Berkeley half race week — giddyup!

Super stoked that it’s race week for the Berkeley Half! I don’t exactly have a hard-and-fast time goal for the race, though I’ll be pleased to a) finish and b) post something in the 1:4x, though that time range is arbitrary at best. In advance of the BHM, I’ve done several double-digit runs, mostly on trails and with loads more climbing than what we’ll be doing in the race, so while I know the endurance is there, the speed … well … that’s anyone’s guess.

not exactly what the BHM will look like, but hey, trails are good for the soul! [from AR on my birthday!]
not exactly what the BHM will look like, but hey, trails are good for the soul! [from AR on my birthday!]

The BHM crew is also inviting the community out for a chill shake-out run on Saturday morning, too; you can RSVP for that here. I’ll be there, as well as my littlest progeny. Say hi :) The race is almost at capacity (for all distances), so if you’ve been waffling about signing up, now’s the time, amigos!

Nuun is partnering with the BHM to be the course electrolyte beverage, and they featured me and my little running “story” earlier this week on their blog. It’s very sweet and adequately displays me for the huge nerd I am. Check it out here. :)

I can’t say that BHM will be my distance racing comeback because that is to imply that I believe in comebacks — which I don’t — but I do look forward to getting some feedback on how my endurance and speed are coming along postpartum. I’ve purposely not incorporated speedwork since returning to running (because these days, volume > speed) since having Spike, so I’m especially looking forward to what the stems can post on Sunday. I blew up in gastrointestinal distress in pretty much every 13.1 I tried to race in 2014, so here’s hoping that I can save myself at least that little indignity on the fine streets of Berkeley come Sunday (tmi, ha). No where to go but up, as far as that goes.

#4426 on race day — orange Wolfpack singlet, black shorts, probably some ridiculous sunglasses — and look for my oldest progeny out there, cowbelling with Meredith and Austin! It’ll be awesome.

yay these two! [totally stolen from fb]
yay these two! [totally stolen from fb]
planning to channel her determination! [PC: Rich Yee photography, Let's Go 510 race]
planning to channel her determination and fleet-footedness. [PC: Rich Yee photography, Let’s Go 510 race]

Here we go!


A season of gratitude – another guest post on the BHM blog

Here’s another guest post I wrote for the Berkeley Half Marathon blog earlier this week. Looking back on it, I think I come off as a bit didactic and rather hastily made my points — both things I should have caught on a few more read-throughs — but I hope my sub-par mechanics don’t completely dilute the essence of what I was trying to say. With Thanksgiving around the corner (one of my top 3 fav holidays!), I’ve been thinking more about gratitude lately. I hope everyone else has an opportunity (perhaps even on a run) to reflect, even if only momentarily, on what you’re grateful for in your life.  Enjoy. –e



running-gratitude-familyFor many people, anytime after Halloween – and late November, in particular – marks the beginning of the holiday frenzy. It’s easy to forget that November also signals the season of gratitude – of giving thanks. With this in mind, perhaps it’s apropos then that the Berkeley Half Marathon race weekend is a mere few days before the singular day of the year when we all give pause to the busyness of our lives and reflect.

Though I’m stating the obvious, as runners, we have a lot to be thankful for. Not only our desire to run – to lace up our shoes day in and day out, putting ourselves out there as we strive to go after the goals that we’ve set before ourselves – but also our sheer ability to run – to put one foot in front of the other, hundreds of thousands of times – are both attributes that not everyone in this world shares with the running community.

The fact of the matter is that because we both can and want to move our bodies, we should give thanks. Really, it’s a necessity that we must. It’s often not until we can no longer or choose to no longer run – because of illness, injury, or simply because we’re feeling burnt out and need a break – do we realize how incredibly lucky we are to run at all.

To our bodies that put up with our mileage habit, the bodies that we test over and over again, the bodies we’re constantly working toward discovering and tapping the depths of our athletic potentials – thank you.

Beyond giving thanks to our bodies for being the incredible workhorses that they are, November and the Berkeley Half Marathon weekend also gives us an opportunity to be thankful for all of the people “behind the scenes,” the folks who enable us to be able to run as we’d like. Though we might like to think otherwise, none of us are little islands unto ourselves; that is, our running affects more than just us. Many of us are not only runners but also significant others, parents, children, employees – the list goes on – and consequently, our running hobby impacts all of these circles of our identity.



We can’t run without the unwavering support of those around us, so here, too, is a reminder, or another opportunity, to express gratitude toward the many folks who support us. Many of us, myself included, say that running allows us to become better versions of ourselves and therefore allow us to be better significant others, parents, and children.

To those who have our backs – the folks who enable and encourage our running so that we can pay it forward and be better human beings in return – thank you.

I’ve run thousands of miles over my lifetime, and one reason I continue to run and push myself is because running gives me limitless opportunities to reflect on my own mortality. That’s not to say that each time I run I am thinking about how or when I’ll die – it’s not that at all, really – but instead, running, and its concomitant moments of solitude and reflection, remind me of both the sanctity and brevity of life.

It is so easy to get bogged down in the “micro” of running – our splits, paces, elevation gains, and whatever else we’re tracking – that many of us, myself included, totally forget to remember the more important “macro” side of things – that we are both able to and want to run in the first place.

Running gives all of us endless opportunities to see and experience the world differently, as well as numerous occasions to give thanks in ways that might be lost on us otherwise.

As you toe the line at one of the Berkeley Half Marathon races just a few days before Thanksgiving this year, remember to take an extra moment this season to convey your gratitude for running: for being able to do it and for all the people in your life who support you. And finally, after the BHM weekend has come and gone and you’re knee-deep into the thick of the holiday frenzy, when running might feel like one more thing on your never-ending to do list, a “have to” not a “get to,” try hard to not allow the “micro” running minutia cloud your “macro” gratitude.

wife and mom ruminating on her love of the run