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 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
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 normal 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:

Gillian: ThatsG.Com

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


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 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.