Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A summer dilemma: shirt or no shirt?

It is officially summer!  Of course, that means the heat is on. I like that I don’t have to check the weather in the morning before running.  Shorts and a tank are called for every day.

The other day, I didn’t get out for a run until after 8 a.m.  It was already pretty warm. I was going out by myself and thought, “hey, why do I have to put a shirt on over my sports bra?” I did my run, was self-conscious for a while, but felt good as it heated up and I wasn’t soaking in a sweaty shirt.

This seems like a simple thing.  I see women running in sports bras all the time. But not me.  I am a pretty modest gal. Much to my husband’s dismay, if my neckline falls too far into the “cleavage zone” I wear another layer underneath.  I am not showy or ostentatious that way. I think it is the fact that I am not sure I want to get out there and say, “LOOK AT ME!”  That must seem silly coming from a girl who blogs about details of her life telling the world to “read all about me!” It is not that I am ashamed of my shirtless body.  No…I am actually pretty proud of my torso right now.  For the first time (maybe ever), I have significant abdominal definition.  My “mommy pooch” is at a minimum and I look and feel strong.

So why do I feel self-conscious? I doubt if most people would even notice as I run by. Those that do, wouldn’t think, “geez…put a shirt on.” I worry (probably unnecessarily) that they might think, “who does she think she is?” And what do I care what complete strangers think anyway?  Funny enough…I think I am less likely to go shirtless while running with my friends (a pretty conservative group) than I would anonymously.

Of course, in some cases shirtless running makes the world a better place!

What is your stand on shirtless running?  Do you go out there baring your torso?  Or do you put on a tank top? Should runners stay clothed? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Happy Running….

Monday, June 27, 2011

Villa Park 5K/10K Race Report

I ran two races on Saturday. This is a local race that supports the Villa Park library and I love to support the local running community. I signed up for both the 5K and 10K, knowing I needed to get mileage in.

My first race was the 5K.  It is official: I HATE 5K’s!!  They hurt.  They are hard. I don’t know about you, but I think I underestimate 5Ks because they are a measly three miles.  Heck…running three miles is a piece of cake, right?  It is just a warm up.  Well, that is the problem.  It takes me three miles to get into a groove, so by the time I am feeling comfortable, the race is over.  Plus, it is so short that I feel like I have to run all out the entire time.  I feel like if I am not at puke threshold,  I am not going hard enough.

My original plan was to run to the race like I did last year. The race is four miles from my house, so I could add eight miles to the race distance.  I registered for both the 5K and 10K, so my total mileage would be around seventeen miles.  Perfect.  Unfortunately, life got to me last week.  Due to my running schedule and teaching Body Back classes, I get up very early each day. I am horrible about going to bed early. By Friday night after a particularly brutal week of emotional highs and lows, I was DONE.  I was so tired that setting my alarm made me cry. I couldn’t bring myself to get up early enough to run to the race.  I did need to be there somewhat early to help out with a booth where I was displaying brochures for my Body Back classes and coaching, but I left the house after 6 a.m. instead of 5 a.m..

As we were waiting for the 5K to start, I told my friends that I didn’t want to “race” it. I would treat it like a tempo run. I was too tired to think about my twenty-four minute goal that I have for a 5K.* Once we started, however, all that was tossed out the window when I saw my friends start to run ahead of me. I am too competitive not to keep them close.  As I realized I was running in the sevens, that twenty-four minutes was in play again.  It was on and I was suddenly running at puke threshold.

Kelly and I were running close to each other. At the half-way point, I was slightly ahead of her. As the race turned back toward the finish with a nice gradual downhill, Kelly passed me.  I couldn’t catch her. With pride, and even a bit of jealousy (I can admit it), I realized that Kelly is officially faster than me. Or we were at least pretty darn evenly matched. It totally makes sense.  It was two years into my running when my speed caught up with my training.  Kelly is there and seeing the fruits of her labor. She trains hard and, whether she admits it or not, she is competitive enough to push herself enough to break through those speed barriers. We ran into the finish line hard.  She finished in 23:23 and I was right behind her with 23:34!!! My twenty-four minute demon is behind me!  Not bad for being so tired, I almost skipped the race entirely. 

We had time to get some water, eat a Gu and stretch a little bit.  Then it was time for the 10K. I wasn’t looking forward to it. I had not eaten a meal the day before—just a bar here or there and maybe even a pop-tart *blush*.  I was worried that I wouldn’t have any energy. Even still, my sub-fifty minute goal was in the back of my mind.

I was hoping to keep my splits under 8:00, but my legs wouldn’t cooperate.  I settled into a nice groove though on the gradual incline of the first loop. My competitive juices started flowing. I decided that Kelly could beat me on the 5K, but that I would beat her on this race. I knew that she could smoke me on the downhill, so I had to put some distance between us on the uphill**. I was right.  By the end of the third mile (which is mostly downhill), she had nearly caught up with me—I could hear her breathing down my neck.  LOL. This was a double loop race and I pushed up that incline again during the fourth mile, putting more and more distance between us. By the time I hit the fourth mile, my legs were feeling very fatigued.  Miles four and five were my slowest of the race. When I had one mile to go, I knew I had to finish strong. I had no idea how far back Kelly (or the rest of the group) was, but I knew that she was really fast on downhills, so I kept pushing. I gave it all I had at the finish.  My sixth mile was 7:42 and the last .3*** was at a 7:10 pace!

I didn’t run a PR, but I clocked a respectable 50:50! Kelly came in a few seconds later in 51:27, a new PR for her by two mintues!

We found out after the race that Kelly had come in FIRST in her age group in the 5K and I had come in SECOND in mine!!  Woo hoo!!  We found out a bit later that I placed FIRST in my 10K and Kelly placed THIRD!!!  Double Woo hoo!

Villa Park 5K/10K medals

Kelly and I showing off our “bling”.  The race gave AG medals as well as finishers’ medals

My friend and Body Back client Nicole found out she placed FIFTH**** in her age group!!  This was her first 5K and she was thrilled.  age group awards in Villa Park

Nicole shows off her AG medal!

Sandra ran two strong races as well. She ran the 5K in 28:51. She finished SIXTH in her age group for the 10K, a minute off a medal with a 58:32her first 10K!  DSCN3300

The Body Back gals after the race!

This was a nice little race.  The race director is a local runner who wanted to put on a race that was very “runner friendly.”  He definitely succeeded.  In addition to that, it was family friendly.  They had booths for kids, such as face painting and caricature artists. The weather stayed nice and overcast (but it was a bit humid) and it was a good time.


Happy Running…


*I do 5Ks so infrequently that my PR goals are much more conservative than for longer distances.

**Sorry, Kel…I love you!

***I had to do some weaving at the start of the race.

****This race gives medals to the top five in each age group.  How great is that??

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Banner Day!!

Big things. Big. BIG Things!
First…I MADE IT!! I am a member of the Nuun Hood to Coast Relay Team. I sent in an application last week and they made the announcement this morning.  There were so many awesome applicants that they are having not one, but TWO teams of fabulous women! I have connected with several of these women already and am so excited to meet them all in person.

Second…there are 100 days left before the St. George Marathon.  Eek.  I am glad to have this HTC thing to break up the training. I am really excited about St. George and am trying to train smart this time around.  However, I want to make sure I have fun this summer.  What a great balance!  I will do a full post on my training goals for St. George soon.
Third…I finally have over 100 followers!  I feel like I have “arrived.” I still am a pretty small blog compared to some of the incredible women I will be running with, but 100 is a nice number, don’t you think?
Fourth…I signed up two clients for my next Body Back session. I am thrilled to be able to make money helping women meet their fitness goals. Look for the launch of my business website soon.  I am officially a professional Fitness Coach and it feels great!
Finally…I decided to splurge and have my house cleaned today. I used to have a regular cleaning service once upon a time.  That was in another life, when I worked and when things were financially a little more stable. Let me tell you…cleaning is NOT one of my strengths. The house feels FABULOUS today.  I don’t feel quite so guilty obsessing on the computer meeting my new teammates through Facebook and Twitter.
Happy Running…

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Nuun announces their Hood to Coast team tomorrow and I am anxiously waiting. This anxiety has been stoked by other bloggers on Facebook.  If I had just turned in an application and forgotten about it, it would be one thing.  But I check the Nuun Facebook Page and there are awesome bloggers on their waging an all-out PR campaign.  So, of course, I have to join in.  We would all make such a great team!*

It has been really cool seeing al the great women who have applied for this.** I know one thing…whoever they pick,*** it will be a fun, enthusiastic and diverse team. There are moms, tall moms, non-moms, diabetics, popular bloggers, obscure bloggers, fasties, middle-of-the packers, and women of various ages.
I might be the oldest applicant.  Does that give me an edge or will they think I won’t be able to keep up with those young gals?  One of the applicants is 22.  22!  Do you know what I was doing 22 years ago when she was entering the world?  Graduating from college.  Note to Nuun: I can keep up with any young whippersnappers. Just try me!

Hey, I know they have probably already made their decision.  They have probably looked at my blog and realized that I am not one of those women with 500 followers. I don’t get offers for cool giveaways.  But I do ok. Could you do me a favor?  If you haven’t already, could you follow me?  I would love to get to 100 followers through this whole process.

I’m going to sign off now so I can go stalk the Nuun Facebook Page and see what the other bloggers are up to.  One more day and my obsession will end.  Well, if I make the team, my HTC obsession is just beginning! Be warned.  Smile

Happy Running…

*Hint, hint 
**cool, yet humbling and, at times, depressing…

Friday, June 17, 2011

World Famous Camp Pendleton Mud Run Race Report 2011

You either love mud runs or you hate them. I think running in the mud makes me feel like a kid again.  It really never gets old. So that puts me in the “love them” camp. Is that any surprise?
This year’s Camp Pendleton Mud Run didn’t disappoint.  It didn’t have as many obstacles as the Gladiator Run, but there is something cool about running the muddy race that was around long before all copycat races out there.  And there is something doubly cool about running on Camp Pendleton, a major US Marine Corp base.
We ran this race last year.  Not really knowing what to expect, we all dressed in dark clothes that would come clean.  We didn’t even think about costumes or even dressing alike. Once we saw all the fun teams, we promised each other that we would be more creative the next year.
Here we are last year.
We decided to wear all white.  What better way to get fun before and after photos than find outfits that will get really dirty. But finding shorts and shirts turned out to be tricky.  We finally decided that white sundresses would be the easiest thing.  We could pick them up at Target or Walmart, they aren’t too expensive and they would be somewhat easy to run in.  I have to hand it to my brother…he got right into the spirit too!
Camp Pendleton Mud run in the parking lot before the race2
Camp Pendleton Mud Run clean and fresh
Camp Pendleton Mud Run before the race
Whitney (in the sun hat) had never run a race like this.  You can see from her face that she was both nervous and excited!
Camp Pendleton Mud Run before the race2
And Jason really got his “game face” on.  I guess the linebacker in him never really goes away.
Camp Pendleton Mud Run game face
There is quite a bit of running before you actually see any mud.  We conquered the big hill so much better this year. 
Camp Pendleton Mud Run hillsCamp Pendleton Mud Run running with friends
And then comes the MUD!  It really is a whole lot of fun!!
Camp Pendleton Mud Run wall obstacle
Camp Pendleton Mud Run fun picture taking funCamp Pendleton Mud Run Jen and Stacey having fun
There is a lake crossing that is actually pretty deep.  In fact, this year there were lifeguards and they were announcing that if you couldn’t swim, you had to skip it and go back to where the trails meet up.  The water was six feet deep in places.  Yikes!  Imagine the chaos of a triathlon swim with everyone wearing clothes and running shoes!
Camp Pendleton Mud Run water crossing
Jason had fun!
Camp Pendleton river crossing 2
The white outfits really made it a “wet t-shirt contest.”  LOL
Camp Pendleton Mud Run wet t-shirt contest

Camp Pendleton Mud Run Kelly
Camp Pendleton Mud Run fun in the mudCamp Pendleton Mud Run wall obstacle2Camp Pendleton Mud Run slippery hill
There were plenty of great team costumes this year.  Our favorites were the brides (yes…someone actually trumped my bridal idea and had DUDES wearing the wedding dresses.  It was classic.  Unfortunately, I never saw them after the race.  Honestly, I am not sure if they finished.  I saw them about four miles in and they looked like they were enjoying themselves right there.
They also teamed up with Wendy, Bob’s Big Boy and Jack (not sure who the one on the far left is supposed to be)

We ran near a team with Willy Wonka and the Oompa Loompas!
Camp Pendleton Mud Run willy wonka and oompa loompas2a
Camp Pendleton Mud Run willy wonka and oompa loompas
Both our teams finished the race with big smiles on our faces.  We had a great time.
Team 1—”Team TMI”
Camp Pendleton Mud Run team 1 finish
Team 2—“Mud Buds”
Camp Pendleton Mud Run team 2 finish

All of us
Camp Pendleton Mud Run after the race

Camp Pendleton Mud run in the parking lot before the race2
after the run in parking lot
Several people asked me, “why did you wear white dresses?”   Why not???  How fun are these before and after shots?

If you have never run in the mud, DO IT.  What do you have to lose, besides some soap and a little dignity. 

Happy Running….

Don’t forget to check out my entry to become part of the Nuun Hood to Coast running team here http://lisasepiphany.blogspot.com/2011/06/i-want-to-run-hood-to-coast-with-team.html.    I would love for you to comment!  Thanks!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I want to run Hood to Coast with Team Nuun!

Nuun is sponsoring a team of female bloggers to run the “mother of all relays,” Hood to Coast.  This is a race that I have wanted to take part in since before I ever thought about being a “runner.”  I grew up in Oregon and when I first heard of teams running from Mt. Hood (just east of my hometown) to Seaside (where I spent many, many weekends and vacations as a child) I was inspired. I knew I would run it someday…it was just a matter of finding the right team and managing logistics.

Running with a team of women who also blog would be the perfect HTC experience for me.  I started my running journey with women and this has really been a theme throughout the last three years.  I am definitely not a solo runner.  I have logged plenty of miles alone, but find my true joy sharing running with my friends.
The following is my official entry to be selected to the Nuun team!  First, the basics:
Name: Lisa
Current Home: Anaheim Hills, California
Family: Married mother of two
Special Skills: RRCA Running Coach; CPR Certified; can avoid awkward silences in a van by spewing worthless facts and trivia, similar to a lovable Cliff Claven; I don’t get too stinky when I sweat; I can live on Nuun and Luna Bars for days; I'm young enough to be fun, but old enough to have a little "motherly" wisdom; I don’t get too cranky when I’m tired; I am the eternal optimist
This entry is a story, in pictures, of the women who have inspired me (and in turn, I have also inspired them) to run, run, run.

My running journey started in early 2008 when I joined a wonderful group of moms to train for our first marathon.  We went through a lot of ups and downs and supported each other in the journey of a lifetime.  It was this journey to that first marathon that changed my life and turned me into a runner. We called ourselves the Rockin’ Mamas.
The “Rockin’ Mamas” ran again in August 2009 at America’s Finest City.  This time we had a big group. Training for this race was the first time I was able to use my RRCA training.  I scheduled and mapped out the long runs for the group and helped coach these amazing women to the finish line.  For a couple of them, it was their first half marathon!
My running journey also became a journey into the blogging world. I started this blog at the beginning of my training for my first marathon in order to document my journey.  What I never counted on was how powerful the blogging network really is. I have been fortunate to connect with many inspiring and helpful female bloggers.  I had the opportunity to meet several of them over the past couple of years at various events or during vacations. Several of them I now consider friends.  I have met Alissa (Runners Balancing Act), Alice (Heffer Blog), Irene (Magazine Smiles), Jill (JillWillRun), Penny (Planet Ynnep Running), Aron (Runner’s Rambles) and Danica (Chic Runner).  I have also connected with so many others via Twitter, Facebook and DailyMile.  How lucky am I to not only have friends where I live, but all over the country- all because of running. Who knows, maybe some of my blogger friends will be on the Nuun team with me!
In 2009, we moved from San Diego to Orange County, California. I was lucky enough to meet a mom at my son’s school who was beginning her own running journey. The two of us were able to build a great neighborhood running group.  Kelly is very active in her church and had new people coming with us each week.  I brought in runners I met in various places and soon we had a great group of runners.  Here is where I felt like I was able to help and inspire other runners the most.  I wrote training plans, ran at slower paces to get runners’ confidence up as they built strength and paced them in races. The group started out as women who were somewhat nervous about starting their running journey.  Now, they jump at the chance to run a half marathon or trail race.  I am incredibly proud.
Some people say that running 200 miles with eleven other people in a van is crazy. I am definitely not afraid of crazy things when it comes to running. Just ask anyone…
In conclusion… I believe I am the perfect addition to the Nuun Hood to Coast team. I am a team player who draws energy from the dynamic of other female runners. I love to write about my running adventures and post pictures of the highlights and lowlights.  Oh, and I am not afraid of the lowlights.  The crazier the better!

Please go to Nuun’s Facebook page and give me a shout out—let them know that you think I should make the team.  It probably wouldn’t hurt for you to comment here and wish me a little luck.  This means you too, lurkers!  I know you’re out there. 

Happy Running….


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