March Motivation?

Half the time I feel like I should let this blog die. I mean, was it really alive? Maybe in 2013. Then I vacillate back to that it provides me with motivation & self-accountability. Plus, It can be nice to use it as a journal. So, today there is a post.

My friend Alex has been CRUSHING his runs and is super motivated. See, we joke that we “suck at this” when we run marathons together. He’s a great middle/back-of-the-pack, party buddy. He’s got an ambitious race schedule this year and I can’t be the only one sucking in the back anymore! I love that his motivation is getting me motivated! Not to the point of wanting to do 8mi weekday training runs, BUT, some stuff. And that stuff is usually a little ass-kicking in other ways.

The excitement of seeing my goal of 50 states getting close  (hopefully next year!) is another motivator. Of course I don’t like “easy”, big road races. Some of the ones I’ve picked are difficult…*ahem* AZ and NV. Hard! (race reports coming soon)

Finally, Pikes Peak marathon registration is this weekend. The race that was the hardest race I’ve done besides the 100. Harder than 50mi, even the one in the blizzard. Far harder. I said last year that I wouldn’t do it again. No way. Too hard. Took me over a week to feel functional and recovered. (It would help if I had trained) Naturally, this means I’m planning on registering for the Double. Because once up the mountain isn’t enough. Lets do it twice. Half Saturday (all the way to the top), full Sunday (up and down). It’s going to kill me.

The only way it won’t kill me? The only way I can have a CHANCE finishing the full? Training. Hopefully this motivation sticks around. Hopefully it rubs off and I’ll want to keep logging my workouts here.

image

Crowded for a weekday afternoon!

Tuesday 3/8: Up the Incline, up a little ways past the Incline to where it connects to Barr trail, then down the trail. I usually just go straight down after I finish, but I want to keep doing more miles up (hitting Barr Camp at mile 6) as time permits.

image

First of many Barr Trail runs. Barr, you will be my friend!

 

image

See that dark figure? That was a guy in a wool coat, work slacks, and brand new trail shoes. I suspect that he is in town for work, picked up some shoes are REI, then went to the Incline–to say he did. Typical tourists. Oh, and no water. They never carry water.

3/9: Crossfit. Hour of snatches. Form work, then 20 min of set building, then 3 reps every 30 seconds of power snatch (60lbs). It felt like Tabata snatches and it got hard. I felt very uncoordinated and my form was very off. Oh well, I lifted weight and put it down for most of an hour.

3/10: I wanted to do the Incline again, but I was too busy.
AM: dog park walk, 40min.
mid-day: Tabata run: got my pace down to 7 and some upper 6’s at the end of the sets. And I didn’t feel like I was going to die. Progress!
Tabata Kettlebells: 36lbs. 12 swings per set.

Friday won’t be much of anything. We’re busy all day. This weekend though…I’ll need to find some other dirt to hit since I don’t go anywhere near the Pikes Peak/Incline trails on the weekend. Ciao!

“That looks like fun!”

The worst words one can mutter when looking at the CrossFit WOD. Sigh.

So today I was pretty excited about the WOD!
Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 8.56.47 PMRunning: check
Heavy kettlebell swings: check
Double Unders: check

All 3…for 30minutes. At altitude (no, I’m not acclimated yet). Sigh. Wait, I can’t sigh. I can’t breathe.
So the WOD was:

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 8.51.21 PM

Every 5 minutes for 30 minutes. I averaged about a minute rest at the end of each round: Not. Enough.

In the class, I did fine. I went heavier on the KB (45lbs) than all the other ladies except one. Was really glad I didn’t stick with the 53lb, like I had originally picked up. Whew.
The one faster female (ex track runner) crushed me the first 2 rounds, then she really fell off at the 3…then nowhere close to the front by the last 2 rounds. So, even though I’m not acclimated, TERRIBLY out of shape, overweight…this proves: CrossFitters don’t run.
Now, I don’t either, but I guess I’m damn proud of myself for knowing how to pace, and mentally am tough enough to push it moderately hard for 400-800m (or longer). In my mind…it’s just so short. At least I’m good at something. The bar. It’s low.
Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.02.26 PMRounds 3 and 4, I was really cursing myself for not knowing where my inhaler is, that I haven’t found a Primary Care Dr yet and haven’t gotten a new Rx. I *NEED* to get that done before my next marathon and before Pikes Peak marathon ramps up.

Running: each round was 2min or under. Not nearly my best, but pretty happy with that for where I’m at right now. If I had to hold an 8min/mi, it would hurt bad. But, it’s coming back.
KB: swings were fine. I could have done 53lbs, but I probably wouldn’t have finished each round in time. So, I judged well.
DU’s: They’re coming back! After a short breathe break after the swings, I was able to string together 15-20 each round. *golf clap*
Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 8.55.28 PMFinally, Coach was AWESOME today. She was high as a kite on caffiene, waaay too much coffee. It was hilarious. It made the class very fun –but still motivating and she was still respectful, respected, and in charge. The energy was great!

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 9.10.24 PM
Tomorrow: I’m sure it won’t be so pretty. In fact, it’s a suck-fest. I’m not sure if I’ll do the WOD, maybe only the strength portion (Back squats: whooo, hello ass!) and then the 5k “fun run” in the evening. We’ll see. My point is: not every day is a good day. Even when it it’s horrible and amazing at the same time.

Hope you enjoyed all the memes…I didn’t take any pictures today. Haha.

NH/ME Double: NH. I’m not very good at this.

Click me to see panoramic!

Click me to see panoramic!

What do you do when you have an annoying knee issue because you were clumsy and slid down a wet hill? You go do 2 marathons that you’re completely untrained for, of course. The trip was already booked, my husband really wanted to do NH since this weekend was peak foliage and it was his only chance at a marathon this season since it’s starting to get too cold up there. Maine was sold out so he couldn’t get in to the one on Sunday…so, I did them both. There was no way I was going to sit out while he did the full with my friends.

Hello, Beantown.

Hello, Beantown. I’ll spend Monday walking all over you.

Flew into Boston Friday mid-day after a horrifying landing in a severe storm in ATL. A Maniac friend of mine gave me a quick ride up to Bristol, NH. We hit race registration and that’s when I finally decided to register. The rain & cold had stalled and the weather was not supposed to get bad until after 2p on race day. So, as long as it didn’t rain the whole race, I wouldn’t be completely miserable. To quote one of the pickup volunteers….”You flew here all the way from New Orleans and you don’t know if you’re doing the race? You’re still debating? People do this about 10k’s, not marathons.” Haha. Yeah, well. I’ve done enough races in shitty weather (I’m looking at you, Kansas blizzard, 20 degrees in Tulsa Rt. 66, cold storm in Little Rock, and storming Cajun Coyote 100) and wasn’t in the mood to do it again.

So, we registered and went to the race dinner. I normally don’t do pre-race pasta dinners, but this town was tiny and everyone was at the dinner. My friends said it was the best one they’ve ever been to, as it’s homemade. Sure enough, they were right. A bunch of grandparents made 10 different sauces to choose from, cookies, salad, etc. All-you-can-eat and it was real food. I had a sausage and pepper sauce and it was delicious.

10689812_10152437869457794_7323322614554920204_nRace day: hung out with a bunch of Maniac friends before the start. I asked Alex what pace he was planning on running (he’s training for 100 and was also doing the Double) so I knew he wasn’t running hard. He said, “Whatever pace you’re running.” Oh, sweet relief!  I was dreading doing the whole thing alone since my heart wasn’t in it and my knee definitely wasn’t in it. I was so thankful. So, off we went running 2:1 intervals from the start.

Little Lake SunapeeThe race: GORGEOUS. We ran around Newfound Lake. Wonderful volunteers. Great views. Hills. Rolling hills. I thought the race was going to be flat. Wrong. Not much to say about the race itself. We just kept on the interval. Told stories. Joked. Laughed. One guy was on the side of the road cheering on runners and said, “Oh! You two must be married.” We both laughed…I said, “if we were, we wouldn’t be having this much fun together.” So Alex said, “Oh no, our husbands left their wives behind!” As K and his partner Shawn are much faster than us. Somewhere around there he said, “I’m not very good at this.” I replied, “Yeah, I suck at this too.” Oh, we had good laughs about that all weekend and anytime something got hard or someone at an aid station said something along the lines of, “Oh, you two look great! we replied…”I’m not very good at this.” We’re just doing 2 marathons…but we’re not very good at this.

How about some pictures? There was nothing remarkable about the running, except the scenery.

IMG_7373

Cute towns

IMG_7383

Around and around the lake we go

We ran by  Sculptured Rock park and this was about 20 feet off the road. Alex and I took a pit stop here to take pics and put on our ponchos (and it only rained for about 3 minutes).

Time out for history

Time out for history

IMG_7382IMG_7379

Ran by a barn & B&B that was being set up for a wedding. I’m not into weddings AT ALL, but this was tiny and very cute. I think what I said was, “I really hate the excess & showing off of weddings, but that was pretty much perfect!” I think there were only 4-5 tables and the barn was not very big.
IMG_7369IMG_7370

The houses around the lake were amazing. Some big, but many were just old, small cottages. Loved them. Especially this one only accessible by boat!

Perfection

Perfection

Well, I guess one could walk there in winter. (The locals said it’s unused in winter due to the plumbing)

Um, no.

Um, no. (source)

 

And finally…

Finally.

Finally.

The post race food was great. Tons of food, chocolate milk, fruit, fresh pizzas from the local joint across the street. For a race with less than 300 people, the community support was amazing. ALL proceeds go to 3 local charities. Completely no profit. Overall, a wonderful race. I love a small-town event like this. Would highly recommend it to anyone, even those who are hesitant to do small races: there were cops at intersections, the course was very straightforward around a lake, and still many signs. I felt completely safe and was in awe of the views.

Got in the car and headed to Maine….

More on Maine tomorrow. This post would be too long if I wrote them together.

Kicking my own a$$

Still taking it easy on my knee, but it’s time to see what I can do. I decided to not go to CF this week since I have the double marathons this weekend. I’ll start back next week (and see how my knee is feeling). There’s plenty I can do at home, so I did.

9/29: KB sets during the day. Every time I went outside doing things like laundry and garden, etc. I picked up the KB and did some sets.

9/30: 26lb tire drag, .25mi intervals x4. In between, KB sets: swings, SDHP, squats. Tire “box” jumps. Did this throughout the day.

10/1:
AM: walk, 45min outside
1hr on treadmill after

10/2: forgot.

So, I had this written and ready to publish Friday before I left. I log-in this morning and see I never hit “publish” and didn’t schedule it. Great. So, I update it a little bit this morning and hit “publish”. Then of course WordPress had a glitch and I lost everything I’d written after 10/1. Great. Thanks.

Now you get an even crappier post. Today I’ll be writing my race & weekend recap, for you 5 people to enjoy tomorrow. Let’s just say it was gorgeous. The absolute best weekend to go to North American Canada! (I call everything up North “canada”. I enjoy annoying K by calling Ohio the “tundra that everyone hates”. Haha)

Hope no one wasted their time reading this crap today, but I’m too tired to care to fix it. I would say “happy Monday,” but it’s Tuesday. It’s my Monday though. Tomorrow will be better…tomorrow will be better…if we keep saying it’s true, it’ll happen, yes?

Lets talk normal stuff.

Since I’ve been back from the Blerch, eating through Seattle, & Ohio, I’ve been craving vegetables and fish. Thankfully I stocked up the last time Whole Foods had wild caught salmon on sale. Some things I’ve eaten this week:

mushroom & truffle eggs

mushroom & truffle eggs

Shouldn't have made the basil pesto look like a log of poo

Shouldn’t have made the basil pesto look like a log of poo

And another meal of the same

Pesto didn't turn out much better...

Pesto didn’t turn out much better…

Didn’t even try this time.

Can I have some?

Can I have some?

Finally something different

I could live off this.

I could live off this.

My knee. Sigh. I’ve rested it a solid week now. Iced it religiously for 5 days, and no-so-religiously for 2-3. Today I tried some intervals (not fast sprints, just decent slower running in between kettlebell movements) and it wasn’t feeling great. Gggrrr. It’s becoming really annoying. It’s not painful enough that I think it’s a major tear or rupture (read: No way I’m going to the Dr), but I’m not used to feeling anything that uncomfortable when I run other than the normal muscle discomfort after 30-50miles. Yes, I know, I know, you can go ahead and hate me. So, what to do? Nothing of course. I think it just needs more rest. Unfortunately, I’ve got a double (2 marathons) this weekend. I should be able to make it through them fine considering I finished the Blerch the day after I fell, but it will probably be slow and less-than-fun ideal. K will look at it and give it some sports med/trainer movements and try to narrow down what it may or may not be. Then, we’ll decide what to do. I’m getting around fine and obviously can still physically move/run, so I’m doing the healthy thing and will ignore it a while longer (and rest)!

While resting my knee, I worked my arms, shoulders, and back doing CropFit! Functional fitness, FTW!


This week I’ve completely redone the garden. I needed new dirt and the boxes had become overgrown. Then my wonderful fur children decided they NEEDED to hunt and dig something that had been living in there. My 2 year old rosemary that survived the harsh winter and a week of below-freezing temps (3 days in the 20’s!) was near death. Got that transplanted to a pot and went to work…

Before

Mess.

Mess.

Dog damage

Layout

Fuckers.

During

Out with the old

Out with the old

Moving dirt.

Moving dirt.

Please let me play in it…PLEASE

Digging asshole

Digging asshole

In charge

In charge

After
(the middle section isn’t finished, but that won’t be finished for a couple more days. This is close enough to finished)

Before I got this chicken wire fence up, the dogs ran thorough my rows, dug, and dug up 2 cauliflower. My carrot seeds were meticulously planted. I’d worked so hard for 4 days, for it to be destroyed in just a couple minutes. I was furious. Actually, furious doesn’t describe it. But, I’m hopeful. I threw in more seeds, said “fuck it” and the dogs knew they were in trouble. My uncle has carrots and beets sprouting already and when he thins his crops, we’re going to put some of his baby plants in my middle section. So…hopefully between what they didn’t destroy and the transplanting, I’ll have some strong crops. I’m really excited to have a TON of beets. I love them.

Carrots, beets, cauliflower, bok choi, cilantro, chard

Dog proof

Dog proof

After the dog drama, my mom and uncle both praised my extensive work and care to another uncle. I was floored. See, we’re not an overly praising family. (How I ended up independent and not really needy is beyond me.) My uncle is a master gardener and hunter and could (and mostly does) live off the land. He’s impressed and thinks it will do well. And my mom said, “Maybe that agriculture education at Texas A&M wasn’t a waste after all.” Ha. Gig’Em!

Beat the Blerch

Signed bibs!

This weekend was the inaugural Beat the Blerch marathon (and 10k and half) outside of Seattle. Also known as: the non-runners marathon. The “sit on the couch and eat cake and watch RoboCop” marathon.  Sure there were some fast runners there, but there were less than 300 full marathoners and most were there to have a good time. If you take racing really seriously, this isn’t for you. Move along, un-fun people and make room for us, those who like talking to people, wearing costumes, and eating cake.

MMM…CAKE.

Costumes!

It was unexpectedly popular (by the Oatmeal and the race director) and the site crashed almost immediately upon registration opening. I had a great team of family and friends registering and I got in! The website crash and very long wait-list showed the demand, and Oats and the RD got approval for a second race, on Saturday.

The Oatmeal ran in costume too.

Fast forward to this weekend…it was a quick trip just for the race. I did squeeze as much as I could, but I had friends doing the race both days, so I got to spectate Saturday and participate on Sunday.

Packet pickup: easy. It was at a big RoadRunner Sports store and we were in/out in less than 5 (ok, 10, got distracted by the goodies!) minutes. The shirt is AWESOME. Thick long sleeve 1/4 zip with tumbholes? Plus, a “0.0” Blerch sticker and magnet? Yes, please! (already getting our $100 worth!)

Schwag!

Parking was a breeze! We got nervous the week of the race since an email was sent out saying they oversold parking passes. However, there were schools and businesses across the street from the park with tons of overflow parking. But, the field had plenty of spaces. It was never an issue.

Even the parking lots are pretty in Washington! Ever done a race where they spray painted spots? Details make a difference!

I was so excited to see a huge bank of porta-potties! I was so impressed with how many they had. I’ve done marathons 5+times this size that only had half this number. NEVER any line to them. Not once. Anyone who walked up to them, found one that was open. And clean. Very, very clean.

tons of places to pre-race poop!

The race started at Tolt-McDonald park. Tons of room and a very charming barn that housed bag-check, post race food, and other logistics.

Gorgeous barn.

Ever seen one of these solar, cell-phone charging trailers? Yeah. He paid to have one out at the race. So cool!

Need juice?

From there, we ran about a mile and hit the river, then over some bridges to the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. This was gorgeous. The crushed gravel had some rocks that were a little bigger than I’d like for crushed gravel, but it was fine. Nothing to complain about, especially since the scenery was gorgeous. It was 86 degrees by the time we finished, making for a really hot day, but I was so thankful for the trees.

Trail

Blerchy tu-tu and pretty trails.

Overall: WORTH IT. For the cost of an average marathon ($100), the race company and the Oatmeal went above and beyond. I do so many of these I never have any expectations. This ranks in my top 5 marathons. The shirt, FREE RACE PICS, the HOURS of book & bib signing by Oats, the abundance of food, the aid stations, the fun volunteers, the tons of porta potties, the ease of parking/logistics. All top notch. My mom even saw my race shirt and said, “Did you buy that too?!” (she meant in addition to my race packet). For her to comment on it…huge compliment that she didn’t think that it was the race shirt.

Cake.

 

Lots of Nutella pushing Blerches.

More cake.

Other stuff: BLERCH. The volunteers were so fun! They all embraced the “Blerchyness” of the event and pushed cake, Nutella, magical grape drink (explained in his book, and yes, it is magical), and then other regular race foods such as Gu shots, energy bars, chips and pretzels, bananas, etc. Due to it being on the trail, the aid stations were 3-4 miles apart because of the limited road access. This was fine for me, but the heat at the end had us wishing there were 1-2 more on the course. However, that was impossible. For people who haven’t done trails or ultras, I can see how it would be a shock to go from a road marathon with water every mile, to this. However, the aid stations were well stocked, and FUN.

Oats signing my book, fun spectators, me being chased by a Blerch, and a cute shirt.

Blerch. Blerchii.

The race/run itself was uneventful for me. I ran with my friend Carrie from El Paso. I had talked her into this race while visiting her and her husband for Bataan Death March, so I felt it was the right thing to do to stay with her. We ran her pace, then when she started slowing down and our walk breaks increasing in time and slowing in pace…I made the call to go to my interval timer (about halfway). Things got better after that and had a negative split overall. We were maintaining a consistent pace doing 3:1’s and picked up 2 nice ladies who where half-assed run/walking. They were lovely and fun. Then, over the miles, picked up 2 more and went down to a 2:1 interval based as a request of the ladies we picked up. We had a fun group during the hard miles of 15-20. The rest fell off by mile 23, but we waited for them at the finish.

Running with Carrie

I made some new running friends and had a delicious post-race burger with Ann from Kansas City. As a cancer surgeon, we hit it off and had lots to talk about besides racing. Turned out, she has a friend who was in the Army…who was one of K’s chemo providers when we lived in El Paso.  ❤ SMALL WORLD. I love races where I have no goals other than to finish. It allows for maximum fun, and you never know who you’ll meet!

(My post tomorrow will be non-race food & fun during the quick trip)

Hello…hello…is this thing on?

Delicious

It’s been a hectic 1.5 months since we got back from the trail. Nothing terrible, but not “normal,” whatever that is.

K was busy on the job hunt. We were supposed to go to the Pikes Peak marathon and have a nice, break from the heat, trip to Colorado. K ended up not being able to go due to interviews and work commitments, and I got sick. Really sick. It’s awful to think about, but I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t walk. I deteriorated the whole week before I was supposed to leave (we had decided I was going alone, one of us should take the trip) culminating with a trip to the hospital the day before I was supposed to leave. So. There was no way I was running a marathon, much less one up to 14,000 ft. Anyway, I couldn’t function and was in horrendous pain. Fast forward a bit…we spent time in Ohio as a break from the heat, K could sail, I could get some hill training on the trails, see friends, and get some alone time.

Hard hills.

Big rocks and smells.

Safety first, little dog.

On the way I got another stamp on my National Parks Passport book. We camped at Mammoth Cave. I’ve always wanted to stop there, as we pass it every drive to/from Ohio. It is one of those things that we say, “We want to get going, we’ll stop next time.” And we never do. But we made the effort this time and it was worth it.

Mammoth Cave dork stamps and campsite.

So. Workouts! Now that most of my time is my own, I have no excuse. Before, I couldn’t justify going to a CrossFit box that was convenient, because K was working at one of the best facilities in the state. Unfortunately, that was an hour away and I loathe to drive an hour each way for a 1hr class. But, I also couldn’t justify paying for a place closer. Now, I can. I checked them out and it seems like it’ll do. Not the best, but the price is good and there are many class options and also “open gym” time for solo workouts or skill work.

9/16: (trying out a new box)
Time: 11:47, as Rx (35lbs)

I think that’s it for now. I know I’ve got some things I want to catch up on here, over time. Plenty to do today and tomorrow and a busy weekend! Now, time to do a workout.