Happy 2nd Blog-a-versary! (and Big Sur Week 3)

Today, Running Tangents turns 2!  It’s been a great experience so far.  One thing that I’ve found extremely rewarding about Running Tangents is all of the great people I’ve met and gotten to know — either through the blog itself or through social media outlets such as Twitter or Dailymile.  Having been the author of 2 other blogs previously, the online running community stands out as extremely interactive and encouraging.  I just want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU for reading, commenting, and following along on my running journey!  I’m especially thankful for the great running buddies that I’ve met through this blog – some of whom are pictured below. 🙂

Yay for great running companions!

bt and I

Me, Angela, and Cathryn ready to race.

Me and Roserunner.  Our smiles belie how cold we are...


OK, technically I haven’t run with this guy, but at least we finally met in person last week after 2 years of being blog friends!

And last but not least, many thanks to the Gypsy Runner, not just for his relentless support, but also for diligently proofreading just about every one of the almost 200 posts that have appeared on this blog.  Thank you for your fine editing skillz!!

Good looking, great at marathon spectating, fast runner, and mad editing skills: the GR has got it all!

Good looking, great at marathon spectating, a hella fast runner, AND has mad editing skills.  I’m a lucky girl!


With only 5 weeks between Oakland and Big Sur, this past week (week 3 post-Oakland) was the one week that I intended to get any kind of “real” marathon training done.  Here’s how that went:

Tuesday: Hills!  I revisited my old foe at Lake Chabot – Live Oak/Towhee Trails.  The last time I climbed crawled up Live Oak and Towhee was during my first trail half marathon, and it was not pretty.  However, with Big Sur being a hilly course, I decided not to shy away from a hill with 11% grade (600+’ over ~1 mile).  I managed to run/hike/walk it, but I want to work towards running the whole way up.
6 miles @ 11:39/mile, ~650′ elevation gain

The view from the almost-top of Towhee.

The view from the almost-top of Towhee.

Thursday: Mile repeats!
5.7 miles @ 9:30/mile

Saturday: Easy-moderate effort on the Bay Trail.  It was nice to see the average pace drop by ~a minute over the last 2 weeks.
6 miles @ 9:49/mile

Spring flowers by the Bay.

Spring flowers by the Bay.

Sunday: Long run!  I originally thought about doing my one real long run before Big Sur on trails, but then I thought maybe it would be better to get on some hilly roads instead.  Unfortunately, most of the long run routes I know of in the East Bay are either too short or very flat.  I decided to make it an adventure and head over to the city for 20 miles.  Luckily, bt had 14 miles on her training schedule and was able to meet me for the latter part of my run.  The route was virtually planned through Map My Run, with some helpful tips from Kimra and Angela.

I started out in the Panhandle and headed west through Golden Gate Park, then south along the Great Highway.  After 6.6 miles (Map My Run had it at 6 miles), I met up with bt near the SF Zoo.  We decided to skip the Lake Merced section, as it seemed kinda trafficky, and I hate waiting at stop lights.  We went north on the Great Highway, where we had to dodge some participants in the DSE 4 mile race.

The climb up to the Land’s End trailhead from Ocean Beach is no joke, but we slowly but surely chipped away at it until we were at the top, at which point I gave bt a well-deserved high five.  From there, we ran along the main trail and took in the gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Marin.  After encountering one particularly long set of stairs, only to see another set going down the other side, we decided to turn around.  We’d add more miles in the park or on the panhandle, we reasoned.

Up the stairs, down the stairs.  At Land's End.

Up the stairs, down the stairs. At Land’s End.

Just bt, me, and the Golden Gate Bridge.  NBD.

Just bt, me, and the Golden Gate Bridge. NBD.

After the glorious but too brief descent down to Ocean Beach, I felt the first inkling of fatigue at around mile 12-12.5.  The steady climb back into Golden Gate Park only intensified my desire to stop and walk, which I gave into a couple of miles later.  Heading into Stow Lake to make up some extra mileage around mile 15, I knew that 20 miles would be a stretch, so we turned back around instead of doing a loop around the lake.  With about a mile to go, I did walk/run intervals while bt ran ahead and did a few high intensity intervals to make up for the shortened run.  I felt slightly deflated about cutting the run short, but I also knew that pushing myself to run 2.5 more miles today wouldn’t have been that beneficial in the long run (pun intended).  I was really thankful to have bt’s company especially in the last hour — I probably would’ve thrown in the towel sooner rather than later if I had run by myself.

We refueled afterwards at a neighborhood cafe with sandwiches and about 3 different drinks each (!) — including coffee, root beer, Pacifico, San Pelligrino, and 2 waters.  I wanted to take a photo, but left my phone in the car.  Whomp whomp.
17.5 miles @ 11:29/mile, 1290′ elevation gain

Total for the week: 35.2 miles.  I think this was a pretty solid week overall.  Maybe I was overly optimistic about getting 38 miles for the week after hitting 15 and 28.5 miles per week in the past 2 weeks.  I’m definitely ready for taper and will be taking it a bit more seriously than I did before Oakland.


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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17 comments on “Happy 2nd Blog-a-versary! (and Big Sur Week 3)
  1. Congrats on the big 2!! I know I’ve been MIA but trust, I still keep up with all your happenings. Good luck at Big Sur!!

  2. BT says:

    Awww… thanks for all the shout-outs and photos — I’d forgotten about the photo from Oakland last year, nice retro! I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised at Big Sur!

  3. Sherry says:

    Congratulations on your 2nd Blogiversary! I really enjoy reading your running thoughts, training plans and race reports – keep it up!
    Enjoy your taper!

  4. Angela says:

    So happy to call you a running buddy (if mostly a virtual one)! 😉

    Looking forward to when I am further recovered so I can join you guys on some awesome trail runs!

    • Jen says:

      Yes, that will be a most glorious day when you can finally join us. We’ll definitely need to break out a bottle of champagne for that one!

  5. Cathryn says:

    Happy Blogaversary and I am so very glad to be your running buddy too! I am however deeply jealous that you got to run the ocean trail, it always looks wonderful! Was it busy? Busy enough to run alone safely at a weekend, do you think?

    • Jen says:

      Can you believe that we would’ve never met if it wasn’t for our blogs?? #BLOGTWINZ wouldn’t exist! Crazy.
      Anyway, the coastal trail — do you mean the one at Land’s End? It was busy enough, especially the wider sections closer to the road. At some point it narrows and is less busy, but I would’ve felt OK there solo. It’s a fairly short trail.

  6. Dominick S. says:

    I feel like you’ve been blogging longer and that I have as well but the last couple years have been a blur anyway. It was super nice to meet you and I will definitely have to come back up at some point and hit the trails with you guys!

    • Jen says:

      Well, technically I’ve been blogging since 2007 or so… Running Tangents is my 3rd and “youngest” blog, so yes, I’ve been around for a while. Looking forward to hanging out again – hopefully on some trails next time! I might be down in your area after Christmas — will definitely keep you updated if that happens.

  7. Kathryn says:

    Your hill training is fierce! I’m getting the Big Sur butterflies during this taper. It’s all anxiety dreams, race-recap reading, and list-making. 😛 Sounds like you’re setting yourself up for a great race though — good luck!

    • Jen says:

      Sorry to hear that you’re having anxiety dreams! I haven’t hit that stage yet — I think it helped that I just ran the Oakland Marathon, so that took some of the edge off the general marathon-related anxiety. I’m sure once I’m faced with having to pack, then I’ll start panicking!

      Thanks for the good wishes and best of luck to you as well! Maybe we’ll see each other on Highway 1?

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4/28/19: London Marathon

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