Memorial Day is not just a 3-day Holiday weekend. It is a day dedicated to honoring those who have served our country. The CrossFit community dedicates their Hero WOD (workout of the day) on Memorial Day to the men and women who have fallen serving our country. They have a specific workout, named "Murph" that box members complete. "Murph" is in honor of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005. I was introduced to this workout by Liz who is featured in this post.
So what is a traditional "Murph"* ?!?!?
1 mile run
100 pull-ups (usually kipping pull-ups)
1 mile run
*Suggested to complete with a 20 lb weighted vest
The traditional way to complete this challenge is to go through the reps in 20 rounds of "Cindy" (more CrossFit terms aka 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air-squats). Typically it takes an average of 48-52 minutes to get through this workout. You can read more about "Murph" here.
I chose to complete a modified Murph and want to shared more with you all. I have been working on strength and wanted to get in my weighted squats. I also run on Monday nights with my run club CSRD and will be putting in 3-5 miles later. For these reasons I did the following format: squats to pull-ups to push-ups as detailed below.
My break down gets a little messy:
I did 2 sets of 10 squats with the 45 lb bar to warm up and then 1 set of 10 squats with 95 lbs of weight (bar + 50 lbs in weight plates). I am slowly increasing my maximum squat weight by 5 lbs per week. I do 5 sets of 5 max weight squats with breaks between. This week the goal weight was 145 lbs. I decided to integrate each set of 5 with 25 air squats to follow before moving on to pull ups. Once I completed all 5 rounds of 145 lb squats and air-squats then I did squats with a 35 lb kettlebell (50x, 35x, 35x).
For the pull-ups, one of the big goals I set this year was to build up the strength to get to 10 unassisted chin-ups by the end of the year. I typically alternate my max weight squats to 5 sets of 3 unassisted chin-ups. Today I tried 3 for the first round and it felt really good! So I did 4 chin-ups for the each of the remaining 4 rounds. After that I did 2 sets of 10 chin-ups with a black resistance band, 2 sets of 10 chin-ups with a blue resistance band, and 3 sets of 10 chin-ups (11 on the last round) with a green resistance band. My husband helped me with that last set...my hand arms and back were jellos and my calluses were screaming --not bleeding.
For the push-ups, I did 25 reps each cycle. Finished the push-ups before the squats or pull-ups, which I was more than fine with...but they felt good!
This workout was a butt-kicker. It was hella motivating, as well as physically and mentally challenging. Pull-ups are my weakness, but it felt so good to power through that. Hats off to everyone who did the full traditional "Murph" Hero WOD today and THANK YOU to everyone who has served and continues to serve our country.
Ever wonder what one of our events is like? We decided to do a write up of our most recent bootcamp for those of you who haven't been to one yet. The hype is real and this community continues to grow in such a positive way!
As you know, we were extremely excited to host our event this weekend at Westland Distillery, as their space is swoon worthy with a mix of rustic, old-world architecture and impressive industrial equipment! Phoebe, the Events Manager, who coordinated the event with us and did the whiskey tasting at the end is the bomb.com.
To start off, our hope for these events is to make movement fun! We want you to break a sweat, but we also want you to laugh with an old or new friend nearby and be able to let loose after doing something good for your body! An attendee from this weekend put it best, "Even though I was in pain , I had a smile on my face the entire time. I was either laughing or feeling very motivated!" You will be surrounded by positive energy and good vibes ALL around as we deliver a unique, body weight workout that allows you to let go of the to-do list and have a freakin' good time while sweating. Knowing there is an adult beverage at the end, doesn't hurt either!
When you come to an ULA event, you will always be greeted with warm smiles and usually a husband to help check you in, (also known as MULAs- Men who ULA)... a new term they have coined for themselves that makes us almost pee our pants (so bring your husbands or sig others ladies)! We TOTALLY GET that trying something new can be intimidating and we are always SO honored when we see new faces taking a chance on us.
Once everyone is checked in and has found a spot to sweat, we kick things off by giving an introduction about who we are, give the low down on the local charity we are donating to, and then move into our warm up. During the warm up, we always set an intention! This week, the the intention was to silence your inner critic and choose positive talk throughout the workout. Pick a mantra and when it gets tough continue to repeat this mantra. Setting a positive intention has been proven to help you push through challenging physical feats. I chose STRONG BODY, STRONG MIND and told the group that if it resonated with them, to repeat this mantra throughout the workout.
Once our bodies are nice and warmed up, we move into a 45 minute workout, in which the two of us trade off between teaching, while the other walks around to help correct form, motivate, and joins in next to an attendee! Our workout always focuses on whole-body, body weight, functional movements. We work to get your heart rate up while toning lean muscles. We typically incorporate loop resistance bands and from time to time, other equipment when our workout is station based (such as at Queen Anne Beer Hall). Modifications and next level challenges will always be offered. Below is a quick screen shot of this weekend's workouts to give you an idea of what to expect.
We encourage hooting and hollering, dancing, and calling out our husbands throughout the workout (especially when they hold hands at the end... if nothing else, hopefully they make you laugh!) After we burn out the body and have worked up a good sweat, it's time for the ZEN. We cool it down, stretch it out, and end class in savasana pose (because sometimes we try to be yogis, but only after we have worked out the crazies). One of our favorite parts is leaving our amazing community with an affirmation and this week's inspo came from the below quote:
“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” ~Joseph Campbell
Makes you think, huh?
Now on to what we imagine everyone actually comes for! The WHISKEY (or beer if it's a Burn and Brew). Phoebe poured 2 neat tastings and 2 cocktail tastings for every attendee... and they were tasty! She walked us through the process of distilling the different single malt whiskies and the different notes we would taste. Apparently the PNW (A.K.A. ULA) is graced with some of the finest ingredients for making their unique single-malt whiskey. I would definitely recommend checking them out if you haven't already! From there, everyone hangs around and socializes for about an hour or sometimes longer, depending on the crew. If you are in the mood, some have checked out a few other breweries in the neighborhood or grabbed brunch nearby! It's definitely not a bad way to spend your Saturday friends, and we would love to see you there! If you are curious, check us out at our next event in June at Populuxe Brewing in Ballard, get tickets here!
This week our affirmation was, "excuse the excuses!" It is so easy to list a million reasons why we can't accomplish a task, but most of the time we all feel better when we just do it. This week one of my Flywheel instructors said, you can either choose progress or excuses and that really resonated with me. Christy and I decided to really take this to heart and squeezed in a hike this past Saturday. We had a million reasons why we didn't need to hike, including not wanting to set another early alarm, Cinco de Mayo or Derby activities, and other workout engagements. But we are SO SO SOOOO HAPPY that we chose to conquer a summit.
Whether you are new to hiking or just finding your groove for the season, the Heybrook Lookout Trail is a perfect climb. Even better, it's a dog friendly trail! The trailhead is about an hour outside of Seattle off Highway 2 (so the drive itself is a stunner by Index, WA). The trail is just under 3 miles round trip and under 900 ft of elevation gain. We would describe it as an easy-moderate hike due to the distance and moderate elevation gain. The trail is well groomed and there is no snow. You definitely can get breathless on the way up if you are hiking a fast clip, but there is good tree cover which will be perfect as the weather gets warmer. Just before the lookout, you get to see stunning views of the mountains but just turn the corner and you will see a 6-story lookout tower with EPIC VIEWS.
We met at the trail around 9 AM. Started hiking by about 9:15 AM, enjoyed the views and of course a lil photoshoot at the tower. We made it back down by 10:30 AM and were in Seattle by 11:30 with plenty of time to celebrate with friends! It's possible you guys, it really is.
Fun fact: you can rent out the lookout for a fun overnight experience :) Also, there are no facilities at the trailhead so make sure you stop at the cutest espresso stand (Index Espresso Chalet) with the cleanest port-a-potties about a quarter mile, on your passenger side, before the trail. The espresso stand also has picnic tables in the back with spectacular mountain views.
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, chances are you have heard of this beautiful area in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Since moving to this part of the country, I look forward to hiking season every year. Last year we decided to sign up for The Enchantment area lottery. This was a BIG deal because it would be my first official backpacking trip. Andy and I had signed up to climb Mt. Rainier for our anniversary so we figured we would be able to handle an overnight camping adventure! Here is a quick break down of how this lottery works, but you can read more details on the website.
All visitors must obtain a permit if they are planning to overnight The Enchantment area May 15th through October 31st. If you want a day use permit, this is free and available at the trailheads. There are three ways to get a permit. The first, is the pre-season lottery, which is held February 15th through March 2nd every year. About 75% of the permits are reserved for the lottery. After the pre-season lottery, the remaining permits are available first come, first serve basis by making a reservation online. There are a handful of permits that are unreserved and available daily at the ranger station on a walk-in basis (more about that later).
For the pre-season lottery, you create an account on recreation.gov and request your preferred zones and dates. Only one application is allowed per person with up to 2 alternate choices. A $10 non-refundable fee is charged. If you are one of the lucky applicants that wins the lottery, you still need to confirm your date and site online. The individual that is the permit holder, must be present when you overnight! Also, you have to include your party size on the permit and keep a printed copy along with photo ID with you while you camp.
UPDATE: Soooo I tried for the pre-season lottery (second year in a row) and still did not get it! But then I lucked out and snagged the Stuart Zone for the first weekend of October when the remaining entries were available online (they post these April 1st). Christy and Rob, as well as a few other friends were all signed up too...I was SO EXCITED...it was finally happening. Fast forward to October and all the forest fires :(. Unfortunately, the Stuart Zone was impacted by the fires and we lost our permit/camp site. Christy and Rob could no longer make the backpacking trip due to a wedding and our other friends backed out due to the lack of permit and potential snow on the forecast. This is where my stubbornness really shines. I am luck to have an amazing, supportive husband that is equally as stubborn. We decided to drive up bright and early and try to get one of the unreserved day use permits. Worst case scenario, we don't get it and we still hike part of the trail. Best case scenario, we get it and I get to find out if I truly love backpacking as much as I think I do!
IF YOU FIND YOURSELF IN THIS DAILY "WALK-IN" PERMIT SITUATION, READ THIS:
Andy and I arrived at the Wenatchee River Ranger District Office in Leavenworth around 7 A.M. on Saturday and I had the same adrenaline and nerves that I do on race days. I wanted the day use permit SO BAD. For a much needed distraction, we stopped at a cute bakery for a coffee and treat while we waited for 7:30 A.M. This is when you should arrive to put your name in the drawing. The rangers will draw the names for the permits at 7:45 A.M. There is ONE permit per zone in the walk up lottery, which typically means 5 permits but with Stuart closed there were 4 remaining permits. There were about 10 of us, which honestly is not that bad since per the website there can be up to 50 people there in the summer months. I would say we were lucky because it was cold and definitely going to snow. FYI the daily "walk-in" permits are only available Monday-Saturday, so don't try to do this on a Sunday!
UPDATE: There was only one couple that wanted the Eightmile zone and they got it, but there was a smattering of us that were interested in the other zones --Core, Colchuck, and Snow Lake. We put our names down for Core Zone (ambitious). I have never won anything in my life. Okay that may be an exaggeration, I am sure I have won things but I do not consider myself a lucky person. Somehow our name was called!!! [Insert victory dance]
It took about another 20 minutes to get our map and permit from the ranger station and then we were off driving toward the trailhead. We decided to hike in from the Snow Lakes Trailhead. We did not want to worry about hiking through to Colchuck Lake and Aasgard Pass since the forecast was snow and we were getting a later start. We wanted to hike the greatest distance, but still be able to set up camp and enjoy the larches and views before nightfall. We had our backpacking packs, hiking poles, Yaktrax, plenty of water, food, and a bag of wine (duh...and no it was not Franzia --college glory days). All I can say is that this overnight is TOTALLY WORTH IT. If you decide to hike through, you need to coordinate leaving a car at each trailhead and the distance is about 18 miles. We ended up doing a similar distance (maybe a bit more), but we were able to enjoy the views, take breaks along the way, drink wine in a tent while snow flurries came down around us, and sleep through the snowfall. Our campsite was at Leprechaun Lake and the view was EVERYTHING. The best part was waking up naturally with the sunrise. We had time to enjoy warm oatmeal and hot coffee for breakfast before packing up our camp and slowly making our way back to the car. We saw a mountain goat family on our way out, which is more wildlife than you typically get hiking in the Seattle area! We were back home that same afternoon and were able to decompress, clean up, and get ready for the work week without feeling exhausted.
I cannot wait to explore The Enchantments again this Summer or Fall and try the Colchuck Trailhead for some more Alpine Lake views!
“Simplify your life, to make room for what matters." This quote struck a chord with me in 2018, as we are continuously trying to optimize our time. I am 100% guilty of being SO optimistic that I over estimate how much I can get done in a day. The first step is to recognize your own struggle and from there, determine what tools you can put in place to help, because I realize it ain't just going to go away... so how can I help myself, help myself? Ya with me? Ya girl needs help!
One easy way to simplify life and save time, is to determine what you can outsource. Taking something off of your plate and paying someone else to do it, so you can focus your efforts on something more meaningful or maybe just something that is needed in your phase of life. Sun Basket, a meal kit delivery service is one example of how I have been doing just that.
Sun Basket is my solution to provide nutritious meals to me and my little family, without the hassle of meal planning or grocery shopping! Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoy recipe searching and grocery shopping is one of my top favorite things to do, but I needed a little time back in my Sunday. When I received a discount for Sun Basket, with a coupon code for $40 off, I thought why not give it a try, I can always use a hand in the kitchen!
So here's my review for anyone that may be pandering the idea of meal kits.
The Low Down:
You get 3 delicious recipes per week for 2 or 4 people, $11.99 per serving. They are delivered on auto-pilot weekly (each Wednesday in my case) and I recently found out that they launched a feature where you can schedule a basket every two weeks, or once a month rather than every week! Long term, I will probably opt for this!
If you only want it occasionally and when you decide, you can set the default to skip so that you only schedule a basket at your convenience.
Why it wouldn’t work for you:
All in all, I really enjoyed it. It does take away the creative freedom, but you can absolutely add your own ingredients/spices if you chose to do so (obviously, whose stopping you!? Unless you are a rule follower stopping yourself😊). The meals were SO delicious (husband approved), we loved them ALL (no joke) and have stashed some recipes away to make on my own, even without Sun Basket meal kit delivered. It’s a good way to try new recipes that you typically wouldn’t want to buy all the ingredients for or just simply wouldn’t think to give a whirl!
If you are interested in checking it out, use the following link to claim your own $40 off here and let me know what you think!
Well ULAs I did it. One week ago I completed my first triathlon. I want to share a piece of this ridiculously exciting and at times stressful journey with you. We all have fitness goals and one of mine has become to do something that challenges me physically and mentally every year. At first my goals were running related --I wanted to BQ and sign up for a Ragnar Road Relay. Then last year, my hubbae and I summited Mt. Rainier for our one year wedding anniversary (that's a post for a different day). Today I want to highlight Lavaman. I bet some of you are sitting on the other side of this screen thinking... there is NO WAY I would ever want to do a triathlon. Believe me, I never thought I would want to do one either.
It all started a year ago. My sister-in-law, who is one of the most BA single mama's out there was competing in her second Lavaman and my in-laws were there to cheer her on. They were so psyched on the triathlon that they decided they wanted to celebrate their retirement in Kona and all do the triathlon. Alright, let's PAUSE right there. My in-laws are the definition of "fit fam". My family, on the other hand, vacations lounging seaside or poolside so this was a whole new outlook on vacation. I was convinced to sign up and then I put off training for ooooh you know 9 months. Oops. Disclaimer: I am a runner and just ran the California International Marathon in December with Christy (one of the best run-cations of my life). But I am by no means a swimmer or a cyclist. I didn't own a road bike until this Fall when I bought my mountaineering guides girlfriend's used 2005 Cannondale.
My idea of cycling involved sports bras and skin tight leggings on a stationary bike in a dark room with music blaring out of the speakers and a stunning instructor motivating me to tap it back (insert Flywheel, Soul Cycle, Burn Cycle class).
Okay, so I basically gave myself 3 months to get my act together. Also, the worst three months to train in Seattle, because IT. RAINS. EVERY. DAY. But with the help of friends and family I stayed motivated. I used the local UW campus gym and YMCA pools and would swim 30-45 minutes. I went a total of 8 times to the pool. Nowhere near enough training, but I knew I would likely not drown (my goal for this portion of the triathlon). To be honest, I couldn't get myself motivated to bike in the Seattle rain. I had a paralyzing and irrational fear of biking in Seattle. Mainly because I work at the hospital and have seen too many bad bike accidents come through the ER. I refused to use clip-ins, so my father-in-law purchased basket pedal (he's a saint). The first time Andy took me for a spin in the neighborhood it ended in tears. No chill. We then decided it may be better to try to take the relationship emotions out of the equation and I went for a 15 mile bike ride with a friend on nice paved path. Got my groove & some confidence back. Went on a third and final bike ride with my husband. The rest of my training was all indoors with spin classes about 1-2 x per week. I am fortunate enough to know an amazing group of ladies who take 60 minute Flywheel classes on Saturdays and then run a 10K around Lake Union and I joined them a few times.
Still with me? Are you wondering where the excitement and fun comes in?!?!? Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. We arrive in Kona on the Big Island and my sister-in-law is the best support system. She knows I am terrified and plans for us to spend one day focusing on each event: the 10 KM run, the 1500 meter swim, and the 40 KM bike. We rented bikes for the week and... IT WAS SO FREAKING FUN. I don't know if it was the sunshine, the wide bike lane, or the stunning ocean views --but I felt so much relief after that practice ride. The following day we went out early to practice the swim. Since I was the least prepared triathlete in the family, I also needed to test out swimming in a sports bra and Oiselle running shorts. Surrounded by legit swimmers in wetsuits, I again felt intimidated. I grew up spending summers at my grandparents place on the Adriatic Sea, but this was open water. Add in a healthy fear for sea critters and let's just say the nerves WERE REAL. But we did it. I remembered what Christy told me, when you get nervous just find your breath and focus on it. Use your breath to center you. Those words helped me so much.
Race day: March 25th 2018. It rained for 24 hours before the event and there were flash flood warnings on the Big Island. Cool. I tried to remain calm and confident. My goal was to try my best, to have fun, to finish the whole triathlon and if I am being honest... I wanted to finish in 3 hours or less. The night before, I was looking at the course map and results and was shocked at how few women were in the top 100 finishers --only 15. This got me more excited to go out there and prove myself because GIRL POWER. The day was actually perfect. It was slightly overcast and the roads had dried from the rain. At 7:44 AM I entered the water and it was GAME ON. The swim was hard. I followed my sister-in-law's lead and positioned myself in the middle-back of the pack at the outer edge. I knew I wouldn't be the fastest swimmer in our age group and I wanted to minimize getting swam over or kicked in the face. We fought a current and waves heading out to the midpoint, but we had that same current helping us back to the beach. I wasn't able to swim freestyle the whole time, but would do so for 10-20 strokes and then alternate freestyle. All I can say is, I need to work on my breathing pattern. Then it was a scramble to rinse off the sand and run to the bike transition. I took my time drinking water and fueling up with cliff blocks and a Go Macro Protein Bar and then I was off. The adrenaline rush I felt on that road was like none other. The part of the race I dreaded most, ended up being my favorite. I got such a kick off charging hills and feeling that quad and glute burn and would embrace and pedal faster on the downhills. The best part was that all the women were encouraging each other.
If I was passed or I passed another female, she'd shout "you go girl" or "you got this girl".
ALL THE FEELS. This gave me even more fire to work it. When I got back to the bike to run transition, I wasted no time chugging water and chewing two blocks before hitting the lava rock. Perk of not clipping in: wearing my Brooks Levitate shoes the whole time. I felt SO SLOW. I realized after the fact that going so fast biking, running felt like I was in quicksand or barely jogging. I chose to not wear a watch for the event so that I wouldn't get in my own head about time. I am usually good at knowing my pace without a watch and I felt like I was going 9-9:30 min/miles. I just kept thinking of each of you, of family and friends, of everyone who had wished me luck and churned my legs and arms faster. My one goal during the run: do not get passed. Yes, I am competitive. Of all three events, this was my thing. I succeeded. Mile 5-6 was lava rock and beach and the last 0.2 miles was sand. But I saw that finish line and heard my fam cheering me on and I sprinted across. I couldn't breathe. I couldn't talk. I didn't know my finish time. It didn't matter. My time was 2:42:36 (33:21 swim; 1:20:48 bike; 43:17 run). I was not the fastest. I was not the slowest. I had conquered my ultimate summit for 2018. I would do it all over again, because there is nothing quite like the feeling you have after your first race finish.
Next year the event is March 31st 2019. Verdict is still out on whether I will repeat Lavaman or be convinced to do an Ironman 70.3 by my sister-in-law. Regardless, I AM HOOKED and signed up for a sprint triathlon this summer and cannot wait to work on these new skills.
Retrospection. It helps us realize how far we have come. It's easy to forget and to instead continuously think about what's next. This is a blessing and a curse. It is important to challenge yourself each day and to grow. Whether it be mentally, physically, socially, or spiritually, we never want to become complacent in our lives, but it’s also crucial to savor those special moments and REFLECT.
To really reflect on the CIM marathon I need to go back a few years to where it all began. So let’s look back at college Christy's goals... where did she envision herself 7 years from then? I mention this time in my life because it was around this time when I started to dream of completing A (yes, I was only thinking singular) half marathon. Now guys, the furthest I had run at this point, was maybe 4 miles, so YO girl was DREAMIN' big. And although I started to enjoy running and working out in college, I was more into sprint intervals and cardio kick boxing classes were MY JAM. When it came to intensity, I had always been the type to push myself just a little bit harder, knowing you only get out of life what you put into it but with all that being said, long distance running just wasn't something I had ever dabbled in. It SCARED me. I wanted to think that I could do it, I told myself that one day I would run a marathon, but I wasn't sure how, when, or what that would actually look like.
So the story goes on, post college, once the 3AM pizza by the slice days came to an end, I got serious about training. I found 2 friends who were also interested in signing up for a half marathon and we DID it! I signed up, trained, and completed my first half marathon and I LITERALLY felt INVINCIBLE. Honestly, to date this was probably the most AH inspiring mind-body victory for me because it was the beginning of me realizing that I COULD. I realized that short term pain is worth long term gain… and if this isn’t a life parallel, I don’t know what is.
Some of you may have guessed it, but after I finished my first half marathon, I was hooked and I knew right away that I had to do a full.
Jumping ahead about a year, with many more miles logged, and LOTS of food consumed (my favorite part), I CONQUERED a full marathon. Common theme #1 that you will find throughout this story is that finding your SUPPORT and COMMUNITY is crucial for any training plan. I found a close friend (shout out to Nat) who also had the goal of running a marathon and we trained together. Getting up early on Sunday mornings to run 20 something miles, isn’t anyone’s dream but it helps when you have someone else counting on you to help them get through their miles… and knowing there would be a BOMB brunch at the end didn’t hurt either.
Now time to fast forward even a few more years, when I made the cross country move from Ohio to Seattle (PLOT TWIST). This happened somewhere between when I finished my second full marathon in Chicago, after barely training and only beating my time by about a minute, this is when I decided that I wasn’t going to sign up and put in training for another marathon unless I made the goal of qualifying for Boston.
This was an aspirational goal that I only dreamed of when I first started running. I saw other people on social media conquer this amazing feat and looked up to them. When I met Ives shortly after moving to Seattle and found out that she had qualified and would be running in Boston that year, I was immediately inspired and the dream came alive again.
To put things into perspective, my previous PR was 3:52, the Boston qualifying time for my age and gender group is around 3:30 and to ensure I met the cut off, I needed to be somewhere closer to 3:28. As soon as Ives found out this was a goal of mine, her desire to help me get there was shown almost immediately! Well actually it WAS immediately. She point blank said, "I would do it with you, I would run a marathon with you and try and help you qualify." The girl was put in my life for a reason, she pushes me, challenges me, and encourages me… this is just one example. So now that I had my person (theme continues), the search to find a marathon began. After finding out that the CIM marathon is mostly flat and one of the highest Boston qualifying races, I jumped at the chance to sign up! Ives brought it up and was excited to go on a RUNcation in good ole’ Sacramento, CA. She told me that she also had the goal to run an entire race with a friend… and that she would!
Now let’s talk training, I didn’t do anything significantly different from what I had previously done for marathon training, but with Ives helping level me up, simply by knowing someone else was going out there and crushing it every weekend, I pushed myself a little bit harder. I followed a Hal Higdeon plan, but definitely adapted when I missed some runs, and actually did more cross training/strength than I had ever done with previous marathon training.
Okay, now onto the FUN stuff! Our RUNcation, started off with some champagne and snacks as we hit the airport right after work. OH.. FUNNY story there, we literally boarded the WRONG flight, to Portland. Oh you know, for some odd reason there were two airplanes you could board off of the same terminal ramp and with the rain and wind in full speed, of course Ives and I boarded the one to Portland. We kept commenting on how small the plane was and eventually someone asked, are you sure you’re going to Portland? Well no, of course not! We first, looked at each other dead in the eye with a little panic and then both just died laughing as we grabbed our bags and ran to board the plane to Sacramento.
We landed late and to save money we were staying at a budget friendly hotel. With nothing nearby besides a diner, we ate the perfect pre race meal, a greasy burger and some sweet potato fries ( not the best meal we have ever had). With all of that being said, we hit the hay to wake up early to pick up our bibs and registration the next day.
Woo! Race day EVE was SO fun, Ives and were like kids in a candy store as we tried LITERALLY every sample they had to offer. What really sticks out to me is when Ives was asked to be an ambassador for Health Aid Bouch because of her PASSION as we were trying samples. It was magic and we know we are freaks.
After a few muscle massages later, and Ives losing yours truly as I got mentally lost in the beautiful gear wracks, we had a pretty amazing day of brunch, ULA planning session, and a carb filled dinner.
Race day, onto the juicy stuff … we woke up at the butt crack of dawn, somewhere around 4AM to catch the buses to the starting line. Gear included, the same crop leggings I have worn for EVERY race I have ever ran, my ULA “Conquer Your Summit” tank, flip belt, a packet of cliff blocks, and an old sweater to throw off when the race started.
As we were getting into our corrals, OF COURSE I had the pre-race digestive issues... along with everyone else and their mom. I waited in line while Ives started stretching, both feeling a little stressed to make it to our corral in time. I finished just in time to jet to our corral for the start of the race! Anyone else do this EVERY time?
Off we go! We are moving and a grooving. Feeling good, keeping up with the 7:30 pacer. Stopping for NUN every 2 to 3 miles and eating a block every 4 or so miles. Somewhere along mile 10 I realize I might cream my pants (oops did I just write that). I know this is TMI, but I gotta be honest, because this was one of the hardest parts of my race. I HAD to stop for a porta potty break, I needed to find one close. PRAYING I would run into one that wasn’t occupied and to my pleasant surprise, I was able to jet into one and get my business done in a matter of 20 seconds. Ives continued to run and I was able to catch back up with her. Oh boy, was this a relief. TALK ABOUT STRESS.
The run was relatively flat, but there were still some hills. The weather was perfect and I really was feeling great. Keeping great pace with Ives by my side and making random conversation with new faces.
I get in the zone when I am running, sometimes I don’t even pay attention to what is happening around me. It’s a form of meditation for me and really just a way to get through it. Staying focused on the outcome. The route was through the city and I really have no major complaints. There was one pretty steady hill towards the end, but at that point everything is numb anyways.
As we neared mile 20, I could feel things start to shift in my brain. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up and finish, but I also started to get choked up just thinking about accomplishing this big goal I had set for myself so long ago and wasn't sure that I would ever do it.
It was important to not think about the pain, but to rather focus on all those cheering me on from other cities and all those who I had told this was my goal. This helped keep me accountable as well as thinking back to all of the other races I had done, this wasn't the first and actually, I could. Each mile towards the end I focused on someone I loved. Ives also helped encourage me when I felt myself slipping. I looked at everyone else around me who was pushing themselves and this fired me up and kept me going.
The last 3 miles of any marathon, seem like the longest! I honestly blacked out a little, but recall as we were approaching the last .5 miles my entire body went into adrenaline mode. We picked up, continued to push our pace and as we were approaching the finish line, we grabbed hands and crossed that baby TOGETHER. Chills, shock, and excitement came over me as my body realized what had just happened.
Champ, tacos, and a major celebration was in order. I qualified for Boston baby! Finishing in at 3:26:56 and shaving over 25 minutes off of my last marathon! Holy smokes, I kind of just impressed myself, that’s close to a minute off of every mile. The power of he power of consistent training (I’m talking making it a regular habit to train like an athlete and challenge your body), using your mental strength, and most importantly having community and support (THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ABOVE ALL ELSE IN MY WORLD)! Honestly guys, if I can do this, I promise you that big HAIRY goal that you have had in the back of your head is ATTAINABLE. Find someone to help you put a plan and start the journey!