Category Archives: Long Run

Mulan music, weekend things, and GOTR love

Why have I not used “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” as my pump up song for every race I’ve ever done EVER???

This is such a no brainer, and when it came on my Pandora station mid-shower yesterday, I decided that it will now be my pre-race anthem forever.

Sure, the title/lyrics of the song are a bit sexist—and by a bit I mean a lot—but in the end, Mulan proves that being a WOMAN is not only good enough—it’s better. So take that.

{Glee Cast radio was the station, in case you’re wondering how you too can hear such an epic song}

Ready for the most random post of your life?

Okay, good.

I just have too many things I want to talk about, but none of them are really worthy of a singular post. Is anything I write really worthy of publication though? Whatever, you’re here…right?

Cool. So, to start out, I want to give some snapshots of last weekend, as it was spent in my most favorite place on Earth with some of my most favorite people on Earth. And I say “some of” because Kate Winslet, Kara Goucher, and T. Swift all couldn’t make it. Next time, girls.

[An aside…I’m obsessed with Kara Goucher. I love Shalane and Desi too, but there’s something about Kara that I just adore. It’s probably the fact that her son Colt is the cutest thing in the world (and he’s probably already faster than me), and Kara’s a runner who isn’t afraid to show her vulnerability. You go KG. And on that note… Runner’s World, why the f didn’t you send me the cover with Kara on it this month? I didn’t want semi-creepy-looking-though-still-fast-as-shit Ryan Hall, which you decided to send me instead.]

Where were we? Oh yes…my weekend.

My brother Scott, my cousin Lily, BF, and myself

In a nutshell, I jammed as much as I could into the 36 hours I spent with my family at our summer house. Some highlights include:

A trail run with BF. We tackled 6.5 miles and some serious rolling hills of a gorgeous forest trail. It’s my favorite trail run in the world, mind you, which admittedly isn’t saying much—because I think I’ve run about 3 different trails in my life. Still, it’s spectacular and it’s actually the trail that inspired me to run outside more years ago. And I’m still tallying…but the mosquito bite count for this run alone is at about 2,500 right now.

No, you’re right, this is not a picture applicable to trail running.

Swimming with my Granddad. If there was a lifetime fitness award, it would go to my Granddad. He has been a consistent exerciser his entire life, and even now at the age of 79—he still manages to get out there. Since the only swimming he can do at our summer house is on the lake (aka, open water) I joined him to both try out my own open water abilities and play lifeguard.

Waving from the raft!

I also remembered that I’m terrified of swimming in open water and should probably practice that.

Beach sunset followed by ice cream. Do I really need to explain this one? Here are some photos to prove myself:

Oregon coast love ❤

16 mile long run followed by blueberry pancakes. Emphasis here on the blueberry pancakes…I credit them with my willingness to get the run over with. I’m convinced if you imagine delicious post-run food awaiting you the second you’re done, you’ll actually run faster.

This would, however, not work with imagining a Whey 1000 Maxx Green Soy TurboCharged 50mg protein smoothie. At least…not for me. No. Long run refueling needs to be solid, real food…and while I personally kind of suck at making pancakes, my Uncle Dave is a pro and it was his promise of hot cakes that got me through the hills on Sunday morning. And sorry, there is no photo available as I was too focused on expediting consumption instead of developing my food blogger resume.

This is how close people will get to you for post run photos. It’s okay Uncle Dave, your pancakes make up for it.

Oh yea, back to the whole long run highlight.

I tend to go on food digressions, in case that’s news to you.

Anyway, I ran long, which I was happy about, and it wasn’t too tedious, although the terrain was never really flat the entire time.

Talk about a hilly course. There really wasn’t an alternative though, and in the grand scheme of things—testing my flatlander legs out on some real elevation changes will benefit me in the long run…long run meaning Chicago, which is all flat. I can actually draw their elevation chart for you:


-Wakeboarding. On Friday I said that I needed to redeem myself for my massive face injury that occurred the last time I wakeboarded. And although I was a bit nervous at first, I eventually got into my groove and claimed my redemption over that little board.

Look ma, I still have both my cheeks!

Impressed with how much I was able to accomplish in 36 short hours? Yes me too…BUT when I need to capitalize on time, I make it happen. And the good news is I’ll be heading back this weekend for more lake fun, family fun, and pancake fun.

Although round two of a 6 hour car ride there and back isn’t exactly awesome…

Good thing I capture the on-goings of these road trips:

This is me, in the car. No I will not photograph my ice cream, but I will document the most boring moments of my life for you to see.

To finish up this random post, let me show you what was waiting for me when I returned home Sunday night.

I was giddy with excitement and totally unsuspecting that GOTR would send such wonderful goodies!! I’m actually not sure if the top they sent is supposed to be worn for the actual race, so that’s yet to be determined, but you can bet your britches that I’ll be using every last thing they sent.

What are britches? Are they pants? Underwear? Can someone tell me why I use outdated expressions that I don’t even understand?

A big THANK YOU to GOTR for showing me, and all other Solemates, so much love. It makes me feel even better about raising money for them.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, what a wonderful transition for me to probe you to donate!!!

If you want to learn about my fundraising efforts for Girls on the Run while training for the Chicago Marathon, check out my page here.

If you feel inspired to donate, I will love you forever, as will thousands of excited little girls all around the country.

So, if this were a school essay and it had come time to write a conclusion, I would now realize that this post was about 10,000 different things, and I was probably going to get a D on my essay.

But this isn’t school, it’s blogging—my blog to be exact—and in this world, I think the more haphazard, the better.

I also don’t know why I am continually justifying my lack of continuity today. I don’t care, you don’t care, I’m done.

Oh, and as for the CIM decision…not telling, YET.

Do you have a pre-race pump up song?

What’s your favorite post long run breakfast?

I love a huge bowl of oatmeal 

Is there an age that’s too old to have Glee and Disney music on your iPod?

If your answer is anything but, “NO! NEVER!” kindly get off my blog.

Chicago Marathon Training Week #3

Welcome to Monday, friends.

Lots of running related news to share with you, but let’s start with a recap of last week’s training.

M: Spin

T: 10 m run, 8:20 avg. pace

W: Body pump + stair-stepper

T: 7 m, 4 @ <7:30 pace +lifting

F: 80 min swim, 3500 meters

S: 8 m run (1.5 warm up, Float Dodger 5k, 3.5 m cool down)

S: 18 m run, 8:45 avg. pace

Total: 43 miles

This week felt great. I was feeling a little sluggish after last week, so I wanted to hit it pretty hard in terms of quality workouts this week. The swim on Friday was more of a “I’m awake and can’t fall back asleep so I might as well do something” kind of workout, but it was still refreshing and my muscles enjoyed it.

All my runs went well, particularly the tempo and my long run yesterday.

I was running on somewhat tired legs from the 5k I raced the day before, but aside from a little shin split, I felt pretty tip-top. BF joined me for 4 miles toward the end, which was a helpful distraction. And not once did I feel any pain in my knee from my IT band. I’m still wary of saying a big “Hallelujah!” but it does seem that my knee/leg is starting to get its shit together—finally. I finished in 2 hours, 40 minutes, which is right around where I want to be in terms of LR speed.

Some more to report from this weekend!

My sister came and hung out which always makes for a fun and entertaining time.

Excuse the red mood lighting…

We did little shopping, a little fro-yo eating, and a lot of giggling. I love when she comes to town.

BF and I also ran the inaugural Float Dodger 5k on Saturday, which was a great local race as well as my first race since the Tacoma Marathon. I’ll be doing a full race report tomorrow, but I will say that it went better than I had expected…

As for the whole “I felt great about this week” thing, I think a lot of it had to do with my IT band behaving well. It’s always encouraging when you’ve been dealing with the same nagging pain over a period of time to finally feel like you can see some light at the end of the tunnel of sadness. I also feel really good about how my recovery from each run is going. I haven’t had any calf fatigue, which is something that’s always plagued me, and my soreness from particular workouts seems to be going away quicker than normal.

I’m crediting this recovery speed to two things: my shoes and strength training. I think my changed foot-strike (using the Brooks Pure Connect) has a lot to do with my calves feeling less sore, as well as why my IT band has started loosening up. I also think the fact that I’ve finally started doing squats, lunges, etc. in my regular lifting routine is paying off in my running. Ground-breaking…I’m sure no one has ever made that statement. I’m learning…

That’s about all for today, but I will leave you with this precious gem for a Monday pick-me-up:

Baby animals are the best. Enjoy.

Happy Monday!

BF B-Day and Weekend Snapshots

I am pressed for time today, but I do have some photos from the weekend to share as well as a birthday wish to give…


We’ll be celebrating tonight with some festivities, presents, and other birthday-related shenanigans. I am definitely the bigger fan of birthdays and holidays and general over-the-top merriment in the relationship, so I think I am typically more excited about his birthday than he is. But, hopefully my 24-hour bombardment of birthday wishes, emoticon-filled texts, and delicious treats helps get him in the spirit. In case he reads this post—I’ll leave my specific plans secret— but details will follow soon.

I know, you were horrified about missing out.

Now, just four days late, here are some snapshots from last weekend. It was an eventful one indeed.


Remember when I talked about that bacon cheeseburger from the second happiest place on earth on bad mood Friday? Here it is, in all its glory, and it was perfect. I think I have a real deal huge burger about three times a year (red meat and my digestive system tend to hate each other), which means that when I go for it—it’s all the more spectacular.

Huge Blue Moons don’t hurt either.

No, those are not jeggings, just clown feet combined with BP jeans.

Another once-in-a-blue-moon event that happened this past weekend (DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE??) included a trip to the bowling alley. We were planning on going to the synonymy, but we had time to kill before dinner and the show. So obviously going bowling was the best option. We each won one game, and check out the results of the second game:

So the obvious next step is joining a league with sweet jerseys with inside-joke nicknames on them. Mine will be “Bird.” Original, I know.

Then after some delectable sushi (which I am SUPER into right now, so if you want to go—please invite me), it was off to our adult date at the Seattle Symphony.

And by “adult” I really don’t mean adult at all.

YOU GUYS. Let me tell you about this special show. This was a “Disney” themed performance, meaning there was not only a stellar selection of the best scores and songs from Disney movies, there was a screen projecting said movies behind the orchestra.


I was dying, if you couldn’t guess, and every time I think I’ve grown out of my 6-year-old Disney princess phase and have become a functioning adult, something like this comes along, and I’m back to infantile giddiness and giggles.

Lucky for me, I have a boyfriend who a)goes to this kind of stuff with me b) still dates me despite my behavior and c) may just love it himself. I know BF wasn’t quite as rainbows and glitter about this as I was, but let’s just say I saw that foot tapping and a smile on that handsome face more than once during the show.

I know you love it when I sing Mary Poppins and Little Mermaid songs in your ear, baby…you’re welcome.

Which brings me to Sunday morning, in which this occured.

I had two goals for this run, the first “long run” since I regained run-ability.

1)Go slow

2) Finish

I was very content with this level of expectation for myself, and while my pacing was not exactly what I would have liked, I did accomplish both goals. I am really trying to get it into my head that long runs are supposed to be slow, and relatively speaking—this pace was right around the slow mark I need to hit. However, it terrifies me to run long runs so much slower than I’m supposed to run the actual marathon at the end of it all, so it needs some getting used to. A happy medium perhaps, at some point.

Anyway, I would show you my splits—but that would require me figuring out how to upload my Garmin data. You see, I’m just now realizing how often I need to charge this thing and how not to reset it during a run. Baby steps…the whole “uploading data” thing will come in time.

I can tell you that it didn’t feel awesome. It wasn’t awful, and I was happy to have retained some of my endurance over my running hiatus, but it definitely didn’t feel how 14 miles felt a few months ago.

But, like, DUR. Just goes to show ya…running takes patience. Of which I have none. But I’m trying.

So there you have it. Remember how I said I was “pressed for time,” initiating that this would be a brief post?

Yea, fail.

Apparently I just like to hear {watch} myself talk.

Have a lovely day, and prepare for some 4th of July wonderment, blogger-love, and Favorites coming up tomorrow!

In the meantime…how was your 4th of July? How is your “Every Single Person is Hungover Today” Day going? Did you take work off? Was asking your boss for the day off awkward? Did you eat as much watermelon and me? NO YOU DIDN’T.

“Tri” Weekend and Celebrating the Earth


I hope you had a great weekend and I hope your week has started off swimmingly. I could be mistaken, but it seems as if everyone is a little bit high on a “it’s getting warmer and sunnier and therefore life is good” kind of mood, meaning there is general cheer in the air. The onset of summer is always an enjoyable time of year, and when you’ve been down-trodden with rain and gloom for several months as we have in the PNW, a little dose of sunshine can go a longgg way.

Case in point: This past weekend.

I normally have a generally good time on the weekend, based on the increase in food consumption, the decrease in computer time, and the amount of running I get to do. However, I can boldly say that I don’t know if I’ve had a better time overall on the weekend as I did this last Saturday and Sunday. Everything was generally perfect, therefore I am going to tell you about it.

Exercise-wise, I was able to do a “tri-series” of sorts over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Essentially, this means lots of swimming on Friday, lots of spinning of Saturday, and lots of running on Sunday. It was highly enjoyable to mix up my workouts, and I love being able to focus a lot of energy on one solo activity at a time.

I find that when I front load a heavy-exercise weekend with some swimming, everything feels better. As you know, I believe swimming is magic, and my body always seems to enjoy the time spent in the pool.

Although, I will admit, I have a difficult time not getting a tad paranoid when I’m doing laps and the “family area” is filled with 50 toddlers learning to dog paddle. I’m not an uber germ-a-phode or a clean freak, but the thought of swimming in tons of urine is really dampering to the whole experience. I think I’m going to tell my children that if you pee in the pool it comes out bright orange and everyone can see it. This should scare them out of it, right?

Anyways, I don’t normally do a heavy spin day before a long run, but since this week’s LR was only 16 miles, I decided to go for it. And despite my quads feeling a bit tired yesterday at the end of those 16 miles, overall I felt great, and I loved spreading my sweat through tons of different activities.

Also, who am I? I just said “only 16 miles.” Okay, 16 miles is still a long run. Fact. BUT, after 22 last weekend, 16 feels a lot more accessible…particularly when it’s done in 60 degree sunny weather on an all-flat course.

Which brings me to the vitamin-D filled glory that was this weekend.

People, I know we’re not supposed to talk about weather in blogging. But when you have not one, but TWO 70 degree days in Seattle, WA it is a BIG DEAL.

I took full advantage of the splendor, and it was nothing short of fantastic.

Aside from the aforementioned endorphin filled activities, allow me to show you some more highlights.

my backyard

While BF did man things on Saturday, I decided to take full advantage of this beautiful land I live in and took myself to the beach. I spent a solid 2 hours with an ice coffee, an Anne Lamott book, and the sun basking in water-front glory. I actually fell asleep laying against some driftwood, and it was heaven. There are few things more calming to me than being by the water, and given the fact that I was already in a post-spinning/caffeinated state of elation, this whole set up was my essence of perfection.

This also happened on Saturday, which is always a party.

See that “Now Open” sign? Yes, TJ’s has come to West Seattle, a mere 7 or so minute drive from my house. Do I talk too much about grocery stores? Yes. Positively. I will own every ounce of that statement. BUT any TJ’s fan out there will agree with me on the general happiness increase that goes hand-in-hand with your proximity to a store.

I think I could get an award for my excitement for the little things in life. I’m not sure if this is a good thing, or it means that I shoot too low in terms of my expectations, but no matter. I love you Trader Joe’s and your cheap almonds and whole wheat pizza dough.

Sunday had the promise of all-day sun, and BF and I were ready to take full advantage. Oh, and take it we did. Not only did we take it, but we took every single hour of the day and squeezed as much sunshine-filled activity out of them as we possibly could.

As I stated earlier, the day started with a 16 miler, completed averaging 8:20 miles (very happy about that) and the biggest blister I’ve ever gotten in my life. With two toenails on their death bed and now this beauty covering my entire pinky toe, I think it’s safe to say I’m ready to be done with training and get this marathon show on the road. I’m in a bit of a pickle because I think my old shoes are the reason for all my foot ailments, however my new shoes make my knee hurt, so it’s really just a debacle between which pain I’d prefer.

Post runs (BF did 10 miles), we walked to our typical bagel spot. Walking in shorts and flip-flops mind you. THIS IS A BIG DEAL.

Blueberry w/cream cheese and strawberry jam. Perfection.

Bagels should be an essential food group.

Afterwards, we decided to take on an endeavor we’ve only talked about hypothetically in the past: Planting a vegetable garden.

You see, we live in a big house that was turned into 5 separate units, and with the whole “living in a real neighborhood in a real house” scenario comes a 24 sq. ft patch of garden with which we can “do whatever we want,” according to our landlord. We both liked the idea of a vegetable garden, however it required not only the soil and the plants, but we needed to remove all the weeds and various shrubbery that had taken over our plot of garden.

As you can imagine, it was easy to procrastinate taking on this activity.

But not yesterday, when being outside was required, and we had a day to do whatever we chose.

So off to the hardware store it was, and we loaded up on all the things you need to be a green-thumb person. Okay, it was actually more like this:

Me: “Oh! Spinach!”

Me: “Ohhh!! Strawberries! Kale!”

BF: “How about….”


Bf: “Check this out..”

Me: “Can we get a big chocolate cookie after this?”

Eventually, we made it out with a large variety of vegetables and a few flowers to plant.

Hooray gardening!! Also, those are my running clothes I'm still wearing. It's fine.

I got my cookie too, don’t worry. So did BF.

Also, in a very “we are a semi-adult couple who lives in a semi-adult home” move, we bought PATIO FURNITURE which was on sale. Again with the little things people. Until yesterday, when BF got all handy-man and set up our new table and chairs, the sole piece of furniture on our porch was a little, lone rocking chair. Now, we can do all kinds of fun things out there, including eat dinner, play cards, and make fun of all the people of segway tours that “drive” by our house.

Seriously. WALK.

Anyways, once arriving home and setting up our new sitting area, we got to work on the garden.

You pour the soil BF, I'll document.

After some pulling, clipping, digging, and planting, we had a final product!

Gardening!! Earth Day!! Not going to Safeway for vegetables every day!!

Into the newly poured soil went: spinach, snow peas, kale, strawberries, beets, chard, mint, basil, rosemary, radishes, and flowers. I’m PSYCHED. Now, let’s just see if this actually produces anything…

To celebrate our “manual labor” we headed to the park down the street to play some catch/whiffle ball. Note: It is not easy to play whiffle ball with two people, though it is highly entertaining, and perhaps more entertaining to the people watching.

It was actually after all these activities that I realized it was Earth Day, which made everything so highly appropriate.

I love the sun. I love running. I productive days. I love convincing BF to buy cookies with me.

Did you know these things?

I’m sorry if you’re tired of reading about me getting excited over and over about the exact same things all the time, but what can I say? I’m easy to please and I know what I like.


So, that’s all for now. If you made it all this way through my weekend recap, both thank you and I hope you had a great weekend as well. Today begins the less than two week countdown to marathon day, which will be on May 6. I’ve technically begun tapering, but as you can tell by my recap of exercise this past weekend, the real tapering is yet to come. I’m probably going to turn into a crazy, “I HAVE EVERY FEELING IN THE WORLD” person, and so I can almost guarantee some frightening/entertaining posts in these next couple of weeks.

NOW YOU! Tell me about your Earth Day, your weekend, your long run, your favorite grocery store, your simple pleasures, or ALL OF THESE THINGS! I enjoy comments.

Warning: Sparkly Excitement Ahead

You know how you secretly hate those people who are all “Happy Monday!” “Welcome to the week!” “I love life!”? Seriously, pretty much everyone is merely trying to get through this first day of the week, why do you need to shove it in our faces that you are hyped on Prozac and caffeine and unicorns all the time?

Yea, well…today, I am one of those people. So, if you aren’t feeling exclamation points and glass-over-flowing-with-excitement optimism this afternoon, go ahead and quietly scroll your arrow to the little “x” box at the top right corner of your screen and pretend like you were never here. No hard feelings.

Still with me? Sweet! Now let’s make some sweet sweet rainbows and sunshine together.

On Friday, I posted a bit about my hopefulness and hesitation for the fate of my spring marathon aspirations. Due to my knee being a huge a-hole and my training getting thwarted for two weeks, I was coming to terms with the fact that things may not pan out as I’d hoped.

And I was okay with it…I really was.

Then came yesterday’s run. Oh dear, sweet yesterday’s run.

After very grudgingly getting out of bed for an attempted “long run,” I decided that I would be shooting for 16 miles. That was the ideal, and if I had to cut it short, I would accept it. Because that’s the Smart Runner Bird I’m trying to be, remember?

So then, I started to run. And I felt fantastic. And I kept running…and I still felt fantastic.

Call it cortisone, call it rest, call it luck, call it the Aleve I took literally 3 minutes before walking out the door, but no matter what it was…it worked. I kept running, waiting for my bursa sack to inflame and immobilize the rest of my leg the way it had been for the past two weeks.


I stopped halfway through to stretch a bit, and while my knee tingled a bit, there was no indication that running was irritating or bothering it in any way. As I started off on the last half, you could not get the smile off my face. It was ridiculous and reminiscent of an elementary school “You Can Do It!” motivational poster…but I just couldn’t help it. The thought, “I’m back!” kept reverberating in my brain, and I relished every moment. It also didn’t hurt that despite a forecast of rain and wind, there was sunshine and {some} wind instead.

So proud of you Seattle, so proud of you knee.

I even threw in a mile long hill at the end of it all with a 300 ft. elevation gain for some added grunt, and the knee seemed to take it all in stride. I felt as if my knee was like, “Okay Robyn, since you actually did the right thing and laid off me I’ll suck it up and get better. You win.”

Total mileage? 17.22

SO PSYCHED. This was super encouraging, as I’ll {hopefully} still be able to get in two, 20+ milers before taper.

Please excuse my overly enthusiastic Tweet yesterday in which I had miscalculated my mileage before mapping it.


No problem. 18 would have been great, but 17 is great too.

Side note: I have this weird thing about running distances that are odd numbers. As in, I am really uncomfortable with it, and I almost always try and run even numbers of miles. Half Marathons are great, but 13.1 is scary numerically to me. Fun Fact Monday. Well, maybe not fun, but maybe it helps make you feel more normal?

I even foam rolled afterwards and stretched! Improvements!

I would like to say this face was exaggerated, but that would be a lie. Self portrait attempts + quad mutilation via hunk of foam + face caked in salt= the essence of beauty.

And if I hadn’t already basked in pain-free running glory enough, I decided to do the wise injury-prevention thing and go to yoga yesterday afternoon. It was definitely not my best performance, and I stuck to all the easier versions of the poses, but my calves and hammies were very happy with all the stretchy attention the got. I think I fell asleep for a minute in savasana also, but that must mean I was really meditative and Zen. Right? Good.

And speaking of meditative and happiness and birdies, this was also a necessary end to the day:

Oh buttery, sugar-coated, pink, bird sugar cookie, I love you.

I am feeling wonderfully sore and sleepy today. After not doing a long run for a few weeks, those miles definitely wiped me out in the best possible way. I’m still on the watch for lingering injury pain, but yesterday was definitely a fat ole’ confidence boost kick-in-the-butt. {I also don’t think you can get more adjectives/descriptive nouns in one sentence. Way to go English major, way to utilize your inability to tone down your detailing.}

Nothing like a little patience to really make a run feel like solid gold.

Shake out run today, and presuming things keep going well, I’m looking forward to continuing on in this [final!] month of marathon training.


Now… please let me hear your lovely voices! Did you race this weekend? Long run? How’d it go? Are you as sad as I am that Alec Baldwin is engaged?

Branching Out, Angry Knee, and Minnie Pancakes

This weekend, I did things a little differently.

And I liked it. A lot.

I’m the definition of “a creature of habit,” and it’s rare for me to switch up my routine, try anything new that I don’t already know I’ll love, or extend myself beyond a certain comfort zone. I like to think that I push my limits and that I challenge myself, and I definitely do, but there are certain areas of my life that I tend to keep very even-stevens in terms of their excitement. This is mostly due to the fact that I dedicate myself so wholly to running, that I get concerned with anything breaking up my consistent routine. While marathon training this is understandable, but there are other times when it simply gets in the way of the rest of life, which isn’t good. Therefore, I was very conscientious this weekend of incorporating more fun into my days other than just running.

And indeed I did. I spent all day Saturday with my dear friend Kawika, Saturday night with several old college friends at a bar/birthday gathering, and Sunday visiting for a bit with my friend Rose. Oh, and BF and I went bowling Friday night, which doesn’t sound extravagant, but for a couple who is normally so tired on Friday that even watching a full episode of a show sounds daunting, this was HUGE. Also, there was a bet made that whomever had the lowest total two-game score would pay for everything. I’m not saying who won or lost, but let’s just say I think the person who made the wager regretted their proposition by the end of the night…

Also, while all the normal bowling alley dwellers drank their beers, this is what my pre-22-mile-morning-run self was consuming.


….but perhaps this helped yield a certain final outcome?

Bowling and beer go hand-in-hand. Next time, no water bottle.

And speaking of, 22 miles was completed Saturday morning, done before 10:30 am! It was long, it was tiring, but it was absolutely great. Aside from one wrinkle in the run (which I’ll get to later), I couldn’t have asked for a more confidence-building, satisfying long run. Remember how I said on Friday that I was experimenting with some new long-run tools this time around? Well props to all—especially the new fuel that I tried.

liquid GOLD my friends

No stomach issues! AND I think the caffeine factor definitely helped with my energy overall. Also, I think my soreness was seriously lessened due to the enhanced electrolyte replacement. Good work PowerBar, I’m ready for my sponsorship now.


Moving on, another CRAZY thing about this run was what I did afterwards……

{insert moans of searing pain here}

I finally gave in and decided to give his whole “ice bath” thing a try.


I knew it wasn’t going to be all relaxing and soothing, but I seriously was not prepared for just how intense this actually is. I used two whole bags of ice, kept my shorts on, and even bundled up on top like you’re supposed to. I cannot say that I ever really “got used to it” the whole 20 minutes that I was in there, and by the end I was literally counting down the seconds until I could get out. I immediately attempted to warm up in a way-too-hot shower, but after getting out it was clear that my core was still freezing cold. Despite the cranked heater and being bundled in a robe, I could not stop shaking and had to layer up and drink some hot water until I could finally manage to control my temperature.

I’m not sure if I did something wrong…or if my natural poor circulation just got the best of me, but hot damn ice bath, you got me good.

Okay, on the bright side, I need to credit my twenty minutes of Arctic conditions for my lack of soreness on Sunday, and I felt much less stiff after I got out and warmed up.

Overall, good times. And I was proud of myself for trying out some new running related things.

However, as mentioned, there was one hiccup.

My run felt great, however there was a twinge in my knee that I couldn’t seem to shake. My knee felt a little tweaked after a yoga class last week, but nothing too bad and I could run on it just fine. This was the same throughout the 22 miler, but I could definitely feel it. Not pain necessarily, but just an ache that couldn’t go away. The ice bath helped, but I was still feeling the ache throughout the whole day.

Yesterday, it had subsided a bit, and so I decided to go through with a shake-out run which actually made it feel even better. Last night it had all but gone away, which was encouraging, however this morning proved this little knee pang to be a bit more substantial than a tweak.

I was in actual pain when I woke up, and although walking around and getting blood flowing to it helped out, it’s still not feeling awesome.

And, I’ll admit it…it’s bothering me. Both physically and mentally.

I couldn’t help myself and did the whole Google-diagnosis for a while, and decided to quit because nothing was going to be encouraging or conclusive about doing that. See, I do learn things. Instead, I’m deciding to go against my natural instincts and—FINE—not run.

I’m going to give this knee pain a few days to hang out, relax, and hopefully get lost. Honestly, I’m far enough along with my training that a few days off won’t hurt, and it certainly will help if something is acting up from overuse. So while it burns a little bit inside me, I have learned enough and know enough to err on the side of caution.

I know it might feel better tomorrow, but I’m conclusively deciding to wait until at least Thursday to try out running. Running definitely doesn’t make it hurt worse, but I want to ensure that running isn’t taken out of the picture because of excess mileage.

And this is actually good timing, because West Seattle Runner is having a PT come in tomorrow night to do FREE injury consultation. You can show up, have a chat with her about your running ailments, and she’ll offer her expert advice. You can bet I’ll be there, with this knee pain at the top of my “what’s wrong with me?” list.

So, lots of different things happening around these parts—some good, some not so good, but all offering an interesting change of pace. I’m going to enjoy some sleep-in time this week, and honestly…with a weather report like this, running isn’t exactly super duper enticing:

Seattle says, "Oh, you thought it was spring? How silly of you!"

Here’s hoping this ailment goes away with some R and R. I’m doing my best to remain confident and calm (not an easy task, mind you)…and hopefully my new invention of shortbread GS cookies with Nutella on top will help.

Also, on one final note, BF often times reminds me of why we’re good together…but this reminder from yesterday is worth sharing:


While making pancakes for himself, BF delivered me this little beauty. A traditional Mickey pancake was too standard, therefore a bow of cranberries were added on top to emphasize the fact that it was Minnie. Creative touch BF, you’re the best!

Have a good Monday!

What’s your favorite pancake shape? Did you do a long run this weekend? A bike ride? A hike? Please share any fun/entertaining activities!





Fuel Failing, Personal Nights, and Ranting about Target


How’s it going? How was your weekend? Personally, I felt like it went a wee bit too quickly, but otherwise it was highly enjoyable.

I completed my second 20 mile run in two weeks on Saturday, and although conditions weren’t necessarily ideal, overall it went well and I finished a bit faster than last week.

I felt a general lack of fueling surrounding this run, and it took it’s toll a bit. In a very literal sense, my car was SO low on gas getting to my starting point down by the water, so that troubled my brain throughout the run.

“What if I run out of gas on the way home and I have to walk and I can’t walk because I will have just run 20 miles and then my legs will break and OMG OMG OMG.”

It’s amazing how we can distract ourselves with irrational thoughts, isn’t it?

Anyways, I also knew right off the bat that I hadn’t food-fueled well enough the night before. I had a bad stomach ache all day Friday, and so I wasn’t feeling too keen on a big carb-load that night. It took it’s toll though, because I woke up hungry, and although I ate a bit before going out I was feeling pretty empty earlier than anyone wants to on a 20 mile run. This also added to why my Gatorade supply (which was meager to begin with) diminished quicker than normal. You see, I’m not very responsible when it comes to fueling during a run, and I only bring water or a sports drink if my run is above 15 or so mile. Bad. However, I do think this helps my resilience to needing a ton of water/electrolyte replacement—on a normal day. Right? That makes total sense. This run was proved otherwise, though, and my liquid energy was consumed in flash.

And to add insult to an already fuel-less run, my iPod died around mile 13. On a normal run, this would have been no problem, and I would have gotten all existential and credited the universe with wanting me to pay more attention to my surroundings. Remember that hippy-dippy post?

But on long runs, the iPod is a bit necessary—both for motivation and distraction. However, I focused on the lovely scenery (I saw TWO bald eagles!) and I tried to maintain a consistent pace. My energy waves came in spurts, and although my legs were barking by the end, my last mile was 8 minutes flat, which I was very happy with.

{Admittedly, I think I was just happy to be done}

Anyways, total time was 2:47 for 20.24 miles. Approximately 8:15 miles…and given the fuel deprivation I would say I’m very pleased with this, especially after 20 miles last Sunday and 13 miles last Thursday.

Dear legs, thank you. You guys are the best.

Also, I would like to pay homage to my decision to take a rest day on Friday. It paid off big time, and I felt so much better than I know I would have during this beast of a run. I wish I could say that I was a stellar smart and prepared athlete who intentionally took that day off in lieu of the big weekend ahead, but truthfully it was an impromptu decision and happened to be the right one.

What’s the lesson? Scheduled rest days are good. Our bodies like them.

Along those lines, I’m starting to rethink my normal routine in terms of pre and post long run day regimen. I used to always take my rest days (or do an easy swim) the day after a long run, however I’ve recently been introduced to this concept of a “shake out” or “recovery” run, which I’m becoming a HUGE fan of. The idea is that you do a shorter, slow run the day after a long run to, quite literally, shake out your legs and get some blood flowing to your sore muscles. I’ve done this twice now, and I’m a big fan. I really like the excuse for some slow, leisurely running, and I do think it’s helping me recover faster.

And speaking of recovery, my favorite kind of recovery—the kind that requires ample food consumption and couch sitting—was it optimal form on Saturday night. BF attended poker night with some of his co-workers, and while I could have planned a fabulous Seattle nightlife outing with my friends, I knew I wouldn’t make it until 10 pm—therefore a Robyn Personal Night was in order.

I am very much someone who enjoys their own company, almost as much as the company of others. Don’t get me wrong—I love being around people, but there are sometimes when I relish being by myself for a night. And yes, I was the child who sang to themselves played alone on the playground and didn’t give a second thought about it. I really like to think I’ve gained some sociability since then, but nights like Saturday night indicate otherwise.

Allow me to give you a glimpse into what my perfect home-alone setting looks like:

Pajamas on before dinner

A Beecher’s grilled cheese and tomato basil soup {This is the best grilled cheese you will ever eat. If you don’t believe me, come to Seattle and I will buy you one myself.}


Blue Moon Spring Ale

US Weekly

A big sugar cookie

These ingredients, topping off a day spent at Target and Trader Joe’s, just about sums up my perfect Saturday. Lame? Totally. But I’m not ashamed. And the word “spent” above is very much pun intended. I went into Target to exchange a shirt for a different size.

That’s. It.

So what did I walk out with? The better fitting shirt…oh and a new dress, a new necklace (the dress needed a friend), another new shirt, bobby pins, and sport headbands.


It’s okay, this is why the Bull’s Eye Boutique made Friday Favorites a few weeks ago, and will continue to so long as it’s within my driving range.

I would just like to say that my receipt was $48.57, meaning I successfully defeated the infamous $50 minimum rule when leaving Target. Therefore I essentially won, and Target pretty much gave me all my new wonderful things. Oh, you’ve never heard of that rule? It’s real, and if you don’t believe me…next time you go to Target for one item, check out YOUR receipt once you walk out of the store.

So there you have it peeps. My idea of a perfect Saturday and an unplanned rant about Target and how it owns my soul.

This is cutback week, meaning my long run won’t be quite as daunting, which honestly I’m a little relieved about. I’ll see you before then, though, and I hope you had a merry weekend of your own.

Tell me about your weekend! What would your version of a Personal Night look like? Did you watch the Oscars? Did you do a long run? Do you have a horrible addiction to a chain store?

Friday Favorites: Comfortable Pace and Being Kind

We made it to Friday. Did this week seem especially long to anyone else? I’ve been thinking it’s Friday since about Tuesday night, and I’ve been pining for the weekend ever since.

Sweet, it’s nearly here.

This weekend has some serious running endeavors planned out, and I’m a little afraid. Mainly because Sunday is supposed to be a—GAH—20 mile run.

Damnit. I said it, therefore I’m accountable.

I’m planning on approaching it with this mindset: I’ve done it before, it’s only two miles more than I ran two weeks ago, and there will be many cookies on either end of it.

Also, I have this new strategy in tackling long runs—or any run, for that matter—and it’s new to me. It’s called: Running at a Comfortable Pace.

Groundbreaking, right?! I have this really horrible fixation on running at or below MP(Marathon Pace) on, oh, every run I do. It’s not an extremely difficult pace, but it’s not exactly comfortable either. This habit is so silly. Runs do not always need to be as fast as you ideally would want, and in fact it’s good for you to do some slow and steady miles in addition to quicker runs.

Blah, blah, blah…I know this, and I need to get better. Unfortunately, I am a distance runner who still has the brain of her former sprinter self. However, yesterday morning I was incredibly intent on running at a comfortable pace. I knew not checking my watch and panicking if I wasn’t around 8:00 minute miles would be hard, but I really wanted to just “feel it” instead of push it. Highly successful run; I finished 12 miles in 1:41:30, and although it’s not MP, it’s not bad for being a very comfortable run.

Let’s get to some favorites though, and I’ll leave 20 sweaty miles for Sunday AM.

– $5 round-trip airfare


Thanks to lucky timing and to my Alaska Airlines credit card, I ended up paying out-of-pocket FIVE DOLLARS for my spring vacation to my home turf of Los Angeles, CA. Okay, yea sure, that also means that I won’t have another free flight until I purchase thousands of dollars worth of things on my card—but the novelty of a $5 flight is still awesome.

That being said, I am PUMPED for this trip. I love to travel, whether it’s to a place I’ve never been or to a place I’ve been dozens of times. I’ll be meeting up with my family for a week of desert camping (better than it sounds) and perusing through Lotus Land looking for Seth and Sandy Cohen.

– My Timex watch

This was a 10 miler I clocked recently. NBD

You can keep your fancy Garmins and heart rate monitors. My little blue Ironman Timex and I are just peachy-keen happy with one another. I got this guy(or maybe it’s a girl, I actually never thought about it) a little over three years ago, and s/he’s been kicking ever since.

Don’t tell my baby blue, but I have toyed with the idea of getting a real Garmin watch. I know it all—keeping logs of my heart rate, my splits, my mileage, etc. would be an ideal addition to training. I know someday (don’t tell lil blue!) I’ll get one, however for right now I like not knowing my miles and calories burned on a moment’s notice. There’s something fun about doing the math after a run to figure out my pace and rate, and even when I do get all fancy and digital I plan on keeping my trusty Timex sidekick around. She(I decided female feels right) and I have been through a lot together in my life as a runner, and I could never, actually, let her go.

– Holiday Appropriate M and M’s

If you ask me to make dessert, I WILL make too much and I WILL bring options

Correction: Accessorizing Desserts with Holiday Appropriate M and M’s

BF and I decided that for V-day, we would make dinner together and he would provide the libations and I would provide the dessert. Obviously I was torn with this task; not because it was too daunting or I didn’t have time, but because the possibilities were too endless. In the end, I couldn’t decide and ended up just supplying us with two options. This was a very good idea, despite the fact that I think I’m still sweating brownie batter.

And yes, the plate above was originally intended for the two of us.

And no, we did not finish all of it. I do have some self control people—and plus, the best part of making yummy things is having BF bring them to his office and therefore winning girlfriend points.

– My Car

{This isn't actually my real car, but it's pretty darn spot on}

So I didn’t actually own a car myself until I graduated college, therefore buying this car was not only a milestone in becoming an adult, it was a milestone in gaining automotive liberty!

I absolutely love this little Toytoa Corolla, named Glinda, and she’s been a trooper ever since I got her—off Craigslist, I’ll have you know. Sure, she’s had some interesting moods at times, as in she doesn’t feel like starting, or she doesn’t feel like shutting down the engine when the key is out of the ignition…THIS HAPPENED.

BUT this little girl has been quite reliable, and I still perk up whenever I see her ready to take me all the places I need to go.

– Random Acts of Kindness

This photo is completed unrelated. But it works for some reason, doesn't it? Also, you're welcome.

Listen up: Today is National Random Act of Kindness Day!

I will fully admit that I think this recent onset of “National” holidays is a bit fishy, but as someone who both loves holidays and communal kindness, I’ll pay attention to this one.

Something I wholeheartedly believe in is the concept of Paying it Forward. We live in a world where approximately 99% of our energy is focused on Number One. We are self-serving creatures by nature, and in a lot of ways we cannot help it—it’s how we’re hardwired in order for survival. However, since I’m pretty sure that the majority of Americans aren’t currently being run down by lions and are within 50 miles of some source of food, I think we can take at least a day to do something for someone else.

{And if you are currently being hunted by safari animals or you’re in a desolate region without food or water, WTF are you doing reading this blog? Also, I know you have either a smart phone or a laptop, therefore I don’t really feel bad for you.}

Moving on, I dare you to try reaching outside of yourself to do one nice thing for someone else. It takes such little effort, but it can make—in my opinion—all the difference in the world. It’s as simple as giving the change in your pocket to the homeless man you pretend to ignore every day, complimenting a stranger on their bag (this should be genuine—btw), or paying for a stranger’s coffee. I am convinced that acts of kindness have a chain reaction, and they are a perfect example of small efforts making a big difference. Paying it Forward is one of the most accessible and simplest ways in which we can make a change in our world. And frankly, with all the hostility, anger, and self-absorption that clouds our outlook on society—we could all use a little more kindness. I truly believe this, and I think you’ll find that doing something nice for someone else will bring a spring to your step as well.

Kindness doesn’t need to be altruistic. But we do need more of it.


5 more faves in the bag! I hope you are getting psyched for your weekend ahead, and if you’re willing to share…

What Random Act of Kindness have you received before? What are your Friday Favorites?

The Best Run of December and Gift Exchange

I have an incredibly high level of excitement for the content going into this post, so bear with me and forgive my likely excessive use of exclamation points and ALL CAPS.

No time to mess around with silly anecdotes on life, let’s get down to business.

First of all, BF and I exchanged our Christmas gifts last night (we needed to celebrate early because we’ll both be getting on a plane on Saturday). The night was wonderful, complete with stockings, chocolate, great gifts and a dinner made by me. Little did BF know, I was secretly planning a mini carbo load for my long run this morning. I think the loaf of bread for two might have given me away…

Anyways, I’ll talk about our gift exchange in a bit, but first I need to detail why this morning’s run was simply—magical.

I wanted to get in a good long run before my lungs must submit to choking on the thin Colorado air (read Altitude Apprehension for more details), and so I made the switch from Sunday to Thursday for this week.

I was on the road around 6:20. The sky was completely dark, however it was incredibly clear, calm and silent. I took out my headphones almost immediately and basked in the stillness of the morning. The stars were shining brightly above, and the water was still except for the splash on the shoreline.

I was completely immersed in how beautiful it was, and I allowed my concentration to only focus on the run itself. I saw so many Christmas lights along the way, which was perhaps the best tour de lights I’ve ever taken.

By the time I reached the end of the run, I’d made it 17.43 miles—a bit further than intended— and the sky was blue and the sun was shining! Not quite what comes to mind when you think about Seattle in December. My legs were tired, but my mood was soaring—and I got a good kick realizing that I feel my absolute best when my face is covered in sweat salt and my calves are tight from the miles they’ve covered. It might sound strange, but truly—the sweat, exhaust, and, yes, smell after a long run is my happiest state.


Okay, moving onto the probably much more interesting part of this post—Christmas presents!

BF and I both did a good job this year if I do say so myself, and we now have more stocking candy than two people should ever have within reach. But don’t worry, we got it covered.

My stocking consisted of a pedometer(which I’ve wanted to play with for SO long!), tons of chocolate, a cookie monster shirt (he knows my true self), and a race registration! BF signed us up to relay a 10k race in January, and the best part is our team name:

Grizzly Bird

He is really a keeper folks.

Lindt truffles and a big blue Cookie Monster shirt. Happy camper

For BF, I got him a book called I Used to Know That (he thinks it will help him with nightly Jeopardy—PSH!), the Stick, and a running watch! He uses his cell phone timer to time his runs, therefore I thought it was time for an upgrade.

check out that Iron Man! oh and the watch is nice too.

YOU GUYS. You are not going to believe what BF got me.

Okay, well, both of my presents were so totally awesome—but this one is very very special to share with you:


Talk about supportive!! BF made these Run Birdie Run bumper stickers as one of my gifts, and I’m seriously PSYCHED. There are 6 of each, and {hopefully} more will need to be made someday! I’m trying to restrain myself from using them up by plastering them on everything I own, but I think for starters my car will wear one of these beauties.

{shameless plug: if you want one for whatever reason (you like stickers, you like to run, you like birds, you enjoy this blog) please let me know and I will seriously hand deliver it to you}


insert childlike giggles when viewing this photo

I warned you about the CAPS, so don’t judge. But seriously, this is an awesome gift especially since we live near 7 miles of flat, paved ocean-view trail AND BF owns his own pair. Alki Beach, you aren’t gonna know what hit you!

Anyways, successful gift exchange, and I’m already excited to eat a few more truffles tonight. Or ten.

I hope everyone is enjoying the heart of the holiday season, and I’ll be back tomorrow for some Friday Favorites!

What are you thankful for this year? What are you most excited to give? What’s the most memorable gift you’ve received? Tell me please, I really enjoy comments.

Sunday Funday

I feel like yesterday’s post was a bit heavy in a Yoda of Running kind of way, so I thought I’d start today with some thoughts on a very important weekly event:

Sunday Funday.

Now, the term “Sunday Funday” was brought to my attention by BF, who would describe this holy day of the week (pun intended) as something like this:

Sweatpants, couch, football, eating, beer, football, beer, nap, football, repeat.

Snuggies are important for Sunday Funday. BF approves.

Maybe you’ve heard of it?

He and his friends have practiced a mean Sunday Funday through the past few years during football season, and while I can’t entirely understand it—I am big on once-a-week sanctioned events. I realized that I actually do have my own version of a Sunday Funday—but instead of the boy-version, mine involves running. Long running.

While most of my weekly runs would qualify as “longer,” it is specifically Sunday where I like to test my endurance with a steady high mileage run. I suppose I really started this when I was marathon training, as that’s how my program was set. However, I’ve sort of continued this routine post marathon—and I’ve found that there are innumerable benefits to taking a long run on a Sunday. Below, I’ve listed a top ten list of why it’s the best day of the week to strap on your shoes and hit the pavement:

1) Starting the week off right.

I feel like I tend to forget that Sunday is actually the first day of the week, technically. If I treat Sunday like a jumping off point instead of a slog-around fest where I avoid the inevitable reality of Monday, then I’m much less prone to resenting Monday. If I can jump into the work week feeling like I’ve already accomplished something big, then I’m all the more ready to take on whatever’s next.

2) Evaporating weekend indulgences.

I am a master of eating great throughout the week and then once the weekend hits, all bets are off. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing—reward systems can go a long way—however when my system that is used to fruits and veggies is filled with beer and cheese, I can go a little out of whack. I also have Ulcertive Colitis, which really tends to hate these sudden dietary switches. Sunday is a great day to sweat out the treats of the weekend and clear both your conscience and arteries of that extra brownie, or four.

Yes, that was me Saturday night. I have no shame—worth it.

3) Time.

There is really never another day of the week where you have the amount of leisurely time available to test yourself and see what your legs are made of. I’m personally used to scheduling my workouts between set time frames, and sometimes it’s very freeing to know that I have as much time as necessary to do one simple thing.

4) Saturday carbo load.

As if you needed an excuse.

5) Be with the people!

Tons of people, whether they’re training for a race or not, run/walk/meander around on Sundays, and it’s nice to feel like you’re out enjoying the day with them. If ever I want some entertainment on my runs, people watching and dog watching are among my favorite activities.

6) Be with the runners!

Kind of similar as before, but by seeing other runners out there, you are sure to be encouraged and inspired to be part of such a cool group of people. And I’m not being cocky or exclusive or anything like that, but the fact of the matter is that runners love other runners. Runners love to talk about running, give advice, listen to others, and generally they have a great energy and enthusiasm about them. Perhaps this is why non runners scoff at runners sometimes, but I know that there is really nothing quite like the classic runner-to-runner head nod exchange to keep my spirits high.

7) Be outside!

It’s so easy to stay couch-logged on the weekends; we’re overworked, tired, and just want to relax a lot of the time. But sometimes getting outside is just what we need to clear our heads of all work and stress related burdens. Running offers an opportunity to be outside and get exercise—both integral to regaining our sanity.

8) Good sleep before the week.

If you’ve garnered some extra energy over the weekend, sometimes Sunday night you’re prone to go to bed later, sleep restlessly, and then our Mondays are groggy and slow, which no one likes. If you can burn off some energy on Sunday, you are so much more likely to settle into a restful sleep that night and start the week off right!

9) Enough time for stretching, hydrating, and relaxing.

I cannot tell you how many times I promise myself to stretch more after my runs, or roll out on my foam roller, or do any of the standard post-run necessities. Problem is, once I’ve squeezed in all the minutes I can into my run and get back home, I need to shower and get to work asap…leaving no time for these easy but important things. With the flexible time on Sunday (for the most part), you not only get to take your time on a run, but you can also take ample time afterward to properly stretch all your big running muscles, take an ice bath (if necessary), and prepare a good recovery meal.

10) Football

In honor of BF, I will include football watching as the final reason for a Sunday long run. Once you’ve logged some solid, quality miles—you truly have earned the right to sit on your butt cheering for your favorite team.

There you have it! If you find yourself restless and antsy at the end of your weekend, I really recommend trying out switching your long run to Sundays. While I was in school, Sunday was by far my least favorite day of the week, but now that I am free of homework and able to orchestrate my Sundays more loosely, it might just be one of my new favorites 🙂

16 miles down, and ready for the week with a delicious bowl of chili. Makeup was very unnecessary today, clearly.

When do you do your long runs? Do you change it up every week, depending on other circumstances? What is your idea of a Sunday Funday?