Saturday, February 28, 2009

Terribilist & Potential TV Stars & I Love Bacon

I've just taken the last 3 days off of being sane, healthy and happy. I've been in a total funk and need the buck to stop here. There are really no details to go into, it just is what it is. All of my goals on the sidebar will be fails this week so I'm just going to call it like it is. I may as well start fresh today. My recap:
  • Monday - went to bikram w/Gazelle, lifted and ran
  • Tuesday - 6 mile tempo run in Seattle; my tempo miles were: 6:57 and 7:29. The wind was at my back for the first mile and in my face the 2nd one. It felt hard, but I really suck at pacing myself. I need to get this down in the future. Pace for whole run was 8:00.
  • Wednesday - Post party hangover, was going to go to my old gym in Seattle for a swim, but didn't have time between work stuff, dentist appt and driving allll the way back to PDX.
  • Thursday - So nice to be home. I was going to do my track workout today but there was no way. I was totally exhausted and tired and knew it would probably turn out horribly. A good runner would have done an easy 3 or 4 miles, but my funk would not allow me.
  • Friday - A good runner would have worked out today but my life still felt shitty and I decided to watch the entire 3rd season of Weeds, make cocktails (Kajmir+milk+hazelnut Coffeemate over ice = real nice) and eat pizza.
That leaves us with today. Still in jammies and trying to catch up on life, laundry, cleaning, blog reading (has your Google Reader ever said 1,000+?). Here are some other notes on my life right now:

House hunt - we looked at a place yesterday that has potential. It is move-in ready but ideally we'd do some work, eventually. So now I will reveal some weird stuff that happened in the past week. On a whim I applied for a show on HGTV called "My First Place" - in a matter of a few days I did a phone interview and they want to see more of us. A local producer is coming to our apartment to do a casting video of us on Tuesday, then it is presented to the network to decide if they want to follow us on the show. I know, WTF, right? I don't know if I'm the reality show typa girl, but I do know that these people provide a surprise gift at the end (usually furnish a room in your new house). There are SEVERAL pros and cons that I could list out, but I won't bore you. I have always been fascinated with the unknowns of the behind the scenes on shows like this, so if anything this casting video will reveal a little insight in to my curiousity. I'll definitely report back! If anyone has ever had an experience like this I'm open to tips and thoughts on the whole deal.

Wine party - the local Portland runners conspired at their last meeting to have a wine tasting party. I recently came into a stash of wine charms during an unplanned act of trash diving. I also happen to have purchased a couple dozen wine glasses recently AND have a silver bucket which would be perfect for spitting. However, if you dare to spit out any wine on my premises, you will probably not be asked back. Its for the look, I don't light it. Anyway, details are being sussed out but I think it'll be fun and if you're local and not a psycho stalker let me know your email address and I'll consider inviting you too.

Also, I'm also totally on a bacon kick - there is some crackling in the microwave for me right now.

Also, my ankle still hurts despite being devoid of any activity since Tuesday. Schweet.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Day One of Many

This may be my last post for a few days - I am going to drive up to Seattle tomorrow for a couple of days for work. This may or may not affect my training plan but I'm going to do my best to switch around my week to make it all work.

Speaking of the training plan...I received my first week yesterday and it is a doozy! Starting with today which I think is an "easy day" - strength training (uppers and lowers) + 5 mile easy run + stretching or yoga. Ooookay? So I did it. I did 30 minutes of at-home strength training. Then I went to bikram today with the Gazelle (thanks for the ride!) - don't forget to wish her a happy birthday tomorrow. Then I changed into dry clothes and ran 5.2 miles.

During the run all I could think about was F O O D. But I took it easy and did about 9:37 miles. My ankle is still smarting, but in a strange hurts for a couple of minutes, then totally eases up for about a minute, then back at it again. I don't get it. Does anyone know what this injury is? I am icing it right now.

I feel like I had a lot more to say but I lost it. I suck.

Have a great week!

Goals Recap from 2/16/09

Goals For The Week (2/16/09) - Recap

  1. Create training plan for week and stick to it - well, this sort of went okay. I was a little wishy washy about the plan, so my wishy washy results can technically be defined as sticking to the plan. Right? This was my last week before the real training plan so I'm going to take it easy on critiquing myself. I did a-ight.
  2. Swimming Time Trial - yay! I successfully completed my TT which allowed my coach to create my training plan.
  3. Yoga 3 times - SUCCESS! Three bikram classes this week.
  4. Spin class - SUCCESS AS WELL!
  5. Strength training - 2 sessions - Nada - none, nothing.
  6. Eat well and track it - I had a few unsuccessful days of eating, but I was good about tracking it during the week. The weekend is where I kind of stop tracking it and should probably start doing that.
  7. Drink tons of water (64 oz/day) - ok here.
  8. Take vitamins - I know I missed these over the weekend, but have been good about it during the week. Need to make sure I don't miss over the wknd anymore.

Weekend Recap

Lots of action since last Thursday. Thursday night I stayed up so late that I felt assy on Friday and didn't do anything! Bad runner. I did go out for a fun night of piano concerts, dinner and post dinner jazz. It was all totally unplanned and fun.

Saturday morning I woke up bright and early and decided to go to the 9 a.m. bikram class. After this I literally high-tailed it over to my friends house to go running. She ran her FIRST EVER 3 miles outside! We did it on the track and went at about a 10:00 pace and she rocked it. It is fun to introduce people to running that have the tendency to hate it. I think if she keeps doing it she'll become a pro in no time. After that we commenced with our "day of sloth" which involved a lot of cheese, champagne and bad TV. It was awesome.

Unfortunately I didn't manage my food or water intake well and woke up feeling totally shitty on Sunday. I didn't think I'd be able to do anything. Around 5 p.m. my roommate convinced me to go on a run with him - an alternate route! I never stray from my norm so I was a little apprehensive, but it turned out to be fun. We went up into the Rose Garden and through Washington Park on the road and on trails. I did a pretty good job considering how crappy I'd felt earlier in the day. I did have some stomach issues (again) and some weird pains in my lower back/right side, but it all turned out okay. We ended up doing 7.2 miles at a 9:05 pace. I iced my ankle after this but woke up with it hurting more than normal today.

Next up: weekly goal re-cap, this week's goals, wedding advice and.....MY NEW TRAINING PLAN!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Home Alone/Dresses/Delts/Demise

I am officially home alone! (Please don't break in and assault me.) My domestic partner left me alone so tonight I'm flying solo, at least for the next 25 minutes until I pass out. I get to do all of those grass is greener/manure things - yay! It is too late for me to eat Funyuns all night but I am polishing off a bottle of wine and watching Lost. And I get to X out on the bed.



I did things today; here is what I did:
  • Dress shopping - all together: eeeeeeeeeeeeee! Miss Jen dragged herself away from sickness to share in the preview of ME in my first ever WEDDING DRESS. How bizarrely surreal. I tried on about 10 and most were absolutely awesome. Tell me, how could one not look good in a $4k dress? I'm still trying to digest what happened in there so I apologize for the random, broken thoughts... First, the saleswoman has now seen my boobs more than my fiance. She had to "put me" in each dress. Gross. But I went with the flow because I don't think I have much choice. LOTS OF MIRRORS. Every angle. Man am I glad that I've been working out a lot because it could have been much worse. I found a couple of styles that worked, but none that I was totally thrilled with. Plus, the experience just didn't feel very "me." I don't want to feel like I'm wearing something totally out of the ordinary, to me it feels like playing dress up. I don't want a costume or a uniform. I love the whole shazam quality of wedding garb, but for me it just isn't working. We left, Jen departed and hopefully she's at home sleeping right now, but last I heard she may have been drinking off the cold. Atta girl. I went on to another tiny boutique whose owner I've been in email contact with. I had no appointment, but the store was empty and she was happy to show me the ropes. Totally creative woman, and her vision/mission was so much more me - complete 180 from the last store. Great selection and if you don't see what you like she'll design one for you. I tried on a couple and think I may have found the dress. AWESOME. More to come.
  • Was sore from swimming - but only in a a teeny tiny spot, the posterior deltoid. I'm just glad it isn't worse. I can't wait to get back into the scummy 24 Hour Fitness pool.
  • Bikram - yes, I went and yes it was hot. And sweaty and smelly. I stood next to "the cute guy" but who cares cause I'm about to get hitched. Even if I was single I would have been completely grossed out by the end of class as he blew his nose into his towel most of class. No. No. Do not do that.
I should probably feel guilty and bummed that I haven't run much this week. I've only done 3 miles easy so far. What is wrong with me? Well, my ankle is jacked. Inside left ankle above the bone just feels like someone Nancy Kerriganed me. There is no bruise or swelling but it hurts. I would be okay if an expert just told me it would be okay and keep running through the pain. I am a little worried that it hasn't gone away in almost 3 weeks. I'm icing almost every night and almost always wearing good shoes. (No comment from the Michigan sisters!) I am probably going to go to spin tomorrow and maybe for a run - something with some speed to spice it up a little. Saturday's plan is an easy 3, then Sunday is Trail Factor.

More non-training related personal sidenotes (this is unfortunately becoming more of a theme with me which I had never really intended on doing when I started this):

Why does everyone on HGTV need to sip a mug of coffee while deciding which house to buy? I applied for "Property Virgins" online the other night and only hope to god I'm not contacted. I may have been slightly inebriated at the time.

I mentioned that I'm sick of my job. What if I started my own business? How cool (um, hot) would it be to own a bikram studio, or some other type of yoga studio? Or what about a stuff shop that sells all the crap I love to buy? Has anyone reading this started their own business or have suggestions? Hello, is there anyone out there?


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Swim Time Trial (1,000m)

Honestly I had no idea what I was doing today when I headed to the pool. I haven't been in the pool in over a year and can't remember how fast is fast and what feels right and everything else. I decided to skip the warm up and jump in and go. Why not?

Alisa provided me with some advice to go all out on one of the early 200's, check my watch to see how it felt and if I could keep it up for the whole span. My first 200 was 3:32 and I just tried to stick with that pace throughout. I did stop once to regain my composure after snorting up water, then getting weirdly claustrophobic and panicked (has never happened before save for the day I jump off of a ferry into the SF bay @ Alcatraz in a bikini - nothing could describe panic more than that which I'd totally forgotten until today). I kept the timer going during all stops and my overall time was 20:44.

I have no context for that - it is what it is.

It was good to get in the pool again. I'll be interested to see how sore I am tomorrow - but so far it doesn't feel bad. I do not like my goggles - they're tinted blue and I would prefer to have a clear view on what is around me. My Nike 2-piece is still working out too. I'm not a brick house and I don't like "lettin' it all hang out" but I'd rather feel slick than dragged down by a bigger suit. I remember the days of high school where we'd add on layers and layers of suits for drag! Crazy girls.

Overall, it was easier than I expected - there are definitely benefits to increased fitness through running, yoga and other cross training. I love it! Total validation on all of the hard work.

You Can Have Whatever You Like

Spin! Jen and I went together yesterday which was awesome because we got to chat and suffer in tandem. (Ooh - note to self on entrepreneurial idea of tandem spin bikes...) The instructor was insane and kept talking about New York bikers and I was like - no one cares about New York so shut it. I hate people who name-drop and people who city-drop are just as bad. She was pretty good though - barking at us and walking around, also okay with people stopping if they needed to. She had us all line up in one row which was friggin weird. Anyway, I kept on my HRM and my avg HR was 171 over the whole class; I spent 45:00 in Z5, which is crazy! These workouts are hard and Jen agreed, which was good since she has trained outdoors more than I have (about 100% more than I have). It was good to hear validation on that. I don't know how Jen did this after a swim workout, but I guess that is what triathlon training is all about, which brings me to my next point...

Swim TT! I have to do a 1000m TT this week in the pool. When Shawn told me he needed this info to put together my training plan I was all "ok" then I got off the phone and thought about it and was all "what?" I haven't been in a pool in at least a year and I gotta time myself? This will be hilarious. But today I got really excited about it and pulled out my suit/goggles/cap and can't wait to hit the pool! I suppose this means that I have to shave, right? I can't wait to report back on the results later.

Bikram! I went on Monday and it went well despite the woman next to me kept dry heaving and burping the whole time and I almost threw up as a result. I'm getting better at a few moves - the go back way back move and my half moons are pretty tight - I'm taling 90* angles here. Also the standing head to knee pose I was able to get my forehead down on my knee, which is awesome. First time ever! My knee felt tight for tree pose and some of the floor stuff where you're sitting btwn your knees. I just took it easy because I do not want a bikram-induced knee injury on my hands.

Shawn won't give me my training plan until I've done the swim TT so I guess I'm off the hook on hardcore training for at least another few days. At first I was uptight about the lack of a plan but now I am kind of comfortable with it! I've actually managed to do a lot on my own and kept up my fitness pretty well (I think). It might be hard to snap back into shape though once I get a real plan in place. I am a little nervous about this tri training but am going to do my best to get it all done!

Personal stuff - we've been looking at houses for years now, seriously. We almost bought one in Seattle, but then shortly after the deal fell through we decided to move to Portland. Thank god we didn't buy that house! The bastards didn't even counter our offer and simply said NO. Three months later they came back on their knees. Screw you bastards, we didn't want your little shitty house anyway! Now we're making some big decisions on location that scare me somewhat. I have lived in a big city since 2002 and it will be hard to give that up if we decide to move out of the city. But last night I timed the drive, during rush hour, getting back to downtown Portland and it was only 12 minutes - about 5 minutes longer than if I lived in a Portland neighborhood on the other side of town.

That's it! Happy Hump Day.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I set out for a 7 mile run today with 5 miles in the middle at tempo pace, which I decided was going to be 7:45. It is cloudless and beautiful out so I ventured out with high hopes. Tons of people out smiling and thinking that spring is right around the corner. (I am almost sure that it is not.)

The first mile I took it easy, but it still turned out fast as usual (downhill). I felt pretty good and ready to start going once I hit mile one. At some point here I realized I was ahead of my Garmin by .3 miles. So my warm up ended up being 1.3 instead of 1.0. Whatever, right!? (As I write this paragraph I realize how OCD I sound.)

Mile 2 hit and I started going, wanting to hit a 7:45 mile. I totally forgot how this felt and anticipated it would feel harder than it did a month ago since I'm sure I have lost some fitness. It did feel hard! I finished it in 7:38 (HR avg 175). Mile 3 just kept trucking on the trail (and took off my top layer -which is awesome!) and did it in 7:37. Still feeling hard, but not too bad; avg HR at 176 for this mile. In the middle of mile 4 I did my turn around and hit the wind...more than I had anticipated. About halfway through this mile my stomach started to feel, well, uncomfortable. I knew this feeling and just prayed it would go away. It did not. It got so bad that I had to stop about 3/4 through this mile. Sweet, I'm miles away from home on a path away from any bathroom. I felt great otherwise, just the stomach thing. I walked for a while and picked it back up again to finish my mile in a decent enough pace (7:50/177 bpm). After this I slowed down again and kind of did a walk/run combo (I didn't let the Garmin run during my walking portions, which is why this mile pace seems okay @ 7:57/174 bpm). The last .85 mile that I could muster I did in 9:19/161 bpm. Honestly I was doing all I could to get to a bano as quickly as possible. I found one at the last possible minute before I literally would have crapped all over Portland.


Anyway, sorry, for the level of detail on my *shitty run* but it was bad. After the potty break I walked the rest of the way home and still felt queasy and bad when I got home. Luckily it has subsided since but damn people...not fun. Ironically I had read Denise's report just hours before my unfortunate event. I feel your pain man!

Final stats on the run:

1 = 7:51/147 bpm
2 = 7:38/174 bpm
3 = 7:37/175 bpm
4 = 7:50/177 bpm
5 = 7:57/174 bpm
5.85 = 9:1 pace/161 bpm

TOTAL MILES = 5.85 (plus 0.3 miles @ unknown pace)
AVG PACE = 8:00
AVG HR = 167 bpm

Trying to understand what happened to me - I could attribute this malaise to the two bottles of wine I shared last night, or my breakfast of blueberry eggos and Funyuns. What do you think?

Now that I'm back into doing real training runs I am happy and despite the outcome of today's run it did feel okay for quite some time. I'm ready to get back into it. I talked with Shawn again today who is helping me out by writing a training plan for the next 5 months. Its going to incorporate all the little races, then capping things off with my first Olympic triathlon in July! I am pumped. More to come on race plan details, but I can say that I have registered for that one. First order of business this week is to complete a time trial in the pool - how fast can I do 1000 meters? Stay tuned...

We're very close to securing our wedding venue, but I am so excited I wanted to share the location with you fine comrades:

That's all I got - happy Sunday!

Disappointment and Goals Recap

I am having kind of a sucky weekend as far as training goes. After my blowout on Thursday I was totally worthless on Friday and ended up just going out for dinner after some wine (hair of the dog really works!). I found out the Black Saturday run was moved from Hamilton Mtn to Forest Park which wouldn't work with my plans to be at the wedding site so I had a solid excuse to miss that one. It sounds like it went well, here is a link to one report on the run from The Rooster.

We still had to leave early to make our appointment in Underwood, WA. The site visit went great and I think we're really close to booking it! Hopefully by the end of day today. I'll post a link of the location at some point to wet your whistles. We rushed back to PDX for the 7th graders b-ball game that my FH coaches. After this I would have plenty of time to get over to yoga at 4:30. I was sooo looking forward to this. It fit perfectly into my needs for the day and I was excited to meet up with some friends there too. I got home and changed and walked out at 3:55 to drive over there. The second I hit the button on our elevator I realized, NO. The class isn't at 4:30 like on weekdays, it is a FOUR F'ING O'CLOCK. There was no way I'd make it in time. I can't tell you why I get so upset when stuff like this happens but I really do. It basically ruined my afternoon and I had to try REALLY hard to just be okay with it. I was so pissed that any alternative sounded awful - I didn't want to run, didn't want to go to the gym, didn't want to do push-ups at home. I didn't want to do anything but sulk and be totally pissed off.

I hate that I can't get over things like this. I hate that I put so much pressure on "the plan" for the day and when anything changes I'm thrown off. I know this is related to the need for control, but it isn't healthy and I don't like it. I don't want to be like this. Life isn't that bad. Dude, you missed yoga class, get over it. Things could be much MUCH worse. I'm over it now and going to try really hard in the future to just let it go. I know there's got to be a balance out there and I will find it.

This morning I decided before I got out of bed that I was going to go running right away. I decided to do a 7 miler on the Springwater trail with 4-5 miles of race pace in the middle. I got suited up and turned on my Garmin. Low battery. It's okay...I'm cool. Cool as a freaking cucumber. I have managed to be very productive around the house in the last 4 hours and pretty soon will head out with my freshly-charged device.

My goals for this week turned out horrible; I guess that's what you get when you're over-zealous, but really it is okay. I set them higher than I'd expected on purpose. Here's how I did:

Goals For The Week (2/9/09)

  1. Start running again!
  2. One trail run
  3. Yoga 4 times
  4. Spin twice
  5. Register for races
  6. Strength training - 2 sessions
  7. Eat well and track it
  8. Drink tons of water (64 oz/day)
  9. Take vitamins
  1. Start running again! I did this successfully. While I would have like to get another day in I am happy that I'm back at it and feeling good. I am getting close to needing another pair of shoes already!
  2. One trail run - not going to happen. I had two nice opportunities to do this and couldn't even make one. My excuses are listed above and I think pretty valid. I also abhor waking up early, ever, and especially during my weekends when I cherish sleeping in so much.
  3. Yoga 4 times - Twice is close.
  4. Spin twice - Once is close.
  5. Register for races - working on this today and should have it completed by EOD.
  6. Strength training - 2 sessions - Ha! I did nothing. Must start doing push ups next week!
  7. Eat well and track it - I did fairly well here, but Friday wasn't pretty. On Saturday I impressed myself by making ravioli and it was good!
  8. Drink tons of water (64 oz/day) - this is all good. It is a habit pretty much now and with bikram it is guaranteed that I'll blow this outta the water.
  9. Take vitamins - I admit. I missed some days. But in case you hadn't heard the news...who cares?
That's it. I'll have new goals laid out by EOD too.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Seriously, kill me people. As you can see from Jen's post over there we had a rip roaring night out in Portland and I can't handle my liquor anymore. I have been basically a waste of space all day.

But that's not what this blog is about is it?

My spin class yesterday did not work out because of a meeting I didn't have on my calendar. I did, however, do my 3 mile easy run, which actually turned into a 6 mile run. Not smart! I met up with Jen and we ran most of it together, but I went a lot farther than I should have. It was just nice to get out and get fresh air and fun to conversate. But the kicker is that my legs are sore today. This is something I haven't had happen in a long time. My ankle is starting to bother me - on the inside right above my ankle. It started feeling sore after the trail run I did a few weeks back. Then it went away for the most part but now that I'm running again it has come back.

To top it off I bought ridiculously skanky gold pumps during my drunken shopping at Wet Seal, then walked about 2 miles in them last night! My feet have been THROBBING all day as a result. I'm going to be so pissed at myself if there is any lasting damage. Here I spend so much time taking care of my body and health and then throw it out the window so fast!

So now the Black Saturday run is up in the air because I'm exhausted, tired, lazy, in pain and don't want to damage myself further! If I don't do it I will still plan to do my own run - not sure what yet, but something. If I want to hit my goal of 4 yoga sessions this week I'll have to go both tomorrow and Sunday. I will also have to go to spin another time and do some strength training the next two days. I feel like I've done quite a bit already so maybe my aspirations were too high? Whatever, at least having the goals keeps me motivated.

Again, in non-training-related thoughts....I also hope to have a wedding venue nailed down by the end of the day tomorrow. I am so excited to have a date and place! The terrifying part is that it might turn out to be only SIX MONTHS AWAY. (But seriously - I don't see how I can't make it happen in that timeframe.) I'm also working on a wedding website via just started it today and it is my first foray into this type of site creation so it will be interesting. I was annoyed by all of the wedding site templates on other sites and just wanted to do my own thing. So that's what I'm doing. I've also found out about some great boutiques and designers in Portland and am hoping to go dress shopping in the next week or so.

That's it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Muscle Memory

I semi-recovered from my ADHD or whatever yesterday but probably not really. Whatever is in my coffee is making me extra excited about everything. I guess it is better than the opposite, right?

So, in other updates - I HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW TO RUN. I know, terrible. I went out yesterday to do a focused workout - 5 miles with 10x30 second strides @ Z7. The first mile felt so clunky after having been out of the game for so long. (Since my half 2.5 weeks ago I have only run about 3 times.) I ended up feeling fine and having a nice run. It wasn't terrific but it'll do. I ran along my old standby waterfront course and it was actually gorgeous out. And I'm glad I'm back at it. (I ended up losing count and doing 12 repeats instead. Oops.)

Stats from my main run:
Miles = 5.28
Avg Pace = 7:56
Avg HR = 171 bpm

Fast bits:
Miles = 1.028
Avg Pace = 6:33
Avg HR = 181

Slow bits:
Miles = 4.16
Avg Pace = 8:25
Avg HR = 176 bpm

Separate Cool-down:
Miles = .62
Avg Pace = 9:09
Avg HR = 171 bpm

To make a long story short I ran almost 6 miles.

Then I went to bikram again. I'm not sure if I'm improving but I also don't really care. What I do care about are all the random hairs that somehow end up on my person. NO ME GUSTA. Seriously, I know there are some occupational hazards with bikram, but I do not think they should include any of the following:
  • stepping into a sweat puddle in the carpet
  • being covered in someone's pubic hairs
  • getting farted on
Sounds like a night at Theta Chi doesn't it? Not a night at yoga. All of those things have happened to me (um, in bikram) and I do not like it. BUT, I will continue to go and burn the 800 or so calories that some people claim in the 90 minute session. And one day I promise you I'll go back, way back and more back into a complete 90 angle to the back wall. Until then, please groom yourselves and keep that shit on YOUR towel.

Today's plan is an easy 3 miles and potentially spin at the gym. My legs are sore from all the activity and I honestly could be overdoing it here. I hate saying that because I sound like my mother, who is constantly wary of my activity level, but it may be true. I want to be somewhat fresh for the 2 mile hill repeats on Saturday morning. I am not going to run on Friday either, but might go to yoga.

So, about those hill repeats. Here's the description of the workout - and FYI, it is called "Black Saturday:"

The idea of the workout is to pick a hill that allows you to
perform at least a 30 min hill repeat. The workout for this coming
Saturday is intended to be 3 X 30 min hill repeats on the steep side
of Hamilton Mt. Hamilton Mt. is located at Beacon Rock State Park
just off of Hwy 14. That is on the Washington side of the Gorge.
The runs are called Black Saturday, so the only requirement is that
you wear all black from head to toe. I'm guessing that excludes
shoes. The workout is intended to be an encouraging environment that
will help us learn how to run hills more efficiently within ourselves.

Not mentioned are the 1.5 mile warm up (with serious elevation gains itself) and cool down. My plan is to do this, then hightail it to a fancy winery/wedding venue to check it out. I can't wait to show up covered in mud and freak them all out! Anyone local want to join?

And then I plan to do bikram again on Saturday evening and possibly Sunday. I may join in on another Forest Park trail run on Sunday but I don't think I have the cojones to wake up that early 2 days in a row. Again, no me gusta.

Hope your Friday-eves are going well!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In 20 Directions

Updates; categorized:

Patchett/Gilbert Lecture:

Was AWESOME! I didn't know what to expect, but it was the two of them on stage in cushy chairs, just talking to each other. They have met only once before several years ago and only written letters to each other - this was their 2nd meeting.

They talked about each other's writing styles, motivation, how they met, etc. It was really a good show and they kept up the banter and energy the whole time. Both are very witty and obviously well-spoken. Not much talk specifically about books, but one audience member did ask EG about advice for a single woman traveling throughout the world. He main advice was to dress modestly, then stay as long as possible in one place to really experience it, then (if you don't have time to stay long) don't feel bad about doing the touristy things. All the great wonders of the world are tourist attractions and you'll miss them if you're too uppity to go.

Sounds like they hung out all day in Portland yesterday. They said they were at Powells (big PDX bookstore) buying books for each other and I am bummed because I was there for like 2 hours yesterday and didn't see them! Then they went to yoga somewhere together and Ann said it was like going somewhere with Mick Jagger - everyone was enthralled that EG was in their yoga class. I wish I knew where they went, I would have died seeing the two of them walk in there.

They also had some good points about being motherless women (which they both are) in our society.

That was about it. It was actually quite awesome. My seats were literally like 2 rows from the top of the upper balcony so I could barely even make out which one was talking. But, I could hear the whole thing so I guess it didn't matter.

Health Issues:

I do not have any issues that I'm aware of but I have also been a bad person and not gotten a check up in like a couple of years. I know. I know. I know that HATING IT is not my issue alone and not a good enough excuse. What am I going to do when I turn 50 and colonoscopies (gulp) are required? Anyway, I was lucky to receive some recommendations from my local peeps (thanks guys!) and have set up an appointment for inspection. GROSS.

I am also concerned about my skin. Not that I think I have skin cancer, I just want it all polished off and to start from scratch. I have fair skin and done my share of damage to it via Michigan summers, spring break and the equator. Can anyone recommend any light plastic surgery or tinctures?

Lack of focus on work:

I am so not into it right now. Things have really slowed and I know I should focus on online training and some of the other things I'm required to do. I just can't! There is so much else going on in my life right now - running (and maybe swimming and biking) and wedding planning, exploring a new city. I sometimes wonder if I'd be happy without working. I always thought no, but now am reconsidering. I do not have the balls to voluntarily put myself out of work in this economy, however. I know I should be happy that I am employed right now and I am, but I'm starting to feel restless. I have a cycle every 2-3 years where I get tired of the job I'm in and want to change. Does anyone else feel that way? I actually looked at the Bikram certification FAQs today and wonder if I would be happy leading a life as a yoga instructor or something else independent like that.

Race Plan/Registration:

God, I'm getting close, but not there yet. I am definitely going to do a tri or two (not listed on the sidebar yet), and most likely an assortment of all of the races I currently have listed on the sidebar. Not 100% sure on Eugene yet, but I guess since its a filler race I have time. I really want to get this taken care of by the end of this week.

Other Training Stuff:

I did spin yesterday, avg HR 164 bpm. The instructor was new and not great, but it did the trick. The psycho instructor was there as a student and was right next to me. Chick's crazy. I don't feel like I'm positioned correctly yet or maybe not posturing myself properly. I'm hoping that once I kick up the steam on the bike I can have my friend, a fitting expert, fit me properly. I am SO lucky to have people around me that know what the hell is going on! Jen also agreed to take to the Springwater trail with me for some test runs since I am very iffy on the clipless pedals. I can't wait!

Doing bikram tonight. Checked out the bikram book from the library to get some more insight into the whole deal. Not sure if I mentioned this but I wore my HRM to bikram the other day and the avg across the 90 minutes was 136 bpm with the breakdown by zone as:

Zone 1 = 8:11
Zone 2 = 28:39
Zone 3 = 23:51
Zone 4 = 24:24
Zone 5 = 1:23

Interesting eh? I wonder what position I was in when it hit Zone was 36:00 into the class, so I'm guessing the standing balancing poses. Who knows? I am getting better at certain postures and almost able to touch my forehead to my knee on the standing head to knee pose. Balance-wise that is really tough and I've never even attempted that before!

Also planning to do bikram on Saturday and maybe Sunday. Shit, maybe I'll go Friday too!

And then there's running....I am supposed to go out today. I was supposed to go out 20 minutes ago but here I am, typing away on two computers, three monitors with my mind going in 12 f'ing directions. I think I have serious ADD.

Wedding Planning:

Don't even get me started.

Everything Else:

Like I said there are a zillion things in my head right now. Maybe a good run will help alleviate the stress it is giving me. I mean, seriously, why am I so manic right now? I want everything planned and everything done right NOW. I may be back here later trying to get more out. Sorry peeps!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Back At It

I am slowly getting back to reality, mentally and physically. Last night was - I kid you not - the first night since my race (on 1/25) that I did not have an alcoholic beverage of sorts. Literally every night since then I've sat down with a glass of wine or had a beer with dinner. I guess I needed some minor detox after the party weekend in Utah. I know tonight I'll have some wine with dinner so the streak has ended at 1 day. Yay me!

I am going to see Ann Patchett speak tonight. She's written a couple of books and I like her. I bought the ticket so long ago that I didn't notice until tonight that another author will be there - Elizabeth Gilbert! I am so excited and plan to try to get up in both of their grills if possible. I don't know what I'll say but maybe I can have them sign my shirt?

Last night I went to bikram and it was horrible. Well, not totally horrible, but it felt hot and I got dizzy much more than normal...which I'm sure has something to do with the above-mentioned drinking and maybe altitude issues? Damn you people training with elevation - you have such an advantage!

Today I did spin at the gym and that's all on the dockett for today. Tomorrow I'm planning to go to bikram again and maybe another couple of times this week too. I really like it and am glad I've gotten hooked again. I did it regularly a couple of years back at Funky Door Yoga in Berkeley. I only lived a few blocks away and a friend dragged me in there. I know I'll eventually get burned out and want something new but for now I'll ride out my unlimited 30 day pass to the limit! My friend that I introduced to it this week is hooked now too and we might jump from studio to studio in the area to take advantage of their 30 day cheap passes. I know once I start focusing on other training this will take a backseat but I do believe in the benefits of yoga, bikram specifically. Actually today I checked out a book in bikram from the library and am hoping to learn more about the postures and benefits of each.

Today I met with my friend/coach Shawn to discuss races and training plans. I have decided that I do want to do a triathlon this summer. In addition I will probably sign up for the other slew of races in the Portland area. Everyone else is doing it so why can't I?! I will probably not sign up for as intense of coaching as I did previously, but I'm still going to involve him in some fashion and so so glad that I've got someone like this on my side. Seriously...

So I'm going to start running again this week in a more organized fashion. I am thinking a tempo 5-6 miler tomorrow, easy run on Thursday, off on Friday, then killer trail/hill workout on Saturday (going to Hamilton Mtn with Trail Factor). That should equal 18 total miles for the week, not bad for starting on Wednesday. Below is a breakdown of all my goals for this week....

This week's goals:
  1. Start running again!
  2. One trail run
  3. Yoga 4 times
  4. Spin twice
  5. Register for races
  6. Strength training - 2 sessions
  7. Eat well and track it
  8. Drink tons of water (64 oz/day)
  9. Take vitamins

Monday, February 09, 2009

Goals For The Week (1/26/09) - recap

I am recapping this waaay late, but why not?
  • 1. Set up training/racing goals for 2009; pick out races to sign up for. FAIL!
  • 2. Go to yoga twice. I only went once
  • 3. Start the 100 push up plan. I did this! (However, I must mention that I only started it - I did not see it through. Ha! I found a loophole!)
  • 4. Go to a spin class. I did this too!
  • 5. Go to a random strength class at the gym (abs, circuit, pilates, whatever). Fail!
  • 6. Log food. Done!
  • 7. Take vitamins daily. Done!
  • 8. Drink 64 oz water daily. Done!
  • 9. Don't get too wasted. Done! Although I drank every night I didn't get too wasted.
  • 10. Start the 200 sit up plan. Score! However, same loophole as #3...
  • 11. Use the rock wall! Fail! How can I not do this when it is literally staring me in the face?
So I guess it goes to show that when I start getting ambitious with my goals they sorta fall apart. this was my worst track record in a while, but I'm chalking it up to post-race laziness.

Back Home

I am home and happy to be here, however, having a really hard time getting focused on work today. It is 9:30 a.m. and I haven't really begun. We got home late last night after a long day in Utah. I had a fantastic time and am sad it is over. I'm really sore from snowboarding and possibly from krumping (see pic below).

It is time for this honeymoon with my half PR to be over with. Reality must be faced - and soon - before it is too late to head back. I am going to meet with my friend/coach this week to discuss a plan and possibilities for the year. I got a "Race Center" magazine from Jen that lists all of the local races for 2009 and I'm totally overwhelmed. If I wanted I could run 5ks every weekend and triathlons too. There are just SO MANY options. I'm torn with what I want to train for and now thinking maybe I should just focus on the half again? Then maybe throw in some tris just for the hell of it?

I did run over the weekend in Park City - it was a nice 5 mile run (see link to gmaps site here) without much of a plan. I ramshackled an outfit from what I'd packed and headed out into the pretty snow. I did a route that took me into the hills by some really amazing houses. It felt pretty nice despite the altitude and my soreness and hangover.

And that is all I have for now. I have been bad w/my weekly goal updates. I got some, I missed some and plan to have some together for this week. We'll see if I actually am able to post those before the week ends.

Have a great Monday!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Park City Fun!

I am writing from the coziest spot in the world...under heaps of down, with a view of the mountain, in front of Bravo TV, watching huge snowflakes fall in Park City, Utah. I suckered out on today's boarding activities and am enjoying this luxury condo all to myself. We are in an kick ass place with daily maid service and more amenities than I can name. Ski in and out. The lift is literally outside of our door!

I got into SLC airport early on Thursday and instead of going downtown I said screw it and took a shuttle right to PC. I was able to check in early, so had the whole day to myself. I did some work, then walked to town for lunch and made fast friends with some crazy geriatric locals. Everyone else arrived late that night and after catching up we went to bed at about 1:30. Friday we woke up around 9 and got suited up. I rented a board and tried not to freak out on the lift - I was about to venture on my first non-green hill run. I was literally shaking and totally nervous. My FH stayed with me and I did surprisingly well. We hopped on another lift, then another run to another lift, then stayed up at that level for the remainder of the day. I separated from the pack and did a loop of greens for a couple of hours. It is fun to get going on longer runs where I can spread the butter (I sound like a pro saying that right?) even more. I started to get the hang of the whole process, clipping in and out, doing the lift, avoid other people, etc.

When we met up for lunch I decided the final path I'd take down to the bottom of the original lift we'd started on. Unfortunately I missed the turnoff and ended up on this really long green run that goes back to the main resort base camp. This is where I lost interest. The run was really long, really slow, really narrow at times and there were tons of people on it. Once my legs started getting tired I fell more and got really frustrated. I haven't mastered the move where your body faces the mountain, so all of my motion is in one direction which I believe makes it hard on my body. Many of the times that I fell I braced with my arms in ways that the body should not stretch.

Needless to say I am sore today. My legs are okay (thank you running!) but my forearms, fingers and everything else from the waist up are in not in good shape.
My thoughts on the whole deal:

  • doing something new
  • gear/clothes
  • getting fresh air
  • enjoying scenery
  • beers afterward
  • food afterward
  • physical activity
  • fun locations
  • fireplaces
  • enjoying it with others
  • enjoying it alone
  • hot tubs
  • dismount on the lift (I still fall 88% of the time)
  • falling
  • falling
  • falling
  • going alone because no one wants to deal w/a beginner
  • expensive
  • i'm really fucking sore
In sum, my feelings about snowboarding and any mountain-related activity are as such: I could take it or leave it. I don't get a huge thrill from it and don't understand it really. Maybe its that I'm not good enough to go fast, get fancy and that's why it isn't super exciting? I didn't grow up doing this, so maybe I missed out on engraining it into my mind and body. It doesn't bother me that I don't love it, I just don't feel the cost is worth it. And, hello!, why would I want to put myself through it when I can be doing what I'm doing right now? I'm having a great time!

If I can shake this headache (late night with lots of alcohol!) and pull together a semi-functional outfit I am going to go out for a run! I don't want these people to come back and think I'm lazy. And I want to earn the food/drinks/hot tubbing that I'll be enjoying later.

(Don't I look like I'm having a FANTASTIC time?)

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

SLC Help?

I have been suddenly left with an open schedule in Salt Lake City tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. I need a place to lock up my rolling suitcase, a place to sit with coffee and work for a few hours and maybe some sightseeing suggestions. All without a rental car.

Anyone have suggestions?

PS - I'm boycotting Delta airlines and their stupid f'ing customer "service" reps.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Weekend Trail Run and Boarding

I've been up to a lot since Friday... Last reported I had some grandiose plans to do a bunch of stuff that afternoon and guess what? I blew it all off! Actually I started feeling tired and crappy and ended up falling asleep in the middle of the day. I never do this, not for lack of want, but because I physically can't make myself fall asleep in the middle of the day. I was in a total funk until mid-afternoon Saturday (after blowing off the morning bikram). But then I kicked shit into high gear:

Saturday evening - vinyasa yoga. This was actually a tough class despite the instructor spending 10 minutes singing to us.

Sunday - woke up BEFORE 7 a.m. (this is epic) to go on my first trail run with Trail Factor. It kicked arse - we set out to go 14.5 miles and ended up going 13 because we missed a turn/loop. This was fine with me. Our trail was muddy and had lots of hills and man it was tough. The first part had a huge increase of elevation and for me was crazy hard. I had on my HRM and watched it increase quickly to the mid-180s. Way high! Luckily my running partner Jessi gave me a breather without making me feel like the out of shape lardass I felt like. That was pretty much the last stop (aside from a potty break) on the whole route. After the big climb things evened out, or felt like they did, for the rest of the run.
Miles = 13 Time = 2:15 Avg Pace = 10:22

I feel good about this pace considering the nature of the course - my Garmin said there was about ~6,500 ft elevation increase (of course not the mention the downhills). The Garmin did not record my total avg HR correctly and I'm too lazy to do the math per mile (which it did capture). It looks like after the big hill (180 bpms) I settled into a nice 160/170 average.

I am irrationally proud of myself for doing this - hence the self-timed portraits of my mud slathered legs. It felt sooo good by 10:30 a.m. to have completed so much in the day. The run was also gorgeous. We are so lucky to have Forest Park in Portland - it feels completely remote but it is right in the city. There was a nice low fog that cast a really neat glow through the trees as the sun tried to come out brighter. Lots of little streams and fun bridges to cross, and bright green ferns draped everywhere. I cannot wait until spring, but even so, it is gorgeous in February too. I am looking forward to getting together on more of their runs and just hope I can keep up. I'm not going to lie - the people out on this run were not f'ing around - average body fat was I'm guessing 2% and one of the dudes that ran was in the Olympic trials. Luckily I didn't wear anything too flowery or matchy-matchy to set myself apart from these hardcore athletes. This run was relatively tame compared to some of the trails they tackle, so I'm lucky to be able to ease in. I know in the future it will get dicey and hopefully I won't be left in the dust! I guess I just need to keep training...

More Sunday! Yeah, so after I scrubbed the dirt from my legs I ate and then hit the road with my HTB (husband to be) to check out some potential wedding venues in the gorge. After a long drive (and maybe a nap by me) we got to the mountain to do some night skiing/snowboarding. I am not an experienced boarder (or skiier for that matter), so each time I go is like a lesson. I was crying by the time I reached the bottom of the bunny hill, knowing that my legs were pretty kicked in from the morning run. I managed to continue for about 90 minutes but seriously I was dying. My legs were screaming and I fell twice pretty hard - once on my knees and then my ass. The ground was pretty much pure ice with a tiny bit of powder on top. OUCH.

Monday.... Woke up feeling like a pile of rocks, but overall it wasn't too bad. My upper body was sore from the yoga on Saturday, my legs were wrecked from the run and snowboarding and everything was generally beat up. I ended up going to bikram last night, however, to stretch it all out. I hadn't been in so long and it felt much hotter than normal. Is that possible? My mat was at the opening of a hot air duct that was blowing on me the whole time. Sweet! I managed to get through it, sweating like a banchee, and even hit some of the standing leg balance poses for longer than I can remember doing before. I signed up for their intro package which is unlimited for a month for $29, so you bet your ass I'll be going back as much as possible. I'm already planning to go tomorrow, but might also go tonight just for the hell of it.

Goals. I need to get my act together on goals - last week's recap (average) and this week's plan. I am going to Utah to ski on Thursday a.m. so my week is really cut short. I have a ton of work to do and might not get to update here as much. I'm hoping our chalet has wireless so I can keep abreast of all late-breaking blogger information as it occurs. I'm not sure how much I'll run between today and when I leave. I might do spin, maybe more yoga, maybe some push ups....we'll just have to see!

I leave you with a photo montage of this weekend's activities:

I forgot to mention we went to a Blazers game on Saturday night. It was fun! Here is Greg Oden - a true beast of a man:

And this is Ronnie #2. A few months ago Jen and I ran into him at a bar in Portland and totally jersey-chased him and some other Jazz teammates and Portland playas. It was embarrassing but fun and they bought us several shots. (While our significant others watched from across the room. And by watched I mean didn't pay any attention and talked about the stock market.) (Another sidenote - this night ended in one of the worst upchucking catastrophes since high school. I will never take fruity flavored shots again, nor partake in the Henry's $3 happy hour cheeseburger.)

Mom, I want to be a Blazer dancer when I grow up!

...And my legs after Sunday's trail run:

On the mountain later on Sunday:

Hope you all had a great weekend too! Congrats to everyone on their half races - I loved reading all of the reports.

January 2009 Recap

One down, eleven to go!

I've been reading some other recaps on the month of January and wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Seems the consensus is that January sucks. Well, I think it usually does for me too - typically the resolutions are not quite in place yet, I'm in a post-holiday slump and it is cold and nasty out. Luckily, this year January turned out to be quite spectacular. My recap:

  1. I had a fun New Years Eve party with friends and rock climbing and booze.
  2. I got engaged on January 2nd. (And booked a honeymoon!)
  3. I spent a lot of time in the gorge driving around and seeing beautiful things.
  4. I organized my closet.
  5. I had a great race and a PR in my half marathon.
Aside from that I feel like I've had fun in general, being able to enjoy Portland (my new and favorite city!) through thick and thin. I've been able to spend time with new friends that have become great friends. I am having a good 2009 and have lots more fun ahead. Thanks for reading and commenting and joining on the ride.

Peace out!