Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The question is why?

Feeling the sun on my face

Going off the beaten path

Legs strong and powerful up that tough hill - but I do it again... and again

The steady rhythm of my feet mile after mile after mile after mile

Sweat beading on my forehead and then streaming down my face 

Breathing steady and then ragged as I push myself

Keep pushing

Arms swinging, body continually moving...slow at first and then slowly getting faster

Rain pelting me, wind moving me, snow silently crunching under my feet


I am forever a RUNNER

Thank you body for letting me do what I love so much

It truly completes me

It makes me HAPPY

They see me as Mommy and ATHLETE

My Mommy is so strong...that is so cool

Chasing after them doesn't tire me out - can they keep up with me?

Passing it on

They'll do the same for their babies


December 30th

364th day of the year

One day left in 2014

How will we spend it?

Why do YOU run? 

Really. I'd love to know.

Happiness Is Running Life.


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rock your veggies! Nat's Runbit #18

Upped the time on the bike today to 70 minutes! Feeling good :)

What to do for 70 minutes on a stationary bike? (besides grumble about the fact that you'd rather be running?)

Read my newest book for book club - Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.
Pretty engaging and juicy reading (The crazy things that happen in an Australian suburb!) = time flies by on the bike. A win for me, as this is the only time I have to read it! :)

The Runbit that I wanted to share today is a delicious (I think it is, but we'll discuss that more in a bit)
super healthy veggie drink. Its easy and great for you!


- 2 green apples, halved

- 4 stalks celery, leaves removed

- 1 cucumber

- 6 leaves kale (I chopped the kale into smaller bits)

- 1/2 lemon, peeled

- 1 (1 inch) piece ginger

Process all the ingredients through your juicer.

And for a treat (you deserve it), put it in a fun glass!
I was having an ole' moment and choose a margarita glass.
Oh and I found the recipe here .


Click on image

So, I loved it. If you don't like ginger this may not be for you. Or if you don't like ginger, you can suck it up and drink it anyway cause it's good for you. :)
I made one for J and initially he thought it was too gingery, but as he got over the shock, he liked it. :)
Another idea is you can add less ginger.

Just a quick Runbit today everyone!

Have a happy Tuesday and run like the wind!

What book (s) are you currently reading?

Happiness Is Running Life!


Monday, December 29, 2014

5 Characteristics for 2015 + loving the pool

SBG (sweet baby girl) is sick. Stomach flu. 
My poor baby.

So, SBG and J stayed home today to rest and I took the big kiddos to church this morning.

The last Sunday of the year at our church is really special for the children. They get to come in their jammies, have a big pancake breakfast and watch a movie. 
So cool.

After church, I relented and bought them each a donut (such a treat!) and on the way back to the car we were rewarded with this sight...

Adorable deer grazing quietly, oblivious to our presence. It was such a gift and we hung out for a bit watching them.

Josh and Megan loved their donuts...

And the message at church really touched me today. No matter what your faith is, I think this touches all of our lives...

5 ways to live our life:

1. Compassion
2. Kindness
3. Humility
4. Gentleness
5. Patience

As we embark upon the new new year I want to have these written down where I can see them and etched in my brain at all times.
I definitely think I could be a little more patient at times. I want to consciously work on always being compassionate, kind, humble and gentle to others.
And I want to do the best job I can to model all of these characteristics for my kiddos. 
Total work in progress, which is what life is all about, right?:)

Today I went to the pool and had a great 60 minute workout running in the pool. Coach said I could take the intensity up a bit and I really dug down deep. My legs were a bit fatigued after the 60 min.
Overall I was happy with the workout and hope that I am keeping my fitness level pretty intact so I'll be ready to run again soon.

I am finding a lot of peace in the pool. I know I am doing what is necessary for my body right now.

Day 20 of no running = 22 days left till I can run! 

I love seeing the number inch down. 


Happiness Is Running Life!


Do you go out or stay in for New Year's Eve?

How many miles do you plan to run on New Year's Day?

Sunday, December 28, 2014

2014 year of running and goals for 2015!

Please note - this is a LONG post. I just kept writing and writing as there was SO MUCH to say about my year of running in 2014. Hang on to your coffee (or tea) mugs - here we go!

Happy weekend! Last weekend of 2014!

Kiddos had a fun day of ice skating with Daddy...

Scene from Jerold teaching Megan to ice skate

And SBG (sweet baby girl) got to be my Boston baby:

Scene from a future runner (If she wants. I can dream, right?)

This has been such a whirlwind of a year!
Watching my kiddos grow and change on a daily basis has been such a highlight of this year. They continue to amaze me every day and I am so blessed to have them in my life.

My running has taken a wonderful turn and I am so happy to be right where I am (sans injury) with my running.

Here it is! My (long - again, this is a long post!) 2014 running year in review:

Scene from my chalkboard. I write workouts and words of inspiration here.

January  - Nursing SBG and running a few days a week. I was running with a wonderful group of Mom friends from my son's kindergarten and in the beginning was really out of running shape.
I remember one of the first runs with them, they were all talking about running 10 miles that day and I was hoping I could get through a 30 minute run.
I got through 25 minutes (!) and was really tired. That was hard for me, as that was the first time in my life I had been that much out of running shape. One of the moms so was kind and walked back with me to our cars. I'll never forget that day. She was so positive and encouraging and told me I'd be back to my old self in no time. I was so in awe of her accomplishments, as she has two kiddos and had just finished an (full) Ironman (on my bucket list..but not in 2015 :)
SBG turned one year old at the end of January. Where did the time go?
It seemed like just yesterday that she was born.

Scene from a 3 day old SBG (in 2013 - but had to share!)

February -  First week of February I stopped nursing SBG and started running more days of the week (about 4-5. Okay, realistically 4 :) Cross country skiing in CO made for great family fun and some cross training. Also, Josh was able to XC ski with me for 2 miles - yay!

Scene from one of my favorite things in the world to do (other than running of course!)

March - Big decision! Run a late, late summer marathon and grab a BQ.
Started building a base this month (slow and steady). In between base running, we had to celebrate St. Patrick's Day...

Scene from Mommy dressing kiddos in green, making green milkshakes and an Irish dinner.

April - Picked the Ventura marathon as the goal race, committed to use Hal Higdon's Advanced 2 marathon training program and continued base mileage.
SBG turned 15 months and life was good...

Scene from a happy 15th month old!

May - 7th day of this month started marathon training. 18 weeks - let's do it!
Bought a Garmin Forerunner 10 (there are so many more new versions now! But I still love mine) to celebrate training and J bought me the exact one (same color too!) for Mother's Day. Oops (on my part!)

Scene from a body part (its always on me!)

June - Realized that this marathon training with 3 kiddos was NO JOKE. I was also planning a very detail orientated princess party for my soon to be 4 year old.

 Scene from a 4 year old's first big birthday party

  Scene from a Mom being excited that she has a girl (two!)

I remember the day being so special with lots of friends and lots of fun (and Princess Tiana and Princess Belle stopped by for a visit!). We just didn't want the party to end! (thank goodness for photos). 
Soon after the guests left, I took off for an 8 mile run.
Later in the month we went to Disneyland to continue celebrating my daughter's b-day and I fit in a 5 mile tempo run at 4:30 am before we left. Oh yeah! Good times!

Scene from the birthday girl's first time at Disneyland!

First race in a long while! 4th of July morning 5k race = 22:07. Great start, but so much work to do.

Scene from a July 4th -5k finish with my sweet boy

Ran the first of three 20 milers this month. Happened to fall on the weekend of our wedding anniversary. Drove with the kiddos to Ventura so I could run the actual course - they got to play in the ocean while I pounded out 20 miles. Raced home, left the kiddos with my Mom + babysitter and spent 2 NIGHTS in Laguna for our anniversary.

Scene from our balcony. Happy 13th anniversary!

First time we left the kiddos for 2 nights - EVER.
Loved it. Need to plan more often :)

Also, I found out about the Runner's World cover contest that weekend. The contest started July 1st and I was behind. I needed a picture - fast.

My Mom was at our house to stay with the kiddos for our anniversary weekend. She had just bought a new camera and offered to take a few pics.

Scene from a last minute entry photo

Thanks Mom!

The contest turned out to be such a wonderful experience as I was honored to have the Preeclampsia Foundation support me in the contest. I suffered from Preeclampsia with all three kiddos and I wish I would have known about the foundation during my tough pregnancies. They wrote a really neat article about me here and it was so great to bring awareness to this life threatening disorder that happens to 8 percent (up to 300,000 in the US) of pregnant and post partum women. I am excited to work with them again in the future.

Then it was J's birthday and I want to talk about it, because here is where being a bit flexible in your marathon training is important. It was the end of July and I was extremely focused on my training. J's birthday fell on a Thursday. We were going for a one day trip to San Francisco (a surprise!) to celebrate. My all-important tempo run fell on that day. What to do? I did NOT want to get up at 3:30 am to run. So, I took the day off and moved the tempo run to Wednesday (normally an easy day), day off Thursday, pace run on Friday (normal day off), easier run on Saturday (normal pace run) and super long run on Sunday (which was a normally scheduled day). It was totally worth it!

Scene from a surprise birthday dinner in San Fran with J's best friend and wife

August - Two 20 milers planned this month. One happened the first weekend of August with my dear friend Kristin (you can read more about her running story here) in beautiful Newport Beach.
In between that SBG had her dedication at our church (special day for our fam)....

Scene from a happy SBG after her dedication

The 3nd and final 20 miler happened in lovely Dayton, Ohio while we were visiting my Dad.

Scene from a baseball game with Dad

While I was in Ohio, I ran a 10 mile pace run (in the rain) at 7:30 pace and then the next day ran a 20 mile run at 8:20 pace. Also had to do another tempo run (6 miles at 7:30 pace) that week. My Dad said "Wow, you sure do run a lot."
Love you Dad. Thanks for understanding! :)

Scene from a 20 mile midwestern run.

Finished up August by leaving Ohio and going to Puerta Vallerta with the kiddos for a nice vacay and still lots of essential marathon training for me. BONUS: got to check out parts of PV and the people were great!

Scene from a poolside drink for SBG

Scene from the pool where we started every morning

Scene from a relaxing (almost) 2nd grader! My 2nd grade didn't look like this ;0

September - Still tapering! Woo hoo! Race is on the 7th.

1.  First goal is to run 3:18/3:19 (my pace runs and tempos were on par with that, but I hadn't run a marathon in a long time.) My 800s were at about 3:25 per 800, so they could have been a bit faster. Your 800 meter repeat times CAN be a good indicator of your marathon finish time, but some experts think this may not necessarily be the case. A better indicator is finishing your long runs at a faster pace - the last 6-10 miles at race pace. You can read more about it here. I did a lot of pace runs (once a week) at my goal pace (7:35-7:40) in my training. 

Re: speed work - ended the training cycle with 10 X 800 with 400 meter jog in between. 
NOTE: I had been building up to 10 X 800 over the course of the cycle.

2. Second goal is to run 3:20/3:22 (I would PR with that)

3. Third goal - get a BQ

Labor Day, kiddos started school...

Scene of an excited 2nd grader!

and that weekend we drove to Ventura for the big race!
You can read in detail (and see my split times) all about it here.

Final time - 3:32. 

A bit bummed about missing goals one and two - but there will be time for that. I'll tell you more about it in the 2015 goals.
Grabbed the third goal!
Let's go to Boston, baby!

Scene from the finish line with my favorite 2nd grader!

Scene from happiness in our house!

End of the month met an amazing group of serious Mom runners from my Son's school. FAST MAMAS. Just the kind I need to push me. :)

And then SOMETHING AMAZING happened! You ready?

I get a phone call from Runner's World telling me that the sweepstakes they were running during the cover contest? The one where you can enter for a chance to win a TRIP TO THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON? To be a VIP spectator at the race, and go to the after party and hang out with a bunch of awesome elite runners. 

For the weekend. 
With a guest. 
AND a Tag Heuer watch.
I couldn't believe it. What did you say? Say that again please?
Pinching myself.
So - November 2015, J and I are going to NYC! Woo hoo!!!
So awesome.
I will definitely post everything about the weekend with lots of pictures (of course).

October - Right knee starting bugging at end of September. Scratch running with FAST MAMAS for now. It would take me a few weeks to figure out that this was REAL and painful and...not going away.
End of the month get first MRI + take two weeks off.
Then Halloween happened and this is always so fun!

Scene from a football player, mermaid and a pirate!

November - Two weeks off - feeling great. Start building base mileage for Boston training.

Great weather in November means a little boogy boarding!

Scene from a very happy boogie boarding boy!

The new women's digital offshoot of Runner's World - Zelle posted an article about my running (humbled and honored! Thanks Zelle!) and you can check it out here.
Started my blog! It's been so fun and I love reading about everyone's running adventures, advice and experience. I feel like I'm the new kid at school trying to make friends. They are all so inspiring!

A 5K Turkey trot with not a lot of prep and no speed work would yield a 22:18 (official time).

Scene from a Thanksgiving finish line!

I got new running shoes! I stayed with Brooks, but changed from a stability shoe - the Adrenaline GTS 14 (I didn't need a stability shoe - so make sure you are getting properly fitted for the right shoe!), to a neutral shoe - the Brooks Ghost 7.

Scene from new shoes! You can click on the image for more info.

December - Birthday for me, a bugging knee and another MRI.

Scene from an awesome birthday cake from my favorite bakery!

Scene from the 2nd MRI - I got to take a 30 minute nap. Yay!

STRESS FRACTURE in right knee.
UGH. Had already taken 10 days off. Doc says, now take 6 WEEKS off.
Bummer (that's an understatement).

Scene from the supplements I need to take daily - especially to help heal the bone in my knee.

Start working with Coach Mark Hadley and here we are!
Cross training, (serious, for real, no joke) core work - can't wait to start running in the later part of January!
I will be so happy to start running again, that I am going to take a picture of me kissing the trail I am running on and I will post it for all to see. I really will. I promise.

Scene from a joyful Christmas

12 weeks to train for Boston. 

Scary. Doable. Stay positive.

Great things are coming in 2015.

Now on to 2015! Here are my goals/hopes/dreams:

1. Have a healed knee by January 20th and start training.

2. Complete a really good 12 week training cycle.
3. Run Boston well!
4. Work on getting stronger and faster.
5. PR in 5k, 1/2 marathon and marathon.
6. Build summer running base and start training for fall marathon.
7. Run a successful fall marathon.
8. HAVE FUN with my running and enjoy running with my friends.
9. Travel somewhere fun for a race.

What are three running goals that you have for 2015?

Ready... GO!

Happiness Is Running Life!



Please note: I am not a running coach or a doctor. Please talk to your doctor before trying any new exercise or taking any supplements/vitamins. I have not been compensated in any way for mentioning any products in this post. All comments are my own opinion and I am sharing things that have worked for me, not giving advice.