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

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

CATnip 5K

Shake 'em ... even if you don't have 'em!
Pre-Race.  I hadn't even planned on doing many races this year, but when Cilley Girl told me of a race and said Kim was doing it too, well, it didn't take any much swaying to get me to register! So Man Friend and I quickly registered for the CATnip 5K in Tualatin, a race starting at 6pm in the summer ... hm... last time I did that the finish line started a trend for me... MF and I left early in the morning to get up and meet CG for a day  o' fun that involved copious amount of shopping for gels and blocks and copious amounts of tots ... our fail-proof pre-race food! Before long we were in our race attire and heading to this rather large park in Tualatin. I was tempted to just stay and hang out at a strange birthday party/baby shower/volleyball game being played with a basket ball. But alas, instead of that CG and I just did a little booby shake by the pinatas and called it good! The whole gang met up to enter the raffle, get pre-race photos and take our spin at a prize table. I won a shirt! Soon we all took our places at the start line... I was already whining about the heat. Shocker.

Kim, Cilley Girl, Fruit Fly, "Mr. Tibbs", Man Friend
The Race.  I knew only one thing about this race, with regard to my strategy ... start as close to the front behind the "elites" as possible. This wasn't chip timed and I wasn't going to be having extra time added just because of that. I had a fresh play-list of new songs I'm obsessing over and that was started as soon as the gun went off. I hit start on the Garmin and simply told MF to "just stick with me". Apparently my body decided to push for a PR. Apparently my brain forgot that I haven't been doing legit speed work and that it was like running on the sun.

Can you spot all of us??
Thanks to Kim & S for capturing my final sprint!
And we were off! From the very first step I was fighting for that PR. I was not going to walk a single step. I was not going to back off. But I was also not going to tear out too fast and burn out. The hills were unexpected. I was happy we've been working on hills, but even after one of them I had a harder time recovering on the downhill than I usually do after a climb. Did I mention is was so freaking hot?? We had no conversation this time. At most I tried to lighten up by singing the Call Me Maybe song - complete with the pinky/thumb hand motion. The rest of the time MF was just behind me giving me words of encouragement and telling me when to back off because he could feel I was ready to start my finishing sprint way too early. Looks like the coach got coached!

Coming up to the final stretch Gym Class Heroes came on. I was going to finish with Travie singing to me no matter what. From that point on everything I heard was a blur. Everything I could see was a blur. The only focus I had was on the clock. I cracked into high gear and finished off with a new 5K PR!! 

Post Race.  That course was much tougher than the Boston 5K, so I was really excited! So excited I was again dry heaving in a garbage can and then instantly feeling both calves start to cramp. We made our way to the bananas and I just started shoving them down my throat, along with water and muscle milk. I had to almost make myself fall just to get onto the ground to stretch them out. When Cilley Girl came into view I jumped on MF's back to get a ride to the finish line to cheer for her. I'm that annoying peppy girl - I insisted we give her a power arch to run through. I thought it was cute! (*Thank you Dead Jocks in a Box for that inspiration!)

I went home with tons of swag... for my girls! Dog toys and food, cat toys and food, even a bandanna for my cat! I really like that this race was for a good cause ~ animals! I had a really enjoyable time. And hey, I was 7th in my age out of 47! And 21 out of all women overall. This was pretty freaking awesome! We concluded and celebrated our individual victories at Red Robin with great conversation and yummy food. I can't wait to see the gang again ... looks like that is just a couple weeks away. Who knows, maybe I'll go get myself another PR!
We're a great team - 2 new PRs are in the books!

Monday, July 30, 2012

PRs Aren't Pretty

I'm home sick today and pretty much just in my bed covered in running magazines flipping between movies and the Olympics. Later I'll hopefully write up my report of running the CATnip 5K on Saturday night. In the mean time, as the title of this post implies, I got a PR ... and it was NOT pretty!!

Yeah, THAT happened.

But dammit, I got a new PR!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Run 1.45 - Hm.

I want to write about how awesome my running is and how work is just what we all hope for and that blah blah blah. But that would be a big ol' stack of baloney -- with the Oscar Mayer imprint on it.

I went for a run the other night. Mentally I just wasn't really there. And then physically I wasn't. I pushed hard as I could and called it at 3 miles. A Meniere's attack hit me out of the blue. It was touch and go and I pretty much had to fight for every step in that last mile. But I did it! So I've taken off 2 nights of running -- not from that, but because then I have had the worst sinus pain and sore throat. Blah. I'm just blah. And work sucks hard core.
Tonight I plan on getting in a run before the Olympics Opening Ceremony. Yay!! Then tomorrow I'm up bright and early to head up to see Cilley Girl, her new apartment, and her new kitties!!! Later CG, MF, myself and Kim are doing an evening 5K. I haven't decided if I'm going to race myself or not. That all depends on my head that won't stop pounding.
* * * * * * *

So yesterday a "friend" sends me a private message that says, "dude, you're running 13 minute miles".

Well, technically it was 12:33 for 18 miles that I finished at 1:30 in the morning. And if you are wise and listen to Giraffy, she consulted the MacMillan calculator for me and my goal pace for long, slow training runs ... 12:30. Apparently my 12:33 is sub-par. And apparently 13 is inferior as well? F that. Seriously. I am so proud of my run. It worked hard and never slacked or even thought of quitting. I mean I ran eighteen freaking miles!! So yeah, that "friend" can suck it.

And that's that. No, wait. I'll have to brag about Man Friend a bit. Since I have been feeling sick he seriously spoiled me last night ... not only did he fix me dinner of my favorite "I'm sick food" -- mashed potatoes and mac & cheese, BUT he fixed my bathroom door that hasn't closed right in EVER. (Turns out someone put the hinge on wrong when I moved in and that's why I haven't been able to properly use it!) AND he fixed my bedroom ceiling fan. Last night I actually slept! For the first time in a week I slept!! I'm pretty freaking happy right now!

Remember that little fundraiser I'm doing? Yeah, it's kind of at a standstill. I told you all I suck at fundraising. I just feel horrible asking for money - even though it isn't for me and it is for families in need that have lost family members. But still. If you do feel like there is an extra dollar or two burning a hole in your pocket, check out my fundraising page!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Run 1.43/1.44 - My Running is of Legal Age Now

Friday: I had the big, fat gay wedding to go to on Saturday in Portland, so we ran Saturday's run on Friday night. I had temporarily thought of making it 4 miles but stayed with the assigned 3. Not much to report. We kept it to the neighborhood area since it was dark. All was going pretty well until we hit the neighborhood by the treatment plant. Holy sh!t!! And s-h-i-t isn't an exaggerated. First we had a skunk smell to run through. Fine, it's Oregon, we have skunks. No biggie. But then you mix that with the smell of human feces filling the air? Yuck. BOTH MF and I ended up woozy. I was already having Meniere's issues, and then you add the nauseating smell of running in a toilet bowl to the mix and you get a disaster. I would be so mad if I moved into that neighborhood and later learned what it smells like on warm summer nights! To finish it off MF begged me to just talk and tell him stories so he could get through the run without vomiting. It was so gross.

Sunday: After driving home from Portland I totally passed out. The Man Friend had parental duties pop up. So things were reversed. Instead of having our reward lunch after the run we had it for dinner first, then told ourselves that meant we HAD to be awesome and get in every single mile. At 9:15pm I started my Garmin and we set out for EIGHTEEN miles. The weather was absolutely perfect. We both had on head lamps and blinking lights attached to the back of our hats. Also we were both in neon yellow to at least appear a little brighter. This run was our first with the new fuel belts we picked up last weekend. I had them each stocked with cold water, 2 gels and a pack of Clif shot blocks. We were all set to go!

The plan was just to wind all over the close neighborhoods. Any time we wanted to turn, we did. Hills were no obstacle - and we encountered some doozies for sure! Conversation flowed the whole time with a huge variety of topics. That really does help the running just fly by. All those years I spent only running alone and now the thought of going alone seems so ... quiet.

Fuel: We took gel #1 at 4.5 miles in. When we hit our half way point at mile 9 we each had a full pack of Clif shot blocks, which I find ridiculously tasty! The plan was one more gel around mile 14 but both of us felt we actually had enough in us that we passed on the final round of fueling. Mid-run we decided to run back to my house and drop off our empty hand helds (and let me have a quick potty stop). In no time at all we were back on the road to finish the last 7 miles hands free. I liked not carrying any water and this let me practice grabbing from the fuel belt. No problem - I will call this Nathan fuel belt a success!

Running: For the first 1/3 we were taking short walk breaks every two miles. Soon, though, we were in the BIG hills. We'd run up most and then quickly walk the rest taking the chance to get some more water. Then resume running. We kept that pattern for quite a while. On the second half of the run we were both getting tired - mind you it was after midnight at this point - so obviously we felt tired! Our successful plan of attack was to run half a mile, walk about a minute, then run half a mile, walk a minute, etc.... We kept that up for the last 3 miles and actually started having faster splits. Our 18th mile was the 4th fastest of the entire run!

At 1:30 AM we were back at my house taking quick showers, uploading Garmin data and crawling into bed by 2am. 5 hours later I was up and getting ready for work. Oy. Tonight we are going to have a feast!! Overall I really liked this run. It was so quiet, we had the streets to ourselves, the temperature was ideal. Everything just fell into place! A Great way to end the week!!
You can find me farthest to the right - a young thing of EIGHTEEN years!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Run 1.42 - Back In My Groove

After two shameful runs I redeemed myself last nigh! Hallelujah!

When I got home from work and was just relaxing, wallah, mini-Meniere's attack. The weather was scorching hot, so I took advantage of both situations. Man Friend got us some yummy pizzas and we just relaxed watching 21 Jump Street before the run. *Show of hands, anyone else here with a celebrity crush on Jonah Hill?? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?  **And to show just how out of it I am, and apparently how my taste is just not the current norm.... I had no idea who the other actor was. Consulted IMDB. Apparently it is Channing Tatum, a name I've heard when people talk about that Magic Mike movie. Hm.

Random Photo: Mommie Dearest - are YOU a fan??
Anyway, it was almost dark out when we finally left ... a headlamp hooked to my visor and the flashy red light on MF's hat. I took us on a brand new, to us, route through "the rich neighborhood". Hm, their roads are sure a lot nicer than my neighborhood! Along the way I saw a track and we did two laps. So cute - it was like this mini-track. I could do speed work there and look like I'm super fast like Rose! After the track was the long hill. The whole neighborhood is deceptively hilly - which made for an interesting run. There were sure no moments of boredom. Before I knew it we were already done! 7 miles, ZERO walking!! That's two times I've done that in just a 5 day period. Talk about boosting my confidence level!

As per usual, we got home, removed socks and shoes and took an "ice bath" in my pool. Feels so good - and I imagine not as hard to enjoy as a REAL ice bath would be!

Up next, a 4 mile run tonight and then 18 miles on Sunday! I'm pretty darn excited!!

And, I promise to not shove it down your throats.. but if you missed it, I'm raising funds!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Run 1.40/1.41 - Oops.

I was so excited about the workouts I had coming up. I was so disappointed when they were both duds.

Tuesday: Hill training. 5 or 6 hills at 5K or 10K pace. Well at the start of hill two I actually let out a shriek of pain and was down for the count. My legs just tightened up so hard I could barely walk let alone run up a hill. I paced around until I could shake it out and then continued. Three times through my circle for a total of 2 miles was all I could get out. Dammit. Crazy as it is, I was kind of starting to like hill training. I think I have more in a couple weeks, so no worries - I'll give it my best shot again at that time!

Wednesday: My second run as part of my fundraising efforts. 4 miles on the schedule. Now if I was one that had any concept of pace or distance on my own, this could have been a successful run. But sadly, I do not have the skill of being able to gauge how far I've traveled. 1.6 miles in my Garmin died. I was trucking along at a good pace, too, feeling pretty good. Man Friend was carrying on the conversation a lot and I was feeling the distance just fly by .... and then it ended. I freaked out over the dead Garmin battery and said, "I can't run! I won't know what I'm doing! I NEEEEEEED my Garmin!" The anal number freak that I am had to just turn and walk home, albeit a brisk walk. Bummer.

So from here I have 7 miles tonight that I plan on dominating. Friday I'll run 4 in place of doing 3 on Saturday. On Saturday I'm going to dance the night away after my cousin Christine marries the most adorable girl, Andrea. This is my type of wedding! I have to behave though --- Sunday I'm up for 18... where I'll hit 15 for sure, push for 16 ... and if all goes well, bump it all the way up to 18 miles!

Thank you soooo much to those of you that have already donated to my fundraising efforts. It really means so much. I've never raised a penny in my life that I know of, so to not only get into the triple digits, but be OVER $200 right now is just ... words escape me! I don't benefit at all. There is nothing for me to gain, just a happy feeling in my heart that I am helping out military families in need. If you would like to learn more here's my blog post about it, or click below (or the link) to go directly to my page on the Active Heroes website!

Hmm, I see I've been bumped from the top 5 leader board. Tsk, tsk, I'm slacking. If you feel compelled, any tiny donation could help me regain my lead! ;)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Running to Remember

Once upon a time there was a war. Then another. Then another.
Once upon a time I wasn't a runner. I couldn't run around the block, let alone a mile, let alone 15 miles!
Once upon a time I met this guy and I couldn't stand him. Over the years he came and went, off to the war to serve his country.

Once upon a time I became a runner and started dating this guy that kept going off to the war.

I went from not knowing ANYTHING about anything over there to spending countless miles learning all about it. Asking questions, listening to stories. Some times they invoke laughter and happy, nostalgic feelings for this man. Some times the stories are difficult to tell and fragmented, leaving out parts that don't want to be spoken about. Over the course of the runs I've found myself absolutely fascinated. I know that I personally wouldn't have it in me to enlist in any branch of the military and go fight. I'm a weenie. And it looks so hot over there, right?!? But while I'm sweating and thinking about how terribly hot and miserable I would be, I hear passion in his voice. He knows his stuff. He was good at what he did. He made lifelong friends with whom he shares a bond that I'll never be able to comprehend. But sadly he also lost a friend. I can't even imagine all that these men and women go through. I mean September 11th came and some people felt compelled to enlist. Some were already part of the military and ready to go fight for our country. And what was I doing? I was working in Walt Disney World exiting guests from the theme park and forcing them to go back and just hang out at their resort with Mickey Mouse and friends entertaining them. Yeah, MY story isn't exactly exciting or noble. And honestly, before spending all this time running with someone that has spent over 20 years in the service, I never cared or thought too much about it. Now? Now I love going to sleep in Man Friend's old Navy t-shirts. I love that I have his dog tags in my bedroom. I'm pretty much hatching a plan to steal his adorable white sailor hat. And I love when we run and I get to hear the good, the bad and the ugly!

So when my friend Bob told me about a fundraising thing in honor of fallen soldiers, like Man Friend's comrade, and those that lost their lives on September 11th I didn't even hesitate. I instantly registered and tonight is my first run in my quest to see how many miles can be run by September 11th. Part of it IS fundraising, which I fully admit I suck at. But so far I'm up to $55, which is $55 more than I've ever raised in my entire life -- thanks Bob! thanks Brad! If you want to help me out and see if I could even crack triple digits, here's the info on what I'm doing, why and who it is benefiting!

And here's MY fundraising page:

Thanks for your help and for your service!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Run 1.38/1.39 - New Long Distance PR, New Shoes

Run 1.38 - I choose to skip a run last week. I was overall exhausted from basically doing two jobs full time at work the whole week. Plus the crazy heat just zapped me. My everything was tired. So Friday night I skipped a run and focused on preparing for my mom's surprise party that I had started planning the week before. So Saturday morning we were up early and running. It as a nice 5 miles, although terribly hot even though I left around 9 o'clock in the morning. I actually had to stop for water twice, which is twice as many times as I normally would for that distance. It was a good run though - and I finished it off with my new backyard "ice bath" - aka my pool! It's sort of become our tradition to finish running, rip off shoes and socks and then get into the pool, no matter what the temperature is. Feels so good on the knees!!

Run 1.39 - Hot diggity dog this was a great one! In the morning we got up, drove to Eugene to get running supplies and postponed our run to the evening. The main supplies needed were Clif shots, Clif shot blocks and hydration fuel belts. Little did I expect to come home with new shoes, too! Sadly, I failed on the Clif products - looks like I'll be going on-line to get the flavors I prefer.  Our run didn't happen until the nice out of 10pm. Who else would start their Sunday long run at 10pm?? I tested my new shoes (which are the same exact shoe as my current favorite race shoes, just in a different color) and they were just fabulous! This was a backing off week, so the run was only 7 miles. I cannot believe that I am at the point where I say "only 7 miles". WTF?!?!

The seven miles flew by. Man Friend took over as conversation lead and shared with me stories of his time traveling the world in basically every single war that's happened since I was in junior high (I swear he isn't THAT much older than me. I promise. Only 5 years, that's no biggie at all!!) I was just fascinated and I think his enthusiasm just carried over into our running. We plugged along at a very steady pace and before I knew it I looked at my Garmin and we were at 6.52. And this point I through my arms in the air and let out a mini-shout of joy. We were in all new territory and so close to my new longest distance PR. 7 miles!! I ran 7 whole miles with zero thoughts of walking and still felt great at the end!! I still can't even imagine how people run entire half marathons and full marathons with zero walking, but perhaps some day I'll get there?!?!

What about you? How was your weekend? What's your longest distance ever run without any walk breaks?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Run 1.37 - Upcoming 5K, WDW Update

Okay, so mostly this is just an update to my January Disney vacation. My mom pouted when she found out we'd be coming home Monday, the day after the marathon. So now it is official, I get to stay another full day and come home Tuesday. Woohoo!! And once Cast Member's are allowed to make 2013 reservations I'll be getting my room at the new Art of Animation resort. So excited!! Man Friend and I have seriously spent HOURS looking at Disney photos, videos and websites. And then when we aren't doing that we are running, and talking all about what we want to do (World Showcase!!) and what we don't want to do (Stitch's Great Escape). And the food -- I cannot wait to be there the day after the marathon when my hunger usually kicks in. I'm going to eat all the things: popcorn, fries, pizza, scrambled eggs, biscuits, maybe a pretzel and/or funnel cake. I want it all. Already!

So excited to runDisney again in September and January!!

So last night I ran 4.5 miles. I was supposed to do 5, but since I went .5 over the night before I shortened this one. Mathematically I get pretty anal about distances and even numbers. It was nice and a bit faster pace than the night before, but still felt like I was running slow - which was the plan. My new routine is to run late when it isn't 90 degrees then get home, sync the Garmin, put on a swimming suit and go use my pool as a large ice bath. My knees and calves have been loving it --- that's about as far as I am willing to go in at this point. To top it off, I was a good girl and drug my ass down to the YMCA this morning for another great swim class workout. Feels so nice to be back in the pool again!

This weekend I'll still be running. And it will be my mom's birthday. We'll talk vacation for sure, look at flights, eat, enjoy the sun and .... well, the and is a secret until later - so I'll fill you in on my craftiness AFTER the fact!

In a couple weeks I'll get to see my favorite Cilley Girl again - and doing a 5K race with her, Man Friend and Kim. Odds are this will truly be a "fun run" and NOT a race for me. I tried racing myself in a 5pm summer race before - and that was the first time I puked at the finish line. This race is at 6pm, and frankly that still feels HOT to me! But I'm excited to have a fun time with friends racing no matter the distance or temperature!

This is also my last day of basically full time doing 2 completely different jobs at work. I'm relieved and ready to just be myself again -- knock on wood. So then maybe I'll be not as exhausted, more relaxed, and able to resume a normal life of catching up on everybody's blog posts! Have a great weekend - stay hydrated - wear sunscreen!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Run 1.36 - A Goal Achieved

Not this week's tots,
but delicious tots nonetheless!
At the start of the year when I had the now-(long ago)-fired coach telling me what to do I was assigned to write down my goals for the year. Well, as of last night I have achieved all of those goals! I guess I better start setting some new ones, which I guess I essentially already did when I registered for the Portland Marathon and the Goofy Challenge in Walt Disney World. (Which, by the way, this weekend my mom, Man Friend and I will all be registering for the 5K, so I'll officially be unofficially Dopey!)

Tuesday night I made the mistake of going to Taco Time and gorging on a cheese quesadilla and Mexi Fries ... aka TOTS!! To alleviate tummy pain I walked around some air conditioned stores and finished getting my pool area in order. My will to run was zapped. It just didn't happen. So I've adjusted training and pushed everything back a day so as not to skip any runs. Last night was a 6 mile easy pace run. First I had a legit healthy dinner by the pool and enjoyed the shade. Nearly the whole big bowl of veggies was gone when we were done. Yay! After looking at WDW resorts for January (I keep forgetting I get to go in September, too!) we finally decided to run. (We're eyeballing the Art of Animation suites since we'll have four people. You know I'll tell you where I am at once it is booked later today!)

Six miles were on the schedule and I was determined to keep it slow. I tend to just run at a pace, and it is always 2 minutes per mile faster than my "easy" runs are supposed to be. This time it was a success! The average pace was just around 12 minute miles. Once I got into the zone keeping a steady pace was easy. I know, I know, 12 is so much slower than you run. Well I'm me and I'm trying to listen to Giraffy and slow the heck down on my easy runs!

The goal:  One of my goals was to get a new 10K PR. In March I PR'd during my only 10K so far this year. Check! The other 10K goal was to just at some point run it non-stop. At the start of the run I told MF how I had never in my life run 6 miles without at least one walk break. After half a mile I said I would really like to make that the goal for the night, No walking! As the run continued I said, "You know, let's just add on .2 at the end, if we never walk. That gets me my 10K goal!" Well you know what? Done and done! Not only did I hit the 6.2 mark, but when I saw it said 6.22 I insisted on continuing on to 6.5. I can't end on .22! So 6.5 miles last night with zero walking!! I'm pretty freaking excited and can't wait to start setting more goals to help me achieve the BIG goal!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Run 1.35 - Fifteen Miles!

Can life get any busier? I have over 1000 unread items in my Google Reader now. I have so many posts I've read and marked for commenting, clearly I haven't had time. Here's life in a nutshell ... I've spent the last year getting cross-trained in a different department. Someone in that department got canned. This week one of the girls is on vacation. So... this week I am over there all the time and unable to really do my own work. Last week I actually came in an hour early just to be sure to get MY work done before I did the other job. Stressful is an understatement.

When I'm not doing 1,002 jobs at work, I'm running. If I'm not running, I'm thinking about it. Or I'm doing chores. I've missed swim class ... well, I haven't gone since before the Seattle RnR Half Marathon. I want to go, but I'm just so exhausted with all this work. No complaints on the running!

In running news, Man Friend is officially registered for Goofy! Soon we'll register for the 5K race, too. AND it has been confirmed as of a little bit ago, my mom and step-dad are coming, too! Thursday I am hopefully getting help from my BFF to get me my room reservations. Can. Not. Wait. !!!

Man Friend was up at the Eugene Running Company on Saturday and ended up in conversation with Coach Joe Henderson. He didn't know to be impressed ... but he was! I was pretty excited to hear about the convo and learn that this guy that ran WITH Steve Prefontaine was impressed with my coaching skills and approach to running and training for races! Rather flattering I'd say! AND he doesn't use the exact word, but he also is NOT a fan of what Cilley Girl calls "fastholes"! Smart man.

So the 15 mile run. I don't have that much to say because it was unspectacular. It was a big lesson learned. Not enough hydration in the days before. Not enough sleep, thus resulting in sleeping in too long, thus resulting in running in temperatures that were at least at 84 degrees when I had 4 miles left to run. For the first time I actually ripped off my shirt and ran with it in my hand for a few miles. I was dying. So hot. My legs were good, but I'd have to keep pausing my running to walk when it got to be too much. I took 2 gels and 3 individual Clif shot blocks during the run. Next time I'll make it the full 6 shot blocks. Also, next time we are ditching a car about 6 miles out with a cooler with fresh water in it. I'll then keep running after a refill, turn around, hit it again to refill, run home, then get my car after all is said and done. Plus we are going to go back up to Eugene to get belts with the built in fuel bottles. A hand held just wasn't enough. Plus there was a Nuun disaster with my bottles that slide onto my belt.

A lot of things were learned. I was happy my legs did good the whole time, especially miles 14 and 15. The challenge really was just the heat. Apparently I still have to learn things the hard way. The good news is after the run I bought a pool! It is in place, full, clean, and ready for me to jump in after tonight's run!
Just because photo:  This is the sight I saw when I woke up one morning. I love that huge nose!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Run 1.33/1.34 - Running, Coast, Cars

As I type this I smell like car exhaust and general gross car/smoke/sweat/food smells. Ew. And it won't get any better because frankly, I'm not showering before I go to sleep or get up and run tomorrow. ANYWAY....

Thursday:  5 miles. It was hot. I wanted food before I ran. MF and I went to Rodeo Steakhouse, gorging on spinach/artichoke dip, yummy rolls and a grilled cheese with fries for me. Hello, Food Baby. Eek. So it wasn't until 10pm that we left my house for a 5 mile run through the 'hood. Given the fact that I had said food baby sloshing around in my belly, it was a great run! We discussed training plans and talked a lot about how we are feeling like this one we are on is The plan for us. Everything is going just great! 

Saturday:  3 miles. My ex-boyfriend is here in Oregon on vacation from Minneapolis. I suggested we go back to the beach like we used to way back in 2009. So that meant MF and I had to run our 3 miles pretty early this morning. I'm glad we did - it got over 90 degrees today.  The run was nice and short, a great start to the day.

The Coast:  Ex-bf and I went to Bandon, Oregon. The sun was out ... as was the wind. Holy wind storm. Gee whiz! Lady had so much fun, too. She is completely exhausted right now and unable to really move. She'll be okay, no worries!

Graffiti Night:  This weekend every year we have Graffiti Night. People with their classic cars come out in full force for the big downtown cruise. And that's why I smell. Man Friend and I went down, I met the parents, we saw baby cheetahs, ran into ex-bf with a new girl he just met, saw co-workers, saw friends, inhaled way too many fumes. A fun evening, if I do say so myself. I fixed MF and I some pasta with the most delicious bread he brought home from Eugene today. Yummy, yummy, yummy. Basically we did some carb loading ... and now I'm off to bed. At 6:30am tomorrow we meet for some Power Crunch bars, stretching and loading up of fuel belts ... so we can run fifteen miles. I'm so excited!!

A proud mommy and her little girl!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Run 1.30/1.31/1.32 - This is FUN!

This whole running/marathon training thing is getting so fun!

Sunday: Long run. Planned 5 miles. Reality was 2 miles. The first two were AWESOME! I felt no pain. I was floating. I couldn't feel my body at all, actually. And then I realized Wait, this is awesome, but something funky is happening. Yeah - I ended up sitting in the shade under a tree by the golf course having a sudden, unexpected Meniere's attack. This was Man Friend's first time experiencing this, and what sucky timing it was. We ended up walking back to my house with a plan to finish the other 3 miles later. Sadly I was just never able to do it. Oh well - I mean it was just a 5 miler, not like this upcoming weekend's 15 mile run!

I decided to be patriotic for once!
Tuesday: Speed work! I freaking loved it! We drove down to the high school, parked, crossed over to the path and then began. Half a mile of very slow jogging to warm up. 1 mile at 5K/10K pace. Lather, rinse, repeat for 3 miles of speed work with the half mile recovery intervals. For a grand total of 5 miles, I did it! I DID have another Meniere's attack during my 2nd slow jog time but was able to just focus and get through it. It was a blast! We rewarded ourselves with pizza. You can never go wrong with pizza, right?

Wednesday: Happy holiday! Everybody in the world raced. I did not. I wanted to, but the race that I would have done was in Eugene and covers part of the Eugene Half Marathon course that always does a number on my leg and IT band. So I skipped it. Instead I ran my scheduled 3 miles. I went through the park and the VA complex - where they were having a classic car show. It was nice to have a little something to mix it up and give me something to look at. We deliberately ran it slower than normal and it felt great!  *Psst -- Giraffy, Rose, check out what I wore. Look familiar?? Hopefully I wear it better than the lady we saw wearing it in Disneyland!

Up next, 5 miles tonight. 3 miles on Saturday and then the big 15 miler on Sunday -- my first run longer than a half marathon ... although I think I hit 14 miles when I did the WDW Marathon relay since I had to actually run half a mile to even get to my official start line!

Did you all have a nice Fourth of July? I watched a completely trashed mom being held up by her 10 year old son. She was covered in puke and apparently planning on driving them home. It was terrifying. A lot of drunk people. I was happy to get home in my cozy little cottage! 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Seattle - Before & After

Obviously I LOVED the Rock'n'Roll Seattle half marathon. For someone that doesn't like to repeat races, the fact that I proclaimed possibly a threepeat shows it was a lot of fun! But the fun certainly wasn't limited to just 13.1 miles after all. So now a short photo look at what happened before and after the race!

I was petrified to drive to Seattle. Do you realize there are points where it is 8 lanes of traffic going in the same direction?? That's insanity! I live where we have TWO lanes on the freeway. BUT!!! I did it!! Getting to the expo was pretty simple and I was very relieved to park and just leave my car there for the day and get around on foot instead.  We got to the expo within a half hour of it's morning opening. Oh the free stuff! I brought in a MUCH bigger haul in Portland though. But still, I went home with gobs of tuna fish ... I'm a vegetarian. But I also got 3 different pairs of sunglasses, and you never know when you'll need an emergency pair of neon green glasses! Man Friend had never been to an expo before, so he was pretty impressed. After all of the expos I've been two, RnR's are consistently the biggest and the best!

For those of you curious about the shopping... I went home with the RnR medal pin, a pink RnR hat, a blue Seattle RnR t-shirt, hot pink arm sleeves (which I wore in the race), oodles of Power Crunch bars and the coolest iPhone case from Run Pretty Far. And of course the free stuff like a t-shirt, key chain, yada yada yada and tuna fish...

Jennifer & I finally met!
I bailed on the expo to go get some yummy food at the Hard Rock Cafe. So delicious! I wanted to eat all the things (and I did!) so we started with a big plate of nachos. I opted for the twisted mac & cheese with a side of fries, of course. The mac & cheese is spicy! At the Hard Rock store I ran into this guy. Last year at the same exact spot I saw him there, so this time I had to introduce myself. He is George - from Louisiana - also there to race. So two out of staters met each other two years in a row at the same spot. Small world!

Stacie :-)
Then the texts came from Lesley. Pretty sure she called me a loser and a bitch in her quest to get my slacker ass back to the expo.  So I hurried back and met up with the bloggers AFTER the blogger meet-up. Fashionably late?!? Not only did I get to see my dear Lesley again for the first time in over a year, but I also got to meet Jennifer for the first time, see Kim (haven't seen her in a month?!?) AND 2/3 of Team Jam were reunited again when I got to force Giraffy to give me a hug! Yay!! It was exactly a year ago in Seattle that I last saw Stacie, and so I was thrilled to see her again and quiz her all about this enormous bridge I have to run over in Portland. She eased my mind a bit, thanks!!

Giraffy, Kim, Fruit Fly and Jennifer
Giraffy and I spent expo time together just wandering around and getting some more free stuff before parting ways for the night.  Man Friend and I then went to check into the hotel right by the Space Needle. Our room was awesome! We had so much free room for foam rolling AND a couch! I needed to make an emergency run to Macy's for my dinner cruise outfit. I felt so poor.  I found all of these cute dresses ... for like $200. Eek. Eventually found my outfit and was ready for dinner. Being exhausted we just ate at the restaurant at our hotel. OMG so gross. I'll just share the photo:

Is that white water? Blech. And I'm pretty sure everyone working there was stoned. Giraffy and Becka showed up - I promptly warned them about how nasty it was there and they chose to go elsewhere for their pre-sleep beer. Soon I crashed, woke up, raced ....

Post-race! AKA TRAVIE MCCOY!!! I was all about the concert for me. He is so freaking cute!!! At one point when Travie asked where the single ladies are at I believe I jumped in the air and waved both arms. Sorry, Man Friend. ;-) It is very possible I stood up and danced through the entire concert and took 80 photos. No more, no less. 80 photos!!

Mid concert I had such a treat! We have done so many of the same races, and finally I got to meet another Disney runner ... Emily! *She's doing the Tower of Terror 10 Miler, too!

Emily and I -- sparkling in our skirts!
And now ... you know the song .... We have to take our clothes off, to have a good time .... LOVE! And so this happened....

Travie McCoy + Fruit Fly 4eva??

After the concert I wanted to make one last attempt at winning something other than tuna fish. Dammit. No luck, but when I was appeared to be cold and wrapped myself in my space blanket the tuna kid took pity on me. Guess what I went home with!

On the way out I glanced over and saw Jennifer just heading out with her running posse. She clearly had a blast during her race and was a bundle of energy! Good thing we all left when we did. The rain and wind really kicked in. The space blanket became a rain poncho. I walked over one of the tunnels on the way "home" and cheered on the marathoners coming up to the end of their run. Sadly I never saw my friend, but after their race I did get to hang with them one last time in my room and hear all about what it was like to run a first marathon on the crazy Seattle hills. Good job, Giraffy! You're my running hero!

And that's that. One more Seattle post left, and then I guess I'll get back to "real" life?!? 

Run 1.27/1.28/1.29 - 90 Mile Month!

Boom Boom Boom -- I finished out June with a Bang!!

I was trying to not get a cold and trying to get over one of my worst race hangovers, so my training plan for the weak got a little tweaked. But I wasn't going to let anything stop me from keeping on track and getting in the miles!

Friday night was run #27. A lovely six miles in VERY humid weather. I was dripping with sweat before I had even really gotten started. We ran down to the park and did the big loop once and the small loop once. The movies in the park were getting ready to start, so it was kind of fun to see a lot of people out and about laying down blankets and buying popcorn and other summer carnival type food. (We have an amphitheater down by the river and on Friday nights they have a huge screen and show movies once it is dark!)  In the end we finished those 6 miles pretty damn fast - at that rate I would have had a new half marathon PR!

Saturday morning we got up for run #28. This time it was 4 miles. It was a nice four - doing the big loop through park one time .... and making a potty stop at the store. Dang it. Who forgets to go the bathroom before a run? Oh yeah, that's me.We managed to slow our pace a little bit and overall it felt really nice.

Then after 10pm we did Saturday's officially scheduled run, getting me back to where I should be. This final 3 mile run of June got me to 90 miles for the month --- my highest mileage in any month EVER!! I was pretty damn excited. And it was Great run!! We started out faster than I intended so I did get us to slow down. By the end my body was feeling fabulous. It was quite a trip going out and doing essentially 3 back to back runs. BUT it isn't over! I'm getting ready for my Sunday "long" run. This is an off week, so my long run is actually only 5 miles. I'll enjoy that because next Sunday .... dun dun dunnnn.... fifteen miles!!

How was your weekend? Did you get in any nice runs? Did you melt? Were you also greeted with more summer rain??

Random Photo:  A car wash I was obsessed with in Seattle