Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reflections of Year 28!

What a year it's been! Today I turn 29 years old. In the famous Grey's Anatomy quote I remember, "How did I get this old? How do I make it stop?".  Regardless, getting a year older isn't so bad when the past year has truly been one of the greatest years of my entire life. 

Let's recap a bit: 

In January, my sorority sister's little sister (a mouthful) moved into my apartment! Anja was a great addition to the apt and provided lots of great conversations and encouragement to my life in one of the busiest seasons ever. Also this month I started my last semester of the Graduate Program I did at Nyack College! In addition, school came with an internship at Abounding Grace Ministries. I spent my Wednesday's and Sunday mornings with these guys below! I learned so much about New York, the Lower East Side, and what serving your community truly is truly like.  

In February, one of my best friends from college, Candace, had a baby! I have LOVED getting to see Fairley grow up this year and having her close by! They live a short train ride up on the UWS! She is so cute... obviously :)

The spring also came a new season of running! I had only run 1 half marathon before the Spring and in January I acquired a running coach, Michele. I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge about the sport of running and I would NOT be the runner I am today without her. She has believed in me, and literally spoken to me on almost a daily basis since the end of January. I hope she knows how much I appreciate her and the encouragement, advice, and great accountability she provides for me. I am blessed! I ran 3 half marathons this Spring under her guidance: DC, More/Fitness, and the Brooklyn Half that holds my current PR of 2:07:04! An injury kept me sidelined for most of the summer, but I was fully ready to tackle marathon training by the end of July. 

In May, my best friend in Austin, Mandy brought home her son from Uganda! David is such an incredible child and he is also the cutest kid ever. My best friends are really good at this whole kid/parent thing. I'm so proud of them!

I spent three wonderful weeks in Texas this summer with family and friends, and saw one of my best friends from childhood get married! It was such an incredible weekend. 

This night was amazing.

In September I finished up my internship with Abounding Grace, and also left my Admissions job at Nyack College to take a position with, The King's College in Downtown Manhattan. I am a Registration Coordinator and basically try to make students lives happy by giving them advice on classes and sorting data out on things that you might not find interesting the way that I do. I'm learning a lot about academia, and college students. So far... I love it. Look I have a a business card to prove it! Call me today! It's my birthday! :) 

Also in September, I went to Brownwood for my 10  YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION! It was such a blast. I loved being home, seeing old friends, and catching up on life after 10 years. Wow!  I also ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon and celebrated my 1 year anniversary of racing! What a day :)

OH OH, I forgot to mention that at the end of August I sadly said goodbye to Anja, and gained Elise, also a Texan. I traded my longhorn roommate for an aggie. Yes, I'm still shocked. Jokes aside, this girl has been a vital part of my life this Fall. I have LOVED having her at the apartment... and at work. Oh yes, we are also coworkers. We spend a lot of time together to say the least. We always have ridiculous things to talk about, hilarious emails to forward, and lots of laughs and good conversations late at night. I am beyond blessed to get to live with this girl and do life with her in this crazy city. She is an excellent roommate and friend. Love her so much! She has quickly become one of my absolute favorite people in NYC. She and my other roommate, London truly get a gold star for putting up with me while I was training for a marathon. I was a bit of a nut job at times, and they never complained one bit.

Speaking of marathon training, you all know I was training for the NYC Marathon that got cancelled because of the destruction of hurricane Sandy. I never wrote a blog post sharing my thoughts about this but a brief synopsis is basically that I completely agree why they canceled it but the timing was terrible for all those traveling here. I lost nothing due to the cancelation because I got to run a marathon less than a week later. However, it was not the marathon I had trained for. It was not the marathon that I thought would be my first. And you know what? It hurt a little. I cried on Saturday morning, November 3rd on the treadmill, I cried when I saw the Queensboro bridge Saturday night after dinner with friends on the Upper East Side, and I cried a bit a Marathon Sunday while I ran with THOUSANDS of other runners in Central Park. It was so surreal that something I had trained for for months was not happening. A day I had dreamed about for over a year was not happening and you know what? It hurt. I won't apologize for it hurting either. Obviously, I'm over it now because I did get to run a marathon, and my training did not go wasted! Praise God!

I ran the Richmond Marathon and finished in 4:39:15! I have never felt more accomplished. It was the greatest day this year and I will always be so so so proud to be a marathoner! Life ATM (After the Marathon as Elise calls it) has been fantastic. I am loving sleeping in on Saturdays, running lower mileage, and having lots of time back to do other things. I will start training again after the new year, but for now let the 5K revolution continue. This year, I ran 3 official 5Ks, 4 half marathons, and 1 marathon and almost 1000 miles for the year! Needless to say, my legs have welcomed a break.

Here we are today... December 10th. This is the first day of the last year of my twenties. I have learned so much these past 9 years. I plan to make this year epic. In the next few weeks I plan to come up with 30 things I want to do before I'm 30. Hold me to them all. 

What an incredible year it has been. I have met so many new friends in NY, mostly runners, and have felt like this place truly is exactly where I am supposed to be for now. It is not a surprise that things continue to fall into place so easily as they have. God's hand has been over each day of my life here, and I have been truly blessed. Here's to year 29! Cheers.

My favorite verse this year:

"The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

A few pics:

                       Prospect Park 5K Group!            Max Brenner with friends!

Carla, Emily and I got photographed for a food blog. Cool.

Meeting two of my favorite elite runners: Josh Cox and Desi Davila with my absolute favorite running friend, Katie. (She moved... and I miss her.)

I am 29 years young today. Over and out.

Monday, November 12, 2012


Oh hi! I’m here because I promised all 3 of my readers that I would write a race recap from the Richmond Marathon. Oh yes, I ran a marathon this weekend. I am a marathoner. I am in the exclusive club. You know what? I haven’t stopped smiling since I crossed the finish line! This weekend was perfect. Every detail that went into this weekend could not have made for a more enjoyable experience for my first marathon. I am elated….. yes still.

I traveled down to Richmond on Thursday night with Gia, Meggie, and Katie. It was nice to get to travel with a group of women who have all had some great marathon experiences and we chatted away on our epic 6 hour road trip to Virginia. On Friday morning Katie and I headed to the airport to pick up Christine and then we made our way to the expo! I was kind of tired of the concept of an expo after spending a lot of time at the NYC one and I just wanted to get my bib and go! :) The rest of Friday was spent relaxing and waiting for the rest of #TeamRichmond to make their way down to Katie’s parents house. They arrived late and we were in bed with lights out by about 10:30. Honestly, I slept pretty well until about 5:00 am. I just sat in bed and thought about the past 16 weeks of my life: all my hard work, all the early mornings, all the good runs, all the bad runs… I thought about how today was going to make all of those things worth it because by early afternoon I would be a marathoner. I vowed to sit and think and pray and not look at my phone until someone’s alarm went off. I needed that time of reflection. I loved having that time to recall and remember all the hard work I had done. I was so ready for this day! A little after 6am everyone was awake and it was time to get ready! We got changed and started our pre-run rituals. Some girls had coffee, some had bagels, some had spoonfuls of peanut butter, some oatmeal, whatever it was we shared some nervous laughs and finally made our way out the door a little after 7am to drive over to the start. We arrived with time to check bags, and snap a couple of pictures before the 8am start time.


It’s hilarious to me that this marathon was literally the ‘smallest’ race I have ever done with just over 6000 runners. The race promptly started at 8am and about 3 minutes later I was crossing the start line. I hit start on my Garmin and off I went. I couldn’t believe that I was really doing this. I was really going to run 26.2 miles. I kept a comfortable pace between 10:15-10:20 and listened to music. I had made a really great running mix and hearing different songs that reminded me of different friends/events made me smile. I replayed in my head some of the pointers my coach and other friends had given me. One that stood out often was to SMILE. I smiled so much. I was so happy. Miles 1-13.1 were incredibly enjoyable. There were lots of signs specifically for NYC marathon runners and it was so nice! I had several people talk with me since I had my NYC bib on and tell me how happy they were that I was there or that I even got to run a marathon after the cancellation of NY. During those miles there were some rolling hills that I was semi surprised by, but nothing too terrible. Overall I really loved the scenery of the course. (Sidenote: Richmond is not flat and this course was not ‘easy’ by any means.) When I crossed the halfway point I remember thinking to myself that I had less than 3 miles to go before hitting 16 when I could officially think of this race as being ‘less than 10’ miles to go. Ha! My coach told me NOT to countdown the miles until they were single digits in fear that the double digit would be too mental. I got to mile 16 and then it became about getting to mile 20 which I knew I could do because I had run 20 miles twice in training. I knew that this race would become harder after mile 20 no matter because of the nature of the sport. I just tried to remain focused and put one foot out in front of another. I was maintaining the same pace I did from the beginning and that was exciting! I continued to smile even though I was beginning to feel the pain. (No pain no gain, right?) Right before Mile 21 the unthinkable happened to me….. my hamstring cramped. My right hamstring cramped. Remember when my right leg is my good leg? My left knee, shin, and foot have all had some sort of injury this year and today of ALL days my right leg decided to cramp. I was NOT a happy camper. I had no idea what to do. “Do I push through this? What if something is wrong with my hamstring? Am I going to make it worse by finishing this marathon? I can’t quit. I have to finish. OMG it hurts. OW OW OW. Every step hurts. Ok, Leticia.. get it together you are going to finish no matter what! BELIEVE!” So after mile 21 I did what I like to say is a walk/run combo at times. I’d run for five minutes, walk for 30 seconds. I did that until mile 25 when I knew that I could do anything for 1.2 miles. I powered through those last miles in the worst pain I've ever felt while running. The 4:30 pace group passed me right at mile 22 and I knew that catching up to them was going to be hard, especially since now I was having to walk some because of the pain. At mile 25 I knew that I could break 4:40 so I pushed it as hard as I could. Right past mile 26, I started going downhill for the finish and I looked to the right side and I saw Katie! It was such a crucial moment for me to see someone I knew! I pointed at her and waved and she started jumping up and down. She joined me on the course for about a hundred yards and was yelling, “OMG, I’M SO PROUD OF YOU! LOOK AT YOUR TIME! YOU ARE ABOUT TO BE A MARATHONER!” I responded how everything hurt and that my leg was cramped and she was like ‘finish strong go get it’! I honestly don’t really remember passing the finish line. It was all a bit of blur. Katie came quickly to my rescue and got me water and led me to where the medals, blanket, and food were. I was so happy. I could not believe I had finished it despite all the pain I was in. My official time was 4:39:15. I am proud of my finish and could not be more thankful for all 26.2 miles and all that I learned about myself on that course. I am tougher than I thought and stronger than I imagined. I dug deep, finished strong and have zero regrets.

I was so happy to be done! 

This marathon was the hardest physical thing I have ever done in my life. Looking back on the past 16 weeks, I pushed myself to limits I never thought I could. Everything about this weekend was perfect. Getting to be surrounded before and after the race with friends who are a part of the NYC running community made this first marathon the best thing ever. If you know me, you know how incredibly excited I was to run the NYC Marathon, but I can say today that I am confident that Richmond was always supposed to by my first marathon. All things always work out in the end, and this was no exception.


I am blessed beyond belief by the amount of text/calls/emails/tweets, etc. I cannot thank you enough for all the support and encouragement I received after this accomplishment. I would not be the runner I am today with the community that surrounds me and pushes me to excel at something that I truly love. Thank you all and special thanks to two women who inspire me in more ways than they will ever know: Katie- my best runner pal in NY, and my coach, Michele. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

My mantra has always been BELIEVE, and on Saturday that's just what I did.

NYC Marathon…. I still want you…. Someday.

Front door. Best.Roommates.EVER! 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Hi! I'm alive!

Theme for Fall and Year #3 in NYC:


Not that many people read this blog, but I AM BACK! I want to make blogging more of a priority this Fall since it will be my first season in NYC without being in Graduate School! It's been a crazy two years, but I am so so excited for what's in store in the coming months. The last time we spoke I shared with you all my plans to stay in New York but that I would be looking for a new job. On Thursday, I accepted a position to be the Coordinator of Registration at The King's College. Incredibly humbled to be offered a position to work with this College. This Friday, (the day I predicted 3 months ago) will indeed be my last day at Nyack College! God is so faithful to me.

This past Friday I celebrated not only a new job, but also two years of residing in New York City. I did all of my favorite things too: ate a bagel with one of my best friends, ran 10 miles with Katie, had a great afternoon with some of my favorite runners friends at Frying Pan, and then had a fantastic dinner with my dear friend, Jessica at Lure Fish Bar. I really cannot believe it has been TWO years. I vividly remember the day that I arrived. I was so so scared. I was so fearful of the unknown. Little by little, and month by month I grew accustomed to the craziness and began to truly fall in love with this place and the people of this place. I have made friends and memories that will truly last a lifetime. These two years have been some of the most challenging, stretching years of my entire life, but I've also learned so much: about God, myself, ministry, and life. I learned what it's like to rely on the prayers of your friends to get by each day. I've learned what it's like to truly miss my family. I've learned what true friendship is all about. I would not trade these years for anything. I am so confident and so sure that this is exactly where God has wanted me for these two years. I'm so excited about what's to come in this third year: new job, new roommate, running a MARATHON. Woot.

I have a blessed life. I hope to never forget that.

Some pics to document my summer:

Not FANTASTIC: I hurt my tibia and didn't run for 6 weeks.

FANTASTIC: Tonya spent the summer in NYC and 3/4 of the Fan Four were here! WOOT!

FANTASTIC: I hosted a cupcake/wine party for my runner friends!

FANTASTIC: One of my childhood best friends got married. I've known all these ladies for almost 20 yrs!

(Super) FANTASTIC: I finally met DAVID! YAY! He's wonderful and precious and so cute.

FANTASTIC: Summer 5K series with some of my speedy runner friends.

It's been a great summer! Here's to Fall and lots of new things.... cheers.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Update! Update! Update!

Ok friends, here's the update on my life! I know the suspense was killing all.... three of you.

So for the past couple months and in particular the past few weeks I had been thinking/praying/debating about whether or not I should move back to Texas. Don't get me wrong I love NY but Texas is home and eventually it's somewhere I can see myself moving back to later in my life. In this season of my life I'm in a little bit of 'limbo' because I just finished Graduate School but I do have a job here in NY. I was presented with a couple of really great job opportunities in Austin and even a place to live with a very dear friend of mine. I had been completely torn because as much as I wanted to stay, I knew a transition back to Austin would be relatively 'easy'. The cost of living is cheaper, job was in the works, and a lot of my friends are still there. So why not?

In the end, I came to the conclusion that I am just NOT ready to leave New York. I have been here for almost two years and in the past few months I've finally felt grounded. I love my apartment, my friends, my runnerds, and my church. And while leaving would be a 'safe' choice, I just can't do it right now. I love New York, and it's endless opportunities for adventures: both fitness and foodie related. I love that I've grown more as a person in my time here than any other season of my life. I love that this place is fast paced and always keeps me on my toes. I love that I feel stretched here. I love that I have true friends here who love me, and care for me. I have loved that this season has taught me a lot about trusting God and his plan for my life.

In addition, while I have 100% decided to stay and be committed to New York City and my life here, I spoke with my boss today and I will be transitioning OUT of my current position with the school. We work in 'seasons' and at the end of Fall recruitment I will be leaving my job regardless if I have another job or not! :) If you personally know me, you know this has been something that's been in the works for a long time and I can FINALLY see the end. My projected last day is: Friday, September 7th.

So... there ya have it! I'm going to Texas on vacation for 3 weeks at the end of June and when I return will begin the infamous job search so I'm not super poor after September!

Three cheers to OFFICIALLY staying in New York City. Here's to more adventures, laughs, long runs and good eats!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Brooklyn Half Recap

Yesterday, I ran and completed my fourth half marathon and third in the past three months. I'll be honest and say I'm pretty 'raced' out for now. I wish I were here to tell you of my original goal of 2hrs, but alas I finished in 2:07:04. A 16 second PR. A friend reminded me that a PR is a PR... so I'll take it.

I ran the BK half alongside 14,000+ runners which had an almost even split between men and women runners! It was a great course through Prospect Park, then down Ocean Parkway, all the way down to Coney Island and the famous boardwalk. I enjoyed this race, and I'd definitely consider doing it again.

The actual race:
I was feeling really great in the first 6 miles. I winded up seeing my friend, Erica, and seeing someone you know along the course is just so encouraging! Thanks for coming out, lady! Miles 1-6 were great, I took a GU at mile 7, and then headed out of the park onto Ocean. I had looked at my Garmin when I was at 6.5 and I was at 1 hr and 2 minutes and I told myself that if I could negative split the last half of the course that I'd be really close to 2hrs. I was hopeful at that point of a great PR and a really proud finish. When I hit mile 8, my knee, which had been bothering me all week (old injury, story for another day) starting getting really tight. I knew at that point it was no longer functioning at 100%. By mile 9, 10, my pace had slowed to the high 9:40's and I knew that the 2hr finish was slipping before my eyes. I tried to stay positive even though I was in pain. By mile 12 I was officially spent, mentally and physically but I knew that I was SO close to the finish, this was not the time to give up and walk. When I made it to the boardwalk and knew I had about 200m to go, I booked it and ran with everything I had (which wasn't much!) I saw my time and knew it was right at 2:07.

I went into the medical tent after receiving my medal because my knee needed to be wrapped immediately, and I just needed to sit down and drink some water. Eventually I made it through the crowds and found my best guy pal in the NYC, Andrew! Yesterday was his first half and he ROCKED it at 1:44:56. I am soooo proud of him!

We hung out in Coney Island for about 45 minutes and chatted about the race, stretched, and laughed (because he's hilarious). At the exact same moment we both got a whiff of Nathan's Hot Dogs and at that moment we knew it was time to GO! Ewww. We went back to his 'hood in Brooklyn and enjoyed a delicious brunch with our medals on! I was so thankful to have a good friend to share this day with! He agreed to run the Philly half with me in September. I have hooked him on this whole running thing! I love it!

When I got home last night after spending the whole day Brooklyn with friends I started replaying the race in my head: "how much time did I waste at the water stops?, should I have taken gu twice?, why were there so many hills in prospect park? should I have worn my knee brace?, etc." I was trying to remain positive and be proud of my finish, but I just couldn't shake the fact that I hadn't reached my goal AGAIN! I was frustrated and then all of a sudden I remembered the date. It was May 19th. A day that is so familiar to me because it's the day I graduated from UT. Yesterday marked my 6 year anniversary from that day and at that point I was probably the heaviest and most out of shape I had ever been in my life. When I thought about that and all that I've done the past 6 years I went from disappointed to proud. Some days it's about perspective, and I needed to get a grip and give myself some credit for the ability to run 13 miles! I never gave up, and never will. I know that I'll bust through 2hrs some day.

I dont even know that girl on the right. I feel like a brand new person!

Up next:

1. Speed Series 5K's in Brooklyn this summer
2. Philly Half Marathon in September
3. THE NEW YORK CITY MARATHON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May 1st and what else I've been up to!

Hello friends! It's been a while! I apologize for the lack of posts but well life happens sometimes. I am currently in the midst of training for my 3rd Half Marathon of this Spring. It's been fun, but needless to say I'm excited for a break from 'racing' and will enjoy just running for the next couple of months before official NYC Marathon training begins on Monday, July 2nd! It will be here before I know it :)

So I have some BIG news. I have thought about how to go about this for quite some time but well it just never came to me so I figured I might as well just put it out there....

On Saturday, May 5th I will graduate from a Masters Degree Program I have been working on for the past two years. What?! I know some of you are very surprised because quite frankly I have not talked about it on zee blog or on twitter. There are things about my life I decided to keep to myself. Not for any particular reason but solely because I made the decision to stick to blogging/tweeting about fitness/running. I don't talk a ton about my personal life at times, but I wanted to share this with you all!

So yes, last Thursday I turned in all of my documents for the completion of a Masters Degree. I have been attending the same school that I work for Nyack College- Alliance Theological Seminary. I completed a degree in Urban Ministry. Yes, I went to school to study about theology, the church, and how the church functions in a Urban setting aka, New York City.

I need you to know that I am a Christian first, and a runner second :) My faith is something that is really important to me and I wanted to come to a deeper understanding of the things that I believe are most important in life.

There ya have it folks.


Now that you are done are you moving back to Texas? No. I am planning to continue living and working and running in New York City.

Are you changing jobs? No. I will continue to work at the school as an Admissions Associate and I'm an intern at my church.

Why couldn't you ever run on Saturday mornings? Because this semester I was finishing up my last two classes. Yes, 14 weeks of Saturday classes. It was tough!

How did you manage a job, a masters degree program, and running? I have no idea. By the grace of God.

More questions, just ask :)

My family will be in town this weekend to celebrate! Woohoo!

Monday, April 16, 2012

More/Fitness Recap

Going into More/Fitness my overall goal was only to finish strong. In my opinion I finished DC in a horrible condition and I never wanted to experience that again. My ultimate goal in the half marathon distance is to break 2hrs, and let's face it, in Central Park that was realistically probably not going to happen. Not to be a debbie downer, but Central Park is tough, and two loops around the park, and a part of a third? Yeah, not easy. Or not easy for this girl! :)

My morning started liking every other race (all 3 of them) have before with a whole wheat thin, peanut butter, and a banana. I chugged 32 oz of water from 6-7am and then split a cab with my neighbor, Theodora. I checked my bag and made it over to the corrals. I signed up for this race a long time ago and somehow ended up in the last corral. Looking around I realized I knew I wasn't THAT slow and I just couldn't fathom starting at the back of 7000 runners. I cheated (shhh) and moved up about 4 corrals and started in the middle of the pack. It started raining while we waited and I was definitely not a happy camper. Luckily by the time the gun went off it had cleared. My Garmin had a perfect signal before I got to the start line but must have gone into power save mode and then lost it RIGHT when I got to the start line (Awesome). I crossed the start and realized I needed to go regardless of the Garmin having a signal or not. I think it caught a signal pretty quick as I ended the race right at 13.11.

The race: miles 1-3 were great, I felt fine, weaved out from some slow runners/walkers (why were people already walking at 1.5?) and kept a steady pace. When I got the top of Harlem Hill something was going on my with my stomach and I was definitely worried. I pressed on and somehow it passed. Whew! I thought I'd be seeing some friends at mile 5, but alas I missed them. I shot around one loop of the park and was feeling ok. I wasn't looking at my Garmin much and just wanted to run. Again, was never sure of an actual time goal. I knew I'd be seeing my roommates in between mile 7-8 so I pushed through to them. I could see them from afar and they started screaming with signs! I am so blessed :) At mile 8, my besties in NYC were going to be there to hand me a bottle of water. I saw them from afar opened my GU packet and got to them said THANK YOU and kept going. The GU didn't do much for me as far as energy but I figured it was best I take something. My good friend Morgan and her cute dog were right at the Engineers Gate and seeing them made me so happy too! I pressed on through the East Side and met the Harlem Hills again. UGH. By the time I passed those and got to mile 10 I was pretty done. My legs were very tired, felt very heavy, and even my left knee was starting to hurt. I contemplated walking just to get a little break but I have too much pride for that :) I knew I'd be seeing some friends at mile 11. I saw them, more signs, more cheering. It lifted my spirits some but I was could tell my pace had slowed down a lot. Finally made it to mile 12 and I was like, ok, Leticia only 1.1 left. You can do anything for 10 minutes. A little past mile 12 I saw Jocelyn hauling right in my direction! I immediately lifted my hands and was waving like a crazy person. She was running 22 yesterday so she wasn't quite done. Seeing her absolutely made the rest of the run so good! I kept up with her speedy pace and she made that last mile fly! We split ways at mile 13 and she went up Cat Hill and I sprinted to the finish. I felt SO STRONG in the end and I was glad I pushed that last mile. I finished with a huge smile on my face and was just so happy to be done! I had no idea what my time was because I knew my Garmin was off and when I sprinted through the finish I didn't look at what the clock read. I found my friends and we snapped a pic! Half marathon #3 in the books with a big smile to prove it! To God be the Glory each race, thankful for His strength!

Post run I went an capitalized on my free hat/massage/snacks at Athleta and then went to brunch at Lansky's with my besties, and some other twitter friends were there too! At brunch I discovered my official time of 2:08:07 with and average 9:47 pace. No PR, but proud of my time. I never walked even when my legs tried to convince me to and I finished strong which is what I wanted. Central Park is no joke, even when you train there. It's just so different in a race!

Sara and I at brunch. All I wanted in my life was a mimosa and pancakes and that's exactly what I got! :)

So what's next? NYRR Brooklyn Half Marathon on Saturday, May 19th. Now this race my friends I has some BIG goals for. I really really really want this to be the sub-2 half. It's a relatively flat course and I think a PR is in the cards for me if I'm smart the next four weeks. Here we go!

PS: 201 days till the NYC MARATHON! I officially registered with Team World Vision today! Feels a tad bit surreal! 26.2 miles! I CAN do this.

"Running is a mental sport and we are ALL insane."

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thoughts on a week of rest!

This is my friend Jaclyn and I last Sunday at brunch in DC! She completed her first half marathon last weekend and I am SO proud of her. She's been one of my best friends for almost 10 years now and any time spent with her is beyond enjoyable. She is truly one of my favorite people on this earth!

Since we are talking about last Sunday, let's go ahead and say that it's also the last time my feet have hit the pavement. I went on a shakeout run with Theodora last Sunday night when I got home from DC and haven't ran since. Not because I didn't want to, but because I physically could not. Post race I was having a decent amount of pain in my right shin and figured that with compression sleeves/rest it might help. On Monday the pain increased, and moved from my shin down to my ankle. On Tuesday morning when I woke up after sleeping in the sleeves, I could tell that my ankle was very very swollen. I could barely walk. Each step was a painful reminder that something was wrong. By Wednesday night the pain had diminished some, and on Thursday my doctor friend took a look at it and said that while it was swollen it did not seem to be anything too drastic. He assured me that rest/ice/elevation were very very important in the next few days, and said he wanted me to rest from running for an entire week which would mean no running till Monday. I am planning on heading out for 3-4 miles tomorrow morning and praying that my body cooperates.

I feel like despite the frustrating feeling of not being able to run (or walk comfortably for that matter) I've had a lot of time to think about running and what role I want it to play in my life. This week had lots of up and downs... both emotionally and physically. I wondered and questioned my training, my body, my endurance, my passion, my goals, my desires, etc. I had lots of time to think since I wasn't working out! I came to the conclusion that running is and will be a big part of my life for a long time, but I've also realized that I want to be smart. I put a TON of pressure on myself before last weekend. I had a meltdown when I realized how many hills there were and that's just not something that needs to happen. That much pressure takes the fun out of what this should be about! Here's the thing. I want to ENJOY running without the pressure of feeling like I have to PR every single time. Yes, it's important to set goals and push yourself, but not to the level where it's the most important thing in your life. The bottom line is that I love running, but running doesn't define me, and never will. It's a part of my life, but not my life. I want to get better sure, but not at the cost of injuring myself for good. I want to move forward and be smart and truly always listen to my body. I am not superwoman. And while some may disagree, 13.1 miles is a respectable distance. It's not a joke what your body goes through in those 2+hrs. Maybe this week was needed both for physical rest, but also for me to be able to have a more healthy relationship with running in my mind. I'm excited about races to come, and want to excel, but not at the cost of my sanity! :) This is a recreation, not my job! In 3 weeks from today I'll run the More/Fitness half and after this week I'll evaluate what my goals can realistically be!

Happy Sunday, friends!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Rock and Roll: DC Style

So, I have to admit... I'm just not much of a blogger! I always have full intentions to be better and post my thoughts but it just doesn't always happen! However, after this weekend and already reading all the race recaps I'm inspired to possibly start blogging more. No promises though :)

Here's my shiny metal that I WON! :) HA!

I'm going to go ahead and put it out there from the get go and say that I didn't hit my goal of Sub 2hrs. I finished in 2:07:20. I'm sure your immediate thoughts are that I'm disappointed, upset, etc. To be quite honest I realized at mile 10 that I would not be hitting that goal, and when I crossed the finish line I honestly was not disappointed AT ALL. I was proud of my time because I knew that the course was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. It had a lot of hills and I had done very minimal hill training, etc. Lots of factors played into my time, but I don't want to write them out because they are boring. My perspective is simply that Saturday was not by day for Sub 2... but it's coming. And it's coming in 2012. Mark my words.

I won't bore you with all the details of my race. What's done is done. I've looked at my stats, and realized I made some rookie mistakes in the beginning. Miles 1-6 were fabulous, 6-9 were tough, 10-13.1 were just rough. Hey, at least I'm being honest. I will say that I ran a 8:30 MILE in a RACE! That's about the same time as my speed workouts... I guess they worked? :)

This post is mainly to reflect on how far I have come in this whole running journey. If you don't know my story, I started "running/jogging" about two years ago. While I was on the train home yesterday it dawned on me that two years ago I could BARELY run one mile. On Saturday I ran 13.1 (13.24 according to Garmin but who's counting :) ) I have come a long way, friends. A very, very long way. In fact, this was only the third race I have ever done in my life. I have many years/races in the future to improve on my time, so not hitting my goal on Saturday is just not going to get me down. I am mostly thankful to have a body that is able to do that. If you didn't know in October of 2009, I decided that I was tired of living in a body that wasn't healthy. I was overweight, unmotivated, and had no energy! I told myself, enough is enough! Over the course of 9 months I lost 95 pounds, and since June of 2010 have never looked back. I'm doing things in my life that I never thought would be possible. So today, I'l rejoice in the fact that I have a brand new PR (Personal Record). To God be the Glory.

TEXAS REPRESENT: Morgan, Jaclyn, and Me!

Overall, a fabulous weekend. No regrets. No disappointments! The support that I've felt in this journey overwhelms me. I have some really awesome friends. Thank you all!

A VERY VERY special thank you to a woman who devotes so much time to me: Michele . I could not be more thankful for you! :)

Up Next: More/Fitness Half Marathon on April 15th in Central Park! LET'S GET IT!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Just Run.


I saw this picture tonight on Pinterest: a site that I do not frequent, but do so every few weeks. Tonight I needed something to get going with this post. In exactly four weeks from today I will embark on my SECOND half marathon! I'm running the Rock and Roll National Half in Washington DC alongside a couple of my dear friends! I'm beyond pumped! I had a BIG goal in mind, and was working very hard for about a month in preparation to beat my sub 2:00hr goal, which would be shaving off 8 minutes from my first half in Philly last September. On Tuesday, January 31st when I woke up with an immense amount of foot pain....

Back story: on Thanksgiving day I woke up and set out to run 3-4 miles before indulging in some turkey for my favorite holiday! I felt a slight pain in the arch of my foot but decided it was probably nothing. I went and met a friend at the park, and within minutes my pain continued. I knew something was 'off'. I took the next few days off from running and came back to NYC still in slight pain. After many reviews and advice from running friends I figured I might have a minor case of plantar fasciitis and one of the first pieces of advice was to REST. So that's what I did. I did not hit the pavement or a treadmill for FOUR entire weeks. On Tuesday, December 26th I started my training for the half and all was well. I was hitting way under 10 minute miles for all my training runs, and felt strong for four solid weeks.

I ran a long run on Sunday, January 29th of 8 miles and kept a really good pace. On Tuesday, I woke up and could barely walk. Each step I took was BRUTAL. I took some meds, stretched a lot, and used a small tennis size ball at the bottom of my foot in hopes it would get better. I did some cross training and by Saturday I had decided I was 'much better' and went out and ran SUPER stupid fast for me for 10 miles. Within minutes of finishing that run I was almost at the point of not being able to walk again. The week of February 5th was awful. I was ready to throw in the towel. I was hurting. I felt defeated. I remember on Wednesday finally letting it all out and I literally cried a lot of tears because of pain, but more because I was SO SO frustrated with myself for not being fully healed the previous Saturday and pushing myself beyond my limits. I made my injury worse. Thursday was better, and I knew I needed to do a long run on Friday because I would be busy the rest of the weekend. I set out and did 9 slower pace miles, and finished virtually pain free. I couldn't believe it. I listened to my body (and my fabulous running coach) and it really did work. Was I running sub 10 minute miles? Nope, but I wasn't hurting anymore. This week I was back in the game and my foot has continued to heal. I successfully ran 12 miles on Friday AM with two new friends basically PAIN FREE! PRAISE GOD! :) Aside from some minor soreness around my toes, my foot feels so so so much better. I'm not saying this injury is completely over and never coming back, but for now I'm doing better. I could not be happier.

Through all of this it made me step back and think about why I'm running at all. I came to the conclusion that running is for ME. It's not for anyone else. I don't need to impress anyone with my times, my goals, or my dreams. I've learned to stop comparing my achievements to everyone else's because it minimizes all that I've accomplished. The bottom line is that I'm probably never going to be as fast as some of my 'running role models', and you know what? That's totally ok. If I dont ever run a sub 2:00 half marathon, that's ok too. Why? Because I now have a body that can even think about running 13.1 miles. I now have a body that does things I never could have dreamed of would be possible. I'm not quitting. I've just had to refocus on why I'm doing this. There's no doubt that I was made to do this. I believe that with all of my heart. God has given me this crazy passion for running and I know He knows the desires of my heart to keep me strong! I'm never giving up. EVER.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! :)

Happy Valentine's day, friends (all two of you....) In honor of Valentine's day I'm going to write a list of 10 things/people/places that I LOVE!

1. I love to run. There is a freedom I find when I'm deep in the zone, just me, the ipod and the trail.

2. I love my bed. Truth be told, my favorite part of the day is climbing in bed after a long day and knowing that I'll soon be able to slumber for 7-8 hours. Pathetic? Maybe. But I dont care.

3. I love Texas. Born, and raised a Texan. Always and forever.

4. I love the Fantastic Four. My three BFF's are my community, accountability, and truly the best friends I could ever ask for. There friendships mean the world to me.

5. I love peanut butter, breakfast tacos, and chips/salsa/guac. I could LIVE off these things and be content for the rest of my life.

6. I love quality time with people. It brings so much joy to my soul to spend time with people I love.

7. I love my family. Though they are 2000 miles away from me, I love my big ole Mexican family. I love that we speak two languages, laugh, and always have a good time.

8. I love greeting cards, snail mail, and thoughtful emails. Words of affirmation mean a lot to me.

9. I love eating out! It's true. Especially in good company, with my FAVORITE foodie: Lauren.

10. I love, love. God is love. I am able to love you deeply because of HIS great love for me.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

11 Random Things...

I was tagged by Michele over at:

If you are not already familiar with this, here are the rules:
1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself (Jen’s said 12, but Katye tagged me first so I’m going with those rules).
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag 11 people.

Here we GO:

1. Despite being a DIE HARD Texas Longhorn Fan, I actually attended the University of Texas at Arlington for a year and a half before making the transfer down to Austin. Not everyone knows that! Hook'em Horns!

2. I'm the youngest child of EIGHT (8)- ocho. Yep, one big Mexican family! Here are my siblings!3. I have considered myself a runner for less than a year. Last February I randomly decided to run 6.5 miles one Sunday afternoon. Before that I had only run 3-4 at a time. I have been hooked since! I ran my first race EVER in September, Rock and Roll Philadelphia and finished in 2:08:13 :) I am so proud! Hoping and praying to break two hours this year!

4. I don't like sheets. I actually sleep on top of a really soft blanket. This habit started back in High School and has stuck. I'm quirky, I know :)

5. Growing up my favorite color was red, but when my best friend got married and we had purple dresses I've been obsessed with all things purple since! I even have purple Ray Bans that my dear friend, Sara bought me!

6. I am NOT a morning person. I don't like to talk at all, but the one thing I really like to do is workout. I have had so many good workouts in the AM!

7. I have three best friends! I love them so much and we call each other the Fantastic Four. Two of us live here in NYC and two live in Austin: Mandy, Tonya, Candace, and Me.

8. I have a white tattoo on my wrist that no one ever notices :) It says "ὡσαννά" which means Hosanna in Greek. Hosanna is the cry of praise or adoration shouted in recognition of the Messiahship of Jesus. I've been a Christ follower since I was 18 and it's the foundation of my life.

9. I went to undergrad and studied Government and wanted to go Law School.... not so much anymore.

10. My favorite place in New York City is Central Park. It's beautiful and have had some major runners high moments there that I will never forget.

11. My favorite red wine is Lambruso and my favorite white wine is Reisling. I've only liked wine since 2006. I use to HATE it.

Here are Michele's questions:

1. What was the first race signed up for? When was it? Where was it? How did you do?
Rock and Roll Philly. In September of 2011. AMAZING. I PR'ed! haha! 2:08:13

2. What is your favorite color? Purple

3. Do you prefer to read stories and the training of elite runners or every day runners? Why?
Everyday runners. I love the running community I have found via twitter and reading all of their blogs.

4. Treadmill or dreadmill? Use to be the dreadmill but I appreciate it now that we are in winter!

5. Gear junkie or Run Naked? I ran naked for a very long time but after getting a Garmin, I'm OBSESSED with stats/splits/etc.

6. Is there an era of music that you prefer? Oldies? Classic Rock? 90s? Not really. Just whatever is popular at the moment.

7. Coffee or Tea? Tea.

8. What is a childhood secret you never told your mom? I got a paper clip stuck in a lock once and we had to get the door lock replaced but I never told her it was me! HAHA!

9. Favorite Olympic Summer sport to watch? Swimming.

10. Favorite movie of all time? Home Alone!

11. Cake or Pie? Pumpkin Pie.

I'm cheating and not making any other questions... :)

Happy February!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I am alive.

I know I only have about 2-3 readers on here, but I figured I'd let you know that I am definitely alive and well! Happy 2012, friends! I rounded off the year by spending 20 days in Texas with my family and friends. It was a much needed break from NYC, but by the end I was literally jumping up and down to come back home to New York City. A year and a half ago I would have never thought that I'd be so eager to come back here, but I can say that it truly does feel like my new home, for now, and for however long the Lord wants me to live here. I love my apartment and my roommates, and every day when I walk out of my apartment I am just so happy. I'm really excited for this coming year. Last year was good, but it had it's true challenges. I was really ready for 2012 to be here.

A few things I'm looking forward to:

1. Welcoming Baby Fairley to the world in February! Yay Candace and Freeman :)
2. Welcoming Little R to Austin Texas this Spring sometime (praying so!) Hooray Mandy and Leighton!
3. Running 13.1 miles through the streets of DC with Jaclyn and Morgan!
4. Many more foodie adventures with my new friend, Lauren, who writes a FANTASTIC blog at:
5. Running 13.1 miles for FREE in Central Park for the More/Fitness Half Marathon in April. I won it via twitter. I really LOVE social media.
6. Seeing two of my high school friends say 'I Do' in June in Texas. I'm in the wedding and I'm already really looking forward to that weekend so much. It's going to be epic.

Of course there are others, but for now that's most important. Life is good and the Lord is great.

Over and out.