Thankful Thursday

Leading into the Holiday Season I was pretty sick, and it lasted for months. So long in fact that I missed runs with friends and a race. But, thankfully was able to run again and made it to my New Years Day Trail 5K! (I hadn’t run since Oct 15th…crazy to do a race with zero training)!

The whole crazy group (minus one kiddo who was running late)! Thank’s for the selfie skills Elya! 

Even better Elya registered for the race the day before and I got to run it with her! And, even better our hubbies and kiddos joined in on the 1 mile fun run! Thank you to Ryan and Mark for taking on kiddo duty while Elya and I ran into the new year together!

My babe and baby, but not my dog. Got lot’s of questions about that. Team Yeatman is finally feeling dog ready again, but just not sure what dog/situation will be right for us. While we wait to decide we are thankful to have friends that let their dog come over for a dog sleep over so we all get our dog fix. Miss Molly is a great dog, so easy to have around, and Sky LOVED playing with her & having her sleep in bed with her.

I love when spontaneity leads to running with some of my favorite people, and then leads to post race yummy food and mimosas!

So thankful I got to end my year with my two favorite people, and then begin my year with some of our favorite people (and I only had one coughing fit during the race…I’m getting better)!

Lot’s of things to be thankful for…but especially thankful that 2018 started the way it did!

Thankful Thursday

Today I’m thankful to be a Happy Runner again!

I ran a 10K Trail Race a few weekends ago, and you know what….it felt pretty great! Now, that’s not to say it was easy, because it’s not an easy race, but it is one of my favorites, and I was doing it with some of my favorite people. Seriously if you are local to the Tacoma area check out Evergreen Trail Runs  specifically the Dash Point March & Sep races. One of my favorite courses ever!

Barbie arms! Thanks for the pic Michelle!

For a while now (like the last few years…yikes) running has been stressful between dealing with lingering car accident issues, and dealing with a knee injury/surgery from HS. I was starting to feel like running was going to be over for me. The car accident stuff is what it is and I can deal with it, but my knee that’s another story, and the two issues combined…forget about it. The constant pain was really starting to get to me, and it was keeping me from running the way I’d like.

Michelle, Ella, Elya and Me…thanks again for the pic Michelle.

Enter a visit to an Ortho Surgeon…who after an x-ray and exam recommend PT. Now, I will admit I had a cruddy attitude about PT. It’s not what I wanted to do, I really just wanted an MRI to assure I wasn’t doing damage, but turns out Ortho Surgeons are pretty smart, and sending me to PT was exactly what I needed. I have learned so much about how my knee and body are (or aren’t) working, what to change to make every day, non-running, life knee-pain free, and what to do while running to limit the wear, tear, and pain in my knee. I still don’t love the time or money commitment to PT, but every visit I’m so happy with how things are going, and the things I’m learning to assure I’m treating my knee (and body) the best I can to keep everything functioning for years to come.

And finished! Felt good!

My first visit to PT I was asked what my goal was and my #1 goal was/is to be able to run pain free, and sign up for any race I want to without having to consider if my knee can handle it or not. And, I’m getting there! Most runs are pain free now, and if the knee does start to hurt it’s because I’ve gotten lazy and let the form/muscle control go. A quick re-focus and reactivation of certain muscles and the pain is instantly gone! It feels so good to run and not be worried the entire time.

Sisters who run together…have a really good time!

Even though running is going so much better I’m still sticking to trail running only. Long term I just feel like it’s a better option for my body, plus I’d much rather run through the trees than past cars on the road. Trail runner at heart over here!

 

My Last Half Marathon!

Well it’s in the books guys, I ran my last half marathon, and I couldn’t have picked a better race, or had a better partner (wish Michelle could have been there as well, her and Elya and my main running squeezes, hope the back is better soon Michelle!).

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Celebrating after finishing!

I don’t know what to say other than we laughed (a lot), I cried (a little), we had fun, I got irritated (why is there always a hill at the end?!), the sun was out, and the trails were pretty amazing. It seems fitting that my last half was also my very first trail half. I got to hang it up where my runner heart is happiest…out in the woods!

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I mean the trails were beautiful!

Evergreen Trail Runs is a very well run organization, and their trail races are always special. The Tehaleh Trail Race is no exception. It’s tied into the local communities Harvest Festival so it was extra special with lot’s of food, and free activities for families waiting at the finish. Mark and Sky went up in a hot air balloon, visited vendors, played inside a hot air balloon blown up on it’s side, and after I finished there were carnival rides and activities for all of us to enjoy.

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Blood = legit! So many sticker bushes…I was scratched up!

I can’t wait to run the 10K next year, and actually be able to enjoy the activities a bit more. I was pretty wrecked after this race, my knee hurt pretty bad, I had a head cold, and was just tired after close to 3 hours of running. My slowest half ever, but man we had fun, and some of those trails were very technical so I’m happy with it.

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We are so goofy and have so much fun!

The whole time I kept thinking this is it, it’s my last half, and you know what…I’m 100% ok with that. So excited to focus on 10k’s, picking out fun races to do, work on pace etc. The best part is I can pretty much run 6 miles at an given time. I don’t need to train extra for it as far as working up to the distance. It’s not a distance that leaves me feeling wiped out after, I don’t need to worry about in-race fuel, or scheduling life around training and race day. It’s a huge relief mentally, and physically (especially for my bad knee) to focus on a more doable, yet still challenging, distance.

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Free fun after the race!
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Post race fun!

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!

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?

 

Best Race Ever!

Guys, it has been so long since I’ve been able to say this…I had the most amazing race over the weekend!

Pre-Race
Pre-Race

Elya and I ran the Point Defiance Ultra – the 15K (10 mile) distance. It was so perfect!!! It rained, like the hardest downpour I’ve ever run in, there was mud…lot’s and lot’s of mud, it was slippery and splashy, and so much fun!

We left puddles in my car seats, and I had mud in places I didn’t think could get muddy running. It was crazy, and so much fun!

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The final downhill to the finish is crazy! Like hand over hand on the ropes to stay on your feet steep. With all the mud we pretty much slid down hand over hand. Sorry for the blurry pic…my phone was foggy and wet.

I was stressing out about this one big time. Training on Whole30 has sucked pretty much, so I was anticipating struggling to get through to the finish line. But, my race day breakfast and fuel plan came together perfectly and I felt amazing. I didn’t feel tired or worn out until the last mile, which is exactly what I want in a race!

Laughing my way through a race with Elya really is the best thing ever. There wasn’t a single step in that race that we didn’t have huge grins on our faces. Rainy trail runs are the adult version of kids puddle jumping in the rain…so much fun!

The last 3 to 4 races I’ve done have been pretty rough. I have struggled to finish them, pushed harder than I probably should have, and felt like death for days after. Mentally it had gotten to me, I was not loving running, not excited about races, down right terrified of double digit miles, and thinking it may be time to think about being done with it.

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I think my shirt was so wet it stretched to be about 2 inches longer than it really is!

This race was just what I needed to get my running game back. It’s the first race I’ve finished in a long time that made me think “hey I really want to do this again…whens the next one?!”, and it’s the first one I’ve finished with a smile on my face.

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So cool running into Kember (Fleet Feet) and Elite PT at the finish line.

Trail running has always been where my true running heart is, and I let myself drift away from it. So, my goal for next year is more trail running, lot’s more…I may not even do a road race next year at all. I’m happy in the woods (hello we camp all the time!), and my body is happier running on trails. I feel less pressure on trails to. It’s ok, heck it’s expected, to be slower on trails, and the views….they can’t be beat.

12068935_10153634049709933_4972434302720256949_oI mean really….that sunrise….great start line view!

I know one race I’ll be doing for sure…Point D Ultra October 2016! Who want’s to run it with me?!