Tag Archives: holidays

Tempo Love and A Happy Birthday

Happy 5th of July! (Betcha that one’s not overused yet…)

I hope everyone had a great holiday yesterday filled with sun, friends, fireworks, and food. BF and I had a grand time, and I even manged to make it a double run day on top of all our shenanigans. After being out late last night and somehow making it into the gym this morning, it’s an Uncle Sam miracle that I’m sitting upright. But that’s the point of the summer, right? I can sleep when it’s rainy and dark in 3 months.

The double run was a huge confidence boost. The miles felt strong, my legs felt loose, and things were just clicking. I’ve been switching both shoes and paces when I do a double run—which seems to be helping. Slowing down the second one is clutch, and I actually really enjoy the variety.

Yesterday, though, is not the workout I want to talk about. I suppose it’s my lucky week or something, because I’ve managed to have multiple encouraging runs. Most weeks, I’m lucky if there’s one. So let’s look back at Wednesday, since that was really the pot-of-gold run of this week for me.

As I stated in my check-in post, I’m trying to do speed at least once a week nowadays, which hopefully will pick up after Ragnar. For now, once is manageable and I try to be very specific about that singular workout. This week I wanted to tempo some half-marathon pace miles, using my current PR pace. My current PR is 15 seconds slower per mile than my goal for Bellingham Bay, but it’s a good starting point.

After a 1 mile warm up, I picked it up to an even 7:30 pace, and after just a little over a mile of this, I knew I could/should push it a little more. So I hung around 7:25, and it felt…completely manageable. I was a little shocked, but more so really happy. It felt like a race pace, but it also felt like one I could hold without a lot of pain.

7:30, 7:24, 7:24, 7:25, 7:25, 7:19

That last mile cooked me a little bit, but I was too high on speedwork euphoria to notice. This was the workout I’d been waiting for. I’ve been needing to feel like my goal race for this year isn’t too much of a stretch, and although the paces above are still slower than I’ll need to average, it feels like a good start. I couldn’t have done this workout a month ago without a lot of pain and fatigue, and the fact that it almost felt easy on Wednesday makes me excited to keep pushing those paces lower.

….

In other news, I want to wish a very, very happy birthday to my main man!

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Welcome to the 25 club babe, glad I’m not the only old-timer anymore 🙂 xoxo

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Eugene Marathon Training Week #8

M: Rest

T: 10 mile,s easy

W: 7 miles w/ 6 x 800 in ~3:30s + Maximum Sculpt

T: Spin

F: 7 miles @ hmgp (7:30/mile) + Maximum Sculpt

S: 17 miles

S: 7.5 miles easy

Total= 48.5 miles

Mini step-back week last week. If you consider 17 miles a step-back, which I hardly do. But, it was nice to have a long run ahead of me without a “2” in the front of it.

The two most notable workouts for me were Wednesday and Friday. I decided that I really enjoy 800s as speedwork. They’re long enough to do the work, and short enough to not make me want to cry. The 6 that I did were all at about an 8.5-8.6 mph pace, and I felt great. In control, strong, and probably could have a few more. Afterward, my legs were the perfect amount of tired, and I think I’ll probably try to get in an 8×800 before taper starts.

I was feeling all kinds of happy after Friday’s workout as well. I was a little bit anxious about 7 straight miles at hmgp at O-500 on a Friday morning, but I was reminded—again— that I should try and trust myself a little bit more. The miles actually felt easy, which was pretty darn encouraging. I followed the effort up with my favorite lifting class at my gym, which together yielded more sweat than I knew how to handle.

The class instructor started posting the workouts on her FB page before class, so here’s a look at how Friday’s went (which is a good carbon-copy of how most of my Maximum Sculpt classes look):

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It’s a lot like BodyPump. I really, really love this class, and I’m certain it’s helped with a lot of imbalances/weaknesses I have as a runner. I’m not really a class person, but when it comes  to strength and lifting, I’d much rather have an expert instruct me.

Saturday’s long run was fine. Not great, not horrible, just fine. I didn’t wear a watch with the intention of it being an easier effort, but I think this may have had the opposite effect. It didn’t feel top-notch, which I think was due to it being a little too fast. Of course, it could have been to my negligence for ideal fueling/hydrating/etc., but from now on I think I’ll wear the watch on my long runs even for the purposes of staying slow.

But, truth be told, I actually wanted to get a less-than-stellar long run out of my system. I’ve been having a really successful jaunt of long runs recently, which was making me nervous that I wasn’t saving my good mojo for race day. It’s silly, really. But getting in a harder long run actually makes me feel more in-balance with the long-run juju…or something like that.

We all have our running quirks.

A few more snapshots from this weekend. In case you hadn’t heard, Seattle was all dressed up in her springtime finest:

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First roller-blade + taco-truck date of the season. Friday afternoon splendor.

The Easter bunny knew their recipient very well. Football-shaped eggs, yep.

The bunny loves you BF, you’re welcome. Football-shaped eggs, yep.

Easter yesterday was perfect. Run with BF, brunch, Ballard locks to see some boats, reading outside, cooked a ham, Breaking Bad, and lots of chocolate. It couldn’t have gone better, really.

Happy Monday!

How was your Easter? Weekend? Long Run?

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???

July 4th, Friday Favorites, and Really Attractive Photos

Favorites? You betcha.

But also, some 4th of July fun!

The day started off in (my version of) the best way possible at the First Annual 4th of July Mimosa 10k Fun Run! Also known as the longest hash tag of all time, or one of the best last minute ideas ever.

Thanks to the stellar organizational skillz of Nicole and the enthusiasm of lady runners/bloggers, the logistics came together in a flash and the results were excellent.

After doing a perfectly precise 10k, everyone enjoyed the sun, food, and mimosas. The best kind of 4th of July morning.

Runners are neat. Runners who eat and bring delicious food to social gatherings are even neater.

Literally everything was delicious, and I realized that learning to legit cook would probably make me more friends. See the cut up watermelon in the middle? That was the extend of my contributions.

Runners!

I think the best idea would be to make this a weekly thing. Sound good girls?

Afterward, BF and I were intent on doing some sort of outdoor activity. In Seattle, you enter into a panic mode when it’s sunny, and all previously made plans are altered to include being outside.

Contrary to what you might be thinking, I am not wearing a huge yellow diaper.

Kayaking it was! We decided to actually take advantage of the geographic location we live in for once and rent a boat to take out on the sound.

I am dating a 24 year old, not a toddler, as this picture might imply.

BF please don’t hate me for posting this picture

It was a little scary, but super fun, although I am disappointed a dolphin or killer whale didn’t majestically leap over our boat. Next time.

A little running, a little boating, a lot of watermelon eating, a little baseball catch, and I had myself one fun tribute to the US of A.

The one glitch in the day was forgetting that when you are out in the sun for 8 hours wearing a tank top, there is a very popular lotion recommended to prevent the sun from eating your flesh. Yea, oversight.

Yes, I have a degree.

What kind of rookie am I??? I admit, I am not a chronic sunscreen latherer, but I certainly know better than this bs. On the shoulders no less—seriously the most painful spot to have a sunburn.

Considering the fact that my mom has had skin cancer more than once due to her teenage baby oil tanning habits and has furthermore ingrained the sunscreen mantra into my brain, I really need to get my act together.

Mom, I hope it’s cool I’m telling the Internet about our family medical history. 


TGFAloe, and for the love of your skin, don’t be as dumb as me.

Now, let’s do something I haven’t done in forever and talk about some favorite things.

My Juicer

I’m just gonna go ahead and overshare by telling you (again) about how my digestive system is a bitch and hates me sometimes. I try to treat her right, but sometimes it doesn’t really matter what I do and my stomach is a wreck. Due to this chronic issue, getting enough F and V is really important for me and can make a world of difference.

This little device which was GIVEN to me by a dear friend has made my stomach and my wallet very happy. I love getting juices, but they are oh-so-expensive at all the legit juicing/smoothie places. This baby allows for some speedy F and V consumption that my stomach really agrees with. The only downside is how long it takes to clean…but otherwise I’m a big fan.

BF is still warming to them. Liquid vegetables are scary for him.

Cam Wow

I know, I know. The whole “Photo Booth,” distorting photos thing is so freshman year of college, but I still can’t get enough of this app! I can actually make myself laugh out loud, yes literally L-O-L, when I do this.

(Note: The purpose of these pictures is mainly to send them to family members or friends. I’m not actually that weird that I sit alone taking weird pictures of myself. Oh, I am? Shit.)

Anyways, enjoy my demonstration of shamelessness, and maybe you will be inspired to download this app.

While at intermission at the sophisticated Seattle Symphony.

While waiting in the car when picking up a friend.

While responding to your sister when she asks how your day is going.

What I’m really trying to say is…I’m really, really pretty.

That last one is probably the worst picture of me ever taken. Which, trust me, is saying something.


Franz Cinnamon Swirl Bread

For lack of any eloquence, this bread is the bees knees. What does that even mean? Are bees knees special? I don’t really think they even have “knees” so to say.

I digress. Run to the store and buy yourself a loaf, toast it up, coat in butter or whatever “version of butter” you use, and consume.

This is actually my first, baby-step attempt at pre-long run fueling. I’ve decided to be normal and smart and try eating something before my long runs. My handful of cereal isn’t going to cut it anymore, and so I’m going to grow up and wake up a little earlier beforehand to get down something real. A delicious slice of this is sure to help in the process.

High Guy Meme

I admittedly have been a meme follower/fan for a while, and I can pretty safely say that “High Guy” takes the cake (and the cookies, brownies, french fries, etc.) for being the funniest.

Seriously, again with the L-O-L. Check out some of the best ones here for a fun Friday chuckle.

Organix Cherry Blossom Ginseng Shampoo/Conditioner

I want to coat my entire life in this stuff and roll around in all its good smelling wonderment.

Does that make sense?

This stuff smells so good, and although I fell off the Organix wagon for a while, a few BOGO deals later and I’m back on track.

Oh, and I think this stuff is good for your hair? I’m really more concerned with the smell and the pretty pink bottle.

Wham bam Friday Favorites in the bag.

Have a wonderful, sunshine-filled, sunscreen-coated, sweaty weekend!

What are your favorite things right now? 

What’s your favorite meme?

What are your plans for this weekend?

[College]town Glory

It would be a big fat lie to be as bubbly and glitter-filled as I originally thought I was going to be when writing this post. I did have a spectacular long run on the marathon course last Saturday, and everything in life is generally going great, but right now I’m really just feeling tired and spacey.

I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since last Friday night, and although I’m normally fine on less sleep, I think it’s catching up with me. Heavy mileage weeks + waking up every two hours= Grog Fest 2012. So while I certainly have plenty to do work wise and in my own life, all I really want to do is eat Cadbury Mini Eggs while lying on the couch alternating between Friends reruns and napping.

Also, if you are worried about my Cadbury Mini Egg supply, have no fear. The Easter Bunny, who somewhat resembles a strapping, brown-haired 23 year old boy, replenished my supply with TWO big bags. I know you were worried, so no stress there.

So, although I’m wishing that all my clothes would magically turn into sweatshirts and yoga pants, I’ll do my best to recap some of the real-person-good-life happenings as of late.

I know that recapping every. single. weekend long run is the opposite of interesting, and I’ve tried to tone down the detailing recently. BUT Saturday’s excursion down to Tacoma was just too good not to share, and it gave me some great insight into the value of “preview runs.”

Per the advice of a former college friend of mine, I mapped out a 20 mile run through Tacoma that would roughly take me on 14ish miles of the marathon course. The run included parts of Tacoma that I’d never run through before, as well as some of my favorite old spots to trot through. I was really excited to see the spots that I always used to pass by on runs, including a jaunt by my alma mater as well.

This was my run. It was very long.

It was the perfect setup for a long run: I was well fueled, I had a handheld bottle filled with Nuun, the sky was completely clear and sunny, and no matter what I was ending with an oatmeal breakfast with a good friend. Ideal situation, and the run definitely delivered.

There was quite frankly not one forgiving part of this self-designed course. It was rolling hills nearly the entire time, including a few pretty brutal climbs—however this element was key in terms of actual race prep. It felt great to be running in spots that I knew I would see on marathon day, and I liked thinking that I’d be familiar with specific sections that would be harder or easier than others. I practiced an easy pace on the uphills, an aggressive pace on the downhills, and finishing with a strong kick. The last mile or so was the only all downhill part of the run, which was a great simulation for how the actual race ends. Although it’s easy to think that a downhill finish means the last few miles will be easy, I think it’s surprising to see how much the downhill impact actually affects really tired legs.

I finished 20.3 miles in 2:53, which translates roughly to 8:30 average pace. I’ll take it—especially with those monster hills.

Also, NO KNEE PAIN! I love Aleve, and I also love that my knee has decided to start cooperating, specifically on mega runs like this.

An all-around win in my book.

Obviously, this was a necessary end to the day.

re-hydrating

Also, this photo epitomizes BF:

chemistry and beer= BF

Easter Sunday was marginally uneventful, but it was fun. The best part was awaking to an egg hunt that BF designed for me. Both of us get a kick out of child activities as adults, and so I think sending his girlfriend on a search for plastic eggs throughout our tiny house was probably more enjoyable for him than it was for me.

Just kidding babe, I loved it.

Here are some action shots of the hunt:

NOT FAIR. Hiding eggs out of short-person reach is discrimination.

I haz eggz. And an XL sweatshirt that is the epitome of flattering.

Once I cleaned myself out of my somewhat-hungover-disheveled-Easter-morning state, it was time for some chocolate. Because on Easter, you obviously need to consume about 10 servings worth of candy before you eat any actual breakfast.

This is a picture of me eating.

Oh and by “cleaned up,” I mean put my hair in a pony tail and put on mascara. Again with the female habits, I really need a beautician or a babysitter.

Also, here are our baskets. I’m a little afraid for the amount of candy we have in the house…because it’s easily equivalent to at least one isle at the grocery store. My teeth are scared for their lives.

What's that Target? You ran out of candy? Oh, that's because we have it all. Also, cookie monster is appropriate for Easter, obviously.

After a midday nap and lazing around in a candy coma, I finally managed to go on a 7 mile recovery run, done at a perfectly slow pace. I got to see all the families out for a sunny Easter beach stroll, along with all the other “mall people” that show up whenever the sun comes out in Seattle. People watching makes running go by so much faster, and no matter how many “WTF are you doing why would you be running ever?” looks I get from strangers (more than you’d think), I will still give them a huge cheese ball smile in return.

You will witness my sweat and you will LIKE IT people.

And, on one final note…because the fluidity of this post is just about Pulitzer worthy…I give you a look at how dogs make me SO EFFING AWKWARD. Remember how I take pictures of random dogs? Yea, so yesterday this happened.

Oh... and yes, you are looking right into my camera.

I blame BF for this. He loves Newfoundland dogs more than anything in the world, so obviously when I saw this guy on a stroll I needed to attempt to capture it in photo form. But guess what Robyn? Leaning across your car holding your phone up and driving slowly by people will PROBABLY MAKE THEM NOTICE YOU. I played it really cool when I realized the man saw the whole photo thing go down, and by “really cool” I mean I immediately held my phone up acting like I was trying to get reception. We both knew what happened though. Don’t worry nice newfie-owning man, I really only care about having a photo of your dog.

 

So that’s all. Thanks for listening to my ramblings, as well as my apathy toward the world that has taken over my mood these past few days. And actually, writing all this down has helped remove me a bit from my slump. I’m still going to eat all the Mini Eggs though and feel super embarrassed about the unbelievably low production level of my HTC relay application. I’m really glad I applied, and I really really hope I get in, but for real…there are some stellar videos out there, which you should probably check out, and I think you’ll realize why I’m about 5 minutes away from enrolling in some kind of intro to movie making classes.

I would love to hear some uplifting thoughts from you beautiful people today. Tell me something you are excited about, something you are proud of, or just something that is making your day better.

Green Positivity

{No, this is not a post about eco-friendly things or sustainability}

Greetings friends. How were your weekends? How was Monday?

My weekend was filled to the brim with fun activities, and while I was jealous of all the people who were racing—I have to say that this was a weekend for the books. St. Patrick’s Day, particularly, was highly enjoyable—mostly due to the effort put forth by my boyfriend who, while not Irish, is a big fan of any day devoted to beer and shenanigans.

We were traditional, we were green, we were festive. Allow me to share with you our dedication to this holiday…

Green pancakes!

In keeping with his new found affection for making pancakes, BF made the decision that Saturday’s batch would celebrate St. Patty’s as well. Unfortunately, the idea only came to him with two pancakes left to make. Thought that counts though!

Green smoothie!

I had to sneak some form of health into at least one part of the day 😉

Green people!

No pinching for us! This was also taken in a bar at 4 pm. We take these holidays seriously…also, BF’s shirt is highly entertaining, if you can read it.

Another St. Patty’s treat for the day…

Spring breakers break-ing for beer.

My sister and her boyfriend Grayson stopped by on their way to California for Spring Break to celebrate some green-filled festivities. It was wonderful to see them both, and I’m excited to see them AGAIN this Thursday for more adventures. More on that later. Thanks for coming, guys!

Green eats! Well, not really...but traditional!

So I’ve never done the whole “corned beef and cabbage” thing for St. Patty’s Day (in fact I never even had heard of it), but BF has and decided to introduce me to the tradition. It was also the first time we got to use our new crock pot, which obviously was an exciting endeavor. And, you can’t eat a traditional Irish meal without…

Guinness!

Survey says? Good choice Irish peeps! I’m not a huge red meat person, but this stuff was definitely good, and even the cabbage was to my liking. BF was quite proud of his work with this meal, and rightfully so!

Needless to say, St. Patty’s Day was a win in this household. Any holiday revolving around beer I can really get behind.

Also, because this post is already super picture-happy, this is how I spent my Friday night:

Hotel room? Robes? Wine? Check, check, and quadruple check!

When it comes to celebrating a birthday, no one does lavish quite like my lovely friend Kawika. Which is why he hosted a wine tasting in a super swanky hotel room in an even swankier downtown Seattle hotel. There were reds, there were whites, there was prosecco, and there was cake. A High School Musical 3 cake. Good times were had by all, although I think it would be hard to find someone who wouldn’t enjoy themselves in such a situation.

So, as you can see, a fun weekend indeed. However, there was one glaring absence from Saturday and Sunday: running.

If you’ve read this blog for more than just this post, you know that my weekend reports are normally overwhelmed with long-run talk. Many of you are probably happy for this new change of pace, and I don’t blame you. The fact is: bad knee=no long run. In fact, no running in general—because this bursitis took over my abilities to train, and condemned my activities to spinning and swimming. Both of which felt fantastic on my inflamed knee, and they are very bonafied cross-training activities.

However, when you are supposed to be peaking in training mileage and can’t run more than a few paces without knee pain, this set-back becomes more than discouraging. Which is why, yesterday, I went to see an orthopedic doc for some answers and solutions.

Truly, I was terrified for this appointment. I was going to post yesterday, but I was too afraid that talking about the upcoming doc visit would only heighten my nerves—so I held off until I had some answers. X-rays, lots of talking(by me), and a cortisone injection later—I am feeling an enormous amount of relief.

This appointment went just about as good as I could have hoped for. X-rays showed that nothing is wrong with my knee besides this bursitis/tendonitis—which was my biggest fear. A lot of the time, bursitis is caused by another injury such as a tendon or ligament tear—which would have sidelined me much longer. Luckily, this was not the case—and the doctor only had to yell at me about stretching more. Noted doc, no problem-o. And when he said, “I see no reason why I shouldn’t give you a cortisone injection to speed up the healing process,” I had to hide my excitement—because this is what I was secretly hoping for.

So, with this fancy medicine deflating the crap out of my knee and a little more rest time—I should be good to run (hopefully!) on Friday. So very relieved, and while I’m still wary, I’m feeling positive that I’ll be able to keep training aggressively until taper time.

Also, when I rolled up my pants to show Doc my knee, he took one look at my calves and said, “Wow, you are a runner, huh?”

I blushed.

So, generally, I’m feeling positive. I know I wasn’t totally expressive about my anxiety about this minor injury, but I was feeling very apprehensive for the fate of my Eugene Marathon dreams (ask BF, he will always vouch for my freak-out modes).  The meds and the clear x-rays definitely lifted a weight off my shoulders, and I’m feeling ready to take on the rest of training. The time off also really made me anxious and excited to run, which is always refreshing.

Happy first day of spring! Race season has definitely started, and I’d like to offer a big congrats to everyone who’s either preparing, tapering, or recovering—you are a rock star!

And now…because who isn’t tired of hearing(reading) me talk…how was your St. Patrick’s Day? Weekend? Are you currently training for a spring race?