Positive Sports Coaching

As soon as I returned from my fabulous vacation in Hawaii, school started for the kids and I have been oh so busy with all that that I haven’t found much time to sit still and just write. I have SO MANY OTHER things to blog about right now (race recap, more giveaways, gear reviews, Nike training update, et cetra) but last night, while I was attending a Positive Coaching Alliance workshop for my kids’ first season in soccer, I was inspired to share some of the things I learned…

After a long day of work and school followed by a hour and a half kiddo soccer practice, I was not too thrilled to attend a workshop from 7pm-9pm last night. Not. At. All. Further, as I didn’t participate in organized sports growing up I couldn’t really relate to or answer any questions that applied to the game of soccer or competition among youth. My mind kept wandering out of boredom but then I found myself taking notes and started applying the principles I was learning towards running.  (I’ll work on applying it all to the kids’ soccer too, I swear!)

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Today’s Reason: The Movies

Run, Forrest, Run!

Run, Forrest, Run!

There’s something kinda strange about me and if you know me in real life, I think you would agree- when I find something I really like, I don’t easily let go and even start to identify with whatever that thing may be. Some call it obsession, I call it passion.

One of my first loves was radio, and I listened constantly as a kid, enjoying every genre of music, knowing all call letters and the on-air schedules of all my favorite DJs. I grew to also love singing, dancing, anything purple, red wine, fine dining, and then eventually- you guessed it- running.

I originally went to college to study acting and at USC I had to start working full time in order to afford such an expensive school yet found no money leftover for head-shots nor any time leftover to audition. I then decided go the academic route instead and when I got into film school, my absolute obsession with all things cinematic began…

… but if you think this post is about running movies in general, you’re wrong. Continue reading

Today’s Reason: The Long Run

I was out with a friend for dinner last night and she asked me, “How did you figure out you loved running?” And I really had to pause to think about that… I told her it all began for me 6 years ago because of Oakland Adventure Boot Camp, or really, in the absence of it.  After I started going to the gym and stopped going to boot camp, I kept challenging myself to do what my boot camp trainers had challenged us to: run the entirety- all 3 miles- of Lake Merritt.  That seemed SO HARD to me back then!  “Justholdonasecondhere- you want me to run, without stopping, all the way around the whole entire lake? It’s so big! Who does that?! 3 miles?!?!?! No way!!!!”

Despite how daunting those 3 miles seemed to me at the time, I kept trying and trying and trying to propel my body around that lake 3 or 4 times a week, every week. I’ll never forget the moment I finally accomplished my goal of running the whole entire lake- I was elated and so proud of myself that I went ahead and signed up for my first 5K race in April 2009 and for about a year, that 3 miles was my long run.

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Anya’s Ultramarathoning Awesomeness

Anya at the finish line of her very first ultra!

I already introduced you to my friend Kate and her Ultramarathoning Awesomeness, and now for part two, I would like you to meet Anya!

I met Anya during our first season with Team in Training but it really wasn’t until our second season together as mentors that we got really close, especially on those 6am, very dark, very cold, very wet buddy runs.  She is probably going to kill me for saying this but not only is Anya an amazing runner but is she such a sweetheart!  Don’t let the fact that she wears all black fool you- she is kind, funny as heck, and the type of person that will tell you what you need to hear even if you don’t want to hear it!  I LOVE THAT!

After completing 2 seasons of road running with TNT, Anya informed me that she was going to go Ultra.  And, honestly, I was very surprised! Knowing the struggles she had on the road, I was a little concerned for my friend that jumping from a road half to a trail ultra may just ruin Anya for life; but, knowing this team and these Coaches, she was in the best hands ever.  Within just a few runs on the trail, Anya was hooked!  And here is what she had to say about it…

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Today’s Reason: Travis Dow

In memory of Travis Dow: November 3, 1971 – November 4, 2012

While I was well aware that my dear college friend, Travis Dow, had been diagnosed with Burkitt’s Lymphoma earlier this year, I am still shocked and heart broken to learn that he finally lost his battle.  Travis was a truly amazing person through and through, a generous soul, a stellar talent, his smile contagious- plainly put, a Good Man.

I joined Team in Training last May to raise money and awareness for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and upon learning of Travis’s diagnosis, added him to my personal list of honorees, sending him a very loud “shout out” and moment of silence before each and every run.  While he was never aware of that, he was certainly always on my mind whenever our coaches would talk to us about the pain and ridiculousness that is cancer- I would think of Travis, and hope and pray for a cure.
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Kate’s Ultramarathoning Awesomeness

Kate crossing the Finish Line of her very first Ultra Marathon!

I met Kate my very first season with Team in Training and it was very easy to get to know her as she is one of the sweetest, kindest people I know.  Plus, she is an amazing runner- very speedy, very willful.  A few months after that season concluded, Kate (as well as a handful of other TNT buddies) told me that she had decided to join Team in Training’s Ultra Marathon team to raise funds for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society while getting ready to run her first 50K race.

Wow, I thought, that’s freaking crazy- 26.2 seems fine enough but you go girl with your 31 miles of hilly trails!

Kate started ultra training in February and completed the Skyline 50K race one week ago today. I am so very amazed and inspired by Kate’s accomplishment that I had to interview her to find out more about this crazy thing called Ultra Marathoning, and here is what she said… Continue reading

Today’s Reason: Reasons

Ugh, I feel so out of shape right now.  I was gone for 6 weeks of vacation, I’ve been back for 3 weeks and am hitting (most of) my work outs no prob, yet running still feels very hard and my short runs, even 3 miles, are littered with walk breaks.  My stamina and endurance have more than suffered due to my sloth and bacon eating tendencies while on vacation.

(And whose fault is that???  Yeah, yeah, yeah…)

Nevertheless, I am trying to be very easy on myself- I maintain that I am still mentally traumatized from the San Diego RnR Marathon and am reassuring myself that I will get back to where I was, slowly but oh so surely.  In the meantime, I sure miss the ease I had on the road… I miss the confidence I had in the distance… I miss my athletic self.   Continue reading