Friday, December 30, 2011


So those of you that have followed my blog (albeit somewhat spotty of late) know that I am a serious runner. Okay not a serious runner as in "I have to qualify for Boston this year" but more like someone who is seriously committed to getting out and trying to run one longer and two shorter runs every week. I do cross training on the alternate days, but that's not what today's posting is about.

I am happy to announce that today, with one day to spare, I met a goal for myself that has been a work in progress for all of 2011. Namely that I have run 1,200 miles this year or an average of 100 miles per month! I am so proud of myself!

This started out the year as a goal to run 1,000 miles for the year. For the first part of the year this seemed like a reasonable goal for myself. But as the months rolled along, I realized that my monthly averages started bumping up closer and closer to the 100 mile mark. They never actually hit that point, but they were certainly getting closer to it. So, about September I started readjusting my goal for the year upward... barring injury, and pushing myself just a bit, 100 miles/month was within my reach. Keep in mind, I'm only tracking my running miles... not my cross training day elliptical or walking miles. I figured although those miles ultimately help my running, they aren't actually running, so I didn't want to co-mingle the two.

December has been a little nerve wracking, mileage-wise. Even at the end of November, I was only at 98+ miles for an average, so that meant that December had to be better than 100. Yikes! Since October and November had vacations, a little back tweak and a little illness, those months did nothing to help my overall miles, plus the fact that most of my long runs have gone from 12+ miles to 13+ miles in the last few weeks all combined to make me cautiously optimistic heading into this month.

It's all come down to the last couple of weeks. At the beginning of last week, I still had 43 miles to knock out. By the beginning of this week I had whittled it down to 26+. For those of you keeping track, for me, that's one 13 mile run and two 6.5 mile runs or some similar combo. Well, today, I did 8 miles and popped myself up over my mark. I officially am at 1,202.0 miles! I am so happy, I feel like I need to do something to celebrate this long-term goal, but I'm not sure what. I'll have to think on it and let you know what I come up with...

Of course, now that 2011 is nearly over it's time to move on and start looking to 2012. After all, as the saying goes, there is no rest for the weary! Okay, not really weary, just a little stiff and sore from time to time!

Today's Run
8.0 Miles
5.40 mph
11:07 pace

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Me: Missing in Action

Yeah, okay, I admit I haven't been keeping up on my blogging very well of late. As much as I'd like to fancy myself a fabulous multi-tasker, sometimes my days just get away from me and I crawl into bed realizing that yet another sun has set without me logging in to keep you all apprised of what's going on in my life, with my weight and with my running.

Well, I am happy to report that earlier this week, I hit the 90 lbs down mark. I'm not sure why, but to me, 90 seems so much more than 80. Yeah, 80 is pretty incredible, but I guess the 90 means that the big century mark is just around the corner (sort of) and it's seeming like it might, just maybe, one day become a reality for me. Alas, my hormones and water retention are wreaking havoc on this fabulous 90 lbs landmark here, later in the week, but that's something that all of us girls have to deal with and I'll just keep in mind that this water weight too shall pass.

As for my running, I am happy to report that I have been keeping up on my miles. Most weeks I shoot for between 25-27 miles over the course of 3 run days. I'm still doing cross-training on alternate days and I'm actually working a little on building my upper body strength... a least a little bit. I don't know if anyone else experiences this, but my arms ofter get really tired when I'm running. I can try to shake out the tension, but that only goes so far. Mostly, they're just pretty achy by the time I'm done. I'm hoping that doing a little more upper body work will help remedy this situation.

What has been sucking up a lot (most) of my time lately has been my own modest attempts to make a little additional cash via eBay. I have set up my own resale store that focuses mostly on clothes, but I have a few crafting items and DVDs there as well. My DH would like to add books & CDs to the mix eventually, but that means that he has to conquer his own mult-tasking issues... so maybe sometime after the holidays this will happen.

The cool (and hopefully relevant) part of this eBay venture for those of you out there is that one of the areas I have been trying to focus my efforts in clothing resale is to find running & athletic wear that is in fairly good shape and offer it up at reasonable prices. When I was doing a lot of shopping for resale athletic wear myself I really struggled to find items that were in good shape AND that were affordable. So, now that I'M the one doing the reselling, I get excited whenever I find a cool piece that I can offer.

Of course, even more than workout gear, I have lots of regular everyday clothes too. I try to find a selection of items, including quite a few plus sizes because I remember what its like to be frustrated because I could never find anything at the resale shops for me. Anyway, for those of you interested, you can check out my (tiny) little corner of the eBay world here. I will also put the link on my links page for future reference.

Now, the next challenge is to master the multi-tasking just long enough to get the rest of my Christmas shopping done... Wish me luck!

Today's Run
7.0 Miles
5.37 mph
11:10 pace

Tuesday's Run
7.95 Miles
5.28 mph
11:22 pace

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Where does the time go???

I am acutely aware of the fact that I've been pretty slack in my blogging this month, but I didn't realize that it had actually been almost the entire month that I've been away. Holy Cow! It's been a crazy month around here. We were out of town for a little bit in the first part of the month and I guess I've been playing catch-up w/ almost everything else in my life ever since and this is the one part of my life that has been neglected.

Well, even tho' it's not officially winter yet, it sure feels like it here in the good ol' Pacific NW. It hasn't been super cold, but when the temps are combined with wind and rain, it is certainly cold enough. That is, cold enough to drive this fair weather runner indoors.

I have been logging lots of hours on my treadmill lately in an effort to not run in the cold, the wet, or the dark. My DH works a schedule that includes three super early days each week and two later days for start times. In the last few weeks (since getting back from our trip earlier in the month, or maybe just slightly before that), I have taken to getting up at the super early time each morning, even those mornings that my DH doesn't go into work as early, so that I can get my run or alternate workout in before he even gets out of bed in the morning. This means on those early days, I am out of bed and on the treadmill by 4:30 am. Yikes!

The jury is still out on whether or not I will continue to keep up these crazy early workouts. They are pretty miserable for me. I drag myself out of bed, have just a little bit to eat to kick-start my metabolism and then start running before my body has completely caught up with my brain... or maybe it's my brain that needs to catch up with my body... I'm not sure which is lagging behind, I just know that the various parts of me are definitely out of sync at that hour of the morning and it takes me about 30-45 minutes to get out of the fog and actually feel like I can get through an entire 90 minutes.

The upside to this whole exercise in masochism is that I am completely worked out, showered & dressed for the day by about 6:30, so once my DH leaves I can get to work on whatever projects I have scheduled for the day. I've always been a person who loves feeling "ahead of the curve." When I worked as a facilities & project person in my previous life, I was to work by 6:00 am each morning because I like getting my brain mentally prepared for the challenges of the day before the work days officially begins for other people. So, doing something similar in my home life appeals to me on some level.

ON the other hand... like I said, running at 4:30 is crazy tough for me. I have a friend (you know who you are) who constantly amazes me by going for a run every morning even earlier than this. While I am completely in awe of this, I'm not sure I will ever get used to doing something similar myself. Yes, my day might be officially underway nice and early, but it might come at the expense of having a completely satisfying, accomplished-feeling workout. These workouts go a long way toward keeping me humble. I often end up playing little mind games with myself just to get through the thing... is this a good thing or a bad? I just don't know.

In the meantime, I just keep on keepin' on - getting my miles in each week and trying to continue on the path to improvement little by little each week in my treadmill bedecked winter cave.

Today's Run (an early day as you can tell from the fact that my pace was actually slower than my long run day!)
7.0 Miles
5.24 mph
11:27 pace

Monday's Long Run
13.1 Miles
5.25 mph
11:26 pace

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Maybe my brain is just oxygen starved...

So very few people in my "regular" life can appreciate what we runners go through on a regular basis in order to be runners. They know that anything over a mile is "a lot" and that we are some of the very few people that will appear in crowd of several thousand people without showering, without makeup WHILE wearing spandex. To most of the people in my "regular" life, this just boggles the mind. The only other people who might consider doing this (at least the no showering/no makeup thing) are those crazy campers... yeah, okay, I'm one of those too... so that's a second strike that makes me look just plain weird to the people in my regular life.

I guess all of this is to say that I wanted to share something with you all out there, my cyber running buddies that many people just won't appreciate. A few weeks ago I posted a blog about how I had multiple toenails that are receding. Well, on the up side of things, I'm happy to report these toenails are all still hanging in there. None of them has really receded that much further and I'm starting to reconcile myself to the fact that I may just have 1/2 toenails for the rest of my life as a runner. What I hadn't expected is what happened this week during my long run... my toes weren't particularly happy about Tuesday's run, but then they never are. Let's face it, 13 miles is a lot to subject any part of your body to and the toes are going to suffer, so I really hadn't given it that much consideration until I was done an peeled my icky, sweaty socks off. It was then that I noticed it... a blister in a spot where I used to have toenail! Agh! Talk about adding insult to injury!

Of course, my brain, being the sick and twisted thing it is, took this to the next logical step... what happens if I start to develop a callous where this blister currently resides? I already have callouses coming up on the tips of most of my toes from blisters that used to come up there on a regular basis. Now, if one were to develop where the toenail used to be, would this one lone toe have a "callous helmet" of sorts covering the entire top of that toe? Hmm... There's some food for thought!

Anyway, I know that my running buddies will appreciate that sad irony of this situation and maybe won't see it as quite as "totally out there" bizarre as those "regular" people around me who don't choose to go pound pavement on regular basis... at least I hope this is the case!

Tuesday's Run
13.0 Miles
5.26 mph
11:24 pace

Monday, October 31, 2011

October's Monthly Numbers... September's too!

My DH took the day off work today, so up until this point I haven't run today... will probably put off my long run until tomorrow which is the start of the new month, so I thought this was a good time to go ahead and post October's numbers.

Okay, I'll post September's numbers too, since I don't think I ever got around to doing that last month... oops.

Neither month's numbers are that impressive in the grand scheme of things. In September I had the back issue which forced me to skip a long run and shorten a couple of regular runs, but I really can't tell you what happened in October. I guess skipping today plays a part in that... if I had run today, my mileage would be up closer to 110/111 for the month. Oh well. Like all things, one set of numbers is not going to dictate my life. My monthly average is still pretty good and baring catastrophe, I will pop up over the 1K mark here in the next week or so. Yea! 

October Miles: 98.3
Total 2011 Miles: 982.8
Monthly Average: 98.3

September Miles: 103.1
Total 2011 Miles: 884.5
Monthly Average: 98.3

Friday, October 28, 2011

Totally off topic... but I just had to share

My DH found these through his Google+ account. They are so wrong in so many ways...

If you want to see the rest, here's the link...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Girlfriends' Half

Well, Sunday was the Girlfriend's Half Marathon. I guess as with most things in life, it was neither all good or all bad, but a mix of both. I had really hoped for a general leaning towards more of the good stuff, but I'll take a 50/50 mix, or whatever my personal blend was for the day.
For this run, they hand out necklaces at the finish instead of medals... cool!
On the really good side: I must say, I really like the Vancouver, WA runs I've done better than most of the Portland ones. Yeah, there are a few "can't miss" events in Portland, but overall, the runs in the 'Couv seem to be much more scenic, with less industrial areas to navigate... and so far, no trains to wait for. A common occurrence for many of the downtown Portland runs. Both the Girlfriends' Half and the Vancouver USA Marathon/Half had the majority of their courses along the Columbia River where there are many parks and running trails, not to mention gorgeous views of the river. Fortunately, for me, the hills in Girlfriends' were pretty insignificant compared to the VUM, but unfortunately, the worst hill is in mile 11-12, well after most of the gas tank (at least for me in this run) had been depleted of fuel.They also both wind through officers' row in Fort Vancouver; a scenic street lined with trees, historic officers' homes and a parade grounds that is now used more for Frisbee and picnics than it is for military exercises.

The weather on Sunday was great for running. It was slightly overcast with the sun coming out for a while during the race. The temps were in the 50's and there was only a slight breeze to contend with (of course, I felt it the most again during those last couple of miles). Most of us that live around here had been watching the weather with a nervous eye since it had rained cats & dogs for most of the previous two weeks. But the running weather gods seem to like the Girlfriends' Half... fortunately for us!

In other good news, I did make a new PR. My time was 2:43:32. Not anything too amazing, but it is about five minutes faster than my time for the Vancouver Half, so I guess I shouldn't complain. Too bad... I'm complaining anyway... My training pace for the last few weeks has been SO MUCH better than this. I was really anticipating coming in well under 2:40:00. I knew that 2:30 was probably asking too much, but everything pointed to 2:40 being a realistic goal. Alas, it wasn't to be. I prepped in the morning as I usually do for my training runs (not forgetting to take my coffee like I did for Hippie Chick) and thought everything was going to be fine. Nope. About mile 9 I bonked... hard. For most of miles 9 & 10, I ended up doing a pathetic combo of running and walking... heavy on the walking. I also had to play some serious mental games with myself to not break out the balloons and throw myself a big ol' pity party. I was finally able to convince myself that the whole point of the race, for me, is to finish... and even more to the point, to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. This became my mantra.... and eventually it kicked my brain's ass into gear. Thanks to this and the gels they were handing out on the course (blech! I hate how they taste, but it's a much more concentrated shot of stuff than my Shot Bloks), I was able to pick up the run again... at least much better than I had been. Much more running and much less walking.

The people on the course were fabulous. Both the event volunteers and all the fans lining the sides of the roads with their cowbells and noise clackers. It was great to have such awesome cheering and some really cool empowering signs for everyone to feel their strength and their fierceness (to use a much overused cliche). I was a little concerned when I first learned that we'd be using mostly public restrooms in the parks and in establishments that had volunteered their potties for the race (such as the restaurants along the way), but I am happy to report that my worries were completely unfounded. There were plenty of opportunities for potty breaks for anyone who need them. I only had to stop once and the restroom I stopped at only had three women in front of me in line... much better than the bathroom Heather & I decided to skip at the Shamrock Run that had closer to 30 people in front of us! Yikes!

The only crummy encounter I had with anyone all day was with the manager directing parking lot traffic at the Fred Meyer. And while she wasn't rude to me, personally, she was definitely harried and willing to share that put-upon attitude with all of us who got stuck while she directed cars out of the lot. Of course, this was pretty much during my "bonk" phase of the run, so I wasn't pre-disposed to cut her any slack on her attitude. I'm sure she had drawn the short-straw among all the Fred Meyer managers working that morning and was just really struggling with her happy face by the time I got to that point in the race. I might not have been any better had I been in her position!

There were lots of activities and festivities for anyone who wanted to stick around after the race. I didn't stick around as I was feeling pretty wiped out after the race and sitting around in sweaty race clothes with even just the slight breeze blowing was pretty miserable for me. I told Heather that I looked like a drowned rat after the race, and looking at the photos from the professional photographer pretty much confirmed this without a doubt. I don't know how those women do it who come across the finish line looking only slightly the worse for wear. That will NEVER be me. LOL! It took me a little bit to feel up to driving home, but once I did, I hoped in the car with heat on high to keep me from going hypothermic during the drive. Once I got home and jumped in the nice, hot shower, I began to feel like an actual human again. Yea!

To celebrate my accomplishment, my DH and a friend of ours took me out to City State Diner for breakunupper. I think that's what they call it when you cram breakfast, lunch & supper all into one meal. For those of you who live locally, let me personally recommend City State to you. It's off 28th & NE Burnside. It's a little loud and a little hip (lots of piercings & tattoos, but hey this is Portlandia, isn't it???), but they have awesome food. For me it was a great reward for a job (mostly) well done.