January: Bodies In Motion and the Star Wars Challenge

I don’t know about you, but for me it feels like December was like a week ago and now it’s mid February. At this rate it’s going to be Halloween by next Tuesday. Maybe I should start looking at costumes. Wait, is that even an option at this point? Not going to think about it. Have I confused you yet?

Speaking of confusing our weather is all kinds of backwards right now. It’s a balmy 85 degrees on this glorious winter day. I know, rough. How ever do we Southern Californians survive? Truth be told it is pretty brutal. Not the sunny perfection, but the lack of the wet stuff. We need rain. A lot of it. Stat.

Since it feels like August, let’s talk about January, shall we?

On January 11th my sister and I attended the Bodies in Motion event hosted by Lululemon Athletica La Jolla. This fun running/yoga shindig was limited to 150 people and all money raised went to the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF). If you don’t know anything about this organization get yourself educated stat. They do great things for great people.


The day started at the entrance to Petco Park. We were told we were going to run 3 miles to a secret location where we would then participate in a 45 min yoga practice followed by a healthy happy hour. Sound fun? It was. Even in the rain (Pretty sure that was the last time we saw water fall from the sky).


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We about a mile around the embarcadero and then looped back past the ballpark and ended up at


Mission Brewery.


Nuun was on site along with Suja and The Perfect Bar. Rain be darned, we made it to awesome town in one piece.

Our mats were all laid out (hello new friends!) and we did about 30 minutes of power yoga and ended with a nice, 15 minute relaxing cool down. It was a lot of fun…even if I did accidentally kick the guy behind me in the head. Still sorry about that Ryan!


Once all was said and done the brewery was open for drinks and I believe food trucks were outside (It was announced but I never checked). My sis and I stayed around for about an hour just chatting and enjoying the moment.

Best event yet put on by Lulu in San Diego. Great way to engage in the community, sweat and raise money for a fantastic organization. I hope they do more of these in the future (hint hint North County location). I’ll be at every single one.

The following weekend I participated in the inaugural Star Wars Rebel Challenge. It consisted of a 10k on Saturday followed by a half marathon on Sunday.


Per the usual the expo was totally out of control. The outside floor with the usual vendors was fine, nothing super awesome to report. It’s getting in to actually look at the race stuff that is impossible. Well, not totally if you are cool waiting in a 2 hour line. I’m not cool with it and there is nothing I need that bad so I skipped it. Again. So no photos. so sorry.


Course was fast and full of characters. I had decided when I got there that I was just going to run by feel and if I could PR I would go for it.

After a fun intro the race started at 5:30 a.m. sharp. As you can imagine it was dark the entire race making my Garmin useless (too lazy to try to turn the back light on).

I remember crossing the 5k mark in 22:XX and thought if I ran hard I could PR. There was a man just ahead of me and I decided to make him my rabbit.

I knew I was speeding up but I didn’t know by how much until well after the race. I crossed the finish line at 44:55, a new PR. When I looked at my splits my first 5k average was 7:22, second was 7:07. Negative split. Average pace 7:13. I like running in the dark; no watch, no pace stalking, just running.

I haven’t done a lick of speed work (don’t hurt me for saying that) so this was all guts and a darn good base. If I would just suck it up and get back to incorporating repeats I may be able to accomplish some really fast times. Maybe a goal for year 36? We shall see.

Half Marathon:

I almost didn’t run it. Actually, I tried to miss it but it didn’t work out. My husband made sure I got out of bed. Seriously, he has some kind of internal race alarm (I was thankful HERE) and there was no way he was letting me not go.


After spending the entire day at the pool post the 10k I just didn’t feel like running. I moved to the back of corral A and went out easy and kept the pace that way for all 13.1. It was awesome. The course was great (best one yet Disney, don’t change it) and the weather was perfect. The miles ticked away quickly and it overall was just a really nice run. One of those runs that make you love the sport. I crossed the finish at 1:48:30 (or close to it) and went directly to Starbucks for coffee.

I like coffee after running. Unless it’s hot outside. Then I love chocolate milk or pineapple coconut water. I’m all over the board.


That was January. Pretty rockin’ month. I didn’t have a single PR in 2014 (deservingly so as I didn’t put in the work) so this just felt good. Like I got my mojo back. Maybe.

I made a last-minute decision to run the Cal 10/20 race this weekend. 10 miles of beauty. Can’t wait.


Dusting off the blog…a look back at 2014.

It’s been months. Months. As time passed I found that writing about Boston 2 Big Sur was no longer relevant and New York, well, that too has come and gone. There is such a small window of time to recap a race and once it’s missed that’s it. People just aren’t interested. So much changed in 2014 and sadly I just couldn’t find the time to fit in blogging. After long days of work travel and family fun I just didn’t have the energy to stay up late and write. Lazy? Maybe, but sleep has become more of a priority these days.

My love of running (and yoga, strength training and good eats) hasn’t changed but racing in 2014 just didn’t happen. My training became more of a run-when-I-can-and-or-feel-like-it-plan which is not conducive to running a strong race. Weird right? 🙂 Next year is going to be different. As I start to goal plan I am going to go back to basics and focus on what motivates me. What can I do to get myself back on track? Where do I need support? I find that writing these things down is helpful so that I can remind myself of where I want to go. This applies in life, work and athletics.

So with that I will recap my year as I prepare to ring in 2015 with all of you. I can’t wait to see what the new year has in store!


Happy 2014! I ran the Carlsbad Half Marathon to start the year. This is a local race for me so it was a no brainer really. I have run both the half and the full and highly recommend both.



4 weeks into my Boston training and I just wasn’t feeling it. Weekly mileage was low and the thought of running a 20 miler made me want to poke my eyes out. I just remember feeling exhausted for all 28 days. Coffee, however, never sounded better 🙂

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Birthdays galore. So many family parties in March makes for an awesome month!

Carlsbad 5000- All day 20k. This used to be a 25k so kinda bummed that they removed a race and didn’t decrease the entry fee. I get that they want people to stay for the elite race, but throw us a bone!



How did I celebrate turning 35? By taking a week and a half long family vacation to run 2 marathons on 2 coasts.

Boston- Emotional x1000. You’ve seen the video. There aren’t words. I worked my butt of to qualify and will be back there again one day.


Big Sur- Beyond beautiful. I ran this 5 minutes faster than Boston. Backwards, I know. If you haven’t run this race is a must. So many different distances but the marathon and the 20 miler get to experience all of the beauty. Do it. Now.

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A transitional month for me. My baby turned 7 and I was contemplating a career change that had landed in my lap. It was also the one year anniversary of Mama Kay earning her wings so it was tough.


Started my new job in a totally different field within my industry. A very scary and rewarding leap of faith!


I took my first work trip across the country and did some exploring in New York. Spent the 4th of July with family and celebrated summer!



Back to school. My littlest started Kinder this year and my big guy is in 2nd grade.


September was a blur. I was all over the place. From SF to Chicago my bags pretty much stayed packed.


Can you say ORANGE OCTOBER?! I went to the World Series and celebrated my Giants winning their 3rd in 5 years. It was incredible.



Off to NYC for Halloween and the NYCM. There is nothing more fun than family vacations. Or dressing up like a banana. Just because.



NYC has my heart. I had a bad race (worst marathon time since the beginning of 2012) but I loved every minute of it. I would do it again in an instant. Love, love, love New York.



Disney Avengers Half. What can I say? Windy conditions and a whole lot of fun!


Turkey Trot 5 mile race. Determined to redeem myself I finished in 36:xx. While not a PR (not even close) I needed to find proof that I could get back to where I was in 2013. This was it. If I can run 7:20s with no training/speed work I will be back in the high 6’s for short distance in no time.



Filled with lots of love and family fun (and one last trip to SF). I ran the SD Holiday Half and surprised myself with a 1:42 finish. That was all heart as I had not run a distance longer than 6 miles during a 3 week span. The race organization started out wonky (bag check disaster and a 30!! min late start) but once we got going all was well. It has a lot of fast downhill (net loss of 711 feet or so) and is a PR course for sure. Well, not for me this year but for those who train for it should smash it!

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So there you have it.  Sayonara 14. It’s been fun. Here comes 15 and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever. I can feel it.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”  Proverbs 16:9

B2B- A few thoughts

I finally made it back to Southern CA late Sunday night and have been trying to find the right words to recap the past week. It was more than I imagined it would be in a totally different way than I expected.

Here are a few quick thoughts…

When I arrived in Boston my first reaction was that I didn’t belong. I was out of my league. Everyone around me had “been there done that.” Most were up early running each morning; sporting their jackets from years past and mumbling about PR’s. While each morning I was still in PJ’s,  adjusting to East Coast time, drinking coffee and making plans to explore the city.

The night before the race I cried. It was probably a combination of things (I’m such a girl). The high emotions of a come back race after tragedy paired with my own self doubt. I worked so hard to get to this great city and then completely let my training fall apart. I did not have one single 20 mile training run. Many weeks I was so tired from work that getting any run in was a miracle. More than one weekend I skipped out on a long run completely. I was kicking myself. Too little to late.

I woke up on Monday April 21st and couldn’t eat. I was nervous. I got dressed, met my Mom in the lobby and made the walk to the bus loading station. As the bus pulled away and headed toward Hopkinton I had no idea that this race was going to change my love of running. And that going to Big Sur in the following days would give me a confidence I never knew I had.

Recaps are coming, for now a few photos from the trip.

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Cabo for Thanksgiving, Christmas and racing

This year for Christmas my parents gave us our gift a little early. We were all gifted a Thanksgiving vacation in Cabo. And it was AWESOME.


We were there for 6 days and it was seriously the best Thanksgiving I have ever had. Seriously. I just reflected on all 35 Turkey Days and this one takes the cake. No work, no phones just fun.



It was around 80 degrees the entire week so we spent A LOT of time poolside.





During the last few days the kids wanted to attend “kids club” at the resort which gave us a few hours to explore


And ride sea-doos!



View before a morning run


Most importantly we all got to spend a week together with no distractions. That was the best part of all.


Thank you Mom and Dad. Love you so very much.

And now we have just a few weeks until Christmas is here and then we will be ringing in 2014. We will be staying home (hooray!) and my FIL “Pops” will be staying at our house to celebrate. We are so glad that he will be here with us. It’s our first Christmas without Mama Kay and it’s going to be tough.

I will be running the inaugural SD Holiday Half (which is close to a sell out so register now if you want to run) while he is here and if LD can get everyone out of the house it will be Pop’s first time to see me run. It’s not going to be pretty, but I’ll get it done.

Speaking of racing, here is what I am registered for in 2014

January: Carlsbad Half

Feb: SD 10/20

April: Boston Marathon and Big Sur Marathon

November: New York Marathon

I will add some shorter races in if I am up to it. It still blows my mind that I BQ’d and got into NY. It’s going to be one heck of a year…now if I could just get motivated to train.


1. What did you do for Turkey Day?

2. Any plans for Christmas?

3. Races?!

My brother’s first marathon- my recap

Long Beach. I had no idea what to expect. It was my brother’s first marathon and I knew that no matter what we were getting across that finish line.


Since we were staying at different hotels I sent Joe a text to let him know I was on my way to the start around 5 a.m. We decided to meet at the portapotties since it was well lit and made it easy for one last bathroom break.

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We made our way down to the start and shoved out way into the crowd right behind the 4 hour pacer. I figured that would force us out slow so that I could try to help keep an even split (goal) and if Joe had anything left in the tank we could try to pick it up at the end.

A few minutes before the gun went off I got to meet Sandy. We have been at so many of the same races and always miss one another. Really cool that we found one another in the dark in a large crowd!

Gun went off and away we went.

Goal was to go out nice and easy and then get comfortable around 8:50-9:00 pace. Based on Joe’s training runs I knew that would be a great pace and it could mean a finish right around that 4 hour mark. The weather was abso-freaking-lutely perfect and we tried to get into a groove pretty quickly.

Mile 1: 8:58

2: 8:48

3: 8:53

4: 9:01

5: 9:06

6: 9:05

As we past the 10k mark we celebrated being 25% done. We were right alongside the water and it was nice and flat. Beings that there is no such thing as flat in my hood this was a sweet change!


Mile 7:  9:02

8: 9:01

9: 9:00

10: 9:01

11: 8:58

12: 9:16

13: 9:05

We crossed the half way point under 2 hours and at that point it was looking like we had a solid chance of staying on track for that 4 hour finish. I remember we high fived and just kept chugging along.

Mile 14: 9:14

15: 9:21

I remember Joe telling me he needed the bathroom but when we passed the portapotties there was a long line. I knew he didn’t want to stop and wait as that could be a recipe for disaster. I think it was at 15 that he finally got to go to the bathroom? I just remember taking his water bottle to fill it up and then we continued on.

16: 9:32

17: 10:12

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At mile 18 is when things took a turn. I knew we had been slowing down so I went into motivational coach/cheerleader. Seeing my sweet, hard working brother hit the wall was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. I felt helpless as we rode the roller coaster of emotions. There was nothing I could do or say to make it better but I just kept trying. We decided together to move onto a 5:1 plan to try to help get through. Run 5 minutes, fast walk a minute and transition back to running.


Mile 18: 11:31

19: 10:47

20: 12:56

Around 20 I started to use my talk to text on my Iphone to let the family know where we were and how we were doing. I’ll give Siri some credit for doing a decent job of getting it right. Seriously, I talk to text messages to my best friend A LOT and Siri royally jacks them up.

21: 12:19

22: 11:40

Around 22ish there was a group of boyscouts handing out otter pops. We hoarded them! Every race should have otter pops. I’m serious. I think we talked about how good those otter pops tasted for the rest of the race.

23: 13:03

There was a hill at this mile and we ended up in a sea of walkers. Hills in the late miles can be soul crushing. I wasn’t going to let the hills destroy our race. We went into run the flat walk the hills mode and it worked. Well, worked as well as it could, right Joe?!

24: 13:19

The last few miles of a marathon are always hard. Always. I think these miles were especially hard because Joe wanted his legs to go so badly but the mental battle makes it tough. More than once we held hands as I told him we were almost there. He was almost done. He was going to be a marathoner!

25: 12:33

26: 11:24

.2: 8:39

This is when we saw our family. They were at 26.10 screaming and shouting and holding up signs. They were the motivation that pushed us through that last .10



We crossed the finish line together in 4:28. Joe did it. He battled through all 26.2. We hugged and cried and took pictures. We reunited with the family and celebrated a finish that was 24 weeks in the making.


My brother hated running. Loathed it. And now he is a marathoner. All it took was a little courage- and believing that there is so much more after that first step.

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“But if what we hope for we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” Romans 8:25

Now it’s time to gear up for Boston training. I.can’t.wait.

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.



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.


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



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


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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 🙂


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!



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!


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!


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.


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!”


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.