Why I Marched

Friday’s weather was awful. It was wet, classrooms were leaking, walkways were flooded, and our scholars were soaked. I love the rain, but our school (and our city) isn’t equipped to deal with it. Such heavy rain felt fitting on Inauguration Day. I didn’t watch any new coverage. After work I went on an easy ten mile run then went to dinner with Brent. Saturday was another story. It was crystal clear and the distant mountains were snow capped. Today we’re back to some of the strongest rain we’ve seen in Southern California in years. It’s as if California wanted to make sure we were able to march.

Saturday evening I was challenged with the question of why I was marching. I froze and became overwhelmed with emotion. I didn’t know how to easily express why I went out there. What was so beautiful about Saturday was the peaceful and positive energy. Everyone had their unique reason for marching. Today I’ve taken the time to process and express exactly why I marched.

I marched because I have three powerful sisters who are the hardest working and most inspirational women I know.

I marched because Mama taught us to be tough and Papa always called himself feminist. He hated it when people asked him if he wished he had a son.

I marched because I am disgusted by the way Donald Trump talks about women. This isn’t normal “guy talk”. It’s not the way all men talk with their friends.

I marched because I’m not convinced our “leader” thinks of women as more than arm candy. I feel he pities “ugly” women.

I marched because our girls at Equitas Academy #3 need to know they are loved, valued, and important.

Saturday was the start of a movement. 750,000 showed up here in LA, and the protest spread around the world. I am so inspired.


And in case you were wondering, yes…I still got my Boston long run in before heading downtown. Saturday was Kathy’s wedding day (photos coming soon) so we woke up extra early to run 17 miles at an 8:10 pace. Women are gritty ūüôā

I’ll leave you with this amazing poster created at Equitas…

Precision Running Lab

This morning I visited the Precision Running Lab in Santa Monica. I am so grateful for the opportunity! Kathy hooked me up with a guest pass and signed me up for the SoulCycle of running. This is David Siik, Founder of Precision Running at Equinox.

26jpTREADMILL2-master675.jpgIn preperation for Boston I’ve started¬†doing speed on the treadmill.¬†I’ve sucked it up and done track before, but I’m just¬†not a fan of running on a track. Ellen and I have¬†done speed on the road, but it’s tough because you’re so focused on footing (especially in the winter when it’s dark) and you’re looking at your watch trying to gage the pace. It’s hard to¬†get quality interval training. The road is better for a tempo.

On Wednesday Ellen and I ran side-by-side on the treadmill. We did a mile warm-up followed by 3 x (0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 0.2 miles) with half a mile recovery in-between sets. That’s 4.2 miles of faster running, and I ran a range between 9.7 and 10.0. I was¬†kinda sad the treadmill didn’t go faster ūüė¶ The LA Fitness gym we ran in was STEAMY. We were so sweaty at the end of the workout.

Today I did the Precision Running class as part of my long run. We programmed our treadmills with a recovery pace and a PR pace. The class started with a short warm-up followed by 60 seconds on and 60 seconds off gradually increasing the pace. We then took a bit of recovery then did another set focused in increasing recovery speed and maintaining the fast pace (mine was at a 9.5). For the last set we maintained that faster recovery pace (mine was 8.0) and working towards a PR pace (11.0 for me). It was super easy to navigate the intervals with this fancy Woodway treadmill.IMG_1687.JPG

What I loved most about this workout is that it’s perfect for all runners. We were constantly reminded that¬†“If you’re in this room you are a runner.” It’s a great way to do speed with your friends but specific to what you need. It’s also just nice to set a treadmill, feel a pace, and hang on. The energy in the class is great, but this is definitely something you can try on your own. It’s nice having an instructor tell you exactly what to do, but you can easily create your own interval workout and do it on the treadmill. David posted this workout on Women’s Health.


Thanks again Kathy for the experience. It was so much fun! Now I just need to find a way to afford this membership so I can go again….


Quick New Year Update

Happy Belated New Year! I’ve been back in LA for a week after rest and relaxation in Texas, Oklahoma, and Michigan. Here we are, the Johnson Family, before¬†New Year’s Eve dinner in Michigan. I love my family.

And this¬†photo was taken 36 hours later from our¬†annual¬†New Year Run from Kathy’s in Beverly Hills to the Santa Monica Pier. Apparently none of us knew where to smile.

The highlight¬†from the run was Jay Leno cheering us on. Yes. Jay Leno. We were¬†on the corner of Beverly and Lexington crossing at a 4-way stop and Kathy, who apparently sees him all the time, goes “Hey look, it’s Jay!” We all waved and smiled. I shouted¬†“Hey Jay!!” He pumped his arms and cheered us on from his classic car with¬†a huge smile on his face. He seemed¬†so kind and genuine. Nothing like running into¬†Jay Leno! We didn’t stop to snapchat the moment, but this is pretty much what he looked like. Yup, I googled this pic.


Boston training officially started on January 2nd. So excited for Boston 2017! I spent winter break running lower mileage with high quality workouts. Being in Michigan meant lots of treadmill running at the good ole Powerhouse Gym in West Bloomfield. I made those interesting with the following workouts.

  • 1 mile easy followed by¬†2 x 2 miles @ 6:19 pace 1 mile easy followed by¬†2 x 2 miles at 6:11 pace
  • 1 mile easy followed by 4 miles @ 6:11 pace
  • New Years Day Tempo @ 6:44 Paceimg_6150

It’s amazing how much faster I can run when I sleep 10 hours a night and my milage is lower.¬†Of course I never did back-to-back speed workouts. That’s just asking for injury. Always take a day or two in-between harder¬†workouts.

So I’m¬†still working on finalizing¬†my New¬†Years Resolution. Who ever said it needs to be 100% solidified on the first? I want this year’s focus to be¬†self-care. I am really good at overcommitting, rushing from one event to the next, and getting ready in 10 minutes. Watching a TV show? Unlikely. Taking a bath? Never. Reading a book? Only if it’s on audible. Using my diffuser I bought back in November?¬†Takes too long to set it up. I need to SLOOWWW DOWWWN. It can’t be good for me to be rush all day long. So what does this look like? I need your help. What am I missing? Here is what I have so far.

  1. Sunday I sleep in. No need to set an alarm.
  2. I ordered epsom salts (amazon, of course…too lazy to go to the store) and am going to take a bath once a week.
  3. I’m getting a massage twice a month. Oh the benefits of having¬†a super reasonably priced massage spot a two minute walk from my apartment. And being gifted a massage package. Gracias Brent!
  4. Taking Bart Yasso’s advice and running easy days super easy. I tend to rush back so that I can shower, make dinner, and plug back in with emails.¬†I need to just run easy with relaxed shoulders, and know that it’s OK if we eat dinner 15 minutes later. Easy days should feel meditative. Also, I need to trust¬†Bart. You have to run slow to run fast.¬†Today I ran 8 miles at 8:48. That will make totally ready for Wednesday’s 3 x (800-600-400-200) workout.

And I want to share how I did with my resolutions from last year. Comments in bold.

  • I‚Äôm committed to meeting¬†my school goals with 80% of scholars reading at or above grade level by the end of the year and 80% of scholars meeting/exceeding their MAP reading growth goal. (MET, WOO HOO!)
  • This is dumb, but I‚Äôd like to get¬†monthly pedicures so that I don‚Äôt have to be hide¬†my runner feet. (100% FAIL. DON’T EVEN FEEL BAD ABOUT IT. WOULD RATHER SPEND MONEY ON SOMETHING ELSE.)
  • 2015 was a year of PRs in the 10K, half and marathon. I think I have a few more¬†PRs left in me. I‚Äôd really¬†love¬†to PR in the 10K and marathon this year. I think I would pass out of excitement if I got close to a 3:10 in the marathon. I know I can do it if I stay injury free, have good race conditions at Boston, and wake up energized and ready to run. Oh the marathon, it‚Äôs so much more than what you‚Äôre capable of. Setting marathon goals really is a gamble. There is so much that is out of your control. (PR SET IN THE 10K, HALF, AND MARATHON. DID NOT PASS OUT OF EXCITEMENT, BUT WAS PRETTY DARN EXCITED WHEN I BROKE 3:10.)
  • I‚Äôd like to be¬†a little more adventurous with my weekly meal prep.¬†I‚Äôve got my go-to homemade pizza, roasted veggies, and tacos. I want to expand a bit. I started with making mole and salsa verde yesterday! Today I made a huge batch of curried couscous for this week‚Äôs lunch. (MET-ish. GOT INTENSE ABOUT COOKING¬†OF RUN FAST EAT SLOW RECIPES. STILL SOMETHING I WANT¬†TO FOCUS ON..)
  • I‚Äôm not sure how to make this measurable, but Brent and I want to take advantage of LA cultural events. We have a LACMA membership (thanks Mama and Papa), we‚Äôd like to go to more shows, visit more museums, attend more community events, etc. Maybe plan out two events a month? Today we‚Äôre driving up to Los Feliz to wander on Hillhurst and Vermont. Maybe pick up some Jeni‚Äôs ice-cream? (MET AND WANT TO CONTINUE. EXPLORED NEW NEIGHBORHOODS. TRIED NEW RESTAURANTS. TRAVELLED MORE.)
  • I‚Äôd also like to work on being on my phone less. Emails don‚Äôt have to be responded to immediately. I don‚Äôt have to refresh every 5 minutes. Any tips? (YEAH…STILL WORKING ON THIS ONE…)

I’m determined to learn how to balance being a school leader, training for Boston, and managing self-care. I’m not crazy for thinking it’s possible, right? Please share your¬†tips!

Will be back with long run notes now that it’s back to marathon training. Woo!