Tag Archives: running slow

Smashrun Badges

It’s taper week in my household, but we’re still streaking!  After logging my 1-mile run last night on Smashrun, I earned 5 badges.  This is what makes running so fun!  It’s all about the accomplishment and bling!  And Smashrun gives you all kinds of incentives to just keep you going!


I have earned the “Chill Runner” badge!  I love this!  Everyone knows I’m not a fast runner, although I’m working on improving.  In the meantime, I simply embrace the fact that I actually run period!  What I love about this is the description of the “chill runner!”  Because “I am chill.” Hahahaha!  “I know how to take my time and enjoy my runs.”  Yes!  Amen!


Another badge I earned was the “Easy Runner.”  Again, read the description!  What a brilliant way to encourage slower runners!  Love!  I laughed so hard and was so appreciative of this badge!  The description sounds almost like the infamous Honey Badger!  I love being associated with the Honey Badger’s attitude!

Okay, there may actually be some hard-core runners out there who think that I’m disrespecting the sport by taking my slow running so light-hearted; not so. I’m slow, but I work hard at getting faster.  It may take me six months to knock another minute off my pace or it may take me a year, but I’m okay with that because I’m faster than I was when I started this journey, and I plan on being faster next year at this time.  When I’m 70, I’ll be the one crossing the finish line at the 100-mile Western States Endurance Run with only 5 seconds until cutoff.

In the meantime, I love being a “Chill and Easy Runner.”  Because that’s how I roll baby!

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.


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.


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.


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, 🙂


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?

Weekly Wrap – Redmond Turkey Trot

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


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.


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



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).



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


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).


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.


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.


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!



Weekly Wrap

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


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.


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…


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!

Week 7 done… 5 weeks to go! Lovely Jubbly!


Got milk? My standard post-run recovery drink!

It’s not been too bad of a week for running, just coming off a race and all.  I only ran twice mid-week because, let’s face it, the hills from last Sunday… well, we’ll just say I needed a bit of recovery in there (ouchie!).  And then my most favorite of runs today, the dreaded LSR… today… 9 miles… today… ugh.

Actually, the run didn’t start off so bad.  I’ve gotten some great inspiration from other bloggers, so I was pumped and ready to tackle it head on.  I even chose the dreaded hill route for my first 5 miles because, dang it, I want to get strong for my upcoming half. I’m happy to say I nailed that beast!  I also switched my run/walk interval times as a way to improve my overall time (run more, walk less), and I nailed that as well!  And I also took the “mind over matter” approach… I completely ignored any type of typical running pain I felt and just ran through it.  Even that worked for me!

But then I hit mile 7.  It was as if my body said, “Oh screw you… if you’re not going to pay attention to how I feel, I’m going to stop cooperating.”  At which point I promptly felt every ache down to the core of my bones.  All of a sudden, I felt how bad my feet hurt, how bad every bone in my body hurt, the pain my joints, the fatigue in my legs.  My toenails even hurt!  My ponytail was all of a sudden too tight!  And I couldn’t freaking catch my breath.


This is not a sunrise or sunset picture. The orange haze is from the fires that are burning up our state. Makes air quality very poor.

Now, to give you a little insight, Washington state is in the midst of a whole bunch of wildfire crises.  About 165 miles NE of where I live, the little town of Twisp has all but burnt to the ground.  Three firefighters lost their lives fighting this fire last Wednesday.  And the air quality is horrendous, all the way down to Seattle.  The air kept getting thicker and thicker the longer I ran.  As I wasn’t mentally prepared for this, my subconscious fought me really hard and actually broke me.  I couldn’t breathe properly, and once I “felt” I couldn’t breathe properly, the rest of me shut down.  I fought it for a long time, about a mile and a half, but it won in the end.  I ended up only doing 8.5 miles and was terribly sore afterwards.

I didn’t realize how much of a mental struggle that actually was until The Motivator and I analyzed it, because I was so strong in my run for so long.  But my mind found one little thing to focus on, my breathing, and took that opportunity to shut me down.  It’s kind of amazing how that works, isn’t it.  The mind is a powerful thing, don’t underestimate it.  When they say “running long distances is a mental game,” it truly is.  I gave in this time, but I won’t be fooled again.

Another clue as to how this was all mental on my part… James ran 17 miles today no problem, breathing in the thick smoky air way more than me, and he lived to tell about it.  He’s got the mental thing down pat… I still have a bit to learn.  I’ll get there.

I leave you with one last thought… when running long distances, please don’t forget the Body Glide or Vaseline!  But if you do, make sure no one is in the house to hear you scream when you take your shower!

Have a great week!  Next up… 10 miles!!  (Will she live to talk about it?!)


Hmmm, according to Garmin Connect, I actually did do 9.4 miles. I’ll take it!

Boise Trial Run


These are the only trees I saw in the “City of Trees.”


Grandma Sheila and Grandpa Rick

James and I are visiting Boise for the weekend, picking up our child who just spent a week with his grandparents, which in turn gave us the perfect opportunity to do a trial run for the Fit One race happening in September.  It is hot and dry here compared to where we live, so we had a very early start this morning (5:30 Idaho time/4:30 Washington time).  James and I ran with his dad Rick, and Rick’s running partner and friend, Roberta.  We ended up running the Boise River Greenbelt.

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Rick and Roberta had 6.2 miles to complete, I had 7, and James had about 15.  I had my normal pre-run breakfast of tea, but I decided on a Honey Stinger Waffle instead of GU as my miles are increasing.  The Honey Waffles are fabulous!

The first couple of miles went along well for me according to Strava and Garmin, but then I hit the 3rd mile, the sun came out, and it got hot, hot, hot.  That was when I realized I left my S-Cap in the truck.  If you’re not familiar, S-Caps are a combination of sodium, potassium, and magnesium.  They’re great to take when you are running in very hot conditions and are sweating a lot.  They keep your electrolytes in check.  They also help with any potential cramping issues you may have during long runs.


Anyway, no S-Cap, 80 degrees with intense sun rays… I felt hot, tired, and doomed.  We also felt the elevation was wreaking havoc with our run… James and I train at sea level, and Boise is at 2704 feet.  Didn’t realize how much of a difference a couple thousand feet make.  James and I both struggled with our runs today, but we completed them.  It may not have been anything pretty (well, James’ run was still pretty, they always are), but we got them done and we got a taste of what we’re up against in September.  Regardless of today’s run results, Fit One Boise is a great event, lots of fun, and I’m still going to enjoy every minute of it!

As for Rick and Roberta who actually live in Boise… they made great time and had a great run, even if this was the furthest my father-in-law has ever run… so far.


Roberta, Rick, James


And how was your day?





Week 3 Training… done!!

cropped-wpid-20150712_113352.jpgToday was a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest in which to run and finish up my 3rd week of training.  It was overcast, raining, and cool!!  Oh how I’ve missed the rain since April!  When you go without it for so long, you just don’t mind running in it!

I had 6 miles on the schedule for this lovely Sunday.  Was I ready?  Didn’t matter.  It was something that had to be done.  I stuck with my plan of trying to stay as strong at the end of my run as when I started… that’s a good mindset for me.  About 0.3 miles into my run, I happened to land square into a lovely little puddle that I didn’t realize was also deep.  Managed to soak my entire right shoe.  Ahhh, but that didn’t matter.  I was wearing proper running socks with moisture wicking, so that didn’t even phase me.  Besides, the rest of me was drenched from the rain, why should my feet or shoes be excluded.  Did I mention I love the rain?

I like running to the beat of a song, and I had 4 songs in particular that helped me to keep my pace up… Timber (PitBull), Love Runs Out (One Republic), Happy (Pharell Williams), and Shake It Off (Taylor Swift).  I relied on this music once I got past mile 3.  Because that’s when I started getting tired.  I also relied on various mantras I repeat over and over and over again in my head… I can do all things in Christ who strengthens meI’m only getting strongerRun the mile you’re in

I made it strong for about 5-1/2 miles, then I started getting discouraged as I was looking at my time.  I’m wanting to improve my pace, not be the same as I was last year, and I just wasn’t feeling it or seeing it on my watch.  But then someone on a bicycle rode past me and must’ve seen the distress on my face, because he looked at me and gave me the biggest grin, as if to say, “It’s all good,” or “Don’t forget to smile,” which then in turn made me remember to smile for that last 1/2-mile.  The other bonus was my husband was just beginning his run when I was close to done, so he “brought me in” which allowed me to finish super strong.

And at the end of the day, according to Strava, I managed to knock 1 minute 18 seconds off my pace per mile from last year at this time, which tells me, yes, I’m getting better and the goal I’ve set for this year is very realistic and reachable.  That makes me smile.

As for The Motivator, he ran a measly 14 miles today in 2:03:37, averaging 8:48 pace.  He’s going to kick ass in Chicago.


Wednesday Morning Run


A beautiful day for a run near the lake… overcast and cool!

I find myself getting caught up and inspired by some of my fellow bloggers, especially Dawn (Chasing Down Healthy).  We’re almost on the same training and race schedule… she’s in week 5 of training for a half (she’s registered for 2 of them), and I’m in week 3.  This morning she blogged about how it’s easier for her to just keep running rather than take a walk break.  I totally get it.  So, I decided to try that out today.  Yeah, well, unfortunately it doesn’t work so great for me.  Yet, that is.  I haven’t broke through the mental challenge of a continuous run non-stop, although I tried this morning.

I had 4 miles to complete,  I didn’t even turn my watch or phone on until I was perfectly warmed up and ready to run.  I felt mentally psyched.  I was ready.  One mile down without stopping, I did it!  Then here’s where the mental challenge came into play… “you can just walk for a tenth of a mile to catch your breath, then you can take off again.”  Alas, it was not to be.  I walked that tenth of a mile then I ran into a hill.  And this is not a nice hill.  This is a hill that challenges every ounce of your being, physically and mentally.  Walking up it can leave people short of breath.  It’s a hill-training hill for at least three-quarters of a mile.  Needless to say, after that first mile, I couldn’t get my groove back once I took a walk break, not even to do my normal run/walk ratio.  But it wasn’t the hill’s fault… it was the mental challenge that I struggle with all the time when I run.  The one that tells me, “Walk now or you’re going to die.”

I can take away a few positives from this run, though:

  • I wasn’t any slower than my last 4-mile run.
  • I realized I have to work on the mental part of my runs.  Recognizing weaknesses is always a good thing so they can be addressed and dealt with.
  • I wasn’t tired or exhausted when I returned home.
  • I got to see the ducks in the lake first thing.  Taking a picture is a great excuse for a walk break!








Bonus… I love what my phone says:


Woo hoo! In 4 weeks, its going to say 20,000 steps!


I love seeing this ratio, it shows me what I need to work on, although it records my warm-up and cool-down which is all walk.


Weather was perfect!!



Training for Fit One Boise week 2… done!

Brutal sun trap, not an ounce of shade.

Brutal sun trap, not an ounce of shade.

Usually on my long runs, I peeter out towards the end.  I’m not anywhere near as strong as when I started and I start taking way too many walk breaks.  Today I decided to focus on fixing that little problem.  I changed my run/walk ratio a little bit so that I would be sure to successfully hit it for every mile I was in.  And I’m pleased to say, it worked.  I ended just as strong as I finished.  At one point even, towards the end, it was so hot and sunny I basically said, “oh bugger this, just keep running until you find some shade.”  Yep.  That worked too.

Today was brutally hot in the Pacific Northwest.  Dangerously so.  My brain feels a bit cooked, to be honest, and this week’s happenings are kind of hard to write about.  I know that it gets a lot hotter elsewhere (I was born and raised in Arizona); however, we are not used to this kind of heat here and this summer has been cruel.  It’s from the lovely El Nino weather system.  I used to love El Nino in Arizona.  We’d be cooler than normal and it would rain and rain and rain.  Well, the exact opposite is happening here.  We are unseasonably hot and we’ve not had a decent rain since April.  Our lakes are disappearing and the state has been having one fire after another.  Ooops, I digress.  I’ll get back on topic.

Heat or no heat, I had a great week of training, hit all my workouts which is super important to success (we won’t talk about Friday’s debacle).  The Motivator has also had a great week of training.  He’s just finished up week 4 training for the Chicago Marathon, and he nailed a 12-mile run yesterday with ease (faster than I could finish grocery shopping), not to mention the 5 miles he did today in the brutal heat as well.  He’s aiming for a sub-4 marathon time… I really do think he’s going to over-achieve and actually do much better than that.  He has the mental game, not to mention he’s upping the physical game, I’m proud to say.  He’s an inspiration. Maybe one day when I grow up, I’ll know what an 8-minute mile feels like.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep on keeping on.  And I’ll let you know how the weigh-in goes when the new scale arrives…

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 Why Blog?

I’m Paula.  I’m a 40+-year-old working wife and mother.  And I run.  Well, kinda run, kinda walk.  I’m in my second year of running, and I’m slow.  Very slow.  This year I hope to improve my pace, but for now, just know that I’m slow.  I started this blog because I want older runners who are just beginning to know they are not alone.  And I’m not ashamed to say that I’m slow, or that yes, I have come in last place in a race before.  It’s okay to be last because, in reality, I’m doing something that probably 20 million people aren’t doing… I’m getting off the couch and moving.  Running a race keeps me motivated.  One has to do the work in order to cross the finish line, so the racing also keeps me honest.  And I won’t enter a race that doesn’t have great bling.  After all, at the end of day, it’s all about the bling.
So please join me and my family in my journey while I laugh, scream, cry, hurt, rejoice, all while trying to live life, lose weight, train, and work on trying to improve that oh-so-slow race pace.  Regardless of what happens, guaranteed I’ll have lots of fun life adventures, training mishaps and successes, great bling, and race stories to share along the way.

Don’t worry about being slow, only worry about standing still.  — Chinese Proverb