Friday, October 18, 2013

Nike Women's Half-Marathon Packet Pick-up Extravaganza!

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I'll start with Tuesday's dinner, for whatever reason.

Salmon patty (from TJ's), mixed green salad, brussells sprouts
There's no exercise or running to tell you about. I started to get sick earlier this week and am now on Day 3 of cold meds. I have a stuffy/runny nose, a slight productive cough and a slight sore throat. The timing is not good with the fast approaching half-marathon. I'm a little nervous given my bout of pneumonia earlier this year. There's not much that could stop me from running this race but if I get pneumonia as a result I'm going to feel a tad foolish.

I wish having a cold were my excuse for no exercise but nothing stopped me earlier in the week. Oh, other than life. I'm distracted by life right now, it's really calling on me to give it my full attention, and the exercise has suffered as a result. So I'm watching the food intake a bit more because I know I'm not burning through the calories like I normally do. And I'm being patient with myself, comfortable in the knowledge that as things settle, which they are slowly doing, I will get back to my routine. I love my routine, I love running/biking/swimming/weight lifting and all the rest, I love hiking and exploring and everything that comes with being fit and strong. I'm not worried about slipping off the exercise wagon.

I was able to sneak over to packet pick-up yesterday. But unfortunately instead of traipsing in and getting my packet I got this.

SFPD Bomb Squad
Ugh, that's never a good sign. Turns out someone left a "suspicious package" marked "booby trapped" near the Union Square park where the Nike Expo was happening. We were delayed by a couple hours. So what did I do with my time? Thanked volunteers and chatted up my fellow runners.

Meet Omar and Max, two younglings volunteering "just for something to do".
I am so grateful to volunteers, without them, these races couldn't happen. Thank you guys, and to everyone who volunteers at events! Sometimes volunteering is hard work, sometimes it's more fun than work, but it's always time freely given so us participants can have a great day, which is much appreciated.

And then I chatted up the runner chicks who were also waiting for the bomb squad to clear us. Meet Stephanie and Vonzie!

Stephanie (in the glasses), Vonzie and I
Stephanie is from Upstate New York and also ran the DC Nike event. She's doing the half on Sunday. And this is Vonzie's 3rd SF Nike event (she's a local) and she's doing the full 26.2 miles! We had a nice time talking races gone by and about our hopes for this one. Stephanie was wearing the official Nike DC shoes, how cute are these! They have DC etched into the back of them, as you can see.

Before I knew it the police were clearing us to go in. Finally!

But then, no, not quite. They cleared us to get in line but not to enter the Expo. More waiting.

At least the weather was nice
I was happy to be in a good spot in line, some people were blocks away. We all kept busy talking runner-girl talk and spectating. Another hour went by and we were finally let in. I got my packet and was surprised to find I put myself in the 9:00 - 9:59 pace corral. What was I thinking? Must have been in a super-optimistic/somewhat delusional state of mind when I registered.

After getting my packet I walked around the expo a bit - fancy! This is only my second "big" race (the SF Rock-n-Roll being my first) and I enjoyed all the hoopla. I purchased a post-race shuttle ticket and then walked around checking out the show. They had a DJ and the music was blasting, tons of people everywhere, it bordered on a run-nightclub scene. I didn't wait in line to get my free shoelaces, I was already running way late. But I managed to take a few pictures.

Fancy running digs

The route - in neon. This thing was huge. Very cool.

I matched!

The last one is the window in the Nike store with all our names on it. Of course I had to find mine.

I haven't taken a picture of my bib and swag so I'll have to put that in my next post.

Last night I went to dinner with the group-entry women with whom I entered. I had a shrimp pasta dish and even dessert (butterscotch pudding - yum!). We had a great time talking race-talk: what to wear, Camelbak vs no, corrals, expected finish times, etc, etc. I slipped on my blogger duties and forgot to take a group picture but this is one fun group of women and I can't wait to celebrate with them! We are all meeting for brunch after the race (and I'll be sure to take a group shot then), which is going to be half of what drives me to the finish line. The other half will be the necklace and finisher's shirt. Oh, and there's always my blind determination too.

So that's it. Oh, wait, one more bit of joyous news. I started my period. Can you believe that?! I just had it a few weeks ago. What is this, a thing now that I'm always going to get it pre-race? That's not a fun tradition. Good thing I'm running with the Camelbak so I can carry my necessities. Ok, so I have a cold/cough and it's TTOTM and I've only gone on two training runs since the triathlon. Yes, blind determination will be needed. And cold meds. And ibuprofen. And my inhaler. And a bit of luck won't hurt. But determination, perseverance, that's what I need more than anything. Good thing I have that. In spades.

I am a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice offering Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) for weight loss and maintenance. I have an office in Marin County, CA and I'm also available via Skype. To learn more please visit my professional website at or email me at

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Promise of a Good Run

Happy Sunday! After posting to my local tri group that, well, here's what I said...
"Anyone running this Sunday morning? I'm having a hard time motivating myself to get out there and meeting up would be just the oomph I need. I'm hoping to do 10 miles or so. No need for us to run together, just meet up and get moving, maybe coffee after if we have time."
So I put it out there and within 30 minutes I had plans (thanks Dierdra!). The Tiburon by the Bay half-marathon group was hosting a course preview, with 6 or 8 mile run options and post-run yoga. No 10 mile option but I'm not complaining. They'd also be offering snacks after. What's not to love? So I signed up for that and got my lazy butt to bed early.

When the alarm went off at 6am this whole meetup run thing no longer seemed like such a great idea. But after some hemming and hawing I got up and moving. It was chilly outside, in the mid 50's. I know you mid-westerners (not to mention easterners) are laughing right now but for this born and bred California girl, that's cold!

A good-sized crowd shows up and we get briefed on the planned route. Though I've run in this area quite a lot, I've never run this route so I'm a bit concerned about getting lost. Hopefully I can keep up enough to have someone to follow. Before too long we're on our way. And it turned out all the rest this past week made running fairly easy. Oh and the weather! Once the sun started shining all was right with the world. Perfect running weather.

While running I overheard a couple women talking about the Nike half and wriggled my way into that conversation. Turns out they've done it multiple times and had tons of tips! We also talked about parenting little ones and running, and how the two compliment each other so perfectly.

I got to the 6-mile turnaround and briefly considered going to 8 - after all, I started with a plan to do 10 - but then figured, ah what the heck, the race is next weekend, 2 extra miles at this point won't make or break me. So I turned around and happily finished strong, running my last mile in around 9:05 minutes. I can't be sure of my overall pace because my Garmin died just after we stopped and I can't find the cord to upload/charge it. I'm pretty sure my overall pace was around 9:35, which made me happy.

After the run I partook (is that the past tense of partake?) in some of the treats and watched some of the women do yoga for a few minutes.

Post run milling. Check out that weather!

Urban Remedy juices - yum!

Urban Remedy snacks. This stuff was tasty!!
I guess people use the juices to do cleanses, which (so far) isn't my thing. But they're so tasty I'd enjoy them as a snack. Anyway, my Nike Sunday running peeps were meeting for breakfast so I skipped the yoga and got on that bandwagon.

We met up at the same cafe from last time but this time I went less healthy, with pancakes, an egg and bacon. And I had some great conversation about p90x, the joys of fitness and how finding what you love is not always the best advice, at least not for the new exerciser.

Mmm, pancakes!
Well, there you have it. I'm back home and showered, just waiting for Miguel to drop off the kids. They went with him to soccer this morning while I ran around Tiburon and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast. Life remains in flux over here but I'm happy to have burned off some stress this morning. I recently described food as my salvation but it's not. Running, exercise, moving my body - that's my salvation.