Monday, May 31, 2010

It's the Climb

Okay, I know I am 31 years old. But I must admit that I have a new favorite running song. Well, a new song that pushes me just a little harder when I feel like what is the point. Here it is Mylie Cyrus. Whew! Now that I have admitted it I feel so much better, the fear of being a closet Mylie fan is out.

One of the key points I remember from the Team in Training kick-off party was that my finishing time doesn't matter. The only person that cares how long it takes is me. To some running comes easily, their legs have no problem moving and their strides are nice and long. Me....running is a love/hate relationship, I have heavy, muscular and stubby legs and my stride is short. It takes me a long time to get where I am going. E and I can run the same distance and my short, stumpy legs are always way behind him and I spend a heck of a lot more energy to keep up. So when I run by myself I never notice, when I run by others I feel a little how do you say, inadequate. Well today was my first run since I had the flu and my body had no problem letting me know. The first mile was great, I was averaging a 9 minute mile....pretty good for me. Then I started to gradually get slower. After about 4 miles I had to walk for a little while. Then Mylie came on. Just as I was about to call E to come and get me.

So me and my stumpy legs were trucking along on some old country backroad singing Mylie Cyrus at the top of my lungs. I am pretty sure if I saw myself I would have peed my pants laughing. But it got me through the run. Then to my surprise, Total Eclipse of the Heart came on. Ahh, I must have looked like quite a scene as I was singing....I mean running.

Finally, I got to Battle Ground and hit Main Street. That was the quickest part of my run, and the easiest. It was a nice run and hoping to make it a new weekend tradition. I run and E and CB at Starbucks....nothing beats some coffee after a nice run.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

What to Wear?

The question on every girl's mind....what to wear? Never did I think I would be curious about what I should wear for a marathon. Now the time is coming that I better figure it out. I still am up in the air on whether to wear a running skirt from this GREAT company here or running shorts. Do I wear a hat, or go with a bondiband? Which socks? Do I wear a "sweatshirt" to start? Oh the choices! I want to look good, but I need to feel comfortable. Do I go wild and crazy, or stay pretty calm? The only thing I know is I will be sporting a purple TNT tank top. There will be a lot of photo ops that weekend, so I have to make sure my outfit looks cute :)

So if you have any suggestions, let me know!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Missing the Routine

Today I missed my 12 mile training run :( and I can feel my body's disappointment. I have been battling the flu for the past three days, and I just wasn't sure my body could handle it. So I rested today, and hoping tomorrow I will be able to hit the pavement for a nice run. I might check out map-my-run for a little variety. Then Monday it is a 60 minute run. Next Saturday will be the big one though.....20 miles! Then taper, sweet sweet taper.

I am still about $850 away from my fundraising minimum. Hopefully I will get a few donations soon! I was bummed that a few of my business letters came back, " receptacle." WTH is that! Oh well, their loss!

19 Miles

Last Saturday was 19 miles. It wasn't easy, but not horrible. In fact, I felt pretty good afterwards. I ran the first 5 or so miles with Lisa again, which made that section go pretty quickly! We did a tour of the Pearl District and there was only a small drizzle. Then we came back to Breken Kitchen before starting towards the Esplanade. Darn freight trains kept us from going right away, so it was a bathroom break and a little more rest. Finally the train passed and we took off again. She is a lot faster than I am, so she got ahead while I slowed. My head really started hurting.

Crossing over the Willamette River two times, then down by South Waterfront and behind the Spaghetti Kitchen. YUM! The course took us south a little further and then turned around. It was back to South Waterfront and then up my nemesis hill into Downtown. are going down. It wasn't too bad this time but my head was beginning to really pound. It really surprises me how something like a headache can make a run so much more difficult. I then ran along the river until I got back to Breken Kitchen. Now my head was hurting even more. I had 16 miles down and only 3 more to finish, which was another loop around the Pearl District. Coach Jen said I could pull it now. My response, "A headache is a crappy reason to give up now." So I sucked it up and went for 3 more.

I would be lying if the thought of pulling it didn't cross my mind a few times, but I managed to continue. With about a mile and a half left I had to start walking, I kept my pace still though. I alternated for about a mile doing run/walk. At about a half mile left I decided if I gave it my all I would be finished. So I hit it, and I hit it hard. I finished with a strong sprint. Now I have a new farthest distance.....19 miles!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Running Buddy

I have a serious hatred for slugs! In fact, give me a mouse, snake, mouse or any other freaky looking little rodent that most people find disgusting and I am all good. The past three weeks I have gone through 3 (yes 3) large containers of salt because of these slugs continue to invade my yard and gardens. I realize some have never had the pleasure of meeting one of these slimy and gross let me tell you.

-Imagine a snail without the shell, but bigger. Now add a tail of slime following behind it.
-Salt will kill them
-They come in all shapes and colors. The worst is the banana slug, this week we found on that was AT least 6 inches long.

Why do I mention the slugs? Well today I was doing a run in Battle Ground, and the entire time I was running these little guys were covering the sidewalk. Rain makes these things come out of the woodwork (sometimes literally) in packs. So I had a few running buddies today, although I would have preferred to be alone.

So on a much more note....Saturday my run was on the Coast. It was beautiful! My family was all over in Lincoln City (minus E). So I took to the streets around our house rental and it was BEAUTIFUL! I finished right next to the beach. It was really windy but the sun was shining.

Of course, when you get 6 women together there is bound to be some shopping. We also hit the outlet malls and stimulated the economy a little. Even CB got in the spirit and was posing in the Nike Outlet window. I looked at an employee and said "I am not sure if she will boost or decrease sales today." CB looked like a natural though and convinced me to buy her a basketball, of course it was pink.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

What Time Will I Finish???

I have no idea what my finish time will be for the marathon. Right now I just want to finish....alive and not in too much pain. I am also about $1100 away from my fundraising minimum :( So for a fundraiser, and a chance for you to win a $25 gift certificate to Starbucks, Best Buy OR Road Runner Sports (your choice!!!) I am conducting a Finish Time Pool. For a $5 minimum donation to my Team in Training effort  (of course you can do more) send me a message with what you think my finish time will be for running 26.2 miles on June 26.

Now of course those who know me know what my times are for finishing specific runs as well as my half marathon time. Well I am not keeping those a secret, so here is a little inside info :

Half Marathon Time: 2:45:49 (official time)
16.5 miles (on May 8): 3:30:26
3.6 miles (on May 15): 0:39:14

If you "recruit" someone to my fundraising site, and it results in any amount of donation you earn an additional entry time. The poll will close on June 11! Help me meet my goal to help find a cure for blood cancers!

Monday, May 10, 2010


Almost 17 miles this past Saturday! Yikers!!! Now the farthest distance I have run, and this route was absolutely breathtaking at times (in more ways than one!) Mentor Mike is doing a great job at finding routes that not only make me HATE hills....but love what I see when I get to the top.

We started near OMSI and took off East through a classic car show, down to where I took my exotic dance classes and then up towards Mt. Tabor. Pine State Biscuits was packed already, so I am beginning to think I need to try this place out! On the way back towards downtown I enjoyed the beauty of Laurelhurst Park, which I had never been to before. The bathroom there was also a bonus since by this time I had already drank about a liter of water....(I don't want a large Farva...I want a liter of cola! Sorry had to throw in a little Super Troopers). Mentor Mike and Krista came up behind me. So we finished out that last mile before the aide station, and I took off again. About a mile down I heard my name (apparently I was really lost in thoughts, or my music was up too loud!) I missed the turn, and Coach Karl, Mentor Mike, Krista and Kara were right behind me. I am sure I would have eventually notice I was going the wrong way.

Then my iPod hit a Nickelback song. Between thinking of John, Luke, Aimee, Krystal and Anna I got a little angry/sad and felt like my feet were on fire. So I picked up my pace (alot) and ran pretty hard for about a mile. Tears were getting ready to fall and all that energy made me push a little harder.

At the 9 mile mark and aide station I got the rest of the route and took off for the last part of the run. This time I was heading over to the West side and heading up to Washington Park. All I knew was that there would be alot of hills. Oh yeah...I felt the burn. The Park was gorgeous, and so many people were playing, gardening or just enjoying the beautiful weather. The best part of running uphill though, eventually you get to go downhill. It took some energy though, because if I got going to fast I would be doing somersaults down to the heart of Portland.

Going over the Vista Bridge, the beauty of Downtown Portland was in front of me. At this point I was at 13 miles and hardly noticed the distance. Heading into Downtown I kept thinking, "holy cow! I am doing it....I am doing some serious distance here!" Hitting the OMSI aide station I had just a little under two miles left, so I didn't stop too long in fear of never re-starting. My legs were now starting to REALLY feel the distance, and I really wanted to start walking but then I saw a man wearing a HOPE shirt. I couldn't give up, that was my sign to fight the fatigue and soreness and kick the crap out of 16 miles. So I made it down to the Steele Bridge, and to be honest I almost turned around and headed back sooner. But even The Queen of Rationalization couldn't do it. I realized no one would really care if I turned around early, the only person that it mattered to was me. And I wasn't about to let myself not have the opportunity to say, "yeah I just ran 16+ miles today."

This necklace was from my honorary teammate Luke and his family after his first BMT.

On the way back I was joined by another teammate, then Mentor Mike again. And guess what....I did it. I ran almost 17 miles. And despite the pain, it felt damn good!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Longest Run

Well the butt feels better! Yesterday was Team Run day, which to me is always motivating and fun. Seattle RNR was only doing 17 miles while San Diego RNR was doing 18. I was not sure what I would be doing since up until now I had only gone 13 miles due to my butt and I am still recovering. Well Coach Karl and Jen as well as Mentor Mike were all ready with a 14 miler for me. Thankfully there was another team mate that was also recovering, so I wasn't the only one doing the 14 miles.

Lisa is also running her first marathon, and hadn't run much prior to the past year. I did warn her I am slow. So for the first 2 miles we chatted. It is great to get to know new people through Team in Training. Then I was feeling a little slow, so she went ahead and I enjoyed some music and some "me" time. Our course took us through SE Portland, along Hawthorne. I don't do well with really strong smells and when it is super early in the morning I am even worse. So the smells of Mexican, Thai, burgers and other not so appealing smells at 8 am was making my stomach turn. Then I passed Grand Central Bakery. YUM! No one would notice if I just chilled there for a minute for some pastries, would they? There were a lot of interesting stores I passed, and not to mention the interesting people. Mile 4 brought the encouraging face of Mentor Mike at the aide station. With some encouraging words from him, some Shot Bloks and a refill on my handheld water bottle I was ready to go again. Lisa was there too, so we took off together. This would probably be the most challenging part of the run, but definitely the most beautiful.

Leg 2 took us into Mt. Tabor Park. There were some breathtaking views, and some breathtaking hills! Lisa was ahead of me, so I slowed a bit just to enjoy the view of Downtown Portland in that gorgeous sunlight that is being overshadowed by dark rain clouds. After running up the hill (which was really hard....but felt good!) the route turned around and back to Mentor Mike. I was able to pick up some time on the way down. Which, BTW has been a whole change in my stride since running with E. But it has been so much more effective and feels better.

When I left the aide station I noticed my handheld leaking. Nice, ice cold water running down my arm, all over me. It was cracked! UGH! So after carrying a dripping bottle for a mile I found a trash can, and left the bottle in it. Thank goodness Coach Karl and Jen were at another aide station not far away. So now I was on Belmont heading back Downtown. I passed Pine State Biscuits, where there was a line half a block long to get in. Saint Cupcake, apparently a Methadone Clinic, some more shops and some restaurants. This seemed to be the longest stretch for me. But soon, there they were....near the Esplanade, my coaches. It was like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And to get back to Duniway I had to run past a fire station. Oh darn!

Crossing the Hawthorne Bridge I was almost run over by a bicyclist. The Cinco de Mayo Festival was going on the Waterfront, and there were many Dragon Boat teams wandering around. As I was coming in on the last mile and a half, I had to go UP Harrison. Oh man, my thighs were burning, and I was so tempted to just stop running and walk it. Garmi had numbers though that said don't do it! So slow as I was going, I ran up the hill into the homestretch. Sure, the awesome runners that were doing 17 were also coming in, but hey....I still just completed the farthest I had ever run. It felt good.

On the way home though, I had to stop for some ice. Getting out of the Tahoe I was pretty much crawling into the mini mart. E. was already running a cold bath for me, so as soon as I got home I was making a Micki Slurpee. Looking forward to it, I put my feet in and INSTANTLY got out! WTH!!! It was freezing (yes, the thought of I didn't think it would be this cold actually went through my head). So after about 5 attempts I managed as close to 10 minutes as I could, and hopped right into a hot shower. I think E. was secretly enjoying watching the ice torture. And I am happy to report, all organs have returned to normal blood flow. But the muscles felt so much better.

Aside from retiring my water bottle. I was also forced to retire my first pair of "official" running shoes. My Saucony Triumph 6 had too many miles on them. The problem was that there is a new generation. But to my luck, I found my Triumph 6s online, for a great price and should have a new pair here within the week! My other pair, the Mizuno Wave Creation 10 is also retired, but I can't find those anywhere. So I will have to try the 11.

This next week I am going to really hit the training hard. Strength training and core strength will be my non-running concentration. I can't wait to run the Marathon, but I want to be the best I can be!