Monday, October 4, 2010

My Chat with Mel Keflezighi!!

Meb & Me
It was super exciting to interview Meb Keflezighi at the Rock n Roll San Jose Half Marathon expo on Saturday 10/2! (If you don’t know who Meb is, he is a 2004 Olympic Marathon Silver Medalist and also the 2009 NYCM winner. Yeah, he’s kind of a big deal!) I didn't have as much time as I thought with him since there was HUGE line of people wanting to meet him at the Sony booth so I made it quick (Less than 10 minutes!). Meb was very personable and real. I don't know what I was expecting but I was definitely left with a great impression of him! It’s not everyday yours truly gets to interact with an Olympian!

Here's my interview with Meb! I just jumped right in. He also really liked my iPhone 4 doing the recording.

Julianne: Meb, I'm gonna jump right in. I asked my friends and blog readers to help me find out more about you. And, Dennis from San Jose wants to know if you chafe at all.

Meb: Do I chafe? Yes, definitely and a lot during the off season. I chafe between the thighs and under my arms because I run without a shirt! And if I don't use Vaseline I'm in big trouble.

Julianne: Most of us "regular" runners chafe all over (and I gestured all over) and we definitely wondered if the pros do, too.

Meb: *laughs* Of course we do! But definitely on long runs and races, you should use something like vaseline or Body Glide to prevent chaffing.

Julianne: What's your pre-race ritual or favorite food before the race? Mica from Urbana, Illinois asked.

Meb: Definitely pasta the night before a race. I can't wait to have that tonight. I totally love spaghetti with meatballs. I am totally ready to go the next morning. That's my ritual. But I also love Mexican food, like burritos especially on my hard run days. And I love eggs.

Julianne: I love eggs, too! You have a fantastic website and you're very active on the social networking thing, like Facebook and Twitter. Has it changed how you race, network or interact with fans? This one is from Layla in Lodi, by the way.

Meb: It's been really great to connect with fans and friends online. It's so much easier this way. It's also a big honor for me to meet my fans and interact with them. Twitter is all about me letting people know where I am and what I'm doing. I guess being online is the trend right now and it's where the market is. When I was up in Rock n Roll Seattle earlier this year, I mentioned on Twitter that I was going to be at the expo. And one fan apparently drove up from Portland to meet me after he saw my Tweet. I was really honored.

Julianne: Wow, that's awesome! Jason from New York City wants to know if you're planning on winning New York City Marathon this year?? And how do you stay motivated to win such a big race?

Meb: That's my goal to win New York City Marathon! God gave me this talent to run and if it motivates people than it's my job to do it. I keep going because the talent from God isn't tapped out yet. I'm still running races and PR'ing so, I feel really blessed.

Julianne: Do you ever have days when you don't feel like running and how do you get yourself motivated? This one is from Katie in Boston.

Meb: There are days but it doesn't happen often. It's really an honor to do a job that I am really passionate about. Just like any other people, when I'm feeling under the weather or something, I don't feel like running. But, once I'm out the door, I do more than I set out to do. Again, I try to remind myself that I have a responsibility since God gave me this talent for running. It's really an honor.

Julianne: I heard you injured your hip back in 2008. What was the road to recovery like? Quan from San Jose wanta to know.

Meb: Actually it was my pelvis and I had to take 10 weeks off. It wasn't easy! The most difficult part of the process was getting the correct diagnosis. It was originally diagnosed as a sports hernia and got examined by the doctor in NYC (who also happens to be the medical director for Rock n Roll) and got scanned at Columbia U. Good news was that no surgery was required but the bad part was that I couldn't run.

Julianne: Yeah, I guess it's easier to treat once you know what it is. If you're guessing what's wrong with you, how do find treatment right? My next question comes from Audrey in Los Gatos. She wants to know which celebrity you'd like to pace in a marathon if you ever got a chance?

Meb: *laughs* Well, I did meet Halle Berry once so maybe if she asked, I'd love to pace her in a marathon! My wife said if they ever make a movie about me, then Halle needs to play her. *laughs again* Of course, I'll play myself!

Julianne: Meb, what's going through your mind the last few miles of a marathon? You must be exhausted at that point?

Meb: It all depends. If I'm winning? I have all the energy in the world! I could go forever, I think!

Julianne: Um... I don't know what that's like but wow, that sounds pretty amazing.

Meb: Well, if there's someone ahead of me, I'm thinking I need to catch up very soon. Or if there's someone right behind me, I need to get away. I just need to keep up the speed and the endurance.

Julianne: This is so exciting. You won RnR San Jose last year and you plan to win tomorrow, yeah?

Meb: Oh that's the plan I plan to do the same thing I did last year, from here to NYCM.

Julianne: Good luck tomorrow and next month at New York!! And thank you for your time today!

Did I mention Meb won the race again yesterday??? Yes, he did! He won by quite a margin, too. Part of the RnR SJ Half is an out and back course and I saw him when he had just entered the 13th mile. That guy was sprinting the whole way but he didn't even look tired. Of course, I was only at mile 5 or 6! Really awesome to see him and as I yelled out to him "Go Meb!" I felt like I was cheering on a friend. It was really an honor to meet him and getting to talk to him of course! Thanks to all of you who helped me with the questions. :-)

Ps. I don't know if you noticed the little "inset" looking image of the Sony Walkan MP3 player (on the bottom left corner) in my picture up at the top... It's actually not an inset but a little pop up card that was on the table. Meb trains with the Sony MP3 player is a huge fan! I love this pic of Meb running! --->

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Questions for Elite Runner & Pacing (again)!

This is really exciting! I just got confirmation that I'll be interviewing the 2009 New York City Marathon winner and Olympic medalist Meb Keflezighi this Saturday at the Rock n Roll San Jose Half Marathon expo!!!!!! When Sony first asked if I'd like to do this, I had no idea how ELITE Meb was (or is)! It's really exciting that I get to meet someone who WON the NYCM and an Olympic Silver Medal. So I only have 30 minutes to do the interview and my mind is blank right now thinking of QUESTIONS to ask Meb. I'm sure he's been asked the same questions over and over again so I need your help with some creative questions. Please send me some ideas via email or post a question in the comments section! I'll be sure to let him know it was you who asked. :-)

On a related note, I'll be pacing the 2:20 finish group for the RnR SJ Half! So if you're running the half, look for me. I'll also be at the expo on Sunday. I'm thinking there's a pacer's booth?? I'll also be pacing the Inaugural Morgan Hill Marathon in November!! If you're in the area, come join us for the half or the full. I'll be pacing the 5:00 finish group.

It's also been uber hot this week, 100+ degrees in the Bay Area this week. I've been running in the mornings instead but don't have as much time to put the miles in. It's supposed to start cooling down today so looking forward to getting in 8 miles after work. I'm hoping it will be overcast and even COOLER on Sunday morning for the half marathon!

Ok so questions for Meb?? :-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Happy To Me!

Yes, Happy To Me! (Our 3 year old niece used to say that at OTHER people's birthdays... So cute!)

It crept up on me again. My birthday... For the first time EVER, I have no desire to celebrate. I'm thinking I can deal with a low key celebration this year. I've never had any issues getting older, but having some difficulty swallowing the fact that I'm 36. Wow. Deep breath....

At the same time, I can't believe how lucky I am with all the blessings in my life! I have so much to be thankful for! Really, I am so blessed. Life is so good!

I've been trying something new. with my running routine. Running after my boot camp in the morning. I've been trying to do 3 to 4 miles in the morning and then trying to get another 4 to 5 miles after work. It also works out on evenings when I have plans (like tonight and tomorrow) and don't have time to get the runs in... Maybe I'm uber warmed up but I've been pulling out like 9 minute miles. I can see some improvements with the speed and it's really encouraging. Hopefully I can run at consistent sub 9 pace again! (Although, this morning's 4 miler was kind of crappy but then I did have quite a few glasses of Pinot Grigio last night at dinner.) I've also been trying to lose the weight that I've put on the last year. Ugggh, it's a never ending battle! If only I didn't like to eat so much???

It's a happy week with so many birthday celebrations but at the same time, it's been sad, too. Duane's aunt passed away last week and it's never easy when a family member passes away. My thoughts and prayers are with Lauren, Kyle and Uncle Mas... They are really lovely cousins and very funny uncle...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

6 Reasons to Run!

I read this morning a really simple yet awesome article on Women's Health Magazine titled "6 Reasons to Run". And I couldn't agree more on why we SHOULD run! I know I'm preaching to the choir here but thought it was a good reiteration as to why those of who do run manically should continue to do so. And if you just happened to stumble onto my blog and thinking about starting, here are some reasons why you should. Below is a brief synopsis of the article. For the full version, click here.

1. It's so easy - Right? You just go out there and run! You don't have to even run far at first. Maybe run around your block at first, around the school track, on a treadmill for a mile, and build up your distance slowly!

2. Yet so hard - According to the article, running burns more calories than any other cardio vascular activity. The harder you run, better workout you get! But we all know, it's NOT easy!!

3. Your knees will thank you - I always thought running tore up your joints and knees but apparently that's an old wives' tale. So go run!! It's better for your knees!

4. You'll stress less - Duh. No brainer, right??? Who doesn't feel better after they go for a good run?

5. It can prevent disease - You run, burn calories, lose weight, better better better for your body! Something else I didn't know, besides running prevents heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, high blood pressure, and boost immunity to colds and other viruses, treadmill running also improves your vision! Go figure!

6. You'll probably live longer - There are slew of benefits to running. Living longer for all off the reasons above and then some. How awesome is that???

Again, more details and why you should run here. It just made me all around happy reading it. Today is my rest day but made me want to go out there to run!

Thoughts?? Do you agree, disagree, or are there other reasons that the article missed??

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cross Training & Marathon Training

I somehow dragged myself out of bed at 5:30am this morning, wondering why I torture myself this way, for my morning bootcamp sessions. I love my bootcamp, going 3 times a week at 6am at The Ice Chamber facility (which is about 10 min away). It's getting up and geting there that's the hardest part. Once I'm there, I'm doing all sorts of isometric workouts, kettlebell workouts, partnering up with really great athletes and like today, running around with 35 lb sandbag on my shoulder and working up quite a sweat. Like I said, getting there is the hardest part. It's probably the best cross training workouts I've ever engaged in. I used to love to spin but that got old kinda quickly... I was just curious how other runners mix up their cross training, when they're not running.

I've begun my training for NYCM and CIM officially! Ran 10 miles on Sunday with Duane and met up with the ROHOs (Aron, Kristin, Tara and Maritza) and other awesome local runners (Audrey, Layla and RoadBunner) for brunch in Walnut Creek.

Yummy pancakes for brunch!

Girls who run together brunch together!
And last night somehow managed to run 8 miles after work. I felt really great on Sunday for the 10 miler. I averaged about 9:40 per mile. Last night was another story, I think I eeked out about 10:15 min per mile average. I am just thankful I can even pull out these miles without stopping. Taking several months off and getting back into the routine was a bit painful but feeling good about the running workouts again! I don't think I'll be PR'ing anytime soon but I'll be happy to run a race where I gave it my all.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pearl Izumi syncroFuel Running Shoes Review!

Me and my synchroFules, first time out!
I haven't had much luck with running shoes. It's probably due to my low arch and wide feet, combined with a smallish feet (dress shoes 6.5). I could never find the RIGHT running shoes for me. For a while, I ran with a pair (Asics Kayano 15) that gave me the worst kind of blisters on the arches of my feet. Turned out it was way too narrow. Then, I ran with another brand (Mizunos) that gave me blisters on the bottom of my 3rd and 4th toe pads (strangely enough, only on my right foot!). I found some thin socks to wear with these and I thought I got it just right. Then Mizuno's decided to discontinue my shoes. UGH. I even bought a pair of "customized" running shoes for my gait, over pronation, wide feet and etc from Somnio but they rubbed my feet the wrong way and hurt my feet when I ran in them. It just goes to show, the "right" shoes for one person isn't a right feet for another runner.

So in my search for the perfect running shoes, I'm always talking to some shoe specialist at Fleet Feet or Sports Basement trying to find the "right" shoes. A few months ago, I was contacted by the wonderful people at Pearl Izumi to try out a pair of syncroFuel running shoes. I was really hesitant at first. What if this pair tore my feet up, too? I took a huge chance accepting the pair without trying them on. I figure, what do I have to lose but a few blisters??

Back in first week of May, I received my pair of syncroFuel and took it out for an easy 7 miler. There are some running shoes that I'm totally ok running in for a few miles but anything over 5 or 6 miles, I'd notice discomfort. I'm happy to report that the syncroFuel was absolutely wonderful. The moment I took the first step, I noticed this bounce and cushion, like I was on a trampoline (ok, hyperbole, sorry)! And it hugged my feet in ALL the right ways. I love being hugged by my shoes. You don't know how ecstatic I was on that run!! And, it just made me realize my current New Balance just didn't have that "right" fit. I had to buy slightly bigger to accomodate my wide feet. 3 months later, I'm happy to report that I STILL LOVE these syncroFuel shoes!!! Last few months, I've put many miles in these shoes but I swear I could still feel the bounce. I'm probably due for another pair REALLY soon and felt comfortable enough to write a review finally!

So, a few things. The syncroFuel is extemely well cushioned and is really awesome for the mild/over pronator like me. A few other things:

- High-abrasion Seamless Race upper with hybrid mesh combination.
(100% recycled polyester mid-foot mesh and breathable forefoot mesh)
- 360ยบ of reflectivity for added safety during low light conditions.
- SKYDEX® Heel crash pad.
- There's even a trail version of these shoes!

More from here:

Honestly, I think I found my go-to running shoes and I plan to stock up, just in case!!! Pearl Izumi syncroFuel, I heart you!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Calling all female runners in the Bay Area for Athleta Focus Group!

Want to participarte in a focus group/market research for running wear? Sounds pretty cool, doesn't it? I just wrote them to participate!

Athleta needs your help designing the best running clothes ever. They are looking for runners to attend a focus group and share your opinions. In order to participate, you must run at least 10 miles a week and be available to attend a focus group in San Francisco on September 9th. They will pay you for your time. If you are interested, please email: or call Arline at 650-871-6800 ext 3006.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Official Sony Sponsored Runner! (That'd be me!)

I must have done something really good in my past life! I don't know how this happened but I was approached by Sony to be part of their new Marathon Sponsorship Program!! I was on the fence about running the Rock n Roll San Jose Half Marathon but this definitely pushed me to do it. And, I get to be sponsored by Sony, wear a Sony branded shirt during the race and wear this fun gadget: W Series Walkman® MP3 Player, along with a video camera! Sounds way too good to be true!

I know Danica is also part of the Sony sponsorship... Anyone else???

This is going to be pretty awesome and can't wait to tell you all about it.

Oh I also need to write up my race review for See Jane Run and The Giants Half Marathon... I'm getting to those!