The Evolution of a Blog

It’s been an awkward amount of time that I’ve been gone, so I was at a loss for a title…. So much has happened since the blog was created that I’m not even sure what this blog is about anymore! I guess Running Aimlessly will always be apropos, because I’ve never been one for order and organization. That being said, here are a few random things I’d like to get off my chest :)

Why blog again? Well, the simplest explanation is that I have nothing and everything to write about. Let me explain. When I created this blog, it was to document my self/career-discovery, but mostly to document my running endeavors. Almost all my posts discussed running in some shape or form–it was clearly catered to fellow runners. Now, while I’m still flitting around careerlessly (no, that’s not a typo), I’m not really running more than the occasional 3 miles to keep my Siberian Husky from combusting with pent up energy. So I have “nothing” to write about because I’m not really running.

However, I have “everything” to write about because I now have an “everything” in my life–my daughter Leila. She is nearing 8 months old, and already I wish I had documented every second of my pregnancy and her first months. As is implied by my blog title, I don’t always have direction, and I’m a pretty disorganized Type B person. So I didn’t really get my stuff together until now. And while I won’t be one of those mothers documenting Leila’s growth and accomplishments every week, it will be nice to look back and relive some of Leila’s major milestones and firsts.

So, to continue with the aimlessness of this post, I’ll sum up the past 2.5 years in a paragraph. Tony and I moved to Redwood City, which is where I think I left off. Then came marriage and the baby in the baby carriage! (Before the baby came the bigger baby, Buster.) I also taught a year of high school level English. In a nutshell, it was challenging, stressful, 5% satisfying, and one of the hardest years of my life. Maybe being pregnant towards the end had something to do with it, but I think it had more to do with the day-to-day logistics of teaching. After having Leila, I don’t think I’m willing to have that stress and negative energy around me. Currently, I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I will continue to be until I find something that’s worth taking my time away from my daughter. (Or until we’re approaching broke.)

Thanks for bearing with me! This post has taken me 3 days to write over the course of nap times, so I don’t expect there’ll be much more cohesiveness to future posts. But I won’t let that stop me! Read on, or don’t, to see how this aimless adventure unfolds…


Birthday Challenge

Some people make New Year’s Resolutions. I, make birthday goals. This usually is something like, “I will get organized by the time I’m 22,” or “I’ll make my first million by 25.” Ha. Well, since I’m nearing the big 3-0 (next year), I’m trying to knock out this years goal with a bang so I can move on to the Big Goal for next year. (My big 3-0 goal is to become financially independent. Essentially, I’m cutting myself off by then. Thank God I have another year for that!)

Today is November 7th, which is 21 days until my birthday. ((Gentle reminder friends and family!)) My goal this year has been to become a healthier eater. Specifically, I wanted to eat more for health reasons rather than just to lose weight. I’d say I’ve done pretty well but it the midst of my busy life I have some crazy days where only chocolate and ice cream can make things better.

My goal for the next 21 days is to eat as healthfully as I can and to maintain portion control, which is SO hard for me. They say it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. So, I’m using the next 21 days to wean myself off of crappy/unhealthy food! Of course, my birthday is after Thanksgiving. So… I’m giving myself a little leeway on that day! But just a little :)

Speaking of my birthday, my only wish is that my cake this year is half as awesome as it was last year:

I disappeared again….but I’m back!

It’s been a looong time since I’ve posted. Life has been super-exciting, but not much has been running-related.

Not to say that I haven’t been running. I have been assisting the head coach of a cross country team, and man, some of those kids are amazing! It’s been a great adventure, but alas, I’m itching to get back to some running for myself.

So, I signed up for my first 50k since August. I have a feeling I’m gonna be a little rusty! My speed has gone up but my mileage has gone waaaay down, so we shall see if my body bounces back.

Before I start posting about my new running adventures, here’s a little snapshot of the cool things that have been happening in other areas of my life.

-I have been student teaching for over two months and I am loving it. I was very nervous about how teaching would turn out since I’m a pretty shy person but it has been a great experience for me. Between teaching and coaching I’ve gained a little confidence and feel like I can actually help kids learn. It has been keeping me busy, but so far it’s been worth every second. 

-Tony and I moved to a house.

My parents actually bought it for us. Before you call me a spoiled brat (which would only be half true), they didn’t buy it and give to us. They bought it with us in mind. We are paying rent and utilities, and the hope is that one day we’ll both land jobs in the area and will be able to buy it from my parents. We are really enjoying our newfound space but are a little overwhelmed with how much work goes in to living/owning a home! *Sigh* First world problems huh.

-My dad won the Nobel prize in Chemistry.

While this has little to do with me, it has changed my family forever. I am enormously proud of my father and my mother (who has been a huge reason for my father’s success). My dad is the most hard working and humble person in the world, and he has forever been my role model. There has been such a flurry of activity surrounding him in the recent weeks and it has been surreal the amount of attention he is getting. We will travel to Sweden in December which is going to be an amazing experience.

Between moving, teaching, taking classes, and attending various events, life has been crazy for lack of a more creative word. In fact, I feel speechless half the time because my life has taken a 180 from where I was 6 months ago. All the changes have been overwhelming, but in a good way. And I’m looking forward to getting back to running as a way to manage stress, and reconnect with nature. I could use some grounding. :)

Since I’ve been blogging less I never take self-photos anymore so I’ll leave you with the one self-pic I’ve taken since my last post.

Beer cheese and brats. What more could a girl want?

I did not fall off the face of the earth…

I’m sure that after a hiatus this long, I’ve lost all my dedicated readers. However, to those 2 of you who may still be out there wondering what’s happened to me, I’ll tell you.

Life happened.

It’s interesting how drastic your life can change in such little time. Right now, the only running I’m doing is with the high school cross country team I’m assistant coaching. Most of The kids are wonderful! I’m having a blast getting to know them while encouraging them to run and instructing them in various drills. I’m also student teaching freshman English at a different high school and that’s a great experience as well. My focus has gone from the next big race to getting through the school year in one piece. It is a whole different type of challenge.

So, gone are my 100 mile hopes, at least for this year. I do hope to get in some trail running and maybe a 50k or 50 miler in sometime this school year. However, time is scarce, and enjoying my weekend might take priority over running for 6+ hours. In the meantime, I’m honing my speed skills to keep up with the team so maybe my focus will be more marathon oriented. Boston qualifier anyone? Ha.

I’ll leave you all with a picture of me and Tony enjoying one of my last days of freedom until next summer. Ah, the good ol’ days…

Training for 100 miles, and life’s getting busy…

So I guess I’m sorta training for a 100 mile race that I may or may not end up doing. In 8 weeks.

You’d think this wouldn’t be something so up in the air, but that’s the kind of person I am. Fortunately, training for a 100 isn’t necessarily that strenuous. (ha!) I’m not strictly following a training plan, because that’s never something I do. But, I am using one as a guideline and deciding what works best for me. In general, this is what I’m trying to do the next few weeks:

1. Get higher daily mileage. No more 3 mile jogs unless is a recovery run, or my second run of the day. Try to get in more 8-12 milers on a regular basis.

2. More double days. This’ll fit in my schedule better.

3. More rest days. I will try to take 2 days off/week from running, just to rest my body from the high mileage days.

4. Do a few 50k’s, and 15-20 milers as well as back to back long runs. Not sure how this will work out, but I’m going to improvise and work around my schedule.

The reason this training is so haphazard (besides the fact that, well, that’s how I am…) is because my life is going 0-60 in the next few weeks and I have no idea how successfully I’m gonna juggle everything. Starting in a couple weeks I’ll be student teaching at one high school in the mornings, assistant coaching cross country at another high school in the afternoons, and taking graduate teaching credential classes in the evening. Oh, and working at ZombieRunner whenever I can. So while I’m fortunate to have a job that will work around my schedule, it’ll be interesting to see how I can manage to fit in running and sleeping with all that’s going on.

Two other random things. One: I got this super cool new toy.

Now, I’m insanely afraid of riding bikes. I fell off once when I was 5 and got a gash above my eye that required stitches and left me with a lovely black eye for a few weeks.

While this is far from traumatic, I’m a giant weenie and a scaredy cat in general. I’m going to conquer my fears and start biking because it’ll be good cross training. And because Tony got one, and I’d be jealous if I didn’t get one too.

Two: I’m trying to eat healthier. I know, original. But I’m not trying to lose weight or lean up or anything like that. (Although if I turn into a skinny mini I’ll be okay with that, as long as I keep my muscles 😉 ) The main reason I want to eat healthier is because I want to see if I can notice some health gains. I want energy, and to sleep well, and to have clear skin, and no wrinkles, and all the wonderful things that can happen with a healthy diet. I want to fuel my muscles and replenish them when they’re worked and take the best care of myself that I can. Not that I eat just crap now, but I tend to crave sugar and eat more refined carbs and processed food than is necessary. Especially sweets and ice cream. And popsicles.

So maybe keeping my diet clean with help me deal with the stressful and busy schedule I have coming up this fall.

I know this post was a little random and a little aimless. While I probably won’t have tons of time to blog this fall, I’m sure I’ll have some entertaining stories to tell. You can’t teach high school, or run 100 miles, without seeing some interesting things…

Off to run Crystal Springs 50k on Saturday. First 50k since Tahoe!

TRT50 Race Recap: Pre Race

The Tahoe Rim Trail 50 Miler was one of the most memorable experiences in my whole life. The day was filled with some pretty high highs and pretty low lows, but I never reached a point where I didn’t feel anything but lucky and blessed to be there. This race report will probably be random, and aimless, but that’s my blog theme, right?? So read as much as you want, and leave when you get bored :). I won’t be offended.

Tony and I drove up to Tahoe (from the Bay Area) on Wednesday afternoon. I was hoping to acclimate to the altitude as much as possible for the race. When I tried to google info on acclimating, I got a variety of results, but the consensus seemed to be that to truly acclimate, I’d have to spend 2 or more weeks at altitude. Since I didn’t have that kind of time or money, and since Tahoe is “altitude lite”, I decided to head up 2 days before and hope for the best.

Man, can I just say I have the best boyfriend in the world? I was a raging…well, I don’t like to curse, but you can guess what I was the days before the race. I was nervous, on edge, and very passive aggressive about inconsequential things. I knew I was being a B, but I couldn’t stop myself! Poor Tony… we can only hope that one day I’ll tolerate pregnancy hormones better than taper nerves because I’m sure he’ll leave me if he has to deal with that again.

Nonetheless, we had some enjoyable moments. I was too scared to do anything fun like biking or kayaking, because I didn’t want to strain a muscle or fall. (In hindsight, it might’ve helped to enjoy and relax. Turns out I was not sore after the race which means I could’ve kicked back a little. Note for next year.) The only activity that was left was eating, and we did that in spades. There were many restaurants by our hotel that were right on the lake and we got to enjoy some gorgeous views and sunsets.

A summary of our days before the race:

The day before the race, I set out everything that I would need for the next day. I wanted to be prepared as possible, and if anything, have too many things that I could drop off rather than not have something that I needed and later regret it. Turns out there was one thing that I didn’t even think I needed, and not having it played a big part of my misery on race day.

Missing one vital piece of clothing. Hint: starts with “g” and ends with “aiters”. Rookie error #1

I also packed my drop bag with all the food that I might need at Tunnel Creek aid station. This aid station would be visited 3 times. (The course was like a 3 leaf clover, the leaves being the loops. Each loop ended at Tunnel Creek, and the bottom of the stem was the start and finish of the race.)

Rookie error #2 here

See all that food there? None of it got eaten. Yes, everything made me nauseous, and my limited intake of calories was another thing that would doom me the next day. For my next race, this photo will show bags of potato chips, salted nuts, and chicken/turkey and cheese wraps. LESSON LEARNED.

The few things that went well were my shoes,

the Saucony Xodus 3.0, which got me up Diamond Peak, the 2 mile uphill with a 30% incline almost the entire way. Also helpful were my Nathan Intensity hydration pack and my Amphipod handheld water bottle.

Staying hydrated was the one thing I did right during this race.

The night before the race, we went out and had a nice, late dinner. We got back to the hotel and around 9 or so and I was fast asleep at 10:30. I woke up at 3:15 am with energy, ready to tackle the day.

Just a little run around Tahoe. No big deal :)

to be continued…

Old News

If you’ve been following my story for awhile, you’ve read about my crew. Unfortunately, 2.5 members of my crew decided that a 50 mile race was old news and that if they’ve seen one, they’ve seen ’em all.

Just kidding. They are tending to important matters.

Here’s who will be missing in action:

This guy

My personal photographer is tending to some important business. He will be missed. While I’m sure he’d give anything to see me cross the finish line, I know he’s secretly relieved he doesn’t need to run me in to every aid station. At AR50, my dad would backtrack the course from the aid station to get shots of me running in. He probably ran a total of 15 miles that day, in jeans and flip flops. I think the elevation of this course intimidated him. Love you Pop! You’ll be at the next one. You know, the 100 mile one :)

This girl

My brother’s girlfriend Meg recently started a new and fabulous job. She works long hours and works very hard. While she deserves a vacation, maybe a vacation from my brother is the next best thing. (Ha! Just kidding bro.) I will definitely miss her cheering and posters.

This little guy

Gus will be perfecting the Upward Dog. He leads a stressful life and we’re thinking he should just spend the weekend relaxing. Maybe he’ll get a chance to go on a date. I know the perfect gal…

I am so grateful that I’ll have my mother, brother, and bestfriendpartnerforlifeballandchain with me during the race. There are less crew-access aid stations so less for them to see. Fortunately Tahoe is filled with gorgeous views so hopefully they’ll enjoy nature’s beauty while I’m out there running.

2 and a half days till TRT

Week Off is Over

Last week was basically a week off of running. I was burnt out mentally, and had other things in my life to tend to. All I did was: 1 hour bike, 5 miles on the treadmill, 5 miles walking outdoors, and 3.2 sorry miles in 90 degree weather (<—my brother and I peer pressured each other to turn around early).

I asked the ultra-gurus a.k.a. The Zombies a.k.a. my bosses and owners of ZombieRunner what the repercussions were of taking a week off of running in the middle of training for a 50 mile race. Their response was unanimous: it can only help. The Zombies have a few hundred ultras between them and it’s their job to know ultrarunning, so I’m gonna go ahead and believe them. I’m pretty lucky to have them as my quasi coaches.

So last week I didn’t stress about not running. And this week, I’m back at it. Yesterday (Monday) I hit the local mountain during the 90 degree weather and had a great 6 mile run/hike. Elevation gain was about 2,000 ft and it all felt great. (I have no idea why heat affects me one day and not the next. I should probably start paying better attention to these things.)

Today felt miserable, but I managed to eke out a 15 mile run/hike with 3,912 ft gain in elevation. I don’t normally keep track of elevation, but I’m trying to do as much as possible since my upcoming 50 miler will have about 9,000+ feet of elevation gain and loss.

Don’t let the smile fool you. I was NOT feelin’ it. I’m not sure why today was miserable, but it probably was several factors including heat, hydration, and fueling. However, I did it, and that’s what matters most. It was good practice for mentally pushing myself and just getting the job done. I took it easy, and stopped to enjoy the scenery, and took some pictures like a good blogger.

And last photo of the post, a memorial to Catra Corbett’s dog Rocky Ridge. He’s such a cutie. And she’s an amazing local ultrarunner who is such an inspiration.

So hopefully I’ll have a good running week. I am planning on doing another 50k this Saturday. It’ll be a doozy-7,000+ feet of elevation gain. Torture, but good preparation for TRT50. :)


WARNING: This post is not informative nor entertaining. I’m about to whine my butt off so read at your own risk. It’s 5 minutes of your life that you can’t get back.


This week has been a horrible training week. Not an exaggeration. The last four weeks, I’ve had the following weekly-mileage totals: 45, 40, 40, 52. (Give or take a mile, don’t have my training log with me.) This week, as of today–Friday–I’ve run 5 miles. On the treadmill. And the thing is, I don’t really have an excuse! It’s like a have runners-block. There isn’t any injury or time commitment that is preventing me from running. However, my motivation has plummeted, and minor annoyances have been serving as excuses not to run. Today for example, I have a cut on the back of my heel that’s irritating no matter what running shoes I wear. How did I get it?? By wearing stupid wedge shoes that cut into the back of my heel. And chances are I won’t get a run in until it doesn’t hurt.

I know there is not much fitness I can lose in a week. I know it’s good that I’m cycling and doing some strength training. I know that I ran a 50k PR on Sunday and that I should be giving myself a break. BUT, I’m not sore at all from the race, so that isn’t a good excuse either. I am frustrated because this is NOT the way one should train for an intense 50 mile race at altitude. I should be giving it my all every day, making my heel bleed and throwing up on the trails when necessary. If I’m not injured, there’s no excuse to “give myself a break.”


That is why I’m frustrated. I know come July 21st, I’ll be mentally kicking myself if I’m not prepared. As it is, I’m training a lot less that most people would. And as it is, no matter how prepared I am it’s going to be a tough run. So maybe the best thing I can do is to mentally prepare myself for extreme discomfort.

I plan on playing it by ear to finish off this week. I know that I’m burnt out and being a big baby. However, I don’t want to push myself and cram a bunch of miles into this weekend. If I do that, I might tear up my heel more and might end up injuring myself. Hopefully I’ll fit in 10-20 miles, but if not I’m just gonna write it off as a freak-week and pretend like it never happened.

I promise my next post will be filled with rainbows and lollipops and sunshine and daisies and most of all, a nice, successful run. :)