Figs to Fight Cancer!

I guess my fundraising for the fall Team in Training season is all about food, which makes sense, all this marathon training is making very hungry. So in keeping with the theme I present Figs to Fight Cancer!

How delicious does that look? They look a little different than the ones you’ll find at the market, for one they are green and not purple. The probably not official name for these are strawberry figs. They’re sweet enough to eat straight from the tree but also go well with goat cheese and prosciutto, are fantastic when you broil them with a balsamic vinaigrette, and make amazing jam. They look like this on the inside.

They’re grown locally (i.e. on the fig tree at Jen’s house), so that means no pesticides or wacky chemicals. So if you want to get in on the most delicious fruit of the summer it’s just $1 a fig or 12 for $10! Just click the donate link at the top of this page and leave a comment after donating about the figs or catch me in person. Get them now, fig season is not very long!
Sorry non-Portland people, I don’t think figs ship well, though maybe we could work out some fig jam solution if you want in on the figgy goodness.

Cupcakes and Ice Cream for a Cure!

What’s the best way to help find a cure for cancer? Eating cupcakes and ice cream! Alright, so maybe the scientists looking for a cure might argue that, but they have to get their funding somewhere, and here’s a good way you can contribute to that.

There will be cupcakes donated from Bliss Cupcakes, as well as homemade cupcakes and treats. There will be a raffle for some homemade pies and gift baskets, so even if you can’t attend you can participate in the raffle! I’ll put up another post with details about the raffle items so that you can choose which pot you want your tickets to go into. There will also be some hand crafted goods for sale (again, another post will have the details once I can take pictures of everything). So come hang out, eat some delicious treats, and help fight cancer! Bonus cool points is you wear purple.


P.S. 60 days until the Portland Marathon!

Weekly Recap: Episode 3

I really need to remember to start doing this on Mondays, by Wednesday it’s a bit hard to remember all the back to last week…What? I run a lot, they all start to blend together.

Monday: 3.13 miles. I was really tired so I decided to run over to Safeway, get some laundry detergent, and then run home. By the time I got back I really didn’t give a crap that I was suppose to do 50 mins and only did around 30. Also, running while carrying laundry soap sucks.

Tuesday:Bigfoot futsal. We had no girl subs, we lost 12-7 to a team we usually beat (sorry Brian), and I had to play defense the whole time. I was a bit grumpy by the end and in desperate need of a beer (thanks Josh!).

Wednesday: I was exhausted from futsal so I crashed early.

Thursday:4.53 miles. Learned my lesson not to sleep through my alarm so that I have to run in the middle of the day, so sweaty. I finally did the loop from my new place around the water front, it was a good loop.

Friday: Planned rest day.

Saturday: 14.5 miles- personal distance record. Holy hills, Batman. I had no idea Beaverton was so hilly. Seriously, .5 miles of the run were flat, the other 14 were all hills. At mile 3, this happened:

14% grade?! Really coach Heidi?! Really?!
And that was just mile 3. It was a hard run and I spent the rest of the weekend on my ass on the couch. It kicked my butt.

Sunday: Planned rest day, see my previous weekend about my butt being BFFs with the couch.
Overall: Since it’s now August, let’s talk about all of July.

 

Just a few miles short from my highest ever monthly mileage. It was really tired most of the month, my body is taking a bit to get used to the more mileage and the more time spent on my feet. I wish I could say August is going to be better, but with more personal distance records in the near future and Hood to Coast coming soon, it’s going to be another tough month. Though I hear running a marathon ain’t no walk in park, so I better learn how to run through pain and tiredness soon.

Weekly Recap: Episode 2

Only week 2 and I’m already a day late with a recap. At least I’m not getting graded on this blog.

Weekly Recap 2!

Sunday: Rest day.

Monday: Abs and arms at the gym with Katie followed by a trail run with some awesome ladies. Note to self- don’t ask your friend who just finished the Western States 100 (yeah, he ran 100 miles) in under 19 hours for advice on a ‘flat trail’ to run. He has different ideas on what ‘flat’ means.

Tuesday: Bigfoot futsal. Playing soccer at 10:00pm during the week sucks.

Wednesday: Finally got my lazy ass to TnT track night! Last season track was on Tuesdays and I had class in the afternoon so I would just walk over to Duniway when I got out so I almost never missed a track night, but with this whole working thing and going home in between, I’ve been a slacker. We did 10×200. It was hot. I started sweating before I even started warming up.

Thursday: Thursdays are my long days, I work and then go up to the Doernbecher ER to volunteer until 8:00pm so there’s no chance of me getting a run done in the evening so I try to run in the morning. This morning my alarm went off at 5:45, I promptly hit the off button and went back to sleep. Wah wah.

Friday: Planned rest day.

Saturday: Mission day!

That was followed up with a day full of moving.

Needless to say, it was a long day with creaky knees.

Sunday: Rest day, well, spent 8 hours cleaning the old apartment.

Overall: It was a long week. I was exhausted by Thursday and still had to move, though it was made easier by the fact that I have awesome friends who helped make it really easy. Thanks everyone!

Weekly Recap: Episode 1 for the Portland Marathon

Since I know everyone is really curious For my own need for feeling accountable, I’m going to start doing a weekly recap for the Portland Marathon training cycle. Welcome to the first episode of the Weekly Recap (suggestions for a more creative title are welcome), which is actually week 8 of the season. Here’s the short version:

I hate that Map My Run puts ‘indoor’ even when I title the workout. Anyone know how to change that?

Sunday: rest/try to walk like a normal person after the 11 mile trail run the day before/make it back to civilization from camping and enjoy a real shower.

Monday: unscheduled rest day, my legs were still angry over the long trail run.

Tuesday: that ‘indoor’ on the calendar was futsal (soccer), it was really hot and I wanted to melt.

Wednesday: yoga (‘indoor’) at 7:30am, you better be proud of this night owl getting her ass to a class that started a mere 7 minutes after my alarm normally goes off. Also, I haven’t been to a yoga class in about 10 years, it left me very sore. Skipped TnT track night and went to happy hour.

Thursday: 4.83 miles, managed to not crap my pants.

Friday: Went to yoga (‘indoor’) at lunch, was a different teacher then Wednesday, wasn’t as awesome.

Saturday: 8 mile TnT long run out in the ‘burbs, was really hot, felt awful, spent the rest of the day trying to cool off, didn’t really work, couldn’t find a sub so I had to play soccer (‘indoor’) at 11:10pm, we didn’t have any girl subs, scored 2 goals, managed not to puke on the field, we won. Win.

Overall: fewer miles than I would have liked but I’m trying to increase my core strength and I feel I’m off to a good start. 83 days until Portland!

Confessions: The Not So Pretty Side of Running

Unfortunately not all of us can look half this good when running.

Image

(Source)

Let’s rewind to Thursday’s morning. I managed to get my butt up at 6:45am, get on my running clothes that I had so neatly laid out the night before, scarf down a Luna Bar and head out the door by 7:00. File all of that under Major Win.

The run started out fine, my legs were a little tired from doing yoga the day before for the first time in 10 years, but it was sunny out and I was enjoying the morning quiet. Then it happened. Right as I turned the corner on the the street that was the farthest away from my house on the run, my stomach decided that it didn’t like the Luna Bar that I ate earlier. Normally before morning runs I eat a piece of toast and peanut butter and have never had a problem. I’m not the runner you see dashing off to the Port-O-Pottie before a race and then spending 10 minutes in there. In fact, I almost never even have to pee on a run no matter how far it is. I guess that’s one upside to being a major sweater.

But there I was with my intestines vehemently objecting to everything that was inside them. This wasn’t just a ‘I have 2 miles until home, it’s going to be a close call’. No, this was a ‘I need a bathroom now. RIGHT NOW’ situation.

I slowed to walk hoping it would help. It didn’t. I tried jogging. Made it worse. I surveyed my surroundings as I shuffled/duck walked slowly down Burnside Ave, trying to decided if I had the nerves to go into the tiny donut shop and ask to use their bathroom even though I couldn’t buy anything since I only had my phone and water bottle with me. I scoped out the bush situation in case I had to resort to popping a squat. I tried to think of the closest grocery store that I knew of. The Safeway on Hawthorne? Way too far. Farther than my house. The Fred Mayer in Hollywood? Closer but still not going to make it. I didn’t know that area of Burnside well enough to know where the nearest park was, the only one I could think of was Mt. Tabor and I was certainly in no condition to climb any hills.

And then it appeared. The answer to all of my poop related prayers.

Image

After trying 2 different doors that were closed and a frantic search of the store to locate the bathroom, disaster was averted. I’ve never been so happy to see a QFC. I wanted to hug every staff member I saw. But instead of proclaiming that this QFC had my favorite bathroom in all of Portland, I quietly continued my run with most of my pride still intact (the duck walk shuffle cost me a few points).

Just another ‘Almost Crapped My Pants’ story from a runner.

It’s July?!

In my last post (which was almost 2 months ago, I have no idea how that much time has passed) I said I was ‘going big’. Part of my plan for going big was to be very diligent about documenting my training. Clearly since I haven’t written anything since that post I didn’t do a good job at that documenting thing, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been training! Here’s a look at the running I did in June.

So close to 50 miles

And because I did 2 long runs in the same calendar week, July has gotten off to a quick start.

No wonder my legs were tired yesterday

I’ve also found my new favorite thing in the running world: trail running. The 11 miles I did on Saturday were all trail miles and it was fantastic. I went camping with a bunch of friends up on Mt. Hood and got to run by Little Crater Lake and along Timothy Lake.

Little Crater Lake
Timothy Lake

For July (yeah, I know it’s already the 9th), I’m hoping to be more consistent with my training, and to make it to track night, which I haven’t done at all this season. I’m also going to be better at documenting it, maybe a weekly recap would keep on track?

Go Big or Go Home

I’m going big.

26.2 miles of big to be exact.

I know I’ve mentioned it before on here but haven’t talked about it too much, so let’s discuss it. I will be running the Portland Marathon with Team in Training. I’m actually not that nervous about the running itself, I trust that my training will get me prepared to tackle 26.2 miles, and after the Eugene half, I know that I will be supported the whole way with TnT. What makes me nervous is the fundraising. I’ve been lucky to have been successful in my last two fundraising endeavors, raising $2500 since July, $1000 for the Children’s Cancer Association and $1500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. My goal is to raise another $1500. I know it’s possible, but it’s also overwhelming. But if the last 6 months have taught me anything, it’s that if you work hard and trust that you have the strength to do something, you will accomplish your goal. Remember, go big or go home.

Alright, enough of the serious stuff, now for a little update since the Eugene Half. I haven’t done much running since I’ve had some knee and foot issues. Then I went to Palm Springs for my brother’s wedding (which was wonderful and amazing) and only got one run in.

Eugene represent.

I started my run at 7:30 am and it was already 85 degrees. Needless to say, I went 2 miles and decided it was way too hot so I called it a day. Then found a great way to cool off.

In case you’ve never stuck you head in a freezer for a prolonged period of time, FYI, they do not smell very good. My foot felt ok after the run but I took no chances and wore the ugly shoe most of the weekend.

Except that the ugly shoe was on the other foot.

I got my first Portland run in with my favorite running buddy, Kelley, in last night.

Kelley actually is superwoman.

It was a lovely loop around the waterfront full of chatting and catching up/therapy session on life post Eugene. It’s funny how I can run 13.1 miles a few weeks ago but 3 miles last night, so hard. Damn you fitness and your ability to disappear so quickly.

Looking ahead to Portland, our first TnT long run is this Saturday. It’s nice 3 miles jaunt in Beaverton and I couldn’t be more excited. GO TEAM!

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!

2 Days To E Day!

I am officially dubbing Sunday “E Day”! I know, I’m soooooooo clever.

Hey, I’ve been on a lot of drugs this week, give me a break.

Speaking of drugs, welcome to day five (and the final day!) of Prednisone. Today has been full of depressed ‘roid rage. I grumpily popped up out of bed at 6:30am, 30 minutes before my alarm. I then spent some quality time poking around the digestive system of the cadaver at school before I had breakfast, which is totally how I should start every day (hello, sarcastic voice). Want to know how the digestive system works? Here’s how is all goes down.

Oh, that’s not correct? Damn. I may need to study more.

Breakfast afterwards was surprisingly delicious thanks to weird ability to block out cadaver images out of my head when I’m eating. The rest of the day has been pretty meh, the steroids sometimes make me feel very disconnected from the world, but I’ve also been reminded how awesome my friends are (love you A and Gina! You girls make my life complete). Speaking of Gina, she’s magically going to show up in my bed at some point to night and that makes me happy (get you head out of the gutter).

But anyway, back to Eugene. Tomorrow we have our last group run, just a two mile shake out run in Portland and then it’s off to Eugene! I’m getting really excited about picking my bib up, wandering the expo, getting to see some old friends, and going to the TnT Inspiration Dinner. Now I just need to figure out what to pack. Packing while on steroids is hard, I feel like punching my dresser. It’s going to be a long night.