Sunday, January 30, 2011

Willamette Mission Trail Challenge 5k Race Report

Long title for a short race!

On Saturday Zach and I ran the Willamette Mission Trail Challenge down near Salem. This is the third Run Wild Adventures race we’ve done this fall/winter. They put on really fun trail runs for a great price ($15).

I wasn’t planning on running a fast time due to my recent layoff from the rib injury. I have only ran a few short runs in the last couple weeks and no speed work. I knew I could run 3.1 miles no problem though so I went ahead with the race. Zach was running the 10k.

The course was flat but much of the course was very muddy. There was a particularly slippery and gummy stretch at the beginning and end that probably totaled about one mile (both races). That section was slow-going because you couldn’t get any traction and everyone was slipping around.

I ran pretty hard but never felt like I was going very fast. I felt ok, but my stomach was kind of yucky, like I could throw up. I took this to mean I was running faster than I thought. On the dry sections I was trying to pick up the pace but felt sluggish. The 10k split off after a while and I never had too many people around me to gauge my pace. I saw the turn to the end and kicked it up as much as I could and finished in 23:45. Not fast but good considering the course!

I ran over and grabbed my camera and jacket and made it back to see Zach finish the 10k. He did awesome, finishing in 42:46. He had a crazy race including taking a big fall (turns out about half the 10k runners took the same fall, judging by the mud marks). After that, a series of events caused him to finish carrying his sock: First, he lost his shoe in an especially deep and sticky mud puddle, without time to stop his momentum, he stepped into mud with his bare sock, then took off his mud-covered sock and put his bare foot in his shoe, and carried his sock the couple miles left. Hilarious! He did great even with this hiccup. This is what trail races are all about!

We stuck around hoping to win something in the raffle and see how we placed. In the other Run Wild races I’ve placed 9/30 and 17/89 so was hoping I could improve on that a little. They started calling out awards for the 5k and I was shocked to hear my name! I went up and got my certificate, and Zach had to tell me that it meant I won my age group! I thought maybe I just placed 3rd… I wasn’t really listening since I thought there was no way. It’s crazy! And there were a lot of people in my AG! I guess it just depends who shows up and this time I lucked out. I’ll take it. Zach placed 8th in his AG which he was happy with. We both had a really fun time and can’t wait to do another trail race.

Official results:

23:45 (7:38 pace)

1/29 30-39 Age Group

6/74 Female

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I’m in a need of a Reset. I started off the year really strong- I was feeling positive, stress under control, and excited for the year ahead. But the last couple of weeks I’ve kind of slid back into my old ways- negative thinking, anxious and stressed, and worried about the future.

No doubt this stupid rib injury is partially the cause- it threw off my routine, changed my plans, cancelled my training. I’ve decided to run a shorter race at Lost Dutchman next month (not sure which distance) and that’s not that big of a deal. I was a little disappointed but there’s plenty more marathons in the future. But the injury in general caused me stress and anxiety. I had to go to the doctor which I do not like, I had all kinds of worse-case-scenarios running through my head. I’m a big catastrophic worst-case-scenario person these days. It’s an awful waste of energy!! Thankfully there was nothing major wrong, and now the muscle strain is healing up and feeling better every day (well, most days. It’s a little sore today). I’ve been able to resume running and yoga, which is great. No climbing yet but I can handle that.

There have been a few other life events going on that have contributed to my stress- Zach was gone a lot for work and to see his parents this month which I don’t deal with well (he was on a week-long work trip when I found out my mom had cancer last year… so that’s basically the explanation of my issue there) although I got through it just fine and ended up having fun with my friends and spending quality alone time meditating, going to the art museum, taking photos at Council Crest!

We’ve also begun the long and overwhelming process of buying a house. Enough said, right? I’m totally excited, and we are all set financially, but still. Stress. I need to get a grip on this because it is going to take months to find a house, take care of all the paperwork and details, give away all our money, move, get settled, etc..

Finally, there is the ongoing recovery of Zach’s dad and stepmom from the motorcycle accident in November. They are doing SO good- William is home finally and getting around on his own like a champ (no small thing after two badly broken feet and a broken arm). Melanie is fully awake and as of this week can finally talk (they had that trach tube in which prevented speech) and it looks like she’s going to be ok. It’s a miracle. Even those there has been nothing but positive developments, it is still a LOT to handle. There is a long way to go still and we have to be patient. I still get really emotional about it, and we are still dealing with a lot of financial/insurance/legal stuff on their behalf. Zach visited them in San Diego and it was great to hear how much better they were since we saw them days after the accident… but I think it would do me a world of good to see it for myself. We are planning a trip down there in March.


Ok I think that’s all the major stuff on my plate. That’s a lot when I write it all out like that. Plus all the other things of life- family, job, diet, money, friendships, travel plans, etc. It’s not even that I can’t handle all this stuff. I know I can. But I have to have my game face on! And by game face I mean…. My positive attitude. My energetic spirit. My big smile. I can’t just wallow in my self-pity and expect anything to get better. I can’t create extra drama for myself. I read something on a blog somewhere this week… totally forgetting the source… but the quote was “Don’t make life harder than it already is.” It spoke directly to me and my situation.

I need to reset. I need to re-embrace my New Year’s goal of being Positive and Optimistic. I need to spend the time caring for myself and relieving my stress. I can do this through yoga, meditation, talking with family and friends, journaling, spending time outdoors, eating healthfully, getting plenty of sleep. Running. 

And with that, I’m off to yoga. Thanks for reading. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

on hold

Plans have changed slightly in the last week or so running-wise. As it happens, I am no longer even “training.” In fact, I am taking a little break. I have had a pain that I’d been successfully ignoring for the past few weeks, but it finally got to be un-ignorable last week. It’s a weird thing really- it’s not even a running injury!

There is a pain in my ribs-area that ranges from twingey to stabby. The weird thing is that it comes and goes, it only hurts ever few days. I pretty quickly self-diagnosed it as a strained intercostal muscle (the muscles that run between the ribs) and I’m sure it’s from climbing. After one particularly painful day, I decided I needed a break. I took a week off of everything – running, climbing, and yoga, and then when I tried running again it was sore the next day. Finally today I went to see my doctor and she confirmed my thoughts. The good news is it’s nothing serious, the bad news is, it could take a while to heal. She said yoga is good, running is OK as long as it doesn’t bother me, but no climbing. :(

I’ve lost a week and a half of marathon training, during what should be a high-mileage time. I don’t know how soon I’ll be able to ramp back up so my February marathon plans are temporarily on hold. It sucks, but I’m ok with it now. Nothing I can do about it. I was happy to see that the Lost Dutchman Marathon lets you switch to any of the shorter distance races the day before the race, (half marathon, 10k, 8k trail race) so that’s an option. It’s no big deal- this trip to AZ is primarily to visit my bestest bestie Inga, and that is still happening! I just signed up for this race on a whim, and so it’s not a big deal to bag it.

My main goal is to heal up and get back to running and climbing as soon as possible. Injuries always test our patience and our faith but I know I’ll get through it. This is a great time to show how positive I can be in 2011, right??

Thanks for reading, and I hope you are all running healthy and strong! :)


Monday, January 17, 2011

Sunday, January 09, 2011


It is apparently 6 weeks until my next marathon, the Lost Dutchman Marathon in Apache Junction, AZ.  

apache jct 

I signed up for this race on a whim about 3-4 weeks ago, and decided not not really “train” for it in the traditional way. Instead, I just kept doing my normal runs and ramped up the mileage.

So far, I’m really enjoying this non-training schedule! I’ve been running around 40 miles per week with 17-20 mile long runs and one speed session a week. Here’s how this past week went:

Monday: rest (Yoga)
Tuesday: 8 miles @ 8:55 pace (Yoga) 
Wednesday: Fast 3 miles @ 7:30 pace with Zach (Climb)
Thursday: Easy 6 miles @ 9:30 pace
Friday: rest (Yoga)
Saturday: 6 mile trail run with Zach @ 10:24 pace (Climb)
Sunday: 17 mile long run @ 9:09 pace

Very solid week! The highlights were: 1) that short run with Zach on Wednesday where I ran super fast and felt great! 2) the trail run in Forest Park (see pics below). It snowed a little and was super muddy and fun.

The real highlights of the week were non-running-related: 1) Tuesday night’s yoga class was taught by my favorite Portland yoga instructor: Emily! 2) Spectacular climbing session on Saturday where I sent two 5.10s – one I had been struggling with and one brand new route. SO fun.

I’m going to keep this kind of a schedule for the next few weeks, and then I will taper of course. I’m making sure those kind of key training elements are present so I don’t under-train or get injured or anything. I do hope to do well in the marathon, I wouldn’t have signed up for it if I thought it would be a disaster. But I am certainly enjoying taking it very lightly. It’ll be interesting to see how it works out!

Here are a few pics from our run yesterday. Thanks so much for reading and I hope everyone is having a great 2011 so far! :)


FP Jan 8 11

FP3 Jan 8 11

FP2 Jan 8 11

Monday, January 03, 2011

Hello 2011!

I welcomed the new year in the perfect setting: surrounded by friends and gorgeous scenery, playing games, dancing, laughing, doing yoga and hiking and just taking it all in.

New Year’s Eve I ran 20 miles around the Willamette in below-freezing temps and had a perfect run. Then, we drove up to our friend’s cabin on the Washington side of the Gorge in the afternoon where we had a wonderful weekend.

I set my intention for the year as Positivity. This year, I become an optimist again. I know things aren’t always going to be easy, but I will always keep my hand on the thread of joy that runs through life. I’ll choose love over fear. I’ll keep a smile on my face and I’ll be grateful for all that I have.

Are you with me?


Here is our New Years in photos. Snowy mountains, warm fire, midnight jump in the lake, champagne-assisted yoga, and more:

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