Friday, April 29, 2011


"A lot of people run a race to see who is the fastest.
I run to see who has the most guts."
-Steve Prefontaine.

I ordered the movie from Netflix on the recommendation of my wonderful Josh, and oh my goodness, what a fantastic movie. This guy was super human! Inspirational!

Toward the beginning of the movie I was a little dissapointed in Prefontaine's personality. He seemed a little full of his own importance and I was starting to dislike him. As 'normal' people, we want nothing more than the 'greats' in the world to be awesome people. We want them to be friendly, personable and someone we can relate to. And I have to be honest ... when he was first becoming famous, I felt it went to his head and I thought he needed some humble pie.

But then he changed. He became incredibly relatable, making time for his little fans. Watching him run was awe-inspiring. I know he was one in a million, and that I could never run that hard or fast. But his attitude and courage was contagious. It is sad when the world has to lose someone so amazing!

I highly recommend this movie. Incase there is more than one version ... I watched the one made in 1997.
Onwards and Upwards fellow runners, and may you be inspired too!

Snakes, Bees and Coyotes, OH MY!!!

Yet another adventurous run with Pam yesterday. After we saw the snake at the beginning of the week and the coyote the week before I thought we had had our wild animal sightings for the year ... at least during our street runs. But no ... I was proven incorrect yesterday.

We were running along somewhere around 3.5 miles, and suddenly I heard buzzing around head so I looked up (I have a habit of looking down when I run), only to see 1000's - I am not exaggerating - bees!!! They covered the entire width of the bike path and were everywhere! All I could say was "Uh oh."
Pam thought I had seen another snake, but she looked up once I started slowly backing away from the swarm. I think Pam's words were something to the effect of, "Oh my God." and then she turned and moved away also. I really didnt want to get stung so once I thought I was away from the majority of the bees I turned around and ran a little bit.

We decided to cross the street and go around the swarm so we could at least finish our run. We warned the few people heading in that direction so that they could do they same. I had never seen anything like it! But my reaction was a lot more calm than I ever thought I could be in such a situation. I didnt scream, didnt wave my arms around to get them off of me, I just backed away slowly so as not to startle them. And thankfully my mouth was closed!

Then around mile 6 the coyote made a reappearance. He was not an adult coyote, but still a coyote none-the-less. Luckily there was a guy on a bike willing to go toward the wild animal making him go back into hiding. Pam and I quickly passed the area before he would have a chance to return. It is for this reason that I will not run that trail alone or with Brutus.

So another adventurous run to say the least! But I have gone for almost two years of running trails etc (especially in Los Alamos) without seeing any of these animals or anything else for that matter. So is it the area that I now live in? Is there a change occuring within the animal community? I am becoming afraid of solo runs due to all of these occurances. Hopefully it will be another long time before anything like this happens again!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hello Mr. Snake, thank you for the adrenaline rush!

Pam and I went for a fantastic run today! 8 miles of nothing but strong running. We didnt walk at all today, we just had two brief stops; 1) at 4 miles for a quick stretch and refuel, 2) at mile 7 to refill our water bottles at the water fountain. The weather was delicious! It was warm and sunny with a little breeze, I was glad I wore sunscreen!

I wanted to buy some arm-warmers online but saw that they were $30 and thought that without the rest of the shirt, that was a little steep. Then I found a comment section where one lady talked about making her own arm-warmers out of Target knee-high socks. I have plenty of those and so decided to try it myself. I got a pair of my plain black knee-high socks and cut the toes out. They worked perfectly! So I wore my running tank top and arm warmers, which once I warmed up was able to just rolled down and take off. So I will not be buying arm-warmers for $30 any time soon!

On the run, Pam and I were just chatting as we do and suddenly on the little dirt path next to us, there was a snake! I just pointed and screamed and ran the other way ... Pam screamed and jumped out of the way, which actually scared the snake back into the bushes. So thank you Pam for saving us! hahaha!!!

The snake was about a foot long, maybe a little bit longer and seemed to just be enjoying the sun. I am not 100% sure if this was the snake we saw, but it looked very very similar.

The caption with this photo says that it is a California Mountain Kingsnake ... but we werent in the mountains, in fact we were by the bay ... so I am sure it was a different snake, but I am no expert.

Anyway, it was an awesome run and we felt great! I hope to have another strong run like this later in the week along with some shorter runs.

Onwards and Upwards my fellow runners and non-runners alike!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Silly Survey Time

Found this survey and thought it might be fun to fill out   :)
Great way to get to know your fellow bloggers!

Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
Closed, always closed. I have gotten out of bed just to close a closet door because it was open a few inches. Not sure why I do that.

Do you take the shampoos and conditioner bottles from hotel?
Yes I do ... but I rarely use them once I get home, so it's kind of silly.

Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
When I make the bed, I tuck the sheets in, but after being in bed about 30 minutes I untuck them so I can have one foot outside the covers.

Have you ever stolen a street sign before?
LOL no

Do you like to use post-it notes?
Yes, I use them everywhere  :)  They are awesome.

Do you cut out coupons but then never use them?
Sometimes ... but I use the majority of coupons I cut out.

Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of a bees?
Swarm of bees because you can get away from them by jumping to water or going inside ... there is no way I could out run a bear.

Do you have freckles?
I do ... everywhere!

Do you always smile for pictures?
Most of the time ... but sometimes I stick out my tonge

What is your biggest pet peeve?
Being late, and people who are two-faced

Do you ever count your steps when you walk?
Sometimes ... that is a weird question lol

Have you ever peed in the woods?
lol yes I actually have, in three different countries hahaha

What about pooped in the woods?
euw no ... I would have to be pretty desperate

Do you ever dance even if theres no music playing?
Yes indeed.

Do you chew your pens and pencils?
Nope ... I used to when I was a kid though.

How many people have you slept with this week?
My one and only.

What size is your bed?
Queen ... we need a king, I like to spread out ... as does my 25lbs dog.

What is your Song of the week?
The new Kei$ha song

Is it okay for guys to wear pink?
Of course ... I like a guy in a pink shirt

Do you still watch cartoons?
Does 'Family Guy' count? ... then yes

Whats your least favorite movie?
I never remember the names of the bad movies ... so I cant answer that one.

Where would you bury hidden treasure if you had some?
In my vegetable garden ... if I had one.

What do you drink with dinner?
Usually water ... sometimes juice or a cocktail.

What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
I dont eat chicken nuggets, euw

What is your favorite food?
Anything vegan ... but I love all cuisines.

What movies could you watch over and over and still love?
Finding Nemo ... the Black Swan is a new addition to that catagory

Last person you kissed/kissed you?
My one and only  :)

Were you ever a boy/girl scout?

Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?
Noway ... I respect my body and myself and could never do that.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
Last week :)  I love writing letters.

Can you change the oil on a car?
No, but I really need to learn.

Ever gotten a speeding ticket?
Nope :)

Ran out of gas?
I came very close once, but nope.

Favorite kind of sandwich?
A big old veggie sandwhich, yummmm.

Best thing to eat for breakfast?
Eggs, banana and a whole grain bagel  :)

What is your usual bedtime?
Anywhere between 10pm-12am

Are you lazy?
I can be incredibly lazy sometimes.

When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?
Almost always a witch

What is your Chinese astrological sign?
Umm, I'm the year of the Tiger ... is that what you mean?

How many languages can you speak?
English and German.

Do you have any magazine subscriptions?
Cosmo and Runners World

Which are better legos or lincoln logs?
Oooh most definitely legos

Are you stubborn?
Very! Ask anyone who knows me!

Who is better...Leno or Letterman?
Ive never watched Letterman ... so Leno.

Ever watch soap operas?
Ugh no ... they are so stupid.

Afraid of heights?
Only if there is a danger of me falling

Sing in the car?
Like a rockstar every day.

Dance in the shower?
No ... afraid I will slip and fall

Dance in the car?
Sometimes lol

Ever used a gun?
Only at a shooting range ... that was awesome.

Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?
Yes, for my senior photos at high school

Do you think musicals are cheesy?
Sometimes, but I usually enjoy a good musical.

Is Christmas stressful?
Not for me.

Ever eat a pierogi?
No idea lol

Favorite type of fruit pie?
Oh apple apple apple

Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
Doctor, police officer and actress

Do you believe in ghosts?
hmmm yes and no

Ever have a Deja-vu feeling?
Oh yeah ... hate that feeling

Take a vitamin daily?
I take many ... want to make sure I have everything covered.

Wear slippers?
Occasionally ... but I prefer socks or bare feet

Wear a bath robe?
In the winter when its cold

What do you wear to bed?
It varies from full flannel pjs down to underwear depending on the weather

First concert?
Boyzone in Ireland when I was 12

Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart?
I am a total Target shopper.

Nike or Adidas?
Adidas by a million miles

Cheetos Or Fritos?
I dont really eat either, but every once in a while I crave cheetos

Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?
Peanuts ... I dont feel like I'm eating anything with sunflower seeds

Ever hear of the group Tres Bien?
No, but I am guessing that they are very good

Ever take dance lessons?
Many many dance classes ... ballet, contemporary, jazz, hiphop

Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?
He will own his own restaurant some day

Can you curl your tongue?
Yes I can :)

Ever won a spelling bee?
I have never even competed in one

Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
haha yes and I felt incredibly stupid
Own any record albums?
No i dont ... my dad does
Own a record player?
Nope ... but again, my dad does
Regularly burn incense?
No, but I have done it like twice in my whole life
Ever been in love?
I am in love right now <3

Who would you like to see in concert?
Coldplay ... they are amazing

What was the last concert you saw?
It was with dad ... either Genisis or The Chieftans ... I cannot remember which came last

Hot tea or cold tea?
I like both

Tea or coffee?
Coffee please :)

Sugar or snickerdoodles?
Neither ... chocolate chip cookies please

Can you swim well?
No, not at all really

Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?
Yes, but I am more likely to cheat

Are you patient?
I consider myself to be a pretty patient person.

DJ or band, at a wedding?
Live bands are way more fun

Ever won a contest?
Oh yes, quite a few ... I'm pretty lucky :)

Ever have plastic surgery?
No sir ... and dont ever plan to

Which are better black or green olives?
Neither thank you

Can you knit or crochet?
I can knit a scarf

Best room for a fireplace?
In a cold climate ...  the bedroom, very romantic :)

Do you want to get married?
Yes I do!!! :)
Who was your HS crush?
Hah, Logan and Gaston ... and I got to date one of em :)
Do you cry and throw a fit until you get your own way?
No ... thats not a very adult thing to do ... but I do try to make a compremise

Do you have kids?
No I dont
Do you want kids?
Very very much!
Whats your favorite color?
It varies on a daily basis ... depends on my mood etc
Do you miss anyone right now?
My grandfather always ... my parents and sister too

Did you watch, Next Great American Band on FOX?

Getting Excited.

I decided to look at the website for my upcoming race (3 weeks) to see if there were any updates. I knew that they had done a practice run a few weeks ago and was hoping that there were pictures. And there were :)  Looking at the pictires made me more excited for the run. It is absolutely gorgeous. Check out the photos they took!

I am also excited that there will be three people from the book 'Born to Run' joining us. Of course Luis Escobar will be there since he is the one who is in charge of the race. The other two are Barefoot Ted and Caballo Blanco. I am excited to be participating in the same race as them. Having read the book, it is possible that I will be a little star struck ... these guys are among the greatest Ultra-runners and I will be breathing the same air as them. If that doesnt motivate me, I dont know what will!

After talking to Sandee, I have decided that Monday (tomorrow) will be my last 8 mile run ... though I have a feeling that I may try to fit in one more towards the end of the week. After that I will do a few 6 milers and taper off in the last week with a few 3-4 mile runs. That way I wont exhaust my body.

Starting yesterday, I have been eating a lot more veggies, less carbs on the days that I don't run and keeping up with about the same amount of protein. I am not doing this to lose weight of course ... I am doing it because I want my body to be as strong and lean and ready as it can be. Though for anyone who has ever tried to suddenly increase their veggie intake etc, will know how hard that can be on the digestive system ... so it may take me a few days to get used to it! But it will be worth it! I have been eating a lot of kale, which is a superfood  :)  So I will be fighting cancer as well.

Anyways, work is calling. I will run about 5-6 miles after work in afternoon sun ... assuming the sun comes out! Oh, and Happy Easter to all who celebrate!

Onwards and Upwards!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Excuse me, can I have a ride, I'm sick of running.

I completed an 8 mile run by myself today. Pam had to coach at a competition but I still needed to get my 8 mile run in and I knew if I went to the gym and tried to do it on a treadmill that I wouldnt finish. That's the problem with running at the gym, it's too easy to just hit the stop button and go home. However, when you are out on the road or trail you still have to run back so why not keep going.

For the first four miles I listened to my Ipod and felt pretty good. I didnt take my first 20 second recovery walk until mile 3 and then made it to mile 4 where I stopped for a quick stretch and refuel before turning around. I decided to turn my Ipod off for the run back. I am so used to 'noisy' runs that I had forgotten how quiet it can get. I also forgot how much harder the run is psychologically when there are no distractions.

There is a a part of the trail that is completely isolated from traffic, it was also the part of the trail where I didnt see a single person for at least 5 minutes. It was creepy quiet. I used to run in silence all the time when I lived in Los Alamos. I didnt like to use my Ipod back then because of the narrow roads, traffic and actual wild life animals. Has the city life made me lose track of what 'quiet' actually is?

It was a psychological trip. Suddenly my thoughts were right there center stage. Unavoidable. A girl passed me on her bike and all I could think was, "Excuse me, can I have a ride? I am sick of running now."

I walked today more than I did on Monday, but I am not concerned because I was only 4 minutes slower which wasnt bad. I hope to run another 8 miles on Monday ... hopefully I will run a lot more than today :)

Keep running!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How tired can one person be?!

After my 8 mile run yesterday morning I was excited that I made it through my day without a nap and really feeling tired at all. I even managed to stay up until after midnight. But oh my goodness ... when I woke up 8 hours later for work, I was exhausted! I felt like I needed another 10 hours of sleep.
I was sluggish all day long and while at work I just wanted to lay down on the floor and take a nap. Since that wasnt an option, I just thought about coffee all morning/afternoon. Was this exhausted really from the 8 mile run 24 hours earlier?!

When I got home from coaching gymnastics at 7pm, Josh was all ready to go to the gym. I was hungry and irritable and just wanted to nap, but I put on my shorts, sports bra and running shoes and slowely walked myself out the door. I wanted to just say, screw it, and go to bed ... but Josh was so motivated that I just didnt want to kill his spirit. Oh and did I mention that I wanted 'In 'n Out' ... I know I mentioned it to Josh like 10 times. But he kindly pointed out that if I ate a double double and animal style fries that I would hate myself and feel like complete and total crap. I agreed and so we decided that we would hit Trader Joes on the walk home from the gym. Thank You Josh :)

At the gym there were no treadmills which was a good thing, because the last thing my legs needed was another run. My joints needed a rest after all that pounding the day before. So we hopped on the bikes for 20 minutes and pulled out a solid 7.2 miles. Though there were times when I thought for sure that I was grinding to a hault. I comtinued to complain and whine for a few minutes into the bike ride and then became too tired to even try forming sentences .... Thank you Josh ... again .... for being patient with cranky me :)

After a little bit (and I mean minimal) strength training (for me) we left and I got a healthier meal at TJ's. I'm pretty sure it was delicious, but I inhaled it so fast that I cannot really remember lol. Just kidding ... it was Indian food, which I love!
It is now 10:10pm and as soon as I post this I am going to bed. Thankfully I will just sleep in tomorrow (until 8:30am), go to work and come home ... I need to rest. Then back at it on Thursday :)

Onwards and Upwards fellow runners ... and non-runners of course!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Back on Track.

I ran with Pam this morning. What a change in the weather! We went from 87F this past weekend to overcast and 60's this morning. Never the less, I still ran in my shorts, but I did wear a long sleeve shirt under my regular t-shirt and was glad I did. It's funny that I can almost always wear shorts and the cold doesn't bother me, but if my arms, back, stomach or chest are cold it's all over. Anyway, long story short, it was the perfect running weather and I wore the correct attire which is half the battle.

Instead of just carrying water with me today, I prepared electrolyte drinks and chomps for both Pam and I. Any time we have run 6 miles I have run out of gas half way and struggled to get back, so this morning I ate and entire protein bar (20g protein), drank some coconut water and prepared my running snack. We planned to run 8 miles today and so I needed to be ready.

When we got to our usual turn-around point (for a 6 mile run) we were both feeling strong and decided that we were good  to add another mile before turning around. Once we reached mile four we stopped to stretch, eat and rehydrate for a few minutes. The electrolyte drink really helped to make me feel like I could just keep running. Although I noticed that both of my knees were feeling a little stiff so I focused on stretching them out.

Then we turned around and ran the 4 miles back. I was surprised at how good I felt. We did walk for a few minutes at mile 6 but then ran the rest of the way. We completed the run in 01:34:48 which was really good considering that it was the first time in a long time that we have both ran that far.

My knees were a little achy at the end of the run and it hurt for me to step down, but after my shower and after resting for a while they felt better. Tomorrow I plan to hit the treadmill for 30-45 minutes and do a little bit of strength training. I am hoping to do a long run again on Friday. But I need to remember to listen to my body. I am hoping that this long run has put me back on track for my 10 mile race in a month :)  I know I wont be 100% ready, but I want to know that I will at least finish!

Anyways, Onwards and Upwards fellow runners!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Learning when to rest.

I didn't run today ... and the guilt was enormous. Even though I worked out every other day this week except Thursday, the thought of taking another rest day this week made me feel bad.
I was exhausted at work today, but I think that was due to the allergens in the air ... after it has been really hot and the winds start blowing, the pollen just seems to run right up my nose and into my sinus cavities. So when I got home I just lay on the couch for a few minutes and fell asleep ... when I woke up I decided it was to be a rest day.
Another reason for today being a rest day is that I have 8 miles planned for the morning. The day before a long run should be a short run day or a rest day. So hopefully that means I will run well tomorrow.

So now I just need to find a way not to feel guilty for resting and just enjoy my rest day. Obviously I know it's good for me ... so why can I not just accept it.

Any advise would be wonderful :)
Keep running my fellow runners ... or rest ... depending on the day!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I keep getting sucked back into gymnastics!

I dont know how this keeps happening, but I keep landing myself back in some kind of gymnastics class. This time it had been about 1.5 years since I did any kind of gymnastics ... and I mean including little handstands and cartwheel ... seriously! Even forward rolls would make me dizzy. I honestly thought I was done doing any kind of gymnastics. I even got to the point of not touching the bars even when I was coaching due to my hands now being callus free and wonderfully soft :)

But a few weeks ago I was coaching my level 2's and was trying to explain a new move. I can usually get away with talking them through it, but one girl said, "show us." --- I thought about it for a few minutes, contemplating whether or not I might break a hip. --- I went for it. I did a lovely roundolf with a high flying rebound at the end ... and it felt good.

I then started to think about my upcoming trip to Ireland. Whenever I visit Ireland I always visit Cobra Gymnastics where I used to train as a tween. I was thinking, "Wow, wouldnt it be awesome if I could still do gymnastics when I visit." I guess I decided that the answer was yes, because for the past two weeks I have been participating in 'open gym' at the gym where I currently coach. Last week I just stretched and conditioned and did basic skill to get my body back into it ... and then couldnt move for three days. Last night I pushed through the psychological "there is no way I can do this" and got 80% of my tumbling back. I even surprised myself with a kip on bars (the first move every gymnast does to get from the floor onto the bars). It felt great! Though I am a little sore today.

Of course I have also still been running. I do have that 10 mile trail race in a month to train for! I figure that the gymnastics is helping with my upper body strength and core strength which is important. Though I need to make sure I dont get hurt! In the mean time, I am just having fun :)

Onwards and upwards my fellow runners and gymnasts!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

7am trip to the gym.

I got up at 6:30am, ate half a protein bar and hit 24hr fitness at 7am. I wanted to get my run in early today because I work at both jobs today and was afraid I would be too tired by the end of the day to put on my running shoes.
3/4 way through my run on the treadmill my Ipod died ... I always forget to charge it ... and I was forced to run in silence for the remaining time. During that time, while trying to distract myself from my aching legs, I noticed something. Looking around the gym I noticed that the 7am scene is quite different from the 7pm scene. There were a lot more older people, but more interesting than that was the fact that there were no college girls with perfect hair, brand name work-out clothes, and full face make-up pretending to workout. There were also no college men in shirts two sizes too small watching their muscles contract as they lifted weights. It was refreshing.
For once I didnt feel like little miss frumpy girl with my hair in a knotty mess, target sweat pants and a tshirt two sizes too big. I just felt like I was there along with everyone else getting an honest work-out in. Every single guy and girl in there had sweat running down their face. I am thinking that I might do my long run work-outs in the early morning more often  :)
My only complaints with this morning's workout was that I had mentrual cramps the entire time, making the whole run a little uncomfortable. However, if I could run 5 miles in 53 minutes with cramping, then it means tomorrow's run will be more comfortable and I will hopefully be able to go for a little longer.
Anywayz, time to start my day!
Onwards and Upwards my running (and non-running) friends :)
Have a beautiful day!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Gettin my sore ass out the door!

Look at this ... two days in a row  :) 
After two days of not running due to being so sore from gymnastics, I finally got myself out the door today. My shoulders and quads were still a little stiff, but I knew that I just had to get them moving and I would be fine.
When I started running I felt really heavy and kind of sluggish but after about a mile I got into the grove and just took in one step at a time. It was a beautiful day out, somewhere in the high 70's when I hit the road, and somehow that always makes me want to run more.
The thoughts of running one of my regular routes was a little off putting though, so I put on my Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS watch and just ran. I ran a completely different and sponaneous route. I went around a nature reserve that's near my house. I wasnt completely sure how long the run would be but it was just nice to have something different to look at. The run ended up being 3.64 miles, which was perfect for a first day back after some recovery time.
After running into a coyote on the Brown trail run last week, I've been a little scared to go that way by myself. Even though it has only happened once in the 100's of times I've been on that trail, I have some how convinced myself that it will happen again. But I am sure I will get over that soon!
Anyways, Onwards and Upwards  :)
Keep running!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Where does the time go???

Oh my, I cannot believe my last post was back in March ... Where does the time go?! Well luckily my time has been spent working and running as well as spending some time with my family, so I havnt been lazy or anything.
My running is going well ... though I may be just an inch behind where I would like to be as far as milage goes. I am up to running 6 miles approximately 3 days a week and running at least 4 miles on my other running days. I was hoping to add a mile last week, but that is okay. My race in May is a 10miler. It is also a trail race which is why I have been focusing on trail running on Monday's and am hoping to be running 12-13 miles per run before race day, just to ensure that I will complete the race. Though I have never dropped out of a race before, if it is anything like last years 13 miles trail race (SB Mountains = 90F at least!) then I need to make sure that I am completely prepared.
Pam has been both an awesome running buddy and motivator. There are days that I probably wouldnt make it outside the house without her!

I did gymnastics for the first time in 1.5 years on Friday night. I thought it would be good for some core training as well as upper body because I spend most of my time running. I took it easy, did some conditioning as well as some handstands, cartwheels and trampoline. I also took advantage of the vault runway and did multiple 60ft sprints just to work some different running muscles.
Needless to say I have been very sore both yesterday and today. It is mostly my shoulders, which I was expecting due to my decreased muscle mass in that area. So the past two days have been all about walking and stretching. Tomorrow I will be back out running :)

I know I always say this, but I will try to post more often, especially coming up to the race. But no promises.
Onwards and Upwards!