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!

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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

Eat Your Coffee (CoffeeBars Review and Giveaway!)

CoffeeBar

I LOVE LOVE LOVE coffee- hot or iced, tall or grande, black or with a decadent splash of half & half, I love the taste, smell, comfort, and routine found in my daily cup, and of course that good ol’ caffeine boost. When the good people of New Grounds Food asked if I wanted to eat my coffee and try their new Mocha Latte CoffeeBar as well as give away a box to my awesome readers, I immediately said yes!*

New Grounds Food was launched in 2013 by two college freshmen who wanted to find a simple and portable way to stay energized without sacrificing nutrition.  With that vision in mind, they created CoffeeBar: an all-natural, vegan, gluten free, 100% organic, very tasty energy bar infused with a full cup of fair trade coffee.

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Journey to 26.2, Part 3: The Reality

If you know me in real life or if you have read this blog for any period of time, you know that I aim to always be honest with myself. While I am elated that I finally overcame the 2014 Year of Injury and am back to successfully running the road, I know that I’m just not where I used to be nor where I need to be to tackle a full marathon right now. For these reasons, I decided to downgrade from the full to the half at this weekend’s SLO Marathon. I’m not at all bummed about this, however, I am happy that I am not allowing my ego to overrule good judgement and I know that I am making the right decision.

I started training for this full in January and got up to 16 miles, the longest distance I’ve run since training for my last marathon nearly 3 years ago.  The 16 was great!  I felt good, my injuries were just fine, it was slow (took just over 3 hours) but it was accomplished nevertheless- I was proud of my effort and ecstatic that I was mentally and physically able to finish a 16 mile run after all I went through, physically, last year. Totally planned on 18 miles the following week. I swear I did. The day-of-the-18 came and I just couldn’t wrap my head around 18 nor the impending 20 mile runs. I refused to give running all that time, I simply didn’t want to do it, so I didn’t. I ran 10 instead and thought, “Half marathons are awesome too, darn it.”  Continue reading

Race Recap: Oakland Running Festival (Half Marathon)

I admit my bias- I am born and raised in Oakland so I truly love this city and given that I love running, I HELLA LOVE the Oakland Running Festival! I had so much fun at this race since I successfully trained for it without injury!!! It went very well and I am proud to say I finally did it- after 16 excruciatingly long months of injury- I found the happy place within my pace, shaved off about 35 minutes, crossing the finish line of yet another half marathon with a huge, victorious smile on my face.

Given that I have lived here all my life and that my running community is based here, all along the race course, I ran (literally) into friend after friend and that really made a difference! Seeing my friends’ smiling faces and exchanging sweaty hugs and selfies- from the women who turned me into a runner, to my Team in Training coaches and teammates, to my BFFs- my soul was filled with joy and pride for the ability to run 13 glorious miles through the city I’ve always called home.  Continue reading