A lesson I keep learning over and over again

Went for a run today and I killed it! No Garmin so no temptation to check my watch every few minutes to see how far I had left or what pace I was maintaining. Just cloudy, drizzly weather and fresh legs to keep me going.

always sierra end of run

That’s what sweaty happiness looks like!

I’ve been facing the motivation blues lately. A physically challenging run is hard enough; but when my mind gets in the way even “easy” runs feel impossible. When this happens, my instinct is to power through the run. (Actually, that’s pretty much my instinct in life too!) Thing is, I can only keep that up for 26.2 miles five minutes before that whole pesky need to breathe thing hits.

Of course, stopping to breathe just opens up an endless loop of failure. (That’s right, failure…forget that whole grateful to be alive business!) Not only am I stuck in a crappy run but I can’t even get through to the end because I can’t run for more than five minutes without having to stop! The endless cycle of can’t can’t can’t starts and I’m doomed!

Eventually, one run later or five runs later, my mind steps out of the way and I shake off the blahs. I remember that a bad run is not the end of the world. That the sun will still rise regardless if I hit 3 miles or 6. That my dog and cat will only judge me if I forget to feed them and not because I can’t hit a 10 minute mile every.single.mile.every.single.run. every.single.day.

Yes, it’s true, I once again come to terms with the fact that I am not a professional athlete whose livelihood depends on running. Hard to believe, right?

My legs take over, business as usual, and I get lost in the rhythm. Faster doesn’t matter, harder doesn’t matter, longer doesn’t matter. The rhythm matters. And once more I find the fun.

Today I found the fun, and it was glorious.

Pillsbury Red Velvet Cookies

I also found these cookies – so delicious hot from the oven! And they’re not just cookies…they’re BIG cookies! 

If you’re having a rough run, having a rough day, having a rough week, it’s okay. Let yourself have it, re-focus, and know that you’ll find your rhythm again.

Always, Sierra

P.S. Can’t front –  I totally used my phone to track my run because I’m addicted like that, but I didn’t check for number’s once while I was running. 3.04 miles in 30.24 minutes…whaaaaaaat! (Did this post just lose all validity?!)

P.P.S. This is my 100th post! Crazy, right?! A shout out to my readers…you deserve more consistent posting and we both deserve to win the lottery…let’s see how that goes shall we?

Check out how it all started, and looking forward to the next hundred!


Workout Recap: Half Marathon Training Week 10

Dropping in real quick for an update on half marathon training. Check out this post to see how it all started!

Monday: 3.01 miles, 9.59 min/mile. Great, fast run!

City by the Bay

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 2.93 miles, 10.36 min/mile. First time running in my hilly neighborhood for quite sometime, and man, I thought I was going to pass out!

Friday: rest

Saturday: 5.2 miles, 12.08 min/mile. The goal was to get 6 miles in, but it was just not happening. My legs were still feeling heavy from Thursday’s run, and the headwind I was running into didn’t help. With just under a mile to go I threw the towel in and cloud watched for a bit.


Sunday: Easy hiking. I took a foraging class today, i.e. how to identify some local edible plants and learned so much! Can’t wait to share it with you later this week.

Miner's Lettuce

The rest of the day has been devoted to some much needed R and R.

whiskey kitteh

Running Miles: 11.14

Overall: It was a rough week motivation wise. Now that I’ve seen I can run a 10 minute mile, I’m expecting every mile to be at that pace, which just isn’t going to happen. And when I can’t deliver on that, I start getting frustrated with myself. My goal for next week is to refocus on the fun and forget about the pace!

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

Always, Sierra

Workout Recap: Half Marathon Training Week 9

I didn’t take a single picture while running this week…how’s that for blogger fail? But it makes sense when I look at the week below. I got my miles in but I can’t say any of the runs felt particularly amazing or noteworthy, they felt like I was getting business done.

So because we all know a post without pictures is no post at all, you’re stuck with some randoms. You’re welcome.

Monday: Rest/foam roll. Experimenting with a recipe from The Runner’s World Cookbook.

Runner's World Cookbook recipe

Tuesday: 3 miles on the treadmill, 12.10 min/mile. Mentally draining day at work = a zone out run on the good ole ‘mill. Caught up on some episodes of The New Girl…Prince was pretty awesome.

Wednesday: 9 miles on the bike. I swapped one of my short/slow runs for a catch-up bike ride with a girlfriend and had such a good time! Maybe I should actually do that whole cross-training thing I worked into my training plan once in a while.

Thursday: Rest/foam roll

Friday: 4.54 miles, 10:57 min/mile.

Saturday: 10.01 miles, 12:02 min/mile. This was harder than last week’s long run. Was it because of not taking a rest day Friday to ensure fresh legs? Or was it because I started off mentally struggling to get in the mood? Either way, I was happy when it was over.

Honey Stingers are delicious

I was also happy to recently discover these. So delicious!

Sunday: Road Trip! I thought 8 hours total in the car would make me extra sore after yesterday’s long run, but surprisingly it didn’t. No complaints here!

Run miles: 17.55

Bike miles: 9

Overall: I’m happy with it. Pita thinks I could have stepped up my couch game a bit.

Bitch Please

Always, Sierra

Workout Recap: Half Marathon Training Weeks 7 & 8

Let’s breeze through Week 7 recap (Spoiler Alert – nothing much happened), and then rejoice in the awesomeness of Week 8!

Week 7: 2/3/14 – 2/09/14

Wednesday: 3.55 miles on the treadmill, 12:46 min/mile. I think running on the treadmill has been contributing to occasional back pain, so I’ve decided if I’m stuck inside for a run I’m going to take it slow and easy.

Thursday: 3.30 miles, with two miles tempo, 11:25 min/mile.

Sunset Run

Every other day of the week: nada

Run miles: 6.85

Overall: A week of low motivation and the rainy weather we’ve been waiting for coincided with a step back week. I wish I could work up the energy to be disappointed, but I spent it all on setting PR’s in Week 8 :).

Week 8: 2/10/14 – 2/16/14

Monday: 5 miles, 11.19 min/mile. The fog rolled in and made it feel otherworldly.

Foggy Run

Tuesday: Foam Roll/Rest

Wednesday: 3 miles, 9:55 min/mile. PR city (unofficial)!! This is the first time I’ve finished 3 miles in under 30 minutes. I guess there’s some benefit to training after all! I’ve always felt that 10 minute miles were my own personal obstacle to get past, so it felt pretty freaking amazing to accomplish this. Don’t ask me to maintain it for long, but damn it, I can do it!

3 miles under 30

Thursday: Rest. My legs felt good, but I figured I’d give them a day to recover from the faster than average pace.

Friday: 3 miles, 11.14 min/mile.

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 9 miles, 11:57 min/mile in perfect running weather. This is my longest run to date, and I loved every second of it. From this point forward, every week will be a new personal best for me in terms of distance, which is kind of cool. 9 miles felt better than 8 miles, and I can feel how far I’ve come in terms of endurance and fitness.

Run miles: 20 miles (probably my week of highest run volume?)

Overall: Today marks my two month period of training for my first half-marathon, and it was so rewarding to see how far I’ve come this week. I should have tried this whole concrete training plan thing earlier!

Always, Sierra

Are you training for a spring race? Or planning a spring fling get away?


Workout Recap: Half Marathon Training Weeks 5 & 6

So much to catch up on! I’m four weeks behind in my workout recaps and I want to make sure I get them posted so I can keep track of my progress. Weeks 5 & 6…let’s do this! 

Week 1/20/14 – 1/26/14

Reunion week! For the first time in two years, my three college roomies and I were in the same city and causing a ruckus like the good ole days. Andrea and Drew flew into town Wednesday from the East Coast, and Ashley came up Thursday afternoon. These gals are my sisters. Spending time with them feels like home, no matter what city we’re in.


Monday: 3 miles, 11:26 min/mile. California may be facing serious drought issues, but it’s hard not to enjoy this spring-like winter. I topped my run off with a short, leisurely hike after Pita demanded being freed from the house. 1.41 miles, 23 min/mile.

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 4 miles on the treadmill, 1% incline, 13 min/mile. I got stuck at work until after dark, so I took it to the belt and indulged in some of my fave shows. Danny and Mindy?! FINALLY! Looking forward to April to see how it all unravels!

Friday: Rest (And by rest I mean getting pick pocketed at a bar in the Mission and having my second smart phone stolen in the course of 6 months. For someone who rarely loses or misplaces anything, this frustrated me to no end!)

Saturday: Rest/Deliciousness

Sunday: 7 miles, 12:10 min/mile. Seven miles has never felt so good. I’m sure part of it was because I had cut back on mileage the week before so my legs were fresh, but I loved every second of this run. I came home with more energy than I left with, and decided to take Pita out on a 3.09 mile hike, 25 min/mile.

scenic runs

Run Miles: 14 miles

Hike Miles: 4.5 miles

Overall: My first week where I missed a planned run, but I knew it was a good possibility with some of my favorite people in town. I made up for it in hiking miles. C’est la vie! (Do you remember that song – so ridiculous but man I loved it!)

Week 1/27/14 – 2/2/14

Monday: Rest. Had a great day hanging out with Mom!

Tuesday: 3 miles, 10:56 min/mile. I had planned to take this one nice and easy but my legs had a mind of their own.

Wednesday: 4 miles, 11:47 min/mile.

Thursday: Rest (And I got my replacement phone that I had to pay $199 for. What’s the point of insurance I ask?)

Friday: 3 miserable miles, 12:16 min/mile. I woke up to sunshine and packed a tank top to run in. BIG mistake. It may have been sunny, but it was cold and windy and I spent 3 chilly miles regretting my wardrobe and wishing I had stayed in the car.

Saturday: 8 miles, 11:58 min/mile. This long run was not quite as easy as last week’s. Seven miles seems to be my line in the sand. Anything up to that feels doable and fairly easy, anything over that feels like my limbs are going to fall off. I got my 8 miles in and contemplated an ice bath, but just didn’t have the time for it. I had more important things to do like conquer pancakes!

irun ihop

I caught Wolf of Wall Street later that afternoon with Crystal. O.M.G. I can’t. That movie was too much! I had no idea that it was three hours long, but I felt completely enthralled for the majority of it. I don’t even want to guess at how close to the truth it was, or all the stuff that might have been left out…it was that crazy.

Sunday: Rest. And real rest, not the I’m too tired from work to do anything rest. I slept in. I got up and ate breakfast and then went back to bed to read for a while. I made cookies. We Super Bowl partied. I ate cookies. We Puppy Bowled. It was heaven.

Run miles: 18 miles

Two good weeks of quality training and quality time with quality people!

Always, Sierra