So today was my first race back since January… and it went great!
First off, I did not even get a run in until yesterday after work! I did my favorite HIIT workout on the treadmill to work on my speed, but I took it easy. I can honestly say that I feel like doing yoga for the past week definitely helped my posture and core. I felt really good after my run last night. I ended up finishing the night with Day 3 of Adriene’s “30 Days of Yoga” Challenge – which by the way, I highly recommend, even for the beginner!
After the gym, I also received the most recent issue of Runner’s World in the mail. YES!
The race started at 7 am, which meant that I had to get up early today, 5:30 am, to be exact.. and I haven’t gotten up this early in so long. It was tough. After a cup of black coffee and some cereal I headed out the door.
The race was held by a local organization, so there weren’t too many people; probably under a hundred runners. It was held at a popular trail in my area, which was nice since I haven’t ran it yet! Since there were still a lot of people coming in a little late, we didn’t start until about 7:15 or so, which was fine since I needed to warm up a bit.
I went into it with a clear head: I was just going to go my own pace – a comfortable pace – and just finish it. I didn’t want to look at my app to see my pace per mile or how far I had left to go. I really just wanted to run it. Since I haven’t ran outside n a while, it was nice that there was a dirt trail next to the paved path. Running on the dirt trail definitely was easier on my legs!
I ended up finishing in 30:28 for 3.16 miles – not too shabby, averaging at a 9:38 pace! They haven’t released the official times yet, so I’ll keep you all posted – I’m hoping it’s actually lower than the time recorded on my app, hehe!
And there you have it – I have my Easter bunny medal! Whoo hoo!
Once I got home, I already had to get ready for a museum day trip for a friend’s birthday: the Getty! I was super excited since I had never gone, so it was great to finally check it out! The museum nerd in me was absolutely in love!
Overall, today was a great day. Reminded me of how much I’ve missed running – however, I will point out that after my run, my allergies had been bugging me all day. That’s one thing I didn’t miss.
I did not expect that I’d be saying this… but this was the BEST race I’ve ran, EVER, hands down!!!
Let’s start from the beginning.
I got up at around 5:30 am to have enough time to have breakfast. By 6:20, my boyfriend and I were out the door. I was also really happy that my boyfriend got up at the crack of dawn on his day off to see me run! I haven’t had a race on a Sunday in a while so it was great that he could come along! It didn’t take us long to get to Ontario and a lot of people were already there. I did a couple warm ups and hit the port-a-potties before heading to the start line.
There were two races: a 5k and a 10k. Once I got to the 10k corral, I noticed that it was a lot smaller than the 5k. I was a bit intimidated, and I was scared I’d be one of the last in the pack because I couldn’t handle it! After a short speech from Christian Okoye (I’m not a football buff, but he played for the Kansas City Chiefs back in the late 80’s – early 90’s), we were off!
Mile 1: once we started, I felt as if all of us – including myself – got a rush and were all running super fast. I had to remind myself to keep it steady, so I slowed as more and more runners got ahead of me. I tried to focus on my breathing and stayed with a couple runners that were around my pace until mile 2. Surprisingly, this was my fastest mile: 9:24.
Mile 2: I knew I had to slow it down. I thought that I was going way too fast way too early. I forgot to turn off the feature in my app that says my pace every 5 minutes – I feel as if I hear how fast I’m going, I’m going to go too fast for my own good. I kept reminding myself to slow it down, but tried to get ahead of runners in front of me in short bursts. Time: 10:07.
Mile 3: I joined a new pack of runners all going around the same pace and tried to maintain it while slightly going uphill. I focused on my breathing and ended up pushing through and got ahead of the pack. I reminded myself, only halfway to go! Time: 9:38
Mile 4: I was still pretty flabbergasted that I was going at a faster pace than usual. Now that I was going for 3 miles, I was roaring. I sped through more runners ahead but still maintained my pace. I had to save my energy for the last two miles. Time: 10:03.
Mile 5: Are we there yet?! Time: 9:49
Mile 6: Pretty much my glory moment. I had passed the ‘6 mile’ marker before my running app got to 60 minutes. I was ECSTATIC! I had run 6 miles in under an HOUR! I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear because I knew then that I still got PR for that. I hustled through the last bit and finished with a total time:
1:02:00! I PR’ED!
After getting my new medal, I met with my boyfriend again and we awaited the age group results. In the meantime, I chowed down on a banana. When it finally came I was so happy: I placed fifth!!!
I was pretty much amazed at everything. How I maintained such a fast pace (to my standards) throughout, I don’t know. I ended up averaging a 9:48 pace. My usual 10k pace is around 10:30. I guess those 20 minute speed workouts on the treadmill worked!
We got home, I made ANOTHER breakfast, showered, and took a nap. Now I’m up again and have the whole day ahead of me! I’m thinking celebratory sushi for dinner. 🙂
Overall, the race was really, really great. The course was pretty flat throughout, there were water stations literally every half mile, and the whole event was so organized! The energy was definitely there. I’m pretty sure I’ll be running this race again next year… perhaps, sub 60? 😉
I hope that everyone had a great Sunday! Did any of you run any races as well? How did you do?
So yesterday was pretty exciting: I ran my second 5k in two weeks!
It was a beautiful morning yesterday, overcast and cool – which meant, no sun in my face!
I took my time getting to the park, and got there with about 15 minutes before the horn blew. I had stumbled upon the Kids 1k. It was so great seeing all the little ones run up around the town mascot!
The race definitely had more people this year. I managed to get into a spot towards the front. It was really cool seeing everyone so festive: some were wearing striped socks with tutus, some wore bells around their ankles. I ended up wearing the t-shirt they gave out from the first year they hosted it; the shirts this year were a neon green color, but when I picked up my race packet, I chose the red one from 2012! Much more festive, I think.
The horn blew, and off we went. I sped on right from the beginning, thinking I should’ve warmed up properly before the race. However, I managed to maintain a good pace and my time for the first mile was 8:29!
Of course, the second mile was a bit tougher, but I decided to save some of my energy and go a bit slower. Right before the second mile, there was a group of Christmas carolers – as always, each year they sing for the runners to keep spirits high!
Mile 2 time: 9:32
After the second mile, I was starting to get tired. My cup of coffee + toast with peanut butter that I had that morning supplied me with just enough energy, and by this time my energy was depleting. I was running alongside a little girl, and I noticed her getting tired and started walking. Since we were close to the finish, I rooted for her to keep going, and she gave me a half smile and continued to run. 🙂
Alas, I finally saw the finish line. I ran like hell and finished in 28:21. I was a bit bummed because I was really hoping on breaking my old PR last spring on this course (27:56), but it was my second fastest 5k this year so far so I was happy about that!
I got my cute little medal right after I crossed, then went straight towards the food and took a cup of water and chocolate milk. After that, I waited until the times were posted up.
I scrolled for my name – found it – my eyes swooped to the official time and then to the AG place: THIRD!!! I was ecstatic! Last year, I had placed 4th in my AG – I was so, so close. But this year… I did it!
Since I had some time to kill before the awards ceremony, I took another photo (as I will plan on doing every year now) with the giant Rudolph!
During the awards ceremony, I had a spectator take my photo with my medal and Santa. I wish she hadn’t zoomed in though, the photo ended up being quite blurry:
Afterwards, I headed home and showered – but not before taking a photo of my new bling!
Overall, the race was great and the course was wonderfully flat. I just really hoped on getting a PR!
Meanwhile, it’s time to plan for the next race. I’m thinking of a 10k next month, since I still haven’t ran a 10k race! I need to kick the new year off with new goals, after all.
Till next time,
[EDIT] I just realized, I did PR for the fastest mile time this year! Whoo hoo!!!
I realized it’s already been two days post race, and I have yet to share my experience from possibly one of the difficult 5ks I’ve ran as of recent!
Thursday morning started out cool, but it was hot in no time. Seriously, by 7:30 am it was already hot. I realized how hot I was going to get my wearing my Forever 21 running pants – which reminds me…
If I have to do a clothing review, I DO NOT like these running pants from Forever 21! They seem to always ride down in the first couple of minutes of my run, and then, they fit snugly. I have no idea why. It’s SO annoying! I have no idea why I decided to wear them to this race, knowing full well that they would ride down. I had wore a long sleeve tech shirt, and upon realizing that my pants would ride down and my butt crack would most likely distract a lot of people behind me, I changed into the race shirt that was given to me when I picked up my bib that morning. After I changed, I felt comfortable with the fact that the shirt covered a good deal of my butt area. REMIND ME TO GET NEW RUNNING PANTS.
Anyway, back to the race. This was the first time I had ever ran in the beautiful city of Upland. The park was right at the base of the mountains, and it was gorgeous. A little before 8, we all had to walk up the street to the actual start line. At exactly 8, the race started – along with a lovely lady in a turkey costume. I can’t even imagine how HOT she must’ve been inside that thing! Anyway, the whole beginning part of the race was downhill, which was great. However, my pants were riding down, and I had to pull them up so I looked like I was doing a jig. Not great.
After my pants settled, we turned a corner and from here on it was flat. I managed to take a gorgeous shot of the street.
I had been pacing myself with this woman running with large headphones. Wherever she was, I tried to catch up with her. We appeared to be going at a good pace. I even managed a glance on my app; in the first mile, I was running an 8:22 pace!!!
And then, as quick as my pace was, the quicker it slowed down when we turned a corner and we started going uphill. Phew. On that street, my pace climbed up to around 10:30. Some people started to slow down at around this corner too. Some men and women were running with strollers and were struggling to push them up this hill. Ugg. I was tired myself, but I was still next to the girl with the headphones, so it was all good.
We turned a corner again and the street was flat yet again. I used this time to store my energy to prep for the last few meters of the race. There was finally a water station – it was already so hot by this time!
We turned another corner shortly after, and there it was: the hill. The hill that I did not prepare myself for. I should’ve known, especially since we were at the base of the mountains. I tried. I really did. But I just couldn’t. Midway up, I just started walking, in large steps. I have not walked a race since high school – hell, I didn’t even walk up the hill when I did the half in SF! I think because of the fact I was running so much faster all throughout, I was just wiped. I said goodbye to my sub 28 minute finish time as the girl with the headphones breezed on up the hill. I took it that she had ran this race before, and was especially prepared.
When I neared the top, I resumed to running again, and by then we were almost done. 200 meters later, I finished with a time of 30:03. I was a bit disappointed since I was so close to hitting at least the 29 min. mark, but damn. Whatever. I went up that hill. I was running an 8:22 pace. That was already something for me.
I so badly wanted to place in my age group again. When the results came up, I found out I came in at 110 – as for the age group, if I had looked correctly, I actually was in the top 5. Sadly, the bling was only reserved for the one that came in first.
Oh well, at least I got a shirt!
Post race, they had a LOT of food for us. They had water bottles, bananas, orange slices, two types of Clif bars, Nature Valley Bars, Sea Salt Crackers, Vitamin C Supplements, mini boxes of Reeses Cereal… there was so much! I took a couple more of the bars to save for later. 😉
When I got home, I finally saw what was inside the goodie bag – pretty generous plethora of stuff, I say. There was even a reflector that’s definitely going to be useful!
All in all, it was a great race, and a great way to make some room for the dinner I was going to have that night.
Will I run Upland again next year? I’m not sure. Maybe I should just sign up for the 5k held a block away from me sooner. 🙂
I hope that everyone has had a great Thanksgiving weekend so far! I went Black Friday shopping yesterday, and managed to get a bunch of soap from Bath and Body Works as well as a pair of khaki pants I really needed from Hollister.
Maybe I should go back for some new running pants. 🙂
I awoke early the morning of the race – I had set my alarm at 4:00 am so I had enough time to get ready, eat breakfast, and drive to downtown from the East Bay with my stepdad. Thanks to a sudden urge to go to the bathroom, I realized it was already 3:45 am – might as well get up then. I turned on the TV and Zenon: The Zequel was on. Hello, childhood! I had it play in the background as I got ready. My parents woke up shortly too, and we all had a quick breakfast: I just had a dinner roll with peanut butter and coffee. My stepdad and I would go to the city first; my sister, the kids, my brother and his family, and my mom would follow later on.
My stepdad and I got to downtown pretty early – at around 5:30, to be exact! I had a lot of time on my hands, so I took my time getting to my corral and grabbed a Gatorade at a corner store. There were already a lot of runners there! With all the spare time, I made sure to use the porta potties TWICE before the race started.
I was in my corral for about an hour. Yes, an hour. The race started at 6:30 with the first wave of runners. There was loud music blasting from speakers all around, instructors on a stage at the front of each corral showing us stretches, and a bunch of dancing lights. The energy was definitely there – but by the time it was 7am, I was just about over it all. I was just so anxious to start! Finally, my corral – the third wave – was on it’s way to the starting line. Daylight had already broken by the time we got to start!
There were TONS of runners. Like the start of any race, people get bunched up. But in this case, people were bunched up the whole way. Not that there wasn’t any room to run, I had just never been in a huge race so this was all new to me!
I kept my pace steady, and had my phone off so I didn’t see how much I had left to go, what time it was, etc. I really lost track of time during this race, and it was nice to just focus on my surroundings and actually doing the run. I didn’t want to fuss with speed of any sort, especially since my foot was still hurting a bit. I had it wrapped up in athletic tape to keep it stable.
We roamed around the city and before I knew it, we were at Golden Gate Park by mile 4. It was really crazy how fast time went; it was also really foggy throughout, so it even added more to the sense of losing track of time.
At almost every mile mark, there was something there: a live band, cheerleaders cheering, a DJ, a vast amount of volunteers passing out water, fruit, and various types snacks ranging from Luna bars to chocolate bars!. There literally was something going on throughout this whole race. It was GREAT! The energy was positive throughout, everyone was happy.. it was just great!
At around mile 7, a pace maker had caught up to me for a goal of finishing at 2:40. I thought I was in pretty good standing, because I thought I was going much slower when I actually wasn’t: I was still within my goal! I passed the pacemaker afterward and used seeing her as a way to keep myself in check. After all, I still wanted to finish at a good time!
BUT THINGS CHANGED AT MILE 10. My goodness. This hill was brutal. The fog just kept concealing how much higher we had to go. It was dreadful, but I managed to keep running – even though I ran as slow as a turtle! Many others walked this part as well.
Mile 10 was definitely the hardest part of the whole race. It was literally almost a mile of continuous, arduous, uphill.
And then Nike had the nerve to post this sign at the top:
After mile 10, the race got surprisingly easy. It suddenly went all downhill, and before I knew it, I was at mile 12 – just one mile left to go! My boyfriend, who was tracking me online throughout the whole race, had sent me encouraging text messages that I got to glance at as I pressed on.
You know how they say the first and last mile are the hardest? Yep. Couldn’t be any more truer. I anticipated seeing the mile 13 marker and it honestly felt like forever. When the crowds started gathering more and more, I knew I was within the finish. I eventually saw the pink flag waving “Mile 13”, took a sharp turn, and zoomed straight for the finish. Those interval trainings paid off, because I flew from there on.
And boom! I was done!!!
After I crossed the finish line, all of us just kept walking forward and we were greeted by more volunteers handing out finishers goodies, including a beautiful black and blue water bottle (filled with water, too!), a reusable finisher’s tote bag from Whole Foods filled with FOOD, some chocolate milk, and a heating blanket! At the very end, before we left the finish line area, were booths that were like security checkpoints at airports. Here, volunteers were passing out the beautiful, little blue box that most of us ran our butts off for.
Through the sea of runners and their families, I finally found my own, and we took countless photos as I was greeted with hugs and kisses and congratulations. I was really happy that my family was able to be a part of this – they were one of the main reasons I really wanted to run San Francisco!
After that, the celebrations pretty much continued. My family and I met up with more family and went to eat at a Filipino restaurant to celebrate both my sister-in-law and my stepdad’s birthdays, in addition to my finish. It was just a wonderful feeling, to be surrounded by those I loved, and got to finish a race that I have been training hard for the last three months for, not to mention a race that I’ve been wanting to do for the longest time!
My official time was 2:42:22 – my boyfriend had sent over my stats as he saw it online. I was really happy with my results – with all running, no stopping / walking, and some gnarly hills, I thought that I did well enough. I mean, since it was my first half marathon, I pretty much still PR’ed, right? 🙂
Since Sunday, I’ve been wearing my finisher’s necklace and just cannot stop admiring it. It’s just so pretty!
And so ends my Nike Women’s Half Marathon journey – 265.1 miles later. I’ve learned and endured a great deal through it, and only now do I understand how people can get addicted to running half-marathons.
Because now, I’m already looking up my next one! Preferably, a flat course, this time. 😉
I’ve decided to take a couple of days off and just recuperate not just from my run, but from my busy weekend. I just had a lot to do, and traveling always takes a toll on me. I am getting antsy, and might just go for a nice, short 4 miles this weekend.
Last Sunday, I accomplished my first ever half marathon! After three long months, over 250 miles logged, which even brought the start of this very blog, I had ran and finished the very race I was set out to do. And I cannot believe it’s OVER!
Let’s start from the very beginning.
It was a very eventful weekend. On Saturday, my sister, her kids, and I drove to the East Bay to pick up our Mom. We were on our way to San Francisco to attend to my cousin’s birthday celebration – and of course, to pick up my race packet. We had an early morning start, and by noon, we already had our Mom with us and were already on the way to the city. We decided that it would be better to go to my cousin’s party first, then head to Union Square later before heading home. After having some much needed bonding (and eating) time with my family, it was time to head to downtown to quickly get my things before the expo closed.
We were pretty much stuck in traffic, being that it was already around rush hour. Once we got to downtown, my sister and I thought it was a better idea for them to go ahead and find parking, and for me to just walk to Union Square because it would be quicker that way. I hopped out the car and I went off. It felt good to walk in my city – my home. I rushed over to the expo as more and more people kept gathering at the crosswalk, the closer I got.
The expo was inside a HUGE Tiffany blue tent. There were volunteers and fellow runners everywhere, rummaging to get in line according to bib number to get inside the expo. As many people as there were around me, getting my packet was pretty much a breeze. After getting in my designated line, a volunteer took me over to the main line inside. I simply provided my name, ID, and confirmation number and my goodies were quickly handed over. Yay!
I didn’t realize that it would be so quick. My sister had given me a call and let me know they found parking, but they would just stay in the car and wait for me, meaning that I didn’t have much time to explore. I quickly went through the expo and got a free bracelet (a different color according to the miles I’ve racked) and saw a bunch of other highlights: there was an area where you can measure your gait, a place to grab some race gear, an area to get your hair braided (I was sad I didn’t have time for this!), two huge walls for you to write a message at, a wall to take pictures in.. There was so much to do, but I had so little time!
On my way out, I passed the stage. Luckily, I didn’t miss who the speaker was and saw that it was the Olympian, Shawn Johnson herself! I listened to her Q&A for a bit and headed on out. Still, it was so inspiring to see her, even better knowing that she would be out there with us running as well!
On my way out, I took a photo of this awesome sign!
I was sad that I didn’t get a photo anywhere near any of the signs – I was too rushed, and there were too many people around me. I didn’t even get to find my name in the wall with everyone else’s (that was running this year) name on it! Eh well. Next time. I headed to the parking lot where my family was and only there did I take a good look at what I received. I actually didn’t get to take a photo of all the goodies, but the goodie bag consisted of:
A generous amount of gel
A Peppermint Luna Bar
A bag of trail mix
A generous sample of Paul Mitchell’s dry shampoo
A generous sample of Neutrogena sunscreen
A $20 gift card to Nike.com (HELL YEAH! There’s $20 off my registration.. ha)
A logo tech tank top
My race bib – 11331, baby!
My pace bracelet for my corral
Four safety pins – you can never have enough safety pins
I was pretty pleased with the goodies, and I LOVED the tank! I already had a Tiffany blue long sleeve especially for the race, so I didn’t plan on wearing the tank just yet. Gotta keep it crisp…
And with the fluttering in my tummy, I went to bed at 9:30 pm that night, and slept a good night’s sleep. My whole family went to bed early as well – after all, it was going to be a super busy morning!
Well, I didn’t PR, but I definitely was in for a surprise!
Today was the day of my first 5k since March of this year! I managed to get up at around 5:50 am this morning to get to where the race was by 6:30. I was surprised I had enough energy this morning: I had gotten dinner with friends last night and did not get home until late. I got ready quick, and grabbed a KIND bar on the go. I had about an hour and a half until the race started, so I had some time to have a little something to eat before.
Everyone was really friendly this morning. I usually go to races myself, since my boyfriend unfortunately works mornings on Saturdays, which is usually when I have a race. I found myself talking to a lot of fellow runners. I swear, I have never met a rude runner. It’s always easy to strike a conversation with anyone at a race! One man had told me that he was finally getting back into running, and that today was his first 5k – after 20 years! After some more small talk, he agreed to take a photo of me before the race started.
By 7:30, we were off. I already knew to pace myself and not let myself get too excited as everyone rushed past me, so I just took my time. The course was relatively flat, with a couple of hills. It was a beautiful course – the first part of the trail had us go into a lush, green field and some old farm houses. I wish I got to take photos!
Once I reached the first mile’s water station, I yanked a cup off the table and tried my best to drink as I continued to run. A half of a mile later, I started noticing that I had already passed a lot of the people that had passed me in the beginning, to the point where there was a large gap between the people in front of me and the people behind me. The last mile was all flat, and at this point I started passing even more people. Within sight, there was about three people in front, with someone right beside me and someone behind me.
As I turned the corner and saw the finish line, I did my best and sprinted all the way down. I finished in 29:30. I didn’t PR. But WHEW. As flat as the course was, I felt like that was one of the tougher 5k’s I’ve ran – possibly because of the small, unexpected hills.
The after portion of the race included a breakfast. I met one of the runners I finished with and I sat down and ate breakfast with him. I learned that he was just in high school and had ran the race with his sister. When his little sister had arrived, I found out that they were Filipino, which is awesome because I hardly see any fellow Filipinos where I live. It was nice to bond with him and his family, and to be able to speak my native tongue! It’s been a while. I now have a new running buddy, since it was his first 5k race ever! I’m already egging him on to do another race with me soon!
A little bit later, the awards ceremony was up. His little sister ended up placing 3rd in her age range! When his age range came up, we were hoping he’d place too – but unfortunately he came at a close 4th place! By the time it was my age group, I already felt defeated. There was no way I was going to place this time.
3rd place, not me.
2nd place, ha, of course, not me!
1st place, me – WAIT WHAT?!
All of us at the table were shocked and I was so surprised – I HAD PLACED FIRST IN MY AGE RANGE YET AGAIN! I honestly did not expect it since the age range was huge and I thought there would be more women my age ahead of me, but I guessed wrong!
So, I won another pretty medal! Hooray! And I thought I’d just come home with a new bib and shirt!
I’m so glad I signed up for this race last minute! I got to run a beautiful course, got to work on my speedwork yet again, got to meet a new friend, and I ended up winning a sweet medal!
Next on my agenda, time to relax ALLLL DAY. Long run tomorrow, just need to plan which distance I’ll be doing!