Saturday, November 24, 2007


Another Thanksgiving has come and gone, though I don't really consider it over until the Seattle marathon has been run. I joined some former Chuckit buddies Thanksgiving morning for a run at Discovery Park. For some of them it was only their first or second time to run here. That made me feel thankful for my trail running endeavors and where my training takes me, as this is one of my "in town" staples.

I got there early and ran one loop, expecting that they would be running the loop again, which would hold my mileage down to 5-6, on schedule for me. But a few were gung-ho to run to the beach, and I couldn't resist! It was such a gorgeous morning and the water was relatively calm, so I HAD to go to the beach. We were such a big group, and a bunch of folks from Brooks were also out there running, so I joked that next year there would be a race fee (all going to me, of course). A fellow from Toulous, France, joined us and he really smoked the trail. I asked him if he had heard of the Tour du Mont Blanc; of course he had. I thought he should consider it someday (he was only 23) and he kept saying no-no-no. I kept at it; hopefully I planted a seed in his head. :-)

After the run we headed over to Jim's house where I had some great smoothies and caught up on what was happening in people's lives. It was great to reconnect - I wish I could get them out on the trail more, but they are dedicated roadies and triathletes! I'm thankful to have those folks still there as I wander off into the woods....

Friday was a day at the marathon expo with Tracy. I picked up my race number for the half. There was a SNAFU where they never got my registration; I had signed up at JocknJill and fortunately they gave me a confirmation card in case this happened. Good thing as it had cost me $85 plus $15 to the charity (UWMC patient family housing). So after looking through all the races (full, half, and walks) I had to re-register, but for free (they attached my card to the registration). From now on, I'm signing up for all big races online, if that option is available. Anyway, after that we headed into the vendor show to get my race number and shirt and do some shopping. I saw lots of people, from trail runs, road runs and teaching ChiRunning. (I really hope we can swing a booth there next year. It wasn't as huge as Bloomsday, but it's pretty big.) Late, we headed up to Seattle Running Co., where Scott M. had put a Nathan Women's Intensity vest on hold for me. It fits much better than my old pack, which was designed for a man's torso, so I think I'll be pretty happy with it.

Today I will go to Farmer's Market with Donn, pick up some veggies for yummy burritos for tonight, figure out what to make for a potluck after the marathon tomorrow, and get ready. I am planning to run a 20 miler, with the half marathon in the middle. Compared to last year the weather looks pretty decent, though it's pretty cold. I am going to take it nice an easy - this is a training run with a bunch of friends.

What am I training for? Well, I had hoped to be able to run OP50, but may not be able to get in (I'm on the wait list). And I don't know if I'll be ready for it either, though I'd like to be ready if I can. So I decided I am training to be ready to do it, and have the benefit of being able to run other distances, and while at it, have FUN. For that, I am thankful. We don't know what's around the bend, so to be able to enjoy this moment is huge, and a lot to be thankful for!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ramping up and feeling it

Since last Sunday, as of today, my weekly mileage is 30. Now that might not seem like a lot to most runners, but for me, it's the most (weekly) since last April. Add on to that two swims this week with our masters group. Another thing I haven't been doing much of since surgery. The pool has been closed since last summer, and after I was allowed back in the water, it hurt like hell. Took a while for the obliques and all those other muscles to come back. So swimming a mile in the lake just wasn't as much fun (though I did get in a few during September). Consequently, my upper body strength has suffered, despite starting a strength training regimen that includes biceps, triceps, and lats, to name a few.

So today we hit the trail at Rattlesnake Lake and climbed partway up Rattlesnake Mountain. I ran/walked up with Jerri while Tracy, Eric, and Austin zipped up the mountain. After returning to the start, we headed out the Snoqualmie Valley trail for a few miles, going down a gradual hill. Of course, we had to climb it on the return, so I was pretty dang tired by the time we got to the cars. Austin left, as did Jerri and Eric, so Tracy and I ran part of the Ironhorse Trail. We didn't go as far as we planned which was fine by me! I probably didn't eat as much as I should have, but it was also all the running, swimming, biking (to and from work and for errands), and weight training that added up to tiredness.

Despite all the crabbing, I still reached my goal of 30-35 for the week, and after resting, am looking forward to more.

I just got the video of Yiannis Kouros, the legendary Greek ultramarathoner, and watching him run is just amazing. It served as a great muse today when I was so tired - he would just keep going. On foot in front of the other, with attention to good form. I will try to watch it every evening prior to a long run!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

old friends/new friends

This weekend was a mesh of hanging with new friends and seeing old friends, all in an athletic setting! Saturday, I met the folks I've been trail running with for a 9-10 miler around Lake Youngs. I hadn't been there before and looked forward to checking it out. It's the end of a "recovery" week for me. My peak week ended with a (grueling) 13 miler at Cougar last Saturday, so I was quite pleased how easy this run felt. Though not as hilly as Cougar, it was rolling, and very pretty with all the fall leaves! The best part was I met more new faces. I ran with Tracy and Ali, whom I knew (though not that long) and met Jerry, Eric, Cam, and Kevin. We had such a nice time and they are such good people. I can't wait to run with them again - next week it's Rattlesnake Lake, or something along those lines. Afterwards, Tracy and I headed to The Balanced Athlete to look at shoes. We ran into Scott M. from Seattle Running Co and helped him load some shoes in his car. I got some Filas to try - they encourage a midfoot landing - and Tracy tried several shoes before she decided to take more time. We visited a little with Eric, who was running ragged as he was the only one in the store at the time. Then we went over to Wild Wheat and had a yummy lunch, before heading back north to Seattle. The rest of the day was spent hanging out at home with Donn and enjoying a movie. It was a very pleasant day!

Then, today, for the first time since July (?) Queen Anne pool was open for our swim club! It was SO GOOD to see old friends, and I even managed to make some new ones too - met a trail runner in our lane! But first, I met up with Charlene and Sarah for an easy run around the top of Queen Anne. Then we got back to the pool (Sarah went to work) and got in to see all the changes they made- new filtration (half UV, half chlorine), cool new pool lights (LED, and they can change colors or go to disco), and new spiffed up locker room. It was way cool!! I came in all sweaty from my run, and saw Michael coming out of the locker room in just his bathing suit. I couldn't resist giving him a big hug and rubbing my sweaty face on his chest! :-) The pool was a little cool - 78F - but not bad for swimming, once you got going. They are still bringing it up to temp; too bad! Our swim was good and I took breaks when I felt my bp was getting too high (headaching, pounding). I even managed a hypoxic set - 3-2-1-0 breaths for 25! I just loved it! Got some sauna time afterwards and then out to Cafe Ladro with some of the gang. I'm so happy to be back there - signed up for 2x/week come hell or highwater!

What a great weekend! I shall sleep well tonight!