Sprinkles On Top

The little things that make my day…

Nike Women’s Half Marathon October 25, 2010

A week ago tonight, I was on a flight back to Portland from San Francisco on a plane scattered with women just like me–exhausted, exhilarated, and proud. We felt this way because 8 hours earlier we had completed our Nike Women’s Half and Full Marathons (half for me).

The fun had actually started 2 days earlier when I walked up Polk St exploring the city to discover Union Square covered by tents, sponsors, and women picking up their event packets for the race looming in our immediate future. The expo was run incredibly, I walked right up to the sign-in, got my pink draw string bag filled with coupons, race number, and timing chip. Then, I continued through the tent where I blended my own creamsicle smoothie on a spin bike, got luna bar and POM samples, listened to olympian advice, and admired those getting foot massages.

Little did I know the biggest surprise was just off the square…the outside wall of Nike Town had been covered with a massive sticker displaying all 23,000 runners names. Awesome.

After a sleepless night filled with race jitters and what-ifs my sister (who I was running with), our boyfriends, and I discovered her car window was shattered on the ground, GPS stolen. Our ride to the start line was out of commission and I instantly lost all my nerves for the race…no reason to be nervous, this is for fun! Real life is harder than an optional athletic adventure.

Luckily, after a few blocks of speed walking, my sister and I hailed a cab to drive us to the start line (instead of adding another mile to the 13.1 we were already scheduled to run). We scurried up to the crowd just in time for the start count down:

5-soaking in the experience

4– realizing its 7 am on a Sunday and still dark in San Fran

3– hands up for the countdown music

2– excited nerves hit

1-ready to run!

0-… twenty minute wait until we actually crossed the start line. hah.

Though we were patient and contained our excitement to burst out the gates for 20 minutes, we couldn’t hold back anymore when we heard Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” on the speakers. We decided we had to cross the start line before the end of the song.

The first three miles all 23,000 women were crowded in the city blocks trying to contain our adrenaline to a nice steady start pace–afterall it WAS a marathon, not a sprint. The streets were quickly scattered with clothes that runners became too hot to bear any longer. I was on the edge of outrage at the people littering new, expensive clothing so thoughtlessly on the streets when my sister informed me all of the clothing was going to be picked up post-race and donated. PHEW.

Just when my sister and I thought we might get a window of opportunity to pass some people…you could say we are competitive…we would turn a corner and see the sea of people ahead of us trudging through streets to the pier.

The race course itself was stunning. We started at Union Square, went down to Embarcadero, and ran along the pier, had incredible views of Alcatraz, The Golden Gate, and my favorite: Ghiridelli.

Six miles in we discovered our first big test: 1 mile, straight up. It was time to live the slogan I was sporting on my tank top and “Just Do It”.

We had already faced a few hills, but this winding death trap was something barely anyone was prepared for. After power walking our way up, we got a burst of new energy after passing some familiar faces in the cheering crowd.

The mile down the sea cliff along the ocean made the mile up well worth it. I let my body reach the brink of being out of control and wanted to throw my arms out to my side because I felt light as a feather. The thought of flying down the hill like a child mimicing an airplane made me smile and appreciate the run…though I didn’t actually do it. That would make me look weird.

At mile 7 I channeled the good advice of my BFF Kayla, to “just go for it, it’ll go by quick!”, and I shifted my mind set from “finishing” to “racing”. The last few miles were filled with some more lovely hills…grrr…and inspirational messages from some of the sponsors. Two of my favorite signs posted on the side of the road, and ON the road, were:

  • A series of 9 “reasons” to keep running with the final one reading “that necklace is mine” – referring to the Tiffany necklace waiting for all finishers at the finish line.
  • A Safeway sign: “Jack & Jill ran up a hill. Jill won.”

Around mile 10 my body started to realize my increase in pace and needed something more than some inspirational signs to keep going. And then I remembered: Ghiridelli mile. Yes, you read that right, awaiting me in the final mile were squares of Ghiridelli chocloate. In my dreams leading up to race day, I imagined tables filled with chocolate in an “all you can grab” scenario…turns out it was a couple girls handing you one square from a cardboard box as you turned a corner. At least it was good motivation! And you know I ripped open that chocolate square 1.1 miles later after the finish line.

Speaking of the finish line, it came out of nowhere. I turned a corner after I had just convinced myself the final mile was going to seem like forever, I saw the “FINISH” banner and tents only a few hundred meters away. I sprinted.

…halfway through the sprint I questioned my decision to sprint after 13 miles…and then I saw her: the lady walking who was going to cross the finish line before me. I DON’T THINK SO. She was my final conquest, I sprinted by her just before crossing the line. Success.

After dropping to my knees to catch my breath, I looked up and saw the little blue box that had convinced me to sign up for this race in the first place. My Tiffany necklace was now just that, mine. The weekends slogan, “I Run To Be,” graced the silver pendant. It hasn’t left my neck since.

Hard to see, but you get the idea.

All in all, my first half marathon experience was incredible. I did not expect anything less from Nike, and am contemplating my next athletic endeavor…

Advertisements
 

Nike BOOM July 27, 2010

A few months ago, I registered to run in the Nike Women’s Half Marathon with my sister in October. A few months ago, I decided to start training. A few months have gone by… and that hasn’t happened.

I have worked out a bit, but nothing near what I should be doing to train. I have been an athlete my whole life, and am a competitive person, so I want to run the half marathon well, aka not just finish (I’m saving that for a full marathon). Even though swimming and rowing taught me how to train, pace, keep my body healthy, and push through immense pain, I never had to do the training on my own. And that is quite a challenge.

Ever since I graduated, it has been hard to get myself to work out. My first challenge was signing up for a gym. I had been spoiled with facilities to work out in and was reluctant to pay for it. Eventually, I wised up and joined 24 hour fitness, which was a great way to keep me in decent shape through the months of Portland rain.

Even though I had the gym membership, I had no one making me go there, no goal to reach for or teammates to one-up…I mean keep me motivated… 😛 . The half marathon looming in the back of my mind the past couple months has gotten me to work out a bit. But now…less than 3 months away I really need  to kick it up a notch.

The past 2 weeks I have ran around 3 miles on a regular basis. But today, I ran 5. (holler.) This was greatly in thanks to Nike’s new ipod app: Nike BOOM.

This is an app that has athletes and coaches giving short motivational talks to you throughout your workout. They did a great job in the details of this app. For example: if you press pause or say you want to leave the app in the middle of the work out you get a “do you really want to quit?” message on the screen that, frankly, made me feel bad enough to push longer than originally planned (and I was only pausing to stretch!).

I realize the person talking to me is not actually holding me accountable for anything in my workout, or ever going to know that I have the app…but those few messages throughout the work out are all a sport loving, competitive, wants to stay healthy, but has to work out on their own, person needs to get that extra little kick in the booty. Well. It works for me!

BOOM baby.

What gets you going to work out harder, or just work out in general? I’ve got: Nike Boom, cute outfits, and knowing I should.

 

Red Sox v. Mariners July 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erin @ 5:44 pm
Tags: ,

Yesterday the boy and I went on a whirlwind trip up to Seattle to get my annual Red Sox fix. Since I had never been a mariners fan, let alone a baseball fan before I went to Boston for school, it was exciting to see how the west coast does MLB.

We met up with BU alums for a great lunch on the Outside Corner of Safeco Field. Sitting directly behind the Safeco sign, it was amazing to take in the backdrop of this stadium. Mt. Rainier  and Lake Washington gleamed in the perfect 80 degree baseball weather.

After the luncheon, we made our way to our seats and were surprised at the showing of red sox fans. I’ve always known of Red Sox Nation, but MAN it’s highly possible there were more Red Sox fans than Mariners. In fact, “lets go Red Sox” cheers broke out multiple times overtaking the stadium…never heard one for the mariners! It’s amazing to see one team connect so many people, even on the complete opposite side of the country.

Though Safeco was fun, doesn’t compare to Fenway. Nothing beats the history and classic Americana feeling you get when you are there, not to mention you can never get a bad seat.

Go Red Sox!

 

USA June 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erin @ 10:19 pm
Tags:

Just in case you wanted to relive this mornings greatness:

 

Longest Match In History

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erin @ 8:06 pm
Tags: ,

…and it’s not even over!!! Going past 9 and a half hours tonight at Wimbledon.

The 5th set alone has been longer than the longest match in history. Before, the longest match was 6.5 hours. This 5th set has been over 7 hours.

John Isner, 25 year old from USA

 Score as of right now: 2 Sets won each. 5th Set: 58-59 Isner.

Nicolas Mahut

Both incredible athletes…but, GO ISNER!!! Winner?? TBD.

 

Want to be Here: June 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erin @ 6:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

Awesome.

 

Best Commercial June 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Erin @ 4:47 am
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

SUCH a good commercial. Wish it was more like 10 minutes. We ❤ you too, NBA.