Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Nuun Hood to Coast 2012 Application - Done!

I know this is premature (applications aren't due until Monday, April 9), but I went ahead and sent mine in to Nuun. So why not share it for y'all to enjoy laugh at?

If there is anyone out there who was thinking of applying but not sure, I would encourage you to go for it. What do you have to lose (other than the cost of one RT ticket to Seattle and a lot of sweat)?

I'm hoping that seeing this makes you think, "Ha! I totally got this!

Or, "Yes! I am going to do a Black Eyed Peas sequel, 'Boom Boom Pow' becomes 'Nuun Nuun Wow!'


Actually, no. Don't think seriously. Just do. This is all for FUN. There is too much serious going on in the world to be serious about something as fun as running with 11 other sweaty, virtual women friends from mountain to sea while having access to a fantastic product that we all know & love (and is HQ'ed in one of the best towns ever).

Before you start to worry, be assured that I do not have designs to become a female version of Weird Al Yankovic (though it would be fun). I will be keeping my day job as a dorky scientist. Yes, sticking to my spreadsheets.

The Average Woman Runner: Phunk With My Thirst

You can also view it HERE on YouTube.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Relay love: MSR, MTS, HTC, FTG

I love relays.

In response to blog-land questions about my favorite races, I always say, "relays." And even more, I love ALL FEMALE relays. It's a powerful feeling to sweat, laugh, cry, sing off-key, and be gutsy with girlfriends. And then finish it all off with burgers and beer!

Mt. Si Relay
Last month, I tried to resurrect an old relay team for the upcoming, Mt. Si Relay (57 miles, 5-people, 2 legs each, < 45 minute drive from Seattle, mostly on rails-to-trail terrain, very scenic). I organized an all-female team in 2007 and 2008. We had a fantastic time running and in 2008 our team placed third in the women's open division! After 2008, babies started to happen and our team faded away.
2007 Team: 30's Are the New 20's
2008 Team: Bootylicious
Unfortunately, my girls can't work it out to reunite this year. Hopefully next year?

Mountains to Sound Relay
Prior to Mt. Si, I organized an all female multi-sport team for the Mountains to Sound relay in 2006 (it's now called the Ironhorse Relay). At that time, the relay ran from the lower Cascade Mountains and finished in Elliot Bay, Seattle. The 100-mile course begins with a mountain bike then transitions to a road bike, kayak leg, 13.1-mile run, and finishes with a 10k "sprint." Sadly, I don't have a single photo but what I do remember is that our team kicked as$ (Team: Easier Than Consulting). Our kayaker was particularly awesome. In the end, our team took FIRST place among women's teams and we all won a free pair of Salomon trail running shoes!

Hood to Coast Relay
I have had the good fortune to participate in HTC two times. The first time was in 1994 for an all-female team sponsored by my then-employer, FootZone (they are now under different ownership - owned by a couple of my co-workers/class mates from back then!). This was such a whirl-wind trip and it happened so long ago, I don't remember a whole lot other than we took FIRST in the female corporate division. I DO remember that I had fun.

1994 Team FootZone
I ran HTC again in 2006 with co-workers and again had a great time. I used to have photos but not sure where they disappeared to.

Falls to Gasworks Relay
This relay doesn't even exist anymore! And what's more, I had completely forgotten that I ran this until a couple weeks ago, I stumbled across a photo with me in it and in the caption a note about our team placing in the open division. Photo taken on April 21, 1996. How can I not remember running this great relay with my college girl friends? Well, I'm SURE I had fun even if I don't remember!
Falls to Gasworks Relay, 3rd place in women's open division (1996)
In 2008, I did the Vashon XTERRA off-road triathlon as a team but not sure if that counts as a relay? (Our girl team came in 2nd or 3rd - can't remember.)

It's been way too long since I've done a relay. What will be next? Maybe Mt. Si in 2013? Or, if Nuun either finds me entertaining or takes pity on my inability to sing on-key, maybe I'll be running HTC?

Everyone should apply for the Nuun HTC team(s), applications due Monday, April 9. Then after you get picked, come run with me while you're hanging out in Seattle!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Days 5 - 7: I'm contagious?

Day 5 was a rest day. I still can't put a lot of pressure on my left foot so being a good girl and taking it easy. Instead, I took the little guy to meet some friends at the pool (indoor) and we played in the water for 2+ hours.

Day 6 was supposed to be my 12 mile long run but the morning was out (had to schlep back to the pool up north to retrieve the swimsuits I left there the previous day). Duh. So, we made it a kiddie swim morning again. Later, I spent my free-time/nap-time shooting video for my Nuun Hood to Coast application video.

[I actually ran a bit for the video and it didn't feel great but it didn't seem BAD either, as long as I stayed up on my toes! Still plan on giving it some rest.]

Who knows what will come of the Nuun application but one thing I CAN guarantee you: I am making a total fool of myself. Just wait and you will see (I will post completed video application on due date).

Later in the evening, we got together with friends to celebrate a BFF getting an amazing score on a grant application that will land her an assistant teaching position at the University of Washington. Woot!

I didn't have the expectation of running 12 miles but I did have the high hope of spending an equivalent amount of time cross-training. Didn't happen today. Too much going on.

Day 7 was another opportunity to get that 12-miler in and with another day of rest (5 non-running days so far) perhaps "get" to do my mock run on the elliptical. I was thwarted though, because the Y doesn't open until 10 a.m. on Sundays (I would need to go around 6 or 7 a.m.) and I was getting picked up by the girls @ 11:30 for snowboarding.

No long run, fine. I wasn't sure how my foot would be snowboarding but I figured it was worth a try as this would likely be my last chance to board this season.

I headed up with the ladies to Alpental/Snoqualamie Pass and was excited to try out my new board. It was sunny, we had great tunes, and we were happy to be getting a day in together before the season's end. Well, we decided to warm up on an easier route and I discovered that my new board is FAST. Like scary fast. I now realize that my 10+ yr old board I had was pretty awful, so this is going to be an adjustment. I was falling all over the place but loving it.

As I came to the end of that first run, I saw "B" in a pile with estranged skis and poles not 30 yards from the bottom. I pulled up (thankful now that I didn't make a wise-crack about her yard sale maneuver) and thought she had a bad but funny fall, would collect her things, and we'd be off. Not so much.

She said she had felt a "pop" in her calf and when she tried to get up, found she couldn't walk. (Oh, I so know that feeling.) She gradually hobbled down in her boots. Poor, poor B. I think at a minimum she must have torn her calf, even worse than I did during the Seattle RNR marathon last summer, but I'm hoping it's not more. I feel like this calf tear thing is contagious or maybe this is just what happens to everyone when they turn 39?

With that, the day was done.

My foot is getting better though I'm still walking on just my toes on my left foot. I will do some weights and cross-training tomorrow as planned then try to get an easy run in the following day.

Crossing my fingers that the run is all good.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 3 & 4 - Half marathon training

Day 3 – Still hobbling from plantar fasciitis in left foot. It was a cross-training day so I just did some strength training and my physical therapy exercises at the Y. I bailed on the actual aerobic cross training simply due to being sad and also being short on time. I dropped the pull-down from my strength routine since I’ve incorporated pull-ups and my goal is to keep this routine as short as possible (30-35 minutes).

Meanwhile, I iced and gobbled ibuprofen all day.

Day 4 – Tempo Thursday became a cross-training day since I was still hobbling. I had hoped to do my 5 mi tempo (goal pace = 8:01) on the elliptical but I just couldn’t bear my weight on my left foot. Damn. So, the bike became my outlet. 

Stats: 10.7 miles in 42:13, avg RPM = 98 (aside from my warm-up/cool-down, my goal was to be above 100 RPM).

More icing and anti-inflammatory ingestion today. Also, after seeing comments on Day 2’s post, I think I need to modify my training plan (assuming I can start running again soon). This just sucks and I don’t want to tempt my plantar fascia to put me through this again. With this in mind, I will incorporate two changes:
  1. No track work. Although I was able to rock my track workouts during last year’s half marathon & marathon training program, I’m going to cut those out on this go-around. I will keep tempo runs and want to do some form of interval training, but perhaps to just do it all on the bike instead of the track. I’ll replace a cross-train day with an easy mid-distance run since I’ll be doing a speed day on the bike.
  2. Brooks PureFlow shoes will take a little break and I’ll just gradually build up miles in them, beginning with ~ 2 mi run. If I feel ANY tightness, will back off.
Plan for the long run…? It would be great if I could at least ellipticize my 12 mi long run this weekend. If not, I guess I’ll do a combination of swim/bike for 2 hours instead? 

For all the locals, the snow is supposed to go away and spring should come by this weekend.
Good luck to everyone running the Mercer Island Half Marathon this weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 2 - Track Tuesday

Day 2 –  Oh what a day. I actually got up when my alarm went off at 5:40 a.m. No small thing. It wasn’t raining hard so I pulled on some “outside” running clothes, grabbed a water bottle with one scoop of HEED, and headed down the hill to the high school track (1.2 miles away). 

It was dark but not wet and a good wind whipped across the NW corner of the track.
This was my first track-based track workout since May 30, 2011 (the rest have been on the treadmill). I loved it – I was so excited to be on the track and have that butterfly feeling in my stomach that always comes when I step on a track.

There was one other guy jogging around the outside of the track when I arrived and after I warmed up, another guy showed up and started running the same workout as me on the opposite side of the track: We began and finished our workout at the same time, he ran 6x800m running his repeats at nearly the same time (only he was a bit slower).

My goal time for each 800m repeat (based on my recent 5k finish time) was 3:28 with a 90 second rest interval. The first was 3:17. Too fast. What the heck? Not sure how I managed that. The next 2 were still below my target time so I was working on relaxing the pace a bit. Finally on my 4th repeat I was getting tired and hit a 3:27. I started on repeat #5 and as my second lap started, my left foot screamed. It was my plantar fascia.

No. You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s only Day 2! It wasn’t crippling so I kept going but relaxed the pace. Finished in 3:29, which was good. After that, I took a longer rest interval and did some dynamic stretching. And I thought. In 1994/95 I had to take a whole YEAR off from running due to plantar fasciitis. Since then, I’ve felt it creep up and warn me but I can usually take care of it with some icing, stretching, massage, and rest, such that it hasn’t really impacted my training. 

Why now? Hmmm, well, my calves were tight beginning last week with my first attempt at speed work. Then there is the fact that my next two runs (on tight calves) were in my new Brooks PureFlow shoes which have a lower heel drop. One of those runs was a race. Perhaps I rushed myself into this new shoe. Dumb, dumb, dumb! 

Against all better judgment, I finished my last repeat in 3:47. In total pain. To get through, I had to run on the outside of my left foot around the track. After, I hobbled up the hill back home. I was resolved to stay positive, thinking that it’s early in my training and I can whip this thing nearly as quickly as it hit me. 

Quick preparation for work and I boarded the train for downtown. On the way, I ran into a neighbor who was visiting his chiropractor. (Neighbor just wrote a humor book, check it out: I Hate Your Pet!) I ended up following Mr. I Hate Your Pet to his appointment and lucked into a massage right away due to a cancellation. 

I had never seen this therapist before but I was desperate for some relief. Fortunately, this guy was awesome. He dug deep into my calves, finding spasms to work out, showing me stretches to ease the pain. Since then, I’ve been icing (frozen water bottle), stretching, and taking ibuprofen.  

Despite hobbling around and being frustrated all day, I finished Day 2 off with a great dinner from a British chef, Patrick Holford, who makes low GL recipes. The ingredients are quite different from those we commonly use here. Well, some things are the same but with different names (courgette vs zucchini, aubergine vs eggplant) but others are just plain different. Usually, I guess at a substitute. Anyway, last night I made a great mixed grain salad with roasted peppers, zucchini, garbanzo beans, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, mint, and salmon with a lime, cumin, coriander dressing. 
Makes for good lunch
Day 3 will be a cross-training and weight training day, which will be a good rest for my foot. I am not sure if I’ll be running my Tempo Thursday workout or weekend long run. 

One day at a time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 1 - Condensed half marathon training

Day 1 began with cross-training: 30 minutes on the stationary bike and 35 minutes of strength work & physical therapy exercises. I was supposed to do 40 minutes on the bike but I stayed up waaay to late and hit my snooze button FOUR TIMES.

Bike: Univision was quite entertaining this morning, even if it was the news. They showed a snowy golf tournament of some sort (a centuries old tradition) in Afghanistan, among other more relevant news in Latin America.

Stats: 7.38 miles in 30 minutes, avg. RPM = 97.

Strength/PT*: I've definitely decided to add pull-ups to my routine, both with palm facing and away. In the interest of keeping this routine as close to 30 minutes as possible, I'm wondering if the addition of pull-ups makes it unnecessary for me to do pull-down with palm facing and away? Do they train similar muscles, so that I can ditch the pull-down? Any trainers out there want to give me some free advice? My purpose is to build up my upper back and arms and hopefully improve my slouchy posture.

Main squeeze: biceps, triceps, delts, lats, hams, abs, lower back, upper back, funky hip things, squats and 1-leg stances on balance discs, heel raises, probably a few other things I can't name. Oh, and LUNGES baby!

*Just a side note about the strength training. I've been doing this on & off, but mostly on, since my injury last summer and I feel STRONG. Like, I could give y'all a good gun show! (not really, but getting closer) Anyway, I could definitely feel the advantage of this renewed upper body strength during this past weekend's 5k. My arms had the strength to pump hard and my legs just had to follow. Last year during marathon training, my arms would fatigue on my longer runs. This spring, I'm curious to see how the upper body strength training plays out on those longer runs.

No unusual Y sightings today - no "white-uniform-runs-fast-on-treadmill-with-no-power" dude, no "child-multi-color-barrette-in-beard" dude, and no "bench-press" dude. But it was busy though, for a regular Monday.

Tomorrow is Track Tuesday: The goal is to try really hard to drag my butt out of bed no later than 5:45 a.m. to hit the track (or treadmill if it's pouring - hate a slippery track) for 6x800m with 90 sec rest interval. Goal pace: 6:58. That's really early for me. It's going to be hard so I'm off to bed now...

*So ditching Evan Dando for Blake Shelton*
**ED is all yours Giraffy**

Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Paddy's Day in snow?

The weather forecast was not in our favor but I was optimistic. Woke up at 6:40 a.m. and listened. Yes, the sound of heavy rain was still drumming on the windows. Damn. Temperature was 38 degrees.


I dressed, had half a AB&J sandwich, made some tea-to-go, and hopped in the car for the drive down to Tacoma to meet up with Kim and her S, Kerrie, Zoe, Mel, Tiffany, Jamie, Chelsea, and many others. In the rain and cold.

Huddled under an awning to stay dry pre-race.
3 Huskies & a Bulldog
Kim & I got to show off our Huskiness
There was quite a line-up for race packet pick-up so the 10k and 5k started about 15 minutes late, which just prolonged our time standing around in the cold rain. I went to the 10k start with Kim & S to see them off. Kim's goal was to get a PR (sub-57:00) and she rocked that goal by 5 minutes!

Those of us in the 5k huddled together for warmth until the horn blew then we were off down a pretty significant downhill for the first half mile. Mel and everyone were off like a shot. I think I came through the first mile around 7:15. I couldn't feel my feet they were so frozen. The rest of me was pretty warm. I was working pretty hard but was feeling o.k. The problem was, I had NO idea how long I could sustain my pace since I hadn't done any speed work to prepare for this run. So, I just hoped to hold on and see how it came out.

We hit the turn-around pretty quickly and the 2 mile mark came up at about 15:xx. I had slowed down as expected but was still feeling o.k. Very cool! This was when I remembered that nice downhill we had in the beginning. Oh yeah, gotta get up that thing to find the finish line. I debated about whether I should slow up to save myself for the hill but ultimately decided it wouldn't matter if I continued at this pace or slowed down - that hill was going to be rough regardless.

Sure enough, that half-mile hill was no joke. I slowed down significantly and just pushed as hard I could. As soon as I got to the top of the hill I could see the finish line and I gutted it out because I knew I was close to meeting my last 5k time (December). In the finish chute, I was sucking wind pretty good still when the volunteers handed me a great St. Paddy's Day highball glass and race pin.

After the race, most of the gang went out for food but I needed to scoot home. The drive back up north was SNOWY. In mid-March! I know that's nothing for many people across the states but for Seattle it's just plain crazy! It didn't stick but was exciting anyway.

Catching my breath! (Thanks Tiffany for the pic)
In the end I don't think I could have done any better, but just like the last 5k, left me hungry to try again after actually training for a 5k (i.e., doing more than logging regular old training miles with no speed work). In my dream world, I bust 21:00.

Chip time = 23:13, 7:29 pace (exactly the same time as my Santa Runs Tacoma 5k)
Overall place = 74/1,691
Women's race place = 11/1,177
Age group 35-39 = 3/150 (won me a yellow ribbon for third in AG!)

The top three women's finishers this morning were stellar:
  1. 18:23 (this lady was in my age group!)
  2. 18:34 (25-29 age group)
  3. 19:05 (my age group again)

I hope everyone else enjoyed their St. Patrick's Day races!

This week is Week 1 of a short 9-week half marathon training program. That means track Tuesday and tempo Thursday should be back FOR REALS this time. Next weekend's long run will be a 12-miler. I'm HOPING that the weather improves by then so it's not another wet, icy slog. Woohoo!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Whoops! Did it again: Seattle Half Marathon deal on

It's looking like a bucket load of us Women Runners of King County (WeROKC) are going to be taking the Seattle Half Marathon course by storm!

Thanks to Zozi, who is offering a $39 registration deal, we're going to get suited up and brave the November elements for this classic Seattle run. I've done this race three times over the years (1991, 1996, 2007) and know that I need to train on HILLS come fall to be ready for this.

So now I've gone from recently having NO plan for 2012 to suddenly being registered for two halfs. YIPES! Also, I'm 90% sure I will be signing up for the Seahawks 12k (instant PR as it is a new distance) on April Fool's Day.

(regular pricing right now is $70 and will go up from there)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Registered: Capital City Half Marathon / 2012

I took the plunge and got registered! Now, to finalize the training plan that starts next week. Not a lot of time, but that's ok, right? I'm still not above trying to head to Coeur d'Alene but at least I will get one half in this Spring in case the ID trip doesn't pan out.

Capital City Marathon / 2012 - May 20

Plus, the hubs is teasing me with his work travel schedule. We're hoping the little guy and I can piggy back on a work trip (as long as he doesn't schedule these at the last minute like usual, when points tickets are gone and cash prices are $$$$):
  • Charleston, SC in mid-May
  • Providence, RI in late May (Memorial Day weekend!)
  • Atlanta, GA the first weekend of June
I'm trying not to get my hopes up because these things rarely work out but...IF we can make a fun trip out of a work trip, I'll definitely be figuring out how to squeeze a race in (5k/10k) so I can scratch a state off my list. Ideally, I would love to go to ATL so I can possibly hook up with two of my most favorite bloggers:

Determined to Be Fit
Running for Bling

Ok, but NOT getting my hopes up...

(fingers crossed)


One more training run until the St. Patty's Day Half!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mama gots new shoes: Half mary training prep

Brooks PureFlow
Since their release on November 1, 2011, I've been using incredible will-power to NOT purchase some PureProject shoes. Well, I just realized that I haven't actually bought a pair of running shoes since 2010! I've gotten so many Brooks wear-testing shoes that worked out for me that I haven't needed a new pair.

With that, I took a splurge. I look forward to Thursday run day to test them out.

THANK YOU for the recommendations on the half marathons in May/June. It sounds like the Capital City (Olympia, WA) is a good bet: nice course, rolling hills, only 1 hr drive, but reasonable chance for bad weather. Coeur d'Alene (ID)is relatively flat and scenic with high probability of warm, dry weather but 9 hours away. NODM (Sequim, WA) is beautiful, relatively flat, only 2-3 hrs drive, but weather may be questionable and this one is on my husband's birthday weekend.

So, I'm thinking I will campaign for a trip to Coeur d'Alene (check ID off my list!) but mostly likely I will end up running Capital City, WA on May 20. Not a bad option! In the meantime, I'll be considering some additional races that some other blogging ladies are registered for:
  • Seahawk 12k (April 1)
  • Top Pot Doughnut 5k (April 29) 
  • Cinco de Mayo 8k (May 5)
  • Capital City Half (May 20)
  • IronHeart Mile (June 9)

In preparation for half marathon training, I attempted my first round of speed intervals since...? Late January or early February? To see how it would feel, I put on 4x800m at 7:11 pace. Aside from messing up my distances on the treadmill because I apparently can't count, it felt TOUGH but do-able. With that, I'll use my upcoming 5k race time to set my training paces for next week's start to half marathon training.

[almost] Time for the games to begin!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Master Plan 2012? (and my new Gnu!)

Last year was all about the Master Plan for 2011 (for kicking ass), and I had multiple iterations as the year evolved. This year, I've held back on formulating any plan, mostly because the primary focus this year is to make the little man a big brother while continuing to run and stay healthy.

Well, I really can't say when this all is going to happen and am frustrated with my failed RLRF 5k training that went kaput. The 5k is this coming weekend and I'm just going to run hard and see what happens without the speed work that I had hoped to get in. So, it's time to go ahead and put out a Master Plan for 2012. Today's 12-mile training run with a marathon-training friend sealed the deal - I miss those long runs!

Rather than plan out the entire year, I'm just going to take it race by race. After the St. Patty's 5k next Saturday, I'm going to focus on a half marathon. I definitely want to attempt the Furman FIRST / RLRF half marathon program again (can I muster the energy for this?) but I will need to cut it down from 18 weeks to about 10 or 12 weeks, which takes me to late May / early June.  What race to do?

Several race options are available (recommendations/reviews PLEASE!):
  • Capital City Half Marathon (Olympia, WA), May 20 - Just a little over an hour south of here, kinda early but do-able. I hear this is hilly. Anyone run this? Is it nice? 
  •  Coeur d'Alene Half Marathon (Coeur d'Alene, ID), May 27 - I need to check Idaho off my list and it would be nice to get some sun/lake time in as this is a Memorial Day weekend vacation potential.
  • North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon, (Sequim, WA), June 3 - I walked the half in 2010, it's a beautiful course. This would be an over-nighter but could be a fun weekend away that's actually quite close.
At this point, I'm leaning toward the NODM if I can't convince the hubs to go to Idaho for Memorial Day weekend.

Between now and half marathon time, I'd love to get in some shorter fun runs but will have to see what works with the schedule. Anyone have any Seattle-area 5k/8k/10k's planned? Seahawks 12k? Nordstrom Beat the Bridge? Top Pot Doughnuts 5k? Cinco de Mayo 8k?

Also, I'm hoping I can sneak in some late season snowboarding so I can test out my NEW GNU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gnu B-Nice
My 1999 Airwalk P.O.S. board disappeared in the blink of an eye on our way home from Whistler last weekend so I took advantage of late season sales today and picked up this beauty. I've ALWAYS wanted either a Gnu or LIB Tech (both made here in WA).

Megan @ Daily Sweat is a rad and much more knowledgeable boarder, so I asked her for advice about what to get. I was thrilled when the Gnu boards were at the top of her list. Now, I just need to get my butt up to the mountains!

Plan for the Week:
  • Not much in the way of a taper since I haven't really trained hard for the St. Patty's Day 5k anyway.
  • Swim/bike 2 days
  • Strength train / do PT exercises 2 days
  • Log 2 easy runs, 4-6 miles each - maybe attempt some mild speed work to get my legs ready for half training?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

De-fleur'ed in NOLA - A first-time half marathoner (Guest Blogger)

Today's entry is from Rabenki (friend her on DailyMile), a NOLA resident and new runner. Last weekend, she participated in her first half marathon (second ever race), the New Orleans Rock & Roll Half Marathon, and this is what she has to say about it. I can't wait to hear what race she is going to tackle next!

The night before the race, I was pretty nervous.  I started running 5 months ago with the Couch to 5K program, and back then even running a full minute was a challenge!  But I found a training plan (thank you, HalHigdon) and stuck with it, so I hoped it would be enough to get me through the race, even if I didn’t finish particularly fast.

I spent the night before deciding what to wear and perfecting my running playlist.  Of course I managed to obsess over it, and that meant that I didn’t go to bed until 1 am.  Oops.  But yes, Ke$ha’s Tik Tok did make the miles fly by.  However, it really hurt when my alarm went off at 4:30 am.  Breakfast was a cinnamon raisin bagel and a banana.

The start line was at Lafayette Square--runners were EVERYWHERE--but everything was well organized.  I was by myself so it was kind of boring, but a lot of people had fun costumes.  I still don’t understand the chick who had a belt of empty beer cans jangling around her waist.  I was waaay back in Corral 22, which meant I started 36 minutes after gun time.  I was really worried that with 22,000 runners, I would have to fight for space to run, but I was totally comfortable.

I enjoyed the first part of the course, which goes up and down St. Charles, where the streetcar runs.  There are huge, gorgeous homes to gawk at and beautiful trees.  At mile 5 I saw one of my friends who came to cheer me on, sitting in a foldup chair, in her pajamas, under a blanket.  So that brightened my morning!  By mile 6 I thought…okay, well it would be nice to stop running now.  Onward!  I kept running, but I started taking walk breaks, and they were getting a bit longer.  At mile 8 I hit a wall, because my legs were starting to ache.  At some point I choked down a mandarin orange flavored GU—gross!  I was mad at myself for not shoving the free sports beans from the expo in my pocket.

I focused on two friends who told me that they would be between miles 10 and 11, so I just kept telling myself that I needed to make it to see them, and after that it would be less than 3 miles left!  It totally pumped me up when I saw them with a bright pink sign for me, and I knew that the end was near.  However, I was taking a lot of walk breaks.  I’m kind of disappointed that I wasn’t able to run more of those last two miles, because at that point it really is just a mental game that you have to push through.  Also, the Lilith Fair-type band at mile 12 was NOT what I needed to energize myself.  Oh well…most of the bands were great, especially the brass bands.

I was SO excited when I saw City Park, because I knew that the finish line was close.  GPS watches do have downsides, because mine was slightly off and told me I was already at 13.1 miles, when I still had 0.16 miles to go.  It was a winding path through the park entrance, and every time we came around a bend I was sure that I would see the finish line, but it wasn’t it!  Definitely the longest 0.16 miles of my LIFE.  Somehow I made it.  At least I was able to pick up my pace, so I was proud of myself for that.

A finisher’s medal and some chocolate milk later, and I was done.  I crossed the finish line in 2:54.

A friend picked me up from the park and we went out for the fried goodness that is poboys.  And when I got up to leave I almost fell over.  Still, I’m looking forward to my next race!  It was a great experience and I loved having a goal to motivate myself.

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter, @BeTheZoom

Biking home

and loving Seattle. Clear, dry, and cold.

Sunset over Elliot Bay and the Olympic Mountain range. 

Makes the up-hill worthwhile. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Argh - the shot-ski!

This morning the sky was clear blue and there was a dusting of snow on the ground. I struggled to pull myself out of bed. SO. TIRED. Tuesday. "How has it been a week since I've run? I wonder if snowboarding last weekend counts as cross-training?"

I was dragging at work but managed to get a lot done. All day I was trying to gather enough energy to go run in the sun. Maybe this will give me a boost?
Grape Nuun is Mmm-mmm good.
Nope. Just made me have to pee a lot. I just had to force myself outside and tell myself to go easy. I bundled up and headed out for my standard run along the waterfront. It was beautiful.
The wood bark path feels so great, it's painful to transfer to the black top when the wood path runs out.
I should have been invigorated. But no. It was just going to be one of those tired runs that feel like a struggle to get one foot in front of the other. In the end, it turned out part of my problem was that I was too tense and ended up going too fast for comfort. How does that happen when I want to go slower? TOO UPTIGHT!

At least these bad runs don't happen too often. This time, I think I'm going to blame the fatigue on all the crazy fun at this past weekend's Whistler wedding. In particular...
Note to self: Shot-ski does not benefit running. Though fun, shot-ski hurts head. Argh!

This week: Recovering from too much fun as bridesmaid and hopefully getting rehydrated in time for the St. Paddy's Day 5k on March 17. Can I make it in < 2 weeks? Anyone want to donate their liver to me?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Just got lucky

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You see my YMCA on the left? This is where I can swim, lift (but not bench), run, bike, etc when I'm downtown Seattle during the work day. Currently, the Y is about a 7-10 minute walk from my office depending on traffic/timing of lights. This is quite close but unfortunately the round trip does have an impact on my schedule.

As a consultant, it can be tough to get 8 BILLABLE hours in my day when I have child care only for a limited time in the day. Sometimes, I need to bring my computer home at night to make up extra time to get everything done and have solid time to bill. This isn't too bad since it does afford me the flexibility to work out during the day when I have missed my morning window pre-work to work out.

Good news - that not-so-attractive building directly across the street from the Y is going to become my new office in May! Our lease runs out at our current location, which we've outgrown, and we'll be moving up the hill to this most perfect of locations. I will be able to zip in & out for classes and workouts with minimal impact on my work day.

As if it couldn't get any better, just north of our new office is our Central Library which is a beautiful work of art and also is where my little guy takes story time on occasion. Another stroke of luck that I'll be close enough to see the little guy at times.

Come May, NO EXCUSES for me to miss out on gym time - I CAN'T WAIT!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Old soles

I was just digging around in the back of my closet for my camel back to take snowboarding up in Whistler, B.C. this weekend and found some OLD SCHOOL, OLD SOLES in a very dusty box.

My beloved cross country spikes and flats!
These are still crusted with 20+ -year old dirt from long-ago cross country races. It's been a long time, my friends! I'm thinking my old school racing flats are now hip "zero drop" shoes these days. I just might have to resurrect these for the upcoming St. Paddy's Day 5k.

Anyone else out there save their old sports gear from the good old days? Do you, too, feel that the older you get, the better you were?