Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday with your friends and family! We are going to stay in Portland for Christmas and spend the weekend relaxing at home. A couple of friends are coming over for dinner Christmas eve but besides that I’ll probably split my time between PJ’s and running clothes.

I really love Christmas and after a rough start ended up really getting into the spirit. Our apartment is all decorated with lots of presents under the tree. We’ve had a bunch of fun get-togethers with friends over the last couple of weeks. Plus of course all the holiday music, the twinkling lights, the classic Christmas movies, and plenty of egg nog and cookies.

The best part of this Christmas is that our family is all well. William and Melanie in San Diego are making great progress in their recovery and we look forward to spending time with them soon. And our parents in Montana are doing good, toughing out a cold and snowy winter like it ain’t no thing. Zach and I come from really good stock, I’m proud to say. :)

We are extremely blessed to have such amazing and inspiring people in our lives. I’m really savoring this Christmas and letting myself soak in all the love and hope I can.

Have a Very Merry Christmas everyone!



jen christmas 2

Thursday, December 16, 2010

2011 Winter/Spring Race Schedule

I went on a registration binge this week. Zach and I were decided on a couple of races and wanted to sign up before the prices go up on January 1st. Then there was one impulsive registration that was done before I knew what was happening. But it is all good.

Ladies and Gentlesirs, the spring race schedule!

*cue fanfare*

January 29 Willamette Mission Trail 5k

February 20 Lost Dutchman Marathon

April 10 Peterson Ridge Rumble 20 Mile Trail Race

June 4 Newport Marathon


The Arizona marathon is the one that was an impulsive registration. I had already booked a trip to Phoenix that weekend to visit my super bestie Inga, and thought I’d check to see if there were any races I could do that weekend. Yada, Yada, Yada, marathon. It’s in 9 weeks.

It just so happens that I’ve been doing long runs every weekend and even hit 40 miles total last week, so actually I’m in a decent place to run this marathon. Even though I have time to cram in a shortened training plan, I’m not really going to. I am just planning on doing what I’ve been doing and run the race for fun. I know I’ll be plenty prepared, I wouldn’t do it otherwise, but I’m not going to make a big deal out of it. I’m running 4-5 times a week with one speed session (running with Zach) and one long run (16-20 miles). It’s certainly an experiment, but I think it’ll be ok!

The 20 mile trail race is going to be crazy and fun, and sort of an introduction to long course trail running. The goal is to survive!

Newport will be more of a “GOAL” race where I put more thought into training. Zach is doing it too so we’ll be crazy marathon training together. Yay!

It seems like a lot, and I gotta admit I’m a bit nervous. I think my year (well, half a year) off from racing has built up and kind of exploded. I hope it is not a mistake! I think as long as I keep my life balanced and don’t put too much emphasis on my finish times it will be fine. I intend to stay active with yoga and climbing, and I’m not going to let myself get even close to burn out! If it stops being fun, I’m out.


Unrelated picture time!

Rainbow climbing crop

 kitty party18 miler

Thanks for reading! Happy Holidays Gang!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Where I’m at

Now that it is December, holidays approaching, I have been reflecting on this past year and looking forward to the next. I am trying to summarize to myself how the last 12 months have gone, and how I have changed. I am trying to visualize the good things to come in the new year and determine how I am going to make that happen.


2010: Surrender

2010 certainly was no joyride. It will go down in the books as one of the shittiest years of my life. It started with my mom getting cancer, and ended up with my in-laws seriously injured in a horrible accident. The people around me struggled too, my best friend got divorced, a close friend lost her babies, another friend’s mother also got cancer. Throughout the year I struggled with depression and anxiety. I fell apart.

It wasn’t all bad of course, there is a bright side. My mom (and my friend’s mom!) beat the cancer, my close friend got pregnant again and is about to give birth, and so on. We made it through, and we grew closer. My family and my friends, we all clung to each other through our tragedies and drew strength from one another.

This year was very Real. It’s hard to explain what I mean by this, maybe you understand. Life has the potential to deeply, profoundly, suck.

This year I became a Grown Up. I learned the fragility of life. I lost my innocence. I was forced to be responsible, to take care of things.

In therapy I learned to appreciate myself exactly as I am. That I am special.

I discovered a love of yoga. And of climbing. And I rediscovered my love of running. I retired my desire to impress people with my accomplishments.

After I was knocked down, I rebuilt myself from ground up. The events of the year forced me to look at my life, my values, and decide what stays and what goes.

In 2010, life had its way with me. I had no choice but to surrender to the events and the feelings and let it wash over me. It tossed me around and spit me out. And yet here I stand.

I learned I am unbreakable.


2011: Promise

2011 is going to be great. It just has to be. I am going to make it happen! I know there will be challenges and it won’t all be rosy rainbows, but I am prepared. I have a tool box and a first aid kit and I am a Strong Grown Up Woman.

I am going to stay close with my family and friends and nourish the bonds we created through last year’s shitshow. We are going to have dinners, adventures, game nights, vacations, and hours-long phone calls. I am going to tell them I love them as often as possible.

I will stay positive and hopeful in the face of whatever comes my way. I am going to keep my stress and anxiety at bay with yoga and running and by being open about my feelings. I won’t let things build up.

I’m going to have fun! Although I am officially a 30-year-old Adult I am going to play, laugh, and be silly.

After taking a much-need break from competition and racing and getting my head straight about what running means to me, I am ready to get back out there! I definitely still don’t want to get crazy with training and I’m not going for any PRs or anything, but I am ready to have Goal Races again. Nothing is final yet, but I’ll keep you updated. At this point it’s looking like a 20 mile trail race, a marathon, a relay, and a 50k.

Zach and I are going to spend lots of time outside having adventures in nature. Trail running, hiking, climbing mountains. We’ll spend as much time in the outdoors as possible because it refuels our souls.


So, that’s the plan. I have three weeks left of 2010 and I’m going to make the most of it. Consider it a “warm up” to my great 2011 ahead. I am going to enjoy the holidays and keep my spirits up. On January 1st I am starting it all off with a nice long run and a big yummy meal with friends to set the tone for the year.

Thanks, as always, for reading. Happy Holidays.


Sunday, December 05, 2010

Shellburg Falls Trail Race Report and Pics

Zach and I signed up for the Shellburg Falls race right after finishing the Silver Falls Half Marathon. It is put on by the same group and was sure to be just as fun. Plus it was only 7 miles! Ha! Well, it turned out to be MUCH harder than the half marathon, even at about half the distance.

Check out the elevation profile!


The big climb is clear, but even this scary looking graph doesn’t reveal how huge the climb was. Omg it was incredible. Everyone walked up it, even the fast guys up near Zach (he doesn’t often have to walk even on steep climbs!). It was so steep I was kind of crawling using my hands at some points. I think that mile took me 18 minutes, no joke. :O

The course was beautiful, but every single step of it was challenging. When we weren’t going UP we were descending steep, slippery downhills. There were stretches on gravel road that were also super steep. Oh and we had to hurdle about a dozen trees in the first mile!

It certainly was a tough run! I thought it was far more difficult than the half marathon and in my opinion, not quite as fun. I just never got into a groove. But it was an adventure and I loved that part of it. Zach did so good- he is amazing. He finished 16th overall! So speedy. I was happy with my time too:

Official results:

1:13:34 (10:30 pace –not bad given the 18 minute one-mile hike/climb in there!)

9/30 30-39 Age Group

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A few more pics from the day:

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One of the roads we ran down:


After the race:


After the race, we drove by a U-Cut tree farm and picked out a cute tree for the apartment:

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Will post a picture when we finish decorating it. I’m finally starting to feel in the Christmas spirit. :)

Thanks for reading. :)