Diggin’ Deep

My plan called for a pretty easy running week. Recovery on the track (although I hate the 200), some easy six milers, and no crazy mileage tomorrow. There was one workout I wanted to get done because I haven’t done it at all this training season. The 10 tempo. It gives a strong gage of where you’re at. And to be honest, I’m tired. This whole School Director thing is hard. I feel like I’m always playing catch up. I’m not as effective as I know I can be, which feels frustrating. At the same time, I’m so happy at work. I love going to school, and I’m excited about improving. How can I not smile when scholars say “Mrs. Lowry, look!” and show me their bubbles in their mouths? They sure were silent in the hallway and were walking on the white tape!

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But…I feel like I’m always behind. Everything feels like it is planned so last minute. That’s totally not my style. I feel this weird combination of being stressed and completely satisfied. I love our school, I love our scholars, and I appreciate my team more than they’ll ever know…but woah it’s information overload. It’s not just the work, I just have this huge responsibility to deliver our mission to families who have been promised a college prepatory education. School is always on my mind. I want EQ3 to be absolutely perfect. I think about the tiniest details because I want so desperately for Equitas Academy Elementary Schools to be the best elementary schools in Los Angeles. That being said, I was tired this evening, but I went out for a 10 tempo and dug deep. After an “I’m excited because it’s Friday” mile one, and a “Oops…I went out too fast” mile two I considered turning around and calling it quits. After I knew that was a bad idea, I considered making it an easy run and just doing a slow 10. All I was thinking about were the meatballs sitting in my fridge ready to be eaten and the bottle of wine I’d be drinking on the couch, but that little voice told me to dig deep. Cheesy, but this type of workout builds grit and confidence not only in the running world but in life. I could have run an easy 10, and nobody would have known…but I pushed myself hard for a Friday evening run and I’m proud. Yeah, I’ve run way faster than this before, but this was tough, and I pushed through. I challenge you to push yourself next time you set out for a tempo and just aren’t feeling it. It builds character, and teaches you that you really are capable of more.

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The turkey meatballs waiting for me at home were even tastier than ever!

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And in other news…

My “recovery” run with RunMDR. Brent’s been joining us on our runs!
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Sunday afternoon walk in my beautiful neighborhood…

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And I’ll close with sharing my mid-week treat of Ubatuba Acai Bowls and empanadas delivered straight to my desk through Postmates. This could be dangerous. Ubatuba, you’re worth the hype. Acai, strawberries, bananas and cocoa nibs. Yum.FullSizeRender_1 FullSizeRender_2

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21 DONE + City Race Scavenger Hunt Review!

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Kindergarteners, I love you but you are exhausting! Stress and lack of sleep made me especially nervous about this week’s 21 mile run. Our students are making so much progress, but I’m struggling to balance all the work. This upcoming week my focus is on prioritizing my time, getting enough sleep, and not expecting perfection. I met Victor and Ellen at The Starting Line in Venice at 7:30 on Saturday morning. He ran the first 10ish mile chunk with us up through Mar Vista, then we headed up towards Santa Monica to meet Ellen’s friend Lauren. Poor Lauren ended up falling and cutting herself, so we looped around a bit while she cleaned herself up (hence the weird looping map below) and ran into our other friend Lauren AND Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yup, he was on his bike riding down Ocean Blvd in Santa Monica. The miles really do fly by when you meet up with a bunch of people. We tried not to look at our watch and finally looked down when it dinged 20 miles, and were super surprised to only have 1 left. We also never got hungry by fueling early on. Long runs really do get easier the more you do them.

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  • Friday DinnerMendocino Farms Turkey+Avo Sandwich and my FAVORITE Curried Couscous
  • Friday Sleep: Went to bed at 11:45pm and woke up with no alarm at 5am. 
  • Pre-Run Breakfast: English muffin with peanut butter, honey and banana. Works well for me!
  • Post-Run Snack: Spinach + Avocado Quesadilla
  • Long Run Fuel: Swedish fish + pretzels. Started fueling earlier.
  • Long Run Hydration: Beach water fountains. Didn’t have any water for the first 9 so I was pretty thirsty.
  • Long Run Outfit: Boston shirt, lulu shorts, run happy hat.
  • How Did It Feel: Today felt great. We went super easy, and even at 21 I felt like I could keep going. Hamstring is feeling meh, so I really need to work on that.

Stopping and smelling the roses on the water break…

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In other running news…

Check out Victor’s awesome video he made from the Santa Monica Classic. Marta, Ellen and I are about a minute in.

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This is what tired looks like…

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I’m in for Boston 2016! After a little bit of back and forth, I finally decided to register for the Boston Marathon. When I asked Brent what he thought, he looked at me like I was crazy and said, “Why wouldn’t you run the Boston Marathon any year you qualified?” I have no idea what January-April will look like, but I do know I love running, and this experience training for New York has not been stressful, so I think he’s right. My running life goal was always to run Boston, and now that I’ve done that running is much more relaxing and fun. And I can’t be all Equitas all the time. I also have the luxury of not having any kids right now. Running Boston might be a little tougher with little scramblers running around in a few years. I also know I would regret not signing up for the race on Marathon Monday, especially considering how hard runners work to qualify. IMG_1870

And Saturday afternoon after the long run rather than sitting around and bing watching Netflix, Alaina, Jared and I did the Chinatown Race LA Scavenger Hunt. It was SO MUCH FUN! The hunt started in the heart of Chinatown, and we had three hours to run around answering all the clues. We had to translate characters from Chinese to English and find those items (thanks for your help, Peter!), locate murals, count lanterns, find Mr. Lee roaming around a market, and so much more. Despite winning second place (second weekend in a row..) we had a great time. IMG_1863 (1)

Alaina getting intense. FullSizeRender (68) Finding Mr. Lee!FullSizeRender (69)

I would TOTALLY do another scavenger hunt. It’s so my kind of activity. Running around, being outside, exploring. Brent missed out because he was in College Station for A&M Football, but he would be all about the trivia. Apparently they’re gonna have a Disneyland hunt. Alaina’s 30th birthday idea!?

Santa Monica Classic 10K Race Review 2015

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Hot. Humid. Painful. Yet I still can’t wait to run another 10K. I have so much respect for 10Kers. It’s such a painful distance. Long enough to be distance, short enough to be a sprint. It’s like the 800 of distance running. I’m eager to master the art of the 10K. I’ll make this short and sweet because I have 10,000 things to do before school tomorrow morning, but in the spirit of balance, I’m gonna take some time to reflect on this race. The Santa Monica Classic is back after a year hiatus. I’ve never run it before, and thought it would be a good speed test before the New York Marathon. Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 8.41.14 PM

I’d been dealing with some stomach issues all week, so I was nervous about the race. Not because of performance, but because I didn’t want my stomach to be the reason I failed. An overload of probiotics and a diet of mostly white carbs on Saturday set me up for a decent race on Sunday. I worked HARD on Sunday. Don’t be fooled by the smile. At mile 3 while dumping water on my head I seriously questioned my decision to sign up for this race. During mile 4 as I was running uphill, struggling to run under a 7 minute pace, I knew signing up was a mistake. Miles 5 and 6 I managed a 6:31 and a 6:23 and just kept my sight on the finish line. I wanted to quit. FullSizeRender (64)

When I crossed the finish line I was super annoyed because I thought I was 4th female overall, but later learning that starting a little further back in the corral meant I was the 2nd place woman out of 700ish, only beat by Bria Wetsch. I’m OK with that, but still annoyed that my pace was the same as a half marathon pace. My legs just didn’t want to move faster. I’ll blame that on the heat and lack of any form of tapering 🙂 Ellen was the 10th woman to cross the finish line, and Marta was on pace to finish top ten, but stopped for a friend and still managed 14th. Out of 700 women. Amazing! Marta also had NO PAIN after a few weeks of dealing with some ITBS issues. She’s all ready for Chicago in a few weeks! Keep foam rolling like a crazy woman. The Three Amigos celebrated with Gjusta and pool time. During this whole dealio, Brent was off running 20 miles.

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Thinking of running this race next year?

PROs:

  • Easy race day packet pick up
  • Plenty of parking options (but you will likely have to pay)
  • Lots of porta-potties and toilets
  • Nice tech shirt!
  • Lots of post-race snacks. LOTS! Like enough for me to take some as extra snacks for school.
  • I personally liked the course. The uphill portion sucked, but I love running on Ocean Avenue and on Main Street.
  • One turn around to wave your friends on
  • Post-race festival was on the pier

CONs:

  • Start and finish are about a mile apart
  • HOT TIME OF YEAR
  • Timing issues at the end. My official time was 15 seconds off my garmin time.
  • Did I mention I was sweating before I even started? Maybe an earlier start time next year?

OK. Back to work. Have a happy work week!