Monday, December 13, 2010

Santa to the Sea Half Marathon

So when I signed up for the Santa to the Sea Half Marathon I was assuming that the day would be filled with cold crisp air and lots of holly jolly California Christmas weather in the mid 60's. I had prepared warmer clothes and had everything planned out to perfection for a "colder" run. As the week went on, I periodically check the weather and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The weather was predicted to hit low to mid 80's that day. As Penny would say "AAAAAACKKKKKKK" Last weekend I was running a 10k in running tights and ear warmers, this weekend I had to plan to run in shorts and short sleeve shirt, not really my idea of a "holiday run" but I was ready for it.

My race day started at 3:15am which only gave me a whole 3 hours of sleep. It wasn't allot but the night before I had tickets to go see Michael Buble in concert. I've been waiting to see him for years, so I was willing to sacrifice the lack of sleep for him...he's so dreamy its hard not to, any girl would agree! Anywho, I got up did my normal half marathon routine, shower, coffee, and stretching. I headed out at 4am to met up with Penny and Jordan so we could carpool to Oxnard from the Southbay area. Since we had to be shuttled over to the start line we were aiming to be in the parking lot by 6:30am. I had never been to Oxnard much less knew exactly where it was on a map, so I wasn't sure what to really expect. I sat in the back-seat of Penny's car enjoying the view of ...well, nothing really. It was like I was looking into my friend Krissy's laptop as she plays Farmville. Hills to the north and the ocean to the south with lots of little crops in the middle. What I did notice was how flat it was which was perfect, because training lately hasn't been the greatest. I was looking at this run as a training fun run, no PR's or anything just a fun solid run so flat coarse was a-ok with me.

We finally arrived as planned, then waited to meet up with Bob and Stuart to jump onto the shuttles. We got to the start line with about 45 mins to spare. We dropped off toys we bought in front of the giant Santa Claus (if you have time, you must see the backround story on this big guy) then just waited for 8 o'clock to roll around so we could get going. As we waited the sun was getting stronger and people who showed up in sweatshirts were not stripping down to tank tops. It was HOT and getting HOTTER!

Stuart, Jordan, Penny, Me & Bob

The race just sort of started, no big 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 or anything, everyone just sort of starting running. We all stayed together for the first 5 miles or so. All I can remember is hearing the "jingle jingle jingle" of Penny's running shoes. I ran further up from them a few times, but I knew as soon as they were coming up to me cause of those bells. We were having a good time chatting, trying to keep each other sane from the heat. By this time the temperature had hit 86....yup 86 in good old So. Cal!! While most of our running friends were trying to stay warm in snow storms, we were trying to stay cool from what felt like a heat wave.

Penny & I trying to beat the heat

Around mile 6 I realized I was by myself. I guess listening to my ipod and my brain wondering off I had gotten a little to far up from the pack. I knew they weren't to far behind me and if anything they would catch up to me again. As I was hitting the mile 6 water station for pretzels and some hydration Bob found me. He was so awesome to stay have with us girls even though we are no where near his usual pace. Then he was nice enough to find me and still stay at my pace the rest of the race. It was great chatting and learning more about the running world, his family and the fact that he is not a sports guy! We need to change that!!! GO PATS!!

Coming up the only "hill"

After what felt like forever we FINALLY reached the beach strand around mile 11. I had been dumping cups of water over my head for a while just to see if anything would help. Someone must have heard Bob say "It would be nice if the residents from these houses were outside with a hose to hose us down" because as we approached mile 12, there was what stood in my eyes to be a angel.....The guy with the hose!!! I have no idea who this guy was but if I can find out, I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart for to spraying us down. I wanted to stand there the whole time but time was a ticking.

Bob and I almost at mile 12

Like I said before we weren't trying to PR or anything but the competitor in me was hoping for maybe a time faster then Long Beach. I wasn't going to be disappointed if it didn't happen, but I didn't want to hit something I wasn't going to be happy with. From a distance there was another runner in a red tutu that Bob and I both noticed, this is when he told me "Your not gonna let that lady with a red tutu beat you are you?"....NO SIR I was not!! How dare he even challenge me to such a thing!!?? So that's what I needed that little bit of competitive "I dare you" moment and I started to run as best I could to beat that impostor in a tutu!! I past her up looked at Bob and said "I beat the red tutu" Take that Red Tutu Runner!!!

Me, Jordan, Penny and Bob

Finally we came up to the home stretch and hit the finish at 2:45. I couldn't have been happier to have ended this HOT run. I know how much Penny hates running in the heat, so I texted her to make sure that she and Jordan were ok. Everyone was fine and had crossed the finish not to far behind us. However because the race over sold Penny and Jordan didn't get their medals. They were promised one to be delivered to them ASAP. After we all found each other we headed back to the cars, Penny and Bob enjoyed a few celebratory "beverages" and we decided to met at "Eggs N Things" for a much needed breakfast.

New bling!!
Overall this was a very fun race, if the weather had been cooler this race would have PERFECT!! Next year I hope Mother Nature is a little nicer to us!! I can't express to you how awesome it was running with these 4 crazy kids. We had a great time (even in the heat) and I can't wait to experience many more races with them!

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Just Say No To Drugs Holiday Classic 10k at the Universal Studios Backlot

I absolutely love movies especially old classic horror movies. So when I heard about the Just Say No to Drugs, Holiday Classic Backlot 10k at Universal last year, I had to do it. So many great films have been shot there Frankenstein, Psycho, and lets not forget Back to the Future!! I love them all, so this was right up my alley for a fun run.

Last weekend I got pretty sick, so I was hoping I was going to be feeling better by this weekend to make plans to run it. After a quick trip to the doctor this week to make sure everything was ok, I got the clear from her to run. Robert decided to go with me to the race which was awesome. It's always nice to know he's at the finish waiting, (especially when he brings Starbucks). We got to the race a little early so I could pick up my packet which ended up being really organize and quick. I still had about 45 minutes till race time so we decided to walk around the booths, get some coffee, and took a quick visit to the Alpha Running tent. I also found Bob fellow runner and blogger who was there running with his family

Around 7:20 I headed to the start line alone which was weird, I usually have someone I know with me. This time it was just me and a bunch of strangers, so I put my ipod on, and tried to get warm since it was 50 degrees this morning. The race started about 10 minutes late which got me a little ansy. Finally everyone in front of me started moving and I was off. I started Mr G. and together we conquered the downhill ride of the first 3/4 mile. Holy down hill Batman! From there was a few more ups and downs then the coarse got flat towards the back of the lot. I totally forgot how hilly this little coarse was, but I was feeling ok.

About mile two or so is when my nose decided it wasn't going to cooperate anymore, and it was going to run faster then me. So I sniffled and ran my way through Wisteria Lane, Old West, and Spartacus Square. Then past Jaws, Whoville, The Bates Motel, Psycho House and War of the Worlds. The 10k looped the coarse twice so I figured I would hit the first 3 miles hard, then enjoy the last 3 taking a few quick snap shots. I knew from being sick I was going to want to hydrate more then usual so I took my handheld with me. Thank goodness I did cause around mile 4 I noticed most of the water station were out of water and abandon.

I enjoyed the last few miles taking quick pictures of Wisteria Lane, and even caught Norman Bates standing outside the Bates motel for a quick photo. Then I finally got my picture out front the Psycho house. The horror movie nerd in me was so giddy I could have ended the race right there and been happy. I snapped a few more of the War of the Worlds area then headed to the finish. I had one more tiny up hill to go then I was done, I hit the finish at 1:18.

Overall this race is allot of fun. If you want to get a hilly 10k in for training purposes, this is the race for you. Second year in a row I had a blast and will be there next year!

That's a wrap!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What I'm Thankful For & Long Beach Turkety Trot

Happy can't believe I'm saying that already! I absolutely love this time of year, the weather, and spending time with family and friends. Everything about it makes me happy.

This Thanksgiving was extra special for me for many reasons, my mom was doing great, and my grandma is here from Boston, I really can't complain. See one year ago my mom was diagnosed with stomach cancer, so we spent last Thanksgiving in the hospital with her since she had to have surgery a few days before. My dad and I ended up having Thanksgiving dinner with her in her hospital room. I have to say it wasn't to bad of a meal, but we both missed her cooking. Thankfully this year my mom was home with us, feeling great and cooking her meal of deliciousness. I couldn't wait to get to her house to smell pumpkin cake, ham, and stuffing but first I had to attend my very first Long Beach Turkey Trot.

I woke up Wednesday morning with a sore throat and didn't really think anything of it. "Its just a sore throat, nothing a little tea wouldn't help" I kept telling myself. Well as the night progressed my nose started to run and the headache started. I set my alarm for 5am hoping when I woke up all this stuffy nose, headache business would be gone (wishful runner thinking). Well I was so wrong, my nose was super stuffed, and I could barely breath without sounding like Darth Vadar. I had a feeling this 10k was gonna be my worse enemy.

I got to the parking lot by 6:30am and waited for Penny & her son Griffin to arrive. After a few text messages back and forth we decided that it would be best to just do the 5k. I could tell by the way my nose was running and my head was feeling there was no way I was going to complete a 10k that day. The race started and I was feeling horrible, breathing through my mouth was the absolute worst. The cold air was making my throat feel worse and I just wanted this to end as quickly as possible. Magically after about 10 minutes my nose started to clear up from the cold air and I was feeling ok. There were tons of people so we kept a 11:30 pace, anything faster wasn't an option. I actually started to feel a little better (or I thought) and knew changing to the 5k was the best decision I made that day. We finally hit the turn around and was making our way back towards the finish. This is when I finally had to agree with my body that I was sick. I've been in denial since the night before but the final stretch of the 5k wasn't very pleasant, my chest was tight and I wanted to just stop. I knew the quicker I finished this, the quicker I could get home to rest. Luckily Penny was there running with me cause I would have DNF a 5k. Finally there it was, the finish!!! I have never been so excited to see a finish line in my life. I checked Mr G. to see my time...37 mins. I was perfectly ok with that! We walked a round for a bit to check a few booths out and decided to go "Chuck A Chicken" for charity. This is where Penny & I realized we will never be quarterbacks and we throw like girls. Even though this wasn't the best 5k I've done cause I was sick, it will definitely be a tradition for me every year.

That night I went to my moms house and quarantined myself in my old bedroom with her cat, until it was time for Thanksgiving dinner. Laying in my old room I realized all the things I am absolutely thankful for.

1. Parents
2. Boyfriend, especially for taking care of me the past few days. I know I've been a pain.
3. Brother, my neice & my sister in law.
4. Grandma here celebrating the holidays with us.
5. Friends
6. My Dog
7. Dr Lim my moms doctor at City of Hope
8. City of Hope
9. My job
10. Food on the table.
11. A roof over my head.
12. The ablitiy to run
13. Heels
14. Pancakes
15. Internet Shopping
16. Cold and Flu medicine
17. Tom Brady
18. Panini Makers
19. Starbucks coffee
20. Large Designer Sunglasses

So I ask you this...what are you thankful for this year?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Long Beach Half Marathon - Oct 17th

During the month of October I work two jobs my normal everyday, and then at night I do makeup at a Halloween Haunt event. My time is extremely restricted so my running gets put on the bottom of to-do list. Every October when Long Beach Half Marathon comes closer I feel less confident that I'll do well because of training. I wasn't going to run it this year, but it fell on my dads birthday and he really wanted me to run it with him. I'm so glad I did!

I stayed at mom & dads the night before the race, since dad was running too it was more convinent to stay with them. My alarm began screaming at me 4am which gave me a solid 4 hours of sleep that night. Not the greatest amount, but I woke up feeling ok. My dad and I planned to leave the house by 5:15, so that gave me enough time to get my body ready. I always give myself a good hour or more before leaving, cause all runners can agree using the restroom at home on race day is allot more comfy then trying to get'er done in a porta potty. So we got everything in the car and off we went.

We made it down to Long Beach around 6am. People all over the parking lot were stretching, taping, and just having the look of "I can do this today" on their faces. The weather was beyond perfect, so I decided to run in a tank. I was starting to get the race butterfiles which caused me to have hiccups for almost an hour. Finally we were both ready...bibs check, GU check, ipods check, KT Tape check, knowing were mom was going to on the course with the camera check...we are ready!!

I gave dad a big "Birthday Good Luck" hug and he headed off to his wave. I tried to get in touch with Penny to met up with her but it was a big cellphone fail. Nothing was working however, I was able to find Maggie . We went to our wave and found my dad again. He wasn't able to move up to his wave, so he decided to just stay were he was. After waiting for about 20 mins we were finally moving, then off we went. Dad took off and I knew I wouldn't see him till the finish. Maggie & I were doing great chatting, running, and enjoying ourselves. Miles 1-3 are always the worst for me, my body is warming up and I'm just not into it yet, so having someone with me was great. Maggie started not to feel well and told me to just go without her cause she didn't want to hold me back. I made sure she was ok and off I went. Now I'm running alone so I raised the volume on my Ipod and just went with it. I felt fantastic, my body was all warmed up and I was hitting 9:30 - 10 min miles with minimal walks in between, I was excited to be hitting miles that fast with minimal training the past month. My confidence to finish this race faster then my San Francisco half was getting bigger, "I could totally do this" I kept telling myself.
Then mile 5 a song kicked into my Ipod that totally gets me every time "Marching On" by Timbaland featuring One Republic. It made me think of all my friends running with me and those that were cheering me on via Twitter & Facebook. My little feet were just pounding that pavement. May sound odd, but music always makes my runs so much better and this song kicked in just in time. Mile 6 I found mom. She was all smiles, I got a hug and she got a quick photo of me before I took off again.

I finally hit the beach strand when I notice a runner wearing a pink shirt with paw prints on it. That has to be Penny!! I was so excited to had found her. She was doing great even after running extra miles she threw in before our half. I said a quick HI, then off I went. My pace went to 10:30-11 mins, which I was still very happy with. I was starting to get a little tired miles 8-10, but I had some great tunes kickin in my ipod, Linkin Park, Eminem, Street Drum Corp, Pink that were helping. I even caught myself singing out loud at one point.

Mile 10 is when I usually crash, so I took a GU hoping it would help, and texted my mom to let her know I was 3 miles to the finish. I kept telling myself "only 3 more miles, a 5k come on don't let mile 10 ruin your great run today" So I picked up my feet and I was off!! I was just going, not feeling anything really. My thoughts were just all over the place "what was I going to eat after this", "I wonder if my boyfriend was awake yet sine he got home from work at 2am", "I wonder if dads finished", "are thigh high boots really this year fall boot, I'm going to look so short wearing them" All sorts of random things where going through my head. Then by the time I knew it was looking at the mile 12 marker. I noticed a girl next to me that was doing great but, she started to slow down a little so I told her "Come on only 1 more mile" She actually listened to me without wanting to punch me in the face for the cheeleader pep talk. I have no idea who this girl was, but her and I ran our little hearts out to the finish. I heard someone yell "Go Kristy Go" and there was my dad with his medal cheering for me through the fence!! I hit the finish with my Garmin telling me 2:38, which was 1 min faster then my San Francisco half. I wanted official time to confirm, so I called my boyfriend (at this point I could careless if he was awake I wanted a time HAHA!) who was getting text updates. He told me that not only did I not PR by a whole minute, but I hit the same time as San Francisco. OHH BOO!!

I do have to admit I wasn't unhappy about my time. I ran hard and felt great the entire race. I hadn't ran a good training run since early September, and never thought I was going to feel the way I did with this race. It also made me happy to know how excited my dad was that we ran together for his birthday...well sort of ran together he finished in 2:11.

Now we are both preparing to run Carlsbad half, and my first full LA Marathon...let the training begin!