Race Recap: Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon – remember that race that I ran a month ago?! It feels like forever ago but at the same time, it feels like yesterday. Everyone told me that my first world major would be amazing but honestly, I could not have imagined anything so amazing.


Pre-Race Events / Things To Do

We arrived in Chicago late Friday night and left Tuesday morning. When I do this race again (I say “when” because I know I will), I will definitely fly in earlier. There were so many race-related things that I wanted to do, places that I wanted to see and runners that I wanted to meet.

  • Abbott Health & Fitness Expo, well duh.
  • Heartbreak Hill Running CompanyShakeout run
    • Store events
    • Time to shop!
  • Nike
    • The shuttle to/from the expo was a blast – we even got goodies!
    • More time to shop!
  • Tracksmith Pop-Up
    • Awesome gear
    • Shakeout run
    • Finisher posters after the race
  • A LOT of shakeout runs!


I was pretty stressed – as I mentioned earlier, we arrived late Friday night so we had to go to the expo on Saturday. We took a Lyft there and it was pretty easy to find. I expected to be overwhelmed but I did a decent job at containing my excitement and my energy. We took our time walking through the vendors and taking a couple of pictures before eventually taking the Nike shuttle back to the store. Transportation ended up being pretty easy to figure out.

The Weather

It was definitely a colder year – low 40s and very windy. Despite the weather, I decided to go with a tank top and shorts, with arm sleeves and gloves of course. I didn’t pack the best clothes to keep me warm at the start but HAND WARMERS were a must have item.

The Course

Wow – what can I say about the course. Coming off seven weeks of injury before the race, my strategy was to take it slow, have fun and try to make it as far as I could before bonking due to my lack of training. Even though my marathon PR was 3:48, I was hoping to run the race under 4:00 and at worst, under 4:30.

Miles 1-3: I don’t even remember because they went by so fast. Somewhere near mile 3, Cade and his parents found me!

Miles 4-9: My ankle started hurting but I was just in shock at the sheer number of runners around me and spectators along the course.

Miles 10-13: Heading back into the downtown area – AWESOME. I caught up to the 3:40 pace group and knew that I had started out WAY too fast so I pulled back. At mile 13, I found Cade and his parents again! And was a good place to ditch my arm sleeves and my earphones.

Miles 14-16: I was a little worried here because this is around where I bonked hard at the Flying Pig Marathon.. but no issues here!

Miles 17-20: I was even more worried here because this is where I usually bonk anyway – but again, NO ISSUES! Well, I did have to stop and use the bathroom at mile 20 but then I continued on my way.

Miles 21-24: I got a little hungry.. but I knew that I was on pace to PR so I asked myself, “how bad do you want this?”. Mentally, I was 100% there and I knew that I was almost done.

Miles 25-26: INSANELY WINDY – a drum got knocked over by the wind and I almost got knocked over too. You just have to keep reminding yourself that you’re almost there.

26.1-26.2: You think you’re almost there but you have one last hill and a couple of turns. TOTALLY DO-ABLE.


If there are two things that I remember forever, it’s this.

  1. There were bees everywhere.. it was so weird and slightly frightening but I was too tired to be scared.
  2. After finishing, I didn’t grab a bag so I had to carry my beer, apple, banana and other snacks in my two hands along with my phone. A sacrifice obviously had to be made so I said goodbye to my food and continued along with my beer and phone in hand – SUCCESS.

The Results

PR CITY – 3:41:27. This was quite literally, the craziest, most unexpected outcome EVER. I have spent the last two weeks reflecting on my race and I still can’t begin to understand it. I can find every reason why this shouldn’t have happened but I’m pretty proud that it did. Despite my injury and needing to use the bathroom mid-race, I think it’s safe to say that I crushed it with a 7 minute PR?!

What’s Next?

I don’t know what my 2020 race schedule will look like but I know there is one thing that I am chasing. Crossing my fingers that I can get this injury healed up quickly so I can start training for and chasing a BQ!

Race Recap: The San Francisco Marathon (2nd Half) 2019

Still trying to catch up on my race recaps for the year but better late than never!

The San Francisco Marathon continues to be one of my favorite races – I love seeing so many friends along the course and running through our hometown streets (literally, the course runs past our home). 2019 was my third year running the race, my second year as an ambassador and my first year not running the full marathon. With the Chicago Marathon on the horizon and my injury not fully healed, I decided to play it smart and register for the half marathon.. but more to come on that.

Although I try to keep this recap as unbiased as possible, just a disclosure that I was a race ambassador again this year!


  • Full Marathon
  • Half Marathon – First Half
  • Half Marathon – Second Half
  • 5k Fun Run (Saturday)
  • 5k Race (Sunday)
  • Ultra


This expo is fun – I highly recommend going on Friday so that you can take your time, walk around and enjoy yourself. This year, I went on Saturday after the 5k Fun Run to help out at some of the tables so unfortunately, I didn’t spend a lot of time looking around. 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.

5K Fun Run – Saturday

Instead of the free official shakeout run in years past, the race hosted a 5K Fun Run this year. The course wrapped around Fort Mason, also where the expo is also located. It felt a little cramped with the number of runners but it was a nice way to shakeout before the Sunday races (assuming you don’t go too fast here). Know ahead of time that this fun run will probably not be your 5k PR.

Half Marathon (2nd Half) – Sunday

I was pretty relaxed about this race since it was a half marathon and I had zero intention of truly racing it (lol in hindsight). I definitely don’t recommend being as relaxed as me.. if I left just 5 minutes earlier, my Uber/Lyft would’ve been half the price – watch out for the pricing surge on race morning. Luckily, I arrived with just enough time to use the bathroom, talk to a few friends and then line up in my starting corral. The corrals were crowded – I had friends who couldn’t even make it to their corral and had to start outside the corral gates so plan to arrive early!

The second half marathon course turned out to be as fast as I hoped that it would be – there seems to be an argument among local runners about which half is easier between the first and the second.. and let me tell you after my experience, it is 100% the second half. We start off on a long downhill in Golden Gate Park followed by some rolling hills, though I don’t remember noticing anything significant. From there, you leave the park and have another nice long stretch of downhill as you run towards the Mission-Potrero Hill-Dogpatch area. Know that there are uphills along the way but every time you go up, you run down after. Although the second half is not as “scenic” as the first half, you get to run by the new Chase Center and Oracle Park (formerly AT&T Park) on the way to the finish line.

Now let’s talk weather.. I heard a lot of complaints about the weather being too hot. Maybe it’s because I didn’t run the full marathon or maybe it’s a result of the three years I spent in North Carolina but I didn’t find it to be that bad. I recall low to mid 60s maybe? Plan accordingly.. dress for warm weather and pay attention to hydration!

And my personal results? A HALF MARATHON PR OF 5 MINUTES (1:43:18), on a day where I thought I was just going to jog and barely make it to the finish line. Honestly, I don’t know if I’m more shocked that I PR’d unexpectedly or that I finally executed negative splits. The half marathon distance is still my least favorite distance but I feel a lot better about the distance after this race execution. Now I can’t wait to see what I can do when my injury is finally healed!

What’s Next?

Here are two great fall races (and discount codes) in the Bay Area:

I Deferred My Upcoming Marathon – Here’s Why

I put in 13 near-perfect weeks of training and there are still 7 weeks to go until the Mountains 2 Beach Marathon. So why did I decide to defer my race entry?

More Recovery Time

For starters, I’m injured. I haven’t run for the past two weeks and it looks like I’ll be going on a third week of no running. My ankle-area started hurting two weeks back and I won’t justify running through this pain. The first several days were tough – I wanted to run and sometimes I would even try, but then the pain would come and I would find myself walking home. My PT suggested giving myself another week to rest it before even thinking about deferring my race. That made my second week a little easier, without the pressure to run. I even enjoyed my cross-training workouts in the pool and the gym. Now I’ve made it to the third week and I feel really good about my decision to skip this race.

Who Knows Me Best

I am truly grateful that so many people have reached out during the last couple of weeks but one of the hardest parts has been having to explain myself, explain my reasons for deferring and having to listen and accept unsolicited advice. At the end of the day, I know myself best. I’ve been here numerous times before – injured and making the decision on whether or not I can realistically run the race that I want to (which takes me to my next point).

Goal Digger

The brutal truth is my goal this year wasn’t to run races for fun. I want to train hard, race hard and challenge myself to accomplish bigger goals. Even though my momentum has been strong in the past 6 months with new PRs and different challenges, I felt like I needed to sit this one out and that is all just a part of the journey.

On To The Next One

People always say, ‘there’s always next time’. And in my case, there is literally always the next one. While I would have loved to run Mountains 2 Beach, the Chicago Marathon was always my larger focus of 2019. And it looks like I will have a lot of work to do before October!

Mountains 2 Beach Training Week 12

A strong week overall but I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I wanted to hit 44 miles this week and fell 2 miles short because I skipped my run on Sunday due to ankle pain.. it is silly to be disappointed about but some things are just all mental.

Monday 3/18

6 miles at 8:41 /mile – nothing special about this run. My legs felt heavy but I got outside and got my miles in.

Tuesday 3/19

6.4 miles total on the track – 1.6 mile warm up + track ladder (400 / 800 / 1600 / 2000 / 1600 / 800 / 400). This was really hard.. I was supposed to add in a couple 200s and cool down but my legs were done and I was getting kicked off the track by the high school teams anyway.

Wednesday 3/20

4.6 EASY miles at 8:27 /mile – my time was fast but my effort was definitely easier. I really didn’t want to run today.. my legs were tired and I felt like I had no power behind them.

Thursday 3/21

8.5 miles at 8:26 /mile! At surface level, this run looks good. But when you look mile by mile, this run looks great. I tried to start my first 4 mile loop “easy”, cutting down every mile. The second loop took a lot more effort with the start of the loop going uphill and then continuing to cut down every mile, ending with negative splits!

Friday 3/22

It’s finally rest day and I’ve never been more ready! Coming off the last two weeks of hard workouts and a race, my legs are 100% feeling it. I thought about taking a rest day earlier in the week but I pushed through and earned it today.

Saturday 3/23

16.2 miles of constant hills – the challenge felt pretty good but my ankle was hurting by the end of it. A few weeks ago, I ran 17 miles and it felt amazing. This run was almost the complete opposite but I made it through the whole thing!

Sunday 3/24

I wanted to run a couple of easy miles so badly but I knew that my ankle needed the rest.


Mountains 2 Beach Training Week 10

What started out as a strong week ended in disappointment but I’m ready to put this behind me and move forward with training. Back to San Francisco on Friday!

Monday 3/4

KILLER WORKOUT – 1 mile warm up, 3 x 2 mile repeats at strength pace, 1 mile cool down. I was dreading this workout a little because I knew that it was going to be a tough one.. especially because it was also really cold!

Tuesday 3/5

I wanted to run again but I also wanted to give myself the rest after a tough track workout. Settled for a short run commute home after work; 1.5 miles at 8:46 /mile.

Wednesday 3/6

Yuck.. woke up to 29 degree weather. Another easy day in the books; 3 miles at 8:39 /mile. I’m definitely getting used to the weather and the hills in NC.

Thursday 3/7

Another Tempo Thursday with my 5:30a crew in North Carolina! 8.6 perfect miles at 8:55 /mile.. I almost didn’t notice that it was 23 degrees!


Friday 3/8

Easy run after yesterday for one last run in Raleigh before heading back to San Francisco tonight! 3.1 miles at 8:57 /mile.

Saturday 3/9

I planned to run a shorter long run of 8 miles this week but it didn’t happen today. After flying home yesterday, almost fainting on my flight and getting home at 1:00am, I decided that I could use a day of rest. After all, there is always tomorrow.

Sunday 3/10

Disappointing. I had already pushed my long run back a day and I pretty much hit a wall immediately after I set out for my 8 mile run. Probably a combination of how I was feeling yesterday + jet lag + daylight savings. A short 3.5 miles at 9:12 pace.. but really a lot of walk breaks where I just stopped my watch completely.


Mountains 2 Beach Training Week 9

Monday 2/25

It seemed like a good day to do two workouts… FlyBarre in the morning and track at night. And it was! FlyBarre was tough but track was tougher. The workout was 8×400 + 400 easy followed by 4×200 + 200 easy – 7.7 miles total including warm up and cool down.

Tuesday 2/26

Tired legs but I wanted to get some miles in. In the morning, I warmed up for 10 minutes on the bike followed by 3 miles on the treadmill. Then I finished off the day with 3 miles after work.

Wednesday 2/27

5 miles at 8:54 /mile – easy effort. I immediately checked the weather forecast when I woke up and saw that it was 45 degrees with a chance of rain. No big deal! I gave myself a goal of running “easy” at a 9:00-9:30 pace and just went for it.. hills and all.

Thursday 2/28

TEMPO THURSDAY! 8 miles at 8:31 /mile – 1 mile warm up + 5 x 5/3/2 tempo + 1 mile cool down. I set my alarm for 4:30a, started my run at 5:30a with Randy/Sarah and we got it done.

Friday 3/1

Active rest day with a FlyBarre Arms & Abs workout. I was debating on running or doing a second workout but decided to take the time to recover.

Saturday 3/2

Set out for a run around Raleigh. I knew that I would be happy with anything from 11 to 16 miles. Ended up with 12 very hilly miles, not to shabby!

Sunday 3/3

Hit the trails for 6 miles – wow!!! Sunday is usually my rest or easy day but I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to get outside on the trails. It was hilly but we took it slow and enjoyed the miles.


Mountains 2 Beach Training Week 8

Hello, North Carolina! I landed Sunday night and will be traveling for work for the next couple of weeks. I’m not sure how the traveling will affect my runs but I guess we’ll see how this goes!

Monday 2/18

First morning in North Carolina! This California girl needed a little more time to adjust to the weather so I opted for 6 miles on the treadmill this morning. It went surprisingly smooth considering it was 6 miles on a treadmill.

Tuesday 2/19

It was still cold but at least it wasn’t raining.. so I went outside – 4 hilly miles around Raleigh. Yes.. much hillier than I’m used to.

Wednesday 2/20

Rain.. cold rain. I decided to try out a new gym after work so I went for an easy 3 miles on the treadmill. This did not go well.. the gym was crowded and it stressed me out. I quickly finished up the 3 miles and went home.

Thursday 2/21

Woohoo back to Flywheel! Felt great to do something else and I even ran 3 miles after work. Kept the effort super easy.

Friday 2/22

I decided to do an active rest day today so I tried out FlyBarre – Arms & Abs. It was SUPER challenging and I loved every minute of it.

Saturday 2/23

A little sore from FlyBarre but somehow knocked out 17 miles in the cold rain! It felt great to meet up with my old running group – I could have run a full marathon!

Sunday 2/24

Easy day.. I wanted to try out another gym so I biked 9 miles and ran 3 miles.


Mountains 2 Beach Training Week 7

False alarm, I’m thankfully not injured! I took this week “slow” at first, which was actually really fast and luckily, the pain went away by itself.

Monday 2/11

4.5 miles at 8:23 /mile. I went out with the intention of going slow, I even consciously took shorter strides to avoid adding more stress to the pain. Overall, not too bad though.

Tuesday 2/12

5 miles actually slow on the treadmill. It sucked but at least there was no pain!

Wednesday 2/13

Rest day.. trying to avoid injury so I gave myself a break!

Thursday 2/14

First day of funployment!!! I started my morning off with a 6.4 mile run at 8:13 /mile but had to cut it short to get home to the puppy. Then I went back outside for 3.2 miles at 7:50 /mile. KILLED IT!

Friday 2/15

1.1 mile to literally RUN errands.. I didn’t really feel like running today.

Saturday 2/16

14 miles at 8:30 /mile ish.. started out strong. It wasn’t supposed to rain but then it poured. I had to stop and wait for a break because the water was irritating my contacts. Eh oh well, I finished.

Sunday 2/17

3.3 miles on the treadmill! I flew out to Raleigh and decided to hit the gym at the hotel before going to sleep.


Mountains 2 Beach Training Week 6

Did I get my mojo back?! Almost did… until my psoas starting hurting towards the end of the week. But that is to be continued…

Monday 2/4

4 miles outside in the rain and wind, followed by my leg circuit.

Tuesday 2/5

5 miles at 8:50 /mile. Decently easy run in 41 degree weather! Even though this is nothing compared to what I ran in when I lived in North Carolina, this was COLD. I had to look around for my running tights and gloves! I was wanting to do a hill workout but my legs said not today.

Wednesday 2/6

8 miles at 9:01 /mile. So I was planning to run 4-6 miles but Emily texted me and asked if I wanted to run (she was planning to run 10 miles). I agreed to try for 8 miles if we ran slow; and we did. My legs were bust after but it felt good to get a longer weekday run done!

Thursday 2/7

EPIC. 5.2 miles at 7:47 /mile. I planned to take it easy but everything just felt good. I started at an 8:18 on the first mile, then progressed to 8:01 /mile on the second.. quickly went to 7:25 /mile and 7:31 /mile… AND finished with 6:54 /mile!! This was fun but I may have pushed it a little too hard.

Friday 2/8

Following yesterday’s epic run, my psoas feels like it is pinching a bit. Rest day it is and hopefully it will be fine for tomorrow’s long run.

Saturday 2/9

Not fine… planned to run 14 miles and finished with 9.5 miles. I got to the turn around point and started to slug my way back home in pain. Luckily, Christine had driven to her run nearby so I gave up and asked for a ride home. I was disappointed but as I limped my way back, I kind of knew that I made the right decision.

Sunday 2/10

Ok, I went for it again. I went out for an easy shakeout run and planned to go REALLY slow just to test things out. I swear it felt like a 10:00 /mile pace but I somehow finished 3.2 miles at an 8:27 /mile. My psoas was a little uncomfortable but not too horrible overall.


Race Recap: The San Francisco Marathon 2018

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.


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


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.



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.



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?!