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!

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?

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?

How I Got to 13.1 Miles

I need to start by telling you all that I am not a runner. I’ve never been a runner. I grew up hating running/jogging, and any activity involving those things. In high school, I was the kid who walked the mile in p.e. with my friends. I used to act like it was because I was just too cool, but really I had horrible asthma and absolutely hated running and didn’t want to feel miserable. Yesterday I ran 13.1 miles. I started running in May to get ready to run a 5k (3.1 miles). I was only running on a treadmill at the time and got up to about 2.5 miles before going to run the 5k. When I started, running one mile was difficult for me. I’d want to quit the moment I started, but I kept going so I could finish the 5k. That day came and I ran the whole thing straight through (mostly because I had a friend with me telling me I wasn’t ALLOWED to stop). I did a few more 5ks over the next month or so and they started to get easier and easier.

This photo was taken after my first 5k.

So  I decided to start training for a 10k (6.2 miles) at the end of June. That number sounded HUGE to me. I ran every week and got to the point where I ran 4.5 miles outside one time and figured I was ready for the 10k. That race was at the end of June right in my neighborhood, which has very little shade, so I was huffing and puffing and getting sunburned the whole way. At the end I said to my friend “That wasn’t fun. I’m done. I don’t need to do that again.” And I took a month off of running. I went to Hawaii and planned on running, but I didn’t. Finally, in August I decided I wanted to get back into it. I started running again with a friend who lives in my neighborhood. We ran early in the morning before work and pretty soon we were back up to 6 miles. So, we registered for a 1/2 marathon on Halloween weekend. Each week we ran in the mornings and then did long runs on the weekend. We had good weeks and bad weeks depending on how busy we both were at work. Some days I would get out there and two miles would be extremely hard for me and some days six miles would be easy. On the days when running two miles was difficult, I’d want to throw in the towel. If two miles was hard, how the hell was I going to do 13.1?!

But, we didn’t quit, and a few weeks ago we did our longest run and got all the way up to 11 miles. We were very proud of ourselves. After that long run we both got so busy with work that we only ran 2-3 times in the following 2 weeks up to the race. We were also training on completely flat ground the whole time because there are very little hilly areas in Sacramento and none in our neighborhood. I was nervous about that because I knew our half marathon would have hills, but we didn’t have time to drive for 30 minutes to find them each time we ran. My nerves were warranted because yesterday, there were hills. Lots of them. And the worst one of all was at the very end of the race. How cruel is that?

Five miles into the half marathon I was dragging already. I was dreading the next eight miles ahead and questioning if I could even finish when I saw my dad waiting for me ahead, which meant my mom and husband were waiting for me too. After I noticed my dad was wearing a ridiculous shirt that read “My daughter kicks asphalt” I noticed that it wasn’t just my parents and my husband waiting for me. My best friend, her fiance, and their roommate and my good friend, were all there and ALL wearing their own ridiculous shirts. As silly as it might be, I got all teared up. 13 miles may not be a big deal to many people, but for me, it was a huge deal and having so many important people there who understand and appreciate how hard this was for me really meant a lot. AND their shirts were hilarious. Apparently the runners were loving them the whole way!

“Worst parade EVER.”      “Your feet hurt because you kick so much @$$!”

“You can’t run from your problems”        “My daughter kicks asphalt” “It could be worse. There could be FIVE bridges”

“You Rock!!” (of course, my mom’s is the sweetest)

Around 10.5 miles I was dragging. I knew the last mile was going to be extremely hard for me and I would want to walk. So, I text messaged my husband and asked him to meet me at mile 12. He showed up with my dad and they ran the next 1/2 mile with me and then took a short cut to the finish line so they could see me cross. Having them there pushing me along really helped. Then I bared the big hill on my own and made it to the finish and got my medal.

Lindsey and Me after the race.

If you want to read my past posts about training for the half, click on these links- To Run, or Not to Run? , 1/2 Marathon Update , 1/2 Marathon Update 2- It’s Getting Close!

Finishing felt pretty damn good. I guess I am a runner now?

1/2 Marathon Update 2- It’s Getting Close!

I am slowly working my way toward those 13.1 miles and when I say slowly I mean slowwwwlllly. I just hit 8 miles for the first time last weekend and I plan to do 8-9 this weekend. And I am still asking the question, when does this get easy? I ran 3 miles this morning and although it wasn’t excruciating, it was still hard! The first two miles are always the hardest for me and it usually gets easier around mile 3 or 4. But the important thing I need to keep telling myself is that I’m actually doing it. Never in my life did I think I would be able to survive an 8 mile run. And I wasn’t even sore the next day! I’m not going to sugar coat it, those 8 miles weren’t easy, but I felt amazing once I finished..just like I hope I feel after I cross that half-marathon finish line!

I am very late in posting this month’s training schedule, but here it is! In case you don’t remember from last time, x-train means cross train (work out by doing other activities, bike, swim, weight train, etc.).

I just bought a new armband for my iphone so I can listen to music while I run and never be without my phone.  Even though I always run with a partner, I hate the idea of running long distances without my phone in case of emergency. I picked this one up at target for $20. It was one of the only ones I could find that would tighten enough to fit my ridiculously small arm.

After my Four Bridges Half-Marathon in October, I plan on running the Run to Feed the Hungry 10k. I have done the fun Thanksgiving Day run many times, but always did the 5k and had to run/walk it.  I’m looking forward to running the whole 10k with all those people this year! It is always such a fun race and benefits such a great cause!

This is where I would prefer to run everyday. Where is your favorite place to run?

To Run, or Not to Run?

Okay, so I am not a runner. I have never been a runner. And I have actually always hated running.  Up until June of this year, the furthest I had ever run was a little over 2 miles…on a treadmill. And I hated every minute of it.  I was the person who got on a treadmill at the gym and quit before the first mile because it was just TOO hard. I only started to enjoy running this year when I was consistently doing it each week and was improving my time and distance. When it gets a little easier, I hate it a little less.

At the end of last June, I decided to run a 10k (6.2 miles for those who don’t know) and it was hard. Really hard. I did it slow (12 minute miles) but I FINISHED it. 6.2 miles seemed impossible to me. But I did it. The week before the 10k I ran my furthest distance, which was 4.5 miles. I was not prepared for how much harder that extra mile and a half was going to be.

So…the question today is, can I do a half marathon? The problem is that after my 10k I took a little vacay from running. I went to Hawaii for 10 days and then had friends and their baby stay with us for a week and I used all of that as an excuse not to run. I just started back up two days ago and am slowly getting back into it.

 And now there is this half marathon… do I do it? CAN I do it? Do I devote my life for the next 3 months before the race to running? What do you think?

This is from the first 5k I ever ran– Maybe soon I’ll have a photo from the first half-marathon I’ve ever run?