Weekend Running + Random Updates

Yesterday was a little discouraging to wake up to - raining and rain on schedule for the rest of the day. 

So Run #2 of marathon training was moved indoors. Today was different enough, thank goodness, and I managed to get outdoors. 

Sat: Easy 3.5 (3 on the schedule)

Sun: Easy 4.4 (4 on the schedule)

A crappy weather bonus is I worked on some indoor projects that needed to get done and didn't feel guilty. I updated some items in my new Poshmark shop and did a bunch of grocery shopping. Has anyone else tried Poshmark? A friend introduced me a week ago and I'm obsessed. It's a little more fun than taking my clothes to the consignment store and honestly a lot easier when I feel like being a total homebody. Maybe I'll put up a review when I have selling and buying experience to report on. I figured it could be a quick way to clean out some closet items. 

I also tried making Aquafaba to not-so-delicious results, but I am willing to try it again. Aquafaba is bean water, I borrowed mine from a can of garbanzo beans, and when whipped has the same consistency of frothy eggs. It's supposed to be a good vegan substitute if that's something you are looking for. I read about it and decided to experiment. Lesson #1 - use unsalted beans. If not, your recipe takes on a slight beany flavor. Lesson #2 - use parchment paper when baking meringues unless you want meringue shards instead of meringue cookies. I tried to make meringue cookies but I may move on to the buttercream frosting of a vegan lemon meringue pie next. Onward and upward!

borrowed from here. 

borrowed from here

Now it's off to a long dog walk, checking out a new bookstore that opened near us, and prepping for the rest of the week. Happy Sunday!

Invisalign and Long Runs

One of my biggest concerns signing up for Invisalign wasn't the 22 hours wear each day I'd have to get in, the constant brushing and flossing, or loss of snacks, but how I would get in fuel during a long run. (Technically that itself is all of the combined things listed above... I see that now.)

I'm supposed to wear these puppies 22 hours a day leaving about 40 minutes per meal with the trays out. But long runs as we know, last longer than just 40 minutes and sometimes go up to the total 2 hours. I googled what gels I could use, if I could carry the trays around with me while running, blah blah blah. My strategy when the time comes is to swig down a clearing colored gel (to prevent staining of course) and rinse with the water fountain as soon as I see it. So, dear readers, I need clear gel recommendations or handheld water bottles so I can switch to Nuun/fancy water fuel instead of gel.  

Also, if this is something you've been through, how do you deal with the snacking issue? I have become very, very accustomed to fighting the runger by eating about 5-6 times a day. 2 breakfast-ish type meals, lunch, 3pm snack, and dinner. Now I'm shoveling eggs in a tortilla for breakfast to keep me full until lunch where I shove another meal in my mouth quickly and then paranoidly brush and floss in the locker room at work. Dinner has been a crazy 30 minutes of eating everything I can find in the kitchen while the Invisalign are out because I am starving after missing my afternoon snack. Being a hungry person is hard. Any advice? Any superfoods that keep you full ( I know, protein) longer between meals that don't get super stuck in your teeth? 

Continuing with the trend of dental issues, yesterday my dentist spent 20 minutes filing the sides of my teeth to make room for the shifting teeth and I'm really hoping that was the worst of this whole process. It was pretty awful. The noise I could deal with, but having the dentist hummed as she pulled really hard with wire razory tools between my front teeth wasn not cool. My body was having a hard time relaxing since I have worked my whole life to keep my teeth in my mouth. Anyone that's been through this before - did you have to get the metal dental floss? How did you deal?

I plan on documenting what I learn works best for me since I couldn't really find good info specific to runners in my searches. Most just devolved into messages boards arguing about how long you should run before needing fuel, it was super annoying. Hopefully it can help other runners going through this too. 

Had any weird dental/medical issues lately? This sounds like a very dangerous question to ask on a blog..... oh well!

 

Thursday Things

There are some things we need to catch up on and I'm going to try and cram it all in before I have to run to catch my bus for work. Here goes.  

 -Marathon Training Day One is today. I just finished up 3 easy miles as per those Hanson's people said to so I'm at 100% so far. One downside is that I woke up to the most rain we've had in a while so I ran on the treadmill, but other than that my goal has been met for the day.

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-I'm a morning runner now (I think)! My goal last week was to convert to all AM runs and so far that has been going great. I did this because as the runs get longer and the weather gets warmer, I wanted to make sure all running was done before I had too much time to make excuses. Also, my weekday runs have been shorter and less frequent over the last 2-3 weeks so it was a nice mild intro to getting up earlier. 

 - I started Invisalign. It's going to be amazing but right now there is a lot of getting used to. I'll probably do a post or two about the process separately because there are some hurdles. The constant brushing and flossing is great because duh, but the reduction of snacking in my life is a huge bummer. My meals all feel a little hurried and slightly painful lately so hopefully this passes. More to come on this process.

- Aerial is still my once a week love. The last three weeks we've had sub teachers for one reason or another and each time I start class disappointed but then leave with a new conditioning move or variation on a skill and everything is cool. It's crazy to me the differences in coaching and skill styles for people who all work at the same place. Each coach has a different background and apparatus focus, so it's fun to tweak some things we've been working on for a while just a little bit. This week I learned a different way to think about how I was approaching basic foot-locks and I feel like my world has been changed. Amazing. 

- I joined snapchat. It makes me feel a little old and crusty, but it is also fucking hilarious sometimes so I am down to clown. If you are into more shoe shots, dog walking scenery, and my life partner trying to avoid be snapped then this is the channel for you: girlsammmm. *that's 4 'm's this time because someone already had my name. Rude. 

Basically all I snap lately- My shoes in various states of motion. 

Basically all I snap lately- My shoes in various states of motion. 

That's about it for now. I've found that I mental-blog my runs and then forget to actually get them down here in writing, but with Hanson's and the marathon I am going to want to document the next few months for my own record so hopefully there are more frequent posts coming your way.  (if that's what you want, if not uh, sorry?) Hope you are having a pretty good day so far, thanks for reading! 

 

 

Sunday Motivation

Soemtimes, especially Sundays after a long run, I struggle to get me shakeout run in. I like to drink coffee, wake up slowly, read all the social media, and be a slug. I will tell myself that I can get a run in at the end of the day but it usually just gets harder and harder to get that done as the day progresses. It spills into the next day even - if I run Sunday evening I won't run Monday morning since it's not a full 24 hours rest. I have these excuses down pat. So today, instead of reading other running blogs about how they have improved times or got 700 miles in that week, I used the peer pressure for good. I took about 50 selfies of me in my running clothes that will never see the light of day, landed one shoe shot, and headed out the door. 

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It was an ugly struggle the first mile, but after that I was warmed up and grateful to be running however slow. If I'm going to tackle Hanson's, I'm going to need a strong mental game for getting out the door. Today was good practice but kind of disappointing too that it took so much effort and merited its own blog post. Fingers crossed for this summer. 

Do you think social media is inspiring or discouraging when it comes to your running?

What gets you out the door for runs you know are going to be hard? 

Gels and SSS Run

It was a lovely 11 mile run morning from my house to Husky Stadium. It was so amazing and beautiful but also sss: snotty, salty, sweaty. 

I started at 8am and my face was drenched in sweat by mile 1. I don't know if it was a mix of sunscreen or just heat but it got drippy quickly. Then the snot joined in. The cold symptoms have mostly left my body but my nose was on full blast and my lungs were at about 75%. My tank topuickly became a Kleenex.  By the time I finished my salt beard was in full effect and I looked like a mess. Doesn't matter, I ran 11 miles (maybe) and had gorgeous views. 

One tiny weird thing that happened at the beginning of my run was a small Garmin seizure. Poor thing thought I was running 40mph if or about .25 miles and got very confused. Not sure what this did to my avg pace, but once I got down the steep hill from my house it caught it's breath. Does this happen to anyone else?? The map shows me running around in crazy patterns for the first minute of my run, must have been a rogue satellite. 

For fuel I grabbed some of my last gels and stuffed them in my fanny pack (it's back!!). The Carb Boom tasted like sour banana mash causing me to check the expiration date. It was fine and ultimately worked out pretty well. I just took swigs quickly at 35 minutes and got it all down in about 5 min total. I started the E Gel around mile 8 and was really happy to be getting in some more fuel at this point. It tasted like Sprite! I was worried it would be gross and chemically, the brand is Crank Foods, but actually wasn't bad. Both were new to me and tasted fine (6.5/10) but unless Stridebox sends me more I probably won't repeat. The only gels that I will seek out are Honey Stingers and that wonderful Hammer hazelnut chocolate one from a few weeks ago. 

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I've been enjoying trying all the gels lately because they are pretty portable and a one-and-done kind of thing. The chews can take a while and kind of feel like I'm trying to get cavities when they are stuck in my molars for miles, but that's what's up next in the Stridebox backlog. 

Running goals for the rest of this weekend include a shakeout tomorrow and maybe some more intense stretching and foam rolling tonight. What's your weekend run game?

Sickness and Goals!

It's May! Official start month of Summer training and I'm off to a wheezing start. Monday I noticed some extra snot in my life and then Tuesday and Wednesday were so disgusting I had to stay home from work. I finally returned today to work and to running. I just finished 3.2 lung-busting miles in my neighborhood and even though it was terrible it was still good practice for training.

When I am sick I eat fruit in bed and watch Parks and Rec.  

When I am sick I eat fruit in bed and watch Parks and Rec.  

I got home and made myself do glute and hip exercises, v-ups, and stretches. I noticed as I was running that I have to work really hard to keep my left side even with my right and it automatically tires out this spot on my hip. My last mile was motivated by a loud internal mantra "You have a massive, strong, huge left butt that is powerful!!!" I really actually felt it working so I'm going to stick with that until things even out. I really wish I could hear other people's internal running monologues because mine feel a little nutso sometimes, but I swear there is nothing more effective than a strong mental game. 

Some sky photos because it's MAY

Some sky photos because it's MAY

Some goals for May:

-consistent running until Official Training Start Day May 18. 

-more running outside, less treadmill. It's Spring/Summer!!

-dedicated glute strengthening work.

More sky. SO NICE.  

More sky. SO NICE.  

Hope you guys are having a lovely May so far, don't let the man get you down, and please make sure you are registered to vote. Happy Running! 

A Saturday Run and Race Planning

This morning I made it to the lake for 10 miles. I took it easy until about mile 6 and held an 8:20-8:30 pace for a few miles. When did a windy 8:30 mile get so tough? There was a lot of self pep talking - "This is how you get stronger" and "You can do this" were coming themes for the last few miles of the run. I ended with some car and grass stretching.  

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Technically I think I stretched in someone's front yard for about 10 minutes after my run, but they didn't come out and chase me off waving a broom so it all worked out.

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I rifled through the Stride Box archives for some fuel and recovery drank. I started taking the Huma (new to me) around mile 3.5 and it took me a solid 15 minutes to get it all down. It wasn't bad tasting, I just forgot about the chia part of it and the graininess caught me off guard. It just didn't live up to the Hammer gel from last week. Noted for future reference.  

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After I got back to the car I mixed this packet of Reload with my finger, because I am classy and forgot any sort of stirring implement, into some water. It tasted a little too fruity for me,  I will soon be going back to Nuun for any sort of non-water hydration and pack a Clif Bar for a quick bite after a run. For now though I have some Stride Box backlog to get through. I have noticed since trying to get some fuel in faster after a run my head and stomach have been feeling better for the few hours following a run, so progress! I am into it. 

 

Some notes for myself from this run that I don't want to forget.  

-Wind makes a difference, good and bad. 

-I might need to tape up my big toes, these blisters kind of suck. Shoes at 275 miles may need to start rotating in some others.  

-I am easily swayed by other people running around me and that seems to be my biggest challenge holding a pace. I either speed up to catch and pass them or slow down to hold off after they pass me. Need to work on holding my own, no matter what. 

-Saturday morning long runs need to start earlier if I'm going to get to the aerial review. It did not happen today.  

-Eating a whole loaf of French bread and cheese was not as awesome of a pre-run dinner as I thought it was going to be.  

 

-Cute little Bichon Frise (so?) dogs can turn on a dime and very easily bite ankles. Never doubt their fierceness, watch all dogs closely. 

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This afternoon, following some really exciting grocery shopping, laundry, and mild yard work, I went back to my Hanson's book and calendar to re-work my plan. I originally moved around the rest day from the advised schedule but after a particularly tough aerial class this week I realized the way the book lays it out actually works better for me. Sometimes after Aerial I need a day to return to normal walking and upper body movement. My runs usually suck the next day since the class is late in the day and my nutrition gets a little effed. (I come home and pour the contents of my fridge into my mouth and then pass out.)  

TGIT

I started this post in the morning and finished after work. Whoops! Here's an update on my long run this weekend, since that was the highlight of my miles. Saturday I went on a 10 mile long run and it was great! I attempted a tempo (attempto?) which kind of failed because turns out I don't know how to pace myself and am easily distracted by other runners. I also tried some new fuel and a post run drink. I drove myself to the lake, missed a BFF run due to laziness and inability to get the shit that is mine together, so I figured I need to make the best of what I had left of the morning. I headed out and tried to remain calm, keep the pace easy, and hit between 6 and 10 miles. 

At mile 3.25 I opened this new gel I hadn't tried before. I have to preface by saying I've never had Nutella and as an adult have chosen not to have it because I have a feeling Nutella and I would would have some separation issues. This Hammer Gel though, sounds like it might be similar and OMG so good. It usually takes me a few minutes to get a gel down, elegantly sipping over the course of a mile waiting for a water fountain. This thing went down in seconds. There are teeth marks on the wrapper. 

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I stopped to wash down the remains at a water fountain and as I started again swore I would never stop mid-run again. My legs all of a sudden felt so heavy and took about a quarter mile to get back to normal. That usually doesn't happen to me so I was a little surprised, but man it sucked for a minute. I turned around at the 5 mile point feeling pretty good and decided that miles 6-8 would be my tempo miles. I wanted to go from about a 9:25 to 8:55. (not sure if that's okay for a tempo, but like I said I don't know how to do this.) I sped up and then heard the footsteps behind me begin. Some dude kept getting closer and closer. The path I run on is very runner heavy so this isn't new, but for some reason I didn't think he was going that much faster than me so for about a mile I tried to hold him off. I checked my watch and turns out he was running about an 8:20 mile so my tempo attempt was all thrown off. Oh well. I slowed down for miles 8-10, trying to really work on an easy pace. My usual strategy is run with everything I have left at the end of a long run so this was a little difficult but I felt so much better than usual when the run was over. Amazing how that works. 

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Guzzled some of this stuff when I got back to the car. Protein2GO sample from an old Stridebox for the win. I'm trying to be a little more responsible  about the post-run nutrition and get some protein in immediately after I finish.  

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Overall, last weeks runs were pretty good based solely on the fact that I completed my 6 day goal. This weeks goal is uh, something probably similar. I don't totally have the vision this week but I am going to try and survive all the weather, whatever it may be, and keep the runs frequent. F

Happy pseudo Seattle Summer!  

TGIF - Weekly Update

Hey hey hey! Guess who finally signed up for some races? This girl. Let's start off with a half marathon in September. Guess who also pulled out her copy of Hansons Marathon Method and has been flipping through it and marking up her calendar? Also this white haired running witch.  

I can't remember the last time I updated on my running workouts so we'll just start with this week, and I'll make it super easy: Mon I rested. Ties-Fri I ran on the treadmill Tomorrow, Sat, I run outside and Sunday is a wild card. I am thinking of using Hanson's for my training plan coming up and I want to get a feel for running 6 days a week. (Even if that means I only ran 12 minutes tonight hahah who cares now I have wine.)  

Official training as per the calendar starts in mid-may. (Can you believe I don't know the exact start date? Who is this person?) For the next few weeks  I'm going to focus on running more days a week and getting in the habit, continuing to build a good base. This week I gave myself the green light to not stress out about miles or pace and get the days in. Next week my plan is to maybe move some of those workouts to the morning, because with the way the training plan shakes out I will need to do that to make myself a human with any sort of afternoon life. 

Speaking of non-running extra curriculars - it's Aerial Spring Break so I went to open gym on Saturday before the break to get in some extra time and had the best time. SANCA has updated their open gym/aerial review time so it's 2 hours on Saturday and I was able to stay the whole time. I worked through a sequence that our coach gave us at our last class and spent some more time on trapeze than I have been in class. It was fun! It made me more pissed for the Spring Break and missed class, so I am definitely looking forward to next week, and maybe even getting back to the review next Saturday!  

Okay, going to eat some pizza and not include any pictures because I don't have any! Hope you have a great weekend! 

 

3 Great Things

Hey Internet Babes! Happy hump day, we are almost there. 

This week I've been loving a few things so here they are for your reference, because I know deep down you were absolutely dying to hear. 

Vegan Nut Balls. Seriously, I love googling it, I love saying it, and I love cooking and eating them. Here's the most recent recipe that I've been using to great results, the great results being my husband eating them all before I could get some. Great. 

Image borrowed from Detoxinista  

Image borrowed from Detoxinista

 

Parks & Rec on Netflix. My hairdresser had it on the other day and I had forgotten how amazing this show was. Since then I've been watching it when I doing other things around the house like making Vegan Nut Balls. 

 

Running Outside. Hey y'all, it was 68 degrees when I headed out tonight on my neighborhood route and I was overheating almost immediately. It was a terrible run, it was my regular regular route but something about the heat, poor snack selection at works today, sore muscles kind of threw it off. Wednesdays are always a little rough after aerial. I don't get enough sleep afterward since class basically runs into my bedtime and my upper body moves like a robot for about a day and a half after. However, I was so happy to get outside AGAIN and take advantage of the beautiful weather. 

What's going on in your neck of the woods? 

Oh PS: Do the first 5 minutes of everyone else's runs feel terrible? I had this revelation today that it would be a miracle to feel good from beginning to end of a run. Has that ever happened to anybody? Let me know. I want to know all the secrets. 

Update on the Miles and Hair

I have been a little out of the internet lately. Not on purpose, but my partner in dog parenting was traveling for 3 weeks and living solo with 2 very active puppies leaves little time for blog reading/writing. Oh, and I also managed to break the internet in our house completely the last week so yeah, that happened. Whatever you do, don't hit the big red reset button on the back of the router without your resident techie there to help you to setup the entire network again. Lesson learned. 

Running! It has been so much more fun lately especially with the longer evenings and slightly better weather the last few weeks. Here's what has gone down:

3/19: 8.02 miles/9:07 avg pace with BFF on her trail. We went faster than I thought I could but it felt great and was super fun. YES. Definitely doing this again. I wasn't sore or anything after. I don't know why I was anxious about this. 

3/21 Mon: 30 minutes treadmill. This was my last solo day so I didn't feel bad hopping on the treadmill to shakeout my legs. Easy and relaxed. 

3/23 Wed: 3.26 miles/9:15 avg pace neighborhood run. OUTSIDE = HAPPY. 

3/24 Thurs: 3.11 miles/ 8:42 avg pace neighborhood run. Had a Costco date after so I hustled through my normal route. Sometimes you just need some motivation (e.g. free food samples).

3/26 Sat: 8 miles/8:59 avg pace + 1 mile/9:29 avg pace. I ran from my house to Capital Hill to celebrate the opening of the new Light Rail station up there and then hopped on and rode the train back. It is definitely interesting riding mass transit wearing shorty shorts and slightly chilled after completely cooling down. Also, kind of painful getting off the train and running 1 mile straight up hill back to my house. When I look at it here, it doesn't look that scary, but after a relaxing train ride home it felt not so amazing.

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3/28 Mon: 4.02 miles/8:55 avg pace Neighborhood run. It was sunny and cold tonight, I wore shorts again. It's a run that made me feel better about Spring. I'm already feeling some progress on my regular route which makes me hopeful. I'm trying to keep my runs negative splitsy, but I think most of that is stemming from knowing dinner is waiting for me at home. *(some knee pain after mile 1 but I'm ignoring it for now.) 

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A non-running related thing - I got my roots updated last Sunday and my hair stylist created this amazing braid and thankfully took a photo of it. There is no way I would be able to recreate this so I'm glad she documented it. If you need a hairstylist who is super talented and super sweet, check out Sara or just follow her IG for some pretty hair shots. 

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Also, last week was the final week of my second session of Aerial 1/2. A new session starts tomorrow and honestly I was thinking about it all day today. I really want to get back to eating less sugar and adding some conditioning throughout the week, those 2 things seem to have the most positive effect on my aerial practice. I kind of want to see if I can get more out of my 2 hour class each week since adding a class right now is a little too expensive, and being able to give each move a little more time during class seems like a good way to try this.

Hope you guys are having a great week and getting to run outside!

Why I Run

It has been forever since I updated but really not much has happened to update so let's get to it.   

3/9: 6.3 miles, 1 hour - Treadmill  

3/12: 6.4 miles, 1 hour - Treadmill

3/13: 5 miles. 45 minutes - Treadmill

3/16: 4.81 miles, 43:48 - neighborhood! 

3/18: 5 miles, 46:41 - park! 

The running hasn't been amazing, but the dog walking has helped me maintain miles throughout the week. I'm also one of those people who counts steps now. I'm a data freak with this Garmin and I have been making my goal every day for about the last 2 weeks. Yesterday I listened to a "Note to Self" podcast about too much health data information and related a little too much. Oh well. I am going to chalk it up as cross training and move on.  

I have a few runner friends who have been KILLING their goals lately, posting faster and faster times, making their workouts happen no matter what, and really progressing. I've been thinking about them a lot lately I recently went into this crazy downward spiral of thinking that I absolutely have to get back in shape and get faster and get my act together. The thing is, that did not really do much for actually motivating me to run. The more I think of it, the more I'm super stoked for them and simultaneously frustrated with myself. I've still been struggling and coming up with loads of excuses to not run and not sign up for a race. So today on my beautiful run at the park that took me forever to get to (see above re: motivation), I tried to take advantage of the alone time and figure out WTF is up with my running lately.  I was not having a great time, my legs didn't feel wonderful or weightless, my lungs felt off from this sore circus muscle somewhere in my chest, so why the hell was I even doing it? If I was doing it to catch up with my friends and make sure I don't fall too far behind in the pace group, that's kind of a horse shit reason. If I'm doing it only for exercise, then I wouldn't feel so bad about all the treadmill runs lately and honestly, walking would be easier, probably put me less at risk for injuries and be more fun for the rest of my family. Around mile 2.5, after deciding I actually wanted to go around for another loop, it hit me - I like running because it's hard and it shows me I can change. I then went into runner psycho mode and dwelled on this thought for another 2.5 miles. 

Running gives me a way to practice the traits about myself that I like and want to make stronger. I like that it makes me stronger physically, but almost moreso I love that it makes me mentally stronger. When I'm running, I'm practicing doing this hard thing for hours and practicing self-discipline each time I head out. Each time I sign up and train for a race, it shows me that I can change and get better at something if I practice it and put in the time. I'm not terribly afraid of aging, but I am afraid of becoming stagnant and inflexible as I get older. Running helps me see progress and changes over time, and know that I'm not stuck. It's really helpful to have all these things to pull on in real life too. At work when things suck or I have to stare at a screen for what feels like a million hours, I remember that I can do hard things. Also, I can remember seeing these ducks who were adorable and very, very noisy. 

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There are about another million reasons I love running, but that's just the runners high talking. I'm writing this post-run in the gorgeous park on an almost 60 degree Spring morning along the lake with incredible mountain views so take it with a grain of salt and reality. 

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Tomorrow I have a date with BFF to run and I'm a little anxious but mostly excited. My goal for the next few days is to get back outside and this is the perfect way to get those miles in plus know, BFF time is the best kind of time.  

Why I Run

It has been forever since I updated but really not much has happened to update so let's get to it.   

3/9: 6.3 miles, 1 hour - Treadmill  

3/12: 6.4 miles, 1 hour - Treadmill

3/13: 5 miles. 45 minutes - Treadmill

3/16: 4.81 miles, 43:48 - neighborhood! 

3/18: 5 miles, 46:41 - park! 

The running hasn't been amazing, but the dog walking has helped me maintain miles throughout the week. I'm also one of those people who counts steps now. I'm a data freak with this Garmin and I have been making my goal every day for about the last 2 weeks. Yesterday I listened to a "Note to Self" podcast about too much health data information and related a little too much. Oh well. I am going to chalk it up as cross training and move on.  

I have a few runner friends who have been KILLING their goals lately, posting faster and faster times, making their workouts happen no matter what, and really progressing. I've been thinking about them a lot lately I recently went into this crazy downward spiral of thinking that I absolutely have to get back in shape and get faster and get my act together. The thing is, that did not really do much for actually motivating me to run. The more I think of it, the more I'm super stoked for them and simultaneously frustrated with myself. I've still been struggling and coming up with loads of excuses to not run and not sign up for a race. So today on my beautiful run at the park that took me forever to get to (see above re: motivation), I tried to take advantage of the alone time and figure out WTF is up with my running lately.  I was not having a great time, my legs didn't feel wonderful or weightless, my lungs felt off from this sore circus muscle somewhere in my chest, so why the hell was I even doing it? If I was doing it to catch up with my friends and make sure I don't fall too far behind in the pace group, that's kind of a horse shit reason. If I'm doing it only for exercise, then I wouldn't feel so bad about all the treadmill runs lately and honestly, walking would be easier, probably put me less at risk for injuries and be more fun for the rest of my family. Around mile 2.5, after deciding I actually wanted to go around for another loop, it hit me - I like running because it's hard and it shows me I can change. I then went into runner psycho mode and dwelled on this thought for another 2.5 miles. 

Running gives me a way to practice the traits about myself that I like and want to make stronger. I like that it makes me stronger physically, but almost moreso I love that it makes me mentally stronger. When I'm running, I'm practicing doing this hard thing for hours and practicing self-discipline each time I head out. Each time I sign up and train for a race, it shows me that I can change and get better at something if I practice it and put in the time. I'm not terribly afraid of aging, but I am afraid of becoming stagnant and inflexible as I get older. Running helps me see progress and changes over time, and know that I'm not stuck. It's really helpful to have all these things to pull on in real life too. At work when things suck or I have to stare at a screen for what feels like a million hours, I remember that I can do hard things. Also, I can remember seeing these ducks who were adorable and very, very noisy. 

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There are about another million reasons I love running, but that's just the runners high talking. I'm writing this post-run in the gorgeous park on an almost 60 degree Spring morning along the lake with incredible mountain views so take it with a grain of salt and reality. 

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Tomorrow I have a date with BFF to run and I'm a little anxious but mostly excited. My goal for the next few days is to get back outside and this is the perfect way to get those miles in plus know, BFF time is the best kind of time.  

Low miles and high hills

Hello! Run update for this last week: still no race on the books and it's starting to show.  

Wed: 35 min treadmill

Thurs: 30 min treadmill  

Saturday: 5.3 miles at the park. 9:05 avg pace/48:23 total time

Sunday: 10 min treadmill + hill/sprint workout in the rain.  Photo below for proof of the torrential rain. I got fed up with the treadmill finally and saw a break in the rain out the basement window. Garmin found the satellites and I was off, and it instantly started raining. I wanted to try this stupid hill by my house and get OUTSIDE. 

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As you can see, my HR went insane for most of the run. During the flat part I did some quick .05 mile sprints, basically a driveway in a development that hasn't been developed yet in our neighborhood at the halfway point in the hill, and then huffed back up to the house.   I have a feeling this workout will become part of my ambiguous future training plan. 

   

 

 

Another reason for my weekly mileage reduction is these two goons. Due to some family scheduling I am the main dog walker for the next few weeks. The mileage is actually probably pretty equal but more walking than usual. Also, Mira is now training for "how to not be fat" so we've been doing some sprinting and trying to get her off the couch a bit more each day. My little husky is a little husky, sorry bad joke but seriously she is a lump on the couch for most of the day and I feel bad. Girlfriend is born to pull sleds for hundreds of miles!  

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The plan for the next two weeks is to not worry if I miss the miles but try to maintain my sanity and get some shit done at work. Hope you all have a great week!  

Tuesdays and Chill

Let's recap the running:

2/21 Sun: 53 minutes treadmill

2/22 Mon: 40 minutes treadmill

2/24 Wed:  45 minutes treadmill

2/27 Sat: 38 minutes treadmill

2/28 Sun: 81 minutes treadmill

So yeah, I've been running and playing around with the treadmill paces a bit more lately. I'm feeling more confident in my legs, probably because my 'mill is a big exaggerator so it doesn't seem that scary to go a bit speedier because well, I'm not going all that fast to begin with. The weather has been crappy and my motivation to get outside after work has been dismal. The funny thing is that I love running lately! I'm totally into the treadmill. It's so convenient, I get to wear stretchy shorts that should not see the light of day. I can have conversations with Boyfriend while he's doing laundry and hanging out in the basement. I can race the spin cycle on the washer for some added entertainment. I can run when it's dark and stormy outside. Mostly I think I love it lately because I can completely check out from reality. 

I don't listen to music when I run outside for safety and for focus. I like to be able to hear what's around me and also pay better attention to how the run is going. Also, I am a clumsy fool and I do not need added distractions or to try and hold something valuable. Running on the treadmill means Top 40 jams and thinking about nothing. I don't have to worry about who is around me, if there are any wild beasts, where the next stop light is, or even if I'm hitting my paces (1. because robot treadmill does it for me and 2. because I've given up on actually having an accurate treadmill pace). It's a very easy way for me to move my legs and get a runners high. 

Now, onto Aerial. UGH I have just been in love with it lately. Unlike running, the challenge isn't just getting to class (or the track), that part is easy. The hard part is getting up the nerve to try new stuff and then also continue to work on stuff that I should know, and get it right. I like the feeling of trying something, failing, trying it again, failing again with more sweat, and then finally 3 weeks later getting it. It clicks! It's amazing! Running is so mental, but usually just getting started and then the muscle memory kicks in and all is well. The endorphins make it pretty good too. Aerial is a different satisfaction. I did 3 pullovers on the low bar today and didn't use my feet on the sides to help me. Boom. We started doing pullovers in class like uhhhhhh months ago. It's really rewarding to see progress. 

With all the good feelings in circus lately, it's reminding me that I need a race to run. I don't even really have a baseline pace for what I think I could run a road half right now which is so weird, but I need to start somewhere. I think it would help with motivation and with getting that feeling of meeting goals back in my running.  How does this plan sound? 

-Sign up for an March/April/May road race 10k-13.1. Go slow and feel sad about how slow I ran. 

-Sign up for an July half to try and beat April/May pace. Feel a bit better about running a bit faster. 

-Run this race in August with friends. Love every second because net downhill and friends. 

Woah. Can I tell you that after just setting up those links above I about hurled at how expensive races are to sign up for? WTF. It's hard to convince myself to sign up for something knowing I'm going to stink at it. Maybe that would help me take it more seriously too... 

I hope you all are having an excellent week. The wind just blew so hard my house shook, so I'm going to go hide in my bed and read/sleep/pretend to not be afraid of every creaking noise this house makes. 

 

Weekend Update

Another week down, some more miles on the books. 

I'm not really training for anything, but I decided over the last few weeks that I would like to continue to build a solid, injury free base. Most of my runs lately have been on the slower side, without gasping for air or trembling legs afterward. I'm running more for total time than pace, and also for a mental reset at the end of the day. I've been re-reading other bloggers 'origin stories' or their 'how I became a runner' posts and it's been encouraging me to stick with getting more miles in at an easy pace. Reading about how other people started at 11 minute paces and are now casually at 7:30 can be frustrating to read about most of the time since I just want to see that incredible change in my own running, but now I'm trying to pay more attention to how they got there. It usually involves a lesson in over-training somehow or trying to go too fast too quickly, but after learning to slow it down and train smarter, they were able to run more and eventually faster. Pro Tip: You can run more if you're not injured. 

I've been running for about 4 years now and have had more setbacks due to injuries than the successes that were surrounding them. I'm letting go of my mental hangup on faster paces and learning I love running no matter the speed. I would like to get faster and I think that will come with time if I can get a solid few months/years of steady and consistent running. Really, the more  I think about my treadmill the liar, the more grateful I am. I trust that every time I run on it I'm running based on feel instead of the paces I think I should be hitting. Yesterday on a run around the park I actually slowed down to get my HR down and it didn't kill me to have a higher min/mile number show up on my watch because I actually just felt good running and not like my heart was going to explode. I finished the run still feeling proud for getting out there and this morning I am not sore and my legs aren't angry. I'll probably run again tonight. Woo hoo!

Here's what the running looked like this week:

Mon: Approx 6.1 miles, 55 minutes treadmill. Having a day off from work meant a little more time for a weekday run. 

Tues: Aerial. Amazing. Loved it. I could definitely work on my flexibility. I noticed my side-splits were just a weird right angle and I was hesitant to push it because I somehow correlate it with my previous knee pain. Anybody know of a connection there?

Wed: 38:35 minutes treadmill, approx 4.4 miles. Felt good after work to hit refresh. Also, that damn Roses song came on twice and I loved it. Why was I so late to this party?

Thurs: Surprise friend visit after work, run rescheduled to Sunday. 

Fri: Rest. Could have run after work but So. Tired. This week, for only having 4 days, has been crazy. 

Sat: 6.9 miles, OUTSIDE THANK GOD. 9:14 avg pace. Pretty chill run until this girl passed me in the last mile and I got all race-y on her. I stuck right behind her and then felt like a total creeper so I jetted off more inspired by embarrassment than anything else. Sorry lady in purple jacket and calf sleeves, but thanks for the 8 minute mile I wasn't expecting!

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Sun: To be determined. I need to go grocery shopping, check on some work stuff, and am actively missing the aerial review class I thought I was going to take right now. Oh well. That's the problem with things I'm not signed up for, they can easily drop off my schedule and be too swayed by other things in my day. My plan is to get on the treadmill at some point for 2-7 miles. I'm all about doing what I feel lately.

 

 

Hope you guys are having a good weekend and getting in all the running your little healthy hearts desire! 

President's Day and Running Recap

It's been a week of indoor runs and I'm okay with that. Here's what went down. 

Mon: 3.41 miles after work, my only outdoor run of the week. It was drizzly and dark, but I loved it. I felt like I needed to get outside after a particularly office-y day. 

Tues: Aerial. Awesome. I did 2 pull overs without hitting the ropes on the low trap. It was a victory and I felt stronger. Hoping to make more progress this week even though I missed Sunday review 2 weeks in a row. 

Wed: 36 min treadmill, approx 4 miles before work and it was TERRIBLE. I woke up before work after a late night of circus and it sucked. I was glad I was running after about 20  minutes, but seriously those first 20 minutes were a mental battle. One thing running in the morning does have going for it is that I am way less likely to quit. What am I going to do, go back to bed sort of sweaty and awake for 30 minutes? I might as well keep going, so I usually do. 

Thurs: 56 min treadmill, approx 6.4 miles. I talked myself in and out of this run on the bus ride home, but eventually got to it after I walked in the door. As usual, I was glad I did. 

Fri: REST. 

Sat: Lots of Netflix, lots of bran cereal and snacks throughout the day instead of getting out for my usual Saturday run. After putting it off for hours and watching the downpour of rain continue, I headed downstairs to see if I could get in a few miles. Turns out, I could! 1 hour and 46 minutes later, my treadmill read 13.1 miles and I thought I should stop. I don't trust the distance on my treadmill, but the time still counts so I'll take it. Pro Tip for my future self: miles 7-10 will feel a lot better if you skip the second bowl of fiber cereal. Really. 

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Sun: Rest, some dog walking. 

Mon: President's Day! 55 min treadmill run. Had no idea how my legs were going to feel, but they felt great! I'm loving the slow, flat, easy running lately. 

I think the treadmill and I are having a good week and that works for me with the weather being as rainy and dreary as it has been. Now I am tired just in time for trying to get back to a work-week sleep schedule after 3 days of staying up too late and sleeping in. Oh - I just made some overnight oats with a new recipe so fingers crossed they are good tomorrow morning. 

 

Stress, Running, and Stridebox

I am really looking forward to this work project being mostly over very soon. I thought things were wrapping up, but we're still on a steady track of something new popping up every day so my time in the morning I usually had for a bit of blogging has completely disappeared. For the most part I'm keeping my stress levels in check, my dear BFFs are always making sure I am not letting it overrule every part of my life and home life remains super peaceful, so nothing is too out of whack. I'm just ready for something new at work, to get back into other projects and tasks I feel like I've been ignoring. Okay, work rant over. On to the running! 

Since we last chatted, I managed to run 3 weekday mornings last week and a Saturday new neighborhood route. I love getting my run completed in the morning, especially when I feel like work is sucking all of my energy. Running before it has a chance to do that really helps.  

Mon, Tues, Thurs: 40ish minutes on the treadmill, approx 4-4.5 miles each time.  

Saturday: 6.5 miles on a new lake Blvd route I've never run before. Runs in new places or directions always seem to go by faster, this one included. A couple notes to myself to remember: Don't run after eating super fiber cereal and cafe brunch. I have often felt like I'm going to crap my pants on a run, it's just part of the job. But feeling like vomiting is a new one for me. It really felt like I was never going to be able to run this route again because I would have shamed myself so completely that the whole neighborhood and all the cars driving by would have seen and remembered for all time. Thankfully this didn't happen and I was able to breathe through the stomach cramping and swallow the double breakfast I managed to eat. Close one.

 

My second note to self if to keep my attitude in check when running a route that starts on a serious downhill and ends on that same hill just going up in a terrible direction. The entire run I was dreading the return home. I couldn't even enjoy the sloping downhills toward the lake and the little pickups in pace because I knew it was all going to come back and haunt me. If I could have left some of that anxiety along the way I think I would have enjoyed myself a bit more. 

After last weeks success with morning running, I jinxed myself and could not get out of bed this morning for a repeat performance. It turned out to be alright in the end since I was able to run a bit this evening after work and enjoyed a dry, almost warm-ish, twilight neighborhood run. I even made it to the track for one time around before heading back home. I wore my headlamp hat and a new flashy reflector thingy from my Stridebox so I didn't become roadkill. I don't think I'll ever unsubscribe from the Stridebox, they just know exactly what to send me. Like this Honey Stinger Waffle. It's taking a great deal of self control to not just eat this while sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee. 

 

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They sent this awesome slap bracelet that lights up, flashes or stays steadily bright. It's my new favorite try-not-to-get-hit-by-a-car accessory.  

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Sadly I didn't get to my Aerial Review session on Sunday, but Tuesday's regular class was pretty good. I could not get my pullover for the life of me, but I did feel like there was at least some progress. I'll try to get to review this weekend for more gym time, but if not it's more at home core work, pull-ups, and aerial youtubes. 

How are you all feeling this Monday? 

Any good music recommendations? I need something for work that isn't my running mix but doesn't put me to sleep.  

 

Saturday Vibes

After last nights think-fest about running motivation I decided to go back to my old favorite place to do my long runs. Almost every Saturday for each of my marathon training sessions, I would wake up early and drive to Seward Park to run along Lake Washington Blvd. It's relatively flat and filled with other runners. The views of Mt Rainier and sometimes Mt Baker are breathtaking if the skies are clear, the lake on in the middle of a downpour can be equally lovely. It's here that I'm often torn thinking I should become one of those runners who carries their phone with them so I can document the scenery, but my need for free hands always wins out.  

This morning was chilly, about 41 with some wind off the water on the return route, but no rain. I went out 4ish miles and turned around.

Still obsessed with my data watch. 

Still obsessed with my data watch. 

On the way back I heard some strides behind me and moved off to the side as a man gazelle glided past. I was feeling okay so I decided to pick it up and use him for some inspiration. Then after a while I heard the dreaded second set of strides behind me. There was one more. They were training together chatting as one passed the other, easily throwing down sub 7 minute miles exerting zero effort. This was their easy run and according to my HR monitor, this was not my easy run. I saw the human rubber bands high five two other guys, less gazelle like but still, who were now headed my way. I tried to steel myself for some stoic nods or just general ignores from them as I continued my huff up a tiny incline. But alas, they grinned huge as they approached and asked if I was going to let those guys get away from me. I told them I was trying and reached out for my own high five which  I received in solid form. 

I love other runners. Sometimes I think they don't all love me back the way I love them, but I kind of don't care. I love the ones that I think I hate at first because they are so fast and look so natural at this sport and then there's me plodding behind, beet-faced and salty with a half gu stuck to my hands. I love the ones that are in groups, chatting with their BFFs who let me hover too close while I think about how much I miss my girlfriends. I really love the old ladies I saw today who are my true heroes, leading me by example to keep at it, to lace up even when I think I'm too slow or achey to get out the door or that I'm too old (ha!) to even think about getting a PR again.  

It was a good run today because my knee didn't hurt and instead my quad was tight in a place I recognize. It's a spot that yes, I could definitely be better at taking care of and stretching and massaging, but is familiar and workable. I know how to run with that and I know how to make that better. It was a good run today because my miles got faster as I got closer to the end. It was a good run today because it was a hard 8.75 miles in a way that made me want to work to make it feel easy again.  

I'm hoping to get out tomorrow morning for a little recovery run so I'm not too stiff and then really pick a race. I bet I'll talk about this "race" for way too long before actually signing up, but I think putting it out in the universe is a good start. I even planned my run fuel and post-race drink today to help get me back into training mode. I slurped on half a Hammer gel after mile 4 and then tossed because I didn't have any water and my hands were too sticky. It was the first Hammer I've tried and it was pretty good! Next time I just need agua. 

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I also packed a Nuun tablet for refreshment after I was done. Good thing too since I was pretty thirsty at about mile 3. Isn't the rule if you're thirsty then it's probably already too late? Whoops. I was happy to have it when I was done at least. Thanks Stridebox for all of this!

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After the run we hustled to Safeway because we were out of the essentials. Can you tell a runner lives in my house? Toilet paper and bananas. 

 

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Overall it was a great morning. It's still not even raining yet which is kind of a miracle so to celebrate I think I might take a nap. Exciting stuff. Happy Running!