Tuesday, July 28, 2009


(How sweet is this little toadstool that popped up in our yard just hours after mowing?)

No, not workouts, posts. This is getting a little out of control with my posting incessantly isn't it?

I am feeling a bit of the after effects of yesterday's run - a little sore in the hips and hungry. I'm so lucky to have AC in this house because it is already up to 100 outside again. I'm actually cold right now and have my fleece on. Yeah, I kinda suck.

I found some suggestions for places in run in Lehi this weekend. Lehi is just outside of Salt Lake City and I'll be there over the weekend overseeing a site turnover for work. I'm kind of nervous about this since it'll be my first but hoping we can get it done smoothly without a hitch. It will be busy but I think I'll have some downtime on Sunday when I can do my run. Hopefully early in the day to avoid the heat there.

Today I have no run planned so may go to the gym for weights or something. I am definitely going to stretch plenty today to get out these kinks. I need my body to be ready for the long runs. Tomorrow I do another 9 mile run then am meeting up with the local PBRs for an OWS at Klineline Pond. Taking my wetsuit for another ride! Then Thursday is a travel day to Utah with work over the weekend.

I am slowly whittling away at my weekly goals to the left. I am also making progress on the wedding. We have our invites in production and am supposed to pick up my envelopes tomorrow so I can begin addressing them. We're a bit behind with this so I need to get rolling and can hopefully get some done alone in my hotel room this wknd. I also ordered TWO pairs of shoes online with the consult of the Gazelle. Thanks Amy! I also ordered some crafty goods online that will be incorporated into the ceremony. I've made some good connections of other brides-to-be and they've been letting me bounce things off of them and give suggestions. I am getting closer to the decoration decisions for the reception and how to do our ceremony. There is SO MUCH TO DO. I just hope my dress comes in next week so I can start w/the alterations. I got a short dress and am going to make it even shorter!

Ok, that's it. I'm done. (For now.)

Monday, July 27, 2009


I did my 8 miles in 100 degrees today (ended up going 7.29). Never ever again. Treadmill next time! I do not do so well in the heat, my body just can't handle it. I even ran with a fully frozen bottle that was warm by the end. My face is still beat red.

On a scale of 1-5 this was a 2, not receiving lower marks because I did not shit my pants, throw up or pass out. But honestly, it came close a couple of times. I was supposed to include 10x 100 strides, but only eeked out 2. It was miserable and I stopped a whole lot.

Miles = 7.29
Avg Pace = 9:01
Avg HR = 176

I'm going to try to put this one out of my memory rather quickly. Not a great way to start training again!

Week One - Day One

Immediately I regret the following:

1. Deciding a fast goal time
2. Announcing this goal time
3. Choosing this training plan
4. Signing up for the marathon

It is 100 degrees out! I haven't even gone out running yet and I'm dreading it. Truthfully it has been really nice not following a plan or having a race looming. I have to shift my attitude on this really quickly if I expect to stay sane!

I had a great weekend and got to spend time blowing it out partying one last time for a while. I'm definitely going to be aware of how much I drink in the future, esp if it is going to be this hot out and dehydration is an issue.

First week and I'm already changing around my training plan. Originally I had my runs on T and Th but since I'm traveling on Th I switched it to M and W. Should work out fine. Wish me luck during my 8 mile run on Week One Day One!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Portland Marathon Training Plan

I'm doing it! I signed up the minute I got home after watching Josh run it last year. I did my first marathon in 2007, the infamous Chicago race that was cancelled mid-race due to heat and no more available ambulances or water. Yep, that one. I sucked terribly, the actual act of running (and a lot of walking) in that heat/humidity and the fact that I trained for months for a bust. After that race I stopped running all together for a long long time. I maybe got in one run a month for like a year.

Then last summer I moved to Portland and decided to refocus and start up again. I found awesome support and a great running community right away. My coach and friend, Shawn, helped me get back into it and really focus on hard work and smart training. Sadly, he's moved away...back to Austin. But I still have his guidance, advice and support although I suppose now he's not my official "coach".

I also was lucky to connect with Jen and Zach, who had also just moved to Portland. I had a thin relationship with Jen through Martiza, who I worked with when living in CA a few years back. I met Jen I think only once at an allnight drink-fest at Maritza's apt, but then we also connected via email to discuss marathon training in 2007. (BTW, I owe this blog to Maritza as she convinced me to start it back in 2006.) But Jen and Zach also introduced me to the other PBJ/PBR'ers: The Ambitious One, Gazelles on Crack and Junk Miles, and ..... am I forgetting anyone? I always forget someone! Anyway, knowing these folks and keeping this electronic journal has spiked my interest in running to levels I haven't seen. It is fun and I'm healthy and motivated.

So where was I going with this? Yes, the marathon...watching last year's Portland race made me want to try another marathon. Even though I think it is crazy. Honestly, running more than 10 miles is simply insane but it is what we alls gotta deal with. The f'ing marathon. So, here we go...

My training plan starts Monday, with an off day. The race is 10 weeks away and happens the weekend after my wedding. I have a ton of stuff going on this summer so I know it is going to be challenging to stay on track. I hope this blog, and you, can help me through it.

Below is my training plan:

It is basically ripped right from the Advanced Marathoning book otherwise referred to as the Pfitz plan. I took the 12-week 55-mile plan and shaved off a couple of weeks (I think one from the 1st and one from the 3rd mesocycle). I put it into excel with only a very brief summary of the run showing, then details in comments under the cell. This way the plan doesn't look so daunting. I also added my big events, or travel in colors. These will be the days where I have to carefully plan out the training so I don't miss anything!

I also created a marathon mantra. I was up late one night worrying about this race a few weeks ago and decided to just write down all of my worries, since that usually helps. I made a numbered list, then wrote down all of the actions that I could take to avoid that worry coming to fruition. I only have control over so much, so I'll take whatever action I can and let fate guide the rest.

Want to see it? Want to see my marathon mantra? Of course you do. (You'll need to click on the screen shot to have any chance of reading it.)

My favorite advice is from Jen to cut down miles if necessary. I like this! And also from Shawn, to get weekly massages. I could prescribe to both of those things.

I'm going to do something I don't think I've done before and let you all know what my goal time is. I decided not to be wishy-washy about this this time around. Last race I simply wanted to finish, preferably under 4:00 but I really didn't care what my finish time was. This time I'm going to go for a 3:30 finish. I want to go fast, think I can go fast, want to qualify for Boston (to run with my uncle and past my sister's house), so there it is. I'm going to hopefully test this goal pace during my training and go into the race knowing the course, knowing my body and knowing I can do it. I'll be sad and disappointed if I don't hit that goal, but its not the end of the world.

So, what I need to do now is:

1. Enter Week 1 training into my Outlook calendar

2. Post the training plan at my desk

3. Buy a Gu bottle and fuel belt (if Josh's doesn't work for me)

4. Schedule some massages

5. Make yoga, stretching, trigger point and ice baths a priority

6. Set weekly goals (again)

7. Buy salt tablets

8. Research about 6 more long run courses

9. Smile

10. Relax

11. Take it easy!

Anyway, I am super excited to get going. I know the weeks are going to fly by! Feel free to comment on my plan/mantra and general craziness.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Wow, I have a brazillion things on my mind that I need to suss out here. Life is crazy, crazy good but crazy. I am grasping onto summer by my fingernails but for some reason it keeps evading me. Must sit down with calendar and think about how much time is left. Weather is great but there are so many other things that are happening that....well, I'm a bit busy. I'm going to try to sum it up with - you guessed it- a list:

Blue Lake Race Report:

I never wrote this race report. I think I had something going on that following week but in general I wasn't just all that excited about the race. Building up I had been pretty psyched and the morning of I was outta my gourd. But a few minutes after the race my enthusiasm waned (it may have waxed a bit too but I really can't remember). I was supremely annoyed and it probably had a lot to do with a certain monthly occurance that affects my ability to put it all into perspective. Pull it together Chicago!

Anyway, the race was fine. It was a good intro into the world of triathloning. Swim was fine, nothing interesting there. Bike was totally not interesting. The run sucked. Much harder than I'd expected. Feet were numb and my gait was off. It was a new sensation and in the future I'll definitely be doing more running bricks if I decide to continue w/tris. It was fun to do w/my friends but the weather was cold at the end and I got the chills and wasn't feeling it.

Hagg Lake Recap:

Much more fun than Blue Lake. And harder! I've never beat myself up about a race beforehand as much as I did here. Timing was EXACTLY one month after Blue Lake (see what I'm getting at?). But all of my woes occured (and hard) before the race. Once it started I was Happy McHapperson, Stupendous Sally, Molly Mc....you get my point. I had fun and that's that.

Triathlon Recap:

My only regret is not really training well. I missed a lot of workouts and didn't really put that much into them. I think I could do a lot better in the future. It was nice to get a reprieve from running, but I also missed JUST running. Swim and bike workouts are just more logistically challenging. Kind of annoying. I'm not sure yet if I'll pursue this in the future - stayed posted.

The New House:

This is the craziest part of this summer so far. We took 3 years to find a place and moved in w/in less than a month of the 1st viewing. Talk about whirlwind. Since living at home with my parents in HS I've pretty much only lived in the center of action. Downtown, bright lights, big city. (Save for Telegraph and Alcatraz for those that know the area, but I was w/in walking distance of BART and Rockridge and could see the entire SF skyline, both bridges and the ocean from my window! And the gang violence! That counts right?) Anyway, I haven't lived in a house-house since junior year of college. We're not in sub-divisionville now or really isolated but it definitely feels different. I feel much more vulnerable in a way. A crack whore in Capitol Hill/Seattle is less threatening than a crack whore on my sidewalk. Picking my roses. You know? Anyway, it is also really fun - I can't tell you how much I missed grilling! And for some reason I feel much more entitled to make and drink cocktails - like the French 76 that I'm drinking right now out of a martini glass! It is also nice to have peace and quiet and grass and stuff. We get to pick out paint colors and buy real grown up furniture. Yay! Of course all of this means more decisions and STUFF which is sometimes more stressful than exciting. Trying to keep it all in stride. This is an evolving thing and I plan to keep you posted.

The Wedding:

Holy fuck, I'm getting married in two months? Do you think it might be time to think about sending invitations? Yes, so that one is the drama this week, along with the other 49 items on our to do list. Basically, we're screwed. But we have the venue, photographer, dress and jacket so I'm sure we can pull it off, right? This is another "exciting time of your life" event but sometimes it turns out being just downright stressful. I'm also trying to keep this in stride and will keep you posted!

Two Weeks of Freedom:

I guess I just had two weeks "off"? Sucks because I didn't laze around as much as I thought I could. I ran and swam a lot, but I also pranced and partied and traveled and drank a lot too, so I guess its a win for me. Bottom line is that two weeks goes by really GD fast.

Marathon Training:

So my next thing, aside from the wedding and setting up house, is to run the Portland marathon. I think I'm really excited. I think I can do it. I've written up my training plan and had it reviewed by two professionals (my coach and Jen). I am almost ready to publish it. I did a fancy spreadsheet along with a mantra - all of my concerns and what to do to prevent them from happening. I'm psycho. I'll save the details for another post, believe me, it is going to be some revolutionary shiz. Imagine - another training plan! Posted on a running blog! Seriously, hold on to your hats and seats MFers cause this is going to be a wild ride.

Love ya, mean it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I Have Potential

Before I post anything else I must brag about my most recent acquisition...

A custom Elizabeth Dye bolero for my wedding, made from my mom's wedding dress!

Isn't it just about the most darling thing that you could imagine? I mean, honestly. My mom dropped off this dress when we met up recently and we had fits of laughter trying it on. The dress was quite lovely in 1969, but not on me, and not today. (I'll publish those photos in a different post.)
I took the dress into E. Dye, who owns The English Dept, in Portland and she was like, "yep, no problem." She got some info on what I liked, I tried on some of her other creations and she said she'd do a designers choice. I love her work and trust her and was not let down.
If anyone has the need for a custom wedding, or really anything, please contact her. She's on Etsy as well and has many many accolades. I met a girl at the wedding I went to in Tahoe this weekend that's from Chicago and found out that she's been in contact with E. Dye for a custom jacket too. Needless to say, she is a great designer and a very easy person to deal with. For all of this gushing I think I must admit a crush!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Great Weekend

Wow, my weekend was super fun but the outcome for me today is being distracted, not ready to work and having liver failure. My camera battery died on Saturday which is probably good since I don't have proof of some of my ridiculous actions. Like dancing. A lot. I am really really sore from dancing which is odd since I wasn't even this sore from doing an Olympic tri last weekend. I'm glad that I don't remember many of my moves.
More to come later....weekly goal recap and this week's goals. Also - only one more week until I start marathon training!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tahoe: Awesome

I've been to Tahoe before in both the summer and winter, but this trip has given me the chance to really enjoy it more than ever. We're staying in a house right in front of the lake (I'm looking at it right now) and it is close to everything. I can't believe I lived so far from this in the midwest growing up - I've concluded that I'm definitely taking my kids everywhere (once we have them).

So back to the training. I got in a nice morning run on Wednesday before leaving which was really nice, but I think I already reported that. Thursday I had most of the day to myself. I went on a nice run at high noon that could be summed up with the following H's: heat, height, hills. It was nice and hot and I ended up taking some wrong turns but overall felt strong. I had no real plan, just to go out and run and when I stopped the Garmin back at the house the mileage read 7.77. And I'm in Nevada. Hello slot machines!

After the run I went down to the beach then ended up at the pool. There were three lanes blocked off so I decided to get in some laps. However, the second I started they took out the lane markers and everything was taken over by a bunch of tiny little people called "children." Little bastards! Anywho - I got a lot of sun without getting burned and really enjoyed the day.

Last night was the rehearsal dinner that turned into a who-can-drink-the-most fest. I did not win, but I think Josh might have. Poor guy...he convinced us to leave the post-dinner party and go to the casino. He passed out on the way to the casino then proceeded to play blackjack for a few hours. Gambling is not my thing but I was a good sport and stood by the boys while they wasted away their earnings. I do like to watch so it was pretty fun but eventually became very boring. We got home around 2ish and I think it was the last Tecate before bed that did me in. What is wrong with me?

Woke up this a.m. feeling really headachy - obvi from the alcohol but I think also elevation and dehydration played into the mix. I brought my wetsuit along and have been really wanting to use it. The beaches here are all really hard to access - everything requires a pass or payment to get near the water. I don't know my way around very well either. I did a little sleuthing, emailed the contact for the Reno Triathlon Club and a very nice man wrote me back with a suggestion for a place to swim right by where we're staying. I convinced Josh to go with me and keep an eye out so that I didn't drown. This OWS thing is pretty new to me and going alone is especially scary...BUT, I did it!

And let me tell you, it was awesome. This water is crystal clear and blue, almost like a tropical body of water...but really cold. I think I could have gone without a suit but it would have been stupid. It is pretty cold, around 55* I think. Back to the scenery...there are mountains on every side of you and beautiful sand below. It is quite spectacular. I suited up and swam out to the "no boat" buoy and did a long lap across the bay. I went out and back, about 30 minutes total. I really didn't want to leave, but we had to get Josh to a groomsman function.

So, bottom line is that I got some physical activity, shocked the hangover out of my system AND have the rest of the day to enjoy this beautiful playland. Wedding is tonight and I'm going to try my best to not blow my top off with wine/beer/white russians galore.

HAPPY FRIDAY and have a great weekend peeps!

(sorry this is so rambling and poorly written...i think i might still be hungover after all)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Heading Out

(Keeping with the picture posts - this is my ID card for the Naperville Parks District - Centennial Beach. This was my absolute favorite part about summer - going to "the beach" which was a big rock quarry with a sand and play area for kids. This is where I learned how to swim. I was a pretty strong swimmer back then despite my unusually small stature. I could keep up with the big kids and moved to the next levels quickly. I remember my joy when I passed the swim test that would allow me to go into the deep end. I felt so damn grown up and responsible. I went almost every day in the summer with my mom and just kicked it. Good times.)

It is almost Friday at 5 pm for me! I'm heading out in about an hour to catch a flight to Reno to start a long wedding weekend at Lake Tahoe. I am really excited. I plan to get a little work done, and a lot of relaxing. Josh has wedding party duties so I get a lot of alone time which I'm excited about. I found a yoga joint near our rental house that also has massages....yay! I am also being ridiculously eager in bringing my wetsuit. The only way this will be lame is if I do NOT swim in the lake. I must do it! There is a tran-lake swim (forget the name of it) going on this weekend, where teams of 6 do a relay sans-wetsuits 11.5 miles across the lake. Sounds awesome and crazy and I'd love to watch!

I felt so invigorated after last night's ride that I decided to get up this morning and run. I did about 5 miles around the hood, down past officer's row and to the landbridge and back. It was a great run! I think I averaged 8:28 miles and it felt really easy. Saw a lot of other runners getting their sheeyot done before the day starts. It is a bright beautiful day and I'm looking out right now at my garden with tons of bees and butterflies flitting around.

I don't think life could get much better.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday Bike Ride

(Charm given as a senior gift for track in high school. Found this when I was at home last time. [I am going to try to post as many random shots as I can since I have taken so many pictures lately. Doesn't it make things more interesting?])

I rode my bike today! This was the first time I think ever that I've just hopped on it and gone out with no real plan in mind. It was fun! It is a gorgeous day out and I was glad to enjoy it on the bike.

My tire was almost totally flat after the race so I needed to find a place to fill up since my pump is broken. I found a local bike shop right near our new house and it was perfect! Guys working there a little off, but what can you do. Aren't all grease monkeys a little off? (If that is offensive I apologize.)

I headed briefly through town out towards Vancouver Lake/Frenchmen's Bar. It is a nice road with plenty of shoulder and little traffic. After passing through a couple of stoplights you're on open road. I took the left before V. Lake to head to F. Bar. I've done one ride out this way before, but I just stayed on the road and went to the end. This time I went off into the parking lot that takes you to more paths and an entire beach with like 20 volleyball courts set up on the Columbia River. Wow. There weren't that many people out there and it was quite pretty. Just a couple of boaters out waterskiing in the late day sun. I saw this huge tanker out there and realized that I HAD been here before. It was the turnaround at the Vancouver Lake Half Marathon I did in January. It was the boat pictured here. Guess I didn't recognize it without all that snow.

I don't know how far I went but I was out for 50-55 minutes in all.

I love being able to leave home and get on a route like that without having to deal with any of the city bullsh-t. I feel like my little adventure in a new city has begun. I thank my stars every day for living out in the NW. As a midwestern girl all of this beauty and nature wows me everytime.

Gotta run - need to put some maters and squarsh in the ground before we leave for CA (er, actually NV) tomorrow. I can't wait to be in Tahoe and enjoy another wedding and beautiful long weekend in the West!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Weekly Goals (7/13/09)

Yes - I do have goals!

This is the first time I've posted weekly goals since March this year. I was at the point where it was just too much to maintain and I wasn't really following them anyway. I've decided that since tri training is over for me I will refocus on these weekly goals. Fresh start!

I was quite overzealous this week and have included items beyond my world of physical prowess. Most of this stuff I'm probably not going to accomplish this week but I wanted to at least try for a good start:

1. Get lots of sleep
2. Take vitamins
3. Drink a lot of water
4. Eat healthy food
5. Track food
6. Stretch and/or TP daily
7. Behave in Tahoe
8. Yoga – go at least 3 times (find a place in Tahoe)
9. Abs - something
10. Arms - something
11. Draft marathon training plan – get feedback


1. put more stuff away
2. organize storage/bsmt
3. contact prev owners
4. figure out garden
5. pull straws for who cleans up the dogshit in the lawn
6. buy grill
7. decide when to have bbq/party
8. send out change of address email


2. house rental
3. planner contract
4. figure out florist
5. figure out music
6. figure out officiant
7. figure out dessert
8. send out thank yous from wedding shower

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hagg Lake Olympic Tri Race Report

Quick summary: I can't believe I actually did this race, let alone finished, let alone had an good time (finish time and enjoyment time).

(Some pictures at the end but they're all in reverse order and I don't have time for blogger's hijinx today.)

Race Morning:

Luckily my alarm did its thing and I was up at 5:15 a.m. I ate two pieces of toast with butter, had coffee and tried to house water. Josh got a pass from me on this race so I wrangled my friend Anne into coming for support and photography. I left for her house at about 6 a.m. and there I stopped inside to use the bathroom really quickly. The ride out was long and I started to worry about having to take a dump, you know, the usual pre-race worries. I must have talked with Anne about this for 20 minutes and described my woes to her in detail. She laughed at everything I said which is why I like to hang out with her! It took a while to get to the race site but luckily we didn't get lost. I found a spot right before the main parking lot that had a bathroom and by then I knew it was time. I was sooo relieved to get that out of the way! Got down to the parking lot, lucked out on a good spot, ran into another mutual friend doing the race, pumped my tires and headed to the start! I think I arrived around 7:30?

Race Site Prep:

I got marked up and carried my gear to my rack. I was number 27 and I Jen and Zach were 24 & 25 so I knew we'd be close. I found their stuff - VERY neatly laid out but they were no where to be found. I set up right next to Jen because I wanted her good vibes and organizational skills to rub off on me. She walked up and didn't realize it was me setting up and said hi to me like I was a stranger. (She later told me that she was simultaneously thinking "who is this bitch?" and "I wonder where Emily is" at once. I love it.)

I nervously put my laces back into my running shoes and got everything else set up. I had intended to use the new Yankz that I bought but realized this morning that my engineering skill level would hold me back from figuring those bitches out. I decided to put the original bad boys back in. Stick with what you know! I unveiled my shiny new wetsuit, put cap/goggles on, had everything set out for me when I returned.....ready to head down to the water!

Race Strategy:

I will interject here with my race strategy. I had none. If you read this site you know I was really freaking out about the race and almost backed out of it. I also considered doing the sprint instead of the olympic. So the last week was really bad for me mentally, worrying about dropping out, worrying about actually doing it. I knew I wasn't prepared and there was nothing I could do about it this late in the game. I was not excited about letting myself down. But by race morning I had sort of reached a Zen state and was really okay with it all. My plan honestly was to take everything slow and just try my hardest to finish. Low expecatations baby!

Race Start:

I walked down to the start and found Jen right away. We chatted and posed for pictures (by Anne) while the men started. Some ladies overheard me saying that I was extremely ill-prepared and nervous and they were like "you had us fooled!" I think they may have mentioned that they were intimidated by us which was very flattering (must be our muscular shoulders and look of gritty determination??). I asked Jen how I should pace myself during the swim. Probably not the right time to think of this 2 minutes before the start but whatever. Her advice was very technical: go slow the first lap and go faster if you can the second lap. This seemed like the best thing I could have heard!

We both sort of slid into the water to get a little warm up in. Yes, we literally slid as the floor of the lake was slimy slimy muck. Yuck. We wished each other a final good luck before they counted down the seconds....


The swim was great! I did not freak out at all and think I managed the crowds well. I finished the swim in 30:27 and honestly think I could have gone a lot faster. My effort level during the swim was really low and I was barely kicking at all - I wanted to save my legs for the rest of the race. I felt very fluid in the water and comfortable and methodical. I thought about the fact that I was there at all and *really doing this* like *right now*! I smiled quite a bit at the thought and it really put me at ease for the day. I love my new wetsuit too. I kicked it in just a little in the final stretch but coming out of the water I felt super duper.


3:48....argh! Ok, so a little faster than Blue Lake (4:05) but WTF? I want to go at least a minute faster on this. Ah well.


The bike is two loops around the lake and is pretty gorgeous. Oh yes, and hilly. But I think I've decided that I like a hilly route better - makes it more interesting for me and I seem to pass people on the uphills. Again, I had no strategy on the bike, but my competitive nature took over a little. It is fun to pass people! It is not fun to have people pass you. I noticed that my front tire was starting to get flat and I was praying that it could just make it through. The first lap had a lot of people on the course, but the second lap was dead. For most of it I didn't see anyone behind me or in front of me. I almost thought I'd taken a wrong turn. There is a little out and back turnaround section and I saw Jen both times - literally a minute or less behind me. I was hoping she would catch up with me so we could push each other, but I knew it would definitely happen on the run. (Foreshadowing.)

I had two water bottles, one with Gatorade. I only drank about half of the Gatorade while on the bike, which is more than I usually take in. I also sucked down 4 Shot Blocks like a ravenous woman. I'm glad I brought them with me.

The second part of the loop was so lonely that I started heckling the race volunteers so I could have some interaction. Then when I started seeing runners I heckled them too. I even had a brief exchange with a tall drink of water on his run that was funny. (Yes, I am engaged but it is okay to flirt sometimes.)

I don't know if I could have gone faster on the bike? I am bad at gauging this. I can tell you toward the end my quads were starting to scream. I started thinking about the run...oh god, the run. I knew based on Blue Lake that the run was going to be the most painful part, the place where I could fall apart. I decided that once I got off the bike I would erase all memory of the bike and pretend that I was on fresh legs. Seemed like a good plan.

I rolled off the bike in 1:31:28.


2:08 - whatevs.


My legs felt like lead the first mile but then actually warm up and started feeling okay. I'd been really worried about having my feet go numb this time. That happened in Blue Lake and was terrifying. It ruined my gait and I just could NOT run. It was really awkward and painful. So this time I made sure to have my laces loose and hoped for the best. It worked better this time around but I still did have some numbness. Gotta figure out a way to get rid of that!

I hate the run of the triathlon because it is the hardest leg, yet should be an area in which I excel. I was having such a fun time in this race that I didn't want a slow run to piss me off. I just decided to not worry about the run time, just worry about having a good time, enjoy it all (and try not to walk). There are some pretty big hills on this run and towards the top of them my legs were burning and screaming in pain. I was really hoping not to have an all out cramp fest until at least the race was over with. I kind of started shuffling and not really running. However, at the 5k mark I saw that I was under 24:00 which was absolutely amazing to me. Honestly I'd hoped to run 10:00/miles so this was a surprise. That 5k was faster than the damn Blue Lake 5k - wtf!?

Somewhere in here I passed Joel, who I met through my coach Shawn. Joel has a blog that he updates with his training and I was SO happy to see him. I started thinking about this post, where he mentions meeting like-minded people (me, Jen, Zach) and for some reason I started to cry! Not full on tears but choked-up happy crying. It was awesome - I knew I'd reached the state I wanted to be in! I hoped that it would come again at the finish because I love that shit.

I also passed Zach and my friend Ian and gave them both high fives. It was awesome.

I knew Jen was close behind and I wanted her ass to catch up to me. I knew she would and a little after the halfway mark we were side by side. We talked a bit and I mentioned "a plan" then a few minutes later Jen was like "um, what is the plan?" I was clearly not thinking straight but told her we needed to start picking people off (despite the fact that there were not many people within sight in front of us). It was around this time that I realized how much pain I had in my legs. (Do you ever do that thing where you can ignore something until someone you know comes around? That's totally how I am with running and why I don't typically like running with people. If they're there I have the potential to bitch and moan about something and then that makes me focus on it.) It could have been the realization OR the fact that Jen was hauling ass and my trying to keep up was too much. I saw the big hill in front of me and I excused her from the dinner table. That little girl took off like a stallion and did start picking people off! It was so fun to watch it all go down and I can only hope to take some credit for it. (I can't, but I can still pretend.)

Despite the pain the run was great and I knew I was almost there. I rolled down the final hill with a huge smile and feeling of accomplishment. Not everyone can do these races and I know how lucky I am. After all my turmoil over this race it was done and I actually did well. That felt good.

(Run time was 49:45)

Post Race:

Ate some crappy post race food with fellow participants and friends. The sun came out and everything was light and warm and happy. The ride back home took way longer than expected but I had good company so all was good. I was kind of loopy/delirious so that was fun too. Spent the entire rest of the day EATING and DRINKING and rolling around in my own personal victory!!!

Lessons Learned:

I'm in better shape than I think I'm in.
Next time prepare better.
Don't stress out so much.
Make sure your tires are inflated fully.
Try out new gear/equipment in advance.
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. (Just kidding - I just heard that weird chick from the Real Housewives of New Jersey say it and it cracked me up.)

Next Steps:

I started thinking about my next steps last night. I love fresh starts, new beginning and formulating a PLAN. Right now I'm in full gear and can't wait to get ready to GO GO GO! Coach Shawn demanded that I not run for 2 weeks and then start marathon training. I don't know if I can stick to that but I can try. I do know that I want to spend these 2 weeks doing a lot of yoga and weightlifting and potentally biking. I'm going up to Tahoe next week (Wed - Sun), so I'm sure I will get some running in there. I am pumped.

Overall, life is great and I'm happy to be alive.

Finish time: 2:57:29

Friday, July 10, 2009

Random Rambling

Hi! Me again.

Wanted to report my recent runs (this will be brief):

I didn't do anything on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. Rock on!

Wednesday I was supposed to do my 100 on 100 off track workout but due to time delay and dinner plans I shortened it and only ended up running about 2.5 miles total. I did a 7:59 pace and had an avg HR of 161bpm. It was a good chance to explore my new neighborhood a bit and I went to a local school track (elementary, junior high, high school? don't know). The track was basically dirt but it sufficed. I got a stomach cramp toward the end which sucked since I don't normally get those type of stitches.

Thursday I was ready to go out for a 45 minute bike ride + 20 minute run - my final brick before the race this weekend. What I didn't anticipate was not being able to find my bike shoes or helmet. WTF? I guess that's what happens when you move but seriously? I have a race this weekend and need this stuff! I searched for about an hour before calling it off to go for a run only. I wanted to do around 6 miles but ended up doing a little over 7. I ran from home, through downtown where an outdoor concert was kicking, then over the I-5 bridge (scene of bow and arrow suicide attempt a couple of weeks ago that I forgot to write about), then back to WA and down the river path, then over the new landbridge and back home. The run was great and I felt strong = 8:08 pace/avg HR 161. If I'd stopped at mile 6 my pace would have been ever faster since I slowed down in the final mile.

I think if I were just training for the marathon right now I'd feel in great shape and ready to keep improving. My running feels pretty strong (what I've managed to get done). However, I have this little triathlon tomorrow that is really throwing a monkey wrench into my confidence and planning. I made the decision to do it. All of the comments really helped - especially those that said it was okay to not do it. That made me feel like less of a quitter for even considering bailing. I do not think that doing the race is a safety issue. I think it is simply going to be one very hard badass workout and I'm up for that. If something happens during the race that puts my health at risk for the future I'll stop. I've never gone for the gold or podium finishes here so it doesn't really matter in the long run. I did buy a wetsuit and quick laces too, so I have all of the tools in place.

However...if I can't find my bike shoes then this all may be moot!

This has been such a ramble-fest! But I'm not done...

I love living in a house, we are having so much fun this week. I have spent hours unpacking and am almost done getting everything out and organized. I will definitely send pics. We have a TON of furniture and stuff to buy so its not going to be Home & Garden magazine ready for a while. We also want to do some paint and possibly a few other improvements. I'm just really happy to have all of my stuff in one place. I love having a garage, basement and yard (except when finding dog shit on the lawn). There have been a lot of fun little trials and tribulations over the past few days that I can share later too.

We now live in the same city as Josh's parents, which is totally fine. They really keep to themselves and I knew it wouldn't be an issue with having to see them too much once we moved over here. However, I KEEP running into them! Monday they were having dinner al fresco at a restaurant near us and we stopped and talked to them. Totally random. Then we had a planned dinner with them on Tuesday night. Then last night when I was running I ran into them on the sidewalk. What are the chances? Its not like this is a really small town with no where to go. Anyway, it was just weird to have that experience in this first week. Maybe a little too much too soon? I don't know!

Now, on to marathon training. I am doing Portland this October, which occurs a week after my wedding. I have been thinking about how to tackle this training plan since I'll be doing it without a coach. I borrowed Jen's book by Pete Pfitzinger and have looked at the training plans a bit. I should also probably read the book to get a better understanding of the methodology. It seems like a good plan to follow and I just need to gauge whether I can complete the training. I am going to take 2 whole weeks off of running starting next week, then I will dive into the program. That leaves me only 10 weeks! I'm hoping that I have a good enough base to jump into the training, but I really have no choice. Last night I wrote down a list of my concerns about the race, then started writing an action plan to eliminate those concerns. I am such a f'ing dork. But seriously, writing lists and thinking things through really helps me.

Much more to come here in the next few weeks; some draft post ideas that I plan to tackle:

  1. My 2 weeks off
  2. Blue Lake race report (finally!?)
  3. Hagg Lake race report (pending participation :))
  4. Tri training/season recap
  6. House updates - first week in, planned improvements
  7. Wedding planning updates - yay!
Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Just wanted to quickly check in to say thanks for the comments and advice. (Especially from those that don't normally leave any comments.)

I am really enjoying this week as a new homeowner and coming closer to making a decision about the weekend. I feel much more relaxed about whatever I choose to do and I think vetting it out here has helped...so thanks!

More to report in a few days - for now, COFFEE!

Monday, July 06, 2009

I Moved

We moved over the weekend into our new place and am so happy! We started Friday by finishing packing and loading everything onto our truck. Since we couldn't get into the new place until Sunday we decided to spend a homeless 36 hours at the cabin.

While at the cabin I decided to do an open water swim and survived 10 minutes, maybe 15. I panicked and thought I was going to drown or get eaten by the large fishies in the lake. I'm stupid. Maybe I went too fast, but I had to stop. My tweaked my wrist while moving and the swim didn't help. I sat and sulked for 3 hours after this and decided not to do the Hagg Lake tri this coming weekend. Then I think I talked myself back into doing it but only "for fun." Then I think I decided that these races cannot be fun and the only way I could walk away feeling good was to not worry about finish time/performance. Who can do that though? Hopefully me. I have completed approx 33% of my workouts over the last month. And the last two months about 66% of my workouts. I'm not in good shape anymore and I can feel it.

I did a 6 mile trail run later on in the day that was so-so. More negative thoughts about racing and performance. I briefly considered throwing in the towel on training for the Portland marathon (October 3rd) and on training anymore all together. I doubt I'll go that far, but honestly my mind isn't made up on this weekend's race. There is a lot of crap that I have to do to get ready (buy wetsuit, laces, actually go to the race, etc.). I'd really rather be on a hike or setting up my new house.

Yesterday we moved everything into our place. It is so fun and exciting and all I want to do is unpack and get everything put together. We slept like rocks in our new bedroom - dead from the day and no outside noise. It was awesome.

So....anyone have thoughts and want to weigh in? Am I a huge pussy if I don't do the race? What about if I do the race but take it really easy?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


I am in need of an emotional, mental and physical reset. The last time I did anything was on Saturday and I think this is the longest I've gone w/o training in a while. I got a new 2-week training plan (my last) from Coach Shawn, but I honestly have not even looked at it too closely.

Monday night I spent a long time going through my stuff and it brought back a lot of memories. I was up until the wee hours of the morning and only slept a couple of hours before going to the airport again. Last night I'd been up over 24 hours before I went to sleep. I only got another few hours until work worries woke me up at 4:30 a.m. and I started working. I've been on my ass in front of the computer for like 15 hours straight. Because of all of this I decided to scrap any running/biking/swimming to do a little reset.

I'm catching up on an episode of The Bachelorette to wind down then taking a Tylenol PM. I plan to get at least 13 hours of sleep tonight. Wish me luck!

I have also started thinking about what is going to excite me next in this realm of my life (training). Do I want to keep biking and swimming? Or do I just want to run? Do I want long distance, middle or short? Do I want to race or just use training to stay healthy and sane? Pursue something new or just stick with the known?

Lots of things to consider and that excites me. I am really excited about training for the marathon. I'm taking off two weeks after the race next weekend before I start. Going to take that time to decide what the plan is. I can't wait to start yoga again. Yoga will be integral. Lots of other stuff too. (I have a damn wedding to get my ass ready for too!)

Sweet dreams.