Injury

Well, ladies and gentlemen…I am on the injured list. Boooo.

A few weeks ago I started experiencing pain on the outside of my right foot. The pain would subside with rest, and immediately flare up when I returned to activity. One day, I landed very hard on my right foot, causing severe pain, and I’ve been limping ever since.

My boyfriend, Rich, made an appointment for me with the athletic trainer at his fight gym. The AT is a former triathlete who works with professional UFC martial artists, and the Oakland Raiders. So he knows his athletes. He confirmed what I and Web MD suspected: peroneal tendon strain. The peroneal tendons run along the outside of your feet, and can become irritated with overuse (ehem, long distance running).

The treatment I received was quite interesting. He started with my foot, scraping and massaging the muscles and tendons. Then, he did the same on my lower right leg and calf. It was a bit uncomfortable, but it is a great technique to ease soft tissue.

Then things got a little crazy. After my scraping session, he transitioned to cupping. Cupping is an ancient Chinese practice that uses suctions cups to draw in soft tissues to break up scar tissue and knots, and to promote blood flow and healing. The cups are lit on fire to remove air, which creates a suction. He moved the cups up and down the outside of my leg, and it was quite painful (I’m still slightly bruise!). Then, I received acupuncture down the side of my leg and outside of my right foot. Lastly, he made a little adjustment to my foot, as the strained tendons have essentially tweaked the 5th metatarsal in my right foot slightly of place.

Injury

Things improved quite quickly after treatment, but I’m still not 100% yet. This type of injury requires rest, but unfortunately I work on my feet for long hours so my foot hurts again at the end of a shift. I’m mostly fine with walking, as long as I can sit when I need to, but I can’t sit at work. I’m spending the day today completely off my feet, and I may make a follow up appointment depending on how I feel.

Being injured is a bummer. I can’t run, and up until last week, I could barely put any pressure on my foot, so I’ve had very little physical activity. My projected time off is very little, so I really can’t complain. I will have to modify my race plans in the immediate future (no Berkeley Half Marathon), but beyond that should be out and running before I know it (please!). Ahh, the ups and downs of being an athlete!

-J

The San Francisco Marathon 2015, 2nd Half, A Race Review

Ahh, The San Francisco Marathon. The Race Even Marathoners Fear. An urban road race full of sloping hills and gravity-defying roads that twist and turn for miles upon miles! The most common question SF-racing newbies ask me is how difficult are the hills?? I can attest that The San Francisco Marathon is challenging but completely survivable (yes, I AM still alive!). My recommendation is to train for hills, and then enjoy the ride. Hills equate to scenery. Challenging, beautiful, inspiring scenery. And they also mean pride. The San Francisco Marathon is not a cake walk in the park (although you WILL run through a park, and feel free to eat lots of cake after), but to conquer the streets of The City is a badge of honor. I will never be the fastest runner, but I have effing run The San Francisco Marathon.

TSFM2015TrainingAmbassador

The San Francisco Marathon 2015, 2nd Half, A Race Review

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

8:15 am

I initially intended on running the full marathon again this year, but I contracted the flu while on a trip to Europe (more on this later…I’ve been getting sick A LOT this year due to sleep deprivation), so I switched to the 2nd half marathon. I have already reviewed the 1st half in 2012 and 2013, and the full marathon in 2014, but this year was my first experience running the 2nd half of the race!

Expo: The 2015 San Francisco Marathon expo was held Friday and Saturday, July 24th and 25th, at the Fort Mason Center.

TSFM2015ExpoEvents

As an ambassador for The San Francisco Marathon, I volunteered to work the Expo on Friday afternoon. I was assigned to the Berkeley Half Marathon table, the SF Marathon’s upcoming sister race (which I am now an ambassador for too!).

TSFM2015ExpoBerkeley

I was able to take a break from the Berkeley Booth to pick up my bib and t-shirt. I needed to change race distances at the expo, and it was an easy switch from the full marathon to the 2nd Half Marathon for a $10 fee.

TSFM2015ExpoBibPic

Once I was finished volunteering, Rich and I grabbed a quick snack at the Off the Grid food truck festival, conveniently located outside of the expo.

TSFM2015OffTheGrid

I had been feeling a little off the last couple of days, but that evening all hell broke loose. I’ll leave out the gory details, but Rich and I both came down with the stomach flu. The next 24 hours were miserable, and I didn’t think I was going to run the race. After sleeping and hydrating as much as possible, I gained my appetite back on Saturday evening and was able to down a plate of spaghetti. Had the spew-fest continued, we would have both backed out of the race, but everything was contained by Sunday morning and we wanted to run. Can’t stop, won’t stop, amIright?

The Second Half Marathon begins at 8:15 am, which is over 2 hours later than the full and first half runners! So brownie points. Rich ran the first half, so he was almost finished just as I was lining up to race! The course starts in Golden Gate Park and ends at the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. At the starting line, my insides were not feeling 100%, but the clean air of the peaceful urban forest just felt SO pleasant. I told myself I have 3 hours to finish the course, and can walk if necessary.

TSFM2015Start

The Breakdown:

Miles 1-6:  The 2nd half marathon course begins with 6 miles of low-rolling terrain in Golden Gate Park. The scenery is beautiful, if a bit redundant, as the course loops around several times.

TSFM2015GGPark

Stomach assessment: intermittently feeling happy and wanting to barf and die. I ran about a 9:15 min/mile through the park, which seemed to push my stomach to the limit. So I decided to slow down.

TSFM2015LeavingGG

Miles 6-9: The exit from Golden Gate Park is the first real incline of the course, followed by some small, rolling hills and steep declines while running down Haight to The Mission District. These were some of my favorite miles of the race, as the course support was plentiful and enthusiastic.

TSFM2015Haight

Stomach assessment: waves of runner’s high coursing though my veins, with unrealistic thoughts of PR’s dancing in my head! Until I had to rush to a restroom; minus 5 minutes off my time, booooo.

Miles 9-11: The longest, steepest hill of the 2nd Half Marathon is around mile 9. I powered up to the top, feeling relieved that the toughest part of the course was over! The next 2 miles aren’t the most scenic as you run through the more industrial part of the Mission into the Dog Patch. SF weather has been record hot lately, and the sun was out and smiling down on us. Stomach assessment: Meh. I allowed myself to run/walk through water stops, but happy to have made it this far.

TSFM2015Taiko

On course entertainment..approaching the end!

Miles 12-13.1: The last couple of miles of the race are incredibly scenic and exciting. The crowds really pick up, and the views of The City and The Bay are stunning!

TSFM2015SFSkyline

TSFM2015ATTBridge

TSFM2015FinishLine

The 2nd Half runners finish with the full marathoners at the Ferry Building, just past the Bay Bridge. We were treated to medals…

TSFM2015Swag

Race swag

…coconut water, Perfect Bars, Muscle Milk…oh, and bananas.

TSFM2015Bananas

My Nike + app showed that I had finished running in 2:07, but that did not include the 5 minute bathroom break (I looked up my official time: 2:12…not even my slowest!). I was completely happy with my post-stomach flu results!

TSFM2015MeFinish

The finish line festival was more spread out than previous years, which I loved because it eliminated a lot of congestion. There were many booths, samples, food trucks, and even a Lagunitas Beer Garden.

TSFM2015FinishFestival

After reconnecting with my boyfriend, we headed to the Ambassador tent and were treated to bagels, coffee and Lagunitas beer. Beer sounded like a tasty treat, but after one sip I was done. It would take many more days of recovery before my appetite returned to normal!

TSFM2015AmbassadorTent

TSFM2015Beer

I am completely happy with my race results, but next year will be redemption: I vow to return and run a healthy and strong race!

Finis!

-J

Summer Adventures

Summer is starting to wind down, and so is my hectic schedule! This year has easily been one of my busiest and most adventurous to date, leaving little time to blog! Lately, it feels like I am either working or traveling, but I can’t complain!

Rich and I returned from our European vacation (True story-it still feels surreal to say that!), in late spring/early June, which I will save for another belated post. I spent most of June recovering from the Slane flu (a pesky Irish meecrobe I picked up in Slane, Ireland), working, and training for The San Francisco Marathon. I had zero time to return to my internship, and the only free weekend I had was spent road tripping to Arizona to pick up our pooch from the dog-sitter, aka my best friend’s house.

July was a fun one. The week before the San Francisco Marathon, Rich and I went camping and white water rafting with friends!

RaftingGroup

We arrived at the glamp…er…campgrounds, which was near Sacramento, on a Monday afternoon. The grounds were quite luxurious as far as camping goes-we had access to running water, flushing toilets and even showers! We spent the rest of the day swimming in the river, tossing frisbees, drinking beer, BBQing and Cards of Humanity-ing.

RaftingFrisbee

CampingBugs

The following day we headed out to the Middle Fork of the American River! This would be my first time white water rafting, and I was super nervous and excited. I am a decent swimmer, as in I’ve got a mean doggie paddle and I’m good at wading in the water drinking margaritas, but the thought of being submerged under white water was a little terrifying to me! But once we boarded the boat, we were flying down rapids and there was no time to be afraid!

Rafting1

Our trip included a full day of rafting, plus a lunch break. I have to say, it was one of the most exciting things I have ever done. We tackled Class 3 to Class 5 rapids, and my friends and I laughed and screamed all day long!

Rafting2

I never fell out of the raft (yay!), but we were allowed to jump in the river twice and float down with our life vests, which might have been just as fun as cruising down the rapids in the raft. It was a fantastic experience, and I will be heading back to the white waters as soon as the next opportunity presents itself!

The San Francisco Marathon was only days away after returning from our rafting trip. I promise to publish my painfully long review of the race, but that’s for another post. I will mention, however, that Rich and I contracted the stomach flu, resulting in a less than spectacular race day. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I could feel signs of it coming on during our rafting trip, I just didn’t realize what was happening at the time. I’ve been sick too many times this year, and I will attribute that to a complete lack of sleep. A busy life is great, but I think too many sleepless nights have caught up with me.

In August, my focus was work. I did get to volunteer at the Giant Race with The San Francisco Marathon, but for the most part the month was a quiet one. However, I was able to save up for our last big event of the summer. I found Rich the PERFECT belated birthday present: 2 tickets to Riot Fest in Chicago! I found ultra-cheap plane tickets on Frontier airlines (hooray red-eyes!), and we were housed by friends in the city, so I was able to swing one more mini-vaca. This would be my first visit to Chicago, AND my first 3-day music festival!

RiotFestSign

Riot Fest is a punk-rock themed festival, and was held this year at Douglas Park on September 11th, 12th and 13th. We spent 3 days jumping and dancing in the mud to some of our favorite bands!

RiotFerrisWheel

A few of my personal favorites…

RiotNoDoubtFlower

Front and center for No Doubt

RiotFloggingMolly

Flogging Molly

System Of A Down

Rodrigo Y Gabriela

RiotFestModestMouse

Last but not least, Modest Mouse

On Day 2, we attended a music discussion panel with Henry Rollins and 2 of the 3 members of the West Memphis 3. If you don’t know who they are, they were teens convicted of murder in the 1990’s based on shoddy evidence, such as they listened to Metallica and wore black clothing. It took them 18 years to be released. The panel was fascinating!

There was also a carnival inside the park. We rode the ferris wheel, which provided us with amazing views of the festival!

RiotFerrisWheel2

On Day 3, we checked out the Lagunitas Brewery, which happened to be right next to Douglas Park.

LagunitasBrewery

LagunitasFlights

We had to fly home on Monday evening, which left us a half day to explore Chicago…

RiotChiSky

…We decided Millenium Park was a MUST:

ChiTheBean

Obligatory touristy “Bean” photo

We then headed to Wicker Park for some drinks at a hipster saloon with our house hosts.

ChiWickerPark

Some Mezcal-y drink…mmmmm

Our last day went by so fast, and we were back at the airport in a flash. Chicago was beautiful and fun, and the midwestern friendliness was very real! I want to go back and explore more of the city (just not during the winter!).

There you have it, my summer adventures! I am home for a little while, until the wedding extravaganza for my best friend, Allison, begins…starting with the bachelorette party in Disneyland at the end of October! I am currently gearing up for a loooong training camp for my next batch of races, which includes the Berkeley Half Marathon, and, gulp, the Los Angeles Marathon. Stay tuned!

-J

Berkeley Half Marathon Ambassadorship and The Giant Race

Now it’s time for some good news! Last week was a tough one, and I briefly recapped the events of a house fire in my last post. But life is moving forward, and I am happy to announce that I was selected as an Ambassador for the Berkeley Half Marathon!

BHA

The Berkeley Half is the sister race to the San Francisco Marathon. The race features a half marathon, 10K and 5K, and provides a running tour of Berkeley, including the UC Berkeley campus! I am very honored to continue to represent Bay Area running, and look forward to this new ambassadorship. It looks like there will be a lot of great opportunities to connect with local runners, whether it be hosting a fun run, or working an in-store event.

Just before I was selected for Berkeley, I attended one last event as a San Francisco Marathon ambassador, The Giant Race on August 23rd. The San Francisco Giant’s themed race features a half marathon, 10K and 5K, and all distances start and finish at AT&T Park.

Giant3

Giant2

I worked at a table passing out medals for the San Francisco Originals Runs Series. Medals were given to runners who participated in 3 running events this year: Bay 2 Breakers, The San Francisco Marathon and the Giant Race.

Giant1

It was a simple task, but it was great fun presenting medals to the proud and excited runners. Even though I was not racing, I really loved being around the positive energy of the running community!
-J

Fire

Hello Everyone!

I was JUST about to finally share my race review of the San Francisco Marathon, but something unexpected happened this week that I just can’t fail to discuss.

I live in a small residence in San Francisco that consists of three buildings-one large house with two small buildings behind. My boyfriend, Rich, and I live with our dog, Emmi, in an in-law studio in one of the smaller buildings. On Monday night, the top floor of our neighbor’s house caught fire, and the flames eventually jumped to the second story of the large house. I was at work when the fire broke, but Rich and Emmi were at home. Rich called me to tell me the news as soon as they left our house. Thankfully, everyone was able to get out of both residences safely.

There is a fire station only a block away from our home, and firefighters were able to arrive on scene and take control of the fire quickly. I arrived home from work as they were extinguishing the last of the flames. The 2-alarm fire was out in just about an hour and a half. Our street was blocked off for hours, and we all waited at a local bar for news. Little by little residents were escorted back in to their homes, but since our place was directly involved in the fire, we would not be able to remain at home. The American Red Cross was on-site and provided temporary housing to all of us displaced by the fire.

To our relief, the fire never reached our little studio, and we were allowed to return home after just one night. Sadly, the neighboring house, which serves as a senior care facility, is destroyed on the inside from fire and water. We do not have an official verdict on the future of the large house, but things look positive. I have never experienced anything like this in my life, and I still have a little anxiety left over from the events of that night, which is probably why I decided to write and publish this-it is therapeutic. I am so grateful to the San Francisco Fire Department and the American Red Cross for helping all of us that night, and for dedicating their lives and careers to aiding those in need. True heroes.

I promise to be back soon with my race review!

-J

Change of Plans

It has been quite some time since I have written a proper blog post, and I stayed up last night until 3 am constructing a riveting account of my training during the past few weeks, full of moving prose and lots of really good pictures-the kind of stuff you’ve come to expect from my blog. I am not too humble to say it was my best work yet, so, naturally, my new iPad failed to update the finished product and the entire thing is gone. True story. Mostly. But the show must go on!

In the last couple of months, I traveled to Arizona (twice), Istanbul, Dublin, Cork, Paris and Rome! It was the trip of a lifetime, and I had more fun than I can even possibly put in to words. But I’m going to try. I’m working on a detailed recap of my travels, including a blog post for the San Francisco Marathon about my experiences running and training abroad (thank GOD I still believe in handwritten drafts!), which I will share as soon as it is ready to publish!

I had an incredible trip overseas, but my return to the US was a tad rocky. Jet lag was a BI-OTCH, and I also brought back with me to the States what I like to call the “Slane Flu,” which I contracted after spending 9 hours at an outdoor Foo Fighters concert in the pouring, bone-chilling rain of Slane, Ireland. More on this later. I returned to work the day after our plane landed (needing a vacation from my vacation did NOT go over well with the bosses), and up until just over a week ago, I was coughing up horrid amounts of phlegm. Needless to say, I did not run for an entire 3 weeks, and I have decided I am not physically or mentally prepared to take on the entire 26.2 miles of The San Francisco Marathon. Which is totally cool because I have already spoken to The Powers That Be and can still switch to the half 😀 I have decided that I will instead run the second half of the marathon course. I’ve run the first half of the race twice, and the full marathon last year, so I thought it was time to give the second half a chance to WOW me.

Even though my race plans have changed, I am still SUPER psyched about the SF Marathon. I am an ambassador for the race, and it is great fun promoting my FAVORITE running event in the Bay! In the coming weeks, I will be participating in some SF Marathon-related events in the area, including the Race Expo. I may have also ended up in a few promotional materials:

image

Last week I received two shipments from San Francisco Marathon partners, Zico Coconut Water and Perfect Bar!

image

Coconut water is a staple of my hydration system while training, so I am super happy to have a fridge stocked full of Zico.

image

And Perfect Bar. I can’t. I had never tried these protein bars before, but they are beyond. I won’t admit how quickly I polished off the box they sent to me, but I’m going through withdrawal.

July is a very exciting running month for me, and thankfully my training is back on track. There are 3 1/2 weeks until race day, and I’m going to be ready for you SF (second half)!

Happy Running!

-J

Last Day to Save!

I have returned from my epic adventure/runcation in Europe! There is so much to share about my trip, and I have SO many blogs to catch up with, but for now I only have time to drop a quick line about the San Francisco Marathon! Tonight, June 14th, at 11:59 PST is the deadline to save $25 off registration for the race with my ambassador discount code. All you have to do is visit The San Francisco Marathon website and use TSFM2015JAMIE at checkout. The code is good for the full or half marathon distances, as well as the 5K.

TSFM2015SpotsLeft

That one time I did a photo shoot with the SF Marathon…

As of a few days ago, there were only 500 spots left in the first half marathon. The other races are estimated at 90% full, so it’s time to register! I hope to be back to blogging soon, but until then happy training!!

-J