CIM race recap

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As you may know from reading here, I had a very hard time the 8 weeks leading up to this race. So, I’m not going to sugar coat it and tell you it was amazing, I trained hard, I ran hard, and I did amazing- I’m going to tell you the ugly truth. I didn’t train much, I felt awful, and It SUCKED. Not every training plan will go according to plan, and for sure not every race.  I will say, one day, I will be back to race CIM. It was a great course, great volunteers, and overall a fun race. But, back to the ugly details:

I was planning on killing this race. When I finished St George I was already planning my training schedule on the flight back home. I had 8 weeks between races and was ready to get to work. I had a 2 week recovery planned, 4 weeks of hard training, and a 2 week taper on the calendar. I was ready to train hard and dominate CIM.

My body had other plans.

It started with strep, then tonsillitis, then bronchitis. Once I was over that-I had about a week of health before my entire family came down with the stomach flu. It was brutal. Once recovering from all of this…it was time to taper- insert eye roll here. My plan of attack was to just hang on for as long as I could and then just finish. I knew I could not race it as planned, and had come to accept that and was ready to just have some fun.

Mom and I flew out to San Francisco to hang out with Ashley for a few days before. [side note- our Mom is amazing. CIM was her 2nd marathon!] On Saturday, the day before the race, the three of us road-tripped it down to Sacramento. We stayed at the beautiful Westin Sacramento and were thoroughly enjoying ourselves – we visited the expo and ate a great dinner…


About 6pm shiz hit the fan. It was then that my body revolted against me even more- an hour later I was in a minor emergency place with a painful bladder/kidney infection – fever and all. We gathered up my antibiotics, a giant jug of cranberry juice and decided we would just see how I felt in the morning. The next morning was better, but not great; however, I was there and told myself even if I had to walk it, that I had already bought a shirt that said CIM 26.2 or nothing so… 26.2 it was going to be!

So here is your ‘real’ picture, behind the scenes, not the sugar coated ones:


 I ran the first half in about 1:42…. and it was at mile 14 that I said to myself, why are you doing this? You can’t keep this up the whole time feeling like this! So, I backed off and decided to not hurt myself or push myself beyond my abilities that day. There was lots of walking, plenty of texting and complaining to my husband and sister, and calls to encourage my mom by telling her how much I was hurting too! I rounded the final corner and saw Ashley, some of our friends and completed my 4th marathon in 4:15. It was not my fastest, not my slowest, but probably the one I am most proud of. Just shows- on a small level, when things seem to be going against you, you can still do hard things.

Our mom finished a bit later, taking 40 minutes off of her previous marathon time!img_7553She’s a rockstar. I love trips like this with mom and Ash. I get so emotional at finish lines, especially seeing people I love – and people I don’t know!- encourage, support, and crush accomplishments like this! Like you’ve heard before-

If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon.fullsizerender-39


gift guide. for the runner.

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1. Garmin Forerunner. This is the best watch out there- in my opinion. It has just enough bells and whistles to tell you what you need to know without overloading your brain with way too much information.

2. Feetures Socks. These are my favorite. I have yet *knock on wood* to get a blister in these socks. They are thick enough in the right spots to protect your feet, but thin enough to not take up valuable space in your shoes!

3. Nike Compression Shorts. You know my love for these shorts. Say goodbye to any weird seem chaffing!

4. Orion Mesh Leggings. I love a fun pair of workout pants. These have mesh and lattice detailing!

5. Lululemon Shorts. I have several pairs of these. There are so many fun colors to choose from. They are just a classic workout short.

6. Nike Running Vest. This vest is so light and yet so warm. I have no idea how they do it! It is the perfect layer or stand alone on those cold days.

7. Yurbuds Headphones. You probably know by now that I don’t run with wireless headphones. It’s just one more thing for me to charge, and I honestly haven’t found any that I like as much as these. I’ve used them for 4 years now.

8. Nike Visor. When sunglasses alone won’t cut it, I throw on this.

9. Nike Sunglasses. I searched for awhile for the perfect running glasses. I love how light weight these are and they don’t have any weird pressure points that could end up giving me a headache. My husband actually started stealing these from me because he liked them more than his.. and then lost him! I think I know what I better be getting in my stocking!

10. Believe Training Journal. I’ve talked about this journal before. I enjoy being able to look back on my progress … especially during those running slumps where you feel like you just aren’t progressing or you can’t run anymore.

11. Flipbelt. I have turned countless people on to these! Forget those annoying bouncing belts or those arm bands that rub. This is a game changer.

12. Sarah Marie Designs tees. I love her stuff. She has great tees, sweatshirts, and a new varsity inspired jacket that is too cute!

13. Nike Running Jacket. Another win for Nike. A thin, but warm running jacket.

14. Lululemon duffel bag. This is the perfect gym bag. Room for everything and super cute!



running shoes

Let’s talk shoes. I find a shoe- and I stick with it. That is until they decide to ‘redesign’ said shoe and then we break up and I find a new love. This is a frustrating process that usually leads to lots of trips to Luke’s Locker.IMG_4438.jpgShoes are everything. They take the beating as you’re hitting the pavement. If your knee starts to hurt, or your toes are going numb the first place you should turn is to your shoes. Go to your local running store and have them help you out. Tell them what you love in a  shoe- I love a wide toe box. I want lots of space for my toes to breathe and lets be honest, swell. I also prefer a light weight more minimalist shoe. Try different brands- and for goodness sake WHO CARES WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE! They are there to serve a purpose while you work hard. You can wear the cute ones while you run your errands but get the ones that feel the best on your feet, no matter what they look like, while you are putting the miles on them.

Remember to keep up with the mileage on your shoes. You need to keep them fresh. The more mileage on the shoe, the more broken down they will be which leads to a greater chance of injury. The general rule is 500 miles for a ‘normal’ shoe and 300 for a ‘minimalist’. You will get to the point when you just know it’s time to retire them to the running errands pile instead of the running miles pile.

The more you run, the more you will learn what you love and don’t love about a shoe. I started running years ago in Nike Frees. Now, as much as I love this shoe, I found myself getting a few stress fractures in my foot as my mileage increased. Some people swear by them, I am not one of them for anything over the half marathon distance.  I switched over the the Brooks Pure Flow. Now, Brook’s Pure line is amazing and I swore by them for several years. Had the trail shoe from the Pure Line as well. I had more of the same shoe, same color, than anyone. I LOVED that shoe. I ran my first marathon in it with no issues. They then did a major overhaul on the shoe last year and we had to break up. It became too tight in the forefoot and too supportive in the arch. I spent months trying to find the perfect shoe. Lots of trips to Luke’s during this time.

I found the Nike LunarTempo and ran in it for several months- had a couple pairs of them. No issues, (still love it for shorter distances and sprints) but when it was time to get a new shoe the Nike LunarEpic had just come out- I was hesitant because of the high top sock look that they had- but then remembered WHO CARES- and you know what, I LOVE THIS SHOE. They have since come out with a low cut version, but they are not the same. The high top of the shoe allows it to be looser around the main part of your foot- which is what I love. I just slip them on- no tying and worrying about them being too tight halfway through my run. I haven’t had a blister, lost a toe nail, nothing. I’m sold.img_4436If you prefer a non-minimalist shoe – or one with a little more oomph- Ashley loves the Nike Pegasus. She swears by them as the only shoe that she has never been injured in. So does our Mom, who is a 60-ish year old marathon runner! They, personally, are just a little too heavy for my damaged ankles.

So, don’t give up on finding a shoe! It may take some trial and error but there is a running shoe out there for everyone! Let me know if you have any questions- I’ve tried many other shoes and would be happy to chat with you about them.Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 4.24.15 PM.png

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**had no intention of the purple blue color scheme- these are not the exact ones I have. As always, leave a comment with any questions!


happy running,



training essentials.

As I sit here cuddled in my blanket, hair several days un-washed, sucking on a throat lozenge, popping antibiotics and massaging my hip where they stuck me with a shot yesterday – I’m looking at my next 6 weeks of training-plan for California International Marathon and getting discouraged when I see all the ‘0 miles’ filling up the days. I’m trying to stay positive and keep repeating to myself that missing this many runs is OK and as soon as this sickness passes I can hop right back on the plan and conquer CIM! So, what do I do when I’m down and can’t run- I think about all the fun things about running and get pumped for when I can again! On that note, here are my training essentials- whether it be training for a 1 mile, 5k, 10k, half, or marathon:

  • A training plan- with a goal in mind. Whether that goal is to just finish strong or race fast- write it down! Then, make a spreadsheet or just write on a calendar your training plan. There are so many plans out there- pick one that feels right for you! If you read my post here, you know which one I now love and have now adapted for the next 6 weeks until CIM.
  • Have a good pair of shoes. {more on this to come!} Go to your local running store and get fitted. Have someone help you find the perfect shoe for you. My current favorite’s are these. You do not want a worn out pair of shoes or one that is wrong for your foot.
  • Go out and buy yourself a new outfit! This will FOR SURE get you motivated to put one foot in front of the other and head out for a run. Who doesn’t love a good new outfit. I’m loving this brand right now. You can see my review of them here. Also, check out my running favorites for a few more of my go-to’s outfit wise!
  • Gels. Gu’s. Energy beans. Waffles. Whatever works for your stomach- find it, and train with it. That way nothing is new on race day. I use these. Also, if you are signed up for a race, and have a super sensitive stomach like me, see what sports drink they will have during the race and train with it as well. They usually will post this on their website or in an email a few months prior.
  • Don’t get discouraged. {eh-hem, I need to go back and read that sentence I typed!} You are going to have bad days. You will get sick. Your kids will get sick. Things will come up. Whatever it is, you can’t do anything about it and you just have to find your mental toughness {which you will need race day} to get over it, and pick up wherever you left off. If you keep a running journal, go back and look at your entries and see all the hard work you’ve put in thus far, to help keep you in a positive space.
  • Find a mantra. Strong legs and big lungs will only get you so far and then you will need mental strength. Your negative brain will start to seep in and try to derail your plans. A strong, powerful mantra can keep you focused. It will help remove the negative vibe and restore you to a positive space – or at least distract you from the pain 😉  Pick something short, powerful and easy to remember, that you can repeat to yourself when you need a little extra ‘umph’.
  • A good playlist or some audio books. I used to think people were crazy when they said they would listen to books as they ran- but then I tried it. GAME CHANGER. I use music for races now that way it’s new and fun- and books for training. I will get so excited about going out for a run because I want to see what happens in my book. A few I have finished recently are- The Maze Runner Series & The Girl on the Train.
  • A watch or an app. Something to help you figure out your distance. There are several good apps you can download to your phone- my favorite, and has been for forever is the Nike Running Club. I have a Garmin Forerunner 220

So, on that note- I’m going to get off my poor-pitiful me train and go book my hotel for CIM to get me excited! I’ll be back at it in no time.

Happy training!




*Comment below if there’s anything specific you’d like me to cover in our energy section! As always- ask questions if you have any!

Hanson’s Marathon Method

You guys!!! You may have seen on our Instagram, that this past weekend, I ran in the St. George Marathon. I still can’t believe that I took around 40 minutes off my PR and finished in 3:32:17! This qualifies me for the 2018 Boston Marathon! I have dreamed of qualifying for Boston, but had serious doubts that I actually ever would. So, for all of you aspiring marathoners out there- whether you are trying to just finish or going for a PR- I wanted to share with you the training plan that worked for me and some tips I picked up along the way!


You probably saw in the post here, that I have never followed a training program before. I have never truly tried for a specific time. I’ve wanted to do well, of course, but stalking your watch trying for a time is different. When a girlfriend of mine and I decided to sign up for the St. George Marathon, I told myself I was going to follow a training plan! I wanted to shoot for a good time, not just to finish the marathon as I have before.

I read up on a bunch of different plans- I checked out running magazines, various bloggers I follow, google, you name it- I looked at it. You see everything out there. One plan particularly stuck out to me though- Hanson’s Marathon Method. I downloaded the book and read it almost overnight. I then googled about the plan and read different people’s take on it. One review that stood out to me was one from The Running Wife. I saw we had similar starting and finishing goals, so I decided to follow her lead. I created a spreadsheet just like her’s, in excel, and told myself I was going to follow it to the best of my ability!

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One of the things I absolutely loved about this plan was that I did not have to think. I didn’t have to come up with a run, or workout- or think about the paces I needed to hit. Everything is written out for you- there is nothing to guess about. The paces and times you see are based on a BQ time of 3:30- which would give a 5minute grace period for my age group.

So on to what I actually did- this is the print out I used for the past 15 weeks to chart the runs completed as well as the journal I used to document my runs – the mileage/time/how I felt/ etc. {heads up, the total mileage column I did was off from the beginning -I realized about halfway through the program}


You can see, as with any plan, I made changes, swapped things around, and sometimes just missed days. In saying that, however, I did stick 85-90% to the plan. During the week, most of my runs were completed on my treadmill {always with a 1% incline!} during kiddos nap/quiet times because it is just too hot in Texas and that seemed to be the only free time I had. On the weekends, I ran outside. No excuses!

A brief explanation of Hanson’s Marathon Method

Each week Hanson’s method is broken into 3 SOS days (Something Of Substance), easy days, and one day off. The SOS days are spread throughout the week and should always be spaced out with either an easy day or rest day in-between.

SOS workouts:

Speed/Strength workouts: The first half of the program is speed, the second half is strength. This is where you are getting faster. You have to teach your legs to move quickly in order to run quickly. They are exhausting, but I loved them because they were something different!

Tempo Runs: This is exactly what you think it is- getting your legs used to running the pace you are wanting to maintain for the marathon. These were the hardest runs for me. More on these below.

Long Runs: This program is different from most in that you cap at 16 miles. You also don’t run them as slow as most programs tell you to run your long run. Instead, it is run at a “moderate” effort- which is about 30-45 seconds slower than your goal marathon pace. Every other week, you also step back in mileage and don’t have a long run, but instead a 10 miler.

All the other runs are Easy Runs. This means just that- take it slow, and easy. The strongest advice I can give is to truly run these easy. These are the only days your body has to recover and get stronger. Do not push them- embrace them! You will learn to love them.

FAQ answered and what I learned about Hanson’s Marathon Method

Cumulative fatigue is real and no joke! You will be exhausted. Training for a marathon will make anyone tired- but this program is based off of cumulative fatigue and they are not joking. My suggestion: TAKE YOUR EASY DAYS EASY. I was able to stay healthy and injury free during this program and I think the easy days are what made that possible. I believe that cumulative fatigue is this main factor that allowed me to complete the marathon in the time I did. I felt fantastic until mile 23. Absolutely NO issues. Then the wall hit me. This is much further on in a marathon than friends of mine have told me they typically hit the wall and like I said, I had absolutely no tiredness, aches, pains, anything until the 23rd mile. It was then that I mentally was strong because I knew my body was used to running on exhausted legs and were fully capable of doing it. I had done it for 15weeks.

Don’t be scared about only logging 16 mile long runs. You will be just fine! This is something I mentally struggled with the entire program and up to the start line! My first marathon, the Chicago Marathon, I ran just for completion. I had not trained very much at all (I’m talking 3 days a week and not very many miles) and only ran up to 14miles, once, on a treadmill, with no incline. I finished it around 4hrs 15minutes. So, not running more than 16 miles was a concerning thing for me. The reason behind capping at 16 miles though, is to keep you healthy. In the book, Hanson, talks about your long run not going over a certain percentage of your total mileage. Also, because of the cumulative fatigue you experience in the training, these long runs mimic the last 16 miles of a marathon, not the first- and I completely agree. They do. They are also run 30-40 seconds per mile slower than tempo instead of the typical 90 seconds that most plans call for.

Tempo runs will suck and won’t feel easy. You will think every time, “I will never be able to keep this pace up for an entire marathon! I can barely do it for this!” I don’t know why tempo runs always feel harder than race day- maybe adrenaline, maybe the cumulative fatigue, whatever it is- rest assured- I felt the same way and it will be ok! I never looked at my watch the first 20 miles of the marathon wondering if I was going too slowly- I always knew I was on pace or faster- I just watched my watch to make sure I was doing the splits I wanted according to the elevation changes of the course.

Be flexible with the plan. Know the difference in your body needing a break because it’s on the verge of an injury or wanting a break because you are tired. Your body is supposed to be tired- again, cumulative fatigue; however, you will see in my training page above, that there were days I had to take off because of traveling or it just didn’t happen, or various other reasons- Other days when I felt an injury coming- and sometimes I was just in the middle of a run and knew that that was all I could do that day. Listen to your body.

Mental strength overpowers physical weakness. I learned this during the marathon. This plan made me mentally tough. I did hit the wall, but not until mile 23- but, it didn’t hit my mind or my lungs- just my legs. My mind was able to overpower my body and tell it that it knew how to move when it felt that way. I was able to draw on the energy around me and put one foot in front of the other. During the training plan there will be days you do not want to run, or you don’t think you can run another repeat- but you will, and that will strengthen not only your body, but also your mind. Your mind is a powerful thing.

Overall, I would recommend this plan to anyone who is seriously motivated to cut time off their race. It is incredibly tough, but it is effective. {Please do not jump directly into this plan without a solid running foundation.} I love to have things mapped out for me to where I don’t have to think about pace, mileage, workout, etc- if you are the same way, this is for you. I was determined to reach a goal and this plan helped me do just that.

I have one more marathon this year- California International Marathon – in less than 9 weeks and I have taken Hanson’s and adapted it for the next 9 weeks {allowing for 2 weeks recovery and a 2 week taper}.


“Not everyone who chased the zebra caught it, but he who caught it chased it.”

-South African Proverb


Happy running!




If you have any questions about the plan, please comment below and I will do my best to answer!



recent reads to get you moving

I got on a kick recently of any book that would get me motivated to move my butt. I was needing inspiration before starting my current marathon training- and man did I get it.

These books will get you excited about putting one foot in front of the other!

Born to Run | Christopher McDougall : Yes, that book. You’ve heard about it- well, yes, if you are a runner, or want to become a runner, it’s one of those you need to read.

Ultra Marathon Man | Dean Karnazes : This guy is ultra-inspiring. Makes you realize your body can do amazing things- it’s your mind you have to alter. After finishing this book I immediately bought his next one!

Run! | Dean Karnazes : This book chronicles his unbelievable running journeys and offers a glimpse into the mind of an ultra athlete – what pushes and motivates him.

My Life on the Run | Bart Yasso : I might fan-girl out if I ever meet this man. I once thought I saw him at the Walt Disney World Marathon and my sister can attest to my freak out. To my disappointment, it was not him. The man behind yasso 800’s – you have to read about him! He is no joke.

Eat & Run | Scott Jurek : Scott’s amazing story of his beginning to where he is now as well as how to properly fuel your body started to change my way of eating.

The Cool Impossible | Eric Orton : Eric talks about finding the joy in running again- like children do. That you can reawaken that. He discusses form, strength development, training etc It is incredible motivating and helps you to believe anything is within our reach!

Finding Ultra | Rich Roll : This is another man that I will fan-girl out when I finally get to meet him. My husband and I wanted to go to his Italy “camp” this October, but it overlapped with my marathon. This book finally got my husband on board with my plant-based eating. We are not vegan’s or vegetarian’s but we do try to eat a mostly plant based diet and definitely have seen the benefits. Rich Roll is incredibly inspiring in his story of his “dramatic transformation from out-of-shape mid-lifer to endurance machine in a matter of mere months.” He is amazing. One day, we will meet and do a run together- he just doesn’t know that yet!

happy reading!