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What one does is what counts and not what one had the intention of doing.

-Pablo Picasso

The new school year has started off with a bang. I absolutely love teaching eighth grade, my teaching partner is super fun, and I’m constantly borrowing childcare hours from friends because I’m teaching full time for the first time in years! And, most importantly, about three weeks ago, I regained motivation to train hard!

I’m not sure if it was the couple of months after Boston that I just needed to lollygag and laze about, but I definitely felt unmotivated and sluggish. For months! I was burned out. On work, training… everything! Just done! It was almost like training depression, only I truly think it was the cumulative effect of all of the challenges and adjustments of last school year combined with an overly ambitious mustrunalltheraces day of registration that shortly followed Surf City last February.

At the beginning of the year, I set the Ventura Marathon as my goal race. I wanted to come in under 3:25.

It’s not going to happen. And I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t hurt a little. Or even more than a little.

As I was chatting with my new students the other day, I began comparing my marathon training to their school year. Like my kids, who all wrote declarations about how their goals were to earn As or Bs in my class and to work hard on their writing skills by coming to see me regularly for conferences, I set a lofty goal to run 26.2 in 3:25 or under. My kids set their intentions for the year just as I set my intention for this race. However, and this is hopefully where we differ, my goal remained an intention.

I had an entire freaking summer to train! But do you know what I did? I sat on the couch and on the lounge chairs, played in the pool with my girls, took Ruby Sunshine for walks…


Snuggled with Blondie…


Took super a super fun day trip to Santa Cruz Island…


By the way, I’ve made the decision that I must by a sailboat. I’m trying to convince my mom to buy a dock home. ;)

I spent more time with my family…


Mostly because I love them, but also because my time with them is so stinking precious! My babies are growing up too fast, and with working full time, I notice even those couple of hours a day I used to spend with them after school are hours I would do almost anything to still have. I really love my job, though, and Mini Me is always asking to travel places (She finally understands that she’s lucky that we’re on the same schedule and that it takes money to do fun things like travel and race), so overall, it’s a winning situation for us. I am so blessed to have a wonderful mom, husband, sister, preschool (for Blondie), and friends who take excellent care of my spawns! It truly does take a village!

So, I guess you could say that during summer, I set the intention of being ultra present to my kids. I’d say I did a pretty good job of doing that as well.

My mom always makes us a priority. She’s pretty much the best role model. She even shared the best spirally potato chip fair food dusted with garlic cheesy powder with us!


Sharing that would have been very hard for me. I need to be more like my mom.

As summer began to wind down and I shlepped my girls into my classroom just about every day to set up my room and plan lessons, I suddenly found myself feeling like if I didn’t say on top of “it,” all of the “things” I was trying to juggle (family, friends, work, running, chocolate eating) would all fall down. And you know what? Once I started setting specific intentions instead of arbitrarily saying things like “I want to run a 3:25 marathon,” I was really able to focus.

Setting the intention to work hard for set periods of time and work through feasible checklists allowed me to feel like I could enjoy being with my kids and be fully present when I got home. This probably sounds really obvious, but adding the “full time” to my schedule has actually allowed me to be more productive AT work as opposed to having to take a ton of work home and worrying about when I would get it done while playing Go Fish with my littles, as was the case when I was part-time.

This newfound motivation and go-get-‘em attitude carried over into my training. About three weeks ago, I came to the realization that if I want to improve, I have to train hard and smart, regardless of whether my husband is home to watch the girls or not. This past week has been a taper week, but the two before were chalk full of really good runs. Even a lot of the ones on the treadmill were solid!

IMG_1132<–Running on the ‘mill in the garage during summer is a good way to test how much you can possibly sweat over the course of 6, 8, 10, or 16 miles! I’m a pro at it now.

I also went to two of the training runs hosted by Josh Spiker, the genius/fastie behind the Ventura Marathon.


I’ve also been super lucky that my husband has offered to work on my feet, legs, glutes, and hips every night he’s home!


It always hurts like crazy, but I’m pretty sure the work he’s done on me is the reason why my IT band issues and plantar fasciitis have gone away!

So, while I’m sadly almost certainly not going to come anywhere near my original goal, I would be happy to A.) PR (sub 3:29:47) or B.) set a course PR (sub 3:32:46). If I run anything slower than that, it’ll be because I had a mental breakdown on the course. Ventura was my BRF Veronique’s and my race (She moved to Austin last month)! I miss her so much. My other best friend J is moving to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, so if you find Debbie Downer herself slumped over in a pile of tears and salted caramel Gu somewhere along the course, don’t slow down to assess the scene. I’ll be okay.

Despite the sadness of realizing that I failed at doing, I am still really looking forward to running Ventura this Sunday. It’s a good lesson I learned, this whole “intentions don’t count unless you’re actually doing” thing. If you’re heading out there, be sure to bring your no-longer-in-use running shoes to donate to the Max Cure Foundation. I have mine ready to go!


And a new sweet pair of Kayano 21s to rock on Sunday!

IMG_1436<–Yes, I know. Racing in new shoes is not advisable. I don’t recommend it. However, I’ve been running in Kayanos since the 17, so I know what I’m getting into.

If I don’t post an update tomorrow, good luck to all the runners out there. Especially DaSilentAssassin, Pam, and Boston Bound Brunette! And my Oiselle teammate Nicole!!!

Also, good luck to my good high school friend Mark who I believe is running his marathon this weekend as well! Have fun!

See you guys out there!



San Francisco Marathon Recap- Part II


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For Part I of the SF Marathon recap, click here.

After waking up a gazillion times during the middle of the night because I was too hot or worried that I’d overslept or because I was annoyed that my giant of a husband had rolled over and was sleeping on his back smack dab in the center of a double-sized bed or because Club W Hotel was raging, I finally conked out right before my 4:15 alarm. I set out for the bathroom to make my oatmeal using hot tap water. 

It didn’t go over well.


I couldn’t even muster up the strength to snap a picture of it. I was desperate, the hotel room did not have a coffee maker, and I was pretty sad that I also couldn’t find the chia seeds that I SWORE I packed! Chia is part of my game!

After eating half of my “oatmeal,” a banana with a little almond butter, and drinking a half of a small bottle of room temp Powerade (<-YUCK!), I grabbed my handheld filled with Cherry Limeade Nuun, put my phone in the RooSport I purchased at the expo, and went down to the lobby around 5 to snag a cup of coffee from the bar. It was a little weird to be dressed to run 26.2 among a small crowd of clubgoers!

I walked the 1.2-miles down to the start line. By the time I got there, I didn’t have enough time to use the port potties down the block, so I made my way towards the second corral. Because I arrived with 5 minutes until the start, I was forced to make my way through a lot of other runners and spectators trying to figure out where they should be. Runners were having a hard time getting through the corral checkpoint, and at one point, a beast of a security guard barked out that the corral was going to close and that we should make our way to the third corral.

That was not a big deal to me, since I was “funning” it, and the time begins when you cross the start mats, but within a split second, before I could turn around, I was shoved forward into a gate in between the corral and the entrance gate with another lady yelling at me to “listen to her orders.” It was really scary! I couldn’t move, and I was taking elbows to my side and my back! Finally, the big man at the entrance shouted that the gate had been shut and the lady needed to let us in. I was never so happy to have my personal space back in my entire life!

The morning was spectacularly beautiful!



Over the course of 26.52 (whoops!) miles were these notables:

1. I used the portapotties twice. I NEVER stop to use the portas, but I was “funning,” and my tumtum was all “Heck no, you’re not going to pass those bad boys without using them!”


I had to wait in line both times. Weird!

2. I made the decision to walk up every hill. 


I did a lot of walking, sometimes faster than people were running, always unnecessarily, and only because I had somehow convinced myself that I could save my legs for hard training this week. <-That doesn’t work. I wasn’t at all sore, but I still feel like I need to take it easy this week.

For reference, every time there’s an incline on the chart below, you can bet I was walking (at least 80% of the time) on the side of the road!

sf marathon elevation


That’s a heck of a lot of walking!

3. Taking selfies while running is really hard. Also, I need to work on my race face. 


Also, the Roo Sport that I bought at the expo does not work with the bum wrap. Unless, of course, I wanted to run with my bum exposed for the world to see. Holding my phone definitely was not fun.

4. Since the photos were free, I decided to try different “looks.” Like the “gaze away into the distance” look.


Nope! That looks terrible! I’ll have to study the Kim Kardashian guide to selfies and see if I can figure it out.


5. My legs/hips ached like crazy from mile 1. That was not normal. Was it because of my foot issue? By mile 10, I was contemplating dropping out. I’m glad I didn’t because by mile 17, my legs felt a lot better. Isn’t it usually the other way around?

6. I was strangely starving by mile 4, but I managed to hold off on taking my gel until 6.5. I’m pretty sure that was a result of my Sour Patch Kids/Hi-Chew snackish lunch the day before.<-Note for Ventura: HAVE A HUGE LUNCH THE DAY BEFORE!

7. Running on the Golden Gate Bridge was pretty rad! Because we were running on the road, we were far enough away from the walkway for me to notice how high we were. Also, I saw Kristina on the bridge! Seeing her totally lifted my spirits and temporarily moved me out of my quitting funk.


8. Funning allowed me to focus 100% on where we were running instead of on my splits! We ran through some beautiful places!IMG_0933



9. Proof that I didn’t walk all of the hills. Just most of them. I had to remind myself that what goes up must come down.sfmile10


10. Around the halfway point, where the First Half runners were finishing and the Second Halfers were partying/warming up/having fun, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I wished that my best running friend Veronique (she moved to Austin the other day) was there with me. Up until this point, we have trained for all of our marathons together, and I lost it. My eyes welled up with tears, my throat began to close up, and I felt like I was going to hyperventilate. I employed the #1 labor and delivery strategy and focused on breathing in through my nose and out through the mouth. Folks, it worked! This went on for a little more than 2 miles. No joke. Luckily, I was “funning,” so I was cool with mid race meltdown!

11. I filled up all of the memory on my phone by accidentally taking a gazillion videos of the inside of my bag, the inside of my pants, and the inside of my Roo Sport over the course of the weekend, so by mile 17, when my legs were finally feeling better, I couldn’t take any more photos. Whoops! 

Also phone related, I need to make a new playlist. I put the music on around Mile 20 and quickly became annoyed with the playlist that I hadn’t listened to. I cannot CANNOT listen to Icona Pop 5 times in 2 miles. What the heck was I thinking? I don’t love it! I wanted to crash my phone into the bridge, to watch, to let it burn. It’s over!



11. To the dude and chick who shouted “Get your ice cold beer here,” you had me at beer. Thank you for changing my life! My new thing when “funning,” and possibly when running, will be to take these kind folks up on their offer! Not only was it the most awesome thing in the world, but I was already so spent physically and mentally that it was a welcome boost! 

12. It also helped me take some terrible, terrible pictures. 


It doesn’t look good on Miley. It DEFINITELY does not look good on me. And you, dear readers, can go on with your life knowing that even your worst race pictures will never ever be as bad as those ones, courtesy of the deliciously cold chugged beer!

13. “Funning” is rad. Despite the pain during the first 2/3 of the race, I loved every second of not worrying about my pace or what my time would be. I also felt lazy and super lame walking, but for running my first marathon for 100% fun, I think I was successful.

14. Being part of the Oiselle family is rad. From the meet up the night before to hearing Paulette cheering at the finish, it’s really a neat thing to feel so supported in my running game!


Photo by Paulette

15. I really like when my family is there at the finish. Like, REALLY like it.  It doesn’t usually happen, for some reason. It didn’t happen this time. There’s nothing better than hearing your name and seeing your family as you run down the finish chute. So, if you’re reading this, Husband, please don’t sit at the Starbucks a mile from the finish. The walk down there wasn’t really fun, and I’d much rather see you and the girls before I cross the line. ;)


Yes, I was that excited over boxed water!

Official time: 3:56:41

After I finished, I chugged 2 boxes of waters and a bottle of chocolate milk (<-Always a good choice!) and picked up my California Dreamin’ medal/bottle opener from running both Surf City and SF!


I’m not really big on medals, but I am totally going to use this one! Everyone knows I love a good brew!

Then, I walked down a couple blocks to the Starbucks, where my husband and kids (5Kers!) were waiting!


Together, we trudged back to the hotel:


Mini Me and I put our legs up the wall while the huz prepped the ice bath:


We packed up, checked out of the hotel, and then spent the best day ever at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where the highlight of Blodie’s day was watching the cow eye dissection!


She swears that they eye squirted her!


We could have spent two days there! All of us, not just the kids!

At 4:30, I still hadn’t had a meal, and I was about to bite someone’s head off, but we really needed to get on the road back to the Conejo, so we opted to eat at Starbucks, where the spinach feta wraps always warm my belly!

I drove my sleepy family the 6.5 hours home, stopping in SLO for dinner and SB for fuel, and finally arriving at our house at 12:30am. Now THAT’S a long day!

Overall, I really had a great weekend! I would totally run this race again, probably for fun, but without walking. And I’d definitely go to Ghirardelli again for another one of their salted caramel, hot fudge sundaes.

Things I need to change before Ventura:

-I definitely think that I need to rethink race day breakfast. Maybe a sandwich? No cooking necessary would have been helpful here!

-I need to have a big carby lunch the day before. It’s really worked in the past, and I just overlooked it this time and paid the price.

-Playlist overhaul. And hopefully find the nano that I bought right before Ventura last year and subsequently misplaced. The phone sitch just didn’t work.

-Put in quality training and prepare to NOT WALK!!!

What are your favorite running songs right now?

Will you meet me at mile 25 of Ventura with a beer?

If you’re running Ventura, will you meet me for a beer after?<-The answer better be yes!


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