Tag Archives: Pacific Northwest

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

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)

Life on the Wild Side

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an update about the goings-on where I work.  For those who are new to my blog and are not aware, I work at a wildlife rescue and rehab center where we take care of orphaned and injured wildlife, with the hopes of ultimately releasing the animals back into the wild.

It has been a crazy year.  We are close to hitting 2000 admits already, and we still have 2 more months to go.  Of course, a thousand of those admits were squirrels in September… okay, kidding. I’m just kidding!  We only had a couple hundred squirrels come to us this year, not a thousand.  (I tried to keep a running count on squirrel admits last year during squirrel apocalypse, otherwise known as September, and eventually had to give up as I started to lose track).  September is just a really bad month for squirrels.

Me with a baby squirrel

There are some physical changes happening at the center.  We have been working with a new nonprofit who rescues marine mammals. They needed a site to build pools for rehabilitation, so we’re in the midst of clearing land on the center’s property to make room for the pools in the hopes that their rescue will take off.  Living near the Puget Sound, we are in desperate need of marine mammal rescues.  Too many seals are left to die on the beach.

And of course, I still get my share of assholes who call (sorry… there is no other way to describe them).  Just yesterday I was yelled at by a man who couldn’t get a hummingbird out of his garage.  I informed him I wasn’t a government agency nor associated with the police (who, rightly so, couldn’t help him), so there was no reason for him to yell at me.  I suggested he go buy a net if all other efforts of directing the hummingbird outside failed.  He said, “Why the f—- would I go buy a f—ing net when I’m never going to use the f—ing thing again!  I’ll just let the bird die right here in my garage!”  See… asshole.  He was trying to emotionally manipulate me, which I do not tolerate.  Long story short, 20 minutes later he did manage to get the hummingbird out of his garage without having to buy a net.  For the animals, my friends… I do it for the animals.

Me with an injured red-tailed hawk

We have our holiday merchandise in and I plan to do another giveaway this year. The patient of the year (hence, the holiday ornament) is an adorable little porcupine who had to stay with us last year over winter when he was separated from his mother after a dog attack.  Stay tuned right here for details coming soon.

“If you talk to the animals, they will talk to you, and you will know each other.

If you do not talk to them, you will not know them.  And what you do not know, you will fear.

What one fears, one destroys.” — Chief Dan George

Now I’m Here

Focus in life has taken a slight shift as of late.  Here… let me break it on down for you.

Just a refresher… in early September, it was discovered that James had a herniated disk.  Because of this, most of our long-distance travel plans and races were cancelled, as well as some local.  In the meantime, the most important thing going on right now is James healing.

Have you ever lived with a runner/active person who is completely incapacitated?  Not only is there the physical pain to deal with, there’s the depression associated with not being able to be active.  He can’t bend, twist, push, pull, lift anything more than 5 pounds, stand for long periods, or even walk without pain.  And he is not a happy camper.

It’s not been an easy road, especially for James.  His new “normal” is horrible pain if he’s not in a neutral spine position.  He underwent an MRI so that he could get an epidural injection for pain relief and had the injection about 10 days ago.  The injection was supposed to help him start more aggressive physical therapy so that he could begin his healing journey.  The verdict is still out on whether or not it has helped.  We don’t know if James is going to need surgery or not, but we do know if the pain doesn’t ease up soon, the option of a diskectomy at the new year will be discussed.

Hence, I’ve joined a gym to get me the hell out of the house (#kiddingnotkidding).

Actually, as Fall has arrived, and with it rain and 35-degree (F) temps in the morning, I’m enjoying having a change of scenery with the gym and a change-up in routine.  And they have the nicest treadmills on which to run.  As an experiment, I got on the elliptical and realized just how out of shape my non-running muscles truly are, so I believe I got back into the gym just in the nick of time.

Which brings me to why I haven’t been as active on WordPress or social media as I am normally.  I’m in the process of finding the proper balance of a new routine, so forgive me if I’ve been lame and neglectful.

But wait!  There’s more!

I’m also in the process of testing some Oofos recovery sandals and it just so happens I have a brand new pair to give away.  Are you female and wear a size 9? Do you like flip flops? Do you like the color black? Do you like walking on clouds? Contact me at neveradullbling@gmail.com.  You don’t need to be a runner to enjoy these!

By the way, Marine Corps Marathon is this weekend… heavy sigh from both of us.  But definitely something to look forward to next year…

Happy training, my friends!

NOTE:  As of 8 a.m. Pacific, the Oofos have been snatched up.  Yayyyy Donna!  Thank you for contacting me and being such a great supporter and friend!

North County Wine Run Half Marathon Race Recap

As you may remember, I ran the North County Wine Run Half Marathon last weekend in Battle Ground, WA.  Battle Ground is a sweet little town in the midst of Clark County situated near the Washington-Oregon border.  It boasts 3 wineries and, yes, I ran through every single one of them.  We’re big geography geeks, so for those of you who are also GG, here’s a visual:

While this was my first official “BibRave Pro” race, I did pay for my entry.

I was extremely nervous about this race for some reason.  Maybe because it was an “open course” (meaning running in the midst of traffic), maybe it was because there were less than 200 people signed up.  Because of the nerves, I was unable to eat anything before the race.  I couldn’t even force down a couple of Belvita biscuits which is my normal pre-race breakfast.  Bad, huge, terrible mistake.

The horn blew and we were off, starting with a nice uphill climb.  No worries.  I got this.  What goes up, must come down.  I was still going along nicely amongst the farm land when we hit the first aid station at about 2.5 or 3 miles.  I took a shot of Gatorade as I hadn’t eaten anything and thought it would help me.  Mistake #2.  I’ve discovered I can’t eat or drink anything with sugar in it while I’m running unless it’s a quick-dissolve glucose tablet, which I actually had with me.  I did eventually end up with a tummyache.  *facepalm

Still going along nicely until about mile 7.  Miles 5 to 7 were all uphill, and by the time I reached the top of the hill, I was out of gas.  Normal story for me… no hill training which, on top of no fuel, equals the biggest breakdown I’ve ever had with tears and a near full-blown asthma attack.  I recovered my breath after about a mile.  Thankfully a fellow Half Fanatic was behind me who eventually caught up to me at mile 11 and she pulled me across the finish line.  Yay!  I finished!  I was so very grateful to see James there and thankful for all the wonderful support he provided me.  I know it was hard for him to have to sit this one out.

Let me break down the details of the event for you…

PACKET PICKUP:  Short and sweet and organized.  It took all of 5 minutes.

PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION:  We parked at a school and shuttle buses took us to the race start line which was at a winery.  There was no parking at the winery, but the buses were on point.

THE COURSE:  It was open and you ran facing traffic on busy rural roads.  This was the one downfall with the race.  Drivers could care less about your safety as they showed time and time again.  Cones had been knocked down that were marking the course, and there were zero policemen around to keep things in line.  Extremely unnerving.  Following is another visual.  The course was the white line to the cone.  For 13.1 miles.  The side of the road was a ditch.

And it was extremely hilly.  You’d think I would have learned from the Olympic Discovery Half to integrate some hills into my plan, but no.  It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.  Here’s the elevation profile for NCWR.

PEOPLE:  Super friendly and helpful.  Everyone was extremely nice at this race, great aura.

AID STATIONS:  There were 3, two of which were running through different wineries where they offered water, Gatorade, and shots of wine for those who wished to partake.  I chose not to and stuck with water.

POST-RACE PARTY:  Great pasta and bread to be coupled with some wine tasting.  When I was through with the race, I was so sick and nauseous I couldn’t even think about eating.  After about 30 minutes, I forced myself to have about 5 bites of the pasta, the first food I’d had all day.

THE BLING:  Lovely.  A fully-weighted bottle stop.  I could actually cut the ribbon off and use this.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:  Other than the course being amongst tons of crazy traffic, this race was well run, well organized, and well directed.  If they ever closed the course, I would consider going back to run this race again for the challenge alone, to redeem myself and to have a better race.

By the way… after my shower and nap, I was feeling my normal self again, well enough for mine and James’s traditional post-race celebration.  For the first time ever, I had fried Brussels sprouts topped with bacon… I highly suggest you try them.  They were da bomb!

Cheers!

 

North County Wine Run

Tonight I’m in Battle Ground, Washington, preparing to run, I believe, my 13th half-marathon Saturday morning.  Battle Ground is about 200 miles south of where we live and about 20 miles north of Portland, Oregon.

One of the reasons James and I race is to explore new areas.  We’d never heard of nor been near Battle Ground before, and as this event is in our home state, we needed to check this race and area out.

Unfortunately, on September 2nd and about 40 miles south from here, some careless teenagers were lighting off fireworks during a burn ban, which ultimately started the now infamous Eagle Creek Fire, a fire that has burned so massively we have got smoke and ash all the way up where I live.

As of September 20th, the fire has consumed over 48,000 acres and still is only about 50% contained.

The proceeds from the North County Wine Run will go to the Eagle Creek Fire Relief.

Thankfully, the air cleared enough this past week to where we could still run.

This is the first race I’ll be running representing BibRave as a BibRave Pro, but I did pay for my entry.  I will be running through a winery, with wine offered at the aid stations and a wine truck coming up along the course… you know… just in case.

Really looking forward to it!  Cheers!