One Year Later: Running & Racing

My 2014 season was cut short due to health issues.  I spent the rest of last year, getting my body back and making sense of what I went through. I was angry at my body for betraying me. I lost the weight, ate sensibly, exercised and trained for my races. Seriously, WTF body.

There were many moments that I would whine and cry about things to my trainers/friends S & J about the journey I was on.  My running soul sister J was there for me whenever the doubt and fear would visit me. Last but certainly not least, my family, friends and running buddies were there to listen, encourage and support me through the peaks and valleys. All of them reassured me to take it a day at a time, breathe and it would get better.  This fueled my drive to keep going.

Since last November, I have completed two 5ks, two 10ks and a half marathon.   This was the most racing I have done within an eight month period. All of the races were special and I was able to accomplish the goals I set for myself.  Yet, the races that have stood out in my mind are:  The San Luis Obispo Half Marathon last April and Zooma Napa Valley 10K last Saturday.

San Luis Obispo was my first half post health issues.  It was a beautiful course through downtown and back roads of SLO,  wonderful crowd support and just so much fun.I was able to reconnect with lots of running buddies that I met through the SF Marathon last year.  I totally remember running my heart out on the course. Some of the highlights were:  seeing ErinPaulette and Charles out on the course. I was crying as I approached the finished line because the training and journey back to racing the 13.1 riddled me with doubt and fear. I mean could I do it? Would I be able to finish and complete it healthy? I recall the volunteer asking me if I was okay as she placed the medal on my neck. I told her, I was more than okay and mentioned it was my first half post injury.  She congratulated me and gave me a high five. It took awhile for me to soak in the moment of finishing.  It meant the world to me that my parents were there to see me as they have never been to my races.  I also couldn’t thank my BF R for spending the entire weekend with us and being the best cheer / crew person ever.  It was such a sweet surprise to see her at mile three in downtown SLO right before the first climb and probably one of my top ten running memories. If you are looking into running a race in the Central Coast, I would recommend SLO.  It lives up to the Small town, big race theme in terms of race support, schwag and organization.  I am planning to go back next year for the 5th anniversary.  Highlights of SLO:

R & I at the finish

R & I at the finish


Photo courtesy of Reina

Charles, Laura & I

Last Saturday, I went back to Napa to race the 10K of the Zoom Napa Valley series.  Leading to the race, I had memories of what happened to me after running the 2014 race.  It made me a little anxious and scared. Who wouldn’t be?  In the back of my mind, I knew that I was healthy and more than capable of running this year. I usually bring someone with me to a race but I used the time to reflect and spend some “me” time.  I stayed at the same hotel, had a late lunch at V. Sattui, visited Cakebread Cellars and Bouchon Bakery on Friday afternoon. Mostly the same stuff I did last year.  As much I wanted to indulge in the wonderful restaurants of the region, I opted for the Mac and Cheese at Whole Foods for dinner.  What can I say, I am a creature of habit and why change the night before a race. As I was eating dinner, I  couldn’t help but feel thankful and blessed to be back to running in Napa.  It’s like I have come full circle and there was nothing left to do but run.

I love that the expo for Zooma is small and intimate vs. the big expos.  I was in and out of picking up my bib and other schwag in less than five minutes! Record time for me. On the way to the expo I spotted Amanda and her family checking in. I also ran into Laura on my way out . The highlight of Zooma was being part of the amazing and inspiring ambassador team. I attended the mocktail party at the Marriott. It was great to meet other ambassadors and wish everyone well the night before the race.

Photo courtesy - K. Baker

Photo courtesy – K. Baker

I kept tossing and turning on Friday night.  I felt some nerves and also excitement.  I rolled out of bed at 4 am. Ate breakfast and got ready.  I walked over to the Marriott to catch the bus.  I was thrilled to have found Laura on the same bus as me and hung out with her before the team took a picture at 6:30 am. It was time to line up and start the race at 7 am.  I found my groove and just concentrated on the mile I was in. I felt good and kept a good pace. The weather was okay. It wasn’t as warm as I thought it would be. I had to take a bathroom break after one mile (darn you meds!;) ) I felt better after the potty break, my body felt much better and I found my groove for miles two and three.  At the 10k turnaround point, I took some Gu to keep my energy up.   I took in some water from the aid station and continued to run at a strong yet conservative pace.  When I got to mile four, I felt my body start to wear out and as much as I pushed I had to walk.  It helped to take the break and fueled me to run strong during the last two miles of the race. I felt so proud of myself for having the courage to run the race and the ability to finish strong. Such a great morning ! Congrats to all my teammates and all the participants for completing the race!There may have been some tears as well.  Thank you Zooma for all the love and support this year. It was a pleasure being an ambassador!

So what is next for me? I am excited to run the 2nd Half of the SF Marathon next month.  I will also be running the SF Giants Half four weeks after. It will be something to work towards and I am more than up for it.

I have learned so much this year about myself.  Setbacks and bad shit happen but it is always important to keep moving forward. Embrace the journey and maybe you will surprise yourself.  Never give up..

Happy running,

2015 SF Marathon Ambassador Team and Bay Breeze 10k Recap

So where I have I been these past few months? Lots of slacking on the writing. Let’s see where do I start?

I would like to announce that I have been selected to be a part of the 2015 San Francisco Marathon Ambassador team. This is my second year being an ambassador and it is an honor to be back.  I have much love for the race not only because I am a Bay Area native but  it was the first half marathon I raced back in 2013. I fell in love with running while training for this race two years ago.  Since then, I have completed two half marathons, lots of 10ks and a 5k race. I feel so lucky to be a part of the ambassador team this year . I am excited to see ambassadors from last year  and new ones like Jamie! I know that it’s going to be a blast!  And why yes, I do have a discount code to share. It’s TSFM2015TRICIA. Use it to save $25 on any of the races. It expires on June 1st or whenever the race sells out.  What are are waiting for? You know you want to drink the kool-aid and run a fantastic race in July!

I have been working to get back into shape. Last February 14th, I ran a 10K. It was the Bay Breeze Race by Brazen in San Leandro.  I wasn’t going into this race like I was going to break any records. I used it more as a training race and see how my endurance was. The 10K race started at 8:15 am. Miles 1-4 I was hitting my target pace of 12:00 – 13:00 per minute. The course is flat and runs along the San Leandro Marina out on the Bay Trail. When you hit mile four you get the gravel / dirt path on the course.This is where I managed to be Klutzy Magoo and landed on my right ankle wrong. Nothing serious but I was careful not to do any damage and took it slow the last two miles. My final time was 1:25:13. Not my fastest 10K but I am fine with it as a gage to see where I was at in my training. Brazen always puts on a great race from the crowd support, aid stations, snacks after the race and the medal.

I was most excited to finally meet Jessica and her family at this race. We have been communicating via text for the past year.. It was so good to give Jessica a hug and hang out with her family and her the whole morning. Also, congrats to J for winning 2nd in her age group!! So happy for her!

So my next race is on April 26th . It’s the San Luis Obispo Half Marathon. It will be my first road half marathon since last June and I am looking forward to toeing the line.  I have learned that running shows me that I am capable of much more than my mind thinks it can accomplish.  All I have to do is work hard and never give up.



2014 Review

Only one more day left in 2014. There has been a lot of ups and downs this year. I feel it has made me stronger. I know a lot of my previous posts had a tone of pity / whoa as me themes.. So I had to take a break from writing and just figure out where I wanted this blog to go.

I completed two half marathon during the first half of the year: Tinkerbell and Zooma. In addition, I completed The Mustache Dash 5K last month in Golden Gate Park. It was a way to assess where I was in terms of running / racing. I kept an even pace and was just a minute off my regular pace. It was a joy to be back racing and fueled my desire to get stronger for the 2015 season.

As I look back on 2014, I am thankful for all the friendships I have developed within the running community. I am also grateful for the continued support of my family and friends. I think one of the highlights of the year was serving as an Ambassador for The San Francisco Marathon. Though, I did not race this year, I had the pleasure and honor of meeting many inspiring runners over the weekend.

For 2015, I was selected to be part of the Napa Valley Zooma Ambassador team.  I will be running the 10k distance on June 20, 2015, I am hoping to come back to course a stronger runner and having fun in Napa minus the hospital. Just kidding.. =) If you want to run Zooma Napa Valley, I still have my sweet discount code of 10% off registration for the 10k and half marathon using TRICIA15.  I have also signed up to run the San Luis Obispo Half Marathon in April and of course, the 2nd half of The SF Marathon in July.   I am contemplating other races but I will have to see how training is progressing.. Lots of races! Will I see you at any of them?

Of course, no post would be complete without a couple of pictures of my running adventures..

One of the many waterfalls in GGP

One of the many waterfalls in GGP

Took a short run in Vegas during a crazy weekend.

Took a short run in Vegas during a crazy weekend.

View while working one day in SF. I was dreaming of running

View while working one day in SF. I was dreaming of running

Wishing all of you a wonderful and healthy 2015,
Runner Trish

Ramblings and Looking Forward To 2015

I have to be honest, I have neglected writing for quite sometime.  I’ve been caught up watching post season baseball since the end of September. Tonight was game seven and proud of the outcome! Special shouts out to the SF Giants!

On to other stuff. My winter race got cancelled last month.  I didn’t think I was ready to race again, so maybe the universe was telling me something.  I have been running but not serious training like I have prior to heart incident last June. The longest I have ran in the past two months was five miles.  I keep on trying and take it as it comes.  If there is anything I have learned about running, is patience. It’s a difficult lesson to learn for someone like me who is used to getting things done at the drop of a hat and seeing results. It takes practice to be patience if that makes any sense.

As we approach the end of the year, I have been thinking of my goals for 2015.  A couple of weeks ago, I was selected to be part of the 2015 Zooma Napa Valley ambassador team. I didn’t think I would get selected. I am excited and honored to be a part of it. I look forward to getting to know everyone. I ran the Zooma Half last June. Although, it was a hard race for me, I was in awe of the supportive community on and off the course.  I knew that I wanted to be part of it again in 2015. If you are interested in joining me on June 20, 2015, you can save 10% off the registration of the 10K or half marathon by using TRICIA15.  I will be running the 10k.. Will I see you there?

Fear and Fall Training Mode

The past six weeks have been a bit of roller coaster ride .  I won’t go into too much detail about the personal stuff but it has been a challenging time. Despite everything going on, I have a goal race that I am training for.  In my mind, it’s always go big or go home.  So I am aiming to do 13.1 miles at The Santa Clara Half Marathon on Sunday, December 14th. This race will be my third half marathon in 2014.  My first half post-health scare last June. Honestly, I am scared to attempt this again.

Getting back into training mode has been up and down.  As excited I am to be back, I felt like I have failed because I am back to taking medications. I feel like I have let myself down. The meds make me feel tired and slow.  It’s hard to look over my training calendars on Strava from the past two years and see my training decline in terms of pace and mileage. Not that I am fast by any means. I know in my heart that I can get back to where I was. It’s just going to take time. The what ifs and doubts will always be there.  I try not to give into it.  I tell myself to keep looking forward not backwards. Use my setback to come back stronger. To keep going. Call me stubborn or crazy for getting up over and over again. Running is where I feel free. No distractions. Just the road and me . It’s where I feel at home and heals my spirit.

With the downside, there is always an upside to training.  I am back to my pacing gig on Saturdays and it’s good to back with my runner peeps. I may even take on the role of long run water stop coordinator for the fall. All part of continuing to give back and be a part of the running community. It’s about giving back and returning the favor.  Seeing people train and achieve their goals. That’s what continues to inspire and fuel my desire to get up.

Even though I am scared, I remember that I have been given another chance. A gift to run. So, I accept the gift graciously and will not let the fear stop me from doing what I love to do.

Happy Running,


Mental Health and Depression

Sure this is a running blog. Regular postings to return later this week on running.  I can’t just ignore what is going on in the media.. Rest in peace Robin Williams. Your light that you shined will be missed..

The world lost Robin Williams earlier this week. In my opinion, his humor, wit, compassion and ability to share his struggles was what made him a gift to society. It is heartbreaking to hear that another person was lost to suicide. Everyone has their thoughts about this.. Some are quick to judge how could someone with so much light do such a horrible thing? Depression doesn’t discriminate. You can be young, middle age or senior. You can be married or single. Rich, middle class or poor. Famous or not. It doesn’t matter.

I am not an expert or professional on clinical depression, but I know what it is like to go through it. To not lift your head up to see the light .. To be paralyzed with sadness and hopelessness, that all you want to do is die.  To be lost in loneliness and fear that it hurts to be around people. As time goes on, the numbness takes over. Everything goes black. Your heart feels like it is broken in a million pieces and you can’t figure out what to do..

My culture is not to keen in asking for help from others. We like to keep things within the family vs. talking to a professional.  Yet, I made the decision to seek help from a therapist to talk it out.  For a long time, I thought I was weak for seeking help.  I learned that it takes a lot of guts to seek treatment and that it is ok to ask for help from the outside. Talking to someone who was unbiased made me feel less alone. It also challenged all the negative thoughts I had about myself. It wasn’t a walk in the park.  It was hard but also rewarding. When it got too much, I took meds but my head felt cloudy and stuck with talking it out.. Though it may not be the answer for everyone, getting outside and running helped along with talking when some of the symptoms subsided.

If you have feelings of sadness and depression, know that you matter. Know that there is help even though you do not think there is.  You can call the 24-Hour Crisis Line at The SF Suicide Prevention –  415/781-0500 or 800/273- TALK (8255).

or friends, family or caregivers who know of someone suffering from depression, please do not judge. Doing that will only drive the person away.  Listen to them even though you do not know what to say.  Tell them that you love them and that they mean the world to you.  Do not get offended if the person declines invitations. Keep trying and eventually it will click.  Consistency, patience and support is what matters.

Life is hard. It gets heavy at times. Know that there is always hope and that you are a precious gift ..

In Health,

Starting Over Again ..

Last week I started training. It felt good to get back into the routine after five weeks of recovery. I have missed the torture, er I mean the exercise. Most importantly, I missed the trainers who have become my friends. We’ve been slowly building and easing into things. Core, arms and legs. I can tell I’ve lost a little of my endurance but I think that’s because of the meds I am on. Hopefully in the coming weeks, I’ll be back to doing the crazy stuff..

As for the running, I am easing into it too. Last Saturday’s long run was a four miler around Lake Merced. It was kind of a test to see if my body was up to it. Note that four miles has been the longest I have run in five weeks too. Perfect weather around the lake. Cool with a touch of foggy mist! Welcome to SF summer..

My first two miles around the lake were fucking hard. My legs felt heavy and I started to question if I could handle it. I kept telling myself to just keep going .. One foot in front of the other. In the middle of the second mile, I tried to hold on to the pace but alas, I took a 30 second walk break and felt discouraged.. I told myself that the long run was not a race. Relax and enjoy the moment. No pressure.. After the pep talk, the feeling of heavy legs somewhat disappeared and my breathing improved. I kept pushing and by mile three and four I felt like my old self. Running hard with sweat dripping down my forehead and the pounding of my heart. I have to say it’s the best feeling in the world! I completed four miles. Every run is an accomplishment in itself. And to me, it’s a sign that I am capable of going as far as my heart can take me.

Seen on the run:

San Andreas

Happy Running,