2016 started off with not only a bang, but also with challenges; between race challenges, training challenges, stepping all training up notches, and trying to perfect a training plan that works for me. I had been working on it all year, and it was how I felt, and how it was at that time. Here’s a quick recap of races that I enjoyed the most during 2016, what I did during the summer, my first race out of California, and my personal reflection. Also, after the 2016 Elections, I had four friends, two of which blocked me on all social media. I admit, it was a huge slap in the face, especially when you let them into your family. I wanted to remove the pics at first, but quickly turned it around, and I took the high road. I kept everything just the way it was.
The New Year’s Race Inaugural Doubleheader Challenge: I chose to run the 5k event, before running the half marathon. The 5k was an excellent warm up before conquering the hills on the half marathon. I also honestly wanted to not only challenge myself, but to also push myself beyond my limits, and out of my comfort zone. I did all the above, and it was perfect for training for my first marathon.
Holly Hills Batman! I had never been in so much pain before in my life. By mile 7.5 my glutes were absolutely killing me, and I wanted off that course so bad. By the time I reached Dodger Stadium, I was back to my happy place.
I felt a blister coming up at the ball of my foot by mile 10, and I also couldn’t feel my legs. At the end of all, my legs were done, they hurt so bad I was barely able to walk back to the hotel. I was dead set against doing it again. Now? I’ll do it again in a heart beat; it was perfect training. Doubleheader Challenge, I’ll see you in 2017.
The Inaugural Run to Remember Los Angeles Half Marathon: This was a tribute to all first responders who had died while in the line of duty. This event was in no way depressing, I found it to be a celebration of their lives, and I found it to be truly touching.
The first race that took us through the backlots of Paramount Studios, who can say no to that?
Also, I did in a way, talk a couple of people in my RunFam to run this event. It truly does mean a lot to me that they signed up for it, and ran it. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck ran the half marathon, and Sheriff McDonnell was on the course giving us high-fives, cheering us on and supporting all of us runners. One of the most memorable races I have ever done, and by far, one of the best. I’ll be back again in 2017.
Sketchers Performance Los Angeles Marathon: Its time; last year I set a goal, to run the Los Angeles Marathon. Its here. I trained smart, I trained as best as I could, its time to do what I wanted to accomplish. I was so nervous, and excited at the same time. I felt at easy once I saw Susy, Marisol, and the rest of the Rundalay family. My heart truly sang, and I was feeling fantastic.
For Team Rundalay, I wasn’t the only one who had never ran a marathon before. It was completely awesome that a lot of us were running our first marathon. Made me feel really good. Having Susy with me through out the entire journey was spectacular. She’s amazing, and I’m truly honored to have her friendship, and to have her in my life.
This was truly an emotional race for me, and it was an unforgettable experience. I learned a lot of lessons for next time, and I proved to myself that once I set a goal; I not only smash that goal, but that I can also do it. I still to this day, cannot believe that I ran, and finished the Los Angeles Marathon. I also still cannot believe that I am a marathoner. Its incrediable.
Celebratory dinner with Susy at Musso and Frank in Hollywood, was the highlight of the year. I couldn’t resist, I love old L.A., and there is nothing like an exquisite meal with martinis. Celebrating us running the Los Angeles Marathon, and a very big thank you to Susy for running it with me and for pacing me. This dinner was truly for her, I wanted to do something special to thank her. I had such a great time at dinner, I loved the staff they were absolutely friendly and enjoyed being there. I’m pretty sure its safe to assume that we will be back at Musso and Frank next year.
Completing the Beach Cities Challenge: This challenged started with my first half marathon in October 2015, the Long Beach half marathon. Then I ran the Surf City half marathon in Feb 2016, one week before the Los Angeles Marathon, and this challenged ended at the OC half Marathon in May.
When I look back at it, in a way (in order of races I’m going through their courses), I ran through Long Beach, through Huntington Beach, and then through Newport Beach to the finish line in Costa Mesa. Pretty awesome if you ask me. Challenge number two completed this year, now its time to find some more challenges.
Summer Time in Los Angeles: This is definitely one summer I will never forget. Between training for not only the Los Angeles Marathon, but also for the Paris Marathon, this summer was by far the best as far as training. I was also applying for my passport (I’ve never had one), I ran my first relay race with my RunFam which was also my first trail race, doing a very unique 5k with my son (Conquer the Overlook 5k & stair climb), and started training with Nike Training Club and Nike Run Club. I also did Ultimate Los Angeles with Nike Training Club and Nike Run Club for the month of August. A lot of first’s for me this summer, I can only go up from here; let’s keep going.
2nd Runniversary at the Run Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood: Two (2) years ago it all started here, at the Hard Rock Cafe in beautiful Hollywood. I was injured with a sprained knee, but I did a fantastic job. I am very proud of this run, it’s my favorite 5k, and I had such a good time with friends.
Rock n’ Roll San Antonio: I was excited to do this one. This is my first race out of California, and I was so excited to run past the Alamo. It was also the first year that San Antonio was doing the Remix Challenge. I ran the 10k, and the half marathon for a total of 19.8 miles that weekend. Olympic Marathon Runner, Jarred Ward, handed me my medal, and he also handed my son a medal to give to my dad. I also received my first Heavy Medal, the Double Beat. This was truly a weekend I will never forget, and I’m so blessed that I got to experience this race, the memories that the Rock n’ Roll Staff along with Jarred helped create for me and my family, and the rich history San Antonio has.
Personal Reflection: There were a lot of first’s for me this year, and I also learned more about myself, which gave me the confidence to go further with training (running, weights, and doing circuit training). For sure, my first summer in my new life. I’m blessed, happy, and grateful for all I have accomplished. I trained harder, started doing speed workouts with Nike Run Club, I took my strength training seriously, worked out harder, and did a lot of soul searching. I went back to running races alone, just me and my music.
I am very proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished this year. I completed 3 challenges, started a fourth challenge, and finished my first marathon. All the races I finish are accomplishments and I do not think lightly of them. I am very blessed to be running, to set goals, to train, and to just be where I am in life.
I will be training harder, and really working on improving. I have big plans, and nothing is going to hold me back. I will be cutting my races down so that I am able to train more, and focus more on becoming a better runner. I have also made the difficult decision to go solo as much as possible. I need to focus on me, my goals, my life, and my mental happiness depends on me being more solo.
I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store for me.