Friday, August 29, 2014

Tapping out

Work busy.
Out of state visitors.
Out of country visitors!
Volunteer work.
Kindergarten orientation.
First day of school.

Oh yeah.
Marathon training.

Too much!
For now.
Finding myself having a hard time finding humor but it will come.

2nd & University
Today's death of a female Seattle cyclist makes my heart heavy.
Makes me think I will prioritize slowing down.
Makes me think I will drop a few things from my list for the time being.


Until later...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Romance for Athletes - a blog to blog about

Because I love everyone out there so much, I am giving you a wonderful gift to help you start your week out right. My lovely, witty, creative friend started this athletic-erotic blog that will really get you revved up...


Go. 

Now. 

Use the link, you can thank me later.

xxoo,

Friday, August 8, 2014

Embracing the wino in me

While on maternity leave, it should be no surprise that I was sleep deprived. Now that I'm working, wait, I'm STILL sleep deprived. Anyway, for those of you who have experienced this you know that your brain turns to mush. And you might understand how you could be susceptible to suggestions, including those that may not be the wisest.

In such a moment of susceptibility, probably around 10 p.m. sometime in mid-October 2013, I received a text from my then-pregnant and super fit friend down in California asking if I would be interested in running the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon in July 2014.

I read the words "Napa" and "Sonoma" and my brain understood "wine."
I read "next July" and my brain translated that to "a long, long time from now."
And my fingers texted back "Sure!"

About a month later, I got a call from this friend saying she had registered for me (it sells out fast) and could I PayPal her the registration fee. That's when I realized what I had (over-)committed to.

Fast forward to June 2014 and I'm in a mental fog from being back to work 6+ months but still not sleeping or running more than once/week because 1) our babies don't sleep through the night early and 2) I'm working a ton of overtime which has to occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. because I only have limited child care to cover my "part time" work status.

By July I was in panic mode but resolved to run the half, walk as needed, and try to finish feeling good enough to enjoy the 26 wineries that would be waiting with open bottles at the finish line.

Let me tell you, there is a lot to be said for the motivation that a glass of wine at the finish provides! The race was tough but fantastic. I had a blast. If there weren't so many other races I want to try, I would register to run it again next year.

In addition to great company, the scenery was gorgeous.

Heading to the race start at Cuvaison Carneros Winery



Mid-way through the race, I saw a gentleman wearing a t-shirt for a competitor company of my employer so of course, I ran over and chatted him up for a couple miles. His coworkers run this race nearly every year, this was his 9th year! (Maybe I need to change teams?) 

I also got to spend a number of miles running with a close friend who was also there from Seattle, a great time to get caught up. (She PR'ed by 10 min, her second half mary!) 

And since I only had the goal of finishing with a stomach solid enough to drink wine, I went ahead and partook of in-route festivities: A shot of Guinness at mile 8 and some chardonnay at mile 10!

Wine at mile 10? Why not! Although I have to admit, the Guinness sample at mile 8 gave me super powers while the wine at mile 10 actually slowed me down a bit. 
Medals & wine glasses = check! 
Your friends just might get photobombed by happy tasters. Nice pigtails! 

After a few hours of wine tasting post-run, I was a happy girl indeed!
Me & the ambitious friend who got my family down to California for some running fun. Thanks T! 
 Last year at Eugene, I was disappointed to find that they weren't selling race posters because I really like having my Maui Half poster up in my office at work and wanted more. Lucky for me, this race offered posters, which, if I had been more organized at the expo, I may have been able to have autographed by Meb, Lauren Fleishman, or the Halls. Next time?

Hopefully NYC will offer posters so I can break up more of the white space at work. 
Next up? I really don't know what will come before NYC, but I'm definitely hoping to squeeze in something fun before November!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Working in the working out

Now more than ever, I have to work my running in whenever & where ever I can. My marathon training plan right now is dictated more by my work & child schedule than anything else.

For example, Thursday was originally a rest or cross-train day but instead, Thursday is a run day that will always be at least 4.5 miles long. This is because my office is 4.5 miles from the gymnastics class that my son takes on Thursdays. Our babysitter takes the boys to gymnastics class, which ends at her quitting time. In order to relieve her so she can get home to her family, I forego biking to work and instead take the light rail in so that I can RUN to the class at the end of the day. Then, I take the boys home in the car and she takes the light rail to her home (her normal mode of transportation anyway). I'm still getting the hang of the logistics on Thursdays and suffer a bit by having to leave my computer at work but it's really a nice way to get a run in and force me to NOT do work-work in the evening for lack of my lappy.

Last week I experimented with an alternate route and though it was HOT at 5:00 (85 deg, yo!), it was a really fantastic run. I headed south from downtown and east through the International District, then over to the Mountains to Sound Greenway, which passes through parks over the I-90 lid.

At one point, I got to the top of the lid where there was a marvelous view of Mt. Rainier looming above the play fields. I didn't take a pic, should have (sorry). A short while later, I was puzzled by the sound of Chopin. Live piano-sounding Chopin. Then, sure enough...

Someone wheeled this painted piano out to the bike path for folks to enjoy. On my Saturday long run, I intentionally ran this way again to see if anyone would be playing. It was drizzly and the piano was thankfully covered with a tarp so it wouldn't be harmed. Lovely!
 After stopping for the music, I turned forward again and had to climb WAY too many stairs in the heat. It hurt. After finally reaching the top, I was thanking the heavens for the water fountain located conveniently in a little overlook park at the top.

What a view!
After quenching my thirst, noticed that this overlook thoughtfully provides poetry magnets. Or magnetic poetry. 
After this it was pretty much regular South Seattle awesomeness. I made it to gymnastics barely on time but was glad I took the scenic route. Such a great way to disconnect from work before diving back into the mother role. 

Later in the week, Saturday, I would have normally gotten up early to complete my long run. These days, I am reluctant to leave the Mr. with the boys without giving him a chance to sleep in. So, I waited until Littlest Guy (11 months) went down for his morning nap before I ran. By 9 a.m. it was too warm (and drizzly off & on!) BUT this is when it just worked out for me to go.  

Once Littlest Guy is a bit older, I think it will be easier for me to sneak out for my long runs on the weekend but for now, I just have a difficult time leaving everyone. 

WHEN DO YOU FIT IN YOUR RUN TIME? 
ARE  YOU ABLE TO GO DURING YOUR IDEAL TIME OR DO YOU WORK IT INTO ODD TIMES OF THE DAY, AROUND OTHER ACTIVITIES? 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I've returned, more average than ever and that is good

Where do I start after a year off? It's been pretty quiet on the run front until recently, but it's gettin' good! I have one half marathon under my belt for 2014 (recap coming) and marathon comeback is in progress. Oh yes.

I have a goal. This time my goal is NOT to run my first marathon AND attempt to qualify for Boston at once. My goal is to finish injury-free and feel good enough to drink a beer at the finish. (Is that two goals or one?)

I have a plan. I went back through old books, checked out RW Smart Coach, conferred with my training partner, and finally settled on a 3-run day/week plan. One easy run, one speed work session, one long run. I will continue to bike commute and lift weights for cross training 2x/week and try to take one full rest day but also hope to incorporate yoga.

I'm REALLY enjoying the strength training I've been doing since May and want to continue to prioritize the iron in 20-minute increments (thank you Kim & Kerrie to turning me on to the Metabolic Effect workouts!). If I can work another easy run day into the week I will, but I will not stress about it.

In fact, that is the big change from 2011's efforts - I am really going to try to take it easy and not stress about this stuff(Proof: Already deviated from the plan - this week's tempo became a hill workout today. I just felt like running hills coming up from Lake Washington instead. No hay pedo.)



By late August, my long runs will synch with my training partner, S, who is in MUCH better fitness and who I'm hoping I can keep up with! I really enjoyed training for Eugene with her last year (while I was pregnant) and look forward to more.

I have new shoes - Mizuno. I've been running in Seattle-based Brooks since 1999 or 2000, so this was a big shift. I may still run in Brooks but ever since the Mizuno Mezamashii Project sent out those free shoes that I enjoyed (and Wendy Davis made history in hers), I have been ready to give these hot, light Wave Riders a try. I admit I feel a bit like a Brooks traitor after all these years.

Hawt.

This was pretty boring but I'll bring the boozin' & carousin' in for the next post...just gotta lay the foundation, right?