One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books. We all have lots going on, much, (all) out of our control. What we can control is our attitude. I refuse to yield to moroseness or bitterness. I won’t give the pain, strife or trauma that win or myself that luxury.
I’m so grateful running has been there for me for 30 plus years and as I approach my 50th year on earth in 2018, I’m hoping it will always be there for me. It’s my comfort, my rock, my friend, my go-to. A place of peace, of fire, a test of my will, of solace. I love my running tribe locally, back in SLO and around the world! Connecting with you all via social media is just the coolest.
Currently I’m only running 10-15 a week, but building that base again and still doing yoga. Working on the mental aspect of it too as I refuse to be led around by my monkey mind.
Whelp, it’s been quite the year. April of 2016 is when I first got the poison oak in my blood stream, a failed 50k in May which resulted in a hospitalization (more poison oak in my blood stream) and last race of that year in June with Rock n Roll San Diego. At the time I didn’t know it was my last race of 2016 as I signed up for probably 8 more, but with being sick, a move and then a whole lot of grief and loss and change and just yuck….well, I won’t race again till June 2017! (Unless I sign up for a few prior to that!) I actually quit running for a bit; with everything and then 6 months of rain, I just hybernated and recovered mind body and soul.
Things aren’t fully resolved with some of the strife, but I think I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired. Somewhere along the way, I just got mad. Not bitter, but a righteous anger and just a feeling of, “nope, I’m done riding this out passively. I’m taking that bull and riding the heck out of it”. I got my flinty back, my tenacious and my bad assery. Many of you know I lost my Rocky Westie. Well, I rescued another, Miles, and he is my running companion. That Westie mix can run for miles and miles! So he will be featured in the blog, as will my fun #runmatchy outfits and my new NorCal scenery. The move was a good one and I love living here! (Near Folsom, California) Loads of green and trees and creeks and lakes.
Thanks for sticking by me and for sharing this totally uneven and trail that full of switchbacks and hills and some potholes….but always ending up on top with a killer view! May we all have peace and joy and contentment.
Yep, another race recap! This spring I have races lined up for multiple weekends and they’ve been fun! A week after SLO, two weeks after my trail half race, I was headed to Santa Barbara for the Wine Country Half. On the way down, I wore one of my favorite shirts, my dirtbagrunners shirt. (dirtbagrunners.com) Always love to represent things I believe in and running trails is one of my top things ever!
I have family in SB, so I got all kinds of love and family time in the day before the race. My niece had just given birth six months ago, and this was her first race back after giving birth. Spoiler alert; she’s a nursing mom and came in FAST! Poor girl had to wait for me for QUITE awhile after she flew in! HAHA.
She was kind enough to drive her auntie up; the race isn’t in Santa Barbara, but rather up in Santa Ynez and Solvang. My only complaint is their name; call it Wine Country Santa Ynez or Solvang. Anyway, easy drive and the start and packet pick up was a breeze. Tons of port a potties too. I saw my friend Ashley, @ratherberunnin, there. She was pacing for Beast Pacing and I was excited to see her. Right then and there, I decided to stick with her and just have a fun race, chat through it all and just enjoy the day.
Above is my race day outfit. All the regulars; Nuun, Honey Stinger, Pro Compression, Momentum Jewelry, Garmin watch, Moving Comfort Bra. Outfit changes; this time a Athleta tank, Lululemon skort and Newton shoes (although I changed that to Altra shoes)
Some awesome photos at the start and we were off! It’s a stunning course and staying with Ashley was such a fun idea. We got to catch up and chat; we also met all other runners sticking with that pace. Man, was that inspiring! I just might have to pace a race; I helped (barely) Ashley (she did all the work) get people to get across that finish line. One man had a half hour quicker race than last time, and other ladies were also stoked to have our encouragement! What a rush and so much fun! Highly recommend this race; the course is amazing, the medal was great bling and the people were so nice!
After the race, I met up with my speedy niece, and we headed down to SB. We had planned an early Mother’s Day lunch with her sister (my other niece) and my sister. We cleaned up, hydrated and snacked and then headed out to eat. YUM! I love food anyway, and after a race, it always tastes extra good. Risotto for me, with gelato for dessert. I can’t always eat the pasta (has to be GF) but risotto always hits the spot. I love sporting my Suffer Better tee. If you haven’t gone to their site yet, WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU WAITING FOR! If you use my code SBHT20S, you’ll save money on your gear (running and cycling) and they will donate money to my charity of choice, NoKidHungry. http://www.sufferbetter.com
I will leave you with the above; I am a Oiselle Volee runner and I’ve found that since being chosen, I see wing everywhere. This is from my local nursery. I took a picture as they wanted a fortune for it (pretty sure I can make it myself) but LOVED the wings. http://www.oiselle.com
If you follow me on social media, I’ve written about how after my last trail race, I got poison oak. I won’t show you the photos as they are gruesome and gross, but I guess I am highly allergic to it and I’ve been covered over 3/4 of my body with it since that race. Today marks two weeks! When I went to the doctor, she said next time I’m exposed I need to head there ASAP and get a steroid shot, the pills and cream. I was a wet, oozy, swollen mess for most of the last two weeks, ran a fever and have been otherwise miserable. But life goes on and so does racing, so I picked out a cute outfit and one that would cover most of it, and headed to my hometown race expo, SLO Marathon. Being out among fellow runners and friends was awesome. In fact, as I was pulling into the expo, my friend and fellow runner/blogger, Fallon was pulling in too. She is @slackerrunner for those who don’t know. Head on over and follow her in case you aren’t already.
I’m an ambassador for this race and all us ambassadors met at 1030 for our meet up. Head on over to slomarathon.com to check out our photos. Sadly, not all ambassadors were there but got to see or meet a few and that was awesome sauce! The race director Sam and her assistant Ashley sure took care of us! We each received a super nice jacket and as I sold the most entries (people using my code) I received a little goodie basket. Thank you Sam and Ashley and also thanks to those of you who used my code!
After the meet up, I walked around with Fallon, met up with the Nuun booth crew, the Honey Stinger crew and also the Action Wipes group.
If you haven’t already tried out these products, what the heck are you waiting for? Nuun has a new flavor formula that is DIVINE (drinking some now as a recovery drink) and Honey Stinger has new protein chews. The Cherry Lime flavor is To Die For; I’ve run through a whole box already and need to order more! I use them on my runs and also just daily as my snack with Nuun in the afternuun (HAHA). Action Wipes is a local company, small business and women owned. They are natural body wipes for when you can’t shower and have no alcohol in them, so they aren’t drying. I’m buying a ton to keep everywhere! Plus it will help with any poison oak oils I might get on me the next trail race!
After the expo, I headed home to shower, hydrate and eat. The next morning my new running friend Kristen met me and we walked down to the start. One of the best things about local races are that I can do that. We ran (HAHA) into Fallon and all went over to the high school to pee and get in the corrals.
Fallon and I both have asthma and this spring has been tough; race morning was humid and wet, so we both struggled a bit at the start, but pretty soon found our groove. Plus we ran (HAHA, sorry, it never gets old) to tons of folks I know and we just chatted up a storm the whole way. It’s a gorgeous course with rolling hills, scenic views of the wineries and our awesome volcanic mountains. Before we knew it, we were headed toward the finish. Now, if you know me, racing is all about the fun, the people and the experience. I don’t really give a hoot about my PR or time; I just LOVE being out there.
Laura, Fallon’s awesome mom, captured this shot. I am so grateful to her for this! I loved my race day outfit. Miles and Pace tank, Lululemon skort, ProCompression socks, Altra shoes, Nathan Hydration, Nuun and Honey Stinger. Also have on the Momentum Jewelry motivation wrap in pink and my Garmin watch. Sunglasses are TiFosi.
My son met me at the finish, which is always so awesome! We took some photos and then it was time for breakfast! Nice thing about early starts and half marathons, you’re done early!
I really enjoyed being an ambassador for SLO Marathon and Half and hope to get asked back next year. It was a wonderful experience and I know Samantha, the race director, is just growing it into an amazing local as well as state/nationwide event. It’s nice to have gotten in on the ground floor so to speak. Please check out this race, their trail ultra, SLO Ultra in September and their other fantastic bike and running events. #raceslo
Montana de Oro is right in my backyard so I go to sleep in my own bed and head out to the site in the morning. The race started at 820, a totally late start and I was worried I would be hot; I ended up being hot but it wasn’t that big of a deal.
I wore my Suffer Better shirt over this until I got too warm. Seen above are Oiselle tank and shorts, ProCompression socks, Momentum Jewelry Motivation Wrap, Garmin Fenix 3, Moving Comfort bra and Altra Running Trail shoes (I think Lone Peak). Not seen are my Nathan Hydration Pack, Nuun and Honey stinger. These are my fuel choices for every run; they never give me upset and they work. I haven’t boinked in a race due to fueling in forever. LOVE LOVE Love these products. I also adore my procompression.com socks. #keepittight I wear these for every run and for recovery and again, no issues. I’m super stoked to be a #oisellevolee team member so I sported some of my favorite items of theirs; the Mac Roga Shorts are the BOMB! My Garmin has loads of interchangeable straps and my Momentum Jewelry seriously gets me through my long runs and races! I’ve also been very pleased with my switch to Altra running shoes; #embracethespace! Anyway, my race outfit and fuel worked extremely well!
So there were lots of distance choices and I chose to do the half. I have some other road and trail races coming up and this seemed like a good choice for my training plan (which is “get out and run and have fun!”) The course was tough. It is overlooking the ocean in Morro Bay, so we started on the sea bluffs and then turned right and started climbing. It was a moist muggy morning and my asthma was going cray cray with the climb and the wet, but I just put that out of my mind and climbed. Pretty soon we were dropping and came back in for the first loop. After that we went back out and turned back inland. This was the worst part for me; it was a 3-4 mile fire road that was a mild incline and BORING AS HELL! Geez…talk about monkey mind. Without a view, deep in a canyon, no breeze and just miles and miles of boring road, I wanted to bash my head in with a boulder. Obviously didn’t do that; instead I turned it into a game. I’m a therapist and I truly believe that running is 99% mental. I’ve done the training and I run all the time, so it wasn’t my legs, it was that bratty kid in my head saying “are we there yet? are we there yet?” I mean the whining going on in my head was unreal. So I actively worked to turn it around embrace the suck and get my motivation back.
I even stopped and took a photo of my Momentum Wrap. Then I kicked myself in the arse and got it in gear. I mean, come in Heather, you chose to be here and you love this stuff, so BIG F’in Deal you have to run on a boring stretch for a bit. Get over yourself and GO! HAHA! It worked! And we also got to turn back up and climb. You would think I would hate that part, but no way friend! Climbs, and single tracks and views are my thing. I pumped some RHCP and Fishbone and climbed. And was rewarded by some stunning views. And I got my mojo back.
Once on top, I was in heaven and have about 30 pics! It was just SO awesome! Back in my element and the bratty kid was silent. On the way down, it was super crazy rocky, with loads of loose shale. I fell once, almost fell another five times, and laughed my way to the end. Now that’s what I’m talking about! Fun times. And I met a few people on top.
Funny story; everyone was super polite on the single tracks sections. The bike riders, clipped in and going either up or down, all stopped for us runners and were super nice. The only people who didn’t stop (for me and others as I found out) was a group of older women walkers who were militant about taking up the WHOLE damn trail. We all literally had to step in the bush to get out of there way! Man oh man, I do not want to be a bitter old lady as I continue to age!
Soon enough I was out of the rocks, back to regular single track and then sandy bluffs. That was wacky too; got all kinds of sand in my shoes as I cruised into Spooner’s Cover for the finish. Great race staff and volunteers; ate some candy and drank some water, chatted with some new friends and headed home. My dogs were SO glad to see me!
I wore my Suffer Better shirt for a lot of the race ;if you use code SBHT20S you’ll save money when you order their gear and they will donate to NoKidHungry, my charity of choice. I’ve been stone cold broke before while I was a single mom putting myself through school, and NO KID should ever ever ever go hungry in our first world country.
I love my soft tshirt and medal. I could have picked a tech tee, but this one was just too cute!
Hard, hilly, technical race; fantastic one to run if you’re ever in the area! Get out there and run!
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I am IN LOVE WITH all Keira Henninger races! This is another fabulous one of hers and I am kicking myself in the arse for not racing this sooner. I will never make that mistake again!
I cruised over Friday night and spent the night with my trail running friend, @dauntlessdiva
To say we got no sleep is an understatement. But when you bond with someone, you bond with someone! We actually met at another Keira race, Griffith Park. Anyway, up crazy early the next day and ready to go.
Race day gear included @procompression socks, @nike tennis skirt from years ago, @altra running shoes, @garmin #fenix3, @momentumjewelry (#forwardrelentlessprogress), @milesandpace tank (LOVE THIS), @nuun, @honeystinger and not shown is a @movingcomfort bra and my @nathan hydration pack.
Again, just like the fast few races, my hydration and fuel was on point. I felt great the whole 18-19 miles. Seriously, no boinking, no tummy troubles and no bladder issues. HUGE when you have Chrohns, celiac and IC. This fuel works folks! And my hydration pack from Nathan is the bomb. It’s my third or fourth and I love it so.
My pro socks were the latest Elite ones and boy or boy did they work. My legs felt fresh, no blisters and just perfection. My #milesandpace tank was to die for. Soft, comfortable and fitted to perfection, it worked like a charm. Crazy true story; I stayed after the race and then had the drive home. I had this outfit on from 4 am to 7 pm with NO CHAFING, NO DISCOMFORT, NO ISSUES! I swear by these products. My #fenix3 worked like a charm and I didn’t lose GPS the whole time and my #momentumjewelry wrap with it’s custom message of #forwardrelentlessprogress kept me going the whole time.
The trails were amazing; single track with varying elevation. Perfection and I plan to go back between races just to run this track of PCT. I felt so blessed to be out there! Sure, I could have been faster, but then I wouldn’t have been able to take in the views, chat with friends along the way, stop and have a few prayerful meditations of thankfulness and also chat with the PCT hikers. That was a blast!
Here I am at mile 15 or so; just SO flipping happy to be out there I was choking back tears. After my race, I still felt amazing. Keira always provides a lunch and this time she outdid herself. Soup, chili, sandwiches, snacks, libations…plenty to replenish us all. I stayed to watch my friends come in from their 50k and 50 mile. That was the best decision I’ve made in awhile. I got to meet more trail running crushes, see old and new friends and experience the amazing feats of the top runners as they flew over that finish line. And I got to see many friends set some new PRs. Seriously crying and had chills with that!
The volunteers and staff, the photographers, the race director, all the participants just made my weekend. Still on a high almost a week later! In bliss!
WOW, so many of you know (or read in a previous post) that I’ve been running for 30 plus years. When running in school, I dreamed of being on an elite or Olympic team. I loved (and still love) being with fellow runners and the camaraderie is second to none and I have been trying to recreate that same feeling and magic since then. Any community I’ve traveled to or lived in, I have looked for and yearned for that feeling. I’ve found that magic in two places; with my fellow trail runners and with the Oiselle Volee team.
To say I’ve been embraced whole-heartedly is an understatement. Even before being accepted by the team, members of the flock were always the first to reach out on any social media. Their kindness and genuine response to my posts touched my heart. Reading their posts, I felt a kinship to them. We were on the same page about so many topics. Sally Bergesen, founder and CEO of @oiselle posts so many inspiring and thoughtful posts I wanted to invite her to coffee and sit and talk for days.
I’ve said to anyone who listens (HAHA) that if I were ever able to run for Oiselle in any form, I would get another tattoo, their wings. SO, I guess I’m getting inked again! That’s how much it means to me to be a part of this sisterhood and flock. #headupwingsout #flystyle Plus, I adore their clothes and have worn them for years! Thank you Sally and the flock. I am proud to fly with you! oiselle.com