Tag Archives: Marathon

How to Treat a Running Injury

For the most part of my 12-year running career, I’ve ran mainly injury free. In this calendar year, I’ve somehow strained my Achilles twice and knee once (that one lasted like three days).

Last Monday, I was out for a run and really pushing the speed. I could feel some pain on the outside of my lower leg but just ignored it. I had felt it the day before when I ran the Women’s Health Run 10 Feed 10 10K and just on my runs throughout the week after the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. But I just kept ignoring it and running out it. About 4 miles in, the pain was bad enough that I had started to limp a little bit. I looked down at my watch and I eventually slowed down two minutes per mile slower than I had started. I got in the shower and could barely put weight on my foot.

I was pretty convinced I had given myself a stress fracture. I had been going to SoulCycle 3-4 times a week lately on top of my runs and running two races back to back. I did two workouts I wasn’t used to the week before, too. As I sat furiously googling “stress fracture” and “Achilles tendinitis” I self-diagnosed myself with tendinitis because that is what I self-diagnosed myself with this winter and somehow healed myself.

Moral of the story – I let a little pain go too far but if I had kept pushing it this past week, I think I would have prolonged the issue. As soon as the pain got really bad, (I’ll say it was an 8 on a scale of 1-10 but I have a low pain tolerance… I think) I stopped running.

How to Treat a Running Injury

  • See a doctor: I’m lazy and didn’t feel like going through all the effort of finding a sports medicine doctor in San Francisco and having them tell me to stop running forever, so I didn’t see a doctor. But I had a terrible injury in high school and saw a doctor and a year and a half of physical therapy later, I was healed.
  • Rest: I don’t do well with rest. I hate resting. I start getting sad when I can’t run and irritable and angry and I’m just not a person you want to be around. But seriously, stop running. At least for a couple days. Go swim or ride the stationary bike or literally rest, but don’t pound the pavement.
  • Ice: “20 minutes on, 20 minutes off” if you want to be specific but I basically just do “until my leg gets too cold and then when I feel like it’s been 20 minutes”.
  • Tape: In my research, I saw that taping the injured area helped. I used to have to tape my shins or ankles in high school for various whatever reasons. I remembered I had KT Tape in my closet from a race swag bag recently and watched a video on how to apply it for Achilles Tendinitis. At this point, I’ve basically become a MD.
  • Keep the muscles loose: This also goes along with swimming, spinning, etc. If you’re not working an injured muscle in some capacity it will get too stiff and not continue to heal. Stretch it out, go to yoga, walk – trust me, it helps.
  • Run: Counter-intiutitive, I know. This winter I ran slowly on my Achilles my first few runs back. Did it hurt at first? Yeah, a little. Then it stopped. Then it felt fine mostly. Just listen to your body. If it starts to feel better – not worse – a half mile or so in, keep on running. If not, stop. But leave the watch at home for this run.
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Life, lately.

If you find yourself consistently getting injured, you probably need to ask yourself a few questions: Am I wearing the right shoes? Am I taking care of my body properly, be it nutrition or stretching or strength training or taking actual rest days? I’m slowly learning that every body is different. Just because an elite runner can log 100 mile weeks and do two workouts a day doesn’t mean my body can. It doesn’t make me any better or worse, it just means I didn’t hit the genetic running lottery. I did hit the genetic humor letter so there’s that. (JK)

Now… what am I going to commit to this November so I can get back into LA Marathon training full-force? Foam rolling + stretching + yoga (I’ve actually been way better about this the past few months), strength training (I really mean it this time) and rest days (a new concept in my life).

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Chat with me:
What other tips do you have for dealing with a running injury? Have you ever been injured? What genetic lottery trait did you win?

How to Recover From a Half or Full Marathon

nike women's half marathon dc | almost getting it together

I’ve finally done it. Five plus years of racing half-marathons (okay, two and a half years racing half marathons and the previous three were spent intermittently running halves and more than halfway hating them) and I ran a race, PR-ed, and was basically not sore (just a little stiff) the next day.

SeaWheeze recovery may have been a fluke but nevertheless, after a lot of experimenting, research and practice, I think I have how to recover from a half or full marathon down to a science. Remember though, I’m not a fitness professional so these are the tips that work for me but everybody (and every body!) is different so you may have a couple of trial-and-error periods before you find what works best for you.

How to Recover From a Half or Full Marathon

Kaiser Permanente 2015 San Francisco Half-Marathon| almost getting it together

This is what great post race recovery looks like.

  • Foam Roll and Stretch Immediately After
    I know, you just finished a race (yay!) and want to celebrate/shower/eat everything but please trust me – just spend ten minutes foam rolling and stretching. You’ll thank me the next morning when you can get out of bed. It really helps while your muscles are still warm.
  • Get Protein As Soon As Possible After Finishing
    I carry a Vega blender bottle and Vega Recovery Performance Protein with me in my checked gear bag. If I can get my hands on coconut water or unsweetened almond milk, or think to stick a mini bottle in my bag, I use that – if not, water works, it just isn’t quite as tasty. You make lots of little tears in your muscles running hard and this helps repair them.If you don’t want to drink protein, eat something really protein heavy like eggs on avocado toast, chicken, or just really anything with a lot of protein but the protein shake is just the easiest and best solution I’ve personally found.

    how-to-recover-from-a-long-run-almost-getting-it-together

    My favorite protein shake ingredients.

  • Hydrate
    Just drink water and when you think you’ve drank enough, drink more. This goes without saying.
  • Eat Wholesome, Real Foods
    Okay, you ran 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles and you feel like you want and deserve to eat anything you want – but please don’t. Eat lots of veggies, lean proteins and whole grains. Maybe have dessert, a beer or an extra glass of wine that day. Definitely eat a little extra – but don’t eat processed foods, burgers, pizza, ice cream and everything ever terrible because you burned 1000-2700 calories, not 7000, and your body wants wholesome things to recover – Doritos don’t help rebuild muscle and replenish carb stores.
  • Schedule a Massage
    After my first ever half-marathon, I could barely walk the next day. Then I got a massage and somehow, I could walk a little better once I left. Now, after most races I get a massage. Some races have complimentary massages afterwards (SeaWheeze, Nike Women’s) but do yourself a favor and just schedule a real 60 minute massage.I’ve gotten Swedish, hot stone, deep tissue and sports after races and I’m pretty sure deep tissue does the best for me. If you’re in a major metro area, there are now even apps where a massage therapist will come to your house or apartment with a massage table so you don’t even have to hobble down stairs to get worked out. I’ve used both Zeel (you can save $25 on your massage with code AGIT) and Soothe and both were awesome. You can pick your therapist gender if that matters to you, the type of massage you want and then they come over, have a speaker with spa music, set up the table and work out all the lactic acid.
  • Wear Compression Socks
    It might be the placebo effect, but every time I remember to wear my compression socks after I get out of the shower, I’m less sore the next day. They are really worth the $40 or whatever investment.
  • Go to Yoga
    Yes, in addition to the massage, go to yoga. The massage works all the junk out of your muscles and yoga stretches you back out. There is nothing like half-pigeon the day of or day after a race.
seawheeze 2015 | almost getting it together

Race day yoga at SeaWheeze.

  • Have an Easy Active Recovery Day
    This is my new thing – I don’t take a full recovery day the day after a race. I’ll go to SoulCycle, go on a hike or go on a short, easy run (leave that watch at home!). Every second typically hurts but it gets your muscles loose and moving and really helps with recovery.
  • Get Some Sleep
    Go to bed early the night of your race. If you’re anything like me, you’re typically falling asleep on the couch at 8:30 p.m. Alternatively, I’ve also drank an entire bottle of wine and been up until 1 a.m. and really felt like shit the next day because race hangover + improper recovery + real hangover = the worst.

Chat with me:
What are your half or full marathon recovery tips? What do you do in the hours and days after a race? What are you training for right now?

What to Pack for a Destination Race [+ a Vega Giveaway!]

what-to-pack-for-a-destination-race | almost getting it together

Races are a great excuse to visit a place (Tokyo Marathon is on my running bucket list, personally).  When my good friend Kay offered me the chance to travel to Vancouver to run Seawheeze obviously the only answer was yes, right? I have wanted to visit Vancouver for a while now, I wanted to run Seawheeze but couldn’t pull the trigger on signing up without knowing I would have a friend going with me (says the girl who loves traveling alone) and Kay is one of my favorite people so I couldn’t say no to a weekend of running, yoga and Lululemon.

Besides races in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, I’ve run a few races in other places – DC, Ragnar, and a few in Georgia/Florida/Virginia before I started blogging. I usually write out a list of everything I need for race day since I’m such a basket case about my pre- and post-race routines.

This list is meant for race-essential things. Obviously I hope you know to pack street clothes and other things like that. Also, pack all these things in your carry-on bag. If you put your running essentials in your checked bag when flying to a destination race, you’re asking for trouble.

What to Pack for a Destination Race

what-to-pack-for-a-destination-race | almost getting it together

My Race Day Destination Race Essentials

Race Day:

  • Top: I usually always wear a Nike Dry Fit Tank.
  • Bottoms: Lululemon Speed Shorts, always.
  • Shoes: I race in Mizuno Wave Riders 18. I might wear my Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 this weekend though.
  • Socks: I totally forgot my favorite socks when I ran the Pittsburgh Marathon. Make sure you pack the ones you want.
  • Sports Bra: Typically Lululemon Free to Be or Free to Be Wild (pictured). They leave funny tan lines (warning) and are made for yoga but I’m basically flat chested so… I don’t need much support.
  • Hat/Sunglasses: Self explanatory. I don’t run in sunglasses but I also forgot my hat during Pittsburgh and immediately regretted it. It keeps the sweat out of your eyes.
  • Arm Band
  • Garmin (and charger!): I use a Garmin 10 and it’s the most basic model. It’s perfect for what I need day-to-day – milage, pace, time of day and time running.
  • Hydration Belt/Race Belt (if you wear one): I don’t (anymore)
  • Throwaway Clothes (if the race is going to be cold)
  • Sunscreen: UV protection is no joke.
  • Gels: I’ve used the Vega Endurance Gel (pictured) because it’s all natural… it’s date based, not sucralose or whatever based. I use Gu as well – honestly, whatever sounds good that morning.
  • Pre-Race Food: Lately I’ve been eating gluten-free toast with a banana and peanut butter before a race. I used to eat oatmeal – it’s really whatever I’m feeling that morning, but both work for me. Oatmeal is great because you can pack it and make it in a hotel room with the coffee machine. Justin’s makes individual nut butter packets you can take and uh, if you have to have me tell you where to buy/how to pack a banana there’s bigger issues at hand.
what-to-pack-for-a-destination-race | almost getting it together

Race day essential foods!

Post-Race:
Pack these things in your checked bag

  • Post-Race Recovery Food/Hydration: I always have a shake of coconut water/almond milk/some mixture of the two and Vega Sport Performance Protein after a race/long run. I’m rarely as sore the next day and it helps curb the runger/gives me a ton of protein. I’ll also drink Vega Post-Work Out Recovery Accelerator or Nuun.
  • Compression Socks: Might be the placebo effect but wearing them makes me less sore the next day typically. Especially when flying – my toes turn into Vienna Sausages (ew).
  • Change of clothes (including under things!) and deodorant: Duh.
  • ShowerPillThese basically make you feel like you took a shower. Obsessed.
  • Flip-flops or comfy, open-toed shoes: Forgot these during the San Francisco Half-Marathon and regretted it from the time I realized it at mile 11.

My friends at Vega are helping me celebrate Seawheeze this weekend by giving away a Marathon Training Kit that is worth over $300! It includes two Performance Proteins, Pre-Workout Energizer, Post-Work Out Recovery Accelerator and Hydrator (think calorie free Gatorade or Nuun that you put into your water).

Vega Sport Bundle - Full Marathon | almost getting it together

Win this Vega Sport Bundle – Full Marathon below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’re looking to win other things this week, head over to Running with SD Mom and Erica Finds for even more giveaways.

This post has affiliate links – thanks for supporting the brands that I love! Vega provided the giveaway but I love the brand and mission so all opinions are my own!

Chat with me:
Have you ever ran a destination race? What are things you must pack? Do you have any race-day rituals?

Race Recap: San Francisco Marathon 2nd Half-Marathon

Originally, I had planned on this being a goal race. I thought running a 1:45 half-marathon was an aggressive, but achievable, goal. I ran a 1:51 in March not really training so I thought if I focused on speed work and was a little brave, I could run sub 8-minute miles.

The San Francisco Marathon is broken into two half-marathons for those who don’t want to take on the whole 26.2 miles. You can run the first half which takes you from the Ferry Building down the Embarcadero, down Fisherman’s Wharf, through the Marina, into the Presidio and across the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Presidio and into the Inner Richmond then into Golden Gate Park where the first half of the marathon ends.

After running the Pittsburgh Marathon, I considered signing up for the full San Fransisco Marathon but realized I wanted to take a break from full marathon training and didn’t really want to run all the hills in the SF Marathon. I heard the 2nd half-marathon was faster, flatter and less crowded. Also it begins at 8:15 a.m. as opposed to 6:00 a.m. and I’m all about two extra hours to sleep.

Friday when I went to pick up my bib I texted Chrissy telling her I had full-marathon FOMO. She told me she had half-marathon FOMO and knowing Kay wasn’t planning on running anymore, I coordinated getting Chrissy to pick up her bib so she could run with me. It also gave us an excuse to eat lots of carbs like acai bowls and sourdough polenta bread and Delarosa pizza together the day before.

San Francisco Marathon 2015 | Almost Getting it Together

This is a margarita pizza with Burrata and it was totally worth it.

Sunday morning Chrissy came over to my place and we took an Uber to the start at Golden Gate Park. We got there really early which was nice. I’m usually at the start line like 5 minutes before the start so it was good to be able to relax, hang out a little bit and not feel rushed and stressed. I got into my corral for Wave 2 (which is actually everyone who is a sub 9-minute mile pace who isn’t a seeded athlete) and saw the 1:45 pace group. I stood with them for a couple moments, looking at the others in the group.

San Francisco Marathon 2015 | Almost Getting it Together

Chrissy and I pre-race.

This is where I get a little real. I’m going to preface the rest of this post with saying I’m really hard on myself. Really hard. Like the fact I ran a PR then cried because it wasn’t good enough for me. I had dinner with my ex a couple weeks ago when he was in town (albeit after he showed up unannounced) and he looked across the table at me and told me to stop being so hard on myself.

I thought about the number I saw on the scale that morning. I thought about how frustrated I’ve been with myself lately – not training hard enough, drinking and eating out more than I would like to, and the fact I’ve gained a couple “San Francisco pounds”. Yeah, all my clothes still fit and I’m still a size zero but I just felt terrible about my ability to run sub 8-minute miles in that moment. So I decided a 1:50 was still a PR and if I felt good after the first eight miles, I would leave that pace group.

The best thing about the 2nd half-marathon is that it is much smaller than the beginning of the full marathon and first half-marathon – around 5,000 runners as opposed to 30,000+. The beginning wasn’t as crowded as the last several races I have ran. You start out and soon after, the full-marathoners are running along side of you.

The course splits right away – the full marathoners stay to the left and the half-marathons stay to the right. I was looking at the signs and trying to get over to the right because I understood why the course was splitting – the full marathoners had already ran 13 miles, were in the zone and the half-marathoners were fresh. Being a respectful runner (post on that coming soon), I tried to get over to the right… and in the process, hit a traffic cone separating the two sides.

Before I knew it, I was on the ground. Both knees, head, left elbow and my right hand all made contact with the pavement. “I guess I’m done” was the first thought that went through my head. The second thought was that I ate pizza for dinner the night before, toast for breakfast that day and I had to run all of that off. I picked myself up, felt my elbow and decided I was just going to keep running. My knee hurt and was a little stiff and I decided I just wasn’t going to look down at it because I didn’t want to know how badly I had scraped it.

I stayed with the 1:50 pace group the first three miles and realized their pace was kind of all over the place, not a steady 8:24. This is where I say my friend Lesley is the best pacer ever. I also asked Emily if I was right in my thinking and that pacers should be running even splits (she agreed). I decided I needed to run my race, not anyone else’s and left them.

I saw one of the pace group leaders from San Francisco Road Runners in Golden Gate Park cheering on the runners. He either told me I looked strong or told me I looked covered in blood (TBD on that one) and in that moment, I really felt like I was home. I struggled all winter and spring to feel like San Francisco was home and I can’t even explain how happy I was to be running in the city in that moment. I rode that high the next few miles.

Around mile 9 or 10 I started to feel vaguely annoyed for a couple of miles. I was disappointed in the San Francisco community for not coming out and cheering on the runners. In Pittsburgh, a city full of obesity and whatever, there are people cheering basically every inch of that course. Yes, there are a few dead zones but for the most part, people are out and cheering and excited. There wasn’t much difference in running during the SF Marathon and running on a Saturday morning.

I was also super annoyed at the water stop volunteers. I know they are volunteers and I am so thankful they gave up their Sunday morning to be there, but they were not concerned with giving people water. They kind of just stood there or were talking and took forever to grab waters off the table. I decided in this moment that I really need to not run a race in SF and volunteer at a race to give back to the community.

A couple notes about this course – it isn’t flat. It’s flat for San Francisco but there’s a hill going into the Haight and then 16th Street has another much more brutal hill that takes you to Potrero Hill. From there, you have another hill that takes you into the Dogwatch and Mission Bay. We ran past my office and lots of people tailgating for the Oakland A’s/Giants game. Nothing like smelling hot dogs during mile 11-12 of a race.

Once we got to my office in Mission Bay, I knew there was about a mile and half left until the Ferry Building. I ran this part of the course a lot during marathon training. I kept telling myself the faster I ran the faster I could get medical attention for my knee. Other thoughts during this time were “my feet hurt and I forgot to put flip-flops in my gear check bag”.

I had been trying not to look at my watch and just run by how I was feeling but looked down and I had a little less than a mile left and my time was 1:43. I had thought I was going to hit sub 1:50 until about that moment. I crossed the finish line at 1:50:42 and the only thing I could think was, “where the f*** is the medical tent?”. I realized as everyone looked at me that I probably looked pretty gnarly and looked down at my leg that was essentially, covered in blood.

I think I have really bad-ass tendencies when it comes to injuries. I used to be a total baby and would cry and have someone patch me up but as I started doing more sports in which I get injured and beat up (surfing, particularly), I started caring way less. The only time I was really upset by falling in recent history was in Nicaragua because it happened 30 seconds into my run, I ripped my headphones and knew salt water was not going to feel good in my wounds and then last spring when I tripped and got a black eye. But I was totally self-concious of my bloody leg. I grabbed a heat blanket to try and cover it up so people wouldn’t look at me or ask what happened. I was just thinking “you finished a race not like some battle this isn’t normal”.

San Francisco Marathon 2015 | Almost Getting it Together

Ferry Building finish line from the Lululemon after party.

Here is another qualm with the organization of the race – the finish chute was long but directly after, people were just congregating. There needs to be a family reunion area like there is in Pittsburgh so runners can actually get out of the chute. Medical tent was still nowhere in sight, I was pissed off by my time and I had a ton of things in my hands (races, please be like Nike and give out bags!) and just wanted someone to clean out my wounds and to call my dad and cry over how disappointed I was in myself.

Finally I found the medical tent after grabbing my bag from gear check. Some nice doctors from UCSF assured me I might not scar and I wasn’t the first person who had fallen running. Some lady who was sitting with her husband asked if I had falling running and I said yes, in the first tenth of a mile and she told me I was strong and brave. YOU’RE RIGHT, I AM. I told her thank you and continued to feel like a bad ass.

Afterwards, I decided to head over to the Lululemon After Party to meet Chrissy. This is where I say I am so lucky to be a part of this community in SF and to be friends with the wonderful Kristine who is killing it in her new role on the Community Team at Lulu. They were doing screen printing at the expo, had a mindful mediation set-up and then an awesome VIP after party right on the Embarcadero, steps from the finish line. I was able to use a real bathroom to clean up and change into my new Lululemon SF Marathon screen printed shirt. They also had a super great swag bag, lots of drinks (including tons of coconut water), food, massages, stretching stations and more. I stretched out for a few and ate some smoked salmon and drank a Vega recovery shake since I knew we were getting brunch with Kay afterwards.

San Francisco Marathon 2015 | Almost Getting it Together

My first ever flash tat at the Lululemon after-party which then turned into a discussion about favorite SoulCycle instructors and eating Blue Barn/Rustic Bakery after.

As the Lululemon party started wrapping up around noon, Chrissy and I decided to walk the 1.5 miles to Huxley, a super small, super talked about restaurant in the Trendyloin. They are known for the avocado toast with uni so I figured no time like after running 13+ miles to make reservations to indulge. The three of us split the housemade yogurt with fruit and granola (amaze), baked eggs and avocado toast with uni (obvi).

San Francisco Marathon 2015 | Almost Getting it Together

Will run for avocado toast.

All in all – this is the first race (other than the Montour Run Half-Marathon) that I’m not sure I would recommend to people. I don’t think it was very organized for a big city marathon. I think I might volunteer next year rather than running either the full or the half.

Overall: 1:50:42 (8:27/min pace – but my watch told me 8:17 and 13.3 miles so….), top 16% overall, top 8% of women (you really realize you’re racing with a lot of guys at this pace), top 10% of my age group. Things I should be proud of, I know, but still, so disappointed because I know if I just get a little bit of guts and a little bit more work ethic, I have faster miles in me. There’s always Seawheeze next month…

San Francisco Marathon 2015 | Almost Getting it Together

Chat with me:
What’s the most badass thing you’ve done recently? Are you too hard on yourself? What races would you recommend/not recommend?

How to Run Farther: Tackling a New Distance

How to Run Farther - Tackling a New Distance | Almost Getting it Together

A couple weekends ago I had the brilliant idea to go look at my high school cross-country times which were embarrassing to say the least. I told Emily about it the other day and she reminded me that we really peek as runners in our early 30s. I’m glad I didn’t peek at 16 but if I could go back 10 years, I would be placing in the top 10 of races instead of last (true story). Sigh.

I bring this up because I never fathomed running more than a few miles. 3.1 miles sounded ridiculous to me 12 years ago… and now I typically don’t leave my house for less than six. How did I learn to run further?

How to Run Farther: Tackling a New Distance

How to Run Farther - Tackling a New Distance | Almost Getting it Together

A very scary sign to see the day before your first marathon.

  • Start with Small Steps
    Not literally, but figuratively. Never increase your milage more than 10% in a week, so if you’re currently running 10 miles a week, add a mile your first week and so on.
  • Cross-Train
    I know there is a serious correlation in my improvement as a runner and the integration of cross-training in my workouts. I used to run 5-6 days a week and never really do much of anything else. Now I run 4 days a week, go to yoga 1-2 times a week, go to SoulCycle once a week and usually hike once a week. Yoga keeps my muscles happy and limber and SoulCycle and hiking moves my body in ways running doesn’t.
  • Be Ready to Go Outside Your Comfort Zone
    Running any distance doesn’t necessarily always feel good. Some numbers are very scary when proceeded with “miles” – 3.1, 6.2, 13.1, or 26.2 to name a few. It’s going to hurt but it’s going to be worth it. Running is 80% mental and anyone who tells you differently is lying.

How to Run Farther - Tackling a New Distance | Almost Getting it Together

  • Strength Train
    If you expect your body to be able to perform longer and harder than it is used to, you need to incorporate strength training. Runners really need to focus on core and back strength because that’s what holds you up when you’re on your feet for hours at a time – and your form is the first thing to go when you’re fatigued.
  • Get the Right Nutrition
    I’m going to let you in on a little secret – running further distances makes you really ravenous, all the time. Basically the only time I’m not hungry is when I’m sad. (I’m always one break-up or stomach flu from my goal weight.)
  • Do Your Research
    There are lots of training plans, nutrition plans, blogs, books, etc. focused on running further distances. I don’t think there is any right one, but set aside some time to do some research and be open to testing out something new.
  • Listen to Your Body
    I know that running any more than four days a week burns me out. If you’re feeling sore, tired and starting to hate running – back off for a few days and take these steps to get out of a running rut.
  • Focus on Recovery
    Recovery is so, so, so important. There’s no point in increasing your distance and pushing yourself if you undo all your hard work by getting injured because you aren’t recovering properly. Foam roll, go to yoga, eat anti-inflammatory foods and follow my other Long Run Recovery Tips.
How to Run Farther - Tackling a New Distance | Almost Getting it Together

Invest in a foam roller if you’re going to start increasing your distance. I love the Rumble Roller.

Resources

Chat with me:
Do you have a new distance you want to run? What tips do you have for runners wanting to increase their distance?

Yoga for Runners – Christine Bullock’s Fave Five Poses for Runners

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I’m so excited to have another “Cool People Doing Cool Things” feature with a an amazing woman who is originally from Pittsburgh as well, Christine Bullock! Christine is currently living and working in Redondo Beach, California and is competing to be Women’s Health’s Next Fitness Star.

Practicing what she preaches, Christine Bullock has turned her expertise and passion for fitness, nutrition, and beauty into a dynamic lifestyle business. As an accomplished ballerina who started dancing at age three, Bullock has a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and insight into the importance of a consistent athletic routine and ongoing healthy eating habits. Passionate about helping others attain health and happiness, she has spent over 17 years working with health and beauty industry leaders all over the globe and has counseled and trained thousands of people to improve their health and well-being both inside and out. Bullock has certifications in Pilates, Barre, Yoga and Pre & Post-Natal, and is also certified as a Nutrition and Wellness Counselor.

Focusing on functional anatomy and movement science using dynamic movement to rebuild a balanced high performance physique, Christine integrates the most progressive exercise techniques used by world-class athletes into one powerful program designed to help increase strength, torch calories, boost metabolism, increase energy, all while balancing mind and body. Her workouts include functional training, high intensity drills, stability, plyometrics, flexibility, Pilates, yoga and core. Christine also teaches the importance of food quality, quantity, and preparation. She says, “20 minutes a day, no props needed, so no excuses!” The key is no boredom and no burnout. Her workouts are fast, functional and effective.

I asked Christine to create a series of yoga poses that are great recovery stretches for runners – I thought she would be the perfect person since she combines cardio and yoga into many of her workouts! Read on for a note from Christine and

Thank you Cassie for featuring me on Almost Getting it Together and giving me an opportunity to reach out to my hometown crowd while I take on Women’s Health’s Next Fitness Star competition. I am so excited to be one of the five finalists in this national competition! Not only do I get to grace the July/August flip cover of Women’s Health with the other ladies, but most importantly I get to share workouts, my fitness philosophy and more with you all! Please visit http://thenextfitnessstar.com/christine-bullock to join me on this journey, get fit, learn and vote!

I had to go with Steelers colors for my Pittsburgh fam — if you love the look, head to Carbon38.com — use code Christinebul50 for $50 Off First Purchase of $200.

Running is an awesome practice — with nothing more than your body and a pair of sneakers you can build mental and physical endurance, a sleek physique and a strong, healthy heart. I created this short yoga series to help ward off overuse injuries that can often plague runners. These moves will also provide increased flexibility for better form while running and feel-good stretches for relief post-workout.

Cow Face Pose

Christine Bullock Women's Health Next Fitness Star - Yoga for Runners - Cow Face Pose

This is a deep stretch that releases built up tension in the outer hips. Runners will also love the gentle ankle stretch that comes with this pose.

Start in a seated position and begin to cross your legs deeply so that your bent right knee is stacked on top of the bent left knee. Both knees should be in line with your chin. Make sure your heels are equidistant from each hip. Scoot your heels forward to deepen the stretch while keeping both sit bones connected to the ground.  Sit up tall, engage your core and breathe into the stretch. Switch the crossing of your legs and repeat.

Wide Legged Forward Fold

Christine Bullock Women's Health Next Fitness Star - Yoga for Runners - Wide Legged Forward Fold

This is a vital stretch for runners to release tension in the hamstrings. The mild inversion is also a great pre-run energy booster.

Begin in a wide legged stance with feet twice as wide as hip width distance apart and parallel. Engage your abs and extend your arms out to a T.With a flat back, hinge at the hips and fold forward. Allow your head to hang heavy to decompress your spine. Grab onto your calves and gently deepen the fold. Shift your weight forward into the balls of your feet to increase the stretch in your hamstrings.

Downward Dog Calf Stretch

Christine Bullock Women's Health Next Fitness Star - Yoga for Runners - Downward Dog Calf Stretch

This pose is a wonderful mild calf warm up for runners. It gently loosens tension in the calves and wakes up the whole body.

Begin in plank position; arms shoulder distance, feet hip distance and core braced. Keeping the spine and legs long, pike your hips to the sky. This is your downward facing dog. Evenly distribute your weight in your hands and feet and scan your body to ensure that you are engaging throughout. Now cha-cha your knees — bend one knee and push into the ball of that foot while extending the other leg straight and pushing through the heel.

Runner’s Lunge

Christine Bullock Women's Health Next Fitness Star - Yoga for Runners - Runner’s Lunge

The name says it all — this yoga pose allows runners to open up, stretch and relax the quads and hip flexors. Allow your body weight and breath to deepen you into the pose slowly for great results.

Begin in a low lunge with your left leg forward and right leg back. Start with your left knee stacked directly over your left ankle and your right leg extended straight back. Push through the right heel, while pulling the right hip forward and the left hip back. From this position walk your left foot six inches left and six inches forward. Bring your left arm to the inside of your left thigh. Breathe. Alternate sides.

Half Bow Press

Christine Bullock Women's Health Next Fitness Star - Yoga for Runners - Half Bow Press

This deep stretching pose opens up the front line of the body. It is a wonderful stretch for the hipflexors. The pose also gives runners a much needed opportunity to counteract the closed-in chest position that is common while running.

Begin face down on the floor with arms extended to a T, legs hip distance apart and tops of feet resting on the ground. On an inhalation, use your back muscles to lift your chest and prop yourself onto your forearms. Keep the neck relaxed and draw your shoulder blades and elbows back. Then bend your right knee and draw your right arm back to capture your left foot in your hand. Breathe into the pose and use your palm to push your foot close to your glute. Alternate sides.

Head over to the Women’s Health Next Fitness Star page to vote for Christine every day now until August 3rd! 

Chat with me:
Have you voted for Women’s Health’s Next Fitness Star yet? What are your favorite fitness poses? Do you have any questions for Christine?

Race Recap: 2015 Pittsburgh Marathon

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I’m writing this and still can’t believe I can finally say I’m a marathoner.

Almost 12 years ago I walked into Woodrow Wilson High School’s cross-country practice not being able to run three miles. I never thought I would have a half-marathon in me. I never thought a marathon was something I wanted to do. I don’t know if it’s having a lot of friends who are amazingly talented, Boston-qualifying runners (Lesley, Emily and Lorraine to name a few – hi, guys) that made me finally want to run a full-marathon.

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With Coach Lesley who paced me through the first half – next year I’ll keep up :)

I went through most a training cycle – though not as good of one – over the summer and early fall. That marathon didn’t happen as I moved across the country a week before the race. Over Christmas, someone told me I needed to have a goal and to stop just going out and running without a purpose because I was never going to improve otherwise. Coming home to run the Pittsburgh Marathon seemed like a good idea – I would have the support of my friends and family, I assumed Lesley would be a pacer for a time that I could probably strive for and I knew the course pretty well.

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Why yes Lululemon, I am.

I don’t know how it happened, but I somehow convinced Kay to come home to Pittsburgh with me and run the half-marathon. It’s a race that I really love and is near and dear to my heart and I thought it would be fun to bring a friend home. So Friday after work, we met at the airport and took the direct red-eye back to Pittsburgh.

As soon as we got to my house on Saturday morning, we ate some breakfast and immediately went back to bed for a few hours. I went on my shakeout run, cursing my incredibly hilly neighborhood but refusing to drive the 5 minutes to the trail so I could run flats. We popped into to see my girl Tu, had some lunch and went to the race expo to pick up our bibs where shit got very real. I think seeing the bib is what made the fact I was running a marathon the next day very real to me. I also got some new Lululemon Speed Shorts with a little Pittsburgh skyline outline on them.

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Race expo moments (in my new SoulCycle Union Street shirt because I’m that girl).

Okay back on track – we’ll fast forward through some things, maybe saw Kris Letang at Fresh Market (TBD), came back to my house, went to my fave pizza place ever (including pizza I have eaten in Italy), Il Pizzaiolo with my dad and Angela and then took obnoxious flat runner photos to Instagram so everyone know we were running a lot of miles in the morning. I also realized at this point I left my favorite socks in San Francisco and had a minor freak out.

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Race day gear. Note – I don’t run in compression socks, but definitely wear them after.

Angela stayed over so she could come cheer us on in the morning and we stayed up a little too late over-analyzing things, laughing over things we couldn’t remember in the morning and then talking about how much excitement and nervous energy I had.

Saturday night I had a lot of running dreams. I have running dreams a lot. I had a dream that I had run a marathon the week before but couldn’t remember it because I had a DNF. I forget the others, but that one stood out to me.

One thing that made me feel a lot more calm than I expected is the fact that I have run a lot of half-marathons. Emily mentioned this to me earlier in the week and I realized she was right – I have a race morning method down pretty solidly. When my alarm went off at 4:30 I just immediately went through the motions of drinking coffee and making breakfast and getting dressed without a second thought. The fact I was about to run a marathon still hadn’t totally sunk in yet.

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Thanks for the words of wisdom, True Runner.

Angela drove Kay and I down to Station Square (where I have parked for the Pittsburgh Half-Marathon the past two years) and my dad drove separately so he could take his bike to ride around the bike cheer route. This is the second or third year he has done it and I think it’s a really great part of this race. If your loved ones who are coming out to watch you run bike/have bikes, I totally recommend them taking part in the bike cheer route. They even have bike rentals available if you don’t have a bike.

When I got to Corral B, I was looking frantically for Lesley, who was pacing the 3:55 group. This is also about the time I realized I forgot my hat in my gear check bag and wondered WTF my problem was with getting it together for the most important race I had ever run was. For being a planner, I’m terrible at the execution sometimes. Anyway, luckily I found her and then the emotion of what I was about to do really hit me. I get real emotional at start lines like a nerd.

The first 10-11 miles, I felt great. I had run this part of the course so many times before, both in races and in training when I still lived in Pittsburgh. I loved running an 8:5X pace. I was able to chat with Lesley, really enjoy everything going on around me, read signs, etc. etc. Then the part of the course I was most nervous about, the hill going up from the Birmingham into Oakland, was in front of me. This is where the half-marathon and marathon split, so I felt very committed at that moment.

True Runner, one of the larger running stores in the city, had people running up the hills offering encouragement and good vibes, which I thought was awesome. For living in a city known for it’s ridiculous hills – and running hills (and a very nasty hill during a few races) a lot in the Presidio – I did not feel good about this hill. I started to back off the pace group a little, then caught up again when we got onto Forbes in Oakland.

Going down Fifth Avenue, South Aiken and onto Walnut Street I was still with the pace group. This was actually one of my favorite parts of the race because there were so many people out cheering and a really awesome drum line. Soon after, I realized I was not feeling very solid and watched as the group got further and further ahead of me. For another mile or so, I could still see them and thought to myself, “Okay, 3:55 is a really aggressive first marathon time. You can still get sub-4”.

Around mile 14 or 15, I had a real dark half mile or so. I say this because I literally thought about quitting. I didn’t think I had it in me to run another 10+ miles. I just thought maybe I wasn’t cut out to be a marathoner – maybe all this hard work and training and talking about this race would be for naught. I imagined having to call my dad to come pick me up. I imagined having to delete all the Facebook posts and Instagrams talking about the race and marathon training. I thought about the fact I made my friend fly across the country to run with me. I thought about all the words of encouragement that everyone in my life had given me and what it would have been like if I had to say I didn’t finish because I just didn’t feel like I could.

This really bad mile made me realize how important positive self-talk is to achieving things. I always tell people running is very, very mental and that day I took my own advice. Tearing myself down wasn’t going to do any good. Just because I wasn’t going to run a 3:55 didn’t mean I wouldn’t finish the marathon. I told myself I was going to cross that finish line no matter what and I was awesome and doing things not many people can say they have done. Finishing a marathon is not basic bitch level and I definitely am not basic (despite that Mad Mex quiz that said I was a Basic Burrito*, WTF).

It was a really hot and humid day in Pittsburgh and I have definitely gone soft when it comes to dealing with weather that is not between 60-70 degrees with 0% humidity and sunshine. I was stopping for water and/or Gatorade at every fluid station. I also remembered that when I start to get the least bit dehydrated, I get really negative. So when I started having negative thoughts, I focused on just running to the next fluid station.

I kept looking at my watch and until mile 20 or so, I was still running 9:10-9:20 pace. Then I hit mile 20 and even though I had a 10K left (and in my head, I kept breaking into pieces of my normal six mile route), I started to slow down unintentionally. I was now in a distance territory I hadn’t ever run before. I also kept reminding myself that many talented runners have said no matter what, that last 10K is Struggle City.

Miles 20-22 I somehow felt okay. At mile 22, I started feeling some real pain. My feet had been hurting since at least mile 18 and now my thighs were not cooperating with moving forward very well.   I just kept telling myself all I wanted was to run the entire time (minus when I started walking for fluids around mile 16-17) and that I could push through it. I didn’t spend entire Saturday mornings running and mornings before work doing 10-mile track workouts for no damn reason. I was going to push through the pain because why bother leaving anything out on the road?

With a little under a mile left, I caught my dad on his bike again. I gave him a really big smile and wave and made myself look like I wasn’t in probably the most pain I had ever been in, minus maybe running on a sprained ankle or with tendonitis in high school. I kept trying to focus on relaxing my face and not looking miserable.

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If you want to know what complete misery looks like after running 25.5 miles and trying to smile for your father, this is what it looks like. I’m kind of embarrassed of how bad my form is here.

I was very close to the mile 26 sign and had a real fear my legs were no longer going to move. I was in sight of so many people and walking at that point would have been the biggest embarrassment. A race official or volunteer hopped onto the course and started running with me, forcing me to pick up my pace a little. I was so thankful for him. He left me with probably .05 of a mile to go and I just kept forward towards the finish line, which I never thought was going to come. I crossed the finish line and got a little Tear City, which I knew was going to happen.

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Ang captured this shot of me near the finish.

I looked at my watch and saw 4:06:XX (I don’t remember the seconds) and was a little disappointed but also felt like I couldn’t really vocalize that. I ran my first full marathon – I had to stop being so hard on myself and just be proud and celebrate.

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This is kind of what death looks like.

They lengthened the finish line corral this year, which was really nice. I seriously was having trouble moving very fast at all by that point but it was nice to not feel crowded. I think that also happens when most of the 30,000 runners don’t run the full marathon. Finally I emerged at the end and went to the family reunion section to try and find Lesley, my other friends and my dad. I was not walking very fast at all and was afraid to sit down for fear I wouldn’t be able to get back up. Finally I did because I needed to stretch out and everyone found me so we could take photos and make our brunch plan of attack.

I was asked afterwards what I would have done differently. Truthfully, I didn’t do the best job tapering. I went to SoulCycle. I played tennis. I walk around the city a lot. I may or may not have drank a lot of wine and maybe a whiskey and ate some indulgent food last week. I kind of just ran my tempo runs 8:40-ish pace rather than pushing any harder. I didn’t do any marathon pace miles during my long runs.

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I would not have done brunch differently.

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Post-race Bloody Mary is kind of my thing. #allthesalt

Will I do another marathon? Probably. Definitely. I really loved this race and truthfully, I feel like new distances are always the hardest the first time because you don’t know what to expect. My next marathon I’ll know what it’s like to run 26.2 miles. Spoiler alert: painful. Overall, I had so, so, so much fun despite how badly I was hurting at the end.

I know you’re all super invested in my nerdy stats from yesterday (I secretly love math), but I was the first girl from San Francisco to finish the marathon (out of four) and second girl from California (out of 38). Now for real stats that actually matter – I finished in the top 25.9% of my division, top 21% of females and top 31.2% overall. I really love knowing I run faster than a good amount of boys.

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With my support group and sherpas, Angela and Kay.

I don’t know what my next goal to conquer is going to be just yet. I still want to run a 1:45 half-marathon this year (which is taking 6 minutes off my current PR, which would take a lot of work I believe). I’m considering running the San Francisco Marathon in July or at least one of the halves. I might take some time off training hardcore and focus on surfing for a few months. I do know right now I want to focus on losing the couple of pounds I have gained marathon training, get my strength and core back up, and enjoy this week of taking it easy and letting my body heal.

*I retook the quiz tonight looking for the link and got Shrimp Fajita, aka Cassie Death Fajita, so maybe I’m no longer basic.

Chat with me:
Have you ever run a full marathon? Do you want to? What would you have done differently if you were me?

How to Recover From a Long Run

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I’ve been consistently doing long runs on the weekend for over two years now. I usually am doing a long run every weekend, even when I’m not training for anything specific. Some weekends I skip because I’m traveling or people are in town or I want to go surfing or whatever, but for the most part, I’m logging double-digits on Saturday or Sunday mornings.

Becoming a smarter runner has really been important to me over the past year as well. I’ve seen a lot of improvement in my running and I don’t spend the next two days sore and unable to walk down stairs after a race because I have focused on recovering properly. My tips on how to recover from a long run focus on things that are easy to overlook or forget – we all know to eat after a run, nap if necessary and to drink lots of water.

In honor of my marathon this weekend, here are my tips on how to recover from a long run.

How to Recover From a Long Run

  • Drink a protein shake within 30 minutes of finishing your run
    Sometimes, especially after races, I stupidly don’t drink a protein shake or eat a protein heavy snack or meal pretty quickly after I’m done running. The next day I am SORE.My go-to shake is a scoop of Vega Sport Performance Protein (either chocolate, mocha or vanilla – all delicious!) in a mixture of almond milk and coconut water. I use the coconut water for electrolytes and extra hydration. Sometimes I’ll put in a scoop of green powder (I love Skoop’s A Game) as well. This protein shake is basically the reason I do long runs and track workouts – so I have an excuse to drink it.Alternatively, make a recovery smoothie like my Chocolate Cherry Recovery Smoothie.
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My favorite protein shake ingredients.

  • Be like Ludacris and roll out
    The foam roller is a distance runner’s best friend. I know it hurts but my muscles are always so tight, it actually feels really good. I use this Rumble Roller which I think is a huge improvement on the normal foam roller. I also have a Stick which is great alternative to a foam roller when you have a really stiff achilles or don’t want to get off the couch.
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ROLL OUT.

  • Take an ice bath
    I really only do the whole ice bath thingfor20milers because… yikes. Also I feel real guilty getting in the tub because of the California drought. I know this isn’t enough ice but I have two ice trays and I don’t even know where to buy ice at in my neighborhood. But still – it’s getting my muscles in cold water and reducing inflammation so there you go.

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    My ice bath which also consisted of drinking water, drinking my protein shake and drinking SOS Replenish. #multitasking #allthefluids

  • Replenish electrolytes
    Back in my “fear all things with calories and added things” I would never replenish electrolytes, except with coconut water. That is still my favorite way to get electrolytes, but I’ve also started supplementing it with other things. I’ve been a big fan of Nuun for a while and recently I tried SOS Rehydrate. I loved SOS because it has less sugar than coconut water and has some salt so it helps with that side of replenishment as well. You have to mix it to the exact amount of water it calls for so don’t over dilute it.

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    Trying SOS Replenish after my 20-miler two weeks ago – definitely recommend!

    My friends at Vega recently sent me the Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator to try. Chrissy and I each drank one after a 12-miler prior to going to wine country (#priorities). It wasn’t ideal but between the two of us, we drank at least two bottles of wine Saturday and Sunday woke up pretty bright-eyes and bushy tailed, besides having the most indulgent day ever. Needless to say, I’ll be drinking one after the marathon this weekend.

  • Wear compression socks/sleeves
    I know, they aren’t the cutest but they totally help. I swear. Sometimes my friends remind me to wear them because my feet swell and it’s real cute of them. In Pittsburgh I wore hot pink calf sleeves and people would always think they were actual socks or a fashion statement which was outrageous.

Chat with me:
How do you recover from a long run? Do you have any tips I missed?

The Best Running Routes in San Francisco

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The best running routes in San Francisco with ideas on how to get in long runs with minimal hills, the most scenic routes and my daily run.

While I was going through photos from my iPhone photo stream for this post, I was actually surprised by how many photos from the same places I seem to have. When I first moved here, I stopped basically every run to take a photo. I mean, how many people run to the bottom of the Golden Gate bridge ever, let alone on an almost daily basis?

One struggle I had was finding flat-ish routes. I find my knees and Achilles tendon start acting up with a lot of hills, which is ironic because I have been running on hills for the past 12 years. The only place I have lived that is vaguely flat was Hong Kong (but Hong Kong is not flat – it’s actually over 80% green land and lots of mountains).

When I tell people I live in The Marina I get a lot of “of course you do” (more on that for another post). One of the main reasons I love living in this part of the city is that it is flat and perfect for running. It’s flat because it’s built on reclaimed land after the rubble from the 1906 earthquake was pushed from Pacific Heights into an old cow pasture (i.e. why the streets south of Lombard are considered “Cow Hollow” NOT the Marina). Also if there is an earthquake while I’m home my building is probably going to fall into the ocean because it’s built on a landfill. You win some, you lose some.

Even though I’ve lived here just a tad under six months, all of these runs feel really personal to me and hold a lot of memories for some reason or another.

The Best Running Routes in San Francisco

  • Crissy Field and the Marina (6-8 miles round trip)
    I start from my building and run up to Marina Boulevard. From there I run to Fort Mason then back to Fort Point. That’s 6 miles. You can add on another two miles by running past Fort Mason to Polk Street on Bay.
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Fort Point to Fort Mason. I add on a few tenths of a mile from my building.

Fort Point at sunrise.

Fort Point at sunrise.

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Crissy Field at sunrise.

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My favorite part of the route.

  • Golden Gate Bridge to AT&T Park (10 miles one way, 20 miles roundtrip)
    If you’re going to do this run, do it early. I start out by going down Marina Blvd, through Crissy Field, up the hill to the San Francisco vista point for the bridge, across the bridge, around the Sausalito vista point, back down and to Fort Point (moremilage), down Powell to theEmbarcadero and then to AT&T Park and back to my place. I love this because it’s mainly flat (two major hills, minus he bridge), scenic and there are lots of chances for me to refill my water. Just know there are a bazillion tourists that will be in your way, especially on theEmbarcadero.

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    Golden Gate Park to AT&T Park.

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    Golden Gate Bridge from the Sausalito vista point.

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    Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco vista point.

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    The city at sunrise from Fort Point.

  • Lands End (3 miles)
    If you’re looking for a city trail run, this is a great option. You can add on some milage by running past the Cliff House to Ocean Beach. There’s actually really cool ruins here from Sutro Baths, which were public swimming pools and a bath house that burned in the 1906 earthquake. So many fun SF facts in this post!
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Sutra Baths at Lands End.

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Lands End

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Sutra Baths.

  • Ocean Beach
    San Fransisco isn’t all Bay – you can also get to the Pacific. Ocean Beach is one of my favorite places in the city because I love the ocean. Plus it’s a great excuse to get coffee at Trouble Coffee or brunch at Outerlands afterwards.
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Ocean Beach

  • The Marina to Ocean Beach (7 miles one way, 14 miles roundtrip)
    I do this as an alternate long run. The route below is from Fleet Feet, the running store on Chestnut. I go up the Lyon St stairs even though it’s super intense, it’s also kind of fun because I’m a masochist when it comes to running. I run both main roads through Golden Gate Park – usually JFK on the way out and Martin Luther King Blvd on the way back. If you’re trying to see part of the city, this is a great route to do.
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The Marina to Ocean Beach

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The hike up the Lyon Street steps is worth it for this view.

  • Golden Gate Park
    There are lots of trails here, dirt paths around the park and plenty of bathrooms and water fountains. It’s bigger than Central Park in NYC and you can easily do 6 miles around the park and then tell all your friends you ran past bison in the city. Bonus points if you see a coyote.

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    Conservatory at Golden Gate Park.

  • Kezar Stadium
    I do my track workouts here (yes, I actually am doing speed workouts this training session). It’s a really iconic running spot – Runner’s World had a whole article on Kezar last year. It just reopened in March 2015 after a lot of renovations. Plus, it’s cool to run in a place where the Giants and 49ers used to play.
  • The Embarcadero
    I kind of hate running here because there are so many tourists who are not paying any attention. I do my tempo runs here which is dumb on my part but it’s also good people watching and scenic because you get to see the Bay Bridge.
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Bay Bridge at sunrise.

Chat with me:
Where do you love to run in your city? Have you ever ran in San Francisco before? Do you run when you’re traveling?

Goals for 2015

McConnels_Mills-1 | almost getting it together

I know, I’m late to the “New Year’s Goals” game. I basically completely lost any semblance of routine, health or normalcy for 16 days while home in Pittsburgh. So now my goals are even more pertinent than normal.

I’m just going to throw my goals for 25 out the window. My life has changed so immensely from March 2014 and I’ve achieved the things I’m going to achieve so now it’s time to refocus and get back on track.

Running
This is the year I’m actually going to take running seriously. I saw a lot of improvement in 2014 without really challenging myself so now it’s time to actually do some work and see what I’m capable of achieving.

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Marathon training + tea at night.

  • Run a 1:45 Half-Marathon
    I’m going to actually do speed work and real tempo runs and stuff like that. It’s 8:01 miles and taking 7 minutes off my current PR which I am allegedly capable of according to my running friends who tell me to actually push myself.
  • Run a Full Marathon
    Yeahhhh…. Savannah kind of crashed and burned with my move to SF. I am going to run the Pittsburgh Marathon and hopefully be at the point where I can run with Lesley’s pace group (3:50-4:00), you know, thanks to speed work and tempo runs and things.

Health

  • Get Back to my Happy Weight
    I’m not going to say my goal weight because my goal weight is kind of unattainable and only happens when I’m being insanely active and not eating a ton… but that’s two pounds from my happy weight. And I’m 5 pounds from that. Being home just equaled eating out a lot and drinking even more and not running for a week. (My ankle was not happy with a solid 40ish miles of hills and trails within a week). Disclosure, my clothes all still fit and my happy weight is 107 so everyone can hold me accountable to that.
  • Stop Snacking After Dinner
    I was actually doing pretty decently with this at home and really, for the past three weeks or so. Minus that night I ate a bunch of leftover Thai and Pittsburgh Popcorn Company Maple Pecan Popcorn after drinking a bottle of champagne (aka New Year’s Eve). I need to just drink tea and go to bed.
  • Strength Train Four Times Per Week
    I don’t have any excuse to not strength train. I know it’s what gets me lean and will get me faster. I’m going to aim for 30-45 minutes. I’ll probably tack two days a week onto running days and two onto non-running days.
  • Go to Yoga AT LEAST Twice a Week
    I’ve been terrible about going to yoga since moving to SF. I finally found a studio that will do (it’s no Amazing Yoga but it’s heated power vinyasa and there’s music and it’s walkable from my place). I bought a 20 pack of classes so I should really use those.
  • Go to SoulCycle Once a Week
    AKA cross train. I’m not going to join a gym right now because I’m not going to use it enough to make it cost effective and I don’t need Equinox to find a boyfriend (kidding but also kind of not kidding). My Gram bought me SoulCycle classes for Christmas because she’s the best.
  • Juice More Regularly
    I own an expensive juicer, I should really use it.

Blogging/Career

  • Post Four Times a Week on AGIT
    If I want this to be a legit form of income, I need to treat it like a real job.
  • Improve My Photography
    Pro Tip: Date a photographer who will help you do these things. And actually shoot. And make an effort to take nice photos.
  • Business Plan
    This is kind of a secret, some people know what’s going on, but I’d like to have a full business plan for what I think is next for me (and others!) finished by the end of the year (preferably sooner!).

Personal

  • Actually Go Surfing
    And buy a wet suit. Goals for next weekend haha. I allegedly moved to California to be able to surf more so I should probably do it.
  • Be More On Time For Things
    Self-explanatory.
  • Stop Procrastinating
    “Reading blogs” doesn’t count as being productive. Neither does back stalking myself on social media.
goals for 2015 | almost getting it together

No part of this constitutes as being productive. Except for my ghetto standing desk AKA my counter top.

Travel

  • Visit One New Country
    At least! Hopefully Morocco, preferably another
  • Visit Vancouver
    Can’t fit it into number one since I’ve already been to Canada (Montreal & Toronto).
  • Take More Advantage of the West Coast
    I don’t know how long I’ll be in California so I should really take more advantage of all the amazing destinations on the West Coast, including places it’s easier to get to (Alaska, Hawaii, etc.).

Chat with me:
What do you think of my goals? What are your goals for 2015?