Inspire The Women

I got an awesome opportunity to try out the Yurbuds when I was in San Francisco running the Nike Women’s Marathon. I have incredibly small ears and I have tried all shapes and styles of headphones, in fact I thought I was doomed to have those Walkman type headphones for the rest of my life, am I dating myself here? I was so excited to be running for TNT and Team Yurbuds at the Nike Women’s (Half) Marathon

Before I left for San Francisco, Yurbuds graciously sent me a bunch of goodies.

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Tiffany Blue yurbuds (very appropriate), Yurbuds sweaty band, a sweat towel (one of the softest I have ever had) and a Luna bar, which made a great snack on the airplane! Check out the blue color on Kristen’s recap!

I also was able to get a t-shirt from the Yurbuds booth at the Expotique, it was snug in the arms and I usually chafe when wearing a t-shirt that is snug around my bicep, although I wish I had taken a note from Gia and cut mine, then it would have been perfect!

I first tried the Yurbuds on the plane
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Now I know what Linz meant when the sound came blasting through! I turned the volume to it’s lowest setting and it was still loud. I think a huge part is when your headphones fall out, at least for me, I just let them hang outside my ear and turn the music loud.

I think the most confusing part was when I read that I had to twist to lock, I watched this video and it was so simple.

Another feature that both Tiffany and I liked was the ability to hear what’s going on around you while wearing them.

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I workout from home a lot, and when B is napping it is nice to put on some headphones and not worry about missing any cues that he is awake or upset!

The Yurbuds are also sweat/water proof, I think this is what attributes to most earphones falling out. I sweat, a lot, and I need an earphone that won’t budge because of that. I have tested out the sweat, but not the water, I am sure that will happen sooner rather than later!

The last thing that I really love about the Yurbuds is that they are soft, I don’t know about you but when I wear my iPod headphones for too long they start to feel like I am shoving sharp rocks into my ears and give me a headache.

Check out the Yurbuds site to see where you can buy them!

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If want even more reviews, check out these blogs! Rachel, Janene , Melissa, Alexandra, and Meg.

Disclaimer: I was provided with the Yurbuds for review, all thoughts are my own.

San Francisco: Day 3 – The Half-Marathon

Check out where I shopped and what I ate before you read about how I raced!

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It’s here, it’s finally race day. Decked out in my favorite reebok capris, sparkle skirt, lululemon tank, TNT tank and of course no outfit is complete without a sparkly soul headband or garmin ;)

I may have a big smile on my gave but I was a wreck. My sister made me coffee while I showered and dressed. I drank about half a cup and choked down an english muffin with some peanut butter. I met the rest of my Team In Training group in the hotel lobby, we took some group photos and headed to the start corrals together. I took a banana with me so that I could have something to eat, but ended up eating it before we left the hotel. We got into the corrals around 6ish, the race didn’t start until 7 am.

Let me start by saying, I did have race goals, ones that I kept to myself, the first was to finish and be happy, but what I really wanted was to finish in the same time as my first half or PR. So when I bird pooped on my head on Friday I thought, hey this race is going to be awesome and I am going to ROCK IT.

Unfortunately, this is not a happy tale. As I mentioned before we went to our start corrals about an hour before the race started and because it was such a large race and my corral was so far back, it took our group about 30 minutes to even cross the start line. I ended up starting my fuel earlier than I usually do.

The race started in Union Square and made its way down towards the Embarcadero and the Marina, Christine managed to find me in the crowd and I actually heard her, thanks for the encouragement! The first 4 miles were relatively flat and I was under my goal pace for those miles, but I still felt like I was not really pushing myself, I wanted some energy in the tank for the hard miles.

I made a bathroom stop around mile 3 and around mile 3.5-4 was the first big hill, but I just powered through it and got to the top, I saw my sister at mile 4…(sorry to anyone I sent this too, she took this pic at mile 4 NOT the finish line)

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I wish I had remembered to grab the extra fuel that I packed for her to take but I forgot, problem #2. I had my fuel around mile 4.5 – 5, these areas were fairly flat, I remembered that there were going to be shot bloks at the aid stations so I thought I would be okay. Mile 6 was were it started to take a turn for the worse. It was a winding hill that I thought was going to never end. I trained on some hills but they were nothing compared to this. I ended up power walking about halfway through, but I was starting to feel woozy at the top. I started walking when it flattened out and grabbed as much water and nuun as I could carry and hoped that I was dehydrated, but the fluid was not helping either. Around mile 8 a girl that I talked to earlier in the race noticed that I had slowed down, and maybe saw the desperate look on my face. She offered me a pack of sports beans, black cherry flavor, and I was so grateful, I wish I had caught her name or something, she saved me from a DNF, I am quite certain.

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This is what desperation looks like

I call mile 8 – 9.5 my dark miles. These are the ones I was alone and all I wanted to do was quit. It was an internal battle. I started secondary fuel way too late and I just wouldn’t be able to recover. Which meant walking the last 5 miles, I ended up on my feet for much longer than I ever had been before and that really hurt my knees and hips.

I was texting my sister and told her that she was going to have to wait longer than we had anticipated, but she was awesome.

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Honestly, I was not feeling it, I just wanted to finish. My time was 03:56:45, a full 38 minutes slower than my first half-marathon. I ran through the finish line, determined to have a smile on my face, it didn’t hurt that the commentators were discussing my awesome sparkle skirt over the speakers.

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FINALLY

I grabbed my necklace, finishers T, food and bag! I just wanted to eat and go shower, so I only stuck around long enough to snag the last long sleeved 13.1 finishers shirt.

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Caty and I hopped on to the TNT shuttle back to our hotel and showered & changed then proceeded to Boudin and Ghiradelli for my post-race treats, and unfortunately I forgot my ID so no post-race beer for me

San Francisco: Day 2 – FitFluential Dinner

Check out my guest post on the MA Team In Training Blog today!

Check out Day 1 if you haven’t read it yet!

Saturday started with a wonderful breakfast with Caty and some of my family that was in San Francisco. We met up with one of my uncles and his girlfriend and one of my cousins. We hadn’t seen my uncle in 4.5 years and we hadn’t seen my cousin in over 20. It was crazy, but also so nice that we could fall into conversations with ease.

I being the bad blogger that I sometimes am, enjoyed the moment instead of taking lots of pictures, although I wish I had taken some family shots. I gratefully got my normal breakfast of oatmeal and coffee! My cousin had to get to work so Caty and I took that opportunity to head back to Union Square and check out the displays at Macy’s

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It was pandemonium. While they had a fraction of the stuff that NikeTown had, people were going crazy. Literally just as racks were filled with items they were just as quickly emptied. I ended up grabbing a sweatshirt and a pair of capris, that I wanted at NikeTown, but didn’t want to spend the money. Good thing I had a Macy’s gift card in my wallet and I got a sweet 20% off.

Our last stop was Tout Sweet Patisserie

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If you are a fan of Top Chef: Just Desserts, the Yigit Pura will ring a bell, this is his place so I had to check it out. I got a gift for my mother-in-law and a few macaroons for myself and an energy bar that I ate post-race, I could have ate it before but I didn’t know if it would mess with my tummy.

From there we ran to the Team In Training inspiration luncheon. We were greeted with the coaches and mentors screaming and yelling, it was amazing!

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The lunch was your usual pasta, bread and salad. We had an amazing speech from John Bingham and a cancer survivor shared her story as she would be running her first marathon the next day. It was incredibly inspirational and moving, I know I was crying.

After lunch Caty and I went to Ghirardelli and just people watched until it was time to head to our Fitfluential blogger meet up. I’ll be honest, I was more nervous about this than the race itself.
I had met bloggers before, but this was a very intimate setting with a large group of bloggers I look up to.

We ended up at Ristorante Umbria a bit early, but we just people watched and chit chatted about race day, until people started arriving.

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Back Row (L-R): Alexandra, Tiffany, Meg, Linz, Gia, Kristen
Front Row (L-R): Rachel, Janene, Melissa, Me, Pavement Runner

Of course my dear sister came as well!
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she loves blogger hangouts, right Caitlin?

I was pretty hungry, since I ate lunch so early, so Caty and I shared a caprese salad and then I had my standard pasta with tomato sauce, my pasta of choice was gnocchi.

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And while it was delicious, the company was even better. I finally got to chat with Pavement Runner and Gia and of course see Linz again. It was hard to chat with everyone with such a large group, but it was nice to be in a space with so many like-minded people. I hope every race starts with a blogger dinner from now on!

Tomorrow – I reveal how everything went down on race day!

San Francisco: Day 1 – The Expotique!

Friday morning started super early, my sister Caty (pronounced Katie) and I got in our taxi at 5:15 and made our way to Logan. Turns out Virgin America has a separate security line (thank goodness because the normal one was about 100 people deep) and once we went through our security we realized we had two gates and a tiny Cosi stand with coffee and sandwiches. We promptly left and got my classic Starbucks breakfast, ate & drank quickly and went through security a second time.

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Starbucks perfect Oatmeal with brown sugar & nuts and iced coffee, 2 pumps pumpkin spice and non-fat milk. Fall perfection

We boarded and got in the air pretty quickly. As soon as I connected to the WiFi, I got a twitter notification.
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Oh hey BFF Kara. I told my sister and my husband, they didn’t get it :(

We landed in San Francisco around 1 and proceeded straight to our hotel, dropped our bags, and then went straight to the Expotique in Union Square.

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I didn’t wait in long for very long, I got my bib and bracelet and neon bag (Nike+ member perk) and proceeded to check out the Expo. First things first, I headed to Yurbuds to grab a shirt, unfortunately they only had Extra Small and Medium, the medium fit but was snug, and I knew that it would chafe on race day. I will say, wearing it now, and it is very comfortable!

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Next stop, Nike had a “get dressed by a stylist” booth. Fine, twist my arm. I got matched up with an expert and she picked out a tank, capris, long sleeve half-zip and a pair of Lunarglides (that unfortunately did not make it in the photo)

 

 

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I fell victim to the marketing, and definitely ended up purchasing the pants (2 days later), at least I had a coupon?

Vain moment: I know I may not be the skinniest or most fit person, but when I saw this photo, I was shocked, my legs look thinner than they have in a while. Thanks running!

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After Nike, I moved onto my favorite hydration booth, Nuun, and introduced my sister to the amazing product. Turns out we love the exact same flavors.

We started to head over to the Nike Gait Analysis, but just as we got in line out came the MC and he was about to introduce some of my running heroes, Kara Goucher, Shalane Flanagan and Joan Benoit Samuelson. Run nerd overload.

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The chat didn’t last for too long, but it was amazing seeing so many greats, I wish I had taken note from Pavement Runner and gotten a photo with them. I didn’t even realize that they were in the crowd. I did end up having my gait looked at it, and the expert told me that I over-pronate (I knew that) but that my foot automatically compensates and tries to correct it (knew that too), but I saw a ton of improvement from my last gait analysis, so thanks again running.

After the analysis, we headed over to NikeTown, they put all the names of the runners on the wall outside. I didn’t take a photo of the whole wall, because luckily my sister spotted my name right away and I jumped in front of those still searching, took a photo and headed inside.

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OH. MY. OVERLOAD. So many goodies, I told my sister to keep me in check, well she tried. It was my first big race and expo and I was celebrating. I walked away with a jacket, half-marathon half zip and half-marathon t-shirt. By this time we were exhausted and still had to wait 2 hours for dinner. West Coast dinner time reservations on an East Coast appetite, travel fail. We went back to the hotel, checked in, changed and snacked until dinner.

We went to 54 Mint, it was this tiny italian restaurant and had this rustic, countryside Italian feel. We were seated a few minutes early and had bread and oil right away thank goodness.

We started with the Sformato di Cavolfiori – which was a savory flan of cauliflower with fontina cheese.

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I apologize in advance, dark lighting & an iPhone camera.

It was one of the most delicious things I have ever had. The portion size was perfect for two (or even 3 people), as it was very rich.

I kept it simple with my dinner I had the Tonnarelli Cacio e Pepe – which was fresh pasta with black pepper, olive oil and peccorino. It was so simple and perfect, actually had to hold back from eating it all. I knew I would be too stuffed if I ate it all.

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and Caty had the daily special: Gnocchi with prosciutto, mushrooms and parmigianna.
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and we had to try dessert, I had the salted dark chocolate pudding and Caty had her favorite Tiramisu.

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Tiramisu – I don’t usually like tiramisu, but this one was perfect because the rum flavor wasn’t strong, it was more of a light cocoa flavor.

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Pudding – I wish the salt was a bit more granular, since one of my bites had a large rock of salt.

I had a few bites, it was all I could handle. I would however, recommend this to everyone. We have lots of staples in San Francisco and this was immediately added to the list. I loved it so much we almost went back on Sunday night. We headed back to the hotel and proceeded to pass out almost immediately.

Day 2 – tomorrow, includes a fabulous FitFluential meet up!

Scenes from San Francisco & NWM

I really should be packing now, but I wanted to share a few photos with you of this past weekend in San Francisco!

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NO BIG DEAL!

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Can you find me>

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My motivation!

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Sister time!

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FitFluential Time

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Officially a Nike Women’s half Marathon Finisher.

Official race reports and thoughts will be up soon, but first, packing and processing :)