Arroyo Creek Half Marathon and 5K Race Review

This morning Brent and I drove to Simi Valley in Ventura County to run the half marathon and 5K at Arroyo Creek. Brent grew up in Thousand Oaks and spent years swimming at the Rancho Simi Community Park where the race started. For him it was a trip down memory lane. Brent ran the half as a training run for the Long Beach Marathon. He hasn’t run a marathon since 2009, and has never trained for a full properly. I distinctly remember Brent telling me a few years back, “I’ll never run more than 8 miles again in my life.” Never say never. Brent has been intense about running his mid-week and weekend long runs. The work paid off this morning. Brent had an incredible race, finishing in 1:45 with an 8:02 pace.

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Brent’s 1/2 Marathon Pros and Cons


  • Mostly flat course
  • Not too crowded, don’t have to wade through a puzzle of people
  • Aid stations every 2 miles
  • Easy parking, can walk from your car to start line immediately
  •  Pacers ran 15-20 seconds faster than goal pace.
  • Not particularly organized, markers were hard to 2 (13)

I ran the 5K while Brent was off running the half and was a little nervous to see how much speed I’d lost over the summer. I had trouble getting a good pace during the race with an awkward 1/2 way turnaround and a rocky path but was pleasantly surprised with a 19:58 finish. I was the first overall female (I think all the fasties were running the 1/2) but was happy with my prize of a beach chair! I love racing, and I love that when you run 5Ks, 10Ks and 1/2 marathons you can race more often.

Cristina’s 5K Pros and Cons


  • We parked 20 meters from the start
  • Simi Valley is beautiful!
  • The race had a community feel. That’s my style.
  • You can pick up race gear morning of the race


  • Dirt/rocky path made it hard to get a good rhythm
  •  Not enough signage directing 5K vs. half marathon
  • Water was not ready at the finish, and it was already hot at 8AM!

Other things that happened this week

At school we planned for our first day of school, which is TOMORROW!!!!

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Gisele, Joe and I ran an easy 2.5 earlier this week.


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I wish. I drove down to Long Beach for AREC’s track workout. I LOVE AREC. I wish I lived closer to Long Beach so I could get more involved.

On Thursday Ellen and Brianna drove down to Playa for an early morning six miler. I love starting my day with my running BFFs!

I got my FIRST fancy haircut at Planet Salon in West Hollywood. Head massage and all. Cory was awesome. Thanks for the recommendation, Ma’ayan. No more Supercuts for me! photo 1 (11)

Brent and I went back to The Tripel after more than six weeks away. Along with our regular Pretzel Burger, we sampled two new menu items!

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Grilled Squid Salad with Stone Fruit, Avocado and Sweet Chili Vinaigrette

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Watermelon & Strawberry Greek Salad













Have a great week!


Mizuno Baton Update

Last week I started the Mizuno Baton Challenge in support of Back on My Feet. For every mile I run this week, Mizuno will donate $1 to Back on My Feet. It’s been a fun challenge for me before I leave for New York. It’s also been a great (free) way to spend time with my friends. This week I have embraced the double run, running a few miles with Back on My Feet (Alaina ran her first three miles this week!!), then later with Brent, and I’ve also thrown in a track workout with Gisele and Joe down in Long Beach with A Running Experience (AREC).

[Side note: I wish I lived closer to Long Beach. AREC is such a fun running group. Everyone is super friendly, it attracts all runners and has a family feel. More on AREC in a later post.]

So according to the app I am nearly at 60 miles. The baton is a little generous. I ran 10 miles with Brent and it logged me at just over 11, so I’m gonna go for 80 knowing I probably ran more like 70/75. This is MORE mileage than I have EVER run. Check out my tips and a few pics below.

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A few tips if you’re planning on doing a Mizuno Baton App week:

1. Run SLOW. You’ll be able to run much higher mileage and recover quickly if you take it easy.

2. Don’t do the Santa Monica Stairs on your first day. That was a dumb idea.

3. Make it social. Run with friends. Visit new run clubs. Do the Mizuno Challenge with a friend.

4. Did I mention run slow?

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AREC Track Workout, Joe’s Bday Celebration at BoMF, Running on the Beach with Balloons, Santa Monica Stairs

Final update coming Friday morning!