Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Races

2019 was quite the year for races. To start with, I had a goal of running at least 19 races (3 of which I wanted to be ultra marathons {over the standard 26.2 mile marathon distance}). By the end of the year I was able to accrue exactly 19 races - four ultra marathons (one 52.4-Miler, one 50-Miler and two 50Ks), one ultra relay race, four marathons, one 28K, seven half marathons, one 15K and one 5K. I guess you can say it was a successful, busy and RUNDERFUL year!

Avalon 50K/50M Benefit Run {1/12}

Rock 'N' Roll Arizona Half Marathon {1/20}

Mesa-PHX Marathon {2/9}

Griffith Park Trail 50K {3/2}

San Diego Hot Chocolate 15K {3/24}

Encinitas Half Marathon {3/31}

#Ragnar4Rett Ultra Relay Race {4/12-13}

Boston Marathon {4/15}

Silicon Valley Half Marathon {4/28}

Food Truck 5K {4/28}

Fremont Canyon 28K {6/1}

Rock 'N' Roll San Diego Half Marathon {6/2}

Black Mountain 50K {6/29}

San Francisco Ultra {7/28}

Diablo Trail Marathon {8/25}

Ventura Marathon {10/20}

REVEL Big Bear Half Marathon {11/9}

Rock 'N' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon {11/17}

Lexus LaceUp Riverside Reindeer Run Half Marathon {12/9}

And with that, 2019 comes to an end! It has been an honor and a privilege to run all of the races I have. I thank God for the ability to not only run my little heart out but to also be able to do it with a HUGE smile on my face. Running is something I truly enjoy and am beyond blessed to have found an obsession a hobby that allows me to meet so many amazing people and see so many amazing places. Running has given me a platform, running has given me a passion, running has given me peace of mind, running has given me pleasure, running has given me a push to pursue dreams that I never knew I had (or thought I would be strong enough to tackle). Here's to 2020 being even more amazing!

PS I was able to tally up my mileage from the year and along with the 19 races, I ran a total of 2,202 miles (yes, I did count before the end of the year and then made sure my runs hit specific mileage so I could end on an even number [I'm that crazy] ;)). {January: 197.91 / February 204.83 / March: 238.23 / April: 138.41 / May: 205.11 / June: 244.28 / July: 188.23 / August: 167.06 / September: 187.78 / October: 148.76 / November: 103.67 / December: 177.73} BOOYA!

How many races or miles did you run in 2019? Or do you even keep track?

Monday, December 30, 2019

December Books

I can't believe my goal of reading 17 books in 2017 (ha, I ended up with 88 in 2017 and 77 in 2018!) has morphed into this passion for books. Let's be real, not having cable TV to keep me "entertained" also gives me more free time to dive into a great book or seven ;) {PS One of my goals for 2019 is to read 19 books, let's see how many times over I did that.}

There were SIXTY-TWO books in the first eleven month, so when I add December's FIVE that brings my total for 2019 to SIXTY-SEVEN! If you're interested in what I read (or how I'd rate them and whether I'd recommend them to you or not), make sure to check out my previous book recaps! {January's Books, February's Books, March's Books, April's Books, May's Books, June's Books, July's Books, August's Books, September's Books, October's Books, November's Books}

  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang - If you read last month's recap you probably remember that I started using an app called Hoopla, which works with my Oceanside Library account and allows me four audiobooks a month. This was one of the ones I grabbed last month because I thought I had heard good things about it. Well, let's just say it is not my typical genre of reading ;) (If you've followed my reading for a while you probably know that I enjoy the Young Adult genre, biographies, etc.) As with the majority of the books I pick up, I didn't know anything about this one when I started it. The premise is a woman with Asperger's is trying to get better at "relationships" so she hires an escort in hopes of picking up some tips and tricks. In the process, as I'm sure you can guess because this is how the majority of romantic books goes, she falls in love. I obviously won't give away any spoiler alerts, but let me warn you - there is a lot of sex. Maybe I'm just a prude, but I was a little thrown off at how much sex there was. I mean, I was glad I was listening to the audiobook on my headphones because had someone heard some of the chapters they may have thought I was listening to a porn or something. The story was cute, but I guess I wasn't expecting so much sex. I would give it a 7 out of 10.

  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - Yet another book that I had heard great things about but knew absolutely nothing about when I got on the wait list at the library... But when you have to wait a few months for the book it's gotta be good, right?! I noticed when I checked this book out that there was a "mystery" sticker on the side of it, so assumed it would be some sort of thriller, but wasn't really sure what to expect. I somewhat pride myself on my ability to "figure out" the plot twist or ending in most movies/ books (probably thanks to my extensive history of watching Law & Order), but this one kept me guessing. I couldn't put it down and despite its long length I flew through it (I think it took me two afternoons). Although the storyline jumped around a bit (different times in the character's lives not being in chronological order) I didn't have a hard time keep things straight (and actually thought it gave it a little more interest the way it was written). I do have to say that some of the story doesn't seem super believable, but even still I enjoyed the novel. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez - This was the fourth of my November audiobooks I had checked out on my Hoopla app. I've gotta say, I am glad I listened to this one as opposed to reading it. This book is based on the idea that there is a data bias in a world designed by men. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely found it fascinating (and found myself shaking my head and saying "Yes, yes, YES" to many of the points), but it is definitely data heavy. I think had I been physically reading this one I may have got lost in some of the nitty gritty facts and figures. With that said, I definitely think this is one worth listening to. Whether you consider yourself a feminist or not, there were a lot of points the author brought up that most people don't ever even think about... and there in lies the point... how it has been ingrained that men are the default. There were a ton of interesting topics discussed in this book (from snow removal to health care). I appreciate the intense research that seems to have gone into the writing of this book. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb - I don't remember how this one got on my list of books to read, but it sounded interesting once I snagged it at the library so I was excited to give it a go. The book is written by a therapist about her going to therapy (along with some stories from her patients mixed in as well). I have never gone to therapy but have thought about it more than once and I appreciated seeing the inner workings of it (both from the therapist's perspective as well as from the patient's perspective, since she was both at different times throughout the book). The flow of the book was very conversational (I was worried that maybe it would be too clinical or boring for some reason, but it absolutely was not). It is a fairly long book and it took me a while to get through it, but more because this season was extremely busy and I had less time to read than because it was tough to read. I would give it an 8 out of 10.

  • Forward by Abby Wambach - This was one of my audiobooks I grabbed with my December allotment. I actually had it on my "to read" list at the library but hadn't gotten around to grabbing it yet so figured I could listen to it instead. I played soccer in high school, but didn't follow much professional soccer so didn't know Abby's story prior to this book. Although I would've still been interested in it, I was a little worried that the whole book would be about her soccer career. I was pleasantly surprised when the memoir was a more personal look into her life (including her relationships, family dynamics, drug abuse, etc). I hope this doesn't come out wrong and I absolutely never wish hardship on others, but reading this book reminds you that even "superstars" have their faults and issues. The life people portray to the world around them isn't always what they are living inside. This book couldn't have been easy to write and I appreciate Abby's honesty and raw-ness. I admire the courage it had to take to put all of her shortcomings down on paper. I would give it a 9 out of 10.

With that, December has come to a close. My reading may not be going gang-busters like it has in the past, but I hope it never completely stops. If you have any suggestions, let me know! I'm always willing to add them to my library wait list!

PS I created an Amazon list that includes all of the books I've read and would recommend to others. Check it out!

What was the best book you read this year?

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Workout Recap - Week 52

Sunday, December 22nd – 8 mile run

Monday, December 23rd – 4 mile run

Tuesday, December 24th – 8 mile run

Wednesday, December 25th – 6 mile run

Thursday, December 26th – Rest Day

Friday, December 27th  18.18 mile run

Saturday, December 28th – 8 mile run

Uh oh... another week with ZERO foam rolling and stretching. Grrr... I'm pretty disappointed in myself (not to mention I'm sure my legs aren't too happy with me either). As I am still getting used to working full time again (and being on my feet upwards of 9-10 hours a day at the running store), I've just been beat in the evenings when I normally stretch and recently have just opted to head to bed instead of getting my roll on. I'm stoked that I have been able to get in all of my runs, but know that the pre-hab is of utmost importance if I want to continue on injury-free. Here's to making it a priority again.

How were your workouts this past week?

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Walt Wednesday

Some people do a "Wordless Wednesday" post, where they simply share a photo or image, but I thought I'd make a little series out of my Wednesdays. And since I love alliteration so much, why not go with Walt Wednesdays (obviously everyone can use a little break from the seriousness, scariness and sassiness of life - and what better way to help put a smile on your face than with a cute wiener dog picture, am I right?!)... So, without further ado...


When life gets overwhelming, how do you de-stress?

Tuesday, December 24, 2019


Well, I guess the title was a bit of a spoiler alert, now wasn't it?! But that's what this post is about so I figured it was the most fitting title ;) I GOT A JOB AND I'M SUPER EXCITED ABOUT IT! If you follow me on social media then you probably already saw the announcement, but I thought I'd share a bit more about the process, the position and the pep.

Let's kick it WAY BACK... Back to when I first started running... As you (probably) know, I started running in 2012 when a friend challenged me to train for the Disneyland Half Marathon. At the time I was looking for a hobby to call my own and figured even if I hated running at least I'd be doing it through the Happiest Place on Earth. {I shared THIS blog post back in January of 2012 letting the world know I would be starting my training! It's funny to go back and look at that old stuff.}

A few pictures from that first race.

Because I was NOT a runner, I did what anyone would do, went to the InterWebs and searched "running store" in the Googles. The Carlsbad Running Center popped up and since it was right down the street the hubby and I went over to see what I would need. They fit me for my first pair of running shoes and I guess you can say the rest is history...


Unless I bought shoes online, I continued hitting up this spot for my next pair of new running shoes (let's be real, there aren't many things better than new shoes ;)). And, like most stores, they snagged my email address so I could get on their list for upcoming sales, events, etc. Well, almost eight years later and I'm still getting those emails. In fact, in the beginning of December I received an email that really grabbed my attention (and surprisingly it wasn't about saving money)...

Now, if you've been around my corner of the InterWebs for a while, you may know about what I do for a living... You see, I have been blessed with a hubby who is super talented at what he does and his employment allows me the freedom to not have to work... I guess you could say he's my #SugarDaddy and I'm a professional wiener dog wrangler and house wife ;)

The other two doggies in this photo are not ours... but you get the idea ;)

A few months back I read the book "The Library Book" and it got me thinking that working at a library would be an AWESOME role. Low and behold, I looked and our local library was hiring - SHOOT DOGGY! I thought it'd be the perfect fit! Although I didn't have any specific library experience I thought my love for books, my can-do attitude and my sharp wit would be enough... Unfortunately in the end it wasn't and they went with someone who had a library rich background.

Crossing my fingers and hoping it will be a perfect fit...

Don't get me wrong, I didn't "need" a job. In fact, I work part time for a running brand, helping them with their social media. Even though I am not forced to work, I thought working at the library (seeing as I go there at least once a week anyway) would have been fun and a great way to help the community. But, hey, it wasn't meant to be, so it wasn't meant to be...


So I kept on keepin' on. Like I said, I didn't "need" a job and I really only applied for the library position because I thought it might be a perfect fit. I wasn't looking for a job, but then, in the first week of December, it's like a job was looking for me ;)


When I got the email from the Running Center I thought "Well, shoot doggy, this sounds like it is right up my alley!" It said "We are seeking an outgoing personality and the ability to multi-task in a sometimes hectic environment. We will train you to be a fit expert, but you are expected to be knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the sport of running!". Yep, yep and YEP! I sent in my resume with a brief little snippet about myself and chatted with God about the opportunity.


Literally a few hours later I got a call from the manager asking if I could come in for an interview. WHOOO HOOO! The hubby had the car that day at work, so I set up an interview for the following day. When the hubby got home I asked him if I could drop him at work the next day and use the car because, SURPRISE, I had an interview. He was a little shocked because he didn't know I was looking for a job (which I wasn't, it came looking for me ;)) and how quickly the process was going (normally it seems like you send in a resume and you don't hear from the company for a couple weeks and then the interview process seems to take another few weeks too). Nonetheless he was excited for me (even if I was a tad nervous since I hadn't been to an in-person interview for a legit job in many moons).


Lucky for me, I have a friend who also works at a running store who I was able to text with for a few tips. Similar to what the original email said, it seems like as long as your passion for the sport (and people) shines through, most running stores are willing to teach you the in's and out's of the gear they sell. And seeing as I'm a quick learner I was sure if they gave me a shot I could prove my worth - all I needed to do was win over the interviewer and hope the stars would align.


The interview went GREAT and by the time I left the manager said that she'd love to offer me a position. She said that she needed to speak with HR to work out an offer but would love to have my bubbly personality at the store. YIPPEEEE! 


After the initial excitement I got a little worried when it took a couple days to hear back (I was slightly nervous that maybe I had misunderstood and the "we'd love to have you" was a "we will think about it" and maybe they were rethinking it all together), but thankfully my phone lit up a few days later with an official offer to have me on staff. AWWW YEAH!!


Now, I'd be lying if I said I was all in from the jump because the hourly wage was definitely less than I was expecting it to be, but I realized A) people don't work retail in hopes of becoming a millionaire, B) I don't "need" a job so the income I do bring in is just an added bonus and C) this position is more about me finding another avenue to share my love of running with the world, the pay isn't the deciding factor. After chatting with the hubby and making a pro's and con's list, I accepted.


At the time this post goes live I will have been at the store for about two and a half weeks. I'm loving it thus far. Not only is it fun to chat with and help the clients coming in, but it is also really interesting to learn about the different shoes. (As you may know, I have been a Brooks ambassador for the last few years and would say I have run almost exclusively in Brooks for the majority of my running "career" so it is fascinating to learn about the other brands on the market.) There is definitely a lot to learn, but it is on topics that interest me so I feel like the information sticks quicker and easier.


Along with being a sales associate, they are hoping to get me working on the events side of things (getting our Fun Runs and other community based activities back up and running). It is hard to gauge interest and success when it's dark and chilly in the evenings, so we'll probably kick some of those events off in the spring, but I'm stoked to share my ideas and see them come to life. (This means, if you live in the North San Diego County area, I hope to see you at them ;) And if you don't, I hope to pick your brain as to what events you like, what things your running store or running club does that works great, etc.) We are a family owned store and we want the community to be our main focus (obviously we are in business to sell shoes, but we want to be a major resource and hub for North County runners {and beyond}).

With all that being said, things may be a bit quieter here in the coming weeks while I get into the swing of things. Going from working 15ish hours a week from home (with my social media gig) to working 40+ hours a week (between my two jobs) while still running 50ish miles a week, keeping the house and doing my own social media will take some balancing and perfecting, but I'm stoked for the opportunity! Here's to a fun, exciting and successful 2020 and beyond!


Where do you shop for your running gear?