Giant Race- San Francisco 10K

Another year, another race….this time it’s a 10K in San Francisco.

The Giants Race is one of my  favorite races because (1) it’s an excuse for me to visit my favorite sports team stadium and (2) the finish line is actually inside AT&T!

You can read more about my previous Giant Race’s through the links below:

2016 – Giants Race 5K

2015 – Giants Race Half Marathon 

This is the first year I participated the the 10K and now I can officially say I have  now completed ALL Giant Race distances.

Might be time to visit the other locations…San Jose, Sacramento, Arizona in 2018?!

Before jumping into this years experience here are 3 things I highly recommend if this is your first SF Giant Race:

  1. Pay ahead for parking – The lots are super close to the stadium and start line.
  2. Go to the expo early! – Go early to avoid the long line (just now figured this one out). 
  3. Take lots of pictures after the race! – You’ll be able to take pictures in the dugouts, on the field, and with the Giant’s’ 3 World Championship trophies (also available during expo)!

Saturday – Race Expo

We arrived at 8:30AM and although I’ve never been to an expo so early I highly recommend you go early to this one!

In the past we’ve waited in line for 45 min or more just to pick up our bibs/bobble heads/or shirt. On Saturday the longest we ever waited for in a line was 5 minutes! #winning

This year’s bobble head is…

Giant_Race_Bumgarner_Lumberjack_Front.png

2017 Shirts

Giant_Race_Shirt_SF_Front_NZLHAIGD.png

I love the design they chose this year.  I haven’t liked the past one, but this one I LOVE!

I’m actually upset I didn’t run the other races in Arizona and Sacramento because I want the other shirts!

Sunday – Race Day! 

We arrived at AT&T Park at 6:30AM, just in time to do some stretching before the start of the race and in time to see this gorgeous sunrise.

Capture6.JPG

Capture3.JPG

FullSizeRender.jpg

The Giant Race course is one of my least favorite routes only because we don’t get too see much. It’s set up where we go out 3 and then come back the same way, but it’s also motivational because we get to cheer on the fast runners who are miles ahead of you!

Here’s a look at the 10K course.

After running 6.2 miles we received some  high fives from Lou Seal…

21077530_10155993472783455_3435342614042328079_n.jpg

 got our medals…

Capture.JPG

and then got to relax on the field.

IMG_7602.JPG

Thanks Alaska Airlines for this awesome hangout area. This new area had phone chargers, hammocks, bean bags, and lounge chairs! #postracenap

21192409_10155993472793455_4848754843941013693_n.jpg

Thank you SF Giants Race for another great race!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bay to Breakers

baytobreakers_0.0.jpg

Location: San Francisco, California – Distance: 7.47 miles

Date: Sunday, May 21, 2017 – Weather: °

Start elevation: 67
Elevation Gain:  346′ – Max Elevation:  294 ′ 

I can’t believe I’ve never participated in Bay to Breakers before. I’ve seen pictures and heard the crazy stories, but I’ve never experienced it until now. This past Sunday I finally got to experience the weird and wonderful spirit of San Francisco, with outrageous costumes, quirky traditions, live bands, and plenty of bare flesh around the 12-kilometer route.

The course was pretty hilly (Hayes Street Hill, 0.69-mile, 5.5-percent grade stretch beginning at mile two) we weaved west through the city and passed through nine different neighborhoods and through the Golden Gate Park to then finish at the Great Highway along the Pacific Coast’s Ocean Beach.

Overall, I felt like I had a great race. I was nervous going into it because I didn’t (and still don’t) feel prepared running hills. Hills in San Francisco can be big, small, long, or short, we’ve got all types of hills here and they’ll for sure ware you out! But on Sunday I pushed my nerves away and ended up running the entire course – even up Hayes Hill! I may not have the best time, but in the end I met my goal –  to run the full course.

Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 3.17.11 PM.png

View from the top of Hayes Street Hill.

Here are a few  wacky things that I’ve learned make Bay to Breakers a one-of-a-kind event.
1. It’s really two events: The elite race and the costume party that follows.

There is usually an impressive group of elites jostling for position at the starting line and after the fast runners, the fun really starts. The iconic pink gorilla, whose official new name is Ape Hashbury, leads the costumed masses, which included super heroes, hippies, drag queens, sharks, salmon, and those wearing nothing but their birthday suits.

2. Watch out for flying tortillas at the start.

Be on the lookout at the start of the race for flying tortillas. The origin of the tortilla toss is unclear…

3. You just might get passed by a centipede.

The fascinating tradition of centipede running — in which teams of no less than 13 runners are linked together by a rope or bungee cord — originated at Bay to Breakers in 1978. It is still going strong and the race serves as the world championships of the Centipede Running Division.

4. You can run naked – and you’ll be in good company.

Affectionately known as Bare to Breakers, Bay to Breakers is one of the exceptions to San Francisco’s ban on public nudity, which went into effect in 2013. And although race officials are aiming to make the event more family friendly, Holmes conceded that “this is the hand that we’ve been dealt, and we know that is a part of the race.”

5. The race boasts some seriously cool history.

The nuttiness of  Bay to Breakers’ can overshadow its origins, which traces back more than a century. The idea for the race arose from the rubble of a city destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and resulting fire; organizers thought a run across the city would lift spirits. On Jan. 1, 1912, 186 runners competed in the 12.1-kilometer Cross-City Race through downtown. The race was eventually renamed Bay to Breakers to drum up more interest, and in 1986, there were about 110,000 total participants, including both registered runners and bandits, earning the race a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Largest Footrace. One little-known fact: Despite San Francisco’s reputation as a progressive city, women were not allowed to compete until 1971.

Track Pyramid Workout

This is a fun and yet very challenging track interval workout. Remember my 5 Mile Track Pyramid, the one I complained about on my last running log, well this is it!

During this workout you progressively increase and then decrease the distance of the intervals during the workout. You run the intervals at a pace that is about your 5k race pace-15 sec per mile faster than your 5k race pace.

My 5 mile track pyramid consisted of the following: a three quarters mile warm up, a quarter mile very fast run, quarter mile recovery jog, half mile very fast run, quarter mile recovery jog, three quarters mile very fast run, quarter mile recovery jog, half mile very fast run, quarter mile recovery jog, quarter mile very fast run, quarter mile recovery jog; and then cool down for a three quarters mile.

For those looking for a more visual description see the picture below.

Other training programs typically do a 4.5 mile pyramid with a half mile warm up and half mile cool down, but since my training stated to run 5 I added a quarter mile to the warm up and cool down.

Track Pyramid.jpg

I completed this workout a week ago and although I’ve only gone through it once during my training I’ve already seen some improvements in my speed and pace.

Energy Bites

Easy – 10 minutes – Gluten Free

Here is a snack that passes as healthy and tastes good enough that it could replace your dessert!

Capture2.JPG

These Energy Bites are quick and easy – and they require no cooking or baking. They’re so addictive and they really  do taste like a treat. They make for a great snack and I love that they contain protein and fiber so they curb those afternoon munchies (you know around 4:00 when it’s like – is it dinner time yet?).

Yield: About 20

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (raw)
  • 2/3 cup toasted, sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup ground golden flaxseed (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 6 Tbsp chocolate chips (next time I’ll use minis)

Directions

  • In a mixing bowl, stir together peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract.
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir until evenly coated.
  • Transfer mixture to refrigerator or freezer and chill until set
  • Remove from refrigerator and shape into 1-inch balls.
  • Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

When You’re Not in the Mood to Run

Despite my passion for running, it’s not uncommon for me to grow gloriously unmotivated put on those muddy shoes  after work for my afternoon run. I know I’ll enjoy it, but …

I JUST DON’T WANT TO GO!

Image result for horizontal running pitch perfect gif

All of us, no matter how disciplined we are, experience periods of uncertainty toward our commitment to consistent exercise, and sometimes we just need a break.

One thing I tell myself that makes lacing up my sneakers a little easier is this:

Run as slow as you want to, but just get out there and run.

Since this is my first marathon I’m not running the race with a specific time goal in mind. This has allowed me to run at an easy pace on some days which has made my training much more enjoyable.

Apple Watch v. Fitbit Charge HR

Now that I’ve had my apple watch for over a year I thought it was time for me to write this post on the Apple Watch Series 2 v. Fitbit Charge HR.

First, a little background on why I got an activity tracker…While I was in college I was looking for something to track how active I was being. In High School I was always running around participating in different activities, but in college that all changed. I was focused more on school work and other activities rather than active ones. I went from being a very active person to being a complete potato couch. As you can image when I saw what the Fitbit I was overjoyed!

Image result for excited GIF

Sophomore year  I had the Fitbit Flex, one of the simpler activity trackers. Around junior year of college I started running again, I still had my flex band but after two years it started to tear and wear off and I was in need of something that tracked more than just my steps and I wanted something with more visuals. This is when I upgraded and got the Charger HR. It was nice! It worked as a watch, I could see my number of steps and miles I had walked, and it was Bluetooth compatible! It had almost everything I needed… the one thing that was missing was that it was not yet waterproof.

Well as you can image when Apple announced that their Apple Watch series 2 was waterproof I couldn’t resist and had to get it! The word “waterproof changed everything.

Image result for excited GIF

Since making the switch I’ve been asked by many people on which one I like better or which one I would recommend. So if you’re one of those people still on the fence here’s my review.

 

IMG_7695.JPG

Activity Tracking

In addition, the Fitbit wristbands (excluding the Flex 2 and Alta) have an altimeter that counts distance climbed (take the hilly route home, not the flat one). The Fitbits also sync weight data from the optional Fitbit Aria scales. As a result the Fitbit models range from everyday fitness and active fitness (like the Apple Watch) and further to sports and performance fitness – with the Surge supporting running, cross-training, biking, strength and cardio workouts.

The Apple Watch offers two main fitness apps: Activity, which is all about health, movement, wellness and your daily routine; and Workout App, which tracks running, cycling and walking. All this data is collected on your iPhone via the Activity app, although users can get a more holistic view of their health by using the Health app, which integrates data from multiple sources, not only the Watch.

While they work brilliantly with the iPhone, Fitbits do not officially support Apple’s Health Kit, although integration is offered by third-party apps.

Heart Rate Monitor

The Apple Watch and Fitbit Charge 2, Blaze and Surge use something called photoplethysmography to measure your heart rate. This uses safe green LED lights on the underside of the wristband to detect blood volume and capillary-size changes under pressure. When your heart beats, your capillaries expand and contract based on blood volume changes. The LED lights reflect onto the skin to detect blood volume changes.

The Fitbit Charge 2, Surge and Blaze monitor your heart rate continuously, 24/7. They can store heart rate data at 1-second intervals during exercise tracking and at 5-second intervals all other times.

On the other hand (or should I say wrist?) the Apple Watch checks your heart rate only every ten minutes during the day. However, it does record your heart rate continuously when the Workout app is turned on, so you get constant feedback during training sessions. The Watch’s built-in heart-rate monitor does support external heart-rate monitors too.

Sleep Monitor

Because its battery life is so challenged (see below), the Apple Watch has to be charged every night so sleep monitoring would obviously be a pointless function. So if you want a sleep monitor, the Apple Watch is not going to help you.

The Fitbit trackers, however, do monitor the length and quality of your sleep. A Fitbit tracker’s settings can record sleep in either “sensitive” mode for detailed sleep reporting or “normal” mode for a more basic idea of your sleep patterns. The normal setting counts significant movements as being awake (such as rolling over) and is appropriate for most users.

The sensitive setting causes your tracker to record nearly all movements as time spent awake. This setting may be helpful for users with sleep disorders.

Apps

Apple’s Activity and Workout apps look glorious, of course, but Fitbit’s appealing multi-phone app features more stats and data graphics. Fitbit also wins by having a rich desktop dashboard to collect and organise your activity data.

Design

There are many different combinations of Apple Watch types, sizes and straps, from the simple Sport to the blingtastic Watch Edition. Apple has scored another design success with the Watch, and it’s really rather beautiful.

Fitbit’s tracker wristbands are a lot more minimal, with simple screens and stark straps, available in a range of several colours.

Screen

The Apple Watch’s touchscreen is a colourful beauty, while the Fitbits’ minimalism means displays are mainly white on black with some grey.

GPS

Series 2 Apple Watch, which has a GPS built-in. Using a hiking app ViewRanger you can pick from nearby hikes, get notifications about scenic points while en-route, make sure you don’t go off the trail, and record your activity tracking, all using the Watch’s GPS.

Of the Fitbits, only the Surge has built-in GPS, and it’s great for mapping your runs and hikes.

Battery Life

The Apple Watch has so many potential uses (make calls, view photos, send and check messages, change music, check weather, activity tracking, digital payments, and, er, tell the time) that its battery runs down a lot faster than standard activity trackers. So you need to charge every night unless you use it only to tell the time in which case you might get three days out of it in Power Reserve Mode.

Fitbits last a lot longer between charges, at around five days. Fitbit charge time is around two hours, around the same as with the Watch.

Water Resistance

Rejoice! The Apple Watch Series 2 is waterproof, “up to 50 metres” – means that it may be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. Apple Watch Series 2 should not be used for scuba diving, waterskiing or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth.

Fitbits are sweat, rain and splash proof, but only the Flex 2 is swim proof, and even boasts some basic swimming tracking features. Fitbit also recommends taking its wristbands off before showering because, as with any wearable device, it’s best for your skin if the band stays dry and clean.

What’s your verdict; Fitbit or Apple Watch?

 

How to Save Money on Running Clothes and Gear

So you decided you want to become a runner. What’s the first thing you do? You probably head to your local sports store to get a fierce looking pair of shoes and a couple matching outfits. Once at the cash register you’ll notice how expensive becoming a runner can get, but don’t be alarmed here are my 6 tips on outfitting yourself for running success without breaking the bank.

1. Don’t Spend More than $90.00 on Running Shoes

budget

Buying running shoes can a big expense and overwhelming experience. My advice is to go to a specialty running store to get fitted. Try on and try out multiple different brands and styles. RUN IN THE SHOES BEFORE YOU BUY THEM. Then when you have your favorite, check online to see if you can get a better deal. My rule is to never spend more than $90 on running shoes.

2. Buy On Sale

Accumulating running clothes takes time. If you’re just starting out, buy a couple different options. You don’t want to buy a ton of clothes right off the bat because you don’t know what you’re going to like and dislike. It’s a waste of money to buy $120 running tights if you find out you hate tights and prefer shorts or capris. Get a variety and try them out. It takes time to figure out what works and doesn’t work. That’s why it’s a waste to spend a ton of money when you’re starting out (or ever for that matter).

Here’s a price range I tend to spend on my gear:

Running Shirts (Long Sleeve and Short Sleeve): $10-$20

Running Tights (Capris and Pants): $10-$40

Running Shorts: $10-$30

Waterproof Wind Breaker: $25-$60

Hand-Held Water bottle: $5-$15

Sports Bra: $20-$40

Socks: $10 for 3 pairs

3. No Cotton

chafing

Cotton is wonderful for everything except running. Don’t run in cotton. You want sweat wicking, Dri-fit, synthetic material. Synthetic fabrics will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Trust me on this.

4. End of Season Sales

When winter ends the winter gear goes on sale. That’s the time to buy your vests, fleece lined tights and shirts, and puffy coats. The same goes for summer. Shop the end of season clearances and stock up for next year.

5. The Best Running App

If you run with your smart phone there is one apps I can’t live without.

RunKeeper

I love RunKeeper because there it does everything. It has awesome training plans ready to go or that I can program myself. Say I only have 30 minutes to squeeze a run in, I can quickly program a 30 minute high intensity interval run and take off.

6. Word of Mouth

my favorite things.gif

There is no better way to try new things or learn about what’s out there than to ask your running friends. I love Asics, LuluLemon, and Nike. My favorite pair of pants are a tie between Asics and 80% of my clothing is Nike. My Spi-Belt is the greatest invention to ever happen to me. Almost all of these things I learned by asking around. Ask around.

So, what are your favorite running brands, accessories, and gear? 

What’s in My Gym Bag

As I’m spending more time running outside and not in the gym, I’ve been working on perfecting my gym bag. I’ll pack all my gym bag necessities the night before so I’m not in a rush in the morning as I’m getting ready for work.

Here’s an idea of what I pack:

In My Gym Bag.jpg

Extra socks, sports bra, and underwear // Almost always I just wear the same clothes between my run and a classes, but on occasion (aka after a long run) I want to start fresh.

Hair ties // I mean, these are just an essential.

Water Bottle // The Camelbak water bottle is my favorite for working out. It’s easy to drink out of when your in the middle of a workout. I also love my Hydro Flask water bottle because it keeps my water cold, even in the hot yoga room.

Headphones // When I go running outside, although not very safe, I do like to run with headphones. These Beats are the best ones I’ve enjoyed running with. However, Beats  came out with a new style which I love, but I have not ordered them because they are not water resistant (I need some that are especially when running).

Minimergency Kit // I have these everywhere so it makes sense that I’d have one in my gym bag! These things are always good to have in a pinch.

Makeup wipes // This is the one toiletry that I always bring. These wipes are incredible. I mostly use them after class just to get the sweat off my face, especially when I’m not taking a shower right away.

Toiletries // We don’t have locker rooms here at our gym at work so I like to pack all my regular toiletries in travel size! I like to keep a hairbrush, lip balm, aspirin, and band-aids in my bag too.

Do you keep any must-haves in your gym back that I forgot?

P.S. The gym bag from the graphic is from Lulu Lemon.

Running Log Week 1

2

This week my biggest challenge was the rain. I haven’t ever liked running in the rain, but this week I decided to go for it. I now hate running on the treadmill and would 100% prefer to run outside, even in the pouring rain.

Total Weekly Mileage: 17

Tuesday:

  • Mileage: 4 miles
  • Time: 46:41
  • Course: Baylands
  • Feelings: Rough Run, wasn’t feeling the best when I started. I’ve done much better than this.

Thursday:

  • Mileage: 4-6 (ran 5 miles)
  • Time: My fault, I didn’t record my run 😦
  • Course: I ran this on the treadmill because it was pouring outside.
  • Feelings: This run felt awful. I ran at a very slow pace and didn’t feel good. I told myself I would never run on treadmill at the gym again. This didn’t last long as I ran 30 min in the gym on Friday.

Saturday:

  • Mileage: 8 miles
  • Time: 1:43:41
  • Course:  Ran from my house to the Baylands and around the Baylands.
  • Food/Drink: Did not eat anything before or during run.
  • Feelings: I felt good during my run. My main goal was to run the entire eight miles without stopping and I did it! I would like to start running faster, but I think speed work is still two weeks away. I also need to begin bringing energy gel or gummies on these long runs because I do think they would have helped me during this long run.

San Francisco Marathon Training

The SF Marathon is officially 16 weeks away and my training begins this week!

This past weekend I’ve been felling excited, nervous, but surprisingly also ready start training. I’ve started running regularly, running 3-4 miles to prepare my body and to get back in the swing of running and I’ve also participated in two races, a very hilly 5K and 10K (my first ever 10K race!).

For those of you interested in following my journey to 26.2 miles I’ll be sharing weekly running logs here!

For now I’ll leave you all with this quote…

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 12.14.23 PM.png

Yep, that’s me 😊 …Just a girl who decided to go for it and so far it’s feeling great!

Hope you had a good weekend and let the training commence!