Category Archives: Seattle

The Time I Was Almost Attacked By An Owl

Among the things that unnerve me when I’m out in the dark on a run, wild animals are marginally high on the list. Not so much in the sense that I think I might be attacked by one, but more so that I hate the idea of something popping out at me.

Raccoons, rats, and squirrels…all of them have made me jump at one time or another while on the run. However, it’s more the shock of the scurrying creature* that scares me, not so much that I’m scared of them.

*Bunnies are an exception. I love them all.

However…perhaps I should think twice from now on. A few weeks ago, I came dangerously close to an animal attack, and it was from an animal I had not only never seen in the area…but one that I didn’t even know was interested in threatening humans.

An OWL.

Forests_wallpapers_377

Yes… that beautiful, wise, cooing bird that represents many an ancient symbol and omen gave me the biggest scare on a run I’ve ever had.

Let’s back up. A lot of my runs start off by going down a well-lit, steep, 1/2-mile long hill. It’s always a pleasant way to begin and tricks me every time into thinking the whole run will be easy.

One particular morning, as I started heading down said hill, I glanced up at a light post and saw an OWL perched on top. Cool! A real life, wild owl! I stopped and stared, watched him(her?) gracefully flap over to the light post behind me, and for the briefest of seconds, we made eye contact. How peaceful, right?

I then carried on, probably reveling in the mysticism of my owl sighting, when I saw a shadow coming up behind me. In the moment, I don’t think I realized what it was, but a second later I could see an enormous wingspan out of my peripheral version. I snapped my head up and saw the owl barely 6 inches above me!!! In all one move, I came to a dead stop, yelped, and ducked, which therein caused the owl to retreat and fly up and out of sight.

WTF

My run immediately turned into speed work as I bounded away as fast as possible. Cartoon-like visions of the owl grabbing me in his talons and carrying me into the trees for breakfast were flashing before me, along with other completely rational potential news headlines:

“Runner Loses Eyes in Owl Attack”

“Girl Threatens Pacific Northwest Wildlife, Pays the Price”

“West Seattle Local  Disappears, Police Investigate Regional Nests”

In all seriousness, it was horrifying. I’m pretty certain that had I not realized what was happening and screamed a little, the owl would have taken a good peck at my head. I’d never, ever heard of this kind of instance before, but then THIS news story came out (in Seattle mind you), and I felt a little more justified.

So be warned, people. Sometimes it’s not just the street-level threats to worry about in the darker hours, but what’s above too. Also, making eye contact with a predatory bird is probably not the best safety measure. 

PSA for the day: Not all owls are like the Winnie the Pooh Owl.

Stay safe and protect your noggins!

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The Races Are Coming, The Races Are Coming!

Happy Friday!

We are officially one week away from Ragnar NWP, and I’m actually getting really excited!

I didn’t really mean for that to sound like I’m surprised, but I suppose I’ve just been feeling a little more daunted by the idea than jazzed for it. Part of that stems from the fact that I’ve never done a relay before, so while I know all the hearsay about how awesome they are—I don’t really have a good concept of what to expect.

All that seems to be going away, though. Now that the final details are getting sorted and we have an established start time, drivers, runs times, etc., it’s all becoming more real and super exciting!

I’ve accepted that there really isn’t a “right” way to prepare for an ultra relay, and I feel like I’ve done everything I could have. I’ve also accepted that it’s going to be hard, no matter what, but it’s the hard aspect that makes the whole experience memorable.

Plus, my team is pretty awesome, and I’m excited to hang out with these ladies for over 24 straight hours 🙂

Team Six Pack with a Rack

(in running order, because why not, right?)

Bethany

Lauren

Rebecca

Jessey

Rira

ME

We’ve got a great mix of personalities, experience, ages, and all with one big thing in common: a lot of run love. I can’t wait!

But, there’s business to tend to before Ragnar. And so continues my summer of endless activity and racing…

This Sunday, I’ll be running the See Jane Run half-marathon as my final long training run for Ragnar.

I have had this race on my radar for a while, and luckily won an entry to it, but I’m finding myself a little lost when it comes to my approach to it.

Full discretion: I am physically incapable of “fun running” a race. I don’t always all-out race, but even in cases where I don’t have an A-goal, I still like to have a race plan or some sort of structure as to how I’ll try and run. Racing is a really important part of running for me, and I like to try and take it seriously whenever the opportunity presents itself. Even if the opportunity is to practice pacing, practice racing, or practice going slow.

Back to See Jane Run. I’m in a weird limbo between wanting to work hard and wanting to hold back. This will not be an all-out effort, as I’m saving that energy for my actual A-race this fall, but I still want to try and practice racing a half.

So, although I’m not entirely sure of my exact plan, I know I do want to practice finishing strong. I have never really had the opportunity to tap into stored energy for a great finishing kick at the end of a race (seeing as I normally go out too fast). So, I’d like to give this approach a try. I suppose it will be a practice in patience more than anything else and trying to hold back in the beginning so I can let it rip in the last 2 miles or so.

I’m trying really hard to not let the races I run now affect my confidence for attempting a 1:35 in a few months. Slowly I’m getting it into my head that it’s a BIG goal, and just because I’m not ready now doesn’t mean I won’t be ready then. So, I’m going to try my best to not let numbers on Sunday take away from the experience. I’ll be happy with a solid effort and enough juice left to start building the energy and excitement necessary for some Ragnar miles.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Who’s running See Jane Run this weekend? Who’s racing? Who’s doing something summery/outdoorsy/exciting?

Fast Finishes, Scavenger Hunting, and Mayhem

Life, as I know it, has gone a little haywire. In a good way—but the days of lazing my days/nights away seem to have disappeared completely, along with the rain and gloom. Essentially, summer has become playtime x 1,000. Not that I’m complaining, it’s all fun stuff, but man—being social is tiring.

Unrelated photo from the 4th of July. But I did make this for a party and was ridiculously proud of it.

Unrelated photo from the 4th of July. But I did make this for a party and was ridiculously proud of it.

This past weekend was the essence of how busy life has been, and I feel like getting to Monday was more of a relief than how I normally feel on Friday afternoons. But that’s how it should be sometimes, right? It makes the time go by quickly, but that was going to happen anyway—right? Might as well fill ‘er up.

As I wrote on Friday, Mr. BF joined the big and bad 25 club, and we had a small celebration just the two of us that evening. No pictures were taken, but pizza was had and presents were opened. You can imagine it, it was lovely.

But the celebrating didn’t stop there. We had a whole banaza planned for Saturday, involving lots of beer and lots of raw fish.

But first, I had to get a long run in. I wasn’t too concerned about mileage for this weekend, considering I had already logged 38 miles by Friday, but I still wanted to take advantage of the beautiful day. My plan was for 14 miles, and to start slow and finish fast. I wanted to negative split the whole run and also practice this whole “fast finish” idea with my last two miles being the fastest.

image (1)

 

 

This picture doesn’t demonstrate much (and I’m sure you’ve never seen one exactly like it before), but overall the run was a success. The second half was 3 minutes faster than the first, and my last two miles clocked in at 7:24 and 7:26. And let me tell you…fast finish is no joke. Fatigued legs + rising heat + increased speed= a nice kick in the bum right at the end of a run. Trust me, if you want to really feel the effects of a long run, try it out. I liked it though…great practice for race conditions.

After some reading, coffee-ing, and sunscreening, it was off to the International Beer Festival where we met up with several friends. As if I wasn’t dehydrated and sweaty enough that day already…

image

 

I had so much sunscreen in my hair and was being SUCH a diva about it. I don’t know what got into me. I can deal with unwashed, sweaty hair multiple times during the week—but heaven forbid my just-blow dried hair gets a little grease in it? I don’t understand.

Anyway, it was awesome. Tons of sun, tons of tipsy/happy Seattleites, and tons of delicious international brews. I’m trying to hold off on drinking for the most part these days thanks to my super pissy intestines, but I made an exception this day and scouted out how I could get the most bang (>8%) for my bucks (10 tickets total). It was successful.

We ended the night with pounds of sushi at Umi in Belltown. Again, no photos unfortunately. But we got to sit on the floor and ended the night playing credit card roulette (BF and I didn’t lose!)

Despite knowing everything that was going down on Saturday, I had it in my head that I would get up Sunday morning and go for a long bike ride. I knew that wasn’t happening on Saturday night (mostly due to fatigue…not beers), so I decided to go to spin instead. Also wrong…I woke up Sunday morning and it took all of 1.5 seconds to decide I needed more sleep. I blame 4th of July for all of this lingering tiredness. And Belgium dark hefs.

Eventually, after watching Andy Murray reinstate British reign at Wimbledon, I got myself to the pool for a nice long swim. I swear, sometimes swimming does the same—if not more—for me as yoga. It can be super meditative when I’m in the mood, which apparently I was yesterday, and I finished with a little over 2 miles total. My legs loved me afterward.

But not for long. Around 1 it was time to head to an Urban Scavenger Hunt birthday party for one of my oldest friends. Seriously, how fun does that sound? It was such a good way to get out in the city and enjoy the day. Three teams of four people broke out with our lists of things and people to find, and we spent 4 hours traversing all over the city hunting down our clues.

"Ride a duck boat"

“Ride a duck boat”

 

"Reenact a scene from 10 Things I Hate About You"

“Reenact a scene from 10 Things I Hate About You”

It was all ridiculously fun. We had no trouble filling the four hours with exploration and list-checking, and it ended up being a race to the finish line. After all the excitement, I couldn’t inhale a plate of fries or drink enough cold water fast enough. Finishing an adventurous day at a delicious restaurant is brilliant.

Happy birthday Hannah!

Happy birthday Hannah!

And to cap of what was a magnificently tiring and fun weekend, Seattle decided to pull this out last night:

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This picture doesn’t even do justice, but I did drive out of my way (and prolonged going to bed) in order to try and capture the glory. All the people standing around should be a good indication of how freaking beautiful the setting was.

 

So now it’s Monday and I am a little bit happy to be sitting in my desk for 9 hours. That feeling is bound to pass by tomorrow, but for now I’ll be regaining my strength for all the other festivities that are coming up in the next few weeks. Spoiler…one of them involves running 35 miles in a little over 24 hours. Fun stuff folks, and despite my ever-present fatigue, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

And somehow, amidst all the mayhem, I managed to run 52 miles last week…easily the most since before Eugene. Slowly, those ultra relays are starting to get a (little) less scary.

 

Now, tell me about your weekend!

 

 

 

 

 

Check In

Hello friends! Long time no chat. How’s everyone doing?

It feels a little like summer vacation recently, which is part of the reason I’ve been MIA from my little blog. Lots of activity going on, lots of plans, and generally lots of fun. I feel like I’ve been busier with social “obligations” than I have been since college, and it’s been great. I blame the sun—it turns everyone into butterflies who flutter toward each other.

#proof that I wore fake eyelashses and glitter in honor of Pride.

#proof that I wore fake eyelashses and glitter in honor of Pride.

So, while I’ve been staying out later and swapping second runs for happy hours, there’s still been plenty of race prep going on. And by “race,” I should say “races” because right now I’m in trifecta mode—trying to improve my fitness for three different types of events coming up in the next few months. It’s been…interesting. So let’s recap those sweaty and non-sweaty endeavors shall we?

Tri-Specific Training

I haven’t necessarily been doing more or less in regard to triathlon training. Honestly, I would run every day if I could, but since I can’t I’m trying to tuck swimming and biking/spinning in once or twice a week. It’s not that I don’t like either of these activities (although swimming can be boring…) it’s just that in the summer I want to be running outside.

However, I’m really starting to like biking. In a new-crush, giddy kind of way. I always loved the idea of being a biking person, and now that I have a good bike, good weather, and good company—it seems the stars are aligning. Super bike pro Lindsay invited my slow self last weekend for a Burke-Gilman ride (34 miles!), and I really enjoyed myself. It feels really good to shake it up, and I actually like feeling like a beginner at something, strangely enough. It’s also really nice to have another option besides running where I can be outside, go for a long time, and all the while not worry so much about the impact. I’m hoping by the end of the summer to have a few extra-long rides under my belt.

And all this bike love is definitely a good thing—because when it comes to the triathlon disciplines, it’s definitely the one I need the most work on.

Ultra-Relay Training

This is how I feel about running 35 miles in 24 hours. Also how I feel about how neon has taken over my life. Neon bra is showing THROUGH neon shirt. WTF.

This is how I feel about running 35 miles in 24 hours. Also how I feel about how neon has taken over my life. Neon bra is showing THROUGH the neon shirt. WTF.

I was initially feeling really good about this training. I was logging at least once-a-week double run days, and my training felt pretty specific to ultra-relay conditions. However, ever since life started getting busy and the first ultra race started to get closer, I’ve been feeling a little more apprehensive about my prep. However, I did run 12 miles at 7 am Sunday morning after being out really late the night before (see eyelash photo above), which I decided was good Ragnar simulation. Right? Right.

I’m running 35 miles at Ragnar in 24 hours, which is A LOT. It was always going to be a lot, no matter how well trained I was, but it’s getting to be intimidating in a scary kind of way. I’ve been averaging between 40-45 miles a week lately, which is good—but compared to what I’ll be doing at Ragnar, it seems measly.

That doesn’t mean I’m not excited though, because I really can’t wait. And despite the high mileage, I’m feeling good about my projected running times. According to our pace calculators, I should be running around sunset, sunrise, and then late in the afternoon (I’m the last runner). So, although I’ll be waking up in the 4 o’clock hour to run 15+ miles, I’m hoping I’ll get a sunrise out of it 🙂 Can’t complain, it’s all part of the adventure—I just hope my legs hold up.

And, if I do horribly, the good (?) news is that I get to try again a month later at Spokane to Sandpoint. I know, I don’t know who I am either.

Goal Half-Marathon Training

Meh. That’s all I have to say about this one. With nearly three months until my big scary goal race, I’ve been a little lackluster about my speed-dedicated workouts. I did 7 x 800 last week and it was HARD. Please, don’t let me postpone a speed workout until the afternoon ever again. It was hot, my stomach hated me, and it was harder than it should have been. I ran each 800 at 6:55 pace, and I could feel every one of them. Two bathroom stops too, fun times.

So, for right now I’m focusing on one speed workout a week, which will pick up after Ragnar. I also have the See Jane Run half coming up in two weeks, and while I don’t expect anything spectacular—I’d like to use it as a bit of a check in. It’s a flat course, and presuming it will be somewhat shaded, I think it will be a good opportunity for a “test run.”

Basically, I could be doing better with speed-specific work, but with the heat it’s not necessarily the best time to push the envelope every day. However, I do trust heat training to have rewarding benefits once the fall comes around. Oh dear, sweet fall running…I’m excited for you.

Other things

I haven’t been photographing much that’s been going on (per usual), however I do have some photos to marginally depict my life as of late:

Seattle sunset by the Seattle Big Wheel. I can't stop photographing the sky. And because I'm now obligated to say it, #nofilter.

Seattle sunset by the Seattle Big Wheel. I can’t stop photographing the sky. And because I’m now obligated to say it, #nofilter.

I look like a child at Disneyland. Except I'm surrounded by drag queens and nearly naked men.

I look like a child at Disneyland. Except I’m surrounded by drag queens and nearly naked men.

And speaking of…

Yes, he is one of my best friends. No, he doesn't go to the gym very much. Yes, you are allowed to hate him.

Yes, he is one of my best friends. No, he doesn’t go to the gym very much. Yes, you are allowed to hate him.

You’re welcome/I’m sorry.

Yesterday morning at 5 am. This is the view from my house, i don't hate it.

Yesterday morning at 5 am. This is the view from my house, i don’t hate it.

 

Reading at the park, one of our new favorite activities.

Reading at the park, one of our new favorite activities.

So there’s my training and life check in. I’ve been orchestrating a bigger balancing act between the two than I have in a while, and to tell you the truth—it feels really good. Besides the apprehension about my preparedness for upcoming events, I am really liking the shift in prioritization that’s been happening. Like I said, it feels like summer break—and in that sense, it shouldn’t be all about the miles. And while it may seem like I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with all my upcoming races and goals, it’s all in the name of having fun and trying new things—and I actually wouldn’t have it any other way.

And on one final note…CONGRATULATIONS to Miss Nicole “Ricole Runs” on her beautiful new baby boy!!!!! I think he came early because I wants you to run a PR in every distance sooner 🙂

 

 

 

 

Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon Race Recap

Surprise! I ran a half marathon on Saturday.

This literally is "proof" I was there. No timing chip= ghost runner!

This literally is “proof” I was there. No timing chip= ghost runner!

Early last week, I was hit with the overwhelming desire to do a half that weekend. It just sounded fun—and I knew there was trail half I’d considered earlier this year, so I went to the website to check it out. Alas—the race was sold out, and so I decided to shelve my race desire and hold off until See Jane Run in July. That was the last I thought of doing a half marathon that upcoming weekend.

Then Friday morning came around. A coworker sent out an email to my office’s runner distribution list (yes, it exists) asking if anyone wanted her bib for Saturday’s Rock ‘n’ Roll race. She is/was injured and didn’t want her entry to go to waste—essentially, the bib was up for grabs.

It took me all of five minutes to consider the offer, and after deciding that sacrificing a morning of sleeping in was definitely worth running a free race, I emailed her back and presto…I was running the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll half! I had been planning on doing a long run that day anyway, so I figured I might as well get a medal in the process 🙂 Plus, I’d never done a Rock ‘n’ Roll race before, and I wanted to see what all the hype was about—especially if it wasn’t going to cost an arm and a leg to do so.

It was definitely a low-stress race eve and morning. I didn’t do much to prepare ahead of time other than stretching a bit more on Friday night. And, considering that I’d run three days in a row already at that point, I wasn’t expecting much in the way of fast legs. But, that’s the price you pay for an impromptu race, so I went into it without much of a strategy other than to have fun and enjoy the race atmosphere. I also decided to try racing for the first time without headphones, mostly to see how it felt, but also to soak in some of the “rock ‘n’ roll” atmosphere.

Sleepy eyes but excited to run!

Sleepy eyes but excited to run!

BF dropped me off with plenty of time to meander around, find some blogger peeps, and get set in my corral without any stress. Luckily, I didn’t need the porta-potties because they had perhaps the longest lines I have EVER seen at a race. Yikes…happy to have dodged that potentially very stressful situation.

Photo courtesy of Stacie!

Photo courtesy of Stacie!

I was in corral 6 so it didn’t take too long before we were shuffled to the start line and were sent off. Woo, race time! I wasn’t wearing a timing chip, just my Garmin, and it was kind of fun to feel like a phantom runner. The beginning was crowded, and per usual a lot of weaving happened. It was inevitable, but apparently my pace was more panicked than I thought because once I was able to get past the crowds I was looking at a low 7:00s pace. Holddd up there homegirl, this is supposed to be fun.

Miles 1-3

I dialed in and tried to find my rhythm. To tell you the truth, those first three miles were kind of tough. My breathing was distracting me, and although I run without music a lot of the time, it’s normally at a slower pace, and I think race-day conditions got the better of my heart rate—consequentially increasing my breathing. Also, I was already hot—definitely not my favorite racing conditions. And by not my favorite…I mean absolute least favorite.

But I tried to relax, got excited when I saw the Oiselle/Nuun/runner gals a little after mile 2, and finally found a comfortable pace.

Here’s also where I admit that while I definitely didn’t have a set time goal, I still wanted to use the race as an opportunity for pacing practice. So while shooting for another ~1:40 was tempting, I decided that aiming for just a sub-8:00 average would be both more feasible and more constructive.

1-3

Find the up and down hills!

Clearly, I was all over the place, and I really wanted to work on just getting comfortable and cruising.

Miles 4-8

We circled away from downtown at this point and headed on a long stretch of road. I started feeling much better—more relaxed and in control—and started enjoying the atmosphere and the scenery. I thought the whole band element was kind of fun, and even though I was kind of missing my music, it was nice to hear all the various sounds of the race. I got more than one “Go Ducks!” which I realized was due to the Eugene pride I was sporting 🙂

The course veered left during these miles and took us along the water on Lake Washington—easily my favorite part of the run. Lots of people cheering, lots of enthusiasm, just generally a happy running ethos.

4-8

You can't really tell, but I'm happy here!

You can’t really tell, but I’m happy here!

Miles 9-11

I was definitely feeling the increasing temperatures, but it was encouraging to know that we’d shortly be headed back toward downtown. Not so encouraging, however, was knowing that all the hills on the course were still to come.

A STEEP ascent lead us up into the I-90 tunnel, which is never my favorite in Seattle races, but there was a band inside which made it a little more tolerable. We were nearing the 10 mile mark when I felt a tap on my shoulder, and it was a guy who goes to my lifting class who said he “recognized the back of my head.” Kind of fun.

He passed me pretty quick, and it gave me a bit of a jolt to keep treking toward the finish. I loved exiting the tunnel and eventually flying down the I-90 ramp back toward downtown. I recognized the same place I picked up Nicole last year when she was running the full, and it felt really good to actually be running the race this year.

9-11

It was very noticeably still getting hotter, and running on the highway gave no relief from the sun. Still, I tried to start some mental math and garner some energy for a solid kick at the end.

Capture4

Miles 12-13

Alas, no kick was had. Not sure if it was the heat, the hills (of which the end had way too many), or the fact that I was running on very un-tapered legs, but I was toasted. However, I was still excited for the finish line and did what I could to get there with a smile. The crowds at this point had also thickened and provided a lot of encouragement.

12-13

The finish line chute was definitely exciting, and despite feeling hot and tired, I was really happy crossing at the end. Two weekends in a row of finish lines, I feel lucky.

As for time, my Garmin showed a 1:43 and change for 13.2 miles. I’m not sure if the tunnel threw off my distance calculation or if the course was long, but it doesn’t really matter.

I was a little sad I wasn’t closer to 1:40 for a bit, but then I knocked myself off my high horse and decided to be satisfied with the run. A 7:50 average on tired legs and a dehydrated/not carb-loaded stomach isn’t anything to complain about for an impromptu race.

Ultimately, I had a great time at Rock ‘n’ Roll. It was a beautiful day with a ton of fun people and a fat ole medal to boot.

I feel really grateful for both the opportunity to have run this race (for free!) and also for the physical ability to do a half on a whim. It’s definitely not lost on me that I was injured a year ago and could only run about 3 miles at a time. A lot can change, and I only hope the healthy legs will continue!

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Attempting to Get My Groove Back

I’m alive! Hello!

Once again, I’ve found myself without much to say…therefore I just don’t say anything at all.

The truth is, running hasn’t been too great. It’s actually been pretty hard. Until yesterday, I hadn’t really had what I would call a “good run” since before Eugene. Not that they were all bad, some were just fine, but for whatever reason recently I have just felt out of my groove.

At first it was lingering marathon soreness, then it was a week of just feeling sluggish, then there was a week of intentionally really slow runs. And now? I don’t know. I’m caught in this weird place of really wanting to run but wanting the runs to feel good and to have that magical endorphin feeling connected to them, which hasn’t been happening.

I was getting impatient. Here I am, pretending/attempting to “train” for this crazy relay business and it just doesn’t seem to be working. The miles are there, but the satisfaction isn’t, if that makes any sense. Maybe it’s a little burnout, but I don’t really think so. I think my legs just went through the grinder during Eugene, and I was too anxious to return to normalcy. Marathons are tough man.

There’s also the issue of my way-too-tight right calf, which has also been annoying. My achilles/foot/calf have just been generally tight, and it’s taken a lot of extra rolling and stretching. I think it’s actually my shoes, which is weird since I’ve never felt that my Pure Connects didn’t have enough support, but maybe it’s time for a new pair. (That sentence sounds awful, sorry, but hopefully you understand). They don’t have a ton of miles on them (compared to others I’ve run in) but I don’t know…they just feel worn out. Have you ever had a faulty pair?

Anyway, this is all kind of leading somewhere.

Saturday was a great example of the whole “not-so-great running” scenario I’ve been facing. My plan was to do a double run day. 12 in the morning, 6 in the afternoon, to help simulate some relay running. The 12 in the morning were fine, but not awesome. Par for the course recently. I finished feeling fine, and looking forward to the slow-and-easy run in the afternoon.

Wrong. wrong . wrong.

Those 6 miles felt like complete garbage. I was wearing compression socks for the first time ever, and both my calves felt like rocks the entire time. Read: so far, NOT a fan of the compression trend. My AM run ended around 11, and my PM run started around 4, so maybe there wasn’t enough time between the two?? I don’t know. Either way, I know for a fact that double-days have worked for me in the past and this one was pure poop. I took my frustration out on a Red Robin burger and that helped, per usual.

I’m being dramatic. But it’s just not fun when running is hard. NEWS FLASH ROBYN, RUNNING IS HARD. I’m such a whiner, sorry.

But I was determined to get back in my groove. So after some yoga-action on Sunday (two weeks in a row, I don’t even recognize myself), I tried my best to orchestrate a good run for Memorial Day.

I picked my favorite 10 mile route, decided on no watch, and pre-determined the brunch spot for afterward. If running wasn’t going to be fun, then damnit…I was going to make it fun.

I opened the front door on a mission to make my lemons into lemonade, and…womp, womp, womp: RAIN. Seattle has really been showing off its aversion to summer recently. And for someone who is typically a forecast expert, this wetness came as a surprise.

I considered the treadmill for about .6 seconds, and finally decided to get over myself and giddy-up.

And wouldn’t you know it…despite the miniscule caveat, I FINALLY had a great run. It felt smooth, it felt fresh, and the rain only helped set the stage for the peaceful running stage.

I finished feeling much more restored than I have in a while. Sometimes going through the motions of running just doesn’t cut it, and when that happens I really need the synchronization of body and mind to remind me of the magic of the sport.

I really hate complaining about when running is “hard.” Every single day I try and be thankful for just the ability to run, as there are many who can’t. It feels so petty, then, to complain about something that most of the time I consider to be a huge gift. But sometimes you gotta let it out. Everything in life ebbs and flows, and running is no different. Per usual, sometimes we need the bad to appreciate the good…and for me, the bad runs also really help me to focus on the other important factors like stretching, hydrating, fueling, etc. All of which should never fall to the wayside, but oftentimes do when we aren’t forced to consider them.

So I guess you can say I’m (hopefully) getting my groove back. I’m going to resist the selfish urge to complain when the going gets tough, and when it does I’ll try to remember that no one is forcing me to do it. And really, running is hard. It just is sometimes, and it’s one of the many reasons why it’s so great.

How was YOUR weekend?

Take a Little, Give a Little

…or something like that.

Happy Friday peeps! I wont’ even begin to apologize for all the showboating that’s been going on in the PNW regarding our weather. You better believe that once that big shiny star comes out to play, we’ll be talking about it. And it doesn’t look like it’s leaving anytime soon. Bragging continues!

Thanks everyone for your kind comments on my last post, via Twitter, Facebook, texts, telepathy, etc. I put everything I had into my Eugene training cycle and into that race, and while I had hoped it wouldn’t be as painful as it was, I am always comforted knowing that there wasn’t much more I could do.

I do feel like I have a better time in me, if we’re being honest. A better time that also feels a lot stronger, smoother, etc, but that’s a topic for a different day.

Right now, I’m not really thinking about any races in the near future. Running slow and running with friends is sounding a lot more enticing to me right now 🙂

This weekend will mark the one year anniversary of my second full marathon, also known as the Tacoma City Marathon, also known as “The time I unknowingly had a 105 degree fever and was too bullheaded to stop running.” If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that Tacoma sucked the life out of me (also the function of my IT band), and it scarred me a bit in terms of the dangers of the marathon.

Obviously, times have changed since then, and it’s hard to believe that it was only one year ago that I was a very different runner. Well, I suppose not that different, but I do feel much smarter and stronger since that incident. Silver lining I suppose.

Anyway, when I collapsed in Tacoma and spent a lot of time in the medical tent, I was surrounded by the most helpful and supportive volunteers. They did everything from carrying me from the finish line, squeezing my cramping muscles, ice-bathing me, and, um, “checking” my temperature. Actually no, I’m not thankful for that part. Besides the point.

The point is that those volunteers made all the difference in the world for me after that race. They cooled me down, put me back together, and saved me from what was a very bad situation. I felt such a debt of gratitude at the time, in fact I almost felt guilty. But that’s what they were there for, and as they said, “It’s our job.”

I wanted to do something to give back a bit to that race. To this day I remain incredibly grateful for those people that helped me, and I decided that I should try and return the favor. No, I am not an EMT and barely remember proper CPR protocol from my days as a lifeguard, but every race needs volunteers.

So I signed up! This will be my first race volunteering, and I’m so glad that I’ll finally be able to provide a service that I’ve used myself in so many races.

I ran the idea by Nicole, as I knew she volunteered last year, and she was in. Becky decided to join in on the fun as well, and after an email to the volunteer coordinator—the three of us will not only be stationed together, we’ll be MEDALING the half-marathon finishers!

I’m so ridiculously excited for this. There are few happier moments than when you receive your race medal at the end of a hard effort, and I love that we get to be the people that drape all those sweaty runners with their award. Nicole already dibsed the winner, but I get the female winner 🙂

Part of me wanted to be handing out water to potentially help another over-heated victim such as myself, but there will be others out there for that.

After this past weekend of running my own race, and with a day that promises clear skies and 75+ degrees, I can’t think of any place I’d rather be than honoring runners at a finish line.

Hopefully I don’t get too much stranger-sweat on me.

Have a great weekend everyone!