Friday, September 21, 2018

I Lost My Appetite And Now I'm Eating Everything + 11.5 Weeks Till CIM

As I rounded the corner onto my street, I couldn't wait to be home. You know I love running, but after 19 miles, I was ready to be finished. Finally - 19 miles done. My routine after a long run is this:


1. Walk in the door and take off my shoes (we don't wear shoes in our house. Do you guys wear shoes? People used to think we were really weird, but now I think it's pretty normal). Oh wait, right as I walk in I have the calf stretcher at the door and I'll stretch my calves for a couple of minutes and then take off my shoes.


Incredible sunset 

2. Go straight to the kitchen for a big glass of water. Some days I can chug it down, other days I have to sip it. This time, I had to sip it. I also like to drink a glass of some type of electrolyte drink (like Nuun) - it's gives me some energy and it tastes so good.

3. Stretch a little bit.
4. Eat a banana and a teaspoon of almond butter. Sometimes, I don't want to have a heavy meal right away, so a banana and almond butter is perfect! I wish I could drink chocolate milk, but I can't. Milk hates me. HATES ME. I decided to try chocolate milk (again) a couple of months ago and my stomach was swollen so much I swear you would have thought we were having a 4th child (in that case, Jerold I think would have walked out the door and escaped to like... Turkey. He's like - no more babies. :).
Yes, not only was my stomach swollen, but it hurt so badly I could hardly walk and spent the rest of the afternoon in sheer agony on my bed and couldn't move. I'm not joking - I was begging the kids to bring me stuff and it was a total mess. SO, no milk.
5. Take a shower. Even if I take an epsom salt bath, I like to shower first right away and peel off my soaked clothes. It's pretty gross.
6. Eat a meal. Except for Sunday! I sat down to have this delicious meal that I normally would love and it looked awful to me. I was like - I can't eat this. What is this? (pasta and veggies + chicken). I can't eat this. I have to eat it. I can't eat it.
So I nibbled and hoped that the banana and almond butter was enough to refuel for a while. By the way, there's no question - when you are marathon training ALWAYS buy bananas when you go to the store. No matter what, you can never have enough bananas.

Training last week went well. The flank soreness I was having has completely gone away - hooray for that. I never take being healthy/non injured for granted. Injury can happen in a second - it can take your running away with no mercy and so I know each day of running is a gift.

Saturday miles with my #1 running partner


Here's what training looked like last week:

Monday September 10th - 5 miles easy
Tuesday September 11th - 8.6 miles am/3.40 miles pm
Wednesday September 12th - 8 miles
Thursday September 13th - 3.45 warm up, 5 mile tempo (6:41), 2 mile cool down
Friday September 14th - 7.5 miles
Saturday September 15th - 8 miles
Sunday September 16th - 19.1 miles (7:31 pace)

Total miles: 70.05

My appetite is indeed back, so give me food. NOW. :)

What else... on I was on the Rambling Runner this week! We talk about running, the power of positivity, Suite Run and more. I hope you guys check it out! 









Brooks sent shoes to keep me going in my training!




The top pair is my tried and true Ghost 10 and the bottom pair is the Revel 2 which I've never tried before! Don't you love the pink laces? They are a 12 mm heel to toe drop and a pretty light weight shoe at 9oz even, which is light enough for me for an everyday training shoe and yet sturdy enough to keep me going. The Ghost is also a 12mm heel to toe drop. I took the Revel 2 for a spin yesterday and I can already tell I'm going to love them. It will be interesting to see how my body likes it vs. the Ghost.

I gotta go pick up the kids! I hope you have a great start to the weekend friends.

Dream Big.

xo,
Natalie

Thursday, September 13, 2018

12.5 Weeks Till CIM

As my feet reluctantly touched the floor and the chill of the air hit my body, I didn't feel energized like I normally feel. Instead I felt achy, tired and a little worn. Any runner training for a marathon, or any race for that matter, knows this feeling well. You're putting in the work and the body will tell you when it needs a break. Our job is to listen to those clues, to have the ultimate relationship with our bodies... not confusing it with an excuse to get out of a training run, but to take the break when we need it. These were my feelings last Monday morning. I had run 19 miles the day before - a hard effort for sure and for the last couple of weeks every so often I would have an achy feeling in my flank area. I knew on Monday that I needed to hightail to the doctor for a check to make sure nothing was really wrong. Luckily, everything was fine - maybe some strained muscles, but I could still go for a run. Huge sigh of relief... we have to have our running time, am I right?



I moved things around a bit to give myself more rest time - Monday off, Tuesday and Wednesday easy... anyway, here's what the week looked like:

Monday September 3rd - REST

Tuesday September 4th - 8 miles

Wednesday September 5th - 6 miles

Thursday September 6th - 6 miles

Friday September 7th - 6.2 miles AM/ 8.25 miles PM (this was a workout of 12 x 600's with 1:30 jog in between. Warm up and cool down also). One note about this workout: 1. I was so happy to get some fast miles in for the week and 2. 600s are really fun! A little less of a grind than 800s and yet a quality workout.

Saturday September 8th - 12 miles AM/ 6 miles PM

Sunday September 9th - 15 miles (first 4 miles at 8:02 pace, next 7 at 6:57 pace, last 4 miles at 8:45 pace. Easy/hard/easy). Really happy about the quality of those 7 miles! I will work on running these tempos within a long run faster as we go on and I get stronger, but we are on the right track and I hit the paces that coach wanted me to hit. Patience!

Total miles: 67.45

Lots of sleep but I always could use more. Also, there have been a couple of nights this week that were too late. Ugh. Trying to balance real life (and Suite Run!) with marathon training....

One of the keys to staying injury free


The achiness of my flank basically turned out to be achiness in my entire mid section, so I've been in the bath every night - and haven't done any core work this week. I don't think I pulled anything doing core, but you never know. I've also had a slight shoe change (still in the Ghost - but went from Ghost 10 to the 11 and the 11 is a tad heavier) so looking at all factors.
I feel really good this week and have been listening to my body for cues. So far so good!

Switched to the Launch 5 for speedwork this week. I will most likely run the marathon in the Launch. #runhappy


We are getting into a back to school rhythm. The kids are tired every night and I've been really on top of prepping everything before I go to bed to make mornings smoother. Let me just say, this is HARD. I don't feel like prepping anything at night - I just want to go to sleep, but I've been forcing myself to do it anyway, so we can all smile in the morning.



She's got some Jerold in there, but mostly me. When I look at her, it's like looking in the mirror when I was 8 years old. CRAZY.

I woke up this morning so excited about my training and excited for CIM!! I love taking the time out every day to train and work toward my goals. Some days it's a grind, but I do love it.

Do what you love and joy will follow my friends. Have a wonderful Thursday!

Be awesome.

xo,
Natalie

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

September Is Here, We Went To The Lake, 13.5 Weeks Till CIM

As the fog rolled in yesterday for the first day back to school, I took a breath of the crisp air and it made going back to the fall routine a bit easier. In our neck of the woods, this is a complete tease, as some of our very hottest months come in September and October, but we'll take the cool down for now. Labor Day weekend was all things glorious with our short trip to the lake. 


Kayaking as a family is one of our favorite things to do and this was the first time that Elle was old enough to go and enjoy it all too. 



It really turned out to be a picture perfect day with gorgeous weather. Josh and I were in a kayak together and I'm going to put a 100% into being the best Mother In Law someday, cause I need him around. He makes me smile...



We really didn't plan for them to take the picture in this particular order like perfect stair steps...


We spent the time relaxing, eating, kayaking, exploring and I got in a run too. One of the most beautiful runs I've been on in a while - loved the change of scenery and the altitude wasn't too bad after the first couple of miles. Bonus - this sweet girl helped me finish the last 100 meters of the run...



Josh and Meg weren't interested in running - they were into their own adventures...



We caught this breathtaking sunset...



As much as I love the ocean, I'm definitely a mountain and lake girl too. We can't wait to have more lake life soon!

The first day of school was a success! 6th grade, 3rd grade and Kindergarten!



Elle loves her Kindergarten teacher and friends. Today, when we got home, she gave me a huge hug and said she missed me a lot today, which resulted in lots of hugging and snuggling this afternoon. For some odd reason, I haven't cried yet about her being gone all day. I think it'll be a delayed reaction - like next week the reality will sink in and the waterworks will start.

It's 13.5 weeks till CIM! Training has begun and I had a good week of training last week:

Monday August 27th - 5 miles easy

Tuesday August 28th - 8 miles

Wednesday August 29th - 4 miles am/ 7 miles pm

Thursday August 30th - 1 mile warm up, 8 mile tempo (at 6:54 pace) 1 mile cool down

Friday August 31st - 4 miles am/ 8 miles pm

Saturday September 1st - 8 miles

Sunday September 2nd - 19 miles (I didn't do my 8 x :30 second pick ups this week, so decided to add more speed into the long run. Last 4 miles at 6:53 pace, for a total average pace of 7:25. First mile I eased into it at 7:40)

Total miles: 73

I'm feeling a little tired this week. Took Monday off, and my body was screaming for a nap today so I took it. I'm also craving water all the time, so lots of water. 

Easing into some higher miles and getting excited about a great September! 

I hope you guys are having a great week. Our Suite Run weekly newsletter comes out tomorrow and I'm very excited about it! You can subscribe HERE.

Do awesome things.

xo,
Natalie

Friday, August 31, 2018

Goodbye August, Training Is Ramping Up A Bit + Stride Box

As I felt the warm tap on my nose, my eyes reluctantly fluttered open and Elle was standing in front of me asking to climb into our bed. Instinctively, I knew it was well before dawn and I wasn't ready to give up my warm cocoon just yet. As she climbed in and snuggled under my arm, I had the overwhelming sense that really nothing else in the world matters. Give me this moment, give me this time and I promise I won't squander it. I promise as you march away from me for a little more independence, that I'll remember at the core of everything - you are still my baby.



During one of our beach bonfire evenings.

When I looked at the training schedule this week, I gulped a bit and then put it out of my mind. Each day is a day of renewal and growth, a time to reset and tackle things one at a time. It's just running and the real epicenter of training won't happen for a while. I think if I focus on more strength work and quality, deep sleep every night - the miles will obviously happen and I'll feel refreshed and ready for workouts. School beginning will bring change for our family - change is necessary and vital for growth is what I keep telling myself. My thoughts lately often turn to how much can I accomplish while the kids are away during the day... I want to make every hour have a purpose, no matter how mundane. Fold 5 loads of laundry (and put it away) from 8:30-9:30 am? Yes. Allocate time for the business, networking, phone calls, pitches, writing, exploring hotel running routes, meal prep and some running/training for myself too? Yes. Yes, I can.
We've been having lazy mornings this week...

Stay in pj's and read in the mornings? Yes, please. All while wearing the Garmin that she never takes off. Oh and to all the people that have gorgeous patio furniture with multiple children - I applaud you. That is indeed paint on my couch, but at least it's outside, right?


I love this video. Wow, this is the making of an athlete for sure. Don't you love the tag line? It's only a crazy dream until you do it. YES. YES.

\


I had a good tempo workout yesterday. 8 miles at 6:54 (+ 1 mile warm up and cool down) and I worked for it. I'm not even going to sit here and give you the impression that it was cake...

I worked for it. #keepgoing


Who says your dreams can't be fulfilled because of wherever you are in life right now? Who says?
YOU call your own shots. YOU fufill your own destiny. Sweep away the noise of anything (or anything) telling you, NO. It's always up to you. You can do it.

I got my Stride Box earlier this month for August and wanted to share it with you, cause I love this box. It makes me happy every month. It's not a bill or endless streams of junk mail...

Love these training tips


Normally, I have one picture that I take of the entire contents of the box. For some reason that picture is gone from my phone. Or maybe I imagined taking it? At any rate, I did an Insta Story, so I was able to go back and get screen shots of everything, so I apologize for all the pics! :)

I haven't tried THIS yet, but will come in handy during a workout. So much to try during marathon training!


Loved the way THIS made my water taste!


I'm excited to try THIS after my super long run this weekend.


Loved the taste of THIS energy bar.


Ate THIS after a workout one day - in like 1 minute :)


THESE were so good! They tasted so clean - not too sweet.


I'm ready for the long weekend! I also have a 19 mile run on Sunday, so have to gear up for that. Happy Labor Day weekend friends!

Dream Big.

xo,
Natalie

Monday, August 27, 2018

55 vs. 97 - Do What's Right For You

The sweat already started to bead onto my forehead as I headed out the door for my morning run and I could feel the sun beating onto my shoulders. I chided myself about starting earlier, but unless I begin before dawn, it's almost always going to be hot this time of year. The easy miles have gradually been feeling easier and some days I have to glance at my watch so that I don't go too fast on the easy days. I tend to run faster without realizing it (a bad habit that I quickly rectify, cause I love my easy days - and they are necessary/vital), when I think about running another marathon, working on my form or focusing on finishing a race fast no matter the time on the clock - I think the adrenaline starts to kick in and I have to remind myself to slow down. The question that has been nagging in my head for a couple of weeks is: "Will I be ready to race a marathon in October?" I don't know why that question rears it's ugly head. I don't have a reason to doubt my fitness and my coach has laid out a solid plan for me to prep for the Ventura Marathon on October 21st. October 21st is fifty five days from today and at the beginning of last week I was determined to be ready. Nothing has changed as far as steadfast preparation, but the thought would pop up at random times: "Do you feel rushed? Are you trying to take on too much at the same time?"

This is me super up close and personal after one of last week's morning runs #bareface


Kids at home. Starting Suite Run. And you guys - I started coaching! Yes, I know - All.The.Things. I have a few clients right now (I love it so much already) and I'll give you all the details in another post. I think because I will finally have all three off to full day school (for the first time in 11.5 years, I will not have a kid home with me), I wanted (needed) to have a meaningful purpose to fill the day. I started wondering about my ultimate purpose in life - I've been home with my kids for so long and although it's the hardest job I've ever had, do I need more now? The answer is a resounding yes and I've done so much soul searching about my feelings and how to navigate through it all. Honestly, I look at women who have worked outside the home and balanced a family and think how cool that they have an amazing career to keep them going. Then, I shake it aside, because the grass always seems greener, right? I have to simply start from where I am now and build my own career.

We each have our own path in life

Anyway, back to whether I'm taking on too much right now... I will take a huge breath when the kids go back to school after Labor Day and I will be able to organize my day accordingly. With all that said, the thoughts at the start of my runs lately have nagged my mind about whether I can run as fast as I know I can - and inch closer to my goals in the time allotted. The thing about the marathon is: you get one shot. ONE SHOT. One throw at the dart board to make an impact and then you have to let the body heal, recover properly, slowly ramp up and start another cycle all over again. There's a good 5-6 months in between each marathon cycle, if you don't want to risk injury or overtraining. I knew going into Ventura that I needed to give it everything I have or I would not have another chance until probably springtime. Long story short (and if you are still reading this - thank you) and after a big heart to heart with Jerold on Friday, I have decided not to run the Ventura Marathon.

Scene from Saturday's gorgeous mix of trails and road. Lots of time to quietly think - I had the best time.


However, there is a bit of a twist. I will be at Ventura - to run the half marathon (Use my discount code - GoNatalie2018 to get 10% off!). It's a fast and honest course and I ran a big PR there last October. I can't wait to go back in fifty five days and run even faster in the half.
I have decided to run CIM on December 2nd! After our talk on Friday, I made the choice to move our December plans around a bit and go for it. Racing CIM gives me more time to settle into life and training, I have unfinished business with that course and I love the fact that the marathon championships will take place there again this year. You guys - I can't believe I didn't cancel my hotel... I thought about it last week, and put it on my to-do list. I'm really glad I didn't, cause I know the hotel sold out super early this year.
Anyway, there you have it. I now have ninety seven days until the marathon and a sigh of relief coursing through my body. Look, I know at the end of the day, I would have mentally rose to the challenge and made myself ready for the Ventura Marathon, but this decision feels so, so good. I'm really happy to go back to Sacramento and race my heart out.
Training hasn't really changed - I'm still running a lot and I have double runs once or twice a week (not to split up the original run of the day - I've had questions about this in the past - but to add an easy extra 3-4 miles to get more miles in my legs). This week of training definitely had some difficult points - one run I cut in half, and my tempo run this week was 3 x 2 miles and I only did 2 x 2 miles. Ugh. Also on Sunday's 15 mile long run - 10 miles I ran easier at 7:41 pace and then the last five miles at 6:55 pace. When I got to the tempo portion, I ran one mile and then I stopped. I just stopped on the side of the road when I had 4 more miles left to go. Total time stopped was about 45-50 seconds of contemplation and then I realized - this stuff isn't easy my friends. Running can be really hard at times - so what do you do? I knew in that moment that I had to for real suck it up and finish the dang thing. Finish it. It wasn't pretty, but I finished with 15 total for Sunday and 62.3 total miles for the week.

There was zero smiling on this run. PS: I take my pics after the run is completed.


This coming week, the plan is to hit well over 70 miles and I will be ready. Coach tells me to take it one day at a time and you have to, otherwise it's really overwhelming.

In other weekend news, we had the most amazing ice cream sandwiches on Saturday afternoon...

It's my heart wrapped up in these 4 humans.


We did a good amount of work on Suite Run and spent some quality time in Westwood vetting running routes from one of the hotels along Wilshire Blvd. We have a really pretty 3 and 5 mile route and the map will be up shortly on our site. The great thing about Suite Run, is we get to explore so many parts of our city up close and personal.

Along the Wilshire corridor in Westwood near UCLA.


We set up a few interviews with some fantastic people! You won't want to miss it so subscribe to our newsletter so you can get edition #3 delivered to your inbox :)

Have a wonderful start to your week my friends. 

Never stop dreaming.

xo,
Natalie



Saturday, August 25, 2018

Super Human You

As I threw the beach towels into the washing machine this morning (an almost daily ritual as I try to have us packed and ready to go to the beach at all times), I thought: "Is it really the last Saturday in August?" I had to look at the calendar to convince myself that is indeed the case. August, you have been topsy turvy, crazy, wonderful, at times stressful and filled with joy. We have thoroughly enjoyed this last full month of summer before school begins. We've had bonfires, hiking adventures, surfed in the waves, worked on our swimming technique at the pool, rode our bikes, had impromptu dance parties, stayed up past bedtime, roasted a lot of marshmallows, experienced some incredible sunsets, had sweet parties with friends, read new books, explored museums and so much more. My heart is full of memories and we plan on packing more into this coming week.
As far as marathon training goes, the miles are adding up each day and week - I've been putting in the work and it hasn't been perfect, but the effort is there. Before I go to sleep each night, I've been remembering my goals and how incredible I'm going to feel when I accomplish them. Isn't it dynamic that goals keep you going -  that they keep you accountable and excited? Goals give you so much purpose and on those days where I don't feel like going for a second run, or I feel exhausted, I put on my superhero cape and think about how it will all be worth it.



Brooks Running always comes up with great campaigns, and I love the current one a lot. It's about discovering your Super Human You and how you have the power to do anything. They sent me the latest edition of the Levitate 2 (this shoes makes you feel like you're flying - I love it! More on this shoe when I get some miles on it) and this great mat to write my dream/what I have the power to do.
It took me two seconds to make a decision and it's simply to run a sub 3 hour marathon. I've had this big dream for a while now and I know there will be a lot of focus, determination and patience to achieve this goal. I have to develop strength at the end of the race when I'm so tired and I also know this will happen when my body is ready to make that breakthrough. I really do love the process of pushing myself and sometimes I close my eyes and imagine that incredible moment when I sprint down to the finish line and see the numbers 2:5X on the clock. I imagine the look on Jerold's face, the contorted scream coming from his gut, the leap into the air, the excitement from Josh and the sweet screaming from the girls. I see myself sprinting so hard, my lungs burning and yet none of it matters - the pain is irrevelant because I will have done it. I know that will be a moment that I will always remember. I imagine calling my coach immediately afterwards and yelling: "I did it coach!" and the words of pride he'll have for me. The tears will roll down my face and I won't be able to eat anything for recovery because I'll be too choked up.


Scene from Friday's run


I've never talked in detail to this extent about my immediate goal, but I love the fact that now it's out there in print, for everyone to see. The days where I doubt myself, I know that God has given me the ability to overcome any obstacle. He wants me to believe in myself more than I ever have and this is what I love about the power of running. To you my friends - I want you to find your Super Human You. Discover that big goal that scares you and speak it out loud... then wake up every day, refer to it and work your butt off for it. Let's help each other - sound good?

In other news, our 2nd edition newletter for Suite Run went out yesterday! I'd love it if you'd join us and sign up to receive a little goodness in your mailbox each week - I will not spam you :) just good stuff about running and travel.

Here's a pic from my interview with Alex Baxter that is featured in our newletter this week. Alex is the former Chief Digital Officer for Competitor Group (they own Women's Running Magazine, The Rock n Roll series and more) and I was thrilled to sit down with him for a chat (Jerold did an awesome job on the photography) and go for a short run together on Thursday. He and his wife are so wonderful and this was definitely a big highlight of our week!

In Alex's backyard talking about the amazing sunsets they see every evening.


I have a lot of fun stuff to share with you in the coming week! In the meantime, have an amazing weekend my friends.

Do awesome things.

xo,
Natalie


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Developing A Business From Scratch: Suite Run

Ten days ago, Jerold and I officially launched Suite Run. It feels like months ago and I had to actually look back at photos to remember the exact date. Since those long ten days ago, we've been hard at work - brainstorming, setting up meetings, attending meetings, talking, breathing, thinking about Suite Run. Between launching this business, training for the Ventura Marathon (60 days! and I have something for YOU. A discount for 10% off the awesome Ventura Marathon on October 21st - use code GoNatalie2018) and hard core parenting with school not starting until after Labor Day, it has been intense. I wake up in the morning so excited with all the possibilies of the day ahead (and a little tired - marathon training = more sleep, which has to happen cause I have big goals for Ventura). Starting a business is a lot like running a marathon: you have to take a slow, methodical approach, believe in yourself, work consistently and diligently and never give up - even on the tough days.



We had a lot of time to talk, dream and plan on our big hike up to Mt. Baldy last month.


It really hit home how much running has woven itself into our relationship. When Jerold and I first met shortly after college, I knew I wanted to run my first marathon and started preparing for it pretty much right after we met. He was there for my first marathon and we've never looked back. Building Suite Run together (or any business model that is centered around running) was really in our destiny and this is a huge dream big moment for us. I also knew that we wanted to offer something tangible and valuable that people could use, appreciate and incorporate into their lives.



Runners just want to run and we won't let travel derail us from that.



What is Suite Run?

Suite Run is a business that organically merges runners and travel together. We want traveling runners to feel like they can grab a map with a beautiful, safe and accessible route that shows them where to run. No fuss, no overthinking - just run. The map will be at the hotel desk, or downloaded to your mobile phone (with audible turn by turn directions.) Of course we thought of the app, and we'll develop that soon. We envision ice cold bottles of water, maybe fresh fruit and ideas of where to grab a cold pressed juice, some extra running accessories, get a massage (if the hotel doesn't offer it), have a great lunch... All you have to think about is your run, getting it done and having fun (or getting to your morning meeting). This business model has been done in other hotel chains, but we want to focus on the independent hotels. Hotels that don't have a mega brand name but still want to offer their guests the very best. Fitness is HUGE in our world - people want to work out, it destresses them and make them happy.



Yes, this is me - but isn't this the geeky smile we all have after a run?



We also have started a newletter and our first edition went out last week. We are committed to publishing a weekly edition that will have interviews (you guys - we have some GOOD people lined up for interviews. Stay tuned), gear we are loving, helpful information for runners, travel tips and so much more. I know you don't want to miss the next edition, so sign up :)
You can sign up HERE.

One thing for me is that I have to get used to talking about Suite Run - a lot. I'm so excited about it and I can't wait to share so much with you guys and get feedback from you! I love connecting with all of you and thank you for following along for the last (almost) four years of my training, running, racing, product reviews, family life, ups and downs and so much more. I'll still be doing all of that and weaving in what it's like to emerge yourself in a start up as well. This should be a fun ride!

Oh, and to everyone who has sent me a note of encouragement with such positive feedback on Suite Run - thank you, I/we so appreciate it! By the way we are also on Insta, Twitter, Facebook and working on our You Tube Channel (Nat and Jerold on You Tube - this should be interesting :).

Lots of miles to run this week, lots of recovery and enjoying these last weeks of summer. The August sunsets have been incredible.



Scene from yesterday's run



Happy running my friends and never give up on your dreams.
Keep going - it's working!

xo,
Natalie