Monday, December 1, 2014

Half marathon #4 - check!

I 11/24: Rest
11/25: 4 miles, TM
11/26: Rest
11/27: 6 miles, TM. Happy Turkey Day!
11/28: Rest
11/29: Rest
11/30: Race Day!

Total weekly mileage: 23.1
Total run days: 3
Total rest days: 4 

Race day looms cold and clear, a balmy 25 degrees at the start. I contemplate my outfit about one zillion times, and finally decide on my roga shorts, and an old Nike half zip. I figure my tall marathon socks, gloves and hat would protect the extremities, leaving only my hearty thighs exposed to the elements. 

After a restless night sleep, I reluctantly roll out of bed at 5:20, shower to wake up, drink coffee, and get dressed. I eat two oatmeal breakfast cookies in the car, and I have my two GU packets tucked safely in my fuel belt, along with my wireless earphones and my phone.

We end up leaving the house later than planned because someone likes to take his annoying sweet time preparing all of his shit five minutes before we are supposed to leave the house. I hold in my impatient rage, which everyone who knows me knows how difficult this is for me. 

Pre race outfit. 

Note horrible sweatpants from last year.

Also to note, before this picture was taken I discovered some unflushed "lincoln logs" in the toilet, and spent some of my morning cleaning the bowl. 
Also, should have closed the bathroom door.

My life is filled with glamour. 

After zipping up I-5, and making a quick pit stop at Starbucks to use the bathroom, we have just enough time to screech into a parking spot, rip off our warm clothes (old sweatshirt and fat boy sweats for me) and jog to the start as our warm up. We make it the crowds just as the first wave of runners are starting. Unfortunately this leaves us on the sides until we could merge to the starting corrals. 

To my dismay, I see the 2:40 pacer up ahead of us, and know we have a lot of weaving/catching up to do to get into a good position to make up some time/distance. 

So, without further adieu, let's do this.

Split it out, yeah?

Mile 1 - 9:30
Ok, warming up nicely. Trying my way not to waste energy dodging people but really, you are already walking? Also, so many people wearing puffy coats! You're gonna regret that in about 10 minutes.

Mile 2 - 9:31
Downhill wheeeee. Doing my best to pass slower horizontal groups of walkers and shufflers. Trying my best not to burn out so I make sure to let my body cruise down 5th into the InternationalDistrict 

Mile 3 -  9:31
Annoying. Same thing happened last year. Everyone makes their way onto the bridge and decide to make a human wall of walkers. Tempted to yell "on your left" but also do not want anyone to have a reason to push me over the side of said bridge. Do my best to shuffle through human barricades and find an opening. It is not easy. 

Also, this is where you start to spot discarded hats, sweatshirts and gloves. See, I told you you'd regret those 7 extra layers. 

I am trying my best to stay positive. Goal of today is to stay in the moment, run my own race, and think positive. I can do this! It's my attempt at Zen.

Omg move, people! Now! On. Your. Left.

Working on the zen, ok?

Mile 4 - 12:17
Uh. So this is the I- 90 tunnel. First water stop. Also when I am supposed to take my first GU. And obviously it is when my Garmin loses signal for the next mile. I was hauling ass down the tunnel and I know 12:17 is not correct. Manage to free myself from the clusters of people. 

Mile 5 - 5:38
So.. My guess is that my pace for miles 4,5 are a combined avg because no, I am not Kara Goucher or Lauren Fleshman. 

Mile 6 - 8:58
Brings us onto Lake Washington Blvd. Pass groups of supports braving the cold to cheer us on. Make sure to go high five the cute kids standing on the side with ther hands held out.  Continue to sip my salted watermelon GU until about mile 5.5. Having a hard time maintaining a consistent pace. Either going 8:40 or 9:30. Not ideal.

Mile 7 - 9:08
Continue to motor on down Lake Washington Blvd. Take a few seconds to admire the absolutely perfect and gorgeously sunny, cold morning. The sun is shining low over the water, the blue sky is dotted with clouds and the air is crisp. For a second I almost forget how hard this is. 

Mile 8 - 9:52 
I take back what I just said earlier. You know... The business about this being hard. 

This hill shit is hard! 

However, I am determined to run the entire way up the monster this year. Last year, this was the point of the run that just crushed me.

This year? 

I crushed it.

Kind of... 

My pace is not swift up this hill but I am proud of myself for running up the entire thing, despite movement that really mimicks running in place. My reward at the top of the hill is the water stop, at which point I allow myself to walk while drinking the icy water. 

Mile 9 - 9:30
Aaand down into the Arboretum we go! 
I whip out my last trusty Espresso Love GU and sip on it for the next mile or so.

Looking back at this point, I think I was probably too conservative and afraid to push myself here. This was my mile of fear, doubt, on the cusp of disappointment. I think maybe I was letting the fatigue from the hill dominate me.

Then, I remember the last few weeks, the successful long runs, the solid hill training, learning to trusting my body. I remember finding my joy of running again.

And then I somehow manage to snap out it.

Mile 10 - 9:16
Back in the zone. Much of mile 10 is weaving up through tree lined switch backs, which makes it hard to run the tangents. This may explain why my Garmin said I ran 13.28 miles total.  We'd get a small, brief reprieve of flat path and then ahead of me I would spot groups of runners heading up, up, up.  I find myself passing groups of runners as I surge up the inclines. My legs are tired but I feel a burst of energy as we make our way out of the Arboretum towards mile 11. 

Mile 11 - 9:03
With less than 30 minutes to make 2hrs, I know i need to start hauling ass. I am tempted to take a Krispy Kreme donut at the beginning of this mile (sugaaaar) but refrain. I can eat 10 donuts after I'm done, right? I find a target, a young bouncy girl who is effortlessly making her way up Interlaken Blvd. I see the top of the bridge that descends into downtown, where we would enter mile 12 and then the homestretch 13 and the point 1. I reach my target, and then leave her spritely ass in the dust.

Mile 12 - 8:28
I haul ass up that hill and screech downhill to make the right turn onto Republican. At this point I pass the 2:05 pace group. Realize I may have less time than I first thought.

And so I go.

Mile 13 - 7:51
I have never, ever, even once run a mile so fast in my life. At this point I realize I have been running for 1 hour 52 minutes and know I am cutting it close. I run hard and fast, my arms pumping intentionally and my mind willing my now frozen legs to propel me forward as fast as my might allows.

We finally make the left turn down Mercer, and then back up towards the finish line.

And then I almost lose it. 

I try to sprint up the steep incline but my legs suddenly become leaden, and I am barely able to run. I contemplate, for a split second, walking. I can't go anymore. My body has given it all I have. 

My attempt was admirable, I think to myself. 

And then I see a sign that gives me life, and makes me laugh: 

"Hurry up and finish, we're freezing". 

These spectators are waiting for someone, someone they love and of whom they are proud. Someone who is so close to the remarkable feat of running  and completing a half marathon on this insanely frigid Seattle day.

Someone just like me. 

I see the left turn into the stadium, and know I have only one minute until the clock strikes 2. 

I can do this.

I will my entire body to just run. 

Run, Forest!


Mile 14 (.1) - 8:38 
I sprint onto the icy turf and see the finish line ahead. I screech past runners, pumping my arms, desperate to finish. 

I cross the finish line. 

Stop my Garmin.

Look down.

Time - 2:00

I did it. 


(Official time is 2:00, 9:14 pace. 13.1 miles. Garmin time is 2:00, 9:06 pace, 13.28 miles)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Who doesn't love a good taper

11/17: Rest
11/18: Rest
11/19: 6 miles, TM
11/20: Rest
11/21: Rest
11/22: 10 miles, TM
11/23; 4 miles outside w D.

Total weekly mileage: 20
Total run days: 3 
Total rest days: 4

I'm writing this 4 days before the race, and a day before "food coma day", otherwise known to Americans as Thanksgiving. 

Decided to stop the theme of procrastination, and start the taper a week early. Last week was quite uneventful. One early morning treadmill run, one long treadmill run, and one soggy and cold easy run w a friend. I managed to squeeze out 20 miles, and I was fine with that. I was feeling some major fatigue as usual last week, as we had most evenings filled with kid activities. 

Excuses, excuses...

Anyways, I ran 4 yesterday morning,  My plan for the rest of this week is to take it easy, get in one more easy run, make a turkey (Blech - who else is not looking forward to reaching into the turkey's asshole? Anyone?), and chill out. Our Xmas tree and wreath have already been set up, and decorating starts tonight. We are hosting Thanksgiving at our house, per usual, so there will be lots of food, wine, and perhaps some karaoke?

Next time I update, hopefully I will have an excellent race recap for you. The weather is supposed to clear up by Sunday, and conditions expected to be clear and cold. 

My favorite!

See y'all later!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Almost there

11/10: Rest
11/11: 6 Miles, TM. Tempo
11/12: Rest
11/13: 5 miles, TM.
11:14: Rest
11/15: 13 miles, outside and solo
11/16: JM Ripped in 30, level 1. 1 mile, TM.

Total weekly mileage: 25
Total rest days: 3
Total strength: 1
Total run days: 4

So. Long run Saturday.

Let's start with my favorite gymnastics skill.


Mile 1 - 9:40
Mile 2 - 9:41
Mile 3  - 9:34
Mile 4 - 9:12 (Hammer Gel - Peanut Butter)
Mile 5 - 9:14
Mile 6 - 9:01
Mile 7 - 9:02
Mile 8 - 9:10
Mile 9 - 9:09( Honey Stinger Gel - GROSS)
Mile 10 - 9:08
Mile 11 - 9:05
Mile 12 - 9:11
Mile 13 - 8:44

Total time: 1:59:42
Ave pace: 9:12

Fuel: 2 gels, no water (dumb)
Temp: 35-ish, cold, sunny.
Gear: Capris, L/S mock zip, ear warmer, sunglasses, fuel belt.

First off, I would just like to say,

I love running most of the time.

Yesterday's run was my longest to date for this training cycle: 13 miles. A couple of days before my long runs, I tend to psyche myself out and over analyze every aspect of the run - my fuel, my warm up, my clothing, my route. The week of the long run, I find myself calculating neighborhood routes in my head.

I am weird.

Anyhow, clearly I started off too slow and conservatively. I have this irrational fear that I will burn out in the first three miles, which is untrue because my first couple miles from last weeks run were faster and felt easier? Looking back now, I'm kind of kicking myself because I know I could have had a faster overall pace if I had just listened to my body the first few miles instead of panicking at the watch. I started to get into the groove at mile 4, and did my best to stay focused on an easy but not EASY pace. I also forced myself to run down a hill at mile 7 so I could run back up it for mile 8, kind of simulating the race conditions.

Galer Street, I'm gonna make you my bitch this time mmkay?

Damn, that hill was crazy.

I have been doing my hill training on the treadmill, which has helped tremendously at running up inclines at the same pace as the flat. Yesterday I felt more power in my legs as I was tackling the uphills, and I was able to keep the pace under a 10 min mile for the inclines, which for me is huge progress.

I also treated yesterday as a mini dress rehearsal for the race. I ate 3 small oatmeal breakfast cookies, drank my usual coffee, and had some water before I left the house just as the sun was rising. The weather was frigid but clear and sunny - my absolute favorite.

My plan for fuel was to take a gel at 4, sip sip sip, and then another one around 8.5 miles. To my dismay, I realized the night before that I was out of my regular GU standbys, and so I searched my supplies for some gels, only to find one Hammer gel and a Honey stinger gel. The Hammer gel flavor was peanut butter, and at first sip, I had to read the ingredients to make sure it wasn't actually pure peanut butter. It had a strange gritty texture, and really did mimic peanut butter, minus its original deliciousness. I was able to sip the gel for a mile and a half, and avoided any stomach issues post run. There is not much to say about the Honey Stinger gel except for that it was absolutely disgusting. Perhaps, because it is organic, it just has more of a cloyingly sweet  sugar taste, but I much prefer the deliciously artificial GU brand.

I had to dig deep for the last two miles, as my body is not accustomed to moving past the 11 mile mark. I did stop once or twice during mile 12 because I had to reset my music but I did my best to move as fast as I could for the final 1.5 miles. Overall the run felt really solid. The last two long runs have been tremendous spirit and confidence boosters for me. I am hoping I can carry that feeling to race day.

My goal for this run was to run it at 2 hours or under, and I barely squeezed by! My hope for the race is that I can start off a bit faster, and then maintain the 9-ish min pace for the rest of the race. I remember the course from last year very vividly, and I think I am ready to tackle it again.

Two more weeks, and then we'll find out.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A cold and sunny Saturday, my favorite.

11/2: Rest
11/3: 6 miles, TM in pm
11:4: Rest
11/5: 4 miles, TM in am
11/6: Rest. Random strength 
11/8: 10.5 miles, outside and solo. 
11/9: 4.5 easy w D, outside in the cold rain

Total weekly mileage: 25
Total rest days : 3
Total strength days: debatable

I've been throwing in a few random evening runs into the mix, and I have a couple thoughts:

It's not as bad as I remembered, 
I can't believe I used to run exclusively in the evenings after work. 

I think my body is adapting well to this daylight savings change, not the spring version. I've been able to convince myself to get up easier than it was a couple weeks ago, although it's still not completely consistent.

Saturday's long run was fantastic. It has been a very long time since I've had a solid paced longer run, and i felt great the entire time, paced myself accordingly to plan, and only wanted to explode once (at the end, duh). I rode the high of my run the entire weekend. I texted two of my fellow runner friends, and basically shouted my run love from the mountain tops. 

I started with two easy warm up miles, intentionally ignoring my watch. Whoever said the run is not to be judged by the first (two?) miles.. Preach! Preach it hard.

When my watch beeped at mile 2, I reset my watch, turned on my music, and focused or the next 8 miles. My plan was to pace myself two miles at a time. 

2 warmup

2 at 9:30 ish
2 at 9:20 (Gu)
2 at 9:10
2 at 9 or below
.5 cool down

Mile 1 - 9:20
Mile 2 - 9:36
Total time: 18:56
Mile 3 - 9:25
Mile 4 - 9:28
Mile 5 - 9:15
Mile 6 - 9:24
Mile 7 - 9:07
Mile 8 - 8:55
Mile 9 - 9:07
Mile 10 - 8:42
Total time - 1:13

Mile .5 - Cool down

Overall pace: (using an online pace calculator): 9:12

I fueled with a salted caramel GU around mile 4, and sipped tiny blobs of sugar until almost mile 6. I didn't have any water with me so I didn't want to shock my gut with too much sugar all at once. I think this worked well for me, and I felt a steady sustained level of energy throughout the middle miles. I started to get pretty thirsty around mile 8.5, but I knew I only had a little longer until I reached 10 miles, so I pushed myself as much as I could until the end. At mile 10, I reset my watch one more time, and slogged/walked a cool down home.

When I got home, I looked at my splits and was surprised to see that one of my middle miles was sub 9, which was not in my plan and yet, I remember that mile feeling solid. Actually, all of the miles felt good.

Now, from an outsiders perspective, maybe my time was average, and my paces easy, but this run meant more to me than just numbers to be hit. 

Like I said earlier, I haven't felt so good or so capable on so long. This is the run I needed to remind myself that I really can do this if I set my mind in the right place. 

For the first time in a long time, I felt confident, happy, strong.

I felt like a runner. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Half marathon month!

10/27: Rest
10/28: 6 miles, TM
10/29: Rest
10/30: 6 miles, TM
10:31: Rest
11/1: 10 miles outside, with D
11/2: 4 miles outside

Total weekly mileage: 26
Total strength days: Zero
Total rest days: 3

This training cycle is weird. I am seriously all over the place in terms of (lack of) structure and I'm think this actually might be a good thing for me...?

I know. 

I don't get it either.

I am participating in a women's bible study this fall, and the theme for the last couple of weeks has been to enjoy our lives, to slow down and embrace the life God has given us. Ok, so those might be roughly the ideas that I've taking away from each chapter. My daily life is filled with tasks to be done, deadlines to meet, clocks to race... But, why? For what? 

Yeah, I don't really know.

No one is forcing me to clean the kitchen spotless before going upstairs to my waiting family, to fold the laundry while trying to watch a movie during family time, to type up an email in the middle of a homework session.  No one is making me do these things, no one is expecting a perfect house and a seamless life.

No one but me. 

I've heard this from many people, that I am too hard on myself and that I should give myself a break. For someone who so easily proclaims to others to do what makes them happy, why can't I relax and take the pressure off myself? Why can't I let myself be happy? Yes, a clean house and an orderly life make me "happy" but I am forgetting what truly gives me joy - God, my family, my friends, good food, life. 

I joke with my friends that I am basically an unfeeling robot, and now I wonder,perhaps  this is more truth than jest. My mind is a list filled with check boxes waiting to be marked off as Complete. I find satisfaction in accomplishing tasks, with little attention paid to how the end goal is reached. My aim is to hopefully relax, let myself enjoy the moment I am in, instead of anticipating the next move.


On Sunday, I ran 3 miles, and then let myself stop for a few seconds, and ran the last mile home at an easy recovery pace. For the first 2,3 miles, I told myself to stay in that moment, to run swift and focus on the miles within reach. I can't tell you the last time I ran "just" 3 miles, and it was actually quite nice. I'm always so focused on running as far as I can, that sometimes I forget that there is quality in miles, not just quantity. I felt solid after my 4 miles, and was happy to be running in the brisk morning sunshine. 

I need to learn to be "in the moment", in running and life.


I think 4 run days/ week is my sweet spot. Now if only I can squeeze in at least one day of strength/xt, I'll be set. I think. For now. Maybe....

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Womp womp

10/20: Rest
10/21: Rest
10:22: 4 miles? TM 
10/23: 4 miles, TM
10/24: 6 miles, TM 
10/25: Rest 
10:26: Rest

Total weekly mileage: 14 whopping miles
Total strength: 0
Total rest days: 4


That was not an exciting week. 

I had a couple things going on last week, namely some weird stomach bug that zapped my energy, and then a mini vacation this past weekend. I did my best to squeeze in some miles but I didn't get in quite as many as my plan indicated.

Oh well.

Normally I'd beat myself up over the lack of running, and overall discipline but I just didn't care last week. Letting my body rest was more important getting in some miles. I have about a month left until the Seattle Half, and I'm feeling ambivalent. I know I should care more, especially since I paid good money to race!  

I am in a neverending self pep talk when it comes to running, and so I'll get back to it tomorrow. Right?


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Still here

10/13: Rest
10/14: 6 miles, TM
10/15: 6 miles, TM 
10/16: Rest
10/17: Rest
10/18: 9 miles Ttl (4 TM), 5 outside. Slow
10/19: 5 easy miles with D

Total weekly mileage: 26
Total strength days: 0 (ugh)
Total rest days: 3

Just another week. Not feeling much faster, or much slower.  I am feeling at a not ideal plateau in my running. I haven't run at all this week because i was mildly sick with some sort of rogue stomach bug. Boo. Hoping I can sneak in a run today after work, which rarely happens. I am trying to take these kinds of weeks in stride and am hoping to get a second wind in the coming month. Time is running out. 

Get it? Stride? Running? 

Ba dum bump! Thanks! I'm here 'till Thursday, try the veal!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

(Feels like) Week one zillion...

10/6: HIIT and arms. 30 min.
10/7: 6 miles, TM 
10/8: 5 miles, TM (am) Strength, 20 min (pm)
10/9: Rest
10/10: Rest
10/11: 9 miles, TM. 1:23
10/12: 5 miles easy, outside w D

Total weekly miles; 25
Total strength days: 2
Total rest days: 2

Technically I have only been training for 5 weeks, but man it feels like longer. I am not pushing myself as hard as this time last year, and I am learning to (finally?) respect rest and listen to my body, but... really? Only five weeks in? 

So far my longest run has been 11 miles. Not too shabby, but those 11 miles were long and slightly painful. I am gearing up for 10 miles this coming weekend, which will hopefully be outside. Most likely in the rain, dodging car rain waterfalls and deceptive puddles. 

Oh, hello Seattle suburb. Now I remember you.

This past week was an easier but fairly solid run week. I skipped a day because I love my pillow, and I didn't even feel the usual guilt. I am trying to find balance (story of my life...) between miles per week, and run days per week. Right now I feel like four is solid. If I feel like throwing in that extra day, I can use the miles for an easy run. But even with just four, I've been able to hit the miles/week as per my modified training plan. Clearly it takes me a while to figure out that it is useful (insert 100 font DUH right here) to finally nail the actual workouts (hills, tempo, repeats etc..) rather than just running to hit X amount of miles, the end.

 D U H

Anyways, that was last week. Nothing spectacular. I had a great 9 mile treadmill run on Saturday, with the last four miles at GHMP, and then an easy recovery run w a friend on Sunday.

Just chugging along.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Weak-ly recap, #4

9.29: 5 Miles, TM
9/30: 4 Miles, outside. Vinyasa Flow with D, 1 hr
10/1: 6 Miles, TM. Tempo run - 2 mile warmup. 3 mile at close to GHMP, 1 mile cool down.
10/2: Rest
10/3 12 Miles. 9.8 Miles, potpourri. 5 solo. 3.7 with D - outside. 1.1 Mile on TM.
10/4: Rest. 10 Minutes strength, arms
10/5: 5 Miles, outside. 4 with JB

Total weekly mileage: 25.8
Total Strength/XT days: 1.5 days
Rest Days: 2

I had the best week. I was home from work all week, and while I definitely ran less than I had intended to, I enjoyed every second of my time. As I am apt to do, I once again adjusted my training to a plan I found in this book, borrowed from dear EC. Most of the information in the book is pretty basic but I love having it as a general reference guide for everything from training to nutrition. Plus, who doesn't love holding an actual, real book.

The intermediate half marathon plan  found in the book is basically the modified version of the more mileage heavy plan I had originally been using. This one is similar enough but let's be real, it's way more doable for me. I switched halfway through this past week, and was happy to see my 12 mile long run was now to be an 8 mile run. I know it's only 4 extra miles, but those extra miles can do a number on my mental weakness strength

Note to self: Work on my mental strength.

Anyways, none of my runs were particularly fast or feel good, but I got them done. My hamstrings were strangely very tight, and my arms were on fire all week from yoga. I wanted to squeeze in one more run for the week, and yesterday morning's weather was perfect, so I wrangled JB into an easy 4 mile jaunt around the neighborhood. Mind you, he had just gotten off the plane not even 12 hours prior. I promised we'd go slow and easy, and I even let him stop a few times. However, I miscalculated our distance and at 4 miles, we were still a mile away from home. At this point, he was feeling slightly nauseated, probably from fatigue and dehydration perhaps? He was very very annoyed with me not too happy about having to slog home the extra mile, so he stopped to walk while I motored on forward to burn rubber for 1 more mile on my own.

5 bright easy miles to end the week. Some grumblings from my running partner, but he'll get over it.

Guess which mile I ran solo...


Mile 1- 10:10
Mile 2 - 9:57
Mile 3 - 10:00
Mile 4 - 9:55
Mile 5 - 8:37

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Week 3.. I think?

9/22: Rest
9/23: 6 Miles. NOPE. Rest
9/24: 6 Miles, TM.
9/25: 6 Miles, hills
9/26: Rest
9/27: 9 Miles, outside. Slow. Chatty. 1:35-ish.
PERFECT weather. Overcast, light mist and fresh, fresh air.
9/28: 5 miles, recovery. NOPE. Rest

Total Weekly Miles: 21
Total Rest Days: 4
Total Strength Days: 0 - UGH

I have barely been training and I can't even remember what week I am in. Feels like week 30, but I am pretty sure it's week 3.

This was one long ass week. I had deadlines at work, evening functions to attend (nothing fun, just curriculum nights etc), ladies night in, and general life fatigue. I barely made it up two days this week to run on the treadmill, but as usual, I'm always glad I did. I took a couple extra rest days this week, so my miles and activity are low, but I have no regrets.

Saturday was a struggle. I politely finagled my neighbor into meeting me at 6:30am for a long run. I told her I had 10 to do, but that we would most likely not run that far since she hadn't planned on that many miles.  She said she wasn't sure she'd want to run more than 8.


We ended up running 9.

This was kind of a calculated accident on my part. We were on par to run our usual 8 mile loop, but then I suggested an additional turn right, and then we ended up at 8 well before we hit home. So of course we just kept on running. I could have probably eeked out another slow mile but I felt slightly guilty having made her run so many unplanned miles. I mean, I was thrilled with the company, and our conversation flowed effortlessly but still, it was a lot of miles to run when you were not planning on it. We had to stop a couple of times to stretch because she felt her hips tightening up, and of course I welcomed the mini breaks.

I find that I don't fuel at all when I run with her, in part because we run at such a leisurely pace, but mostly because it feels awkward to be sucking down a Gu or chomping on a chew when I'm with someone. Also, I need to figure out a better water situation, as I am sure the fountains at the park will soon be shut off. I bought a fuel belt last year, with a tiny attachment for a water bottle but I just can't stand the sloshing and bouncing. I may look for some handheld options but I haven't yet found the perfect one.

I think in the next few weeks, I'm going to start incorporating more "real" speedwork on the road, as well as some true hill repeats around the neighborhood. I'm not sure how I will be able to fit those in on dark weekday mornings, but we'll see what I can do.

Sorry for the lame update. I had a pretty simple run week. Looking forward to amping up in the coming weeks. I am joining a friend for yoga on Tuesday, and also am going to attempt some hill repeats around the neighborhood. Enjoying the cooling temps and embracing the fresh air.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Snore-cap, week 2

9/15: Rest
9/16: 6 miles easy, TM 
9/17:6 miles, hills. TM
9/18: 5 miles, TM. Nope, Rest
9/19: Rest
9/20: 7 miles, TM. 1:04?
9/21: 5 miles outside.with D, slow minutes. 51+ min

Total weekly mileage: 24
Total strength days: 0 (whoops!)
Total rest days: 3

This week was boring and uneventful. I was extra extra extra tired this past week. Blame a busy schedule, impending monthly visitor and general fatigue but I just didn't have much in me. I took an unapologetic unplanned rest day, ran my weeks long run on the treadmill and skipped my strength workouts for this week. Normally I would be beating myself up over not sticking to plan, and not getting my ass up out of bed and moving, but man. This week kicked my ass. We had an incredibly busy weekend, and I don't remember one moment getting to even sit down for a few minutes. I have a sinking suspicion that this will my our new lives as the kids get older, busier and more demanding.

You thought babies were demanding? Ha! Babies don't demand money, extra food, and the entire toy aisle at Target. 

Run wise, it felt good to get some hill work into my weekly rotation. I can't expect to get stronger running flat on the treadmill forever, I suppose. I'm not back to feeling the speed in my legs the same time as training last year, and honestly, I'm trying not to get discouraged. But I have time. Right?

I skipped my run this morning because yes, an extra hour of sleep felt necessary. I'll resume reg scheduled programming tomorrow AM but I am slowly learning to not be stupid listen to my body, and rest when I need it. 

More stretching and rolling need to happen but I am always a bit pressed for time after my morning run. Read: running around trying to stop sweating before i pull my work clothes on as I try to prevent my freshly applied makeup from sliding off my face. I may need to make it an evening habit before bedtime, instead of stumbling into bed right after the kids are asleep. To clarify, *it* refers to the rolling, not the running in circles like a maniac... Although I'm always kind of do that. There's just always so much to do and the clock is always ticking ticking ticking. 

Who, me.. Uptight?

Yes. Yes I am. Why do you ask...

*pours large glass of wine*

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week 1, for the 4th time

9/8: Rest
9/9: 6 miles, TM. 54+min
9/10: 5 miles, TM. 20 minutes of strength. 45+min.
9/11: 6 miles, TM. Hills for breakfast. Literally. It was 4:30am. 58+ min
9/12: Rest
9/13: 11 lonely solo miles, outside. 1hr47. 10 minutes of strength
9/14: 5.2 miles, TM. Easy recovery pace. 49+min

Total weekly miles: 33.2
Total run days: 5
Total strength sessions: 2
Total rest days: 2

I am counting this as my official first week of training.

I. Am. Tired.

I had forgotten what it was like to be a slave to training. On one hand, I think it will help take the thinking out of the training. On the other hand, T-I-R-E-D. Back to consistent pre-5 am run sessions. This week felt pretty solid, even though I had a rough 11 miler yesterday. My friend was out of town this weekend, so I was on my own for my long run. 11 miles is the longest consecutive miles I've run since the half back in May. I couldn't find the wireless headphones and didn't want to worry about wires, so I just went sans music for my long run. I started about 7am, and the sun was starting to peek over the hills. The air was crisp and glorious. I wore shorts, a s/s t-shirt and my trusty hat. I haven't had a real need to fuel during any of my runs for a couple of months, and yesterday was the first time in a long time having to strategize about when to take in my GU and chews. I had some leftover watermelon GU chomps (like candy!) and a salted watermelon GU that I had received from one of the Stride boxes. Both were delicious - 1 chomp each taken at miles 2 and 5, and then a GU taken at mile 8, mostly because I hadn't planned well in the water department and I calculated that I wouldn't be passing a water fountain until I hit the near 9 mile mark. I was careful to take tiny "sips" of the GU to last me the mile to the water, and I think it helped avoid any cramping and stomachaches.

Yesterday I really struggled with my endurance and the distance. I can't believe I used to be able to run 11 miles at a much faster pace than I did yesterday. Sometimes the thought of going any faster or making anything hurt is just daunting. The thought of getting back to where I was last year feels impossible.

Overall, it was a solid week. My runs really didn't hurt, I got the miles in and I had plenty of movie reels playing in my head during my long runs.

Post long run was spent eating lots of curly fries and scones at the fair.
Gluttonous reward for a relatively successful first week of training.


Avg Pace

Slow as ass but I got er done.

*Waaay T.M.I. but I kind of feel like we're there in our relationship.
So.. after any outside run longer than 6 miles, I definitely suffer from Runner's flu, and end up visiting the toilet about 5,6 times for the remainder of that day. It's very annoying and inefficient. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

End of the weekend, y'all

9/2: Labor Day! 
      Random Tone It Up workouts on YouTube. Including yoga, arms etc. total time: 40 minutes of burnnnn.
9/3: 6 miles outside with JB. Slow. 
      Easy not easy. 
      Cowboy strut from previous days        squats. Ow.

      (Posted earlier)

9/4: Rest
9/5: 6-7 miles, TM. Someone woke up late.
      4 Miles plus strength.
9/6: Rest
9/7: 8 Miles outside with D. 1:23-ish. Nice and easy
      Strength, arms.
9/8: 5 miles, TM. Strength, 20 minutes of arms and (fl)abs

Total weekly mileage: 23
Total run days: 4
Total rest days: 2
Total XT days: 1
Total strength days: 4

I am feeling pretty good these days. I am trying to get some easy miles on my legs before I start seriously training. I don't think I will be able to follow the stringent 14 week plan so.. I'm going to wing it this time around.

Hold me.

In the last few years it has become apparent that I am not as flexible and easy going as I once perceived myself. I am UPTIGHT, you guys.

I am having a hard time adapting when my day does not go as planned. I am one of those people who used to annoy me.


Example: On Thursday, my alarm mysteriously failed to go off and I ended up waking up at 6:30, the time I am normally settled onto the train. I basically ran around the bathroom in tiny circles trying to decide which train to take and trying to calculate how long it would take me to get ready, blah blah. The unexpected failure of my alarm ended up causing the day to go in a downward spiral of unpredictability. I barely made it through the day. Just barely. Still annoyed by that day, honestly.

Go ahead. Roll your eyes. I'll wait...

I am finding that E is exhibiting the same type of rigidity and inflexibility when it comes to school. On Sunday we went panic last minute school supply shopping, and you should have seen her when she realized that Target was out of fine tip dry erase pens. You would have thought I told her Santa Claus is not real. The OUTRAGE.

Yes, she still believes in Santa Claus. Shut up.

I ended up semi yelling/lecturing her right there in the middle of the office supply aisle. It wasn't my best moment but nevertheless, it happened and we have since moved on. We have still not found those damn markers though. And yes, she is still asking me when Target will be getting a new shipment of supplies.

Anyways, I am going to try and embrace the "on the fly" training, and channel everything I've learned from my previous training cycles. While there is always something new even the most seasoned of runners can learn, I think it is important for me to really establish a base from which I can begin/stabilize.

In a nutshell, I've been enjoying my runs/workouts and am feeling pretty damn good. I mean, not great? But good. We'll start from there.

Oh, and still not eating meat (no beef, chicken, pork). I am incorporating some seafood into my diet but it's mostly been eggs, beans, greens and I'm feeling great. I need to find a vegan or dairy free protein powder that will work with my stomach and I should probably get on that liquid iron supplement my doctor told me about. I think it's called Floradix, if anyone (EC?) is interested.

Also, made a new granola recipe from Minimalist Baker.

Um. Remind me not to make granola at home, mmkay?
Herman is much too happy for his own good.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September, again

8/25: rest
8/26: 5 miles, TM
8/27: 4 miles, TM
8/28: rest
8/29: rest
8/30: 6 miles, TM
9/1: 8 miles easy, outside with D. 1:20

Total weekly mileage: 23


9/2: Labor Day! 
Random Tone It Up workouts on YouTube. Including yoga, arms etc. total time: 40 minutes of burnnnn.

9/3: 6 miles outside with JB. Slow. 
Easy not easy. 
Cowboy strut from previous day's squats. Ow. 

The problem with infrequent blogging is that I end up forgetting everything I had intended to recap last week. I can't remember my treadmill times and I'm having issues logging on to the iFit app. The runs have been pretty average and nothing to write home about. Saturday's treadmill run was slow and steady. It was also the first time in a very long time where I could have just kept going forever. 6.0 mph will do that to you. I had to move my long run to Sunday so I just took it easy and enjoyed the hour of Orange is the New Black. This was only after I so lovingly made chocolate pancakes for the kids for Saturday breakfast, only to come to the harsh realization that they clearly consider themselves pancake connoisseurs. Tiny, demanding, complainy critics. Did you know there is a wrong way to make pancakes? Did you also know that daddy makes the best pancakes? Did you?


I guess next Saturday we're having cold cereal.


Wow. Sorry. Where was I?

Running. Yes. So last week felt pretty solid, and I saw a tiny glimpse of my old run self coming back to me. I think the difference this time is incorporating more strength training into my life. I am starting to feel more like myself these days, albeit with way more muscle. I may never be thin, flabby Linda again but I've accepted that this is the new healthier, stronger and non "Asian pancake assed" one. 

Also, I am contemplating a few different half training plans 

1) 14 weeks with heavy emphasis on high mileage
2) 11 week plan basing runs on total time run, not miles
3) random hodgepodge of plans, incorporating more xt..

The first two plans have little mention of strength training. The first one has me running 8 miles of hills on a weekday.

Ain't nobody got time for that. 

I may just play this training cycle on the fly and just mix up the weeks as I go along. It kind of kills me inside to not have a straight, "follow this" plan, but I just haven't found one that I love 100% or is completely doable with my life right now The last plan I attempted had me bursting into flames of disappointment around week 4 and I'd rather not repeat that glorious failure. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Base building and a Pace recap.. get it?

8:17: 4 miles, TM to make 25 miles for the week! That hasn't happened in a long time.

Off on our group camping adventure!

8/18: Camping
8/19: Camping
8/20: Dur. Tired. Rest
8/21: 4 miles, TM
8:22: Rest
8/23: Seattle Marathon 10K with Yon.
         1:00:55 or something
8/24: TIU HIIT, 20 min
         TIU, arms. 10 min


It's been a crazy August, and I can't believe it's almost over. This month has drained all life out of me but I've also felt pretty productive. Slightly crazed but productive.

I've been focusing on base building and heart rate training in August so I can prep for my next half. Training begins in September and I want to be physically and mentally ready to get back in it. 

I hadn't planned on signing up for any races this summer after the half in May, but when my friend asked me to run the a race with her while she was visiting family in Seattle, I couldn't turn her down! She is training for her first half marathon in October, and wanted to use this as a training race, as well as to get to her 1 hour time goal after a disappointing 10k race in July. 

Normally a race I've done before would be motivation to push myself to PR but I offered instead to run with my friend, which turned out to work out well since she couldn't find her Garmin the morning of the race. Turns out I come in handy as a human GPS watch!

We started off steady, despite having to weave past walkers (hi, we just started the race... ?) and clocked our first mile at 10:30 pace. Y was planning on starting slow and steady, with 10ish min miles and a strong finish. I did my best to make sure she didn't burn out in the beginning miles due to adrenaline and excitement. This was her first time running/chatting with someone and she said it really made the miles manageable and enjoyable. We were steady and chatty until mile 5, when we decided to just save the air for running. Our last miles were definitely the fastest, with mile 6 being sub 9 pace. I decided to let her sprint ahead the last .5 miles because I wanted her to finish strong and let her cross the finish line before me. I yelled out encouragements as we rounded the corner to finish, and she came in juuuust over the one hourmark, which was still a 6 minute PR for her! She was slightly disappointed she didn't get under an hour but overall was pleased by her performance.

The best part of any recap. Splits!
Second only to the banana/ice cream variety

Avg Pace

It was my first time pacing someone during a race, and you know what? 

It felt great.

And I had a lot of fun doing it. The entire time we were running, my motivations were, for the first time, Selfless. My role in this race was to encourage and support someone else in helping reach a goal. It wasn't about how many people I could pass, earning personal bragging rights or PR-ing. I was proud of my friend's accomplishments and her race effort! Her husband, kids and brother were at the finish line, and JB even got a badass finish line photo of her.

JB later commented how he almost missed seeing her at the finish because he assumed I would be ahead of her (maybe pacers finish first? Dunno...did I do it all wrong?!) but I told him that early on in the race, I realized that today was not about me and that I wanted to help someone else reach their goals. 

In no way am I taking any credit for her performance; instead it was a good life lesson for me :

It isn't always about me. Community is about building each other up, and the running community does that. Sometimes I feel like I can be a selfish and self involved runner. I forget how much support I've received from others to get where I am today. 


While JB was waiting for us to finish, he decided to sign us up officially for the Seattle Half Marathon in Nov. I guess training really does start in September!

Also, the day after a bunch of squats and lunges = Cowboy Strut Monday.