Category Archives: marathon training

Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Clever title, eh?  It’s taken from Song of the Witches/Macbeth, written (of course) by William Shakespeare… you know… trivia.

This is a post I’ve put off writing for about a week now as I have slowly come to grips with the reality of the situation.  However, if you follow both me and my husband James at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest, then you know what I’m about to say.

We won’t be going to DC next month to run Marine Corps Marathon, which was to be my very first marathon.  We had to defer our entries to next year.

The reason being…

Last week it was discovered that James may have blown a disk.  Today was his appointment with the spine physiatrist who confirmed that James does indeed have a herniated disk with a trapped nerve.  James will be getting conservative treatment with physical therapy to see if that helps before he goes all out with injections into the back.

This is not a running injury, so please don’t even go there.

This puts an end to James’s race season before it even begins.  It throws me a little off track as well, and we are very saddened by these recent developments.  However… my family does not wallow in self pity.  We adapt and improvise and get the hell over it.

So!  New plan people!!  I will continue on with my training and racing as scheduled, all except for MCM.  I have now chosen to run Rock N Roll San Antonio as a full marathon in December.  We are hoping that James will be well enough by then that he can at least participate in some way, but if not, he and AJ will be there to cheer me across the finish line!

And fear not!  It’s not all been doom and gloom here in the hot and dry Pacific Northwest!  AJ and I attended the PAX Conference in Seattle on Labor Day.  For those who don’t know, it’s a huge game convention.  As AJ has known since he was 8 that he wants to be a game designer when he grows up, we encourage all development in that aspect, so we were off to the convention.  What a great day it was.

We got to watch the Mario Super Smash Brothers Tournament while it was being streamed live on Twitch.  These kids were playing for a $10,000 purse:

And we even ran into Jack Septic Eye, a famous gaming YouTuber, of whom I once wrote about here:

And I completely understand that I may be speaking Greek to everyone over 20 in regards to gaming, but when it’s your child’s passion, you try to keep up.  KnowwhatImeanVern?  Okay, yes, confession time… if you didn’t already know it, James and I are gamers too.  I’m in the middle of re-playing the Kingdom Hearts series before the new one is released in December and James just started a new Final Fantasy.

Anyway, my friends, onward I go with my running, with high hopes for a speedy recovery for Jamesy!  I will race the Sounders 5K this Saturday, the North County Wine Run Half-Marathon the following week, then it’s on to San Antonio in December!  Woo hoo!

 

Fun At Work… and Other Stuff

Sometimes my boss and I have to find creative ways to entertain ourselves at work in order to survive the madness of dealing with the general public.  She’s only 2 months older than I, so we completely understand each other and think along the same lines.

On Instagram, a fake male profile followed me and then promptly sent me a private message.  I knew it was a fake… I’m not gullible nor an idiot… so I told my boss that I wanted to mess with him.  My boss wanted in on the fun… so she told me what to write back.  The following conversation ensued:

 

Nigeria.  Wow.  I cannot believe people still use that scam.  Even my child was smarter than that. Of course, my side of the conversation is the one in blue.  Continuing on…

If you are American and not 12 years old, you would understand the reference of ruby slippers. And so endeth our conversation.  He didn’t like my response that Glenda could help him. Maybe the scammers have a “no-contact list” and I’ve made it.  But if it happens again, we’re going for gold.  I will help the scammer… at least they will think I’m helping from the replies I send.

Oh… BTW… if you get a follow from “whitlockchristopher95” on IG, it’s a total scam.  Hopefully he won’t be around for too much longer… I’ve reported him.

Moving on…

I’ve given up on my training “weekly recaps,” sorry.  Those posts don’t work for me, way too much negative. You’ll just have to wait and see if I finish the marathon on October 22nd… your guess is as good as mine.  If I don’t finish, it certainly won’t be from lack of training.  It’ll be because my spirit animal is the “turtle.” #truth  (but I did run 12 miles today, even though the heat sucked the life out of me)

However, on that note, next weekend I have a half-marathon race… the Seattle Craft Classic. The following weekend, we’ve signed up for the Sounders Rave Green Run (purely for the bling as this past year our soccer team won the MLS championship and we’ll get the championship medal), and the weekend after that, I have the North County Wine Run Half-Marathon. September is an extremely busy month, but the race experience will do me good in getting rid of the nerves I’ll experience on the day of the marathon.  I hope.

As well…

My 12-year-old son is now taller than me.  He has it in writing from the doctor and everything. He’s officially 5 feet 8 inches.  At 12.  99th percentile.  I’m thrilled that he’s so tall, and he loves rubbing it in.  He will bypass his father by this time next year.  He also starts 7th grade on Wednesday.

And finally…

Last Friday we lost a very special blogger friend.  Terry from Spearfruit passed on.  Terry had bladder cancer, for which there is no cure.  I started following him back in 2015 after my brother passed away from cancer, hoping for answers.  Funny enough, I did get my answers about a month ago. Terry was always upbeat, positive, accepted his diagnosis, knew he was dying, but never failed to tell his friends “have a happy day.”

Back when Terry was healthier, he would do a “boogie” type of video to the best 70’s music.  It was just silly fun.  He enjoyed doing it.  He enjoyed making his friends smile.  And we all enjoyed it in return.  To Terry, I hope you’re boogieing all night long now.

The following is one of his last happy boogies.  Even his husband Gary danced in it.  They took a cruise at the end of last year and had a bang-up time as they knew full well it would be Terry’s last.

Enjoy this with the fun spirit intended… and never forget to tell your loved ones how you feel today… as tomorrow may be too late.

Week 7 of 16 Recap — August 14 through August 19

This weekend in Whistler, BC, has been so cram-packed with activity I hardly remember last week even existed.  And yet, it did… so, I’ma gonna write about it.

Monday:  Nada.  I do not remember for the life of me why I didn’t do any training of any type, but I didn’t.

Tuesday:  4 miles, with hill training.

Wednesday:  Zero, zip, nothing.  We were leaving the next day to go to Whistler… laundry, packing, and prepping the house for vacation were my main goals.

Thursday: 2 miles, intervals, really crunched for time.  I missed Wednesday, so I had to get up early and do some interval training on Thursday morning on the treadmill, go to work, and then after I got home we headed off for our lovely 4-day weekend.

Friday:  16 miles.  I wrote a post about this run so no surprise here.  However… come to find out, I earned the title of BAMF.  The following picture is what my first 5 miles looked like:

It is also what my last 5 miles looked like (I did the above particular 5-mile loop twice).  The 6 miles in between were a separate loop in and around Whistler Village and a golf course or two, which looked something like this:

And yet:

Saturday:  7.5-mile walk and 2-hour bike ride.  Yes, it’s true.  The day after my first 16-mile run.  I don’t even know what to say about this.  Oh wait, yes I do!  Active recovery and time on my already-sore feet!  Or… don’t ever come to Whistler if you want to relax; it’s not that kind of holiday.  I’ll count today as a full-on cross training day with the walking and the cycling.

Sunday:  1.5-mile bike ride, 1.5 mile walk, and afternoon horseback riding with my son.  Today my quads are shredded after hills, cycling, and horsing around.  My a$$ doesn’t feel all that great either.  I’m taking a rest day Monday as we’re headed back home to some semblance of normalcy.  I am looking forward to taking a nap sometime this coming week.  And my own bed. And my cats.  And did I mention a nap?

It’s been a great getaway, and I’ve totally enjoyed myself.  I was happy to get the long run out of the way first thing so as to have the time freed up to do some other really fun things, even if I did do them in slow motion.  I’ll write more on Whistler later, but for now, I’m done.  My pillow is calling me.

Weekly Total:  22 miles/35.4 km

Total Plan Mileage So Far:  153 miles/246.2 km

While the total mileage for the way I count my week doesn’t look that significant, my running days actually look like this:  Sun:  7; Tues:  4; Thurs:  2; Friday:  16.  We’ll see what I can accomplish this coming week… after a nap, of course.

  • 21 days until Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon.
  • 33 days until North County Wine Run Half Marathon.
  • 63 days until Marine Corps Marathon.
  • 105 days until Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. 
  • 126 days until Christmas.

Best cookies ever!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have a great week!

Yes. I did.

I finally ran further than 13.1 miles.

Friday I ran through the hilly trails of Whistler, BC, and eeked out 16 miles.

A big thank you to Chocolate Runs Judy for sending me an encouraging text.  It was greatly appreciated!  And, of course, a big thank you to 50 in 50 Marathon Quest for talking me down off a ledge around mile 9 to 10, which is where I normally have an emotional breakdown and want to say f**k it all.

I won’t lie… when I was done, I was not elated like I thought I would be, nor did I feel accomplished like I thought I would.  Just tired.  And mentally fried.

Afterwards, of course, my thinking immediately goes to, “but I will still have 10 more miles to go for the marathon…”

Hence, the reason we train… to get stronger.  Next week, I’ll be nearing the 20-mile mark.  It may be 18, it may be 20… I don’t know.  And nope… I won’t even think about it until it happens.

In the meantime, I have a beautiful little town to explore.  Today on the agenda is horseback riding and hiking/gondola flying on the mountain… it’s going to be such a great day.  And surprisingly, yes… I can still move!  My quads are a bit sore from the hills, as are my Achilles, but other than that… bring it on!

 

 

Week 6 of 16 Recap — August 7 through August 13

Ohhh, I’m so late with this.  I thought about foregoing this past week’s update, but I’m keeping track for myself, for future reference… you know, 1st marathon vs 5th marathon kind of thing… hahaha, yeah right.  In brief, this inadvertently became a step-back week for me.  I was tired and needed some rest, so I cut the mileage down.

Monday:  Nada.

Tuesday:  3 miles PLUS swimming!  Yeah baby, you read that right.  A morning and evening workout.  It has been years since I swam laps… amazing workout for the heart and lungs.  It’ll be interesting to see if my upper body gets some tone from it; however, I know for a fact I got a helluva workout.  This is a competition pool, so it’s kept cooler than others, and I was hot when I got out; it probably took me an hour to cool down completely.  Hence, bloody good workout.

Wednesday:  4 miles.

Thursday: Cross train with more swimming.  I’m starting to appreciate my Garmin Vivoactive a bit more… it measures the distance I swim.  New stats to analyze.  Fun stuff for this numbers geek.

Friday:  3 miles.

I’m thinking these poor leaves died from thirst, NOT signs of an early fall.

Saturday:  Rest day.  Nailed it.

Sunday:  7 miles.  Back to Green Lake in Seattle we went.  It was misty/sprinkly/rainy while we were going round and round, but oh how I welcomed feeling the rain on my face.  It had been 55 days of no rain, and we desperately needed it.

The 7 miles was so far my longest run in my new Hoka’s.  Can’t begin to tell you how much I just adore those shoes.  I love them so much that I ordered another pair so I can run in them for both my long and short runs.  You fly, I tell ya, just fly!

Weekly Total:  17 miles/27.4 km

Total Plan Mileage So Far:  131 miles/210.8 km

  • 25 days until Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon.
  • 37 days until North County Wine Run Half Marathon.
  • 67 days until Marine Corps Marathon.
  • 109 days until Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. Do you see that?  Texas!!  I’ll soon get a big color block on my 50-state map!
  • 131 days until Christmas.

Coming Up

We are headed to Whistler, BC, this weekend for a nice little getaway before school starts up again for AJ.  We have all sorts of fun stuff planned… hiking, bear watching, swimming, biking, horseback riding for me and AJ, gondola flying… but first thing’s first… a 17-mile run when I wake up there on Friday morning.  Nope, I’m not even going to think about it…

Have a great rest of the week!

Week 5 of 16 Recap — July 31 through August 6

British Columbia is on fire right now… literally… and the smoke has made its way down to Seattle and across Washington state.  God bless all those firefighters and everyone affected. The fires have made air quality very poor here, so training this past week had to be done indoors.  Sunday the wind picked up and started to move some of it out, so we managed a nice long run outdoors.

Monday:  3 miles.

A picture of Meeps… because treadmills are borrring.

Tuesday:  4 miles.  The boys finally came home from their trip to Idaho.  So endeth my girl time.

Wednesday:  Cross train.  (yeah, right… the boys just got home)

Thursday: 4 miles.  Is anyone catching that my mileage is a bit lower than it should be?  I hate the treadmill.  Not a good excuse, but the truth nonetheless.

Friday:  3 miles.  By now I was so sick of the treadmill, I really didn’t care.  Okay… bad attitude. Whatever.

I know of a lady who runs 14 miles on the treadmill every other day… no more, no less… every, other, day.  Never outside.  Treadmill only.  It blows my mind.

Saturday:  Rest day.

Sunday:  12 miles.  This was a great day out.  James and I headed south to Green Lake in Seattle to run laps around the lake.  It was fabulous.

It’s about a 3-mile loop, tons of people, and mostly flat.  Lots and lots of normal potties… a runner’s dream (actually, this runner’s dream).

I love my geese.

Weekly Total:  26 miles/41.84 km

Total Plan Mileage So Far:  114 miles/183.5 km

Bonus Notes!

The lake we were running around, Green Lake, just so happens to be within walking distance to Road Runner Sports, a fabulous store that specializes in running shoes.  My Brooks Glycerin 14’s are kind of past their sell-by date, having carried me through practically every race in 2016 (well, 8 of the 9 races), not to mention I ran my last half-marathon in June in them… so, yeah, well past their sell-by date.

My Brooks Glycerin… the 2nd pair I’ve retired since I started blogging.

Anyway, after we were finished with our runs, we made our way over to the shoe store, and guess what?!  Yes!!  New shoes!!  I have stepped outside my comfort zone of Brooks (tried and true) to the Hoka One One Clifton!  I tried them out on the treadmill at Road Runner and it was like running on air!  I’m absolutely thrilled and can’t wait to hit the trail in them.  Thank you, Donna, for helping me to realize it was time!

Hoka One One Cliftons

76 more days until Marine Corps, may the Good Lord have mercy on my soul.

Have a great week ya’all!

Week 4 of 16 Recap — July 24 through 30

I cannot believe another week of training has passed.  When is this shite going to get easier? Here’s the breakdown:

Monday:  Nada, zip, nothing.  I wrote last week’s summary on Monday night instead.  Yes, I could have gotten up early to complete my 3 miles, but I’m using the excuse of the concert and that the late night made me tired (#truth).  Excuses are lame.  You play, you pay.  Suck it up and do it anyway. But I didn’t.  (Now, how many conversations do you think I have with myself during the day?)

Tuesday:  5 miles.  I think I need to start writing out my thoughts on a daily basis as my runs are starting to blend together.  I cannot remember for the life of me if this was a good run or if it sucked, but I think I got up early for it.  Which means it was probably a really good run as I do my best in the morning.  A shame I can’t start my job later.

Strange plant. It thinks it’s fall.

Wednesday:  5 miles.  I think this one was done in the evening.  I ran 2 on the treadmill while it was cooling off, and then 3 outside once I knew the temperature wasn’t going to down me. Ah-ha!  The memory is starting to come back.

Thursday:  This was a cross-train day.  However, the boys were leaving for a road trip; I went into work early so I could leave in time to say goodbye to them.  And then it was girl’s time… ohhh yeahhhh.

There are some things only a GIF can explain.

Friday: 5 miles.  You bet, why not.  As the boys were gone, I had nothing else happening. Can I get an awwwww… poor thing?!  I’m joking of course.  The short runs are important and aren’t to be missed.  So I say today.  But I still had happy hour!

Saturday:  Rest day. And total movie day!!  I got to watch three (3) chick flicks without being interrupted!  Do I know how to live or what?!!

Sunday:  11 miles.  Once again, the weather cooperated with me.  I’m feeling quite blessed on my Sunday long-run days!  It was overcast and cool, with a slight breeze.  I was supposed to do 12, but I missed a calculation, or something, and came up short a mile.  By then I was at my front door and I was in no mood to go out and get another mile.  I was done.

I am starting to freak out about the mileage climbing up into territory I’ve never done before. That is detrimental to one’s mental game, so instead of listening to my normal music, I downloaded a couple of podcasts.  I had to get out of my head, and listening to someone else talk was the best way to do it.  It worked, but I wasn’t too keen on the podcasts I downloaded.  I need something funny to keep me smiling… so the hunt is on to find something good before my very first 14-miler this coming Sunday.

(Son of a gun… I just realized I have a half-marathon in 41 days that I need to PR, then another one 2 weeks later, sandwiched by two 20-milers.  Wow.  The nerves are really coming at me hard.  Insert panic here.)

Weekly Total:  26 miles/41.84 km

Total Mileage So Far:  88 miles/141.6 km

Total Miles for July:  91 miles/146.5 km

As I said, the boys took a road trip.  They went to Boise to visit Grandpa for a long weekend.  I couldn’t go because, well, squirrel!  Yes, squirrel apocalypse has begun early and all the rescue centers are battening down the hatches and preparing for our upcoming guests.  I wrote about it last year here, even kept track of how many we were admitting but gave up around 100. Anyway, more on that later, I’m sure.  (For my new followers … I hate the word followers… for my new blogging friends, I work at a wildlife rescue and rehab center.)

Anyway… I really just wanted to share a couple of pictures of the boys having a good time.  Stay tuned to James’s site, 50 in 50 Marathon Quest, as I’m sure he’s going to write a nice little report about a killer trail run he went on while there.  If I would have been with them, I would have turned around and ran back to the truck and waited.  With the A/C on.  I don’t run on trails that are only 6 inches wide and full of boulders.

Have a great week!