"You really love something? To show up is to put yourself out there, to accept vulnerability and choose courage. Some days can feel like magic. As runners, all we do in training and racing is to prepare for those great moments, to help them come more frequently, and so they are ours to embrace when they happen".

2014 Hapalua Half-Marathon. Getting stronger!

Post-race time with the Pros at 2013 Hapalua Half-Marathon

Post-race time with the Pros at 2013 Hapalua Half-Marathon

I’m back for the 2014 Chase! The Hapalua Half-Marathon Chase is a unique event and I was happy to be back this year. The premise behind the Chase is that 24 members of “Elite Team Hawaii” race the fastest World-Class Kenyan marathoners. Team Hawaii is made up of 24 of the best male and female runners based in Hawaii.

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Team Hawaii start in groups based on their recent race performance. I was in the fastest female group waiting for the gun to go off standing on the line with Natalia Kravchuk, a World Class Triathlete. The race started at the Duke Kahanamoku Statue in Waikiki; headed out towards Ala Moana, towards Chinatown, then back past Ala Moana to Kapiolani Park and up the backside of Diamond Head before finishing in Kapiolani Park. It was a beautiful chilly morning; though halfway down the race the gusty wind started picking up. Through winds gusting over 25 mph and pelting rain, I decided to “go for it” and I ran 1:17 half-marathon pace for the first 6 miles running solo. For more than half of the race I battled against the wind and tried to remain focused and stay on pace for as long as I could. Going up the Manseratt Hill was extremely tough!

The race didn't go exactly as I was planning it to, but I’m pleased with the outcome. I ran almost 3 minutes faster than I did last year. I was able to catch 9 runners of the “Elite Team Hawaii” and pick up the pace going down the Diamond Head passing two more runners. Despite the inclimate weather and running all by myself, this race made me stronger physically and mentally.

At the end of the day, the "Chase" turned out to be a great event! I was extremely proud to be chosen a part of the "Elite Team Hawaii" second year in a row. 

Huge thanks to Jonathan Lyau for organizing the race, and my sponsors: Runner’s Route, Bioastin and Jamba Juice Hawaii! 

Runner's Assessment

Anyone can dream.
Are you committed?

Anyone can train hard.
Do you have the discipline to recover?

Anyone can follow a diet.
Can you make exceptions and remain confident?

Anyone can react to a move.
Can you be the one that makes it?

Anyone can show good sportsmanship.
Can you be genuinely happy for your competitors?

Anyone can fail.
Can you do so without feeling like a failure?

Anyone can get positive results.
Can you stay motivated?




Avoid the wall: what to eat before long runs


Another long run! Fueling before a long run definitely helps performance. Back in college I got a bad habit not to eat before my runs and races to avoid having an upset stomach. Over the years, this philosophy has changed and now I always eat before my races and even before the hard or long runs.

From my own experience, the specifics of what you eat aren’t as important as the timing. Waking up at least 40 minutes before the long or hard run gives me enough time to eat something real like a toast with jam, or some oatmeal with some nuts, or 1 cup of good quality yogurt with berries and cereal.  I try to avoid protein and peanut butter before my morning runs because it takes more time to digest, but if I have more time, eating a breakfast with protein leaves me well fueled for a tough afternoon or evening session.

I prefer running before the sun gets up, but sometimes I also like to sleep in. I usually get out the door 30 minutes after I get up, so I eat something easy to digest like a piece of toast with a little butter and jam. Calorie estimate is between 150-250 depending on length and intensity of the workout.

Sometimes I’m in a time crunch and I don’t have time to wait for 30-90 minutes for my breakfast to digest, so when I roll out of bed I eat a half of a Powerbar with a little cup of coffee before I run. I never drink coffee when I have a basic endurance run, but I often do it before a tough workout.

One advice that I’ve got in the past to remember to drink 8 oz of water the minute you wake up in the morning. Sleep is dehydrating, and you need the fluid for your muscles to fire properly, to get your morning food, and to help your breakfast get absorbed. Without the water, breakfast might leave you with a cramp on your run.

Training for marathons and doing frequent long runs I’ve noticed that pre-run nutrition boosts my performance. I was afraid to eat beforehand because of having a bad college experience in a past, but now I can’t imagine training without morning fueling. Runners would benefit from training their gut to get used to it, and its well worth it because having morning fuel raises the workout performance, confidence, fitness and race performances.


First Race of the 2014 Season: Great Aloha Run


The race day has come. Waking up at four in the morning was just an essential component to execute a successful race day strategy. Even this early in the morning my body felt awake and energized. Great aloha Run is in three hours! After a pre-race breakfast, Nate and I drove to the starting line early to get a warm-up in and have no rush.

Coming back from a foot injury I did not know what to expect from the Great Aloha run. I was out for the whole month, which was very unusual for me, the pain in my foot prevented me from running.

Nevertheless, before this first race of the 2014 season, I felt confident that my body didn’t lose much fitness and speed.  I believed I would be able to still pull out a decent race. Moreover, I’m very pleased with where I’m at in my running right now. The strength I built in training for the Honolulu Marathon last year has really carried over into the training for the Great Aloha Run.


When we got to the starting line of the race, there were thousands of runners. Being in the dark surrounded by so many runners reminded me of the spectacular and joyful Honolulu Marathon atmosphere.  The adrenaline was pumping and when I heard the gun I was ready to let my legs go. The raindrops felt amazing and the temperature was perfect in the morning. I couldn't ask for more. For the majority of the race, I felt like I was doing a tempo run rather than racing because I was maintaining a steady pace.  My legs were fresh and light. The last quarter of the race the win was so close, so I finished with a hard sprint entering the Aloha Stadium to cross the finish line. Even though it kept raining, it was a beautiful morning and I felt satisfied with my first race result of the 2014 season.  My fitness is close to where it needs to be and I have time before my next competition, so I’m running with serenity and confidence and letting even more improvements come to me. Thank you to everyone who was out there supporting me!

Kona Marathon

After taking a short flight from Oahu to the Big Island: I took a breath of the warm and heavy air. I had arrived in Kona for the 2013 Kona Marathon! The first day on the island was full of activities. My coach and I took a driving preview of the 26.2 mile running course; we stopped by the race expo and then started carbohydrate-loading at a local eatery.


The official race-time start was scheduled for 5:30am the next day. On race-day I was wide awake by 2am to go for a shake-out run and grab a light breakfast. My coach and I drove to the start line by 5am and I began doing my final warm-up stretches. My body felt rested and I couldn’t wait to finally to go out and race.

My coach wished me luck and the race started out with a bang. The lead males consisted of Allen Wagner, a 2:18 marathon Olympic Trials qualifier, and John Ricardi, a steeplechase Olympic Trials qualifier. From the beginning of the race I took charge and tried to stick with the 2nd group of the front pack of male runners.

After mile 4, there were only the two former Olympic trial male runners far in front of me and I had to stay concentrated to maintain my pace. The Kona town part of the course was beyond beautiful. I was passing a lively seaside and a cozy touristy town with lots of palm trees and small restaurants on both sides of the road. After mile 8, the course took me to a long and straight highway with some long climbs and drops. My legs still felt fresh and I tried not to miss an opportunity to cool off by spilling on myself icy-cold water from water stations.

A steep hill led me to the finish line where many people stood cheering for the runners. At the finish line, I felt satisfied and accomplished as I crossed. I was the first female, placed 3rd overall, and set a course record! It was a great day and I felt proud running the Kona Marathon on part of the famous Ironman course with rich air, challenging hills, and desolate landscape that provided moments of solitude.

I could not have performed so well without one of my main sponsors: Kokua Market. Fueling my daily training with organic food from Kokua Market has helped me to perform at a top level.

I look forward competing at the Maui Half-Marathon on September 23rd, 2013.