Tag Archives: weather

A Running and Zoo Filled Weekend

Happy Monday!

I have nothing very specific to talk about today, but I am pretty pumped about the random musings I do have to deliver. I know what you’re thinking…”Robyn, everything you have to say is exciting! I totally love hearing about your injury whining and cookie addiction on a daily basis.”

You guys, stop making me blush.

No, I know I’m not very original. BUT, happenings such as those that went on this past weekend (super interesting grammar right there) ARE in fact exciting to me, therefore you get to hear about them.

This weekend involved a lot of running… …but not by me.

Which was fine! Because it was still great, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I spent a raging Friday night curled up on my couch watching the trials and crying for cheering on Amy and Dathan. It is SO amazing to me that all these athletes train for YEARS for just ONE race that will determine their Olympic future. Many of those races, mind you, are UNDER ten seconds. TEN SECONDS! All of which hold the fate of their Olympic dreams.

Crazy…and I admire that kind of determination. It takes some kind of guts to know that all your hard work will either make or break it in such a short time frame.

Anyway, I geeked out hard over the trials, and it reminded me so much of my old track days. I was a sprinter in high school, however my main event was the 400m hurdles. We short folk have a disadvantage in the 100m hurdlers, therefore my coach forced me into the longer race, which should also be known as, “Hold in your puke while jumping over 10 barriers and sprinting at full speed.”

That race is a beast, and I still have nightmares about it. But, I still loved it, and I could so clearly remember the butterflies that came with sprint races while watching the trials.

Oh! And the whole Western States thing that was going on this weekend, which was also fun to follow. The nice thing about a 100 mile race? You can check on it, go about your day, do whatever you want, then that night you can check on it again and the runners are STILL GOING. Just another weekend, right guys?

Onto Saturday. I think everyone with a Twitter account/everyone within a 100 mile radius of Seattle knows that Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll was on Saturday at 0700. I wasn’t doing it, but a ton of Seattle area bloggers were…which obviously meant I was a)jealous and b)determined to involve myself somehow.

So, when I asked Nicole (who was running the full) where she would like the most cheerleader support, she responded asking if I would run the last 6 miles with her.

Um, best question ever?? YES! I was psyched…partly because it would lessen my sadness about not running the race, but mainly because I am ready to jump at any opportunity to help someone to the finish line after over 20 miles of running. After the kind lady in Tacoma helped carry my feverish butt to the end of the race, I not only felt indebted to the universe to help someone myself…but I also realized how moral support can really be a clutch after that many miles of running.

Sign me up RicoleRuns, I was pumped.

However, despite my ample pre-planning (course studying, timing allowance, etc.) I quickly realized there was no way I would be able to join her at mile 20. You see, mile 20 was one of the miles along i-90, so in order to get on the course I would have to park on the side of the highway, dodge traffic, run the wrong way against thousands of people running a marathon, and causally hang out until I hopefully spotted Nicole. AKA, not happening.

When you’re in a panic to get to a race course, you obviously should Tweet about it.

So, I rerouted, meandered around Seattle, and found the closest spot I could get to that was off of i-90, which ended up being just before mile 23. So I cheered, I chatted up some super fast chick who was rooting for runners as well, and just like clockwork there was Nicole…right on time target!

She said she felt terrible, but you wouldn’t have guessed it. She looked great, and I did my best to distract, encourage, and move her along those hilly last three miles without her punching me in the face for being too chatty/energetic. It was funny because I think some of the aid stations thought I was running the marathon too—humorous, because if they saw what I really look like at mile 23 of a marathon, they would realize how false their assumptions were.

Anyways, Nicole killed it. And despite the normal “I hate everything” feelings that come at the end of a marathon, she finished strong and I was so honored to have been a part of it. 3:57 for her, 3 of those miles I got to spend along for the ride. Good times. Read her race report here!

Run Nicole Run!

Thanks to Becky for snapping this shot!

And how does one get back to one’s car after running along a race course to the other side of town? Why, by running back of course! Fortunately for me (and thanks to the fine organizers of Seattle RNR) the course ran right alongside downtown Seattle, so I was able to weave my way back to my car no trouble. In fact, I got to see many RNR runners that had finished their races along the way…so I congratulated every last one all while on my own run. It might have been weird, but whatever…I dug it. Although I would have liked to have been running the race, I felt like I had actively participated as much as I could otherwise.

Sunday, after a two hour spin class (also see: sweat, sweat, and a very slippery floor), BF and I headed to brunch and then the zoo. I don’t care how old you are, the zoo is crazy amounts of fun—and thanks to the lovely weather yesterday, all the animals were out and about and strutting all their wild stuff. BF and I are both big animal lovers (him probably more so) therefore we are unable to leave even one display unseen.

Flamingos!

The butt of a hippo.

Children, don’t you know I am trying to photograph the orangutan wearing a burlap sack as a cape WHILE drawing on the window in chalk for my blog/personal collection??? Rude.

More trials last night, more gawking at abs and quads, and all in all a very enjoyable weekend.

I’m getting my running groove back (please knock on your table/desk right now), I have some pretty sweet life changes happening, AND I have a sweet announcement for later this week. HINT: It involves running. Unpredictable, right?

Have yourself a lovely Monday friends…and because I enjoy hearing about people’s weekends/races: Did you run RNR? How did it go?! Any other neat weekend happenings? Did you want to do sit-ups after watching the women’s 10,000m too? Did you just go get fro-yo like me instead? What’s your favorite zoo animal?

Thankfulness and Marathon Goals!

Good afternoon!

I hope you all have had pleasant weeks and are ready for the weekend. This week has seen a lot of ups and downs for me—mostly ups, but there were some dark spots in there, and I’m happy to say I think I’ve managed to scuttle away from them. (But don’t let the Taper Beast hear that, one whiff of calmness and he barges back in full force.) So I’m still treading lightly, paying attention to my actions and reactions, but I’m hoping I’ve exited the Crazy Land of Taper-dom and can continue merrily on my way through Nerve City and Psyched Up Forest. Both of these places, though still filled with a good deal of angst and stomach butterflies, are much more do-able than Crazy Land.

I am nervous, there is no doubt about it. I have to very deliberately and consciously get myself to focus on anything other than race day. My thoughts are consumed by race strategy, fueling, avoiding chafing, and making it through without my knee exploding. My knee is much better than when bursitis struck before, and I am confident that I can race on it, however 26.2 miles is a long way for healthy body parts, so needless to say, I’m wary for my persnickety bursa sack. Lots of stretching, icing, and Aleve-ing before then.

In other news, I SUCK at dress rehearsal runs. Apparently all my pacing abilities (limited to begin with) go completely AWOL when I’m tapering, and the whole “GO SLOW” mantra that everyone preaches so vehemently actually registers as “Go ahead and run 30 seconds faster than your GMP.” Yesterday’s 4 mile run would have looked superb in an official race, let’s just say.

Whoops. Maybe I should get a Garmin after all.

For those of you who don’t know, a dress rehearsal run is exactly like a stage dress rehearsal…you gear up in everything you’ll wear on race day to ensure nothing rubs wrong or fits weird, but mainly I think its psychological benefits are the greatest. This run got me pumped big time, and it felt good to be running in my race day attire. Also, it just felt good to be running.

BUT. The good news about this way-too-fast-taper-fail run was that it showed just how many energy reserves I’m garnering. This whole “resting” thing is actually, physiologically benefiting big time, and despite my better efforts to just rid myself of all this lovely rest yesterday, I’m hoping that this is a good sign for how I’ll feel on race day.

The weather report looks superb for Sunday so far, and now commences the time to start carb-filling and hydrating like a serious person.

Moving on, today is Friday, meaning that Friday Favorites is typically the name of the game. As I’ve done a few times, I’m going to switch Friday Favorites to recollecting some of the things I’m thankful for. This week has been filled with a lot of excitement and charged energy, and although some of it can get overwhelming, ultimately I am unbelievably grateful for it all. Many thanks to Ali for reminding us all weekly to give thanks.

And now…GRATITUDE!

I am thankful for boxes of cookies.

Time between opening package and stuffing face with cookie: .7 seconds.

Last week, my beloved friend Katie—who moved to Missoula last year and I miss TERRIBLY—sent me this glorious package of her chocolate cookies for my birthday. Now, unless you have tried these cookies, you cannot fully begin to appreciate a)how big of a deal it was to receive them and b)how kind it really was for her to send them.

These cookies ARE THE BEST. Katie has some crazy secret recipe that she has worked and reworked and the result are the most chewy, buttery, chocolatey, and I-don’t-care-how-bad-these-are-for-me cookies EVER. I lose all sense of fullness, health, and really general sense of reality when these cookies are around, and they have made up the majority of my diet since they arrived. KT, you are the best.

I am thankful for huge great danes.

WARNING: Creepy female dog photographer, stalking puppies all over West Seattle.

I am kind of afraid of great danes, but I kind of love them too. They are as large as a small pony, and it seems like they have been everywhere recently. BF, who is a big dog fanatic, is obsessed (and may have recently bought a book called Giant George which is about a 245 pound great dane who needs his own size queen bed), and recently I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. I’m not sure about owning one, but I really enjoy seeing great danes taking their owners on walks all over the place.

I am thankful for the ability to go and visit my family.

I really, really love whenever I get to go see my family. We laugh a lot, we play games, we eat, we watch Jeopardy, and we love each other. It’s a great treat to be able to go home, and I’m very thankful that I have the means and the time to be able to jet off to Colorado every so often. My next trip will be for baby boy’s graduation (sorry Scott, you will never shed that nickname), and I can’t wait. If anyone was every ready for college, it’s my brother, and not only can I not wait for him to experience college, but he’ll be going to Seattle U…a mere 10 minutes from me!! Get ready Scott, you probably won’t make any real friends.

“Sorry guys, my sister is taking me somewhere again and I can’t go to the party.”

That’s totally how it’s gonna happen.

I am thankful for people who will touch feet.

I know you are SO GLAD you have now seen my feet. Can you guess which toenail is actually completely black?

That sounded weird. And truth be told, I actually don’t have the foot paranoia that so many claim to have. But, that doesn’t mean I would ever give a stranger—or even someone I know—a pedicure. And I especially would never give myself a pedicure. I’m scared of my own feet, and I go to all the lengths I can to avoid people looking at my feet. Not only do I naturally have Fred Flintstone-width feet and awkwardly shaped pinkie toes, but the damage done to my toenails from running is somewhat horrifying. As I’ve said before, two of my toenails are close to falling off, and just about every other toe has either a blister or a callous. It’s sexy.

Moving on. I never get pedicures, literally ever, except for right before big races. For some reason back when I ran my first half, I decided to randomly get a pedicure during the week before. Since then, I’ve gotten my toes done before every big race—and it’s a tradition I am mighty pleased with. This marathon taper time was no different, and I got to spend an hour getting clipped, rubbed, painted, and all that fun girlie toe stuff. The woman, despite not saying ONE word to me the entire time, did a fantastic job, and she handled my mangled foots without a blink. Oh, and she had to use TWO extra coats on my black toenails. Literally doubled the amount of color on each. But a job well done, and I am thankful for her.

Wow that was a lot of talk about feet.

I am thankful for Nuun, Aleve, my foam roller, and Yoga On Demand.

All of these things are helping to soothe, both mentally and physically, my angst about the race on Sunday. Sure, I know I’ve done the training and I know there really isn’t anything more I can do to get ready. But the fact that I can count on each of these things to help me feel better prepared, rested, hydrated, etc. is keeping my nerves at bay.


I am thankful for the weather report for race day.

cmoooonnnnnnn Sunday!

I realize I just 100% jinxed the crap out of the happy-sunny forecast, but let’s hope for the best still. As you could probably guess, the weather in Seattle is not exactly dependable…and so everyone, not just runners, treat the forecast like a toddler. They watch it like a hawk, they talk about it with anyone and everyone, and they can be equally irritated and giddy over it within an hour time frame. So, needless to say, I’ve been in full-fledged weather-stalking mode, and as of right now it’s looking pretty ideal. I actually have yet to run a long race in sunny weather (isn’t that nuts?) so I’m hoping for a first this time around.

I am thankful for free cake.

complimentary white chocolate mousse cake + candle=happy birthday girl!

I am thankful that no matter what happens on Sunday, there will be a Lakers vs. Nuggets game and pizza afterwards.

I’m sorry….no matter what you think about the Lakers or basketball, this is adorable.

I might completely blow up on Sunday, or I might exceed all my expectations. I really don’t know, a lot can happen over 26.2 miles, and sometimes no matter how much prep work you put in, things don’t pan out right. I’m prepared for this (and in case I do blow up and cry for weeks afterward, remind me that I said this ahead of time). However, I am thankful for pre-planning. Specifically food pre-planning—and one thing is for sure that PR or no PR, there will be ample pizza and beer consumption on Sunday night, as well as a viewing of the Lakers winning Game 4 of the playoffs versus the Nuggets, after which I laugh in BF’s face a friendly basketball game between two teams that BF and I happen to heavily separately favor.

I am thankful that I have the opportunity to run a marathon.

I talk a lot about time goals and PR goals and BQing a lot, but when all is said and done—more than anything all I want to do is run. I am so grateful to have the ability to run, and to run 26.2 miles, no matter how fast or slow it might be. After experiencing an injury scare earlier in this training season and reading all about so many bloggers out there that are currently sidelined by injury, my perspective has become a lot more appreciative and humbled.

If you would have told me 2 years ago that I would be running my second marathon on Sunday, I would never have believed you. We all know how that story actually ends, and in two days all the hours and weeks of preparation will come to a 3:xx:xx hour finale. There are some very definite times that I have associated with “I would love to get (this),” “I would be alright getting (this),” and “I guess I’ll be able to live with (this).” However, when all is said and done, Sunday is just another day I get to run…and that, despite any PR or not, is something I am very thankful for.

 

And finally, I am thankful for my readers, my family, and my friends who have and continue to support me through the whole training process:

You all inspire me every day, and you all have provided me with so much strength, encouragement, and guidance in both running and life. The people I surround myself with, including those in the blog world, are so much of the reason I am able to continue running, writing, and believing in myself, and I could not be more thankful for everyone of you.

 

Alright, now that I’ve gotten sappy, let’s end on a bit more of a practical note, shall we?

I have been incredibly allusive and non-disclosing about my time goals for this race. And why? Well, I get scared to say them out loud—because if they don’t happen, well that makes it all the more disappointing knowing that other people know I didn’t live up to my expectations. But, I realized that it’s not fair to share every ounce of my training and race information with you without giving you the dirty time details.

So, if you care to know…here’s my plan for Sunday. There are two pacers I have my eye on. 3:40 and 3:35. If all goes well, I am going to stick near the 3:40 pacer for the first half. If I’m up for it and feeling alright, I’m planning on chasing down the 3:35 pacer after mile 13. We’ll see what happens…perhaps something entirely different…but for now that is my race plan.

I promise I’ll stop typing now…and if you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading, and have yourself a glorious weekend, and I’ll see you on the other side of 26.2 miles!!

Tacoma, BRING IT.


 

 

Friday Favorites: Girl Scout Cookie Tangent

This morning I ran, and it was excellent.

Well okay back up, pretty much every factor involved in this run was working against me, and I didn’t escape it void of any knee pain…but oh boy, did it feel good to run.

To continue on my bad-blogger theme of talking about the weather, I’ll paint a quick picture of what this morning looked like:

Rain, alternating between heavy sudden downpours and lighter sprinkles. You didn’t really know what you were going to get with the rain this morning, and it delivered a smorgasbord of intensity and directional changes. With that said, there was also my least favorite running element present this morning—wind. I can deal with rain, I can even deal with snow, but let it be known that I hate wind with a fiery loathing passion. So that was neat. It was also quite cold, as demonstrated by the fact that my fingers were completely void of any healthy color once I was done. They were a pale yellow, and I’m pretty sure I could have had someone run over my hand with a bike without me even flinching.

Okay, this is getting boring…maybe weather talk should get the boot. But I am very happy with that fact that I was able to run, and it was only a little bit slower than my normal semi-fast-but-not-too-fast pace. My knee bothered me, but once I was done it felt very normal which was encouraging. I think so long as I keep up my icing and stretching and rolling routine, I’ll be able to pull off runningthrough this bursitis.

It’s nice to have a run under my belt after 4 days of being all Whine Birdie Whine and RICE Birdie RICE. Still being cautious, but feeling optimistic. And let’s get real, who can’t be optimistic on a Friday? Especially when Friday means it’s time for some Friday Favorites!

If you’re new, every Friday I like to talk about some of my favorite things, both of the present moment and of all time. Lots of the time they are about food. Other times they are about Glee songs. However, they are all little parts of life that make me smile, and you should play along to! Comment below with some of your favorite things, I love to read them.

Ready…set…go!

My “Look I ran a marathon” Oiselle T-shirt

It took my forever to work up the gall to buy this pretty blue shirt, but I’m so happy I did—and it’s fun having a piece of “runner” clothing that isn’t actually worn during running. Actually, I suppose you could wear it running, but I’d rather wear my permanently smelling old tech tops instead.

I wore this shirt on Monday, when I was feeling particularly down about my dumb knee, and it made me feel the teensiest bit better. I’ve preached the importance of remembering that you’re a runner, even if you’re hurt or in a rut. Wearing this shirt on a downer-day helped me to remember that even if I couldn’t run right then I will be able to again and I was still able to claim the 26.2 title. Thanks, Oiselle. You ladies are awesome.

The Runner’s World Quote of the Day

I’ve gotten in this 21st century habit of checking through all my iPhone gizmos before my eyes are really open in the morning. I really dislike this habit, and although it actually helps me wake up and I find it oddly soothing, I would much rather spend the first ten minutes of my waking day away from technology.

However, the best part about this routine is that I get to start my mornings with a lovely little email from Runner’s World, featuring the “Quote of the Day.” You can sign up to receive them on their website, and it’s really fun/motivating to wake up to the words of wisdom from various runners. Often times the quotes are about running, sometimes they’re about life. Sometimes they’re from Kara Goucher, sometimes their from your Uncle Buck who happens to love running, but no matter the source or the content they always manage to get me started in the right frame of mind.

Also, if I’m about to go for a run, there’s no better motivation than hearing some Yoda of Running jargon beforehand. Or, if I’m feeling lazy—these quotes can be a friendly kick in the butt. I recommend signing up. I don’t recommend playing Words with Friends when you are still half-dreaming.

{A note to all my iPhone game opponents: if you’re wondering why you receive game updates from me before 6 am…this is why. Nice to start my day with you, and yes…I do consider it a disadvantage that I play my moves while still in sleep delirium. Your welcome.}

Girl Scout Cookies

I know I’m preaching to the choir, and by choir I mean the entirety of the United States, when I say that I effing love Girl Scout cookies. Below are my specific reasons, because listing is fun, and I don’t want to bore you with trying-to-be witty prose about the perfect symmetry of Samoas.

  • They are little

As I mentioned last week, I really love little things. These cookies are no exception, particularly because small cookies=more cookies available to eat. People like how Girl Scout cookies are “portion controlled” compared to the normally over-sized nature of other desserts. Sure, this is great, but when I think of something being small, I think, “Oh, that means I can eat MORE of them.” Dessert is more fun when it is divided into 3 or 4 or 8 miniature parts, as opposed to one whole…don’t you think?

  • There are many options

As a cookie savant, my palate is very eclectic…and by eclectic, I mean that I enjoy too many different types of sweets to pick just one. The Girl Scouts of America have recognized this problem, and they have come up with the wonderful solution of providing many flavors that I enjoy, and I consequentially purchase.

If we’re talking specifics…this year I’m into Samoas and Trefoils, although Thin Mints and Tagalongs are long time favorites and have also been purchased.

Also, I hate these new names. When I was a proud GSC seller myself, they were called Caramel Delights, Shortbread, Thin-Mints (no alternative there eh girls?), and Peanut Butter Patties. All kids of the ’90s will agree.

  • They can be stored

I’m actually not a big processed food person, but I do appreciate the fact that you can freeze/store these little gems so that they can be enjoyed for a prolonged period of time.

I think it’s safe to say that for the month-long period of time when Girl Scouts prowl the streets and supermarkets, they are easily the most popular girls in town.

Are you wondering yet why I’m not 200 pounds? Yea, me too.

My “Girl Power” Playlist

I’m into Spotify nowadays, and I like that you can make your own playlists. This past week, I found myself listening to a high number of you-go-girl music and decided to create a femme-centric playlist.

It pumps me up, it keeps me entertained, and it inspires me. Thanks Katy, Lana, and Kelly. You make me want to run and spin and climb Everest and fight the good fight.

Boom! Favorites completed. Sorry for that tangent about my obsession with cookies…that was unplanned, I swear. Maybe I have inspired you to contribute $4 to the adorable badge-clad chickies at your local grocery store next time you’re there. I hear the new lemon ones are all the rage…just rumors though.

Please tell me what you are digging today, and because now I’m curious…what’s your favorite kind of GS cookie? Are you doing a St. Patrick’s Day race? A corned beef and cabbage cook-off? A Guiness keg stand? I don’t recommend this last one…stick to the lighter brews, but if you are doing this…tell me how you accomplished such a feat. You must be Irish.

Being Snarky and Sack Talk

I learned yesterday that apparently it’s a blogging faux-pas to write about the weather. I mean, I realize weather chat is somewhat ho hum and a time filler in real life situations, but really? There are social rules for the internet?

This struck me because I mention the weather somewhat frequently, and it’s actually because it’s relevant…due to the whole running outside thing.

Well, I’ve never fit it much socially anyways. So let’s talk about Seattle’s current atmospheric decision-making, shall we?

To describe this week’s weather, I really don’t think there are two words more fitting than butt and hole.

Sorry, I live with a boy, and my already questionable manners/ladylike habits are going down the drain.

But seriously, this weather BLOWS, and the worst part is that the rest of the country is all, “Ohh! Spring is here!” “LOVE THE SUN” “70 DEGREES OF HEAVEN!”

Yea, I hate you all.

No… but like, a little. Fortunately for me, this is “Thou shalt not run” week, therefore I’m priding myself on my timing skills in getting hurt. Unfortunately, this weather is matching my mood a little too closely, and grumpy gimp-hood + miserable raindrops of sadness= the perfect setup for a depressing Bright Eyes music video.

I have already come up with the details: Me, staring longingly out the car window at my muddy, rain-soaked running path, while the camera zooms out to show Puget Sound, waves roaring and seagulls mercilessly fighting the wind. Next shot: me, rubbing large ice cube after large ice cube over my knee while chugging ibuprofen pills in a “I could be over-dosing on something serious” kind of melancholy way. A depressing song is playing the whole time.

WOW. Okay guys, it’s really not that bad. I’m being dramatic (so weird, right?!) and actually it’s probably a lot better that the rain is choosing this week to stick around 24/7. I can’t imagine how bad it would be if it were—gasp!—SUNNY here this week and I was isolated in an indoor RICE existence.

Pity party over, and can you say First World Problems?

Let’s focus on some positives.

So, I did get a very fast and easy diagnosis when I spoke with a PT the other night. I told her a bit about my mystery knee pangs, she pressed in one spot, I said ow, she said, “Well, I can tell you exactly what’s wrong.”

Which, by the way, is perhaps the best thing EVER to hear from a doctor, especially when you’re an anxious runner ready to get back on the road.

According to Dr. Lora, I have Pes anserine bursitis, which essentially means that it’s not my knee that’s jacked…it’s the little bursa sack where three of my major leg muscles come together. The bursa sack is there to absorb all the impact/tension that accumulates in that part of my knee, and currently mine is all hot and bothered and inflamed. She used much fancier terms than this, and all I really understood was “hamstring” and “you’re going to be fine.”

This bursitis could be due to a number of reasons, however through my incessant research, I’m fairly certain it’s due to one primary cause: Improper stretching/warmup/cool down routines associated with excessive repetitive activities.

Oh, you mean that I should have been stretching more and warming up and cooling down when logging 50 miles a week? GROUNDBREAKING. I am sure this is a case that would have sports scientists flabbergasted and pining to do lab tests on me.

NOT

What am I trying to say? In a nutshell, no shit my knee hurts. I admit, I’ve always been pretty fine without a warmup…or a cool down…or stretching very much. My body has always responded fine without these very basic athletic principles, or so I thought, and therefore I kind of carried along in my training without giving them a second thought.

Well, my body has come back to bite my in the butt. Or in the bursa sack. Sure, this might not be the reason for the pesky bursitis, however I would say it’s a safe bet due to my slacking of yoga for the past three weeks and my “post run stretching” consisting of two 10 second quad stretches and bending over to touch my toes once.

Remember when I gave myself a B+ in stretching?

Damn universe, you saw right through that lie. You got me. And I admit, I should have been stretching more…I’ll take back my B+ and give myself a C…okay fine! C-

So what does this mean? Well, I’m currently in an intense relationship with my ice trays, my bottle of pain killers, and my pillow. Why my pillow, you ask? Well, when I told the PT about the pain I was feeling in the morning, she advised I sleep with a pillow between my legs because I sleep on my side. I tried it two nights ago and woke up essentially void of any inflammation. Again, groundbreaking stuff over here: If you’re not jamming your bursa sack into your other leg for 8 hours of sleep, it won’t hurt!!!

But seriously, it is a quick fix that has a huge impact, I recommend it.

Also, doesn’t “bursa sack” sound inappropriate? I don’t think I’ve ever typed the word “sack” so many times at once, and it feels a little dirty.

Anyways, today is {hopefully} my final day off from running. I’m staying completely off my legs today, doing the whole RICE thing, and vying for some miles tomorrow morning. And yes I am planning on waking up around 4:30 am to pop some pain pills before I head out at 6:00 am. Lots of stretching/icing before and after as well, like a good injured bird. This is all very best-case-scenario, because I’m actually not sure how my bursa SACK is going react on the run, but I’m crossing my fingers…and you should too, please? 🙂

I’m feeling optimistic, although part of me is still very wary/afraid for my marathon future. Fortunately, this isn’t a serious ailment, and it can be aggressively treated/dealt with according to Dr. Lora. So here’s hoping that my resting has done some good work, and by continuing the recovery routine and actually doing the whole “stretching” thing, I can nip this thing in the bud.

Also, I would like to thank the people at the Eugene Marathon headquarters for posting this nice little Tweet today.

This didn't make my stomach lurch AT ALL

I like to imagine there is a “headquarters” for this event; full of race paraphernalia in the making, people on the phone with Nike and Gatorade, and Kara Goucher randomly stopping by to say “Hey.” This Tweet probably came from the college house of a social networking intern…but I prefer my headquarters theory.

44 days people. Not quite 7 weeks, a little more than 6 weeks. For now, I’m just going to focus on regaining the ability to run, then hopefully I can start to divulge my super-secret-not-so-secret plans for a finish time.

Hopefully this post wasn’t too overwhelming in terms of shark. Sometimes I can’t control my sarcasm and sass. I blame the sack and Girl Scout cookies.

Happy hump day! If you are in Seattle, stay dry…and to the rest of you, I don’t want to hear about your sun.

Tell me something fantastic about your week OR something you are out-of-control excited about for the near future. Spring break plans? Happy hour plans? St. Patty’s plans? I’m dying to hear some happy voices…so speak loud!

 

 

 

 

Friday Favorites, with a Thankful Twist.

I am riding a wave of overall excitement heading into this weekend. There really isn’t anything particular that’s given me this merry kick-in-the-butt, but I’m loving it—and hopefully you aren’t scared off by my inevitable cheerful banter to come.

Sorry, but actually—I’m not sorry.

I’m generally feeling very thankful recently, and I am a firm believer that a little bit of gratitude goes a long way. Gratitude humbles us, it relieves the stresses of every day life, and it helps us realize that despite all else, we really do have it pretty good.

That’s why this week, for Friday Favorites—I’d like to do a little bit of a spin on my weekly round-up of wonderful things. As inspired by the weekly tradition of one of my favorite running bloggers, Ali on the Run, I’m going to recount some things I’m thankful for recently. It is kind of in the same light as my favorite things, but this week I’m vying to offer up some genuine thanks for some awesome things in my life.

On that note…

I’m thankful for faulty weather reports.

Inaccurate! Hooray!

Wednesday had the promise of rain written all over it throughout the entire day. I was pouty because I was planning on/needed to run that day, and although I have handled the rain before—many times in fact—I was resounding myself to the fate of the treadmill. Alas, no rain came.

And in fact, the weather forecast could not have been more wrong. Apparently “gusts of wind with a 90% chance of rain” actually means “50 degrees and a lovely, windless sunset.” I merrily covered 8 miles in 64 minutes and relished in the weather people’s incompetence for the day.

I’m thankful for the first signs of spring!

I am a liliac! And I smell good! And I'm not a cold, dead tree!

Last week I was on a really early morning run, and all of a sudden a waft of something glorious filled my nose. Because I’m used to the smells of the steel mill and exhaust from the ferries, this took me by surprise. Lo and behold, there were lilac blossoms making their way out of their winter cocoons!

It’s so exciting to see the first buds surfacing for springtime, and coupled with the daylight that has extended both in the morning and at night, I would say we are making our way out of winter folks! Yesterday morning, I was outside at 7 am and I could see everything! It was miraculous!! I think it’s funny how we forget just how light it gets in the summer when we’ve surrendered to the darkness of winter, and vice versa.

Welcome spring, I cordially welcome you to the Pacific Northwest.

I am thankful for homemade trail mix.

chocolate and coconut are totally good for you when you blend them with nuts and fruit

You are looking at the snack that I now have nearly every afternoon. Almonds, sunflower seeds, coconut, chocolate chips, cranberries, and raisins. I love trail mix, but I never buy it, and then I discovered this groundbreaking idea of combining ingredients I already have in my cabinet to form my own custom made trail mix! Innovation is the name of my game people.

Well okay, maybe not, but I am psyched to have welcomed this fantastic new snack friend into my culinary repertoire.

Note: I have no repertoire, which is why I find joy in simple, new food discoveries.

 

I am thankful for rest days.

This morning, I made the spur-of-the-moment, matter-of-fact decision that today was going to be a rest day. If you regularly read this blog (thanks for doing so, by the way!), you know that I love doing something active nearly every day, and rest days and I don’t normally get along. They stress me out, and I normally prolong having them as much as I can. (This is a fault, please don’t follow this lead.)

But, this morning I woke up at 5:30 am with the plan of going to spin, and my body simple said, “No.” I was feeling a little sore and achy, my head hurt, and due to the heavy exercise-filled weekend I have ahead, I decide to front load it all with a little R&R. I have 20 miler number two coming up tomorrow and a super fun but super long spin session on Sunday, therefore I felt it was best to sleep in, rest up, and focus on hydration.

Good decisions, Robyn. And although I know by the afternoon I’ll be vying to pound some pavement, I’m glad I made the decision to make today a sweat-free day.

I’m thankful for cute dogs. Particularly, golden doodles.

Hey little guy, I know I'm a creeper discreetly trying to photograph you while walking down the sidewalk so your owner won't see, but will you please let me pet you and give me your doodle-filled kisses?

Of this I am sure: I will own a golden doodle. I am quite frankly obsessed with them, and it’s gotten to a point where I will stop in my tracks if I see one so I can say hi (see photo above). There are the perfect combination of fluffiness, sportiness, and cuddliness (WOW, I am 7 years old), and I’ve never really wanted another dog more than these bundles of love.

For now though, I will enjoy walking up to strangers and asking them to pet their doggies. Or, stealthily photographing people’s dogs while they obliviously buy their coffee in Starbucks. That’s not weird, right? Oh ya, it is.

 

LOOK AT THAT HEAD!

Prepare to hear more about golden doodles. I can’t help it.

 

Lastly, I am thankful for blogging. I am so grateful to have a place to come to where I can write out my thoughts on running and life. I feel like my love for writing has heightened, and I can’t say I’ve learned more about myself as a runner as I have through writing down my progress, regressions, and goals. Thank you for allowing me to share this true love of mine with you. I am thankful for you, dear reader.

 

NOW YOU! What are you thankful for today? What are your favorite things?

 

 

Cocoon of Cross-Training

I had the full intention of writing a post today about how I’m feeling lazy, I’m cheating on running too often, and how I’m complaining but I shouldn’t be complaining because my life could be worse and blah blah blahhh.

However, the sun came out, my productivity has been stellar, and just like that my writing has switched gears.

Mostly.

I will admit that I have been cheating on running a bit too much recently, and while cross-training is great— it isn’t necessarily beneficial to increase the XT while decreasing the miles when marathon training. I think my problem is that I’m not actually following a strict running schedule for this bout of training, so I’m taking advantage of the mornings where I’d rather be inside than tromping around in the cold rain.

It’s silly really. I love running, and once I stop being such a baby and get my butt on the road I am always happier than when I decide to sit on a spin bike instead. However, the ability to constantly check the weather report and the promise of a hot and sweaty spin session from my favorite instructor seems to have derailed my undying love for the run.

You see, I live in Seattle. You knew that, and if not…let me fill you in on some of the facts I face on a day to day basis:

-It is dark

-It is rainy

-It is windy

-It is humid

(These are mostly only true for the winter months, but that’s where we’re at, so go with it)

These four factors make my strong willed runner self curl up in a pathetic “I don’t wanna!” fetal position. Okay, I’m exaggerating. I do normally (wo)man up and hit the road, but not without an internal grumble fest every time the temperature is below 40 and there is the potential for a little rain.

These past two weeks I’ve been really bad about it, and I’ve been swapping a few runs for a spin class/stair stepper workout that I (admittedly) love. It’s hard workout, I’m dripping by the end of it, and I can always tell myself that “it’s good cross training.” I also like that with spin, I don’t really have to will myself any further than getting on the bike seat. Once the class starts, I don’t really have to think and I just follow Jeoff’s militaristic screaming encouraging instructions.

However, I’m getting to the point where the only way I’m going to really up my mileage and get into serious marathon mode is by foregoing a bit of my cocoon of cross training. Sure, it is really good to alternate running with some other activities, but not necessarily when those activities are starting to replace runs. I think part of this has to do with the brain games my mind plays on me. If I know I have a 20 mile run on the weekend, I don’t want any part of me to dread doing it, so I save up my “running energy” in order to ensure that I can commit to the long run 100%.

Again, silly. I’m always happiest when I’m running more often. I think I get scared though that there will be a feeling of apathy toward running that I can’t shake. I love to thoroughly enjoy every run I go on, so I think I set myself up to make sure I’m anxious and ready to run every time. This is probably a good strategy for a non-training routine, however it’s time to get down to business.

So, to my mindless spin bike, my sweaty stair stepper, and my calming pool, I need to put you guys aside a bit. I’ll still hang out with you every so often, however running and I need to spend more  quality time with one another if my goals for Eugene are going to happen.

In other news, Lent starts today, and while I’m not Catholic—BF is, and he’s committing to do what I consider the impossible: He’s giving up sweets.

I think the only thing harder for me to give up than sweets would be giving up peanut butter, and I think this yearly practice of Lent just reminds me to hold on even tighter to the things I love. So much for sacrifice, huh? But I don’t like to think of the things I love as vices. I do have self-control, and there have been periods of time when I’ve given up these things for the sake of my health, so I know it’s do-able. Also, BF’s lack of sweets consumption will lower my own just by default, based on the fact that I have zero willpower when someone says, “Let’s get dessert” as my all-knowing, loving boyfriend often does.

So, I’ll look forward to when BF and I can once again go on late-night fro yo dates. But until then…

Girl Scouts are the February equivalent of Santa

Sorry babe. I guess I’ll have to make this a solo mission.

I hope you have a great Wednesday! Remember, tomorrow’s Thursday, which pretty much means it’s the weekend. Right? Good.

Questions: Do you worry about getting in a running rut? What types of cross training do you like to do? What is your favorite kind of Girl Scout Cookie?

Naked Running and other Happy Things

This morning, I ran naked.

Except that I was wearing clothes, unfortunately.

Actually, I think running naked would be uncomfortable…both physically and socially.

Anyways, I did run sans watch and iPod, and I realized that it may have been the first time I’ve ever done this. Even though I’ve been growing accustom to running without music, I always know the start and stop times of my runs, at the very least. Obviously wearing a watch is essential to training properly in terms of gauging speed and splits and such. However, there is added pressure when wearing a watch—and this morning I found that it can be quite freeing to do some runs without knowledge of time.

I wasn’t too set on running this morning: My legs have been tired recently, I had a very poor performance on yesterday’s run, and I was kinda blah about the idea of running. However, building my mileage right now for Eugene is necessary, and I knew that a slow, short run-around would actually make my legs less stiff. The lack of strictness to this run is what inspired me to throw aside my watch and iPod, and just like that…off I went, naked, into the sunrise.

And it was beautiful; Seattle has been taken over by sunshine (I know, RIGHT?) and although I didn’t feel too fast, it was nice to just be. I also saw two lab puppies, which inevitably helps any situation go from 0 to perfect instantly.

I love puppies, I need one.

Anyways, let’s get to talking about our favorite things, shall we?

– berry veggie Naked juice

I am definitely a smoothie-at-home kind of person, but sometimes it’s quite nice to just buy a pre-made blend of fruits and veggies. This (new?) Naked juice is just the ticket, and I love it. If you don’t like beets or beet juice, I recommend staying away from this concoction, but if so I definitely suggest giving it a try. There’s also not as much sugar in it as other juices, which I appreciate because I prefer my added sugar to come from cookies, not from juice.

See? Like this big beauty.

-Neon Sports Bras

Yes, I realize this is a picture of my boobs. Sorry about that.

Yes, you are looking at that picture correctly. My shorts bra STAINED my shirt via profuse sweating. If that isn’t cool, I don’t know what is. It’s also disgusting, sure, but like…have you ever seen this happen before?? Remember yesterday how I told you I was super dehydrated from excessive sweat during spin? Here is my proof.

I’m reallllyyy hoping that my shirt isn’t permanently stained, but for right now I’ve determined that not only is this my favorite sports bra, its my favorite piece of clothing. It’s bad ass, and it tells my other clothes whats up.

– Optimistic Forecasts

Is this real life???

See that right there??? That’s SIX days of sunshine predicted for the Pacific Northwest. Not only sunshine, but temperatures that don’t warrant wearing two pairs of wool socks and devoting my paycheck to the heating bill.

LOVE IT.

Sure, it might not pan out exactly as predicted, but I enjoy feeling excited for our weather.

– Scramble with Friends

I’m. Obsessed.

If you have the ability to download this game (it’s free), and you feel the need to procrastinate an excessive amount, I insist you get this game. It’s just like Boggle, but online and less noisy.

Find me, I’ll play you.

– Single-Tone Hair

Awkward self-portrait in the car...but no longer two-tone! And look! Sun!

I have been on a bit of a hair-maintenance hiatus since August, and although I can typically withstand a few months of root-grow out, enough was enough.

I was starting to look a bit like I belonged on People of Walmart, therefore I gave in and finally returned to my pretending-to-be-a-blonde hairdo. And I love it, and fineeee….I guess I don’t need to wear a baseball cap every day of the week.

 

That’s all for Friday Favorites! I’m starting to think I’ll compile a master list of all the random favorite things I recount every week…I feel it would make me happy to read. And happiness is good. Speaking of, if you are looking for a good pick-me-up, I highly recommend this video:

Questions:

Do you ever run/workout without a watch or iPod?

What are some of your favorite things?