Monday, December 5, 2011

Las Vegas Half Marathon

Last night I ran my first race since I got pregnant with my twin girls last year: the Las Vegas Half Marathon. It was a great time for many reasons!

I met friends Steve, Tish and Kanayo from back east in Las Vegas and all of us were to run the half marathon. Unfortunately, Tish is injured and wasn't able to run the race. But it was so good to see her, I'm glad she came anyway! We all arrived Friday night. Saturday was the expo, which we thoroughly enjoyed. It's one of the largest expos in the country and it does not disappoint. Much to do and see and, of course, buy. And we certainly did all three!

Sunday we really didn't do anything but rest. The race didn't start until 5:30 so we spent the day relaxing, painfully planning our meals and trying to stay off our feet. Once we were ready to go, we headed over to Mandalay Bay where the race started. On our way there, we stopped to use the restroom. I had a water bottle and my throw-away gloves with me as I went into the bathroom stall. I didn't want to put anything on the floor of the bathroom, so I was trying to hold everything and use the bathroom. Well, not to be too disgusting but as I was trying to get my running skirt down to use the bathroom, my gloves fell into the toilet! Oh well. I had to throw them away before I had the chance to wear them! Thankfully it was warm enough that I didn't need the gloves.

On the way out of the hotel, we met up with 44,000 of our friends also running the race. It was insane and I did not like it at all. I've run races of this magnitude before and they were organized in a way that you didn't even realize there were that many people there. Here, you knew it and it wasn't fun. It took us at least 30 minutes just to walk through the hotel exit and get to the race staging area. We finally got out of the hotel and made it through the port-o-potties. Kanayo put his stuff down to get things together to give to Tish while he was running. When he picked everything up and walked over to the port-o-potties, he realized lost his gloves!! There was definitely a curse on our gloves. After we searched, we gave up and went to the race start line. It was a mob scene. We couldn't get into the start line, there were so many people. Once the race started and people were crossing the start line, we were actually able to get into the start line. It was not a great way to start a race.

Once we got going, it didn't get any better. The mobs of people were really hard to maneuver through. We couldn't get into a good groove until at least mile 3 and it wasn't until mile 5 that I felt like I was actually even close to the pace I wanted to run. Around mile 8, I was itching to push the pace. I was running with Steve and he was fine with me going ahead. We discussed this before the race and I knew he wouldn't be mad with me going on without him.

With all that said, it was very cool running the Strip at night. The lights and energy made the miles just fly by. We ran the entire length of the Strip one way, then ran through the Freemont Street Experience (which isn't as nice as I remembered it to be) and some sections that were pretty hideous. I'm glad we ran that at night because I'm sure that area is awful to look at during the day.

There was plenty to look at within the crowd as well. Lots of people dressed as Elvis and superheroes, lots of glitter and shiny things. I had thought I'd seen everything as a runner up until the point I saw someone's bare butt running the race. Yes, a bare butt. I was pleasantly running along, thinking about life when out of the corner of my eye, I see a butt. I thought to myself, "That could not have been an ass...right?" As I got closer, it was, indeed, an ass. Some guy was running in just a jock strap, his butt hanging out and bobbing along as he ran. He had some other contraption on but his butt was clearly hanging out. He was drinking a beer as well. I passed him but did not want to see what he looked like from the front, so I just kept going. Up until that point, I thought I had seen everything while on the run. Clearly I was wrong and there is plenty more for me to see.

Anyway...because this was my first race since June of 2010, I really had no expectations. It was one thing that it was my first race, but since June 2010, I got pregnant with twins, was on bed rest for almost 6 months, then gave birth to said twins, sold my house, bought a house in San Diego and then packed up my family of 5 (and a dog!) and moved across the country. Basically, a lot has happened since my last race. Once I was able to get back to running, I have had a hard time finding the time and energy to train the way I'd like, as you can imagine. I do the best I can. So with all these factors, I just came to Vegas with the goal to finish and finish happy (which should always be your main goal!).

When I left Steve, I saw that there was a slight chance I could PR. So I went for it. But as the miles went on it just wasn't possible. I lost way too much time in the beginning of the race and couldn't make it up. With the first 5 miles being slower than I would have liked and all the people just everywhere, it was just impossible to make up the time. Oh well. I'm happy with my result. As Tish said, this is the race that says "You're back." That's right: I'm back!

As I was running the last miles by myself, I was just thinking about how far I have come in the last 2 years. Just as my 50K was a way to get through the most difficult time in my life, this race was my way to re-enter my life. I feel happier today than I have in many years. I feel like myself again. Even though this past year has been extremely hard and overwhelming at times, I feel like it's been the best year of my life. Everything I could have wanted and more has come my way. Two beautiful little baby girls, a son who is in love with his new life, a husband who loves his family AND work and is happy again, a beautiful house we're making into our home, meeting and getting to know some wonderful new friends, all in the most beautiful place in the world.

I could have run a race before this one, as my first race post-babies. I could have done something low-key and just quietly returned to racing. But when have I ever done anything quietly? This was a big deal. It took an incredible amount of work and juggling of time and responsibilities to train. I'm proud of how the race turned out and I am back. I have a bunch of races on my calendar for 2012. Some may go well and some may not, but I do know that I'll always finish with a smile!

If you're interested in reading about our escapades in Las Vegas and seeing some photos, I've posted everything over at my personal blog.

Happy running!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Adventures

Coach Jenn is now officially part of Sole Health and Wellness! Sole Health and Wellness is based in North San Diego County, California and was developed to help every body reach their health goals in a safe and non-intimidating way. The company's home page says it all: We change lives everyday through our individual, community and corporate running programs. If you're ready to change your life, we're ready to help.

You don't have to be in San Diego to get the benefits of your own personal wellness coach. There are plans to help anyone, anywhere, reach their goals. Check out all the services Sole Health and Wellness offer at their training page

Become a part of Sole Health and Wellness today! Checkout the website, get the latest health info and company updates by becoming a fan of the Facebook page and following SoleHealth on Twitter

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Three Rules To Run By

I was recently interviewed by The article features my "three rules" to run by. Running doesn't have to be complicated to be effective. Being kind to yourself will help you get the most out of your running and training. Read on for the three rules to run by:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Resignation is OK

The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.
~Tom Bodett

I saw this quote on Facebook this morning. It speaks volumes to me. Last month my family and I moved across the country to San Diego. It's a huge move for a one person, let alone 2 adults, a 5-year old, 5-month old twins and a dog. And because it's been such a whirlwind, my running has taken a backseat to everything else. In fact, it's not even in the car with me right now.

I have been tested many times in life, as most of us are. I didn't expect this move to affect me the way it has. I have had a lot of trouble finding my way. We're still adjusting to being a family of 5 and dealing with infants, and now we're doing it in a new place without any friends and family. All on top of getting acquainted to a new place with new jobs, new school, new house, etc. It has really taken a toll on me, affecting me sleep and other aspects of life.

I had been really down on myself because I wasn't able to run as much as I would like. I have a few races I should be training for (see below posts) and I really need to get a move on. The coach in me was getting on my case :) But I had to tell her to back off. I had to take the pressure off myself because it was eating away at me. I decided to take some time off running to focus on just getting the house in order and the family settled, instead of trying to do all of that and train as well. We needed to establish our new routine and now that we have, I can start to fill in my workouts.

That was the lesson I learned. I had to resign to the fact that life is just up in the air right now and it's ok to take a moment to get it in order. And you don't have to have a huge life change (like having twins and moving across the country!) in order to feel out of control. But when you do, remember that is your current test. Remember what works for you, what makes you feel in control, and do it. For me, I have to get in order. I have to mark things off my to-do list. Now that I have, I can breathe a little easier. And get back to what makes me happy: running.

Think back to when you have been truly tested in life. How did you get through it? What made you feel in control? The next time you are feeling out of control, go back to that time and do what makes you feel in control. Tell yourself you've gotten through tough circumstances before and you will again. And if it's not working for you, ask for help. Never be afraid to ask for help.

Happy running!

And since this post was inspired by Facebook, you can find me on Facebook here.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Goals are Good

I have said many times here how important it is to have a goal. Goals are great for keeping you on track, increasing motivation and a number of other reasons.

So I'm taking my own advice and gave myelf a goal to work toward: the Rock and Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon on December 4th. A few friends of mine are going to do it and we're going to make a weekend out of it. The race is great from what I've heard. It's run at night, so you're running along the strip in all its glitzy goodness at night. This will probably be my first big race since having my girls (though there's another one I have my eyes on...we'll see about that). I'm actually excited and feeling a little motivated. I hope it sticks around for a while!

Here's a video of the race! Get motivated!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Which Blog Should Continue?

For those of you who don't know, I keep another blog. I actually write there much more regularly than here. I started this blog to keep track of my running-related thoughts and experiences. The other blog is more of my day-to-day thoughts and musings. But my life and my running cross paths so often, it's hard to decide which blog is more appropriate for. And I don't want my non-running readers to get bored with all my running crap, as they think of it ;)

So, what to do?

Should I continue as things are and write both blogs as regularly as I can? Should I stop writing the running blog and include everything on the personal blog? Does anyone even read the running blog?

While the answer to that last question may leave me with no suggestions here, I'm hoping it won't! Please let me know if it's worthwhile to keep this blog up or should I combine everything into my personal blog. Thoughts...please!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

To be continued?

I know it's been a while since I posted here. I was pregnant and on bed rest and really wasn't doing much in the way of anything, let alone running. I just didn't have the motivation to even look at this blog.

It's amazing how we runners are so invested in our sport. While I can't speak for the running community as a whole, I'm pretty sure most runners get bummed, if not depressed, when they can't run. Running is so much more than a sport. It's a way of life, a common bond among friends, a form of therapy. When those things are gone, some runners feel like they don't really know who they are without them. They have to discover who they are when running isn't a part of their life.

I had to take time off from running many times before, this wasn't anything I hadn't dealt with before. But running isn't just my hobby or favorite past-time, but it's my job. I'm a running coach. I could continue coaching my online clients, but I could no longer meet my clients that I see on a regular basis. I couldn't continue coaching my groups. I felt really lost during that time.

Now that the twins are here, I'm slowly getting back on my feet. Finding the time and, more importantly, the energy to run is proving to be more difficult thank I thought. Dealing with two infants, a 5 year old, jobs, life, etc., makes it hard to get out the door. I try to motivate myself the way I motivate my clients, but it's just not the same. Sometimes you need someone other than yourself to help you out. Sure, I have my running friends. But they're lightyears ahead of me in their training and there's no way I can keep up. I was inactive for almost a year. Not to mention the whole pregnant-with-twins thing. Kinda took a toll on my body. I have a lot of ground to make up.

So I guess I wondering, if I chronicle my road back to running on this blog, will it help motivate me? Honestly, as a coach, it's hard for me to admit I need help. I know how to get back on track, add mileage, keep pace, etc. But I also know when that's not enough. Sure, I know what I need to do to get back. But that doesn't make it any easier to do so.

Therefore, dear readers, I'm asking for your help. That's the first step, right?