Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top 5 Accomplishments of 2013

Some people might say it's silly. Tomorrow is just one more day. I may sometimes think that's the case. If you want to do something, why not start now. I often hear (in November): "My New Year's Resolution is going to be to work out more". Well, that's cool. Why don't you start today? It's not like you wake up on January 1st a completely different person!

I'm no Grinch, I swear. I'm just more of a "today" person, rather than "tomorrow". I do like though, that in this western world that we live in, we get a day when we get to push the reset button and every one we know will acknowledge it. It's a fresh start. In addition, we get a day when we get to go back and reflect on the past 365 days (who came up with this number anyway, why not 350 or 400?). I personally had an amazing year although after I did the math, I'm disappointed about one thing (keep reading). 

Here are my Top 5 Accomplishments of 2013 (no specific order): 

1. Marathon PR in February: New Orleans Marathon: 4h 15m 06s
2. Half Marathon PR in April: Platte River Half: 1h 57m 23s (my first ever sub-2hr half)
3. 5K PR in April: 24m 37s. This was also the day when my ex-boyfriend (now husband) proposed. 
4. Ran my first ultra Relay. It's insanely hard to run on no sleep. Regardless, we won 1st place for the ultra division. 
5. Ran my first 50 mile race. While I said I'd never do it again. I have my eyes on some more now. 

With all these races, there was a lot of training and with help of certain gadgets, I was able to track down how many miles total I ran this year. The big number was 917 miles. THAT'S WHAT I'M DISAPPOINTED IN! How did I not get to 1000? Refer to my last post here and check #1. That's why I didn't get to 1000. Maybe 2014 will be my year.  

What was your #1 accomplishment of 2013? 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 5 (items to improve on) of 2013

Tomorrow is the very last day of 2013, so I figured I should end the year on a happy note. But before I do that, I feel it's important to reflect on my biggest challenges of 2013.

I don't talk about my failures often but it's sometimes important to go back and see what I can do differently to succeed next time I try. There's a few things I just didn't feel like I did right and writing about them, makes me feel like I should improve on.

Some things are out of control, for example, I got sick over and over again in 2013. I'm sure a couple of the items listed below have to do with it, but seriously... hard to control pneumonia! And well, planning a wedding. Yeah, that took way too much time. Regardless here's the Top 5 things I think I could improve on:

1. I skipped way too many training sessions. It's easy to skip them on any given day. "I'm too busy; I feel tired; It's too cold out; Happy hour with friends sounds SO MUCH better". I often felt guilty the day after and tried to make up for it. I've learned that just like sleep, you can never really make up for it. If you make up for the miles, you can't make up for the recovery and eventually burn out.

2. I didn't take care of my diet. Like I mentioned in my previous post, my daily diet is far from great. I'm silly, but sometimes I'll take the "queezy tummy" if I satisfy my craving. I've had some nasty GI issues during runs due to this. Ask Lindsay. She's experienced it first hand.

3. Sleep. I sleep lots. But sometimes I decide to watch Netflix for hours on end instead of turning off the damn thing and sleep. Consequently, I sleep 3-4hrs/night. It's not always, but I do it more often that I'd like to.

4. I signed up for too many races. 21 races in 2013 to be exact. I can't stop. But sometimes I'm too tired and should probably just sleep in and run after a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast. Does anyone know about a support group.  I need to stop.

5. I ran on the treadmill way too much. When I'm lazy, I just let the day go by and run at night. On the treadmill. I get a "free" treadmill at the Community Center of the condo's we live at. We move to a single family house in 3 weeks. I'm so spoiled knowing I can run whenever I want, I will struggle. But heck! I live in Colorado, running outside during the day shouldn't be too hard, right. Like I said, I'm just lazy.

What were your biggest challenges/failures this past year?

I don't always go on diets, but when I do...

I do it all wrong!!

That's right! I'm a HORRIBLE eater. I mean, I'm that girl who would eat a whole bag of Sea Salt and Vinegar chips dipped in fake Lays French Onion Dip. And I hide them from my husband... that's right. And I'm proud of it.

I've tried multiple healthy-eating diets, only to try them out for a day or two and then eating crappy snacks in between my very healthy meals. And there's always an excuse for me to eat those snacks, like for example: "I just ran 10 miles, I EARNED my chips". You would ask yourself why don't I have healthier snacks at home. Well, let's get real. Dehydrated kale chips are no Jalapeno greasy potato chips. An apple? Yeah, that's no delicious peanut brittle. Don't get me wrong, I'll eat the apple, too. On top of the chips. And the peanut brittle. Yum.

The one thing I can do is change ONE thing on my diet. For now anyway. My breakfast is always somewhat lame. My everyday breakfast consists of scrambled eggs or cereal with a glass of orange juice so I thought: "What if I make my lame breakfast, a lame way to get some healthy stuff in?"  So I did. I'm on day 4 of drinking a delicious smoothie for breakfast. A green one. And it actually tastes good, which makes my breakfast somewhat less lame but a million times better, I think. I drink kale and spinach that tastes like mango and strawberries. So I get a full serving of veggies and a full serving of fruit to kick start my day. And GUESS WHAT? My stomach is feeling better and my energy level is much better as well.  It's no diet... but it's a small change that will at least get some of the good stuff in my body. For me to give up all the other stuff will be hard, but for now, that keeps me satisfied until lunch time without me browsing the pantry every 5 minutes.

Anyway, figured I'd share I now drink green smoothies. So Boulder of me... but don't get me wrong. I still love me some green chips and candy and crappy goodness. :)

Happy running.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2014 is right around the corner...

Whoa! Without realizing, it's the end of December and I sorta forgot about writing on my blog, talk about my 2013 accomplishments and discuss my 2014 goals.  Lucky for me, I still have a couple days to talk about them both.

2013 will go down in my history book as one of the best ones yet. Let me give you a quick recap: 

In January, I got pneumonia. I will never forget it. Regardless of my pneumonia in December/January, I managed to pick up my training after getting better and run my fastest marathon yet in NoLa in February. In April, I ran my fastest half marathon yet in under 2 hours (FINALLY!). Also in April, I ran my fastest 5k. At the finish line of this 5k, I got engaged. In May, I went to Hawaii for the first time and in July I went to Oregon to run my first 50-miler. In August I decided I no longer wanted the "office" lifestyle. I quit my job and started pursuing a career in sports events production. In August I worked for my first race which happened to be the Leadville 100 (talk about getting inspired). In September I attempted to crush my 50k time at the Bear Chase race, but due to a cold, couldn't quite beat it; I did finish. In October I got married to the man of my dreams. In November we traveled to Idaho, Georgia and New Mexico. In December we went under contract to buy a house, which we should get the keys to in only 20 days. I got my green card and turned 30. And finally, we traveled as a family to spend Christmas with the rest of my family in Mexico. 

Not only was this a great year full of athletic accomplishments, it was a year of personal accomplishments. I am not quite sure if 2014 can be greater, but I will certainly try to make it great. If all goes well, we will start the year moving into our new home. I will get a chance to go back to Moab and prove to myself I've really become a better athlete by running the Red Hot 55k again (which about killed me 4 years ago). Chuck will test his endurance abilities by running his first ultra (the Red Hot 55k, too) and will then race a 40 mile mountaineering race from Crested Butte to Aspen. And as you've probably heard before, I will be running TransRockies with my all-time running partner Theresa in August. I'd like to give The Leadville Trail Series a shot starting off by running the Leadville Heavy Half a month or so before TransRockies, but we shall see... 

After August, I may take a hiatus from running long distance as we may (or may not *wink, wink*) decide to grow our family. 

Dream big, I guess... 

PS-  A HUGE thanks to my husband who's always been supportive of my crazy goals. Also, thanks to my coach Eric who keeps me healthy and makes me faster. And of course, I couldn't do it with all my running buddies; those who run a mile or two with me, and those who spend multiple hours with me on the trails. You make my training so much easier and that much more fun! And finally, thanks to all the race directors and volunteers who put on amazing events, you are the reason I won't quit running.