Spread joy (and cupcakes!)

I’ve been running up a storm, you guys! As well as occasionally baking on the side. 🙂 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. 🙂

Until the next run…

keep on spreading joy!

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It’s time to Rock ‘n Roll!

In San Diego! 😀

Surprisingly, as many times as I’ve been to San Diego I’ve never been to the Gaslamp District. At least, I don’t think. It’s pretty nice!

First, let me tell you the story about how I ended up registering for Rock ‘n Roll San Diego without having any plans to do so in the first place. I went to a Road Runner Sports event and won a t-shirt that read “Rock ‘n Roll San Diego 2013.” I would’ve felt like a poser wearing it if I didn’t run it so, here we are. 😉

Carb loading with some of my NYR family and friends.

Second, it was a quick, overnight stay in Southern California as I hopped it to the expo (with mere minutes to roam due to traffic), skipped it to carb load with my New Year’s Race Los Angeles at Night family, and jumped it to crash on my friend’s couch only to wake up a handful of hours later to run a half marathon. I must add that all of this was planned at the very last minute. Talk about a rush!

Third, I wanted to PR at 02:15. Was this doable? I had an official PR chip time of 02:20:06 and an unofficial PR GPS time of 02:06 prior to this so I externally believed it was but, to be honest, I wasn’t sure as I had reduced running and increased strength training for the upcoming SF Marathon. My trainer swore by his plan, which I was extremely hesitant to follow because 1) I had never heard of anyone doing this and 2) I believed that if I was going to run 26.2 miles I better train up to 26.2 miles! (As it turns out, strength training is very important for runners. Heh.) Anyways, he’s a highly qualified and definitely certified trainer and I’m not, so who the heck was I to object his recommendation? A very hesitant young lady, that’s who! So I said a prayer and contacted my fellow NYR Ambassador the night before. Coincidentally, he was the official 02:15 pacer for the event.

I clearly did not think this outfit through. Cupcake overload, fasho.

Fourth, I was an anxious runner come race morning. Although I knew I’d be fine, every run always feels like the first (I’m sure every runner can empathize). I did some dynamic stretching and then found my pacer friend, who was sharing some helpful tips to those around him and then BANG! It was time to ruuun! As we were running, he shared what strategies to use and how the course was going to look. As he stopped at the first water stop, I continued running as my momentum was up and my body tends to cramp whenever I come to a halt. I kind of got scared to keep going because I wanted to pace with him (I wanted that official PR chip time of 02:15!), so I slowed down knowing the group would catch up. “WHERE ARE THEY?!” was what I kept thinking for the next couple of miles but I also started noticing something different: my legs had a mind of its own as it was moving quicker than usual and I wasn’t having any trouble breathing either. Was it due to the ENERGYbits I took beforehand? Was it all the strength training I had been doing? Whatever the case, I was feeling good and I was feeling great.

I’d say I ran happy. 😀

Fifth, I now have an official PR chip time of 02:10:57!! I came in way under my goal! How amazing and exciting the feeling was! Hard work definitely pays off. After all of the excitement and filling my belly with some delicious apple pancakes (mmm), I drove back to my hometown with a fellow NYR Ambassador (who, unbeknownst to me, has crazy driving skills) where we hit-up..a sweet shop. Don’t tell my trainer but it was well-deserved! 😀

Until the next run (SF Marathon. Ahhh!)..

keep on running!