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

Friday, April 29, 2011

Run #3.7 - That's All She Wrote, Folks

This is it. Final run before the Eugene Half Marathon! 

I deliberately decided to not run last night, and instead do another morning run. Here are things that went "wrong":
  • I turned on too many space heaters and threw a circuit breaker out of whack. Had to repair that so my computer would turn on again.
  • I forgot to put away a half eaten, yet still in the wrapper, Clif bar. The ants found it. I had to get Raid and go on the attack.
  • Time was ticking. I had to be back home to shower and get ready for work.
  • My body decided it HAD to make a mid-run pit-stop in the park, resulting in a turn around earlier than planned.
  • Thus, resulting in a 2 mile run versus the planned 3 miles.
Here are things that went right:
  • My new Nike running capris that I picked up last night for pretty cheap were VERY comfortable and kept me at a great temperature. (I also snagged a throw away sweatshirt for just $2.98 during my shopping trip!)
  • My legs felt great.
  • No cramping.
  • I was smart and had a pre-run banana!
  • I successfully ran 2 miles in 21 minutes, tackling two short, yet sort of steep hills in the process.
So while I didn't do the 4 miles I originally wanted, nor the 3 that I set out for, I am fine. As they say, anything I do today isn't going to get me any more trained for Sunday. My mental confidence was boosted, I got up and moved, I felt good!
Pre's Rock - Eugene, Oregon

Looking ahead to Sunday, for me, this is just a mental game. I cannot run 13.1 miles non-stop. I know this. I will have to walk here and there, but I want to keep it for as short of a time as possible - ideally just water stops. This is going to be a mental race for me more than physical. As long as I can keep my head in the right place then I will be just fine. Right now I feel in that zone for success!

I'll spend today hydrating, staring at the course map, worrying about where to park so that Biker Boy and I can both get to Hayward Field (any suggestions from you Eugene Marathon pros are welcome!!), thinking about the expo and what I may get, hoping that I will be lucky enough to meet Linda Prefontaine while I am at the expo (cross your fingers for me!) and thinking about my packing list for tonight. Tomorrow morning I'll leave town pretty early to get the expo when it opens. I'll be hitting up the mall for some make-up (because that's important, dammit!) and will also take Biker Boy to Pre's Rock so I can have a little pre-run pep talk with Pre.  And then I'll join the OBC (Oregon Blogger Connection -- shout out!) for dinner before I try to sleep!

Have a great Friday everyone, and I'll see you at the races!  And good luck to everyone racing this weekend. I know there are tons of us, it's going to be exciting Nation wide! Who needs a royal wedding when we have half and full marathons to run?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cupcake Poll - Eugene??

Snickerdoodle cupcakes have been mentioned earlier via other blog postings/comments these last couple of months.

Today's question:  If you were going to a bloggy dinner the night before a race that you are all beyond excited for, would you want someone to bring you awesome vegan snickerdoodle cupcakes for dessert?  And if you did have a cupcake, would you prefer a normal size or a mini one?

I'll open this question to EVERYONE. I mean you never know when I'll be in a city near you racing - and I wouldn't put it out of the question for me to arrive bearing desserts!

Ignore the dude - just look at the dessert! ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Run #3.6 - Early to Rise

Last night I was hungry after work. I mean I barely got in the door and I was already whipping up some Morning Star Farms "Chik'n" (I think that is how they spell it anyway). Pretty much I ate too fast, which did not bode well with my tummy. Stupid Ronda. Will I ever learn??

And then Glee came on... I love Santana. I love Kurt. I loved this episode!

So last night's run didn't happen. But I didn't let it bug me, instead I was up this morning and out the door for an easy 2 miler. It was kind of good how it worked out though. I'm not really a morning runner, and since our race is early it probably doesn't hurt to have at least one run not at night. I liked hearing all of the birds chirping and being up before a lot of the neighborhood. I think I need to do this more often, especially when summer gets here. AND I ran without music! That was mostly because I was too lazy to dig through my purse to find my iPod. 

The only issue I had during this run was the fact that I hadn't had anything to eat or drink in over 12 hours, so I was kind of weak. But my legs felt great and my mind was in a much better place than during the last run. Phew! Just under 21 minutes later, my 2 miles were done and I was happy. I'm happy that I got up and did it! I never regret morning runs, as few as they are. It is a great way to start the day!

4 DAYS!!   Must keep hydrating!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes

I am slowly going crazy
1-2-3-4-5-6- switch.
Crazy going slowly am I
6-5-4-3-2-1 switch.

I am slowly going crazy
1-2-3-4-5-6- switch.
Crazy going slowly am I
6-5-4-3-2-1 switch.

This annoying childhood song pretty much describes me. I'm totally lost in that roller coaster of taper madness. I imagine I'd have been like this for the Princess Half ... if I wasn't distracted by fruity drinks, shuttle launches, rides, parades, food, expos, fireworks, etc....  But this time? Oh my gosh. You should all feel for Biker Boy right about now. He is new to my whole method of freaking out before races. The bigger the race, the bigger the freak out. 

Right now I can't even sit still. I can't concentrate. My mind is all over the place!

I've printed up 2 versions of e-mail confirmations for my race registration. I've printed up the finish area so that BB and I can pick a post-race meeting place. I've printed up the course map so we can see where a good spot is for him to cheer me on mid-race. I've printed up shuttle schedules. I've printed directions to Mazzi's for our bloggy dinner. Ooh, I should print my hotel reservation confirmation, too.

I'm just as mad as a hatter today!
And I love it!

Is it 5 o'clock yet? I'm ready for a little run.
Is it Sunday yet?? I want my bling!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

What's That? I Can't Hear You + Chocolate

Well here's a new one to add to the taper madness nonsense ... going deaf! Has that one happened to you yet? 

Okay, fine. It is Meniere's Disease just TRYING to kick my ass. I woke up this morning unable to hear well with my left ear. Lovely. By the time I was at work I couldn't turn my head without being nauseated and dizzy. So just under 3 hours later I had my mommy (we work together, okay? I didn't just call her to come tend to me ... but I probably would!) take me home.

Pretty much I spent the whole day in bed and watched It's Kind of a Funny Story and Mob Wives. It is now 7pm and I am up trying to do some laundry and have dinner. 

This all convinces me that Eugene will be awesome. Something ALWAYS gets wacky on race week.  I've jammed my toes into a deck with less than 12 hours until race time - resulting in bloody, purple swollen toes --- resulting in a 10K PR! So the fact that I am a mess that can't sit up for long just boosts my confidence that I'll pull my head out of my ass and be awesome!

A lot of you asked about the no chocolate/no candy thing from my last post. I'll elaborate!  Basically in 9th grade I thought I should have some sort of New Years Resolution like everybody else always does. Instead of giving up smoking (since I don't smoke), trying to lose weight (since I guess I was kind of a bean pole) or trying to save money (I was a kid, I didn't have any!) I decided to go a year without ANY candy or chocolate. This includes cakes, pies, cupcakes, brownies, Snickers, Jolly Ranchers, candy canes.... everything.  That first year was easy, so I kept going. Soon enough I hit 5 years, and had no desire to give up. Then it was 10. I think now I've (WOW! I just did the math!) gone 18 years without. Crazy!! I figure 20 years is a good target number for me. **I always joke that I'll know when I'm pregnant because I'll be wanting chocolate and a square Wendy's hamburger (I'm also a vegetarian). So that's my chocolate story! 

Now I'll leave you with a peek at the huge stash of donuts from Voodoo Doughnut Biker Boy got us on Sunday morning. We started with 19 (I pulled the glazed ones from this shot... yeah, given my chocolate/candy rules, I prefer the glazed donuts over all the others)!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Run #3.5 - Photo Blog of Failure

I know what I did wrong. In fact, Coach Lesley just wrote a post about it this week.  Things I did right: put on shoes, wore running clothes, grabbed sunglasses and took my Meniere's meds. (Success ... NO dizziness for 2 long runs in a row now!) Things I did wrong: failed on hydrating throughout the week and prior to the run, skipped my pre-run banana and forgot sunblock. Basically, I didn't respect the distance and prepare for a long run.

As my final long run before the Eugene Half, I was very excited to see that it was a beautiful day in Portland. I just knew that Biker Boy and I would have a great 8 miles... his longest run to date (had it happened, but let's not jump ahead). We went downtown and set out to run four miles along the river before turning around and coming back. Moods were high! 

Biker Boy even seemed ready for the miles ... and this was his debut run in his new official running shorts. Yay! Check out his fabulous form? And ignore that he's running the wrong way!

I haven't been this direction in so long, I was really excited when before me I saw a submarine! I mean this was way bigger than those submarines they had back in Disneyland when I was a kid. This was gigantic! ... and not yellow?? Hmmm.

Then I turned around and saw that we were at OMSI! I used to love OMSI when I was young. I totally got geeked out over the space things. Actually, in 6th grade I met Jack Schmitt - one of the astronauts on Apollo 17, the last mission to the moon - at OMSI. 

The path sucked. I am used to being able to run on a path without getting buzzed. Apparently if you weren't in a bike then you shouldn't have been on the path. The only times I felt "safe" were the times I was running on the grass and gravel next to the path. I lost track of how many times I almost got hit by a bicyclist just flying down. It was miserable for me. Funny how this wide path can accommodate cyclists sometimes 2 and 3 across, but heaven forbid a single runner keep both feet in the path. I felt like I had to just balance on the white line and even then I was taking up too much room. This did not make me want to continue long runs up in Portland. *Biker Boy was also disgusted with their behavior, so I was relieved it wasn't me just being a brat.

Well, basically I will say this. . . my run was a failure. My legs and feet started cramping. I was in pure pain. We were only 2.5 miles into our run when I just stopped the timer, moved off of the path and began a potty-mouth rant. I was NOT happy with my body. I couldn't run. I was just hurting. So we walked down through some trails to loosen up my legs and help me calm down. Biker Boy was great. I mean imagine having to put up with me almost in tears because I suck! I wouldn't want to be him.

I decided to continue. I am not a quitter and I wasn't going to end it like this. We continued on. I did feel better, leg wise. I was pretty excited when ahead of me I saw this:

Fun! We didn't go, however. But the whole carnival-like park (that I hear is there year round) was fun to look at. Then suddenly something scary happened. I don't even really know how to describe it. We were about 3.5 miles in (when in reality we should have been 6 miles in, but I was sucking) and my heart just went nuts. I have never felt it do whatever it did, but I got really scared and felt like I was about to collapse. I tried my best to get BB's attention, and then hurried into some shade, sat down and started crying. I don't know what happened, but I know it wasn't supposed to happen!

That break was nice. I got myself calmed down, drank some water and decided to sample the GU I brought along. (Tri Berry, for those of you curious readers.)

It was ... interesting? Better than I expected, but also pretty sweet. Remember I don't eat any candy, nor chocolate, and haven't in 17+ years. So this was a bit much for me and made me really thirsty. Nothing like washing it down with warm water.

We decided to turn around and head back toward the car. I was really shaken by the whole heart pounding thing and just wanted to be at home. Well, then I realized I was battling some GI issues, with NO potty in sight. Great. Running wise I was doing much better. My legs felt better than the first half, so that was a relief. But now I was just hot and my tummy was NOT happy. We ended up just walking the last mile, with a few running gaps here and there. Damn. In the end I ran/walked 6.5 miles in just under an hour and twenty minutes (plus all that time spent freaking out in the woods and wanting to throw myself into the river). Poop.

To boost my spirits, and fill our tummies, we hit up Hopworks for some "epic" nacho fries and hummus. It was yummy and hit the spot. 

So the run was a fail. I will proclaim it the WORST RUN OF MY LIFE. The good part? Every other long run for me is great .... which means the Eugene Half Marathon will be a success!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Little Running Rant

*I'll just preface this by saying that I am having a BAD Meniere's day - and I know one of you totally understands this and I linked it just in case you were curious about this annoying "disease" I always whine about. Disease just doesn't seem like the right word, but I didn't name it. I pretty much can't sit up - not sure how I even managed to walk and drive this morning. So anyway, I'm probably going to be very absent from reading and commenting on blogs today. I have a plan to bring my laptop to Biker Boy's house this weekend - given I'll be able to drive tomorrow night - and then I'll catch up!*

I'm sure they have good intentions, but oh my gosh, I want them to stop! Do you get this, too? When the non-runners suggest every freaking race to you? Like some crappy community 5K that cost $30+ and gives you some cotton t-shirt you'll never wear, and the course is the same one you run for free every weekend? No thanks. I am a fully admitted race snob. I will NOT race local. I will NOT race for a cotton t-shirt (aside from the Disney 5Ks that give me a medal). ... if I lived in a race city, of course I'd race local. Those of you Oregonians that know where I live probably understand my desire to not race in my hometown. I love my town, but we are not a running community.

Or they hear some blurb on the radio and have to run to you to tell you that they heard about a race you should do. And then I always have to politely explain that there is absolutely no way I'm going to do the race they are suggesting to me.

I love it when people "tell" me about the Eugene Marathon, as if they just discovered it and want to tell me because I obviously don't know (forget that I was at it last year, too). FYI non-runner, but I have been registered for the Eugene Half Marathon since September 2010.

And then I get people trying to suggest shoes to me. No. No no no. Just because you saw a picture of a new type of Nike shoe in a People magazine does not mean that it will be a good running shoe for me, so please stop with your suggestions. 

And I don't care about a sale on clothes at a crappy discount store. I KNOW I will buy my skirts from Skirt Sports and I've tried other types - and other types suck. That cute shirt you saw that you think I need for a race? It is a cotton t-shirt. This runner does not run in cotton t-shirts. 

I'll stop my rant after this one last one. This one is a biggie for me right now.... "Why did you sign up for another half? You did that already. Do a marathon. It's not so hard."  ... says the non-runner. Instead of congratulating me on a very hard accomplishment for me, I get told what I did wasn't hard at all and I should just go for a full marathon. When did a marathon get "easy"? Did I miss that memo? And when did running two half marathons suddenly become just a simple task and one I shouldn't bother trying to improve on?  This always turns to my pace then. "It took you HOW LONG? No, you should be running at 8 minute miles, that's what runners do."  Gee, thanks for the encouragement. 

I guess while I'm obviously kinda bitchy about outside feedback when it isn't requested (i.e. about clothing and races), I feel justified in my bitchiness about my skills just not being good enough.

I don't care. I've ranted. I feel better.

I'll just say this. I AM a runner. I might not be the fastest, but I am out there doing it. Sure I've had to walk sometimes during races, I'm still a runner. We are out there. We are trying. We sign up for races. We get up when it is still dark and run miles in races before people even get up to fix their morning coffee. We are fast. We are slow. We are skinny. We are chubby. We have the best shoes they sell. We have the best shoes we can afford for our budgets. We run in skirts. We run in shorts. We run with iPods. We run without music. We have Garmins (love mine!). We run "naked" as Amanda would say. We shuffle. We sprint. We jog. We run. We walk. We do it. No matter the distance, no matter the pace... We ARE runners

Isn't this what "real" runners do when they are melting during a summer race?

***Attention fellow runners, I am very open to your suggestions about races. You all understand me. I know this, even if I am being a mega-bitch today. You know my need for bling, a cool course, etc... So if you ever want to suggest one to me, I am all ear because I trust you won't steer me in the direction of a boring fun run that costs $50!***

Okay. I'm done. Forgive the rant. I just HAD to get it out.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I See A Full Moon Rising

Yeah, so I went to the bathroom.

I exited and sat back at my desk.

I got up to go walking during my morning break.

My skirt was stuck in my undies.
My undies are essentially non-existent (TMI?).

No wonder it was drafty for a few steps. OMG thank goodness I figured it out sort of quickly.

Run #3.4 - A GREAT Taper Start

Okay, I love to taper. I mean you're telling me to cut back? Sure! I love to carbo load. I mean I do it all the time anyway, but this time it feels okay! (I am NOT loading yet, sheesh!)

So last night I went out for 3 miles. I thought of doing four, but my tummy was growling and I wanted food! It was a fabulous run if I do say so myself. I was just taking it easy not trying to be the fastest runner, but also not trying to just stroll along. I ended up with 3 miles in 31 minutes. Wow! I was shocked at the time since I was hitting some hills and trying to "take it easy". Makes me wonder if I am finally getting faster? Who knows!

I listened to a podcast about tapering, and all it did was get me more pumped for Eugene. And this whole "taper madness" thing? Yeah, I really didn't expect it to hit me the way it has. I mean we have 10 days until the race gets here, I have only just started tapering, but Biker Boy can tell you ... I am a nut ball! And I'm freaking out about my shoes today. I swear I am going to roll my ankle. What the hell was I thinking?? Whatever is going on in my crazy head, I love it! I love the adrenaline rush I get when I think of race day!

I am eye balling a 5K at the beginning of June in Eugene. That sub-30 5K is almost taunting me at this point. I haven't raced a 5K since New Year's Eve. Since I used to do them monthly it just feels like it is time for another! I'm holding off on registering until after the Hippie Chick, however.

I'm feeling like I'm out of that slump I was in, so that pleases me tremendously!
Here are my current stats for the year:
I think I just might hit 800 miles after all!

*and I'd like to add that in 2010 my TOTAL miles for the year = 321. Yeah, I'm thinking I'll blow that out of the water this year!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Journey To Get A Backpack (& News!)

The following is re-posted. I originally wrote it for Courtney's blog. I have nothing to say right now, so I thought I'd share it with those of you that didn't get to read it the first time. And if you already did see it, jump to the bottom for a couple bits of new news!
Hello! I'm R*nda ~ aka the Little Fruit Fly in Rainbow Colored Socks, and I am proud to say that I AM a runner! In 2009 I kept seeing some friends of mine that were suddenly running races of all lengths, including marathons. I wanted to be cool like them and conquer something I've never believed possible. I mean the thought of running was just insane to me. I wasn't a couch potato by any means, but I was certainly NOT a runner! One of them told me about the C25K program. Within one week I had looked into it, bought shoes and registered for two 5Ks. At this point I couldn't even run around the track. My first goal was to run around the block, then a mile, then hit the 5K mark. I figured if I registered for races I would be forced to stick with the plan, or else bomb on race day.

My first race came in December 2009, and despite just getting over H1N1, I ran and loved it. Soon I was on a plane and heading to Florida to run in Disney's 2010 Royal Family Princess and the Frog 5K. My ultimate goal? Run the entire 3.1 miles non-stop. No walking, just pure running the best I could. My end reward would be treating myself to the delicious perfume from Norway at Epcot that I had been drooling over for ages. (To skip to the finish line, I DID get that perfume!)
Before the 2010 Royal Family 5K

My ultimate goal, however, would soon be upgraded before even leaving the Fit For A Princess Expo. I excitedly picked up my packet - only to look at it like it was a mean joke. I got an ugly cotton t-shirt in a clear, plastic, drawstring bag. I went downstairs and saw other runners wearing purple backpacks with the Princess 1/2 Marathon logo on them and was immediately trying to stifle an only-child temper tantrum. I was so embarrassed about my bag that I went down to the ESPN store to buy a backpack to hide it in. When I returned to the expo I proclaimed that in 2011 I would in fact be running the half-marathon and I would get a backpack of my own!

I had one year to be prepared to run 13.1 miles. For me, the entire year would be spent preparing by doing as many 5K and 10K races as I could. Not one to back down from a challenge, I was doing trail races, running up and down mountains, setting multiple PRs for myself, setting an all time worst finish for myself, getting sick at the finish line, jumping in the air through the finish line, running in costume, racing at midnight, traveling around Oregon & Washington on my own just to experience new race settings, racing on the training grounds of my running idol, Steve Prefontaine, and in general having a blast!

Before I knew it, it was officially time to start preparing for the Princess Half Marathon. I hardly recognize myself when I say that I had a fabulous time training for it. Each new distance was amazing to hit - although I won't lie, there were tears during my first 7 mile run. There were so many runs in the dark, alone, in the rain and cold weather, but it was all worth it. Once February 2011 rolled around I was in the zone and ready to tackle Walt Disney World on foot!
Before the 2011 Princess Half!

Seeing as the backpack is what fueled my desire to run, I was filled with pure anticipation upon arriving to the 2011 expo. If I didn't get a backpack I wasn't sure how I would react! Sure enough, I got not only one but TWO backpacks. What?? This year the 5K runners got a backpack, too?? I know I shouldn't pout, but come on! Do you realize how many miles I ran just to try to get that dang backpack? But I wasn't complaining. I proudly wore BOTH of my neon green bags around that expo - and even through the parks for the next couple of days. When race day morning came I was just a bundle of excitement. For the first time in my life I was running with a partner (Hi Lesley!!) and felt really prepared for this new distance. I can't even summarize how much fun I had! All things considered (i.e. the insane heat and humidity that I was not prepared for) I think I had a smile on my face almost the entire time. I went home with about 150 new photos on my camera from that one race alone and so many memories to really last a lifetime!

I guess I have to thank RunDisney for shaming me into running a half marathon! I have absolutely no regrets about the path that got me to this point. I've never felt as healthy as I do now, and I have met so many great runners as a result! As it is now I will be completing 7 half-marathons in 2011 alone, then returning in January to Walt Disney World to meet that same half-marathon course minus the crazy heat! All of this just because of a silly $2 mesh backpack!
And now for today's news!

That snippet shows Biker Boy and I are officially registered for the Warrior Dash!!


That snippet shows I am officially registered for the WDW 1/2 Marathon! No, I'm not doing the Tinker Bell 1/2 Marathon. Nothing against Disneyland, Tinker Bell or running.... I just can't do both with them being in the same month, and I have a score to settle with the WDW course. No pictures this time... this is all about running and showing it who's boss!

Monday, April 18, 2011

I've Got The Fever

I have the Boston Eugene Marathon Fever!
Eugene 5K 2010
I've been obsessively stalking 4 fellow bloggers while they all continue to impress me during today's Boston Marathon. This is the first time I've ever even cared a smidgen about a race I will never come close to being allowed to participate in. The fact that I've personally met and raced with two awesome women that are running has just made it that more exciting for me. And then a Portland runner finishing 5th for the women after giving birth only months ago? Nice job, Kara!!

But Boston Schmoston. Whatever. There is something even MORE exciting coming up.... Eugene Marathon Weekend. What? You didn't know of it? Where are you living, not in Oregon? Around here Eugene IS our version of Boston. All year long I'm asked "Are you running Eugene?" "Are you training for Eugene?" "Are you getting excited for Eugene?"  Yes. Yes. And YES!! 

Pre in his final race
After a not-so-stellar second half marathon I am ready to redeem myself with a new PR and finish on the track where my beloved Steve Prefontaine ran and won his final race literally hours before his death. If I am not emotional when I run on that track then I would be VERY surprised! I mean I had a moment just running by Pre's house in last year's Memorial 10K, and then on his high school track where it all started. I can't even imagine how I'm going to feel when I am literally "running in the footsteps of legends".

So needless to say, Eugene is a pretty important race for me. Last year I ran the 5K race, setting a PR that would hold for the majority of the year. It was an awesome experience for me. I ran with fast runners, I placed well, I scored at the expo, I got a free poster of Pre! But I left wanting more. I wanted to be a part of the "real" race, and this year I will be!

But I'm not the only one. There are some big names to watch at this year's Eugene Marathon!  Keep an eye out for Rocky Wing. As I understand it he is doing the half marathon versus the full. He finished 32nd overall last year, completing the marathon in 2:42:54. Um, awesome! AND he's my friend. Has been ever since junior high - and was even my boyfriend for a couple of months. He's a great musician, too. And if you were at the Run to Stay Warm, he won the 10K - finishing only 2 minutes after I finished the 5K!  Also I am really rooting for John. If you read the Register Guard, you may have seen him on the cover of the Living Section a couple of weeks ago. He's been training for this a lot and I plan on finishing my race fast enough so  that I can turn around and cheer for him when he qualifies for Boston! Plus, he's my friend, too!

Laurie, R*nda R*e, Kim & Small Town Runner ... who just killed it at Boston today!!
Don't forget the ladies! Oh yes, we are running, too! First off, and the one that will undoubtedly finish the slowest of our group, is R*nda R*e, aka, your lovely little Fruit Fly! My time to beat? 2:43:00. If I don't beat it you can expect a major breakdown and tears. We don't need that, right? Right.  Also looking to PR is Kim! She is totally ready for this one and is going to be awesome, I just know it! This woman is amazing you guys. I mean she went to Fiji for a week and do you think she slacked on training? Ha! Far from it! Running her first marathon is Laurie. I am always in awe of her. Things I can only fantasizing about doing she does without a problem! The Eugene Marathon course is her home turf, so I see a great finish from her! And I imagine she'll have an adorable cheering section waiting for her at the finish!

There are TONS of others running this race and I imagine you'll hear about them and see their pictures after our big bloggy dinner at Mazzi's. Mmm, I just see the name and my tummy growls. I need to study the menu and decide what I want because when I get there I will want it all!

So, yeah, anyway .... I am so excited!!! Get your cowbells ready... May 1st, I'll see you on Hayward Field in Track Town USA!

**adidas, I am still available if you'd like to sponsor me and cover me in your clothes.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Run #3.3 - Run Long and Taper

Oh happy day. I ran 10 miles! I did NOT get dizzy! I did NOT throw up! I did not cry. I did not whine. I did not feel miserable.  .... I ignored doctor's orders!

I can't even say how relieved I was to just run without issues! Last year when my doctor put me on daily meds for Meniere's Disease he said I should probably not take them before my long runs or races because the whole point of the medicine is to drain water out of  me. That means I am going to the bathroom all freaking day!  Well, as seen in my last month of racing/running, I've been really struggling with dizziness on the long runs, resulting in nausea and a very hard time running continually. So today I decided to take my meds anyway. As other runners pointed out, it would be faster to hit a potty or two versus be forced to walk half of a race. I'm so glad I made the decision to take that little turquoise pill!

Actually, during today's run I could tell it had been a while since I was running long distances non-stop. I was feeling it in my legs, let's ignore that I just ran a half marathon and never rested after it, mmkay? Overall it was a really nice final double digit run before Eugene! Instead of music, I ran to the Larry Miller podcast (I seriously love him!), the Adam Carolla podcast (I love him even more!!) and a running podcast. The running one talked about proper form. I enjoyed hearing that. I found myself trying to mimic what he was saying and I actually felt a little stronger overall. Could be mind or matter, but that's okay by me!

Along the way I had paused at the duck pond to watch two Canadian Geese with their furry, yellow little babies swimming around. Then when I started up again I looked over in the store parking lot ... and I saw this beautiful face!

My little daughter, Lady, was "shopping" with her grandpa. He dognapped her during his dump run - we have since been reunited at her grammy's house for some post race tortellini.  So that run was lovely! I did 10 miles in 1 hour 46 minutes. If you'll recall, my half marathon last Sunday took 2 hours 43 minutes. I'd say I'm improving a bit!

After running, as I mentioned, I came out to my mom's for some serial killer documentaries and pasta. My step-dad talked through our serial killer shows, so we'll try that again later. I was also quizzed incessantly about Biker Boy, who is now taxiing away from the terminal at LAX and on his way back to Portland after a week in Mexico! I also tried to catch up on blogs because I am so far behind.  I read about Rose going to a pickled egg eating contest. This was my reaction:

It is a little dark. Basically that is me sans any make up at all, in Biker Boy's clothes with completely unbrushed hair. I am soooo sexy on Sunday afternoons! And that is me looking completely grossed out. The winner ate 41 eggs  - plus some before and after. I enjoy scrambled eggs and hard boiled eggs, but 40+ pickled quail eggs? I think it was quail ... that's a bit much!

And my poor shoes, they were so fresh and so clean, until 2.8 miles into today's run.

Speaking of clothing, I did my run today in my shirt for the Eugene Half Marathon. I'm happy to report it was a winner! No irritation, completely comfortable, not too hot, not too cold. What a relief! Now if only May 1st would get here. Well, okay, April 30th. I'm ready for the expo and bloggy dinner!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Run #3.2 - Speedy Shoes

I'm still not sure what has possessed me to try all this fast running when I am still trying to recover from that half marathon on Sunday. I know a lot of you can just do this stuff back to back without a problem. I, however, am not one of those people. But for some reason (Eugene Half Marathon coming up so soon!!) I am not letting myself rest.

So I threw on my new adidas last night, left the dog at home, and went out for a 5K. My plan wasn't to be a speed demon, but it just sort of happened! I did pause a mile in to assess the shoes and how my feet were feeling. Since they are new and fit differently than my Nikes do I just wanted to take a moment and see how my feet were feeling. I also had a mini detour at the duck pond to walk down to the water and say hi to the ducks and geese. I looked for nutria and beavers but didn't see any. Shucks!

I'm feeling like I need to sign up for a 5K again some time .... because I ran last night's (minus the shoe/duck pause) in less than 31 minutes! I'm on the heels of that sub-30 5K, I can feel it!

I have no photo for today, so I thought I'd share the elevation from the Corvallis Half Marathon. AND I'd like to note that upon reviewing my data, when I was kicking ass on the football field, I was running at a 6:24 mm pace. WHAT? Me? Yes!! No wonder I passed people and then proceeded to be sick in the garbage can for a while. Totally worth it? Yes!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Photographic Proof of My Kick!

Sunday I did the Corvallis Half Marathon. If you didn't read that race recap yet, I'll just jump to the final second, because it was that final second that was epic!  I'd been neck and neck with a fellow runner for the last few miles. I wasn't racing her, only my Garmin. Once on the football field (we finished on the 50 yard line) she looked back at me, saw my placement and tried to take off. Well I wasn't going to stand for that! Had she not done that, this story would be different. I just checked the final stats ... turns out I outran a NINETEEN year old! For the record, I am 32 (and a half). So pretty much, I am awesome! I crossed .02 seconds before her. BUT little did I know I also passed someone else at the last second ... you'll see that shortly!

Here we are at mile 2 - still feeling great and keeping up with the fast people!
And here you have my full outfit that I was complimented on for 13.1 miles!
(And who DOESN'T have a heel strike here??)
This is on Bald Hill, about 6 miles in. My poor shoes. I retired them after this race.
Mile 10 -- where someone told me I was looking strong. Yay!
Ignore the spit on my shirt. It was touch and go during this race!
I am about 10+ yards behind. We're already on the field. We only had until the 50 yard line ...
I beat her! I knew practicing a strong finishing kick during every training run would pay off!
*This isn't even the 19 year old - I passed this girl to take 1 spot ahead of her in our division!*

Suddenly I feel so much better about that race. I'm ready for the next one!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Run #3.1 - Mother/Daughter Bonding

My plan for the night was to take Lady, my beautiful, furry, chubby, short-legged little daughter on a walk with me. We were going to hit my friend's house to give him some Arctic Ease in exchange for Born To Run. I have two new pairs of shoes that I want to start breaking in ASAP, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to put on the adidas. Given the fact that I just "ran" a half marathon on Sunday, I was still pretty sore and not moving too great. I thought a peaceful walk with my dog would be perfect!

I slipped on a Nike running skirt that I deemed unacceptable for running. Nike peeps, I have the Oregon love for you, but come on, your running skirts SUCK! Cute - but NOT made for running, unless of course you enjoy little shorts that ride up and cause chaffing. I mean if that's your cup of tea, then I have some suggestions of skirts for you. Since adidas is knocking on my door to sponsor me, I threw on one of my favorite long-sleeve adidas shirts, some adidas socks and my beautiful new adidas shoes. I am a walking advertisement. The least they could do is reward me for it, right?? I decided to use my Garmin, just to see how far my dog could handle walking around the neighborhood. Poor girl is just not in shape. I've tried to run with her, but she can't make it far at all. Also, not one to slack once my mind is in the zone, I was going to consider this my first attempt back out there and my first training run to prepare for Eugene! (Who needs Boston when all of us here in the PacNW have Eugene to prep for?? Okay - Small Town Runner gets a pass on this one because I am beyond excited for her to run Boston!!)

Lady was a bundle of energy when I asked if she wanted to go for a walk. She was such a good girl and let me put her leash on - but then she tried to tear out of our driveway before I even had the door shut. It was clear she didn't want to stroll. Next thing you know we are running! I didn't think my legs had it in them, I didn't think my dog had it in her at all! That little girl ran a mile!! This is HUGE! A mile in 11 minutes. But that time is so deceiving. You see Lady stops to sniff everything. So for that mile I was trying to keep her moving every time she paused. Then we had to go potty in the middle - you know how running some times just makes you HAVE to go! My little angel was going faster than 10 minute mile pace the whole time she was actually running. I was so proud! I had to constantly talk to her and cheer her on so she'd keep moving (sound familiar, Lesley??) and after we finished one mile we walked for .3 so she could "cool down". I didn't want my girl getting all stiff on me. (I bet she sleeps all day and doesn't move at all when I'm home tonight!)

So 15 minutes later I had a great run, and my dog traveled a whopping 1.3 miles. I was so proud of my girl that I had to call her Grammy to brag and post on facebook about how awesome my dog is! It was a great return to training. I'm so ready to get the show on the road - and I LOVED the shoes!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Take Me Out To the Ball Game

The Rae Girls go to the ball game!
I thought for today's post I'd do a little rewind .... to February 27th, 2011. Some of you may remember this as the day of Disney's Princess Half Marathon. Well, this may shock you, but I'm not posting about that for a change (although it was a pretty freaking awesome experience, if I do say so myself!) Instead I want to invite you to take a little photo trip down memory lane and join me at my first ever professional baseball game!

It was the Spring Training home opener for the Atlanta Braves. I learned from my grandpa that they are in the Grapefruit League. How can you even take teams seriously when they are in a Grapefruit League? I'll say now that I, before this, hated baseball. Snooze fest. Boring. No thanks. My mom didn't understand this. She grew up watching baseball. My uncle and step-dad played together and were really good! SF Giants? Heard of 'em? Yeah, so has my step-dad.... in the form of a uniform! Last year at the expo my mom was dying to go to the baseball game instead. Obviously it is all about ME so we stayed with the runners. This year, however, I decided to surprise her. I looked at the dates and sure enough the home opener was while we were still in Florida. Once I told her she flipped out - and we immediately had tickets behind home plate! 

We quickly spotted the Mickey head in the field!
Believe it or not, I was kind of excited! I had visions of getting the peanuts, cracker jack (why isn't there an S?), nachos, beer, chewing my Big League Chew (which I forgot in the hotel room) and buying a gigantic foam finger. Sadly they had no foam fingers, but Biker Boy and I were texting (this was at the start of our little love affair) and he suggested getting some hats since we forgot to put on sunscreen. (Why didn't we just buy sunblock?? Because we had some ... in the hotel room. Blond moment!) So there I was, wearing my half marathon medal, my new hat AND my new Atlanta Braves jersey that I just had to have so I could dress like a fan!

The weather was beautiful, and actually a little too warm, but I'll take it! I was so happy to get some nachos and plop down in my seat. I never did get the beer either. (My post-race hunger wouldn't kick in until the day AFTER the race.) The people watching was great, and Disney sure didn't let me get bored. There was so much going on before that I had never seen - teams warming up, watering down the dirt, etc...

Opening pitch by a news gal? I didn't know her, but she had a good arm!
Isn't he the cutest??
I'm always impressed at the strange form of a pitcher. My step-dad was a pitcher!
The Atlanta Braves
My mom was obsessed with Chipper Jones. Don't know why - NOT hot at all. 
I enjoyed the 7th Inning Stretch. I had been practicing the song at home so I'd be ready! Actually I was pretty entertained throughout. There were giveaways galore, although we didn't get anything. And tons of fly balls! One even landed just 3 seats down from me. Plus I was able to reunite with a friend that lives there. She was sitting only a couple sections over. Such a small world that Disney is!

It seemed the crowded didn't really care who won. I know I sure didn't. I was just waiting for exciting plays -there were a few, and even a broken bat! In the end the Mets won the game, and I went home with a pretty wicked sunburn.

Mommy was very happy!

All in all it was a really fun day! A fabulous first half marathon, followed by a fun and relaxing first baseball game!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fruit Fly & Biker Boy Go Shopping!

This last weekend wasn't all about the Corvallis Half Marathon - although let's face it, we know that was constantly on my mind. Biker Boy was leaving for Mexico (Hola!) - he's there now - and wanted me to take him to the airport, 'cause you know, it is 3 hours from my house... but only 5 minutes from his. Naturally I was more than happy to head up Friday night so we could spend Saturday together before he flew away and I attempted to be the world's greatest half marathoner ever. If you haven't read the race recap yet, I'll just tell you now I am not quite the greatest ... but I am going to keep trying!

Our plan was to keep it a very quiet, mellow, minimal stress on the feet type of day. This should really just say, "My plan was to be a completely lazy ass!" The day ended up being pretty busy, but it was fun and not stressful at all. First up, bagels. Pre-race jitters kicked in and I could only have half of mine. But have no fear. I had a yummy breakfast treat! On our way to the Nike store, BB noticed only 3 or 4 people in line at Voodoo Doughnut. Well this is just unheard of. We keep driving by both locations and this is the first time the line wasn't insane. And so it was to be. I had my first Voodoo Doughnut and it was the best glazed I've ever had. I know glazed sounds so boring when you look at all they offer - but I'm simple, glazed is my favorite, and we realized we had no cash on us. (I discovered the ATM after looking at the photos. Plans are being made for a return visit!)

Best Glazed Doughnut EVER
Hit the Nike store, nothing to report there, other than BB bought his first legit pair of running shorts! (I was on a quest for new shoes, but I wanted the same exact style I already have.) I had success at Dick's Sporting Goods - and got the last pair of my shoes in my size. Yay! Stopped by BB's work to meet a customer quickly, then off to a T-ball game. I think I'd be amazing at T-ball, okay? I mean I don't have to swing at a moving ball? It just sits there? And you can never call me out. No matter what I do,  I score? Yes please, sign me up!

I knew my old ones were worn and dirty - but WOW!
And then the carbo loading began! It is my favorite part of running, yours too? We were back at the Vita Cafe with BB's adorable fam, and once again I got the yummy vegan mac & cheese. I kid you not, I ate all but maybe 10 bites? I was hungry, okay? And I was loading!

The adidas building we shopped in.
After lunch was the highlight of the day for me.... the adidas Headquarters. Um, hello? I LOVE adidas and have been waiting for them to spot my potential and sponsor me, dammit! What's the hold up on that anyway? I was commenting on the funky architecture of a building I could see in the distance, not realizing that it was adidas. We parked and I immediately pulled out the camera for pictures. I didn't want to leave you all wondering what it looked like after all! Upon entering we had to show the pass we were given that would let us shop in their store. I felt so important. *sponsorship people? hello??* I wanted it all. I wish I had bought more. We left with a completely awesome messenger bag for BB to use on the plane. I should have bought one. It was sweet! Also I bought a small black gym bag with hot pink trim. Now I can go to races in style (I used it at the half actually, when I had to go change clothes after the game. See? I NEEDED it!). And the ultimate score? Some new shoes! I've been wanting to try running in adidas, and now I can! The best part.... the whole bill cost less than my shoes should have been. ($77.50 total!) That 50% off ticket BB had in his hand was freaking AWESOME! Seriously, I should have bought more. One of everything I say! I guess I'll have it all when they sponsor me.....
My sponsorship plate is empty. I am available, adidas peeps!
With my two major purchases done, I still wanted to use my 10% off coupon at Fit Right NW. I now own The Stick, some Body Glide and another pair of arm warmers. Fun. Shopping for running things is fun. Disagree with me. I double dog dare you to. If you read my blog regularly, then I know you like to shop for it all, too!

At this point I was increasingly concerned about my lack of a nose ring. I took it out in the morning to blow my nose (damn cold) and forgot to put it in. So we hit up a piercing shop downtown and I got a new ring in a style I like a lot more. I insisted BB come in with me .... to act as photographer just so I could freak my mom out a little bit on facebook. It worked!
No pain - just putting in a new ring.
Love it! That's so creepy, it's awesome!
After that we went home, fixed some spinach and cheese tortellini with yummy bread. It was tasty - but I left room for dessert. While BB packed for Mexico I took a nice long, hot shower, then crawled in bed so we could pig out on cheesecake while watching Without Limits (I HAVE to have my pre-race time with Pre after all!). I overdid it on dessert. :( My tummy wasn't happy. But it was so good. I couldn't help it. Eventually I slept. For for just more than a few short hours. Race day always comes so early!

And that was my day. Lots of fun - and now I am beyond antsy to go brake in all of my new shoes!