Monthly Archives: September 2011

Running Without Actually Running

Sometimes you don’t need to go for a run to feel like you’ve ran 10 miles, you can just spend 4 hours volunteering in the peds ER at Doernbecher and have it feel like your hardest workout for the week. The last 2 of my 3 training sessions were very quiet, kids were staying healthy and uninjured like champs. This evening was a whole different story. It was packed from the moment I got there and never let up. If this is anything like what it’s going to be like being a nurse, it’s going to be crazy and I’m going to LOVE it. It also meant that I got to ride the tram (or jelly bean as my mother calls it) at night for the first time.

The river
The floating hospital

It was quite the way to end my first week of school. Let’s just say it’s been a long week. Although I’ve gotten in multiple swim session and some Pilates and abs work in, there was no running to be had. Without a race to train for I’m not good about putting some miles on my feet. So yesterday I signed up for:

The Run Like Hell 10k!

Problem solved! Guess that means I’ll be out running again come Sunday, hope my feet are too angry with me!

Also, dressing up for the race is encouraged, anyone have any running friendly costume ideas?



Most people fell mentally sore their first week back to school in fall quarter but not me! Because of some credit craziness (long story) I’m taking 2 PE classes this quarter, Lap Swimming and Abs/Lower Body. Yesterday I did more squats and lunges than I could count and this morning I swam a mile.

This is the pool in the new PSU rec center, sadly my class is in the old rec center, which has 30 ft concrete walls and no windows.

Minus a couple of half assessed one off lap swim trips over the years, I haven’t really swam since in was a kid and was taking swimming lessons. It felt good! It especially helped my sore thigh and butt muscles from yesterday… until about 20 minutes after getting out of the pool, that is. Then I tried to go up a flight of stairs… I was a somewhat convinced that I wasn’t going to be able to make it to the top. I’m pretty sure I’m more sore today than I was after the half marathon! I then spent the rest of the day slowly shuffling around campus dragging my bag that had a chemistry book and a giant anatomy and physiology book in it. My muscles did not appreciate the extra weight.

The best meal to end a long day of incredible soreness? Fried okra and biscuits and gravy from The Delta! I took a picture of that amazingness that is fried okra but my camera is in the other room and my muscles refuse to let me get up, so I’ll leave it to your imagination. It’s going to be a long quarter…

Who has sure fire ways to combat incredibly sore muscles? Share your wisdom!

Getting Ready for a New Year

I didn’t really have a plan for how much running I would do after the Chicago half marathon, I thought I’d just listen to what my body wanted to do and go from there. Turns out, my body has decided that it wants nothing to do with running and everything to do with food. This has led me to feel a little lazy, so after an hour of internal struggle this morning I finally dragged myself out of the house for a very short (2.5 mi) run around the waterfront, bringing my total miles since the race to a whopping 5.5 mi. Boy was my body angry with me, I think it was quite possibly the hardest/slowest 2.5 miles I’ve ever done. Not cool body, not cool. I don’t even want to think about how angry it’s going to be tomorrow after playing soccer for the first time in about a month with possibly no subs…

I’ve also learned this week that I don’t do well with unstructured time. This was my one week before that I was in Portland and had next to nothing to do. What did I get done? Nothing. I still have a stack of thank you cards to write, a blanket to finish, errands to run, and a bus pass to buy. I think everyone else is not up to much as well. I volunteered in the ER yesterday and didn’t get to interact with any patients because there were no patients. Four hours and no patients! Great job, children of Portland, staying away from germs and sharp objects. I did get a flu shot from one of the nurses since there was so much downtime. It came with a free cup of tea, which only slightly makes the feeling of getting punched in the arm by the flu shot better.

I have started to employ some visualization tricks I used while training for half in preparation for school which starts Monday. I’m firmly planting the vision in my head of finishing this year with a trail of A’s in my wake. In order for that to happen I’m going to need to fuel myself properly, which is also something I learned while training. So today was the first step in that direction by making corn chowder.

Yay for crock pots!

Look! I’m cooking and I’ve yet to burn the house down or slice my hand open! It’s a good sign for a successful year.

I am trying to figure out how running will be present during the school year, so any student runners out there I would love some words of advice!

Best and Worst of the Weekend

On the Dan Patrick Show every Monday they do their best and worst of the weekend, which is mostly sports related. I’ve decided to borrow (sample if you will, not steal, Dan).

Best of the weekend: getting to spend a lovely morning with Max and Amber before boarding the plane back to Portland.

How to be a true Chicagoan
Outside our brunch place

Worst of the weekend: being greeted in Portland by rainy weather. Really, fall already Portland?

I’ve been trying to give my knee some time to rest and heal from the mystery pain from the half marathon so today was just my second run since the race. I did wear my Chicago half marathon shirt and it felt awesome.

Well earned, even just for wearing it on the 1 mile run today

I also added my bib and medal to my wall o’ bling, which I hope expand greatly over time.


Speaking of expanding the wall ‘o bling, I’ve been obsessed with looking at local races for the fall. Right now I’m thinking of the Run Like Hell 10k (who doesn’t love to dress up in costume and run?), the Turkey Trot (what better way to make room for Thanksgiving dinner?), and the First Run/Twenty12 Resolution Run (what better way to ring in the New Year?).

Who’s running with me?!

Last but not least, a bonus best and worst for today.

Worst: kiddo being in the hospital again 😦

Best: curling up with her and reading Mother Goose rhymes until she fell asleep. Sweetest kid ever.


Since the half marathon is now over, I get to enjoy my vacation! I like to think that it’s well deserved after working my butt off at school since last September and then starting to work while classes were still in session, then working all summer. So don’t mind me while I hangout on the couch for a bit, I’m recharging for starting school in less than 2 weeks.

Teddy's been chilling with me on the couch.

Alright, I have done more than just sit on the couch since Sunday. On Tuesday my mom and I took the train down to St. Louis to visit family.

Everything here is normal, ok? Normal.
Honest Abe says it's normal.

We got awesome frozen custard at Ted Dewes, which apparently is an institution.

I got to see my great aunt and cousins, some of whom I’ve never met or seen in over 15 years.

My cousin Alana has some pretty awesome dogs.

It was great getting to see everyone, it’s been way too long! I also got to get some knitting done on the train.

Illinois is really flat, but it has awesome sunsets.

Today, back in Chicago, my mom and I went to the Museum of Surgical Science, and it was super cool.

It had just the right mixture of gore and interesting exhibits. I can’t wait to go into nursing.

I made it for a run today, only 2 miles because my knee starting hurting again. I think my body is falling apart, on top of my knee hurting my shoulder also hurts. Not my bad because-I’ve-broken-it-twice shoulder, no, now my good one hurts. I didn’t do anything to it, it has no good reason to be in pain! This of course hasn’t stopped me from looking at upcoming runs (this may be a start of an addiction).

Anyone know of a place I can trade in body parts for better ones? Or, more based in reality, anyone have any recommendations on how to recover from long runs?

Chicago Half Marathon Race Recap

I made it! I may have been a bit gimpy for the last 8 miles but I made it across the finish line in 2:24:56. The morning started off very early at 4:30am, which to us west coasters felt more like 2:30am.We caught the L to downtown and then got on the Metra.

Turns out the L and the Metra don’t take the same tickets. We didn’t find this out until the woman collecting tickets came around. She said it wouldn’t be a problem, it would just be $2.50 each. Well, between my mom and I, we only had $2. After a few tense moments a very nice gentleman in the seat behind us handed the lady a $5. Thank you kind sir!

We made it to the race with plenty of time to spare and stand in the very long port-o-potty line. Then it was time to find corral.

My mom wants to take a lot of pictures.

The first 5 miles of the race went great. I found the 2:10 pace group and hung with them. At 5 miles my average mile was under 10 minutes and then my body said ‘f you’. I got a shooting/cramping pain across the front of my left knee cap that lasted the rest of the race. I ended up having to stop every 1/4-1/2 mile to try to stretch it out. it would only help for a few steps before it started hurting again so my pace slowed a lot. My final average mile time was 11 minutes. not quite what I was hoping for but after a bit I reminded myself that I wasn’t doing this to qualify for anything, just to have fun and for my kiddo. That made me get a bit emotional for the rest of the race, anytime I thought of my kiddo or someone cheered my name tears would start to well up. There were a couple of close calls but I managed to not cry on the course. Thankfully there was a lot of water stations and misters on the course, plus a lot of people to cheer us along and soon enough I crossed the finish line.

Now it’s time for some ice and rest, then enjoying Chicago for the week.

All in all, it was a great time! Thank you to everyone who donated and supported me, you are all my heroes!

Less Than 12 Hours Until Race Time!

I’m in Chicago!

Love this beautiful city

The weather is a bit funky (read: quite humid) but the temperature is quite lovely. Much better than the 90ºF+ shenanigans Portland has been experiencing lately.

It was quite an early morning, the taxi picked us up at 4:15am at going to bed after 11:00pm but the flight was smooth and the Metra is awesome here.

Playing on the train

We wandered down to the expo to pick up my race packet.

Finally here!

My packet was retrieved by this fancy lady

Are tiaras in fashion?

Then it was off to lunch to load up on carbs.

Best big bro around

After we came back to Max’s apartment where I ran into my favorite comedy news quiz host.

Hey Carl Kasell, I would love to have your voice on my answering machine.
Maybe this will convince you?

There was a bit of a mix up with my race date so my CCA shirt unfortunately didn’t arrive before I left Portland, so this evening I made my own.

My low budget art skills

My mom wasn’t that into drawing, she was more excited to cuddle with Teddy.

Teddy missed Grandma

Now it’s time for more carbs and Doctor Who! Then early to bed because it’s another early morning tomorrow. I’m not sure if there’s live tracking available tomorrow but if there is my bib # is 13158. Wish me luck!

2 Days 8 Hours 26 Minutes!

Holy (enter your choice expletive here)!!! I have to run 13.1 miles in less than 2 1/2 days. Some moments I feel prepared and other moments I feel utterly unprepared. I think most of that comes from tapering, which I’m not a fan of. My 12 mile run was almost 2 weeks ago, yes, I’ve still been running but nothing longer than 4 miles. I’m not sure my body is going to be happy to run 13.1.

Today I had planned to run some errands and start packing but it turned out that there was a much more important thing for me to do. I’m starting to volunteer at the emergency department at Doernbecher and today was my first day of shadowing a fellow volunteer. It was going great, I’m really going to love it there, but then the worst/best thing happened, I walked into a room and there was my kiddo. It’s the worst because the last thing she needs right now is to be in the ED, but the best because I was able to check in on her throughout my shift and then stay with her after my shift until she was discharged. Her parents then graciously had me over for dinner so I got to spend an awesome evening eating burritos and putting puzzles together with her. My kiddo’s dad also gave me a bunch of energy gels that he got while running Hood to Coast for my run, thanks!

Awesome quick enery

In other awesome (yeah, I’m using the word awesome a lot this post but it’s late and it’s been a long day so it’s the only word I can think of) news, I rode my bike to a from work yesterday!

Cutest bike in town

I know, this feat is not all that impressive, especially in Portland where almost everyone commutes by bike, but I’ve been petrified to ride in traffic, mostly because I worry that I’m going to crash into something. But my awesome (there it is again) friend Anna let me tag along with her and taught me everything I need to know, and even put my chain back on when it feel off. Thanks Anna! My dream of doing a triathlon next year might just be attainable!

The Gorge on the Run

Warning: long post, because the Gorge is amazing and a trip down memory lane is always fun.

This weekend I made the annual trip to George, Washington (this may be my 7th year out there but I’m still entertained by the name) to the most beautiful place on Earth.

Aka, Heaven's Amphitheater

Looking at this view all weekend.

Beautiful stage set up this year

My 3 favorite people to go to the Gorge with were there (Jen, Jackie, and Ken), and this year marks 5 years since our first trip together out there.

2007 - the core group, don't we look like young spring chickens?

The second year we talked Jocelyn into coming along. Somehow we didn’t manage to get a full group shot but 4 out of 5 ain’t bad.

2008 - Jen must have taken the picture

The next year Ken and Jackie decided to have a baby in July (nice timing, guys) so it was ladies year.

2009 - Ladies night!

Last year things got back to normal with J&K being able to come and Baggins tagged along.

2010 - The year I finally got my Warehouse

This year Kevin and Logan (master marathoner, please teach me your ways) crashed Friday and Saturday nights.

2011 - Do we look like we're melting? Because we were

The original 4 of us sweated away on Sunday night and spent some time reminiscing about the the past trips.

2011- Still melting

And then got a bit silly.

2011- The sun may have melted our brains a little

Even with all the fun being had I made time to get 2 runs in! The Gorge may be beautiful but it’s not the best place to run. I got to look at this for miles and miles.

Just a long, straight road

Friday morning I got an early start so there wasn’t that much traffic and it wasn’t too hot. But Saturday morning I slept in a bit and by the time I got my running shoes hitting the pavement I was already sweating and cars were flying by. So I decided to cut the run a little short and take pictures of the cows.

Mama cow was not all that happy I was near her calf

As a reward to my running I had a margarita after my second run. Now, normally I’m not really a heavy drinker and am definitely a light weight, but I’ve been even more of a non-drinker during my training. I’ve wanted nothing to do with anything that will hinder my body from functioning at it’s best. So, after one margarita, albeit a pretty strong margarita since Ken made it, I actually fell asleep on the lawn at 4:00pm while a band was playing. That’s quite the accomplishment for a non-napper insomniac! It probably didn’t help that it was 7,000°F (alright, maybe closer to 90°F) and there was no shade, but man, did I feel like the lightest light weight ever! My mother would be proud.

The concerts were amazing, with each night better than the last, and Sunday night Ken and I got to hear all the songs we had wanted, including Halloween! Only took 5 years to hear that one.

We also carried on the tradition of stopping in Yakima Monday morning for breakfast at Waffles Caffe.

I decided to skip the creamsicle waffle...

After 4 nights at the Gorge nothing tastes better than an omelet from Waffles. And, Baggins is still famous even a year later!

Baggins- a food Ironman

It’s a little hard to transition back into real life after such an awesome weekend, but my day tomorrow starts bright and early with my kiddo’s appointment! I went to visit her at her house last week and her mom didn’t tell her I was coming over, just that there was a surprise, and my kiddo was so excited when I got there that she just started jumping up and down. So freaking cute. Sorry other Chemo Pals, I somehow got the most awesome kiddo ever.

This week is all about tapering. I’m oddly zen about the whole running 13.1 miles thing, possibly because my brain hasn’t accepted the fact that the race is in 6 days (6 days!…omg…6 days…). It does help that have about 0 minutes this week to sit and think about it, everything is go, go, go, and then get on the plane to Chicago bright and early Saturday morning! Now it’s off to bed early to try to recover from this weekend’s amazingness.

One last thing, fellow runners, any advice for a first time half marathoner? I want to hear all your wisdom!