Run Smarter, not harder: the SR half marathon recap

Today I ran The Santa Rosa Marathon, half marathon.  I wasn’t going to register to run the event this year because it was so close to the San Francisco half but they offered me a really nice discount so I ended up registering back in April. Felt appropriate for my 10th half Mary to be at this event. When I registered, I had high hopes of PRing at this event. It’s flat, it’s my own territory, and I had months to train for it. As the event drew closer and I didn’t drop any weight, and I threw a vacation and the SF half marathon into the mix, I realized that wasn’t in the cards for me. I really need to lose some weight. It’s slowing me down, but I digress. 

I picked up my packet Friday night at the expo and returned on Saturday to help out at the CIM booth. It was hot. Like really hot. I knew that wouldn’t be good for the following day. But I’m stubborn and usually oversleep and end up running in the heat anyway, so I wasn’t worried since I wasn’t trying to PR.  I don’t love running in the heat, but I’ve trained myself for it. 

The half started at 7:30 and the marathon at 6:30. Mr. FtoF agreed to drop me off and pick me up so I wouldn’t have to deal with parking, which ended up being a good thing. (More on that later). I got to the race about five minutes before the marathon start and got to watch them take off which was neat. I spent the next hour saying hi to people, stretching out, and finalizing my playlist for the race.  

Coach Patrick reminded me Saturday to start slow and push if I felt good, especially because it was going to be hot. And hot it was……

The first mile went through Downtown and I felt hot already. I was sweating and I was hardly wearing anything – just shorts and a tank and my hair up high in a bun and I was SWEATING. Pouring sweat. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy day. 

At the aid stations I forced myself to fill up my water every time and stay and drink water and pour water on my head. I was doing okay til about mile 7.5, but even slow as it got hotter I saw my mile splits getting slower. I couldn’t will myself to go any faster. It was just too hot.  I know myself though, and I knew once I took a walk break that was going to be the end of me so I forced myself to keep running, albeit slow, for as long as possible. Finally the amount of fluid I lost finally won and I had to start run/walking. I was hot and I was uncomfortable. I was losing a lot of salt – my face was caked in salt and I could taste in my mouth I needed salt but there wasn’t anything salty at the aid stations. My gu and Gatorade helped but it wasn’t enough. 

Towards the last few miles of the race I was in a bad mood – and I was letting myself be in it. I was getting frustrated with the narrowness of the path and trying to weave in and out of people. Marathon runners were bolting by, and as I was trying to run past walkers, the fast marathon runners were trying to pass by me. It was too narrow for that. And it was just hot and I was getting grouchy because I could feel my energy getting low. I decided it was ok to be in my grouchy mood but I couldn’t be too grouchy until after the race. I had to finish and didn’t have time to think about things to complain about. Finally, after a few swear words and knowing I was close to being done, as though an angel from Heaven opened the clouds, and I saw the street to turn down for the finish line. 

And all of a sudden my bad mood was gone. People were ringing cow bells, people were cheering, people were screaming, and suddenly I was crying. I was running and crying. I mean I was CRYING HARD. I was crying because despite terrible conditions in the weather, despite rubbing elbows with way too many people on the trail due to close quarters, despite not seeing many cows, and everything in between, that I had toed up to that start line and I had gotten it done. And for that, I had to remind myself that the clock didn’t matter, today. Somedays it will but today it didn’t. I ran smart despite the heat. It was something like 80 degrees when I finished. My face looked like I had bathed in a salt shaker. I still finished in good spirits. Mr. FtoF caught me during my teary eyes moment. I had finished once again, a half marathon. 

As soon as I crossed the finish line and got my medals energy and mental capacity  started to go down hill because my blood sugar was low and my brain was starting to feel exhausted. This hardly ever happens to me after a half, which meant the heat really must have gotten to me. Because I was crying so hard the medical staff asked if I needed anything. I just told then I was fine and it was hot and they told me where to get water.  Mr. FtoF found me and told me good job, and then I had to will myself through the food line. He brought me some salt tablets which helped.  I was so hungry my words were a little slow and didn’t make much sense. And then I was laughing at my own jokes because I was so loopy. It was a good thing he came to pick me up cause the thought of driving home just sounded appalling.  Food helped. 

Hey, I love running but I never said it was glamorous. 

Despite the heat I didn’t blister over which is great, like the last two halfs I’ve run.  My feet do feel really sore though and my legs swollen, likely from the heat and poor blood circulation. 

This race was literally nothing I expected it to be. I think this may be my slowest half marathon to date. Maybe I had too high of expectations after running the marathon as my first 26.2 last year. I had a great time though and love the energy of hometown races. 

I am glad to have a little break for eight weeks til my next half. Between now and then I have a 5k, which will be fun. Other than that, I think some mental recovery time will be good. But I had a great event despite the heat.  My last few halfs this year have been brutal with the heat. I openly welcome some Fall running. 

Just because it wasn’t a fast race, doesn’t mean it wasn’t a tough race. This one was tough but I felt tougher. But I’m also glad to be done. My little legs are sore. Rest day tomorrow and then some easy days this week then back at it. After all, CIM isn’t going to run itself in December!

Cheers to running!

Dealing with your demons to lose weight and keep it off. 

Weight loss is both easy and also so overwhelmingly hard. Easy because the science of it makes sense – you need to take in less calories and you need to burn more calories. Simple, yes. I want to speak to that as someone who started a weight loss journey with 100 pounds to lose and why just thinking about calories in vs out is not the only logic that can be applied to a weight loss and maintenance journey.  I personally have had some demons to deal with in order to understand why I gained weight and the habits I need to break in order to keep it off long term. I can lose weight by being restrictive but once I lose it, I won’t ever keep it off if I don’t fight my demons. 

Let me start by saying I had horrible eating habits when I was heavy. Horrible. I lived in the dorms and ate in the cafeteria my entire college career, and had a car which meant eating out as necessary but on a college student budget. If it was fried, covered in cheese or ranch dressing, Filipino food, could be served through a drive through window, or was open late, it was probably part of my diet. And then there was alcohol.  And then next thing you know I’m in my senior year of college, standing on the scale on a Monday night at my newly rejoined Weight Watchers meeting with a fabulous leader who talked about her mini fridge full of chocolate for special indulgences, and I was 264.2 pounds and clueless as to how I had gotten there. 

I won’t even spend time on this post discussing the usual “weight loss” things like weighing and measuring, asking for substitutions at restaurants, looking up menus before hand. I’m here to talk about the raw stuff that those of us who are in the “lots to lose” club may have had to deal with. Or at least as a big loser, I did. And still do. 

Food has always and will always be one of my best friends. 

I worked a lot in college to keep myself out of trouble, but also to pay for my life necessities. I would often get home on the weekend after the dining hall had closed and became pro at ordering Chinese takeout pickup, sushi or pizza and getting home from a long day at my job and put on my pajamas, park myself in my favorite chair and a snuggie and wind down. Food has always been my buddy, my companion. Food always understood what I was feeling. Food never judged. And now I still catch myself sometimes falling back into that trap. Not as badly – but I do know it’s a trigger I have to be aware of. When my husband has a long week of work and finally it’s Saturday night and I’m alone again, I can justify my night in with my frozen yogurt and my favorite movie. But again, food is my friend. And I let it be there to support me. 

Food is a go-to at parties when you’re an introvert. 

Despite being a performer with a degree in music, I am not an extrovert. Being around people I don’t know is hard on me.  So when I go to social events and there’s a food table, you can bet you can find me there.  Again, food is a friend (heyyy nice to see you again guacamole, how’s your wife salsa and the kiddos tortilla chip and brownies doing?) so it’s comfortable to be there. It also helps me avoid awkward social situations. But it means I often find myself indulging over and over again to avoid the social interactions. This was especially true when I weighed more. I wanted to lurk in the shadows and not be noticed because I was so uncomfortable. And while I’m conscious of it now and try not to put myself in that situation, it is still present and I have to be aware of it when faced with attending events with people I don’t know. 

After years of negative talk (both self and others), it’s hard to feel worthy of certain things that you may really want and need. 

It is all well and good to know what you need to lose weight, but it is another step entirely to actually follow through.  For me, my correlation between whether or not I’m worthy took a while to translate to my food choices.  Did I have any value when wanting to speak up for myself because the restaurant everyone suggested had a menu too hard to navigate? Was I worthy of not eating the treat someone brought me because I wanted to put my own goals before this person’s feelings?  It takes a long time to deem yourself worthy if what you had previously heard from yourself, and maybe others, were not kind and caring messages. 

I have a lot of feelings but I want to stuff them all down with (insert food here) 

I didn’t become 100+ pounds overweight because I didn’t realize that a salad with chicken breast was abetter choice than a burger and fries. I became overweight because one of my fallbacks was emotional eating. It is easier to deal with your feelings when you have an it’s it in your hand to distract you, than it is to face them alone. In extreme situations, it’s almost avoidable to deal with your emotions when you just choose to eat instead. Emotional eating is so real, especially negative emotions.  I would let my emotional hunger be fulfilled by food, when really that wasn’t what I needed at all.  I am better about it now but not perfect. 

Old habits die hard.

Like Homer Simpson with his beer and donuts, I have a strong bond with certain foods that I still have not yet broken.  And it’s like I see those foods and the fact that I’m changing my diet and food mentality has completely changed. This proves to be especially true with foods that were big parts of my pre-weight loss self but are rarely integrated now. I binge on them because that’s what I used to do and haven’t broken those habits yet. I walk into my moms house and automatically go to the cupboard next to the fridge for a snack because that’s what I’ve done my whole life. I could have just eaten lunch and I would walk in and still do that. I haven’t broken my habits. Maybe I never will but if I’m mindful of them, I can be aware. 

Weight loss isn’t always just about calories in and out. Sometimes we have bigger demons to fight and combat in order to lose our weight and keep it off. Don’t feel bad if you’re losing slowly but working on your mindset. That’s the key in all of this. ❤️

Cheers to healthy habits,



Hi! How are you? Me I’m great. I’m on my lunch break and eating a great sandwich. 

On Saturday at my weight watchers meeting, they gave us a little sticker that said “commit” on it, and my leader asked us where we were on a scale of 1-10 with ou commitment. I sheepishly admit I’m probably at a 7.  I am commit to being healthy but I haven’t made the leap from 7 to 10… meaning if I was at a ten, I would probably be eating a salad instead of a turkey, cheese and avocado on sourdough wth everything except mustard and pickles for lunch. 

I shared with my group that I’m commit but need a leap to get from seven to ten because I’m commit to maintaining, which a fellow member pointed out that sometimes you’re more commit when you’re struggling because the payoff isn’t as great. 

About a year ago I was at my (old) job and someone walking behind me told me I looked great and asked how much weight I had lost. I was feeling so good about myself. I had a pair of size six shorts and a pair of pants from the kids department that I wanted to wear always. It was easy to stay commit when you knew the “you look good!”s, or “how much have you lost?”s or the “I didn’t even recognize you!”s are being spouted constantly. 

But no one ever stops you and says “wow, you look great, how much weight have you gained?!?” And when you’re in those moments, it requires real strength and commitment to progress forward. It is so easy to eat the fries instead of the side salad when you’re struggling because it’s easy to just throw in the towel. It becomes easy to skip a workout because “to hell with it, my body isn’t changing anyway”. But I don’t. And you don’t. And in those moments and where I am right now, I am thinking that maybe I am more of a ten than I give myself credit for because my commitment, desire and strength comes from a place of just me.  My own motivation to be my best self. 

I’m not motivated because I’m hearing the constant compliments. 

I’m not motivated because I see my sizes or weight changing. 

I am motivated because I know I’m commit to myself. 

So in those moments you think you’re not commit because you’re not seeing results, just remember that you are commit because you’ve made a promise to yourself to be happy and healthy. 

So I am in fact, a ten in my commitment today.  And I’m just a ten in general becuase I am fabulous!

What about you? Where are you at?  Cheers to commitment!

This week in running: August 6-12

Hello! How are you? Me, I’m great. Here’s a recap of my running week!!

Sunday, August 6: 14 mile long run with hills for strength training, but really I did six hill miles

I totally blew it on this run because I should have woken up literally two hours earlier than I did in order to get in all my miles. I didn’t realize that we would have to leave our house at 9:30 AM for the baseball game that Mr. FtoF took me on a date to. I thought we would leave around 11. Oops!  But I did what I could. 

Monday, August 7: Rest day, aka I made my husband go to the running shoe store with me to buy new shoes 

Out with the old (left) in with the new (right)

Yay new shoes! I got the same New Balance 860s I’m currently in but in wide width. The ones on the left have probably about 210 miles on them. The ones on the right are brand new and I’m getting them ready for some fun times!

Tuesday, August 8: 4 easy miles

I got in four easy miles. Felt good. My calves were tight because I forgot to roll them out Sunday, and between all the hills I ran and the miles I walked for the ball game, my legs were not happy with me. Oops. 

Wednesday, August 9: Speed Work!

I think Speed Work day is the greatest day and I always look forward to it. I haven’t been incorporating it for a long time, just a few months, but it’s so satisfying. I had a one mile warm up, 6×400, and a one mile cool down. I prefer to go to a school track for that and went to the local middle school for it. Bonus, I got new workout pants for $3.50 so I wore them 😊

Thursday, August 9: 5 easy miles (but I ran four)

By the time I get to Thursday in my run week I’m a little tired and so I’ve been pretty horrible at doing what was assigned to me. I need to figure out how to have the energy for that. (Hint: I think it involves getting more sleep 🙄)

Friday, August 11: rest day

I have come to appreciate rest days so much more now than ever. I think because I take less of them than I did last year. 

Saturday, August 12: 3 easy miles

Since I stayed up way past my bed time last night I was a sleepy little lady but I got in my three miles. 😊. Then got in bed for a nap. 

Two weeks til my next half marathon!  And about four months until my marathon!

Cheers to running!

Miles on training plan: 29.5

Miles run: 20.5 😫

This week in running: July 30-August 5

Hello! How are you? Me, I’m great. 

There are 18 weeks until the California International Marathon as of the first day of my run week this week (Sunday, July 30), where I will tackle 26.2 for the second time 😬. Here’s a recap of what the week looked like!

Sunday, July 30th: 14 mile long run

14 mile long run, 3:02:56. I started too late and it was HOT. I regret that I let myself sleep in. I need to break that habit. At least there were cows. 

Monday, July 31st: rest day. Also, eat all the things day. 

I had a terrible case of the runchies. I ate everything in my lunch box, a reserve snack from my desk drawer, and polished off a whole bag of dried mango at the supermarket. Oops. 

Tuesday, August 1st: 3 miles easy

It was hot and I was overdressed but it was a good shake out.  Where did this heat come from????

Wednesday, August 2: Speed Work

The heat REALLY got to me and I had to cut my Speed Work back. I ran 5 instead of 6 miles and wasn’t all that speedy. Luckily I didn’t get sick, which is what I was worried about.  I love Speed Work day a lot. I didn’t go to the track for it, which was a mistake. Lesson learned. Also, no cows, so that was a bummer. 

Thursday, August 3: Five easy miles (but actually I ran zero) 

My husband and I went to dinner because I was even too tired to cook. I got home from work, was lying on the floor, unable to form a real sentence because I was a sleepy lady.  I was getting frustrated with myself about skipping my run but when I was even too delerious to decide what I wanted to eat, I decided skipping running was wise. 

Friday, August 4: Rest Day

The alarm was set way too early because….

Saturday, August 5: Easy 3 miles (which I ran at a 5k with my family)

It was my dad’s first 5k. I told him I was taking it easy, which I think he was okay with because we actually ran the whole thing as a group. It was so fun. I am so glad we did it. Then afterwards, I took my brother to breakfast at a Filipino restaurant. 

And that’s a wrap for this week!

Miles on training plan: 31

Miles run: 25.1