To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.
-Steve Prefontaine
Make it simple, but significant.
- Don Draper

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Shamrock Training - Week 2

Two weeks are now done, and the "easy" part is over. Crazy as it sounds, I am really excited to have my daily and weekly mileage begin increasing. My first two miles are always the hardest and worst. By the time I'm finishing a 5K I finally feel loose and am in a rhythm. So I'm very eager for the long distance to be my normal distance again!

This week all of my running was in my own "neighborhood". Can you call it a neighborhood if you live out in the country and can't actually talk to a neighbor without going for a mini walk to see them? I do run by horses, so maybe I run through a neigh-borhood. Get it? Okay, yeah, I'm rummy.

The first run was so darn hilly, and you can see that in my expression in the first photo! I said to Shawn, "Why does it seem like it is uphill both ways when I run here?" He replied, "Because it is!" So there ya go!

The next run was happily done quickly. Why? Because we had torrential downpour going on, and I was able to sneak out during a part of mild rain versus Winnie the Pooh blustery day type of weather. I DO love running in the rain though. I think subconsciously I want to be done quick, so I always run faster!

And finally, the last of the "easy" runs. That was today. Mile 1 was awesome, and just as I was hitting the first mile mark I got to say hello to a couple of adorable little deer! Mile 2 felt rough at first, due to the steepest hill happening, but I had to turn around and therefore I finished that mile while going downhill. I love me some good downhill running! And mile 3 was nice because it was the end, but it was painful because my tummy suddenly hated me. AND incredibly annoying because the dentist office as texting me an appointment reminder and requesting I reply to confirm. Seriously? You already sent me the post-card that is on my fridge! And mostly, this was going on during my big finale to All That Jazz and it is really hard to build to a finish when the song is interrupted by Darth Vader breathing. Rant Done. And week 2 is done!

A couple of days off, and then I'm back at it, I expect pushing a stroller - which is an extra workout and I love it!

Countdown to Race Day:  1 month 25 days 18 hours

Monday, January 15, 2018

Shamrock Training - Week 1

In the spirit of the old days of this being a running blog, here's a look at how the past week was.

It was great!!

End post.

Nah, okay, I can elaborate a tiny bit. When running I always have a ton to say, but now I'm at a loss.

First up, I had a couple warm up runs before I hit the days marked as official Shamrock 15K training. They were nice and got me mentally ready to work in some runs day or night, rain or shine, stroller or none. My second warm up run was with the stroller, and a training partner that decided to nap instead of cheer me on. What gives?!?

So the officially training has begun. I always do best when I have a race to look forward to. It makes me run better and keeps me outside no matter what. 

Let's talk about the race. I've done this 15K three times. The last one, for lack of a better term, was a total shit show. Not my running, but the event itself. No water. They gave our medals to people doing the 5K and 8K. It was pure chaos. So I said No More! Then they added a half marathon distance to the race day. I registered without hesitation. I always said that if I'm doing a 15K you may has well add just a few more miles and do the half. Well, life happens and I had to make the very difficult choice to not run due to where I was in the whole IVF process. Making a little baby far outweighed running in a race on a cold, rainy day. All that goes to say that I have a lot of history with this race and I fully know what I'm in for. I am kind of excited that they have essentially switched the course and we are running the opposite way we used to. That might make it easier? Harder? Who knows?? Well, I will know in March!

While I'm running, these are the things I think of. It keeps me going! My first official training run was out in my mom's neighborhood. That's the photo above. It's usually pretty quiet out there and flat as flat can be. On this particular run it was nice to see people outside working on their yards and smell the fires some houses had going on inside their homes. I love neighborhood running and basically people watching and seeing what is going on. Running at night is great for this. You can see into houses really well that way!

The second official run was in my own neighborhood. VERY quiet. I can go on a run and never see another person or vehicle if I'm lucky. It always smells so good like trees. One thing it isn't is Flat! I always get a good workout and some gentle to steep hills depending on far I go out here.

I was happy to be alone on that second run, and not with the little toddler. Why? Well, for one, I can't run with a stroller here because there is no shoulder and if a car does come I'm always stepping off the road and teetering on the edge of a ditch. But the big reason was a poor little baby deer was dead on the side of the road. That is the downside to running here. All the nature and wildlife is awesome, but finding my animal friends dead isn't so cool.

Finally, the last run of the first week was also at my house. I was up early in the morning, which let me have one of those runs with zero cards and a ton of fog.  It was so foggy that my eyes kept watering, leaving me with tears streaming down my face. Lesson learned - even when the sun is rising, grab the sunglasses!

Overall, I'm feeling awesome. I'm mentally stronger than ever, probably because I feel extra determined to keep up with it and not let the stupid Meniere's Disease stuff keep me down. Thankfully these runs happened when I wasn't having an attack, so I was kind of lucky. Every weekly report will probably not be the same, unfortunately. But that's not going to stop me!!

Countdown to Race Day: 2 months 2 days 16 hours 33 minutes

Monday, January 8, 2018

Race Outfits Through The Years

Running CAN be fun! One way to add extra fun to race day is to actually wear something special, versus my standard training attire. Seriously, sometimes I plan to run where I won't be seen just because I have grabbed the first things in the drawer and left and look like a disaster. But on race day I would never let that happen! So today we go on a little trip down memory lane... with race outfits!

The Great Urban Race in 2010 was the first time I actually created something fun. Jessica and I did that one together in Portland. Our team name was Leave It To The Beavers -- and we were decked out in our OSU Beaver gear AND Cincinnati Bengals jerseys of some former Beavs. It was fun to see the confusion when people realized we had a mix and match thing going on. That race was soooo hot. But so fun. Sadly they never did it again here, so I'm glad we did it while we could!

You'll hear about this race again in this post. The Prefontiane Memorial 10K in 2010 was my first time doing this race, and I have yet to miss a year. On this one I ran in my Prefontaine "Love to Run" shirt for obvious reasons. It has Pre on the sleeve as well. I pretty much always race with something relating to Steve Prefontaine on me.

Next we have the Monster Mash 5K in 2010. I was Malice in Horrorland. I even had my slaughtered white rabbit.

I had my mom join me in 2011 for the Beauty and the Beast Royal Family 5K in Walt Disney World. Clothing wise we went simple with orange and black. BUT given this was for the Princess Half Marathon weekend we made our own long, dramatic headpieces to wear!

For the 2011 Hippie Chick Quarter Marathon I went with as much of a hippie vibe as one could create with tech clothes! This photo doesn't show the knee high peace symbol socks. Oops.

For the 2011 Disneyland Star Tours 5K Rose and I were going to go as a dinosaur and lizard in full costumes. But there was the calamari incident of 2011 and she wasn't able to run with me. So no fun photo to show here, I just ran in cute, but relatively normal race attire.

The following day it was the 2011 Disneyland Half Marathon with an outfit inspired by Minnie Mouse. And the most epic of races ever - fun wise. Seriously, there will never be another Team Jam!!

The next stop today is the 2011 Warrior Dash, where I did my best to... well....

For the 2011 Prefontaine Memorial 10K it was a different Steve Prefontaine shirt. I threw up DURING that race!

We are back to Halloween time again, this time the 2011 Runaway Pumpkin half marathon. This time I was the Cheshire Cat, complete with a bushy tail that you can't see here. And I freaking did it all in those crazy glasses! I wonder where they are now.

Yesterday's post had my full outfit outside of Circus Circus during the 2011 Las Vegas Rock'n'Roll half marathon. My outfit was completely inspired by the tackiness of Circus Circus. This race also saw the return of Jessica and I racing together! Seriously an epic disaster of a race. I am so ready to go and give it another shot and see if things have improved. I mean its Vegas... and running... mix my favorite things together, how can I say no?

Here we are, moving into 2012 and a lot of run races!! First off, the Disney Family Fiesta 5K in Walt Disney World. Abby and I went with a Three Caballeros theme to match the race. I did the Walt Disney World half marathon the next day, where Abby and I matched again - but in normal attire, and then the marathon relay. Cute, but nothing fancy to share. You can click the links if you'd like to see more!

Oh man, Boston! I could share a photo of myself crossing THE Boston Marathon's finish line, but instead I'll share this from the start of the BAA 5K. I was going for a patriotic colonial feel with visions of the old men in their tight pants and long jackets. Simple, but wow, what a memorable day! And that red shirt - it was so dang hard to find. Jenn and I spent forever trying to find it!

Remember how I said Steve Prefontaine is always with me in some way when I race? Well for the 2012 Eugene Half Marathon I ran in his old high school singlet!

2012 was my second running of the Seattle Rock'n'Roll half marathon. My outfit plan? Totally 80s, complete with leg warmers! This was also the first race Shawn and I did together. I pushed him so hard on this and he did awesome!

The 2012 Prefontaine Memorial 10K brought out yet another different Steve Prefontaine shirt from my collection!

Are you ready for total coolness?? Come along with Jessica and I yet again, this time to Walt Disney World! First up, the 2012 Happy Haunted 5K. Choosing one photo is nearly impossible. We became Wayne and Garth! Here's a tip... do NOT, I repeat DO NOT race in Converse, even if they make the outfit complete. OUCH!!

The same day we did the 5K we did the Tower of Terror 10 Miler. It was quite a day! And for this race we became Sister Witches! My first race in a cape!

I can't skip my first marathon! It was the 2012 Portland Marathon. This is a simple looking outfit to everyone else. But it had more meaning for me. I wore my skirt from my first half marathon, for good luck I guess. And then my favorite Prefontaine shirt. I also had on my Prefontaine necklace and a bracelet that says Nothing is Impossible if you Believe. A lot of thought to help me through 26.2 miles!

I swear I'm skipping a ton of races! I'll try to hurry this up.

Merry Christmas to all! It is now the 2012 Reindeer Run half marathon!

The first race of 2013 was the Disney Family 5K. Did someone say Sue Sylvester?

The next day Shawn and I brought out one of our best, if not the best.... for the Walt Disney World Half Marathon. We even made it on Fox Sports, although I didn't actually get to see it... because I was busy running!

Our weekend finished with the 20th Walt Disney World Marathon... what a day! Seriously so hot, but oh so worth it! And again, in a cape!

Later in the year we were in California racing through Disneyland. First up, the Disneyland 10K. We ran into a couple of familiar faces while we were Belle and Gaston!

The next day was the Disneyland Half Marathon as Mario and Luigi - oh man, so many awesome photos from this entire Dumbo Double Dare weekend and Team Freedom!

For the 2013 Prefontaine Memorial 10K we had a different approach. One of FUN! It was too damn hot to race ourselves, so we just went and did what we do best... costumes! Not saying our outfits were totally rad and eye catching... but is it just coincidence that the next year the race shirt had a Superman logo on it like mine in this photo?? Hmmm... Just putting it out there... And look at that, yet another cape! I had no idea I ran in capes so many times!

In 2014 we did the Ragnar Relay. I wore a variety of pirate clothes since we were the Rum Runners. I wore these again - mixing and matching - in the 2017 Ragnar Relay since I was again a Rum Runner with a new team! The photo to the left is the general idea of my mixing and matching. This one is from 2017 Ragnar NW Passage in Oak Harbor, Washington right before my final leg. And I wore some of that for the 2014 Prefontaine Memorial since Pre was a Marshfield Pirate. I found this photo below in my blog to point out the shirt similarity I just mentioned in the last Pre race!

We ended up in Canada for the Vancouver Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. Unfortunately Shawn was hurt and doctor's said he had to walk it all. So we don't have race photos together, but we did get this one before the race! We even got stopped by the Canadian police on our way to the start because they loved our outfits so much! This one got us on official Rock'n'Roll sites!

Oh boy we are almost done and finishing with a bang!!!

2014 sent us back to Walt Disney World to finish our racing on a high note. We were pretty certain that IVF was soon to take over our lives, and then hopefully a baby, so we had to go big or go home! First up, Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K. THIS is our all time best outfit for sure. This got us on Disney's twitter feed and their YouTube channel where Shawn was actually interviewed and shown dancing before the race. I think the photo will explain why!

And we will end it here.. with the 2014 Wine and Dine Half Marathon - the same night we did the above 5K. This time we were Pinocchio and Geppetto. And we were completely soaking wet. Oh Florida, you are always one extreme or the other!

Did you make it this far? If so, a medal for you!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Race Fails.

I know most of my readers came along to this blog during my posts about IVF and then being pregnant. Well, before that this had a lot of content about running! I won’t dare suggest you go read any of those. I mean if you’re ever curious, at the top is a link to all of my race reports through the years. Those are more interesting than normal training blogs. Anyway, to welcome you to running posts, I thought I’d do a little montage (in writing) of some of my experiences. Will it be multiple posts? I don’t know yet. But today I’ll be sharing some of my epically BAD moments! Huh? Yeah, it’s not all glamorous in running. But I have yet to pee or poop myself, so there is time for it to get worse!

In no order at all:

Corvallis Half Marathon 2011: my 2nd half marathon, 1st by myself. First running fail of the day: all of my music was wiped off of my iPod. 13.1 miles with no music and no conversation. On the course I enjoyed myself but started having vertigo issues. Not sure what was going on, I kept drinking. And drinking. And drinking. I approached Reser Stadium, happily planning to let the girl in front of me have the win. But then she dared to turn and look at me and speed up. What?? I was letting you have it! But not now! I always practice a finishing kick, so I kicked it into gear and crossed the finish at the 50 yard line before her. Win for me! And then I had to dive to the garbage can and proceed to puke up andobscene amount of water from all of those stops I visited trying to feel better on the course. This wasn’t the last time I would throw up at the finish line.

Las Vegas Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon 2011: This fail isn’t all my fault. This run became notoriously talked about in the running community. Everyone was getting sick. It was like a war zone inside Mandalay Bay with people on the ground and EMTs everywhere. The carpet was stained from vomit. It was just chaos... and chaos I didn’t escape. I went to back check to get my bag, which they never did hand me, and I felt so off. I could see the bathroom off in the distance and as I tried to get there I paused, looked around, a girl asked if I was okay, and down I went. I was on a pile of space blankets by the garbage can. Nancy, a volunteer, rushed to me to give me some packets of salt and a banana. Eventually I got up and met my friend as she crossed the finish line. And they ran out of medals before she could even get hers. So many fails!

I loved the timing of this photo because it is outside of Circus Circus. This race outfit was inspired by Circus Circus with the color and print design! Yes, I have put a lot of thought into race outfits.

Portland Half Marathon 2011: I almost forgot this one! I was in the zone during this race and set a PR (since broken many times) that day. I ran it so hard at the end that as soon as I crossed, you guessed it, I was sick into a garbage can. Before I knew it, a space blanket was being wrapped around me and I was pretty much carried into the medical tent and put on a bed. I couldn’t even leave until a doctor gave the okay. They have me juice as I recall. I saw scary things in that tent. Marathon runners with their eyes rolling back and bodies all stiff. Yeah, running isn’t always pretty or easy, especially on race day!!

Portland Marathon 2012: Okay so this was my first marathon so I can’t really say anything bad or that I failed. But my left knee buckled around mile 17.5 on the St John’s Bridge. I sucked it up for the camera! (photo below) And then a mile later my right knee buckled. I had been kicking serious ass prior to that. The last 10k was brutally painful. I hated to walk but I had to. In some photos where I tried to run I had full tears going down my face. I ran across the finish line though. Never will I walk over a finish line. 26.2 miles done and done!

I DID buy this photo!
This is one where I am completely in tears and fake smiling for the camera. Last downhill of the course, only a short way to the finish. This was shortly after Shawn offered to carry me. Downhill was the WORST after the injuries!

Walt Disney World Marathon 2013: I did the 5k ok Friday, Half Marathon on Saturday and finished with the Marathon on Sunday. Again this race was such a total win!! My costume was freaking awesome. It was simple but fun. BUT it was cotton. I never run in cotton. But we had our vision and this is what it took to pull it off. That race had heat warnings. And there I was, doing 27.1 miles in major heat and humidity in my cotton T-shirt and cape! I was dripping with sweat, but the photos were worth it! (27.1 miles because we were zig zagging to hit all the photo stops and that added nearly an entire extra mile!)

This got long! Eugene Holiday Half 2012: Nothing big here. My foot started bleeding. I bled through my shoe. But it was so cold I couldn’t feel it anyway!

Shamrock 15K 2011: Just as I started the big climb I got so dizzy I ran right into someone. Well, two girls. No joke. This photo is blurry - which is fitting since that race was all blurry to me!

Ooh let’s end on this even though I could keep going. Disneyland 10K 2013: This was race #1 of the Dumbo Double Dare. As we do, Shawn and I spent time creating our costumes. He gets credit for all the sewing. I mean I bought his wig and boot covers, but that Gaston shirt was home made my him! And he fixed my hair that morning which you can’t really see in these photos. We were Belle and Gaston, again committed to our costumes and staying in character during a ridiculously hot race. Oh yeah, we do tend to take on a role when we race in costumes. It’s fun that way! Anyway, it was so hot... and the smells in Downtown Disney from the restaurants... and the vertigo from my Ménière’s Disease.... it all built up. We crossed the finish line and I almost went down. What did Disney do?? They freaking hooked me up with a wheel chair, which was a blogging dream. I mean who would expect I’d get this photo op at a race?? A fail but also a major win!

That's all for now. Trust me, I could have kept going. With as many races as I have done, and training runs, too.... this could go on forever. Like the time I tripped in front of Fred Meyer and fell ON MY FACE... but we can save that for another time.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

What's That Smell? Oh, That's Me Running Again!

If you are wanting to read stats, times, paces, distances, blah blah blah... you’re not going to find it. Running has never been about competing with anyone for me. It’s always been something I do for ME. My only competition? My own self and stupid Ménière’s Disease, which is really being a pain in me arse!

Prior to today, my last attempt at running sucked! I made it .6 miles from home before I had to turn around. Why? Because I was so dizzy that I was scared I’d end up in a ditch covered in mud.

So now I’m extra determined to battle through and try to not fall. I’ve got mileage plans written in my calendar as I prepare for the first race of the year that Jenn very easily talked me into doing. After that I resume to the half marathon distance thanks to talking with Tabitha after we were the strangers together in the Ragnar van. I’m very happy these two swayed me to sign up for the big distances I have always preferred.

This means my life of regular running and distance increasing is back! I have missed it, but I’m also nervous. Now I get the fun of pushing a stroller on runs when the weather isn’t too horrible. I don’t want to make a little girl freeze just so I can exercise. I already warned my mom that I might be making regular visits to her house so she can watch a busy toddler while I run.

The nerves are from the noticeable difference in running and vertigo always being present. Day to day I manage it fine. I am so used to it. And I always have my bag with me at work with my cane folded in it, just in case. So maybe I don’t always notice it because being dizzy is my norm. But now when I’m running it feels even stronger than it used to.

Basically, this could be an interesting round of race training! Racing doesn’t worry me. I’ve done the Shamrock 15K before with a Ménière’s attack mid race, resulting in almost being in tears and on the phone with my mom while I continued racing. During the Lacamas Lake half marathon in Washington, a course I HATED, I had a reaction to my Ménière’s medication and ended up very sick, yet I still finished thanks to fellow runners encouraging me. So I know I will finish these races, and runners will help me if I need it. They have before. That’s the nice thing about racing, for the most part we aren’t jerks to each other (at least not to each other’s faces). Heck I’ve made many friends just from running and have spent many races with total strangers and really enjoying myself!

All this babble is to say I am back! I might be blogging about running more often again. Today’s run was short but really nice. It was kind of my warm up run before I start my planned training. I don’t worry about pace, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw how I finished it out today. It was nice and peaceful. People were out working on their landscaping and some were inside enjoying warm fires, meaning I got to enjoy the yummy smell! And for the first time in ages I actually listened to music while running versus a podcast. One Direction, man, I like those guys!

And that’s that. Off to warm up, I'm freezing!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Merry Christmas, Shitter Was Full!

For some, the Griswold thing is just in the movies... for some of us, it oozes deeper into our lives! And this is a photo journey of SOME of that oozing!

If I wasn't feeling lazy, I'd show you a photo of my dad running to the gate of a closed theme park. There was NO way we'd pass up the opportunity. Our running was at King's Island, not Magic Mountain, but the sentiment was the same. Obviously we parked far away - gotta beat the crowds out at the end of the day! 

Instead this will focus on Christmas, Griswold style!

First we start with 2014. A simple text conversation led to the creation of a Christmas Vacation costume party! Don't let that photo by the pool fool you - this was in December... but did Cousin Eddie hesitate to put on his Speedo, grab a beer and hit the pool in December? Heck no, so why would we skip out on that??

I spent a lot of time preparing Griswold inspired food. First up, remember that poor cat that got fried by the Christmas tree? Well, we had that fried cat on a cake! For those that are curious, it was white cake that I turned into rainbow. And the fried pussy cat is made of melted chocolate.

My character for the party was Aunt Bethany, so there was no way I could show up without a Jello mold, complete with faux at food toppings and BBQ potato chips. Also for those that might be curious, it wasn't just lime (like Aunt Bethany's) but it was for adults ONLY! That is one giant Jello shot and it was all gone in no time at all!

Shall we check out some other costumes? How about another Cousin Eddie, complete with too tight of pants and a dickie! Hey - don't get dirty on me! And Clark in his house decorating attire!

Shawn did NOT last all night in that Speedo - which he did make himself!! And I didn't last all night in mine.... but I did switch to my hockey jersey since Clark and Rusty are often seen in hockey jerseys. *And that would be my prized Ovechkin jersey I got in Canada after seeing the Capitals play. Side trivia for you!

Here we have Cousin Eddy times TWO! Oh man, if only you could have seen this in person!!!

Here's my actual costume ... although I don't think Aunt Bethany could ever sit like that! And that would be Uncle Lewis under me.

Here, let's get a little closer - to check out the way Uncle Lewis seems to really care about his bangs?? And his earbuds... well, at least he was grumpy like Uncle Lewis!

Let's fast forward to 2017. I had no motivation to create an outfit, I had no desire to legit get dressed... but I had a strong desire to make Shawn and I wear Griswold shirts! 

Katura would have been decked out if people that make stuff realize that some of us parents aren't schmaltzy and boring and would love the chance to dress out child up in something fun!!

Not exactly the same pose - but sort of close when there wasn't any attempt at all to mimic this!
But now that I think of it, I think we DID recreate that in 2012!??!

And now I'll end this - with just SOME of the Griswold ornaments that decorate my tree! Note: so far my tree has NOT had any sap, isn't full at all, and doesn't house any squirrels.... YET!