Better late than never.

Better late than never.

Three months ago yesterday, I became the 1% – a marathoner, a person who has run 26.2 miles, a goal achiever, and the absolute best version of myself. The days, weeks and months after led to a lot of contemplating, nostalgia, laziness, pride, a return to self-doubt, and feelings every-which way. It was hard for me to sit down at a computer and write about May 1, 2016 because every time I did, so many emotions came about. I just couldn’t find it in me to do it, to get all the feels out on the screen and to share with everyone how amazing that day went. I can’t explain why, and I’m not even sure I know myself why, but know that every step I took that day (just over 50,000) was met with accomplishment, gratitude, tears and thirst for the finish line. I finished in five hours and 43 minutes – just shy of the six hour limit. I was number 92 out of 100. And at the finish line, waiting for me was a group of people to whom I’m forever grateful for (and a box of donuts).

Aside from crossing the finish line, the most imperative part of that day was at mile 23 when a complete stranger was waiting for me to give me the pep talk of a life time. He was tipped off by my friends who knew I’d need the encouragement. He gave me gummy bears and told me that in just three short miles, I’d be something forever – a marathoner – and that I will only get to be a ‘first time’ marathoner just this once. All I had to do was run aid station to aid station (which was a lot harder to do when one discovers that the next aid station was shut down early). He let me know it was okay to cry and yip and holler, but I had to finish the race before I truly could. When I crossed the finish line, a friend was on the phone with him and he was one of the first to congratulate me. Stranger (who’s real name is Michael), to this day, you’ll never know how crucial that moment and your pep talk was to me.

Writing this is bringing back all the feels. My eyes are watering as I replay stand-out moments, as I think of turning that last corner and being cheered on by more strangers, letting  me know I was almost at the finish line. The entire 26.2 miles was met with such support, people honking from their cars, aid stations asking how we were holding up, friends texting along the way. I will never forget that day, no matter how delirious I was at times or how much my vision was blurred by the tears in my eyes. I can’t imagine a moment in my life where I will be more proud of myself.

Fast forward to present day and time – I have found it hard to get myself back on track. I’ve gained weight and lost muscle. I’ve enjoyed one too many delicious meals. I’m ready to be the healthy me again, the strong me again, but maybe not the runner me just quite yet. Yesterday, three months post marathon, I restarted my journey with a healthy eating and exercise program. I look forward to regaining my confidence and fitting in my clothes again, to not being so tired and grouchy all the time, and to making and meeting new personal goals.

Hey Stranger…

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Today I am 28 years old. The age in which I’ll run my first marathon and the age at which – well, who knows what else is in store for me. But it’s already off to an amazing start that was catapulted by lovely getaway to Napa and Ensenada with someone very special to my heart. And while I may have slacked on my training a little more than I had planned, I feel refreshed, relaxed and ready to kick ass until May 1. Cheers!

The Longest Yard (or Mile… Whatever)

The Longest Yard (or Mile… Whatever)

Pardon my tardiness on this post, I just ran 15 miles. Just as in six days ago but who’s really keeping track? My quads, apparently.

I did it! I think one of the biggest road blocks I’ve had in my mind during this training ‘venture is that I couldn’t fathom running more than 13.1 miles so this may be perhaps one of my most important milestones of the whole process. I will say, around mile three I was ready to quit. My foot still isn’t 100%, and the pain at times was worse than listening to Taylor Swift while waiting in line at the DMV next to a guy who wreaks of cigarettes and feet. But when I set my mind to something, stubbornness is my anti-hero. I didn’t want to let myself down. I mean, I wrote all of those haikus about it! And while that may have been the longest three hours and 15 minutes of my life, I sure as Hell celebrated success with a “whoop whoop,” an ice bath in the Truckee River and two giant blueberry pancakes from Squeeze In. Also, I Mia Hamm-ed it with a celebratory shirtless, victorious cry of never loving my body more than I had at that moment.

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How does one run fifteen miles in Reno? Here’s one way: start at Huffaker Park, run along Longley, to Neil, behind the airport and to the Grand Sierra Resort. From there, loop around the back into Rock Park and follow the trail along the river four miles out and four back. Then have your friend’s boyfriend pick you up and deal with your running stench and bragging on the way to the aforementioned pancake restaurant.

Proud is an understated word for this run and I was very happy and thankful to have Ann with me along the way. From the friendly chatter, to the new products she lets me try to the out-of-sync dance parties we have along the way as we both listen to our own music, running with a friend has never been as big of a necessity or reward as it has been during this training adventure. Oh, and she takes amazing selfies of us.

Training Goals for Feb. 2016

Training Goals for Feb. 2016

I know yesterday’s post was all “oh em gee, three months until race day already!?” but I’ll express such one more time: THREE MONTHS FROM TODAY. I. AM. RUNNING. A. FULL. MARATHON. -Insert trickle of pee here-

Whew, that aside. Here’s what I’ve got my eyes on for the month:

  • Distance runs: 12, 14, 6, 16.
  • Seven more classes to complete the 30 Day Challenge
  • Resume once-a-week personal training
  • Stick to independent strength training schedule
  • At least once a week 5K at lunch
  • Continue healthy, clean diet once challenge ends
  • Start testing salt tabs
  • Yoga at least twice
  • Seeing Britney Spears with my family (dancing in my seat is totes cardio)

Friends, here’s where I’m going to really need your help. I’ve never run more than a half marathon and now I’ll have to do that twice in one month. The craziest part? After those two runs, I only have two more long distance runs in March (18 and 20) before I taper. Things are happening faster than I thought. Except my pace – definitely, definitely not faster. Anyway. Please check in on me on Saturdays to make sure I haven’t died, please don’t be offended when I turn down Friday outings and please, please, for Heaven’s sake, meet me at the end of each distance run with a giant cookie and glass of wine. Just kidding… kind of.

Hey, this time, three months from now, I’ll have run 26.2 miles.

The Word “No” and its Lavish Journey

The Word “No” and its Lavish Journey

I don’t make resolutions. Mostly because that word itself sets me up for immediate failure. And when I make lists that involve the word “no” (i.e. No chocolate, no crappy television, no letting the dog sleep in my bed), the stubborn brat in me wants all of these things to the point of over-indulgence. So, this year, I’m goal setting and I’m saying no to “no.” Instead of “no ice cream,” maybe it’s “ice cream only after a Saturday 5 miler” or “no spending money on clothes” will become “spend money only when your credit card is paid.” No to no.

I do, however, make goals and so, everything I set out to do this year, will not be thought of as an “I can’t have” but rather a measurable, attainable if and when goal.

Now the obvious – my biggest goal for 2016 is to run a full marathon. I’m signed up. I’m training. I’ve got the shoes, the gels, the tunes, the sparkly headbands and the chiropractic appointments scheduled. Now it’s time to cross that finish line, baby. But here’s some other things I’m hoping to achieve in 2016:

  • Read more, Candy Crush less
  • Blog more, Candy Crush less
  • More trips to the dog park for Pawko
  • Get better at media pitching
  • Be more attentive and compassionate towards others
  • Lift heavier, Candy Crush less
  • Travel more for New Found Glory
  • Travel somewhere new
  • Cook more, dine out less
  • Satisfy sweet tooth ONLY if a 30 minute workout or 10,000 steps have been achieved for the day

I’m sure there’s more and I bet you as I thought about writing this blog, I had a million I could put down. But, of course, I should’ve done it then because they’re far from the mind now.

Happy 2016 to you all. And remember: Candy Crush less.