The Green Girl Is Ready For Greece

The Green Girl's bags are all packed and she is ready to join the rest of the Sole Runners in Greece.

My free loaner Verizon Wireless global phone arrived yesterday and all my contacts have been transferred.

I have 16 gb of memory just waiting to be filled with glorious shots of Greece.

I got a pedicure and my toes are painted green blue.

I have Cheetos to snack on.

My outfit for tomorrow morning is already laid out.

My alarm is set and it's time for the Green Girl to go to bed.



Sole Runners First Winter Season Run

Sole Runners ChiRunning Body Looseners by Betty
The Green Girl attended the first Sole Runners Winter Season run yesterday.

As I pulled up, I spotted Jay from Tri2Trive. We chatted as we headed towards the group.

It was drizzling out so I opted to leave my camera behind in the dry trunk of my car. Luckily, one of the other Sole Runners, Betty, managed to snap some shots. I let her know I'd be stealing them for my blog.

Since it was the beginning of a new season and we were welcoming a number of unfamiliar faces, one of the mentors, Matt, provided everyone with an overview of the Sole Runners training program.

Sole Runners Post-Run Standing Yoga by Betty
As we moved into the body looseners, all the mentors were asked to come up so I moved to the front to face the group. One of the mentors explained that instead of stretching, ChiRunning recommends a set of exercises called body looseners that are designed to loosen your joints and open your body.

After that, we headed out for a short, damp run.

When the group got back, another mentor, Heather, did an outstanding job leading us in standing post-run yoga.

Janey, Jackie, Coach Nancy, Denise, and Me
For lunch, I met up with some SparkFriends from SparkPeople at Lala's Grill for some Argentinian food.

Everyone was in town for the inaugural Los Angeles Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon.

I was grateful for the opportunity to catch up with my friends. I hadn't seen Coach Nancy since the SparkPeople 'Spark Your Life' Convention last year. The last time I saw Denise was at the San Francisco Half Marathon the year before. I was also thrilled to be able to see Janey before Jackie and I left for the Athens Classic Marathon.

Jackie, Me, Leah, Felicia, Coach Nancy, and Maria
After lunch, we headed back to the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel to wait for more SparkFriends, Felicia, Leah and Maria.

Leah is the leader of the San Diego SparkTeam and I'm the leader of the Long Beach SparkTeam. One of these days, our groups are going to get together and do a joint activity.

Because I am a hungry Green Girl, I joined the carbo-loading dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and even partook in the actual carbo-loading before I wished them the best of luck and headed back home.


The Green Girl Gets Fit On Route 66

The Green Girl joined the Get Fit on Route 66 challenge at work.

The challenge is to get fit as you cruise the historic Route 66 highway from from Chicago to Santa Monica. As a participant, I received daily motivational articles, activities, tips, and recipes.

To raise the stakes, we were encouraged to try to match our CEO, or 'Mayor', along the way.

When you embark on your fitness journey, you pick a vintage car to represent you. I chose a woodie station wagon in honor of all my childhood road trips in the back of my dad's woodie.

Route 66 was commissioned in 1926 as one of the original highways. In its glory days, Route 66 represented freedom and opportunity to many Americans.

For every minute of exercise I logged, my dad's woodie moved two miles west on Route 66 (there was a daily maximum of 180 miles). For every day I logged at least a half hour of exercise, I earned a Route 66 sign.

It was fun to see the Route 66 signs appear and it was rewarding to see my progress reflected on the map. I also enjoyed learning about the different landmarks along iconic stretch of highway.

After 2,448 miles, I reached the Santa Monica Pier after crossing 8 states and 3 time zones.

Periodically, I would send postcards to the CasITa-to-5k from the different places I visited and I sent them one when I arrived at my final destination.

If you ever plan to motor west

Travel my way, the highway that's the best.

Get your kicks on Route 66!

Swa Frantzen


CasITa-to-5k At Dockweiler Beach

The CasITa-to-5k went running on the Marvin Braude Bikeway at Dockweiler Beach last night.

The Los Angeles City Recreation and Parks Department named the Marvin Braude Bikeway in honor of the former Los Angeles City Councilman Marvin Braude in recognition of his efforts to develop the bike path and beach facilities.

The 22.3 mile path, commonly referred to as the South Bay or Santa Monica Bike Paths, spans from Pacific Palisades to Torrance.

With autumn, the days are shorter and the sun was already setting when we arrived at the beach. We marveled at the beautiful shades of red and orange cast across the evening sky from the illumination of the setting sun.

As we ran along the coast, aircrafts taking off from LAX flew overhead. We saw a huge British Airways 787 that dwarfed all the other planes.

My legs felt heavy and fatigued. I wondered if this was a result of all the exhausting one-legged squats from kickboxing that morning or if I was still tired from the weekend long run.

Either way, I was grateful each time Mr. Green Garmin beeped to indicate a walk interval.

As we ran, we observed the fiery sphere descending into the horizon and stared at the reflection on the ocean's surface.


The Green Girl Is Proud To Be A Sole Runner

Sole Runners shoe keychain made by Mostly Even, Sometimes Odd
The Green Girl had the opportunity to be a cheerleader at the Long Beach Marathon today.

The Sole Runners kicked off Saturday morning together at the Expo. Coach Steve gave us some last minute encouraging words of advice and we took a group picture. Afterward, Michelle, Rozie, and I stopped for some breakfast together.

Later on in the evening, Michelle, and I joined Alice from HefferBlog, Glenn from The Running Fat Guy, Jay from Tri2Thrive, Mags from Run Happy, Penny from Planet Ynnep Running, Penny's dad, and some other runners at La Parolaccia for some carbo-loading.

I gave Michelle a Sole Runners shoe keychain made by Mostly Even, Sometimes Odd on Etsy as a good luck charm before the race.

Starbucks cappuccino waiting for Richard at Mile 13
This morning, in preparation for my cheerleader duties, I crammed as much sports nutrition as possible in my Nathan Speed 4 hydration belt; packed bite-sized peanut butter and jelly sandwiches; brought frozen Zico coconut water and electrolyte water in a cooler; picked up the Starbucks cappuccino I had promised one of the Sole Runners, Richard; and posted myself at Mile 13.

I watched in awe as the elite runners sprinted by. I cheered on Sole Runners and strangers. I screamed loudly in support of all the pace groups.

P from Adventures of an Average Athlete and me
I watched as Boston qualifying dreams were shattered when runners realized at the halfway point that they would not make it in time.

P from Adventures of an Average Athlete spotted me and I attempted to snap a quick shot of us together. (For the record, I hate arm's length shots.)

Rad Runner Girl
Speaking of arm's length shots, I saw Rad Runner Girl.

I gave her some electrolyte water and attempted to run with her for a bit but her pace was too much for me and I had to tap out after a few blocks. I left a bottle of coconut water with her husband for a recovery drink.

Jessica 'Wabbitz' stopped to wish me good luck in Athens.

Jessica Aniac Wabbitz
Before I knew it, Michelle had reached Mile 12 just across from Mile 13 so I quickly grabbed the remaining bottles and headed out with her.

My friend, Jackie, caught up with us on her bike after completing the Bike Tour. She was kind enough to bring a container of fresh sweet pineapple slices and some extra water.

As the miles got longer, Michelle commented that the Sole Runners tent would probably be long gone but I reassured her that it would still be there for us to help keep her spirits up.

Jackie on her bike
Around Mile 23, one of the Sole Runners, LeAnn, called to check in on us. I let her know we still had a few more miles to go.

When the Finish Line was in sight, Michelle asked me to go ahead so I could get a shot of her crossing. I ran as fast as I could and as I approached the Finish, Sole Runners started cheering loudly.

As I crossed over the Finish, I politely declined the medal explaining I was simply a cheerleader and got into position to get pictures of Michelle. Just then, someone mentioned if I still had runners coming that I would have to ask them to hold a medal because they were being put away. I started yelling violently to please hold some medals as I started snapping pictures of my friend.

Michelle receiving her Long Beach Marathon medal
They did hold some medals and, to my relief, Michelle got a medal as she crossed the Finish.

After congratulating Michelle, I hurried back to the medal area to make sure they had enough medals for the three remaining Sole Runners who were still out there.

As soon as we spotted the last three Sole Runners, we all ran out onto the course and surrounded them with cheers and smiles. One of the mentors, Mariela, chanted encouraging words through a megaphone.

Running in the last Sole Runners - No Sole Runner is ever left behind
As we walked the 'newly' marathoners to the Sole Runners area, I suddenly realized the Sole Runners tent was the very last tent standing. Coach Steve had refused to take down the tent until the very last Sole Runner had crossed the Finish Line.

In addition to running the marathon himself, Coach Steve made sure every last Sole Runner completed the race - no matter how long it took them.

The best coach in the world, Coach Steve
And it wasn't just Coach Steve, other Sole Runner mentors and Sole Runners hung around for the back of the packers.

I became so overwhelmed with emotions that I started crying. I was so proud of Michelle and the emotional and mental fortitude she displayed today. I was so inspired by all the first time marathoners who ran 26.2 miles for the first time in their lives today.

I am so proud to be a Sole Runner and to be a part of the best running group in the world.


Good Luck To All The Runners From The Green Girl

The Green Girl would like to send her good luck wishes to all the runners racing this weekend.

Happy 30th birthday and happy racing to Sheridan from Running through Life at the Louisville Half Marathon.

I wish Brandon from Barefoot Brandon all the best at his last half marathon of the year, the Amica Half Marathon.

Happy running to Andrew from Running Man Wannabe at the Waterloo 5k/10k Oktoberfest Run.

Good luck to Katherine from Forward Foot Strikes and Leah from Chasing Atalanta at the Toronto Half and Full Marathon.

Best of luck to Suzy from Countdown to 26.2 at the Kansas City Half Marathon.

And good luck to Erica from Rad Runner Girl, Glenn from The Running Fat Guy, Jay from Tri2Thrive, Lisa from Discovering the Meaning of Stonehenge, Mags from Run Happy, P from Adventures of an Average Athlete, Penny from Planet Ynnep Running, Slomochusky from Life's Too Short Not To Run, and all the runners doing the Long Beach Half or Full Marathon.

I will be at Mile 13 cheering all the marathoners on in my Sole Runners shirt.

Sole Runners Winter Kick-Off Party

The Green Girl is now a Sole Runners Mentor
The Green Girl attended the Sole Runners Winter Season Kick-Off Party at Buono's Pizza last night.

Coach Steve welcomed everyone and provided an overview of the Sole Runners program and training philosophy to all the newcomers.

After Coach Steve's introduction, he asked mentors to come up and speak about their Sole Runners experience.

Much to my surprise, Coach Steve also announced that I have become a Sole Runners mentor and then he asked me to give a quick speech.

I am deeply honored to be a mentor for such an incredible group of runners.

I have the utmost respect for all of the mentors and it means a lot to me that they have welcomed me into their circle.

Rad Runner Girl attended the dinner and decided to finally make it official. I also chatted, albeit briefly, with Jay from Tri2Thrive.

I was pleased to finally meet Yvette, someone with whom we have mutual friends.

As I chatted with fellow Sole Runners and potential new Sole Runners, I reveled in the positive energy that was surrounding me. Each person I spoke to inspired me in some way.

I am really looking forward to the new season.

Runners just do it – they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first. Unknown


CasITa-to-5k Polliwog Park Run

The CasITa-to-5k ran around Polliwog Park last night.

Polliwog Park is an 18 acre park that includes a grassy amphitheater, a botanical garden, a natural wildlife refuge, an outdoor gym under a shade canopy, a pool, multiple playgrounds, a 9-hole disc golf course, winding footpaths, and a large duck pond.

The park's pond serves as an important environmental resource. Local storm water flows into the pond before being pumped into the storm drain system.

This process allows trash in the storm water to settle and be removed before flowing to the ocean. In addition, some of the storm water is absorbed into the ground and provides nutrients for the park's wildlife.

We looped around the park, alternating between 3 minutes of jogging and 1 minute of walking.

At one point, CasITa-to-5k was forced to stop at an unmarked duck crossing.

We followed the walkway past Begg Pool and around to the Manhattan Beach Botanical Garden.

The grounds serve as a demonstration garden for drought-tolerant plants, water saving irrigation technology, and sustainable gardening and landscaping. Free classes are offered on a regular basis.

Water flowed down a small rock waterfall in the center of the garden.

Signage identified the colorful indigenous plants and explained how native plants help restore the ecological balance.

CasITa-to-5k was careful to take only pictures and leave only footprints.


The Green Girl's Athens Classic Marathon Playlist ♪

The Green Girl isn't planning on listening to music during the Athens Classic Marathon but this playlist will be there for her if she needs it.

Some of these songs are here for sentimental value rather than because I think they are necessarily conducive to running.

Versatile Blogger Award

The Green Girl received a Versatile Blogger Award from Andrew from Running Man Wannabe and Tiina from One Crazy Penguin.

Thank you, Andrew and Tiina, for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Andrew just rocked his first 5k. Tiina, unfortunately, has an affinity for jogglers but we have been able to overlook our differences and still be friends.

Like the Happy 101 Blog Award I received, I was unable to trace the origins of this award.

Versatile Blogger Award Rules:
  1. Copy and paste the Versatile Blogger Award on your blog
  2. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award
  3. Share 7 things about yourself
  4. Pass the award on to other bloggers who are fabulous
7 Random Things About The Green Girl
  1. I am a compartmentalist.
  2. I believe my niece, Jade, is my soul mate.
  3. I enjoy doing laundry except I can't fold so I hang all my clothes.
  4. I took ten years of French in school. (I've never taken a Spanish class.)
  5. I adore the Sanrio character, Keroppi.
  6. I am obsessed with process engineering.
  7. I have a voracious appetite for learning.

Once again, instead of singling out blogs, please share some random fun facts with me.


The Green Girl Is Ready For The Παναθηναϊκό στάδιο

Last night, the Green Girl attended another Sole Runners Athens Classic Marathon dinner at George's Greek Cafe.

The organizer, LeAnn, printed and handed out copies of The Green Girl's Athens Marathon Packing List.

LeAnn also invited a former Athens Classic Marathon participant, Salvador, to speak to us and answer questions about the race.

Salvador was extremely informative and helpful. He said he felt the race was well supported and the locals were friendly and welcoming.

He described the prodigious race finish in the white marble Panathinaiko Stadium, Παναθηναϊκό στάδιο in Greek, but warned us that the marble can be slippery.

I enjoyed chatting with the other Sole Runners. We compared our travel preparation techniques and talked about our training. We commiserated over each other's aches and pains.

A number of us discussed how we are going to take advantage of a service that will allow us to drop stuff off at the expo and pick them items back up at designated kilometer aid stations. I mentioned I am going to pick items that will be 'nice to haves' but not critical because I am one of those 'worst case scenario' Green Girls.

After completing my last long run this past weekend, I am feeling good about this race.

I've been feeling some posterior tendon tenderness on both feet after my long runs but I've been able to manage the posterior tibial tendonitis on the right side with icing and taping.

Once the marathon is over, I plan on cutting back on mileage and placing more emphasis on the posterior tibial tendonitis exercises to strengthen both sides.

The plantar fascia taping seems to have done the trick and I no longer have sharp pain in random locations on my right foot. I still plan on getting taped one more time before I leave just for good measure.

I am thrilled to report that the knee exercises prescribed by Dr. Sebastian Gonzales from P3 Sports Care have cured my inner knee pain. I can't believe a little exercise with some resistance could make such a difference.

Now that I am feeling comfortable that my body is ready, it's time for me to start packing and mentally preparing myself for the journey.

I am really looking forward to crossing the finish line in the historic Panathinaiko Stadium and adding a Greek flag charm to my bracelet to symbolize the completion of another marathon.



The Green Girl Won A Little Stick Blog Giveaway

The Green Girl won her very first blog giveaway and wants to thank Chasing Atalanta for her awesome Little Stick.

I've been coveting the Travel Stick for awhile now because I swear by my Sprinter Stick but I wanted something more compact to take with me to the Athens Classic Marathon. The Little Stick is absolutely perfect and will be that much easier to stash in my carry-on.

The Green Girl's Athens Marathon Packing List

The Green Girl's list is still a work in progress but I wanted to go ahead and post it after a few people asked me exactly what I'm packing.

A few days before I leave, I will take my luggage out in front of my apartment and spray the outside of it with OFF! Deep Woods DEET. I will allow it to dry for a couple of days before I put all my stuff back in. This is my attempt to keep bed bugs from infiltrating my suitcase.

The Green Girl's Packing List

Toiletry Kit
Medication/First Aid Bag


Coto de Caza Half Marathon Race Report Plus

Along with two Sole Runners, Barb and Miyuki, the Green Girl did the Coto de Caza Half Marathon yesterday.

The race followed the same route as the Rockin' The Coto Trail Half Marathon I did back in August.

Like most Charlie Alewine Racing races, this one was capped at 25 runners. The course was on horse trails in the gated community of Coto de Caza in Orange County.

Barb was concerned that her beloved dog, Sassy, would get eaten by mountain lions and I'm sure the 'BEWARE' sign did nothing to alleviate her concerns.

Charlie reassured us that we would be just fine as long as we stuck to the horse trails.

When we arrived at the Starting Line, it was still pitch black outside. I stared up at the sky and admired the constellations. My favorite has always been Orion, The Hunter.

As we headed out, we were grateful for the cool October morning.

Barb, Miyuki, and I stayed together for the first half of the race. We chatted and lauded the beautiful scenery.

I felt really good. My right calf was a little tight starting out but it loosened up within the first few miles.

As we looped back from the halfway point, it started warming up.

As a girl who doesn't do well with heat, I started melting. I walked the last couple of miles. It was hot and I also needed to conserve energy because the three of us were going to run another 7 miles to get in 20 miles for the day.

We crossed the Finish Line, took a bathroom break, refilled our bottles, and headed back out there.

It was so hot that the only way I could keep myself going was to tell myself I could stop for a walk break at the next shade. I also decided to put on my headphones and listen to some music.

I felt like the hills were making themselves steeper and longer as I trudged up them. At one point, I just stopped and stared up at dirt incline. I was too tired to take another step so I took a picture.

Needless to say, despite the scorching sun, Barb, Miyuki, and I managed to get in our last long run before the Athens Classic Marathon, and we got a cool medal along the way.


The Green Girl's Poo-Pourri Winners

The Green Girl is pleased to announce the three winners of the Poo-Pourri Giveaway and the Pooch-Pourri Bonus Giveaway winner.

There were a total of 36 Poo-Pourri entries submitted via blog reply or email. The winners 11, 22, and 34 were randomly selected based on results from random.org.

The winners are Elena, Fellow Rover, and Sandy.

For the Pooch-Pourri Bonus Giveaway, there were a total of 4 entries submitted via email. The winner number 3 was also randomly selected based on results from random.org.

The winner of the Pooch-Pourri is Jessica Dover.

Congratulations to all the winners! Please send your mailing addresses to giveaway@therunninggreengirl.com.

If any of you are interested in ordering Poo-Pourri products, you can use the coupon code 'BLOG' to receive 20% off your order.

I'd like to thank Poo-Pourri for sponsoring this awesome giveaway. Thank you also to everyone who took the time to participate.
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