Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

Life is Short, Buy the Shoes…..for Someone in Need! #WearAPair2017

You know the old saying:

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Well how about we all do one better?

 Buy the shoes for a child in need!  Oh yeah.

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Did you know?

“Over 2 billion people suffer from soil-transmitted diseases and parasites. They live in areas that do not have adequate sanitation. They struggle with proper hygiene. They do not have the right clothing, resources, or healthcare. And being sick = struggling. Kids miss school, can’t help their families, suffer with pain. Many of these diseases and parasites get into the body because people don’t have shoes.”

“There are over 300 million children who do not have shoes. And countless more with shoes that do not fit. Sometimes they receive donations of shoes, but these are kids. Their feet grow. And they outgrow donated shoes within a year. Right back where they started.” ~ TheShoesThat Grow.Org

So what can we do?

My co-workers and I at The Treadmill in Carmel, CA. are partnering up with The Shoe That Grows (a 501(c)3 organization headquartered in Nampa, Idaho) to help get shoes to children in need. And not just any shoe! The Shoe That Grows are adjustable and expandable.  The shoes literally grow up to 5 sizes!!  So not only do the kiddos get new shoes they get shoes that will last them YEARS!!

 Help us by donating or learning more!

The first week of April 2017 is #WearAPair2017 week.  At The Treadmill we are wearing, talking and sharing The Shoe That Grows online and in person to help spread the word about this fantastic shoe.  Local?  Come on down and check out the shoes in person.  We are open Sunday – Friday 10-6 and 9-6 on Saturday.

Monetary donations are being accepted both in store and

on-line through our fundraising page:

The Treadmill Team!  

(click here to visit to our fundraising page)

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To learn more about The Shoe That Grows click here for information and videos.

To learn more about The Shoe That Grows click here

for information and videos.

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In a Running Rut? Need some Motivation? Aaptiv could be right for you!

This is the true story about how the app Aaptiv helped me to find MY happy pace in running again.

Backtrack to late last fall.

I had trained on my own for The Big Sur Half Marathon in November.  And by training I mean I managed the workouts, and the long runs etc, but my motivation was kind of in the pooper.  Like on a scale of 1-10 I was probably at a 3 or 4 at best but only because I was still running.  It wasn’t pretty and I wasn’t really enjoying myself at all.  I ran the half with no real expectations, no big hopes for a new PR.  I knew I would finish and chocked it up to enjoying the sights and sounds of my last Big Sur Half Marathon while here in CA.  Mission accomplished, in other words I got it done.  It’s a beautiful half for sure. Thank goodness.

Next up for me was the Star Wars Light Side Half in January.  Problem was although I was super excited to run the Star Wars themed race, I was still lacking any real motivation to continue to train.

Enter Aaptiv.

Changing word Unmotivated into motivated

Please note: I DO NOT receive ANY monetary compensation from sharing Aaptiv.  Nor did they ask me to write this post.  However I really and truly enjoy the app and use it regularly.  If you’re in a rut and lacking motivation like I was, or just want to try something new then this might be just the app for you

November 2016

My husband has been in a rigorous accelerated collage program to get his masters degree. In other words lots of time in class and even more time at the library.  That’s the reason we are in California so I’m not complaining just stating facts.  We also have three very active children, I work part-time at a local running store, and am responsible 99% of the time for making sure the kiddos get where they need to be, when they need to be there.   School, sports, scouts etc, etc. Like many of you my training is often superseded by family schedules.  Add in lack of motivation and you have a recipe for a running disaster.

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I had heard about Aaptiv online and had been curious about it.  I found out a local friend of mine had become an ambassador.  I contacted her and she hooked me up with a free trial, I mean what did I have to lose?  Except maybe my severe lack of motivation.  If this could help, then I was all in.

One word.  Wow!  I have to tell you joining Aaptiv has been a HUGE motivational boost for me!  It not only saved my half, but has given me a whole new outlook and joy in my everyday running and training.  In fact I was so hooked that before my trail period ended I not only signed up for the year I also applied to become an ambassador.

But before I go any further let me explain exactly what Aaptiv is?

Aaptiv is way more than a running app!  It’s a complete on demand, multi coach, fitness audio training app right on your phone.  It’s like having a coach in your pocket 24/7.  Chock full of classes you can do in your home, at the gym or take it with you outside.  The app has taken off since I have joined and now includes:

  • Indoor (treadmill) Classes
  • Outdoor Running Classes
  • 5k – full marathon training plans
  • Indoor Cycling classes
  • Yoga Classes
  • Strength Classes
  • Meditation Classes
  • Stairclimber Classes
  • Walking Classes
  • Stretching (classes are automatically suggested right on the app after each class, which I love because I can be a bit lazy when it comes to stretching)
  • elliptical classes
  • 7 minute quick HIIT classes
  • monthly challenges and so much more
  • there is also an Official Aaptiv Member Facebook page where you can connect with other members

In addition to choosing which type of class you want to take, filter options also include sorting by:

  • duration of the class
  • incline level (when applicable)
  • speed
  • difficulty level (green for beginner, yellow for intermediate and red for advanced)
  • classes by trainer (choose your favorite or try someone new)
  • new classes or classes previously taken

Classes are set to fantastic music too.  No stale old “who the heck is this?” music here.  You will find everything from Hip Hop and Rock to Country.  Everything from Foo Fighters, Brittany Spears, AC/DC and everything in between.  The trainers are motivating and informative, I love the extra push I get from having that trainer in my ear.

Back to my Half Training:

For the Star Wars Lightside I jumped into the half training plan at the appropriate week for my half schedule.  Weekly runs in the half plan include cross training / recovery days. (a complete explanation of the plans are available on the Aaptive website)  The half training includes days of speed work, tempo runs and even long runs.  Each day is led by a seasoned instructor who both motivates you and gives great information on how to prepare for your half.   Just click the day of the plan your on and go!  I was able to do most (and could have done all if needed) of my training on the treadmill because that’s what works best for me time wise.  The plan is great for indoor and outdoor training.  I not only performed really well at Disney I enjoy every single minute of that half!  Honestly.

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This was in between miles 12 & 13…see still smiling.

So what now?

Since January I have continued to use Aaptive 4-5 days a week.  I branched off from the plan and now include weekly classes like hill training, speed training and even cross training days.  I am so thankful to be excited about working out and especially running again.  I have found new motivation to work on getting better, faster, stronger all while finding my happy pace in running and life!

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Great run thanks to Aaptiv even with some hills!

Are you needing a little motivation or a change in your routine and want to try Aaptiv too?  Feel free to use my code

DARLENAKOLPAKCLUB (click my code for the website and enter it there)  

Cancel at anytime during the trial period if you don’t love it.  

Any problems or questions, just ask!

 

 

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This One is Gonna Hurt. When you know its time for a DNS

February 2017

25K Trail Race

My first ever DNS (did not start)  

But why?

  • Was I sick?  No
  • Was I unprepared?  I thought so.
  • Hard decision…definetly!
  • Right decision?  I still say yes.
  • Does it hurt?  A little

I was signed up for my first ever 25K trail race.  I was distance prepared but not hilly trail prepared for this race.  I had done a half just a few weeks earlier at Disney but my trail hill training was lacking.  I was hoping to get a few good long, hilly, trail runs in the few weeks between races.  I have to thank the Treadmill and my friend Sharon (Rungry Runner) for the few that did happen.

Never regret the steps you have taken for they all lead you somewhere.  

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Sharon aka: RungyRunner

Sharon aka: Rungy Runner

I was uneasy the entire week leading up to the race, and especially the night before.  I personally knew not one person who was also doing the 25k.  I knew people doing the 10k and some doing the 50k.  If I had one partner in crime I would have toughed it out no matter how long it took me.  Once you commit to a trail race your out there.  And if that means your out there alone then that’s your situation.  Distance trail races are different from road races.  I have done quite a few half marathons out here in Cali alone.  But being a less experienced trail runner, and this would be my longest trail race ever, I just wasn’t feeling it.

I woke up at about 4 and told my hubby I decided not to do the race.  He said are you sick?  Nope, just not ready.  I got up at about 6 instead and headed out for some less hilly trail miles close to me.  The more I ran the more sure I was that I had made the right decision.  And if you believe in signs these were some pretty good ones.  Rainbows, lots of rainbows out during my run.

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I guess sometimes DNS is the right thing to do, its just hard.  

 

 

 

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Have you ever had a DNS?  Well, now you know your not alone.

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2017 So Far… Did Someone Say Star Wars?

Its been a while, and this post is pretty late but I haven’t fallen off the running wagon!  In fact I ran Disney in January.  But not just any Disney race, a total “Bucket List” Star Wars half marathon race for me.

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This wasn’t my first Disney race but it was my first half at Disneyland.  And having it be a Star Wars was more that just the icing on the cake for me.  I am a HUGE Star Wars nerd.  In fact we are an entire family of Star Wars nerds.  No regrets, no excuses.  I grew up on Star Wars and my favorites were always the droids….and of course Princess Leia. #princesspower

 

As luck would have it my kiddos also had a few days off from school around the race so we made it a Mommy & kiddo weekend.  We are currently about 5 1/2 hours from Disneyland so we drove.  Through fog (lots of fog) a crazy rain and wind storm (thank you Grapevine!?!) and fog and almost snow and fog because did I mention the fog?  Geez who knew I might have to worry about snow driving to southern California?!?  Amazingly we made it in exactly 5 1/2 hours on the dot.  BAM.  Go Mom.

The kiddos and I headed to the expo not too long after we got to Anaheim.  The hardest part for me was figuring out where the expo was and how to get there, lol.  I am slightly directionally challenged, ok maybe more than slightly.  But we managed.  Packet pick up complete.  Next we were off to lunch at Rainforest Cafe.  No rest for the wicked (or pre-race Mom) we spent most of the day in the parks.  #worthit

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Unfortunately I wasn’t able to participate in any of the weekend challenge races but it was fun to see people walking around the parks with all their medals.  My race was all about Sunday’s half.  I was ready and so excited.  I had decided to dress as BB8 because I had gotten a SWEET BB8 shirt from InknBurn.  And I am always a sucker for the droids.  Not too long before the race the world lost our Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)  so I decided to do an ode to Leia by wearing my hair in Princess Leia styled buns for the half.  RIP Carrie.

Race morning was chilly but I meet up with a fellow Subbers (Sub 30 club) Shannon and Mary and we headed out to the half together.  OK they totally showed me how to get to the start because apparently the kids and I had been taking a round about way to enter the parks.  See, directionally challenged my friends.  We met up for a pre race group Subber pic and then said our goodbyes as we were in different corrals.

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Members of the Sub 30 Club

If there is one thing I am always happy for it’s a good toss away shirt / sweatshirt for waiting in the corrals at the start of the race. Can I get an Amen?  Even though Disney always keeps things lively there isn’t much they can do about the cold.  I was really happy I had a sweatshirt for that 30-40 minute wait for my corral to get on their way.  Running through the parks and Anaheim were magical for sure. If I included all the pics I took this post would be more like a mini novel.  Here are a few of my favs and no surprise with some of my favorite droids.

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By far this was my favorite Disney race so far.  And yes it was totally because it was Star Wars themed.  Characters of all kinds were plentiful both inside and outside the park.

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Getting close to the end and yes I was still this happy!! #StarWarsNerd #foundmyhappypace

My time was even better than I had anticipated despite stopping too many times to count.  I know a lot of that had to do with my training.  Since my last half in November I had been using the Aaptive App Half Marathon Training Plan.  What you have never heard of Aaptive??  Oh my friend have you been missing out….but that’s for another blog entry.  Best App I have ever used for running hands down, just saying.

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After more pics and making my way back to the hotel I showered and changed and soon the kiddos and I were off to the parks for the next few days.  Admittedly I was quite sore after this half, more so than usual.  The only thing I can think is maybe all the stopping and starting for character pictures but again #worthit.

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Me and Chewie!!!

I can’t wait to do Disney again and it will be another new race for me.  Disney Wine and Dine back at Disney World in November. Bonus…I will earn my coast to coast medal too!

 

Have you ever run Disney?  What was your favorite Disney Race?  

If not which would you like to run?

 

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All Road IDs now ON SALE! The perfect gift!

As many of you probably know I am an affiliate for RoadID, but did you know now is the perfect time to pick one up?  Give the gift of piece of mind to yourself, a friend or loved one.  Click here or on my affiliate link to the right.  Be safe!

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That’s right only $18 but for a limited time!  Jump on it!!!

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Walk to End Alzheimer’s #formom #EndAlz

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Last Saturday I participated in my third Walk to End Alzheimer’s in honor of my mother Angela.  Seeing someone you love slip away, wether a parent, grandparent or friend is devastating.  You have a choice as to how you handle your grief.   I choose to walk and bring social awareness to this disease.  Did you know that there are more than 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s and 2/3 of those suffering from Alzheimers are women?   In addition in 2015 over 15 million caregivers provided an estimated 18.1 BILLION hours of unpaid care.  Even if my mother never sees a cure for this disease I know she would be proud of the efforts made by all those who donated in honor of her, and future generations.

So I want to send a HUGE Thank You to those who supported my walk.  From the generosity of family, friends, co-workers and even strangers I was proudly able to walk as not only as a Champion but as a Grand Champion by raising over $1,000.  Blessings to all of you! Please keep my mom, our family and all those affected by Alzheimer’s in your prayers.  Keep the faith and walk on!

Special thanks to InknBurn and The Treadmill for their donations and support!!

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Ready to Walk!

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THANK YOU!!!

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Bonus cupcakes after the Walk!!

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Worldwide Alzheimer’s Awareness Day! #ENDALZ #PurpleMemories

For Mom and in honor of Worldwide Alzheimer’s Awareness Day!

Want to join in the fight?  Click here to support my Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  

I will be walking in Monterey, CA on October 8th.

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My Mother and I

 

For a third year I’m walking to help reclaim the future for millions, including my Mom, by participating in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®. I’m committed to raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research, care and support.
My Mother was diagnosed with early onset in her mid sixties. By 70 she was living in a nursing home. For those who have gone through this you know how devastating it is. For those who haven’t, imagine your mother, the one who always loved and cared for you slowly slipping away. At first it’s just forgetfulness, then its confusion and finally one day she doesn’t even know who YOU, her own child, even is. My mom is now in the advanced stages. For her it all happened very fast. She can no longer walk, feed herself, perform any daily tasks. She talks in a few short words which often do not pertain to the conversation at hand. Our family is crushed and on a mission to find a cure! But we need your help to get there.
Did you know…Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.
Please consider making a donation big or small to help the Alzheimer’s Association advance research into methods of treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s. For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.

Thank you for joining the movement! The end of Alzheimer’s disease starts with you and me!
Darlena 🙂

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Heart Rate Training (HRT) Works! I Ran Slow and Got a PR

As some of you may know I have been know to do a HRT Heart Rate (based) Training.  Read months of running slow…very slow in my aerobic zone.  Following my last half back in November I decided to go back to HRT once again.  After completing another round of purely base HRT I switched to an 80/20 Half Marathon Training plan for my next half marathon.  What is 80/20?  Basically its running 80% of your runs at / below your Max Aerobic Heart Rate Training number.  So yes I did continued to run 80% of my training slow.  The other 20% of it was spent in my anerobic training zone.  As the plan progressed that included things like hill repeats.  This past Sunday I ran the Surfer’s Path Capitola Half Marathon a beautiful course that started and ended at the famous Boardwalk in Santa Cruz. The course took us passed several well known surfing spots (thus the name).  As luck would have it the waves were not happening Sunday morning.  Lots of surfers basically just wading in the water 🙁  However the view…still amazing.  But the best part?  I PR’d!  Up until last November I had not PR’d a half marathon in a few YEARS. So yes you can be older AND still get faster 🙂 using HRT, as long as you give it time.

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Surfers waiting on some waves.

So how did it go?  

First off I had NO planed goal for this race.  My friend had to pull out earlier in the week so I was going solo and my eating over my birthday weekend and beyond was less than stellar.  I wasn’t expecting anything other than enjoying the views and finishing.  I was more than pleasantly surprised by the PR!

My plan: I decided to go with a 2:1 run/walk ratio. I did run the entire first mile just to break up the field of runners a bit and warm up.  I also ran this race by Cadence rather than a pace. Why you may ask?  Well just out of curiosity I did my last tempo run by cadence and it felt pretty good and my time wasnt too shabby.  My cadence goal for running was 180.  I’m very happy to say I nailed it!  My walking cadence was around 124, personally I would like to see this go a bit higher, but that’s my new goal for the next race.

The course:  It wasn’t super hilly, but it wasn’t all flat either. The unfortunate part was that most of the roads had a very noticeable slant to it.  I did my best to stay on the flattest part of the road, however this wasn’t always possible.

My race: After the turn around (it was an out and back) I noticed I started passing people #winning
However by mile 8 I felt a twinge in my right knee.  No,no, no…try to adjust my form, don’t get lazy, don’t slouch!  However by about mile 9 the twinge turned more into pain. IT band related knee pain.
I continued to push through with the walk/ run.  I had IT problems happen to me about 3 years ago during a race and I knew it wasn’t as bad as that time ( I hobbled to the finish line for that one, it was awful) so I figured as long as it didn’t get worse I could continue on.

Finish:  I never looked at the time on my watch during the race. I just kept an eye on my cadence. In fact I didn’t realize I PR’d until I got home later, lol.

Feeling happy that my knee held out and didn't get worse!

Feeling happy that my knee held out and didn’t get worse! InknBurn Run or Die, the perfect shirt choice for the day :)

I like walk run because it helps me keep my HR down (however I don’t wear my Heart Rate Monitor when racing) I run by feel for races and I have to say I felt good during the entire race, knee pain aside.

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Santa Cruz Boardwalk

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Chillin’ at the beach post race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you might be wondering how one gets injured if doing HRT? I am 99% sure my IT band issues are from two things, and 100% sure none of it has to do with my actual HRT training!
1)Too much actual racing too close together
2) Not stretching enough.

I have done 3 “longish” races in less than a month. A nine miler, a double road race (8k followed 30 minutes by a 5k) and now this half. My body isn’t used to doing that much fast pace racing so close together.

Phillip-4032

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Big Sur Weekend Recap!

Hello everyone!  I’ve been busy with family lately so once again this is a little late here is my recap from my first Big Sur Weekend.

BUT FIRST…one word.  Bart!  If you know running there is no other words necessary.  Except I do have to say and you can quote me:  “Nicest guy ever!”   He acted like he was more excited to meet me than I was to meet him.

Bart and me!!  Swoon! Rabbit ears courtesy of my 8 year old :)

Bart and me!! Swoon!
Rabbit ears courtesy of my 8 year old :)

But on to the races:

First race up:  The By the Bay 3k with my youngest kiddo.  The culmination of weeks of running and training with the Just Run Program at his school and part of the Big Sur Weekend!  It’s always great to spend time doing something you love, but even better to do it with SOMEONE you love 🙂  I’m so proud of this guy!

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My son and I post race

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Proud Mom moment :)

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Next up:  April 24th the Big Sur 9 miler, part of the Big Sur Marathon Weekend.  Running in Big Sur is a huge bucket list item for many runners, I am extremely fortunate to live and work very close to Big Sur.  In fact the finish line of all the Big Sur weekend races end in the parking lot of the CrossRoads in Carmel where I work at The Treadmill.  Although I wasn’t able to register early enough for the marathon, 20 or 10.6 milers (due to family commitments) I was finally able to commit to the 9 miler.  At first I was a tad bummed because a lot of the 9 miler is held inside Point Lobos and not on the marathon course, but man was I elated when I ran the course.  Point Lobos  truly is the crowned jewel of the California State park system.  An absolutely stunning course, honestly the pictures do not do it justice, with part of the course even held on some trail, my new love in California.

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My favorite part was the mile plus run on the trails be the sea :)

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This pic does Point Lobos zero justice. Its stunning in real life

 

Post Race Roll out courtesy of The Treadmill

Post Race Roll out courtesy of The Treadmill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BONUS:  the final stretch of the 9 miler comes back out onto the marathon part of the course and I happen to get there at the exact time the winner was coming down into the final mile.  I got to cheer him on (as he flew by) which was pretty darn cool!

I would HIGHLY recommend doing ANY of the races included in

The Big Sur Marathon Weekend if you get the chance!  

Well run, breathtaking scenery and great support.

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What’s Up? (Long Time, no Blog.) Training, Family and Fun!

Hello everyone!  It’s been a while.  I am way overdue for a post so here it goes.

I have been very busy with family life, working and training.  My daughter’s gymnastics competition season has come to an end.  Did I mention she made Regionals?  Because she rocks!

 

Proud Mom Moment :)

Proud Mom Moment :)

 

Basketball season is over, and Boy Scouts is wrapping up for the year.  Meanwhile my oldest is doing Lacrosse.  I have also been volunteering with the Just Run program at my youngest’s school.  And then there was the weekend we took a little trip to Yosemetie for some of this…

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I learned to snowboard…sort of lol

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Lots of awesome hiking in Yosemite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite

 

See we have been just a tad busy.

But am I running?  Yes I am still running and doing Heart Rate based training.  I moved up from pure base Heart Rate Training to an 80/20 plan about 6 weeks ago in preparation for a few upcoming races.  I had been doing purely base training for about 3 months.  .   Sometimes HRT is easier to do on the treadmill.

HRT just me and my "Treaddie"

HRT just me and my “Treaddie”

 

I have 3 races and a fun run (so far) in the next 2 months

3k Fun Run with my youngest

9 miler at the Big Sur Marathon Weekend

Double Road Race in Pacific Grove

Capitola Half Marathon

I also switched back to the Maffetone / Keto eating method of High Fat / Low Carb** to become fat adapted, back in January.  And for fun 😉 have added in a weight training program.  So I am a pretty decently “Fat Adapted” running machine.  All in all I am down 10 lbs and have added some much needed muscle.

Last week I did a Virtual Half Marathon + extra with water and no food what so ever. I had some macadamia nuts with me just in case.  (I have a few friends that are doing it and they can do 20+ miles without food)  I did however learn that it’s probably a good idea to put something like Nuun in my water.  I never felt hungry or slow while running but my electrolytes were defiantly off after.  Lesson learned.  Other than that I think I am ready to race.

I have also been enjoying the views around here.  This is our first Spring in Cali and honestly we didn’t have that much of a “winter” so its been pretty fantastic.  Enjoy the views!

17 mile drive

17 mile drive

 

 

Pacific Grove

Pacific Grove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trails in Pebble Beach

Trails in Pebble Beach

17 mile drive

17 mile drive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Its not as crazy as it sounds, really.  Google Fat Adapted Running.

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