Friday, May 30, 2008

Better-Than-Nothing Runs

Tis the season...this is the time of year when my time for running is at it's least and work hours are the greatest. I love what I do and do what I love so there is no need to feel sorry for me:) I've found the best way to get through these times is to launch a sequence of "better than nothing runs" that keep up my running fitness and motivational momentum until I have a little more time on my hands.

The BTN runs always start with 5 minutes of walking to warm up properly and conclude with 5 minutes of walking to cool down. Then it is a progressive ladder of faster running intervals for 30 minutes. For example, run 4 minutes at 9:30 pace, walk 1 minute to recover, 9:15 for 4 minutes...9:00...8:45 and so on. It is a short but sweet workout that kicks my butt and I get more value for my time. I run this workout 3 times per week and one more 45 minute run to top it off. I couldn't do this as frequently when my mileage is up higher because it would be too much and my body would not recover run to run. But because I am running every other day for shorter periods of time, it works.

Looking forward to things calming down in the next few weeks and getting back to my normal summer program with trail runs, mt. biking and long runs. Can't wait...

Special Note:
Girls On The Run is an organization that teaches middle school age girls how to respect themselves, proper sportsmanship & how to live a healthy lifestyle. It's a fabulous program and now one of their girls is up for an award!

Chicagoan Nichyria Byrd, an 11 year-old participant in Girls on the Run, has been nominated for ESPN's first-ever "Youth Achievement Award" as part of the 2008 ESPYs.

Nichyria, a 5th grader at Ariel Community Academy, is one of only five nominees from across the country, and the only from the Midwest. Her nomination reflects not just her own leadership on and off the course, but also celebrates the achievement of every Girls on the Run participant.

The winner will be selected based on online voting through June 15th, so we're asking everyone to vote for Nichyria today, and forward this e-mail to your friends, family and co-workers as well.

Click here to vote for Nichyria today!

Happy Trails,


Monday, May 19, 2008

You Get What You Give

You never know when your past is going to hit you. Sometimes it is a full force blow to the mind and other times, an emotional flood of wonderful life experiences you instantly wish you could be experiencing all over again.

I was recently writing my blog on and looking for a link on Eco-Challenge, an endurance race I have done three times. When out of the blue a link to a YouTube video pops up in my google search screen. It is a 10-year Tribute to the race that changed my life and I literally got chills watching it all over again.

Racing in the Eco-Challenge; Borneo 2001, New Zealand 2002 and Fiji in 2003 gave me a life's worth of lessons that I put to good use every day of my life. Some of us learn with books, some with a therapist (tried this too), but for me, the ultimate challenge of learning to work as a team through what is billed as the most grueling endurance event in the world was the perfect platform. I grew up creating adventure where ever I could. So Eco came into my life at the perfect time and challenged my mind and body to grow and expand my limitations. One woman's torture is another's opportunity to break her own perceived barriers.

I must admit, I really miss those days but still find a good challenge here and there to keep me honest. Because getting a little dirty, pushing beyond my limits makes me feel alive and happy.

Enjoy the clip...

Happy Trails,


Monday, May 12, 2008

When In Rhone...

I just returned from one of the prettiest half marathon courses I've ever run.  We brought a team(Chicago Endurance Sports) of about 100 runners to run the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon, and although it was hilly, they ran, they conquered, and they tasted wine at the end!  Now that's not what I typically recommend or even do myself post race, but when in Rhone, I mean Rome...

One of the coaching lessons I've learned in the over 15 years I've been at it is to go with the flow.  Some races you get out there and hammer, while others you go with what the day brings.  And when you run a race through Santa Barbara Wine Country, that means you make friends with the hills and enjoy the wine at the end.  And you can see from the picture that we did just that.  It was the perfect end to a challenging season.  

These days, running a race can mean so many things for so many different people.  There are charity runners racing for a cause, the elite runners trying to get the win, and every-day mortals getting away for a fun-filled weekend with a challenge thrown in the middle.  What ever your reason, find a race that you can enjoy.  Because if you're not having fun out there, what's the point.

Happy Trails,


Monday, May 05, 2008

BeeWell Miles

It's always great when you can run for a reason. Sometimes that reason is very personal, while other times it can really make a difference in someone's life. I have been working with Bumble Bee Foods on their new campaign to inspire people to get active, healthy and make a difference for Y-ME.

I write a monthly column for Health Magazine and the Girls Gotta Move Running Club. Bumble Bee and Health Magazine have joined forces to create the BeeWell Miles Program. Between May 1 and June 30, 2008, log the miles you walk or run at to support our $150,000 donation to Y-ME. When over 1 million miles are logged within that period, Bumble Bee will make an additional donation of $50,000 to Y-ME. Look for the pink Bumble Bee premium tuna cans at your grocer and support Y-ME.

Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization™ (Y-ME) is a Chicago-based national nonprofit organization with the mission to ensure, through information, empowerment and peer support, that no one faces breast cancer alone. Y-ME® does not raise money for research. It is here today for those who can’t wait for tomorrow’s cure.

It is really a unique campaign and it has a lot of great features for runners and walkers. You can log your miles, track your nutrition and learn from the tips and articles too! Check it out and start logging your miles for a cause. Together we can move and make a difference.