Tag Archives: Pacific Northwest

Week 2 of 16 Recap — July 10 through 16

Week 2 of marathon training didn’t go nearly as well as week 1.

Monday:  3 miles.  After long-run Sunday, we decided it would be best if I had some nice active recovery.  So moving forward, Monday will now consist of an easy-going run where speed or pace doesn’t matter, just to loosen up the legs from the previous day.

The only problem was I couldn’t get up early to do this, so I ran in the evening.  On top of that, I took an allergy pill as something started to tickle my nose.  Because of this, there was probably no getting up early on Tuesday morning to beat the heat…

Tuesday:  2 miles.  It was supposed to be 5.  I did manage to get up early; however, because I had taken an allergy pill the night before, I couldn’t get it going.  My legs felt like lead and my heart rate was erratic, as was my breathing.  (#BenadrylHangover)  I called the run at 2.

Wednesday:  5 miles.  I redeemed myself.  I finally got over the Benadryl hangover and was able to pull it out, but I did this late in the evening when it had cooled down.  I’m so thankful for long days of light right now.

At work, we got in a poor little domestic white rock dove.  He had been attacked by crows.  He had probably been released during someone’s wedding and couldn’t find his way back home. Because he was domesticated, he got to hang out with me all day and get out of the clinic.  He perched happily on my shoulder while I worked, even slept there a bit.  He should be okay as long as the stress of being in a hospital doesn’t get to him.

Thursday:  Cross trained.  I didn’t feel like doing much more than walking, so I practiced my speed walking for 2 miles.  Cross training doesn’t count towards plan mileage, but hey, 2 miles is 2 miles.  More time on my feet.

This was also “Take Your Kids To Work Day” at Starbucks.  AJ got to go hang out with James at Starbucks Headquarters, for which they had lots of fun activities planned for all the kids.  AJ was super excited about getting to make his own Frappucino… any flavor or ingredient he wanted to add, he did.  He even got his own special green Starbucks apron.

Friday:  4 miles.  Again, I couldn’t get up early, so this had to be done on a hot afternoon on the treadmill.  I earned my happy hour, lol.

Saturday:  Rest day.

Sunday:  8 miles.  I was supposed to do 9, but I took an S-cap (electrolytes) at mile 5 and then ate a date at mile 6, and by mile 7, my stomach was cramping up.  It sucks to have a sensitive stomach.  Regardless, it was a beautiful day to be out… nice and overcast and cool!

Weekly Total:  22 miles/35.4 km

Total Mileage So Far:  41 miles/66 km

So tell me:

  • Are you training for race?  If so, which one? (Shout it out loud and proud!!)
  • Are you on Instagram?  If you are, reach out and say “hi!”  I’m finally starting to figure out this fun little app (I know, I know, but I’m old, what can I say), and I’ve gotten to know quite a few blogger friends better by following them on Instagram, so I’d love to follow you if I’m not already!  You can find me here.
  • Who’s your favorite internet provider?

Hope all ya’all have a super great week!

Week 1 of 16 Recap — July 3 through 9

Marathon training has officially begun.  Okay, okay… I started 3 weeks ago… but now it’s the official start of the plan and the weekly countdown.  From here on out, I don’t miss a run and the mileage creeps up and up and up.  Let’s break it on down, shall we?

Monday:  Non-running day.  I always nail the first day of a new plan, hehe.

Work kind of sucked though.  Our hot water heater in the clinic sprang a leak and, thus, a plumber had to be called. After begging and pleading for same-day service, we finally found someone and only had to be without water for a couple of hours. They were good people, very gracious to come out on an almost holiday, and it only cost us an arm and a leg and a soul.

Tuesday:  2 miles.  Weak, I know.  It should’ve been 3.

But with it being the 4th of July, and with me living in a war zone, and it being hot as Hades, I stuck to the treadmill.  Did I mention I had to work as well?  No rest for the wicked.  And the 4th of July is never good for any animal, especially the wild ones.  Stress is the number one killer of animals in the wild, which is usually caused by people.  Just food for thought.

Wednesday:  Cross trained.  Yes!  I actually cross trained!!  Hallelujah, she did it!!  I rode the indoor bike for a bit to warm up and then practiced my speed walking on the treadmill.  I don’t walk fast, I’ve never walked fast, and I don’t know how people do it.  But I’m trying…

We admitted many patients at work because of the holiday, the one most notable being a baby bald eagle.  She had fallen from the nest and the parents were still taking care of her, feeding her while she was on the ground.  Sad situation as she couldn’t be re-nested.  Ironic, isn’t it, to celebrate the nation’s independence and that which gets displaced is the ultimate symbol of freedom?

Thursday:  4 miles.  I am now having to set the alarm earlier and earlier as the mileage increases.

Friday:  5 miles.  I was not aware that it was light outside at 4:30 a.m.  Imagine that!

#spottedthebunny

Saturday:  Rest day.

Sunday:  8 miles.  I didn’t get up quite as early as I wanted, so because of the intense sun, I ended up doing 6 miles on the trail and 2 on the treadmill to finish it up.  Did you know you can get sunburned at 7 a.m.?  True story!

Weekly Total:  19 miles/30 km

So tell me:

  • Did you have a good weekend?
  • Are you melting from the heat yet?  
  • If you live in the U.S., are you a fan of the noise the 4th of July celebration brings? 

 

Queen + Adam Lambert

I believe it was 1977 when I first heard Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody playing on the radio.  I know the song was released earlier, but this is from my ancient memory banks.  My mother had a pink T-bird in 1977 (I kid you not); we used to cruise around Tucson and that song would come on all the time. The funny thing is Mom loved it. So at the ripe old age of 10, I was instantly in love with Queen and all things Freddie.

In and around 1980 when I was 12, I bought the piano sheet music to Bohemian Rhapsody so I could get to work on perfecting it.  It took me 10 years or more, but I managed to master it to the best of my ability.  If you’ve ever played any Queen music… on a musical instrument… you understand.  Freddie did not compose easy music.  And I am not an accomplished musician.

When I was 14, my father bought my sister and I a stereo for Christmas along with a couple of vinyl albums to get us started, one of which was Queen. Ahhh, that opened a whole new world to us by way of music. Money allowing for a teenager, I eventually owned everything Queen.

(By the way… July 3rd is my father’s birthday… he would’ve been 88 today!  Happy Birthday Dad!)

Fast forward to 1991 when devastation hit and Freddie died.  Gone were my chances of ever seeing Queen live in concert…

But then… enter Adam Lambert some 20 years later.  Brian May and Roger Taylor (the remaining members of Queen) for whatever reason took a chance on this kid to bring Queen back to life and give fans what they wanted… one last shot to see and hear their music.  And wow, I have to say, Adam rocked the house.

 

Adam doesn’t try to personalize Queen’s songs.  He sings them as Freddie would have sung them of which I was very appreciative.  And he sings them well.  Dr. Brian May still managed to make that guitar come to life just as he did 40 years ago, and Roger Taylor… well, how he doesn’t manage to lose 5 pounds every night from the workout he gets with every show is beyond me. The older boys definitely still have it!!

I can count at least 3 times during the show when I become so overwhelmed with emotion that tears flowed, as did the entire audience.  One moment in particular was during Love Of My Life. Brian sat down with his acoustic guitar and sang the song as Freddie would have, and towards the end, Freddie appeared on the big screen with Brian and took over the singing… then walked off at the end of the song as Brian waved goodbye.

Another tear jerker was when Adam sang Who Wants To Live Forever

By the by, Adam has a new single out, Two Fux.  I’m thinking this is one we will never hear on the radio, but he sang it during the concert and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  He deserves recognition for that catchy little tune and I will definitely be adding it to my playlist.

It was an amazing time.  This is one show I would see over and over again if I could, so if you love Queen and ever get the chance, do go see it.  You will not be disappointed.

Throwback Thursday – My First Half Marathon

I had run a 10K back in 10/2013, and it was then I decided I would start training for a half marathon.  I was aiming for the Lake Sammamish Half for March, but after a little discussion with The Motivator, we decided my first half should be Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle, 6/21/2014.

A month before RNR Seattle, we ran RNR Portland, with me running the 10K and James the half.  I remember during that race watching all the people make the turnoff to continue on with the half and thinking, “Oh how the hell am I going to pull this off in Seattle.  I’m already knackered.  I can’t imagine running another 6 miles.”

Pre-Seattle race, I remember being a basket case.  The nerves were out of this world.  And the RNR events are huge, so the amount of people that were there freaked me out as well.  But everyone else looked so calm.  Thankfully James stayed with me for as long as he could so I wouldn’t bail (lol, kidding).

It probably took me about 5 miles in before I relaxed.

The course was gorgeous (and super hilly), and I felt privileged to be able to run in areas I wouldn’t normally get to see.  Back then I didn’t carry my phone with me, just my iPod for music.  So, no pictures.  I made a mental note to carry a camera with me on the next race.  This was before blogging, so that didn’t happen.  There are a lot of races I missed out on taking pictures, and I’ve seen some amazing sights.  It’s also one of the reasons why I’m running the 50 states… for the sights.  Everyone else chases PRs… I’m there for aesthetics, lol.

And I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment I had when I finally crossed the finish line.  There is nothing that compares to it.  It’s why I’m addicted to racing… and, oh yeah, the bling.

I have since run 10 more half marathons and am now training for my first full.  I can imagine the above feelings are going to be escalated out of the stratosphere.

  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

Thanks to a Teacher, I Learned from a Child

The long-awaited last day of school has finally arrived.

AJ excelled in the 6th grade, and while he did well grade-wise, I mean more that he excelled as a person and grew quite a bit emotionally, and I believe his teachers played a huge part in that.

All of his teachers were amazing and deserve gratitude and thanks; however, one teacher stands out in particular. This particular teacher helped AJ develop his love for history.  And adventure. And the ancient aliens who may or may not have built the pyramids (more on that later… ).

The last essay AJ wrote for this teacher was about “Grit.”  This was not a required assignment.  But from what I understand, quite a few students completed it, including AJ.  Their reward?  A hat that says “Grit.”  Just one more way to get the kids to think and to write.  On their own.  Without any pressure of a grade or a deadline.  “Learn to love learning;” one of the first steps to school success, in my opinion.

Thank you, Mr. Larson, for inspiring my child to be the best that he could possibly be.  You have made a tremendous impact on AJ’s learning, and for that, we are extremely grateful.  He wears that hat with pride.

And for all the other teachers out there who inspire our kids, thank you so much for what you do. May you all have a happy and relaxing summer holiday!  You’ve certainly earned it!

In case you’re curious about what my kid wrote… here ya go:

What is grit? Grit could mean sand, or it could mean that you never give up and keep trying. Determined, brave, toughness–all of these things could mean grit, but there are a lot more words that can mean grit.

I would like to tell you a story of a man named James Edward Howard. He is my great-great grandfather that fought in World War 1. He was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, UK, on the 4th of April 1890. During the war, he transferred to the Royal Engineers from the Suffolk Regiment. He died June 1st, 1929. He was at the battle of Ypres when he got badly gassed. After the war was done, he suffered very poor health due to the mustard gas. His last few years, he was in and out of the hospital as he developed Tuberculosis which was his cause of death. He survived for 15 years after the war and after being gassed. This man had a lot of grit to be ill and survive for that long. That is why I wanted to share this story with you.

I used grit last year. I came through a tough time when my grandma and uncle died within a few months of each other. The thing is I didn’t get sorry for myself or get sad, I just accepted the way things happened. My cat also died 2 months after my grandma died. He had been around me my whole life but I kept fighting and never got sad or anything, and that is how I used grit.

That wraps up my whole grit essay. I hoped you learned a little more about me. Always remember to never give up, there is always hope.

Thanks to a teacher, today I learned from a child.  I learned “… there is always hope.”

Back To Normal

When I last left off, I had just finished a half-marathon and was mentally preparing myself for a hike the next day.  I’m happy to say that the hike didn’t happen as my legs were angry enough with me as it was.  We did, however, go up to Hurricane Ridge to check out the views.

There was lots of snow (yes, that’s my 12-year-old son dwarfing his grandmother and father):

Lots of wildlife:

A clear view of Mt. Baker, 180 miles away:

And lots of trees:

I even got to try the infamous Starbucks Mint Frappacino (it was heavenly and I earned it) while the boys had quite a bit of fun goofing around with the outback hats:

The view of Port Angeles at the base of the Olympics:

But alas, all good things and all holidays must eventually come to an end.  My mother-in-law went back to the Motherland this past Saturday… but not before we went out to dinner to celebrate both our milestone birthdays this year (we split this delicious morsel 3 ways):

And today was business as usual, or Week 0 Day 1 of marathon training, to which I went out and completed 5 miles plus 1.  James is still hurt, but he’s in the process of formulating my training plan as I write this.  He’s such a good sport.  He actually just gave me a breakdown of my long runs for August and September, including (but not limited to) the 2 back-to-back half-marathons I’m signed up for, preceded and followed by those gnarly 20-mile runs…  dear, oh dear, let the games begin…

Have a fabulous week!!

North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon

As some of you may know by now, James wasn’t able to run this marathon Sunday (June 4).  If you’re perplexed, you can read about his unfortunate outcome/circumstances here, which means I was on my own. As history dictates, James usually passes me during these events, so I missed him greatly on the course.

That being said, virtually he was with me the whole way.  He was a great cheerleader… even if I did stop talking to him during mile 10 (details to come, 😀 )

Pre-race, he got me super close to the start line, dropped me off 1/2-mile away.  Definitely much better than a shuttle bus, and I needed a warm-up, so I jogged to the field where the race started.  I immediately went to the portaloo line.  Pretty standard in that line… not enough potties, and by the time I reached them, the Star-Bangled Banner was being played.  Then it became a race all in itself to get to the start line.

The gun sounded, and all went well until 5K, never mind the powerful head wind.

I texted James at 5K and informed him I just ran into an evil hill.  I said some mighty nasty words… then I soon realized that mile 3 to 4 was all uphill, which is about when I also realized that this was actually a trail race and not just a road race.  Huge difference.  I didn’t train for a trail race, and I didn’t train on hills, especially the gut-wrenching hills I was running up.  I thought I was just going to run a nice trail/pathway next to the ocean… but noooo… that wasn’t the case.  My bad.

Eventually I texted James and asked when my pain was going to end.  He did a quick reconnaissance and informed me I was in hill hell until after mile 8.  Awesome.

Shortly after mile 8, maybe mile 9 (I’ve lost my senses at this point, so I can’t remember), it became a nice downhill path.  I was so relieved.  Down I went… until the shift at mile 10.  All uphill.  I was spent.  I texted James and said, “Not going to make my time.  5K left. Head wind. Gassed.  Still going.”

Up, up, up we go!

Despite the course “description” on the website of being flat, the last 3 miles were a painful and gradual uphill climb.  I kept saying to myself, “Okay, once I get past this hill, I’ll take off again and redeem myself.”  It never happened because the hill never ended.

I was very thankful to see James at about 12.75 miles as he ran a little bit with me to keep me going, at least until we reached the finisher’s chute, and then the crowd cheered me in across the finish line.  Such great support for an extremely challenging course.

The bottom line…  beautiful scenery, beautiful people, really hard course.  But I finished.  At the end of the day, I clocked in over 15 miles/24 km (over 32,000 steps on the FitBit).

As for the The Whole 30 having an effect… I believe it helped.  I still felt strong and ready to go, even after miles 8 and 9… it was only after the mile 10 hill that I had a bit of an emotional breakdown and just couldn’t handle any more hills.

The elevation profile. The drop from 220 to 0 was at about mile 8 or 9. The tiny (but huge) bump towards the end left me deflated.

It was a great day, a great race, and quite frankly, it was my own “un”doing by not training properly for an extremely hilly course.  If you ever run this race… do 10 to 20 miles on a mountain trail for training (numerous times), and you’ll be fully prepared.

Now on to enjoy the beautiful town and area of Port Angeles…  I think there was talk of a hike up to Hurricane Ridge tomorrow, or something stupid like that… 😀

From Sequim to Port Angeles