Category Archives: Marathons

Christina Runs 101

 I put together a short question and answer blog entry. I think you might find it intriguing. If you like it, feel free to post the questions and your answers on your blog. Enjoy!

Why do I run?

I could go on and on about why I run, but to make it short and sweet, I love the way running makes me feel. I love pushing and challenging my body, I love the sense of accomplishment I feel after every run, and I love how running cleanses my soul. I am unable to run right now and it is killing me. I can’t wait to get back into it.

 Why do I race?

I race because I am competitive. Scratch that, I am very competitive. Racing keeps me motivated and keeps my eyes on my goals. I am always looking to run faster, stronger and harder and racing is a great medium for this. Plus, I’m not going to lie, the medals are pretty sweet!

When is my favorite time to run?

I prefer to run early in the morning. I am the type of person that can wake up, get dressed, lace up my running shoes, and be out the door in 15 minutes ready to go. Last year, while training for the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Marathon in Las Vegas, I met my group at 5 a.m. to complete our long runs (18-23 miles). We would run for about an hour in darkness before the sun rose. Those runs were so awesome because in the blackness of early morning we would encounter the other dedicated marathon runners in our area. Then, the sun would slowly rise and it would feel as if we were running an entirely new run.

What is my favorite race distance?

My favorite race is the half marathon. In my opinion, nothing compares to the half marathon. It is long enough to be a distance race, but still short enough to run it quickly. Apparently, this has been my favorite race for quite some time now. Back in 2008, I posted a blog entry about my love for the half marathon.

What is my favorite treadmill workout?

I found this workout online (I wish I could remember where I found it at because it is amazing) and I fell in love with it the first time I tried it. In fact, I blogged about it here:

This run is a speed workout that consists of only two ladder sets and it is designed to make your goal race pace for marathons seem like a piece of cake. Here is the kicker, each ladder set is a combination of distances put together and you must run each different distance at a certain pace. Plus, in order to do the workout correctly you CANNOT stop or rest in the middle of a set.

The workout is 2x 400/800/2400/800/400. You run the 400M distance at your best mile pace, the 800M distance at your 5K pace, and the 2400M distance at your goal marathon pace. Trust me, by time you reach the middle of each ladder, that goal marathon pace feels like you are practically walking! Plus, the last 800M and 400M runs are pure torture. It is a great workout.

What is my favorite speed workout?

I must say I am a traditionalist here. My favorite speed workout is 6x 800M with a 400M recovery jog in between each set. I do not even know how I managed to do 8x 800M repeats in high school. Six is enough for me.

 When did I first realize I wanted to run a marathon?

I first realized that I wanted to run a marathon before I even quite knew exactly what a marathon was. I was 17 and on my school’s cross country and track teams. I knew that running a marathon was one of the ultimate running experiences and I knew I wanted to run one.

 What was my most frightening running moment?

In February of 2007, I was running an 18 mile training run in the early evening on a weekday with some members of my running group. The run started out nice, but about three miles in it started pouring. We were running through a trail that crossed through many (slightly major) roads every so often. At each road we crossed though, we had a stoplight and a cross walk. We approached this one and the rain was really coming down. One of my friends stopped to tie her shoe and I proceeded through the intersection. I didn’t realize it, but the rest of my friends stayed back with the one who tied her shoe. I was a little more than half way through when I heard my friend Alex yell my name in a panic. I didn’t see it, but a car was about to run a red light at the intersection I was in. If I didn’t stop running when Alex called my name, I would have been hit. The lady driving the car was on her cell phone and she saw me once it was too late, slammed on her brakes, and swerved to a stop about ten yards past the intersection. I was literally inches away from the car as it screeched passed me. I was completely shaken up. After the rest of my group caught up to me and we made it to the other side of the road, I glanced over and saw the driver of the car sobbing. That was by far my closest call to date.

What is my most memorable race moment?

My most memorable race moment occurred at the Rock and Roll Las Vegas Marathon on December 6, 2007. I grew up in Las Vegas so this race was pretty nostalgic for me. Plus, this was the first race where my parents were at. In addition to my parents being at the race, my family (aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins) were waiting along the course with signs and cow bells. I’ve never had that kind of course support before and it was great knowing they were out there cheering me on. I passed by them three times, with the last time at mile 22 where I was able to run past them and give my little cousins high fives. I was totally pumped after passing them. Then, I was nearing the finish line (all the while knowing I would accomplish my goal of running a sub 4) and I hear my mom call out to me. She saw me cross the finish line.

 What is my ultimate running goal?

Even though one of my biggest running goals is to run Boston, I want to use my passion for running and help people. Once I am a teacher, I would love to participate in the Students Run LA program as a mentor and coach. The SRLA program is one that reaches out to at risk teens and challenges them to run a marathon. The program provides the teens with all of the necessary running gear and the guidance and coaching necessary to complete a marathon. In completing a marathon, these students are more likely to finish high school and realize that they can do anything they set their minds to.

Do I run with an iPod?

This question has two answers, yes and no. Yes, I do run with an iPod when I am running on a treadmill, but I do not run with one outside. Personally, I believe it is too dangerous and I do not want to risk anything just so that I can listen to music while I run outside. What if I had been wearing headphones during that run in February 2009? I wouldn’t have heard my friend Alex and I probably would not have stopped. I do not even want to think of what would have happened if that lady would have hit me. I also do not race with music. I like to hear all the sounds of the race. Plus, I like hearing the runners behind me so that I do not cut them off or trip over them.

What kind of awards have I won?

Since I started running again, I’ve only run a few 5Ks and one 10K. Here are the awards I’ve won in these races.

  • 02-03-07 – 5K – 1st in AG
  • 05-31-05 – 5K – 1st in AG
  • 10-03-09 – 10K – Overall Female Winner

Okay, those are all of the questions for now. I will probably have another post like this in the future. Please feel free to answer these questions in your own blog, or as a comment in mine!


LA Marathon 2010

The 25th running of the Los Angeles Marathon was yesterday and I want to take a brfief moment to congratulate all my friends who ran it. CONGRATULATIONS! The course sure looked much more hilly (on TV) than I thought it was going to be!

I’ll see you, L.A., in 2011

Recently, I contacted the L.A. Marathon. Last I heard, there were less than 250 spots for this year’s race and I know it will sell out. I hold one of these coveted spots, but I can’t run it. I was interested to see if LA had a waiting list. That way I could just transfer my entry to a healthy runner, and get back my $125 entry fee. I think it is a win-win situation. That did not happen, but the marathon is letting me transfer my registration to next year! I had to send in a letter and a doctor’s note stating my injury. I am so excited. I was really looking forward to running this year, especially with the new, awesome course; I was crushed when I realized it would not happen this year.

I’ve not got my eyes on a prize and a post-surgery goal. Watch out, L.A. Marathon 2011!

With that said, it will be tough to get into marathon shape by next March. I can’t even have surgery until May, and this type of surgery usually has a 6-8 month recovery time for being able to get back into sports. I will, however, be on the bike a couple weeks after surgery, and I will have to use the bike to slowly build my endurance. I know next year’s LA won’t be another sub 4 marathon, and I definitely will not qualify for Boston, but I plan on slowly jogging it, and probably walking through all of the water stops and possibly more than that also.

My goal is to complete a marathon next year after my third knee surgery! I am making this promise to myself that I won’t get discouraged and I won’t get discouraged with my time. Finishing a marathon 10 months after knee surgery will be a reward in itself.

Running Scrapbook

I finally updated my running scrapbook. If you are looking for something to do with all of your racing bibs, here is an idea. I have some of my timing chips and safety pins in here also. What is really neat is seeing how my times have improved throughout these past couple years.

If you live in Southern California, or race here, you will recognize a lot of the races 🙂

These are my first 2 5Ks after knee surgery.
Left: Run For Russ 5K – Chino, CA – 2/3/2007
Right: Claremont Village Freedom 5000 – Claremont, CA – 7/4/2007
My First 1/2 Marathon!
Left: City of Angels 1/2 – Los Angeles, CA – 12/2/2007
Right: OC Half Marathon – Irvine, CA – 1/6/2008
Surf City Half Marathon – Huntington Beach, CA – 2/3/2008
My First Marathon
Los Angeles Marathon – Los Angeles, CA – 3/2/2008
More LA Marathon
More LA Marathon
Long Beach Marathon – Long Beach, CA – 11/12/2008
More Long Beach Marathon
Left: City of Angels 1/2 – Los Angeles, CA – 12/7/2008
Right: Surf City Half Marathon – Huntington Beach, CA – 2/1/2009
Left: Inagural Pasadena Half Marathon – Pasadena, CA – 3/22/2009
Right: Harvest Festival 10K – Chino Hills, CA – 10/3/2009
Long Beach Half Marathon – Long Beach, CA – 10/11/2009
Inagural Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon – Las Vegas, NV – 12/6/2009
More RnR Vegas
More RnR Vegas

This is it for now. I left out 1 5K, the Chino Hills Challenge in May 2008 (my PR race) because there wasn’t any room, but other than that all of my races post knee surgery are here. Two 5Ks, Seven Half Marathons, and Three Marathons.

Favorite 2009 Running Moments

At the end of every year, I put together a list of my favorite running moments from the year. It is my way of reflecting on the good and looking forward to the future. This year, I am also adding in a list of my running goals for the new year as well.

Top Running Moments of 2009
5. Finally getting over my anti-running capri attitude: Running capris are awesome and until recently I hated them. I only bought them because Vegas was going to be pretty chilly and now I wear them all the time.
4. Running with and meeting even more running friends: What can I say? I LOVE the people in my running group. I enjoy their company on our long runs, I thrive off of their motivation and support, and I look forward to seeing them every Saturday morning. Even if I’m not in a running mood, or if I am dreading the long miles, or if the weather is horrible, I wake up early on Saturday mornings with a smile on my face because I know I am about to be in the company of some of the greatest people.
3. My New  1/2 Marathon PR: For what seemed like forever, I was stuck with a 1:50:XX half marathon time. I trained and trained and still had difficulty breaking that mark. But, that was until 2009. In October (a week after my favorite moment #2) I ran the Long Beach Half Marathon. I can honestly say that I’ve never run a half marathon with so much heart before and I left every once of evergy I had on the course. I finished in 1:42:19. First, I was exstatic that I broke 1:50; secondly, I was even more pumped that I completely smashed my previous PR of 1:50:XX!

2. Winning the Harvest Festival 10K: In October, I signed up for a 10K on a whim. I’d never run a 10K race before and felt that the 6.2 miles run would be an excellent tempo run for my 1/2 marathon the week after. While I didn’t meet my time goal for the race, which was coming in under 45 minutes, I finished in 45:19 and was the first female to cross the finish line. I’ve placed 1st in my age group before, but never as the first female to cross the finish line. It was awesome.

1. Accomplishing my goal of running a sub-4 marathon: In December I ran the Rock and Roll Las Vegas Marathon. I completed this marathon in 3:58:04 and was so elated that I accomplished a goal that I’ve been working toward since I started training for marathons in 2007. Even though I am super happy with my time and progress, it is time to step it up and eventually shave off an additional 18 minutes.

Running Goals for 2010
1. Run a 3:40 marathon and qualify for Boston
2. Run a race in another state besides California and Nevada
3. Run a sub 1:40 half marathon
4. Run a sub 45 minute 10K
5. Log in at least 1500 miles throughout the year.

Cheers to all. Have a happy and healthy 2010!

It’s Official

I registered for LA! March 21, 2010. It is going to be a great race!

13 weeks until L.A.

With just 13 weeks left until LA, I’ve put together my L.A. training schedule for my Saturday long runs. I am going to try to shave off 18 minutes of my last marathon by running my Saturday runs faster, doing more speedwork, increasing the pace of my week day runs and running my weekly tempo runs at a faster pace as well. I think it will work. According to the McMillan pace calculator, with my 1/2 PR of 1:42, I should be able to run a 3:30 full. 🙂 I need a 3:40 to BQ and I think it is completely possible with more quality miles during training, a better nutrition plan, and LA’s new course.

12 weeks out – 12

11 weeks out – 15

10 weeks out – 18

9 weeks out – 13 (AZ 1/2 marathon)

8 weeks out – 16

7 weeks out – 20

6 weeks out – 13 (Surf City 1/2)

5 weeks out – 21

4 weeks out – 13 (Possibly run the Pasadena 1/2)

3 weeks out – 23

2 weeks out – 12

1 week out – 8