Monday, March 5, 2018

My Own Half-Marathon

I wrote earlier about how I was feeling behind in my marathon training because of an across-state move. To make matters worse, towards the end of February, I had constant nausea with abdominal pain.

This lasted for about a week, so I decided to go to urgent care. They were concerned I had an appendicitis, so directed me to the ER. Not what I wanted to hear! I was plugged in to an IV, and had an ultrasound and CT scan. Fortunately it was not an appendicitis. They discovered a lot of excess fluid in my lower abdomen, so concluded that I had an ovarian cyst rupture, which explains all the discomfort.

A few days have passed since, and I am feeling about 75% better (to be exact haha). Running with a supposed-ovarian cyst has not been a pleasant experience, but luckily I am basically back to my happy running self.

Yesterday I ran a half-marathon!

Pre-run. Wearing a fuel belt for the first time in awhile

I was supposed to run the Snake River Canyon Half Marathon near Pullman last weekend. I was registered and everything. Since we moved though, obviously it didn't make too much sense to run it this year (it would have been my 4th year running it). 

Instead, I decided to just run my own half marathon.

The run was fun and pretty eventful.  I saw a lot of different parts of town. And only got lost once...

I got lost when I decided to run over the overpass. I should have taken a left turn before it... whoops.

I was pretty excited to do a long run in my new hometown. The route a took was gorgeous and along the water at least half of the time. 

Seattle is in the distance.

I didn't feel too tired during the run, and my average heart rate was only around 160 bpm.

I was so happy to be able to run this distance! Now I feel like there is still hope that I will be able to run the Vancouver Marathon in about 9 weeks. 

Mile splits

After my run, I took a second to relax by the water.

Post-run face. I did it!

Thursday, March 1, 2018

February Marathon Training

     The struggle is real as I try to balance moving across state with training for a marathon. Spoiler: training gets super-derailed, but I am still holding on to the hope of running a 26.2 mile race in a couple months.

     This month has been kind of crazy! At the beginning of the month, we were still looking for apartments. 

Touring apartments... this is the one we ended up choosing! 
     Mid-month we signed a lease, moved everything out of our apartment in Pullman, then moved everything into a NEW apartment. This sounds pretty straight forward (maybe?), but required a ton of work. Needless to say, February went by super fast. 
Driving away from Pullman

Everything we own fit easily into a U-haul truck

At the Marina near our new home

     All of this is a way of saying that I probably got in 50% of the runs that I wanted to in February. I guess that's better than nothing? 

     Here's a recap of my month:

Week 1

Monday- rest
Tuesday- easy 5 miles
Thursday- easy 4 miles
Friday- easy 5 miles
Saturday- easy 4 miles
Sunday- easy 6 miles

Total: 24 miles

Week 2

Monday- rest
Tuesday- 12 X 400m at 5k race pace
Wednesday- rest
Thursday- rest (was sleep deprived because worried about choosing right apartment lol)
Friday- 4 miles easy
Saturday- 2 miles easy (almost didn't run at all)
Sunday- 8 miles easy

Total: 21 miles

Week 3

Monday- rest (aka moving from Pullman)
Tuesday- rest (aka moving from Pullman)
Wednesday- 4 miles easy
Thursday- 8 x 600m at 5k race pace
Friday- rest (aka moving to new apartment)
Saturday- rest (aka moving to new apartment)
Sunday- rest (aka moving to new apartment)

Total: 10.1 miles

Week 4

Monday- 3 miles easy
Tuesday- rest 
Wednesday- rest
Thursday- cross training (skiing!)
Friday- 5 miles easy
Saturday- 6 miles easy
Sunday- rest (was feeling sick)

Total: 14 miles

Week 5

Monday- 5 x 1Km at 5k race pace
Tuesday- rest (surprise ER trip because not feeling well)
Wednesday- rest (was feeling sick)

Total: 5.3 miles so far...


So it's probably pretty obvious that training did not go as planned this month. 

Week 1)  Right on target. 

Week 2)  I struggled but held on to sticking to training mostly. 

Week 3) I felt that I had to kind of give up on the training and prioritize moving. 

Week 4) I probably really should have been running more but felt so overwhelmed by being in a new area, needing to set-up a new home and unpack that I put it off.

Week 5) I am currently struggling to get back to a "normal" routine and it doesn't help that I've been feeling really sick (which I will write about later.

Total miles for this month: 70

Not bad considering all the chaos... 

Here's to a productive March and to all the happiness that will happen at my new apartment/town!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

January Vancouver Marathon Training


  Total Miles: 66.5

Total Time: 13 hours, 5 minutes

Average Pace: 11:48 minutes per mile

Elevation gain: 2,418 feet

     I am officially training for the Vancouver Marathon! I was hesitant to sign up for the full instead of the half because we have a lot going on right now. However, I figured that this was a great opportunity to run a marathon, and I should take advantage of the current flexibility in my schedule to commit to training.

     I began training on Jan. 1, without taking any time off after running a half marathon at the end of December.

Here is a rundown of January's training

Week 1

Wednesday- 2 miles easy
Thursday- downhill skiing
Friday- 3 miles easy
Sunday 4 miles easy

Week 2

Tuesday- 3 miles easy
Wednesday- downhill skiing
Thursday- 3 miles easy
Friday- 3 miles easy
Saturday- 3 miles easy
Sunday- 4 miles easy

Week 3

Tuesday- 4 miles easy
Thursday- 4 miles easy
Friday- 4 miles easy
Saturday- 4 miles easy
Sunday- 5 miles easy

Week 4

Wednesday- xc skiing
Thursday- 3 miles easy
Friday- 3 miles easy
Saturday- 5 miles easy with hill training
Sunday- 4 miles easy with hill training

Week 5

Tuesday- 5 miles easy

This month's challenges 

     Craig and I have driven back and forth across the state this month, have gotten the chance to go skiing a few times, are job hunting, apartment hunting. I have been feeling a little drained at times and by week 4, I was beginning to doubt weather I had it in me right now to train.

     This week, though, I am feeling stronger and more confident that I can find time/energy to run.

This month's successes 

     I have gone out of my way to take hillier routes. I am enjoying them as challenges!

     I have taken my runs at an easy pace, keeping my heart rate down. I think this will benefit me as I begin the more intense phase of training next week.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Leavenworth Mini-Vacation

     Craig and I had a chance to take a quick trip up to Leavenworth this week. It was a lovely mini-vacation! We got super lucky-- it was snowing basically every minute of our visit, but at the same time the roads were pretty safe and clear of snow.

     If you've never been- Leavenworth is a small town in Washington State that is modeled after a Bavarian village. It is absolutely gorgeous in the snow! 

          There are plenty of little shops to explore in the downtown area. I found a cool wool beret at the hat store there. I actually saw it when we were in Leavenworth for our honeymoon this summer, and after 6 month of thinking about it, decided to buy it. No regrets!  

     Another awesome stop was the Gingerbread House, which sells amazing cookies. We may have stopped there twice within our 24 hour trip! 

     Once it got dark, the lights combined with the snow downtown made for a beautiful walk. 

     My absolute favorite part of the trip was cross-country skiing on the icicle river trail. It was so fun and so beautiful. I told Craig at the time "this is the funnest thing I've ever done!" (It may even have been more fun than running lol). 

     It was at least as much of a workout as running. I ended up skipping a 5 mile run to make this trip happen. It was definitely a good replacement because skiing made me super sore! 

     Now it's back to real life again. Craig and I are finalizing work and housing arrangements. Lots of change happening in the upcoming month or so! 

     I am happy that we were able to take this trip. I feel reenergized and motivated to make moving, job hunting and whatnot happen.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Marathon Redemption & Life Updates

January is already half way over? Shoot! Well, a lot has happened since I wrote at the beginning of the year.

Here is a summary of events:

1) We've gotten to spend a lot of time with family. We visited Gig Harbor, Olympia and Woodinville and hung out with my brothers, both our parents and Craig's grandparents! Hopefully soon we will live nearby (fingers crossed) and will routinely get to visit with our families.

2) I have completed 2 ski lessons and have not fallen once! I am getting faster going downhill, and am less anxious about getting off the ski lift.

3) We have relocated all of our pets to different homes. I miss my kitty but hopefully it is temporary and we can reunite them all once we have a more permanent living situation! We will still be spending as much time as possible with Razzy, too, thankfully. 

4) I have begun training for the Vancouver Marathon. 

Part of me really wanted to run a marathon this year, but with the uncertainty of where we would end up living, I didn't know which race to run. Then, one of Craig's friends asked if we would be interested in running the Vancouver Marathon. 

It's a race I've always been interested in running because I've heard it is gorgeous. The timeline worked out perfectly where I would have exactly 18 weeks to train. 

The last marathon I ran was the Portland Marathon in 2014. Let's just say it didn't go as well as I would have liked (finished in 5 hours 45 minute). I crashed at about mile 20 and the last few miles were walking/slow jogging/hobbling. Ever since, I've wanted to redeem my poor performance. 

This time, I'm following the Hansons Marathon Method, which requires a lot of miles, but I think this we be good in the long run and prevent a crash-and-burn scenario like last time. 

Crossing the finish line of the Portland Marathon

5) I've been adjusting to change and uncertainty.

Me working at my most recent job.
Craig has a couple of different opportunities lined up in different cities, but there is still a lot of unknown variables. At this point, I haven't seriously begun searching for jobs yet. I've applied a few places, but am waiting on a final decision about where Craig will work before I go all-in with my job search. Hopefully in the next few weeks, we will have a better idea of which city we will be moving to.

It's a little unnerving. I've had some days where I have felt upset and displaced. Recently, I've gotten better at making the best of this transitionary stage. So far this has meant my days involve reading, watching Game of Thrones, baking and eating homemade granola/muffins (lol), writing and of course marathon training! 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Yukon Do It 2017 Recap

This was my 5th year running this course. I was prepared to PR and had trained through the fall/early winter. In the past, I ran this race with little training, so I was expecting to have a much better race experience.

Waiting in the car before the race

Spoiler alert: the race did not go as planned, and my pace was derailed around the half-way point as the course became hillier. The course was beautiful though, and I would gladly run it again! 

Miles 1-4

Pace: 9:52, 10:00, 10:01, 10:00
I was feeling great. I was right on pace to PR. It was a little windy out, and I was a bit cold, but other than that I was feeling great and having fun!

Miles 5-7

Pace: 10:09, 10:35, 11:28

The route became a little hillier. I told myself it was fine to have my pace slow a little when I was going uphill, but I needed to pull it together after the turn around point and get back at a 10 min/ mile pace.

I saw Craig at the half way point which was fun!

In Manchester State Park near the half-way point

Miles 8-11

Pace: 10:33, 10:45, 11:25, 11:17
The next few miles were ok, but my pace wasn’t as fast as I would like. My legs felt fine, but my hips/core were really aching. I began to focus on finishing each mile, regardless of pace.

Miles 12 and 13

Pace: 12:12 & 11:40

I just needed to finish. My hip muscles were super painful. I took a couple walk breaks and that helped a bit. I was a little upset that the finish was so difficult. I was even tempted to quit. I don’t think I have ever run a 12-minute mile in a race before.

Final Sprint

34.1 seconds

I pulled it together and was able to sprint to the finish. I just wanted the race to be over!

Overall, my time wasn’t terrible (2 hours 20 minutes), but I was definitely prepared to run faster than this. While I'm not completely satisfied with my finish time, I am proud that I have been consistently running about 3 half marathons per year for about 5 years now.

I needed to sit immediately after I finished

From this race I learned 2 lessons:
  1.  I need to work more diligently on my core strength to better handle a faster pace and going up hills.
  2. I should not taper until a week before a half marathon. I skipped a long run two weeks before the race because of travel, and I think I lost a bit of fitness over that time.
      The good news is I have another race in March. With a few more months training, I think I can make improvement and PR.

Thank you to my husband who woke up early so I could run in the cold!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 Running Stats

     Instead of doing a month recap, I am posting a year recap with my running stats for 2017. This year was a great year of running for me! I am happy with the progress I made this year, and can't wait to continue to see progress in 2018.

Happy New Year!

  • I ran 722 miles. In comparison, last year I ran 572 miles. This year I ran the most miles I have run in a year.
  • Time spent running: 136 hours. That’s over 5.6 days running in 2017. 
  • Number of races: 6 
  • Lowest mileage month: August with 30 miles. With a honeymoon, a move, and poor air quality due to wildfire smoke, honestly I'm surprised I ran at all in August! 
  • Highest mileage month: December with 84 miles. This surprises me, since I didn't run much the second half of December.
  • Average miles per week over the course of the year: 13.8 
  • Average pace over the course of the year: 11:18. This is 10 seconds faster than my average pace in 2016. Whoot!
  • Average cadence: 168.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Holiday Tapering

     My last serious run was on Dec. 17 where I ran 10 miles at a 10:25 min/ mile pace. Since, I have been running 3 or 4 miles whenever I can find time/ get motivated enough to go outside. I didn't intend to taper so soon, but with the busyness that comes with the end of December, it just turned out that way.

     Last week, we visited my family in Gig Harbor for a couple of days. Craig and I ran downtown the first day we were there (Friday). The following day I went to a local park with my family and ran around there for about 30 minutes. 

     Sunday night, we visited Craig's family. Before dark, we all went for a walk at a nearby park. Craig's grandparents were in the train that de-railed on Monday near Tacoma. You can read about it here. We are so very thankful that they survived the accident with minimal injuries. They were able to come on the walk with us even! 
     It started to snow as we were on our walk.

     We had Christmas morning at Craig's parents house. We ate a lot of great food (which will help fuel my running, right?!) and opened presents. Craig's parents got me ski lessons as a present plus a couple of ski passes. I am looking forward to getting better at skiing. After my race, I think I will take a few weeks off of running and focus on getting better at skiing. 

     Three cuties by a Christmas tree:

Our mischievous Razzy loves the Christmas tree.

Aspen, Craig's family cat, with a snowflake on her head 
     That afternoon I went for a 30 minute run while Craig's mom and grandpa walked around the local park. There was a bunch of snow on the ground (3") and each step felt much more difficult than I was used to. This made for a great workout!

     The half marathon I am running in is in 4 days! I feel like my motivation has dwindled a bit in December, but I definitely trained for this race more than I usually do. I am still hoping to PR (so run it under 2:12:44), which I think is completely possible as long as the weather is OK. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Is there a doctor in the house?

It's official. My husband/best friend is now Dr. Craig (though he'd prefer it if no one called him that)!
He says that he is not the useful kind of doctor (i.e. medical doctor). 

He was hooded at WSU's commencement ceremony a little over a week ago, and has completed the requirements for a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering. I feel like that does make him a pretty useful kind of doctor.

Here are 5 photos representative of the years he put into his PhD...

First day of grad school.
First day of the second year of grad school.
First day of the third year of grad school.
Fourth year of grad school.
Half way into the 5th year of grad school... he finished! 

Here's to finishing up school! His dedication paid off.  He is a constant source of inspiration to me. I am so excited for the future because I know that he will keep following his passion into a great career!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Year of Running 2017

This year has easily been the best year of my life (so far...). This summer, I married the love of my life and he graduated with his PhD just last week!

Despite work and wedding planning, I still managed to get in a fair bit of running this year (681 miles as of December 15). Here is a recap:

Best race experience
The Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon was easily my best race experience. It was summer, so the weather was perfect! The course was right along the water most of the way. It was my first time running the race, and I really loved the newness of the route.

Best run
On our honeymoon, Craig and I did a 5K trail run on our own in Leavenworth. It was a beautiful location, we were super excited about being newly married, and I loved getting to spend that time with him.

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The Wenatchee River, post-run

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A cool bridge we ran across

Best new piece of running gear
 New shoes are the best! I’ve been wearing the Brooks Glycerins for a few years now (since the 11th model was released). The Glycerin 14’s were new to me this year, and I love them!

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Most inspirational runner
The first runner that comes to mind is Shalane Flanagan. Her recent finish at the NYC marathon was without-out-a-doubt inspiring.

Favorite picture from a race run this year
At the finish of the Title 9 5K. Though my pace wasn’t particularly fast, I still finished 2nd for my age group!

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Race experience you would repeat in a heartbeat
Probably the Title 9 5K. Logistically, it was easy and fun to race in Spokane because it is close to where I live. It was a small race, so there wasn’t a crowd (which I prefer). Also, the course is right near Gonzaga where I went to school, so the course was super familiar.

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Happy to be in Spokane

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be?
“Consistant” and "strong." I ran at least 50 miles each month. I didn’t need to take any breaks due to injury because I kept the mileage pretty steady. I worked on increasing my core strength and as a result I am ending this year stronger and faster!

Linking this post up with Courtney at EatPrayRunDC, host of the Year of Running link up.