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Running on my mind

I’ve got running on my mind. It’s always on my mind. I am currently eating, sleeping, and breathing running. All I want to do is talk about running. Running is my passion. It makes me happy. It makes me feel good. Except sprints…I have to run sprints tonight. Sprints don’t make me feel good. But it’s part of my training, so tonight, I will run mile sprints. Three of them.

What’s your passion?

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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in Running, Training

 

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Creativity Hill

Tuesday night I ran hills. Again, not my favorite. My legs were extremely sore. Yoga Friday, for the first time in nearly three weeks. 11 mile run Saturday. Couch potato to the max Sunday, which allowed my legs to tighten up just perfectly. And an intense yoga class Monday made for a set of immensely sore legs Tuesday. They ached a LOT. And then, I had those damn hills to run.  But, it was warm, it wasn’t raining, and my interval runs are shorter than any regular run, which meant it would be over quickly. I could take it easy…as much as one can take it easy when running a 1/4 mile hill, back and forth, four times.

I decided to run the hill I used to run. I don’t venture to that old neighborhood very often, but that hill is great. Not only is it a good training hill, but it has a tendency to spark some intense creativity inside me. Last time I ran that hill, I came up with an excellent idea for a project (that has yet to be completed, but is a really good work in progress, nonetheless). I have maintained that creative streak since, although it ebbs and flows, and I was hoping to fill up the tank with another hill run. It didn’t fail me.

Running that hill Tuesday night was a success. Not only did it loosen up my tight legs, but I also came up with some new ideas. I couldn’t stop thinking! When I am feeling creative, I don’t mind thought overload, and I felt euphoric after my run, much like the way I felt last time I ran that same hill.

In three weeks, I run hills again, but this time I will be excited! I will head back to Creativity Hill and become an expert at running hills, but more importantly, fill up my creative tank, which is what really makes me happy. 🙂

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2012 in Happiness, Running, Training, Yoga

 

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Happy 2012

Happy 2012, everyone! This year has begun perfectly, and I am excited to see what unfolds this year.

I finished off the year with an amazing 11 mile run down at the beach. It was perfect running weather (in my opinion): mid 40’s and partly cloudy with no wind. I was supposed to run 10 miles on Sunday, but since that was New Year’s day, and I knew I would be celebrating the night before, I ran my long run on Saturday. The decision to run 11 miles was a last minute thought. 2011 was good to me. Very, very good to me. I thought running 11 miles would be a good tribute to a memorable 2011. It was an amazing run to finish off an even more amazing year. It was goal crushing, strength building, and growth stimulating.

Just a recap of the amazingness that was 2011.

Traveled to Mexico for the first time.

Kicked a couple of nasty habits

Learned how to take care of, and truly love, myself

Found my happy place. 🙂

My running “career” REALLY took off:

  • Placed 2nd in the St. Patty’s Day dash
  • PR’d 1/2 marathon
  • Ran my first marathon
  • Qualified for Boston in that first marathon
  • PR’d 5K

Met, and fell in love with, my “ethnic” boyfriend, S. 🙂

Lead my first climb

Continued to progress in yoga

Traveled to Costa Rica for the first time

Wrote…a LOT

Started a lot of projects (2012 is my year to finish them)

2012 is starting off busy! But busy good. I am going to apologize, in advance, to my friends and family. The next few months are going to be crazy busy: (more than) full time job, Boston training, and an exciting project I am working on. I (hopefully) will come up for air after Boston. 🙂

Exciting things are on the horizon. Stay tuned for more!

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Happiness, Running, Travel, Uncategorized

 

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How to run happy in the rain

We knew it wasn’t going to last, we live in Seattle, for goodness sakes. What? Our dry spell. We were on par to have the driest December EVER, but today, everything changed, and looking ahead…it appears we will fill our December rain quota in the next few days. GREAT news for the mountains and us skiers, but bad news for us runners. I am both, so I have mixed feelings about the rain.

Today I started week 5 of training with hills. Interval training. Not my favorite, but I do it because it is an important element of my training. It keeps things spicy. And with today’s rain, it definitely was interesting. I have been spoiled with dry runs over the past month, but living in Seattle, I knew it would eventually end. Running in the rain, dark, wind and cold is pretty standard this time of year. Sometimes I dread it, but I always do it. Rarely do I turn to a treadmill to escape the elements. Running on a treadmill is almost worse. It is sooo boring. At least running in the rain and cold and wind is NOT boring. It’s challenging, and I like it. It makes me feel like a bad-a$$ and a little crazy, too. I like looking at the array of facial features staring at me from passing cars. I can hear them now, “She is f’n crazy.” “Show off.” “What an idiot.” “Is she okay?” “I wish I had balls like her.” “Does she know it’s pouring?” “She’s going to die.” “Should I ask her if she needs a ride?” (AND, last time I ran in the pouring rain, someone actually DID pull over and ask me if I wanted a ride. I was dumbfounded, and didn’t really know what to say. Obviously, they weren’t a runner. I said, “No, thank you,” and continued to run in the torrential downpour).

Growing up in Seattle, I am used to the rain. That’s not to say I like it, per se, but I am used to it and know how to deal with it. I would much prefer to run in the sunshine, but we don’t get a lot of that up here, so I use the rain to my advantage. It makes race day (assuming it’s nice weather) that much better, and it really does help with my training. Also, as long as my face and feet are dry, I really don’t mind running in the rain. As long as there is no wind, I actually kind of like the rain.

Key to (trying to) enjoy a wet run: Keep your face dry. Having water roll down your face is not fun, in my opinion. I have been on the hunt to find the perfect hat to keep my face dry. So, at the expo for the Seattle half marathon, I was ogling all the cool Brooks gear (I am a BIG fan of Brooks), and was haphazardly looking for a hat for race day. There was a 90% chance of rain, which meant a 100% chance of being wet. My eyes caught a hat with a really long bill, ideal for keeping the rain FAR away from my face. It was $20, which seemed a bit steep for a hat, especially since I can get a discount, but I purchased it anyway. It wasn’t until I got home that I noticed the bonus. It had a battery pack…which controlled the LED light! Amazing. Not only is it a good rain hat, but also a good night running hat. And something else amazing? Online it is $35, so I scored BIG. I give Brooks’ Nightlife Hat, two thumbs UP! (especially for $20)

Another must for enjoying a wet run are dry feet. It’s nearly impossible to avoid the puddles when it rains up here, and wet, soggy feet are NOT fun, especially on long run days. Not only is it squishy, but it makes blisters pop up too easily. The best socks in the world cannot keep your feet dry if it is pouring in Seattle. I discovered something very cool, however. I run on Brooks Ghost 4, which I love. Ghost GTX, however, is the same shoe, only in Gore-Tex! How cool is that?? A waterproof shoe! A must have for a Seattle runner. I haven’t run in the shoe…yet. I will need new shoes in the next couple of weeks, and that shoe will be my next shoe. Stay tuned for my review.

I don’t worry about rain gear when I run. I get wet with sweat even if it’s not raining, so I don’t care if my body is wet. All I care about is keeping my feet and face dry. 🙂

What do you do to stay dry while you run?

 
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Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Outdoor fun, Running

 

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There’s no high like a runner’s high

Hello. I have been fighting a sickness something fierce this week, but, I have managed to get all my training runs in. Sunday…Christmas Day…a 10 mile run, and that will finish week 4. Already. Wow.

Since I have been feeling off this week, I have not wanted to, nor felt like, running fast or pushing myself, so when I saw this today, it made me smile:

I run for myself and because it makes me feel good. When I am in the funkiest of funks, and all I feel like doing is hiding from the world, curling up on the couch, and feeling sorry for myself, I KNOW a run will save me. Before I can talk myself out of it, I remember all the times I have felt horrible, and how much better a run made me feel. It works every time…it’s my antidepressant. Fresh air + running body + a good sweat = runner’s high. And after that run, all I want to do is rest my tired limbs on the couch and relish my runner’s high. Now, if I could just get myself to yoga more…

Happy Holidays and Happy Winter. We are officially on the upswing to summer. The days get longer starting today!

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2011 in Happiness, Running, Uncategorized, Yoga

 

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122 days until Boston

I am already half way through week 3 of Boston training! That means there are 122 days until the race. Four months from tomorrow! Wow!

Training is still pretty easy. It’s actually a bit of a rest from the past month, which is nice. I feel fast, and strong, and with December on course to be the driest December EVER in Seattle, most of my runs have been dry. It’s been cold, but cold I like.

Yes, it’s nice it’s been so dry, but we need some snow in the mountains! I want to ski before training becomes intense! Am I really asking for it to rain in Seattle? Why yes, I am. But snow in the city would be even better. Let’s make it a white Christmas. 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Running

 

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Adios, Costa Rica

Back to Seattle, I go. I was sad, but not overly sad. What I was most sad about was leaving S behind.

It was barely 5AM when S kissed me goodbye. He, and the majority of the group, were leaving for the next destination, and on the way, they were going white water rafting. Everyone was VERY excited about this. I was mildly sad I wasn’t going. I had only been once many, many, many years ago, and it didn’t go very well. It was cold, and rough, and our raft flipped and we lost our guide. It was all traumatic, and since then I have had no desire to go again. But, I think it’s time to go and get over this fear. Not in Costa Rica, this time, however.

So, I sadly said goodbye to S, and fell back asleep for a couple of hours. I was getting a ride to the airport with a couple in our group who was also heading home. A van drove us the couple of hours to the airport in San Jose. I was tired and desperately wanted to sleep, but I didn’t want to miss my last views of Costa Rica. So, I snoozed a bit, and stared out the window a bit.

I got to the airport with plenty of time to spare and did some souvenir shopping and ate. I already missed S a lot, and wasn’t sure when I would talk to him again.

I slept most of my flight to Houston, and breezed through customs once I got there thanks to GOES. I recommend becoming a global entry trusted traveler to ANYONE who travels internationally. No custom lines at all. I had a short layover, and then watched a great movie from Houston to Seattle: Life in a Day.

I was back in cold Seattle. I was indifferent about being home, really. I had a great time in Costa Rica, visiting a part of the world I had always wanted to see. I met some amazing people, witnessed an incredible wedding, took part in some wild adventures, laughed, cried, got to know myself better, got to know S better, ate some great food, and made some priceless memories. I was more sad about being away from the group and from S than from actually not being in Costa Rica anymore. It was the people I was with who made the trip so memorable, and I look forward to the next time we all get together. A part of me was actually happy to be home. I was excited to see my friends, to run the race Sunday, to see my family, to go to yoga, to see Baby H, to sleep, and to get back to my hectic routine. This trip was a trip of a lifetime, and I am so grateful I was able to be a part of it. 🙂

My favorites from the trip:

Hotel: Margarita’s

Day: Beach Day with S in Mal Pais

Dinner: (this was TOUGH to choose we had so much amazing food) Brisas del Mar

Activity: Canyoning

Town: Mal Pais

Bar: Da Mon Key

Relaxing activity: Hot springs

Run: 8 mile mud run in Mal Pais

Breakfast: The Common Cup in Monteverde

Group Activity: Hot springs

Moment: The wedding ceremony

Funniest: The guys in our group performing Thunder from Down Under in the hot springs. 🙂

Scariest: Monkey grabbing bracelets off my wrist

Lunch: Da Mon Key

Wildest: Both nights at Da Mon Key

Coffee: The Common Cup

Dessert: Brisas del Mar

Drink: Smoothies in Mal Pais

Saddest (?) but also pretty funny: Finance falling in the ditch

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2011 in Food/Restaurants, Happiness, Travel

 

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