UPDATES! It's Been Far Too Long

by Emily Gordon from Marathons and Mechanisms

Hey everyone, I guess it’s time to update here! It’s been way too long and up until now I’ve been much busier than I had anticipated.

A jaunt through Santa Clara Central Park in mid January  
After the Pittsburgh 10 Miler I tried getting my body happy again by taking a few down weeks of easy running and then had a huge load of final exams. I fit a (super fun) half marathon in the Saturday before my exams and couldn’t get back onto my blog to update because of studying. Then one thing after another, I was back home working almost full-time and letting all the dust settle from the move back and from the holiday madness… and it was mid JANUARY. Here is what has happened and what’s on the horizon!
Time to get all caught up
What has happened since my last post? :
-       Santa to the Sea Half Marathon – On December 14th I raced the Santa to the Sea Half Marathon in Oxnard, CA, which is about 45 minutes north (without traffic) of my apartment in Los Angeles. It was a flat point-to-point race that started at a giant Santa Claus statue and finished near the marina by the ocean. The weather was a perfect 60F and the holiday spirit was on full blast! The costumes were great. I met Liz Camy (amazing mother and crazy quick runner) and we ran the first half of the race together.  There was no defined elite field, but a handful of quick people were out there, sure to make the race competitive and exciting. Dennis and I agreed not to taper for the race and to use it as a judge of my goal marathon pace. I took out the first two miles around 5:40 per mile feeling GREAT, but knew that this race had its purpose and I needed to try and stick to a 5:55per mile avg pace so that I could get used to what it felt like. I came to an exciting finish at 1:17.09 (5:54/mile avg) and got to celebrate with some old SCERC teammates (Valerie and Juan), the city planner and his family, and with Tim Bomba, the announcer and my connection to the race! What a great experience. I was only sad to have to leave right after awards in order to get back for my early morning final exam.
-       Graduated! – After a full week of final exams and normal training (24 miler the afternoon after my molecular cell biology exam!), on December 19th I completed my last final at UCLA and walked away 97% sure I had passed my classes. A few days later it was confirmed, I am an official UCLA Alum. With a 3.524 GPA I am now ready to go into the real work and put my biochemistry/biomedical research skills to work.
An example of a lunch I had when Rasa and I were tracking my meals by taking pictures of them
-       Food and health update – I also haven’t done much of an update about how my nutrition and health restoration has been coming. I am now at 131 lbs, no longer cold or hungry and I have been sleeping through the night regularly. I am about 5 lbs above my OTQ marathon weight and 9 lbs above my lowest weight. And what a difference 9 lbs makes! Its still a work in progress, every day is still structured around making sure I am fueling correctly, but its really becoming a good habit. I’ve still been working with Rasa Troup and we still meet every so often to talk about what I need to work on.  Things I struggle with still: eating enough grains and dessert. Who doesn’t love dessert? I am supposed to have it every single day, and for some reason I just cant seem to make it a habit. Keeping my head up though and being thankful for my health and still having my speed, even with a little bit more weight on my frame.
-       Injury – After my last final exam on a Friday afternoon, I hopped into the car and made the 6-hour trek back home with a packed car. I got in around 930pm and dove into bed. Early the next morning I got onto the track to do 10x1km repeats with a friend who is training for a marathon too. Finally, a training partner! The repeats went so well, on goal or faster and my body felt amazing. I got home, showered, shoveled some food into my mouth, and got to work for an 8-hour shift in the busy holiday madness of Sports Basement footwear. The following morning (Sunday), I woke up and got straight out on my run with less stretching than was probably required. About 3 miles in I felt tightness in my gluteus medius (right along my pelvic crest). With a few days off, nothing was giving and no doctors were available over the holidays. I ended up spending nearly 3 weeks cross training and trying to run every few days. What was most frustrating was that things were going so well for quite a while. But, all is well; I’m back on my feet again, doing loads of strength, core, and stretching correctly. I realized two things: 1. I am getting injured like a distance runner would when transitioning from high school to college, and this makes sense because I have only been training as a distance runner for just over a year. I have to be cautious and reserved with my effort and my mileage. 2. My injury-bumps in my training (stress fracture, hip issues, etc) are getting smaller and more manageable. Each one is teaching me another thing I need to be doing to keep myself strong and healthy, and I’m getting back to normal training more quickly.
-       Work – I got back home and started working at Sports Basement again mainly working in the footwear department. I love my work, my coworkers, this store, and this business. I am sad to leave such a great working environment. My last day is February 21st.
-       New sponsors! – At the end of the year I signed two sponsorship agreements for the 2015 season! It’s so great to have two brands I really believe in supporting me through this training journey. Bonk Breaker is my energy and protein bar sponsor. Their bars help me fuel healthfully and deliciously during my busy days at work, before and after workouts, and every other time too. I love the people behind these bars and I am thrilled to be apart of Team Bonk Breaker. I also signed with Generation UCAN, a SuperStarch drink mix product that is useful for extended glucose release during hard and long workouts. It keeps my insulin levels low, my energy levels consistent, and helps my body recruit my fat stores as energy. I would be more than happy to tell everyone more about it, if youre interested. I’ve done two (soon to be three) Genucan run group product talks and I just love being able to represent this game-changing fuel!
What’s next?:
This is Mattie the dog
-       Minnesota! – After a meeting with Dennis about this year’s racing schedule, and about how mild the Minnesota winter has been, we’ve made some new decisions. I will be moving to Minneapolis the first week of March instead of in April. The negative temperatures are basically over with, so I am in the clear. Well, sort of. Apparently March is the snowiest month of them all, but snow I can do. I have started purchasing snow gear and clothing so that I can still run outside as much as the weather will permit. I also purchased my first pair of snow boots and a down coat. I am excited about the new adventure. I signed a lease for a room in a duplex near Minnehaha Park! I am living just off the Twin Cities marathon coarse and near bike/running paths that are over 34 miles of endless, beautiful running. My housemates name is Max and he has been nothing but helpful with the lease agreement and my big move coming up here really soon. He’s letting me paint my room (he’s also the landlord), he is big into cooking, and he’s got a cool dog that likes to go on runs! Looks like I’ve got someone to go on afternoon runs with (: My mom and I will leave Santa Clara on February 28th and plan to arrive in Minneapolis on the 4th or 5th. I will definitely be documenting the road trip, expect some great pictures.
-       Races – what’s up next for me!? Well, because of my glute med issues, we decided that Houston Half Marathon was not going to be a smart race to get back in on. We also decided to push back my 2015 Marathon race so that I can make sure to not only get in a healthy training cycle but also so that I can race to my potential and not walk away disappointed. With some reorganization, Dennis, Pat, and I decided I will be racing the Gate River Run 15K in Jacksonville, Florida on March 14th (http://www.gate-riverrun.com). Richard Fannin is the elite recruiter. I have never in my life met anyone more excited about road racing and the elites that will be at his event. I can’t wait to be apart of such a competitive field and running event. Then I plan to get in a solid marathon cycle to race in the early spring… That one I will announce a little later on ;)
From now on I plan to be more regular about posting my blogs. Originally that was the intention and I plan to make it more of a priority this year. I hope everyone is out there running and loving every minute of that. There isn’t enough time in our lives to spend it doing things that make us unhappy. Running is my happiness and I love being able to share it with you.

Find unique ways to engage with and support Emily on her Olympic pursuit here