Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Ventura Half Marathon Race Recap

No matter how soothing, I will never get used to the sound of the alarm chiming at 3:00 am. The days of sleep before, the careful nighttime routine - nothing prepares you to wake up in the middle of the night on a dark and chilly late October morning. We all do it at some point...runners. We do it because we love it and the hard is what makes it so appealing. The victory is a little sweeter, because you took the road less traveled - you did something most people aren't willing to do.




We were able to load the kids and jump into the car pretty quickly and I was impressed by the efficiency, as it is tough to get three kids out the door well before dawn. They love the excitement of blankets and pillows in the warm car, watching the sunrise and the quiet as we are all into our own thoughts at that hour of the morning.

The drive to Ojai was a super easy one hour and twenty five minutes from our door to the starting line. We arrived early, I picked up my bib so easily (Ventura Marathon is very well organized and they think of all the details. Have you run this half or the full? Put it on your list! Beautiful course, great support, super fun after party with a band, beer and waffles!), jumped into the porta potty line and started my warm up. So many times, I feel a little rushed through my race warm up, but today the stars aligned and I had plenty of time to relax and run easy.
1.65 mile warm up (a tad longer than the 1.5 I was supposed to do, but I went out a little far and had to get back), with picking up the pace with last 1-2 mintes + dymanic stretches beforehand. I really felt ready to race when they began asking us to line up.

We started the race smoothly and I had the race plan tucked into the back of my mind. Start conservative, get into a steady rhythm and grind it out at the finish.

I'll get right down to my splits for the race:

6:45, 6:44, 6:32, 6:33, 6:30, 6:39, 6:34, 6:35, 6:35, 6:44, 6:59, 7:01, 7:03

A couple of miles into the race, I tucked in with two guys and two other women. They were so kind and seemed to be having fun chatting with each other. Everyone introduced themselves, and I was very happy fitting right in and staying silent. It would be another two or three miles, before the leader of the group asked my name and I answered. I felt relaxed at this point, but I'm just not a talker during a race - I have a lot going on in my head thinking about my form, am I starting and keeping the right pace and the list goes on. They were beginning to talk about the race and that we were on pace for about 1:28, and that we should stay relaxed and keep it steady. Honestly, in my mind I was thinking there was no way I coming out today to run 1:28. I at least wanted to run what I ran last year (1:27) and a PR would be great if everything went well. The woman next to me says that she is going to break off and catch up to the group in front of us. In that moment, I had a split decision to make - go with her and take a chance on running with the faster group, or staying with this group and picking up the pace the last 5K.
I went for it - or I tried to go for it. I said goodbye to my safe group and went for the faster group. Let's just say that it didn't last long - I couldn't seem to make the contact I needed to tuck in with the group. I knew they weren't running that much faster, but it felt a lot faster. Once again, I got my butt handed to me and ended up coming back with the original group, who welcomed me with open arms. I really should have stayed with them, but at the same time I wanted more. I wanted to make a semi aggressive move and have it pay off. NOTE: surging in the marathon or half does not work. It always bites me in the butt in the long run. I get it - I will not make this mistake again and yes I'm so glad this was a dress rehearsal and not CIM.


Wrong move. Should have stayed with my group - but sometimes you have to try and take a chance, otherwise how will you ever know what you can do?


Anyway, I was back with the original group, which was clipping along at a very good pace. Mile 10.
The last 5k is once again where it happened. I ran a slower 6:44 during mile 9 and I could feel I was in trouble. The leader was encouraging me to stay with them and yet my tired legs needed a little more gas.
I fought to stay with them as I knew if I lost contact, I would be running by myself and really didn't want to do that again. I wanted their energy - I like these people and why didn't I stay with them in the first place?
Let's cut right to the chase - I faded to 6:59, 7:01, 7:03 in the last 5k and they went on to run 1:26, which would have been my PR.

Let me tell you, I fought. I fought through the fatigue and disappointment, and yet I didn't give into it. I know I could have been running in the 6:40s at least the last the 5k if I would have not taken a chance in the middle miles. By the way friends, if you are coming here, look for perfection - you've come to the wrong place :) Ha. 
This is a place to talk about mistakes, learn, grow and work hard. I know a whole lot about running and yet every day I grow. You never stop growing...

I'm still working on getting this racing thing right and I will. I will negative split and I will run strong at the end. The great thing is I felt pretty strong at the end mentally and there is a lot of great things to take away here. The hard work is paying off. I am getting fitter and I will get faster and I'm not giving up. Ever.

So there's that.

1:27:45

3 seconds off from last year- crazy.

2.37 miles cool down with the best group of (fast) ladies = 17.12 mile day. I also got to meet Meg in person and we were so busy talking we didn't get a pic! She is super sweet and after months of talking on the internet we finally got to meet. She also raced a very awesome 3:11 in the marathon.




and the best time with my fam. I love these guys so much.










284.64 miles in the month of October and CIM - I see you. I'm coming for you.


Do awesome things.

xo,
Natalie

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Let's Help Wipe Out Breast Cancer With Valvoline Instant Oil Change.


I partnered with Valvoline Instant Oil Change for this project, however opinions here are my own.


I remember the ring of the phone that evening as I sat in my Mom's kitchen while I was visiting her. I was a year out of college and had just moved into an apartment with a friend, after spending a year back home after graduation. I knew of course that my Mom's younger sister was gravely ill with stage 4 breast cancer, but I never thought it was a possibilty that we would live a life without her. She was so beautiful and full of life - she loved to laugh, play softball with friends and dote on her four young children. The kids were extremely young, the baby maybe still in diapers, but definitely not in school. In many ways, the memories are all such a blur. We felt so isolated living in California while the rest of our family was in Ohio - my Mom was fretful, getting daily updates on her sister's condition. It became so painfully real in those hours that she was not going to live much longer. How does this happen, we asked ourselves? How are we going to lose this beautiful person that we love to such a horrible disease.... how will her family cope without her?



From left to right, my Aunt Elaine, Aunt Irelita (passed away from breast cancer) and my Mom. Photo credit - my Aunt Elaine. xo


The next day, my Mom received the call that she needed to come and quickly. She needed to get on a  plane to help care and be there for her baby sister before it was too late. My head was swimming and I didn't take the trip (until the funeral later), but watched my Mom go and thought I've never seen her so sad in my life. Please God, please don't take my Aunt from us.
Weeks later, she was gone. Heaven was lucky and we all felt like we got a raw deal. It was the first time I closely brushed the arm sleeve of death and I hated it. It was hard to digest the idea of someone truly being gone forever. Never to hear their voice again, never to have another conversation with them. The blessing in all of this, was that all of her hard work paid off and her kids are so incredibly successful. I can't stop the tears running down my face as I write these words. One daugher is a doctor - the first doctor in our immediate family! The other is a nurse and now a hospital executive. The boys have gone off to be successful in their own right. She would be so proud. I vividly remember her hugs - she could hug like no other. Real hugs that lasted for a full minute and made you feel like magic. Our family has been through many tough times with breast cancer. My Mom is the oldest of seven and three of her sisters have battled this horrible disease and another sister later fought ovarian cancer. 
Sometimes life isn't fair, but we're still grateful for every moment and we live the best that we can each day - it's all a big gift, you know?


When Valvoline approached me with this opportunity to celebrate breast cancer month, there was no way I could turn it down.  I sincerely ask that you join me in celebrating this extremely important cause in our world. WE MUST FIND A CURE. Did you know every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer AND 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime? As a Mom to two young daughters, it scares me to think that this could happen to me - or that later in life it could happen to them. That it could happen to you. Or you. Or you. Or my friend with three young children that it DID happen to and she is beating it every.single.day.
Let's help wipe out this disease, shall we?

- Valvoline Instant Oil Change (VIOC) has raised over $86,500 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation since 2012 and that number will continue to grow.

 October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Valvoline Instant Oil Change is partnering with AutoTex PINK to raise funds and increase awareness for National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc®.

- Buy a pair of new windshield wipers (winter is coming and you need a new pair!)
You may choose from full Pink Wipers or Black Wipers with a small pink ribbon and are available at participating VIOC locations found HERE.

- Once you buy the wipers, then enter the Pink My Ride Photo Contest for chance to win up to a year of free oil changes! Go HERE for all the info.

In the meantime, I've got an awesome coupon for you to use for a discounted oil change!




- VIOC is a full service 15-minute drive thru oil change with no appointment needed. Customers stay in their cars during the entire service making necessary car maintenance easy for busy people and moms since the kids don’t have to get out of the car. To learn more about the campaign and find a location selling pink wipers near you, visit their website HERE

The girls and I went for an oil change today after school and it was so great! We never left the car, the customer service was impeccable and it was quick + super easy.

I'll do everything I can to protect them from this awful disease.


- National Mammography Day is October 19th – schedule your mammogram today! I need to schedule my yearly mammogram and this is the perfect incentive to get it done. 

- VIOC is making a double donation on all wipers sold before 10/19 and VIOC is doubling NBCF donations on DD-Day “Double Donation Day” - Saturday, September 29th on all wipers purchased! Get out there this weekend and help make a difference.

We can all work together to make sure another woman is not taken from her family.


Do Awesome Things.

xo,
Natalie


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