“These are a few of my favorite things.”

Maria von Trapp aka Julie Andrews.

Happy Holidays! Are you running? Resting? Gearing up for big things in the new year?

My days and weeks have been consumed by preparation for the LA Marathon. With race day on February 14, my schedule is starting to reach the apex. These are the big important runs, folks. I’ve completed my 18 and 19 milers, and continue to grind out the mid-week pace runs best I can. This week is a step back in mileage (which will hopefully include a 10k race on New Years Day) before digging into the two 20 milers scheduled, the first one with a MGP finish. I can’t believe it’s only one more month until taper time.

 

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nailed goal pace in golden gate park last week!

In other news I am pleased to announce some new ambassadorships!

Earlier this year I was selected as a “Branch” for the Oakland Running Festival! I am thrilled to help spread the word about this fabulous race that I’m sure will only continue to grow due to its fabulousness.

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Here are a couple of things that I think make the event special:

Courses

I’ve run the half course twice now. In 2014, I smashed my sub-2 hour goal with a 1:55, and this year landed a one-minute PR, besting my Santa Rosa time after a three month running sabbatical due to a bout of ITBS. So in my experience, this is a PR-friendly half girls and boys. With a hilly start, the full course boasts an elevation profile worth major badass points. Feeling social? Run the relay. Feeling greedy? Run two races in the “We Run the Town” challenge, taking on a 5k before lining up for the half marathon.

Oakland Pride!

Oakland spirit is fierce! Highlights include Raider Nation, the impressive art installations by Crucible and American Steel, Brown Sugar Kitchen cheer station and the massive crowd support around the final stretch of Lake Merritt. I love finishing at Snow Park and chilling out with a beer post-race.

And what’s better is that you no longer have to pay full price because I have a discount code for you! Enter “bodle” at checkout for 15% off any distance.

This year, I’m also an ambassador for NuunLook, we all know that hydration is complicated and personal. I don’t like sports drinks, and for whatever reason sometimes water – whether filtered, bottled or tap –tastes sort of plastic-like or metallic to me. Enter Nuun: a variety of flavors for every palette, no added sugar and under 10 calories per tab, and electrolyte enhanced. This combo works well for me, and I’m happy to support the brand as an ambassador because I believe it offers a unique option where sports hydration, nutrition, and recovery is concerned.

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Happy New Year!

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“Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.”

Thich Nhat Hanh.

After several weeks of mostly consistent running, I’m looking forward to my first big race of the year — the half distance at Sunday’s Oakland Running Festival. As usual, it’s 6 days out and I’m trying to determine the line between stupid and lazy. How to keep one’s head on straight while making space for potential magic? Some days I imagine PR-smashing victories while other times a heaving 2 hour finish sounds massively lucky. Just your ordinary pre-race psycho-jitterbugging.

In the meantime I play and work, I read and eat. With regards to the last two, I’m taking inspiration from Thich Nhat Hanh’s “How to Eat,” purchased from Pilgrim’s Way Book Shop in lovely Carmel-by-the-Sea this weekend.

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— Do you delight in meditations on a string bean?

— Believe a cup of tea contains the universe?

— Invite space for mindfulness when table setting and/or dishwashing?

Well then this one’s for us, ladies and gents.

In fact Sunday loops around Lake Merced followed by a nap and house cleaning listening to audiobooks and preparing a butterflied trout with a roasted crispy-skinned sweet potato and pot de creme for dessert might be just everything…

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Petit Pot made in Oakland, found at Potrero Whole Foods, and consumed by me in my apartment. How adorable and delicious is this packaging?

…Not to mention that one-night-only Carmel vacationette, perfect and sweet as a little jar of chocolate.

Heartbreakingly gorgeous 4 miles this morning! #seenonmyrun

A post shared by Kathryn Bodle (@nochickens) on

Well, I guess it was a good weekend!

“Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before.”

William Butler Yeats.

Well hello and Happy New Year!

So I took a blogging hiatus during the last half of 2014 when I came down with a bout of Iliotibial Band Syndrome. I completed my last race of 2014 in September (DSE Oyster Point 10k) and surprised myself by finishing in 49:07, running pretty even splits and averaging just under 8:00/mile.

DSE Oyster Point 10k Splits: September 21, 2014

DSE Oyster Point 10k Splits: September 21, 2014

It was a promising start to CIM training, but sadly the IT issue flared up soon after, forcing me to bow out of both Rock n Roll San Jose and the marathon. After a frustrating several months of trial and error, I have now been happily pain free since January 2. I attribute this recovery to diligent foam rolling, stretching and yoga practice, professional massage, rest, better shoes, and tiny miracles beyond human understanding.

Anyway, here’s a quick rundown of the latest haps:

1 — I’m upping my yoga game

In early January I attended a 3 week yoga “boot camp” series at my local studio — 75 minute classes / 6 am / Monday thru Friday. I would call it almost life changing. Although awkward at first, I became intoxicated by starting the days active and early, and made a lot of progress with my practice. I’ve definitely come away with a better understanding of the nuances of the poses and am improving the practice of mindfulness. I’m really just starting to scratch the surface and it super exciting. Hopefully the momentum will continue, but I know finding a balance will be somewhat tricky as I return to running more seriously. Anyway, it was a great way to kick off the year.

2  — I ran my first race of 2015 / first post-injury!

A Brazen Race was the perfect kickoff to a healthy, happy 2015. I was pleased to comfortably run an 8:15 / mile average – clocking in at 28:42 for the 3.5 mile race feeling fresh and in no more in pain than one would expect for a sunny 5k.

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photos courtesy of the Brazen photog crew. Love these guys!

3  — I’m noodling the hell out of my 2015 training schedule and narrowing down choices for a summer marathon

I’ve been slowly building mileage since the beginning of the year and I’ve got a solid plan to carry me to 3/22 when (if all goes well) I’ll run the half distance at Oakland Running Festival again this year. In the meantime I have 2 tasks: first, decide on type/amount of speedwork to take on during marathon training (among other details) and second, confirm the goal race. Right now the main contenders are San Francisco and Grandma’s.

This Sunday I will be volunteering with SFRRC at the Kaiser Half so to all of those running Good Luck and I look forward to cheering you on!!

“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.”

Tony Robbins.

Oakland Running Festival Start Line 2014

I’d heard promising things, and indeed the Oakland Running Festival proved to be a super fun and well-organized event. Didn’t hurt that it was a gorgeous, sunny day in the East Bay and that my personal 13.1 experience went by in a happy, pain-free blur.

My strategy was as such:

2 Days before:

  • Run 5 miles too fast. Ice shins.

Day before:

  • Plan to avoid alcohol but drink a couple of glasses of wine anyway.
  • Launder a variety of racing clothes.
  • Forget to ice shins.
  • BAGEL. BREAD. PASTA.

 Morning of:

  • Choose racing clothes from the dryer on a whim. Get frustrated when I can’t find my preferred flipbelt. Wear the purple one instead.
  • Pack one hell of a post-race survival kit complete with a huge bottle of water, hooded sweatshirt, moccasins, face wipes, and most importantly, a hairbrush (it’s always a complete rat’s nest after long runs).

messy race hair.

  • Chow down on a big bowl of oatmeal and a cup of coffee.
  • Remember fuel at the last minute! Cut up a random amount of dates and stuff them into a ziplock.
  • Plan on taking BART to the start line but get a ride across the bridge from my very generous boyfriend instead. (Thanks John!)
  • Catch up with my friend Cori before the race! Definitely puts me at ease and get me in the mood to run. (Thanks Cori!)

Racetime:

Ok, down to business. I decide to start off with the 2:00 pacer and if feeling great after mile 10, pull ahead slightly for my sub-2. I told myself I wouldn’t be shy about falling back if it felt like too much. I was determined to PR this event but not at the expense of blowing it at Big Sur in April (ie, overdoing it and getting injured. Shins, remember?).

Mile 1

Traffic jam. Felt easy, and it was my slowest mile at 9:25.

Miles 2-5

Tune into my breathing and I know that I have things under control. Around mile 4 I check the average pace on my Nike + Watch to reveal 8:54/mile. Oh boy, oh boy. I get a little excited but remind myself to keep focus. Plenty of time for things to fall apart. I almost forget to eat my dates but when I literally bump into a woman chomping on an energy bar, I remember to nosh. I chat with this same person a bit about the race and it’s a nice break. Thanks for the 3 minute friendship, lady. Then I space out and miss a water stop. Zoinks.

Mile 6-9

I find myself shoulder-to-shoulder with the pacer, Ben. I’m starting to get the zoomies, but concerned that it’s too soon to forge ahead on my own. I attempt to move aside and slow down, but I can’t find a graceful way to do this. That awkwardness settles it. I let go of the group and just get comfortable, and somewhere in these miles I lose them completely. Oddly, the second set of dates taste sort of gross and I don’t enjoying eating them. I usually look forward to little snacks on the run, even if it’s just GU.

I was unsure of how I’d feel running with the pacers, but I was really glad that I did. I found it helpful and entertaining in those opening miles, and would happily consider employing this strategy again.

Mile 10-13.1

The plan was to hit the surge button at mile 11 (go to 11 at 11, get it?), but once again the zoomies take over early. I’m pushing it and these miles feel tough (but part of me is already celebrating). About half a mile to the finish line, as I’m really feeling the pain of a hard effort, I pull up next to a guy who asks me if this is my first half. “No, but it’s my first time under 2!” He gives me a congrats and encourages me to finish strong, and the whole interaction gives me a little boost. Thanks guy.

Post Race

Official time — 01:55:28

The finish area at Snow Park is totally awesome. I find John and Darwin easily and we hang out on the space blanket under the shade of a big tree. I drink my 21st Amendment Sneak Attack. I watch Cori cross the finish line smiling with a new PR. I enjoy the sunshine and the breeze across Lake Merritt, and the happy feeling of having exceeded my goals. 🙂

I loved the vibe of this race – low key attitude with the amenities of a bigger event. I hope I am able to participate again next year!

Post race pizza

Medals are nice but pizza is the greatest reward.

Hope you racers out there had a great weekend!