Sunday, November 27, 2011


In the name of running we find ourselves enmeshed

With people that share our daily lives

The common thread is moving our feet

Laughter and pain and everything in between

We may not have met

Without our desire to move our bodies

Up hills and on trails and mostly having the desire to

Be the best we can be

Time goes on with the beat of the drum

Realizing later the fun

Between sessions of tempo and track and forever and always

The long run

The laughing the joy the building of blocks

Creating a community of love

A foundation of rocks

My life is richer because

The people that share my hobby, my journey

My life

My struggles, my likes, my dislikes

Thank you for not always agreeing

It goes beyond and travels to

Family and Food and movies and shoes

And marathons

We are not the complaining kind

Nor do we mind the sun or the rain

We support each other in different ways

Each of us our own

Our kids, our jobs our injuries

Our mental preparation during the


The race

The pain

Success and failure

Setting the goals and finding the way

This is where I am going

Going there with you, wherever that might be

Always with my running friends in my heart or by my side

Thanks for defining my life one year at a time

Marking the years

With fitness and friendship and love and courage

Here is to the next adventure

Dare to dream it

Dare to share it

Do it.

Love and running for all of 2012

Paula Harkin

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hippie Chick Course - 2011

It looked like it was going to be great weather so a few of the Hippie Chick Pacers and I went out to run the new Hippie Chick Half and Quarter Marathon course. The weather held for most of the run with a small downpour in the last mile and even a little snow when we were finished but the weather did not take away from the beauty of the new Hippie Chick course. This course delivers a flat and scenic route on beautiful country roads with lots of long straightaways - perfect for our Hippie Chicks. This course is designed to be a double loop course so that the quarter marathon (6.55 miles) will loop once and finish when they return to the Hillsboro Stadium while the half marathoners (13.1) will run past the Hillsboro Stadium and then head out for a second loop. Friends and family will be able to cheer at the half way point and see their favorite person run or walk by!! This course is as flat as they come. It is hard to believe that the Helvetia Half Marathon course known for it's hills is just across the freeway from the new flat Hippie Chick course. I think the amazing women that come out to share their mother's day with this with us will be very pleased with the course.

We met up with Sgt. Vuylsteke of the Hillsboro Police Department to workout the traffic revisions and course safety after our run and came up with great ideas and solutions for creating a safe running and walking environment. Our hats are off to HPD for making this happen!!

We are very excited for you to meet your pacer and run the new course and we can't wait to spend Mother's Day with all of you Hippie Chick's!!

Happy Training!

RWP & Co.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Are you a Streaker?

Most of you know by now that I am a Streaker. Yep, I run everyday at least one mile and have done so for 785 days and will continue to run each day until it no longer fits my lifestyle or I have redefined my fitness goals - possibly because of injury. With a slow start this year I have continued my streak with the help of my PT and my friends and family and their support. It takes a lot of support to be a Streaker! As I ran through the San Jose Airport and along the airport road this past weekend in order to continue my streak I was reminded just how in trenched I am in my streak. My yoga pants and GAP Sweater felt just fine during the run and I only got a few crazy looks from airport goers. I didn't expect the plane to be delayed and time was of the essence!

Some of my friends have become Streakers and I have asked a few of them to Blog about their Streak. After you read their stories, ask yourself if you are a Streaker. Some folks catch the streaking bug and go for it, it's fun to watch and interesting to hear how it changes lives.

Our Runwithpaula Streaker Facebook page is filled with runners that have decided to Streak, they are from all parts of the country and use the page to find motivation and companionship. The Runwithpaula Streaker shirt can be found even in Germany!

Arlene Bitmansour, Palo Alto, CA

Inspired by Paula, I started my streak on 01/01/10 to get over major surgery and a forced hiatus from running in 2009. Even though I haven't fully regained my running strength and speed, I have come a long way and have improved immensely. This has been a liberating and worthwhile journey!

did the streak change your life?
Yes. I felt so hopeless after my surgery. I felt that I had lost my running legs and would never regain my fitness. Because of streaking I continue to improve and keep striving to a better fitness level.

what was your motivation to keep your streak alive?
Once I say that I am going to do something, I do it. I couldn't break my word, the commitment to myself, and my commitment to the RWP Streakers ... even when I got really sick with a nasty cold.

would you recommend streaking?
Yes, 1000%. It feels great to say that you are going to do something and then do it. Additionally by committing to the streak you are committing to fitness and healthy living and committing to the RWP Streaker family that you will set an example and encourage fellow streakers to keep their streak alive.

are you finished streaking or will you continue?

I have committed to streak through 2011. One year at a time baby ;)

Arlene D Bitmansour, PhD

Terry Swiers - Portland, OR

why did you begin streaking?

I'm not really sure, as it just kind of happened. Before hearing
about your streak at track one night, I had never run more than 3 days
in a row. Shortly after that, I ended up running every day for a
week just from my own running and getting roped into a few other
peoples runs. I mentioned my "mini" streak to you and you encouraged
me to continue on with it. And we all know it's impossible to say no
to Paula, so here I am on day 447.

did the streak change your life?

In subtle ways. Each day is no longer if I'm going to run, but when
I'm going to run. I've also lost comprehension of what an "off" day

what was your motivation to keep your streak alive?

I looked at my streak as a commitment, both to myself and to you. I
was going to do everything in my power to complete it.

would you recommend streaking?

Now that's the tough question. For most runners, it's a definite no.

Running a mile every single day for a year is much harder than it
sounds. Some days, getting on the treadmill or gearing up to go
outside was the hardest thing that I could think of doing at the time.
All I wanted to do was to just sit and watch the clock roll over to
the next day and be done with it. Then there is the added bit of
stress of having to remember to run each day. And don't forget the
small bursts of panic you when realize that it's 11:45 and you still
have crank out a run. The worst part is never having a true rest
day. Even though I'm still running every day, I firmly believe that
most runners need rest days.

On the other hand, I have only had one single run during my streak
where I didn't feel better after the run than when I started and I'l
blame that on the food poisoning I had to run through. For someone
who thrives on routine and regimen, it can be a positive experience.

are you finished streaking or will you continue?

I'm continuing on. I'll end my streak when circumstances prevent me
from running, or I'm injured and would be best off letting my body



Streaker Kelly Pacillas - Calabasas, CA.

RWP Streaker Blog

I began my streak on December 28, 2009 with the half-hearted attempt to streak with my friends in Portland. Living in Southern California, I was on my own to see what this streaking thing was all about. I lasted about 30 days, missed a day, continued in my own warped definition of streaking, "well, I'm running more now than I ever did" streak. Basically, I was not streaking. I let the charade go in May and excepted the fact that I can't do it.

Through the marvels of Facebook, I began to follow Paula and Arlene and their streaks. Wow, Arlene is totally doing it, even in her busy life and Paula was knocking out year are they doing this and why are they successful at this?

Fast forward to July 19, 2010 when my brother passed away suddenly. With such a trauma happening in the family, it really clears the dust and fog from your vision and wakes up your passion if you choose to embrace it. The one lesson learned that has radically changed my life is relationships are primary, above all else.

How does this apply to streaking you ask? Relationship is the fuel, the passion, the motivation and the foundation for my streak. I was so preoccupied and selfish when I lived in Portland that I didn't build the kind of relationship I would have liked with Paula and Arlene.

When Paula asked who was going to continue their streak into 2011, I knew this was my chance to do something I loved with people I cared about. I stepped out of my comfortable box, emailed Paula and I was in...100% committed to building the bridge of relationship through this crazy thing we call streaking! I was so excited to be different and build something together, my husband Tim came on board and we are streaking together.

As of today, February 21, 2011, I have 51 days (still need to run today). I wouldn't miss this opportunity to share this with Paula, Arlene and Tim for anything. Streaking is special to me because they are special to me. As I continue to run everyday I feel like I am contributing to their success by moving forward together just as I feel supported and cheered on by them.

Relationships...everyday, sometimes tough, sometimes glorious but always worth it!

Streak on friends!

See you on the trails!

Kelly Pacillas

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Marni Renison - Guest Blogger - Hood to Coast

This post if written by my friend Marni Renison, (pictured on the right) along with our friend and Hood to Coast teammate Aubree Swart.
Marni is a bright spot in my life...below is a blog from Marni about Hood to Coast that I think you will enjoy...thanks, Marni!

The Hood to Coast event is a hugely sought after and highly anticipated race of 12 teammates, divided into two vans running 197 miles from Mt. Hood to Seaside Oregon. Generally, there is no sleep, you get to know your teammates intimately and whether you like it or not, you may start to look at parts of nature as a freshly cleaned bathroom at the Ritz Carlton.

Two years ago, I was approached by Paula Harkin, of Team RunWithPaula to join her van to fill in for runner. I quickly agreed, because Paula had been such a staple to my running since my arrival in Portland, but promptly raced home to talk through all my fears of the race with my husband.

“Am I’m not fast enough – these girls are FAST!”

“I get bitchy without sleep – I don’t want them to see my evil side.”

“What if I literally go crazy without sleep? Like hauled off in straightjacket?”

“What if I have to poop on the course?”

“What if I get lost?”

“What if they get last place because of ME?”

Ugh. Torment.

Well, just with anything in life, you have to jump in, live in the moment…enjoy the present and if you’re running Hood to Coast….you makes jokes, support your girlfriends and run hard.

Last year, my second year on the team, we took first place in our division. So, this summer, we’re coming back to keep our title. With a little fun and hard work along the way.

My name is Marni Renison (middle). I am a wife, mother of two daughters, runner. I began running about 6 years ago because of a “bad mom” day. I took my dog out for walk, ended up running as hard as I could for as long as I could (which was about one city block – and I nearly barfed) to release some anger. When I came home, I felt refreshed, more in control and I knew I would be back. I was going to do that again. Soon after came my first 10k, half marathon and marathon. I’ve since run 7. Running has returned benefits to my health, my community and my sense of wellbeing that otherwise would remain dormant. I balance many things with training: yoga, work, media shoots from time to time. But, my priorities remain the same. Wife. Mother. Runner. People. In that order.

Everything else falls quickly in line.

As I prepare for the races of this year, I realize, first I need to set some goals. Plan my races. And mentally prepare for the hard work ahead. Hood to Coast is a pinnacle event. And I need to come through for my girls. Because we’re going to be defending our title. J

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Baby steps are not just for babies

Baby Steps...(goggles upside down)

I CAN swim. I CAN swim. I CAN swim. I can swim from one end of the pool to the other and back again. I sometimes feel panic when I do but I can swim 75 meters and I did today. This is where I am at, I will get better. I will make my way back to continuous swimming! Baby steps.

Is this what new runners feel like when I tell them they CAN run a marathon or half marathon? Are they feeling like I am feeling about swimming? Do they wonder if it will ever all come together? I think this is such a great experience for a coach and an athlete because the answer is an easy yes as a coach but as an athlete it is a little harder to say. I do remember my beginning days of running and they were very hard. Swimming is hard. I am happy swimming is hard because as I have said before - hard is rewarding. This is a good reminder that things take time and I need to be patient with myself.

I am going to set my sites on another triathlon in 2011. Setting this goal is really important as it will keep me focused on exercise each day and training my body to be strong and capable. Isn't that what we are doing when we set a goal? I think it is so important to remember that exercise is about being healthy and strong and not just about losing calories.

Here are a few tips/goals for 2011 - be the first one up to assist, be the one to lift something heavy for someone else, walk a little farther to the shopping mall by parking a little farther out, mow your own lawn and plant a few flowers, shake out your rugs, and use the stairs instead of the elevator. If you eat something unhealthy, leave a few bites, motivate someone in your life to move their body. Say something positive every day and be grateful. This is the biggy. Be grateful for all of the wonderful things in your life, we all have them, sometimes we have to look a little harder for them but they are always there. Listen to the universe. Listen to your heart. Be true to yourself and your word. These are gifts we can give ourselves and we can start today and make them a habit and while building this habit we can be healthier both mentally and physically and make our households, our offices, our communities just a little better. Let 2011 be about being just a little better.

I am grateful for SO many things but today I am grateful that I can learn to swim.

Day 739