Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The San Francisco Marathon Madness Week!

This weekend I head out the city for The San Francisco Marathon festivity madness!
In addition to running the Marathon on Sunday (hello 52.4 club!), you will also find me engaged in activities leading up to Sunday.

Where I will be -

Friday July 25th - 11:30pm - 3:30pm I will be working a shift at the expo held at the Fort Mason Festival Pavilion.. Please come say hello! You will find me a the Runner Tracking Booth!

Friday Night - Thirsty Bear Brewing Company! TBB is treating the SFM ambassadors to a tour and a newly made brew! But first, I need to get my Ramen fix! The sad truth is Placerville does not have Ramen and I have yet to find a Ramen spot in the surrounding areas. Oh the horror! So, yes. While in SF, I must get my Ramen fix!

Saturday July 26th - 8:30am, Shakeout  run with the Road Racing Badass; Bart Yasso.

Saturday, 1pm - Meetup/Tweetup at the expo. Please stop by! If we haven’t meet in person and only electronically, this would be the perfect opportunity!!! It was two years ago at TSFM Tweetup that I first met Paulette and we have been friends ever since!

Sunday July 27th -Go time! Race morning, I will start in Wave 3 running the marathon distance with an estimated finish time of 4:30. Perhaps I will finish before or beyond. Either way no PR’s, just running a marathon for fun! You know how we do!

I am super excited to see all my TSFM Ambassador buddies and meet a few new faces as well as see all my friends who may not be ambassadors, but are just as cool if not cooler!

Are you running in San Francisco this weekend? Drop me a note/tweet/message/text/carrier pigeon/raven and let me know, I would love to see you!

Happy Race Weekend!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Make Awesome Happen

Disclaimer: The Pebble watch was provided to me by the SF Marathon partnership. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The San Francisco Marathon is just around the corner! While I don't think I am as fully prepared as I would like, I am super excited!

I recently had the opportunity as a San Francisco Marathon Ambassador to play with a shiny new toy - The Pebble Watch. Pebble, a local Bay Area company, has partnered with the SF Marathon to launch a race day app, specifically for all Pebble watch wearers to track their progress on race day!

The watch syncs to my android via blue tooth technology and allows me to access texts, emails, music, and apps. I  also created my very own custom watch face! The Pebble is also a great running tool! I sync the Pebble up with the Strava app to track my miles and pace while out on a run training for The San Francisco Marathon. The sync between Pebble and Strava is only available on Android. 

Pebble charges via a USB cable and the battery life of the watch is 7 days. The side buttons make it easy to control all features mentioned above.

Honestly, there is so much you can do, I have not even began to explore all the wonderful qualities the Pebble has to offer.

What I also love about the Pebble is since they started their funding campaign in Kickstarter, they give back by supporting other Kickstarter campaigns. Most recently, Pebble offered limited edition versions of their watch as rewards to backers assisting with the Reading Rainbow campaign! This just warms my heart as I loved watching Reading Rainbow as a kid. I like when companies support others. It not only stands them out from the crowd, but I am more apt to support them and the product.

I can't wait to run with the Pebble out on the SF Marathon course! 

If you want a Pebble for your very own, The San Francisco Marathon is offering a $20 discount to registered runners and a $10 discount to everyone (retail price is $150). Click here to access the discount.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Western States Adventures - Part One

It is hard to put in words everything that happened during Western States weekend. Harder still, to give the perspective from the background. Only a crew member living vicariously through the triumphs and the pain of one runner, I write this blog in two parts.

Part One - Will be my story. My experience crewing UMM in his first hundred mile journey.

Part Two (and certainly what you will be waiting for with bated breath) - UMM's Western States race recap.

We started in Squaw on Thursday morning where we participated in some of the pre race Western States activities, chatted with friends, and took in the Western States atmosphere. Every corner we turned in Squaw Valley held a runner. It was an ultra runner convention and I got to experience it all.

That's us in Squaw
Friday went by far too fast where I was able to squeeze a run in on the beautiful Truckee River Bike Trail before UMM picked up his race bag swag and attended the mandatory meeting. As we settled in for the evening, UMM’s nerves started to set in. As a forest fire fighter, UMM is use to battling fires all day and all through the night. I reminded him of this and told him that without the fire, it is just running! This seemed to put him at ease as he was already use to physical activity all through the night.  It’s just running!

Truckee River Bike Trail

How could I not stop to take a photo?
UMM’s plan was to run his first 100 miler conservatively. He  trained hard at running at a slower pace.

Once UMM started the race, I jumped in the car and headed to Auburn where I met up with my crew at the cabins we had rented. Quick hellos and hugs, and then Ruben (who was UMM’s pacer) and his girlfriend Vanessa, jumped in the truck and we were on our way to meet UMM at Robinson Flat that was at 29 mile aid station. UMM looked great as we greeted him with rice cakes and sunblock. I had no cell service for quite some time and was not able to text the other half of the crew. Lucky I trust them completely as they are my dear friends; Shannon, Paulette, and Kevin who dedicated their whole weekend to making sure UMM’s 1st 100 miler went without a hitch.

UMM at the start line!


It was Michigan Bluff where we all united, hanging out in the shade, cheering on the front runners. We spent quite a long time at this Aid Station as I would rather be early than stressed out and late. UMM strolled in looking strong and happy. Laughing it up with volunteers. If I could only look that fabulous after running 55 miles! Now that’s talent! He spent hardly any time at all with us (which is expected of course) and away he went.

Paulette is awesome at capturing these landmarks!

Passing the time at Michigan Bluff.

Foresthill was where the party was at. Friends from the Folsom Trail Runners were volunteering, UMM’s cousin was there to cheer (on her birthday no less), and positive energy was flowing. Kevin had hiked a steep hill with UMM from Bath Road and upon seeing them run into Foresthill, I was able to run UMM into the chute. The volunteers were amazing and oh so caring! Gotta love the hundreds of volunteers it took to make the race happen!
UMM had mentioned to me in the planning stages that in Foresthill he wanted to soak his feet.When he was actually in the moment, he felt so great that he did not want to stop. He had a goal in mind and was determined to see it through! He got a bit choked up when he saw his cousin and then just like that, him and Ruben were off!

I had to. I just had to!

Photo credit goes to Janelle - the only photo you will ever catch me attending to UMM's feet.

Janelle trying to capture #TeamUMM shirts and not my armpit stains!
GreenGate was yet another fun aid station. After dinner and a much deserved yummy beer in Cool, we headed out to the 79.8 mile marker. As usual, I was worried about missing UMM so I made my crew run down the dirt hill for over a mile with all our gear! I ended up grabbing a ride with a stranger volunteer down to the AS just because I was worried about being there on time. Upon arriving to the AS and finding a spot to settle in, I realized I had left Shannon’s sweater in the strangers car. I panicked as I could not remember what the stranger looked like. In all fairness, I was in the backseat and only saw him from behind. I ran up the hill to his truck in hopes that he was still there. I ran down the hill back to the aid station. I ran back up still looking for him, and down once again. I found him finally and together we ran back up the hill!

Pizza & Beer!
Once the sweater was saved and all sweat had been removed from my forehead, I received the following text from my good friend Katie -

“You’re wearing a red shirt and black shorts?”
“I am watching you on the live stream at Green Gate RIGHT NOW!”

Because I did not have the best cell service, I received the following texts from Katie hours after.

“I wish you could wave to us.”
“This is hilarious watching you run around.”

In true Alisyn fashion, I was caught running around trying to save Shannon’s sweater like a crazy person. Of course the live feed couldn’t catch me doing something productive like saving lizards from the runners path or looking refined drinking tea and eating crumpets. Nope! I am glad I was able to provide the entertainment for that brief moment in time.

Back to UMM, he flew through the AS and Ruben decided to pace him to the end. Our crew job was done and we headed to the finish line to wait UMM’s arrival.

Paulette also is awesome at capturing decorated porta potty's!

Love my new camera phone! Look at how sharp the night pics are!

At the finish line at the Placer High School track, I hung out with the Folsom Trail Runners and my crew. We drank beer and cheered on the finishers. If I failed to say this before, I will say it again - The Folsom Trail Runners are an awesome group of people! Not only are they super supportive but so much fun to hang out with. Very happy and honored to know such a great group of folks!

Folsom Trail Runners and Crew!
Well after midnight, the natives were getting restless, so we all threw a dollar into the piggy and took bets on UMM’s finishing time while others of us took a snooze.

Winner! Clint won! He guessed the closest finishing time!

My friend Theresa had the fantastic idea to run in with UMM once he hit the track to the finish line. We headed to the entrance where UMM came running in strong. He was shocked to see so many of us cheering him on, got excited and started to sprint around the track. I of course tried to keep up. Yep! There I was, trying to sprint in my oversized yoga pants and oofos. Clearly, I could not keep up and UMM crossed the finish line in 22 hours and eight minutes.

Note me pulling up my pants!

UMM sprinting so fast, he is a blur.
I was so very proud of him! UMM had a goal to run conservatively within a certain time and he did it allowing him silver buckle status! I really believe that UMM was not running at his fullest potential and of course told him so. Instead of debating with me he agreed. I have a feeling this won’t be his last 100 miler!!!

Photo courtesy of Barbara

Clearly, running a 100 miles is no easy feat. And UMM and I are so grateful to have the support of such fantastic friends who were there for him crewing, pacing, cheering, volunteering, and also to those who were supporting him from afar, tweeting, and texting. Much love to you all!

Hugs & cheers all around!

Paulette also captured her adventures crewing UMM. And just like her, I am in totally in awe of each and every runner who ran Western States. So inspirational! But let it be known, that I have no desire to ever run 100 miles, but will continue to crew and support those who do!

Two days after the Western States race, UMM was sent out on a fire assignment. His Guest blog recap will be up as soon as he returns. It might be a two week wait but what else can we do? The life of a forest fire fighter during the summer months!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Western States Thoughts - From the Background

This week is the week! All the training and all the planning have brought me to this very moment!

With the way I am carrying on, you would think that I was the one running the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race, but we all know that would never happen!

Just like the Boston Marathon however, I can and will live vicariously through UMM and all of his running glory...I’ll just be hanging out behind the scenes. Go TEAM UMM #322

This Thursday, we head up to Squaw and become a part of it all. UMM is as ready as he will ever be, rice cakes are made, and crew duties have all been assigned. I feel a mix of emotions ranging from excitement to nerves and everything in between (and I am just in the background).

Of course this race would not be possible without the dedication and time of our wonderful crew mates. UMM and I are so grateful to have such fabulous friends as support. Shout out’s and many thank you’s go out  to -



So, that is all I have to say really! Stay tuned as the Western States adventure unfolds!

Follow myself or Paulette on Twitter for live updates. You can also follow along on instagram - Runinsyn. Or check out the Ultra Sports Live TV Live Feed for coverage.

Have you ran a 100 mile race? Do you have any last minute tips for UMM? What about crewing 100 miles, I would love to hear your tips and tricks!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Teeth Be With You

It was back in December when I started experiencing tooth pain. Not the rolling on the floor, end of the world I’m going to die pain, but more of a knocking I’m here and irritated kind of pain. Just to clarify. No one likes the dentist its true, top that off with a lack of dental insurance, I swept that irritated pain under the carpet. To be ignored.

PSA - Do not ignore pain. Regardless of where that pain is, go see a specialist! Pain is not to be ignored.

This should certainly be a no brainer, but I don’t know how many times I, myself ignored pains, or heard of other people doing the same. It’s just not worth it.

While running, my tooth ache taunted and teased me. I complained a lot, but did nothing about it. And, I of course kept running. Fast- forward to um, well a couple of weeks ago, I started to experience that “rolling on the floor, OMG I’m going to die pain.” I was miserable. At first I thought it was a coffee headache, but soon enough, the pain had taken over the whole side of my face. The pain came in waves and man were those waves intense! I turned into this over the counter pill popping monster. No overdoses over here and to my dismay, no pain relief either.

I fought the pain and the pain won. I finally (FINALLY) went to the dentist.
I ended up having an emergency root canal. Apparently, under a filling, my tooth had basically
died. It died! Whatever that bloody means.  
So there I was, sitting in the dentist chair, with my mouth wide open and vulnerable, staring at my oh so humbling teeth x rays, with a slightly above average (okay, hot) dentist looking into my mouth of death. Why must all my dentists be hot? It is a very cruel trick to play. No, nothing has happened to UMM. We are still fabulous, but I can still appreciate a good looking man and still feel quite embarrassed that this good looking man is working on the Teeth of Terror exhibit otherwise known as my mouth!
After a couple of weeks of experiencing excruciating pain and an emergency root canal, it would be assumed that one should lay low and let the body recuperate from all the stresses. I of course thought it was a good idea to run 20.5 miles the very next day. I did it and it is done, but it was hard. I felt nauseous, light headed, weak and everything in between. The mind is always stronger than the body and I must remember for next time that I need to let it rest. Let it rest!

In the midst of marathon training, it is easy to get caught up with training plans and schedules. It is just as easy to over train. Rest days are important too!

I have learned a lot from my teeth these past few months. Taking care of myself will not only help my running, but it is important to keep healthy that in turn will keep me fit and happy.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

3rd Annual Surfer's Path Marathon & Capitola Half

Okay, so I am a tad late in posting, but no matter. The intent is there all just the same -

Surfer’s Path Marathon and Capitola Half was yet another success! The weather was perfect and being behind the scenes of all the action, I can honestly say that everything went off without a hitch.

This was the third year of the race and the third year I have served on the race committee. I always enjoy returning back to Santa Cruz. Frankly, I wish I could move there. There is something magical about living near the ocean all while being in the mountains.

I could go on and on about how fantastic this race is, but from past race blog posts here & here, I think you get the idea. So instead of my ramblings, I will simply just post a picture recap.

Interested in running the race and want more information? Check other these other fabulous race recaps from participants who actually ran the race!

View from the beachfront expo.
Three years serving alongside these fabulous ladies! <3

Meg, Paulette, Dana, and me!
Elise & I doing what we do best - Tweeting! #tweetup
Santa Cruz Running Company represent! Love this running store!
Always time for beer with Keri.
Finish line with Elise who blew a PR right out of the ocean! 

Paulette who ran the half and Kevin who had just finished the full!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Race & Life News

The San Francisco Marathon training has begun and I am three weeks behind in announcing it - Surprise! With that, I begin the ramping up phase of marathon training. I recently completed 15 miles. While this is not my first rodeo when it comes to training for a marathon, I am always shocked when I run farther than 13 miles. At the end of my 15 miler, I shouted “I did it!” like it was my first time running such. It’s silly really, but I suppose it is better to be excited about higher mileage than dreading it.

Did you know that Nuun is going to be the electrolyte on the SFM course? Stoaked about this as Nuun just happens to be my electrolyte of choice. My favorite flavors are the the lemon- lime and pink lemonade. I do like citrus!

In other race news, The Surfer Path’s Marathon and Capitola Half is coming up this Sunday! I love this race and not just because I am on the race committee. This really is a great community event where most of the course is held with coastal views (my absolute favorite to experience while running). I am really excited to announce that Meg and I will be hosting a Tweetup at the beachfront Expo in Capitola. Come join us! It will be a beautiful and fun afternoon by the sea!

I am very excited to announce that I have accepted a position as the Director of Operations and Outreach with the El Dorado Arts Council. I am thrilled to be apart of such a dynamic not to mention creative team. While I am passionate about the running community, the arts - performing, fine, & literary, have always been a huge part of my life..Since the age of three. No really! I believe it is important to keep the arts alive by raising visibility and increasing participation within the community. “More Arts in More Places with More People!”

The start of a new job and a couple of trips to the Bay Area this last week caused me to fall behind in my weekly mileage goal. There are always going to be bumps in the road when training for a race. Life happens. Instead of stressing about the lack of miles I failed to do, I look forward to the quality miles I will be putting in this next week and beyond.

One of those trips to the Bay Area included me being apart of one of my best friends wedding! It was a beautiful ceremony and I just wish those moments of celebrating their new life together would have lasted forever.

The wedding party. Such a magical day!
The beautiful bride & my amazing friends!
The next day I continued to celebrate their love by running hungover with fellow SFM Ambassadors. It was fun to see Paulette and Kevin again and great getting to know Corrine who has such an amazing, not to mention inspiring story (I’ll let her share it)!

Group pic. The men did not call each other in the morning to coordinate outfits, but doesn't it make a great group photo!

Myself, Corrine, Paulette
Busy life = a happy me!

Will I be seeing you in Santa Cruz this weekend?