Category Archives: Just Run Running

Face Everything and Rise

I am endlessly grateful for all of the encouragement and strength you all gave me for my race last Saturday. Thank you!! Despite ridiculous trail conditions in Malibu, I finished the 50k in 6:33, enough to snag me 6th place.  Most importantly, I had FUN.  I smiled from start to finish….
Except, my friends…
Did you know that I was scared?  Yep.  I was scared of the creek crossing at mile 2 (and again at mile 31) of the race.  Due to the rains, a formerly trickling little creek was now knee-deep and 10 feet wide, complete with a safety line to cross.  I am terrified of moving dark water.  It took the encouragement of several people and some meditation to realize that I had to Face Everything and Rise.  And so I waded straight into that river.  I grabbed the line and moved forward.
What are you afraid of?  And what could you do if you just FACED it?  Powered through it?  Rose above it?
“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Workout July 23: Treadmill Incline

Remember that treadmill incline run last week that I couldn’t finish?  No?  Oh RIGHT, because the blog was down and I didn’t post about it.  Last Saturday, I had this same workout on the schedule: nine miles, speed 7.4, incline 1.5%.  Last week I was total spent by mile 6.  At mile 7, I quit.  Yes.  I just stopped.  I felt guilty for not finishing.  I added the two miles to my run the following day, so not all was lost.  But quitting got in my head.

So when I saw that the same drill was on the schedule for today, I was worried.  I know my coach did it on purpose: he wanted me to conquer this one.

And, friends, I almost didn’t make it today.  The .5% difference in incline really got me and I couldn’t keep the speed up.  My warm up was hard.  The first two miles were hard, so I slowed the speed to 7.3, then 7.2.  I told myself to get to 5 miles and I could get a walk break.  I did and took a quick walk.  Amazing how those quick breaks make a huge difference!

I got back into it.  “Go, just go just go,” I repeated to myself.  But I was fully ready to stop at 8 miles; I started to slow down the treadmill.  Then I remembered last week.  How I had quit.  And I pushed that last mile.  I finished strong and it felt great.


Treadmill= 1.5%

  • 1 mile W/UP @ 7-7.2 (HR 143)
  • 4 miles 7.2 – 7.3 (HR 148, 150, 157, 159)
  • .15 mile walk break
  • 4 miles 7.2 – 7.4 (HR 151, 158, 158, 151)


Total miles = 9

Total run time = 1:14:24

Average HR = 153

RPE = 9

Workouts July 18: Track & Spin

Fridays and Saturdays for the next two weeks I will be doing two-a-days! Two workouts, two times to be awesome!

Early morning track workout! Getting on the high school track is like a big “f-you” to my high school self, who could never imagine running, let alone running 11.5 miles in 1:34. My legs were tired to start, but they warmed up nicely. Today’s workout added two endurance laps to the drill; they felt good in the first round and insanely hard on the last round. And the last tempo laps were super tough. But I pushed through it to finish really strong in the last lap! Got down to 6:15 on the last lap.

track clouds
My own personal slice of heaven!

On my recovery laps, going slow enough to get my heart rate under 140 felt awkwardly slow. My knees hurt and I found myself getting tight in the neck and shoulders. So I found a happy medium to let the HR come down while still keeping a good stride.

1. 4 lap warm up HR 135-140 (HR = 131, pace 9:27)

2. Main set, repeat 3 times:
o 6 laps endurance HR 150-160 (R1 HR = 152, pace 8:07; R2 HR = 152, pace 8:04; R3 HR = 152, pace 8:20)
o 4 laps tempo HR 160-165 (R1 HR = 161, pace 7:31; R2 HR = 163, pace 7:20; R3 HR = 162, pace 7:34)
o 4 laps recovery HR below 140 (R1 HR = 147, pace 9:11; R2 HR 147, pace 9:18; R3 HR = 142; pace 9:15)

3. Cool down = quarter mile walking (not counted in time or mileage)

Total miles: 11.5
Total running time: 1:34:01
RPE: 8

Evening spin class and isometrics! I coached four sets of rolling hills tonight and my legs were super kicked by the end. I skipped the lunges in my usual isometrics set and opted for some extra ab work instead.

Isometrics, 3 rounds:
• Big ball plank, 30 sec each direction
• Crab walk, 25 each direction
• 20 calf raises each leg
• 20 hamstring curls
• 20 reverse crunches

Cycle time: 1:05
Total workout time: 1:19
RPE: 6-7

Workout July 17: Treadmill Progressive Run

Today was a rough day.  My almost-four, Elsa-loving daughter came down with Hand, Foot and Mouth, a highly contagious virus, and we had to cancel her eagerly awaited “Frozen” birthday party.  She was CRUSHED.   I was heart broken.  And the last thing I felt like doing was going for a run.

But to the treadmill I went anyway, leaving the little ones with my mama, who they adore and who cheers them up beyond belief.

The run seemed doomed at the start.  I forgot to charge my Garmin, so I didn’t have heart rate data.  I felt naked.  Then, in the first three miles, my upper body was so tense and stressed that my neck got tight and my hand went numb (this happens when I get stressed).

But I focused on my breath.  I watched my feet land on the treadmill.  I bumped up my speed.  Slowly, I relaxed.  I found my stride.  I cleared my mind.  And it felt great.  I can’t change my daughter being sick or having to see her sad, but I can control my run.  So I ran it out.  Over 9 miles, I ran everything out.

Woman running by the ocean beach at sunset

And, side note: it is a bad idea to have black beans for lunch before a faster run.  The poor people around me…sorry, everyone.  Ha!

Treadmill= 1 %

  • 1 mile W/UP @ 7-7.2
  • 2 miles @ 7.7
  • 1 mile @ 8.1
  • 2 miles @ 7.7
  • 1/4 mile walk-hydration
  • 3 miles: first mile was 7.7, then I bumped up to 7.8 because I felt I had a bit more.  No HR data to confirm
  • ¼ mile walk cool down

Isometrics, 1 round:

  • Big ball plank, 30 sec each direction
  • Crab walk, 25 each direction
  • 20 walking lunges each leg
  • 20 calf raises each leg
  • 20 hamstring curls

Total miles: 9

Total run time: 1:10:23

Total workout time, including walk break and isometrics: 1:22

Workout July 16: Track (and data analysis!)

Track workout today.  It was the perfect morning for laps: overcast and cool, but warm enough to not be freezing.  Mixed endurance, tempo, and recovery for nice variety!  I finished 40 laps (10 miles) in 1:21.  Then I did my isometrics on the fun astroturf.  See my workout breakdown, below.


Empty track and overcast sky!  Perfect conditions.

I am very fortunate to have a Garmin Forerunner 910X and I love it.  But today it seemed to be confused by my laps.  It seemed to have trouble tracking the mileage even though it had found satellites.  Has anyone else experienced this during track workouts or otherwise?

Given my watch issues, I’m not certain that the pace information is 100% accurate.  Regardless, it is super fun to look at my data (I am a HUGE data geek!!).  Looking at my HR and pace data, I can see that my endurance pace can be a bit faster because I never quite hit my endurance HR zone (150-160); I stayed right below or at 150 for the endurance laps.  My tempo pace is about right (target HR zone is 160-165), but I can also push a little faster because I have room on the HR.  And my recovery pace is on point, except for the last round where I just wanted to be done and took it faster.  Isn’t data neat?!


  • 4 lap warm up (HR = 131, pace 9:26)
  • Main set, repeat 3 times

o   4 laps endurance HR 150-160 (Round 1 HR = 141, pace 8:28; R2 HR = 147, pace 8:26; R3 HR = 150, pace 8:10)

o   4 laps tempo HR 160-165 (R1 HR = 160, pace unknown; R2 HR = 163, pace 7:20; R2 HR 163, pace 7:26)

o   4 laps recovery HR below 140 (R1HR = 140, pace 9:18; R2 HR = 145, pace 9:24; R3 HR = 152, pace 8:52)

Total miles = 10

Total run time = 1:21

Average pace overall = 8:06

RPE = 6-7

Isometrics, 3 rounds:

  • No medicine ball, so did regular plank for 1 min
  • 20 walking lunges each leg
  • 20 calf raises each leg
  • 20 single leg lift bridge each leg (no medicine ball for hamstring curls)

I forgot my resistance bands in the morning, so I will do  4 sets of crab walk (25 feet out and back) at night.

Workout July 15: Quarter Mile Speed Drills

This morning’s workout was one of my favorite treadmill drills: ¾ mile at endurance speed and a quarter mile as fast as I can go, or what my coach calls “threshold speed.”  Followed that with 15 minutes of stairs because…why not?!

We had a rough night last night because my daughter, nearly 4, had a raging high fever and needed lots of TLC and cold wash clothes and popsicles.  I came into the workout tired to start, having gotten maybe 3 hours of sleep.  I treated myself to a chocolate Gu with caffeine, which is a very rare thing for me (both the Gu and the caffeine!).


Even still,  at 4 miles in, I was totally spent.  My legs were heavy and my brain was shouting at me to stop.  But I kept going anyway.  The threshold quarter mile felt easier than the ¾ mile at endurance speed.  All in my head, I think.  Good run overall, but now I’m more than ready for bed and it is only 2:30 in the afternoon.  *whew*

Treadmill= 1%

  • 1 mile warm up, 7.2  [HR = 140]
  • 7 miles: 3/4 mile at endurance speed (7.3-7.4), 1/4 mile at treadmill thresholds (8.5 to 9) [HR = 145, 157, 161, 163, 162, 165, 166]
  • 15 min. Stairs @ 80 rpm [HR= 151]

Total miles = 8

Total run time = 1:03

Total workout time = 1:18:29

RPE: 7-8 (8 on quarter mile fast)


Workout July 14: Endurance Treadmill Run

Three cheers for humidity!  And a huge high five for those of you who run in this weather nearly all year!  In Spanish we would call today’s weather a “bochorno,” which, in this context, roughly translates to “suffocating heat.”  [aside: I am 50% Spanish on my mama’s side and was lucky to grow up bilingual!]

So…given given the crazy weather, I opted for the climate controlled treadmill today.   I was scheduled for a 9 mile endurance run and that is exactly what I completed.  I was worried about the ankle after yesterday’s longer haul, but it stood up just fine!  Blessed!

Despite my venue selection, I was still a drenched mess by the time my 9 miles were done.  Squishy socks in my wet shoes, dripping all over the floor of the Y and looking like a drowned rat.  YES!  I took my wet self up to our “Functional Fitness” room and did my isometrics.  I’m sure everyone loved that I was getting everything wet.  Gross, right?!!



Total miles: 9

Speed: 7.3-7.4

Total running time: 1:14

Average HR by mile: 143, 154, 158,161,162,165,166,160,167

RPE: 5


  •  Plank on large rubber ball supported by elbow with feet on bend or rail, small rotation clockwise for 30 sec.@ counter clock for 30 sec.
  • Crabbing with rubber bands, 25 ft out and back to starting line
  • 20 walking lunges each leg with need touching ground gently
  • Medicine ball hamstring; 20 each leg
  • Calf raises, 20 reps each leg.


Workout July 13: Joyful Sunday Run!

Were you on the edge of your seat all morning waiting to hear if the bum ankle would hold up today?  Have you been refreshing your email and Facebook in the hopes that my “Today’s workout” status update would appear?

No?  Just my mom?  Oh.  That’s okay, because I have GOOD NEWS EVERYONE!  [Aside: anyone else a huge “Futurama” fan?!]

good news

Today’s joyful Sunday run happened!  And it was EXCELLENT.  No ankle pain, lots of pep in my step, and perfect weather.  I had an 11 mile endurance zone run on the training schedule, but was feeling strong and added an extra mile just for shits and giggles.  I did my favorite route through the fancy part of town: 12 miles of bliss, rolling hills, and sunshine at an average pace of 8:39.


I wore the same outfit I wore during the LA Marathon, reminding my body that we had done much more than today’s run.  I also broke my coach’s one cardinal rule and listened to music today (sorry, coach…does it help that I did an extra mile?!).   Both things helped, I think.


I’m will continue to take it easy on the ankle and get rest when I need it, but for today, its all good.  🙂


Total miles: 12:02

Total time: 1:44

Average pace: 8:39

Average HR overall: 149

Average HR by mile: 133, 143, 150, 152, 151, 153, 152, 151, 152, 149, 150, 155

RPE: 6-7

Route: Fiesta Days + to and from home; rolling hills

Workout July 10: Treadmill Tempo

Walk breaks saved my workout today, folks.  By now you likely know that I have a bum ankle.  Yesterday I had to stop my run two miles short because it hurt, but today it was much improved.  And when it got irritated, I took a quick walk break until it was better.  I was able to get in 9 miles total without feeling pain.  Gotta love those walk breaks!  I REFUSE to give up.


Followed up the run with some isometrics at home.  I don’t have a large ball, so I modified the drills.

Here is the breakdown (ignore my HR data in the parens, below…those are for my coach!):

Treadmill= 1%:

  • 1 mile warm up, speed 7.2 [HR = 145]
  • Main set:

o   1 mile 7.5 [HR =157]

WALK BREAK – .25 mile

o   1 mile 7.7 [HR =156]

o   1 mile 7.9 [HR = 164]

o   1 mile 8.1 [HR = 167]

  • 15 min. Stairs @ 80 rpm [HR = 140]
  • 3 miles @ 8.1 [HR = 153, 160, 161]
  • WALK BREAK – .1 mile
  • 1 mile on treadmill @ 8.4 [HR = 157]
  • Stretch

Total miles: 9

Total time, minus walk breaks but including stairs: 1:23:44

RPE: 6

Isometrics, 4 sets with 1 minute rest between sets

  1. Don’t have a large ball at home, so I did regular planks, one minute each, two times
  2. Crab walking with resistance bands: 20 steps out, 20 back
  3. Static lunges, 20 each leg
  4. No large ball for hamstring curls, so I did bridge pose with single leg lifts, 20 each leg
  5. Calf raises: 20 each leg



Workout July 9 – Road and Treadmill

Apparently the universe has decided that Wednesdays are going to kick my ass.

Today I was scheduled for a nice 8 mile road run, so away I went.  Within the first mile, my ankle (the sprained one) decided to act up.  And by mile 4 it was… er… noticeable.  So I took my run inside, thinking that the more forgiving treadmill surface would help.  What can I say; I’m an eternal optimist.


Nope.  Two more miles on the treadmill and my ankle went from whispering “hey, perhaps, just a suggestion, maybe you stop a moment, just perhaps you slow down or…you know…maybe, you take a break here at this light, please?” to yelling, “STOP. F-IN. RUNNING. RIGHT.  NOW.”  I’m very stubborn, but my body was telling me to stop.  Fine.  So I stopped running and did my isometrics and went home to take Advil and ice the pain away.

Tomorrow is another day, ankle.


  • 6 miles total; 4 miles on road, 2 miles on treadmill
  • Average HR: 150
  • Total time = 52:22
  • Average pace = 8:43

Isometrics, 4 sets with 1 minute rest between sets

  1. Plank on large ball, make small circles.  30 seconds clockwise, 30 seconds counter
  2. Crab walking with resistance bands: 20 steps out, 20 back
  3. Walking lunges: 20 each leg.  Changed to static lunges for 3rd & 4th set b/c ankle was unstable (20 each leg)
  4. Hamstring curls with large ball: 20 curls
  5. Calf raises: 20 each leg