Ready ready ready ready…ready to ruuuuuuuun

It’s pouring. Like real rain. Lightening and everything.

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This is my view while sitting in traffic on the way home. I love the rain so if I have to sit in a sea of cars at least I get to listen to raindrops. In ridiculous news I saw 5 accidents within 4 miles. I’m not kidding. When it rains in these parts people totally lose their minds.  FACT: I am over my commute.

The rain is due to be gone by tomorrow and the forecast for Sunday is looking pretty darn sweet:

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That’s right. It’s time for me and my baby brother to run Long Beach

After 24 weeks of running, running and more running he is SO ready

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We plan on having a lot of fun. Yes, it is possible to have fun for 26.2 miles. Especially when you have a running partner like me who raps, rocks and can tell hilarious stories for hours on end. Like the time I called the cops on a kid I caught tagging the freeway. “Siri, call the sheriff.” Yes that happened. And I’m laughing as I type it. But really, if you are going to deface property don’t do it at 5:30 p.m. for everyone to see. Especially me, keeper of the peace.

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But back to Long Beach.

If you are out there please say hi. Give a high-five. Run with us. Whatever floats your boat. We will take all of the motivation that we can get!

For now, I’m out. Need to catch up on Nashville and Parenthood..oh, and sleep. Yeah. I will be blogging from the LBC when we arrive on Saturday! WOOOHOOO! Run strong, run smart, have fun!

Oh! And just because it’s October, this is my favorite picture of my boy from 2007. I hope this makes you smile…

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See you in a few days 🙂

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Back from my blogging hiatus

My last blog post was 3 days before I started my new job. 3 days before my world as I knew it would turn into total chaos. 12 hours days. Long commutes. Inundated. Missing my family. Missing “normal” life. Missing…balance.

Then I took off for SF got to see my BFFL.

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And  while I was there I ran this race

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It was awesome. It was the first time I ran with a pace group and talked to people for the entire 1:40.

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And then the kids started school and we had to try to find “balance” again. It’s been hectic. We still haven’t totally figured out our schedule but we’re getting there.

Just a few days after school started my BFFs (and their families) came to the rescue and we had a super fun weekend together. Best friends are like angels. Without wings. They restore balance with lots of love and much needed laughter!

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And I ran a few more races

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And had fun doing them.

But since then it’s been all business

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My coach is a beast!
My coach is a beast!

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Long Beach is in 1 1/2 weeks. It’s my brother’s first marathon. And we’re running it together.

That’s right.

Look out world. There is going to be a whole lot of sexy on the race course.

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And then there will be some downtime. Yoga has been back in full force. I need it. I have 2 big races coming up in April.

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Boston is my A race.  I still can’t believe I’m in. I’M IN! Big Sur is my be one with nature race. I cannot freaking wait.

I’m going to need lots of mental and physical strength. It’s going to be tough. There will be lots of ups and downs and, therefore, lots of blog talk. That’s right. I’m back people. Lots of rad stuff is in store. Hope you’re ready.

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Why I Strength Train (and you should too)

If you saw my tweet last Sunday you already know that my brother celebrated a running milestone. He ran 12 miles without walking. And he did it well under 2 hours with me chatting his ear off. That’s huge! So very proud of him. We are just a few weeks away from hitting his PDR (personal distance record) and before we know it he will be running 26.2 miles. You know just a few years ago he was running a 12:30 pace..but I’ll let him share his story with you as soon as he is ready.

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Strength Training

I haven’t talked about strength training in a while. Truth is that I had to reduce my lifting/squatting/get strong days during my Ojai training cycle due to time constraints. Now that I have a little downtime before Boston madness begins it’s back to focusing on getting and remaining strong.

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Hardcore

Strength training is one of the single most important aspects of my marathon (and any other distance) training. I injure easily and, as many of you know, I had several frustrating training cycles. I learned to depend on strength workouts to keep my body strong and ready to run. The result? I’ve remained injury free and have seen improved finish times.

Today I want to share a workout (or two) and encourage you to give it a try. Building a stronger core (and booty) will help support the muscles you use to propel you off of the ground. If you incorporate strength training into your weekly workout plan you will become a more efficient runner. Want to get faster? Strength train. Want to remain injury free? Get strong.

A few years ago I posted about my medicine ball and core workout. Now let’s get into a few circuits.

Workout #1 Total Body Workout : 3 rounds with 10 seconds of rest in between each exercise:

Jumping Jacks (1 min)

Squats (1 min)

Push ups (1 min)

Bicycle Crunches (1 min)

Mountain Climbers (1 min)

Hip Raises (1 min)

Plank (1 min)

Weighted Twist (I use a medicine ball or kettle bell) (1 min)

Donkey Kicks (1 min)

The above circuit can be done using only body weight. In lieu of a weighted twist you can sit on the floor in a c-position and do rotating knee touches. Your obliques will thank you!

 Workout #2 Glutes (Remember operation get my booty better?) This takes me 20 minutes or so and is courtesy of WHM.

Click here to review a glute circuit I use.

I continue to practice yoga (love!) and have also started to incorporate insanity workouts in my routine. I actually like them a lot more than I thought I would.  A spot in my garage is being turned into a little home gym/workout space since I am heading back to work next week. Yup, BCOD workouts (not just runs) will be happening. I will also be back to tweeting about office workouts! Yup, the office push up, lunge and desk dip challenges will be back in full effect.

As I come across workouts I like I usually put together a routine and can share here if it wil help some of you out. I also like to take workout from WHM/MH and load them onto my iPod and take them to the gym with me. This is a great option for those of you who are like me and need a set workout.

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Do you strength train? Why or why not?

~ I used to be intimidated but after I switched gyms a few years ago my fear went away 🙂

4th of July 15k and a bunch of other stuff

Last week I ran the Coronado 15k for my 3rd consecutive year. I was really excited for this race as I really felt like I was ready to easily break 1:10. Yeah it’s always humid but the course is flat as a pancake. Running 7:20’s should feel easyish compared to the constant hills I am used it. Plus, I was around 1:09 at the 15k point at RNR and that was with some uphill. This should be a big PR.

Should have been.

It wasn’t. It was actually brutally hard.

I was up a 4 a.m. with a headache the size of Texas. Made my way down to the bay by 5:4o a.m. and battled all of San Diego for a parking spot. Finally got situated 1.5 miles away and ran to the start. I never complain about a warm up 🙂

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The race was supposed to start at 7 but didn’t end up starting until 7:30. As soon as the gun went off I just couldn’t find a groove. I went out way fast. At the .75 mark I was at a 6:55. I put on the breaks and got myself down to 7:15ish but just felt off. Every step was a struggle.

Each mile I got slower and slower and felt worse and worse. I haven’t felt this bad during a race in a long time so I just kept trying to remind myself that running is fun. It didn’t feel fun but sometimes we can trick our minds. I talked to a few people around me and just kept hoping to see that finish sign.

Finally, mile marker 8 appeared and I knew I could hang on for another 1.3

I crossed the finish line in 1:10:32 (a slight PR, 4th in my age) and then got backed up in the marked off finish corral line not realizing that the timing mat was in the middle of a sea of people. I had never seen that before. This race still collects the paper hang tags (from the bottom of the bib) so there is always a back up at the finish. By the time I actually got across the timing mat I think I ended up with an official time of 1:10:38? Times are still unofficial. I wonder how many people were mad about that? Not a big deal but that could send some serious competitors right over the edge lol!

Runners battling to see their finish time
Runners battling to see their finish time

I was so happy to be done. 9.3 miles felt like 30 that day. At least the view was pretty and I got to sport my Red, White and Blue!

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I made the 1.5 mile jog back to the car. I knew the parade was getting ready to start so I needed to get off of the island ASAP if I planned on spending time with my family that day!

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On my way home my headache came back with a vengeance. No matter how much I drank I felt thirsty…and hungry…and miserable.

I sucked it up and got myself together for a family cook out but should have known that head cold 2013 was coming on. Such a bummer because I love the 4th of July!

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I took the 2 days following the race off to just reset and get better. It felt so good to just let myself recover.

The following Sunday I got back on the road with my brother. We ran 11 sweaty miles and celebrated yet another week of 26.2 training.

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He is crushing his training plan. I should ask him to write a guest post on his past race experience, weight loss and his road to 26.2. He has an incredible story y’all.

What do ya think Joe? Yes? No? Maybe?!?!

Next race is coming up on August 4th. I am running the SF Giants Half and CANNOT WAIT!!! I’m bringing the eye black back. Hey, you can take the girl out of NorCal, but you can’t take the NorCal out of the girl. Even LD is running. I can’t wait to be “home!”

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Life Stuff

I officially accepted a new job and start on July 22nd. I am nervous, excited and well, I don’t know. Indifferent maybe? This opportunity fell into my lap and I feel very lucky so maybe it’s just nerves. Or maybe it’s because I worked for my last company for so long and change is scary. I didn’t look for this job, it found me. When opportunity knocks I have learned to open the door and take a chance.

Better go dig out the high heels. Wish me luck!

~

Have you transitioned to a new job? Was it difficult?

Anyone else race during the past few weeks? I need reports people!

Next up…strength training and how it helps a runner out.

Why hello there!

Is it really almost July?! This is insane. It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating my BQ and now it’s time for fireworks. 2013 is literally going by in a blink. Let’s get caught up, shall we?

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My big man graduated Kindergarten. I was so glad that I got to volunteer during his last week of school!

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Mini me moved out of the “little kid class” and will officially start Pre-K this fall. So we had a girls day at Disney to celebrate. Bring on the cotton candy…and coffee…

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California Adventure earned my love ever since they opened Starbucks.

My FIL came for a visit! It was so good to have him here. We hadn’t seen him since Mama Kay passed so it was NEEDED.

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This is my first summer home with the kids. Man, it is so much fun! I am bummed that I missed out getting to do this when they were babies, but I feel so lucky that I am getting to do it now. Focusing on the moment and enjoying it.

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I started training with my brother who will be running his first marathon at Long Beach in October. He has finished 2 half marathons but since then has lost more than 80lbs! YES 80!

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Isn’t that incredible? We will be getting into double digits this weekend and I’m sure he is REALLY looking forward to me yapping his ears off for hours on end. What?? Good convo makes time fly.

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This was the view during a sunrise run this week. Stunning. This is one of the many reasons I love BCOD runs. So quiet and so beautiful.

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I’ve gotten back to including strength training in my weekly routine. While I never totally cut it out I did have to scale back during marathon training due to time constraints. It feels so good to feel strong again. If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you know I love to hashtag #dowork. What you put into it is what you will get out. Keep a log.When things aren’t going the way you want them to look back at your training and see where you need to adjust.

I am running a 15k on the 4th of July (one of my favorite races) and then will have a month off until the Giant Half. Pretty excited for that race. I am bringing the eye black back. Oh yes, it’s happening.

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What are your plans for the 4th? Anyone else running?

– I will definitely be sporting the Red, While and Blue!

Ahhh one last thing before I take off.  I want to leave you with this quote from my pastor. It really hit home for me and as we head into the second half of the year I want to encourage you all take a moment to reflect. Remember what’s important- it will make each day a whole lot easier 🙂

“It’s not about what you have, it’s about what you DO with what you have…What you do with a little is what you will do with a lot…but don’t get so focused on the future that you miss out on the moment” – pastor Matthew Schlesinger

WORD.

SD Rock N Roll Half Recap

A week late but here it is. This eye injury is bothering me more than I thought it would (we can discuss later).

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Beings that this race was one week after M2B I wasn’t expecting to run as well. I just wanted to go check out the new course and see if this was an event worth running again. If I ran well great, if not no big deal.

I got up around 3:20 a.m. and was able to catch a 4 a.m. train down to San Diego. I thought I would be one of the only peeps at the coaster station that early but to my surprise it was pretty busy. I ended up seeing a friend that I used to work with so we chatted the whole way down to SD. The train ended in Old Town and there was a shuttle waiting to take us to the start. It was seriously so easy.

The starting area was buzzing! From runners to coaches to supporters there were people everywhere. Bathroom lines moved faster than expected, got my bag checked and headed to the start line.

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I ended up in corral 5 next to the 2 hour pacer. At that point I had to make a decision to either just chill and go with the crowded flow or expend energy and go out fast to get out of the madness.

I think it took 4 minutes to cross the start and we were off. Dude, it was CROWDED.  At that point I went with the decision to just go out fast. For the first mile I just tried to focus on getting through the crowd. I knew the street opened up around 1-1.5 miles so I would get some room to move. I remember passing the 1:45 pacer and knew I should probably put the brakes on a bit. That’s when I met Juan Fernando (John). This dude was freaking fast and there was no slowing down.

He was visiting from Mexico and spoke very little English. He asked if I understood Spanish and I said yes. From that point on he spoke to me in Spanish and I replied in English (or Spanish if I could). It was awesome. As we climbed a few short uphills we talked about races, strides and pacing. Around the 10k mark he told me he was gunning for better than a 1:36. He started in corral 3 so he had time to make up. At that point we were running 7:15-7:20s and I told him my brain was not ready to run better than a 1:36 and off he went.

Around the 15k mark we had another sneaky uphill that I just didn’t have the energy for. I made it up and over but at that point my mental state was just hang on. We hit some really fast downhills that I didn’t take advantage of but it did feel good on the legs.

As we made our way through downtown I heard the winner of the marathon finish. That was awesome. As I passed mile 13 I sprinted toward the finish. My last .10 was at a 5:43 pace (goes to show you I had a lot left physically, just not mentally!).

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I crossed the finish line in 1:38:40, 7:32 avg pace (hooray for a positive split, lol).

When I crossed the finish I took a quick picture and silently celebrated my 1 min PR. One week after a marathon PR I pulled a half PR out of my hiney. Awesome. I saw my new friend Juan and he showed me his Garmin: 1:35! He said he couldn’t believe it and I told him I knew he could do it. He ran a strong race!!

I grabbed my goodies and medal and headed to bag check to grab my stuff. I quickly changed my clothes and hopped on the trolley to get back to the train station.

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The finish line was super organized and easy to navigate. I had no problem grabbing my stuff and getting out of downtown. I’ll do a race review this week but I will say now that this year was a HUGE improvement for the half! HUGE!

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I’m looking forward to race downtime for a few months. I will likely run on the 4th of July but next half isn’t until August. Time to just go back to running with no plan for a few weeks and just enjoy the scenery. With one eye. So ridiculous. Welcome to my world.

Anyone else run the new half course? Thoughts?

–  I loved the downtown finish!

 

Expoing

RNR Expos are pretty darn big. So big that the best place to hold SD’s is downtown at the convention center.

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Beings that San Diego draws 30,000 runners plus spectators I went yesterday to try to beat the crowd. To my surprise when I walked inside the wait to get in was 10 minutes!

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I don’t think I have ever seen people line up to get into an expo. Once the doors opened it was quick moving and I picked up my bib and swag bag in no time.

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It is awesome that RNR is showing support for Run Now! If you have not heard about the countrywide race and fundraiser for Boston go check it out at RunNow.com.

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The rest of the expo was filled with vendors handing out everything from gels to snap peas to organic bread. Sometimes Expos are like Costco for runners.

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My favorite

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So creative.

I zipped my way through and thought overall the expo was well organized and had a lot more giveaways than the previous years.

If you are headed there today you will have a few options as far as parking is concerned:

*If you are staying at a downtown hotel walk. Most hotels are within close proximity- don’t let maps fool you. Don’t move your car from your hotel parking garage.

*Parking at the convention center is $10. If you are into convenience and don’t have patience this is your best option.

*Metered street parking. If you take Island St. North past the stadium you might find more spots. The closer you try to park the harder it will be.

*Public Lots. You may be able to find a $5 lot on 7th or 9th and Broadway. Sometimes you have a drive around to find the best deal.

Keep in mind the Padres are in town. The game tonight is at 7:10 so the earlier you go the better.

If you still haven’t registered it’s not too late!

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See you tomorrow at the start line!

Time To Rock N Roll, #EndlessSummer

I’d never thought I’d run this race again. After dealing with horrible logistics in 2010 and again in 2011 I swore I was done with San Diego Rock N’ Roll. I hated running on the 163 and the finish at Sea World was miserable. I do not exaggerate. It’s not fun trying to get out of that place when 30,000 other people are trying to do the same thing.

And then they changed the course.

And I was tempted.

I knew I was running Ojai so I hesitated.

And then I was offered an opportunity to run it. Done. Challenge accepted.

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The race is this Sunday, June 2nd. Registration is still available at the Expo today and tomorrow. I believe the half is now $165, Full $175 and Relay $195. I heard Jamba Juice is handing out smoothies at the finish so if that doesn’t get ya maybe the course will.

The half course looks to be fast (no freeway running, YES!):

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The full offers the challenge of getting over the hill at mile 21 and then it’s all downhill :

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Both courses finish downtown next to Petco Park. If you haven’t had the chance to hang out downtown SD it’s pretty darn nice.

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Bonus? Padres are in town all weekend so you can hit up a game while you’re here. Tickets are cheap. CHEAP.

view from the cheap seats
view from the cheap seats

My only concern is getting to the start. Options are limited and with the early start time of 6 am, getting to SD at the BCOD is pretty much the only option. There is parking available downtown but the walk to the start is all uphill. Not ideal right before a race. What to do, what to do. Fingers crossed that public transportation is going to be ready.

I am really hoping that the changes to the race are going to be for the better. If you are in town this weekend come join me before sunrise for a little 13.1 mile jog through my old neighborhood.

What?

You didn’t think I was going to run back to back fulls did you? Come on, I’m still celebrating my 3:3o!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountains To Beach Marathon Recap

I am still on cloud 9. What a race.

As you saw in my last post, and probably on Twitter and IG I had a major PR. A 15 min PR to be exact. And I BQ’d. There were lots of tears at the finish.

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Sunday morning I woke up late. Really late. Lucky I didn’t miss the race late. I accidentally set the alarm for Mon-Fri. Ooops. So thankful that my husband randomly woke up, freaked out and got me up. If he would not have gotten up I would have slept the day away.

Back to the race.

I threw my clothes on, heated up my oatmeal and we were on the road just after 5 am. By the time we got to Ojai I had just enough time to go to the bathroom (the line was crazy long) and get to the start line.

As I waited for the gun to go off I chatted with a gal from Orange County about goals for the race. I told her my BQ was 3:40 (hers was too). She had a pace band and offered to make sure we stuck to the splits if she saw me on the course. I told her I was gunning for a 3:30. I hadn’t told anyone but L that. In fact, I knew I could run better than a 3:30 if I ran smart. There was no way I was running this race with anyone but me.

About 10 min after 6 it was finally go time.

I took off a little fast in knowing miles 2-4 were an uphill climb. I knew I would slow a bit during those miles and felt good where I was at. Plan was to try to run an even split.

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As we finished the 10k loop around Ojai and started downhill toward the beach I was cruising. I was talking to runners around me. I felt awesome. Crazy awesome. I felt like I could run forever. I couldn’t freaking believe it! I crossed the half right around 1:44. I was right on pace for my 3:30 (or better!).

Around mile 17 or so we lost shade. It started to feel warm but I still had some spring in my step. I couldn’t wait to hit the beach. At mile 19 I ticked away another sub 8 mile and knew that all I had to do was hang on.

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We made a turn out at mile 20 and there was the water. It was gorgeous. Much better than last year when the last 10k was out and back through a neighborhood! At mile 22 I saw my husband and gave him a giant smile. At that time my watch read 2:57. I just had to hang on for 4 more miles and I would get my 3:30.

Those last 4 miles hurt like a mofo. At 23 I pulled out my iPod and turned it up loud. I just needed to make it to the turn around at 24 and give it what I had. At 25 I was begging my legs to run faster. Finally at 26 I saw the finish banner. I passed a lot of people that last .20. It felt freaking awesome.

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As I crossed the finish line I cried. I ran a strong race. The past several months have been a roller coaster ride. So many highs and lows. Every emotion fueled me through this race. I freaking did it. I did it! Mama Kay would have been SO proud!

Oh, and my plan to run an even race? I came so close to nailing it! The last 4 miles were the pace killer, lol.

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I ran the tangent pretty dang perfect. Man, I had a day.

You know, last year I ran a 4:09 in Ojai. That’s a 39 min course improvement. Hard work totally pays off.

Boston HERE I COME.