Category Archives: fitness

Today’s Reason: Endurance

As a runner, whenever I hear the word “endurance” I think in terms of miles (don’t we all?). Having successfully recovered from this year’s injury and now training for my one and only road half marathon of the year, I know that it will take time for me to re-build that mileage endurance. While I really want to hit the road (and the trails) and run all the miles every day of the week, I know I can’t as too much running too soon will result in injury- endurance, in this way, truly goes hand-in-hand with patience and good judgement.

Strangely enough, that’s the easy part of running. With 10 years of running experience and 3 running related-injuries under my water belt, I know to simply follow my training plan and plan those rest days accordingly in order to get to race day healthy and ready for that 13.1 mile endurance test. I’ve done it before, I can do it again, and I can certainly endure the time and work it takes to get back to a comfortable and happy 13.1.

By definition, endurance means two different things, first, “the fact or power of bearing pain or hardships” and second, “the ability or strength to continue or last despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions”. Fits the application of running perfectly, yet those definitions imply a negativity therein- “pain”, “hardships”, “adversity” are all true to certain extent; however, I am happy to embrace all that, no matter how difficult, in order to find achievement and success beyond- not just with running, but with all that surrounds it too… Continue reading

Giving In to Injury

Booooo!!!

Booooo!!!

Yes, I realize it’s been over 3 months since I have posted- I think the above photo gives a hint as to the reason why… after my last race in November, the ball of my foot started to hurt and I ignored it.  By January, my foot was in such severe pain it couldn’t bear weight, turned purple and grew incredibly swollen so I finally stopped exercising and went to a sports podiatrist. X-rays completed, I sought 3 different opinions (because I didn’t like what ANY of them said, “What do you MEAN stop running for months???”) and even though each doctor gave me a different diagnosis, they all agreed that I had fractured the sesamoid bones that live in the ball of the foot.

Fabulous.

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Retreat Recap: Run Voyages, Sonoma

When Adam, the owner of Run Voyages, invited me to attend his running/yoga retreat in wine country this winter, I immediately jumped at the opportunity- a weekend of running, yoga, and wine, a midst a beautiful backdrop with people who also enjoy all the same things?!  Sign me up! With the running sessions being led by Magda Boulet (recent Western States 100 winner and Olympic athlete) and the yoga sessions led by Reba Gray (a very well known Bay Area yogi), I knew I was in good hands and happily packed all of my best active-wear and headed to Sonoma for a fabulous weekend filled with food, fitness, and friends.

Unfortunately, I was a little too carefree and careless during a trip to our cabin the weekend prior to the Run Voyages retreat.  I went sledding late at night, in the dark, and somehow severely pulled my right adductor muscle- very painful and I could barely walk on it so I knew there was no way I was going to be able to run at the retreat. Boo. Surrounded by fellow runners, however, everyone sympathized and understood (and only laughed at me a little bit- who gets a sledding injury?!?!?) and I was able to still really and truly enjoy the weekend nevertheless! And what a FABULOUS weekend it was!

3 cheers for our wonderful instructors, Magda and Reba! (PC: Jennifer Leahy Photography)

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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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Resolve to Run More

new-year-2015-clock-123123

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?

Journey to 26.2, Part 1: Beginning Again

I attempted yet another half marathon this past weekend despite the fact that I’ve been injured for over a year, and it really didn’t go well.  Duh. I plan to write the race recap, of course, but wanted to write this first in an attempt to ease my mind… to be completely and totally honest, I haven’t been running much at all lately. I ran a bit prior to the Nike half and that race went really well (not speedy well, just hey-I-don’t-feel-like-imminent-death-this-time-woo-hoo kinda well) so why I seem to think I can race and expect a positive outcome while NOT training at all and eating ALL my kids’ Halloween candy is a certifiable mystery to me. I’m crazy like that.

I pushed and pushed to cross the finish of the half last Saturday, and as soon as I was done, puked about 5 times, much to my husband’s dismay. After I recovered, we headed out for my traditional post-race-burger-and-beer and chatted about the race, the course, and I complained about my sundry issues- that list seemingly 13 miles long itself… Hubby asked, “Why do you do this to yourself? I know you love running but why do you suffer so much? I just want to protect you and make sure you aren’t in pain but you just keep punishing yourself! Why???”

That’s a stupid question, I thought. Running is hard and I don’t expect every race to go perfectly, especially when I’m not prepared. I’ve always believed that the ultimate goal of training IS discomfort, you’ve got to push yourself past what you are able to do in order to get better, no one improves in the comfort zone… but then I remember that time- oh so long ago- when running was easy for me, training was a joy, PRs were a plenty, long runs were something I looked forward to and upon completion, would give myself a big pat on the back, proud of my accomplishments. Now, it’s more like, “Well, let’s get this fricking thing over with!”

That tells me it’s time to press the re-set button. I’m going back to square one. I need to re-teach myself all the basic mechanics of running in order to start doing it the RIGHT way again. Get back to the roots of why I started running in the first place and get my body and mind ready to accomplish the goal I wasn’t able to complete through this past year-of-injuries: crossing the finish line of my third 26.2.  Continue reading

Rapid Race Recovery

Yes, I am addicted to racing (here are 13 reasons why); however, races are extremely hard on my body. In training I don’t push myself like I do on a race course- I can run 13 training miles and feel completely fine after, but run a half marathon race and afterwards, I’m never fine. My typical post-race disposition is beyond sore, stiff, fatigued and ravenously hungry with many chafe spots and blisters to contend with. After my last race, this was certainly the case. And I have another half marathon this Saturday.

If you’re counting, that’s just 2 weeks off in between races. Since I still really want to continue my back-to-back-races obsession while still recovering smartly from my injury, I’m making it a point to be a lot more thoughtful about my recovery process, making sure I do all the things I need to in order to heal as quickly as possible, inside and out. Continue reading