Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snapshot in front of the famous surfing pioneer "Duke" statue in Waikiki sporting the new cheetah print running skirts - (Marathon Madison wearing our kids "mini skirt" running skirt in cheetah tnt purple).

WOW! What a busy December it's been. We just got back from the Honolulu Marathon & our annual family vacation! We were there for the marathon expo & race and then stayed on a bit for a nice family holiday. When we arrived in Waikiki before the marathon, it was raining (make that pouring) cats and dogs. Not your typical tropical isle weather. It was one of the biggest storms of the year for the islands - and poor timing to say the least.

As the rain continued day after day after day during the 4 day expo, we wondered if it was going to let up for all the runners on Sunday. To run....or not to run! That was the question Christy & I kept tossing back and forth. It's so hard to work the marathon expos without getting caught up in all the running energy and pre-race excitement. We always want to run on race day. Normally, if there is a half marathon event, that is what we run. Unfortunately (or fortunately for our marathon recovering bodies!), in Honolulou, there is only a full marathon and a 10k fun walk. Since we are both coming down from our marathons in DC & NYC, we decided to be smart about it and sit this one out.
Here are a few shots from the marathon:

Finish line! About halfway through the marathon, the rain stopped and the sun came out. We felt so sorry for all those super-soaked runners. It was pouring rain at the start and about an hour or so into the race. We were standing in front of our hotel at about the 5-6 mile marker and people were stopping taking off the shoes and wringing out their socks already - ouch! I can only imagine the blisters and chafing that was going on towards the end of the race.

Runner in traditional Hawaiian costume in Crocs? (smart guy to wear the crocs on this running day)! This race is a huge destination marathon for a lot of first time runners, Team in Training groups and also Japanese runners. In talking with some locals about the event, we were told a lot of the Japanese runners do not train for the event, but come over with tour groups, etc. and just go out on race day planning to finish the marathon. We met one couple that had just married and were planning to run the race together to kick off their marriage/honeymoon. Lots of cool stories and interesting people!

As we stood at the finish line watching the runners come in - there was one Japanese lady that collapsed or fell about 200 yards from the finish line. It looked like her legs were noodles and she just couldn't get back up! I had a flash back about my horrible cramping experience in DC and truly felt sorry for this runner. Other runners stopped to help her up, but at first she was pushing them away. She started crawling toward the finish line - bare knees and all. She would try to get up again and then collapse on her rubbery legs and crawl a few more paces. Other runners would try to help her and at first she continued to push them away (it was apparent she was dead set on finishing the race on her own). Finally she conceded and let a lady on the sidelines help her to her feet. Once she was vertical again and took a few steps, she got her legs back and the crowd cheered her like crazy all the way to the finish. WOW! That was definitely an example of mind over matter. If there's a will, there's a way.

Congrats to all the finishers in Honolulu! You earned those post-race Mai Tais!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy American Thanksgiving!

I was sulking on thanksgiving morning as my husband left for work. It's hard to be so far away from home on the Holidays. I am lucky to be blessed to have married into an amazing Canadian family. They always go out of their way to make a special American Thanksgiving Dinner for me (turkey, potatoes and all the fixings!). (For those American readers - Canadian Thanksgiving occurs the first week in October). Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday of the year, and it's so hard not to be with the fam on this day. I used to start the day off every year with the Run to Feed the Hungry 5k or 10k race in Sacramento. This is the largest attended Thanksgiving day "Turkey Trot". It was a great way to start of the day and "earn" my apple pie! I've been living in Canada for years, but it's still very bizarre on Thanksgiving morning as my husband leaves for work and there are no parades on tv, etc. It's just another day here.

This, is a blessing though when you procrastinate your thanksgiving grocery shop to the last minute like I did this year. The grocery store wasn't too crowded - nice! I started my apple pie baking and there was a ring at the door. To my surprise it was a delivery man delivering a beautiful bouquet of flowers addressed to "Mommy & Colson". Aw - it melted my heart - what a wonderful surprise from the hubby. It also reminded me how thankful I am to my own little family here with my wonderful loving husband and adorable baby boy.

We probably got about 2 feet of snow within a 24 hour period which has created a lot of "cross training" for us - snow shoveling is an excellent source of cardio! Since I've been nursing my foot injury (not sure if it's a stress fracture or something else), I've been trying to limit my road runs outdoor to 1 or 2 a week and all other workouts post marathons have been on the treadmill. Snow has come early this year, normally we don't have this kind of accumulation until December - January. I was trying to postpone the treadmill reunion until later, but I finally succumed to it this week. I don't mind doing quick workouts on the "dreadmill" but it can get really boring quickly. People ask me how I can stand to run on the treadmill. One thing that helps - Lately, Ive been saving up the weeks worth of my favorite tv shows and watching them while I plod along on the treadmill. I go down to the basement and hop on the treadmill and watch Entourage while I plod plod along. I've also been trying to get into the gym for weight training 3 times a week. I am in rebuild and recovery mode after the marathon.

I am still doing a semi-long run each weekend. Yesterday I did 1o miles easy along the waterfront. Here are some shots of me goofing off in the snow in the new cheetah running skirt. The new long sleeve is awesome too - it's the perfect super light weight layering piece for under your running jacket.

Here's a few shots of the snowman we built yesterday too! Happy Thanksgiving.

I am counting down the days until our trip out west for the Honolulu Marathon Expo and annual family holiday! Yahoo. We are hoping to make a quick in Northern California to see the friends and fam and maybe catch the CIM marathon and watch our old running buddies in Sacramento (and Glorybelle) run the marathon & relay events.

Ready for some of that California Sunshine!

10 things I am thankful for:

Gods gift of our beautiful and amazing 1 year old!
My loving husband!
My health!
My family!
My friends!
Our troops fighting for the freedom we often take for granted!
My job - it is also my passion!
That I can work with my best friend!
Our awesome customers!

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

One week after NYC Marathon, Christy & I met up again in Dallas for The Running Event.

The Running Event is great event for all running companies and specialty running store owners to meet up. All the new running products and apparel are showcased and retailers can place orders for the upcoming seasons. In addition to the running conference and expo, there is also the Hall of Fame dinner (where running superstars are recognized) and the 50 Best Store Awards banquet. There were also organized runs scheduled for each morning, one of which was an actual 5k race "The Indie 5k". It was a great time meeting all the specialty running store owners and other vendors who all share the same passion of running!

Now about the 5k race. We weren't sure what to expect just days after NYC Marathon (and my Marine Corps marathon the week prior). I figured a speedy 5k wouldn't be too much of a problem since, if nothing else, it would be over quickly. We joined the "running group" who planned to jog to the race start line instead of taking the shuttle bus there. It gave us a cool quick glimpse of downtown Dallas - we even ran by "The Grassy Knoll" where JFK was shot. On the way to the hotel we ran past the place where JFK was shot. Our jog leader pointed out the 6th floor of the Book Repository where the gunman was located.

During the warmup, Christy and I both remarked on how heavy we were breathing for those slow easy miles to the start line. Uh-Oh, it wasn't looking too good already. We toed the line with other running company owners (all looking quite speedy), even Bart Yasso came out to run the Indie 5k. When the gun went off, so did we - looking quite speedy in our new Cheetah running skirts - what a great racing outfit! Unfortunately, it was merely an illusion, even the cheetah skirt couldn't help our tired legs. After the first mile, I realized that a PR was not going to happen today. (I have to get back the family record that I just lost to Christy's hubby Dave - he beat my 18:36 and now holds the new family record of 18:25 since the Light the Night 5k in San Diego a few weeks ago.) Before my first mile signal on the Garmin I felt like I was going blazing fast - at least a 5:30 mile or so, but when the garmin beeped I looked down and was shocked to only see a 6:06 first mile. My legs were feeling heavy and just slow after my back to back marathons, it's definitely time to rest and rebuild! My 2nd was 6:32 (I stopped for water!) and last mile was 6:13 for a 19:29 finish. Christy came in shortly thereafter. It was a great workout as any 5k and I was glad it was over.

Photo of the little guy in front of the The Book Repository Building across from the Grassy Knoll where JFK was shot.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

WE "heart" NYC!

Photo with Bart Yasso at the Marathon Expo. Lord knows his famous 800's were a staple in our training. His book signing booth was slammed. For those of you that haven't read his book yet "My Life on the Run", pick up a copy and check it out. It is very entertaining & inspiring. It's amazing story what one runner can accomplish in a (half of a) lifetime.

It's here! I have been looking forward to this race all year. I have been training for this race all year. Cindy and I ran it together three years ago (my first marathon) and it was soooo hard and painful so needless to say I was a bit nervous. Cindy was running it with me again this time so it was going to be a rematch of sorts, 5 bridges to take down with my twin soldier at my side. I was so happy that I would have Cindy with me as my pacer and sherpa. I was praying that after her speedy finish at Marine Corps Marathon last weekend that she would a bit tired and willing to run my pace...Best Case a 3:30 and More Likely Case a 3:40-3:45 which would qualify me for Boston (my running goal of 2008/2009).

It was going to be a super early start we planned to get up at 4:15 to catch the 5:00 am bus. The good news was we were gaining an hour with the time change that night. My alarm went off as planned and I was up and at em going through my prerace routine. I even threw in a few stretches for good measure. I was wasting time in my room waiting for Cindy to come knocking (she's always the first one ready and chomping at the bit to get to that race start line!). Well it was 4:40 and she still hadn't come knocking so I headed out the door off to her room. I knocked...and knocked...and knocked and finally a sleepy eyed Cindy answered the door in her underwear. She totally blew the time change thing somehow. At this point I starting barking orders...get your Running Skirt on! Get your shoes! Grab your Garmin...lets go. I was freaking out! It was quite unnerving that my Race Sherpa / Pacer was not getting us off at a good pace! Oh no...not a good sign. We raced out the door and headed out to the streets of NY to track down that bus when Cindy realized..."oh shoot....I didn't even brush my teeth!". She laughed it off and we joined the ranks of all the nighttime zombies in running clothes coming out of everywhere headed towards the Marathon Bus.

We got coralled onto the bus and made our way through the city and on to Staten Island where we got dumped off into the freezing cold Runners Village. We thought we were prepared for the elements with our extra layer of velour sweatsuits (what were we thinking!) and our gloves. We were 2 popsicles within 2 minutes of getting off that bus. Uuuugh this was going to be a very unpleasant 4 hour wait! We scurried off to find our Blue Start area. We spotted a big white canopy in the distance and decided that would be our best bet. Just about that time someone walking by ditched 2 long pieces of cardboard and Cindy ran over and swooped them up. I looked at her like she was a crazy person and she said "Trust will thank me for this later". We got to the tent, which was jam packed full of bodyfatless shivering runners ridiculously huddled together on the ground. Some laying on blankets, trashbags, newspaper...whatever they could find or were smart enough to bring with them. (Why didn't we plan better???) We decided the warmest place would be right smack dab in the middle of them all where we got lucky and secured a prime 4' peice of real estate. Cindy quickly arranged our cardboard and we decided lying down on them next to each other would be our best bet. We were 2 spooning twins. It was still freeeezing cold though and we were wasting way to much energy trying to keep warm. The wind was breezing right through the tent and it was miserable! As race sherpa, Cindy decided she should go forage in the forest for some food. We had searched unsuccessfully the night before for some bananas, as apparently every other runner in Manhatten had beat us to them.

After an eternity Cindy came back bearing two tiny cups of Dunkin Donuts coffee and 2 oversized trash bags. I told her I wouldn't drink coffee before a race but then hastily grabbed it out of desperation for warmth and drank it down. After the freezing walk back to the tent it wasn't even hot but barely warm. Unfortunately while she was gone I had lost a big corner of our real estate to a large somewhat smelly intruder. Cindy was pretty miffed but I told her to take it easy because the big guy was actually putting off quite a bit of heat. Desperate times call for desperate measures! We climbed feet first into our trash bags and pulled them up over our entire bodies. Within minutes Cindy and the intruder were back to back all cozy and I actually felt warmer. Not quite warm but much more tolerable now. Those trash bags were a saving grace! We were lauging at how ridiculous and homeless we looked and snapped a few pictures. We stayed in the "warmth" of the tent as long as possible and almost missed our start. We had to sprint to get to the start huddle on time. On the way an angel from heaven walked up to us and said "you two look cold...would you like some handwarmers? " We both dropped our jaws and said "seriously?". She handed over two beautiful hand warmers. What a kind lady! Thank you handwarmer lady! We love you!

The winner of America's Got Talent sang the National Anthem...awesome...and then we were off! Uuugh my legs were not feeling good over that bridge.

Mile 1: feeling freezing cold and legs feeling very tired. Im thinking "uh oh...not a good sign" and just then my sherpa shouts out "don't worry if your legs feel are just cold and it will take a few miles to warm up". Ok...theres hope yet. Sure enough at mile 4 I was finally feeling my toes in my shoes again and the legs were there and all systems a go.

My faithful Sherpa was almost always about 4 strides in front of me. It was so crowded that it was virtually impossible to run next to each other for the majority of the race. That and everytime I got next to Cindy she would speed up. At least 80% of the race she was running in front of me with her head fully turned back to me yelling "come on...come on!" while pointing down to the pavement next to her. I don't know how she didn't run over someone or trip on one of the bazillion potholes or huge grooves in the course looking back like that. It was so funny and maddening at the same time. She was a great pacer though and set me off with a nice buffer. Whenever she asked me "how do you feel" I wouldn't answer because I knew if I told her the truth (I felt good) that she would speed up. I just wanted to save a little for those bridges because they were my downfall last time. I didn't want my wheels falling off the bus just yet.

Photo at mile 16 - check out our new Cheetah Running Skirts, "Cheetah Pink" & new technical long sleeve & tee shirts! All part of the new Running Skirts Spring line 2009! Coming soon!
At mile 16 the hubby was supposed to jump in and run with us to the finish, or as close as he could get to it. Well 16 came and went and there was virtually no way he could have jumped in to the race. The streets were completely baracaded and police were everywhere watching the course. I was a little disappointed but at the same time relieved because I didn't know if I could put up with his fresh legs and goofy mantras to the finish. Somewhere before mile 17 though he popped up out of no where clapping supper loud and shouting "you got it! you got it! woo lets go!" He had a 3:30 pace bib on and he was now a part of our mission. I now had a Sherpa and a Cheerleader. He was so loud and just kept yelling "you got got it". I knew he had good intentions but I am sure he was driving all the other runners around us nutso!

About every mile Cindy would shout out some instructions:

"relax your shoulders"
"watch your heelstrike"
"shorten your stride"
"relax your arms"
"thumbs up"
"the hay is in the barn" (my favorite)

I could see other runners around us taking heed and following my Sherpa's was funny! At one point my legs started feeling heavy and I was starting to think about it way too much then someone in the crowd shouted "winner winner chicken dinner". Huh? This was somehow hilarious to the 3 of us at this point and enough to distract me and carry me through.

On the beast of the bridge, with the rubbery covered grates, I tripped and almost wiped out. My nose was about a foot from the pavement when the Cheerleader and a runner next to me caught me by my elbows somehow in the nick of time. I jarred my back, ouch, but collected my parts and found my pace and carried on. I thanked the guy on my left and thanked my Cheerleader who was again shouting "you got got it!" It was time for some new material! My Sherpa was way ahead in the distance looking back and pointing down to the pavement on her left.

Then we were in the Bronx (a favorite spot on the course) and I was still on pace and feeling good. My legs were getting heavy but still keeping the pace. Whenever we would approach a water stop I would shout out "gatorade" or "water" and both my Sherpa and my Cheerleader would appear instantly with my refreshment of choice. I think it was becoming a competition between the two of them...who can get it faster :-) Needless to say I was spoiled and well taken care of. About mile 23 I began to slow up a bit. My Cheerleader starting using the kids to try and distract me. He started shouting out "I can doooo it! I can doooooooooo it!" which was our daughter Avalon's race mantra at the Keebler Kids Mile at Legoland this last year. It was funny to me but surely maddening to the other runners. I didn't respond because I didn't want to encourage him further but he was already on a roll and didn't need any more encouragment. "you got it! You got it! You got it! Clap clap clap" over and over and over and over. Finally I shouted out to him "quit saying that!". I was thinking of shouting so much more to him but didn't have the energy to waste. At mile 24 my Sherpa shouted it was "time to run". I knew what this meant but didn't think the legs would follow suit. I felt like I was runnng in slow motion but each time I looked down we were still on pace by some miracle. I noticed I was super thirsty all of the sudden...dying for water. At mile 25 my right hamstring started cramping...oh no! Ouch...keep the wheels on...keep the wheels on! "Come on Come on!" Sherpa was shouting back and pointing down to that spot on the pavement. Try as I might, the legs just wouldn't move faster and that cramping hamstring was slowing me down. Just then Cindy circled back for me and shouted "this is the last to the barn". At this point I realized we were on track for a 3:30 and all was well. I ran as hard as I could (not much faster) trying to catch Sherpa and the Cheerleader (who was still yelling and clapping "you got got it!). With the finish line in sight I managed to get next to Cindy (she must have ran backwards to me). She shouted out "Bellhops" and I grabbed her hand and knew what I had to do. A 1 - 2 - 3 jump to a bellhop finish. I'm not sure that my heels clicked off the pavement but in my head they did and it was a beauty!

Just like that is was over. I kissed my Cheerleader and hugged my dear Sherpa. I couldn't have done it without them.

Once I had collected my brain I asked the Cheerleader "why did you keep saying 'you got it!' over and over?" It turns out he thought he was playing the part of an official paceleader with that bib on and he thought that is what the paceleaders do. He didn't want to get kicked off the course so he was compelled to shout out "encouragement" to his "team" the entire time.

Our official time was 3:29:23. Boston Bound!

the cheerleader!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The big weekend finally arrived! We decided to take a road trip down to Virginia to visit the hubby's sister and family (we would be staying with them in VA and commute into DC each day for the expo). It was a really long but fairly scenic car ride from Toronto to Virginia. The leaves are still turning down there and it was a beautiful sunny fall day luckily.

We had a great time at the 3-day expo. It was great to finally meet a lot of our east coast customers and running skirts fans. For those of you that haven't been yet, the Marine Corps Marathon Expo is gi-normous. You could easily spend a whole day or at least 4 hours walking around all the armory checking out all the latest running products, foods, drinks and gadgets. We were so busy, I didn't have a chance to walk the whole floor, but I did manage to make it by the Lara bar booth to scoop a few of the new flavor samples (yum!) and pick up a cute red white & blue long sleeve race shirt, hat and warm up jacket. There were marines everywhere! Working, running and volunteering. It was great to get to meet a few of them and hear about their lives, where they came from and where they are stationed, etc. I made a point to thank every one of them for their services.

After 3 long 12 hour days at the expo I commenced my normal pre-race ritual, salmon & rice dinner with veggies, ice bath & warm shower and stretching. My dogs were definitely barking after day 3 (most of our expos are 2 days). I tried to keep up a postive mental attitude and do a little visualization when I though of it. I think I kept getting interrupted by the hubby or baby before I actually visualized my finish!

I told myself as I put my weary aching bones to bed that I was NOT going to do the usual pre-marathon freak out and not sleep. As soon as I lay down, the nerves kicked in. If you've ever run a marathon - you know the feeling..your stomach starts doing flip flops and no matter what you do, you cannot relax and fall asleep! Throw in a baby that wakes up 2-3 times a night when hes not in his own bed and voila.....2-2.5 hours of pre race sleep. Par for the course for me. The alarm clock went off at 4:15 a.m. I quickly showered stretched and put on my camo running skirt and brooks racers. I threw my wave riders into my race bag just in case I made a game time decision change. (This would be my first marathon distance race in the lighter racers.) I've already done 3 half marathons in them so I figured I could pull it off. The less weight I have to carry the whole 26.2 the better. I woke up the hubby and baby bear and off we went to the city. We were meeting Val and a few of her police co-workers at the Hyatt Capitol Hill and then planned to take the Metro to the Runners Village at the start.

We arrived promptly at 6:00 a.m. (ok val, so it was 6:03) and then headed down to the Metro subway. By the time we got through the crowd in the Metro and checked our race bags & hit the porta potties, we had just enough time to weed our way to the start line. Val and I made our way up the 2nd corral for the 3 hour ish marathon finish time. The next thing I knew the gun went off and so did we. My race plan was to stay on pace for a 3:05 for the first half and then pick it up on the back half if I felt strong. The race started right off with some rolling hills and then more hills and then more. Wow - I had always heard the MCM was a great first time course, etc. etc. and didn't look into it too much. But, there is some elevation in the first half. I don't mind the uphill too much as it was accompanied by equal downhill segments. I was cruising along just under my goal pace - around 6:45-6:50 per mile.

I saw the hubby and baby at mile 10.5 as planned and was feeling great. We had perfect running weather - cool and sunny! I reminded myself that I needed to stay on pace and slowed down a bit. I crossed the halfway point in 1:29 something and was elated at how effortless it was feeling. I was relaxed and not feeling exerted at all. The goal of a 3:05 now seemed a sure thing and there was a glimmer of hope at even breaking 3 hours. All I had to do was hold on to my pace. The hubby was at mile 16 also, but I didn't see him. I was trying to stay relaxed and concentrate and didn't hear him yelling my name unfortunately.
(val at mile 10.5)

Mile 16 is when the wheels started to come off the bus. I felt a slight twinge in my right inner thigh and remember thinking - hmmm - that's new. I though about stopping to stretch but decided against it. I managed to ignore it until mile 18 when suddenly both of my hamstrings seized up on me. I yelled out in pain and stopped & bent over to stretch them out. When I bent over to stretch the hamstrings out quickly, my quads seized and then went the calves. I was jumping around trying to stretch one part, then was a very bad predicament. I loosened myself slightly up and plodded along thinking - ok, I must need some more electrolytes. I also remember that I was feeling thirsty, which I've never felt before on a run when I have been hydrating ( I hit all the water stops as usual). At the next water stop I took both water and powerade and stretched some more and then forced myself to go another mile without stopping. Even after the water, another roctane gu and some power ade, the pain was getting worse. If you've ever had a charlie horse in a muscle you have felt this pain - only it was both hamstrings, both calves and both quads all at once. I couldn't believe this was happening to me. I felt so good and so strong! Then wham! I was a hobbling, moaning blob of gu. I realized at mile 18-19 that my visions of a sub 3 hour marathon were now history, I was still confident I would make it in by my goal of 3:05 or so. HA! The hits just kept on coming. I would stretch a bit, then walk for 30 steps and then slowly pick it up to a jog again, but after about 20 steps the legs would cramp up again and I would have to stop in my tracks, bend over and stretch again. This ugly cycle was repeated all the way to the finish line.

I was that guy - you know the one - the guy who is screaming out in pain and hobbling or standing stiff legged along the sidelines of a race. I always thought - oh, that poor guy - he must not have trained properly. Yep - I was that guy - talk about humbling! I remember at mile 24 thinking "how the heck am I going to make it 2 more miles like this?". At one point somewhere between mile 24-26, I remember that I had to walk dowhill backwards with my legs spread apart to keep from falling over. With all my mucsles cramped up I couldn't bend my knees and I had to wobble down the hill in reverse. I would laugh at myself, turn around and try again only to make it two steps and then there would be a stabbing dagger in the back of both of my knees, calves and hamstrings and I'd have to stop and turn around and put it in reverse again. I think I even scared some of those tough as nails marines on the sidelines.

I also remember at one point standing bent over at the waist stretching my legs trying to get them to release a bit so that my knees would once again bend enough to start walking and jogging again, some guy who passed by had the nerve to yell "suck it up"! Oh, that really got me going....I started jogging and yelling in pain and anger got me going for about 10 strides until I was stricken stiff legged again. By now the only thing I could think about was crossing the darn finish line in one piece. I was afraid I would have to stop and get my first DNF and at the same time I was scared of how much worse the pain was going to get. I don't recall seeing any medics or I would have asked them for help - at least to stretch out a bit so that I could move better. I also knew the hubby would be really worried too since he expected me in sometime around 3-3:05, I remember the 3:10 pace group passing by at one point when I was bent over stretching. Unfortunately their words of encouragement did nothing for the uncooperative legs. I was overwhelmed by the realization that things weren't going to get better at this point. I just had to get to the finish one way or another. This is when the walking, stretching, standing, jogging cycle began. My last two miles took me about 22 minutes! Somewhere around mile 25 one of my old fleet feet team mates from Sacramento passed by me and yelled "Hi Cindy!". I was relieved to see a familiar face...for a second...I yelled to her "I started cramping up really bad..." and then she was gone. (As I went through my own post-race mile by mile replay of what went wrong, it dawned on me that this friend was the very same girl my running partner and I hooked arms with and ran her in - overheated, dehydrated and all - to the Boston finish line with us so that we could cross the line together as a team. Hmmph!
(photo of cramped legs at finish line stretch - note the behind the knee/calf/hammy area - ouch!)

As I walked my way to the final stretch of the last mile, I could hear the roar of the crowd and still couldn't get my legs to cooperate. I was still doing the walk, jog, stretch routine. I jogged halfway up the last hill to the finish line (what a cruel cruel joke on this course) and saw my sister in law holding my little baby in the stands. I waved to him and he reached out to me with both of his chubby little hands as if he was saying "come and get me mommy - I'm over here! Why are you running away?". I smiled and waved again & mustered up one last stretch of an attempt to jog across the finish line - and then it was over! 3:20 something was my final time - I will post my splits when I reconnect with my garmin - they are pretty funny.

All in all it was a beautiful day and a challenging course, but a very well organized marathon event. When I reunited with my hubby at the finish - he was worried that I had suffered an injury or perhaps even something worse. As he embraced me and I recounted to him my demise after mile 18, he said "oh, you must have been so upset, were you crying?" I chuckled and said - "no, why would I be crying?" I thought to myself, at least I have my legs to hurt and cramp up. There were so many amputees and wounded soldiers that were participating or volunteering at the race, it was very moving. I remember passing by a girl pushing her boyfriend or husband in what appeared to be a jog stroller from behind. As I passed her I realized that he was another amputee. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank God for these soldiers who are out there laying it all on the lines for us all!

(post 26.2 cerveza)

After a talk with my coach on Monday, we concluded that the 3 day expo work on my feet 12+ hours each day and being under hydrated and lacking electrolytes, surely the cause of the cramping. Lesson learned, all the training in the world won't help if you don't take care of your body in the days leading up to the marathon. I won't try to PR a race again after such a long week of travel and time on the feet.

(much needed ice bath...questionable toenail casualty on left foot)
Here are my splits: 6:57, 6:52, 6:32, 6:28, 6:41, 6:50, 7:08, 6:37, 6:49, 6:40, 6:51, 6:49, 6:50, 6:57, 6:58, 6:57, 7:05, 7:10, 7:12, 7:27, 7:43, 7:58, 8:10, 9:50, 11:06, 12:51.

Next up, NYC Marathon with Christy next weekend - yikes!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Toronto Marathon was a great event this weekend. We kicked the weekend off with the Health & Fitness expo at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto. We were thrilled to be located directly adjacent from the Yo-Pro booth (yummy healthy high protein frozen yogurt) and right next to the massage booth. I was joined in the running skirt booth by our super star personal trainer & uber runner Judika Klose who helps me out in the skirt booth for the Canada events. Judika is a super mom of 5 kids (yes, that's not a typo...5!) and a personal training business. After her 5th child she was over 200 pounds and now look at her (she's wearing the lilac plum outfit in the video from our marathon Relay team this weekend). She's such an inspiration and oh so fast (she runs around a 1:20 half!) Despite recovering from a serious ankle injury she was able to take on 2 legs of our relay and ran a 38 minute 10k - sweet! One speedy skirt for sure. Thanks Judika - you rock the skirts!

We had a speedy marathon relay team made of up Krista Boylea 1-10.1k, Judika Klose 10.1-20k, Agnes Ngunriji 20-25k, Cindy Lynch 25-30k, Antony Mwangi 30-35k & Josiane Aboungono 35k-42k, finishing in 2:42. Unfortunately Jamie didn't make it up to the first leg in time to capture Krista (she had the big hill in the starting leg 10k!) and was flying! Josiane & Agness and Antony were all coming down from big races the previous day at the Oasis Zoo Run (see story below)

Getting a nice congratulatory hug from womens running pioneer Katherine Switzer.

The last 3 women of our relay team accepting our relay award at the finish. The awards were all presented by Katherine Switzer.

Oasis Zoo Run
While we were working the booth at the Goodlife Toronto Marathon Expo, our speedy skirts Josiane Aboungono was racing the last race of the Canada Running Series, the Zoo Run 10k. Josiane had a great race, she was in the lead when she took a wrong turn on the course and had to work to get back on the course & catch back up with the other leaders. Unfortunately, while she was re-passing the lead female Lioudmila Kortchaguina, according to Josiane and the other lead runners that were in the lead pack, Liudmila grabbed the back of Josiane's jersey and pulled her close and then (get this!) gave her a sharp elbow in the ribs. Josiane fell back and fought the rest of the way to the finish and still managed to come in 3rd female overall....she was not happy with the sportmanship of Lioudmila. Josiane & her coach reported this incident to the race officials, and were told, since it wasn't captured on tape or film it was "part of racing" and there was nothing they could do about it. Wow - when I heard this I was really sad. It's very unfortunate that this type of bad sportsmanship and apparently running combat (or hand-to-hand combat as the Canada Running Series race report termed it) is acceptable by these race officials. After talking to some other elite female runners, this apparently isn't an isolated incident with this runner - she has pulled other similar stunts to other top female runners. Shame on you Lioudmila! Maybe if she wore a running skirt, she could be a speedy skirt that wouldn't have to resort to taking combat cues from her husband on the sidelines.

Photo of Liudmila at the finish line.

To finish this recap on a positive note. Josiane's top finish at the Oasis ZooRun 10k this weekend landed her the points to finish out the Canada Running Series in first place. Woohoo! Congrats to Josiane, Nicole and the other top female finishers in Canada Running Series.


1st  Josiane Aboungono      Milton, ON      130 points   $2500
2nd Nicole Stevenson Toronto, ON 121 points $1500
3rd Lioudmila Kortchaguina Toronto, ON 105 points $1000
4th Nancy Tinari Coquitlam, BC 96 points $750
5th Lisa Harvey Calgary, AB 90 points $500

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I can't believe the Toronto Waterfront Expo is here already! What a great marathon event - the course is known to be flat and fast and last year Daniel Rono ran the fastest marathon in Canada on this course.

Here's a great shot of Jamie & baby admiring the marathon trophies at the expo last weekend! I can't believe he will be 11 months old next week - crazy how this year has flown by.

Last year I was 8 months pregnant and ran the 5k with Arma who was 7 months along at the time. It was cool to hear all the comments as people stopped by the booth and it was nice of everyone to ask how the babies were doing, etc.
This year Arma and I were both planning to run the half marathon as part of our marathon training programs (she's running Columbus in 2 weeks) and I'm running Marine Corps in 3 weeks.

OK - on to my race report. We had a very busy weekend at the expo - with the new camo skirts and the mini dot running and athletic skirts back in stock, it was a skirt frenzy! I barely had a chance to snack on anything, but managed to keep hydrating at least. I did have a few lara bars and bananas on hand thankfully.

Saturday night after the long day at the expo, we had my husbands high school reunion. It was the 50 year anniversary for the high school so all the graduating classes for Richview Collegiate were invited to attend this giant celebration. The hubby was super excited to go to the event and see all his old buddies and classmates. By the time we got back to the hotel and cleaned up it was 8:30p.m. I was dragging my feet on going since I was already exhaused from working the booth the last 2 days, but I knew how excited Jamie was so I "took one for the team" and mustered up a little energy to get showered, dressed, do my hair, etc. (When I secretly just wanted to take my traditional pre-race ice bath, hot shower, stretch, have my pre-run salmon & rice and go to bed!) The reunion party was awesome - I even got to meet the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper (Richview Class of 1978) see photo below. He used to run on the cross country team at Jamie's school.
He seems like a great guy! (I was so glad I decided to venture out to the reunion instead of staying in and going to bed early.) I even indulged in one glass of red wine, but followed it up with several glass of ice water. I pulled the running a marathon tomorrow card and pulled a Cinderalla, sneaking out around 11:30 and catching a cab back to the hotel with hopes of being in bed fast asleep by midnight.

These hopes were all shattered (at least the fast asleep part). There was a bachelor party going on in the room across the hall from us and - get this - a bachelorette party 2 doors down. It was party central on our floor until 3:30 a.m! I finally got some sleep at 3:30 for about an hour before the little guy woke up at 4:30 for his early feeding. I had just drifted back to sleep when my alarm went off at 5:15 a.m. I had to get to the start early since I realized I had forgotten to get my chip activated. I jogged the half mile to the start line and knew I was going to be in for a challenging race. My legs didn't have the bounce in them that they should have!

I managed to work my way up to the front of my corral for the race start and spotted my coach in the crowd who gave me a nice 2 thumbs up gesture. As the gun went off, I found myself sucked in by the lead pack and I was berating myself when my garmin gave my first mile split of 5:54 mile. Uh-oh, I said . I immediately slowed down to my planned pace and plodded along waiting for the heaviness in my legs to ease up. Normally after working the expo for 2 days it takes about 5k to work all the lead out of the legs and get warmed up. Well, this never happened for me today. Even after my first roctane gu - I never got that energy boost! At the halfway point, I was trying to hold on to my pace and very nervous about my level of exertion already. I did everything I could to hold onto my pace, but I could feel myself slowing down each mile. It was sure mind power that got me to the finish line this legs had nothing in them. Here are my splits: 5:54, 6:28, 6:38, 6:42, 6:42, 6:59, 6:41, 6:42, 6:53, 6:42, 7:05, 6:49, 6:40. I finished in 1:29:09. I have never been happier to see a finish line, but didn't have the normal kick left to sprint across with a smile. I was completely drained this time. Definitely, my day of reckoning. Lesson Learned. Don't try to PR when you don't take care of your body and get adequate sleep & nutrition. All in all, it was still a great race for me and landed me 3rd place a/g and a cool mirrored plaque award.

I'm proud to say that our "speedy skirt" Josiane Aboungono came in 3rd woman overall in 1:19:24.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month! Please join Running Skirts in the fight against breast cancer by making a kind donation or joining on of our for the Cure team to run or walk the 5k event in your town on October 5th! Click here to make a donation!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

OK Ladies & fellow running mummies, here's some inspiration for you!
My sister has been babbling some nonsense about a girl she has seen running by the san diego office each day in a running skirt pushing a triple jogger. Christy told me she runs every day without fail with all three of her kids. I have heard of other people sighting this phantom wonder mom...she's just been somewhat of a urban legend to me. Until Now!

A few weeks ago, I was I was taking my new jog stroller out for a test drive up the coast (to see if I put it together properly). I was huffing and puffing and grumbling under my breath about how much work it was pushing my little chubby monkey along with me. I stop at a stoplight and look up and what do I see? The legend herself in person - triple jogger, pinkypink running skirt, three adorable kiddies in triple jogger crusing right along.

I greeted her with a hello and vocalized my adoration for her commitement and told her she was inspiration for us all. As I continued my jog I remembered that I had my new blackberry with me in the jogger so I stopped and grabbed it out quickly while I waited for the super mommy to run by. I stopped her and asked her a little more about her training and running with the not single, not double, BUT TRIPLE jog stroller and snapped a few pics. Her name is Alicia and she runs every morning without fail at least 3 miles. She said she has never run without her kids and was actually training for a full marathon until she discovered that there weren't any local marathons that would let her run with her jogging stroller. (I know this is probably a liability thing, but surely there must be local running events that allow jog strollers - why cant they start in the back?). She mentioned that her husband works the graveyard shift, so she takes the kids out each day for her runs. When I asked her if she ever runs without them, she quickly responded "NO, I never run without them!". Wow- I thought - imagine how speedy Alicia would be in a race sans jogger. I again gave her my kudos and accolades at being such an inspiration and let her continue her run (apparently if the kiddies are all on their best behavior, mommy stops at the park).

As I finished my own run, I silently reprimanded myself for being such a grumbly single jog stroller mommy and reminded myself that it was a way to continue getting in mileage and fresh air and also sharing my love for fitness & running with son. With visions of Alicia and triple jogger in my head, I reminded myself "it could be worse! um I mean better!".

Alicia - you are a super star running skirts mom - keep it up! If by chance you read this, please tell us how you do it?

Monday, September 15, 2008

This week starts the 6 week countdown to the marathon! I'm happy to report I survived my first of a few 20+ mile long runs. Unfortunately my long run partner Val had hockey mom obligations all weekend and she did her long run Friday afternoon so I was going solo for this on on Saturday. The plan was to run the rail trail again for 2 hours and than pick up the pace at the end a bit longer this week (last week I survived 5k of tempo at the end). I was absolutely dreading the long run solo - especially since the rail trail is so desolate and remote. The hubby agreed to ride his mountain bike along with me & Grandpa agreed to have a go at his first babysitting gig with the boy. (I don't know what I'd do without my family to support me though these long training hours). I did give the hubby and grandpa a free golf pass for Sunday though in exchange for the ride-along. The run itself was pretty uneventful, long & slow. My legs were feeling pretty sore from a track workout on Thursday night too. I managed to go 4 tempo miles at the end of the 2 hours slow and then 2-3 miles cooldown which brought to 21 big ones. Whew - glad that's over.

Now, onto the more important big niece Madi had her first real theatre "tryout" over the weekend. She was auditioning for a role in "The Little Mermaid" play in San Diego (she was hoping she'd land the part of Ariel). Christy took her to the tryouts Saturday which lasted for hours. I received a text message from Christy right before Madi went on stage and she said her hands were trembling and she was soo nervous as if she herself were going on stage to sing and dance for the panel. Apparently the competition was pretty tough and she was up against very talented singers and dancers of all ages. Madi had to sing a song of her choice (she chose something from Mama Mia). She did an outstanding job and also had to learn a quick dance number in 15 minutes and then come out with the group and show her stuff. The call backs were going to be posted later online. They headed home after the dance number and Christy ended up staying up until midnight (the night before her long run) until they finally posted the call back names online. Madi wasn't in the list! Gasp - the horror! Christy was dreading breaking the news with her the next day since Madi was certain she'd land the role Arial or another lead. So, to make a long sad story short and happy. The bad news was broken Sunday morning, life went on with softball games, etc.
I got a text message in the middle of the night that said "Big News". Christy had discovered that Madi's name appeared, not on the call back list, but actually on THE CAST LIST for not one, but 2 roles!!! A Singing Frog AND a Sea Creature....OH HAPPY DAY! was the message from Christy. Too funny. I'm sure when she is a famous superstar someday we will all look back and laugh about how she got her big breakout as her role as a "singing frog". The hubby and I had a huge belly laugh at the role title "frog singer", too cute! We are so proud of our budding superstar!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I just looked at the calendar yesterday and holy cats! My marathon is less than 6 weeks away. I've been training and running a lot of half-marathons, but haven't really cranked the mileage up like I should have by now. I think my longest run has been around 15-16 miles. Normally I wouldn't be having heart palpitations over this. However, this will be my first full marathon in several years and to say I'm a little nervous would be an understatement. I think I ran my last full marathon in late 2005 or early 2006 and then had to back off of the speed workouts and crazy mileage so that I could work on "project baby". I wasn't one of those lucky female runners that just (oops) turned up pregnant while they were training for their next marathon (like Christy who I refer to as "fertile myrtle"). I pretty much had to stop the long distance and competitive running and speed workouts (and eat ice cream and peanut butter) every day for lunch so that I could get my body back up to child bearing condition.

I had a chat with my coach yesterday about my concerns and the quickly approaching marathon. He reassured me that I could carefully get my mileage where it needs to be and talked me through how I needed to run my long runs. Val and I met for our long run yesterday (she was also coming off a fast half marathon last weekend). We decided to run the Oro Medonte rail trail since it's all hard packed dirt/gravel and completely flat. The only downside is that it is in the middle of nowhereville and there aren't any water stops or bathrooms along the way. Without going into too many unpleasant details, I'll just say that my body is till on PST (I just got back from California on Wednesday) and I wasn't quite ready to "do my business" before Val picked me up at 6:00 a.m. I was a little concerned knowing where we were running (in the middle of nowhereville) and knowing that the "poo fairy" was gonna arrive promptly on schedule pacific standard time (right about mile 6 or 7) so I stuffed one of my skirt pockets with Charmin extra soft just in case. I figured if I prepared for the worst, it wound't happen. (Kind of reverse-murphy's law mentality). I'll just say that that was wishful thinking and I was wrong and as Val described it - I took my running to a whole new level! Thank goodness for the dense forest. Val was giving me a hard time asking why I didn't come back out with a pocket full of tp? "pack it in, pack it out" she said. I reassured her all materials were biodegradable and then joked about our new marketing phrase for the running skirts with for gu and one for poo. Ok, gross, I know but it entertained us for at least a mile or so....alrighty then, I'm moving on from this subject.

As for the long run - we ended up running easy and slow for 2 hours and then at the end of the 2 hours, we ran 5k pretty hard. This simulates the feeling you have at the end of a marathon and helps you gage conditioning for that distance. Here are my splits for this long run workout: 8:34, 8:15, 8:29, 8:18, 8:25, 8:14, 8:20, 8:31, 8:25, 8:22, 8:31, 8:37, 8:39, 8:28, (5k - 6:54, 6:36, 6:24), cool down mile 9:15 - total mileage 18.3

Ugh - my legs were feeling so heavy and dead just like they do at the end of a marathon, but otherwise felt injury free. We were very happy to have this workout behind us. I finished up with a nice hot cup of timmy's (coffee) while sitting in my ice bath for 20 minutes or so and then a warm shower. I was feeling pretty good after the shower. I also had a nice hot epsom salt bath at the end of the day before bed and it was heavenly. They sell these awesome giant bags of eucalyptus epsom salts at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada - I recommend them if you can find them! I pour almost a whole bag in my big soaker's a minty hot fabulous almost spa-like experience.

This morning I woke up slightly stiff but otherwise feeling really great. Today is a rest day and then I'll do something easy tomorrow. We will run a similar long run again next weekend, only finishing with 6k-8k strong and keep bumping up the last portion of the run until we get to 10k fast at the end.

Now onto more important subjects - all you moms out there - when did your little ones start sleeping through the night? We had our little guy "ferberized" at 4 months. He would sleep all night until 4 or 5:00 a.m., but that all went to the wayside when he started cutting teeth. We have been traveling the last month and I have spoiled him by grabbing him and feeding him as soon as he starts fussing before he wakes up the whole house or hotel guests. Now that we are home again I'm ready to re-ferberize, but wonder if anyone else has any tips on this. The first night attempt didn't go so well - he cried for 10 minutes and wasn't calming so I walked into his room and found him sitting up in his crib (this is a new skill). So do you let them sit there and cry and will they finally lay themselves down? Or do you pick them up and settle them and try again? Please help - I really can't do this 8-9 times a night thing anymore. I'm a sleepless wreck. I am also still breastfeeding him and may have something to do with the waking. I know all my friends that have switched to formula already all have babies who sleep more. Any tips? please??!!??

Monday, September 01, 2008

What a great family running event! Our weekend started off with the Disneyland Half Marathon and 5k Health and Fitness expo which took place in the Disneyland Hotel Convention Center. We were thrilled to have our new "mini dot" polka dot athletic skirts available for customers who have been waiting for the red & white minnie mouse version of the skirt with black compression shorts underneath.

The expo was tons of fun - Christy, I and Coach Katri worked the booth in full Minnie flair, mini dot skirts, black tanks, topped off with the famous mouse ears (mine of black sequin variety). There was great energy and everyone was out having a great time at the "Greatest Place on Earth". This is the perfect marathon event to bring the whole family - disneyland theme parks for the kids (and kids at heart) and a 5k race on saturday and the 1/2 marathon Sunday morning - all on labour day you get a whole extra day for recovery and family time!

3 full days on the feet working the skirt booth at the expo leaves the legs achy and heavy so we always take our traditional pre-race ice bath to help flush out the legs. After having a fabulous traditional pre-race dinner at McCormick & Scmicks (salmon and brown rice for me), we headed back to the hotel and ro-sham-boed (sp?) on who was going to get the first ice bath? A few buckets and shopping bags of ice later Christy found her way into a splish splash bath of icy - can you see the relaxation on her face? I only regret that these photos don't have sound attached - the noises that came from her as she sat into the water were something of a cross between a moan/shreak and lamaze type breathing. Hi-larious. .

Christy carefully lowered herself into the ice bath (left) while I took the traditional method of quick immersion = less suffering and plopped right in.

We had the baby with us in the hotel room, so Christy got to experience first hand the challenges of waking up 4x night with him. Is my 9 month old they only kid out there that doesn't sleep through the night yet? Our alarm clock went of at 4:15 a.m. -ouch. The Disneyland half was scheduled to start at 6:00 a.m. nice and early to avoid the crazy heat problems that they had the previous year. For those of you that haven't heard about it - they race coordinators "black flagged" the race and told the runners their times wouldn't count, their chips wouldn't work, etc. in an attempt to get people to chill out and go easy to avoid heat problems. Here's a few shots of us waiting for the bus (we caught the last bus btw - talk about cutting in close!)

Christy & I waiting for the bus & Chisty & Katri (Tinkerbell) pre race.
We hopped off the bus and darted for the porta potties and then made our way to the first wave corral. We tried to get as close as we could to the front in hopes of getting good race positioning from the get go and have to do less maneuvering in the crowds. As we were nearing the start line the announcer "Rudy" called a runner up to the front by bib number, turns out it was his girlfriend and he brought her up with him on the platform and! It was so sweet, she said yes! Rudy does all the race announcing in the big socal & san diego running events and it was so great to hear his proposal. We kind of joked that we didn't think we were going to be starting the day off with tears. Thanks & Congrats to Rudy and his fiancee! She then hopped back into the pack as she was running the half marathon also (imagine how crazy that 13.1 miles must have been for her...euphoric!).

The race went really well except for the fact that I wanted to kill "Snow White" in the first few miles. Some clown was dressed up like snow white and veering back and forth in front of me at mile 2 and almost tripped me twice. I found myself yelling "Snow White - stop cutting people off!!" and finally made my way around him. I'm not sure if he understood english since he looked at me like I was crazy and continued his antics. So frustrating! I made a mental note not to get passed by Snow White again and held my pace. Here are my splits: 6:38, 6:30, 6:19, 6:36, 6:41, 6:36, 6:38, 6:38, 6:34, 6:26, 6:28, 7:02, 6:09. I finished in 1:26:40 - a pr for me which landed me 4th female and 1st place in my age group. I was a little disappointed that the overall awards only went 3 deep - they were the coolist gold mickey mouse trophies! But - how cool is my plaque with Micky on it!
After the race I ran back to the hotel and picked up baby in the jogger and ran back to the finish line, but unfortunately missed the award ceremony and photo op with Mickey. Christy collected my plaque for me - I told her she should have taken the photo with Mickey since nobody would really know the difference. All in all it was a really fun race, great flat course through California Adventure park, parts of Disneyland and around Annaheim Angels Stadium then back through Annaheim to Downtown Disney and the finish in front of the Disneyland Hotel. I will definitely do this race again and hopefully take the whole family next year! There were so many "mini dot" skirts in action - it was amazing and so much fun!

Post race Haagen Daaz!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

AFC Marathon

PRs all around! Woohoo. This is the second time I have run this race. I ran it a few years ago before the pregnancy and last year I ran the last 5k or so with Christy up the hill into Balboa Park.

Our day started out at the wee hour of 4:00 a.m. when our alarm clock went off. I had just put the baby back down from a mid-night feeding and snuggled back into bed. BEEP BEEP BEEP! Up again! We were on the road by 4:35 headed to the park to catch one of the buses to the startline. This year we got there in plenty of time to get a parking place and and early bus to the start line.....plenty of time to check bags, warmup, stretch and hit the "spankys" (portolets). We had a great time warming up and visiting with all the other "skirts" out there - so many customers from the expo were thrilled with their new skirts. Camopink and minidot were everywhere! It was so cool to have a minute to talk all of our skirt customers about their race plans, etc. and share "good lucks" and high fives with everyone before the race. This is the fun part about our business and we feel we are very blessed that our work and passion are one in the same.

We lined up toward the front of the pack and watched the elite runners in the "special" starting corral doing their warmup pickups and stretches. As the last 3 buses rolled in, they national anthem began...and still no Arma & Nassim (our plan was to meet at the front of the start line). I looked into the windows of the last buses rolling in wondering...hmmm - is Arma on that one? Did she make it? Next minute the gun went off and off we went! I must have blocked out the hills from the beginning....for some reason I remembered the course as being all downhill in the beginning for first 10k. But as we headed out from the start from Cabrillo Monument we had a few good climes up away from the point before the descent down into the city began. My race plan was to PR from my last marathon of 1:29:57 and make the most of the downhill miles since I knew the last 2-3 miles were uphill into Balboa park and I would most certainly be slower. It was a very challenging course with the hills and the heat and sun right in your face for most of the 13.1 miles. Here are my splits: 6:41, 6:38, 6:21, 5:56, 6:27, 6:37, 6:39, 6:37, 6:40, 6:41, 6:43, 6:45, 7:14 - finish time 1:27:42 (average pace 6:42). I am quite happy with this PR from my pre-pregnancy personal best of 1:29:15!

Here's a few shots team Running Skirts coming across the bridge into Balboa park about .5 miles from the finish line.
(Cindy coming over the bridge and running into the park across the bridge below)

Below is a great shot of Christy leading the pack of men along the finish line stretch - she also had a great pr race. Here are her splits: 7:07, 7:20, 6:46, 6:40, 7:26, 7:35, 7:35, 7:35, 7:32, 7:38, 8:20, 8:09, 8:16 - finish time 1:39:28 (average pace 7:36)

Arma even flew south for this great race! Here she is all smiles as usual looking fresh as a daisy in the home stretch. Arma also ran a PR of 1:39:57.

Arma's cousin Nassim from LA, joined Team Running Skirts on Sunday for a great PR of 1:54:24