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

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Run 1.25/1.26 - Hilllllllllllssss

Hills Hills Hills ... it's like they are everywhere. But wait, I live in the Pacific Northwest ... they ARE everywhere!

It's probably a good thing I've been trying to add them in to my regular training runs as often as possible because Seattle was all over the place! Even with the fabulous result I had, I was actually using Seattle Rock'n'Roll as a training run for Portland Marathon. Granted I wasn't super casual with it, but I actually wasn't even racing it. Just trying to be smart, push myself on the hills, have fun ... but keep it as training and not racing. And what a fabulous training run it was!

Seattle RnR 1/2 hills are in green.
The flat spot in the middle is the tunnel where the Garmin signal was lost.

Last night was my first run since the race .... and naturally the training plan called for hills! It said 3 or 4 hills 400 to 600 yards long at 5K or 10K pace. After doing some conversion charts online I figured out the distance in mile form so that my Garmin could be my savior and tell me when I was okay to turn around and run downhill! Seeing as Man Friend is now also doing the full marathon with me he joined me on this run. We had an "easy" run from my house over to the nearby hill I had picked out. Turns out our "easy" pace was actually what I'd like to have as my 10K pace for Prefontaine this year!

So we did the hill 3 times. I've been feeling a cold coming on and just run down, so I thought I'd ease back into hill training and not go for 5K pace or 4 hills. But maybe next time. Crazy enough I'm getting quite the adrenaline rush out of running on hills these days! During our run we pretty much talked non-stop (until the steep part of the hill) about Goofy 2013.... Will I have my trusty training partner with me as I get a little "Dopey" in WDW?? We'll see!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Seattle R'n'R Half - Take Two!

During this, my 15th half marathon, I realized it was sort of a passing of the torch. I ran my first with Lesley and she helped get me through that finish line. Here we were again together at a race, saying Hi and wishing each other well before the start. This time, however, she wasn't pulling me along, I was the one coaching someone to their first finish line! That thought made this race even more special. A race with so many blogger friends from all over, a challenging course, perfect race weather, a fun concert... it was a Great day to be a runner!

Becka, Giraffy, Fruit Fly, Lesley and Tricia
All dolled up in my 80's attire, I was happy to open my hotel door and see Giraffy, Becka and L! "Oh my, you're wearing all the colors!" I heard Giraffy say. Funny girl! The four of us girls and Man Friend all walked together to the Space Needle and split up so I could check my bag and get back to the corrals. Why is bag check always so far away?? I was able to meet up with Kim before the start and she convinced MF to slip into my corral and just run with me. Rule breaker! And so break a teeny rule we did. After a quick photo with the girls I went back to my own corral and before I knew it I was at the start line. I Love Rock and Roll was blasting - perfect song to start off my 4th Rock'n'Roll half marathon!

I pretty much told MF to just "follow me" as we navigated the first mile and turns. We already discussed how I run the tangents at races, seeing no need to add extra distance by taking wide turns. We hauled ass and then settled in on a comfy pace once the course was straightened out. Let's talk about the course! I liked it! I found it to be much more challenging than last year's course, so it is best I was feeling healthy this year. For the most part we ran up the smaller hills. A couple of times I had us walk for about 30 seconds on the ups just to get a mini break for our legs... because once I head down I don't back off! Also, I walked through each water stop - except for one, which we'll get to in a second.

"Oh Sh!t!!"
Coming up around mile 4 I took my first gel. I used that moment to glance behind and make sure I didn't have Giraffy in my sights. Starting one corral behind me, I was certain the girls would fly by me - but here I was, just a mile from the split, and no sign of my friends! Sweet! ;) Continuing on feeling really strong I rounded the corner and saw it. The "Oh Shit Hill". I named it that because pretty much every person in our area rounded the corner, looked up at that wall and said, "Oh shit!" I ran about oh, 3 steps and said, "who the hell am I kidding?" and started walking climbing quickly. Sure enough L went flying by me. I was rather impressed! I mean she scaled up that wall like it was nothing!! At the top she was paused and I jokingly told her that now I was passing Her! She said she was waiting for the others, which told me they were close. MF looked back and said he saw the sparkle skirts just rounding the corner. I didn't even look, I just took off and flew down that hill, only pausing a bit to grab water. But until I hit the merge I was NOT giving them a chance to catch up. Success! After the split I even said, "Okay, we can chill out now, the race is done!"

Last year this race was rather emotional. All of the people running for cancer, and then the section honoring fallen soldiers. This year it was a bit different because not only was all of that happening again, but this time I was running with MF in his Navy shirt. People were thanking him for his service. I guess it put a whole new twist and reality on it for me. As I recall the flags were on a gradual incline - yeah, flew up that one! Then came the tunnel. Last year I walked it. This year? Not a single walking step. We hit the tunnel and my goal was to run the entire thing. I nearly took out a girl at the water stop when I did a fly by grabbing of water and Gatorade. But I did it! NO walking, I freaking Loved it!! There was even a point half way through that tunnel that I said, "I'm freaking out about how great I feel. I mean this is freaking awesome!"

Jazz Hands through the finish!
From that point on we just kept getting stronger. Around mile 9 I had a first ... I took a second gel. So now I had eaten food before the race with no problem and successfully taken two gels. I'm improving! That gel must have helped me because the last 5K was our strongest and we had negative splits. During the last mile and final tunnel I was just zoned in, picking off runners one at a time. With .4 to go All That Jazz came on. "Sweet! I get to finish to MY song!" And I was off. Jazz hands were in full motion. I was focused on the finish and flying by so many people. Then we turned the corner. "What the hell? Seattle HATES me!" I yelled. I took a few fast walking strides up the final wall and then let it all go until the finish line, with mile 13 being my fastest of the entire race.

The announcer actually told everyone to check out my outfit. Naturally I had to ham it up and do some mid-run bows while fluffing my sparkle skirt as I came up to the finish line. Imagine my joy when I ran my toughest half marathon course and had my second fastest time! I was less than 4 minutes from a PR. And with that, this was the single best race performance of my life! I am still so excited about it!

We got our medals, water, food, space blankets, had photos taken and then just wandered around basking in the glory. For the rest of the day we couldn't stop talking about how awesome we are! Picked up our bags, got my Pacific Peaks bonus medal and then grabbed my spot for the Gym Class Heroes concert. No joke - I took 80 photos/video at that concert (that post is coming!). I was able to finally meet one of my favorite bloggers, Emily, and also ran into Jennifer on my way out of there. Sadly I didn't bump into Travie McCoy. Shucks!

So, to sum up all of this babble.... I freaking LOVED this race! Zero complaints! I might actually consider going back next year to do it again! Threepeat?!?

Race News

Not much of NEW news, but still news revolving around races....
  • Right now my next scheduled and paid for race is the Prefontaine Memorial 10K - that's not until mid-September. Can I handle that gap?? I doubt it. But I'm so dedicated to training for the Portland Marathon that I might just skip racing so I can focus and build up to 26.2!
  • Speaking of 26.2, Man Friend kicked so much ass and enjoyed Seattle RnR 1/2 so much .... he is now registered for the full blown Portland Marathon. Makes sense since he has been there for nearly all of my training runs thus far!
  • I'm already kind of freaking out about running over the St. John's bridge in Portland. It is just so .... big and over a whole lot of water. Ugh. I'm debating taking a trip north so I could do a practice run over it. Bridges and my Meniere's Disease do NOT play well with each other.
  • I may have bought my Seattle race photos. And by "may have" I mean I did. I just loved that last race so much, I couldn't help myself!
  • My race report is written. I was just waiting for the official photos so I could share some without the water marks. So look for that post later tonight or tomorrow!
  • I have the worst race hangover. I mean this one is BAD. I was asleep on the couch last night when it was still light outside. But dang it I earned this hangover!!
MF and FF enjoying the Gym Class Heroes concert ... before I took my "clothes off to have a good time" like Travie McCoy told me to! It's possible I have a new celebrity crush....

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Went On a Cruise and It Didn't Sink

So much happened this weekend that I don't even know where to start! Why not start with AFTER the race? Okay, I will!

The race happened. I drooled over Travie McCoy at the Gym Class Heroes concert. I ran into some blogger friends (Hi Emily! Hi Jennifer!). Towels were re-stocked so that Giraffy, Becka and L could all get hot showers and regain feeling in their fingers. Then I I wanted FOOD!! Man Friend and I had set plans for dinner, but we couldn't wait that long for a real meal. Just across from the Space Needle I spied Zeeks Pizza. O.M.G. Seriously delicious! We wandered that way, sat down, ate an entire medium pizza. Just the two of us. One entire pineapple pizza. Delicious! Once that was devoured we went back to the room to change into our fancy outfits (i.e. NOT running attire for a change!) and begin our grown up night out!

I'm flying!
We took a nice stroll down to Pike Place Market. I watched the reader board at the strip club/porn shop for so long waiting to get photo about "Spring Beaver" but dang, they have A LOT of screens to scroll through. I gave up and instead watched a fish get tossed over in the market. Our destination was Pier 56 where we boarded the Royal Arogsy for a dinner and dancing cruise through Puget Sound. I've never been on a ship before, other than big boats at Disney parks or my grandpa's fishing/skiing boats. This was a completely new experience and I was so excited! Remember I have a little addiction to a certain vessel called the R.M.S. Titanic? Yeah - can you see where this is going?? I covered the entire ship quoting and reenacting my favorite scenes! We were seated on the middle floor of the ship at a table for four, which was great - I loved having the extra room and space. After getting some adult beverages we wandered the ship getting photos and enjoyed the perfect weather.

Don't do it, Rose!
Once out to sail we were constantly being fed! First up was some warm bread and butter. Next, a salad. It had slices of apple in it, walnuts and croutons that tasted like apple pie crust. Very unique to my taste buds! Dinner was buffet style, I opted for couscous and baked ziti with some fruit on the side. Later on it was dessert - cheesecake or chocolate. I went for the cheesecake that had this yummy raspberry swirl through it and strawberries. Very enjoyable! I passed on the coffee and tea, preferring to nurse my grown up creamsicle drink instead!

Light it up like it's dynamite!
When we weren't eating we'd get up and walk around the outer decks. The view of Seattle was so pretty! I also saw some islands covered with beautiful green trees, grass and mansions. And all the yachts, tons of yachts! A highlight for me, however, was seeing Pier 70, aka the home of the Slap Heard 'Round the World aka the setting for the Real World Seattle! Confession: we reenacted the slap while on the ship! The sun started to set, giving the whole ship a nice, cozy glow. Near the end of the cruise the party started going. I knew every single song that was sung - and decided that maybe being the singer should be my new job?!? My favorite moment was went our lounge singer did Dynamite - a song I run to during every single race. Naturally I sang every word and danced at my table - as best as I could considering I was exhausted from the race that morning! As we exited the boat we did have our own little dance - I even twirled and was dipped!

After getting off the ship we bought our souvenir photo and strolled back via the most disgusting wall of gum you'll ever see! It was fascinating. Disgusting, but fascinating! I wasn't laying down for more than 3 minutes in the hotel when I was completely passed out. It was a really wonderful day and evening! I'm glad I channeled my inner fuddy-duddy and went on the cruise! AND I survived! I paid close attention to the instructions "just in case" - fortunately, since I didn't see life boats that could be seated according to class (shout out, Titanic!) I never had to use one. It was a safe voyage!

Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm Home... Where is the Sleep?

I got home from Seattle last night around 11:30pm. This little Fruit Fly was pretty much absorbed with the Seattle Pride festival, so I didn't even leave town until about 5:30pm. It's not exactly a short drive from Seattle to southern Oregon!

The weekend was a total blast. I'm sure I'll have a few short posts here and there with stories of the trip. To sum it up - Fabulous race weekend!!! I ate all the things at the Hard Rock Cafe. I got to see so many of my awesome running/blogging friends!!! I had an AWESOME race! I cannot wait to write about it. I mean I think I might be the only person that didn't hate the course? Sure, it was incredibly hard - but finally all the work I've been doing and the hill training has paid off -- except for what I titled the "Oh Shit Hill". Travie McCoy - freaking Yum-my!! No joke, I have 80 photos just from the Gym Class Heroes concert. Man Friend and I went on a lovely dinner/dancing cruise to celebrate the race. I finally went to the top of the Space Needle and also inside the EMP museum. And I devoured the yummiest of pizzas. I am still craving it now 2 days later.

So that's what's been up with me! I'll be back really soon with a "real" post from the trip - and hopefully a race report, too!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

It's Race Time!

Hello from corral 23!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

We Ate All The Things

Yeah, this happened.....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Seattle .... Here I Come!

I. CAN'T. WAIT. !!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Run 1.24 - Hill Training

This is the sweat pattern if you
shove your shirt in your bra
during a 10 mile run!

Sure I have a hilly race coming up on Saturday, but last night's training called for hills and I wasn't about to skip it!

Changes at work have happened, and as a result I am doing more cross-training than ever and hardly at my desk. New work makes me tired. So after work I had no oomph to run. I got some new tires for my car before the 6 hour drive to Seattle, bought some food, cooked dinner, and THEN contemplated running. By 9:30pm we were out the door for a little bit of hill work at 5K pace.

We couldn't keep the pace the whole way, but for the first time trying this, I think we did petty good, and we were certainly faster than any of our other runs. I created a loop just now the street from my house which we ran 4 times for a total of 2.5 miles. Feel the burn! But what a good burn it was. It actually gave me some confidence about this weekend's hilly race. I mean sure, I'll probably walk parts of this race - but maybe I won't walk as much as in the past.

I went back to swim class finally. I keep sleeping through it - apparently I'm staying up too late or just not adjusting to all the increased days of running as soon as I'd hope. Our teacher was rather distracted with her own personal business, so when she forgot about giving us instructions I would do my own thing - mostly giving myself arm exercises and letting my legs relax. But the highlight was talking with a woman that is there occasionally. Turns out she will see Pre's older sister this weekend! AND she dated Bill Bowerman's son back in the day. All those running legends that I look up to - she knew them! All of us ladies lingered talking running for quite a while. They were all curious about where do I run, how often, what races are coming up. It was such a change to be the one talking instead of just listening and laughing along with everybody! I missed those gals, I'm going to have to start making myself get back there all 3 days from now on!

One more easy 3 mile run tonight, then I pack for Seattle! Tomorrow night after work MF and I are outta here and heading north for what is sure to be a very fun weekend filled with TONS of bloggers around every corner!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Story of Peni...

*Disclaimer: I typed this blog as a "note" to myself in my phone while walking and drinking at the golf course. So yeah....*

I was in a sea of peni at the golf course when I realized I should share the story. The story is of a 10th grade wellness class and the teacher that loved the word penis. FYI, peni is my new plural form of the p word that I can't actually say (and I'd like you pronounce it as pee-neye). 33 years old and it still hasn't escaped my lips.... That's what she said!

Back in the mid 90's my friend Sara and I came up with ways to entertain ourselves when we had already finished our assignments. Lifelong friends to this very day, we had no fear of what to do to kill time.

We noticed our teacher LOVED to say penis. A LOT. Not only did we have some tally marks going keeping track of how many times she said the dreaded p word, but we also started a game of Hang Man.

Our teacher noticed we were done with our assignment and giggling while deeply involved with something. She wandered over and saw we were deeply involved with Hang Man. "oh, let me play!" she said. She looks at our puzzle and quickly solves it....

"Mrs. Eaton says "penis" a lot."

Our secret was out! Fast forward a decade. I was a member of the country club and there all the time. Ever since, when I am least expecting it, my former teacher will sneak up behind me at the fancy dinners just to whisper "penis" in my ear!

And so this is how it came to be that at dinner Thursday night my teacher said "Penis Penis Penis Penis" in my ear!! She's pretty awesome!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Run 1.23 - I Feel Like I Could Pee Myself...

This is a mix of running & golfing. Saturday morning "we" (i.e. my step-dad and uncle) had a 7:30am tee time. Naturally this meant I would not be running 3 miles before the tournament started. I was actually fine with that. I mean I had 5 miles on the golf course Saturday and 5 more on Sunday, plus the big run on Sunday. So those 3 miles were tossed aside with no ill feelings about it. The weather was just beautiful! Man Friend joined my mom and I all weekend and had his little introduction to Country Club dress codes, endless pizza, free booze, and then my family added in to top it all off! On Saturday we behaved ourselves, to a point ... only 2 rum & Cokes for each of us and one margarita.... plus pizza and Pepsi and water. Hey - we DID try to hydrate, I mean we had 10 miles in store. After the first day of golfing there is a big steak dinner. I decided to just skip it in lieu of sleeping. Turns out my mom and step-dad skipped it, too!

Hydrating ... with rum.
Nice Sweat!
So then comes Sunday! Before the final round of golf Man Friend and I were up and doing a nice 10 mile run. This was his first double digit run - with his prior longest distance being last weekend's 8 miles. Getting up wasn't as easy as one would hope, but hey, it's the Abby's Golf Tournament weekend. This event is infamous - so the fact that we got up at all was impressive! Lathered in sunblock, equipped with water, and donning hats to block the sun and soak up sweat, we were out the door. Only a mile in and we were both dripping. It was so humid, it felt like I was in Florida again. We maintained a nice, easy pace throughout the entire run. Most of the 10 miles was spent talking about the Seattle Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon. Seeing as this is MF's first race ever I wanted to answer any questions he had about how races work and what the race instructions mean when they talk about certain things. I LOVED the conversation. This was right up my alley! We ran 5 miles out, turned, came 5 miles back. It is a pretty nice path to follow, but there is a stretch of maybe half a mile that just kills my leg. The path is slanted so you can't run it without feeling all jacked up. Ugh. When we were down to less than 2 miles it is possible I got a little excited and sped up. MF did a great job of keeping up with me. At the last mile we split up. I could always see him if I turned my head, but we both decided to just finish it out at our own pace, and finished within seconds of each other in the end! I was pretty proud of him for embarking on this crazy running adventure and never complaining about anything!

Immediately I showered, threw on clothes and we were back at the Country Club. I pretty much downed a lot of water. Had a few cups of Pepsi. "Only" drank 2.5 margaritas. And then the pizza ... I ate my weight in it. Finally I was about to explode. I was sitting on the grass in the shade while everyone else was on a ball search. Lacking no motivation I actually said, "I feel like I could pee myself and I'd be happy." I just really had to go! But I held it. The day was spent shoveling things into my body, and possibly rolling down the hill. OMG it was soooo fun!! I haven't rolled down a hill like that in decades. I need to start doing it some more.

And now I leave you with this picture. I posed the question to people on FB - but the answer will never be shared there ... I don't think. But my blog is fair game. So ... what do you think these three people are doing?? If someone guesses correctly I just might have to give you a prize!

Up next ... a story of many "peni".

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pure Imagination? Or Rum?

Come with me
And you'll be
In a world of
Pure imagination
Take a look
And you'll see
Into your imagination

So maybe it wasn't exactly like going into Willy Wonka's chocolate factory - but for a girl that doesn't eat any candy or chocolate, it was pretty nice!

When work was over I went out to my mom's house where we gazed at her gigantic new fish (she has a pretty cool Koi pond) and looked at the new orange and black flag pole they just put up. But what we were really meeting for was the food! We piled into my mom's car and made the very short drive around the corner to the Country Club for the kick off party for the big Abby's Golf Tournament weekend. Pizza, oysters, chicken on a stick, salmon, cheese, crackers, veggies, fruit, desserts, and an open bar. Let me repeat .... an open bar.

Seeing as I deliberately ran my 4 miles in the morning so that I could make it to this dinner, and seeing as I didn't have to run on Friday I figured sure, I'll have a rum and Coke, why not?!? I nursed that little guy for quite a while. When my mom went back for another round (from that open bar!) I said Sure, why not!?! My step-dad disappeared in the middle of his dinner. Eventually I found him at the head of the drink line. Before I knew it he was back .... and I had yet another rum and Coke - which technically was Pepsi, yay! My drinks just kept multiplying and getting bigger as the night went on!

My quest for a tummy full of food was more difficult. I wanted pizza. I mean it is the sponsor of the whole weekend after all, and a very popular local favorite! I say it every year, and I stand by it ... Abby's HATES vegetarians. So many times they said "Oh, we have 3 vegetarian pizzas cooking." Really? Did you then forget to bring them out? My mom and I stalked every food area and never found one that wasn't covered in some sort of animal. And then it happened. I saw a fresh pizza come out. I went up to investigate. That pizza was being hovered over by yours truly and "the vegans". Between the 3 of us I bet we took half of that giant pizza! Three small slices of Greek pizza were happily in my belly!!

Then it was time for dessert! I mentioned yesterday they have a room completely full of desserts. I thought this year's looked a little smaller than last year, but whatever, it smelled glorious! You walk in and it just a sea of cakes, pies, cookies and fruit. I ended up with a slice of cheese cake and my own apple pie. On the way out I checked it out again. I may have borrowed a plate and fork from the Country Club and ate my mango cake in the car. So good!!

As far as the gossip .... a former cheerleader that gave me the stink eye last year for no reason? Yeah, she got even fatter. I hardly recognized her. So yeah - she can keep her stink eye to herself I think. Was that bitchy? Yeah - but was she bitchy to me for years? YES! Karma, bitch. I saw a guy I graduated with and his date? I had to verify that it wasn't his kid sister. It saddens me that I am now old enough to date someone inappropriately too young for me. I saw a lot of my family which is always nice. And my 10th grade Wellness teacher came up to me and said in my ear, "Penis penis penis penis times 8." Yes, true story. And when she left our table for the night she said, "Good by, R0nda Penis Head." Gotta love the Country Club!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Run 1.20/1.21/1.22 - Boom!

Boom. Boom. Boom. That's how these last 3 runs have felt. I swear life in general is just going so well and training is so fun that time is flying by!

Tuesday night I had 4 miles to run. We made this a prep for Seattle type run and incorporated 4 hills of different sizes and lengths into the run. My legs were pretty tight and hurting but I never stopped. After 2 miles I told MF to take over the conversation, which he did. I was fascinated with the topic and before I knew it my legs were totally loosened up and we had a really relaxed finish. It was my first time doing this route in daylight, so it kind of made the run feel fresh to me - always a plus!

Wednesday night we met for 3 miles. I chose my new favorite 3 mile route and we did that with no problem. There was a stop at the ATM. Turns out I ran out of checks (remind me to order some!!) and therefore couldn't really pay my grandpa my rent. So a mile in we paused to pull out a wad of 20's from the ATM and then continued along until we finished 3 miles right at Grandpa's house. The look on his face when I gave him a handful of sweaty twenty dollar bills was priceless!

And finally Thursday's run. This weekend is the BIG golf tournament of the summer at the Country Club. Tonight kicks off the weekend party with a banquet dinner. My step-dad invited me to come along this year, and I don't dare pass up that invite! We are talking legendary, okay? An entire room full of just desserts. Endless amounts of pizza. Rum. So.... MF and I ran 4 miles before work. It was a really good run. The only downsides were that I had to use the bathroom and we were at the park before it was officially open. Then 2 miles in the lack of food, water and Meniere's medication in me caught up and I was down for the count sitting on a planter trying to see straight. We resumed, got back to the park when the bathroom was open and then finished it out with just enough time for MF to borrow my shower and rush to work. Our schedules work out well - he works an hour before me, so this left me with over an hour to get ready and prevented me from oversleeping, as I am prone to do!

Now I get to feel like I have a couple days off. I'll be walking the golf course on both Saturday and Sunday, as well as working in a 3 miler and a 10 miler. My legs will be worked - but it will feel great! AND bonus, after my 10 mile run on Sunday I get that day at the course with unlimited FREE pizza. Yes, I'm gonna be a happy girl!! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Odds & Ends. Disney. MF. Cake.

I have an obsession with cake. I trace it back to the start of marathon training. It's like I upped the running and that upped the crazy constant cake cravings. Alliteration is fun. I probably shouldn't have just used coconut lotion on my hands because now that smell makes me want .... cake.

I'm officially signed off for my January Disney vacation to go run an obscene number of miles in a short amount of time! I am pretty excited to go be a lot Goofy and maybe even a little Dopey! Too soon to work on a packing list or race outfits? How do you even figure out what to wear for 26.2 miles?? I guess I have less than 4 months to figure that out for Portland. I can tell you this, in Portland I won't end up in a shirt too big that keeps falling off to the side like mine did last year.

I did a dress rehearsal for Seattle on Sunday and I am completely in love with my shirt. It is one of the best feeling shirts I've run in so far! Now let's just hope Seattle weather cooperates because I'm pretty much set for summer attire. The "look" was completed last night when I found the perfect earrings to wrap it all together! Who knew running half marathons was also like an episode of Project Runway?

Speaking of Seattle Rock'n'Roll, Man Friend is running it, too! So it's a good thing he's been running with me constantly for the last two weeks because this is his first race ever, and will be his first 13.1 miles. Sunday we'll run 10 (can you believe someone let's ME coach them??)  - so he will at least hit double digits before race day. I'm trying to work in some hills as well, although the hills we will train on between now and then will pretty much be flat compared to downtown Seattle! And seriously, who ends a race going uphill??? Arg! And it took me until last week to figure out who the Gym Class Heroes are. Once I put it together that Travie McCoy was the singer I suddenly felt even more motivation to have an awesome run so I could finish, get myself up close, whip out my camera and gaze. Something about him is hot. Maybe he'll dig my 80's pop music outfit?? Maybe?

MF & FF - Oregon Caves
It was asked if we'd get to hear how I met Man Friend (MF). So now I'll tell you! We actually met 7 years ago when he had to fix the piece of junk car I had to drive for work. He made the mistake of implying it was MY fault that car sucked so bad. I immediately hated him and thought he was chauvinistic. This feminist wanted nothing to do with him. Yeah, that was 7 years ago. Then a few years down the line he friend requested me on facebook and I was confused. Why on earth did this guy that hates me that I refuse to speak to want to be my friend?? I was polite and accepted. And then he wasn't as horrible as I thought. He actually wasn't horrible at all. Fast-forward a year or more and he mentioned going for a 6 mile run. I perked at this and we started talking more and more. Then I picked out his new, flashy running shoes. The rest, they say, is history!

He even helps mow my lawn while I run around clipping rhododendrons and pulling weeds. PLUS he hasn't complained once about my cooking! Don't ask what I cook - you'll then be reminded that I am actually a 14 year old girl in a 33 year old body! Okay - soon I swear I'll have Oregon Caves photos to share. I'm pretty much lazy and haven't even uploaded the photos yet. Ooh, I ordered a new camera - mostly to have for Goofy weekend - and it arrives today! Yippee!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Run 1.18/1.19 - A Strong Finish

We are a colorful pair!
 Over the weekend I had the last two runs of the week, getting me to 23 miles. I'm actually feeling really good, too! I was pretty tired over the last week from staying up too late on top of all the running, and never made it to swim class even once. For the record, I'm rested and made my triumphant return this morning! And that water felt soooo good. Nice and warm, and my legs loved moving different and stretching with ease. Okay, so the runs...

Saturday Man Friend and I went to the Oregon Caves - that will be a later post. After the Caves we had our 3 mile run. This time I wasn't so nice, making him go up 3 hills of various lengths and steepness. It makes me so happy to see that they hardly phase me anymore. I guess after Seattle I'll have to start picking our harder hills! So that run was really good. No walking, no stopping. Just three solid miles probably a hair faster than we should have gone - but hey, we did it!

Ready for Seattle!!
Sunday morning we set out for 8 miles. This was Man Friend's longest run ever, but he did it and lived to tell the tale. I didn't do it with the ease that I would hope for. The first 2.8 miles were painful. No, strike that. Mile 1 was fun. It was 1.3 - 2.8 that just hurt. I was all tight and couldn't loosen up. So at 2.8 where I saw a nice, short fence, we stopped and had a really good stretch. After that it was smooth sailing! One potty stop at the half way point and then I'd say we had a very strong finish! I know I had another mile or two left in me, which tells me I must have done a good job of fueling and keeping it a nice steady, slower pace... which has been my goal for this training.

I'm pretty happy with this last week. For this current week I still have 5 days of running, ending with a 10 miler on Sunday morning. Then it's race week! I'm so excited. And I cannot wait to wear my outfit. Since I won't show it, here's a little sneak peek!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Run 1.17 - Nice, Short, Loose

One of the shirts I picked up at the Pre Classic
Nice and short, this one felt great on my legs. The 5 mile run the day before was kind of sluggish and my legs never loosened up as much as I would like. I spent the day hydrating as I should, although probably still not enough, and made sure to really stretch out my calves before this run. Again I ran with Man Friend. Turns out we are a really great running duo. Pace wise it is a perfect match and we kind of help keep each other steady. This may have been our fasted pace run together, coming in at 10:40 average pace. Still I had us go faster than I intended, but it is also about :40 per mile slower than I've been going - so this is a good thing!

During this run, I kid you not, I spent 2 miles telling just 2 stories of my drunken escapades during my younger days in Florida. They're quite the stories - perhaps on a day when I have writers block I'll pop on over here to share the story and finally explain why I always get photos taken on benches like I'm sleeping!

Post-run I rewarded us with vegetarian Sloppy Joes (Tidy Janes, as Cilley Girl dubbed them) and tater tots (which my iPhone auto-corrected to TITS). Thanks, Apple. Thanks. That wasn't embarrassing at all to send!! And now I have one day off before a 3 miler on Saturday before I go to the Oregon Caves. Sunday finds me running 8 miles, which I'm looking forward too actually! I hope you all have a lovely Friday and a relaxing weekend!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Run 1.15/Run 1.16 - Yay. Nay. Good. So-so.

Tuesday night, after having Monday off, I had another run with Man Friend. We were meeting at my house after work to go for 4 easy miles. Cue the torrential downpour and crazy wind. Walking from my mom's car to my door (we carpool most days) my feet were soaked. My motivation to run was washed down the street. Man Friend arrived and before he got to the door I was already trying to get out of running. So we ended up having a delicious dinner at Red Robin (I freaking love their grilled cheese!!) and by the time we finished eating the weather cleared. Woohoo! We zigged and zagged our way through my neighborhood for 4 dark miles. It felt really good. After we were done we both said we had another mile left in us. As usual I worked on a nice finishing kick .... this time I got sub-8!! In races I've gotten low 6's before, but I chalk that up to seeing a time clock in front of me and pure adrenaline!

Wednesday night we had 5 miles on my calendar. (I'm doing the beginner's marathon training program, if you were ever at all curious.) Since Man Friend registered for the Prefontaine Memorial 10K yesterday I figured if he's going to run with me we better start working in hills to prepare for that race. I plotted out a 5 mile route for us through my usual park and disc golf area. For this run we went DOWN the hills - mostly to see how I liked the route and just have an easy 5. Next time I have 5 miles we'll go in reverse and run UP the hills. This run wasn't my best. I had stretched before I went, but I still had to stop a mile in to fix my tight calves. I did end up with 2 short walk breaks. I realized this run was very humid, much warmer than the last and I was dehydrated. Lessons learned .... again. The finish of it felt good though. I guess I just had to loosen up a bit first to get into my groove.

So that's that.16 runs done. 16 weeks to go.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

2012 Prefontaine Classic

Goose bumps. Nerves. Excitement. Eye Candy. Speed. Prefontaine.

That pretty much sums up my Saturday at the Pre Classic in Eugene, Oregon. I had never been to a track meet before in my life. I had no idea what a steeple chase even was. I was familiar with the javelin (having almost signed up to do that in high school track until I learned I'd have to run - and I do NOT run!) but had never actually seen one being thrown. I was in store for a whole new world of track and field!

After an early morning run, I hopped in my car for the rather short drive up to Hayward Field. I parked where I park for the Eugene Marathon and excitedly walked over to the track. As soon as I saw banners with my "boyfriend's" face on them I had to whip out my camera. This was a Prefontaine fan's paradise! Before I even entered the gates I was forking over a few dollars for the official program that I would then delicately place in my backpack and not touch. I hit the potty then stood over the practice area watching the athletes warming up. Yeah, their little gentle warm ups alone were faster than my fastest sprint! Then it was off to my seat. Talk about cozy. Gee whiz! It was like sitting at Fenway Park where you better not mind being smashed against the people next to you, in front of you and behind you!

Once everything started I was completely absorbed. There was so much going on all at once. I'd be watching a woman get ready for her long jump and then realized on the other side someone was mid-air on the pole vault. And then as I was cheering on the long jumpers a guy would be throwing his javelin. And how on earth do those people do the high jump?? I can't even imagine! So much!! (Shot put? Uninteresting - sorry guys throwing the ball, just NOT my thing.)  But it sure helped to never allow for a moment of boredom!

When the men took to the track for the first race I was completely absorbed with that. My main point of going was to see the runners after all. I don't even know what to say about it. I could talk about each distance and blah blah blah. But I'll just say they were VERY impressive! So fast right from the get go. Crazy muscles everywhere - and I'm talking about the men AND women! I loved watching the female runners especially. I guess they were more inspiring to me since we kind of have a few things in common! ;) Perhaps I should start putting money down on this, on only two races I declared who I wanted to win ... and on both races those women did! And let's talk men, shall we? Um, hello eye candy!! Let's just say there are more than a couple pictures zoomed in on a certain runner before his race started. Yum-my!!

Hello gentleman!

The Bowerman Mile was the final event - and that was over in less than 4 minutes. Can you even imagine running a mile faster than 3:50?? Yeah, me neither. That was pretty fascinating to watch. Another race that I was really into was the 5000m. That was Pre's distance, so seeing the best of the best running His race at His track felt appropriate, a little tribute to The Man, if you will!

Sanya Richards-Ross - Awesome!!
Once it was over I was in no hurry to leave. I wandered down toward the track and over to the merchandise tent. I wanted one of everything. I settled on two shirts instead ... still kicking myself about not getting the third, but oh well. One thing I really enjoyed was seeing and hearing people from all over the world. At the track I had a brief conversation with a pack of Jamaicans, who seemed just as thrilled to be there as I was! Walking back to my car I stopped to get a photo of an Olympics inspired sign. I realized I was right by a little woman and didn't want to bump into her. I look over my shoulder and about fell over. It was Steve Prefontaine's mom and his sister! Now normally I'd start crying and talk to them. This time I kept my cool! They were mid-conversation with a couple so I decided to just take in the coolness of their presence, snap my photo and go on my way. A pretty fabulous way to end my first experience at the Prefontaine Classic! Next year I will be back!

Bowerman Mile

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Run 1.12, 1.13, 1.14 - Experimentation

I ran 3 days in a row, for a total of 13 miles, and I survived to tell the tale! Okay, so it wasn't THAT dramatic. It wasn't dramatic at all - but it was fun!

Run 1.12 - Friday night.  I got lucky with the weather and it almost seemed like a storm was coming in. Perfect! I ran my newly created 3 mile route and it was lovely. Sure I was sweaty, but mostly from the crazy humidity -- but at least it wasn't scorching hot!

Run 1.13 - Saturday morning. My first experiment of this 3 day stretch. Man Friend joined me for my early morning 3 miler - and I mean early. I think the goal was to run at 6:30am actually - but I procrastinated a hair. Anyway, it was GREAT!! It is risky for me to run with people because if you aren't Lesley, Rose or Giraffy then you WILL annoy me to no end. But Man Friend didn't!! Phew - close call. I was nice and gave us a non-hilly route for our first time out together. We talked the whole time and I kept my eyes on my Garmin to make sure we didn't go too fast. He was worried I'd just leave him in the dust - Ha! Yeah, that'll happen. But being aware of my pace more and trying to keep it around 11mm was great. We did it in 33:33 and both felt really good at the end. Hallelujah!  That was just the first of the day's running. After that run we went up to Eugene for the Prefontaine Classic. That gets a post of it's own!

Run 1.14 - Sunday. This was my 7 mile long run for the week. And this was also a double experimentation. In Eugene I created my outfit for the Seattle Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon and wanted to test out part of it just to make sure everything would work, not irritate me, and not cause chafing! Success with that. Yippee!! I seriously cannot wait for this race, if for no other reason that the outfit I'll be sporting!! I also tied hooking up both of my little bottles to my fuel belt to see how it felt having two on there (thinking ahead for those long runs during the hot summer mornings!) and to see if they were still leaking. I have 2 bottles, 2 different styles, 2 different brands. For a while they both seemed to hate me, so I didn't use them. But today I filled them up, put them on and NO leaking. Radness!  So it was a good run. Nothing exciting to report. I focused on not letting myself go too fast and staying steady. I was a bit tired - I think mostly from hunger and not hydrating much yesterday at the track meet. But no complaints. It was a nice day. I was a bit concerned during my cool down walk home when I kept watching vultures circling and realized that they kept moving with me. Did I really smell THAT bad??

Next post --- my accidental stalking of the Prefontaine family .... again.
I swear I kept it cool this time and did NOT do it on purpose!!