“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.”

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Now that I’ve filled in the gaps of September, I’m ready for my favorite month, the best month, the month everyone should love – October. The above quote from L.M. Montgomery is one of my favorites, and even better, I just discovered it’s from my favorite childhood book, Anne of Green Gables. I haven’t read it in years and years, but I’m considering revisiting it.

Time is moving as quickly as ever, and I have some exciting/major/life-changing events coming up in the next few weeks. Bring ’em at me.

Oakland A's

 

There’s no way I can mention October without letting my geek show and mentioning postseason baseball. The A’s play the Tigers in the ALDS starting this Friday, and I’ll be going to game two on Saturday. It’s a rematch of last year’s ALDS, so I could not be more stressed/ready/excited/terrified/anxious. This team makes my little heart warm.

 

NWM

In 17 days, I will be getting my ass out of bed to run 13.1 miles in San Francisco at 6:30 a.m. I do realize how crazy this sounds when I spell it out as simply as that. But honestly, I can’t wait for my first half-marathon. I’ve done an 8K and a 10K and had been looking for the perfect half-marathon. This is it. It’s the 10th anniversary year of the event, 30,000 people participate, it’s in my favorite city (only a bridge length away),  and this was my last chance to use my guaranteed entry as a college student. Of course I’m anxious, but I’m back on my training schedule and I hope know I can pull it off. I have been having some pain in my right quad so that’s a little worrisome, but hopefully it’s nothing. Countdown to Oct. 20 has begun.

And if you’re thinking, “Hey, aren’t there hills in San Francisco?”

Yes. Yes, there are.

NWMSF13 Course Map

The third and most important piece of my October is the fact that my niece is set to arrive on Oct. 28. I absolutely cannot believe how fast my sister’s pregnancy has gone by or explain how excited I am to meet Haley. I’ve never been an aunt before, but I’m so ready to take on the title. We’re all wondering if she will arrive before or after Halloween or even in October at all, but I’m just hoping to god my sister doesn’t go into labor while I’m running around San Francisco on the 20th. Dear Haley: WAIT.

Unplug

While I was running the other day, I broke down exactly what I usually use when I head up to the gym after work. It’s fairly ridiculous. I run on the treadmill in an air-conditioned gym while reading on my Kindle, tracking my mileage with my Nike+ app, listening to music, and checking in on […]

Evening run

I usually head up to the tiny gym here at work at 5 p.m. to run on the treadmill while I read or watch the A’s. Considering the fact that the ocean is feet from the office, I’ve been meaning to get out and explore the marina, so yesterday I went outside and ran an easy 5K along the water and out to the dock and back. This is just a small piece of the hundreds of miles of trail that makes up the San Francisco Bay Trail.  Honestly, screw treadmills. It was so nice out and the view was so clear that I basically forgot I was running. It provides a real contrast to gray treadmill life, yeah? I love working in this town and seeing the San Francisco skyline from the office windows. Yeah, so my cube faces away from the view, but going out for a walk makes for a pretty enjoyable break.

Running shoes

I’m at the point where I’m itching for a new pair of running shoes. They definitely aren’t cheap, so this purchase is going to have to wait a while, but a girl can dream, right?

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one/two/three/four/five/six/seven/eight

I’m interested in shoes from Mizuno, (clearly) Brooks and Saucony. I like Nike, but I already have a pair of Free Run 2s, so I’d like to switch things up.

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one/two

My brother bought me the Vivobarefoot Lucy Lites for Christmas. I’m not used to the barefoot type of shoe, and I definitely need to get a pair of insoles for these. The 3mm sole might be too thin for me. They’re strictly for treadmill or road running. I’ve had my Free Runs for a while, and they’ve been a solid pair.

Running around

Before class. After work. Between class and work.

And if I’m feeling especially weird, I’ll run at 11 p.m.

I don’t do it every day, but I am always trying to fit it into my busy routine. This means I’m always showing up to class in gym clothes and my hair is in a ponytail way too often. Tragic, I know.

I started running regularly when I got to college, and more than three years later, I’ve never been more consistent. I started with a mile at a time on the indoor track at my gym, which got easier every time I laced up.

But this isn’t to say I don’t hate it sometimes. I do. Sometimes I dread getting out there and other times I’m exhausted by the time I hit mile two, but it’s even worse when things just feel off for no apparent reason.

Despite the fact that some runs kick my ass, I’ve moved into trail running in Bidwell Park. With 3,600 acres, I don’t ever get bored there. I start my runs by setting a goal distance on my Nike+ app — and then I set out to pass it.

I’ve also started racing. I’m not really competitive about it, but instead run them for myself.

My first race was the San Jose 408K Race to the Row in March 2012. It the inaugural race and had a really great route from HP Pavilion (where the Sharks play!) to Santana Row. An 8K (5 miles) was just the distance I needed to get a feel for racing.

I ran my first 8K in 43:31 and followed it up with a post-race banana.
I ran my first 8K in 43:31 and followed it up with a post-race banana.

I then ran the famous Color Run (5K) at Candlestick Park in July. It was a big, early-morning party held in the coldest, foggiest and most dreary part of San Francisco. I didn’t bother tracking my time, especially because we kept doubling back to each mile checkpoint to get more powdered color flung at us. I did this one with my best friend, sister and brother. Color Run

The most recent race I participated in was the Jack Frost 10K last month. I was most excited for this one, because a 10K was the perfect challenge for me. The course was hilly and slightly muddy, with some trail, some pavement and quite a bit of rain. You’d be surprised at how awesome it feels to run in the rain at 8 a.m. The only bummer was that I was out there by myself once I crossed the finish line, but I felt great. I hung around to cool down until I realized it was raining pretty hard and 40 degrees out. These minor details don’t seem to matter much when you’re running, but they don’t call it the Jack Frost for nothing.

Jack Frost 10K
I ran this 10K in 56:57.

With a 10K under my belt, I’m looking forward to more races in 2013. I’m already signed up for a second Color Run in March, and I plan to sign up for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon later this year.