Monthly Archives: November 2015

Weekly Wrap–Mukilteo Turkey Trot

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap. You don’t have to be runnin’ to share your funnin’, so go visit them, link up, and join the party.

WeeklyWrap

Maui Half-Marathon Training, week 7

Monday:  Treadmill Torture.  After participating in the Redmond Turkey Trot the previous Saturday, I really wanted to try to beat my time for the upcoming Turkey Trot on Thursday.  So I forced myself to run on the treadmill at a faster pace that I knew would beat my previous time, assuming I could hold that pace for very long.  It was a good workout, and my legs got a feeling for what they needed to run to PR.  The plan was to channel that treadmill workout the whole entire race on Thursday.

Tuesday and Wednesday:  Total rest and relaxation and mentally preparing for Thursday, as well as trying to figure out Thanksgiving dinner.  As it was just the 3 of us, none of us were too fussed about what we were going to eat come Thursday, when we were going to it, etc.  I was really more concerned about what was going to be for breakfast post-race!

Thursday:  Mukilteo Turkey Trot in Mukilteo, WA.  Once again, we were up and at ’em way earlier than a normal weekday.  It was nicely below freezing (see that? feels like 22).  Oh yay.

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Luckily I was wearing 3 layers all over my entire body.  And I stayed in the heated car until it was time to go line up at the start line.

20151126_072536.jpgAlthough this race was sponsored by the same people who had put on the Redmond Turkey Trot the previous Saturday, I think more people showed up today.  They were offering prize money for the top place finishers, so that brought out some fast runners. They were still offering the yummy pies too for each age group.

James did the 10K, and I did the 5K, so James lined up with the elite group and headed out first.  Hehe, okay, he didn’t really go out with the elite as there weren’t any elite there, just some mighty fast runners of which he was one.  Anyway, off he went, and I went out with the back of the crowd per normal, but I was kind of pleased I actually passed some people along the way.  It’s usually the other way around!  We went a bit up the street, turned the corner, then BAM!  There it was! The first nasty hill of the run.  Yes, I’m sure you can guess what I was thinking… “I should’ve done more hill torture.”

20151126_085538.jpg20151126_085620.jpgIt was a rolling hill-type of a race, up and down and up and down, but it was all good.  Not too severe.  I didn’t get my PR like I wanted; however, I did run that hilly course at about the same pace I ran the other Turkey Trot which was mostly flat, so I consider it a success.  I’ll have other chances to PR my 5K, so it’s okay.  James nailed his 10K PR by 3 minutes but unfortunately came in 4th for his age group, so no pie for us on Thanksgiving Day.  The funny thing is, if he would’ve been 2 years younger, he would have won that particular age group by 4 minutes.  He gives a pretty decent race recap at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest, so go check it out.

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As for post-race breakfast, I found a fabulous slow cooker egg bake from My Fitness Pal that was ready by the time we got home.  Yes, there was bacon, 🙂

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Friday:  Trail run with Jamesy.  James felt it necessary to pace me on a 2-mile run post-Thanksgiving debauchery and 1 day post-race.  Ouchie.  He runs fast.  ‘Nuff said.  At least we waited until most of the ice had melted on the trail.

Saturday:  Total rest day.  I am so good at these rest days, I amaze myself.  We played games and James made a sinfully delightful chocolate-chip bread pudding.  It’ll probably be a good thing when this holiday weekend is over so we can get back to good.

screenshot_2015-11-29-10-01-51.pngSunday:  Long run day.  Another freezing cold day (I will never complain about the heat I again, I promise… okay, not really, I’ll still complain about the heat too). As it’s a step-down week (thanks to my Turkey Trotting), I just did an easy-peasy stretch around the block.  Today was the Seattle Marathon of which James had entertained the idea of running way back in July. I’m so glad he changed his mind. I would’ve been not too impressed having to go out in this freezing cold weather at a stupid-early time for one of the hilliest courses ever with all that ice out there. For those who did run it… kudos to you.  I’ll bet the portaloos were fun on your bum first thing.  Yikes!

Only 6 more weeks until Maui.  Holy cow, I’m looking forward to some warmth!  And I have a lot of work to do between now and then.  My pace has come down quite a bit, and I’m aiming for a 15-minute PR in Maui = 3:15.  Holiday season, ice, cold, snow or not… it’s time to get busy!

And how was your week?

For The Newbie Runner…

The infamous shaving incident

I’m the one with the cotton ball-looking things around my neck. I have no idea what my mother was thinking.

I come from an era when everyone had to do the Presidential Physical Fitness Test twice a year in PE. Remember that?!  I hated and dreaded it!  I was always last in the run part of the test, and at those crucial times in a child’s life, it can be humiliating.  My last year of PE was when I was in the 11th grade and I signed up for the weight class because I hated everything else… volleyball, softball, basketball.  I am not a natural-born athlete.  But I discovered I could lift weights. And I could do aerobics and Jazzercise. One of my grades in weights was figuring out an aerobics routine and teaching it to the class (yes, this was in the middle of the aerobics boom).  I nailed it, and the coach even told me that I was good at it.  I was chuffed.  But I digress…

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My sister Angela (left) and me; I was 15.

Even in weight class, we had to do that stupid physical fitness test, you know, the one with the running.  I couldn’t even make it around the track once without walking half of it.  I was tired of being humiliated, so I worked all year long on trying to get around that track without having to stop and walk, and I worked on trying to speed up.  I did this after school or whenever I could get to the track to practice.  By the end of the year when the test came, I made it around the track without walking.  I was still last, but I made it around that stupid track. I considered the run a success.

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Fast forward to now.  I’m closer to 50 than 40, and I am a runner.  I’m also in my 2nd year of racing.  And I go out and give it my all.  And I am not fast… although I am faster than I was last year.  And that’s so very encouraging and positive.  I see progress.  And I’ve just begun.

I read other blogs of newbie runners, too.  A lot of newbies (including me) struggle with how slow they run.  Sometimes it even discourages them… “Why do this?  I’m not going to get any better.  It’s never going to get any easier.  I’m so slow.” I want to tell you that you will get better, it will get easier, and you will get faster.  You just have to have patience and put in the effort if you really want to become a faster runner. Sometimes it’s discouraging to be slow, I know, but keep at it.  Your pace will come down, and with it, you will become more fit, or vice-versa.  Running has brought me a sense of good will, good health, empowerment, control, a major sense of accomplishment.  And I think it’s all worth it.  You will too.

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Me just before Thursday’s Turkey Trot, my 13th race.

Weekly Wrap – Redmond Turkey Trot

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap!

WeeklyWrap

Maui Half-Marathon Training, Week 6

Not a good week for training.  Power outages, massive wind storms, rain, freezing weather… I pretty much just kept my legs loosened up for the 5K Turkey Trot on Saturday.  I think I’ll just get right to that…

Inaugural Redmond Turkey Trot 

Woke up on Saturday at a much earlier time than I do during the week (only for a race, right?!). Weather conditions were freezing and clear… and I do mean freezing.

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The start of the race was in the middle of Redmond Town Center, Redmond, WA.

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We picked up our race packets nice and early, took a couple of photos, then went back to the car to stay warm (especially as one of us was racing in shorts, of all things… hint: it wasn’t me).

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Just wait until you take those track pants off, Jamesy.

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The fountain froze along the outside edge.

We managed to snag a couple of hand warmers from a booth, which didn’t actually help the freezing fingers any, but it was nice being warm somewhere even if it was just the palms of my hands.  They decided to start the race a couple of minutes early, which was fine with us as everyone was jumping around trying to keep the blood flowing.  And James was in shorts!

I’m not used to running in such extreme conditions, so it was kind of breathtaking.  Literally.  I thought my lungs were going to freeze up with every breath I took.  I didn’t regain feeling in my lips and face until after mile 1 somewhere.  Everything was uncomfortably numb.

I was aiming for a 40-minute time goal (it’s perfectly alright that I’m slower than most, I’m okay with that), so I didn’t stop to take any pictures of the course.  It was a nice running trail, mostly flat, next to a river or a stream (that I didn’t drink out of), and in places it was a little bit icy.  I tiptoed very carefully through the icy parts.

James finished his race quickly, then came back to pace me the last half-mile or so.  It was nice being able to trod along with him.  He talked the whole entire time, and I listened; and for those who aren’t runners, that means I was running just hard enough that I was not able to carry on a conversation.  James veered off just as I “entered the finish chute.”  (There wasn’t an actual chute, just a nice red brick path in which to “bring it on home.“)

Unfortunately, I didn’t make my 40 minutes, I finished in about 44.  BUT, the good news is that, according to my watch and Garmin Connect and Strava and Nike+, I had 6 personal records.  I’m very, very pleased with how the race went and with my time and with how much effort I put into it.  It’s proof positive that I’m getting better and faster as time goes on.  All it takes is practice (and a whole lot of patience… oh, and hard work, can’t forget the hard work).

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James had a stellar performance.  He had never done a 5K before (a few marathons, but never a 5K, go figure), so his was a given PR.  He managed to place 2nd in his age group.  You can read his awesome race report here.  He finished in 23:16 and won a pie.  A freaking pie.  So awesome.  And so tasty.

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Shorts and pie!

Afterwards, we headed off for our celebratory breakfast.  We did have to change out of our race gear first. We were in the parking garage of the Redmond Town Center, and I crawled into the back of our Honda CRV with the hatchback and changed my clothes.  Have you ever changed your clothes in such a tiny confined space?!  Let me rephrase that… have you ever tried to get out of a sports bra in such a tiny confined space?!  James held up a towel to shield me from the peeping toms.

We had breakfast at The Commons, just outside of Woodinville.  They didn’t have my pancakes and bacon, so I went with biscuits and gravy… the next best thing.

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It was a fabulous day, tons of fun, a great race with great results, a great breakfast, and great company!  While this was not an official “race-cation,” this was a wonderful “race date.”  Next up for us is the Mukilteo Turkey Trot this Thursday.  James is doing the 10K, aiming for a PR, and I’m doing the 5K, still aiming for my 40 minutes.

And what makes this all worth it?  Why, it’s all about the bling, of course!  Happy Running!

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Friday Five: Favorite Cold Weather Drinks

Today I’m joining the DC Trifecta,  Mar On The Run, You Signed Up For What?!, and Eat Pray Run DC, for their Friday Five Linkup.  This week’s theme is your favorite cold weather drinks, but I’ll actually drink these anytime of the year if the mood suits me (because that’s how I roll, baby).

1.  My all time favorite:  Water!!  

drinking-from-a-firehose-300x198I’m from Arizona and learned at a very young age that water is the absolute best drink at any given time.  I never go anywhere without a water bottle, and I always carry a purse big enough to fit a bottle inside.  I’m not picky… good old tap water works for me.  I’m one of those that drank out of a hose in the olden days and survived.

 

2.  Hot black tea.

wpid-tetley-british-blend.jpegI don’t drink coffee, but my day doesn’t start without a cup of tea, or two.  I do exactly 5 things before I have my tea which are totally routine driven so I don’t have to think about them, but if you threw in an extra task at me before I had my tea, I’d be like:

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3.  Chocolate Milk!

wpid-chocolate-milk-stack-629x496.jpgThis is how I start the recovery process when I get back from my long runs. The longer the run, the bigger the glass and the more chocolate I put into the milk.  Don’t judge… I earn every gram of sugar it gives me.

4.  Moscato!

wpid-barefoot-moscato-216x300.jpgOn Friday night, unless I have a race the next day, guaranteed a bottle of Moscato is being consumed by yours truly.  So if you see a blog post from me on Saturday morning, be kind… it was the wine talking.

5.  And last but not least, hot chocolate!

wpid-download-1.jpg.jpegOkay, this one I’ll only drink in the winter, but I love making a big mug for myself and my son… with lots and lots of chocolate and lots and lots of marshmallows!  Again, I’m in it for the sugar, what can I say!

Redmond5KTomorrow James and I have the Redmond Turkey Trot.  Afterwards we will go out to celebrate our success with a huge stack of pancakes and bacon!! (Oh yeah, I said it!!)  What’s your race schedule this next week?  Got any Turkey Trots planned?  Any favorite cold weather drinks you’d like to share?

Just Another Day in the Pacific Northwest

A rainstorm with wind gusts up to 115 mph hit western Washington yesterday, knocking down trees and power lines.  It left over 300,000 without power for many hours, some still without.  At least 3 deaths were reported from fallen trees, one even as far as Spokane (on the eastern side of the state) as they got hit too.  Rivers throughout the Puget Sound flooded, causing even more damage.

James takes the train into Seattle, and his 1-hour commute home turned into a 4-hour nightmare. They had to evacuate the train half-way due to a fallen tree on the tracks.  All the passengers then had to walk to the nearest bus stop where the winds were whipping around them, all while watching trees fall down on transponders which then caused the transponders to explode.  Not my idea of a fun night.

Today is the calm after the storm… no wind, no rain.  Nothing but a huge mess to clean up.  Our power came back on after 18 hours, just in time before my fish froze to death (my oto/sucker fish turned completely white).  School was cancelled, and I minimally went into work.  I love living among a whole bunch of trees; however, when the wind blows, they can be quite lethal.

Needless to say… I did not get my 3-mile run done yesterday, but I did manage to cross-train on Monday… 😉

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This power pole snapped in half. The wires from it now stand only about 8 feet off the ground.

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Typical storm debris and fallen branches.

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The ground is saturated. Hence, an uprooted tree from the wind.

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Another uprooted tree… this one was huge…

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These people are lucky this tree wasn’t closer to their house.

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More fallen trees and debris in the road.

The next weather system is due to hit the Oregon coast and southern Washington.  Brace yourselves people… when they say be prepared, then be prepared, because they aren’t kidding.

 

Weekly Wrap

Once again, I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap!

WeeklyWrap

Maui Half-Marathon Training, week 5

It seems I can barely remember what I did 5 minutes ago, let alone last week!  Let’s see if I can give this a go…

Tuesday:  3 miles on the treadmill.  I really dislike the treadmill, but it keeps me moving at a steady pace, so I guess I should just suck it up, go with it, and quit complaining.  The Pacific Northwest is in the midst of a huge weather system that just won’t let up, so it’s either stay dry on the treadmill or get drenched on the trail.  Just for today, I chose the treadmill.

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Winter is right around the corner…

Wednesday:  I took a rest day today, hoping for better weather on Thursday.  The rain just keeps coming and coming and coming…

Thursday:  More rain, more treadmill.  Only this time, the iFit program on our treadmill decided to do an update and really screwed up my workout.  I couldn’t get the speed adjusted properly, the fan wouldn’t come on, it kept stalling.  Out of frustration, I only did just over 2 miles.  Not looking very promising for being a successful running week…

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On the bright side of things, I did receive a package in the mail today from Brooks Running!  It seems they got word of me having to retire my shoes (A Proper Send-Off), the CEO apparently read my blog post, and they sent me a little acknowledgement for being a Brooks fan!  A swag bag!!  The thought was hugely appreciated!

Friday:  More rain, no hill torture, no outside running.  Tragedy in Paris, OMH, God bless them all.  So I chose happy hour over any kind of workout.  The rain has never bothered me before, but for some reason, right now it’s affecting me.  I seem to have less energy than normal.  We had a great happy hour though!  We got to have a drink and play a couple of board games, of which I lost both games, but we also had a fabulous dinner and dessert.  I think I’ll be the one choosing the game we play next week…

Sunday:  As I’d had such a set back during the week, I cut my mileage way down for my long run.  I was supposed to go out for 12 miles, but I decided to go on the trail for a nice 10K instead.  The rain let up at about 10 a.m., so I made a mad dash for it.  I came back home and did another 2 miles on the treadmill, aiming for a steady pace.  I always inadvertently slow down the higher my mileage goes, so I’m trying to get stronger during the last part of my long runs.  I figure if I can maintain on a treadmill for about 2 miles at a steady pace when I’m fatigued, maybe it’ll help me.  It certainly can’t hurt.

Coming up:  As I look at my calendar and countdown clocks, I see that I have two Turkey Trots coming up in the next week or so… the first one this Saturday, and the next on Thanksgiving Day.  And as of today, it’s only 61 days until Maui.  Dear, oh dear… looks like I’m going to be Nuun-ing it for the next 2 months.  And for my non-running friends, that just means caffeine is about to become my best friend…

Have a wonderful week!