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...