Tis the Season! Christmas Pickles & 10 milers

Recap on life

(yes, I am a horrible blogger)

Friday

It’s getting festive at the University of Portland Marketing department!

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IMG_4686Work Christmas party at Voicebox! It was so much fun singing karaoke with the entire division. Not only did I win a $50 Nordstrom gift card (and no… not because of my singing), but the party was for a great cause. We ended up raising a good amount of money for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital!

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Afterwards, I went to celebrate the fabulous life/birth of Miss Katie Yochim

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Saturday

Holy Christmas Shopping Santa! Steven and I rocked it this year. I might have gone through the entire Target store twice.

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Fun fact: Steven has this nickname for me… “Pickle” And when we discovered there was something of a Christmas Pickle tradition, we knew we had to be a part of it! After a little bit of searching, this Pickle finally has her Christmas Pickle!

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Afterwards we had a low-key evening. Steven’s housemate is a foster mom to two adorable kittens! And the great girlfriend I am, a made a sick Steven a Christmas cake! Man, I love easy, box cakes.

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Sunday

Brunch with one of my favorite couples, Matt & Bridgette!

IMG_4736After brunch, I knew I had to get in a long run. And man, was it horrible! With less than a week until the half marathon, the runner in me knew I needed to do a 10 miler. It was cold, rainy, and painful. But I did it!

Screen shot 2012-12-11 at 3.33.58 PM10 miles never looked so ugly.

Afterwards I just felt sick and beat down physically… which unfortunately moved into my Monday.

Monday

I woke up Monday feeling super sick. I blame: hanging out with a sick boyfriend, my long 10 miler, the fact that everyone seems to be getting sick, I’m getting older and my immune system hates me.

I unfortunately had to stay home from work and totally babied myself. Basically my dad was spent chugging Dayquil, drinking way too much tea while sprawled on my couch watching HBO’s Big Love.

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(if you don’t watch this show, you should!)

big loveCourtesy of HBO

One bright spot in my sick day is that I received a beautiful housewarming gift from the fabulous Erica Jornlin! Her life in Chicago sounds wonderful and I am so excited to visit her (and Karen and Eric) in the Spring!

IMG_4743As for today, I am thankfully feeling way better! Nose is still sniffly, but it’s manageable. Poor Steven though sounds like kermit the frog! Sick boyfriend needs to feel better!

tis the season for sickness!

 

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Happy 1st “Runnaversary” to me!

This week one year ago, I decided I wanted to run.

Why?

I wanted to be healthier, stronger, happier. I wanted to re-live my athletic days, to challenge myself.

One year ago, I made a goal to run and to keep being active.

When I started doing the Couch to 5k program, I just really wanted to run a 5k

Then I moved on to a quarter marathon

Then a half marathon

And now I am training for my second half marathon!

And then maybe one day a marathon (maybe… just maybe…)

(If I had a dollar for every self-portraits I have on a run…)

I wish I could say that running has gotten easier. But it hasn’t. I know I will always be a slow runner. And that some runs are wonderful and blissful and that some runs feel like punishment.

But it’s something that I love to do.  And I am so proud of myself that I have stuck with it for an entire year!

Who doesn’t love a good challenge

Side note – The 12 mile run has to be postponed… I don’t have enough time! But I did do a six miler yesterday… a mile for every two months!

Re-commitment to Running – so far, so good!

I told you guys on Tuesday that I set up some Fall goals for myself. And although I know things can’t change overnight or over a week, I have made some progress in the running area.

The idea that my next race is two months away totally freaks me out! Thankfully, that’s helped me re-commit myself to working out.

(semi-brag alert)

So far for this week I have run 3 times, did a spin workout, and some weight training! That’s a win in my book!

This morning I got to go into work a little later since I am working an event tonight. Instead of sleeping in and wasting the couple extra hours I had, I decided to do a 4 mile run on my beloved Waterfront path.

It was so cold and I couldn’t believe all the fog! But the run went by really fast (thanks to the Jillian Michaels podcast) and I now feel refreshed and ready for the day. I now understand why people work out in the mornings before work. I’m not saying I’m a convert, but I do understand the appeal!

My one year runniversary is coming up in a couple weeks and I feel like I need to do something epic to commemorate it. I’m thinking 12 miles for 12 months.

What do you think?!

It’s Official: Hello Holiday Half Marathon!

I have signed up for my second half marathon, the Portland Holiday Half!

It’s in North Portland, which is perfect! It runs right by the University of Portland (oh hey alma mater/workplace!) and it also gives my family and friends a chance to see me race!

Is it weird I am already planning my costume for the race?

I am super excited and have already come up with my training plan! It starts next week after I get back from Napa

(Haven’t mentioned this, but I am going to Napa Valley to celebrate Miss Kate Vance and her bachelorette-ness! Post to come when I get back!)

For my training plan, I (and Smart Coach) kept around the same mileage plan that I did for the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon. I am planning to incorporate one spin class and one yoga class a week for cross training. Long runs are on Saturdays and my highest mileage week is 19 miles.

Thanks to Steven for my fabulous Excel spreadsheet! He knows I like pretty things!

 

I’m excited to get started! Now who has some good ideas for a costume?!

 

 

 

 

Race Recap: Eugene Women’s Half Marathon

I don’t even know where to start other then…

I DID IT! I LOVED IT! I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN!

The Eugene Women’s Half Marathon was everything I wanted it to be and more. I pushed myself farther then I thought I could and I ended up finishing with the beautiful time of…

2 : 35 : 05

A full 20 minutes faster than I anticipated! 

So now that you know about the happy ending, let’s start at the beginning.

There was no race day pickup, so Steven and I spent Saturday day and night in Eugene before the Sunday race. It was so much fun making a little “vacation” out of it, and we loved exploring a little bit of the city. The race packet pickup was a breeze and was held in the gorgeous Fifth Street Public Market. I loved the race shirt, very cute and very pink! They little saying on the front is super adorable…

Courtesy of Eugene Women’s Half Marathon

Steven and I were lucky to stay the night at the Eugene Hilton, which was literally a couple blocks from the starting line. Like everyone has suggested, I laid out my race gear as well as my post-race essentials the night before so I didn’t stress in the morning. It’s such a great tip and I highly suggest it! Race morning I knew where everything was and all I had to do was focus on was the 13.1 miles ahead of me!

I was so nervous that morning. I had a bunch of texts in the morning wishing me luck, which meant the world to me! Steven and I went over to the start area so I could warm up, stretch, and soak up the atmosphere (and of course to take photos)! There were about 850 runners, all of whom were super supportive of one another. Definitely the best race atmosphere I have been involved in! 

Before I knew it, it was race time. And all I could think about was how hard I have worked to get to this point. I was a ball of excitement and was ready to take on my longest running distance yet! Quick pep talk with Steven (and of course more photos) and I was on my way!

I don’t know what came over me, but I was so confident and ready for it. I hit my stride and I just kept moving. The course was mostly along the Willamette River through some gorgeous parks and bike trails. Although I had no idea where I was in Eugene, I really did enjoy the scenery. Downside is that there weren’t that many spectators, but the ones we did pass were enthusiastic and encouraging!

There was a woman in a dark green shirt…and I basically stalked her through the race. This woman, who during the run I named “Lucy,” helped me keep a steady pace and really helped push me to keep going. I choose not to use my Nike+ app since this was my first half marathon and I didn’t care about my time. But thanks to “Lucy,” I had a killer time for the race!

Steven, being amazing, met me between mile 7 and 8 for some encouragement/Nunn/Banana. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was to Steven. The first part of the race, I just focused on getting to him. And seeing him gave me such a boost/hilarious set of photos of “Race Roya.”

Around mile 9 is when my body began to break down a bit. I was so tired and my legs were basically throbbing in pain. But I knew I just had to keep going and the faster I went, the sooner it would be over. Some walk/stretch breaks helped my legs recover a bit before I hit mile 12. I wanted that final 1.1 mile to be epic…and epic it was! My iPod shuffle gods must have been on my side because 3 minutes before the end, “We Will Rock You” by Queen came on! I couldn’t have planned it better myself! By the time I rounded the final corner to the finish, I saw Steven and heard the announcer pronounce my name perfectly!

It’s a moment in my life that I will never forget. 

I grabbed my finishers charm, a mimosa, hugged Steven, and cried.

I did it! I can’t believe how far I have come!

The post-race festivities were a lot of fun. They had copious amounts of food (hello mini bagels…), a live band, stretching areas, fun vendors, massages, a beer garden, and a photo booth! Afterwards, I had to take some much needed steps to feel like a normal human again, which included a lot of Olive Garden breadsticks and long, long naps.

I loved the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon and it is totally the perfect race to run your first half. It’s a no stress, flat race with a lot of great energy and spirit. I look forward to doing it next year…

And spoiler alert… I think I had already chosen my next half marathon!

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported me over the past couple months! I was so (happily) overwhelmed by all the calls, texts, and messages I have received. And again, to my mom and everyone who wore the bracelets, you guys rock!

And finally a huge shout out to Steven, who dealt with a nervous, crying, overly excited girlfriend for a weekend. He is the best boyfriend, race supporter, running photographer a girl could ask for! 

Long story short… I ran 13.1 miles and loved it. 

2012 Eugene Women’s Half Marathon stats:

Runners Need Massages (oh yes we do!)

Good News: I ran 10 miles on Friday!   Bad News: My legs were dead for the rest of the weekend! It was painful to walk!

Thankfully, I had been smart with my training plan and scheduled a massage for yesterday. And let’s just say it was one of the best decisions ever.

My muscles (especially in my legs) feel relaxed and I definitely don’t feel as “scrunched up” like I usually do! I always knew that massages were important for runners, but the reasons were never really clear. After a long talk with Lisa from Brightway Massage, I know understand the importance of massages for runners and athletes. The amount of strain on a runner’s body is absolutely brutal. And massage is just another tool a runner can use to reduce that strain and to become a better and more efficient runner.

  • For runners, massages will help for both performance recovery before and after big races.
  • Massage improves circulation throughout the body and also encourages nutrients to move into the muscle tissues.
  • During a massage, your muscles will be stretched and your joints will be moved through their proper range of motion.
  • Endorphins are also released and will travel through the body to reduce pain in a natural way.
  • It removes lactic acid which builds up in your muscles causing soreness
  • A massage decreases stress and increases focus, perfect for before a race.
  • For injuries (like my ACL injury), massages will help to break down some of the scar tissue, which will help your muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
  • Regular sports massage can improve muscle the flexibility of tight muscles as well as correct imbalances in the body.

For any runner or athlete out there, I highly suggest massage. Although it is a “luxury”, it’s so important to aide in your body’s recovery. I want to be active in fighting injury and I believe massage is a great tool for that. My massage was anything but relaxing yesterday. My legs, especially my left calf and IT Band were dying. But they are now pain-free and I am excited to go on a hopefully peaceful run tonight!

I know that not many people can afford regular massages (I am extremely lucky in that my health insurance helps cover a significant portion of my massages.) Check with your insurance to see if you have a similar plan for “alternative care” or look for massage deals in websites such as Groupon!

Long Runs = Swollen Knee

First off, thanks everyone for your music suggestions! I plan on spending all tomorrow night compiling all your suggestions and looking through your playlists!

So yesterday was my long 9 mile run. But unfortunately, I did not plan my time well and the sun was going down fast. Although I am so completely comfortable living (and running) downtown, a co-worker recently had a scary homeless man experience and I just didn’t want to deal with that.

So 9 miles turned into 8.5 miles!

Taken from last night’s run. Portland is just way too beautiful in the summer.

This was my third 8+ mile training run, and it wasn’t my best. 85 degrees might be nothing for some parts of the country, but that is pretty warm here! I felt slow, sluggish, and around mile 5 my body just wasn’t cooperating. I had a ton of walk/stretch breaks, but honestly, I am not going to let that bother me anymore.

What is bothering me is my knee. My left knee is my weakness. After tearing my ACL and going through ACL arthroscopic surgery in high school, she just hasn’t been the same. Last night and today my knee is feeling really tender and is swollen. She is being babied, so all should be good!

Thank god for Pro Compression socks, ceiling fans, and my “ice bag” of mixed vegetables that has been used one too many times…

The best feeling ever is lounging after a long run. I had a wonderful nice with my ice bag, copious amounts of water, and Real World St. Thomas!

Speaking of Real World, they just starting filming their next season here in Portland. Of course I went with a couple girlfriends to stalk the house… Dannica was so mad because I kept screaming “Real World” into their open windows. Don’t worry, I will meet them soon enough.