Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Griffith Park Trail Marathon Relay Recap



So this is kind of funny. Literally two weeks ago the home girl Tiffany from RunningHutch.com hit me up on Facebook and asked if I would be interested in participating in the Griffith Park Trail Marathon Relay, hosted by the amazing folks at A Runner's Circle. For those that don't know, ARC is THE premiere running store in Los Angeles. Anywho...she gave me all the details and she was forming a team. The fun thing about runners is we are basically fearless! Tiffany helped form the team and before I knew it I was on a team with three other strangers and we would be giving it our all at a relay. Neat.

From L to R: Matt Runner 4, Me Runner 1, Gillian Runner 3, Tiffany Runner 2, Mike Runner 5
Early morning in Griffith Park and we couldn't of asked for better summer trail running weather. It was cool and overcast! That meant the climbs wouldn't be to terrible since the heat wouldn't be as high. We all met and laughed and discussed our strategy. We didn't have any goal time or pace in mind...we wanted to just enjoy ourselves. All of us were seasoned and experienced runners so this was gonna be great. This was my first relay so I was REALLY excited. I was first up!

The crew in order! Boosted from RunningHutch.com
The first mile and a half was a steep climb. It was a straight shot up. By the time I got to mile marker one I was winded but kept going forward. I was the first runner out, so I wanted us to maintain a good place in the relay. Once I reached the top of the climb I enjoyed two miles of fire road and recovery. I had an even pace and focused on just staying consistent. I felt like the climb took a lot out of me, but running with Michelle on the trails I've learned some things that made it easier for me to handle the run. At the end of the fire road was my favorite thing...DOWN HILL SUICIDE! This is where I shine. I turned on the after burners and SHREDDED the hills going down. I blasted past at least 10 runners. I went so fast my shoe came untied. In an effort to be safe I stopped to tie it...but I was pretty mad because I was FLYING. I flew all the way down into the Old Los Angeles Zoo which is where home base was. I came down the trail and didn't even see my team cheering me on as I came through, they were there :). Next up was Tiffany and she was in the chute ready to rock. I came in so hot I almost knocked her over! We laughed and she took off on her great loop!


Our team did VERY well! Every did an amazing job on their loop! Strong performances by everyone! We placed 12th out of 39 in the open co-ed division with a time of 4:00:49! WE KILLED IT! I was blown away and really excited! Our team had a great chemistry! Everyone was so friendly, warm, and encouraging. There was amazing communication and the energy was spot on. I would totally relay with these folks again for sure! After we got our relay batons Matt had a real fun idea to capture the moment. It looked something like this...

As you can tell...none of us could handle it we all laughed! So much fun!!! Then we took the noraml people team we did it type photo of sorts...


It was a great Sunday! These guys are great!!!! Magic certainly happens when you run. I've said it once and I'll say it again...running is better with friends...even if you just met them 15 minutes before the race HAHA!

Check out:

Tiffany: RunningHutch.com
Gillian: ThatsG.Com

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Run REVEL



If you remember a a couple months back, I made a personal goal to achieve a sub 4 hour marathon by my birthday in December. I began to focus on my strength training ensuring my body would be able to withstand the physical demand of running a sub 4 marathon. I have introduced yoga, PIYO, and Focus T25 into my training routine. Not only have I seen physical results (which are so cool to see), but I feel stronger when I run...and I've gotten faster. This is INCREDIBLE! So the question everyone wanted to know was, which race would it be? Where would I earn that sub 4? Well, I am pleased to announce that I am not only participating in the REVEL Run Series Canyon City Marathon in my own backyard in November (yes it is the day before Avengers I am aware), but I am also a REVELer! That means I am on a great squad of 14 runners from around the country who want to achieve greatness. This ambassador team was formed to get you pumped up about REVEL and help you earn those PRs! If you haven't heard of REVEL, let me fill you in!

REVEL is known for their fast courses in beautiful scenic areas around the country. Currently there are three races on their docket...The Rockies in Denver, Big Cottonwood in Utah, and Canyon City here in Southern California. Not only are they fast...they are beautiful. Through my trail running, I have a new appreciation for nature and my surroundings. When I am surrounded by the splendor of nature I feel more at ease and comfortable. I tend to enjoy the run more. REVEL is known for amazing swag and an amazing community of runners. Fast and scenic is totally my scene. THIS is the race I will earn my sub 4 at and THIS is why I chose to team up with REVEL.

I am excited to kick off my partnership with them! I will have your chance to win some entries real soon! Also, I'll be forming a team for Canyon City! So if you wanna run with me, it's gonna be a party! I may even have a balloon!

Stay tuned in the coming days...I will have so much more to share!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Be Better Than You Were Yesterday


As I begin to settle back into being my normal goofy self, that means I can get back into providing some inspirational tea to all of you...I know some of you have been missing it. So, I generated this quote graphic earlier in the week. It is inspired by a few things. One being I got the chance to see Jill Scott perform last week and that is always a treat because she is all about story telling and inspiring. Secondly, remembering quotes from two of my faves Oprah and the late Dr. Maya Angelou about forgiveness and the power of words. Thirdly, applying those thoughts to my everyday life. Running isn't what I do day in and day out. Hot damn how I wish it were. Running is a part of my life. It is something that has embraced me and given me so much, so much that I can't repay it. The best way I can repay the gift is to pay it forward. Isn't that how much of life should operate. We want to be faster, more consistent, and stronger athletes right? What I am going to write about will help keep you focused in your everyday life and will translate into running.

At the end of the day, the only thing I want (and what I enjoy seeing in others) is to be a better person than I was the day before. What does that mean? I'm glad you asked.

Now I know I am not the first person to have said this and I know I won't be the last. My interpretation goes something like this. Life is all about change and growth. Every day your interactions with others and your personal thought help to shape what type of person you are. Energy is neither lost or destroyed, it is transferred from one party to the next. Energy between people works the same way, it is no different than electricity. It's science, kids. Anyway, with every interaction or energized thought/action it usually leaves behind a crumb of influence...think of it as an Internet cookie. Some are subtle, while others are giant Mrs. Fields cookie cake size. At the end of the day is it up to you what you do with these crumbs.

Some crumbs are stale, yucky, and unwanted. Think of these as harmful energy and not-so-pleasant interactions. I am staying away from using the word "negative" because sometimes in negativity comes a positive result. For the crumbs that are in the way of you achieving what you want, remove them. File them away as a memory and a lesson and continue to move forward. Don't waste time and energy on situations you can not change or fix. You can't save the world...so don't try. You can have influence to spark which will hopefully create change. But keep this in mind, just because you think something should be a specific color doesn't always make you right. Yes, that's a metaphor.

Now good interactions and good crumbs. Keep those. They are typically endearing, things that make you smile, and bring you authentic happiness. You want to collect these and keep them. You also want to share them. A cookie (especially an Oreo double stuff'd) is no good when you can't share the love. You want to uplift and share these interactions and this energy with the world. When you surround yourself with people that are happy and positive...this energy exchange brings amazing results. Don't be afraid of it.

In closing, be aware of the your energy and the energy in your space. Protect the happy crumbs and share them with the world. Acknowledge, then file away harmful crumbs and move forward bringing joy to those around you. Share happiness with those who may not be. You never know who you can influence. You may not be able to change the world at large, but you may be able to create a change in someone's world.  Be better than you were yesterday. Don't carry grudges and drama into your new day.  No one is promised another day so use each day wisely. Stay blessed my friends.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Time For Something FRESH!


It has been a great road with See Sharp Run! This blog and everything associated with it has opened so many doors! I have been introduced to so many amazing readers, blends, companies, and organizations. This blog has become way more than I could have ever expected or imagined. I am so grateful to each and every reader, supporter, and cheerleader of the See Sharp Run movement! But like all good things, they must come to an end. It's bittersweet, but come mid-July, See Sharp Run will be closing.

Ok, now that just sounds dramatic. You didn't think I would just leave you would I?! We have way more work to do on these roads, trails, and rainbows!

I am leaving my current platform on Google's Blogger and will be moving to WordPress. I am excited to begin self-hosting my blog and taking my digital presence to the next level. With that being said, I will be retiring See Sharp Run...and I will become SharpEndurance.com! Sharp Endurance will focus on more than just running. I find that I am becoming a more well-rounded athlete in the areas of fitness/cross-training. I am also moving into cycling (as soon as I purchase a bike). All that being said, See Sharp Run doesn't seem to fit all of the great adventures I am embarking on. I want to create a space that you can come to for a majority of your endurance sports needs. I am really excited to bring all of this great material to you. Don't worry!  You will still receive the great race recaps, thoughts, and product reviews you've always gotten from me...we will just add more!

Why? Because you all ROCK and you deserve it!

The closer we get to launch you will hear more from me. All of my social media profiles will also change to reflect the updates. I wanted to let you all know that if my blog is quiet...it's because #TeamSharpie is hard at work creating an amazing experience for all of you! So shout out to many of my Blends for offering a hand, opinions, and thoughts as we work together to create a new place for fitness, running, unicorns, and delicious cupcakes.

If there is anything you'd like to see on Sharp Endurance, let me know in the comments and I will try to keep those in mind! Remember, I do this for all of you. You make the success possible and I appreciate each of you SO SO MUCH! Thank you for allowing me to share my world and inspire you.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Finding Peace on the Trails


I am starting to get back to normal. I've been having a very interested month or so. One thing that occurred I didn't believe would...I reached marathon burnout...and it was bad. After sitting back and really being honest with myself, I realized that I pretty much have been nonstop since 2012 with racing from here, there, and everywhere. There really hasn't been any real downtime. Which explains why my times have pretty much been consistent and not really improving. You can't improve if you aren't training toward something. After Boston, I was on such a high. I ran Big Sur and enjoyed the scenery but my focus began be redirected to how many hills there were. I stopped enjoying the run...I didn't realize this until a few weeks after. And let's be real, by the time OC Marathon got here I was mentally fried. I was ready to just be done for a while. I wanted to just relax and not think about racing. I didn't want to race. I needed to stop before it stopped being fun. Running is a gift, and there is a such thing as to much of a good thing.

So last month, I started getting back to what I love. Running just because I can. Running because my legs would take me places...not because I had to compete or show up...but just run. I had forgotten about just running. This is so important. I linked up with Leslie and we climbed Mt. Baldy...just because we could. That was the start of something big for me. Then I linked up with Michelle and we have been shredding hills and canyons and mountains for a few weeks now. I not only connect with the trail beneath me, but I connect with my mind and spirit. The trails and mountains are where I love to run. Fresh air (even if it is thin), beautiful inspiring scenery, animals, and running water. So many beautiful vivid colors and the ability to literally run along the clouds. THAT is what I love. That is something that has inspired me. That is what I have grown to appreciate. So that is what I will do.

I want to get faster and stronger and running technical trails will make that happen. Yesterday I had the chance to run with Keira and Michelle.We went and tackled Mt. Baldy and spend 5 hours running, chatting, and connecting. I was really humbled to be able to run with elite women (who hold course records and win 100 milers by the way), and even more astonished that I could keep up with them, especially on the down hills! What I learned from them yesterday is that it is important to always do what you love and appreciate you life. So that's what I'm gonna do.



I signed up for El Moro 50K in October today. El Moro is a beautiful scenic trail in Crystal Cove that hugs the coast line of Orange County. I can't wait to earn my Ultra status. Additionally, I want to run more trail races. I find that I connect more being in mountains and deserts. Nothing wrong with road races, and I am not quitting them completely just adjusting to new venues and trying new things. I still have my favorite road races that I will continue to do, but I want to really start to focus my race calendar on those races that I love and really hone in on those bucket list items and goals.

I haven't had this much fun just relaxing and enjoying the run in some time and I am glad I found my happy again. I still have some things to work through, but life will take care of itself. Always remember to live the life you always imagined. No one else is in charge or obligated to make you happy, that's your job. Have honest conversations with yourself and make plans to get back to your happy place. Life is too short, and the world is to beautiful to be caught up in nonsense! Ain't nobody got time for that. Do what makes you happy and live your best life!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June RunnerBox Review


I am happy to bring you my first RunnerBox review as one of the newest Blog Ambassadors!! I received my new box early last week and was really excited. I mean, what runner doesn't enjoy receiving presents??? With RunnerBox you can select the frequency in which you want to receive these awesome presents! And every month the boxes change! YAHOO! Well, I want to share some of the goodies I got this month! There are a few things I am really anxious to try! That's another one of the awesome benefits of subscribing to RunnerBox! You can always sample and try new products without the huge commitment of purchasing a product not knowing if you will like it or not.

Lock Laces - Many runners know about Lock Laces. I have heard of them but I've never owned a pair. Lock Laces basically remove the need for you to worry about tying your shoes when you are out there running. They also eliminate heel crushing and reduce pressure points! So I'll be excited to give these a try.

Generation UCAN! - This is a product that was pitched to me when I was at the Boston Marathon expo. Funny enough, Meb uses this stuff...and he won Boston! Generation UCAN is a drink powder that is known to provide steady energy and put your body in the ideal performance state whit ion spikes and crashes...or GI stress. The reason I didn't buy it in Boston was because of the price tag on the box...so I will be really interested to see how this works, and how it compliments my other fuel. I was really excited to pull this product out of the box.

Mud Energy Gel - Not a big gel fan. But for those that are, I think it is interesting that this particular gel uses coconut water and has 12 grams of protein...and of course uses chocolate (hence the name mud right?) Can't say I will use it but good to know it's out there. If you have used it I would love to hear your thoughts.

PureFit Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Premium Protein Bar - I've been known to enjoy a PureFit bar once or twice and I gotta say these are really tasty! In fact, I like having snackage to take along with me on long trail runs, this seems to hit the mark. I have also had this flavor and it is NOMTASTIC! Tasty, full of protein and developed by athletes. Winner!

Pure Clean Beet Powder - I like beets, they are nature's candy don't cha know. Brownie points to whoever gets that reference. Anyway. I didn't know that someone would take beets and turn them into a powder...well they did. Pure Clean is organic, full-strength beet juice...just in powder form. So essentially you literally just add water. Interesting. The nitrates are still included with the package! You can also use it in juice and smoothies. This may be part of my breakfast tomorrow. A great example of a product I had no idea existed that catches my curiosity. MMM Beets....

Fuel 100 Salty Vanilla Electro-Bites - These little guys are designed to help extend training and improve race performance. The packs are only 100 calories, and the bites have a salty taste that dissolve easily in your mouth. Some of their ingredients include coconut oil and agave syrup. Not quite sure what to think about these, but they do sound tasty. Sounds like a road test is in order.

EBOOST - Hydration mix time! The flavor I got was pink lemonade! YAY, how awesome is that for summer time? So, EBOOST powders have a bunch of interesting things in them. Green tea, green coffee (what?), various vitamins, electrolytes and antioxidants of course. Good news is that is doesn't have any artificial colors or sweeteners. No sugar. That's a good thing. It may be worth a sip for sure...but more research on the green coffee is needed. ;)

Veggie-Go's Chewy Fruit and Veggie Snack - Fruit Leathers! YAY! I'm a big kid so anything that reminds me of my old lunch box is a winner in my mind. These babies are organic fruit strips but they also have half a serving of veggies in them, now that's pretty damn cool. Of course they are also packed with vitamins and minerals...these will find their way into my lunch box tomorrow.

Lenny & Larry's Peanut Butter Crunch FIT Protein Brownie - More peanut butter! ALL THE PROTEIN! Instead of making a bar, these folks made a brownie. I appreciate that. Different textures and consistencies can be fun to experiment with. It's gluten free, has no GMOs, low sugar, and has 13 grams of protein. Seems like something I would be interested in chomping on!

RunnerBox Towel - Thanks guys for tossing in this lovely little gem! It is getting hot here in so cal so a microfiber towel is always welcome! It's really kind of neat! Me Likes Swag!

All in all, I am really satisfied with the box. The total value of everything in the box is $30.99. That's more than what you would have paid for it. I'm calling this one a victory. I may not use all the products, but that doesn't mean that they are bad. I am also interested in trying some of the new things like Generation UCAN, the Beet Powder, and I'm gonna tear into that veggie snack. Pretty sweet!

Want to get started with RunnerBox? I have a discount code for you! SSRUNRB will save you 10% on any RunnerBox subscription! Take a look! Try something new!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Celebrating National Running Day 2014


One of our favorite running holidays has arrived! It is National Running Day! National Running Day is more than a day where we as runners lace up and head out to log a few miles. This is a day where we as a community of runners come together to focus and reaffirm why it is we do what we do. Every single runner has a different story. While many people may have started running for similar reasons, or discovered running by accident like I did, today is all about remembering why you started running in the first place, encouraging others, and focusing on those goals you have. I have to say, all of the stories, posts, and images I see on my news feeds and on other blogs inspire me everyday. No matter what you skill level, you are making a difference and an impact on someone else. So I encourage all of you to continue toward those goals and thank you for inspiring and motivating me!

How am I celebrating today? Well, after work I thought I would head to the Preserve and climb some hills and then run down them really really fast lol. That has become one of my favorite places to run. A local trail, beautiful scenery, and so much to explore and discover. I get to connect with the landscape and clear my head and for those moments I feel alive and centered. Running has given me so much. Amazing friendships, a sense of purpose, drive and determination, and the sexiest leg muscles I've ever had. Last night I signed on to be part of the Run It Fast club to continue to connect with runners that...well...like to Run Fast HAHA! No seriously, this is an awesome group of athletes of all skill levels and I can't wait to really get in there and have some fun! I'll also be continuing to interact with all of you! And let's start with this blog post. Share in the comments why you run!

Happy National Running Day! Remember, running is a gift and it always has something to teach you. Also, Runner High is still legal in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

QOTD: Why do YOU run?