TGIFriday Faves.

Hey there y’all (yes I said that in the most Texan of accents – just roll with it) happy Friday! I was able to get up and get some double digit miles in this morning! The sunrise was quite glorious I have to say.

Let’s get to this week’s faves!

Christmas leggings on a Friday. Yes, in November. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

13 trail shoes you’ll love to run in. I’ve loved my Brooks Pure Grit shoes for a while but there are some good options here.

Obsessed with this song currently. I’ve been playing it when I teach my spin classes and rocking out.

The Define Jacket. Love me some lulu!! I seriously need to step up my running jacket game especially with the chilly days we’ve had down in Texas lately.

Feeling good about my 100 mile decision. I’ve actually decided to pass this year on running the 100 mile distance. I’ve been giving this a lot of personal thought (off the blog) after my 100k PR and wrapping up my year of running ULTRAS. I think it is for the best.

I’ve successfully paced a 50k, placed top female 4th year in a ROW for the 50 miler, then finished strong with a solid 62 mile finish. I feel good about my accomplishments this year. For me, the 100 mile distance (which I’ve already completed twice) will always be there! I want to explore some shorter faster distances in 2020 and want to reset and refocus for greater things. More to come.

What’s on tap for your weekend?
Long run, fun with friends, brunching and enjoying the 60 degree patio weather. Thank you, Texas for bringing back the sunshine.

Random Thoughts Thursday.

This week’s weather down in TEXAS has me wearing beanie hats all week long! I am pretty sure I almost turned into an icicle after running with temps in the TWENTIES the other day but alas, I survived.

All good though because this is what the rest of the week into the weekend is looking like. Bring back my 50s and 60s baby.

The other day I had a little fun and broke away from my routine to go to a CHICKEN WING tasting (thanks Yelp) and can I just say I tried the spiciest wings I’ve ever had in life. One was actually called DEATH and the hottest one was AFTERLIFE. Intense. They actually had a huge cold glass of milk on standby for the afterlife one.

Speaking of heat, the amount of time that I can actually spend in the hot sauna is borderline concerning. What can I say my body loves dry heat! I was actually in there SO long this morning I had to set an alarm but to peel my body off the seat and go. Feels so good though especially when it is so cold outside.

Anyone getting an insane amount of spam calls lately? I even downloaded the blocker app and I’m still getting them. I’ve gotten to the point now where I don’t even answer the phone for people I know.

This. This is oh so true.

Share your random thoughts with me today!

Weekly Running Report.

Happy Monday! I am here to recap some running from last week!! Things training wise are going well and the legs are finally starting to feel back to normal after my last ULTRA! Let’s see how it all went down!

Monday- 4.22 miles at night after the long work day. Most of this run was done in the DARK since it starts getting dark around here right after work, haha gotta love that daylight savings.

Tuesday AM- 8.32 miles with a few hills thrown in there. It was a tad humid and warmer all week last week but of course Texas is bipolar so there’s that.

Tuesday PM- 2.22 miles after teaching spin and over 10 miles total for the day. Good time on my feet type of day.

Wednesday AM- 5.31 miles in the a.m. Good ‘run therapy’ kind of morning getting some fresh air before a busy day.

Wednesday PM- 3.32 miles- double run day in the darkness again. Honestly I have to get used to running twice a day with it being dark at night because for the most part that means I’m always running IN THE DARK. Unless I do a lunch run but work has been too crazy lately. But well, such is life.

Thursday AM- 4.15 miles in the morning with cold-ish RAIN. It was kind of nice though and good mental training.

Thursday PM- 3.03 miles after teaching at the gym. Quick out and back and the legs felt pretty good.

Friday- 10.13 miles in the morning with the beautiful fall leaves. Glorious morning for running some double digits before work.

Saturday- Back to solid MILES! 20.12 miles with the run club. So glad to have these peeps to help me get all the miles in.

Sunday- REST DAY. Much needed. Celebrated with brunch because, breakfast tacos.

And there you have it!

How was your week last week? Gearing up (or recovering from) any races?

TGIFriday Faves.

Happiest of Fridays to you!! Hope you have some fun in store! I’ve got some running, friend time and family time on the agenda! Should be a good one.

Without further ado let’s get to this week’s faves!

Sara Hall just wants to have fun. Get into your own headspace. All about that.

15 things that happen when you fall in love with your life. LOVE.

If you run you are a runner. Great read from my great friend.

Running through a fall wonderland all week long. Brings me so much bliss.

Getting to see my childhood friends and celebrating SMU weekend this weekend. It is my pretend college since I went to college in Virginia (so far away) so they adopt me during their homecoming. FUN.

And there you have it! Have a great Friday.

What’s on tap for your weekend?

Random Thoughts Thursday.

It was rainy and chilly for the morning run but can I just say how it seems like the leaves changed down in TEXAS seemingly overnight? I swear all of October all of the trees were green and then November 1st hit and now all of this red and orange. I mean, I’m not complaining though. I feel like I’m suddenly in a fall wonderland.

It is also the time of year that I start to crave one of my favorite foods- PHO. With extra basil please. Rice noodles and lots of leaves and I am in Vietnamese soup HEAVEN.

Have you gotten your FLU SHOT yet? I did not get mine last year- after being pretty consistent with it for several years and honestly I felt the difference. I think I’m going to bite the bullet and get it this year. Especially because I’m thinking of doing some traveling before the year is over.

OMG I am one.freaking.month AWAY from my 3rd 100 miler!! Feels surreal.

I am so glad I got the 100k race out of the way. That was like 1 week and some change ago! It is amazing how fast the body recovers when you get used to the higher mileage.

Wine alert- My favorite vino right now is Apothic Inferno. Beware though it is aged in whiskey barrels so super strong but delicious. But perfect to enjoy right by the fire.

Share something random with me today!

Red wine lovers what’s your fave right now? Need to add to the collection. 

My “Learning to Love Running” Story.

So since it has been a while since I’ve done any sort of blog post that wasn’t a race recap or ‘random thoughts’ I figured today would be a great day to share with you my ‘learning to love running’ story! Here’s my little personal anecdote to how I fell (and stayed in love) with this incredible sport.

Those of you who’ve read my bio and have been reading a while know that I was not an avid runner growing up. I was never your ‘talented cross country kid’ that was just good at all of the sports. My mother had me in dance classes and I dabbled in track (forced upon by my parents to keep me out of trouble) but I hated it. I always felt like a fish out of water with running. Dance, however was where I thrived and I loved tap and jazz and just grooving to the music always. It was where I could just be free and me versus me. Freedom of expression for me was where it was at. (This came back later in life where I did teach dance at the gym for a number of years!! Now I teach spin and dance on my bike.)

As I got older and graduated high school into college I continued enjoying dance, and working out in general. I would run on the treadmill at the gym and enjoyed that, especially as I started doing bursts of speed and getting faster.

I remember one summer running a 5k on the treadmill and being so proud of myself. It was a boost of confidence that I had never felt before. This kind of sparked my enjoyment for running and as I became more fit and graduated college it turned into a hobby that I loved.

After college and going into the working world, I discovered that local run groups had social runs and decided one day to check it out. At the run, lots of folks talked about running a local Dallas half marathon. Training to RUN 13.1 miles seemed absolutely ridiculous to me at the time. I remember how it literally boggled my mind that people really did that. But at the time the fact that it boggled with my head also FASCINATED me. I wanted to be THAT runner. That runner that could actually take each milestone and build one on top of the other. Deep in my heart of hearts I knew that I wanted it, and that I could do it. I just needed the time and the practice.

At the time of training I was in my early/mid twenties and really loving the party life. I had a lot of party friends and we could go out for drinks every Friday. Hey, sometimes even during the work week. Happy hour after happy hour. Honestly and truthfully, being hungover for me back then was a way of life. And really one that I enjoyed. (Now, being in my 30s that is a different ballgame & another blog post in itself, HA.)

But, I quickly learned that hard partying and distance running simply did not mix. Oh how quickly did I learn that. I would still faithfully show up to group runs on Saturdays with Luke’s Locker with a pounding headache and pound out 10, 12, 13 miles. All of my running buddies (most of them married, older, with kids) would laugh at me- but hey, I showed up. I ended up running my 1st half marathon in November 2009 after partying all night long from Halloween weekend. It was NOT a pretty sight! But, it got done.

As I got older I started loving longer distances, and the more I loved running, the more the constant partying began to fall to the wayside. I was no longer that party girl, I was the runner girl! I loved the HIGH of success, and putting in all of the miles. I no longer got excited about staying up past midnight. Rather 9 pm bedtimes were my NEW JAM. Spending Saturday mornings with like minded people was my new happy hour. And still is, to this very day.

I can say that distance running has changed my path & my journey of life and I am really so thankful for it. I fell in love with the beauty of nature, with the beauty of people, with the beauty of seeing life so differently. I’ve made lifelong friends just from the pure joy of this sport.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thank you, running.

Share your ‘learning to love running’ story with the group! (go as long or as short as you want.) 🙂

TGIFriday Faves.

Hey there and happiest of Fridays to you! OH YES…and happy November!! I am pumped that we are now basically in the holiday season and now I can put my pink Christmas tree up! Sorry not sorry.

Without further ado let’s get to this week’s faves!

What I tell myself on the starting line. Love Des and her relaxed approach.

-Interesting take on GOALS. Made me think.

-Back on my leopard kick. Love this look which also reminds me I need a new pair of leopard flats.

-And this…your Friday funny.

Have a good one!

What’s on tap for your weekend?
Birthday party, running, enjoying this lovely crisp fall weather.

Random Thoughts Thursday.

YOU GUYS it was 30 DEGREES during my run this morning! Chilly weather is my absolute fave for running!! I got up all bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to run at 5 AM. Real psycho like. Haha. But I loved it.

P.S. the selfie pic above is not reflective of me standing outside in 30 degree weather. haha. It was more like 70 that day. But hey, Texas weather is bipolar.

So glad I’m recovering so quickly after my 100k trail race. Yep, what can I say I’m a (humble) BOSS, a veteran rather at this stuff. Been doing this for years now. Hate to toot my own horn but you know, toot toot.

One thing that helps me with recovery after running ULTRAS for sure is getting on the bike. So thankful I teach spin class as a side hustle. Teaching a class after a race is actually one of my favorite things. I taught on Tuesday and felt sooo good to be back in the saddle.

Tonight I’m going to do some Halloween celebrating and I’ve decided to dress in 80s attire? I need to find me some pink leggings though. To go with my fishnet top and lace bow haha. Headed to track them down on my lunch break, let the church pray I find something.

Another thing this week that has helped me RECOVER? Sushi and vino. Dinner of champions.

Share your random thoughts with me this week!

El Taco Loco 100k Race Recap.

Well what weekend it was! I am back to give you all the deets on my ULTRA race weekend – running El Taco Loco 100k. This race for me was quite the test as well as a benchmark for my upcoming 100 miler, the Loup Garou trail run. Let’s see how everything went down!!

Can I just say how thankful I am to finally have an ultra with phenomenal weather? After Brazos Bend 100 splashing through endless mud puddles- I was sure this one would be quite similar. From start to finish we were so thankful for pleasant temps for this race. We started bright and early at 5:30 AM, in the straight up darkness. My friend and I drove down to San Antonio (a 4.5 ish hour drive) the night prior and stayed in a hotel so Saturday morning I woke up fairly fresh and ready to roll. The gun went off right at 5:30 AM and off we went into the woods. Headlamps dancing in the darkness is kind of my favorite thing.

The course itself was fairly flat with a few rolling hills, but single track dirt trail and very runnable. There was rain the night prior so we had some muddy spots but overall, a dry and lovely trail with some beautiful shade. The loops were fairly longer, around 15.5 miles long that we completed a total of 4 times. Which was fine as I really enjoy the looped courses so I can do the whole countdown in my head. And instead of, OH I have over 30+ some odd miles to go (HA) I can just say “2 loops left”! Then 1 loop and so on. Makes things much more manageable when you are covering 62 freaking miles.

I met a few folks as we ran and we had a little pack of folks where we were sticking together a while. Towards the back half of loop 1 we all spread out a bit. It was so super dark for the first couple of hours and I was trying to adjust and get into a groove but had a bit of a hard time doing that during the first loop for some reason.

Maybe I was still waking up? Or not enough caffeine. Not sure. But…because of this I took not 1, but 2 FALLS on the first loop in the dark. Just tripping over roots along the trail and such. The dirt was soft so I bounced back up pretty quickly and kept on trucking. Both times I went down there were folks around that were sweet to check on me and make sure I was alright. That’s one thing I love about the trail community!! Everyone always has your back, always encouraging. And always groovy good vibes. I will forever love that.

Because of those not 1, but 2 falls on LAP 1, I will say I went into loop 2 feeling a tad discouraged. Still in the game, but not feeling super confident. I hadn’t done a ton of trail training this go ’round- although my weekly mileage was rock solid and consistent. But…..would my lack of dirt running affect my ability to stay in the game? Am I going to fall FOR REAL and really jack myself up?? Only time would tell. So, I continued to just keep trucking. Relentless forward motion. Knowing that I have successfully completed a distance of this magnitude (and THEN SOME) certainly helps.

Lap 2 went by like a breeze. Once the light came out and the sun was in the sky that was all I needed to get that boost of confidence back. My ULTRA trail runner muscle memory came back with a vengeance. I was rocking and rolling on that trail like no other. PLUS…I got to see my trail friends, who were out volunteering on the trail providing aid for all of the runners. That was honestly the boost I needed to keep moving forward.

I made it to the last (VICTORY) loop and the legs were starting to get heavy but I was in great spirits. I cranked up my tunes and the sun started setting as I hit mile 50 something. I knew the hardest part of this race was coming. Dealing with the darkness. And dealing with it, alone.

I went into this race with the knowledge that I would have NO pacer. This was the first time doing 62+ miles without one. But I knew as long as I could endure running alone in the woods at night for a short time I could make it. I kept trucking. It kept getting darker.

I entered a certain part of the woods and there were NO runners around. No headlamps, no noises of voices in the horizon. All of the 100kers were spread out all over the trail and I was alone. Just me and my thoughts and my tired body. Keep moving, don’t miss a trail marker. Don’t get lost. So tired. Can’t see. Headlamp is dim. Then, for a split second, what was that noise? A pack of coyotes in the near distance. Howling because they can and its at night.

Sheer adrenaline and fear rushed though my body. I decided it would be time to make a phone call. I call my friend because I needed someone to talk to. Getting close to mile 60. My friend tells me his shift is almost over and to hang in there, a lot of runners have stopped at his aid station for food. He has to go. I’m terrified. Then…in the darkness…what do I see?

A light. A lone one, a lady’s voice. I am overwhelmed with gratitude when I see her light. She runs up to me and we both squeal with delight that we’ve found one another and how spooked we both were that we may have missed a mile marker or something. We start moving together and chatting the night away.

That finish line…I almost cry when I see it.

After turning things around with such a rocky start…I was not sure I would be able to pull this one off and keep my head in the game. But I made it happen. And I proved to myself once again that I am more than capable of doing the hard things. Overcoming adversity both on the trails and in my head and fighting towards the finish.

Falling in the darkness. It’s kind of like dark moments in your life. You can’t see it sometimes when you’re in it. But being on the other side, and perhaps seeing that glimmer of light along the way…that’s when you realize you can bounce back. And be stronger than ever before.

El Taco Loco, you showed me a lot and especially showed me…15 hours and some change later…that I’ve still got it. Plus hey, a shiny 100K PR doesn’t hurt, either.

Plus, yeah we got our tacos. And of course a shiny new buckle to add to the growing collection.

Official results will be found here.

How was your weekend? Anyone run a rockstar trail (or road) race lately??

Random Thoughts Thursday.

So this weekend is the El Taco Loco ULTRA race! I am definitely looking forward to the mini road trip to San Antonio (a 4+ hour drive) and just to get away a bit. Definitely much needed.

I love that my early morning run group is not even phased by the fact that I’m doing a 100k (62 miles). This morning they were all like “that is a SHORT one for you” HAHA. It’s okay, you can’t win ‘em all.

Granted it is more like training for my upcoming 100 miler. It will be a good way to gage if I’ve still got it, so to speak.

Forgive me for missing so many blog posts this week. I had a huge work load and just really didn’t care to post minutiae. Not gonna lie.

I still love y’all, though.

You know what I honestly need!? Just to be around good vibes and good people. So this race/road trip could not have come at a better time.

Can you believe we are THISCLOSE to Thanksgiving? 5 weeks away. I just want to skip it and fast forward straight to Christmas. Don’t hate if I put my pink Christmas tree up next week.

Share your random thoughts with me today!