The Whole30 Challenge

First off I hope everyone had a great holiday with their loved ones! I spent Christmas Eve with the boy’s family and spent most of Christmas day cooking for my family dinner. Everything turned out super yummy (especially the desserts!), and I successfully fooled Santa into thinking I was good again this year. He came through and dropped off a new pair of Brooks running shoes for me along with a few other running goodies that were on my list (including signing me up for a half marathon in March!), so I’d say it was another pretty successful Christmas. 🙂

After all the sweets I’ve indulged in over this past weekend I’ve started thinking about getting back on track. I’ve been keeping up with my runs/gym workouts over the holidays, but I decided not to commit back to healthy eating until the new year arrived. There are still way too many treats in my house, and since I don’t indulge all the time I figured a week of treats wouldn’t hurt…especially since I’m keeping up with the gym at least. (It cancels out, right?!)

I read a few months ago about the Whole30 Challenge, and I decided then that I’d like to try it out as a “reset” with the new year. I’ve done a little more research and after treating myself this last few days I’m ready to officially commit to the challenge. (If you want to know more about what it is click here: http://www.whole30.com/)

I decided to post it here to hopefully help me stay accountable. It’s going to be tough…no sugar (except in fruit), no dairy…but I’m anxious to see if it really helps me feel better. I think it will be a good way to reset my metabolism after all the junk I’ve eaten between Thanksgiving and Christmas!

I’m all for setting goals that are realistic, so I decided starting Jan. 2nd would be the best for me. I don’t have any long runs that need extra carbo-loading, so I shouldn’t have any excuse to give in to the pasta and rice I love so much! Since it’s 30 days starting on the 2nd will give me New Year’s Day to get those last minute cravings taken care of, and I’ll be done just in time for beer and nachos on Super Bowl day! I decided the Super Bowl and our annual SB party would be the perfect way to celebrate making it through my 30 day challenge. Then the next day of course will be right back on the healthy train!

I don’t think this challenge is realistic for me to do long term (I love cheese way too much!), but I am curious to see how much easier it will be once I get through those first few days. I’m hoping I can learn a few things that I can maintain long term and keep in my routine once the challenge is done (I’m sure I don’t really NEED sugar in my coffee!), and I’ll be checking in along the way to make sure I stay accountable for my goal!

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My Year of Running 2014

Every year Miss Zippy posts a “link-in” questionnaire about how your year of running was. It’s always fun to take a look back at all the hard work I’ve done throughout the year, so I decided to join in and give these questions a go. If you want to join in the fun click the link at the bottom of this post to link in your own response!

Ok here goes…

■Best race experience? This one is easy. The California International Marathon without a doubt! This was the race I worked towards all year long, and I walked away from it with a PR of 21 minutes over last year’s CIM. It was also my running partner’s first full which made it even more fun being a part of her huge accomplishment.

■Best run? Hmmm…this one’s tough. There were plenty of bad runs in 2014 to go along with the good, but I think probably the best was my first 20 mile run this year. It just felt good to hit that number again!

■Best new piece of gear? Easily my new Garmin Forerunner 220!
wpid-20141114_152011.jpg

■Best piece of running advice you received? I struggled a lot mentally this year. I was putting way too much pressure on the numbers, and in that I lost my joy for running. I think the best thing I read all year was “Run grateful because every mile is a gift.” The numbers don’t matter if you don’t enjoy the journey. And this hobby of mine is a gift because too many people I love can’t enjoy it, but I can…so I do it for them.

■Most inspirational runner? By far my dad. I’ve had the pleasure of spending many miles by his side, but undoubtedly my favorite was having him by my side for that first 26.2 miles I ever finished. And the old man is twice my age and still easily out runs me!

■If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Tough, sweaty, emotional, but most importantly fun!

Now it’s your turn! Answer your questions and then link in here:
http://misszippy1.com/2014/12/year-of-running-2.html

CIM 12.7.14

Hello blog world! Man I’ve been seriously slacking on my posts lately! So what’s happened since my last post? Well let’s see…I’m a year older as of 2 weeks ago, and I finished my second marathon. Now I’m busy getting ready for Christmas that completely snuck up on me this year!

Ok, so back to that marathon thing… When I ran the CIM last year (my first marathon) it was 21 degrees at start time (burrr), but I’m happy to report that start time this year was a toasty 48 degrees! It made for a much better start and run overall I must say. The first time around I finished at 6:06:28 after a hamstring cramp at mile 17 and hobbling the rest of the way in. This year…no cramping! I came across the finish line with a monster PR of 21 minutes with an official time of 5:45:43.

I’m so happy to see the improvements my body has made over the past year. It’s hard to compare this race to that race, but one thing I love about running the same race each year is being able to actually compare and judge my progress on the same course. It’s also nice to see the strength in my legs help me recover quicker this year, so I’m happy to know all my hard work over the past 12 months really paid off.

This was my running partner’s first marathon, so I had a blast being able to run with her. She asked me about a year and a half ago to take her out on a run to help her get back into shape. That very first run she couldn’t even make it through a mile, so being able to watch her improve from there has been the best part. I’ve always wanted to be able to inspire others, and I feel truly honored that she trusted me enough to listen to my advice and training guidance to help her accomplish such a huge goal. Not much can compare to crossing that marathon finish line for the first time, but getting to do it a second time with someone I’ve seen get stronger and more confident every day was pretty dang close!

Here are a few pics from race day…

cim expo
One thing I was really disappointed about with the Nike Women’s Half in SF earlier this year was not being able to snap a pic with my name on the window in Union Square because it was so busy. I was really excited the CIM decided to do their own little version of that this year, and I had to have a pic of my name up there with all the others!

cim proof
This is probably my favorite finish line photo ever! I couldn’t be happier to have taken every step from training runs to 26.2 miles next to this lady!

cim finish
I love the smile on her face! So proud to have been apart of her journey, and so grateful my brother was at the finish line to catch the best part of any race…the finish line hug. Because sweaty hugs are the best kind 🙂

cim medal
And last but not least the bling proudly displayed alongside my other race medals.

It’s safe to say that even over a week later I’m still rocking a pretty mean runner’s high. I felt overwhelmed with my accomplishment the first time around, but the second time was even better being able to see so much improvement in myself over the year.

My 2014 racing season has officially come to an end, but I’m already planning ahead for 2015. My goal for next year is to back off the racing schedule a little bit and focus on particular races and getting faster. Next up on the agenda is the Shamrock’n Half here in Sacramento coming up in March. I know the course well, so I KNOW I can finally take down that half marathon PR that’s been standing for too long! I also already have the San Francisco Marathon on the 2015 schedule, and I’ve heard I’m going to be running the CIM again as well. So after a week off from running, workouts, and healthy eating I’m officially back to training next Monday!

After all that 2014 brought I can’t wait to see what 2015 holds for me. So until next time….! 🙂