Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Valley Of The Sun, I'm Coming + Last Week's Training

In the chilly air outside my front door, I laced up my shoes and began the dynamic warm up that has become just as important as the run itself. Normally there is never a problem with tying my shoes, but today I had to adjust them a couple of times to feel comfortable. The first time was too loose, the second time felt way too tight and I didn't want any problems along the way. I could feel myself becoming antsy and ready to start running down the road to begin the near daily ritual that I love - feeling the breeze on my cheeks and the sight of the bluejay that I've seen a few times over the week. The intricate patterns of patience comes in all forms, from something so small as retying my shoe just right, to a marathon cycle do over. How we handle the process many times determines the ultimate sucess at the end. 




From the moment I abruptly stopped running on that cold December morning in Sacramento six and half weeks ago, I've had to exercise patience and release. Letting go of feelings of failure and incompleteness. Letting go of guilt that I let my family down (even though I know that they don't feel that way at all) in that they were there for me and I didn't come through. I've had to release those feelings and embrace everything that is good and important. Love. Strength. Healing. 
I've had a desire to keep moving forward and somewhere along the way I knew I would find my way. I run because I'm passionate about this sport. No one cares whether you finish a race, run a certain pace or any of the details that we think about. The majority of us run solely for ourselves and find the fulfillment that running brings to our lives. When the joy dries up, it's time to move on - but today is not that day.



The last six weeks have been a time of reflection, building even more upon the fitness that was already there and smiling about what the future holds. The laser focus has been on my kids and juggling their needs, which during the month of December, as we all know, is constant. January marks getting back into a rhythm of routine and winter activities - doing as much as we can to ease the sting of saying goodbye to holiday magic and cozy mornings. I've found a way to fit training in along the way and I've been figuring out my body, analyzing my gut issues and never forgetting that running is a gift.
Coach and I discussed pretty early on what the plan would be and my immediate thoughts were to run another marathon and do it relatively soon. There is so much unfinished business and the drive is there to find out what lies ahead of the other side of 26.2 for Nat.



Training hard is not an automatic guarantee for success as you never know what the actual day will bring. What you do have to have is faith, trust and a bad ass attitude that your preparation is enough to battle for everything that is meant to be on that day and more. That is what I'm going to do. I'm going to Phoenix and on February 9th I will run fast and do what I love to do.

Here's what last week's training looked like:

Monday January 7th - 5.23 easy miles. Monday is always a recovery/easy day for and I love this day. 

Tuesday January 8th - 8 miles.

Wednesday January 9th - 8 miles. 

Thursday January 10th - 11.6 mile workout consisting of:
1.5 mile warm up, 4 x 2 mile repeats (with 2:00 jog recovery), 1.5 mile cool down. Splits for the 2 miles were: 13:18, 13:11, 13:05, 13:06) - 6:32 - 6:39 pace on these.

Friday January 11th - 11 miles AM + 3 miles PM

Saturday January 12th - 8 miles AM + 3 miles PM

Sunday January 13th - 24 miles at 7:25 pace

Total Miles: 81.83

There was a day in the middle of the week that I woke up and thought to myself: "I feel really fit today. In this moment, I feel excited and ready to race."
I want to keep that moment with me, cause I know I'll go through ups and down in the next 3.5 weeks.

I was able to get in a couple of good strength sessions and I did core every evening.

More importantly, this happened:



This little girl came out of my body practically dancing and she has grown from a 32 week, 3 pound 9 ounce tiny bag of sugar to my dancer. First day ever of ballet and this was without a doubt the highlight of my week.

We are plugging away on Suite Run (Bay Cities sponsored us for the day and before that Mel's Diner - runners have to eat! Full credit to Jerold for making this happen) and Jerold is upping his running game, friends. He even did some core and yoga the other night and I'm over here doing the happy dance...



The plates are full with Suite Run, kids, work, training, LIFE. It's what we all are doing right? 

Now that I have another marathon on the books, I'll be keeping you posted on the training and prep.
Wishing you a beautiful day and some happy miles.

Do Awesome Things.

xo,
Natalie

Monday, December 31, 2018

A Look Into An 80 Mile Week, Our Christmas + Happy New Years's Eve!

Hey friends, can you believe this is the last day of 2018 - crazy, right? We are having such a relaxing winter break and even though the kids are literally climbing the walls at times, we are loving the down time. Christmas is such a special time for our family and as the kids grow it becomes even more meaningful. Christmas Eve was spent at our church service in the late afternoon and I love singing Christmas carols - I'm the person singing her heart out without a care in the world. The meaning of the songs really resonates in my heart now more than ever and I love everything that Christmas represents.




Let's talk about this picture for a quick minute. I was happy with it, except for the fact that Megan decided to look like a chipmunk - ugh. So we took another one...



The light is shining in my eyes, but whatever... I think it's a miracle to get five people to smile and look at the camera. Anyway, after service, we went to our friend and neightbor's home for a Christmas Eve party! This was really fun and different as we usually have a quiet evening at home. They had an outdoor movie for the kids and tons of food and drink - we loved it and I got a chance to meet my new friend Don...



You can read all about Don's story HERE. He is so fantastic and I can't wait to see what he does with his running this year.

We opened lots of presents on Christmas morning...






For the first time ever, I woke up before dawn to get in an 8.25 mile Christmas Day run. It was glorious - an incredible sunrise + the feeling of getting it done super early + later in the run, there were tons of runners dressed in Christmas gear out... running a Christmas race on the bike path!




I loved that we got to spend Christmas with my Mom! She means so much to us...

(sorry for blurry pic)




Josh got a lot of great use out of my Brooks running sweater this month - he even dressed up for ugly sweater Christmas Day at school and WON the grand prize!




I also ran 80.75 miles this week and this is what it looked like... kinda feels like a dream in that this week went by incredibly fast.

Monday December 24th - 5.5 miles easy

Tuesday December 25th - 8.25 miles easy - MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday December 26th - 8 miles easy

Thursday December 27thAM workout: 2 mile warm up, 8 mile wave tempo (6:46 pace), 2 mile cool down.
I like wave tempos - the faster paces make the "easier" paces feel really easy. I started out at 6:55 pace and alternated between that and 6:35 pace. 12 total miles
PM workout: 3 easy miles

Friday December 28th - 11 miles am and 3 miles pm

Saturday December 29th - 8 miles easy

Sunday December 30th - 22 miles at 7:33 pace. I definitely ran this on tired legs (already had 58.75 miles on the legs) which was a great marathon workout. I practiced fueling and although I don't have everything figured out yet with my stomach, I'm working on it - including a much needed scheduled trip to the doctor soon to figure things out.





In no way do I take this kind of mileage lightly, there is a whole lot of recovery going on over here including:

1. Lots of protein rich food. I had a steak, mashed potatoes and lots of veggies for dinner.
2. Banana and almond butter as soon as I finished the run.
3. TONS of water.
4. Light stretching and lots of rolling on my R8 roller.
5. Hot shower.
6. Jerold gave me a much needed massage. I really depend on him to help me out with this - my body needs it so much and I can't always get out for a daily massage :)
7. Epsom salt hot bath this morning (I was too tired to take one yesterday evening).
8. I take iron, B12, Vitamin D and a Multi vitamin every day. Need to add a probiotic...
9. Lots of tart cherry juice (so yum).
10. Put off my morning run to sleep in - have to run today before the sun goes down - eeek. Plus, I will run very easy and do whatever my body wants.

I do have another marathon on the horizon and will talk about it very soon. I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I'm working hard on not putting any sort of pressure on myself since CIM ended in a complete disaster. Ugh. I need to still talk about it, but haven't really felt ready to yet (soon), just trying to look ahead and work hard for the next opportunity.

Okay, I have to dash out for this late evening run before we go to see fireworks at the beach with kids for New Year's Eve! We are going to celebrate on NYC time so we can all get to bed sort of early.

I know it has been a while since my last post and I miss it!! I miss you guys and can't wait to connect so much in 2019. I really wanted to write this post before the new year. I am so excited about all the wonderful things 2019 will have in store for each of us and so thankful for you guys!

Happy New Year from me to you. Blowing you a big air kiss!

Do awesome things.

xo,
Natalie

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