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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.

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!!