Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours, I hope you are having a wonderful, joyful Christmas!!

Wishing you lots of love and fun during the rest of the holiday season. xo






Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Eve!!

The excitement is contagious.
My kids can hardly contain themselves!
Christmas is almost here and we woke up early this morning to start tracking Santa. He is currently in the Middle East as I write this :)

I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful holiday season.
Thank you so much for reading this blog and I am excited for so many fun running adventures in 2016!!!

Here are some moments from our day yesterday! Every year we make Christmas cookies with our wonderful friends. My friend Julie is a dear friend to me - and yes we met through running (!), but we have had 25 years of beautiful friendship. I am so happy that our kids love each other.


Christmas cookie making with our friends!! 





Working hard!





Beautiful work!!



I had a hard workout yesterday. I struggled. A lot. I just couldn't find my rhythm and my legs were super heavy, but I pushed through and made it work. My post from yesterday came in handy for sure.






Wishing you so much joy, peace and love with your family today!!!


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Will To Run Faster

Only two days left until Christmas!!





I am enjoying the Christmas season so much. Yes, it has been a little (okay a lot!) crazy and hectic, but it has been so much fun enjoying this special time of year. Here are a few glimpses of what has been going on lately...


The kids enjoying "snow" made for all the children after our church Christmas program. This was a huge treat and I loved seeing the wonder in their eyes and the joy in their voices...


Snow!!



We have a pretty clever Elf, and this is where he landed last night!!




Elle had her school holiday party last Friday. The teachers read the story Stone Soup (a wonderful story about giving and sharing). After the story, the children made their own stone soup and then enjoyed a big feast!


Please stay  2 3/4 forever!! :)



I also got to attend Megan's Christmas party at school and it was fun to watch her hard at work...





And we went to visit our wonderful family friends for a night of Christmas cheer! My friend Kristin is one of my dearest friends and she is also a big runner. I love seeing her, because we can talk about running NON STOP and never get bored. Our boys wanted to jump in the photo (although I'm not sure how thrilled Josh is!)





6.5 miles for me yesterday and I discovered a beautiful new trail...




Let's talk about running fast. There are times (for me, today was that day) when we are on an easy paced run, getting in the miles and enjoying our run with zero pressure to run fast.

But what about those times when you have to run fast in a workout to improve? To get stronger? 
What about those times during a race when you need to run faster, but your body doesn't seem to respond?
How do you overcome that obstacle?





5 tips to run faster during a hard workout or a race


1. It's mental
Yep - it's 90% mental. You can totally talk yourself out of running faster ("I'm tired", "I don't know if I can do it" or "this is scary"). OR, you can think positively and give yourself a mental pep talk.
These are critical decisions during a goal race or an important workout.
The mind will achieve what the body believes! :)


2. Focus on your posture
I find this to be a big one for me. When I am getting tired, my posture starts to suffer a bit. I can feel myself leaning over and this directly affects my speed. The minute I straighten up, hold my shoulders slightly back and achieve good running form (including picking up my feet and slightly lengthening my stride) - I can FEEL the difference immediately. I have been experimenting with this and every single time, my mile times are faster when I work on good form. 


3. Use your arms
When I really engage my arms, everything else comes together and I find that I can run faster. 
In a race situation, even if you only run a little faster, every minute (and every second) makes a difference!
Remember - it doesn't matter if you are trying to hold your 11 minute per mile pace, or you want to keep running 6:50 pace, it's your goal and its important to you. Don't forget to use your arms to your advantage :)


4. Get out of your comfort zone
It's a race or a hard workout. It's not supposed to be an easy walk in the park! 
If you feel like you aren't working hard enough, then you probably aren't. That said, remember to pace yourself. Don't go out too fast and then die at the end. Ideally, you should finish faster than you started. This is a big goal that I am working on in race situations. 


5. Use your friends and crowd support
Try and enlist a speedy friend to run a hard workout with you. I always find that this makes me run faster than if I were on my own. 
During races, I love feeding off of the crowds of people cheering and bands playing. Use this to your advantage and let the energy carry you through. During isolated parts of races, try to bear down and focus until you pass another big crowd of spectators. This is also a great time to think about running fast to see your family and friends if they are there cheering for you.



It all pays off in the end when you achieve the goal you worked so hard for.


What makes you run faster in a race or a hard workout?


How do you deal with feeling uncomfortable in a race? (There are so many times when I think how much I hurt or how hard it is! It's not easy, but I try to block it out and think about the end result - a great finish!)


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Monday, December 21, 2015

How To Recover From A Half Marathon

Happy Christmas week and Happy Winter Solstice!!

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful holiday season and getting your run finished early as today is THE shortest day of the year!
I love Winter Solstice (celebrating Christmas week, baking cookies, drinking hot cocoa, spending lots of time with family) and it also means that every day after today gets a little bit longer :)

Well, I think it's safe to say that my Boston Marathon training has officially begun!

Today kicked off a 6 mile run - which carefully eases up the mileage, as I am usually running 5 miles on a Monday. My body felt good and my mind feels ready to dive into training.
I felt like I wanted to relax a bit like our Elf decided to do today...

Our elf has the right idea! :)



I want to talk about half marathon recovery. After my race last weekend, I felt good in the moments after the race. But I knew the most important focus was immediate recovery. This was not a goal race, it was just a fun tune up to test my fitness. So no matter whether you have just finished a goal half marathon, the race is just part of your marathon training, or you are running for fun, how you recover is key to how you will continue running in the days and weeks following your race.





5 Half Marathon Recovery Tips!


1. Hydrate

This is so important. Yes, you are super excited because you finished a half marathon, but your body needs hydration. Stat.
I always have a sips of water right after the race and then I like to have a cup of chocolate milk to provide nourishment and protein to the muscles.
Sometimes it is hard to balance the excitement of finishing and doing what is right for your body, but try to focus. Your body will thank you in the hours and days after the race.



2. Eat

Try and eat a little bit of food. Every runner is different and for some it can be hard to eat a lot following a race. I know that I cannot eat a ton. I will eat a half of a banana, perhaps a small pretzel and an orange slice. After that my body won't accept more food until later, but at least I know I am giving something good to my body.




3. Walk around and stretch

Definitely keep your body moving! As much as we would like to sit and relax, it's important to stretch your muscles and perform some sort of cool down.
After Vegas and Santa To The Sea, I didn't jog after the races, but I did walk around quite a bit and I stretched a lot.



4. Roll or go for a massage

After you have soaked in the afterglow of the race, taken pictures and checked out your shiny new medal, you will probably be headed home or back to your hotel. A great idea is to use a foam roller on your muscles (you will probably have some hot spots!) - I love THIS roller and I use it all the time! Although it may seem like a luxury, another idea is to get a massage to relax your muscles and get rid of any lactic acid. When I went in for a massage, my therapist suggested I come in once a week! #mybudgetiscringing


5. A day off is great!

Annnd, then get back out there and start running! :)
Seriously. I love running SO much, but I also love my recovery days. After the race last weekend (Sunday), I took Monday completely off from running. I got back out on the road on Tuesday for a light 3 miles, 5 miles on Wednesday and then 6 miles on Thursday with 8 x :30 second pick ups along the way. That was a nice way to get some pep in my legs again. Friday I was feeling REALLY tired (listen to your body!), so I took the day off and went to bed reallllly early (7:45 PM! Clearly my body was sending me a message) and then ran 11 miles on Saturday with a fun new group!




I finished the week by running an easy 5.75 miles on Sunday (since I took Friday off).
This is just to give you an example of how I eased back into marathon training after running a half marathon. I took 2 days off - you may want to take only a day off or even take more days off and cross train instead. The most important thing is to listen to your body.
Swimming is a great form of cross training that is really gentle on your muscles.




How do you recover from a race?


How many days off from running do you typically take off?



Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Santa To The Sea Race Recap!

Depending on when you read this, there are 10 or 11 more days till Christmas!!!
Holy moly this month is flying by and I still have a lot left to do.

So, I ran a half marathon on Sunday. Originally, I wasn't planning on running another race after Las Vegas. But I felt like my running was continuing to go well and I have heard nothing but awesome things about this race!
The race is called Santa To The Sea and it is in Oxnard - about 40 miles north of LA.

I am digging the medal and the view!


My plan was to wake up at 4:30 am, eat breakfast and leave the house by 5:30 am. The race started at 8 am, but you had to take a short shuttle ride to the starting line with the last bus leaving at 7:15 am.

It can be hard to sleep the night before a race, but I had an especially hard time sleeping the night before. I finally went to sleep and somehow ---> my alarm didn't go off!!
I know, right?! I checked it 3 times before I went to bed and it was set. I think what happened is the ringer (this is my cell phone alarm) wasn't turned on and so, of course I didn't hear it.

I wake up and it is 5:30 am!! Noooo!! I quickly get out of bed and eat a slice of toast with almond butter and a banana + a glass of water with Nuun (strawberry lemonade flavor) and throw on my clothes. Jerold and I left the house just after 6 am. We had plenty of time and there was zero traffic and we were able to take the Pacific Coast Highway all the way into Oxnard. He had been traveling all week, so it was really nice to have time in the car together to catch up. We saw an amazing sunrise and I was feeling pretty relaxed. 

We arrived at just after 7 am and I was able to pop into a nice warm restaurant to go to the bathroom (grateful for that as I really didn't want to use a porta potty!) and then hopped on a bus to go to the start. It was chilly. I mean for Southern California, it was pretty chilly :)

I am COLD, but sucking it up to take this pic :)


Can I just tell you for a minute what a rock star Jerold is? Yes, he is my husband, but more importantly, he's just a cool guy. He drove me to the race, took tons of great pics and was just a great support system. Really grateful for him :)

We parted ways, as I was getting on the bus to go the start at this point. Laughing as I write this ---> I still look sleepy in this pic!




Off to the starting line!!




The course is a point to point course. It's flat (there are two itty bitty hills - one in the first mile and one later in the race over a freeway.) and very fast. There were several runners racing to grab a spot in the Olympic Trials, so it was very exciting!!
The sun came out in full force and it was a gorgeous morning for racing - sunny, but still crisp and cool.




There were a good amount of runners where it felt energetic, but not super crowded - especially when the race began. They did a good job of dividing runners into pace groups and everyone was respectful of placing themselves where they needed to be based on their time. Meaning there weren't walkers at the front of the starting line :)





There was no way I was driving an hour to go to the expo the day before, so for $20, they allowed runners to pick up their bibs the morning of the race. The race is $95 and then add $20 on top of that (but I did get a coupon for 20% off - yay!) and it's expensive, but I figured I would have spent more in gas and time - which I didn't have - to pick up the day before, It was $20 well spent!
By the time I went to the bathroom again (I guess I didn't avoid the porta potty after all), picked up my bib, checked my clothes into gear check - thank goodness they had a great gear check sponsored by UPS, because I did not have throw away clothes - it was time to warm up. 
My coach instructed me to do a 4 - 5 minute jog with a little sprint at the end to get my engine revved (I love that!). By that time it was time for the National Anthem and ready to race!


Let's do this!


I felt different for this race vs. Las Vegas. For Vegas, I didn't know what to expect. I hadn't raced in so long I had almost forgotten what it felt like. I was super relaxed about it and I remember the first mile in Vegas just rolling along not wanting to start too quickly, not sure what pace I could sustain.
My first mile was over 9 minutes! 
For this race, I was more focused. I felt confident that I could sustain a mid to late 7 minute pace and as I was walking to my corral I said "I know I can break 1:40 in this race." It was a tiny bit scary to say that, as racing is still new to me - I mean before Vegas, I had raced ZERO times in 2015. This entire year, I hadn't run at all until the end of August! It felt a little crazy to say that to myself, but I went with it. 


I have to have sunglasses on during a race - although I am carefully searching for a new pair.



I also knew my first mile would be faster than Vegas - no messing around here, let's focus on the goal, but still keep it controlled.
PS: Loving the Brooks Ghost 7 so much. I bought a fresh pair and broke them in this week. These shoes were ready to go and will definitely be my shoe for Boston.






First mile... 7:21.

Let's get this done. Controlled, focused, confident. 

I was also wearing my Be Brave, Be Strong, Be You (Tina's slogan - I love it!!) wrap from Momentum Jewelry. 


Here are my splits:





The first 5 miles were under 7:30 and I was happy with that. I felt comfortable and the pace felt doable. Let me say (I think I have talked about this before), I DO NOT run this pace on my runs during the week, except for my tempo/speed workouts on Wednesdays. This may change during the core Boston training phase, but for now I run really easy during the week. I have been so careful these past 3 months about easing into training and not doing too much too soon.

Okay, so back to the race. Miles 6 and 7, slowed to 7:30 and something clicked during mile 8 (this was the mile I also took a GU - my favorite espresso with major caffeine for a jolt, as I don't drink coffee) and I was able to get it back to 7:26. Mile 9 back to 7:30, 10 was okay at 7:33, but knew I was in danger of slowing down. So this is where lack of fitness comes into play. I haven't been running over 10 miles on the weekend long runs, so I definitely felt the struggle during miles 11-13. There was that feeling again of you know you are working hard, but the pace isn't reflecting it. 
I was still very aware of what was going on and mentally kept thinking "You can do this. You will not give up, you will push till the end."
I remember around mile 11, two girls came out of nowhere, guns blazing and passed me - hard.
Crap, I wanted to respond, but I wasn't strong enough. They passed with the kind of confidence people have at the beginning of a race. That is what I am striving for - I'll get there. Oh, and one of them had an elf costume on!! I got blown away by one of Santa's elves! And I say that with much respect. Maybe I should dress up next year :)

Anyway, the last couple of miles seemed a tad endless - I didn't know the course so I couldn't visualize the finish line, but I knew it was coming. We were at the beach at this point and it was so beautiful. If you are in So Cal or visiting in December - run this race!! So fun, so pretty. 

Finally I know it's time to sprint and I am ready - I told myself before the race that I would finish strong and I did. I sprinted home with a 6:29 pace and I was happy with that.


I did it!! 2nd race post surgery!!


Official finish time = 1:39:03! 

7:33 pace (7:31 pace according to my Garmin)

4th in my age group

15th woman overall (Out of 902 women). I was pretty stoked with getting within the top 20!

This is such a nice way to ease into my training for Boston. My goals are to stay healthy, work harder on my strength training, get more sleep and continue to build and put the pieces of the puzzle together.

I know I have a lot of hard work in front of me if I want to grab my goals for Boston. I am not afraid of hard work. My Mom always told me ---> if you want it bad enough, you gotta work for it.

Yep.

You're right Mom.

And a big thanks to my Mom for babysitting. We were going to bring the kids and make a family day out of it. There is a kids race (although the race is during the half marathon, so that is kind of a bummer) which would have been fun for them. The day before the race, Josh was not feeling well and Elle was recovering from a cold. We felt like waking them up at the crack of dawn was not the best decision. Love my Mom for helping us out :)

My thoughts on this race:

Well organized. Easy to get to the corrals, plenty of porta potties. Water and Gatorade about every other mile (I took water starting at mile 3 and then every 3 miles or so. Gu at mile 8. I usually don't take any water or fluid the last 2 miles).
Some fun bands playing Christmas music and other upbeat music along the way. At one point there was a huge Mariachi band with adorable kids cheering us on. It was so awesome!
There are definitely some stretches where there are zero spectators and no music, so you have to work hard and focus on those spots.
Great volunteers, really nice people.

They also encourage runners to bring a toy for needy children in Los Angeles...


The season of giving



After the race, they provided water, and good snacks.




Bananas, oranges, beautiful strawberries (they grow them in abundance in Oxnard), cookies (I can't eat cookies after a race - but so nice anyway!).
I ate a banana, 2 orange slices, 2 strawberries and lots of water. 

The medals are really cool as well as the t-shirt!

They had a big tent with lots of vendors to visit and a massage chair with free massages. I didn't wait because we had to get home to our kids. But I did go for a massage the day before the race. I tried it before Vegas and it was heaven. This really works for me - I felt loose and ready to run.


I will definitely run this race again, I had a blast.


We had a beautiful drive home along PCH...




We also took a quick pit stop at one of my favorite beaches in Malibu - El Matador State Beach.


Tired, sweaty and ready for a nap. But happy!




Well, that's it in a nutshell! A fun race in the middle of December. And now onward to more Christmas shopping, baking, getting ready for Santa and of course, running! :)


Is there a fun December race that you like to run?


Have you finished your Christmas shopping?


What are your New Year's Eve plans?!


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Life Lately + I'm Racing This Weekend!!

Hey Friends!
Isn't it crazy how December rolls by so incredibly fast?
My kids are out of school next week!!

We got our Christmas tree on Saturday...





Yes, I had my running clothes on :) We got our tree in the morning, then I dropped off Josh at a birthday party and ran 10 miles. The life of a #motherrunner and thank goodness for birthday parties! 
I have definitely been tired in the mornings and my body has been protesting 5 am wake ups, so let's just say it's on the back burner for a while. With all the running, my body has been begging for sleep and food and I am happy to oblige.

I much as I love LA, the Midwestern girl in me says there is something not quite right about choosing a Christmas tree in December in the heat. We had a mini heat wave again and it's been so warm that let's just say my wreath is already turning brown. Noooo!!

Even in the heat, it's fun to pose as snowmen!




A little rundown of what my running is like these days: I am still cruising away at 6 days a week and 1 day off.





The pattern for now has been easy days on Monday and Tuesday, some sort of speed or tempo on Wednesday, easy Thursday + Friday and a long run on Saturday (10 miles).


I have built a good base these last few months and I am easing my way into official training for Boston!! I have been loving how 10 miles is totally comfortable and I finish with easily feeling like I could do more.


What else is going on?

Megan has her class Kindergarten Koala all week and we have to take him on adventures + photograph almost every moment. I am soaking up all this Kindergarten sweetness...


My sweet girl



Josh's class got to show off their recorder skills and played a beautiful Christmas concert!




So, I have decided to run a half marathon this weekend! I had been mulling the idea off and on in my head for a little while. I talked to my coach and ho told me to go for it, so here we go!
I still don't have a huge expectation for the race as I am still gaining back my fitness, but it will be fun to see what my body is up for!

Wednesday's workout was 4 miles easy and then 2 miles at 7:45-8:00 pace.

The goal leading up to Boston is to race two times - so I am on the hunt now for some good winter races.

Also ---> Please be sure and check out my guest post on my friend Sue's blog!! I am giving 7 tips to qualify for the Boston Marathon!



Is it cold or warm right now in your neck of the woods?


Anyone running a holiday race this weekend?


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie


Monday, December 7, 2015

5 Awesome Hostess Gifts For The Holidays

December is here in full force and there are parties dotted all over your calendar, right?!
Of course you have to show up with something for the beautiful hostess throwing the party.
You could bring a bottle of wine, but why not be a little more creative!
Need some fun ideas?

You've come to the right place :)


1. Fresh bread never goes out of style and WARM fresh bread is pretty amazing. I love this genius idea and it's really pretty too. At $15 dollars, how can you not love the price?









2. I am drooling over this beautiful fruit bowl. At $50 it is a little more expensive, but so elegant. After seeing this, I want to replace my fruit bowl!







3. This is such a thoughtful idea. IF you have time to make homemade jam (HERE is an easy recipe!), great! If not you can find a specialty store to buy a jar. I love the idea of adding fresh bread wrapped in a pretty linen dish towel and don't forget the wooden spreader! (a gift in itself).






4. Does the hostess have children? This makes a fun gift for the whole family!





5. Holiday guest towels are always a treat! This is sure to put a smile on your hostesses face!






And there you have it! 5 easy ideas for creative gifts for your holiday hostess. Wishing you all a happy start of your week and a joyful December!!


What do you like to bring as a hostess gift? (I am guilty of bringing wine a lot - which is what inspired me to come up with this idea!)


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Princess Perfect Birthday, An Awesome GIVEAWAY + Keep Pushing Through The Hard Stuff

Okay. Let me clarify on the Princess Perfect Birthday part.
I am SO far from being a Princess. I am sweaty and in running clothes every day, picking up toys, soothing boo boo's, dealing with 2 year old tantrums (Josh and Megan didn't really go through major tantrums, but this little girl #3... She is all DRAMA one moment and the next sweeter than a bag of sugar), plowing through homework, trying to cook creative dinners, endless laundry. You get where I am coming from. But yesterday was super special. Yesterday, for just a moment - I kinda felt like a princess.




I can't believe we live in LA and I have never been to the Walt Disney Concert Hall. I absolutely love classical music and seeing an orchestra perform live is one of my favorite things to do. So Jerold got tickets for us to see a performance on my actual birthday. First, the seats were awesome. See where I am standing? We were 2 rows down from there. It wasn't the full orchestra, but a smaller group that divided and came on stage for different acts. They played the most beautiful chamber music and it was simply incredible. My heart was bursting and I couldn't be any happier. Violins, Violas, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon (I think it is such a cool instrument!), Piano, Cellos and on and on.
I started playing flute in 3rd grade and I played in the orchestra in high school, so I was right in my element.
At one point I was so moved by the music I could feel a tear well up at the corner of my eye.











At one point during the night I read this, and really started to cry...






They had a gorgeous Christmas tree set up in the lobby (It's finally time for Christmas celebrations!) and of course we had to take a picture...






We started off the evening with a big chocolate cake from my favorite bakery and it was fun to sing and celebrate with the kids...





Then Jerold and I were off to dinner before the show. We went to Patina, which is right next to the Disney Concert Hall. If you are ever in downtown LA (we rarely come downtown and it was so fun!) and you are looking for a special place for dinner ---> go here!! It was amazing. The food is like a work of art...


Escargot with porridge - stop the madness.



Lobster salad - we couldn't even speak, we just ate and groaned :)



Of course we had big luscious glasses of wine and they brought dessert (my 3rd dessert of the day! ha!)

This picture doesn't even do it justice. Each bite was exquisite!



As we were leaving (we left 5 minutes before show time and had plenty of time to slip into our seats - perfect!), the general manager came over to say Happy Birthday and gave me a box of chocolates. All I could do was hug him! He said I made his night :)


AFTER the concert, we went to another hotel for more drinks and to listen live piano bar with a roaring fire. We had to drag ourselves out of there - it was so fun!!


Let me back up a bit and say I can't even believe how much I ate during the day (and night). My Mom took me to lunch at one of my favorite places. We had awesome quinoa and avocado salads with a huge array of veggies and Of COURSE we had to have dessert!!




Oh! I forgot to say I woke up at 4:30 AM to run on my birthday (5 mile easy run)!! That is crazy early for me, but I knew the day would be super busy and it was the only time to fit it in. It was pretty amazing to see the sunrise...







Okay, let's talk about Wednesday's workout. A serious workout. The day after indulging, drinking and late bedtime. Oy.
Here's the details...


That feeling when you wake up in the morning after a late, fun night + 2 glasses of wine and a flute of champagne (thank you all for the birthday wishes!!). The feeling you have when you realize you have a hard workout on the schedule... The workout: 2 mile warm up, 6 x 1/2 mile (7:15-7:30 pace) with 1/4 mile jog, 1.5 mile cooldown. I did 15 minutes of dynamic stretching mostly to mentally prepare. The actual paces ➡7:14, 7:10, 6:56, 6:59, 7:28, 7:18. I am used to doing 800 meter repeats on the track and it was nice to be on road and trail. Some slight uphill and my lungs were burning, but I have to slowly get ready for those Boston hills, right?! 😅 I have enjoyed these last 11 weeks of conditioning and prep to get ready for real marathon training soon. Also, I am loving my new @momentumjewelry wrap with an awesome mantra by @tinamuir88!!! Be Brave. Be Strong. Be You!! Lastly ➡ The giveaway to win a brand new pair of running shoes is going on until 12/8! Good luck!!!! #run #running #runnersofinstagram #marathonrunner #marathontraining #boston2016 #motherrunner
A photo posted by Natalie (@natrunsfar) on



Well, I got it done. I realize I got lucky. It could have been a disaster. But I wouldn't change a thing! At the end of the day, birthdays come once a year and you gotta go for it, right?! I mean, I guess if my birthday was April 17th (Boston is on the 18th), then I would wait...
Anyway. After the workout - I really needed a nap. Yeah, no - that didn't happen :)

It's almost time to start seriously training for Boston! I can't believe it's been 11 weeks since I started my conditioning and building a base. The time has flown by and I feel ready to start really training in the coming weeks.

Definitely check out my Instagram for an awesome giveaway!!! One lucky person is going to win a brand new pair of running shoes!!! Any shoe they want (well, almost - up to $140!) - pick it out and I'll have it sent to your doorstep. Tuesday December 1st was #givingtuesday and I wanted to celebrate that!

My body is pretty used to running mid morning these days, but I am going to have some super early runs this month - it is such a crazy busy month for everyone and I know I am going to have to adjust for that.

I just read this article about Andrea Duke - the 36 year old amazing woman going to the Olympic Trials. If you haven't read this ----> READ IT
You. Will. Be. Inspired.
WOW.


Thanks for reading my super long post!! Gold stars all around! 


Do you like big celebrations for your birthday?


Have you started (or finished) your holiday shopping?


800 meter repeats - love 'em or hate 'em?


Happiness Is Running Life!

xo,
Natalie