Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I'm so glad Kim introduced me to @Fatfluential on Twitter. Sometimes it's a bit much, but generally gives me a giggle. I can appreciate the Fitfluential posts, too, but I do like the balance!

Anyway, after last week's run-eat-shop-eat-walk-eat-eat-drink-eat pre-Hood to Coast tour of Seattle with Kim (recap) & Elizabeth (recap), I'm hoping I don't generate much more #Proof of my #Fatfluential -ness. Ouch!

Run @ Alki
As I head into Week 1 of Another Mother Runner 10k (finish it) training, I'm hoping to burn a little of this #Proof off. Please do see Kim & Elizabeth's re-caps of this day as they took more/better photos. I intended to capture all the Seattle fresh foods but quickly would forget to snap a pic before diving in.

The itinerary (please do contact me if you're coming to Seattle & need recommendations on where to get your #Fatfluential #Proof!):

1. Run @ Alki Beach (gorgeous water & city views, fishers catching King salmon)
2. Bakery Nouveau (savory & sweet will never disappoint)
3. Fran's Chocolates (after helping E buy a Seattle Christmas tree ornament down on the waterfront)
4. Lunch @ Sitka & Spruce (light & lovely)
5. Running store shopping (Oiselle mission)
6. Molly Moon ice cream (their earl gray is AMAZING)
7. Theo Chocolates (tours sold out but plenty of samples in their store!)
8. Brouwer's for happy hour (great craft beer selection, especially if you love IPAs)
9. Dinner @ Revel (favorite of Tom Colicchio during recent filming of Top Chef)

Chef Matt Dillon @ Sitka & Spruce provides a locavore menu - these are locally crafted cheeses & salted butter that were heavenly

Albacore, arugula, chanterelles, cherry toms, beans...savory & light
We also had salmon with long beans, tomatoes, and soft egg, braised cucumbers with lobster mushrooms, and more...

At some point, as we ventured from point to point, I dragged the ladies up these stairs that illustrate well the steepness of the many hills in Seattle.

Prior to dinner, we paid a surprise visit to lovely Megan (Daily Sweat & Oiselle team member) at work...
E, Kim, Megan
At Revel, we started with this amazing meat platter, then moved on to dumplings, rice bowls, duck with noodles, and more. We were lucky to be joined by several other Seattle-area runners and/or bloggers (Lindsay, Sarah, Sally, Elizabeth B). Why didn't we get a group photo??

In the end, I came home with some great Oiselle shorts & tank that feel like a second skin, these super cool tumblers for my Jameson (below), some extra calories I probably didn't need, and most importantly, a day of great memories with two bloggy friends.

The next day, I was a bit "hung over" from all the fun and was having withdrawals from these great ladies. I hope Nuun brings Elizabeth back next year for Hood to Coast so Kim & I can have another run-eat-shop-eat-walk-eat-eat-drink-eat pre-Hood to Coast tour of Seattle!

You can order these awesome tumblers HERE.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Plan for a fall 10k

I've been going around & around trying to figure out how I should prepare for the Snohomish River 10k - or whether I should focus on it at all.

I've still got the f'in PF - plantar fasciitis. Doing my drills, two cortisone shots, taking it easy running light every other day. Weekly mileage ~ 10-13. The PF isn't getting any worse or better. That's good? I just don't know what to make of it but am pretty sure I should NOT attempt to really "train." That means no hills or speed work. That is not so fun for me. I really like speed. No, I LOVE speed.

I really would like to run a "Mark Remy" PR in the Snohomish River 10k (sub 49:00) and am trying to figure out if I can do it without doing track work. I'm SO afraid of re-injuring myself. Do you see a contradiction here between what I WANT to do and SHOULD do? Yes. Me = hardhead.

As I see it, the safest bet is to find an easy to moderate 10k training plan and just be very cautious about increasing mileage and intensity. And, I need to put the PR dream out of my head. For now. First goal should be to get my legs back and successfully finish a program without getting re-injured.

But, which "easy" plan to follow for a semi-injured runner? My beloved Furman FIRST/Run Less, Run Faster program is OUT. So sad, no speed for me. Not yet.

Feasible options:

1. Runner's World Smart Coach "maintenance" program
2. Runner's World Smart Coach "moderate" program 
3. Another Mother Runner 10k "Finish it" plan

RW Smart Coach thoughts:
  • The maintenance program lists no run more than 5 miles long. I think this will not do for preparing for a 10k.
  • The moderate program long run ranges from 4 to 8 miles. This is fine.
  • 3 runs per week supplemented by cross training: 1 easy run, 1 tempo or speed work run, and 1 long run. 
  • I'm familiar with RW Smart Coach programs, have used them successfully in the past prior to discovering the Furman FIRST/Run Less, Run Faster program.
AMR plan:
  • Similar long run schedule as RW moderate program.
  • 4 runs per week: 2 easy runs, 1 speed work run, 1 long run. 
  • The speed work is much more tame, based on minutes of increased effort rather than specific distance/time goals. 
  • New plan to me, never used AMR. 
I naturally lean toward the RW Smart Coach program but I'm afraid the speed work will be too tempting for me. I can see myself pushing it too hard, too soon. So, I'm going to go with the AMR plan and try to keep myself reigned in. However, I will skip one easy run every other week to keep my runs at every other day, no consecutive days of running. I really enjoy the AMR podcasts so I am excited to give this plan a go.

AMR plan starts tomorrow with an easy 3 miles + 4 strides. I will go EASY on the strides for sure.

Honestly, my ego is a bit sore going with a "finish it" plan when I know I can finish it or should be able to finish it. But, I need to get over myself and be smart for a change. If I can get through this successfully, next up will be the Seattle Half Marathon over Thanksgiving Day weekend and I'll use a (slightly) more ambitious plan then.

Fingers crossed that I can get through this without getting over-ambitious!


Earlier this summer, some very nice people at Sopeshop sent me some arnica oil to test, along with a sample of delicious oatmeal grapefruit soap and a salve. The folks at Sopeshop make all their own products, using natural ingredients and Arnica montana grown in the lovely state of Montana, which is where Sopeshop is located!

The soap is non-drying and smells lovely while the salve has been really nice to soothe my dry summer skin.

I was using the arnica oil on my PF foot but I really can't say it helped easy any pain. I wouldn't expect it to. However, I did use it on my (and my son's) many bruises sustained while playing. The arnica does seem to make the bruises go away more quickly and it made my son happy to have something to make his "tu-tus" better. Previously, I'd been using an arnica cream.

If you like arnica products, I would recommend trying this oil. It's not greasy or messy and is easy to apply.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dawg races are coming!

I squeezed a post-work run in along the downtown Seattle waterfront today and was surprised by the smell of cross-country season.

Do you know that smell?

It's the smell of fall: sweat, fallen leaves, cooler temps.

It was in the 90's last week and now it feels and smells like fall may be around the corner. That got me thinking...

Dawg races are coming!
And my beloved Vikings will be racing too!

For local runners out there, check out several opportunities to spectate at fall collegiate races. I have posted previously about our local runners and have a Pac10 Championship spectator re-cap HERE. So much fun to see these young people race - I can't wait!

Ok, so here's the scoop (Seattle UW races in yellow; Seattle WWU race in med. blue):

I'm definitely going to try for the NCAA West Regionals (about half mile from my house!) and hopefully the Sundodger Invite, since both of my home teams will be there. 

Let me know if you're going to be spectating too!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hood to Coast pre-funk begins after a very brief rest...

Elizabeth (Running for Bling) and Kim (Just Trying is for Little Girls) are on their way over from the airport, as I type. I'm VERY excited!

After a short sleep, we're taking on Seattle via a run-eat-walk-eat-running shop-chocolate tour-walk-eat tour. All in preparation for Hood to Coast. Actually in preparation for Elizabeth's Nuun Hood to Coast experience!

This will involve some good carbo loading (i.e., fresh pastries, chocolate, Korean pancakes), light exercise (i.e., run along Alki, walk along the waterfront), and local shopping (i.e., Oiselle, Super Jock & Jill), and a gathering with other local runner-bloggers at a Top Chef-lovin' restaurant!

Details to come soon...


Also coming soon, a tentative plan for a fall 10k PR at the Snohomish River Run.


I received a second cortisone shot for my plantar fasciitis today. Will it last this time? Can I get in shape for a 10k PR as early as October? Dare I dream? 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Today ended 351 day dry spell

Downtown Seattle skyline from Alki

I'm not sure how it's possible, but apparently I haven't ran Alki Beach, one of my favorite running locales, since September 2, 2011. I've been here plenty of times to hang out in the past year but according to my running log, today ended a 351 day dry spell.

I parked a ways from the prime sandy beach area, packed Baby F into the jogger, loaded it down with blanket, toys, snacks, and water, then ran us into the beach where we met up with playmates. The tide was out so we were able to wade out quite a ways to dig in the sand and mud. Awesome! When we were done, we got packed up again and ran back to the car.

Total distance = 3.5 mi  (30:02)
Temp = 82 degrees
Love this heat!
Plantar fasciitis = Yes, still some pain. Cortisone shot #2 on Monday. 

Because we've had such a mild summer, I've been really enjoying this "hot spell" we're having. Even running in the heat is feeling good to me! I like the super sweat factor it adds and so grateful to finally have a tan line (it's mid-August after all!).

Have a good weekend everyone!

Next up: Thoughts on a training plan for a fall 10k (Snohomish River Run - $10 off with this code: AVERAGESRR12)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tips on riding your bike to work

After mentioning that I ordered a new commuting bike (not here yet!), the Centsible Runner suggested I post some tips on bike commuting. Even though I have an easy commute, I still had to work out some kinks when I got started. For me, the biggest obstacle to bike commuting were the simple logistics of dealing with "stuff." Bike stuff AND work stuff.

Disclaimer: My bike commute is SHORT (3 miles each way) and riding my bike to/from work is faster and cheaper (15-20 min; free!) than public transit (30 min; $2.50) and only a little slower than driving (10-15 min; parking = $11-20). That should catch the Centsible Runner's attention! These factors provide a lot of motivation to bike. If my commute were longer and/or I had free parking, it would be harder to motivate myself to ride.

Here are some things that made it possible for me to bike commute with relative ease:
  1. Panniers: Wearing a backpack sucks. It makes your back hot & sore and it can be difficult to fit everything in, especially in the winter when you are taking in a big sweater to wear and packing a laptop. I found two on Ebay for about $50. They're not fancy but they are just fine.
  2. Ditch the purse: Just throw your wallet & little pouch of necessary "things" into your panniers. A purse takes up too much room. Keep an extra purse at work in a drawer that has extra stuff that you don't need to schlep back & forth - extra chap stick, comb, feminine products, etc. Then, when you need to go out of the office at work, just grab your things from the panniers and toss them in your work purse. 
  3. Keep extra clothes at work: Stock your office/cube with an extra raincoat, umbrella, warm coat, casual gloves, hat, etc. These are things you can't bike in but may need if you leave the office during the day. No need to tote them back & forth when you can keep spares at work.
  4. Keep shoes at work: If you have one or two pairs of shoes that you only wear at work - leave them there so you don't have to schlep your shoes. Leave some pantyhose & extra socks there too! 
  5. Keep extra toiletries at work: My commute is easy enough that I can shower after I get up, bike in, and not be too messed up for work. I know not everyone has it that easy so if you need to "get ready" for work at work - take all your stuff in and leave it there so you don't have to bring things back & forth. Do this even if it means buying an extra flat iron, travel hair dryer, make-up, etc. Keep some wipes around to catch that sweat.
  6. Be safe: Get a good helmet, reflective coat, warm gloves for winter, and invest in a decent headlight (or 2) and flashing tail light. Don't be cheap on this one, they're very important during winter.
  7. Pack your bags each night: When I don't pack the night before, it's too easy for me to bail and just take the light rail to work. Pack at night, prepare your lunch, even pack your clothes for work next day. Then, getting ready to jump on your bike & go is much easier in the morning and doesn't give you excuses about packing your stuff.
  8. Roll your clothes: This reduces wrinkling.
Your co-workers may think that you're moving into your office with all that extra stuff you have around but it really does eliminate much of the hassle of changing into work clothes and making yourself "presentable." After a while, they'll get used to it and think you're super cool for biking to work.

Biking, even at an easy pace, will give you a few extra calories burned each day which for me is not a bad thing (I like beer too much). Plus, the extra strength & cardio are nicet compliments to running and may even count as cross-training on an active rest day. Many birds = 1 stone! 

What tips do you have to make bike commuting easier? 
Please share!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thank you

Thanks everyone for the support.

I've gotten a lot of (work) things off my plate (barely any sleep, but very productive) and am feeling the weight lifting. My next run will feel much lighter for sure.

After finishing that last post and getting some work done, I was finally able to sit and cry. It was a good release and all the kind words helped a lot. Y'all are the Kara as I was the Shalane (nice comparisons, right?), lifting me up as I am falling down from exhaustion.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I cried at yoga today

Just a little.
Who does that? I feel like a freak.
This is why I run. Given the opportunity to be still, breathe, and be present in the moment with myself without the labored breathing of running, I am susceptible to completely falling apart. Just lately. Not always, don't worry.
I managed to get a grip within moments but it totally caught me off guard. We were just about finished so I was quite relaxed. After doing a little bit of core work we grabbed our bent legs, forming a ball with our body, and that little self hug unraveled me a little. It found a crack in the armor that I've been wearing so I can get through my days lately.
Do you ever feel like this?
I'm not typically like this. In fact, my glass is normally 99% full, which is annoying to the glass half-full folks out there.'s just been this way for a few weeks. I'm totally swamped at work, not getting enough sleep (like 4 hours last night due to working late again but I keep hearing my abuela, "i never felt sorry for someone who had a job" in my head so suck it up), trying to hold the house & tot together, and barely holding off the plantar fasciitis so I can get some short runs in.
If it weren't for these 3 mile runs I'm doing, I am pretty sure I would lose my shit. I really need running for my sanity and at stressful times like this it's especially critical, which makes dealing with an injury all the more painful from an emotional perspective.
So back to the yoga thing. I recognize that it is unhealthy to be teetering on the edge to the point where any bit of mental relaxation causes a flood of emotion. I know I shouldn't be so wound up and I'm not typically like this (am I?), but I just don't have the time to process everything that's going on.
Moms - are you picking up what I'm putting down? Is your train on the same track? Like, it's all you can do to just get through each day to get the necessities taken care of at home as well as get work-work taken care of (I'm balancing about 5 projects right now with deadlines between yesterday and next Thursday and not enough hours to get it all taken care of) such that there is no time to think about what is going on inside. No time to process the truly important things that need to be dealt with. Oh yeah, and there's that paper I'm supposed to write by the end of Sept. for submission to a journal for publication...that I haven't started yet.
I really wasn't going to mention this on the blog but at this point, I'm just breaking down and I need to let it out. My Master Plan for 2012 was to have a baby, #2. Self-proclaimed in January. Well, I'm dealing with miscarriage #2 right now instead of baby #2 and it's...frustrating, heart breaking, disappointing, sad, and more. I know it can happen and try not to blame my age but I know I need to be patient. I know others have gone through this and more. In the grand scheme of things, I know I am fortunate and I am thankful for all I have and know that others are dealing with much more difficult things right now.
But this, combined with all the work shit, a 3-yr old who is acting up & will not under any circumstances apologize (any tips on this? we had to leave block party early tonight because he refused to apologize for pushing a kid down), lack of sleep, and fear that Master Plan 2012 won't happen at all...
It can make you lose your shit in yoga if you're not on guard, keeping it all tight & locked up. I think I need a day to just be sad & process so I can move on. Maybe this blog post is it.
Ok, taking a deep breath now.
Time to get back on VPN so I can get some work-work done and try to get to bed before midnight tonight.
Talking the self down:
Work will calm down, I just need to take it one day at a time.
My plantar fasciitis will pass and I'll eventually be able to have longer therapy sessions with Dr. Brooks on the Seattle roads.
And maybe once I can chill out & remember to breathe, the Master Plan 2012 (or 2013) will come together at the right time that just isn't right now.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I sweat my thorns off today

Yes, it was the THIRD ANNUAL SWEAT YOUR THORNS OFF virtual 5K this weekend! 

Thanks to THE BORING RUNNER, I had an excuse to get extra sweaty. Thankfully, Seattle weather finally sent summer back so I could get my heat on. At 8 a.m., it was already 70 degrees. That is really freaking hot, yo!

The pic doesn't do the sweat justice, but I was dripping. For reals, all my thorns melted away because I am not only not used to running right now (plantar fasciitis sucks) but also not used to running in anything above 65.

Course: My usual "golf course loop" with an extra loop at the park thrown in to splash in some puddles (last day of wear testing a water-proof product).
Total climb: 175 feet
Distance: 5k
Race time: 8:19 a.m.
Field: 1 average woman runner
Time: 26:08  (8:26 pace)
Place: 1/1

Adam may be a little disappointed to learn that there were no bodily mishaps or releases, other than sweat. After I got home, though, I did shed a few tears as I watched the women's marathon in London. So sad that Desi withdrew due to an injury but think she's a rock star for at least making the start line. And the same with Paula - I was looking forward to seeing her run. I wonder if she will keep fighting? Osteoarthritis doesn't sound good.
Courtesy of USATF.ORG

THANKS, ADAM, for making me get out on a hot weekend to push the pace a bit.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's August 1st, I can be a bad girl now!

  • In early July, I made a goal that I would make NO running goals in July. I needed to CHILL. Well, it's August 1st now, which means I can be a bad girl and start scheming toward some fall goals, especially since...
  • I broke down and got a cortisone shot for my plantar fasciitis. Everyone warned me that it would hurt like hell but let me tell you, those 3 seconds of burning sensation were uncomfortable but NOTHING compared to the Graston torture I endure at PT every one to two weeks.
  • My first post-shot run was a success. No pain for now but I will continue to take it very easy. 
  • I ordered myself a new commuter bike! My friend designed this Boda Boda cargo bike and I am so excited to get something that represents a friends' DREAM: to build a practical, functional, but stylish lifestyle bike that facilitates living without total reliance on a car:

I'm getting the one on the left. Cork handle bars, bamboo rack with flip-down foot rests on back wheels for giving a friend a ride, accommodates "baguette bags" which hold 2 grocery bags each, and double-sided kick-stand that keeps it from tipping over when you have a heavier load on one side of the bike, wide range in gears. You can also had a child seat on the back rack or a surf board rack. The perfect commuter bike!
 It will be delivered in early Sept. and you can count on me blogging all about my new commuting after it arrives. First new bike since 1993!

  • Still congratulating myself for getting two co-workers to spontaneously jump into a 5k fun run with me in Chicago last week, even though they don't run & had never done a 5k!
  • Another co-worker here in Seattle is completing a coutch-to-5k program but hadn't planned on doing a 5k. Today she signed herself AND her tween daughter up for the Athleta Iron Girl 5k in September! Score 2 more!
  • I'm still working on building a running base - moving slowly because I still have had pain from my PF but am having a hard time fighting the urge to pick a training plan for my October/November half marathons. Stay calm. Chill out, A! 
  • I have a work trip to Kodiak, AK scheduled for sometime in September but I am doubtful I can find a fun run to squeeze in while I'm there. There may be 1 or 2 possibilities but they are long shots. Not giving up hope yet though! Need to check AK off my list! 
  • Speaking of raced states list, I removed VT. I completed a virtual run while I was in VT in 2010 but I'm thinking I should only count officially timed/sanctioned, public races. That means I must go back to that beautiful state.
  • I am resigned to being sleep-deprived for the next several weeks while the Olympics are on because I can't help staying up late to watch the games. Am I the only one who thinks Lotche is a bit of a punk? Seems like he should be more respectful of Phelps and what he has accomplished, and the role he played in giving Lotche someone to chase after/motivator. 
  • Wishing the track & field Olympic events would start already! 
Don't forget about the new, fast & flat 10k / half marathon race coming in October: Snohomish River Run!! Use this code to get $10 off your entry: AVERAGESRR12