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The San Francisco North Face Endurance Challenge is a multi-race weekend that takes place in the Marin Headlands. With a name like Endurance Challenge, it’s no surprise that Saturday’s 50 miler was the principal event of NFEC, attracting big names in the ultra-running community. Check out this photo (via Ultra Race Photos) of the front runners Mike Wolfe and Dakota Jones duking it out – Mike (left) who broke away in the last few miles to win the race in 6:19:04! I love their expressions – sheer determination. So inspiring!

And yes that is blood on Mike’s shirt – he hit his head on a low-hanging tree branch early in the race, but that obviously didn’t stop him. Hard-core! Click here for more info on the 50M race from TNF’s Never Stop Exploring official blog, including a great post-race shot of Mike, and here for an AMAZING ten-minute video compilation of the race highlights.

Although Saturday also offered a 50k as well as a marathon, I opted to participate in Sunday’s half marathon with a group of friends. I think we can all confirm that this distance was most definitely an Endurance Challenge! If you’re wondering why, take a look at my Garmin race details, particularly the elevation chart – nearly 2,500ft of elevation gain and loss!

Oh, and it wasn’t 13.1 miles – it was 14. A friend who ran the 50k informed me that they also got a bonus mile. That was a fun surprise! The scary thing is that some of the hills on the 50M and 50k courses were double the size of the ones above – the 50 miler had over 10,000ft of climbing, while the 50k had 6,300ft  – so I guess I had it easy, with the course I ran below.

On Saturday, I met up with my running buddies to check into our hotel and have dinner in the Marina. My NFEC half marathon team included a woman from California who I met in my RRCA coaching course in Portland, another woman from Colorado who I met in Iceland while running the Reykjavik half marathon and a bunch of their friends. Essentially, I put the word out on Facebook that I wanted to enter this race and was looking for company, and a group of 10+ runners quickly formed. I hadn’t done a social race like this since the 17km Kentmere Challenge back in June – that was a seriously fun weekend, so I was really excited. Races are more fun when you have people to hang out with before and after the event, and I always welcome opportunities to expand my international community of running buddies!

We chose the Marina so that we could walk to the NFEC shuttle early the next morning. Runners (of the half marathon at least) were not able to park at the race site, which wasn’t a problem at all given that the shuttle service to and from the event was very efficient. We were picked up at 6:45am for the 8am start and got a ride back around 11:30, although we could have gone back earlier. I was pretty impressed.

As I wrote in my last post, my goals for this race focused more heavily on enjoying the atmosphere and experience over achieving a specific time. I didn’t want to fully race, but the title of this event includes the word challenge, so I wanted to rise up to it!

Obviously, bright orange arm sleeves were in order – here I am looking sleepy at 6am (our hotel, Chelsea Motor Inn, was quite noisy), but excited to hit the trails! My new top, with a gel in each back pocket, worked brilliantly.

My arms matched the sky, as we watched the sunrise over San Francisco while crossing the Golden Gate bridge.

It was quite cold up in the Marin Headlands before the race, but it was clear that the weather would be perfect. The wind from the previous day had gone – just pure sunshine and temperatures in the 50s and low 60s later in the morning. To ease our pre-race shivering, we huddled around heat lamps and held onto our bags until the last minute! I knew the arm sleeves would be too much at some stage of the run, but I couldn’t part with them.

Let’s do this!

Most of our team right before the race:

Dean Karnazes giving us a send off! His legs are INSANE.

  

The atmosphere was super chilled out. I really do love trail races – still highly competitive, but so much friendlier. With Saturday being the primary day of the weekend, the half marathon on Sunday struck me as more of a “for fun” racing day with very few elite runners in the field. Sure, Michael Wardian ran and placed 2nd, but he had also placed highly in the 50 miler the day before. Because clearly 50M wasn’t enough running for him. He’s an incredible athlete – same guy who got food poisoning the day before this year’s SF marathon and ended up winning it anyway, despite also having raced several ultras in the months leading up to the marathon. Crazy. So perhaps he’s not the best example…

My placement might be more telling as to the level of competition out there. I finished feeling strong with a time of 2:08:33, placing 20th out of 230 women, 11th of 89 in my category and 108 out of 496 overall. I was a bit surprised that I placed that highly, but hey, I’m not complaining! Considering the extra distance, the fact that I hardly did any hill training and wasn’t *really* racing, I was very pleased with my time. I took it fairly easy on the uphills (was reduced to walking on that second beast of a hill, comforted by the fact that everyone else was walking too) but to balance it out, was so fast on the downhills I was practically out of control (my quads are still feeling pretty trashed). It was awesome. I could’ve pushed harder on the flats, but I wanted to pace myself throughout the tough course and not go into “race mode.” But most of all, I simply didn’t feel like it. What a new and liberating concept for me in a race!

One of my friends took some photos while out on the course – the views were stunning. As you can see, the trails were pretty well maintained – not too many loose rocks etc. In that sense, it was a piece of cake compared to some of the other trail races I have done! It was the steepness, and the length of the climbs and descents, that made this course so challenging.

  

Here are some of my race photos (via Ultra Race Photos):

      

I was duking it out (kind of) with that guy in brown pictured below throughout the second half of the race. My naturally competitive self didn’t want to let him beat me, but I wasn’t up for maxing out in the last mile (which was also the surprise extra mile), so he ended up passing me at the very end. We had a nice chat afterwards, and I also high-fived a bunch of other runners in my “pack” who finished close to my time. I love friendly competition!

      

As I crossed the finish line, Michael Wardian slapped my hand. Pretty awesome.

The post-race festival was quite fun, with various food and drink stalls, including a coconut water stand and a beer garden (both free)! Two great recovery drinks. The sun was shining and everyone was in great spirits.

Here are a few more photos from the post-race festival:

        

I also managed to snag another item of North Face gear – an awesome lightweight long black sleeve top with thumb holes – in addition to the water bottles they handed to us upon finishing (in lieu of medals, I guess – pictured above). I cannot stress enough just how amazing the race swag is for this event (see previous post).

My only complaint for the entire event was the lack of sufficient aid stations. The participant guide indicated that there would be three stations – but I only recall seeing two. I was feeling pretty dehydrated with only two small cups of water, particularly given the somewhat warm weather, and would’ve carried a bottle had I known.

After showering back at the hotel, we all met for lunch around the corner at Barney’s Gourmet Burgers on Steiner Street. It was a bit chilly out but sunny so we grabbed a huge table out on the garden patio. I devoured a delicious burger with guacamole, Monterey Jack cheese and sauteed mushrooms on a whole wheat bun, with a side of sweet potato fries. Pure bliss – I love my post-race burgers, and everything always tastes better after a long run. Ice cream (lavender honey and roasted banana) at Bi-rite Creamery in the Mission was the perfect end to my post-race treats. This place is a MUST if you are in the area and have never been – actually, it’s worth a trip, from wherever you are. YUM.

So all in all, it was a great race! I would definitely sign up for another NFEC event, either in SF or elsewhere in the country. I was also reminded of just how fun group races can be – it was great to see my friends again and make some new ones too! Our next group running expedition is already in the works – perhaps a trail race in Colorado in the Summer, or the Catalina Island marathon in the Spring! Or the 50k SF NFEC 2012?! The options are endless…

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It’s a gorgeous day here in San Francisco – a bit windy but the sun is shining and I was very comfortable during my relaxed pre-race run this morning along the water. I’m happy for the ultra runners that they’re able to enjoy such a great day out on the trails – hopefully it will be like this tomorrow too for my race!

I know this sounds ridiculous, but one of the factors in my decision to enter tomorrow’s North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon a few months ago was the fact that arm sleeves are part of the race swag bag. I’ve been in love with arm sleeves ever since I ran the NYC marathon in them last year, but for whatever reason haven’t yet bought a really nice pair. So when I went to the North Face store yesterday and was told that only the 50M runners received them, I was bummed out. Sure, I still received a pink technical tee and handheld North Face bottle, but I had my heart set on those sleeves. Good thing the woman helping me was very generous and snuck a pair into my goodie bag. Here I am at the store, very happy!

After wandering around the city for a bit, I headed back to the hotel and tried out my new gear. Originally I thought 70 bucks was a bit steep for a half, but considering that I got 65 dollars worth of gear and am about to run on some incredible trails, I’d say I got a pretty great deal! The race swag quality was much higher than stuff I’ve received in other events. I guess that’s what happens when such a major gear manufacturer is the race sponsor!

I am tempted to break the no new gear rule and wear the sleeves in tomorrow’s race, but I already have my fun purple and bright orange outfit ready to go, so will stick with that. It may be too warm for arm sleeves, afterall! Instead, I decided to test out my new arm sleeves this morning – I got too hot after ten minutes but while I had them on, they were SUPER cozy and comfortable. Two thumbs up, North Face!

 

Man, I look tired in that photo – still recovering from my big trip, but I did manage to get nine glorious hours of sleep last night. That should help me drag myself up and down all those hills tomorrow!

My goals for tomorrow are simply to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere, have some fun with my running friends and not hurt myself. I don’t expect to be fast – I hardly did any hill training (this course is TOUGH) and very little trail running, plus I am quite a bit squishier than usual – but I did get up to 14.5 miles so hopefully I won’t embarrass myself either. We shall see!

 

It feels so good to be home, particularly because I won’t be here for long.

I arrived very late Wednesday night from Boston via Dallas and spent yesterday relaxing, unpacking and simply enjoying being in my own space again. I had a wonderful, action-packed five weeks on the road but by the time my departure date rolled around, I was craving my own bed. I also couldn’t wait to see this:

Nothing like walking to my local beach, soaking up some sunshine and listening to the soothing sounds of the waves. Back in California, at last.

I’m about to drive up to San Francisco for Sunday’s North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon but first wanted to fill you in on the rest of my multi-city tour!

My Thanksgiving weekend with E’s family was awesome – great company and incredible food, I couldn’t really ask for more! I somehow managed to squeeze in an 8 miler on Saturday – my last pre-race “long” run – which was challenging after a bit too much food and booze, but I pushed through. I also got a chance to make my Triple B pancakes on Sunday, which I think won me a few extra brownie points! I didn’t have blueberries and we didn’t have time to let the batter sit, but they came out great (or at least everyone seemed to love them) which made me very happy.

After our pancake brunch, it was time to drop E at the Boston airport to head back to London. This was our third goodbye and was particularly sad since we don’t yet have our next visit planned, but hopefully we will see each other sometime in January.

I couldn’t get a flight home until later in the week. I was a bit travel weary by this stage, but I was excited to spend time in Boston and visit some London friends who had moved there over the summer. My only relatively recent trips to the city were for Harvard-Yale games back in college, and as you can imagine, not much time was spent sightseeing!

I decided to spend most of my two days in Boston exploring the city on foot. I was fortunate enough to be staying somewhere very central – a mere five minute walk from Symphony Hall, 10 minutes from Newbury street and 15 minutes from the MFA – so I made the most of it.

After an easy four-mile run and some lounging around, I had lunch with my friend at BU in the student union (he works at the university). It felt strange to be around so many students, particularly since they were mostly undergrads, but I guess that will be me quite soon! That was the first of many campuses I crossed that day. It’s pretty amazing just how many schools there are in Boston. I felt like I was moving from one type of sweatshirt to the next every ten minutes. As a Yalie I feel like a *slight* traitor saying this, but I imagine it must be pretty fun to be a student in Boston.

I crossed the river and walked along the Charles river to Cambridge. I had hoped to run along the river but it was more convenient to run around the park close to where I was staying (right near Simmons College and the MFA), so walking was the next best thing. I was of course reminded of Haruki Murakami’s book, “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.” I read that book three years ago when I first started running again in London and loved it. I also couldn’t help but think about the Boston Marathon – the sadness returned for a moment about not being able to run in 2012, but quickly faded. I know I will be back to run there someday.

I wandered up into Cambridge and across various campuses, including Harvard’s. Such a different feel from Yale – it was interesting to sit down and observe all the students walking by. I can’t wait to be a student again! I should be hearing from NYU regarding my application any day now…

On my way back down Mass. Ave. approaching MIT’s campus, I caught the most incredible sunset. The photos do not do it justice.

Dusk on the river was also beautiful and quite peaceful. Having a day to myself for the first time in weeks was very refreshing.

The following day, I explored Newbury Street, Beacon Hill, Faneuil Hall, Brookline and various other parts of town. I couldn’t help but stop in the Nike store, which was AWESOME. I wanted everything but am proud to say that I managed to control myself and only look. Once I get into school, I will reward myself with a new running outfit! 🙂

Beacon Hill was very cute – there were so many runners out and about, presumably because it was lunchtime and I was quite close to Boston Common. I caught a few doing a hill workout – looked pretty intense!

I managed to snag a last minute ticket to hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra perform – an amazing seat for only twenty bucks! I was pretty tired after so much walking but really enjoyed the concert. Inspired me to get back into playing my oboe again…

After a morning race pace run on Wednesday, I had a couple hours before my flight to visit the Museum of Fine Arts. The MFA has been on my list of museums to visit ever since I studied Art History at Yale and I loved it. Unfortunately my visit was slightly rushed but I managed to see nearly everything I wanted to see, including a wonderful Degas exhibit. I found it particularly cool that they had a conservation room on display, and enjoyed lunch in their cafe:

And that concludes my short but busy trip to Boston! Stay tuned for more details on my upcoming half marathon in San Francisco – I am feeling very out of shape and have no clue how I will fare on this difficult course, but I’m excited nonetheless. Have a great weekend!

As you may have noticed from my 2011 race plans, I only have one event left this year – the North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon in San Francisco on December 4th. This is the championship of North Face’s national trail race series and includes races of many distances (from 5k to 50 mile) throughout the weekend. I figured the half marathon would be a great excuse to maintain the fitness I gained while training for the Portland marathon plus I’ve always wanted to run in the Marin Headlands. Also, the goody bag includes arm sleeves – that pretty much sealed the deal when I was searching for a December race!

I signed up for the half with a group of other runners from California and Colorado. I love doing races with friends, particularly when I am running more for fun than for a specific time, as I did for the Kentmere 17km trail run in the Lake District. We’re all staying in the same hotel and having our pre- and post-race meals together. I’m so excited! I wish E could join us – he loves Dean Karnazes (who is making multiple appearances throughout the weekend) and has always wanted to do this event. He’ll be in London at the time but hopefully next year we can both participate, perhaps in one of the longer distance events!

I bet my Denver friends will kick some butt in this race, given they train at altitude and have access to some incredible trails! I will have just returned from my 5-week NYC/London/Boston trip a couple days before, so the only thing that will give me some edge is my jet lag. For once, I’ll be ready to get out of bed when my alarm goes off at an ungodly hour on race morning!

Although I’m sure I’ll get into the racing spirit and push myself to the finish once I’m on the course, I’m not killing myself training for this event. My hip is still on the mend and I want a mental break from full-on training and racing after so many hectic months! My goal is simply to train so that I don’t kill myself in the race itself!

If you’re not exactly sure what I mean, check out the course profile and description below. “Endurance challenge” seems like a fairly apt description, no?!

Looks brutal but awesome! I can only imagine how fun those steep climbs and downhills will be if it rains…

So how am I training for this event?

I started to consider this question a few weeks after the Portland Marathon, once I felt recovered and started to build my mileage back up. I wanted to try a different type of schedule from the ones I have been using with my coach to mix things up, so I looked over the materials I received in my coaching course to see if I could modify one of the schedules our instructors gave us. I only had seven weeks to train. Normally you need far more time, and running a trail race is an entirely different ballgame, but given that I had just run a full marathon I knew I would bounce back relatively quickly. As long as I wasn’t aiming for an overly ambitious time, I would be just fine!

The training plans that we discussed in my coaching course address distance and speed separately. The first phase of the plan is to focus on “base building” or increasing your endurance through long and short runs at an easy pace. This concept of running every session at the same pace is very foreign to me and seems quite boring, given that my typical week might include a long run, recovery run, tempo and/or race pace run and an interval or hill session. If you are an experienced runner, the schedule allows for fartlek running during one of the shorter mid-week runs, but otherwise all are done at an easy pace.

Once you build up to the race distance (which for a distance event takes many weeks), you enter a phase called “sharpening,” where you include race pace speed work as well as any other training specific to the event (such as terrain, temperature etc.). This phase is shorter than the base building phase. Lastly, you have the taper phase, which for the half marathon is around ten days (I normally do two weeks), and the post-race recovery phase, which resembles a reverse taper.

What I came up with is a condensed first section of a marathon schedule that I found in one of my coaching course books. My mileage increases more quickly and I incorporate speed work into the schedule relatively early due to time constraints and the fact that I have a recent marathon under my belt. However, I do hope to experiment with the actual schedule as it appears in my course book at some stage so that I can decide what works best for me and how I want to train others when I begin coaching clients more formally.

Please find my current North Face SF Half Marathon schedule here. As you can see, it’s fairly simple compared to my other schedules, which is actually quite refreshing. I’ve stripped out most of my spin classes, as I realized those weren’t helping my hip soreness plus I wouldn’t have regular gym access while I was traveling. I have added in Bikram Yoga while in London, beginning yesterday. I’ll be writing a post on hot yoga soon!

Some of my fellow coaches from Portland are running the North Face 50k – I wish them luck! I do hope to run an ultra at some stage, but for now, I think I have my hands full with the half…

As for 2012 races, I have ZERO in my calendar! The horror! I realize I need to get my act together or else all the major races will be full by the time I want to register (many already are), but I’m still waiting to figure out where I’ll be (NYC or elsewhere) and if my hip is 100% better in time for Spring marathon training. I may do what I did this past year – run a Spring half marathon or two and focus on a Fall marathon such as Chicago or Berlin – but I would prefer to run both Spring and Fall if my body, my schedule and my wallet can handle it. I’ll keep you posted, as always!

I’ve finally reached my Portland marathon taper weeks – only a week and a half left until race day! For awhile, I wasn’t sure I would make it this far and thus am grateful my injury has healed enough to carry me to the start line, and hopefully the finish line too.

Week 14 was really fun, mostly because E was visiting and we had planned to spend some time in Big Sur and San Francisco while based in Santa Cruz. So, not only did I have a running buddy, but also some new routes to explore! I also reaped the benefits of incorporating extra rest days into week 13, which was key to a successful speed session on Thursday and stronger running, generally. Yet another reminder of the importance of listening to your body and giving yourself sufficient time to recover, even if it means three full days off of exercise (normally I only take one or two days, max).

After recuperating from my 30th birthday 18-miler, I kicked off week 14 with a 5M trail run in Nisene Marks. I had scheduled a hill interval session, but figured a hilly trail run with 1,016ft of elevation gain would probably qualify as a substitute. It certainly was more interesting than running up and down a road in my neighborhood, that’s for sure! Plus, after my somewhat creepy 15M run by myself on the trails, I was eager to go back with E so I could actually enjoy the scenery.

The run was fantastic – we drove 3M along the fire road so that we could start directly on the Loma Prieta Grade trail, which begins just past the gate above. It was a beautiful day, which meant that the forest was far brighter than the last time I had run there, but still nice and cool from the redwoods. The sun shining through the trees completely changed the feel of the run – far less eery!

E loved it – I knew he would as he’s very much into trail running and this particular landscape is quite unique to Northern California. I didn’t have my camera on the run (had to focus on not falling into ravines or tripping over things), but here’s another shot of the redwoods near the gate:

Later that morning, we drove down the coast to Big Sur, where we spent two wonderful days hiking, eating and relaxing. Big Sur is one of my favorite places on earth – if you haven’t been, you must go. Here’s a shot of the coastline later that evening after the fog lifted – absolutely stunning.

Tuesday called for some cross-training. I love to hike and had never done more than a short, easy walk in the area before, so we set off on a challenging 7-8M loop in Andrew Molera State Park, starting with a flat trail to the ocean, then some steep climbing up along the Bluff/Panorama trails and then back down and around via the Ridge, South Boundary and River trails. We had to fight our way through a forest of poison oak in the last few miles which wasn’t exactly fun (the trail was very overgrown and difficult to find at times), but otherwise it was an awesome hike! We both couldn’t resist running for a few minutes here and there…

Is this trail made for running or what?! Ocean views and sunshine for miles (before the fog set in, that is)!

Looking back on the Bluff trail after some climbing:

The following day gave us an opportunity to run a gentle 5 miles through the redwoods of Pfeiffer State park, although admittedly, it didn’t feel so easy after the previous day’s hike! Finding a flat route as we were trying to do in Big Sur is very difficult, so we had to do some loops on the roads leading to the camp sites. Still very pretty though!

Thursday was my last full speed session, which I was very much dreading. My prior interval sessions hadn’t gone too well, and it was hard to get back on a treadmill after running in such inspiring scenery. Much to my surprise, however, this run went incredibly well – night and day compared to my previous week’s session! Simply having taken more rest days the week before meant that my legs were recovered enough to get through my five 3min intervals without any problem. It was a much-needed confidence boost as I approach race day!

Friday was a 5M marathon pace run, which wasn’t paced very well due to the fact that I had to run on an undulating road. Flat routes are a bit hard to find where I live too. I also haven’t quite determined what my marathon pace actually is, which certainly doesn’t help – somewhere between 8:11 (3:35) and 8:34 (3:45) at the moment – so I should probably figure out my racing strategy ASAP! Realistically, I’m guessing I’m closer to the 3:40 – 3:45 range, but we’ll see.

Saturday was a well-earned rest day in San Francisco, and Sunday was my last “long” run of 11 miles, brought down from 20. I ran along the water with E on my usual route from the Embarcadero to Fort Point, and it went fairly well. I hit MP for my last few miles as planned and averaged 8:45 min/mile for the run. It’s a good thing that I opted for a shorter run so close to the race – my hip started to ache slightly towards the end and I think two weeks would not have been enough time to fully recovery from a 20-miler!

Of course, it wouldn’t be a long run (for me, at least) without a post-run caffeinated beverage of some kind. These smiley face cappuccinos definitely helped me celebrate finally reaching my taper weeks. They were too cute – had to share!

I will close with one last highlight of week 14 – all the AMAZING food I ate! Remember those few pounds I trimmed back in weeks 12 & 13? Yeah, those are definitely back on. I obviously had to take E to my favorite California restaurants – not so great for my racing weight, but it was worth it! Our last meal before I took him to SFO for his flight back to London was a late brunch at Green’s in SF – check out these poached eggs baked in polenta, with sugar snaps, a variety of incredible mushrooms and grilled bread. Delicious – and had we not started with cakes and muffins with vanilla infused butter on top, after having already eaten a big breakfast right after our run, it would’ve been a pretty healthy meal too! 🙂

And now, it’s time to rest up and prepare for the race, as well as my coaching certification course that takes place the two days prior. By rest up and prepare, I actually mean frantically do all the things I neglected during E’s visit, including my grad school applications which are due very soon! Hopefully I will also be able to exert some self control and get back to a healthier diet before I start carbo-loading, which I normally do three days before my marathon.

It’s going to be an intensive four-day visit to Portland, and I’m not exactly sure what to expect from it all, but I’m excited to find out…

In about a month, I’ll be on a one-way flight back to San Francisco, along with as much of my London life that I can possibly squeeze into two huge suitcases.

In three weeks, I’ll be celebrating my final day in the office, capped off with an evening flight to Iceland – the last of my London weekend getaways – to run the Reykjavik Half Marathon.

In two weeks, I’ll be saying goodbye to my wonderful flat, which I’ve lived in for three and a half years (that’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere other than my parent’s house), and my amazing flatmates to (temporarily) move into E’s place a few minutes down the road.  

This weekend, assuming I get the okay from my physio tomorrow, I’ll start running again, beginning with one or two miles and slowly building up to get back on my October marathon schedule.

Any day now, my sister will be giving birth to a gorgeous baby girl and I’ll become an extremely proud aunt.

And today, I have officially completed my Open University nutrition course (which began in early May) and am starting the application process to various Nutrition & Dietetics DPD/MS programs in NYC and CA.

Wow. There’s a lot going on in the next month (and beyond). I’m still somewhat in denial – and probably will be until things really start to kick off – although it’s definitely sinking in. No wonder I’ve been feeling so all over the place this past week!

I’m obviously excited for everything that’s currently unfolding – but as you can imagine, all of these things put together elicit such a mixture of emotions, it can be slightly overwhelming at times. Particularly times like now – when I can’t run.

I know you runners out there understand exactly what I’m talking about. Running is my outlet – it helps me cope, it makes me happy, it gives me confidence, it keeps my weight down, it connects me to others (and the list goes on and on). Actually, I have to have a good think about why I love to run and make it such a priority in my life, since I still need to write my “story” for my coach’s next running book.

Although I have been cross-training, I haven’t been for a run in a week now, and have only done about 21M in the last three weeks in total, so I’m feeling extremely running starved at the moment. But I suppose that’s a good feeling to have, as opposed to feeling burnt out and unmotivated – I’ve been there too!

At least I can say that I truly am feeling better, in terms of my hip. I’ve been extremely disciplined about resting sufficiently as well as doing the exercises my physio has given me, so fingers crossed I get the green light to run when I speak with him tomorrow. I don’t think I’ve ever felt this excited to run a mile – maybe even TWO – in my whole running career! 🙂

Wish me luck…and stay tuned for updates on all of the above!

Welcome to FFR

Hi, I'm Claire! I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (MS, RD, CDN) and a Road Runners Club of America certified coach. This is where I share my latest adventures in running, racing, food & travel! If you'd like to work with me, please visit my professional website, Eat for Endurance.

My PRs

Marathon (Chicago): 3:33:18
Boston Marathon: 3:36:14
Half-Marathon: 1:37:21
10M: 1:14:52
10k: 44:52

My latest photos

Grateful for quality time this week with my little pumpkin! 🎃😍 Happy Monday from California! I haven’t posted any running pics for a long time as I’ve been dealing with a hip injury for the last few months (and zero running for the last 5 weeks). 😓 I haven’t run a race, even a short one, in over a year - so different than how I imagined my postpartum running life to be. It makes me sad that I can’t run especially while in Santa Cruz, but I’m trying to stay active in different ways, be diligent about my PT, and remain positive even though the road to recovery feels endless at times. Yesterday, E and I went on a beautiful beach walk in the morning and then I did a hike with a friend and our babes in the afternoon, where I normally run in Nisene. I miss running but hopefully will get back to it soon, stronger than before! Baking “for the baby” tonight (so I say as I gobble up these delicious treats). Made mini pumpkin muffins (and a few mama sized ones), recipe adapted from @babyfoode. So easy to make - I added full fat Greek yogurt and almond butter to include some healthy fats. I think Arielle will love these - if for some crazy reason she doesn’t, more for me!! 😂 Nice work on tonight’s dinner, @trailz.io!! So good I’m going back for seconds. Veg bake with layers of eggplant, red onions, tomatoes, zucchini, ricotta, breadcrumbs, & spices with arugula on top. 👌🏻 Surprise package in the mail today! Thx @rxbar - stoked to try out the new gingerbread flavor. Speaking of, how on earth is it already the holiday season?!?! #rxbar Love @siggisdairy triple cream yogurts - perfect to satisfy a craving for something sweet and indulgent while providing 9g protein, relatively few calories (170), and calcium. The chocolate flavor was so delicious! #dailysiggis

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