The Gift of Fitness

No matter what controversial color your coffee cup may be, the holiday season has officially begun and just like every year prior, I am committed to getting all my holiday shopping done sooner than later; but for the first time ever, hubby and I have agreed to give gifts just to the kids and not to each other. Why?  Because we buy gifts for ourselves throughout the year anyway and only I truly know what I want! Saving stress, time, money, and wrapping paper- sounds like a Christmas miracle!

Hubby was also getting annoyed at my answer to the question, “What do you want for Christmas?”  The answer: “You know, workout stuff.” He’s over reading my mind and I’m over never getting the workout stuff that I actually want so this year I made my list, checked it twice, been really nice, and Santa Laura is getting/giving EXACTLY what I want this year all in the name of yuletide fitness! HO HO HO!!! Continue reading

Berkeley Bound!

Happy to announce that I am a proud race ambassador for the very awesome Berkeley Half Marathon in November!  YIPEE!!! This is the third running of this race and it has been on my “To Do” list since 2013. As a Bay Area native, I always thought Berkeley really needed a good road half- Oakland has a couple, SF has sundry and this is the One And Only in Berkeley- how cool is that?!

Yes, I am Berkeley Bound however, to be honest, I am actually always in Berkeley!  In fact, the course traverses the streets I grew up exploring and currently train through- from the urban jungle of the UC Berkeley campus, to the lusciously scrumptious Gourmet Ghetto, and the breezily peaceful Bay Trail… Oakland is where I live and work, but Berkeley is where I go to train and play!

The Berkeley Half Marathon offers not only the 13.1 distance but also a 13.1 relay, 10K, and 5K so pick your distance and join me in my City By The City By The Bay on November 22- not only can I promise excellent racing weather but I can also give you a sweet registration discount: $10 off with code BHM2015Laura (follow this link to register).

Even if you aren’t from the Bay Area, sign up for this race and get a fabulous tour of Berkeley’s hippest and iconic spots- from the most unique and diverse neighborhoods in all of NoCal, all the way to the waterfront, you’ll quickly learn why Berkeley isn’t a place but truly a way of life. You can go everywhere in the world and never find a place like Berkeley.

I am really looking forward to 13.1 miles along such familiar turf but I’m also looking forward to a DOUBLE MEDAL DAY thanks to the SF Marathon to Berkeley challenge! If you ran the 1st or 2nd half of the SF Marathon in July then complete the Berkeley Half in November, you get 2 medals when you cross the finish line!  And I know you know I’ll do pretty much anything for a medal… or two…

Smack dab in the middle of the Bay Area, Berkeley offers mild weather, natural beauty, proximity to the ocean, lush greenery, and beautiful coastal views all backdropped by a hilly upland- what’s not to love?  Register today with code BHM2015Laura and let me know what distance you’re running- I’ll see you there!!!

Today’s Reason: Time

I know, I know, I’ve been negligent with blogging as of late as I’ve been so incredibly busy with life, kids, training, volunteering, and starting a new job- even with 24 hours at my disposal every day, I find it hard to accomplish all that I want to!  However, “I’m too busy!” is an excuse we all give, maybe more akin to a constant lie we tell ourselves when deciding what, to whom and how we should dedicate our precious time.

Even though I haven’t been writing about running, I have been running. With 3 weeks to go until the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in SF, I’m determined to accomplish my training- fitting it in to the rest of my life right now is certainly a challenge but I am trying and I am doing… and I have been constantly thinking about how my choices truly impact my time- my Lifetime, my Me Time, and my Running Time. Continue reading

How to Race Without Training

To be clear, I’m not promoting running a race withOUT training but I think it truly IS a reality for those of us who love running and love living so I just gotta admit that often, life gets in the way of training and takes the front seat! Since I started racing in 2009, I commit to at least one race every month and sometimes I’m ready, sometimes I’m not. While I completely and totally respect the process and preparation that goes into the umpteen weeks of training, focus, and sacrifice towards Race Day, I often take it for granted and this year so far, I admit, I have definitely slacked off…  and guess what? I have the first half of the San Francisco Marathon, a very challenging 13.1, in 2 days.

Some people, including my coaches, husband, and non-running friends say, “You don’t have to do the race, right?  Why even put yourself through that? Just DON’T do it!” Sure that’s an option for normal people but I’m not normal and it’s not me NOT to show up. I said I would so I’m gonna and that’s just that. Stubborn runner, that’s me.

To get ready for the imminent pain and suffering that goes along with attempting to run a road race without training, I am trying my best to keep my mind right while prepping for Race Day as well as I possibly can…  Continue reading

Summer Sabbatical

Well, it’s summer- the kids are out of school, schedules are out the window, and relaxing has taken over… for the very first time, I am totally okay with that!  I love sleeping in and staying up late, and- to be completely honest- I also love taking this short break from road running.  I’ve been spending a ton of time with my kids, enjoying the outdoors, and reading lots of great books- often, the simpler life is, the happier I feel. Not to say that I can’t incorporate running into all this good summertime ju ju too, it’s just… I need a break.

However, I do have a fairly challenging half marathon this Sunday, the (very hilly) first half of The San Francisco Marathon. I just re-read my recap of this race from 2013 and now I’m officially worried. I tried to run while spending the past 3 weeks at our cabin but the elevation killed me and after every run I would fall sick for the next 36 hours so I gave up even attempting to train while there. And since we’ve been back home, here at sea level, my motivation is still seemingly on break too…

See, I ran that one time this summer!

See, I ran that one time this summer!

Continue reading

Title Nine FitFest (and Giveaway!)

If you live here in the Bay Area, you are probably already familiar with Title Nine– a women’s athletic apparel and casual clothing store that makes and specializes in high quality sports bras, tops, bottoms, skirts, skorts, capris, and everything else in between.  I’ve been a fan of Title Nine for a few years now and have always loved their swimwear but have never tried any of their workout clothing so when they invited me to attend a special “FitFest” event and get professionally fitted by a T9 Bravangelist for a brand new sports bra, I happily RSVPed!*

As every female athlete knows (or should know!), the most important foundation for any workout is a bra designed specifically for your unique body type, size and activity. The bra experts at Title Nine are making it easier and a lot more fun to find the perfect bra by hosting a series of “FitFest” events during the summer here in the Bay Area to help every athlete find her perfect bra for a more comfortable and healthier workout.

To find out more about Title Nine’s upcoming FitFests and how you can enter for a chance to win a FREE bra from the good people at Title Nine, keep reading… Continue reading

Today’s Reason: Grief

I’m such a fricking downer lately. Well, okay, sometimes there’s a glimmer of happiness and relief, yet most of the time I’m in a I-hate-the-world-and-the-world-hates-me state of mind and, obviously, I’m not too proud to admit it. We lost Allan, my dear father-in-law, in January and Grief just went ahead and moved in, took a very strong hold, hasn’t let go, and has affected pretty much every aspect of my life ever since: my relationships, my writing, my social life, and- of course- my running. Therefore, I can say (and have been saying and will continue to keep saying until it is no longer true) that 2015 has been The WORST Year Ever and I really, truly mean it.

I’m not writing this post for sympathy or for advice or as a passive aggressive attempt to reveal my true feelings (as I share my true feelings all the time, much to the delight/dismay of my friends and family)  but as an attempt to understand this whole grieving process and how it has directly affected my motivation and how, exactly, I’m going to work to steer myself back towards a “normal” path.

I want to laugh out loud at that word “normal”. I’m not sure I believe in “normal” anymore, there’s just stasis- brief moments of contentment wherein you’re on the right path, with the right people, doing the right thing- while everything else is just noise. Grief- just noise. Learning (or re-learning, in my case) to amplify the moments of stasis while turning the volume down on the rest of life’s noise is incredibly difficult but, thanks to running, I’m able to dedicate my miles to Allan, to this process, and to my “normal” self- I know she’s still in there somewhere!  Continue reading