Reset!

The Dreaded Email From My Doctor.
The Dreaded Email From My Doctor.

It’s the middle of April 2014 already! How does this happen? I’ve looked in my que and I can see posts from 2013 that I haven’t posted or even finished. Such a lagger, and I have no excuses! Yeesh! Let’s see how this goes … Everyone and their uncle knows that 2013 was not exactly the “Best Year Of My Life” kind of year.  I really wanted it to be, and I really thought it would be because “13” is my favorite number.  It started off well, and just sort of ended just before it even really began.  Towards the end, however, it started to pick back up and I started to get into a groove – I was starting to CrossFit again, and I even ran a half marathon, but I just never felt “right.” I still felt out of sorts and even discombobulated. I thought I would elicit the help of my doctor to help me.  So I emailed my doctor in December to ask her if I could have a simple blood test to see where my hormone levels were. I know that in times of stress, hormones can get out of whack. I knew that my adrenals were fatigued, so my cortisol levels were skyrocketing. My doctor did email me back, but her response was NOT what I was expecting. It was no where near sympathetic, not even close. She basically told me that she did not believe that what I had was Adrenal Fatigue, rather she told me that I was depressed! What. The. Hell?!?  Wow! Just like that. She wrote a prescription out for some sleeping pills, and referred me to Mental Health. Wow. Needless to say, it set me off on a tangent and it fueled me to seek my own answers and get help for myself.  I can only imagine other patients emailing her and getting the same response and BELIEVING her and buying into the bullshit that they’re depressed, and taking medications that they don’t need! Wow. Just wow! I have no words to describe the disappointment that I feel in my primary care provider. I can only offer you this advice: YOU are the expert on your body.  YOU know yourself better than anyone else regardless if they have a medical degree. YOU KNOW YOU. Seek your own answers, don’t take the word of an “expert” who’s supposed to be on your side helping you. Just because they went to years of school, doesn’t make them an expert on you! God, help us all. So … I did what I believed was best for me. I fired my doctor, and I went on a quest to find my own answers to help myself.

It's okay ...
It’s okay …

In January, I could feel that I wasn’t 100% … I felt as if I were half-assing the WODs at CrossFit. I also felt as if I wasn’t giving anywhere near 100%. My body may have been in the box, but I really I felt as if I were not really progressing. I felt as if I were just there, taking up space and going through the motions.  I wasn’t dropping the weight that I gained throughout out the last year. And I was fatigued – mentally, physically, spiritually … I was spent. Drained. (Hello, HIGH cortisol levels!) So I knew that something had to change, and it was up to me to make that change. After a little, okay A LOT of soul searching, a few talks with my husband, and some others whose opinions I highly value, I made a few decisions to start the process of “resetting” myself and set if on an quest to restore balance within myself.

Tiny Smile Half 2014
Tiny Smiles Half 2014

Two things happened in February … I ran my first half-marathon of the year, the Tiny Smiles Half in Galt, and then the next day I started Bikram Yoga. As much as I love the power that my body emits during a long run, that feeling of pushing my mind to get my body through to the finish line, I really love and enjoy the peace that Bikram gives my mind as it restores my body from the “punishment” I bestow upon it. I love that it’s a open eye meditation.  I was just getting back into practice last year when I got injured and had to put it, as well as everything else, on the back burner.  This time I made a commitment to myself to practice two to three times a week. Within the first week, I was hooked again and felt amazing. I love the heat, but what I really love is the intense focus that I give myself for the 60 to 90 minutes that I am there. As easy as it is for me to get into a zone while running, during Bikram yoga I am able to easily transcend while there, and I come out of that hot room a different person than when I walked in.

Bikram Buddies
Bikram Buddies
Addicted to needles.
Addicted to needles.
Manual Adjustment by my Chiro.
Manual Adjustment by my Chiro.

Initially, the plan was for me to take the month of February off from any and all “hardcore” training. I wanted to miss CrossFit, and I did, but as February came and went, I still didn’t feel “ready.” March was to be more of the same – yoga, kickboxing, and working out in my own home box which I dubbed the “STAT Box.” I met up and consulted with a Compounding Pharmacist who was able to verify that I did indeed have Adrenal Fatigue, and was able to prescribe some medications and supplements to help me in my quest to restore balance. In this time, I went to see my Chiropractor and my Acupuncturist regularly and just continued to relax and wait.

Classes & Mindset Therapy.
Classes & Mindset Therapy.

I missed CrossFit. I missed my beloved box 209. I missed my trainer. I missed my body when it does CrossFit. But I wasn’t ready to go back. I was content to just keep on what I was doing. I felt rested. I felt better. I planted plants in my garden.  I watched my husband go to CrossFit and workout without me. I took a lot of classes that enriched my mind. It was ironic that the classes that I found and registered for were in line with my goals to stay focused, stay happy, and find balance. I love that I was directed to take a class on happiness entitled The Secrets of Happy People. There was a series at work that was offered as free for employees that I was able to register for. I was able to connect with a Psychotherapist who specialized in CrossFit Athletes, and I was able to sign up for online coaching to “reset” my mindset.  And the most interesting of all was a class on meditation that I was led to by complete accident.  Well, I don’t believe in “accidents.”  I believe that things happen for a reason, and that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Wow. Things were just all in alignment for me. Through all of these classes I was able to learn things that I felt in tune with. So it was an amazing two months of self-discovery and rest.

Running Of The Elk Half 2014.
Running Of The Elk Half 2014.

But here it is … April already, and I’m starting to get the itch. I’m ready to find my way back to my trainer and to my box. I feel mentally stronger. I feel as if mentally, I have always been strong, but the compounding stresses that I experienced in 2013 really took a toll on my and beat me up psychologically more than physically. It’s time to test the mind again, and I did that recently with another half marathon that I was totally unprepared for physically. The Elk Grove Running of The Elk Half Marathon. Ugh. Never have I wanted more to just stay home and in my warm bed.  Never have I gotten into my car and just thought, “I’m just going to sit here,” until 15 minutes to gun time. I seriously sat in my car and had to talk myself into walking to the start line. Wow. But I did it. I got out of my car and I walked to the starting line with NO time to spare after having to use the porta potty! Throughout the ENTIRE run, I kid you not, I prayed. I seriously believe that God wanted me to be in church that day because all I did was pray. I knew that my body knew what to do to get me through to the finish line, it was my mind that I had to tell to STFU! Time to move on. Time to get serious about training again. Time to let go of the past, and move forward with myself. I’ve hit the “reset” button and now it’s time to put what I’ve learned in motion. It’s time to start rebuilding Row.  I’m not going to say much about what I’m doing, rather I’m just going to let the results speak for themselves.  033121

Stronger than ever ...
Stronger than ever …

 

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I Ran Today

1530“I ran today.”  It seems like such a little thing to say, so simple, and seemingly so insignificant until you can’t do it.

I’ve been running my whole life.  It’s been a long standing joke that I’ve been running once I exited the birth canal 40 something years ago and haven’t stopped since.  Mind you, I am FAR from elite status, but regardless, I consider myself a runner.  I have always loved it – the feeling of freedom that it gives me, the feeling of strength and power that my body feels, the feeling of sheer determination when I want so much to just be done with the run, especially when its a difficult run.

I won’t lie … I took my ability to run for granted.  All my life, I just ran. I’ve had a few minor injuries here and there, but for the most part they were easy to recover from and then I went about my business and started up again once I was healed.  But seven months ago, I blew out my knee in a freak accident during the CrossFit Open WOD 13.4.  5 months ago, I had surgery to repair my injured knee.  When I was finally cleared to start exercising again, I thought for sure I’d just be able to just jump back into where I left off … WRONG!!!  Oh so WRONG!!!  I tweaked my knee more than once thinking that I could just pick up where I left off.   It has been a difficult recovery, more mentally than physically.  I have had to check my ego more than once, and I’ve learned to accept the fact that my knee would not heal completely if I didn’t just SLOW down and take the time to let it heal.

For the last 2 months I have been working once again with my trainer, Gabe Subry at CrossFit 209 Sport, and my Physical Therapist, Todd.  These two have been relentless in my training.  They both understand my need to get back in the box and into running.  They have both been patient with me and have been working with me to get me back to the level of functioning that I once was at.  At CrossFit, Gabe has me doing MECHANICS ONLY, meaning that I am only to practice and perform the movements with light to no weight at all, adding weight on slowly.  During my Physical Therapy sessions with Todd, he has been working on resetting me neurologically. I have had some really BAD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) since my injury.  I have been afraid to jump, run, and do a lot of movements out of fear that my knee will buckle. A lot of the exercises that Todd has me doing have been helping to reset my thinking and get me back into  training mode. He has a lot of tricks up his sleeve that have been helping me overcome my fears.  I am thankful for these two – more than I can ever express in words.

I’ve been itching to run for soooooo long.  I had pre-registered for several races prior to my injury, but  I was most disappointed that I had to cancel and bow out of my beloved race at the Half Moon Bay International Marathon in September.  I’ve run that race since its inauguration! It’s my favorite run of all time, so you can imagine my disappointment to have to drop out!   I was not even disappointed when I did not get chosen to run the Nike Women’s Marathon this year and I love that race because I’ve always run it for my dad.  So when the opportunity arose to sign up for another half-marathon, I was slightly hesitant, but I felt compelled to do so.  Enter the St.  Joesph’s Stockton Half Marathon – I could run that, I thought. So I signed up.

My running partner, Anitra, & I.
My running partner, Anitra, & I.
With my friend, Matt, who has been a long time supporter of mine!
With my friend, Matt, who has been a long time supporter of mine!

The venue this year started and finished at the University of the Pacific (UOP).  The course differed slightly in that rather than running down March Lane, it was more on the levee all the way down to Ladd’s Marina and into the residential area of Brookside, back up to the levee and into UOP.  I loved it – it was scenic for the most part – lots of pretty houses and boats – perfect for dream building. I am truly thankful to have run with my friend, Anitra, she was an amazing source of strength for me during the run!  I love the free photographs that comes with the race! I love the after party – beer (not that I drink) and burritos!!! Starbucks had a barrista bar providing coffee to the runners and spectators.  The medal was amazing!  It’s just a fun little race that packed a lot of punch. Bonus, it was a BEAUTIFUL day for a run and it was less than 10 minutes away from my house!

So, yes, for me to say, “I ran today,” is a HUGE accomplishment. For me to have run my first half-marathon 5 months post-surgery without (yes, WITHOUT) any sort of training is … INSANE! But … I did it!!! To think that there was a time when I literally felt cut off at the knees, to have finished a half-marathon … well, yeah, I have sooooo much to be thankful for.  I am so very thankful and feel so very blessed to have the ability to run once again and to be back out on the road – running!!!

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I. Ran. Today!

March Madness … Row. Row. Style

March. March. March. When did you sneak up on me?  Seems like just yesterday it was 2012 and I was wondering where the year had gone, looking forward to the new year, and penning out my 2013 intentions.  Now here we are with the first quarter of the year gone by and I’m still wondering where the hell is time going?

206When they say that March roars in like a lion they weren’t lying!  If we were hoping for a slight reprieve from our insane month of February, March wasn’t going to let up at all.  Two more birthdays – for my middle boys who are way into their teenage years now. As nice as it is to celebrate their special days, it’s somewhat bittersweet at the same time knowing that they’re both getting older, bigger, stronger, and that much closer to going away to college. I love my boys!

"Official!"
“Official!”

March 6th also denoted the beginning of the CrossFit Games Open! I signed myself up to participate because I knew that wherever I was to workout, we’d be doing all of the Open WODs (workout of the day) anyway, and because I really wanted to see how and where I ranked fitness-wise amongst other women my age who were also participating. I needed a challenge and thought that this would be perfect!

Here’s how the Open Workouts goes … For 5 weeks, every new workout is posted on Wednesday.  No one except for those at CrossFit Headquarters knows what the workouts consist of, so it’s a surprise to everyone as we all learn about it at the same exact time, no sooner.  The Open Workouts are open for everyone to participate in, but only those who register for a $20 fee can post their scores on the Leader Board and see how they rank in their age group Regionally and World Wide.

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13.1 – Today I Will Kill It!

3/6 Open Workout 13.1 – Burpees and Statch Ladder. 40 burpees, 30 snatches at 45#; 30 burpees, 30 snatches at 75#; 20 burpees, 30 snatches at 100#; 10 burpees, 30 snatches at 120#. The weight for the snatches are the women’s weight, for the men, it was 75#, 135#, 165#, and 210#.  Your total score equals the number of reps that you complete in the alloted time of 17 minutes.  My score = 132 (40, 30, 30, 30, +2).

13.2 Oh My WOD!!!
13.2 Oh My WOD!!!

3/13 Open Workout 13.2 – An AMRAP (as many reps/rounds as possible) in the alloted time of 10 minutes: 55# Shoulder to Overhead x 5 reps, 55# Deadlift x 10 reps, then 15 box jumps onto a 20″ box.  I did this workout twice. The first time I totaled up a score of 208, the second time around I bettered my scored by 15 taking it up to 223.  This workout was taxing for me.

Photobombed before the start!
Photobombed before the start!

In the meantime … Sacramento’s annual ShamRock’n Half was scheduled on 3/17.  I headed up to Sac with my friend, Anitra, and we ran thru the streets of Sacramento.  The course was different this year again. It was better, nicer, as we ran on all the bridges! I enjoyed the run. I had a good time, just running. I caught up to my friend, Claudia at around mile 6 and we ran together to at or around mile 8.5 where I lost her. The run seemed effortless for me, but I wasn’t really pushing it at all,  just cruising, lolligagging. 10 minute potty break in the middle really cut into my time! I still desire to hit the sub-2 goal, but this wasn’t the race for it. As much as I love this run and the weather was perfect, there’s still time to catch that goal!

13.3 take one - Wallballin'
13.3 take one – Wallballin’
13.3 take 2 - with my friend, Sarah.
13.3 take 2 – with my friend, Sarah.

3/20 Open Workout 13.3 – in 12 minutes, complete as many rounds/reps as possible of: 150 WallBalls 14#, 90 Double Unders, and 30 muscle ups.  As much as I hated this workout, I did this one twice also – back to back.  The first time taxed me so much that I gassed out by 50 wallballs and wanted so much to die! But I gutted it out and got thru it with a score of 224. I knew I could do better so I went back the next day and bettered my score by 12 taking me up to 236. I wanted so much to finish up all my double unders! Gah!  Oh well.

3/27 Open Workout 13.4 … here’s where it gets ugly … Clean and Jerks and Toes To Bar Ladder. 3 clean and jerks x 95#, 3 Toes to Bar, then 6 C & Js, 6 T2Bs, then 9, 12, 15, 18 in 7 minutes, if you are able to hit all 18 in 7 minutes, you can go to 21. If you hit 21, you can go to 24, etc. Okay … I did this workout, but I “failed” at the same time. You see, I could do the clean and jerks at 95#. It’s a little heavy for me, but I tried and I did. I got my 3/3 reps in. I was working on the second round when … “POP!” I went down! It felt as if some thing hit me … HARD to the left side of my knee. I thought that my weight came off and hit me, but it was intact, so I gathered myself up and tried to get up, but my leg would not let me. My trainer, Jeff, came over to me and yelled at me to stay down. I wanted to cry because I didn’t know what was happening. All I knew was that I was seriously injured. I gathered my things, and thankfully had thrown the knee sleeves that my friend, Bill, had given to me in my workout bag. I’m not sure why I did, I just remember that I saw them on the table and I grabbed them. Thank God I did because otherwise I would not have been able to drive home. My leg was that unstable.

I got home that evening, walked to my bedroom, and cried. Yep, I cried. I never cry. I didn’t cry because I hurt, because I was in no pain. I cried because I knew that whatever had just happened was serious and I was down and out of everything for a long time. I knew.

In the morning, I had a Physical Therapy appointment with my PT for my shoulder that was still bugging me. While there, I asked him to just look at my knee and tell me what he thought. He looked and “tested” it out and by the look on his face, I knew I was really in deep doo doo! He didn’t have to say anything, but I could tell. He told me that he wanted me to get in to see Ortho immediately, get an x-ray, etc. I knew it wasn’t broken, and I knew that an x-ray wouldn’t show any soft tissue damage. I was thankful to have gotten in the “earliest” appointment which was on the following Tuesday. Meanwhile, I had to work the entire weekend with this injured knee! Poor knee.

March Madness … literally madness.  Just know that I was NOT able to finish out the CrossFit Open.  Here’s how it went down though … World Wide in my age group, I finished 1,494 (6,675 overall in women up to age 54).  Regionally, that’s Nor Cal, I finished 96 (452 overall in women up to age 54). My goal was top 100, so I did reach this goal even without completing the entire 13.4 WOD, or doing any of the 13.5 WOD.  Chris said that I should’ve at least tried to get one rep in for 13.5, but that one rep could’ve just tore my entire knee up so … NO! I’m pretty impressed with myself. I did well for someone who is full of self-doubt and has been plagued with injuries. I can only imagine where I would have finished had I remained injury free. If you want to see my complete stats, you can view them here.

The saga of my knee continues … March Madness has come to an end, and hopefully takes the madness along with it and replaces it with some goodness in the form of April showers. They do say that showers (rain) is a form of cleansing … That’s exactly what I’m looking for.

While my training is at a standstill, I ask that you still continue to Train HARD. Train SMART. Eat WELL. And most of all have FUN!!! Train for those who cannot. Train for me because you know that I want so much to be out there gettin’ it done!

Injury Continues To Prevail

Proud Parents with the Graduate!!! CSUF ’12!

It’s been a long, LONG weekend in the ‘No … Fresno, that is.  Over the weekend our oldest child had graduated from COLLEGE, and two graduation ceremonies later we can say that we did it.  Sunday morning found Chris and I exhausted.  Not just tired but dog tired EXHAUSTED! In addition to driving to and from Fresno twice, attending two different graduation ceremonies for the same child, then a congratulatory lunch, we spent the rest of the afternoon on Saturday searching for, then purchasing said college graduate a car!!!  Yes, we were tired, but probably Chris more than I, however, I whined louder.

So, yes, Sunday morning you would have found two dead tired parents who just happened to sign up to run a half marathon before heading home from our already long weekend.  California Classic Weekend – a combination of a Century (100 mile) bike ride on Saturday, a half marathon on Sunday, and a kids run.  One could ride the Century ride and turn around on Sunday and run the half marathon. Or one could just do the bike ride, or just do the half marathon.  As I had run the half marathon last year, and as we had absolutely NO intention of riding 100 miles, Chris and I opted to only run the half marathon. It had already seemed as if we had been on the ride of our lives with the graduations and rearing of children.  The half marathon was all that we could handle.

Packet pickup for this event was held on a Thursday and Friday.  What the hell?  Really?  I can see if you were in Fresno, or if you lived in Fresno that this would work for you, however, we don’t live in the area, and even though we were in town on Friday, the expo began at 3 p.m. and we were long gone by then.  Last year we could pick up our bibs at Chuckchansi Stadium on Saturday, this year we were not able to as there was NO packet pick up on Saturday.  Really?  What an inconvenience!  We were assured that we would be able to pick up our packets and shirts prior to the race start in the morning.

Sam and his new Jetta, Miranda.

Our evening ran late as we took our child car shopping, add on the need for filling out applications for credit, insurance, promissory notes, etc., we were lucky to get in dinner by 9 p.m. Our other younger children were were grouchy and tired by this time, however we made the best of it as we dined at Denny’s!  It was an exciting night for our older son who was extremely excited and thankful to have gotten a new car!

Upon arriving back at the hotel, we readied and laid out our gear for the morning’s run.  Shorts – check. Shirt – check. Shoes – check. Everything – check, check, check. The only thing we did not have was our bib’s.  Sleep came easily for both of us, as we were both FAST asleep by the time our heads hit the pillow!

Race READY in the ‘No!
Chris and I at the start. =)

0515 came early! I was able to get up early, and ready myself without incident while my mother-in-law made coffee.  I know!  The horror of not having my regular Starbucks tall, triple, non-fat, no whip mocha!  What the hell, right?  But actually, the hotel provided coffee was fine, and it provided the jump start that I needed.  I was fortunate enough to have packed a mojo bar to have as my breakfast.  It was a very short walk to the start line, and while walking we met a very nice man who was also running the half, named David.  He and Chris struck up a really nice conversation, and he let us know of his goals (to sub 1:30! LOL!) and we talked about how inconvenient it was to have packet pickup on a Thursday and Friday! We got to the packet pickup table and were able to get our goodies without incident, put our bibs on, and head out to use the facilities.

While on my way to the porta-potties, I was fortunate enough to find my new

My newest running friend, Richelle! She ROCKS!!!

running friend, Richelle, who was stretching and warming up.  I introduced her to my husband, asked him to take a photo of us, and I was off while they chatted and waited for me.  Shortly after I was done, it was perfect timing, as there was about 10 minutes until gun time.  I worried the entire time before the start about my ankles and feet that were still nagging me, and that were still quite painful.

Miles 1-4 were fair.  I ran sub 10min/miles which was okay for me since I was still nursing injuries to both of my feet and ankles.  I was reminded of my girlfriend when I saw the Amtrak station at the half mile mark and I wondered how she was doing. It brought a little smile on my face as I noticed that even when she’s not with me, she is.

Mile 5 was just outside of the zoo gates. I was still doing okay, but I could tell it was beginning to get slightly painful.

Mile 6 was in the zoo.  It was nice to see the animals – Giraffes are my favorite.  I stopped for a minute to stretch out my calves which were starting to tighten up.  I was beginning to hurt even more – I know because I was running crooked, putting more pressure onto the side of my left foot.  Mile 6.5 I see Chris and call out and wave to him.  It was starting to get hot out there but I reminded myself to pour water down my back at every water station.

Mile 7, my left foot was starting to cry, so I stopped and removed the ankle support/brace, and I stretched out my feet once again.

I was doing okay from miles 8-10, but by mile 10.5, my left foot again started to whimper so I stopped and removed the ace wrap that was also supporting my ankle.  I left it on the side walk and hoped that some homeless person would be able to use it as it was fairly new.

I ran from mile 10.5 to the finish without much incident.  I decided to just suck it up.  I told myself that I was okay, that my foot was okay, and that I would be okay, but I was done and we needed to finish what we set out to do.  So I pushed it, slightly limping, but not.  Just kind of running a little bit crooked as I had been over the last few races since the Napa Valley Silverado Half Marathon.  I told myself to dig deep.  I reminded myself that there were worse ailments out there and that I was very fortunate to be able to run, albeit a little slower than I normally run.  And I just finished as strong as I could.

DONE in the ‘NO!
Chris coming into the finish. Waving!

I was happy to have finished strong and to have finished upright.  I waited for Chris and as I was doing so, my lovely family arrived … and I jokingly berated them for being late and not seeing my stellar finish! Chris arrived shortly afterwards and my son was able to take a few picture of him, and my mother in law and family were able to cheer him in.  I was happy that they were able to see him finish.

I love this little half … about 3500 people. We all got Cold Stone ice cream at the end, as well as a fairly stocked breakfast plate.

Overall, the course was slightly different than from what I remembered from last year.  It was still a nice run, but it was HOT.  The sun was scorching hot at the end and I was thankful to have been done and out before too long. Aside from the packet pickup fiasco, it was okay because even that worked itself out. Last year I remember that there were no porta potties on the course.  This year I saw several.

I’m not sure if I would run this race again.  It was a nice run, and right now I’m a legacy runner, however … it would be bittersweet as I only ran the race because my son, Sam, was in Fresno and I could visit with him.  This year he graduated from college and starts a new chapter of his life.  Only time will tell if I run this race again.  Who knows … I may.

Here’s what I do know though … I’ve been nursing the injuries to my feet and ankles since the end of April.  Although I have been nursing them, babying them, taking them to accupuncture, soaking them in warm foot soaks, and keeping them compressed … I’m still injured.  I still hurt, but I continue to push it because that’s how I am.  I’d say on a pain scale of 0-10, I’d rate it a 5, and would go up to a 6.5 to 7 at worst.  It’s not that bad, but yet, my injuries prevail because I am stubborn! I’m so hardheaded and I beat my body up pretty good!  I just know that there could be worse things though.  I just know that my injures are minute when looking at the big picture.  I know that my injures ARE healable.  I know that I WILL heal.  I am sure of that. So while my injuries are slightly aggravated after each run, I know that it’s my own fault that they prevail.  I run when I should rest my feet, but I know that I will be okay. This will not get the best of me … I am bigger than my issue, and I know people! =)

Until next time … Train HARD.  Train SMART.  Eat WELL. And run HAPPY!

Updated Racing & Workout Schedule

Here it is, the second quarter of 2012!  Yikes, where have the last three months gone? It’s been a great year so far, can’t complain.  I’ve been doing what I love and having a great time with some awesome people.

I’m ramping up my training schedule, people! Time to get even more serious about what I’m doing and put more thought into what I desire to achieve and how I’m going to get the results I desire!  I have a ton of aspirations and goals, and believe you me, I am going to attain all of them!!!

If you’re looking for me during the week, you can find me in the mornings with my gal pals Alexis, Lisa, and Becky, along with our BAD A$$ trainer, Gabe Subry, in the box at Cross Fit 209 Sport.  This is a great box to workout in, and we have a lot of fun as we get fit and super strong.

In the evenings, when I’m not working, you can find me at Central Valley Krav Maga/American Martial Arts Academy.  I’ve been a member here for 10 years now, and I love the atmosphere and the people!  The instructors are awesome, and I truly have made some great friends here.  It’s a great place to workout your frustrations, build your confidence, and just have FUN!

With that being said … This next quarter of my running brings me to some really great venues!

Starting off on April 1st, we’ll head off to Elk Grove for the Inaugural Running of The Elk Half Marathon.  This should be a fun little event.  I’m looking forward to seeing my friend, Shiloh, and running with Chris!

The following Saturday, I’ll be heading off to Hollywood with my gal pal, Alexis, to run the Inaugural Hollywood Half Marathon!  How cool is this?!? Running with the stars, down the walk of fame, and a Red Carpet finish? I’m really excited about this race!

On the 21st, Alexis and I and our boys, Connor and Noah, will be making an appearance at the NorCal Survivor Mud Run in Lathrop.  3.5 miles and 16 obstacles!!! Yeah!  TONS of people are going to be at this crazy venue, and I’m excited to see how it all plays out.

The next day, Chris and I will head up to Calistoga to run the Inaugural Napa Valley Silverado Half Marathon.  I am certain that I am in for a treat for this run.  It’s going to be a BEAUTIFUL venue!

Finishing off the month, I’ll run the Asparagus Festival’s Great Spear It Run 5k! I’m looking forward to running this crazy race with my gangsta gal, Erika Rae!  She’ll get me in top speed condition! Lots of inaugural races in April.  It’s sure to be a great month!

May will bring me to San Francisco as I run the The Diva Race Half Marathon with my friend Rosie.  This will be Rosie’s first half, and I am honored to be running beside her.  She’s worried, but I am sure that she will do far better than she expects.  It’s going to be a fun weekend!

Next, you’ll find me in Fresno on the weekend of the 20th for my oldest son’s college graduation (yes, I did say COLLEGE) and for the 2nd annual California Classic Weekend! I ran this fun half last year which took the runners on a nice little tour of Fresno.  My favorite part was running thru the zoo!  So much fun!

Then I’ll close off the month with a crazy 10K run on Memorial Day for the Stockton Rotary’s Run to Eradicate Polio.  Last year I ran with Erika and had a really fun run.

In June, we’re heading up to So Cali!!!  It’s the beginning of summer vacation, so we thought we’d take the kids up to the beach.  Chris and I will be running the Ojai to Ocean Half Marathon!  I may consider changing this to a full marathon, but I haven’t decided just yet.  It’s all up in the air as of yet. I’m registered for the half for sure which will be a great run regardless!  That and I can’t wait to spend some time at the beach!  =)

I’m considering running the inaugural She Rocks The Trails run in mid June along with my pals Alexis, Becky, and Lisa!  If not this race, we can always run Brazen Racing’s Trail Quake Half Marathon which is part of their Ultra Half Series!  Either one will be a FUN venue!

If you’re looking to keep up with me and my crazy adventures, you can always find my racing schedule here at My Racing Schedule.  I update this site regularly. It’s a great tool to use, it’s easy and it’s free on iTunes! You can also find me on Daily Mile and on Bia.com!  =)

That being said … I’ll do what I always do … Ask you to come along for the wildest, craziest ride ever!  It’ll be fun, and we’ll get in shape and get strong in the process!  Together!  Trust me … I’m crazy fun to workout with!  Just ask those that do … they’ll tell you!  Train HARD!  Train SMART!  Eat WELL!  And, most importantly, have FUN while you’re at it!

Get Your Bling On The Wall!!!

As runners who run races, we all have them … You may be organized and have them hanging up nicely, or if you’re like me, they’re all over the place.  I’m dead serious … ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE!  What am I talking about?  I’m talking about race bling, a.k.a. finisher medals.

Medals hanging on my bathroom mirror ...

I know.  I haven’t been the best at keeping organized, although I have tried.  I will be the first to admit that I am NOT the best housekeeper.  I have asked over and over for a housekeeper from my husband, but his reply is always, “We have FOUR kids, they should help us.”  Well, they don’t help – they’re just as busy as we are, and just as lazy.  Oh well.  That’s another story for another day, and another blog post.

Well hidden deep inside of one of my bags.

Where was I … Oh … My race bling.  Seriously, it’s all over the place.  At first, they hung on my bathroom mirror … But I’ve accumulated soooooo many that they over took the mirror.  So one day when I got frustrated, I took them all down and shoved them into a bag and put them in my closet.

Enter my friend, Madeline (@maddyhubba).  I love Madeline!  I met her on Twitter and have been interacting with her for about two years now.  I have yet to meet her in person, but she has truly come to be a good friend to me, and we interact daily via Twitter, FB, and text.  Maddy’s husband has a talent in which he makes beautiful things out of metal.  He began a business in which he makes medal racks first for Maddy, then for her friends, and now for everyone … Iron Sport Works.  Not just any run of the mill, boring medal rack, but beautiful, even custom made medal racks.

When Maddy suggested that I get one, I didn’t hesitate.  I jumped right on that offer!  I knew that I had to get my hard earned metal up for everyone to see! So together we worked on one for me, and Maddy promised that it would be AWESOME!  I trusted her, and waited.

Huge!!!

When it arrived at my doorstep, I have to be honest … I didn’t think it would be so large!  Seriously … the package was HUGE, and heavy!  It was  like being a kid at Christmas … I already knew that I would LOVE it!

My Custom Bling Holder!

Let me tell you that’s it’s far from the standard medal holders that I have been perusing on various sites.  My new medal rack, as I said, is HUGE!  It’s also custom made … Maddy said that the girl on it looked like me with my flying ponytail!  I love it because it’s size – it can accomodate several medals.  I also love it because it’s custom – NO ONE else has one like mine!  And I just love how it fits my personality – the girl who looks like me running, and my love of hearts.  (Maddy didn’t know that I loved hearts!)

Iron Sport Works makes pre-made medal racks, and take special orders.  You will not be disappointed with what you get.  What you get will get is not just beautiful, but it’s quality. It’s fun, and customizable.  I know that my medal rack was made just for me.

You won’t be sorry if you order your medal rack from Iron Sport Works.  His work is amazing, and the company is run by good people!

Thanks so much, Maddy.  I’ve had a lot of fun admiring and filling it up with all of my medals.  I’m going to have to order another one SOON!  There’s still MORE to hang!

So … What are you waiting for?  Go check out Iron Sport Works.  Go “Like” them on FaceBook here.  Then have one made for you and get your bling on your wall!

Running For Sherry Arnold

I rarely give it any thought when I head out the door and go out for a run.  I just grab my stuff, give my husband and/or kiddos a general idea of where I’ll be and who I’ll be with if anyone.  Most runs are run alone, and in the streets of Stockton, California.

If you know anything about Stockton, California, you will know that it has been ranked FIRST twice in three years as THE MOST Miserable City in the United States according to Forbes.  No joke, the city that I live in is considered miserable.  However, I’m one of those individuals that believes in perception, and making the best out of what your situation is.  I don’t see the city that I live in as “miserable” … Stockton has a lot of good points, it’s just unfortunate that only the ugly, bad parts are magnified.

Getting back on track to what I was trying to write … I run in a scary city, and I rarely, if ever, give it a second thought that I do.  Other people do … my husband worries, my mother worries, and a lot of people who I tell that I run in Stockton point it out to me.  But I’m not afraid, and I go out and run anyway … unarmed, but ready should anything happen.  I’m not saying that I’m invincible, nor am I saying that nothing will happen to me … I’m just saying that I don’t run afraid.  I am not afraid to run in my city, nor should I be.  I believe that if you run scared, your chances of something happening are heightened.

In early January of this year, in the city of Sidney, Montana … MONTANA … which to my knowledge is NOT a miserable city or anywhere close to it … Sherry Arnold headed out for her morning run, never to return again.  She was found seven days later, dead. It was later learned by her abductors, who were caught, that she was abducted at 0640 … she left her house at 0630.  10 minutes.  10 minutes was all it took.

So why am I writing?  I’m writing because I think that it could have been me or anyone of us … I think that because of where I live, you would’ve think that it would be more likely that it would happen here in Stockton, not in Montana.   But it brings to light that it could happen anywhere, and that it could happen to me, to you, to your friends, etc.  I’m sure that Sherry Arnold didn’t believe that anything would happen to her when she headed out on her run that morning.  You get the gist of what I’m saying.

Will it change how and where I run?  Maybe a little, but I doubt it.  I’m pretty aware of my surroundings, and I do tell my husband, and others where I’ll be.  I’ve been good about running with a partner when one is available, or my husband and kids  have been known to run or ride their bicycles or skateboard beside me, and I do run with my phone.  There are some good apps out there such as Bluelight that can track you or alert someone if you have not returned at a certain time point.  For the most part though, like I said, I just use the old fashioned, “Hey, I’m gonna be out at such and such place running.  I should be back at  such and such time.  Okay?”  I know … scary!

On Saturday, February 11, it has been asked that we all take some time to remember Sherry in a Virtual Run being held in her honor.  It was the brain child of her cousin, Beth, who is also a runner.  Read about Sherry and the Virtual Run being held in her honor here.

I will be taking some time out to run a few miles in Sherry’s honor because I know that it could very well have been me.  She was my age.  She was a mother, wife, math teacher, runner … she is us.  So with that, I ask you to take some time to run for her.  If you’re already running a race, dedicate a few miles in her honor.

I ask you to be more cognizant when you’re out there – especially when you’re alone.  If you can, run with your phone – I know that a lot of us do these days, and it’s not a bad idea.  Let your loved ones know where you are going to be.  Run with a partner – it’s always funner that way anyway.  Make eye contact with people who you come into contact with.  Just be careful when you’re out there, but don’t run afraid.  If you’re afraid, then your gut is trying to tell you something and your gut is usually right.

If you’re around on Saturday and live in Stockton, I’m planning on a short 5-6 mile run around the Spanos Park area.  Download your bib and come run with me and then we’ll go have breakfast somewhere … You don’t have to be fast … Those who know me, know that I will never leave you behind.  =)

Train HARD.  Train SMART.  Eat WELL.  Have FUN … Let’s goooo run for Sherry!