New shoes for a new week doing new thAngs!
Earlier this week I posted a pic of my old running shoes and how I was not ready to give them up. Well, that was silly because I finally slid into my new pair and I quickly forgot about the old ones! The new ones were just as comfortable, if not more and I was really excited about my next run! My new kicks also inspired me to do 3 new things outside of my comfort zone. It was mentally challenging but I did it! I surprised myself and the fear of it all just disappeared. If I can do it, anyone can!
Just like my old kicks, my old ways were easy and familiar, tricking me to believe everything was AOK but when I switched things up...WOW, I felt so much better!
Look, you have to eventually take off those old shoes and put on the new ones. That’s how you learn, move forward and make amazing things happen in your life. So, this week challenge yourself and try something new! No matter the outcome, you will learn something new about yourself and what you can do!
I am wearing the Hoka One One - Women’s Clifton 6
Recognizing Women of Color on the Track
This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the 2019 NCAA Track and Field meet in Austin, TX, thanks to my daughter who qualified in the 800 meter run. The best of the best, division 1 athletes, competed for a NCAA title. The men competed on days 1 and day 3, while the women competed on days 2 and 4.
On Saturday night, the meet couldn’t be anymore perfect. The heat from earlier in the day slowly cooled down and the competition heated up. As a former collegiate runner, it was really nice to be in the stands and not on the field. While waiting for the 800 meters to start, I was watching the triple jumpers. I was amazed at their strength, focus and drive. These young ladies were confident and jumping their hearts out! Let me tell you, the strength of a woman is an amazing thing to watch.
It wasn’t until the final few jumps and the women’s 100 meter dash that I started to focus on the spectrum of black women participating in every event. It sent chills, good chills, up and down my spine. So many different hairstyles, complexions, heights, shapes and everything in between, we were there…breaking records and making track and field history! Yes, I had a #blackgirlmagic spiritual moment and it was amazing! I was so proud.
I honestly can not think of any other sport that creates that kind of emotion in me. Yes, there is Serena Williams, Dominique Dawes and Ginger Howard and so many others, but there is something about having an arena filled with black, smart, athletic and dominating young women. Track and field embodies all of that.
I love being a woman and I am extremely proud to be a black woman, a black mother. There are definitely frustrations that come along with it but you learn, “teach”, re-adjust and move on.
My daughter? She made it to the finals and came in second overall. She got her NCAA trophy and represented women and women of color, along with her competitors extremely well. I couldn’t ask for a better day! If you are a woman of color in sports or any profession, I applaud you and I will be in the stands cheering for you. There’s a lot to be done, so keep moving forward, ladies!
“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.” Malcolm X 1962
KOZ Event - XTerra Wetsuits Spring Sprint Triathlon & Duathlon event is in the bag and I am thrilled to start another year of racing! Speaking for myself, I am surprised at how well this race unfolded. I have been training nearly every day since December 2018. It’s hard training alone but I only have a window of time in the early morning hours. But I get it done and I feel so much better after every workout.
Duathlons are definitely my jam. A sprint duathlon consists of a 1 mile run, 10 mile bike and a 5K run. The first mile run, which is always a shock to my body, went well! It is always the perfect amount of time to wake up my legs, control my breathing and push myself to get on my bike as quickly as possible. BUT WHY? OH WHY?…was my first transition so slow? UGH! I’ll tell you why. I was messing around with my helmet and shoes a g a i n. I had everything laid out, ready to go and I STILL looked at my gear like, “what do I do next?”. #airhead
Next, the bike. Oh, my favorite (#sarcasm). The bike portion is always a challenge for me. Luckily, I do get better throughout the season, so for this race, the bike was a little “sketch”! Because of the rain and chilly weather during the week, I do 30 minute high-interval spinning workouts and try to hit road on the weekends. It’s always better to get as much real bike time as possible.
After pushing through 10 miles on the bike, I had a better transition and had a great 5K run. My legs didn’t feel like jelly. I felt pretty strong and THIS WAS MY FIRST DU of the season! YASSS! During training, I replaced 5K weekend runs with 10 mile runs and 1/2 marathons. I feel like I have my “real” running legs back! Thank goodness.
One thing’s for sure, I love being around other du & triathletes. These events bring together so many people from so many different backgrounds. Young, old, short, tall, purple or pink, we are all having fun together! If you are interested in training for one of these events, check out my race calendar and sign up. DM me and ask me about training, gear needs and events in your area. Even if you sign up and walk the whole thing, you will still have fun and someone will be out there to cheer you on!
It’s 12:24am and I can not sleep but I can blog. My mind is moving a mile a minute and that tends to happen when I take a day off from training. I have my first event coming up in less than 6 days and the only thing I am nervous about is the bike (surprise…surprise) . For some reason, when I get on my road bike, I feel like I am standing on the edge of a cliff! My left foot locks into the clips too soon and I nearly tip over every time. But, practice makes perfect, so as the days get warmer, I will get more practice.
The running portion, I am prepared for. Again, surprise…surprise. I feel like I have put in enough miles and did pretty well in the last 5K I participated in. So, let’s see what happens. Now, all I have to do is stay hydrated, eat right and make sure my next few workouts are somewhat chill. Somewhat. LOL!
In order to perform well, you have to train smart, you have to workout in phases. The first phase is stabilization. The second phase is strength and the third phase is power. Depending on what sport you are in, it will vary and having a professional fitness trainer will definitely help.
Right now, I am in phase two. I will be moving into phase three in about 2 weeks and I am excited to see what these old bones can do.
Check out my March/April workout schedule (I’m a 5:30AM Club Member):
Monday - Recovery Workout 10 minute run | Full body resistance training | 10 min run | stretch
Tuesday - 3 mile run | core
Wednesday - 30 min HIIT Bike workout w/hills-run | full-body strength training
Thursday - 2.5 mile run w/speed
Friday - 4 Mile Friday
Saturday - 1.5 hour Bike w/hills
Sunday - Long run (6-10 miles)
Ok, I am finally getting sleepy and my computer power is getting low. Good night!…maybe….
How to Workout and Run Symptom-free Outdoors
Before reading this…please consult with your doctor first. What works for me will not work for the next person. OH and I’m not a doctor!
If you’re like me and suffer from seasonal allergies_hay fever or asthma, sometimes training outdoors can be daunting. For me, my allergies hit when I least expect it but now I know how to take better care of myself after visiting the doctor one too many times and doing a little more research.
Check out these great tips!
Plan Workouts when the Pollen Counts are Low
Pollen concentrations are usually at their highest from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology association, so make sure you plan your workouts at another time during the day.
Know your Personal Pollen Count (pollen.com)
For many of us, we develop symptoms when the pollen count is 20 to 100 grains per cubic meter while others can tolerate much higher counts. Pay attention to the pollen counts in your area, keep track of your allergy symptoms and when they occur. I suggest running/working out outside when the pollen count is below your personal tolerance level.
Avoid Watery & Itchy Eyes with the Right Shades!
If you suffer from itchy, watery eyes during allergy season, try wearing wraparound sunglasses when outside. I know it may not be all that fashionable, but make it work. “You better WORK IT GURL!”…sorry…I get a little excited. If wraparounds are not your thing, use eyedrops an hour before you head out the door.
Hit the Treadmill on a Windy Day
I KNOOOOW, treadmills can be boring but your health is more important. The wind spreads pollen throughout the air, so running indoors when it's windy can help. Here’s another tip, you may even want to avoid running outdoors the day after high winds as well. I know!
Cover Your Nose and Mouth
If you think wraparound sunglasses are uncool, looking like a bank robber may not help either BUT you might want to consider wearing a mask or bandana to cover your mouth and nose. It will decrease the amount of pollen that gets into your nose and lungs.
Run after a Rainstorm . . . The BEST
I ABSOLUTELY LOVE running after it rains. After a nice wet storm, the pollen count drops drastically because the rain washes pollen away and you are less likely to experience symptoms after it rains.
Clean that a$$, a$ soon a$ possible, after an Outdoor Workout
The worst allergy symptoms usually don't occur until about an hour after you come in contact with the pollen, so you may actually be able to run outdoors without experiencing symptoms. But to reduce your risk of symptoms after your outdoor workout, make sure you take a shower and put on clean clothes as soon as you get back.
Follow the Doctor’s order and Take Your Medication!
In the past, I was the WORST at taking my allergy and asthma medicine but now, I hate to miss out on the fun of being outdoors, so I am ahead of the game. Again, follow your doctor’s instructions. If you have asthma, use your inhaler approximately 15-30 minutes before you start any physical activity, and make sure you warm up SLOWLY. Always have your inhaler with you when working out or on the go. When it comes to allergy medicine, consult your doctor, drink lots of water and BLOW THAT NOSE!
GOOD LUCK and DO NOT SNEEZE ON ME!
I am no Carmelita Jeter but there are days, in my head, I feel like I am the fastest woman in the world! That’s when a little cross-country high school girl or some random twelve year old coasts past me and I quickly remember I am a mom_in her 40s_trying to hang on! Yeah, ok…GOT IT! #realitycheck
This weekend I ran in All State’s Hot Chocolate 5K run here in San Diego. I ran this event for the first time last year and really enjoyed the vibe, so I had to do it again. The course is surprisingly hilly but it’s a great run/workout. My plan was to run an 8 minute …maybe a 7:30-7:45 minute mile pace. I wasn’t sure because my daily runs were holding steady at a 8:30 min/mile pace. No faster, no slower. It could be the watch. I mean, I do need a real running watch.
Well, I surprised myself and cleared a 7:11 min/mile pace finishing with a 22:19, my fastest time since late 2016. I was the 7th woman to cross the finish line and 1st in my age division by 2 minutes.
At the start of the race, as soon as the gun went off, the front runners took OFF! For the first 1/2 mile, I was running pretty fast and was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure if I could hold that pace. I wasn’t comfortable AT ALL but I decided, it’s time to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I focused on various people in front of me to keep me going, then C street happened. It went up, leveled out, up again, leveled out and up ONE MORE TIME…UGH! For a few hot seconds, I had to walk up that hill and then I thought to myself, “What the HECK are you doing?…RUNNNN!” So, I did and made it to the top of the hill, rolled back down the hill and prayed for the finish line to be right around the corner. Once I figured out I was almost done, I took off like a bat outta hell. I looked mad-crazy but I finished strong.
After the run, I felt the benefits of all my training because nothing hurt! WHAT?! I recovered quickly and was ready to EAT! I hung out for awhile, saw a few of my running buddies and headed home. That’s when the recovery started. After a nice breakfast, pedicure and momma-daughter time, I took a nice little nap and was ready for a new week!
Running is definitely my happy place and this past weekend, I was VERY happy!
I am in a much better place now than where I was last year. Thank God and thanks to running.
Two years ago, I was having a really hard time getting back into “running shape”. My body felt like a square brick and I was falling A LOT! At first, I thought aging had finally caught up to me or maybe I wasn’t eating the right foods, non-the-less, I didn’t have the mojo to move properly. I tried everything but nothing seemed to help. I finally went to the doctor and my therapist to find out, “What the heck, man?!?”.
Later, I learned I was suffering mentally and physically from post traumatic stress disorder. Yep, PTSD. At first, I thought my therapist was pulling my leg but after chewing a few layers from that onion, she was spot on. See, a year prior, I physically fell apart because my life was falling apart. My body literally could not take the stress and it completely broke down. I couldn’t eat, sleep or workout. It was pretty rough.
My therapist told me I needed to change my way of thinking and focus in order to move forward. I started with meditation and cognitive therapy (taking negative thoughts/ideas and replacing them with positive ones). Both were helpful but not enough to get back into running. Helloooo! I’m a runner here! I gotta movvve.
Again, I tried everything from yoga to plain old walking and I have to say, I was bored OUT OF MY MIND! I had to find a way to start running again so I did a little more research on my own. Through my attempts with meditation, I learned about mantras, the idea of taking a a statement or slogan and repeating it over and over again. I found it fascinating that just a few repeated words could actually reprogram the way you think of yourself.
It wasn’t until I saw an interview with 50 cent, the rapper, discussing mantras. 50 cent was given his own, special mantra from Deepak Chopra and it changed his life. Changed his life? Really? 50 cent? OK, I have to try this. I don’t know why the idea of 50 cent chanting a mantra intrigued me but it did and I figured, why not give it a shot.
I was not going to sit in a room alone and OHMMM my way through a yoga class, so I decided to try chanting my own mantra while running. I picked three words that described my future-self, locked it into my memory bank and headed out for a run. I started to chant the following phrase, “I am powerful, strong and blessed”. At first, I found it funny because I felt ridiculous running and chanting at the same time, but I kept going. Once I hit a rhythm, I started to focus on the words, my pace and my breathing. Next thing I know, the run is over and I successfully completed 3 miles. My mind was clear. I actually felt powerful, strong and blessed. I finished my run without falling or feeling exhausted. I used this method over a period of a month and it literally turned my training around.
I am not the first person to discover mantra running. Running is a very mental sport and many elite runners use mantras to get through some of their toughest races. For me, mantra running has evolved in the few years. At first, I was simply trying to change my focus but now, I use mantras when competing or when heading out for a tough, long run. Mantras are powerful and extremely effective. It’s a true testament on how your mind, body and spirit work together.
If you would like to learn more about mantras, shoot me an email. Let’s find out what words would work for you and try them on your next run. Good luck and happy running!
I just completed my first event/half marathon for the year. It was nice, easy and surprisingly strong. Go figure…weight-lifting makes you stronger! During the off-season, I did a lot of weight training, eating and very little running. I took a few days off and when I was ready, I started running again. I didn’t put in a whole lot of miles but enough to keep me moving.
During the Christmas break, I did a handful of workouts with my soccer-playing daughter. She did a lot of strength and power training. My oldest girl, the track-star, worked her butt off and motivated me to do something every day. She woke up ready to run and lift and sprint and GO and and and GO! So, to have that energy in the house definitely helped.
I did SandyFeet’s Resolution Run - Half Marathon. At first, I was thinking about dropping down to the 10K because I didn’t run a ton of mileage before the event. It amazes me that I still get nervous but my daughter encouraged me to run the half marathon anyway. “MOM, just run the half. You’re in shape and at the end of the day, you will finish it., fast or slow.” EYEROLL, she was right. I ran a 7:45-8:00 min/mile pace. I felt strong throughout the entire race and the only time I stopped was at mile 4 cause a Gurl had to GOOOOOO!
The course was nice and flat. There was not a lot of 1/2 marathon participants and the weather was perfect. I was happy with my results. I got 3rd in my age division and 12th overall female. It’s a great start to an awesome year of running, cycling and possibly swimming! Yep, swimming. I am facing my fears this year!
So, Race #1I checked off! Next month_Valentine’s 10K run in Coronado! Hope to see you there.
I am not a big believer in New Year’s resolutions, mainly because I can’t keep them. I have these great ideas and then they fizzle after the first couple of weeks of the new year. Having typed that, 2018 showed me something new. It showed me that staying focused, staying on top of what’s important and being a little proactive will make for a great year full of great stuff! In 2018, goals were made along the way. Professionally, personally and athletically…mainly to handle my anxiety but it turns out, my goals handled my life!
This year, I decided to really think about who I want to be, where I want to go and how in the heck am I going to do it? I didn’t want to just write down and study a list a year, I wanted a realistic plan. I found a pretty cool tool on LinkedIn from the pages of Tony Robbins called Goal Mapping. You may have heard of it. You not only write down your goals_you answer two major questions, WHY is this goal important to you and WHAT STEPS do you need to take to get there?
This is a great tool to be alone with. Try and fill it out when you are alone, there are no outside influences and really try to make your dreams become reality. Goal Mapping is also an awesome tool for athletes, a sales office, a small business owner, even an active mom/wife who’s busy within her community. Goal Mapping puts things into perspective and sets you up for success.
Each year, my daughter and I have a “goal mapping” conversation, at least twice a year. She looks at accomplishments and mishaps in the past year, I tell her to write them down. Then we go through the “should-of, could-of, would-of” conversation to get all the gunk out of her system. Then I ask her, “What do you want? What do you want to accomplish? and How bad do you want it?”. I tell her to WRITE IT DOWN. Then, we come up with a plan on how she’s going to get there. It’s very effective. Again, student, parent, working-joe…you can use this tool!
For me, 2019 is the year of BUILDing. Each month, I want to build something new. Whether it’s organic, financial, relationships…SOMETHING. I don’t care, as long as I am builder great things in my life, that’s the theme for 2019 for me!
What is your word of he year? STRENGTH? FIGHT? WORK? GUIDE? FAITH? HOPE?…Before starting my Goal Map, I wrote the word BUILD at the top of the page. I have a new life right now. I am on my own, I am not looking back and I am excited! What’s going on with you? Write it down? Why is it important to meet that goal? Write it down…etc etc.
Even though I’ve been running for years, it’s like starting a brand new race. I am not familiar with the course, the people or the area the event is being held in but I’m ready. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time. My heart is beating fast, the gun goes off and I am out there with hundreds of thousands of people who are also trying to make it to the finish line. You know what? We will all get there in our own unique way and when we do, it will be fantastic!
So, if you are looking to start something new, start writing it down, ask yourself why and what are you going to do to get closer to your 2019 goals!