Category Archives: Work it out!

Why I Run….

Good morning (or afternoon) all. I’m sitting here in my room at the Disneyland Hotel, looking out the windows at a great view of the parks. I’m sort of de-compressing after running a 10K yesterday and a half marathon today as part of the Inaugural Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. Those of you who know me, know that I’ve been a pretty avid runner since about 2005 when the running bug hit me. My father got me into it, as he was an avid runner. Now, me, my two sisters, and my Dad are all avid runners. And we’ve shared our love of running with countless people, including our husbands. My husband ran his first half marathon in 2011 and then his first full marathon 2012. Before then, he struggled to run a couple of miles. So I started to work with him and coach him through everything. He had it in his head that he couldn’t take any walk breaks at all. I put a stop to that, and we started to use a run-walk-run method. Typically we run for four minutes and walk a minute. At first, I thought my times would take a nose-dive. Boy was I wrong. I actually shaved almost an hour off my half marathon time, and over an hour off my full-marathon time.

In all this, we also dramatically changed our lifestyles. When I first started running, I was also in law school and working full time. Eating healthy wasn’t a top priority. My top priority was graduating at the top of my law school class (CHECK!). And training didn’t always go as planned either. I graduated law school in May of 2009 and moved out to California. My husband and I got married in July 2009. For a frame of reference, my wedding dress was a size 14. In 2011, we started to change our lifestyle. I began working out about 6 days a week. I no longer purchased processed foods. If it’s not found in the produce or refrigerated section of Sprouts (my fav. grocery store), I don’t buy it. And I still don’t, with the exception of beans and my san marzano tomatoes for the sauce. My fellow italians know what I’m talking about… :-) I would do circuit training Mondays and Wednesdays. We would run Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. And a few days of the week, I would add a second workout in of yo-lates (a combination of yoga and pilates). Over the course of approximately 1 year, I dropped from a size 14 to a size 6 – that was a year ago. And since then, I’ve been simply maintaining, but defining muscle and now I’ve dropped another few sizes.

So that’s one of the BIGGEST reasons I run. To stay active and healthy and fit. But another thing about running. It gives you a great feeling of accomplishment. During races, complete strangers cheer for you as if  you’re their favorite athlete. And those people are the ones that become inspired and start training for their first 5K.

I always hear people in the starting corrals talk about what they hope to finish in. We all set goals, but sometimes you have to re-evaluate your goal for the day. That happened to me today. I was hoping to PR (runner-speak for getting a personal record), but that just wasn’t in the cards for me today. It was humid and hot and this California girl is used to DRY DRY DRY. So I decided to just have fun with it instead. Hell, I ran a 10K yesterday. And at certain points, it got rough. But then I reminded myself that there are people out there who would kill to do what I was doing at that moment. So today, who did I run for? I ran for the four thousand people who were stopped short of the finish line in Boston in April. I ran for the hundreds of people who suffered from injuries that day, some of them runners who had to have their legs amputated. I ran for the four victims of that tragedy that occurred in a city very near and dear to my heart. And part of me thinks that I’ll always be running for those people now.

So tomorrow, whether you’re a runner or not, think about doing something active. Go for a walk. Take your dog with you. Call up a friend and ask if they want to come with you. Make a habit it out of it. And think of all those people who can’t do that. Not just the victims from that tragic day in Boston, but also people who were born without the ability to walk, like my husband’s oldest son from his first marriage. Be thankful you have the ability to be active and don’t squander that opportunity. Embrace it. Enjoy it.

End of rant.

But first, here’s a photo of me at the start line today!!!!

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Filed under Life, Work it out!

It’s Nice to Know You’ve Still Got It….

Up early and decided to start blogging on a more regular basis….  And before the day gets away from me with editing and reviewing my novel (“A Beautiful Mess” coming October 8, 2013!!!) I decided to do a little writing for fun. Even though all my writing is for fun, really!

So I got up early yesterday, as I do every day. And I went for a run. It was Tuesday. And Tuesday’s a short run day. So I hop in my yellow Jeep Wrangler and drive to one of the trailheads. See, I live in this fantastic suburb north of LA, about thirty miles north of Hollywood. And there’s probably over forty miles of bike paths. Which is great as a runner because i don’t have to fight cars or traffic and I can turn off and just run. Which is freaking fantastic!

So I pull my Jeep in and get all the stuff I need for my short little five miler. And I start running. About a mile and a half into my run, I catch up to about twenty police academy recruits, who are also out for a run. And holy crap, nice job Santa Clarita Police Academy, because there were some HOTTIES there. (Side note, I’m extremely happily married to the most wonderful man on the face of the planet.)

So as I’m running, I can tell some of the guys are checking me out. I did look cute…  Wearing a cute little running skirt from Athletica. (PS, any runners who want some great comfortable skirts for running in – Athletica is a little better than Lululemon, IMHO.)

And then one of their training instructors or whatever, runs up, and starts yelling as some of the cadets. He said, and I quote, “Stop chasing skirts and stay with the group.” I turned around and this hottie grinned. I wish I had my phone because I sooo wanted to take a picture because he is who I had in my head when I made up my main character, Alexander….  Holy crap. Built, dark hair. He even had green eyes. Holy shit balls!

So that brings me to the point of this post this morning…  It’s nice to know you’ve still got it. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband for four years. And he tells me on a daily basis how much he loves me. How beautiful I am. And I love that he’s so affectionate with me. But once in a while, it’s nice to know people other than your hubby finds you attractive. So that made my day….

Well, it looks like I need to go prep Chapter one of my first book to post on Goodreads…  When I hit 50, I said I’d post it…  So looks like that’s about to happen!  Holy crapolla!  If you haven’t added it yet, go here:

A Beautiful Mess on Goodreads

And once I get 200 likes on my FB fan page, I’m posting a schmexy scene…

T.K. Leigh Facebook Fan Page

And anyone who knows me, knows I’m a total sucker for Grumpy Cat, so I just had to share this with y’all!

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Filed under Born to Run Baby!, Life, Work it out!, Writing