15 Reasons to Run

Good morning friends! Today I am feeling so incredibly positive I just had to share. I am loving the Runner’s World Running Streak Challenge because it is keeping me active and motivated every single day. The challenge is to run at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving to New Years. Some days I run just over a mile, and some days I run over three. Hopefully soon some of those longer runs will end up getting closer to 5 or 6. The best part about the challenge for me is there is never a good enough excuse why I can’t run ONE mile. There is always 10 minutes in the day to fit this in, and once you get out there, you might want to go further. Either way, it is helping me keep health , fitness and running on my mind and in my schedule. If you haven’t started yet, it’s not too late! You can just make up for the missed days by increasing your first few runs by a few miles.

I am also loving my Kaia family (as always) and for the first time (probably in my entire life) I am confident that I can get through this holiday season without getting into an unhealthy rut and gaining the usual 5-10 pounds I always seem to pack on during this time. Click here to check if you have a Kaia in your area, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

My husband and I will be visiting family in Hawaii for Christmas this year and I am really looking forward to the hikes and long walks while we’re there. I plan to participate in the Running Streak every day and am really looking forward to the beautiful views along the way.

These photos are from a hike we did last summer when we were in Hawaii and I can’t wait to do it again! Maybe this time we’ll run the stairs :)

Happy running everyone!

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A Little Holiday Season Motivation

I read this article on RunnersWorld.com and it got me really excited for running and being outdoors this winter. So I decided to make a list of all the things I’m personally going to try in order to keep in shape and feel good throughout the holidays.

1. Start with treating myself to some awesome new winter workout gear. They say there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes, so get yourself something comfy and warm to bundle up in for those cold outside runs! I’ve actually already started this one. For my birthday I got a few new pieces from lululemon (my new obsession) and even bought myself a little somethin. Although expensive, lulu is seriously AMAZING. From their “anti-bacterial” or “anti-stink” material to the hidden “emergency hair-ties” on their zippers to the extra material near the wrists for wrapping up your hands in the winter, they literally have thought of everything. Their workout gear makes you look and feel amazing and I am officially hooked. Who wouldn’t want to be active when you feel THAT great in workout clothes?

This is my new favorite piece!

2. Make time for myself to be active. The holidays can be so busy and stressful that we consume our lives with doing things for other people. This winter I want to make sure I take a little time every day to do something for myself, whether that is going for a run or even just going outside at lunch time for a quick walk around the building.

3. Sign up for a few fun 5ks or other runs/races. The first one I’m planning is the Run to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving day in Sacramento. This race is HUGE and is such a fun way to spend the morning AND help donate to those who need it. I also plan on doing as many Tuesday night Fun Runs at my local Fleet Feet as I can. Everyone meets to go for a 3-4 mile run and most weeks there are different themes and even raffle prizes!

Last week’s fun run

4. Try something new. I have never done hot yoga and have never really been all that  interested, but I saw a groupon for a stuido nearby and thought, what better time than the middle of winter to do hot yoga? So I think I’ll give it a shot!

5. Instead of meeting friends for lunch or drinks over the holidays, meet them for a long walk outside and then go get a hot coffee. No matter if you’ve worked out already in the morning or not, a walk is always doable and will get you moving and will burn a few extra “holiday calories.”

6. Try the Runners World Run Streak! This just means you log at least one mile of running every day between Thanksgiving and New Years. I know I can do this. That can be less than 10 minutes a day! Like I said in number 2, I need to “make time for myself.” This would be a perfect way to do that and would help keep me motivated and on track through the holidays. I think I’ll try it! #RWRunStreak

7. Make it to as many Kaia classes as I possibly can unless I have a VERY good reason for missing (i.e. I’m dying, sick, injured). I go to these bootcamp classes in the mornings before work and they truly make my life better. I’ve blogged about this here and here and joining was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I can easily see myself wanting to sleep in a little longer and stay in my warm bed in the winter instead of waking up at 5am, but I am going to do my best to fight that urge. I always feel better after a kick-ass Kaia workout and I don’t want to get out of my routine.

How are you going to stay motivated this winter?

Color Run Round Two!

I did it again! I had such a great time at the Orange County Color Run in April that I jumped at the opportunity to participate in it again when it came to my town. This time we had over 70 Kaia girls there in matching hot pink tutus. Like I said the last time, if you haven’t participated in one of these runs, you need to! It was definitely the most fun 5k I have ever run!

Eppie’s Great Race

This weekend was the Eppie’s Great Race in Sacramento on the American River. I didn’t participate, but a few of my friends did so I thought I’d go cheer them on. The race took place right down the street from where my parent’s house is, so my husband and I parked and jogged over because we were running a little late. Turns out we JUST missed the finish, but I was able to snap a few colorful photos. This race looked so fun, I just may have to participate next year! The lone ranger..Kermit was hanging out too.Finish line.A few stragglers. One woman tipped her kayak right here and it looked SO hard to get back in!My two friends and Kaia girls who kicked some serious Eppie’s ass.

Making the World a Better Place, One Color Run At a Time

So I have been away from the blogging world for a few days now because I have been out of town in Orange County. I was there for the weekend visiting friends and getting ready for the color run! This was the best 5k I’ve ever done and I plan to do it every year from here on out. Not only was it INCREDIBLY FUN, it also benefited a great cause — the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County. AND I just signed up for the Color Run in Sacramento in August! If you want to see if the Color Run is coming to your city, check out their website here. You won’t regret it.  I mean, who doesn’t love a little color? Happy running!

Stretching before the run

All these photos were taken with my iPhone inside a ziplock baggie or with my friend’s point and shoot (which ended up COVERED in colored powder) so the clarity may not be the best! But I definitely recommend the ziplock baggie. It protected my phone and made it possible for me to take photos during the run!

Just a warning- my hair is still pink after two washes. Next time I’ll wear a hat!

Ouch

So my foot is hurt again. :( I did my 11 mile run  (it ended up being about 11.8 ) on Sunday and I felt great. The run was easy and comfortable and I couldn’t help but think “I’ve got this half marathon in the bag.” That was until around mile 8 when my foot started to ache. At that point I was so far out on the trail, there wasn’t much I could do. So I stuck with it and made it to the end of the run. That is when the real pain started to kick in and I could barely get through my stretches or walk the remainder of the day. Each time I step down on my left side an excruciating pain shoots up the middle of my foot. It’s not fun.

Now here I am back at work with a bandage on my foot, limping around the office. This Saturday is supposed to be an 8 mile run and then a few short runs leading up to the race on the 11th. To be honest, I’m feeling a little discouraged today. Maybe I’m not meant to be a runner. I always felt that way my entire life, maybe I was right?  I WANT to be a runner, but my body seems to feel otherwise. My plan is to rest and ice my foot for the remainder of the week and hope it gets better. If it feels 100% on Friday, I’ll run the 8 miles on Saturday. Otherwise, I’ll rest until it does feel better and try to make it through my race on the 11th.

Despite the frustrating feelings I’m having about my injury, I am trying to stay as positive as possible and not give up. I was really hoping to beat my time from October, but I need to remind myself that just finishing the race is a pretty big accomplishment for me.

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
~ Henry Ford

my best friend right now..

Three Weeks?!?

THREE WEEKS? Is that REALLY all I have left before I have to run 13.1 miles…in a row? That sounds like a sick joke if I ever heard one.

I started training for the Shamrock’n half marathon back in January with a running group through fleet feet. The training time seemed extremely short in my mind but I figured, if a whole group of people can do it and the experts claim it’s enough time, then I can definitely do it. I trained for my last half in about 12 weeks and according to this schedule I only have about 9. My training was coming along pretty well until the giant trampoline incident… Yes, you read that right. My niece and nephew have a big trampoline in their backyard and when they asked me to play with them I jumped right in and forgot that I’m not 12 years old anymore. So I jumped and jumped until my legs were so tired that I landed sideways on my left ankle. It hurt, so I took a few minutes off from jumping and then got right back up again, still forgetting I am not 12 years old.

The next day I met with my training group for a 7 mile run. This was the longest run since my last half in October and it felt great. I hadn’t felt that good on my feet in a long time. I had energy and felt like I could continue for miles. During the run I felt a little pain each time I stepped down on my left foot, but I told myself, “Mind over matter. It’s just a little foot pain, you’re fine.”

Well, I wasn’t fine. When I got home and took off my shoes I almost fell over in pain when I tried to step down on my left foot and then the pain continued to get worse and worse. The following week I was limping at work and trying to ice it and stay off of it as much as possible, which meant I was going to be a week behind in my training schedule. I used the RICE method as much I could and hoped for the best. Over the weekend I was in San Diego working at a major event, which I attempted to wear heels to. The heels lasted about 20 minutes until I switched into my flat boots because I could barely move my foot. Running around for the night made for even worse foot/ankle pain on Monday. I then had to take another week off of training which put me even further behind the group.

I was starting to feel depressed, angry, disappointed. I was so looking forward to this race and my body was getting stronger and stronger and all of a sudden, it was all gone. I started to understand (on a very very small scale of course) what professional athletes must feel when they get injured. All I wanted to do was run, and that is the one thing I absolutely couldn’t do. I was getting so stressed about the race. I spent a lot of money on the training and the race and I was even working on getting special shirts made for our team. I’d told all of my friends and family about this race and was not looking forward to telling them I had to back out. But most important, I wanted to do the race for myself. I was going to be disappointed that I worked so hard and then had to just give up.

So, I told myself that as soon as my foot started to feel a little better, I’d get back out there no matter how behind I was. Last Sunday was my first attempt at working out since the “deadly trampoline” (exaggeration? Nah…). I put on a foot brace and went out for a jog. It was awful. The foot brace was so tight that it hurt even more than before and I could only make it 3 miles. I was supposed to run 9 that weekend. Discouraged, I went home and iced my foot. The next morning I woke up and it felt much better, so I decided…I’m going to run this 9 miles if it kills me. Of course if my foot hurt as bad as it did the day before I would stop, but it helped to tell myself that I was going to complete it no matter what. So, I left the brace at home and went out for the run with my friend Lindsey. We ran slow and steady and took a break after every 3 miles for a little water, stretching, Cliff Bloks, and an evaluation of my ankle pain. Each time I felt okay so we kept going until eventually we finished 9 miles. That may have been the hardest run I’ve ever done…but we did it. This weekend our group will be running 11 miles and after completing 9, as hard as it was, I feel much more confident that I can do it. After this weekend we taper off with shorter runs until the big day. IN. 3. WEEKS. That time frame still scares the crap out of me but I try to tell myself, if I did it once before, I can do it again. Right?

Right. I CAN do it and I WILL do it. See you at the finish line.

Have you ever had an injury that derailed your training? Or have you been behind in your training and still made it through on race day?

Run Run Run

So I started my second half-training yesterday and I am so excited for the next few months. Yesterday we met at the local fleet feet and went for a fun run (3 miles) with some of the group and met some of the coaches. Then we came back to the store, did some stretching and picked up our training schedule and goodies. I trained for about 3 months for my last half and at the time, I couldn’t imagine training in less than 12 weeks. I needed every last minute of those weeks.  But, here I am, training again but with only 2 months between now and the race.  How am I going to do it? Well I am counting on muscle memory to help make up for the time off  and the motivation and encouragement (and accountability) of a structured running group. I was also very excited because my friend Lindsey who I trained with for my last half decided to come run the fun run with me. She was signed up for the Shamrock’n half but opted out of the training group. UNTIL- she had so much fun running with the group that she decided to join :) So now we can train for this one together too. After our run on Sunday we went to coffee and decided this will be our Saturday ritual. The long runs will take place all over Sacramento and now we can carpool and get coffee or breakfast afterwards. I’m so happy to have a friend doing the training with me! It always helps to have someone there with you.

The group was $100 to join and some people have said to me- why pay to run when you can run for free? They have a good point, but I am so looking forward to having a group of people there with me throughout my entire training. Having the help of other runners as well as the certified coaches will for sure help me improve my running and my time. Not to mention the accountability of the group. It’s much easier to flake on myself than it is a whole training group (especially one I paid for).

Fleet Feet also gave us a $20 giftcard to the store for signing up so I was able to put that money toward buying myself another good sports bra. I’m telling you, if you need a little extra support up top like I do this is the BEST sports bra you will ever wear. A little pricey at $46 each , but WELL WORTH IT. I now have three of them and am constantly doing laundry so I’m able to wear one each time I run. The straps have velcro so you can adjust them to the perfect fit. I’ll never buy another brand or style of sports bra in my life.

This is the one I have and LOVE. You can find it here and it comes in so many cute colors.

I plan on sharing my training schedule one week at a time, as well as my progress each week. This week I am going to run 4 days for a total of 15 miles.

Here is my schedule:

Monday– Easy 3 miles. I will do this on the treadmill at my gym tonight and then a little strength training as well.

Tuesday– Easy 3 miles. My Tuesday night training runs don’t start until next week so I am going to do the fleet feet fun-run with a few girls from work.

Wednesday– Active Rest. This means no extra strenuous activity, but it doesn’t mean sit on the couch all day. I will probably do a little light cardio at the gym like the elliptical or bike and some weights. Swimming would also be great on these days but it’s too cold!

Thursday – Easy 4 miles. I will do this in the morning before work on the treadmill at my gym. It’s going to be rough waking up that early before work but I have a wedding reception to attend that night and I have to get those miles in! Oh and by the way, when it says “easy” I don’t mean “4 miles is a piece of cake for me and I’ll breeze right through it.” It means take it easy. Run at a slow and steady pace that you are comfortable with. One that you could hold a conversation during without passing out. That’s what I mean by “easy”.

Friday– Active Rest. I will probably make this a complete rest day to prepare for my long run on Saturday. Or possibly do some upper-body weight training as well as some ab workouts. Having strong abdominal muscles (which I do not at the moment) can really help your running and keep you from getting side aches during long runs.

Saturday – Long Run. This week our training group will run for 50 minutes, which for me will be right around (or right under) 5 miles. I am a slow runner but I think running with the group will make me pick up my pace a little. The most I have run since my half marathon is 4.2 miles so this will probably be pretty difficult for me. I’m happy I’ll have so much support!

Sunday– Active Rest. I will probably rest completely this day as I’m sure my body will be very tired!

Happy running everyone!

Back At It

I’m doing it again! I’m training for another half-marathon. I decided I want to continue training and that I would like to improve my running and my time before the Shamrock’n Half Marathon in March. What better way to improve than to train with a running group? This group I found is through Fleet Feet Sacramento and we will meet on Tuesdays and Saturdays with certified coaches beginning in January. I am really looking forward to training again. I have only been running 1-2 times a week since my last half on October 30th and I’m excited to start back up again. Maybe I’ll do a couple 5ks and 10ks in between. In the meantime before training starts I am going to try to attend as many fun runs on Tuesday nights as possible.

Run to Feed the Hungry

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving (obviously) and I have been looking forward to this day for a few months now. Partly because of time with family and , but also because it is the annual Run to Feed the Hungry in my hometown. I have done this run every year that I have been in town since 2004 (which has only been 3 or 4 years) and I always used to struggle just to run the whole 5k. I always ended up run/walking it, but regardless, it was always a great time and raised money for a great cause. They expect 27,000 participants this year. It really is an amazing event.

This year I have been so excited because I knew running the 5k would be a piece of cake (or a piece of pumpkin pie I should say) and running the 10k wouldn’t be so bad either since I recently ran 13.1 miles straight.

Today I picked up my race packet and my super sweet dry-fit shirt to get ready for the run tomorrow. The only problem…I’ve been sick for 10 days with no end in sight. I feel fine except for a horrible cough that won’t go away and I am starting to think the 10k isn’t in the cards for me. This is so disappointing because I’ve been looking forward to this run as a personal goal. Every year that I have done this race in the past I have looked at all the people running the 6.2 miles and thought, “Wow. That’s impressive.” I have always been so exhausted after the 3 mile run that I could never even imagine how people were STILL running when I was done with my 5k. How are these people STILL going when I am exhausted and huffing and puffing? After completing a 1/2 marathon and finally thinking of myself as a runner I was so looking forward to being one of those people who were still going.

This photo is from a past year’s Run to Feed the Hungry.

Photo Cred.

So, at the very least I am going to run the 5k and maybe, just maybe, in the morning if I am feeling good enough I will run the 10k. I guess there’s always next year, right?