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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.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Takin' It Easy

It's been a couple of weeks since the Vancouver Half and we have been taking a bit of a break. Which is very refreshing. We have been getting out to run here and there and I'll get out as soon as I get home, no matter how warm it is (within reason).

The past few days I have had an issue with my allergies and that has REALLY slowed down my desire to run. I had hoped to run on Thursday last week, but with all the drips, watery eyes and a touch of congestion, I thought better of it and decided to just chill. I didn't chill for long and ended up getting out early yesterday morning. Yeah...can't keep a crazy person down! Today hasn't been too bad, still drippy, but I'm sure that a couple of miles won't kill me.

Late last week I sent off my registration for the Wahine All Women's event on August 2nd and today the registrations for the 4th of July run and the North County Wine Run both went out. I'M SO EXCITED!!! Even though the past few days have been iffy, I really am looking forward to starting the training plan for the North County Wine Run (half). There are a couple of other events that we are planning, but I wanted to make sure that I had these three sent in. The next closest one would be the Fairhaven 15k (Bellingham) on September 13. That will be our "destination run" hahaha. Fairhaven is so nice that it will be a nice break from SW Washington.

So, I haven't totally disappeared...just planning and  plotting and getting ready to run again.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

WinningMarriages 5k/10k Event

Tom and I started our day with the WinningMarriages 5k/10 walk or run event at Klineline. This was a  benefit for Marriage Team and this was their 2nd year. I worked to get a team put together - and was able to recruit a few families with the youngest team member being 1 1/2 years old.

I had decided a couple of weeks ago that I would stick with Mary and walk/run the course with her, which happened to be the Salmon Creek Trail. The morning was quite pleasant and there was probably a couple hundred people and Morgan from the Fish (104.1 Portland)

The morning was perfect and we all had a good time together before and after the event. Looking forward to getting a team together next year and maybe running more of the course with Mary.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

New Toys

I posted about a couple of new things that I got...go HERE

So, I had BOTH during the Vancouver half this past Sunday. How did it go?

Well, the watch was easy, just start and go...or so I thought. Once I figured out during a walk break that I could change it from elapsed time to pace to whatever else...I was playing with that as much as possible. That was definitely on my mind A LOT. I need to figure out what I would prefer to see and make it a default (at least I think I can do that). Gotta get serious about no distractions! I can see how the avg. pace will be helpful during my training runs, so I'll have to see if that is something that I can set as my default...

I figured out that I should have trained with the hydration belt on the last two runs while wearing my skirt. I fidgeted with that until we got past Wintler Park. My skirt was riding up...twisting around...popping out underneath the belt...all of those things. Okay, lesson learned - definitely going to figure out the belt WITH the skirt by training with it during our long runs for the next half marathon we do.

The other thing that I'm thinking I might add would be the iPod...a little music wouldn't be a bad thing. Something to help me not focus so much on my discomfort. The little ache in my foot...can't breathe...oop, calf is hurting...etc.

In the end the thing that I am working for is this:

Race Bling AND bragging rights! Oh...and a PR...that's nice too :)

Vancouver USA Half Marathon

Totally had a blast at my first Vancouver USA Half Marathon! I was so excited to do this race - which is so odd for me, but I figured out that it's because so many good things were in place...

I worked REALLY hard to get better for this race, even through the pain I was having in my neck/shoulder since the beginning of April. I think I might have cut a couple of training runs short or skipped one or two because of that problem, but for the most part I stuck to the plan. We even started to do some Tabata for some strength training. I think we'll keep that in the arsenal, if we are consistent it will totally make a difference!

Our times were good - I now have a PR in my half at a fraction of a second over 3 hours. That's pretty much 10 minutes better than my first half AND on a course that was far more hilly. Crazy! Tom's finish time was 2 hrs 12 min - SO PROUD of him!

I "crammed" with my nutrition - which means that I didn't pay as much attention to it in the earlier weeks until the last couple of weeks. Day of race I got up early and had some breakfast and went back to sleep for a little bit before getting ready to head to Esther Short Park. I was so hyped about racing that I didn't really care that my sleep was on the lighter side.

Anyway, a race is a race and I guess my favorite part of the whole route was going from McLoughlin blvd all the way to 5th Street - without a walk break. I actually probably did a mile and half without psyching myself out and walking. I stopped to walk just to grab a GU and get some drink before starting up again. That took a lot of me telling my legs that I don't have to go fast, I just have to keep going.

The ultimate revelation is that now that we are doing the longer running events, it's about going slow and getting to the end. I see 5k events almost like a sprint anymore - those end so quickly. I think I'm embracing longer distance running (GASP!)

We'll have a nice and easy race coming up on the 4th - our 6th(?) Independence Run in Ridgefield. Then we start training for the North County Wine Run - half marathon in September.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

2014 Vancouver Half Marathon


Saturday, June 14, 2014

New Stuff

In the last couple of weeks I added a couple of pieces of running gear - a hydration belt and a sport watch. Both very cool items, but also fairly new with the watch being quite techie. I'm happy to have added both to my running gear, but I am a little concerned.

First the watch is VERY much a techie toy....

The basic features with BASIC being the operative word: watch, stopwatch, GPS. Features that I understand and for me the GPS function is a bonus and one that creates the rest of the features that this watch offers.

It keeps a history of recent runs, shows your records for several distances, shows your most recent run, lets you dictate whether your intervals are manual or automatic and allows you to tap the screen to "mark" your lap....and more! Holy Cow! If I make through the race tomorrow without tripping over something because I was messing around with the watch I will be VERY happy!

My other item...

After my first half, it was pretty clear to me that I might want to invest in a hydration belt. The first one that we bought was about a month ago and Tom had been using it for our long runs. I think I had it on for a total of two mile...maybe a little more. As you can plainly see it has two bottles (9 oz each) and a good size pocket in between which also has a velcro pocket on the outside. I had fully intended to at least run my last two training runs with this on, but forgot both times. The good thing is that there will be aid stations every couple of miles, so I know I won't be lacking in hydration.

Nothing like going out for my 2nd half marathon with TWO new items. At least the distance won't be much of a mystery, I know how that feels!

Tomorrow is going to be so great - I can feel it!

Big Day is TOMORROW!

This is it, last day of rest before doing the Vancouver USA Half Marathon tomorrow - I'm SO EXCITED!

Why am I so excited? Two reasons really...oh wait THREE...

1. Tom will be running his first half marathon! A challenge that he put out there a while back, I think before his accident a couple of years ago. Which makes this race event so special - running seemed to be the big question after his accident/surgery/recovery. Here we are, two years later and he trained with me for the last 12 weeks to get ready for this event. Okay, so he ran my pace, but that just means that he'll be ready to rock 'n roll tomorrow morning as he'll be running his own race!

Tom and the men after Shamrock 2014
2.  We actually followed the training plan for the past 12 weeks! I might have switched up a run here and there, but for the most part we stuck to the plan and I feel really good!

Last month of training
3. I got my birthday present a few days early - a Nike+ sport watch!! I don't know how Tom knew...hahaha...I only talked about wanting one for like the past couple of months :) Tomorrow is going to be AWESOME! I'll get an accurate time and the accurate distance which will make all my training stats - ACCURATE..hehe. I'm definitely a numbers girl, so this will be fun for me.

This was before I connected and set it up
Bonus Reason:

I have NO pain in my shoulder/neck. This week has been good. Only a little numbness, but other than that nothing. The only thing(s) giving me trouble, as usual, would be my back. Nothing new there.

So, today we'll pick up our packets and I'm going to check out my watch to see what it does. Then rest, Rest, REST!

Race report to come in a day or two.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Future Events

Check out my "Upcoming Events" tab above...I have updated the list to include the events that we are planning to do the rest of this year.

Always looking forward to running something!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Count Down Time

Kinda fell off the face of the blogging earth for a couple of weeks...

photo credit Cafe Press via Pinterest

We are down to our last two training runs Tuesday and Thursday, 2 and 3 miles respectively. The past 11 weeks went so fast! It's hard to imagine that we'll be running the Vancouver Half this coming Sunday - my 2nd half and Tom's first!

We MOSTLY stuck to the plan, I think I ended up skipping 2 maybe 3 training runs and modifying a couple here and there. I may have skipped a long run, for some reason, but I don't remember. I have taken the attitude that if it's not going to happen on one day, take that day off and do the run the next day or whenever. It takes too much energy to beat myself up if I have a super bad run. Which is what happened with our last long run. Got out on Saturday morning, bright and early and realized pretty quickly that my body was not lovin' the whole running action - not that my body loves running anyway, but I knew that it would be rough. Rough for 9 miles. So we looped the neighborhood and 1.34 miles later we were back home and deciding to move on with the day...running errands and doing other miscellaneous stuff. I spent the day resting and hydrating before we went over to our friend's house for a little dinner and games. We were home early (relatively) and in bed by 9:30 I think. Not bad for hanging with our friends! Now that we had postponed the last long run we HAD to do it Sunday morning - before heading out to Worship time. Okaaaay...now I wasn't tired...just on a mission! Get out and run! All went well, I felt much better than Saturday and I focused a lot on doing the things that I continually convince myself that I am not capable of...brain training.

I have a pretty bad negative self talk streak and I really have been trying on the longer runs over the last couple of weeks to tell myself that I CAN do the things that trip me up. Brain training is HARD. For me it's a daily thing. When things go well during my training, then I feel really good about a lot of things...and more importantly, my athletic ability. I think I'm growing ;)

So this week I'm cramming the nutrition tips thing and so we'll see how things go between now and Sunday :) Sunday will be the big test...and motivator to make the nutrition thing a more permanent thing for future running events/races.

While I continue to prepare for Sunday I will be looking forward to my next half marathon. Crazy me - always planning the next challenge before finishing a current challenge!