I made a mistake! Somehow, while I was still composing my thoughts, I accidentally posted the drafted beginning of a blog entry, and it was seen by people… and I feel a little… naked. (Yikes!!!)
Fortunately, blog posts can be moved back to “Draft” (who knew, and Hooray!!!), so you will see a better version of the story you may have started reading and thought, “Hm… This does not seem to have a true ending” because… well, it is not yet finished! I’ll get those thoughts corralled and edited, and out to you all soon. Thank you kindly for your understanding while I remove, edit, and complete that entry.
Today, I want to share with you the run I had the pleasure of going on with my friends (nice and early to beat the heat) on Sunday. We started at a track, quickly made it to a trail for an intensely UPHILL climb, we passed the Zoo, and the beautiful Rose Garden, and made our way back into the city to finish our gorgeous, wooded, challenging, and fun run.
We started in the trees, and headed for the clouds…
Toward the end, we may have gotten a little silly.
(It is important to cross the road as a group and stay visible to traffic… We made the process a little more fun).
All in all, this being my first eight mile run experience in over three months, it was great! Although my quads felt like they wanted to remove themselves from my body and take a nap nearing the last half mile after all that up and down, I really, really enjoyed this run.
And spending time with those wonderful women.
(My synchronized running team). 😉
How did you move your body this weekend?
What is the goofiest thing you’ve done during a workout?
Sometimes we do things and then realize how silly we are, right? Such as running only once (maybe twice) a week while “training” for a 20 mile race…
Apparently, (according to my most recent history of recorded runs in the months of February, March and April) I no longer feel that 20 miles is a huge challenge. I know if I stay hydrated and bring enough nutrition, I’ll be fine. My legs will carry me over the distance. Sure, I’ll be a little tired and sore for a couple of days, but that’s true after any hard workout (including yoga). So, while watching each day of the week pass, the only real training I was doing was in the form of a long run on Saturdays, which is fortunately coordinated by a dear friend, and I love catching up with the girls on the weekend, so I make it a point to attend. During the week I got out once, maybe twice for two to six miles. My total weekly mileage may have reached (almost) 35 miles (only on one week of training – and that included a 19 mile Saturday run).
What happened to my drive? And the clarity I felt when preparing for my first 50k? At that point in time, my only concern was being able to accomplish that goal – to finish running 31.8 miles without injury. And I trained hard. I got out for every single run in my training plan. And now what? I had a race planned; a goal with a date printed in ink on my calendar, why was I unable to motivate myself to get running in a way that would have helped me complete this challenge more efficiently?
Maybe it was the distance. 20 miles is an odd number. I don’t know if there exists a training plan for races between half marathon and marathon distance. (…This feels like a terrible excuse – cancel that). Whatever the case may be, I am changing my strategy. It’s time to get races on the calendar, and to plan my workouts – because not only do I want to be better prepared and efficient during my next race, I want to be better at running. Stronger, maybe even faster.
Fortunately, despite my lack of training or strategy, The Peterson Ridge Rumble went well. The weather was great, and although the terrain was primarily dry, dusty, and rocky, I was able to get a few good shots:
Ultimately, I have learned that I need to plan ahead in order to meet any training goals. I was able to finish the race a bit faster than I expected, in 4:15 by my watch (4:20 by the website – I stopped for at least 5 minutes for picture-taking in the first half, and toward the end of the race, I just let the clock keep running. Ah the life of an iPhoneographer runner).
Tomorrow evening I intend to do some research, detail which races I will sign up for and run for the rest of the year, and create a running/workout schedule to follow.
Because – speed. And consistency. And all good things that putting energy and focus into something you love will do to improve your results.
Now, I would love to hear your “ah, hah” moment.
Have you ever realized you were not doing yourself any favors by cutting yourself slack while training? (0h, boy!) And what did you do once you came do that conclusion?
Do you have a favorite weekly workout schedule?
I am strongly considering running long on both Saturday and Sunday – I just love getting out for a while on my day off – it feels so good to spend time out enjoying my run without the rush of “I have to get to work” or “I need to get home and cook dinner” clouding my brain. What are your thoughts on doubling up on the weekend?
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend run! (I’m getting out tomorrow!)
The past month, finally (nearly) finished with the painting that needs to happen in my home (yes, there will be a before and after post), I have been able to muster the energy to get out and run before work. (Less late nights with a paintbrush in hand). My-oh-my the glory of moving.
And not a moment too soon!
There is only about a week and a half of running days left until the Peterson Ridge Rumble, and three of my friends and I will be tackling the 20 mile distance. After running 19 miles on Sunday, I have no doubt we will all finish. It is likely to be a gorgeous race day.
I have been putting so much effort into my home (yes – an apartment) that I have been neglecting not only my daily moving meditation (running), but also my written outlet – as well as providing fabulous city pictures to all of you (I am not trying to bribe you into moving to Portland, but seriously. It’s pretty great here).
Here are a few from my most recent running adventures:
I am looking forward to adding a couple of races between now and Fall. I think I will sign up for the Portland Marathon this year for the first time, so October is filled.
Any suggestions for Spring and Summer NW area races that you have loved within a few hour’s drive of the Portland Metro area?
Two weeks ago, I decided to commit to get back into the habit and lifestyle of being a Runner again. I found a marathon training program and another for a 50k, which I intend to work through, back-to-back. And you know, as an experienced runner, you know you’re supposedto ease back into running if your mileage is not up where you “need it to be” for your training.
… So of course (as an experienced runner) I decided to jump right in. Head first. I ran seven miles to work with a friend Thursday for the first time ever (pretty cool to get to run to work), and went out yesterday for my first 10 mile run since … Well, honestly, sometime last September.
Now here I am, beginning Week 5 of 18 in Marathon training (I skipped the first two weeks because I’m already a runner, after all), making an all-natural and organic home-remedy from Simple Green Smoothies of lemon, ginger and honey, hoping with all hopes that this will kick the sore throat I am beginning to develop before it becomes a full-blown-sickness-thing.
I am overdoing it, and it is showing up in my body.
The classic conundrum now begs my attention: how do I make the choice to slow down, scale-back, and let my body heal when I have goals to meet?
I am registered for the 20 mile race at the Peterson Ridge Rumble happening April 12th. I’m excited, nervous, and thrilled to have a goal distance to train toward. And now I’m afraid I’ll fall behind. Because I started behind.
The past two weeks have been … stressful, to put it lightly. I moved two weeks ago, I’m looking for opportunities to move forward in my career, and I am feeling my way through a transition in perspective in life, and finally learning what is really important to me.
And believe me, it has been one heck of a long haul.
I find myself experiencing moments of jealousy. People that I work with that are really happy doing what they love: how did they find their path so quickly? The entrepreneur friend who has opened a coffee shop, or a boutique, or is a designer creating art and making a living: these people are my heroes, and it is incredibly inspiring to see them succeed at business they passionately worked toward.
How did they manage to do these fantastic things so early in life?
And why do I feel so behind in the game?
I have always been successful at what I put my mind to, and I am immensely grateful for this ability. In college it was easy because you had to choose one thing to study and get your degree. And I’ll admit, after graduation and landing a “real job” I didn’t feel the need to pursue anything in particular besides enjoying life in that moment. Now I find myself unable to find my focus; to choose one thing to put my energy toward and tackle. Except…
I know I want to run. And race.
And putting my mind and body out there in the elements, asking it to perform like it did last summer post Newport Marathon, pre-Siskiyou Outback, without a proper gradual increase is causing a mild rebellion. So, despite my brain yelling at me to get out and run, I am going to sleep in tomorrow, have an easy morning, and head to the office. Drink tea instead of coffee, and eat wholesome foods to nourish my body and soul back to health.
Sometimes it is hard to listen to that little voice in your head, urging you to do what is best for you.
Right now, I choose to listen to the murmurs, and hope to all grace and goodness that soon I’ll get the message that all is well and I’m free to run circles around my currently un-trained running self. With any luck, whispered tidbits of wisdom will float through my mind and begin guiding me, providing a sense of focus for my soul to settle and commit to a purposeful pursuit.
Letting go of the anxiety of not knowing and using the logical brain to think everything through, and beginning to allow the guidance of feeling to take over is my new objective.
I would love to hear from you, your thoughts and what is working for you on your journey through life:
How do you feel your way through life?
How do you know when you are being guided?
When did you discover your greatest desire and passion?
Thanks so much for taking the time to ponder possibilities, share successes, and contribute to this magnificent conversation about life and the pursuit of passion.
As I sit here in the nook of my kitchen, on the radiator warmed bench at eight o’clock in the evening on Thursday night, I know I should be packing. My intention for the evening was to make at least one trip over to my new apartment (yes, to those of you who know me, I am moving again) to transport some of the little things that I can fit in my pint-size vehicle. But when I got home from work, my stomach growling – reminding me I need to eat, I got out the leftover soup which is basically the last bit of food left in my refrigerator, and set it to warm on the stove. Immediately, the desire to bake biscuits to go with my dinner hit me. I found a recipe to reference, throwing together a mish-mash of different gluten-free flours to make this last-minute addition come to fruition.
This week at work has been a little overwhelming, and trying to spend my evenings working to move my home… It really brings up the urge to bake! I get so much joy out of creating food, and somehow it is incredibly relaxing, so I tend to give in when inspired (last night I made cookies).
Now having eaten my delicious, purple soup (this is what happens when you throw all the vegetables in your fridge into a pot with some water and rice, and one of the veggies is a purple cabbage), and indulging in three gluten-free biscuits with lavender pear fig jam, I listen to the falling Splat! of the rain draining off the roof of my building, and the desire to go anywhere has vanished.
I really am looking forward to this new place; somehow I feel like this is some kind of “reset” button on my life, and I am excited to see what kind of changes come out of this new home.
I will, however, miss this view:
I guess I’ll have to go running uphill in the morning to find my own view!Like this one: (unfortunately for me, the lot overlooking this section of Portland is now for sale – fortunately for the future home owner, there is an incredible city-scape laid out before the lot)
So tonight, at 8:38pm, warm, fed, and pretty tired, although deterred by the rain, I will make my trek. One small trip, if only because I promised myself that I would, and I know it will provide me a small sense of accomplishment (and avoid all those upset-at-self feelings).
How do you stay motivated when the rain has you down?
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and welcome you to leave a comment below.
P.S. As I wrote that last line committing to venture out in the wet, it started pouring. …Where are my boots…?
For a week and a half, I have been experimenting with eliminating sugar, starch, dairy, soy, all non-fibrous grains, beans… Pretty much everything except for protein and vegetables in order to sort out some digestive conundrums. And truthfully, this has made running more difficult – the source of nutrition my body once found to convert quickly to energy is not available, and I have only run twice in the last week! I have however, chosen to create an intentional practice of yoga while my body is learning how to move again with a different energy source.
And somewhat astonishingly, throughout this giant change of diet, I have not been lacking – I definitely do not miss sugar (although occasionally I crave a dessert or some fruit at breakfast). I have been preparing and cooking Every Single Meal for myself. This is a big change for me (I like to go out and socialize with friends at places where they make food for you), and I am finding such great pleasure in spending this time – doing something goodfor Me. I do believe this two and a half week change is going to make a lasting impression on the way I eat for the rest of my life. This will be a change to better my health, and a shift to buying products with a higher consciousness of the food I choose to support and the effect my purchases have on people, animals, and the planet.
Over the last few hot, beautiful sunny days I have found myself in a very different state of mind. I feel mildly euphoric and incredibly grateful for the life I am living at this moment – regardless of whether or not I worked exceptionally late that day. I find myself running into genuinely happy people of all walks of life, and enjoying my life in the city more each day (this includes the grey, bearded, homeless men smoking on the sidewalk early in the morning who politely apologized for their colorful conversation as I ran by. They were lovely gentlemen).
This shift is awesome.
I am lighter, happier, more productive with my days, and sleeping incredibly well at night – and waking before my alarm every single day.
Isn’t it amazing how a small change of habit can dramatically change your perspective and the entirety of your surroundings?
What are you doing each day to feel good in your own skin? How has this changed how your day-to-day activities?
Sunday, the forecast called for 91 degrees and sunny. Arguably, this was a great day to get out early and run it out to beat the heat.
But I wasn’t really feeling all that ready to pull on my spandex and running shoes when I woke up before seven am. I loligagged, checking email. perusing Instagram, making coffee, eating a light breakfast, and finally, after nine o’clock, feeling ready enough to walk out and get some miles under my belt, a deep, rumbling growl came from the sky, ending with a loud Clap! Thunder!
When I looked outside upon the threatening storm, I only had one thought:
“Is it a bad idea to go run in the forest when there is a storm coming? … Or a really good idea?”
Fortunately for me, after a few sprinkles, and some laughter-provoking bellows from the sky, the sun broke through, providing great glimpses of gold along the wooded trail in the forest.
Half-way through my run, I met the top of the hill at the Pittock Mansion, a wonderful historic home that was celebrating their 100th year with cake at 2pm! I was about three and a half hours early, so instead of eating cake, I took in the view of the city.
Due to the heat we have been having, the sky was pretty hazy, and the cloudiness only contributed to the murkiness of the air. Despite those factors, it was still gorgeous!
I made it back home in record time – apparently the repetition helps with trail navigation when it comes to anticipating rock and tree obstacles – and not a moment too soon! The clouds once again took up their song, singing in that lovely, rumbling bass… And soon erupting with rain and large chunks of hail. Timed that run perfectly. By accident.
On this particular run I wore my trusty trail shoes the Nike Zoom Terra Kiger (I am loving them, and it’s not just me! They got a great review from Runner’s World, as well!) I love how comfortable they are: supportive and flexible while being a low-top. Not to mention the great color (Dark Chino/Light lucid Green-Black-Turbo Green combo makes me happy to strap in).
I also wore a new pair of Nike Capris: The Nike Legendary Tight in the fantastic Turbo Green/Obsidian/Black color (which nicely matches the shoes). These tights have a super high waist and fit phenomenally. They are incredibly comfortable. I honestly felt less jiggle, there was no muffin top over the waistband (there is no elastic band at the waist – just great fabric), and, at the risk of sounding completely silly, it almost felt like I wasn’t wearing any pants.
They’re that comfortable. I suggest you give them a try.
For any of you wondering, these are my own words, I am not sponsored by Nike nor was I given free product. I bought these items, and truly love them.
Do you have a favorite shoe (past or present) that you cannot live without?
Here’s to happy running, staying cool, and avoiding getting hit by lightning!
Well, I don’t exactly mean that literally, but this was the last marathon distance run I will complete before running the Siskiyou Outback 50k at the end of this month. And I can tell you very plainly – I am ready for the taper.
I laid in bed for an extra hour this morning debating pros and cons of an early run, and trying to convince myself that I wanted to get up, throw on my shoes, and go run up some major hills in the forest. And even after a small breakfast and some coffee, my body and brain both responded a resounding: ‘No F-ing way!’ (My eyelids slowly drooping back to the closed position post-breakfast, after I found myself, once again, lying on my bed).
Today, I am exhausted. It is my last day of high-volume running, and now my time on the trail (for the marathon follow-up of ten miles) is moved from this morning to an evening adventure (once it is no longer nearly 90 degrees outside). I was pretty useless until about noon, when I stopped reading and social-media flipping to cook a real meal because my stomach was growling. Perhaps that small breakfast is good on normal days, but it is possible my body required a little more caloric intake today to feel fully prepared to do … anything.
Running 26 miles, I am learning, is (quite understandably) taxing. Each time I run that distance, I somehow manage to forget how much time my body wants post-run to simply rest. And eat. And eat again. Surprisingly, the actual act of running has become much easier. 26 miles feels like what 12 miles did a year ago, and 12 miles is no longer a daunting figure having become a routine training run that is reminiscent to how 5 miles affect me one year ago.
The body adapts, and truthfully, the amount of recovery time is likewise reduced for these long runs; I now feel much better at 4 o’clock in the afternoon the day after my marathon run, whereas after the St. George Marathon last year, I went out for a very short 1.5 mile jog-hop the day after my race and three days post-race I was still sore and waiting to feel “normal” again. It’s almost unfathomable – I will run 10 miles today after 26 yesterday.
…How did I get here?
When did running for a couple of hours become “the norm”?
My running buddy and I discussed this ‘funny’ notion while out tackling hills in yesterday’s sunshine. Saturday morning really was perfect for a long, long, Long run. 🙂
I am so grateful and feel blessed that I get to spend great portions of these long distance Saturday mornings with good friends to share stories, encourage each other, and generally make the workout a really good time.
A big shout-out to my running buddies (near and far) & Saturday’s Run group: Thank you SO much for being runners. My life would not be the same without each and every one of you.
Here’s to running healthy, happy, and strong!
(…And I’m off to tackle the next ten…!)
Sunday, day two of weekend workout 50k training, I decided to use my “short” run wisely and head into the hills. It was a double-whammy of hill workouts, this weekend; time to change it up, strap on my new trail shoes, and head out the door for some real, butt-kicking, rock and tree-toe obstacle-full muddy trails of fun. In my brand-new shoes.
The soles of Nike Zoom Terra Kiger have an amazingsticky rubber. When I tried them on in the store, I sounded like I had just come in from the rain with rubber sneakers on – Super squeaky! On my mile and a half trek over pavement to the trail, running in these was mildly difficult. On the one hand, they offer tremendous light support, and on the other – it is SO much more support than I am used to, as I generally wear the Nike Free Flyknit (which may almost feel like being barefoot in comparison). The girl working in the shoe department was aghast that I ran marathons in the Free – apparently it is not designed for that kind of work. I like taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary. I love my Free’s.
As much as wearing the Terra Kiger on the pavement was giving my calves and hamstrings a stupendous workout, as soon as I hit dirt in these bad boys, it all made sense. They have enough support to keep your foot solid on the ground, and they feel incredibly stable, yet the sole is light and flexible enough that you can still feel the rocks and dips and bumps in the trail. My first run in these shoes was eight miles long, five and a half on trails, and I came out of this test run completely unscathed: No blisters, raw spots, or extraordinary soreness.
Yes, I do believe the Nike Zoom Terra Kiger will work for my 50k (Siskiyou Outback, here I come!)
Although the day started out overcast and with a slight chill (which I was grateful for near the end of this run), the forest was gently bathed in a wash of soft, cool light.
The view from the top of the hill at the Pittock Mansion gave me a pleasant reprieve – a place to catch my breath, take in the city, and stop to smell the roses.
The descent down the hill was, of course, much quicker than my climb up to the top. (This is the stuff negative splits are made of, right?) 51 minutes up, and 43 minutes down. I was cautious, and took more care to watch for obstacles on the downhill leg of my journey, especially after the warning from my 50k running-mate that morning, complete with a picture of her bleeding knee, offering sage advice: “do try to pick up your feet.”
Overall, it was a great insight to a different type of running. Trail running is so much more active. I tend to get in a zone on my daily run, pleasant smile on my face, looking around, observing my fellow runners, saying good morning, and generally feeling at peace, quietly plodding along with joy.
On the trials, the “zone” is a totally different place. It requires focus, constant attention to detail in your surroundings, and persistence. Less than halfway up my climb, I was out of breath, quads and rear burning with the effort, pulse beating, and my heart beating at my breast as though it was going to jump from my chest in a fit of agony and lay panting on the ground. I effectively learned on Sunday that I might be a little out of shape for a race that takes place on trails.
But you can bet that I’m not going to let that little fact deter me.
To all my fellow runners anticipating your next race: Here’s to hill training and working through the pain, because on the other side of that discomfort lies a greater level of fitness. And satisfaction!
How do you train for a trail race? How many of your work outs per week do you devote to hills and trails?
with joy in running (and breaking through past limitations),
Saturday my friends chose a challenging run full of hills. Or one really long hill. Starting from the flat lands of the close-in East side of Hawthorne across the bridge, through downtown, up Washington Park, and finishing (the first half of the run) at the top of the Portland Zoo parking lot. The morning was surprisingly cloudy and cool. I had been watching the weather forecast all week, anticipating the weekend’s delightful sunshine, but the little yellow ball of glowing happiness kept moving to the right, just one more day… every day. As a native Oregonian, I suppose I should not be surprised by the peek-a-boo sunshine, especially since we have not yet reached the glorious Fourth of July after which Summer officially begins in Portland. (We’re almost there!!! Can you feel it??)
The path of great gains in elevation lead us past the well-known International Rose Test Garden, wherein visitors can gain a pretty perspective of downtown cityscapes while filling their noses with Eau de Rose Varieties. (These roses smell so good!)
We learned that bunny rabbits have a strong affinity for the rose petals, as well, but they find them much more edible than most of us humans.
I am so grateful that we went out and trekked our way up this never-ending hill. It inspired me to endeavor to conquer more aggressive hills, on trials, with rocks and tree-roots, and mud (more on this soon). I have resolved to make at least one of my weekday run adventures on dirt, with many hills. With the Siskiyou Outback quickly approaching, I need to get a little more serious about proper true hilly trail running.
Does anyone want to run around Timberline with me? 🙂
The last few months have been a little frustrating. I have found myself both loathing running and relishing the time spent solo, pounding the pavement. My body has definitely adapted to the increased mileage on the weekends, yet I still find myself lacking the energy to get up and go on weekdays. My new secret weapon for the long run is major carbs Friday night. I tend to have a fairly simple diet of protein, fruits, and veggies, and over the last few weeks have found in order to keep up energy and stamina, I apparently need to add a few more calories than my normal diet provides. (Who am I kidding? When you burn an extra 3000-5000 calories per week, of course you need to eat more!)
I guess there is an adjustment period to learning exactly how to eat MORE food. (As I write this at 10:30pm, my stomach is growling… Time to have a late night snack!) Before the Newport Marathon I was baking bread for snacking on, and I think it may be time to do so again. This coming weekend is conveniently another 36 mile weekend, and our famous fireworks holiday. I plan to go to bed very shortly after all the loud popping noises cease. 🙂
To my friends: I hope you are adjusting to summer training, feeding your body well, and finding joy in the everyday…!