Thursday, July 23, 2009

Napa-to-Sonoma Half Marathon 2009

Mad ROHO love to all our running buddies who also ran this race: Duane, Stanley, Conrad, Selena, Jessica, Melissa, Sarah, Ms. V (we didn't get a pic with you!) Holly, Erin, Audrey, & Amanda !

Sunday, July 12, 2009

San Francisco Run

All the ROHOs met up for the first time since San Diego! We all had a long run scheduled between 12 and 18 miles, and somehow it finally worked out that we were all in town and available. We met at the Ferry Building around 7:30am Saturday and headed towards the Golden Gate Bridge along the Embarcadero.

It's always the best and so fun when we can run together. Time flies by, we catch up on our lives in person, and of course always come up with plans for more races and more fun things to do together.

I love these girls!! Can't wait for our many fun runs coming up this month!

Kristin, Tara, Maritza, Julianne and Aron

We will all be at the Sunset Run in San Francisco this Thursday... let us know if you plan to be there too!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

we're still here!

where we've been....

bay to breakers
where we all matched

where we did a little drinking

san diego
where we got dressed up

we met a bunch of bloggers

we ran a marathon!

3 went with goals of PR's and those 3 left with PR's

maritza's race report

where we're going...

Friday, February 27, 2009

WINNER: Running the Sahara download

Congrats to Run to Finish! Send your name and email address to runningourheartsoutATgmailDOTcom and I'll get ya going on your free download of Running the Sahara.

We loved hearing about all your favorite running movies! It seems like Run, Fatboy, Run, Chariots of Fire, and Spirit of the Marathon topped the lists!

Thank you to everyone who participated. RTF - let us know how the movie is!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Giveaway: Running the Sahara

***UPDATE: Word verification was being weird, so it has been removed for now. Comment away!***

The first ROHO giveaway is here! Thank you to the people at Press For Truth for hooking our friends up!

The giveaway is a free iTunes download of the film, Running the Sahara, a powerful film that chronicles an attempt by three ultra-marathoners to run across the entire length of Africa's Sahara Desert. Their goal is to run across six African countries, anticipating two marathon distances per day, for eighty days...without a day off.

Simply leave a comment in the comments section telling us one of your favorite running-themed movies! The winner will be chosen on Friday, Feb. 27th at 9am PST at random. You must be okay with giving up your email address to the prize source, who has in turn promised not to distribute or spam it.

If you are interested in downloading the film, it's available by HERE via iTunes for $9.99. It sounds AWESOME!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

KP Half Marathon Race - Group Interview

- What did you eat the night before the race? Is this your standard pre-race meal?

A: I ate a big bowl of plain pasta. I always eat pasta the night before, but I wasn't full so I also had some toast AND a bowl of cereal :)

M: I tend to eat the same thing, including the brands. I ate a big bowl of Barrilla penne pasta (100% seminola, not that whole wheat crap on a race day) with Classico Four Cheese sauce on top.

K: I had whole wheat (sorry Maritza, I subscribe to the "whole wheat crap" lol!) spaghetti with ground turkey and basil tomato sauce and home made garlic bread...yum! This is typically what I eat before a race, pasta and bread, with some protein added in there.

T: I ate pasta plain with no sauce, just a little olive oil. I am not a pasta girl so it's rough for me to shovel this stuff down. I also ended up eating a Clif bar later in the night. This is what I typically eat, but since pasta is not a fav of mine I think I might make the switch to eating rice or some other carb heavy food before future races.

J: I had Chinese food. Lots of Hong Kong style Chow Mein… along with Peking Duck and General Chicken. And lots of rice. I don’t usually have Chinese food the night before but I was craving it!

- Do you have any mandatory pre-race rituals?

A: I always try to go to the porta potties 3 times. This race the lines were so long I made a trip to the bushes for trip #3 where I almost twisted my ankle and would have been done for the race... oops :)

M: I always put my shoe tag or shoe chip on my right shoe. I also leave my shoelaces untied (loosened enough so I don't trip in the meantime) until I actually get to the race start. I don't know why that's comforting to me, but it is.

K: Nothing mandatory, but I do visualize myself finishing and kicking butt - oh and eating afterwards. I just run better when I focus on the end before I've even begun.

T: I think of what outcome I want from the race....happy thoughts :) I also put my tag/chip on my left shoe. Cytomax goes on the leftside of my fuel-belt and water on the right :)

J: I try to go #2. It’s very important. I’m usually successful! ;-)

- What did you eat/consume during this race?

A: I drink gatorade/water at every mile (when my garmin beeps I take a sip), then I take gu every 4-5 miles, depending on the race, followed by plain water.

M: I carried lemon-lime Gatorade diluted with some water in my fuel belt. I also had 3 Gu Blueberry Roctanes. One 15 before the start, one at mile 5, one at mile 10. I think it was overkill. I might swap out a Roctane for a regular Gu.

K: I drank water and citrus Cytomax throughout the entire race, whenever I felt thirsty. I also reminded myself to drink anytime I passed a drink station. I had a regular Gu 45 minutes before race time and one at mile 5. I felt pretty good with that combo.

T: I drank grape Cytomax/water at ever mile or when thirsty. I also took a blueberry/pomegranite Roctane gu at miles 4.5 and 9.5 followed by water of course. Next time I would switch it up with one regular Gu cause I was having some major heartburn in my later miles!

J: I had a Roctane every 5 miles and lots of water. I always carry a 24 oz bottle of water during a race.

- How did you deal with any mental tough spots in this race?

A: I always play mental math games with myself. Counting down only having a certain # of miles to go helps towards the end, for example when I hit just over 11 miles in a half marathon i think less than 2 miles to go... once I pass a mile mark its always "less than __" and they just pass on by.

M: After Mile 7 it got kinda hot. I had to take my first walking break and kept yelling at myself in my head to toughen up and BTTW and ROWYCO. I made sure to not walk for more than 20 seconds. I picked someone in front of me and just paced with their shoes. I do this a lot - pick a pair of shoes and just focus on them, keeping my distance from them constant. It totally helps. I also turned up my music REALLY loudly.

K: Music for sure! Setting my iPod shuffle list before I began was mega smart. Mile 7 was a tough one for me too, it was super sunny and much warmer than I had anticipated, so I stopped looking at the pavement, and looked out to the Ocean. Running on such a beautiful day in such an amazing area definitely helped me to think how lucky I was to be a runner and how awesome I was going to feel after the race!

T: Mile 8 was a bit tough for me and I really had to think what was the best strategy to keep myself going strong for the next 5 miles. I told myself to slow down a bit and also to look out for the other girls since I knew I would be seeing them along the Great Highway. It was a good distraction trying to find those pink shirts in the crowd!

J: My biggest challenge during a race is self doubt and second guessing myself. I tried to focus putting one foot in front of the other and remember that this is a race against me. As for this half marathon, the worst time for me was around mile 9 thinking I still had 4 miles to go and was running to slow. I had to remind myself to enjoy the race… sometimes I forget to do that.

- What was your favorite part of the course?

A: I really liked the sections through Golden Gate Park, especially the downhills. I have a few bad memories of golden gate park but this was my favorite time I ran through it.

M: I loved the part where we exited Golden Gate Park by the windmill, and headed straight toward the ocean. (You make a left and then run along it for a while.) Coming out of the tree-lined park, to the openness of Ocean Beach, waves crashing, bright blue sky and the sun was one of those moments where I just couldn't deny feeling happy to be healthy and alive.

K: The buffalo in Golden Gate Park!! Well, partly, but mainly I loved seeing the vast Pacific Ocean. It was just a solid statement to me that anything is possible. Seeing something as powerful and unrelenting as the Pacific will motivate anyone to take on a challenge!

T: The decline through GG Park that lead to the Great Highway since there was a lot of crowd support here and I was able to see all the RoHo's running strong!

J: I agree with Tara, the decline through the GGP was the best. Especially the crowd support! Of course, the END is always my favorite…

- What's the one thing you'll remember about this race?

A: All the people... I will remember seeing all my friends on the great highway, especially one of my best friends who was running her first long race. I was so excited to see her out there accomplishing this goal. It will also always be remembered as ROHO's first race together and pretty much the first race Chris and I raced together. Lots of people!!

M: It's the first ROHO group race!

K: How beautiful it was. It was a gorgeous day, very unlike San Francisco at this time, especially the Golden Gate Park area. Sunny, warm, people everywhere, and the ROHO's first race together!!!

T: That I PR'd by 6 min and 49 seconds!!!! Also that my knee/IT band did not hurt me once the entire race!!!!!!!!!!!!! and of course that it was the 1st RoHo group race :)

J: It’s our first official ROHO race together and it will always be very special to me. I love that we started together and all waited for each other. *sniff*

- If you could do one thing differently for this race, what would it be?

A: I would have started closer to the front. The first couple miles were such a pain to weave through people and my mile time really showed. I would have been even closer to a PR if I would have started that mile off where I wanted.

M: I'd definitely swap out a Roctane for a regular GU somewhere in there. I burped blueberry from miles 10 to the finish. :-/

K: Definitely train more! I was on vacation for most of November and December, and with the holidays I didn't get to train as much as I wanted too. My time was still fantastic and I'm super glad I did it, but I was definitely more nervous about it because I didn't feel that I had trained enough.

T: NOTHING!!!!!! lol kidding Even though this was a major PR for me I would have liked my miles to be more consistent that way I could really push it towards the end. I tend to crap out the last mile even though I know the finish is SO close!

J: I with I got more sleep the night before!!

- How did you treat yourself for a job well done post-race?

A: With a big sandwich and chips, plus lots of yummy super bowl food and a 40 :)

M: A big veggie burger with jack cheese and french fries. And then a few pints of Amstel Light at the bar while watching the Superbowl.

K: Cupcakes!

T: Veggie burger with fries followed by many pints of beer and enjoying the Superbowl!

J: Big fat juicy cheeseburger from Grubstake!! Oh and a nap after that.

- Would you do this race again? Why or why not?

A: Yes, even though I was not a fan of the last few miles on the Great Highway, it really was a beautiful course and a fast one. Plus it's an easy one for us bay area peeps to get to.

M: Definitely! It was scenic and local, and a pretty fast course through mile 8. Lots of downhills.

K: I am definitely doing this race again! It was such a great experience, great course and fun people. Even though it was crowded, people get me pumped so I felt like it helped me in the long run.

T: I would absolutely do it again! It's a fast course and close to home.

J: Oh yes! It’s local and well organized race!

- Use one word to describe this race.

A: Fabulous :)

M: Kickass!

K: Awesome!

T: Amazing!

J: ROHOriffic!

Monday, January 26, 2009


After reading Maritza, Aron, Tara and Kristin's intros below... I'm so thankful to be part of this awesome group. It's not everyday you find a group of women who share the love of running also have so many common threads. We are really lucky to have each other!!

I will always remember my first marathon back in the summer of 2005. The San Francisco Marathon was a race that I signed up for with much fear and nervousness. I really didn't know what it took to run a marathon. I looked up "marathon training programs" on Google and came across the Hal Higdon novice training program. I tried to stick to it as much as I could but training alone (and using the internet as a guide) definitely has it's limitations. I told my friends to show up at the finish line at a certain time and ended up finishing an HOUR earlier than expected! I was surprised to find myself finishing the marathon at 4:14:42. I've run 3 more SFMs since and looking forward to my 5th SFM this year. I hope I can PR again this year but just thankful that I am able to participate again.

Running a marathon was on my bucket list of things to do for a long time. I just never thought I'd be running so many of them since my first one. I used to run cross country in high school but it was never because I was passionate about running. (There was a boy involved!) It wasn't until much later I really appreciated the art of running and the heart to finish a marathon. I first started running to lose excess weight. It first started out a mile here and there on the treadmill. When I was able to run a whole mile without stopping, I knew I wanted to run further. And that's how the story goes. 1 mile somehow led to 26+ miles! Running has given me more self confidence, love for exercise, great friends and an outlet for angst, stress, among other things! 40 lbs down, 6 marathons and 4 years later, I still love running and looking for more.

Honestly, I have never run so much but loving every minute of it so far. Running has led me to blogging, which led me to wonderful ladies of ROHO and other runners from all over the world! I am looking forward to more running, more races, more friends... and well, more personal records. Yay for our first race this weekend at Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon! I think we're expecting quite a few PRs!


I've been an athlete my whole life, taking an interest in soccer at a young age, running track and becoming an avid snowboarder in college, and recently, becoming a runner! It all started in January of 2008 when I got a flier in the mail from Train to End Stroke. I was going to be turning 25 and I thought it would be awesome to train for and complete a marathon. So that's what I did. Along the way I met Tara and Aron, and we quickly became friends and running partners.

Training for the San Francisco Marathon was such a great experience. Week after week I would hit another "mile" stone in my running life. I'll never forget how I felt after running 16 miles. For some reason, that run just really struck me as being a huge accomplishment. I was like "wow, I just ran 16 miles...I can't even imagine adding 10 more to that!" but I did, and I completed the SFM, my first marathon, on August 3, 2008.

Aron and Tara became staples in my running life. We compared shoes, running attire (I think the gear is sometimes more fun for us than actually RUNNING!), supported each other and continued to develop our friendship. When Tara ran the Nike Women's Marathon in October, Aron and I went to support her. That is where I met Maritza for the first time. Aron and I were so emotional for them and so happy to be there cheering them on! It was a great day. We stood a mile from the finish line waiting to cheer on Maritza and Tara. When we saw Maritza, Aron and I went out to run with her and encourage her to finish. I didn't even know Maritza, but here I was running along side her, giving her a major pep talk, and just being supportive. That to me was such a realization that running is more than just running, its a dedication in your life to achieve something greater than most people ever get to experience. You're pushing your body to its maximum and achieving such an incredible goal. It made me realize that running is a sport that you do individually, pushing and competing against yourself, but it's also about being supportive, finding friendship and experiencing this amazing achievement with people who know EXACTLY what you're going through.

I later met Julianne and I swear, our whole group was just love at first sight! We had a million things in common and can relate to each other through our passion for running. I hope we can share some of that passion here on this blog, and encourage others to do the same. I am looking forward to all our runs in 2009 and in the years to come. Go ROHOs!!!!


I have always been very active and enjoyed working out, but I was getting sick of the same old gym routine and used to remember how much I enjoyed it when I "ran" in college. I say "ran" because I would mostly run on a treadmill and obviously did not run nearly as frequently or as far as I do now. I had been thinking it would be fun to attempt to train for a half-marathon and then a few days later I received a flyer for Train to End Stroke in the mail. I went to the information meeting and I was sold! Being the competitive person that I am...mostly with myself...I said screw the half I am doing the full. A few weeks later I went to training kickoff where I met Kristin and after chatting we both realized we went to college together...Chico State!!! After several of our weekend training runs it was apparent that Aron, Kristin, and I were not only training together, but we were forming a friendship that would last long after our 1st marathon..SFM!!!

Aron and I participated in the San Jose Rock'n'Roll half marathon where I was introduced to Julianne. Soon after I met Maritza the morning of the Nike Women's marathon, my 2nd full marathon. Before I knew it we all were meeting for weekends runs and it has snowballed into much, much more! Aron decided it would be fun to get a group together for the Napa to Sonoma half marathon and logically we needed to come up with a team name. Julianne threw out a few names and the RoHo's, "Running our Hearts Out", were born!! Kristin designed a logo and we now are officially a force to be recogned with!! haha I feel like I have known these wonderful ladies for much longer than the several months that I actually have. They motivate me and inspire me to push myself. I love having them in my life and feel so grateful that they all have a crazy obsession with running that I can relate to!!!

Last year I completed 2 half marathons and 2 full marathons and I am beyond excited for this upcoming weekend where the RoHo's will be running our 1st race as a group!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


sometime around new years 2008 i received a flyer in the mail for train to end stroke and running the san francisco marathon. my husband chris and i have always been into working out but were never big runners, and we thought this would be a fun challenge to tackle. i have had a few friends who ran races and they always sounded like so much fun, plus the whole "training" aspect really makes you feel like an athlete which i love.

so we signed up with train to end stroke and on february 9th ran our first "training" mile, and from day one i was addicted. i loved being on a schedule and having a goal to shoot for. i met tara and kristin in the first couple weeks and it wasn't long before we all became friends. not only were we some of the few training for the full marathon, but we also were around the same age and really got along great. i am so lucky to have met them. training continued on and i loved the feeling of accomplishment i would get after another distance PR each week. i still remember getting to double digits and what an awesome feeling that was.

at the end of may tara, kristin and i ran our first half marathon together. it was such a great day and we all had a great race ending with chocolate and champagne. we continued to train together and had many adventures doing some crazy 20 mile runs through san francisco. it seems like the time went by so fast and before we knew it we were at the starting line of our first marathon - san francisco. we all had teary eyes as we started and a few hours later we were all marathon finishers!

tara, kristin and i continued to keep in touch and run together post SFM. through the blogging world i was able to meet julianne in person at a 5k in san francisco, and again at the san jose half marathon where i introduced her to tara. after chatting with maritza through email (she was one of the first blogs i read) we finally met up in person for her last run before nike and had a long chatty breakfast after. kristin and i were planning to cheer at nike so i drove maritza in and we met up with tara... and it's all been history since, very much "meant to be". i thought it would be fun to set up a team for the napa to sonoma half marathon in july, and so we started talking about team names and the team name ROHO was born, and now we are the ROHO girls :)

i have told these girls several times that i am SO LUCKY to have met them. it is so great to have such awesome girlfriends AND to share our passion of running. we all get along so great and i feel so blessed to have met them. we continue to meet very frequently for runs, cheer each other on at races, have slumber parties, attend other parties and just have fun.

in the short time we have all been friends we have already shared so many emotions... highs, lows, tears, laughs. when you need a shoulder to cry on, a person to obsess over numbers and running goals with, someone to laugh with, someone to cheer you on and make signs, someone to support you when you start to doubt yourself, someone to celebrate with when you reach your goals, and someone to bring you back up when you don't quite meet them... these girls are there. i can't wait to see what this year brings because we have A LOT of plans already and i know we are going to have many, MANY more memories to come (including the first race we are ALL running in this upcoming weekend!).

so not quite a year later after that first training mile, i have run 3 half marathons and 2 full marathons with many more in the future. running has truly become a passion and something that i just don't function well without. i do truly love to run.

Monday, January 12, 2009


I started running in 2003, after I had moved to the Bay Area post-college, for my first job in the 'real world.' I hadn't exercised consistently since high school and I had definitely gained the freshman 15 ( except more like freshman 30) and wasn't doing much better. I never really ate a lot of junk food, but I was not the healthy eater I am now and I was definitely going through too many bottles of wine a week. I felt lazy and soft and pudgy.

I decided that enough was enough and that I was going to run around my block because running was free (at the time, so I thought) - I owned running shoes and shorts and a sports bra. I probably shouldn't even admit that I started running in a pair of New Balance that were really cross-trainers, and wearing 100% cotton apparrel. Forgive me, as I did not know any of the golden rules of running back then. I went out my front door for a lap around my block.....and probably made it halfway at the most before having to stop to walk because I was wheezing so badly. This was beyond ridiculous.

And that's how it began. One lap, turned into 2, turned into a 3 mile loop around my neighborhood. I moved then to a complex that had a gym and started using the treadmill, running around the nearby lake, and weight-training. I ran my first race on March 21st, 2004, the Across the Bay 12k. This will always be my most favorite race and I'll be running it again this year (I've only missed it once, when I was out of the country on vacation.)

2004 was also the year I decided to run my first marathon, along with the help, support, friendship and coaching of Jen. It was her first marathon too. I would not and could not have done it without her, I'm convinced. She was in charge of mapping our long runs and I was in charge of finding where we'd go eat our giant breakfast afterwards. Through this experience, Jen became one of my very best and closest friends...I can't really describe all she has done for me and how she's always there for me, in running and in life. I am so grateful that we got to share our first marathon experience together. She has far surpassed me in running skillz (not a typo) but we will always have our first. (*cheese*)

And now I have my RoHos, which I am also grateful for. Aron found my blog and we met up for a run. She knew Kristin and Tara from marathon fundraising. They met up with Julianne, who turned out to be connected to Tara, and who I was introduced to later on. There it is. At another fundamentally pivotal point in my life, when Jen had moved away and my life 180-ed on me, I found these ladies. This is exactly when I would be needing support, friends, and long runs...and it feels like they fell out of the sky just for me. What an amazing and well-timed gift of friendship I have found in these strong, amazing, and hysterically funny women. Yet again, I'm not sure I can accurately describe what they mean to me, and how their friendship has made me stronger than I thought I could be right now. And running together is the icing on the already wonderful cake. (*clearly more cheese*)

So there it is. 4 marathons and a ton of other races later, I'm a runner. And I love being able to call myself that. :)