Question Madness

North Face has a new(ish) commercial that really spoke to me.  I begins with a man saying, “It is weird, having people questioning your motivations, questioning your sanity…”
I have definitely had people question my sanity.  Have you?  When you say you wake up to hit the spin studio for an hour before dawn, do you get strange looks?  Have you been called crazy for your dedication to fitness?  Obsessed?  Mad?
Some will say, “obsessed.”  I say, “devoted.”
Some will say, “crazy.”  I say, “calculated.”
Some say, “madness.”  I say, “progress.”
Check our the new commercial here (bonus: awesome Cat Stevens track in the background!):

Yes You Can!

You know those motivational (annoying?) positive affirmations I’m always throwing your way?  And how I’m always telling (commanding?) you to speak positively to yourself?  It turns out that motivational self-talk is one of the most effective ways to boost strength, endurance, and confidence in working out!

Tuesday Tracks, Week 7


Time for new tunes!  Each week I will post seven songs, one for each day, to amp your workout.  No particular theme; just the tracks I’m currently enjoying.  Song seven will be a track for cool down and stretch.


Let me know if you have a favorite tune you would like to share!

1.  Queen, “Don’t Stop Me Now”

Nothing like a little Queen to get you warmed up!

2.  Mandisa, “Overcomer”

Another anthem song in which we are reminded that we are not going under.  Note to self: listen to this track in mile 22 of your marathon!

3.  Kanye West, “Stronger”

I mean, really.  Just run and run fast.

4.  Emimen, “Till I Collapse”

My playlist could be made up exclusively of Eminem because his bad ass lyrics get me going.  Explicit lyrics, BTW, if you have sensitive ears.

5.  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Runnin’ Down a Dream”

This track gets my FB gal pal Wendy going, and it has been on my rotation since she recommended it!

6.  Chromeo, “Over Your Shoulder”

Catchy track for mid-run, when you’re groovin’ and have hit your stride.

7.  America, “A Horse With No Name”

I love this melodic track and it is fitting after a long run.


Tuesday Tracks, Week 6



Friends, I’m a day late, but here are your Tuesday (er…Wednesday) tracks!

Time for new tunes!  Each week I will post seven songs, one for each day, to amp your workout.  No particular theme; just the tracks I’m currently enjoying.  Song seven will be a track for cool down and stretch.

Let me know if you have a favorite tune you would like to share!

1.  “The Bad in Each Other,” Feist

It takes a full minute for the song to start in this video, so just fast forward a bit to get to the GOOD stuff.  I love the off tempo and Feist’s voice is just gorgeous.

2.  “Free Bird,” Lynyrd Skynard

Take this tune on a longer run when you’re on open road and watch your tempo pick up as the guitar solos rage!

3.  “Burn it Down,” Linkin Park

I have heard critics say this isn’t “real” Linkin Park, and as fan from their start, I agree.  But it is a great track anyway.  🙂

4.  “All That I Know,” OCD: Moosh & Twist

I like this track for hills because the tempo is just right for me.

5.  “Pumpin’ Blood,” NONONO

This is one of those inspirational anthem songs that motivate me toward the end of runs.  “This is your heart…it’s alive…it’s pumpin’ blood!”

6.  “Spanish Guitar (H2Q Club Mix),” Toni Braxton

Another long track for a long empty road.  I used this one a ton when training for my last marathon, especially if I had a downhill portion to fly down.

7.  “Patience,” Guns n’ Roses

Just a beautiful track to cool it down.

A Throwback

If you are on Facebook, you know about Throwback Thursday.  People post “old” pictures of themselves, their kids, their pets, etc.  I have never participated in this … until today.

With having a Facebook page dedicated to fitness, I have joined a community of people who are transforming their lives.  They run, they CrossFit, they eat clean and count points.  They post wonderful endless pictures of their transformations.

Today it is my turn.  Something motivated me to open the photo archives and find a picture of the “old Teresa.”  This picture is from my 26th birthday in 2006.  160+ pounds.  Pre-LASIK.  Pre-fitness.  Pre-running.


I was happy!  I was confident!  I loved myself, truly.  But today I love myself more.  The new me is stronger and healthier.  I like my transformation.


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

Date & Cashew Bars

Time for a treat, folks.  Running is hard and we deserve something tasty!


Earlier this week, my little ones and I made these delicious Date & Cashew bars from Super Healthy Kids, a terrific website with excellent recipes for kids and adults alike. The “recipe” could not be easier. You take 8-9 dates, pit them and roughly chop them. If they aren’t fresh and sticky, you will want to soak them in warm water for a few minutes to soften them. Put them in your food processor.

Add half a cup of cashews. Blend until everything is a nice chunky paste that sticks together.

We then added pumpkin and chia seeds and a nice sprinkle of cinnamon. Then the kids rolled them into balls and we rolled them in unsweetened shredded coconut.

These feel like a huge indulgence but are full of fiber and natural sweetness. Enjoy!

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