Sunday, July 7, 2013

Running with a group...

I love races. I love the energy, the excitement, the feeling that each and every person is out there because they love to run... just like me!

Until RAGNAR, I never truly was able to understand the group dynamics of running. There's just something about running with a group.

Encouraging each other.

Pumping each other up.

Understanding the love for running.

This weekend, I've been able to do 3 beautiful outdoor runs with part of my RAGNAR family & I just feel like I'm flying high. 7 AM on a Saturday?? We've got this...

There's this hill... the dreaded Trilogy Hill that has been my nemesis for way too long.  Yesterday, the group of 6 of us set out, headed to that hill. As I stared it down, I knew that I. was. not. stopping. I was going to make it to the top.  Knowing my group was there with me watching helped me to power through. 

We were headed that direction, smiles on our faces, ready to do our best, each of us pulling for the other.
With gorgeous mountains ahead, a beautiful golf course on the side, I couldn't help but smile. We looked like a team. We looked like a group of runners. Cars moved over, we ran the streets... like they were ours. There is something so powerful about that. I've seen groups of runners near the beach together and always felt envious of them... this weekend I got to feel the love .

And with that love, I OWNED that Trilogy hill... TWICE.

Not only did I do it, but now I KNOW I can do it again, and with that confidence I have my sighs set on a bigger, nastier, wicked hill.  With Nike Women's coming up in Oct., I know hills are a must.  This was just the confidence builder I needed.

Coming down the hill we still had those smiles and that running love.

Family isn't always about blood. It's about a love.  For us, it's a love for running. So many don't understand, but I'm ok with that.  WE do... and in the end, that's all that matters. :)

Saturday, July 6, 2013



OH.MY.GOODNESS, it was amazing. Amazing, amazing, amazing.

My team Dude, Where's My Van? had a 5 AM start time. As Team Captain, I picked the start time & was second guessing such an early start, but it was perfect. We began in Huntington Beach before the sun came up. :thumbup2:  I was Runner 3 which put me in van 1 with my BFF and a great group of people. My first run was about 6:25 Fri. morning. 5.7 miles along the Santa Ana riverbed in Anaheim. It was a great run. Our team quickly got the hang of following our runner and the insane amount of fun cheering for our teams and others can be. After the first major exchange we had lunch and went back to my house for naps and showers before Van 2 handed it all back to us.
By the time Van 2 finished it was nasty hot, but thankfully cooled off before my second leg. I ran through Murrieta and Old Towne Temecula, and I can say that it was absolutely the run of my life.  8.1 miles of pure bliss. 

Here was me in the van before I ran.

My hubby and girls met me along the route and it was great to see them. They were at the end of my leg along with my nieces & sister to bring me into the exchange.

We had only a few hours Fri night to sleep and I learned that 6 adults sleeping in a van is nearly impossible.:)

My 3rd leg was through Encinitas & Solana Beach. I was pretty nervous because of the warnings about rattlesnakes and mountain lions along the course. Turns out I should have been less concerned about that and more concerned about the hills.  HOLY MOLY.  My run had a 1700 foot elevation increase and it was killer..

Here I am before the run-

I finished with a GORGEOUS view of the ocean since the exchange was located on the beach  Such an amazing way to end my 3 runs. Our team went on to finish in San Diego. 195 miles in about 35 hours with an amazing team.

Here are some more pics...

Van 2 was being lazy in the van and we came up on them not getting out of the van to cheer their runner in the heat. We gave them a good talking to. I'm the one in pink :tongue:

The medal & our team slap bracelet for the exchanges

Our team at the finish

I am amazed at the organization of the Ragnar staff. The event went off like clockwork. 646 teams and I never saw one issue. Final mileage total for me was 22.4 miles and I loved every single minute.
There was so much love for Boston on the van decorations. It made me so proud to be a part of the running community. :love: 
Now to start planning 2014!!!

Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Wrap Up

I have to admit, I'm over the moon about 2012 & my personal success fitness wise. When 2012 began, I had my first half marathon on the books, but really had no belief that I could run it all. My hope was 8 miles straight and to walk the rest. Well damn if I didn't run the entire 13.1.

That insanity snowballed into further insanity, which culminated into me running my first full marathon in Oct.

I still shake my head knowing that I began the year with a pipe dream goal of running 750 miles in 2012 and hoping I could run a half marathon at some point before the year finished. In actuality, I'm over 1,300 miles at this point, have run 4 half marathons (one I showed up the morning of and signed up ), and a full marathon.

I'm amazed at 2012 and look sooooo forward to what 2013 brings. I'm 20 days away from the TinkerBell half, 37 days away from my next full marathon (Surf City), and have several other races on the books for the year including a Ragnar in April.

Merry Christmas!

Marathon Race Report

Ok, time for a quick race report
The best way to sum it all up is BEST.DAY.EVER. I still get teary eyed thinking about how amazing it was.

We started the weekend on Sat. when Tausha and Chris flew in from San Francisco. We all met at the hotel in Long Beach and went to the Expo. Picking up a bib for something so huge was amazing for Tausha and I to do together. We wandered through, bought each other 26.2 stickers for our cars (couldn't buy our own, too afraid to jinx our finish, lol), and headed back for a quick nap at the hotel. We did our carbo load at Old Spaghetti Factory in Newport. We were STARVING when we got there, it was absurd. I ate my salad, every lick of fettucini alfredo, and half a plate full of crab ravioli. Good lord it was good, but I felt like the staypuff marshmallow man!!!

I slept very little that night, nerves were all over the place. We got up, put on our 26.2 tattoos, and headed down to the start line at about 6:30.
Here's us girls all ready

our tattoos

Our wave finally got moving at about 7:30. Amazingly enough, there were no clouds and it was 68 degrees to start. The course was beautiful. The lifeguard boat was out with it's spray going, a Carnival Cruise Line Ship was in port, the Queen Mary is gorgeous in the bay, it gave so much to look at! We got to run past the 84 Olympic Pool in Belmont Shore, and I have the most amazing memories of swimming there for CIF championships growing up when I swam club & high school. It was very touching to have that moment of growing up as an athlete & being a runner now.

Tausha & I at the 3-4 mile mark

at the 7 mile mark

The full/half split came at the 10.5 mile mark. The halfers went straight and us crazy people turned right. Tausha got lightheaded around 11 so we slowed down , she had a gel and worked it out. About the 13.5 mile mark,  she was slowing down, and keeping that pace I am not accustomed to was killing my ankles. She and I had already made a pact that we'd go on if we needed to, so at that point I left her and her hubby and set out on my own feeling strong.

My hubby and girls were at the 16.5 mile mark. I could see them as I was coming down the street and it was the most spectacular thing to see. The girls were shouting and holding their signs. This was the first race I have had them come to, and it meant so much. Hubby handed off water and some paper towels to me, and I kept on truckin down the street. Saw them at 19.5 again for another exchange.

It was about this point that the 5 hour pace group passed me. 5 hours was my goal. I was so sad that I started to cry. Right about the 20 mile mark it got tough. That wall is no joke. I'd told my mom that 20 was tough, and that's where they stationed themselves, so that energized me again. Miles 20-26 were tough. I talked to myself a lot. I had to walk a little bit for that 6 miles, but I know I did my 100% best.  The residents of the neighborhoods in that area were AMAZING. They handed out bananas, pretzels, gummi bears, sprayed runners with hoses, a 5 or 6 year old boy gave me an otter pop. There was a motorcycle officer going up and down a long stretch shouting and joking with the runners, all of it helped so much.
Hubby and girls were right that the beginning of the finishers chute, and I could see how proud they were, it was great. I finished strong, and as soon as I saw my hubby I said "never again". He laughed and said don't say that, a year from now you'll change your mind. I finished in 5:08:37, and BFF finished about 30 min later. It was 84 degrees in Long Beach at the finish, so yep, a bit warm!!

I cannot say enough about what an AMAZING experience it was. About 24 hours later and I was sitting on an offramp in my car I thought to myself "Next time I'll break 5 hours." And I almost hit my head on the steering wheel b/c it didn't even take 24 hours to already say "next time".
When I had no long run ahead of me this morning, it really hit me the enormity of what I have accomplished. In less than 18 months, I have gone from being a true non runner (could not run 30 seconds), to a marathon runner. I'm telling you, you can do anything you set your mind to!

And just to say it again: BEST.DAY.EVER.

This was around the 20-22 mile mark

With the bling...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Run like a Mother posted about this quote yesterday. It is one that has weighed on me since I watched Spirit of the Marathon (if you have'nt watched it, you REALLY should).

It all has to start somewhere, right?  I can't say that I am proud of where I was before I started all this, but it is important to remember that if I had not been there, I surely would not have been able to appreciate how far I've come. 47 lbs lighter, 4 clothing sizes, and an infinite amount of confidence.  Sometimes I step back and look at myself and am amazed by the change. Yes, the physical change is something to be proud of, something to embrace, but it is the inside changes that are truly what I am proud of.

Today I feel like the person I knew I could be. One who is strong, both on the inside and out. It causes me to shake my head when I think about how something so insignificant as running could have had such a profound change on me, but it truly has. The challenge has not been easy. When the journey first began, I remember laying on the floor of the kitchen after getting some water crying because it was hard.

 It was hard.

And I hurt.

Man, did I hurt.

But, I did not give up. I needed change, and the challenge delivered, there is no doubt about it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A little over a year ago, I would have laughed at anyone who suggested that I might run. No way, no how... never. I mean really, who would want to do such a thing? The constant repetitive actions, the mile after mile, time spent dwelling on numbers, splits, pace... Insane, right?


As nutty as it sounds, I love it. Not for any of those above reasons. The numbers don't matter to me, (though a PR is always nice), it's about what running has given me. Not since I swam in high school have I felt a sense of power in my body's abilities, and honestly, at that time I did not realize how incredible that power felt. Maybe it was the age, maybe it was because I didn't know any better. I do know now that there is something overwhelming and amazing about finishing a workout and being able to say "I did that".

It's for that reason that I picked the name "It's More Than A Distance" for this blog. For me, it truly is. Yes, I love seeing the awesome mileage, but more than that, it's about the strength, confidence, happiness, and power that comes from something so simple as a run. It's about standing up a bit straighter, being a good, healthy example for my girls, and knowing that I am stronger than I ever imagined possible.