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running stories

the tales of my training

Updated: 2018-03-08T07:15:50.105-08:00


Enter post title, for the last time


I started this blog in 2005. 8 years ago. It was a simpler time! I had just ran my first marathon, Zach and I were newly-ish wed and renting an apartment in suburban California, and I was a fresh 25 years old.

Since then I’ve run 10 marathons, dozens of other road races, a bunch of trail races, and a handful of triathlons including an Ironman. I went from a new runner to a seasoned competitor to a burnt-out overachiever to a balanced, well-rounded, zen-like athlete. Or something. I have been married almost 10 years. I’m now an Oregonian, a homeowner, and a mother.

I’m pretty sure I’m the coolest person you’ll ever know. That’s what this blog has been about, and I think we can all agree it is settled.

I’ve enjoyed writing this blog because I consider myself a good writer. I consider myself VERY hilarious! I’ve re-read each post a hundred times and glow with satisfaction each and every time.

But, alas, I seem to be the only one. And that’s ok! You are all fantastic writers as well, and whatever you are doing seems to be striking a chord with the community. I think my sporadic posting, inflated ego, and lack of reviews/giveaways/commenting/effort has finally taken it’s toll and my readership has dwindled. And that is truly ok.

I am officially over it. No one cares! I don’t mean this all to sound self-pitying, believe me! I am writing this with a big, shit-eating grin on my face. I’m free! I’m finally freeeee! I don’t have the time, and I lack the enthusiasm. And I’m sick of feeling guilty about it!

Go, go! Enjoy the world of fun, funny, interesting blogs. I know I will! But I will no longer be among them.

I am finally, completely relieving myself of this obligation. I am sincerely grateful for all the people I’ve met through the blogging community- in person and online. I’ve so appreciated all of your support and encouragement. It has been a very important part of my life and it has been a pleasure to share it with you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I will keep my email address here- and I will continue to check it every 6 or so months. If anyone in future generations finds this blog and wants to reach out to me please do. Just don’t expect a prompt reply!

The rest of you, if you haven’t already, please find me on Facebook or Instagram. There are several of you who still need to do this but most of you have already. I will continue to post pictures of my insanely gorgeous daughter and brag about my running achievements on those platforms. And you can always look me up on Athlinks if you are a dedicated stalker.

Well, I could go on and on but that’s really the gist of it.

Love ya, mean it.

Thank you for reading.


(image) (image)

Trail Factor Half Marathon Race Report


Long time no post! I had planned on doing a couple of races in the last few weeks but decided not to, so no recent race reports… so no posting. Still feeling generally uninspired to post. But now I have a race to report on! Here we go. Actually this is going to be pretty brief because I don’t have a mile-by-mile breakdown. I have a few blurry pictures though which is kind of exciting! The Trail Factor Half Marathon was a perfect goal for me- super local, perfect distance, and just plain fun. Love me some Forest Park. Zach doesn’t like the idea of paying to run somewhere we run every weekend for free. Fair, but I needed something. And a race is different than a solo run, so I was in. The website says the race has 2000 feet of elevation gain, which seems a bit high. The website also admits the race is 13.4 miles. I am very familiar with the course and knew what I was facing. Not super tough but plenty of climbing for me. We woke up to a verrry heavy rain. Yick! Obviously I’m used to running in the rain but it makes it hard to get out the door. I was excited though. I wasn’t planning on “racing” it really so I wasn’t too nervous. I’ve done plenty of training runs (up to 15 miles) so I knew I was ready for it. Zach and Penny drove down to the start with me. I did my usual pre-race momma routine of nursing Penelope in the car before the start. They dropped me off and I walked up to the start. It was pouring! I used the porto and hung out a little while in there because it was dry. I wore a garbage bag poncho too which was awesome. Soon enough we were off! Here’s the brief part of the race report:The actual race. We climbed! We ran on flat. We climbed more. We descended. ETC. It was very muddy. Very! We got soaked and filthy and it was fun. I was kind of MEH about the first few miles but started having fun about halfway. I seeded myself wisely for once in my life. Usually I start way up front and get passed the whole time. Which is so demoralizing. This time I started mid-pack and it was nice. It was more crowded at first but not for too long. I probably got passed by as many people as I passed the first few miles. The last few miles, I was feeling really good and passed a few people without getting passed anymore. What else? I skipped the aid stations. I ate some Clif Blocks. I chatted with some runners. I saw a guy slip and fall. I’m kind of out of practice with blogging, clearly! Zach had taken Penny home for her nap so I didn’t have a fan club at the finish. I grabbed my awesome pint glass and texted him and my friends, and then ran the 2 miles down to my friend’s house. I stopped for a bagel when I got down there and showered to warm up and wash the ridiculous amount of mud off my legs. It wasn’t bad running an additional couple of miles, surprisingly! I guess it means I could have ran the race harder but definitely gave a good effort and had fun, so I’m happy with it. Official Results: 2:10:16 (9:56 average pace) 10/22 (30-39 AG)17/66 Females76/167 OA It was a nice cap to a very busy Memorial Day weekend. A couple of friends flew in for a girls weekend and it was beautiful and exhausting. I am going to need a few days to recover from all of this! We head to LA next weekend for another friend’s wedding so more excitement to come. Bring it! Ok, this post is all over the place and not that exciting! Sorry. I know if I didn’t write something up it would never happen. I’ll be back with all kinds of introspective, articulate shit some day soon maybe! Pictures:   Zach and Penny did watch me run by about one mile in: Done and done!         Hi from lil Penny! Can you believe she is 10 months old already. What a doll. <3   [...]

Not a Race Report


Did you notice that my blog has become a once-monthly collection of race reports? You can probably get some idea of what’s going on in my life from those, and I always include a picture of little Penny, but I want to post a non-RR for once! I feel the need to blabber on and on about random things. Here we go! Running I’m running! Something like 25-30 miles a week lately. I’ve enjoyed doing shorter races and am starting to do more trail running. I am signed up for a trail half marathon in May and also plan on signing up for a big 5k in May as well. I am not following a training plan AT ALL. I just do what I can every week. I am not doing any speed work or structured workouts, but I am getting in a long run (10-12) every weekend. I occasionally feel like running fast and go out and do it. In the last couple of weeks: a tempo ish run – 6  miles at 8:05 or so pace, and then a 5k from my front door in 23:08 (7:28 pace). I’ve been enjoying trail running more lately, and the last few weeks did my long run on the trails in Forest Park. I’m not aching to sign up for an ultra but it is way more interesting scenery for 2 hour runs. And with spring springing up all around, it’s so pretty: I am looking at doing a fall marathon. Maybe/Probably Portland! I struggled before with NOT signing up for something big, but lately I’m totally ok with it. I’m sure I mentioned it before, but it is very hard now to put in big miles for me. Besides being so busy with the baby, I am still breastfeeding which is a huge metabolic effort. Burning something like 500-600 calories a day (and being on my feet all day) doesn’t leave me with much energy to run more than a few miles at a time or more than 4 days a week. I think my marathon goal will have to wait until we are mostly weaned. Zach has the “big goal” base covered in our household lately- he’s back on the trails for hours and hours training for an ultra (or two, TBD). He gets up super early so he’s home by 9 or 10 and does his weekday runs on his lunch break. Busy guy, I really appreciate him. I’m doing my best to support him in his training. Penelope My sweet girl is about 8 1/2 months now. She is adorable, and so fun.   She is so special. She is also a handful. There’s a lot of this: I think we’re entering the “separation anxiety” stage. Sometimes she only wants to be held by me and cries when I turn my back on her. Exhausting! She is very mobile- crawling all over and now trying to pull up to stand on stuff. But she’s so sweet, and has the best smile. I love playing with her and watching her discover the world.   SAHM So motherhood is (predictably) exhausting, fun, and rewarding. I am enjoying staying home with Penny. I’m in a groove and living the dream. We are workin’ the storytime circuit, taking swimming class, getting out for walks, going on play dates. I also do a ton of chores, including an insane amount of laundry (we do cloth diapers). I’m making all Penny’s baby food too. I work hard, but it’s balanced with a lot of fun.   Visitors and Trips A big highlight of last month was a visit from a very special friend, Aron! She came up with her friend Jojo to run the Gorge Waterfalls 50k (which Zach ran last year, he volunteered this year) and stayed with us for a long weekend. It was GREAT! We ran together, we talked, we drank beer, we wandered around Portland. So fun! Also happened to have beautiful spring weather while she was here.     We also had family in town: Zach’s parents and his Aunt Carol. Love having visitors, and they loved seeing Penny! We have a few trips planned for this summer. First, going to Los Angeles for my  dear friend Maritza’s wedding!! I can’t wait to celebrate with her and her lovely fiance. And she can’t wait to meet Penelope. We Face Time about once a week. We are also making a big trip to Montana in J[...]

Luckython 5k Race Report


Happy St Patty’s Day! I celebrated the holiday by running a little 5k. On Saturday evening I ran the Luckython 5k out at the Reserve Vineyard and Golf Club in Aloha, OR. I ran another race out there in October so I knew it was a beautiful and fast place to run. I signed up last minute, as usual, and tried to keep the pressure low. But, these evening races are very tough mentally! I was all wired all afternoon and couldn’t wait to get it over with. I always get nervous before any race, even a little 5k, but this all-day nerves business is ridiculous. I need to stop signing up for these! There were actually several other races going on that day- mine was at 6:15 but there was also one at 4:00 pm and another at 7:30. Weird to have so many different start times, but that’s how this race company likes to do things. For me, it meant a very small race that was mine to lose. I knew it was a small field, and no one looked particularly intimidating, so I hoped to place high or win. I also had personal time goals, but would settle for one or the other. My PR is another ancient one (2006) and I was ready to wipe it out. However, the 22:07 is a tough pace and I had no idea if I’d be able to beat it. The weather was lousy all day but the skies cleared just in time for the run. It was perfect, and so beautiful. It was cold (45, “feels like” 37) but I raced in a tank top and shorts. I fed the baby in the car and headed to the starting line. I jogged around a little, mostly to stay warm, and then we lined up. There was a young cross-country girl that I hoped was speedy but that was about it. That was the first time I actually worried that I wouldn’t have anyone fast to chase or push me. What a weird worry! We started and right away I ran ahead of the young girl and a tall guy. I felt like I was sprinting so I tried kind of settling into a more sustainable pace. The sun was shining bright off the wet path and it was kind of blinding, but the scenery was super gorgeous. I was running completely alone. Which honestly kind of sucked. I had NO idea how fast I was running- I was once again going watch-free (garmin on, just didn’t look at it) so I had nothing to base my pace off. And whenever I had a chance to  look behind me there was no one in sight. So I just continued to run as hard as I could, asking myself “could I be running faster?” and always answering “No thank you.” I feel like there were times I kind of slacked off but I tried to pick it back up when I realized this. It didn’t take long until the golf club was back in sight and I was headed toward the finish. I saw Zach and his mom and aunt and sprinted to the finish line. I saw the clock as I crossed and was surprised and immediately frustrated by my time!! 22:04! A PR by the skin of my teeth. But SO close to under 22:00 which was my “dream goal.” I was super happy though, and finished feeling great. I felt like maybe I did have a little gas left in the tank, and I immediately felt like I could have run faster (easy to say after the fact). I am already looking for a big 5k race to see if I can make that happen and break 22:00! Official time: 22:04 (7:06 average pace) 1/39 Overall Splits Mile 1: 6:49 Mile 2: 7:06 Mile 3: 7:16 last .14 per garmin: :52 (6:15 pace) So, all in all a great race. I won, and I set a PR! And it was a beautiful evening, my family was there, and just was a fun event. Yay! Pictures:     and finishing..          Thank you for reading! Oh, Hi from little Penny! [...]

Penelope in Pictures


What’s our little pookie been up to? Well, she’s been busy! 7 1/2 months old already and changing every day. All of these photos are from the last couple weeks. Penelope… …is getting big! …is not where you left her. …loves hanging out with her friend Esme. …really loves her daddy. …does not love this tooth (or it’s new neighbor). …helps fold diapers.   …gets into a crawling position (no forward motion yet).   …pulls up to stand. …doesn’t hate the stroller as much now that she has the big-girl set up (sans carseat).     …loves her bath. …loves the swimming pool too (after a rough start). …is highly interested in our mean old cat. …is looking forward to spring! …can’t wait to eat lots of grass and other things she finds outside. …is adorable and precious and incredible in every way. [...]

Lord Hill Trail Run 5 Miler Race Report


We spent last weekend visiting some friends up north of Seattle and squeezed in a little trail race while we were there. The race was small but very well organized and very challenging! Our friend Tyler and I both ran the 5 miler, and Zach did the 10 miler. There were also 20 miler and 50k options, with about 500 runners total. The race was in Lord Hill Park near Snohomish, WA. Our friends live about 20 minutes away which made for a relaxed race morning. I left Penelope at the house with Tyler’s wife which was a little tough- she’s only been left with a babysitter a few times… which at 7 months I realize is a little ridiculous. It was a little hard on me, but she was fine of course! I did drive separately so I could hurry back right after rather than wait for Zach to finish his longer race. My race report is pretty brief. The course was HARD. The website says the 5 miler had 750 feet of elevation gain. I haven’t downloaded my garmin data yet, but in usual trail run fashion I remember my splits ranging from 13:00+ for the big climb to 7:40 for the fast finish. There was one massive hill and a couple other smaller ones, and I am NOT in good hill-climbing shape. I haven’t done much trail running at all in the last year and it was painfully obvious as we climbed steep hills and descended technical singletrack. Ouch. It kind of sucked. I have to admit I’m more into flat, boring, easy pavement these days. I know it’s not as sexy but it’s the truth! I managed to gut it out though, although I was disappointed to not beat Tyler, who is a “novice” (but extremely fit and capable) runner. He beat me by 6 minutes! I wasn’t thrilled with the whole experience to be honest, I just felt out of my element and like it just wasn’t my day. I had fun I guess, and it was a good race. "It’s not you, it’s me” kind of thing. I did come in among the top 10 females and 2nd in my age group, but this no-frills race didn’t acknowledge any of the top finishers (more on that below). Not that I stuck around- I walked up to the car and headed home to rescue my baby, haha. I SHOULD have stuck around though, because Zach WON the 10 miler! I figured he’d finish near the front but wow. It was a pretty unexciting finish I guess, since the 5 miler runners were streaming through at that point, and the 20 miler and 50k runners were looping through the finish area all morning. As a result, it wasn’t obvious that he was the first 10 mile runner to finish, but they told him as he crossed. He knew it too, since he stuck with the other top two guys the whole time and left them in the dust at the end. The 10 miler was super hard too, with 1700 feet of elevation gain!! Pretty amazing. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, there were no awards, even for the overall winners. Lame! I think he at least deserved an announcement. I guess this is part of a series though, so the focus is on points and the overall series winners. Zach didn’t mind at all- he was thrilled to have such a good day and especially to win the race! My Official Results: 49:09 (10:14 average pace- official race distance was 4.8 miles) 2/20 30-39 AG 6/66 Females 20/112 Overall   And because it’s so cool, Zach’s results: 1:22:24 (8:14 average pace, course was accurate at 10 miles) 1/145 Overall   Here are some great photos, from Glenn Tachiyama photography Zach cresting the first climb, like a boss:   Here I come, la la la, FML:    Here’s that hill… OUCH Some of the fire road section. Gorgeous!   Hi from Penny: Thanks for reading! [...]

Vancouver Lake Half Marathon Race Report


In my mind, this half marathon was my official comeback race. I’d had this race in mind since way before Penelope was born. She is 6 months old now and I was finally ready to race a longer distance and give it my all. I had high hopes for a good finish time based on my recent 10k PR. That time (46:16) predicted a half marathon finish time of 1:43:09- and my PR from way back in 2007 is 1:43:40. I ran this race back in 2009 and finished in 1:49:02. One last bit of background- I haven’t actually ran a half marathon at all since June of 2010! With the baby and my new stay-at-home-mom lifestyle and schedule, training was pretty moderate. I did get several long runs in, including 2 12 milers. I ran about 20-25 miles per week the last few weeks, except the one week that I was super sick. I also raced that 10k which went surprisingly well. I planned to stick with my strategy of running without my watch, so I would have no idea of my pace or time until I crossed the finish line. Big gamble, but it had worked before and was worth a try. I know it’s not news to anyone, but I really discovered just HOW mental racing is. I get really psyched out when I see my pace (either disappointed if it’s slow, or scared if it’s fast) and that never has positive results. I need to stay OUT of my head as much as possible. So I didn’t have a specific time goal for the race, just to give it my all. I knew in my heart I could have a really good day. The race started at 10:00 which is awesome! It was cool (38 at the start) and cloudy, and stayed dry until the last couple miles. Perfect racing weather. The course is pancake flat and has a super fast field. Perfect conditions all around. I carried a single Power Gel and no water. I did wear my Garmin to record my splits but turned it to the watch function and didn’t even look at that. Besides running “by feel,” my only means of guessing my pace was judging the runners around me. And you all know that is a dangerous game! I started pretty close to the front and tried to hang on to some girls that looked kinda fast. They dropped me. Over the first few miles I got passed a LOT. I figured I started way too fast, but I was worried when “not-fast” looking people whizzed by me. Old guys, Clydesdales, older gals… I was convinced I was moving at a snail’s pace. I knew I was working hard though, and knew I couldn’t pick up the pace yet so I just hung in there. Eventually, I stopped getting passed so much. I tried to hang on to a few people around me, and that worked pretty well. I saw Zach and Penny several times because of the out-and-backs on the course. He gave me a thumbs up so I took that to mean I was doing good, although I don’t know if he even was watching my time. I had a good playlist going (first time ever listening to music in half) and that was motivating. Finally, around the 11 mile mark, I decided to give it everything I had. I picked a couple of ladies ahead of  me and passed them. In the last mile, a woman caught and passed me and we raced it out to the finish. She got away from me but it was very motivating to chase her! I was so tired, and was leaving it all out there. I was running through the park and saw the finish line… seeing the digital clock was the first indication I had of  my pace for the entire race and I was shocked. Official finish time: 1:42:20 (7:49 pace) 6/38 30-34 AG 31/208 Females 115/425 OA When I saw the finish clock I yelled out and pumped my arms. I believe I said “No fucking way!!!” and had a Huuuuuge smile on my face. Zach was right there and was smiling too, watching my reaction. That’s a 1 minute 20 second PR. So freaking cool. It was the greatest feeling. That moment of joy makes it all worth it! All the suffering and the bad runs and the agonizing over training… SO worth it. I’ve only ever had that feeling a handful of times i[...]

ORRC Y2K13 10k Race Report


This weekend I started off the new year with a bang- a fun race with good friends! Amy and Sarah are signed up for the ORRC (Oregon Road Runners Club) 10k Race Series and I decided to join them for this first event. I’m doing the Vancouver Lake Half Marathon in a couple weeks and figured this would be a great tune-up race, and would give me an idea of what to shoot for in the half. The race was out in Forest Grove, about 45 minutes from home. I did the whole mom routine (feeding the baby before the start, changing her diaper, etc) then Zach got her loaded up in the Ergo carrier. I registered, found my friends, used the bathroom, and we waited a few minutes inside the warm school. Awesome. It was about 36 degrees outside but thankfully not raining. I stuck with my strategy from my previous two races of not looking at my watch the whole race, and just running by feel. I was feeling relaxed about the race with no pressure, nothing to prove, nothing to lose. I hoped to run sub 8:00 miles, coming in under 49 minutes. My PR was set back in 2009 at 47:04, so I hoped to come within a minute or two of that. Since I didn’t have my Garmin as a guide (I was wearing it to capture my splits, just didn’t look at it), I ran purely by feel. And “by feel",” I mean “trying to keep up with the girls around me.” That went ok… I kept the group of girls in my sights but never caught up to them. I felt good but was definitely working hard. I checked in with myself several times and asked “could I be running faster?” Usually the answer was no, but later in the race I turned my music up a little and tried to find a little more speed before the finish. The course was super flat the first couple of miles through town, and then we wandered through the scenic countryside for the latter half. There were three hills in the race, all in the second half. They seemed huge at the time but my Garmin data denies that. Amy and Sarah will agree though, they were big. Definitely slowed the pace, but I just kept my head down and feet moving. The miles were marked, but otherwise I wouldn’t have known we were almost back to the school since it sits on the edge of town. So suddenly there was one last big hill, then Zach holding Penny, then the finish line! I looked at my watch in that final stretch and was shocked to see my time! I sprinted in as fast as I could and finished with a BIG PR and an even bigger smile on my face. Official Results: 46:16 (7:28 average pace) 5/41 30-34 AG (they gave me the 4th place ribbon after the event, oops) 16/319 Females Mile splits: Mile 1  7:12 Mile 2  7:13 Mile 3  7:29 Mile 4  7:45 Mile 5  7:37 Mile 6  7:54 Last 0.16  1:05 (6:53 pace)   Yay!! I was super surprised and excited. I haven’t set a new PR in so long… before the 2009 10k PR, all my other distance PRs are from 2006-2007. Granted, the past few years have been spent pursuing other goals (triathlon, trail running, babymaking) but still. So cool!! I’m loving the shorter, faster stuff right now. My long runs have been really good though too (10-12 milers at 9:00 ish pace) so I’m optimistic about the half coming up. I am going into it with a relaxed attitude, open mind, and no watch! Will report back, of course! Pictures:           And a few bonus pictures of my sweet Penelope, who will be 6 months old in a couple weeks. Sitting up, giggling, rolling over, grabbing her toes, and bringing joy to everyone around her.   Thanks for reading! Happy New Year! [...]

2012 in pictures


I’ve been loving everyone’s 2012 recaps, and thought I’d do a quick one of my own. It was a big year, of course. The main event being the birth of my daughter, Penelope, in July. I also ran a lot, spent time with friends, had tons of fun with my husband, traveled a bit, and all kinds of other stuff. To keep this simple, I’ll probably make this photo recap all about the baby. And anyway, it is kind of all about the baby now. January:   February: March: April: May: June: July: August: September: October: November: December: Happy New Year everyone!! [...]



So, over a month since my past post! Yikes. No posts in November- that might be a first. Needless to say, I’ve been busy. But also rather unmotivated to post. Of course, I have a million cute pictures (wait for it) but I post those often on facebook and that seems to satisfy my need to overshare baby photos. I’m squeezing this in during the late stages of naptime so time is very limited. Some quick points- Penelope is fantastic. She’s adorable, happy, and developing so fast. It’s a joy to be her mother. Her smiles are the best. She’s even working on an awesome little giggle. Motherhood is very challenging at times, and I am still struggling with many aspects of this new life. In particular, the lack of routine (she’s on as much of a “schedule” as you can expect of a 4 month old baby, but still). Every day is different. Every night for that matter! It is trying. But overall, we’re great. I am officially a stay-at-home mom. I resigned from my job officially and am feeling good about the decision. I never had a doubt this is what I would do. It’s hard work, but way better than my unfulfilling office job. And with child care being so expensive, it was a no brainer for me. Money is tight, but we’re making it work. We do tons of fun stuff to fill our days- story time, hanging out with friends, meet Zach for lunch, play at home, plus all the errands and chores and daily baby responsibilities. Good stuff. I’m struggling to fit running in. It sucks. I was feeling good about my volume and frequency (casual schedule, short runs) but then I started a "training program” (very loose term) for a half marathon in January and now I’m feeling way stressed out. I thought I wanted the structure but turns out I hate it. The weirdest part is that I don’t really care… I’m not as into running as before. I still love it, and need it, and plan on doing it as often as possible, but it’s just not as important to me right now. This surprises me. I thought I’d want to jump right into a big race but not so much. I’m just going with it for now. We’re really looking forward to Penny’s first Christmas. Everything is so special with this little baby, it is just so fun. I’m extremely grateful for her, and for Zach, and for everything in my life. Finally, I am letting myself off the hook for updating this blog. I am not interested in giving it up, but I can’t promise I will update on any regular basis. (clearly) I know it’s fine, but I want to get it in writing so I can officially feel relieved of the obligation. I do miss writing here, but I just can’t swing it. I’ll do what I can! This part is easy. Pictures! Fetching our Christmas tree last weekend:   For those of you who are still subscribed and read, Thank You!! :) Merry Christmas! [...]

Monster Moon 5k Race Report


Another 5k! This was my 5th of the year. That’s about as many 5k races as I’ve done in all the previous 7 or so years of running! I’ve always been a long distance runner but lately the 5k has been fun. It was a great distance to “race” while pregnant (I did that three times) and a fun way to get back into the racing scene after giving birth. This was my second 5k since becoming a mom. I set the bar pretty high that first time by winning the race! This time I had no expectations of doing that again, but did hope to knock off a good chunk from my finish time. That race was only 7 weeks after Penelope was born and she’s now over 3 months old, so I am much stronger. I signed up for this race at the last minute, as I have done for all of these 5k races this year. And once again I also kept quiet about any plans to run. My reason for this was I wanted the chance to change my mind at the last minute! No pressure. The Monster Moon 5k was part of a series of races held at the Reserve Golf Course the Saturday before Halloween. All three races had a Halloween Theme and all looked fun. I chose the evening race because it fit best with our schedule for the weekend (Zach had a long run that morning and we had plans for mid-day). It was weird running an evening race and I can’t say I really liked it. I didn’t like thinking about it all day! Especially when that afternoon fog hit around 2pm. Getting geared up for a race didn’t seem that appealing! But, I rallied my energy and we made it out to the golf course. I picked up my bib and was once again impressed by the organization of an Uberthons event. This is the second race I’ve run by them and it’s top notch. Professional set up, accurate course, instant results, etc. Love it! I sat in the car and breastfed my baby, and then sucked down a Gu and headed to the start. Life of a racing mommy! There weren’t too many people gathered for the start, but at least a few of them looked legit. And they were all dressed in fitness attire (unlike that last 5k where most people seemed to be in jeans). I had no expectations of winning, although I had been joking about it with Zach before the race. I lined up front and seemed to be the only girl with my race face on. I thought, maybe I can win after all! The run started at 6:00 pm and it was just getting dark. They required that we wear headlamps although they weren’t really needed, but it made for a fun sight. It was lightly drizzling- a break from the heavy rain we’ve had lately. The golf course was gorgeous- lots of colorful leaves and a few spooky looking trees, plus the ponds and great expanses of grass that you see on a golf course. It was warm too, about 60 degrees. Lovely. They rang the bell and we were off! I planned on not looking at my watch once again and just running by feel. I never thought this would work for me but I did it last time and loved it. I started off and was the only girl in the front pack so I just made it my goal to keep it that way. There were about 5-6 guys ahead of me. The first couple took off super fast and the others I was able to keep in my sight for a while. Two men passed me and I think I passed two or three guys the whole time. The only girl I saw was on a glance behind me in the first mile. She was a ways back and was struggling to take off her outer layer. I didn’t see her again after that. The way the route wound around the golf course you could always see runners ahead and behind, so I knew no girls were catching me. The course was fun. It was winding with lots of turns that were all well marked. The scenery was nice and there were only a few baby hills. The wind was quite stiff in the last mile but that’s the only time I noticed it. Generally a very fun run! The only bad thing was there were NO mil[...]

Pumpkin Spiced Everything


I’m fully in the autumn spirit. The season has really arrived and it’s a welcome change. The leaves, the rain, the cool temps. Love it. I am lacking the motivation to blog lately, as you can tell. I am so busy during the day taking care of Penny- sometimes doing really fun stuff like going to story time, hanging out with friends, or going on hikes, and sometimes doing really mundane stuff like laundry. So much laundry. Plus, I just don’t feel inspired to write about anything in particular. Running is going really great, motherhood is a dream (with its fair share of challenges), and life in general is good. I just wanted to check in to post some recent pictures, and say hi in case anyone was wondering about us. Hi! I’m still reading all your blogs and enjoying that very much. I’ll try to comment more! There should be more interesting content coming up, perhaps a race report at some point? Nothing specific on the calendar but I might sign up for something on a whim. Still looking at a spring marathon, but that’s a ways off. In the meantime, here’s what we’ve been up to. These pictures are all from the month of October. My little pumpkin. She will be 3 months old next week.   [...]

Whattta Summa


I love this time of year. Being a September baby I guess makes me partial to this late summer/early fall stuff. The weather continues to be gorgeous with just a little bite in the air in the mornings. It’s beautiful and easily my favorite time of year for running. Speaking of running- it’s happening and it’s going good. Up to nearly 20 miles a week these last couple weeks and feeling like my old self. Running has been my escape. When I’m running, I daydream about all kinds of stuff, but mostly I think about running. I calculate paces, I fantasize about qualifying for Boston, I plan training schedules, etc. It’s a great break from thinking about naps, poop, breastfeeding. Mentally, I feel like my old self. Pace-wise, I’m getting there. There’s more to say, but Penelope needs to eat and I need to change her and get her to bed. Naps, poop, breastfeeding. Etc. Here are a few pictures of my summer baby welcoming the fall. We spent the day out in Hood River running (me), hiking (Zach and Penny), picking apples (all of us), tasting wine (Zach), and being adorable (Penelope).            Happy Fall! [...]



Needless to say, my life has changed significantly since Penelope was born. It’s been a crazy 8 weeks! But, I feel like things are sort of starting to show signs of settling down. Still crazy, to be sure! But it’s starting to take some kind of shape. Her sleeping, her eating, and her awake times… my daily activities, my social life, my diet, my exercise… kind of getting into a groove. This “settling down” thing (I am extremely hesitant to use the word routine or God forbid schedule), however slight, is excellent news for me. I am your typical Type-A, Perfectionist Virgo and the randomness was starting to wear on me. Not that we’re out of the woods by any means. It is still so hard. In some ways, this semi-routine (eek, there it is!) is almost harder than the chaos for some reason. Before, I was just semi-successfully rolling with the Crazy New Everything. Then, one day last week, I suddenly decided Penny NEEDS TO BE ON A SCHEDULE! Wtf have I been doing?! I need to get my act together!! Similarly, I felt like I was getting a lot of leeway (with myself, I realize no one else gives a shit) with a lot using the “I just had a baby” excuse. My running, my social availability, etc. Suddenly, I didn’t so much *just* have a baby and I feel like I should be back out there doing all the usual stuff I used to (and then some). I know this is unrealistic, just let me vent here. I do understand that Penny IS still new, and I DID just have a baby. I know I’m doing a good job. When I sit down and go through it logically, I get that. But, in frequent moments of doubt, it all seems so fucking overwhelming. I feel like a complete failure. I have no faith in myself as a mother. I’m convinced every other parent is sailing through all of this and I’m fucking everything up. And I feel so alone, like I’m the only one going through this. Even though I have very close friends who are admittedly going through the exact same thing, and I am sure every mother in history has felt this way at some point, I still manage to somehow feel alone. Zach listens all the time to these rants and he is so reassuring and comforting. He is right by my side, but I still manage to feel alone.   Ok, this got away from me a bit. I actually meant for this to be a running post primarily! I guess I needed to get that off my chest. I imagine I sound so insane but seriously I am fine. There are so (soooooo) many joys in my life right now that I can’t stay down for long. There are rough moments, and then there is this: She’s the greatest! Also, I have this: (running in general, not just races) And I have him: And so much more. My friends, my family, my beautiful city, this gorgeous weather, my health, etc etc etc etc. I am very blessed and I am very grateful. I am doing my best to savor these precious weeks with my new baby, and to be present in general. To not get wrapped up in my doubts or worries. This is my goal. But I am REALLY looking forward to having a routine! :) [...]

Dash and Bash 5k Race Report


Last Sunday I ran my first race since giving birth to Penelope. I had visited my doctor on Wednesday for my 6-week post partum follow up and she gave me the official OK to resume all exercise, even though I’d been doing short one or two mile runs since 2 weeks post partum. I ran 3 miles the day of my appointment (Wednesday) and a 3 mile trail run on Friday. I looked at the Upcoming Race section on the Run Oregon blog and found one for the weekend. I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate my official return to running, to celebrate my birthday (Monday the 10th), and just to see where my speed was at. To say I hadn’t trained would be a significant understatement. I had run 10 times in the last 4 weeks, generally two miles at a time. Before that, I had two weeks off after giving birth. And before that, I was pregnant. I did run throughout my pregnancy, but slow! And pregnanty. I had no idea what my post baby body could do. I had done one fast run a couple weeks ago (2 8:00 ish miles) so I figured I could probably do that. My A goal was to finish under 25:00 (8:04 pace or better), and my B goal was to finish under 26:00 (8:23 pace or better). My secret dream goal was to finish under 24:00 (7:45 or faster). My PR in this distance is 22:07 a thousand years ago. So there’s a funny story that I have to tell first. After looking at that Run Oregon calendar, I had decided on this race out in Hillsboro. It was a boring run through a park and around the Hillsboro Stadium, but it was not too far from home and super flat. There was another I was considering but it was like an hour away. So we got up really early Sunday morning, I fed Penny and pumped, etc… and we drove out to Hillsboro. We got to the stadium shortly after 7:00 and…. empty. There was no one there. Zach thought maybe we were just really early? (race started at 8:00) but as I looked on my phone for the race info I discovered what I had feared. The race was the previous day. Comeback Race FAIL! I felt so stupid, but it was so funny I couldn’t help but laugh at myself. I blame it on the baby! She was probably distracting me as I looked at the race website. ;) I wasn’t going to let this little hiccup stop me though! I was all dressed out and psyched up for racing, I had to find something! We hopped back on the Run Oregon website and browsed it like we were looking for a restaurant for dinner. “What about this one in Corvallis? Hmm, kind of far away..” Etc. The good news is that my second choice race, the one that was an hour away, WAS on Sunday and didn’t start till 10:00! So we turned around and headed south of Portland to Willamette Mission State Park for the Dash and Bash 5k. This was quite the change of plans, of course, and I’m very proud of myself for rolling with it. Usually this kind of thing would totally freak me out. But, we grabbed some coffee and I ate a clif bar (since the race was now 2 hours later than planned!). I fed Penny in the car once we arrived down there and used my hand pump as well. Maybe motherhood is making me more spontaneous and flexible! Once Penelope was fed and happy I brought my $30 up to the registration desk and got a number. There were very few people around and of course I was eyeing the competition. It was a charity event (aren’t they all), and it was small. I figured it would be small, but this was like, really small. As I scoped out the other participants I noticed a large number of them were in jeans. Also, a lot of kids under 10 years old. In fact, I was one of only a handful of people in running clothes. And I was kind of the only one that looked like I knew what I was doing. In fact, I felt like a bit of an asshole wit[...]

Out and About


One thing that really worried me about having a kid is that I would become homebound. I know that to some extent it is unavoidable, clearly things are going to change and many activities will be cut back. But I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to go out and do anything EVER. I thought my friendships would suffer, I would be incredibly bored all the time, only ever speak in baby-talk, and Zach and I would go insane and murder each other. I am relieved to say, it has not turned out that way. Since Penelope was a few days old, we’ve been out and about. We went out for coffee her first full day home from the hospital. We hit up the farmer’s market when she was 5 days old. And so on, and so on… Last weekend we took her to an outdoor concert. This weekend we spent three days in Bend for a friend’s wedding. It’s not easy- but it is getting easier. She can be unpredictable. She can be fussy! And I am not 100% comfortable breastfeeding in public. But we have figured out how to make it work. We are learning better how to sooth her when she cries. We bring a bottle so I don’t have to whip out the boob in a crowded place. Zach and I team up to handle her and that makes it much easier. I do go out during the day by myself quite often too- usually shorter outings though. I often hang out with Emily, who also has a wee one, and that gives me confidence. We like hanging out at people’s houses especially, it’s much easier to handle the baby in someone’s home than a restaurant. I am fine feeding her around my friends, so nursing is no issue. And also, our friends love to hold her so we get a break! Another fun thing we do a lot is go for walks, hikes, or hang out in the park. Wide open public spaces are easier than committing to a restaurant or coffee shop setting. Then if she gets loud, no one notices. Also, it’s cheaper! This weekend’s trip to Bend was awesome. It was not only a really fun mini-vacation and the wedding was so special, but it was also a huge confidence booster as parents. Penny was incredible! She slept in the car the entire way there and home (3 1/2 hours!), she was a doll at all the parties and the wedding, she even slept longer than ever in the pack-n-play at the hotel. She knocked it out of the park! It’s fantastic to see how far we have come as parents in just 6 short weeks. Week 1 going for a walk: Hiking in Forest Park: Baby friends at the park:   Picnic time:   At a friend’s house: Avett Brothers at the Edgefield: Wedding this weekend: Zach and Penny standing in the baby section during the ceremony:   Cocktail hour: Killer view of Broken Top:   She was cozy in the ergo as we partied late in the evening: Happy Baby on the Go! Thanks for reading!! Next time, running update! [...]

Watch Me Grow


Weekly Bump Photos   starting at the beginning of the second trimester: 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40   “41 Weeks” (5 days post partum) “45 weeks” (one month + 2 days post partum) [...]

Shiny New Penny


I don’t really have a point to this post besides to share some recent pictures of Penelope. Let’s do a few of those first (you’ve already seen most of these if we are friends on Facebook). She is growing so fast. These are roughly chronological and cover the last couple of weeks (from 2 weeks old to almost 4 weeks old):        Running The last 2 pictures are from today when I returned home from my run. I ran two miles at 8:05 pace. :O God, I missed running fast! I am still on my runner’s high hours later. I’ve run a few times- just a mile or two at a time starting at 2 weeks after giving birth. I’m waiting until my 6- week postpartum doctor visit to increase the miles. I’m not sure I should be doing any running without my doctor’s approval, but fuck it. I feel great and can’t resist. I’ve been walking every day for a few miles too, so it’s been impossible not to sneak in a few miles of running. I am not going to sign up for any races for a while though. I don’t want to rush things physically, and I have no clue what kind of time I’ll be able to devote to training over the next few months. I do plan to run a half marathon this winter and then a spring marathon (probably Eugene). Motherhood I’m enjoying my time with the baby very, very much. It’s super exhausting and challenging but I really love it. I have my moments when she is crying, or I’m extra sleep-deprived, or it’s super hot in the house (we had a heat wave this week), etc. But Zach keeps me sane. He takes care of Penny when he gets home from work and helps a ton on the weekends, which gives me the break I need. He even gave her a bottle today while I ran. Motherhood is different than I thought it would be. Certainly harder, but also more rewarding. I have found that motherhood requires a great deal of patience and confidence, which are not things that come easily to me. I’m working on it. Body after Baby I’m feeling fantastic. Still a little sore now and then but about 95% healed. It was a painful process of recovery and I’m glad I’m nearly through it. Poor lady bits. Since I didn’t gain that much weight during pregnancy, I was lucky that it came off quickly. I am constantly hungry and eat nonstop all day long, even in the middle of the night because of breastfeeding. I’ve been surprised to see how my body has responded to all this. I’m actually the leanest I have been in a long time. I feel pretty mushy in the stomach-area, and I have no upper body strength to speak of, but that will come back with time. Also, needless to say, my boobs are huge. In general, I have a new appreciation for my body. Both from the pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding side of it, and also from the running side. I am amazed that I was able to run throughout my entire pregnancy and then already again after giving birth. I think I have been too hard on myself in the past. I am really proud of what I’ve done. Penelope Did you see how frigging cute she is? I can’t stop looking at her! She’s so funny and adorable, we just love her to bits. She is growing so fast- already outgrown some newborn clothes and is into her regular cloth diapers already. She spends more time each day awake and alert- you can practically watch her brain developing. It’s a trip. I can’t wait to see what is next. I love her more every day.     [...]

Running for Two Part VI


(Part V here, along with links to all previous parts) Spoiler alert! As mentioned in my last post, the baby has been born. And I did indeed run up until my due date. Hooray! I can’t believe my good fortune. I know it is very hard to run through the end of pregnancy and I’m grateful my body was able to do it. I just want to do a quick backtrack here of the final weeks so that we can move on to a zillion baby pictures, post-partum recovery talk, and whatever else this blog is going to turn into..   Weeks 37-40 This is already somewhat hard to remember, so this will be brief. I can say with certainty that for some reason the last 4 weeks of my  pregnancy were some of the best and easiest running-wise. I was growing big and uncomfortable, but when I ran I felt like my old self. I had finally really gotten used to my 12:00 ish pace, the feel of my heavy belly, and the extra work in my legs and lungs. Running felt natural and easy and fun. I took plenty of walk breaks but did not have any specific aches or pains like before. I ran 4 days a week again, after cutting back to 3 days a week for the previous couple months. I did allow myself to do 2-milers which was a nice option for days I didn’t feel up to 3+. I ended up with higher weekly mileage this last stretch as well by a couple miles. A big part of the reason I ran more was that it could get my labor going. Starting at my 36 week appointment when an early check found I was 1 cm dilated and a bit effaced, I felt like labor was imminent and I wanted to help the baby along. In the end, I stayed 1 cm dilated until my later broke at 40 weeks + 1 day. But all the running certainly wasn’t a waste. It was great. I ran in Forest Park a lot with Zach. I would stick on the Leif Erickson trail and he would run up the first steep stretch of every offshoot trail and then catch up to me. I ran with Alisa a few times. We ran a 5k together! I ran with Emily and her daughter in the stroller, and I also did a few runs alone close to home. I sometimes ran in my just sports bra. I have never felt more confident about my body. I very much enjoyed the last few weeks of running for two. Here is the breakdown of my “long run” and total weekly mileage for the last 4 weeks: 37 weeks pregnant: 5.0 miles at 11:20 pace, 11 miles total 38 weeks pregnant: 3.25 miles at 12:37 pace, 11.35 miles total 39 weeks pregnant: 3.5 miles at 12:14 pace, 13.25 miles total 40 weeks pregnant: 4.0 miles at 12:05 pace, 12 miles total Running Pictures:  Due Date 4 mile run on the Banks Vernonia Trail: Body Changes: Big and Bigger. Leaned out in my limbs as my belly and my baby got huge. Baby movements became downright painful. Officially could not tie my shoes, get out of bed, or reach pretty much anything without someone’s help. Most of the discomfort in these last few weeks was contractions and pre-labor type pains that I had off and on from about 36 weeks. Cross Training: I did go to yoga every weekend except the last one. My main cross training was walking with Zach every night around our neighborhood. In fact I had my first real contractions on the 1-mile walk back from Alisa’s house Sunday night (my water broke an hour later). Pictures: Just these- 40 weeks pregnant:   41 weeks (5 days post-partum): And just because I can: [...]

Welcome Baby


Penelope Marie was born Monday, July 23rd at 9:47 pm 7 lbs 2 oz, 20 inches long 24 hours of labor, 1 hour of pushing, hardest thing I have every done x100. Even with the epidural. Cutest and most special baby ever, in my humble opinion. We are so, so, so happy.          A million more pictures to come, of course. Maybe a little birth story but no promises. It’s going to take a long time to process all that. It was good… Intense, but good. We are doing well and are settling in at home. Zach’s mother is staying with us and that is a huge help. My parents are arriving today for a visit. Lots of friends coming over and just so much love all around. I’m healing up and recovering rather fast, breastfeeding is going good (certainly not always easy though) and everything just seems to be in order. We are excruciatingly happy. I have a Running for Two Part V (?) post to share- I did indeed continue to run up until I gave birth. I ran 4 miles with Zach on my due date and went into labor the next day. It’ll be a while before I can run again but I can’t wait. Thank you all for reading and for all your support and encouragement. I can’t wait to experience what is ahead with my little precious Penny! [...]

Freedom 5k Race Report


On Wednesday, for the 4th of July, I ran a 5k with my best running buddy Alisa. We ran the Molalla Freedom 5k about 45 minutes south of Portland. I was 37.5 weeks pregnant that day. It was a celebration of running during my pregnancy, and specifically of us being running buddies the whole time! She’s been a great supporter and motivator and it was so great to share this race with her. Zach drove down with us to take a bunch of pictures. Also, you know, to be there in case I went into labor or something (spoiler alert: I didn’t). We picked a small-town event and boy howdy! We got what we signed up for. The race followed the parade route through the small town of Molalla and there were hundreds of people lining the streets! Everyone was so nice and friendly. Tons of people commented on my “condition” which was fun. Lots of “Oh my, she’s pregnant and running!” “Would you look at that!” I think I blew some minds. Pretty great. There was a friendly local running in jeans and cowboy hat, one guy running with a bag of candy to toss to the kids along the course, and other cute stuff. We high-fived a lot kids along the course which is always fun! The race itself was brilliantly organized. It was put on by the Molalla Running club with timing by Uberthons. There was chip timing, instant results, track start and finish, accurate course, lots of water and food after, door prizes, etc. Impressive work by Uberthons, and I would definitely recommend doing any of their races here in the Portland area. I would especially recommend this race! We stuck together the whole time of course, proving once again what good match we are pace-wise. I was feeling really good and may have started off a little fast… sorry, Alisa! According to my Garmin, our mile splits were 10:17, 11:28, 12:44, and 10:00 pace for the last 0.1. I thankfully didn’t have any discomforts at all and felt great the whole time. Official results: 35:27 (11:24 average pace) 9/13 AG We finished with big smiles and a hug. We had so much fun! It was a great last race of pregnancy and especially with such great company. Pictures!     I am 38 weeks pregnant today (Saturday) and will definitely report as soon as the baby is born. Hopefully will get in my last Running for Two update before then since I am clearly still running! Hope you all had a fun holiday week. Thank you for reading! [...]

Running for Two Part V


Previous posts: Part I (weeks 0-14) Part II (weeks 15-20) Part III (weeks 21-26) Part IV (weeks 27-32) Weeks 33-36 Here we are again! This update only covers the last 4 weeks, instead of the 6 week intervals I’ve used before- things are changing fast around here and who knows where I’ll be in another 2 weeks. Still friggin running! So great. I was so unsure at the beginning of my pregnancy how long I would be able to run, and here I am less than 4 weeks from my due date and going strong. Super happy about this. So latest issues- well, the side stitches still happen although less frequently the last couple weeks. And I haven’t had as much tightening/contracting either. My new complaint is this sharp, stabbing pain I get right in my hoo-ha. It is right in the bladder area but the doctor said it’s actually most likely the baby’s head pushing down on my pubic bone. Thanks, baby! How can that be comfortable for her?? Thankfully, this pain is usually fleeting (although it takes my breath away when it happens!), but on one recent run it hurt the whole time. Yet again I was left wondering if my running days were over- but the last two runs were pretty much pain free. So I soldier on! I haven’t had as many runs with Alisa lately- we’ve both been traveling and otherwise occupied, but we do our best. She’s in peak training for her half-ironman race anyway so it makes it hard to wedge a couple miles into her intense schedule. She’s still an awesome supporter though! (and awesome shower-thrower too, see previous post!) One person I have been running with- Zach! He’s finally in a place where he can go out for a few easy miles with his round-bellied wife and I LOVE it! After his spring of ultra-marathoning and then an extended recovery due to a knee injury, it had been a long time since we ran together. He’s very accommodating- usually jogs as slow as he can and still gets ahead of me, but he always waits. :) We had several great runs on our babymoon vacation in Central Oregon, including a few trail runs! We also have been running from home together and love exploring the neighborhood and new trails around us. Such great bonding time in our last weeks as a family of 2! Anyway, here are the stats from the last 4 weeks. I’m still running 3 days a week about 3 miles at a time. Here is each week’s “long run” and weekly mileage total: 33 weeks pregnant: 3.7 miles at 12:48 pace, 12.6 miles total 34 weeks pregnant: 3.1 miles at 10:38 pace (5k!), 9.6 miles total 35 weeks pregnant: 4.0 miles at 12:15 pace, 9.75 miles total 36 weeks pregnant: 4.0 miles with Zach at 12:20 pace, 9.1 miles total Running pictures: After today’s run- 36 weeks pregnant: 4 miler at 35 weeks: Finishing 5k at 34 weeks along: Trail run with Zach at 33 1/2 weeks in Bend: Body Changes: As you can see in those pictures, I am getting big. It’s pretty fun- certainly identifiable as Super Pregnant. Lots of kind smiles, questions about my due date, and seats on the bus. Baby girl is squirming and rolling all the time, it’s borderline disturbing. I mostly love it but it can be kind of painful. Everyone with a few moments to spare can easily see my belly wobbling or a foot protruding – so that’s fun (for shock value.) When my friends were here for the baby shower they all got a nice kick or two! Doctor visits are going great and everything is looking good. I got an ultrasound to check on her and she’s in ship shape.[...]

Three Sisters 5k Race Report


It's mid-June and life in Oregon is good. It's been a very busy and exciting month so far! On June 1st a couple of my best friends flew into Portland for a few days to hang out and celebrate my baby shower with me. Alisa threw a beautiful shower on Saturday the 2nd- all our friends, beautiful decorations, yummy food! We spent the entire next week on vacation in Central Oregon where we did a lot of hiking, walking, and even trail running... but also a lot of relaxing. Now we are home and back to reality. The clock is ticking towards our little girl's due date and there is still much to do! I have so many pictures of all the festivities and adventures and friends- I'll try to pick a few to post. But before I get to that, I have a race report to share! I discovered about a week before our trip that there would be a race held right at the resort where our condo is! It's the Three Sisters Marathon- a small, second-annual event that had a marathon, a marathon relay, and sure enough... a 5k. Score! The start/finish area was just across the golf course from our condo- I've never been so close to the start of a race. As we walked and ran around all week I kept seeing the course markings. How could I not run it?! Also, looking at last year's results (the first year of the race), there were only 47 5k runners and only 2 in my age group. I figured I had an AG place locked in! I was going to register the morning of the race, but ended up signing up at the Fleet Feet store in Bend the day before since we were nearby. This meant I could sleep in as late as possible and leave the condo about 10 minutes before the gun went off (avoiding any restroom wait). Zach decided not to run so that he could get pictures. We walked over to the start together and got there with a couple minutes to spare. There were like 20 people! Official results show 49 finishers, which feels like 20. My goal was obviously just to finish and have fun. My runs lately have been in the 12:00+ range generally, with lots of walk breaks. I ran a 5k a few months back, at 23 weeks pregnant (I was 34 weeks on race day this time) and finished with around 10:00 pace. But that was a different era altogether. This time I was hoping that I could run the whole thing, keeping an 11:00-12:00 pace, and avoid any walking. But given how often I get cramping on my runs lately (side stitches and minor contractions) I knew that was a long shot. Of course I knew it didn't matter what my finish time was, but I am competitive and goal-oriented no matter what the context. Zach even suggested I run without my Garmin and I scoffed at him. It's still a RACE buddy. It's ON. These 20 children and grandparents were going down!! After some hit-or-miss weather all week we were treated to a super clear, sunny morning. It was cool, like upper 40's, but not bad. I gave Zach his jacket and lined up and we were off at 8:00 sharp! I kind of ran with a chatty couple of ladies and a 7 year old girl for the first mile. Her dad was running with her, kind of scolding her for being slow before telling her "I'm going to run ahead, now don't slow down!" What a creep! I finally passed her, but then caught up to a little boy around her same age with the typical kid sprint/walk pace strategy. He was pretty fun and actually kept right around me the rest of the race. The course was a little loop and a little out and back so I saw Zach a few times. First about at mile 1 and then again at mile 2 (plus start a[...]

Running for Two Part IV


Previous posts here: Part 1: Weeks 0-14 Part 2: Weeks 15-20 Part 3: Weeks 21-26 Weeks 27-32 I’m still here! It’s great- I didn’t know how this whole thing would work out but I’m thrilled to still be over 32 weeks and running strong. It’s getting harder, but it’s still doable and generally enjoyable. Even the rough runs are worth it. One thing that helps SO much is having a running buddy by my side for many of my runs. Alisa is at her peak training for her triathlon season but I join her a couple times a week for portions of her longer runs. It helps so much to have her there! She waits up for me when I need to walk but actually I can keep up most times. It’s motivating and fun and awesome. Thank you, Alisa!! The side pains I described in my last post have continued and some new stuff has joined the party. I’ve explained everything to my doctor and she said as long as I’m up for it, there’s no reason to stop running. My main problem is the side stitches that come on about half the time about halfway through a run. Thankfully they go away after a break most of the time. Sometimes they don’t come on at all. I’ve also started having some contractions when I run (braxton hicks I guess)- my whole uterus tightens up and feels really heavy and kind of weird… I need a walk break and they go away. It’s rare but pretty rough when it happens. These happen when I’m not running also, sometimes when I’m walking and sometimes when I’m resting even! It’s not harmful at all so I’m not worried about it. Other than that, no complaints! Ha. I’m a little slower these days too- when I’m running I’m between 11:00-12:00 pace, but I walk at least once per mile which brings my pace down. If I have any of the above-mentioned pains I walk even more. I’ve cut down to running 3 times a week (down from 4). It happened very naturally one weekend when I couldn’t make my Saturday run, and then I just dropped that run altogether in later weeks. It was a good decision. I run two weekdays for about 3 miles each, and then do a longer run on Sunday, for about 10-15 miles total. I still keep in mind my “run as many miles as weeks left” goal. So far so good. Here is the run down of my weekend “long” runs and total weekly mileage for the past 6 weeks: 27 weeks pregnant: 8.0 miles at 12:58 pace, 14.15 miles total 28 weeks pregnant: 6.5 miles at 13:00 pace, 14.1 miles total 29 weeks pregnant: 5.0 miles at 12:16 pace, 11.15 miles total 30 weeks pregnant: 6.0 miles at 12:31 pace, 12.5 miles total 31 weeks pregnant: 6.0 miles at 13:09 pace, 12.15 miles total 32 weeks pregnant: 4.65 miles at 12:14 pace (actually Monday of long weekend, only 6 miles total for previous week) Running Pictures: Here I am yesterday after my run: My diminishing view of the running shoes: Running buddies: Body Changes: This belly is legit. I’m super pregnant and it is fun. I have a lot of cute clothes to wear and love showing off my bump. The latest measurements show the baby is about 4.6 lbs now. That blows my mind! She moves around A LOT. The cute little taps and kicks have become aggressive pushes with recognizable body parts, huge churning rolls, and vigorous wiggling. I don’t get it, but it’s mostly fun. Sometimes it’s a little painful and also sometimes wakes me up at night. Oh and she gets the hiccups all the time which are pretty cute. [...]

Running for Two Part III


It’s been 6 weeks since my last update, and there is a lot to report. I am now 26 weeks pregnant (about 6 months) and about to begin the third trimester. This is getting very REAL. Weeks 21-26 The good news: I am still running! The not-so-good news: I’m starting to struggle a bit to get the miles in. When we last left off, I was still doing long weekend runs and getting in about 20 miles a week. I did one more 10 mile run at 21 weeks pregnant (and hit 22 miles total that week), but that would be my last double-digit run of this pregnancy. In the weeks since, and more specifically in the last 3 weeks or so, I’ve started feeling the reality of my pregnancy in many aspects of my physical body. I’m getting bigger, but still not huge, and I haven’t gained that much weight (only about 11 lbs). So, it’s not just my growing size. It’s partially just that in general my body is working HARD to grow this baby, so I get tired quickly. Also, as my stomach grows and stretches, there are a lot of achy muscles and ligaments and things going on. Baby is huge in there- about 2 lbs and 15 inches long. She’s squirming around and opening and closing her eyes, sucking her thumb, getting hiccups, etc. There is a PERSON inside of me. The result of all this is that running can be uncomfortable at times. I’m still running though. Because for every achy, uncomfortable run I have, I have a perfect, happy, cruise of a run to make up for it. So at this point it’s not enough to stop trying to run. I just never know what I’m going to get when I head out the door, and I am trying to be accepting of this. If things hurt, I walk. If they don’t, I run (and still walk a bit). I’m going with the flow. Generally, my pace hasn’t changed much in the last 6 weeks. Looking in my running log, most of my runs average about 11:30 pace. When I’m running I am doing about 10:30-11:15 pace, so depending how much I walk, the average ends up a bit slower. My fastest run of the last few weeks was definitely the 5k race 3 weeks ago (10:06 pace). My slowest run was just over 13:00 with lots of walking. I’ve maintained a good weekly mileage- generally around 15 mpw. I’ve been running 4 days a week still. Here are the stats from the last 6 weeks- I didn’t do a “long run” every week so I think I’ll post my weekly total as well to paint a better picture. 21 weeks pregnant: 10 miles at 12:15 pace, 22 miles total 22 weeks pregnant: 7 miles at 11:27 pace, 17 miles total 23 weeks pregnant: Sellwood Scamper 5k, 13 miles total 24 weeks pregnant: n/a (4 miles at 11:00 pace), 12.65 miles total 25 weeks pregnant: 7 miles at 11:39 pace, 16.25 miles total 26 weeks pregnant: 6 miles at 11:56 pace, 17.3 miles total I’m really happy overall, and I’m optimistic I’ll keep running for a while. The main problem the last couple runs has been getting a bad side-stitch early in the run, but it goes away after a short break and doesn’t come back. Other times I’ve had achiness in  my lower abdomen and other times I just feel too exhausted to even get out the door. These are all things I can adjust for and accommodate. My plan going forward is to continue to be flexible. I can take all the walk breaks I need, or cut back on mileage. My main goal is to stay active, and that doesn’t have to be running exclusively. Although I hate to think of giving it up… that makes[...]