Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What I've Been Up To

Oh heeeeeyyyy.  How are you?  What have you been up to lately?  Sorry I've been so MIA.  Just not much to report around these parts.  So just to catch you up, here's the Cliff Notes version of what's going on (which is nothing!):

I did, miraculously, actually bake a few things for Thanksgiving this year.  I made pretzel brownies and s'mores bars thanks to Michelle's great ideas.  Like usual, and unsurprising, I f-ed it up though.  I know I know, you're far from shocked.  The in-laws have a fancy oven and unknowingly I used the "convection" oven setting, which apparently cooks things faster.  Buuuutttt I didn't alter the cooking times.  Story of my life.

So the brownies were kind of overcooked.  The s'mores bars were still awesome though, I highly recommend them.  What's not to like?  Butter?  Good.  Chocolate?  Gooood.  Marshmallows?  Goooooood.

Let's see, what else?  We saw Skyfall and Breaking Dawn Part II.  I fell asleep during Skyfall and thought Breaking Dawn was just as bad as all the other books / movies.  But we all know I'm not a reliable recommender. 

I went to yoga.  A LOT.  I bought a Groupon for hot yoga and decided it was my new method of fixing my hamstring.  Although I really liked it, and could feel it doing lots of great things for my body, I actually think it was making my hamstring WORSE.  All that direct stretching of it.  So my new method is to avoid putting any stress on my hamstring whatsoever.  I NEVER try to touch my toes.  I'll let you know how it works out.

I ran some races.  You already know all about those though.  Though I haven't "raced" any of them thanks to my bum hamstring, in the last 4 weekends I've done THREE races.  That's ridiculous!  The Mustache Dache, the Seattle Half, and now the Christmas Rush 10k.  Whew. 

I saw this amazing sunrise last week when I was headed to work.  I told you, I don't have that much to report!

We actually completed a home improvement project.  Our weekends used to be filled with these but we haven't done one in a LONG TIME now so I was proud we did anything.  This awkward space was in our bedroom and we finally added some shelves.  I kind of wish we'd done 4 shelves instead of 3 but those are NEVER coming out of there.

I read Reached, Wild, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. 

Reached was the 3rd book in the Matched trilogy (more young adult dystopia fiction, the story of my year), and NEVER start a trilogy before all three are published.  I could not for the life of me remember what the previous ones were about. 

Wild was VERY interesting and I HIGHLY recommend it.  Very hilarious the true troubles Cheryl gets herself into when she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail without EVER training, wearing hiking boots before, or ever putting on her backpack.  Kind of like Eat Pray Love but better.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower was okay.  I look forward to seeing Hermione in the movie. 

And last but not least, Cooper is still precious.  I know you won't find that surprising at all.

And how's Runcember going for you?  I've been struggling, I won't lie.  Last week was crazy busy for me with something work-related every night, and I was just so exhausted that convincing myself to walk even a mile was tough.  I hope this week is better.

We have some people who are just straight up DOMINATING though.  Seriously, Robyn did 50+ miles in just the first week!  Don't forget to enter your mileage!
So what's new with you???

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Rush 10k Race Report

Oh hello.  Did you miss me?  Probably not! 

I've been doing a lot of nothing resting since the Seattle Half.  Although Runcember is kicked off and running (and I'm kind of regretting it everyday I have to force myself off the couch just to get in that mile!) it had seemed December would possibly be RESTcember as well.  As in, let's fix this freakin' hamstring once and for all, shall we?

Anyway, so although I deemed the Seattle Half the end of 2012's running season, I was technically signed up for one final race: The Christmas Rush 10k.  This would be my 4th time running the race, it's one of my home-town small-time favorites, and I didn't want to miss, but I figured I could just walk the 5k instead if necessary. 

So anyway, there we were, Saturday morning in the crisp cold air ready to "run" a race.  Kerrie, Erika, and Jennifer joined Jordanne and I, and all of a sudden, unready as usual, we were off! 

There's not much to report about the race itself, especially since it was far from a "race".  It was flat and they made it a loop this year instead of an out-and-back which I LOVED.  The race seemed to have doubled in size since last year though, it better not become too big for its britches!

I stayed with Jordanne until about 3.5, when I was dying for a walk break, so I forced her to go on ahead.  I walked again through the 1 water stop and ashamedly again with less than a half mile to go.  Some lady passed me during this walk break and was like "COME ON WE'RE ALMOST THERE" and I can't believe how much I hated her in that instant.  It reminded me of all the times I've said similar things with ONLY the best intentions!  Ugh, I was shooting daggers at her with my eyes.

Thanks to Kerrie for the pics!

But even with the walking I still somehow managed to get in in JUST under an hour.  Squeaking it a little close with a 59:51. 

And the hamstring?  It actually felt okay!  I don't want to get my hopes up just yet though.  I was focused heavily on taking short steps, and obviously the walk breaks.  Please let this continue. 

And NOW my 2012 racing season is officially over. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Runcember Has Begun!

Today marks the start of RUNCEMBER!  So get our there and run or walk your mile today and every day of December!
I know you can do it!

Sadly, thanks to my hamstring that is never-ever-ever-getting-better it's looking like it might be more like No-Run-Cember for me, but I plan to DOMINATE Walkcember!  GO SIGN UP HERE!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Seattle Half to Remember

Sunday dawned dry (after the downpour that was Thursday and Friday) but COLD.  Seriously, seriously cold, at least for me.

Not only just cold, but foggy too.  I couldn't decide what to wear, I went back and forth about wearing more layers, but I ended up with seriously the PERFECT amount of clothes.  For once in my life.  I was cold for the first mile or so but then it was just perfect, and I never took off my arm warmers, gloves, or ear warmers.  That's how cold it was.

After a 4:50am wake-up call (OUCH) and getting the carpool together - we were OFF to Seattle.  There was actually little traffic and parking was a breeze, so we had plenty of time to mill around.  

This was especially the case since the half marathon started at 7:30am but the full marathon didn't start until 8:15am.  Why the full starts after the half instead of vice versa is beyond me.  I decided at the last minute to be a rebel and start with Amy and Jordanne so I could run the first 5 miles with them, so we bid Good Luck to Luke and then we kept waiting around some more.  I just seem to love putting myself in situations where I get near last place!  It happened again this time with this move!

Most of the pre-race pics didn't turn out so well

I'd be lying if I said this course wasn't hilly.  Though with a total elevation gain of 994 feet, I've completed hillier races.  Most of the hills weren't really that bad, except that "Ouch" hill that went on-and-on-and-on in mile 8.  I definitely walked most of this.  I tried my best to run the others, though there was definitely one other that I walked. 

And will I EVER do a race that doesn't end with an uphill??!!

After I left Jordanne and Amy at mile 5 I passed about 1,000 people, thanks to my 45 minute late start.  That was fun!  They were probably wondering WHAT THE HECK was going on though.  I tried to remain sufficiently uncomfortable while still feeling comfortable, if that at all makes sense.  My hamstring was bothering me from the start so it didn't really matter what I did in terms of that.  I actually have a hunch my recent yoga fetish had the opposite effect of what I wanted

By mile 10 I REALLY wanted to be done.  Like REALLY.  I'm actually really proud of myself for not walking more because I wanted to walk so bad.  My legs were stiff and, hello, I've ran like 4 times in November.  So it makes sense.  But I finished in 2:05:44 and called it a day.
1st half: 1:05:08    2nd half: 1:01:37   Negative split, woot woot!

I am SO proud of both Jordanne and Amy.  Jordanne finished her 3rd marathon and her 2nd marathon this year (remember Seattle RnR? well she beat that time!).  Amy ROCKED her first marathon ever and dominated her goal of sub-5-hours.  

They're both my heroes.  I wish I could have ran the full with them!

The whole rockin' crew:

And half marathon #12 #13 is in the books, as is essentially my 2012 running year.  The End. 

Monday, November 26, 2012


Sometime after I stuffed my face with stuffing, mashed potatoes, the best pear pecan salad in the world, and corn muffins, the cousins and I had a revelation.

As you may or may not know, JMan ran EVERY-SINGLE-DAY in October and lost about 15 pounds along the way.  It was very impressive and I'm so proud of him.  So we were all talking about that and how impressed we are, and we decided that December would become our RUNCEMBER.
After this decision we may or may not have found ourselves at the nearby track in the PITCH BLACK SCARINESS at 8:00pm Thanksgiving night timing our 400's.  This was AFTER having eaten a huge amount of food people.  It wasn't pretty.  And of the 5 of us, I got last with a 1:39.  I wasn't impressive.  

These were are 5 400 times and our cumulative time.  JMan got 2nd with 1:16.

But I digress.  You don't have to pre- and post-test your 400 times like us.  But you are more than welcome to do that if you'd like!  And you are also ALL invited to participate in what will go down as the legendary RUNCEMBER! 

Rules of Runcember:
  1. The first rule of Runcember is you don't talk about Runcember.
  2. The second rule of Runcember is YOU DON'T TALK ABOUT RUNCEMBER!
  3. You must run or walk at least one mile every single day in December.  No, you cannot run 31 miles all in one day.  Yes you can walk.  No playing basketball / Zumba / Soccer doesn't count.  It's called RUNcember people (or WALKcember), not SOCCERcember.
  4. You must log-in to the spreadsheet and enter your mileage.  
  5. You must be honest!
And that's it!  There may or may not be prizes, we'll see what I come up with.  It seems rather likely.  There also may or may not be prizes for both completing the challenge (i.e., everyone is eligible) and for "winning" the challenge with the most miles.  

So - how do you play?  Just go to the Google doc and sign up!  Then RUN!  Or walk.  And enter your mileage!  That's it, easy peasy. 
Here's the link to the spreadsheet.

Who's in???

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Very Thankful Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!
I hope you're enjoying some rest from work, about to eat tons of delicious food, and maybe even got in a nice little turkey trot run.  That pretty much sums up my ideal day right there.  Run, eat, rest.

I'm thankful for so many things this year.  I'm so lucky and blessed and I so appreciate all I have.  So I thought I might shout it from the rooftops.

I'm thankful JMan and I have been together a whopping 11 years this week.  Shocking, right?  I know you think I look waaaayyy too young to have been with ANYONE 11 years.  Plus - I'm very thankful JMan has put up with me for this long.  He deserves an award, that's for sure.  Here's to (at least!) another 11 years together!

 Look how young we once were!

I'm thankful to have the best family in the world, both in terms of my own parents and my in-laws and extended family.  They are all so supportive, loving, and fun to be around (well, at least when my mom's not calling out my procrastination on my dissertation-writing!). 

What an adorable family - right??

I'm not thankful for my hamstring.  But this is a positive post, so moving on...

I am SO thankful that I got lucky enough to have THE BEST DOG EVER.  Seriously, how lucky was I to actually choose the absolute best dog in the whole world out of all those puppies???  I'm not sure.  Cooper continuously makes my life that much better and I can't imagine life without him. 

I'm thankful to have finally finished Gone Girl so that I can get back to my normal life instead of just listening to that book 24/7.  I don't want to give anything away, but although I was OBSESSED with this book the last 1/4 of it kind of let me down a bit.  Let me know what you think about the ending!

I'm VERY thankful to have a 4.5 day weekend!  I'm also thankful for my new job that allows this, that I both love and find constantly challenging (in a good, although sometimes stressful, way). 

I'm also thankful to have some of the best friends in the world.  I APPRECIATE YOU!  And you know who you are.  Thanks for being awesome.  I'm also thankful to have found this wonderful blogging community of runners, all people who I think are awesome. 

Just a few of the people who I think are awesome.  
And I think a theme of the pictures in this post is that I miss summer??!!

Finally, although I'm not thankful for my hamstring, I AM thankful that I did have a pretty great year of running.  Even though it turns out my hamstring will bother me for nearly half the year, I trained and ran a marathon, ran the Mt. Si, Ragnar, and Hood to Coast relays, completed my very first triathlon, ran my first trail race (a 30k to boot, even though it wasn't a 50k), and ran 3 (soon to be 4) half marathons, including the Disney Princess race.  Seriously, I have so much to be thankful for both running-wise and otherwise. 

And that's a wrap.

What are you doing this lovely Thanksgiving?  What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Seattle Inaugural Mustache Dache

On Saturday 1,200 of Seattle's finest took to Magnuson Park for the 1st inaugural Mustache Dache.  The dash is a 5k and it became a blogger festival of epic proportions.

We all got decked out in our very best mustaches for the event, which benefited men's health and celebrated Movember. 

Fearing next weekend's half marathon, which I have done everything BUT trained for, I really wanted to get in some decent mileage to build up my confidence that I could "run" a half.  I use the term "run" very loosely.  Speed is not my friend these days. 

So I got to the park early, did about 3 miles, then met Lindsay for another 3 before the race started.  And we were off! 

The mustache lasted approximately 10 minutes before it was super sweaty and falling off.  The race itself was pretty uneventful - Lauren, Lindsay, and I stuck together for most of the race until Lindsay "needed to slow down" which really meant staking out her spot behind me to blow by me in the last 5 seconds!  See that picture above?  That's her planning her move to speed past!  I forced Lauren ahead in the last quarter mile to make sure she got her PR - which she did!  GO LAUREN

I did a fairly good job of keeping myself at around 80% discomfort (unlike the 100% discomfort usually needed!).  It's definitely apparent how much speed I've lost since Hood to Coast in August, which is the last time I've run fast.  And, my hamstring didn't respond well to this minor speed effort either.  Oh well.

At least I didn't look like that girl to the left after???

And a 5k in 26:59 (average pace of 8:42) was over!  I ran a mile afterwards to get my daily total up to 10, so it's a win all around. 

I won my race entry from the awesome Jen, so I can't really complain about anything, but here's the nitty gritty on the race.  The race was either $30 or $35 though most people got a deal on groupon-like sites, but it didn't come with a t-shirt.  That's ridiculous in  my mind.  Too bad too, because the shirts were CUTE.  I also had major envy for the trucker hats, which were sadly sold out.  The atmosphere was great (there was a mechanical bull!), but the course was just okay.  No streets were closed and we ran through parking lots and such.  I had a blast though.

We ended the morning with what else?  Brunch, duh.  Runners looovvveee to eat.

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Obsession with Gone Girl

We all know I very often disagree with America's ratings of popular past times.

50 Shades of Grey Suck.  Downton Abbey.  The Avengers.  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  I just didn't find any of these things very special, even though America sure did.

But we finally found a point to agree on. 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  You've already heard of it / read it - I am the very last person to this party thanks to my craziness surrounding not buying books (the line at the library was like 1,000 people long).  I just started it and I am OBSESSED.  Like, seriously obsessed.  Like I don't want to go to work because I just want to listen to it ALL-DAY-LONG.  Like I'm going to be completely anti-social until it's finished, and this book is not short.  The obsession is a problem that's hindering my everyday life activities. 

It's like I know what's going to happen but I don't know all at the same time.  WHO DID IT?  WHAT'S HAPPENING?  HOW WILL IT END?  WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH MORE THAN HALF THE BOOK TO GO?  Seriously.  The rest of the book better not let me down or make me regret this post.

So you win this one America.  Just don't tell me how it ends. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Who Am I? A Flexible Person, That's Who.

I've been to THREE yoga classes this week.  THREE.  Count them, it's ridiculous and definitely a new record.  Who in the world do I think I am?  A flexible person, apparently.

It started on Sunday, when I ran 7 miles and then went to (regular) yoga after.  That's 1 of only 2 runs during November ladies and gents.  In October I ran 101 miles.  Halfway through November and I've ran 13.  Stellar.  But that's the point, I'm resting (for the most part)

Then I saw a Groupon for 20 Hot Yoga classes for $20.  And so we are now onto Method #1,053,487 of fixing my hamstring.  My chiro sessions have come to a halt as they're not exactly free.  20 hours of yoga is way cheaper than 20 hours of chiro.

Also, hot yoga is really freaking hot.  In case you weren't aware.

In other news, Saturday is the Mustache Dache!  80% chance of rain and upper 40's coupled with my slow running and it only being a 5k will likely result in me being VERY cold.  But it will be a blogger festival that involves wearing mustaches and brunch, so it sounds like a GRAND time to me!  I can't wait!

Will you be there?  Do you do hot yoga? 

Friday, November 9, 2012


If you've read about anything round these parts, it's Hood to Coast.  It is THE race of my year.  Even when I first became a runner long long ago in 2008, I KNEW that I wanted to do Hood to Coast.

So I put in an application.
But in 2009, it was not meant to be.  REJECTED.  

So for 2010, I tried again.  You get to go in a "special" lottery if you've been declined the year before, so we supposedly had much better odds.  And SUCCESS!  We were in!

 Van 1 is the best, by the way. 

And it. Was. AWESOME.  It did NOT disappoint.  Hanging out with my favorite people in a sweaty van all weekend is truly the best.

So after one of the best weekends, ever, we were understandably greedy for more.  So we applied again for 2011.  And to my very pleased surprise we were ACCEPTED again!  Even without the special lottery.

In 2011 the extreme heat and extreme traffic issues put a little damper on our fun, but we still had a blast.  And of course, we wanted more. 
So we applied for 2012.  But, like 2009, it was not meant to be.  REJECTED. 

Lucky for me, Nuun was accepting applications for their 3 awesome teams, and I got picked!  And I had THE TIME OF MY LIFE running with them in 2012.  Thank you again Nuun.  But my poor teammates didn't get that experience.

 Van 1 Team Morning Rockstars

So of course, we applied again, in that special lottery for those who are rejected, for 2013.  But this time, the special lottery didn't hold any specialness for us.
Because the word just came, that for 2013 we are  REJECTED.
And I am disappointed.  That's for sure.  I feel a little like we got a bit screwed by all the people last year who earned a guaranteed entry through their brand new rule: that if you finish within 30 minutes of your predicted time you get an automatic entry.  I heard that an estimated 350 teams (out of only 1,050) got guaranteed entry through that method ALONE (there's other ways to earn it too).  You can bet if that'd have been a rule during 2010 or 2011 we would have gone to the EXTREMES to make that happen.  Which I'm sure a TON of teams did.  But that left way less spots for those that didn't have a team last year.

But oh well - what can you do?  Except apply again next year!  And start thinking up some Nuun Hood to Coast application ideas....!

Anyone have a team I can be on?  Or an idea for a different relay we should enter?  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The #1 Suckiest Blogger Award

Sorry team.  I know I'm sucking at blogging.  Even when I actually write a post (like yesterday, for example), it ends up being about 10 actual words and some very craptastic writing.  The normal award-winning (right?! ha) writing you're used to just isn't there.

It's not just that I'm busy.  I mean it is a little.  When I started this blog, I felt I had TONS of things to write about.  I was also kind of bored and I had lots of free time - there was a lull at work, it was winter, I was recovering from injury and not running much, there was a break for a bit with my school work, etc.  Then I became a Girls on the Run coach, started training for the marathon, school got crazier than ever, and now I've even gotten a harder more demanding job.

But I think it's more than just the time factor.  It's more like I just don't have anything to write about.  There's no long run or speedwork or races to discuss.  I'm not doing fun things every weekend like in the summer.  And unfortunately, most of what I do have to say seems to be negative and related to my hamstring, as Becky loves to point out.

This weekend my depression about my hamstring hit a new all-time low.  I kind of just felt like throwing in the towel.  There's no big races coming up, I'm not training for anything, it's dark, it's cold, yesterday was the worst day of the year (anyone else hate the time change with a passion?), etc.  So there could not be a better time to take a break from running.  I still feel skeptical about whether a break will even help my hamstring, since my 2-week break in September seemed to do little.  But it's worth a try.

Don't worry, I will still be running the Mustache Dache.  And probably the Seattle Half.  And likely any other fun blogger meet-ups I finagle an invite to.  So it won't be a total and complete rest.  But the majority of the time except for races / meet-ups - I'll rest.  

And I'll come back to blogging regularly someday.  Probably.  When I have something of interest to write about.