25 October 2012


This was our theme song for the weekend.  Play it while you read the post, then maybe you can feel like you were there with us and my ramblings won't seem so crazy! 

So this blog post has very little to do with running- but if you are interested in how to have an amazing girl weekend that involves a lot of laughing, chatting, walking and consuming of delicious food than look no further!

My girlfriends and I have been planning this "girl trip" for several months now and between all of our crazy schedules we settled on October 19th-21st in Portland. So we booked a hotel right downtown and decided to have one dressy go out night and then do a lot of shopping/eating/walking the rest of the time. It was perfect.

Sarah, Jaime, Kendra and me in our hotel lobby
We ate sushi, frozen yogurt, pumpkin pancakes, cheese plates, burgers, halibut, duck and fancy desserts. And truffles. And doughnuts. Oh, and pineapple fried rice and fresh spring rolls from a food cart at 2:30am. I think I need to run 50 miles to burn it all off but it was totally worth every bite!! Oh, and a chocolate dipped macaroon. Better make it 55 miles.

We shopped at the mall, the Portland open market and stores like Nike, Lush, Powell's book store, Paper Source and Prana. We parked the car when we arrived on Friday and never got in it again until we left on Sunday so we walked A LOT!!

Right across from our hotel.  By the way- don't drink that water. 
Here is a list of the places we went that I really enjoyed and suggest you visit if you are ever in Portland:

*Breakfast- Mother's Bistro (http://www.mothersbistro.com/) -we waited a very long time for a table on Saturday but it was worth it. I had pumpkin pancakes and chicken sausage links and a Bloody Mary (which was really, really good). The girls all enjoyed their food as well, no complaints other than the long wait.  Eat here and make your belly happy.

*Shopping- The Portland open market on Saturday was really nice. It is HUGE and has a lot of neat things to buy. I almost bought a duck tape wallet, but I did buy peacock earrings and some warm gloves that I LOVE. Also- go to Powell's book store. It is an independently owned bookstore that fills an entire city block (there are maps available!). I could have spent the day there. http://www.powells.com/

My fancy friends- Kendra, Sarah, me and Jaime
*Dinner- We had a really nice dinner at the Heathman Hotel. Sound familiar? We didn't see Fifty Shades there much to our dismay!! It is a classic french inspired restaurant -the presentation was really nice and the food was fantastic. After our meals we shared a cheese plate and then we each chose a different dessert so we could taste them all. It is pricey but overall I would say if you want to splurge on a meal you would not regret it here. http://portland.heathmanhotel.com/restaurants/restaurant-menus.aspx

My dinner at the Heathman.  Halibut, leeks and fingerling potatoes. 
*Entertainment- We decided to go see this show http://www.darcellexv.com/ on Saturday night and it was hilarious! We called and reserved a spot and they said to arrive by 10pm for the 10:30pm show and after a taxi incident we arrived at 10:05pm to be informed that we needed to wait in line they only take reservations up until 10pm. So make sure to get there very early!!! We still had decent seats but I would have been mad if we didn't get in to see the show. We stayed for the male centerfold show at midnight but to be honest it wasn't really much of a "show". Mostly the guys just took off their clothes and then went into the audience to give out touchy feely lap dances. Not really my scene! I was not really paying attention and suddenly one of the guys was right on me dancing and so I tucked my dollar bill in his undies and Kendra was just sitting by me chuckling knowing how uncomfortable I was. Then he moved on to her and it was my turn to laugh at her! Ha that was probably the best part for me. We left soon after that. So watch the Darcelle show, but I would say the centerfolds are not really worth it. Good thing we didn't pay extra for that part!

The cast of the Darcelle show.  I think the lady with the legs must be a runner!
*Dessert- Kendra talked about Papa Hadyn and their desserts so much we had to stop in and get something when we walked by. I wanted one of everything but I chose a chocolate dipped macaroon and it was amazing. Holy yum. Go eat dessert here http://www.papahaydn.com/ you will not be disappointed. And if you love chocolate half as much as I do, do yourself a favor and stop by one of the many Moonstruck Chocolate Co. cafe's and have a truffle. They also have drinking chocolate and many other amazing chocolate things to eat. http://www.moonstruckchocolate.com/ . We also went to Voodoo Doughnut on the way out of town -I am not a huge fan of doughnuts but I admit these are pretty creative and tasty. I ate a chocolate one that was dipped in crushed butterfingers. Maybe I need to run closer 100 miles to burn all of this off...

We may have re-enacted a little Gangnam Style in our elevator
Almost but not quite the same...
*If you are hungry at 2am then I recommend walking really far in the rain to wherever the food trucks are.  Totally worth it, and you get to meet fun people like Michael from Poland who made Sarah some french fries and a Gyro and watch really drunk people wander by several times in search of their hotel.  The food trucks are open during the daytime too, but we learned they stay open until 4-6am for the bar folks!  They literally made fried rice for me while I watched them, and rolled up my fresh tofu spring rolls.  Good stuff.
I was laughing so hard that I was crying here.  Good times with some silly friends. 
I recommend bringing a friend with a long arm -thanks Jaime!!  Push the button!
It was nice to get away from everyday life for a few days though. No long run to do, no kids to feed, no work, no bills, no chores! It was a nice way to recharge and spend time with friends I have know most of my life. I met Kendra when we were about 7, Jaime when we were 11 and Sarah and I met when we were about 16. I am thankful for good, lifelong friends. Cheers!

17 October 2012

Defiance 30K Recap

Ready for my 30K!
Saturday morning my alarm went off around 5am so I could get some breakfast in me before I started getting nervous.  I ate a blueberry bagel with some berry preserves and drank a glass of water before getting dressed- a peek outside told me it was raining but that didn't really suprise me.  At 6am I ate a cliff bar but by the last bite I was forcing it down so I threw my banana in my race bag and decided I could eat it while I waited for the race to start.  I decided to leave around 6:30am to make sure I got a good parking spot and have plenty of time to get myself ready to run.  I packed enough stuff so that if the world ended while I was running I could survive for about 3 weeks.  Seriously, I had extra clothes, tons of fuel and water, protein bars, coats and shoes plus garbage bags and my trusty banana (which I never did eat!).

The fuel!
The one thing I didn't bring that I wish I had?  My snuggie.  That would have been nice and cozy while I sat in my car freezing to death waiting for the race to start!  So since I live 2 miles from the start line I was way too early but it was nice to slowly get myself together and not stress about anything for that last hour before the race.  The rain was pretty solid off and on and I finally decided to get out of the car and use the bathroom and figure out where I would leave my drop bag.  While in line for the bathroom suddenly Nicole and Lindsay walked by and said hi.  Nicole was running the 15K (she was supposed to run the 50K but is coming back from an injury) and Lindsay really was running the 50K!  Lindsay did an awesome job and Nicole supported her by running the final lap with her.  Read their reports HERE and HERE if you want to hear some other perspectives on this race and the different distance options. 

I said hi to several people I knew, and then found my friend Zach.  I threw my drop bag down near his on a picnic table covered in plastic, reluctantly threw my jacket inside of it and went to get in line for the start gun.  Zach was running the 30K and his friend David was running the 50K so I decided to start out with them even though I figured they would be faster than me.  The race starts on a straight paved sidewalk, then goes up a large wooden staircase before heading into the trails.  I kept up with them for about a mile or so, but I knew if I stayed with them I would push myself too hard in the first few uphill miles and my race would suck.  I know my pace and it is the opposite of fast on those trails.  Slow and steady was my goal, so I just eased up and soon they were gone from sight but I didn't mind. 

I just finished my first trip up Achille's Hill and then back down!
Around the rhodedendron garden I was suddenly next to Steve from my Ragnar team so we chatted for a bit and then he was pulling ahead of me as well.  Then all of a sudden there were runners coming straight at us and telling us to "turn around, we were going the wrong way!" and I was like "are they serious?".  Yes, a group of 20-30 of us (including Steve but not Zach, Nicole or Lindsay) had indeed missed a turn and were going in the wrong direction.  Turns out somebody had flipped a sign around on the course- by the time I got back on track it was probably about an extra 2 miles.  I would really like to have a chat with that person. 

Devan joined me for a few minutes
So after that little episode I was trying to convince myself that 2 extra miles wasn't that big of a deal.  Even though I knew it was actually pretty significant.  And I could probably kiss my time goal goodbye.  But there wasn't anything I could do but keep on running so that is what I did!  I fueled with gels every 40 minutes or so and refilled my water at the aid station.  I passed a couple of walkers on a very narrow trail.  I saw a couple of runner's bite the dust.  I speed walked as fast as possible up Achille's Hill, and tried to make up time running back down (that was fun!).  Will and Devan found me down past the dog park and snapped some photos.  I chatted with a lady named Heidi that runs the Bee Hive massage at the YMCA for the last few miles before we headed back down to the Start/Finish line.

Speaking of heading back down to the starting area- so Nellie's Gnarly Descent was the last part of the course I was unsure of.  Basically you head off of the main road and hike down, down, down a cliff and there is a rope for you to hold onto for part of it so you don't die fall and hurt yourself.  The first trip down it wasn't too bad actually and I managed to be rather graceful.  Once at the bottom I hustled towards the timing matts and logged a stellar time of 2:15:56 and my garmin told me I had ran 12.6 miles (should have been 10.3) so I figure I had managed to add 2.3 miles to my first lap. 

See ya!
I used the bathroom really quick and like an idiot skipped past the aid station and didn't refill my water bottles.  I was keeping up with my fueling and I actually felt really good at that point still.  And then came the stairs, and the hills- those hills in the first couple miles are just never ending!  I know the exact point it finally levels off and every time I turn that corner it is like my heart stops beating out of my chest and I can breath!  This time there were volunteers standing in the pathway making sure we went the right way which was awesome.  No need to tack on any more miles thank you very much!  About a mile before I reached the aid station at Fort Nisqually I ran out of water completely.  Not a good sign, and I had been rationing my water after I realized I hadn't topped off so I was actually quite thirsty. 

Once I reached the aid station I refilled both water bottles and drank quite a bit.  I was feeling kind of yucky at that point- a little bit dizzy and a tad nauseated so I was grazing on a couple of chips and a piece of watermelon hoping it would magically make me feel better.  I had 5 miles to go and I think my garmin said I was close to 18 miles at that point.  I set off back down the hill and a few miles later I looked at my watch because it beeped at me that the battery was low and I noticed that it was on pause- and it still said 18 miles!  Great.  I must have bumped it at the aid station or stopped it out of habit and not realized it. 

The last mile of that race was the longest mile EVER in my life.  I could see the time on my watch and I knew if I hurried I could still possibly make it in under 4 hours and 15 minutes but it would be close.  Once I hit the road I tried to match pace with this guy in front of me, allowing him to pull me along until the climb back down to Owen's beach.  This time the descent was a little more difficult.  The dirt was looser and my legs were jello- I took a long miss-step at one point and by some miracle my left quad actually held me up.  There was a guy standing just below and he said "good save!" and I was like "I am just glad my legs still work!" cause that would have been a fine way to end my 30K by rolling down to the finish line!

The beautiful finish line
I finally broke free of the trail and headed out onto the pavement toward the beautiful sight of the finish line using every ounce of energy I had left.  I could hear Zach and Nicole cheering me on and that was so awesome and encouraging- thanks guys!  My time for lap 2 was 1:54:10 making my total time for the "30K" 4:10:07.  I still beat my C goal!  Zach took one look at my feet and declared me "too clean"- I guess I am a tidy runner.  My shoes were muddy around the bottom and I had a ton of dirt inside my shoes but my calf sleeves were clean.  Interesting.  I wandered around a bit and threw my gear in the car and grabbed a sandwich.  I sat with Nicole for a few minutes while she waited for Lindsay to come through on her second lap and then they both set off for one more loop.  I headed home so I could go watch my daughter play soccer at 1:30pm before finally settling down in my recliner and not moving for the remainder of the day!

My "too clean" legs and feet!
I absolutely loved everything about this race.  It was very different from a road race- the runners were much friendlier and easygoing.  There was just a different attitude in general.  I loved that we all just left our bags out on tables trusting that nobody would mess with them.  I loved chatting with random people along the way and being surrounded by nature the entire time.  I never felt dread during this race and I never wished it was over.  Those things are important to me- I do not want to spend money and time on something that I don't enjoy.  I distinctly remember reminding myself in those last 5 miles to relax and enjoy my race- the race that I spent the last 2 1/2 months training for.  And that is what I did.  Best race ever.  If you are interested in a trail race or an ultra in the Seattle/Tacoma area- THIS is the one you should do!!  I will be back next year.  Thank you Tacoma City Marathon Association for making me proud to live and race in Tacoma.     

12 October 2012

In Twelve Hours

In twelve hours...

I will be at the starting line of my first ever 30K trail race!  I am so ready to get the show on the road, I have taken my taper to the extreme this week and done ZERO running.  None.  I ran 8 miles last Friday and then life happened this week and a run just never happened.  I did one random session of P90X2 Yoga and some foam rolling on Tuesday and then I worked an extra shift on Wednesday and went to see Pitch Perfect with some friends that night instead of running.  So I am nice and tapered- my muscles should be ready to go in the morning!

And I have been carb loading all week too.  Skinny rules -what skinny rules?  White rice, white pasta, potatoes, bagels...a cookie here and there.  And M&M's.  Oh and a cupcake- but it was my birthday so that doesn't count right?  My diet has been carbolicious but I am ready to get back to my healthier eating next week.  After I consume the thousands of calories I am about to burn.  In twelve hours.

Blue Nike tech tee, Running Skirts skirtcamp camo athletic skirt, Zensah calf sleeves
I have my outfit laid out- I altered it just a bit since Fall has decided to arrive in a hurry.  The weather is supposed to be rather rainy- how ironic that the last time it rained was the day of my last race.  It poured on the first day of Ragnar in July and I don't think it has rained since.  I don't mind running in the rain- I  actually prefer the rain over heat and wind.  Kind of like that time I trained for a marathon in 40 and 50 degree weather and then on race day it was 70 and I wanted to die.  This is the opposite so I am hoping it works in my favor!  I trained in the warm weather and now I will run while it's cool and wet so it should feel easier right?

I helped out at packet pickup today at the brand new Fleet Feet store that opened up in the Proctor district in Tacoma.  It is so nice inside and I am really excited to have a running store so close to me- it is literally across the street from the school my kids attend.  Dangerous.  I was given a tour of the new Tacoma City Marathon Association office upstairs and the building is really nice.  They are also selling Skirt Sports and Oiselle clothing.  You should go check it out if you are in the area.

I have been playing with my fueling during training and I find that I feel much better if I take a gel or half of a pack of chews every 35-40 minutes or so.  I tried 45 minutes and it was too long and my energy starts to drop.  I also ate a kid size cliff bar during my 16 and 18 milers and my stomach was just fine.  I ate a honey stinger waffle one time and that did NOT go over well but I should probably have eaten bites of it instead of the whole thing.  So I am debating bringing a cut up cliff bar so I can eat a bite here and there if I want it. 

I am assuming the race will take me 4 hours but I really have no time goal in mind.  If I could finish in 3 hours 50 minutes I would be impressed and if it takes more than 4 hours 15 minutes I will be a bit disappointed.  The total distance works out to 20.6 trail miles with each loop being 10.3 miles.  The only time I have ever ran farther than this was at my marathon a year and a half ago!  I will keep you all posted sometime in the next few days.