Category Archives: Running

5 Days Until Eugene!

Who’s excited?!

I am!

I’m also on Prednisone, so I’m inappropriately happy most of the time. Why am I on Prednisone you ask? Well, some nice friends of mine, not going to name names, decided to share some germs with me and my wimpy lungs couldn’t put up a fight. Turns out sad lungs make for tough running days, or no running days at all. So with 5 days until I have to run 13.1 miles, in the last week and a half I’ve run a total of 8. So while I’m really excited that Eugene is almost here, I’m not feeling the most prepared.

But oh well! Prednisone Maddy is still pumped about it! I’m also excited about our fundraising.

Thanks to everyone who donated! And hey, there’s still time if you want to join the party.

Speaking of parties, we had our Eugene send off party last week, complete with s’mores.

I wish I had time to tell you about all of my wonderful teammates, captains, and coach. They all have stories about who they run for, their family and friends that they lost or helped fight cancer, their own stories of survival. It’s easy to get consumed with all the running we’ve been doing, but it’s important to remember why we run.

Eugene also marks the end of our journey together as a team and I’m going to miss seeing all of these wonderful faces bright and early on Saturday mornings, or in the rain on track nights. We had our last track night tonight, which was actually a fun run around the Esplanade followed by pizza and I’m sad to know next Tuesday I won’t be headed to Duniway to run in circles with everyone.

But before that I have to get through 13.1! The weather looks great for Sunday, I’m beyond excited to know that Kelley and Gina are going to be by my side. Kelley is also on Prednisone, so we’re going to be quite the pair, either laughing hysterically or crying hysterically when we cross the finish line, or maybe the whole race.

Bring it on Eugene!

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Long Time, No Rambling

Holy radio silence, Batman. Sorry about that. I have an unspoken goal of posting 1-2 times a week and I’ve definitely failed at that the last few weeks. But I have some excuses, some of which might actually be legitimate. The biggest one is finals, I had 3 finals in 24 hours and my kiddo had an appointment between the second and third finals, and you can bet your ass I was there for the whole appointment. So there was that, and dog sitting for a friend’s new puppy,

Oh Kiki, you're so adorable, except when you try to use my ankles as chew toys

and going to Seattle for spring break, and having a bunch of family in town for my grandma’s 90th birthday. Oh, and I had to defend the world from the zombie apocalypse.

Take that suckers

Turns out I’m a pretty good shot.

Anyway, here are some updates in bullet form, because bullets that are not aimed at living things are actually pretty fun.

* While it may not be getting warmer in Portland (damn you rain, I’m over you), it is getting lighter, which means we can now have track night in the sunlight.

* Kiki chewed through my computer cord in under 90 seconds.

* I ran 90 miles in March. By far an all time high and I can really feel how much my endurance has improved. My legs don’t kill me after doing my long runs like they used to. I only feel like I’ve been run over by a bicycle and not a semi.

* I ate way too much sugar, but what else is new?

* I ran in the rain, a lot.

This is a picture of me sopping wet, though I guess it's a bit hard to tell, but you get the idea

* I got to spend some quality time with one of my best friends, which really makes my world better.

J'taime mon amie, even if you spent all night coughing

* I got to watch some of my teammates kick ass at Race for the Roses. Great job everyone!

* My family celebrated my grandma’s 90th birthday.

In true Tobin fashion we played a lot of Scrabble and got in a game of mini golf, black light style.

Now it’s the first week of spring quarter and it’s back to grindstone. I’ve already started it off in true clumsy Maddy fashion by standing up into the corner of a locker door and getting a giant goose egg on top of my head. I tried to run at track night tonight but only made it through half the workout before my headache got too much to run through. Guess I need to rest the ole noggin. I hate taking unscheduled rest days.

26 days until Eugene!

Human Disaster

If you got the Parks and Rec reference, I ❤ you.

I’ve never been the most graceful person in existence. I’m quite athletic and I have great hand eye/foot coordination. I can juggle, I can ride (and actually own) a unicycle, it took me under 2 minutes to get comfortable on Chinese stilt,

but if there’s a patch of uneven sidewalk, I will trip on it. Actually, let’s just think back to the New Year when I tripped over a vacuum cord and it led to this.

This was definitely not an isolated incident. When I was 6 I tried to do a cartwheel onto a futon bed and missed, and ended up falling into our dog Suni.

I hit my ankle on her tooth and tore a ligament. So graceful.

But lately it’s been worse. If you have a beverage near you be careful, I’m likely to knock it over. Examples- 1) during my last Anatomy and Physiology test, which is a class of about 250 in a giant lecture hall with long skinny tables, I got up after finishing, put my messenger bag over my shoulder and tried to exit my row, except that some girl wouldn’t scoot her chair in and I tried to step over/around her and my bag knocked into some guy’s can of coffee (who drinks coffee out of a can?!) and it spilled all over his test and scantron. I had to drop all of my stuff and run to the bathroom to get paper towels. When I came back my teacher was standing over the mess and when he found out I caused it, he just laughed and walked away. Yes, that is the same teacher who told me I could pass as anemic in front of the whole class.

It gets better. 2) Same teacher, this time in his office. I was drinking a smoothie and somehow managed to spill it all over my skirt. He told me I had a drinking problem. He must think I’m nuts. I wonder if I should ask him for a letter of rec.

3) This one wasn’t my fault. I had a tumbler full of tea sitting under my desk with the lid not fully closed and some girl sat down in the desk next to me and proceeded to swing her bag across the floor knocking over my tea. She said sorry and then just sat there. At least when I know people’s stuff over I go get them paper towels. And new tests. And apologize about 17 times, even if it’s to the super annoying guy who always wears those ridiculous toe shoes and freaks out in open lab when there are too many people.

Luckily this ridiculousness hasn’t affected my running. In fact, this week of running has been awesome and I’ve been on a constant runner’s high. Way better than any other high I’ve ever experienced. Though if it gets any better/worse, I may have to call my 2 year old self for help.

I love old pictures and scanners.

Double Digits!

10 miles done. Bam.

And what a great 10 miles it was. Even though my last few long runs have been with my Team in Training group I’ve ended up on my own for all of them but yesterday I ran the first 8 with awesome Mentor Kat and it was nice to run with someone even if we didn’t spend most of it chatting. The second mile felt hard and even for a bit I ran a few steps behind Kat thinking I’d let her go ahead but I ended up staying with her the whole time. It was nice to feel that push. Normally on long runs I’m more concerned with getting though it without feeling like I’m going to die, but yesterday I spent 10 miles being right on the verge of going too hard but still managed to push my way through it. And, it paid off. My not so precise timing skills put my average miles splits around 9:30, making this the first run over 4 miles that I’ve averaged a below 10 minute pile pace. Boo yeah. I finished the run with a sprint up the final hill in Laurehurst Park and I was pumped when I finished. Well, I was pumped after I spent a few minutes bent over with my hands on my knees swearing quite loudly. Not one of my finer moments in life. This is the first run all season where I feel like my hard work is paying off and my goal of 2:15 is achievable.

So how does one celebrate their first fabulous 10 mile run? With their first fabulous 10 minute ice bath.

Actually, fabulous would be one of the last words I would use to describe this experience. In fact, I did use a whole lot of other words while in the bathtub, most of them inappropriate to use in front of small children. Let’s call this ice bath leg numbingly fun… ok, yeah, I won’t quite my day job…

How do you make an ice bath a somewhat pleasant task?

1) Bundle up on top

and 2) Distract yourself with Parks and Rec and drink tea, lots of hot tea.

If you do both of these things, it will lead to being able to half smile while you’re losing the feeling in your legs.

The best thing to do after that is to get your mother to make you dinner and spend the evening cutting out panels for making sparkly skirts.

Sorry about leaving that pile of sparkles on your kitchen table, mom, love you! Bo found it to be quite entertaining. Or maybe that was the food she was excited about it.

Today it was skirt assembly day. More sparkles everywhere.

Thanks Christine and Nicole for your help!

56 days until Eugene!

Best and Worst of the Weekend Poker Tournament Style

It’s been a while since the last Best and Worst but let’s give it a go anyway.

Best: The Go All In For a Cure poker tournament! My fellow teammates Lindsay, Jen, Jeff, Jacob and I had a poker tournament fundraiser on Saturday and we raised over $1,200 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!

We had 42 players and several others who came to provide moral support.

We also had some great raffle prizes and congratulations to Jim for taking home first place and Nicole for taking second!

It was an amazing event, thanks to everyone who came!

Second best: 9 miles. Before the poker tournament we had our Team and Training long run, this week it was 9 miles around NE Portland. It rained, it snowed, it blue skied, a few times all of those happened at the same time. Hello, bipolar Portland weather. The summer season team was out too and it was great to see so many people working towards the same mission. I love my teammates!

Worst: Peeing dude. As I was running and it was snowing/raining/being sunny I passes a guy peeing on a bus stop. He was actually peeing on the bus stop sign. I guess that’s better than peeing on the bench at the bus stop, but, really dude? Gross.

Life: When I’m not running you can find me doing this

I’ve been hanging out with my notebook for the last 10 hours. School is soooooooooooooo much fun.

Heart Breaker 5k

You know me, breaking hearts left and right.

Jen and I ran the Heart Breaker 5k this morning!

After running 8 miles yesterday and having a very busy weekend I didn’t have any lofty time goals. I just wanted to get somewhere near my time from the New Years Eve run which was 28:19. I also wanted to practice starting off a race at a sustainable pace and not go busting out of the gate at lightening speed just to die half way through (hello bad race plan for the First Run). On a fashion note, I wore the same outfit from New Years, the sparkly skirt, matching head band, and I ❤ sweat shirt which always gets a lot of comments from people.

I accomplished my goal of starting off not blazing a little too well, I passed the first mile marker and looked at my watch to see 10:20 staring back at me. A little too slow there turtle, time to pick up the pace. It didn’t help the the first mile and a half was all up hill but we’ve been doing a lot of hill runs with TnT so I should have pushed myself a bit more. I picked up the pace for the second mile, passing the mile marker in under 20 minutes (I don’t have one of those fancy GPS watches, I just use a stop watch. It’s nice here in the 19th century). My legs were pretty mad at this point that I was making them work at all but the rest of the race was down hill so I told them to f off and to get their act together because there was no way we were going to have this 5k take longer than 30 minutes. They somewhat listened, probably while cursing me, and I crossed the finish line at 28:56.

So, I guess, mission accomplished? I’m not sure how I feel about this race. It’s the first race I’ve ran where I didn’t cross the finish line with a giant smile on my face and then spend the rest of the day (or night in the First Run’s case) being ecstatic about it. I’m hoping it’s just because I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck thanks to soccer on Friday and the 8 miles yesterday. Maybe sleeping would help too. Oh sleep, how I wish I could be better at you.

After I finished I walked back to get a photo of Jen finishing.

She totally rocked it and beat her goal. Great job Jen!

I was happy to add another bib to my racing wall, I’m quite happy with how it’s coming along.

I then spent the rest of my day studying. I started at 12:00 and it’s now 9:15 and I’m still at it.

I live an exciting life.

Chicago! Cupcake Style

(Written on the plane ride home)

I love Chicago.

Hello my darling. (Chicago is in there somewhere, promise.)

I’ve been there 3 times now and each visit I love it a bit more. Perhaps it’s not Chicago specifically that I love, but just big cities in general. I loved living in Paris.

Aww, we were so young!

Just walking around Paris was fun for me, watching everything that was happening, all the people going about their everyday lives. It was enchanting. I get a bit of that in Chicago. Sitting on the L (I always want to call it the metro, thanks Paris), it’s fun to imagine where all the people are coming from or going to.

There’s also the fact that Chicago boys are better dressed that Portland boys. A nice pair of not ripped and dirty jeans and a button down shirt is a good look. Take note Portland hipster boys; you’re not very cute. Just sayin’.

Anywho, I was in Chicago for my brother’s fiancé’s bachelorette party. No, I did not spend the weekend getting shitfaced. We had a sleep over on Friday night, brunch Saturday morning at a restaurant called Brunch, and then hit the spa. I can’t think of a better way to do a bachelorette party.

We also went on a cupcake tour since Amber’s friend Angie has a cupcake catering business and wanted to check out how Chicago does cupcakes. We put about 7 places on our list.

First up was Phoebe’s Cupcakes.

The menu

We got a banana swirl and a bacon maple.

Sadly, they were not very good. We all ended up spitting out the frosting on the banana swirl, it was just gross. The cake part of the cupcake was ok, but nothing to write home about.  The bacon was the best part of the bacon maple, that’s not saying much, it’s hard to get bacon wrong.

The best thing about Phoebe’s was that there was a very cute store next door that was having a sale. I went into the store thinking I would just look around since I’m not in need of anything in particular, but walked out with a coat that I couldn’t live without.

Next up on the list was Molly’s.

Cute sign

Besides being super cute, Molly’s cupcakes were delicious and amazing. We got the peach cobbler and a peanut butter chocolate concoction.

So wonderful. If you’re ever in Chicago, make sure to swing by Molly’s.

At this point we were starting to feel pretty full of sugar. We decided to take a look at the third place on our list, Swirlz to see if anything looked enticing and then continue onto our fourth destination, Sweet Mandy B’s. Nothing looked too exciting at Swirlz’s and after trying one of the samples we decided to move on. Yep, we were those people who walked in and then walked out. Oops.

Sweet Mandy B’s looked pretty cute from the outside but once we got inside we weren’t tempted by and of the cupcakes. Not they looked bad, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to want to eat another full cupcake. So we ended up leaving and heading home thinking we hit the places still left on our list another day. Sadly it didn’t work out with any of the other places. Who doesn’t open on a Sunday?! I guess Angie and I will just have to come back to Chicago so we can finish the tour.

What did I learn from my first cupcake tour? That it’s a fabulous idea on paper, but in reality, it’s not that great. It’s way too much sugar, and this is coming from a person with a sweet tooth the size of Illinois. I’m thinking next time I’d get one cupcake from each place to go and then have people over so that I can try each cupcake but not feel like I have to eat all of them. But it was definitely a fun experience.

Oh, you want to know if I did some running in addition to eating my weight in sugar? Why yes I did! I did my 7-mile long run on Friday since I knew I wouldn’t have time on Sunday (I got into Chicago Thursday evening). I took off from my brother’s place and headed east towards Lake Michigan to the Lake Shore path.

The temperature wasn’t too bad, nothing colder than what we’ve had in Portland this winter but it’s definitely a different type of cold. It’s a cold that has sharp, dry teeth it likes to bite with. But it wasn’t too bad. I even found some elusive snow, elusive since Chicago has had a bit of a shortage this year.

This morning I got a 3 miler in that took me west from Max’s place through the campuses of Rush University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Both are schools I’ve considered applying to if Max and Amber stay in Chicago after Amber is done with law school so it was nice to get a glimpse of them.

Now I’m sadly on my way home and trying to cheer myself up by drinking ginger ale while listening to Mayer Hawthorne’s Henny and Gingerale. It’s the little things in life, people.

‘Well ok, feeling fine

Out of mind, out of sight’

Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k Virtual Race Recap!

A free race that I can fit in with my regularly scheduled run? I’m definitely not going to pass that up. So today I participated in my first virtual race, the Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k hosted by Adam at The Boring Runner. (Also, hi Adam! I totally stalk your blog. But that’s how it works on the interwebs, right?) The weather cooperated perfectly with the theme of the race as it was a crisp 32ºF at 8:00am but at least it was dry which is quite surprising for Portland in the winter. I counted the first 3 miles of my 7 mile Team in Training run as the race but since I’m on a roll of being super forgetful lately I forgot to print out the bib or take a picture while running. So I did this instead:

Post run sweaty face.

I know, I’m soooooooo creative. I also don’t own a printer.

The run itself went well and included a bit of sprinting so that I didn’t get run over by a car. I forgot my watch so I’m not sure what my time was but my probably wrong guesstimate would be around 30 minutes for the 5k and 1:10:00-1:15:00 for the full 7. I then proceed to eat my weight in potato pancakes and pull pork. Sounds like a weird combo but it actually worked. (And no, I know what you’re thinking, but there’s no chance in hell that I’m pregnant, I just eat weird stuff)

Thanks Adam for putting this race together! Or, well, telling people to run and take pictures.

100 (Minus 7) Days Until Eugene!

I had this plan to write a post when there were 100 days left until the Eugene Half Marathon since everyone loves countdowns and round numbers. I marked it on my calender and then promptly forgot about it.

Now you know my typical Friday schedule.

As you can see, it was on the 20th, and today is the 27th. Oops. So, now the countdown starts at 93. It’s better to start from an odd number, right?

I like to think I started the countdown off on a good foot by one night this week eating half a bag of Goldfish for dinner and then eating rice pudding for lunch.

 

Three flavors in one bowl?! Magical.

That’s the type of food that fuels you through 13.1, right?

I also got some strength training in by carrying around a lot of stuff.

No wonder I'm tired.

I got asked by a doctor if I was visiting from out of town. Nope, just have my purse, school bag, running bag, and Chemo Pal toy bag. Just a normal day.

On the fundraising side, we’re over 50%!

Correction, we're at 59%!

Tomorrow my Team in Training long run is seven miles, which is more than half of a half marathon (can we call it a quarter marathon?). Eugene still seems so far away (this may be because it’s after finals for winter quarter and it’s tough to think about life past that), but it’s also nice to have a lot of time to try to perfect the whole running thing. It also gives me time to go to workout classes an the unbelievably sore the next day. Hopefully by April I’ll be strong enough to get through a class and run 13.1 without having to walk like an 80 year old the next day. Fingers crossed.

I’m Still Here!

That sounds a bit like a threat but I mean it in the best way possible.

Holy busy first week of school, Batman. It’s definitely going to be a hectic 10 more weeks, but certainly doable. However, if you see me come midterms and finals and I’m pulling my hair out and being more snarky than usual, you have been warned.

Guess who made a triumphantly sweaty return to running?!

This girl! Who also can't seem to take a non-blurry picture of herself.

After the Great Foot Disaster of New Years I took a week off from running and then started slowly getting back into it. Last weekend I ran a mile on Saturday and walked 2.5 on Sunday. Monday Jen and I got a quick run in at work, Tuesday I got some hills in, Wednesday I gave it a rest, and then Thursday I was ready to get sweaty! (Ooh, that sounds like the start to an awesomely bad pop song.) I did 3 miles through Laurelhurst Park and by the end I was getting a good sweat on. Friday I didn’t play soccer, which was tough watching Sped pick apart the other team 12(ish)-0. I say ish because the ref stopped counting at 7. Did I mention how awesome Sped is? I think Chris put it best:

Note: the season is 8 games and you can get one bonus point a game if a girl scores a goal.

Saturday was a Team in Training long run, which for us half marathoners, was 6 miles.

Munching on some goodies at an aid station.

I woke up late for the run and was out of bagels so I resorted to eating peanut butter out of the jar, turns out that’s not really a good substitute for a bagel, which led to hitting a bit of a wall midway through the 6 miles. I also managed to get some giant blisters (running makes me super pretty) since this was my first long run in my new shoes which led to me wearing the ugly shoe for the rest of the day since to walk without the blisters hurting made my bastard 5th metatarsal hurt. Sometimes I feel like a walking disaster…

Look! New shoes!

Last week/this week Jen and I had our Mini Marathon and over $400 was raised! Thanks everyone for helping us fight that crappy cancer enemy, now enjoy a few pictures.

I’ve also survived the great Portland Snowpocalypse of 2012. Just look at this craziness!

The first flakes starting to fall around noon.
They're getting bigger!
Starting to stick.

OMG, 2 inches of snow! Clearly the world is ending.