Daily Archive: January 26, 2013

Coyote Hills Half Marathon, 2013

Posted by Lauren

***Races Page updated!***

One word: WOW

Saturday has been an amazing day!! Gorgeous trail half marathon and a shutout Sharks game?!!! :) Makes for one happy girl!

good saturday 01262013

My morning started early, but not early enough (spoiler alert). I crawled out of bed and popped a homestyle Eggo into the toaster. I enjoyed the crispy waffle while getting ready for the Coyote Hills Half Marathon.

homestyle eggo


Out of nowhere, it was 8 AM… and the race started at 9 AM! I quickly grabbed my things and drove the [short] drive from Palo Alto to Fremont. I joined hundreds of excited runners in the parking lot of DeVry University and we waited in the chilly wind for race shuttles to take us to the start line.

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 01

I definitely didn’t budget enough time, taking advantage of the fact that Brazen Racing usually puts on *small* races. I should have known better, especially after the kerfuffle of Walnut Creek. Luckily, about 8 minutes before the half marathon start, the organizers called out to the line, asking for half marathoners to skip the line and immediately get in the next shuttle. PHEW. Close one!

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 02

I didn’t go to an early packet pick-up this week due to work, so as soon as the shuttle dropped us off at Coyote Hills Regional Park, I sprinted to the registration table. During that time, the race officially started… By the time I had my bib pinned to my lucky race shirt, I was 3 minutes behind the pack. Ain’t no thang!

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 03

Race photos of me borrowed from Brazen’s Facebook page!!

coyote hills race photo 02

The beginning of Mile 1 was, in a word, breathtaking. We ran on top of a deck surrounded by water and water bushes (totally not the technical term). That led to the first “hill,” where, for the most part, I focused on catching up and passing the half marathoners that started before me. Just before Mile 2 was the first water station. Since this was a trail half, all racers were warned ahead of time that the water stations would be at odd points since it’s hard to get the tables and supplies out in the middle of nowhere. I took a swig of water and turned the corner to spectacular bay views.

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 05

From Mile 2-4, we ran through the rolling grassland hills with the bay at our right. It was a bit windy and cloudy, but clear enough to see all the way across to Menlo Park, Redwood City, etc. The turnaround came at Mile 5, which was also the next water station. I took a vanilla GU at this point and cruised back towards the start line. Just after the Mile 6 marker, there was a short, gnarly hill (~100 ft gain is a hill for me). I walked part of it and totally enjoyed the downhill afterwards!

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 06

The course repeated itself for the final Mile 7-13. I could tell my legs were tired and yes, sure, I lost a LOT of steam. You can tell by my mile times:

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont splits

Another Brazen Facebook photo (the race also had a 5k and 10k):

coyote hills race photo 01

Just before Mile 8 I hit the water station, but this time I stopped to enjoy the scenery:

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 07

Candy! I took two gummy bears (both red) and a peanut M&M. This is the first race I’ve ever done that has candy on the course. Usually it’s just GU, sometimes an orange slice or banana… but this definitely wins the award for best race food!!

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 08

I continued to the turnaround point, enjoying the bay views and sunny skies. That same unpleasant hill came at the end of Mile 12, and I walked a portion of it again. At that point, I knew I blew my previous trail PR out of the water, so…. easy sailing? I cruised down the final hill and through the finish line with an official chip time of 1:42:34. Yahoo!!!!!

Garmin stats:

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont summary

3rd place age group?! Coooool.

p.s. did I mention that I was texting a bunch of folks during the race? Namely my mom (who I’m hanging out with tomorrow!) and Kyle, who surprised me by offering to run to the finish line…. FROM PALO ALTO. That’s 9 miles, folks. And he QUOTE-UNQUOTE isn’t a runner?!!! I don’t believe you, dude.

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 11

So, after grabbing the awesome finisher’s medal, gulping some water, and visiting the port-a-potty, I found Kyle and we walked to the spectacular food tables. If you ever need a reason to sign up for one of the many races Brazen organizes, how about this: It’s-It ice cream sandwiches, red velvet cake, apple pie, cheesecake, peanut butter, nutella, oranges, bananas, bagels, coffee, hot cocoa….. Total foodie satisfaction.

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 10

After a cup of apple pie and coffee… I finally met two local bloggers I’ve been dying to meet: Jacqueline of Skinny Chick Blog and Janae of Hungry Runner Girl. They are smart bloggers and took photos, but I did not so you’ll just have to visit their blogs!

Too small Speed (blue) – Elevation (green) comparison:

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont speed elevation

Kyle and I had a chance to chat with Janae and Billy for a long time near the race results and in line for the shuttles back to DeVry’s parking lot. I had so much fun talking with them about races and life since they moved to the Bay Area. Hopefully we can go for a run, visit Yogurtland, or go on a double date (not to be confused with doubles tennis) soon!

Also – thanks for sharing your extra It’s-It with me Billy and Janae!

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 09

Lessons learned from the race:

  1. Focus on getting to races EARLY
  2. Do another Brazen Race, if only for the food and small crowds
  3. Take advantage of Coyote Hills Regional Park’s 978 acres soon!!! This East Bay gem has miles of trails to go hike, bike, run, picnic, bird watch…. whatever it is, I need to go back soon.

I drove Kyle back to his car across the Dumbarton Bridge and then JETTED to Mountain View for an 8-second shower. I had to get to the Sharks game, which started at 1 PM!!!

sharks avalanche 2013

More on that in my next post :)

Question: What food would you LOVE to see at the race finish? Runners, do you prefer trail runs or the city streets?


Food, Fitness, Friends

Posted by Nicole

A lot of times when I tell people I have a blog, they ask, “Oh, what kind of blog?” Lately my answer has been: “Random stuff… but I guess mostly about food and fitness and friends.” I’d say that’s pretty accurate. Here are some snapshots and comments about the past couple days – and big surprise – they have to do with food, fitness, and friends!


My cooking has been at a minimum, thanks in large part to the meals and snacks at the sorority house.


egg whites and sourdough wheat toast with cream cheese; cereal (first bowl in a while); pasta, garlic green beans, garlic bread; taco salad; ice cream and apple crisp; strawberry yogurt and PB –> all meals from the sorority house!

food collage

the last of the delicious tabouleh and a bowl of spinach with ranch; beans, kale salad, really tasty quinoa, salad and guacamole; roasted zucchini, carrots, celery, onion


Recent workouts:

Wednesday: 2 hour dance practice; gym: 1 mile incline walk, 1 mile run

Thursday: 2 hour dance practice

Friday: danced at women’s basketball game; gym: half mile warmup walk, 2 mile run, half mile cooldown, 15 mins on the bike

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Saturday: 7 mile hike (ran 4.6 of the miles). Breakfast was an on-the-go smoothie with banana, chocolate protein powder, spinach, water/ice.

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Instead of going straight up to the Hollywood sign like the past couple times, I went to the right and into the canyon. Then I came back up the canyon trail, then up and around to the sign. This 7 mile trail reminds me of the Almaden Quicksilver trail that I LOVE. It’s the perfect length. I listened to electronic music for the first 40 minutes, but then switched to Angels & Airwaves for the remainder of the run. Very ethereal.

hollywood hike

Running up the steep inclines was difficult, but I was thinking of Lauren while pushing upwards… While I was running the Hollywood hills, she was running the Coyote Hills trail half marathon. I can’t wait to read her recap – and spoiler alert – she rocked the race!

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ALSO, when I was almost to the top of the sign, I swear I saw famous Australian Chef Curtis Stone walking downhill. The people in front of me did a double take and upon further researching him online, apparently he lives in West Hollywood?!!! He’s a hottie and I’m happy to say I have finally had an LA celebrity sighting!

Yum. So exciting.


I had way too much fun going out with dance and sorority friends this week. Gotta live it up before the semester gets crazy, right? Midterms will be here way too soon.

friends collage

This afternoon, I joined Soraya on a short walk with her super cute dog (remember him?) He even went in a few of the USC fountains!


Wow, quite a recap! Hope you are enjoying your weekend!

– Nicole

Question: How do you answer the question- “What is your blog about?”

Question: Any exciting celebrity sightings?