Sunday, September 30, 2012

And... DONE!

This has been an action-packed weekend! But I'm most excited and proud because of my running!

Last year, I blew my own mind by running 500 miles. This year's running goal was simply to run more miles than in 2011.

Well... I JUST DID!!!!!!!

I realized a week or so ago that I was getting really close and decided to try and squeeze it in by the end of September. 

Saturday morning, I did the Color Run (lots of pics to come!):
Saturday evening, I went out near sunset and did 5.77 miles:
Beautiful harvest moon inspired me:
And with that, I was about 1.5 miles from my goal.

So today, Brad hopped on his bike and escorted me on a short run in the neighborhood: 
2.10 miles:
For a grand total of 508.36 miles!!!!!
... with three months to spare :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Nice job!

I headed out in the crazy heat after work for a few miles.

I was already in a good mood because two of my awesome (and now favorite!) CE2 students had just told me they thought I was 22. Marco said his mind was blown when I told him I was 36. Love these guys!

(I graduated from high school in 1994. Lucas was born in 1995!)
Hot and sunny out there! 
I rarely run through the park by myself - safety first! But I decided to head to Tualatin since I'd already run the other direction twice this week.

My pace started really fast, and I tried sticking with it, promising myself I would take a walk/water break after 2 miles. Then I ran another 3 miles with a couple water breaks (a bonus when exercising in the park!).

I ended up at 5 miles in 48:52 - including a couple walks and water stops. Not bad!
I finished up right outside CE2, passing a THS cross-country runner. I walked a bit to cool off, passing him again. He said, "Nice job!" as I went by - made me smile! I love it when runners support each other and share the love :)

Some days the studnets make you want to pull out your hair. And other times you just want to take them home with you :) Today was a good day!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I am a color runner

Just picked up my bib for Saturday's Color Run.
Eryn was sick today but dragged her butt out of bed to join me for the brief outing:
And she's really happy she did - because she ended up scoring a new pair of Nikes for just $56! And she ordered another pair online! Thank you, closeout sale and in-store event coupons :)
We made a quick stop at Jamba Juice for a Pumpkin Smash smoothie. A little sip for me (not part of my new food restrictions : (  ) and the rest for Eryn - with an immunity boost :)
The Color Run looks like such a fun event! It's a 5K on the track at PIR, and at each kilometer, they toss a different color on you. By the end, you're all covered!
We learned today that 15,000 people will be running with us Saturday! WOOHOO :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Perseverance or just junk miles?

Today's run was kinda sucky.

My Garmin beeped as I turned it on - always a bad sign. Since I knew the battery was about to die, I decided to stick with the same route I ran Monday so I'd know the distance.

My right shin hurt a little as I headed down Durham. Pretty soon my side started hurting pretty bad. Ugh.
I walked a couple times trying to work out my side ache. It didn't really help.

I blame my messed up digestive system. I'm 10 days in with new medication and new food restrictions. I can't eat the way I need to, and my tummy's been unhappy all day :(

I slowed down and gritted my teeth - and finished 5.33 miles.
Miles are miles :)

Stretching it out

Yesterday was not my birthday - but it sure felt like it!

My good friend Bill knows how much I love to stretch out my special day, so he delivered a tiny birthday cake so I could continue the celebration.

It was excellent - especially the frosting! I shared with my mom and sis and we celebrated together :)

Thanks, Bill!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

No. 33

After my last epic novel, I was glad my next one was a really quick, easy read.

I flew through Defining Dulcie, by Paul Acampora, in just two sittings. It's about a teen whose father dies in an accident and her mom moves them across the country. I enjoyed it lots :)

Not all rainbows and unicorns

I had a great time at The Giant Race last weekend in San Francisco and am immensely proud of my run.
However, it was not all rainbows and unicorns.

The race, which had more than 10,000 finishers (not including hundreds and hundreds of registered no shows) and big-race promises, was organized like a small-time charity race. The infrastructure just couldn't handle the size.

Some of the big problems that I encountered:

There weren't enough toilets. 

If you're a racer, you understand that nerves and all kinds of factors make it so you have to go before the race - a bunch of times! We got there early enough that we hit it a couple times before the crowds arrived, but right before the race, the lines were so long that I opted to pee in a water bottle in the back of our rental SUV. That was tricky! But I had little choice.

I know people missed the start because of the lines. Not cool.

The start was really unorganized.

There were signs indicating "corrals" - expected finish times. But as race time came close, they told us all just to go line up. Eryn ended up starting with me - and we finished 35 minutes apart. There were walkers and everyone just mixed together. (What's wrong with the woman behind us?!?!)
The PA system could only be heard by those in the very front of the group, so we all missed the announcements. We only knew it was time to run because the people in front of us started moving.

The course was beautiful but WAY TOO NARROW.

Because we didn't do a wave start (we all started at once instead of smaller groups spaced a minute or so apart) and the roadway was narrow, the course was impossibly crowded.

I was weaving around other runners and literally bumping elbows. And once the 10K runners started coming back at us on their out-and-back route, the course narrowed even more - with us each getting just one lane! It didn't spread out at all until the 10K turnaround - that's the first 3 miles! And even then there were far too many people in that space.

This picture is at about 7 miles. So crowded!
It was very unpleasant - and made it very difficult to run at the pace I needed to run to make my goal.

When I put my arm out to take this picture, I almost clobbered a guy right next to me:

Someone who isn't a runner must have picked the on-course food.

This is truly laughable.

Usually, water and/or a sports drink is offered every 2 miles or so to keep runners hydrated and safe. At longer races, a fuel source is usually provided. It's a gel or chew - something designed to be eaten while running - quick and won't upset the stomach.

Just before the half-marathon turnaround, they were handing out fuel: PowerBars cut in half. Still in the wrapper. And not even the yummy kind - the nasty original version.


I cannot even imagine what it would have been like to unwrap one of those and chew on it while trying to run. And then to have it sit in my stomach for the next 7+ miles. No way. Talk about a side ache - and runner's trots!

They rationed water and ran out of finish-line food.

A big deal was made that Safeway was sponsoring the Finisher Food Market, where we'd get "a nifty reusable shopping bag, some fuel, and a smile from our food distribution team."

Well, when Brad finished, he walked to the Safeway area and was given a little shopping bag, a half a banana, a whole bagel and a coupon. When I finished, about 30 minutes later, the bags were gone and I got just half a banana and half a bagel. When Eryn finished, they were down to just half bagels.

Besides disappointing that we didn't get yummy food to celebrate, we needed that food to refuel - and we they were out! We were waiting for each other to finish and got really hungry in the process.

As for the water, each runner received just one 12-ounce bottle. When we asked for more, they said one per person. It was hot and sunny, and I just ran 13 miles - give me water!! Not acceptable. 


I don't mean to be totally down on the race. It was very fun, and the money went to a good cause. But please don't invite 10,000+ people over for a party and then only have space and food for 1,000.

I'm glad I did The Giant Race - no regrets. But I will not do it again. I'll save my money for something that can handle the crowds.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Running in the sun

It was very fall-like when I went running after work today.

The sun was shining but there was definitely a little crispness in the air. I loved it! 
I was keeping the pace comfortable and felt good - so I just kept running and logged 5.33 miles in 52:28. That includes a walk break after 3 miles.
 Now for a quick shower and dinner before handbell rehearsal :)

Luann is my hero

We got up at 5 a.m. Sunday morning for a run... but this time it wasn't our run - it was Luann's!
Luann is now a triathlete - and we got to witness it! So proud of you!!!

With nearly 1,000 athletes gathered at Cathedral Park for the Portland Triathlon, it was a bit like Where's Waldo:
THERE she is - gettin' pumped:
Sun rising as we wait:
There she goes!
Absolutely gorgeous!
She's out... done with her 750-meter open-water swim in the Willamette River!
Out of the transition area and off on her 26-kilometer bike ride:
What a beautiful place to wait:
Oooh... there she is - all done with the bike portion:
Last leg - a 5-kilometer run:
We ran up the hill and caught up with Luann as she headed over the St. John's Bridge.
Before we knew it, she was rounding the corner into the finish chute:
According to the Web site, Luann's official time was 2:12:27. I am truly amazed!

Way to go, Luann!!!!!!

Of course, we were famished after watching all these triathletes so we headed to Saturday Market for some grub. Veggie chili for me:
A gyro for Brad:
And they already have the Portland Marathon banners up downtown, so we had to take a picture for Brad :)
After a nap and some chores, we drove back to Portland for dinner with Brad's folks at Cup and Saucer. Brad had the pasta special, which was excellent:
Grilled veggie sandwich for me:
Chipotle chicken salad for Donna:
And a reuben sandwich for Steve:
We sat for a long time in the Hawthorne diner and swapped stories of recent travels.

A great Sunday :)