Four years running… looking back at day one

I have been terrible about adding new blog posts, but after the last two weekend of great runs, I had to add one.

Finishing the Rock n Roll Chicago and The San Francisco Marathon Progressive 5k in the last two weekend really made me reflect on how far I had come.  So this is my quick blog about how the running madness started.

About 4 years ago I started a Boot Camp that changed my lifestyle… and ultimately I became a runner.  Initially I started this Booter to get fit for my best friend’s wedding where I served as the Maid of Honor.

Below is the email I sent to my friends after my first day of class… please note the week before I started the instructor asked me to run a mile so when I ran the mile at the end of class we could see how much I had improved… When I attempted this initial mile, I couldn’t even run the length of one song on my iPad before being out of breath (and stopping).

Thanks for letting me share. 🙂

Hi Friends…

So I have had many questions this morning about my Boot Camp that I started this morning.  It was good.  When I woke up at 4:30 this morning, I was definitely thinking I was a little CRAZY.  Also, since I really didn’t know what to expect this morning I was also nervous.

I arrived 15 minutes before the 5:30am scheduled start time to talk with the main guy in the morning to sign the liability forms and “sign up.”  He gave me a Boot Camp “Survival Guide” which includes a list of things I should and shouldn’t be eating.  It also has a food journal which he checks DAILY.  Apparently if he takes your journal, it means you were “bad” and you have to stay after to do some additional exercises.  Today, they did an extra set of sit-ups.

As for the actual class, we are required to bring a thick exercise mat, set of 5lbs weights, and a jump rope.  We started out with some “boxer shuffles” to get us moving, and then did some punching moves.  I am SO uncoordinated!

Then some stretches, then on to some push-up things and sit-up.  they we in sets of 15.  the push-ups were a little different.  We would start standing, hop down, hop back up; that is a 4 count. Then we hopped down, did one push up, hoped back up; that was a 6 count.  Then the 8 count was the same, but with 2 push ups.  They we did another variety of push-up. Oh, and we did jumping jacks… I don’t remember jumping jacks being to tiring.

After this portion, we went on a run.  Yeah, I can’t run.  My poor body is just not used to running… I’m a Swimmer… no pressure on my joints.

By the time I made it back, we separated into 4 groups at stations.  First I was at the station that did squats and lunges, then rotated to the triceps/bicep station, then to the sprint work training (at this point I was feeling a bit nauseous, and needed a little break.), and finally we went to the last station, which was another set of arm training.  When we were done, we stretched and that was it.

So today and tomorrow are in the parking lot of the Tustin Washington Mutual… yeah… straight up parking lot.  Then on Wednesday we are at an elementary school. And from what I understand, there are hills involved.  My fellow boot campers let me know that I would LOVE it! Great!! Then Friday it’s a different park.

So I still need to do my fitness assessment and get measured officially.  He didn’t want to make me do the assessment after my first day, so I will get assessed another day.

So all in all, I think this will be prefect.  It’s not too crazy, but structured enough where I will get in shape for Maui.

Okay… I hope that makes sense.  I definitely feel as though I could have gone home to go to bed instead of work, but whatever 🙂


Rockin’ the San Jose Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

So, I initially started this blog to keep me in check while I was training for the San Jose Rock n Roll Marathon.  Well… I did it.  A few weeks ago on October 2nd, I ran (and walked) my 13.1 miles.

I had been derailed a tad in September from the training schedule due to… well… life. In a nutshell, I had to find and start a new job and I had a friend pass away unexpectedly.

Anywho… the race… it was pretty awesome! I was shooting for under 3 hours (and really to beat my sister and her friend).  Unfortunately, I ended up finishing a little over 3 hours (3:05).  I am a little disappointed, but not really. Overall, I am really happy with my performance.

Let’s just put it this way… this is the farthest I have ever run (walked)!  It was after the 10k mark where I realized my accomplishment (but had foolishly forgot that I had done a pretty good job run walking Bay to Breakers in 2009, a 12k).  I was still on pace to finish under 3 hours by the 10k mark.

But by the 10 or 11 mile marker, my right leg was starting to bug me.  I didn’t realize what it was until after, but it was my IT band.  I was tough to move and though running on it didn’t hurt as much once i got going, I didn’t want to do any major damage and decided to just walk for the majority of the last 2-3 miles.

The last mile was really emotional.  I knew I was really close to the end, but my leg was not cooperating.  I think it was the LAST turn til the finish line there were many other runners with their medals cheering us on.  I kept hearing, “Just around the corner.” “You are almost there” “You can do it”… and lots of cheering and clapping.  As I crossed the finish line, I was overwhelmed with A LOT of emotion. I admit, I shed a tear or two.  I couldn’t help it. I was proud of myself for finishing.  Even though I didn’t make my goal time, I was happy.

Next ups… Rock n Roll Vegas!

Booter… once again!

Okay, so yesterday there was a Groupon deal for Boot Camp near me in Burlingame.  I was contemplating buying and joining all day.  I did a Boot Camp in SoCal about 3 years ago and I LOVED IT.

I am hoping that the boot camp workouts can add to my run schedule and get me stronger, so I can run farther.  Boot Camp was actually what got me into running in the first place.  I remember the very first day of boot camp when we took a “quick jog” around the block I couldn’t keep up.  I walked most of it and thought I would be left behind!  By the end of boot camp I ran my mile in less than 10 minutes (9:59 to be exact) and then ran my first 5k shortly after.

Anyway, after some thought, feedback, and a re-reading of my very last boot camp email to my friends & supporters (essentially my very first fitness blog), I took the plunge.  I bought the deal last night and today I made is uber official by registering for classes!

I start on Monday at 6am!  Here I go!

Update- I decided to add the email I sent to my friends and supporters after the first boot camp was over:

Hello Everyone!!!

I just finished Boot Camp officially!  I think I could shed a tear.  I really am just so happy and proud.  I am just filled with so many emotions this morning.

Since I didn’t start boot camp at the very beginning, I wasn’t quite sure where I was going this morning.  It was the Tustin Lodge and this is the location of orientation.  Anyway, when I got there, we had to go upstairs to this huge room where a couple of the instructors had mats and water bottle set up.  I went straight for the line to be measured.

One of the instructors, Matt (who is actually the head instructor for my 5:30am class) called me over to test out my push-ups.  So the water bottle is for the push-up test.  They only count the ones where you go all the way down to the water bottle.  I was never tested in, but a few weeks ago we did get tested in the middle of a session. I think that day I did 8 push-ups  in 2 minutes.  Today I did 16 (2 of them didn’t count because I didn’t make it all the way down to the water bottle).  But 16, I was impressed because I could barely do 2 full ones awhile back… or I would just do all of them on my knees.

After I tested my push-ups I went back to the line to get measured.  They pulled me in there and told me to face the wall with my back to the gal that was measuring me.  I guess they do this so you can’t see your results until they are done with measurements.  Okay, here we go in inches lost:

  • ·         Upper chest: 2.25 in
  • ·         Waist: 7.25 in (I’m a little shocked at this number, maybe it’s wrong… )
  • ·         Hips: 2 in
  • ·         Buttocks: 2 in
  • ·         Right Thigh: 2.25 in
  • ·         Right Calf: 0.5 in
  • ·         Right Bicep: 0.25 in

Yeah… I’m pretty shocked.  After measurements, I got weighed and measured for body fat.

  • ·         7lbs lost
  • ·         2% body fat lost

Okay, I was weighed in and measured 4 weeks ago.  I can’t even imagine what the measurements were when I started or MONTHS ago when I originally started with a trainer at 24 Hour Fitness.

They took my photo.  And then I still had to do the sip-up test.  But I think I was just so happy looking at the numbers written in my book.

Sit-up test time… well again, I was never tested in, but that day we tested a few weeks ago, I think I did 38. Today I did 45.  That last one was really hard.  It was a 2 minute sit-up test.  They kind where someone holds down your feet and you come all the way up.  I actually did more than the dude that held my feet down.  I think he did 38 or so.

So after our test out, we had a few minutes to stretch and grad water before the mile run.  As you know this was the thing I was all nervous about.  Since I don’t know what my mile time is anyway, I really just wanted to run it without stopping.  I actually made myself a mini play list for my iPod Shuffle last night.

Okay… I ran the entire route.  One mile… 9 minutes, 59 seconds… no stopping.  I definitely was struggling around the halfway point, but I really wanted to do it!  I heard all your supportive words and I was able to make it.  Once I hit the Wienerschnitzel (which my buddy Walter told me was the home stretch), I knew I couldn’t stop.  And then there was all the booters that finished before me… they were all cheering me and the others on. It was really motivating.  So 9:59… Just under 10 minutes, I’m proud.

And… I’m not done.

After the run, we all walked over to a little restaurant across the street, Quinn’s, where we had graduation breckie.  The food was healthy.  We had egg whites (which tasted decent with the pico de gallo), turkey bacon (um, I want REAL bacon!), whole wheat pancakes (uh… aka glorified cardboard), and fruit.  Yeah, unfortunately, the food wasn’t that great, but it was fun to sit, eat, and socialize with my fellow booters.

Apparently, they give out awards at this breckie, like we were in elementary school or something.  the instructors would say what award they were giving, like most improved, cleanest food journal, hardest working, etc… and then would describe the person and why they deserved the award… and then say the name and present them with a certificate.  Well, the gal to my right ended up getting Best Attitude and the gal to my left got the G.I. Jane award for overall awesome-ness in booter.

I was just sitting hanging out while Matt was describing the Hardest Worker award.  And then… he called my name.  Um… I was definitely surprised. I was thinking, Is there another Ann in the 5:50am class?  He said some nice things, like how I should be in platoon 1 if I come back to booter.  That’s really cool, a promotion in the ranks 🙂  Anyway, I got an award.  I think I will proudly display it at my cube.

I know this email is quite long, but it was quite the busy morning. After all the awards were handed out we all got t-shirts, key chains, license plate holders, etc…

I signed up again.  I almost signed up to do the 5 times a week maintenance, but I think 3 days a week will be fine.

I met some really awesome people at booter, and I’m really happy I decided to sign up.  It has been one of the best decisions I have made in recent times.  I am ready for Maui and I can’t wait to keep up the healthy eating habits I picked up.

Alright, I think that’s enough for this LAST email!  It’s a long one.

And I have to say this again, THANK YOU all for all the supportive email, texts, and conversations in the last 5 weeks.  Your support has really motivated me to finish strong.  I really appreciate it all.  Thank you for reading my emails every day.  It has been an amazing experience.

Have a great weekend/week!



PS… Let’s Celebrate!!!

My Deal with my Co-worker

I am lucky enough to find a partner in crime at work. A girl, who like me, loves food.  We are both relatively new to the Bay Area. I am straight from Southern California and she from Philly by way of So Cal.

We recently started hanging out outside of work trying new places to eat. So to assuage our guilt for the extra calories we made a pact.  For every food outing we go on, we have to hit the gym at least 3 times (when we made the pact, we were meeting up about once a week).  Gym 3 times a week is not a bad plan.

Anywho… so these are the eating events we agreed upon yesterday:

  1. Three-course dinner at the Tonga Room.  We got a deal on PopSugar a few weeks ago and have made reservations for next week to dine.  I have heard a lot about this place; once on the Travel Channel’s Extreme Barhopping and also on the news when they were saying it was going to be closed.
  2. The Foodspotting and Rib Whip Eat-up.  I follow both on twitter and have always wanted to try the Rib Whip.
  3. ad hoc‘s fried chicken night.  Monday nights are fried chicken nights.  My friend has been itching to try… so I told her, if she drives, I will go.  (i have been here for almost 2 years and have not myself driven over a bridge just yet… weird? Maybe, but oh well).
Updates and photos will be posted once these events have been attended and tasted! 🙂

Upcoming Races

I have already mentioned that I started this blog because I have signed up for the San Jose Rock n Roll on October 2nd.  Well here are the other races I will be participating in before the big day:

  • San Francisco Progressive Marathon 5k: Sunday July 31st.  So for this run, I will log my miles on a tracker.  I have to run 23.1 miles on my own before race day on the 31st.  Then 3.1mile (5k).  Together that’s 26.2 miles; the distance of a full marathon!  I get a medal for my efforts.
  • The Giant Race 10k: Saturday August 27th. I ran the 5k last year and it was so much fun.  I have only ever run one 10k before.  That was back in 2009 when I was at my fittest.  I look forward to the challenge.  The best part about this race is that it’s a flat course along San Francisco’s Embarcadero that ends on the warning track of AT&T Park.  And then you get to cross home plate (and have your photo taken) as you finish up!
So I got to looking at my past 5k times and I had forgotten how fast I was back in 2009.  It was actually kinda shocking to re-hash the times with my sister the other night.  My fastest 5k time was 33:06, a 10:39/mile pace.  I don’t think this upcoming 5k will be nearly as fast, but I like to look at this time and know that I can do it.  My goal for this 5k will be to run it continuously.  And if I happen to get around 36:00, I will be even happier.
As for the 10k in August, I would totally LOVE it if I could run that continuously.  The one and only 10k I did back in 2009 I ran 5 miles and ran/walked the last mile.  We will see what happens.
Wish me luck! Cheer me on!

Weekend Recap

Friday Post-Blog:

I went to Lululemon at lunchtime.  Payday and Lulu are a DANGEROUS combination for me. I ended up purchasing two items (two too many if you ask my budget). I went home with the Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve. And went back to my desk to order the Run: Tempo Crop II online (they didn’t have my size/color available in the store).  Let me just say I love the Long Sleeve top.  It has mantras in the inside of the bottom seam.  One said, “Set your goals”.

Then Friday night was Indians v Giants game night!  It was pretty awesome.  I ended up eating a chili cheese dog at the game.  I will spare you of that photo. Instead I will add one of the view from our seats (2 rows back from the visitors bullpen :-)).


I was up and at the gym around  8am.  I ended up doing 3.22 miles on the treadmill.  One of those miles was running.  The run felt really good.  Usually when I run, my calves get really tight and it’s hard to keep going.  On Saturday, I think I could have kept running for more mileage, but the problem was… I got bored.  I am going to have to find ways to make running less boring.  I usually do okay with ESPN, but at 9am, Sports Center turned into Bowling… ummmm… no thanks.

After my run, I went down to the Road Runner Store with my roommate.  We ended up spending 90 bucks on socks!  I needed some to run in every day.  Anywho, the socks have been purchased and I hope to not have to buy more socks during my training.


I knew I had a long day ahead of me (Bridal Shower, mani/pedi, Giants game) in the city, so I knew I had to get up early to run/walk.  I ended up getting up and going for about 30 minutes.  I did about 1.5 miles at the gym.  It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing.

The Bridal Shower was great!  It was brunch style and we were served champagne with a choice of fruit puree (apricot, peach or strawberry) or orange or grapefruit juice.  Yum!  Among the food that was served, there were mounds of Tartine Bakery goods!  By far one of the best bakeries in the city!  The morning bun is number 7 (I don’t think they are ranked in any particular order) on 7×7 Mag’s list of 100 Things to Try Before You Die in SF.  So worth it!

photo of Tartine Baked goods from my files:

Okay, so after the Bridal Shower, I met a friend up at Tiptoes for a mani/pedi.  I really needed a good mani/pedi. And what I really wanted was a nice hand and foot massage!  I got OPI’s Do You Think I’m Tex-y on my toes and my fingers.

Per request, Mani/pedi photo:

Then it was off to AT&T Park to see the last game of the Indians v Giants series.  Giants swept the Indians.  It was a perfect day for a game.  And it was great fun!  Here are photos from the seats in the bleachers.

I run to… wake myself up in the morning…

and apparently to try out my new gear…

Today I woke up at 5:30am and was running at the gym by 6am.  I didn’t hit the gym yesterday because I thought I would only do 3 days a week early morning runs.  It was kinda rough to wake up this morning so I made a decision today that I’m going back to my 2008 boring old lady schedule (at least for now).  I will try to call it a night around 10pm so I can get up at 5am for runs every weekday.

I have enjoyed Monday’s and today’s morning runs.  It’s nice to get it out-of-the-way.  And after work, I have time to do other things.  Today I had the luxury of doing laundry and cleaning my room.  Monday was more fun use of my time; Happy hour at Straits in Burlingame.

And here are some photos of the food 🙂

Okay… as for the second part of this post.  I have a bit of a shopping problem and a bit of a Lululemon addiction too.  When we were at Straits on Monday, I stopped by the Lululemon store across the street because I wanted to try the no-show socks they have.  I have been currently running with the socks that show… and I have the sock tan to prove it.  Anyway, out of vanity, I bought the no-shows.  I ran in them this morning and so far so good.  I was worried they would slip down while running, but that’s not the case.  Maybe on the next run I’ll go further with them and see how the hold UP!

Also today, I received a surprise package in my mailbox.  It was from my good friend Jenn. I had been gmail chatting her about all my Lululemon purchases. With no further ado… here’s what I found in my surprise:

Thanks Jenn!  Now I can officially say that I run head to toe in Lulu (well I at least one full Lulu outfit).  Hair ties (above), headband (when necessary), bra, tank, zippy, undies, skirt and socks (2 kinds).  Woot woot!  So these little guys are a little snug on my thick hair, but I’ll give them the test run on tomorrow morning’s run.