Author Archives: Paula

About Paula

I'm a working wife and mother that loves to earn race bling, with a goal of running a half-marathon in each of the 50 states.

It’s Been A Good Week

When I first started this blog, I used to go out for my long run on Sunday and compose a post in my head whilst on the trail. I’ve kind of slipped away from that. Well not today! I’m going back to basics baby!

Today just so happens to be Week 3 Day 1 of half-marathon training for me! I am now training for the Mountains 2 Beach Half in California, while Jamesy is training for the full. I’ll hopefully be coloring in another big state on my map! (My map! Where is my map?! I need to update my map!)

And you may be wondering how James has been doing as he’s let his blogging slip wayward (just as I have). He’s doing great! He did the Seattle Hot Chocolate 15K two weeks ago (yeah, yeah, yeah… I know… I still need to share what happened with me there) and then last weekend he ran the Lake Sammamish Half. His back pain from the herniated disk still comes and goes, but he rested all last week, went for an 8-mile run today, and now feels wonderful! He has, however, been on the bike trainer, so it’s not like he’s just laid around doing nothing.

Anyway, back to Mountains 2 Beach… we signed up for this race last year, the day registration opened. It is a gradual net downhill course, and if one is trained properly, possible PR potential, not to mention it’s a huge BQ possibility (Boston Qualifier). Obviously we’re not trying to qualify for Boston, but the point is, it has potential to be a fast course. A chance to redeem myself from 2 weeks ago.

And like I said, today was Week 3 Day 1 of training, #longrunSunday. 4 miles. Never mind the fact that I ran 8 last Sunday to complete a SquadRunner mission. SquadRunner and training plans… it’s going to be interesting to see how the two complement each other as I will always choose the higher mileage for our SquadRunner team and mission’s bonus points over what my plan says. Next week is filled with easy-to-complete missions every single day… looks like I’ll be taking on a little run streak and will have to force myself to rest next Saturday to nail the long run on Sunday.

And oh yeah… my 175-mile winter challenge… you know, the one that went from December to March? I’m almost done! Only 19 more miles left! Between that and SquadRunner, I managed to keep my base fitness through the cold winter months! Booyah! Welcome to Spring!

(Feel like I’m rambling much? Absolutely! It’s what I do best!)

Oh, by the way… we got our first baby in at the wildlife center. Yep. A cottontail. One month from now, we’ll have dozens upon dozens. Hey. It’s what we do… rescue, rehab, release. 🙂

Happy Trails!

Just a fun pic… I got new running sunnies, so AJ and I were playing around and being dorks. He’s kinda tall these days.

This And That

I think when last I left you, I had been in Hawaii then sadly came home to the freezing cold.  I did post a picture of some snow, but here… I have a better one.  My first day back at work, I got stuck, even with studded snow tires.  I’m the blue SUV.  I didn’t feel half as bad as the yellow JEEP who also got just as stuck.  (Okay, so we both only have front-wheel drive.)  No one got up the driveway that day.  Eventually when it was time to go home, we who were stuck had to dig ourselves out.  Gotta say, I have some really great co-workers as everyone helped (which basically consisted of 3 other women, but damn, we killed it with the snow shovels… boys, take note, 😀 ).

It’s the beginning of March and with all the snow and cold weather, we’ve yet to see any babies at the wildlife rescue center, for which I’m extremely grateful.  History dictates that first up will be the baby cottontails or the baby raptors.  But while we don’t have wild baby bunnies yet, I do have have one big baby that I care for and hug on daily… the clinic manager’s bunny that hangs out with me and guilts me into feeding him treats.  Daryl got himself a nice polar bear knitted cap which he doesn’t really like wearing, but it doesn’t matter, he’s too freaking cute.  (Just FYI… I do not cuddle on the wild baby bunnies… wildlife remains wild.)

This weekend was the Seattle Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k that James and I both signed up for to represent BibRave.  It was the first race of 2018 for both of us.  As this is a partnered event with Bibrave, I’ll cover the legalities now:

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Allstate Hot Chocolate Seattle race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Saturday had us going to the race expo and practicing travel logistics for the race on Sunday.  But, I have to say, this race support has been great from the very start.  Once I signed up, I was emailed a 10-week training plan based on my pace.  They then emailed me every week to remind me which week I was supposed to be on for training.  Fabulous support throughout the training.  Kudos to them.

If you want to know how I did, you’ll have to stay tuned.  Spoiler alert:  I did not have a good day.

 

 

Lastly, today would have been my mother’s 81st birthday AND my brother’s 60th birthday.  Yes, my mother’s first child was born on her 21st birthday… what a fabulous gift.  For those who are new to my blog, my brother died in 2015 from cancer and my mother died several months later in 2016 of complications from a GI bleed.

Today, on their special day, this song is for them:

Lyrics:

Sorry I never told you
All I wanted to say
Now it’s too late to hold you
‘Cause you’ve flown away
So far away
Never had I imagined
Living without your smile
Feeling and knowing you hear me
It keeps me alive
Alive
And I know you’re shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we’ve lost along the way
And I know eventually we’ll be together
One sweet day
Darling I never showed you
Assumed you’d always be there
I, I took your presence for granted
But I always cared
And I miss the love we shared
And I know you’re shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we’ve lost along the way
And I know eventually we’ll be together
One sweet day
Although the sun will never shine the same
I’ll always look to a brighter day
Lord I know when I lay me down to sleep
You will always listen as I pray
And I know you’re shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we’ve lost along the way
And I know eventually we’ll be together
One sweet day
Sorry I never told you
All I wanted to say

Under Armour HOVR Sonic Shoes

I’m home from vacation now, and look what I came back to!  It was in the 50s (10s) when I left, and now look at it!  It’s the never-ending winter, I swear!

But I’m not here to gab on about how cold it is… I got to test new running shoes!  Read on…

Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Under Armour HOVR Sonic shoes as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! As always, all opinions are my own and based on my personal testing experience.

Under Armour has just released a new shoe this month, otherwise knows as the UA HOVR Sonic.  I had great fun testing these out.  Before I get into my thoughts on them, let me give you the specs which were taken directly from UA’s website:

  • DIGITALLY CONNECTED: (UA.com & Brand House Exclusive!) UA’s Record Sensor™ technology tracks, analyzes & stores virtually every running metric so you know exactly what you need to do to get better
  • UA HOVR® technology provides ‘zero gravity feel’ to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact step after step
  • Compression mesh Energy Web contains & molds UA HOVR® foam to give back the energy you put in
  • Microthread upper dries fast & provides a breathable, compression-like fit that delivers lightweight directional strength & unmatched comfort to help you go the distance
  • Ventilated midfoot panel increases breathability
  • Unique tongue construction is attached to the footbed by stretchable support wings to maintain a snug fit throughout the foot
  • External TPU heel counter for additional support & structure
  • Removable, anti-microbial Ortholite® sockliner molds to the foot for customized comfort &  cushion
  • Blown rubber under the forefoot is lightweight yet incredibly responsive
  • High-abrasion rubber placed under the heel to help absorb ground contact
  • Offset: 8mm
  • Weight: 8oz/225g

My first thought when I put the shoes on was “super comfortable.”

As they come with a sensor in the heels, they connect to Map My Run or Map My Fitness so you can track all your running data.  For us data geeks, this is a super cool techie thing.  The shoes track your cadence, stride, miles, pace, and splits.  All this data stores in the shoe’s sensors so  you don’t have to take your phone with you on your run, and it syncs up nicely to the app when you’re done.

As a lot of you may know, I’m a fair weather runner and I do the majority of my running right now on the treadmill.  These shoes are fabulous for treadmill running.  Sometimes your watch and treadmill don’t always coincide, ever notice that? But as the shoes are tracking your stride and cadence with sensors in both heels, this seems to line up nicely.

I also give them two thumbs up for appearance.  I love the “Brilliance” color I received, and the microthread upper is unique looking and breathable.

There was only one downside to these shoes that I noticed… the traction.  They do great on dry surfaces, but I went for a run a couple of times after it had rained and/or while it was sprinkling, and I felt they were a little slippy.  However, that being said, I will have no problem running in them once the rainy season has stopped in July.

In summary, these are very comfy shoes with a very comfy price point of $100, especially for what you get.  As I prefer a more cushioned shoe, I wouldn’t run further than 10 miles in them, but I think that’s more of a personal preference as everyone is different.  These shoes are definitely staying in the rotation until they wear out!

  • So tell me… have you ever heard of shoes with sensors in the heels?  (I hadn’t)  
  • Has anyone bought any new shoes lately that you’re excited about?  If so, what’d you get?
  • As I’m so behind on my blogging, anyone got a race coming up soon?
  • Is your part of the world warming up yet????

M.I.A.

Okay, not really MIA. I’m actually in Hawaii! And it can be hard to keep up with you wonderful people while on holiday, so do please forgive me! My days have been filled to the brim with fun Hawaii activities, and I’m exhausted by the time I settle down to relax. I’ve only managed 2 runs while here, have had to forfeit the biggest Squad Runner mission points of the month, but I’m enjoying life immensely right now and loving the kicked back Island lifestyle.

My entertainment this morning has been watching some Nene geese (Hawaii’s state bird) chase off wild roosters and chickens from their turf. (“Watch me whip… watch me Nene…,” okay, sorry, corny much? lol)

We return to the Pacific Northwest late Monday night, where it’s going to be a very cold 19 deg F. This is one time I’m not looking forward to going back home. But I mustn’t think of that now… I still have 2 days left in paradise!

Another Year, Another Birthday

It doesn’t take much to put my family into celebration mode.  We’ll celebrate any little thing.  But this week was a full-on celebration all week long. Okay, kinda sorta.  Okay, not really.  We celebrated one night.  But the spirit was there all week long.

Yes, another birthday has come and gone for me.  Cheers to my Squad Runner teammate who told me if I ran a kilometer for every year I was alive, I would complete a half marathon.  A half marathon is just over 21K… so yeah, I couldn’t help but smile… or in reality, laugh out loud.

Jamesy surprised me with a few goodies… especially the Momentum Jewelry.  Do you all see it and get it?  “I can and I will” is the tag line for my blog!  And the “Be Awesome Today,” well that’s because I’m awesome every day, isn’t it!  (Ha! Someone is sure full of herself right now, lol.)

He also got me some new shoes!!  We all need new shoes, don’t we!!  The more, the better I say!  Twenty years ago, my closet was filled with high heels and sandals… now it’s overrun with running shoes.  My how times and priorities change.

And meet Riku, a gift from my son. Riku is a character from my favorite video game, Kingdom Hearts.  Everyone in this family loves the Funko figures; AJ has the most by far, but James is closing in on him for a very close 2nd. Me, I’m at the back of the pack with just this one (see what I did there?  Running reference, lol).

And with that, my friends, it has been a very good week.  And even after a night of karaoking, I still managed to get 4 miles in today, with the goal of a 10K tomorrow.  So, yeah… a really good week.

Happy trails!

 

Heart Zones HRM

A couple of months ago, I was approached by a representative from heartzones.com to try out their Blink 3.0 heart rate, step, and cadence sensor (cycling cadence).  With all the talk about heart rate training, I decided to give it a go.

The package itself contains a Blink 3.0 HRM, a charger, a wrist strap, and an ankle strap.  They also sent me a cool shirt for trying it out (thank you!!).

If you have an iPhone, you can use their downloadable app.  It is my understanding that the app does have training programs that you can follow.  Alas… I am an android user, so what I ended up doing was pairing it with my Garmin.  To be truthful, that was actually more useful to me so that I could have all my data in one place.

I added a data screen to my watch so that I could see my HR at any given time.  This was super handy.  Sometimes when I’m running, I feel like my heart is going to pound right out of my chest and I’m going to die so I tend to slow down. (Remember… running can be just as much mental as it is physical).  However, knowing what my HR is at all times, I don’t get to use that excuse to slow down, especially when my HR is only 120.  It’s good to know your body and to know which extremes it can be taken. It has helped with my training being able to see the actual numbers and the exertion being put out.

A prime example of going out too fast too soon and then losing momentum towards the end, hehe

One thing about Heart Zones… they’re all about schools and “Smart PE,” as well as other aspects of fitness.  Schools can purchase groups of devices for their students to wear that can count steps as well as assess physical condition in real time.  Kids are all about technology these days, and it’s fun for the kids to wear them then upload their data to see the results.  When my child was in the 5th grade, he got to participate in something similar, with his own step counter.  He loved it.  He used to walk back and forth in the hall just to get his step count up (it was usually raining too much for him to go outside to do it). It’s just another way to get kids excited about fitness.

I’ve had a lot of fun playing with this product and seeing where my training is taking me.  If you’ve been wanting to try HR training, the Blink 3.0 is a relatively inexpensive way to try it.  The Blink 3.0 runs for $99.99, but if you check out their online store here, I see they have a pretty cool one on sale for less.  Just in time for the racing season! #trainsmart

I did not receive any financial compensation for this review and all opinions rendered are my own based on my personal testing experience.

Happy New Year!

I got an email from my big sister nagging me about being lax on my blog, so I thought I’d just stop in and say “Hiya!”

My big sis Angela on graduation day from the University of Arizona.

Hope everyone had a rockin’ New Years Eve!!  It was traditional for us… a little karaoke and then we watched the Space Needle fireworks on TV.  We had some Christmas crackers to pop open at midnight, so minimal noise… other than the whistle AJ got in his.  And no… I have no idea why they sell Christmas crackers for NYE here.

After a nice 10-day vacation, I had to go back to work on Tuesday which proved to be difficult.  I had gotten used to sleeping in; however, I managed some time on the treadmill before heading off to work, hoping it would put me in the right frame of mind.  It may have helped. A little. Our first patient of the year was a barred owl trapped in a chimney.  PSA:  If you don’t want birds in your chimney, cover your chimney with wire so the birds can’t enter.  Nesting season will be here soon and some birds love to nest in chimneys.  Once a bird has laid its eggs, it is a U.S. federal offense to disturb the nest until it’s empty, so plan ahead and be prepared.

Tomorrow is D-Day for AJ.  Back to school he goes after a nice 2-week winter break.  I probably dread it more than he does.  Getting him up in the early morning hours is hellish… but Santa was smart and gave him a new alarm clock.  Now if only I could find one that sounded more like an air raid siren…

#truth

Thanks to #SquadRunner and the motivation I get from my teammates, running has been good to me… or I’ve been good to my running.  Either/or.  While my mileage wasn’t high by any standards last week (just over 13 miles), I did have a 6-day running streak going through New Year’s weekend, with 2 runs completed on January 1st to start the year off right (one was 1.5 miles, the other a nice 5K).  I have my first race coming up the beginning of March (Seattle Hot Chocolate 15K… more on that later), and I’ve also entered a 175-mile challenge… run 175 miles by March 16 (34 miles down, 141 to go).

Points reset every month.

So endeth the first week of 2018! Dilly dilly!  Make it a great 2nd week, my friends!!

Okay sis, you can stop nagging me now, lol. (c. 1973)