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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, May 14, 2014


This week I FINALLY received my StrideBox - I was looking forward to getting this baby in the mail mid-week last week...instead I got a "special" email yesterday:

Your May StrideBox! We're Super Sorry!

Hello Runner,

It has come to our attention that some StrideBox orders were not included in the most recent shipping batches. Unfortunately, yours was one of those.

We are extremely sorry, and in no way wanted this to happen to you or any of our current subscribers.

To make up for our mistake, we have sent your May box via USPS Priority Mail, and have included a few extra items to make the wait worth it. It should arrive by the end of the week.

Here is the USPS Priority Mail tracking number for your box (click on the number to open the USPS tracking page):

Allow 1-2 days for the tracking information to update. You should receive your box in 1-3 business days.

Please save this email so you can follow your box all the way to your, or your gift recipient's door step.

As always, if there are any problems, email us at
service@StrideBox.com and we will help you.

Thank You, and Just Keep Running,

The StrideBox Team

I LOVE StrideBox - they are the real deal! Of course, they are the only subscription company that I have ever done, but seriously...the email AND a note in the box with extra stuff? Yeah...they rate high with me!

If you haven't tried a subscription of any type before I suggest you try StrideBox - they are "local" well local to me as they are in Bend, OR and my box usually delivers within 3 days of shipping. Or one week if you are forgotten ;) They have fun stuff from cool blinking lights and hygiene items to drink mixes and gels, chews and bars. All are full size and besides the Chia items, I have LOVED every single item. One of my favorites is the Pocket Fuel for my post from two weeks ago go HERE. This month we are featuring Vanilla Haze:

I just noticed the almonds on the package - I wonder if those are the "kick"
because vanilla certainly doesn't do that for me.

Okay - I'm not much of a Vanilla fan, so I'm glad that the coffee one came first. Hazelnut, I like me hazelnut! Be on the look out for my review sometime in the not so distant future.

So, this is my plug for StrideBox if you haven't checked them out yet go HERE and give them a looky-loo. Month to month subscription, cancel when you want and get COOL stuff! $15 is a pretty cool deal for so many cool running related items. 

Monday, May 12, 2014


I LOVE Weeks that are all easy training runs! Three on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and four on Saturday :)

Last week was hard for me for reasons other than distance related. I've already resigned myself to the fact that I'm a runner who takes walking breaks and that's not a bad thing. Last week I had a hard time on Monday because I couldn't breathe, BUT still got out and did my run. Wednesday didn't happen because I woke up in too much pain/discomfort to want to go out so I postponed that run to Thursday morning. We did the Wednesday distance in the morning and then the 2 miler in the afternoon with Mary. Eight mile long run on Saturday...and now I'm ready for rest...haha. Rest in the form of easy training runs.

This morning I got a little "crazy" and decided I really like loops and not out and back courses. So after I got Mr. Decaf taken care of I got ready to head out for my run; Tom is testing out a new run schedule for himself so he left a little after 4:30. We passed each other within 5 minutes of the start of my run and as I was getting used to running alone (again) I was thinking about how I really didn't want to go to a turn around spot and run the same thing again only in reverse. So I decided to get brave and do a little cut-through route between neighborhoods which would be a loop instead of a out 'n back course.

Once I arrived at the beginning of the short trail I mustered up all of the courage I had and went for it. I know, I'm a little dramatic, but hey...it's creepy to run on a trail (less than a quarter mile) all by myself...anything could happen! The trail is a very short wooded area with a trickle of a creek that runs through it...and when it's dark I wouldn't consider running it, but it was getting very light fast so I thought why not.

I made it...without too much of a creepy vibe!

The other thing that probably isn't making my run easy at this point is that I decided that I would totally run down to another foot bridge and run all the way up the other side. My mental block on this one is the going down part going West. It is plain ol' weird. The surface changes from weird sidewalk to uneven paved driveway entrances two or three times. Also, the last part of the descent is at a weird grade (to me) and not comfortable to run down. I told myself that I would totally go down to the bridge without stopping...no matter what my body wanted to do. THEN the other challenge was to go up the other side which is a little on the steep side and make it all the way up to the corner.

I'm pretty skilled at self-talking myself out of just about anything that might be a little uncomfortable. If there were a not so positive super power that would be mine.

BUT - I made it to the corner - only by telling myself that I would give myself a good, healthy walking break if I did indeed make it to the top! It's the little things :)

All in all, easy training run #1 was a good experience and I had a sub-13 pace, which makes me happy because I would really like to get a little faster. I feel like with all the effort that I am putting into running I'm hovering around the same times. Unless somehow my body is suffering in one way or another, making it difficult to improve.

The rest of the week should be a piece of cake! 33 days until Vancouver Half!

HOW Far is 8 Miles?

Two miles further than my last long run! We went from running a 6 mile long run last weekend to 8 this weekend. I don't get why we skipped 7 because I think I was ready to be done around that distance.

We decided to leave Tom's truck at station Friday after work so I needed to map out a route from our house. It's not that easy to do a direct route...gotta go way past the final destination to get the distance in.

The Route...easy on "paper" from our house to the trail and to the office. I haven't done a run on the trail for at least a couple of years - and I remembered why after less than a mile on the trail itself. I do not enjoy the trail. I'm more of a roadie girl and can't get over the quiet of the trail and the remoteness of it all. I struggled all 3 miles worth of the trail. In my mind that is a FAIL. Once we reached the road, I felt back in my element and thoroughly enjoyed the remainder of the run which was probably around 4 miles. However, I have to mention that within a 1/2 mile we did spy a Bald Eagle flying very low and slow not far from us....THAT made that particular part of the run not nearly as horrible.

So, we finally get off of the SC trail and I'm diggin' running on the road again! I was still taking walking breaks, but not as many as on the trail and it was actually very pleasant. The rest of the route was fairly easy, even though it is a grind from the park up to 99th Street. A good grind though...nice wide shoulders (for the most part) and not really any unevenness.We have run this part of HDA a few times, so there are no surprises. All good in my book!

Next time we have to log an 8 mile (or longer) run I think we'll look at the Half Marathon route and choose a part to get familiar with and call it good.

Event day is 33 days away! Getting excited - I think I'll be posting a much better time for my 2nd half marathon :)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Daily Double

Okay, so my tempo run didn't happen yesterday. My day yesterday did not start off well...first of all I was awake WAY TOO EARLY...like 1am. I tried to get back to sleep but the odor from my new contour pillow was bothering me so I got out of bed. You wouldn't think that a pillow would have an odor...but those contour ones do. I tried to snooze some more in my recliner in the TV room, but I decided to play with my kindle a little bit...that usually tends to lull me at some point...then Tom came down as well. I don't remember why. So here we were in the TV room me trying to get tired enough to go back to sleep and Tom watching something on OPB.

Anyway long story short, I didn't get a lot of sleep.

I had decided to actually switch around my training runs and do two last night and then 4 this morning, but that did not happen.

Throughout the day I was starting to feel the tension creeping back in and my shoulder was getting more painful the later into the day we got. Fortunately I had an appointment with the Chiropractor after work so I got an adjustment which didn't relieve so much pain as it did create the illusion that I'm actually getting better. Which I feel that I am, but it is slow. My chiro said that it could take up to 6-8 weeks for my shoulder to settle down and go back to normal. BLAAAH...

So, no run yesterday. We went out early this morning to do a loop that I knew wasn't long enough...but we added some distance, but it STILL wasn't enough. Oh well...I'll know better next time. Run more...always run more - if in doubt always run more!!!

This evening is the official start of my Thursday training runs - last week was a bonus :) So, it's a two mile run and Mary will be joining us to run/walk this evening...perfect! My legs are feeling a little tired as I decided that I could do some tabata after coming home from my visit to the chiro.

Tomorrow is total rest day. I'm doing NOTHING that requires putting on athletic clothing...

37 days baby! Wee-haaawwww

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Week 7 & HM Registration

Week 7

This week is 7 (!) of my Half Marathon training  plan as prescribed by Runner's World SmartCoach. Overall, I'm happy with how things are going, but the past couple of weeks I've been feeling a fair amount of pain in my shoulder and neck. Something that spontaneously went away when I took the day off from work last Friday and then with as much spontaneity resurfaced after I returned to work this week. I think maybe work might have something to do with this issue. Just a thought.

Anyway, last week's training runs were less than stellar and I'm glad that we have moved on and this week is all "easy" running.

Monday two miles, not good...something was off. I felt that things should have been good because it was ONLY two miles. However, my breathing was REALLY bad. I'll have to take a puff of albuterol upon rising to get ready to run I guess, at least until the majority of the early Spring pollen is past. The other thing I'll have to deal with tomorrow is pain. Maybe something will pop into place between now and tomorrow morning. A girl can hope!

Tomorrow is a 4 mile tempo run, we'll take it on the road. I might have enough focus to do the 2 miles at tempo and revel in the warm down on the way back to the house. We did this a couple of weeks ago and it was awesome! Which is crazy because I have never really been a big fan of tempo running. I've always favored Speed Work.

This week we officially add a Thursday run and I have deemed Thursday my running date with Mary. We started last week on the hottest day so far this year. I'm pretty sure that the temperature will be more to our liking maybe even a little on the wet side. We'll see. So, we'll get out for an easy couple of miles of walking with running mixed in there too :)

Saturday is Long Run day! Eight Miles BABY! I've got the route all mapped out, hoping that my body will cooperate this weekend. I'm hopeful.


Last week I sent off a registration for Tom to run the Vancouver USA Half Marathon. Since his upcoming employment will keep him home I decided he should do it! He's been running along with me and my plan so why not right? I've already encouraged him to run his own race so he'll know what he can do - so exciting! I'm REALLY looking forward to this race now. My first half was just me - now that he'll be running too we'll have stories to exchange of our experiences! Yay :)

Look at that happiness...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Speedwork & Pocket Fuel


Okay - so yesterday was a speedwork day for me (us) -  the prescribed workout was 2 x 1600 w/ 800 jogs, with 1 mi warm up and 1 mi warm down.

Let's just put things in perspective. It's been a while since I've done speedwork and I fancied myself a friend of speedwork. Yesterday morning I woke up in a bad way - was in pain and really wasn't in the mood to do 1600s at the track and doing 1600s on the road seemed daunting because it's a long stinkin' way to the library! So we (Tom) decided that we should do 800s while we (I) decided that the track would be good. Seemed like a fair compromise.

So off we went and with each step I could tell that the morning would not go well. Once we got to the track Tom did his thing and I was psyching myself up for 800s, because I know that I can do them. Well, with all the pain I had been feeling in my arm/shoulder running 800s was going to be a struggle so I opted at first to just do 400s then after a good walk break I thought I might be able to push out 600s. In the end I did 400s and 600s, but lost count after the first one...I'm a genius! Bad runs happen and I only hope that the long run on the schedule for Saturday doesn't hurt too much. We'll just have to keep it interesting - that's the key!

Throwing in a bonus run this evening with Mary - couple of miles of easy running and walking to get back into the groove with my amiga!

Pocket Fuel

It had not occurred to me to actually blog about the items that come in my monthly StrideBox, until I started with the dreaded Chia Seed beverage. Go HERE for the initial installment...I'll wait. I'll let you decide to look at the other posts on your own.

So, a couple of weeks ago I realized I was out of GU and needed something to give me a little boost for what I think was a long run. I rooted around in my StrideBox to see what looked good. Aaah, Pocket Fuel...

Java - yeah, that's coffee baby!
This wasn't as funky as I thought I would be, it was quite pleasant actually. Although, I did miss the part that says GEL...while mooshing the package a little it didn't feel as thick at GU so I guess in my mind I thought it was more liquid. Well, no...after I started to "pour" it into a small glass it became pretty obvious that it was NOT a runny liquid, but a thick liquid. I wanted to share this with Tom so I got a spoon out and squeezed a little bit and gave it a sniff and then gulped it down. Hey, not bad...one more spoonful and the rest was Tom's. He seemed to like it okay too. Okay...so not everything is suspect that comes in those boxes. Actually most things are good - I have only encountered a couple of things that I KNOW I will not purchase - EVER!

The May StrideBox will be on its way soon and I'm looking forward to seeing what we get to try out this month!