Wednesday, July 20, 2011


As you may or may not know, I'm running the Hood to Coast relay as a part of Nuun's Blogger team at the end of August. I'd like you to meet the team!

The information on this very select group of highly-trained individuals has been held classified ... until now. Running in the Hood to Coast Relay will be two hand-picked Nuun teams of female bloggers. One many people already know about... they are After-NUUN Delight.

Introducing their badass flipside...


free your mind and your feet will follow...

 Major Miles... aka Tricia...firmly believes "Endurance Isn't Only Physical". She applies that doctrine by doing the majority of her training mentally. Sure, she plans on putting in some "major miles" as part of training, but just as importantly she is preparing for Hood to Coast by dreaming about running down that mountain, talking about the upcoming relay to anyone that will listen, and focusing her energy on tracking down the perfect camo print in wicking material.

"Draft beer, not people"

Captain Cupcake  ...Average A who keeps the Diary of an Average Runner, has this to say:  My life has become amazing once I started believing in myself and putting my mind and spirit into my dreams. This runs the gamut in every aspect of life: from overcoming addictions; moving across the country on my own; and becoming better, stronger, and faster in my own body every single day.

I am really excited to not only have the chance to run this historic race, but I am excited to team up with so many wonderful, talented, and inspiring female bloggers -- some of whom I've admired for years!

Our third runner is the quiet brains behind 'Operation Hydration', Corporal Kim ...our Nuun Staffer

Captain Obvious of Seattle has a superpower-esque way of making
completely useless observations to her running buddies: “Look, there’s a
slug. Don’t want to step on that.” She has been distance running,
racing and blogging about it for two years, and recently completed her
first full marathon. Captain Obvious, who blogs at
Mom vs. Marathon, would like to point out that she is a mother, as well.

Running the "Bataan" leg... Captain Underpants ... aka the faster bunny whose notable accomplishments include but are not limited to having run three marathons, BQ-ed and NYC qualified.  She is incredibly good at never getting injured!  Hasn't been injured since age 16. Additionally, she's got a couple tech-y sounding degrees that she is proud of (Engineering and MBA). (The lack of any English classes probably explains the awful grammar in her blog). She can make some mean pancakes for breakfast and a great key lime pie. She is learning to bike so that one day she can do a triathlon. 

A lover of all things crazy and that push you to the limit, she is excited to be a member of this squad because Hood to Coast is just that. She feels that to be on a team with a ton of extremely nice and inspiring women is priceless.  

General Confusion.Lisa is a married mother of two wonderful children who blogs at Discovering the Meaning of Stonehenge.  She took up running 3 1/2 years ago, at age forty.  While training for her first marathon, she discovered her love of running and fitness.  Since 2008, she has run five marathons, 16+ half marathons, six mud runs and oodles of other races.  She is a RRCA certified running coach as well as trained in pre- and post-natal fitness, teaching Stroller Strides and Body Back bootcamp classes.  Running is her escape, her fun and her “me” time.  She builds friendships around running, but also finds her “happy place” during solo runs.  

She loves spending time with her family, especially outdoors.  Hiking and biking are key activities that everyone in the family loves. Her son is following in her footsteps and recently ran his first 5K. 

In a previous life, Lisa was a casino executive (for 18 years!).  She worked long hours in a tough, people-focused industry which really gave her a thick skin. There isn’t much Lisa hasn’t seen or heard, and a bunch of women in a van during Hood to Coast will be tame compared to some of the high rollers in the casinos.

Hood to Coast has been a dream of Lisa’s for many years.  Her father ran it a few times in the 80’s and even before Lisa was a runner, she thought that HTC would be very cool. The course goes through her old stomping grounds of Mt. Hood, Sandy, Gresham, downtown Portland and the Oregon Coast.  She is thrilled and honored to have been chosen by NUUN to run on their team.

Private Chafe ... aka Jess Allen aka "THE" Blonde Ponytail ;)  Jess ran her first race ever, the Portland Marathon, last October 2010 and began her blog, Blonde Ponytail
shortly thereafter.  Jess is a recognized ninja. When she isn't silently assassinating wrong-doers, she advises students at Washington State University where her husband coaches baseball.  
Jess is a NSCA-CSCS and former Stanford University softball player. She is mom to one
fur-child, Cooper, a 3.5 yr old golden retriever. 

Cap'n Crunch  introduces herself:  Hi everyone! I’m Caitlin and unlike most of the lovely ladies on my team, I am not (currently J ) a blogger! I am a part of the Nuun Event Marketing team and I volunteered myself for a spot on the team! I graduated from Washington State University in 2010 where I played soccer for the Cougs, in addition to earning my degree in Comm. I grew up in a running family and have run two half marathons in the past year. My Hood to Coast legs will be the most I’ve ever run in 24 hours and I’m quite looking forward to the challenge. 

image source

Code name: Nightingale. This super secret agent is rumored to blog at Nurse on the Run. Her identity is closely guarded and all info is classified. When
sighted, she is usually in the vicinity of someone needing medical assistance... or running really fast!

Major Pain  ...aka H Love... whose motto and blog are Keep On Keeping On.  She tells us:  I spent my time growing up between Florida and Washington State,
enjoying the beauty of both places!  I am a small town girl who loves to
compete (with myself) and try new things.  I have always loved sports,
but running was
never one of them.  I played basketball at the community college level and then finished my schooling at Washington State University!  Go Cougs!  In 2009 another mom asked me to be on a 100K relay team to run the last leg....4.3 miles!  What? It was a huge challenge.  After running those 4.3 miles I was HOOKED!  Those 4.3 miles , led to 13.1 and recently 26.2!  Being part of NUUN Platuun is a huge gift and I still can't believe I am going to be part of HOOD to COAST!  I am a mom of three amazng kids (10, 8 & 5) who inspire me daily! I am blessed with a hard working hubby that makes me laugh and supports me in all I do.

I "stay at home" (ha, ha, that's a joke) with the kiddos and work part time as a Early Childhood Education consultant and trainer.  I love to bust a move (no alcohol necessary) and enjoy hanging with my fam and friends.  Love, love, love, white sand beaches,the  gulf of mexico and warm sunshine!  I try to enjoy the moments I am given and always looks for ways to inspire and connect with others!  Can't wait to "bring it" with this amazing group of women!  Go NUUN Platuun!  Hoo-Rah!!

Sergeant Style  ...aka Tonia.  Here's the short version: Mom. Runner. Wife. Triathlete. Friend. Pescatarian. Coach. Not necessarily in that order. 

And the not so short version: As a former Division I Track and Field athlete, I have always had an athletic side, but it wasn't until my second child was born that running became my passion. I began running in 2007 after I vowed to run a 10K by the end of the year. I finished that 10K and have never looked back. Since then, I've run 4 marathons, 10 half marathons and a slew of shorter races. Right now, I am training for the NYC Marathon with Team Grassroot Soccer.

Although, I am primarily a stay-at-home mom, I have been active in the fitness industry for five years and is am a certified running coach with the Road Runners Club of America. In 2010, I established, TMB Endurance Training, a coaching endeavor focused primarily on distance runners. I am also certified as a fitness instructor with the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, where much of my focus has been spent in the areas of Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness.

On a personal level, I am mother to three beautiful daughters, Dizzle, Doodle, and Dilly, wife of 7 years to J and author of the blog,
Racing With Babes.

Notable accomplishments: 3 kids. 4 marathons. An Ivy League degree. An a appearance in the August 2011 Runner's World magazine.

Why I am so excited to be on Team Nuun for Hood to Coast: Well, isn't it obvious? Hood to Coast is "the Mother of All Relays" and running it with Team Nuun is a once in a lifetime experience. Who wouldn't be excited? Seriously, though, I am so honored to be included in this group of amazing blogging women from all over the country. I am looking forward to being challenged and forming new friendships and bonds. I know this is bound to be an experience I will never forget. 

Commando  ...aka XLMIC, blogger at Taking It On ... lurks in the shadows until the perfect moment to jump out and bust someone's cojones. She is relentless in everything she does. If she cannot out-and-out beat you running on the road, she will annoy you into the ground or make you laugh until you are immobilized... or you wet your pants. She appears unphased by almost any situation. She began running as a way of cross-training for her favorite sport, rowing. She rowed for Cornell University, at Vesper Boat Club, and was on the 1991 US PanAm team. After running two sub-4 hour marathons, she had four kids and took an injury-forced, 8-year hiatus from athletics. (She also has 6 grown stepkids). She resumed running less than a year ago and prefers to run at night... stealth-style... after everyone is asleep. Don't look for her because you won't find her that way. Just listen... she has a hard time keeping quiet for very long. 

These formidable and fun athletes will present a force to be reckoned with at the 2011 Hood to Coast!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Goals for the San Francisco Marathon

Earlier this year, my goal was to run the Big Sur 21-miler as a training run for the San Francisco Marathon.

I then wanted to run SFM as a practice run/time trail for an undetermined fall race.

I wanted to get a sub-4 at that fall race.

Well, I ended up switching from the Big Sur 21-miler to the full marathon just days before the event. And then I sort of accidentally got a sub-4 there. So my goals for the rest of the year had a very pleasant wrench thrown into them, my confidence levels in my running had a tremendous boost, I completely redesigned and had an awesome training cycle post-Big Sur, and I needed to reassess my goals.

I've reassessed. And reassessed. I signed up for my fall race while training for SFM. I wondered if Big Sur was a total fluke. And then I thought about goals some more.

With that...
My goals for the San Francisco Marathon!
  • "A" goal: Thanks to a vagabond friend who knows nothing about marathoning other than what I've told him, he set my goal time as 3:47. Yes, technically this is someone else's goal for me and not my own, but I really believe I can hit it as long as I hold myself together on the hills. His suggestion has given me something awesome to shoot for this training cycle, and it's been at the back of my mind this whole time. I'm not lying when I say that. I've thought "3:47" at some point during EVERY training run as I glance at my overall pace on my Garmin. I've trained for that pace on all of the hills. I feel ready for it.
  • "B" goal: sub-3:55:16, my current marathon PR
  • "C" goal: sub-4
  • "D" goal: Run until I crash and burn, but know I left it all out there
  • "E" goal: Finish and take pride in a sweet new medal
  • "F" goal: Die (okay, not really a goal)
Conservative? Some may argue. Realistic? I think so. A push? Definitely. We're still talking a 7-minute PR (from May) on an extremely technical course.

Okay, and then what?!

After SFM, I'm going to focus on the Hood to Coast relay as a part of the Nuun blogger team, and then just three weeks after Hood to Coast I'm running my fall marathon, the NorCal Marathon in San Jose. I'm going to take my SFM results, experience, fueling, everything into consideration when figuring out my NorCal marathon goals. I have some lofty goals in mind for right now (from running so hard to the point of bonking just to see what happens, to shooting for a specific time), but I really do want to use SFM as a gauge for NorCal. So in August I'll start reassessing alllll over again.

Just 12 more days of lighter and easier miles, and then it's go time for SFM! I am SO excited to see what will happen -- for me, and for all my friends who are also running! :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Race" Recap: 6-Hour Distance Classic

My longest training run in this cycle happened to fall the same weekend as the 6-Hour Distance Classic, a run put on by my local running club, the DSE Runners. This "race" involves the Crissy Field Lagoon, a one-mile loop, and a bunch of runners circling for 6 hours.


Originally I wanted to see how many laps I could do in 6 hours, but the more rational side of me (okay, so it was actually RoadBunner who threatened some sense into me) told me to just do my mileage for the day, then drop out to avoid burn-out before the marathon.

A fully supported run where all the nutrition, water, and Biffys I need for a long run less than a mile away sounded pretty good. The only thing that didn't sound appealing was running on a flat, gravel loop for hour after hour after hour after hour.

It did get better, though, when Ron and Karin agreed to run it as their final long run for SFM, too! And then Megan and her husband Eric expressed interest in joining us.

And so did RoadBunner.

Through Twitter, I learned that Cate, Cate's husband Mike, and Courtney could also make it. Audrey and Naomi could stop by to run laps as well.

Aron's lululemon event got canceled that same morning, so she could come run. Layla could run laps too. Jana could meet us a few hours later.

And the world exploded into love all around me!

A cloudy morning and boring-sounding long run suddenly became ANOTHER weekend reunion with this awesome running community, when originally I was planning on being out there all by my lonesome. I even had the pleasure of running a few miles with my friends beforehand, and then 17 loops around Crissy Field by myself -- but with my friends no further than a mile away.

Best long run imaginable. I loved it.

The first 7 miles were up and over the Golden Gate Bridge for some hillwork with Megan, Eric, Ron, RoadBunner, Karin, and Layla.

1: 9:18
2: 9:30
3: 8:44
4: 8:44
5: 8:30
6: 8:20
7: 8:37
Megan and me on the quiet bridge this morning!

The last 17 miles of my long run were one-mile loops around Crissy Field during the 6-hour. I was going to be happy with anything over 20 miles, but I was really shooting for 22 to 24. The great thing was that if I had any moment of wanting to quit, it was really easy to say "just one more lap." Amazingly, my legs kicked into a higher gear at mile 16, and the last 8 miles I did actually felt the best.

Not a bad background, even after 17 laps.Look closely and find Layla, Aron, RoadBunner, & Karin running on the gravel portion -- downtown San Francisco peaking over the trees.
8: 8:30
9: 8:31
10: 8:41
11: 8:27
12: 8:29
13: 8:29
14: 8:27
15: 8:31
16: 8:19
17: 8:19
18: 8:18
19: 8:12
20: 8:13
21: 8:10
22: 8:08
23: 8:16
24: 8:00

I think I'm going to do just one more lap!
Almost done.
Total distance run: 24.08 miles
Total time: 3:24:31 (8:29 pace)

Jana, RoadBunner, Karin, Layla, me, Aron, & Cate
(Yeah, some of us may have ended up at Genki for more ramen.)
After today, I KNOW I am ready for the San Francisco Marathon! I am so excited to take these next three weeks easier and focus mentally on this race. I'm STILL figuring out how to precisely word my goals for SFM (okay, so maybe I'm still thinking about my goals just a little...), and I'll post those soon. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Runs With Friends

Once again, time for blogging has slipped away from me, but these last few weekends have been perfect in terms of getting in my final long runs before the San Francisco Marathon in a four weeks. (Wow, just four weeks!!?)

I've been doing all of my long runs with speed-demon Katie lately, which is great because she really knows how to push me when I need a little push. She also knows how to humor me when I really need a little break. :) While I never thought I'd be a social runner -- I've always enjoyed getting out there on my own -- all of my recent runs seem to prove otherwise...

Saturday, June 25th

Last Saturday, I met up with Katie and Aron for my first 20-miler of this training cycle. We met at the Sports Basement in Potrero Hill and ran 20 miles of the San Francisco Marathon course. We had an AWESOME long run, and even though I had a teeny tiny bonk at mile 17, this training run was a huge confidence booster for SFM.

20 miles/2:52:24/8:37 pace

Katie, Aron, & me

Sunday, June 26th

On Sunday, I left the City to run for the very first time! Aron organized a Bay Area blogger meet-up, and I got to see some old friends as well as meet some new ones. We headed over to Danville where I did an easy recovery run, and I enjoyed chatting, drinking coffee, and getting to know these girls afterward. I loved running on the Iron Horse Trail and hope to go back for more long runs in the future.

6 miles/56:34/9:27 pace

Back row: Alisyn, Naomi, Page, Kristen, Caitlin, Kerry, Layla, Beth, Courtney
Front row: me, Tara, Audrey, Jana, Katie, Megan, Aron
Not pictured: Cate
Katie, me, & LaylaLoved all the shade from the trees -- it is HOT over in the East Bay!Mmmmm coffeeAlisyn, Courtney, me, Aron, Cate, & Layla
Thursday, June 30th

On Thursday, I went to the lululemon Run Club rewards program kick-off. I have gone to their ROGA (running + yoga) sessions before, but this is a brand-new program where we get lululemon rewards for running mileage with the team. A lot of people showed up, and we had a great time running with so many lululemon enthusiasts.

It's a bit like finding Waldo, but I'm in there.
Laura, Katie, & me
Aron & me

Saturday, July 2nd

Yesterday, I met up with a few ladies for a simple (by "simple" I mean "not as hilly as the SFM course") 16-miler along the west side of the city. I really wanted a break from the hills I have been training on, and a casual tweet conversation about running with Katie turned into an epic adventure with other runners. I finally got to meet Megan, another vegan runner who came into the city to join us. Aron brought Kristin along, and we had a great time as these 16 miles seriously flew by.

16 miles/2:19:00/8:38 pace

Katie, me, & Golden Gate Park
Megan, Katie, me, Kristin, & Aron
Sunday, July 3rd

Ramen has become one of my favorite foods, and for a while I've been wanting to plan a "Ramen Run." Today that happened! Although this weekend was a busy one for traveling and it was also ungodly hot in the city, a great group of people came out to Golden Gate Park for a casual run -- and we indulged in ramen afterward! I had a great recovery run and a fun morning with Layla, Kerry, Audrey, RoadBunner, Kristen, Jana, Naomi, and Karin.

8 miles/1:12:54/9:06 pace

All of us at Genki Ramen for the most perfect post-run meal (even when it's stupid hot out)
Sunday, July 10th

Next weekend I will be taking part in a 6-hour distance challenge, where athletes run as many 1-mile loops as they can/want in 6 hours. I am planning on using this as my final long run before SFM, and I'll be dropping out once I hit my intended mileage (still up in the air, but I'm thinking 22 to 24 miles based on how I'm feeling.) I've managed to talk some friends into also running the 6-hour challenge for their long runs as well, so next weekend is going to be another fun weekend of running long with friends.

As I close in on my one-year anniversary of being in the Bay Area (has it been 11 months already!!??), all of these group runs have allowed me to enjoy a lot of the beauty and excitement the Bay Area has to offer -- both in terms of running and in friendships. I feel so lucky to be here and to have been welcomed into such an awesome community.