Whirlwind Weekend on the West Coast + 100 marathons by age 28

Just wanted to drop in and say hello! It’s been over a week since I last came on here to blog.  I had such great intentions while I was on vacation – I even brought the computer with me…I always seem to think that I will have all this free time and that I will blog and respond to emails after the kids go to sleep.  But honestly, I am often in bed earlier than when we are home.  Being away from home with two little ones is pretty exhausting.  There is no safe area to let them roam while you kick your feet up and relax.  I also think I reached muscle failure no less than 50x this weekend from holding them so much.  The only place where it was really okay for my youngest to be roaming on the ground (crawling) was either the hotel room or the grass – but even in those instances, my husband or I could not take our eyes off of him.  So while it was technically a vacation, it’s not really a rest and relaxation vacation. HA.  We often passed out alongside the boys as we were putting them to sleep – so no blogging or work of any kind for me.

After a much-delayed start, we finally arrived in San Francisco Thursday evening.  After getting our luggage, rental car, and checking in to the hotel, it was already almost 9pm (midnight in NY) – straight to bed for us.  Not going to lie – it was a long, tough flight.  The late afternoon is not the best time for them to be flying – they are in better spirits and nap better in the morning.  Plus, I am pretty sure most adults get restless on a 6-hr flight.  So you can imagine how a 2 yr old and 9 month old feel. But we made it and so I tried to enjoy the 3 days we would be spending with family and not think about the looming return trip Monday morning.

I got up at 4am on Friday because I wanted to get a long(er) run in before a couple of fun meetings with friends.  We were staying in the Financial District – pretty close to the Embarcadero (reminds me a lot of the West Side Highway in NYC).  I ran north because I wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge (this was my first time EVER in CA).  I normally don’t stop and take pictures when I am running, but I couldn’t pass it up:

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Sunrise by the Bay Bridge

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Sunrise over Alkatraz

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Golden Gate Bridge

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This time closer =)

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And one of me – perfect running weather!

12 miles at a 7:43 pace.  I had no expectations for this run other than I wanted to get about 10-13 miles in.  It’s a constant struggle to remind  myself that the miles are more important than the pace for Ironman training.  The first few miles felt slow and were mentally challenging.  My legs felt tired from the long flight and I just felt off.  I thought I was running a lot faster than my Garmin was telling me I was running (8:30+ for the first mile).  My mind started playing games with my body.  I questioned how I would run the pace I want to for the upcoming half ironman.  I questioned how I expected to run the pace I wanted for the NJ Marathon.  The scenery and surroundings helped and after what felt like a forced few faster miles, the pace felt much more comfortable.  After I hit the turnaround at the GG bridge, I felt good enough to push it a bit the last few miles.  Splits: 8:33, 8:02, 7:52, 7:54, 7:44, 7:45, 7:48, 7:45, 7:29, 7:23, 7:18, 7:08.  12 miles: 1:32:48.

After my gorgeous morning run, I showered, nursed the little guy, put him down for a nap, and then headed to meet PavementRunner for coffee.  Pavey is the mastermind behind the Boston Strong runs the week after the Boston Marathon (PS – he’s featured in the July issue of Runner’s World – how cool that I got to meet a celebrity, right?!).  He was one of my first twitter friends back in November 2011 and we’ve been in close contact via social media since then, but had not yet met…until Friday!  He ran the SF marathon this past weekend and had a course PR by almost an hour (finished in 3:50 on a TOUGH course)!

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A normal picture

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And a fun one =)

My son and I returned to our hotel to do a child swap and I took my youngest to meet Janae and her adorable daughter, Brooke!!  Janae was one of the first two people that I contacted when my husband and I decided to make the trip westward for a family wedding months ago.  I have been a HUGE fan of her and her blog for a long time and knew that we would instantly be BFFs when we met.  Well, BFF’s or future-in-laws since I think my youngest took a liking to Brooke.  Either way, I would be happy since we could live close and get to train together.  She is even sweeter and more awesome in person than she comes across in her blog and I’m so thankful that we finally got to sit down a chat face-to-face =)

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After my fun lunch date, my husband, sons, and I made our way north to Napa Valley, the location of the family wedding we were attending. We spent some time at the hotel pool with my husband’s family before getting dressed for the welcome party.  “Party” is an understatement – every person invited to the wedding (250-300?) was invited – it was held at an upscale Italian restaurant in St. Helena.  Unfortunately, we didn’t make it very long since the boys were still adjusting to west coast time and 8:30pm (11:30pm in NY) was about the limit for both of them.

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PS. Rue La La has a HUGE sale on French Connection clothes right now, including the dress (just different colors) that I wore Friday night – it’s one of my favorite dresses! Invite here.

Saturday morning started much the same as Friday did – with a long(ish) run in a new city.  This time, I ran 10 miles through St. Helena and into Calistoga, the neighboring town.  My legs were a bit tired from Friday’s 12 miler.  My goal was to stay under 8:15.  Surprisingly, I felt better on the return trip (again) despite it being mostly uphill.  I convinced myself that the slight fatigue in my legs was good training for the Ironman and that thought kept me moving forward.  It was a gorgeous run with perfect running conditions again.    I could definitely get used to this west coast living =)  Splits: 8:12, 7:50, 7:53, 8:06, 7:55, 7:41, 7:52, 7:41, 7:42, 7:17.  10 miles: 1:18:17 (7:49 pace).

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We hung around and relaxed for the rest of the morning and early afternoon and then got ready for the wedding!

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The wedding was being held at a private estate atop the mountains in Napa.  It was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to and looked like it belonged in a magazine.  The views were absolutely breathtaking.

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Sunday afternoon was spent at my husband’s aunt and uncle’s home (estate?) just north of Napa in Geyersville.  I had been told of their beautiful home but I was not prepared for just how gorgeous it is.  There were so many times that I had to remind myself that I was at their home, not a 5-star resort! It was the perfect way to spend Father’s Day and end our trip to the west coast.

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We returned home on a fairly uneventful flight (yay!) yesterday.  I had plans to get up this AM to go on a long bike ride but am still on west coast time – my husband and I were wide awake at 11pm last night  – not the best scenario for a 4am wakeup.  So I slept in (until 7:30) and hope to get a trainer session in if/when the boys nap today.

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Check out this story of a 28 y/o SF woman who just became the youngest woman EVER to run 100 marathons!!  She ran her first when she was 14 (4:02!).  This was her 12th marathon this year (already!) and her 7th consecutive SFM.

Once she finished graduate school, Ruiz began notching five, then 7, then 10 marathons per year, hitting number 50 at age 25. At around that time, a friend finished her 100th, and Ruiz got it into her head that she would reach that milestone by age 30.  
“It was an arbitrary goal,” she says. “But then I started looking to see if there was a record and came across the Guinness world record and I realized that if I ran between 15 and 20 marathons a year, I could break it way before 30.”  

Congratulations, Nadia! =)

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Have you been to SF / Napa?  

Do you go for sightseeing runs when you are in a new town?

How old were you when you ran you first marathon?  I was 21 – senior year of college! 

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    31 thoughts on “Whirlwind Weekend on the West Coast + 100 marathons by age 28

    1. I’m headed to San Fran/Napa next week! I actually was there two summers ago and stayed at a friend’s apartment just one block from the Embarcadero. I was thrilled to have a flat place to get in a decent shorter run as San Fran is known for being very hilly. It was the summer before my first marathon and i had a long run i needed to conquer as well on that trip. I ended up googling something like “flat places to run long distances in San Francisco”. I found a bulletin board forum connected to a site like MapMyRun or something where someone recommended a park around Lake Merced about 20 minutes drive away from San Francisco. And so I went there. It was PERFECT! I got a 14 mile run in while feeling relatively safe knowing so many other people were getting their walks/runs in at the park.

    2. Yes to future inlaws! Your runs (and the time you do it at) are so inspiring to me! San Fran is the best place to run. I already miss you! Come back really soon! Ps you are a model.

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    6. What a fantastic weekend! Looks like you got some great runs in, I love running in new places. I feel like it makes the miles fly! And so cool that you got to meet some other blogger friends!
      Sarah @RunFarGirl recently posted..HOMEMy Profile

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    8. It was an HONOR to meet you. I’ve always been a fan and look to your running tips and strategy to make myself faster. You’ve inspired me and continue to do so. One day we are going to log some serious miles and the conversation is just gonna flow. Whether we are going across the Golden Gate or the Brooklyn Bridge, it’s gonna be fun.
      Pavement Runner recently posted..The #SFM2013 Recap. Nothing But Love.My Profile

    9. I just recently found your blog — you are amazing!
      The pictures at the wedding are stunning – you look beautiful in the mint dress and such a cute family.

      I was wondering if I could ask you a nursing question….do you pump before you leave for the long runs? I am currently breastfeeding (starting to wind down now that little one is 14 months) and I have kind of strayed from my early morning runs since I am so “full” in the am. But with Houston being in the 90s and so humid, it seems like morning runs would be helpful for my sanity =) Just curious how you make it work for you. THANKS!!!

      • Hey Krissy! Thank you so much!!
        I sound like a broken record probably b/c I have said this like 5x already to other people too – but I swear it’s true – I am working on a pretty detailed post about bfing and running/IM training. I’m hoping to finish it sometime this week.
        But to answer your question – yes, I do pump before I head out for that very reason. My youngest often wakes up 1x during the night and then sometimes gets up when I am up getting ready – so I often nurse from one side and then pump from the other – mostly to relieve the fullness but also to have some milk for my husband to give him if/when he wakes up while I am gone. I try to alternate sides that I nurse/pump in the AM so that I am not causing my milk supply to go down (which is something I have had to be really careful with this time around).
        I am quite familiar with texas heat and humidity – when I lived in Killeen, I would run at 5am b/c it was too hot even by 730!!!
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Whirlwind Weekend on the West Coast + 100 marathons by age 28My Profile

        • Thanks so much! My pumper is about pumped out -HAHA! Looking forward to your post. I don’t know how you consume enough calories for all that milk and training =). One strong mama!

    10. Those are absolutely beautiful pictures. I am actually going to San Fran on Wednesday, and I can’t wait to run there for the first time. I have been to SF more times than I can count. I live about 4 hours away. Kudos to you for getting in 2 long runs on your whirlwind vacation!
      Lynsey recently posted..I can do this!My Profile

    11. Whoa what a weekend! You look beautiful – I’ve noticed that you have GREAT taste in dresses btw! I wasnt’ a runner the last times I visited SFO – and now I can’t wait to run while I’m there :) I definitely love running in new places – so much more to see by foot!
      I have been following Nadia for quite a while now and am amazed at her ability!
      beka recently posted..Monday Morning News vLogMy Profile

    12. Yes you did have a whirlwind weekend! Luck you that you got to meet up with such great people! The wedding was beautiful! I really want to run across the Golden Gate Bridge someday soon!

    13. Props to you! Getting in not one, but two (TWO!!!!) long runs while on vacation (and a short one at that?!). You are awesome.

      If you ever have the chance, definitely look into the San Fran Wipro marathon. One of those few, amazing summertime marathons…..they can offer it because the weather is always perfect running in the morning! Love San Fran!
      Crystal@TheFastFitRunner recently posted..35 Week BumpdateMy Profile

    14. Your post makes me miss CA so much! I lived just south of San Fran for a few years right after college. Unfortunately, I wasn’t much of a runner back then, but I did swim from Alcatraz to shore! Napa is one of my favorites. So peaceful and scenic. Glad you had a fun trip! Oh, and the boys in ties? Precious.

      To answer your question: I’ll be 32 when I run my first marathon (Chicago ’13)! This race is a gift to myself after baby. L will be 7 months old by then!

    15. Looks like a great trip, so cool you got to do so much while you were there. Love meeting people in real life that I have been in contact with via social media, so much cooler! I love your 2 dresses, especially the one with the purple!
      Laura recently posted..To Wave or Not to WaveMy Profile

      • Oh- haha and your questions…

        I just was out of town last week for work, and was able to sight see in the erm…small town that I was in. At least they had a cool local trail I could run on!

        And I was 23 when I did my first marathon, I feel like people are starting to run them younger and younger!
        Laura recently posted..To Wave or Not to WaveMy Profile

    16. I LOVE running while on vacation, especially in California. Your runs looked beautiful!!

      I also ran my first marathon at age 21 and was a senior in college. :-)

    17. Wow, definitely a whirlwind trip! Isn’t it amazing what a difference just three hours can make, not to mention the impact on your body?! Glad you were able to sleep in today. Don’t stress about the ride too much – your body probably needed the rest more than anything! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pics. I love to go running when I travel. You get to see so much more of the place you’re visiting.
      Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..Travel Tips for New ParentsMy Profile