Friday, February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day!

We've been together for many Valentine's Days and Jerold has been by my side for a lot of running highs and lows. The best part is, I haven't achieved my highest high in running yet, which means we have so much to look forward to.

I've had the best day which included sending the kids off to school this morning with their backpacks filled with Valentine's cards and candy for their friends. Of course then they came home with tons of candy and I had to put a stop to the consumption, because Elle has a serious sweet tooth.

I ran 3.3 miles today and that was all I wanted to do. It's really important to listen to your body after an intense training period and race. No matter the race results, you have put your body through a lot and it needs time to repair in every way. I know it will be time to get serious again and I want to be all in for that.
I just wanted pop in quickly and wish you guys a happy day and weekend filled with love and lots of fun running.


Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Getting Back Into A Groove

Who thought January 2020 was the longest month we've ever had? I thought I was alone in my thoughts and then I started talking to friends and realized we were all in the same boat. Even though January started a fresh new year (and a new decade), I couldn't wait to turn the calendar to February.

I've had a really good recovery period since Houston and has it really been over three weeks since the race? I still don't know what caused my body to fail starting at mile one of that marathon, but I'm so incredibly glad that I finished. Let's just say it builds tons of character to finish a marathon knowing something is wrong, off, or whatever and you feel horrible. I haven't been able to write down the words in this space (I certainly have plenty to say on Instagram) about how I felt that day, but this is the first step. One of the great things about running is that it for sure stings when you miss your goal (especially when you completely bomb your goal, missing anything close to it by a long shot), but we get to wake up and try again. No one promised that it would be easy. There are no guarantees that just because you work really hard and show your potential in training - that it automatically means you will have a dream race. I will say that I honestly felt like I had the flu that day, without any other symptoms except extreme fatigue and achiness. I kept thinking things would turn around (just get to the 5K mark and you will feel better) and unfortunately they never did. I could feel the pain with every step and I still shake my head (and cringe) thinking about it. By the way, I would absolutely go back and race in Houston. The course was fast and well organized, the weather was cool and perfect, even with the windy conditions, the volunteers were wonderful with fluid stations and overall it was a great race. I shared with you guys the other day on Insta about my quest to chase the Olympic Trials Qualifying Time for the marathon (known in the running world and at our dinner table as the OTQ). I did not start trying for the goal until October and that story is a long post for another day, but I went for it. Even though my race did not in any way reflect the fitness, I had such a blast training faster than I ever have in my life. The experience has made me a better, stronger, faster runner and this is the start of a really awesome journey. 

Here is what my week of running looked like last week - I've getting back into a groove, figuring out what's next and excited about the possiblities.

Monday February 3rd - 7.05 miles
Tuesday February 4th - 3.41 miles
Wednesday February 5th - 10.01 miles (I picked up the pace a bit on this easy run and it felt great).
Thursday February 6th - 8.35 miles (with 2 strides at the end to get my legs moving)
Friday February 7th - 7.47 miles
Saturday February 8th - 8.24 miles (with a couple of pick ups thrown in)
Sunday February 9th - DAY OFF (It is so rare for me to take Sunday off, it felt very strange - but good :)

Total miles 44.53

After logging 70+ mile weeks for months, this felt pretty much like a breeze...

Also, I'm on a podcast that drops today!

The Hamilton Review: Where Kids And Culture Collide is a brand new podcast hosted by Dr. Robert Hamilton, a Santa Monica based pediciatrican that is really fantastic and very well know for THIS method to calm a crying baby. 
Dr. Bob has been taking care of my kids since they were born and I couldn't love him more. We've been working together on a bunch of projects, which has been a lot of fun for me this past year (I get to work from home on this project and coaching runners - then the kids come home and its chaos). Anyway, I hope you give it a listen and let me know what you think! He has a lot of great guests coming up with a variety of topics about parenthood, kids and navigating through it all.

I hope you guys have a great run and never forget that if you want to achieve something, you absolutely can do it (it might take a while, but keep going!) - don't limit yourself.

Work hard, dream big.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year 2020!

Do you record the miles you've run over the year?
I love having a training log, which I've only had for the past 5 years - before that I had no clue how much I was running. I partially use it as a journal to record my rambling thoughts and feelings, and it's really reflective to go back and read how I felt on certain days, what particular workouts were better than others and what was working to improve my running and racing skills. I didn't race a lot in 2019 (one marathon in February, which is my current PR, a beautiful Lake Tahoe high altitude half marathon in June, two 5ks -one in April and one June, a track race in Santa Barbara in July, and an awesome relay race in August with my running friends, where my total miles were about 17 spread throughout the day) and yet my theme of the year was speed - how much can I push my body without falling into a danger zone?
Each year we run can be a year of growth and I have grown so much this year.  Not only did I work on the running, but I did more weight training and core workouts than I ever have. This picture was from the New Year's Eve track session that I did - speed is your friend!

Doing a series of strides before the actual hard work.

To look at the nuts and bolts of the training for the year, my highest mileage month was in January, where I ran 323.75 miles in preparation for the Phoenix Marathon. Second highest mileage month was in May at 315.49 miles to start and build a solid foundation for a fall marathon. The lowest month was in September at 111.99 when I was forced to take two weeks off due to an injury. The dull ache in my left calf that wouldn't go away was misdiagnosed as a stress fracture and two weeks of rest later, was revealed to not be a stress fracture. I'm actually super thankful for this in a weird way, because it forced me to take two weeks completely (no cross training) to heal and I know I wouldn't have done it on my own.
Total miles for 2019: 2,790.91

Got down to 4:30 pace on the 100 meter reps. So much respect for the men who run a marathon at this pace...

That number doesn't excite or disappoint me at all - it just shows that I worked hard on running in 2019. The work stacks up over time and makes us stronger and ready for big breakthroughs. I believe that as long as you are loving the process - that you truly enjoy the sport, you will patiently allow yourself the time to absorb all the work and let it unleash when it's time. On New Year's Day, I had the day off from running and it was glorious. Lots of time with my family, lots of delicious, healthy food (I have a marathon in 2.5 weeks! I swapped champagne for sparkling cider - champagne after the marathon) and a huge afternoon nap. As much as I love running on New Year's Day, this was beyond perfect...

How are you feeling about a new year and a new decade? I'm excited to share running tips and info with you and help be a resource to improve your running. If you are brand new to running - welcome! Give yourself a whole lot of grace as you step out the door on your journey and let me know if you have any questions. I feel like running is so easy (repetitive jumping movements that entail putting one foot in front of the other) and yet there are so many details that can improve your performance.

My last blog post was at the end of July (a brief, unintended hiatus - I let parenting 3 kids, working from home and training get in the way...) and I'm looking forward to writing and connecting with you guys in 2020. If you have any topics that you would like for me to cover, please let me know (my e-mail is: - I love hearing from readers!). I'm so passionate about this sport and my goal is to help you become a better runner! Lots of great new content coming in 2020 - let's do this!

What are your running goals for 2020?

Do you record your miles for the year?

Happy New Year friends and happy running!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

It's Been A Minute + I'm Ready To Work

You guys. What's up? It's been a bit since I've posted here and I've missed this space. It feels strange to be typing here and not an Instagram post on my phone, but this will always be my favorite space. I told myself to just start writing. It doesn't have to be long or perfect, just write and get back into the groove, so here we go. 
I'm going back to CIM in December and I'm going all in to run fast - as fast as my legs will carry me. After I ran Phoenix in February, the excitement started to build and I knew that I have so much more to give in this sport. Summer has been a time of keeping my fitness, and doing some races to work on my speed. I haven't raced as much I would like to so far, but we've got a lot of summer left and I'm excited to dive into August and see what the month brings. There is kind of a lot to catch up on, so why don't we take baby steps - let's just start with my training from last week, sound good?

Monday July 22nd - 5 easy miles
Happy for recovery miles as I had a 16 mile run the day before, which also happenend to be our 18 year wedding anniversary (that feels strange to type - 18 years?). We had so much fun and I definitely had a tiny bit to drink - in the form of a glass of wine and later a mixed drink at a rooftop bar. This was a definite YOLO moment (two drinks in one day) and more than psyched to celebrate with this handsome guy....

We definitely had a more laid back and relaxed day than last year when we climbed Mt. Baldy...

Throwback to last year

Tuesday July 23rd - 8 miles
Normal 8 mile Tuesday and back to double days - 1-2 days a week. I opted for only one run today.

Wednesday July 24th - 8.6 miles
My partner in crime is back with a vengenace. Josh is my solid, legit running partner on the days that he runs (a 4.4 mile run for him, then I finished it solo) and he keeps it spicy. Mom, can we run up that hill again - Mom, let's pick up the pace...

Thursday July 25th - 10 miles
Workout day!
2 mile warm up, 8 x 800 meter repeats with a 400 meter jog in between, 2 mile cool down
Splits: 3:01, 2:55, 2:55, 2:55, 2:54, 2:54, 2:54, 2:53
It was hot on this day, kids were not in camp and I couldn't figure out how to do this at the track with three kids in the heat, so this workout was done on the treadmill. I worked for every repeat and times were just a bit off from the last time I did this workout on the road in May. Splits from May were: 3:04, 2:57, 2:56. 2:50, 2:52, 2:50, 2:51, 2:51. Happy with this effort and very tired afterwards. 

Friday July 26th - 8 miles AM + 4 miles PM
Double run today and moderate to easy miles for recovery from yesterday.

Saturday July 27th - 9 miles

Sunday July 29th - 14 miles with the last 4 at 6:44 pace. My time on the 4 miles was 26:58 and I sprinted at the end to squeeze in under 27 minutes. Yassss, so happy to be finished.

Total Miles: 66.6

19.5 weeks till CIM and it's way too early to start counting, but I guess I'm kinda counting...

I hope you guys are enjoying summer so far and cheers to the start of a great week. 

Dare to dream.


Monday, April 8, 2019

Carlsbad 5000 Race Recap

As I blissfully slept in on Saturday morning with the very rare occasion of not having an alarm, I couldn't believe that I was going to run the iconic Carlsbad 5000 the next day. As a Southern California runner, April is the beginning of all the springtime race madness and Carlsbad is definitely at the top of the list. When I watched the coverage and read the articles last year, I knew I wanted to be part of the action this time. 

We had a relaxing day with a lot of family time and I was able to settle into bed by 8 PM. I fell asleep closer to 9 PM and set my alarm for 3:50 AM. Jerold and I were on the road early (I had a banana and english muffin for breakfast) and arrived in Carlsbad by 6:45 AM. It was such an easy one hour and forty minute drive, I fell asleep during part of it (grateful for Jerold driving), and we were able to see a stunning sunrise. Carlsbad is a beautiful little beach town and the race made sure everything was laid out so easily for the runners. I was able to jog and grab my bib (Ashley, one of the race executives recognized me and we were able to chat for a moment - everyone was so friendly!), go to the bathroom and start my warm up in no time. I did a dynamic warm up and then ran an easy two miles with the last minute pretty quick to get my legs going. Then it was time to get to the starting line.

It was pretty cool to start with so many amazing masters women - I loved having a entire race just for us and then we were off. 

I wanted to not sprint out, but stay controlled. First mile 6:06. 
This first mile split was perfect and right where I needed to be, I just needed to hold that pace, but it wasn't happening today. I felt low on energy, my legs didn't have any pep and running fast felt hard. On days like that, you just gotta keep pushing and fight for things to turn around. Second mile 6:20. I kept playing mental games with myself that I only had one mile left to push - one mile! One mile is nothing and yet sometimes it feels like forever. 6:33. Really bummed about this, but I just didn't have it yesterday. I was competing a little back and forth with another woman and I remembered that once you pass someone, pass them with confidence - blow by them and never think about it again. They won't answer and you never look back. Well, I did that - I passed her strong and at the very end she caught me and in that moment, I did something that I never do - I didn't fight for it. I felt so mad at myself for not having the best race, that I didn't fight for that spot. When my watch beeped at the three mile mark at 19 minutes, instead of giving absolutely everything, I let myself wallow in the fact that I had less than ideal race.
19:46 final time. 

Coach's plan was 18:40 - 19:20 and based on the workouts I've thrown down the last few months, I know I can do that + he never gives me paces out of my reach. 

Anyway, I learned a ton, it's back to training and I can't wait to tackle this distance again! The great thing about 5ks is that the recovery is fast and you can always do another one.

If you're thinking about coming to the San Diego area for this race, or are in town next year, you should definitely put this on your agenda. Here are the reasons why:

1. Beautiful location
I've done many races in Carlsbad and it never disappoints. You really feel like you are on vacation here - gorgeous weather, quaint restaurants and beautiful beaches. Carlsbad 5000 took full advantage of the location and put everything in the center of town, which made it so easy to access and comfortable for the runners.

2. Great course
The race course is pretty flat and lined with spectators and ends with a down hill. Be ready to fight and gain spots in the downhill finish.

3. Ideal weather
The women's masters race started at 7:55 AM and I didn't even need my sunglasses. Perfect, cool morning weather.

4. Friendly people
Everyone that worked at the event that I met was super professional and friendly - from getting your bib, to picking up your race shirt.

5. Zero lines
Again, my race started early, but I immediately got into a porta potty - no lines for anything, easy to find everything.

6. Great competition
This is a great race to test yourself among some of the best runners around. 
If you can, stay all day and see the elite runners compete at noon. We had to get home very quickly for our kids, but it turned out to be an epic showdown!

7. Food, Drink and of course - music!
It's only a 5k and yet they provided bananas, full bottles of Gatorade, water and other food. Music was playing everywhere and runners were in a happy mood. A perfect way to start Sunday.

You can easily make the Carlsbad 5000 a racecation, especially since it is right around spring break for many people. Stay in Carlsbad or head into the heart of San Diego for a great vacation!

We don't let races define us. Learn, grow, move forward. 

I'm back to training this week and onward we go.

Do Awesome things.


Thursday, April 4, 2019

April Is Here. I'm Running The Miles. Working on Speed. Keeping The Faith.

It's hard to believe that I ran just one marathon in 2018 (although the plan was two) and yet here we are in the second quarter of 2019 and I already have a marathon under my belt. It feels really good to start the year off that way and I'm looking forward to how much I can grow in the sport this year. Becoming a good marathoner takes time - training cycle after training cycle, year after year to build the miles in your legs and the strength in your body. Marathoners have to pay their dues and this brings a sense of satisfaction to my training. I love the process of waking up in the morning and thinking about what my run will bring me. Even on the not so fun runs - Monday was more of a recovery slog -especially the first half and then the blood begins to flow and the legs loosen up. I definitely was ready to bring it to an end, and yet I'm always happy that I showed up.

I'm in a good rhythm of carefully logging miles and trying hard to take care of my body. These miles aren't something I jumped into, yet it has been a guided process by my coach over years of building. I haven't begun to tap into my potential and I think that its makes you want to keep coming back for more. The plan for now is slowly building for a fast fall marathon and that work began after a nice recovery from Phoenix. I need some speed in these legs to shake things up a bit and we're working on that. Coach is keeping me challenged and I can't imagine what the marathon cycle will look like this summer. 

I'll share with you my training from last week. It was a solid week of work and I'm always grateful for my body - it rolls with the demands I put on it!

Monday March 25th - 5 miles AM, 4.24 miles PM. Double runs are in full effect. The afternoon miles are completed at an easy pace. This run is not an extension of the morning run, yet a completely separate run with the purpose of bulking up the weekly mileage.

Tuesday March 26th - 8 miles AM, 4 miles PM. Really happy to get the doubles done early in the week. Note: This is probably not happening this week as I need more rest. I've only ran one double so far this week, which means the second double will be have to be done the second half of the week.

Wednesday March 27th - 8.24 miles

Thursday March 28th - 10 miles

Friday March 29th - 10.25 miles and my workout happened today. I hardly ever do a speed session on a Friday, but life happened this week and here it is!
2 mile warm up, 5 x 1 mile repeats (6:08, 6:08, 6:07, 6:07, 6:04). .25 jog in between each set and then a 2 mile cool down. These are the fastest consecutive mile repeats I have ever done. I can't wait to see the progress in the coming months! I am really happy with my effort.

After the hard workout, it was time to celebrate my Mom! Gosh, I love this lovely lady and she got all the love today.

It was a beautiful day, but cold in Malibu. Elle had just finished her ballet lesson and she was not a happy camper on this day, hence the face. Ah, we love you sweet girl and thanks for letting us document this moment. We went home after dinner, got cozy and warm and celebrated with a huge chocolate cake that I made. These are the special memories that make up great blocks of living. 

Saturday March 30th - 8 miles 

Sunday March 31st - 16 miles at 7:25 pace. I like to be completely open and straight forward here. I will not do a Friday speed session and then a Sunday long run. Ooof. That was not a good move. Do not try this at home.

73.73 miles for the week and recovery is the most important thing. Lots of sleep, hydration, nourishing foods and stretching + rolling are what I have been focused on.

April is here my friends. A month of warm sunshine, green buds of new life and the fresh air of spring. I wish you happy running this week.

Do Awesome Things.


Sunday, February 17, 2019

10 Reasons To Run The Phoenix Marathon

Runners are always on the hunt for a great race - everyone wants a list of the best marathons and what makes them so special. I really loved racing the Phoenix Marathon (9 days ago!) and I think you'll love it too - here are some awesome reasons:

You could legit wear this tank with jeans.

1. The weather in early February in the desert is fantastic for running a marathon.
The temps were in the late 30's when we left the hotel to go to the buses and early 40's at the start with no wind - hello perfect weather. Make sure you bring warm clothes to the start and you can donate old clothes or check your stuff at gear check (the gear check is easy and at the end of the race, you get your clothes back quick as a flash - great organization).

2. The race begins at 6:30 AM.
Why is this so amazing? Because you get to see an incredible desert sunrise (the views at the beginning of the race are beautiful) as you are running. A pretty perfect way to start your Saturday. Also, I love that the race is on Saturday - you can take advantage of Sunday to recover before the week begins.

3. They serve Gatorade Endurance along the course.
On course fuel is so important and Gatorade Endurance is the real deal. 

4. Plenty of aid stations.
You will not be stuck in the middle of the desert parched in the middle of a marathon! :)
The Phoenix Marathon had plentiful aid stations and friendly course support. All the volunteers had huge smiles on their faces and were so happy to help. During the later miles they handed out GU, which was crucial for runners. Also, I loved that they were very clear about which cups were for water vs. Gatorade.

5. Fast course.
Want to run fast and yet achieve the speed on an honest course? This is a great place to do it. No gimmick race straight down a mountain that will make you question your PR. The race begins slightly downhill, then levels out and a small hill at miles 5 and 6 and then it flattens out from there. You need to race smart and save something for the second half, but this is great course with almost no turns (turns in a marathon is not fun).

6. They provide heaters AND bonfires at the start + plenty of porta potties.
We stepped off the buses and right into the lines for the porta potties. There even an official to manage the traffic and it moved smooth as glass.
Afterwards, you can stay warm in the desert cold, with warm fires everywhere - this made a huge difference in the whole experience.

7. Fireworks at the start.
Every runner feels like a rock star as they had a mini fireworks show after the National Anthem. I loved this so much - it really felt like a celebration.

8. Wide finisher's shoot.
You never felt like you were going to be in anyone's way when you finished the race. Plenty of room for all the runners and it was so easy to navigate though the large area to receive your medal and begin to refuel.

9. FOOD.
They provided french toast and all sorts of fruit + food everywhere. If you wanted to eat, you were not going to be hungry after this race.

10. Free Massages from Massage Envy.
Hello? Yes, they had free massages available for every runner.

BONUS: The race tank is bomb. I love that it doesn't have huge writing all over it, it's black and understated. I will be wearing this shirt all the time (and it won't go in my stash of race shirts that are going to be turned into a quilt!).

Oh, and the medal is pretty sweet too...

Well, there you have it - head to the desert next February for a fun winter marathon weekend my friends and happy running.

Do Awesome Things.