LA Marathon Relay 2016 Race Review

What a fun running weekend! Nothing like Olympic Trials to get you pumped up for a race. This morning Marta, Brianna, and Sarah ran the full. Ellen and I ran the charity relay for City of Hope, she started the race and I took us to the finish. This was the first year Skechers sponsored the race, so I’m excited to fill you in on the experience! Here we are at the start. My eyes look tiny. I look like I slept 2 hours because of my dumb stuffy nose.

LA’s course is amazing. It’s the BEST way to tour LA. Start at Dodger Stadium and end at the ocean. The only part that is no fun is Century City and West LA. Ugh…those miles drag.

This is slightly out of order, but after Ellen and I finished we went back to cheer for our friends. Here we are with Marta…I guess technically not a friend, a sister :)… taking her across the finish! Marta ran a smart race. I’m so proud of her. She was nursing some injuries, so took the race easy…which honestly is often harder than pushing yourself. It’s hard not to let endorphins push you faster than you should. I loved crossing the finish line (again) with my two best running buddies! Ran into Jim at the start. He flew in from NY for the marathon. Missing the 5 degree weather for some 80 degree running! We worked together at Campus Information Centers at Michigan.

After dropping the girls off, I rushed to the half way point to find a parking spot and get warmed up a little bit. With racing there is ALWAYS a random emergency. This time it was no hair tie. Had to make a quick CVS stop.

Ellen ran a half PR, finishing her half of the race in 1:36. SO FAST! I took off here on Sunset and Ogden.

My plan was to sub 1:30, but I had a dumb cold and cough this week so I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it. I also had some failed tempo runs, so I wasn’t super confident. I went out there and 6:45 just felt super comfortable. I felt great the whole time. No balls to the walls racing today, just a strong effort. Boston is the goal race so I didn’t want to go crazy. I need to work on middle miles. I doubt myself so much then bust out fast miles at the end. I also want to publicly apologize to runners who had to deal with me blowing my nose throughout the course. I was a snotty mess with bunches of paper towels in my pockets.

The second half of the course.

Nothin like finishing on Ocean Avenue. Bri finished the race in 3:38. 4 minute PR for her!
Yay! Another LA in the books! Too bad I look disgusting in this photo. I poured 3 water bottles on my head to keep me from overheating.

We went back to cheer for Sarah who finished her FIRST marathon! She killed it! Just started running 6 months ago!

We ran the last mile with her. It was so inspirational watching her push herself to her limit. She kept repeating “I can do anything for 15 minutes. I can do anything for 15 minutes.” Sarah can forever say she is a marathon runner. So incredible. 

Post race festivities consisted of Gjusta, of course. I was too hungry to take photos of the food.

Thinking of running this race next year?


  • OK this won’t be the case next year but it was the day after the Olympic Trials!
  • Point-to-point course that takes you through Hollywood, West Hollywood, down Rodeo Drive, through Brentwood and ends at the ocean
  • Nice medal
  • Good post race snacks (teddy grams, cheez-its, bananas)
  • Easy registration process and you can sign up at the expo
  • If you live in LA, so many familiar faces on the course
  • Ice at the end and lots of cooling towels
  • So much support for ALL runners, new runners, fast runners, slow runners


  • I love my Skechers running shoes, but the apparel at the expo wasn’t great
  • Logistics can be hard for a point-to-point course you’re not from LA and don’t have a bunch of friends willing to drive you around
  • Usually hot
  • Century City/West LA portion of the course SUCKS
  • Traffic in Santa Monica after the race

TFA Summit DC Photo Dump

The LA Marathon weekend is here. Before I overloading this blog with photos from the Olympic Trials (I AM SO EXCITED), the expo, the MARATHON (charity half for me), and the post-party, I had to share photos from our recent trip to DC for the Teach For America 25 Year Anniversary Summit. I would have posted them earlier, but Brent and I got sick. Of course I got sick the week before a race. It’s kinda a new norm. Sore throat. Stuffy nose. Tired and achiness. Boston. NY. Now LA.

I met my Brent in TFA. Together we faced challenges of teaching middle school for the Los Angeles Unified School District. If we can handle starting a relationship as new teachers in urban schools, we can handle whatever challenges life brings us. 

We stayed with Alicia and Jarrod in Alexandria.

I got to take Colby to school on Friday! Was so weird dropping a kid off, rather than being on the receiving end.   

Miles and Colby. I love you SO much.

Nicole, our Talent Coordinator from Equitas, came to DC to spread the word!

Alaina, Ashley, Erica, Sindy, and Gabby. Please stay forever.

Easy morning run to the river.


Saturday morning soccer practice before the summit.   

Practice gave me flashbacks to first day of kindergarten. And why is there a kid in costume?

19,000 alumni!

FullSizeRender (87).jpg
Stopped by Columbia’s Booth. Fun to say hi to staff members.

The ’06/’07 couple.
Maggie and I were buddies at KIPP DC. She’s now in San Fran. We ran many miles together in DC. I can’t wait to go visit her school up north. I love her! 

Hey Chinatown.

Yup. Keep them in the classroom. 
True dat. I remember once telling my roommate Grace “I’d rather run a marathon ever single day for the rest of my life than go teach.” When you’re a new teacher in a challenging urban setting, it’s just SO hard. I don’t miss the panic attacks. The loss of appetite. The anxiety. The crying. Woah, it was rough. Colby calls the Wii Party Showtime.   

Clarifying question, did you backwards plan your unit to make sure it aligns to the SBAC so that you can reflect on the data and make instructional adjustments ensuring truly transformational significant gains so that one day all students have access to high quality education?

Fartleking on a Sunday. 8 X 30 seconds picking up the pace. FullSizeRender (88).jpg

I need to be better about taking photos with Mama, Papa, Alicia and Jarrod. It was so nice spending time with them last weekend.

And HUGE thank you to everyone who helped us reach our goal for City of Hope! We’re at nearly $700. Thank you! You can still donate here.Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 8.18.00 PM.png


An Ode to the LA Marathon

I love the LA Marathon. It’s the first marathon I ever finished. It wasn’t pretty. I was naive, didn’t really train, had ITBS, didn’t stop for water along the course, didn’t take any fuel, but I finished my first 26.2. Here we are in 2008 celebrating at ihop. Oh the days before we became food snobs. P2210282.JPG

Brent and I ran it again in 2009 after our engagement weekend in London. It was Saturday night and after a few rounds of beer in a London pub I declared that I would run the LA Marathon that Monday (it was held on memorial day that year). Brent and I landed at midnight Sunday night and were up running the marathon the next morning. I ran my personal worst, over 5 hours, but we look it very easy and ran with Students Run LA. Here we are making wise decisions about running a marathon on a Saturday night, and us crossing the finish lines with our dorkly SRLA hats. DSC05388.JPGDSC05393.JPGScreen Shot 2014-10-26 at 12.00.31 PM.png

In 2013 I was a spectator, and saw my baby sister Marta kill it at her first marathon. Here I am GOING CRAZY screaming for her on Ocean Avenue at the finish in Santa Monica. She ran a 3:50ish in her first marathon.

photo 2 (4) (1).JPGIn 2014 the LA Marathon was my redemption run. I had to re-qualify for Boston after missing out on a spot, and despite the high heat I crossed the line under 3:30 so that I could pretty much guarantee a spot at Boston. I had SO much support along the way.


And here I am calling Mama to tell her I qualified for Boston!762730-1005-0023s.jpg

In 2015 I participated in the charity relay with Ellen, raising money for Girls on the Run, an organization I brought to my school in South LA. Ellen and I ran a combined 3:10ish in super hot weather again. We won the relay, thank you very much 🙂 Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 9.26.40 AM.png

I was feeling a little sad about not being a part of the LA Marathon again this year, especially with the Olympic Trials happening the day before. I knew it would be an inspiring weekend, and I’d be so eager and excited to run. There is NO way I’m running the full marathon in February and Boston again in April. I love running, but I strive to be balanced with my running and my life. I just kinda let it go, and planned on taking this year off.

Back in November I emailed a bunch of organizations to ask about their charity relay teams and fundraising commitments. The numbers were really high, which I totally understand. I had just fundraised for Girls on the Run the year before, and fundraised for my school’s book fair I felt like I couldn’t keep asking for money, even if it was a great cause. Ellen and I had made the decision to spectate this year, and we were sad but OK with it. This week I was contacted by City of Hope, an research and treatment center for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. They told me they were still looking for runners to represent their organization. After some consideration, I just didn’t feel I could say no. Cancer is the reason I never met my grandmother. The timing is a bit strange considering everything happening with Brent’s aunt who we recently visited in Tulsa. Ellen and I have decided to combine something we love with raising money for a cause we really care about. Our goal is to raise a combine $500, but most importantly to raise awareness of the City of Hope. I feel so lucky to run this awesome race with my best running friend, and raise money for something that has touched so many lives. Please consider donating to our cause. Any amount helps. Thank you.

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 12.10.24 PM.png