Category Archives: Weekend

Eugene Marathon Training Week #3

Good morning!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and your Monday has started off well (or at least—bearable 🙂 ) Did anyone watch the Oscars last night? Let me rephrase that…did anyone not watch the Oscars last night? The internet was blowing up with commentary. I somehow managed to watch the entire show—beginning to end—and was pretty entertained. The show is always more enjoyable when you’ve seen a lot of the big films, which I somehow managed this year, so overall I enjoyed it. The Sound of Music reference killed me. Also…this:

url

Moving on, last week was my third week of training for Eugene, and it was a good one.

M: 6 m trail run- slow, meditative, perfect

T: 5 m run + spin

W: 11 m run + Maximum Sculpt

T: REST

F: 5 m slow run + Maximum Sculpt

S: 18 m long run w/ 10 m @mgp

S: 75 min spin + lifting

Total= 45 miles

Saturday’s long run was a bit intimidating. I wasn’t feeling 100% tip-top, and I woke up in a grumpy mood to begin with. However, it turned out pretty great—and while it was a little fast again, I’m starting to really feel “in the zone” in my hopeful goal pace. I finished in 2:24, which is exactly and 8:00/mile average- 10 of which were between 7:50s and 7:55s.

The thing I was probably most pleased about in regard to this run was just how well I recovered from it. I had zero lingering soreness that night, and yesterday morning I felt 100%. Good signs. I tried to walk around a lot after the run on Saturday so I think that may have had something to do with it.

Otherwise, training is going well. I like the more orderly schedule I’m following as it takes a lot of the guess work out of it. My first of 4(?) 20+ milers is this weekend, and next week will be cutback week…which happens to be perfect timing, because next week I’ll be heading here…

Big%20Beach%20Maui%20Hawaii

Oh Maui, you can’t come soon enough.

Have a lovely week, friends!

Eugene Marathon Training Week #2

I’m alive!

Sorry for the delay in training updates/posting. To quote the most overused excuse in history…I’ve been busy, busy, busy. My brother and I ventured down to Oregon over the long weekend, and between the travel, the running, and the pile of work I have to do…little runbirdierun hasn’t been the top priority.

But moving on… let’s take a look at week 2 of Eugene training!

M: 11 miles, easy. No watch- just glorious, dark, early morning miles.

T: 85 minute swim

W: 8 miles, 4 @hmp + Maximum Sculpt

T: 7 miles- Valentine’s Day run with BF!

F: 40 min? (don’t really remember) stair-stepper + Maximum Sculpt

S: REST

S: 16 miles, 8:07 avg. page

Total= 42 miles

***Maximum Sculpt is my gym’s version of BodyPump…just no copyright.

This week was generally good, with the exception of a few run rearrangements. I moved Friday’s run to Thursday for the sake of running with my Valentine(insert hearts all over the place).

Wednesday’s workout was interesting. For some reason, the 4 miles I did at half-marathon pace (7:30/mile) felt WAY better than the 4 slow miles I did on either side of those miles. Weird. Also, in a fit of tired delirium/general clumsiness, I dropped a 10 pound dumbbell on my foot while racking my weights. Cue: panic over broken toes, damaged foot nerves, etc. Lucky for me, the weight missed my toes and I currently just have a bruise on top of my foot. Not so lucky for me were how many people saw this happen…smooth moves, Broker.

I also did my long run on Sunday instead of my preferred and usual Saturday morning.  I wanted so badly to get it done on Saturday, really I did. But after 7.5 hours of driving to Oregon on Friday night and a 12:30 am bedtime after getting up at 4:30 that morning…Saturday was not going to happen. Which was fine, but when I have to unexpectedly push back a long run, it weighs on me and I start to irrationally dread it. Which is why on Sunday morning, it was almost impossible to think of running a mile, let alone 16.

However, I let me legs do the talking and they answered. I felt good, especially considering the hilly route I took:

Capture

A little Les Mis soundtrack, a backdrop of evergreen trees and lakes…I was a happy little runner.

And since I apparently have zero ability to articulate anything of substance right now, I’ll leave you with some photos from my glorious weekend on the Oregon coast:

image (1)

My beautiful Grammy

My beautiful Grammy

Grandad the postcard model

Granddad the postcard model

I mean...what else do you buy when you've been in the car/traffic/fog for 7 hours on a Friday night?

I mean…what else do you buy when you’ve been in the car/traffic/fog for 7 hours on a Friday night?

Seriously? SERIOUSLY.

Seriously? SERIOUSLY.

I really did have a great weekend. Seeing my family always seems to restore and revitalize me…and when you combine that with many hours spent reading by a fire, good food, and fresh ocean air, well…let’s just say I feel like a whole new woman this week. Two mornings in a row of a 4:20 alarm, and I’m feeling tip-top…we’ll see how long it lasts 🙂

And just because maybe you could use a laugh:

image (3)

God the internet is full of awesome things.

There you have it! My training/weekend/photo dump of a post. I would promise some more structure next time, but I’m fairly certain that would be a lie.

Anyway, I hope your week has been good and you are all as happy as I am that the days are no longer ending at 4 pm. C’mon spring!

Eugene Marathon Training Week #1

Week 1 is in the books!

I felt great this week, and I think this Pete Pfitzinger program and I are going to get along swimmingly. It’s a great balance of what I’m used to and new, exciting things—which means I feel like I have the tools to take it on, but it’s still interesting and fun. Here’s how this week looked:

M: 8 miles w/ 10×100 m pick-ups

T: REST

W: 10 miles

T: spin + 20 min stair-stepper

F: 6 miles, easy + BodyPump

S: 14 miles LR w/ 8 miles @mgp

S: spin + lifting

Total= 38 miles running

*LR= long run, mgp= marathon goal pace, m= meters, pick-ups= 85% sprint effort

I stuck to my prescribed workouts to a T this week, which ideally will happen more often than not. It was a little daunting to start week one with 8 marathon goal pace miles plugged into the long run, but it turned out to be successful and actually made the time go faster. The long run was admittedly a little fast, especially my non-goal pace miles, so I’ll have to pay a bit more attention to that (I didn’t really look at my watch until it was time to start the goal-pace miles), but I felt great during it. Here’s a look at the splits:

Capture

 

So yes, too fast—but that’s fixable. Right now, I’m playing with a 7:55-ish marathon goal pace. We’ll see. It felt good during this run, a little fast but not hard. Just need to start working on slowing down when goal pace isn’t required. I also headed to the Burke Gilman trail for this run which was highly enjoyable. Lots of people, dirt to run on, and just enough up and down to keep things interesting. BF went with me and did 10 on his own, then we headed to brunch. Long run + good food= Saturday morning perfection.

image (1)

 

Lots and lots of coffee.

I don’t know if there will ever be a time when a long run doesn’t exhaust me. Perhaps it was the faster miles, but anything over 12 tends to set in that familiar post-long-run energy drain. It’s a good tired feeling though, albeit a little inconvenient on Saturday nights.

Also, in keeping with the theme of workout recaps, BF and I have continued our PSJJ streak! For those of you who didn’t read about our hair-brained resolution, we decided to do a push-up, a sit-up, and a jumping jack per the day in the year. Jan 1=1, Jan 2=2…and so on. It’s ridiculous, however we’re now on 42 and there’s no stopping in sight. It’s already a little difficult, but I’m trying not to complain yet…on the bright side, my push-ups are definitely feeling easier! Will keep you posted on how this progresses…

In OTHER news…something so very exciting happened yesterday:

image

 

I finally got a bike!!! I’ve been joking about, stressing about, and longing for a good, quality road bike for probably two years now, and I finally took the plunge yesterday and couldn’t be happier. Also, please excuse my “Sunday best” attire.

If we’re being honest, my main intention in buying this pretty little bike is to get into triathlons. I have crazy, far-fetched dreams about a possible tri-career, and if I’m not mistaken, being comfortable on a bike is *kind-of* a necessary skill to have. Out of the three disciplines, the bike would definitely be my weakness—as I just don’t have the riding experience. And I’m pretty sure spinning doesn’t qualify.

Anyways, while my focus right now is 100% on Eugene…I’m so happy to have finally bridged a big gap between my own planning and actual tri potential. One ride down the street on that baby and it was love, I was a goner.

BF wouldn't let me take her to bed, jerk.

BF wouldn’t let me take her to bed, jerk.

Now accepting possible names for her.

I also got clip-in pedals, cleats, and a big ‘ole lock. Now all I need are shoes…and to figure out how the hell to clip in/out without dying. Also now accepting proper bike riding lessons.

That’s all folks! A good weekend and a great start to marathon training. I feel good about this one, and I’m hoping for nothing but positive forward momentum. Let’s go!

How was your weekend? Do you have a bike? Have you done a tri? HELP ME.

It’s Here!

That’s right folks. Marathon training officially BEGUN! I feel psyched, ready, and admittedly a little nervous.

I kicked off my official training plan this morning with 8 miles, including 10 x 100 meter strides. I didn’t  wear a watch, so both my effort and distance on the strides were all by guess-timation, but they were actually fairly enjoyable! I liked the switch-up in turnover rate. I feel like I have a decent gauge of what 100 meters looks/feels like from my track days, so essentially I just picked objects in the distance and sprinted to them. A little fartlek-y. Ugh, talk about making a gross word grosser. But you get the point. It was a good run.

I really liked doing weekly recaps when I was training for Chicago, so I’ll do my best to get my training weeks up here on Mondays. Some of you might find them boring, so I apologize, but they really help me a lot—so, yea…sorry?

I’m very much equal parts excited and nervous for this marathon training kick-off to begin. Excited  because, as I’ve said before, I’ve never quite had the base like I do now. I’m anxious to apply the  running I’ve been doing these past 3 or so months into a very structured training schedule. My miles won’t end up being all that much higher than what I’ve already been doing, however they will be much more strategic and organized than what I’ve done in the past. I’m releasing the reigns, in other words, and I love it. Letting the expertise of others feels like the right approach this time around, and hopefully the results will reflect that decision.

However, I’m a little ball of worry about this spring as well. Historically, spring has not been good for me training-wise. Two years ago, after a half-marathon and way too much over-training/stupidity, I tore my hip flexor and was out until the beginning of July. I’m not really worried about something that extreme happening again (read: I like to think I am a much smarter/safer runner nowadays), but it’s more the haunting memories that get to me.

Also, last year I got sidelined with bad knee bursitis while training for this very same marathon. Luckily, due to some rest, cortisone, and rearranging, I was still able to run a Spring marathon (though not Eugene)….only to be struck down (literally) by a bad race and a heaping side of IT band syndrome.

In other words, spring has historically not been my strongest months. Which sucks, because the idea of spring running is always appealing to me. More sun! Flowers! Birds! Birthday month!

It’s time to reverse the cycle though. While I definitely don’t like the feeling that bad luck is waiting for me every time the calendar turns to March, I also know that prevention is the best weapon against almost all running-related plagues.

I’ll be switching up just about everything regarding this training schedule, and I’ll therefore also be switching up my dedication to injury prevention. It has always been easy for me to say that I’ll hold off if something hurts, and that I’ll stretch more, roll more, and ice anything that feels “off.” Doing these things is a whole other thing—and if there’s one thing I’ve learned through my bouts of training/recovering, it’s that training for a marathon requires much more than the miles.

So, you can consider this my oath to train both on and off the roads. I will not be brought down by another spring monster, in fact—I refuse it, and I’m trying to internalize the fact that I am actually in complete control of my training.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

And speaking of such, I decided not to run the 25k race yesterday. After receiving the opinions from you lovely people, as well as a scary-tough-love opinion from my dear mother, I realized something: It wasn’t the distance that was an issue, it was the fact that it was a race.

Yes, no matter if it’s a months-in-the-making goal race, or a haphazard, low-key neighborhood run that happens to include bibs, I have a very hard time not racing a race. Even when I decide to “take it easy” or “promise I’m not going to race,” I will always run faster than I would have on a normal long run, and—should the opportunity be available—I will try to perform well. Last year, I won the 25k, and even though I would have vowed to not take this race seriously—I can guarantee I would have tried to win again.

Maybe I’m just a huge asshole. Maybe I’m just too competitive. Either way, I know myself well enough to know that “racing” 15.2 miles the day before marathon training is supposed to start wouldn’t go along with the theme of keeping myself healthy. It probably would have been fine, I probably would have had a great time, but even that ounce of possibility that it would have takne away from my planned training program wasn’t worth the risk.

So instead, I still ran long. I waved at people racing along the way, and although I was a little sad I wasn’t there with them—I was glad that I went against my instincts this time. Again, nothing changes if nothing changes—and if the decisions I’ve made in the past have lead me into injury-ridden corners of sadness, well, I’ll be steering clear of them.

And on one final, somewhat unrelated note, I give you a photo from the weekend:

photo

 

I cannot tell you how fun it was to spend a weekend day not running, sitting on the couch, shopping at Target, or running around trying to do every errand possible. Those things are good sometimes, but sometimes it’s better to switch it up by spending a day outside in the mountains.

My shins still hurt from my boots and my back still hurts from my bad posture, but Saturday was one of the best days I’ve had in a while. I can completely understand how people abandon all other weekend activities during the winter in favor of heading for the slopes and the snow.

And in a completely apbrupt, non-transitional ending to this post, have a good week everyone!

 

A Cozy Christmas for Two

Hello out there! I hope you are currently nestled in holiday vacation glory, enjoying the remnants of leftovers, and continuing to enjoy this most joyous season.

I’m currently back at work—ish—however I decided that my Christmas-themed celebrating will continue until January 2nd. This decision came to me in a case of my inevitable post-Christmas depression: It never fails, around 4 pm on Christmas day each and every year, I get all pissy about how the merriment and happiness is OVER. However, this year I’m very pro-actively putting off the whole “Christmas is over” nonsense and continuing to celebrate with music and chocolate treats.

But in spite of this, let’s back track to the actual “day” of Christmas, which was a first for both BF and myself—since it was just us for the first time in both our lives.

I’ll admit, Christmas Eve day was rough. I spent the whole day shopping and running around to enable BF and I to have the most merry of Christmases. Somewhere among all the crowds and the cheese purchasing, I felt way too adult and emotionally curled into my shell. Where’s mommy?!

It was a little pathetic.

This was my coping mechanism for my sadness. Effective, no?

This was my coping mechanism for my sadness. Effective, no?

However, once BF returned from work, he (bless him) took it upon himself to cheer up his whiny Grinch. And how does one perk up a usually-Christmas-loving grumpy runner?

A Christmas light run!

Instantly, my mood went from this:

image

To this…

photo

A quick little jaunt around our neighborhood with my favorite reindeer alongside was just the ticket. Instant holiday joy returned. See those bells on BF’s antlers? Best part.

Christmas day was pretty close to perfect:

Slept in, stockings in bed, cinnamon rolls, Skyping and FaceTiming family, gift unwrapping, long run WITH BF, cocktails, food, food, okay too much food now we’re too full, and Homeland.

Here’s proof:

image (1)

image (9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to know what’s the best part about cooking/having food for two people? There is inevitably A LOT of it. And please note above: not from a tube!

BF's feelings about going on a run in the rain.

BF’s feelings about going on a run in the rain.

Oh, also, it POURED most of the day. It wasn’t until maybe 2 that it lightened a bit and BF and I headed out on a couple run. Now, despite the fact that we’re both runners, he and I hardly ever run together, so two days in a row was like-whoa crazy. Especially considering the fact that we ended up covering 10 (!) miles on Christmas Day…a distance BF hasn’t taken on for quite some time.

I was so proud and so happy. I promise his mood improved as well.

Green bean casserole, rosemary red potatoes, and beer bread. Who says two 24-year-olds can't cook?

Green bean casserole, rosemary red potatoes, and beer bread. Who says two 24-year-olds can’t cook?

I'm perhaps the only runner that hasn't seen this. Quality stocking stuffer, BF.

I’m perhaps the only runner that hasn’t seen this. Quality stocking stuffer, BF.

I discovered Martinelli's and whiskey this weekend. Life. Changed.

I discovered Martinelli’s and whiskey this weekend. Life. Changed.

Using NEW glasses! See previous caption for details.

Using NEW glasses! See previous caption for details.

Happy ham chef. I'm now realizing that all of my photos are of food. Whatever. Our ham sandwich count is now at 4 and I think we'll be contenders for a record by the time it's all gone.

Happy ham chef. I’m now realizing that all of my photos are of food. Whatever. Our ham sandwich count is now at 4 and I think we’ll be contenders for a record by the time it’s all gone.

 

All in all, my first family-less Christmas was actually quite enjoyable. It’s kind of fun to put together your own personalized holiday. It was really the perfect combination for me of the things, and person, I love. Don’t worry though Mom, you won’t be able to keep me away next year 🙂

So, a belated (but not really because remember Christmas isn’t over) MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS from our house to yours.

image (6)

 

 

 

A Little of This, a Little of That.

Apparently when I’m not posting race reports, being injured, or training for a race, I have nothing to blog about—hence my absentee-ism last week. I still don’t have much in store today, however there are a few fun/random things to point out from this weekend.

Recently, I feel like I’ve been back and forth between do-everything-possible-in-two-days weekends and do absolutely nothing weekends. This weekend was more of the latter, and it was highly enjoyable.

Seriously, I felt like all I did was workout and veg out. Repeat. Which is just fine, because if there’s anything I love more than a long workout on the weekend, it’s the lazy-session that happens afterward.

So here are some highlights from my stellar do-nothing weekend.

16 Mile Run on Saturday

Month-old photo added for detail. I did wear this hat though...

Lie. This is a month-old photo added for detail. I did wear this hat though…and a braid.

16 is the furtherest I go when I’m not marathon training. And guess what? It’s still hard and still takes a long time.

This run was fine. I felt good, with the exception of the strong headwind for over half the run…not to mention the indecisive rain which would start and stop the entire time. I lucked out though…there were very few non-raining periods of time the whole weekend.

Love you Seattle.

Also, I decided it didn’t matter that I was stupid-dehydrated and completely empty-stomached beforehand. Can someone please show up at my house on Saturday mornings and tell me to not be such a huge asshole about proper running necessities?

Finished in 2:14, 8:18 average. Everybody wang chung tonight.

Saturday night, BF and I ventured into the world of real people and decided to see Argo.

01_argo_ipad

Good stuff. Highly recommended…particularly if you’re interested in our ongoing issues in the Middle East. There’s also a strong presence of early ’80s mustaches in the movie, which is apparently all the rage right now.

#hipsterthings

The movie was not seen, however, before injesting some very important sustenance…

My one true love.

Photo lie #2. This is from a year ago, when I was better at taking photos. But this is what I ate on Saturday. Marry me, Chipotle.

Chipotle > everything else.

Sunday was essentially the same scenario, with a few twists added.

And by twists, I really just mean I went to double spin classes and watched my real TV instead of the big screen. Originality people, have to keep things exciting.

Kidding, I kind of suck.

After spinning for an incredibly boredom-inducing amount of time, I felt a little unsatisfied, so when BF suggested I come along on his run…I changed from one pair of sweaty clothes to another and hopped right to it. 5.4 miles later, and I was a happy little clam. Apparently being outside is always better than being inside, even when “outside” means wind, rain, cold, and dodging little children and skate-boarding teenagers.

We spent a little time reading and people watching at Starbucks afterward, grocery shopped like champs, and returned to the nest for one of my favorite activities of the entire year…

photo

BF: “Do you want an action shot, or for me to smile at the camera?” RB: “BOTH!”

I know every female screams about loving “the most wonderful time of the year,” but I’m very serious when I say I could majorly throw down in a “who loves the holiday season the most” contest.

(pause for amusing image)

I turn into a giggling, jolly mess during Christmas…and that’s on top of my overly-enthusiastic personality.

Needless to say, last night was the best.

 

image (1)

The finished product! I love our tree. Also, I spy…not one but TWO Belle ornaments.

Seriously, the best.

Congratulations if you’ve made it this far and have now read all about my hum-drum weekend.

Two final things to add are that we’ve decided to go Monday-Friday this week without spending any money. Exceptions are Christmas presents for OTHER people, and I suppose paying any bills and such.

It’s a great exercise…but will be interesting to see the results. I panic if I think I don’t have the ability to buy a snack if needed…

And finally, if you don’t already watch or haven’t heard from the 6,487 people shouting about it…

Homeland.

804_1_0_prm-emmys2012_1024x640

Watch. Now.

If you don’t have Showtime, go buy it and enjoy wasting enhancing the next week of your life watching every episode. Then come and thank me afterwards. Then go and watch all the Dexters while you have the subscription. Best investment you’ll ever make.

Also, where in the world has Claire  Danes been since Romeo and Juliet Leo-style?

Please tell me about the mediocrity in your lives so I can feel that I’m not alone. Argo? Homeland? Run? Rain? Chipotle? If you so much as mention Q’doba…I will find you, and you will regret it.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Week in Photos

Happy post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas season, Cyber Monday to you!

I hope you all enjoy peeking at your coworkers’ computer screens today to see how hard they’re working at scoring all the deals. I love trying to see what people are shopping for. So much more interesting than a screen of spreadsheets and Outlook.

Anyway, if you’ve taken a break from your sale-searching and stumbled upon my little blog, welcome. Here is a little review of my Thanksgiving break. It was lovely, and I was able to take a needed breather and escape from the cold, rain, and everyday life.

Let’s just start with the forecast I was looking at going into my California vacation…

Good stuff. How could anything go wrong with such a promise of sunshine?

Every other year, my family holds our family reunion over the Thanksgiving weekend. It works out well because normally everyone has time off, and luckily a good deal of my family lives in Southern California.I was born there as well, so it doubles as a vacation back to my home town.

Not to mention that my siblings and I adore pretending that we’re OC-locals who hang out with the Cohens and stroll down the board walk whensoever we may please.

With that said, here’s some photo journalism of my trip:

Sister Corey and me on Turkey day.

The whole family reunion crew. Yes, those are orange fleeces and yes, I have four others in different colors. The good news is there wasn’t a deer in sight.

My Grammy and myself.

Chilli cook-off on Friday night. Because, you know, after the Thanksgiving feast you should continue with the binging momentum and eat masses of chilli.

Cousins are the best.

The “We finished this bottle of tequila in half an hour” picture. I helped a lot.

Other than the above events, my week was essentially filled with family time, a lot of food, and—randomly—a good amount of running. I didn’t have  any set plans on how far/when I would run while in California, but I ended up running nearly 11 miles (sub 8/mile average!) on Thanksgiving and then 8 miles on Friday. Awesome taper strategy, I know.

I got back early on Saturday morning and proceeded to do nothing for the rest of the day except for a quick trip to the Seattle Marathon expo.

Neon neon, everywhere.

It was fine…really nothing too special. I grabbed a few samples, withheld from registering for 44 different races, and headed straight back to my couch. My uber-rest day Saturday was an attempt to undo all of the ill-fated half marathon manoeuvres I’d made that week (too much running, too much tequila, too little sleep). So along with some carbs and Gossip Girl, here’s what my day looked like.

Raging.

But now that I’ve figured out that laziness is actually one of the best things in the world, I loved every minute of it.

I went to bed that night really really unsure of how the Seattle half would go. I was fairly certain it was going to go either really well or really horribly, so my “goals” weren’t exactly concrete. But, that’s a post for tomorrow…:)

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are getting as psyched as I am for Christmas!

PS: I literally got a side stitch from eating so much/too fast at Thanksgiving. That’s a new level of gluttony if you ask me, has this ever happened to anyone???

Upcoming Race Schedule

If there’s one thing I know for sure about myself as a runner, it’s that I love to race.

Racing is the reason I started running in the first place way back when, and once I finally married the ideas of competitive racing and running as a hobby, it was like a match made in RB heaven.

Put me in coach! I’m ready!

Racing makes me feel like an athlete . It makes running more than just exercise or a “calorie torcher” (btw I HATE that expression.) And racing provides a very tangible measurement to log your progress, successes, etc. Sure, some races are just fun—like this one—but for me, I really prefer to actually race when the opportunity presents itself.

When you’re marathon training, spontaneous racing becomes a little tricky. It’s a good way to gauge your fitness, but you don’t want to overdo it or set yourself back in training. I’m currently not training for a marathon, so I’m pretty excited to use this winter to pencil in some short distance races. Sorry paychecks, my Christmas present to myself is coming in the form of registrations and tech shirts.

Here’s a look at some of the races I have on the schedule:

Mustache Dache 5k

Along with every other blogger/runner in Seattle, I’ll me showing my facial hair pride (what?) at this humorous pre-Thanksgiving race. And as silly and fun as the premise of this race may be, I’m having this bug-out issue with it for some reason.

Yes it’s just a 5k, and yes I don’t need to try and run fast every race, but ever since my last 5k where I PR’ed without intending to, I feel this 5k pressure of sorts. 5ks also just scare me because my pace is so much faster than what I’m comfortable with, and we all like to keep our comfort zones within reach. So, I don’t know if I have “goals” for this race per se, but I think I’ll just try to run fast and hold on.

PS: Brunch afterwards bloggers?

Seattle Half-Marathon

Again, I think this is another event where a ton of people I “know” will be running, which makes it exciting. It’s also going to be the first half-marathon I’ve actually raced in nearly a year and a half. My last half was Disneyland, which was really just a for-fun race, and so now it’s back to business.

Sort of.

To be honest, I’m a little scared of this course, and while I’m anxious to go for a very ambitious half-marathon time goal, I’m not sure this is the time to do it. It’s a tough course, and since Tacoma, I don’t underestimate the effect a hard course can have on race expectations. On that note, screw you Tacoma.

So, I think for the Seattle half I may go for a new PR (my current is 1:46) and see how I feel. My half PR was run when I was much slower than I am now (at the time I thought it was a fluke), so I’m interested to see what else I have in me. We’ll see.

Christmas Rush 10k

Nicole let me in on this little $10 secret, and I’m so excited to run another 10k. Fun fact: when I first started running (other than running track), a 10k was my first race. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was a blast. I like this distance a lot more than 5ks—less puke-inducing but still fast enough to feel like a race. No goals really yet for this race—but I’m excited for it.

Yukon Do It Half Marathon

This little race in Port Orchard might be the ticket to my lofty half-marathon aspirations. It’s a smaller race, but such a beautiful course and still all the bells and whistles of a race (bibs, time chips, medals, etc.) It’s also on December 30, and I love the idea of closing the year with a half-marathon.

That’s all for now! Who knows, another one might pop up—but for now I’m pretty psyched for this schedule. It seems that November and December have turned into racing season for me, and I love it!

As for this weekend, no racing, but some running and seasonal fun as well. We have a “Family Thanksgiving” feast with some of our friends on Saturday night, and I’m planning a beautiful, cold 16 miles for tomorrow morning. Winter running, I love you so.

 

Now, please tell me which of YOU are running any of these races! Let’s meet-up 🙂

Flywheel, Wicked, and a Change of Plans

I had a really enthusiastic post planned for today in which I would detail how I wanted to focus on getting faster this winter and wanted to eventually go for a very ambitious half-marathon PR.

Those plans, thanks to the persuasive Nicole, are going to have to wait until after Christmas. Actually, maybe it’s just that I’m easily reeled in to doing crazy exciting things?

More details to come…but let’s just say that long distance and me aren’t going to call it quits for the season quite yet. I’m scared and excited.

So instead of telling you about all my grand plans to get faster in preparation for a spring marathon, I’m going to tell you about my weekend.

My beautiful and tall friend Anna came into town to play with ME, and play we did.

I really wanted to try Flywheel spinning, and since Anna had never been before, I figured we could both give it a shot.

Wait, that’s a lie. I actually really wanted to go to brunch at my new favorite breakfast spot in Seattle, and Flywheel happened to be down the block. I’ve had moderate interest in Flywheel, but since Anna said she wanted to do some kind of activity on Saturday…I figured why not.

I know what you’re thinking: “Robyn, you had a bad cold and you ran a marathon the week before, how did FlyWheel go?”

(You definitely weren’t thinking that, but you should be, so go with it.)

I might be *slightly* exaggerating, but miles 15-23 of the marathon felt EASIER than this class. I don’t know if it was the nasty cold I’ve got, lingering fatigue, or if it was really just that hard, but this class worked me over.

The real problem was that I grossly underestimated how hard it would actually be, and admittedly I walked in like a cocky little beezy. I’ve done hard spin classes, and there are times when I wish certain spin classes were a little more challenging.

But not like this. This was spinning on steroids, and it NEVER let up. It was only an hour, but I sweat more than I ever have in a spin class, and it’s safe to say that I literally had nothing left in me at the end. Anna agreed with how hard it was, which made me feel better, but I haven’t been so humbled by a workout in a long time.

On the good side, it was a great class, and I’m sure I would have loved it without the whole post-marathon and a cold thing going on. The place was also super swank with towels, water bottles, burly men ready to assist you on the spot, showers, and rental shoes. I’d never worn clip-in shoes before, and I could tell how much of a difference they make. Of course, now I really really want some. (BF, this is the time when you can start getting Christmas ideas via my blog innuendos.)

Afterwards, we made our way to my original intention for the outing, Portage Bay Cafe, to down some French toast and crab cake eggs benedict (you read that right).

That night, my sister Corey came down to Seattle and we went to see my all-time favorite show, Wicked. I originally saw Wicked in London when I was studying abroad, and there have been few performances that have had such a big impact on me. “Defying Gravity” remains my number one inspirational song, and it’s a staple on my race-day playlists.

Dark theater shot of the three of us.

Anna, will you come live in Seattle and play with me every day? Law school is lame.

The show was fantastic and I was so happy to get to see it with two of my favorite people.

Another dark theater self-portrait…with proof we were there.

I broke away from my ususal couch-and-10 pm-bedtime Saturday raging night routine and went out with some more friends after the show. Again…not the best idea with a cold, but I’ve heard that tequila and Robitussin essentially do the same thing. Right?

But, it was all in the name of seeing friends and having a grand ‘ole time—worth it. My cold might be worse today, but I bagged another great weekend to add to last week’s splendor.

After a very unintentional rest day yesterday, I went out for 9 miles this morning and felt tired but good. It was perfect out and surprisingly warm. I’ve recently foregone running with a watch, and it’s really helped keep me relaxed and moderately paced. = I’m admittedly a little scared to strap my Garmin back on because I don’t want to see slow numbers flashing back at me—so for now my competitive self will have to hold off. It’s all in the name of staying sane and healthy—which is what I currently care most about.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

By the way…if you haven’t heard Lindsay became an ultra-marathoner this weekend at the Pt. Defiance 50k! Congrats Lindsay 🙂

 

Chicago, the rest of it.

It was a whirlwind trip to Chicago, and before we were even halfway through it—I told BF that I wished we had an extra day.

I don’t know if it’s that I didn’t know enough about Chicago, or I was simply distracted by the whole marathon thing, but I truly underestimated the magnitude of this city.

Hello Chicago!

It is HUGE. Next to New York, I don’t think I’ve ever been so amazed by the size of a city. The juxtaposition with the crystal blue Lake Michigan was such a sight to be seen as well, and I fell pretty hard for this city. (I know, I know…the city-by-the-water thing shouldn’t get me so giddy any more, but I still can’t get enough.)

unrelated Friday night airport bar photo..

We arrived LATE Friday night, and after a little sleeping in, a 2.5 mile treadmill run, and a trip to the complimentary breakfast, we were off on the Blue line of the “L” headed toward downtown.

Ever since I studied abroad in Europe, I have a very deep affection for efficient and accessible public transportation—and Chicago was definitely not lacking in this regard. It was so easy to navigate our way around, and I can imagine you wouldn’t even need a car if you lived in the city.

Once in the city, we dropped our bags off at a friend’s apartment, and we jetted to the expo. I’m not going to do this expo justice in words or photos, but just take my word for it when I say that it was enormous. They held it in the convention center, and they used up every last space available. Hundreds (yes, hundreds) of booths were set amongst the packet pick-up areas, and you definitely needed a map to quickly find anything.

Other than a few samples we grabbed along the way, there were only two booths I wanted to visit: Runner’s World and Girls on the Run. And look who I found at the RW booth…

Hal Higdon! This meant so very little to most people I tell, but most runners I know have at least heard this guy’s name. He was much friendlier than he appears in the photo as well.

They also had food everywhere, music, shoe testing, etc. It was a party. Although it would have been fun to hang out more, I wasn’t really in the business of staying on my feet for too long—plus we had more of Chicago to see!

With not a ton of time left between the expo and dinner, we decided to head up the Hancock Center. The building has 94 floors, and unlike the Sears tower—it’s free! The views at the top were unreal, and it helped us get a sense of just how huge Chicago really is.

View from floor 94.

Looking out at Lake Michigan.

As I said in the last post, BF made me dinner as opposed to going out. It was simpler, cheaper, and given the amount of carb-hungry runners flooding Chicago restaurants that night—I’m glad we avoided the crowds.

On Sunday, I decided to jog around the city to explore a bit. After 26.2 miles, I figured I ought to include BF in all my sight-seeing, and we went to the infamous Chicago Cloud Gate. I actually knew it was “the bean thing,” but I guess that’s not accurate.

This was the only tourist attraction I actually knew about before coming to Chicago, and I have to say it was pretty dang cool. I was also riding a marathon high and chowing on donut holes, so that helped with the “omg so impressive!” factor.

Where’s Waldo (RB/BF)?

Reflection photo! I told BF he wore the least obvious marathon spectating outfit in the word. He agreed. He also didn’t take up my offer of an enormous pink shirt. Rude.

BF told me I smelled, so I decided to shower before we ventured out to see more things. We had a bit of a time crunch before we had to get back on the train to head to the airport, so we narrowed our exploration down to two things: the Navy Pier and pizza. I really wanted to go on the architectural boat tour, but there wasn’t time—and admittedly I cared more about cheese and crust than pretty buildings.

The Navy Pier was definitely cool, and I loved being close to the lake and seeing all the different boats. Because the pier juts out so far into the lake, we were able to see a lot of the skyline.

Stop your showing off Chicago, you’re making everywhere else look bad.

 

Now comes to only disappointment from the trip…

So, we had just enough time to get to our chosen deep dish joint, eat, go back and get our things, and head to the airport. As we sat down at the restaurant (Ginos East of Chicago), and we ordered our delicious deep dish selection…our waitress informed us that the deep dish took SEVENTY-FIVE minutes to make, so we might want an appetizer. We didn’t have 75 minutes, and so we mournfully opted for the regular thin crust instead.

boring

I realize to a normal human this is a very first world problem…but for two people who were intent on Chicago pizza (one of whom just ran a marathon), this was equivalent to a small pet dying. Sure, thin crust was fine…but this was definitely a disappointment. Don’t worry, I still ate more than half.

Delicious 312 beer helped *a little*.

However, the good thing about missing things while visiting a popular destination is that it gives you a reason to go back. Chicago is definitely a city I’d love to see more of, and I’m very keen on visiting again.

By the time we got to the airport and were waiting for our flight…I was beyond spent. Two nights of little sleep in a row, plus a marathon, plus lots of travelling= a very, very sleepy bird. I can’t sleep on planes too well either, so needless to say after a FOUR hour plane flight home, I was ready for some horizontal time.

Note to self: when travelling for a marathon, don’t be a hero and take the next day off work.

The travel exhaustion, however, was insignificant compared to how great the rest of the trip was.

You put on a good show Windy City, thanks for being awesome.

In a non-related but kind-of-related sidenote, I am almost  pain and soreness free today from the race on Sunday. It’s kind of a miracle, and I credit it to all the walking necessary afterward. That—and all the rest I allowed/am allowing myself before and after the marathon. I also have zero blisters, very little chafing, and all my toenails in tact. Little victories…I accept them all.

However, the combination of little sleep and the marathon has resulted in a fairly heavy cold I’m currently sporting. But, I’ll take a sore throat and headache  if it means I get a race like Sunday’s any day. Does that make sense? I’m sick, don’t judge.

I might try running today, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week…who knows. Right now, I’m soaking in some bonafied laziness right now. On Monday, instead of a “shake out swim” or “shake out walk” I decided a “shake out grilled cheese and chocolate” was a much better idea. That theme continues through today…and I could care less.

Have you been to Chicago? What did you love most about it? Would you have been as sad about the pizza as we were? Do you think I overreacted? Mom, you don’t get to answer the last question…