Every morning in Africa, an antelope wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion, or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest antelope, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or an antelope -- when the sun comes up, you'd better be running. -African proverb

Sunday, August 28, 2011


My husband went out of town this weekend (guys camping trip), so I wasn't able to run.  It really got to me.  I had 4 amazing running opportunities, and I had to turn them all down.  I tried looking on the bright side ... It's easier to turn them all down instead of trying to pick one (or two) to run was my first thought. Then I tried to convince myself that I "needed" the extra rest.  I ran 12 days in a row, plus my left achilles has been nagging me a little.  Yeah, right!  I would have run both days this weekend, if I could have!  Needless to say, it was a very productive weekend.  It's amazing how much more you can get done in a day when you aren't out running for hours.  Plus, I had fun hanging out with my son, Jackers.  :)

Anyway -- since I couldn't run, I read about running.  I came across this fun article, How Running Can Help You Build a Better Password, in RW Daily that I could totally relate to.  Since I teach for 4 different colleges, I have 4 different work email addresses -- which means a variety of passwords.  I get a little frustrated when I have to change my password (sometimes every 90 days).  And, it's even more frustrating when special requirements are put on those passwords -- a capital letter, a number, a special character, etc.  I actually have to write my passwords down now.  That sounds secure, doesn't it?!?  And, sometimes I have to come up with a new password on the spot.  It's not always easy to come up with something that is meaningful enough to be remembered but different from my last password.  This article has the solution, though!

In a nutshell (excuse the pun -- when you check out the link, look at the picture), you choose passwords based on your running stories/experiences.  Think of a story and then choose 3 important words from that story.  Voila!  Your new password!

So, I'm thinking maybe PRs (to get the number component) or desired PRs?  Similar to visualization, hopefully you'll connect to that number.  So when you need a new password, think about your next race and what your goal is.  I don't suggest too many weekends off, though.  ;)

Check out the article at the link below:


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Going Solo

I love running with friends.  But every once in a while something comes up, and I end up pounding the pavement by myself.  That's what happened this morning.  My Tuesday running buddy couldn't make it, so I went solo.  I slept a little longer (which was much needed).  Then I clicked on my iPod shuffle (which is a little out-dated since it is rarely used).  And, I was off and running -- alone with my thoughts. 

Since the fall semester is right around the corner, my classes consume most of my thoughts right now.  So, while my run this morning was a little lonely, it was very productive.  I got the first half of the semester figured out!  Maybe I should have run a little longer?!? ;)

I think I'll have the rest of the semester figured out, for the most part, very soon.  So, I look forward to our Friday run, Rach!  :)

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm Dreaming of an Endless Summer

Summer is winding down ... Not only is school about to start again, but you can feel the change in the weather and season.  Long sleeves and headlamps are a necessity again.  I usually look forward to the start of a new season or other new beginning; I like to make new goals and schedules.  But it's different this time around.  I've had such a fun summer, especially in regards to running -- I just don't want it to end!

Reflecting back over the summer, I feel like I have accomplished a lot.  I've made some great new running friends, logged more miles than usual, read some inspirational running books, covered various parts of the Tahoe Rim Trail, started this blog, volunteered at some races, and feel really good!  Don't pinch me -- let the dreams continue!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Shoes! Whoo-hoo!

I treated myself to a new pair of trails shoes today!  I read Born to Run (and loved it!), so I've joined the minimalist movement.  I haven't completely converted to the barefoot, vibram-soled shoes.  I've been wearing the Nike Frees and the Saucony Kinvaras.  Both are great shoes, but I think I could use a better pair for trails.  My Kinvaras have gotten ripped up on the nylon-y part on top, and my Frees lack traction.  So, I went back to an old favorite -- New Balance.  I almost went with the vibram soles.  But summer is coming to an end, which means my time on the trails is dwindling.  I figured a shoe that could handle long runs on both the streets and the trails would be a smarter purchase.  I settled on the NB 101 Trail shoe.  Check them out below.  So excited to try out my new kicks!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Worthwhile Work

I celebrated my 10th wedding anniversary last week. (Love you, Dave!)  When I mentioned this to a friend (Hi Karla!) while running, she asked "So what have you learned ... about marriage?"  Off the top of my head, I said that marriage is work, but well worth it!  And then, of course, I quickly added that it is just like running!  :)

Running is work.  Sometimes it's hard work.  But to me, it is so worth it.  I feel so much better, physically and mentally, after a good run.  I honestly can't think of a time when I got back from a run and wish that I hadn't gone.  Usually it's the other way around.  The daily 4:30 am alarm sometimes isn't enough, and I need some extra motivation to actually get out of bed.  I just remind myself how good I'll feel after my run and how glad I'll be that I did get up and go.  Sometimes I also add the possibility of catching a nap later, too!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Heart or Might?

When I came up with the name for this blog I was obviously trying to incorporate WHM into it, but I also had it in the back of my head that I would label each entry as either "heart" or "might" depending on the theme of the post.  It hasn't been as easy as I thought it would be, though, to determine which label to use.  It seems like every run/workout has a little bit of heart in it and a little bit of might in it, too. 

Except speed workouts!

Those are all might -- at least for me.  I would love for there to be a little heart in them, too, but I am just not there yet.  It takes a lot of might to get through these workouts and to diminish the negative left-brain thoughts.  Running hard is uncomfortable -- even painful.   I have read that the key is to learn to relax rather than fight it.  Notice the word "read" in that last sentence.  I haven't experienced it personally yet -- still working on that.  If anyone has any other thoughts or tips on how to relax during mile repeats or any other kind of speed workout, please send them my way!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gear Bag

I got a new running toy in the mail the other day -- my new Nathan hydration pack!  I love it!  It holds 2 liters of water (my handheld hasn't been enough lately), plus it has lots of extra pockets.  It is perfect for long trail runs in Tahoe. 

So ... it's time to talk shopping!  Every girl's favorite thing, right?  Not so much me, though.  I think I was born without the shopping gene.  I love running stuff, but I just don't get into clothes all that much. As you can see by my pictures, I run naked.  Just kidding!  You were about to scroll down to check, though, weren't you?!?  ;)  Anyway -- I usually just wear a race shirt and the same old shorts.  I'm the kind of shopper who buys multiples of the same item. (I have 2 pairs of the same blue shorts and 2 pairs of the same black shorts, etc.)

I know there are all kinds of cute running clothes out there -- Lucy, Lululemon, Athleta.  I'm just not the dress-up type.  I prefer jeans and a t-shirt when I am not running, too.  The funny thing is I love to look at stuff.  I flip through all the catalogs that fill my mailbox -- Title Nine, Athleta, etc.  I even fill my shopping cart (online).  But, I rarely buy anything.  Maybe the price tag gets to me?  Really, $68 for a running top?!  Or the fact that I can't try on the items and then would have to ship them back if I didn't like them ...  Or maybe I just need some advice from people who do have the shopping gene and like to shop? 

So, it's your turn to share.  
What are some of your favorite running items?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Moutains Majesty!

Running in Tahoe = lots of mountain running!  Running up for miles, at an already high altitude, is not particularly easy.   But you are rewarded for all your hard work with fields full of wild flowers and spectacular views of Tahoe!  And, of course, there's the fun downhill part and maybe even some re-fueling treats from the Tahoe House when you're done!  I feel so lucky that these terrific Tahoe trails are right out my backdoor.  

This weekend I ran two mountain trail runs.  On Saturday I ran the Squaw Mountain run.  You climb over 2000 feet in just 3.6 miles.  In other words, you run up the face of the mountain to the top!  I also ran on the Tahoe Rim Trail with some friends on Sunday morning.  We ran up to Twin Peaks.  The climb was a little gentler because it was spread out over more miles.  Both were very challenging runs.  But I feel stronger and so grateful to be able to experience such a beautiful place!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Speed Workouts = Success!

It was a hard day at the track.  The workout itself was brutal (5-mile time trial with the first 5K run at a PR).  And, the heat made it so much more fun!  I think it was over 90 degrees when we started!  I got through it, though, and feel really good.  Tired, but good!  The lemon blueberry scones afterwards also contributed to the mood-boost. (Thanks, Shanna!)

I am convinced that speed workouts are a key component to improving your times.  And, having a team or group to train with is a key component to successful speed workouts.  The help that you receive from the group with pacing and motivation is invaluable.  This one's for you, R5K racing team!  You all rock!

Monday, August 1, 2011

August Training

I am going to start with a disclaimer.  I like to log a lot of miles each week.  The more mileage, the better -- for me.  I like to go long on both Saturday and Sunday during the summer.  The trails in Tahoe are amazing, and I want to run as many miles on them as I can!  Plus, the summers are short, so you need to cram in whatever you can when you can.  I have been told by many intelligent people that rest is good; I just nod politely.  I usually just take one day off a week, if that.  There is no such thing as "junk" miles in my book.  Every run has some value to me.  My training schedule is a combination of plans from various "experts" and what works for me.  The calendar is just an overview of what I hope to accomplish this month -- give or take a mile or two.

Training for Life

I love to race, so I usually have a few races on the calendar or at least on my running radar.  But even if I am not training for a specific race, I am still training.  Training for life.  When I was running my 100 mile week, people often asked what I was training for.  I told them that I was training to turn 40! (The 100th mile was completed on my 40th birthday.)  Not only does running keep you physically prepared for whatever life throws at you, but you also get the added bonus of mental and emotional training.  It seems like my running friends and I are always solving the world's problems as we run!

Kristin Armstrong mentions something similar in her book, Mile Markers, when she quotes Oswald Chambers, "Preparation is not suddenly accomplished, it is a process steadily maintained."

There is no "done" when it comes to running.  I do like to follow a training plan for specific races, but I am always going to be running and training for life.