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).
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!
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.
6 miles at 8:41 /mile – nothing special about this run. My legs felt heavy but I got outside and got my miles in.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
I wanted to run a couple of easy miles so badly but I knew that my ankle needed the rest.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
Easy run after yesterday for one last run in Raleigh before heading back to San Francisco tonight! 3.1 miles at 8:57 /mile.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Woohoo back to Flywheel! Felt great to do something else and I even ran 3 miles after work. Kept the effort super easy.
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.
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!
Easy day.. I wanted to try out another gym so I biked 9 miles and ran 3 miles.
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.
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.
5 miles actually slow on the treadmill. It sucked but at least there was no pain!
Rest day.. trying to avoid injury so I gave myself a break!
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!
1.1 mile to literally RUN errands.. I didn’t really feel like running today.
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.
3.3 miles on the treadmill! I flew out to Raleigh and decided to hit the gym at the hotel before going to sleep.
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…
4 miles outside in the rain and wind, followed by my leg circuit.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?!
You might not think of Cincinnati when it comes to a destination race but this race needs to be on your bucket list.
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
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
You might recall my review of TSFM 2017 here or on the Represent Running blog. The San Francisco Marathon is one of my favorite races and here are the top three reasons why you will love it too!
The landmarks are breathtaking and worth the early race start. After starting at the Ferry Building, runners race through Fisherman’s Wharf, through the Marina, across the Golden Gate Bridge, back down through Golden Gate Park and finish near AT&T Park. Runners get to experience the whole city in one race regardless of the distance that they choose to run.
Of course, I have to mention the California weather. Last year was perfect running weather with clear skies and mid-50’s at the start. Be sure to watch for Karl the Fog as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge!Discount Code
Need another reason to sign up for this race? Use code AMBASSADORKELLI10 to save $10 when registering for the 5k, half marathon or full marathon distances.