*Change is GOOD!*

If there is anything I have learned this past year, it is this: change is good!

Don’t get me wrong, though. It’s scary as hell. There is comfort in the familiar… among the places, faces, and routines that we experience day in and day out. The magic of change, however, is that by letting go, we create space to allow for new places, faces, and routines to become a part of our world that we may not have experienced if we were too frightened to let go.

Space also allows us to discover new things… new jobs, new relationships, new hobbies, new interests, new communities, new foods, etc. In some cases, it also allows for us to focus more deeply on the prominent passions in our lives if we are willing to let go of the things that no longer serve us.

Toward the end of 2016, I felt myself desiring a shift to create more space so that I can invest more time to focus on some specific goals, personal development, and truthfully, a little more downtime for self-care and sleep. I’ve spent several months analyzing where I invest my time, what activities give me joy, and making a mental list of things that I need to purge.

It is no secret that this space has been neglected. I guess I’ve come to realize that this website and blog have fulfilled the initial purpose in which I created it. (For newer readers, Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking was created to chronicle my journey of qualifying for and running the Boston Marathon. This goal was accomplished in 2015.) After almost four years of sharing here, I feel it is time to move on and allow the little time I do spend crafting content, to be spent on other endeavors.

So with that said, I am announcing that Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking is going to be put to bed. This will be my last post.

The decision did not come easy. Trust me. I’ve connected with so many readers over the years and have found so much value in the support and encouragement from strangers who didn’t feel like strangers but just running friends. I’ve truly appreciated each and every follow, like, and comment and knowing that I’ve influenced people around the world!

The website will remain up until and active until my URL expires (in March I believe). I will be removing my Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking Facebook page right away, however.

You’re probably wondering if I’ve decided to quit running, if I’m going to run off and join the circus, or just what in the heck I’m going to be doing to fill the void…

I AM NOT GOING TO QUIT RUNNING! In fact, I’m running the LA Marathon in 10 (TEN!!!) weeks and really need to focus my energy on training and preparation for that. Beyond that event, I’m not yet sure what else the year has in store but I’ve decided that it’s best to focus on one thing/goal at a time and give 110% to that instead of spreading myself out among too many things at once.

I AM NOT GOING TO JOIN THE CIRCUS! I am, however, going to invest more time in building my writing business (Learn more at www.bloggerbitch.com) and finish the coursework to obtain my real estate license. I want to learn how to brew my own kombucha, work on writing my novel, read more, devote more time to making self-care a priority, and spending time with my boys (and girl whenever possible).

I’m on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so if you’d like to follow future adventures and endeavors, feel free to give me a follow. (I’m less active on Twitter and Facebook AND I’m trying to reduce my time spent on social media in general. Another time suck!)

It has been such a great few years and I, from the bottom of my heart, thank you all for allowing me to share my journey with you. I wish each of you the best and many, many great years of running ahead. And remember, change is GOOD!

Farewell.

xo Hyla

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*Weekly mileage ~ Dec. 5-11*

Mileage for the week of December 5th – December 11th

Total weekly mileage: 35.5

Total December mileage: 59

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 1,388.75

Week in review:

12/5      No run/rest day

12/6      47:26 min./5.25 mi./9:02 pace

12/7      31:56 min./3.62 mi./8:49 pace (+.40 – watch didn’t sync) (NP)

26:56 min./3 mi./8:59 pace

12/8       No run

12/9      45:09 min./5 mi./9:01 pace

12/10    27:40 min./3.11 mi./8:54 pace

37:46 min./4.14 mi./9:08 pace

12/11    1:28:06 min./11 mi./8:05 pace

Making the transition back into marathon training in the heart of the holiday season is a wee bit tricky! I knew it would be… I missed a run this week due to an error in judgement Wednesday night at a holiday gathering that resulted in a gnarly hangover. Of course, I should know better… but I am human and slip up from time to time. Lesson learned and onward.

The skipped run resulted in me missing my weekly mileage goal by 4.5 miles but it’s not the end of the world. I had a strong long run on Sunday and got in a good hilly session with the November Project on Wednesday so not all was lost.

I’ve rearranged the early part of my training schedule for this week to accommodate another party but I’m shooting for 42 miles this week. My goal is to make this week and next really count before the Christmas/New Year’s whirlwind!

Have a great week!

*Strength… Stamina… Spartan*

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably already looking ahead to 2017 and considering how you are going to challenge yourself, set new goals, and experience some fresh, exciting events. It’s fun to think about all of the possibilities and planning for a new year!

One such possibility you might want to consider is registering for a Spartan Race. Spartan Race combines running with obstacles that require strength and stamina. They offer challenging courses and “provide racers of all levels a proving ground to test themselves.” It’s a brilliant test of strength, both physically and mentally. The bonus is, they’re also a ton of fun!

Spartan Race has races throughout the year in a number of cities and regions. You can check out their complete list of events on their website but if you’re itchin’ to start working toward a new goal, they do have events coming up in the earlier part of 2017, starting with SoCal the end of January. Other early 2017 locations include Las Vegas, Arizona, Houston, and Atlanta.

Season passes, for those that want to commit to more than one event, are now available. They sell out fast so don’t delay in making the commitment. (I’d wager to say that a season pass might also make a fantastic Christmas gift for the athlete in your life!) There are three pass options including the Trifecta, which allows the participant to complete in three races anytime in 2017. The Open Season Pass and Elite Season Pass allow for unlimited Spartan Races and are a great option for the serious Spartan competitor.

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Trifecta Pass

Also new for 2017 are some kicked-up race obstacles, Spartan gear, and the coveted medals.

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Race Medal

One of the things I love about Spartan Race is that it’s not just about the race. The organization helps with guiding future participants with training and workouts to help racers prepare for events, offers nutrition advice and recipes (sent right to your email inbox if you sign up!), and they even offer an educational course which is intended to help participant find success whether in the race itself or day-to-day life. It’s a well-rounded program based on the philosophy that you can change your life by tackling obstacles and challenges head-on and doing so with a willingness to learn from them to become stronger.

If you’re looking for a new challenge in 2017, set your sights on training for a Spartan Race! Aroo!!

*Disclaimer: all information presented was provided to me by Spartan Race. However, the opinions presented are my own. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking makes no representation of validity of the information and is not liable for any errors, omissions, or any losses, injuries or damages that may arise from participation in Spartan Race events. All information is for informative purposes only.

*Ready to go!*

It’s official! My next race will be the Griffith Park Trail 10k on Sunday, November 13th!

I’m really excited to get back to trail running! My intention this year was to make the switch from predominately road running/racing to trail. However, having moved into the heart of the city, it hasn’t worked out the way I’d hoped. While I’m super grateful for the abundance of mountain trails neighboring the urban landscape, it’s been tricky to get out as much as I’d like. The nearest trail is about three miles from my place and while it’s better than nothing, it’s not very long and way too congested for my taste. (The user demographic seems to be primarily twenty-something-year-old girls that are more interested in showing off their latest Victoria Secret Pink “workout” wear than actually working out. But that’s LA for ya.)

Anyway, there are options and I need to make it a bigger priority to get out and explore. Now that I’m not immediately training for any big distances… that could change soon though… ; ) I’m looking forward to switching gears and hitting the trails a bit more frequently!

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Breaking in new trail shoes!

Today was my first day back on the dirt and it went better than I expected! Being just 13 days post-marathon, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve been taking it pretty easy the past week but felt pretty good overall and feel like I’m ready to transition back into training mode.

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My fancy training plan.

I’m still tweaking my plan but I’ve got a basic outline. As long as our family schedule works in my favor, I’m hoping to hit the November Project each week. I was successful this past Wednesday and hope I can continue to go on a regular basis. My other cross-training goal is to get at least one solid yoga session in, ideally a class, weekly. Last Monday I opted to hit my mat at home for 30 minutes but I really feel a class would do me some good so I’m going to try to make a bigger effort in the coming weeks.

It’s coming together and I’m ready to go!

*Weekly mileage ~ Oct. 3-9*

Mileage for the week of October 3rd – October 9th

Total weekly mileage: 39.5

Total October mileage: 51.5

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 1,134.75

Week in review:

10/3      No run/rest day

10/4     35:18 min./4 mi./8:50 pace

10/5     34:52 min./4.25 mi./8:11 pace

10/6     26:56 min./3 mi./8:59 pace

10/7     No run/rest day

10/8     2 miles (easy on treadmill)

10/9     3:37:40 min./26.2 mi./8:19 pace

I literally just arrived home about an hour ago from my trip home to Portland. I cannot even begin to describe the whirlwind that the past six days have been. I’m completely exhausted and completely content. It was a magical combination of all of the things that I love most: my family, my friends, running, and the Pacific Northwest.

The coming days will yield a somewhat proper race recap… though I admit that writing recaps is not my strong suit… even as a writer, I find that it’s hard to explain the emotional and mental aspects of racing. I’ll try anyway (and for now, give you a small glimmer of what’s to come…) because even though it wasn’t a PR, it was a pretty incredible run for me for several reasons and the result was meeting one of my goals. I’m still surprised to be honest but I somehow managed to cross the finish line with a BQ!

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes and congratulatory notes on Instagram! Now to relax and enjoy a little down time to recover (because I’m hella sore!) before I get back to the grind!

*Good, Better, Best – Marathon #9*

In a little under 24 hours, I will be landing in Portland for a whirlwind weekend of catching up with my loves, representing the Portland Marathon at the Sports and Fitness Expo, running the marathon on Sunday, and spending as much time as I can with family and friends. I have a feeling it’s going to be a doozy.

So with that, here is my outline of goals for my 9th marathon this Sunday.

Good: show up at the starting line feeling fresh, ready (mentally and physically), and confident.

I’ve had a headache for about four days now along with some mild sinus pressure and an overall feeling of tiredness. I’m assuming it’s some sort of allergy but it’s driving me a bit bonkers. I’ve been getting less sleep than I had hoped due to an overactive mind and on several occasions, waking up in the early morning hours and not being able to return to sleep. I’ve been busy with projects that have cut into time I’d hoped to utilize for more stretching, rest, and relaxation.

On top of all that, I’m starting to find myself in a bit of a panic about the few days leading up to the marathon with working the expo and some crazy-ass logistics that are still being sorted out. Oh, and believe it or not, one of my biggest worries is about food. Trying to maintain consistency with your diet prior to racing when traveling and inevitably eating out (and celebrating your birthday no less) I’m sure is going to be challenging.

There is nothing I can do about it at this point except make the best of it and pray that despite being busy and running around crazy in the days leading up to the race, I toe the line knowing that I’ve done everything in my power to show up prepared to the best of my ability.

Better: a Boston Marathon qualifying race

There is a little part (okay, big part) of me that fears being a “one hit wonder.” Which essentially means that I often wonder if qualifying for the Boston Marathon was a fluke. (Technically, I’ve qualified twice since I requalified with my finish time at Boston in 2015, but still…) I’d really like to see if I’m capable of knocking out another sub-3:40 finish. Walking (crawling?) away from the finish line with a BQ would be pretty dang amazeballs!

Best: a 3:30 (or under) finish

A PR would be nice but my ultimate desire is to run a 3:30 (or under) marathon. Truthfully, I’m not sure this marathon is the one. But I can still dream for some magical unicorn rainbow stardust shit on race day! If only my dreams matched my actual ability.

Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, I’m excited for the opportunity to run a great race in a city that I love and call home.

If you happen to be running the Portland Marathon, I’ll be working at the information booth during packet pickup on Friday 10/7 from 11-3:30 and Saturday 10/8 from 9-2. Please come by and say hello!

With my focus on my family and the race this weekend, I’ll be absent here but check out my Instagram account for updates on the festivities. And to those of you running Portland or any event this weekend….Chicago… what else? The very best of luck to you for a fantastic race!

*You’re doing it wrong*

Adaptation

ad·ap·ta·tion / ˌadapˈtāSH(ə)n/

noun

  1. the action or process of adapting or being adapted.
  2. a change or the process of change by which an organism or species becomes better suited to its environment.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been a little bit of a mental mess when it has come to my marathon training. My intentions have been good but I sort of feel like I’ve been doing the whole thing wrong. For various reasons, each week has found me making adaptations to my training plan… which honestly, I’m starting to think it was never very solid to begin with.

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It’s all “fun and games” BEFORE you run 21 miles.

I’ve skipped long runs (due to an injury of sorts). I’ve run two long runs in a 7 day period. I’ve increased my totally weekly mileage by more than 20 miles in a single week. I’ve bumped my long run mileage from 15 to 18 miles in a single run. And then again from 18 to 20 miles. I’ve beat myself up over the *slow* pace of my long runs when in fact, they are supposed to be run slower. I’ve been comparing myself to other runners and their training plans, mileage, paces, etc. (A BIG no-no!) I’ve allowed myself to think that I’m not fit or fast enough, nor have I worked hard enough, to accomplish the goals I’ve set for myself.

Before I continue, I should note that I realize that I’ve done a few things right too. I’ve been trying really hard to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night and naps on the weekend. My nutrition plan has been on target. I’m consuming close to four liters of water each day. My post-run recovery routine has been going well and I’ve been taking one day off completely each week. Also, because early on this week I noticed that I was feeling extra rundown, I backed off my mileage and effort. I skipped my tempo run and opted for a shorter, easy run instead of pushing myself.

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Fueling/refueling like a boss!

I was planning to keep my mileage high… maybe even increase it… for another week before tapering. However, due to how I’ve been feeling during the latter part of my long runs… essentially my body screaming “uncle”… I’ve decided to make another adaptation and am going to call training good. As in, DONE! (I will also note that I believe one of the reasons I’m struggling during my long runs is because I’m running through the city and have to stop numerous times for traffic lights. I lose momentum and I begin stiffening up the moment I stop which makes it hard to get moving again.)

I’ve never tapered for three weeks before. During past training cycles, I’ve run my longest, or close to longest, training run two weeks before the race. I think it’s time to try something new. I’m planning to follow this guide that I found online from Runner’s World. And more important, I’m trying to reframe the messy mental chatter that I’ve been doing it all wrong. Instead, I need to see those adaptations over the preceding weeks as opportunities to become better suited to my environment. I got the mileage in despite the challenges thrown at me. Now, I need to find trust in the final portion of the training process. (And let my body rest!) (And also, you’d think I’ve never trained for a marathon before!)

So, with the Portland Marathon officially three weeks from today, I say, “BRING ON THE TAPER!”

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Ice bath alternative.