Friday, April 26, 2013

From Bay To Breakers to Ultra-Running

Interview with Josam Mulinyawe –
               By Life in the Day of a Runner
First of all, let me start off by saying that Josam is a personal friend of mine and someone who has come to represent to me the true heart of a runner. He is encouraging, inspirational and pushes you to keep going "just a little further" because that is exactly what he does. 
I first met Josam in 2012 when we were training for Ragnar Relay Napa 2012. After several months of training and prepping for Ragnar ,we finally got to spend almost 48 hours together in van traversing almost 200 miles while all 12 of us runners each ran our legs of the relay. It was a TOTAL BLAST!! Ragnar will stand out as one of the most memorable races that I have done mostly because of the awesome people I got to spend time with and the lessons I have learned from each one. Let me tell you a little secret: If you can spend 48 hours travelling around in a van with 11 other stinky, hungry and tired runners and when the relay is over, you still like each other, well you know you have a FRIEND for LIFE!
Josam has been on an incredible weight loss journey and in a very short period of time, he has not only lost a ton of weight, but he has gone from running a 12K to becoming an ULTRA-MARATHONER. In fact, in just a few weeks, he will be running his first 100K and a bunch of our Ragnar team members will be heading up to the race location to pace and support him in this endeavor. We are all very proud and look to him for inspiration. As you read through his interview questions, I think you will agree that he has come far in a very short period of time. I hope that you too will be inspired.

Rachel - First of all I want to congratulate you on an amazing journey that you have had! There has been an incredible transformation in your life and you have lost quite a bit of weight because of it. How did this transformation come about and how did running play a part?

Josam - Prior to 2011, my wife and I would have goals of losing weight. In January 2011, I told my wife that I’m going to end this and would challenge myself to lose weight. My weight was 245 lbs. and I didn’t have any end goal. I just want to lose weight and see where it goes from there. I’m very patient in losing weight and didn’t care how long it takes as long as I see progress being made.

I had lunch with my friend, Rich(ard) Mijares, the first/second Friday of January 2011, and he asked me if I want to run the 100th Bay to Breakers. My first question was “How far is the run?”. He said 12k about 7.5 miles. The longest I’ve run before is about 5 miles around Lake Merced in San Francisco and that was in high school. Next, he said it’s the first time they are giving away medals and it’s not until May. I said “OK, I’ll sign-up.” It’s perfect timing since I’m trying to lose weight. He said we’ll run a 5k race before Bay to Breakers to get your feet wet.

Rachel - What has been the most difficult issue when dealing with being overweight and running?

Josam - Overweight is too nice of a word. I was obese and started running the next day after my lunch with Rich. I wore my skechers at the time since that’s the only pair of “running” shoes I have. I went for about a mile run just around my neighborhood. I noticed immediately I was out of shape. It was hard to breathe while running.

Rachel - Do you believe there are stereotypes of being an overweight runner? Have you had to deal with this yourself and how have you handled it?

Josam - My first 5k I saw lots of runners in all shapes and sizes, so I don’t think there are stereotypes. I didn’t hear anything said about me that would offend me. The running community I believe is composed of intelligent and well mannered people. The funny thing is I never heard some of my friends say the word “FAT” until now that I’ve lost a lot of weight.

Rachel - What has been the biggest lesson you have learned about yourself and your body because of running?

Josam - I love running. Because of running, I have learned a lot about my body on how much it needs to eat and how much it can burn. I’m very good in Math, so running and eating became like a game. I didn’t count calories. I’m a big rice eater, so I started reducing my rice intake to 8 oz. cooked for lunch and same for dinner. After six months, I reduced my rice intake to 6 oz. then now to 4 oz. for lunch and not much carbs for dinner unless I have a race end of the week.

Rachel - How has running helped you with your physical and mental health?

Josam - Before running, I used to have headaches and sometimes get dizzy. Because of running, I feel good physically and mentally. My blood test results are all in control and within the good range.

Rachel - How has the circle of friends and family accepted the “new you?”

Josam - They are all very supportive and happy for me. I just hope at least one or more of them would try running and see the benefits of it.

Rachel - How have your eating habits changed since you began this journey and has this made you a better runner?

Josam - One thing I said to myself before losing weight is I want to eat anything I like and want. My taste buds have changed and eating salad for dinner sounds so delicious. I’m staying away from fried stuff and fatty foods most of the time. I eat in proportion now where I used to eat at buffets and really stuff myself for no reason.

Rachel - You just finished running AR50 on April 6, 2013 and on May 4, 2013 you will be running MIWOK 100. You have come a long in a very short time. Where do you see your journey taking you next?

Josam - My goal for AR50 was to finish under 11 hours and have fun. I have accomplished my goal at AR50 which qualifies me for WS100. I hope to get picked in the lottery and run WS100. Miwok 100k is to prepare me for my first 100 miler in July, TRT100. My journey is to keep running and checking off all these races in my 50 gallon bucket list. The beauty of running is I get to explore new places, sometimes making family vacations. Running is definitely not a boring sport if you go places.

Rachel - What advice would you give to someone who is overweight and wants to start running but isn’t sure where to start?

Josam - I’m lucky that my first pair of running shoes I fell in love right away and worked for me. I would say spend the money on shoes. My running clothes I try to find on clearance or outlets and spend less there. Happy feet and legs will make you run more and love it. I find that signing-up for a race is a big motivator. It is always in the back of my mind that I have to train.

Rachel - Will you come back and give me another interview on ultra-running?

Josam - Of course, I love talking about running. I’m a student of the sport and will continue learning as long as I keep on running. Thank you for the interview.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Heading out for a training run with her SPARTAN BEAST T-shirt.
It’s time for this RUNNERCHIK and mama to brag a little.

This photo is of my oldest daughter; the daughter who has been one of my biggest supporters as I ran race and race and upped my miles and challenges over the years. This is also the daughter who looked at me about three or four years ago and told me: “I’m not a runner OK?!? I’ll never be like you!”

She played soccer all throughout middle school and high school and as a sophomore she joined the cross country team so she could use the running as part of her soccer conditioning. Running three miles was EXTREME! She vowed she would not run more than that. In fact, she did join me for a few 5Ks over the years but told me that was her max distance.

Fast forward to senior year in high school. I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner and she comes in after school and tells me that she has finally decided on a topic for her Senior Project: RUNNING. My jaw dropped but I kept my composure as any good runner knows how to do. Then she proceeded to tell me that she wanted to sign up for a half-marathon and wanted me to be her coach and mentor.

After she picked me up off the floor, and could speak again, I asked her all the necessary questions and then did what any good mother-runner and coach would do: I convinced her to sign up for a MARATHON instead. I mean c’mon!! This is a SENIOR PROJECT we’re talking about. :) My only criteria was that if I agreed to mentor and train her, she had to COMMIT and could not quit. We had a deal.

Training commenced that summer and I trained and mentored her for the 6 months leading up to the marathon. There were tears, struggles and arguments. I remember when I took her out for her first 5-mile run, and she told me up on the levee: “I hate this!! I AM NOT A RUNNER!” I told her to keep running. I taught her about hydration and electrolytes and showed her how mentally she is stronger than she ever thought she was.

There were moments of joy and laughter. The girl who said she would never run more than three miles was now running 10 – 22 miles on the weekends and 3 - 5 miles almost everyday during the week. Not every one of those runs was easy. Some were downright painful, both emotionally and physically. She learned when to eat and when not to eat and what to eat before and after a run and what NOT to eat before a run. Trial and error. That’s what training runs are for right? One of my favorite moments was a Friday night where were preparing for our long run the following day. The weekend before we had run 18 miles and the next day was a 10-mile training run. She looked at me and said: “We’re only running 10 miles tomorrow?!?”  Ha! Could it be, that this Runnerchik might have a runner for a daughter?

She finished that MARATHON. Every. Single. Mile. We cried as we crossed the finish line and I was so proud when they put that medal around her neck. It was one of the best days of my life with her.

She never looked back and has now run several races and in 2012 even got into OCRs with me. Her race calendar for 2013 is taking shape and while in 2011 she told me she doubted she would ever run a marathon again, this year she said she wants to run another one. Ha! I think the “runner bug” has bitten her.

Right now she is out running 10 miles. Alone. This is what she wanted to do today on her day off.

Yeah. I’d say she’s a runner. Wouldn’t you?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Training for My First Ultra - My First Trail Marathon

There comes a point in every runner’s life when they must decide to challenge themselves and “up the stakes.” And that is what I decided to do for 2013 when I signed up for my first 50K for March, giving me about 2 ½ months to train for it.

For those of you who may not know my story, I’ve been a runner since about 2005, when I decided to train and run my first marathon. Up to that point I had never even run a race/event before and I had about 3 months to train for it. I vowed I would run or walk it, but I would finish it no matter what and no matter how long it took me. I have never looked back since the day I crossed the finish line of the San Francisco Nike Women’s marathon. I proceeded to run 6 more marathons after that, countless half marathons, 10K’s etc. and even got into obstacle course racing in 2012 because I needed a new challenge.  

At the end of 2012 I needed a new challenge that the road marathon was just not offering to me anymore, so I bit the bullet and decided to sign up for my first ultra. I knew that by signing up for an ultra I would be running trails which I knew would be tougher than training on roads and involved training on hills which are almost non-existent where I live and require about 1 ½ to 2 hours of travel time in order to train or race. But I wanted this. I had run some small trail events earlier in ’06 and ’07 but had gotten away from them when I got heavy into road racing, but I recalled how I felt out on the trails and how it combines two things I love dearly: hiking and running. So I signed up for the lottery for Way Too Cool and I got picked. Now what?!? There are very few trails around where I live and practically no hills even worth mentioning. Travel I must.

My first training for the ultra took me up to Mt. Diablo where I ran 12 miles of hills with an elevation gain of about 2000 ft. The following week, I kicked the training up a notch when my friends asked me if I wanted to run a trail marathon in Woodside amongst the redwoods, ferns and banana slugs. How could I say no to something new and exciting like that? Did I mention the elevation gain was about 3700 ft?


So with my ultra about 2 months away, I signed up for a trail marathon on January 5th at the suggestion of two outstanding friends and ultra-runners; trail rock stars really (you know who you are). A husband and wife team that are just all around AWESOME people and not just because they’re runners.

January 5th I woke at 4 AM after getting about 4 hours of sleep (who can sleep before a marathon?!?) and got ready. Body Glide was slathered everywhere I suspected I might get a blister or chafe, and I dressed in UA long pants, long sleeve UA shirt and waterproof NF running jacket as rain was predicated. It was COLD. Weatherman predicted the lows to be in the mid to low 30’s and the highs to be in the low 50’s. This California girl doesn’t do cold too well and my idea of “fun” is at least 80 degrees. I’m in heaven when it’s in the 90’s. But I digress…

My rock star friends picked me up at 5 am and I scarfed down a piece of toast with peanut butter and some orange juice in the car. My Camelbak was packed with gels, Sport Legs, jelly beans and Shot Blocks. I was nervous and excited all at once. After all, I’d already run 7 marathons to date. This would be my 8th. I know what 26.2 miles feels like. I know what my body feels like at about mile 20. I know how my knees hate me the last 6 miles. I know what my brain begins to do when I hit my wall. I got this. I knew it was going to be tougher than a road marathon, mainly because of the hills and the elevation but running on dirt is also better on the body than running on the blacktop so I was ready for this new challenge. As we neared Huddart Park and King’s Mountain, the beauty of the area engulfed me. My resolve was the same as my first marathon: FINISH NO MATTER WHAT.


One of the coolest things about trail racing is the laid back environment of the start line and the casual attitude of the runners. Typically I have heard that these event are much smaller venues and this run had about 250 runners. Similarly, the welcoming of runners as they got out of their cars and approached the bib pick up was so drastically different from the often stressed culture of the road racing expos. Obviously the trail events are much smaller venues but nevertheless it was a drastic change from what I was used to as runners called out each other’s names and hugging commenced and stories of past trail races ensued. I was grateful I was an outsider this one time so I could always look back and cherish this moment, as I knew that next time it would be my name that would be called out and I would be the one hugging these rock star trail racers. I drank it all in. The smiles, the enthusiasm, the support each runner gave to one another.

Bibs on. Camelbaks checked. Gloves on. Laces tied just the way I like ‘em. Directions about the trail were given. I was listening but did I hear everything? Apparently colored ribbons were tied to trees and bushes along the way. One color for the 50K, another for the marathon, another for the half marathon etc. I had this brief moment of panic where I hoped I would remember the color I was to look out for as there would be no “mile markers” along the way as most road racers are used to. Was it the blue and then the pink or the pink and then the blue? And the polka dot ribbons? What were they for?!? Oh crap… the “gun” went off and we were heading toward the trail head. It was 8:30 am and it was a beautiful day. The three of us stuck together for the first mile or so and then it was just “rock star wife” and I and her “rock star husband” stayed behind to pace us and make sure we made the cutoff by 11:45. He is an experienced trail runner and has done many ultras before, so it felt good knowing he would make sure we made the cutoff. This was not going to be an easy elevation gain and in fact was going to be harder than my ultra.


How can I show in words the absolute beauty of this place? It’s no wonder many trail runners don’t and won’t run road races; the beauty they would have to give up would be an enormous sacrifice. As I settled into a comfortable pace, I was elated to be running my first trail marathon and I took in all the beauty around me. I kept my focus though, as I knew that despite the beauty around me this was NOT going to be easy.

The first 12 miles were a constant climb. I remembered what a fellow runner and good friend had told me days before: “Run the flats and walk the hills.” So I took his advice and did that for the most part, but honestly there were moments where I ran the hills too just because it felt SO GOOD!! The second water station was at mile 12 and we had to be there by 11:45, which was the cutoff time for the marathon. I was at mile 8 around 10:20 when I saw Mr. Sunshine (another awesome trail runner) who told me to hurry as I had a little over an hour to get to the cutoff. I was a little nervous only because I didn’t know the trail and I knew it was ALL UP HILL, and I had no idea how my body would react to the extra push. But I RAN. There was NO WAY I was not going to reach that water station by 11:45. I passed “rock star husband” along the way as he had passed me at some point and he told me that as long as I stayed ahead of him I would make the cutoff. He was making sure his pace stayed consistent.


The closer I got to the water station the tougher the hills became. And the switchbacks never seemed to end!! When I thought I had to be getting close to some FLAT part on the trail, I saw yet another hill and another switchback. And then, there it was: water station  #2 (which would also be water station #3 on the way back), never looked so good. And the buffet! Did I mention the BUFFET?!?

Salty and sweet. Whatever you wanted was there. Even SODA! Yes, SODA! Little white Dixie cups filled with Pepsi (at least I think it was Pepsi). It could have been Coke which is not my favorite but at that point I didn’t care. It was SODA!! I don’t know about you but when I run road marathons there comes a point in the marathon (usually about mile 18 – 20 or so), where I begin craving a nice tall glass of soda. Preferably a Pepsi. And there they were, these little Dixie cups filled with the bubbly goodness of soda. I ate potatoes dipped in salt, potato chips, and Shot Blocks for dessert. Gosh that food was good!! I refilled my Camelback with water and we were off running again. 12 miles down, 14.2 to go. I got this.

There was something about reaching that water station that was somewhat miraculous and beastly all at the same time and now that the toughest part of the trail was behind us, we relaxed a bit. We were no longer pressured by time, and while we did not just take our time, we did not have the pressure of a cutoff time anymore so we were able to relax a little and get into our groove. From mile 12 to 14 we were travelling uphill again. I was feeling really good especially after all the food so I ran and got a really good pace going. We had been consistently taking our gels and Sports Legs the first 12 miles and I was feeling really well. Around mile 17 we came back to the second water station (now #3) and once again took in some fluids and a tiny bit of food.

Now for the downhills. Ha! Who doesn’t love a good downhill? I know I do, and thankfully I had been smart enough to trim every single one of my toenails to guarantee that I didn’t get an “instant pedicure.” LOL… The three of us got into a really nice groove and we ran for quite a bit. Now that the up hills were done for the most part it felt like we were flying!

I cannot say enough good things about the other runners on this trail. Not only did many of them know each other, but even the ones who didn’t were friendly and supportive. No matter the runner’s pace, almost every runner had something positive to say to other runners as they passed or as they were being passed. It was very motivating.

Mile 21, we come up on water station #4 and I was VERY happy to see everyone there. I immediately went looking for the potatoes on that buffet table. I dipped each one in salt again and tasted each carb for the goodness it was. Then I was eating peanut M & M’s and then I was eating Oreos. Oh my gosh! Oreos never tasted so good!! I don’t know how many I ate but I washed them down with soda. I know, gross right? Oreos are meant to ONLY be eaten with MILK but that was BEFORE I became a TRAIL RUNNER. LOL


The last 5 miles were in many ways the hardest. Despite not having to deal with hills, my knees were beginning to ache a little and the tips of my toes were beginning to hurt and I was taking some walking breaks here and there. At about mile 23 or 24 I got a bit dizzy and had to stop and take some more Shot Blocks. The dizziness went away but my knees were still whining. We started to run again and we ran until we saw Mr. Sunshine waiting for us not too far from the finish line. He said something about “so many mile to the finish line,” but all I heard was “FINISH LINE” so I dug down DEEP and found every bit of energy I had left and ran to the finish. I crossed that finish line like I do EVERY race, both hands in the air, fingers in a “V” for victory and smiled for the camera.

My first TRAIL MARATHON was in the books.

My body felt SO GOOD. My core was strong, I wasn’t winded and I still had some energy left. My knees were hurting a bit but I knew that was to be expected considering all the hills. Overall, I had to admit that my body actually felt BETTER after running a trail marathon than it did when I run road marathons. The way I felt at the end of this race is typically how I feel around mile 20 of a road race. I could handle that.

I once again headed to the buffet table. I had lentil soup (YUM) and pumpkin pie and bananas. Then we piled in the car and headed for the nearest restaurant with a bunch of the other runners. Refueling is a MUST.


It was a two hour drive back after we ate and by the time I was dropped off at my house, I was a little stiff getting out of the car. Have you ever seen the YouTube video of runners AFTER they have run a marathon? Ha! Yeah, I looked like one of those people on the video. I was a sight I’m sure as I tried to maintain my dignity as I hobbled to my front door.

What ensued is pretty hilarious because after a hot shower I literally CRASHED. I fell asleep on the couch and that is where I remained until someone woke me up to eat. I managed a few bites and was out again until morning. I remember nothing except a VERY deep sleep. I hurt so good!! By morning, and despite feeling it in my quads, I was ready to go back and do it again. Oh yeah! I proceeded to get online and start looking for another trail run that I could sign up for before the Ultra in March. I found one: Montara Trail run in Pacifica on February 24. Just about two weeks before my Ultra.  Another Trail Marathon. BRING IT!! I’m hooked!


Monday, December 17, 2012

Confessions of a Nighttime Runner

Yesterday (Sunday) I woke up feeling energized and grateful. Grateful for a day to stay home with my kids (a rarity because of working two jobs), and I had made plans to go on a long run to support Stacey at Stacey Runs and Eats on Facebook who was doing a 50K and running in memory of the lives lost in Connecticut on Friday. I planned my day around my kids and my long run and was excited at the prospect of going out running with no predetermined time or mileage. And then, everything that could happen in a day happened: leaking roof at my house, leaking pipes in my kitchen, and car breaking down. As the day wore on and I made trip after trip to the local home improvement store, I began to get concerned that this run would never happen. Multiple times as I stood in line at the home improvement store, I kept looking at my watch and telling myself that even if it got dark and no matter how late it got, I would still go run. As the afternoon wore into the evening and it got later and later, my mood did not improve I am ashamed to say. It was finally 9PM when I finally strapped on my head lamp and started out on my run and I was not in a good place. I was tired and cranky. I was in a bad mood because the day had not gone as I had planned. And so I began this run slightly annoyed with the day and the amount of money I had had to shell out for the house and car repairs. And so began my thoughts... It wasn't until I reached about mile 2 that I acknowledged that I had let the events of the day dictate how I would react and that the whole point of the run was to honor and celebrate the lives that were lost in Connecticut on Friday. Feelings of guilt seeped in as I realized that I here I was, complaining about my problems when there were parents who would never hug their children again. Never again be able to tell them they loved them. Never see them smile again. Never watch them grow up.

 Somehow, as each mile wore on and I stopped focusing on my own problems and instead began to pray for people that I didn’t even know, my worries seemed to lift and my anger at my own situation began to dissipate. As I remembered each child, parent and teacher in that tragedy, the gravity of my own situation seemed to dim in comparison to what the family of the victims were dealing with. With each prayer came gratitude for being able to run, hug my children, smile, teach my students, and even live in a house with a leaky roof that was costing me money I didn’t have. Yes, it is possible to be thankful for a leaky roof.

As I ran each mile, my thankfulness increased. They weren’t the best miles, but they were GOOD miles.  Necessary miles. Thoughtful miles. Angry miles. Repentant miles. Grateful miles. Pretty much in that order.  Running through the dark streets of my neighborhood instead of the trail I had originally planned on running earlier that day, I saw the houses lit up with Christmas lights and Christmas trees shining through the windows with brightly colored ornaments and it made me grateful to be able to run even if it was at night. Lately I have had to do a lot more night running which has never been one of my favorite things to do, especially in the winter and doing so has moved me out of my comfort zone. Being out there on the streets with just my headlamp and a couple of streetlights made me grateful that I was even able to run at all. I made peace with a lot of things last night, including running at night and in the cold. Sometimes we need to be moved out of our own comfort zone where everything feels safe and comfortable as this propels us towards new horizons that we may never have known otherwise. On those horizons we often encounter parts of ourselves that we may never even knew existed. Running will do that to you if you stick with it long enough.

Peace my running friends. Tomorrow is a brand new day, one in which you get to choose how you live it. I pray you too seek out new horizons as you move beyond your comfort zone and find the peace you seek.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bulldogs Need Their Rest Too

WARNING: This post is going to be about REST and could potentially be VERY LONG. :) Keep scrolling if you are against both. I won't hold it against you. :)
I have been called a "bulldog" at various times in my life. I've always taken it as a compliment, even when it was meant as an insult. It's true though. Once I decide to do something, I finish it or die trying. I don't quit. It's just not in me to quit. Once I decide on a goal, I focus and put all of my energy into accomplishing what I have set out to do. Whether I am digging trenches in my yard to put in my own sprinkler system, finishing up my degrees in college, training for a marathon or preparing for a Spartan Beast, I will give it 100% every time.

That said, being a "bulldog" can often lead to not having much balance, and over the course of my life I have struggled to find that "perfect balance" between "living life" and "accomplishing my goals." Basically, I don't have much down time, as I am usually focused on accomplishing the "next goal." Granted, there is nothing wrong with having goals and setting reasonable timelines to accomplish them, but so often those of us that train and race for different events can often become so consumed with our training, that we forget that at some point our bodies need to rest. Sure, I sleep at night and get my 6, 7 or 8 hours (if I'm lucky) of sleep. But as runners, it is so hard for us to just STOP and take a day off. An ENTIRE DAY. Maybe even two days. God forbid!! The guilt sets in. You begin to feel "flabby." You think your body might "forget" the training you've done and you'll have to start all over etc. Worse yet, is the day you're taking a DAY OFF and you happen to drive by someone who is running. You can't take it! You want to go home, change and go run. Tell me it isn't so.
I've been in this situation more times than I can count and despite learning something from each of the times that I was finally "forced" to rest, I still play the little mind games with myself. "Rest is bad." "Nooo, rest is GOOD." And I bet if you're like me (and I’m guessing that a good majority of you are), your body is finally the one that says: STOP! because it simply cannot go on any longer; because it refuses to go on and perform the way you want it to. So your runs begin to “suck” and yet you push on, determined to run/train every day. And then the aches set in, or your runs aren’t as enjoyable or worse yet, you get injured.

Why is it so hard for us to REST? Because as RUNNERS we are determined individuals. We persevere.  We are BULLDOGS. Once we establish that goal in our mind we set forth to accomplish it no matter what.  Sometimes at the cost of our own bodies. Or our sanity.
Lately I’ve been training and racing like crazy amidst a VERY busy work schedule and home life, and yet I just keep pushing myself. Racking up the miles, jotting down my times and tracking the upcoming races. I’ve been feeling tired and my body has been nudging me to rest and yet I have quietly whispered: “Just a few more days and I’ll take a day or two off.” And I keep going until finally my body says: ENOUGH! and I am forced to take a rest day or two because my body is simply DONE. It’s not a very difficult concept to understand but I know there are many of us who struggle with taking days off. If you have reached that level in your training where you no longer struggle with this, my hat is off to you. However, I would venture to guess that there are many of you out there who were “forced” to take a rest day this week when you would have rather not and you beat yourself up about it. You felt like a “failure.”

Ha! First, you’re not a failure, and secondly, you’re not alone. We condemn ourselves despite all the miles we log and the hours we train because there is always one more hill to conquer, one more road to pound, one more trail to discover. Why must we be so hard on ourselves? The determination and the perseverance often outweigh the "logic" behind a good 'ol rest day and so we push on. Another mile. Another hill. Just one more training run.

I’ll end with this. My body said enough about four days ago and yet I kept at it and even went out and ran 13 miles. I finished, but it wasn’t a very strong run. I struggled the entire time. I had neglected once again to listen to my body and simply take a day or two off knowing full well that I would come back stronger and more mentally aware. Yes, we are stubborn that way. As runners we often think we are invincible, but we know full well that we are not.
Today at work I lagged and was not performing at my peak. I knew it was time. Time to give in and rest. I’ve been running, doing Crossfit, training for Spartan and still keeping up with work and family and I am run down. So as I drove home from work today I decided to give in and give my body the rest it needs. For me, it’s never easy to do that. I literally have to be at the point of crashing before I will give in and rest. So I showered, put sweats on, made myself and the kids some yummy food and decided to blog about running.  Well if I can’t run, I can at least blog about it right?

Happy trails runner peeps and take a rest day every now and then.

- Runnerchik

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Missing my Runs

I hit Day 45 today in the 60-Day Bikram Yoga Challenge. I have to say that my balance, core, posture and strength have improved DRAMATICALLY. It simply amazes me how we can transform our bodies with just a little dose of determination and persistence. It certainly pays off! Postures that I was previsouly having issues with are now some of my favorite postures. Namely TRIANGLE, which previously always seemed to knock me to my knees and I'd end up sitting out the during the second rep. Not anymore!! My hamstrings have become incredibly stronger as have my hips, quads and glutes;and my flexibility has improved quite a bit. I cannot wait to see the results at the end of the 60 days. My daughter is doing the challenge along with me and is doing fantastic despite this being her first challenge. She's already lost 10 LBS and has gained a TON of flexibility. All this yoga has also done wonders for my running as a way of cross-training and building stamina.

Both of us however, have been craving a nice long run and we are looking forward to getting back to our running routine, so last Sunday I hooked up with my Commando Weeples Team from the Ragnar Relay we're running in September and ran a 10K in Concord put on by RoadRunner Sports. Simply AMAZING! I started out a bit stiff from not running for over a week and half, but surprisingly I felt light on my feet after about the second mile. Best 10K I've done in a LONG time! Finished in 1:02 and felt AMAZING!!!

Commando Weeples Team
 As soon as theYoga Challenge is over, the official training for Ragnar and Tough Mudder will begin. I see RUNNING in my future. :)

Have you gone for a run lately?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Ragnar Relay - 2012

Ragnar Relay is coming up on September 14-15, 2012 and I've got exactly 3 months to train. While I am not fearing the miles, I am a little anxious about the night running and how I will feel sleeping and eating in a van with a bunch of other runners. It's not being in the van that concerns me, it's more the night running and how I will feel about running different legs of the 200-mile race after potentially not getting enough sleep. However, I have ALWAYS wanted to run a Ragnar for as long as I can remember so it was an honor to be invited to be a part of this team. There is no way that my fears or anxieties will keep me away from this race. I know it will be an experience of a lifetime... As soon as my Bikram Yoga Challenge is over I will start training for Ragnar. :) I would appreciate tips from anyone who has done a Ragnar before. :)

Have you gone for a run lately? :)