I really do have so much I want to share and while I will do a more in-depth recap of the San Francisco Marathon/Half Marathon itself I thought I’d share these top 10 memorable moments (and they are in no specific order).

1. Staying with Valerie and her family on their houseboat in Sausalito.

First of all Valerie and her hubby, son and cats couldn’t have been more fun and gracious to stay with. Hotels are overrated (and overpriced). Valerie spent much of the weekend being the “ferry princess” shuttling us to and from the dock to catch our boat. She baked up a batch of yummy chocolate chip-banana-almond muffins and gluten free chocolate chip cookies that were OUT OF THIS WORLD! I looked forward to a cookie and the Nespresso machine each morning. The deck of the houseboat was so peaceful and relaxing to sit out on. I enjoyed the perks of the guest quarters including her foam roller #runners. The “front yards” along the block dock were so colorful with blooms of all kinds and there was an amazing deli that I returned to for the same sandwich 2 days in a row.

Some of the neighbor's colorful "front yards"

Some of the neighbor’s colorful “front yards”

Gus the cool cat

Gus the cool cat



high tide made the entrance another HILL!

high tide made the entrance to the house another HILL!


deck view

The Surfin Bird....my new favorite sandwich

The Surfin Bird….my new favorite sandwich

Valerie reading my blog

Valerie reading my blog one morning at breakfast


2. Meeting Shane, The Silent Assasin!

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Yesterday I hit the gym during my lunch break and did 15 min on the rower and 15 on the stair master. My upper body got a good workout as did my glutes..and my tender foot got a reprieve. Happy to report it is feeling good and I should be just fine to run on it in a day or two.

I had these sourdough pretzel nibblers with my lunch and had a smile when I realized they were from my goodie bag that I received as soon as I crossed the finish line at the NYC Marathon exactly one month ago!

photo 2Then  when I came home I was snacking on some popcorn (theme of the day was carbo snacking-busted!) and happened to notice the “sell by” date is April 27th, 2014 which is the date of my next marathon (the NJ Marathon). I had a chuckle.


Admittedly, I’m a running junkie and running is always on my mind. So even while I’m enjoying being in this non-structured time period right now to let my body rest and focus on cross training, it’s nice to be reminded again of my marathons both past and future! I’m super excited to start training for NJ. Just 5 more weeks until training kicks off. Let’s see if I’m still super excited as I hit the beginning of April. At least I won’t be running my 20 mile long runs in the heat and humidity!

I often get caught up in the frustrations of working in Manhattan—the crowds, the commute, the time lost as I sit in traffic…but last night as all the tourists were busy taking pictures of the decorated holiday windows at Macy’s I grabbed this shot of the Empire State Building. It looked extra specially beautiful with the blue and white lights shining.

photo 3

Tonight they’ll be lighting the tree at Rockafeller Center. I could easily walk there from my office to see the tree but let’s not get silly now! WAY TOO CHAOTIC for me. =)

3 more weeks until Christmas day. I’ve got my holiday cards designed, ordered and shipped. As soon as I get them mailed I’ll post the final card here. It’s really cute if I do say so myself.

Happy Hump Day. 

Welcome to Part 2 of my recap of the Center of the Nation Series. Of course if you’ve missed part 1 just go here.

So we’ve covered off on Saturday, Sunday and Monday and the first of 5 marathon/half marathons which was in North Dakota. Tuesday we ran a course in the geographical center of the nation: Belle Fourche, South Dakota.

Center of the Nation Belle Fourche South Dakota

Center of the Nation Belle Fourche South Dakota. Photo courtesy of Lisa

Before I go on about the race itself I wanted to tell you about a really cool connection that happened partly because of this video and this video and partly because of Belle Fourche being the location. A local resident of Belle Fourche, Tim was getting back into running after some time away from the sport. He saw a few of the Dicks Sporting Goods “Run For” videos (that Lisa, Roger and I had been a part of) and even shared them with friends and family after being inspired. Shortly after, while looking for races on Active.com he noticed 3 in a row that had Belle Fourche listed as the location. It intrigued him and so he emailed the race director Clint. Next thing you know, he came on board to help scout out some courses for the middle 3 events of the series and also participate in the half marathon on Tuesday (and volunteer on Wednesday and Thursday). On Facebook we had a special group for participants of the series and Tim spotted Roger’s name in the group first. Well, after some conversations we finally got to meet Tim just as soon as we landed at the airport. Tim is a pilot and was actually on Roger’s plane coming in.


Roger, Lisa, Tim, Sally and Elvia. Photo courtesy of Tim

Never did I personally think that the video I was part of would reach and inspire so many. I was actually just excited to share my story of how I got into running. But meeting Tim, who says he felt like he was meeting celebrities, made me realize that those videos were pretty darn impactful and successful! (you can also check out this other video of Roger that is pretty darn amazing too.) And what a total pleasure it was to meet Tim. Nothing better than to meet super nice people all over the country who share similar interests.

Ok, on to the course. The course was situated right at the Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce center. It was mostly narrow concrete sidewalk with one stretch along a paved street that was also an out and back course with the full marathoners doing 12 laps and half marathoners doing 6. (the only difference was that the start was sort of in the middle so you went to the right and back to center and then to the left and back to center.


It’s Marathon Man


the bulk of the course was just like this. (more on the handcyclist in my next post!)

I really loved this course. This is where the realization came that the week would feel way more like a family get together than a week of races. (I think on day 1 I was still anxious about how I would really be able to run 5 straight double digit runs and I wasn’t as chatty.) There were runners and walkers of all ages (i think even in their 70s!) and paces which, combined with the course lap repeats left ample opportunity to smile and cheer for others. The biggest cheerleader was a marathoner named Alicia. She didn’t miss a beat, with our names written on our bibs, she was right there chanting “way to go Sally!” I’d nod and give her a thumbs up or sometimes just blurt out “ditto”. I’m terribly awkward and can’t get sensible sentences out when i’m running =)

Most often when I travel with my friends and they are signed up for the full while I run the half we basically say goodbye at the start and I see them later on after they’ve finished so I was really excited to see them every couple of miles. I was so impressed with not just the volunteers and organizers of the event, but the participants too. Everyone seemed to lend a hand picking up trash. Some half marathoners turned into cheerleaders or aid station volunteers when they finished their running. I found myself being the “paparazzi” and taking lots of pictures. I finished the half in 2:29 but have to say I really took it easy and was quite relaxed compared to Monday where I pushed hard. And by the end of this day I officially had conquered something new….back to back half marathons.


Half Marathon Finishers! Photo courtesy of Tim

Half Marathon Finishers! Photo courtesy of Tim

On this particular course it was almost 90 degrees by the time my friend Lisa was about 22 miles in and she was trying hard to stay cool. Even pouring cold water on her running tights. (someday i’ll post about how I think marathons are THREE times harder than half marathons but temperatures can really cause those last 10 miles of a marathon to be extremely difficult. It was about 20 degrees cooler when I finished my half.) Mike immediately went over to Lisa and started to walk along with her and then called me over. We walked for a while together and I think that helped distract Lisa from the heat. It felt like our training runs where we’d chit chat. And I discovered that I hadn’t really experienced Lisa in the final few miles of a marathon. She was funny! Reminded me of a happy drunk! It might have been dehydration and sun stroke but I noticed it for the remaining days as well. Roger is a numbers guy. With this event being 5 marathons in 5 days in 5 states he thought it’d be cool to finish each day in 5 hours. And so after finishing Monday technically in less than 5 he waited a few minutes before crossing the finish line to get an official time of 5 hours. And so Tuesday, he did the same. Elvia was really enjoying her time on the course. She was like the mayor, just striking up conversation left and right.

ironic that the 4 full marathoners matched?!

Just before the start. Ironic that the 4 full marathoners matched?!

Once we were all finished we piled into the car, made another quick trip to Walmart for a few more groceries and I also picked up a pair of blue running capris for the following day’s run. (Yep, I broke a cardinal rule of wearing something new on race day. I’m a rebel! More on the reason I needed blue pants in the first place in my next post!)

We then headed back to our lovely cabin and I cooked dinner for everyone. This is actually quite funny as I’m not a big cook. And the meal was a hit! I think that right there is a huge PR!


That’s potato, egg and cheese that I’m whipping up. A great pre-race meal. Photo courtesy of Lisa

family dinner

Family dinner! Photo courtesy of Lisa

Another successful day! Another run was done! And off to bed we went because we had another 4am wake up call to get ready for our Hump Day run in Wyoming…..to be continued.


After walking through my last 2 scheduled runs to let my groin/inner thigh muscle issue calm down, I went for my first run today to test the waters. Success!!!! I decided to run out a mile and then turn back for a total of 2 miles. While I’m sure 3 or 4 miles would have been fine, I’m trying to be smart and make sure I don’t push it only to have a setback. I’ve got TOO MANY races the second half of the year and I don’t want to miss any of them. It was quite soupy out today. In just 22 minutes my entire running outfit was soaked!

I'm glistening!

I’m glistening!

The second part of my successful math equation: my new kicks!!! This was a potential crisis averted and I’m thrilled. Here’s the situation my parent’s went away on a week’s vacation: I have been wearing the Asics Cumulus 13s since training for my first marathon in 2011. LOVE THEM! The 14s came out and i HATED THEM! Total freakout. So I did what any normal crazy superstitious runner would do and found an online retailer that still had 2 pairs of the 13s in my size. Boom! I was all set for the next 6-9 months. Well, in the last week I noticed that my sneaker mileage was dangerously close to maxing out on BOTH pairs (TIP: I tend to rotate between two pairs. This is great for when one pair is wet from a rainy day or you’ve stepped in dog poo, gum etc and you have back to back running days. (I try to stay around 300-350 miles per pair. I keep a log on my phone in a note but I know they even have apps for this purpose.) By now I’ve made it clear that I can get obsessively stressed over the “small stuff”. To complicate things, they now have come out with the Cumulus 15s! Yesterday I decided to face my fears head on and walk up to the Asics store on my lunch hour (god bless the fact that I work in Manhattan just 5 blocks away from an Asics store). To my dismay the 15s were just as the 14s were. Not cushy enough for me. The guy helping me suggested the Nimbus 14s (the 15s are out but the 14s were cheaper and will still be around for a few months). I took a leap of faith and was pleasantly relieved to discover that they felt great! They actually felt like the Cumulus 13s did. So I made my purchase knowing i’d give them a few trial runs and if all was good i’d go home and order another pair or two.

Brand new Nimbus 14s

Brand new Nimbus 14s

So today was a good day. The sneakers felt perfect. The leg felt great. And I’m giving myself kudos for actually listenting to my body and giving my muscle a chance to feel better. <<pointing finger at you>> Now to all you readers please take my advice and do the same. Listen to your body. Sometimes it will say “Hey sexy.” But sometimes it will say “Ouchie. Give me a break please.”