Journey to 26.2, Part 2: The Plan

Just about 5 weeks until The Big Day, until the SLO Marathon, until my third 26.2. I’m feeling okay about it… ish. My training has been going fairly well, save for the month I took off to grieve and eat all the carbs and all the sugar. Had to be done. 2 weeks ago, I accomplished a 3 hour and 15 minute 16 mile training run and it went surprisingly well after all that time off. Those 16 miles gave me just the boost of confidence I needed to get back to my training- I completed that run feeling surprisingly refreshed, very happy, and (after a long ice bath) not sore at all!

As a proud SLO Marathon race ambassador, I was lucky to be introduced to Greg McMillan of the McMillan Running Company.  After completing a very detailed questionnaire about my running history, strengths/weaknesses, and time/distance goals, Coach Greg crafted a training plan for me that included my upcoming races plus a lot of fantastic advice about recovery, increasing speed, and running efficiency. Since this marathon will be the first I have done without the support of Team in Training, having a (virtual) coach to guide me through plus a new, custom plan to follow really helps to increase my confidence about this impending 26.2. Continue reading

The Color Run Entry Giveaway!

The Color Run, also known as the Happiest 5k on the Planet, is a unique paint race that celebrates healthiness, happiness, individuality, fun and- of course- COLOR! Now the single largest event series in the world, The Color Run has exploded since their debut, more than tripling their growth, hosting over 300 events in 50+ countries.  I am happy to announce this week’s giveaway thanks to the good people at The Color Run: 2 lucky winners will each receive one entry to any The Color Run 5K city of their choice!  Read on to find out how to enter to win…

This year, The Color Run is shining even brighter with a totally new tour- the Shine Tour- designed to uplift and inspire runners to stand out from the crowd, sweat glitter, and continue to live their lives in a happy and healthy way. In addition to the constant clouds of color The Color Run is already known for, this year’s Shine Tour includes special sparkle attractions along the course, confetti cannons, glamorous photo ops, and new shine elements at the Finish Festival all geared to unleash your inner sparkle! (For a sneak peak, be sure to check out the video above.)

Participants receive a 5K of color-ific fun, custom race tee, gold finishers’ medal, tricolor headband with blingin’ silver stitching, special edition glitter pack, classic color pack, new gold tattoos and much more!

If you haven’t tried a color run before, I can tell you that it is TRULY a fun experience!  Even though I tend to do more half marathons than any other distance nowadays, there is always room for a 5K fun run.  The Color Run is not timed, not competitive, just a super fun, visually stimulating party- grab a group of friends, dress in all white, throw your color around and be happy!   3 miles, all smiles, and fun, fun, fun!!!

All entries must be accounted for by Rafflecopter- to earn entries, just follow all the prompts: “like” Running4theReason on Facebook, “like” The Color Run on Facebook, tweet about the giveaway, following and tagging @LauraRunning and @TheColorRun, you can also leave a comment on this post telling me which city you would like to run and sparkle!  (View all of the locations The Color Run runs here.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please count each of your entries in the Rafflecopter widget only, email submissions will not be accepted. The two lucky winners will be chosen next Monday, March 9th.  I will email the winners and his/her names will appear here on the Rafflecopter widget so come back on 3/9 to see if you won and good luck!

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Feel free to use and share code MLC143657 now through March 15th for $5 of your registration in any The Color Run city.  Be sure to sign up for the VIP list if your city is not yet open to be the first to know dates, plus exclusive pre-sale pricing. (Please note that the $5 OFF code will NOT work for the first month on newly launched cities as new launch prices are much better than what the $5 will save you.)

Good lucky, happy running, and sparkle on my friends!!!

Today’s Reason: Allan Moir

Allan Moir, March 1939 – January 2015

My dear father-in-law, Allan, passed away last month and ever since then, things just really haven’t been the same. As my husband said ever so eloquently in his eulogy at Allan’s memorial, “Death is a bitch.” So true. It’s a tough topic for everyone and a fate we all must face eventually but to lose a beloved parent is especially difficult. This post, however, is not about me and my feelings toward this loss but about Allan- the man he was, the life he lived, and the legacy he left behind.

I remember the very first time I met Allan- I was 16 years old, on a date with my then-crush-now-husband, and Allan was in the intensive care unit, very ill, following a stroke and loss of a kidney. While I thought it strange and nerve-wracking to meet my crush’s dad this way, I timidly came into the room, stood at the side of his hospital bed and said, “Hi, I’m Laura. Come here often?” He chuckled a bit and smiled, patted my hand, and I immediately felt welcomed. Allan miraculously recovered from that bout and went on to live over 20 more glorious years, chuckling and smiling his way through an extremely joyful, happy, and loving life. Continue reading

Build a Better Carb

As runners are very well aware, carbohydrates are our main source of fuel; however, there are “bad carbs” (white flour and sugar) that digest quickly, make energy levels spike then crash, leaving one hungry more often, and “good carbs” (fruits, veggies, whole grains) that work to build muscle, increase endurance, and boost physical activity.  As runners, we love to carb load and always reach for those whole grain carbs in order to propel our efforts, especially prior to our long runs.  Consuming those “good” carbohydrates before, during and after exercise will also provide that glycogen boost/replacement when needed most, enabling one to work out longer and recover quicker.

When the good people at California Lavash contacted me and offered up a variety of their delicious, whole grain, vegan, non-GMO flatbreads to try, I happily accepted, tried a bunch of different pre- and post-run recipes, and gobbled them right on up! Lavash flatbreads are a terrific source of very balanced, low fat, “good” carbohydrates with added nutrients like fiber and protein that the body absorbs slowly, filling you up faster, and keeping you fuller longer.

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Race Recap: Surf City Half Marathon

I know, I know, I’ve been slacking off with the blog lately, haven’t really been able to bring myself to write in light of a recent, significant death in the family… sorta kinda lost my mojo there for a bit and while things still aren’t totally back to “normal”, I’m putting all my focus and effort today towards writing this recap for the Surf City Half Marathon I ran/walked this past Sunday… here we go…

Thanks to the good people at Project Sport, I was given an entry to this race and since we have family in Southern California I thought it would be a good opportunity to go down to So Cal, visit family, then run the race- and that it was! We drove down Friday and then I left my family behind Saturday afternoon to proceed from Los Angeles to Huntington Beach for the expo and subsequent race on Sunday.

Bright and early Sunday, I boarded the shuttle from my hotel to the race start. Once I arrived and started chatting with my fellow runners (of course), I realized that my bib was seemingly Elite and gave me access to whatever wave I wanted to enter- my bib was #175 whereas the half marathoners started at #4600. I looked around for the pacers, figuring I would go with a wave that was a 2:45-3:00 group (since my training had basically come to a halt in the past few weeks given my emotional injury), finally settled into wave 11 and waited for my start.

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Resolve to Run More

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With the new year nearly here, I’ve only got one resolution for 2015: run more. This past year has been one of injury and injury recovery for me, taking me away from my normal training, normal exercising, normal eating , normal writing and I am oh so eager to get back to normal! My injuries nearly healed, I’m starting out slowly, trying to be patient and easy on myself while pushing myself to tackle new races and my third 26.2 next Spring.

I started 2014 with a fractured rib then when that was healed, injured the meniscus and MCL in my right knee, then after months of PT for the knee, was in a car accident and suffered (and am STILL suffering) a concussion.  None of the above allowed me to keep running the road and the negative emotions I had to deal with as a result were normal, I guess… it’s all tied together… hence the solitary resolution this coming new year.

Running more means I will eat right which means I’ll start losing this injury weight which means I will run better which means I will start to believe in myself again which means I’ll write more. Just one simple resolution gets me back to where I was, to the “me” I know I can be.

Running more also means setting more goals- even when I was injured I still kept completing races (totally untrained) but in 2015 I plan to actually finish them well. I’m lucky that despite my injuries, I was still selected to be race ambassador for the Surf City Marathon (and half), the San Luis Obispo Marathon (& half), and the Zooma Napa Valley Half Marathon (and 10K) so I’ve got a pretty good race calendar already set for 2015.  I plan to run the Surf City half 2/1/15, the SLO full 4/26/15, the Zooma half on 6/20/15, and you KNOW I’ll try everything in my power to run Nike SF again in October 2015!  I’m looking very forward to yet another year full of happy, yet challenging, running goals.

Bring. It. ON!

So if you’re willing to take that leap with me and resolve to run more, register for a race today, set that training plan in stone and get to work! If I can do it, we can all do it- a new year means a fresh start with 365 days full of potential and since I turned 40 this year (ick), I plan to take nothing for granted and will embrace every moment of running, resting, laughing and crying with deep appreciation.  Happiness, to me, is found in those moments- running miles while maintaining smiles resulted from doing that which I love to do. Running is hard but my life is certainly easier because of it.

And with that, dear readers, I thank you for a year of sticking with me despite the rampant injury and lack of running, for reading, commenting and “liking” all along the way… I promise next year will be back to “normal” and as awesome as ever!

WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR AND ALL THINGS FABULOUS IN 2015!!!

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2014 is history, 2015 is history-in-the-making- how will you write your story in the new year? What running goals have you set? How do you plan to stay motivated and on track on the way to that finish line?

Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Race Entry Giveaway!

Just in time for a Christmas giveaway, the Hot Chocolate race series asked if I would be an official ambassador for them again this year and of course I said yes!  I will be running the San Francisco Hot Chocolate 15K on January 11th and am really looking forward to it- I ran the 5K this year and it was so much fun that I signed up for the race again next year way before they asked me to come back as a Hot Chocolate Blogger- all my bias aside, it is truly a fun race I’m sure to do annually!

Not only is the course beautiful here in SF (oh how I love running Golden Gate Park!) but the schwag really can’t be beat!  You get a reusable drawstring bag and a gender-specific, fleece lined, full-zip hoodie, a sweet chocolate bar medal for the 15K, plus a huge post-race mug filled with goodies and a warm chocolate sauce for dipping- YUM!  For even more schwag, be sure to enter code SFBlogger4 when you register to get a free Hot Chocolate running hat at packet pick up! Love great race schwag!!!

But before you register, please keep reading to find out how to enter for a chance to win a FREE ENTRY to ANY upcoming Hot Chocolate race in 2015 (San Francisco, Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, San Diego, Seattle, Nashville, and Las Vegas)!

Myself and BFF Amy- Happy Hot Chocolate Runners!

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