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!


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.


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!



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?


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.



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!)

I won $5,000! You can too….

….and My Story Runs On….

OMG!  The coolest thing happened to me yesterday! I won $5,000!  Not only is this the first time I’ve ever won this amount of money but the way I did it is even more ridiculous!

I won!

I won!

Several people questioned me when I became a Krew member for the Krowd Fit program, wandering about their legitimacy and whether or not it would be worth it. Well, I’m living proof to say that it is worth it!

A trainer friend of mine turned me on to it and I’ll admit, I was skeptical. She told me about it January and it wasn’t until March that I finally signed up.  I’m always leary of any multi-level marketing type product and have sworn that I would never get involved with one.

But this seemed to be different. After reading every page on the website and emailing the CEO, James Miller (who by the way responded to me immediately and even talked to me on the phone), I decided this was a system I could stand behind.

BOTTOM LINE:  Wear my Body Media Fit every day and do as many things as possible to stay healthy (and lose weight), log in daily, get sweepstakes entries (the more steps and vigorous activity I get, the more entries!) and rest is “luck”.  I say that in quotes because luck has some to do with it since we are all in a “pool” but I have a little control over it by doing more than what “they” are doing (you can compare yourself to the rest of the population as you enter your info).

Screen shot of how I'm comparing to the "others" which really motivates me!

Screen shot of how I’m comparing to the “others” which really motivates me!

Not only have I won $5,000 but 2 of my team members won $125 each for getting 8 hours of sleep a night!

I joined and started my team at the end of March and this has all happened in 2 months time.

Of course I love the money but the biggest reason I decided to be a Krew member is because I believe this to be a very effective way to get people to change their lifestyle to lose weight…and hey, if you could possibly win some money for it, better yet!

I remember one day I was logging my info at the end of the day and I was at 9988 steps.  You get a sweepstakes entry for every 5,000 steps (up to 20,000 steps). What did I do?  I logged out, put my Body Media Fit back on and walked around a little bit to make my 10,000 steps for an extra entry.

The catch?  Not really any catches….it’s a monthly membership of $19.99 to be a member and $29.99 to be a Krew member (people sign up under me and I get compensated based on the number of people.  This is a great option for anyone in the health and wellness field).

The pros:  You get quite a bit for that $19.99 a month, including the Body Media Fit (similar to the one used by the Biggest Loser), lots of info for members, a secret facebook page if you are signed up under me, and the possibility of winning anywhere from $125-$5000 on a monthly-quarterly basis if you use it.  Pretty simple, right?!

The cons: the armband is not the most fashionable thing in the world but I’ve chose not to wear it if it doesn’t go with my outfit or I just don’t feel like it.  You basically have a choice to wear it but I wouldn’t take it off if you are working out and getting activity points and steps.  (I don’t wear it to sleep because it keeps telling me I’m not sleeping enough and that annoyed me so I’ve chosen not to win that sweepstakes ever!).  You also have to be diligent and log your info in every day.  It doesn’t take me that long at all but it is a daily part of my routine and I just do it.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, when I started promoting this, I said the first 12 people who signed up under me, could come to one of my ChiRunning or ChiWalking workshops ($135 value) for free because that’s how much I believe in it.   As of right now on 5/27/14, I have 5 team members and there are still 7 free spots left!

How do you sign up?  First, I’d want you to read more about it. Click here to check out their website and get info.  Once you have decided to join my team, you must sign up on this page so I get credit. As soon as you do, email me at easyfitnesssolutions@yahoo.com. If you think you can get 6 people to join you, you should sign up as a KREW member (once you get 6 people, your $29.99 membership is free)

No pressure at all but if you are in the weight loss process and need some motivation, this is a genius way to get you started and start changing your habits for life!

P.S. You can read a few more of my experiences, info on my website. Click here.

I really don’t know the odds but in 2 months, 3 out of 6 of us, won something!

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

You’re doing what at 69 years old?

….and My Story Runs On….

If you know me, you know that I LOVE LOVE when “older” people are doing amazing things when it comes to fitness and running. Too many people think it’s too late or just give up on themselves because of their age…and I always say it’s never too late!

Or as one of my oldest ChiRunning students, Richard “Doc” Gooding from Strategic Advantage, told me this morning “You’re as old as you think you are.” …. and that’s the truth!

You may remember his last testimonial that I posted on my blog on 10/13, Testimonial from a 68 year old Triathlete.

Well a few weeks ago, I was thinking about him and sent him an email to see how things were going. After I received his response, I invited him to join me on a trail run this morning.  As always, I’m so inspired by him….not just because of his age but I forgot that he had a pacemaker!  He actually had to ask his Doctor to change it because I guess most doctors don’t assume their patients are athletes and it was limiting his abilities.  Here was his email to me on 4/28/14:

“Things have been going really well. Here is the record…

Sept 2013 Lifetime Triathlon – came in 1st in my age group (65-69) beat second place by 45 min. Run pace 11:41 for 5K.

 Nov 2013 Phoenix 10K – Run pace 10:29 (time 1:05)

 April  2104 Lifetime Triathlon – came in 1st in age group (70-74) beat second place by 35 min. Run pace 11:29 for 5k.

 April 2014 Pat’s Run – Run pace 10:30 (time 43:10) beat my 2013 time by 9 MINUTES! (and by the way, he raised $3000 for this event as well!)
 So, things are going well…getting stronger and faster…and most importantly…injury free!”
I mean take a look at the guy, does he even look like he’s 69 years old?  Fountain of youth?  Well, exercise is known to slow down the aging process….physically and  mentally ;) He was even able to get off his blood pressure medication because of his lifestyle…and keep in mind he’s lost 30 lbs since I met him too!
Doc and I
Life is short so don’t let your age stop you. Everyone has to start somewhere and even if it’s baby steps along the way, as Doc said to me today ‘I’d rather die on a trail doing what I love to do than die on the couch watching TV.”
From My Running Story to Yours….

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