A blog about Trace and her races.


My Next Long Training Run: San Juan 50k

I am starting to get restless.  My last race was Avalon and that was in January.  I originally planned on running Ray Miller 50 three weeks after Avalon but I just didn’t feel like it was the right thing to do. My body felt pretty beat up and then my knee felt sore.  Instead of forcing a race into my schedule, Andy Noise suggested that I plan on Leona Divide, a 50-miler at the end of April instead. This would give me ample time to train and get my head back in racing mode.

Since then, I have been following Andy’s weekly training schedule as much as I can, swapping my weekday runs mostly with elliptical hours and doing my best to get in my long runs on the weekend. This swap was mostly due to that knee thing I was referring to earlier. Luckily I am feeling much, much better.  Thank God. Thank you Andy.

Although I am feeling better and have had some pretty decent weekend runs in lately, I feel like I need to run a race before Leona.  I need that confidence booster to assure myself that I can do it. I mean, know that I can do it, but I want to go into the race confidently. I need that assurance that no one else can give me.  I am going to run Baz’s San Juan 50k this coming weekend. Nothing crazy, just a 50k to get into that needed mindset.  I am calling it a long training run. Just gonna listen to my body and run.  I know everything will work out, it always does.

Cleveland National Forest from Blue Jay Campground -- I cannot wait to get back out there!

Cleveland National Forest from Blue Jay Campground — I cannot wait to get back out there this weekend!

My Struggles with Balance (Diet)

I am fairly positive that many of you out there struggle with balancing your lives in a healthy manner. I for one, find it extremely difficult and that is in ALL aspects of my life. I guess I have always been that way. And it doesn’t seem to get any easier as I get older, even after assuming I would eventually figure it out as time progressed. Not. Even. Close.  Thankfully, I do get a little frustrated with this “cycle” of putting my all into one thing and then spotting the areas that have been suffering. But since here I mostly want to talk about running, I will relate this post specifically to that subject.

It is no secret that I love running. Let me say it again, I LOVE RUNNING! I love running so much that I forget about all the other important things that actually afford me this privilege, the most serious of which is my health.  It does seem like a no-brainer doesn’t it?  That if I am healthy (body, mind and spirit), I will have the world at my fingertips, or rather in my case, the running trails at my toe tips.  My struggles of balance fall between two major categories: diet and cross-training. I didn’t make room for either of them. I just ran and hoped that would be enough. It clearly wasn’t.  Right now I just want to talk about the diet part and I am working on being more balanced, doing whatever I can do to improve my overall health (most important and not related to running) and to become the best runner I can possibly be. Being the best runner won’t happen from just running alone, it will require a better diet that will boost my immunity, aid in recovery and ensure I am out there somewhere on the trails. (more…)

I'm back!

Hooray, I am running again! Four weeks of running with once a small hiccup and I am elated. Wow, I was out for 12 weeks and that felt like forever. Any day that I am unable to run truly feels like too long.  My first week back I was shocked to see how all the aqua running and spinning kept me fit. Of course I knew it would help to some extent but you know how you sometimes can’t really tell if something really works but you have to assume? Like when your foot hurts and you decide to buy new running shoes and when you test them out, your foot doesn’t don’t hurt anymore? Obviously you think the shoes did the trick but did you consider that you had taken a small break or did you count the numerous times you iced?  Well, I make those kind of assumptions all the time but with this recent experience, I finally have proof, no doubt in my mind.

By the end of my first week back I already had upset my coach. She sent my workouts and for my long run on Sunday, she wasn’t specific about my pace – she simply said, “9 miles 7:30 or faster”. Well, to me it was an opportunity to see what I could do without getting in trouble.  During that run I kept peeking at my pace and thinking there must be a mistake, there is now way I just ran a 6:36 sixth mile. By the end of the run, I had averaged a 6:56 pace and couldn’t have been happier. Well, that was until my coach found out!  Coach was very upset, acknowledging that she wasn’t very specific but happy to see where my current fitness level is. Since then, I get numerous text messages from her telling me to be patient so I don’t get injured again. You got it coach!

I am hoping my progress reports will continue to be good – cross training will continue to be a part of my program (for life) and I will be spending the next few days planning my 2012 race schedule.






10/10-10/16 Training Review

So after returning from Yosemite, I thought I would try running again, assuming my foot would let me. The first week 10/03-10/9 went really good. I ran four times that week without pain. Then this past week we added a few more runs/miles that really proved I was getting better.  On Monday I was supposed to run 5 miles at 8:00 pace but I was so focused on my foot that I ended up running a little too fast, around 7:30 pace. Coach wasn’t too happy about that but I felt a little better knowing that all this cross training did help keep me in shape considering that was a pretty easy run. I did promise that I would pay more attention moving forward. Besides running, I was also able to get some aquarunning intervals in too, which I am starting to long for (what the heck is wrong with me?).

I also discovered something really interesting last week too, my foot pain went away but the tightness in my calf was still there and by the second run that week, I felt it move up to my hamstring and lower back on the same side. I am hoping that this is the reason I was having pain in the first place because to me, it seems a lot more manageable. I tried to get on the foam roller a little more often and definitely need to incorporate some massages into my schedule. I have to admit though, this whole running life is very expensive, from gear, gym/pool fees, physical therapy, supplements and now maybe massages? Somethings have to suffer and I just don’t know which things to cut first.

Anyway, I hope I have a post next week discussing further running progress — my fingers are crossed!


ROLF – Not a Laughing Matter

I know when you read the title of this blog, you are probably thinking of the internet acronym that we sometimes use while texting or commenting electronically but this is ROLF, a physical therapy technique invented by Ida Rolf which is basically soft tissue manipulation, or a way to reorganize connective tissue (this is totally new to me but there is a lot of online info available).

I had the pleasure of experiencing Rolfing this past Tuesday during track practice and let me tell you, it was no laughing matter. My coach had arranged this session for me because you may or may not know that I have not attempted to run one time since the ET Midnight Half Marathon August 13th (that story/update to come).  I dropped out of the race around mile 6, leaving my victory for someone else and have been limping every since. (more…)

Boston Marathon 2011 – Been There, Done That (Kinda)

My Boston race experience was not what I expected and it went something like this:

Start. Run for 40 minutes. Walk. Walk. Walk. Walk. *Smile* (camera). Bar stop. Walk. Walk. Run (there’s another camera). Walk. *Kiss* (Wellesley) Walk. *Smile* (camera). Walk. Walk. Walk. *complain* Walk. Walk some more and finally, FINISH! (more…)

Boston Bound

Boston is literally just around the corner and I just decided last week that I would suck up all my anger and frustration and just go and enjoy my time there without running. This was a hard decision but like everything in life, time makes you less sensitive and eventually you realize that whatever you are going through will not last forever. So there.
I had recently asked all you if you thought I could still wear all the Boston gear I bought without actually racing and the overall consensus was “YES.”  I qualified to run it and I deserve to wear it proudly. I dare you to say something mean. 😉 I loved reading everyone’s opinions and it was obvious that we are all very passionate about that opinion too. I finally decided that I would return all the stuff (jacket and two pair of shorts) I purchased since I ordered them online through adidas.com.  When I went to grab the stuff to package, I realized I ripped off the tag of one pair of shorts so I guess I am keeping those – I must have been excited when I tried them on or something. 🙂 I think I made the right decision – I will have an extra $100 in my account PLUS I am going to get a long sleeve race shirt when I pick up my bib anyway. That turned out well.

Now that I know I am not running and no longer have to worry about “resting” before the race, mind has shifted to all the things I want to do while in Boston. Besides visiting my long lost cousin for a few days, I want to be a tourist and have been accumulating a long list of things to do. I am just starting to put the list together and I would love to get your suggestions!  I will be flying out on Friday morning and returning Tuesday night.

Now it’s time for me to pack. I hate packing more than anything else. I don’t know why but I think I don’t like having to commit to what I am gonna wear. I like to have all the options in my closet available and that can’t happen – at least not with all these increased bag-check rates. Today I bought my very first suitcase simply because I hate packing and usually just toss stuff into duffle bags and head out. Nothing too expensive and I think it is bright enough to immediately recognize when coming around the conveyor belt.  Right?

How old am I again? Oh, yeah...13!

Also, I am trading my LA Marathon racing shirt to a fellow DM’r (Michael P.) from Singapore. He is swapping me for a racing singlet – really excited to get this singlet and glad to get rid of that dreadful race shirt! Michael – I will ship it out tomorrow!

Anyway, I have so many things and have to get offline soon. I am so excited for everyone that is racing on Monday and look forward to hearing everyone’s stories. I am sure I will have my own to tell and can’t wait to get there.

Still no running and other stuff

My longest run since LA Marathon. 😦

I’m back! Ha – back to blogging, not running. Here is a quick update to my current non-running situation:  Rest. Rest. And more rest. That is about all I am doing in the running department.  Believe it or not, I feel great when I am not running – no aches, no pains. It is when I try to run again or after therapy that I am sore for a few days after.  Last doctors appointment I just tried to get to the bottom of this issue and discussed this in length with my doctor. I told him that I can put all these races and non-running days behind me but I need a reason and I need to know I am going to be OK. Not knowing is driving me nuts. I mean, I thought I would have been running by now but I can’t. I tried running last week (see purple watch photo) and got in nearly 2 minutes in before I called it a day. Nothing too painful but just not ready to go on.  I brought up the MRI and he said that it won’t really help to get an MRI because of where I am having issues and that it won’t really show anything. He did suggest an x-ray which I actually forgot about until now. *eep*  At the end of the day he told me NOT to worry, I am improving a lot but I need more rest. My injury is more severe than we had anticipated and of course LA didn’t help.  My left sacroiliac joint is jammed and my pelvis is not moving well.  For the first time in weeks I was able to hear a popping noise in that area while stretching – the good popping, don’t worry.  I felt a lot of relief with that little noise believe it or not.  All in all I am trying to stay healthy and not planning any races just yet. One thing at a time right?

During this down time I have been occupying my time with pilates at Yogaworks. I bought a Groupon and I am really enjoying it. I go only twice a week so far but this week I am going to step on the gas a little and do more cardio so I don’t feel like I am running out of gas!  I have also gone to the gym and have lifted some (light) weights along with some minor cardio. None of these things seem to bother my condition and doc said I can continue to do anything as long as it doesn’t cause pain.  The other day at the gym I was kind of surprised to see all my muscles I was when I was lifting weights – I haven’t been to the gym in such a long time but all this running really toned my arms, quads and even abs. I got sad for a second when I thought that all my hard work was about to go down the drain from this little break but then I got over it really fast the next time I was at pilates and my abs were burning from all those abs exercises.  I realized that I had started getting into yoga a while back and then backed off for some reason – I probably ran out of time or something but now I am liking it again and hope to continue in this direction.  I picked up these cute seamless bras and shorts perfect for yoga/pilates — very comfortable. I realized I didn’t really have any workout gear besides running and I had bought one bra before and really loved it. Super comfy and really cute – only $10-15 depending on style.

I don't recognize the brand (Idea USA) but super cute and comfy.

Anyway, about to head out soon – going to take my first ballet lesson every with Jen L. I am really excited. I always wanted to take classes when I was very young but I wasn’t allowed to.  This should be pretty funny and I will ask her to record a portion of it for giggles.  And now I have an excuse to wear legwarmers! YES!

Thanks for all your nice messages and words of encouragement and please run some miles for me too!


It took me forever to extract this Clif box from my mailbox. Sheesh!

A Two-Week Vacation Can't Hurt Anyone

I am taking two weeks completely off with zero running. It’s the only right thing to do right now. Taking baby running steps is only taking me back a few more and getting me nowhere. Boston is for the most part not happening unless miraculously something happens and changes in the other direction.

Coach and I discussed this and decided to put it out of my mind and not attempt to make it up (right away) by running a different so soon. Step one is to get better and the next step is setting shorter-termed goals with shorter distances.

Boston is not completely out of my mind though and I didn’t tell my coach this.  Boston is a dream we all have as marathoners. I realized that I will hate every moment running Boston if I am not going to run it fast. Maybe you don’t agree but I will never forget the moment during LA when I stopped and how I felt as the slower pace groups passed me.  I wasn’t tired at all – I was trapped in this injured body and couldn’t do anything to change that. Heartbreaking.  I can’t imagine running Boston just to finish and still crack a smile and enjoy the amazing experience of being there. Everyone is telling me how positive I am – I don’t feel that way all the time. I have these up and down bouts of emotion that are driving me crazy. Like super crazy.  I will run Boston if I think it is safe and I am not injured…it is the only way.  So if I do, I do, and if I don’t then I don’t. It is not the end of the world (although it feels like it in some weird way).  I can always cancel my hotel, get a credit for my Virgin Airlines flight, sell my Redsox tix and sell or trade all the Boston gear that I already bought if necessary. That last part is funny and I will never buy race branded gear before I get to that starting line!  So if you are running Boston and I don’t, I have some nice Boston gear in a size small that I am willing to barter with. J

Anyway, for now get better. Then train for 5ks and 10ks. Get some PRs and then do some half marys. My next marathon will be in November. Well, I hope that I will be able to run a marathon in November. I am starting to learn that with marathons whether training for them or during the races themselves, are so unpredictable – anything can happen.

Sometimes I actually do think a little clearly during this whole fiasco and I do think that increasing those shorter distances will only improve my marathon time and maybe that is what I should have done first. Don’t know but I am up for it.  Don’t tell me I told you so. I am constantly beating myself up as it is trying to figure out what happened.

What the heck is it?

I am not gonna lie. I am so frustrated. I am in soooo much pain.  Something happened to me, don’t know when, don’t know how.  Seems like I might have a slipped disc or an issue with my sciatic. Not sure if that is good news compared to thinking I had some problem with my butt.  Whatever it is, it is one of the most painful things I have experienced!  Thankfully, I am started to feel better today – still in a lot of pain but walking with less of a limp.

Following the race on Sunday, I went back to the doctor (chiro) on Tuesday for some more adjustments and a lot of prodding to figure out where and the heck I really hurt. Oddly enough, I can’t quite pinpoint it.  We did some pretty intensive Active Release treatment, Class-4 Laser and Ultrasound and that left me quite exhausted.  The only real information I left with was to rest for a week.

In speaking to my coach I told her what was going on in my mind. For the most part, and in truth, I am ready to deal with the fact that I might or might not run Boston. Do I really, really care? No, not really.  I want this sub-3 and if Boston will delay that then I’d rather wait.  Our hopes are high, I am resting/recovering, trying not to eat the whole refrigerator and enjoy some long deserved time off.  More than anything I am frustrated. For one, I listened, learned and was patient and yet this had to happen right around showtime.  Right now I am not talking Boston, I am going no matter what, but I don’t want to talk about it too much and consume my mind with what-ifs.  Deep down though, I want it.

Anyway, enough about running. It is definitely not my life (although it does make it a little funner)! 😉

So, I moved about a month ago to a new place and I haven’t really had time to settle into my new space. Yesterday I unpacked one of the last two boxes and I started thinking about my next project. I simply cannot not do anything, I have to keep busy and I have to have a plan or I will go crazy. Something to work on I know…  This past weekend I told my boyfriend that I wanted to refresh my Spanish speaking skills. I have a lot of friends that speak a lot of Spanish and I think it would be nice to converse with them in a language that I love and lost while studying Hebrew.  Now when I speak Spanish, I accidentally say certain things in Hebrew – all in the same sentence!  My friends are probably thinking, “That is not Spanish, what the heck is she saying!”  I don’t bother to mention it is another language…I probably should so they won’t think my Spanish is super horrible. HAHA. I am not fluent in Hebrew though – I know about 500-700 Hebrew words and phrases and my accent is pretty incredible.  One day I hope to know several languages, I find them so interesting. Anyway, I look forward to this – it’s also an excuse to bust out my note cards, markers, pens, and notebooks. I love all that stuff.

Besides that, I am going to continue to work on the running group logo/website and of course some sort of craft project.  I will keep you posted…I KNOW you are so interested in that. JK

Tuesday's surprise at Trader Joe's -- KUMQUATS! Yummmmm

Strawberries the size of my (man)hands! Score!

Not exactly Fun Dip and not too fun but this Israeli brand was way cute. Someone brought this to my office today in hopes to cheer me up.

LA Marathon Recap


What a crazy marathon!  I knew that going into the race there was a chance that I might have that pain that I had been complaining the week before the race.  I tried to stay positive but that could only get me so far.

I had so many crazy experiences in one race – it would take me forever to get it all out in this post so I will just get to the point.  First, I’d like to say thanks to everyone that encouraged me before/during/after the race.  This was by far one of the worst race experiences both mentally and physically. This makes the stress fracture pain seem like a joke.

The evening before the race my coach called me and told me not to attempt a 3-hour marathon dealing with these crazy forecasted weather conditions and the recent pains I had been experiencing. “No problem coach.” LOL The plan was to run sub-7 until the half and then pick up gradually. The sub-7 plan was perfect up until a little past the half – I felt like I was in great shape.  The pain in my hip/butt/back hurt from the first step and unfortunately I knew that it was a matter of how long I could endure it.

The morning weather conditions kind of threw me off a little. It was chilly, not too cold and I made a last minute decision to leave my warm Nike jacket in bag-check because I knew that on a whim I would throw it on the street when I felt a little too warm and I don’t really want to give up a jacket that I have held onto for 10 years.  Luckily a friend brought me a long sleeve top and a rain poncho to use and stay warm. I can’t thank her enough because looking back, the poncho was one of the only things that kept me semi-protected from the rain and wind.  Thanks Ashley! XO

The calm before the storm!

After the hill at 1st and Grand, a lot of runners began to strip themselves of their warm clothes and ponchos which makes sense just getting over that hill and feeling a little heated. I also took of my poncho but I heard a guy say, “I’d hold on to that if I were you,” so I balled it up and tucked it into my waistband.  Smart move, good advice!  Around mile 5 it started pouring and I put it back on and never took it off again during the race.

Around mile 13 I decided that I needed to ease off the gas and walk to avoid any additional injuries but I couldn’t stop immediately (I have to admit). It was so humiliating to stop in front of cheering spectators – I felt like a total quitter. I slowed my pace for an additional 3 miles before I realized that I shouldn’t do that so I took my first walking step at around mile 17 just passed the Concern Foundation booth.  Immediately as I stopped, I let out a crybaby kind of cry and someone was there immediately to comfort me – my boyfriend. He was running 7:30 splits and was able to catch me as I fell off after 13.  He was very concerned and didn’t want to leave me. I sort of sucked in my cry and asked how he felt, he said he was feeling great so I told him to leave and chase that PR.  I later found out that he felt so bad and couldn’t get over leaving me. There was nothing he could have done for me at that point and I had no idea what was in store for me later.

Me and Nyron at mile 9 before things fell apart.

When I stopped, I really thought that a 10-mile walk wouldn’t be that bad but I soon realized that was not the case because I was not moving very well and the cold temperatures were making me completely stiff all over.  Once I hit Santa Monica near Century City, I was barely moving. I could barely shuffle and finally, I could barely walk.

Getting into the VA Hospital area, I realized that 5 miles would take me about 2.5 hours at the rate I was going and I literally stopped kneeled over and cried. I stopped three or four times and finally, upon realizing that the huge tent around the corner was NOT a medical tent, I thought I was going to hyperventilate. I was so cold and shivering – my jaw was about to lock, I had bitten the heck out of my tongue with my molars from all the chattering, my back was tightening up (lower back and in between my shoulders) when Jon Li from LA Roadrunners caught up to me and walked with me for what seemed like ¾’s of a mile.  He couldn’t have helped me at a more critical time, really.  I had nothing in me; I couldn’t see a way out of this disaster.  He helped push me forward and helped me get my breathing under control, literally walking me through breathing steps all the way to San Vicente. Before he left, I had to tell him that I was OK and that I would make it to the finish.  I can’t thank him enough. Thank you Jon!

The rain never died down and although I only had four miles by the time I was on San Vicente, I wasn’t really getting anywhere. I must have looked like a zombie. I could only put one foot right in front of the other, I didn’t look around, or ahead, I just looked down now stopping every 100 meters or so to regroup.  Around mile 22, I saw a Whole Foods market so I headed over there and got under the awning. I asked a spectator if I could use his phone and I called my boyfriend assuming he had finished and could rescue me.  I left the Whole Foods before I realized that could have bought a sweatshirt to try and stay warm. A little later I spotted a Lululemon and I was in a zone to get in that store. I asked a guy to help me get inside and I just handed the clerk my credit card and asked her to help get me something warm. I ended up leaving with a $106.00 sweatshirt and again was on my way.  I remember leaving excited and then immediately disappointed to find myself freezing again. I couldn’t believe that I made it that far without it!

My breaking point happened when I spotted a big mile marker realizing it was NOT mile 25 but mile 24! Oh no!  I was completely demoralized. Mentally I thought I could go the last 1.2 miles and everyone kept trying to encourage me by saying, “you can do it, you are almost there…” I heard it so much that I lost track of my distance and I knew that there was no way I could push at that slow pace for the remaining distance.  A woman had noticed me stopping and attempting to go again without much success and asked me to consider sitting in a cop car to get warm. As I finally agreed to this, some gentlemen approached the car and invited me into his home with his family. They had been watching the marathon all morning and by this time, the clock on my watch indicated that I had been out there for nearly 5 hours! Almost immediately after noticing this, the watch battery died.

Once inside, I was offered dry clothes, breakfast pizza, water, hot tea and coffee. I shyly said no to most offers as I felt I was intruding enough already.  Slowly but surely I started to relax and my nightmare turned into a very pleasant moment of appreciation from their generosity. They really saved my day. At that point, I was no longer upset or disappointed, I was so thankful.  It was a touching moment for me. I called my boyfriend again and waited for him and my friends to come get me. As I waited I enjoyed my coffee, watched part of Superman and was handed a laptop so I could read about the men’s winner who had ran an unbelievable record time.

Once I was picked up, the day continued with post race celebrations at the Viceroy hotel. It was nice to see Angel (Happy Birthday) and Adrian before my group settled down for the evening with nice food, drinks and better conversations. It was nice to be together again.

I can’t say thank you enough – I received so many emails, texts and voicemails yesterday and today. Shame on me for not posting or updating sooner but I felt like I was hit by a bus this morning when I woke up.  I shouldn’t have gone to work but I did and I think that helped get me through the day, staying focused and distracted. Thanks to Janese for bringing me a change of clothes including the blanket that was used as a sarong!

My workout scheduled for today was to walk for 20 minutes and managed to get in .68 miles.  Tomorrow I go back for PT with the chiropractor and I think I still have enough time for Boston.  Oddly enough, I am excited about LA Marathon next year after this year’s experience and running a smart half.  I really feel confident and less stressed about those hills. It wasn’t as bad as it was last year, assuming it was from staying reserved early in the race.

Click here for my Garmin splits.

Interesting quote from Wesley Korir after finishing the race:

Two-time defending champion Wesley Korir, who had set the race record of 2:08:24 in 2009, finished fourth in 2:13:23. He said his legs gave out at the 21st mile.

”First of all, I’d like to thank God that I’m still alive,” said Korir, smiling. “I thought it was the end of my life.”

Glad to know us “average” runners weren’t the only ones thinking this way!

Congratulations to Dom, Jen L., Jen F., Paul, Adrian, Angel, Ashley, Teresa, Maria and everyone else who finished and powered through!

Jackpot at the LA Marathon Expo

I totally prepared for this photo ahead of time by wearing a yellow headband - can't you tell?

I can’t believe how crazy things seem to get!  I had a billion things to do today and I didn’t get any real food in me until around 3:00 pm – talk about feeling super aggravated!  The first stop was the expo to pick up my bib.  Dom and I quickly navigated around there rather quickly after picking up some LA Marathon gear before heading over to the USATF booth to renew my membership (I think being a member is a good way to support one of the sports I love).  We had to leave rather quickly because Dom needed to study for an exam and I still needed to see my doctor one last time before the race. We checked into the hotel and I left Dom to head to the Westside to see my doc.


Apparently I am "Zenzational"

I can’t even describe what kind of day I had today. It was so bad on so many levels but at the end of the day I tried and tried to focus on being positive and here I am typing this without stress…YAY

Literally I woke up this morning barely able to walk. My left butt cheek felt like it was being kicked with every step I took. Talk about pain! I started the day knowing I had to chance being seen by my coach’s doctor with such short notice. I already had a back up plan of seeing another doctor if that didn’t come through. I really wanted to go to her coach since he works with a lot of athletes (he is a chiropractor).  It wasn’t until about 2 pm that he got back to me and told me I would have to meet him at his house for treatment.  Once there, he did several test and immediately found that my left foot and ankle were jammed and that the extreme pain I was feeling would need to be treated with with an Active Release massage. My left pelvis (just left to the sacrum) was not very mobile – kind of jammed too. That butt pain could possibly be the sciatic but my I was adjusted and I was also treated with a Class 4 laser and then taped.  I left feeling a little better but I have a lot of confidence in what he did and what he will do again on Sat. when I see him. I also know that I can’t control everything that is going on. Preparing for the best…and doing the least until race day.

Today I could finally get the carbs back in me so I did it at lunch because I was about to keel over with external pain and internal emotional roller coasters. It felt like I could not have one more thing weigh me down without puking, crying or both!  I sat at the table for lunch and I wasn’t hungry at all yet I knew I had to get some food in me so I forced the food down brown rice, breaded and fried salmon with a salad. Not sure if I ever felt down and out of energy from depletion (except during track when I was only able to run two of the 3 x 1 mile splits at 5:52 before deciding against the final one) and I don’t recall feeling the boost. I think all the distractions of pre-race jitters and then the pain completely removed any thoughts about it away from me. If you ask me if it was hard, the answer now would be no – it actually was the easiest part of these 20 weeks!

I have to say that I have so many supporters. I am so lucky!  I guess my jitters were a little too obvious yesterday because someone brought me a gift that looked like it had peaches in it and told me that it was supposed to be a post-race gift but it looked like I needed it much sooner.  It was a gift box from Whole Foods with all kinds of relaxing stuff that I should probably use ASAP.

Apparently I need to relax...just a little.

Oooh-la-la. Fancy.

Anyway, my BF came up to stay with me until the race to help me and I really appreciate and need it!  I am so lucky to be surrounded by all of you who constantly remind me that life gets in the way, running is not everything but yet you do everything to help make that running experience amazing as ever! THANKS AGAIN!

Two full more days of hope…

I can't wait to eat a donut!

On my way to track practice, I couldn't help but notice all the signage for the marathon! It is going to be a zoo out here!

So this week I thought I would really worry about carb-depleting but that is not really bothering me too much.  I am surprised, really. Anyway, yesterday I had a track workout – I needed to run three one mile repeats at a pace faster than 6:00 per mile and I was only able to get through one. I think I may have been able to do it but mentally I couldn’t force myself to do it. I am really, really distracted and it is weighing me down.  After the workout I spoke to my coach and she told me that I really need to relax because worrying and stressing over this race will in turn exhaust me of valuable energy.  I also told her I wasn’t so sure I liked the idea of having V run with me for the first half to help keep me on pace. I don’t think I am ready for that just yet and I have my Garmin to keep me on track. I wouldn’t mind having someone for the second half of the race but oh well.  Luckily she was very understanding and told me it was completely up to me – this is MY race, whatever I want.  I will let her know by Friday but right now I don’t think I will have V run with me (even though that is a VERY nice gesture).  I felt really good after speaking to her and today I felt just fine. Sometimes a little pep talk is all you need.

This is the third day of this diet and I am not only staying away from carbs, I am staying away from most junk that I would normally eat like pastries, candy, Dr. Pepper, etc.  I think that is a good thing – sometimes I get carried away and eat so much crap and then make an excuse that I can do that since I run so many miles…BLAH BLAH.  Yesterday at track I was speaking to L and I told her that I can’t wait to eat carbs to that I could have a donut. She laughed and said that was actually fat and not a carb. We had a good laugh but I really can’t wait to have one! I am a donut fanatic!



I am still deciding on what I am going to wear and a few more possibilities have crept in which now include a cute running skirt I picked up at Gap Body and the Concern Foundation (click here for more info) racing singlet. I didn’t really want to be branded but I may just pick these two items and be done with it already. I bought a pair of Nike and Mizuno shorts too and I have already ran in both and still wasn’t definite that I loved them enough to race in them.

I also have a new annoying pain in my left butt-cheek – surely related to the sore calf, etc. I believe it is my piriformis muscle. I think I am just really tense and need more stretching. I am going to get ANOTHER massage tomorrow and have that area worked on.  There will be a lot of foam rolling going on in my room later.  I wore a few Salonpas patches on my butt and I think it is really helping today.  Anyway, hopefully it will be OK and I will get to rest after LA for a bit which will be a big help too.

Excited to meet some friends at Buca Di Beppo on Friday so we can all share our racing experiences leading up to the race including any fears and excitement. It seems like we have been training forever and the day is FINALLY upon us!  It will be nice to know we are ALL going through this together. 

Lastly, I won’t be able to post my detailed workouts anymore on Dalymile but I will still be around and will still stay in touch. I will try to update my blog regularly and would be happy to let you know when a new one is posted.  If you want to be notified, please send me an email to trace@traceraces. Also, if you were following my training and are interested in hiring a coach, let me know. My coach is awesome and always available.

Week 20 of 20: The Countdown

I want to look this happy after this year's race!

The countdown begins. It seems like that timer has been ticking in my head for quite some time and it is exhausting. I keep trying to analyze why I am such a freakazoid about this race and no matter what excuse I find I guess it is just because I expect a lot from me. I wouldn’t try for a 3:00:00 marathon in 2011 if I didn’t think I had it in me, I am just nervous. The biggest reason that I feel anxious about it unlike last year when I was doing the 12/12 is because I didn’t have any pressure and if I had a bad race, I could try again the next month. If I learned anything, I don’t want to run just any marathon anymore, they need to be pretty darn important to put my life and body on that schedule.  Besides doing LA and Boston in March and April, I won’t get near another until November (more to come about this later) but will instead work on my speed and try to get some quicker PRs in 10ks and 5ks.  I have yet to discuss this part with my coach but I am sure she will agree since she didn’t even want me to run Boston so close after LA. Boston was a go this year no matter what anyone said. I want this experience and I don’t know where I will want to be in 2012.

Today my coach and I more or less finalized my race day plans. I say more or less because I have THE plan (Plan A) and then I have Plan B and C. She was adamant about having other plans ready because she said you can’t every really predict race conditions.  My goal for 2011 is to break 3:00:00 but I don’t really know when and where it will happen.  In the reality of things, it is a big leap to jump from 3:16:16 to 2:59:59 so I have to be ready to do it or do it later this year.  Right now I also don’t think taking 8 seconds off 7:00 miles will be hard but that again is not really that easy when you start doing the math. With that said, I have been waiting to hear the verdict of what my racing plans will be and now I know. Plan A for the first half of the race will include 7:00 splits and try to make my move from there, picking it up gradually.  Gradually. This pace for the entire distance will put me at 3:03:00 so any amount of seconds per mile will get that time down even further.  Plan B and C I don’t even want to get into and I am not trying to think about them because I don’t want to immediately jump into another plan in the race when and if I start feeling bad.  I am afraid that when the going gets tough I might tell myself it is OK  to go there because in a way they are part of the plan. Must not go there unless I absolutely need to.  I will be doing my typical track workout warm-up which includes a two mile jog, specific drills and 6×100 strides to get my heart rate up.  I will also have my training partner run with me for the first half so I don’t have to think about my times or splits, I will just have to decide what to do once I am at the half. Additionally, knowing the dreadful course, especially at the beginning I asked what happens if 7:00 seems to fast? Basically it is up to me to slow down a little knowing I have a lot of time to make it up but I don’t like the sound of making up too much time. I have enjoyed almost all my previous marys because I trained at MRP and didn’t think they were too hard. I hope I say that after Sunday. Let’s see.

I know going into the race anything can happen and you can bet that no matter what happens, I will be proud of myself.  I can’t imagine anything worse than what happened at OC marathon last year and even that wasn’t so bad (pain and mental-wise).  Like most of you have said, trust your training, think positive and just go with it. Thank you for all your advice, support and motivation – I owe you a big thank you!

As I mentioned earlier, my calf spasm went away – woot woot! Unfortunately after my run my foot hurt like a mofo! I needed a foot adjustment bad – you know that feeling where your foot needs to pop but it won’t? That kind of pain.  I went to the chiropractor today and got adjusted. He immediately noticed my let was jammed and my left leg was having some major issues that he “fixed” by popping all kinds of stuff (neck, hip, feet). I also asked for Cold Laser Therapy which is just some red light that sends waves through the infected area and does something that I don’t entirely believe in.  At this point, I am willing to believe it to get through the week and on the starting line with positive thoughts.  Whatever works right?

I snapped this quick pic before the doc came in the room.

I am also almost through a complete day of carb depleting and in my opinion it hasn’t been a big deal. Today I ate two hard-boiled eggs, banana, a slice of Muenster cheese and coconut water (breakfast), Beef/veggie stir-fry (lunch), Fage yogurt, almonds (snacks), salmon and squash (dinner).  I am eating one apple, orange and yogurt a day for some sort of balance. I can also enjoy my Starbuck’s drink in the morning – thank goodness I asked about that instead of assuming I can’t have it! Happy Trace.  I just spent $100 on some random food that will help me get to Thursday when I can finally have carbs (brown rice), yay!  I am really loving that coconut water – it has more potassium than a banana and is a great electrolyte drink. I need to stay hydrated this week – super important.  It is quite possible that I don’t have that starving feeling because I am actually hydrating. Let’s see how I feel tomorrow at the track when I have to run 3×1 mile at 5:50 pace…hahah

Not bad at all! I thought it would be hard to skip the rice but it wasn't!

Nothing like sour cream tasting yogurt! This yogurt has tons of protein.

Speaking of money, I am spending way too much lately. I have gotten three massages in two weeks, got new shoes, spent over $100 on some running clothes that I may or may not wear on race day (not including the $150 I spent on the Boston gear), booked a hotel in my home town, spent $75 at the chiropractor and so much more on crap I can’t even list. Way to go Trace, good thing you work hard for your money!  Oh, but don’t think I don’t have that extra $100 tucked in my pocket for an LA Marathon jacket – that is a must. When I am 80 years old wearing it, I will feel so cool!

Anyway, time to think positive, time to relax and time to believe in myself.



Gastrocnemius, cellulite & chocolate…exciting stuff!

Geez, I am on a roll with my blogging – let’s see how long I can keep this up? The truth is that I always have things to blog about but I get lazy and then the moment passes.

First of all, I have been experiencing a weird feeling on my left calf.  I didn’t think too much of it until yesterday when I noticed it was significantly more painful.  I iced last night, slept with compression socks and then iced again this morning but the pain was still there and I was really, really worried. I called my coach who immediately told me to get a deep tissue sports massage so I left work early to get worked on. The massage was sooo painful! Almost immediately I was told that it was a muscle spasm. We spent one full hour just working on my gastrocnemius muscle and it just wouldn’t let up. Of course I am all worried because the timing is so bad! My coach thinks I am dehydrated and depleted of minerals – she is probably right though because even though I am working my ass off with all this training, I am totally neglecting my normal diet. I don’t drink enough water and my bf is always telling me to drink more. Last week I had major headaches and my tongue felt really weird and dry and then I remembered that I hadn’t had much to drink over the past few days. Crazy huh? True. Also, I am putting in around 45 hours a week in at work and always short on time.  It is rare that I have anything decent for breakfast and dinner (lately anyway). I eat a good lunch but then I just fall asleep with an empty stomach.  Heck, when I eat at home, I do it standing up. Regardless of what is going on with my calf, my habits must change! I am going to try to prepare my meals on Sunday for the week ahead.  Let’s just hope this spasm thing goes away ASAP! I took today off and am going to rest tomorrow too. Fingers crossed!!!

OK…enough thinking about that! I finally got my Boston Marathon stuff! So excited! I assume I shouldn’t wear it until Boston – right? I am a little disappointed with the shorts, I ordered a small and they seem a little snug. I think I need to try them on again to make sure I am not crazy. Either way, the colors rock – lime green is one of my faves (behind grass green and then neon pink)!


How To: Taping for Plantar Fasciitis (and IT Band)

Before I begin this tutorial-like post, I’d like to say that this taping method has worked great for me in helping with Plantar Fasciitis (PF) and Iliotibial Band (Friction) Syndrome (ITBS).  Obviously I am not a doctor but this method was taught to me by my doctor and a few of my friends have used this method and liked it.


Reflection: Week 1 of 20

Happy to say that Week 1 ended on a high note, feeling healthy and on the right track.  I will admit that I felt lazy and didn’t really want to put in the miles but after each run, I felt happy and could no longer remember why I was so lazy in the first place.  For the most part, I had a tough week – mentally and physically exhausted and I now appreciate and understand the need for recovery runs.  This week also ended a dreadfully long period (no, not the thing at the end of a sentence) – menstruating for 10+ days really made me weak and tired.  Because of this, I started taking an iron supplement (Bifera) and Loestrin 24, a birth control pill that will allow me to have lighter shorter periods.  Hopefully that will help.  I also opted to not wear my new pair of running orthotics, they ruin me mentally and I prefer taping my feet which is just a preventative measure for PF and ITB.

Luckily I had two people running with me all week that helped push me every step of the way – thank you Chris and Dom for all the encouragement (and guilt trips).

Monday – Easy recovery run (3 mi)

Tuesday – Track (5 mi.) – 2 x 1600 (6:24, 6:14); 1 x 800 (3:06)

Wednesday – Recovery run (3 mi)

Thursday – Pilates (instead of tempo run – see Sat)

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Tempo Run (6 miles – 20 min. easy, 10 min hard followed by cool down)

Sunday – Long run (9 mi)

Weight:  127.5 lbs

Following Tuesday’s track workout, I was feeling really sluggish on Wednesday and happy I only needed to get in a few miles before calling it a night. By Thursday I didn’t think I could make it through the day, (I swear it was my period) so I instead went to pilates – just the pick-me-up I needed. Saturday’s run reminded me to push through aggravation and less than ideal running conditions. Sunday simply told me I am a runner again, I CAN do this (it also helped watching Shalane finish the marathon – so inspiring and adorable).

Time to move on

Week 1

Last month I finally decided to try my foot with running again and it was disastrous.  Yes, I was a little stir-crazy and I charged out the gates with 32 miles in the books by the end of week ONE (don’t even ask about the pace as you will surely call me stupid).  That was a very short week let me tell you, because I could barely finish my last run that week due to a very familiar pain in the exact same spot I had incurred the fracture (notice I use the word ‘incurred’).  Days following that last run I was limping and felt hopeless. I felt as everyday passed, my running goals were passing by and that really got me down. It’s no secret I like to exaggerate everything in life (including running goals) so I spewed out nonsense about not running for the rest of the year to make sure I was healthy.  That spew out of my mouth quickly became something I wish I never said because I am not a doctor and if I could run sooner than that, I would want to.  I ended up taking an additional month off, bringing me to today with 20 weeks off since my injury.  Once I finally had enough guts to see my doctor, I had a good feeling everything would be OK.  When I felt the pain last month I avoided seeing him because I was scared to find out what COULD be wrong – it was one thing for me to say I WANTED to take the rest of the year off, but to actually hear it from the doctor is another thing.


All the Small Things

My new BFF

It has been quite sometime since I have visited my own site. Perhaps I have avoided it because the injury feels so fresh (literally), or maybe I was too embarrassed to admit defeat.  Whatever the reason, I feel like it is time to face it and move forward. From the moment I fractured my foot and until now, my emotions have been up and down – a real life roller coaster.  Today I decided I would just come home from work, take a shower and sit in front of my computer and let it all out.  And as if it isn’t hard enough to do this, I thought I would make it more interesting by indulging on Wild Habanero Cheetos all while trying not to stain my white keyboard and rub my eyes (I guess if it happens, it will be well worth it – kind of like my 12/12 goal).

It has been near 18 weeks since my injury and I am not anymore ready to run than I would have been during week 6.   I speak of this experience as a roller coaster and if you’ve never been to Magic Mountain you may not understand what I am talking about.  I kind of thought this injury would be like similar to Freefall – I would just close my eyes, raise my arms in submission and just FALL, it would be over relatively quickly.  Unfortunately this ride seemed more like Revolution – a longer ride with several unsuspecting turns, 360s and I kept my eyes open the entire time trying to predict the next path (run) until it finally stopped and I ended up with a migraine AND foot pain.

I am sure I could keep going on about these feel-sorry-for-me stories but that really isn’t my intention.  As awful as I feel sometimes, I have had some pretty amazing things happen to me.  Maybe they happened because I wasn’t so focused on running – who knows…

Just a few days ago I received an email from a friend of a friend who was trying to achieve the same goal and unfortunately fractured her femur during her third race.  Such a simple email from someone going through something similar – someone who didn’t even have to take the time to contact me.  Sometimes it is easy to forget how sometimes a few simple words of encouragement can affect a person.  Fortunately for me, I experienced several words of encouragement by many other runners and although I am probably a little too emotional, they weigh equally on my heart and memory – THANK YOU.

Bay to Breakers - In for the long haul!

The view is actually not so bad from up here

Supporting my friends through their running journeys

New friends, new memories.

5 of 12 in 2010 – OC Marathon

Sweet – what a surprise!

Time: 3:16:25
Overall: 75 out of 1495
Women: 10 out of 544
F 30-34: 3 out of 72
Click Here for Elevation Map

5 of 12…THE END

This marathon weekend was really great – close to home, lots of friends, great weather and zero pressure.  I was happy that I had decided to ditch Avenue of the Giants Marathon to run this race instead.


3 of 12 in 2010 – LA Marathon



 I Can Think Clearly Now…

I haven’t stopped smiling since mile 23 of this race.  I am extremely happy for so many reasons but mostly because this race is now behind me and no longer controlling me.

The 41 days following Surf City to the day of the race, I encountered every obstacle possible including a nearly three week break from running (or working out) due to a painful right IT band to almost walking and crying at mile 20.  Mentally I was a wreck, completely exhausted, doubting my ability and already forecasting a slow race performance.   When all was said and done and I crossed the finish line (injury free – YAY!), I was very happy with both the race results and performance even though it was an A Event without a PR.

In retrospect, and finally being able to think clearly and logically, I realized that I could have really jeopardized my performance simply for letting my mind control me during these 41 days.  It wouldn’t have mattered if Steve Prefontaine took me by the hand and set me on the bleacher stairs to give me a pep talk, I just wouldn’t have believed him; I was beyond help.  The good news is that I can learn from this mistake and remember, exactly read from one spectator sign during the course:  “TRUST YOUR TRAINING.” 



Worry Wart

11 days have already passed since Surf City — I can’t believe it!  Time really flies, and before you know it, it will be my dreadful birthday, then Christmas – geez!   Since my last race, I haven’t done much of anything physically; my knee still hurts and I’ve been very busy with so many other things including work, friends and of course preparing for LA Marathon (will post about this later).   While I am actually enjoying my time off from running, I have sort of become a Worry Wart.   That worries me (see, I told you) more than anything because once I get these negative thoughts in my head, it is so hard to get them out.  I know my training and race performance will suffer simply because I might push myself physically harder to avoid feeling any sort of loss and also because I will start to doubt myself and what I am doing. It’s getting pretty exhausting, continually talking myself out of all this negativity BUT I am doing it!


Fanny Packs and Belly Aches

Did I grab everything?
I have always considered myself a simple runner. The only things I ever needed for any run or race were a watch, sports bra, shorts that don’t climb and shoes. I wish I could say that was still the case but it isn’t, in fact I literally have to take time each day and prepare my running bag for the next scheduled workout: outfit, shoes, tape for my PF, Garmin watch/heart rate monitor (not to mention I have to charge this the night before), ipod, sunblock and recovery drink.  (Sometimes the preparation actually takes longer than the run itself!) While I would love to reduce the amount of things I need, I don’t want to be without any of them, especially the watch and shoes.