Posted by: kzaitzruns | January 25, 2016

Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders & the 3M Half…

It’s great to go to a race and win, because ultimately that is why we race, to be our best and to be the best at the sport. However, this past weekend was about much more then just a race.  I had the privilege, pleasure and honor to visit the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders. I got a campus tour before talking to the young girls, 6th-12th grade runners. After a Q&A, a mile run around the track with them, and some pictures, it is safe to say that while I was there to inspire those girls they ended up inspiring me! What a great group of polite, motivated, enthusiastic and smart girls. I believe if all our young girls in the country emulated them we would not be facing so many problems with our teens in today’s society.

I had the pleasure of being around the amazing group of people that make 3M Half Marathon happen.  Christina Yamanaka (race director), John Conley (previous race director and elite coordinator), Russell Bridges (representing 3M) and other volunteers are all part of my Austin family, whom I’m very blessed to know.  Their hard work and dedication make it possible for me to follow my dreams and do what I love for a living.  I’ve been lucky enough to race in Austin in 2014, 2015, and now 2016, so their once unfamiliar faces have turned into faces of friends.  The city is super supportive and the running community in Austin is energetic and motivating. I cherish moments like this weekend where I get to be a part of something greater within our sport! 

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Running with the girls from Ann Richards. It’s so easy to smile when you are surrounded by this great energy!

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Crossing the finish line for the win!

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Without amazing volunteers, like Alisa, this race wouldn’t go on.  They often don’t get the credit they deserve. It takes an army…

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After my speech at Ann Richards. Great group of girls!  My advice to them, “Don’t be afraid to fail. ”

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Running solo. PC: Michelle Perez Hittner

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I’ve never been on tv, glad Christina was up their with me. Thank you Austin for caring about the sport of distance running.

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Until next time…

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Posted by: kzaitzruns | October 21, 2015

What’s in my running bag?

People often ask me what my must-haves are in my running bag.  Today I’m going to share that with you.  There’s nothing worse then showing up for a run, a workout or a race and not having what you need! 

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My Brooks bag is big, so it’s great,  it means I can carry everything I need. First, I NEVER run without my sunglasses (unless it’s dark or raining). My go-to pair is Zeal Optics Range in white.  It’s important to protect your eyes from the sun, the wind and other elements. I’ve been using glasses to run since 1999 and these are my favorites yet!

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I’ve forgotten recovery nutrition more often then not, so now I keep extra bottles from Polar Bottle in my bag to put my First Endurance recovery drink in.  Recovery is so important and it is important to get the proper nutrition in within 30 minutes of working out! This ensures I get the proper nutrtion even when I leave the house without pre-making my bottle.

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(These to-go packs are great to keep in your bag or take to races.)

I sweat alot so it’s important I have electrolytes with me at all times.  So my purse and my running bag always have a tube of nuun. My favorite at the moment is citrus fruit!

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You will only see me without my chapstick if I’ve forgotten it, that is why there is always a stick of Burt’s Bee in my running bag.  Colorado is dry so it’s especially impotant for keeping the dryness away.  I also carry an SPF one.

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Extra socks are a must and for cooler days I always keep gloves, a head band and arm warmers in my bag in case the weather is cooler than I anticipated. Better to be prepared and not need them, then to freeze!

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(My favorite Brooks socks)

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These are my must-haves along with deodorant, body wipes, Tiger Balm (to warm your muscles up), and a towel. You never know when you will need or want to run errands after a run, so it’s better to be prepared! Maybe it’s just my OCD personality that makes me so prepared, but I tell you, if you keep your bag packed with all your faves you will feel better going into every training session!

Until next time…

Posted by: kzaitzruns | September 16, 2015

Ups, downs, & consistency…

The last month has had some ups and downs but through it all my training has at least been consistent.  I am enjoying being aerobically fit after almost 12 weeks of base training.  A death in the family (yes, sad to say my amazing aunt finally lost her 11 year battle with cancer), a fall off of concrete steps, some good workouts, fun times with family friends and alas…just plugging away at my training, all lead to “real” training next week.  I look forward to the change. My mind and body are ready.

Follow me on my journey over the next five months as I train for the Olympic Marathon Trials. It may not be easy, it may not be pretty, but it’s my dream and I know damn well it’s what I’m meant to be doing!

Below are pics from the last couple of months, everyday life and training!

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Post-workout photo! Our competitors, also our friends, can help push us to make us better! (L-R Neely Spence Gracey, Me, Kara Goucher, Kristin Swisher).

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Boston Public Gardens after the beautiful ceremony held in my aunt’s honor. Family is important. Embrace them, make memories, laugh a lot and always love each other.

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Physiology testing at the new CU Sports Performance Facility earlier in the month.  It’s an honor working with Ignio San Millan. To reach your goals you must be willing to do what it takes!

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Most important part of training…recovery! I like to incorporate the Anti-gravity treadmill once a week as injury prevention.  You can train hard, but if your body doesn’t recover it won’t adapt to the training.

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Practicing marathon nutrition because you can never practice it enough.  Thanks to Polar Bottle I can practice with bottles that keep my fluids cooler &   look cool!  The Olympic motif remind me daily of my goals!

Thanks for all the support!  Until next time…

Posted by: kzaitzruns | July 21, 2015

Had to share…ultimate curry dish!

I fixed this tonight, thanks to my homeopathic nutrition advisor, Dr. Sasha Fluss (NatureMed Clinic). She’s given me some amazing recipes to help fuel my running that are homemade and packed with vitamins, energy, and help reduce inflammation. Tonight’s dinner was my favorite so far. I got some feedback via Twitter to share the recipe, so here it goes (I will share exactly how I made it, as I tweaked a few things):

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2 organic chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red onion, chopped
2/3 can full fat coconut milk
1/2 c pureed pumpkin
4 T HIGH QUALITY curry powder (I used Sri Lanken curry from the Napa OxBo Market)
I package of organic Baby Bella mushrooms
1 T coconut oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Pinch of cinnamon
Basil to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute garlic and chicken in avacado oil; add coconut milk and pumpkin once chicken is cooked.  Stir to combine.
Add onion,  mushroom and spices to cook down (I used a 45 minutes Elliptigo ride to let it simmer)!
Enjoy over a baked sweet potato with skin removed and mashed with a fork.  Top with fresh basil!

Enjoy!

Until next time…

Posted by: kzaitzruns | July 7, 2015

Runspiration!

Have you ever thought about what or who inspires you to run?  For me there are many reasons that inspire me to run, but in the last 6-7 years a big inspiration in my life has been my aunt.  Unfortunately as I write this she is losing her long fought battle with terminal cancer but I must say she has LIVED life fully even as she is fighting for her life.  As a professional athlete I am always inspired by people who beat the odds, and while she will die from the F#*@ing cancer, she beat the odds in so many ways!

The cancer started out in her lungs (stage 4) before moving to her bones.  She was given 6 months to live from her doctor, she showed cancer who was boss.  She didn’t sit in her apartment and dwell on it (yes, I know there were days where this happened, but we all have days we dwell on), she traveled and set future goals so she had something to fight for.  However, recently the cancer spread to her brain (F#*@ cancer!) and the cancer is now attacking the part of her where the fight comes from.  People often say mind over matter and this is true in running and in life.  She proved this as she LIVED life with cancer but it pains me now to even write this because she’s losing the part of her that said “F#*@ cancer, I’ll show you!”

So why is she an inspiration to me?  She showed courage when most people would give up!  She showed fight when she could have said, “cancer you win”.  They said there was a new experimental drug that could work but might not, she said “I’ll try it”!  While in the end, the cancer will take her, she has showed strength and bravery that most people (including myself) only hope to have when faced with a life threatening illness.  When I would race in Boston, she’d be out there cheering for me no matter how tired or weak she was feeling that day.  She has been one of my cheerleaders and she has become one of my biggest runspirations.  There have been many runs and races quietly dedicated in her honor.

Lately it is hard to go out on a run or go have fun without thinking, “I shouldn’t be enjoying this so much.”  I feel guilty that she is suffering while I am having a great run or fun with my husband or friends.  However, I know life cannot be lived feeling guilty.  She showed me that no matter what the times bring, life must be lived.  She showed this by example when the cancer decided to sneak it’s way into her body.  She showed cancer that she still had more living to do.  Life is often how we make it.  Our situations may suck but we can control how we deal with those situations.  She chose to live despite being told that she has a disease that will soon kill her.  She chose to live longer than the disease wanted her to.  She has taught me to be courageous, to be strong, to live life and be brave.  I don’t know if I will ever be as brave or courageous as she has been but I will do my best so that I honor her life.  I want her to know that her cancer wasn’t for nothing, it has taught me the TRUE meaning of perseverance, courage and what it means to fight like hell for something you want!

Aunt Kim I love you and am praying for you every second of everyday.

Until next time…

Posted by: kzaitzruns | May 29, 2015

The race that was…n’t!

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On Monday, for Memorial Day I toed the line for the Bolder Boulder 10k.  I’ve done this many times before, running for Team Colorado or in the citizen race in the past.  Today was different, I had achieved a decade long goal, to run for Team USA (check out my cool USA bottles that Polar Bottle had ready just in time for the Bolder Boulder 1ok)!

Polar Bottle had me customize my bottles with my signature!

Polar Bottle had me customize my bottles with my signature!

While Monday’s race was disastrous for me I ran for so much more than just myself.  This day was about taking one more step on my journey towards my dreams.  I wasn’t only running for Team USA but I was also running for all those who have served or continue to serve so that I can live in a free country!  While many of you are wondering what a disastrous race entrails, for me it is when nothing goes my way and there is really nothing I can do about it!  I’ve had races (Bloomsday 12k for example) where I did not have a great race but I can pinpoint what went wrong (my legs didn’t like the new taper we tried and therefore I felt flat)!  However, for the BB10k it was different.  It is what most runners call, an “off” day!  My “off” day consisted of the thought to drop out on more than one occasion (think five or six times and the race is only 6.2 miles long) and to run the most painfully slow pace despite feeling like my effort matched that of a sprint!

Like I mentioned before, however, this Memorial Day race is about so much more than myself and that is what kept me going when I all I wanted to do was drop out, curl up on the sidewalk with my head between my knees and be invisible.  These are the days where I believe we build the most character.  Bad races leave you searching for the one or two good things that where.  The good news coming out of this race was by me finishing, I helped Team USA White earn a $4,000 prize split between the three of us.  Had I dropped out Team Mexico would have beat us and I would have “cheated” the two American women in front of me out of the hard earned prize money.  So while the race was what I consider to be a really bad day, I am ready to move forward knowing I did my best on that day even though my best was far from my best most days!

I greatly appreciate all the support from the community yelling my name out on the course or yelling, “Go USA”!  I appreciate all the support from my sponsors: Brooks, Zeal Optics, Polar Bottle, First Endurance, Nuun, NormaTec, and EllitiGO!  I appreciate all the support from my team (that consists of family, friends, and the people that keep my body healthy!)

Running into the packed stadium is such an amazing experience that will forever be embedded in my mind.  It is the loudest finish I have ever run into and that says something about the running community here in Boulder!  Despite feeling like I had a bad day, bad days are made better by amazing experiences such as running the pro race at the Bolder Boulder.  It is made better by all those people screaming for you and for all those people who sacrifice their lives or put themselves in harms way to protect our country!

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Until next time…

Posted by: kzaitzruns | April 20, 2015

Recharging and Relaxing…

As a professional runner I often find myself constantly on the go.  Often with two workouts a day, babysitting a couple of families, taking care of the house, making meals for my husband and myself on a daily basis, I can become grouchy and tired.  This is my life, I love it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  However, unlike other jobs where you get holidays off or two week vacations, running is different.  Our breaks are based on our training cycles and for me, my largest breaks only come after a marathon.  With my husband working in finance, we are lucky if our breaks line up.  When they don’t my downtime is at home, and as anyone with a type A personality knows, that’s not REALLY a break.  I find myself cleaning the house from top to bottom, doing yard work, anything that is “normal”.  That “normalcy” leaves me exhausted and not revigorated like I should be when it’s time to start training again.  I’m fortunate enough that my coach works “active recovery” breaks into my schedule (usually after a race at the end of a training cycle) and those breaks and what I do with them is pretty flexible. For instance, this time I took three days off of running completely and then starting running easy again.  Or, I can take the whole week and cross train or do light running, it’s up to me really and what I feel I need.  Only I can determine that.

This time I made sure to have a few days of R&R.  While it was only three days followed by four days of easy running, it was enough to leave me excited, hungry and rested.  I now feel ready to start my 10k training.  It’s important for me to have a break where I get to relax.  I don’t want to be on a tight schedule, I want to sleep in, I want to eat whatever I want and drink more than one glass of wine!  If I exercise (like our wine tour on bikes), I don’t want it to feel like exercise!  People often assume because I run I can eat whatever I want.  While during marathon training, this is somewhat true, I see food as fuel and therefore try and make the healthiest choices.  So while I consume a lot of calories and never restrict calories I make sure those calories are rich in protein, fruit, vegetables, and other healthy carbohydrates.  I believe no one should live a life void of the foods and drinks they love but instead have them in moderation (or in my case, on my three day break)!  I loved every minute of the good food and even better wine we consumed!  I didn’t think about whether or not it was a healthy choice but rather was it something I would not eat ever or often while in training!

So if you are feeling burnt out from exercise, work, or life… sometimes you don’t need a long vacation to feel refreshed, sometimes all it takes is a few days away from home relaxing.  For me that is wine country with my husband.  It’s one of our favorite places to recharge from the stresses of life and it allows us to share in our passion of wine and beautiful scenery.  We’d rather take six mini-vacations throughout the year then one or two bigger ones.  It allows us to recharge more often, and in today’s busy world I believe this is so important for our well-being and for relationships with loved ones.

So go ahead and schedule yourself a 3 day vacation, I guarantee you won’t regret it!  If you do, you weren’t stressed out enough or you don’t know how to plan a mini get-away!

Coach and I walking to the start of the Sactown 10-mile.  It's always fun to celebrate a good race with a few days off!

Coach and I walking to the start of the Sactown 10-mile. It’s always fun to celebrate a good race with a few days off!

My sprint to the finish!  Learning to run strong at the end when I am tired!

My sprint to the finish! Learning to run strong at the end when I am tired!

Mid-race with Jane Kibii who took first.  I raced well and even though I was 2nd, I was able to have a strong finish.  It's not always about the PR's.

Mid-race with Jane Kibii who took first. I raced well and even though I was 2nd, I was able to have a strong finish. It’s not always about the PR’s.

Another 10-mile shot!

Another 10-mile shot!

On the podium with two other fast ladies!

On the podium with two other fast ladies! Showing off my Zeal sunglasses and my Brooks gear!

Stopping for the views along the way!

Stopping for the views along the way!

Cakebread Cellars...good wine, pretty grounds and always a good time with my hubby!

Grigch Hills Estates…good wine, pretty grounds and always a good time with my hubby!

Grigch Hills we splurged on a wine and cheese pairing!  Oh what fun...

Grigch Hills we splurged on a wine and cheese pairing! Oh what fun…

Dinner one night... see what I mean?!  Cheese, bread and wine... not something I would do during training!

Dinner one night… see what I mean?! Cheese, bread and wine… not something I would do during training!  Well not that much of each anyway!

2nd stop on our bike tour.  Summers Winery.  Beautiful scenery so we stayed there for lunch!

2nd stop on our bike tour. Summers Winery. Beautiful scenery so we stayed there for lunch!

Love the beauty to be found in wine country.  There are always great photo ops!

Love the beauty to be found in wine country. There are always great photo ops!  This was at Cakebread Cellars, beautiful grounds and even better wine!

Until next time…

Posted by: kzaitzruns | January 9, 2015

Top 10 Tips for New Runners AND a Few of My Favorite Things:

It’s a new year, that means it’s time for those New Year’s Resolutions.  Do you make resolutions each year?  Do you find that you end up breaking them?  People often ask me as a professional runner what kind of resolutions I make going into the new year.

To be honest, I don’t make any.  I make goals and those goals are based on my training cycles.  I find that January 1st is just like any other day, a day to make myself better whether it’s 2014 or 2015.  With that being said, I love seeing people get more motivated about fitness and their health.  If only they were given tools to help stick with it, to make it a life habit, not just a resolution that ends up being broken.

I know many people who want to run but aren’t sure where to start.   I get the question all the time, “I want to run, but it hurts.”  Sure most of the grueling workouts or races I do hurt, but running isn’t supposed to hurt all the time, the reason it often hurts is because people don’t know how to start, so they just run.  They go beyond what their body is ready to do initially.  This results in frustration and often injury.  I am going to give you my top ten pieces of advice for those of you who wish to run but don’t know where to start.  I hope these tips will help you get started and keep you running.

1.  It’s okay to walk/jog.  Often that is how I tell people to start.  This is a great way to work up to running consistently and without stopping.

2.  Don’t worry what other people think when you are alternating between a walk and a jog.  Also, don’t worry about what other people think of your pace either.  My motto is, if they are judging you they probably don’t know you and they probably aren’t worth knowing!

3.  Being consistent is key.  This doesn’t mean running everyday, but it does mean making it a habit and part of your daily routine.  On the days you don’t run, swim, bike, or ElliptiGO.  Cardio can build up your aerobic base without the pounding.

4.  If you are not a solo runner or have trouble motivating yourself to get out the door everyday, find a running partner with similar pace, similar goals and someone you can count on to be there no matter what.  What’s a running partner if they don’t show up because they want to sleep in or don’t feel like running?

5.  Have a program to follow whether it’s something you came up with or a coach designed just for you. Even if your goal isn’t to race, it’s good to have something you can go off of.  Also, remember it’s just a plan, if you’re sick or hurt listen to your body and take the needed time off.

6. Induldge a little. People tell me all the time, “I bet you can eat whatever you want!” Yes, I burn a lot of calories, but I see food as fuel. While I try and eat healthy (lots of organic fruits, veggies, and lean protein) 80% of the time, the other 20% is filled with some of my favorite indulgences. One being the Whole Foods Vegan Chocolate Cookie.  And thanks to the new Bradburn store that opened up a couople of miles down the road, I can indulge or grab a healthy snack more often.

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Another one of my favorites is the “bacon bar” at Bradburn Whole Foods.  I can go in and get any kind of fresh  raw bacon imaginable.  Bacon is one of my favorite indulgences after a hard or long run alongside some blueberry pancakes or pumpkin waffles.  I use the motto, “Everything in moderation.”  Even bacon!  I always try and pair an indulgence with something nutrient packed!  Think avocados, blueberries, or clementines.

7.  Set baby goals and remember it’s not a destination to reach but a journey.  Have fun on this journey, even on the not-so-fun days!

8.  Coffee, coffee, coffee!  While I don’t drink caffeinated coffee everyday (I save that for workout or race days), I always have my cup of coffee every morning that I savor.  My favorite is:

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Whether you like tea, coffee or hot water in the morning, make time for breakfast before or after your run.  I love to eat before I run because I find I don’t have enough energy if I wait to eat afterwards, but either way, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Make it special and savor it.  I love my Buzz Free Decaf before my easy days with peanut butter and honey on a rice cake with a banana.

9.  Find a good pair of shoes!  My go-to pair is the Brooks Ravennas!  They feel like they were made for me feet.  It’s important to have someone watch you run and put you in a shoe based on your running gait.  I know it’s fun to pick shoes based on their color, but comfort and support is much more important!

10.  Don’t do anything crazy and remember recovery is just as important as the workout itself.  Without recovery you cannot absorb the work.  If you cannot afford recovery modalities like massage or NormaTec compression systems you can always take an ice bath or a hot bath (preferred in the winter months). I find hot baths with Batherapy Bath salts (hint: in the bath and body section of Whole Foods) help with tired sore legs.  It’s a great way to unwind at the end of the day and will leave you feeling fresh for the next day.

I hope these tips can help you if you’re having trouble integrating running and/or health and fitness into your life.  It needs to become a daily habit for it to stick.  I often say it’s a lifestyle, that is why such things as diets, do not work long-term!  Be supportive of yourself, love yourself, be patient with yourself and forgiving when you mess up or veer off course.  Remember that tomorrow is a new day and you can always start again!

Until next time…

Posted by: kzaitzruns | January 5, 2015

One, two, three… “GO”, ElliptiGO that is!

Since my 5-minute personal best at the California International Marathon, I have been asked a lot about what I did differently during this marathon phase versus past marathon phases. While there are many factors that played a part towards my 2:32:48 marathon time, I tell people, “recovery”.

Recovery is often overlooked and the older we get as athletes the more important recovery is. My recovery days between workouts was increased this cycle, along with using the anit-gravity treadmill (known as the Alter-G), sleeping more, and cross-training more! You can train hard all you want, but if you don’t recover you do not absorb the training.

This brings me to the real reason for writing this blog. People often ask me about my ElliptiGO, how I incorporate it into my training, the benefits of the GO versus running, and how I used it during my build-up to C.I.M. Before my GO I was confined to my spin bike, looking out the window longing to be outside (not to mention my butt aching by the time I got off the bike). With the GO I was able to take my recovery sessions outside and have fun! I didn’t know cross-training could be fun until I got the GO. I was lucky that Colorado had a very mild fall and I was able to use it for most of my second sessions. While I would still put in a few second runs per week the GO allowed me to shake-out my legs after a hard workout without causing more stress to the body. All of my workouts were between 20-27 miles so the thought of going for another run seemed almost impossible. I know many athletes that do this and it works for them but it’s not for me. I NEED the shake-out but not the pounding that running induces. The ElliptiGO mimics the running motion, therefore being very close to running but without the pounding. It is perfect for me, someone who gets injured if I do not get enough recovery.

Using the GO was a fun way to mix-up my training and keep it interesting. Marathon training can get very monotonous so I believe it’s important to keep it fun! You want to be tired at the end of every day but not left feeling “destroyed”. This has been the difference between the first seven marathons I have done and the one I ran December 7th, 2014. I used the ElliptiGO easy in the afternoons, while I would feel my heart rate get higher than on the bike, I kept the resistance easy. My coach only wanted me to use it for a shakeout, which, gets the blood flowing again and rids my legs of lactic acid leaving them fresher the next day. You can, however, use the GO for workouts when injured or to gain fitness. It’s easy to do interval, tempo or hill training on it. This winter it is set-up on a trainer in my basement so I can continue to take advantage of it’s impact-free workouts despite all the snow, ice and cold temps!
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The above photos show the full stride you can get on the GO!

While there are many factors that play a part in success, mine focused on recovery.  The recovery in part left me more mentally sharp and able to handle workouts better, adapt quicker, and feel healthy at the start line (and the finish)!  I am very thankful to be a part of the ElliptiGO family and look forward to using it to reach more goals!

Until next time…

Posted by: kzaitzruns | December 17, 2014

It’s All About the Journey…

Sunday, December 7th I towed the line at the California International Marathon for the third time.  I was hoping that my 3rd time was a charm.  It was, but we’ll get to that later, because after all it’s all about the journey.  After 7 “failed” marathon attempts where I once again fell short of goals, I finally ran a race I had been capable of for quite some time.

My story with the marathon began in 2007 and each one was filled with heartache, tears, and broken dreams.  2012 I was ready for a breakthrough at C.I.M., I was fit and mentally felt ready… or so I thought.  God had other plans.  At mile 9, while running with the lead pack and the soon to be winner, Alisha Williams, I felt a snap in my foot.  I tried to run a few more steps, in denial that my dream was over, at least for now.  Despite the monsoon rain and wind I had comfortably been running 5:45 pace.  I hobbled in tears to the side of the road before a police officer came to the rescue.  Turns out I had broken the 5th metatarsal in my right foot at the base, about a centimeter away from being a Jones Fracture and requiring surgery.  Yes, there is always a silver lining.  It’s all about the journey…

2013 I was going to go for low 2:30’s again at C.I.M.  Except this time, while being fit, I didn’t feel mentally tough and was doubting myself and my abilities.  It didn’t help that four days before the race I got my menstrual cycle.  Many women know this can wreak havoc on the body, but I learned in 2014 (I’ll get to that later) that most of it is about controlling it mentally.  I blew up that year at C.I.M. because I analyzed everything going into that race and everything during the race.  While I ran to a PR of 2:37:48, I was once again heartbroken and devastated.

While I have so much more in my life than just running, it is hard when we as athletes continually fall short.  We work so hard day in and day out, that it often feels like it’s all in vain when we miss our goals.  That’s where it’s not about the destination, but the journey.  It’s not about being easy, but challenging us to the point of wanting to quit… but we don’t!  I don’t!  My husband always reminds me that if running at the elite level were easy, everyone would be doing it.

So how did I finally overcome the marathon in 2014 at C.I.M.?  There are many reasons really, my support team continuing to believe, stepping up my mental homework, more recovery in my training, more focus on my nutrition, and letting go of analyzing.  That is why athletes have coaches, right?  What’s the point of having a coach if we are going to pick apart everything we do?  I contolled my mental, not the other way around and I ran from my heart (thank you Forrest Walker for reminding me of this)!  From a rental car flub the day before the race, to starting my menstrual cycle at 8pm the evening before the race, I was in control.  Like the necklace my husband got me days before for my birthday said, “She believed she could so she did.”  And I did!  I ran 2:32:48 for 3rd place and first American.  I ran from my heart, I ran my race, and I competed!  I earned my first ever Olympic Marathon Trials “A” standard!

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So you see, all the past marathons I’ve run, every injury, every heartache, led me to my 2:32:48!  Each marathon I learned a valuable lesson and each day I worked to better myself.  Why has it taken me so long to breakthrough?  I don’t know the answer to that question exactly, but I do know that my journey is like no one else’s.  It is all my own and I must embrace it instead of comparing it to someone else’s.  Even from a great race, I have takeaways on what I need to work on to be better and to reach more goals.  Most of all, however, I believe!

So I hope this can inspire others to never give up.  There were many times I almost gave up, there were many races that I thought were my last.  There were many people that thought I was crazy for trying again and again.   But I’m not a quitter and deep down I knew I was capable of so much more than what I was producing.  The journey is about getting up again and again after being knocked down.  It’s easier to stay down than to get back up, but what kind of life would that be?

CIMpro 48

Before I sign off, I would like to thank God, because without Him nothing would be possible.  I would like to thank my coach and step-dad, who has always believed, always encouraged, and always pushed me to be better!  He’s been thru every up and down with me and knows me better than any coach can know an athlete. There is no one I would rather have coach me than you!  I’d like to thank my mom who has been there through every heartbreak with me and has never given up on me!  She’s always there to lend an ear, listen to me cry, celebrate my successes or just make me smile! I would like to thank my husband, Justin, who has helped me find balance in life and has made this journey so fun! He supports me and loves me unconditionally and it’s amazing how that carries over into life! I’d like to thank the rest of my family and friends who have always had my back thru thick and thin. You know who you are, you are the ones who have been there when things were tough and for that I’m so grateful. I’d like to thank my bodywork team of: Lori Hayne, Forrest Walker, Dr. Kevin Reichlin, Dr. Richard Hansen, Nate Butryn, Erin Roy, Marcus Allen Hille, Mark Plaatjes, Dr. Kelly Parcell, Pat Guyton Pilates and last but not least Doc Walker. I’d like to thank Brooks, First Endurance, Nuun, NormaTec, Elliptigo, Whole Foods Bradburn and anyone else I may have forgotten. If I did forget anyone, my apologies, I’m so thankful in my heart!

Until next time…

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