Before Sunrise

I realize there was a popular movie by this title, but that is not my reference today. I am referring to our AZ summer and fall workouts; most happen before sunrise. While a good portion of the city is snuggled under the covers my teammates and I are out there running after our dreams. We have seen some amazing sunrises this week, a full moon over south mountain with coyotes running about to the west and then the sun rising over the Superstition mountains in the east. Track today was almost completed before the sun was up.


September training is on the books and it was a successfully month of building miles, adding speed, starting to race and attempting to rest more. The other big thing is high school cross country, I just love helping coach the kids and seeing the improvements and excitement in the new runners. I really love running with the kids but mainly do my workouts in the morning so I can coach them at practice. We have a fun Twilight Cross Country Festival meet coming up this week. Lots of high school students from around the state and country.

Last weekend I raced Moonvalley Grasshopper Bridge 5k. I love this race because it seems to kick off the fall racing season, despite being in September and temperatures hovering about 90 at the 7am start. Training has been tough this last month due to asthma complications. I really did not know what to expect but was just happy to get to the start line. There was a team division for added fun! Coach John matched us up with 2 teams of 3 girls. At the last minute a teammate did not make it for the race but our female team won for fastest female team! It was great to see so many fast and competitive runners out racing. I finished 3rd Master in 20:15. Hoping to drop that time! I also got to meetup with a couple Oiselle flock team members too, Yissel and Hayley.


This weekend I head to Tucson to run in  Jim Click’s 8k Run and Roll. I have not run too many 8ks so I am sure whatever I run it will be a PR. Excited to meetup and race with Tucson teammates Amy and Autumn, plus Priscilla making the trip too. More Oiselle flock meetups happening this weekend too, get to meet my Tucson teammates in person!


Up next will be half marathon in Long Beach, CA. Looking forward to testing out my speed, endurance and overall fitness. Side benefit my brother and his family will come up from San Diego to watch me race!! Yippee!  Also scoping out Oiselle flock members that will be racing in Long Beach, Ca too.


 Top goals right now:

  1. reduce lung inflammation and improve asthma symptoms
  2. Run a solid strong half marathon in Long Beach, CA. shooting for sub 1:25 time
  3. Still dreaming big of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials.

Just for fun my video clip from Sonoran Distance Project 243 series today :

Also just for fun checkout the video for “The Dozen” core exercises on Oiselle’s website. I am the first demon aka “bicycle abs” we filmed these at camp this summer


Shoutout to my teammate Arianna Hilborn racing Twin Cities this weekend, go crush it girl!

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Sonoran Distance Project Flagstaff Running Camp

It has been a roller coaster few months. I have started seeing a new physical therapist and things are finally clicking (and healing). I prefer to focus on the positive and looking forward rather than back over the last several months of dealing with hamstring/glute injury. I felt as if I was living in the space between doctor visits, mri, x-ray, treatment, etc. and now the grey clouds have lifted. I have been able to run every other day 5-7 miles with no pain for a few weeks now. I was so blessed that Coach John arranged a running camp up at his cabin in Flagstaff for the Sonoran Distance Project Team this summer.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of joining my Sonoran Distance Project teammates (most of them) at running camp in Flagstaff. He owns a rustic cabin up in the cool pines of Flagstaff at 7000 ft elevation and much cooler temps than Phoenix in the summer. Susan “The Legend” Loken and I drove up together. We arrived just in time for Tanaya’s awesome yoga class. Great way to stretch out after the drive. After yoga we headed out for a quick 4 miler. Meals had been divided up and I have to say we had some awesome food the entire weekend! The cabin has no electricity (gas-powered stove and frig) so we hit the beds pretty early since it was dark before 8.

New meaning to downward dog

New meaning to downward dog



Hops helping Susan relax and breath.

Hops helping Susan relax and breath





Saturday we headed out from the cabin for a variety of distances. This would be my first time running 2 days in a row in months. I was excited and nervous. My teammates graciously turned around at 3.5 mile so I could run 7 and hopefully add 1 more around the meadow if I was feeling good. The cool weather was fantastic. There were rolling hills and I could definitely feel the elevation. We were excited to have Janet , 10,000 meter 2012 Olympic team member. She shared her story of coming from Kenya to run in college and her transition into a professional runner. She is an amazing runner and fantastic story-teller. I loved hearing the story of the Vidalia Onion race where she set the course record, won a bag of onions and cleaned out the race organizers collecting the prize money she won. I look forward to watching her progression.

SDP girls with Janet.

SDP girls with Janet.

Janet sharing her story.

Janet sharing her story.

Following Janet’s talk and lunch we had an opportunity to work with the different committees we have set up for Sonoran Distance Project. We are really trying to promote our group and obtain sponsorship as well as give back to our communities. We had some amazing ideas and I look forward to seeing the growth of our team. Our team is very dynamic in many ways: age ranging between 25-51, some former collegiate runners, med students, stay at home parents (that’s me), health coach, nurse, professional runner, and the list goes on. We all have the same collective goal of qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials. The school teacher Arianna came out as she whipped out her large poster sheets and smelly markers! All the more fun to create with.

Natalie and I were proud of our poster for the marketing committee.

Natalie and I were proud of our poster for the marketing committee.

Saturday afternoon we had games of skill (or chance). Pull-ups at the horse corral, archery, egg toss. The past year and a half I have battled tendonitis in each elbow and really have not done much upper body strength training. I was shocked to see I could barely muscle up a pull-up. Time to hit the gym! Our pull-up team champion was Natalie (former gymnast of course) and Coach John beat us all. The archery was pretty interesting since most of us have not used a bow and arrow before. I was happy no one shot a person or dog. Autumn shocked us all with her archery skills. Playing the egg toss in the meadow meant we did not have to clean up the mess!! We had a fantastic taco dinner that night. This was  followed by some celebration cupcakes in honor of the newlyweds Amy and Jesse. The evening was capped off with a game of “Would you rather?” we decided we need to make a runner’s version for next summer.

Natalie cranking out the pull-ups!

Autumn looking like a pro.

Autumn looking like a pro.

struggling with my pull-ups.

struggling with my pull-ups.


Sunday morning John arranged for us to meet with a group of runners that train in Flagstaff. There are many elite runners training/living in Flagstaff with 7000 ft elevation and good weather much of the year it is ideal. We had an amazing group, wish I had a chance to meet everyone but did talk to a few girls. I was hoping my 3rd day of running in a row would be ok. I was so excited to have a pain-free 6 mile run!!

Flagstaff long run. The best of AZ runners!

Flagstaff long run. The best of AZ runners!

Overall it was a fantastic camp giving us a chance to bond and run together. Did I mention it was about 40 degrees cooler than Phoenix? yeah that was nice too!

Next up: Oiselle Running Camp in Bend, OR August 13. Very excited!!! Running is going well and I can’t wait to visit with all the Oiselle girls!


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