Category Archives: Team in Training

Eugene Half Marathon Race Recap

We came.

We ran.

We ate.

We conquered Eugene.

Oh, that doesn’t count as a full recap? Fine, here are some a lot details.

The weekend kicked off with my lovely and wonderful bff Gina (who is such a good friend that she drove all the way down just to run with me and then drove all the way back to Seattle after the run) getting to my house Friday night and we proceeded to stay up way to late chatting, because that’s what girls do. Gina my have cursed me when my alarm went off at 7:00am but I made her come for the last TnT Saturday run, which was a short 2 mile shake out run.  Afterwards we packed all of our stuff, picked up my mom, and headed down to Eugene.

My coaches spent a lot of time telling us what not to do on the day before the race, which included spending a lot of time on our feet and exerting a lot of energy. Apparently my listening skills aren’t that good since we did both of those things. First we got lunch with our friend Joey.

Eating is a bit of contact sport in my world, it’s to be taken very seriously. Fortunately, Gina and Joey have similar feelings about it, which is probably why I’m such good friends with them.

Don't interrupt us, there's some important eating going on right now.
Alright, fine, we'll smile.
Eating is exhausting.

After lunch we went to the local and amazing ice cream place, Prince Pucklers.

It was delicious.

When I couldn’t finish mine I told Joey to hurry up with his so he could finish mine. His response was ‘I have 2 hands, what’s the problem?’

After dessert Gina and I went to visit our friend Erin and her gaggle of kids. Gina and I met when we were studying abroad in Paris, and Erin was my roommate there. It’s been years since we’ve seen Erin and it was wonderful to be able to catch up, even if we had limited time.

Then I put Joey in charge of babysitting Gina while my mom and I went to the Team in Training Inspiration dinner.

We heard from our awesome coaches, and were reminded why we run by our honored teammates. It’s hard for me to put into words how much I love being part of Team in Training, but it really is a group of amazing people who put their heart and soul into running and raising money to find a cure for cancer.

My wonderful teammates and coaches.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel to try to get everything ready,

Side note- I won that box of key lime bar mix at the expo by throwing a bean bag into a hole about 30 feet away. Boo yah.

and tried to get to bed early since our wake up call was a painful 4:45am, which came way too quickly.

Ready to race...?

The team gathered for one more group picture and then boarded the shuttle to the start line.

We got the start area with about 45 minutes until race time and had way too much nervous energy. Fortunately time moved quickly and after bag checking our stuff and navigating some crazy bathroom lines it was time to line up in our corral. My plan was to run with Gina and Kelley the whole way but Gina and I lost Kelley after our bathroom adventure so we started just the two of us.

While waiting in our corral someone tapped Gina on the shoulder and whispered ‘are you a Husky?’. Someone had noticed Gina’s University of Washington shorts. She quietly said yes, hoping any Duck fans didn’t hear. He then showed us a picture on his phone of him mooning the giant yellow O in front of the University of Oregon and said ‘me too’. As someone who doesn’t have a lot of school pride, all I could do was shake my head and laugh, while Gina thought it was awesome. And then the gun went off and we headed towards the starting line!

We saw my mom and Joey cheering for us a little bit after the start line and were excited to be running. We kept an eye out for Kelley hoping she started ahead of us and that we would catch her but it was crowded and there were a lot of people wearing purple. When Captain Kat started running with us around mile 1 we asked if Kelley had passed but Kat said she hadn’t seen her go by yet. Kat sent us on our way with some encouragement when Coach Julie, 8 months pregnant and all, jumped in to run with us for a bit. She checked in with us to make sure we were good, said she hadn’t seen Kelley either, and then sent us on our way. A few minutes later Coach Mike ran with us for a bit and sent us off with some high five. Around mile 3 Kelley and Jamie snuck up behind up and yelled ‘there you guys are!’. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see them. Kelley and I have done most of out long runs together, passing the miles talking about life, the universe, and everything in between and it just felt right to be running the race together. After we met up the miles started to fly by.

Jamie and Kelley sparkling.

Around mile 8 we saw a few of our Vancouver teammates that had driven down to cheer us on. Seeing them, and Cindy’s ‘go Maddy!’ sign, gave me a huge boost of energy and the smile on my face got even bigger. Thank you ladies, you are so wonderful!

A little bit after that there was the 1 hill of the race course. Captain Kat joined us for the first part of it, then Coach Julie run us up the middle part, and Coach Mike got us up the rest of the way. They were perfectly timed, I was so distracted with talking to them and telling them about the race so far that I didn’t even realize we were going up hill at all. And we got a bit of a photo shoot in.

Nice sparkles Coach Mike!

Coach Mike sent us off at the top of the hill yelling ‘you got this rockstars, kill it!’, and that’s just how I felt. We flew down the hill and right at the bottom just before the turn back through the University of Oregon campus we saw my mom and Joey cheering. They had also planned their cheering schedule perfectly and got breakfast (their second one of the day) at a place right on the race course.

Soon enough we passed mile 10 and headed away from campus towards the Willamette River. Things started to hurt a this point. My knee, which hasn’t hurt at all this season, started hurting like it did during the Chicago Half Marathon and periodically I had to stop and stretch my quad and rub my knee cap so that it would loosen up. Miles 10, 11, and 12 took us over a footbridge, along the river, and back over another foot bridge. We all starting to feel not so great, Gina’s knee was also bugging her and Kelley’s hamstring was getting tight. Kelley was afraid that if she slowed down that she wouldn’t be able to get going again so she went ahead. She rocked the last few miles and finished in 2:11. Gina hung with me while I stopped a couple more times for a few seconds and did her best to encourage me to keep running. Coach Julie ran with us for a few moments with about a 1/2 mile to go and when I told her that my knee hurt she told me that we were so close and to just hold on. We did and soon enough we saw my mom just before entering Hayward Field.

Then it was on to Hayward Field where the running legend Steve Prefontaine ran and where many a world recond has been set or broken.

Fortunately they don’t make you do a full lap around the track, just half a lap, you can see the finish line around the corner.

About 50 yards from the finish line I asked Gina if we were going to hold hands across the finish line. Her response was ‘of course!’. So we held hands, sprinted as much as we could and crossed the finish line, and then spent the next few minutes trying not to puke. It was a close call but after we both got some ice we started to feel better. They were handing out chocolate milk afterwards which I have decided is the best post run thing to have.

Our official time was 2:13:56, so the ‘under 2:15’ mission was accomplished! We quickly found Kelley and my mom and took the obligatory post race photos.

This race was such an amazing experience. It was so different compared to Chicago. Chicago will always be special to me, it was my first big race and my first half, but Eugene was a whole different world. Getting to run with people I love made it so much fun, and running with TnT brings it to a whole different level. I loved hearing random people yell ‘GO TEAM!’ to us and meeting people along the way that had either ran with TnT in the past or thanked us for being apart of it. Seeing our coaches and captains along the way that helped us achieve our goals brought a huge smile to my face, they are such amazing people. I can’t imagine doing another big race without being part of TnT.

Speaking of another race, I’ve signed up with TnT for the Portland Marathon. Yep, going for a full 26.2 this time. The countdown starts now, 160 days!

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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!

Best and Worst of the Weekend Momma Birthday Style!

Best: this awesomeness that I woke up to on Saturday morning.

Jen and I made it to our goal! Now, if you were planning on donating, don’t let this stop you, all donations are welcome because cancer doesn’t stop just because we reach a goal. Thank you to everyone who had donated and supported us! Only 46 more days until we run!

Worst: leg cramps, awful, awful leg cramps. I’ve been trying to stay hydrated but also keep up my electrolytes as well as doing ice baths and foam rolling but it seems nothing is helping. Dear legs, cut the crap, it’s getting old.

Birthday! Happy birthday to the best mother in the world!

I’m so lucky to have a mom who is always supportive and super cool. She’s a bad ass rower and great role model. When I grow up I want to be just like her. Happy birthday momma!

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.

Go All In To Cure Cancer!

I’ve been trying all evening to come up with snappy poker themed betting against cancer jokes but my brain is failing me. Sorry, I’m tired. In fact, earlier this week my teacher told me, in front of a class of about 200 students, ‘yeah, I could see you being anemic’. Which, by the way, I’m not anemic. Apparently this winter weather isn’t doing anything for my complexion since his explanation was ‘sometimes you’re kind of pale’. Thanks, bud.

Anyway, back to poker. Can you think of a more awesome way to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society than hanging out with a bunch of awesome people while playing poker?! Didn’t think so. So, if you’re in Portland this Saturday, Feb. 25 come to Nemo Designs (enter through parking lot entrance) at 1875 SE Belmont St. Portland, OR 97214 at 3:00. Poker starts at 3:30. Buy-in is $30 ($20 goes directly to LLS). Cash and prizes for the top finishers! All are welcome. Snacks, beer and other beverages will be provided.

So come on down, wearing purple is encouraged, and GO TEAM!

 

Running Out of a Funk

This title is a bit misleading since I didn’t go for a run at all this week. It’s been a really a long week, and while I could complain a lot about it (and boy do I want to), by the end of the week I felt like I was kicking some ass, so I feel like sharing the happier parts. So, without further ado, things that may or my not be related to running but in any case have made by life more enjoyable.

* Pre-run Doctor Who reference- Coach Mike made a two hearts reference during a route description and I may have yelled ‘time lord run!’ in response. Sometimes I think my teammates think I’m a little weird.

* Cupcakes- cupcakes make my really happy.

* Waffles- they’re amazing, both dinner and dessert style. I’m noticing a food theme.

* Crap on the internet- I’m not much of a cat person about cat stuff on the internet can be very entertaining, such as Doctor Who Cats and Cats That Look Like Ron Swanson. Speaking of Ron Swanson, Infinite Dancing Ron Swanson and I got our groove on this morning to get pumped for my 8 mile TnT long run.

* TnT long run you say?- We has our second week of doing 8 miles and while my legs felt like the were made of lead, my overall average mile time was 20 seconds faster than last week. Sweet.

* Teddy in a scarf- he’s super cute and I miss him.

* Reaching 100 volunteer hours in the Doernbecher ER since September. Bam.

* Getting close to $2,000 raised for LLS!

* Running a 5k tomorrow because I’m such a heart breaker.

Heart breaker out.

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.

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.

Mini Marathon!

So, by now I’m sure you’ve picked on the whole ‘I’m running a half marathon with Team in Training” thing, which also means I’m fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, because blood cancers suck and need to be a thing of the past. Like when people talk of small pox and think ‘aww, such an antiquated disease and aren’t we awesome as a population since we kicked some small pox ass’. One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, we’ll think ‘oh man, that lymphoma used to be such a bitch, but now you just take this pill and barely even notice it and you don’t have the awful side effects of chemo’. That would be a pretty awesome world. Fortunately there has been progress towards this goal, Gleevec (Imatinib) is a great example. Instead of attacking all the rapidly dividing cells in the body like chemo (which is why hair loss, nausea and vomiting are side affects of chemo), Gleevec binds to a specific protein site and prevents it from working which causes the death of the cancer cell. That’s pretty bad ass. It’s used in some types of chronic myelogenous leukemia and gastrointestinal cancers. It was developed here in Portland at OHSU and the research was partially funded by LLS.

I’m telling you all this as a way to say that I believe in LLS and feel like the money I raise for them is going towards the good fight. So here’s your chance to join in the fight. Jen and I are having a fundraiser this weekend that we’re calling our Mini Marathon.

And the totally awesome thing about it is that you can take part in it even if you’re not in Portland. Here’s how:

1) Donate $13.10 as a ‘race fee’ (it’s tax deductible!). Follow the link and click donate button on the left side on the page. Please leave a comment saying that you are participating in the Mini Marathon.

2) At some point this weekend (Jan. 7-8) run or walk 1.3 miles. If you’re in Portland, we’d love for you to join us at Water Avenue Coffee at 10:00am on Sunday and we’ll have a waterfront route already planned out.

3) Take pictures, get your friends involved, and have fun! Exercising is good for you, especially if you were like me over the holidays and ate 17 people’s share of cookies.

4) Wear all the purple items of clothing you own, in Portland we’ll have a prize for the most purplefied (yay, made up word!) person. You have been challenged to a purple duel. (Purple is TnT’s color)

5) Send the pictures and a little race report to yellowbungalowbrigade@gmail.com. We’re going to share everyone’s pictures and stories (if you don’t want you picture shared on the internet, you don’t have to send it to us).

That’s it! Only 5 steps! It’s almost too easy to say no too. Gimpy over here will either be walking very slowly (i.e. putting my camp counselor skills to use and making sure no one falls into the Willamette) or providing course support, but my smiling face will be there Sunday morning to cheer people on. Let’s kick some cancer ass.