Thursday, April 13, 2017

That Time I Was On The Cover Of A Picky Bar

Running, running, Mom life, writing, running, oh hey Jerold (two ships sailing by in the night), Mom duty, running, eating, strength training, core work, hydrating, sleeping, Momming, writing and more running.

Repeat and do it all over again.

And then one day last month, I found out the coolest thing. Say what. Excuse me? You want to put my picture on the cover of a nutrition bar that I eat ALL the time. Please say that again, I don't think I heard you correctly.





I am pumped to tell you all the details of this awesome experience that I am beyond honored to be a part of!

Late last fall, I got a message from THE Lauren Fleshman (you know, bad ass, legendary, amazing runner. Yeah, preciscely.) who told me that they were very interested in using my picture for the cover of one of their bars. Would I give permission for them to use the image?
Um, that was a total no brainer.

This means so much more to me than just being on the cover of a bar. I love what Picky Bars stand for (whole, real food with zero crap. I can give it to my kids with a peace of mind and it's great fuel for marathon training!), and the fact that all three of the founders (Lauren Fleshman, Jesse Thomas, Steph Rothstein) are ridiculously talented athletes that put so much heart and soul into their sport. To be among the other athletes that they have chosen to be on other flavors of their bars, is a feeling that I can't seem to express enough with words. #elated

When we visited three US National Parks last year, I was in complete awe of the beauty and wonder of each location. We started at Bryce National Park, went on to Yellowstone and ended at Zion National Park. We had heard so many wonderful comments about The Narrows - a legendary spot in Zion and couldn't wait to see it for ourselves. Jerold and I were really happy with the progression of the trip and the kids were having a blast. It's been so interesting reflecting on this past decade of being a Mom (I still can't believe Josh is 10). My heart is always raw and I find myself deep in thought about my kids - are they happy? Are we giving them enough life experiences? Are we raising humble, respectful kids who love God, nature and the beauty of the world?

Can we move to Montana?



A river runs through it.



Majastic Ousel Falls in Big Sky


By the time we arrived in Zion, we all were filled with such joy - sun soaked, taking in the breathtaking nature of the Western United States, full of adventures in camping, hiking, biking, fishing (they caught rainbow trout in Big Sky!) and so much more.

When we finally arrived at The Narrows, the kids were blissfully happy to play in the water and as I looked up at the perfect blue sky, I knew this was a moment to capture. I quickly asked Jerold to snap the moment and he nailed it.




"Life is an adventure, go live it!"


At that time, I had no idea what "#lifepoints" was or that is was a popular hashtag created by Picky Bars. Early last fall, I stumbled upon Jesse Thomas's Instagram account and was captivated by the raw, beautiful photos he posted about life as a professional triathlete in gorgeous worldwide locales. I started using the hashtag in my photos that meant something unique and special to me, never knowing what would soon come.

I am so honored that Picky Bars chose me to be on the cover their Need For Seed bar and it will be something that I will forever treasure.
To celebrate, they sent me a huge box of the bars...


Picky Bars for days!

A very sweet note!



They also sent an incredible plaque with a replica of the bar (I'll share that pic soon!), so that I could have the keepsake to remember long after the bars were gone. Thanks so much Picky Bars, you guys are awesome!

As I prepare to run the Boston Marathon on Monday, I cannot wait to rip open the wrapper and sink my teeth into one of these delicious bars as part of my pre race meal.

What is your favorite Picky Bar flavor?


xo,
Natalie

Monday, April 3, 2017

Boston Marathon Training: TWO WEEKS TO GO!

One thing that I have learned, and I want to share it with you guys, ----> in a race, even if you run a mile split (or two) that is off the goal pace, don't let it rattle you. The best thing to do is to tell yourself that it's only one mile and you are going to get back on goal pace the next mile and move on. I engaged in a lot of self talk during the Encinitas half (which I forgot to talk about the official time in the recap - 1:33:33, 3rd in AG) and it was good practice for Boston.


I ran 3.5 miles UP the mountain on Saturday morning and the reward was this gorgeous view.


Marathons are interesting beasts, you run for 20 miles and then race a 10K. To really break it down, you have to stay focused the final 5K, cause it can really get dicey out there if you don't. I am working on my mental toughness the last 5k and I plan to break it down, mile by mile. If you think about it, for a 5K, the point one goes by super fast and then it's less than three miles, which we can endure pain for two plus miles! Get through that mile and then it's one point two miles left. That's it. I'll be thinking about my kids and Jerold and that they will be waiting for me and I can't wait to hug them. I know Jerold will be talking to me at this point - we have this telepathic thing going on and I always FEEL him talking to me, walking me through it. He seriously gets into my marathons as much as I do and I really know I can draw from his invisible energy.

I cannot even believe that in less than two weeks we leave for Boston and the race is TWO WEEKS from today! 

I ran my last long run yesterday and it felt good. I felt like I was tying up a nice neat bow on a very long cycle. I was thinking about the injury last summer and crawling my way back to fitness, little by little. This seems to be the recent story of my running life the past two years. I think I am just going to order up a fun summer of zero injury and a lot of fast racing, mmmk?

Let's get to it - last week's workouts:

Monday March 27th - YES!! A day OFF. My last day off from running was March 6th. Total days off in the month of March = 2

Tuesday March 28th - 5 miles

Wednesday March 29th - Happy 70th Birthday to my Mom! She is such a big part of my racing also. For Encinitas, she asked me, "What's your goal time?" and as I was launching into my speech, she says "Nevermind, I want to know what your coach says, cause I know you always want to run faster and he probably knows how you race better than you do!" And that, is my Mom in a nutshell #ballsy


She doesn't mince her words and if you give her a mountain, she'll climb it.


I ran 6 miles early, as we had a big evening of celebration! Yes, when you turn 70, you pretty much celebrate ALL year :)







Thursday March 30th - 10.5 miles with 10 x :30 second pick ups. 7:00 --> 6:39 pace. Can I tell you how much I love this workout? It absolutely brings your legs back to life after a big race and then resting/easy runs for a couple of days. There's no pressure to run the whole workout out fast, just 30 seconds. It's over in a blink!

Friday March 31st - 7 miles

Saturday April 1st - 7 hilly trail miles - 3.5 miles UP the mountain and then down.

Sunday April 2nd - 16 miles at 7:39 pace. 
My clothes were absolutely soaked after this run. It's amazing how much we sweat! Anyway, this was a pretty sweet run, just moving along - I jumped on the treadmill because we had a packed day of church, Easter picnic and egg hunt, and a little bit of shopping. I think I have my Boston outfit all set. Woo!

We will be spending Easter in Boston and I am trying to plan what in the world we'll be up to that day - which of course is the day before the race! 


Total miles 51.1

Total miles for March: 251.1


We are in slow taper mode, but that doesn't mean I'll be sitting on my butt not running. I just looked at this week's schedule and it's pretty decent! 

I hope you guys have a great start to your week and happy running.


Tell me something fun you did this weekend!

Who raced?

xo,
Natalie


Friday, March 31, 2017

Encinitas Half Marathon Race Recap

My watch beeped 6:56 as mile one came and went in a flash. 
6:56 was quicker than I was supposed to begin the race and I am glad I got that out of my system in practice, because I will not be doing that in less than three weeks.

The course made a quick, but not at all sharp left turn and immediately went down a super steep hill. It was the kind of hill that puts worry in the back of your mind for two reasons:
1. Holy knees (which everyone around me was saying) and 2. Ugh. We have to come back up this hill at some point!

The good stuff!


Okay then. Let's back up a tiny bit before we get going too far. After a very low key day on Saturday, I crawled into bed early in anticipation of my alarm ringing at 3:15 am.
What the what? How crazy is that? 3:15 in the morning. On a Sunday. But, that is what I had to do as we weren't planning on getting a hotel and spending the whole weekend in Encinitas.
You know how we talk about runners making such great friends? Well, on Saturday I get a message from Caitlyn offering for me to stay at her house that night so I didn't have to get up at 3:15 am ("Do you really want to do that"?! She asked). That was the kindest offer I have received in a long while and my theory is indeed correct - runners are way cool people.
Since my kids wanted to travel with me, I decided to go with my original plan and left on Sunday morning for the race.

Flat Nat was laid out and ready to go.




My kids were begging me to let them come to the race. We had a family meeting about it and I outlined the plan. Go to bed early on Saturday and leave about 4 am on Sunday. Josh was totally onboard, I knew I would plan for Elle to be with my Mom, and Megan decided, nope - she didn't want to come after all. That is until she realized she didn't want to miss out on something Josh was doing. #siblings

We left the house about 4:30 and sailed down in an hour and thirty minutes. Easy and zero traffic at that hour of the morning.
I arrived, picked up my bib, started to warm up and immediately had to go to the bathroom. Porty Potty line was insane at this point and I was starting to get nervous about getting to the start and thinking about the race a bit. My coach texted me to see how I was doing and the text came at the moment I needed it. It's amazing how things happen and you get a boost of extra confidence and remember all the hard work you've been putting in, even though you seem to have a case of temporary insanity.

Race begins, I made it in plenty of time and we're off.

Miles 1-3: 6:56, 7:01, 6:57 - it takes me a few miles to get into the race and I needed to slow this down. Women around me were racing for sure and it would be interesting to see where they all would end up at mile 11.

Miles 4-6 : 7:03, 7:09, 7:04 - The 1:30 pacer was ahead of me at this point and in the back of my mind I wanted to keep him in sight, but also didn't want to blow up my race plan. I was feeling good at this point. Not great - not the light and airy feeling when you've tapered for a goal race - but good.

Miles 7-10: 7:00, 7:16, 7:16, 6:59 - Came in through the 10k at like 42 something and that made me feel like things were going well. Mile 7 was fine and then we had a long gradual hill at 8 and 9. You wouldn't normally notice it, but you notice it a bit eight miles into a race. The thing is, I could see that there was a turn around and then gradual downhill at mile 10 - I just needed to make it!
I was determined to turn things around, hence the 6:59 at mile 10.

Miles 11-13 and the end: 7:24, 7:28, 7:11 - So this is where it gets a little ugly. 7:24 and 7:28? After the gradual downhill of mile 10, it felt like a slight long incline at mile 11. By this point, we all realized this was not a flat course and people were dropping like flies. I passed a lot of people at this point and tried to focus really hard. I definitely need some work on the last 5k, but every race is a chance to learn and grow. Mile 13, I was talking to myself - "come on, you have to finish this strong". I felt like I had more left in the tank than 7:11 at mile 13, but the mental demons were rearing their head a bit. I was not happy about the previous two miles, trying to shake off the sting of disappointment and forge ahead.

There was a woman who passed me a few miles back and then I passed her during mile 10. Mile 12 point something comes along and she passes back. I knew we were getting so close - less than a half mile - and that was when you needed to start giving it your all. I didn't and I think there is I have a slight fear of sprinting the last mile, but honestly - what could happen? I have to learn to take chances and race hard.




Hot chocolate and oatmeal was served afterwards as promised. They also gave coconut water, a banana and some other goodies.
I met a lot of fun people and then a fellow Instagram runner, RunnergirlNatalie came up and said hello! I love meeting runners from social media, she was really sweet, and we chatted for a bit. I am so bummed we didn't get a picture!




Next, Caitlyn and I ran a post run cool down and cheered the other runners onto the finish.



Just like that it was time to get home and relax. We stopped for bagel sandwiches (eat all the food!) and enjoyed a nice drive home.




I really enjoyed this race and will definitely be back to run it again. The volunteers were cheerful, warm and fun. It was beautiful course in a quaint beach town and very well organized.

Now it's time to get ready for BOSTON!


Have you ever been to San Diego?

How many miles are you running this weekend?

Whether you are running or spectating, I want to know ----> Who's going to Boston?! 



xo,
Natalie

Monday, March 27, 2017

Three Weeks

Hey you guys.

It's been silent here on the blog lately. I feel like I am juggling a thousand balls and gambling that they don't come crashing to the ground. I've never been good at juggling, and somehow it's working? I think. I hope.





Running a whole lot of miles, writing deadlines and super focused on my kids. The afternoon/evening routine with three kids literally running around is hectic to say the least. They have been getting bored with the meal choices lately and I am making a concentrated effort to spice things up a bit in the dinner department. Honestly, it's not easy to do that when my Sunday meal planning has been lacking (yeah, I've been falling asleep after a 22 mile run - not really jazzed to meal plan) and then we're on the fly for the week. 
I could make it sound neat and pretty and tell you I've got it all together, but most of the time I don't. Sunday afternoon following the race (recap is coming!) I made a delicious leek and zucchini soup - so easy to prepare and I found it in this cookbook which I love. I paired it with a whole roast chicken plus sweet potatoes and felt pretty darn proud of myself! Nutrient dense and colorful for the win, also a perfect recovery meal after a race. We all sat down for dinner together, which was really nice, as during the week Jerold is working a ton and we don't have many family dinners with him.

I looked around the dining table and couldn't believe how much my kids are growing. Josh is 10 (TEN!) now, Elle is such a little girl at four and Megan is this spunky six year old first grader. How did this happen and please let me not miss a single second.




The grind of marathon training is completely here. I've hit the peak of the crazy mountain, we need to fine tune a few things and then coming coasting down to race day in three short weeks. These weeks are going to quickly evaporate and before I know it, it'll be time to board the plane.

My kids are beyond excited to go to Boston. In their eyes, we may as well be going to Tahiti - they are so pumped and it makes me smile to have them with me. There was a point where I was going to fly in for the weekend, race and fly home, but Easter is the day before the race and it's also during spring break. There was no way I would miss Easter with my family - so off we go.


I realize I haven't updated you on my training in a bit, so here's an eight day snapshot:

Sunday March 12th - 4 moderate, 8 at 7:03, 4 moderate. 16 total
I kicked butt on this workout. It was the end of a long week, my legs were a bit fatigued, and I put it aside and got to work. 

March 13th - 4 trail miles to recover

March 14th - 6 miles

March 15th - 6 miles

March 16th - Yasso 800's anyone? 2 mile warm up, 10 x 800, 400 jog in between, 2 mile cool down.
Splits for the 800s: 3:09, 3:09, 3:09, 3:07, 3:05, 3:05, 3:05, 3:03, 3:01, 2:58

March 17th - 6 miles

March 18th - 10 miles

March 19th - 22 miles at 7:40 (coach didn't want me to go faster than this)

65.5 miles for the week of March 13th.





This was peak week, last week was a tad lighter and then I raced the Encinitas Half on Sunday! I can't wait to tell you all about it.

I will say that official time is looking like 1:33:33, 3rd in AG = 7:08 pace on tired legs.

Bring on Boston.

xo,
Natalie


Monday, March 6, 2017

Boston Marathon Training: 6 Weeks To Go!!

Hey you guys. 
I picked up my computer several times last week to write and between a yucky cold (that thankfully was really bad for only 48 hours), kids and a 62 mile week...
Yeah, there were a lot of early bedtimes, stretching, eating and Mom life going on for me.

Thank you so much for all of your sweet words about my son Josh. We go back to the doctor today for his three week post op check up and I really hope he gets the all clear to be active again. Fingers crossed and lots of prayers going on around here!

Training has been on fire. I had zero days off last week and I could feel the hard work being done. These are the weeks that you remember - the ones that flash through your mind during the marathon (especially that last 10K) and propels you forward. You can't even think about giving up, because you know all the work and sacrifices that have been put forth.




Strength training has been a huge priority this week and of course always plugging away on PT exercises and core work. You wanna run fast - get your core and glutes in order.

I have been rolling my muscles like a boss - before and after each run and I have an epsom salt bath date practically every night. A heavenly 90 minute massage happened this week (life changing) and I have another scheduled in a couple of days. I purchased a new pair of shoes (Brooks Ghost 9) and I am thinking about the shoe I will wear for the marathon. It may be the new Launch 4 as it is a lighter, faster shoe and I will try that out in the coming weeks.

I am so excited to keep working my butt off during this month, because I know a month from now the taper will begin and it will be time to put the hay in the barn.

For now, there is a whole lot of hay left to be made, so let's catch up on the past two weeks of workouts, shall we?


Monday Feb. 20th - 5 easy trail miles

Tuesday Feb. 21st - 5 easy treadmill miles

Wednesday Feb. 22nd - 10 miles on the road

Thursday Feb. 23rd - 10 miles on the treadmill - 
2 mile warm up, 5 x 1 mile repeats (6:28, 6:24, 6:20, 6:16, 6:09), .25 jog in between, 2 mile cool down
**Making progress on these mile paces. Short term goal - get low sixes on all of them. #boom

Friday Feb. 24th - 4 easy miles on the road

Saturday Feb. 25th - REST

Sunday Feb. 26th - 15 miles on the road - 10 miles easy, 5 miles at 7:04 pace

Total Miles: 49 


Then things got real in the mileage dept.  :)


Monday Feb. 27th - 4 easy miles on the road
** Love these easy, recovery days. I focus on the joy of running, paces are what they are and I have a lot of fun.

Tuesday Feb. 28th - 6 easy miles on the road 

Wednesday March 1st - 10 miles - 3 mile warm up, 5 mile tempo at 6:40 overall pace, 2 mile cooldown
** This workout was one of the highlights of my week. My body really pulled through, as I was not feeling well and doubting whether I could accomplish the paces that I needed to hit. Really happy with this effort (and was super glad when it was done!)


Thursday March 2nd - 6 easy miles

Friday March 3rd - 10 easy miles

Saturday March 4th - 6 beautiful miles on a trail that I love!
**This run was heaven. I feel so lucky to have access to these trails!! 


Sunscreen in full effect.


Sunday March 5th - 20 miles at 7:40 pace!!
**Took 3 GU (Salted Watermelon, Pineapple, and Blueberry Pomegranate. I've decided I prefer Espresso and Vanilla) and tried Run Gum (humm - the jury is still out on this - have you tried it?) during the course of this long, long run. Water every 3-4 miles with Enduropacks.

Immediately after the run. They are my everything. Oh, and then I stuffed a banana and almond butter in my mouth, stretched for 5 minutes and hauled my butt to the shower. Crackers with more almond butter on the way, lots of water. I had to rush and take my daughter to yet another birthday party! I ate a lot at the party and then a healthy dinner (I made chicken and zucchini Pho soup!!) afterwards. So thirsty, so tons of water.
PS: I love my son even more for not caring how sweaty I am.


Total Miles: 62

Six weeks till the race, which means we leave for Beantown in less than six. Whoop!!

Have a great start to the week!!


Tell me something fun you did this weekend!

Is it still cold where you are?


xo,
Natalie

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Boston Marathon Training: Surgery, A Sick One and 19 miles

Let me tell you - last week was insane. It was one of those weeks, where as you are in the middle of it all, you wonder will you be strong enough to get through it? How will you accomplish everything, be a good Mom and stay sane?



He started playing beach volleyball before the surgery - I didn't have that when I was kid! ;0


I wrote a long post on Instagram, but Josh (our nine year old) had a major, major surgery on Tuesday (which happened to be Valentine's Day, but we couldn't even think about it). When your child is in a four HOUR surgery, you start to feel uneasy. Okay, scared out of your mind - but you know you have to hold it together and trust that everything will be okay.

The surgery was good and he is healing well. I hate that he has to have another surgery in nine months, but in order to completely restore the hearing in his right ear, that is what has to be done. They have to go in and insert a prosthetic bone in his middle ear that was destroyed. Ruined by the skin growing in his inner ear (a condition he was born with, but we didn't know) that has blocked a lot of his fine tune hearing. For instance, take your thumb and index finger and rub them together up to your ear. Did you do it? Okay, you can hear that, right? Well, Josh can't hear that and many auditory tests have shown us that he has lost a lot of his hearing. So, after many consultations, this was what we had to do for him. 
We got up at zero dark thirty on Tuesday and made the trek to the hospital for our half day visit. He was so incredibly brave and I have never felt more proud of him. Josh is such a loving, inquisitive, funny kid and he walked away from us with the anesthesiologist, confident and ready to get it done.



Gone in a blink - I almost missed it!


Jerold and I went and had breakfast together - making small talk and trying not to think about the surgery. The nurse called a while later to let us know what Josh was sleeping and they were about to begin. After pacing around the hallway, trying to read, and catching up on e-mail, I realized that the best thing for me to do was run. I had my phone, Jerold was there and I walked out the door into the (rare - it finally stopped raining for a bit) sunshine and began to run. I was praying as I ticked away the six plus miles and asking God to watch over him. Take care of our baby, please.
The run was the absolute best thing I could have done to whittle away an hour and when I returned, it was time to go and see him.

Josh was in a lot of pain and a bit disoriented, so the nurse gave him some pain medication to ease the discomfort. I wish I could have traded places with him in those hours - I gladly would have done it in a heartbeat.

It was the perfect week to have this done, as the kids were off for ski week (do you guys have that? It's a total thing here in LA) and we stayed home to rest (no skiing for us - the kids were sad) and for Josh to heal. He can't run, jump, ski, swim, play hard or anything that a nine year old boy likes to do to stay active for a while. Zero plane trips, altitude, long car trips - pretty much just stay home and play with legos and rest, rest, rest.

By Thursday/Friday, he was going a little stir crazy, which was awesome, because that meant he was healing.
We took the kids for a walk and they found snails laying around after the rain.



The bandages are all gone - now he just has cotton in his ear with a ton of ointment to protect and a scar behind his ear where they made the cut. My heart hurts writing about it, but he is strong. Love him so much.






Sunday rolled around, and I was happy to run 19 miles and get it done - it's such a great feeling during a marathon cycle when you have the first super long run under your belt.







Sunday night, Elle (our four year old) wakes up in the middle of the night BURNING UP hot. Ugh. 104 fever and she feels absolutely miserable. Soothing, medication and getting her back to sleep, put us into the wee hours of Monday morning. She has been sleeping and sick all day Monday.
This, ladies and gentleman - is Mom life.



Monday February 13th - 4 easy miles. 

Tuesday February 14th - 6.5 miles during Josh's surgery

Wednesday February 15th - DAY OFF (I took the day off - I needed the rest today and day was spent taking care of Josh)

Thursday February 16th - 1 mile warm up, 7 miles at 7:10 pace, 1 mile cool down. 
Didn't want to run today - these are the days that test what you are made of. It's days like this - where you have to push and shove yourself out the door that make you stronger.

Friday February 17th - 4 easy miles

Saturday February 18th - 6 easy miles

Sunday February 19th - 19 miles at 7:45 pace (prescribed pace was 7:45-8). Note: Coach was not happy with the 17 miles at 7:34 pace that I did the other week. I trust and respect his advice and he told me to SLOW DOWN this week. I listened. :) #trusttheprocess

Total miles: 48.5


Strength work: Core every day; including push ups, bicycle crunches, dynamic plank, bridges, russian twists with medicine ball, superman. Plus monster walks, lateral walks (with band), jumping jacks, squats, dynamic warm up before every run, PT exercises for foot. Yoga = pigeon, legs up the wall, child's pose and downward dog. Heavy weight training lacking this past week - looking forward to hitting it hard this week.


Eight weeks left till Boston, time to lay it all on the line! 

Have a great week and happy running!

xo,
Natalie



Monday, February 13, 2017

Boston Marathon Training: Single Digits Have Arrived!

This tree is my favorite part of our backyard and every February it blooms the most beautiful flowers. I can sit outside and gaze at it for hours - mountains in the distance is a huge bonus.




We are getting a big break from the rain this week and it's been so fun to be outside. I bring the yoga mat and get all of my post run stretching and some strength training done out here.

Yesterday, I got in a long run (although not as long as usual, it was a step back week) and we also made it out to a trail with the kids.




They are definitely my kids and to say they got the wiggles out is an understatement.

It's always fun to find creatures along the way...





And this newly four year old insists on picking out her own clothes - this was her choice of the day.




Nine weeks till Boston!!! Here is what my week looked like:

Monday February 6th - 5 easy miles. Run easy to run fast and I fully take advantage of these easy, recovery runs. It's all about what my body wants, enjoying the run and taking in the scenery.

Tuesday February 7th - 10.45 miles on a Tuesday = we are in the thick of training!!
2 mile warm up, 3 x 2 mile repeats (6:59, 6:48) (6:44, 6:42) (6:25, 6:22), 2 mile cool down.
This was a good workout for me and my body is adapting to these paces - getting stronger!

Wednesday February 8th - 4 easy miles

Thursday February 9th - An unexpected day off. We went to a wedding and it was a crazy, fun day!

Friday February 10th - 9 easy, rainy miles. 





Saturday February 11th - 5 easy miles

Sunday February 12th - 14 miles. 10 at 7:55 pace and then 4 at 7:11, 7:04, 7:03, 7:02

Total miles: 47.45


Core work, yoga and PT exercises happen every single day, weight training two times during the week.

Nutrition: I was craving steak on Saturday night (that never happens!), so I prepared a juicy rib eye, with butternut squash and broccoli. #fueling



I've got a 19 miler on tap for the weekend, so ----> lots of sleep this week!!

I hope you guys had a great weekend and a stellar start to the week!

Happiness Is Running Life.

xo,
Natalie

Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Favorites!

What's up you guys? Friday is HERE! 

I can't even tell you how happy I am for the weekend. I have talked about sleep a lot lately and how it relates to good marathon training. Welp, I haven't gotten as much as I have wanted this week and I am feeling the effect today. It is raining again - by the way, we have had so much rain in Los Angeles, that no one has a regular conversation anymore - all we talk about is RAIN. 
Anyway, I am cozy inside with a mug of tea and my kids are having their weekly movie night afternoon (movie night would mean disaster for my family complete with a bunch of crazy kiddos.).
The silence is unbelievable and all I could think about was connecting with you guys and catching up.



It's not always sunny here!


Let's talk about flexibility for a moment. I think it's so important to be flexible in your training. Life is a series of roller coasters and no training plan is perfect. I've talked about my word of the year being GRACE and I'm still in love with the word. Giving yourself grace and love and understanding. It sounds like something you would gladly give your best friend, but what about yourself? I am learning every day to love myself more and more. I know (most of the time - it's so easy to revert back to beating yourself up on occasion) that if I love myself, I will be capable of giving more love to others. 

For example, yesterday we went to a friend's wedding. Yes, on a Thursday afternoon. It was so beautiful and super fun, but I had to juggle a whole LOT to pull it off and guess whhhat? The run didn't happen. I kept thinking that we would get home in time (early morning didn't happen for a good reason, not because of sleep cause I was up at the crack) that I could jump on the treadmill and it just wasn't meant to be. We arrived home late, bellies filled with food and wine (I haven't had a glass of wine since New Years, I think) and all I wanted to do was go to bed. So, that means I have to run Friday, Sat and Sun - but it's worth it. Grace.

Alright. here is what I am loving this week!



1. Sarah Mac Robinson's blog post - How To Go Faux Pro, Marathon Edition

Um, yes; I'm fan girling here. Sarah is a STUD. She is an amazing athlete, I love the raw honesty of her blog and balance of motherhood and marathon training. Be sure and check out her Instagram for pics of her adorable daughter and dedicated, blazing workouts (8 x 1 mile at 5:56's!!) She qualified for the Olympic Trials in 2016 (hello, awesome!) after having a kick ass race at CIM in December 2015 (her face as she crossed the finish line is absolutely priceless). She is down to earth and I feel like I could have tea with her and talk for hours. Anyway, you have to check out the post, as she keeps it real and lifts you up all at the same time. You'll find yourself muttering "yes, I do this!" or cursing "ahhh, I need to do this!" 




2. New World Women's Half Marathon Record!!

4:57 average page!!!???

I guess we should all have that look on our face when we finish a race, right?! 





3. Martha and Snoop!

I love this commercial and more importantly, I want to move into her house, stat! :) #lifegoals





4. Ina Garten Brownie Tart Recipe

Someday I am going to meet Barefoot Contessa. Yep, I just know it :)
Here is a delectable dessert to make for Tuesday! This looks so good I want to eat the page...










I hope you guys have a great weekend! 


Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? If so, how?

How many miles are you running this weekend?


Happy running.


xo,
Natalie

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Boston Marathon Training: 10 Weeks!

I have a ton of sweaty running laundry to wash. I always know that I am in the thick of marathon training when the machine seems to always be full of running laundry.
Currently rotating between two versions of the Brooks Ghost 9 in different colors, pondering on ordering the new Launch 4 - especially after I saw my friend Jes's pretty new ones! I love the Launch - it's a tad lighter than the Ghost, the heel to toe drop is 10mm vs. 12 mm for the Ghost (which I realize a 12 mm drop is pure sweetness for my feet, but the 10 mm is good for tempo and speed work).
What else? Training is going well. Smooth as glass, fingers are constantly in crossed mode that it stays that way. I talked last week about doing all the little things to stay strong and healthy. I try not to over think, otherwise I will drive myself nuts - which totally defeats the purpose of running, right?





Psyched to be an official blogger for Women's Running Magazine!! I wrote an article on five of my favorite trail runs in Los Angeles, and you can check it out here!! 




After my daughter's birthday, this was the definite highlight of my week!!! Woot!!

Coach directed me more toward performing a dynamic plank as opposed to a stationary one - so I am in plank position and then raise each leg twenty times - perform two or three reps. I like this so much more than the regular (kind of boring) stationary plank.

Oh, and I am wearing these socks underneath my regular running socks - I bought them months ago when I was on the tail end of plantar fasciitis, and they are so comfortable that I have been wearing them ever since. Anything that gives my foot a little more support, I'll take it.


Here are what my workouts from last week looked like:

Monday January 30th - 5 easy miles. Also, Happy 4th Birthday to my sweet girl!!



She said to me: "Mama, I want ladybugs and butterflies on my cupcakes, please!" 



Tuesday January 31st - 1 mile warm up, 5 x 1 mile repeats (each at 6:27 pace on the treadmill) with .25 jog in between, 1 mile cooldown. 8.25 total miles

Wednesday February 1st - 4 easy trail miles

Thursday February 2nd - 8 easy miles

Friday February 3rd - 5 easy miles

Saturday February 4th - REST. If you follow me on Instagram, you have heard me talk about this before, but I go with how my body feels on the weekend. The plan is always a long run on Saturday - BUT, that is usually after I have been running six days straight. If I wake up and feel beat down tired, I rest. Period. You are not doing yourself any favors if you ignore your body.

Sunday February 5th - 17 miles at 7:34 pace. And there you go - happy body = happy running :)

My splits: 7:33, 7:02, 8:02, 8:01, 7:19, 7:31, 8:05, 7:21, 7:25, 7:23, 7:27, 7:29, 7:27, 7:42, 7:45, 7:22, 7:29



Oh, and by the way - after the run I pulled on the compression socks and put my legs up the wall. Seriously, you could FEEL the blood circulating in my legs and I felt so much better after doing that for 10-15 minutes. #thelittlethings

Total miles for the week: 48.25


Have a great week!!

Happiness Is Running Life.

xo,
Natalie