Spread joy (and cupcakes!)

I’ve been running up a storm, you guys! As well as occasionally baking on the side. πŸ™‚ I’m very grateful to be staying busy with two of my passions but I do miss the days of blogging in my virtual journal for all to read, encourage, and inspire. Speaking of, I’ve never been on the spectator side in my adult running career so I thought I’d give it a go at:

LA Marathon 2014

Rock ‘n Roll San Diego 2014

and, most recently, Conquer the Bridge 2014

When I ran X-Country and Track & Field in high school, I absolutely loved seeing and hearing my fellow teammates cheer me on. It was the boost of encouragement to keep going when my mind would drop to the thought of “Why am I doing this?” to, with their help, “Because I can.” Fast forward years later and I had forgotten that feeling when friends and courageous strangers thanked me with kind words and sweaty hugs. Initially, I was confused because I didn’t see what the big deal was until I stopped and saw it myself. When running, it’s you vs. you and because the mind is the most powerful thing in a human’s body it can force it to think/do almost anything (i.e. “I want to give up.”, “I’m going to stop.”, etc.). Also, a majority of us don’t run with a smile on our face which is something I’m still trying to figure out because we love the sport so darn much, you know? I’ll leave that up to science. Anyways, so when you see someone (or some people) cheering you on during moments of “I may want to give up.” and “Let me get to that darn finish line already!” it brings you back to why you started in the first place. It brings you back to joy, which naturally puts a smile on your face. πŸ™‚

Until the next run…

keep on spreading joy!

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Only 13 miles to go!

While training for Nike Women’s Marathon SF 2013, I encountered an unfortunate injury but did every thing possible to make sure I’d run to the best of my ability come race day. I came, I conquered, and I succeeded..and then my nagging injury gave a big F-U a few days post race. I had another race the weekend after (a half marathon, to be exact) so I took it easy and made strength training my focus until then. Knowing I hadn’t ran since the race but not realizing I wouldn’t feel the effects of hitting the pavement until race morning, I naively didn’t wear my knee brace. W-T-F. I know – I kept thinking the same thing while on course and believe me when I say I substantially suffered the consequences during those 13 miles.


It was Halloween themed (being that it was on October 27, 2013 and put on by Rock ‘n Roll Los Angeles of Competitor Group) so several runners came dressed as Spiderman, a Power Ranger, and, in my case, my high school Cross Country self..just to name a few. πŸ˜‰

As I was warming up in my corral, I couldn’t help but pray for an almost painless and stress free run. I was lucky to be surrounded by people I didn’t know because I wanted to be in my own thoughts in that moment in time. I was (and it’s still scary to say to this day) nervous for my legs and sanity. I was good for the first .1 miles until I was completely and dramatically over it. My knee kicked me where it hurt the most and I had 13 miles to go. Holy pitfall.

The above face shows how I looked for, pretty much, a majority of the run. I know I ran with a limp. Sigh. I really didn’t prefer the out-and-back run, and it really messes with my mind when I see runners on the other side knowing they’re much closer to the finish line than I am. “Where’s the turnaround?!” was what I kept asking myself. Looking at the runners cheer behind me in the picture above, it looks as if it was taken shortly after the turnaround, which was when I got my second (or first?) wind and ready to blow the run out of the water!

This was taken as I was nearing the finish. I wanted to capture the “I probably shouldn’t have ran but I hate the thought of getting a DNF (Did Not Finish), DQ (Disqualified), or DNR (Did Not Run) next to my name” photo. Also, I wanted to show the face of “I did it! I survived! Now somebody carry me, please!”

I ran into my high school buddy, Jobert after the race! What a coincidence that we met when I was running Cross Country and I happened to be dressed in my high school’s uniform. πŸ™‚

It’s always a good time when my New Year’s Race Crew and I run the same races and meet-up afterwards. They’re my running family for life!

Since I was in uniform, I thought it would be fitting to recreate my high school Cross Country picture. I’d say I’ve definitely improved the attire, shoes, …oh man, this comparison makes me laugh every time!

The moral of the story is this: when life hands you lemons, try to squeeze as much juice as you can out of it. It’s so much sweeter on the other side. πŸ™‚

Until the next post..

keep on running!

Set a personal record or bust!

Being an Ambassador, I’d been promoting Nike Women’s Marathon San Francisco for months so I wanted to make race weekend a memorable experience. Since I chose to run the full instead of 13.1 miles, I knew I had to work my butt off and hard to make it an even more memorable experience. Setting a PR was on my mind and running with joy was in my heart. No pressure though!

It.was.on.

Such an empowering poster for women to see. πŸ™‚

It was an Ambassador/Instagram meet-up! I was so glad to finally meet and hangout with the girls I’d been following for motivation and inspiration. You should follow them, too! Check out @soto_cindy, @beccafit4life, @sabby189, @superwomankw, @inanutchelle, and @noelene16. And, of course, me: @karolynhs. πŸ™‚ Do you see what’s behind us? That’s Niketown and it’s always always hectic during NWM weekend.

It was a weekend FULL of hashtags (out loud, too. haha!)! Follow these gals for motivation and inspiration as well: @rhobouncer, @sarahmomohara, and @_sammers_.

I ran with 3 of the 4 girls pictured (excluding me, duh) at last year’s event. For the other gal, it was her very first time running a half marathon! It was a whirlwind of a weekend but I’m glad she enjoyed every moment of it.

WE RUN. SF. ❀

*time to get ready for the run of our lives!*

How’s this for kicks? We ran Track & Field in high school and now we’re running half/full marathons! I thought it would be kinda cool to recreate our picture the morning of the race. Haha!

Now to go left or right? That is not the question! I trained so hard for 26.2 miles – it’s all or nothing!

Annnd we finished! There goes those Killer Guppies again! Keith and Dhruv killed it!

And Team KT has done it again! We’ve been running marathons together. It’s been great thus far. πŸ™‚

And there you have it, folks: on October 20, 2013 I crushed 26.2 miles to my best PR to date! Determination, dedication, and passion always pays off. Having a fireman carry you at the end ain’t so bad either. πŸ˜‰

Happy 10 Year Anniversary, Nike Women’s Marathon. Thank you for the more than memorable experience. πŸ˜€

Until the next post..

keep on running!

“I’ll pace ya.”

I knew my friends were running Long Beach Half Marathon but, for some strange reason, I forgot. This is what happens when you sign up for races like a good habit. πŸ˜‰

As I was walking towards my corral while putting my ear buds in, I thought about how it was going to be my first time running a race alone..and I began feeling sad. It was a strange feeling, for sure, because I typically have friends who run the same races I do. We don’t necessarily run together but we’re usually at the same race.

“Karolynh. Karolynh!” said a slightly familiar voice.

It was Reanne! I’ve known this girl for, man, so many years and it was awesome to see her grow into the amazing woman she is today. Her parents didn’t raise no fool. Props! FYI: I look exhausted due to lack of sleep. Sigh, first world problems. Just kidding – that was a joke. πŸ™‚

She let me know how nervous she was running her very first half marathon. I said she had it in the bag to run the entire 13.1 miles because 1) she’s been training, 2) she’s mentally prepared herself for it, and 3) not giving her best just isn’t in her bones. I offered to pace her but also let her know that it was a race to enjoy and not stress about because it was her first.

I believe this girl thoroughly enjoyed the race because she kept an eye out for the photographers! Haha! πŸ˜€

And look who I found on the course! I virtually met Michelle on Instagram (@inanutchelle) and she said she was going to make a sign for me. It was her first time spectating because she’s usually running on the course. Ain’t her signs the cutest? I’m so glad she didn’t turn out to be Instaweird. Haha! πŸ˜€

And just like that on October 13, 2013, Reanne set an amazing PR for it being her first time running a half marathon! She said she’s ready for more. I said she’s ready to run a full marathon. Hehe.

Until the next run..

keep on running!

What.a.month

Remember that 3×3 I was telling you about a few posts back?

13.1 miles..

..and then 26.2 miles..

..and then another 13.1 miles?

I’m pooped! I really am exhausted as I am currently slouched on my bed that’s waiting for me to pass out. It’s literally screaming “SLEEP NOW!” Oh man, I’ve had one of the most fast-paced, high adrenaline months of my life. It came and went in the blink of an eye and, even though I’m in a state of near zzz’s, I miss it. It’s the natural runner’s high that just keeps going and going. Sigh. πŸ™‚

Get ready for a bunch of race recaps to come (I had 4 5K’s before this 3×3!). By the way, we’re in the middle of running season, you guys! What races have you ran? Which ones would you recommend? Most importantly, where should my next racecation be? πŸ˜‰

Until the next post..

keep on running!

Inspiration: For the Weekend

I have a hard time getting up in the morning. I do.

I also have a hard time getting ready to go for a run or strength train at the gym. I really do.

The following video is a reminder to help me stand on my two feet and get going.

*beep beep beep*

It’s time for you to stand on your two feet and get going as well.

β€œDecide to turn your back on what’s comfortable and safe and
what some would call common sense. The easy way out will always be there,
ready to wash you away.”

Until the next run..

keep on running!

2 Cures for EVERYTHING

I don’t know about you but these work for me. Try it out!

Until the next post..

keep on running (and laughing!)!