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,
Trish

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

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,
Trish

Part II- The SF Marathon Race Day Support Crew Edition

Warning: this post will be more pictures than words.. Hopefully the pictures will tell the story.

Race day arrived after two days of expo fun.  Since I wasn’t running, I was asked if I wanted to volunteer at the ambassador/pacer tent. I responded yes without hesitation.  Like I said before, it was the least I could do to give back to something that has given me more than I ever could ever imagine. Honestly, I felt a little sad that I wasn’t toeing the line with everyone else.. The day was for my runner friends and I wanted to celebrate.  It was an early start.  I arrived at the tent around 345 am to help another ambassador and co-captain, Heather. We set up the supplies, cut up some bananas and tracked down some much needed coffee.

The tent was shared with pacers for the race. My twitter buddy Eileen Joy was pacing the 2:30 1st Half so I got to snap a picture with her finally! Mind my closed eyes! Way too early..

Other ambassadors started coming in around 5 am.  Though I wasn’t racing, I could feel the energy, excitment and nerves that everyone was feeling.  Before I knew, it was time to start. Below are photos before everyone made their ways into the corrals.

Prerace picture with: Heather, Corinne and Wes!                                         Photo courtesy of Alisyn

Prerace picture with: Heather, Corinne and Wes!
Photo courtesy of Alisyn

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More prerace pictures w/ Bonnie, Heather, Charles & Stan Photo courtesy of Stan

LA & SF in the house w/ my So. Cal. ambassador buddies Heather & May! Photo courtesy of May

LA & SF in the house w/ my So. Cal. ambassador buddies Heather & May!
Photo courtesy of May

As the race began to start, we cheered on many people as they passed. We called out random people’s names on their bibs. Some people looked confused on how we knew their name and others just smiled. I high-fived anyone who would take it. I also got good luck hugs from Taylor and Bruce as they passed..

After all the waves have gone, a little tiding and organizing the tent.  With the down time, we walked to the finish line. We were able to see the elite runners cross the line. By this time, the sun was shining bright and it looked like it was going to be warmer than expected. After some spectating, we made are way back to the tent. Little by little pacers from the first half came back.  Soon after, ambassadors started to come back. I remember giving sweating hugs and high fives to Erin, Wes and Paulette. One by one they all started coming back. So many running stories shared among everyone. I was also able to see my buddy May come back!

May and I at the finish of her 26.2 race! Congrats girl!! Photo courtesy of May

May and I at the finish of her 26.2 race! Congrats girl!!
Photo courtesy of May

So much awesome going on that it is hard to sum up TSFM experience whether you are racing or volunteering. Either way, I believe the race is a celebration of running and the community. Through this year, I have met people who have shared their running and life stories with me.  I am honored to be a part of their journey. Volunteering and cheering last week was the last piece to mend my heart from not running after my health scare in Napa.  Seeing people give it their best in pursuit of a BQ, PR or running in honor of a loved one was inspiring and brought me to tears as I drove back home.  The memories and friendships I have made will never be forgotten.

All I can say is thank you TSFM and 2014 ambassadors for allowing me to be part of the experience.  See you next year!

Part I- Cleared to Run & SF Marathon Expo Weekend

I have been gathering my thoughts about the past weekend. I figured I break it down into two blogs because there is too much awesome to share in just one post. . It was different being on the support side rather than the participant side but I am so glad that I did it.

Earlier last week, the Cardiologist gave me clearance to run at my last appointment on July 21st. Just a little bit too late to run 13.1 miles in six days.. I was beyond excited but didn’t get to run until last Friday morning due to work and life schedule. I did two miles. Kind of slower than my usual turtle pace but to run my hood after a month off was welcoming.

With the Friday, pre-dawn run, I made my way to SFO to pick up Wes and May to take them to the city. It was great to finally meet Wes and reunite with May.  For those who don’t know, May was the first person I met from the 2014 team last December ! No visit to Bay would be complete without some Philz coffee so we did that. . Dropped Wes at The Westin and get May to drop off her bags. May and I decided to get brunch on Chestnut Street and hang out for a little before Expo madness.

The expo was held at Ft. Mason. Different location from last year.  I was stationed at the info booth and boy did I get a lot of questions.  From: Where do I pick up my bib? to What will the weather be like on Sunday? To my all time favorite question of the entire two days, Do I have to wear clothes on Sunday?  It was a grand time sitting and chatting it up with many racers.  Throughout the day, I got to meet people I’ve been following on social media. Special shouts out to my Friday visitors: BayRunnerJamie and QwietStorm!! I wish my phone wasn’t dead at that time so I could snap pictures w each of them! I was working the info booth w/ ambassadors Miriam & Stan on Friday.

Info booth w/ Ambassadors Miriam & Stan! Photo credit: Charles Lim

Info booth w/ Ambassadors Miriam & Stan! Photo credit: Charles Lim

But the most surprising and unexpected thing was meeting running king and Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World Bart Yasso.. It all started with a tweet..

Next thing I knew, Lark, the awesome marketing guru from The SF Marathon walks over to the info booth and introduces Bart to me.. Wow!

After the expo, got to hang with some of the ambassador team during dinner at Thirsty Bear. Special thanks to Wes for organizing! Truly a good time to meet and catch up with ambassadors who made it out! We also had Bart Yasso join us for dinner. How cool is that?

Zooma, Why I Heart the Running Community and My Health

Zooma was a great race. I was doing good and feeling the course until mile 10 when I experienced leg cramps. Knowing myself, I should have worn the compression socks on the longest run of training but I forgot to pack them. Alas, I wore the socks that Zooma gave away to all the participants. The course was beautiful. Sun and lots of wonderful views of the Napa Valley. This race took me three hours to finish.  It wasn’t my best time and I didn’t care.  It was a training race before the real race. I’ll have a full recap soon.

The real story of Zooma was I landed in the hospital on Saturday night.  I was feeling chest pain like I never felt before. Like one of my nephews was sitting on my chest and wouldn’t get up kind of pressure. It would come and go in the afternoon after the race when we were touring Napa. Though after dinner but when I was lying down, it wouldn’t go away. So my friends who are saints and my guardian angels, drove me to Queen of The Valley Hospital.  Within five minutes of checking into the ER, I was called in by the nurse and hooked up to an EKG machine and blood pressure cuff.  My blood pressure was extremely high and the EKG had a little abnormal reading.  The nurse took my blood and administered blood pressure medication. For the life of me i couldn’t remember the meds I took.  Results of blood test showed I had an elevated level of troponin. This caused concern along w my high blood pressure to the doctor and I was admitted to the hospital.  I stayed in the ER for about five hours monitoring my BP, heart rate and testing my blood. My blood pressure wouldn’t go down after a couple of doses of IV meds.

I was taken up to a room around 4 am.  I have never been hospitalized.  The nurse I had was gruff and didn’t really listen to me. She kept on asking what meds I took for my asthma and i kept telling her, I do not have asthma. She didn’t explain what the meds she was administering in my IV, even though I asked.    I knew I was in for the long haul.  Nurse kept asking me why would I run a race and how come my blood pressure was too high.. The bed side manner wasn’t really there.  No offense to the nurses I know, but this lady was rough.  Around five thirty, I was moved to another room to be on a constant drip of high blood medication and BP / heart monitor checks every 15-30 minutes.  My BP was slowly going down . The attending physician made his rounds around 9:30 am and explained my situation.  I needed my BP to go down and see the cardiologist.  The cardiologist was very kind . He took time to get my health history and facts. He told me that it was good that I was in the hospital and told