San Francisco: 49 square miles surrounded by reality

Where else in the country can you find a bazillion adorable homes; watch fog billow over steep hills; Or find the beach, the woods, and an internet porn studio within the radius of a few miles? SAN FRANCISCO!  And what’s the best way to see the city? On the run, of course!

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ROCK n ROLL – SAN FRANCISCO HALF MARATHON RECAP

I’m not one to run a road race more than once. Been there seen that…. except this one. This one keeps me coming back. There is just something magical about the Rock n Roll San Francisco Half Marathon. Getting to the start line, listening and watching the city come to life.  (The start line is usually on The Great Highway – so you watch the sun rise while listening to the ocean waves — but this year they moved it to Golden Gate Park. Due to noise ordinance, there was no music playing to get you pumped UP. It was…..quiet & peaceful, which is the opposite of what you want or expect from Rock n Roll Series Races).

Before I break down the race part of the weekend – let me start with setting the scene for you: Kyle’s sister and her fiance were in town for the weekend (they live in Alaska). I made it crystal clear that I had a run Sunday, so they could party hardy & I would hang for a bit, but I was hydrating, fueling, & resting for Sunday. I have been preparing and training for this weekend since I got back from Phoenix Marathon (which if you missed that recap, you can read it here) .

This would be my 3rd time running RnR San Francisco and I had goals. (My first time running the course can be found here – take a second to read it and you will quickly understand why the course is near and dear to my heart. My time was 2:12 and my goal this time around was to beat that)

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Scott, Meegan, Kyle and I headed into the city

SATURDAY MARCH 25TH – THE EXPO

I left Kyle, Scott and Meegan behind to have their own fun in the city and I headed off to the Health & Fitness Expo.  Picked up my bib, some last – minute essentials for race day and made my way over to the We Run Social meet up.

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We Run Social Meet Up – CREW ROLLS DEEEEEEEEEP!

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Hanging with some of the @werunsocial crew : L to R: @drewruns @pavementrunner @hereforthewine @littlebeastling  (photo credit: @drewruns)

AFTER THE EXPO

After all the cupcakes (not pictured) were eaten and the fun was had, I made my way back to North Beach where I left Kyle, Meegan and Scott. They had befriended Terry, who playing guitar outside of The Belle Cora . Drinks were flowing, they were having so much fun and all I could think was “can we go now, so I can kick my feet up and relax in my pro compression socks & mentally prepare for tomorrow”

Hubby knows me oh so well – got me a glass of pinot noir and asked that I relax and enjoy the moment. It’s not every weekend that we get to spend time the 4 of us. FAIR ENOUGH. We stayed for about an hour. Terry is so fun & super high energy. We will be coming back to Belle Cora to see him again soon.

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How could I break up the sibling love and fun!

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The view never gets old.

ONCE WE GOT HOME

Kyle and I are huge fans of home made grilled pizza. We’ve got the process down to a science so we made that. Enjoyed dinner, talked, laughed and their drinks continued to flow. I was being good & enjoying my glass or two of wine…… (just keeping it real here) and keeping up with my water.

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#FlatSarahW is ready to fly

A couple hours later, it was time to start thinking about bedtime, but it was hard to tear myself away from all the fun.

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sister in law love ❤

Long story short, next thing I knew…. it was 1:30am. WHAT THE!!!! Time flies when you’re having fun. OYE. I had to be up in 2 hours. I said my good-nights and byes (Meegan and Scott were leaving in the morning, so this was the last I would see them until next time) and headed off to bed.

THE NEXT MORNING

The next morning came fast. (yaaaawn. As I say, you do the crime, you do the time) I somehow got up, pulled it together and prepped for the race. (I requested & scheduled my LYFT the night so I knew exactly what time they would be arriving which was nice and one less thing to worry about). While I was waiting for my ride, I pulled up facebook to send Mataya ( my I Run 4 buddy) a message letting her know I was up and ready to Rock n Roll. She (her mom) had beat me to the message. My little buddy was in the hospital, with a temp of 103.2. My heart sank.

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#IRun4Mataya

Together, we are on a mission to teach the world about neuroblastoma cancer – creating awareness and fighting for a cure because NO ONE, especially a newborn, should ever have to go through all she’s been though.  For now,  I’m her voice, as she gets older, she will start being her own voice.

I knew that very moment, that no matter how I was feeling, I needed to dig deep and RUN THIS WHOLE COURSE. Mataya was embracing a hill with this high temp she was fighting. If she can do it with that adorable little smile on her face, so will I. Off I went.

THE RACE

The Pro Compression ambassadors chose the Gibblers as the unofficial sock of the race. The Gibblers seemed fitting right?!?! We all met up at the start line, took a few pics and go ready to run.

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Pro Compression: The Gibblers (photo cred: @pavementrunner

The race doesn’t go past these ladies, that would have been a cool pic!

After the EPIC sock pic, I hung with Brian @pavementrunner, Richard @blingwhore & @fitmfam6 at the start line. Knowing that first couple miles were HILLS, I knew I would need a little extra support to PULL me up them.

Brian was AWESOME and pretty much kept me sane ( and laughing)  the first 3 miles of the race. I wanted to puke, faint and cry, but held it together because that would have just been embarrassing! As we made our way up and onto Golden Gate Bridge, I fell back a little bit with my pace and told Brian I’d catch up later. One would think running the bridge was flat….nope. it’s a slightly rolling hill (and in my condition of running on 2 hours of sleep, I needed to conserve as much energy as I could if I stood a chance of finishing). My goal of finishing in under 2:12 quickly flew out the window. My new goal was to run non stop. Dig Deep, embrace the hills and just KEEP RUNNING.

It started to sprinkle a little bit on the bridge and I thought, CRAP. As if this wasn’t hard enough already. Thankfully it didn’t last – the weather was actually PERFECT for running. I got to the other side of the bridge just in time to find Brian and ask him to snap a pic. The view never gets old and I never take for granted this is in my backyard.

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Photo Cred: @pavementrunner

I chugged along back over the bridge, through the city and across the finish line I went. Running, the whole time. I DID IT.

As I crossed the finish line, I spotted Brian, Richard and Dave (who had finished a few minutes prior to me) and Brian snapped this AWESOME picture. “I FREAKING DID IT!”

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Photo cred again goes to: @pavementrunner !

This face has been dubbed my finish line #raceface .

While this wasn’t my finest moment in my running career, I’m still proud of how I did. 2:17.

My lesson learned: life is too short, enjoy the moments. Have the glass of wine, stay up an hour later, be present, always. Life is about balance.

I wouldn’t change this weekend for anything, not even more sleep. I can do that tomorrow!

Sometimes it’s not about the pace, but the experience  download 

LOVED this years bling as well. I’ll be sending this one to Mataya. If it wasn’t for her, I would have stayed in bed. She is my WHY.

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San Francisco Rock n Roll Half Marathon will always be one of my favorites.

What’s one of yours?

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my LA Moment (2-14-2016)

“The marathon represents more than just 26.2 miles, it symbolizes the adversity we face in our lives and our ability to overcome the greatest odds.”

365 days later and I still get teary eyed and emotional thinking about the LA Marathon last year. 26.2 miles from Stadium to Sea – on Valentines Day.

Friday February 12th: arrival to LA, the Expo, walk around / check out Santa Monica & Venice.

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Saturday February 13th: amazing morning – a run with the fabulous Julie Weiss (this was her 100th marathon! She has been pounding the pavement to raise awareness for the beast that is Pancreatic Cancer) followed by an amazing and oh so inspirational talk with Jimmy Dean Freeman. EXACTLY what I needed. Back to the hotel to watch the Olympic Trials which were happening back down by the LA Convention Center. Followed by the #WeRunSocial meetup and back finally back to the hotel to rest and relax before the big day.

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#WeRunSocial meetup

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The Huntley Hotel provided a special marathon menu! Chicken Ragout

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Sunday, February 14th: THE BIG DAY! Yes this was my 2nd marathon. But it was my first one alone. I made a new friend (shocker I know!). We met up bright and early, chatted about our game plan and goal for the race. I told Jeff I MIGHT try to run with the 9:30 pace group, to finish in 4 hours and 30mins. It was him who really pushed me to go for it. What did I have to lose really. So I did……

I ran strong and only stopped once – at mile 22. I had hit my wall, HARD. The leader of the pace group was amazing, but I needed to fall back and go at my own pace. Half a mile later, kneeling on the ground, bawling my eyes out, I called my husband, Kyle. No words were coming out of my mouth, just my sobbing cry – as usual, he was there for me. Now at this point, I had no clue what my pace or time was. “You’re freaking KILLING IT!” he said. “Don’t stop. You can do this.”  It was at that moment I realized, I was just in my head and I could actually do this. Picked myself up and repeated the words: I Can and I Will. And that I did….

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photos taken along the course mile 23 & 26 and of course, a finish line selfie with my #1

I crushed my goal and managed a PR (of roughly an hour!). Unofficial Finish: 4:38!

“Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn in 26.2 miles”.

Yup. That’s the truth.  I had big {scary} goals. I put a plan into place, I followed it and I did as I set out to do.

The photos above are a reminder that I am capable of ANYTHING I set my mind to. As I told myself REPEATEDLY with every single step “I CAN & I WILL”.

I have never in my life felt so strong, so powerful, so unstoppable. THAT is #myLAmoment

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Happy Valentines Day to the best and most supportive group of friends a girl could EVER want. (A HUGE HUGE HUGE thank you to my amazing husband. I love you 💖💖)

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BELIEVE IN YOUR SELF , I do!

There was a long time when the lack of belief in myself was a major factor in my life.

I didn’t push past my comfort zone. All because I didn’t really believe I could.

While I’m not free of self-doubt these days, I can honestly say I believe in myself like never before. That doesn’t mean I think I’ll never fail or quit: I will. Probably often. And that’s OK.

In 16 days I’ll run Marathon #3 (who would have thought)! I have gotten to where I am today because I work hard & believe in my self.

So go ahead, throw yourself out there not knowing what will come of it. Go all in. Don’t hold back. Believe you can do it. Believe you are worth it. Start today- post a picture of your self in the comments. Go on, BELIEVE IN YOUR SELF , I do!

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Do you have a big scary dream or goal? What’s holding you back from going for it?

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Don’t tell me you’re not a “real runner”

Back in November, PRO Compression posted that their 2017 Ambassador applications were open. Without hesitation,  I threw my name in the hat, because why not. I rock the socks and love the community. With that being said, you can imagine the excitement when I received an email earlier this week welcoming me to the 2017 ambassador team!

I’ve suggested PRO Compression socks to friends who suffer from shin splits and to other friends who suffer from swollen legs & cramps on long flights. More often than not the response is: I’m not a runner or those don’t really work.

There is a misconception that because one doesn’t run “fast” they aren’t a runner. THAT IS NOT TRUE. A 13 minute mile is just as far as an 8 minute mile.

My goal and sole purpose for wanting to be an ambassador is to help anyone who feels they aren’t a “real runner” know that they are and they need to be outfitted properly. (and if you haven’t worn these socks on a long flight…..you’re missing out!)

What’s your go to sock to rock?

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My Buddy and Me- #IRun4Mataya

Personally, I enjoy dedicating my runs to others and “running for those who can’t”. Last year, after some searching, I found an organization called I Run 4 (and the private facebook group: I Run for Michael ) which pairs runners with “buddies” who have physical or mental disabilities. Runners dedicate training miles to their buddies and keep in touch through social media posts, phone calls, and in-person visits. This group had my name written all over it. I signed up and waited for 6 months to be paired. When the day finally came, it was love at first sight, we are literally a perfect match. I knew there was a story behind my buddy though — and here it is:

Mataya was born on a freezing cold January night in Bemidji, MN, and immediately struggled to breathe, which perplexed her doctors and terrified her parents. With the cause unknown, Mataya was rushed to Sanford Partners Neonatal Intensive Care unit at Sanford Childrens Hospital in Fargo by Sanford AirMed. There her family received the devastating news; their newborn had cancer. A large tumor was wrapped around her spine and aorta making breathing difficult and threatening her life. Mataya spent the next 5 months at Sanford Children’s moving from NICU to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to the Pediatric floor. In that time, she underwent 5 surgeries, 7 rounds of chemo, 51 blood transfusions and more than 1,000 scans and tests.

Together, we are now on a mission to teach the world about neuroblastoma cancer – creating awareness and fighting for a cure because NO ONE, especially a newborn, should ever have to go through all she’s been though. For now, I’m her voice, as she gets older, she will start being her own voice.

Please share this link: The group is always looking for more “buddies” who have physical or mental disabilities to pair with runners: https://youtu.be/mUDXsOTYn6U

www.whoirun4.com

#IRun4Mataya

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Weekly Recap: August 21st-August 27th

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Sunday 8/21: 5 mile run

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August is known as “Fogust” in the Bay Area. Golden Gate Bridge is barely visible in the picture on the right

Mataya: I was playing with a beaded necklace earlier working on grabbing. I also got a sponge bath, had some tummy time, tried eating a couple times, and played in my activity chair until I fell asleep! I snuggled with Mommy during my nap time.

Monday 8/22: Balance workout & 2 mile run

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Tuesday 8/23: Heavy Weights

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Mataya: It was really warm today. Daddy set up our hammock in the shade and we hung out there

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Wednesday 8/24: Cardio & stretching / Roll Recovery

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Thursday 8/25: 3 mile run

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Mataya: Daddy and I surprised Mommy today and had lunch with her.

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Isn’t she the CUTEST?!?!?

Friday 8/26: 20 minute speed workout & 3 mile run

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My heart and soul is full of HOPE for a world without cancer

 

Mataya: I met my Grandma, Great Grandma and Great Grandpa today! My doctor appointment went well. I have to go back on Monday to get my PICC removed. I had such a fun day with everyone. Grandma and my Great Grandma made me this blanket. I love it!

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Saturday 8/27: Rest Day Date: Brunch

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Grand Lake Kitchen (Oakland, CA)

Thanks for checking out our week. Looking forward to logging more miles and watching Mataya grow.

 

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Weekly Recap: August 14th-August 20th

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Sunday 8/14: 5 mile run

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Coincidentally, my run ended in front of the liquor store! There are no accidents in life, right??

Monday 8/15: Total Body workout

Mataya and I were matched today! I introduced her yesterday, you can read it here if you missed it.

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Tuesday 8/16: Agility training & 2 mile run

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These were our first 2 miles!

Wednesday 8/17: Heavy weight strength training, 10 minute abs & 2 mile run

Mataya: 7 months old today & worked on my jumping.

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A workout straight from the heart. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.

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Thursday 8/18: Total Body Workout

Mataya: Doctor appointment today and it went well! All of my labs look good and my oncologist said  I don’t have to come back for another visit with him for 3 months!

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Friday 8/19: REST DAY – early morning sales meeting meant I had to switch my rest day from Thursday to Friday this week.

Mataya: I went to for a walk in my stroller with Daddy today and to my Cousins birthday party. I have to go see my infection doctor next Friday. If all my labs are good, they will take out my PICC. Next week my grandma is coming all the way from Oklahoma. I have not gotten to meet her yet. We get to meet and show her our new house. 

 

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rest-day

 

Saturday 8/20: 5 mile run

Mataya:  I had a nice relaxing day watching everyone at home clean.

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That’s it! That was our week. Thanks for following along our journey together.

 

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