Monday, December 30, 2013

The #YearOfRunning13 Post

Pavement Runner is becoming my favorite running person to follow on twitter, instagram and his blog. 

He is funny, insightful and runs A TON! 

I saw his post inspired by Miss Zippy and I KNEW I had to join in the fun!

So here is my 2013 in running!


Best race experience? 

This one is easy. This year I did my first marathon. Yeah, I said first….of many, I hope.  The sense of accomplishment and pride I feel from that one experience still flows through me.  Before I ran this race, a friend told me that a marathon is a “life-changer”. So true!  Because of the marathon I got a renewed sense of “I can”!  I was even chosen as a Spotlight Runner for the local news station.  But more importantly, the support I received from my family and friends was BEYOND my expectation.  You know what is a life-changer?  Someone you love and respect telling you that you’re magnificent  or someone telling you that you look beautiful after you just ran 16.5 miles.  Those moments are life-changers.  Read about the  best day of my life here.  OR see my Spotlight from KTLA!

Best run?

The first time I ran 20 miles.  Training for the marathon was really difficult.  It’s like having a second job.  I trained with two other girls, but they had similar paces and I was much slower so I spent a lot of time alone and towards the end of those training runs often felt exhausted and defeated.  The day we did 16, I broke down and said, “I don’t think I’m going to be able to finish.” Because I had just spent the last 3 miserable miles trying to do the math in my head of how fast I would need to go in order to make it.   AHHH, but the day we ran 20 miles.  I was exhausted, but not defeated! I was sore, but not broken.  I almost wanted to keep going, just to prove I could.  That day, was the day I KNEW I could run a marathon.  You can read about that day here.

Best new piece of gear?

I love all my gear, but haven’t gotten much new EXCEPT a fabulous Flip Belt.  I saw these at the Surf City and thought they would be perfect for the marathon. I bought one and then forgot to pack it (along with my hat and sports bra).  Luckily they had a booth at the expo and now I have two! They perfect for running and biking when you need to bring your phone and some cash (even tampons-sorry guys!)
Learn about them at 

Best piece of running advice I received?

To stop calling myself slow.  Yes, I am slower than my friends.  Yes, I’m not breaking any tape or qualifying for Boston, but I AM doing it.  I’m not slow, I’m pace challenged. Just kidding.  I am allowed to discuss my pace when necessary, however, I no longer call myself slow in a derogatory way.  Plus, I’m getting faster!

Most inspirational runner?

How do I chose, I spent the early part of the year reading about runners like Matt Long, Scott Jurek and Ben Davis.  I run with incredibly strong, kind and wonderful people. I have found people like Pavement Runner and Distant Runners inspirational as well.  Of all of those, I think I will have to go with Devon Johnson from the Facebook page Distant Runners ( and of her own blog

She is funny, kind and approachable and her commitment to health and faith is something to admire.  Her recount of her Boston experience is not to be missed.

 If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would it be?

This was the year I threw “can’t” out the window and lived a life full of “can”.

This was the year I stopped telling myself I couldn't do things.  I ran a marathon, I got an awesome new job and I got chosen to be an Ambassador for the San Francisco Marathon.

I'm living proof that you don't need to wait "until".

Your life is now, it's time to go out and live it  AND don't say you can't.  There are very few things we "can't" do.  We can accept the things we won't do or can't do YET.

2014 will be another year of "I Can"!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Guess Who's Back?

Who knew running would be my greatest teacher?  (NOBODY!!!!)
Who knew I would be too stubborn to learn? (EVERYBODY!!!! )
Look if you know me at all (and most of you do…but if you don’t read my other blogs then you will), then you will know that patience is not a virtue I possess when it comes to myself.

Find a parking space, don’t worry I’ll drive around.
Wait in line, I can do it patiently.
Get over an injury – HELL TO THE NO!

I put off physical therapy because I wanted to do my races and I knew it would do far worse damage to my spirit and my mind to not run than the damage that would rock my body.

And I was right. (See even I know me!)

Physical therapy has not been easy.  It’s physically difficult and mentally trying. I tried to keep my same patterns.  I went to Treadmill Class and walked on the treadmill.  I met the gang on Saturday mornings and walked.
I waited patiently to get the okay to run.

Until I couldn’t.

I wanted to be fixed, so finally I said to my physical therapist, “You HAVE to let me run.”

I didn’t yell. I didn’t cry.  I said it matter-of-factly.
And he did.
I’m approved for short, slow, flat runs.

I’m starting at 0 (aka 4.5 on the treadmill), I’ve lost all that speed I trained for in the spring, but I feel like it will come back more quickly.

I’m still not running pain free, BUT I’m not in pain after a run, which is a HUGE deal!

And I did my first race back  and it was awesome!              
On Sunday December 8th , I did half of a half. OR a Half-Marathon Relay with Ditto.
A bunch of our other friends joined us for either the relay or the half marathon.
It was freezing.  I know some of you are reading this in places where the temperature often dips low. That is not the case for us Cali kids.
20’s and 30’s is FREAKING COLD and we are all ill-equipped for such conditions.
We bundled up, wore long sleeves (the HORROR!),  head warmers, gloves, etc. and went to Ventura to run the awesome Santa to the Sea!

If you’re looking for a fun race in the LA area in December, look no further. This race is well-organized, easy to navigate, family-friendly and everyone gets a medal!

One of my favorite things about this race (I ran the half last year…) is that they have a contest for the neighborhoods you run through for the best neighborhood spirit.

It is just really fun.

And it was awesome to do it with my friends.
Neil and Erika did the half marathon.
The relay teams were:

Team Ditto

Deb and Cody

Marcy and Angela.

Cody, Ditto and Angela waited in a warm coffee shop until it was time to get us….It was really cold, but we sucked it up and jumped around before the race.
The corrals got warmer due to body heat and when it was time, we were off and running.
This race also has a costume contest so I was running with Frosty, Santa, elves and even two girls carrying a surfboard with Santa chillin’ on it in a lawn chair.

My goal was to not be in pain and to run the whole time. 
I won’t lie, it didn’t tickle to run.  My left leg is super tight, regardless of how much I stretch.  It just is.

I feel like my legs belong to two different people.  One relaxed and one uptight.  (Maybe this is indicative of my personalities?)

Anyway, I just ran.  I ran as fast as I could without feeling sore or winded. I’m rebuilding my breathing too.  It’s crazy how much you lose.

I kept moving forward. I walked at water stations and didn’t stop to pee once (which for me is a miracle, but the lines were so long and I knew Ditto was waiting for me!)

I ran a little under a 13 minute mile.  It felt good. I actually piggy-backed on some ladies doing 30/30 intervals but instead of run/walk I did jog/sprint.  Now, my sprint wasn’t all that fast, but it worked for me and I may work this in to my marathon training….which starts next week!!!!!!

I got to the relay area in 1 hour and 22 minutes, gave Ditto our ankle bracelet and she was off.

Deb and Marcy were waiting for me. They had been in for about 5 minutes, so I felt like I did a great job.
We hopped on the shuttle bus and headed to the finish line. (The two disasters of the day were the shuttle between the relay point and finish line and the line for bag check!)

After meeting our peeps, we took pictures and celebrated our victories…
Both Angela and I were running our first race back after injuries
Deb hadn’t run a race since June!
Marcy had never done anything further than a 5K!
Ditto running with Litto in her belly!                                                             
Cody getting back in the swing of things!
Neil and Erika both got PRs!!!!

All in all it was a great race and I am thrilled to be back. 
I’m not 100% yet, but I’m getting there.

It’s taking longer than I anticipated and my patience is waning, but as long as I’m allowed to run a little bit….I’ll be happy!