Tag Archives: Marin Headlands

Running while pregnant…

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The holidays are full-on in motion and I’m over halfway through my 2nd trimester but I’m still running right through it all!

Last weekend was an amazing racing weekend in San Francisco, specifically in the Marin Headlands for the Northface Endurance Challenge.

I’ve ran this event 3 times now:

The Northface marathon in 2012

The Northface Gore-tex 50 mile in 2014

And the Northface marathon again this year.

The biggest difference this year is I ran the marathon at 22 weeks/ 5 months pregnant!

I have been blessed and lucky to feel strong, solid and energetic for most of my 2nd pregnancy, not unlike my 1st actually (which I ran Boston marathon at 23 weeks pregnant).

The Northface marathon is run on all trails, single-track and fire-road, some technical parts and over 5,000 feet of climbing!


  
So it’s quite different than a road race. But I am always up for a challenge and have the support of my OBGYN, husband, and awesome family and friends to do what I feel is right.


I ran in 4:29:10, 12th female and 4th in my age group, which is an awesome pace for this hilly, trail marathon and for carrying some extra baggage. If anything I felt under-trained in my legs, but never felt awful pregnancy-wise or cardio-wise. That all stayed fairly comfortable!


  

This pregnancy so far has brought me to the end of my biggest year in training and racing ever. It’s crazy to think the 2nd half of the year I have pretty much been pregnant and still running a lot of the volume I can normally handle, slower paces at times, but still enjoying ‘racing’ a lot too!

I’ve ran 2 (trail) marathons; the Golden Hills in October (and Northface in Dec)

2 (trail) half marathons; the Inside Trail Berkeley Half in September

The Inside China Camp Half in November

As well as a 5k road race (which I PR’d late in July)

The Mt Tam hill climb over Labor day

And my first cross-country race with my team (super fun!)

And a lot of training miles up and down Mt Tam, in the Headlands and all around.


  

I know as the year winds down and the kick off of 2016 will bring much slower paces and less mileage and I’m OK with that. But I am just enjoying all the moments of running and feeling great that I can right now because I KNOW it won’t last forever. I have 4 more months of pregnancy left to lighten up, so we will see what it brings.

I will say I was able to run up to days before my 1st was born, so I’m banking on the fact that I’m even more stronger now than I was 2 1/2 years ago to keep at it! But I’m always ready and willing to do what is best for myself and the little one I’m carrying.

Along with running, I complete a lot of strength/ weight training (3-4x a week), light yoga (2-3x a week), core work (very specific pregnancy friendly core-work), and a lot of post-run exercises with resistance bands, etc. I also ‘cross train’ with cycling and the stair-master in between run days. So I maintain a wide variety of activity, all along with running after a 2 year old toddler!

So just a little update on this past weekends great marathon and lots of kudos to all my friends, training buddies, teammates and all out there last weekend racing, cheering and volunteering! I’ll use this adrenaline and endorphin’s to get me through the end of the year!

My week of running…

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Happiest of Fridays!

I had a great week of running, for me, an average of 50 miles a week seems to be the sweet spot that I can maintain when I’m not training for anything in particular. (which I’m not right now)
My body stays fairly healthy/ injury free and I get in lots of trail miles and ‘easy’ road miles when I’m not training for a race, so it’s doable to keep a good base. 
I do have a couple of trail half marathons coming up in the next few weeks, but they are ‘for fun’ and nothing I can’t handle with a few days taper beforehand. 

I’m lucky to live/ run in a gorgeous area with trails and views that are quite enviable.

(SF and a peak of the GGB in the background) This week, amid some easy road miles, I fit in 2 sunrise trail runs: Wednesday at 5:30am and today at 6am. I run with a mixed group of runners (I’ll never run on the trails in the dark solo) and it’s really great QT to chat and start my day, especially because I don’t get to go into an office or work environment where I can talk with adults all day long! 🙂 I’m chatting it up toddler style at home instead. Running gives me much-needed sanity and patience for the day!

(Top of Mt Tam, view SE across the Bay)

Wednesday’s run was the classic Tam Summit, starting 2500 ft below the East Peak in downtown Mill Valley we climb 4miles up up up to the summit… in the dark most of the time!

  

But starting the run at 5:30am gives us enough time to get to the top (55min-1hour) and take pics and watch the sunrise over the Bay and SF. It’s breathtaking; each ‘rise is different.  

    

Then we get to descend a longer route to get in the remaining of our mileage for the day, 7 miles down Railroad Grade is easier on the quads and gives us 11 for the day- all by 7:30am!

Coffee and egg/ avocado sandwiches are consumed with happiness after a Summit.

 
Friday’s run is a bit of a ‘sleep-in’ start of 6am (I mean, it’s Friday!) and we ran the Ninja Loop.  It’s a loop through the Marin Headlands that was created by a group of runners who wanted to get in a quick(er), easily accessible trail run before work (start is on the NW side of the GGB- easy access for city runners and Marin).   

The loop is a total of about 2500 ft of climbing but spread out over almost 12 miles of up/down/up/down. A bit easier on the legs than a Summit but has its own challenges. The views make it worth the climbing! 

     These 2 longer trail runs, along with some easier miles in between, take me into the weekend with about 34 miles already!

I’m heading to Austin to meet the husband for a big work event he has, so I’ll fit in some 8-10 milers along the Lake, but nothing too aggressive or crazy.

It’s a kid-free weekend for us (a rare, rare occurrence!), so I’m going to enjoy the lack of responsibility and hopefully not see the sunrise 😉

What is your favorite time of the day to run?

Any running plans this weekend?

Happy Friday! (The 13th!) 

Happy Monday and hello off-season! (For 2 weeks at least)

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This weekend was one to remember. My first 50 mile distance trail race in the bag and what an amazing (seriously!) experience it was.
From the course and views, to the spectacular muddy mess and blowing my expectations away… I couldn’t have asked for a better day.

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Rain stopped early morning so we could see the moon and skies clearing right before the 5am start.

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The trail of headlamps weaving up Bobcat… Picture doesn’t do justice to the beauty of it.

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Descending down into Muir Beach, about mile 17-18.

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Climbing out of Stinson beach to the top of Cardiac Hill. The conditions of the trails and the waterfalls roaring from all the rain we had was very difficult. This climb was brutal and a mental game that put me in a dark place.

But at the top was mile 36 aid station and then a long few miles of down hill single track slugging through the mud that lifted my spirits and made me feel like a kid splashing through the muck!

Another climb out of Muir Beach at mile 41/42 played more mind games with me, but by then I KNEW I was going to finish 50 miles so I might as well leave EVERYTHING I had out there.
Bring on the pain train!

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From my Instagram 🙂

And a final push downhill for 2 miles logging in a sub 8min and 8xx min mile to cross the finish line in 9:58:30. Under the 10 hour goal that was my ULTIMATE best case scenario!

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Great friends out there and rocking my BayBirds Racing singlet for the day.

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After getting myself home, a long hot shower and placing a take out order of burritos and chips/ salsa I sat on my living room floor with my daughter and ate these straight from the box.

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Feeling good, riding the endorphin high still and can’t wait to get a massage tonight!

Also taking a couple weeks off of running though still staying active with cycling, yoga, strength and core. And working on my training plan for Boston in April!! 2015 will also include a half marathon in February for a speed check-in. Ready to get my speed on and to the track in the first part of 2015!

How’s everyone’s week?
Anyone else race over the weekend?
Who else is in their ‘off-season’?

Hi! It’s been a busy couple weeks!

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So last time I checked in I was visiting family in St. Louis.

IMG_9754.JPGMy grandma, Eloise’s great grandma!

That’s been over two weeks ago, and it is been very busy since. My visit to St. Louis was filled with family, visits with lots of friends, a weekend trip to Austin meeting up with my husband (who was there that week for work) just us 2, leaving the baby with my parents back in STL 🙂

IMG_9801.JPGFinally found some decent coffee in Austin!

IMG_9796.JPGYep! Pretty much sums it up 🙂

IMG_9790.JPGCool Austin Skyline

And arriving back to STL to some of the cold cold weather in the Midwest. Brrrr! I knew it was time to get back to Cali then.
My mom flew back to San Francisco with me, but we even had a cancelled flight the night we were supposed to fly back and a really rough flight with the baby and my mom when we did fly out.

IMG_9850.JPGThe calm before the melt down 😦

Two days after we got back to San Francisco, I raced in my second ultra distance, the Mt Tam 50k which was a tuneup for The Northface Challenge (50mile distance!) coming up on December 6th!

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Representing the Bay Birds Racing Team!

IMG_9855.JPGThis just happened (again! my first 50k Ultra distance was back in June)

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The 50K was supposed to be a confidence builder, but it was a tough course, with almost 7000 feet of climbing and very technical trails (Um, we climbed a 9 foot ladder at one point!)  I went through a rough time from miles 18-25… There was a lot of climbing, many descents which tore my quads up and feeling lonely and wondering how I was going to get through the remainder of the day. But I finished the race really strong (passed 2 girls the last 5 miles to place 3rd overall) and now that I reflect back I know I am ready to take on 50 miles!

So after the 50k, it’s been getting back into our routine the past week and really relaxing. We won’t be traveling for the holiday season at all, just enjoying our family of 3 at home, hanging with friends, eating some good food and exploring around the Bay area!

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Cheering on the Dawgs!

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Playing in the leaves!

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Library story-time and songs! (Sorry for photo quality. I busted my phone screen on my New iPhone 6 while I was running in Austin- hence the blurring selfie pic)

OH! And one of the biggest milestones the past couple weeks is that my baby girl, now 15 months, has finally, finally started walking self sufficiently!!!

IMG_9856.JPGEnjoying her early Christmas gift from the grandparents, the kitchen is a perfect encouragement for walking.

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Here’s to a busy busy holiday coming up chasing after a toddler!

I’ll be back soon with more, just a check in and hope all is well!
Cheers and happy Turkey week!

My week so far…

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How has your week been?
I’m just getting back into a training schedule after a light week post-Chicago marathon.
Tuesday I did this awesome track workout first thing in the morning at 5:45am. It was a long one (took me an hour and a half!) but worth it. Most of it was in the dark too (thank goodness for my awesome New Headlamp!)

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I also spent some QT with my baby girl (went for some runs together, story-time at the library, Bay Area discovery museum, park, playground, playing with Tupperware- you know the works!)

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Visited with some friends, hung out with my hubby after work and a went to Junior League meeting in the city.

As for my next race, I’m full force into upping my mileage for the NFC (Northface Challenge) 50 mile trail race on December 6th. I’m planning on 18 trail miles this weekend and will continue to build up to 30 miles to peak (weekend of November 15th) for this cycle of training.
I’m so excited to get out and tackle my first 50mile Ultra (I have one 50k Ultra under my belt), I just want to make sure I get in the proper training before then! Which means a lot of QT in the Headlands and maybe a couple of Tam Summits too!

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Here’s a laugh for your day!
Have a good one!

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