Back on the wagon

I’ve had two friends in the last week reach out to me about their health goals, and wanting me to join. I’d fallen out of most of my somewhat healthy habits over the last 4 months, what with many life changes (promotion, moving states) – both of which have been wonderful, mind you! However, as much of an adventure life has been lately, I need to set time aside for myself and my health.

Yesterday began a 1,000,000 steps in 100 days challenge I’m doing with a friend of mine.

Today began a purge of my kitchen, replacing the bad with healthier alternatives.

Tomorrow begins a 30-minute a day workout challenge with another friend of mine.

I don’t know if I’ll keep up with all of these changes at once; I don’t care. It may be a coincidence that two people reached out to me in such a short timeframe; I don’t care. I’m ready and in need for change – to be lighter, to be quicker, to sleep better, to enjoy food more.

new gym

As mentioned above, I moved recently from Los Angeles, CA to Austin, TX. So far, I’m a huge fan, and it actually reminds me a lot of growing up in Florida. Maybe a little too much.

Tonight was my first experience with my apartment complex’s gym. It’s centrally located, actually well equipped, TV available, and plenty of mirrors. Overall, I was extremely pleased while I treadmilled away the hour.

… then I noticed a beetle flying near the corner of the room. I hate bugs. I especially loathe flying bugs. I monitored the beetle situation for a while, ready to bolt if they got too close, and that’s when things took a turn for the worst. The beetles battled, one killing the other. The victor started skittering toward me, and I knew my workout was going to be cut short.

The beetle veered in front of my treadmill to run to the wall, where it disappeared between the wall and the exercise mat flooring covering the gym floor wall-to-wall. How many other bugs lived under the mat? Ew.

I continued treadmilling.

Not more than 10 minutes later, I saw another beetle elsewhere in the room. And then a palmetto bug. And then another palmetto bug. All marching toward the treadmill, and me.

My fastest pace tonight was between the treadmill and the door.

New Year, New Plan

It’s incredibly easy to make too many goals, or too lofty of goals. I wanted this year to keep it simple, and keep it challenging. I have two goals this year:

SHORT-TERM GOAL: Complete “Run the Year 2016”

Run the Year 2016 is an ongoing event for the entirety of 2016. The goal is to run/walk/crawl 2,016 miles between January 1st and December 31st. While this in essence a long-term goal, I’ve turned it into a daily/weekly challenge to make it easier to swallow. While the event does support making teams to split the mileage and make it easier to achieve, I’m attempting to do this solo. I will run/walk/crawl an average of 5.5 miles every day.

LONG-TERM GOAL: Run a marathon

In 2015, I wanted to run a half marathon and I did! This year, I will run a full marathon. A close friend of mine has agreed that he, too, would like to run a full marathon with me later this year, and so hopefully by October, I will be marathon ready. I am not aiming for a time (other than under the cut-off for the respective race we choose), but I would be glad to finish in 5 hours or less. The primary goal is to successfully complete a 26.2 mile run.

I hope that along with these goals, as the year progresses, I will shed a few pounds and find myself picking up better dietary habits. However, I am not stressing about either of those things, and aim only to get moving and keep moving as much as I can for 2016.

What are your goals or challenges?


This past Sunday I ran 11 miles. I finally hit double digits, and this half marathon feels within reach. In three weeks’ time, one way or another, I will have a half marathon under my belt. That is a huge achievement for me, and one of the biggest goals crossed off my list. The question in the back of my mind though as I’m finding myself enjoying the challenge of these long runs is… what’s next?

My first goal with running was to be able to run a mile straight. Then it was to be able to run a 5K. Then it was to be able to run a 10K. For a while there I did aim for PR’s and to improve my speed, but distance has always been my biggest interest. I don’t mind if I finish slow and steady; I feel more accomplished the farther I go.

At some point I’m going to get tired of taking 3 hours on a long run that could, feasibly, take me 2 hrs 30 min. That’s the difference of an extra 30 minutes sleep or a shower and getting dressed for my day. If my next distance goal is logically going to be a full marathon, I’ll really want to run a better pace so I’m not spending half a day on long run training.

My tentative short and long term goals are:

  1. Complete a half marathon
  2. Complete the Nike Womens Half in under 3 hours
  3. Complete a 5K in under  30 minutes
  4. Complete a 10K in under 1 hr 15 min
  5. Complete a half in under 2 hrs 30 min
  6. Complete a full marathon

I’ll be completing the first two in less than a month (eek!). After this half and recovery, I’m going to focus on improving speed before jumping into full marathon training. I’ll need to find a good speedwork training plan, like from Runner’s World or Hal Higdon, and start working on reducing my 5K pace time.

Do you know of any good speed training plans?

New Distance PR

We’re in the last month of training before the Nike Women’s Half Marathon San Francisco, and shit is getting real. I’m having to run farther than I ever have in my life, and as intimidating as it is, it’s a relief when the run is over and I realize I can do this. Long distance running has always seemed a lofty goal, but it’s quickly becoming a reality, and it make me feel badass.

It is still blazing hot in Southern California, so I got up extra early to beat the heat. I gave myself time to wake up, have some water and breakfast – not rush into getting dressed or out the door. I ran with music and the Zombies, Run! 10K mission, both of which did a great job keeping me entertained and motivated.

Yesterday I ran 9 miles in the middle of which I stopped home for water and energy gummies. By the end of the run my right knee was sore and my legs were noticeably tired, but my mental game was still on point. Overall I felt great, and was really getting into the rhythm of distance running!

Running Gear

  1. Nike dry-fit cap
  2. Nike Epic Run Lux shorts
  3. Garmin Forerunner 220
  4. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32
  5. Nike cushioned/compression running socks
  6. iPhone 6+ with Apple earbuds, listening to Spotify and Zombies, Run!


  1. Water (pre-run)
  2. Clif Shot Bloks (1 serving pre-run, 1 serving mid-run)
  3. Banana (post-run)
  4. Lemonade (mid- and post-run)

I was interested to see what kind of post-long run ailments I might suffer. Chaffing has never been a problem for me, and I still seem to be escaping unscathed (knock on wood). My sports bra gave me a couple small hot spots along a seam, but they were inconsequential and are already long gone. My socks, shoes, shorts, tank top, and hat all felt comfortable and did their job keeping me dry (or as dry as possible).

Today is a rest day and this week has a few short/medium runs upcoming, but next weekend I’ll be looking at11 miles. Double freakin’ digits. Here’s hoping I can meet my race pace and find my groove like I did yesterday!

Running Mantras

Training for a race is as much about training your body as it is training your mind. Studies have shown that we respond better to our own motivation than to other’s, even if we’re telling ourselves the same supportive phrases and arguments everyone else gives us.

It will feel hokey at first, maybe even embarrassing, but literally talk out loud to yourself before your next run. Tell yourself that you’re badass. Tell yourself that you’ve got this. Psych yourself up. You’ll be shocked at the boost you feel!

My early morning mantras

“There will come a day when you can no longer do this. Today is not that day.”

This mantra is significant to me because my mother lost her battle to cancer just over a year ago. She’s a stark reminder that life is short and full of surprises – some not so good. Don’t rely on the future to fulfill your goals. Reach them now while you know you can.

“Your future is created by what you do today, not tomorrow.”

Similar to the first. It’s too easy to get lost in your plans and forget to do what needs to be done right now. No excuses.

“A short run is better than no run.”

My real struggle is getting up and out the door for my runs. Sometimes I have to coax myself outside by reminding myself that ANY run is better than no run, and that I am allowed to cut a longer run short. Thankfully once I’ve gotten past the hurdle of my doorjamb, it feels easy to finish my scheduled run. 😉

“What the hell else can I do with these mantras?”, you ask?

  • Write one on a post-it and put it on your bathroom mirror.
  • Use a graphic editor and put one on your phone’s lock screen so you see it when your alarm goes off for that morning run.
  • Grab a Sharpie and write one on your hand or arm to give yourself a boost during your run.
  • If you’re feeling particularly selfless and run in a group or have a race, ask a friend write one on the back of your thigh or calf for other runners to read.

You don’t have to memorize mantras; you just have to see and hear them regularly. Eventually, they’ll become rote. Now get out there and have some fun!