Monday, October 24, 2016

Two weeks post marathon - what now?

Week 1
10/10-10/14: Rest. Chill. Stretch
10/15: 3 sets 10. Push ups/burpees
10/16: 2 miles, planks

Week 2
10/17: Rest
10/18: 2 miles, weights circuits. 
10/19: Rest. So sore from squats.
10/20: Rest. Still sore. 
10/21: Rest
10/22: Circuits, 40 min
10/23: 5 easy with Dani. First outdoor run since the race


Now what. 

I'm nearly two weeks post marathon, and lovin the break. 

Like, LOVING. 

I'm sleeping almost 8 hours at night, my digestion seems to be more settled, i feel lighter, and I'm overall just less agitated at home. 

I knew it was tough the last few months but like whoa. I was a wreck this summer! 

Immediately following the marathon (like, hours following), I was already plotting my adventure. I was ready to run again! Another marathon! Let's do it! 

And then, I proceeded to not even think about running for the next five days. 

I managed a couple of slow treadmill miles the first weekend, and then incorporated some strength training. My right arm is still not fully healed so I don't quite have full range of motion but in any case, it felt good to get sweating and get my heart rate up in a different way. 

Also. Burpees. Kiiilllll me. 

So now we're at week too. J and I squeezed in a quick workout on Tuesday, which left me slightly debilitated the rest of the week. 
FYI - lots of squats during marathon recovery- just... no. #cowboystrut 
But otherwise,  It's been nice having no set plans or schedules to heed but I also know Me. I need a dangling carrot in order to keep myself myself motivated. I need goals!

In 2017 I already know we have our annual Rainier to Ruston relay, and J and I spontaneously signed up for the rock and roll full in June, which will be his first marathon, and you know, my second.  But for the near future, I have loose plans- shorter, faster runs with an emphasis on strength. I lost a lot of muscle from my arm injury, and just being too damn tired to lift weights during training. 

For now I'll enjoy the slowdown, and relax a little before my life is taken over once again. 


Ok, confession. I can't wait to get back to it. 

I'll never understand runners... 

Friday, October 14, 2016

Week 20. My first marathon - Portland Marathon 2016 Race Recap. Not Spoiler - I DID IT.

10/3 - Rest
10/4 - Rest
10/5 - 3 miles, treadmill
10/6 - 2 miles. Nope. Rest
10/7 - 2 miles, treadmill.
10/8 - Rest
10/9 - 26.7!

Totals -
Miles: 31.7
Rest: 3


5 months.
20 weeks.
140 days.

It's a long time to dedicate to one specific event, and I spent the last 5 months of my life preparing for just one day. 

On a blustery and rainy Sunday morning, I ran my first ever full marathon in Portland, Oregon. Despite having run 6 half marathons, 5 team relay races, and hundreds and hundreds of miles on the streets of my the greater Seattle area, I still did not know what to expect for all the 26.2 miles. I'll do my best to recap each mile, but even though it's only been less than a week, some of the more specific memories are beginning to fade. 

So, ready? Ok

After a semi restless nights sleep, I woke up to my alarm at 4:05 am. I padded quietly out of the hotel room, and into the living room area, where I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and then popped into the hotel lobby for a couple of small cups of to-go coffee. Once back in the room, I sipped my coffee, surfed the web, and ate my sweet potato with sunbutter and granola. I barely had an appetite but I knew I needed to eat, so I choked down what I could and decided to save the banana muffin for later, about an hour before the start. 

At 5:20, John and I left the hotel to pick up Macalla on the way into the city. Our plan was to meet Heidi at one of the many Starbucks near the starting line. We arrived into the city just as streets were being closed off, so John dropped us off a couple of blocks away from the Starbucks, and we sloshed our way in the rain to meet Heidi. Once united, we hung out inside for about 25 minutes, I ate my muffin, and then we decided to slowly make our way to the corrals. I was assigned in corral E, but both M and H were in corral F, so I decided to just stay with them so we could start together! After what felt like decades, the first wave was off, and then slowly each subsequent wave was sent off. We reluctantly toss our old sweatshirts on the sidewalk, and got ready to rumble. Finally, about 7:15-ish, wave F was sent on our merry way. 

Mile 1 - 10:37
The three of us try to stay together as long as we can, but it is crowded and immediately people are walking. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND. MOVE TO THE RIGHT, for SIRENS AND BITCHES. Wait, no. That's not how the saying goes....

I notice my watch has already buzzed for the mile marker, but we're still about .35 miles away from the 1 mile race marker.

As we are chugging along nicely, Heidi mentions that she thought the course went a different way but that she must have read the map wrong.

I also notice a group of runners coming out of a side street and merging with us as we round a bend.



Mile 2 - 10:11
The miles are feeling easy, and it's a good warm up. Being in this corral with walkers is actually forcing me to take it easy and not go out too fast, especially since I'm being blocked in by shufflers. 
I mean, trust me - I have nothing against walking but seriously, the race just started.
i do see a girl wearing a shirt that says "Interval Runner. Please be mindful of walking", which I thought was actually a very thoughtful thing for the runners behind her.

Mile 3 - 10:21
Well. so much for that negative split. This mile is uphill. Like, already? FINE.
At this point we've lost Heidi. :(

Pop in a chew and let it dissolve in my mouth.

Mile 4 - 9:47

Mile 5 - 9:44
Feeling the groove as we make our way back through the city. I think M and I both step in puddles. At this point it is raining steadily and we are already pretty wet.

Mile 6 - 10:00
Wind in face. Rain in face. Everything in da face. Slowly suck on a Gu at this point. I don't look to see what I grab. It's Tri-Berry. SIGH. Oh fine. I sip water out of my bottle, but try to take water at the stations so I can ration what I have.

We begin a long stretch of out and back in an industrial part of town.

I must be saying something to Mac?

Mile 7 - 10:03
Mac mentions she needs to use the restroom. I suggest she just pee in her pants, who would even know the difference?! We are soaked from the rain. The port-o-potties we pass all have long lines, so we continue on.

Mile 8 - 9:47
My earbuds, which have been precariously dangling around, are annoying me so I tuck them in my ears and turn on some music for background. Even though Mac and I are running together, we're not really talking much. I think we're both saving our energy for breathing.

In this mile is also where we spot some relatively free port-o-potties. Mac says she needs to stop, and tells me to keep going. We split up at this point, and as I continue on my self, I feel a wave of sadness come over me, and I find myself holding back tears. I hadn't expected to split up so early in the race, and I'm devastated that we're not going to be running together. 

Mile 9 - 9:50
At the end of the road we turn around to go back, and I scan the crowd to see if I can spot Mac. I look for her yellow shirt, but she is lost in a sea of wet bodies and flailing limbs. I continue to scan for maybe some familiar faces, and I see Heidi's bright pink shirt and huge smile. I wave and yell as we pass each other, and feel a surge of happiness at seeing her. I'm still sad about missing M, but I keep chugging along.

Pop in another chew. 

Mile 10 - 9:44
Seriously. Still so wet. I have to dodge puddles as I pass groups of runners. Luckily the road widens slightly at this point so I am able to find my groove.

Mile 11 - 9:41
This is where the half marathoners and full marathoners split. The half runners continue straight back into the city but the full marathoners veer right into a neighborhood that will take us to the industrial area. I round the corner, and hear a familiar voice calling my name. I turn around and see Jacob, Heidi's husband, holding a camera and umbrella, waving madly. I wave back happily, and continue on. A couple of people see my name on my bib and yell encouragement as I pass. 

Towards the end of this mile I take another GU. This one is Vanilla Bean. Better.

Mile 12 - 9:45
We weave slightly through industrial streets and a neighborhood. Uneventful.

Mile 13 - 9:47
We turn onto St Helen's Road, which is basically a relatively straight, flat 3 miles to the bridge. At this point I'm still feeling pretty solid, albiet a tiny lonely and a LOT wet. My shorts have become diapers, suctioned to my thighs, and I feel my shirt glued to my body. My hat is dripping and my hands are so slippery I've had to rip my GU open with my teeth.

Take another chew. Pink Lemonade Honey Stinger. I'm not mad about it.

Mile 14 - 9:42
Trying to focus on one mile at a time. I see people around me struggling, but I find myself passing runner after runner. I'm trying to remain steady and not think too much about the next mile, although at this point I am just anticipating the end of this road, because this section is long, and a little boring. I have music to keep me company but at this point it's just background noise.

Throughout the race I find myself randomly overcome with waves of emotion. A few times I tear up because I'm so happy to be out there, running, and finally seeing all the hard work of training come to fruition. I see a sign that says "You GET to do this" and I resist to urge to do "Two snaps in a Z formation". That's right, I DO get to do this, and I'm doing it! 

Mile 15 - 9:42
We make a slight left and there is more straight away. It's hard to see the bridge through the fog and rain, but I know it's coming up.

Mile 16 - 9:39
I spot a check point area, complete with National Guard, and threatening looking signs that state that all runners must have a visible bib number. 

And then we begin the uphill climb to the top, to the beginning of the St John's Bridge

Mile 17 - 10:11
I will myself to run up the entire hill, and again I find myself passing runner after runner who have decided to walk up the hill. I keep pace with another girl who is steadily running up the hill and another guy who has been running near me for the last couple of miles. I suck another GU - Salted Caramel, my favorite - and I focus on the road right in front of my feet, and pump my arms slow and steady. Before I know it, I've crested the hill and find myself taking a left onto the bridge. I am proud of myself for running up the entire thing.

Mile 18 - 9:47
I make it to the middle of the bridge and then cruise the slight down hill to the end. It's here I spot another familiar face. I see Macalla's husband Jimmy! I wave madly and then turn the corner to see his kids hovering under an umbrella waiting for their mom. I wave happily and continue on. We run up and down some rolling streets and then hook a left, and immediately spot a familar red hat under a big tree. It's my husband and kids! They're holding Neon signs that say "GO LINDA" and "GO MOMMY". I had no idea they'd made signs and I'm so elated to see them I nearly sprint to where they are. I stop to give everyone hugs and kisses, and I throw my arms around John for a huge hug before continuing on. Everyone offers words of encouragement as they send me off. Seeing them has given me a second wind, and I'm SO SO happy.

Mile 19 - 9:43
Oof. Honestly, this part was a little boring. The roads were flat and curvy and seemed to never end. We passed some interesting entertainment in the form of some belly dancing and some bad singing, but nevertheless, it helped distract me.

Mile 20 - 9:50
This is where they say runners hit the wall, right? As I near the 20 mile marker sign, I realize that not once have I felt like I was going to die, or that I was not enjoying myself. Not once did I say I would never do this again. I was actually enjoying myself! Wall? What wall?? PFFFT. 

However, this is where I do start to get even more bored. I round every curve, hoping for some terrain change, some reprieve from the flat but no. Flat flat flat.

More chews. 

Mile 21 - 9:42
Surprise visit from the pregnant one, Angela! I had forgotten she would be waiting to cheer me on, and I run to give her a hug but she insists on running with me. She is also 39+ weeks pregnant and looking adorable but manages to jog next to me for a few seconds, and then her and her husband send me off with well wishes and offers of beer. Such a wonderful surprise.

Mile 22 - 9:57
I'm getting bored. like, seriously. The turns are all starting to look the same, like some sort of cruel corn maze. I think I reluctantly take another GU at this point but I am just very very sick of anything sugary. I pass the offers of gummy bears and pretzels because I can't bear the thought of eating anything else. Or anymore GU, like ever. Ever.

Oh and I see my husband and kids here too! I didn't realize they'd try and find me one more time, and I'm even happier than I was the first time I spotted them. Everyone looks cold and tired but so proud of me. They offer more hugs and encouragement and send me on my way. John tells me I'm almost there!

Mile 23 - 9:22
YAY. Finally the downhill I have been waiting for! It's a long sloping downhill section that takes us back towards the city. Many people are walking at this point but I happily glide past everyone, letting my body relax a bit as I cruise down the hill.

Mile 24 - 9:50
And it's flat again. I take one more chew and then decide I just. cannot eat anymore. I have run out of water but am able to get some water from the water stations. 

I think this is where I see Jimmy and his kids again. Lots of mad waving as I pass.

Please note - this entire time it has steadily rained and I am thoroughly soaked to the bone.

Mile 25 - 10:00
Not sure what happened here but I find myself slowing a bit. I'm still feeling in positive spirits but my legs are getting a little tired.

We have to run up one mini hill to get over the last bridge, and I slow every so slightly as I make my way up. I find a small surge of energy as I make my way onto the bridge and again find myself passing more runners. I'm filled with a resurgence of energy as I make my way off the bridge. I even have the energy to wave to the camera guy!

Also to note - see? Smiling?! Who IS THAT PERSON??

Mile 26 - 9:05
This is it! Almost to the end. I'm doing it! I'm SO CLOSE.
I surge past tons of runners as we make our way down the last street before the turn to the finish. The only thought that keeps running in my head is that, I did it. I'm doing it. I am running a MARATHON TODAY.

Mile .7 - 9:04
My watch has been nearly .5 miles ahead of the mile markers, so I hit the 26.2 mark well before the finish line, but at this point I do not care. I see the Portland Marathon signs and I surge forward and veer right towards the finish line. I pass the announcer calling people's names from our bibs, and he shouts encouragement as I sprint past. One more left turn and I see the finish chute. It's RIGHT THERE. and I'm RIGHT HERE. I pump my arms as hard as I can as I sprint to the finish with a smile on my face.

I've done it. I just ran my very first marathon. 

I'm a Marathoner.

                                                                 Official time. 4:17:51

*The course ended up being .5 too long because of a wrong turn taken by a handful of the corrals, due to no volunteer being stationed at this particular corner. The Portland Marathon officials later adjusted the times of the runners in these corrals to account for the extra mileage. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Harry. We're THERE

9/27: Off
9/28: 4 miles
9/29: 4 miles with the kiddos
9/30: Off
10/1: Off
10/2: 8 miles, 9:12 pace
10/3: 4 miles, recovery with D.

Miles - 20
Rest - 3


Add one more person, and that's the three of us gals. We've trained for at least 20 weeks (more for H) and we've endured black toes, aches and pains, GI distress, and overall feeling tired to the f*cking bone.

But. We're almost there. This morning I received an email from the Portland Marathon, stating that we had FIVE DAYS LEFT.

19.5 weeks. 135 days. It's come down to this. Today is my last 3 mile run of this training cycle. Two more 2 milers, and I'll be ready for race day.

Last week was definitely Taper Week. I ended with 20 miles, and all were easy-ish runs. My Wednesday 4 miler was pretty extra slow thanks to my two running buddies, E and O. There were some slow, frustrating moments during that run, but I was pretty damn proud of my kids for gutting through it with me.

Saturday and Sunday's runs both felt harder than they really should have. I should have been rejoicing in only having to run 8 miles but the miles felt long and my legs felt like lead. My feeble hope is that my legs are feeling the taper slowdown, and will be ready to be bouncy and energized come race day. Please tell me this is truth. Please?

I'm carefully carbing up this week, mostly with rice and some starchy vegetables, and going to go easy on the salads and cruciferous veg the rest of the week. I'm also trying to ingest more turmeric (in my coffee, and in kombucha) in hopes to quell the inflammation and give my body a rest before I beat it to a pulp for 4+ hours. I'm not sure that's why it all works, but whatever I'm not a doctor!

Here's to race week, and the 5 day countdown.


Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 18. It's gettin real.

Week 18

9/19: 4 miles, TM. Pm
9/20:  5 miles, am w D
9/21: 4 miles, TM. Pm
9/22: Rest
9/23: Rest
9/24: 11 miles, mac
9/25: Rest


Miles: 24
Rest: 3
Strength: 0

This week was a little light on the miles but I'm totally okay with that. Two of my weekday runs were in the evening, which weren't as bad or annoying as I remembered it to be, and I think the endorphins helped me get through the rest of the evening without morphing into a complete lunatic. 

I met Macalla dark and early on Saturday morning for what I think was our last run together before the marathon! She's been  the best training partner, and we've definitely rejoiced, and suffered, through some miles through the last 18 weeks. Her lovely friend joined us for about half of our run, which made the first 5 miles fly by. The last 6 were a different story, as Mac's knee was acting up. We decided to slow it down, walk on the steep downhills which aggravated our knees, and cut the run short a mile. 

Now. Normally I would go home and add 1 mile to get to my 12 because I'm weirdly OCD about my mileage, but on Saturday I was totally okay with stopping when we needed to stop. At this point in training I know we can run all the miles, so there was no need to push through the pain. 

I'm excited/nervous for the taper, and I'm a little anxious for the race. I have a million thoughts jumbled in my head but am working on a check list for Marathon weekend, which should help organize things.

But let's be real, while I'm looking forward to rocking this marathon, I'm really planning on sleeping in so hard for all the rest of the weekends post race. 

So. This week. 

Taper time, like whoa.

Monday, September 19, 2016

3 weeks left. Like, whoa

Week 17

9/12: rest
9/13: 6 miles 
9/14: 4 miles
9/15: rest
9/16: rest
9/17: 20 miles 
9/18: rest


Miles: 30
Rest: 4!
Strength: 0!

17 weeks!

This is definitely the longest I have ever trained for anything. Those are also a lot of rest days up there. I honestly have been struggling the last few weeks to scrape up the motivation and energy to wake up early and treadmill it before work! I think my body is just craving more sleep, and it doesn't help that it is dark well up until I'm even dressed and ready for work. I'm bummed and a little mad at myself that I didn't take advantage of te summer mornings to run outside because how it's pitch black until 6:30, and just then a tiny bit of light starts to peek into the sky. 

My weekday runs were the usual- but both were evening runs, one with Dani and one on the treadmill. I thought about bagging the last 20 but decided to just suck it up and get in the miles for my last long long run before the race.

Mac and I planned to meet at the trailhead at 6:15 but we didn't get quite started until closer to 6:30. 

Did I mention it was dumping rain the entire time? Not even 4 miles into the run we could wring the water out of our shirts and my shorts formed suctioned diapers onto my meaty ham hock thighs. Also my top had formed a Saran Wrap like seal against my body, which I'm sure showcased my soft bagel like midsection. Who said runners aren't sexy? 

Me, that's who. 

We decided to mentally break up the run into 4 5 mile chunks, and I think this really helped us not dread all the upcoming miles. It was definitely one of the more eventful runs on the trail, as Mac saw a couple of snakes, an unknown creature scampering across the trail, and we passed droves of fisherman crazy enough to brave the elements and stand in the river to catch God knows what. We did get some comments from passing fisherman on our state of "crazy". Excuse me, fisherman, but I'd say all of us out there were pretty damn crazy. 

We also ran by a large electric gated fence where some emu-like animal resides. We got close enough for the animal to stare us down, which then resulted in a hilarious Kevin Hart convo:

By the turn around, we were feeling pretty good if not a tiny bit stiff. We were mindful this time around to stop as few times as possible, aside from stop lights and a couple impromptu bathroom breaks, to really get an accurate idea of our pacing. We also ran into a friend who was fitting in 18 miles for the day and he was able to run the last 7 for us. 

As usual, we scattered towards the last 3 miles, and I focused on keeping my form and finishing strong. I reluctantly took one last gu at mile 17, because I knew I needed to practice my race day fueling and strategy. Maybe that helped me finish pretty happily? Or maybe the runners endorphins took over and temporarily numbed the pain? In any case, we finished our second 20!

Now, time to cut back, rest up, and prepare for the longest run ever. 


First mile was accidentally 9:34. I don't know...

I walked in the door post run, and the kids gasped. I guess I looked a little wet? Also. My favorite socks have holes in the big toes. Why?! Need a new pair before race day!

I also just ordered new shoes but one model up from my current ones. Praying these are as good to me as my 18's

Monday, September 12, 2016

16. I can't count.

9/5: Rest
9/6: 8 miles
9/7: 4 miles
9/8: Rest
9/9: 4.76 miles
9/10: 11 miles
9/11: 4.26 miles


Miles: 32
Strength: Big fat zero
Rest: 2

Cutback week. I love that these are thrown in throughout the training but I think I definitely take too much liberties in these weeks. At this point, I've been training for 16 weeks. 4 GD months and I'm pretty over it. 

The kids' started school on Tuesday, and I take this day off every year and spend a day w JB. We go for a run, go out to lunch, and just lounge around until pick up, but this year I was on my own! 

I dropped off the kiddos, moseyed home, and set out for 8 easy-ish miles. I struggled through the last couple of miles and honestly didn't think I'd even make it through. I also managed 4 measly TM miles on Wednesday, but missed Thursdays wake up, so D so kindly met me at 5am (whoa so daark!!) on Friday to log a few miles. 

I'm also struggling with fitting in any cross training or strength. I'm still having a lot of issues w my elbow, and I really can't lift weights or attempt yoga. I can't even squeeze the dish sponge without pain shooting up my arm. Hmm, it might be time for some xrays. This gettin old shit sucks. 

This week's long was only 12, and initially I figured I'd try for 13 but Saturday was definitely one of those days where my head was NOT in the game, and my body was like, 

Oh girl. Helllll to the no.

Every mile felt like a struggle, and even the easier downhills were slog worthy. I spent every mile waiting for the next one, and the next one, instead of patiently keeping my mind present. I also took only one gel and a few chews, and ran out of water around mile 9. So thirsty. 

Oh! Did I mention I didn't start my run until close to 10? Who is not smart? 

Me! Me! *raises hands high in air*

Such a terrible idea, and I was served a swift punishment for taking my time in the morning. Yes, I slept in until 8:30 after a long night but still.... Some things just arent worth risking.  

To be honest, it wasn't as hot as some of my other runs, but it was warm enough to serve as a reminder to just get my ass up next time. 

I was this close to calling it good at miles 9, and then 10 but then made one last loop around the neighborhood to get to 11.  During this run k stopped about a zillion times and just stopped caring if I did or not. I wojld patiently wait at lights, hands on hips, watch paused, head down. 

At this point in the game, I know I can run 12 miles but on Saturday, I was throwing some sort of pre teen internal angst type fit, and just quit. I don't regret quitting because I think the last mile would have left a terrible taste in my mouth, but I was a little disappointed in how I felt the entire run. I felt like I didn't even get to enjoy the endorphins from the run; it was that disastrous. Womp.

And then the next morning, I unexpectedly started my period, which explained... A lot. 


Explains the fatigue, negative thinking, skewed body image. Ah what it is to be a woman. 

I'm hoping I can snap out of it this week because I guess we only have 4 weeks left until the race! I swear we had more time. 

Clearly I cannot count. 


I have no idea what happened to miles 6 and 7?!

Post long run. 
Beep beep! All aboard the struggle bus.

Boys greeting me with nerf guns, and requests for food. 

Long run split. Blah

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Shut Up We are so close

Week 15

8/29: Rest (camping!)
8/30: 7 miles
8/31: 4 miles, TM
9/1: 4 miles- 1 TM. 3 outside.
9/2: Off
9/3: 20 miles, boom
9/4: 5 miles, easy w D.


Miles: 40
Rest: 2
Strength: 1

Shit gettin real! I cannot believe the marathon is around the corner. I'm scared,yo. Scurred. 

I think the burnout hit me a few weeks ago and I've not quite been able to shake it but I also know that it'll be over soon. Ive really been dragging on my weekday runs, and have had to fit in a few evening runs instead of getting it done in the morning. I need to switch my mindset to excited anticipation instead of impending doom. 

Let me work on that one...

Last Saturday's 20 miles was... Uneventful? I mean, yes I ran 20 freaking miles but it was made much less painful with some good company as well as a surprise appearance of J on the trail towards the end of our run. We started out very nice and very slowly and then once we hit the halfway point and turned around to head back, I got a second wind yet again and found a little pep in my step. We did have to stop at a gas station for a water refill and some ibuprofen for Heidi's knee, but after we ran into J around mile 15, we spread out a bit more, and I ended up running the last 3 wth her. My goal was to try and push myself for the last miles and I ended mile 20 with a 8:28 pace, which felt very hard and very satisfying. 

20 miles. We did it! Now, we just need to add 6.2 more.

Sure thing. 

Post run. Everyone looking good except me. Ew, sorry 

Obligatory blurry watch photo

Splits. Well, as many as I can fit in the screenshot. 

New record! And of course, donuts.

And then later? A giant gas station burrito

We ended up school shopping for a few hours later in the day, which meant my only downtime of the day was taking a cat nap in the car. Probably not ideal, but at least I got this cute coat.

Don't worry, I will wear pants with it. 


Things I am looking forward to, post marathon:

Sleeping in
My pants fitting 
Less physical stress
Social life
Not having to bitch about marathon training 

Things I will miss: 

Running together wth M and H.
The satisfaction of running all the miles at once
The opportunity to bitch about marathon training