Later after race: Beer, wine, cupcakes, bread bowl (gluten)
  • Tried eating but body said NO!: N/A – I did not eat anything that my body revolted at

Soreness/Injury Report

  • Pre-race Injury: Sore calves and back from the half marathon the day before.
  • Taped: Both knees (1 strip each)
  • During: No pain or soreness during; tired; warm (75 degrees, humid); muddy.
  • Post Race: Stretched well after the race. Back was tight; left ring toe hurt when pedicurist put acetone on it.
  • Day after Half: A little stiff in the legs when I woke but went away quickly; Went for a 3 mile walk; SI joints (back sides) sore; left ring toe still hurts
  • Two days after race: N/A

Course Elevation

The race directors predicted 1300-1600 feet of elevation gain, but Nike plus said it was a little less than 1200.

Folsom Trail Half Marathon (#16) – InsideTrails

Water, sun, streams, technical trails and food!

This was a spur of the moment event only because stars aligned. On Thursday, I saw an advertisement for the Folsom trail race and something in the ad said Roseville, which made me realize that it was taking place the same day I would be in Roseville!

I signed up the morning of the race and loved that everything was familiar in a new location – they have great signage (like for gear check and bib pickup) and it’s always a small affair without lines.

The only line I queued in had been to pay the park entrance fee because I had arrived just 30 mins before the start. This also happened at the wood side crossover. A point to remember for future races that are in parks.

The dams and lake were refreshing and awe-inspiring. It’s a part of California unexplored by me.

The 10K and half marathoners started at the same time and ran on the same track. This was an out and back trail race with aid stations at Mile 3.1 (at the 10K turn around) and then one at 6.55 (Half Marathon turn around). Three aid stations for the half marathon is more than past races I’ve run. It provided me the opportunity to test out eating a PB&J sandwich at mile 3.1.

About 2 miles to the half marathon turn around, my pace was easy when the leader of the half marathon passed me and then noticed the second place leader pass around 1.5 mile to the turn around. This made me think of a modification to the common math problem they’d give out in high school class… two trains traveling toward each other, each going x and y pace, at what point would they meet. Instead it should be Two runners are running on an out and back trail, with a turn around at mile 6.55, and each runner is running x pace and y pace. At what point will they cross paths?

The 10K trails (first and last 3.1 miles) were wide for the most part and not that technical. The trail became narrow and more technical after the first aid station. The overall course had many inclines and descents; A relatively flat course (~900 ft elevation gain) compared to previous races, nothing that I would call a hill.

The food was varied and plentiful both at the aid stations and the finish line. Another great race by inside trails.

Outfit Report

Fuel Report

  • Ate gluten during and after run
  • Morning Of: French Fries, Oatmeal with crasins, almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon; 1 cup hot caffeinated tea with splenda.
  • During: 1 package Pro Bar Bolt without caffeine; water; Chewy chocolate Chip cookie, Nutter Butter, PB&J
  • Right After: Chocolate Milk, Ate carbs (fritos, etc), PB&J; Ate meat, French fries about 1.5 hours after.
  • Tried eating but body said NO!: N/A – I did not eat anything that my body revolted at

Soreness/Injury Report

  • Pre-race Injury: Hamstring outer knee knob pain, Sore calves, Sore hamstrings
  • Taped: Both knees (1 strip each)
  • During: Hamstring outer knee knob pain.
  • Post Race: Feet, groin sore, Tight calves, Back stiff
  • Day after Half: Walked 18 holes of golf, right foot sore all over, groin pain
  • Two days after race: Right foot sore all over, Groin pain

Course Elevation

Folsom Trail Run - Inside Trails - 2015

Back to Back Half Marathons

This challenge of running two half marathons in one weekend was certainly a learning event and an experiment. This post is about what I did leading up to the back to back races and also what foods I ate (and should have ate) between the two races.

Back to back race prep

Leading up to this double half marathon weekend I took some measures, also because I was going for a specific goal on the first half.

My training had been going well, and I was familiar with the course for the Livermore half so I thought it could be a PB so I wanted to do whatever might give me an advantage. This included:

  • Sitting at work and standing rarely (I stand most of the time, typically)
  • Stretching my legs (hams, glutes, calves, hip flexor) at my cube 3x/day and put Kinesio tape on my calves to loosen them
  • I fueled properly the day before
  • Two days before I restricted (not sure if that was a benefit)
  • Observed two days of no running leading up to the first half
  • In the evenings on the two days of rest, I stayed off my feet as much as possible
  • Ensured plenty of rest leading up to the half
  • No drinking alcohol the week prior
  • Drank plenty of water (thanks to nuun!) the two days leading up to the races
  • I took a low dose of magnesium 

Fueling in-between back to back half marathons

Fueling is important when running a half marathon, but what if you are running two halfs within a 25 hour time period? It takes 24-48 hours for food to be stored as glycogen for muscle use so basically you have to start eating during your run or right after! But at the same time you don’t want to be full for the race the next day. The goal is to eat simple, low-fiber carbs (high-glycemic index), which convert quickly to energy in between the two half marathons.

What I ate in between my back to back half marathons (Sat: Livermore and Sun: RnR SF)

Here’s a listing of what I ate after crossing the finish line of the first half marathon and before I went to bed. You can see what I ate the morning of the second half marathon on my RnR SF race report.

  • 1/2 Kind bar (I couldn’t finish it because my body was not interested in that right after the hard effort)
  • Banana
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • French Fries
  • Purity Peach drink
  • Kidz Clif Protein bar (peanut butter)
  • 1/2 package Pro Bar Bolt without caffeine
  • 1/2 kids clif chocolate chip bar
  • Corn bread with a little butter and strawberry jam
  • Zucchini bread with a little butter
  • Homemade Oat bars
  • Carbonated water with real lemon juice and splenda

What I learned through all of this is that next time I will plan a little better regarding fueling between back to back half marathons. (And yes, there may be a next time! I’m training for my first full marathon in Sept.) Here is a sampling of what I learned through this:

  • I didn’t eat even close to 2000-2600 calories between the finish line and the start of the next race.
  • I wasn’t hungry at 3:30am before race #2 but by the time I got to the starting corral I was starving and my tummy was audibly rumbling. I was concerned about putting more gels (sugary substances) in my stomach and whether it would hold up (it did!).
  • I didn’t plan ahead of time the list of simple, low-fiber, high glycemic index carbs that I should eat, so I just went with what I felt like eating, which wasn’t much.

Items that were on hand in my house that could have been part of the fueling plan:

  • Apple sauce
  • Oranges
  • Craisins
  • Kidz Clif bars
  • Recovery powder drinks
  • Blueberry smoothie
  • Rice
  • Candy: skittles, starbursts
  • Gluten Free Bread
  • Tator Tots

Rock ‘n’ Roll SF Half (#15)

Birthday Half marathon!!

Weather Forecast

The weather was predicted to be the same temperature as yesterday’s race, but I wasn’t going to be fooled. And I was right. Because of the clear night sky overnight, I was quite chilly in the start corral with my sleeves and headband on. At gear drop off for the previous day’s half marathon I knew I wouldn’t need the sleeves even though there was a slight chill in the air. Today, however, I kept them with me!

Race Report

There was a small group of November Project folks who gathered before the start for a photo. I ended up seeing the twins at the end as they walked back up the course with their medals and they called my name out. =)

First hill of the race! I had to pause to get a picture of this. The streets of SF are so dead on Sunday mornings. It was almost eerie. Also, the run crowd for this race were not talkers. Usually there are little conversations going on and there’s a low hum of noise, but this crowd was quiet for the WHOLE race.

Half way through the race, on the other side of Golden Gate Bridge, I was able to pull down my arm sleeves and take off my headband. What a great picture. I love the lone rock in the water.

My friend sprinted the last 1/2 of a mile to the point where it was difficult for me to keep up with her. What an accomplishment! I’m so happy for her and glad she chose to spend my birthday morning with me. Here we are, very happy and tired in front of the courthouse.

I received a handful of happy birthday wishes today, and even more yesterday when I wore this sign. People were so friendly in Livermore.

My new visor is a birthday present from my friend who ran with me and worked out perfectly for the first time wearing it!

Outfit Report

Fuel Report

  • Morning Of: Oatmeal with crasins, almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon; 1 cup hot caffeinated tea with splenda.
  • During: 1 package Pro Bar Bolt without caffeine; water; Gatorade at aid station mile 4 and 10.
  • Right After: Banana; chocolate milk; Zone bar, chocolate mint; Nuun; Sambazon Strawberry Lemon Acai drink;
  • Tried eating but body said NO!: N/A – I did not eat anything that my body revolted at

Soreness/Injury Report

  • Pre-race Injury: Sore calves and back from the half marathon the day before.
  • Taped: Both knees (1 strip each), hamstrings (2 each), groin (1 each), calves (3 each).
  • During: Calf soreness the entire race. Top of right foot hurt (like shoes were too tight).
  • Post Race: Stretched well after the race (thanks to T). Hung out with NP in Hayes, stretched, stayed mobile then commuted home. Took a ice bath after I got home. Knees were swollen and hurt walking down hills and after sitting for long periods. Hung out in Dolores and kept shifting positions. In the evening, iced knees, calves, and back. Calves stiffened after ice (ice for knees, heat for calves?).  Lightly stretched before bed.
  • Day after Half #15 (two days after Half #14): Calves, back, knees were a little stiff in the morning. Sore calves all day long. Knees hurt when going down stairs. Right foot near big toe swollen and hurts when I lift up big toe. Went to PT who massaged calves and said metatarsal is stiff on right foot. She advised to not do any hills for awhile and do easy runs to allow calves time to heal. Strength training is needed for calves.
  • Two days after race #15: Ran slowly for 1/2 mile and walked 1.5 miles. My foot is still hurting and swollen. My calves when warm are not sore. My back still has some soreness.

Course Elevation

Rock n Roll SF Elevation

Livermore Half Marathon (#14)

Birthday Weekend Half Marathons (double trouble)!!


The last long run before this race was Monday at a quick clip of 5 .5 miles.  The weather looked cool but at the pre-race warmup, realized that I didn’t need the sleeves because it was on the humid side. Warmer than expected.



I taped everything because I didn’t want to feel the calf soreness since Monday and didn’t want to strain anything because I am running another 13.1 tomorrow.

After mile 6, I slowed down. It was a warm day, there were hills, there were long stretches, I was tired. But! At mile 12, T was waiting with this sign which fueled the last mile of the race – I did it without stopping to walk.

Goal was under 2:15 and I accomplished it!

My two friends were waiting for me at the finish. So glad to have them with me on my birthday weekend.

Outfit Report

  • Pearl Izumi hat
  • Athleta headband – the next one I get will be from Pearl Izumi
  • Last year’s Livermore #RunLiv premium t-shirt
  • Champion Sports Bra
  • Sports Basement Pace Band tattoo
  • Manzella lightweight Gloves
  • Nike Plus Sport Watch
  • XtremeMac iPhone holder
  • RoadID Slim Wrist band
  • Orange Mud Race belt – This allows for all sizes of bibs without puckering. Also, I love their hydroquiver.
  • Skirt Sport Skirt – the one with the long pocket down the right side, perfect to hold my chapstick close at hand!
  • A standard money belt that you would take traveling to carry Pro Bar Bolts, money, ID, keys, (chapstick), and tissues.
  • Patagonia Active Hipster Briefs
  • Lucy Run Capris – I love that they have reflective strips on both sides!!!
  • Kinesio Tape
  • Injinji toe socks – they just came out with a women’s specific run sock that I can’t wait to try out.
  • Newton Distance U (retired by Newton)
  • Shwings

Fuel Report

  • Morning Of: Oatmeal with crasins, almonds, brown sugar and cinnamon; 1 cup hot caffeinated tea with splenda; nature valley crunchy oat bar.
  • During: 1 pack of Pro Bar Bolts with caffeine; 1/2 package Pro Bar Bolt without caffeine; 1/2 kidz clif bar, chocolate chip; water.
  • After: Banana, Purity Peach, Kidz clif peanut butter protein bar; french fries; fruity drink;
  • Tried eating but body said NO!: Kind bar; Pulled pork; baked beans

Soreness/Injury Report

  • Pre-race Injury: No injury. Sore calves since Monday after 5.5 mile 10 min/mile run.
  • Taped: Both knees, hamstrings, groin, calves.
  • During: Calf soreness @ mile 10.
  • Post Race: Stretched well after the race (Thanks to T). Lunch in Livermore, 1 hr commute home. Took a ice bath after I got home. No stretching or exertion after that.
  • Day after (and before next half marathon): Sore calves. Stiff back in starting corral.
  • Two days after race: See Rock n Roll Half Marathon Report

Course Elevation

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