What Do You Do When the World Goes Insane? Run, of Course.

Yesterday, Friday the 13th, felt like a wonderfully lucky day for our family. Lots of great things happened, including the closing on the sale of our house. Woot! We were flying high. That is until we heard the news from Paris. Like all of you, we were horrified, sickened, saddened, furious…you name it. There aren’t enough words to express the depths of our emotions.

News of this tragedy hit right when I was about to drive my daughter to ballet, and I was fuming inside that I would have to explain this unthinkable act to her. How do you explain such insanity, anyway? I tried to keep it simple and age appropriate, but she wanted to know more: the who, what, where, when and why. Especially the WHY. Fortunately, the start of her class let me off the hook from a much deeper conversation. I needed time to process it myself before I could possibly explained it to her.

Because we had such a busy day, I didn’t have time to run in the morning. Instead, I planned to go when Miss O was at ballet, but suddenly I had zero motivation. I just wanted to huddle in a cozy chair, sipping a warm chai vanilla latte at a coffee shop while I obsessed over the news flooding my Facebook and Twitter feeds. Fortunately, because I committed to this damn Chase the Bird Challenge, I dragged myself down to Goleta Beach Park and forced myself to run.

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And of course, that’s exactly what I needed.

That’s what runners do. Whether we’re happy, sad, stressed, confused, frustrated, angry, afraid, ____(fill in the blank), running is what we do.

We’re insanely lucky to have the luxury of sorting through our emotions out on the roads and trails. Pace and distance have no place in the conversation. It’s simply about having the gift of health, and time and space to process our lives and the moments that change them.

Yesterday, I knew I needed to get the rage out of me so I could re-center myself and have a meaningful conversation with my daughter.

And so I set out.

It was a lovely late afternoon/early evening…despite the atrocities in Paris. Take that mother fucking terrorists. You can never take this away from us.

Step after step, the f-bomb continually popped into my head, but I was determined to turn it around and focus on all that was still good in the world and not let the mother f’ing terrorists win.

And then if by some “other worldly” design, Continue reading

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Taking Flight with My Daughter as We Chase the Bird Together

Day 11 of the Oiselle Chase the Bird Challenge couldn’t have been any better. After going to my favorite yoga class this morning (you can read about it HERE if you missed it), my daughter and I went for a hike/trail run up to Inspiration Point later in the afternoon .

I have to admit, I had low expectations for how much she might enjoy this outing and/or how far she might want to go as the trail is mostly steep, but I let her be in charge of the pace and just cruised along and enjoyed our time together.

And guess what? She completely blew me away with her rock star attitude.

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She only asked me a few times how much farther we had to go to get to the top, and I think it was mostly to get herself mentally prepared to tackle it. She even took off running many times, completely unprompted. My little trail runner!

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Okay, I must confess, I brought a secret weapon with me:  Continue reading

Day 10 and 11 Oiselle Chase the Bird Challenge

When I signed up to participate in Oiselle’s Chase the Bird Challenge, I never imagined it would be a big deal to get my workouts done each day. After all, the bar was set to a ridiculously doable level…15 minutes of exercise every day. But there’s a reason it’s called a CHALLENGE. The challenge is making your workout a bigger priority than the heaping mound of other responsibilities you have staring at your for 26 days straight. Let me tell you, that’s no easy task.

Yesterday, I had planned to go to a full-body strength mat class at The Lab, but we had the final walk through for our house sale and multiple things to tackle in the morning. That nixed that idea. Fortunately, later in the day I had a small window to zip to the gym where I knocked out a few miles on the elliptical, followed by a 500y swim. Short and sweet. Day 10 done. The best part is that it felt great–especially the swim, which is usually one of my least favorite forms of exercise. Working on my weaknesses! Now if I could just conquer my weakness for cookies and chai lattes.

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Day 11: This morning I started my day on the mat with another fabulous yoga class led by Erin DiAngelis.  The difference this class makes in my body and spirit is phenomenal. I’m never disappointed by this 1-hour investment of my time. What’s especially exciting is that after months and months of my hamstring yelling at me, it’s finally starting to quiet down. Hopefully it will eventually begin to sing again as it carries me along on pain free runs.

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Today is a day off from school and ballet for my daughter so I’m sure a Mother-Daughter Chase the Bird adventure await us…will it be tennis, a bike ride, hike, or run? Can’t wait to see what inspires my little bird!

Until next time…

xo Becky

Winning! And Chasing the Bird Day 7, 8 and 9

Three things happened over the weekend:

1) I was selected as the first Chase the Bird Challenge prize winner on Facebook! Apparently I’ll be receiving an egift card to do a little online shopping. How fun (and unexpected) is that?!

2) My family and I found a new house we’ll be moving into in the next month. Woot! That takes a mound of stress off our plate knowing we have a great new place to land after selling our house. Yay!

3) I learned that once again, being flexible with my workouts can add a huge element of joy to them. I had planned to sneak away and go on a long’ish solo run, but in the midst of landing our new house, juggling our daughter’s ballet rehearsal schedule and multiple other responsibilities, my run never panned out. Instead, I had the joy of going for a walk through the woods with my husband on Saturday, which was sweet and relaxing.

Miss O chasing down a drop shot. I love playing tennis with my sweet bug. She's been playing since she was 4 and can now run me all over the court.

Miss O chasing down a drop shot. I love playing tennis with my sweet bug. She’s been playing off and on since she was 4 and can now run me all over the court. The best part is that it was her idea to play.

Then yesterday I played tennis with my daughter and her friend, who had never before played. I always find it fun and exhilarating to share a new sport with someone and see her joy at her first attempt.

Later in the evening, I ventured out for a short run near my house. After a heavy Mexican lunch earlier in the day with the girls, that’s about all this chiquita could manage. But it was SOMETHING. And that’s what this Chase the Bird Challenge is all about. Do something…ANYTHING…for at least 15 minutes every day.

Today, Day 9 of the Oiselle Chase the Bird Challenge, was absolutely awesome. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a run so much. Nothing epic, just completely carefree and gratifying. I ran 4.55 miles along the beach on a crisp, gorgeous morning. I felt rested and relaxed for the first time in ages, and even did some pick-ups and drills along the grass in the midst of my run, then finished at the track doing some stadiums, core and push-ups.

Monday is shaping up to be pretty freakin’ great! And it’s all because I’m putting fitness time back at the top of my priorities list. Now I’m off to conquer the rest of my foot-long To Do List.

Here are a few snaps from my morning run. No fall colors here, but I did feel the need to wear arm warmers with my tank top and shorts. 🙂 Sorry friends who are in the midst of snow.

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I’m listening to Pharrell’s “Happy,” which was so appropriate for this Monday morning. Feeling giddy! Hope you are too!

Until next time….

xo
Becky

Oiselle Chase the Bird Challenge Day 6

After one of the busiest weeks I can remember, getting myself out the door today to work out felt epic. But I did it. And I’m glad. Thank you Oiselle for the motivation I needed to make this happen.

After going to bed way past midnight last night (once again), my run got replaced by a walk with my husband and my not-so-tiny dog, Doodles. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it and realize it’s okay to be flexible.

Fortunately, by evening, after more coffee than should be legally consumed, I rallied for another workout. I went on a beautiful hour-long bike ride while I waited for my daughter, who was doing a double-length ballet class/rehearsal. It was a great ride, and the first workout I’ve done in months and months and months when I was actually COLD! No more 90 degree weather. It’s finally autumn here! So lovely. I finished my ride just as it was getting dark. It was a perfect ending to a big week. Aaaah.

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Tomorrow it looks like it’s going to be an awesome day to run! Stay tuned for Day 7 of the Oiselle Chase the Bird Challenge to see where it takes me…

What are your fitness plans for the weekend?

Bird is the Word

I’m not usually one to participate in group challenges, online or otherwise, but when Oiselle’s “Chase the Bird Challenge” popped up on my Twitter feed, it hit me at just the right time. We’re in the middle of selling our house and I’ve also taken on a boatload of new responsibilities this fall, so getting my workouts in has been a challenge. Throw in the “sugarfest” that starts at Halloween, I knew I needed to grab onto something so my fitness didn’t come completely off the rails.

Oiselle’s Chase the Bird Challenge is simple enough: it’s a 26-day fitness streak to help prevent us from rolling into Thanksgiving feeling like a stuffed turkey, and to reinforce the habit of making health and fitness a priority even in the midst of all our holiday madness fun. All you have to do is some type of exercise for at least 15 minutes every day until Thanksgiving.

In order to hold us accountable and share our fitness mojo with others, Oiselle is asking us to post our workouts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I thought I’d post the first 5 days here too. It would be fun if you’d join the challenge with me. It’s never too late as far as I’m concerned.

DAY ONE: Squeeeeeezed in a quick little 3-mile run through the neighborhood on a beautiful autumn day. This was between 5 loads of laundry, dishes, homework help, house hunting and grocery shopping. Sometimes we have to take what we can get, right? The best part of my day was a sunset stroll on the beach with my sweet girl. I have to admit, I was highly unmotivated to make this happen after a busy day, but thankfully my daughter was persistent. It was gorgeous and relaxing and a wonderful time to enjoy each other’s company without distractions. Aaaahh.

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I also loved watching my carefree little dancer take flight.

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Love this girl!

DAY TWO: 40 Minute trail run, push-ups and core. Nothing complicated about this workout. Just a nice cruise and time to chill out in my own little world, forgetting everything on my To Do List. It was also fun to bump into a flock of friends on the trail today!

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DAY THREE: 60 minute Continue reading

Conquering the BS Beast at She.Is.Beautiful 5K

In late September I had the joy of running the She.Is.Beautiful 5K here in Santa Barbara. Woohoo! Why it took me six weeks to finally get this blog post written is another story. Ack. This race is one of the best-organized, most fun, and supportive running events around. The pink “Girl Power” vibe alone is enough to lift you five feet off the ground.

Even though this is one of my all-time favorite races, I almost didn’t sign up this year. My running mojo has been in the dumper BIG TIME as I’ve dealt with a hamstring injury that’s lingered for months and months (feels like years now). I knew “racing” this 5K was not in the cards, so I thought, Why bother?

What finally got me to the starting line was multiple friends cajoling me to participate–to take part and “just have fun” like they were.

What a concept!

Somehow over the last couple years my competitive spirit has gotten the best of me so I’ve forgotten that it’s okay to just cruise and have fun during a race without feeling ashamed of how slow I might finish. Anybody else know that feeling? I’ve forgotten that it doesn’t always have to be about chasing after a PR. And furthermore, I’ve forgotten that nobody, I repeat, NOBODY, gives a rip about my finishing time (nor yours), so being embarrassed about our level of fitness is a big fat waste of time and energy, especially when there’s a whole lot of fun to be had just by participating.

Thank you She.Is.Beautiful (and my persistent friends) for reminding me to lose the Bullshit Beast (aka ego). When we do, it always opens up a bounty of beautiful and blissful running moments.

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My 3rd year in a row of running this fabulous race. Not my fastest time, not my slowest time, but my favorite time.

It was fun to celebrate all my super speedy friends too, like these ladies who pretty much swept the race. Desa (third from the right) took 1st Place Overall!

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And my friend Ashlee, rocked her race too, coming in 2nd Overall and running her first sub-20:00! The banner says it all…

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The sun was definitely shining down on all of us and helping light us up. Wearing a feather boa on such a warm morning? Mmmm…not something I’d probably recommend, but it was all part of the silliness. The funny thing is that somehow I managed to land 2nd Place in my age group (even though that wasn’t really the point of this day). It must have been my ridiculous get-up. One of the super speedy ladies in the picture above, DeAnna, took 1st in our age group, and 3rd Overall. Way to go D! You are an animal!

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Over 2,000 runners took part in this year’s event.

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Loved seeing so many young girls running their first 5K! Here, the Queen of Positive, Jenny Schatlze, helps celebrate this awesome athlete’s accomplishment.

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Best local pre and post-race expo EVER.

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Here’s to many more carefree running miles ahead!

xo