Dear 2 Readers who are most likely robots, I am not dead! I'm still running even, but I have been terrible at updating the blog regularly. Maybe more to come, maybe more about work than running, or maybe more about nothing? Who knows. For now, here's a picture of my dog wearing a hat. Lol. 


Mid-Month Update

Running! Still a lot on the treadmill, but I got outside for 2 good runs in the last few weeks. Last weekend I got in 8 miles at my old favorite waterfront route and today 4.5 with my husband (!!) as we ran to get burgers and bus it back home. I think a lot of my lack of outside motivation, including the darkness and weather, has been boredom with my location. I'm really into the idea of running to a destination, run commuting, or trail running. I think my desire for hitting a certain pace is the furthest thing from my mind when running in those kinds of situations and that makes me happy. 

I need some recommendations for a good running backpack and a good running rain jacket and hat or hood combo. I think if I could envision a warm and more dry run than I am lately I'd be more like to get out when the weather sucks. Also, I should probably keep my eyes peeled for my next pair of running shoes. I've got about 300+ on both pairs I'm rotating right now, the end is near. 

Today is a pretty shitty day but tomorrow I am expecting it to turn around a bit. I hope you are marching and I hope you are taking care of yourself and people around you. I hope we are all paying more attention to what is going on in the world. Be kind. Be patient. Be active. According to my stats, I have had 0 visits so I really think this is an effective way to get my message out. I guess I like knowing that I am hopefully one less troll out there. 


December Review

**I just wrote an entire post about how I feel about treadmill running and how sometimes I feel it's not real running and I have no motivation to race but I also love running a lot right now so all these emotions are making me feel emotions about running. Then Chrome crashed so eff it**

Total Miles: 166.5

Total Runs: 26

Longest Run: 10.1 mi

Shortest Run: 2.3 mi

The majority of these were on my treadmill and I felt bad about it for a hot second but now I don't. Now I'm going to eat my gingerbread house I made from scratch and watch football. Here's a picture of me at a donut shop that I love that went out of business but was just bought by another family so maybe not all hope is lost. And I will eat donuts again but hopefully somebody will clean the bathroom before they re-open and I will stop wearing these old running shoes that have holes in them and suck in the rain but are so effin comfortable. 


November Review

Just a little behind schedule, but here's the monthly recap for November Miles. 

Total Miles: 146.5 mi

Longest Run: 10.1 mi

Shortest Run: 3 mi

Total Runs: 22

The strategy for this month was the same as October, keep running 5-6 days a week, don't feel guilty about the treadmill and run a pace that feels good. It's been cold and wet here, and we've entered the time of year when the sun rises at close to 8am and sets closer to 4pm than I like. I leave and return home from work in the dark. I took a few extra aerial review classes in preparation for our student showcase this last weekend and I think that usually helps my running feel more centered and balanced. I only ever do core work or strengthening if it's related aerial. 

I realized today I really have zero goals for running other than keeping it up. It still makes me happy, helps me de-stress after work (today, woof), warm-up for circus, get outside on the weekends in the winter, so I'll keep trying to do it. I'll also keep ignoring my pace as much as I can, I'm still enjoying that after a Summer of having my eyeballs glued to my Garmin. 

Tonight I updated my Netflix app and downloaded some episodes for my run and let me tell you, this is such a wonderful thing. The wi-fi sucks balls in my basement which just happens to be where I do most of my weekday running so I've been listening to top 40 jams of shame. However, now I can watch old episodes of Parks and Rec, The Office, Mad Men, who knows what the hell else! I'm thrilled. So thrilled I'm running tomorrow morning and have already downloaded something to watch. My life is so very exciting. 


Running + Thanksgiving

Running Update: so boring when I say it out loud, but so necessary for my sanity and health right now. I've been running almost the same as I updated last post - 5-6 days a week averaging about 30 miles/week. Maybe it's because it's an easy non-training level for me to hit and the math is quick. I run a minimum of 6 if it's the evening, 5 if it's the morning and I have to rush before work, and 7 if it's the weekend and I have some extra time. I rotate between my Mizuno WR 19s and my Saucony Rides. I run almost exclusively on the treadmill thanks to weather, daylight, and timing. 

I have no races on the horizon, I just know I need to keep this up so I can keep working on my aerial stamina (4 minutes on the silk is like 4 hours on the roads) and so I don't fall into the worlds deepest depression. I am still in a funk about the election which is fine because I don't want this to be normal. How many times do we have to read "alt-right" instead of neo-nazi? I feel very fortunate to live where I do, it still feels a little like a bubble of safety but that's mostly because I'm white and pretty sheltered. I read this last week and was reminded of how my privilege includes being able to continue to be passive, even when we have a nazi coming into the white house. A man who surrounds himself with people who are extremely vocal and active in their hate for others is going to lead our country (maybe) and I can still choose to sit back and do nothing because my personal safety is not in jeopardy. Yet. I'm encouraged by the outpouring I've seen on social media of donations to PP and other organizations, including Shaun White's twitter campaign to fill the Standing Rock Amazon Wishlist. But again, I filter my soc-med feeds to surround myself with like-minded people and can comfort myself in knowing that I won't be challenged in that arena. It's partly a way to continue to educate myself in what I believe in, but it's also a safety net. I've curated a place that is comfortable and safe for me while avoiding things that make me feel less safe, because I can. That's a huge  privilege I have that others don't.

My goal for myself is to push out of the comfort, be kind to those who need it and bold with those who need it. I don't want to shy away from conflict because some people don't have that choice and maybe that's contributed a little to how we got in this mess. Running continues to be my reset and focus time, my checkout from reality and listen to embarrassing pop music time, my way to train myself for the rebellion through self-care. I will continue doing this as well because I can't help if I'm a depressed blob on the couch. Although there is a time and place for that...

I'm not flush with cash these days, but if you have any money to toss around, Jezebel posted a list of organizations worthy of your donations. Check it out HERE. I still feel like that's one of the most actionable ways I can help lately so I figured I should share. I still have a sense of feeling overwhelmed and not knowing what to do, but that's slowly being moved more toward finding ways I can be of service and helpful. That's the goal at least. 

My plans for today include a run after I get my coffee levels up to normal and cooking my first attempt at Thanksgiving. I made a pumpkin pie last night and let me tell you, it is a miracle it lasted through the night it looks so good. I hope you are all having a wonderful day, whether it's a holiday for you or not. I'm feeling pretty thankful that I have the day off work, I am warm and well-fed, I can run and do aerial, I have really wonderful people in my life, and that my dogs chose me to be their earthly guardian. This list could go on for a while but I'll keep it brief just in case you actually read this whole post. 


Running + Nov 8 2016

I don't have much in the running world to update - I've been sticking with my usual 5-6 days and ran a 10k last weekend, maybe I'll recap eventually. I've been running lately to keep me focused, to give my brain some time to chill. Since Tuesday night when I ran 7 anxiety filled miles for HRC, then Wednesday night when I ran 5 miles to try and stop crying for a bit, to Thursday night when I ran 7 angry mile as things started to sink in a bit, to last night when I ate bread pudding and candy that will probably make my run a little uncomfortable today, I've just been running for mental health. It's like upping my meds. But Thursday night I caught myself, almost didn't run, because I just thought, what's the use? The platform he used to win this election was one of not giving a fuck about women't health so why should I? 

My brain and heart have been churning since 11/8. If you are also feeling discouraged, go here and donate to an organization (or a few) that you care about. It helps a tiny bit to know you can directly impact people who are going to be most affected by this change. Yesterday I was reading Keiko Lynn's post where she simply asked people to care more, and I am hopping on that and encouraging you to do that as well. She said it better than I can right now, but the request is clear - take care of people around you. Learn about people who are different from you. Have compassion. I realized that my blog title is Girl Sam. For the first time I was really happy it had nothing to do with running, but instead is my tiny platform that I can do anything with and post anything under. I realized that as a citizen of this country I have an obligation to learn much more about what is going on in DC and in local politics, and I have a responsibility to share any info I can about how to spread love and save the fucking planet to people around me. I am required to take more action. Oh, and guess what? I have about 5 readers (on a good day) so I'm not too worried about losing followers. I write about running because I love it and I enjoy the online community that supports it but I also enjoy breathing air, drinking clean water, being able to get to work without the threat of violence to myself or others because of our gender or religious beliefs. There are some bigger things going on in the world and they might need a little more of my attention than I am used to giving them. If only it didn't feel like it was too little, too late. I'm hoping from here on out to be less afraid of what I think people are going to think of me and worry more about the safety of those around me. 

Running has been my sanity through crazy times before and I don't think it will become any less important to me in the future. It's helped me think through big decisions, to focus me, relieve stress, give me some sort of structure in times when I felt like there was nothing for me to hold on to, but right now it is helping me play the part of rebel. I will keep running and taking care of myself because I am a woman and it feels a bit like this country doesn't really give a shit about me other than telling me what I can or can't do with my reproductive organs. I will keep going because I need to have a clear head when digesting some of the evils being uncovered in this country and when learning how to best take care of others around me. I need to have the energy to stay the course, keep fighting, and use the endorphins to try and stay positive. I will not let this motherfucker steal my joy. 

Here we go. 

October Review

Like everyone else on the internet, I can't believe it's November already. The end to this election season is finally almost here, thank god, but other than that everything else seems to be flying by. I've been running mostly indoors lately since the sun is setting early and rising late. When I do get outside, the outfits are a little bit neon and a little bit weird.  

I have since cleaned my room. 

I have since cleaned my room. 

On Sunday 10/23, we loaded up Mira for her first 5k. We ran (eh...kind of) the Dawg Dash surrounded by tons of other runners, walkers, and puppies! It was awesome. She was motivated the whole time, and ran her best mile (including up a tiny hill!), plus she got along great with all the other dogs and runners. Being the same breed as the mascot of the U Dubb doesn't hurt either.

Her race etiquette was near perfect with the exception of one unsolicited face lick of a child standing near us and a few nose up-the-butts. She pooped before the start line, stopped at all the water bowl stops, and greeted her adoring fans at the finish line but unfortunately started greeting them before actually crossing the finish line. She's not too good for her fans, and definitely not too good to add a few minutes to her finish time to spend some time with them. 

Since the race she's been recovering and I've been sticking to the treadmill with the outfits have been consisting of my Oiselle Distance shorts and Zella tops. I don't know why I've been into taking running outfit photos, but it's been happening so you're getting to see them. I think I've just been really comfortable in this outfit lately which is weird. Also, I kept taking photos and my face looked weird so now this is my new selfie pose. 

Running has felt good lately and has been a great mental reset more than training for anything specific. Moving back to running in the evenings makes it a great time for me to completely zone out, listen to jamz, and recap the day or plan for the next. Lately it's been 5-6 days a week about 6 miles for weekdays and a 10 miler on the weekend. I'm trying to maintain the fitness gained during marathon training this summer without destroying my body, so far it's going pretty well I think (knock on wood). Here's to a great month on the books!

Mileage for the Month: 140.2 Miles

Running Happiness Level: Pretty Good


Bits + Bangs

A quick running update: I've still been doing it, it just hasn't been interesting in any way. Due to weather and darkness I've been relegated to the treadmill which is making me happier than I care to admit. I think this is the beginning of a weird genetic mutation, but I am perfectly content and sometimes even happier to run on a machine. I don't run with music when I run outside, so I think that has something to do with it, and I don't have any good wet weather running gear, which is insane considering where I live. Also, I'm not training for anything in particular right now so I don't feel bad taking the dryer path most days. It's been about 5-6 days a week 3-10 miles each time, and closer to the the 3 than the 10 most days. 

Speaking of not training, I in fact should be training for a 2 upcoming races. Sunday I have a 5k, but the goal there is to get my out-of-shape dog across the finish line. I'm hoping 3.1 miles at a relaxed and sometimes walking pace isn't going to kill me. A few weeks after that I have a 10k with friends. I'm looking forward to this no matter how many times I forget I'm actually running it, but I've got to get at least a few dedicated training runs in if I hope to run it with my speedy friend. I'm hoping we can pace each other but then I remember I haven't given a shit about pace in a few weeks (1 month today OMG) so that may be a brutal wake up call. In addition to these two that I am legit signed up for, there is another 10k in December that could happen and is on a course that holds my most recent 10k PR (I think). That's just downright terrifying but the time I ran it was 10 degrees F and crispy and sunny and I loved it so if that is anything like what will happen this year I am in. I love running cold, dry, slightly ice crystal coated races, as long as I don't slip. 

Besides running, life has been pretty mellow. Work has been busy this last week or two and aerial has been super fun but still just once a week. I wish I could fit in more review sessions but my sleep and lack of planning seem to be getting in the way lately. Also, I got bangs and they are more work than I'm used to but whatever my face needed a change. Then I took a selfie and I feel weird about it because there really isn't anything in particular I'm looking at over my left shoulder it's just what I thought I was supposed to do. This was 2ish weeks ago and I already need a trim. Happy Hump Day!

Goldilocks and the Three Runs

Or alternately titled Some Annoying Things That Happened on my Run Yesterday.

I gave myself the luxury of sleeping in yesterday since I'm still enjoying this training plan free time, and planned my run for the evening. After a ridiculous commute home (bus route changes have lead to me be very annoyed and realizing how spoiled I was) I was pretty pissed by the time I got home and was ready to run. I had texted D to feed the dogs in advance so I could just grab one and run upon getting home. I picked Apollo at first thinking a steady run without having to drag a dog up hills and start/stop repeatedly would be nice. I quickly had forgotten how herky jerky he is on a leash and how very distracted he gets by other dogs. A dog with no brakes mixed with other dogs on the path and mossy, wet sidewalks forced us to turn around after almost a mile. 

I exchanged one dog for the other and tried again. Mira was in a mood. She was slow and not even really that tired, just not into going very far without stopping for a fake pee (sniffing, some circling, no pee. She's a great actress.) We made it about another mile before my shoulder was tired from helping her up the hill. 

I dropped her off and tried to set out again, made it once around the block and saw the black clouds coming my way and remembered the whole point of running with a dog was so I didn't have to run solo in the dark, so I turned around with 2.2 total miles on my Garmin. 

I was really irritated. I knew I had to keep running to get this mood out of my system. I started on the treadmill and had no plan, just to run until I felt better. At 1.5 miles my headphones started the bong of death as I like to call their warning sound for low battery. They died shortly thereafter. I ran with my tinny iPhone blasting for the remainder of the 40 minutes. It took about 2 miles on the machine to find a happyish pace and stride, sometimes I just can't get it right on the mill. I wonder if it's worth a tuneup or at least some lube underneath the belt. Either way, the run got done somehow. 

I don't like complaining about running because it makes me so happy and I am incredibly grateful to be able to do it, no matter the surface or the running partner. I felt like I needed to document this though mostly as a reminder to myself of that fact. I could have just not gone last night. I'm not (really) training for anything right now. No one is making me do this. I just know that it's the cure for most things that ail me lately and yeah it's annoying sometimes to make it happen, but it's worth it. 

Dear Self - Run. Just keep trying because it makes you happy. Sometimes things that are annoying and difficult make you happy in the end. Also, there are about a million parallels to life with that so you know, stick with it. Sincerely, Future Self.

Pretending to be innocent. 

Pretending to be innocent. 

Back at it

I made it about 9 days and then I started to really go insane. Wednesday after work I changed into some old Asics and took the wolf princess for a walk/jog to see where her running level was at. Let's just say it left much to be desired. We stopped about every 1-2 minutes for pee/sniff/fakeouts and walked quite a bit. Also, she wasn't even really running, but paw-dragging shuffling. I was worried a little bit after our adventure since just that morning I had registered us for our first mother/pupper 5k in a few weeks. We tried again Thursday evening and I swear she got better overnight. After our improved 15 minute walk/jog, I ventured out on my own for 3 easy miles. Friday we all rested, Saturday I ran 4 solo and about 1 cool-down with her again, and today I ran about 4.6 solo and cooled down with the other dog! 

poor mariners :(

poor mariners :(

After my run this morning I came home looking for my running partner and she was waaaay too comfortable on the couch (much like she still is now, several hours later). So I leashed up my alternate 3-legged friend and had very low expectations which he immediately blew away! Apollo has a really bad pulling problem on the leash that I'm trying to be better about, working with him on solo walks with treat incentives, but still he's pretty terrible sometimes and my shoulders get pretty irritated with the whole ordeal. As soon as we hit the pavement today though, he was at a perfectly moderate pace and only got slightly distracted and arm-killing when a squirrel ran up a tree and some old ladies were on our path. I think I found a pretty good substitute! I also realized that both humans in our house need to be running so we have enough energy to wear out these beasts.

The upcoming 5k I signed up for is definitely not for speed, I just want to finish a fun race with my dog. Since the marathon, I have absolutely ignored my Garmin while running. One of the many things I promised myself during the final miles of the race was that I could spend the rest of this fall/winter not giving a shit about how fast I run. I'm still really stoked that I met my goal for the race and successfully followed the training program, but the constant pace checking sucked some of the fun out of it. Going fast and feeling good is definitely fun, don't get me wrong, but I just want to chill and run through these next few months. Also, I want to do more trail running and uh, I'm pretty damn slow on some of those climbs and that's okay. 

So what are you thinking about this Fall so far? The weather here has been pretty great for running in - below 65 and dry long enough to get in a few miles at a time. The handful of trail races I did last fall were so much fun, I can't wait to get 1 or 2 more on the schedule and spend some time traipsing merrily through the woods dressed in various neon and spandex items with my trusty yellow hat. 

TBT 2013 xmas time running. I still run in all of these clothes, except the shoes. 

TBT 2013 xmas time running. I still run in all of these clothes, except the shoes. 

Marathon Recovery

So recovery felt pretty good the first 2 days. I was walking down the halls at work and would want to sprint to my next meeting or back to my desk. My legs felt great. Waking up in the morning felt great. After the race I took an Epsom salt bath (which I will not stop talking about) and haven't had any soreness. I have a toenail that I think got a blister underneath it during the run and is now threatening to make a break for it but other than that, recovery has physically been going pretty well. However, since about Wednesday waking up has been more difficult, I haven't been drinking enough water, and I've been fighting a tiny cold/sore throat. I can't really tell when I'm hungry or not but don't worry, I've been eating just about the same amount of food as I did while training. I feel like my body is starting to recalibrate a little bit and is not too happy with the lack of miles but also just doesn't know what is up. I really want to run again, but also really like sleeping too. I think I should wait at least 10 days before trying even though the plan was a full two weeks. I'm feeling okay cutting it a few days short since I wasn't really sore, and my plan is a walk/run strategy with my dog. We'll see. It's all up in the air. Does anyone else get this weird limbo feeling after a big race? I know I will miss this time of rest once I get started again, but it just makes me feel weird. Like tired but not, hungry but not, stressed but not. My body and mind aren't on the same page. 

I have however, finally been able to see past Sept 18 on the calendar and am getting excited for other people's races (LB!!!), think about Halloween costumes, and enjoy sleeping in (way too much). Also, spending time relaxing with my family and friends has been really nice the last few days. I've also started thinking about the running plan a tiny bit. Maybe a relaxed puppy 5k and a cold winter half marathon (flat???), maybe some trail races? I do love getting out into the woods on the weekend, seeing my breath and running with other strangers who enjoy the same. I'm still not committed to anything just yet, but I'm keeping my calendar open and trying not to go completely nuts. 

Okay, back to my recovery. I just finished my coffee and will be taking my dogs on a walk only. Then hanging out with more family and watching football. Sounds like an okay Sunday. 

Beat the Blerch 2016 Full Marathon Recap

Okay, so here it is, what I can remember of my marathon mostly copy and pasted from an email to my BFFs earlier this week when my brain was a little more fresh. I wanted to get it all down before my brain starts erasing things. Enjoy! 

5am ready to party! 

5am ready to party! 

I woke up at 5am to dress, drink coffee, and eat a bagel with PB and 1/2 a fig bar. I ate pretty well the day before (lots of carbs about every 3 hours) so eating was not as fun as it usually is but I knew I would need those calories later. At 6:30 after a few bathroom meditations, we hit the road and drove out to the park where the race was held with about 40 minutes to kill after. We wandered around the park, tied and retied my laces, and checked out the river. 

 They had a donut eating contest and swag stations already setup, but the sweet treats every where just kind of made me feel a little sick. Then it seemed really quickly it was starting line time. There weren't a ton of people running the marathon and our start time was before all the other races so we gathered, counted down, and were off. The path was a little cramped at first but then thinned out once we hit the actual trail part. Here's what I can recollect mile by mile-ish. 

Miles 1-6 were on a flat out and back through pretty farm and vegetable fields. My goal pace (8:50-9:05) was pretty good feeling but I was worried that I was going too fast too soon. I was hitting 8:55 easily and knew that wasn't sustainable if any incline showed up and from my google searches of past elevation of this race, there was supposed to be a hill. I took a gu at 4ish miles. I started following this guy with a pirate hat and inflatable sword. He was super annoying so I stayed far back and used him to pace myself. 

Miles 6-10 were on a weird other out and back with just a random sign that said 'turnaround' and no volunteer manning the spot. Kind of worried me, because people were pretty spread apart at that point so I don't know when other people were turning around. I just kind of pivoted around the sign and kept going. I felt pretty good still, hitting the paces and trying to remain chill. but I was starting to get a little bored, like the mental part was getting tough knowing I still had 16 miles to go. I tried to break up the race into a few parts - The First Half, 16 miles, 20, and 22 kind of an a whim. I passed the 22 back side of the 22 mile marker sign on the way out and thought "okay self, you will be really happy when you see that on the way back." I took Gus at 7 and 11 miles I think and walked through the aid stations to get at least a cup of water each time.

10-13 - I made my goal and hit it under 2 hours. I can't remember now how the course was split out, but I think I started the final out and back at mile 12? Pirate Guy was getting increasingly more annoying and I was creeping up on them, so I just hit it and passed them to get away. I had to get out of there. I think this was around mile 14, and was probably the reason that the last few miles of my race felt so terrible but this guy was just so irritating. Plus he was running really nonchalantly and lightly and making it look easy while carrying on this inane conversation with the people around him. No thanks. 

My eyes are closed in 70% of the pictures from this day. 

My eyes are closed in 70% of the pictures from this day. 


13-16 - This course is out on a lovely trail and at one point a beautiful snowy owl swooped in front of me and perched in a tree. The woods opened up into this amazing fairy tale magical scene. the trail got that good packed feeling that was nice to run on. I was following a guy wearing sandals with a ponytail who I had seen pounding some cake before the race started. (he eventually pulled off into a porta-potty) and even though I was going up hill I think I was smiling because this was my jam. Good trail, amazing views, randomly some gun shots in the distance to keep up on our toes. I really liked this part of the race. I was mentally relying too heavily on the downhill that I knew was coming once we turned around. 

15.5ish 16 was the turnaround, we ran through a weird short creepy tunnel and I think my Garmin lost its signal for a hot second. I took some more water and Gu and did a self check to straighten up, check my stomach sloshiness, take some deep breaths, refocus for the last 10. Anyone that passed anyone on the out and back was super nice and encouraging so I loved this part. I was seeing faces after a few miles of not seeing anyone or anything but calves and butts. 

16-18 - more pretty trail and terrain. I passed people coming toward the turnaround and my legs felt okay. I knew that I was supposed to have saved my energy until mile 18 and I hadn't really, but I still felt like I could finish. Every once in a while I would pass someone which felt good but mostly scary. I wasn't sure if I could keep this up for 8 more miles and it made me nervous for a big crash. I made sure to take a Gu at some point with this exact fear in mind. 

18-20 - same. more of the same, getting kind of thirsty. 

See?? Eyes closed. The WHOLE time. I think this was mile 6-7ish?

See?? Eyes closed. The WHOLE time. I think this was mile 6-7ish?

20-22 - As predicted I was very happy to see the sign I had thought about going out. At this point I was doing tons of mental math to see if I would hit sub 4. This is when I knew I was getting a bit fried and that the last bit might be a struggle. My brain just wasn't working. I wanted to hit 20 miles at 3 hours so I could just do a solid 6.2 miles in the final hour. I didn't hit it right on, so I pushed it a little bit. My inability to do math and my goal were at the forefront of my mind so there was a lot of watch checking. Also, did I mention I was thirsty?

22-23 - Hard. Unhappy. Thirsty. We had rejoined with the half marathoners and 10krs at this point so there was a lot more traffic on the trail and a lot more noise. I was listening to people at the back of their pack struggling to keep going and the same stuff was going on in my head silently. It felt like I was passing a lot of people and I really wanted to ask them for their water. I would eyeball water bottles and think about how I could do it while also avoiding a 10 minute conversation that would take me out of my goal time game. I couldn't get to the aid station soon enough. I felt like I should have taken the electrolyte drinks earlier in the game. My tongue felt thick. Thankfully though my legs seemed to be okay-ish considering how salty my mouth felt. 

23-24 - Still so thirsty. The sun had come out and I didn't notice how warm I was until this point. I just kept passing the walkers/joggers and trying to keep it together and remember if there was supposed to be another aid station before the end.

24-25 - I actually said out loud "You can do this!" which was weird and scared me because I didn't think I was actually talking. There was a lot of grunting and heavy sighing through this mile. I knew I was going to make sub 4, and actually my paces were still near 8:55 which was weird  because it felt so much harder than before but I couldn't slow down. Like my brain would not let me not hit this goal. It was weird. It felt harder at this point than any other race I have run before, but I also never have pace goals in other races. Some people were on the nice part of the path and I just shouted "on your left!!!" because the idea of shifting any direction and being agile was out of the question. I was very much in a monkey brain mode and could only think of running to the finish.

25 Finally hit an aid station and double-fisted fluid, but I had to keep moving. The paved part was coming and that was a huge mental marker to me that the finish line was near. Also, I thought maybe I'd see the husband. 

25.5 - I could hear the finish line and was on the pavement. I eventually saw Dev and he snapped that picture while I was shouting "I feel like a pile of garbage!!" laughed maniacally, and kept on running. I actually did have the tiniest of kicks (probably not, I just felt like it) when I saw the finish line. I could only imagine water, gatorade, and being done. 

26- I think the course was short? I found a fence post and just stretched for about 5 minutes after getting my medal. It took my brain a few minutes to process not running anymore. Found the husband and drank my water bottle while warning him I might get hyponatremia because all I wanted to do was drink gallon after gallon of water. He assured me I probably wouldn't get it and so we made our way to more water and snacks. 

Under the tree afterward I ate some goopy Clif brand soupy banana packet thing and drank some pink drink. My invisalign are a huge pain at moments like this because I always worry about getting them back in soon enough and that means brushing/rinsing and only clear fluids after that. I'm not running another marathon until I'm done with braces. 

3:54:40 - 5th Female / 13th Overall (small races FTW) 

The race itself was great. It's on a beautiful course with a super fun theme and lots of treats. I want to do a separate recap of my training since that feels like another monster all by itself, but as far as the race goes, I'm pleased with the results. I definitely felt like I learned on this course more than I have in my previous 2 marathons, but I think that's because I was trying to finish within a certain time frame instead of just running to run and finish like I do all my other races. I will have a million more thoughts on this whole thing, so expect more random mini-recaps. 


Week 18

9/15 Thurs 6 miles neighborhood

9/16 Fri 5 miles easy treadmill

9/17 Sat 3 miles easy at the Park


It's done! I really want to do a recap so I don't forget all of the feelings and thoughts I had about this race and the training. I'm up now drinking coffee and making my way leisurely into the office this morning, but I honestly feel pretty good. An epsom salt bath yesterday has seemed to help relieve most of the soreness I was feeling in my calves from mile 16 until going to bed last night. Things I want to make sure I don't forget to talk about when recapping later: pacing, nutrition, hydration, and body glide.

Today officially starts my 2 week recovery with zero running so I'm going to try and put together my recap for Iron Horse too, (3 weeks late, whoops) and not fall completely off the blog band wagon. Next goal: Getting my dog to run a 5k AND make her comfortable on mass transit so we don't have to park at the race. I may be in over my head. 

I'm glad my muscles (as of right now) don't feel completely trashed because I have my second Aerial 2/3 class tonight. I include the 3 like it could apply to me, but no, I'm definitely the 2 in that split. Maybe even the 1.5. Either way, class was fun last week and I have  new coach/teacher for the first time in almost 2 years so that's exciting! She's been with Cirque de Soleil and a bunch of other phenomenal sounding groups so I'm really looking forward to learning a bunch from her. Also, she kept saying she's into the boring technical stuff in Aerial which I absolutely need more time and work on, so I think it will be challenging but very much worth it class. 

Happy Monday All, now I have to run and catch a bus. LOL JK I'm not running anywhere because I literally cannot, because the rules.  

Run a marathon? Hmmm... 

Run a marathon? Hmmm... 

Week 17 + Taper Week

9/6 Tues - 6x1 mile repeats 9.75 mi total

9/7 Wed - Rest

9/8 Thurs - 10 Mile Tempo 12.2 mi total

9/9 Fri - Morning Treadmill - 6 mi

9/10 Sat - Morning Neighborhood 6 mi

9/11 Sun - 8 mi at the Lake

9/12 Mon - Morning Treadmill - 5 mi

9/13 Tues - Evening Neighborhood Run - 5mi

9/14 Wed - Rest Day

Here we are, Taper Week. I'm not feeling more nuts than I expected, but the crazy is most definitely here. I'm feeling a bit restless right now as I type, but still am enjoying having a few more minutes each day to either sleep or eat. 

My attitude about Race Day keeps fluctuating but as of this moment I feel pretty okay about the whole thing. I'm pretty happy with how training went so even if the marathon totally blows chunks, I poop my pants and hit the wall at mile 4, I'll still be happy with how I spent my summer. That doesn't mean I won't be disappointed and go on an amazing tirade about the lying load of crap that is Hanson's. Until that point comes though I remain hopeful that the training plan will do what it promised to do since I (mostly) did what I promised to do. I missed one day when I thought I had a stress fracture but really had too small of shoes. I moved 2 runs to the evening which were the last two Tuesdays. Also, there were two track workouts I moved to the treadmill and held a lot of guilt about that for a while but have since let it go.  Writing this out makes me feel like a little bit of a freak. What are you going to do. 

During my run last night I got an unwanted reminder of why I have preferred morning running lately. There were about 3 sick catcalls and some of the grossest leering from male drivers I have seen in a while. What is it about dudes? I ended up running my middle 2-4 miles much too fast last night (not in the spirit of taper) because I was pissed. It immediately makes me question my safety and everything I'm doing when really it's not my fault and I shouldn't be scared to run in the daylight in my own neighborhood!! (or anywhere for that matter) So frustrating. Also frustrating is that I can't seem to get a response together fast enough and just end up frustrated and steaming for the rest of my run. Anyway, rant over. 

My running plan for the rest of the week is easy for the next few days and eating various forms of bread, pretzels, pizza, and oatmeal. Also, note to self I need to get some body glide and nuun. Also, finalize the outfit and sleep as much as possible. 

AAAAHHHH I can't believe there are only 3 more runs and then it's the race!  Holy Shit!!




Not even Week 17

9/3: 8 easy neighborhood miles - very sour mood going into this run but eventually I got over it. 

9/4: 10 trail miles @ Lake Padden. Harder than it should have been = 5 hrs sleep and 0 coffee. 

Fog on the lake

Fog on the lake

9/5: 2 trail miles + 5 treadmill miles

This week is already off to a weird start. First of all, blogging on a Tuesday morning. Second of all, my usual Tuesday morning strength workout is being bumped to later tonight. Third, yesterday was a day off from work so my easy Monday miles were turned into an adventure run that fizzled and ended up with me finishing at home on the treadmill. 

I knew staying in the training mindset was going to be hard these last two weeks, but even though I'm checked out a tiny bit with the end in sight, my anxiety about sticking to the plan and schedule remains strong. It's an ugly combo. I was awful to be around yesterday until I finished up my run on the treadmill. We drove to a beautiful area in the Snoqualamie Nat'l Forest area with the intention of me running my 7 easy miles down a hill and into a trail that ended up at a series of lakes while D explored the area. I decided last minute to take my very out of shape husky for company and she made it about 2 miles before I felt like it looked like animal abuse. We sauntered around after that, casually sniffing grass and drinking from babbling streams (both her, to be clear). The entire drive back the stress of knowing I'd left the run unfinished really got to me and I just read my phone and digested the delicious Taco Time we stopped for on the way home. I just wanted to jump out of my body and yell at my own self for being in such a bad mood. Whatever. I learned. 

Happy dog

Happy dog

Now today, in part due to yesterday's rescheduling, my usual AM workout is in the PM. It's break week from aerial between sessions, so it works out perfectly. Also, it's been raining so I may get some extra practice running in wet weather. Surprisingly I haven't had to deal with that much this training cycle. I'll have Wednesday as a rest day and then Thursday Tempo (which I'm also trying not to freak out about or completely forget about, it's a delicate balance).

The runger is on full force. I think it's the emotional part of all the training catching up to me. I still want to hit my goal but I also just want to spend some more time with family and friends not constantly thinking about my next meal and next run and if I can sneak away to go to sleep already, while at the same time enjoying how great it feels to run and getting to run in places I usually don't. After running with Mira yesterday I am really looking forward to her getting back in running shape because it is so fun looking down and seeing how happy she is tearing down a hill with her curly tail and huge smile. That girl dog was made to run, even though she's a little easily winded right now. 

This post feels a little rambly, but what can I say? My schedule is totally off, it's Tuesday, it's dark and rainy outside, and this summer feels totally. over. I'm in that weird seasonal transition spot where everything has flipped to the new season except the Big Race still hasn't happened yet. Okay, time to find my umbrella and get to work. 13 days. Let's do this. 



Week 16


8/28 Sun Iron Horse Half Marathon + 3 Treadmill Miles

8/29 Mon 5 miles treadmill easy

8/30 Tues 4x1.5 mile repeats w/ warm up and cool down 10.5 miles total

8/31 Wed Rest

9/1 Thurs 10 mile tempo, 12 miles total

9/2 Fri 6 miles treadmill easy

Last Sunday my BFF and I drove out to North Bend, pinned on bibs, and got on a school bus that trucked us to the start line of a wonderful, downhill trail race. I knew the course elevation was 'fast' but I was surprised by how beautiful the course was as well. If I can get my shit together I will write a real race recap later and post it. Short version - it was good but I may have run too fast for the middle of training and finishing my highest mileage week that day. 

Due to the race and to the return of some very PNW style weather, I hopped on the treadmill for more miles than usual this week. That includes 6 I did yesterday instead of the 5 on schedule (learn to read...) that then promptly landed me back in bed with sinus pressure and a headache that wouldn't go away. Our office has been a cess pool of germs lately so I was grateful for my laptop and the chance to get in my work that day from my bed and the couch. 

Tuesday's strength workout suffered because of my still tired legs. I managed to hit most of the paces but there was a microscopic tiny uphill at the start of the third repeat that nearly killed me. My left quad was yelling at me, reminding me of the downhill I had trampled for 13.1 miles just 2 days before. In the end I made it through, but was very grateful for a rest day on Wed. Tuesday also happened to be demo week in Aerial, my last of the level 1 class. I'm moving to a 2/3 class in a few weeks and that wonderful, nervous, terrified feeling is beginning again. I don't feel like I mastered some of the skills in level 1 and it's going to come back and bite me. Anything I can't do in aerial class though is usually just more incentive to do some core work. Yuck. 

Tempo on Thursday I swear still felt some lingering soreness/tiredness from Sunday, but after mile 4 or 5 it eased up and felt pretty good. I can't believe I only have one tempo left!! How on earth did I get here? I have been feeling strangely nostalgic and sentimental about this training cycle unlike any other I have done. I keep flipping back through my log to see all the miles and workouts that made me so nervous before trying and disbelieving that I actually completed them. The small problem with this kind of thinking is that I keep forgetting training isn't actually over yet and I still have one small 26.2 mile workout to do in 15 days in addition to 2 more weeks of training. 

This week my goal is to stay in the training headspace and not half ass any workouts or start missing sleep etc. because I feel like the training is complete. It's not. Note the looming final 10 mile tempo and 6x1 mile repeats coming up this week. Also, the runger made a pretty strong appearance this week and yesterday I think I ate 3 dinners. I'm hoping this doesn't destroy my upcoming weekend miles, but I was just an amazing bottomless pit last night. It started around 3pm and finally stopped around 7:30. These stupid Invisalign were the only things that stopped me from eating through our entire kitchen.

Taking the trays out to eat and brushing after every meal, plus having to wear them 22 hours a day has really put a damper on the amount of food I would like to shove in my mouth lately. I've been adding a smoothie after some meals just to get something down quickly before having to brush and put them back in for a few hours. 

I still have my miles this weekend to get in plus a week of workouts before taper. I feel about 60-70% prepared for the race. That lingering 30-40% is mostly mental as it usually is, but it's enough to remind me I still have work to do in the upcoming weeks. Now I'm off to finish up week 16 after this coffee is gone. How's your training going? 

Week 15

8/21: Sun 10 mi Lake

8/22: Mon 7 mi neigbhorhood

8/23: Tues 3x2mi repeats, 800m recovery each + 1mi WU + 1mi CD

8/24: Wed Rest

8/25: Thurs 10 Mi Tempo + 1mi WU + 1mi CD

8/26: Fri 6 miles easy TM

8/27: Sat 6 miles easy neighborhood

Not a bad way to end a tempo. 

Not a bad way to end a tempo. 


This week has gone pretty well, I managed to successfully complete my first of the three 10 mile tempo runs and used the correct workout settings on my 2 mile repeats, so wins all around!

Fuel from my sweet friend. 

Fuel from my sweet friend. 

This weekend I'm running a half marathon for my long run with some besties and hopefully enjoying it in some cooler weather. It was plus 90 degrees this week, which is just the reason why I moved my runs to the morning for this training cycle. I'm still a sweaty mess when I'm done, but I'm thankful that I haven't had to get in this crazy heat! 

See? Sweaty. 

See? Sweaty. 

Does anyone else use Nike+ for run tracking?  Well I do, and they updated the app this week making it all fancy and more soc-meds friendly, but they wiped the mileage on my two main pairs of shoes I've been using! It managed to store some old random ones but I went to add my Brooks Glycerins to my run and they were unavailable! Now I'm just tracking in my paper calendar until I start a new pair, but this is really frustrating. I've made it a goal to rotate my shoes -Glycerins for longer runs, Saucony Rides for shorter- and now I'm all lost on how old they are. Oh well. I'm wondering if I should buy another pair of Glycerins before the marathon, what do you think? They will have about 250ish on them by that time - is that too many for a race? Usually I don't care that much, but my feet have been finicky lately and I don't want giant blisters or weird pains during the race. Training life is complicated you guys! Tell me what you race shoe strategy is please.

This is what summer looks like to me lately. HOT. 

This is what summer looks like to me lately. HOT. 

Week 13 & 14

I've been late on posting updates, obvi. Catching up now!

8/8 Mon: 7Easy, tired miles in the neighborhood

8/9 Tues: 3x2 mi repeats - totally messed up the workout on my watch, played it by ear but had a really hard time maintaining an even pace without the beeping. 10ish miles total

8/10 Wed: REST

8/11 Thurs: 9 mi tempo, 11 miles total

8/12 Fri: 6.3 easy, treadmill

8/13 Sat: 6.2 mi easy, neighborhood

8/14 Sun: 16 mi, Lake Wash Blvd

8/15 Mon: 5.15 mi, pathway near my Mom's house

8/16 Tues: 2x3 mi repeats @ Seward Park 10 mi total

8/17: Wed: REST

8/18 Thu: 9 mile tempo, 11 mi total at the Lake. 

8/19 Fri: 5 miles easy, treadmill

8/20 Sat: 8 miles easy, neighborhood

In addition to running, it's been summer time to the max around here. Family visits, seeing all of my nieces and nephews, several cousins, in-laws, boating, SUPing very briefly but officially for the first time, reading, relaxing etc etc. It's felt very much like the summer I have been waiting for with the temperature finally hitting the very uncomfortable level and that feeling of not being home for more than 10 minutes without something to do coming up. So far, so good. 

Next week I move up to 10 mile tempos which is freaking my shit out, but all the strength workouts will be ones I have already done before. I'm looking forward to attempting the 3x2 mile repeats again this week with a correct workout setup on my Garmin. I have become incredibly dependent on the annoying vibrating bleeps that come from my wrist when I have to hit a certain pace. 

Oh, and the mystery foot pain turned out to be ill fitting shoes and I feel like an idiot about the whole thing so I don't really care to discuss it. Moral of the story = get fitted for shoes. 

How's marathon training going for all y'all? Any Hanson's people that can offer thoughts on what a tempo feels like in comparison to the actual race day feel? I'm getting nervous about making it the whole 26.2 at MP but don't really remember how my workouts felt on the Higdon plans before. 

Gotta go, sweating through my clothes in the home office. It's not pretty!

Week 12 Marathon Training + Socks!

7/31: 16 mile long run 1-90 Bridge!

8/1: 5 mile treadmill run

8/2: 4 x 1.5 mile repeats 1.25W UP+ 1.75 mi CD 11+ miles total

8/3: Wed Rest

8/4: 9 mi Tempo + 1mi WU 1 mi CD

8/5: Rest - kind of shitty, let's not talk about this just yet.

8/6: 8 miles easy neighborhood

8/7: 10 miles easy neighborhood

The theme of this week has been my feet. Ugh. The jury is still out with what exactly is up right now, but I'm trying to stay positive and also not dwell on it. I'll hopefully have more of an update in a few days. Fingers crossed that I'm just being paranoid and weird and overthinking something. Whatever it is has inspired some shakeups in my below the ankle wardrobe. Nothing like a little hitch in your giddyup to make you spend too much money at Road Runner

Round 1 of sock+shoe combo trials to improve overall feet happiness = Zella socks + Saucony Ride 9. 

(Similar socks here, shoes here.) 

(Similar socks here, shoes here.) 

This is my usual shoe with new socks I am fit testing for work. I loved these socks. I usually run in super thin, cotton Adidas or Nike socks I get from the Rack. I also always get blisters of some kind, usually in between my toes and lately some pretty gnarly ones underneath my toes on my right foot. (16 miles last weekend was not pretty). Changing to a more cushioned and non-cotton sock made a huge difference. I've always been a little cautious of thicker socks because I worry about my feet getting too hot or taking up precious real estate in my shoes. However these had these got rid of all my fears with my feet feel awesome and super cushioned the whole 8 miles. Still had some mystery foot stuff, but that is something different I think. 

Shoes here, socks here. 

Shoes here, socks here

This morning I tried out my new Brooks Glycerin 13 (on sale!) and also new Injinji socks. I got the Glycerins in an attempt to replace my Triumph 1's as another cushy option and picked up the Injinji's to combat the supreme blister problems I've been having lately. Again, success all around. NOT A SINGLE BLISTER. This hasn't happened like, ever. I didn't realize that it could happen. Definitely a convert to these socks and abandoning my thin cotton socks altogether. I have read so many positive reviews of these socks, I dont know what took me so long. The shoes felt good, fit well, and hopefully will be a good add to my rotation. I like having a cushioned and lighter option to swap between. 


So overall another good week of miles with the exception of mystery foot problem. I'm loving the miles and am really love running in the morning as well. I get sad every day I see the sunrise getting later and later, but that just means starting a bit later and strapping on some sort of blinking light for those first few miles.

My legs feel good and I am really enjoying the Hanson's method so far. I'm starting week 13 tomorrow and I really cannot believe it. 13 weeks ago I didn't think I could run in the mornings, run 6 days a week, run a long run after a medium run the day before, run a speed workout, or run this many miles total per week. I'm trying to absorb each run and enjoy the process, and so far that part hasn't been too hard. I'm having more of a difficult time visualizing a successful race. Maybe it's the lack of 20 mile runs or now this crazy foot thing, but I just can't see it all coming together. I'm not sure if I need to be worried about this yet, I still have a few weeks until I start to get race nerves. Until then I'll just keep trucking along and watching the Olympics to keep me motivated. Oh and also reading other marathon training blogs, you ladies are ALL KILLING IT.  

When do you start getting pre-race jitters? 

What's your favorite running sock?

Favorite Summer Olympic event?

Week 11 + Running with Long Hair

7/22 Fri - 5.05 Treadmill 

7/23 Sat - 8.13 Neighborhood/Hills

7/24 Sun - 10 Lake Washington

Actually did something social after a Sunday run! 

Actually did something social after a Sunday run! 

7/25 Mon - 5.00 Treadmill

7/26 Tues - 6x1 mile repeats + Run Commute 10.3 total miles

7/27 Wed - REST

7/28 Thurs - 8 mile Tempo + W/up C/Dn Run Commute 10 total miles 

7/29 Fri - 5 miles easy neighborhood

7/30 Sat - 8 miles easy Lake Washington

This week has felt pretty good mentally and physically, good enough that now it's dipping into paranoia about what is going to go wrong between now and race day. I'm thinking a lot about fueling, even though I'm doing it wrong, and about my physical body. Turns out I can't eat kale salad 12 hours before a run without planning for a port-a-potty stop. You'd think that would be something I would know. I'm waffling back and forth between being proud of myself for making it this far into training and starting to believe it might work, and waiting for the other shoe to drop with an unexpected injury or some sort of other barrier to pop up. This morning I tried to focus a lot on enjoying the good feeling run I was having instead of over thinking everything. Sometimes on a good run I can trick myself into thinking that the race is going to feel just as amazing (rarely true) or that the good feelings are just a huge fluke (also rarely true). So today I tried instead of going from one extreme to the other, to sit in the happy zone and enjoy what was happening in those miles, knowing that it may or may not feel like this in a few weeks on mile 18 on slightly rocky terrain with hundreds of other people in god knows what kind of NW summer weather we'll be having. It could feel way worse, it could feel way better. Today felt like yes, I'm a runner and I am training and this is what it feels like for my body to run right now. That's all. Staying in the headspace of the current run instead of pinning all my emotions on what this could mean for any of my future runs was a relief. I ended feeling strong with a little left in the tank. I didn't want to blow my wad today since there are 16 miles looming for tomorrow. 

Another thing to note about this run was that my hair was in a pony and not braids, and when I finished I could actually run a comb through it. THIS IS A MIRACLE. I usually braid to prevent the wad of hair that a ponytail will usually turn into after a few miles of wind and sweat. This morning I tried to preserve the straight hair I've been sporting since Wednesday by adding some serum to it before heading out. Yes, it looked a little greeeezy when I left but by the time I got home I was really happy that it managed to keep itself from cannibalizing into a giant knot. Now I'm chilling in my compression sleeves and semi-okay looking hair and feeling pretty, pretty, pretty good in my filthy office. 



Why is running so effing mental??? 

What's your favorite Larry David quote?