Yukon Do It Half Marathon

Finally getting around to writing a race write up about this race I did in December. I ran the Yukon Do It half marathon as a make up for the ill fated Holiday Half that was canceled half way through the actual event.  I had such a good time at the Yukon Do It half marathon that I’m glad I had to scramble to find another half to run.

I enjoyed the race route quite a bit. It was mostly along the Puget Sound. The course was pretty flat.  Only a couple of hills around the half way turn around point. It was an out and back.  There was also a marathon going on which went out and back twice. They had nicely spaced water and bathrooms so all in all good stuff.

The race was small but very well put together. You can tell that the folks that put it on and that the folks that regularly run it regard it as a very special event.  The pick up location and after party fun was held at a local bar and the folks there were all really sweet and so nice.  All around good people.

So, how the race went for me personally.

The good:

-I finished!

-No injuries!

-My recovery was very speedy. I was hardly out of commission the next day.

-I trained really well for this race. I had no annoying issues with not having stretched enough or anything along those lines. I was very happy!

The bad:

-It rained, cold rain for the first half of the race. And then it snowed for the second half. Honestly, it was fun to run in the snow. However, I was already soaked so I was a little cranky. It did inspire me to finish quickly.

-I didn’t really bring dry clothes. It was very poor planning on my part.  The race was 3 hours away from my house. Why didn’t I bring dry clothes?

-It took me about 6 hours to get home because of the mentioned snow and rain. So, here in the pacific northwest, we really suck at snow. I, however, had my jeep with her snow tires on, but no one else did.

All in all, I enjoyed the race and added a few more items to my “lessons learned” bucket for future races!

Vancouver Lake Half Marathon – Race Recap

And I’m attempting to get back to blogging. Really this blog is going to be boring unless you like reading about running, reading about food, and reading about adventures. But it will mostly be about running and food.

I will go back and do a recap of my first half marathon I ran in December, but I thought I’d go ahead and do a recap of the race I ran yesterday first!

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Someday I’ll have a good race photo! And I’ll smile and look joyous! Also, who are you people who can run without carrying a bunch of stuff? I’m like gotta have my music, gotta bring a snack, bring my water with nuun. I’m just high maintenance!

 

For my second of 13 half marathons this year, I decided to run the Vancouver Lake Half Marathon.  This race is put on by my local running club, the Clark County Running Club and they really do a fantastic job! It was so well organized and put together.  All the volunteers were fantastic. They cap the race at under 500 people and I have to say I’m really loving these smaller events over the massive half marathons in the Portland and Seattle areas that I’ve run in the past.

I did not start the day off strong. I didn’t sleep well and I’ve been gone for two weeks and I was also still in the port a potty when the start bell went off! Eek! The boys came to cheer me on so I gave them kisses and away I went.  The thing that I’m most grateful about for this course is that it is flat, flat, flat. I LOVE it!

Until about mile 10, this was a usual half marathon for me. I start out like oh my god, this is going to take forever! I love to run. And there are many things I love to do, but that doesn’t always mean I want to spend all day doing them. I really should work on my speed work so that I can run faster because then I’d love it even more! I digress though. So first 2-3 miles, I’m always like oh god, this is never going to end. 13.1 miles is so far! But then I get into it and I’m like oh look at all this ground I’m covering. I’m definitely going to PR! And then I start getting competitive with all the folks around me. Mostly I just want to be in front of the speed walkers. :) Although I want to know how they walk like that. It’s mesmerizing. I have a lot of respect for them and you’ll see why later in this story.

Then I hit mile 7. Mile 7 is where I lose friends if any of them are brave enough to run with me and usually they’re not because I tell them I don’t run with other people and I don’t want them there. At mile 7, I become a bitch from hell. I hate everyone, I hate everything. I’m like this race will never end, this is where I live now, perpetually running! And I’m kind of a bitch like that until I have almost 10 miles and then I perk up. I’m like oh, just a 5k left. You got this! You run 5ks all the time! It’s just another half hour or so, let’s try to make it even less! And that’s the beautiful frame of mind I was just about to enter, when hamstring pain in a serious way hit. Like shooting up and down my leg and it moved down into hamstring and calf pain. So I ran it until mile 11 and then I was like fuck it.  If I get injured this whole crazy plan is off. So better to walk the 2.1 miles. And then all the speed walkers passed me…

So, I’ve been thinking about what I did “wrong” in this round of training. Well, to start with my legs probably haven’t fully recovered from my December run so they’re not as fresh as when I went into that run. But I know that’s not what did it. That’s just an excuse to make myself feel better.  Here’s what really did it. 1) I stopped doing stretches every morning. Not for any particular reason. I just fell out of the habit. And 2) I’ve cheated on running with the elliptical training too many times! Sometimes I give my knees a break and do a day or two on the elliptical. Only looking back over the last  weeks since my December half marathon, I did way too many. So on to the February half marathon I march with intents on not taking it easy on the elliptical and stretching more!

In other news, I also have a cold. But I don’t have any injuries from the race so that’s all good. Choosing to walk the 2.1 miles was the right call.

In food related news. After this race I ate a footlong chili dog, friend mozzarella sticks, and a chocolate milkshake. I have zero regrets.

Running in the desert

When I booked an early flight to Southern California for last week, I thought oh I’ll go for my long run at Huntington Beach, I’ll see the ocean it will be lovely! And that’s what I almost did.

DSC01409Except that when I got to California and opened up my wallet I saw my National Parks Annual pass and I was like oh I wonder what parks are around and then I felt like a dumbass because I was only 2 hours from one of my all time most favourite of national parks: Joshua Tree. So I said to myself and also texted to Eric: I’m going to take an impromptu trip to Joshua Tree and run my miles there! Sure I’d be driving 4 hours to run 5 miles, but honestly, what else was I going to do with the day? I mean other than sit on the beach and probably shop. I like the beach, but I like Joshua Tree better and the beach is more accessible for days when I don’t have a ton of time.

DSC01425Off to Joshua Tree I went. Additional things to note about the day is that I ate two breakfasts because I had a first class upgrade and I was like eh, why not? Although, I know that I should only eat one breakfast, but it turned out to actually be a solid decision! Because it was noon when I arrived at Joshua Tree and if I hadn’t had second breakfast then I would have been starving for lunch and would  have had to eat and then wait to run. Instead I was still full and immediately went for a run.

DSC01417I chose the nice and flat boy scout trail. I had never hiked it before and that was part of the goal, to see new places at the park. I didn’t do the whole trail because it’s 7 miles one way and I wasn’t going for that long of a run at this point anyways. So 2.5 miles in and 2.5 miles back. Perfect. Long run complete and it was only 1:30. That left quite a bit of time to explore the park and get back to Fountain Valley in time for some grocery shopping for the week.

DSC01437I can tell my fitness is improving. I’m not tired after longer runs and I’m ready for more activity instead of being like whew! spent! no more moving for me! It’s pretty exciting and motivating to see the hard work pay off. When I trained for my previous half marathons I wasn’t as on task with my mid week runs and as a result my long runs on the weekend tended to be a bit torturous and then my shorter runs during the week never really improved because I wasn’t being consistent.

DSC01433I then hit up a few other scenic spots and a little bit of hiking here and there and a bit of climbing on rocks and being very jealous of those who were really rock climbing. I felt a small itch to break out those climbing shoes again and perhaps soon I will but for now the focus is running.

DSC01407Joshua Tree is one of my favourite places to be alone. I can’t wait to also bring the boys there sometime soon but I find it to be a very peaceful place to be lonely. There’s something so warm and cozy about those rocks. To me they seem like big friendly giants who one day got a bit sleepy and have laid down to rest. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they were to yawn, pulls themselves up from the ground, and carry on with life someday. There is something very special about that piece of desert and I’m glad that it’s being protected.

“Rest” Day

DSC01358Sometimes I suck at rest day. For example, today for rest day I hiked 2.5 miles and ran 1 mile, but I did it with leisurely thoughts in mind.

DSC01391We hiked out to Pool of the Winds out near Hamilton Mountain. I keep meaning to hike Hamilton Mountain.

DSC01366We brought The Outlaw Josey Wales with us in his new adventure gear. He loves the woods and water as always. We did go a bit off trail adventuring below the falls.  Last time I hiked this trail, the water was too high to climb about on the rocks but today the water was low so we had some fun.
DSC01350Then the little bear and I went on a 1 mile run to start training for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. The joys of running with a 6 year old is that at mile .64 he made a request if we could just stop for a minute and do the hokey pokey. Can’t say no to that request! So we did the hokey pokey on the trail. It was pretty legit!

The Long Run

969153_961047142188_397370688_nThis is me. Super stoked after running my first half marathon. My goal of that marathon was just to finish. I ended up running it in 2:31, which I never thought would be possible and ended up discouraging me in future races. I thought, well that’s it. That’s my PR. I’m not a fast runner, I’ll never beat that. So I went into every half marathon after that expecting that I would never make it past that.

And to be honest, I was pissed. I was pissed off that I ran with someone who pushed me too hard during that race and that I didn’t do the pace I wanted. I wanted to build up my running. I just wanted to finish that race. Then I wanted to set future goals. The next half marathon I ran was in the dead heat of summer on July 4. I am not good at running in the heat so my time on that was pretty terrible. Then after that I did three more half marathons, but I kind of gave up running and walked a good portion of those. I wasn’t interested in pushing myself because beating 2:31 didn’t seem like an option.

But now I obviously understand that being pissed off at my running partner was not at all the appropriate response. I should have been pissed off at myself for giving up, for thinking I couldn’t be faster, and for obviously not wanting to put in the work to get there.

Why am I thinking about this today? Because yesterday I legitimately had the best run of my life. It was fun. It felt good. It felt easy even though it wasn’t easy.  And it was all on a treadmill where I don’t traditionally shine as a runner.

I’m not disillusioned. I know that every run won’t be like that. I know that there are still a lot of shitty runs in the future.  But I also know that there are a lot of good runs in the future.

I’m not going to let that 2:31 loom over my head anymore as discouragement from trying.

 

Meanderings

Last night Eric and I went out on the town (aka Portland) to celebrate the wrapping up of my Dallas project. And by celebrate I mean eat a lot of things and go see some folk music. I’m currently on the not drinking a lot band wagon so my usual beer consumption was replaced by tacos and ice cream.

But it was an overindulging kind of day. I started off the day by needing to go buy some new black heels for work because the heels I’ve been wearing I’ve had for about 3.5 years and I wear them every day and I have repaired them numerous times. They’re looking ratting, it’s time for a change. So, I intended to buy one pair of shoes. Instead I bought heels and adorable olive drab boots with heels (which I wore and felt like a giant in and I was like oh I get why tall girls can be bitches. I really let that power of a 3-4 extra inches of height go to my head) and 4 new pairs of leggings and a new crop top. All things that I really do not need, but hey, sometimes when you’re like I have worked out so much this week and I’m feeling good, you gotta treat yourself. Right? Sure. That’s how I’ll justify it.

I did get a good 3 mile trail run in though. That was in the afternoon and I overindulged in listening to too much Kesha on that run. Guilty pleasure music!

Then I made the mistake of being like oh, I’ll just wait to eat until we go to dinner, which was a few hours after that run. I was very very hungry leaning towards hangry at that point. So we went to Cruz Room on Alberta and they have AMAZING tacos! So I meant to get two tacos and a salad and no beer, but instead I got a beer and three tacos.

But then we had a conundrum as we’re both trying not to drink much and one of us has to stay sober because we moved too far out of the city for cabs and that conundrum is what do you do in Portland if you’re not drinking? Basically the whole nightlife of that town centers around alcohol consumption, as it does in most towns, not just hating on Portland (we’ll get to that later). So, the obvious answer if you’re on Alberta St is go to Salt ‘n Straw and get some ice cream.

Obviously since I was feeling over confident in my results from working out and because I was still hungry from earlier, I was like let’s do this bitch! Something to know about Portland if you haven’t been here yet is that people stand in a lot of lines and regardless of how long they’ve stood in that line, when it’s there turn they completely forget that others are standing in line and perhaps it would be polite not to doddle and not try every fucking flavor of ice cream. Live a little, take a chance, and just order some ice cream you haven’t tried! I promise you, it’s ice cream, it can’t be bad (but I’m not a picky eater so there’s that). When it was finally my turn, the girl was like want some samples and I was like no, I got this. I’m throwing mother fucking caution to the wind! And wouldn’t you know, that I got the ice cream with pop rocks in it and it was an amazing surprise party in my mouth. See how that worked out everyone?

Next up was going to Mississippi Studios to see Korey Quinn and Charlie Parr. I really like Korey’s music as I’ve seen him a few times. This time David Lipkind joined him on harmonica and he is the most amazing harmonica player I have ever witnessed! I will make it a point to go see him some more. It was really impressive. I was like how is a harmonica even making that sound?

I always dig Korey’s music. It pays homage to a style of country roots that I really enjoy. I also really dig his voice and how he has a level of raw grit that I really love in a vocal style.

Charlie Parr I did not connect with, which I find weird. I liked his style of playing a lot and his voice, but I didn’t find his lyrical content to be compelling. However, I will go see him again if I get the opportunity. I’d really love to see him outside of Portland. I’m annoyingly sensitive to the vibe of the crowd I’m in and I know that a hipster crowd at the Mississippi has a disingenuous feel to it and that may have really had an impact on if I could connect with his music. I know, I’m weird and annoying and all my friends who I go to shows with would so totally eye roll at that take on Charlie, but they also weren’t there so maybe they should have been to help make that crowd a bit more real.

And then we hopped by the The Know to catch the last punk band that was playing that night… We get around.

Goodbye Dallas

It’s my last week in Dallas. I’m not sad about that. Texas is not my cup of tea. I really tried at some points to make it an enjoyable 6 months here, but it’s been a struggle and the lack of easy access to being outside has been very trying on my psyche.  But I’m trying to stay positive as things are wrapping up. Next up is southern california. I will say that I’m not sad to do my weekly long runs along the sunny ocean rather than in the rainy pacific northwest.  However, I do have to be realistic in that it will likely be cold and rainy on race day and I’ll need to be mentally able to push through that.

In other news, I am still missing being nosey and seeing what everyone is doing on Facebook. I will admit to 5 minutes of weakness today in which I got super lonely being in Dallas and reactivated it for a few minutes and scrolled through super quick and then deactivated it again. I am weak, but I shall persevere.

I have a lot more time now that I’m not constantly face booking. I’m using it to shop for funny/punny running shirts. I will likely be getting one that states “will run for beer.”

I will likely being seeing a sloth in real life for the first time this week. I really hope it actually happens. I’m super stoked and I plan to selfie with it. Don’t worry that selfie with be here. I’m also questioning if a sloth should be incorporated into my animal totem leg tattoo due to my love of them, but I’m thinking I’ll do a separate sloth tattoo and stick with the bear, wolf, and jackalope for my totem. Decisions, decisions.

Half Marathon Training Again

I’m back at the half marathon training. Someday I’ll just keep running instead of stopping and starting again. I believe it’ll make life much easier when I decide to inevitably do another half marathon. However, some of the past training I have done has stuck with me. The first time I decided to take up running, I never thought I’d be able to run that 5k and then I did. This time I’m starting my training at 3 miles and it doesn’t seem so bad.

Of course this time I have my training buddy, Josey. He’s not quite ready for running more than a few miles at a time, but we’ll work up to it. He has a lot more stamina for running when we’re on trail in the woods.  The woods are his jam. However, there are some abrupt moments when he sees a squirrel or a bird and turns on a dime and takes off in a different direction. We’re still learning to run with each other.

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This half marathon is in December, a couple of days before my birthday.  I’ve done the 5k portion of this half marathon before. It’s not really the most beautiful area of Portland, but it’s fun because it’s holiday themed. The first year I ran it, we had just moved from Wisconsin and it was rainy and “cold.” I ran it in a tank top while others ran it in a parka. This year, I think I’d be in the parka or at least something more than a tank top. I have acclimated to the PNW and have spent a good portion of the last 6 months in Dallas and am about to spend a good portion of time in Southern California. I am not a truly cold weather girl at this point anymore.

In other news, I am still not on Facebook and I’m still constantly wondering what everyone else is doing. I have been like what if I just log on for a minute? Just to get a taste. But so far I have held fairly strong. I had to reactive for a few minutes earlier this week to see if I could disassociate my Facebook account from my Spotify account. But then I deactivated again.  I have really increased my productivity at home and gotten a lot of stuff done without the time suck of Facebook. I think it’s going to be a positive change for sure, but I’m still suffering from the addiction.

Time to get in some miles. Run on.

The book of faces

I’m giving Facebook a break. So far it’s been about 30 hours. It’s a pretty intense breaking of an addiction. So far I’ve had the following thoughts:

  • I wonder what everyone else is doing
  • Why does it matter what everyone else is doing
  • How do I still know when my favorite bands are playing
  • How do I keep up with what events I’m going to plan to go to
  • I wonder what everyone else is doing
  • What’s everyone else doing
  • How am I supposed to know what everyone else is doing?!?!?!?!

Ultimately at the end of the day, the question is why does it matter what everyone is doing every second of the day? I’m not saying that I’m quitting the Facebook for forever but I’m certainly looking forward to asking my friends what they have been up to lately and getting to hear their stories first hand.

I’m also being a little antisocial right now so I’m pretty happy to be kind of ignorant to the fact that everyone else is still going to be having fun without me. I’m taking a social break right now from the big group of folks. I don’t want to harbor harsh feelings towards them because they decided to continue having fun and lives while I’m taking a much needed rest from the scene. I hope to come back to the social world refreshed and ready and in a better place to not let it take over my life again.

Also, I’m excited to write things of more substance here instead of putting small bits on the book of faces and feeling like this space is duplicative.