Ironman Cozumel Training · Race Reports · Training

Week 42: Nike Women’s Half Marathon

Jun Run Heart

What an awesome week! I stayed on top of my training plan and beat my 2 hour goal at the Nike Women’s half marathon on Sunday. I love these small victories along the way of greater goals. It really helps stay motivated and I couldn’t be more excited about Ironman Cozumel coming up in just over a month! Let’s do this!

No More Saddle Battle

Saturday morning was the usual Silverado trail for 4.5 hours of pure aero bar and wind training while breaking in the new bike. I got through 85 miles essentially non-stop and I gotta say… it was hard towards the end. Staying tucked in that position for that long (except for the mid-ride GoPro selfie!) is darn right tough on your muscles and mind. But luckily I had a new saddle that I demoed which was a massive relief.

I rode most of the way with Jesse and was very grateful that he was able to start at 8am with me. It’s always more fun to have a buddy out there! It was a gorgeous morning and we could see hot air balloons in the sky and the vineyards catching the morning sun. Loved it.

Generally I’m feeling much more confident and comfortable on my new bike and feeling ready for Cozumel.

Silverado trail on the new bike
Silverado trail on the new bike
Strava Output
Strava Output

Nike Women’s Half Marathon — Glitz and Glamour

Everything about the Nike Women’s Half Marathon is fancy, girly, and completely over the top — from DJs, hair cuts, manicures, cupcakes, dark chocolate, and makeup at the “expotique” to men in tuxedos and Tiffany’s necklaces at the finish line. It’s more of a 2-day experience than a 2-hour running race. I have to give Nike credit, they are marketing machines and know how to throw events!

This race attracts women from all over the country and supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, a cause that’s near and dear to my heart! So I’m always happy and supportive of this race and hope it continues for a long time!

Dance party at the expo
DJ dance party at the expo
Huge signs everywhere #werunsf
Huge signs everywhere #werunsf

Sunday was race day and I popped out of bed at 5am, had my usual coffee and banana, and jogged the 1 mile to the start line. It was a perfect morning for running, about 60 degrees and very little wind. I was surrounded by 25,000 women (some men) ready to run all over San Francisco on this beautiful morning. How unique and cool is that!?

My goal for the race was to see what my legs were capable of after 15 hours of training that week including an 85 mile bike ride. Running on tired legs is good Ironman prep! My half marathon PR is 1:57 so I set out to break 2 hours as a nice goal. Even though I’m in Ironman training and 13.1 miles should be ‘easy’… it’s not. Not when you’re pushing the pace on a tough course!

When the starting gun went off I just started running and cleared my mind, no music. I initially thought I would hold back the first 3 miles and take it easy, but I started off the bat with a decent -pace. I felt strong! I powered up the hills, used gravity on the downhills, and tried to keep my form in tact.

NWM Photo

The course was pretty hilly, but the nastiest hill of the day came at mile 10 on Lincoln Blvd. Luckily my former Team in Training coach, Tom “Big Sexy” Davies organized an awesome cheering station and I knew at least 10 people out there. It was amazing to see so many familiar faces, especially at the hardest part of the race!

I kept powering through and eventually crossed the finish line in 1:57, just a few seconds shy of a PR, but under my goal of 2 hours! I felt amazing!! I couldn’t believe that my legs held up so well after such a tough and long week of training. I was 463 in my age group out of 5209, top 9%!

The crowd + the rewards!
The crowd + the rewards!
NWM Strava Output
NWM Strava Output

1 Mile, 13 Times

I used a new mental strategy for this race and it worked really well. I call it very simply “1 mile at a time”. For races in the past I would often say to myself “half-way there!” or “only 5 more miles!” or “just hold this pace!” But what good does that do? It only bogs you down if you realize you’re off your goal or if 5 miles seems completely daunting.

I figured a better and more proactive approach would be to focus on each mile individually, staying present and focused. So instead of running 13.1 miles I ran 1 mile 13 times. I plan to use a similar strategy during Ironman — instead of “running a marathon” after the bike and swim, I’m going to run 1 mile 26 times. And just focus on breaking down the race into very manageable chunks. I think it’ll work well but we’ll see!

Where’s the Tofu? At the Nike Women’s Marathon Finish!

After throwing my hands up in the air and crossing the finish line I was ushered into the finisher’s area on the Marina Green field. One of the first things I noticed was a tent for Whole Foods. So I made my way over there and was pleasantly surprised to see free green juice samples from Suja, vegan thai food, vegan hummus wraps, and Hodo soy tofu strips! So much veggie goodness – I was in heaven!!

Just when I didn’t think it could get much better I saw the booth next door was Morningstar Farms and they were serving up fake-meat breakfast burritos, tacos, and lettuce wraps! They had a “Meatless Monday” sign and a long line which was great to see. I had a lettuce wrap with faux-chicken and 1/2 a veggie burger and they were both great. I found the tofu!!

Hodo Soy at the Whole Foods booth
Hodo Soy at the Whole Foods booth
Meatless Monday!
Meatless Monday!
From Morningstar Farms. Yum!!
From Morningstar Farms. Yum!!
Whole Foods. Very clever!
Whole Foods. Very clever!


  1. My brother is in the Detroit Free Press talking about the Detroit Marathon! Nice! He wore his No Meat Athlete shirt, too.
  2. The SF Giants are going to the World Series! Hopefully the evening games don’t de-rail my training this week!
  3. A day in the life of Ironman World Champion, Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae in Self Magazine.
  4. Go First Lady! #turnipforwhat
  5. Sounds familiar… Runners Wear Masks to Combat Pollution
Go Giants!
Go Giants!

This Week’s Training Log

  • 19th. Run. Nike Women’s Half Marathon race. 13.1 miles. 1 hour 57 mins.
  • 18th. Bike. 85 mile ride on the Silverado trail. Aero + wind. 4 hours 33 mins.
  • 17th. Run. Evening aerobic run. 6 miles. 9:29/mi
  • 17th. Swim. Morning swim ladder set. 65 minutes. 2,500 yards.
  • 16th. Strength. 1 hour strength training circuit.
  • 16th. Bike. Indoor spin intervals. 1 hour. 21.4 miles.
  • 15th. Swim. Evening pool swim 2,175 yards. 1 hour.
  • 15th. Run. Morning tempo run. 8.2 miles. 8:32/mi.
  • 14th. Strength. 1 hour of squats, lunges, core, plyo, etc
  • 14th. Bike. 90 minute spin intervals. 32.1 miles.

Thanks Everyone. Swim. Bike. Run. Eat Plants.

Photo Oct 19, 9 16 17 AM
Best finishers medal ever!

3 thoughts on “Week 42: Nike Women’s Half Marathon

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