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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.

Saturday, March 29, 2014


Running chart for the last month. Since reaching my goal of 56 miles in February I didn't feel terribly compelled to set a goal for March. We had a couple of races and so training was and is more important than logging miles. Instead of running everyday we are incorporating strength training in the form of CrossFit right now and possible will throw in some yoga or pilates in the next week.

Race season has arrived!


3.23 mile Easy Run on Monday - 12:35 pace

4.06 mile Tempo Run on Thursday - 12:28 pace

4.48 mile Long Run Today (Saturday) - 12:37 pace

Add a couple of CrossFit type sessions this week and Week 1 
of my Vancouver Half Marathon training is complete. 

Friday, March 28, 2014


Tom and I have decided to add some cross training in the form of Cross Fit into our training routine. I think it's more like CrossFit Lite...not like going to a dedicated gym and doing the WOD with other people. For us it is an easy way to incorporate some weight bearing strength training to help our running along.

This morning I suggested we do a different routine that we had the last couple of times:

80 jumping jacks (that's a lot!)
20 lunges (10 each leg)
20 sit-ups (we do crunches)
10 push-ups (I do the "girl" ones)
25 squats ( I like to use my 5 lb dumbbells)
60 second wall sit (OUCH)

The goal is to do these 3 times - we did 2 sets. Not bad for being semi-wimpy!

One of these days when we feel up to it we'll add that 3rd set...then I'll have to search for something a little more challenging!!! Muwahahaha...

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Training Run #2

So, we were up and out of the house by 5:15 or so and on our way in the rain to do the Tempo run that I postponed from yesterday.

It was AWESOME! Kinda funny - as the day goes on my run just keeps getting better in my mind! Seriously, it was really, really good! I have a big mental block when it comes to doing a Tempo run. I just don't get it - I'm not good at gauging my pace besides the fact that it is SLOW and to run comfortably hard doesn't mean anything to me.

Today's workout was 1 mi warm, 2 mi @ 12:38 and 1 mi cool. Broken down like that I get it...slow, not so slow then slow again. Yeah baby! In the past my tempo runs have consisted of me not really feeling that great during the first mile of the not so slow portion and then going out too fast and then not able to keep up the pace that I am not able to gauge. Yes, I'm a genius! So, it seems that in the past my tempo runs turn into Speedwork and I don't mind that so much.

Today I maintained a decent pace all the way to the turn around and then we walked a short portion and then I was able to main a little bit faster pace during the second mile. The most amazing part was the fact that I didn't feel like I would die, my breathing wasn't horrible and I felt pretty good. That's like a huge breakthrough!

We got home and got back into our after run routine, groom the cat and give him a treat (yeah, he's spoiled) get out of wet clothes (we LOVE rain) and then settle in with some coffee and some news before our morning devotional.

Next up - Long run. I LOVE long runs!

Switch-a-roo and Funky Drink Mix

Yesterday I just wasn't "feeling" the 4 mile Tempo run - part of me wanted to run, but a lot of me just wanted to hang out. So we hung out. I was tired and hungry and happy to be home.

Before I left for the day I decided that it was time to mix up one of the packets of drink mix that I have had from a couple of StrideBoxes ago. It's called Achiva Native Energy - my individual serving was Chai Tea.

According to the directions on the packet I had to add the contents to 12 oz of water, shake and then let it sit for 10 minutes. Since I was using a Nalgene type water bottle I could really tell what it looked like. I could tell that it wasn't clear....hmmmm...

So after the allotted time I took a sip and it was a little chunky, ahh, Chia seeds. After another sip, I decided I would wait until I got home to consume some more. The other thing, it did not even possess any essence of Chai Tea.

I got home and grabbed a glass, gave the bottle one more shake and poured it out...check it out -

Enlarged for your viewing pleasure - you're welcome
EWWWW - I think I was okay with it in my dark bottle! At this point I was having some serious problems. NOW I know exactly what I slurped down...so gross!!! It doesn't even stay in suspension! I can't drink something that I need to constantly stir. Can you imagine?! A giant clump of sludge at the bottom of the glass?!

Yeah, I'm pretty sure that I will NOT buy this drink mix - even if my life depended on it!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rest Day and Training Run Day #2

Yesterday was a rest day, but we decided to do some cross-fit type exercises. I think it will be good to do some cross training a couple of days during the week.

Today is training run #2 (tempo run). I'm seriously getting tired of running while it is till dark out I didn't want to run this morning - the sun is rising earlier day by day - but not quickly enough for me. Also, it was raining and I just didn't have it in me this morning to run 4 miles in the dark AND in the rain.

So I will make a determination when I get home - if it is raining I'm pretty sure that I will want to postpone and we'll have to run tomorrow morning. Yes, in the dark and possibly in the rain. Since I have started using Runner's World Smart Coach training plans I have learned that I don't have to follow the training as written...meaning I don't have to run on the days that are suggested, just get the time/distance when at some point during the week.

If we run tonight - I'll post again later this evening. Otherwise check back tomorrow!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 1, Training Day #1

In an attempt to be consistent here, I have decided to document my training, day by day, until the big day is here. I hope to throw in some cross training too, maybe some cycling or some strength type exercises in the form cross-fit type exercises at home OR if I feel like jumping, bounding and leaping around the neighborhood I'll throw in some plyometrics!

Today's run was an easy 3 miles and my route was around 3.23 which took around 40:37 to complete. As usual I ran faster than the plan wanted me to...the plan in the big picture is merely a guide. Anyway, I felt good the whole way! It was a little chilly, but not too bad - it was dry so I pulled on my capris instead of my long pants and wore a long sleeve tech tee and my fleece. The only thing that I am not happy about is all the pollen-y and smelly flowers on the bushes. Seasonal allergies are a pain! Only a few more weeks and I won't have to deal with those smells and pollen for the rest of the year!

This week's training consists of easy run today, tempo on Wednesday and the always fun long run on Saturday.

Check back tomorrow...and see if I did cross-fit or plyo...hmmm...

82 days and counting!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Shamrock 2014

The 36th Annual Shamrock Run Portland has come and gone. My last Shamrock for a year or so as I would like to focus on training for the Spring Classic Duathlon in 2015. I may consider going back to the Shamrock in 2016 - we'll just have to see how things go with multisport first ;)

This year the Shamrock people decided to put photographers all along the route - in years past I don't believe that there were any. The photos were published on Facebook today and I decided to see how awful err, wonderful the photos were.

As it turns out...no one really looks good in running photos - although there is one of me from 3 or 4 years ago that was pretty good, but no more! Of the half dozen or so pics that they took of me I would say that the following one was the best. I don't look overly tired, I appear to be moving and I don't look like I want to die. Seriously, not flattering...not even a little...

Heading up Broadway - more than 2 miles into the 9.3 mile route
So, I searched for photos of Tom and Drew and man, those two looked GOOD! Check it out...

Check out the half clothed dude - that's not right!

Look at Drew...show off! He obviously did not get the memo that says no smiling during an event! Drew is awesome...love hanging out with him! Except during races because he is just too happy - haha. It's good that he runs with Tom, that way they can run a decent race and do well. Something that wouldn't be possible if they stuck with me.

I don't have much of a race report - just race photos to share. Running events are the same in one way or another - we train, we go, we conquer. The fun is being with our people!

We got to hang out with these cool people which we haven't really done in the past - we are very much go and run and then go home people - BUT afterwards Drew, Andy, Tom and I made a pit stop for a little food and coffee at Starbucks.
front row - Drew Swanson, Me, Alisha Smith, Alayna Salvato
back row - Andy Schultz, Mike Graves, Nate Smith
(photo was taken by Tom)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Welcome to the Family

Running Shoe Photo Shoot :)
My Running Shoe Collection is well on its way...there are worse things right?

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Shoes Baby!

New Balance 860 V3

This week has been so frustrating that getting these delivered to work really is a pick-me-up. Of course...they ARE running shoes and I do love me a running shoe!

Tired Old Shoes
Introducing the last new pair to the others

If I never buy another pair of regular non athletic shoes, I'll be okay with that. In fact when my running shoe collection surpasses my everyday shoe inventory that will be a milestone!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fort Vancouver Run 10k - DONE

There isn't a lot to say other than:

It was WET
It was COLD

BUT...We did it and I posted a decent time according to the actual distance of 6.4 instead of a 10k distance of 6.2 - final time 1:20:41 or 12:37 pace. That's a decent time for me in the crummy weather. After I had a chance to think about it I decided I was pretty happy with that result. It is the time that I will now gauge the rest of my races against!

Tom went all out to see how he would do and actually did quite well with a final time of 59:33 around 9:19 pace for him. Now - Tom's goal was to see if he could get top 3 in his age division. He would have been 3rd in his division IF there wasn't a morning of registration in his group WHO happened to finish first.

Oh well...there's always next year!

Needed to post a picture...not terribly flattering, but I made it over the timing strip!

Shamrock is coming up fast...but first I need a couple of days to rest - or at least one day. We'll see how I feel when I get up tomorrow morning.

Get out and run people!

Monday, March 3, 2014

February Goal Reached

At the end of January I decided that I would see if I could log at least a couple of miles a day during the month of February. It was a doable goal as the 2 milers would occur on the days that I wasn't doing a training run and in doing so, should have been easy running days for sure. I managed to stay on track, kind of. Well, I reach my goal AND exceeded it by just over 5 miles. I'm not a better runner by any stretch of the imagination, but I do have a bit of an obsessive tendency it seems.

Case and point...

The gap that is so loud and clear - those were the snow days we had. I could stand it on the 6th. I was pretty much pacing around the house and looking out the window just to see what the snowfall situation was like. I even made some cookies because I just didn't know what to do with myself - oh I had also had taken the day off. I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I probably would not be running...then it happened...I was playing around on facebook and a friend of mine had JUST posted that she had gone out for a run and it was EXHILARATING. Are you kidding me?! Exhilarating?! I gotta get me some of that! So I gathered up my running clothes and declared to Tom that I would be going for a run and asked if he would want to join me. YUP!

I can't say that it was that great, but it wasn't bad either. I had really never run in the snow, not that there has been the kind of snow that would be good to run in around here. This year was really different, real powdery dry snow - perfect! The "run" was brief  and I wasn't sure where I wanted to run so I chose where the snow had been driven over. Not necessarily the best choice, but I also didn't feel like running/jumping into the untainted snow. I probably would end up hurting myself! We did just over a mile - got back home and I felt SO MUCH BETTER! Also, I got the running bug out of my system for a few more days. It felt like it took a while to make up the miles...so the obsession started up again. By the 26th I had reached my goal and had a couple of extra days to exceed that amount!

I do like me a goal! Especially if there is a gadget that is on running ahead that tells you that you are behind!!!!

Good times!!!

Just did the Fort Vancouver Run 10k - report to come.

Next up...Shamrock Run Portland!