Being injured…..

We all go through it…..and if you haven’t yet, most will bound to go through it.

I’m sure most of you all know that I have withdrawn from The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 miler this December.  The funny thing is that, I’m actually okay with it.  I realized that in order to continue to run the way I want to run, I have to sacrifice a few races.  And in reality, I actually don’t look at it like I’m sacrificing anything.  Maybe because I’ve found other avenues to get my fitness in, like Bikram Yoga.  I feel like my yoga practice has taken on a new level and I am so grateful for that.

I’ve been dealing with a muscle imbalance (at least that is what the doctor has told me) in my left hip flexor.  I started to notice a little twinge in my left hip area shortly after The San Francisco Marathon late July and shortly after that, I realized that I needed to give it a rest when it just wasn’t getting better.  After a few weeks of acupuncture, seeing the chiropractor, stretching, icing, and taking anti-inflammatories, you name it, I’ve tried it, I realized that this was something serious. So in the end, I cancelled all of my races til the end of the year.

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I’ve been doing some PT but in all honestly, I think resting is what’s really helping it.

So what do you do when you are injured and all your running friends are putting in long miles on the weekend…….sleep in!  LOL!!  That’s what I’ve been doing.  I’m taking the time to come back stronger.

So what is the lesson here…..Listen to your body!  It knows what it’s talking about!  There will always be another race.  #berlinorbust

Until next time!

NFEC Training Officially Begins!!

Today kicks off my 20 week training program for the North Face Endurance Challenge.  My main focus over the last few months has been trying to build a solid base so that as the weeks go by, I can slowly increase my miles.  I’ve also been trying to focus on building more leg and core strength.  I’ve also added some swimming, once a week, into the mix.  I really do need to get into the pool more often.  🙂

Here are a few pictures from some of the runs we’ve been doing.

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Photo Credits – J. Vasquez, M. Newell, M. Suto, M. Van, J. Hayes, I. Medrano

We are also coming to the end of the training program for The San Francisco Marathon.  I am extremely proud of each and every single one of these folks.  Trust in your training and I will see you guys on race morning!

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Photo Credit – J. Jossis

Short post…..until next time!

Double Dipsea, twice as much fun!!!

I’ve heard about this race, along with the famous Dipsea Race for quite some time, but never really thought about running it.  I was just so nervous about the single tracks, the “faster” runners passing you and those stairs…and more stairs!!!

So naturally when Brazen Racing partnered up with DSE (Dolphin South End Runners Club) I felt much more comfortable.  Something about Brazen that makes you feel like family.  I also thought this would be a good preview of what’s to come for NorthFace.  Leading up the race, I felt really good.  I didn’t have to do anything spectacular, just make the cut times.  But I do have to say, reading some of the posts on the Be Bold, Be Brazen FB site kind of freaked me out!!  This race sells out pretty quickly so you really have to register the minute registration opens up.  This year, it sold out with 24 hours and there is no waitlist!

My buddy George and I heading out early Saturday morning.  He had plans on riding up Mt. Tam so it worked out that while he was doing that, I was going to torture myself and run this race.  For those that are not familiar with this race, it is a handicap start time.  Runners are grouped together based on gender and age.

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This makes it for a very interesting race to say the least, especially on single track trails and with it being the Double Dipsea, that means runners will be heading back on those single tracks.  This was probably the most nervous part of the for me, but overall, it wasn’t so bad.  I would just step to the side as the faster runners came by and gave them room to pass.  For the most part, everyone was pretty courteous when passing.

The race starts and finishes at Stinson Beach and the course takes you over some of the most beautiful trails our area has to offer.  There are 7 aid stations, all very well stocked and staffed with some of the very best volunteers.

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Overall, I felt like I had a good race.  I had no expectations coming into this other than to have fun.  This was more of a “how are my legs going to feel on these stairs when I do NorthFace.” So I have to admit that around mile 4, I was having some slight (just a little J) reservations about NorthFace.  Only because I knew that this part of the race was in the latter parts of NF and of course my legs were going to be extremely tired.  But when I got to those stairs, all of that subsided.  I actually loved those stairs. Of course I’m saying this now, but I’ll probably be cursing them come December!  LOL!!

Until next time!

Nutrition – Tailwind, Coke (I know I said I was going to quit, but I lied!  J), Salt pack and few pretzels at each AS.

60th Run Fontana Days

“Fontana’s Half Marathon is known as the fastest half marathon due to the gradual downward slope of the course as well as one of the oldest half marathons in the US.  There is an elevated drop of 2,125 feet from start to finish.”  This was my 3rd year in a row doing this race.  The drop in elevation is one of the main reasons as to why I choose to do this race.  And also because I have family in the Southern CA area so it’s another excuse to visit family and get a race in……RUNcation!!  This was also the 60th anniversary of this race!

Since this race is held on a Sat., I decided to fly into LA on Thursday night.  Warning – LAX is undergoing some major construction so the flight attendant told us that most, if not all flights, flying into LAX is going to have some delay.  Our flight was delayed for about an hour.  No worries though, that allowed me the opportunity to watch the Warriors win Game 1 of the NBA Finals!  #gowarriors  After landing in LAX, I meet Shauna at baggage claim.  She flew in from Colorado and we were lucky enough to plan our flights to be around the same time.

Bib pickup for the race is typically held on Friday late afternoon.  I was lucky enough that my cousin’s coworker was also running the race so he picked up my bib for me.

I was also lucky enough to pay another visit to INKnBURN’s office. We were given a tour of the INB facility and wow, let me say, this operation is amazing.  Seeing their production and office has made me even a bigger fan!!  Each and every single piece of clothing is hand-made!  Check out their story here!!

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Race Morning

The race starts at 7:30am.  Logistically, this race has a lot going on as it is a point to point course.  Buses start boarding at 5:00am and the last bus for the half is at 6:20am.  The bus ride can take up to about 45mins so you do want to plan accordingly.  This race is also normally a hot weather race, but can be fairly cold at the start.  The start line is near Applewhite Campground in Lytle Creek.  Those first 6 miles is a fast and steep downhill.  It did take a lot of discipline to not go crazy those first 6 miles.  I kept telling myself to just relax and for the next 10k, let’s just cruise.  I kept hearing Noel’s voice about “effort”.  We had a conversation regarding using “effort” a few weeks back.  I wanted to maintain about a 7:30 pace.

First 6 miles – 7:24, 7:23, 7:23, 7:18, 7:30 and 7:25

I was pretty happy with my effort at this point.  I didn’t feel like I was really having to work too hard and was just reserving the energy for the latter miles.

Once you come out of the canyons, it’s just a straight shot down Sierra Road.  Warning – This course is not very scenic at all.  Just lots of dry and empty land, but I have notice some changes over the last 3 years.  There is more construction along Sierra Road and I can only imagine that in the next 5 years how this race (stretch of road) will change.  The last 7.1 miles of the course is a gradual downhill with some undulation, ie: freeway overpass.

Miles 7-13 – 7:23, 7:18, 7:36, 7:23, 7:22, 7:30 and 7:03.

Official time – 1:37:02 – New half PR!!

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I couldn’t be happier with how I ran this race.  This course is unbelievably fast but with that, you really have to train to run those downhills.  They can take a toll on your quads.  I would highly recommend doing this race to anyone!

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Nutrition – SunRype Strawberry Banana Fruit Strip, Salted Watermelon GU and 6oz of Tailwind Nutrition

GULP……..So I signed up for my first 50 miler!!

And of all the ones that I choose to be my first……NorthFace!  Yup, that’s right, let’s just get the hard one done and out of the way.  My original plan was to sign up for AR50 but I had another commitment so that was out of the question.

I know that it is 10 months away but mentally I am already preparing myself for this.  This will be the longest distance that I am committing myself to running so I think mentally preparing right now will help in the long run.  What do they say, “It’s all mental, right?!?”

Last night, I got the idea of creating a dream board.  Putting it up there, so I can see it every day and setting a goal!  Here’s a picture of it –

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Ok so, it’s not a dream board but more like a dream door!  LOL!  I figure I have to walk through that door every single day so I will have no choice but to stare at it.  How’s that for a reminder?!  LOL!!

My plan is to add to it once a month and see what I end up with come December!  Stay tuned, I’ll post the final look by the end of the year.  It will be interesting to see, as the months go by, how my attitude and mood will change!

So on the calendar this weekend is a 20 miler at Mt. Madonna Park in Gilroy.  I’ve ran there a couple of times before but it has been a while.  I decided that I’m going to really work on my nutrition this time around and went ahead and purchased some Tailwind Nutrition.  I went ahead and purchased the Tailwind Challenge that they are offering.  What the heck, why not right?  I’ve heard really good things about it so I figure I will give it a shot.  I will let you guys know how it all pans out.

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Until next time!

Proud to be a member of Team SunRype!!

I am so happy to announce that I have been selected to be sponsored on Team SunRype for 2015!!  What does that mean???  Well, that means I get to be part of a team and represent SunRype in my activities and not to mention, I get to hand out amazing samples of SunRype’s fruit strips and fruitsource products!!  SunRype makes their fruit snacks with 100% fruit and vegetables!!  Not only do they taste great but some are even nut and gluten free!!  I love using SunRype strips as a source of fuel, especially for my long runs.  They just sit really well in my stomach since their products are made with 100% fruit and there are no added sugars or preservatives.  You know that kick that you get from other products and then that CRASH because of all that sugar!  You know what I mean.  Not only can you eat these strips by themselves but you can even bake with them!!

Here’s a recipe from SunRype that you can find on their facebook page –

SINLESS SUNRYPE COOKIES

WHAT YOU NEED: 2 Ripe Bananas – 1 Cup Quick Oats – 1or 2 of your favorite SunRype FruitSource Bars, chopped – 1 Heaping Tablespoon of Peanut Butter – Optional: You could also add in some mini dark chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: Mix all ingredients well, plop the dough on a cookie sheet or in a mini muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 Minutes and enjoy! YES IT IS THAT SIMPLE!

Like their facebook page to get more recipe ideas.

Do you have a recipe to share?  Have you tried SunRype before?  Tell me what you like about it.

SunRype is a Canadian beverage and snack company based in Kelowna, BC since 1946.  I will also even have coupons that I will be handing out.  You can find SunRype at your local grocery stores.  Check out their website at www.sunrypeusa.com

#sunrype #sunrypeusa #activeambassadors #gofarrungroup #marciathon #eatwell

Oorah!!!!

They don’t call this the people’s marathon for no reason!!!

Held in the Nation’s Capital, the Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) is one spectacular race.  So many emotions running through and seeing our nation’s landmarks.

The MCM is a mostly a lottery based race, meaning you have to enter a lottery and hope that you get selected.  There are other ways to get in if you are not one of the lucky ones ie: charity.  Lottery opens up early March and results will be known by late March.  If you are one of the lucky ones to be chosen, then begin your planning for the race!!  BTW, 2015 will be the 40th anniversary!!

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Depending on where you are flying in from, my recommendation would be to fly into Reagan National Airport instead of Dulles.  Even though there are more flights going into Dulles, Reagan is closer to the city and will be a shorter cab ride.  No need to rent a car since you can get anywhere in the city via the metro.  If you plan to visit the nearby areas (Georgetown) then you may need a rental car. This year they were offering a commemorative metro (reusable) card that cost $10 ($2 fee + $8 pre-loaded value).  Be sure to order the card in advance so that it is mailed to you in time for your trip.

Thursday was mostly a travel day and after arriving Thursday night, there was time to just grab a bite to eat and get some rest and watch some Football!! One thing I had a hard time with was, being from the West Coast, football was on so late!! And coupled with the Giants being in the World Series, it made for some very late nights.

Friday morning started with a tour of the White House.  On my last visit to DC, I did not get the opportunity to do the tour so I made sure I had this one lined up.  A tour of the White House requires a request being sent to your local Representative.  You will need to do this well in advance.  I believe I made the request at least 5 months in advance.  The tour is definitely one thing to see but once you’ve done it, I don’t ever see the need to go back.  Lots of pictures but most of the rooms were sectioned off so all you can do is just “peak” in.  As I was walking through one of the rooms (red room) I found the wallpaper really intriguing and wanted to “feel” the texture.  Word of caution – Don’t touch the wallpaper!!  Unless you want the guards to scold you!  LOL!!  (Of course I touched it!!)

After the White House tour, it was off to the Expo.  Word of caution – get to the expo early.  The lines getting into the expo was long (but not as long as NYCM) since everyone had to go through security.  The expo was held at the DC Armory which was just a short metro ride from the White House.  Once you get through security, the line inside to get your bib was non-existent.  I was able to walk right up to the cute young Marine to get my bib. 😀 It was pretty much your typical expo.  Brooks was the official sponsor of the MCM apparel.  There was plenty of gear and I did end up purchasing a jacket.  The lines may appear long but there were well over 30 cashiers and things were moving along fairly quickly.  After a quick visit with our buddy Toby from marathonfoto, it was time to split.

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A quick bite to eat and then it was time for the Night Trolley Monument Tour (yes purchase tickets in advance).  A few of the INKnBURN ambassadors suggested that we meet up and do this tour.  It was really cool to see the monuments at night plus you get to ride a trolley to them.  I know, I’m a runner blah blah blah, but let me tell ya, if I don’t “have” to run, then I’m not running!  LOL!!

Saturday morning consisted of a shake out run, bRUNch.  This is a non-timed 5k held on the day prior to the marathon that you can register for.  There is a bib that you pick up at the expo but this 5k is not timed.  With your registration, you receive a book about the history of the MCM, a commemorative chip and a bountiful breakfast.  Sean Astin was the guest host along with Bart Yasso.  The 5k route started at the Iwo Jima Memorial site and followed alongside Arlington Cemetery.  We crossed the bridge over to the Lincoln Memorial and wrapped around it heading back.  They one key thing about this 5k is that on your way back, you get to run that “hill” that everyone refers to at the end of the marathon.  It is a short steep hill and can get you, especially after running 26 miles, but as long as you have hill runs within your training, you will do just fine. After the bountiful brunch, we decided to visit Arlington Cemetery since we were already in the area.  This, by far, is my most favorite place to visit of all the places in DC.  I can sit there for hours watching them do the changing of the guards.  These guys guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at all hours even in inclement weather.  The changing takes place at the top of the hour every hour (half hour during the summer).  If you happen to get there, it is worth it to wait, and witness this ceremony.  Along with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, our 35th President John F. Kennedy jr. is buried there along with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.  Next to them is the Eternal Flame.  These are just some of the memorials to see at Arlington but if you do have some time, walk the grounds of this sacred place and you can appreciate all who have given their lives for our Freedom.  After the visit to Arlington, it was time for some rest and relaxation.  We wanted to stay off our feet for the rest of the day so we headed back home, cooked up a pasta dinner, prep for race day and it was off to bed.

Race day – You know how every race tells you to give yourself plenty of time to get to the race on race morning, well, they are not joking about this one.  And if you guys know me, I’m one of those runners that usually get there with plenty of time.  I thought giving myself 2 hours was plenty of time but in reality it was just about right.  I would recommend at least 3 hours.  We took the metro to the race and once we exited at the Pentagon metro station, it was just packed full of runners getting through the turnstiles.  Once we made our way through the station, we headed to the start area.  It was a good walk but the most surreal thing was seeing all the military presence with their big ass guns!!!  And then you realize, oh yeah, we are at the Pentagon!!!   Getting to the start was also a cluster.  We had to go through security and that took awhile.  We made it through with the just the right amount of time.  Straight to the porta-potty, dropped off our gear check bags and off to the corrals.  Word of caution – MCM is a self seeded corral assignment.  If you are planning on running with the pacer, make sure you know the pace per mile so you can find them in the correct corral.  The start of the race consisted of parachute jumpers carrying the American Flag.  Such a great site to see.  They was also a flyover by 2 Ospreys!!!!

We got so lucky with the weather.  It was actually, in all considerations, warm for a marathon.  I wore my usual race shorts along with my INKnBURN Patriot Tank.  I had planned on wearing my arm sleeves but at the last minute decided to drop them off in my gear check bag.  Thank goodness I did because it was hot!!  I did have a garbage bag on but stripped that off within the first few miles.  One thing that I did notice, more so at this race than at any other I’ve seen, were bath robes!!!!  What a great idea!!  I’m definitely using that one at my next “cold” race!!

The first few miles was a gradual climb.  Like I mentioned earlier, if you’ve worked in some hill training, you should be ok.  There is also “beat the bridge” which is at mile 20.  You must maintain 14 min per mile in order to reach the 14th street bridge.  Overall the course was awesome!!  There were a few miles (10-13) that the crowds were fairly thin, but overall the crowd support was amazing.  I would highly recommend this race to anyone.  It is one that you must add to your to-do list!!!  And what better year to do it than in 2015, the 40th Anniversary of The Marine Corps Marathon!!!!

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