Sunday, September 28, 2014


I've been hanging out with runners lately. And by runners, I mean fast, ultra-marathoning runners. It's incredibly fun sitting around talking about pace and PRs and black toenails. I've also been learning a whole lot and becoming a much stronger runner myself.

Yesterday, I met up with the boys for "an hour-long run" because they go by minutes and not miles. I was scared because they can be fast when they want to, but I was totally able to keep up with them and they ran at a pace that was easy for me to have a conversation. A couple of them did fartleks, but I stuck with the guy who didn't want to do speed work.  Eight miles flew by and it was an amazing run in the sun.

Then, a few of us were sitting on the couch and my friend says, "yeah, tomorrow I'm probably only going to run an easy five miles." Then he paused for a minute and said, "God, listen to us. We're crazy. ONLY five miles. To anyone else, five miles is really far." And in that moment, I had a bit of a reality check.

It's been very easy for me lately to fall into a place of not feeling good enough. Hanging out with runners training for a marathon, reading running blogs, and basically being immersed in the running community now can do that to me. I have been feeling pressure to run a certain amount of miles and if I don't, then I'm not a "real runner." I ended my week this week with 44 miles. To me, that sounds low compared to my friends who are doing 50-70 mile weeks. But to anyone else, 44 miles is a whole lot of miles. Especially when I am only training for a half marathon.

I have to remember that what I am doing is good enough for me. I have PRd in all of the races I've run in the past two months, I'm not injured, and the majority of my runs feel amazing. Today's ten-miler seemed to fly by.

As it is with most things in life, it's all about perspective. After my friend's comment, I was able to break free from the weird headspace I was in and realize that I am doing far more running than most people do ever. I should be thankful for my body moving me through hours of running, not bashing it for going too slow or not going far enough. I should appreciate every moment that I am able to run because there are many out there who can't. I should also be thankful to live in such a beautiful part of the world that I get to run through huge trees or on unpacked sand. I should also be grateful for my amazing runner's tan, because it is a badge of honor.

So, I am happy that my friend made that comment. It helped me realize that my perspective was very skewed and I am definitely changing my mind and the way I think of my training.

Do you sometimes get caught up in thinking you're not doing enough?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Those Morning Workouts

It had been an extremely long time since I had seen the gym before the sun came up. Like, approximately exactly a year.

Exactly a year ago.

Yesterday, however, my alarm was set for 5:00am, my workout clothes were laid out, and I felt an impending doom on Monday when I could not fall asleep until 11:30.

As a first year teacher, I have to participate in a program in order to get my credential cleared. Our group meets once a month from 4:30-7:30. Since I don't usually leave work until around 3:15, I knew I would not have enough time to squeeze in a workout. So, I was up before the birds. Well, okay, I was an idiot and set my alarm for 5am on THURSDAY instead of Tuesday which meant I woke up at 5:37 and panicked. I still made it though, and was rewarded with this.

I was riding the endorphin high for the rest of the day. There's just something about being done exercising before most people are out of bed that makes me feel a little more alive. I realized that I actually enjoy the occasional morning workout and I may add it into my weekly routine. MAYBE. Tonight, I was rewarded with this post-storm sky.

So, I guess the evening workouts aren't too bad either.

When do you prefer to workout?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

This Was A Good Weekend

This weekend was one that felt absolutely perfect. Too short, of course, but perfect. I had zero plans, so I just went with the flow and it ended up just wonderful!

Friday night, I met up with a friend for dinner and dancing. We actually made it home by 11, but were up until 2 playing music and chatting. That meant that I didn't get out of bed until 10:30 on Saturday. I went for a three mile walk to the plaza where I found my favorite people.

This weekend was the North Country Fair, which happens every year to celebrate the solstice. It is super Northern California. Lots of tye dye and organic hemp clothing vendors. There is also something called The Samba Parade on Saturday and The All Species Parade on Sunday.

I made it to The Samba Parade, which is exactly as it sounds. Lots of drums and people dancing. Fun fact: when I was growing up, women would dance topless, so I just remember this as the naked parade. This has since been outlawed.

The sun was out and Little Z decided it would be fun to sit and play in the grass.

We finally left around 3:00 after soaking up enough sun. I met up with my running friend and we did push ups and pull ups in the park before he headed off on his long run. I followed him on a bicycle. We chatted for the entire hour and 42 minutes. But, he's fast, so this was my view for a lot of the run.

Long runs are much more pleasant when you aren't actually running them. ;-) I also saw this.

Oh. And this. I mean, running and biking around here is pretty awful.

I won't lie, I was a bit jealous of his run. I was taking two full days off because of my Achilles, so I wasn't prepared to run at all. I actually borrowed a pair of shorts from him so that I didn't have to ride in my jeans. I have ridden a bike more in the past two weeks than I have in my entire life, I think. I'm not upset about this. After he showered off, we got back on the bikes and pedaled into town for dinner. Then we stopped by a gas station to pick up some adult beverages to bring to a friend's house. I broke some rules.

Today, I slept in again. It was two glorious days of sleeping in. I felt well-rested and ready to tackle MY long run. Today's run was one where I felt on top of the world. It may have been the two days I took off. I usually only take one day off, but my mileage was extra high this week and I didn't want to push anything. I made it an hour before having to stop back home to switch laundry and take a swig of water.

Then I went back out for another 30 minutes to make it an even 12. I had run 10.5 on Thursday night with my running friend, so I was scared as to how this run would feel. I couldn't believe how easy it felt. I even snapped a sweaty selfie.

Let's hope this week flies by! I am looking forward to pay day next week!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

It Rained!

It's no secret that California is in a major drought.  It's really bad and quite scary.  I do my best to conserve water, but every time I turn on the sink, I get a little nervous that I am using the water inappropriately.  It hardly snowed last winter and the last time I remember an actual significant amount of rain was in March.  It's been sunny and close to 70 degrees for almost a year.  This is absolutely not normal, especially for Northern California.  Well, today it finally rained!  Hardcore, torrential downpour rain!  Everyone was super excited and school basically stopped for a moment while we stared outside.

I never thought people would get so excited over rain.  But when it's been more than 6 months since our last big storm, this is a big deal.  There was even thunder and lightening.  It was a fun day!  I am sure the plants were doing a happy dance.  Most of the county was!

Thank goodness for some good news, because Monday was a hard day.  We had to put our 15-year-old dog down.  She had been hanging on for dear life, but her back legs gave out and she couldn't get up.  She looked as though she was basically pleading for us to let her go and we did.  It's always so hard to say goodbye to a dog.  She chose us when we went to the rescue in 2001 and she was a loyal dog ever since.

My mom and I took a long walk at our healing place.

Of course, we brought along Milo, because he is still here and we love him more than anything.  

We walked barefoot and had a long conversation.  It's always good to chat with my mom.  I love that we are more friends than anything else.  I tell her everything and we rely on each other during hard times.  She is my rock, and I adore her.

On Tuesday, I got a number of compliments on my shirt.  I just pulled it out of my closet and threw it on.  I wake up an hour before I have to leave the house, so I don't spend any time getting ready.  I prefer sleeping over looking good, I guess.  It's always a mood-lifter when you get compliments though, so I took them.

Anyway, that's what's been going on around here.  There is more rain in the forecast for tomorrow.  Hopefully that holds up.  We need a solid month or five of rain to get us out of this dangerous situation.

Where is your healing place?  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Random Updates

Of course, three days have passed since I last blogged. That seems to be what I do these days. Here are a few random moments from my life since Wednesday.

I was voted "most fashionable teacher" by my aide at work on Thursday. We do a lot of exercising and I was hot, so I rolled up my pants. Apparently no one should wear grandpa wool socks that don't match.... Who knew???

My dad and step mom have left for Hawaii. It's a sore subject and I don't want to talk about it since I am obviously still here. But my father took me to dinner on Thursday and when we came back, this car was parked in the middle of the street. I found it far too hilarious, especially considering there were no other cars around, so it's not like it would have been difficult to actually pull up to the curb...

Saturday morning, I drove about 40 minutes north to spend some time in nature with my friend. 

Growing up, we took field trips here several times a year, but I hadn't been since high school. I'm not sure why.

We jogged around for a bit and then hiked around and explored. We found a giant mushroom that camouflaged itself to the trunk of a tree. Nature is too awesome.

We spent a long time sitting and staring at the ocean. I was being taught to play the ukelele. I am going to be a pro one of these days.

Saturday night turned into a crazy party night. We ended up at the bars where pretty much everyone was out because of a college football team. We biked about three miles there and then we danced for hours. I haven't ridden a bike in a long time. My quads were feeling it! I finally fell asleep at about 4am, which is extremely past my bedtime. Sometimes it's good to just live and get out of routines.

My 4am bedtime meant that I didn't get out of bed until around noon. I didn't even eat breakfast until around 2pm. This made my long run happen late in the afternoon. I was shooting for 10 miles, but gave up at 8.5. I was exhausted and my Achilles hurt. I spent a long time like this.

Weekends always seem to end too fast. Why is this??? I had a great one, though, and I wouldn't change a thing.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bad Blogger

So I have decided that I am a terrible blogger. I am certain that I have said this before, but I am going to restate it because it's true. It is just so easy to have three days pass by in the blink of an eye and then realize that I haven't posted anything! My days are also all pretty much exactly the same: sleep, work, work out, eat, sleep. The days blend, but I am totally okay with that.

Since my race, I have been doing a lot of running. For some reason, Monday and Tuesday, once I started running, I just didn't want to stop. I stuck to the treadmill both days to have some cushion underneath me because my piriformis is acting up and my Achilles is a bit sensitive. I've been doing a lot of this. And rolling my behind on a tennis ball.

Of course, I have been strength training like a man woman as well. Monday I did shoulders and Tuesday I did back/biceps. I just don't feel right if I don't pick up some heavy weights most days.

Today, however, I could not stand being inside for one more second. So, I changed my clothes in the bathroom at work and took off straight from there. I have this issue if I get in the car before exercising, I will just drive to the gym. This is way better than the gym.

Again, I just kind of kept going. The sun was beating down and I was enjoying my Pandora station.

I did try to be a good blogger today and snapped a much overdue sweaty selfie.

Maybe one of these days I will get back to blogging every day, or at least more than twice a week! I'm still reading every morning!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Another Race

Since joining the running club, I have quite a few free races on my calendar. At least once a month. Today was one of those days. I actually wasn't sure if I was going to do the 5k or the 10k until I got there, as I had never raced either one of those distances. Saturday night, I spent at a friend's house. A tragedy occurred.

That's right. Cookies were burned. A couple were able to be salvaged. Then we played the violin for an hour as a way to unwind. Little known fact: I played the violin for 5 years growing up. I hadn't picked one up since I was 13, so I sounded exactly like a 13-year-old violinist. I am sure my friend's roommates were thrilled.

The race start was 9:30am and it was only about a 10 minute drive from where I was. I didn't have to wake up extremely early, which is always a plus. Of course, when I got there, I signed up for the 10k.

My friend and I did a mile warm up before I had to use the bathroom. The race started and I went out fast, as usual. My first two miles were under 7 minutes. I was trying to keep up with the woman in front of me. It was an out and back with a massive hill at mile 3.2. I was an idiot and did leg day on Friday. I hadn't lifted legs for two weeks and I have a major case of DOMS. Like, can't sit on the toilet without cringing major. So, I lost the woman ahead of me at the hill because my quads were screaming. I was in major pain the last mile. Obviously.

I came in as second woman and 10th overall. I was only behind the first woman by 27 seconds! And, because it was my first 10k, it was an automatic PR.

I spent the rest of the afternoon going to Costco because I hadn't been there in weeks and my food supply was running low. I ran into some really cute kid in the check out line.

My legs were absolutely dead by the time I got home, so I spent a good hour and a half laying in bed compressing and writing in my real journal. 

Then it was family dinner as usual. Now I am exhausted and about to head to an early bedtime. It was a great race!

Do you write in a personal journal as well?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


How is it already the 9th month of the year?!? Do we really only have three months left of 2014? I feel like it was just fall an hour ago and now here we are again. My Monday off was great! It started with a trip to the zoo. I don't even remember the last time I went to our zoo. I run by it a lot and drive past it daily, but I never go in. Now we have a child to take with us, so it's a little more appropriate.

It was my beother's last day in town, so I met up with him and my mom for some lunch. This was my brother's fortune. I immediately texted it to my music teacher friend because a few weeks ago, he was practicing the violin on the beach to brush up his skills. (He had only played the violin once for 30 minutes back in college).

I had planned on getting some lifting done in the gym, but when I got there, all of the employees were leaving. They close early on holidays and I completely forgot. That meant I was forced to run in the beautiful sunshine.

September and October are usually our most beautiful months, but it has been gorgeous outside for about a year and a half now. We need rain in a bad way. Apparently my body wanted to run fast.

Today, we had a staff meeting after work. By the time I got to the gym, I was more
Than ready to be outside. I tackled some hills around the gym neighborhood and I felt really strong.

Please notice my yellow shirt. The top of my pants are also yellow. I always feel like my life is put together when my gym clothes actually match! So far, September has been pretty okay.

Who else thinks this year has gone by too fast?