Friday, October 31, 2008

Indiana Jen and the Tempo of Doom

I hesitated to look, but I did. As I feared, the schedule revealed it's horrific request: 12 miles, 7 Tempo Pace. I shuddered. The run loomed darkly throughout the day. I distracted myself by reading blogs, watching tv, eating Fruity Pebbles, but it was useless. The uncomfortable effort that was my fate weighed heavily upon me. Finally, the clock chimed four and I knew it was time. First, I must run 5 miles at an easy pace. This act only prolonged to my dread. I completed this run with minimal effort and as I jogged I gained some confidence. I returned home and joined forces with my trusty sidekick, and we marched boldly out the door. It was time! I must face my enemy, the tempo run. I puffed out my chest and furrowed my brow and charged into battle.

Ok that was way too much effort! I just felt all dramatic and halloweeny. hehe, weenie.

So I did my warm up miles solo:

5.4 miles/50:25/9:20 average pace

Then Zach came home from work and helped pace me on my 7 mile tempo run:

7.0 miles/54:46/7:49 average pace

It really was how I described above. I so dread these runs! Especially this one which is the longest of the schedule. 7 miles seems like so long to push at that pace. Technically it's only a little faster than half-marathon pace, which I of course can run for 13 miles, but still. Ugh.

This is the first time I did my tempo run with Zach and boy it helped! I told him my goal was to start off a bit slower, like 8:00 pace. Then I told him I wasn't going to look at my watch and just run by effort. I just asked him to tell me "good" if I asked how our pace was. Every mile I would say "how was it?" and he said "good" every time. :) We finally stopped for a drink of water after mile 5 but the fountain wasn't working, so we ran another mile and finally got a drink. Then we powered home. I only asked Zach what our pace was after that first stop and was so happy to hear it was 7:55 or something. I think not knowing my pace helped me run strong for longer. I think I get kind of intimidated when I know for sure that I'm running 7:45 or whatever.

So the total workout was:

12.4 miles/1:45:11/8:29 average pace

After the run and for the rest of the night I was very sore. Especially my left shin and knee area. It's a familiar soreness but still sucks. I actually took a couple Aleve which I rarely do. Luckily this morning it feels a bit better, but still sore. I was supposed to run 5 miles today but decided to take it extra easy since I have 20 miles tomorrow!

3.0/28:31/9:30 average pace

I felt fine once I started running but stuck to my plan of 3 miles. It was a very halloweeny run- it was rainy and there are leaves everywhere. I downloaded a spooky tale from The Classic Tales Podcast. I even wore my Run Like Hell race shirt from a couple weeks ago which has a Halloween picture. I'm such a dork! I saw a few people riding bikes and walking in costumes, but no runners in costume. :)

Tonight we're not going to any parties since we have a long run tomorrow. But, we are going to see David Sedaris at this neat theatre.

Hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween!! I'll leave you with a picture of our pumpkins that we carved last night. Mine is, as always, the "special" looking one.

Tune in next week for pictures of my cat dressed in a to-be-determined costume! Here are a couple of previous designs:

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


First, a couple quick training updates:

4.0 miles/36:56/9:14 average pace

12.0 miles/1:46:45/8:54 average pace

I was tagged by Maritza & Emily and have seen it on other blogs, so I will play!

10 years ago:

1. I was a freshman at the University of Montana.
2. I was together with Zach for almost a year already.
3. I partied a lot.
4. I was kind of a mess.
5. I was a Creative Writing major and wrote some pretty interesting stuff.

5 Things on today's to-do list:

1. Run 12 miles (done)
2. Job Search (done? I didn't find a job, so "done" feels inaccurate)
3. Laundry
4. Go to bank
5. Enjoy sunshine while it is here

5 Things I would do if I were a billionaire (I've officially changed it):

1. Give lots of money to my family and friends
2. Travel
3. Build a dream house
4. Donate lots of money to various environmental, nature preservation, recreation organizations
5. Solid Gold Pony

5 Places I have lived

1. Helena, MT
2. Missoula, MT
3. San Francisco, CA
4. Walnut Creek then Dublin, CA
5. Portland, OR

5 Jobs I've had:

1. Ticket Taker for the Helena Brewers
2. Baskin Robbins
3. San Francisco State University Bookstore
4. Senior Analytics Consultant (how fantastically unspecific)
5. Job-seeker/bored person (current)

Well there you have it. I'm feeling especially bored and aimless today so sorry for the lack of enthusiasm. I am looking forward to my 20 miler this weekend though! It will most likely be raining but that's cool. I'm waterproof.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Autumn Photo Extravaganza

This post is all about the pictures. Here's a quick summary of my runs. The short run was easy and the long run was incredible. Beautiful, difficult, incredible.

6.0 miles/54:31/9:05 average pace

18.0 miles/2:35:52/8:39 average pace
Historic Columbia River Highway Trail - Hood River to Mosier

total miles for the week 46

Historic Columbia River Highway Trail (pictures courtesey Zach's parents):

Lesser quality cell pix taken by us:

Pearl District and Downtown:

View north from Zach's office, Mt. St. Helens in distance:

Forest Park Hike:

Thursday, October 23, 2008


This week is going good so far. I wasn't really sore after the half marathon which was nice. I took Monday off anyway and started back up Tuesday. Here's how the week has looked so far:

12.0 miles/1:49:11/9:06 average pace
Long slow run along the riverfront. Boring!

10 miles total split into two runs:

3.0 miles/28:31/9:31 average pace
Easy run in the morning

7.0 miles/59:41/8:32 average pace
Interval workout with Zach. We warmed up with 1.5 miles at an easy pace and then did 6 half-mile repeats with quarter-mile recoveries. I was supposed to run at a 5k pace, which I guess is in the 7:00-7:10 range (although I haven't actually run a 5k in almost a year) So I was aiming for 3:30 or better. Here's how it came out:







Cool! It was certainly hard but not bad. I don't mind doing intervals because they are over so quickly. I prefer intervals to Tempo runs which are hard and last forever. We ran the last bit at an easy pace to finish out the run.

Zach ran sort of with me but mostly ahead of me. He obviously could have run the repeats very, very fast, but he was kind of trying to stick with me. It didn't really work out. It was kind of frustrating because I was hoping he would help pace me. The run was a good example of how people of different paces will have trouble running together sometimes. I feel like it was up to him to wait for me, because if I could run faster I, you know, would.

It makes me a little worried about our plans to run the marathon together. I know he's faster, but we both think since it's his first marathon it will be good to have a slower and more consistent pace. I don't know.. I am worried he will get ahead of me and I will get pissed at him and get all emotional and it will ruin my race. But I know I'm really over thinking this. Most of our runs together are great, especially the long runs that matter the most. And he wants to run together and says he will stick with me.

Of course if he can't keep up with me, tough shit. I know, I'm a horrible person but he knows the deal.

We talked about all this last night and we both apologized- me for getting upset (did I forget to mention I started crying and bitched him out?) and him for not sticking with me. We're determined to run this marathon together and we're really looking forward to it. We're one of those annoying couples that does everything together, so I can't imagine anything better. I'm so proud of him for being a great runner and I'm deeply grateful for his support and patience with me. In everything.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Run Like Hell 13.1 Race Report and Pics

Run Like Hell Race Report

It was a great day for a race and I'm happy with the results. I did not PR, but I am very satisfied with my time, especially considering the climb.

Friday I did an easy 5 miler: 46:43/9:21 average pace. My legs are feeling very good lately- no pains or hot spots. I walked around a lot on Friday with my in-laws and also rode my bike along with Zach on his evening run.

Saturday I tried to stay off my feet a little more to rest up for the race. We drove over to the Foot Traffic store and picked up our race packets and shirts. There were a ton of people there and I realized this was going to be a pretty big race! We walked over to 23rd st for lunch and then stopped at Goodwill to get throw-away shirts for the morning. After that, I spent the afternoon resting and then we had a yummy pasta dinner and played some cards. I took a bath and went to bed early.

The alarm went off at 6:00 and it felt like the middle of the night. A reminder: I am unemployed. I get up at 9 or 10 usually. I drug myself out of bed and made some oatmeal. I put body glide all over and got dressed and used the restroom. We walked down to the start which was a first for me. It was so nice to avoid the driving and parking and all that. It took less than 15 minutes and we arrived before 7:00, plenty of time to spare before the 7:30 start. I hopped in the portopotty line and then we did a warm up jog of about 1/2 mile. We lined up together and ditched our sweatshirts (actually handed them off to Zach's parents, so we can use them again)

We counted down to the start and took off. It took about 30 seconds to cross the timing mat. I ran right behind Zach for the first few blocks down to the waterfront and then I lost him. I felt very comfortable and picked a couple of people to run near. I watched my Garmin to see how I was doing- it can be so hard to judge your pace early in a race- and was happy to see I went through a half mile in about 4 minutes. Sure enough I hit 1 mile at 8:00 exactly and maintained that pace or so for the first few miles. The course went north on Naito Parkway (adjacent to waterfront) for a couple miles then did a kooky maze through the neighborhood before heading back south on Naito. There were lots of people in costumes- superman, hula dancer, bee. Nice and distracting!

1 8:00

2 7:57 (ave)

3 7:57 (ave)

4 7:56

5 8:08 (ave)

6 8:08 (ave)

I felt good but had to actively work on staying calm. I was worried about how far I had to go, and I was worried about the hills. I was glad to finally start up the hill! I passed Zach's parents just before the start of the climb and they got a couple pics.

The hill/hills (it was basically a continual climb) was tough. It was a gradual climb but it was non-stop for 3 + miles. I knew it would slow me down and it did. I tried not to push too hard because I didn't want to break that comfort zone. Sometimes on a hill I have trouble breathing and after that it is hard to relax, so I was trying to avoid that. I ate my Chocolate-Mint Gu about mile 8 and drank some water. I only ate about half of it because I was breathing hard, but that's better than nothing.

I should mention this whole time I was having tummy troubles. Nothing major, but I was feeling uncomfortable. I considered stopping every time I saw a portopotty but would talk myself out of it. It was distracting and I think it cost me some time. Mostly because I was afraid if I ran faster I would have a problem. I know you all know what I'm talking about so I'll leave it at that!

I saw Zach at some point and he looked very strong. I ran to the center of the road and gave him a high-5! I finally saw the turn around and was so happy to be heading down the hill and toward the finish.

7 8:41

8 8:48

9 8:24

10 7:51

The tummy thing was worse on the downhill because my body was jostling more. I otherwise felt great! I paced with a girl for a couple miles than finally dropped her. I was enjoying the downhills and tried to run fast. I was doing math in my head about my finish time and knew I would do good, just how good was the question. Unfortunately, the last half mile or so was back up a slight hill to Pioneer Square so I didn't run that last mile as fast as I'd hoped. Still, a strong finish!

11 7:39

12 7:35

13 7:41

0.1 0:43

Official Finish Time: 1:45:33
(8:03 average pace)

AG Place: 15/172

Overall Female Place: 60/654

Overall Place: 190/1009

Whoo hoo!! Definitely happy with that. :) I'm not even sore today and am ready for another big marathon training week ahead.

Check out Zach's blog for his race report- will be up soon. I won't spoil it but let's just say he blew away his (already fast) PR. Who is this guy?!? I feel unworthy to run with him, but I'm going to do my best to hang on. Maybe his speed will rub off on me.

Pre-race in our warm up sweatshirts:

Freezing waiting for the start:
And we're off!
Runners zooming by:
Mid-race, just before the hills start:
Feeling good:
Bracing for the hills:
Zach finished and waiting for me with his mom:
Here I come!
Strong finish:

We did it!
"Is my neck chafed? It hurts"

"Uh, ya"
Post-race breakfast:

Congratulations to Maritza on an amazing finish at the Nike Women's Marathon yesterday. Her fourth marathon was a success and she's already planning her next one. Congrats to everyone else who ran Nike or another race this weekend too!

Thanks for reading. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

whatever week it is wrap-up and HM goals

Another big week for me and it's going great. Legs are feeling great. 28 miles so far in three runs as follows:

5.0 miles/43:23/8:40 average pace
Easy solo run. I rode my bike along with Zach that evening for his 5 miler too.

12.0 miles/1:46:20/8:52 average pace
Long run. Felt pretty good and I kept a really consistent pace. Zoned out to a little Yo Yo Ma.

rest. weird.

11.0 miles/1:33:13/8:28 average pace
Ugh. I was not looking forward to this run, as usual. I always get really anxious about speedwork. I guess I just can't stop thinking about how hard it's going to be even though it's not that bad. And it wasn't. Here's the breakdown:
2 miles warm up at 9:46 average pace (it might be 10:00 am but I've still got sleep in my eyes)
6 miles Tempo Pace at 7:42 average. Fastest mile was 7:21. I had a nice rap playlist going and was flying along, especially to these songs:

Stronger (see also:

Out here Grindin

Both of which I pretty much listened to over and over for an hour

Cool down 3 miles easy (not doing the math right now)

Now I'm sitting at the computer freezing my toes off in an ice bucket.

So, this weekend I'm running the Run Like Hell Half Marathon. We drove the course last night and yikes. It's flat for 4-5 miles, then gradually uphill with a couple steeper climbs for the next 4-5 miles (repeat: uphill for 5 miles) then some sweet downhills for the last few miles. I would love to PR (1:43:40, 7;55 average pace) but we'll see. The hills are going to slow me down, it's just a question of how much. Also a question of how fast I can destroy those downhills.

Elated: pr
Satisfied: 1:47 or better
Whatever, call it a training run: 1:50 or better

My in-laws are getting into town in a few hours so I got to get some chores done. I will post a race report as soon as possible.

Good luck Maritza this weekend- she's running her 4th marathon total and her second running of the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco on Sunday. I would do anything to be there to cheer her on and be the first to congratulate her at the finish. Good luck and have fun Maritza!! I'm so proud of you for all the work you've put into your training. You're amazing. :) :) :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Long run in Forest Park

It was a beautiful fall weekend in Oregon. We had a great run and did a bunch of fun stuff around town. Starting back on Thursday- we went down to the Circuit Gym and climbed around for a while. We were just checking it out, but we're definitely going back. I think I'm going to take their beginner's class because turns out it's much harder than it looks. Then we went home and watched the Sharks season opener - they won at home against Anaheim. :) (we got the Center Ice package through cable so we can watch all the San Jose games) Friday night we went and saw some future NHL players at a Winterhawks game with some new friends. Anyway, yay hockey. Saturday we ran and then went out and partied with Emily and some NBA players that were hanging out at the bar. That was hilarious.. let's just say a highlight was when I was "relating" to one of their injuries with some of my running injuries... Awesome. There was also karaoke involved. And a little 1:00 am phone call to Maritza about how much we miss her. Classic!

Back to running: it went well! I did an easy run Friday and then a long run on Saturday. We drove up the trailhead of the Leif Erikson trail in Forest Park- it's only a couple of miles from our house, but we wanted to run it all on the trail. It's not too hilly, but the first mile or two is a gradual climb and there are some rollers thrown in the rest of the route. My splits were all over the place, from 9:30 to a couple sub-8. I ate a couple Gus (mint chocolate, yum! and vanilla bean, meh) which I think I'll try for a while instead of blocks/gummies. They are just easier to consume.

Here's the stats and a couple of pictures:

5.0 miles/45:51/9:11 average pace

17.0 miles/2:26:26/8:37 average pace

total miles for the week: 47!

This week I have a couple big runs and then Sunday I'm racing a half marathon. I'm kinda nervous because I have no clue how I'll do. Setting a PR might be unreasonable, but could I come close? Who knows. Zach's mom and stepdad are driving out from Montana to stay with us for the weekend which will be very fun. We'll probably get out for a hike with them too.

Have a good Monday everyone!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

back to back

It's been an intense week of running so far! I ended up switching my schedule around a little because I was really worn out on Monday and couldn't do the 10 mile run on the schedule. That left me running 10 miles (with five at tempo pace) Tuesday and an 11 miler Wednesday. Whew. I actually had plenty of energy for those two runs but I'm still feeling it. My shin is feeling good but I'm a little sore all over. Probably just temporary. Here's the summary:

4.0 miles/38:47/9:37 average pace
Very tired, almost didn't run at all.

10.0 miles/1:24:12/8:25 average pace
I was a lot more motivated on Tuesday so I got up and headed out for this doozy of a workout. The schedule called for 10 miles with 5 miles at Tempo pace. I warmed up with 2 miles at 9:00 pace, then hammered out the 5. I ended up averaging 7:39 with a negative split. My fastest mile was 7:27! I jogged home with the final three miles at 9:19 average pace. A little ice bucket action felt great on the legs.

11.0 miles/1:38:43/8:58 average pace
Long run at an easy pace. It was really cold yesterday morning, probably 45 degrees! That is cold for this California girl (hey, I can call myself California-girl or Montana-girl at my discretion). I wore a long sleeve shirt and took a few miles to warm up. I was feeling pretty tired but the pace felt easy and it went by fast.

Wednesday pm: cross training
I rode my bike with Zach as he did his 9 miler after work.

I know I did weights at one point this week but I forget when exactly. I'm doing really good with my eating lately too and have lost a couple of pounds. I am still up about 3-5 lbs from where I'd like to be, but I'm hoping a little self-control and my marathon training will take care of that. I'm not too hung up on it. Ok, that's a lie. I'm trying not to be too hung up on it. :)

No pictures today but I'll have some good ones this weekend. We've got 17 miles on Saturday and are planning a mountain bike ride on Sunday. It's supposed to be a beautiful weekend so we're going to spend as much time outside as possible!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Week 3 Wrap up

It was a good week. I finally hit 40 miles and my shin is feeling 100% better. Yay! I did my easy run on Friday and then Zach and I had a fantastic long run on Saturday. Sunday we went down and watched the finishers come in at the Portland Marathon which was very inspiring. A big part of me was jealous of the runners and wished I could be out there too, but I'll just channel that enthusiasm into my training. I'll be one of them soon enough!

Here's the details of the week:

Thursday: cross training
About 10 miles on my mountain bike in 1 hour.
I rode along the waterfront where we usually run, and where I often ride along with Zach as he runs. But this time I was alone, so I pushed a faster pace and could really feel it. I also did a couple big sets of (girl-style) push ups, and was sore for the rest of the week. :O

5.0 miles/44:44/8:57 average pace
Easy solo run

16.0 miles/2:18:07/8:38 average pace
Springwater Corridor Trail: Southeast Portland through Gresham.

It was flat as a pancake and I loved every second of it. It actually reminded me a lot of the Iron Horse Trail back in the east bay, and that was nice. It was kind of comforting in a way. Reassuring.

Since the course was easy we ran a lot faster than last week. The first 8 miles took 1:10:11 (8:46 average pace) and the return trip took 1:07:56 (8:30 average pace). We ran a really steady pace with the last mile fastest at 8:02. It wasn't easy, but not too hard. It was a confidence-booster for sure. I'm running a half marathon in 2 weeks and am interested to see how I can do. I started off this training cycle very pessimistic, but things are looking up.

It did rain for a bit as you can see in these pictures, but actually was pretty nice overall. I don't mind running in rain and I loooooove running in cool weather, so I'm happy as a clam here.

total miles for the week: 40

Sunday was the Portland Marathon and I just had to get out and support the runners. It would have felt weird to not be a part of it somehow. Although I didn't end up seeing either of my friends that were running (POM and Emily's bf) it's because they were already finished by the time I got there! Awesome. Check out P.O.M.'s race report coming soon. I won't spoil it, but holy shit. :)

It was kind of a rainy day but hopefully everyone had fun. Congrats to all the finishers.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Week 3 update

My right shin has been a little sore lately, so I skipped my recovery run on Tuesday. It's not bad, just persistent and annoying. I pretty much have this every training cycle so I'm familiar with the process. Ice, complain, repeat. The runs I didn't skip were great.

8.0 miles/1:15:18/9:25
Waterfront solo. It was pretty warm out and I didn't like that one bit. In California I ran in 90+ degrees most days of the year (ok, not really, but it felt like it) and now I'm a whiny softie about 85 degrees. Whatever. I think the other Portlanders would agree- at least half the guys I saw were carrying their shirts in their hands and there were lots of girls in bra tops. Hubba hubba.

Monday night I rode my bike with Zach as he did his 5 miler. Also did weights.

recovery day

11.0 miles/1:48:20/9:51 average pace
Forest park. This was a difficult hilly run but so beautiful. Forest Park is a crazy lush fantasy forest and it's amazing to run through. I took a different route (Wildwood Trail) than I have before and it was pretty intense. I gained about 350 feet of elevation in the first .75 of a mile, and then the trail continued to climb pretty seriously until about mile four, peaking about 950 feet elevation. After that it was rolling hills until mile 6. Then I took a cutoff trail (Fireroad 3) back down to the main path (Leif Erickson Drive). From there it was pretty flat for a couple miles, then slight downhill for the last mile. It's crazy to me that people run these kind of trails exclusively. I honestly don't like running uphill, so I have a lot of respect for trail and ultra runners. I saw a few people out just trottin along like it ain't no thing.

Just for fun, here's my splits:












Love that four minute differerential between mile 1 and 11.

Here's some pictures (did I mention I took a lot of breaks?):

I stopped on my way home and bought a new 5-gallon bucket at Ace Hardware. We somehow got rid of the old one in the move. I really need it for some lower-leg ice bucketing since my shins are sore. So, I made some coffee, iced, and then made an omelette. Nevermind that it was 2pm. This is where unemployment has lead me- late afternoon Omletteville. Remember the snl skit??

Seriously, unemployment is beginning to super suck. I am trying to enjoy it, but I find myself bored for at least a few hours of the day while Zach is at work. Plus, I feel guilty about not contributing financially. My severance has ended, and although I'm still getting unemployment insurance from CA, it's practically nothing. I am actively looking for work and am trying to stay positive, but it's frustrating. Just a little vent, I know things could be worse. In the grand scheme of things I'm happy and grateful. I'm sure once I get a job I'll miss omeletteville.

New topic: This weekend is the Portland Marathon! Of course I am not running it, but I will be out there cheering on the runners and handing out gummy bears and water, or something. I know a couple people who are running it, like POM and Emily's bf. Next year I will definitely run it, and Maritza, Katie, Emily, Aron, and lots of other bloggers will join me... right?? ;)