Go Sharon! You’ve Got This!

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Excited about joining the ranks of other Legacy Runners! Photo by Hardeep Thind.

What a great day yesterday, 1/15/2017 was. I officially became a Legacy Runner and was able to finish with a smile on my face! I have mentioned before that my training wasn’t really that ideal, mostly because I just wanted this to be a finish rather than a time I was going for. I finished in 4:22, not my best, but certainly not my worst.

The night before the race, I didn’t get much sleep because I would keep waking up in a panic worrying that I overslept. What’s funny is that I usually run pretty well with a lack of sleep. If I get in too deep of a sleep, I struggle getting up. I woke up, got dressed, had my granola bar and water/Gatorade, and made sure to go pee as much as I could. At 5:30am, it was time to head out the door!

On the way there, I was actually more calm than I have been at any of my other races. Knowing that I wasn’t trying to go for a particular time made it so much easier, I could just relax and enjoy myself. There’s always a pressure you put on yourself when you’re trying to go for a certain time, but I felt none of that yesterday. Plus, with the temperatures already being in the high 60’s, even if I did have a goal time, that high temperature would have messed with my head. I’m definitely someone who mentally can’t handle the high temps. I shut down when I realize it’s going to be over 60 degrees or so.  Continue reading

This Marathon is a Special One!

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Running my first race at 24, 10 years ago. Obviously, clueless as to what to wear (t-shirt, soffe shorts, big headphones, socks not meant for running).

Well here I am, one week before the Chevron Houston Marathon and feeling a bit unprepared, but very ok with it. I managed to get a few long runs in, not as many as I would have liked, but I feel confident I will finish with a decent time. I didn’t train as I had planned to, but if you read my previous post, you’d know I am totally ok with it. Instead, I enjoyed a few extra meals, a bit more sleep, and gave my body a break. I’ll get back on track this year, as I have some pretty big goals that I’ll write about later. This race will be about having fun and enjoying each step!

The 2017 Chevron Houston Marathon will be my 19th marathon, and a very special marathon as it is the 10 year anniversary of my very first road race ever, the 2007 Aramco Houston Half Marathon. It’ll also be my 10th consecutive Chevron Houston Marathon. Once I cross the finish line, I will be considered a “Legacy Runner.” This is a big, big deal to me. I have waited for this moment for the past 10 years. There are currently only 1,664 runners who have completed 10 or more of the Houston Marathons in the CHM’s history. Of those runners, only 377 are female and of the females, only 14 are in their 30’s. I will be one of the youngest female legacy runners (there is only one girl younger than me on the current list). Once I qualify as a Legacy Runner, I have the opportunity to be a pace leader, which means I can lead a group of runners who are trying to finish the race in a certain time. Legacy Runners also get a special bib for race day and are granted guaranteed entry for future marathons. I know to anyone reading this, it may not seem like a big deal…but it is to me!

I’m looking forward to taking it easy and enjoying myself, with no pressure, on the 15th. I really just want to finish with a smile on my face and no aches and pains. I’ll enjoy all the crowds, seeing my loved ones, and maybe even some of the Michelob Ultra around mile 21.  If you’re in town, and don’t mind waking up early (hopefully cold), you really should come out and cheer on the thousands of Houstonians (and from elsewhere) running throughout the streets!

When You Don’t Feel Like Training

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I’ve realized that spending time with people I love is better than worrying about getting a run in! These are some of my favorite people/New Yorkers! ❤

I have to admit, for someone who blogs about running, I’m not doing too good of a job of running lately. By lately I mean the past two years really. Ok, so that’s sort of true. I am still running weekly, and getting in at least (for the most part) 25 miles, but that’s far from the days when I thought my life as a runner would be ruined if I missed a run, or worried so much about missing a long run that after teaching for eight hours a day, I would go home and get my shoes on and run 20 miles, into the evening. Yes, I did that several times in 2009…ran long runs during the work week. Well, it paid off, that was one of my best years as a runner.

I am currently training for marathon number 19, the Chevron Houston Marathon. This will be my 10th consecutive CHM, which I am REALLY, REALLY excited about. I’ll write more about why later. But the fact is that I am a little burned out of marathon training at the moment and have been since about 2014. It takes a lot of dedication, time, and discipline to train for a marathon. A lot of waking up REALLY early on the weekends, having to watch what I eat the night before the long run, missing out on fun weekend dinners out, etc. I trained REALLY hard for seven years straight, even training for three marathons back to back at some points…and that burned me out mentally. I also got to a point which I reached some pretty big goals so I had a “Well, I got there,” attitude about it. My ultimate goal as a marathon runner was to qualify for and run Boston. I did that, several times so I was really happy! I don’t plan to try and requalify for Boston again until I get into the 35-39 age group, so I don’t have sense of urgency with training.

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10 Reasons To Run

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Running one of my favorite marathons, the Marine Corps Marathon

There are so many reasons why I think you should give running a try. Here are a few: no monthly fees, you can do it anywhere, you can start at any level, it makes you feel good, it’s alone time, it’s friend time, no one is in your face yelling at you, an extra bowl of ice cream, to breath fresh air, to improve your cardiovascular fitness, build stronger bones…I can keep going.

And then there’s those reasons why you might say you can’t run: you can barely walk to the mailbox (ha-ha, a joke we’ve all heard), you don’t have time with work, you don’t have time with kids, you get shin-splints, you don’t like working out alone, you don’t know where to run, you can’t breathe when you run, you don’t want to ruin your blow out, or you just don’t like running…well I can’t help you with that one, instead, go ahead and click here: SoulCycle or Equinox.
Here is a list of 10 reasons why I think you should run.

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Songs To Run To

I’ve mentioned my love of music before. Sometimes I think I love running so much because it gives me a chance to listen to music for hours on end. One of my favorite things to do is hear music live, whether it’s with friends or alone. Music has helped me through some REALLY tough times. I love all music, but there are several types I REALLY love: electronic/dance like Daft Punk, French Pop, jazz, and alternative/indie/rock. I definitely credit my love of it to one of my best friends, Soufi, and my sister (thanks for the endless knowledge of Hole lyrics). I add a few new songs to my playlist each month, keeping all the old ones. Yep, I have had Black Eyed Pea’s Meet Me Halfway on my playlist for about 8 years now! Here’s what I love listening to these days, new and old!

  1. Charlie XCX– Doing it (w/Rita Ora): This song is fun!
  2. Indila– I partly love this song because of the memory attached to it…driving in the mountains of Vancouver this Summer with my favorite cousin, Mani. We share a love of French Pop, the mountains, and blaring music with the windows down. We listened to this on repeat before going for a 12 mile hike.
  3. Boston– More than a Feeling: Here’s a little secret…I start EVERY marathon with this song. Each of my 18 marathons. I’ve had it on my iPod for the past 10 years, and the only time I don’t skip over it is at the start line of 26.2. Just one “race-day-tradition.” Every time I hear it, I’m taken back to my first marathon in 2007. THE BEST FEELING.
  4. Daft Punk– Touch it/Technologic: ALL Daft Punk. I’ll never get enough. Seeing them live is on my bucket list.
  5. Phantogram– You’re Mine: I love this duo, and got lucky enough to see their show in Vegas in October. One of the best live shows I’ve seen in a long time.
  6. Santigold– Disparate Youth: I don’t ever not listen to this on repeat at least 3 times in a row.
  7. Stromae– Papaoutai: One day I will learn French so I can understand all these lyrics. Until then, I’ll just run to the songs!
  8. The Weeknd– Can’t Feel My Face: I don’t really care what the song is about (Google it), it makes me want to dance…and run more!

Common Bonds

rsWe all lead such different lives, which is very evident just by spending a few minutes on social media. Whether you are a working girl, a full time mom, or a student, the ins-and-outs of your daily life may vary greatly from that of a girlfriends. Running is something that allows women to feel as though their lives are a bit more parallel to their friends lives. As a 32 year old teacher without children, I know I have a lot more flexibility in my schedule than someone like my girlfriend Renee, who is a small business owner with two active young children. I’m a city girl and she has a beautiful home in the rural area. I can fly off to New York City on whim, where as Renee has to consider accommodations for her children for a quick getaway. We spend our days and nights very differently, but one thing that we have made a connection with in our almost 20 year friendship is running. We were able to come together in 2014 to take a weekend trip to beautiful San Diego, California to run the San Diego Half Marathon. This trip was our first getaway trip together and was so memorable. We spent time catching up on the different aspects of our lives, pushing through the surprisingly hilly course, and celebrating our accomplishment by having too much Ghirardelli ice cream at the end of the night. Although our lives have gone in very different directions as we have gone from high school friends to adult women, we now have a new bond, running. We are girls like you. Do you find running as a common bond with your friends?