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

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Karma & Kindness Post #12

This Karma & Kindness post is dedicated to good Samaritans everywhere!
Last week a few running buddies joined me for my annual Jingle Bell Run We donned our warm and reflective running apparel and jingled our way to a neighborhood with an amazing light display.  I love Christmas lights almost as much as I love running -- needless to say, it's one of my favorite events Not only does this neighborhood brighten Reno with its Christmas spirit, but there is also a donation center set up Click here for more details.  Running is not required to enjoy the show.  But it is recommended ;)  Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Turkey Trot Review

I can't believe it's December already!  Wow!  Anyway -- I ran a turkey trot in Dana Point this year since we spent Thanksgiving with my family in California.  It was awesome!  I highly recommend this race if you're ever in the Dana Point area for Thanksgiving.  It was my first race in a while -- since the relays back in June.  I didn't feel very race-ready actually.  I had only done one speed workout since who knows when.  And, I twisted my ankle pretty badly just 2 weeks before Thanksgiving.  I ran with my nephew.  It was his first official 10K.  We were in the second starting wave, so we had to do quite a bit of weaving during the first couple of miles.  There were about 17,000 people; so needless to say, it never really thinned out much.  It was a great course, though, and perfect racing weather!  Click here for the results -- bib # 7184.

So, now it's time to get serious and 
get into a training plan for my half in January!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Karma & Kindness Post #11

This Karma & Kindness post is dedicated to my awesome family

I am so proud of my Jackers!  He ran his first 5K this morning, and he ran the whole thing!  He wanted to stop and walk a few times, but he dug down deep and kept running I am also proud of my husband, Dave, for joining us.  Running is not really his thing, but supporting us is.  He not only came out with us, but he ran it as well.  We might have a new family hobby!

Anyway -- it was a great way to start a beautiful fall day.  I'm looking forward to the Run for Education again next year and hope others will join us in all the fun.  It's a great cause, too Check out the link (click here) when you have a chance.


Monday, October 28, 2013

First Snow!

Yep -- you're reading this rightIt is October 28th, and the title says First Snow.  Yikes!  (By the way, thanks for reading!)  I actually don't mind running in the snow -- or the sun, or any type of weather really.  One of the best things about winter running is getting new gear!  Or at least checking out what's new.  I tend to prefer half-zip pull-overs.  But, I've got my eye on a couple of new items for this winter.  These are from Athleta.

What is your favorite running store?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Karma & Kindness Post #10

This Karma & Kindness post is dedicated to all my GOTR friends!

 If you had more free time -- regular, carved out time, not just time to sneak in a nap -- what would you do?  Helping out Girls on the Run, one of my favorite non-profit organizations, is near the top of my list.  The goal of GOTR is to help instill strong values through a healthy lifestyle.  Based on the news lately, some of today's youth seem to be lacking strong values.  Please join me in supporting this awesome program.  And keep your fingers crossed for an epic ski season this year!


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Karma & Kindness Post #9

This Karma & Kindness post is dedicated to my teacher friend, Andy!

Thirsty?  So are my friends, Andy & Kate, who are training for their first marathon.  That's what a 20-mile run will do to ya!  But, even after running 20 miles, they still aren't as thirsty as the friendly people of Western Kenya who lack clean water.

Please click here to join me in supporting Andy & Kate in this worthy cause.  
Good luck to both of you and your awesome training group! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Good Mornings!

I don't really consider myself a morning person, but I love running early in the morning.  The weather is more predictable.  I run while the rest of my family is still sleeping, so no family time is lost.  It's generally very peaceful, and I get to experience some beautiful sunrises.  Plus, my day gets extended by a few hours.  I get so much done before most people have even finished their coffee!

I became an early morning runner about 9 years ago.  
I hope to continue for many, many more!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Balloon Run 2013!

The Great Reno Balloon Race -- one of my favorite Reno events!  
No better way to experience it than by making it part of a long run!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Karma & Kindness Post #8

This Karma & Kindness post is dedicated to my good friend, Linda

Linda is amazing!  She's a mom of 3 young kiddos, she's a fantastic cook, she works part-time, and she has found time to raise money and train for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.  She's going to run the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco on October 20, 2013 in memory of her mom who passed away last November after years of a blood disorder and eventually leukemia.  Please click here to join me in supporting Lin!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Happy August!

It seems weird to bid summer good-bye and welcome fall when it is just the beginning of August.  Isn't August typically a summer month?!?  But, with the new school calendar (for Jack -- mine is still the same), we are at T minus 10 days!  It seems more fall-ish during my morning runs lately too.  I have started sporting the head-lamp again, and today the air was a little crispy.  Speaking of which, I had a great run this morning!  Michelle and I ran 6.5 miles at about an 8:15 pace.  It felt quick, but it didn't put me in that mental agony place where all I can think about is how hard running is.  Plus, I didn't feel my Achilles at all.  For the first time in about 2 years, my Achilles didn't bug me.  Yay!  Don't want to get too excited, though.  I've been enjoying my no-schedule plan (click here) and want to milk that for a while.  Plus, we have a very busy fall ahead of us.  In addition to our regular life stuff (work, school, etc.), Jack's swim schedule is a little more intense.  I'm starting my PhD.  And of course, it's Fantasy Football season.  I have to be choosier about races for a while.  Please feel free to recommend the best of the best!  Thanks!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Karma & Kindness Post #7

This Karma & Kindness post is dedicated to my friends at Reno Running Company.

Just a quick shout out to one of my favorite places -- Reno Running Company!  This store has it all -- super selection, very knowledgeable staff, and just an overall friendly atmosphere.  I learn something new every time I drop in.  Run on in and check it out.  Or join them for their Sunday store run.  Always a fun time!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wish I had thought of that!

It's summertime!  We've been in Tahoe for 10 days, and I have run on this trail (below) 4 times already!  I don't think I could ever get tired of this view!

Besides the beautiful views, pristine trails and easy shuttle, my other favorite thing about this run is the finish.  There's a new cafe at the end of Tunnel Creek.  Genius idea!  Click here for more information.  The cafe serves a killer breakfast burrito and has free wi-fi.  So even if you're not a runner or biker, I highly recommend it.  I'm not sure if I am cut out for the restaurant business, but if I was I'd want to own this place!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Karma & Kindness Post #6

This Karma & Kindness post is dedicated to NSET

This awesome group not only encourages a healthy lifestyle for all by offering a variety of running and walking workouts each week, but they also generously donate their time and energy to various fund-raising efforts.  This weekend  NSET is sponsoring a team at the Relay for Life.  The money raised at this event supports the American Cancer Society.  There is no such thing as too much support Please consider joining the NSET runners in their journey to end cancer.  Every step counts!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Twice as Nice!

Back-to-back relays!  And, back-to-back 2nd place finishes!  I was humbled and honored to run with such amazing ladies these past couple of weekends.  The running talent in the Reno-Tahoe area is impressive!

I ran Leg 12 for the Tahoe Trail Babes (above) in the RTO.  We set a new masters women's record by beating our own time by about 20 minutes.  We finished 2nd in the women's division and 19th overall (out of 250 teams).

And, I ran Leg 3 for the Reno Running Company team at the DeCelle Relay this past weekend.  Despite the scorching heat, we also beat our time from last year and finished 2nd in the women's division and 14th overall (out of 125 teams).

All these gals know how to run, and they inspire me to keep working hard As soon as my Achilles is healed.  (Excuse the pun!)

Luckily, running around Tahoe never gets old!

A huge shout-out to our sponsors!  

Friday, May 31, 2013

RTO 2013 -- Karma & Kindness Post #5

This Karma & Kindness post is dedicated to the Lerudes and the RTO.

I almost let May slip away without getting my monthly dose of good karma!  Luckily, I was scheduled to help out at the team check-in for the RTO last night. I had so much fun volunteering at this last year that I actually asked to volunteer again -- even without being on a team I got to handle merchandise purchases.  I would happily help wherever needed, but I prefer interacting with people.  It's so much fun meeting new people, especially runners.  The RTO is such an awesome event that it attracts runners from all over.  Since I'm a local (well, I've lived here for almost 6 years now), I get asked about the area -- restaurant recommendations, touristy stuff, etc.  The traveling runners don't get away without answering a few of my questions in return.  I love hearing about the different teams and where they're from.

Reno is lucky to have such an amazing event.  Thanks to the Lerudes for their continued dedication to this awesome running experience!

I'm honored to call myself a Trail Babe this year.  The Tahoe Trail Babes are a fun, fast team, and I'm looking forward to spending a couple of days with them.  I'm going to have to run my butt off to feel worthy as a teammate, though.  Challenge accepted!  Good luck to all my other running buddies and their teams Here's to an adventurous running weekend!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The No-Schedule Plan

Training plans.  Love them or hate them?  I'm actually indifferent toward them.  I like to use them as more of a guide than a plan as I prefer to run a range of miles.  I'm not the stickler-type who has to run around the parking lot until my Garmin reaches an exact number.  I know the necessary components of training -- a strength run (hills or speed), a tempo run, and a long run.  I also now know the importance of recovery runs and stretching/rolling.  So I feel pretty confident using a guide rather than a plan.

Ironically, I consider myself a planner -- rather than a guider.  ;)  One of my favorite parts of running is planning my races for the year.  So, it was a little disheartening to cross out all my races on my 2014 calendar (click here).  But, it was also a little liberating, too.  My Achilles is starting to feel really good and I want to keep it that way.  I feel the smartest thing to do is to take the stress off for a while.  I had to do a little soul-searching about why I run and what I love about it. And, while the little shrine of hardware in my closet is nice, it's not just about medals and placing.  I just love to run.
So, are all races called off?  Not at all.  I'm stepping outside the box, though, and will just go day-by-day.  I'm pumped up for my favorite relays in June -- RTO & DeCelle.  We'll see how things go from there.  Wish me luck on my no-schedule plan!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Running Reads

Happy May!  I can't believe it's May already -- and, the second week of May even This is the time that I usually embark on my 100-mile week.  However, due to a very sensitive Achilles, I am going to postpone my 100-mile adventure for a few months I think I'll enjoy it more if I can run pain-free So, needless to say, I have some extra time on my hands (and less on my feet -- ha ha!).  With the school year coming to an end, I plan to catch up on some reading.  As you can see by the stack of running magazines below, I have quite a bit of catching up to do!  These date back to October 2012.  I hope I haven't missed out on much since then! ;)

(This is what happens when you are working 2 jobs, training for an ultra, taking 2 classes, keeping up with a family & trying to maintain a household.)

I think I subscribe to every running magazine out there: Runner's World, Running Times, Women's Running, Trail Runner, Ultra Running.  Am I missing any???  I also read just about any kind of running book -- fiction, nonfiction, training books I am currently reading Running with the Kenyans and secretly (well, guess it's not a secret anymore) wishing that I really could run with the Kenyans And, since that's not enough I also read about running online I have a running research fetish.  I also follow a few blogs.  Here are a couple of my favs:


Speaking of running books, my family is actually featured -- well, maybe not featured, but mentioned and talked about -- in Caleb Daniloff's Running Ransom Road: Confronting the Past One Marathon at a Time.  We lived in Moscow the same time that Caleb did, and he shares some stories from that time in his bookIt was our Russian maid who baked the chocolate chip cookies that he writes about.  (These were a rarity in Moscow in the early 80s!) 

I admit that I might have a bit of a running obsession.  But, I actually do read about other things too In fact, I am next to host my book club, so that means I need to share a few different titles for the group to vote on Any suggestions?

What are some of your favorite books?


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fun in the Sun! Karma & Kindness Post #4

This Karma & Kindness post is dedicated to my friends, Tara, Jason & Jacob.

Today was such a fun day! My family and I went down to Gardnerville to support Team Jacob in the FEAT 5K walk. We met up with some friends from my racing team and enjoyed the beautiful weather as we walked in support of FEAT (click here for more info on FEAT).  We worked up quite a thirst, so we topped the afternoon off with some margaritas! Shirley Temples for the kiddos, of course!   Such a great day -- thanks, Tara & Jason!

The whole gang

Jacob & Jackers


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Updated Race Schedule

If you've been following along, you might have noticed that I'm working hard to catch up on my April happenings!

I was supposed to run the Reno 5000 half marathon today.  But, I really don't want to end up like Kobe Bryant (click here if you don't follow basketball) -- ouch!  So, I decided to officially put myself on the DL (disabled list for those who don't follow baseball).  My left achilles is still literally my Achilles' heel (my weak spot for those who aren't up on Greek mythology).  It's more than a nag now; it's a pain!

Even though I didn't race today, I was still able to be a part of this super fun event by helping out at the Mile 6 aid station.  It was so fun to cheer on the runners, especially since most of them had their names on their bibs.  Great idea, Will & Shanna

As you can see, it was a beautiful day!  Perfect racing conditions!  And we were ready for thirsty runners.

Thanks again to the Dolan Automotive Group for the awesome support!

Lucky for us we got to practice our H2O hand-offs!

Also, congrats to all the runners!

Back to my race schedule ... to avoid a serious achilles injury, I am going to take it easy for a while The rest of this month will be all about recovery -- easy running, icing, and stretching.  My plan is to be good to go for my June races.  I've got my work cut-out for me!

New & Improved Schedule:

April - Reno 5000 Half
May - Mom's on the Run 5K
June - DeCelle Relay
& Reno 5000 Half
July - Kings Beach 10K
August – New Reno 10-miler!
September - Reno 5000 Half
October - Bizz Johnson 50K & Trick-or-Treat 5K
November - Turkey Trot 10K

One last thing ... if you haven't ever volunteered at a race before, I highly recommend it.  It's way fun Plus, it feels good to give back!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Joy of Pacing

Last weekend I was lucky enough to run along this beautiful trail (below) as I paced my friend, Annie, during the AR 50.  As I mentioned in a few of last year's posts (click here, here, and here), pacing is a great introduction to ultras.  You get all the benefits: amazing aid stations & pristine trails, but none of the pressure.  Definitely my kind of race! 

This was Annie's race, though, and she did awesome!  Her 8:11 finish made her the 10th female overall.  Way to go, Annie!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Karma & Kindness Post #3

This Karma & Kindness post is dedicated to my amazing friend, Karen. She is on a mission to help find cures and more effective treatments for blood cancers. To accomplish that mission, Karen's running the Nike Women's Half Marathon in D.C. on April 28, 2013 as a member of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Team In Training.  Thanks, Karen, for all that you do!  You have a heart of gold!

Here is Karen and her pal, Cooper.  They are fighting cancer together.  Please consider donating with me.

Welcome, Melanie -- a guest blogger!

Hey Running Buddies!  I wanted to introduce you to my first guest blogger, Melanie Bowen.  She is passionate about sharing information on preventing cancer.  Please see her article below.

Cancer and Fitness: The Link Goes Deeper Than you Think

By now, almost everyone understands that there is at least some connection between cancer and fitness. However, most people grossly underestimate how deep this connection goes. When it comes to preventing and fighting cancer, fitness is one of the most powerful tools patients have at their disposal. Here are some of the ways that research has shown a strong link between fitness and better odds against cancer.

Avoiding Cancer

The first studies conducted about the link between cancer and fitness showed that there was a strong connection between high levels of fitness and low rates of cancer. However, many researchers believed that this link was due to higher rates of obesity among those who did not exercise, which has long been known to increase the odds of developing cancer. Later studies controlled for weight, and the link still remained. Because of this, doctors are advising their patients to view fitness as a contributor to cancer prevention efforts.

Fighting Cancer

Exercising while undergoing chemotherapy and other cancer treatments is difficult, but studies have shown that those who engage in light forms of exercise tend to handle their treatments better. In addition, those who enter treatment with high levels of physical fitness will be better able to deal with decreased appetite, fatigue and other side effects of chemotherapy. When it comes to fighting cancer, high levels of fitness are a great way to improve your outcome.

Recovering From Cancer

Studies have also shown that those who resume exercise as quickly as possible recover from cancer treatments faster than those who do not. While it will take time before you can resume your old exercise routine, performing light exercise as soon as possible can help. In addition, the preventative effects of fitness on cancer remain even after you have been diagnosed, and those who begin to exercise soon after treatment has ceased are less likely to develop cancer again in the future. Recovery will be difficult, but fitness can help.

Cancer is one of the most difficult diseases to battle no matter if you are fighting breast cancer or mesothelioma, and those who begin on the long road to recovery from cancer will want to take all steps possible to ease their burden. By incorporating exercise into your daily life as soon as possible, you can improve your odds of success regardless of whether you have been diagnosed with cancer or not.

Friday, April 5, 2013

April Happenings -- Sneak Preview!

         Hold onto your hats!                  

April is busy already! Just a quick mention of some upcoming April happenings:
1. Karma & Kindness posts #3 & #4 (Hi Karen & Tara!)
2. a guest blogger (Welcome Melanie!)
3. a new race sponsor (Thanks Dolan Automotive Group in Reno!)
4. the joys of pacing (Go Annie @ AR 50!)
Stay tuned ...  And, please check back soon!
Happy April!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Running Bonuses!

There are so many things that I love about running -- the feeling after a hard workout, spending time outdoors on beautiful trails, and hanging out with other runner friends.  But there are also the extra, sometimes hidden, bonuses of running -- the massages, yoga classes and spa days. Did I mention that these are a necessary part of running?!?  ;)

I'm on Spring Break this week, so I'm taking full advantage of my running bonuses.  I just started getting into yoga, and I love it so far!  My goal is to go at least once a week.  But since I had some free time this week, I went almost every day.  I've tried other yoga places in the past, but none of them were a good fit for me (obviously since I didn't stick with them).  My new yoga place is awesome!  The people are friendly, and the classes are perfect for me.  Not only do I get a ton of stretching in, but we also do lots of core and strength work.  If you're in the Reno area, I highly recommend Pure Yoga. Click here to visit the website.

I also got a massage this week.  I typically get one a month, but I splurged and started the week off with a bonus massage!  It was my post-50K massage, so it was necessary.  ;)

And, since I was ordered by my coach (Hi Will!) to go to the spa to fix my Achilles, I spent 3 days at the Peppermill spa this week.  I did my necessary hot/cold therapy.  But of course a trip to the spa isn't complete without some relaxation, pampering and lunch with friends.  So relaxing and fun!

All and all, I would rate my spring break as very productive.  I got all my necessary tasks done.  I could definitely get used to all these necessary tasks! ;)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Finally a Schedule! (At least a start to one ...)

It only took about 2 months, but I finally felt motivated to create a schedule and a plan for 2013.  I am going to try to stay local (or close by) this yearWorking full-time plus some has really cramped my racing lifestyle!  It's so much harder to get away for a weekend now. Plus, there are lots of great races in the Reno-Tahoe-Sac area I also want to do some shorter races for a while.  I love high mileage, but long, slow runs tend to make me a long, slow runner I need to add some strength to my endurance.  So, I'm starting off with the Reno 5000 half marathon and will most likely do this whole series (there are 3 races in all -- April, June & September).  Then I will sprinkle in some 5 & 10Ks here and there I have never run the Mom's on the Run Mother's Day 5K, so that's on my list I will also keep some old favorites on my schedule.  I got together another speedy team for the DeCelle Relay in June And, I love, love, love the 4th of July 10K in Kings Beach!  Big Blue Adventure puts on lots of awesome races, so I might have to take a closer look at their schedule and add a few more to mine.  Then there is Bizz Johnson in October, and of course, the Turkey Trot in November -- 2 more favorites Well, it's not written in stoneBut, at least it's a start.

April - Reno 5000 Half
May - Mom's on the Run 5K
June - DeCelle Relay & Reno 5000 Half
July - Kings Beach 10K
August -
September - Reno 5000 Half
October - Bizz Johnson 50K
November - Turkey Trot 10K
December -

There are some blanks that need to be filled in.  Any ideas?!?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Way Too Cool is Still Way Cool!

I ran my first race of 2013 today -- the Way Too Cool 50KWhile I didn't have a specific time goal, I was hoping to run faster than I ran last year (5:15).  But, I didn't.  I ran s-l-o-w-e-r.  No excuses!  I just need to get in better shape for future races.  I also am nowhere near my ideal racing weight.  The diet starts tomorrow, though.  Having run 31 miles and eating nothing but a couple of GU packets for 5 hours and 29 minutes, I felt the beer and burger I had for linner (lunch/dinner) were well-deserved!  My running buddies (Michelle, Jenny, Cynthia, Annie & Katie) did awesome, though!  I am honored just to be able to run with such awesomeness.

The benefit to not running as fast as I had hoped is that I am more motivated to train now.  I am planning to switch gears a little, though, and focus on some shorter races.  I will definitely run another 50K.  I have to defend my title at Bizz in October!  Hope to see some awesomeness out there!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy March!

In like a lion ... not so much.  At least not around here.  I actually ran in shorts a few times this week!  Knowing Reno weather, that can and probably will change quickly.  Anyway -- Welcome March!

Only one more week until my next 50K!  This post is not about that, though.  This is my Karma & Kindness post #2.  

My good friend, Missy, is not only a very talented runner, but she also has a big heart.  She is running the LA marathon this month in support of The Epilepsy Therapy Project.  What a great way to raise awareness and help improve the lives of others!  Running a marathon makes you keenly aware of what you are capable of.  And, while you might not be feeling so lucky after mile 20, just imagine those who aren't able to run at all.  Thanks, Missy!  You rock!  Good luck in LA!

Anyone who wants to find out more about Missy's marathon and The Epilepsy Therapy Project click here

Well, that's it for now.  Short & sweet -- just like February

Missy blazing the trail!