Tag Archive | The San Francisco Marathon

TSFM Half Marathon Training Begins, and How I Injured Myself: The Truth

Happy Friday runners!

I am just over half way through my first week of training for The San Francisco Marathon! I will be running the First Half of the race this year, and this will be my FIRST race since last July! After injuring myself in October, I took a long hiatus from running. I have to say, after much rest, patience, PT and strength training-IT FEELS SO GOOD TO BE BACK!


View from the top of Bernal Heights #seenonmyrun

To prepare for this race, I am using a fairly traditional plan for training: Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Half Marathon training program. I am running 4 times a week, combined with 2-3 classes at Burn Pilates in SF. Burn is a fusion workout studio that combines Pilates, weight training and HIIT drills in one, 55 minute workout. I have to say, my cardio is ON POINT right now, which I will credit to the high intensity training. So, don’t neglect your cross-training!


Spring has been lovely to us in SF!

I don’t have any concrete goals for this race just yet, besides STAYING HEALTHY. That means getting plenty of rest, proper nutrition, general maintenance (warming-up, foam rolling, icing, and the works), and listening to my body. The truth is, the real reason I injured myself so badly, is that I pushed through an emerging injury. I had noticed an unusual pain in my right foot while running, and I did rest for a week. When I tried to run again, the pain returned and I rested from running again. However, I took a jiu-jitsu class and during the warmup, I ran barefooted around the room. During that first jog around the mats, I felt a shooting pain through my foot and up my leg. The stubborn marathoner in me took over, and I simply pushed through the pain! It was my first time taking jiu-jitsu, and my pride took over and I didn’t want to remove myself from the class. I regrettably kept training for an hour and a half in pain, and after that one class I could barely walk and needed months of rest!

We endurance athletes are taught to push through all kinds of uncomfortable situations, but there is a great difference between being tough and being stupidly stubborn. Lesson learned! Or, so I hope 😀








My Journey Back from Injury

Blog, how I have missed you! I took an unintentional hiatus from writing, perhaps it was the nagging tendon injury that sidelined me for two months, the taking on of a second job that has cause my work/life balance to completely fall out of whack, or just run blogger’s block (it’s a thing); but excuses aside, in just TWO shorts weeks I will begin my training for the San Francisco Marathon! With the running and writing juices flowing, I’ll be tracking my training here once again.


Promo shot for TSFM (I’m in the front row 😀 )

This is my 5th year participating in TSFM events, and I have decided that I will run the First Half Marathon. I was once again selected as an ambassador for the race, and you can meet all of the rest of The Team here!

About that injury…In October, I suffered a severe tendon strain in my right foot. Healing a tendon is no joke: it took weeks of doing nothing on my feet just to stop limping. Once I could walk properly again, I started slowly rebuilding the strength in my leg. I began taking yoga at my gym, and worked up to 3-4 classes a week. The difference in strength between my right and left leg was immense at first, and my balance was completely off. However, slowly but surely I regained strength.

I also began to supplement my cardio training on the stationary bike. I almost died from boredom (no joke), so I never peddled for more than a half hour at a time, but it was good a start. Just after the New Year, I started to run/walk again. At the advice of an Athletic Trainer, I began running on a treadmill rather than outside. SO! I worked my way up to running about 20 minutes on the hamster wheel. Then, it was finally time to take my runs to the streets again!

I always side with caution, and steadily increased my run/walk mileage over the course of two months. I am now capable of running for miles again without walking breaks, but it was quite a journey to get to where I am now. Thus far I remained uninjured, and I am SUPER stoked to get my training underway!




The San Francisco Marathon 2016 Race Ambassador!

I am so happy to announce that I am returning as an ambassador this year for The San Francisco Marathon! This is my FAVORITE running event, and it is such an honor to represent such a world class (and fun!) race!


TSFM will be held on July 31, 2016 and offers multiple races distances-a full marathon, TWO half marathons, a 5K and even an ULTRA marathon. As an ambassador, I am able to offer registrants a discount: Use TSFM2016JAMIE to save $10 off the full marathon or either half marathon, and TSFM2016JAMIE5K for $5 off the 5K.

I want to help motivate as many as people as possible to line up with me on race day! I personally haven’t settled on which distance I will run, but right now I am leaning toward the First Half Marathon for several reasons.

First, I ran the Second Half Marathon last year, and running the First Half this year would qualify me for the Half It All Challenge medal. Additionally, if I then participate in the Berkeley Half Marathon in November, I will have completed the SF/Berkeley Challenge, which I missed out on in 2015. So more medals=better, amIright?

Second reason: the course runs over the Golden Gate Bridge.


Need I say more?

Lastly, Irish coffee at the finish line! Yes, this IS a motivating factor for me. I found that the mix of whiskey and caffeine give sore legs at the end of a race a much needed nudge to get you where you’re going! (A celebratory brunch? A nap? Both perhaps??).

But I haven’t fully committed to this specific race just yet, as each of the distances has something to offer. For instance, the Second Half Marathon is much less hilly and faster if you are itching for a PR! I’ve participated in TSFM every year since 2012, and have a collection of race reviews for anyone interested in more details about individual events:

TSFM Second Half 2015

TSFM Full Marathon 2014

TSFM First Half 2013

TSFM First Half 2012

If you live in the Bay Area and already consider yourself a runner, this event is a must! If you do not live in the Bay Area, San Francisco is a fantastic venue for a runcation, offering up a stunning and challenging backdrop for a run! Don’t consider yourself a runner yet? My debut race was at TSFM in 2012! As you are planning your race schedule, or working on your list of New Year’s resolutions, keep July 31st on your calendar; The San Francisco Marathon is an experience I promise you will not forget!

So, who is running with me??


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.


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.


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!).


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!




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


Race swag

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


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!


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.


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!



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!



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.


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!!


Marathon Training Weeks 1 & 2

Today marks the start of my 3rd week of training for the San Francisco Marathon! I had hoped to include a weekly recap of my training, but time is just not on my side right now. The first two weeks of training were relatively productive, which included a 10 mile race. I am also getting a LOT of strength and conditioning right now as I am interning at a gym. I have never incorporated a ton of strength training while training for a race, but I’m sure it will only benefit my running.

This past Saturday I participated in a photo shoot with the San Francisco Marathon! I met up with several other runners and ambassadors, and we took pictures at various locations along the marathon race course.


Photo Credit: Scott Benbow, SF Marathon Ambassador 🙂


Behind the scenes

I’m not 100% sure when and where these photos will be put to use, but they will be used for promotional materials. I’m excited to see the official photos!

Now, I’m off for a 3 miler! I hope everyone gets a nice run in on this Marathon Monday, and congratulations to all the Boston Marathoners!


The San Francisco Marathon 2015 Discount Code!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been selected as an ambassador for the San Francisco Marathon. They’ve got our names up on the SF Marathon website as of yesterday, and I’m ready to do my part as an ambassador and spread the word about the race!


The San Francisco Marathon will take place July 26th. You have a choice of running the full marathon, one of the half marathons, or the 5K. The 5K is SUPER fast (hello PR! 😀 ), and beautifully scenic as the course runs along the Bay. If you are interested in the half marathon distance, you have TWO options! The first half of the race is the most hilly and challenging, but you get to see San Francisco at it’s most beautiful as you run across the Golden Gate Bridge! In the second half marathon option, aside from the later starting time (hello sleep! 😀 ), you will be treated to a loss of elevation, and an epic finish at the Bay Bridge. Lastly, the marathon course is a running tour of San Francisco: from bridges and parks, ocean waves and Edwardian windows; up and down hills, through mist and sweat, you will conquer 26.2 miles of the stunning City By The Bay!

I have run the first half marathon TWICE, and ran the full marathon last year. If you would like to hear about my own experiences, here are my race reviews!

SF Marathon, 2014

SF Marathon 1st Half, 2013

SF Marathon 1st Half, 2012

Anyone interested in taking on the challenge of San Francisco, please use my discount code for $25 off your registration fees:


I hope to see some of you there!