Sunday, February 27, 2011

ABCs of ME

I have seen this floating around several of the blogs I read.  I have really enjoyed reading the random stuff about my bloggie friends.  So…I decided to share myself. 
Age: 43
Bed size: King.  We purchased a king-sized bed shortly after our son was born.  Having the extra room saved countless hours of sleep as we decided to have the baby sleep with us.
Chore you hate: Ummm…if you have ever been in my house, you would know it is pretty much all of them.  However, if I had to choose, I would say putting laundry away.  I don’t mind washing or folding, but then it all stays in a basket for days!
Dogs: We have our “old man” Buddy.  He is a 14-year-old Beagle*.
Essential start of your day: caffeine.  I drink either my Zip Fizz or a cup of coffee with flavored creamer.
Fav color: pink
Gold or silver: silver and platinum
Height: 5'6"
Instruments I play: none
Job Title: anything and everything Mom. Running CoachFitness Advisor.
Kids: Two (7 and almost 5)
Live: Anaheim Hills, California
Mom’s name: Lorna
Nicknames: Momma, Mommy, Mom, Lis, Sweetie
Overnight hospital stays: Twice—one for each child’s birth
Pet peeve: Drivers who don’t think (this includes, but is not limited to: people that speed down a residential street where kids play; people failing to look right when turning right, especially close to a park and school; people who don’t observe “traffic karma” rules).
Quote from a movie: I can never think of a good movie quote on demand. The only one I can think of is from When Harry Met Sally: “I’m going to be forty…..someday”   
Right or left handed: right, but I am goofy (left dominant) for sports etc.
Siblings: 2 sisters (a sister who is a year younger and a step-sister who is 4 months older), 1 younger brother
Time you wake up: Usually around 5 a.m. when I am running.  It is 6:30 or 7 on other days. 
Underwear: Body by Victoria
Vegetable you dislike: mushrooms
What makes you run late: procrastination
X-rays you have had done: foot (to see if I had a stress fracture—I didn’t), Mammogram (every year since I was 40)
Yummy food you make: I love to cook and think most of my food is yummy.  My “specialties” are pesto pasta with chicken, chicken speidini, and fall-off-the-bones baby back ribs.
Zoo, favorite animal: Gorillas.  Have you ever sat and watched them?  They are SO cool and almost human-like.   

Now you know my ABC's, I think it's your turn if you please...

*Note to self: take more pictures of Buddy.  I couldn’t find a picture of Buddy to post.  I know I have them, but don’t know where they are.  He won’t be around too much longer, so I want to capture his moments with the kids.

Friday, February 18, 2011

You don’t need a gym

I watched this week’s episode of The Biggest Loser where one team was “locked out” of the gym.  I was annoyed when Jillian Michaels whined and complained about this twist.  She kept saying how much of a disadvantage it is not to have a gym.  Meanwhile, her team [spoiler alert] smoked the other team in the weigh-in.

I know a lot of the histrionics are for television, but I would prefer the message being that you don’t need a gym or gym equipment to get in a good workout.  Why do you need a treadmill when you have beautiful weather outside?  Why do you need weights when you have your own body weight and resistance bands?  Gyms and weights make working out more convenient, but it doesn’t define what you can accomplish.

bodybackI attended training last weekend to become certified in a program called   Body Back.  It is a results-based “bootcamp” style class that uses high intensity interval training (HIIT).  The instructor basically killed us all day long and we didn’t use a single exercise machine.  The only equipment we used were resistance bands, ten pound dumbbells, and bosu balls.  Our first workout was done outside and was the hardest workout I have ever done.  We did sprinting and plyometrics for cardio, including a killer sprint up a steep hill.  We did pullups, pushups, one-legged deep dips, and arm exercises using resistance bands.

The second workout of the day involved rounds of alternating cardio, strength and core exercises.  The only equipment we used was a set of resistance bands.  I was pushed so hard I was actually brought to tears.  The tears were not tears of pain or frustration, but a spontaneous cathartic release.  I know it sounds super corny, but the emotional release was very intense and surprising.  Heck, I didn’t even cry when I finished my first marathon.  This physical and emotional breakthrough was done without a gym.

The last workout was a circuit.  It included things like bicep curls, mountain climbers, oblique crunches, ladder sprints, squats, burpies on a bosu ball, chest flies, skull crushers, and jumping jacks.  By the end of the last station, my tank was empty. I was sore for several days and never stepped inside a traditional gym.

I am always inspired by The Biggest Loser and admire how they can change lives with a gym or without.  I am hoping that this class will allow me to change lives in my own small way.  My friend, Heather, has participated in the program in San Diego and has lost over 20 pounds!  This woman ran five half marathons over two years and couldn’t lose those last few pounds of baby weight and was able to do it with an eight week fitness and nutrition program.  I am looking forward to my own clients’ success stories.

Between coaching runners and fitness training, I think I am well on my way to a new career in helping women reach their fitness and weight-loss goals.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bye, bye Boston...

If you are a runner and haven't been under a rock today, you have probably heard about Boston Marathon's new registration process and new qualifying times.  They are giving preference to those who blow away their qualifying times and runners who make it by the skin of their teeth will most likely not make it in.

They are starting the registration early, leaving October marathons out (so much for qualifying this year in St. George).  The first two days are reserved for runners who beat their qualifying times by twenty minutes or more.  The next two days are for those running ten minutes faster than posted BQ times.  Two days later, those beating their times by five minutes are allowed to register.  A week after registration opens the rest of the qualifiers can register.  In addition, the times in 2013 will be reduced by five minutes.

It is a good move for the Boston Marathon, which thrives on its reputation as the "race to run."  Boston is a prestigious race for the mere fact that runners have to qualify to get in.*  The harder it is to get in, the more impressive it is if you do.  To maintain this elite status in the wake of increase in the popularity of running marathons, changes had to be made.

However, it bums me out a little.  I was hoping that 2012 would be my year.  I turn 45 and my qualifying time goes up to four hours.  That extra ten minutes is huge!  My 3:50 goal that I was so sure I could run last fall is now an elusive target.  Long Beach really did a number on my confidence.  I  know I can run under four hours, since I did it at Surf City last year.  For 2112, to guarantee the ability to register, I'd have to run 3:40.  To get a decent chance, it looks like 3:50 is back on the table. I'm pretty sure 3:55 is already the minimum time (if the race isn't full before the five minute people are allowed to enter), new standards or not.

I still wonder why they have the same qualifying time for runners between 18-34.  I think creating new age groups for BQ times might change the field a bit.  But then again, they know the demographics of their runners better than I do.

Only time will tell how this will affect Boston.  I'm pretty sure it will help it.  My own running career?  I'm not so sure Boston is in the cards for me.  But we'll just have to see about that as well.  What are your thoughts on the changes in the Boston Marathon??

Happy running...

*except, of course, the charity and corporate runners.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Marathon or no marathon?

I while back, I signed up for the Orange County Marathon on May 1.  I had a hard time getting into training mode.  Then the Fitness Advisor position came up and I found out that the 5K to end the Couch to 5K program I am coaching is on May 1.  So I am out for the OC Marathon [anyone want to buy my bib?].

Now the question I attempt to run another spring marathon?  I had hoped to run one this spring or early summer to attempt to qualify for Boston early, rather than wait until the fall, giving myself more than one chance.  I have a lot going on personally and have several things on the horizon for my fitness profession.  My personal running goals seem to be taking a backseat for a while.

I recently started thinking about running the San Francisco marathon.  I have heard such wonderful things about that race and have always wanted to go up there to run it.  Is it the best marathon to qualify for Boston?  Heck no.  It is hilly.  But I think I can give it a good shot.  My PR is 3:57 and I need a 4 hour marathon to qualify.  It is possible with the right hill training.

Now Aron at* is giving away an entry to the SF marathon. What a coincidence!  I'm hoping to win one of the entries and have a great weekend in a beautiful city the end of July.

I'll keep you all posted on what I decide.

Happy Running...

*If you have never checked out Aron's blog, you should.  She is currently training for Boston and is an all-around great running blogger to read.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Leave wanting more

Running has been good lately.  I have been remembering why I love it so much.  The past several weeks have been filled with runs that are truly good for the soul.

A few weeks ago, I ran with the group in the Santiago Creek area.  We are running a trail race there in March and decided to do the very hilly race route.  It was steep and it was hard, but I enjoyed every minute of it.  It was one of those glorious days where the weather, the company and the setting came together to make a great run.  It was chilly, but not too cold.  The sun was shining.  Recent rains had left some of our regular trails covered in water.  In fact, our normal route was blocked by a fast-moving river.  It forces us to go a different way and it was great.  The steep climbs were rewarded by fantastic views.

Santiago Creek Run with gals
Santiago Oaks gals
Santiago Oaks group run 2I was grinning ear to ear the entire time.  I powered up the hills and flew back down with reckless abandon.  I could have run for hours.  Unfortunately, we had time commitments and had to be back.  I left truly wanting more.  I couldn’t wait to get back.  Just writing about it makes me want to go run there.

But I couldn’t go back the next weekend.  My dad’s birthday was the next weekend.  It was his 70th and my sister was having a get-together for him and his twin brother along with my cousins.  As you all know, finances have been difficult this year, so a flight up to Portland is tough.  My sister and brother pitched in to fly me up to surprise my dad.  It was a great weekend.  It was so short though.  I haven’t been home to Oregon in over two years and it just made me want to spend more time there.
During my weekend in Oregon, I was able to get a couple of runs in.  On Saturday morning, I ran from my mom’s house to the local golf course.  When I was in high school, they built a beautiful path around the golf course.  I have walked on that path.  I have gone after hours and drank beer on that path.  But I have never run on that path.  I was never a runner when I lived in Oregon.  It was a wonderful jog down memory lane and a great run.  It was the first run in a while that I have run by myself—just me and my music.  I can truly say that it was joyful. The path is situated such that it feels like you are running through the woods.  In addition, the weather was perfect.  Lately, the runs that I have enjoyed most were due to the company.  This run was different.  I enjoyed it because of the run.  I haven’t experienced that kind of runner’s high in a long time.  Once again, I could have run for hours.  And again, I had time constraints.  We had places to go.  I was left wanting more…but in a good way.
Glendoveer Run
The next morning, I had the pleasure of meeting an old high school friend for an eight mile run.  Angel and I were good friends in high school.  We drifted apart in college, as friends so often do.  Not too long ago we reconnected via facebook.  She and I found a new common ground with running.  She is also a marathoner.  Neither of us were runners in high school and have both taken it up in our 40’s. We ran a trail called the Springwater Corridor.  This is a biking/running trail that runs from Mt. Hood to Portland.  Angel told me that the race featured in the Hood to Coast Movie ran along this path. Fun! Even though we haven’t seen each other since 2005, at our 20 year reunion (when neither of us had started running), the time flew by as we chatted the miles away.  It was a wonderful run and it made me a little sad that we don’t live closer to each other.*

Finally, last weekend, we headed out to Santiago Creek again.  While I was gone, the group ran out to Irvine Park and saw a Bald Eagle!  That is pretty rare in these parts.  In fact, wildlife photographers are flocking to the area to catch his image.  The main point of our run Saturday was to spot the eagle.  It was a gorgeous morning.  As usual, we all had mommy commitments and had to be back at a certain time.  We never saw the eagle, but had yet another great run.  And, yes…I was left wanting more.
I haven’t been in training mode lately and my total mileage reflects that.  However, I have had plenty of good-for-the-soul runs in the past month or so and I have really rediscovered my love of running.  I think a key is that I am left wanting more.  I haven’t run to my limit—I don’t get my fill. It is not as if I am left unsatisfied, it is more like my appetite is whetted for more.  While I sometimes like to run until I feel like I can’t run further, my shorter runs lately have been great.

So, my conclusion is…if you are looking to rekindle that spark with your relationship with running, leave wanting more.  Finish your run before it finishes you. 

Happy Running…

*If you live in the Portland area, do me a solid and support my friend’s local race.  It is to raise money for her daughter’s school.  Sign up!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011 is shaping up nicely so far

I received some great news yesterday.  I have been chosen as a Fitness Advisor for a Corporate Wellness Program administered by  Oh, and the corporation is DISNEY!  Right on!

Since becoming a certified RRCA Running Coach in 2009, I have coached a lot of runners.  I have written training plans, helped with training runs and even paced runners to the finish line in races. I have done all this for the love of it and was offering my services to my friends (and even some acquaintances). I have had ideas of starting an official business and finding paying clients once we were settled into our new community in Orange County.

Unfortunately, in early 2010 my husband lost his job and we both went into job search mode.  Instead of pursuing a new career in fitness, I needed to focus on finding a job in my previous industry where salaries are high enough to support a family.  I continued to train for free, but didn’t want to find paying clients in case I had to relocate for a job.  2010 was rough, as many of you know from reading this blog.  Interviews were scarce.  Call-backs were even more rare.  I was actually offered a position, but the fit was just not right.  My husband had several instances where he was a finalist for a job, but it went to someone else. *sigh*

Two weeks ago he was offered a job!  Not only is it a good job at the right level, but it is in an industry that he is passionate about: biking.  Around the same time, I saw the opportunity.  It all seems to be coming together.

I will be coaching Disney Cast Members in a Couch to 5K program to prepare them to complete a 5K in May.  I am so excited! I love pushing my drug (running). There is something very cool about helping someone start running and to accomplish a goal that they never thought possible.

This is the perfect opportunity for me.  I will gain wonderful experience coaching beginners and have a great item for my resume.  I have a good feeling that this is just the beginning of good things to come.

Oh...and I ended the first month of 2011 with a perfect 100.  100 miles isn't a particularly strong running month for me, but I think the number is a nice sign.


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