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Posts from the ‘Motivation’ Category

Hard Work and Pleasure

I haven’t mentioned this yet because I don’t want to stress myself out… Exactly one month after Chicago I’m running the Las Vegas Marathon. (I know, not the smartest idea.) I’m running the Las Vegas Marathon to help raise money for the Multiple Myeloma Foundation. Our awesome neighbor, who lives two floors above us, leads a team every year and this time Mario and I decided to participate. I have no doubt this will be a fun and exciting experience.

Today both Mario and I received a training book, The Marathon Method by Tom Hollad. I briefly flipped through the pages and saw a few new strength training exercises to try. Then I also sat down to read the introduction. This was my favorite part:

Sigmund Freud postulated that we avoid pain and seek out pleasure. I contend that true happiness and fulfillment come from seeking pleasure through pain. Not injury – causing pain, but pain in the sense that your will is put to the test. You undertake something extremely difficult, entirely of your own choosing. You invest large amounts of physical and emotional energy based on faith and the belief that you can achieve something that is far from guaranteed. And the more you invest, the  more obtainable your goals and the more incredible the pleasure that waits for you on the other side of the finish line. 

This is why hard work is gratifying. The pleasure is so much more.

Happy Trails & Happy Running,


Running Update: I definitely did a run more along the lines of a workout than an easy run today. I drove out to the greenway so I could avoid the sidewalks and traffic to do an easy six miles. The only problem with the greenway is it is uphill both ways. I’m not sure how this happens, but it is HILLY no matter which direction you are coming from. I really got into the groove and had some Eminem to cheer me along. Plus the not running on sidewalks or having to stop for cars was awesome. I went faster than I probably should have but I was so proud of the pace I was able to maintain up the hills.There is some serious benefit to training on those hills and this might be my new favorite route. States are here.

One Year Ago…

It’s very distracting to blog tonight. My eyes have been glued to the television as the capture of the 2nd Boston Marathon bombing suspect unfolds. So instead of giving myself a few gray hairs as I try to think of something to say, I’d like to share this….

One month from today my 1 year blogging adventure will be over. On May 18, 2012 I made a pledge to blog every single day for one year and so far, I have successfully completed this task. It hasn’t alway been easy, (blogging from the car, at a wedding, or while on vacation) but it’s always been worth it. I’ve learned so much about running and made so many new friends. But more than anything (and this is what I find to be the most valuable), I’ve learned so much about myself. This blogging adventure has forced me to constantly question who I am and who I want to be. A year ago I was trying to mentally recover from what I considered to be an epic fail at the 2012 Boston Marathon. And today I am sitting here watching the apprehension of someone who bombed the 2013 Boston Marathon. A year goes by so quickly but at the same time, so much happens in a year. I can’t help but wonder where I’ll be April 19, 2014….

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


I made this April 18, 2012 to keep me on track... A lot has happened since then.

I made this April 18, 2012 to keep me on track… A lot has happened since then.


As I mentioned yesterday, I have just finished Chrissie Wellington’s book and with that, I have quite a few lessons to carry with me. One of my favorite lessons comes from the following paragraph:

I am motivated above all by that little voice inside that urges me on to fulfill my potential. Everyone has that same voice in them somewhere, but many are too scared to listen to it, too scared to try, too scared of failure. That fear is immobilizing, but it is also our own personal construct and therefore doesn’t really exist in reality. Never imagine anything impossible.

Fear is a personal construct. Fear doesn’t really exist.

When I think about my running and my athletic life, I have quite a few goals I want to accomplish. But I see these goals as far fetched and not something I can really do. I don’t know why I see them that way. I just do. Or I guess I have constructed my own fear of failing, hence making it impossible from the beginning. But if fear is my own personal construct, then this is something I can change. Time to start working on this…

And I’ll use this to keep me inspired:

Marianne Williamson

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


I had to leave all of this today and go to Seattle for a few days. I must say the view is not quite the same.

I had to leave all of this today and go to Seattle for a few days. I must say the view is not quite the same.


Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
Jim Rohn

The best runners are the most disciplined. They go easy when they should go easy, hard when they need to go hard, have a mental toughness like no other, and realize their main competitor resides within themselves.

Yesterday, I was finally able to wrap my head around the fact that the best runners not only know how to run fast, but they know how to run slow. For so long my speed has been fast and then faster. I was competitive against my own times and I was competitive against other runners. In the end, that really serves no purpose because I lose a month or so of running due to injury.

The best runners have more than one speed and understand the value of going slower. It only makes them faster in the long run 😉 .

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


My First Race as a Spectator

As cliché as it sounds, I honestly believe everything happens for a reason. Although it isn’t always easy to see or understand, there is a reason for our ups and downs. A little over one year ago, I ran my last 20 miler before Boston and had big hopes for my upcoming marathon. There was no way to know it then, but I’ve since had my first DNF, my best marathon, a half marathon PR that resulted in pretty bad injury, and my first experience as a race spectator.

Sunday morning was suppose to be the marathon where I proved to myself who I am as a runner. Obviously that didn’t happen, but I had the opportunity to be a part of everyone else’s excitement. It was a bittersweet moment that I believe was meant for me to experience. I learned a lot of things sitting along the sidelines and I found a new appreciation for what exactly a race represents.

As Mario and the many other runners headed off for their race, I decided to walk around and observe all of the other things going on. After seeing the beer garden being set up, one really big truck being unloaded with water, a band setting up their equipment, and cutest toddler ever walking around with her mom, I decided to sit and meditate.  It was a beautiful morning and I needed to find it within myself to be happy with where I was – a spectator cheering on my husband, my friends, and a lot of strangers.

Having my quiet time

Having my quiet time

After my much needed quiet time, I headed back to the finish line to watch the runners as they started to cross the finish line. I wanted to be right there from the time the first runner crossed the finish line to the time all of our friends crossed the finish line. I’m not exactly sure why, but it was actually an emotional experience for me. Words can’t even express how excited I was when that first runner crossed the finish line in 1:08:49. Can you imagine all of the hard work, miles, obstacles, workouts, ice baths, and foam rolling that man did? And then to win a race? What an amazing feeling!

Check out the winner!

Then as more and more runners crossed the finish line, I felt like I was on an emotional roller coaster with every single person, mainly because I could relate to what they were going through. Some people puked, one guy fell to the ground, and one lady, who looked like she may have been 60 years old, crossed the finish line in less than 1:30:00 and looked like she had hardly broken a sweat. Some were first time racers and others were achieving new goals.

Runners congratulating one another

Runners congratulating one another

But perhaps the thing that stood out to me the most was the fact that the race director was there congratulating every single runner as he or she crossed the finish line. And in addition, all of the other runners were congratulating each other. It didn’t matter the time on the clock and it didn’t matter who beat who. What mattered was that everyone had shared an experience, whether good or bad, and they had all survived.

Tobacco Road Half Marathon

Tobacco Road Half Marathon

This, I know, was something I was meant to witness.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Recovery Update: I am feeling so much stronger than I have in the past few weeks. The yoga, strength training, and interval workouts are amazing and are helping me to keep my sanity. My hip is in less pain than it was yesterday and I know tomorrow will be even better.

And for your amusement, here is a pic of us riding home in a car seat. It was too much effort to take them out. Thanks Jessica and Charlie for the lift!!

Riding with Bill in the car seats

Riding with Bill in the car seats


This afternoon I was driving home from the gym and I had this overwhelming feeling of thankfulness. In my mind, I have had more running struggles than I feel like one person should. However, I am thankful for every single one of them…

Today I received my confirmation email for the Chicago Marathon. I have no idea why, but I randomly entered the lottery last week. Either I saw it on someone’s Twitter feed, Facebook or somewhere else. I’m not sure but I’m certainly glad I signed up. October 13th will be my next marathon.

I am thankful for my struggles because I feel like I am finally going to have my race. I am thankful for my struggles because they have taught me more than anyone else’s words could have ever shown me. I am thankful for the feeling of sadness when I couldn’t run because it makes the moments when I am running, incredibly more rewarding. The ups and the downs are what it means to truly be living life. If everything seemed mediocre all the time, that would be beyond boring. As Mario’s dad used to tell him… life is like the sine wave. It goes up and it goes down. I’m headed up.

I know that my constant failures will eventually get me to my success, and I wholeheartedly believe that my best race is yet to come. I have seven months from tomorrow until race day. I will make this happen.

This Michael Jordan Nike commercial is my motto:

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Recovery Update: I’m still not running but I’m dedicating a lot more time to strengthening my hip flexors and leg muscles. Today I did the hip flexor exercises I wrote about yesterday. The difference I could tell in my left side was amazing! Normally, I feel like I never engage my left side. Now I feel like I can’t stop engaging it. I’m dedicating the next three months to strength training and massive aerobic base building.

And can I just share a few of my favorite Ray Lewis quotes that I’ve been using for motivation lately:

I ain’t found no man that’ll out work me. You might out run me on the 40 but you ain’t gonna out work me for 60 minutes. 

It ain’t because I got something special. The only thing I got special is I made up my mind to be special. 


You can hear more here.

The Thing About Running

I’m at a wedding right now and don’t want to miss my daily blog post. I found this quote from Kara Goucher and it made me smile. Running is life and it always brings me a little perspective.


Oh, and I have to give a speech tonight. I’m a little nervous….

Happy Trails and Happy Running,



I’ve been noticing a big simplicity theme in the blogosphere lately. In fact, I feel like 2013 is the year of simplicity. People are getting back to the basics and finding what works best for them. In the running world, there is always a new and improved workout, a new shoe to cure your aliments, and the miracle food that will be get you to your next PR. And I am all too guilty of drinking the kool aid. I like to think of it as experimentation.

However, the reality is a good runner is a consistent runner. Consistency is what I lack. This recent article by Jason Fitzgerald details the three pilars of a a healthy running program: aerobic capacity, injury prevention, and variety. I’ve got the top pilar in the bag. The other two? Well, that’s another story. I’m working on it though.

I like this quote from Chris over at Conditioning Research:

The basics – good sleep, real food, daily activity, strength training, stand up straight – are boring but effective.

Something tells me that those people who are true lifelong runners, have a simple approach to their training. They take care of their bodies and they do what works best for them. I really want to be one of those people when I’m 80 years old.


Happy Trails and Happy (Simple) Running,


Recovery Update: Still no running. 😦 However, I did have a nice cross training session at the gym today followed by lots of burpees. Then I took the 12 flights of stairs from the parking lot to our condo. I’m still hoping for a run or two (later) this week.

Setting Goals

There are many reasons why I love lululemon. In addition to the fact that their clothes are super stylish and amazing quality, the company is so much more than a retail store. Lululemon embraces an idea, a philosophy that pushes you to find who you are and what you want in life, all while keeping  perspective of your life. It promotes doing good in the world, getting involved with your community, and having fun in the meantime. The culture behind  lululemon makes them the amazing company that they are today and just walking into the store brings me a sense of peace.

Greatist recently wrote an article about lululemon’s goal-setting program. The program, which isn’t just for their employees, gets people to put their visions into words and plan out the steps to get there. Your daily routine because the stepping stone to your 10 year vision. You can read more about it here.

The following video shows how a 10  year vision became a reality 8 years early. It gave me goosebumps.

Make. Things. Happen.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Recovery Update: I woke this morning with a little less pain than yesterday. We went to the gym and I did intervals on the bike and some strength training. As I’m typing this, I’m using my Theraband to strengthen my hips and ankles. Anything to help, right?

Run for Your Life

I am sitting here watching Run for Your Life, a documentary about how Fred Lebow started the New York City Marathon. (Yes, this is my Friday night entertainment.) I’m about halfway through but I absolutely  have to stop and type this… Runners back in the late 60s and early 70s were bad ass. Period. They exhibited the pure essence of running, which I often times feel modern day runners (myself included) miss due to gadgets, training plans, and all of those other “running things.” They ran just to run. It’s actually quite beautiful to watch.

The second thing I have to say is I think I just found my new running hero – Nina Kuscsik. She was the first woman to run in the New York City Marathon, the first female winner of the Boston Marathon and a two time winner of the New York City Marathon. Besides being an awesome runner, she also didn’t start running competitively until she was 30. I’m still 29. She gives me hope.

There is a clip in the documentary where a reporter asks Kuscsik where she finds time to run. After all, she did have three children to care for. Her response was perfect. She said while other women may get a babysitter to go to the parlor or out to lunch, she gets a babysitter to go out for her long run. Obviously that served her well because 80 marathons later, she has been inducted into the Runner’s Hall of Fame. You can read more about that here.

I’m off to finish the movie now. It’s soothing my injured runner’s soul. 🙂

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Recovery Update: My hip continues to get better. I went to the gym again today and focused on some lower back exercises, in addition to cardio of course. It’s interesting to me how I am so much more aware of the muscles on my right side than I am on my left side. I’m working towards finding that balance between the two.