*Weekly mileage ~ Oct. 31-Nov. 6*

Mileage for the week of October 31st – November 6th

Total weekly mileage: 37.75

Total October mileage: 112

Total November mileage: 32.25

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 1,236

Week in review:

10/31    40:34 min./5 mi./8:07 pace

11/1      52:56 min./6 mi./8:49 pace

11/2      27:35 min./3 mi./9:10 pace (and November Project workout)

11/3      42:50 min./5.25 mi./8:10 pace

11/4      1:12:06 min.8.5 mi./8:29 pace (mix of trail and road)

11/5      26:24 min./3.17 mi./8:20 pace (rounded down to 3 mi.) (Coffee run w/Burbank Fleet Feet)

11/6     1:04:55 min./7 mi./9:16 pace (mix of trail and road)

What a week! And not in a bad way at all! I got in some decent runs in preparation for my upcoming 10k trail race this weekend. I did a great workout at the November Project which made me sore for the two days following. I managed two runs that were a combination of trail and road, both of which were hilly. I met up with a small group of runners for the Saturday morning Fleet Feet Burbank coffee run which was three easy miles followed by a coffee stop at Starbucks. Finally, my week concluded with a little outing to Beverly Hills (I know, right?) for a November Project gathering and screening of a new short film about the project titled Showing Up, hosted by The North Face. This all wedged in around the other interesting tidbits that make up my life!

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Showing Up

With the time change yesterday (and every preceding year when we return to standard time in the autumn) my internal clock is waaay off and likely will be for a couple of days as I adjust. I’ve never been able to figure out why I’m so sensitive to the time change but instead of fighting it, I’ve learned to allow myself some gentleness through the transition. (Bed at 8:00 PM? Yes, please!)

The timing is probably good since I’ve got a race this weekend. While it’s not an “A” race (even though I had originally hoped to tackle it with a little more gusto), I’m still hoping for a decent performance so I am trying to step up the pre-race self-care rituals this week.

One other random thing to pass along… because I don’t have enough on my plate already… HA!… I’ve started a new Instagram page for an outlet to house my deep fascination with holistic, nutrient-dense, and superfood nutrition. Over the past few years, I’ve been diving a little deeper into the study of superfoods and ways to apply their qualities to help me, as an athlete, train harder, recover faster, and perform better. I’m just get started and not sure exactly what direction my feed will take, but if you’re interested in what I learn on my journey, I’d love for you to check it out!

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*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!

*Taper makin’ me cray*

Happy autumn!

As I write this I’m sitting next to the AC unit, the ceiling fan is on high overhead, and I have a pumpkin scented candle burning. It was 99° today and tomorrow is forecast to be 101°. This Pacific Northwest girl, who loves the changes of the seasons, ESPECIALLY fall, is a bit confused.

The good news is that in a little over a week, I get to head home to Oregon to reunite with Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking and our daughter, visit family and friends, and soak up some much-needed green and cooler temps. Oh, yeah. And run a marathon!!!

I’m officially two weeks out from marathon #9. While I’ve been tapering (sort of) for the past week, this coming week is when things really begin to shift. Last week was taper “light”, basically. I ran most of my runs easy but still managed a good chunk of mileage. Only 4.5 miles less than the previous week in fact. This coming week will see a slightly bigger drop in mileage and slower paces. More rest and stretching are on deck too.

I’ve come to realize that, and I’ve probably been thinking about this waaaay too much, but the taper is going to be the deciding factor on how race day goes. Yes, I’ve put in the miles but every one seemed to be a struggle during this training cycle. I really had a hard time with pacing and staying mentally strong when my body started to bitch. I’m trying to not let it totally get to my head but honestly, I’m a wee bit worried about the outcome on race day. To counter it, I’m committing myself to hard-core taper self-care these next two weeks.

Even with 8 marathons under my belt, I still struggle with finding confidence in my training, my body’s innate ability to perform and recover, and that I won’t lose my mind during the taper process. I’m already feeling like this taper is makin’ me cray!

With that, I’m off to shoot some vitamin C, chug some water, have a turmeric nightcap, stretch, and hit the hay!

*Weekly mileage ~ July 11-17*

Mileage for the week of July 11th – July 17th

Total weekly mileage: 31.25

Total July mileage: 73

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 657.5

Run review:

7/11     34:02 min./4 mi./8:31 pace

7/12     25:58 min./3 mi./8:38 pace

21:19 min./2.5 mi./8:32 pace

7/13     47:13 min./5.75 mi./8:12 pace

7/14     35:28 min./4.25 mi./8:21 pace

7/15     25:45 min./ 3 mi./8:33 pace

7/16     29:26 min./3.5 mi./8:25 pace

7/17    45:26 min./5.25 mi./9:08 pace

Last week culminated with the Griffith Park 8k Trail Race. You can read my recap of that race here. Overall, it was a pretty easy week running wise. After my long run last weekend, on very technical trail at Griffith Park, my ankle became a bit sore. Although mild, it bothered me for most of the week. To play it safe in preparation for my race, I didn’t push my mileage or pace and aimed to keep it on the lighter side. I think my strategy paid off.

This week, I’m hoping to get back to business and get back on track with my training. I missed my long run this past weekend due to yesterday’s race and will miss next weekend too. (Perhaps the weekend after that as well. Ah, summer training… but YAY for summer fun and adventures!) at any rate, in order to stay on course, I’ll need to get some longer runs done ahead of the weekend for the next couple of weeks. Fortunately, we’re talking 13-14 miles and since I work afternoons, I’ll have plenty of time to get them done.

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My fancy-schmancy training plan.

My ankle is feeling a lot better and although I was exhausted post-race yesterday, I’m looking forward to training and breaking out of the comfort zone I found myself in while taking it easy last week.

Happy running, friends!

*Griffith Park 8k Trail Race recap*

The runner’s high I got from the Griffith Park 8k Trail Race I ran this morning hasn’t quite dissipated yet. Although physically I feel like I ran a hard race (I’m exhausted this afternoon!), the rest of me just feels really content and happy that it was everything I didn’t expect it to be.

As I wrote about in a post a few days ago, I went in with little expectations other than to appreciate the early start before the heat of the day, be well fueled, enjoy being among running community, and just have fun within the experience regardless of performance.

Check, check, check, and check!!!!

The event that I ran was the sister race to a larger trail marathon relay made up of teams of five people. Each team member runs the same 5.25 mile loop. The route was mostly packed dirt and fire lane roads nestled into the canyons of Griffith Park. Within the first two miles the elevation gain is roughly 500 feet. The event I ran today was the inaugural 8k and followed the same course as the relay with the only difference being that we started about 10 minutes before the relays teams, about 90 of them, took off.

The 8k started a few minutes later than planned and there was some slight confusion at the start as to where we were suppose to line up – and which direction we were going – but that was the only fault I found with the entire event.

Teams set up camp on a large grassy slope that is known as the old Los Angeles Zoo, right next to ruins of what used to house caged animals on exhibit. Also, a good place to take pictures if you don’t get creeped out easily… there are stories about the caverns being haunted…

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My adoptive Team Nuun Family (minus one) for the morning. Photo credit: www.crossmyheartfitness.com

I was invited to hang out with some Team Nuun teammates from around the area who had a relay team participating. I really enjoyed meeting some new people and reconnecting with the few that I’d met before. I love running, training, and racing for so many reasons but connecting with people who share my love of the sport is truly a highlight!

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After a 7-month racing hiatus, pinning on my bib felt so good!

As far as my actual “race” went, I felt good. I felt strong! There was a pretty challenging climb the first two miles and I was proud that I didn’t succumb to walking. I sure as heck wasn’t moving very fast but I felt that maintaining some sort of momentum would payoff. I felt like I was flying after I reached the summit and the trail leveled and then dropped. I smiled. A lot. It’s been a while since I’ve experienced that kind of mental ease – like, “Hey! I’m just here to have fun!”

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The classic *stopping the Garmin at the finish line* picture.

Apparently, I was the 8th overall female to finish with a time of 45:26. As far as I could tell, they didn’t do a gender/age category breakdown but I’m guessing that I probably finished in a decent spot. Doesn’t matter though. It was a fun day and great reminder of why I love running and racing!

*Categorize under good life choices*

Current status:

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Dinner of champions: pancakes and wine.

It’s officially race weekend and I just nailed Friday night dinner! Blueberry, flax, protein pancakes with cashew butter and maple syrup accompanied by some Charles Shaw merlot in my fancy mason jar. Good life choices.

Seriously, though, I’ve been having a lot of conversations with myself (she’s a great listener and TOTALLY gets me) about the difference between reaching goals and something we hope works out well in our favor: EXPECTATIONS.

I’m notorious for setting my expectations too high. By definition, it’s a strong belief that something will happen or be achieved. The result when it doesn’t happen includes disappointment, self-doubt, and a slew of other negative emotions. I’ll share this example: as you may (or may not) know, for more than a year I’ve been working to build a small business offering writing services such as blogging, web copy, product descriptions and the like. When my family and I decided to finally make the big move to Los Angeles this past spring, it was my expectation that I would be able to build up enough clients and generate a decent enough income so that I would not have to find additional work. (Though I will note that my biggest motivator isn’t money… It’s freedom and flexibility… which isn’t always possible when you’re working for someone else, right?)

Reality set in about five weeks later. Do I still believe I can be successful as a writer and small business owner? In short, yes. However, I took a part-time job that has left me mentally exhausted at the end of the day with little desire to write or find jobs and clients. While that has been on hold for the past two months, I’m feeling a bit more settled now. I’m starting to think that I can allocate more time to my business and once again, begin working toward what I want to achieve by setting some new goals, while letting go of any expectation that I have about where I thought I’d be by now.

My point being is that the difference between expectations and goals lies in the effort. Goals require effort. Expectations don’t. Goals create direction and results while expectations are merely a belief that something could happen.

Why this? Now?

Because not only am I reevaluating what I want from my business, which wasn’t really the point of this post, is that I’m racing my first trail race this weekend and my first race in more than 7 months. I’ve decided that I’m going to run Sunday without any expectations other than running it to experience my first trail race and first race in my new city. Since I didn’t set any goals or put in any additional effort (training) for it either, it makes it easier to not fall into the trap of expecting a specific outcome.

I know the course is categorized as intermediate and challenging. I know that it is forecasted to be in the low 80’s Sunday but should be fairly cool for my 7 AM start. I know that I’m fueling myself like a champ with pancakes and cheap wine. I know that I’ll be happy to be surrounded by running community (because I’ve missed that a lot.) And I know that whatever the outcome, I’ll enjoy the experience without any expectations regarding performance. That statement, in and of itself, is a good life choice! Happy Friday!

*Weekly mileage ~ July 4-10*

Mileage for the week of July 4th – July 10th

Total weekly mileage: 37.75

Total July mileage: 41.75

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 626.25

Run review:

7/4     No run (backpacking)

7/5     41:00 min./5 mi./8:11 pace

7/6     33:51 min./4 mi./8:27 pace

24:56 min./3 mi./8:19 pace (easy run with a few hill repeats thrown in)

7/7     33:32 min./4 mi./8:23 pace

7/8     43:22 min./5.25 mi./8:16 pace

7/9     2:11:26 min./12 mi./10:57 pace

7/10   37:28 min./4.5 mi./8:20 pace

I’m feeling pretty proud about how last week went down since I was putting in full-time hours half of the week. This week will bring the same challenge. Plus, I’m getting ready for my 8k trail race this coming Sunday!

Speaking of, I figured this past weekend would be my last opportunity to get out on some trails before my upcoming race. I tried to do this run a few weeks ago only to discover that what looked like a trailhead on Google maps, was fenced and gated with no access. I found another route and trailhead, which distance wise, was about perfect to knock out my long run.

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Yikes!

After almost two miles of running uphill through a swanky residential neighborhood, I was greeted with a seriously rough trail that is not for the faint of heart. It’s steep, rocky, narrow, and in some spots, downright questionable. In fact, even though I counted the entire distance toward my overall mileage, I hiked quite a bit of the trail going both up and back down. It wasn’t worth the risk. Safety first, kids!

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Beautiful but treacherous!

Despite the challenge, I made my goal of running to the iconic Hollywood sign!

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The view from the top of Mt. Lee, behind the Hollywood sign.

Celebratory airborne pic!

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I did it for the Insta. JK

The high that was climbing to the top and capturing these images was replaced with trashed quads and a sore ankle (which are still plaguing me two days later). I struggled through the remaining five miles to complete 12 overall but at least I got some cool pics! Ha!