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    Run to Remember LA 2016 Race Recap

        

    So this past weekend I ran the Run to Remember LA, which was an inaugural race. It was pretty fun and benefitted a great cause that is close to our family. I went into the race just hoping to finish in under an hour. It started at the Grove in Los Angeles, which is about a 40 minute drive from my house. The course claimed to be flat and it was not too bad, but I’m just out of shape. I laid out my clothes the evening before and packed my bag with everything I needed. It’s always helpful for me to lay everything out so I don’t forget anything the morning of. I wore B’s “Station Shirt” and ended up not wearing my ear warmer headband because I thought it might get a little to warm for that.

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    As I was getting ready I realized in 2015 I didn’t run one race… It made me nervous thinking it had been so long since I’ve raced! The morning started out okay – but I did have 2 middle of the night wake ups, in which I just put her pacifier back in her mouth and she goes right back to sleep but still… that 4:30 am wake up time was a bit to early for my liking. I definitely didn’t take that into consideration when signing up for a race. I drove down to the Grove and there was absotluly no traffic, but once I got off the freeway it was pretty backed up heading to the Grove to park. I was stuck in the line for over 30 minutes and hadn’t move more than a mile. Even though I had allowed myself over an hour and a half to get to the start line, I started to think about parking on a side street and jog over to the starting line. As the time was ticking away and I still wasn’t moving, I just pulled onto a street and parked. I made sure to drop a pin on my iPhone so I would know how to make it back after the race. A bunch of other people were making the same decision and everyone was getting out of their cars and putting on their racing gear.

    Once I got to the start line it was smooth sailing. The portapotty lines were a little long but normal and after I went to the bathroom, I got into a corral by the half marathon 10:30 pacers. I was excited to run a race again and got butterflies in my stomach! I hadn’t experienced that feeling in a long time. Finally they called Wave 4 up to the line and we were off. I took off like a rocket, which was a poor choice, but oh well, the adrenaline and excitement got to me.

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    We went through a bunch of main streets in LA and it was fun to see all the little stores and coffee shops lining the street. The turn around was through Paramount Pictures studios which was actually really cool because they had a tribute area to the fallen First Responders and a bunch of old Fire Trucks and Police cars. It was cool to see the back lot area! Then we just turned around and ran the same way back. It was fairly easy and the last corner turn to the finish line was a hallelujah moment!

    Onto the race…

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    Mile 1 – took off WAY too fast and it burned me later in the race. I know better but oh well, it was fun and I was excited. There was a very slight incline which I also didn’t take into account so I was working extra hard.

    Mile 2 – More relaxed but paid for that first mile! I started to slow down and reminded myself I wasn’t only running a 5K.

    Mile 3 – I was definitely glad to see the turn around point! I kept wondering where it was. I got a little bit of water at a water station too and then headed back toward the finish. I also got a little choked up at the tribute area, thinking about B and all the firefighters and police officers I know.

    Mile 4 – This was a tough mile for me, and usually is the hardest mile in a 10K. I was thinking I had TWO more miles to go and my legs were starting to feel really heavy.

    Mile 5 – I knew I only had a mile and .2 to go so I just told myself that over and over in my head. I said please just keep going you can run for the maximum of 12 more minutes! My feet hurt pretty bad and my legs were really sore but I just kept going.

    Mile 6 – YAY the finish is in sight! FINALLY! I finished in 56:08, which was well under and hour. I think if I would have paced myself smarter I would have run better but oh well. The first post baby race is in the books! The medal from the race is pretty cool and I am really glad I did it! Maybe I will think about running the half marathon next year.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 10.59.37 AMThe only thing that came to bite me in the butt was when I got back to my car I had a ticket waiting for me. UGH. Apparently the street I parked on was permit only and all the cars around me had tickets too. It was a bummer they didn’t have more traffic directors to make the Grove traffic flow better in the morning so I wasn’t panicked and parked on the side street AND it’s also kind of silly that I paid to show my support to first responders… and one of them gave me a ticket! Oh well, just doing their job I guess. Overall it was a good day and I came home to a happy little baby and was able to take a nap when C was taking her afternoon nap so I was able to catch up on some sleep. It was a fun day and now I’m already searching for my next race!

     

    Signing up!

    One of my goals this month is to sign up and run a race and today, I signed up for a race! It was scary but exciting and it’s… THIS WEEKEND! It’s a 10K which I think will be the perfect starting distance for me, more on that in a bit. It’s a fairly local race that has a great cause that means a lot to me, as it is a tribute to fallen law enforcement officers and first responders. B is a first responder and I’m excited to support this cause and run this race.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 4.49.16 PMI looked over the course and it seems relatively flat and runs through interesting areas that I haven’t run through before, so that should take my mind off running and make it fly by, I hope. I know my goals for the race are to finish and hopefully will be done right around an hour. I know I need to stay relaxed and enjoy myself instead of racing, but I am competitive so we’ll see how I feel.

    Why did I choose the 10K distance? I thought about doing a 5K, but I know myself and know I would run too fast in that short of distance right now. I usually dislike 10Ks because they are a difficult distance to race but I knew this would be just far enough for me to start out and not push myself too hard during the race.

    This race has both the 10K and Half Marathon option and after I looked at my training, I thought that this would be a perfect starting point. So far this month I’ve ran/walked 30 miles and have been feeling good though I am pretty sore after my longer runs. All my running lately has been roughly 3 miles to 45 minutes which takes me to right about 5 miles, so another mile should be just long enough. I also am going to do an hour run this Wednesday and that will be a good place to see where I’m at before the race on Sunday. Unfortunately, B is working so he won’t be able to come but it will still be a lot of fun and I’m kind of glad I can go alone and do it for myself and take some time to myself to reflect on the race after.

    I think this will a great place for me to start and even though I’m pretty nervous, I’m really looking forward to it! Here’s to the first race post baby this weekend!

    Fitting it all in

    Every day I hope to fit in a run. About 50% of the time I get it done. Being a mom and juggling life is just plain hard and I’m still trying to figure it out. I think it’s constantly changing and maybe I’ll just be figuring it out for the rest of my life. I am so thankful for my little babe but I’m also a 100% a better person when I get the chance to run. With that being a harder thing to accomplish these days, juggling all things important to me and prioritizing has become key to my day. Throw in the rainy weather we’ve been having lately, and I’m the driver of the struggle bus. Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 11.07.48 AM

    I totally understand the saying “Clean house, put together wife, or dinner on the table. Pick two but you can’t have all three.” It is hard to make it all happen when your interrupted by a shorter than normal nap or a fussy baby. And right when you seem to have it figured out… it changes. I sometimes find myself struggling with the tasks at home and feeling overwhelmed. I’ve found that I need to stand back, take a breath and pick my battles. I would like to vacuum every day. I’d like to fold the clean laundry as soon as the timer goes off. I’d like to make a bunch of the new recipes I just pinned on Pinterest. Then there’s my devotional, the dirty dishes, and countless chores and tasks. Not to mention a husband to stay connected with as I’m listening to the “Beep, Beep, Beep” sounds of her puppy car for the 215th time today. And a shower? That’s one that falls to the wayside far more often than I’d like to admit.

    I’m so happy we’ve come as far as we have and I feel like I am am finally adjusting to the new role as mom. She turns the wheel on her puppy car. She’s kind of trying to roll over. She smiles so much and makes fun noises. Yesterday she laughed ten times! It’s these little moments that I don’t want to wish away and I know I need to soak them in because in a blink of an eye my sleeping all day newborn turned into an infant and before soon we’ll be celebrating her first birthday.

    It’s easy to get lost in the mundane and feel overwhelmed. The last thing I feel like I have time to do is run, but it’s the number one thing that makes me feel like I have energy, makes me happy, and releases a lot of stress. So when I stand back at 5 pm and look at the clutter on the table and the fact I haven’t been to the market in four days, I need to keep reminding myself that it’s okay to take the 30 minutes for myself and get out my running stroller and just go. The clutter will still be there when I return. To be honest it will most likely be there for the next few days. I can always eat cereal for dinner.

    Finding that balance of this new life has been a challenge. But I know the best thing for me is to take a deep breath, take the extra time to go for a run and not worry about the little things. It’s only the 2nd week of January but so far so good with my goal of running 3 days a week!

    Reflecting on the 2015 XC Season

    Reflecting on the Cross Country Season

    Every season has its ups and downs and this season was extra challenging. I knew I would be out for a while when I had the baby, but the issues started back in the Summer. High schoolers are tricky, which is one of the reasons why I love working with them so much and one of the reasons they are so hard to work with. Some days I cannot stop laughing at them/with them and enjoy their big personalities and other days the two and a half hours  hours I spend with them seems like it takes days to get through a workout and they literally are on my last nerve. Motivation and consistency is so important when running and conveying that this is what makes a good runner is something I struggle with.

    There’s only so many ways to say the same thing over and over again and not feeling like a broken record. There’s a fine line with coaching where you don’t want to keep repeating the same thing because it starts to fall on deaf ears. I’ve been working on being more consistent with all of our athletes and trying to show them how to improve and tell them  stories that they may relate to instead of just yelling them over and over.

    We thought the boys team was going to be really strong this year and the girls team would have a rebuilding year, but it actually ended up being flipped. The girls came together and had a great year, while the boys continued to struggle because of some poor choices that hurt their training. It’s hard to decide what to do for discipline when you’re trying to prove a point but at the same time they need to continue to train.

    At the end of the season, it’s always nice to look back and see so many kids with new personal bests and motivation moving into track season. The best part of coaching is seeing my athletes understand why we push them, appreciate our efforts and improve. I love the coaches I work with and am excited to continue to build the program to new levels. I need to keep looking at the future and all the work we’ve put in to come to where we are today! Coaching is so much work and tireless but it makes me love running so much. I love the diversity and challenges.

    Screen Shot 2016-01-06 at 11.32.50 AMHere’s to a great track season and keeping a positive attitude!

     

    2016… Here we go!

    2016 - Here We Go! Running GoalsA fresh start is always nice and there is nothing like a new year to set new goals with a new mindset. When I look back on my first post of 2015 – I had NO clue I was pregnant and it’s funny to see what I wanted to do this past year! It was a hard year for me running wise because I was sick for 20 weeks being pregnant and had to wait over 10 weeks to get the clear to work out again and I still don’t feel 100%. I also had to forgo the Boston Marathon, a dream that I qualified for, which made the first half of the year very difficult for me. I was angry that I couldn’t run in general and so disappointed that I couldn’t run that race. Now that she’s here, I feel a lot better about missing it but do have hopes to qualify again and NOT get pregnant before the race ;)

    Over 2014 and some of 2015, I have found what kind of running mindset works for me. Working to make each run count. I don’t do well running miles without a purpose. When I create a plan and goals I keep “Running With Purpose” in mind because that is how I train the best. Even though in 2015 I only ran/walked 302 miles, I am happy I was healthy throughout my pregnancy and did what I could instead of giving up and laying on the couch all day.

    In 2016 I want to focus on getting back into shape and not being scared of being sore or how out of shape I am right now. One of the biggest things I struggle with right now is just going to run. Once I’m out there, I’m usually fine. I can’t exactly pinpoint why, but every time right before I run I get so nervous and it almost gives me anxiety. I know I need to build my confidence in my running and believing in myself. I need to relax and enjoy the time I have alone, or with the stroller and be proud of myself for getting out there. Every thing will come back, with time. I’m going to break my workout/fitness/running goals down to be monthly goals instead of a huge daunting task. One big goal I have is to run the Lake at Camp in August with the Team. It’s a 16 mile loop at a high altitude and I really want to be in shape to enjoy that run and complete it! I missed camp this past year and am really looking forward to going with the team this year.

    I know I’m a very competitive person. Example: When I had Cora, my doctor told me, “I think you’ll push for an hour to an hour and a half and you’ll have your baby.” I told him, “No, I can do this faster than that.” 30 minutes later she was out. When I first started coaching, I was so much slower. By the end of the 2nd season, I was running some of the fastest times of my adult life. Most of the time this competitive mindset works out in my favor, but sometimes, when I’m feeling down about myself, seeing other people run so much faster and further than I am running I get disappointed. It’s interesting because I usually don’t have the comparison guilt problem, but with running I do it to myself. I know I need to let that go and run for me and be proud that I’m getting it done.

    I have also bought a few things to make it easier for me. A few cute hats to wear so that I’m not paranoid about my dirty hair when I don’t have time to wash it. Two new sports bras to keep things in check as I have a little bit of weight left to lose. A new armband for my phone so when I’m alone I have something to hold it and I can listen to music.

    I know getting out there is most important right now, and creating reachable goals will help motivate me. I’m going to be writing more and tracking my progress so that I can look back when I’m feeling down and see how far I’ve come.

    January 2016 Running GoalsSo my goals for January are:

    1. Sign up for a race – I know this will motivate me to run more throughout the week and keep me from giving into the anxiety that I don’t want to do it.

    2. Run 3 days a week – It sounds like a small goal but with our new schedule, I will be so happy to get out there and run 3 days a week.  My hope is to do 4, but I’m starting out with 3 with one of those being without the stroller and a bit longer.

    3. Eat Healthy – this is hard for me because I forget to eat throughout the day sometimes. I need to get back into my routine of sandwiches, carrots, yogurts and smoothies!

    4. Blog 3 times a week – Writing and running makes me happy. I need to blog more about my life no matter what I’m blogging about.

    Here’s to a great 2016 and all that it may hold!