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Posts tagged with: marathons

When Things Don’t Go As Planned


A few days ago, we recieved word that the Mt. Disappointment 50k Ultramarathon has been postponed. This was posted on their website:

Due to a series of chronic and persistent health problems, our Race Director is forced to announce the postponement of the 2013 Mt Disappointment 50k and 50 mile races. We apologize for the late announcement but assure you that every effort was made to carry on with this year’s running events. We are planning on rescheduling the races in 2014. Those who have already paid will be refunded their race entry fees. Again, please accept our apologies and our invitation to join us next year. If you have further questions please contact Gary Hilliard or Fausto Rowlan.

The Mt Disappointment Staff

Oh wow, positive thoughts and well wishes out to the Race Director! That race was supposed to be my next one on the schedule, so this allowed me to think and refocus my priorities. As crazy as it sounded, it was a “filler” race to pass the time anyway. Almost everyone I talked to with previous experience of the race even warned me that it would be a difficult race, so I’m actually a little relieved. At first, I was thinking about looking for a replacement, but there really isn’t a need to. I should take this time to enjoy my “off-season”. I still plan to train with The Coyotes but I’ll focus on trail climbing skills, some speedwork, and maintain my run fitness.

I’m also registered for Rock N Roll Denver Marathon in October to mark state #11 / marathon #16, but just recently I got a “Save-The-Date” postcard for my good friend’s wedding in Palm Springs (200 miles away) the Friday before the race. Technically, it would still be possible if I did the wedding on Friday, drive to Ontario Airport 70 miles closer, fly to Denver super early, then did a turnaround trip to do the race. Possible, but would be too hectic. There’s no way I’m missing out on the wedding and post-wedding fun, maybe a relaxing day at the pool then more partying at night for a race. It’s all about balance. I’ll save my training and longer runs for 2014. The race will always be there.

So 2 races off the schedule. Delete. Done. Whew! So when things don’t go as planned, don’t stress. Take a step back, re-adjust, and everything will be alright.


Big Weekend of Races & Training

It’s a huge weekend for many of my friends this weekend. It was too much to post in a simple Facebook status update, so I’ll explain it all here:

America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride – Tahoe, CA
The TNT Spring Cycle Team of Greater LA is heading to Tahoe this weekend for America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, a century ride. My friend, Rommel Calderon, will be racing and is a mentor there and it seems like he’s found his endurance sports love! He was sidelined to run these past few years because of a knee issue, but I’m proud that it didn’t stop him there! He’s inspired many, and he plans to return to the cycle team as an assistant coach next season!

Comrades 54 Mile Ultramarathon – South Africa
My friend Kim Tull, who I met on the IronTEAM and continued to be co-assistant coach with her on the UltraTEAM is racing the world-reknowned ultramarathon, Comrades Marathon. It’s a 54 mile race with 18,000 or so runners from all over the world. Her bib # is 50778 and the race will start at 5:30AM South Africa time on Sunday. That’s 9:30PM our time on Saturday night. The cutoff is 12 hours or 8:30AM our time on Sunday with expected triple digit temperatures. Sounds crazy, but I’m so very excited for her! This reminds me, it was my friend Elsa, who tried to convince me to do this race and planted the very first seed of ever doing an “ultra.”

Ironman Hawaii 70.3 Triathlon – Kona, HI
Can’t believe a year already passed since Hawaii 70.3. As tough as the course was, I had A LOT of fun as a racecation. I went with the IronTEAM, as it was an official race for some. Rocky (but amazingly clear) swim, humid and crazy windy bike & run, but very very beautiful! This time some of my non-IronTEAM friends are racing. Christine Rivera, who I’ve known since high school, called me crazy for doing these 70.3 or 140.6 races, and look at her now, addicted, and doing this race too! Brothers Jon and Christian Yance are triathlon beasts and I recently met them through mutual friends. Jon raced this last year, and he’s back for more. So jealous I can’t be there!

Rock N Roll San Diego Marathon
My friend Emily Osterstock, who I met at a tech-meetup in Santa Monica years ago when I was first running in TNT, is about to run her first marathon with her Santa Cruz local TNT chapter. I remember when she first messaged me asking about the organization with many questions about fundraising, the training, etc and look at her now! She initially was going to do the half marathon, but I kept quiet, not really pushing her and decide on her own. I secretly knew she was going to switch, and she did! Also very proud of her, as she seems to be having the time of her life training! Go Emily! Also, this race was my very first marathon back in 2007. It’s a huge TNT-supported event with purple jerseys everywhere. It’s going to be one super fun event for her and the rest of TNT. Go TEAM!

Vineman Training Weekend
This weekend is also the annual VMTW (Vineman Training Weekend) for TNT’s IronTEAM and Triathlon teams. The IronTEAM is in the middle of training for Vineman Full and Ironman Coeur d’Alene, so they will be pulling some huge numbers (Sat: 2mi swim, 100mi bike, 3mi run; Sun: 20 mi run). Triathlon team will also rock some relatively huge numbers for their team as well training for Vineman 70.3. It will be weird not being there since I was there these past two years, but I know it’s always a good time plus it helps teammates become confident and comfortable coming into their race.

TNT Marathon Team – Fall Season Start
Sunday is the first practice of the Westside Marathon Team (I believe all other greater LA teams as well). This one in particular is special to me because it was my very first TNT team I trained with, plus the head coach Chris Wilno, returns after a “break”. I dunno if you call a “break”, doing an ultramarathon and an Ironman, but I guess I did the same thing! Oops! There’s a lot of TNT alumni returning as assistant coaches like my friend Lori and my old mentee Aubrey. Also other friends, Becky, Maura, Petty (Iron & Ultra alumni too), and many others are returning. I used the most of my willpower not to come back to this team, as it was very very tempting, I really do need to take a TNT break, as I have some big plans for next year. Very excited for them though, and I wish them all the best!

What else?
Sounds like I’m missing out on a super fun weekend! I’m just here hanging out in my house, personal day off, with not much to do! I’m loving it though! I’m already caught up with the new season of Arrested Development and I’m doing some chores here and there. Looking forward to tomorrow though! The Coyotes have a weekend off, but I’m back with the UltraTEAM doing a run in Cheseboro Canyon in the Thousand Oaks area in the morning then our official reunion BBQ and kicking off a teammates training to a 100 mile ultra! I’ll be enjoying a nice, cold beer and delicious food! Yum!!

Oh yeah, and did you know today’s the last day to vote for my friends Kelly & Amy into Ironman Kona? Voting ends 8:59PM PST!!
Kelly — http://bit.ly/konakelly
Amy — http://bit.ly/konaamy

Marine Corps Marathon Here I Come!

Registered earlier today for the Marine Corps Marathon 30 minutes before they sold out!

From the event’s Facebook Page:

The record is yours runners – 2 hours and 41 minutes. The fastest registration sell out in marathon history – not just MCM, but the entire United States! THANK YOU RUNNERS!

Wow! That sold out faster than Ironman Canada! I’ve always wanted to do this, so I secured my spot (plus my work reimburses $50 of any endurance race entry fees, so it’s a win-win). I’m still 50/50 wether or not I’m actually going to do this race because it’s dependent on my acceptance to the NYC Marathon via lottery. I’ll know in April, but til then, I’m excited as it will be state #10!

Austin Marathon Pre-Race Thoughts

No doubt Austin is one of my favorite cities in the U.S, but I may be biased because the only time I’ve been was for SXSW (South by Southwest), a big interactive/film/music conference. I’m super excited though, going mainly to enjoy the food, bars, and people – running 26.2 miles only to burn it all off.

This race will mark state #8, and marathon #13. This isn’t my first rodeo, so not really nervous here. I don’t plan on PRing it, because I’m still expected to do the IronTEAM workouts when I get back. Luckily it will be a “recovery” week for the IronTEAM and syncs up well with this event. There’s a HUGE difference when I try to hit 4:30 vs 5:00. Would I rather be sore and hurt the next few days or not? 5:00+ it is! My “taper” weekend consisted with some tough hills, which I shouldn’t have done – oops.

Somewhat unprepared for this race, from a strategy perspective. I finally saw the race course map this morning, came across this helpful guide from Team Spiridon, and only a few hours ago, I mapped out where I need to be and when all weekend. I still need to pack! What a mess!

Portland Marathon – A New PR!!

It’s been almost a year since I ran my last full marathon, which was Athens, Greece last Halloween. I’ve always approached marathons in a non-competitive, very easy pace kinda way. I was very curious though, to see what difference being on the IronTEAM and completing 140.6 would do. I certainly felt the most active I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve pushed myself through some half marathons within the IronTEAM season and PR’ed there, and I was able to manage a 5:10 marathon at the run portion of Vineman, so taking advantage of all this, I actually set a goal for this marathon. Not only to PR (my last PR was 4:58), but to be at 4:45, a pretty good point to my eventual goal of 4:30 at the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon in December.

Portland, Oregon is one of my favorite cities, so I was very excited leading up to this race. I’ve been twice before, primarily to explore the food, and for the MusicFest Northwest (MFNW). I love the greenery surrounding the city, really friendly people, and relatively clean and not crazy busy like Los Angeles. The event took place on a Columbus Day weekend, which my work fortunately gives us the extra day off, so it was a no brainer for me to sign up and do this race. I’ve always wanted to, really.
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Strip at Night

Get your minds out of the gutter! I’m talking about Strip at Night, this year’s Rock N Roll Las Vegas Marathon! There was a lot of hype behind this announcement of this December event, because it will be a nighttime run! Earlier today, I registered for the FULL marathon! Sounds super fun, right? Well… there will be two big factors that will decide how fun it is – 1) weather: it’s going to be COLD. One year it was 30 degrees! Oh don’t forget those desert winds! 2) Cutoff Time: this year’s cutoff is 4:30! My PR for a full is 4:58. Who knows what training for the IronMan will do to improve my time (although it already has for the half @ 2:01 vs 2:30 originally), but I’ll give it a try! Vegas will be my third marathon in three months at the end of the year, which will qualify me for Marathon Maniacs, another side goal of mine that I’d want to check off my list. The other 2 marathons before Vegas will be the Portland Marathon in Oregon and the Rock N Roll Savannah Marathon in Georgia. Can’t wait!

Art of Medal Whoring

I didn’t really set out to get the Rock Legend Medal by completing the Rock N Roll Heavy Medal Series, until I finished the Seattle Marathon over the summer (Arizona and San Diego were the events before that). My thoughts were exactly this, “Oh, 3 Rock N Roll events done, what’s 4 more?” I was already planning to do Philadelphia, LA, and San Jose, so I just had to pick one more. Not too bad, right? I ended up skipping out on San Jose because I was on a JetBlue All You Can Jet weekend adventure in Vegas instead. My replacement event was Las Vegas. I admit, I became a medal whore in 2010 because I had this sudden addiction for collecting cool medals. That was pretty much the criteria for signing up for an event. Did they give medals? If so, I was in! Running the Rock N Roll events were even better because we get awarded special combo medals the more and more you run events. The end all be all Rock Legend Medal is approximately 3x the size of a normal medal. So check out the photos above, all the Rock N Roll medals this year.

Note: a Musical 26.2 Miles medal is still missing, I still have to e-mail them about it.

Athens Classic Marathon 2010

Rewind back to 2008, my roommate Carlos suggested to our running circle of friends, that we should all do the Athens Marathon 2009. So many of us were so down to do it and excited, but plans fell through. In 2009, we noticed that the 2010 Athens Classic was going to be a special milestone race, 2,500th Anniversary of the original Battle of Marathon. Sold! I was NOT about to miss this one! Once they announced the next Athens Classic, Carlos and I e-mailed the planning organization of the event and got details. We kept going back to the site to see when registration would open. We would always keep tabs and update each other on the status. It wasn’t a few months later that they opened it, and we were one of the first to register! We didn’t care if we didn’t have a plane ticket or plans for hotels or hostels yet, we figured we’ll get that later. We started a Facebook Group to gain interest, and we had a good 40 or so people interested, but in the end, there were 10. The ten consisted of me and Carlos’ mutual friends from past Team in Training teams and friends of friends. We kept in touch via a more filtered e-mail group of the runners 100%. From there we shared our travel plans, travel deals and tips. We all had different room situations and different flight schedules, but I thought planning of everything went smoothly.

Fast forward to last weekend. Wow, I can’t believe a week already has passed since the big race. I flew via Lufthansa to Germany for a layover. It was delayed a an hour or so though, so I didn’t get to Greece until after midnight! Ok, super late at a country very unknown to me, wasn’t very ideal. This was where I should’ve had my little folder of fun and preparations could have been better. I took a $50 cab ride because I had no idea how iffy the busses or trains were. I didn’t understand any writing or signs, so I played it safe. I also had to make sure the cab wasn’t trying to rip me off either. I didn’t get to my hostel until 1ish. Our hostel situation was sweet at Athens Backpackers, as it was one of the highest rated hostels on Hostelworld.com, super clean, friendly staff, and we were able to meet so many people as they shuffled us around room to room. The first day my roomies were a bunch of girls from Milwaukee who didn’t get to the room until 4am. Super fun bunch, but they had to leave.

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A Lot Can Happen in 20 Months

It’s been 20 months since my last update on this blog, and so much has happened since! I didn’t get to recap most of my races during this time so I will have to post them later as “flashback” entries. So what have I been up to? I’ve done 8 half marathons and 6 full marathons. One of which is still my favorite to date, The Anchorage Alaska Full Mayor’s Marathon. The course was absolutely beautiful, clean air, nice small town destination race. I’ve also been on track to get the Rock N Roll Rock Legend Medal, which you get if you do 7 Rock N Roll Events in a year. This year I’ve done 6 (3 full and 3 half marathons) so far, and of those events, RNR Chicago was my favorite. A few days ago I completed my 10th marathon in Athens, Greece. It was a huge 2,500 anniversary celebration of the Battle of Marathon, and it ended at the first Olympic Stadium – one event not to forget! So much to tell you all! I’ll recap all of my past events later, but now I just wanted to get up to speed for this blog because there are many big things coming up!