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Brain tumor survivor | triathlon & duathlon finisher | wife | cat mom | friend to many | supreme smart aleck. I'd like coffee and a book please.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Half DONE

after finishing and feeling accomplished!
OH MY GOODNESS...is it ever!

My latest obsession began earlier this year - the standard 5k and 10k races were getting a little boring and I wanted to try something new. So I decided that I would do a half marathon! Actually, the thought of a half happened a couple of years ago. Go HERE for that experience.

So, when I signed up for the Holiday Half back in July I wasn't entirely sure what the training would look like and needing to make sure that I gave myself enough time at the beginning of my day to actually do the training once things started ramping up. I have to say that the first couple of months were great...loved the easy runs, speedwork and attempting the tempo runs.

However, things started to fall apart after about 3 months AND when daylight saving time ended. The mornings were steadily getting lighter later so that wasn't a surprise, it was when the mornings were cloudy and a little damp that really got me down. But I tend to just plow forward and keep going - until I get really bored. Maybe I was just ready to race then...maybe?

The reality is, when I get bored I want to do something else so what did I do? Well, I started a running streak on Thanksgiving just to give my mind something else to think about and I tried to continue my training runs too. The good thing about that was that it was about 3 weeks before the Holiday Half, but I had to quit after 10 days to try to avoid becoming really sick. The streak was to go to New Year's day. Oh well.

ANYWAY - back to the main event - my first HALF!!

The route was pretty good, except I am not a fan of winding through neighborhood streets and making turns every block or so. This was an out and back course and the beginning was windy and the mile or mile and a half to the turn around had lots of turns. Not happy. Also, it didn't occur to me to see exactly how far the turn around was...it wasn't until almost seven and a half miles! I had felt pretty decent up to the realization that I didn't know where the turn around was and that I really wanted to know where it was!

Tom was crazy enough to meet me near the turn around, but he was caught up with the runners on the route as he was trying to get out of the area - but that's a different story!

Right after mile 11 I started experiencing muscle spasms in my calves and ended up walking quite a bit of the last couple of miles - SO BUMMED! I'm convinced that if I didn't have the spasms I would have definitely finished at around 3 hours - and only miss my goal time by 15 minutes. I did manage to recover just enough to run DOWN to the finish! The best part EVER :)

I'm glad that I decided to do a half, it was a real good learning experience. Now I am convinced that I need to work on more than just running (nutrition, strength training...sleep) to improve for the next half that I do - which will be the Vancouver USA Half Marathon next June. Yeah, I signed up for a second half before doing the first because it was a good deal. Go HERE.

I know that I'll never be fast or that great of a runner, but I have the determination to get out and do the things that appear impossible. I guess this all goes back to being a cancer patient and living everyday with the uncertainty of knowing how things will end up after all the treatments are done - but doing all that can be done and trusting that things will work out. THAT is where my determination come from. It's working so far...

Also I think that the hardware that come at the end of the race is pretty cool -

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 12...

First run of week 12 went not that great. A combination of not hydrating well enough, still feeling the affects of my 6 miler on Saturday and running with "daddy-long-legs" (AKA Tom) kinda got me down a little. BUT I got out there and did it. Also, it has been several weeks since I have gotten myself out of bed and on the road on a Monday morning. Now that I will be adding a run day this week for the remainder of my training plan I REALLY need to get out on Monday mornings and run. Even when I don't want to. If I don't then I'll be running too many days in a row OR pushing my long run to Sunday. Sunday really isn't a good option with church all morning and the opportunity to watch football with our peeps in the afternoon, that should be enough for me to get myself out the door on a Monday...I hope.

I'm over half way to my first Half Marathon and if I were to think in terms of how today went, I would say that my first half will be a complete and total disaster! Thankfully there are still many weeks left and I know that I'll have not so great days...just wasn't expecting an easy 3 miles to be so difficult.

Wednesday will be better! Couldn't get worse...or could it?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Speedy Compromise?

Yesterday I thought that I would be doing 800's at the track today. Coach Tom had other plans and decided that I would be doing 1320's or 1200's instead. At first there was talk that I would be doing a tempo run...whoa there...I did tempo LAST week...not doing that again! So - 1200's is different because I don't know what my time would be for a .75 of a mile distance.

So we arrived at the track, sufficiently warmed up and Tom informed me what I would be doing and I was a little put off because it wasn't what I wanted to do, but hey - this is more brain training!

Started off the first interval feeling pretty good and actually continued to feel good through the last lap. It was weird not having to run another lap, but then at the same time it was a little odd to not stop after two. Man, I must have really wanted to run 800's! My first time was 8:47 (I think). Since the last time I did speedwork was a couple of weeks ago, I couldn't remember what my time was for the 1600 - I only remember long enough to get it recorded and then I promptly free up that space for new memories :)

Interval #2 was a little rough, felt tired, which meant I push a little hard - but in the process of pushing harder I speed up faster than I think and actually end up running the 2nd interval faster than the first...by more than 30 seconds. I am unsure of what my final time was because I was too busy trying not to die at the end and just wanted to stop and get some water. I really wasn't paying attention when Tom was calling out the times.

So, there we have it. My speedwork session was less than the prescribed, but more than I had envisioned. I guess that's a happy medium!

Will finish out the week with a 6 mile run on Saturday. Actually, I think we'll get out tomorrow and do a super easy run to make up for the distance that I didn't do today and the bit that I didn't get on Saturday.

Yes, I'm that obsessed about numbers...don't judge me.

Next week is all easy 3 mile runs, but there will start adding an additional day to the routine. Seriously, there is no rest for the weary....

Holiday Half here I come!!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

All Is Well, really...

This past Saturday was supposed to be a 6 mile long run. It turned out to be five and a half - I may have walked about half of it. I was not feeling good at all.

The morning started off a little rough and I was not in a good place emotionally to actually want to move forward with my run. Instead of doing a route that would take me away from Salmon Creek, I remapped a route that would take me close to six miles around Salmon Creek and got going.

I knew almost immediately that things were not good. I had no motivation - was stewing over the fact that I would be in company with a difficult person later in the day...I was upset with Tom and all around unhappy. Usually a run will help, but for some reason this one didn't. As I was nearing the end of the route and was about a mile from home I decided that I needed to quit trying so hard and just walk AND not beat myself up over my failed attempt.

For some reason I thought I would be feeling better and get out early on Monday, but that didn't happen. All I can say is that rude people suck and those people suck the life out of me.

So yesterday I HAD to get out, otherwise I would be trying to make up 5 miles before the week is over and that is not an option. Tom and I were out earlier than I normally would be out on a regular 4 mile run a little before 6 I think. It was dark, dark, dark!

What a difference a couple of days of rest makes! The other difference would be that I had some GU before we left - I felt as if I had some energy, crazy!

So, with my longer than usual first run of the week out of the way I am now looking forward to doing speedwork at the track tomorrow morning. Back to the 2 x 1600 routine - although I may discuss with Coach Tom the idea of doing 800's instead, just do more of them. I like that idea better :)

All it takes is one really good run for me to LOVE running again and to have a better day. I'm also pretty excited that I'll be retiring my shoes that I have been running in since March after tomorrow's run - 300 miles baby!

Just two more not so easy runs - speed work and then a 6 mile long run on Saturday :) Next week is all easy - 3 miles, but I'll be adding a run day. OYE...

Run Baby Run!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Lesson in Food Choices

A couple of weeks ago I was on vacation. You would think that my running routine would be okay - it wasn't.

The week started off not terribly great as I had a couple of doctor's appointments and I didn't really have the time between the appointments and napping to actually hydrate well for my run the next day.

Tuesday rolls around and I had the worst run ever - well, not really, but it certainly didn't feel good. I'm just glad that it was only an easy 3 miles. All I remember is that I had to TRY really hard to actually run the 3 miles - which isn't usually a problem. It was painful - but I was good and did it and tried very hard to not beat myself up over it as I am prone to do. I was, after all, on vacation.

We were set to take the train to Seattle and we needed wanted food to bring along with us. So after spending some quality time at "our" Starbucks we mosey'd over to Fred Meyer and took a walk around the store to see what looked good. I settled on some popcorn chicken, you know the breaded and fried kind...as if there is any other kind. Then to make that choice not horrible I got a little veggie tray with ranch dressing to go with it. Yeah, that's a REALLY good choice - especially the ranch dressing! I know that I got at least one Odwalla bar, possibly two and I think a bag of chips, but I don't remember that.

I was set for lunch!

So we happily nibbled on our lunch choices during the ride to Seattle and were "fat and happy" upon our arrival. Our next meal was dinner - and since we had arrived close to dinner time we decided why not eat food at the stadium? Well, duh...why not?!

The hotel is directly across the street from Safeco so we rested up a bit and then walked over to start our first baseball experience. We had our tickets scanned and were promptly informed that our tickets were worth $10 on concessions or purchases from the Team Store.


I, of course, wanted to go to the team store...but with the Tuesday discount, I still had a little bit left on the ticket for concessions. Sooo, what to have for dinner, hmmmm???? After walking around the entire stadium, we decided on Ivars - I know, exotic! Halibut and chips please. It was good and I was starting to feel the affects of all the fried foods that I had been consuming at my two main meals so far. I didn't stop there....oh nooo, I was informed that the Garlic Fries are a must. So about the 7th inning I decided I "needed" to get said fries and ingest even more fried yumminess.

OMG - I wasn't feeling so great afterwards.

But wait, there's more! Breakfast the next day....I could have gone somewhat healthy, but why would I do that on my vacation? Nope, I ordered a mimosa and corned beef hash with a fried egg. Okay, now I'm really not feeling all that great...blaaaaaah...it might have been the mimosa - bahahaha!

Just when I thought that Tuesday's run was bad...Thursday was somewhat disastrous. I did quite a bit of walking and didn't feel bad about doing that.

Lesson learned - fried foods taste good, but bring bad results. Drinking water is better than drinking a mimosa...yeah, it was only one, but still. In the couple of weeks since then, I have felt MUCH better and have been keeping on top of my hydration and nutrition...mostly.

Little secret - I would totally indulge again...

Memory Refreshed

With all the rain and wind that happened last weekend I had to do some rethinking on my long run. First I thought that I would just skip Saturday and run on Sunday morning. After watching the news a little more and seeing that things would be getting worse and not better on Sunday I decided that I would run on the treadmill at work.

Yeah, that's the ticket...I haven't used the treadmill in MONTHS.

Well, on Saturday morning I was reminded of how much I loathe the treadmill. I don't think that I was even on it for more than two minutes and KNEW that I was done, but I couldn't be done with my "run." I drove all the way to work (only about 6 miles) to run on that stupid thing after all. So I decided to do half of my long run on Saturday and finish up on the road on Sunday before getting ready for church.

First, I don't remember how to work the stupid machine and it wouldn't allow me to use the setting that I wanted - Strike 1. Then my shoe felt a little loose so I decided to pause and re-tie my shoe. In the process of doing that, the treadmill turned off - Strike 2. Strike three would be having two strikes already in my head. I was not into this at all.

The two and a half miles took FOR-EVER...I thought I would die...but I held it together and maintained some sense of composure. When I finished I could not get out of there quick enough, but not before a couple of minutes on the elliptical.

Yeah that thing sucks too.

Road runs all the way for this girl!

run, Run, RUN!!!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

So I DID register

I was starting to wonder if I actually registered for this event, especially when I got an email right away when I registered for the Vancouver Half  - which was just at the end of August. I probably did get a receipt for the payment, but I forwarded that to Tom so he could record it in the check register. So two months later and I finally got a congratulations email :)

Here it is...proof that I AM crazy!

CONGRATULATIONS on your 2013 registration!

Congratulations on your registration for one of the most FESTIVE events in Portland! Holiday costume contest, caroling, Santa photos, exclusive quarter-zip, long-sleeved event shirts, custom/commemorative bibs, and much more await you! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I Was Wrong

This picture has nothing to do with running...although, I think I had gone for a run this particular morning!
In my last post, I spouted off on how I would stick to the plan for my speedwork session - well, that didn't happen and now I don't remember why - that was over a week ago!

I do remember that when I finally did make it to the track, that my first interval was actually pretty good. The plan was to do 2 x 1600...which turned into 1 x 1600 and then 1 x 800. I really don't recall what happened that week. I was tired, I know that, but then it seems like I'm always tired. Anyway, I was able to do the first interval 1 minute faster than the goal time on my training plan - I really need to learn how to slow down! That's probably what messed up my second interval. After my recovery lap I had every intention of doing another 1600, but after 800 I knew that it wouldn't happen that day. So I stopped and turned around and started to go home.

So, I finished up that run week with a 4 mile long run and then met Mary for a run/walk around HB Fuller. I have enjoyed getting together with her once a week and can see how she is improving each week. I love that Mary is willing to try to do better and with her brand new shoes, I'm hoping that she'll continue feel better each time that we go out and run/walk. I have decided to let her dictate how much we run - and she actually is doing more than I thought she would, so I try to build her up and celebrate those small victories with her! What she doesn't know is that I want to go to the track with her and time her as she runs one full lap around the track. Possibly this coming Saturday...hmmmm...

This week has be awful! To accommodate the plans we had for this week I switched up my run days to Tuesday and Thursday. Since I had an MRI scheduled for Monday, later in the morning and then an eye appointment mid-afternoon (I know how to have fun on vacation) I really didn't concentrate much on hydrating throughout the day. So my run on Tuesday morning was not good at all - totally felt sluggish and pretty tired. My run today was pretty bad mostly because I indulged in too much junk food Tuesday and yesterday - what am I supposed to eat at a baseball game?! And as usual, not enough in the way of hydrating. My tempo run was more like Speedwork because I just couldn't hold it together for the two miles that I had to do at tempo. Blaaaah. One of these days I'm going to figure out this tempo stuff, just not this week.

Next week is a total easy run week!!! So excited! I'll be doing 3, 3 and 4...THAT makes me HAPPY, HAPPY!!! I'll be back on a regular schedule with work and all that, so back into my routine.

One more run and I'll be done this week. Need to map out a 5 mile route for Saturday and do my best to prepare for that training run.

I feel like I'm taking a step backwards, but at the same time I'm trying not to beat myself up over the bad runs that I've had recently. At least I got out and ran!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Tomorrow is Wednesday and I have Speed Work for my workout. I have noticed that with the training plans that I have created through the Runner's World website that the first speed work is 2 x 1600...HOLY COW! WHY can't we work up to that...by doing 8 x 400s or 3 x 800s or whatever...HUH?! It's not like I can't do it, I've done it before, I think just one time. Which is why I have been so resistant with each of the plans that have that as the first speed work.Yes, I'm a whiner...

I'm trying to change my attitude about this particular workout and will be doing this regardless to what I'm thinking/feeling tomorrow morning. With Tom as my "coach" I will have to listen to him as I won't be trying to modify the workout to be easier than what has been prescribed. I may die in the process...but I won't modify the plan.

This is brain training at it's finest - thinking about it for a couple of days ahead of time and then having second thoughts the day before. We'll see what tomorrow morning brings!

My goal is to stick to my HM training plan as closely as possible and switching up runs day as needed. I've done too many revisions to past plans (although it didn't hurt the end results) and I would like to see what it's like to actually follow the plan to the last workout :)

Good luck to me...LOVE running!

Friday, August 30, 2013

What Have I Done?

Seriously...WHAT is wrong with me?! 
Look at what I did...
Thank you! Your registration is complete.
You will receive an email confirmation of your registration shortly.
Message from the Event Director
Event: 2014 Vancouver USA Marathon - Half Marathon - Sunday 6/15
Participant: Nancy Olschewsky
Items Price Quantity Total

$49.00 1 $49.00
Finisher's Shirt (included) - Women's Large
$0.00 1 $0.00
Subtotal: $49.00
Processing fee: $4.56
Total: $53.56
That's right...I was crazy enough to register for my 2nd Half BEFORE having run my first one. As soon as I hit the button and the message came up I had a little bit of a feeling that I can't describe...something along the lines of "I must be CRAZY!" The whole idea of doing a half came a couple of years ago...HERE. Since that crazy notion a couple of years ago I have done all sorts of running events and even a couple of duathlons and triathlons. So I know that I can muster up the endurance to finish such an event.
I guess the question really is, "What happened that I changed my mind?" I'm getting a little bored with the shorter distances  - 5k's, 8k's and a couple of 10k's as well as the odd 12k. I've been running on a regular basis and using training plans to prepare for most of the events I enter and surprisingly, I have been able to reach the time goals for many of those events! To say that I have reached a goal just reminds me that with a little hard work and a lot of dedication I can reach the goals I set for myself. 
Week 5 of my training plan is almost done...15 more weeks to go!!! Next week it looks like I move  from doing just easy runs to doing a hard workout on Wednesdays. Speedwork next Wednesday then Tempo run the following week and alternating through the rest of my training. Also, in probably another 5 weeks or so I'll be adding an additional run day during the week. Although, I think I'll go ahead and do that now...an extra mile or two on Thursday, Friday or Sunday would be good.

I really am looking forward to my first Half Marathon - just need to stay healthy!

run, Run, RUN!

Monday, August 26, 2013

2013 Every Girl's 5k

I opted to wear last year's shirt - which was helpful for Tom.
I didn't blend into the crowd too much.

In the couple of days before this run, I had tried to convince myself that I wouldn't be running for time - I would be running this as a training run because my long run for this particular week was 3 miles. So I switched around my run days so that I would still have the right amount of no run days, blah blah blah.Well, silly me...I should know better by now. Every run is a race...whether it's training or an event. I can't help myself. It's TOO easy to start out fast...

Even with the steady climb and humidity - I did a decent run. I finished this run nearly a minute faster than last year and pretty much in the middle of my age division and overall. This running thing is starting to stick!

I've decided that I'm not really trying for any records...just going to keep moving for as long as my body will allow. So far so good!

Go HERE to check out the route and profile.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Half and Half

2014 Every Girl's Run - crazy flippy hair
As I have posted here before I am training for my first Half Marathon - WOO HOO! I'm going into week 4 of a 20 week training plan. Here's the question: What sane person would train for their first marathon and then decide to register for their second half marathon before even finding out if the first marathon will be successful?

      Well....possibly ME. 

I've done enough endurance events to know that I am not opposed to a "little" hard work. In fact, I have done a couple of Sprint Duathlons which in the end means that I did a total of 18 miles of running and riding - so I know it's possible to push to the limit.

Now that I have been running pretty consistently for over a year, I'm REALLY enjoying this running thing. Most of my runs feel good and the plan I'm following hasn't been terribly out of reach - but really with 20 weeks to train I think I'll be more than ready when race day arrives. I've trained less for all of my duathlons and the two triathlons that I did and finished those all with some integrity in tact. Can't imagine what it would be like if I spent more time training for those and actually got into good physical condition.

So, the Vancouver USA marathon and half marathon both have Early Bird registration fees which ends at 11:59 pm on August 31. It would be a shame to pass up a $49 half marathon registration fee! $49 for my second half marathon. That price alone makes registering VERY appealing. The registration for the Holiday Half was $65, not a huge amount, but hey $16 buys this girl 6 Iced Triple Tall Espresso drinks at Starbucks! And I would sit down with all 6 and drink them in one sitting...hahaha...no not really.

Or will I??? Maybe after my second Half Marathon...BAY-BEE!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Half Marathon Training Week #2

Now that I have signed up for my first Half Marathon...I had to get serious and come up with a training plan. Actually, I think I may have figured out a plan first and then registered for the run.

The first 5 runs are 2 miles each so, I haven't had much to write about. In the middle of July I did happen to tweak my back, just enough that walking was very uncomfortable and running not even an option. That won me a week of no activity. On top of no activity I had a couple of intense visits to the Chiropractor. So, I tweaked my back on a Friday and did nothing until the following Thursday. That morning I felt pretty good and decided that I would test out running and how my back felt. No PROBLEMS!

That was encouraging as I would be starting my training the following Monday..and here I am, Run #2 in Week 2. Tomorrow will be the fifth 2 mile run and Saturday I jump up to 3 miles. I'm excited...finally progressing upwards.

Week two will end and then I have 18 more weeks of training. The real challenge will be to keep myself as injury free as possible and to continue making better nutrition choices and try to figure out what to do for cross-training. We are going to try plyometrics later this week and see how that works out. I think it will be good - we'll do a couple of days a week to start.

The other thing that I have been doing is helping my friend Mary with beginning running. The point of her running originally was for her son (who needs to be able to run a mile in middle school), but she said that she would benefit too. We have gotten together a few times and it will be slow, but she is working at it and I'm proud of her. The last time we got together I gave her a choice of where we would meet and how much she would run and walk. I may go ahead and let her do that again this week, it's always nice to have some control over something that is very difficult.

So, I'm excited about training for my Half and helping a friend get into running. I am hoping that she will get to the point that it is enjoyable...and I'm going to cheer her on as long as she let's me.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Just Itchin'

I've been dealing with a little backpain for a few days. My last run was last week on Thursday and I've been sidelined since then.

Now that my back is nearly back to normal I can feel the urge to lace up my shoes and get out there again! Which is good since I have a training plan for my first Half Marathon that starts on Monday!!!

If I don't end up on my bike tomorrow morning I'll be doing a quick run just to check out how my back feels. Possibly a trip to the track for a nice and easy...sloooow run.

Never thought that I would miss running this much. I hardly miss my bike, but at the same time I do. Still hoping to get out and do a time trial this season...we'll see.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Half Crazy

I did it.
I am officially registered for my first Half Marathon.
I'm a little scared, but excited.
Training starts on July 29!
We'll see how things go...

Monday, July 8, 2013

2+ Minutes

Kid's Dash before the race began!
This year's Independence Day run in Ridgefield was so FUN!

It's amazing what a little training can do - the hills haven't changed, but my attitude toward them did. I didn't train much on the hills, but I did do more than I ever have since we started doing this particular race. So, that is a good thing - straight away!

There really isn't a lot to elaborate on besides the fact that I felt better and really enjoyed my time on the road. I was hoping to run faster than my time from the first year we did this. But who am I trying to kid - I'm older and more tired now...Bahaha...but I did manage to cut more than 2 minutes off my 2012 time! So I'm totally stoked about that!

Oh, it seems that there was a change in the registration/line-up of the parade entries this year. Just getting started there were already parade entries lining up at one end of Main Street just before heading down the hill and out of town. Not a big deal right? Well, on the way back...there was minor chaos at the same spot with the 40 et 8 Loci passing and then stopping behind some other entries and some yahoo guy driving a red pick-up and getting very much in the way of the runners, but not so much that we couldn't pass by him. Not sure why there was a change, but at least they were not in town yet...so running down the middle of main street was fair game!

The one that that does mess me up year after year is the 4th of July banner that is strung across main street. You would think that once you see that banner that the finish would be right there...NOPE...that's at least another block away. The thing about this course is that you can see the banner and where the finish is from a 1/2 a mile away. And when you are hot and tired and just want to STOP, it's a little disconcerting to see the finish! It takes a while to get to the blocks where the businesses start too. The finish straight away has got to be the LONGEST of any of the runs that I have done - except for one of the Shamrock runs - but at least that finish was going down hill and there were people lining the route that made it a little more intersting.

Like with most of my runs, it feels so good to stop running, but keep moving. I had such a blast this time though...so much fun! I miss running with Tom and I'm hoping that he'll be cleared to run sooner than later. We'll find out at the end of the month. However, if he is cleared to run, we'll have to find someone else who is willing to rise at 5am and be our rolling support while we are running!

Next up - Every Girl's 5k on August 18!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Good To Go!

(photo credit runridgefield.com)
I was thinking about how this year I'm pretty much prepared for tomorrow...which is very unlike me for this particular event. The route for the Independence Day Run in Ridgefield is always the same - ALWAYS. There really isn't a way to change that, it's out and back - heading north out of town and then back to town. Even with the hills, it's a fairly quick run if you think running under 40 minutes is quick ;)

2009 was the first year that we ran this I was waaay unprepared for the hills. I should have known better that there would be hills, rural Clark County is like that. So, as surprising as that was I still managed to run the route in 38:19. For some crazy reason I did not record my time for the 2010 race. The following two years were 40:50 and 40:55. 

I'm shooting for at least 38:19. Which would be awesome because that time was from 4 years ago and I wasn't terribly fast. However,  in the last few months, I have been actually running pretty well. So I'm excited about that. In the big picture I do not want to post a time more than 40 minutes. That is my ultimate goal!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Special Idiot

I've already been declared crazy by my non-running friends as far as my running habit goes. I can't WAIT to become a Special Kind of Idiot!

Just a month away from starting my Half Marathon training plan! Until then, I'm gonna train same days and do speedy-work and hills and easy and long runs! Now...how do I train my running idiocy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

20 Weeks

Here we are at the end of June and I'm already thinking about December. The Holiday Half Marathon to be more specific.

I have myself a new training plan which I will start on July 29. So until then I'll be doing my own willy-nilly training here and there, but will definitely keep up the same run schedule just to stay on track.

My desire to do a half marathon came in a very weird way. One of my friends at church asked me if I might be interested in joining the Living Water International team who would be participating in the Portland Marathon event - running the half. I thought about it for a minute or so, but not having done anything over a 12k before I was a little hesitant and suggested that she ask another friend of ours who has done a couple of half's in the last couple of years. As soon as she said that our other friend was interested, I became interested...DANG IT! As it turns out, this particular event will not be included in with the other events that we as a church are supporting. Maybe next year.

Now that the Portland Half Marathon is no longer a possibility, I have decided that I REALLY want to train for a half marathon! After doing some research for upcoming events, the one that seems pretty reasonable is the Holiday Half on December 15. I even have a reminder set for the day that registration begins! I'm VERY serious about this now! My new running plan starts at the end of July and I'm hoping that with adding a variety of cross-training and strength training workouts I'll continue to be motivated for the 20 weeks that lead up to the Holiday Half.

I have one month to start moving in the direction of better nutrition, cross-training/strength training and "maintenance" running. The next 4 weeks will give me a chance to get into re-vamping my thinking on what I eat and what I do when I don't run. During this time, I want to start making better choices in regards to the foods that I eat and that will help with maybe dropping a few pounds that I don't need to be hauling around while running. Which in the end will be kinder to my knees and shoes. Even being a little heavier runner can take the life out of running shoes quicker than those gazelles I see out on the road.

During those 20 weeks I'll will try to be diligent in posting here about how my training is going and hopefully I'll post the things that I think about while I'm on a run - because I often times will have a revelation of sorts, but once I sit down to write about that revelation, the thought is LOOOONG gone! Most of the time while I'm on a run, I'm trying to train my brain to not be so whimpy. Seriously, if something is a little uncomfortable, I'm no longer thinking happy thoughts. Just about being sore or in pain or whatever. In those times I try to remember past events - like my first duathlon and how I didn't stop running even though I really wanted to or  during this year's Shamrock run when I thought I would stop a second time, but saw how close I was getting to the end and just kept going AND actually increasing what little speed I had going at the time - or my first 5k at the last Livestrong event that we did before they moved to Seattle.

The point is, even though my body screams to stop, I know that I can finish the event well and finish strong. I'm no wimp!

We'll see how it goes when my training runs are 7, 8, 9 miles and longer. We'll find out what my capabilities are after many weeks of regular training.

SO Excited! Looking forward to pushing myself even more!

Rain, Rain...Go Away..

Woke up to the sound of rain and looked out to wet streets at 4:30 this morning. I went from planning to train on the hills to doing speedwork at the track to sitting on the couch and thinking of doing my run tomorrow! It all went very quickly too. I just don't want to get out in the rain - especially since most of my runs (except for a couple of weeks ago) have been DRY!

Tom made some coffee and we settled into watching the news. After a few minutes I decided that I could probably use my time a little more wisely and got up and grabbed the latest issue of Runner's World and did a series of exercises to help strengthen areas that need the most help.

I have focused a lot on my core and trying to do Pilates a few times to get a little stronger and have done one exercise that will help my upper back, arms and neck, but I have never thought about strengthening the opposing muscles as well. This morning I found out just how weak I am in my lower back and my quads etc. So, for now I'll be adding the exercises that are shown on the video.

Anyway - now that I have put off today's run I HAVE to get out and run tomorrow - still will do speedwork since my long run on Saturday will include the hills in Shorecrest Terrace.

Today is supposedly a transition day as far as the weather. Temperatures are going to be in the mid-high 80s with a couple of days reaching 90. That's just wrong. A 15-20 degree difference is not good. I refuse to be okay with it!

I do look forward to nicer days though...so I'll go ahead and be okay with the warmer temperatures!

3 more runs...then RIDGEFIELD!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Running in Ridgefield!

To prepare for the Independence Day run in Ridgefield I gotta train on some hills! The good thing is that there is a sub-division not far from our house that - when done as a loop - has a couple of good hills.

So far I have gotten out once to do some hill training and actually felt alright about how many loops I did - two in one direction and one going the opposite which was good because it gave me a chance to run up a long not so steep incline. The total distance of the loop is about 2.7 miles and my first time out I managed a decent time/pace. Which was a nice surprise considering that I haven't tackled this particular route for a few months.

If I continue on my regular training schedule of Monday-Wednesday-Saturday then I only have 3 training runs left before run day next Thursday. My goal is to run under 40 minutes!

Here's to learning to like hills as much as I'm enjoying running!

Saturday, June 15, 2013



Today was the big day that I've been training for the past 4 weeks. The last 5k I did was last August - the Every Girls 5k in Ridgefield which I posted a 38:46 (12:29 pace) which for me was a huge deal because I hadn't run that pace in a while. The previous to that race was the 4th of July run which I did a 40 minute 5k, but to be honest...I hadn't trained much on hills and if you are going to run in Ridgefield, you're gonna run on the hills!

ANYWAY - today started out at 61 degrees at our house at 8 a.m. and I'm was already kinda psyching myself out because I am not much of a warm weather runner...and yes 61+ is warm when you consider that most of my runs occur in the very early hours of the morning and the temps are still in the high 40s to low 50s in June. Things will slowly creep upward...but today, after a week of cooler temps I was not feeling the already 60 degree morning.

Since Tom had to work this morning I made my way down to Esther Short park, found a fabulous place to park it and made my way around the venue waiting for the start of the race. I LOVE running events - there are so many different people who turn up for a 5k run - it's awesome! The skinny people...not so skinny people, old folks and kids...no one is left out! My favorite thing about these shorter races is that it's really family friendly and I absolutely LOVE watching parents coaching their little ones along the course - what a way to instill confidence in these kiddos!

The other really great thing that I was not expecting is that the event organizer opened up our time together with a word of prayer- this is the first time that I have encountered prayer at a public event! Praise God for those event organizers making time to ask Jesus for safety and strength for the runners! There also was a moment of silence for the Boston victims and then the Star Spangled Banner - all things that make me seriously weepy! I'm getting weepy again now...time to move on!

The first couple of blocks of the course is flat and then a turn up Broadway and it's a climb all the way to Evergreen where it kind of levels out. It's such a nice course too, once runners leave downtown we get to run through the Fort Vancouver Historic site along Officer's Row. So pretty through there! As we made our way through the park we cross over 5th Street and head to the path that goes to the Land Bridge - it's crazy to think that even though you are directly above Hwy 14 it just doesn't feel that way. Then there is a quick jaunt down Columbia before the turn around and back to Esther Short park.

My Goal time: 37:17 (11:57)
My Unofficial time: 37:53 (12:12)

I'll take it! I was hot and SO not ready for the hills. I should have known, but I rarely want to run hills in training. It's time to start though, and I keep saying that each year! The next couple of weeks will feature more hill work to get ready for the 4th of July run! I'm very happy with my 12:12 pace...I'm on my way to running my best year ever!

Oooh...the MC for the event (all weekend) is Bart Yasso!!!

(photo credit athleticsillustrated.com)
The only reason why I am familiar with his name is because of Runner's World magazine!!! I didn't know until this morning that he would be here for the entire event - SO COOL! I wish I could have gotten a picture of him and one with him :( Oh well, there is always next year!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week Three Done - One More Training Run!

Week Three of my 4 week training plan is HIS-TORY! In fact, as of today I only have one more training run and a couple of rest days this week before the big day on Saturday!!!

Today was a refreshingly short run of two miles. I managed my 5 miler on Saturday pretty well and felt good all the way to the end. I was also tired later in the morning and napped for a couple of hours after lunch!

Tomorrow will be yoga or pilates and then Speedwork on Wednesday (3 miles total, 2x800 with 400 recovery incl. warm up and cool down).

I'm looking forward to my 2nd event of the year and hope that the time goal will become a reality. I'm a little skeptical right now, but stranger things have happened and a 11:57 mile I suppose could be a possibility. Just trying to convince my short, slow, stubby legs of that idea - hee hee...

Here is a list of the "competition"

females: 45 to 49 years of age

Carolyn Bossert
Tami Briggs
Vickie Clark
Melissa Dixon
Sherri Falkner
Susan Gilmour-Sage
Tristann Graves
Marie Hemberry-Koga
Amy Henke
Nelinda McCartney
Nancy Olschewsky


Donna Schnuck
Jenny Schrock
Allison Sharp
Naoko Stonelake
Lisa Twombly
Kristina Wise

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Two Weeks Down, Two to Go!

Another Week Done
Had a rough start to this past week's training. My 3 mile run on Memorial Day was so bad! It rained, my legs were so heavy and tired feeling AND I was on the opposite side of the road than I'm used to. I have never walked so much on a 3 mile run...EVER! It felt like I walked half of it - which is possible. Not a very good way to start the day, let alone a holiday!

Took a couple of days of rest and did my speedwork session on Thursday instead of Wednesday. The main reason for that wasn't because I was tired, but because it was raining. This meant that no matter what I HAD to get out on Thursday and do speedwork or skip it, and as I said before, skipping is not an option!

Two By Sixteen Hundred
This speedwork was actually for week one - somehow I read the wrong week. If you stop to think about that, how can I read the wrong week of a 4 week training plan and only be on week 2? Hard to say, but it's my special talent. So this week I did Week 1's speedwork - 2 one mile intervals in 12:05 - YIKES! In the end it is a lot scarier than it really is. I did notice that after lap two, stopping to walk became very appealing! Around two and a half laps I started thinking about how much more I had to do. With all that thinking going on, doing speedwork wasn't all that bad, long, but not bad. In the end I had finished both intervals and shortened my in-between recoveries to 400s, but still did 4 miles total. In the end I felt very accomplished and ended up running each interval way under 12:05 - VERY EXCITING for this girl!

Going Looong
I'm really liking my long run distances right now. 4 or 5 miles - today was 5 miles, but I ended up shorting myself about a quarter mile. For once I'm not going to feel bad about that...I got out and felt REALLY good! The roads/sidewalks were dry, dry and DRY. That makes this runner so very happy! Tom met me along the route...actually not until coming back on 149th Street. I was starting to wonder if we had talked about him actually riding around to meet me somewhere. I had hoped that it was close to the point where I decided to take a walk break so I could get a drink of water from his water bottle. Oh well, I popped a Bit-O-Honey in my mouth and started up again. There is a short, but steep hill toward the end of this route and I was able to run all the way up it! That was good enough for another short walk break and then the big push home.

For some reason I was a little slow today, but no matter, I felt pretty good. Knowing that I had done a hard training run earlier this week made me appreciate the fact that the long run was just a way to relax a little and enjoy the simple act of running.

Future Events

Freedom 5k on June 15. Ridgefield's, Independence Run on July 4th. Every Girl Run 5k and probably the Run Like Hell and Hot Buttered Run.

Crazy me is thinking of doing a half in December. I'll have to train in the dark and rain if I am really serious about doing a half this year. I'll also be messing up some of the training runs with the events that I have in mind already. That shouldn't be too big of a deal, just as long as I getting quality runs done.

I'm really starting to enjoy this running despite the bad runs and feeling awful sometimes. In the end I'm happy that I go out and give my all to something that seemed so unattainable when I started to think outside of the cycling "box" that I lived in for so long. Now, several duathlons and a couple of triathlons later, running has become my go to activity just because of the sheer simplicity of it all. All I need is a good pair of shoes and an event to train for.

run, Run, RUN!!