Sunday, November 28, 2010

1 Week Away from my Third Half Marathon!

I can't believe that I'll be running my third half marathon in exactly 1 week. I seriously went from not running at all to having run in 10 races this year. I'd say its been an eventful year and I so look forward to more new races next year. I'm definitely going to be revisiting my favorite races but for the most part I want to do all completely new races. Instead of doing mostly 5k and 10ks I'm going to do more half marathons and also trying to train for a full marathon.

This weekend will be the first time going to Vegas for non partying purposes but you know I'll make sure to get some fun in. I'll have to try my hand at craps and of course hitting the buffet.

I also did the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot this last Thursday and it was soo cold. It was perfect practicing weather for this weekend in Vegas seeing as it may be in the 30's. I definitely want to make it a tradition to run right before pigging out for Thanksgiving.

I am Thankful for where I am in my life right now and look forward to whatever is to come.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! Back to the grind tomorrow!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

2nd Half Marathon In The Bag! Nike Women's Rocks!

WOW- talk about amazing half marathon! Nike Women's Marathon far exceeded my expectations for a race. I knew they were going to do it big but jeez it was amazing. I have been so excited about this race since I was able to get into it in April in the lottery! I never felt luckier.

Packet Picket Up at Union Square in SF

Went up to the Nike Expo on Saturday afternoon to pick up my packet and the line wrapped around Union Square! It went really fast because they were super organized. We got a great pink draw string bag because I was doing the half marathon while full marathon peeps got a neon green one. The expo had a lot of great booths but the line wasn't worth it for me to partake in them but I did enjoy perusing. Some of the things they had at the Expo were:
- Biking on a stationary bike to earn a smoothie- so good!
- DJ booth
- Facebook area to hook up your race time to FB
- Free Pom, Luna Bar, Gatorade
- Speakers from all over talking about the race

Nike Women's Marathon Sign in front of Macy's in Union Square

"Run To Be" is the theme of this NWM 2010

OKAY I was super excited to go to Niketown in order to see the participant wall! Proud to see that we helped raised 100 million dollars towards Leukemia and Lymphoma society. This Nike wall had all the participants names and I found mine! Once we got into Niketown it was trouble. I was definitely prepared to spend some moolah on cool NWM merchandise. Its hard to NOT get into it. Then its super fun to see other women wear all the Nike gear. Its like we have this bond like wow you got in too! I ended up getting a sweater, hat, water bottle, jersey, and since I spent over 125 bucks got a free make up. This race is great that its for women. ;)

My name is on the wall! They got all the A's in there!

I got soo lucky that my veteran runner/sorority sister/old roomate came into town to run the Nike Women's marathon too! Its her third one so she knows all the ins and outs! We ended up having a little "pasta party" of our own with her mom and another sorority sister Mari at Fino's in SF. It was perfect for carb loading the night before the race.

"Pasta Party" at Fino's

Starting time at 7AM!! We woke up at 5:30am ate a banana, cereal bar, drank some water and was ready to go! It took a good 15 minutes for them to get us out of the starting line with 20k people in the race! I'll highlight the race here:
- Okay really challenging course- lots of hills- I had to walk a few of them up
- Tweaked my ankle at mile 3 so it was pretty painful to run downhill but oh wow it felt so good to go down hill
- Power songs! Every so mile they had great music playing
- Capturing our time at every 5, 10k, 20k, etc and being able to stream that online! Super high tech race!
- Sprinkling lightly at the end and having it pour on the way back to the car
- Having so many different stations for water, Gatorade, chocolate mile, oranges, bananas
- Great goodies at the end! including dri fit Finisher's tee!!
- Tons of volunteers everywhere and people cheering

Waiting to start in darkness at 6am

My friends at the start!

My Tuxedo-ed Fireman with my Tiffany's!

I am also super beyond happy that my boyfriend Anthony showed up to the Finish Line :D I was so happy to see him. He braved the cold/rain weather parked super far, got me flowers, and treated me to sushi after. The best part was that he said he was proud of me. Thanks honey!

Me and my babes Anthony!

I cannot WAIT to enter again next year and hopefully get in! My muscles are sore, my ankle kind of hurts, and I'm under the weather to a potential cold but SUPER worth it.

Tiffany's Necklace!

I'll leave you with a quote that Safeway as a sponsor had a sticker on the ground for motivation..."When your legs get tired you run with your heart"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nike Women's Half Marathon in 3 Days!

Wow I can't believe I'll be running my second half marathon in 3 days and another one that is so exclusive! I feel so proud to have gotten into this highly coveted race and I just want to KILL it this Sunday. Not sure what to expect with the SF hills but the weather for this weekend said it was partly cloudy at 60's. Hopefully it stays cool like that.

Since Napa to Sonoma in July (my first half marathon) the longest distance I've done is 8 miles. Did a 12k Bridge to Bridge in SF a few weeks ago and 7 miles last week so have not done anywhere near the 13.1 mile distance but I am hoping for the best.

I've been having the time of my life Mentoring with Team Challenge and encouraging participants to reach their training and fundraising goal just like my Mentor was pushing me last season. Oh my how the tables have turned.

So I'm super excited to be part of the Nike Women's half marathon club this weekend and hopefully I won't be super duper hard on myself. I enjoy running but I get so down when people ask me for my time and expecting SO MUCH from me. I consider myself a really "slow" runner at 12-13 minute miles and people always think I'm a sprinter or something :/ I run at my happy pace. :D I wish people would stop asking for my time- I think its as personal as asking a woman's age. Let me volunteer that information to you if I want to share it. :D

Good luck to all running this weekend- half or full! You are awesome!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Team Challenge Mentor Update!

We are 4 weeks into our half marathon training for our Las Vegas Half Marathon!

Group Practice at Stanford Loop!

Its been really great to talk to this season's participant and help them out as much as I can weather encouraging them through training or giving them ideas for fundraising. My goal as a Mentor is to make sure everyone has tons of fun throughout this entire process. I had so much fun as a participant and had such a great Mentor its the least I can do!

This upcoming weekend I have my first race since my half marathon in July and its the Bridge to Bridge 12k! I enjoy the whole race process- getting ready for it, how anxious you get and crossing the finish line.

After this race I'll have NIKE WOMEN'S half marathon then VEGAS. I'm really looking forward to it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

First Group Training for Las Vegas Half Marathon Completed!

Wow I can't believe I haven't blogged in over a month! Things have been pretty hectic for me. Some of the things I've been up to are:

- Starting a new job
- Moving little by little into my best friend's town house in Santa Clara
- Volunteering with Hands on Bay Area
- Recruiting for Team Challenge!

But since we just had our first Saturday Group Training at Sports Basement I am juiced up! I am super excited to be back with Team Challenge as a Mentor and seeing the program in a completely different light.

Great turnout for our first group practice!

I was able to recruit 3 of my friends to be part of Team Challenge (their donation pages are to the left linked with their names along with my other Mentees.) I am super excited for them to train for this half marathon taking place in Vegas!

Running with Gr!

Our first group training yesterday felt really good! 3 miles! Haven't run that long of a distance since Napa to Sonoma half marathon :/ Its so easy to get caught up with life and neglect your workouts. Being with Team Challenge gives me a higher commitment and I so welcome the training.

Ready for the Shoe Clinic!

It was great to meet more Team Challenge participants!

I'll be in Chicago this week on vacation so I'll miss my Thursday Mentor Lead training but I'm glad I'll get to run on Tuesday before my trip!

Here's to a wonderful season coming up!

Pictures from yesterday here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

My first Half Marathon Complete!!!!!

Wow I can't believe it actually happened. Everything that I had been training for, raising money for, blogging for- happened. For a split second I can't believe it happened but then I get up from sitting down and realized it did because my legs are super sore. haha. My first half marathon completed! Napa to Sonoma thank you!

So my weekend was pretty much perfect. My mom and grandma flew in on Friday night and we got to enjoy some yummy Thai food with my boyfriend Anthony before hitting the sheets to get ready to head up to Napa. Talk about being productive- before we headed up to wine country I managed to convince my family to hit the Nordstrom half yearly and came up big! Got some new running shoes for next season, boots, clothes, etc. I'll have to blog about the new shoes later.

So on our way to Napa for packet pickup! Yes we hit some major traffic and it took us longer than we expected but its ALL GOOD. Packet pickup was neat at Cornerstone Winery with all these art pieces and the coolest pat was meeting Dane Raushnberg from See Dane Run! He was doing a book signing and was talking to people about his training. He's fitting to be our generation's Dean Karnazes. 52 marathons in 52 weekends. Marathons for a year! That's sick!

Dane from See Dane Run- 52 marathons in 52 weekends!

We then drove to the hotel we were at for the weekend which was Doubletree at Rohnert Park. It was cool that all the Team Challenge people were here. Got to meet other Nor Cal people from the East Bay and San Francisco chapter (I am South Bay/Peninsula) We had a mandatory meeting and our Endurance Manager Breanne announced cool stats such as raising 2.2 million dollars for this event!!! I am so proud to be part of that. I also got a Team Challenge hoodie for being a Team VIP and raising over $3200.00!

Team Challenge Nor Cal Chapter at the mandatory meeting before Pasta Party

After our mandatory meeting we then rode a bus to the Pasta Party so we can carb load before the race! Now I know why they do Pasta Parties before races and that's so you won't eat anything that could upset your stomach the next day. The food was plan as can be but I definitely appreciated it the next day. There was soo many of us at the Pasta Party. We had two inspirational speakers that are dealing with Crohns'a and Colitis and it made me that much more excited to run this half marathon. Yes I shed some tears through it all.

Pasta Party with my honey bunny Anthony

Team Challenge Teammates minus our Mentor Deanna

To be honest with you I started this journey to train for this marathon to lose weight and get in better shape and it was more about me. Somewhere along the lines it became bigger than me and I knew that I was not only racing and training for me but for everyone that has been affected by this disease that has no cure at this point. Some of those people that are affected I have become close with and I want to keep fighting for a cure so they could have a better life.

So the Pasta Party ended at 8pm and instead of going to bed I went to play pool with my boyfriend. It still didn't hit me that I would be running a half marathon the next day. I had to wake up 4am because the buses were leaving at 5:15am in the morning. It was dark and cold the next morning but I'm glad I wore just my race jersey and shorts because it did get hot later.

Getting all my gear ready for race day

Group photo on race day at 4am!

My race experience was so amazing. I am so proud to say that I have done a half marathon and help contribute to that 2.2 million dollars that was raised for CCFA. For every mile we ran it was $167,000- how sick is that.

More than 3k people at the race!

People keep asking me what was my time!? I really get self conscience about that because I think its really personal. I never try to ask for someone's time because like me they may not feel comfortable saying it. I am a pretty slow runner because I am always afraid if I run too fast- I'll run out of juice so I really pace myself. Ideally I want to be in the 11 minute pace but that is something that I am working on. I am also working on not getting discouraged when you have multiple passing you by OR people you know passing you by. "Find your happy pace." That's one of my favorite quotes and I try to live by it.

BUT if you must know below is my time from
My pace being 12:01 - now I know what to work towards on my next race.

My goal was to finish the half marathon. Check. My second goal was to do it less than 3 hours. Check.

Finishing a half marathon feels good..

I was soo happy to see my mom, grandma, boyfriend, and best friend Stacy, Chooch, and Secira at the finish line. It means so much to me for them to come out and support. They even made a sign that said "Go Anya" When I finished my butt cramped right away and I was like.. noooo! But I stretched for a good amount of time and it felt better.

My family, boyfriend, and best friends with a "Go Anya" sign at the finish!

Me and my Team Challenge Coach Deanna!

Overall the next day I feel fine- legs are extra sore but nothing a good few days of not working out will cure.

Starting line, all mile markers, and finish line!

Its back to reality for me tomorrow with work but just wanted to say thank you again for everyone that donated or had encouraging words for me this whole season.

We've come a long way... 16 weeks of training.. group practices early Sat morning

Now I am looking forward to being a Mentor for the next group! Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon here I come!!

Pictures from Napa to Sonoma race here.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Last Team Challenge Group Practice...


WOW. I am only 7 days away from my first half marathon in Napa for the Napa to Sonoma half marathon.

Where has the time go?! Seems like yesterday when I was starting my first blog, creating my fundraising website, and training to run. I went from not being able to run 1 mile in January to doing my first 5k in February. Then from that point doing 3 other 5k's and a 10k within 4 months! Also being able to lose 25 lbs was pretty cool too. ;) Okay and all the training I've been doing through out the week and with the group. I've done up to 12 miles!

Me and Tina in our race jerseys!

So in essence I feel ready. I feel physically and mentally ready to tackle this 13.2 miles and even though some of my friends say its going to be "easy" for me. I know its not. When I did 11 or 12 miles I was gritting my teeth with beads of sweat going down my face and that wasn't comfortable- but I did it. My only goal this upcoming Sunday is to FINISH. Everything else in terms of timing will fall into place later.

Breakfast for our last group practice this season

Our last Team Challenge practice was at Stanford for the Campus Drive Loop that was 4 miles finishing at the track. Since I was sore the day before from doing Mission Peak in Fremont I really kept it easy. Plus it got really hot at 9am! I do believe the weather in Napa will be in the high 80's but since we are starting so early hopefully it'll be fine.

It WAS SO NICE to see everyone that came to the mandatory meeting today! I missed the last 3 weekends of group practice because of Vegas, a wedding, and Disneyland so it was nice to see everyone. We got to hear the breakdown of the weekend and I am just getting so amped for it! Not only completing the half marathon but seeing my family! My mom and grandma are flying up Friday evening to catch all the action.

Last group photo! Until I stalk everyone again next season..

We got to decorate our bright orange jerseys so I put Anya R on it. Not majorly creative but hey so people will know who I am! haha.

It was bittersweet our last practice but it makes me excited that we've come such a long way and my journey with Team Challenge is not over yet! I am super excited to be coming back as a Team Challenge Mentor for the half marathon in Las Vegas.

Another Team Challenge Mentor MaryBeth and I even went to Los Gatos Half Marathon/10k this morning at 6AM to promote for people to find out more information about Team Challenge! Hey- that's how I found out and joined so that is the best way to do it is just to go out there.

So this week I am going to relax and run on Wednesday a nice and easy 3 miles. I will continue to stretch through out the weekend and just get excited about the whole thing!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mission Peak Accomplished!

Happy Friday everyone!

I haven't been hiking for so long. My last hike was probably Runyon Canyon in LA so I'm so glad I had today off work and my friend Secira to do a hike with.

We went to Mission Peak in Fremont and we decided to go nice and early at 9am so that the sun wouldn't be beating on us an it was such a great idea. I've heard so much about this trail that its completely uphill and then when you get to the top you feel this satisfaction. All of it is true!

Mission Peak Regional Park in Fremont. Nice and early on Friday at 9AM.

We didn't even attempt to run the entire way up. It took us about 2 hours hiking up and then 45 minutes to come down hill. We ran a little bit on the way down but you have to be careful not to eat it! I am feeling completely sore but I am happy I did this work out.

The cool thing with this trail is you got to see some cows, squirrels running around, and just nature at its finest.. BUT you have to beware of the scary stuff out there too like SNAKES! I am not a super nature person and have not really been exposed to stuff like this being from LA so it was pretty scary. My friend Secira almost STEPPED on the snake! We backed up and let the thing slither slowly across out path. We saw a guy that said the snake was harmless because its not coiled up. Okay it was still scary though! We survived and moved on. We kept looking at the ground though!

Waiting for the snake to cross out path.. scary!

I have been missing the last few weeks of Team Challenge group practices on weekends but I make sure to do my training so that I will be fully prepared for my half marathon weekend which is coming up in less than a month! I'm getting so anxious for it!

Beautiful view of the Bay. We are only halfway up to the top at this point!

Its nice to know that I really do feel that I can accomplish running a half marathon. When I started training in March of this year it seems like such a high and scary number. At this point the most I have done is 11 miles and even though I was sore towards the end of the run and after it was a good sore and I welcomed it.

Mission Peak Accomplished! All the way to the top!

My training has been going great and I've met so many great people. I get so excited when I meet other people that are into the running scene because it encourages me to keep going. Knowing that this is NOT a fad and a lifestyle change.

Enjoy the weekend everyone! I'll be at a wedding in Livermoore tomorrow! Congrats to the soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Kristie and Keith Donavan!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

11 Miles- I win

2 more days until I join my beautiful sorority sisters for a weekend full of dancing, drinking, and taking pictures in Vegas! So I'm missing yet another Team Challenge group practice on Saturday but I make sure to keep up with training during the week!

Happy Hump Day for me where I completed 11 miles! Its really exciting to do a new distance and then when you're finished not only say you did it but realize that you can. I ran at Los Gatos Creek Trail. My favorite trail to run around here because their are rolling hills, tunnels, lakes, a dog park, etc. Just lots of things to look at while you're running so you can get distracted.

For the first time going for a run I actually felt nervous doing 11 miles like wow can I do this? Then I shook off the nerves and just went for it. Whats the worse that could happen? I do a run/walk. I'm proud to say that I did run the whole thing- slow at times but I did it. It took about 2 hours to do the whole thing.

Some of the things I realized during my run:
- I have to put my fuel belt really tight and make sure it stays pushed down by or past my hip bones in order to not bounce. I also face my fuel belt to the front where most people turn it towards the back. Its a preference thing for sure.
- Energy gel does work! I was getting fatigued by mile 7 and when I took it I felt okay for mile 9 and on. Plus its a nice way to distract yourself by trying to scarf down this weird textured item while running.
- I really need to remember to wear a visor or hat! The sun in my face was really annoying.
- I want to invest in sporting sunglasses so that they don't slip off my face while I'm running.
- I want to make sure I have 2 energy gels during my run.
- I need more than water during these long runs- I will try Gatorade next time.
- How much music is so important and can really motivate you to keep going. I LOVE my playlist. I put a lot of effort into high energy music I enjoy.
- Saying out loud YOU CAN DO IT helps. I try to do this when their is a period of time where no is around so I won't get weird looks. haha.
- When it hurts- SMILE. Puff out your chess, look forward, and just smile. It totally helps me be positive.
- When you see a hill, don't be alarmed because what goes up must come down. So yes the hill sucks but the downhill will be awesome.

Okay TONIGHT is another night I'm taking off from working out. LOL I've only worked out twice this week and the rest of the week is not happening because of fun festivities. Just one of those weeks.

Tonight two cool things are happening.
1. Going to a Team Challenge Mentor Recruitment meeting! The ability to come back to Team Challenge participants and help them reach their fitness and fundraising goals just like they helped me is so intriguing! Hopefully I am qualified and am able to do it this upcoming season because the next event is LAS VEGAS HALF MARATHON in December!

2. NBA FINALS TONIGHT!!! My Lakers have made it all the way to a Game 7 and we are looking to bring back another ring tonight. This would be Kobe Bryant's fifth which ties him up with Magic Johnson and one less than the all time great Michael Jordan. A lot is at stake because this is against our rival Boston Celtics who embarrassed us in 2008 with a 39 point blowout in the 6th game. If we win it would be Lakers 17th championship and if Boston wins it would be their 18th. So us winning would make us tied up for Championships. Thats what we want closer to be dominant. We are coming back for revenge and our REPEAT. Wish my Lakers luck tonight. Its all or nothing tonight!

Winner takes this big trophy home! Go Lakers!

My beloved starting line up for the Lakers

Saturday, June 12, 2010

AT&T Plate to Plate was super duper fun!!

I had so much fun today! The weather in SF was amazing, somewhat hot for running but seeing SF have perfect weather is just amazing in itself.

Battle of the Bay with my Boo. A's VS Giants

With my sorority sister Andrea before going to the starting line

This is a super legit race! The Plate to Plate race benefits Project Open Hands which serves the San Francisco and Alameda community living with HIV/AIDS, the homebound critically ill, and seniors. Project Open Hand provides meals/groceries for people with symptomatic HIV/AIDS or breast cancer, meals for homebound/critically ill people under the age of 60 and congregate lunches for people over 60 years of age.

Running Buddies!

This race has a 5k and half marathon but I wanted to save my half marathon efforts for Napa to Sonoma since I am specifically training for that one with Team Challenge. I definitely want to do the half marathon for this next year. Its a really pretty course along the Embarcadero and fairly flat for San Francisco.

Thousands of people ready to start

Cheerleaders cheering us on along the path!

It was cool to meet up with my now friends Paul and Jeorge that I met from my FIRST race the 5k in Chinatown in SF back in February. Our second race together! We're all race buddies!

Finish Line! Ready to cross at home plate!

Lou Seal!

Since I registered early I was able to get a free ticket to the Giants game the day before the race and also and opportunity to pick up my race packet since I could not pick it up the day before. It was a great game too because it was Battle of the Bay- A's VS Giants.

I really wanted to beat my time from my 5k PR which was 33:33 but alas I did not. My time for this race was 34.26 :( One of these days I'm going to do 30! I really enjoyed running with my friends though and getting to finish at home plate!

Home Plate baby!

We also got a medal at the finish line too! What a nice surprise. Oh and dri fit t shirts! How awesome is that. Way better than the typical race cotton t shirts. They are also fitted for men and women instead of unisex. I am definitely coming back to do the half marathon!

Doing races is so much fun because you are done by 10AM and then you have the rest of the day to relax and do whatever. It makes me feel so productive. I went to the Baker Beach in SF and got my tan on. Life is great.

Summer I love you!

36 days until my half marathon!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Muddy Buddy was SUPER FUN!

I am officially more tan and sore from Muddy Buddy yesterday!

I seriously had so much fun and so glad that Tina agreed to be my Muddy Buddy!

Before the race with our matching outfits- we didn't even plan it!

Waiting for our turn to go to start..

Off we go! I started biking while Tina ran..

We got up at 5AM to get ready, load my bike in her car and were on the road to Mount Hamilton in San Jose. It was pretty close to me so not a far drive and when we got there we got even more excited because of how many people their were and the cool costumes they were in.

First Obstacle- climbing over a wall

Second obstacle- balance beam

We met up at the third obstacle- climbing up a wall and sliding down the other side.

Final obstacle- getting muddy together!

We were really prepared for the race wearing our not so nice shoes, having a change of clothes for after, and also using a disposable camera. I have not used a disposable camera since maybe middle school and people that I asked to take our picture was not used to it either with the winding and clicking and the not being able to see if the picture took or not. haha. The pictures turned out great though.

Me and Tina went into this thing wanting to have the most fun and of course trying to do our best. It was both of our first times and for sure we are gonna doing it again.

The event went in waves which was great so the path is not congested. We were the 9th Wave so we were waiting for a little bit but they had loud music to entertain us which was awesome. I decided to ride the bike first while Tina ran and then we would switch at the obstacle course. We switched about three times before going through the mud together at the end. Oh my gosh the first leg was SUPER tough for me. I don't have any training with bikes really other than riding a bike around UCSB campus in college. Its way different because that was on pavement and flat while this was a dirt road, narrow path with runners, and super hilly! I def had to hop off my bike at some points and walk my bike- along with 75% of others as well.

Official Muddy Buddies!

The obstacle courses were really fun and of course the mud part at the finish line was the best. The event was highly organized and at the end we got two beers each! We got to talk with other people where this was their first time to some who have done it 5 times. We also got to hang out with the guy that won first place! wow! I'm definitely curious to see what our time was but def 2 hours plus. The race was no joke! I thought I was moderately in shape but the heat and biking was intense.

If you never done Muddy Buddy I would highly recommend it!

This week is my 10 miler! AHH! Since I won't be able to make it to practice on Saturday because I'm doing the At&t Plate to Plate on Saturday I'll have to do it tomorrow or something. Its so intense to keep piling on the miles!

Congrats to all my friend and everyone who did the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon this last weekend too!