She’s such a loser!

….and My Story Runs On….

No, I’m not about ready to start bashing anyone but just wanted to get your attention. Honestly, this will be probably my favorite blog post yet…Why?  Because this story is EXACTLY why I do what I do.

Meet Diane.  I met her in March this year when she attended Danny Dreyer‘s ChiRunning workshop.  I remember hearing her say at one point that she lost 100 lbs. As a fitness trainer, I always love to hear these stories. We became facebook friends and she joined my Running for Brews group a few times and met at other running events across the valley.  This weekend, I had the honor of being with her on her longest run to date. Not only was it her longest run (15.5 miles) but she did it on a trail…and at night time!  Let’s go back a bit though…

Here is a before/after picture of Diane:

dianepotterpic2

Since my passion in life is to help more people get into walking and running because it’s one of the easiest things you can do for weight loss/maintenance (if done correctly), I asked Diane if she could answer a few questions for me.  I was in tears reading her answers and I asked her permission to blog about it because I know she can inspire others!

How much weight did you lose?  
“I lost 100 lbs in a year and 105 lbs to date.”

When did you realize you need to make a change in your life?
“I was lying in bed one night and I was concerned because my heart was beating really hard and fast. It had been doing that for a couple months and I was scared I was going to have a heart attack and have my daughters find me. So that was my defining moment of when I decided to make a lifestyle change.”

What did you do?
“I was very strict with my diet by cutting out fast food, junk food, and sweets–I basically detoxed. I allowed myself to have one splurge meal a week.” (if you calculate it, she lost about 8-10 lbs a month which is healthy amount to lose)

When did you start running? Why?  When was your first 5K?
“I started running in September 2013. Even though I had lost a lot of weight, I felt like something was missing in my life. I decided to start walking. One night on a walk I started wondering if I could run. So I tried it–it was really tough and I could only do it for maybe 30 seconds at a time. Three weeks later I ran my first 5K.”  (I love that running can provide people with so many first time experiences: distances, trail, night trail, triathlons, etc. I see people pushing their boundaries all the time!)

Why did you keep doing it if it was hard?
“I was hooked on the race experience and found that I could channel my stress and anxiety through running. I ran my first half in May 2014 and am currently training for my first full in January. I’m still pretty careful about what I eat, but running allows me to enjoy brownies every once in awhile!”

What else has running done for you?
“Running and losing weight have given me the confidence and inner peace that helps me to be successful in all areas of my life, personally and professionally. The best part is I have become a good role model for my daughters, and they’re very proud of me!”

Any advice for anyone who would say to you “I could never be a runner”
“My advice to those who feel they could never be a runner is to take it slowly in the beginning with both pace and distance. If you try to do too much too soon, you could injure yourself or get burned out. Running is a huge lesson in patience. Accept the days when running feels impossible, and embrace the days when running feels effortless. Progress is gradual so don’t give up!”

Any advice for anyone who would say to you “I’m too overweight to be a runner”
“As far as those who think they’re too overweight to run, not true! Runners come in all shapes and sizes. There are plenty of amazing runners who don’t fit the mold. Fear is a prison. Don’t let it hold you back from being successful and accomplishing your dreams! It’s also important to focus on good running form so you learn how to run with minimal impact to the joints. I haven’t had shin splints, foot pain, or muscle pain since I started ChiRunning in March.

And for all new runners–don’t get hung up on being fast. Just get out there and enjoy it!”

Thanks so much to Diane for sharing a very brief summary of how weight loss and running has changed her life!

Here is a picture of us from this weekend.

javelinajangover

Both of these ladies broke records by surpassing their longest runs to date.
Both of these ladies never thought they would be running 15 miles on a trail at night (same goes for me!).
Both of these ladies never thought they’d be running a full marathon!
But both of these ladies had the courage to listen to their heart (don’t listen to your mind because it will tell you otherwise!) and just go for it.

So whether it’s weight loss or starting a walking/running program, remember this:

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” ~Brian Tracy

“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.” ~Thomas Edison

From My Running Story to Yours….

(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)

A 70 year old, 73 yo and 91 yo go into a bar….

….and My Story Runs On….

Just kidding….well, maybe they do go into a bar but only after going for a run!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO START RUNNING!

I sit here and think, I’ve only been running for about 5-6 years and knowing what I know now, I wish I would’ve started before!  But I’m very glad to know that assuming nothing happens to me, I have another 40+ years in me!  Yeah, freaking yeah!  (Knowing this always makes me feel better especially since I’ve had to taper my running down in the last few months to heal my foot).

First of all, have you heard about this new study that says Running 5 Minutes a Day Has Long Lasting Benefits? That’s right, running doesn’t have to be something that you do for 2 hours a day or anything. It’s one of the easiest things you can do and requires very little equipment and expense (I always say a good pair of shoes and a class to learn proper form, like ChiRunning, and you are good to go anywhere, anytime!).

I’m very blessed to do what I love to do and nothings makes me happier than hearing about “older” people that are running.  Just in the last month:

  • I had the honor to have a private session with a 73 year old woman who wanted to learn to run!  Her son contacted me and we worked out a plan and I couldn’t have been more excited to do this!  I’m just waiting for her to decide when she is ready for her first 5K.  She started out with 10 minutes and is working her way up.  She’s an avid golfer, walker and yogi…and now wanted to change things up a bit with some running!  Love to surround myself with people who want to keep growing no matter their age.
  • Do you remember one of my blog posts about Doc Gooding: You’re doing what at 69 years old?  He took my ChiRunning workshop a few years ago and apparently hasn’t been the same since ;) ! He sent me another email on 8/24/14:

“Hope you are doing well…Just wanted to give you an update.  I competed in the USA Triathlon National Sprint Championships a few weeks ago in Milwaukee.  There were 32 participants in my age group 70-74. I came in 14th in the age group with a time of 1:30 which qualified me for Team USA. That was my main goal…to get on Team USA!  So, I will be representing the USA in the World Championships September 2015 in the Chicago. My time for the race was 10 minutes faster than my previous time for the same distance. A good part of that was improved run time…I have been focusing on getting my cadence up. My pace on the run was 10:03….my previous best race pace was 11:09. I focused on getting and keeping my pace up the whole race.”

  • Last but not least, I was scrolling through facebook and read about the 91 year old who started running marathons at 76. Her name is Harriette Thompson and she broke two records: fastest course time for her age group by 2 hours AND 2nd oldest marathon finisher in world history at the 2014 San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon.  She’s completed 15 marathons  AND she’s battling skin cancer AND had 9 radiation treatments a month before the race AND she raised $90K for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!

All I can say is:

forgetyourage

Too many people use their age as a reason not to do things.  Life is too short to not explore your potential and see how far you can take your body and mind.  I’m looking forward to My Running Story to keep going and going….. What will you be doing when you’re 70? or 90?  I think it’s time to start working on that bucket list……

From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)

Race Report-CYA 6/12/24: First Time & Last Place

….and My Story Runs On….

Well, I wasn’t really in last place but I was second to last ;)  and you know what, I AM OK with that!

results

The reason I started this blog was to encourage runners to write their own running story. Everyone’s journey is different..more importantly, I like to encourage people to get out of their comfort zone and try new things when running.

This was my first time participating in this type of a timed event.  Basically you pick the time (I was going to do 12 hours but I had to drop down to 6 as explained in this blog post).  In this race, there was a 3 mile trail (Brownlow Trail in Prescott) and you get to go around as many times as you want, can, etc.  As a first timer, and I’ll speak for the other 3 friends that I convinced to do it with me, it was awesome!  People asked me if I was crazy and why would I do this? It’s hard to explain but I’ll give it a try…

You could be someone who doesn’t want to be pressured against the clock that most races impose (like being at the end of a marathon with a swag wagon on your ass because you have to finish by a specific time) OR you might like the security of being on a shorter trail where you have consistency/safety for the run OR you might just want to challenge yourself to see how many miles you can finish in X amount of hours OR you might just want to do your first ultra marathon (over 26.2 miles) and you can pick a time that you know you could do that in (for example if you can’t do it in 6 hours, you could pick the 12 hour event and you would have PLENTY of time to finish 26.2 miles)….not sure I’ve still explained this well enough but long story short, I loved the fact that I knew I had 6 hours on the course and I could do whatever I want!

Since I’ve been dealing with an injury, I decided I was not going to push my body and changed my mind frame from “getting as many miles as possible in” to “I’m just going to have a good time today”.

The race was put on my Solemates’ Ultra Running Events and Mark and Sharill did an amazing job! First, I’m soooo glad that they did a preview run of the course so we could know what it was like. The biggest thing we learned (even though the race was called CYA Cool Your Ass because it’s cooler in Prescott), it really wasn’t that much cooler ;) Knowing this helped us prepare for the heat on race day.

The course was well marked, there was a major aid station at the start (which you run by every 3 miles…another plus of these types of events) with amazing stuff. There was the usual (electrolyte replacement and water) AND then there was the “other” stuff:  dates, potatoes, M + M’s, fruit, grilled cheese, etc. They really took care of the runners! There was also a mini aid station in the middle of the 3 mile course with water/electrolytes. So basically you were covered every 1.5 miles.

The 3 mile trail had a variety of terrain.  Some single track but it was mostly double track. Some of it was rockier and some of it was sandier.  Overall it was a good mix of trail.  Great thing about knowing the trail is you knew when Mount Orth was coming too.  This was the big hill at the end.  There was only one shady spot on the trail and we took several photos at our favorite bench. It never seemed repetitive to me which was odd.  I stayed as present as possible and focused on seeing different things every time. It was also great to “run into” other friends along the route.

view

Kicking it on the bench

Kicking it on the bench

This is one of my ChiRunners and Mountain Miler friends Steve Orth ;)

This is one of my ChiRunners and Mountain Miler friends Steve Orth ;)

Due to my injury, I knew I needed to really listen to my body and take it easy. This is another thing I loved about this event.  After 9 miles, I could feel my heel bugging me a bit so I decided to sit a loop out while my friends did one without me. It was a tough decision to make but I knew it was the right thing to do.  So I stretched, iced and did some facebook updates. I also decided to ChiWalk most of the race.  I wanted to run and I did on downhills and flats but knew I wasn’t in any hurry to get any mileage in so I just enjoyed the scenery and time with my friends.

My stuff!

My stuff!

When I signed up for this event, I’ll admit that I was intimidated by it.  I know my friends were too.  The great thing is that there were competitive people who were trying to beat the clock but there were also a lot of “regular” people who were just out there to see what they could do in 6 hours.

I think I’m hooked now to a new type of event!  Most of these races usually start with 12 hours which is not realistic for most “regular” runners. I appreciate that Solemates’ has a 6 hour option that is a more reasonable time frame for “regular” runners.

Thanks to Solemates’ for hosting an amazing event. Thanks to my friends who decided to get of their comfort zone to join me!

So who wants to join me for their next one:  Solemates’ Thanksgiving Tryptophun Rhuns the weekend of Thanksgiving at White Tanks?  I’ll probably be marathon training or something by then and it would be a perfect “training run”. Another benefit of these types of events:  you can make it a long training run and you don’t have to worry about bathrooms, food and water.  Plus you get a medal, shirt and other cool swag!

Swag!

Swag!

Me being goofy!

Me being goofy!

Not registered yet but pretty sure I’m in…who’s with me?

From My Running Story to Yours….

(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)

My Worst Running Tragedy so far….

….and My Story Runs On….

Tragedy definition according to Google:

  1. an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe.
  2. a play dealing with tragic events and having an unhappy ending, especially one concerning the downfall of the main character.

Both of these definitions work for me at this point.  Although the 2nd definition is a bit dramatic, it works for the way I feel right now…or at least as of yesterday.

I started this blog yesterday and had to draft it because something just wasn’t clicking for me.  And lo and behold, when I “let go” of my obsession with this tragedy, all of the sudden everything became very clear to me.

Let’s start where I was yesterday:

If you read my last blog post, What?  The ChiRunning Instructor is injured??, you know I am now facing an injury, plantar fasciitis.  Since my last blog post I’ve been doing everything I know to do from rolling my foot on a frozen water bottle 3-4x a day to stretching daily and not running (only ran 3x in the last 13 days).  I have to say it’s feeling much better and I’m looking forward to an appointment with Dr. Calvin this week from One Accord Physical Therapy (where I teach my ChiRunning classes) to get a more detailed assessment.

So where is the tragedy?  I have 2 races that are coming up that I REALLY REALLY want to do for various reasons.

  1. My first one, the CYA (Cool Your Ass) 6/12/24hr on 7/12 in Prescott.  I originally signed up for the 12 hours for this race since it would be pushing me outside my comfort zone.  The longest run for me has been 8 hours and 24 minutes (31 miles).  I’ve also completed 5 marathons so I figured I might just be able to do 50 miles in 12 hours….so this was my next big goal this year. I also wanted to be part of the 2014 Equality Walk but couldn’t commit to the time involved so I figured I could use this as a fundraiser to help them raise money (I walked 100 miles in 2012 for Marriage Equality in AZ).  I’ve been training intensely for the last 3 months for this event which is pretty much how I allowed my injury to happen.
  2. The 2nd one is the Skyline to Sea Marathon on October 11th.  My boyfriend and I are doing a road trip to Napa, CA for my cousin’s wedding and of course I had to google races in the area and found this one.  I wanted to do this one because it sounds sooo pretty.  I love trails more and more I figured it would be great timing after the CYA race.  It’s also a chance for me to do a race solo. I love love being a running coach and running with my friends but sometimes, I like to have a race or an event that is just mine and this one was perfect.

Until yesterday, I’ve been obsessing about these 2 races and trying to figure out how I could still make them happen.  I kept saying I wasn’t going to complete 12 hours because that would be just stupid on a foot with an injury but I’ll do the best that I can and see what happens.  (As much as I believed these words, I know myself enough to say that if I have 12 hours, I probably will take them because I don’t want to stop before I’m supposed to)  And on that day, who knows with the adrenaline, etc, I might not feel any pain in my foot and be OK. Who am I kidding? I also kept thinking about all that mileage that I built up over the last 3 months and how I’m “wasting” it and I’m going to have to start all over again….I’ve literally been a wreck about these events since I realized what my injury was….

So yesterday I stopped writing this original blog and decided to take a break and stretch and ice again.  I felt my frustration as I was trying to relax my calf muscles while I stretched and could body sense that relaxation was not happening. All of the sudden I thought:

What if I do the 6 hour race instead of 12 hours?  What if I decide not to run that race in CA in October?

surrender

My body literally relaxed immediately and I had a complete sense of peace and joy.  Body sensing is a huge component of ChiRunning/Walking and I’m amazed every time I have a moment like this how true it is…your body always knows best and will tell you what to do…you may know it as your “gut instinct”  and it really does work if you know how to pay attention to your body and what it’s telling you. I’m getting better and better at it because of ChiRunning but it still amazes me that it works when needing to make a decision about something. I think about it, detach and let go of the outcome and listen to my body.

Fast forward to after this epiphany:

I realized that it would not be the end of the world to drop down to the 6 hours because it would be safe and there would be no temptation to do anymore than that (and if I’m feeling my heal during this time I will stop). And as much as I REALLY REALLY wanted to do the race in CA, I know I would be rushing through the training and potentially making this injury worst. The race will be there next year….and if not, there will always be another race!

All of the sudden, I’m feeling so much better about my recovery process.  I’m getting excited about other things that I can focus on. I’m looking forward to spending more time doing strength training, especially for my glute medius and core muscles.  I’m looking forward to spending more time stretching (which I rarely do).  Last but not least, as I taught another ChiRunning workshop this morning, I realized, I can get back to the basics and remember what it was like to train for a 5K!  Almost like I’m starting the process all over again but with more knowledge now. (Have you ever said I’d go back to high school but only knowing what I know now?  Same idea ;) ).

Self awareness can be a curse and a blessing at the same time. This whole time I knew I was creating all this extra negative energy about these races but I allowed myself to be self aware yet let it be OK to be mad about it…..NOW, I’m over it (even though still bummed) and I know that I’m only going to be stronger physically and mentally when I train my body again for my longer distances. expectnothing

Have you ever had a running tragedy?  How did you handle it?

From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)

What? The ChiRunning Instructor is injured??

….and My Story Runs On….

A ChiRunning Instructors biggest nightmare….INJURY!  Please don’t let it be true….

Well, it is true and I’m feeling compelled to blog about it and share my experience with you. How can I be injured when I’ve been teaching ChiRunning for 4 years and I KNOW that my form is good?  Of course not perfect but good enough to know that it’s not my form that caused it.

First of all, let me preface this with saying that yes, we say ChiRunning is injury-free. These are two very powerful words in the running world and many people seek us out for this. And the ChiRunning instructors have had some great conversations on our secret facebook page about injuries and the words “injury-free”.  To summarize, ChiRunning does absolutely lend itself to being less prone to injury than “conventional” running.  From arm swing to foot placement to cadence, we teach people how to use their bodies correctly to move forward without injury.  But is it a gaurantee  that it’s injury-free?  OF COURSE NOT.

Why?  Because there are other variables that can cause injury that are not related to the form.  You could have a postural distortion that requires more correction than technique and need a physical therapist to help you OR in my case, you could’ve made some STUPID moves in your training. So now it’s time for….

Confessions of a ChiRunning Instructor:

One of the things I love most about ChiRunning is that it’s taught me to body sense, listen to my body and be my own detective. Sounds basic but this is not a skill that runners hone in on.  Conventional running tells you to run through the pain and fix it later….not a smart plan if you want to run for the rest of your life because this will backfire on you at some point.

So about a week ago and a half ago, I started feeling pain in my right heel.  I thought maybe I had bruised it since I have some new minimal trail shoes and maybe hit a rock and didn’t remember it. At least this is what I was praying for since I knew in my head what the other alternative was…..yep, you guessed it…. the plant!  I’m talking about plantar fasciitis.  Ugh, are you kidding me?  I already knew the symptoms but looked them up again hoping that my detective work was wrong…

Nope, pretty sure it’s the onset on plantar fasciitis.  If you’ve never had this, I hope you never get it. THANKFULLY, I feel I’ve caught it early enough to “fix” it.  Here is a great article about Everything You Need to Know about Plantar Fasciitis.

plantar_fasciitus

 

So how could this be?  Well, I know for sure it’s not my form.  I’ve been recently video taped by Danny Dreyer himself and I know I’m not heel striking, crunching my toes or toe running. So what could it be?  Here is what I discovered through my detective work:

  • I ran 15 days straight without taking a day off from 5/29-6/12.  (I’m training for a 12 hour event in July which will be another blog post). I got so sucked in to getting mileage and was having so much fun running (yes, crazy I know) that I just never ended up taking a day off.
  • Within this 15 days, I also hiked Havasupai.  11.5 miles in on a Friday and 11.5 miles out on a Sunday.  I didn’t train for hiking since I’ve been running so much and I’ve run more than that so I didn’t think it would effect me…WRONG!  There were some steep uphills/downhills and lots of wash (sand). So even though I really focused on my form, my body was not used to those conditions and I’m sure my calves were working harder than they have in years. Seriously, I don’t remember last time I had tight calves until this trip.
  • Within this time, my weekly mileage went from 33 miles the week ending 5/26 up to 52 miles and 43 miles for those 15 days.  REALLY LISA?  Is that a 10% increase in your weekly mileage?  NO! What the heck what I thinking?  I don’t know but I’m surely kicking myself now.

So even though I’m glad I had another aha moment (or as I tell my friends, these are signs of us “growing up”…lol) that I could learn from and write about, I’m annoyed at myself now because I have to take time off running! As much as it’s KILLING ME, I know this is the advice I would give any of my runners.  I also know better than to beat myself up about a mistake I made as a running coach in my own training.  Thank you for the lesson, Universe and thank you for making me a good detective, ChiRunning!

So I’m crossing my fingers that 5 days off along with a lot of stretching, rolling my foot on frozen water bottles (what I’m doing right now), gravel walking, and gripping towels with my toes, are going to make the difference. This is not the best time for this to be happening since I have a big event on 7/12 but it’s already put me in a place to make some different decisions about that event if I have to.

Please cross your fingers for me ;)

From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)