Saturday, March 31, 2012

Ran with my pants on....INSIDE OUT!

I woke up and decided I wasn't going to go run this morning as planned. Still getting over the virus, it was still raining (this is the wettest March in the history of our city)  and I just didn't want to spend another run SOAKED TO THE BONE. I could use the treadmill tomorrow.

Then this afternoon, something weird happened.

I looked out my window and saw BLUE SKIES and white puffy clouds. I quickly got dressed, grabbed my gator-water, a hand full of Sports Beans, my iPhone, Garmin and thinking that I would be running on busy streets, I put on my brightest HEY-LOOK-AT-ME dayglow yellow running jacket.

Off I went! I ran out of my neighborhood and onto the big street that runs through town here.

Those who know me know I love trains, and it was a bonus finding the local train sitting out along the road. I ran up along it then ran backwards to snap this...never pausing.

Back on another main street I headed into what looked like an oncoming storm cell.

And right after I snapped this shot, rain drops started falling lightly. When I got to the beginning of the very long incline, it began raining harder. How does the rain know when to strike? I mean, hills are hard enough for me. MUST we add gusty wind and rain?

At the two mile/half way mark, I ate just TWO sports beans. I loved the taste, but now I know why some people complain about them. Chewing while running takes some getting used to.

At four miles, I looked at my heart rate and feeling like there was still something left in my legs, I went on past the street that would have taken me home. I ended up adding another half mile on top of my goal.

I had my fastest 3.1 mile time yet! Pace of 12:01. I bet I could have broke the 12's if I had been running flat ground! Maybe the July Harvest Days Run will be the day!

I ran my longest non-stop run in years, for a full 4.52 miles at a pace of 12:21.

Was it all the training? The speed work? The cross training? The losing weight? The Sports Beans??

Either way - I felt PROUD! And they say if you look great after a run, you are not running hard enough. Here I am after the run with soaking wet hair and blotchy face feeling mahvelous.

So feeling a bit of strain on my knees I walked home and went straight to my stretches. I was sitting on the ground, one leg extended in front of me and bending down to touch my toes when I noticed something wrong with the seams of my pants. Then I noticed the zipper at the ankle. I reached behind to my waist band and felt for the tags. My pants were INSIDE OUT. I had just run 4.52 miles through two of the busiest streets in my area wearing my pants inside out. LUCKILY the yellow jacket covers my hips so no one on the road could tell. But, I will have to be more careful when it starts warming up!!!

Weather: 53 degrees - wind gusts to 11mph - scattered rain
Weight: 164.6


Thursday, March 29, 2012

I Surprised Myself!

First, my goal was to run my missed track night tonight. During the day, I realized that it was not going to be easy. I had a TON of excuses that I could have used at any time to go home and just take it easy. Here they are:


  1. It was pouring out. The peak rainfall was between 5:00-5:30. That was my running time.
  2. When I checked my running bag, I realized I left my running jackets at home. ALL of them.
  3. I was still on the double dose of anti-viral meds and feeling gross.
  4. I am fighting a virus.
  5. My favorite/safest track for solo running had a meet going on.
  6. The other track had tons of wild geese on it when I got there and they left it disgusting with green poo piles.
  7. I didn't have my earbuds for music.Running laps alone for 2.5 miles without music?
  8. Some of the random wind gusts were HARD.
It just so happens that my race partner is also my lead worker at work and sits right next to me. Guess what she had today in HER running gear bag - a spare rain running jacket. My size. I didn't know whether to be grateful or mad. I mean, it was POURING outside!

So, I drove to the high school and before I even made it to the track, my running shoes were SOAKED. My toes were squishing in them as I stepped up to the starting line. Before I finished my first lap my sleeves soaked through and the strong winds and sideways rain soaked my eye glasses. The random gusts were trying to blow me over and were not fun to run into. I was literally splashing on the track in between fresh goose poo and live earthworms that were seeking solace. Sure didn't want the goose poo on my white shoes! 

It wasn't an easy workout by any means. I wanted to quit after just the second lap even though I had 8 more to go. I had a lot of reasons to quit. And I took none of them. And guess what - I AM PROUD!!! I came home and downloaded my stats.

I kicked butt tonight!!!! 

Last week's track night gave us a break every two laps and still I was faster tonight. 

4 laps (rest 30 seconds) 3 laps (rest 30 seconds) 2 laps (rest 30 seconds) 1 lap

Here are my splits and averages of RUNNING time only

I have no idea how that happened as I sure didn't feel strong or fast. I just felt wet, miserable and weak. I guess I was wrong. 

WEIGHT: 164.0 (YAY!!)
WEATHER AT 5:00pm-5:30pm:  46 degrees - Heavy rain with gusts of wind from 14-22 miles per hour.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Setbacks, Humdrums and a Virus

My last two long runs were among my worst for one reason or another. To break this spell, I have been looking forward to a redeeming run since last Saturday.

However, the stress in my life has once again caused my nerves/body to fight back.

Since I was a nail-biting child with constant cold sores (yay Anbesol!), I have endured painful outbreaks of Whitlow maybe once every few years. Sometimes even longer in between. There are many periods in my life I jut forgot about it and assumed it was no longer a part of my life. However, stress is a huge trigger for it and for the third time this year alone (yup, three times in just three months), this childhood disorder has struck me again. It causes a lot of pain, sleepless nights, fever, and swollen lymph nodes. The meds do shorten the illness effects, but the meds are really strong and make me feel so nauseous. I had plain white rice for dinner.

So running.

And that, causes more stress. Running is one of the very few times the last few months I felt stress free. I need to run. If I could make it happen, I would have tomorrow off, it would be a beautiful dry yet cool day, and I would be running. Running until I couldn't run any more. I would be running out by Lake Vancouver under the tall trees with nesting Osprey's and flitting song birds. Just me and the road.

Looks like the coach has the hill in Portland lined up for Saturday's long run. Not my favorite. I wonder if maybe I should just go to Lake Vancouver and run that instead. ;)

Weight: 164.6

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Increasing Mileage - It Can Only Get Better

This is a long one. But, being as it is my longest run outdoors in the Pacific Northwest, I am going to allow myself.

My promise to myself was that after the Shamrock run, I would start increasing my mileage for the 10K that I registered to run the end of May and the Half Marathon in October. This morning though, I slept in and didn't get to group this morning (I really hate that Saturday group is at 8am on my only day to sleep in and that they are in Portland!!!!) so I drove alone to the Vancouver River Front and decided to see if I could run 4 miles today.

First, let's say that this morning was a morning that would make Murphy's Law proud!

  • I slept in - by two hours.
  • I woke up with a bug bite on the inside of my wrist (I never get bug bites)
  • I went into the clean kitchen and found ants on the counter, the floor and the sink
  • I quarreled with my husband
  • I got to the park and needing one, was dismayed to find the bathrooms were locked up
  • I began running and 4 minutes into my run my HR went up to my max. My exertion didn't feel bad (other than a full bladder) but I was going up hill in the warmest weather I have run in this year, so I slowed down. And then I slowed some more. And then I walked. 
  • My heart rate kept going way up and way down. I got frustrated with all this slowing down to walk.
  • I reached my favorite part of the trail (I used to walk it - never ran this) and there was chain link fencing and detour signs. Dammit!
  • I got to a location that I have always seen outhouses at, and today, there were none.
  • At 20 minutes in I was running on a jetty out into the river and the strong winds from the Columbia River gorge were whipping my shirt around - I felt static electricity and my heart-rate monitor jumped up to over 200 while barely moving. 
I finally figured out that I had forgot to insure my monitor strap was on tight and the sensors adequately moistened. DOH!!!!! I walked off the trail, pulled off my top (I was wearing a jog bra underneath it) and tightened the strap and moistened the sensors. Miracle of miracles. My heart rate became NORMAL and stayed NORMAL from that point on. *beats self on the side of the head*

I ran on through Wintler Park and straight to the bathrooms. They too, were locked up! Trying to ignore my need to answer the call of nature, I ran to the trails end and then ran along the shore until that too disappeared.

Heading back though, I stopped to take swigs of Gatorade and to take a picture here and there. Coming back to where my car was parked, I realized I needed more running time to get a full 4.0 miles so I lapped around that park a little. That worked. I got my 4 miles. I really like round numbers. Unless it is 3 miles. Then that has to be 3.1 miles.

My Garmin says I ran 4.02 miles. MapmyRide says it was 4.3 miles. I am going with the Garmin.

How did that 4 miles feel? Everything was mentally HARD from the first 4 minutes on.

Then after 3 miles it got physically hard. My heartrate/breathing were fine but my legs just wouldn't lift themselves like I was wanting them to. Was this a 'wall'? Was this just the new distance? Was this Murphy's law? Was this a full bladder? Was this my only having half of a Odwalla pre-made smoothie for breakfast? Was this just ONE OF THOSE DAYS?

Proud I finished, I headed off to the local running store. They were having their spring sale today and I needed a new hat (that breathes, thank you) and new shoes (one for rain, one for dry). I went in on my way home and took advantage of the price reductions. Got a new running bra, too!! WOOHOO! After losing 20 pounds, it was time for a new one. I deserved it. ;)

Goal for next saturday: Run 4 miles with a better time and less stops and mishaps than today. 
Weight: 166.0
Weather: Dry, blue skies with scattered clouds, 45 degrees. WARM!
Knees: No problems while running. Only discomfort was when I was scrubbing floors when I got home.
Legs: Heavier than concrete when running. No post run discomfort.

Pictures taken en route with my iPhone 
(one of the reasons my time was dismal - but I enjoyed the views so that is okay)

The Trail heading east of the first park



I ran out this and back twice today

At the VERY end of the trail, I kept following the shore until it ended.
You can see my shadowed hand holding my water bottle.

Headed back west

On the way back

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Attitude Adjustment - Thanks H.C.

I was originally really upset Sunday about the Official Timing I got, which was significantly slower than what my Garmin indicated my time was. It was heartbreaking. I had been working very hard for the last few months in my 5K running group to improve my times and I was so proud of my results when I downloaded my time - a personal race best. Then a few hours later, I saw that my Official time was showing - one of my slowest races yet.

That is a huge swing.

I ranted and I was depressed. I ranted some more. It just wasn't fair!!!! I worked for that time!!!! I earned that time!!!! What if others see that time?

Then yesterday I saw the blog of a runner whom I respect very much. She reminded me it doesn't matter what others run, or how they view my run. It is about MY run.

For example - one of the reasons I hate Track Night (Wednesdays) is because although we have a 13 minute pace group in Portland on Saturday, there are no slow runners out there with me on Wednesday nights in the Vancouver group. The week before the race, we did sprints and although I kicked butt (for me) I was last each time. One other girl came in last with me, but she was injured.  And each time, the coach was giving instructions to others before I even got back. It was demoralizing.  On Track Night I am always passed and sometimes fully lapped during our 800's.  The only time I pass others is if they are injured.

I am 50 next month. I am overweight. I don't want to be a 13 minute pace runner for the rest of my life. That is why it meant so much to me that I got a 12:14 race pace last Sunday. And why it hurt so much that my official time was - you guessed it -  over 13 minutes.  I don't like always being in last place or wondering if the racer right behind my time was a runner or a walker.

But last night after reading the runner's blog, I stopped and reconsidered. Why do I care what others see? I know I ran a 12:14 minute pace on that 5K. I enjoyed the run. I had a special (runners high) moment (thank you Abba!) while running through town. I didn't hurt. I had a good time. I finished injury free.

Pardon my language, but to hell with the Official Time. I did good and I am proud.  Last night, for the first time after that race Sunday, I went to bed feeling proud.

I woke up this morning and saw my daily motivation quote from Runners World:

The true measure of a runner isn't in time, but rather in the effort it took along the way. 

Coach Jenny Hadfield, Ask Coach Jenny blog, Runner's  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stronger When Wet

I avoided group track tonight and knowing my scheduled workout, went straight to the nearest High School track and did it all alone. Now mind you, it was pouring and snowing and slushing the entire time.

Big fat wet slushing snow bombs falling between the big rain drops. Temps were 33 degrees.

The ground on campus to the track was marshy and soggy. I was soaked within minutes.

My times? MY BEST TRACK NIGHT YET!!!!! I don't get it. Is it that I am more relaxed and stronger alone? I didn't exhaust as easily, and my speeds were improved. I might try running track night alone next week as well.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Really enjoyed the rain tonight

Did some running after work tonight in the thick/heavy rain fall. And I liked it.

This included 10 thirty second hill sprints and then a run through my area. If I had my good shoes I probably could have gone forever.

Never overheated.

Heart rate never maxed 177.

And my pace for the 2 miles was 11:00. WOW!!!! Why can't I do that in the races?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shamrock Run - Portland, Oregon

I ran this huge race this morning. I had a good time, but am not sure if I will be running it again next year. If I do, I will be sure to not care about times.

The course was okay, but there were some challenges to this one that have me rethinking if this one is the right fit for me.


1: There were 32,000 participants. Think about that. 32,000 is a lot of people. I have lived in towns with less people. I am not good in large crowds. I get super tense in malls during holidays. I won't shop at Winco at the begining of the month. I have left grocery stores that were too crowded. So there we are standing in line to start the 9:20 am run. The crowd goes as far as I can see in front of and behind me. I feel the crush. My neck, shoulders, legs are tense. I put on easy music and plug in my earbuds to wait. I do deep breathing. My heart rate monitor says that while just standing still I was at 122 beats per minute. That is near aerobic level and we hadn't even started yet!

2: We ordered our shirts in January. There were two days to pick them up pre-race - Friday and Saturday. By the end of the first hour on Friday, my shirt size was GONE. There were no more. When I was there Saturday, girls in line told me, "this happens every year". I guess teams get theirs first. Everyone gets what's left over. Pre-registered or not. Okay. I got a man's shirt. Different collar than a woman's shirt, different cut, and different sleeve length. Weird shoulders. But it is an 'okay' shirt. But, I wanted a girls shirt. The other's told me it is ALWAYS the women's XL shirts and sometimes the L's that run out. So....if this 'always' happens, why hasn't someone thought - hey! Let's order extra XL's and L's next year? Or....let's wait to order until after we get the registrations done since it sells out in advance every year anyways.

3: The finish line fiasco! SERIOUSLY a mess. Coming around the corner I see a MASS of unmoving people standing shoulder to shoulder on MY side of the finish line. Most of us stopped our watches at the end of the second time chip mat just as we came to a dead stop. It took 3 or 4 minutes from there to get to the balloons. There there were MORE finish mats. Guess which ones were the race finish? Yup. The ones after you waited in a hardly moving throng of people to WALK under it. So.....what caused that? SOMEONE decided that putting shoe chip barrels right outside the finish line for 32,000 participants was a great idea. Everyone finishing STOPPED and bent over to untie shoe laces, or snap off chips there for the buckets RIGHT THERE. Also, there was no direction there. No one saying to go straight (as some did) or right (as others did) to turn in chips as there were more buckets off to the right. WHY were the chip buckets so close to the finish line? In my opinion, they should have been much further from the finish line. MUCH. And having people DIRECTING runners coming through to keep moving might have helped too.


1: I loved the costumes and hilarity. The creativity and FUN of the participants made it special. IF we run next year, we are wearing tutu's.

2: I loved that there were several bands along the route.

3: I loved the most organized water tables I have seen in a race yet.

4: I loved that salmon chowder. A lot. I offered the server money for more. He laughed. Says he gets that a lot. I bet he does. It is the most amazing chowder I have ever had.

5: The bag check in was the best I have experienced in a race so far.

6: I had a special moment in the city as we were running between the old (yet beautiful) buildings. The sky was partly cloudy, I had an easy gait going on, and then the song DANCING QUEEN by Abba came on my MP3 player. It was pure magic.

So - will I do it again? I really don't know. I hate working so hard, and seeing that my Garmin watch said I kicked ass and got a PR over every race I ever ran, yet my name is on the website at one of my slowest times ever. That is a bit discouraging.

My coworker/running partner said that next year we should do the 15K. She states that as it has less runners, and they leave first, we will stand less, have smaller crowds to stand in, and have no mass throngs at the finish line. Also, next year (if we do it) we show up first thing Friday morning and GET OUR SHIRTS! :)

Photos from today:

I was behind this runner much of the run. Loved her skirt!

I never saw a runner carrying a dog.

In the city....starting a gradual climb before the big one.


I love the view of running feet.

Road Block

Some of these kids were kicking my butt! :)


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Fluttery Twitching Spasms

The Wednesday night workout was my hardest yet. I was exhausted by the warm-ups and sprints even before we began our scheduled tempo work. The next day I had these weird sensations on my right leg. Flutters. Twitches. Spasms. For those who have ever been pregnant, it is very similar to that feeling you got when touching your stomach while the baby moved. However, these feelings are on the inside of my right leg, just slightly above my knee. My knee by the way, is feeling great!

These flutters are totally painless and I figured it was some odd inner leg muscle that had previously been very unused, that got a major workout with those crazy new dynamic exercises and that it was just working itself out....or something.

Yesterday, I read that muscle twitching can be caused by over-exertion, loss of electrolytes, or insufficient levels of potassium or magnesium. So, I drank a gatorade (electrolytes), ate a banana, ran to the Walgreens and bought some magnesium and calcium supplements and took them.

Today those twitches were so rapid and intense that they kept waking me up. They have been bugging me on and off all day. 

I wrote an inquiry at the Beginners Forum at and a kind member stated that they are "VERY COMMON", called "Muscle Fasciculation" and that are most likely from the over-exertion Wednesday night. She also mentioned that some medications might cause them.

I did some more google searches and am a bit bummed. The ONLY med I take is Doxylamine. It is also known as Unisom. I take it for my allergies AND for my insomnia. It is like a wonder drug for me. Or so I thought!  I only take the 25mg a day, but I have been taking them about 5 days a week for 2 years. The instructions are to take them only two weeks or so at a time.

As it turns out, 'muscle twitches' are a common side effect of this drug. And worse - this drug is NOT always kind to muscles. It is a "potent anticholinergic" that causes muscle twitching, muscle weakness and in extreme situations, rhabdomyolsis which is a condition that breaks down muscle cells (releasing the toxins back into the system).

I am at a loss tonight. I originally planned on taking one at 9pm tonight so I can increase my odds of being asleep by 11pm for tomorrows race. Do I take one? 

Typically on weekends I won't take one, and as a result I am often wide awake without caffeine or stimulants until 2 - 4 am. I surely can't do THAT tonight....not with the first race of the season early tomorrow morning.

Have Shirt - Ready to Run!

Picked up our shirts today at the Portland Convention Center. They were out of my size within the first hour yesterday morning (even though I registered in JANUARY) but I got this nice men's shirt instead.

Also of note - I wore those jeans there. Those are size 12 jeans. WOOHOO!!!  I never thought twenty years ago I would be so excited to be in Size 12's! Funny how time changes things.

I am also attaching photos of a ceramic tile that was in a women's bathroom stall at the Convention Center. I noticed it while sitting and just started LAUGHING. The cleaning lady told me afterwards that it isn't often she hears laughing over that tile. She has heard screams though.

Here is the tile as seen from the toilet when sitting.

Here it is close-up. I have friends that would FREAK seeing this. 
Was surprised they pulled that in a women's stall.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


It finally happened. I ran in rain.

Not mist. Not a scattered shower. But full on steady heavy RAIN. And it was a COLD rain with a windchill of 41 degrees that felt colder to me than I ever felt running in the dry 30's. Something about rain hitting you in strong winds that makes it feel icy.

I wasn't sure how to dress for this, so I had several changes of clothing in my bag. I almost wore shorts, but opted for my long Nike running pants with the cute flared ankles. I knew I needed my green jacket as it is the only one I have with a hood. It doesn't have a flap in the back for breath-ability but it has netting all over inside to act as a layer between me and the jacket. I almost just wore just a jog bra under that, but I run with some really fit and good looking people. I am just not there yet in case I needed to take the jacket off.

I almost wore long sleeves like the books suggest, but that non-breathable jacket scared me. After I warm up, I often run in just short sleeved thin T's in temps in the 30's. I heat up FAST. Like I told our coach when she noted me being one of the first to shed layers a week or two ago, I have more insulating layers built in than most fit runners wear. 34% body fat of layers!

So, I opted for a really light wicking tech-material tank top. Chose my old running shoes and left my newer ones in the bag. Added my rain baseball cap by Outdoor research and drove to the track.

Got there, and sat in my car. With the windshield wipers and defroster/heater cranked. And had a pity party. And an a bit of anxiety. All that water! I was starting to get excited when no one else was there by ten till six.

But that didn't last long. I am surprised how many did make it! And they got out of their cars! LOL

I joined them. It was the hardest workout we have had yet for tempo runs and it just made it more interesting that the track was soaked.  Within 30 minutes my rain "resistant" jacket was stuck to my bare arm's like a wet plastic trash bag. It was gross. I got really warm on the upper half and took the hood off but the strong winds were creating a drag with it. I put it back on. I watched as rain was pouring off the bill of my cap and as it was flung forward off my shoes as I ran. I felt a burning feeling across the top of my thighs and when I got home I saw they were brilliant red. My feet were soaked. My socks and shoes a dripping mess. Good thing I wore my OLD shoes tonight.

Between all the blasted tempo laps and four 100 yard '100%' sprints, I ran a total of 3.52 miles in our hour session. Told the husband that when I got home there better be hot water. There was. I love that man.

There is a hilly 5K I am running Sunday morning with 32,499 other people. It is supposed to be cold, and very wet. Next time, I will be better prepared. I will have Bodyglide for my legs.

Stats so I can look back a year from now when I feel like I am not improving and need an ego boost:

  • Average Pace on the four 100 yard sprints INCLUDING the light jog back:  10:03
  • Best Pace on the four 100 yard sprints INCLUDING the light jog back:  5:46
  • Average Pace on the 3+ miles of combined laps: 11:17 (slow, but still faster than my 5K race pace!)
  • Best Pace on the  3+ miles of combined laps:  9:22
  • Weight: 166.6 
  • Body Fat: 34%* (down another 2%!!!)

*tested morning AND night on Saturday the 10th (I always test on the tenth)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ten Cheerios on the Sidewalk

Tonight I was tasked with running ten 30 second hill sprints.

Well, I don't know about you, but I have a hard time keeping track of my counts when working out. So what to do? I put 10 multi grain Cheerio's in my Spibelt and went off to the Andressen x 63rd St hill. There, I ran up the hill for 30 seconds, and then placed a Cheerio down when I stopped.

Rinse - lather - repeat for ten sprints.

Of course my Cheerio's were all over the place. There must have been a full 4 yard difference between the two Cheerio's furthest from each other. I guess consistency is still a problem. The good news is that the shortest Cheerio was placed on my 3rd run. Not my 10th. I made myself pass that little ring on the sidewalk every time after.

Bonus of using Cheerios verses small rocks - no one will stub their toes on Cheerios and birds can eat them.

The REALLY good news? There was NO RAIN!! It was DRY!! Dare I hope for the same at track night tomorrow?

Average Running Pace up the hills: 9:41
Best Running Pace up the hills: 7:13
Elevation gain - 20 feet in 30 seconds.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Beast Revisited

Today was my second attempt to take a certain hill in Oregon. My PT and my sports doc BOTH told me that I am not to run down any steep sections of hills so I fully expected my total time to be significantly slower than last months run on the same route.

The Good:

  • The weather held out for me, AGAIN! We had a light sprinkle but it was light enough that I never got wet. Can my luck hold out through the Shamrock? I hear that is a WET race.
  • I walked twice on my way up last month. I only had to walk once going up today.
  • I didn't need to start walking until I hit 1.4 miles. That was a tenth of a mile further up the steep section than at the same spot last month.
  • The store that holds our group runs had a table with water and gummy bears at the top of my run. I ate a red bear and didn't feel guilty at all.
  • On the way back down I was disciplined enough to do as I was told and I walked down the two steepest slopes (approximately totaling a little over half a mile between them) even though I really really wanted to run knees are happy about that.
  • This was the first time on the hill I took the time to enjoy my surroundings and I saw how high up the hill I really was. It was beautiful to see the river and the city of Portland below me.
  • Back down in the city I was running past a black reflective store front and looked and saw a runner....ME. I was feeling really strong there and I broke out into a giggle and a spontaneous fist pump. 
The Eh:
  • I didn't make it all the way up without walking. But that's okay. I still walked less going up than last month. :)

Even though I walked down two significant sections on the way back down to protect my knees, my total time was: 44:15. That is just 10 seconds slower than last month, even with the addition of having to walk down during what was last months fastest sections. WOOHOO!!

TIME TO REACH THE TOP:  23:09 minutes.

TIME TO REACH THE BOTTOM: 21:08 minutes (includes walking two stretches totaling app a little more than a half mile)

Weather: 46 degrees with occasional light sprinkles

Here is the blog documenting my first attempt.


Thursday, March 8, 2012


I have been battling a very sore throat and had to miss Track Night yesterday. In fact, I was at urgent care while my group was working out. The good news is that while at the doctors, the nurse exclaimed over my having the following stats from the testing equipment:

  • Blood Pressure - 110/72
  • Heart Rate (sitting up in a doctors office!) - 54
  • Oxygen Saturation - 100%
She said I may have a virus, but my vitals are definitely good. Also of note, the last morning I checked my true resting heart rate it was all the way down to 49. That is my best yet. I must be doing something right to have raised my oxygen up to max and to have my resting heart rate lowering. Now....if I can just get myself to stop eating too much on weekends.

Today we had highs of 66 degrees with mostly clear skies. It was AMAZING.

I still had a sore throat, but it was better and there was NO way I wasn't getting out there after work to do a make up session of last nights scheduled run of 800 (at 80%) - 800 (at 80%) - 400 (at 90%) - 400 (at 95%).

Instead of finding flat track for my run I went to the trail that runs along Padden Parkway and up over the 205 freeway. in HILL. I figured I would call it practice for the Shamrock.

There I was at the crest of the hill with gold and orange clouds against a deep blue sunset sky. It was a 'favorite moment' for sure.

Here is a shot early in the evening when I had got out to park and start my 1 mile light jog warm-up headed east. You can see Mt Hood on the right hand side.

SCARY EVENT: In the first minute of my LIGHT warm-up jog, my Heart Rate Monitor went off. I thought it was to say "Too Low". Nope. It said "Too High" and showed a heart rate of 228. I assure you, that was crazy wrong. I figured out it was caused either by my belt being too loose, my iPhone playing music right next to it, or static electricity from my shirt. Either way, I turned off the iPhone, tightened the belt and remoistened the pads. It began working normally after that.

HIGHLIGHT: Running high over the freeway on the raised trail at the golden peak of sunset.

Average Pace:  12:00
Best Pace:          7:15
Average HR:      159
Max HR:            176 (in the last lap - the 95% run up hill)
Weight:              169 (after eating two cans of high sodium soup last night)
Body Fat %:        34% (was 38% six months ago)

Outdoor temps:  60 degrees and 42 % humid. Clear

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Took a Detour - Up Hill

During my long run today along Burnt Bridge Trail I got sidetracked and found myself running up Andressen Hill to Mill Plain Blvd.

I could have probably walked up that hill faster than I ran it....but I DON'T CARE.

I ran it.

All the way.

The Good: I ran this very hilly 2.57 miles (and that hill!) at an average pace of 12:23. That isn't my fastest run, but it was my fastest HILLY run and it was almost as fast as the completely flat 5K I did on 1/08/2012!

The Bad: I felt my knee twist when I was doing stretches afterwards. Dammmmmit. It is a bit tender right now after having been so good for a week.

The Ugly: I was running with a very sore throat and headache. I wanted to sweat out the crud. I hope I did.

Weather:   49 degrees. Wind at 2mph.  Humidity at 93%. No rain.

Some photos from my run -

The take-off point. Note it starts up hill. 

On my way back down the Andressen Hill shortly after tagging the light pole at Mill Plain BLVD

And Quarter Mile Split Details

And the hill!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

One lucky girl

The rain was POURING like crazy Tuesday after work and the weather forecast was more of the same the next night (our track night) so I wrote the coach and asked if the rain is POURING like crazy, do we just migrate to treadmills? He responded.

"No. We RUN!!!"

So, not wanting to be that wimpy girl that relocated here from the very arid desert (that I am!!), I told him bravely - "Okay. I will be there."

So Tuesday night I packed up my running bag. I also packed an extra bag with warm clothing in case I needed to change out of sopping wet clothing right after. In my running bag, I placed my pants, two shirts, a lightweight hoodie, a thick hoodie and a non-breathable rain repellent windbreaker with a hood I had never ran in before. I also have an electric blanket in my car that hooks up to cigarette lighters.

So, stressed and nervous, I drove to the track after work last night. There was a line of cars. No one was getting out. We all just sat there watching the clock tick closer to 6:00pm. The windchill was 34 degrees with 14 mph gusts. There was drizzle. Then it started beating harder and harder on the top of my car. This was it. I was finally going to get out and run in a downpour.

Then it suddenly let up! And I mean suddenly!

At 5 till, we started getting out of ours cars and then we ran. We ran and ran and ran on a wet track. But it wasn't raining. There was a light drizzle for about a lap worth's of time. That was IT! I was so happy. So were the others.

So far, I haven't gone running in heavy rain yet. Every race I ran was dry (November, December and two in January) and the only time I got wet was two weeks ago when a small downpour caught us half way up a hill and then quickly left again. That little downpour gave me chills I couldn't shake for hours. Thus, the hyper-diligent packing of extra clothing last night. ;)

I was so dry after our workouts that I didn't even need the dry hand towel I had brought to the track in a watertight baggie.

My times are improving. Not sure how. I really felt lethargic and ready to go home much of the night last night. I didn't want to play. But I guess I was faster than I felt. I felt like I was running my snails 13 minute pace or slower. Interesting how that happens. :)

NOTE ON DISTANCES BELOW: I run so much slower than 90% of the other runners that I run in the 4th and 5th lanes. Those are longer than a quarter mile when run.