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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.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

It's Been A While

I've needed to rest. A lot.


Logged the least amount of miles this year...EVER. It felt like every run took too much effort just to get going. I have to say that in the past couple of years we did do quite a bit of training for events and actually doing those events. This year is the first time that I had to not do an event and decide to switch from one distance to a shorter one. And struggling on others ones.

Yup - running has been not so great this year. I tried really hard to not beat myself up...I'm not a loser, I'm not a loser...

Indeed I am not.

Still though, in the last couple of months I have been trying to do something and at the same time not really doing much. Nike+ has been so frustrating and that just makes me want to scream. Sometimes I do! With my lack of motivation I'm surprised we got out and did anything at all!

Last week we got out to walk a couple of days and during those times we discussed what our goals might be for 2017. I've got Multisport on the brain for sure - so I am thinking of doing the Blue Lake event in June. We'll need to research that first - I think some of the event distances have changed. I also want to do a half somewhere in there. Maybe Vancouver USA now that the date has been changed to sometime in mid-September.

In the end, I have been paying attention to what my body is "saying" and actually has probably been SCREAMING all year...just slow down and REST! So I have and done the least amount possible, but still doing a little bit of something.

The next event that we will do is a fun one - we'll stay local and do the Ugly Christmas Sweater run in Ridgefield. Not only is it local, it's low-key and totally family friendly. AND with not as many participants placing in your age division is a possibility! Go HERE for that race report.

What have I learned? Hard to say, but I know that I need to take better care of myself and not push so much.

Those medals are awfully pretty and I just want to keep adding more to the collection.







Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Dropped Off...

I kind of lost all enthusiasm for running after my last race in July....well, the last big race.
See Jane Run Bling

That was See Jane Run which I did not enjoy one bit. Go here to check it out. I do not wish to re-live that one.

Decent pic from See Jane Run!
Another thing that is happening or not happening would be the Runner's World Half & Festival. About a month ago it became very clear that I am not going to be ready to do any big events anytime soon. Let alone a Hat Trick. Tom and I talked about it and he could see how I was not feeling so great about this event and agreed that we would skip it this year and look to going sometime in the future.

This year just did not start out well and here we are in October (?!) and the last month ended with low mileage. So, I am realizing that this is definitely a down year for me. It had to happen sometime I guess. My running is better than the average person, but still not great. Just as long as I get out and try and do something I usually don't feel so bad about myself. I always think that I might add some sort of strength training or whatever to help things along, but when we don't have a training run I am more than happy to hang out and drink coffee and catch up with Words with Friends on the kindle.

Consolation prize for dropping down to the 5k
I should have known that the year would not go well. I missed the first race that I signed up for in March - can't remember if it was a 5k or 12k. Either way, I ended up a little under the weather. Enough to know better and not  push it. Event #2 was a few weeks later and was the Hop Hop Half in Portland. Since my running was already derailed because of a little illness I made the decision to do the 5k instead of the half. On top of that Tom was home sick this time. So I decided it would be best to do the easy race and head home.

Home Town Goodness

The race that I did do in which I didn't feel like a major loser would be the Vancouver USA Half Marathon. Even though I didn't have enough training for this race this year, I didn't feel horrible. There is a big ol' hill around mile five and a half and I was pretty proud of myself because I actually ran more of that hill this year than I did last year!! I had Tom with me to motivate me a bit too. So that's my happy moment of that day. The rest of that route isn't too bad, but I did start having spasms in my calf. Fortunately they were not bad and once we reach Evergreen Blvd and the last hill was all done, it was easy-peasy to the finish. AND I finally passed a woman that we could not shake for the previous couple of miles...pretty much left her in the dust Wahoo!

Race for the Homeless

The other race that was pretty fun and easy to boot, was the Race for the Homeless. A charity run for a local shelter here in Vancouver. The race was being put on by a local church and 100% of the race fees were designated to Open House Ministries. The 5k route was basically the same out and back route that we have done in other races so we knew exactly what to expect. It was a fun morning and we actually saw some of "our" people that we were able to get to commit to the event which made for a fun morning.

So, now we currently have nothing scheduled, but are planning to run Hot Buttered Run the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Always a good race! Another run that we might do, the Ugly Sweater Run in Ridgefield. It might be one of those things that we have to decide on ONE event. Don't want to over extend ourselves now...

What's on the agenda for 2017? Well, I have been intrigued with doing some sort of series and I think I have the perfect one already picked out. The Oregon Half Marathon series which is organized and put on by Uberthons. The races are Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. I think the timing of the events will still allow us to do shorter races in between the big races. As excited as I was about the idea of doing the Hat Trick in PA this month, I think am more excited for this series. I am really looking forward to tackling 4 separate races in the series and adding to the hardware collection!

Until then my mantra for the rest of the year...

"I will not beat myself up. I am not a loser" 

Now go run and repeat mantra all the way until it sticks!

Monday, July 18, 2016

It's Time To Get Serious!

We are less than 3 months away from traveling to Pennsylvania again and participating in the Runner's World Half & Festival...YIKES! It's crazy to think that fall is just around the corner - Summer has barely arrived and the weather still makes it feel like spring around here.

My running has been WAY off. Had some set-backs and all around disappointing results from my efforts to get out and run. I'm down miles and I am STILL running in the shoes that I got in January. With my mostly mediocre training I usually end up replacing my shoes after they reach around 300 miles maybe a little more. 

The last race was a partial disappointment in that I did not run as much as I wanted to, but at least I finished. Fortunately, See Jane Run was the last BIG event for me - so now we can focus on preparing for the Hat Trick in October.

That's right...we are both going to do the Hat Trick! I realized last year that there were plenty of other average runners who might have a little more training (not necessarily better) - that could be ME! I thought about it for a day or so and then made the decision to actually just do it. 

AAAAAHHHHH.....

Okay...back to work for the both of us! I took a week off...kind of. I got out when Tom wanted to go to the track on Monday. I walked all the way to the track walked a couple of laps and then tried to run one and then walked home. Probably not the best decision to get out the day after. THEN we got out again on Wednesday where I actually did a fair amount of running, just not pushing it so much. My Saturday run was pretty good. Only 3 walking breaks in 3 miles and a decent pace for having tiredness all over the place. This morning we got out on the bikes and tomorrow is another run day...

I know...boring, boring. 


I'm looking forward to getting into our routine and getting ready for this HUUUUGE challenge. 

Yes. I like a challenge. Because I know that I am capable of things that I put my mind to.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

See Jane Run

Half Marathon Bling #8!

Man, Oh, Man...I knew that this race would be rough - I just didn't anticipate how much so. This race was my second half of the year - should have been my 3rd half, but the first one didn't happen and #2 was okay.

This one...oh man, I was so bummed that I couldn't get enough training in for the first one so that I could do some maintenance type miles for this one. Then I wasn't able to log many miles in the last 3 weeks mostly because I spent time recovering from Vancouver Half and then I spent most of the week before SJR suffering from headaches - boo hoo...NOT.

I know that my plans are not necessarily going to happen the way that I like, so I'm cool with that. What I don't like is when something comes up during a race and I know WHY it's happening, not so cool.

For the first 6 miles I was doing pretty good with running and walking - I felt fairly decent actually. Also, I had remembed to strap on my pouch that I had a stash of shot blocks in and was downing those during my walk breaks along with electrolytes from the aid stations. Yup...doing a decent job and enjoying the morning and then BAM...

Calf Muscle Spasm. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!

It's only mile six for cryin' out loud! So back to walking for this girl. For the next 4 miles I walked most of the time and tried to run now and then. It wasn't meant to be. I made my peace with what was happening and decided  that I would just try to save it all for the end and try to run the last mile in. That was a silly idea! Once I reached the 12 mile mark I was feeling fairly demoralized because I just couldn't get my body to go and just plain tired because I really tried to step lively and I pretty much am not a fan of walking. Walking a mile when the finish is "right around the corner" feels very, very long.

Once I made the turn to go to the path back to the finish I saw Tom was waiting for me. I tried to run a little more, but that was not really an option, my body was rebelling! However, with Tom giving me a little bit of a pep talk...I was able to run the last stretch through the finish. I was sure that it wasn't pretty, but the photos were just posted and I actually looked okay!

While I'm glad that I did this race, it is one that I will not do again. The course was fine, it went around Lake Union and there were some nice views. However, the first 4 miles were basically an out and back course and then went down and around the lake and the last 3 miles was the 5k course - again, out and back. I am not a fan of out and back courses except if it's just a 5k race...then no problem. I feel like on anything longer I'm back-tracking and that's not my favorite thing to do.

There were plenty of volunteers, but I was so far back that it was kind of hard to tell if the person was a volunteer or just another person hanging out. Special shirts would be good for those people...make them stand out a little more! The food was not that great and there were no electrolytes (that I could see) at the finish.

I guess I have been spoiled by Energy events and how they organize races. They are the BEST!

Now I'll have a few more days of rest and then we'll be getting back into training mode. This time for the BIG event this fall!! Runner's World Half & Festival here we come!

Hat Trick Baby!!!


Friday, July 1, 2016

2016 VUM

Yesterday was the big day! All the training - which wasn't that much...wasn't all  for nothing. We finished and I was able to finish fairly strong too.

My running mojo finally kicked in during May. Most of our training runs felt pretty good, but we didn't have enough time to log decent long runs like we should, but we did log more miles in May than in April and definitely more than March. So I'm  okay about that. I know that we'll have to get the longer runs on the weekends in, but fortunately we'll have lots of time to do that for Runner's World in the mean time.

For our first real big race of the year - one that we both are running I was pretty excited. Since this was the first one since the Hop Hop at the end of March I wasn't feeling terribly confident. I know that I should have a better attitude about my abilities, but sometimes I fall back into the old routine of feeling not so good about my running. In the end, I think I did alright - I paced myself quite a bit which in the end made for my slowest half marathon yet at 3:20:01. Now I know what to shoot for at See Jane Run. If I can take 10 minutes off this time I'll be happy. Then I can really focus on making RW my PR!


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

One More Day


So, my training has been REALLY good lately. Just a little later than I would have liked it to kick in though. Seriously, I'm feeling more like myself lately and actually hitting our training runs like a champ! Ahem, if I do say so myself...

First BIG race of the year and I'm gonna do what I always do...run a little...walk a little...run a little...and so on. My goal will be to enjoy the day!

Unlike last year, I will not be helping a fellow runner on their first Half. I am aiming to finish and dream a little on the big side...PR this year. We'll see. Crazier things have happened!

Vancouver USA Half Marathon Baby!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

So Far...

This week has been pretty good. I've definitely gotten my mojo back and I'm tackling things with determination - and asking for help when I want to stop running, big thanks to my Coach/Hubby.

Our total for the week so far is just over 7 miles or 12 if you count Sunday. I'm going to include Sunday because that was the first of 3 consecutive days of running. This girl is tired! The speed work at the track was good. The prescribed workout was 6-9 x 400s I managed 5 at the track, but also counted the first two intervals on the road so that would put me at 7 total. That was a pretty good day! I was happy to have a rest day and an opportunity to sleep a little extra instead of getting out of bed at 4:15 to begin the process.

Today was a tempo run which I have never been very successful at, I like to stop and get a little rest now and then, don't you know. Nike training suggestion - 1.5 to 3 miles, so we went with 2 miles. That was doable in my brain so I woke up this morning not dreading it at least.

From the Nike training plan:

COACH’S INTRO: Tempo Runs are about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. I’d love to define the purpose in a more cuddly bear way, but I can’t. Besides, you are way tougher than you think you are. Now prove me right on the Tempo Run.

There were definitely times of feelin uncomfortable, but I DID IT!! Didn't stop once...I wanted to, but I didn't! I WIN!! And to make things even better mile 2 was slightly faster than mile 1!!! Double Win!!! I don't think that I should let this get to be a big deal in my head otherwise I'll set myself up for a big let down. That's been known to happen. I don't like it.

Overall, I'm feeling SO much better about running. The slump that I was in has passed and I'm not giving myself a hard time for the runs that don't turn out the way I think they should. I am looking forward to the Vancouver USA Half on Father's Day and then doing the See Jane Run Half in Seattle in July. We don't have too many things on the calendar really. This year will be a "laid-back" year I guess. We will be heading to PA again though...so we'll be training, training, training!

BUT - until then...I look forward to sleeping a little extra tomorrow and just doing a light workout. If you want to call planks light that is.
I should do this to my shoes!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Nike+ Run Club


I run with a Nike+ and am a part of the Nike+ Run Club, who knew?!

Since I don't know when (probably since the beginning) I have been receiving emails that have weekly training plans and a spotify playlist. I haven't paid any attention to either one - I know, lame. Last night before I went to sleep I actually took a look at the plan and thought maybe it would be fun to mix things up a little and try this week's training.

Today being day one we went ahead and did a light workout as our recovery - two miles and we are good to go! Tomorrow is a speed day, ruh-roh...intervals at the track. We did our long run yesterday so tomorrow will be the 3rd run training day in a row. If I want to get into this Nike+ Run Club training then I should probably go ahead and follow the plan. We'll see how this week goes. This will definitely a part of my brain training as well. I need something to keep me on my toes and since I have to look at my google calendar to see what we are doing, I WILL be slightly uninformed.

The Vancouver USA Half will be here before we know it and I will be mostly under-trained for this one, but I always have to remember that I have done more on less. My first Duathlon was kinda sorta that event - I did the whole thing without stopping, but my training leading up to it was less than adequate.

As always I plow through the things I sign up for and always feel a sense of accomplishment at the end.




Wednesday, May 25, 2016

FINALLY!


WOW - it took long enough, but I finally feel like I have some sort of running mojo returning...and it feels so good! Lots of things had to happen in order for my running mojo to come back.

  • I had to get over the fact that in the big picture, running is hard. With the lay off that we had not so much a lay off, but a reduction in mileage and not running consistently. So, yeah, a little lay off.
  • I had to let go of the negative vibes that just run through my mind at all times. I'm really not that bad. REALLY. I have said it before I am the queen of negative self talk. One day it won't be so bad. I am not a loser, I am not a loser...not a loser.
  • We had to come up with a plan a new plan as far as training goes. I have relied on the Runner's World Smart Coach for many seasons and I hit a lot of the distances and try to incorporate the speedwork and tempo runs, but those just aren't doing much for me.  Probably because I don't understand them. New plan is to run two days and take a day off. So far it's doable. Well, actually it is this week. Something happened last week and I ended up with an extra day off and had to rethink the weekend running. Even with the lunge workout this week, we are on track to do the two days on one day off routine through the rest of the week. 
  • We registered for the BIG event for the year. We are going to head back to PA for the Runner's World Half Marathon & Festival. Only this time I decided that I would do the Hat Trick. If the thought of that doesn't get me going, I don't know what will!
While my mileage is still a little low, I'm just going to focus on enjoying the process and getting through the two running events that I have on the calendar. Actually there will be two others, we just have signed up yet. Two halfs and a couple of 5k runs. I'm going to skip Wahine this year - I was not impressed with the race organization last year - so I'm going to let that rest for another season.


Saturday, May 14, 2016

And The Winner Is...

Me and my brain!!!

Since I have been having such a time running recently today was all about brain training. I convinced myself that I would not let my tired and achy muscles win. Getting back into this routine this week has been rough. We ran Monday Wednesday & Thursday. I think right now I like running two then one day off.

On our no run day we did a 20-minute workout routine by Jay Cardiello which I found on the Runner's World website. I forgot that this workout consists of a lot of lunge work which is good, but getting back into it? Not so good the next morning when it's a run day.

Four walk breaks is perfectly okay
I know that the Vancouver Half will be a struggle, but I'm going to work hard to be half-way ready for 13 miles.

Because I know I can...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

I need to...

Probably start posting here on a more regular basis as a way to keep myself on track as far as running goes.

This morning we got out and did 2 miles....and I have to say that it wasn't terrible. I needed some serious encouragement to make it home without stopping to walk - man I wanted to stop! I did it!!

THAT is a success.

What I need to keep doing - which I figured out (again) makes a difference...

hydrate, Hydrate, HYDRATE!

Maybe with a couple of these items...not the vitamin c.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Whole Lot Of...

Self Doubt...Low Confidence...Negative Self Talk.

I have been struggling quite a bit this year. Ever since we ended the running streak I haven't truly been the same. While I was pretty satisfied with running daily from Thanksgiving to New Years (with the exception of the one day that I had a 24 hour bug) - I have not been very happy about my progress since then.

January was a lot of rest and recovery after running every day for over 30 days. February is pretty much a blur and March was bad because I was sick and it hung on for a lot longer than I have ever experienced. April was a month of allergy related set-backs. Not many, but enough to make me feel like a loser, but at the same time be okay with the end total of miles I accomplished. Really though, March was so sucky that April was great by comparison.

Now, I'm trying to get back into some sort of positive mental mojo. It's been not great. This past weekend we took a mini break and went to Seattle for a couple of days and to see a baseball game. Monday morning we went out for a run and in my own estimation, it was not good. I felt terrible. Not well hydrated and running in a totally different atmosphere altogether. I'm not really used to the amount of traffic as we encountered in SoDo.

Man what a whiner...

In the end I think I was happy that we got out at all. Then spent a lot of the morning and early afternoon walking.

My confidence has plummeted for some reason. One day I'll be feeling pretty good about running, but the next time out may not turn out so great - no matter how much I try to think positive and try not to listen to the voice in my head that says that I'm a loser...why even try...blah blah blah.

For the most of the year I was dealing with foot pain which turned out to be a corn. Now that that is 99% resolved, my feet don't hurt now. Just my head is making me hurt. I know that I can turn around the negative thoughts in my mind, but it's getting easier for some reason to believe those things.

I think what I need is a decent race. I haven't really had one yet. I had to step down the Hop Hop Half to the 5k and didn't even make it to the first race we were signed up for. Maybe the Run to Remember event will help at the end of the month.

Something has got to get better....and sooner would be good.

Monday, March 28, 2016

March...Nothing Good Came from March

This month has been a rough one. First, I was sick and I ended up taking a couple of days off from work and went back the following week only to go home early on that Monday. THEN I was okay enough to go to work the next day to do the Accounts Payables transmittal that I have to complete for the first meeting of the month.

My sickly time was at the beginning of the month and I ended up missing the first run of the year which was okay, because I wasn't feel up for it. Tom went and without really trying ended up 3rd in his age division! The medal followed via our buddy who works for Energy Events. Yay Tom!

After I was mostly better from my illness - which I think was just a nasty cold - Tom promptly got sick and spent a few days down. It's been a terrible month!

SO - what running we did do was very little. We pushed out an 8 miler only for Tom to relapse just in time for the Hop Hop Half this past Saturday. So this time HE missed  a race that we had on the calendar. I decided to go ahead and do the event, but made up my mind before I arrived at the venue to switch from doing the half - which I was not prepared for at all - and ran the 5k race. It was a good decision and I didn't feel bad about not doing my first half for the year.

I spy a bunny...hop hop!


We now have the time to get healthy and start training for the Vancouver USA Half Marathon in June. That one will be a good one - nice and close to home! A favorite of mine :)

My mileage for the month has been very low - only a measly 17 miles (actually 19). I'm not going to beat myself up. Being sick and getting well is more important than logging miles just because I'm a numbers person.

I'm not proud of this, but at least I logged a few miles.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Why Did Running Get So Difficult?



Running has been iffy at best since the running streak ended. I thought for sure that I would be more motivated once we got signed up for a running event or two (actually 4 for me).

I think that I'm just getting tired of running while it is so dark. We run before I go to work, so that means I get up early and try to get in run mode, but it hasn't been working out very well and I have not been able to stick to the running plan. Some daylight will certainly help as I am like a lot of people and am very much light activated.

Right now the other thing that will mess with me is the fact that I am not able to get my run stats downloaded from my watch. We are currently without a computer so no connectivity for now. We'll see if my watch fires up tomorrow morning. If not I'll have to work at not feeling defeated. I already feel bad enough about my physical ailments in general. I don't need my feel like I NEED my watch - even though I do. Maybe I don't...well, yes - I do! Also, I will need to work at positive self-talk - a constant battle in my head. I'm not a loser...I'm not a loser. Losers sleep in and sit on the couch and eat bowls of ice cream while watching YouTube videos...oh hey...that sounds like us on a rest day! Except the ice cream - that doesn't happen very often.

Here is the line up of races that we are registered for already:

March 6 - Fort Vancouver Run 12k, Vancouver, WA 
March 26 - Hop Hop Half Marathon, Portland, OR
June 19 - Vancouver USA Half Marathon, Vancouver, WA
July 10 - See Jane Run Half Marathon, Seattle, WA

This too shall pass - especially when Downton Abbey is over and we are staying up on Sunday night to watch it!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Runner's World


I am a big fan of Runner's World magazine and the website and on twitter and facebook...

While I was exploring twitter this week, I clicked on this link and after watching part of it thought it would be a good workout. Well, boy howdy, is it ever! It focuses mainly on your legs...quads and hammies as well as balance. We'll have to do planks and other exercises to make our core stronger. It's a start!

We are at a month and a half until the Fort Vancouver Run! Go here and check that out. I think I have said here again and again how much I love Energy Events! They do such a great job that I won't mind that it's raining on race day!

Anyway, go HERE and give the workout a try. It's only 20 minutes!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

We Are Back At It!

A reminder that running is a gift!
The running streak ended on January 1 and we took a break until this past Sunday, January 10. I had hoped to get out on the road again on Saturday, but with a migraine type headache first thing in the morning, that was not going to happen. Our schedule now is back to every other day and then doing other cross training activities on the off days. 

Our first run since the streak and it was alright. It felt so good to get out again! As usual, I let my enthusiasm take over and I went out way too fast. Didn't matter though, I just need to get out. This morning I don't know what happened, but I felt like it took FOR-E-VER to run two miles. Not only that, I felt pretty sluggish too. Granted, Sunday was a cool, clear and dry day. Today was pretty wet and kinda sloppy out. Even though my time wasn't horrible, I still felt not so great about it. Yeah, the bad thoughts came back too quickly.

The other thing that I need to transition back into is our regular run time of 5am. With all of my starting later in the morning during vacation to waiting until after getting off of work through the remainder of December...I just don't want to get up in the morning. So I need to retrain my brain to be hapy about running early.

NOOOOOO - I don't want to run early...

I guess the one thing that would motivate me is signing up for the Fort Vancouver Run that is on March 6. I'll shoot for the 12k distance. Which incorporates part of the Vancouver Half Marathon route and would be a good "training" or a reminder of what to expect (again).

That would give me something to think about!





Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Inactive


This doesn't include all of our days of running. Our final total for the streak was 90.7 miles.
The challenge ended last Friday and I have been happily resting since then - which is a good thing as this week has not been runner friendly. Well, not early in the morning anyway.

It started snowing Sunday morning and then turned into freezing rain by the evening and then continued to be a sloppy mess snowy/icy on Monday to thawing yesterday and then back to freezing overnight again.

I don't mind not running right now though, although I am starting to miss it. Just the other day Tom declared that he missed running and asked if that was weird, to which I replied "I do too!" Also, we felt it was weird to not be thinking about when we would be running again.

According to the competitor.com newsletter that I received today one of the articles is 8 ways to improve your running. All of the items were good, but the one that I really like was #4 Plan your Rest. Aaah...a win for Nancy & Tom! Wanna see how to improve YOUR running check the list out HERE.

Now that it feels like maybe the weather won't be too cold/icy/snowy, I think we'll be out again by this weekend!