Monday, December 16, 2013

The Finish Line

There's a sense of tranquility that occurs during a run. A therapeutic state of mind, almost impossible to replicate.

earlier during my run.
For the past few weeks, I've been contemplating about my purpose in life. There are days I feel trapped. Other days I feel like I've lost all sense of direction. And as each day passes me by, I feel even further behind with my goals. What am I doing? Where am I going? Is this where I should be? Is this good enough? Question after question and yet no where near an answer. 

You see this is all new to me. When I was in a committed relationship, I was quick to share these concerns with my partner. He had a way with words, always there to rescue my thoughts. Well it's different now. He's gone and here I am, lost. All left to answer them on my own.

So while out on my run today, I began to explore the thought of running as a metaphor for life. Just like there are good days and bad days, today I had a good run. The weather was impeccable, better than the last time I paid a visit.

very icy ground during my last run.

Around mile 3, I started to get sharps pain in my legs, there was no choice but to walk it off. But soon, I went back to running. Thankfully there were no hills today, a runners nightmare. Hills are the devil working against you ha ha ha! No seriously, out of your comfort zone and their sole purpose it to make you crawl your way to the top. Let's not even mention injuries, talk about setbacks. Sometimes it can take days, months, years to recover and getting back in the game is just as tough. But isn't this how life works? With bumps and bruises along the road, one must keep moving forward.

The thought of running as a metaphor for life was reinforced for a race. Some runners show up with months of training invested. While others arrive less prepared, regretting their lack of discipline. Reasons for participation may vary. Checking off a bucket list, reaching a fitness goal, running for a cause. Then there are the experienced runners in pursuit of a personal record, maybe even aiming for a spot at the Boston Marathon. As for me, I do it for pure pleasure. 

Although I still don't know my purpose in life, I'm okay with that. We're in different stages in our lives. Running at different paces. Some will be guided through out their journey, while others will find themselves running in the dark or maybe even in circles. Some will find themselves unable to keep up and walk instead. The truth is we're all part of the biggest race: life. With the ultimate quest of reaching our personal "finish line."

I can go on and on but it's getting late. I hope I did a good job putting my thoughts together. Lord know's I'm no writer. Thanks for visiting!


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Work Run and Read

WORK. Lately I've been swamped by work. About a month ago, I took on a new position with more responsibilities. BIG RESPONSIBILITIES. My team has shown a great amount of patience and willingness to help that it's made this transition easy.

RUN. There are only four days left until the Dallas Marathon. This will be my second half-marathon in over two years. I want to beat my previous (and first) time of 2:30 hours. But looking at the weather, just showing up and finishing might have to suffice.

READ. I read The Alchemist over the weekend. This story of a young shepherd boy in search of a treasure is a quick read and powerful metaphor of life. Great message about listening to your heart and never giving up on your dreams.
“When you really want something to happen, the whole world conspires to help you achieve it.” Paulo Cohelo, The Alchemist. 
I have about four books lined up for December: Mockingjay (third and finally book of The Hunger Games series), Gone Girl, The Shack, and Wicked.  I'll be taking a break from running so I'll have enough time to go through them all. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fired Up 5k 2013

A week ago I ran the Town North YMCA Fired Up 5k with a couple of friends. I stayed out late the night before for a Halloween party, so a personal best was not even in mind.

Left to Right: Antonio, me, Monica and Joel. 
It was a small race, 295 runners to be exact. The 5k started at 8 AM. It was cloudy with temperatures in the low 60's.

The course took us through a nice quiet neighborhood, one a kid from my hood only dreams of living on some day. I spend the first few minutes trying to get the right tunes on my iPod. After ten minutes, I took of my headphones and decided to enjoy the scenery. Just be in the moment.

The majority of the course was flat, until I hit mile 2. I knew I didn't want to walk so I slowed down a lot. I kept telling myself, "your legs are giving up, your body is giving up. Time to run with your heart!" 

My friends were all done. They were waiting for me at the finish line. So I was surprised when it was announced I came in 3rd place in my age group! First time I win an award of any kind for a race. 

Monica came in 2nd under the same division and our friend Joel also placed in his age group. 

My official time was 32:14. A new personal best, even though I felt like I could of done better. Either way I have come a long way! In February at the Texas Half 5k, I finished in 38:55. In May at the Heel and Hills 5k, I finished in 38:39. I know with better preparation, proper rest AKA not partying the night before I can do much better.

This definitely has me excited for my next race! I just know my hard work is paying off!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Weekend Parites

In honor of Halloween, take a look at my costumes from parties I attended over the weekend.

Friday night, Jarrah and I went to a friend's party. I dressed up like a pirate and she went as a pimp. The music was great, the people were dressed up really cool and we had a great time.

Saturday night, Isabel and her roommates hosted their Halloween/House Warming Party. I went as a fortune teller, although somebody confused me for a princess. I laughed and said "Thank you."

All the girls looked great! They had plenty of drinks and snacks to get you through the night. After posing for pictures, we were off to the dance floor. We danced for the rest of the night until we said "no mas."

Happy Halloween!!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

First Time Carving a Pumpkin

At age 24, I finally carved my first pumpkin. Like where have I been? Probably having a sad childhood.

My awesome friend, Isabel, invited me to a small pumpkin carving party, hosted by her and her roommates. It was nice to see some familiar faces and catch up on life while carving these things. Oh and the pizza was good too!

I had not problem carving the hole on the top. But once opened, it got really messy AND THE FUN PART STARTED. I felt like a zombie from The Walking Dead digging with my bare hands inside my pumpkin. I was taking all the "guts" out, feeling like "grrrr, how you like that Mr. Walmart Pumpkin?!?"

As for my design, well my imagination is pretty limited. I went with something EXTRA easy, mainly because I didn't want to chop my fingers off.


Everybody else actually put some effort! This was my first time but definitely not my last.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

It's Going to Be Okay

I've been avoiding this post for days.

About a month ago, I made the hard decision to stop training for a full marathon. It was hard to admit it to you but especially to myself. A marathon finish was a big goal of mine for 2013. 

Since then I've adjusted my training and will take on a half-marathon. This will be my second half-marathon. And although it's a "half," training will still require  full dedication. I haven't felt this satisfied about running in a while. My body is just loving it because it's not under a lot of pressure and my running spirit is slowly being restored. 

I neglect my blog for long periods, mainly because I have nothing awesome to update you about. But you can stay in touch with me here:

Twitter: carlaontherun
Instagram: carlaontherun
Nike Running (which I just started using): Carla_Leyva

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Hottest Half and 10K 2013 Recap

10k Finisher Picture

I ran The Hottest Half and (10k) last week, my second year in a row. I felt more confident this time around since I was familiar with the course and had better prepared myself for the event.

I had a really great start. My music playlist was on point. I had properly stretched. I was pumped! For the first 3 miles, I was running ahead of my usual pace per mile by 45 seconds.

By the turn around point, little over 3 miles, I was happy how good I was keeping up. I just knew I would finish ahead of last years time. 

Around mile 5 I started to slow down. I knew even if I walked for a bit, I could still beat last year time. It was during that last mile that I just wanted to give up. I wanted to cross the finish line, yet running was the last thing I wanted to to.

The last mile is always a tough one. It's such a mental challenge. 

I always get caught off guard and end up with really crappy race pictures. This year I was able to spot the camera guy ahead of time. So every time I was about to approach him, I would smile and give 2 thumbs up. I would hold that pose for like 5 seconds because I wanted to make sure he got it. I looked so dumb.... What do you think? Better?

I ended up finishing 8 minutes ahead of last year time! More than a minute ahead per mile!

This event also marked one year since my best friend and I started running together. We've come a long way! In 2012 we were just getting into the game and look at us now? Looking like actual runners. My sister came to see me run, so that was pretty cool too. Until next year!

<<Instagram Picture>>

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mom Tags Along and Another #TBT

After my aunt and cousin stopped by for breakfast, I went out for a run at the park. The weather felt pretty nice with no sun in sight. But guess who wanted to tagged along? It was actually sweet that my mother wanted to join me. I only ran a mile and walked the rest with her. We just talked, gossiped... you know, what girls do. 

Running Song of the Day


I recently found a lot of pictures from when I was a youngsta! I'm thinking of making it a weekly Thursday theme. What do you think? I mean who doesn't want to see more pictures of this cutie pie? I know I do!

  • Picture 1: I think this was Easter, obviously.
  • Picture 2: 6 years old living in California, being a mime for Halloween. 
  • Picture 3: That doll got stolen like a week later. Stupid kids.

I also found lots pictures of my stepdad, Rafael. He was in my life for a short period of time but I have nothing but amazing memories of him.

He was so full of life and I was always a happy child around him. I miss him a lot.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Week One Recap and Girls Night Out

Week One Recap: This past week I completed my first week of marathon training. The first few weeks will consist of low mile weekday runs and conclude with a long Saturday run. The goal is to build endurance, so the amount of miles will increase as the weeks go by. Yikes!

During Saturday's run, I got a high five followed by "YOU GO GIRL!" from a total stranger as I was finishing. It's something so minor but it made me finish strong and feel good about myself.

  • Monday: 2 miles on elliptical and 2 mile run @ the gym.
  • Tuesday: 2 mile run with my bff @ the park.
  • Wednesday: 2 mile run with my bff @ the park.
  • Thursday: 2 mile run @ the gym. 
  • Friday: rest
  • Saturday: 4 mile run @ the park. 

For the second week, I will be up to 3 daily mile runs with a 5 mile Saturday long run.

Saturday night I joined my best friend, Jarrah and other friends for some drinks. We were there to celebrate a friend's birthday and the launch of her clothing store. But before I ordered any drinks, I actually googled the amount of calories per beer and told myself I would only have 2.....

Well that didn't happen! I think I had a bit too much to drink but it's all good. I had a great time kicking with friends I hadn't seen in forever but damn to beers! Here I am Sunday night still recovering...

Everywhere I go people ask me about my gauged ears. I took this picture because I don't think a lot of my 'online' friends know. I've had them for like 4 years, with the exception of 2 year ago when I closed them for a few months. No, it did not hurt and no, I have no plans on going bigger. The end.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

#throwbackthursday (video)

Another successful run with my buddy Jarrah. We've kicking so much ass lately, we deserve a round of drinks! This weekend? Deal! I got to use my little water bottle carrier I got over the weekend. As soon we got done, we dropped dead on the sidewalk. My face, arms, shirt, legs were soaked in sweat. Awesome feeling!

My mental game has also been on point! It's easy for me to pause during a run when I start to get tired. I still have a lot to go but with each mile, I feel mentally stronger. I do take 30 second walking breaks for water but I am back at it. I put more focus on finishing and beating my usual time.

Throwback Thursday!
So in honor of Throwback Thursday, I decided to publish this random video of myself. I spend hours watching all these lame clips I filmed 3 years ago in my apartment back in my college days. It's not suppose to be funny, so don't judge my lameness... but whatever thug life! enjoy!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Give Me The Juice!

Lately my fridge has been filled with lots of vegetables and fruits, so I've been putting my juicer to work. I don't follow any specific recipes. I just take a handful of anything and throw it in the juicer. Kale, cucumbers, apples, carrots and oranges, etc.

Monday night, I was excited to start my first day of marathon training. But according to the training schedule I'm using, Tuesday was actually the first day. Either way I headed to the gym that night, this after a LONG nap. I did 2 miles on the elliptical and a 2 mile run on the treadmill. During my run I immediately noticed a difference in my breathing. Usually when I run, I feel like I have a plastic bag over my face, unable to control my breathing. But to my surprise I was able to run just fine.

Tuesday night, I met my friend, Jarrah, at the park for a quick 2 mile run. I wasn't sure how I was going to do since the outside temperature has been reaching 100 degrees. But as soon as I started, I knew it was going to be a great run. My legs felt strong and my body felt hydrated. I only took three 30 second walk breaks to refuel. I was determine to finish strong and I did! I finished 3:30 minutes faster than my usual time. It was an amazing feeling.

I'll be back at it tonight :-)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Too Hot To Handle 15k Recap

Recently I completed my first 15k at the 2013 Too Hot To Handle event.

This was the first time I ever made it late to a race. I didn't have time to stretch and had to rush to the starting line. I even struggled putting on my iPod, as you can tell ha ha ha!

struggling to put on my headphones LOL 
The first 3 miles are always the toughest because it takes me about 25 to 30 minutes to feel warmed up. By mile 4, a cool breeze from the light rain gave a boost, it was so refreshing. Once I reached the 'half-way turning' point, I felt mentally energized. I was able to catch up to Jarrah by mile 6.

She was having trouble with her ankle and decided at that point to stick with her until the finish line. So we ran and walked for the remainder of the race. I did take my pineapple gu around mile 8 and felt a good kick in the butt. My legs felt strong and my spirit was on high. I finished with a big smile!

The next event will be The Hottest Half in mid August. I decided to go with the 10k distance and will try to aim for a half marathon for mid-September. Happy Running!

I was very touched by this video. I hope you take time to witness her awesomeness. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

July Goals

With only 2 weeks left until my first 15k run, I'm eager to start training for my first marathon. I spend weeks in search of the right training schedule for my pace. I even arrange all future running events to meet that schedule. I'm so happy my best friend, Jarrah, is joining me along for the ride. But until then, let's plan for July.

More rest.
I fall asleep with my phone in one hand and the tv on. Need to just shut everything off and let my body fall asleep.

Cross train twice a week.
I get caught up trying to hit my goal running pace that I neglect the rest of my body. Need to hit the gym and incorporate upper body strength workouts. 

I put on my iPod and I hate having to adjust it when a slow song comes on. Need to create a fun, upbeat playlist.

It's easy to give up and I will admit to that. I need cut up on "walking breaks."

At the end of the day I need to remember that running should be fun. I can't get to caught up with trying too be the best everyday. 
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Down and Dirty Mud Run 5K

About a week ago I participated in my very first mud run! It was so much fun. Of course, I say this after recovering but had you ask me during the race my answer would of been, "what the F did I sign up for!"

My friend Monica joined me. She was on beast mode and finished before me. I took the "oh I'm just doing this for fun" approach. And boooooooooy was I wrong. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE should you ever sign up for this type of event just for "fun." It's not.

Okay I'm over exaggerating but you get the picture. It's hard, especially climbing up walls. I have no upper body strength. NONE. NADA. ZERO.

After it was over, I spend the whole day in bed. The end.

Monday, June 10, 2013

May Recap: Running with the BFFs

For the month of May I ran a 5k with my high school friends. We all had a good time at the Heels and Hills Half Marathon event. The course was amazing and the pink shirts were cute. I totally recommend this race.

April Recap: Birthdays, Chicago and More Running

Finally turned 24! I celebrated the most awesome day on earth with family and friends. My mother made tacos and well that's all you need to know. I love tacos. 

Spend a whole week in Chicago, Illinois, with some friends. We toured the city, watched some baseball, eat pizza and had tons of fun! I have so many pictures, so I'll dedicate a future post to this trip. 

I was at the airport waiting on my flight to Chicago, when I heard about the tragic events at the Boston Marathon. Words cannot describe how I felt. Running is bigger than just a hobby or a "nice run at the park." It's a life style and when put together, runners are family. This is what we do. We will forever remember this day and we can not be stopped.  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Birthday Boy

Last night, I had dinner with some of my close friends to celebrate Palos birthday. We had Plucker's as if we haven't been there enough!

Above is the birthday card Monica and I made. All three of us are going to Chicago in April.

Palos has been friend zone. So we had to let everybody know. 

The waiters made him dance like a fool as we sang Happy Birthday!

Overall, I had a great time with my friends and I'm looking forward to the weekend! 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Running Thursday

Finally got a day off! I spend the first hours just laying in bed. Guilty of sleeping in, but what the hell. I had lunch with Jovani at Golden Corral. I didn't want to pig out because I wanted to go for a run later on. FAIL. Well it wasn't that bad but I should of drank more water. 

At the park I met up with Monica. We walked the first lap, since Kobe(her dog) kept peeing on every tree. LOL After we dropped him off we did another lap (2 miles). Monica runs at a faster pace than me, so just image me trying to keep up with her. I think eventually she started running at my pace, which was the equivalent of an old lady crossing the street.

I had a good start. I did stop twice or three times because my breathing was just not right. I kept on pushing till the end. As soon as we finished I dropped to the ground. 

I'm enjoying Monica as much as I can. She recently got a job in Chicago and she'll be leaving in less than 2 weeks. I'll be visiting her soon! 

How was your run for this week?