*Leap of faith*

I had a shitty week. Which you already know if you follow me on Instagram because within five minutes of leaving work yesterday evening, I was on a bar stool at a restaurant just a few doors down…

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There have been multiple reasons for my gloomy disposition but one of them, I realized yesterday, is how much I’m missing community. In every sense of the word.

Moving away from the small town where I grew up, started my family, and where much of our family still lives has been an interesting change. It’s been a good change, don’t get me wrong, but city life has, at times, left me feeling a bit alienated. I’ve found myself missing things I took for granted such as calling my child’s school and being greeted by someone who knows me by first name and takes the time to ask how my parents are doing.

What I have missed most, though, is my real-life running community. (I love the online running community too, fyi!) Running with others who share your love of the sport is one of the reasons I love running. It was the reason I co-founded a running club and for a solid couple of years spent every possible Saturday morning in rain, snow, freezing temps, and sometimes, if lucky, sunshine, to lead a small group of kindred runners on a short course with an optional post-run coffee stop at Starbucks.

I guess, to be honest, I haven’t tried very hard.

When we began making plans to move, I remember sitting at my computer one night doing an online search for running stores in hopes that I would find one nearby that offered group runs. I vowed that as soon as possible, I’d attend and become an active participant in such groups. After we settled where we are, I discovered that there are two specialty running stores within four miles of where I live and at least one other group that meets weekly at a pizza place about a mile away. Beyond that, there are probably another 20 groups that meet around the greater Los Angeles area each week. (I will note that the primary reason I have not attended any of the offered group runs is because the majority of them are held later in the evening and I’m not much of an evening runner.)

Then, last week, in an attempt to clean my handheld water bottle, I damaged the seal that keeps the contents inside. During my 14-mile run last Sunday I’m certain I wore more watermelon flavored Nuun than I drank. Time for a new bottle! While I was researching my options yesterday, I discovered that one of the two nearby running stores offers Saturday morning group runs! Even better is that they finish at a Starbucks a few blocks from the store!

I started thinking about going and then kind of forgot about it until I woke up this morning. Then I remembered that I still needed a new bottle and would have to go at some point today anyway. I tried talking myself out of it at least three times with a variety of excuses… I might not have enough time to get ready… I might get there too late and they’ve already left… I might be the only one that shows up…

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When I arrived, I was greeted by a small group of runners and the owner of the Fleet Feet Burbank store hosting the run who asked me if I was the person that had called yesterday. I replied “No. I took a leap of faith and just showed up.”

I took a leap of faith this morning and after a nice 3-mile run, I was sitting at a table at Starbucks with community. If felt really, really good!

P.S.  I’m the proud owner of a new water bottle. (And a new Oiselle tank. Shh…)

P.P.S  I used Uber to get home.

*Weekly mileage ~ Dec. 7-13*

 

Mileage for the week of December 7th – December 13th

Total weekly mileage: 33

Total December mileage (to-date): 56.25

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,797.25

Run review:

12/7          No run/(unintentional) rest day

12/8          39:58 min./5 mi./7:59 pace

12/9          51.51 min./6.5 mi./7:59 pace (+ .50 mi. cool down)

12/10        24:09 min./3 mi./8:03 pace

12/11        58:29 min./7 mi./8:21 pace

12/12        34:33 min./3 mi./11:31 pace

12/13        1:07:05 min./8 mi./8:23 pace

Yeah, yeah. I was a little MIA here last week. The busyness of the season has started to take effect. Paired with a super gloomy week of grey skies, rain, flooding, wind, and short, darker days, I was pretty much a slug last week. I ran and bought a few gifts. (Oh! And I did a CrossFit class! Ouch!) But other than that, I was downright lazy.

Due to said laziness… and weather… I missed my mileage goal for the week by 2.75 miles. Which ended up being fine because I miscalculated anyway. So it took me an extra day to hit 1,800 for the year. I’m not sure if I’ll even make it to 1,900. Essentially, I’d need to run a minimum of 6.25 miles every day for the remainder of the month. At this point, I’ll do what I can and I’ve resigned myself to be content with whatever mileage I can squeak out in the next 16 days.

At any rate, I hope your week is off to a great start and you’re enjoying all that there is to enjoy this time of year!

(I thought of something else I did last week! I wrote two product reviews for Run Oregon. The review of Headsweats Endurance Bands is HERE, and a review on two pairs of Feetures! Elite Merino running socks can be found HERE. Both make great stocking stuffers!!)

 

 

 

*Pin me*

A couple of days ago, while doing some intense research for work, (that’s a lie… I was on Pinterest), I stumbled across a “pin” that made my heart leap!

On Pinterest, one of the “pinners” I follow is Oiselle, women’s running apparel maker extraordinaire and kick-ass running community creators. I love the brand. I love their clothes, their philosophy, their marketing, the community of supportive and inspiring women runners that they’ve attracted…

So I was over the moon when I saw this!

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No, not Christy Turlington. Though she is stunning! (She ran with the Oiselle Hood to Coast team a few years ago and I saw her from just a few feet away. She is as gorgeous in person as she is in the media. *Sigh*)

Anyway! That’s me on the bottom right. On their photoshoot inspiration board. Holy smokes! That is so frickin’ cool and it totally made my day. It’s probably been there for a while since that photo is two years old. But either way, so frickin’ cool!!!

*A little bit of random*

Today has been a series of random events that have made for a pretty decent day. Taking time to get organized yesterday allowed for a flawless execution of what is typically a hectic morning routine, especially after a weekend. I arrived to this beautiful sight at work:

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Outside my office door! No filter!

My co-worker surprised me with a divine, and much-needed, latte. All of my evening activities, including driving my daughter 45 minutes, one-way, to soccer practice, got cancelled so I got a bonus night at home. The free time resulted in an awesome, albeit hilly, 8 mile run in the sunshine after realizing that Boston is exactly three months away!

See? Random!

I’ve had a few other random things on my mind the past couple of days too. Some running related, some not. But I thought today would be a good day to share the random!

::  If you haven’t seen this video, which is a small portion of an image that NASA release of the Andromeda galaxy, take a few minutes to watch it. Apparently it is the largest photograph ever taken. Seriously mind-blowing!

::  I’ve been wanting to introduce you to a really neat guy that I met last summer. I met Joe, aka, the Recycling Runner, when we ran Hood to Coast with Nuun Hydration last August. I was immediately impressed with him! He is an Army veteran, father of three (including two adorable twins), an illustrator, an influential recycler, and a heart attack survivor! In fact, all of the recyclables he collects that can be redeemed for money is donated to the American Heart Association. I really enjoyed getting to know him and want to spread the word on his efforts to support a cause he believes so much in. Not to mention helping the environment too!

::  The Boston Marathon is three months away from today. THREE!!! Today, the Boston Athletic Association announced the 2015 John Hancock Elite Athlete Team. I’m happy to see three USA ladies on the women’s team. I’m pulling for Shalane Flanagan again this year. She wants it BAD! (And on the men’s team, of course Meb.) Do you realize how fast these runners are? Shalane’s PR is 2:21:14 which she got in Berlin last year. Wowza!!

::  For the past three weeks, I’ve been obsessed with snowboarding. I’ve only been once, several years ago. I tried so, so hard but I sucked at it. And totally loved every single minute of it! I’ve spent way to much time on Pinterest checking out cool gear and dreaming up adventures to the mountain. Having a board would be a good start I suppose so I’ve been educating myself on how to select the right one (should I win the lottery, otherwise I’ll just keep dreaming) on the Burton website.

::  Since I’ve been trying to keep my diet clean, clean, clean, I’ve been looking for a new twist on one of my favorites: the Buddha Bowl. Essentially, a Buddha Bowl is a hearty salad with a combination of raw and lightly cooked or roasted veggies, a grain (typically quinoa), maybe some seeds or nuts, and some type of healthy dressing. This Thai Peanut Butter bowl made my mouth water! So did this Kale Power Bowl with Miso Dressing! It caught my attention because of the miso dressing. I love miso soup but have never used miso for a dressing before. Sounds delish!

If nothing else, please check out the video of the Andromeda galaxy. You will not be disappointed and it will leave you in awe of the vast expansiveness of our universe. Really incredible! Have a great evening!!

*2014 Holiday Wish List*

Guess what? It’s 12 days until Christmas!!!

Guess who hasn’t purchased a single Christmas gift? Me.

Those people (and if you’re one of them I’ll just apologize in advance for offending you) that do their shopping in July can suck it!

I’m late in the game, I know. I’m still trying to figure out what gifts to buy, how to budget it all without losing my mind, and when on earth I’ll even find the time to do any of it.

But this post isn’t really about any of that. It’s about me. It’s about what I want for Christmas. And I’m sure any female runner in your life might love any of these selections too. So without further adieu, I present my 2014 Holiday Wish List!

2015 wish list

2014 Holiday Wish List

1. Brooks Limited Edition Ombre running shoes. It’s like the colors are melting together from wicked fast speed. I’d run faster just because of these shoes. I know I would! $90.00-$150.00

2. Handful bras. BEST. SPORTS. BRA. EVER. If you haven’t grabbed a Handful – no pun intended ; ) – you seriously need to check them out. They are super comfortable, versatile and flattering. Great colors too! Honestly, I wear mine when I’m not running or active too. They are that fantastic!! $48.00

3. Oiselle Track Attack pant. I’ve been wanting a pair of track pants for months and I fell in love with this Oiselle version during Hood to Coast after seeing several of my Nuun teammates wearing them. You can’t go wrong with stylish and functional! $79.00

4. The Neshama Project hamsas necklace. Ok, it’s not a running-related item but this necklace has been on my wish list forever. Hamsas are a symbol of protection and is said to bring good luck, health, happiness and fortune to its wearer. Opal is also my birthstone and is one of my favorite stones/colors. $108.00

5. Oiselle Katron Vest. I’m crazy about vests. They are such an easy way to layer and great for keeping the core warm. I love the color of the Katron vest and that it 7 pockets! 7!!! $175.00

6. Believe training journal. From the brain-child of Oiselle athlete and Picky Bars owner, Lauren Fleshman, this journal looks amazing. I love journals and am old-school when it comes to training logs and just about anything handwritten. $24.99

7. Nuun Energy. I love the stuff! And who doesn’t need a little extra energy? Especially this time of year! Cherry-Limeade is still my favorite, go-to flavor, but the whole line of Nuun Energy tastes great and gets me #electrolit. (Yeah, go search that hashtag!) $24.00/4 pack

There you have it. A few of my favorite things this season that I hope I will find wrapped up and under my tree this Christmas!

*Safety PSA*

Driving home after teaching yoga last night, I saw a bicyclist nearly get hit by a small pickup truck. It was dark, wet, he/she was dressed in dark clothing, and while I did notice one small flasher, it really wasn’t enough. On top of that, he/she wasn’t following the rules of the road and basically flipped around right in the path of the pickup which was making a turn onto the street I was driving on.

What a dufus.

And a reminder.

I will likely be running in the dark tonight. I’ve been seeing many people out running and walking in the evening hours when it is dark. Most of the time they are dressed to be seen. But not always.

Do yourself a favor. Do your loved ones a favor. If you are going to be out and about after dark, awesome! Good for you! But please make sure you are wearing appropriate reflective gear! Carry a light and/or wear a headlamp. Stay on lit streets as much as you can. Watch out for vehicles… because they are not always watching out for you!

Stay safe, friends!!

*Viewer discretion is advised*

WARNING:

The photographs you are about to view are real. Due to the nature of these horrific, and very graphic images, viewer discretion is advised. If you are a runner that religiously replaces your running shoes every 500-600 miles, these pictures will be especially disturbing. The following is based on factual events and real people. However, names have been changed to protect the innocent*.

These shoes belong to Eirrof* (pronounced like E-roff) These shoes were not involved in a power struggle with a lawn mower. They were not eaten by a dog. These shoes were run in, in this condition, just a week ago. And many other times in the weeks, months, and perhaps years, prior.

These shoes have seen a lot of miles. And eagles. These shoes have run along side the owners first-born on a logging road the day before her third marathon. And walked along side grand babies just learning to take their first steps. They’ve traveled trail and road and are literally falling apart at the seams. Being the frugal man that he is, always putting other needs first, new running shoes had to wait. And wait…  And wait…

Until yesterday. These babies have been retired. New shoes, new memories!

Editors note: I love you and can’t wait to run with you again soon, Dad! ; )