Category Archives: Running

Sick bed training tips?

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This photo basically sums up my life for the past five days. Haven’t been able to run or do anything besides take medicine and watch House of Cards. (Which, by the way, is amazing. Reminds me of all the reasons I love and hate politics, and, why I love and love Kevin Spacey.)

I’m worried about losing strength – and I don’t think I’ll be able to start up again for at least a week – anyone have any tips for low-impact ways to stay strong while sick? What do you do to stay strong when you can’t get the miles in? During my marathon training in 2011 I got pneumonia and, even though it was two months before the race, I think my time and my body took an extra beating on race-day from the strength I lost as a result.

I’m going to make it up this mountain, setbacks or not, I just really want it to happen in two hours or less….

 

 

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Yikes

Yesterday I ran 9 miles uphill. Amazing and also a tiny bit painful. Why did I do this?  Because I’m a damn fool and I registered for the Mt. Lemmon (half) Marathon – 13.1 miles, all uphill.

Why did I do that? Not totally sure.  I registered for the race in some post-holiday, post-hometown visit, fit of ennui and confusion. I spent 10 days in Tucson this holiday break and it was an awesome-to-weird-to-awkward-to-horrible 10 days. I got back to Portland and immediately wanted a hometown do-over, so I registered for this race.

And now I run hills. Every day. Then I do this:

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We’re watching Lost Girl. Nacho loves it more than I do.

Every day.

Anyone else have a race coming up that you’re simultaniously excited for and terrified about? Details, and training plans please!

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Filed under 30 Before 30, Life, Running

Running a half marathon with half assed training

This was a costume race – I hate costumes so I didn’t dress up. But, based on this photo, I’m going to say I went as a ghost.

I love my city and today was a good reminder of that. I ran the Run Like Hell Half Marathon and even though it was cold, wet, and my training was pretty half assed (though not as non-existent as it was in July for this race), I loved it.

This has not been a great year happiness wise. I fell into a post holiday funk in January and never really got out of it. Still in the middle of it to tell the truth. I should write about that, when I’m out the other side. But today – today I was happy. At the starting line surrounded by damp Ninja Turtles, Wonder Women (yes, plural, this was a VERY popular costume), and the Noid, I was just excited to run.

The race was pretty challenging. Like, four uphill miles through the Terwilliger Curves challenging. And, it was also beautiful. The leaves were changing, the bums under the Hawthorne Bridge were cheering (serious – they were my favorite cheering section and the course took me through their area twice), and even though I lost a toenail and bled through my shoe, it was fun. I’ll take it.

Signs of something very bad inside…

(PS: For anyone keeping track – and I doubt anyone is but me, but still – this race keeps me on track for the 30 Before 30 goal of running one race per month. In September I did a quick 8k with Race for the Cure (ahhh sorry super lefty lady friends – I needed a race and this was the only one that would work with my schedule. It was super boring and not worth a post.) 

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Filed under 30 Before 30, Life, Portland, Running

Signs you need to go for a run

Signs you need to run it out:

  1. You are sitting in your office, eating baby carrots, listening to The Damned and feeling annoyed for no reason in particular.
  2. The words “I wish I was still 21” have come out of your mouth in the last 30 minutes. (Especially if you’re about to turn 29.)
  3. Your email inbox has approximately 45 kajillion emails in it with that little “urgent” exclamation point, but you can’t bring yourself to respond to any of them.
  4. You live in Portland and it’s not raining, but you know soon it will be non-stop for months.
  5. You’re making this face:

Yes, there is a Purple Rain poster in my office.

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CMKY Run: skip it.

One of the reasons I run is to stay in an endorphin-fueled positive mind-set as much as possible. So, I try not to complain too much on this blog. Try being the operative word, especially for this post.

Yesterday I ran the CMYK color run in Portland and I have to say, it was pretty disappointing. After seeing this race hyped up across social media and at my most recent half marathon, I was really excited. I think I had an image in my head of a fast, fun race – mostly based on the flier, which promises “five kilometers of vibrant ridiculousness that will make your face hurt from perma-smile.”

 

Girl on the flier is having SO MUCH FUN!

I was totally snookered by the marketing. So A+ to the marketing director. C- for the actual race director though.

The course was on an equestrian path (why?! The waterfront would have been such a better Portland venue) and it was mostly uphill, it was full of holes to sprain your ankle in, and it was covered in hay a lot of the way which is extremely slippery to run on. I felt particularly bad for the parents who had come to run with their kids in strollers. At registration, the course was described as “stroller friendly,” but it was actually barely even runner friendly. (Seriously, the hills were rough, especially since they were unexpected.)

Add to that the fact that it was 90-degrees and the color that they throw on you, while not toxic, really hurts to accidentally breathe in, and I have to say that I wish I’d slept in and just done 3 miles on my own in my neighborhood yesterday.

The ONLY saving grace of the experience was that it gave me the chance to spend some time with my friend Ren. She was really the best part of the morning. She’s pretty much the most positive person ever, and so her can-do attitude about the ridiculous – in a bad way – logistics of the race made the whole thing bearable.

That said, even with Ren’s power of positive thinking, this was one of the biggest wastes of money I’ve spent as a runner (and that includes a race I registered for and couldn’t run due to injury) and if it comes to your town, I recommend moving past the hype machine and sitting it out.

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“Cross train” is just a fancy way of saying “walking fast up a hill”

According to my new marathon training regimen, Sundays are “cross train” days. The idea of cross training strikes me as a little bit funny since it makes me sound like a serious athlete, which I am not. I love running. It’s my medicine and my therapy. I take its benefits and challenges seriously.

But, I am far from someone who should say things like “Sunday is my cross training day” in regular conversation. This is further complicated by the fact that I hate the following common cross-training-for-runners activities: swimming (I don’t know how), bike riding (ugh, the seats! They’re the worst!), power walking (blerg, slow and humiliating!) yoga (sitting still and quietly stretching for an hour?!) and the elliptical machine (it’s for 19-year-old naturally skinny college girls who want to read US Weekly while they “work out.”)

SO.

I’ve landed on hiking. Which I realize is basically just walking sort of fast, up a hill. But, it’s not boring, Oregon is full of good places to hike, and steep hills will give me strong quads.

This past Sunday, Oliver and I headed out to the Columbia River Gorge – which you probably  remember from the time you floated your wagon down-river during the last leg of the Oregon Trail – and saw some waterfalls.  The Gorge is full of ’em. Some you’ve heard of – Bridal Veil, Multnomah – some you probably haven’t.

Accessibility ranges in difficulty from “park your car, walk across the street, see waterfall, lazy-ass” to “park car, hike one mile up a steep hill, sweat an embarrassing amount, get passed by a toddler on her way up. Then, see waterfall.”

My favorite discovery of the day was Fairy Falls, which is a relatively challenging climb up an un-maintained trail with what seems like 1 billion switchbacks, about a mile above Wahkeena Falls.  While we were walking we discovered that there’s actually a loop that you can do from Wahkeena to Multnomah and back. We’re going to try it the next Sunday that I’m not flying off somewhere.

I’d still prefer a nice, long run, but I’m excited about the idea of working our way through the other dozen or so Gorge waterfalls. Maybe I’ll get to the point where I can run these hikes instead of walking them. If I’m ever going to turn my Western States pipe dream into a reality, I’ll have to start somewhere…

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Hoping pictures really are worth 1,000 words.

Took a red eye to Chicago last night. Or, this morning? Am tired. Am also seriously enjoying these photos. I think you will too:

Sun and sweat in my eyes. Do not mess with me when this face is on.

This one is also particularly a-maz-ing. I thought I beat this guy, finish line photo says no.

Just look how badly I wanted to beat Mr. Fancy Pants Vibram Five Fingers Runner. Just look.

There are also several photos of me running with extremely poor, heel striking, supinating form. Too scary to show you.

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Filed under Running