I run happy.

Monday, December 31, 2012


HAPPY 2012!
You were full of highlights...
Thank you for bringing THE BOY WITH THE BOW TIE home for Christmas.
He turned the Casita de Ling into PEE WEE's PLAYHOUSE as usual.  Please don't steal my iPhone and take bizarre pictures again!  Out numbered again.

Sparkle Pants turned 3.  Can you believe that?
3 years of paper swords,  wrestling, surfing and making paper cookies...
what would our World have been without you?
Boy Scout opted to shave off his MO-VEMBER Stache.  Thank goodness.  I like a good beard but his fuzzy face never seemed to move past this phase...the kisses were still good though.

Sparkle Pants practiced safety-first while handling heavy machinery.

Chicago became my new favorite marathon.

Working Mama celebrates her 23rd birthday...and continues to go to school, work two jobs and love her young pup to bits.

We're truly grateful...


I am especially grateful for a year of injury free running, the first one since I started running 7 years ago.  In the beginning of my running career,   I ran marathon after marathon,  ran track with a training group and basically ran every run as hard as I could, because I could and because it made me happy.  Until my 40ish body put on the brakes.  I just didn't get it.  Why couldn't I run, train, run, train and race, race, race without getting hurt?

2010 brought some clarity and I decided that my hips were hurting way too much.  This running thing was just getting way too painful.  I sought a coach.  He was tough, he was SMART and he helped me get fit.  MAF and heart rate were key to this phase and I saw my race times improve.  I learned some key things that I will NEVER FORGET:

1.  If you're training for a marathon, don't waste your precious training and energy on racing a lot of other races in between, especially the small ones.  Stay focused.  Stay confident.

2.  Run by feel; don't DEPEND and obsess with your time/pace/watch/friends.  Run how you feel.  Love how you feel.  Love running.  This key lesson will never leave me.  It is now WHO I am as a runner.

3.  Trails, mountains, hills are *key* to training and strength.  Love them. Embrace them.

4.  Age is just a number.

After about 6 months with this coach, however,  I had pushed too hard once again.  Bam!  Foot problems, it band issue...I had listened to him but NOT my body. He changed me for the better, I owe him so much.   After New York, 2010, a PR race for me,  I backed off from racing...then did Boston(which was a disaster)and decided to start over.

I have been working with Nicole for almost a year and a half.  I found her through another masters runner's blog and liked her immediately.  It was a slow start for me.  TRUST.  I had to believe that starting slow once again would pay off in the end.  Nicole is a trail mountain running champion and her workouts intrigued me.  The periodization in her workouts and my training schedule were similar to what Coach One had me doing but I wound up doing more hill workouts.  SUDDENLY,  I found myself looking at my workouts and the calendar as MINE rather than just following them blindly and expecting a specific result.  I began to integrate WHAT I KNEW ABOUT MY BODY(HEL-LOW!)into my recovery days and finally,  my body began to respond.  

Specifically...if I started to feel a niggle,  I'd STOP, rehab for a day(foam roller, ice, acupuncture, massage, chiropractor-depending on the niggle)and then re evaluate my plans.  Sure enough, giving myself an extra recovery day or reducing my mileage GAVE MY BODY A CHANCE to heal.  Once Nicole and I fell into  groove,  I've started to learn that following her workouts for me, have kept me HEALTHY, HAPPY, INJURY FREE and RUNNING!

Could I have done this without a coach?  Maybe YOU could have.  Not me.  I love to run hard,  I love to leave it out on the trail too much.  

I needed a wise woman to tell me to keep my long runs between 8:45-9:30 no matter what!
I needed a wise woman to tell me to run my tempos by a prescribed "effort" not the EXACT pace!
I needed a wise woman to tell me to take care of my body when I had a cold...
I needed a wise woman to recognize that my goal is  not  to PR at every race, it's really to stay healthy so I can run into my 80's!  Truly.

Happy New Year! I hope your goals for the new year are accomplished quickly,  with enthusiasm and that 2013 is filled with love of friends and family and lots of HAPPY MILES.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Let's get the nitty-gritty out of the way.

It's been a LONG time since I've blogged.  Believe it or not, I still READ blogs but I haven't commented in ages.  I just like to know what ALL OF YOU are up to and keep up with your lives and running but I'm sorry,  I don't have the time that I used to, back when I was first and EMPTY NESTER.  Hee, hee.

Any-hoo!  The good news is that I recovered from Chicago like a TIGER and am back gearing up for my first 15k trail race on Sunday.  I also ran a great 5k on Thanksgiving and although I STILL haven't gone sub-20,  I was pretty close!  20:20.  UGH.  I WILL DO THIS though,  I see the 5k sub 20 happening in 2013, early in the year.  I didn't wear a watch for the 5k and I ran to have fun and ended up feeling great at the end of the race but it was too late to make up for the slower first mile.  A **FUNNY** story though:  I tell everyone I'm not competitive every day.  Liar.   During the last mile of the race,  I could feel my two SPRY friends creeping up on me but they weren't exactly "with" me.  With a quarter of a mile to go,  I heard my track coach yell, "GO Meg!  GO MAYA's MOM AND DAD!" and with that,  I took off like a crazy old lady as fast as I could.  Geesh...I was afraid those young peeps were going to beat me.  Go figure.  Maya's dad ran Western States in June...Maya's mom is a super fit chick...SO CAPABLE OF CATCHING ME ANY DAY!    They "LET" me have it though.    Thanks for helping me out PEEPS!!

FITNESS though is a funny thing...and a powerful thing.  You can be recovering from a marathon and working on hills and suddenly be back to normal, recovered and perhaps even stronger than when you started your marathon training.  That happened to me.  My heart rate has now dropped down into the low 130's for my easy runs and my moderate and LT paces have actually increased.  DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU that age slows you down.  The KEY is fitness. Do all you can to keep yourself injury free, manage your pain and training and respect this:   RECOVERY.  I'll say it LOUDER...RECOVER!  For me that means icing my calves after a tough workout,  taking an extra day off if I'm fatigued or sore and allowing my body to rest a little longer after races.  I've managed to stay injury free since last spring which is actually a miracle for me since I've battled a lot of stuff in the past.

Run happy :) .

my fine, hot husband...Happy Birthday!!  I'm taking this time to wish you the BEST day ever and I apologize for scheduling a race on your BIG day(even though you gave me your blessings).  I was hoping I could fly you to Hawaii,  renew our vows under a coconut tree and celebrate your day with plenty of red meat, wine, chocolate cake and cuddling but maybe next year.  You know I love you...

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Secure Runner-The Secure Woman

A tough woman I know...
a strong runner,
a resilient mom,
an intelligent scientist,
a loyal running team mate and a forever friend ran another 50k yesterday and
she ran it VERY fast.

It was one of those weeks when you start texting your runner friend just to make sure she's got some solidly positive thoughts in her head.  Just a little front- loading with some sparkly, heart-felt words of encouragement and lots of "go get 'ems."  As the week progressed, a few days of silence spoke volumes so BS(husband runner)and I held back and just waited...sending positive vibes out into the 90 degree atmosphere.  Seriously?  Would 400 ultra runners be tackling RAPTOR RIDGE at the end of October in ninety degree weather?  It wouldn't be that out of the ordinary around here but I was PRAYING that wouldn't be the case.  Perhaps THAT was the fear and the reason for the silence during the week.

But what about that silence?  Confidence or fear? 

It occured to me POST spectating, POST run,  that my friend reminds me of another friend of ours,   Tough as Nails .  She has NEVER has been the type to chit chat aimlessly about her running.  Nor has she ever been the type to elicit virtual hugs nor too many flower-filled recitations on her abilities as a runner.  The whole time I've known TAN(tough as nails-duh),  she's never needed those types of pats on the back.  She's a survivor.  Not a stone pillar,  yet, someone who has lived.  She has succeeded at what she has done in her life and s.t.e.a.d.y enough to claim it without having to check herself in the mirror; be it a rearview mirror or the one she uses to brush her teeth.  You could say that she has lived her life running without a Garmin.  Without a measure of her pace, her successes.  She runs by feel and has found her own pleasure and GOLD BELT BUCKLE(because TAN really did run Western States and won!) in her accepting her own abilities on ANY GIVEN DAY.  

That's what Little Tough Friend did as well.  She told us she'd either run close to 5 hours or up to 7 hours, depending on the hills and the weather.  She STUCK TO HER GUNS and accepted herself and her running that day and wound up with a SUPER FAST TIME!

I love that self-acceptance in women.  So inspiring.  
Stay strong my friends,

Monday, October 8, 2012

Chicago and the Pain Monster

Chicago was just gorgeous!

Cali Friends,  the leaves really do change colors at this time of the year in other parts of the United States.  It's true!!!

I'm calling it a Mini-New York Marathon.  It had all the sights, smells and feelings of running in the city...minus the wild and crazy traffic problems/issues in getting to the start.  There were still the crowds that lined every inch of the course, sometimes seven people thick.  There were the smells of coffee--and then blocks later--chocolate---and on and off,  a sewer smell---topped off with a whiff of tacos and then again, the chocolate.  This was  a SMELLY race.  Chilly and smelly but spectacular.

My reviews on my performance, my execution? My big event?  Three thumbs up, one thumb down.  Okay, maybe all thumbs up.  I didn't exactly make my goal time of 3:20 but I was able to pull myself through some tough moments during the race.  I think back to my earlier race/marathon days and remember some "very dark" moments when I would feel a faint moment of panic over my pace, my poop issues, my stomach stuff and immediately let my peanut brain go MANIC.  Shut down.  Negative.  BUT THAT WAS ME IN THE PAST...I've really kind of done my own
Marathon Mental Makeover and it has been pretty successful during all of  my last races, both marathons and shorter stuff.

It essentially involves me putting my all into training so I have the confidence in my abilities.  Next,  I spend some time before my race visualizing PAIN and FATIGUE hitting and actually rehearsing what I'll say to myself and how I'll react.  HOW I'll react is everything.  I practice embracing the PAIN of the race, recognizing it and then visualizing myself moving through it and getting on with the race.  Lest you think this is MUMBO JUMBO,  just know that I actually emailed a sports psychologist who works with runners and he actually made me a very COOL cd that addresses some of the freaky things that crop up when I race.  Like fear of pain.  Like the potty issues.  Things that might impede me doing my very best when I go out to have fun at a marathon.  

So to make a long story short, very short...I went out too fast at this marathon,  didn't drink enough of my liquid nutrition(Carbo-pro) and ended up dropping off my pace after mile 20 or so.  The happy ending of the Chicago Story is that I kept my *happy*head in the game the whole time.  I never thought about stopping, about anything that was holding me back nor did I worry about my pace.  At the time,  I focused on each step I took as it hit the ground.  I thought about the many things that I could do to make the race better:

shaking out my arms
giving high five to kids
looking around
giving a high five to an inflatable monkey
counting frog umbrellas
reading a sign or two
drinking water
drinking gatorade

And during the last few miles,  I didn't think about anything!  I let myself absorb the pain in my foot, the burn in my quads and I just focused on pain.  I hugged it.  I was proud of myself for staring right into it's face and growling back.  Then, BOOM, the race was over.

Sometimes overcoming is even better than victory.  I was reaching for a goal that was definitely within my reach but for whatever reason, it wasn't  handed to me.  I had to fight for this one and the satisfaction and accomplishment was well worth the pain.

Chicago gave me some mental strength that I didn't know I possessed.  At the finish line,  hundreds of teenagers from the city came out as volunteers to pass out water, the medals, and bananas.  One young girl grabbed my wrist as I took a water  bottle and in my post-pain stupor, she  looked into my eyes...a little too deeply for the moment(if you ask me)and said,  "You are incredible.  Be so proud of what you just accomplished."  When a 16 year old girl says that to grandma like me,  you listen.  Thanks amazing volunteers.

Monday, October 1, 2012

CHICAGO Bound...

As I finished my last tempo/long run on Sunday,  I was overcome with emotion.  This would be the FIRST TIME...ever...to have finished my marathon training INJURY FREE.  I walked in circles in the Roberto's parking lot and more than a few road bikers glanced my way.  Why is she crying?  Stomach trouble?  It was just ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS of gratitude and I wanted to FEEL it and let  it seep into my core.  Pure appreciate of my body, mind and spirit. We had done it!

Everyone always tells me that AGE IS JUST A NUMBER.  The younger people tell me this and I nod my head but I KNOW what it's like to feel my body change.  It's NOT ALL bad, in fact,  aging is what I've done well.  Especially when it comes to running.

Some sage and sane advice to the 45 year old PLUS runner:

*Drink a lot of water.  All day.
*Eat right after a run.
*Ice baths are cold but necessary.
*Take a LONG time to build up your mileage, your strength, your speed(for some this might be years).
*Even if something is just starting up as a little, tiny niggle, listen to it.  Be conservative.
*Be tough.  The best is yet to come.

SwamiiBoy(formerly known as BS)and I are headed to Chicago this week!  Swamii has had many roles in my marathon training.  Due to his knee surgery last spring, he continues to run low mileage(talk about patience)and bike.  We spent many an early morning and sunset running/biking in Carlsbad and down to La Jolla as he called out crazy split times and minutes to me.  I would zone out in a groove and let my body respond to his calls.  It was heavenly-despite the 80 and 90 degree heat.   It would have been better to have him by my side but this was the next best thing...thanks Swamii.  When I cross the finish line, I'll be looking for YOU!

Also grateful for GOOD FRIENDS who send funny texts, awesomely deep and touching emails and just keep me SANE.  I love my GIVING TREE Team/BSK mates, you ROCK the RED nail polish and jersey and always inspire!

I'm heading into CHICAGO having already accomplished my goal...health.  The rest is icing on the cake!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I Have No Manners= Potential 10k Disaster

My mom and dad really did try.  My mom was old-school in the manners department but back in her day,  47 something women didn't  spank flirt with young men.  Especially women who were married AND a grandmother. Geesh.  My mom is still alive and often reads this blog so SORRY mom, for what you are about to read.  By the way mom,  it has to do with RUNNING and I know you would  probably be SO bored by another  a running post; so redundant.  Wait, don't poke your eyes with needles!  We'll catch you next week with another post...no running, I promise.

10k News/Potential Misbehavior...

A few of the gals and I  from the BSK Team ran a 4th of July 10k on Wednesday.  It was one of those races when we shook pinkies and promised one another that we WOULD NOT RUN FASTER than a prescribed shuffle.  It was DOWN time for us.  Just fun.  What? No racing?  Is this what they call a FUN RUN?

Check out SPEEDO boys on the left!  There were actually about five of them by mile 3.
The race was it's usual PATRIOTIC self.  Full of kids,  high school runners, girls in stars and stripes  bikinis(heck, it is California for gosh sakes)and the usual band of 12 high school boys(wait, didn't I catch them in the beer garden post race?)dressed in blue Speedos and nothing else.  Their usual style is to start out at a 5:30 pace for about 100 yards, drop it down to 6:30, finally to 9:45 and hold it there for the remainder of the race.  Hence,  my misbehavior.  The gals and I found ourselves "trapped"wink-wink behind these boys for over a mile.  Yes,  I HAD to stare at multiple,  21 year old   buns for over ten minutes(remember, we were on the super shuffle pace).  At one point,  I 'd had it.  I went all 50 Shades of Gray and had the *desire* to reach out and smack one of those fannies.  So crude.  So unbecoming of a grandma, right?  After all, my OWN SON is almost 21.  Blech.

Well, mom, I didn't do it.  I resisted.  Would these team mates report me?  Egg me on?    Would Boy Scout approve?  Cheer me on?  All sorts of shame fell down upon me in the early morning mist and I decided to behave myself.  I know,  I'm NO FUN.

This race was tons of fun, a great group run and a chance to add a few more miles to my Chicago training calendar.  Perfect.  I especially loved running with Sorority Girl and Snake Charmer, they helped the time pass so quickly...and the buns didn't hurt either!

Workouts this week:

60 mins. biking
6 miles
8 miles/track workout
60 mins. biking
4 miles
8 miles/speed work
Tomorrow 12 miles/slow :)

Happy Running Everyone...keep your living light and simple :),


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Western States Mania and It's Summer!


No,  I wasn't a runner but rather,  a groupie.  A stalker.  A wanna-be Western States 100 miler runner.  Boy Scout was a beginning crew-mate to Man With Long Legs who crossed the finish line in 22:XX hours.  Long Legs was amazing.  His brain is like steel, his wit like a whip and he flicked off this race like dust on his shoulder.

I LOVED, RELISHED, DRANK this race in like a Slurpee after a hot run.  Gulping and  gagging every second.  This race is not for wussies, not for walkers, not for the tutu crowd.  It's harsh, it's tough, it's mean.  I saw runners go to different places and they were not nice places; HELL comes to mind.  Despite the cooler than normal temperatures,  this race always tests the hearts, minds and innards of it's runners and I left LAKE TAHOE with a little tingling feeling somewhere...

After taking 6 days to recover from a mere 33 hours without sleep(ha!  I know I slept more than anyone),  I have felt the WS Tingle grow each day.  I've relived each rest stop where The ULTRA WHISPERER waved his magic wand around Long Legs' head and poured chicken broth down his throat.  I've memorized Boy Scout's foot cleaning routine and re-socking of Long Legs who at one time,  had so much muck between his toes,   BS had to clean between his toes just to get the Injin socks on his feet.  The crewing, the pacing,  the tents and sleeping bags on the football field at the high school finish line....memories that will not be forgotten.

WHEN and HOW this 100 miler will go down for me remains to be seen.  Last night I saw SPEEDY at 63 at dinner and she advised me to apply as soon as this November..."You aren't getting any younger, kiddo!  Each year you wait,  you lose a little something for that race!"  Thanks Speedy,  so comforting coming from a TWICE RUN Western States hot shot, ONCE WON.  I listen to this girl.

Groupie or runner, runner or groupie.  Time will tell.

For now,  I'm in my second week of training for the Chicago Marathon.  Super excited, surviving some two a day work outs and cross training more than ever for this marathon.  More on that this week!  By the way,  TALKING ABOUT TWO A DAY runs,

Heaven is...telling your friends who are all runners(in the cabin of crew and pacers in Lake Tahoe)that you're going out running again.  Yes, AGAIN.  TWICE IN THE SAME DAY!   No one makes the snide comment,  "Didn't you get that our of the way this morning?" "Aren't you a little obsessed?"  "Practicing being anorexic?"
  No one in this crowd even blinked an eye,  I received a cheery,  "Have fun!"  Each and every time.

 I love athletes.

Happy Summer Friends...still thinking of the Colorado friends and family who are healing and dealing with the fires last week.  Hugs to you all.

Running right along as usual,

Monday, April 16, 2012

Runners With Big Hearts and Tremendous Spirit

I had the Boston Marathon playing on my projector this morning when the kids got to school.  They had so many questions about the African runners,  the clothing the runners wore,  the crowds cheering.  It was fun way to start the day.  As the morning progressed, however,  I started receiving texts and updates on how my buddies were doing on the course.

It must have been tough.
It must have been grueling.
They must have had to dig so deep that it rocked their core.  Brought tears to their eyes.  Caused some to crumble.

As the morning progressed,  my mood changed from upbeat, excited and hopeful,  to worried, dismayed and upset.  I KNOW what it feels like to put in months and months of training and then have to back down,  accept the  injury/weather/course/ or whatever the day might bring.  Move outside of my hopes and dreams and rely on my body to just survive.  It usually isn't very pretty.  It takes your mind and your body to a different place.  It is often a cliche but at times like this,  very true,  EXPERIENCES like this take you to a different place as a runner and as an individual.  A very noble place.

Although I wasn't there(regretfully)to cheer on my very best running friends,  I am in awe of their strength, determination and bravery.  They headed into the worst of conditions and hung in their with their heads held high and they gave it their very, very best.

These are the heroes of the day.  They have the biggest hearts.  They slowed down to run with others and extended a spirit that isn't often seen at races like BOSTON.  The went outside of themselves and embraced the bigger picture.

I'm grateful that all of you SURVIVED.  I'm SO fortunate to call you my friends.  I don't mind if you had to stop and save it for another race.  I don't mind if you had to walk.  I don't mind if you had to jog or hold a stranger's hand while they sat along the sidelines.

I love you guys, you are all heroes in my eyes...all of you!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

5k Cross Country Race Report!!


All the makings of a great race.

The more I run on trails and in the hills,  the more I realize my place in this running world.  I just feel at HOME.
The long grasses,  the crunchy gravel under my feet,  the mud puddles and wallowing messes.  I love them all- best.

The race was on base at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corp. Base in Oceanside, CA.  We headed up early and it gave me time to get chilled to the bone despite my four layers of clothing plus gloves.  You would have thought that WE were in Boston or something this weekend.  

I warmed up for 20 minutes exactly, following my new 5k warm up guide which really DID help.  I usually do a sporadic warm up without much thought and wind up sucking wind BIG TIME and since there was actually SO MUCH REAL WIND today,  that would have been a double wind disaster.  The time I took to just jog for 20 mins. and then keep moving,  helped me start the race warm and ready.

Basically,  I was going to try for my ILLUSIVE sub-20 5k today even though I was going to toss the Garmin and go by feel.  That said,  I also knew that there was a long, long hill smack dab in the middle of the race AND once we turned around,  we were hit with a slamming headwind.  It wasn't a disappointment to have those elements affect my race *dream* goal,  I had  a focused run and just staying in my own head and race today was more than enough.  

During the last half mile of the race,  I saw three tri-girls pushing to finish their first part of the dualthon.  The third girl was right in front of me during the whole race.  Since I'm not one to leave too much gas in the tank at the end of ANY race,  I wasn't "planning" on passing her.  See how non-competitive I can be?  I think she did slow down at the end of the race or at least was planning on how she was going to head on into the transition area for her bike.  At that point,  I did give it a push to pass her and I did!  The joke is probably on me(as it often is)because she did head to the transition area and I finished the 5k....first female!  

I laugh as I write this...because who would have thought I would be doing this at my age?  Who would have thought that I would find something just for me and also for my BS that would bring us so much joy, amusement, challenge,  fun and good times?  

Who would have thought that I would be posing with two darling Marines(at my request)just 1 month shy of my 47 birthday?
Thanks HONEY BS for the fun today...it's too bad you didn't take up the race director's offer to take these nice guys home with us.  They could have helped us a lot around the house!!  Now that we're basically running every weekend, we don't get much housework done anymore...
Love you!

**ATTA GIRLS** to all of the BOSTON runners who will be trying to stay cool and run fast races on Monday!  We are following you all and hope you are having FUN this weekend!

Have a LEMONCELLO for me :) !

Friday, April 13, 2012

Suffering for Your Sport

Here are a few things that have kept me busy during the last two weeks:

 Watching friends race The Carlsbad 5000!  It was a windy day but we had lots of fun spectating.

 Stinky Pants has a disco party in the bath tub.  These are GLOW STICKS which provide at least ONE HOUR of bath time fun(as long as your little one isn't afraid of the dark...).
Bobbing and swaying for EASTER PEEPS.  This was so fun to watch.  My kinders "earned" a marble jar party through good behavior and actually requested this activity as their "party."  It also gave me a glimpse into their mouths and I was very impressed with their clean, white teeth...which were about to be covered by sticky, purple,  PEEP!

In contrast with the low key FUN I've been having during my two weeks of SPRING BREAK,  I've also been training for a 5k which I'm running tomorrow(down low race-K)and I'm  training for a hilly trail 22k race in Malibu in a few weeks...

and thinking a lot about SUFFERING.  As in PAIN.  It came to me last week after reading an elite's blog about how she wakes up every single day with some type of pain and also runs with pain, generally, throughout most of her runs.  She isn't injured, just a fast runner who  must MANAGE her pain. Check her out here:   http://camilleherron.com/

That's me!   Well, not the FAST RUNNER/ELITE  part but as I've begun to put weeks of hill training into my running schedule and then follow that with interval training at faster paces,  I've realized that my body is SORE.  I'm not afraid of this pain anymore,  after a few marathons you begin to appreciate that the pain is a reflection of how hard your body has worked and performed.  I have, instead,  learned to welcome the pain and even ask for more, especially during races.  It's not the DEBILITATING pain that makes you want to limp, fall to the ground and reach for ice.  It's more like the eye rolling pain, the pain that sets in when you've pushed your body to it's limit and you still know you have more to GIVE.  It's just a GOOD KIND OF SUFFERING.  A "bring it on suffering."  A PUSH THROUGH-HANG ON  suffering.  

Frank Shorter once said,  "Marathons hurt up to point and then it doesn't get any worse."  I have become a seeker of that most ultimate pain and suffering just so that I can KNOW that that's where the threshold lies and it won't ever pass that point and get any worse.  So far,  I continue to seek it in every race.  It's become a new THING of mine.  Crazy, I know, but still fun in the sense that it's connected to RUNNING and moving forward as quickly as possible.  Pain is just a part of that game.

I know that we all have different reactions towards pain, running and racing.  Some have a higher threshold of pain.  Some not so much.  It's become an interest of mine as I take on more hills at a faster pace and get ready for my race in a few weeks...trying to find the threshold which is NOT the sweet spot of running but rather,  more like the SUFFERING SPOT.  Such a challenge.

How do you react to pain and that SUFFERING SPOT during a race?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Secrets and More Secrets!

So many secrets to share today on this Good Friday!  

Number 1:  I went running with a friend today.  It was one of those FABULOUS runs when you talk and talk and then BAM!  6 miles, over.
She was sharing about her teenagers.  I could relate.  Sometimes it still feels like we have teenagers around.  The one secret I shared with Super Girl was this...if you don't have anything kind, helpful nor inspiring to say then DON'T SPEAK.
Teens are sensitive.  Teens more often than not need a hug, not advice.  Sometimes they just need you to listen...
I have had  years to learn this and it still rings true...bite your tongue.  Once something leaves your mouth,  you can NEVER take it back. 
I guess this isn't really a secret, just something I was thinking today while running with Super Girl...

Number 2:  Nuun has won me back!

During my ultra running days a few years ago,  I started trying NUUN out on my long runs.  It wasn't that thrilling to me back then,  the bubbles were ticklish and I couldn't get used to the flavor.
Thankfully,  MORGAN(one of the Phat Kids)sent me some samples and I gave NUUN a second chance. SOOOO  happy I did!  So far,  I've tried all the flavors a tleast once and lemon lime is my favorite.
Definitely try out NUUN, it saved me during my HOT track workout this week...

Number 3:
BS and I have a secret weapon...
You can buy it online.
If you run and feel sore,  need to visit a massage therapist often and get tired of foam rolling...
check out
No,  they didn't send me anything to try out.  I'm not making anything off of this SHOUT OUT,  I just need to tell you that I'm running uninjured. happily and stronger because my recoveries are powered by
COMPEX.  Every night.  It's paid for itself.
**google it, and  you'll be happy too**
It's the little things that keep us going, the things that make life a little easier...talking with a friend, drinking something good for you during a run and later,  helping your body recover from a hard workout.
I'm grateful!
Have a wonderful Easter!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Trail Race Report!

By today, THursday, I finally feel recovered from the 15k trail race I did last Sunday.  I took this picture from Ann run-dmz.blogspot.com who is celebrating her 7th year of blogging!  How horrible am I?  Stealing a photograph from the bloggy birthday girl!?  Thanks, Ann.  I just couldn't find a photograph that captured the arrival of SPRING out on the trails.  Yours was perfect!  Speaking of her bloggy birthday,  I must admit that Ann's blog was one of the first I'd read and when I found out we lived near each other,  it was even more fun to read about her adventures on the trails and with our track club.  Ann is one sweet, stable and focused writer, runner, woman and blogger.  Thanks for your dedication, Ann!

Anyway,  my quads, calves and booty were put to the test on Sunday.  When I had done this race three years ago, I had been at the end of my Boston training and my legs were ready for Heartbreak Hill.  On Sunday,  my legs were completely SHOCKED and FURIOUS with me. My marathon was a little over a month ago and I thought that my two weekends of hill running would be enough to both recover and get ready for the Black Mountain hills.  I was a little disillusioned, confused and dazed to face these hills once again.  They were steep, they were ever present and they were LONG.  Blech.

My goal for this race was to beat my time from three years ago AND stay mentally tough on the hills.  Unfortunately,  these goals weren't met.  I was three minutes slower and my tough brain melted into a squishy marshmallow PEEP brain after the first hill.  Some how,  I managed to place 5th female and 1st in age.  Being the TOUGH chick that I am,  tough on myself anyway,  I admit that the placings didn't make me smile as much as the run itself.  The flat sections were flanked with artichoke bushes,  long green grasses and bright yellow mustard plants.  In SO CAL, this means SPRING.  So,  I continue to move forward towards my next goal this spring, the sub 20 5k in May.  

O'side 70. 3 TRI is this weekend!  Let's not forget the Carlsbad 5000 on Sunday!  There will plenty of PRO ATHLETE STALKING for BS and I this Sat. and Sun.  FUN FUN FUN!  Good luck J.U.  No pressure :).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

You Have NOT Been Forgotten...

Thank you, precious friend, for the **heartfelt** email that rocketed me back to blogging!  Truthfully?  I've been reading blogs galore but not commenting...your stories and lives inspire but my REAL life calls me back to reality and I just have too much to do sometimes!  Most times!

Since January, you have all had your share of successes, changes and LIFE and me too!  I have not quite hit the big 47 years old but until then,  I'm racing my heart out, training and still have BIG GOALS and plans.  I've decided that I'm just a big-goal-kind-of-girl and I don't like anything holding me back...especially myself!  Since January,  I've managed to...

**drum roll**  Run a  personal best marathon in Arizona, a 3:25.  This was BIG.  I know it's a flat course, yadda-yadda, but I'm just going to say that MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY, this raced rocked. I felt strong and could have done MORE but a wise *coach* made me stick to the plan and it worked.  There's nothing like finishing a marathon with confidence.

--Still teaching kindergarten to some crazy kids.  We just finished a week of OLD WEST studies; ponies, cactus, paper cowboy hats...enough said.

--Still loving that AWESOME hunk of maleness in my life.  We celebrated 26 years of marriage this last week and it was bliss....by the way, I have him to thank for that 3:25 marathon.

--Still grand mothering on Tuesdays after school and every second in between!  Yes, I love it.  Sparkle Pants has now been renamed, Stinker Pants.  With potty training and "the mid two's" in progress, I thought it was a perfect reference.

--Still thinking that my daughter made the BEST choice for her life and the life of her son and his dad.  Choices and decisions are never easy.  I respect her.  I never COULD or WOULD have been able to be that strong at twenty-two.  BRAVERY.

--Still training!  I have an X-Terra Trail Race tomorrow and my mental plan is in the works.  The hill training is in progress,  the miles on the books...just more steps in the right direction!  Tomorrow will be F  U  N  !!

I have not forgotten those of you who are SUCH POSITIVE, TRANSPARENT inspirations in this WORLD of runners and bloggers!  Thanks for always being so honest and for sharing your sweet successes as well as your struggles,  I continue to learn from you and appreciate your efforts and steps forward!  I think I'm back to this... bar any new "endeavors" which may present themselves between today or tomorrow!

RUN ON, STAY TOUGH, SO GRATEFUL to be able to be inspired by you...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Welcome All Change in My Life

My husband has a new jacket,  I'll call him Fred.  Actually, I call "him" Fred Gray.  The jacket, not my husband.  It was  a pricey little thing.  My son calls the brand,  Padi-Gucci.  I'll let you take a guess at this adventure clothing company's  real name.  I sold jewelry,  running medals and a few other favors to pay for this jacket.  Well, not THIS jacket.  I actually bought a much COOLer version, a lime green version, a trail jacket version.  Fred Gray's owner wasn't impressed.  The jacket was tricked out, ultra running style.  It had breathing flaps, built in hand warmers and did I mention the COLOR?   Lime green!!  Definitely a safe color for the road or trails.

You know where this is going if you can even follow this at all...MY HUSBAND returned the "Carl Lewis" of all running jackets that I GAVE HIM for Christmas for the less "flashy" jacket, Fred Gray.

Some things will never change.  My husband loves gray.
I love bright green.
He will wear Fred Gray until he has holes in the elbows.
I will continue to introduce color into his running wardrobe.
Somethings will never change.

On the other hand,  lots of things DO change.  LOTS OF THINGS.

For instance, we no longer have an empty house with two free rooms.

I am no longer "injury" free.
  Yes, I said it.  With three weeks to go until my marathon,  my condition CHANGED and I suddenly had a "calf" issue.
Seven days later, seven days without running,  I'm back on the road to the Carlsbad Marathon and just in time for taper.

I'm either going to LOVE THIS MARATHON because of this massive REST  or wish that I had opted  for Sedona or another race.

What I've realized about change is this...

CHANGE HAPPENS AND YOU  HAVE NO CONTROL OVER IT!  GO WITH IT.  TRUST and LOOK FOR THE LESSON without questioning what is going on around you.  Move forward and expect the best.

How do you handle change?

Have fun running,