"Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best." - Theodore I. Rubin

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Thinking ahead...

2010 is about to start and I cannot believe another year has come and gone. 2009 went by the fastest of any year for me thus far. It seems like just yesterday I was starting my "season" back in March; I think all the racing I did throughout the entire summer and into my fall marathon made the time go by even faster. I am still in the process of mapping out 2010 and deciding on races. My problem tends to be that I want to race almost every weekend because I'd rather race than do workouts, haha. Yet when racing involves so much traveling I know I need to scale it back. What I love about road racing is that there are so many great ones to choose from and of course there are those that I LOVE and want to go back again and again! I am sure I'll plan on certain races and things will come up or change along the way, yet I am excited to get things more finalized. I will probably plan things out in shorter blocks of time due to my race goals and managing my foot and heel spur issue that sometimes comes and goes.
I am so grateful for my sponsorships with Sole Sports Running Zone, GU Energy, Endurance Rehabilitation and Triple Sports. Without the help and support from all of them I would surely not be able to do what I love every single day!! Of course I have to thank the Road Runners Club of America for their support as well, the past two years :)
I'm extremely excited because GU has a new delicious flavor out called Jett Blackberry with 2x Caffeine and it tastes so good!! I love that it has two times the caffeine as the regular vanilla bean GUs I eat during my marathons because sometimes I feel I need a little bit more of a "boost". The Espresso Love flavor also has 2x Caffeine yet I can't always eat something that tastes like coffee so late in a race :) I continue to be impressed with the new flavors they develop. Vanilla Gingerbread, their new holiday flavor, was a nice tasty treat this fall and winter as well!
I had a conversation with a good friend the other night about the "pressures" I tend to put on myself in so many aspects of life. I tend to be too serious about my future and worry all the time about how things are going to work out, whether I'll be as successful as I want and just worry if I am making the "right" decisions. She told me that I need to be OK with following my dreams and pursuing what I love, and not look too far ahead. This upcoming year I want to focus more on the present and take small steps toward improving and achieving my goals. I set personal bests in all but maybe 2 races in 2009 and I'm hoping to do the same in 2010, maybe even have an amazing break through marathon :)
So here's to 2010 ....continue to LOVE what I do, be grateful for my lifestyle, focus on each day, week and upcoming race, and to smile and enjoy both the ups and downs of the sport....because I SURELY wouldn't know how much I love running if it weren't for setbacks along the way.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Las Vegasss :)

My race in Las Vegas left me feeling really happy and positive about the coming year. After only running for 11 days prior to the half marathon, I was able to run a 1:16:41 and felt completely in control the whole way. I haven't run anywhere near that pace since my last marathon (Twin Cities) a couple months ago. I think my swimming and strength training helped me stay in pretty good shape. It was extremely cold the morning of the race and I had an entire small tub of vaseline on my upper legs and still felt pretty cold! My nose and face also were numb and burning even after I finished, haha :) Anyway, being in Vegas and experiencing the inaugural race with all the pre and post race entertainment definitely was a nice treat. My favorite thing was seeing the white tigers at the start line! They were up in cages and I was taking pictures of them up until 5 minutes before my race started, LOL. Gorgeous animals! I celebrated my birthday with a ton of fun people on Sunday night and definitely brought in my 26th birthday with a bang :)

I was only home for three days before I left for Charlotte, North Carolina Friday morning. I visited a school my sister is looking at for college and I also got to see a couple friends from college so that was great! My friend Kelly Fillnow lives in the area and she just qualified for the Ironman World Championships for 2010. I got to run with her a couple times, eat amazing food (I LOVE DEAN AND DELUCA!!! :) ) and we also did a swim workout together. Fun times!

I can't wait to get back to Arizona and get into my routine again, ramp up my training, teach for a few days and then have a nice winter break from teaching!! I cannot wait to have a night where I get more than 8 hours of sleep! Every day lately I wake up feeling so tired and it definitely affects my motivation to train, which is obviously NOT good.

I have missed my little doggies these past couple weeks of not being around them for more than a few days. They are the loves of my life and I cannot wait to see them tonight, haha <3
They got groomed yesterday too so they are surely lookin' super handsome ;)

This somewhat blurry picture is from Vegas when I raced. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new hot pink CEP compression socks. Sole Sports ordered them for me and that was my first race in them. I definitely believe they helped prevent my calves from cramping up because at one point I thought my left calf was about to seize up but it was fine! :)

Happy holidays everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Running again!

I am finally running again and I'm so happy!! I ran two miles yesterday and three miles today and I am feeling good. My long break and many weeks of swimming for multiple hours and lots of core and strength work has made me even more appreciative of running. I am still swimming 7 thousand yards every other day and on the days I don't swim I'm doing two hours of core and strength work. As my running gets ramped up, the swimming will decrease a little, but while running low mileage I love the cardio workout from swimming.
The weather here in Tempe is absolutely gorgeous right now. It's about 75 as a high each day and nice and sunny. The air feels crisp in the early or later hours of the day and it felt fantastic on my run this evening! I truly believe there is no better place to train in the winter than the Tempe/Phoenix area.
I have been substitute teaching a few days per week and I enjoy it a lot. I like being a little busy and having a routine or schedule most days of the week. It makes me feel so much more productive. My little doggies don't like it when I leave and I wish sometimes I could just take them with me! haha
Whenever I have free time I absolutely LOVE to bake new things and recently I made some homemade maple pecan sticky buns from a delicious recipe in my Bon Apetit cookbook. Four hours of mixing, kneading and waiting for dough to rise, they came out of the oven and the house smelled amaaaazing! :)- I have put a picture of them in this blog. Next up I want to make some pumpkin spice muffins.
I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving! If you are doing a Turkey day race, good luck and have fun!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Grateful :)

Well this is my first post on my own personal blog. I am excited to share my training and racing stories and experiences on here. Right now I am swimming a lot in the pool and doing tons of core and strength work on the days I don't swim. I am doing 6 thousand yards of freestyle, pulling, drills, kicking, etc. and now that I am in the habit of swimming so much I am actually looking forward to it each day I go to the pool. The suit I have right now is disintegrating more and more by the day. At this rate I am going to be buying a new suit every three weeks! ha :)

I am so grateful of this life I live as a professional athlete each day. Sometimes the hard work seems to be endless and I feel the "pressure" from society to work a full time day job. However I absolutely love working hard toward fulfilling my dreams, having amazing opportunities to meet great people and travel all over the world racing. It makes me realize there really is no better "job" than what I do right now. I substitute teach on average at least once per week and have done a long term sub position, and every time I go teach I am even more grateful that I am able to make a decent living doing what I love the most- being an athlete! :)

I am extremely excited for the holiday season and closing out 2009 on a good note. I have had a super successful year of racing and ran personal bests in every race. I can already feel good vibes for 2010 and I know it's going to be incredibly successful on so many levels! :) The companies that continue to believe in me and sponsor me are truly what keep my spirits up on the hardest training days. Thank you to Sole Sports Running Zone, GU Energy and Endurance Rehabilitation!! You are the best :)