#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?

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Why? Why do we choose to run 13.1, 26.2, 50 or even a 100 miles? (Long post alert 😉) . . Last night @ultrarunnersd & I went to see @billyyangfilms new movie The Why, about his 100 mile journey at Leadville 100. You’ll definitely want to check it out on YouTube. . . It made me ask the question to myself. And honestly I probably ask myself that exact question during almost every race. Why do we do this? . . I don’t have a grand story of where I started running because I was overweight, drinking too much or doing drugs (I’ve never touched them), I wasn’t abused & I didn’t have a horrible childhood or any of those things that are so common to hear about. I’ve run off and on my whole life. I guess I started endurance running, honestly because maybe I gained 5-10 lbs & didn’t like the way my stomach looked in photos, I was modeling at the time (I still don’t like my stomach in photos but I digress). Then it was the challenge, I’d never gone over 3 miles, could I get to 5, 6, 10 & then 13.1. Then it was could I go 26.2. If I hadn’t met Sean I’d probably have stayed with the marathon, not really knowing much about ultras. . . The Why for me has changed in the 8 years I’ve been running endurance events. At first it was to see if I could do it, then it was to see if I could go faster. When I got injured last year, I lost my Why, I honestly didn’t know why I was doing this. I don’t enjoy the lows, like a lot of people do. Was I doing it because that’s what I always did or because Sean does? I didn’t know. . . After a lot of pondering this question over the last year, I’ve come up with a few reasons. First, no matter how slow it is, there is something magical about crossing that finishline. Knowing that you did it. Second, the places you get to see, explore & adventure in. And finally, the people. Runners, especially ultra runners are such an inclusive, welcoming, supportive group of people. . . What is your why?

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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?

2017 Recap

It’s been months since I’ve even come on here.  2017 was an interesting year.  It started out continuing on the high from 2016 and then my hamstring tendonitis brought my year to a halt.  After taking a little break, I lost my run motivation and got into a bit of a funk.

I wanted to recap how things went as far as my goals for the year.  Most of them were put to the wayside with my injury, but I’m interested to see if I achieved any of the others.

  1. Drinking more water is always a goal, I think I did ok on this but it’s always a work in progress.
  2. Strength Training – I did work on this a lot this year and with the help of Crystal Seaver I think I really did well on this one, once I got the go ahead from PT.
  3. Hill Training – This one didn’t really happen.  My injury meant that it was painful climbing so I didn’t do nearly as much as I would have liked.
  4. Speed work – Again, my injury was aggravated by speed so that kind of went to the way side as well.  I have done a few speedier workouts in the last month or so and felt decent.
  5. Run streak – That was dropped around 140 days and it might work for Sean and other runner streakers, but running every day doesn’t work for me or my hamstrings.  I won’t be starting another one.
  6. Mileage: I wanted to run 2,000 miles in 2017 and I fell very short, I only got about 1,150 for 2017.  With my injury and my lack of motivation, I had a hard time getting myself out the door.
  7. Long Run Nutrition – Still a work in progress.  I have found that I really like a mix of Skratch Labs & Carbo Pro.  I’m still working on this and since I didn’t do a lot of long runs this year, I didn’t really have much time to practice ;).
  8. Eat smaller meals – I don’t know that I succeeded at this, but after a lot of bloating and stomach pain this year, I finally in November made the decision that something needed to change.  I’ve been transitioning to a vegan diet, specifically eliminating all dairy & eggs from my diet.  It’s been helping a lot and I’m looking forward to keeping it up in 2018.
  9. Eat More Vegetables – This I did work on a lot. I still don’t love salad, but I’m working on it.
  10. A speedy marathon – Yeah, this didn’t happen, although I am really happy that I had 2 decent races at SF Marathon & then in Chicago with barely any training.  Not recommended but it worked for me.

Even though 2017 didn’t go exactly as planned, it wasn’t all bad.  I still managed to run or walk 15 races, a 10k, a 30k, a 35k, 5 Half Marathons, 4 Marathons & 3 50ks.  I volunteered at a bunch of races in the spring & summer.

I supported Sean at a bunch of races this summer including his “perfect” race at Tahoe 200 that resulted in a course record & huge course PR for him.

I went to Maine, on my first trip to the Northeast, for a fabulous retreat & met a bunch of amazing women.  We adventured around Vancouver & Kauai and spent a lot of time out on trails. All in all, even though it wasn’t the year I wanted, it was a pretty incredible year.

What were the highlights of your 2017?  Did you achieve your goals?

Dream Big: 2017 Goals

We are 2 days into 2017 and I’ve already got a lot of things planned for this year.  2016 was a great year and I tested myself by trying new distances like TRT 50 and Cuyamaca 100k.  We traveled all over the place including a few new places, like Chamonix, France & Portland, OR.

What’s in store for 2017? And what do I want to accomplish?

First off, I’ve signed up for my first 100 mile race, San Diego 100 in June.  Yes, I’ll be running 100 miles on June 9 – 10! I am so excited! And so nervous but more excited!

Here’s what is on the schedule for Jan – June (so far, I might look for one or two more short races)

January – Crew Sean at HURT100, Pasadena Half Marathon
February – Sean O’Brien 50k, Black Canyon 100k
March – Griffith Park 50k, LA Marathon
April – Gorge Waterfall 100k, The Canyon Endurance Runs 50k
May – PCT 50, Crew Sean at Cruel Jewel
June – San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half, San Diego 100

That means, I’ve got two half marathons, one full marathon, three 50ks, one 50 miler and two 100ks before the 100 miler = 315 race/training miles. The weekends when we are home I fully intend to be out in Cuyamaca/Julian/Cleveland National Forest to train on the race actual course.

Pretty much all my goals are geared towards getting me to the San Diego 100 finish line.  And then after I’ve accomplished that, I have a few other things I want to work on, but the 100 mile finish line is the ultimate goal for the year.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, what are some of my more specific goals?

  1. Always a big one for me, drink more water.  I’m teaming up with an awesome company to help me reach this goal. I’ll share more about this in a coming blog post.
  2. Strength Training.  Yes, I know I say this every year, but this year it’s more important than ever.  I need to work on my glute strength & hip flexibility in edition to my core.
  3. Hill training, hill training, hill training.  I am not a strong uphill runner so I definitely need to focus on this and getting faster at power hiking.
  4. At least one speed workout a week.  When training for endurance, I tend run a lot of easy runs and while I don’t want to injure myself, pushing myself in at least one run a week isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
  5. Continue with my run streak.  I started a run streak on November 20, I’m up to 43 days so I might as well keep it up and see what happens, right? :).
  6. I ran 1,589 miles/avg. 132.4 miles per month in 2016, I’m setting a goal of 2,000/avg. 166 miles per month for 2017.  That’s a small increase over this year and with 100 mile training, I definitely things it’s doable.
  7. Continue to work on my long run nutrition, I love using CarboPro for the majority of my calories, but I’m hoping to incorporate more real food, like GoMacro bars, potatoes and experimenting with other things.
  8. Eat smaller more frequent meals.  I used to follow a plan religiously, last year, I was pretty lazy, I stopped eating breakfast, started drinking too much coffee and not enough water.  First order of business, start eating breakfast and healthy snacks.
  9. Eat more vegetables.  I’m not a huge fan of cold food, except ice cream, Jamba Juice Smoothies and popsicles of course lol.  I have a hard time choosing a salad over something hot, but I will start to do so.
  10. After SD100 I definitely want to work on my speed on both the trail and road.  I’m targeting the November Revel Canyon City Marathon for a new marathon PR.

That’s a lot of things, most of which I should be doing already, but sometimes you need a little push to get back to basics.  Basically it’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable!

And away we go! Let’s do this!

What are your goals for 2017?