Running, as you know, is a big part of my life. I think about it all the time. I’m always thinking about training, races, running friends, what gear I need next (yes, NEED!)… It’s a constant thought in my mind and bleeds into my social life, friendships and weekend plans.
I wasn’t too focused on my numbers this year except for achieving lifetime half #100 at Long Beach. Considering I was battling plantar fasciitis for the first half of 2015, I’m happy I ran the miles and races I did run. As I was reflecting on 2015 though, I realized that a big part of my running were the friendships I gained. I’m really a lucky girl when I think about my running family. I’m really thankful for my running life and all that it has given me. Here are the highlights for 2015!
I made the team in October 2014 and was so excited to be on a team with coaches. It was my first time being on a team like this with coaches, teammates and paid race entries. By the beginning of 2015, we had all become really close. We were a tight-knit group. I made wonderful friends and the good thing about social media is, I can still see what everyone is up to. Some of us joined our coach’s running group, the Coyotes, afterward so we kept running together which was really awesome!
We had so much fun on our training runs. I learned a lot about heart-rate training, pace and strength training. I suffered from plantar fasciitis for most of 2014 and about half of 2015. I learned about strengthening my imbalances and really worked on it, more than I ever had.
I learned about nutrition, too! I learned a lot about how to fuel during the run. I never paid much attention to calories during the run before this but it was a big focus for us and I didn’t hit the wall during LA. So it worked! After the training runs, we always had a blast bar waiting for us. It was really cool. There were many perks being on the team but the best outcome were the friendships I was lucky to have because of the group.
We rocked LA, at the marathon! We spent 6 months together and when I think about my Team NutriBullet season and teammates, I have nothing but positive memories. There was no drama, no craziness. It was a time in my life where I had just been involved in running friend drama so I needed separation from the drama, time to refocus on myself and a team to remind me about the beauty of running. We were truly a solid team and I feel super thankful I was part of it.
When Team NutriBullet ended, some of us joined our coach’s group, Coyote Running. Coach Jimmy is an amazing coach and I knew I still had much to learn. His wife, Coach Kate, and Coach Nicole, from Team NutriBullet were our coaches for the Filthy Fast season which had a focus on road running, some trail running, practicing good form and strength training. Our goal was the San Francisco Marathon.
I continued working on strength training with Coach Nicole during the season.
The best part about the season was that we learned how to run on trails! I had really only run on trails a couple of times before that but during the Filthy Fast season, Coach Jimmy and Coach Kate gave us a trail running clinic and lots of tips throughout the season as they came up, like what to do when you encounter a snake!
I ended up not running San Francisco. I wasn’t into it and more than anything, I was really starting to love the trails more than the road. My plantar fasciitis didn’t act up on the trails. I didn’t have pain like I used to.
There were many fun moments during the season. We went to the Dodgers Runners Night! We often ate together after Tuesday night workouts. I got to join in on a couple of Thursday morning trail runs when I was on vacation. I learned so much from the Yotes and they were the ones who really influenced me to run my first 50k. “30k? Why would you just run a 30k? Go for the 50k!” They all were so supportive throughout the whole season, giving me advice, answering my questions, sending me positive messages for my first 50k and waiting for me till I crossed the finish at Ray Miller. These crazy Yotes made me even crazier and I love it!
The biggest accomplishment for 2015 was getting into trail running! I never thought I could run trails. My footing isn’t very good. I’d turned my foot plenty of times over the years on the road. But during the Coyote season, we ran some long runs on trails to build strength.
I really started to love it. I learned that trail running requires more focus than road running because of the unevenness and the terrain. I never once turned my foot or twisted anything during the season and haven’t yet. (Knock on wood!) I started out being super timid and cautious.
I remember my first time running Sullivan Ridge, the Bobsled. I was so scared running down. I was sweating bullets. I was frozen and didn’t know where to step or what to do. I paused for a good while but then knew I had to get going as the faster runners would start bolting down the trail. I made it but had never been so scared.
I continued running trails and in July, we all decided to run Ray Miller. (It was Consuela’s crazy idea!) Coach Kate was our coach for the Trail Miller Lite season. She hosted Tuesday night practices for us and we went on our own for the weekend long run.
We really bonded through our Ray Miller training season. I got stronger on the trails. I wasn’t as scared as I was before. I ran Sullivan Ridge a couple more times and wasn’t frozen mid-trail like I was the first time.
And we saw a rattlesnake, too! Three of us went to Westridge one Saturday in July and we saw it! I really felt like a trail runner at that point! Haha. I wasn’t scared though. I was interested to see what it would do. It just made its way back into the side of the cliff. It was really exciting for me!
Two Big Races!
My running involves lots of races. I already wrote about my 2015 Races in Review but want to highlight the two big ones again! Races are a big part of my running life not for the competition part but for the other parts…the routines that come with running races, the excitement of a race, seeing running friends who also run lots of races, the post-race meal, the bling…you get the idea! The two highlights were my 100th lifetime half marathon at Long Beach and my first 50k at Ray Miller! I’d been shooting for the 100th half for some time and I’d been dreaming about being an ultrarunner for even longer.
2015 was an amazing running year for me! I got stronger. I pretty much beat plantar fasciitis. I learned a lot about running even after 12 years of running. I ran trails. I ran a bunch of races. I became an ultrarunner. I’m so proud to be a runner and be part of this community. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Your path, your pace, Tam