Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Jazmin and I laced up our running shoes and hit the trails during fourth period.

Jazmin's a senior in our (CE)2 program. She's about to graduate and decided to it was time to get strong and healthy. She's been running a bit on her own but is having a hard time self motivating. So I asked if she wanted me to run with her sometime and she said yes!
So after I wrapped up my other duties, we changed and then headed to Cook Park for some run/walking.

Jazmin kicked butt! We did 2.75 miles in all - more than she's ever done before! We chatted about running and being healthy and girl stuff and life stuff. I'm so proud of her - and she's so proud of herself - and that's what really matters!!

I hope this is the first of many runs together :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

No. 6

While I enjoyed my last non-fiction, I decided to spread it out and maybe go every other.

So No. 6 was another culinary mystery - Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke:
Hannah, the owner of the Cookie Jar bakery, investigates after the owner of her rival bakery is murdered. Lots of drama! :)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekend fun, food and fitness

My BFF Sarah was in town last weekend for a quick trip. She wanted to introduce me to Fat Milo's for breakfast Monday, but the Sherwood diner was unexpectedly closed. We ate at Rose's instead, and it was fabulous.

But I was thinking all week about Fat Milo's, so I asked Brad is he'd like to bike there Saturday morning for some weekend treats. He was all over that idea!

We left home about 9 a.m. and biked the ~ 8.5 miles under warm (for January) but cloudy skies. After a short wait, we got a table and ordered the chilaquiles and HUGE pancake to share.
That pancake was incredible!

The clouds burned off while we were inside:
It was next door to Rainbow Market. I lived in Sherwood through second grade, and we sometimes walked with the neighbor kids to Rainbow Market to buy cheap candy. Oh, the memories!
Lots of downtown bike parking right outside:
On the way home, we swung by my old house at Lincoln and Willamette, and I filled in Brad on the roller skating in the basement, the giant tree they removed, the laundry shoot tiny Eryn climbed through when we locked ourselves out and the bathroom pipe Dad climbed up with we locked ourselves out.

And there was Julie across the street, the pit bulls next door, the daddy long legs by the basement door, the leftover oatmeal for the dog, the silver leaf maple, the bi-colored rhodie, the filbert tree (it's still there!), the twins down the street and the neighbor's dirt bike I burned my leg on.

Good times!!!!!

We took a different route home and ended up with about 17.5 miles over all. A perfect way to start our Saturday.

Sunday, we woke to no power. We've been watching Jerico on Netflix, so I was a tiny bit freaked out that we were under attack and would have to live in the dark for months. We skipped showers and got dressed by candles and flashlights (Thanks, Pa, for the awesome Christmas flashlights - those things were perfect!)

The juice was back on when we returned from church, and life went on as normal.

We baked some things for Monday potlucks at work, then I took a short book and nap break. It was incredibly foggy all day, but the clouds cleared while I slept - perfect for our afternoon run.

Brad and I are still recovering from last weekend's half marathon, so we took an easy run to Tualatin Park - 5 miles in all.
Is this really January??
Then it was time to cash in on my Christmas gift from Lindsey. We met at Bye & Bye on Northeast Alberta. I had some yummy BBQ tofu with black eyed peas and collard greens. Then, since Salt & Straw was just 10 blocks away, we walked down for some ice cream.

I got the candy cap mushroom and port - and it was amazing!
She's a good friend to eat vegan food with me :)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Cascade Half Marathon (1/18/15)

The streak is finally broken!!!
My half-marathon PR (personal record) stood for two years at 2:06. I hit the magic number THREE times and was beginning to think I'd never get under it.

Well, last Sunday was my day!

While improving at PT, I gradually upped my long-run mileage, adding just 1 mile each week. Then came a series of pain-free runs and graduation from PT. When Brad decided to sign up for the Jan. 18 Cascade Half Marathon, and I saw that my long-run progression had me running 11 miles that same weekend, I signed up, too - 11, 13, what's the difference? :)

It POURED all day Saturday, but Sunday's forecast for Turner, Ore, looked better with showers and temps near 50. Unfortunately, winds were also expected to be sustained around 15 mph with gusts to 20. Certainly not ideal.

We made the 1-hour drive to Cascade Junior High School nice and early, picked up our bibs in the gym and hopped back in the car to wait for our 9 a.m. start.
The school was open, and I used the real bathrooms twice before it was time to tun. Nice!

I truly didn't know what to expect for this one. I did a solid 10 miler and a solid 12 miler in the weeks before, so I figured I might be able to push it. Plus, the route is completely flat - perfect for running fast. But I hadn't been training for a PR.
I started comfortably and tried to just keep a steady pace. The wind was blowing from the south, and when we turned across the farmland, rain was coming hard from the right. I had pulled down my sleeves but then pulled my right sleeve back up. My temp was perfect. (I love running with sleeves because I can pull them up and down depending on conditions)

Because it was all open farmland, the wind really whipped - nothing to slow it down. I've done lots of wet and windy races, and this was for sure near the top of the list as wettest and windiest!

I really felt great the whole time. I was working but not struggling, and my miles clicked by at a fast pace for me.

I decided to wear my water belt so I could sip and eat gels on my own time. The aid stations were definitely adequate, but I skipped them all, opting to fuel on my own. I ate one gel before the race and nursed two during the race.

My PR pace was 9:37. In the last few miles, my average was down near 9:20. I knew I had this - if I could just hold on.

I passed many, many people in the last miles - always a great mental boost. I briefly chatted with one woman, and several people gave me encouragement as I passed. (Everyone at this race was so great!)

With under 1.5 miles to go, I switched views on my Garmin and saw that I was at 1:50. That meant I was definitely going to PR, and I had 11 minutes to get done in 2:00 (anything under 2:01 counts in my mind). GO TIME!!!!

I still had kick left in me, and it was basically just one straight stretch to the finish line. BUT - that last mile was DIRECTLY INTO THE WIND. AHHHH! I tried SO hard to run fast, but I just couldn't do it. It was like running into a wall - I could.not.go.faster. I gave it my absolute all, and finished in 2:02.

Brad was waiting at the finish:
At first I was really disappointed that I couldn't get in under 2:01. But then I realized I had PR'd by 4 minutes!!! That's huge.

Also, this was the first time ever that I'd run 13 miles without walking. Ever. I usually walk through the aid stations. This time, it was all running. That's huge, too!

Brad PR'd but missed his goal by mere seconds. We decided the wind was definitely the deciding factor. He left it all on the course and should be very proud of all his hard work over the past six months of training!

He was pretty chilled by the time I finished. So we went to the high school cafeteria (next door) for our reward soup, bread and cookies:
It was great to be inside, dry and warm. And that salty soup tasted amazing.

New medals for our racks:
My body felt relatively good during the race, but I felt a little pain on my left middle toe. My toes rub together, and I have to be careful that my nails don't cut into the skin next to them. I looked down after my race and saw the telltale sign:
Bloody shoe. And bloody sock:
TMI?? Sorry ;)

It wasn't really as bad as it looks. The rain really spread that blood :)


My Garmin time was 2:02:28 - a 9:16 average. (The course measured 13.21 miles on my watch)

Official results have me at 187th pace overall (out of 349), 15 of 35 in my division (F 35-39) and 73 of 215 in women. Not too shabby.

My splits:
  • Mile 1: 9:21
  • Mile 2: 9:19
  • Mile 3: 9:28
  • Mile 4: 9:21
  • Mile 5: 9:17
  • Mile 6: 9:12
  • Mile 7: 9:12
  • Mile 8: 9:09
  • Mile 9: 9:12
  • Mile 10: 9:15
  • Mile 11: 9:15
  • Mile 12: 9:21
  • Mile 13: 9:26
  • Last .21: 8:13

Splits don't get much more even than that. Brad says I'm a running robot. 

Notice how my pace dropped off in miles 12 and 13? That's that darn wind!

Because of my Achilles injury, I hadn't raced a half marathon in about a year and a half. I have been building up my mileage, but I haven't done speed work or serious training since February 2014. But, I have been doing tons of cross training, specifically intervals and anaerobic threshold training with spin and kickboxing. I'm a true believer now!

I am so proud of this race! It felt amazing to get back out there and run hard. YIPPEE :) :)

PS - My Achilles didn't hurt at all. Oh, yes!

PPS - This was a great race. Good price, good course, good people, good food. I would do it again. And you should, too.

Adventure Thursday: Tryon trail run

I really want to get back to my Adventure Thursday habit with Dad! We had lots of fun this past summer and fall, but with shorter winter days, we've fallen off the wagon.

Because I had an eye doctor appointment this Thursday (an adventure in itself!), I asked Dad to join me after work Friday instead.
We went to Tryon State Park for some trail running and hiking. Mom joined us for the first little bit but had to get back to work.

We spent about an hour on the trails - and it felt so great! The rain held off, and the ground wasn't too muddy. The temperature was way too hot for January, but if global warming is the way of the future, I guess we just have to get out and embrace it.
Already planning our next adventure! :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

No. 5


Brad's been harassing encouraging me to step outside of my comfort zone and read some non-fiction. So I grabbed this Donald Miller from my shelf. I've read several Miller books and enjoyed them, and Through Painted Deserts was no exception.
It's the story of his young self traveling with a new buddy in a VW bus - from his hometown of Houston to Portland. Of course, the bus breaks down a lot, and they have fun adventures. And along the way, he discovers some things about God and his faith.

And he's beside himself when he gets to Oregon and there's a coffee shop on every corner - and it's more than $1! HA! Welcome to Portland.

I really enjoyed the story, especially the Oregon twist. And the VW twist. My folks owned VWs when I was a kid (including a bus), and we took lots of road trips to Southern California. Dad's more mechanical than Donald and his friend, Paul ;)

Donald talks a lot about creation and beauty in nature. Then I rode to work this morning with this view:
Oh, yes!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

No. 4

As promised, I started a non-fiction title after my last book. But then Eryn grabbed the latest Michael Connelly from the Tigard Library, finished it well within the 14-day loan period and then passed it to me (we always share like that). No renewals allowed on the new releases, so I traded non-fiction for The Burning Room.

I busted that out in a couple days. It's a typical Connelly, which follows an LAPD detective as he solves crimes. This time, he was working a couple cold cases. As always, a good mystery and a fun read.

Now back to my other book :)