Spartan Up!

The guy behind the Spartan races wrote a book!

It got a great review from one of my heroes, Dean Karnazes (Ultramarathoner and New York Times bestselling author of Ultra Marathon Man): “If there’s anyone out there who has taken extreme to a new level, its Joe De Sena – in adventure racing, in business, and ultimately in the business of adventure. Spartan Up! is a must-read.”

Spartan Up! is more than an insider’s view of the world of obstacle racing –it’s a manual for the Spartan way of life, including:

■ Finding the will to succeed: The first half of a race you run with your legs; the second half you run with your mind. Turn your pain into an outboard motor to drive you forward.

■ Tossing your cookies: The Cookie Test can teach you how to overcome the need for immediate gratification and help you prosper in the long term.

■ Getting Spartan fit: Survival of the Fittest means training outside the gym for strength, endurance and flexibility for your entire body—and don’t forget those burpees!

■ Moving mountains: Whether metaphorical mountains or the ones on which Spartans race, what you think of as your limitations can actually be a mere starting point for transformation.

I can’t wait to get my copy — order yours today!


Trying to get my groove back

So, here’s this:

Created by MyFitnessPal – Nutrition Facts For Foods

Here’s the thing. I’m actually trying again. For realsies. Here’s what I’m doing:

1. My new eating program is one my running coach developed, using her two books – Belly Fat Blow-out and Belly Fat Blow-out 2. All real foods, avoiding the white sugars and flour, with menu plans and support though her group.

2. Next week, I (finally) have a meeting with a new doctor. In March, my company got bought out, so even though I have the same exact job, I lost my other health insurance and had to jump through a ton of hoops to figure out the new one. In that time, many of the nurses who work with me have comented on my neck – my goiter on my thyroid has definitely gotten bigger. My thyroid meds haven’t changed in a few years. This could be having a negative effect on my weight and health status.

3. Running with the WOW team 2-3 times a week. Wednesday nights track, Thursday nights at the marina, Sunday mornings various places around the bay. This has gotten increasingly hard for me – the weight gain hasn’t helped, and I’m having troubles breathing lately. This *could* be related to my thyroid as well, but I’m hesitant to blame all my issues on that.

4. Joining Curves for Women – this starts in a week. I purchased a Groupon to start, but due to my doctors appointment, running, and a hair appointment, my intake couldn’t be scheduled until next Monday. I plan on doing that 2-3 times a week as well, for maximun fat burning.

5. Tracking the foods I’m eating into MyFitnessPal, even though I’m following my coach’s eating plan. I like to see this to make sure I’m not just going crazy on portions and also to make sure I’m hitting a 1:1 ratio of protein and carbs (a very important concept in her books).

Last night, when I was mentioning what yet ANOTHER nurse at work said to me – this one who actually recently completed her NP program so is more than a nurse – Josh said to me that maybe the thyroid DOES explain some of what is going on with me. That it has surprised him to watch me following the eating plan EXACTLY, not going over on calories, not eating bread, sugar, pasta, etc, running 2 times each week, and only having lost 3 lbs in the past 2 weeks. Yes, a loss is a loss, and I was happy each time I was on the scale and saw that, but he does have a point. I’m well over 200 lbs. I’m wearing a size 18. I switched from eating chips and crackers and chicken nuggets and donuts and pizza every day to clean, healthy eating and didn’t have a dramatic drop in weight right at the beginning, which is a common thing.

But again… I don’t want to hang all my hopes on a faulty thyroid. I’ve been down that road before. I can’t blame my issues on that and pretend all the pizza, donuts, etc had NOTHING to do with my crazy weight gain in the past 6 months. Or blame my increased lethargy completely on it, eiher… of course I’m more tired with 30 more pounds and far less intensity at workouts and putting complete crap in my mouth. That’s a given.

And let’s not forget life stress… that’s never good for our health, especially not in people whose main vice is overeating like mine is! My job has been more stressful in the past 6 months than it was the previous year I was in this position, so that’s contributed. And my personal life, the one related to my future stepchildren and the custody battle between their mother and Josh, that part has reached stress of epic proportions. Imagine the nastiest divorce and custody battle you’ve ever heard of, add in violence, a life flight to a hospital and a trauma surgery, and the total loss of seeing the very young children while awaiting a hearing, and you’ll have a little picture of what my life has been like since last November. My thyroid isn’t to blame for that. Life is. And the way I handle life – that’s what is to blame. But I would not be surprised to learn that my thyroid played a small part, that it is a tiny piece of the puzzle.

To be really, really honest, the last 6-9 months have been the hardest of my life, even harder than going through my own divorce, which is how this blog was started. As a chronicle of keeping healthy when learning to be on my own. Yes, I struggled as a single person, my weight bounced up and down, I tried weird diets. But nothing could have prepared me for how I would completely give up on my own health in the face of this kind of crisis. How even though I am in a happy, stable relationship with someone who supports me in all the ways I need, that the rest of our life would be so out of control that neither of us would be able to take care of ourselves (Josh gained weight as well, but not nearly as much as me).

And the thing about overeating as a coping mechanism, as a vice, is that when it gets out of control, literally EVERYONE can see it. You can’t hide it from strangers like you can some of the other horribly unhealthy vices – drugs, alcohol, self-harm, those aren’t plastered on your body for everyone to see like fat is. They are certainly just as damaging, and many times MORE damaging, but someone at the grocery store or the restaurant or unfortunate enough to be in the airplane seat next to you as you partially hog their space, they can’t see all your demons. Just the ones in plain view.

This posting from PostSecret says exactly that:


I don’t want people to be able to judge me based on my excess weight. I’d rather they look at me for my smile or my laugh or my sense of fashion. Or see me as a good friend, a good stepmother, a good partner. And I’d like to see myself as those things more often – I know them to be true, but when I’m uncomfortably squishing myself into a pair of pants that used to fit, or when the stadium seats at the ballpark don’t seem to house my larger size butt as well as I remembered… in those times, I forget the good things and I’m just really sad.

But I am taking steps to change that. I have an incredibly supportive partner who is cooking meals for me and helping me stay on the eating program by eating in this fashion as well. I have an amazing running coach who sees the person I am inside and knows my struggles and continues to encourage me even though my health and running ability has gone downhill since she met me. I have health insurance and access to a doctor who can hopefully make sure everything physically is ok with me. I have the tools, and I’ve been using them now for two weeks. It’s a start.

Spartan Giveaway Winner!

Sorry for my tardiness, but we DO have a winner!

And that winner is….


I will be sending you an email with the registration code. Everyone else, look for an email from me with a 15% off code. Thank you for joining!

Spartan Race GIVEAWAY!

I’m really excited about this, guys. You’ve heard of Spartan Races, right? I’m thinking a lot of you have, because I’ve seen you click “Like” on Facebook. And then I usually see an image like this one when you like them:

So what IS a Spartan Race? Here’s an awesome YouTube Video they made to give you the idea:

SO basically, these events are like a triathlalon mixed with the muddy buddy type obsticle courses. They look pretty hard – are you up for the challenge?

If you’re located near me (Northern California), the race you’re looking at is in Sacramento on Saturday October 26th. If you’re located outside of this area, click HERE for a list of the other dates and locations (there are many!)

SO now for the BIG NEWS. I have one FREE RACE ENTRY to give away! This is big, people. A lot goes in to this race and it’s definitely worth every penny.

Here’s what you need to do to enter the giveaway:

1. Share the link to this blog post on your social media of choice (facebook, twitter, pinterest, anything goes)

2. Comment back here to tell me where you shared the link. 

3. Tell me which Spartan Race event you would enter if you won. 

BONUS ENTRY: LIKE Spartan Races on Facebook and leave me a second comment saying you did so. 

And that’s it! I will use a random number generator to choose the winner on Friday, June 7th. And EVERYONE who enters will get a code for 15% off their entry fees. 


Good luck! 



Oakland RunFest

So continues my tradition of updating after I do a race!

Today I ran a 5k with my wow team:

Josh came, guarded the tent with all the team’s stuff, and cheered me on:

Hung out for awhile afterwards to wait for the half marathoners to finish:

Got home about 12:30, relaxed at home, and I took a 2 hour nap. Love it. So glad to be back at races again, even if I am moving a lot slower!

Color Run Sacramento

This morning I headed up to Sacramento and did the Color Run with my old roommate, Nicole. It’s a 5k, but not timed and most people are walking anyway. There were 15,000 people there!

So the deal is, you wear a white shirt, and every kilometer you get doused with a colored powder. And then there’s a color packet party at the end.

Here we are before:

Add in a bunch of this:

And you get this:

Nicole wore a shower cap to protect her newly dyed hair, cuz it can stain. Blonde hair can get it bad, and my hair with how much chemical treatment it’s had, might soak in the few spots I got. But it’s ok – I have a cut and color on Wednesday. 🙂

All in all, a super fun event. Now I’m tired and ready to cuddle up with Josh and the kiddos. Night!

Official race photos!

I like this one of me and Lisa:

That was somewhere around the halfway point. Almost 7 miles.

This is at about 10 miles. Lisa stopped at the bathrooms so I was alone at that point.

I was feeling pretty strong here, going around Lake Merrit was very pretty.

But by the end, I was DONE:

But hey. 6 half marathons down. Not terrible.

Now it’s time to focus on losing weight, running faster, and being healthier. 🙂

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