Thursday, July 31, 2014

Switching It Up

Today I switched up my workouts. Normally Thursdays are my "cross training" days, which means I usually bike (especially since I have that little 50 mile bike race coming up in November) or sometimes swim (I am a pretty bad swimmer and very much dislike cold water, so the weather and water have to be almost perfect to get me in there for a pool workout).

My bike needs a tune up (the breaks are pretty much shot due to the hills around here and not being serviced since I got it a couple years ago), so instead of heading out on it this afternoon, I did something I have never done before. I tried PiYo.

For those of you who don't know what it is, "Piyo has been taught in Gyms for years by Chalene's team but now it has been created for HOME and it's ALL NEW. Chalene Johnson took the very best Pilates and yoga-inspired moves she has and cranked up the speed to give you cardio, strength, and flexibility training—all at once. PiYo packs it ALL into each workout so you can build lean muscles —all while burning crazy amounts of calories!"

Kat from Katrina Elle is a fitness coach and has been talking this workout up for a while now. I figured I would get in on the craze and order the DVDs. They were delivered earlier in the week and this afternoon's workout would be the perfect time to test them out.

Now mind you, I have never done any yoga or pilates, so I am pretty new to it all. Today I started with the "fundamentals" session. It was walking you through some of the moves and the names for the different postures. Although it was more of a teaching session rather than the high intensity of the other workouts, I still worked up a good sweat (it probably doesn't help that it is about 90* in our living room right now).

I am hoping that the more I do it, the more I will "get it". I figured it would be a nice change in my routine and something to add to my running to help make me a well-rounded athlete (is it crazy that I still don't really consider myself one?!). Also, I think it could be something that Ryan and I do together (maybe on the weekends or in the mornings before he leaves for work).

After my 40 minute training session with the DVD, I thought I would run some stairs. (We live in a condo complex on the second floor, so there is a stair case right outside my front door - might as well put it to use!) I set my timer and went up and down (and up and down some more) for 20 minutes. I was sweating buckets, but I kept chugging along.

Now, if you know me, you know I normally NEVER post pictures of me in a sports bra. The reason?! I never wear just a sports bra. With the heat and humidity though (and the fact that I figured no one would see me since I was just on our stair case), it was tough to have extra layers on, so I went without.

As many girls and women do, I struggle with self esteem (especially when it comes to my body image). While I was going up and down the stairs today, I would catch a glimpse of my body and get frustrated that it didn't look the way I wanted it to and start beating myself up about it. I had to continually tell myself that I need to love my body for what it DOES, not what it looks like... It seems like when I see my body for what can accomplish (rather than just what it looks like to me - which I am sure is pretty warped from the way others see my body), I am able to love myself a little more. It is a daily battle, but one that I am working on continually to try and overcome.


With that being said, although I cringed when I saw the photo of me running the stairs, I knew I had to OWN it, and show the world. Not because I wanted compliments, not because I wanted a pat on the back, and definitely not because I liked the picture, but because this is ME and I need to love myself!

What is one way you can love yourself more? 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Busy, Busy Beaver

Do you ever feel like you are running non-stop throughout the day?

Man... The end of the month is so crazy for me at work and it just seems like it always spills over to my personal life too. It often feels like I am spinning my wheels from the moment I get up (or even before then, seeing as my body is worried I will oversleep so makes me wake up every hour or so to look at my clock, just to realize I still have more time to lay there) until I lay back down in the evening.


Although I feel like everything most of the things I am doing are important, I do realize that some of it is mindless and meaningless. I want to take time to FOCUS on the things that matter, not all the peripheral things that I can sometimes get caught up in.

With that being said, I need your help. I want your accountability. I know cutting things out or rearranging my time may be hard, but I think hope know it will lead to a more balanced life.


The sermon from two weekends ago at North Coast Church touched on this briefly (although I know it wasn't the main point), but just because we are now more connected than ever before, doesn't mean we NEED to be. People (other than our immediately family) shouldn't have 24-7 access to us. We shouldn't need to check our phones, emails, etc constantly to see what is going on with others or to let others know what is going on with us.

So... I want to unplug. No, that doesn't mean I will be going off the grid or never posting on my social media, but it does mean I am not going to be as accessible. When I am with my hubby, I am focused on HIM (we did this during our ABC Dates, when we would only have our phones out to take a picture, but got away from it when we were in our "every day life"). When I am with friends, I am focused on THEM. When I am living life, I WANT TO LIVE IT... I don't always have to document it :) If that means turning my phone off, using the "do not disturb function", or leaving it at home, then so be it.


I also want to get back into the habit of sitting down and eating dinner with the hubby. He has been super busy at work (which is leading to some amazing opportunities for him), so sometimes I will eat before he gets home. If there is a sporting event on, we will often times eat dinner on the floor while cheering for our favorite team. Now that is still important time together (we are pretty intense about our sports), but I think having the 20-30 minutes a day to focus solely on one another is probably time better spent. Unless we are working on our relationship to move closer together, we will eventually drift apart - and that is NOT what we would ever want - so making the effort today and EVERY day is WELL WORTH IT!

I know I will probably spend the rest of my life trying to find balance in my life, so I am not going to get too bent out of shape if I can't slow things down immediately, but if I don't start to focus on it now I know life could get away from me. If it's important to me, I will make it happen, if not, I will make excuses, so here I go! One day at a time...

Any tips on slowing down? Is this something that comes easily for you? Or is it a daily struggle?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Runday

Last night we went to a wedding for some of our friends, which meant we didn't get home until after midnight... Well worth it to celebrate the love of those we love, but it did effect today's workout slightly.

Figured I would offer a little proof I don't ALWAYS wear running gear :)
We clean up well if I do say so myself....

PS Just in case you were wondering... Donuts for a dessert at a wedding is

Well, as I'm sure you can guess, I did NOT head out for a sunrise run this morning after the already shortened night of sleep, which meant it was back to my original routine of afternoon workouts. What a steamy afternoon run it was... The humidity isn't letting up and when I get off around 2:30pm it is the HOTTEST part of the day (I looked on before I went out for my run and we set a new record HIGH for July 28th and the humidity is still in the 50% range in the mid-afternoon...).

Now although I love sleep (don't let me fool you though, with my fibromyalgia I sleep very craptastically, if at all, so I more mean "laying down"), I am realizing more and more that I really enjoy my sunrise runs. The other day I mentioned "Sunrise + Miles = Smiles" and I really think it is true for me right now. When we "fall back" in a couple months or when the temperature start cooling off, I may go back to afternoon workouts, but right now, if I can make it happen, I think I will stick with trying to get in my runs during the week BEFORE work.

When do you prefer to run/ workout?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Workout Recap - Week 30

Sunday, July 20th – 4.5  mile run with the hubby

Monday, July 21s–  6 mile run, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Tuesday, July 22nd –  Strength Training (abs, back, arms and legs), Foam Rolled & Stretched

Wednesday, July 23rd – 6 mile runFoam Rolled & Stretched

Thursday, July 24th – 19.6 bike mile ride, Foam Rolled & Stretched

Friday, July 25th – 10 mile runFoam Rolled & Stretched

Saturday, July 26th 6 miles with the hubbyFoam Rolled & Stretched

Last week was Ryan's first week of Half Marathon Training (he is training for the Avenger's Half Marathon at Disneyland in November). He has been running 45 minutes twice a week and then a longer run on the weekends. We did his first "longer" run on Sunday of 4.5 miles. We did his second one on Saturday at 6 miles (we normally would have done it on Sunday but we have a wedding to go to and wanted to make sure we got everything done and didn't have to rush while getting ready). He is using the Jeff Galloway calendar for "bettering your time" for this round of training. Let's see if we can't get him a new, shiny PR at the race! 

PS I would REALLY appreciate this humidity getting the HECK OUT OF TOWN!! I am NOT liking it... Not one bit...  (75-95% humidity is NOT why we pay this HIGH Sunshine Tax...)

How were your workouts this past week?  

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Nope, we weren't at the pool this morning... We were on the trails... But with the humidity out of control like it has been it still felt like we were SWIMMING rather than RUNNING!!

But you know what you have to do when that happens, right?!

At least the views were pretty spectacular.

And hey, the company wasn't too shabby either ;)

Loved getting out on the trails with the hubby! Happy he started his half marathon training this past week :) WE ARE GONNA ROCK HIS LONG RUNS!!

We were pretty dirty at the end (the dust, mixed with our sweaty sweat sweat made for some muddy caked legs), but we still finished with smiles on our faces.

Do you like running on the trails? Do you hate the humidity as much as I do?

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Who Am I?!

I can't even believe it, but I am actually seriously pondering putting ANOTHER full marathon on my calendar... I know, I just ran my first in May and have my second one in January (as part of the Dopey Challenge)... And now I am considering putting the Phoenix Marathon (at the end of February) on the calendar - EEKS!


I mean really... The girl who started running less than 2.5 years ago... The girl who said she would NEVER do a full marathon... WHO AM I?! And what would possess me to do something like this?! That is something I will probably never be able to fully answer... But if you are a runner, you are more likely to understand the insanity pull on my heart shoe strings.

My thought is I could shoot for my sub-4 marathon here and then hang up my marathon running shoes for a while (easier said than done, huh?!). And at that point, especially with my Dopey Challenge training, I will already be in marathon shape.

And have you seen the elevation chart for this race?


If there is ANYWHERE I could run a marathon under 4 hours, this could be the spot! Not that I would ever qualify for the Boston Marathon, but this course has nearly a 1,000 feet net elevation drop and is super speedy (from everything I have read and heard) which results in an insanely high number of Boston Qualifiers. It is also drivable (hubby's not sure if he will have any work events at the end of February, so instead of dealing with refundable flights and the like, we can plan to drive it and worry about the logistics later).

Not to mention the AWESOME cast of AMAZING runners that will be there - RunEMZ, The Athletarian, Pavement Runner (80% sure he's coming), JoeBRaymond, and PLENTY of other running celebrities ;)

Of course, with all the races I have on my schedule (read about my upcoming races here), there is always a risk of burnout or injury. I am hoping by switching up my workouts and keeping my body guessing I will continue to LOVE and have a passion for running long after this training cycle (I actually just ordered the PiYo DVDs through Kat over at KatrinaElle last night). I am also chatting with Krissy over at Outrunning the Monorail about setting up a training calendar to help keep my body strong and (hopefully) injury-free! If I do (heaven forbid) get burnt out or injured, the Phoenix Marathon offers a deferral option, so I could push back running the race until 2016 and not lose my registration fee.

So I guess the next step is to just pull the trigger already... As JoeBRaymond said, I have to JUST DO IT!!


Have you run a full marathon before? Do you think I am crazy for signing up for my third? 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Try - Colbie Caillat

Have you heard this song yet?

Take your make-up off
Let your hair down
Take a breath
Look into the mirror, at yourself
Don't you like you?
Cause I like you

It seems like we all are running this rat race to be liked, but do we really like ourselves? Are you the type of person you want to meet/ hang out with? 

BE YOU! Cause everyone else is taken!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Funday

Why do we hashtag #SundayFunday instead of making Monday a fun day?! Well, probably because Monday is a reality check... Back to the "real world"... Back to work, back to the grind, back to responsibility... But that doesn't mean we can't make Monday a MARVELOUS day too!

I have seen a "Positivity Challenge" going around on Facebook lately, so I thought I'd try adding a little extra appreciation to my Monday. Let's see how many things I can be thankful and positive about in my day thus far.


This morning I woke up when my alarm went off at 5:15am so I could go run.

1. I "slept" until my alarm, unlike many other mornings where I wake up before it (worrying that I may oversleep).
2. I am blessed to be able to run (healthy, strong, and injury-free).

I made it down to the beach to get my 6 miles in before work.

3. I live close to the beach (within about a mile and a half), which allows for some amazing scenery during workouts (I mean check out the AWESOME sand castle I saw this morning).

4. Although the humidity was at 97% when I started running, it was a little cooler out this morning than it has been the past few weeks, which made the run feel a bit easier.

I was able to finish my 6-miles in 49:18 (I was shooting for under 51 minutes).

5. Because of my recent "rough runs" I was worried my speed was fleeting, but I was able to keep an average pace of 8:13 minute miles. 
6. During my run, I had the opportunity to take some time to pray and praise God for who He is and what He does in my life. 

After showering, I went to work.

7. I have a job (especially in this less-than-stellar economy).
8. I work for a company that allows me to work from home.

Hubby left for work, so Walt The Wiener Dog grabbed Ryan's sandal to bring with him. (He never chews on it, just carries it to near where he is laying to have the smell close by him. I guess him being non-destructive is also something to be grateful for!)

9. We have a healthy and happy puppy (he wasn't so happy or healthy two weekends ago, but thankfully whatever he had worked its way out... even though it seemed to work its way out of him ALL OVER OUR CARPET).
10. Our puppy can make me smile just about any time - I mean, did you watch the video?! He is the cutest, right?!

And now, because I ran before work this morning, I have the afternoon to max and relax (and of course get things done around the house).

11. Even though chores aren't my favorite tasks to do, it means we are blessed enough to have a roof over our heads.
12. We have a computer (so I can blog), internet (so I can post my thoughts to the World Wide Web), and power (so I can charge my electronics that are just about dead from their constant use).

Sometimes we don't realize how many things we are thankful for until we actually sit back and think about it. Obviously there are SOOOOOOOO many more things I am thankful for, I just thought I'd take a quick minute to focus on a few of them.


Will you join me in making it a #MondayFunday?

Foam Rolling

I've gotten quite a few questions on foam rolling, so I thought I would do a post dedicated to it.


I try to do this every evening before going to bed, but foam rolling is great to do pre-run, post-run, or just as a way to unwind from your day. Figure out what works best for you and DO IT!

I originally was going to do more of a vlog (video blog), but got pretty nervous in front of the camera, so decided it would probably be best for me to do it WITHOUT talking. I will describe what I am doing and then post the video below the description so you can see what I mean.


IT Band

The reason I originally started rolling was because my IT Band was acting up (the fibrous band that runs from your hip area to your knee area). This tends to be a nagging area for a lot of runners, so definitely a great place to start.

Lie on your side. Begin by placing the foam roller slightly below your hip (you NEVER want to roll over the bone). Roll between the knee and hip area, taking extra time on any tender parts. If your legs are longer, you can break up this area in 2-3 sections (for example from the knee to the mid-quad and then from the mid-quad to the hip area). For a deeper muscle massage you can stack your legs on-top of one another. If stacking your legs is too painful, you can relieve some of the pressure by placing your top foot on the ground in front of your rolling leg. Do this for approximately 1-2 minutes and then switch sides.


Begin by facing downward in the floor with both thighs on the roller and forearms propping you off the ground (similar to a forearm plank). Roll between the knee and pelvis area, taking extra time on any tender parts. If your legs are longer, you can break up this area in 2-3 sections (for example from the knee to the mid-quad and then from the mid-quad to the pelvis area). I will do this with my toes pointed straight, then point my toes outward, and then point my toes inward (that way I am able to get all of the portions of the quads). Do this for approximately 1-2 minutes.


Sit with your legs out in front of you, with the roller under your calves. You will need to push yourself off of the ground with your arms (depending on your arm strength this may be one of the more difficult muscle groups to roll). Roll between the knee and ankle area, taking extra time on any tender parts. If your legs are longer, you can break up this area in 2-3 sections (for example from the knee to the mid-calf and then from the mid-calf to the ankle area). For a deeper muscle massage you can cross your legs on-top of one another. If stacking your legs is too painful, you can relieve some of the pressure by keeping both legs on the roller. Do this for approximately 1-2 minutes.

**I have found that sometimes (depending on how often I roll or how difficult my workouts are) I am unable to get a deep enough roll on my calves (it is like I cannot get enough weight over them to get a good massage), so I will often use The Stick to work out the muscles in my calves.


Lying on your back with your knees bent and the roller under your lower back, cross your arms (sort of like you are giving yourself a big HUG for being so awesome). Tighten your core and raise your hips off the ground. Roll below your neck to your glutes, taking extra time on any tender parts. Do this for approximately 1-2 minutes.

**I have noticed that my M80 Roller is a little too hard on my back, so I use my Trigger Point GRID Foam Roller roller for these muscles.


Start on your hands and knees with the roller on your shins (just under your knees). Keep your planted hands still while rolling your knees towards your hands, bringing the roller almost to your ankles. Roll between the knee and ankle area, taking extra time on any tender parts. If your legs are longer, you can break up this area in 2-3 sections (for example from the knee to the mid-shin and then from the mid-shin to the ankle area). Do this for approximately 1-2 minutes.


Although this isn't with a foam roller, I normally do this at the same time so thought I'd throw it in this post as well. You can use a tennis ball, golf ball, water bottle, soup can, etc (I have found that a golf ball is my favorite... and if you put it in the freezer for a bit it is AMAZING). All you do is roll the item under the arch of your foot for approximately 1-2 minutes. This is a great massage for the bottom of your tired or sore feet (and an easy way to release tension and pain from your feet).

There are definitely more areas you can foam roll, these are just the main ones I tend to focus on. Due to my nervousness in front of the camera I totally forgot to film my glutes, so I guess those will have to wait for a future post.

A QUICK WORD OF WARNING: The more foam rolling hurts, the more you need to do it (that is often why you will hear runners say they have a love/hate relationship with their roller). I know, it can be painful, it might not be fun, but it can be great for you! It offers muscle tension relief, can correct muscle imbalance, increases your range of motion, assists in injury prevention, and is MUCH cheaper than a personal masseuse.

Tools of the Trade

M80 Roller (This is the firmest {and dare I say my favorite} of my rollers, which I have found gives me the deepest massage. It is also a great travel size, not to mention all the fun color combos it comes in! You can check out my review here.)
Trigger Point GRID Foam Roller (This was my first "good" roller. The different designed foam zones are made to replicate the feeling of an actual massage therapist's hands. The extra foam is extremely helpful if it has been a few days between rolling or if I have a very tender area.)
The Stick (This is great for my calves, as well as knots I find in my quads that I want to really dig into. I have the Sprinter Stick which is one of their firmest options. As you can tell, the firmer {for me} the better, but that can also be the more painful option.)
Golf Ball (This is just a golf ball I grabbed out of my hubby's golf bag... Nothing too special ;) )

PLEASE NOTE:  You do not need multiple rollers or options to get a good massage. I started with the Trigger Point GRID Foam Roller and then was offered an M80 Roller to review and quickly realized the differences. You can always try foam rollers out a running store (if yours has a roller section), a sporting goods shop, or a race expo to see what works best for you and what type your body most prefers.

PS Even if you aren't a runner, your body can definitely benefit from a foam roller!

Are there any major muscles that I left out? Any questions on any of the techniques I am using?