Coming Full Circle at Wharf to Wharf
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Coming Full Circle at Wharf to Wharf

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I lived in Santa Cruz for nearly ten years but was never able to run the iconic Wharf to Wharf race that runs from the Boardwalk to Capitola. The race is similar to Bay to Breakers in San Francisco with lots of people of all abilities out to have a good time running along some of the most epic Central Coast beach spots.

While I had never raced the route before, these roads were instrumental in my healing journey —  including my favorite training runs for the Shamrock Half Marathon I ran in 2021, and training rides for everything from my first Gran Fondo at Sea Otter and the AIDS Lifecycle Ride from SF to LA in 2018 — passing through some of my favorite little spots on Earth.

To say the last 7+ months have been difficult would be an understatement — recovering from an abdominal muscle reconstruction and full colectomy has been one of the most challenging of my journey so far. I'll write more about this soon, but one of the key pieces to getting back to training was reconnecting with my strength coach Menachem Brodie of Human Vortex Training. I started working with Menachem during the pandemic when I was training for a half marathon. When I emailed him in February of this year about the recovery road I was facing, he was excited to work together again and wanted to make sure he was the right coach for what I needed. I'm pleased to report that every event I've run so far has reconfirmed we make a great team to rebuilding me (all over again).

Last week, I talked with Menachem on his podcast about my health journey and when I woke up this morning to head out the door for Santa Cruz, I saw my own name in the "Up Next" of the podcast app on my phone. We had a great conversation that spanned a couple of hours and we didn't even get to training! I hope you check it out, and stay tuned for a part two, where I promise we'll talk more about our journey together as coach and autoimmune athlete.

Wharf to Wharf was packed with over 15,000 people and 12,000 finishers, on the relatively small streets of Santa Cruz, that meant a pretty slow start and weaving my way through the crowd the entire race. My goal was to finish in 1:00:00 and with the first mile taking over 11 minutes, I didn't think I'd make it. I switched my Coros Pace watch to HR mode and just ran based on how I felt, enjoying the beaches and bands on the side of the road. I crossed the finish line in 1:00:22 and found my Fleet Feet Monterey team to celebrate another amazing day of running together.

Fleet Feet Monterey Team

Wharf to Wharf data

Wharf to Wharf best mile

Effort v Heart Rate