Only Half Crazy

I remember two or three years ago, hearing that my manager went for a six mile run before work boggled my mind. How in the world did you have the time to do that, go home and shower and then come to work? I couldn't run more than two miles without feeling flattened. When my best friend, Alice, started running, she encountered the same obstacles I did: not being able to run straight through the mileage and probably being able to walk faster than we were running.

So to say that our first half-marathon was a big deal to both of us was definitely an understatement. Not only was this our first, it was a women's only race! 

more fitness shape women's half 2015 risa xu

Alice and I used the same training program to get ready for this race. We both use the Nike Running app on our phones so it was pretty easy to use the Coach feature within the app. Since we both live in the Northeast, the harsh winter put a bit of a damper on our training sometimes, especially since Alice didn't have access to a treadmill. We definitely missed a lot of mileage but it didn't stop us from trying our best for this half marathon! :)

2015 more fitness shape half

7,403 women in total ran the race. SEVEN THOUSAND! That's a lot of #GirlPower in one place! And there was definitely a ton of pink. The course itself, if you haven't ran the Central Park loop before, is a bit rough at parts. There's lots of hills and there's a giant hill on West side of the park. To make it 13.1, we ran two complete loops and an extra bit of another loop.

2015 more fitness shape half marathon risa alice
2015 more fitness shape half marathon risa alice

I've always made the mistake of not really paying attention to where the cameras are during races. So my pictures usually come out with me looking... well, less than desirable for pictures. I'm glad I kept an eye out for the cameras this time!

I have to say, having Alice with me for 13.1 miles definitely made it more enjoyable. Instead of having headphones in, we were able to chit-chat when we weren't out of breath and we could hear the crowd every time we rounded a corner.

My fiancé and his baby cousin were at the finish line and she even made adorable signs for us! Thank you both for being there for such a special day -- it meant the world to both of us :) I had such a fun experience with this and I can't wait to do this again with Alice in September, in DISNEYLAND! Any guesses to what we'll be dressing up as?

A photo posted by Risa Xu (@risaxu) on

I will be running the _____ this year!

So i've been hinting and hinting at something gigantic. And now that my engagement announcement is out of the way, this is the biggest thing this year! I will be running the NYC Marathon this year! I am SO absolutely nervous and excited and a million other emotions at the same time. I will be representing Oxfam in the Marathon. If you're not familiar with what they do, give them a peek here or here's a quick short little summary:

Oxfam’s approach is about tackling the conditions that cause poverty in the first place, rather than the distribution of material goods. We start by asking questions and challenging assumptions. What are the root causes of poverty? What can we do to change the power dynamics that keep people poor? These questions inform the four categories into which our work falls:

  • Saving lives: Oxfam assists the poorest communities when disaster strikes, but is also working to ensure greater local resilience and the capacity of local responders and governments to deliver disaster response.
  • Programs to overcome poverty and injustice: Oxfam invests in programs to help people assert their rights so that they can improve their lives.
  • Campaigning for social justice: Oxfam works to change the laws and practices that keep people trapped in poverty.
  • Public education: As part of our efforts to overcome poverty, Oxfam works to change the way people think about poverty and its causes.

I always document major events but especially for this, you can follow me through my marathon training right here on this blog! Everything from finding the right shoes, to finding my #RunOOTD, to the actual training -- I'll make sure you're with me every step of the way. The only thing I ask is that you help me spread the word of my fundraising for such a great cause. Every dollar counts and even if you think your small donation won't make a big difference, it will! So please, help me raise my fundraising goal for such an amazing organization -- you won't regret it :) Click here for the fundraising page!