2021 Pain Awareness Month #PainCounts

This post is sponsored by Sunbeam.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Did you know that September is the US Pain Foundation Pain Awareness Month?

This year’s Pain Awareness Month campaign is presented in collaboration with my friends over at Sunbeam & you can come up with your own pain care plan by going to www.mypainplan.org.

The US Pain Foundation believes that every person with pain is entirely unique & their treatment plan should be as well. The theme for this year #MyPainPlan was chosen because it’s vitally important that everyone have access to an individualized, multidisciplinary, multimodal approach to pain care.

While my own pain is currently mostly superficial, I am no longer dealing with the chronic hamstring & knee pain that I once was, I went to www.mypainplan.org and created #MyPainPlan.

When you go to the site you’ll be able to learn about treatment options, create a customized plan and then download & share your plan.

You’ll be able to explore options in seven categories of pain management

Self-management options focus on lifestyle changes, like learning how to pace yourself or improving your sleep habits.  They typically are low risk to try but can take a major time commitment to implement.

Restorative therapies are treatment approaches and interventions that focus on using or modifying movement to reduce pain.  These are mostly low-risk, but may require you to start slow and work with a trained professional at first.

Complementary and integrative health approaches include options that are not typically part of conventional medical care and/or have origins outside of Western medicine.  These options often emphasize the mind-body connection & can focus on calming the nervous system and reducing stress.  There is mixed scientific evidence so it’s hard to know if things like acupuncture, cupping, reflexology & reiki will help with your specific type of pain.

Mind Body and behavioral health approaches may help you reframe how you see your pain and improve your ability to cope with it. In some cases, in the long run, they may even improve pain itself.  Examples include counseling, mediation, and  support groups.

Medications – pretty self-explanatory but please work with your health care provider to determine what medication is right for you.

External devices – treatment options use innovative technology and electrical currents to reduce pain. These currents can interfere with, or even block, pain signals in the body. This would be something like a TENS unit or one of the many Sunbeam heating pads.

Interventional – this category involves surgical procedures performed by medical professionals. These procedures can range from minimally invasive to invasive.

For now, I personally will be sticking to using my Sunbeam GoHeatTM USB Powered Heating Pad to help with my minimal pain, but if you have chronic pain, head over to www.mypainplan.org to create your own pain plan to discuss with your health provider.


June 2021 Check-In

I wrote my May check-in and then for some reason never posted it but May was a rough month & June was much, much better so let’s just start there.

Kicked off June with a with a bright, shiny new Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid which was a nice surprise.  We went in just to take a look but found the perfect car and took it home with us.

We celebrated National Running Day by running 8 miles down by the San Diego Harbor.  It was a little cloudy but it was so nice to be down there and wow, I could still run 8 miles with minimal pain.

I took my first plane & work trip since Feb 2020 to Miami.  It was fun to see all my co-workers and be back at an event, I hadn’t talked that much in over a year and it was awesome!  I would say that I am an extroverted introvert and while I am fine being by myself, I love being around people and talking to everyone.

When I got back from Miami, Sean & I headed to LA for a pre-birthday weekend.  I splurged using my Marriott points and we stayed at the Ritz Carlton downtown where they upgraded us to an incredible suite with an incredible waterfall shower & huge tub.  We hiked around the Hollywood Sign & got donuts from Donut Friend.

We got our infrared sauna built and started heat training for Badwater.  I’m loving the sauna, it’s so nice.  I will say though that I don’t need to go over 135 or so, last night I went up to 145 and even though I was hydrating like a boss I didn’t feel good all night so I think I’ll stick to the slightly lower temps.

We went up to San Gorgonio and did a hike halfway up – I haven’t been running a ton so I wasn’t prepared to go the  whole way up but it is an absolutely gorgeous trail and we had a great time.

I’ve been running with my run group, the San Diego Arete team and it’s been so nice to run with other people again. I’m looking forward to seeing them at my first race this weekend.

So now on to the stats portion of this recap:

Running: 67 miles which doesn’t seem like a lot but I’ve been doing some decent length runs and I am feeling stronger and happier about running.

Hiking: 12 miles including the 10.25 up & down Gorgornio.

Peloton: 117 miles which is low for me but I finally feel like in the last few weeks I’ve turned a corner & I’m not feeling any pain  on the bike so that’s a huge plus!  My Team Wilpers bike fitter checked in with me last week and when I told him it took about a month to feel better with the new settings he said that he was the same way and that it took him more than just a week to acclimate to new settings.

Strength Training: Again, this is one area I feel like I’m really nailing.  I’ve been working with Nicole from Heart and Sole Running since March and it’s really helping.  I’m really feeling like I’m getting stronger & this month, adding in some more running & biking seems to going to well.

Stretching: This is one that I fell off the wagon on so I’m starting over and boy do I need it!  I’m really tight, especially in my hips so goal for July is to do 45 stretch classes.

Campaigns: I worked with a lot of companies this month & gave away a bunch of products, like a Garmin Enduro like I have, RXBAR  Plant Bars & a Sunbeam heating pad.

I shared how RXBAR now has Plant Based bars, Quorn Foods vegan options, started & ended the month with CLIF Builders Minis, Jaybird Sport gifted me a pair of their new Vista 2 headphones, I teamed up with Aleve to share their new AleveX™ Pain Relieving Massaging Stainless Steel Roll-On, I got to try the new JustEgg Breakfast Sandwich at Peets and I shared how I use my Sunbeam GoHeat™️ USB Powered Heating Pad while out and about.

June was a good month!  Here’s to an even better July!  What did you all accomplish/do in June?

April 2021 Check-In

Well here we are again!  How is it already MAY!?!

March ended with me in a weird place yet again so we started the month out with a short trip up the coast to Marina del Rey & spent some time on the beach & trails in Malibu.   I splurged and used some of my Marriott points and we stayed at the Ritz Carlton, our first hotel stay outside 2 nights in October when we stayed in hotels on our Moab roadtrip.  It was a nice getaway and I was pleasantly surprised to see that people in this area were serious about staying safe.  95% of the people we encountered wore masks, even when walking by themselves, coming out of their homes, etc.

We got takeout from some yummy vegan restaurants & donuts from one of my fav places Blue Star on the way home.

Oatmilk lattes from the Hive.  Drunk Cauliflower & Saint Louis No 2 Vegan Shrimp Poboys from Variable Cafe – we had a small issue with delivery and our order was delivered about an hour after we ordered.  The cauliflower was amazing but the poboy was quite soggy because it had been sitting for a while.  I’m sure it’s amazing when it’s hot & fresh.

Breakfast was from Marigold Cafe, we both got the breakfast sammy which  had scrambled just egg, mushrooms, green onion, vegan cheese, vegan mayo, vegan bacon & everything seasoning.  It was super yum!

When I checked in at the hotel, the front desk agent recommended a place called The Butcher’s Daughter for dinner so we tried that out.  Funny name for a vegetarian/vegan restaurant but we had an amazing burger!

We got the Impossible burgers & they were topped with red-wine caramelized onions, arugula, fig mustard,  harissa mayo & on a vegan brioche bun. The Rosemary potato wedges left something to be desired but that could have been due to the take out aspect.

Anyways, I always get caught up with food LOL but let’s get to what I did this month.

Running: Well running & I are still not 100% seeing eye to eye.  I had a few really good runs.  Like the 7 miles we did by the water in Marina del Rey at the beginning of the month & the 8 mile run the Sunday after I got my first vaccine shot, but the rest of the month?  Hit or miss due to knee pain, shin pain & just overall lack of motivation.  I also don’t love our old treadmill, the new one had a problem and we were waiting on a replacement so we were using the older one that’s super loud.  I ended the month with maybe 55 miles?

Peloton: Due to the knee pain I was feeling, I took a 10 day break from the bike to see if that was an issue.  I ended up with around a 100 miles for the month, way down from the past few months but 10 days off will do that.

Overall, I’ve determined that if I do a little glute activation, it’s better but I still think I need to get a professional fitting because it’s still not perfect. A few people have mentioned Team Wilpers (PZ Instructor Matt Wilper’s coaching group) as a place to go for that & I might try and schedule an appointment to do so in May.

Strength Training: This is the only piece of my exercise routine that I have been 100% consistent with.  I’ve been working with Nicole @heartndsolerunning since March & I feel like this has really been helping me to get stronger.

Knee: I have been dealing with a knee issue for  while now, there’s been a sharp pain by the top bone on the inside of my left knee and after sitting &/or tough climbs the back of my knee feels really stiff & tight.  So after dealing with this off and on for a little over a year, I finally went to get it looked at.  X-rays showed that my bones were perfect & I had plenty of cartilage between my bones.  But an MRI showed that there were some microtears in the cartilage and that the stiffness in the back of the knee was actually swelling from the front of the knee that’s being pushed back.  Official diagnosis Chondromalacia aka Runners Knee.  So I’ll start a few weeks of PT in mid May and once I figure out my real areas of weakness, I’ll be able to incorporate more exercises into  my strength workouts to help correct those imbalances & hopefully get rid of this pain before I start training for actual races.

I said this year was going to be all about recovery & I’ve been serious about doing more about recovery so I’ll just keep that going as the year progresses!

We got our first vaccine shots!! That made me soooo happy – we’ll get our second Pfizer shots in early May and be fully vaccinated by the end of the month!  Which is good because we have a lot of fun outdoor activities planned for this summer!!

Campaigns: This month was shock full of fun campaigns that I got to work on.

I worked with iwi to share an awesome vegan omega 3 product.  I tried out and gave away $100 of Thorlos’s socks to a lucky IG follower. I tried and shared No Cow Protein Powder (my verdict as someone who doesn’t really enjoy protein powder? the bars are better).  I did a fun review of rabbit’s new trail line (this wasn’t sponsored but I wanted to share).  I got to try some new lounge style outfits from Tasc Performance. PS the crop is absolutely incredible!!  I tried out some of Coola’s new SPF skincare products.  I shared more about how much I love Sunbeam‘s GoHeat™ Cordless Heating Pad .  I’ll be sharing a new product in May!!  I partnered with AllTrails to share the Rumpl National Parks Collection of blankets & the Leave No Trace shirts that they created with The Landmark Project.  I have an AllTrails giveaway coming up in May so get ready!  And we kicked off the Dick’s Sporting Goods National Runner’s Month this week!  I’m super excited about this challenge and look forward to sharing with you all.

I also got to work on a super cool product that I can’t quite share yet but I can’t wait to show you guys!

I shared the thoughts of others & then myself regarding race swag.

Oh and I almost forgot but we did a Road Trip to Joshua Tree National Park & celebrated National Parks Week there!  This was my first time to Joshua Tree and while it’s a beautiful park & so different from what I was expecting, the attractions were all super short & it was somewhat crowded which mean that we didn’t get to go to all the spots we wanted to see.  We did check another National Park off our list though.

Wow!! Going through all this, I’m like WOW – April was busy!!

Mar 2021 Check-In

I think I’ll try to do these every month to give you a little recap on what I’ve been up to.  March started out great and then I struggled as the month went on.  Without any races on the schedule yet, my relationship with running has been complicated.  I like to run, but I really like it when I’m training for something & have lots of races on the schedule.

Again, I started April off in a funk – we are soooo close to being able to be get vaccinated and then hopefully able to move forward with some actual plans.  This whole year I’ve struggled with nothing to look forward to, to not having a real goal and just in general.  I have tried to keep myself busy, but a slight issue with my knee that just keeps getting worse has cut my running & biking down a little more.  Fortunately I have a dr. appt on Tuesday to get that looked at.

So what did I accomplish in March.

Strength Training: I started working with a trainer for strength training after my issue with my back last month & I have consistently done strength training all but one day of my plan.  That’s a huge thing for me, I have rarely if ever done a consistent strength plan.

As we move into April, I’ll  be upping the weights and doing some new to me exercises so that’s exciting.

Running: I was doing so good with running at the beginning of the month, hitting all my workouts, running hills, etc. then I started to get some shin & knee issues and I started not enjoying it as much.  I’ll say it again miss having races to train for & run.  There’s nothing like being out there on course with other people and running in beautiful places.

I think I ended the month at 55 miles running which isn’t a lot but better than nothing.  I did do a fun survey about race swag that I’ll be posting next week that was exciting.  I really enjoyed hearing about what people think.

Peloton: I was slightly down on my bike rides for March, I think I ended the month at around 167 miles which is a bit down from the 191 I did in February.  Part of that was because I actually followed my plan and did one complete rest day a week so I didn’t add on the extra sessions like I have been.

I am struggling with the fit of my bike, I moved the seat down, but now I am getting shin pain when I ride at higher than 40 resistance.  I need to get fitted for my bike because this is getting ridiculous & I’m getting really frustrated and then don’t enjoy riding.

Hiking: We went out every weekend this month & did at least a few miles.  We got to play in the snow, be out on the PCT a few times, go to Mt. Laguna Meadows for the first time in a while & climbed Cuyamaca Peak for the most beautiful of views, with no fog/smog for the first time!!

I think I ended up with about 30 miles of hiking for the month.  I’m contemplating a long hike over the summer.  I would love to be able to go to Chamonix & do the Tour du Monte Blanc but that won’t be happening this year so maybe TRT or Wonderland Trail?  I have to think on that  but I’d love to go to a really cool spot and just hang out in the wilderness for a few days.

Kitchen Update: We finally got the new tile backsplash up and it looks incredible.  We have one step left to do & that’s seal it up but I’m really excited with how awesome it looks.  Next up, do the tiling behind the stove & put up the hood.

Campaigns: I announced a really exciting collaboration with Garmin Outdoors as one of their newest ambassadors.  I’m testing and using the new Enduro watch which gets up to 80 hours (with solar) of GPS/HR for long distance runs, hikes.  It’s pretty amazing!

I shared more about why I love the Sunbeam GoHeat portable heating pad.  Sean has ‘borrowed’ it and literally uses it every day!

I started using and shared a great vegan Omega 3 supplement from iwi.  I’ll have a blog post up next week to share more about it.

I shared a new product from Luna bar, their new prebiotic bars in two super yummy flavors, Wild Cherry & Zesty Tangerine.

Lots of fun stuff coming up in April including a few reviews, some new to me products, Earth Day, a giveaway & a running challenge that I’m excited to share with you guys.

We’ll be eligible to get the vaccine on Apr 15 so I’m looking forward to that as well.  I am hoping that we can get out on some different trails this month, maybe plan a trip or two and I’ll be looking at my relationship with running to see what I really want out of it (well outside of races coming back;)).

What were you up to in March?  And what are you looking forward to in April?

#Rethink Relief – Heat Therapy with Sunbeam

This post is sponsored by Sunbeam.

I’ve always been a fan of heat therapy for pain & discomfort from taking hot baths after long runs & races to using my products like the Sunbeam GoHeat™ Cordless Heating Pad to get relief vs taking ice baths & using over the counter medications.  Heat has always been my go-to.

As a Sunbeam Ambassador, I will be sharing information on heat therapy throughout the year and some of the products that Sunbeam has to help us “Rethink Relief”.

You might already know that heat is a natural, drug-free form of pain relief.  But you might not know that it increases blood flow which can relax sore muscles, accelerate tissue healing & relieve pain associated with muscle tension & stress.

I use heat therapy to help with my low & mid back issues as well as minor issues in my hips & knee on occasion.  It can also be used to help with cramps & menstrual pain, on your neck & shoulders.

The GoHeat™ Cordless Heating Pad is a perfect fit for people like myself who are always moving.  The long lasting battery pack fits perfectly into the side pocket and allows me to be able to do whatever I need to do.  From standing while working, cooking, working in the back yard, on our kitchen remodel, or coming back from a run in the mountains, I love that I don’t have to worry being plugged in.

It’s super easy to use, just charge the battery unit, plug it in using the small cord in the heating pad, press the button with the thermometer on it, once for low, twice for medium & three times for high and then put in the pocket & you’re good to go.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery can give you up to 4 hours of relief in one charge on the low setting.  The flexible pad stays in place with an adjustable strap that can fit up to 55 inches around.  I found it to be quite comfortable.  It is a soft, micromink material and is machine washable.

You can feel the heat, even on the low setting within 30 seconds & there are 3 different settings so you can customize your relief.  Please note that the 4 hours of battery life is only for the lowest setting, when you move to the medium or high setting the battery life is lower.

Being able to use my GoHeat™ Cordless Heating Pad pretty much anywhere has been a game changer for me.  I no longer have to be by a plug or sitting on the couch.  I can be doing the things I need to do and still be getting relief.

You can find the GoHeat™ Cordless Heating Pad & other Sunbeam heating products on Amazon. (link here).

Feb 2021 Check-In

Let’s see here – I meant to write a post at the beginning of the month to recap what I wanted to achieve this month but that never happened, oops.

We are almost at 1 year since entering this stay at home period and having our lives turned upside down.  The stress has not gone away and I have found that my mental health has significantly gone downhill as 2021 progressed.  With the vaccine on the horizon that gives hope but without a solid idea of when Sean & I will receive it and no definitive date as to when this will all be mostly over, it just all starts to feel really overwhelming.

So back to the things that I can control, like what I’m physically doing, here’s a short synopsis of my month.

Running – was pretty much non existent this month.  I really struggled with no idea on when races are coming back and honestly I don’t love just training to train.  Running is fun, but I need a goal to shoot towards and these virtual races & time trials are just not cutting it for me anymore.  I want to go after a BQ or a PR or something at all but I don’t have the desire to do it virtually.  I did a decent amount of hiking this month but only ran maybe 2 times a week, if that.  I think I hit around 55 miles for February.

Bike – Being as this was a slightly shorter month, my mileage was a bit down from the last 2 months and I finished up with 191 miles.  I struggled a bit to find my groove as I feel like I’m pushing really hard but my numbers aren’t reflecting that push.  I watched a video today on how to adjust my bike and I think that with a few more tweaks, I should be at a spot where I can actually start to feel like I’m making more progress.

Strength Training – I started the month doing Matty’s #EnCORE28 core challenge.  I made it 3 weeks before I was side-lined with a major upper back injury .  This was my focus this month and I didn’t do as much glute/upper body.

Stretching/Yoga – I still was stretching every day this month, I didn’t get in as many yoga classes but I will try to do more in March.

Hydration – I really slipped up on that this month.  I know I wasn’t drinking nearly enough water for what I was doing.

Outings – We hit up the trails every weekend this month.  Running in the snow near Mount Laguna on Feb 6, out on Coronado Island the next morning, our first road run outside in months and months.  We went to Death Valley for a camping trip for Valentine’s Day/President’s Day. Then out to Cuyamaca Peak & finished the month up with a really nice hike/run on the PCT.

I know technically we aren’t supposed to be traveling & I do feel a little guilty about our camping trip, but guys, my mental health has been so bad these last 2 months, and I needed to get away from my house before I went crazy.  We did what we could to minimize our time around other people and I feel comfortable with what we ended up doing.  I think a camping trip from time to time is just what we will need to stay sane and give us something to look forward to.

Campaigns – I have some really fun new collaborations coming up for 2021.  More about some of them down the road.

I’m excited to share that I’m an ambassador for Sunbeam this year – I worked with them back in 2019 and love their products and a they have an awesome new rechargeable heating pad that I can take anywhere.  I was also selected to be a part of the RunGoodr Flamboyance Team which is so cool – I love their sunglasses!

I worked with Raw Sugar Living to share their new deodorant, which works really well, it might actually be my new favorite natural deodorant. The Raw Coconut Lime smells amazing.

I gave away 2 pairs of Aussie Soles sandals – these sandals are soooo comfortable and good for your feet too.  My favorite are the Indy Orthotic Sport Slides. They are the navy pair at the bottom right of the photo.

I worked with Vertiball, which is a cool massage ball tool that you can attach to your wall, fridge, car, shower and use to get into those hard to reach areas on your back.

I got some new packs from Camelbak to test out.  I already had the Circuit vest from the Trail Sisters Retreat & really liked it.  I got the Ultra Pro, which is an actual vest that requires you pick a size & the slightly larger Zephyr vest that is one size fits all like my Circuit vest.  I have worn the Ultra Pro a few times and I really like it.  I still have to try the Zephyr vest but I haven’t had a chance to test it out yet.  I’ll review once I have the opportunity to use it a few times.

Tomorrow starts a new month and I’ll do my best to make it a great one.

2021 Goals

I know this is a few weeks late but I wanted to give myself time to decide what goals I wanted to do this years.

Every year I try to set goals for the year.  Typically they are related to races & travel but seeing as we don’t have any idea yet where the year will go related to those two things I’m setting different goals this year.

First off laughing is my number one priority for this year.  It might sound silly, but I love to laugh & I know that I tend to forget when I’m having an off day, but it seriously helps with my mental health.

Next we are continuing to work on our kitchen update & I am going to blog it. So far we have gotten a pantry, ordered a new stove, microwave & hood, gotten paint & ordered our back splash tile.  Sean is finished with the counter tops & we finally have our kitchen sink back after what seemed like an eternity :). I got some fancy new frying pans & am on the look out for a new knife set.

Exercise is always a big focus in my life, running especially.  Last year with the addition of our Peloton bike I actually rode more miles than I ran last year.

My exercise goals are: Run 3-4 x a week & create mini monthly goals so that I don’t get bored or overtrain.  I’m starting out with a 5k time trial at the end of January.

Peloton – 4-5 x a week.  Do warm up & cool down classes & start Power Zone Training – kicking that off with the challenge coming up in a few weeks

Strength Training – 3x a week minimum.  I always say, I want to strength train & I start but because I go too hard to start, I ends up being too much & I drop it.  So I’ve already started and I’m doing shorter classes 5 – 10 minutes to start until I build up to longer and longer sessions.

Stretching – every single day.  Stretching is one of those things that I do occasionally after a big run or if my legs feel too tight but I haven’t done on a consistent basis probably ever.  Big focus with this is going to be the hips but I will be doing a lot of full body stretching as well.

Recovery – taking recovery rides/runs and just recovery in general more seriously.  I don’t like thinking about it but I am getting older and that means it takes longer to get over bigger efforts both physically & mentally.

Hydration – this is always a goal of mine but I really want to work on this this year.  I’ve already started to incorporate more hot green tea into my days & I’m going to come up with a plan to drink more regular water as well.

Blogging – I know some people say it’s a dying art & I don’t spend as much time on here anymore, because it is a process to write, add photos, etc. but I do want to share more on here, and since we aren’t racing/traveling right now I am committing to sharing more recipes & our minor home remodel with you guys.

Cooking – I am really started to come into my own cooking wise this year.  Being forced to stay home has really helped me to come up with some yummy meals and I enjoy it.  I’m hoping to come up with some new recipes & use my updated kitchen to it’s fullest.

Travel & Racing – when it’s safe to start thinking about doing this on a more normal basis, I’ll create my travel & racing goals but until then I’m going to focus on the things above because they will definitely keep me busy.

Do you create goals at the beginning of each year?  Do you do mini goals or big ones?  What are you going after?

2020 Recap

Wow, what can we say about 2020?  It wasn’t the year any of us imagined at this time last year, was it?

Well, I’m still going to do a quick recap of my year & overall it was quite good.

I did a few in-person races in the first few months of the year.

Coldwater Rumble 20 miler, the First Watch Sarasota Half in early February, where my boss ran his first half marathon!!, Mermaid Half in San Diego, the Black Canyon 60k, where I finally conquered that course and got a finish!! and the 35th edition of the Los Angeles Marathon.

Some tidbits from these races.  I started the year after a 2 month break/burnout last year.  Coldwater was just a fun run, where I did only one loop to get in a long run for Black Canyon.  Sarasota, not my favorite race, mostly due to race organization, was beautiful & a great race to share with some co-workers.  Mermaid Half was a gorgeous day out at Mission Bay, Sean & I ran together and had a great time.  I remember that I ran the first 8 miles without stopping which was pretty cool especially considering where I was fitness wise at that point of the year.  Black  Canyon was super chill, my only goal was to finish the race,  I had a DNF & DNS and really just wanted a finish.  I finished right at sunset which was incredible.  LA Marathon was our last race before everything locked down. I was super close to a course PR and ran the first 16 miles without stopping, which was huge for me, I ran 15 miles straight at Chicago last year but at a slower speed & no hills so this was a big confidence booster.

After LA, I did a bunch of virtual races, including the Limitless Challenge with Aravaipa Running where I managed to secure the fastest treadmill female to climb the equivalent of Mt Everest.

My coach, TJ from Run Doyen, helped me train for mile time trial in August & I ran a 5:56 mile!! That was pretty exciting.  If you are looking for a coach, I can definitely recommend RunDoyen – they have a bunch of different coaches and I’ve been working with TJ all year and we’ve had a great time!

I took a little break from running again after this and barely ran in Sept – Nov.  This month, I kicked it up a notch and ran an unofficial PR of 1:42 in the half marathon for my virtual Holiday Half.

I partnered with NordicTrack this year & we got a new X32i treadmill which is incredible.  I have already run over 500 miles on it & am loving the huge screen that makes you feel like you are on the trail/path with the trainer.  Want to learn more about the NordicTrack Incline Treadmills head here.  Over the whole year, I’ve run more than 900 miles (up to 34 miles in one go) on the treadmill, which is crazy to me, but it’s been helping me so much to build up endurance, control my breathing & stay consistent.

We got a Peloton bike in late May & while I love the treadmill, the bike has changed my life.  I love having another lower impact cardio option, riding with friends & just being on the bike.  It’s definitely changed my way of training.  After only 6 months, I’m almost at 250 rides and just love hopping on the bike almost every day. I’m super excited to be doing my first Power  Zone challenge in January with a few friends.  Thinking about getting a Peloton for yourself? Use my code Y87NQW to save $100 on accessories (mat, shoes, weights) and after 10 rides you’ll get your own code to share with others!

Food:  One of my favorite places that we ate this year was Laduree x MK in Beverly Hills.  It was incredible & all 100% plant based.  Probably one of our most expensive meals, outside of Harry’s Bar in Venice LOL but so worth it, especially since it would be one of our last dine-in meals of the year.

I started cooking a lot.  I’ve come up with some fun new meals, one pot pasta, all the wraps & sandwiches. I’m loving creating lots of fun new meals every day.

We have been getting boxes from a company called Hungryroot since March & I absolutely love them.  We also get fresh veggies from Imperfect foods.  We’ve tried meals from Green Chef, Territory Foods & Factor Foods as well.

After being home most of the year, we have decided to update our kitchen and have been spending a good portion of November & December coming up with a plan on what to do.  We got a new pantry cabinet, a new stove & range hood on the way.  We’re going to paint the walls, update the counters & backsplash tile.  It’s pretty exciting and I’ll be updating our progress on here as we go along.  We may update the flooring too but that will be a decision for after everything else is done ;).

We did go on two trips this fall, once to Arizona so Sean could run the Mogollan Monster 100k in Pine AZ.  We camped out and stayed as far away from others as we could.  I couldn’t even crew Sean because their permit only allowed for 50 people total including volunteers/runners.  I basically hung out near the camp ground and read/played computer games & did a little hiking.

Then in October we went on a road trip to Moab so Sean could run Moab240.  This one was a bit more nervewracking for me and honestly it was a game time decision to even go.  I am super glad I did but I was really uncomfortable being around other people.

We decided to make this a vacation and hit up a bunch of our National Parks.  We started at Canyonlands, which was incredible.  Then we hit up Arches, which is nice, much smaller & waaaay more crowded. Then made our way to Bryce Canyon which was so much nicer than I was expecting and finally on to Zion where we got to go to Observation Point & stay in a Conestoga Wagon, which was pretty cool.

We’ve spent a lot of time exploring our local trails, hitting up various sections of the PCT & Mount Laguna areas.  We hung out with the cows & climbed Cuyamaca Peak a half dozen times.

Honestly, after all the travel that we did last year, it was kind of nice to be home & have quality time with Sean.

All in all while being stuck at home for the majority of the year was a lot different for us & I got super frustrated at times not being able to just do what we want, it wasn’t a horrible year and I’m super grateful for a work from home job, a backyard, nice weather and for my health & ability to be able to stay home.

Here’s to a new year, new goals, new adventures & a new kitchen!





Win It Wednesday! LA Marathon

I’m partnering with the Los Angeles Marathon to share my story with the race.  I have received complementary entry in exchange for this & other posts.  As always, my opinions are  my own.

The 2019 race will be my 5th time running LA.  Sean will be running his 8th LA Marathon.  It’s the one race (outside of Tahoe 200) that we run every year.

My first time running LA was back in 2015 for the 30th Anniversary.  It was also the last time that Asics was the main sponsor & it was incredibly hot!  I remember that the race seemed to go really fast because they had these huge pop-ups at each aid station that you could see in the distance.  Recap here.

LA Marathon, Los Angeles, California, Marathon, 30th anniversary, lululemon, altra running, medal

2016 was the year of the Olympic Trails which was so fun!  It was so hot that day, unfortunately for the elites. The marathon was on Valentine’s Day this year which was kind of cool.  We thought it was going to be super hot like the day before, but it was actually pretty nice that day. Olympic Trails RecapRace Recap.

2017 was a rough year, my hamstring tendonitis was coming to a head and I struggled big time this year.  It was a little cooler this year too & the finish was kind of foggy.  Recap here.

2018 I went in not really knowing how things were going to go.  I was back from my injury and I wanted to run strong.  It wasn’t a perfect race, but it was my best time yet on this course & finally ran under 4:30!  Recap here.

2019… My original goal was to try to go sub 4 this year.  But with all the issues I’ve been having this month, I’m not sure that is realistic at this point so I will see where I am in March and if running for time isn’t in the cards, I’ll run for fun.  And this race is a lot of fun!

So who wants to run the LA Marathon in March?

Giveaway is for one entry to the LA Marathon in Los Angeles on March 24, 2019.  Travel is not included.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#IAMLIMITLESS Movement & Thoughts on what’s to come in 2018

I’m partnering up with FitApproach & Gixofit to kick off the #IAMLIMITLESS movement for 2018.  This is a sponsored post.

After a rough 2017, I was totally looking forward to a clean slate and starting 2018 on a very positive note.  When FitApproach asked me to be a part of the #IAMLIMITLESS campaign, it was at the perfect time.  I had been floundering at the end of 2017, stuck in a rut where, like I mentioned in my Resolution Run recap, I was sitting on the couch being sucked into iPhone games when I wasn’t working.

I had gone from being incredibly motivated to being lazy, not able to motivate myself to do anything but eat & sleep when I wasn’t working or traveling.  But as Sean & I were hiking up the boulders on New Year’s Eve, I realized that I was giving into my fears.  Somewhere along the way last year, I got sucked into all the drama I was seeing on Facebook and scared myself out of leaving my house.  How did that happen?

As I was climbing up those boulders, some of which were significantly bigger than I was, I knew that I had to push past my fears if I wanted to reach my goals.  One of my biggest fears, the one that most likely let all the Facebook drama win, failure. But fail at what? Running.













Now why would I say I’m afraid to fail at running.  I’ve done 42 half marathons, 17 marathons, 7 50ks, 2 50 milers & a 100k.  I’ve DNF’d at 4 races so obviously I’m not afraid of not finishing.  But what if I actually worked really hard & I failed?  I was putting all this pressure on myself before I even started.

It was time to put all that and all the baggage from 2017 behind me and push past these limits I put on myself.  Let’s see what happens then.  I’ve already seen that at the end of a long week of running I can almost beat my half marathon PR, with little training, so what could I do if I actually trained.

After seeing Billy Yang’s newest film, The Why, it was important to share my Why (re: Running) with you, my friends and followers.  It was something I’ve been pondering for months, since I got injured.  Why do I want to do this?

My biggest goals for 2018? Explore, adventure, try new things and enjoy every minute.

Now that I’ve seen that I can almost beat my half PR, I definitely want to crush that.  I’d love to go under 4 hours in the marathon, get a Western States qualifier & do my first 100 miler.  I want to find a group of people to run & to train with (when we are in town).

I have a bunch of races on the schedule for the first half of the year.  I’m looking forward to doing a mix of shorter distances along with ultras as well.  We are working on our summer/fall schedule now that the lotteries are pretty much finished, with hopefully a few new races on the schedule.

I’m also looking forward to visiting some new places while revisiting places we’ve been before.  We have been traveling a lot & we have a tendency to revisit places quite often so we decided to kick off the year with a trip to a new to us destination, Borrego Springs on the edge of San Diego County & home to one of the largest state park in California, Anza Borrego Desert State Park.  If the wives tale saying what you do on New Year’s is what you do all year is true, if we visit somewhere new hopefully we’ll visit a lot of new places ;).

And on that note, we’ve already booked our first trip to visit Yosemite in May.  I’m so excited to finally get to visit!

I’ve been dealing with a lot of digestive distress, so I’m transitioning to a vegan diet and completely eliminated dairy & eggs.  I’m looking forward to fixing my gut & getting back to feeling better in that area.

Some of this years goals are more broad than I’ve done in the past but as the year goes on, I’ll flesh them out as I push past my limits.

Have you ever imposed limits on yourself?  How did you push past them?