Monthly Archives: October 2015

#RUN101 Tip: Rest Day! Do It!

Wanna hear a scary story? You’re training for your big race, and picmonkey_image-12you…….get sick, like really sick right before your big day. Or you pull a muscle, and you can’t run for a month, or you feel like you can’t get out of bed for a week. Oooooohhhhhh Scary, huh? When it comes to training, more is better, right? NO!!! Jebus Baby Christ, NOO! Your body doesn’t like that, your head doesn’t like that and your close friends and family probably don’t like it either. It’s the equivalent to NOT sleeping. Your body needs a day to calm down, regroup and heal.  If you train or work out hard every day, and then have your busy life on top of that, and don’t take at least ONE day off of your training, you’ll get sick, injured or burned out. Here are a few over training traits.


  •  Decreased performance (strength, power, muscle endurance, cardiovascular endurance)
  •  Decreased training tolerance and increased recovery requirements
  •  Decreased motor coordination
  • Sleep and eating disorders
  • Headaches, gastrointestinal distress Muscle soreness and damage Joint pains (taken from here)

If you are scared about taking a day off, try the following things so you are assisting your training without working it.

  • Massages. They are awesome and do wonders to help your body heal so it can get back into action.
  • Epson salt bath. They are magic and make your sore muscles feel less cranky.
  •  Long slow walk to keep your body moving.
  • Treat yourself to a power punch meal that help muscles heal. Veggies and protein will be happily accepted to your body.

For more on overtraining, check out these articles, while laying in bed, on your day off!

#TestifyTuesday- Deb: Momma Marathoner

Deb is amazing. She showed up, kept at it, and created a community around her. Her journey has been amazing to watch and inspirational to so many. I was there just at the begging, she has carried herself the rest of the way!  Here is her story. ImageProxy.mvc

From Couch to Marathoner

In 2013 my Valentine’s gift was a groupon for a Couch to 5K class scheduled to start 2 days later at Greenlake. At that time I was in pretty bad shape, after having 2 babies almost back to back and in my 40’s, resulting in a considerable weight gain.  I was about 80lbs above a healthy weight range and everything hurt, all the time.

In the beginning I was very embarrassed of being seeing in public while trying to run. I was sure people would point and laugh.  And to run five kilometers, who was I kidding?  I had a hard time climbing the 18 steps at my house to go from the living room to the baby’s room.  There were times I would go to the lobby of my building and take the elevator to the second floor, just to avoid the stairs.

The RE C25K class was awesome, our coach, Beth, was warm and welcoming and the other students seemed to be mostly new to running as well.  We talked about what to expect from the 4 weeks ahead and off we went. I quickly dropped to the back of the pack and I was having a really hard time to breathe. We attempted to run/jog about 0.5 mile.  I felt like I was going to die, my legs were two cement blocks, it was cold and I wanted to forget the entire thing and go home. Regardless, I stayed and kept coming back. I liked how the classes made me feel. I even tried to do the “homework”, which involved running outside…on my own!

I’ve always wanted to run but in my mind I was the antithesis of a runner: short and round, not graceful, not fast.  One look at me and you would know that I was not at my element but I was enjoying myself and looking forward to the next run. We also learned about what to eat, the importance of proper gear, good shoes, how to prepare to run in the cold/wet Seattle weather.  I honestly think that understanding all those things allowed me stay committed.  Beth was knowledgeable, fun and not intimidating at all.  She made me feel at ease.  She would run with each one of us and ask about our goals.  She would get to know us, encourage us, and always validated our efforts.  I couldn’t have built the courage to keep going without that kind of support. I loved how I felt after each class:  strong, powerful, happy and so proud that, albeit slowly, I was improving.

I finished the C25K class and enrolled on the Earth 5K and I finished it!!!  I came back in the spring for a second round of C25K!   The main reason I agreed to the February class was because it was dark and raining and no one would see me huffing and puffing around Greenlake, sweating like crazy barely able to talk.  In the spring, however; there were lots more people around but I didn’t care.  I was doing my thing and for the record, no one ever pointed or laughed.

In June I signed up to Beth’s 10K class and what a thrill it was to run my first 5 miles EVER! I never thought I could run five miles.  I met amazing people through Running Evolution, many have become close friends.  The C25K classes changed everything for me.  It gave me the confidence, the knowledge, and the support I needed.  This was 2013, since then I have done several 5K, 10Ks, and Half Marathons.  I became a Half Fanatic (HF#5333) in the fall and finished approximately 15 Half Marathons to date. In 2014 I did RAGNAR NPW and I was the 17 minute pacer for the Biggest Loser Race in Everett!   My biggest supporters are my husband and kids, they are always at the finish line and the boys, ages 4 and 5, have crossed many with me.

Now, running on my own is the norm.  I have to make time to run. I take my running gear on every vacation and have had the pleasure to run in Brazil, Paris and Toronto.  Anywhere we have been in the past 2 years I went on a run.  I got brave enough to join other running groups and decided that in 2015 I would do a Full Marathon, to celebrate turning 45.   So, on Sunday 10/5 I became a marathoner!!!  What an amazing feeling.  Running has changed everything, it has shown me that I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for but no doubt the best part it has connected me with an amazing, crazy, awesome group of people that I am proud to call friends.  My most sincere thanks to Beth for showing me the way!!!!  12108894_10207243989354618_7677263678439138172_n

#RUN101 Tip: Run Your Own Road.

picmonkey_image-5I was standing on the path at Greenlake and I saw a woman running towards me at an amazing pace, with the most gorgeous stride. And she looked like she was closing in on 70 years old. I actually stopped to compliment her on her amazing technique and she hugged me. She shared that she had been running since she was 15 and then she gave me a look of desperation and openness and said, “running was the ONLY thing I had, and it’s gotten me through a lot over the years” I believed her with all of my heart. I could tell she had a big story.

I run for vary personal reasons and I have coached many people over the years who share their stories and I try to help them run. Each story is as different as the stride of a runner, and some would break your heart and you would never want to have their troubles.

But, then I hear people say, “I want to run like them, I want to look like that person, I want beat so and so.”  cause, from the out side, they are faster, stronger, something-ier and seem to be happier.  I lean back to one of the ‘contract’ lines that I make all of my new runners sign saying: ‘Don’t compare yourself to another runner. Don’t compare your insides to their outsides.’ You’ll never win. Instead, find your own motivation inside. Why you want to stay healthy, move and be in the community. That will drive you to your own “best” as oppose to never getting to another persons “best”.

#TestifyTuesday: Kelly Howard: REal Super Star

Kelly is one of my #wingwomen. The thing about Kelly is she is REal, and it one of the most endearing things about her. But she is also fierce, strong and courageous. She has gone through tough times and I have seen her emerge the other side with a realness that is so comforting and lovely. And she’s a runner and proves one of my big points, life is hard, running is easy, you just have to run for yourself, which can be hard. Testify Kelly!!


Kelly Howard! 

” I wouldn’t be overstating things to say that running, and more specifically, Running Evolution changed my life. Ok, ok, I know, what’s not life-changing these days…. but just stick with me here. I met Beth after I had my second kid in two years. I saw her flyer for Mommy Caravan in a bakery (yeah, she knew how to advertise.) I read her bio and was hooked (she likes cake AND beer… this is a coach maybe I should get to know!). I had never had a coach before and the idea was slightly intimidating, but with the knowledge of her love of beer and cake, I decided to go for it. Well, she was as funny and snorty and amazing and REAL as my image of her was. I completed Mommy Caravan (basically a couch-to-5K with strollers) and was back running. I kept up with her by following her on the faceland, wanting to run with her again but not sure how to do it. I was intimidated by the idea of running more than 5 or 6 miles…. 1/2 marathon training? That sounded crazy. There was no way I could keep up with other runners I thought. There was no way I could run that far. My kids got a little bigger, I kept listening to Beth’s idea that I could do it, and one day I decided to extend my run and try for 8 miles to see if I could do it. If I could do that, maybe the idea of signing up for 1/2 marathon training wouldn’t seem so nutso. Well, spoiler alert. I did it. And then I had the confidence to sign up for her 1/2 marathon training. I ran the Rock n’ Roll 1/2 in 2011 and was hooked. I have run with many of Beth’s 1/2 groups, run over a dozen 1/2 marathons, done Ragnar and Mt. Si relay races with Running Evolution ladies, and have now completed two full marathons, and am preparing to complete my 3rd in a few weeks.

Running helps me deal with my emotions and “big feelings.” It helped me (along with a lot of therapy, some medication, and many amazing friends) survive a difficult divorce (is there any other kind?) and navigating single parenthood and dating post-divorce. Throughout life changes with many ups and downs, running has been a constant, a positive force in my life (even when I’m having a bad run).

Running is amazing, but the benefit I never expected is that I’ve met some of the most incredible people through running and the RE Community. She attracts amazing women (and a few men). Some of my best friends are those I’ve met through RE. You’ve got to have some way to pass the time during those long runs, you might as well be sociable! Running helps with my mental health as well. One of the best things I’ve ever done for myself was to sign up for that stroller couch to 5k. I am so incredibly grateful that I did. I love running, but I love Beth Baker and the ladies (and a few men) of RE even more. “

#RUN101 Tip: The Run Way: The First Mile of Running Sucks

picmonkey_image-10My pants were falling down, I was tired, cold and I just cranky. AND my pants kept falling down. I had to hold them up with my right hand and hold my lifeline of a phone, with my left, so I could listen to what Liz Gilbert had to say on her podcast. ‘please, Liz, get me through this first mile’.

I hate the first mile. I like to think that is why I have my business, because most people, who don’t run and try to, think that’s the way for  the entire run! Your head engine is VERY loud with numerous reasons why you should be doing ANYTHING but what you are doing. Your body feels like lead, and you’re not very sweaty so your pants aren’t staying up. Just at that point, I saw a huge plane come off the horizon and the analogy hit me. The effort, force, and power that plane needs to get off the run way is the same as that first mile. It’s fighting inertia and gravity to get in the air. While, yes, I know I am not flying, I sure love it when my body is in flight and I can start enjoying cocktails of endorphins and listen to my in-flight entertainment of Led Zeppelin.

On your next run, play stewardess with yourself, and treat you ala first class during that pre-light protocol. Turn off your electronics (your head) put your seat up (shoulders back, chest out) and know that your destination will be in your grasp as soon as you leave the run way.

#TestifyTuesday! ROTY Erika Parker!

picmonkey_image-9 I am full on, gushing, and madly in love with  change. Good change. I love seeing it in other people and if I, even get to witness it first hand, I feel like magic and fulfills my being. So, go figure, why I love my job…right! Making new runner, sending them off on a journey of awesome and witnessing the change it hold. Fuck YEAH!!  This is the first kick off of new weekly blog called Testify Tuesday, where people talk about the changes they went though to become the person they are now. AND I couldn’t be more proud of the first one up! Our own Runner of the Year and Team Evolve member, Erika Parker, in her own words.
“In early 2011, I decided that I needed a goal, an outside of my comfort zone kind of goal, doing something that I didn’t think I could do kind of goal. So I asked my friend and trainer Sara Dean if she could help me train for a 5k. That distance seemed pretty daunting to a non runner and someone that hated running (me). She referred me to Beth Baker of Running Evolution and her couch to 5k program. I started with Beth and completed couch to 5k in May 2011. After my first 5k, I kept running every week with Beth and soon enough my goal was to do a 10k, which I did in August 2011. Then Beth said well if you can do a 10k, why not train for a half marathon? Now at this time I thought people who did half marathons were just nuts, I mean it’s 13 MILES!! But the seed was planted and you guessed it, I trained and ran a half marathon in May 2012. Of course Beth then said to me if you can do a half marathon, you can TOTALLY do a full…So here I am in 2015, I’ve run 21 half marathons, 1 full marathon and countless 5&10k races. All thanks to Beth & Running Evolution. Along the way on this crazy running journey, I have met some of the most fantastic, inspiring and wonderful people. Thank you Beth!”

#RUN101 Tip. Here is where you are.


Stay with me here for a second on this one, cause we are all guilty of this. I have this image of myself, about 10 months after I had my son, and  I was tiny. About 20 pounds lighter then I am now. I was stressed, busy, and very very tired….

but I was skinny!!! It took me a long time to figure out that is not the person I am now, especially when I get on a scale or get a look at myself in a full mirror.

I am here now, not back there. And, I have to tell you how liberating it is. I love my body just the way it is.

When I talk to people about running, or fitness, I hear these words: “I USE to be able to do….” But your not anymore. O.K. great. Let’s move on, shall we? The hardest, but a essential “first step” to a life changing fitness journey is accepting where you are right now. It’s hard, but very very needed, because it’s paralyzing to keep comparing yourself to other people or comparing yourself to a memory of what you use to be. You feel bad for “letting yourself” get to your current state (which is bullshit) or you want to “wish” you could go back to that, but you can’t. Your not that anymore. Sorry. Its for the best, and you are better. You are here. You are awesome. Now, we can move forward. Now. Here. This.

#RUN101 Tip: Keep Track!


Back in the good old days, when I started running, in the 20th century, I bought a little red running calendar/log every year. It had an daily entry for your miles and lines for comments on how your run was. It also had a running tip on every page. This was before the internet power that is today, so it was my only guide to start running, since all the running magazines told you how to get faster or longer, this just offered useful tips. It was precious to me and when I wrote in it, I felt like a real runner! I was taking my running seriously and tracking my progress. These are things I put logged, and why:

Food: This was only a few words, but the most helpful: ‘9:00a.m. 3 miles. Terrific run.’ ‘5:00 p.m. run. 8 miles. Burger for lunch. Bad idea.’  ‘7:00 a.m. 17 miles. Bagel, cinnamon gummy bears and coffee. Feel good!!’  

After some trials and mistakes, and then logging them, I nailed down what my tummy could tolerate and what food my running legs like. So now, I stick to that, and don’t veer off.

Miles: Keeping track of how many miles I run in a week is a great monitor, especially if I have a weekly goal. And when I am  training, weekly mileage (your total miles for the week) shouldn’t ramp up more then 15%. Going over that opens up to injury or over training.

Workout: This is more of a pre-planning tool. Scheduling your runs on a calandar makes your running/workout MUCH more likely to happen. I am terrible planner, but I know if I fall out of love with running, mapping out a week of running and/or work outs and maybe some races, gets me all fired up and BAM, I am back, baby.

AND NOW, in this 21st century there are a million and one, apps, website, blogs, and watches to help you keep track. PICK ONE, and stick to it. More then one, will confuse, and then you’ll fall back on that couch. I like Strava to log in, and I am still fond of that little paper calendar.