Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why I run....

The awesomeness of Pedro Matinez enjoying the trails at Ray Miller 50mile!

Since Ray Miller, and then moving into our new house  I have been a very busy girl-to say the least! Ray Miller flew by, and was a huge success! What an amazing day out on the trails, and congrats to all the finishers! I cannot believe Leona Divide is just around the corner. In the midst of it all I still manage to train. The difference is though training is not a chore for me anymore. I am never stressed about making it to an early run or making sure I get in the miles. I do enough stressing at my "jobs".  Nope; running is all fun now. I never worry about a certain schedule, getting in enough miles at a certain garmin speed, nor do I even wear a garmin. I have designated flat fast mileage days, and just really push out of my comfort zone, and the rest are playing on the trails days. I always enjoy my runs now to the utmost degree, and cannot wait to get outside and play almost every day. I run with people that are slower then me, faster then me, and maybe even the same pace. I really don't care as long as I am out with friends. I know my days running with Wick are gonna be faster workouts, and I keep those runs to 25 miles or shorter. With Pammy we run all morning on the trails, and just play and play at a relaxed pace. My long runs are always with friends, and are just hours of fun! Because of Jimmy Dean I have learned to utilize my runs as "me time". Quality training not quantity, and also always being thankful I can get out and run. It's not ever supposed to be stressful. Your time out on the trails should never be serious. Trail running is a gift, and it's our adult time to play. It should never be about anything but that. We all have enough stress in our real life responsibilities. Don't make your hobby your second job. I assure you it will take all the joy out of it. If it's not fun anymore I promise you are doing it wrong~

Yesterday was amazing. Pammy and I set out for an early morning trail run. We knew we wanted to run for about 3+ hours, and always have a blast just playing on the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Trails. The sunrise and orange sky were beautiful. When we first started out the wind was chilly, and I was happy to have my gloves. We started at a fast pace, and I was amazed at how strong Pam was running so close after Ray Miller. We then hopped on the steep stair step trail, and crossed Laguna Canyon Road into LCWP. Pam quickly said lets go up Willow and run water tank please. Of course! I am always open to any route. As we climbed and climbed up Willow I barely noticed the chill in the air. Pam mentioned it was still so cold, but I kept focusing on the sweat that was beading on my forehead. As we crept to the top we went left, and ran a few miles or so before coming to a junction where we went right . As we ran a bit longer we both looked over the deep canyon, and noticed a steep single track trail coming off an area we refer to as boat canyon. This is a steep fire road we have run a zillion times, and most definitely this single track was new...very new. I told her I knew of a private trail a bit ahead we could cut through and run through a neighborhood so as to get over to Boat Canyon quicker, and so on we went. Once at Boat Canyon Fire Road we hiked up, and struggled at first to find this new secret trail we had spotted...before long though I spotted it on the right just coming out near a tree. This was heaven as we ran and ran exploring this new trail. We ran into a girl hiking who explained Mountain Bikers had just rebuilt this old trail, and it went for a few miles into the Canyon, and then eventually back up to the top side of the Canyon. UNREAL! On we went, and just laughed and played on this new discovery. The sun was shining down on us, but the coastal air was crisp. I still had my long sleeve INKnBURN tech shirt on, and really never got to warm. The day was perfect, and at the top of the canyon we knew we better head back as we had now been running for 2+ hours. We hopped down another single track that takes you back down to Laguna Canyon Road, crossed over, then hiked up a super steep single track trail back up to the back side of top of the world. It felt so good to sweat. To feel the outside air blowing on my face, and just start my morning hearing the sounds of waking birds, and soaking in life's little natural gifts. To me it's the sole reason and purpose for life. Enjoying what God has given us to have for free. Yesterdays amazing day of fun cost me nothing, and it was a full three hours of bliss. I never once worried about running fast, or what my splits were for the second half of the run. On the steep climbs I hiked, and on the downs we flew. I zipped home after my run, hopped a shower, took eight "Recover-Eas", and then gulped down some fresh juice I made in my juicer. My favorite right now is Carrot, Kale, Pear, Pineapple, Celery, and lime...Yummy!!

For me running is my blessing. I love that I see sunrises that most will never get to see. I love feeling early morning wind on the back of my neck, and spotting deer on the trails. Last week Wick and I ran in Aliso Wood Canyons, and actually came across two coyotes(not  So-Cal ones!), and three deer. Both sets of animals acted like they didn't even care we were close to them, and just stood and stared at us. We also saw a hawk, and a ton of squirrels. I joked that it was the Wood Canyon Zoo, and it's mornings like those that make me so thankful I trail run. I get outside most mornings or afternoons, and just play. When I am not playing I work very hard so it all balances. Take a moment and make sure you have balance. Find a great group of people or a couple friends to get out and train with. It makes running so much more fun, and it's even better when your life partner does it with you!! My favorite thing in the world is running with my Jesse, and I am sure many, many of my running friends who have partners that share there passions would agree. What a blessing it is to share such a gift with the one you love!!!! 

Here are some top ways I have learned to stay motivated to get in the miles, and hopefully it will help you get out there and run~
*Make it a top priority. It's just something that 5-6 days a week I do. Everything else comes after I get my run in. No exceptions here, and yes sometimes I work 14 hour days, and still get miles in. No excuses.
* Have great running partners, and if possible a spouse or partner that also shares in this life passion. My life has changed tremendously since my partner is also now a runner, and I could not EVER imagine having it any other way!
* Run on trails if possible. It makes the time go by faster, and the views are much more beautiful!
* Get out when ever you can. Some days I run mornings, and other times it's a late afternoon run with Jesse or Wick. As long as you get outside and play is all that matters.
* Do not turn training into a job. Leave that nonsense to those Tri people. Life is to short to take away the fun out of playing outside.
* Power hiking is also a great way to learn to manage trail running. It will make you a stronger climber. Jesse and I LOVE to hike, and so does my son.
* Eat healthy. Don't drink to often, and my lord if you are smoking-stop. Make nutrition a top priority in your life as we are only here once, and life will be much easier later in life if we take care of ourselves now. Make sure your other half also leads the same lifestyle as you. Those that play together stay together. Be a solid team...not a "how was your day", "have a good day", & goodnight kind of couple. You will be just going through the motions of life if you are living like this, and before long you will have been unhappily married for 10+ years....

So off I go to work now at INKnBURN,  and am always excited for that! I definitely plan on getting out for a later afternoon run somewhere...maybe I will text Wick and see if I can drag him out with me~yep that sounds good to me! 

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