US Half Marathon.

Another year, another half marathon.

I never thought I’d run a half marathon in my life. Never had the urge to at least. Then, out of the blue, I thought why not? Living in San Francisco, I had witnessed numerous races and always loved how friends, family, and even strangers, tirelessly cheered on the runners. Realizing why not be more than just a passerby, I started researching half marathons in the city. As one of the most well known races, I decided to register for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. I had no idea that the race was so popular that registration for the 25,000 spots came on a lottery basis. I knew getting in would be a long shot so I did some research and came across the US Half Marathon.

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The US Half Marathon is a much smaller event, with typically less than 5,000 registered runners. While it does lack some of the glitz and glamour of the Nike event – flashy expo, fire fighters at the finish line, and congratulatory Tiffany swag, the US Half Marathon certainly does not lack in views and enthusiastic bystanders!

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So I signed up for the race and began training. Naturally, knowing nothing about running races, I decided the smart thing to do was not to do any research or design any real plan on training…

It wasn’t long before I started feeling terrible pains in my right hip and was told by doctors I had developed tendonitis in my right hip flexor. So a word of advice to all you race hopefuls – eat right, drink lots of water, get good running shoes, work on your core (trust me it’s important), and you don’t need to run double digit miles every week! I’d say a mix of running, spinning, yoga, and barre classes will not only get you ready to run a fantastic race, but will also give you a killer bod. Hope you have more drive than me!

Anyways, after taking a couple of months off of running and sticking with biking a few times a week, along with getting a PT consult, I decided my hip, while still in some pain, was good enough to simply try running the race, just at a much slower pace than I had set my sights on.

Three years, later, I just finished my third run of the US Half Marathon in San Francisco, landing my fastest time yet!

Taking you through some of the best sights in the city, the course definitely has not gotten old. Starting along the water in Aquatic Park, the course goes through Crissy Field, Fort Mason, the Presidio, across the Golden Gate Bridge, where you have breathtaking views of the city, Alcatraz, and the Bay Bridge.

Over the years, I’ve tried to be better about training, however, with my hips still not the best, every part of my body still hurt, from my hips to my palms (due to an unfortunate “didn’t see the curb because I was too busy taking in the seediness of Larkin Street at 7AM” event).

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The night before the race I made myself a carb-filled feast, after which I prepared my race day breakfast, a simple chia seed pudding, adapted from a recipe passed on by a friend.

Chia Seeds, termed one of the top “superfoods” are pedaled to dieters, diabetics, athletes, really anyone, as they are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, protein, and calcium.

Read more about the benefits of chia seeds here.

This year’s race was the toughest by far, but the views and loved ones cheering me on – in person and virtually – made it worth it. 

Chia Seed Pudding
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Ingredients
  1. 1.5 tablespoons chia seeds
  2. ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  3. Dash of pure vanilla extract
  4. 1 banana, mashed
  5. Handful of blueberries/dried cranberries/nuts (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla, and banana until combined.
  2. Place mixture in a container with lid and refrigerate overnight.
  3. When read to eat, mix well.
  4. Top with fruit or nuts for an extra dose of nutrition.
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