Race Recap: California International Marathon

Two days later and my legs are feeling it!

Marathon #6 is done and it was a brutal fight to the finish. It brought my fastest time and my worst pacing. In a quick summary, I’ll give the good, the bad and the ugly before getting into my recap. The good – I beat my half marathon PR by 2 minutes and my marathon PR by 6 minutes. I think I proved to myself that I’m capable of running at my BQ pace but more to come on that. The bad – my pacing needs work, I’m still the queen of positive splitting (hence beating my half marathon PR in the first 13.1 miles of this race.. whoops). And the ugly – the hills in the first half were killer, everything felt perfect until about mile 19 when my legs decided that they just couldn’t take anymore. But hey, I still managed to finish with a PR!

Events

  • Full Marathon
  • 5k

Expo

This expo is everything that you would expect an expo to be. A lot of vendors and a lot of runners. I went in with the expectation to take my time looking around but it was too overwhelming for me. I picked up my bib, took a few pictures and left pretty quickly.

Starting Line & Shuttles

I dreaded this part, mostly because it was 38 degrees outside but it actually wasn’t that bad. I woke up at 3:45am, got ready and then lined up for the shuttles between 4:45-5:00am. The shuttle ride was easy and I was quite comfortable in my sweats and jacket. Our shuttle arrived at the starting line around 6:00am, where they recommended that runners stay on the shuttles to keep warm. I left the bus at 6:00am to use the bathroom but I was able to get back on and wait on the bus until 6:30am. Our group used the bathrooms one more time before ditching our extra layers and lining up for the start.

Course

Hills, hills and more hills. Going into the race, I knew the course was rolling hills but I didn’t expect there to be so many and for them to take such a big toll on my legs. The truth is, the hills felt really easy and fast. So I went for it. My goal going into the race was 3:40 but by the halfway point, I started thinking that it was a BQ day for me (3:30). Everything was feeling really great until it wasn’t. By mile 19, my legs were done. My feet were hurting and the only thing that kept me going were the spectators. There were spectators along the course but there were so many in the last four miles – thank you to all of you for getting me to that finish line!

Takeaways

While I can’t say this race went well for me, I am definitely happy with the outcome and I can’t wait to try this race again in the future (maybe for a BQ?!).

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Race Recap: 2018 East Bay 510k & 5k

Another Run The Bay Challenge (San Jose 408k, Across the Bay 12k and East Bay 10k) completed! I ran the 10k last year so I decided to run the 5k this year, especially with CIM coming up in another seven weeks!

What: East Bay 510k
When: October 14, 2018
Where: Berkeley/Emeryville, CA
Distance: 10K or 5K

Bib Pickup

Bib pickup was quick. The pickup locations were hosted at Sports Basement locations in South Bay and Berkeley. It was a little inconvenient for those of us in San Francisco but we teamed up to carpool and make our way across the bay.

Parking/Shuttles

Parking was easy as usually! The 5k started at 7:30 AM so we arrived at 6:30 AM, which ended up being really early. We were so early that we were the first ones to use the porta-potties (fun fact).

The Race

Well I can’t say it was the easiest 5K that I’ve ever run, but it was apparently the fastest! The course was relatively flat with a lot of annoying turns, starting in Berkeley and finishing in Emeryville. I also enjoyed chasing my friends for the entire race – we finished in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 6th for gender!

Post-Race

My one complaint about the post-race festivities was the lack of awards. We had waited around for awhile since there were awards announced in the past but eventually found out that they weren’t happening. Bummer but oh well, can’t wait to try again next year!

Race Recap: 2018 Rock n Roll San Jose Half Marathon

Flat, fast and fun. Put this race on your list.

Events

  • Half Marathon
  • 10k
  • 5k

Expo

This expo was good – not great but not bad either. I expected a bit more since it was a Rock n Roll race but I was also glad that it was not overwhelming. Parking was easy and we were able to get the $10 rate card validated at a nearby restaurant.

Starting Line

It was crowded and many runners did not line up in their assigned corral. I was in corral 4 but was surrounded by runners who were assigned to corral 10+. If I run this race in the future, I would definitely register with a faster predicted time.

Course

It’s not necessarily scenic but I love everything about the course. From growing up around San Jose, I loved running through the neighborhoods such as downtown, Japantown and Santa Clara University, where I did my undergrad. The course is completely flat and had spectators along parts of the course. It did get a little hot with the last few stretches being completely in the sun but I’m not complaining.. I still ran a PR! Runners then finish in downtown San Jose, where there is a large finish line festival waiting for them.

FIT & Flirty: Meet This New ABS-olutely Chic Athleisure Brand

I recently had the opportunity to partner with this trendy new athleisure brand as they prepared for their launch date today! FIT & Flirty’s founder, Anna, is a fellow Sweat Pink sister, a fitness fanatic, and is all about helping everyone to live their best life. Keep reading to find out more about her new line (there may be a discount code included too)!

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About FIT & Flirty

FIT & Flirty is a chic athleisure brand created to celebrate fitness fanatics and champagne lovers through a collection of bubbly, athletic inspired designs.

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Every fitness journey is something to be proud of and we need to celebrate that more often because we’re awesome! We can live a healthy lifestyle with a clean diet while also still enjoying a glass of champagne (or maybe a beer, though I do enjoy poppin’ champagne)! This is what FIT & Flirty is all about and I can definitely get behind that.

Designs

FIT & Flirty is launching with six different designs or mantras, there is a little something for everyone. I personally went with the Weekends are for Leggings, Running & Champagne Poppin’ racerback tank because it spoke to me. The designs are also available in a tri-blend tee, boyfriend t-shirt, crop top and cap sleeve shirt. Links to each of the designs are below or check out the slideshow for pictures!

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Interested?

Today is the first day of their launch so head over to their website, check them out and show them some love. Then, if you find something you love (which I know you all will), use code SWEATPINK5 to save 15% off your purchase – valid until September 15, 2018.

Race Recap: The San Francisco Marathon

One week post-marathon and it already feels like a lifetime ago.

Many of you already know my proposal story at last year’s The San Francisco Marathon. I couldn’t quite top that this year but I still had a blast. I had the pleasure of being a part of the TSFM Ambassador family and it has become one of my favorite running experiences ever. Being a part of the ambassador team allowed me the opportunity to promote an event that I love, while doing something that I love (running, duh) and meeting a group of inspiring individuals who I love.

Events

  • Full Marathon
  • Half Marathon – First Half
  • Half Marathon – Second Half
  • 5k
  • Ultra

Expo

This expo is fun – I highly recommend going on Friday so that you can take your time, walk around and enjoy yourself. Off the Grid – an event with numerous local food trucks – took place on Friday night as well so you could try out some unique local food. Pro tip: If you think that you’ll run the race the following year, make sure to register at the expo for THE LOWEST price + an additional discount.

Starting Line

Make sure to get to the start line with some time to spare. We had to rush a little but it was easy getting through corrals and getting situated where we needed to be. Some of us ambassadors hung out in the VIP area before the race and it was definitely worth it to be indoors and have a place to sit down.

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Course

The full marathon course is awesome – runners start at the Ferry Building, run through Fisherman’s Wharf, across the Golden Gate Bridge, down through Golden Gate Park and through the city passing AT&T Park on the way to the finish line. On top of the course, I couldn’t ask for better weather to run in. Last year got a bit warm towards the end but the weather stayed in the mid to high-50s this year for most of the race. The big news this year was that the course was changed last minute. The marathon route was moved from the road to the sidewalk on the Golden Gate Bridge and the first half marathon route was moved off of the bridge entirely. While I can’t speak for the half marathoners, the course change ended up being fine for the marathon (I still PR’d!). I was initially worried about the sidewalk being too crowded but it was not an issue at all. In my opinion, the course is fun, engaging and overall really pretty. It may seem like a hilly course but all of the hills are completely manageable. In fact, I remember a lot more of the downhill sections than any of the uphills.

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Takeaways

This race went well for me – even though I came away with a four minute PR, my big win was in pacing and nutrition. I focused on my nutrition the week leading up to the race and my fueling during the race, both really paid off. For pacing, I used a pacing wristband that I picked up from the expo. I initially tried to keep up with the pace groups but I quickly backed off when I found that they were going much faster than the pace. Overall, everything went according to plan and it was definitely the first marathon that I finished with a smile on my face and some energy to spare. I can’t wait for CIM in December and then maybe The San Francisco Marathon again in 2019?!

Race Recap: 2018 Across The Bay 12k & 5k

This is race #2 in the Run the Bay Series Challenge. I have run this race 3 times now and it never fails to disappoint.

Events

You can choose to run the 12k or 5k but I highly recommend choosing the 12k. Even if you need to walk most of it, the 12k takes you over the Golden Gate bridge along a really pretty course.

Bib Pick Up

Runners are able to either mail their bibs or pick them up from Sports Basement – you get 20% when you show your bib at Sports Basement.

Shuttles

This is only applicable for the 12k – the shuttles were extremely organized but I still recommend getting to the line early to avoid the stress of missing the start. There was a slight mishap this year where a couple of the shuttles got lost on their way to the start but my experience was great.

Course

Runners start the race by running across the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco – if you’re lucky, Karl the Fog will take the day off and you’ll have a sunny race day! Then runners run past Crissy Field and through the Marina. Despite a couple of tough hills, this was definitely a fun course with a lot of downhills and flats.

Things that I would do better

Regarding the actual run – nothing. I would maybe try to stick around and enjoy the post-race festivities in the future!

Interested in running the Run The Bay Series Challenge? Register online with code RepresentKH. Remote options are available.

Race Recap: 2018 Flying Pig Marathon

You might not think of Cincinnati when it comes to a destination race but this race needs to be on your bucket list.

Events

Wow, so there are a lot of choices but there is truly something for everyone. I only ran the marathon but see the full list of events below.

  • Full Marathon
  • Half Marathon
  • Relay – Corporate and Open
  • 10k
  • 5k
  • PigAbilities – An option for people of all ages with disabilities, their families and friends who may not wish to participate in a competitive event.
  • Kid’s Marathon – The 26th mile for school-aged children who have completed 25 miles in increments during the months leading up to race weekend.
  • Flying Fur – A dog race?! How awesome is that.
  • Piglet/Diaper Dash – A great event for the young kids!

Expo

This expo was no joke – hands down, one of the best expos that I have been to. While the number of vendors may have seemed overwhelming at times, the convention center had plenty of places to sit and rest your legs when you needed a break. Our group found a couple of couches right in the middle of the expo to hangout and people watch.

Starting Line

FLAMES. There were actually flames at the start line. But in all seriousness, the start line was great in terms of convenience and organization. It was a convenient walk if you were staying in a hotel downtown, which I would highly recommend.

Course

Runners start the race by running across a bridge into Kentucky – pretty cool, two states in one race! Then runners cross two more bridges before they are officially back in Ohio. The crowd support really picks up and stays for the remainder of the race, which was an amazing aspect of this race. There were water stops at every mile along with huge cheer stations for spectators. Some of the cheer stations had bacon and others had hoops where you could stop and shoot a miniature basketball. Aside from the endless entertainment, the actual course was really nice. Most reviews of this race mention the hills but I didn’t find them to be that hard. It definitely is not a flat race but the hills are very do-able.

Things that I would do better

This race was a tough one for me – I finished about 30 minutes slower than my A goal time, 22 minutes slower than my B goal time and 7 minutes slower than my C goal time. I felt confident going into the race but in hindsight, there are some things that I would have done differently. I would probably opt to fly in earlier and avoid taking a red-eye when traveling for a race. And I will definitely practice adjusting to a different time zone next time.

Race Review: 2018 Silicon Valley Half Marathon

ONE WEEKEND. TWO RACES. FOUR MEDALS.

This year Meb Keflezighi teamed up with Represent Running to revive the Silicon Valley Half Marathon. And it was EPIC.

The weekend events included a 5k and sunset yoga on Saturday, and a 10k and half marathon on Sunday. This is definitely a race to put on your calendar for next year, here’s why.

Expo

The expo was more of an outdoor food truck festival – which is AWESOME! There was live music, food trucks and vendors. There was not an overwhelming number of vendors but enough to walk around and check out the tents, if that is your thing. The expo was also held in downtown San Jose so it was nice to check out some of the restaurants and bars in walking distance.

Race: 5k

It was hot, like 80+ degrees in the sun hot. The 5k was at 3:00 pm on Saturday and that is probably the only thing that I would change. The course was flat (it’s San Jose, duh) and ran along the Guadalupe River paved trail. The trail was not crowded at all and I surprisingly came close to a PR. Also, free race photos! #winning

Race: Half Marathon

Similar to the 5k, the half marathon course was flat and fast. Had I not run seven miles before starting the half marathon, I probably would have smashed my PR. I enjoyed the course having grown up in the area and getting to run through downtown San Jose to Santa Clara but I have to admit, it is not the most scenic race. Yet despite it lacking the scenery, the race made up for it with live music along the course and awesome volunteers. And more free race photos!!

Swag

Aside from the free race photos, I brought home a lot of swag from this race. First, 5k runners receive a short sleeve tech shirt and finisher medal. Then half marathon finishers receive a bag, quarter zip long sleeve and medal. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! By completing both the Silicon Valley Half and the San Jose 408k Race to the Row, you receive a challenge medal. And by completing both the 5k and half marathon, you get an additional challenge medal.

It’s a year away but I’m already pretty stoked to run this race again!

Wanderlust Oahu 2018 Recap

When I first began my yoga practice, I never expected to ever attend a yoga festival. I did not even know that yoga festivals existed. After all, I’m not that much of a yogi. Interestingly enough, I decided to attend Wanderlust Oahu a couple weeks ago and I loved every minute of it.

Best Location

For starters, the location speaks for itself – HAWAII?! The festival is held at Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore – it doesn’t get any better than this. When you need a break from the festival, you can go to the beaches, the pool or even leave the resort to explore the rest of what the North Shore has to offer.

Positive Vibes Only

This was honestly one of my favorite parts. What an experience to be surrounded by so many positive and like-minded individuals.

Local Culture

A unique aspect of Wanderlust Oahu is that you have the chance to learn about Hawaiian culture through classes other than yoga.

SUP Yoga

Though it costs a little extra, I highly recommend taking a SUP yoga class because when else are you going to try SUP yoga in Hawaii? It was challenging and it was relaxing in the warm Hawaii water.

Don’t have the chance to attend Wanderlust Oahu? Take a look at the Wanderlust Events List to find an adventure closer to you!

Gear Review: Tabio Trailblazer Socks

Disclaimer: I was one of 100 influencers selected through Fit Approach/Sweat Pink to test these socks out and share my experience (always honest though!).

Make sure you keep reading for details on my giveaway to find out how you can win a pair.

Who is Tabio?

Tabio makes “the highest quality socks in Japan” and are officially sold in the US as of this fall. I should also mention that their socks are used by many elite and Olympic athletes!

So Many Choices!

When it comes to sports socks, Tabio offers five choices. When comparing high-quality sports socks, Tabio definitely has some of the best prices that I’ve seen across the board. (P.S. They also offer really trendy ‘every day’ socks!)

  1. Ultra-light Compression – $30
  2. Ultra-light Compression Knee – $35
  3. Signature Run Toe – $25
  4. Signature Run – $25
  5. Trailblazer – $30

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Review Time

Lucky me, I got to try out a pair of the Trailblazer sock. For starters, the design is SLEEK! I absolutely love the look and feel of this sock – the toes spell out “TRAIL”. There were a couple of features that I was not used to: non-slip grip, toes and thickness. The non-slip grip and toes were pretty cool and although the socks are thicker than most socks that I wear, its two-layer design is worth it when you are running trails. The inside layer is made of wool to wick moisture and outside layer is made of water-resistant polyester/nylon for durability.

Other Important Details

Material

  • Polyester 33
  • Cotton 23%
  • Lyocell 15%
  • Nylon 13%
  • Wool 13%
  • Polyurethane 3%

Extra Ankle Support

  • Yes! If you are like me, you will want the extra support on the trails. The signature elastic shaping keeps your ankle aligned.

Arch Support

  • Another win! I personally like that the sock adds additional support to your arch muscles.

Toe Guard

  • Kind of weird at first but I think I can get used to the extra guard to prevent fraying while running up and down hills.

Stabilizer Heel

  • No more blisters? Designed to prevent your socks from sliding around.

In my opinion, a person can never have too many great-quality socks and this is truly a high-quality sock that is worth a try.

Giveaway

The part we’ve all been waiting for… please visit my Instagram page @_kellinickole to enter the giveaway, details are listed there.

As always, hope you enjoyed the review/giveaway and found it to be helpful. For additional details, please visit the Tabio website!