Posted in Thoughts

My 100 Happy Day Project

If you remember back in January, I posted my resolutions for the year. As expected, most of those have kind of fallen by the wayside, but that’s okay. I’m still working on more than half of them and that’s still a win in my book.

Today’s post will focus on one resolution in particular – my 100 happy day project. You may or may not have heard of it, but it’s a very simple project. For 100 days, you take a minute or two out of your day and reflect on something that made you happy that day. It can be something small. Something someone said. Someone opening the door for you or even just a sunset that made you feel at peace. The purpose of the project is to help you focus on the positive things in your life. Don’t dwell on the negatives, but reflect on the positives. That’s what will keep you going.

A few years ago, I did this project. I was going through a really bad break up at the time and was in a complete rut. I was going to therapy, taking medications, and nothing seemed to work. So when I came across someone else’s happy day project, I decided to try it. For those 100 days, I took photos and videos of food, friends, and activities that I did and posted them on social media. The project doesn’t require you to. You can keep it completely confidential if you choose to do so. I chose to post on social media to keep me accountable. With each photo and video that I took, I felt better about myself and my situation. I really believe I came out a stronger person after the project was over.

I haven’t been having the best outlook on life lately, so I decided it would be a good time to begin a new 100 happy day project. 🙂 This time around, I will be recording myself recapping things that made me happy that day. It’s not as exciting as pictures, but I find that if I say it out loud, I believe it more. I’m almost two weeks into my project and I definitely feel more appreciative of things I have in my life. I may or may not show the entire 100 clips on here since I think that would be too long, but I may post a few here and there for you to listen to.

I will end this post with pictures from my first 100 happy day project. Oh how much I’ve grown since then. 🙂

So tell me, have you heard of the 100 Happy Day project or done something similar? What was your take on it? 

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Posted in Running, Thoughts

Time Traveling to Me 10+ years ago

With it being Throwback Thursday, I thought it would be appropriate to post a picture or two from my first half marathon at the 2014 San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon.

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At my first Health and Fitness Expo
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And after finishing my first half

Now let’s go further back in time about 10+ years to when I was in high school.

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Wasn’t I just the cutest? Braces and all? 🙂

10+ years ago, I HATED running. Running sucked. My lungs always felt like they were on fire and it was JUST one mile. I will admit this was also probably due to my TERRIBLE eating habits. I mean, who knew eating a bag of flaming hot fritos a day would do terrible things to your body? They have really got to emphasize this in middle school. If you have kids, instill good eating habits in them. Do not have them repeat my mistakes. Eating a bag of chips a day will ruin you. 

Anyway, I digress. The point is I was not a fan of running back then. One year, my track and field coach had everyone run 400 meters. He wanted to see if we had potential. Yeah, I didn’t (at least not that I could see at the time). I was a long/triple jumper. I had big calves. And those calves were meant for jumping. Not for speed work. And not for 400 meters. But I ran it anyway. I ran for the 400 meters at full speed and ended up collapsing at the finish line. How embarassing. My pride was hurt and after that incident, I told myself that I was NEVER going to be a real runner.

Fast forward to the present

I’ve come along way since then. Something that I hated years and years ago, I now love. I’ve completed 11 half marathons, 1 full marathon, and am on my way to completing my 2nd full. I also have a plan for the future, which I’ll write about soon. 🙂 It’s a good one, I promise.

So what about you? Have you accomplished something that you originally didn’t think was possible? What crazy plans do you have for your future? #mindovermatter

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

A Year of Running in Review – 2016

Merry Christmas Eve Eve Eve everyone! With the year coming to a close, I figured I’d recap my year of running and boy was it a fantastic year. 🙂
Best race experience: Oh man, that’s a tough one. Can we just call it a tie between the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon and the TCS NYC marathon? With the San Diego Holiday Half, I PRed by a full 8 and a half minutes and with the TCS NYC marathon, I RAN IT. It was my first marathon and with such an amazing crowd support, it was the most fun I ever had in a race.

Best run: Hmm, I would have to say running my 20 miler 2 weeks before my first full marathon. I was in a happy mood all morning and was able to keep a steady pace for the full 20 miles. It was at that moment that I realized I could actually finish a marathon because 6.2 more miles was nothing anymore.

Best new piece of running gear: I bought 3 pairs of running shoes. Two pair of Brooks Ghost 8 and a pair of New Balance Vazee 2090. LOL. I just couldn’t help myself. The Ghosts helped cushion my feet and the Vazee 2090’s helped a lot with speed work. I never thought I’d be able to run that fast. haha

Best running advice you’ve received this year: When you’re really tired, repeat a mantra over and over again to get you through. Mine was basically a pep talk to myself. “You got this. Push it!”

Most inspirational runner: I would have to say it’d be Kelly Roberts. I really like reading stories from runners that I can relate to. I discovered her blog recently and her posts have been extremely motivating. After reading her struggles, I think that if she can do it, so can I.

Favorite picture from a run or race this year: This picture definitely takes the cake. I finished my first ever marathon with a sub 5 time and a negative split. Of course, I’d kiss my hard earned medal.

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Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat: TCS NYC marathon – I had such a blast and would run it again, no doubt.
If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be? Your limits are only defined by you.
Thanks Courtney for the Year of Running questions!
How was your year of running? Did you accomplish your goals? PR? What’s in store for 2017? 
Posted in Race Reports, Running

PR at the San Diego Holiday Half – Race Report

I ran the San Diego Holiday Half marathon this past weekend and guess what?

I BEAT MY PERSONAL RECORD (PR) with a time of 1:53:18!

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What??? Is this real life?

 

Holy crap! I still can’t believe it. It’s been 4 days already and I still think there was some kind of glitch that happened in the system to give me that time, but when I look over at my Strava data and the official results, there’s no denying it. I RAN A SUB TWO HOUR HALF MARATHON. 😀 Wheeeeeee. This is huge for me because

  1. I have NEVER run a sub 2 hour half marathon before.
  2. I hadn’t PRed in a half marathon in over a year and a half.

My last PR for this distance was a 2:01:41. That’s almost 8 and a half minutes slower than what I currently ran. This is kind of insane to me. This year, I’ve been hovering at around a 2:07:00 time and was really doubting that I was improving as a runner. Not PRing in over a year and a half despite pretty consistently running was a little disheartening. BUT, with this recent development, I think I’ll double my efforts next year and try and PR again! 🙂 WHEEEEEE!

Okay, onto the nitty gritty details.

Bib Pick Up – You pick up your bib at Road Runner Sports the day before the race. Bib pick up was a bit disorganized in the evening when I got my stuff, but it made up for it with the swag. Your registration comes with a long sleeved tech hoodie, a pair of gloves, and some coupons. Most registrations don’t come with a hoodie so I was pretty stoked about this. The gloves they provide are meant as throwaway gloves after you’re all warmed up on race day. I wore them race day and they helped A LOT. It was freezing the morning of.

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Must haves: Honey Stinger waffles, Flip Belt, earbuds, SparklySoul Headband, Hammer or Honey Stinger gels, and water. LOTS OF WATER.

Morning of – It was about high 30s/low 40s for most of the morning. We got to the area around 6:45 am (the race starts at 7:30 am) and found parking fairly easily after a little confusion. The designated parking area had a few smaller lots off to the side that had private parking signs and no one was sure if we were allowed to park there. We just went to the second designated lot and walked a few blocks to the start. Easy peasy. 🙂

The Race  The race itself has a 711 ft net elevation drop, which makes it a very PR-able course as proven by yours truly. I ran with a few others and we all PRed. A fellow runner even high fived me at the finish line and told me she PRed by 15 minutes! I could tell by her face that she couldn’t believe it. If you want to PR, this is definitely the course for you.

Although the race has an overall elevation drop, be prepared for hills. They’re not too bad, but the hills are spread throughout the race. There is also some bottlenecking, but it’s not too bad. You run along the 56 freeway (not on it, but through a bike path) and it’s pretty much a straightshot from start to finish.

Beast Pacing did the pacing for this race. It was also the first time I ran with a pace group. I stuck with the 1:55 pacer and made it all the way through to the end. Well, I sped up the last mile cause I got too excited, but that’s besides the point. The point is this group did a fantastic job of pacing. I was on schedule the entire time and the pacer was positive the whole way through. Now I’m thinking about being a pacer. Hah. I’m easily influenced.

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I waited for the 1:55 pacer Andrew to cross the finish line so I could get a pic with him. Hah. 

Anyway, the only thing I didn’t like about this race was the hill towards the end of the race. I like downhill finishes, but because I was on a mission to get my best time possible, I gunned it at the end. 🙂 Once you’ve crossed the finish line, you’ll feel like a million bucks (especially if you’ve PRed).

Post-race festivities – You get awarded a medal, collect your freebies (food!), and take a bunch of photos because hey, why not? If you completed the 15k South Bay Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving like I did, you get the Winter Exacta medal. (woohoo)

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My Winter Exacta medal/bottle opener (LOL) and my Holiday Half medal

There is also an extra medal (Route 56) if you completed the San Diego Craft Classic Half marathon in July. Since we parked at the start line, we got onto a shuttle and made our way back. The trip was extremely smooth and I’d totally run it again. 2017? Bring it on!

 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Running In the Dark

I’m most definitely a night runner, but that is not what this post is about.

Today, I wanted to talk to you about depression. I want to be insightful or thought provoking, but I’ve never been extremely good with words. So I guess you’ll just have to deal with my ramblings for now. 🙂

A few of you know this, but I started running as a way to cope with bouts of depression. Running was my way of taking back my life and in a lot of ways, it helped me realize that I’m stronger than I thought. With the holidays in full swing, depression has been on my mind more often. Not because I’m currently experiencing it, but because I genuinely believe it’s something that is often overlooked during this time of year.

Remember that not everyone is having a happy holiday season. 

There are people who are battling their own demons and sometimes, the holidays make it worse. I know. Believe me. I experienced it first hand a few years ago. I couldn’t get out of bed and it took the jaws of life and a lot of caring people to get me back up and running (mentally and physically). Here are a few blog posts I came across and wanted to share –

A Reason to Run

Running from Darkness

Strategies for a stress-free Christmas

I guess what I’m trying to say is…Be there for one another. Reach out. Be kind. You never know what others are going through and you could just make someone’s day by saying a few words to them. And don’t just stop with the holidays. Keep it going through the new year and hopefully, for the rest of your life. With all the hate recently, I think the world could use a bit more kindness. 🙂 I’ll leave you with these signs that students around my university made during their finals week. They made me smile and I hope they make your day a bit brighter. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

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Have you ever been depressed? How did you cope? Will you be kinder this upcoming year? I know I will.

Posted in Running, Thoughts

The Races I Chose for 2017 and Why

It’s official. I have FINALLY finalized my 2017 racing schedule. At least, I hope it’s finalized. And without further ado, my racing schedule for 2017:

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More information can be found on my page: Upcoming Races

A lot of time and effort, not to mention money, went into picking out the above races. Things I take into consideration while picking a race?

  • Cost – This one is obvious. I’m a graduate student. I can’t afford to run all the races I want to run. This year, I spent over $600 on registrations alone. That’s for 6 races. Holy moly. That’s crazy. Whoever said running was free lied. Shoes, registrations, body glide, nutrition gels – they’re not cheap, but I love running so much, I don’t mind cutting my costs elsewhere. The Great Chocolate Race in Long Beach was so cheap that I jumped at the chance. Also, I get free chocolate. I love chocolate.
  • Location – I’m based in San Diego so I’m more willing to race in my town. That’s why I signed up for the San Diego Half Marathon. I love running around my hometown. Traveling adds to the cost (Hotels, flights), but if the race is amazing enough, I will make the trek. 🙂
  • Size and Reputation – I like bigger races. Something about running with others makes me happy and don’t we all want to be happy? 🙂 Also, bigger races usually mean a better reputation (Chicago Marathon, SeaWheeze Half Marathon, and Las Vegas Rock N Roll). If I’m going to pay money to run, that run better be damn fun.
  • Medal – Most races don’t release their medals until a few months before the race. At that point, registration fees are higher. And since I take cost into high consideration, I won’t have usually seen the medals until after I’ve signed up. Sometimes, I’ll look into the previous year’s medal and decide based on that.
  • Redundancy – Have I run that race before? If I have, it’s lower on my list to run. I don’t typically like to run the same race twice because let’s be honest; there are so many races out there and there’s only so little time. There are a few exceptions to this rule of mine though. The San Diego Rock N Roll Half marathon was my first half marathon and will always have a special place in my heart. I will probably run that one every year until my legs can’t run no more. Maybe I can one day be the oldest person to complete that race. A girl can dream, can’t she? 🙂 Another race I’d run again? The NYC Marathon because WOW; that was just an amazing experience and the most fun I ever had while running. PERIOD. And that’s saying a lot because that’s TWENTY-SIX POINT TWO freaking miles.

What races are you running in 2017? Any of them you’re particularly excited about? And what do you take into consideration when registering for a race? 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Chicago Marathon here I come!

Hello lovelies!

I just wanted to share with you all today that I received an entry into the Chicago Marathon! HOORAY! After entering the lottery last month, I’ve been counting down the days until the results were announced. And now that I’m in, I couldn’t be happier. chicagomarathon

When I first embarked on the marathon path, I only planned on running one marathon. I’d do it and then I’d be done – a one and doner. Little did I know that once I embarked on that journey, I wouldn’t actually be stopping at one marathon. I don’t know how many I’ll do in my lifetime, but I’m not stopping any time soon. Here’s to my entry into my second marathon!

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Cheers!

Did you get into the 2017 Chicago marathon? Have you ever run it? If you have, how was it?