Friday, October 16, 2020

May as well blog...

 Well, it's been almost another full year since I posted.  I'm really on top of this blogging thing.  Ha!  Currently with the world still mostly shut down due to the pandemic and my kiddos' schools doing online distance learning for the unforeseeable future, I've found myself with a lot of time monitoring (read encouraging) my 3rd grader's online learning time.  I've decided that with that time, I may as well be writing while I sit next to him and try to keep him on here I am and there he is...

I haven't done any races this year. I was registered for Zion 100K but like most spring/summer races, it was canceled.  I did get the chance to run 40 miles around Mt. Hood to celebrate my 40th birthday and I will likely blog about that soon.

This week I started my training schedule for Black Canyon 100K, which will hopefully go forward as planned in February 2021.  I am using the Relentless Forward Progress schedule of "training for 50 miles to 100K on 70 mile a week".  Normally when I make my training plan based on that book I stick to 50 miles a week but I figured, why not go big this time.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  I had 20 miles scheduled for this morning.  I wanted to get it done nice and early but haven't been feeling super confident running on the trails or by the river by myself in the early dark hours so I opted to do one of my "stay close to home" 10 miles routes twice.  It worked well because I didn't have to carry any water or fuel but just used my house as a halfway point aid station.  I will say though, that after I came home with 10 miles done and my house was nice and warm I did have a bit of trouble heading back out again.  However, like any aid station it's best to not sit down and don't linger.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A new post?!

Today is my birthday.  I'm 40!!! Level 40!!!  I can't believe it.  My whole life 40 has seemed like such an incredibly old age.  I thought I was old when my parents turned 40 and now I'm the one who is 40.  I guess that pretty much makes my parents ancient!  It's funny though, it seems the older I get, the less old they seem...does that make any sense?!


I thought in honor of turning 40, I'd revive this blog a bit.  It's been almost 4 years since I last posted. (Holy cow, time is just flying by.  Do people even blog anymore?!)  I've been thinking a lot about making of zombie of this blog (get it, bringing it back from the dead?? ha ha...I've gotten so much funnier in my old age (insert dramatic eye roll here)) but today I decided to apply to be on the Altra Red Team and in the billion question application I filled out, it asked about my blog and I didn't have a lot to say about it, because, well it's been a long while.  So, long story short, here I am blogging again.  I'd love to be a part of the Altra Team because I love my Altras and I love to run really, really far in them and I'd really love to talk other people into running really, really, really far in Altras too.  But, a lot more about running and what I've been up to later beaus right now it's my birthday and I hear some cake, ice cream and family time calling.  It does feel good to be back though...

Also, this blog is definitely in need of a new's been a looooooong time since I've been out with a stroller.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Well, hello there...

Apparently all it takes for me to get back on here (after a 4 month break!!!) is a 103 degree temperature, body aches from the roots of my hair down to my pinky toes and being tagged on Facebook as a Eugene Marathon Race Ambassador.

First things first, this awesome illness... I'm sick.  I'm the kind of sick that has me texting Heather, my running partner, at 4am so that she doesn't show up at my house at 6am for our scheduled run.  I've never done that before.  I have never, bailed on a planned run because I wasn't feeling tip top. Dan was just telling me that he knows I'm sicker than I've been in a long while because of skipping the run.  It's true, I'm usually one to have the belief that most illness feel better with a run.  This, unfortunately is not one of those times.  I would like to give thanks to my youngest three children for passing along their lovely germs to me.  Hooray.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll survive.  Hopefully I'll spend most of today in bed and recover enough to get to class tomorrow and be ready to run again Friday (Thursday is my rest day and I think I'll keep it). Soooo, let's talk a bit about the Eugene Marathon.

Eugene is probably one of the most amazing places to run.  Almost everyone that lives here does it at least on occasion.  Even those that abhor running have secretly contemplated giving it a shot.  When Dan and I moved here in late 2001, I dabbled in running.  I had been a runner in elementary school and jr. high and high school and even a little bit at one of the colleges I attended...but I never really put my heart into it.  After a few moves, Dan and I ended up in a South Eugene home where we about half way between Hayward Field and the Amazon Trail and right on the Eugene Marathon Course and there was no looking back...try to not be inspired when you constantly have elite athletes running past your living room window.  Now, I can't imagine my life without running in it.

As for marathons, I don't have the best track record with them.  I think that it's just not my distance.  I struggle.  After my last marathon in 2014 (which apparently I never blogged about) I decided I needed a long, if not permanent break from road running...specifically, road marathon running.  I've done a pretty good job 2015, I only ran two road races, a 10K with Emme and a 5K just for fun...not a single marathon.  I wasn't even tempted to sign up for a marathon...until my brother came home for Thanksgiving and started talking marathons to which I told him that if he only ever runs one marathon in his life it has to be Eugene!  And, not wanting to be left out of the fun, I of course signed up to run it with him.  Then I applied to be an ambassador and here we talking about one of the greatest marathons ever.  I do love the Eugene marathon.  It's a well put on event and it covers most of my favorite road places to run in Eugene.  This year is the 10th anniversary and it will be my third time running it.  The first two goes at Eugene, didn't turn out quite as I had hoped they would 2011 and 2013...hopefully, the third time's a charm.

I can't make any real promises, but I hope to get on here a bit more often (not just when I'm sick) to stay updated on my training for American River 50 in April and of course the Eugene Marathon in May.  I also have a couple of awesome products to review and even a giveaway or two.  Yay!

And because every post needs a picture, here is the gate to beautiful and historic Hayward Field, the start and almost finish (you get to finish on the track itself) of the Eugene Marathon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

18 miles...on a Tuesday?!

Before I get into how we have truly mixed up our running schedule this week, I think it's important to note that on Friday, I celebrated my "closer to 40 than 30"th birthday.  It was actually a fabulous day, filled with awesomeness that made turning 36, not such a horrible thing.  Heather's husband, Doug, volunteered to watch Euan so that I could sleep in and join Heather for a mid-morning trail run. We did 8 miles on the foggy cold trails and it was awesome!
There is truly something magical about running in the fog filled woods.
Then, Heather gave me my "real" birthday present.  When she asked me what I wanted, I told her I just wanted to go for a run...well, apparently she wasn't satisfied with the measly 8 miles we planned and completely outdid herself, with this awesomeness!!!
I seriously almost cried...such a thoughtful and generous gift! I love the fine print.

Then I came home to a lovely sign from Emme

and some super tasty Challa bread from my friend Marci
You better believe that didn't last long.  Yummy!
as well as some other lovely things from my family...including a sweet old bike from my grandma and sister...but that will deserve a post of it's own, so no pictures right now.
Also, Dan brought me some flowers

and we went to dinner and a movie (Spectre, which I thought was great but I'm quite sad to see that Daniel Craig is looking older...don't get me wrong, he still looks great but his time to move on from being James Bond is unfortunately here).  I got quite a few nice messages from friends and family was an all around great day and I felt quite loved.

Anyway, the week went well and we hit all of our mileage, rounding us out at 41 miles for Week 1 of American River 50 training.

So, here we are 2 days into week 2...  The planned schedule for the week, is as follows:
M-6, T-8, W-6, F-8, Sa-18 for a total of 46 miles.

Well, with Thanksgiving and doctor appointments (Heather for her knee...hopefully all goes well there) and traveling, we made a few adjustments, one of the most notable being moving our long run to today.  Doug came to the rescue again (I really lucked out in the friend department).  We took Euan out for 4 miles in the stroller then met up with Doug who took Euan home with him so that we could do the remaining 14 sans stroller and its  grumpy little boy.  It was a pretty uneventful run, we kept a decent pace (9:05 average for the whole 18) and managed to get home in plenty of time for me to get a shower and go over some sentences for my medical terminology oral exam that was at 12:45.  (In case you're wondering, I rocked it, getting 50 out of 50 possible points, which means, assuming I don't totally bomb the next two quizzes and the final, I should be able to easily get an A in the class!!) Anyway, I don't think that I've ever run that far on a weekday morning, so I'm feeling pretty good about it.  I fear that I might need to find some sort of caffeinated beverage however if I'm going to make it through my chemistry class this evening.  And, as I'm sitting here typing this, I'm remembering that I have yet to stretch or roll or do anything in the way of I'd better get on that or I might not be able to walk after sitting through 2 hours of chemistry.  :S

So, our revised schedule for week 2 is as follows:
M-6, T-18, W-8, Th-6 and Sa-8  Like I said last's okay to change things up when you need to!

We both decided we'd like to do some running on Thanksgiving morning and Heather will be hitting up the Black Friday sales with her sister so we moved our normal Thursday rest day to Friday.  We're hoping to do 6 miles of trails before my family and I leave town for the weekend.  I have a feeling that come Friday morning, we will be really looking forward to that rest day!

In case I don't get back to this blog before Thursday, have an amazing Thanksgiving break.  Eat a lot of tasty food, enjoy time with family and friends, be kind while shopping and spend some time outside enjoying your surroundings.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

And so it begins...

This week marked the beginning of our training program for American River 50 and since I have a chemistry exam this afternoon that I should be studying for, it seemed like the perfect time to blog about training.  Yes, I know, priorities and procrastination...two of my weaker (or is it in I'm great at mismanaging priorities and the best procrastinator out there?!) points.  As much as I tend to put things off until the last possible moment, luckily training isn't one of them.  I may not always have the perfect training plan but one thing I plan never to do is go into a race (especially a long one) cannot procrastinate training!  You might be able to suffer through an ultramarathon with little training, but I can promise you it will be a sufferfest and it will hurt and you'll hate it...even more so than if you trained for it.  Anyway, I'll climb down off my training soap box to actually talk about our plan...

Heather put together the plan for this race.  She drew a little bit off of what we did for the NUT 100K (which I haven't blogged about...yet) and made a nice balance between the 70 miles per week plan for a 50 miler in Relentless Forward Progress (a fantastic book by the way, I highly recommend it) and the Ultra Running Ladies 50 mile plan.  RFP's plan is a bit more mileage than we want, but URL's is a little on the light side so we split the difference, pulling some runs from each plan.

I think I'll try to post each week with the plan for the week and maybe a summary of how the week went.  Unless I wrap that into one post, that is two guaranteed posts a week...which is about a 10000% increase from what I've done as of late.  Ha!  I had planned to write it up on Monday, but did you see the above paragraph about procrastination?  So, here we are on Thursday, but better late than never, a quick overview of the plan itself and also what week 1 has(d) in store:

We have a pretty decent base going of mileage in the low 40s.  Between Hood to Coast and a few weeks ago, we dropped our weekly runs from 5 to 4 but we're back up to running 5 days a week now.  For the most part we will be proceeding with runs on Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri and Saturday.  We always take Sunday off and usually Saturday is a long run, although sometimes we try to get that long run in on Friday so that our back to back Friday/Saturday can actually be running on tired legs like it's supposed to.

This go around, we have 20 weeks of training scheduled and will top out at 66 miles for our max week mileage and have a 3 week taper leading into the race on April 2nd.

Week 1 looks like this:
Mon - 6, Tues - 8, Wed - 6, Fri - 8, Sat - 16 for a total of 44 miles.

That being said, we already made some adjustments.  Heather has double birthdays in her family on Saturday, so we switched this week's long run with last weeks and will only run 13 on Saturday for a weekly total of 41 miles.  The best advice I can ever give about having and following a training plan is to understand that it can and should be adjusted as needed.  If you need to move some runs around or are feeling too tired or hurt or just extra crabby about running, tweak it where you need to.  I think the most important thing, especially with ultra running, however is to get on the trails and get as many back to back longish runs as possible.

So far, I think we're off to a great start.  We've been doing mostly road miles on our shorter runs and will do the large majority of the long runs on the trail.  I'm excited to get to work and start feeling strong on the trails again!

Here's a view from last Saturday's trail miles...outside on the trails is the best place to run!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Well, hello there...

9pm on a random Sunday evening seems like the perfect time to bring this poor blog back to life.  Why not?!

Life has been crazy.  Isn't it for everyone?  We'll play a quick game of catch up and then I'll do my best to be a more regular blogger.  I miss the outlet.  I miss writing.  I also miss reading back over the things I've written.  So maybe, just maybe, this time for real, this comeback will truly happen.

Random bullet points of what's been happening and really whatever comes to mind:

  • We bought a house.  Officially grownups now.  It takes a lot of work.
  • 4/5 of my children are now in school all day. (Jonny started kindergarten in the fall.)
  • I was trying to figure out what I want to do with my life once Euan starts school in 2 years (besides running all day of course) and decided I should go back to school too.
  • I enrolled at a local community college to take a few pre req courses I need in order to apply for the nursing program.
  • I'm a little over halfway through the first term.  
  • I'm taking 11 credits.  Two classes on campus and one online.
  • I like being a student.
  • It's hard being a student and a mom.
  • Sometimes I fail a bit at both.
  • I'm getting better at not procrastinating things.
  • When I procrastinate my school work, then things come up (like having to take Euan to urgent care) and I have to scramble to get my school work done in time.
  • Euan had to have two staples in his head last night.
  • He dove off the piano and ended up bleeding.
  • I wasn't sure if he needed to go in, but all my good pediatric friends were unavailable for consult, so I figured I probably shouldn't mess around with a profusely bleeding head wound (it actually looked worse in person). 
  • Plus, my mom said it'd would be a good idea to have it checked out.
  • One is never too old to ask their mom for help.
  • He's going to be just fine.  Staples were probably a bit excessive, but they didn't offer me the glue at Urgent Care.
  • Running is awesome.
  • We're between training plans at the moment but working towards accomplishing 2015 miles for the year.
  • That is all Heather's doing.
  • I've done a horrible job of keeping track of my miles this year.
  • I've actually been doing a bit of stroller running again.
  • I think it makes me faster.
  • Heather thinks so too.
  • Sometimes she convinces Euan to let her push too.
  • Sometimes he convinces me that he should push himself.
  • Training for American River 50, starts in a week.
  • Haven't registered yet, but will before the price increases at the end of the month.
  • I'm not currently registered for any races.
  • Haven't raced since September (and that was a 5K and really doesn't count) and probably won't again this year.
  • I'm okay with that.
  • I guess I did run a 10K with Emme...but I didn't race it.
  • I should probably blog about that.  She'd like to read it.
  • I got to try out a new SaltStick product during my long run on Saturday.  I really like it. 
  • Look for a review and giveaway soon.  Hooray!
  • My favorite holiday is coming up.
  • Thanksgiving!!!
  • (also my birthday...not the same day...actually my birthday is first, but I don't love it quite as much as Thanksgiving)
  • I think Dan secretly hates birthdays, so sometimes I try to downplay how much I love them.
  • Speaking of Dan, he grew a beard.
  • I kind of dig it.
  • Okay, maybe we aren't grownups.
  • Anyway...Thanksgiving!!! Yay!!! Food!!!!
  • Also, Fall.  
  • Loving Fall and all the colors.
  • This is good.  I've missed my blog.
  • Looking forward to a comeback.
  • Happy Sunday night...Have a fabulous week!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Hood to (Almost) Coast 2015

Nothing like an epic relay adventure to feel the need to try and breathe some life back into this poor old blog...

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to run the 2015 version of the oldest relay in the country, Hood to Coast.  This was my second time participating in this relay, the first time waaaaaaay back in 2011.  (If you have all day to spend reading about my adventures, feel free to click HERE.)  In case you don't know how HTC works, it's 197 miles from Mt. Hood to Seaside and it is split up between 12 runners, 6 in each van.  This year, I was in van 2 and runner #10 "with a twist".  I ran leg 10, leg 22 and instead of leg 34, I switched with our #11 runner and ran leg 35... this gave me a little bit more mileage and our #11 runner a little bit of a mileage break which she welcomed as a somewhat less experienced runner.  Technically, that is against the rules, but we weren't exactly a competitive team so we weren't too concerned about bending the rules a bit.  So, onto the report...

Our team came to be because an old friend of my BRF, Heather, "bought a team" from a group that couldn't do it.  In an attempt to fill the 12 spots, Heather was given carte blanche to fill Van 2.  After a little juggling, and few last minute switches, we ended up with:
L to R: Marissa, Me, Heather, Christi, Chris, Jeff

Heather "Hill-Walking Cry Baby #1", Marissa "Just Along for the Food", Christi "The Tortoise", her husband Chris "The Hare", Jeff (a man we had never met) "Stranger Danger", and me "Hill-Walking Cry Baby #2".  Our team name was Running for Decades (because between the 12 of us our birth dates ranged from 1950-80 (would've been 90's too but we lost our highschoolers to strict cross country coach regulations)).
PC: Christi
We were a pretty slow inexperienced group so we got a nice and early start time of 5:45am.  Luckily, being in Van 2, we didn't have to be at the start and therefore didn't even need to leave Eugene until around 7am to have plenty of time to meet up with and take over for Van 1.  After an uneventful drive up I-5 we pulled into Sandy and found them pretty quickly and it was good that we had time to spare because they were running 30 minutes ahead of schedule.  Pretty soon we were on the clock and running our legs and it was HOT!  It was hard to complain about the heat, however, because we knew going into the night and Saturday, there was nothing but cooler temps, rain and lots of wind in the forecast.

My first leg, #10, was completely along the Springwater Trail in Gresham.  It was roughly 5 1/2miles and relatively flat.  While I was waiting for Heather to come in and hand off to me the clouds rolled in and I was blessed with an overcast run...although a still pretty toasty 81 degrees at 1:30pm. I've been doing a lot of mileage lately with zero speedwork so I wasn't sure what my legs could give me when it came to trying to run fast. I knew that I wanted to try to make them go though. The last time I did HTC I also got to run along the Springwater Trail but it was dark and I was seriously alone for the whole thing.  This was a much different story...there were people everywhere and much to my surprise, people a fair amount slower than me and I just kept on passing them (roadkills) and it felt great!  Before too long, I was into the exchange and handing off to Christi.

Stats: Leg #10, 1:36pm, 5.54 miles, 41:57, roughly 7:35 pace, Roadkills 23!!

After that leg, it was back into the van to cheer on Christi...
She was a good sport waiting at a stoplight while we drove by.
 and then her husband Chris...
They both killed it and then we passed off to Van 1 and headed to a local house for dinner and showers and little naps.  Awesome!!

Naps and resting went too quickly of course and before we knew it we were rushing to meet up with Van 1 and get back to our running.

Although feeling a little sore and groggy, I was exited for my second leg.  I love running in the middle of the night.  There is something kind of magical about it.  Also, my leg had a nice climb to start out for the first mile+ but then was downhill all the way to the exchange.  I loved every second of it!  I wasn't sure if it would really be completely downhill though so I was a bit conservative going up the hill but then I crested it and then I flew.  It was dark and a bit rainy and I was wearing a sparkly skirt and there was a little creek running sporadically along the road and I felt amazing! Well, that isn't entirely true, my quads started protesting a bit early on, but I politely ignored them and pressed forward passing runner after runner (while offering joyful encouragement) on my way to the exchange.  The runners, in return, were pretty jovial, one guy said "nice job man...uh I mean lady" (as I passed him in my sparklyness) and another guy asked what the speed limit was.  It was a lot of fun.  Although, my paces this year were nowhere near the last time I did it, I was still happy to see some numbers starting with 7.
A pretty decent progression run.
Stats: Leg #22, 12:52am, 6.7 miles, 52:25, roughly 7:41 average, Roadkills 27!!

Somewhere between when I stopped running and our last runner started so did the rain and the wind and the thunder and lightning.  By the time we handed back over to Van 1 it was really coming down and we were soaked.  Luckily we were able to call it a night and find some shelter in Tent City:
Although the tents were a little bit leaky and some of our neighbors were extremely loud, Heather, Marissa and I had a great time, camping it up in the middle of a pretty raging thunderstorm.  Poor Van 1 was out there running in it...again, it was good to be in Van 2.  I was pretty hyped up and didn't think I'd be able to get much sleep, but I did manage to doze for a while and it was surprisingly refreshing.

Up until that point, everything had gone pretty smoothly.  Leaving that double exchange, however, proved somewhat difficult.  It took us 30 minutes just to get out of the parking lot!  Then we were racing the clock to meet up with Van 1 who we had no contact with and could only assume were still running ahead of schedule...almost a whole hour at that point.  We would've made it too but as we rounded the last corner for the van exchange, traffic came to a stop and did. not. move.  We sat and sat and sat and sat and finally convinced Jeff that he should hop out and run an extra mile into the exchange zone to take over for the van 1 runner.  Good thing he did... she had to wait 30+ minutes after coming in to hand off to him.  :(

Apparently the hold up was due to the crazy wind and rain.  Some race officials were going van to van to let everyone know that the rest of the race was going to be left up to our discretion and that if we felt conditions were too unsafe to continue, we could pack up and drive the rest of the way to Seaside.  What?!!!! Not to mention the fact that the way they announced it caused a huge delay and made us way late to the exchange but there was no way we were going to quit.  Well, there was a small amount of consideration but ultimately we determined ourselves not to be quitters and opted to press forward.

They were not joking about the wind however. It was coming at us from every direction.  I was amazed at our runners though. Each in turn, they powered through, and around tree debris, and did an awesome job with it.  When it came to my turn, I was just walking into the exchange hoping to hit up the portapotty when I saw Christi coming across the bridge.  I ran to the front of the bathroom line said, "my runner is on the bridge! Can I jump in really fast?!!" Luckily they let me take cuts and I was in and out just in time to hear Christi say, "where is my runner?!".  I said, here I am, handed her my jacket and took off up the hill.

The wind was brutal.  It was constant with huge gusts that made you stumble.  It was so hard to run in it was almost comical.  In fact I may have laughed out loud at one point but it didn't matter because no one could hear me.  Had the wind stopped, I literally would've fallen flat on my face.  I was really glad that we decided to keep going though and finish.  I think we all would've been disappointed had we just driven to the coast.  I didn't really love my last leg.  I'm not a very big fan of running in the wind.  I'm also not a stranger to it, as I spent my first 3 years of high school running in the Columbia just have to kind of lean into it and push forward.  As for the route, it was on a mixture of gravel and paved patches and a large portion of it was just straight albeit gradually uphill.  I don't much care for running on gravel either.  I gave it most everything I had left though and managed to pass other people...a lot of other people.  47 runners to be exact (I didn't count the walkers).  It was like a death march out there.  I ended up averaging 8:40ish and I had to work hard for that.

Stats: Leg #35, 12:50pm, 6.94 miles, 1:00, 8:36 average pace, Roadkills 47! 

I handed off to Chris and then we jumped into the van to meet him and Van 1 at the finish.  We weren't really sure what we were going to find when we got there.  There was rumor that the finish line was closed and that they moved it into the basement of the Shilo Inn.  The only thing we knew for sure was that we were going to finish one way or another.  Here is what we saw when we got to the beach:
It kind of looked like some post apocalyptic world.
Sadly, this is the closest we got to the real finish line.
We didn't have to wait long for Chris and then it was a short jaunt down the boardwalk where Van 1 jumped in to join us as we happily made it across the impromptu finish line.  Our official finish time: 32:51:29.  Not too fast, but just fast enough. ;)

Van 1 had been hanging around for a while and with the finish line festivities mostly non-existant they were quite anxious to be on their way.  We did take an unofficial team picture, but I didn't manage to get a'll just have to imagine that there was another van involved.

Overall, I had a lot of fun this time around.  Everyone in our van stayed in good spirits and worked hard...I think it was a great group of people.  I would definitely be interested in running it again.

Really, the thing that made the whole weekend worth while, however, was the selfie I managed to snatch with Sasquatch...what more could a girl ask for?!
Oh, and here's what the news people had to say...complete with some nice video evidence of what we experienced.