Marathon Monday: San Diego Pride 5K


As far as I can tell, it's been almost three years (!!!) two years one year since my last 5k. And I'm not going to lie... like a lot of other long distance runners, I tend to be a bit of a distance snob when it comes to the 5k. Which is a shame because it can really be a great little marathon training boost of confidence.

I signed up for the Pride 5k at the suggestion of my friend Megan who has run it the past two years in a row. Mostly because I wanted to just have fun hanging and running it with her, but also because: 1. I regrettably had yet to experience any of Pride weekend in San Diego over the past 6 years and I wanted to make sure I didn't miss out again; 2. the proceeds go to a wonderful cause, to support LGBT Youth Housing Center and Pride Charity Giving; and 3. because I'm getting to the point in my training where I will find any excuse to not have my training runs be just me and my thoughts.

Because who wants to be alone with their thoughts for 20+ miles a week?

700+ other runners? Not alone!

The Pride 5k is pretty unique in that it takes place right before the Pride Parade. So for the entirety of the course, which is an out-and-backer, there are already people in a great mood packed onto the streets, ready to cheer you on while they wait for the parade. When does that ever happen at a race? It was absolutely wonderful!

Also, the organization of this race and staging area can not be understated... this is a race other organizers can definitely learn from. After picking up my bib and t-shirt and then checking my gear, Megan and I headed to the starting line and within a few moments we were off.

The turn-around!

For the duration of the race, I felt amazing (despite waking up miserably hungover from Opening Day at the racetrack), with the exception of the last .3 miles where my hands started getting a little numb and I got worried about how dehydrated I probably was.

Note to self: this is why you don't race hungover on a Saturday morning in the summer.

Despite my concerns, I knew that I was running my fastest official 5k in over a decade so I wasn't about to slow down. Shortly after finishing (and almost crying from happiness at receiving my post-race popsicle... so much better than a medal #srs), I confirmed that with my Nike+ app: I finished in 29:34, a full two minutes faster than any other 5k I've done.

Later, I found out my chip time is even better: 29:11. I finished 11th out of 66 women in the 30-34 age group and 271st out of 772 runners overall. Not bad!

When I ran my last few 5k's, I wasn't training for anything. They were fun runs, two of them weren't even timed, and so they just didn't seem like a big deal to me. But this time around,  at the San Diego Pride 5k, I had a totally different experience, especially since the format was much more like a real road race.

It was nice to see how training is paying off while getting a little taste of what my marathon race pace could look like. And even nicer to do it in support of and solidarity with Pride!

NYC Marathon Training Week 4: 7/4/16 - 7/10/16
  • Ran 4 Days For a Total of 18.16 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'09" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x
NYC Marathon Training Week 5: 7/11/16 - 7/17/16
  • Ran 4 Days For a Total of 20.52 miles
  • Average Pace: 10'41" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

Marathon Monday: Baby You're A Firework


...on a Wednesday! Because I was too busy enjoying great company and these fireworks to finish this post on the 4th. 

But if I had posted this on Monday, I would have started by saying how grateful I am that Mondays and Fridays are rest days for me in my training plan... they're the hardest days for me to find motivation on, especially when one lands on one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year.

Well, Week 3 of (pre)Training is done and in the books. I'm slowly but steadily dropping time and anticipate to be able to start doing some marathon pace short runs in a month or so. 

I've found myself wanting to get my runs out of the way earlier and earlier to avoid the humidity. This past Friday I jumped out of bed at 5:15am to make breakfast and get out running by 6am. It's exhausting but worth it to avoid the sun. 

This by the way, is something I'm still in denial about: the fact that I'm going to log 400 miles in the hottest months of the year. 

Anyway, by this time next week pre-training will officially be over and I'll have a month and 75-ish miles under my belt. And then the real fun begins. Cross-training, Yassos, hills, running 5 days a week instead of 4...

NYC Marathon Training Week 3: 6/27/16 - 7/3/16
  • June Total Mileage: 47 miles
  • Ran 4 Days For a Total of 16.13 miles
  • Average Pace: 10'31" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

Marathon Monday: If You're Looking to Run, Well Then You've Already Ran


Running by surfers making the sketchy cliffside hike up and down from the waves at Sunset Cliffs on Friday morning

This week I discovered something life-changing: Spotify Personalized Running Playlists.  

I say this at the risk of exposing the fact that I live under a rock. Because this seems like something so obviously obvious that I should have discovered much, much sooner. 

And yet, there I was last week, running to the "Eat Pray Love" audiobook like a chump (one could argue there are multiple layers of chumpiness involved in that admission). 

The difference in running to Elizabeth Gilbert whining about her struggles with meditation versus a playlist of music I either love, just found out I loved or forgot I loved, all timed to match my pace is truly, as I mentioned, life-changing. 

Not only did I find some great new bands that I'm now obsessed with, but it got me through all four of my runs this week, two of which involved me running through my hangovers like a champ (Alternative post title: From Chump to Champ). 

So there you have it. The secret to NYC Marathon (pre)Training, Week 2. 

Sometimes it's the little things. 

NYC Marathon Training Week 2: 6/20/16 - 6/26/16
  • Ran 4 Days For a Total of 15.94 miles
  • Average Pace: 11'07" /mi
  • Strength Training: 0x
  • Yoga: 0x

Living La Vida MOCA


When I was 21, I spent 3 weeks living in London visiting roughly one museum a day, most of which contained some of the most famous and important art in history. My favorite? Warhol's Marilyn Diptych at the Tate Modern.

Personally, I'd take a Warhol or a Rothko over a Da Vinci or a Michelangelo or any of the other Ninja Turtles any day.

True story. I mean, while I barely passed Art History in college, I've always loved, loved, loved modern art. It inspires me to see things from new perspectives, which in turn has influenced my own creative projects. So honestly, I'm kind of surprised that after all of my visits to LA and all of my years living in Southern California, that it took me this long to finally make it into a single modern art museum on the west coast.

Ryan and I went up to LA over Memorial Day weekend just to get out of town for the day and see what there was to explore. We ended up starting off our adventure downtown near Little Tokyo and after a couple of false starts (specifically: a failed attempt to tour the Disney Concert Hall and a too long line at The Broad), we found ourselves at the Museum of Contemporary Art, otherwise known as MOCA. 

Marathon Monday: Concrete Jungle Where Dreams Are Made Of


So... I'm running the New York City Marathon in November. 

I'm not really sure how this happened. Maybe it was because NYC was the first marathon that ever made me consider wanting to run a marathon when I was in high school.... it just seemed so cool, the idea of conquering this city one borough at a time with my feet, all in one day. Maybe it's because New York and I have a complicated past and this marathon seemed like it could symbolize some closure for that chapter of my life. Perhaps, over the course of 26 miles, I could even finally find something to love about a city that I've vehemently denied even liking ever since I left. 

Maybe it was because, at the time that I entered the marathon lottery in January, my uncle and godfather was dying back home because of cancer caused by a genetic mutation that I may or may not have inherited. The sadness that I felt over losing him, and about his condition and not visiting family on the east coast as much as maybe I should have over the years, made me look at this marathon as an excuse to have at least one east coast visit on the books for the year. And the confrontation with mortality and my own health, both in its current and its genetically predisposed state, made me look at the marathon as a real opportunity for motivation to get back in shape and start taking my health more seriously.

Or maybe it was because I was turning 30 a few months later and had been loosely planning to run another marathon during my 30th year. When I look back on this year, I wanted something big to remind me of entering my third decade. 

Whatever the reason, I entered the lottery on January 25th. And when I checked my credit card account on March 8th, there it was: a charge for $255. My NYRR account updated a few hours later... I had been accepted into the New York City Marathon.