28 April 2012

A Pretty Good Week!

On my treadmill while the sun is shining outside.  Sigh.
Here is a little recap of my week starting with Monday's 10 mile run.  On the treadmill.  Yes, it was a beautiful day here in the Pacific Northwest and I admit to running for an hour and thirty six minutes while watching Breaking Dawn inside on a machine. 

S.W.E.A.T.Y!!  Hey look it's 5:30pm and I am done running!
Why Tiffany?  Why in the world would you do that???  Well, for starters I really enjoy the Twilight series and since I had seen it already it didn't make a difference that I could barely hear it and that the TV is off to the right of the treadmill and it is hard to keep your head turned while running without losing balance.  And also because I happened to work from 8am-3pm and then had to zoom straight to pick up the kiddos and my hubby doesn't get home until 6pm.   

Proof.  10 miles in 96 minutes and 15 seconds!
I was worried I would lose my mojo if I didn't just get it done while I was in the mood, plus it enabled us to have a family dinner.  So the kids played out in the backyard while I sweat my booty off in the house- but I got it done, no excuses here!!  

Family dinnertime!
On Wednesday I wanted to get a 5 mile run in.  I was scheduled to work in the afternoon so I poked around in the morning and set out for my run around 10:30 or so.  Just in time for it to POUR down rain for my entire run!  Oh well, it was still pretty warm outside so it didn't bother me. 

I wore my fancy new running tights I bought in Boise.  I liked them!
I brought my ipod shuffle with me and about a mile down the road I could not figure out why I kept getting the same songs over and over.  I was reaching in my pocket to skip it but it wasn't helping so I stopped and pulled it out.  Sure enough only 4 songs on it!  I guess I hadn't used it since the St. Paddy race so it was my 5K play list.  Awesome, after 3.5 miles I had enough and just turned it off!!  I was soaked by the time I got home and water was dripping from the brim of my hat.

Poking around taking photos before my run.  Little did I know I was
 about to get completely
soaked while being tortured by my extremely short playlist!
Friday morning I dropped the kiddos off at school and headed straight down to the waterfront for an 8 mile run.  It was sunny.  There were black clouds in the sky.  It was windy.  I had no clue what to wear for this run!!  Was it going to be warm?  Was it going to pour?  Oh Washington and your ever changing weather.  So I opted for a skirt, tech tshirt and my Brooks jacket and hoped for the best!  I was cold in the first mile, tucking my hands up inside my jacket to keep them warm.  Then around mile 3 the sun came out and the wind stopped so I got really warm! 

4 mile pit stop for water
At the 4 mile marker I stopped for water (I can't find my handheld!) at the fountain and headed back to my car.  At mile 5 I couldn't stand it anymore and took my jacket off and tied it around my waist, I was just too warm!  At mile 7 it started raining and the wind started and I got a bit cold again.  Seriously???  But I was determined to just finish so resisted the urge to put my coat back on.  Back at my car I was taking a picture of the sky when these 2 girls jogged by and asked if I wanted my picture taken.  Of course!  Haha.  So they took my picture (its blurry not sure why) which was nice of them and we chatted for a minute and then I headed home. 

The crazy sky after my run!
Can you see my confusion about what to wear for this run???
Then last night we had our indoor coed soccer game at 8pm.  It was a fun game, no major bruises to report and the team we played was actually pretty friendly.  And we had extra girls there so I actually got to take a breather a few times!  Today I rested and tomorrow I have a softball game in the evening.  I may do some yoga afterwards depending on my energy level.  Overall- a busy and successful week for this Runner Girl!

What is your longest run on a treadmill?  Do you love it or hate it?
**My longest run ever was 12 miles, and I have done 8-10 many times.  I am not sure that I LOVE running on a treadmill, but I don't mind it and sometimes it is just easier for me. 

24 April 2012

Runner Girl VS Bronchitis

Taking a break at one of the lookout points at Point Defiance. 
I may or may not have almost fallen off of the log I was standing
on in this picture...
Well hello friends!  Wondering where I have been?  Battling the worst cold/bronchitis/cough whatever you want to call it that I can remember having.  It was a close fight, but I am proud to declare myself the winner.  I have been resting and medicating and trying to get better for nearly a month now!  I am extremely frustrated because I had gotten myself into such great running shape heading into my half marathon season and now I am feeling a little bit under trained without much time to fix it.  But enough about all of that- I am feeling almost 100% again and can only look forward!  I highly recommend NOT getting bronchitis. 

Where we started our trail run.  So pretty down there!
Speaking of moving forward, in 11 days I will be running the cinco de mayo half marathon in Snoqualmie.  And the day after that I will be running the Tacoma City Half Marathon to move up to Jupiter status in the Half Fanatics.  You see, I am currently on Uranus and I am anxious to change that!  Haha.  And I unofficially earned Saturn last year so I am just going to skip that level since it didn't really seem like a challenge. 

Narrows Bridge in the distance
On Sunday I was supposed to be running the Mt. Si Relay with an amazing group of ladies, but I was still feeling terrible last Tuesday so I decided it would not be a good idea for me.  I wanted them to have time to replace me and luckily Zoe was able to take my legs (sorry I had picked the uphill ones!!) and they did a fantastic job running 59 miles in the heat!  I am sad I missed out on such a fun experience, but hopefully next year we can get a few teams of runner/bloggers together and run this awesome local relay race.  Want to see what I missed out on?  Check these awesome ladies out on their blogs:

Nicole @ www.ricoleruns.com/
Kerrie @ www.momvsmarathon.sanitydepartment.com
Lindsay @ http://tri-lindsayonthego.blogspot.com/
Lauren @ http://www.marathonlar.blogspot.com/
Zoe @ http://www.runzoerun.com/

We opted for the blue square trail
So instead of running a relay I went for a short run down at Point Defiance Park with my hubby.  The kids had stayed the night with my mom so we had the rare opportunity to run together and with the amazing weather we definitely took advantage of the morning.  We arrived at the park and headed for the trails- we opted for the "blue square" trail that goes around the entire outer perimeter- I wanted to be able to check out the lookout points, plus it was the longest trail. 

This may not look scary, but there was a huge drop-off
behind me and I have a fear of heights!! 
See??  Those are people way down there on that beach! 
This was my first run since the Boise half marathon and I could feel it in my heart rate and breathing.  Plus it was rather warm out- probably in the high 60's or low 70's by that point so that may have contributed to the effort level.  We took our time and I just enjoyed being out in the sunshine and nature.  It sure is beautiful down there, I am going to make an effort to run these trails more often!

A rare treat- running with my hubby!
Oh, and remember my issue with my contact?  And how I had to wear my glasses for the half marathon?  Well, 4 different contacts out of 2 different boxes later the problem was still there.  Basically there was this "spot" that kept appearing across the middle of my contact- it looked like a silver fleck.  So I called the eye doctor on Friday and guess what it was?  I had 2 bad batches of contacts and there was a HOLE in the same spot on all of them.  So they gave me a new set and voila- just like that my eye is better.  Talk about a crazy couple of weeks- between my lungs and my eyeball it is a miracle I have any sanity left!!! 
How lucky am I that I can see this while running trails?  Amazing.  Especially
now that I have non-holey contacts!


12 April 2012

High Speed Pursuit Half Marathon Recap

Lovely shot in our hotel room
Last Saturday morning I woke up around 6:45am to get ready for my first half marathon of the year.  We were staying at a hotel in Boise so I wanted to leave plenty of time to get myself all put together, wake the kids up and eat some breakfast before heading to get Cynthia.  The race was scheduled to start at 10am which was nice since Boise is an hour ahead of Tacoma.  We had a rough time getting up early all week, kind of crazy how just one hour makes a big difference! 

The tough part about racing away from home is the weather- when I was packing and watching the weather channel the day we left the prediction was for warm weather all week and in the 60's for race day!  I even packed a sleeveless shirt just in case it was really warm, I never even imagined it was going to be cold so I didn't throw in arm sleeves or a long sleeve running shirt!  Well, guess what- the temperature outside was only around 38 degrees, and it wasn't going to get much over 43 before the race started.  Good thing I at least had a jacket so I brought that just in case.

At Cynthia's with our "arm sleeves"
When we got to Cynthia's she had ran to Target and bought some long socks to use for arm sleeves and then we could toss them if we got warm.  Took a few photos and left the kiddos with Will's brother and headed to the race start area.  We were lucky to get a very close, front row parking spot and headed to grab our timing chip and tshirts.  While standing out in the freezing cold wind we realized that the arm sleeves were probably not going to cut it and decided to wear our jackets.  The sun was out, but the wind was cold!

Will hanging out in the back of our car, trying to stay warm!
Just before the race, there was a little "high speed" pursuit
Soon enough the race gun sounded and we were sent off out around the prison grounds.  The 5K, 10K (which Will ran) and half marathon all started together but it was a fairly small group so it didn't seem to be a big deal.  The 5K broke off after a mile or so and the 10K ended up with an out and back course around mile 3.6 and then it was just us half marathoners out in the big open desert.  Cynthia and I were just running this for fun, with no particular goal in mind so we made sure to stop at the water stations and around mile 2 we decided to start our music- I wasn't going to be much for conversation since my cough was still really bad and I needed to conserve my breathing and make sure I kept my pace easy.  Plus, she has been having problems with one of her shins so she needed to pay attention to that as well.  Some pair of runners we were that day!! 

Mile 1- 9:17 *getting warmed up
Mile 2- 9:07 *feeling good
Mile 3- 10:09 *water stop, start music
Mile 4- 9:43 *feeling good, the 10K runners turn back and we move onto pavement
Mile 5- 9:17 *pavement, no wind- feeling great

Mile 5ish water station stop
After mile 5 there was a water stop and I knew that would be my best chance to take my gel with water- it was an espresso one and I HAVE to chase it with water or else it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  But it is my favorite one because it isn't too sweet.  We snapped a photo real quick and headed off again.  My lungs were feeling pretty good and I was able to keep from having fits of coughing so I was pretty pleased with our pace.  Not too fast, not too slow and on track to finish around 2:05-2:10 which seemed about right.

Mile 6- 10:52 *stopped to take my gel at water station.  took a photo.
Mile 7- 9:30 *hello espresso gel, out in the middle of nowhere at this point!
Mile 8- 10:21 *long, steady incline here- I worry about keeping my breathing in check
Mile 9- 9:56 *I survive the hill, start my fantasy about the java chip frappuccino

Just after mile 8 I remember suddenly feeling really good- like I could keep stepping up my pace and I was going to be ok.  That was my plan- well, that and having a grande java chip frappuccino!  It was all I could think about, it sounded so good.  Which is odd, because I don't even remember the last time I had any frappuccino, let alone a java chip one.  I just kept running, thinking just how good that drink was going to taste, and I was even going to have WHIP CREAM on top because darn it, I earned it! 

Then all of a sudden it hit me.  Mile 9.5- we turned a corner onto the side of the highway and the wind was crazy strong.  I could see the runners ahead of us walking and straining into the wind- it had to have been about 20 miles per hour and it was never ending.  Which is probably good because I swear if it had just suddenly stopped I would have fallen flat on my face.  Cynthia and I took turns running in front of each other but it really made very little difference.  I couldn't even look up because I could feel my hat lift every time I did, and it was probably a good thing that I was wearing my glasses because they offered some protection to my eyes.  At one point I glanced up ahead and my hat went flying off of my head and I had turn around and run after it!

Mile 10- 10:48 *the wind starts
Mile 11- 11:40 *the wind continues, we stop at the water station to breath for a second
Mile 12- 11:59 *more wind.  took a few photos.  wish I could hop in the back of a truck. Up, up, up
Mile 13- 11:38 *is the wind ever going to stop?  The answer is no.  Happy to be DONE!

Mile 11.5 or so.  That is one forced smile on my face!
We stopped at the water station around mile 11 to take a breather and get a rest from pushing into the wind.  It was absolutely exhausting!  A full body workout, kind of like running under water I suppose.  We got to the top of a hill (oh yeah, did I mention these final 3.5 miles of wind were also uphill?)  and were going to be turning to go in a different direction.  We snapped a few more pictures here before setting off on our final mile.  I was hopeful that the wind would let up a little but no such luck- it was just pushing us sideways AND from the front now as we walked/jogged up this enormous rocky hill.  At that point our fun race stopped being fun for me and I just wanted to be done!

Thought it would be funny to take a picture of our skirts blowing in the breeze. 
Not really too sure WHERE my skirt is!!!   
Finally we headed back onto the prison grounds and I knew that we were close.  We kept leap frogging with several of the runners- it seemed as though everyone was needing walking breaks at the end of this race.  Finally I could see this lady coming up behind us and I didn't want her to pass so I told Cynthia she was on our heels and we cruised in the last quarter mile of the race.  I grabbed her hand and we crossed together- our "fun" race was finally over! 

Hey look, my skirt is back!  Almost done-  Just. keep. moving.
Good thing we were wearing shorties under those skirts!
Love this- my hubby should be a race photographer. 
Holding hands as we touch down on the finish line.
There was a nice setup of food at the finish line which was appreciated- I had a breakfast burrito and some chocolate milk.  My lungs were pretty mad at me and I was doing a lot of coughing but otherwise I felt pretty good.  Soon we were freezing again, that crazy wind just kept on blowing and blowing so we didn't stay around too long.  This was my slowest half marathon ever, but given the circumstances I am calling it a success.  There are just some things we cannot control, but if I was given the choice between rain and wind- I will take rain each and every time!

Total time-  2:15:13 (cynthia beat me by 1/10 of a second) 
Average pace- 10:17
Age group place- 10/18
Female place- 25/45
Overall place- 55/90

Later that evening we went out for a nice sushi dinner at an Irish Pub (yes, you read that correctly) and then walked down to a frozen yogurt shop for our tradition of dessert after our big races.  It was mighty tasty!  Oh, and about that java chip frappuccino- I never had one.  But I did have a grande 2% coffee frappuccino instead and it hit the spot.

A well deserved treat!
An email told us later that at the one hour mark the wind caused the timing mat to flip over as well as knocked a computer off of the table and they lost times for about 9 minutes of the race.  This effected many of the 10K runners finishing during that time frame.  Will was ok, he finished right after they got it all hooked back together, but wouldn't that be awful if you weren't recorded as you came into the finish line?

One of the race photo's.  Will says I look like I am running to the library. 
My glasses didn't bother me at all, and may have been helpful in that wind. 
Cynthia said she had tears streaming down her face but my eyes were just fine!
I finally went to see a doctor on Tuesday to see what in the world was wrong with me- I have viral acute bronchitis.  Awesome, so I am taking lots of medicine and resting so I can get myself healthy again.  Probably not the best plan to run a half marathon with bronchitis- the doctor just looked at me and asked if I finished the race when I told her.  Yes.  Yes I did!       

06 April 2012

Spring Break in Boise

Running on the Boise Greenbelt
The kids were on spring break last week so we drove over to Boise on Monday, arriving around midnight local time (they are an hour ahead of us).  We are staying in a hotel, which is fun and also makes me appreciate being able to do simple things (like getting dressed) without an audience.  But for the most part the kids are old enough to sleep well and behave themselves on vacation so it has actually been quite relaxing.  And to top it off- it hasn't rained once since we have been here!   

Wednesday night Gene and Cynthia treated us to a playoff hockey game.  It was the Idaho Steelheads versus the Ontario Reign and the game was really close, ending in a sudden death overtime loss for the Steelheads.  Devan even scored one of the game pucks!

Devan and her puck!
Cynthia and I were able to head out for a 4 mile run on the Boise greenbelt yesterday.  It is actually just behind our hotel so Cynthia drove over and we walked down a path and started our run.  Perfect!  Except that I still am not feeling 100% so it was a tough run for my lungs to handle.  But we jogged along at a decent pace and stopped to take some silly pictures a few times. 

The sun was so bright!  But I was not going to complain
because hey- at least there was sun!
It is always nice to run someplace new and it was fun to see where Cynthia spends much of her time running.  At one point we came around a corner and just above the fence line in the distance there were two GIRAFFE heads.  What the heck?  Well, I found out that was the edge of the Boise Zoo and the giraffe's were out roaming around.  Pretty cool!

We were running on the other side of that fence. 
I think he recognized us!
That made me actually want to go to the zoo so today we took the kids to check out the animals and goof around.  It was a nice, quiet little zoo and we were able to see quite a few of the animals up close, including our new running buddies the giraffes.  And to add to my fun in Boise for some reason my left contact is getting all cloudy.  I put brand new ones in on Sunday, and put a new one in this morning and it didn't help at all.  So it was either rip my eyeball out or wear my glasses.  Glasses won.  I am soaking both left contacts in some fancy solution tonight to see if it helps.   

Photo booth fun!
Tomorrow morning is my first half marathon this year- The High Speed Pursuit.  I sure hope my lungs are up to the challenge, and that I don't have to wear my glasses!  I sure have a lot of issues right now, good grief!  Cynthia and I are running the half and Will is running the 10K.  There is also a 5K and all races start together at 10am- I don't think I have run a race where all distances started together at the same time so that should be interesting. 

Our race outfits!  Nike tech shirt, Skirt Sports gym girl ultra black skirt,
Team Sparkle blue skirt, Team Sparkle star race legs.
Cynthia and I realized today that we ended our half marathon season together in Vegas in December and are starting it together in April- pretty cool that we can still be racing buddies even though we live WAY too far apart!!
Carb loading!  I didn't really drink any of that 100oz beer- but my
hubby and his brother drank it all!