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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 30, 2015

3 More Runs


I like all of those colored lines!
Yeah, so I have gotten a little too accustomed to sleeping in and little and running later in the day.  So we have been running after I get home from work. Although, I might try to get out early tomorrow since we'll be going to a gathering at a friend's house for New Years. Not gonna lie, I'm a little weary, which has made it hard for me to get overly excited about "suiting" up for a run.

A quick calculation says that with the 2 mile runs that we will do today, tomorrow and on New Year's Day, we will end the challenge with 90 miles logged over 37 days. This is keeping the distances mostly at the 2 mile minimum that we set for ourselves rather than the 1 mile minimum. I would have liked to have done longer runs, but I think that doing 2 and 3 miles was about right. In all honesty, the challenge was fun for the first couple of weeks, then vacation happened and I realized how I liked hanging out more than getting out early in the morning. Then because I let myself get a little complacent, my enthusiasm started to go by the wayside. I am looking forward to a few days off and resting a bit.

Oh well, we can happily say that we did it and starting thinking about the events that we are going to challenge ourselves with in 2016. I am pretty sure that the Runner's World Half is on the menu again. Tom is pretty confident that he can get a better time with better training in the months leading up to the event. Me, well, I know that I can PR my half time there - I could have done it this year if my back wasn't messed up at the end. There is always next time!

If you totally missed out on this running streak check out the article HERE. Apply the same idea for another period of time and just have fun with it!

Feeling accomplished that we didn't quit and we continue to move forward.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Are We There Yet?

Man oh man, I am ready to be done with this challenge. I think I have reached my saturation point. Don't get me wrong, running is still fun, but 27 days in a row and a total of 32 days is a lot. There was the one day I did not run, but we were back out on the road the day after. I hardly can say that was a break.

It has been getting easier to  postpone running thiss past week. I am getting tired. With 5 days to go and running our minimum of 2 miles...I'm pretty sure that we will finish up this challenge. I'll be ready for a break, but it will be a well earned break.

If you ask me if this is something that I will do again,  I would have to think for a moment before saying "Yes." However, I can't guarantee that my yes would be very enthusiastic.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

How Many Days Left??

8 more days until New Years!
We are 29 (or 30) days into this challenge and I am starting to lose my enthusiasm, little by little. A few things come into play here...

  • Last week was a vacation week for me and going from a nice leisurely pace and back into the "grind" is not going well. If I weren't doing this running streak I think I would have been just fine. 
  • My sleep cycle is messed up. Recently I have been waking up between 1 and 1:30 am. Not cool. The good thing is that I do go back to sleep, but some days it takes longer than other days.
  • There was a death within my fire district family - one of our retired members - that has been on my mind - giving me a bit of a heavy heart.
  • We have run 24 days in a row.
All I know is that once I get something in my head and start a challenge of some sort I'm GONNA finish. By the time we get to New Year's we will have logged over 70 miles. How many miles over 70 is an unknown right now. I have had a couple of days that we logged less than 2 miles and I hope to do 3 tomorrow morning and possible 4 or 5 on Saturday. We'll see. All I know is that we have 8 more days to go and then I can say that we did the Runner's World Running Streak challenge. 

BUT...

The positive in the midst of all this running - I have noticed that I'm getting into my rhythm much quicker than before this run streak started and I am feeling more comfortable while running. When I finally replace my shoes - in a few weeks my it will be AWESOME! Despite feeling like not running so early in the morning, I'm feeling VERY positive about how things are going.

Did I mention that we are almost done with this challenge? 

8 days baby!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Shortest Day

It's WINTER! Shortest day today and I'm excited that the days will gradually become lighter over the next few weeks/months.

So this morning I had some mental motivations (I was angry) to get me going and I got me this...


This was actually a negative split morning - yes, I was that unhappy this morning...

First mile was 12:01 and then a difference of  -1.04" WHAAAAT?!

10:57 mile...I'll take it!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Run Streak is Still Alive

I just noticed that one of the red marks doesn't belong!

So I took some time off of work, but not running.

The streak is alive and well and we are 12 runs away from being DONE! We got out everyday though except for this morning. I think I was making my peace with having to go back to work and that is a little bit of a process for me! We'll get out as soon as I arrive home from work before we head over to our friend's house for a little Christmas celebration with our favorite people. We will run the minimum 1 mile distance. That way we won't be terribly late and get to eat a little bit of pizza without too much guilt. Just a little guilt...or NONE AT ALL...Hahaha!!!!

EASY - PEASY!

12 runs left as of this very moment...soon to be 11 left to go!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Daily Double-ish

So, as I reported yesterday Run #15 was postponed until after I arrived home from work. The conditions were mostly perfect with no rain and very little wind. The main difference would be that at 5 or 5:30 in the morning there is very little traffic - 12 hours later there is ALL SORTS of traffic. All over the place!

We don't get out for runs in the evening that often. When we were meeting with Mary that would be around 6 and usually during the spring and summer when it's nice and light out. Last night felt an awful lot like the morning only with more cars. I was feeling not as motivated and we only did one time around the track and just because it would feel wrong not to do 2 miles, we did a trip through Chinook Springs. This time we did the whole loop instead of taking the shortcut out to the main road.

Looks like I went off course!
As you can see from my map, it says I did 1.78 miles, which is not accurate. When we came out of Chinook Springs and made our way up to where we could cross 21st Avenue - there were many cars...just getting in the way. I stopped my watch because I didn't want to let the timer go while we were just standing and waiting to cross the road. Once we did get going again I forgot to restart it and only remembered when we were getting very close to home. So I started it and we were done shortly after. Neat map huh. If I had restarted my watch it would have shown that we ran just over two miles as we do most days. That's the second time in a week that I have forgotten to restart my watch!

I didn't want to run in the evening again so the plan was to go back to running in the morning. Well, that also meant that we are running again after 12 hours and for some reason I was feeling yesterday's run and felt a little tired. I'm glad that we are back into our routine. We'll do a longer run tomorrow morning - hope, hope.

This looks right!
As we were finishing up last night I was thinking about doing daily doubles, I may have thought or said something this morning. I just don't know anymore. This daily running thing is starting to mess with me!

If we really are heading back to PA for the RWHalf I am thinking that I'll attempt the Hat Trick. It's a big thing to take on, but I want to give it a try! Daily Doubles will help out in getting the adequate training in and we wouldn't be running every single day like we are now, but at least I'll get used to running when I'm not necessarily ready to run again. We'll see, anything can happen!

Tomorrow is Day 17 and we are not quite half way through this challenge. It's starting to feel really long. I wonder if that feeling will go away and I start enjoy the running. Hmmmm....

21 more days!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Don't Know Why...There's No Sun Up in the Sky...

Stormy Weather...


Woke up to a lot of wind and rain this morning and not running seemed like the sane choice at the time. The majority of the day has been very windy and very rainy with a report of a tornado touching down in Battle Ground. Don't know if that is what they are calling it officially, but the photos that I have seen suggests that something significant happened right before lunch. Not only was there a tornado like event, there was a lot of thunder...

A LOT!

So, now we are set to run after I arrive home from work which will get us out on the road around 5:30 or 5:45 at the latest. I'll be ready to get out and brave what's left of the rain storms that have been blowing through the Pacific NW.

Check back later for an update - might even be tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How Much Longer?

Daily Grind :)
With the rain as crazy as it has been this week, I decided that doing 2 mile runs would be adequate. I don't like to be out in the rain any longer than I need to. This morning's run started out fine - no rain, but about 3/4 mile into the run it started to rain...and then REALLY started to rain. 

The rain coming down caused me to realize that today is ONLY Day 14. Maybe it feels like we have been this for a long time because it has been raining a lot recently. I don't know...but it feels a lot longer and the thing that gets me - we have 23 more days to go. That seems like a lot for some reason. It's probably the rain. I am starting to really not like the rain and this is our weather for the next few months. 

Tomorrow is another day - hopefully a 3 mile day. The two mile route is getting old....ALL of the two mile routes are getting old - haha!

Okay enough of this already. All this running is making me more than a mediocre runner! 

23 more days!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

There Was a Lull

I wanted to get to 3 miles, but I was happy to be back home regardless.
In the rain this morning and oh man was it somewhat tropical at around 60 degrees! I was out in capris and a long sleeve top, no jacket or gloves.

We got lucky though - the first part of our run, to the traffic light at the high school was mostly rain free. That in itself was refreshing. As we were making our way back to Pinecrest and then down into Shorecrest the rain started to pick up a little.

Our morning routine has changed slightly and we are able to actually get out a little later if desired. We got out around 5:40 or so. I don't know why I didn't think about how many cars would be out, traffic is a little more alive 40 minutes later than our usual start time. I'm not sure how much I like that. We'll try a later start time again tomorrow and then make a final determination.

Day 13 is done, 24 to go.


It's Official!

This is  proof that I am the first place loser...oh hey...I win!
Nothing says loser better than placing 2nd - hahaha
Not sure, but this just might be uglier than my sweater!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Day 12 - Monday Morning Again?!

As I get older it seems that the weekends just zip by very quickly. OR I could be doing a lot of stuff and I only have a couple of days to accomplish that stuff.

While we didn't do a lot of stuff, the stuff that we did took time. Running a race and hunting for a tree on Saturday and me baking a cake. Mmmmm....CAAAKE...

Sunday was worship in the morning and then back home to watch the last quarter of the Seahawks game again the Vikings. Sorry Minnesota - that was not nice of the Hawks...hahaha. The afternoon was spent getting the tree all set up with lights and stuff.

Anyway, stuff was happening and then the day is done just like that - POOF!

This morning came way too quick and I was not well rested so we got out for a two miler this morning. Since I am making two miles the minimum distance to run the route we do normally is getting very old.

This morning I switched it up a little...

Made our way behind the school and then through one of the nearby subdivisions.
There was just enough different to make this a little less boring. However, with all the rain we both had opportunities to make a splash and end up with squishy shoes! Not pleasant, but hey, it happens! I wasn't trying terribly hard to do anything special. What I wanted to do is be done...so, so, WET!

The particular thing about our run today is that I got up and ran. Mostly because we are doing the run streak thing. I am usually one to not want to go out on Monday because we both get a little hyped up during our Small Group time Sunday night. My usual M.O. is to say "Let's run tomorrow..." And we do. Now that we are running everyday, a day off is reserved for illness only and not whineyness.

Still - my running is feeling good and I'm excited about getting to the end of this with at least 74 miles, probably more.

Look at all those lines!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sunday, Day 11

After my BIG 2nd place finish in my age division yesterday,  today was an easy day...hehe. It would have been easy day anyway. As we were heading toward the track I was really aware of how my running seems to be improving. I think that running everyday has helped.

When we got started I noticed the wind. The wind is not my friend. Actually when it is at our backs I LOVE it. Running into the wind - grrrrr! I am trying not to whine - out loud or to myself. I have to endure it, because the wind will happen no matter how I feel. And we are doing a run streak...unless I'm dying we don't skip a day (or another one).

I like being in double digits. I'm feeling somewhat accomplished.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Ugly, ugly...

Post Race Warm Up at Starbucks

This sweatshirt has seen some action!
Today is Day 10 of the STREAK...and we did the Ugly Sweater Run in Ridgefield. The forecast from earlier in the week came true and there was RAIN! The route is the same as the 4th of July run, so there were no surprises. There were a couple of people that I  know there, so that was fun.

The only thing different about today was that Tom ran this one with me. I tried to run as much as possible as I tend to walk a lot on this route. However, since it was raining and not overly warm I thought running more would be best.

In looking at the results...just now...this is surprising for me - 2nd place in my age group!!!! Whaaat...asthma girl with the shorty legs...SECOND place?! Wahoooo!!

I think I need to do the smaller races to place. New goal for 2016 - enter races that don't have many people registered. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday - Day 9 & Last Running Event of 2015

Whew, made it to the weekend! This week has been a little weird. Probably because I was home sick on Monday, but that was only one day. I did have a lot going on at work - and I spent a couple of days still in a fog. All good now though!


We did our Run Streak #9 this morning - 3 miles! It was so good too!! Running has become a lot more enjoyable over the past few weeks. I don't feel awful - maybe once in a while. The amazing thing is that I have enough confidence in my ability now, that I'm not constantly beating myself up when I can't seem to do a specific route. Usually I beat myself up and start thinking I'm a loser which I am - no I'm not...wait..I am...

So, this morning we did the route that has a short-ish steep hill that probably happens in the middle of mile 3. The cool thing is that the route is a slight downhill from where we come out of Brook Run which makes for a very swift jaunt to where we go down to the foot bridge and back up to the corner of 149th Street & 21st Ave. There has only been one time that I actually ran the entire route, but haven't done it since. Well, maybe once, but I don't recall. Anyway, I like this route, but I usually have to walk a little bit after we get to the corner and start heading toward home.

This year was a good year for events. We didn't do too many, but the ones that we did do were quality events. My goal was 3 Halfs, the Independence Run which is the event that we are "streaking" and a couple of other events just for fun. My favorite overall would have to be the Runner's World Half. There aren't enough ways to say how utterly amazing that experience was. It was very, very inspiring!

Tomorrow we will be doing the Ugly Sweater run in Ridgefield. I really like the hometown feel of the Independence Run I can imagine that this will be just as homey. It's close to home and we are good to go with our ugly attire!

We'll see how things go in the morning - this will be a fun way to kick off our Christmas activities as we'll be tree hunting with some friends in the afternoon.

Christmas will be here before we know it! Glad that I am running my way through the month!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Rainy Morning Running

I know, so boring...same old thing, different day! I'm working on being consistent. With running and with my posting here in this space. 

When I get busy, I don't sit down to post. However, I have a little down time right now, so I'm going to get this posted all quick like.

Today's split was 12:12 per mile!
Yesterday I was all about feeling better and getting out for our minimum of two miles and then wanting to do three this morning. within the first couple hundred feet I was feeling SO cold! The temperature was a little more than yesterday, but it was also raining and there was just a little bit of wind. I felt chilled right away and it lasted for a good long while! Can't complain too much as the temps were in the 20s last week, dry and cold - I like it!

One reason for only doing two was the fact that I was cold. The other was that I wanted to make sure that I could do our two mile route without taking a walk break. As always, I'm the queen of stopping no matter what the reason. I know that walking isn't a bad thing, but my mind says that I'm a runner and I need to keep running! Sure I talk big now...we'll see what happens tomorrow. One of these days I'm not going to have these unattainable standards for myself. I'll have to be the more than mediocre runner that I am and be cool with that. Actually, I think I do okay, but...I could always do better.

Now that my brief illness is mostly gone, I'm excited about this running streak. I think I was before too, but the one day off made me realize that I really wanted to run. In fact, I thought that if I didn't feel horrible at the end of the day on Monday - we should get out and do at least one mile. I may have fallen asleep for a little while before Tom came home. Maybe that was a silly idea.

The reality of this running streak is that even if we run two miles every single day through new year's day I'll be quite happy about it. I just don't want to go through the holidays feeling like a slug. Eating too much food and then feeling like I need to make an extra effort with running. Especially if we were to keep running 3-4 days a week.

I would hope that running everyday would result in being active more than 3x this week


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Day 7 - Almost 100%

Today was an easy 2 miles which was what I was hoping for. It appears that this route is getting easier these days. Even with a brief walk break there was a negative split at the end of it all.

Tomorrow we'll do three and then I will propose 4 on Friday. Saturday is the Ugly Sweater Run in Ridgefield.

I think I would have been more bummed out if my stomach bug were to hit a couple of weeks into this streak. Instead, having done less than a week it didn't seem like a big deal. Not to me anyway. Things like this will help keep this goal in perspective. It wouldn't be the end of the world if we weren't able to make it happen. There is always next time.

#RWRunStreak baby!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Got a Little Sick...

This was my slowest average in a while - not gonna beat myself up.
For the first time in a very long time, I called in sick to work. It was finally my turn to get sick. Stomach flu bug finally landed on me and caused all sorts of not so fun stuff. Which really resulted in me becoming very dehydrated and not really interested in eating or drinking anything for fear that it might not want to stay in my body. I am better now, but not 100%

This morning we did get out and do the minimum of 1 mile though. However, since I didn't feel like drinking or eating much yesterday it was the worst mile I have run in a long time. Today I'm working at hydrating better and actually ate today. My hope is that my average will be better than what I ran this morning. Not bad, but also not in keeping with the times that I have been posting this past week.

Tomorrow is another day and I am planning on our minimum of 2 miles. I don't think that I'll push it, but who knows. I've been known to do that. Especially if I am feeling good; so I guess I hope that I don't feel THAT good. Just enough to be satisfied with my minimum standards for this running streak.

And the Running Streak continues!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

RWRunStreak - Day 2

It's Day 2 for us, but most like day one for others. I  was just thinking that this is a really good time to start this - I  am off work until Monday and the long weekend will help my mind get in sync with the routine.

This morning I have already experienced a cramp in my calf which is now sore. No doubt a way for my body to get my brain to not run.

My brain will win!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

2015 #RWRunStreak

Okay, so we started a day early. That is only because I didn't wake up very well yesterday and didn't get out to run. Soooo....the streak started this morning.

We just did and easy two miles, BUT easy is never the reality. This was the first run of the week and I have this habit of going almost all out the first run of the week. Today was an all out day because I felt REALLY good!

I guess the easy part was the distance - just two. The not so easy part - running the negative split. This is something that I have only tried while running my two mile route. Once I feel better about stuff I will go for it with my longer runs. Anyway, I was a little motivated once I saw what my time was after my first mile. After the turn around I decided that I would go for it and boy howdy it was AWESOME!!!

Not too bad...
So, for day one of a 38 day running streak I have already managed to go out not so easy. Tomorrow will be easy for sure - maybe.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2015 Holiday Running Streak

I have been aware of this running streak for a little while and it looks like we attempted a streak starting in mid January 2014. I think I may have been sick which delayed the start, but I am not sure why we did NOT do this during the suggested holiday period. It was a suggested time period mind you.

So in looking back on my log that I keep on the Running Ahead website this is what that particular streak look liked:

January 13-31
February 1-7 then 4 days of snow
February 12-28
March 1-2 the streak ended because we did a race and it was painful...hehehe.

So, not bad really.

Now that we have had a chance to experience the Runner's World Half and I have been totally jazzed about that - it's fading a little, but still in the background - I'm ready to attempt this challenge this year.

We did our last run on Saturday morning and it was so GOOD! I'm happy, happy. I decided that since we are going to do this we should switch up the days so that we end up actually starting on the right day, Thanksgiving morning.

So far since the RW Half I have been feeling really good when we get out. The exception would be the one day that it was windy. I'm not a fan of wind. Ironically, the one bad day that we have and I decide that we should do a mini running streak and ran 6 days in a row; Tom did 7. Another excellent week of running!!!

Since things are going so good, my attitude will be focus on the day we run and not the following days. Don't need to worry about what hasn't happened yet!

This makes it look like I haven't been running - I have I promise!
Here's to staying healthy and not getting sick or injured. Running tomorrow and then day off until THURSDAY!!!

Go HERE to find out more of this thing called a running streak.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

This, That and the other Thing

It's been more than a couple of weeks since I last posted here and actually did have a couple of posts started. Life has been happening and I've not been sitting down in front of the computer at home unless I'm plugging in my sport watch to upload my latest run.

SLACKER!

In looking back at the posts that I have started I can see why I haven't posted - I have not been terribly inspired. So here is a sampling of some of the things that I have been thinking about and/or doing since Runner's World -

During my last run that happened on a weekend it was crazy windy and I was unhappy! Because I was so unhappy with that run I decided that we needed to do a running streak and run 7 days in a row. Game on! We ran two and three miles on alternating days, nothing that would be over-taxing. Things went REALLY well until we got to Saturday and it was another crazy windy day. Maybe even more windy than the previous weekend run. So I decided that I was out. Since I'm in the business of not beating myself up anymore I decided that I would just run on Sunday morning instead, but the migraine happened instead.

Running Streak is at 6 days now. We'll be tackling a much longer streak starting on Thanksgiving and going all the way to New Year's day. This is something that we have kind of tried to do in years past, but something (usually me) sidelines us. I am determined though, so we'll see what happens.

Another thing that we (Tom) has been trying is KT Tape


When I was having some  issues with my knee (not related to running, but flared up because I was running) I thought that maybe trying out the tape during the day would be helpful. Of course after I placed the order, my knee decided to get better, but Tom still has issues with his back so he has been trying it out. The jury is still out. Not sure that I am actually applying it correctly each time, but at least we are trying and his back doesn't seem to be getting worse. Go HERE to check ou the KT Tape website. Also, a FYI if you want to try this out I ended up purchasing from Amazon which was $6 less than the suggested retail price at Target. A better deal since we are still not convinced.

Race photos - yeah...don't we just love those?! I don't get how the people who take the "official" race photos manage to stay in business as most of the photos that I have seen of myself while participating in an event are usually terrible! Sure there is the random good pic that is worthy of sharing, but more often than not...they are terrible!

I would include a couple of photos here to show how bad bad is, but I tend not want to save the bad ones...so here are a not so bad ones...

2015 Shamrock
2015 Shamrock
2015 Runner's World Half & Festival
Can't believe that these are from a professional photography group...but hey, I look alright...hahaha...

Yep, these were some of the things that I had waiting to be finished and posted all rolled into one post.

Get out and move!





Friday, October 30, 2015

What I Have Learned

The Course Strategy Session
It has been two weeks since we have been in PA for the BIG event put on by Runner's World and I miss it! This isn't going to be about why I miss it, this is going to be about what I have figured out about runners as a whole. 

Overall, all the people that we enountered from the back of the pack runners (me) to the much faster elite runner (Deena Kastor) and every type in between - I figured out that runners are very encouraging and a cheerleader for just about anyone! 

That's what I love about running - runners know what it takes to do any distance. Whether it's a 5k or a full marathon. Every distance is a victory no matter who you are. Especially if you are a beginning runner. It is a huuuge accomplishment. 

So, my take away from the Runner's World event is that runners are seriously cool people and hey we like other people who run. 

I guess that makes me a cool people...hehehe....




Saturday, October 24, 2015

Back at it...I've adjusted to Pacific time!

A couple of more bibs for the garage
This week has been a tiring week - stuck on eastern time since returning home Tuesday afternoon and waking up at hours when I should be fast asleep. Earlier this week I thought that I would try to get out and run on Thursday, but that didn't happen as I was still up at 2:15 and in no mood to actually put on running clothes and go out in the dark of the morning, by myself.

That morning, after my second cup of coffee at a local coffee spot, I had little more clarity I settled on running Saturday (today) if I happened to wake up at a reasonable time and felt good.

I WIN!

Ended up waking up around my regular weekday wake up time and once I had fully woken up, felt pretty good. Cup of coffee was downed and we went out for an easy 3 miler. 

Our route was truly flat and I was able to actually run the whole thing without the obligatory walking break - yay me. I must still be feeling the affects of the Runner's World vibe that we experienced all last weekend - it was a glorious thing! Tom opted to leave the knuckle lights at home, so I was a little concerned as we passed through one very dark section, unsure if there would be a rogue walnut ready to make my ankle roll. NOPE! Didn't find anything out or back, awesome! 

Now that we have done our first run since RW - I plan to start to doing the things that will make me a better runner (so it has been said) - stretching, weight bearing strength training, cross training etc.

We'll see how things go over the next few weeks - Hot Buttered Run is out they switched things up and are offering a Half in place of the 12k. I'm not in the mood to do another half and a 5k just isn't long enough, that's just a training run! We have decided to do the Turkey Trot 10k. That should be a fun one, it's practically in our back yard on the Salmon Creek Trail. 






Friday, October 23, 2015

Going Mobile

Since I  have been on vacation this week I have been playing around on blogger...race "report", cleaning up stuff and changing up the look of my blog. At one point I saw that I could get the blogger app on my phone. I  had already tried the app on my kindle and it wasn't that good.

What the heck - I'll try this out.

So, this is my first post using my phone. Tricksey, I know. This will take some getting used to. This may be the only post. We'll see I guess.

It's  good to try new things!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hitting the Road Again?

This week has been kind of a mixed bag of stuff. We started the week in Pennsylvania and here we are a couple of days later all settled back at home. I'm in transition as I continue to wake up according to Eastern Time which is the only thing hanging on as a reminder that we went to a place far away from home.

Tomorrow is my last day of vacation and I do not plan to run. I am entertaining the thought of running on Saturday, but I am not convinced yet. The day that I wake up at my usual early time and not PA time, I'll know that I'm all rested up for real and ready to hit the road again.

For now I will enjoy being at home, having coffee with friends and getting out only when needed.

Lazy can be good.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Runner's World Half & Festival

I have been a subscriber to Runner's World Magazine for quite awhile. I don't exactly remember how long I have been getting this magazine, but I know it has been a while. I love everything about the magazine and with the more recent changes to the format of the mag I think I might love it even more. There are so many inspiring stories and tips on how to improve running, strength...nutrition etc.

Every month when the latest issue arrives the first thing that I read would be the Letter from the Editor and the next thing would be the last page which is where the "I'm a Runner" is usually found. The editor David Willey has such great insight of all things running and it is plain to see when you read his letter. I like that the I'm a Runner section is usually someone who has some celebrity, but is not an "elite." These people usually are made up of actors, politicians and other known people who happen to run. Always a good read.

So last Christmas when Tom and I were thinking up something that we would like to do as a destination run the Runner's World Half came to mind, it took a couple of days, but it finally popped into my head. I wasn't sure that Tom would actually go for it - it IS somewhat extravagant and would require some planning. I was a little surprised that he said, "Yeah, we could do that" that I almost couldn't hardly believe it. 

After a couple of months of wondering if this would actually happen and after a few dropped hint here and there, Tom registered the both of us for the event. Me for the half and he for the Hat Trick. WoW!

Okay, so we ARE going to do this! 

Since then I just went along and did my thing and trained for the events that we had already committed to and others that just kind of "showed" up because they were cool. This year's events were basically the same as the previous year(s) and the idea that we would travel someplace distant felt a little exotic.

Fast forward a few months to October...

Now it's travel time! So my training kind of went sideways leading up to when we would be traveling. I didn't let that bother me as I had enough confidence within me to say that I could do it. Also, I think back to when we did the North Country Wine Run - a half - which was THE hardest thing that I had done up until that point. Even the triathlons and duathlons seemed easy by comparison! Want to relive that race go HERE. We left Vancouver the Wednesday before the event to give ourselves a couple of days to acclimate and get into a little bit of a groove before race day. Tom's races would start on Saturday while I could slum until Sunday. 

Our travel to the event was a little messed up and it was good that we arrived a few days early as we definitely needed Thursday to rest up after a very long day of traveling and I do mean long, but that's a different story altogether. 

Since the event would be held at the Bethlehem Steel campus we had to make a trip to check it out before the weekend. Mind you, I am in no way interested in industrial stuff, but this was pretty cool - again, a different story.
Bethlehem Steel
Saturday, Race Day #1

Tom's first race started at 8am. We arrived around 6:30 to do packet pick-up and to get Tom ready to race. According to the schedule there was to be a warm up session somewhere, but we either missed it or it didn't happen. Tom ended up doing his own warm up which also included standing in the sun. It was COLD on Saturday! 

The national anthem was sung by the Lehigh University choral group and then the race was started. As it was a 5k I waited for Tom at the finish.

Kinda got a shot of Tom at the start
Finishing Strong
Race #1 DONE
 10k Race was up next at 9:30a which was an hour wait time for this one - just enough time for runners to cool down and then have to start running again. This course was a little more hilly (I think) than the 5k, therefore making it slightly more challenging.
Done for the day! 
We spent the whole day on Saturday at the Festival - races for Tom and seminars in the afternoon. We did take a walk to look for some food, which took us a few blocks away from the venue, but it was kind of nice to be away from the crowds.

The seminars were free and since I wanted to go to these, I signed us up for My Life on the Run with Bart Yasso and the Half Marathon Strategy session. That Bart Yasso is an interesting character - so if you happen to do the Vancouver USA Marathon - make the effort to meet him...he's awesome! Here is me 'n Bart...
Yup, I'm a goober!
The last thing for the evening was the dinner with the editors - Tom picked a table that was being occupied by 4 other women, thus making himself the only guy. These ladies were seriously funny about running and the event and just life in general - runners, yeah...kinda fun people. We all joked about wanting more food to show up at our table and when the RW editor at our table said don't be shy get more food we ALL got up, nearly at the same time - hahaha.

Our day was long and we were both pretty tired so we decided to start making our way out of there after David Willey, Deena Kastor and Bart Yasso were done with their "welcome" presentation. BUT - before we left, I saw that the editor, David Willey was not yet seated, so I made a bee-line over to him to meet him and chat with him for a minute or so. Such a nice guy! So humble and personable. I don't know why I tend to think that people whose letters or articles you read on a monthly basis would be unapproachable...well, this guy was seriously cool. Glad that I got brave and got to meet him!

Yup, still a goober!
Yeah, so a pretty great day overall! Which helped me get excited for the next day - even with all of my mediocre training I was ready to hit the road and do what we traveled all the way to Pennsylvania for. Half Marathon #6.

Sunday, Race Day #2

We were up early to get ready for the day. Made it to Bethlehem Steel by 6:30a and started to WAIT. We arrived early to park in the lot that was free and fairly close to the ArtsQuest Center. The only trick to this was that we would not be allowed to leave the lot until after 11:30a. Which is when the roads would be reopened to traffic.Which was no problem because someone is pretty slow...hehehe.

I decided to try to stick with a pace group and did alright for more than a couple of miles, then the hills happened and my confidence plummeted (I need to work on hills - I know not a new thing). Once we got to the first significant hill, I decided that the pace group would be too much for me to hang with. He would be continually running...I would not. 

Plan B - keep moving as swiftly as possible. Which I was able to, lots of walking, but plenty of running too. That in itself is improvement, so I'm happy about that. The flat as a pancake (but Bart likes blueberries) route was not as horrible as I thought it would be...ahh, more improvement! However, about half way through, the wind started up and I was getting annoyed. I have not made friends with the wind, it would be easier for me to like hills first! 

As I kept moving along I started to think that I would be able to PR at this event - a sub-3 hour half would be cool! My body had other ideas and between mile 10 and 11 - I landed wrong or something and my lower back just got angry. Every time I tried to run, the pain was VERY evident and I was really annoyed. Once I had made the turn to go across the bridge that leads back to where we started, I was walking. Very briskly and very disappointed. No PR this time - waaah. After another mile or so I made my peace with having to walk the last part and just kept chugging along. I held it together long enough to start running again by the time the pavement turned to brick and I ran through the finish. We do not walk through the finish arch - EVER. 

In the end I'm still pretty happy with my time - 3:08:25. If I were able to run a PR would have happened. Oh well, there is always Vancouver USA Half next June! That helps and so does a nice shiny medal at the end. 
#6
The day ended with us returning to the house we were staying at and getting cleaned up and resting during the afternoon. I don't even remember what was on the dinner menu - I was that tired and out of it. Being old and traveling to a different time zone will do that! Okay, well I'm not old...just the time zone thing is goofy.

Anyone who is a runner needs to experience this event. Everything about it is so fantastic! The whole weekend was very inspiring and makes me want to continue working on becoming a better runner.

Oh and just in case anyone is wondering Tom's combined time for all three events was: 

Placed 300 - Time 4:14:48 
9044   Thomas Bennett  M 55 TO 59  00:29:57 5K 
29044 Thomas Bennett  M 55 TO 59  01:05:56 10K 
39044 Thomas Bennett  M 55 TO 59  02:38:55 Half

Monday, August 31, 2015

Happy Feet - Happy Heart!






I have been running happily since Wahine! I don't know what has been going on, but I'm not going to say anything for fear that this running goodness will go away.

It must be my Brooks Glycerin shoes! That's all I can figure. 

August Training is DONE

August final mileage - 67 miles!
August is DONE! Started the month with the Wahine All Womens event @ Blue Lake on the 1st. We have been training ever since. We are done with week 4 of our RW Half Marathon training and continuing on by starting week 5.

So far training has been going well. I think we have missed a couple of runs, but overall, I'm feeling pretty decent and haven't been beating myself up about not running a certain distance or whatever. Ended up missing a couple of training runs for this, that or the other thing - probably me falling asleep again after waking up early to get ready to run. Sometimes that happens...

As of today we are 46 days away from the event and 42 days until we take off.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Is It the Race or the Bling?


Am I into this running thing because it's a fun activity or is it because I like shiny things?

I wanted a photo of my half medals...mission accomplished!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Ups and Downs


I am very well acquainted with Ups and Downs.
I have gotten to the point that now I have to NOT beat myself up when the bad days come...because then those days just get worse.
It's not pretty.

For now I'm feeling pretty good about running and life in general.

63 days until the RW Half Marathon.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Wahine!

Oh Yeah Baby! Wahine is DONE!!!

Back in transition and changed into my event shirt! I EARNED it!
This year was my "re-entry" into multi-sport...yeah, I did this one as a relay, but it was hot and I think I would have died to do all 3 legs on my own ;) Me 'n Mary teamed up...with almost NO training for me on the bike and Mary did a little bit of cycling, walking and some running in the last few weeks - yay for Mare! It's a good thing that I run pretty regularly - otherwise the day would have been a disaster.

We (I) decided that I would do Run #1 and the Bike. Okay...not too bad except for the heat of the morning of the hottest summer on record in the PNW! So, as per usual, I started the run too fast...but not so much that I died within the first half mile. Once I hit the trail I could REALLY feel the heat - UGH! I did a fair amount of walking, but I did manage to run quite a bit. Probably a little more than at past All Women's.

The best part of the run, hands down, would be all the teen volunteers young ladies and the guys. They kept things pretty lively out on the course and when there is fun stuff happening, then that makes me smile and happy thoughts make for better running. That and the fact that on my way back I was heading away from the sun and back toward the shade of the park!

Once I had returned to transition it took me less than 4 minutes to switch out shoes and get my helmet on and get out on the bike course. THIS was much better than the bike course from a few years ago. The last time I did the bike course at Blue Lake would be the Stumptown Tri-It. It seemed like the athletes had to run quite a ways before getting to the pavement to mount the bike - that was horrible! Now it was basically outside of the transition area just a few strides away.

The bike course was different than the last time I had been out at Blue Lake, basically a less than 6 mile loop that riders would do twice. I like the out and back course, but no one asked me so once I figured out what was happening I couldn't protest. At the beginning I was remembering how much I enjoyed being on my bike and felt REALLY good. After the first time through I still felt pretty good, but then started to feel a little pain...no padding between me and the saddle...ugh! Note to self, always wear the padded underwears when riding during a duathlon! At the first turn around (the second time through) I spied another rider that was probably about a 1/4 mile ahead of me - and I told myself that I could catch her and pass. Man oh Man, she was moving along!! I thought that maybe by the time we reached the last turn around I could catch her then. THAT would have been a great thing, BUT she dropped her water bottle....OH YEAH!!! It's awful, but I could feel the competitive side of me coming back. Seriously good times on my bike!

So, bike leg is done and I arrive back in transition and tagged Mary out for her run. She would have to write this part, but this is my blog...so I'm gonna say that she was miserable and hot...BUT she did it! Once we got some fluids into her and got her cooled down in the shade she smiled and said it was fun!

My love for multisport is creeping back in and I'm thinking that I want to do the Spring Classic Duathlon next year. I have been  wanting to do that one for quite a while. If I stick to what I say and NOT do the Shamrock I will be devoting my training to preparing for that event for sure. The only thing that would get in the way would be: a) serious illness b) serious injury c) Shamrock comes up with something new.

I so appreciate my hubby for hanging out in the heat with no place to sit down while I was out on the course and when Mary was checking stuff out. I am proud of my new Du partner for having the adventurous spirit to try it out. Next year she'll do the bike portion! My running has improved since the last Duathlon, so I think that I could hammer out two runs no problem!

Team Felida

2015 BLING




Team Felida overall time 2:26:58

Run #1 - 42:34
Bike - 46:35
Run #2 53:14

Had we stayed we would have gotten our Team Division medal for First Place - which wasn't hard to do as we were the only team. That also meant that we would have gotten  the Overall Team award!

Sometimes being the only team pays off...PODIUM!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Another Year...



another age group.

It's not like I am all that great in all that I do, but I feel like at some point, there won't be many people in my age group as I get older. At 50 I think that the hopes of actually placing in my age group will still have to wait until I'm WAY older than I am now...

Example: for my most recent race I would have to be in my 70s to place...and it would be an automatic win as there were no 70-ish aged women who were running - THIS year. With my luck, once I reach that age group there will be all sorts of other 70-ish aged women "running."

Sigh...

Back At It!

Nine days of no running and this morning was GLORIOUS!! I had to work at it just a little, but this morning was GOOD! Seriously, I was happy to get out and I was pretty happy when we got back home. It will still take a little work, but at least I have had a bit of a break and I really enjoyed being out early again.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What? Why do people do...???


The smiley face of a non-runner
A couple of months ago, as usual, we were out early...for a run. As we were passing the elementary school we passed a man who was walking, in the same direction as we were heading. After a few seconds I heard this man declare that he hates running.

Ooookaaaay...

WHY do people feel that they need to say anything at all? I just don't get it. I wasn't looking for any commentary or anything. Just out for a run because it's been a while since I had a decent run, don't mess with my mojo dude.

So, just because I couldn't let that be the last word I yelled back "Well, somebody has to!"

Whatever.

Another thing that happens is the occasional person who will talk about how bad running is for your knees/feet/body once they find out that I run. Interesting, I don't suffer from any particular ailments because I run. I might have pain because something is not right somewhere else in my body. Whether it's my lack of strength which equals lack of support in certain areas or if I'm dealing with some stressful stuff which can show up just about ANYWHERE in my body because the stress has to go somewhere, right?

If you don't like running and I do and it's the first time we are meeting - please don't try to justify why you don't run....I'm not going to convince you to run.

Okay, enough said.

What's Up?!

REST

Oh to sit like an elephant
During our last run which was last Friday I made a realization that running was becoming more of a chore and took more effort than it had in the past. This feeling has been building for a little while. Probably since we decided to bump up the intensity of our training and started running a few more miles during the week than we are to in our previous training plans.

Leading up to the Vancouver USA Half, I was questioning how prepared or unprepared I felt. I know that attitude is everything and that a bad attitude can affect a person's running. Well, my running had been affected as I had been feeling very iffy about my ability in the couple of weeks before our second half for the year. I am REALLY good at negative self talk and there were a couple of things that had been weighing heavy on my mind and heart that made running not terribly enjoyable.

So, after doing the VUM Half we took a few days off and then started up again...slow and steady and looking forward to our favorite local 5k in Ridgefield. While I enjoyed the race very much I wasn't really looking forward to starting training again which bring us to our last run last week on Friday morning.

During that run I decided that a rest would be probably do me good. Mentally and physically, but mostly mentally. I freely admit that I beat myself up more than I should and that I feel like my standards for my training runs are becoming unattainable. Not a very good combination.

This past Saturday we started our rest week which will actually last through this coming Sunday. I have to say that I have enjoyed not running, but at the same time am looking forward to getting back out on the road again. We haven't totally abandoned any activity - the week started off with a walk around the "neighborhood" and then we did some crossfit at home. I poo-poo crossfit (not out loud), but we tried it out once - I think I'll go back to Tabata since I can get more short rests in than with Crossfit where rest is okay, but the goal is to do the work out which happened to be as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes. While I didn't die in the process I DID question why I decided put myself through that whole routine. Yeah, definitely more Tabata tomorrow.

WHAT'S NEXT?
2015 Bling for Wahine
The next event that I am registered for is the Wahine All Women's Tri & Du coming up on August 1st. Last year I did the Hula Girl 5k along with some of my peeps and it was fun to get back out to Blue Lake - I've missed it! This year, I was able to encourage my friend Mary to partner with me to do the Sprint Duathlon. I will do run #1 and the bike and Mary will finish up with the 2nd run. I haven't been out on my bike for a couple of months. That will be on my agenda in the next week or so...I should get out at least ONE time. I need to check out my Trek anyway...maybe lube the chain up and make sure that the aerobars are still where they should be. What I should do is practice my transition from running shoes to my cycling shoes...it might be a little slow.

I'm excited! All Women's is always a fun one. All the participants are so friendly and encouraging....so at least I won't feel like a huge loser!

Here's to a few more days of rest and then hitting the road again on foot and on two wheels.

HALF MARATHON - more training

this is NOT my training plan...just a representation of what is to come :)
For someone who is tired and weary...training plans are never far away from my mind. I have the next training plan all ready to start the Monday after Wahine...so I DO miss this running stuff - HA! We'll be training for our 3rd and final Half Marathon for this year. It's going to be EPIC! I'm excited because we'll be going across the US to Pennsylvania! I've NEVER been to Pennsylvania...more to come on how the training for that goes.

Get out there and move or stay in and rest...only you know what your body needs. Right now my body needs rest, but I'm almost ready to go again!