Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful to have a new running buddy! I’ve been waiting for her to be old enough to start running with me, and finally it’s time. While we still have some training to do with each other…she needs to figure out that crossing in front of me while short leashed is a really bad idea, and I need to figure out how to avoid punting her like a football without tripping and hurting myself (because that totally did happen on our first run), but other than that she’s a million times easier to run with than any other dog we’ve ever owned.

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Like people, dogs need training not only to get used to running on a leash, but to learn what is expected, and stamina! By the time we hit the 2nd hill, smaller hills mind you…I purposely avoided the big hills at the park, she was dragging, like all the way at the end of the leash behind me and pulling me backwards. Our first run ended up being more of a run for 60 to 90 seconds walk for 30 seconds type of deal, but still it’s fun having a little buddy to run with.

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Lovely running view! 

Just when I was reaching a point in my running life that I was kinda of done with running, here comes Ruthie. Mostly I’m just enjoying pilates, and yoga, and walking so much because they don’t flair anything up in my body (specifically my bad knee) like running can do, and I’m kinda over running in cold, wet, dark weather. But, Ruthie girl has a ton of energy, and she’s kinda making me want to keep at least a toe dipped into running. That, and Sky was very upset when I told her I may be done running races, “but mommy, I want to run with you”. That’s really hard to say no to. So I’ll run enough to keep my two girls happy. Hmm…I’m sure running with Ruthie and Sky at the same time would be very entertaining!

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So much green…I LOVE it!

Very thankful that when I do run I have amazing human and dog friends to hit the trails with!

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for Fleet Feet Sports Tacoma! I have spent the last 5+ years “leading” (I’m too slow to call myself the leader, more like directing from the back of the pack) first the stroller group run, and then the Tuesday night run. I have loved every single second spent volunteering with the store, leading the run groups, and making some amazing friends.

Fleet Feet truly changed my running life, and if not for the support and gear they offer their volunteers I would not have been able to afford to continue running after we were down to a single income. They helped keep me going and growing, and treated Sky like she was the best friend the store had. She still loves running and visiting the store to this day!

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First race with Sky.

I feel like I have always received way more than I’ve given with support from the store and other runners. I know for a fact I would not have had the courage to run my first half without the encouragement from the run group, and I never would have PR’d the half that I did without the Tuesday Night runs pushing me to my pace limits.

Week after week…such an awesome group of people!

This last Tuesday was my last run as a group run leader. It was a hard decision to make, but it comes down to what is best for my body. Given some of the aches and pains that I have with road running, and that those aches and pains are not an issue (or as much of an issue) when trail running I decided it was time to take care of my body, and run in a way that will allow me to still be running with I’m 90 (lets hope!).

Celebrate good times!

Sky asked me the other day if I’d run her first half with her, if and when that happens I want to be able to do it. With that long term running thought in my head I pounded my last 3 miles of pavement with some of my favorite people in my favorite run group.

A huge Thank You to Fleet Feet Tacoma, and every single stroller runner/walker and Tuesday Night group runner out there. You’ve all made me smile and helped me be a better mom and runner!

I’ll see you all on the trails I hope! Fleet Feet Forever!

 

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for my first race of the year! It feels good to start the year off with a fun cross country style 5K on a golf course.

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After a few weeks of bitter cold 40’s are feeling down right warm this week! 

Oh my goodness was it cold…so thankful Elya is always up for the cold, wet, windy, snowy, hot, steep, muddy, crazy running adventures. My fingers hurt so bad from the cold that it took 2.5 miles of running for them to finally warm up. I thought something was really wrong, I had gloves on too! And, I wasn’t feeling my best energy wise. Half way though Whole30 on race day and my energy level was crap, but I still had fun even though I didn’t feel very peppy.

I really enjoy the Metro Parks sponsored runs. They are smaller, cost friendly, and are about having fun. I’m at a point in running that I couldn’t care less about finish time, I just want to enjoy running, and enjoy running with friends.

Makes me feel excited to see what this year brings my way as far as running. Hint…contemplating a huge race…leaning towards for sure doing it, even though I’m a little scared of it. Just have to figure out some planning/family logistics before I commit…but it’s exciting!

What are you Thankful For today?

Run, Run…just not too far!

It always feels good to get the longest run of the training cycle done! Michelle and I got in our 12 miler over the weekend, and I’m so glad to have it done and out of the way. Plus, I know I can do 13.1 if I can do 12…even though I was barely hanging in there at the end of 12.

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I felt lucky to finish this training run, my knees were hurting so bad my the end I could hardly stand it.

This whole training cycle has been really hard for me. Mostly mentally….I’m just not into it. In the past I’ve always been excited about my runs, but this time around I’m frustrated with the time it takes to do the training, I’ve looked for (and found) excuses to skip training runs, and then had a legit knee injury contribute to missing runs.

I’m just not feeling it any more. It feels more like a burden than a joy, and if running isn’t something I can enjoy then it’s time to change things.

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Dirty trail socks! I spent a lot of time with my legs up the wall and ice on my knees after this run was done. I really hope it’s not this bad race day.

After this next half I’m going to hang up the half distance and move to 10K’s or less. I just feel like my knees are hurting in a bad way, not a “normal” you just ran 12 miles way, and some things are still bothering me from the car accident…things that I don’t expect to go away. And, I don’t feel like I have anything to prove to myself with my running. I spent several years that I will cherish forever running with Sky in the stroller, qualified for Half Fanatics, traveled for some amazing destination races, beat the PR I wanted, and have hung with two running partners that are 5 and 7 years younger than me. Not bad for someone who’s tag line was “I’ll never be a runner!” I’m proud of myself and my accomplishments!

The idea of 40 – 60 min training runs vs. 2.5 hour training runs, and then feel out of it the rest of the day seems pretty great as well. Bonus, Mark likes the idea of traveling for 10K’s much better than traveling for half marathons, because I’m pretty out of it for a few days after a half…but a 10K, I’m good to go after 6 miles. Family trips planned around races…YES!

Such a sense of relief to have a plan for after the Sep half…the whole situation has been on my mind for weeks. I’m still looking forward to running a trail half, but I’m really looking forward to moving on in my running life and making changes that will allow me to continue running, and more importantly continue enjoying it!

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful for being party of an awesome Rainier 2 Ruston Relay team a few weekends ago.

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Running into running friends at the start! 

There is something special about cramming 6 runners into a vehicle for 11’ish hours. It gets smelly, and hilarious, and deep, and silly again. But we all have each others back, and do everything we can to make sure each runner is successful.

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Thank you to Esther for flying in from Hawaii with trucker hats for the team! We could spot each other no problem with our neon hats, and I’m a trucker hat convert! 

I was so thankful for their support along the way during my last leg of the race. It was hot, and  ugly (through industrial & construction areas), and just overall not the leg that anyone really wants to run.

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Finishing my last leg of the day, with a smile on my face and support from Shawna. It ended up being a slightly longer leg than expected and at this point we were finally able to see the exchange area!

Given my struggles with heat stroke while running I was stressed about it. But, my team found extra places to stop along the way so that I always had fresh water to drink & dump on my head. I finished that leg with soaking wet clothing, drenched to the point of water running down my butt crack…hahahaha, but I felt pretty amazing! It’s the best I’ve felt running in heat, that 5’ish miles went by so fast, and I feel like I killed a route that has sort of haunted me for years (since running it as support with Elya years ago). I’ve dreaded the possibility of being assigned that leg for years, but now it’s been conquered and I can’t wait to see what next years relay brings my way!

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Team A finished! We started the day up at the mountain in the background!
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The whole group (we had two teams) and our support person Kim (in pink) who ran the dreaded industrial/construction leg with the runner from team 2.

Trail Running

I haven’t done a running post in a really long time. I’m still running. I just don’t talk about it much. Mostly because I’m just doing my thing, and my goals are not about numbers or finish times.

My goal is to have fun. Enjoy running. Challenge myself. Run in a way that doesn’t leave me mentally or physically broken for weeks.

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I mean the views from the trail are hard to beat!

I’m sticking to trails about 99% of the time. The only road running I’m doing is the Tuesday Night Run Group with Fleet Feet Tacoma. I love that group, and even though trail running is where my heart is happy, that group makes me happy so I will stick with it.

Coming back from the car accident totally changed my focus. I appreciate being able to run period. I’m just happy to be out there regardless of the miles or pace. Frankly I have zero desire to push for faster finishes. I just go with the flow, go with how I’m feeling, give myself some grace (run slow & easy) when I know I haven’t eaten/hydrated as I should.

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Love morning runs at Pt. D!

It may sound like lazy running…it’s not. I’m just trying to run smart and run for the rest of my life. I still push myself with hill repeats, and speedy runs, but it’s all with the thought in mind that as I run, and as half marathon training starts, I will naturally become more efficient and speed up. And, I would like to be running when I’m 90, so you know I’m not going to go crazy with it now.

Running for life is not a sprint…it’s more like an endurance race. The point of endurance races is to finish, the pace per mile hardly matters when you’re running 100+ mile/multi day races. When I’m 90 am I going to care that I PR’d in my 40’s, or ran my slowest times? No, when I’m 90 I’m going to be thinking hell yes I’m still out here running on the trails with my happy runner heart!

That’s the state of my running right now. I’m so excited to have Rainier 2 Ruston next month (I have got to get some two a day trail runs in to train for running multiple legs) and Tehaleh Trail Half in September! Lot’s of trail time, lot’s of running to look forward to!

 

Dash Point 10K

I am so sore today, but it was so worth it! I ran the Dash Point 10K through Evergreen Trail Runs over the weekend, and I had so much fun!

 

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photo from the Evergreen Trail Running FB page, Photographer: Jerry Gamez

For the first time ever I ran a trail race alone, and you know it was refreshing. While I love running with my girls, and would have loved to have had them there (timing didn’t work for them…I asked) I really enjoyed running solo for a change. It doesn’t happen often, and it’s somewhat freeing to just run in my own head.

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View from the beach at Dash Point St. Park

I put on my music, worked myself up the very hilly first few miles, and enjoyed some really awesome single track through the woods, until the last few mostly downhill miles. I spent the first 2.5 miles really irritated. I twisted my ankle and it was hurting, my breathing was off, and it was a lot of walking up steep hills and stair climbing…just couldn’t hit any kind of rhythm at all and was pretty cranky. But, once the crazy hill climbing was done (1,000 feet of elevation gain most of which is the first 2 miles) and I could actually run without stopping I settled in, felt good (ankle was ok as long as I didn’t flex my foot upwards too much) and had a blast!

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photo from Evergreen Trail Running FB page, Photographer: Jerry Gamez

Can I just say that while ending on a downhill sounds great, it’s not when it’s steep, uneven, muddy stairs cut into the side of a hill. Quads were torched by the end and getting down those stairs was way harder then going up them had been. But, oh so worth it.

So far my goal for the year of trail running and having fun while doing it is working!

Anyone else race/run this weekend?