*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.

*Portlandia runs the Portland Marathon*

Happy Cinco de Mayo and National Enchilada Day!

(Guess what I’m having for dinner? hehe)

I’ve run, no pun intended, across a couple of fun things this week that I thought I’d pass along. A little bit of Thursday afternoon randomness. Ole!

Shall we start with something amusing?

Even though I’m a native Portlander (sort of), I’m sometimes perplexed by the series Portlandia. It has its moments. But while I’d not exactly call this funny, I dig the connection to the Portland Marathon.

Speaking of the Portland Marathon, it is filling up pretty quickly. If you are looking for a really fantastic autumn marathon, check it out! I can also offer you $10 off your registration if you use the discount code: HYLA16.

Also on my radar, a couple of cool things from my friends at Nuun! They are currently running a flash sale on the original Nuun Energy.

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A sweet deal on Nuun Energy!

If you had planned ahead, you’d be well-stocked to help prevent a Margarita hangover! I kid. ; )

Short and sweet. Cheers!

*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of February 16th – 22nd

Total weekly mileage: 63.5

Total February mileage (to-date): 198

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 421

Run review:

2/16          No run/rest day

2/17         41:52 min./5 mi./8:22 pace

36:47 min./5 mi./7:21 pace (*track/speed workout)

4:24 min/.5 mi./8:49 pace

2/18         57:54 min./7 mi./8:16 pace

2/19         1:08:57 min./8.25 mi./8:21 pace

2/20         1:41:50 min./12.5 mi./8:09 pace

2/21         17:46 min./2.25 mi./7:54 pace (track/speed workout)

48:52 min./5 mi./9:47 pace

2/22         2:29:30 min./18 mi./8:18 pace

*Last weeks track workout was 12 minutes at half marathon pace followed by two 800 meter repeats with one minute rest between sets, and then another 12 minutes at the half marathon pace. I didn’t care for going from timed effort to distance effort, and back, but I worked hard and was happy with my overall average pace of 7:21. I’ve really enjoyed kicking off my training week with these track workouts!

For the fourth straight week, I’ve been able to maintain my mileage in the low 60-mile range. I’m still marveling at how unattainable I though 60 miles a week was! I’ve found a rhythm to my training schedule that feels just about perfect. However, every so often, I hear a whisper-soft voice in my head that tells me that 70 might be possible.

If only my hamstrings would get on board!

Hmph.

While I’m feeling good about my training and mileage, there are a few things I need to work on. Sleep for starters. Too many late nights and early alarms this past week have kicked my ass a little. I also need to clean up my diet. (Right after I go out and eat Mexican tonight!!) Not that it’s terrible. I’m a very healthy eater but I am snacking more than I think I should be, especially on the weekends. So this week I’m aiming to get more sleep and be more mindful of what I’m stuffing my face with!

But first, bring on the chips and salsa! And a margarita! ; )

Have a fantastic week!!

*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of May 1st through May 5th:

Total weekly mileage: 23.5

Total May mileage (to-date): 23.5

Total year-to-date mileage: 772.5

Run review:

5/1      40:53 min./4.25 mi./9:37 pace

11:18 min./1.25 mi./9:03 pace

5/2      2:13: 15 min./15 mi./8:53 pace

5/3       30:56 min./3 mi./10:19 pace

5/4       No run/rest day

This is only a partial week since I included some of last weeks mileage in my April review. I’m trying to get back on track… but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m going to be “off” for another week because I have a Saturday race this weekend. Rollin’ with it, ya know?!

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! I hope you’re enjoying a cold margarita and some quac! Cheers!!

*When life gives you lemons, RUN!*

The past few weeks have been emotionally and mentally exhausting on so many levels. It is not the greatest state to be in with Christmas a week away! For me, much of it is seasonal but it seems to be compounded with the added hustle and bustle of the holidays.

Less sleep, neglected self-care rituals, too much food (of the sugary variety) and drinks, the go, go, go… the added financial stress(!)… I find myself feeling overwhelmed, cranky, and not as motivated as I usually am.

I have been finding that my runs feel forced. It has taken a lot (A LOT!) of mental banter to get out the door. But I have also noticed how much better I feel when I run. During and after! I’ve said it before but running helps me sort through all of the crap that swirls around in my head and helps restore a sense of peace.

Talking myself into getting out the door for a 6 or so mile run this morning was no different. We had a late night last night and I considered taking a nap instead of running. I had a lot on my mind, a lot on my to-do list… skipping my run seemed like a viable option at the time. But I forced myself to go and the following is what was going through my head much of the run. Wisdom that I want to share with you today.

When you are tired, RUN. When you are wide-awake, RUN. When you are cold, RUN. When you are hot, RUN. When you are sad, RUN. When you are happy, RUN. When you are stressed out, scared, anxious, or depressed, RUN. When you are filled with joy, peace, love, or gratitude, RUN. When you are short on time, RUN. When you have hours to kill, RUN. When it is rainy and wet, RUN. When it is sunny and warm, RUN. When you are angry or frustrated, RUN. When everything about your life is radical and wonderful, RUN. When you feel slow, RUN. When you feel fast, RUN. When you want to quit, RUN. When you can’t imagine quitting, RUN. When your heart aches, RUN. When your heart feels so full it might burst, RUN. When you think you can’t, RUN. When you think you can, RUN. When life gives you lemons, RUN. When life gives you lemonaid margaritas, RUN.

Life, like running, is one step at a time. One foot in front of the other, over and over. Through the ugly stuff and through the good stuff, keep running, friends! xo

*Be willing to let go*

My 10-mile run this morning seemed like a walk in the park compared to the 20-miles I ran last Saturday. For the past month I’ve had to carve out 2-3 hours to accommodate my run. What a treat to be done in less than and hour-and-a-half and home before 8:30 AM!

The best part though was that prior to my run I was feeling really unprepared and just couldn’t get focused… (There was a coffee shortage which I partially blame.) I stayed up later than I should have last night, had at least one to many margaritas, didn’t prepare my gear or breakfast, didn’t have my route mapped out… and you know what? It was one of my best run in weeks. Funny how that works.

Most of the time I was lost in thought, brainstorming ideas, and even had a little epiphany! It was a beautiful morning, perfect weather with promise of a wonderful day ahead. I averaged an 8:04 pace and felt fantastic, even wearing new shoes that only had about 9 miles on them.

Sometimes all we need to do is let go of the planning and preparations, and surrender to letting it happen!

“We must be willing to let go of life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” 

~ E.M. Forster

I’m off to enjoy my Saturday… helping my MIL with some gardening, soaking up some much-needed solar energy, enjoying my sweet family and some good wine!

Oh, and I’ve been working to get my yoga website revitalized (this web/blog stuff is a lot of work!) so if you are looking for a fun little read, check out my latest post at lovepuravidayoga!

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Post run and yoga bare feet.

Have a great day and weekend!!

*Fuel Friday – link love*

If I were in charge of holiday declarations, I decided that yesterday would be declared… wait for it…

National Drink Margaritas and Eat Brownies Day!

(I’m blaming this craving combo on my, ahem, girl cycle.) All I wanted yesterday was a margarita (or several) and chocolate. A nap sounded pretty good too. HA!

I had been looking at paleo brownie recipes for a week and finally settled on one to try. The Gluten Free Fudge-Like Brownie from glutenfreefix.com will not disappoint you. These are SOOOOO good. Super moist and full of chocolate-y goodness!

The recipe calls for butter but I used coconut oil instead which of course adds flavor but was not overpowering. At the request of my son, I didn’t add the nuts and for the 1/2 cup of chocolate I used vegan chocolate chips.

I’m going to go eat one right now. Perfect fuel for my 20 miler in the morning, right? Enjoy!