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My First NWM

Since 2012 is almost over, I figure I should catch up on my race posts :-)  Here’s my first Nike Women’s Marathon Experience:

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After I did my first two 5K’s last year, I made it a goal to do a half marathon this year. I specifically wanted to do the Nike Women’s Marathon half. I don’t really know why I wanted to do it. I guess the fact that it’s close to me was a big reason. But I also knew that it was a very challenging course, with lots of hills. It was a little intimidating but I looked forward to the challenge.

I started training for it, even though I didn’t even know if I would get into the race.  It’s such a popular race that unless you join Team in Training, you have to get in through the Random Drawing process. To make sure that I at least completed my goal of doing a half marathon, I also registered for the Disneyland Half Marathon that would happen before the NWM. I planned on doing both if I was lucky enough. I didn’t get into the NWM with the Random Drawing :-(  I was bummed but focused my attention on doing the Disney Half. I still kept a look out for extra opportunities to get into the NWM via their Facebook and Twitter. I tried anything that came up but never had any luck :-( I ran the Disneyland Half and figured I was done for the rest of the year.  A week later while I was recovering, they offered one last chance to get into the NWM for Nike+ members.  I was so excited! I was actually picking up my son from school when I saw the post and immediately filled out the registration via my phone!

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My Confirmation Email!!

I was absolutely thrilled to receive the confirmation email a few minutes later! I was going to be able to go after my original goal. I did pretty well with the Disney half so I you could say I was pretty confident :-) My biggest concern was that I only had a little over 4 weeks to get my mileage back up. I had also hurt my ankle after the Disney Half so I wasn’t sure how I would do.  I made my main goal to finish the race without stopping. Training was rough. I wore an ankle brace for most of my runs. Then a few days before the race, I got sick :-( Needless to say, I didn’t do any training those last few days and focused on getting better.

I picked up my race bib and packet on the first day it was available thinking that it wouldn’t be as crazy, but I was wrong. Union Square was crazy! After picking up my bright volt Nike bag that was filled with goodies, I met up with a friend of mine and we walked around the expo.  We tried out Luna bars and nuun water. I also picked up my pair of the NWM Nike Lunar Glide and found my name on the wall of  the Niketown store :-) It was the last day that I felt good enough to get up and walk.

In front of the NWM Expo

In front of the NWM Expo

 

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Human Hamster Wheel at the Safeway Booth

My Motivation to race even though I wasn't feeling well. No Excuses!

My Motivation to race even though I wasn’t feeling well. No Excuses!

NWM Lunar Glides

NWM Lunar Glides

Pic w/ a tall Fireman after picking up my NWM Lunar Glides :-)

Pic w/ a tall Fireman after picking up my NWM Lunar Glides :-)

 

Inside my Nike Volt Bag

Inside my Nike Volt Bag

Clothes and Gear prepped for Race Day.

Clothes and Gear prepped for Race Day.

I felt better on race day but still not 100%. I was up at 3a and had my chobani w/ almond butter, banana, and whole wheat bagel w/ almond butter for breakfast. I got to Union Square 2 hours before the race started. I checked my bag right away but regreted it because I was so cold the whole time I was waiting. It was a foggy morning in the bay area and my shorts and tank didn’t help keep me warm. The corrals were set up decently based on your mile time.  I was in the 7:30-8:30 group. It was pretty cold and I was so glad when the race finally started.

Breakfast :-)

Breakfast :-)

Ready for the race.

Ready for the race.

 

Star Spangled Banner at the Start Line

Star Spangled Banner at the Start Line

It was an overcast morning with fog. It cleared a little bit at Union Square when the race started but there was plenty of fog for the whole race.  I warmed up fairly quick.  Had one bathroom pit stop around the 10K mark. I knew there would be hills, but I definitely underestimated how steep and big a few of the hills were.  I just focused on keeping my feet moving.  The downhill parts were pretty rough on my knees. Being sick also took a toll on me. I was happy that I still managed to complete the race under 2 hours :-) I must have looked pretty sick when I crossed the finish line because the volunteers and fireman that I passed all asked if I was ok and needed help. I picked up my Tiffany Necklace Box and headed straight for the bathrooms since my stomach had been hurting badly for the last 3 miles of the race.

At the top of one of the first big hills.

At the top of one of the first big hills.

Passing another Mile Marker

Passing another Mile Marker

Mile 12

Mile 12

The last downhill stretch - Knees were aching!

The last downhill stretch – Knees were aching!

 

Crossing the Finish Line

Crossing the Finish Line

My Race Results :-)

My Race Results :-)

Finisher Tees - they are super bright!

Finisher Tees – they are super bright!

RUN.

RUN.

Family Meeting Area with Video Screen so you can see when your family member crosses the finish line.

Family Meeting Area with Video Screen so you can see when your family member crosses the finish line.

Photo Op with a Fireman

Photo Op with a Fireman

Finisher Goodies

Finisher Goodies

 

Bought these two tops as a reward for finishing :-)

Bought these two tops as a reward for finishing :-)

 

Tiffany Finisher Necklace :-)

Tiffany Finisher Necklace :-)

I didn’t have anyone come with me for this race so after picking up a couple tops and finisher goodies, I picked up my sweat bag.  I was a search to find the bus that had my bag. Every bus had a neat name with “Run” at the start. Mine was “Run Amazing.” Once I found my bus, I had to go to specific window. It was pretty organized and I didn’t have to wait long for my bag. I followed the signs to the shuttles back to Union Square.

Making my way through the buses.

Making my way through the buses.

Run Amazing!

Run Amazing!

On the Shuttle Back to Union Square. Tired!

On the Shuttle Back to Union Square. Tired!

I was tired and my stomach still hurt. I got lost trying to find my way back to the parking garage. But I was happy. I accomplished my goal for 2012!! Will I do it again next year? Yes!! It’s a great race, for a great cause, and it shows how amazingly strong we women are :-)

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My 1st Half Marathon

It’s been a little over 6 weeks since I ran my first half marathon in “the Happiest Place on Earth.” As some might know, the Disneyland Half Marathon was not my first choice for my first half marathon.  The Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco was what I had my eye on a year ago when I set the goal of doing a half marathon this year. But when I learned that it was a hard race to get into – without joining Team in Training, I went to a plan B. Running a half marathon was my main goal so I looked for another race to do in case I couldn’t get into the NWM during the random drawing(which I didn’t). My good friend suggested that we do the Disneyland half together and I went for it.  The original plan was for a girls weekend where we’d meet in L.A, go to the parks, go to the beach, and do the race. Unfortunately, my friend had something come up right before the race and had to cancel.  It was slightly hectic getting last minute hotels and deciding if I was going to fly or drive myself. Ben came to my rescue and took time off work, got his dad to babysit, and rented a car so he could come with me. So it turned out to be a mini vacation for the two of us.

Moon over the San Luis Reservoir

We left early Saturday morning – before the sun was up.  We wanted to get there early enough to make sure we had enough time to get my race packet and beat any traffic. The people who set the date for the race are no fools.  Race weekend also happened to be Labor Day weekend.  Ben did all the driving. It was a very pretty drive seeing the sunrise.

Sunrise over I-5

Wish we could have stopped at 6 Flags.

Arriving in L.A.

He got us to L.A. in 4.5 hours. We were too early to check-in to the hotel so we went had an early lunch at his favorite restaraunt – Bubba Gumps. I usually have carbs at lunch time the day before the race so I enjoyed some shrimp and rice.

Shrimp Bucket Appetizer. Half Cajun and Half Garlic

My Lunch: Shrimp/Sausage/Veggie Kabobs

Indulged in a Bread Pudding Dessert

After checking in to our hotel, we headed towards to Fitness Expo. So… here is where I had a complete blonde moment.  The whole time I was preparing for the trip, I thought that the Expo was at the Anaheim Convention Center which was right next to our hotel. We walked over and saw a Christian convention but no sign of a fitness expo :-/ Ben was a little irritated because we were walking and it was a bit hot that day. When I looked again, I realized that it was the convention center inside the Disneyland Resort.  It wasn’t too much further of a walk and it gave us an idea about how far I would have to walk on race morning to the start line.

Walking down Katella

We headed to packet pick up which was at the lower level.  It was well organized. You picked up based on you bib number, showed your ID and got your packet. I went to Runners Relations to change my corral since I didn’t put a proof of time down when I registered. I was originally assigned to be in the second to last corral and I wanted to be closer to the front. I used my Big Sur 9miler time to get into corral A – the front :-) It’s not that I was expecting to win but I did have a time goal and I knew being closer to the front would help me. We decided to get one day park passes for after the race. We left the Expo and walked towards Downtown Disney.  We made reservations for dinner at the Rainforest Cafe since it’s such a long wait if you don’t. We were a little tired from the drive so we decided to relax and watch a movie. We saw Will Ferrel’s The Campaign. It was one of his better movies of late. Then we walked around Downtown Disney. I bought a neon pink Minnie Mouse shirt from one of the shops. We decided to try our luck at getting a table earlier than our reservation and got in.

Dinner: Roasted Chicken w/ double order of grilled veggies

Our table was right by the gorilla which we both knew our youngest son would have loved. I ordered roasted chicken with a double order of grilled veggies and Ben got some steak. We talked about our kids and how they were going to enjoy our vacation we had planned. Then we walked back to our hotel and it was time for me to get some rest for the race.  I set out my clothes and gear, set my alarm for 3:30a and was in bed by 9p.  Didn’t quite fall asleep until after the booming of the fireworks show ended though.

Lights on trees made for a romantic walk :-)

All ready for the race!

I got up at 3a and got ready. Breakfast was a banana and Chobani Champions w/ almond butter. I realized I didn’t have a spoon so I used my straw to stir and eat.

Pre-Race Breakfast.

Ben stayed asleep. The plan was he would meet me at the finish line around 7:30a. It was dark when I headed out the door. I walked to the intersection and followed the group of fellow runners to the start line. I arrived just as they opened the corrals.  I walked around to check things out and see where the bag check and restrooms were. I hung around until 5a then checked my bag, used the restroom, and headed to my corral. While I waited a nice man said he would take a picture of me at the start line.  He was an older man but a very seasoned runner and he talked to me about his experiences with the Disney marathons. Intimidating and Inspiring at the same time. Lol. The race started at exactly 5:45a.

Stage w/ DJ playing music

Wish I had taken advantage of this.

Getting to my corral.

At the Start Line.

What can I say? It was definitely a Disney race.  I think I saw pretty much every character along the way while running through the parks.  A few of the people in the group I ran with stopped for pictures but it was very quick and they were quickly back in the race. I did not stop for pictures because I focused on running. The music through the park was very loud so it was hard to hear my own music. I didn’t mind though. And it was magical to run through the castle.

Running through Cars Land

The Castle!

You cant help but smile. Even though there wasnt music outside the park, there was still quite a bit of entertainment on the streets on Anaheim for the runners. Bands, cheerleaders, and of course supporters/volunteers were all throughout the race.  I did have to make one pit stop for a bathroom break right around 10K. I really enjoyed running through Angels Stadiums.

In Angels Stadium

There were supporters as you came in cheering you as you ran around the stadium.  At the last mile, it was just non-stop cheering.  Ben didn’t get a front row spot but he saw me cross the finish line via the video screen they had.  I felt great crossing because I saw that I had come in under my 2 hour goal! I wasn’t sure after my pit stop of I would still make it.

Crossing the Finish Line.

I always push through the finish :-)

With my Finisher Medal.

I picked up my finisher goodies – the medal was heavier than I expected it to be, water, banana, and my checked bag then met up with Ben. I was really happy that he was there for me. I pulled out my chocolate Zico and Luna bar and enjoyed them on our walk back to our hotel.

Goodies inside the Finisher Box.

I showered and changed into the new Minnie Mouse tee I bought and we walked back to the park.  There were people still running the race when we got back. We headed into the park to be kids for the day. My right hip and glute were really sore but I did pretty good. We didnt have wait too long for any ride.

Walking down Main Street

Our first stop - for the Indiana Jones Ride

Star Tours

First time I saw this :-)

By 11a we were starving so we decided to have an early lunch. We decided to do the Big Thunder BBQ.

Loved that the water was served in these jars.

A bucket for each of us :-) Plus we ordered another bucket of chicken. I was hungry!

Love my Benny for supporting me.

It was an all you can eat kind of place. We both ate a bucket of chicken and ribs. I did not even touch the corn bread. We stayed a couple more hours then decided to head home.

We shared a candied apple on the way out of the park :-)

RunDisney banners on our way out.

Yes, I slept for quite a bit of ride. I also drove for a couple hours but my legs got really tight while driving so after stopping for dinner, Ben got back to driving. We were home by 9:30p and it was not hard for me to climb into bed and fall back asleep :-)

My results :-)

Would I do it again? Yes! I will probably do it again next year :-) I have more friends that want to do it with me.  I think it’s a great race to do for a first half marathon.  It’s all pretty flat with just a couple overpasses that serve as “hills.” The energy is amazing and everyone is pretty happy to be there.  And of course, it’s prefect to plan a vacation around.  They even have a 5k and kids races the day before. Definitely something for the whole family. Disneyland and Disney World have several races they do throughout the year, so definitely check them out and do one! My goal is do the Coast to Coast challenge were you do a race in both Disneyland and Disney World in the same year :-)

Firsts

Taking a stroll down memory lane…..

The First time I saw him – 6th grade. A friend of mine had a huge crush on him. I was the new girl so I had no clue who he even was but I could tell he was one of those popular and arrogant type of guys.

The First time He Looked at me – 6th Grade field trip to the Exploritorium in SF. I was waiting for my friends and his class walked by. He actually looked at me with those gorgeous blue eyes and my heart stopped.

The First time he talked to me – 8th grade. Making fun of a project that I did with a friend of his.

The First time we talked – 8th Grade field trip to Great America on the bus ride home. I had a pounding headache and he had the guy next to him switch places with me so I could next to him. I was the Happiest girl in the world despite my aching head :-)

The First time he asked me out – 8th grade after school – about two weeks after the field trip. I was so nervous. All I could say was yes and no to the questions he was asking. It was one of the happiest days of my life :-)

Our First kiss – 8th grade after school in front of Lone Oak Park.

Our First Date – Mission Impossible movie at the Cinedome.

Our First Dance – End of the school year dance in 8th grade. He was slightly upset that I got Queen and someone else besides him got King.

The First time he told me he loved me – During our first dance :-)

After that, we had a roller coaster relationship – if you could even call it that. I don’t like to look back too often because there were a lot of sad and painful memories. But our First time together as a couple was the most sincere, pure, and innocent Love. I can close my eyes and remember these moments like it was yesterday. I smile and feel like that little girl again who is absolutely crazy about him :-)

I knew from the moment he looked at me with his amazing blue eyes that he would be a part of my life forever. I knew from the first kiss that he was the one I would spend my life with. I waited years for him and all the heartache was completely worth it because in the end, my dream came true. We’re together :-)

8 Years and counting :-)

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My First 5K!

Well…. I did it!!! I ran my first 5K! And I feel Amazing :-)

Last night I was nervous about it mostly because I was doing it by myself but when Ben got home from work he said that he would run with me. I was shocked because I didn’t think he was too happy to have to get up early just to support me. I was really happy that he decided to run with me but I was a little worried because he hadn’t trained for it and I didn’t want him to get discouraged. But leave it to Ben to be confident and cocky as ever.  All night and this morning he kept telling me he was going to “smoke me.” Lol. Nothing phases him.

I wanted to get there early so that Ben could register and I wanted to make sure we had enough time to find the place, park, and get set up. I got up at 6a and put on my clothes.  I put on my new ToneItUp top to rep my awesome trainers and toneitup family :-) Made Ben an egg white breakfast sandwich on whole wheat bagel thins. I toasted a whole wheat bagel thin and put almond butter on top.  Added some banana slices and wrapped everything up to eat on the go — I was on a schedule. Got Ben up and while I waited for him to get ready, I packed a lunch box with the bagels, Zico, water, a banana, and couple Luna bars.

The OctobeRun was in RedWood City – only 15 minutes away from us. This was the first year it was held to raise money for the RedWood Schools and sponsored partly by OctoberFest which was happening right after the race. It was a one block walk from the parking lot to the Registration Tents and the Starting Line was not too far away.  I picked up my bib, timing chip and tshirt while Ben registered.  I was going to run with my TIU top the whole time but when I realized I had to pin my bib on, I decided to save my super comfy and cute top.  I wore a tank underneath so all I did was swap my TIU top for the Octoberun tshirt. We had plenty of time after getting our timing chips and bibs on so we walked back to the car to put our sweaters and lunch box away.

Got My OctobeRun thsirt and bib On - Cheesin

Ben Stretching

My bib # 21

Me and my Benny ready for the Race

Some Stretching and jumping in place to warm up and we watched as the half marathoners start their race.  I really admired those people and one day I hope to be one of them :-)  There were a lot running the half marathon but even more running the 5K.  It was so cool to see people of all ages.  The oldest was an 85 year old woman who wound up taking 2nd in her age group. There were lots of families with kids running too.  I think the youngest runner was 7 – and I think he beat me. lol.

At around 10 minutes before our start time, we headed to the starting line. I worked us towards the front, but not right in front. There were so many people there. I was a little worried I’d get trampled :-/  My heart started to race a little bit when the the timer started counting down. I didn’t know if I was going to stay with Ben the whole time or not.  A part of me wanted to but the other part of me wanted to give it my all. My goal was to finish without stopping and to at least make my best time during training – 27 minutes.

The Count Down

The Start/Finish Line

The starter gun went off…. and away we went.  It was tough to get through the crowd at first. Had to maneuver around kids and cones. I don’t know when I separated from Ben.  I thought he was with me for a while because I could hear breathing behind me but when I looked back it wasn’t him.   The route wasn’t too bad. Mostly on streets until the halfway way point where we had to go over a bridge (uphill).  At the bottom of the hill was the turn around point with a water station. I did take some water but probably could have been fine without it. Then it was time to head back up the hill again and go back the way we came.

Crossing the finish line was such a great feeling. It was really neat to hear the announcer call my name as I finished.  They had volunteers right there to take the timing chips off.  I wasn’t paying attention to the timer when I crossed but I think it was 25 min and 20 seconds… give or take a few seconds. lol. I waited for Ben at the finish. He came in around 30 minutes. I was really proud of him because he didn’t stop even though he wanted to.  Not bad for someone who hasn’t run in a Long time.

Ben at the finish Line

I had to go to the car and put my TIU top back on and hydrate with my favorite Zico :-) We grabbed a goodie bag and Ben ate some oranges.  They had coffee cake, oranges, and bananas, for us to eat after the run.  We had already split the banana we brought while walking to and from the car.  We walked over to OctoberFest across the street.  The smells from the food trucks were so tempting. Luckily I had a Luna bar with me so I ate that while we walked around to keep me from breaking down and buying the junk food. There were also pastries, kettle corn,  and Italian desserts.  But they also had a farmers market with lots of fresh, local produce. I wish we would have had more time to stick around because I would have loved to stock up on those veggies.  Unfortunately, we had to leave because Ben had to get ready for work.

Hydrating with Zico

Coffee Cake in different flavors

Love my new Tone It Up Top

We stopped to look at the results posted on a van.  I tried to take a picture but didn’t get my time in the frame :-( I came in 69th overall and 4th in my age group.  I am so proud of myself.  I beat my best time by a whole 2 minutes.

Results Sheet (2nd Page) - I'm the second from the top :-)

*I looked up my time on the results page:

69

Maria Beringuel Foster City CA

21

29

F

4 20-29

25:29.0

25:38.6

0:09.6

8:13

25:29 was my time from the Start Line. 25:38 was my time overall – the 9.6 seconds difference is how long it took me to get to the start line from where I was at – not too much of a difference. 8:13 was my average pace :-)

I had a great time.  I am especially happy that Ben was with me.  I even got him to do another one with me next month – but he’ll train for it.  His goal next time is to “smoke me.” lol.

Thank You to Karena, Katrina, and my Tone It Up family. Because of you, I have more confidence than I’ve ever had. I feel amazing and stronger (physically and mentally). I am looking forward to my next race.

PreRace Thoughts

Tomorrow I run my first 5k!! I’m excited and also nervous. I honestly can say that I never thought I’d be doing a race. I have 2 brothers who are runners and I pale in comparison to them. I resisted running. I don’t really have a reason.

If it weren’t for Karena, Katrina and the whole Tone It Up Team/Community I wouldn’t have even considered running a race. In the last 3 months of joining the team and truly committing to my new Lifestyle, I’ve gained the physical and emotional strength to do a race. Most importantly I have the confidence :-) I am not the fastest and I have no delusions of winning or even placing.

My goal: Complete my first 5K without stopping :-) And have fun!

Since it is a race, I am a little nervous. It’s hard to not have a competitive mind set. I have no idea how many people will be there. I don’t have a running partner so it’ll just be lil ole me. I want to do well but not sure if I’ve trained enough. So many thoughts and worries…. I have to get there early to pick up my race packet. Race starts at 8:15a.

Luckily I will have one supporter there to cheer me on – even if he is not thrilled that he can’t sleep in on a Saturday. Lol.

Got my clothes and gear ready. Music for my phone is all set. Hopefully I can fall asleep so I can get enough rest for tomorrow :-)