Thursday, December 17, 2009

2010 races?

Okay, I know Julia usually organizes the list of yearly races in the side bar, but I just can't wait to see what everyone is running!

What are you guys planning for 2010?

I think Eve has talked about doing the Kaiser Half in San Francisco on February 7th. Too soon for this little mama.

There's the Sequoia Trail Run 20k on February 27th in Oakland, CA. I'm running the 20k and I know some others have signed up for the 10k.

I know there has been talk of signing up for the lottery for the Cherry Blossom 10-mile Run in DC on April 11th.

Lots of ladies are probably doing the See Jane Run half marathon on June 5th in Alameda, CA.

I'd love to do the Skyland Mountain Run 5k/10k/1k-kids-fun-run on July 10th off Skyline in the Santa Cruz Mountains. If anyone wants to do a 5k/10k, I highly recommend this one. You're running at the top of the mountains, but it's a relatively flat run--some gently rolling. Not too many people. Gorgeous views. Pancake breakfast and awesome band playing afterward! Seriously--some guy was playing a washboard!

And then there's my absolute favorite, the RunSFM on July 25th in San Francisco. I'll likely be doing the half.

I've ALWAYS wanted to do the Lake Tahoe Half and this year I am determined to do it! September 26th. There's lots of events up there that week--runs, bikes, swims, triathlons, kayaking, speed golf!

And of course there's the Nike Women's lottery for October. Count me in for the lottery! (Where the heck is that blasted web site. I swear it is so hard for me to find...)

What else, guys?? Any triathlons? Any bike races?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I ran!

I ran! I did it! I am so excited.

Postpartum life has been filled with ridiculously itchy skin, soreness that lasted too long, nether-regions that didn't heal correctly (but I didn't know until my 6-week check up), and feeling like I was going to pee my pants for a few days!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE being a mommy. I LOVE my baby. And it's all worth it. But my plan was to walk until the 6-week mark and then start running. I tend to overdo things, so that was my way of taking things slowly. 6 weeks came and went and I was too sore to even go on walks. Luckily my doctor fixed the problem and by 7 weeks I was all better! It's a Christmas Miracle! (Well, except the itchy skin. I can hope for a New Year's miracle, right?)

So yesterday Christian said, "Let's go on a walk." I got so excited that I put on running clothes. 5 minutes into our walk, I decided to run for a couple minutes just to test the water.

15 minutes later I decided I was too tired to keep running. 15 minutes, ladies (and gents?)! I mapped it out later and it came to a whopping 1.25 mile. I was soooo proud of myself!

Except for the fact that I feel like I need a sports bra for my jiggly belly, I felt great! I am sooooo back in the game. And it feels good.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

14 Miler

Jona and I went for a quick 5K run with Maggie last night.  It was right around sunset and the weather was unseasonably warm.  It was a nice run --- low-key and fun.

Around our lake, I started reflecting on the year and how we had just finished a marathon just a month ago.  Man, it feels like it could have been a year ago.  I thought about my training plans and races for the next year.  Is it time for another marathon?  We are both on such a high after our last race that another seems like a great idea.

Then I remembered my last 14 miler.  It was in late August and I'm pretty sure Jona had never seen a temper tantrum like the one I threw that morning.  (Do you love that it took me four months to confess this?)  I was so fed up with the heat and feeling tired.  I was so fed up with having to wake up at 5am to make sure we didn't die of heat stroke.  I was so fed up of "having to run" (apparently I had forgotten that this was my choice).  I honestly had a 15 minute cry in the car before I didn't run 14 miles that day.  Pathetic, I know.

After reflecting on that particular day I was reminded that running isn't easy.  It's really hard.   

I totally expect to step out onto the pavement and feel easy breezy.  But I have to remember that running takes heart, sweat, discomfort ... pain and tears even.  Is that why I do it?  Because it isn't easy?  No, I do it because it's rewarding.  I do it because I feel good after and during those long runs when I don't feel like I'm running anymore.  I run because it's the good thing to do for me - inside and out.

So I'll keep on keeping on.  Taking on the next race, the next run, the next training session, even though there may be temper tantrums, tears, and pain.  That's OK.  It's running - and I love it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Had the Craziest Dream Last Night

Jona said I talked in my sleep all night last night. I said I was sorry and then remembered exactly what I dreamt about ... thought it was appropriate here.

Maren and I were going to run the Boston Marathon (that's right Mare, I dreamt about you ...) but we were planning on taking it easy. Really easy. Like let's take a nap and do lunch, maybe go shopping, in the middle of the marathon. Then I was worried about making it to the finish line in time to have everyone see me cross. My dad happened to be there and was doing calculations for me and Maren while we were dawdling at the mall. 31 hours. It would take us another 31 hours to finish the marathon at that rate. I became a little concerned after that.

So I woke up this morning and after remembering my dream, it hit me that I was actually running 26.2 on Sunday. Woah. I may have been a little less mentally checked in to training this season, but I do feel ready. Shoot, after 11 of these you'd think I would have figured something out, right? Here goes nothin'. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


K, that's cool. Have you heard of this??

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dear Texter:

Dear Texter:
I understand the need. I really do. I also text, but not while driving, and the fact that you almost hit my little pooch today sent me through the roof. You couldn't hear my yelling and screaming though, because your music was too loud in your puke green Volkswagen Bug.

Stop it. Stop texting while driving. Your boyfriend or mom or bestie can wait. Put the phone away. Turn it on silent, because next time it may not be a dog, or it may not be"almost". Ridiculous.

An Incensed and Concerned Runner,

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stretching Your Lungs

Last night I went on a run with 2 guy friends from one of the companies I work for. They are both very experienced runners, so I knew I was in for a difficult run. We met at Yuba and agreed on 5 miles (not "to the drinking fountain and back" which we all know isn't actually 2.5 miles according to Garmin, they wanted to run 5 REAL miles). They were particular about the distance, and they were FAST.

We took off and after a few minutes I felt my heart wanting to explode - already! My trusty Garmin told me we were running at a 7:50 pace. No thank you. I slightly slowed down, silently encouraging them to do the same.

We ended up running the 5 miles in 44 minutes which is a first for me. I've never kept up an 8 something minute pace for 5 miles. 2 miles? Yes. 5? No.

I walked back to my car and drove home already feeling exhausted. By the time I got home, my chest hurt, my lungs hurt, my head hurt, blah blah blah...everything hurt. Later that night I mentioned that my lungs hurt to Brook (thinking it was just my weak lungs) and he said, "That's great! They're stretching."

"What? They're what?" I thought he was making junk up. I thought my lungs only stretched when I practiced streching them by doing vocal exercises and purposefully would hold my breath or would hold my breath under water and work on filling up my lungs, etc.

I understand the whole speed work outs, working on being able to endure more hills, taking short rest breaks to keep your body working hard, which then by default helps build your lung strength, but I had NEVER put the two together about purposefully stretching my lungs. And then I thought, I don't ever recall even having a discussion with anyone regarding this topic. Why don't runners work on breathing exercises to help expand their lung capacity? Like I mentioned, many types of workouts help increase your lung capacity, but that's not necessarily the only goal - it's to increase your fast twitch muscles, your lactic acid threashold, your heart rate, and many other factors.

Why don't runners dedicate exercises JUST to stretching your lungs? Or, why had I never heard of this if they do?

I googled "how to stretch lungs" and came up with a ton of clinical studies where scientists tested lung stretching techniques on mice and found that voila! They worked.

After searching through the clinical data, I found some informal websites like this

and also a YouTube video of Michael Phelps teaching breathing exercises.

Essentially, I feel very out of the loop and feel like especially for someone like me who has poopy lungs, I could very much benefit from sitting on my couch and doing lung stretching exercises in my down time.

Have any of you tried this? Or, read articles about this, heard about this, have advice?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Went to the doctor on Tuesday ... they diagnosed me with pharyngitis, conjuctivitis, sinusitis, and bronchitis. No lie.

I ran 10 miles (was supposed to be 16) on Saturday when I thought I may be "on the mend". Try again.

Lesson learned (after being on antibiotics now for a few days and feeling "on the mend"): getting that training in to "get it in" is probably not the best idea. Listen to your body. Give it time or you may come out with a few "itis'". :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

running in my mind

I haven't run in, oh, 15 weeks. I know, because I stopped running at 20 weeks pregnant. It wasn't comfortable. I would hurt after every run. I was done.

And then came the heat. This oven in my belly made me despise summer. I am always uncomfortably warm, so the only time to exercise is the early morning. I'm also tired, so getting up in the morning has been difficult. I can't meet up with anyone for a morning run, so I haven't had any peer pressure to get up and exercise.

But this morning brought everything back. After waking up to lightning and thunder during the night, I noticed a beautiful sky full of clouds this morning. A cool breeze came in the window. The ground showed signs of a light sprinkle. I looked at the clock: 7:50am.

I tried to do a quick calculation of who might still be out on the Steven's Creek Trail. Julianne was planning to run 8 sometime after 8am, but where? Maren and Sarah were running 10, but never said when or where they were starting. Kaylynn and Lindsey started sometime between 6 and 7 and were running 4-5 miles. They would be have finished long ago. Rachel, April, and Shayla were starting around 7 and all running various distances. Even if I jumped out of bed and drove to the trail, my chances of walking until I ran into some of my runner friends was looking pretty slim.

But I was craving it. I wanted to be out on the trail like everyone else. Even though I can't run, I can walk (more or less). I decided I would just tell my pubic bone to deal with it. Sometimes it's worth the pain. You really couldn't have asked for a more perfect morning. But I stayed in bed.

Later, as I was folding laundry, I heard a quiet tapping noise. I looked outside and realized it had started to rain. A light rain, but big drops. I immediately dropped what I was doing, threw on some clothes and shoes, grabbed an umbrella, and booked it out the door. I walked around the neighborhood for almost an hour.

And then it all came back to me--getting up to run during the winter. Cold mornings. Frozen fingers, watching our breath, moaning and groaning (and giggling) to each other about whose idea it was to run that early on such a cold morning. Warming up after a mile. Commenting after 5 miles how perfect the weather was.

I miss it. Being outside, breezing through easy runs, pushing through hard runs, chatting with friends, training for races.

Can't wait to get back out there...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No Sugar Days

I jump started 30 days with no sugar in September. I am already struggling and would love some advice/ideas on things to eat to curb the cravings.
Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How Do You Keep Fresh?

No, not that kind of fresh. Running fresh. Feeling fresh on your legs. Getting up in the morning. Running day in, day out. I wanna know.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Newton training shoes

Hi running friends!

I went to Running Revolution in downtown Campbell and found such a treat! These brand new shoes from Newton are an interesting cross between track shoes and regular running shoes. As you can see from the pictures, they have lifted forefronts to help keep you on your toes, literally.

As I'm sure we all know, the regular heel to toe running motion is inefficient, although most comfortable for most people. The fastest runners never touch their heels to the ground, they always stay on their toes.

These new shoes help you do just that! You can run as many miles as you want in them (even marathons), but they do caution against starting out with more than a few miles since it changes your gait.

I've run twice in them and I can really tell that they do help you lean forward and strike more off your toes. So far so good....

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Just Wanna Say ...

Ran here this last weekend (mmmwah, Mare) and absolutely soaked in every second. I love running - California reminded me why I love running - I left feeling renewed.
Sometimes it takes just that. A little jaunt across the US to my favorite running trail, a close friend, and a cool morning.
Thanks California. I needed that.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Run for Central Park

Today I did my first race in NYC. It was only a little 4 miler, but it was lots of fun. I love seeing how many people come out for races... I am always amazed!  This was the "Run for Central Park" race, and it was to support keeping Central Park clean and green. The race didn't start until 9 am, which was kind of a bummer, because it was already pretty hot, but it was nice not to have to wake up at the crack of dawn. The race went well for me, although I have been a little frustrated as I have started running again, because I am having to get back in shape all over again. It bugs me that I am not where I was when my knee went out. I know I will get back there, and probably pretty quickly, but still. :( Anyway... I did reach my realistic goal, which was to get under 36 minutes, but I didn't reach my super goal of running 8:30 minute miles. My watch time was 35:51, so hopefully my chip time will be close to that.

Oh, and just an update on the knee, so far it has been feeling great.  I did some PT, and then started back in really slowly, and have finally started working up to more miles.  The longest I have gone is only 5 miles, so we will see if it can hang in there for the rest of the marathon training!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Family Affair


I have an amazing husband who is a tremendous athlete. He's positive, fast, and strong. I cannot tell you how helpful it is to have another marathon runner in the house. We eat the right foods together, we run together when we can (he is a LOT faster than I am), we schedule races together, and we push each other.

Jona's thinking of entering the City of Oaks Marathon in early November, putting him running 26.2 three weeks after me. I breathed a sigh of relief when he mentioned it today. It will make my training that much easier, that much better. Having this running business be a family affair feels pretty good.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hydrate Naturally

These look sooooo yummy! From Runner's World.

Iced Green Tea
When: Pre- or postrun and on easy runs less than an hour

Why: Green tea is a stellar source of catechins, antioxidants that fight heart disease and cancer. According to research, catechins can reduce muscle damage caused by exercise, and also speed recovery. A recent study found that people who had the equivalent of five cups of green tea daily for three months and exercised lost more belly fat than those who only exercised. Iced green tea is a tasty alternative to water on easy, short runs, says Leslie Bonci, R.D., director of sports nutrition at the Pittsburgh Medical Center. Plus, tea contains caffeine, which boosts speed and endurance. If you drink iced green tea often, go with unsweetened, says Kimball, to avoid taking in excess calories.

Sipping Points: Steep tea bags for at least three minutes to release more catechins. If you buy bottled, choose brands with fewer than 15 grams of sugar per eight ounces.

Coconut Water
When: Pre- or postrun or on runs of about 60 minutes

Why: Coconut water, the clear liquid found inside the fruit, contains none of the fat found in coconut milk and has a tangy, light almond flavor. Eleven ounces contain 14 grams of sugar and 670 milligrams of potassium—way more than sports drinks. "Potassium works closely with sodium to maintain water balance and helps trigger muscles to contract and relax optimally," says Suzanne Girard Eberle, R.D., author of Endurance Sports Nutrition. Coconut water has enough carbohydrates for an hour-long run but not enough sodium for longer efforts.

Sipping Points: Coconut water, which is fat-free, comes plain or flavored with mango, orange peel, or passion fruit.

Chocolate Milk
When: Postrun

Why: The drink you loved as a kid has the ideal amount of carbohydrates and protein that tired muscles need for recovery, says Joel Stager, Ph.D., director of the department of kinesiology at Indiana University. According to a study Stager led, drinking chocolate milk postexercise speeds up recovery and increases the time it takes to reach exhaustion during a subsequent exercise session better than sports drinks. And a 2007 British study found that regular milk is better than water or a sports drink at restoring fluid levels following a bout of exercise in the heat. Plus, milk contains bone-strengthening vitamin D and calcium.

Sipping Points: Single-serving containers are handy for tossing into a cooler for a postrun treat and for portion control.

Cherry Juice
When: After a hard run

Why: If George Washington was more of an athlete, he never would have felled his dad's cherry tree. A study done in 2008 by British researchers found that runners who drank 16 ounces of tart cherry juice in the days before, the day of, and two days after a marathon decreased inflammation, oxidative stress, and muscle damage. "Cherry juice is very useful for postexercise recovery," says Declan Connolly, Ph.D., professor of physical education and exercise science at the University of Vermont. Cherries are higher in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties than many other types of fruit. Try drinking a cup of tart cherry juice after exercise—particularly during heavy training. But don't guzzle it like it's tap water: One cup has about 30 grams of natural sugar and 130 calories.

Sipping Points: If cherry juice is too tart for you, try a sweeter blend with cherries and other 100 percent fruit juices.

Vegetable Juice
When: Postrun

Why: Chock-full of a variety of nutrients in a concentrated package, 100 percent vegetable juice is a tasty way to get a serving or two of veggies. Those made mostly with tomatoes have lots of lycopene, an antioxidant that a British Journal of Nutrition study found protects muscles from oxidative stress caused by exercise. Many brands have three to five times the amount of sodium and 13 to 17 times the amount of potassium in sports drinks, "which makes vegetable juice an ideal part of a postrun snack or meal that includes carbs and protein," says Kimball.

Sipping Points: Sodium levels can range from 140 to 620 milligrams in regular (non—low sodium) brands. Choose higher levels if you crave salt postrun.

Monday, June 22, 2009

PS: Saturday Run

Wasn't awful. Wasn't great. But I did it. 10 miles in 80 degree weather at 6am.
First of four 10 milers under my belt. It felt good to start.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mmmm, I love junk food.

I've said it once, I've said it 1,000 times. I love food that is not good for me. I'll be honest and say that I do indulge more than I should, but I will also say that I am not a glutton. :)

So, marathon time, right? The week's training has gone pretty well and I'm heading out on my first 10 miler in some sweltering North Carolina heat tomorrow.

I've really contemplated going on a junk food fast for the marathon. Hrm. Contemplated would be the word I would use. I've done it twice in the past few years and the benefits have been amazing but I'm not sure I'm willing to take the plunge, well, because I love junk food. So then I think I'll strike a balance and say treats only on Saturdays after runs, but then Saturdays turn into Sunday and I've got a tummy full of ice cream on my Monday morning run. Then it goes down hill from there.

So my question to you is this: how do you find your balance? Not necessarily just in running and exercising, but just in life? I'm really an all or nothin' kinda girl and I'd like to move towards balance in my life.

Have a great weekend everyone. Go for a run and you Cali girls, enjoy that cool morning weather for me, ok?

** Disclosure. I am not happy about this heat and running in it. Just in case you couldn't infer from my previous complaints in this post and others. Just sayin'. I'll be a big girl though. I can do it. Right? Right. Right.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weight Workout Tonight

And so starts my training. June 15 - weight lifting with Jona.

Here goes:
Squats, 4 sets of 12
Lat pulldowns (pullups if you can do them) 3 sets of 12
Leg extensions 3 sets of 12
Bench press 3 sets of 12
Calf raises 3 sets of 12
Shoulder press 3 sets of 12

Optional exercises: deadlift, dips, dumbbell flies, preacher curl.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Call Me Crazy, But I Think I'm Going to Do It

June 20 means marathon training. Hot, muggy marathon training for the Nike Women's Marathon, October 18, 2009. And you know what? I think I am going to do this crazy training schedule that I brought up earlier this month.

June 20, 27, July 4, 11: 10 miles
July 18, 25, August 1, 8: 12 miles (*****12 miles in CA, 8/1 or 7/31*****)
August 15, 22, 29, September 5: 14 miles
September 12, 19, 26, October 3: 16 miles
October 10: 12 miles
October 18: 26.2

The goal for each of the weeks is to weight lift once a week, spin once every other week, hill train once every other week and then squeeze in two to three runs during the week (3-8 miles) as well. It will be flexible, but a spin or hill train AND a weight lift must happen once each week.

Wish me luck. It's getting hot here and mornings are coming earlier and earlier. Check in on me. Make sure I'm doing what I've said I should be doing. I need a little accountability.

So exciting. Here goes nothin'. Number 11.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Road Trip Replacements

It's summer and that means road trips, and lots of times road trips mean junk food. Not this year though! Here are some alternatives from to help curb those junk food cravings while on the road.

  • Sports Drink: One Gatorade Thirst Quencher powder pack mixes up to 17 ounces.
  • Energy Bars: Clif Bars and Kashi TLC Bars supply both carbs and protein.
  • Instant Oatmeal: Heat water in the hotel coffeemaker.
  • Granola: Top your yogurt with Bear Naked Snack-Packs.
  • Honey: Snag single-serving packets at any fast-food joint.
  • Crackers: Kashi TLC crackers are 130 calories a bag.
  • Fruit: Apples, oranges, and bananas hold up well.
  • String Cheese: A good source of low-fat protein.
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs: Be sure to peel before you leave.
  • Hummus: Try squeeze-tubes of Wild Garden hummus.
  • Carrots: Mini snack bags pair perfectly with hummus.
  • Chocolate: Portion control with individual squares.

Monday, June 1, 2009

i {want to} give up...

...but i won't.

But I want to.

I've tried nine times - yes NINE times - to run a half marathon in under 2 hours. 1:59:59 is all I'm askin' here folks. And I can't seem to do it.

Sure, for some of those races {cough cough, Nike Women's, cough cough} it just wasn't attainable. But yesterday, I ran in the See Jane Run half marathon in Alameda, CA. It's flat. It's nearly at sea-level. And I had trained at a 9-minute mile pace and under. I trained mostly with two other girls.

They both made it in under 2 hours.

They both made it in WELL under 2 hours, not just seconds to spare.

I started off great...and I paced myself so I wouldn't crash. And then "crash" I did. My legs just would not keep up. I felt okay, I pushed myself and I was giving it my all. But I guess my 'all' just wasn't good enough.

And it leaves me to wonder. Some people just have it in them. They're just runners. It's easy for them and they're naturally good at it. Running is not easy for me. And I'm not naturally good at it. But, I do take pride in the fact that I've worked hard at it and I feel good when I do it. And I usually enjoy the results of improvement.

Yesterday, I didn't enjoy those results. I ran a PR {personal record}, but for some reason that wasn't enough. It wasn't my goal. The ONLY reason I signed up for this race was to run it in under two hours. That didn't happen and now I'm just bummed that I'm out the money and the time it took. I could have run 13.1 miles around my neighborhood...and had a less stressful week.

I'm contemplating just becoming a trainer. I seem to have a nack for running with others who have goals...and they always reach their goals. Maybe I'm just a good supporter and encourager...and maybe I just haven't found the right kind of support or encouragement that I need at that crucial point in the race {probably because they're all ahead of me by that point}. I don't know.

But...I'd love some tips. To those of you who have set goals and attained them...what are your secrets? How can I run faster. How can I not crash? How can I start to really enjoy running again???

Saturday, May 30, 2009

National Running Day: June 3

Be there or be square on June 3.  From Deena Kastor's blog:

Hi Running Fans,

Deena Kastor - National Running DayI am posting from the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California where I have been training the month of May. 

Wednesday June 3rd is National Running Day. This sport gives us health, fitness, sanity, confidence, and adventure so celebrate the day by taking a friend for a run and share your secret of success with them. If you are a running enthusiast, then June 3rd is your day to promote our sport. 

If you have procrastinated engaging the runner in you, this is your chance to get moving. Think of National Running Day as a second chance at your New Year’s Resolution. To get tips on how to incorporate running into your day Treat yourself to a run on a trail you keep meaning to explore. The first step is the most difficult, but the benefits that follow just might get you hooked on the sport for a lifetime. If you are a morning person, run before work. Use your lunch break for a jaunt through a local park. Unwind at the end of a long day by treating yourself to a run around your neighborhood. Whether you run 5 minutes or 1 hour, you have grown that much healthier. The point is engaging in the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other. 

I will be in New York with my friends at the New York Road Runners to celebrate the day. The New York Road Runner’s Foundation is putting on a kid’s event at Icahn Stadium where over 1000 children from Manhattan and the Bronx will be running. But, the beauty of running is you can participate anywhere at any time. So, grab your shoes, get moving and share the experience with a friend. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Alright, Runners. Need Your Advice.

I was in Utah this past week and mentioned to one of my friends that I would be running the full Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco this October. She asked me about my training regiment and I asked about hers.

I generally run an increase of two miles every other weekend for my long runs. (12, 14, 16 etc. every other week) building up to 20 miles two to three weeks before the race. Then I taper. The last few marathons I've doubled up on my 20 milers. For 10 marathons, it's worked. Tried and true, but my friend's training schedule piqued my interest. Here goes:

16 weeks of training. Runs varying from 4-8 miles during the week and then weekend runs as follows:
  • Weeks 1-4: 10 miles, 10 miles, 10 miles, 10 miles
  • Weeks 5-8: 12 miles, 12 miles, 12 miles, 12 miles
  • Weeks 9-12: 14 miles, 14 miles, 14 miles, 14 miles
  • Weeks 13-16: 16 miles, 16 miles, 16 miles, 16 miles

Does that make sense? You run straight 10 miles every weekend for a month, 12 miles every weekend for a month, etc. etc. etc.

I'm intrigued and wanted to know what your thoughts were. Here are mine:

  • Pros: Different training, more interesting, try something new, no super long run
  • Cons: Lack of recovery in between weekends (especially during month 4), no super long run before race

My friend has run 26 marathons. The training's all about endurance. It's worked for her. So, what do you think? Should I do it?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Scaredy Cat? Maybe Not.

Jona and I have really enjoyed running together this spring. The sun is coming up earlier, warming the morning air, making it much more pleasant to get up and enjoy an early run.

Some mornings we run around our lake which includes a challenging mile of wooded trail. It winds, rolls, and keeps you on your toes with its many tree roots. Maggie loves it. She's a machine during that stretch of the trail, fast and focused. It's great for our proprioception and ankle strength, as long we don't trip which, believe me, happens.

Last Monday we noticed a sign posted throughout the trail notifying trail users about a woman who had been attacked and raped by a man in broad daylight a few days earlier at a neighboring trail. It freaked me out and I was grateful Jona was with me.

Fast forward a week later. I was planning a morning run around the trail where the woman had been attacked. No need to live my life in fear, right? I put out on all my gear on the floor the night before, drank a ton of water (helps me get out of bed for the run in the morning because I have to pee so bad), and went to bed.

That night before the run I had amazingly scary dreams. Dreams about people coming into my house, dreams about scary monsters (I had watched Fringe the night before), and another specific dream about that man on that trail that I was going to run the next morning.

My alarm went off and I felt that I should not go on my planned run. I felt like an idiot. Like that guy, would be at that trail, on that morning, where I would be running. I felt paranoid and lazy, but didn't go out on that run. I slept in a bit, dragged Jonathan and Maggie out of bed, and hit our regular loop around our lake.

I read once that we as humans are the only species on earth that will put ourselves in an enclosed space like an elevator if we feel we are in danger. We deny and ignore our instincts if our "fear sensors" are firing. Maggie is living proof of that. If she's afraid, she's gone. I'd like to think that maybe that is what happened this week when I didn't run on that trail. The whole point to this big, long-winded post is trust your instincts. Be careful. You just never know when your "fear sensors" might be trying to tell you something.

Monday, May 4, 2009


Thank you for all your advice, ladies! I ran my 10-miler on Saturday and my sister was nice enough to join me in walking a couple minutes for every mile we ran. Overall it went really well. As for the time? Let's just say it's mentally challenging to have your 10-miler time be slower than your usual half marathon time. No joke.

My hips and back didn't start aching until mile 9 (as opposed to mile 6 the week before), and I didn't hurt AT ALL the next day. Huge improvement. Thank you, thank you!

The only problem this time was that I got really tired near the end and had to walk the last 1/2 mile. I was exhausted and just wanted to sit down. That worries me more than achy muscles. So next time I think I just need to bring pretzels, trail mix, or cliff shot blocks (or an entire pizza) along instead of just one Gu. I think I'm slowly figuring this whole thing out.

I have to be honest--I really didn't expect running to be this complicated this early in my pregnancy, but I'm excited I'm still running and that I feel good. Thanks for your advice!

Monday, April 27, 2009

running dilemma

So as most of you know, I'm expecting a baby in October. (Yay!) And I'm signed up for the See Jane Run half marathon on May 30th. I signed up knowing full well that I would be 20 weeks pregnant at the race. Gotta have a goal, right? I'm not too proud to drop out of the race if I need to, but I will admit that I really hope to do the race.

Here's my dilemma.

I'm 15 weeks pregnant and am barely even starting to get a belly. I've noticed that my joints and muscles in my hip area are easily irritated and I tentatively attribute that to the relaxin hormone. But other than running slower, I'm feeling great.

I ran my 8-miler with my sister on Saturday. We ran about 12-minute miles and took stretch/pee breaks every 2 miles. I felt great up until mile 6. As I got closer to our 6-mile rest stop, I noticed my lower back and deep in my upper glutes aching more and more with every step. By the time we stopped at mile 6, my lower back/upper glutes/deep hip joints felt like I had just pounded them on a 20-miler. You know, to the point that when you start running again, you're practically limping til your body warms up. It wasn't sciatica, since I know what that feels like, but it was a deep aching.

Once I warmed up again, I didn't notice the aching too much until we stopped (probably because we were too busy screaming "Coming up on your left!!" to the millions of March of Dimes walkers blocking the last 2 miles of the trail). But as soon as I stopped and for the rest of the day, the aching was pretty bad. And when I would get up to walk, the first couple of steps felt like something was getting smashed where my lower back met my legs (so deep in my upper glutes). It's almost gone today, but not 100%.

Anyone have any advice? I'm reluctant to even attempt a 10-miler next week if this is how it's going to be. Would it make any difference if I do a walk/run? I mean, we took significant breaks every 2 miles, so it wasn't like we went non-stop. Other than the lower back, I felt awesome (breathing, stamina, etc, was not a problem). We were able to chat non-stop the entire time, which means I wasn't overdoing it in the least.

What do you think?

PS--Our training runs from here on out are 10, 6 or 8, 12, 6 or 8, race day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Boston Marathon Winners!

The 2009 Boston Marathon winners have crossed the finish line!

Deriba Merga (Ethiopia):  2:08:43 
Salina Kosgei (Kenya):  2:32:06


Friday, April 17, 2009

Good Luck SLC Runners!

Have an amazing race! Can't wait to hear all about it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Love to Run Sidenote

NEVER underestimate the power of having a run scheduled with someone else. Never ever. For me, having to be accountable to someone else at any time of day will always get me out the door and pounding the pavement.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Runner's World Hill Workouts

1. Short Hills. My high school coach affectionately called these "meat grinders." They are relatively short hills of 100 to 200 meters that you repeat multiple times. They can be tacked on the end of an easy run or used as a complete workout. Because these hills are short, you should run them at a fast pace -- almost an all-out effort -- with a walk or slow jog back down the hill as a recovery.

While you can run these types of hill repeats on asphalt, a grass or dirt hill is less stressful to your body. Short hills are important for anyone who wants to develop the explosive strength necessary to run a good 800 meters or finish strong in a mile or 5-K. A sample short hill workout: one to two sets of 10 hill repeats. Walk or jog slowly down the hill after each repeat, and do an additional 5 minutes of jogging between sets.

2. Hilly Power Run. It doesn't sound very technical (sorry), but this workout builds strength for a strong marathon or half-marathon. Pick a route that has rolling hills and "push" each hill. By push, I mean you should try not to slow down as you roll over each rise. But don't attack the incline as you do when running short hills.

I like to do this kind of run as part of a 10-mile workout. I pick a canyon road, then work each uphill, catching my breath as I cruise on the flat and downhill sections. This type of continuous hilly power run will be your best weapon against monsters such as Heartbreak Hill in Boston.

3. Hilly Long Run. This workout is similar to the Hilly Power Run, but longer and less intense. Run this at your long-run pace, but make sure you have some rolling hills in the last half of the run. When you hit the hills with fatigued legs, you'll be forced to work on your form. This workout will also build the strength and confidence necessary to race well late in a longer race, whether it has hills or not.

4. Long Hill Circuits. This is more of a traditional long-interval workout. The key is finding a grass or dirt circuit that has a number of uphills. The distance of the circuit can be as short as a half-mile or as long as 2 miles. Run the downhill sections at a semi-easy (75 percent) effort to avoid injury. Run the flat and uphill sections at 5-K race pace. Unless you're a Sherpa, do a total of 3- to 4-miles' worth of the circuit, with 3 to 5 minutes of jog recovery between each circuit.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Are You In?

Registration's closed, but did you get in? I think Maren and Eve (and myself) have confirmed that they are IN!!! Lemme know!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

HATE the treadmill, LOVE swim-caps!

I have been slowly starting back into running on the treadmill, and so far so good. Oh, except for the fact that I absolutely loathe running on the treadmill. Today, I was going to do 5 miles, but by 2.5 miles, I felt like I was suffocating from it being so hot and stuffy in the gym, with no air circulation whatsoever. I honestly could hardly breathe. So I only did 3. I honestly don't know how people can run so much on treadmills. I wish I could, because it's very convenient for when it's dark, but alas... But the good news is that my knee felt great. I still took it pretty easy, as this is only my third run, but I am feeling very optimistic! I am planning on going to get fit for new shoes (I don't know how happy I am with my Mizunos) on Tuesday, and after I get them, I think I will attempt an outdoor run.

On another positive note... I have also been swimming to help stay in shape, which I really enjoy. I don't usually wear a swim-cap while doing laps, just because I was too lazy to buy one, but since I have one from the triathlon we did, I decided to use it today. Can I just tell you how awesome those things are?! No water in your ears, smooth, aerodynamic movement through the water, and on top of all that, it creates a nice quiet atmosphere to swim in. I know that's a lot of praise to give a little swim-cap, but I tell you, it deserves every word of it. I really had the most enjoyable swim today that I have had in a long time. Plus, it keeps your hair from getting all damaged from the chlorine. Try one, you will not regret it.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Molly's back in the saddle! Thanks for the inspiration Molly. I know I could definitely use it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sports Drinks

Another great article from Runner's World that I thought I would pass along. I'd love to know your thoughts on this. Personally, I only drink the full on Gatorade (nothing else) when I've got more than 8 miles to crank out. Otherwise I'm drinking water or my new favorite, G2.

Sports Beverages: Help, Harm, or Hype?

The market is inundated with beverage choices advertised to athletes: caffeinated, with amino acids, taurine, vitamins, minerals, etc. Necessary or not? Let's examine more closely.
What are the benefits of a sports drink and why choose one?

1) They provide fluid. And as a runner, you lose fluid through sweat, and being inadequately hydrated will decrease strength, speed, and stamina, as well as increase the perceived effort of exertion.

2) They provide carbohydrates to exercising muscles during activity, and also help fluid to empty more rapidly from the stomach.

3) They provide sodium, which can help to maintain fluid balance within and between cells.
But manufacturers have been adding lots of other bells and whistles, which can introduce complications. For instance...

Protein, which can delay gastric emptying. (Even though some studies show that the branched chain amino acids may delay central fatigue, the protein added to beverages may have a longer gastric emptying time and may cause digestive distress in some people.)

Caffeine, which may have an ergogenic (performance-enhancing effect) by increasing mental focus and expediting use of free fatty acids as a fuel source earlier in exercise, therefore sparing muscle glycogen -- but this is most likely to be benefical before, not during, runs. And for those who are caffeine-sensitive, the stimulant effect may not enhance performance.

Vitamins and minerals. Most drinks that contain micronutrients have only select vitamins or minerals, not all of them, so these products are not a substitute for a daily supplement. And vitamins and minerals are not a source of energy; therefore you really won't notice any difference in performance while running, although your wallet will be lighter because these products aren't cheap.

So what should you do?

Look for a product with 14-15 grams of carbohydrate per 8 ounces. More is too concentrated and will take too long to leave your stomach. If you are calorie conscious, there are some that have 7 grams of carbohydrate per 8 ounces.

Look for a product with about 110 milligrams of sodium per 8 ounces. Less is not enough. And sodium is the bigger factor here, as the body loses more sodium than potassium during exercise.

Don't worry so much about the caffeine, amino acids, or vitamins and minerals.

Have your latte or cup of joe, eat a turkey or veggie burger to get the amino acids, and if you are worried about your micronutrients, take a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement. In the long run, it will cost you less and you'll be better nourished!


Monday, March 9, 2009


SOOoo... I have runner's knee. That's not an official diagnosis, seeing as how I have not been to the Dr yet, but from my online research, that is what I am convinced is wrong with my right knee. I am SUPER bummed. I was pretty much 1/2 way through my marathon training, and things were going SO great. The biggest thing is that I felt like I was on the brink of making my easy pace an entire minute faster than what it previously was, and had been holding an uncomfortable, focused pace for about 7-8 miles . I was consistent and strong and working really hard... AND losing weight! I was on a roll! 

As I mentioned before, I have been battling shin splints, and I felt like I was just barely staying on top of them, with icing and TONS of stretching. Well, a little over a week ago, I came home from a Friday run and didn't have time to stretch. BAD IDEA! The next day I went out for a 12 miler and felt good for the first 6 or 7 miles, but then my knee started to nag a little. By mile 8, it was so bad that I had to stop. I have NEVER had to stop because of pain. I mean, I've stopped out of laziness and all that good stuff, but never because I absolutely couldn't run another step. It was sad. Especially since I was in the middle of central park, and had no phone or money, and had to walk about 2-3 miles back home. It took awhile, and it was cold. What I think happened, is that my shins and calves were so tight, that they were getting moved out of place, and it is only natural to take other things out of alignment along with it, as they are all connected. That, along with the need for new shoes, running on uneven paths, and probably a little overuse... I'm sure they are all to blame, and can all be causes of runner's knee (which basically means that my knee is out of alignment and rubbing against the cartilage).  The weird thing is that I hadn't had any knee pain while running. It was very all of the sudden.

It took about a week of icing and ibu profin for it to feel good just walking on it. I can now walk without any pain, even when going down hill. I decided to try a run on Saturday, and was feeling very optimistic, but once I started running... pain. I only lasted about 1/2 a mile. So, my marathon training is officially on hold as of right now. I will be hittin' the pool to keep up some level of fitness, and when I do start running again, I think it is going to have to be on the treadmill for a while, as downhills are what really make it worse. I am hoping that it will only be a couple more weeks that I will be out, but that is just enough time to make doing a May 3rd marathon pretty much out of the picture. We'll see though. The good news though, is that if I indeed can't do the marathon, then I will be able to do this half marathon that I wasn't going to be able to do, as it is one week before the marathon.

Anyway... just wanted to share my sadness with everyone.  If you have any advice, please send it my way!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Where I Learned To Run

Yep, this little trail. Steven's Creek Trail in Mountain View, CA. I'm traveling 2,800 miles this weekend to visit it and run it and love it. My first memories of this trail were with Jeni in 2004. We'd wake up early or wait till 5 in the afternoon to huff our way up and down the trail grinning from ear to ear after a great 3 miler or 4 miler. Then our runs became 5 milers and 6 milers, and the trail unfolded for us even more taking us out to the bay and back. Ah, I love this trail. I've spent long hours with dear friends on cold mornings, rainy afternoons, fiery evenings, and everything in between. So yes, I love this trail and I can't wait to see it again this Saturday.

Where was your first run?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Holy Crap That's Cute

Perusing the web this morning and found this. A little expensive? Probably. Super cute, yes?

So I want to know if anyone's found some cute running stuff lately ... I'm feeling the urge to update my workout wardrobe. :)

2.24.09 UPDATE from IVEE (they sent me an email):

At a glance, IVEE products might look more pricy than some other sportswear brands. However, IVEE is made with premium Supplex/Lycra, which has a soft cotton feel, but offers quick wicking feature and form fitting at the same time. Compare to garments made with cheaper fabrics, such as cotton, polyester or nylon, IVEE apparels will still look new after many washes and stay in your wardrobe longer. And most of all, we are dedicated to create fashionable and elegant styles that be sure to make you stand out whether you are running on the road or training in the gym.

So there you go!

They're offering 10% off online orders right now ... use the code HW34.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Running on a Budget

Great article from Runner's World. Tough times for many Americans ... but keep running!

Running on a Budget
Coach Jenny, I was laid off a few weeks ago and find that my running has been a life saver. I know you know this but it really helps keep me positive, focused, and hopeful. My question: Do you have any tips for ways I can run on a budget? I know it is a rather inexpensive sport in comparison to others, but races, gear, and apparel have found their way into my budget every year and I'm looking for ways I can cut back but still enjoy my running life! - Janet

I'm sorry to hear that you lost your job, Janet. But I'm happy to read that you are continuing to run. It is a very effective way to deal with the stresses of losing your job and it can really help you cope while you work your way through this valley. Thank you for sharing with us. I have a feeling there are a lot of other runners out there who are going through a similar experience. Here are a few tips that can keep you running on a budget. I'm hoping others will post their ideas as well.

Make a plan. Like training, it is just as important to make a financial plan (budget) for the year. By doing so, you can find ways to reduce your living expenses and carve out money to preserve your running career. Plus, when you put things down on paper, it is easier to see what you have and develop a plan.

Use your running shoes only for your runs. Mark the date you purchased and started to use them on the inside of the shoe to keep track of the mileage. You will get more mileage out of each pair and they will last longer. Put a freeze on buying new apparel and gear. All you really need is a good pair of fitted shoes (and bra) to keep running. Everything else can wait until you're employed again.

Buy local. Avoid running in old shoes, as it can increase your risk of injury which can cost money down the road in medical bills. Create a relationship with your local running specialty shop and talk to them about your situation. Ask them about deals they may have on returned shoes or upcoming sales. You may be surprised at their willingness to help keep you running. Most store owners are in it for the passion and want to help.

Run local. Identify one or two target races for the year and consider running local events. Talk to the race director about volunteering and bartering for your race fees. Many directors need help organizing the event and at expos and packet pick-up. It's the perfect way to support your local running community and continue to race!

Join a club, training group or running specialty store. Most stores offer free weekly group runs. You may have a small upfront fee to join the clubs and training programs, but you'll benefit from months of group training and other perks like networking with other runners for possible employment opportunities.

Join a charity training program. Many charities like Team in Training and Team McGraw offer a comprehensive training program for endurance races, travel, and hotel in exchange for raising funds for their cause.

Finally, don't be afraid to talk things through with your family, friends, and running buddies. You never know what may come of the conversation and it sure helps calm the soul. Hang in there, and keep running.

Happy Trails,
Coach Jenny Hadfield

Friday, February 13, 2009

What I have learned about running in Manhattan...

... is that there is no such thing as a flat run. Honestly, the only flat place to run (that I know of) is the Jackie Onassis running track in Central Park, and unfortunately, it's a little on the icy side right now, and seeing as how I'd rather not break my ankle, I steer clear. For some reason, I thought that NY would be super flat, but I was wrong. Oh well. I know it will only make me stronger. I love hills for this reason, as well as the fact that it forces me into this super focused groove, where I feel like I could go on forever. But... they are tough. It makes me a little nervous to think that all of my long runs will be filled with consistent rolling hills, and some of those hills in Central Park are long and brutal. Well, I guess if I can run 20 miles on rolling hills, I should be able to do reasonably well running 26.2 miles on a mostly flat course.

I have also learned that really cold weather + hills = tight calves and shin splints. As a result, I have become a stretching fool. But as a reward for all my stretching, I get my 2 and a half year old asking me, when I walk in the door from a run, "mommy's gonna stretch?" He then proceeds to stretch with me. It's pretty darn cute. Something else I have learned about running in the cold, is that when you run outside in literally freezing weather for an hour, the heat in your body from the run only lasts for about 5 minutes after you finish, and then after that, your core temperature drops really fast until you find yourself chilled to the bone and shivering in your warm house, and you have to take a really long, HOT bath to warm up again. Also, if you don't have warm running tights, your butt is never warm.

But on the plus side... it is beautiful. Living in NY is still very surreal to me, so being able to run through Riverside Park and Central Park, or along beautiful neighborhood streets, is so awesome. Everywhere looks like something you would see in a movie, and I love it. Running in NY makes me feel like I am a part of something, even though I'm really not. But, just the same, it is so cool to run through the city and think that I get to call this place home.

Anyway... so there you go... some nice random facts about running in NY, just in case you were planning on coming to visit sometime soon! ;) In which case, I should tell you about some cool races coming up...

The Long Island Marathon, on May 3rd, which also has a half marathon at the same time. (This is the Marathon that I am doing)
and the More Magazine half Marathon, on April 26th, which is an all women's race. It's a really popular race and is supposed to be super fun.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

B and MB

They were back at spin last night. Talk about crazy triathletes. Geeeeeeez.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Calorie Counting

Yep, that's right. I'm back on the bandwagon. Counting the calories and ready to drop a few pounds. I'm using an application on my new *iPhone* (YAAAYYY!) that will automatically calculate calories for the day depending on what I eat and how much I exercise. It also will take my BMI (weight and height) and calculate how many calories I can eat to lose the weight I want.

Simply enough, it's calories in/calories out for weight loss and fitness. Have you calorie counted before? Did you have much success?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Shin Splints

Amrick1409: Do you have any advice for shin splints or pain in the knees??

MollyAuf: Julia and I both had shin splints back in the day. Our coach would make us walk the first 5 minutes of our runs in order to warm up. We didn't like that but did it anyway. Hahaha. So definitely warm up, and stretch your calves A LOT. Tight calves can lead to shin splints. And for your knee pain, it can be a million different things, but I say keep your quads, IT band, and hamstrings well stretched (stretch after they are warm). That will do wonders. Yoga helps a lot, too.

Julia: ditto molly! those are all things i would recommend.i also completely got rid of shin splints when i switched to new shoes with proper support. and STREEEEEEETCH. ;)

*As always, please see a professional!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Elite Abs? Yes, Thank You.

I thought these exercises would be awesome to share. Strong abs = strong runner.
The rest of the set can be found here.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Spin Class

Tuesday evening meant spin class this week and I went super early to make sure I got a seat. The gym has been C.R.A.Z.Y. these last few weeks with everyone and their New Year's Resolutions attending the gym. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that everyone is working hard and getting in shape, but man, I'd like a parking spot, k?

So I'm in line to get into the class, the door opens and in we all go. I'm a second row kinda girl so I grab my spot, set my seat and handle bars, throw my towel across the front of the spin bike, and start warming up with about 10 minutes to go before class started.

So in walks these two little girls, and by little I mean little. I shall call them Blondie (B) and Miss Brunette (MB). There's an age restriction of 12 years in order to be upstairs so I'll assume they turned 12 that day. B and MB were decked in their Pearl Izumi spandex and clipless cleats, ready to go. And when I say ready to go, I really mean ready to go. By the time class had started B (who sat next to me) was already dripping sweat onto the hardwoods. I was honestly impressed.

20 minutes into the class, the instructor announces that we're going to climb. Climb, climb, climb. This is after 10 minutes up out of our seats at a pretty intense level, which I assumed was a pretty awful climb. Apparently not. So this climb required that the weight got progressively heavier equalling four full turns from where we already were. I'm cursing the instructor silently as I watch B turn the weight dial all the way around ... twice. Her little frame struggled as she pushed all of her weight to get the pedal around one revolution. GEEZ.

The class continued and I finally got into a rhythm. B and MB sailed their way all the way through the class. I was just amazed at the athletic grit these two little girls had at such a young age.

As frosting on the cake, after the class finished I went downstairs to pick up my sweatshirt and car keys in the women's locker room, and who did I see waltzing her way down to the pool in her TYR swimsuit, swim cap and goggles? That's right. MB.

Jona and I talk all the time about how our kids are going to be ATHLETES. After Tuesday night, I think no differently. While some may think otherwise, I think those girls have been given such a gift. For the rest of their lives I can imagine that they'll be lean and healthy, strong and happy. I was certainly inspired.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nutrition Tips

Ya, I don't know about that gummy candy (Maren, Molly ... back me up on this) but this is an awesome video from Runner's World. But really, I could probably cut back on the gummy bears. Seriously. :)

Now only if my tummy looked like this ... v

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


It's always hard for me to think about New Year's resolutions, because I hate the thought of breaking them. So in my own twisted way, I just "resolve" to do better, write down some goals, and not kick myself if I don't accomplish everything on that list. I then try to make smaller goals throughout the year and hopefully the outcome is that I'm better in 2009 then I was in 2008. Cop out? Maybe.

So for 2009, I'd like to be a better runner, naturally. I'd like to be more consistent. Stronger. Faster. My first step towards accomplishing that goal is to sign up for a few races. I've also resolved to work out six days a week. Doesn't necessarily mean running six days a week, but I'm making sure that I do something active six days a week. We'll see. Maybe putting it down here on the blog will give me more accountability.

How about you? What's 2009 going to hold for you?