"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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cravings, Running slooow, Chomps for Dots and Routine = good results

Tomorrow I leave for Minnesota for the USA Women’s 10 mile National Championships and I am getting excited! I look forward to the cooler weather, seeing friends, relaxing and resting, RACING ☺ and then hopefully watching the marathon that starts about one hour after my race starts. Should be a fun and fast weekend! ☺ If you want to watch the races LIVE online, go to: http://www.runnerspace.com/USARunningCircuit

They will be streaming races all morning!

Lately I have had intense cravings for many things I am not allowing myself to eat right now: potato chips, my homemade popcorn, donuts, etc. Running by Bashas every morning and smelling their donuts being fried doesn’t help either! Haha. The one thing I’ve been daydreaming about EVERY single run is Crumbs Bakery in NYC. I cannot wait to go there again after the race! ☺ Instead of giving into these things I am trying to eat other things to satisfy the cravings. I think wanting chips and popcorn means I want salt and some fat, so I eat a baked potato with salt and pepper and olive oil or something like that. It definitely tastes good and is a bit healthier so that’s good ☺ It just makes me SO excited for after the marathon when I can spend a full week indulging and enjoying things I haven’t eaten in a long time. So far it’s been 45 days of no sweets, junk food, etc. and like 65 days of no alcohol!

One thing I have noticed about my training during this marathon stint is that my easy/aerobic days are definitely SLOWER than they have ever been. I tend to run around 20-30 seconds slower per mile than I used to during marathon training phases. It’s probably because most of my days are singles and this is the highest mileage I have ever done for so many weeks in a row. As long as I hit the times I want to hit on my long runs and hard workouts, I have plenty of confidence in my fitness. I just allow my body to run how it wants to on my easier days because if I constantly push the pace I know I’ll get injured or not run as fast as I want to on my hard days.

Dots are some of my favorite candies that I am not able to eat right now, so I decided to put 2 of each flavor of my GU chomps in little snack bags for when I am really craving some sugary treat. So I have Cranberry Apple, Watermelon, Strawberry and Blueberry Pomegranate Chomps ready to enjoy when I feel the craving for candy. At least the Chomps have some Amino acids, vitamins, no food dyes and better ingredients than Dots, HA!

Lately my body wakes me up around 5 am every morning, even if my alarm is set for a slightly different time. It’s amazing how fast our bodies get into a routine and must want to stay in a regular routine, hence wanting to wake up around the same time. Two big training times in my life when I had big breakthroughs (Fall 2004 XC season at Duke and winter training 2008-09 before 4 minute Marathon PR at PF Changs marathon) were times when I was in a very regular routine. I tended to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day, even on weekends. I didn’t really change my bedtime or wake up time by more than 30 minutes or so, and I ate very similar foods each day so I knew how my body responded before workouts, recovering, etc. If anyone wants to figure out an additional way to improve their fitness or have a major breakthrough, I’d recommend getting into a routine like I just mentioned and really try to stick with it. I think you will feel better day-to-day, stay healthy, prevent sicknesses and see positive results in your goal race!

Pic: Cool pic from Cabo with a full moon over the beach ☺

Quote for today: Enthusiasm – the sustaining power of all great action."- Samuel Smiles

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Big week, course record + first "A" race of 2010 :)

Well, the Tom Petty/ZZ Top concert we were going to go to tonight has been postponed due to Tom Petty having a throat infection :(..sooo who knows when it/if will be re-scheduled but now I'm relaxing at home drinking some yummy iced coffee and will be in bed around my usual time instead of in downtown Phoenix all night, lol ;)

This past week was a super challenging week with 4 hard days, a total of 91 miles and 21.5 hours of total training! Yesterday I raced the Moon Valley Grasshopper Bridge 5k and had a great time. I saw some of my friends, hung out after the race for the nice award ceremony and enjoyed good food and drinks compared to what you get after most races :) I wanted to race pretty much all out and see what kind of time I could get, hoping for well under 17 minutes even though I hadn't tapered at all for it. I ended up in no mans land a little ways off from the lead guys and couldn't quite surge enough to hang off the back of their pack. The course measured a bit long (3.16 according to my Garmin)...yes it may seem a bit weird to note an extra .06 but that could be a 20 second difference in a 5k! I probably just didn't run the tangents perfectly because it's a USATF certified course but anyway, my watch says my splits were 5:27, 5:20, 5:28 with the last bit at 4:51 pace :). My chip time was 16:56, almost 2 minutes faster than the course record and 9 seconds faster than any 5k I have run this year, so I'll take it. Paul Ruckel did a great job organizing the race and part of the course was on grass and had flags all over like a cross country race, with music in the background; lots of fun! All the proceeds from the race go toward the Phoenix Childrens Hospital so it's also for a great cause.

I'm feeling pretty good and looking forward to this week with nothing super hard until my first "A" race of this year, on Sunday morning in St. Paul, Minnesota. It's the USA Women's 10 Mile National Championship and my first USA Champs race of the year. I'm looking forward to it because it's a big weekend for racing. They also host the USA Men's Marathon Championships, USA Men's and Women's Master's Marathon Champs. It should be a fun weekend and to be quite honest I'm looking forward to being in a place with a high of 40 degrees cooler than the record heat we've been having here LOL :) I'm not tapering my volume for this race but I'm definitely toning down my intensity so my legs have some spunk come Sunday morning! It will be great to see where my fitness is 5 weeks out from the marathon. I've been working harder than I ever have before a marathon so I think Sunday will show me if it's working, especially if I have a fantastic race at the end of a 90 mile week!

Pic: Paul Ruckel and I yesterday at the race.

Quote for today: "You can’t hit a home run unless you step up to the plate. You can’t catch a fish unless you put your line in the water. You can’t reach your goals if you don’t try."- Kathy Seligman

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Watermelon Chomps!, 4:54 in a Skirt :), Triple Sports + 8x1 mile

I received my GU Watermelon Chomps in the mail yesterday and I can't rave about these enough! My excitement literally made me rip open a bag right after UPS delivered them, and I ate a few while sitting in my freezing cold ice bath. They are so delicious and I enjoyed the rest of the bag this morning before my hard workout. As soon as they are available (I believe Oct. 1st), go get yourself some and I promise you will love them! :)-

Tuesday night I raced a mile on the track at Scottsdale Community College and I had a lot of fun! I raced in my blue Brooks skirt too, and finished 2nd overall and 1st female, in 4:54.8. I arrived at the track early after doing some fun shopping at Triple Sports and I decided to do my 8x200 before the race, and it felt good to run in my spikes and get my legs turned over. I think they all were 37 or faster so nothing crazy but a good pace, with 200 jog in between. However lesson learned: Don't drink an iced vanilla latte from Coffee Bean at 5 pm and go do a workout and race a little bit later...you won't feel very good LOL!

I walked out of Triple Sports with a big bag full of awesome goodies and of course another moment where I felt extremely grateful for everything my sponsors do for me. I got some soy protein, insulated water bottles, Triple Sports logo water bottles, socks, goggles and a case (since I seem to always scratch mine up and ruin them!). Polar insulated water bottles are my savior here in Phoenix. They really work wonders and definitely keep your drinks frozen or colder, for longer. Now they are making them with cool designs on the outside or funky patterns, so when they come out with leopard maybe someday???...I'll have to buy every single one I can find :) Whenever I am in Triple Sports I always get excited to race and inspired to be a better athlete. Therefore going before my mile race got me in the right mindset to go run fast!

My body feels very tired these days and last night I started to debate my planned workout for this morning, kinda trying to create excuses why I should change it or just run easy. I talked myself into a better mindset and planned to just "try" what I had planned and see how it would go. I instantly felt better this morning when I opened the back door to a nice chilly breeze outside, instead of the thick warm air we had for a couple days. I drove a few miles out to where I knew I'd have a one mile, flat, well-paved stretch to do my mile repeats. I knew there would be a decent amount of traffic with people going to work but overall it wasn't too bad. The semis were nice and moved over a ton for me and the 25-30 feet high tractor type things driving by didn't run me over, LOL...(I've never seen something so big driving on a regular road hahaha!)

Anyway, I did the most mile repeats I've ever done in my life (8) and ran them all right near where I wanted to (starting at 5:38 and getting down to 5:24) I had two minutes rest between each and I'm really proud of myself for not only doing this workout in the first place, but also doing it on the road, because doing something like this on the track definitely helps with pace a little bit, because you can check at every 400, etc. I knew I needed to do it on surfaces similar to my racing environment and this morning it was great to practice that, especially with the headwind heading north right at me for every other one! Each time I finished two of them, I had my water bottle with GU Raspberry electrolyte brew and after 6 of them I ate a Vanilla Gingerbread (YUM) gel, and I think it helped me for the last two I had to do! All in all, I'm extremely happy about doing this workout and I know my fitness is finally coming along. However I wouldn't have had the confidence boost and happiness I have right now if I had bailed on the workout. Sometimes you have to do what you DON'T want to do to really see where you are fitness-wise.

Pic: My little baby boys with my new Watermelon Chomps! HAHAHAHA..they always want to attack the UPS guy when he delivers my GU boxes :)

Quote for today: "You can’t fly a kite unless you go against the wind and have a weight to keep it from turning a somersault. The same with man. No man will succeed unless he is ready to face and overcome difficulties and is prepared to assume responsibilities."- William J.H. Boetcker

Monday, September 20, 2010

88 miles, 20 hours of training + Racing on the track tomorrow!

Yesterday I finished up my highest week of mileage since exactly one year ago, which is funny because it was not planned in any way and I had to look at my 2009 running log to see when the last time I ran a pretty high mileage week. Yesterday I wrapped up the week with a total of 88 miles and almost 20 hours of training! woo hoo! The next few weeks are going to be the most consecutive high mileage weeks I have ever done, hitting 90, 90, 100, and 90 before my taper! I used to take about one day off per week and I don't do that anymore; instead I run one day really easy but still a pretty long run, or one short really easy run. I take a day off here and there for traveling or after a few really hard weeks, yet not once per week anymore. I worked really hard this weekend and this morning I definitely felt it on my 13 mile run. I ran very easy and didn't pay attention to my pace because I could tell my body needed a mindless morning run :)

Saturday I woke up nervous, frustrated, angry and negative. Right before I have to do hard workouts by myself super early in the morning, I tend to ask myself "WHY am I doing this all alone?!"..yet I don't really have any other option right now, so I spend my time waking up, drinking my coffee and warming up talking myself into a more positive, upbeat mindset, HA. After warming up, I ran 10x1k around a loop near the house, all in 3:20 or faster with about 90 seconds recovery. They felt challenging toward the end yet never incredibly strained; I had 100% confidence I'd hit my goal times...it was just a matter of wanting to be DONE and have a smile on my face, lol :) I did my drills and cooled down barefoot in the park. It felt so good to be done. Yesterday I woke up after struggling to fall asleep for almost 2 hours Sat night! I definitely felt half awake the first few miles of my long run, which showed when my splits hovered around 7 minute pace, yikes. I quickly dropped the pace and then really pushed my last few miles to end up averaging 6:45's for the 19 mile run. Later I did my core and ST work and enjoying lounging around most of the day to recover!

Tomorrow evening I am racing an open mile race on the track at Scottsdale Community College and I am pretty darn excited :) Although I know my body is tired, I look forward to doing something new and getting my legs turned over. I'll do a run tomorrow morning, go do the race in the evening, do some fast 200's after the race, cool down and my total for the day will be 15 miles. The rest of the week I have some challenging workouts and another race on Saturday, but I know with this higher mileage and 99% of my running all single runs, I'm bound to feel fatigued. I'll reap my rewards on November 7th :)

Quote for today: "It’s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes life worth living." -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr

Friday, September 17, 2010

Naan, Hills, ST works + LOVE my sponsors

Gosh it's been a busy week filled with many ups and downs. It started well on Monday when I spent some hours doing what I love most besides running...being in the kitchen :) I baked the most amazing delicious Naan bread from scratch and I proceeded to eat all of it within 3 days, lol. I LOVE the Naan bread from Trader Joes yet at almost 4 dollars per bag and only 6 pieces per bag I decided to find a recipe that sounded good and try to make it. It turned out super yummy and next time I'll experiment with different flours such as whole wheat and maybe use honey as a sweetener instead of the white sugar it called for.

In my 5th year at Duke when I decided to pursue my running and take a stab at triathlons in my immediate post-college life, I thought about what I want to do after my peak years as a pro athlete are done. I love to eat and drink fabulous food and baking and cooking for others truly makes me so happy. If I can make something that others enjoy, I feel like I accomplished something great. Therefore, in addition to my passion for running I decided to pursue my passion for food and drink and eventually open my own bakery and coffee shop. Here in the Phoenix area, very few fantastic bakery and coffee shops exist. They may have a few things that are good, yet no one has to-die-for baked goods and coffee drinks (good coffee as in made like the Italians make it!). So someday down the road I'll have my bakery plus a big patio for people to bring their dogs and I can give all the dogs my dog treats I bake from scratch as well :) I can't wait!!

I had a couple stressful days dealing with some car issues yet thank goodness my baby is fine and driving well again :) I also taught at Mountain Pointe one day this week and it was good until the last hour of the day when I had a "I wish I were at home with my dogs" moment. Disrespectful kids are not fun to deal with and although I love teaching HS because I can be a smart ass right back to them, it's just not fun to deal with. I have better things to do with my days thank you very much. Thank goodness my training literally prevents me from doing much subbing these days. Running on average 15 miles per day isn't conducive to being at a school by 7:15 in the morning. I'm not getting up at 4 to run in the pitch black, rush to get to school, etc...you can catch my drift..;) my college coach always told me I worked too much and it hindered my running. Every single day I remind myself that I don't want to look back and wonder....like I do with my college years that were way too busy with not enough sleep.

Anyway, one day this week I drove to my old neighborhood in north scottsdale and did a challenging run with tons of hills. I visualized the bridges in the NYC course and powered up the long hills as hard and efficient as I could. The past couple days I've had soreness from the workout and I'm so happy!! I never seem to get sore from my workouts so I'm loving this feeling that I'm strengthening some weakness I obviously have right now :)

Speaking of weaknesses, I used to get stabbing pains in my hips and glutes late in long runs and in the late miles of my marathons. I started doing so many stabilizing exercises for my glutes and hips along with my core and strength training (ST) and it obviously works because I don't get the pains anymore!! It's such a terrific feeling when you actually see results and know that the work you put in actually benefits you in some way. :)

I got a big shipment of some awesome goodies from GU the other day and now I am set for all my racing and training through the marathon. I just love their products so much and I'm so incredibly grateful for all that they do for me. They are coming out with a NEW Chomps flavor too!! WATERMELON!! I cannot wait to try them; I have a feeling I may have a new favorite flavor soon :p My main sponsor, Marathon Guide.com I cannot thank enough. They help me so much with my day to day training and without them I would have to sub teach or work another job many hours per week. Simply put, I cannot do what I do without their help :) Triple Sports helps me so incredibly much, especially with all of my triathlon needs. I obviously buy different things from their store because they have such a huge selection of nutrition products, running clothes, etc. yet when it comes to my tri needs, I can't thank them enough. They really are the best tri store in AZ so if you ever need great stuff from great people, go see them! Endurance Rehab continues to support me as well! For instance the other day I dropped in when I was up there and needed someone to look at a calf problem I've been having and Shane helped me before his patients were supposed to be coming in for the day. I really can't thank them enough!

Pic: My Naan bread I made and a random hilarious picture I found from a friend LOL :p

Quote for today: "All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them."- Walt Disney

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spirit of the Marathon, Eating Well + Am I fit??

Yesterday I watched the movie "Spirit of the Marathon" for the first time and it was so inspiring and made me proud to be a marathoner. It was made a few years ago and followed about 6 runners, both professional and recreational, before the 2005 Chicago marathon. I often get so wrapped up in my own race that I don't enjoy the journey or the race itself, until I cross the finish line, haha. The movie made me realize there is so much more to the marathon than simply the finish time on the clock. You can train your butt off for many months leading up to the race and anything can happen on race day.

Watching people train and get so excited about running made me so proud to be among them. Running a marathon is something a very small percentage of all people in the world will ever do, and it truly is an unbelievable event. I'm a fan of anyone who runs, whether it's a 5k, half marathon or marathon and people who find the joy in it truly make me smile; my heart reaches out to them when I see them run one for the first time, because I remember the exact feelings I had. It's very inspiring to be a part of the running community and I'm so extremely happy that running, road races and prize money for the pros have not been affected by the economy. Running actually continues to be on the rise and I'm so grateful for the increased participation because people are not letting tough economic times affect their health and joy they derive from running.

It's been 27 days of no sweets, alcohol, desserts, junk food, etc. and I'm doing well with it! It really hasn't been too hard. I have had a couple days where I really crave some potato chips or a cupcake or something, haha, but it eventually passes :) It feels good to be eating really healthy and being strong with any temptations I have.

This morning my 10k race at Horse Lovers Park in Scottsdale went alright, not super great. I decided to do the race rather than a workout on my own and I ran right around my goal pace (ran 5:39 average and goal was 5:40). However it felt pretty challenging and two years ago I ran the same race in 34:16 and this year I ran around 35:39 I believe. (course was about 6.3 mi) I can't help but wonder if I'm in shape right now?! 48 hours before the race I did an 18 mile run and yesterday I ran 10 miles and did my strength training, so I'm sure I'm not rested at all. I know not being rested and tapered affects how I race but it's still annoying to see my times so much faster two years ago! In the midst of higher mileage and hard training it's hard to know if I'm fit.

I looked at some workouts I did before Twin Cities last year and they were crazy fast runs, yet probably way too close to the marathon, hence why I was done like burnt toast for that race! For instance a 26 mile run 3 weeks out, with one mile warm up, 24 miles averaging 6:08 pace and one mile cool down...that's faster than my NYC marathon pace back in 2008! That's the beauty of training plans....sometimes they work out perfectly or better than expected and sometimes you train way too hard for too long and your body doesn't paint the masterpiece you have been dreaming of....I'm determined to make my one and only marathon in 2010 a fantastic one :)

Quote for today: "Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive." - Hubbard, Elbert

Friday, September 10, 2010

Not Afraid...+ Unconditional Commitment

Eminem's song "Not Afraid" always gets me pumped up and makes me feel like I can do anything I set my mind to..maybe it's his anger in the song, or the lyrics...whatever it is, it always gets me fired up. Personal trauma in my life lately leaves me laying in my bed in the dark at 5am, not wanting to get up to train. I feel empty inside of any motivation to be great, to go run myself into the ground. But this morning when I quickly checked my email at 5 am, my heart rate went probably about as high as my last VO2 max test...I got some news that just got me ANGRY. My 18 mile run this morning consisted of many things racing through my head, minor panic attacks with me feeling like my heart was in my throat and overall I got home with a new sense of how I am going to live my life.

No more doubting myself, my talent, my hard work or my vision of how great I can be. There are going to be people who do things that hurt me, anger me and betray me, but in the end I still have to take care of ME and those that I love, unconditionally. I LOVE my running and I have to protect it, not let any one take it away from me. I have to stay unconditionally committed to it. Most people have no clue how to stay unconditionally committed to someone or something. They think the grass is greener or they just plain give up!

My future goals and ideas that I have for my life have been shot down by more people than I care to mention. I also tend to get so scared of failure that I try to perfect anything and everything to make sure I DON'T fail. However anything I have set my mind to I have accomplished and I have to remind myself of that....No more being afraid, and it's time to get back on the path I have for my life and never, ever, ever waver from it...Whether it's running, triathlon or both, I will be one of the best in the world. Period. M, D, S, W, W and B, this is for you...

Quotes for today: "If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity, it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high. Look it squarely in the eye, and say, 'I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.' "- Ann Landers

"Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit is to grow strong by conflict."- William E. Channing

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Look Back + HOME tomorrow!! :)

Gosh where do I begin..I've been in NYC since August 11th and I cannot believe 26 days has already gone by! Time really does fly and although I've had great experiences with my racing here and had a ton of fun with my sister and my mom when she was here, I'm definitely ready to go home (in case I haven't made that clear enough the past two weeks, LOL). Training this past week went well. I turned a really unmotivated and down attitude into a pretty positive and tough one to get through my hardest week of training thus far. My mileage hit about 82 and I ran my hardest workout I've done in a very very long time, yesterday. I did it on the treadmill and it hurt so much more than I expected! I was actually nervous for it and afraid I wouldn't be able to do it, but I got through it without falling off the back of the treadmill, lol. I warmed up 3 miles, did 5 miles at 5:42 pace and then cooled down. Phew it was HARD. This morning I told myself to just run my 17 mile long run relaxed and pick it up at the end if I felt strong. I guess running along the Hudson River made me feel good and excited because I averaged 6:47's for the whole run, with some miles quicker and a few just a little slower, yet all well under 7 minute pace :) I did my core and strength work later in the day, took a great ice bath and my body is feeling good and ready for my complete day off tomorrow!

Two things that have really helped me stay injury free all this time away from home without any massages or treatment from my physical therapists: my foam roller from Triple Sports and my ice baths! I got one of the grid foam rollers made by Trigger Point at Triple Sports and I really like it! I have typically used a regular foam roller but the grid ones seem to work better :) Taking ice baths each week help so much too!

I'm proud of myself for many things I've done while I've been in NYC. Some of them are:

1- I did my core routine 3-4 times per week. I brought my exercise ball and pump, strength band, ankle weights etc. and I used them and stuck with my routine! It takes about 70 minutes to do so I'm so happy I stayed dedicated and got it done!

2- I made sure I stretched well after every run and core session, just like I do at home. I didn't rush through it to go do other things.

3- I slept a decent amount every night and never had any major "partying" nights or staying up super late.

4- I trained through having a sickness and managed to eat well and take care of myself to prevent it from getting any worse.

5- Although I had extremely hard days and didn't want to do certain hard workouts, I did all of them and accomplished every goal of each workout.

6- I stayed under my budget while I was here...no extra shopping or spending money on things I didn't need, haha :)

Anyway, tomorrow is time to go back to AZ and I can't wait to get there and get back in my regular routine for the next 9 weeks until the marathon! I'll start sub-teaching again each week and work super hard to get as fit as I possibly can. Time to focus and keep my eye on the prize.....

Quote for today: "Try not to do too many things at once. Know what you want, the number one thing today and tomorrow. Persevere and get it done."- George Allen

Friday, September 3, 2010

Taking nothing for granted + barefoot running! :)

Well, only two more full days here in NYC and then it's time to head back to AZ. I've been counting down the days and hours until I leave yet I'm very happy I put myself in this unfamiliar situation and I have successfully managed to run (and win) my races at pretty good paces. I've also met some super nice people along the way and I'm very grateful for that. Exploring a little bit more of NYC than usual was fun and running in new parks and in different areas of Central Park has been refreshing. I'm so happy I found some soft surfaces the past week! On Tuesday I forgot to mention that my cool down at the track was actually on the inside of the track on the artificial turf, BAREFOOT! I ran a mile and a half without ANY pain in either foot and it was really exciting. The last time I ran barefoot on the grass was in February and it hurt my foot the whole time. I have always done some sort of barefoot running (on grass only) since I was in high school. Whether it was strides or my cool down, my teammates and I did it and I definitely think it helps strengthen your feet and ankles; it's fun too!

During my run this morning I started to think about where I was a year ago. I couldn't even walk after runs because my heel/plantar fascia hurt so bad the minute I took my running shoes off. I tried so many things to get it better and here I am now with almost never any pain. This week has been a bit of a mental challenge for me in respect to my workouts and having the motivation to run really hard. I never really mind going for relaxing runs yet this week the hard days felt like elephants weighing on my shoulders. The biggest reason is probably because I want to be at home, back with everything and everyone that I love. I also don't have Samantha around me during the day to hang out and talk to, etc.= too much time for me to sit, think and over analyze dumb stuff! :) However this morning I tried to push any negative energy out of my head and truly appreciate where I am with my running, not beat myself up about little things and not take a pain-free run for granted! A few months ago I debated quitting the sport entirely because of the unbearable pain and I HATED the fact I couldn't go for a run and feel "normal".

I always put so much pressure on myself to achieve certain goals or dreams. I tend to do well under pressure yet managing it can be challenging; you can't let it affect you way before a big event! In college my coach always joked with me that I didn't ever live in the moment and focus on the season we were currently in. Instead I thought way down the road about future seasons and goals. Was it a way to relieve some pressure from my expectations I had for myself at that time? Or to distract myself from all the fear I had of "failing" and letting my team down? I talk about some of this stuff in the recent Running Times issue. My friend actually found it online for me so here is the link if you are interested: http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=20503

With my hard workouts and races coming up, my goal is to focus on the current day I'm and not worry about way down the road. Extra stress and worries will likely hinder my performances. It's always good to think of future goals and to have some sort of direction and organization but I need to redirect myself sometimes. Most of all, I'm so happy to be running, injury free and pretty darn fit. I know all the hard work WILL pay off, just like it always has. Therefore as long as I get the training done, have fun, and prioritize well....I'll stand at any starting line knowing my fitness won't fail me and my mental toughness will get me through any rough patches I have :) Like one coach used to say "Sally, you're tough as NAILS!", haha :):)

Pic: From Oregano's Pizza Bistro...one of my fave restaurants in AZ that I can't wait to go to when I get home! :p

Quote for today: "May we never let the things we can’t have, or don’t have, or shouldn’t have, spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have. As we value our happiness let us not forget it, for one of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have." - Richard L. Evans