Oh Say, Can You Sing: an unexpected challenge at the Across the Bay 12K

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With mini flat Dani, Emmalouise. Ashley and Dani pre-race.

This year, I was very excited to get to run the 12K at Represent Running’s Across the Bay race as last year, I was pregnant and chose to stick with the 5K instead.

Part two of their three part “Run the Bay” challenge, I had put a lot of pressure on myself to do well after my surprisingly speedy San Jose 408K. Despite all the anticipation, I will fully admit that race day crept up on me. One thing had lead to another, and work and life became easy excuses for skipping out on training well.

Little did I know come race day, running fast — actually, running, period — would be the least of my worries.

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How to Make Your Garmin Stroller Run Ready

In the spirit of keeping it real, I don’t read manuals. If it has more words than a Lego how-to guide, I more likely than not set it aside (cough cough, lose it in a pile of manuals) and only rummage it up if the Internet and I can’t figure out what I’m after. Over the weekend I was toying around with my Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire when I realized I could create my own activities for tracking.

Um, where the hell have I been?

Naturally, on the eve of the first East Bay Area Mom’s Run This Town meet-up, I had to create a “Stroller Run” option for my Fenix 3.

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Ready to add your own custom activity app? Here we go!

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Let’s Get Naked On the Run

Next time you go for a run, get yourself a full dose of vitamin D. Strip down. Goodbye shirts, hello skins. Head out. Revel in it.

Why?

Well, there’s a back story to why I am stepping up and stating that everybody – anybody who has a runner’s body – should feel empowered to wear what they want, when they want, how they want and feel GOOD about it.

Two days ago, I posted this picture on Instagram.
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One of the comments left on it really struck me.

Maybe one day I’ll be confident enough to rock something like this…

It got me thinking about Krissy’s recent shorts post. And thinking about my winning the battle with the scale for once. And thinking, thinking some more. I wanted to reply, but the thoughts kept spinning.

And then, even after I began to draft this post last night, I saw Carlee had posted on Facebook, and naturally I immediately clicked and read a great post from Run Selfie Repeat on “the Secret to Feeling Incredible in a Bikini.” This fueled the fire that has been burning for some time within me even further.

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An Envisioned Fitness Future

Listening to Lewis Howes’ podcast has been enriching, exposing me to people and ideas I would not have otherwise explored. During a recent interview with Michael Hyatt, the two of them discussed the power of writing something down: when we write something out for others, we often get clarity for ourselves. One thing that struck me in the moment was Michael discussing his “envisioned fitness future.”

Here’s what was powerful about it:
– He made the statement in the present tense, “because there’s power in that, like you’re already there.”
– He acknowledged it’s something he’s moving toward.
– It was direct and it included an action plan.

How many times have you had a vision, but it had no action plan? As Michael noted, when you’re clear on the how, the what starts showing up. Giving oneself permission to dream is important, and with that comes the importance of having some clarity on the future. After revisiting yesterday’s CRAFFL, I feel this is ringing especially true for me at this juncture in my life.

There are two recent points in my life that I see as high points in my fitness: when I got married in 2012 and the Fall/Winter of 2014.

 

 

When I got married, I had been hitting up 30 minute TRX classes regularly and was probably the strongest I had ever been. I have no idea what weight I was walking around at, but that didn’t matter because I felt incredible. I had confidence, was strong, and loved pushing myself every day. Sure, it made it such that I was almost unable to get zipped into my wedding dress as my back had grown wider, but that’s okay. I was a fit bride who had conquered eating disordered life and was ready to launch into a new chapter.

In the Fall/Winter of 2014 I was probably in the best running shape I’ve been in as an adult. Longer runs felt fluid and easy, and while I was leaner than I had been in 2012 when I was married, I still felt strong. It was almost too easy to pace two friends through the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Right after is when I became pregnant — so really, it’s wonderful I did, because I being in great shape put me on the right track to have a fit pregnancy.

As an ectomorph, I lose muscle fast if I don’t keep working at it, and to be frank, while I do feel blessed to have had such an ‘easy’ postpartum ride, I miss how powerful I used to feel. I used to feel fit for anything. I used to sweat and smile and sleep hard at night. I used to feel confident pulling on any piece of clothing, like everything would look good no matter what. Like I was living the best version of my true self.

I’ve gotten to a place where I am tired of missing what I once was. Now, it’s time to focus on who I am and who I am becoming.

My envisioned fitness future looks like this:

I stand tall with confidence. I feel strong in my own skin and am the living embodiment of what I feel is a good role model for my daughter and for other women who also strive to be fit, healthy mothers. Running longer distances at a conversational pace comes with ease, and running the hills nearby while pushing my daughter in the run stroller is a welcome challenge I take on at least twice per week. Alternating cross training of TRX and boot camp exercises (like 22 Minute Hard Corps) and running is my regular routine, with some PiYo mixed in for active recovery. I have made improvements based on what I have learned about my diet, am fueling my body well while still allowing myself to indulge, and look forward to putting in a workout six days per week with one full rest day.

What’s your fitness and health future as you envision it? How will you get there?

What’s Your CRAFFL Look Like?

After having a baby in August, I found myself trying to do some personal development during maternity leave. Around this time, I began listening to podcasts for the first time, and thanks to my love for PiYo, I found my way to Chalene Johnson’s podcasts, both Build Your Tribe and the Chalene Show. After listening to a certain episode while on leave and revisiting it again after returning to work, I finally sat down months after first hearing about it. It was time. Today over lunch, I decided to write my CRAFFL.

What’s a CRAFFL? Chalene describes this as defining “exactly what you want your life to look like […]. It’s what I refer to as a crazy, ridiculous, amazingly, fun-filled life.”

I took a blueberry Mr. Sketch marker and wrote CRAFFL at the top of a sheet of scratch paper, then, with purpose, I reached for a Sharpie. It’s one thing for me to daydream about what I would want my crazy, ridiculous, amazingly fun-filled life to look like. It’s another thing for me to take a permanent recording of what I want my life to look like.

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Let’s Talk About Socks, Baby

When it comes to work apparel I’m a very lucky gal: what I wear to run or workout in passes as “work attire” when you work for a women’s athletic and sportswear retail company. This means that wicking jackets, sweaty ponytails and muddy “dirt anklets” from the morning’s trail adventure are all perfectly acceptable in a manager’s meeting.

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Yes, I dress like this on most workdays. It’s not always a mesh tank top and spandex shorties, but my sock game is strong. It’s strong to the point where my coworkers are disappointed if I’m caught wearing boring low white cotton socks (which still happens on occasion. Laundry, am I right?) When I was pregnant, I was able to rock compression socks every single day. Not just plain ol’ boring medical-in-appearances compression socks, oh no. Ever since Pro Compression came into my life, I’ve been a diehard fan.

1208317_1690387327872827_221050573_nWhile I am still a fairly new runner–a runner  who didn’t feel comfortable even calling herself a runner till after running Ragnar Napa 2011, two years after her first race — I know quite a bit about athletic apparel of all kinds. Roughly six or so years of running, a lifetime of athletics, and a career built in part upon being an product educator has taught me loads about performance apparel and other outdoor industry goods from start to finish.

Read: I love nerding out on it.

See, the hardly subtle socks I like most aren’t just a fashion statement. While I had seen them at races, I used to think that I wasn’t a “serious” runner, so why would I need those socks? I didn’t even run that far, I was “just” training for my first half. Cramping and fatigue paired with bonking in races where I thought I was going to PR peaked my curiosity. I decided to try a pair. Continue reading

Bay to Breakers: Expo Help Wanted

Over the years I’ve grown to embrace all aspects of the running community. I’ve helped set up and break down events, made sure aid stations ran smoothly and have helped promote as well. One of my favorite ways to give back while being a part of the fun is volunteering at expos. It’s a great way to meet and interact with fellow runners while helping out.

This year I am fortunate enough to be able to return to Bay to Breakers to have a very different experience than I did last year, and my friends at Sparkle Athletic will be there too! Do you have some time to spare? Hit them up! Working the Sparkle Athletic booth is always a blast. Plus, you never know… There may be cupcakes involved.

“Sparkle Athletic is looking for YOUR help! And in return, you’ll earn $25/hr in Sparkle Bucks! Do you live in the San Francisco area or will you be racing #Bay2Breakers? We are looking for expo booth help on Friday, May 13 1:30-7:00pm and Saturday, May 14 9:00am-1:30pm and 1:30-7:00pm. Please email us at thegirls@sparkleathletic.com if you are interested.”

Hope to see you there!