Week 5: RnR DC Half Marathon Training

Training Thoughts: Week 5 (Feb 5-Feb 11) — Low mileage

This past week was a bit rough. I had a lack of motivation, not just in running, but in keeping a positive, optimistic outlook. There were also nice moments to the week so all in all, I’ve successfully reset and realigned my thinking, giving myself time to process this past week’s mixed bag of emotions and events. This week’s training thoughts definitely reflect how all over the place (yet still physically in the same place) I am in playing life’s mental game.

Running on the Treadmill is a Metaphor for my life right now

The treadmill is a necessary evil. I ran my long run this week on a treadmill, all 10 miles of it, because of a constant onslaught of rain in the DC area on Sunday and my lack of motivation to not get it done outdoors before it started. Equipped with a 2 hour podcast and setting the treadmill monitor to scenic views of national parks in New Zealand and Utah, I embarked on m longest treadmill run to date. I was extremely surprised to experience such a meditative state and runner’s high on the treadmill. After mile 3, I was in the ZONE. This workout felt like a metaphor for my life. I have been putting so much effort and action into my future plans, yet I am still physically in the same place. Much like a treadmill, putting in effort in the workout yet literally remaining in the same place. Treadmill workouts are not very popular for this reason among many, but that doesn’t make the effort any less of a workout or the miles any less legitimate. It’s all about the mental game. Sure, I was not physically running anywhere on the treadmill, but I was still getting in my miles, I was still acting towards my goals even if big change has not yet happened. I know that as long as I put the work in, take action, and do so consistently, the big changes and opportunities will come.

When to Take time to think it through or just do it

If you know me, or have been following my posts, you know that I am an over-thinker. This tendency of mine defines how I make big decisions in my life. In Training Thoughts: Week 3, I talked about how I keep a healthy balance of reflection without allowing myself to ruminate, which is a lot alike finding balance between taking time to think things through or just doing it. For instance, sometimes I justify delaying my morning workout (or not doing it all or delaying it to the afternoon) as me “thinking it through.” But I know that this “justification” is just an excuse, to lay in bed a little bit longer, to procrastinate. I know that I always feel better after a workout and getting it done in the morning significantly improves the quality of my day. So at that point, I actively make a hard mental turn in my self-talk and say, just do it, Franny. Get up and go. This is how my thought process is with SO many things. This past week, I also announced my website on my personal Facebook. Something that I had been thinking of doing since September of last year. September?! Yes, I literally had been sitting on my website for 5 months because of “thinking it through” (Don’t even get me started on how long it took me until I decided to buy my domain name). But I told myself, just do it, Franny. Your voice will be out in the world and making your site public will keep you accountable in writing posts and maintaining it. For me, it’s really a cause of just doing it, and I always have felt positively after doing so.

Loving From Afar 

Ever since I was a teenager, I have viewed Valentine’s Day as just another day and once I had the vocabulary to call it out as a capitalist, commodified holiday that only celebrates one type of love (often romantic, heteronormative relationships), I started doing that, too. I have felt this way when I have been in a romantic relationship on Valentine’s Day and when I have not. To me, the principal of Valentine’s Day is really quite wonderful, to celebrate and honor the love in our lives. The problem is that Valentine’s Day as a holiday is marketed towards a lot of flawed societal norms of love, that there should be a special day dedicated to celebrating love (it should be everyday!), that the best way to show our love is through material goods (this is one way to show it, but it should not be the only or most important way!), that only romantic love should be celebrated, among many other things I could go into.

In going off of last week’s thought (briefly) on love, I’ve been thinking loving from a far. Doing this applies to many people in my life right now and it looks differently depending on who those people are. For instance, since moving away from California, staying connected and loving my parents has looked very differently. I’m no longer a phone call away from weekend brunches or dinners or having my parents come to my performances. I talk to them everyday, either via text or phone, because that is how I can love from afar until I make them more immediately in my life by moving. Even if people are not physically in your life anymore, there’s always a choice and a way to keep them a part of it. Loving from afar can be letting go of people you once shared a romantic relationship with, accepting that the time you had together is over but you grew and learned a lot from it. Loving from afar can also be calling an old friend for the first time in neither of you can remember and being able to catch up like not a day has passed. It can be sending texts because you remember they started a new job, heard they moved cities, or recently had a big news, happy or sad.

This Valentine’s Day, I encourage everyone to celebrate and honor all love in their lives, romantic, familial, friendships, and self-love. Because it really all truly is wonderful!

View more of the Training Thoughts Series here!

Week 2: RnR DC Half Marathon Training


As January is quickly ticking to a close, squeezing in the amount of workouts I want to do is becoming quite the juggling game as I’ve found my plate being more full and more opportunities popping up. This week’s thoughts focus on keeping variety in my workouts and trusting the effort I put into them!


Earlier this month, I started incorporating a few two-a-day’s into my workout schedule. I have a day job and this girl’s gotta cook, clean, and cultivate her other hobbies as well! So needless to say, it’s tough to successfully maintain a two-a-day schedule, but it did make me realize two things about half-marathon training: 1) cross-training is important and 2) I love workout variety. The variety makes me feel physically and mentally strong in different ways. When I lift, I feel badass while breaking down the stereotype of women and strength training. When I run, I get on that runner’s high and am full of energy afterwards. When I practice yoga, I feel more present and more physically flexible. In addition to running, cross-training is something I look forward to as an opportunity to meet different goals and keep variety.


As much as I love planning, I’ve wholeheartedly welcomed breaking from a schedule and expectations, particularly when something that I don’t like and actually don’t have control over happens. It’s been said, but it’s true: You can’t control how you’re treated or what happens to you, but you can choose how to react to it. (And just because I say this now, does not mean this is consistently my first instinct. In fact it takes a lot of mental practice for me to get to this point) For me, this has meant staying flexible and not being so damn hard on myself. This week, I didn’t end up doing my long run on Saturday as planned because I ended up sleeping late for no good reason. I knew sleep was more important so I didn’t do the long run all at once. I divided the 7 miles between 2 other workouts to hit the mileage. Instead of a full long run on Saturday, I ran 3 miles and then hit a deadlift PR! By staying flexible, I acknowledge my current reality and adjust accordingly to still accomplish my own plans.

Compounding Action

Big changes don’t happen over night. Even when big opportunities arise, they are a product of previous actions we’ve taken that have compounded over some period of time. Training in itself is compounding action. It’s why it’s a terrible idea to run a long distance race without having built up endurance for weeks beforehand (learned this one the hard way!). Every time I cross off a workout from my training calendar, I also see the days that I’ve already put the miles and work in. It gives me a very driven feeling to keep going. I know that in keeping my actions present and mindful, they will compound and bring about a stronger me.

Reflective and Light Gear

A footnote that I still need to find proper reflective and light gear! Will gladly take any recommendations!

Click here to read Training Thoughts: Week 1!

Week 1: RnR DC Half Marathon Training

My training season has begun! I signed up for the Rock n Roll DC Half Marathon in August 2017 (which seems like FOREVER ago) during a super awesome, limited race price. So awesome in fact, when I told one of my friends who’s based in Philly about the race, she signed up too!

I’m using a plan from Kara Goucher and Oiselle, because it incorporates building consistent mileage, weekly workouts, and some strength that I can substitute and play around with. It’s a 10 week plan, but again I started a week later, so I began with the second week as my first week. In addition to my Instagram, I’ll be writing this series “Training Thoughts” for how I’m doing throughout the process and what is getting me through it mentally.

Training Thoughts: Week 1 (Jan.8-Jan 14) — 23.83 miles
Appreciating Seasons

Instead of sticking to my southern California bones this winter, I’ve changed my attitude towards cold weather. I even went ice skating this weekend when it was 25 degrees! Venturing out in the cold is all about being prepared. On my long run this week, I felt well-covered during the miles and found the solitude on the trails to be refreshing. Not to mention the sunrises are still amazing. Even though I miss the warmth and lush greenery of warmer months, I enjoy being able to see more of the landscape and horizon through the bare trees. I’ve been viewing the winter pretty symbolically, set to the song Spring Will Come Again from Leonard Bernstein’s Peter Pan. Through the bare trees I can see further into the distance, like seeing the expansiveness of my future. Although it’s cold, the sun sets a little bit later everyday, lengthening sunlight hours, a reminder that change is a welcome and natural process.

re-frame, re-adjust, or let go

Overall, I’d say I am a pretty positive person but in recent unwanted changes or the stark realization that I haven’t been living my life to its fullest, my thoughts sometimes go to a dark place. Putting in the miles has helped me let go of the negativity in my mind and re-frame or re-adjust it to something opportunistic. As I’m running, whenever a not so nice thought drifts into my head, I let it do just that, drift. I think of these thoughts as clouds or passing cars, coming into view but exiting as quickly as they came. I refocus on my form and breathing which brings me a logical clarity. I feel empowered with the choice to re-frame and re-adjust my negative thoughts. Absence once meant presence, and ending also means a new beginning. I sometimes even feel silly and ridiculous for thinking negative things because I have so much to be grateful for. Through running I feel empowered to let negativity go with each step on the pavement.

With each breath, with each step, I AM getting stronger.

At this point in my life, my relationship with running has become much more than just physical exercise. Running is of course good for my physical and cardiovascular health, but I am also discovering how vital it is in building my mental and emotional strength. Through training for this half, I’ve started living a balanced life while doing what I want, from following a renewing sleep routine, planning solo adventures for myself, and even finding closure from the past within myself.

I’ve found that I’m not lingering in bed in the morning because I look forward to my workouts. When my legs are heavy and my feet are dragging and I can barely seem to run half a mile, I remind myself that working out is a mental game. I repeat to myself “with each breath, with each step, I am getting stronger.” This mantra gives purpose and intention to my workouts. I know that I will feel great after my workout, I know my workout only serves to better myself and push me closer to my goals. I know that with each breath, with each step, with each action, I am getting stronger.