Saturday, November 30, 2013

Foster City 10 Miler Discount Code

Just a reminder that there is a price increase tomorrow for the Foster City 10 Miler or 5k race. So if you resister tonight it's $60 for the 10 miler and $35 for the 5k plus use my promo code YOX to get an additional 10% off the race entry fee!

Register tonight to get the best price!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

San Francisco Mermaid Series 5k Race Report

Pretty much the last smile on course before it got painful

Between the Oregon/Stanford game and impending attempt at a sub 30 minute 5k, I spent the entire first full week of November sick to my stomach. I was a bundle of nerves and Oregon losing to Stanford only made me sick to my stomach and sad.

I had a couple of goals this year in terms of athletic accomplishments. One of them was to continue in the sport of triathlon and hopefully earn some PR's. I've realized that's pretty hard to evaluate in terms of triathlon since every course is different. Some sprint races are 400 meter swims, some are 400 yard some swims, some are open water and some are pool swims. While that goal was a little more difficult to judge, the one steadfast goal I had for 2013 was to earn a sub 30 minute 5k. I found my self frustrated most of the year, since tri training didn't allow me much time to work on run speed. After my last tri in October I vowed to work on running and getting faster.

The Mermaid Run was my target race to accomplish this goal. The course is flat, I have run it several times and if I wasn't able to achieve it there, I would still have couple of more opportunities before the end of the year. 11 seconds, that's what I needed to shave off of my best 5k time in order to go sub 30. 11 seconds doesn't sound like a lot, but it feel like an insurmountable amount of time when you look at the average pace difference per mile. I knew the pace I would need to maintain over the 3.1 miles to shave off those seconds and I also knew it would hurt.

Come race morning I showed up early to get my bib, say hi to friends and get a warm-up in prior to the 5k start. I spotted Heidi of Mermaid Series and went over to say hello before she got too busy announcing. This is the first year in about 3 years that I have run this race without a group of girls from Mini-Mermaid Running Club, so it was weird to be here with my own personal goals. I told Heidi my goal and when she asked how I felt about it my response was full of self doubt. To which Heidi gave me this look and asked me the question again. This time I responded "Yes, I'm going to do it".

I got in line for the race early. I know that there were thousands of mermaids racing today as well as a bunch of mini mermaids, I wanted to run my own race and not get frustrated dodging other runners. I wasn't that jerk who lined up right at the front but I was the jerk who lined up a couple of rows behind the start line. While I'm trying to stay warm Heidi announces over the loud speaker that my goal for the day is to go sub 30. I look at her and start shaking my head "Nooooo, don't tell everyone!" She laughs, she knows  she is holding me accountable for my goals by telling everyone what they are. Shortly after that, she sent us off to earn our goals.

The first mile felt great. I was very conscious of my pace and running my own race. I needed to be focused on me and not worry about others around me. I had lined myself up well and was able to pretty much run my own line without interference. The first mile went great. After the one mile marker I started to think about trying to run the most direct line I could so that I would not over the run the course and miss my goal because of that. I did my best, but they had us on the street, on the path, back into the parking lot, I was trying to be really careful.

I blasted past the aid station, I didn't need water and slowing down to take some could also cost me my goal. I know it sounds crazy, but we are talking seconds and I didn't want to be short of my goal by 2 seconds. I was ecstatic to see the turn around. Halfway there! My pace was good but I could tell that I was running the course slightly long. There was a lot of motivational self talk going on. I knew I couldn't slow down, I had to maintain my pace, I kept telling myself that. I didn't need to run faster but I did need to maintain. Around mile two was when the pain really started to kick in. "You knew it was going to hurt" I told myself. "Heidi told everyone your goal, you can't not achieve it!" What I really kept repeating over and over was "Do it for Sydney and Kylie." Sydney would later ask me why I said this to myself and I tried to explain to the best of my ability that I never ask them to do anything that I myself would not do. So when I tell them to work hard at practice if they want to pop their times, I have to do the same thing.

 With about half a mile to go my form was terrible, I sounded liked I was dying (yes I could hear myself over my music and it was that bad) but my pace stayed on track. As we approached the finish line chute (which wraps all around the expo and seems unbearably long) I started to sprint. This was it, it was all or nothing, I knew that if I didn't sprint here I would not make my goal. I must have passed 7 or 8 people in the chute who misjudged my determination. As I crossed the finish line and tried not to puke on the nice volunteers I glanced at my watch and saw 29:54. I wanted to cry but I was desperate to find out my official time. It was my official time that counted and I refused to celebrate until I was certain I had reached my goal. Thankfully my prayers were answered when I received a text message with my official race time of 29:54!

I wanted to cry, I wanted to jump from the rooftops and sing, I wanted to curl up in the grass and catch my breath. It's hard to put into words how badly I wanted this and how scared I was to try and go after it. I know I have said it before but I feel like most of us don't set hard goals for fear of failure. I don't think I was ever more afraid of failure as I was in the days coming up to this race. Part of me is still in awe that I got out of my head long enough to just do it and not listen to the doubts.

I guess that means I'll have to come up with new goals for next year, gasp!

Official stats

3.14 miles in 29:54 (I did run it long)
15/111 AG

Monday, November 18, 2013

Nor Cal 10-Miler Series

Join me on January 12, 2014 for the inaugural Nor Cal 10 Miler Series in Foster City. The folks at Corrigan Sports (Oakland Running Festival) are launching a series of three races in Northern California for 2014, if you do all three you'll earn a commemorative medal to mark your accomplishment.

Corrigan Sports has selected three bay area cities along the historic Route 101 to host the series. Foster City will host the first event, the second event will be in the North Bay in May and the third event will be in the South Bay in August.

You can choose from either the 10 mile distance or the 5k. I will be running the 5k so come out and join me!

Prices increase on December 1st, but all of my loyal readers can receive a 10% discount by using the code "YOX".

If you have run the ORF then you know what a great race the folks at Corrigan put on, you can count on great runner amenities, awesome race premium that you will want to wear and a great post race party.

I hope to see you out there!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

MVP Swimathon

As we were nearing the end of the kids fall swimming season I wanted to have a party or do something fun to mark the last day of practice for the kids. We had roughly 40 kids who swam the beautiful fall season at Moraga Valley Pool. In the past we've never done anything to mark the end of the season and it seemed like we should celebrate the efforts of our children who loyally swam every day after school through November. Another parent suggested the idea of a swimathon, so off I went to plan something on a whim.

MVP alum and Olympic Gold Medalist Heather Petri has been a long time supporter of our pool and community. One of the fabulous organizations that she serves as an ambassador for is Right to Play. I reached out to the folks in the San Francisco office and told them about my idea to have a swimathon and that we would like to have Right to Play be our beneficiary. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly they responded to me and how excited they were for our event. They arranged a conference call for us to chat and work out logistics of setting up fundraising pages and to make sure I had everything I needed to move forward.

I really had no idea how the event would be received or if we would manage to raise any money for such a great organization, but I had high hopes that it would be fun for the kids and in the end we could make some sort of positive impact for all involved.

Yesterday at 3:45 pm the kids and parents started to arrive and it looked like it was going to be a great turn-out.
Heather talking to swimmers about Right to Play and their mission

Our swimmers

Getting ready on deck
Swimmers at the wall
Mixing it up with some breaststroke
Hamming it up for the camera

Sisters circle swimming 
Olympians get pool side service of snacks 

How many more do I have to swim to win the candy?

Coaches and masters swimmers also enjoy pool side service

At the end of the night I was so thankful for our MVP community of swimmers who came out and swam over 2500 laps to raise money for a great cause. Thank you to all of our friends and family who helped us raise over $700! Many thanks to Heather Petri for swimming with and cheering on all of our swimmers to help everyone meet their goals.

I am so lucky to be part of such a great community of families at Moraga Valley Pool!

Final stats for the Yox girls:

Sydney - 134 laps for 3350 yards
Kylie - 66 laps for 1650 yards
Meredith - 100 laps for 2500 yards