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The Love of the Running Buddy

Contributed by Kristine Ciardello and Cassie Pisone

Tis’ the season for love. All kinds of love. Love of your life. Friend love. Puppy love.

And the love of running.

It’s real, y’all.

And even more real? The love of the running buddy.

I mean who else do you get to talk about your pre, mid and post run fueling with? Who else motivates you to get out the door at 6am and hit the pavement? Who else understands obsessing over Garmin splits and paces?

It’s not an easy task to find the perfect running buddy. Your paces have to almost match, you’ve got to push each other, you’ve got to both agree to not throw things out like “just a little bit further!”… and you’ve got to have your post-run brunch game in sync.

We (Kristine and Cassie) found each other through our love of running (and blogging!), and we’ve never looked back.

Without further ado, why we love running – together!

K: We love running together, but who would be your dream running buddy to Hopper’s Hands and back?

C: Oh man, that’s a tough one. Is it lame to say my dad?

K: Not at all. Does Kate Middleton run?

K: If we weren’t running together, what’s on repeat on your playlist?

C: I’m not going to lie, I listened to “Formation” by Beyonce like 6 times in a row the other day. So any Beyonce, really.

K: Judge me, but I LOVE running to Taylor Swift “Shake It Off” or Nick Jonas “Levels”.

K: If you could take the other to your favorite spot to run, where would it be?

K: Paris! I absolutely love running up and down the Seine. And I know Cassie would be the perfect running buddy to get coffee and breakfast afterwards […]

My Love of Running

Contributed by Anthony Bucci

Anthony Bucci is a 2016 Ambassador for The San Francisco Marathon. He blogs at thebeerdedrunner.com and plans to run three 50Ks this year, as well as The San Francisco Full Marathon on July 31st.

Running is one of my passions. It’s one of the things I love to do most in this world. I feel like I need to run – when I don’t, I physically feel off. I feel worse when I’m not running than when I am. I don’t feel the need for speed. I feel the need for the miles, the trails, and everything running entails.

I have a feeling of love for running. Love is my favorite word and I’d like to share a little spiel about the word ‘Love’ to help you understand this feeling I have for running incase you don’t already know.

I am a “religious/spiritual” man, and I believe in a Creator. I believe that we were all created out of Love. I believe that Love is omnipresent: everywhere all of the time. Love is there when we wake up in the morning, when we drink our morning coffee, when we get married and have kids, when we lose friends and family, and every time we step out the door and go for a run or a walk.

I used to think that running half marathons, marathons and ultra marathons was impossible and crazy. The thought disgusted me. Here’s the thing: the saying, “we are beautiful from the inside out” is true. It’s beautiful how our bodies allow us to create beautiful works of art, design and build tall sky scrapers, go to the moon and back, and run many, many miles.

In September 2014, I decided to fast on […]

By |February 11th, 2016|Categories: Ambassadors||0 Comments

Embracing the California Side and ALL the Challenges

Contributed by Kara Ruecker
Kara Ruecker is a 2016 San Francisco Marathon Ambassador and endurance athlete who has set out to complete more races in California this year, including completion of the SF/Berkeley Challenge. Her personal blog is Run Bird Legs Run.
This year especially, I am very motivated to get back to racing. Having a 6 month break will do that for you.  When I originally thought about what I’d like my 2016 racing calendar to look like, I had three goals:

Get myself back to marathon shape by the end of 2016 (10 months post baby)
Run multiple half marathons, maybe some 10K’s and only 1 marathon (so not to burn out a la 2014)
To run more races in California.  Although my co-workers kindly (I think) refer to me as a true Califoregonian, it’s time to embrace the CA side of the equation.  I’ve lived in the bay area for almost four years now and I love it.  Northern CA has so much to offer, especially in terms of amazing races so I don’t need to spend every extra $ I have flying up to OR to get my endurance fix on.

With those three goals in mind, The San Francisco Marathon was my first stop.  I’ve been wanting to run this race for all three years I’ve been in the city but it’s always conflicted with previous trips.  This year was going to be different.  I made the commitment in November and blocked it on my calendar.Tritreats and I have been talking about doing the Half It All Challenge for years so 2016 is gonna be the year I kicked it off.  Because I am type-A, naturally I’ll run the first half in 2016 and the […]

The Road to the Loyal Runners Club

Contributed by May Wu

May Wu is a 2016 San Francisco Marathon Ambassador who completed the Half It All Challenge in 2011 and went on to join the 52 Club in 2012. Most recently, she joined the Loyal Runners Club in 2015.

Click here to learn more about Challenges offered by the San Francisco Marathon.

The San Francisco Marathon has an amazing reputation as a scenic, fun, and hilly summer race. It is by far one of my favorite road races, ever. I love it so much that I’ve ran the half marathon 3 times and the full marathon 5 times. In 2010, after completing a handful of flat road races in Southern California, I felt like taking up the challenge to complete the infamous SF Marathon, whose motto is “Worth the Hurt”! It was a bucket list race and I trained hard for it, putting in time to do speed work and running hillier routes in my neighborhood. While I had prepared for the course, I didn’t expect the spectacular views of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge or the amazing crowd support to win me over. And let’s be real, I loved the medal I got for completing the 1st Half Marathon.

In 2011, the Half It All Challenge was introduced and I HAD TO earn that extra bling. OK, so that was how I got into running the 2nd Half Marathon. It was definitely a different experience from the 1st Half, but equally fun and exciting. Oh, and it also had some sneaky hills! Then in 2012, the 52 Club Challenge was introduced and knowing myself, I had to earn that awesome hoodie (and bragging rights). So I did what I swore I would never […]

Half-ing It All

Contributed by Bonnie Wilson

Bonnie Wilson is a 2016 San Francisco Marathon Ambassador who plans to earn her third finisher’s medal from TSFM this July, while simultaneously taking on the Half It All Challenge. She lives in Portland, OR and this is her third year as an Amabassador.

Let’s face it. We all love bling. The feeling of accomplishment when they drape that medal around your neck and you realize that you worked your rear end off to get that. The cheesy photos, the showing off to everyone you know. You know what I am talking about.

And then there is the feeling when you have completed a challenge and get that second medal with your finisher medal. That will be me this year, as I get to tackle the Golden Gate Bridge and the First Half Marathon to complete my Half It All Challenge.

In July, I will not only get my third finisher’s medal from SF (I ran the full in 2014, and the Second Half in 2015), but I will finish the Half It All Challenge and will be running around with the amazing spinner medal (which I fully intend on spinning everywhere).

The Half It All Challenge consists of finishing the First and Second Half Marathons in consecutive years. You have run 26.2 miles through the city, and you have seen the best that the City has to offer. You have truly half-ed it all.

At first, I didn’t intend to go for the Half It All Challenge medal. Last year I had every intention to go for my second marathon, but injuries and training challenges complicated that thought. So I ran the Second Half and had a blast. It was challenging, but fun and rewarding all at the […]

By |February 3rd, 2016|Categories: Ambassadors||0 Comments

Challenging Myself: California Dreamin’ Racing Cup

Ashley Jones is 2016 San Francisco Marathon Ambassador who will qualify for the California Dreamin’ Racing Cup by completing the Surf City Half Marathon on Sunday, February 7. She also plans to complete the SF/Berkeley Challenge this year.

On Sunday, I will run the Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach, CA. By completing this race, I will have qualified for the California Dreamin’ Racing Cup. Yesssssssss! As you can see from the graphic above:
All you have to do is run both the Surf City Marathon/Half Marathon and the San Francisco Full/Half Marathon and you get a fancy medal!
Sounds simple right? It’s not. Running 13.1 miles, or 26.2 miles takes time. It’s takes effort. It takes dedication. They don’t just hand these medals out to every athletic lookin’ dude or dudette on the street. No, no they don’t.
You have to earn it.
This medal isn’t just earned on race day. It is earned in the early mornings. It is earned in the snow, in the heat, and in the rain. It is earned in July, in December, and in March. It is earned on the weekends when you would rather sleep in. It’s crazy to think that one simple medal could represent so much.

My California Dreamin’ medal might be one of twenty-two medals hanging on my medal rack. (Yes, I counted them.) But it represents so much more. For me, it represents 2 years of hard work. It represents my vindication over the injury that caused me to DNS in 2014 at the Surf City Marathon. It represents how I clawed my way back from that same injury to finish one of the most challenging half marathons of my life, the San Francisco Half Marathon.

So needless to say, I am looking forward to wearing that medal around my neck for a while. Who knows, I might […]

By |February 3rd, 2016|Categories: Ambassadors||0 Comments

Getting Back to Me in 2016

Contributed by Heather Stewart, San Francisco Marathon Ambassador. This is Heather’s third year as an Ambassador, and in 2016 she’ll run the Half Marathon in honor of Girls on the Run LA.
If it is both terrifying and amazing, you should definitely pursue it. ~erada
For 2016, I didn’t make resolutions. I didn’t even really make goals. I set intentions for myself with a theme. 2016 is “The Year of Being Vulnerable.” I intend to be more open and honest – to let people see me how I really am. In that spirit, I have to revisit a time when I was the person I was most proud to be, and when I felt like, “This is me.”

This “Me” is Heather from 2013: two years into my journey to a healthier life after losing 80 pounds. Proud and joyful after completing my first full marathon. I felt happy, healthy, and authentic.

That was also the first year I ran the first half of The San Francisco Marathon. Oh, and I set a PR. And it’s still my PR at 2:40. (We’re not all fast, we just all do it).

I remember running through the finish line, feeling strong and proud. Snapping selfies, texting everyone, picking up my bonus medals and a cup of Irish coffee. It was a great day! I haven’t run a sub 3-hour half since then. I want that day again. I want more of those days!

At the end of 2013, I got injured. I let that derail me – I gained some weight, made lots of excuses, and allowed myself to feel disappointed and defeated. Although I continued to move forward and once healed I kept racing, I wasn’t really “in it”. I didn’t do it […]

By |January 29th, 2016|Categories: Ambassadors, Latest News||1 Comment

Running Resolutions for 2016

Contributed by Stephanie Laska, San Francisco Marathon Ambassador. Stephanie is a first-time TSFM Ambassador and plans to run four marathons this year: Modesto, Big Sur, San Francisco, and the California International Marathon.

At the end of every year, I spend hours locked away in my office, methodically organizing digital photos from the past 12 months. It’s a grueling task that everyone in my family pretends “not to know how to do.” Pulling from every digital device, I place photos chronologically from iPads, iPhones, and GoPro into one master database, followed by a review and evaluation of every image. Should this be in the family album? Is it representative of our year? The next step is much more fun: I organize, design, and publish a 100 page album. It’s a lot of work!

The same process should occur for our running. We devote so many hours of our lives to this beloved sport, but how much time is spent reflecting and planning? I decided to take a look at my past year in running. I wanted to see what worked, what didn’t, and what’s worth repeating. What I learned about myself is worth sharing with you; it is what I call my Running Resolutions.
Run Happy!
This Christmas we adopted a dog from a shelter for my little boy (cue sad music). It was all he wanted in life (that and Call of Duty). I had been toying with the idea of needing a running partner for safety, and suddenly I had a new best friend at 5am wagging her tail and grabbing the leash. Our first run together surprised me. She was so happy! Tail­waggin’, butt­shakin’, nose­sniffin’ HAPPY! Somehow, I had lost that feeling in my own runs. This is supposed to be […]

By |January 26th, 2016|Categories: Ambassadors, Latest News||1 Comment

Living in Possibility – Comin For Ya SFM

By: Kristine Ciardello

Kristine is into all things active and sweaty – barre, running, cycling, Pilates, skiing, hiking, the works. She’s a certified Pilates Instructor and kind of in love with San Francisco. That said, Hawaii is her favorite place on the planet. She’d rather be on a beach pretty much any time of day. She loves to cook (and also eat). She’s fluent in Sarcasm and Wit. To sum herself up? She’s essentially somewhere between a green juice and a glass of cab at all times. This is 31. Visit Kristine’s Blog at: http://www.vinetowind.com/

So this whole new year thing.

I’ve talked about where I want to focus. On Possibility. On Connection.

I think that living in a place of possibility rather than in the fear of failure opens you up to so much. I’m an impulsive person by nature (for better or for worse right?) and while spontaneity has never been an issue for me (I thrive at it), I’m really good at thinking about things and talking about things. Like a lot.

It’s the doing of the things that holds me back sometimes. Enter fear of failure. Enter oldest-child-syndrome. Enter Scorpio.

But F that. Right? It’s time.

YOLO and all of that.

We’ll start on a lighter note. 

I want to run a sub-1:50 half-marathon.

“Officially”, I’ve never done this. “Unofficially”, (i.e. via my Garmin, I have 1:49 at the Kaiser 1/2 in 2012) I have. Lady who decided to stop on the finish line, I will never forget you. Ever. I hope your brunch was terrible post-race.

Dead horse, beaten.

This has been a goal I’ve had for a while. I know I’m capable of it. I know where my fitness level is. I know I can execute.

It’s just the whole doing it for a couple of months (consistently) to prepare […]

By |January 13th, 2016|Categories: Latest News||0 Comments

Setting Intentions For TSFM 2016

Scott Benbow, above right, is a returning endurance runner, training for The San Francisco Marathon on July 31st, and a returning TSFM Race Ambassador. We caught up with him this New Year’s weekend to hear about his training plans, as he focuses in on a strong TSFM race on July 31st, 2016.

As of the first Sunday in 2016, January 3, the thirty-week countdown begins for the 2016 running of The San Francisco Marathon. Setting intentions for 2016, I have been mapping out my strategy for running a successful race on July 31. For me, that includes vowing to avoid injuries that have sidelined me for the past two years.
 
For the past several months, I have been undergoing weekly Graston Technique and Active Release Therapy sessions trying to recover from a debilitating case of plantar fasciitis. Finally, in the last month of 2015, it seems I’m cured.
 
This fall and winter, my strategy is to run minimal miles and focus more on strengthening my core — especially my seemingly nonexistent glutes — in an effort to prepare myself for healthier and happier miles in the spring. I’m getting most of my cardiovascular workouts from spin classes at the moment, but I can’t wait to begin running longer distances in 2016.
 
My winter goal is to continue to incorporate two intensive spin classes per week for the next several months, gradually incorporating a post-spin run to extend my daily cardio output.
 
I’m also focused on balance. I used to believe I had a pretty good sense of balance. That belief was crushed, however, after I purchased, and was utterly humbled by, a Bosu Ball. It strikes me that balance, along with lateral strength will serve me well as I train this year. I will continue working on hip strength, glute strength, […]

By |January 3rd, 2016|Categories: Latest News||Comments Off on Setting Intentions For TSFM 2016