October Goal Check-In


Fall is flying by! It feels like I just wrote September’s update, and I know the next few months will go quickly with the holidays nearly upon us. Can we just hit the pause button for a moment?!

Because I was traveling for a good part of the first half of the month, the second half has been about getting back into a groove here in Portland, getting organized on a few different fronts (work, home) and starting to plan ahead on a few others (kiddo, 2016 schedule).

Meanwhile, Baby H is keeping busy growing and making his/her presence known more and more each day. So I’ve been trying to stay flexible when it comes to my monthly goals; I know the further along I get the more I’ll need to listen to my body, so there’s no time like the present to accept that and put it into practice.

Read more about the five goals toward which I’m working this year.

Here’s the latest on my progress:

1. Seeking Balance

I mentioned I was home again earlier this month for a childhood friend’s wedding. We did the math one evening and realized we’ve been friends for almost 30 years.

After we got over how old that makes us feel, we had a blast at the weekend’s events — from bachelorette party to rehearsal to wedding. Not only was it great to spend some quality girl time together, but I’m also thrilled for Colleen and Eric to start this next phase of their lives together, surrounded by love!


I am still struggling with my body’s new definition of “balance,” however, which might be a theme this year. Or maybe it’s just a constant struggle for us all in this day and age?!

Either way, now that my energy has returned in the second trimester I get over-excited to do #allthethings, but if I push too hard I end up getting a headache for a day or two that no amount of Tylenol will kick. So this next month I’m hoping to pace myself better so I can still get stuff accomplished, but not get knocked on my butt afterwards.

2. Training Smarter

Thanks to pregnancy tilting my pelvis forward, along with a dumb move I made in Michigan trying to lift my nephew out of his carseat while leaning over, my SI joint has been flaring up again. I’ve been addressing it with massage and acupuncture and, aside from my twice weekly runs, low-impact activities are my jam (biking, yoga, walking, Pilates, swimming, etc.).


One tip to help turn that frown upside down when you’re mourning what feels like the loss of your former level of fitness? Metrics, metrics, metrics.

Despite breathlessness on runs, the inability to utilize the majority of my ab muscles and my current distaste for high-impact activities, I managed to hit some good numbers on the bike during a recent ride. There’s nothing like some quantitative proof that your hard work is still paying off when, qualitatively, you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.

3. Facing Fears

Stop the presses — I’m back in the pool! Yes, it sucks because mornings are dark and cold and the last thing I feel like doing is jumping in the water, but once I’m there it’s actually pretty great being a preggo “human submarine,” as Ben puts it.


My first workout was simple: Go back and forth for 30 minutes. Just keep moving. So I did a little more than 1000 yards of freestyle punctuated with a lap of breaststroke here and there.

Going forward (just to keep myself motivated), I’ll be looking to build up to longer workouts or cover more distance in that 30-minute time-frame. But either way, I want to keep it leisurely and fun — and enjoy the fact that I can get my own lane more often than not because people seem to be leery of getting too close to a pregnant woman bobbing back and forth!

4. Pushing Myself

Because I can neither resist a) running in the fall foliage of the Midwest nor b) registering for a race when I’m traveling back home, I talked my sister into running the Rattlesnake Run 5k with me while in Michigan. Yes, the race went well and I came in second overall for the women and first in my age group, but it was a learning experience.


I didn’t PR by any means, but I felt good that morning so my plan was to push the threshold of what I could handle (within reason , of course) just to see where that limit now lies. Well, I found it; the breathlessness that comes with pregnancy is unlike any kind of breathlessness I’ve experienced before in a race, even when I’ve been running all-out.

And although I miss that feeling of pushing my body to the limit, it’s just not the same kind of thrill when you’re second-guessing every ache and pain and what impact it has on the little person you’re carrying. So I’ve decided that any races between now and March will be strictly fun runs!

But that’s not to say I can’t look ahead… I’m slowly figuring out my 2016 schedule, and while I’m not planning on tackling any new distances or PR’s, I have signed up for the Portland Marathon as my carrot for getting back into running shape post-baby.

5. Giving Back

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we just wrapped up our first official season with Team LUNA Chix Portland Run, so I’m in the throes of planning for next year. We had such an amazing group of ladies who really embraced us and made the team their own, and for that I’m incredibly appreciative.


And next year our plan is to come back even bigger and better! We’ll be doing monthly workouts in the off-season, as requested, plus we’ll be taking applications for any open spots for our 10 team leaders. Stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for more info if you’d like to join us — the more, the merrier!

How are your 2015 goals coming along? 

July Goal Check-In


Summer is in full swing, and we’ve been soaking up the sun here on the West Coast. From trips to the beach, kayaking around the lake, hiking excursions and dining al fresco, weekends are for taking full advantage of all the outdoorsy goodness that Oregon has to offer.

There may be no fall marathon on the horizon this year, but we’re still staying plenty active, too. I’m taking this unofficial off-season as a time to finally kick some of those chronic running injuries (SI joint, plantar fasciitis), as well as focus on getting stronger in cycling and — yes — swimming!

Read more about the five goals toward which I’m working this year.

Here’s the latest on my progress:

1. Seeking Balance

Between the heat and a packed summer schedule, Ben and I have been dialing back weekend workouts for a change. And you know what? Now that I’m over the initial anxiety of not being on a strict training schedule, it actually feels good.


Don’t get me wrong — I’m still researching races as I mull over my next move. But listening to my body and being active when and how I want to (like an afternoon bike ride for ice cream or a lunch run with friends or a leisurely morning coffee walk with the dogs) versus doing only what’s prescribed for training has been really refreshing.

2. Training Smarter

My SI joint pain has all but subsided thanks to quitting kettlebell swings. And while I still run a few times a week to maintain my mileage, I’ve been hitting it hard and cross training with all kinds of barre, yoga, pilates and interval training classes.


My newest discovery, though? Racing for fun.

Ben and I signed up for a weekly trail run series here in the Portland area and have been enjoying running without worrying about pace. Plus, I’ve paced new trail racers for the past two events, and helping them get across the finish line and accomplish something they weren’t sure they could do has been an incredibly rewarding experience!

3. Facing Fears

Huge news on this front: I took an informal swim lesson last week with a few friends! Mary Anne, who did the swim portion of the Pacific Crest long course triathlon along with Ben, kindly offered to hop in the pool, check out our form (or lackthereof) and share a few pointers.


As it turns out, I’m not totally hopeless in the water! There were three major takeaways: I need to work on my body position (straighter vs bending at my waist), kick (full leg vs at the knee) and stroke (relax and extend more).

I also learned that I need to CHILL OUT in the water because I’m literally trying so hard and moving so rigidly that I’m actually working against myself. Mary Anne shared some great drills, so we made a pact to get in the pool more often to practice. Exciting!

4. Pushing Myself

As I mentioned last month, in lieu of setting training and racing goals in the immediate future I’ve been pursuing professional ones instead. Pulse Creative is officially up and running, so I’ve been digging into client projects, networking and meeting all kinds of interesting entrepreneurs in the process.


That’s not to say I’m not thinking about my next challenge. On the contrary, I’ve been eyeing some destination races for fall travel, as well as potential events to add to the calendar for 2016. More on those soon…

5. Giving Back

Boom! It’s time for the official Team LUNA Chix Portland Run update. But first — how awesome are these ladies?!


In July, we participated in our first sponsored event, the Portland Parks $5 5k Series race at Gabriel Park (note: we’ll be at August’s event at Laurelhurst Park, as well — join us!). We’re also growing in leaps and bounds — we’ve got an amazing group of regulars who are killing it every week.

Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for more info. Come join us, and bring your friends; we’re all levels (walkers and runners) and love seeing new faces each week!

How are your 2015 goals coming along? 

June Goal Check-In


Giving Mary, leader of NoPo Run Club, a Team LUNA Chix Portland Run sandwich!

Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it. ~Russel Baker

Portland’s summer has not only arrived early (I’d been warned to expect rain off and on until the 4th of July), it’s also already kicked into high gear and promises to be one for the record books. In fact, rumor has it that this heat wave is likely to last well into early July and may end up breaking records for longevity, as well.

For example, last Saturday morning’s low at Portland International Airport was 71 degrees. This is the first time PDX has ever recorded a low in the 70s in the month of June.

Not that I’m complaining; I actually like the heat, and I’m thanking my lucky stars that my first year in Oregon has been a mild one when it comes to lack of rain. But it does make outdoor workouts a bit more tricky, so early mornings and advance planning have been key when it comes to sticking to my 2015 goals.

Wondering what this is all about? Read more on the five goals toward which I’m working this year.

Here’s the latest on my progress:

1. Seeking Balance

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, summer in Oregon means one thing: BERRIES! And taking into consideration the amount I’ve consumed thus far, I’m quite shocked I haven’t pulled a Violet Beauregard and morphed into a giant blueberry.

If there’s a second thing I’ve learned, it’s that summer in Oregon also means another thing: ALLERGIES. Spending an afternoon in the strawberry patch on Sauvie Island was totally worth it, even if I had to take Zyrtec for the next two weeks to keep from being a puffy, wheezy mess.

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And although I’ve started to hear the all-too-familiar siren song of fall marathon training, I’m trying to ignore it and stay focused on the present: Bouncing back from injury and enjoying that process before I sign up for my next major undertaking.

Luckily, Ben’s on board with this plan and has made it his mission to keep challenging us with weekend hikes that are as breathtaking in scenery as they are in elevation.


2. Training Smarter

The biggest revelation — and relief — this month came from finally solving the mystery of my SI joint pain!!! I happened to overhear one of my trainer’s other clients complaining of similar symptoms and that his PT said kettlebell swings were the likely culprit. A-ha!

IMG_6843 (1)

Since he’s not a runner and the only common denominator in our workouts is kettlebell work, I decided to back off from swings to keep from jarring my pelvis. It’s been almost a month, and I’m happy to report that the pain has all but subsided during runs, so consider this my PSA if you’re having a similar issue!

3. Facing Fears

Swimming. My 2015 nemesis.

As I sit down to reflect and write my recap each month, I always cringe when it comes to this part. Yes, I’ve been in the pool a few times since my last update; no, I haven’t taken any of the steps needed to actually improve my technique and comfort level.

But that may have changed this past weekend. I was so inspired by watching Ben and friends in the Pacific Crest long course triathlon that I decided to re-commit to getting my ass to the pool.


And Mary Anne, the swimmer from the women’s relay team (who kicked butt, by the way, and is training for a 5K swim later this season), graciously offered to get in the water with us and give Ben and me some pointers, so we’re going to set some dates and get moving on this.

Baby steps, right?!

4. Pushing Myself

My proudest moment this month came in the form of work: namely, launching my new company, Pulse Creative. After spending the past few years part-time for a start-up with freelance gigs on the side, I finally decided to make it official and fully align my passion (health, fitness and wellness) with my livelihood (helping people tell stories through PR, marketing and social media).

Just as coaches recognize potential and guide athletes to greatness, my goal is to work directly with small business owners to define challenges, recognize opportunities and help them develop the critical skills to be competitive and relevant in their respective market.

So if you happen to hear of anyone looking for help, I’d really appreciate it if you’d send them my way 🙂

5. Giving Back

Last but certainly not least comes Team LUNA Chix Portland Run. An extremely close second in terms of proud moments this month came in the form of being nominated for the Foot Traffic Women’s Hall of Fame for encouraging women to get active and providing a non-competitive environment in which to do so.


Not only am I humbled at being included in the group they assembled — seriously, there were some pretty amazing competitors, coaches and local legends in there — but it also makes my heart happy to be able to contribute to the women’s running community here in Oregon.

And great timing, too, as we’ve been seeing some terrific attendance and momentum at our weekly workouts, so please come out and join us if you’re in the Portland area. We meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Duniway Park track — and all levels are welcome, both walkers and runners.

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Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for more info!

How are your 2015 goals coming along? 

Race Review: Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival


Each year, during the last weekend in June, athletes, their family and friends, converge on beautiful Central Oregon to take part in the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival. Pacific Crest is known as the “jewel of multisport events in the Northwest” and it has become a traditional destination race for athletes from across the nation, as well as from across the globe.

Ben and Nick checking out the swim and setting up the bike transition.

The night before: Ben and Nick checking out the swim and setting up the bike transition, respectively.

We’d heard great things about the event, so Ben jumped at the chance to test his mettle at two-thirds of the half-iron distance. He’s toying with the idea of making the jump up from Olympic distance in his next race, so this was the perfect opportunity to do a trial run on the swim (1.2 mi) and run (13.1 mi) portions.

Swimmers (Mary Ann & Ben) and cyclists (Sara & Nick) getting ready on race morning.

Swimmers (Mary Ann & Ben) and cyclists (Sara & Nick) getting ready on race morning.

Our friend, Nick, was covering the bike (58 mi) portion of their relay. And we were joined by a few more friends who formed an all-female relay team: Mary Ann (swimmer), Sara (bike) and Britt (run).

The elites in the water, inching toward the first buoy as they prepare to take off.

The elites in the water, inching toward the first buoy as they prepare to take off.

I was excited to be able to play sherpa for the day; Ben’s supported me at so many races, I’ve got a lot of work to do to return the favor! Plus, it’s also worth mentioning that race-day temps were predicted to be approximately the same as the surface of the sun (100+ degrees)…so needless to say, although I was feeling a little antsy to be not racing, I got over it pretty quickly.

Mary Ann's and Ben's relay heat entering the water.

Mary Ann’s and Ben’s relay heat entering the water.

For as many events and participants in the weekend’s activities, I’ve got to give it to the organizers for keeping everything — and everyone — running safely and smoothly in conditions that were becoming less than ideal over the course of the day. On the swim, for example, their mantra was “for every 10 people who go in, we want to count 11 coming out,” so they did manual counts to double-check the numbers and make sure everyone emerged ok.

Sara headed out on the bike.

Sara headed out on the bike.

Another tough leg to provide much support (beyond intermittent aid stations) is the bike. By this time it was starting to heat up and get muggy, so both our cyclists decided to err on the side of caution and carry extra water in camelbacks in addition to multiple bottles on their bikes.

Nick getting ready to tackle 58 miles.

Nick getting ready to tackle 58 miles.

While they cycled around Sunriver, I took the swimmers back to our rental house to change and refuel. Ben also had to get ready for his second leg — the run — which would likely take place in the hottest part of the day.

Ben and Mary Ann take a breather after their  swim.

Ben and Mary Ann take a breather after their swim.

Showers and snacks done, we made our way to the bike-run transition, which was closer to the Sunriver Village. Sara and Nick finished within a 15-minute span; their runners got tagged in when temps were nearing 90, and we were just hoping that the cloud cover would hold for a few more hours.

Nick, done with the bike, coming in to tag Ben back in for the final leg.

Nick, done with the bike, coming in to tag Ben back in for the final leg.

Ben had a strong start, but the sun began to burn off quickly as the temps crept further up. Later, both he and Britt raved about the course support, however, saying that there were extra aid stations with ample water and people spraying down the athletes in between.

Ben starting the run: 13.1 miles to go!

Ben starting the run: 13.1 miles to go!

Thanks to that support nearly every mile along the course, both Ben and Britt finished strong despite the beating sun. As Ben crossed the finish, he was handed an ice towel and ushered to a shower tent for cooling — again, the organizers did a fantastic job of making sure they took care of the athletes!

Ben crossing the finish line in the heat of the afternoon.

Ben crossing the finish line in the heat of the afternoon.

It was definitely a tough race — both in course and in conditions — but the majority of people were coming across the finish line looking far less beat up that I would have thought, so that was impressive. And the volunteers were nothing short of amazing, braving the heat to help keep participants safe.

Team Your Pace or Mine: Sara, Mary Ann and Britt

Team Your Pace or Mine: Sara, Mary Ann and Britt

After our crew all finished, we met up in the Sunriver Village pavilion so they could rehydrate and dive into the post-race smorgasbord of food. There may have even been some talk about signing up again next year, as well as targeting a few more events in the meantime…#triathleteprobs.

Team Tri and Stop Us: Nick and Ben

Team Tri and Stop Us: Nick and Ben

If you’re interested for next year: Pacific Crest events begin Friday morning, with the competition and fun continuing into Sunday afternoon. The full weekend includes Tour de Crest Bike Tours, Long Course and Olympic Triathlons, Endurance and Olympic Duathlons, Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10k, 5k and three kids events — and we all give it our stamp of approval!

So proud of all the racers for completing their portions - safe and strong - despite the conditions!

So proud of all the racers for completing their portions – safe and strong – despite the conditions!

For more information, check out the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival website here.

Are there any can’t-miss events on your calendar this summer?

May Goal Check-In


What a whirlwind month! Our first LUNA clinic in the books, a few Pacific Northwest adventures, an uptick in work, some Midwest travel, plus baby and birthday celebrations made for one heck of a busy May.

But as I sat down to reflect on the past 30 days, I realized that this month was less about missing the mark on the original plans I had laid out for the year — and more about how the goals themselves are evolving as the months go by.

Wondering what this is all about? Read more on the five goals toward which I’m working this year.

Here’s the latest on my progress:

1. Seeking Balance

Back in January, my definition of “balance” really meant figuring out how much I could fill my plate without it overflowing. One main component of that was running — training and racing and everything that comes with it.

But as the months unfold, I’ve accepted that there’s going to be a natural ebb and flow in my relationship with running, and I’m enjoying seeking a different kind of balance with a range of activities. Instead of planning my weeks around races and trying to fit everything else in between, I’m fitting runs into my weeks where it makes sense.


2. Training Smarter

How is it that I can feel awesome on a nine-mile hike up Mt. Hood with 4,000+ feet of elevation change, yet as soon as I head out the door to do a measly three-mile run, my SI joint starts protesting?!

One of my biggest frustrations that I’m working through is not being able to focus on running speed or distance as much as I’d like this year (so far). But rather than continuing to fight it, I’m (finally) learning to give in and fine-tuning my efforts other areas, such as hiking, biking and strength training.


3. Facing Fears

In other news, I’m back in the pool! Well, I’ve been in a grand total of…twice since my last update…but it’s a start, right?

And as much as I was dreading my first session back, it was just like they say about riding a bike. After a few laps I found my groove, so now the trick is just remembering that feeling and being more consistent about carving out time to get in and practice.


4. Pushing Myself

I’m also learning that, just as “balance” can have different meanings, so can “pushing yourself.” As in sometimes it’s physical front, sometimes it’s emotional and sometimes it’s mental.

But rarely do (or should!) all three happen at once.

So while racing has had to take a temporary back seat, I’ve been forging ahead in other areas — namely work and some exciting projects coming up. More on that soon! 


5. Giving Back

This past month was all about getting out and about in the Portland community — a place I’m so proud to be able to call home. We had our first Team LUNA Chix clinic with the ladies from Zest Nutrition (and raised $300 for Breast Cancer Fund), the SweatPink crew hit up NoPo Run Club for their anniversary run, and I’ve continued making my rounds to meet with local studio owners.

We’re getting the wheels in motion for more charity events (spin-a-thon, anyone?) for LUNA, so stay tuned. But in the meantime, we’re calling all local Portland ladies to join us for our free weekly workouts on Monday nights at 6:30 p.m. at the Duniway Park Track in Portland; all levels and abilities are welcome.

Check out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for more info!

How are your 2015 goals coming along? 

April Goal Check-In

Source: Fast Company

Source: Fast Company

First things first: Yes, it’s mid-May. And we’re talking about April.

Better late than never!

Plus quite a bit has changed since I last touched base with my goals, so I wanted to be able to address it in this month’s recap.

Wondering what this is all about? Read more on the five goals toward which I’m working this year.

So here’s my update on how things have been going:

1. Seeking Balance

Quality over quantity. Quality over quantity. If I keep repeating that to myself, it will (hopefully) one day become second nature.

Unable to contain my excitement over living in what still feels like a “new” city, I got over-excited and over-committed myself this summer. Whoops.

Between work, travel, training, LUNA coaching, family events and other obligations pretty much every.single.weekend…the pressure’s started to build.

I’ve been feeling it in my gut with each additional ‘yes,’ but only recently did this start to register in my head. So in an attempt to stay true to this goal, I made some hard decisions this past month and had some even harder ‘no’ conversations…both with myself and others.

Like, revealing to Ben that I don’t think I’m up for both the century ride and a 50K within two weeks of each other this month. Or telling my Ragnar Utah team that I won’t be joining them for next month’s event.

And examining my other summer races in the process. Not just the whats, but also the hows and, most importantly, the whys.

I can’t help but feel some sense of failure — like I’m letting others down, as well as myself. But the fact that there’s a small victory to be found in reclaiming ownership of my schedule — and the relief that comes with that — is also not lost on me.

Balance, I’m realizing, requires bigger-picture focus. And as I get clearer on the vision I have for myself — outside of just training and racing — I feel like I’m getting closer to that sweet spot of being able to keep moving forward and challenging myself without throwing the rest of my life out of whack.

2. Training Smarter

Another motivating factor has been my SI joint, which has been extremely vocal as of late about me needing to reassess my activities in the short-term. Although I’m cleared to run, per my doctor, I’m not able to race or do speedwork without pain, so being more deliberate in my approach to workouts and events will no doubt serve me well.

In the meantime, I’ve been religiously going to the chiropractor, getting monthly massages and hitting plenty of yoga classes. And, thanks to ClassPass and this guy, I’m still focused on all that good strength and mobility cross-training to build a strong core and activate those glutes.

3. Facing Fears

Ben and I we so proud when we mustered up the motivation to hit the pool one Saturday for an early morning workout. Everything was awesome — until we got to the gym and realized it wouldn’t open for two more hours.

Needless to say, with everything else that’s been going on, swimming’s been on the back burner. Although I hope that it’ll be different this month; I do think some time following that black line would be a welcome change for both my body and mind.

4. Pushing Myself

The 50K is fast-approaching on May 25, so that’s exciting! I’m half pumped and half nervous to tackle this event with Ben, however, as it’s our first ultra-distance together…and more than double his longest race distance to-date (13.1 miles).

Most of April has been spent pushing myself on the non-physical front, though. Through the HUSH Meditation community, I met a wonderful friend/coach/mentor, and we’ve been helping each other — me, helping support the amazing work she does; her, helping me better define my ‘why,’ as well as my career vision.

I’ve been feeling scattered as of late; don’t get me wrong — there’s no shortage of great stuff going on, but I’m in the process of wrapping my head around how it all ties together. As a result, it’s made for a more contemplative, less hard-charging month, which is pretty much a theme across the board for late April and early May.

5. Giving Back

Finally, we’re a little more than a month in to Team LUNA Chix Portland Run’s 2015 season, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this group of women. We’ve been doing weekly workouts, and we also just hosted our first clinic of the season — a yoga and nutrition workshop to raise money for our charity, the Breast Cancer Fund (more on that in an upcoming post).

The team is gelling, we’re working on getting the word out so we can grow in size and make more of an impact, and we’ve been getting a consistent group of ladies each week who rally through a few miles together. See for yourself via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts — and come join us Monday nights at 6:30 p.m. at the Duniway Park Track in Portland!

How are your 2015 goals coming along? 

March Goal Check-In


Time for a reality check: Now that we’ve officially “sprung forward,” we’re one quarter of the way into 2015.

I wrote previously about the five goals toward which I’m working this year, and here’s my update on how things are progressing:

1. Seeking Balance

I’m still slowly building out my race schedule for 2015 with a focus on quality over quantity. Ben and I are currently in the process of building up mileage for the Corvallis Half Marathon mid-month; instead of all-out racing it, though, I’m using it to train into May’s century bike ride (my first 100-miler!) and 50K.

It may seem like we’re peaking early in the season, but we’re doing these events more for the experience (and for a good cause, in the case of the ride) than for time.

2. Training Smarter

Thanks to ClassPass, I’ve been doing all kinds of cross training and am starting to see tangible gains. From completing rope climbs to balancing in side crows, I’m stronger all over — although I’m still working toward that elusive unassisted pull-up.

The one missing piece of the puzzle is mobility, however, so I’ve started seeing a chiropractor to help with my range of motion (my mid-back seems to be stuck…the dreaded desk-job computer hunch!) and am also trying to be more disciplined about stretching, foam rolling and yoga to balance out all the strength training.

3. Facing Fears

Zip. Zilch. Nada. Whoops. 

To be honest, I’ve been in a total mental funk when it comes to the pool, so I haven’t been pushing it. But I’m hoping that this will change in April, especially because I could probably use more non-impact activity in my days.

4. Pushing Myself

I’m officially registered for my second 50K, my first century ride and my first duathlon this summer. For some reason, the pursuit of a PR in what I’d call my “usual” running events (half marathon, marathon) isn’t as motivating to me at the moment; what I’m most excited about is trying some new disciplines. Bonus: If it’s a new event, it’s an automatic PR!

I’ve also been making some headway in another direction with meditation classes. After stumbling upon the wonderful HUSH Meditation community, I ended up adding mental fitness to my weekly workout regimen. It’s a simple act — literally, 45 minutes of stillness one evening per week — yet the process has been transformative (more on that soon in another post).

5. Giving Back

And, finally, we’re officially kicking off our 2015 season with the Team LUNA Chix Portland Run team next Monday, April 6, at 6:30 pm at Lincoln High School’s track here in Portland. I’ll be leading a workout, and it’s open to the public, so everyone is welcome!

Come join us; make some new running friends and fuel up after with free LUNA bars; how can you say no to that?!

How are your 2015 goals coming along? 

February Goal Check-In


Two months down, 10 to go!

I wrote previously about the five goals toward which I’m working this year, and since this is my little corner of accountability on the Internet, here’s my update on how things are progressing:

1. Seeking Balance. I’m actively restraining myself from signing up for #AllTheRaces this year — which is difficult when you’re in a new state! — so you’ll see that my schedule for 2015 is still very much a work in progress. My strategy is to try to target new events, and I’m trying to mix things up rather than build toward a specific A race this season.

2. Training Smarter. Heart rate training went out the window this month in favor of a metric ton of cross-training. I’ve been barre-ing my butt off at PureBarre in an attempt to build more glute and core strength, riding at Revocycle to make sure I’m road-bike ready come spring, and testing out all kinds of other classes via ClassPass (post with details to come). Variety is the spice of life…and fitness, right?!

Ben and I also completed our own version of Whole30 (more like Whole45 since we had two minor cheat weekends with company in town), so nutrition has also been a major focus this month. As much as I used to pride myself on being able to eat whatever I wanted, I’ve got to admit that I feel so much better eating clean, unprocessed food and cutting down on added sugar.

3. Facing Fears. Ok, you got me — there’s not much progress to report on the swimming front. I haven’t been making regular weekly sessions, and although I’ve got a few standing offers for technique guidance, I haven’t had a chance to drag Ben to the pool to take videos of me in action. Hoping to remedy this in March!

4. Pushing Myself. I’m officially registered for my second ultramarathon — a 50K in May. I’m also eyeing a century ride earlier that month, as well as trying to decide between a sprint triathlon or Olympic duathlon in June. Throw in two overnight relays, and it’s looking to be an active summer!

5. Giving Back. We’re still in our pre-season for the Team LUNA Chix Portland Run team, so fundraising hasn’t started quite yet for the Breast Cancer Fund. However, we’ve been so excited to get going that we’ve gotten a jump on things by holding group runs once a month to touch base.

In the meantime, our potential century ride has fundraising component for the American Lung Association, so if we decide to bite the bullet on that event, Ben and I will be hitting up our friends and family to donate for another great cause.

Other than that, we’re looking forward to March coming in like a rainy lion and out like a damp lamb here in the Pacific Northwest…how about you?!

How are your 2015 goals coming along? 

January Goal Check-in and Couch-to-5-Miler Running Program


January’s almost over, folks — how are we doing on all those New Year’s promises?

While I’m not one for resolutions myself, per se, I do have those five goals toward which I’ll be working this year. And I’ll be holding myself accountable via the blog, of course, so here’s a little update one month in:

1. Exercising (some self control):  I’m still managing some residual aches and pains — namely that nagging case of plantar fasciitis, occasional lower back pain and a tendon twinge in my wrist that just popped up — so I’m trying to restrain myself from doing too much too soon and am focusing on lots of cross-training and rehab while slowly ramping up my running, mostly on the trails.

2. Heart rate training: While I don’t monitor this for every workout yet, I have been using my Wahoo Fitness TICKR for spin classes and shorter road runs to ensure I’m staying well within my range. But if I want to see progress, I know I’ll have to start doing this more regularly with every sweat session.

3. Swimming: While I’m working on figuring out next steps, I’ve made it a goal to hit the pool once a week for a workout. So far…well, I’ve got to get after this one!

4. Racing schedule: It’s coming along, as you can see here.

5. Team LUNA Chix Portland Run: We’re official! Check out our website here, and don’t forget to mark your calendar for April 6, which marks our first workout of the season — runners of all ages/levels/abilities are welcome: Join us!

 In the meantime, though, a few of my teammates asked about pre-season prep, which got me thinking…why not create a quick-‘n-dirty Couch-to-5-Miler running program?

Couch to 5 Miler

Disclaimer: I’m not a certified running coach, and you should consult your health care provider before starting any program and adapt it accordingly. I have been running and training myself (for better or for worse!) for a while, though, so if I was starting from scratch after some time off, this is the approach I’d take.

Here are some helpful hints if you’re going to take this program on:

  • Cross training includes any non-running cardio activity, such as elliptical, bike, walking, dance, etc.
  • Strength training is optional, but recommended, and includes things like free weights, a kettlebell class or barre
  • Stretching includes foam rolling, yoga or simply your favorite series of feel-good stretches
  • Run pace should be *comfortable* — that is, don’t worry about pushing it right out of the gate; build a base first
  • Feel free to swap days around depending on your schedule, but try to avoid two consecutive run days

If you give it a shot, I’d love your feedback. Happy running, friends! 

Swim-less in Stumptown


Calling all swimmer/triathlete friends: I need your help.

I figured this might be a good place to crowdsource some knowledge — not just for me, but for anyone else who finds themselves in a similar predicament.

After almost 20 years (yep, dating myself there) of running, I’m mixing things up with more cycling and swimming — thanks, in large part, to the encouragement from my fellow Coeur Sports teammates.

Throughout last season, my #bikelove blossomed — from learning how to clip in to completing an Olympic distance race to long group rides on weekends.

But my #swimlove? Er, not so much.


See, with running and biking I feel like the mechanics are pretty self-explanatory: one foot in front of the other, one pedal stroke at a time. Sure, we can shave off seconds and prevent injury by fine-tuning form and fitness, but once you have a grasp of the basics, all it takes is time and practice.

Swimming, on the other hand, is not something that feels intuitive. At all. And although I took the obligatory swim lessons as a kid, I had to re-train myself to do laps last year.

I can wrap my head around the movements — stroking, kicking, breathing — and get myself back and forth across the pool for 30-45 minutes, but there’s still something missing. Basically, I feel like I’m not moving smoothly or quickly enough for how much effort I’m putting in.

So my mission for 2015 is to figure this out once and for all, and — aside from knowing that I need some outside help — I’m not sure where to start.


That’s where you come in.

Step one is to whip myself into shape in the pool, then step two is to (eventually) translate that to open water. But how?

I know I need someone to watch what I’m doing, tweak my form and help me worth with, rather than against, the water…but I’m stumped on the best approach: instructor vs. coach, personalized assessment vs. lessons from scratch, one-on-one vs. group, etc.

At this point, I’m not looking to get primed for a specific event; I just need to train to be able to train, if that makes sense.

But please don’t tell me to join a local masters program. I tried that in SF and got left in the dust with a group who said they were too slow to train with the actual masters group at that pool. Between getting lapped a gazillion times and dealing with smug looks from a Michael Phelps body-double, I’m not keen to try that again anytime soon.

Runner seeking advice: I’m searching for #swimlove in 2015; can you help?