Monday, May 27, 2013

Race report: Evergreen Soaring Eagle Run

Saturday I ran the Evergreen Soaring Eagle trail 10mi and loved it!  I placed 1st woman and 9th overall out of roughly 200 people, and set a new course record which was pretty fun.  Matt and the boys came to the starting line which made the race a thousand times better. 
It was "Goldie Locks weather day" with weather not too hot, and not too cold.  Weather aside, the terrain was pretty gnarly - around every turn were giant roots, logs to jump over, or mud pits to jump or wade through.  The technical trails made it that much more fun, though. 

I've been on a bad spree of being unprepared before races and this race was no different - at the starting line I put my headphones on and went to push play to rock my latest iPod mix ... only to find out that my iPod was dead.  Running this one with no sound was great, though, and I enjoyed it more than most races - which is shocking because I enjoy most races.  Instead of listening to the Avett Brothers mixed with Pearl Jam, I got birds singing, other runners heavy breathing, trees rustling, and bush noises that I hope weren't animals ready to sneak up.

This run I tried my Big Sur Marathon tactic again of positive mental reinforcement while running.  The mantra that's seeming to work is: "I feel good.  I'm doing good."  At one point I looked back and saw another woman (although I think she was doing the 5mi) and had a brief moment of panic knowing that I'm not good at kicking it into higher gear when people are passing me. Before drifting too far into self doubt, I introduced a new mantra: "My race.  My body.  I control this."  Seemed to work! 

Friday, May 24, 2013

To make: beet muffins

The other night the boys and I made some beet, apple, carrot ginger juice.  Typically I just compost all the ground up pulps, but this time I felt like making use of it.  Introducing beet, apple, carrot ginger muffins!  These took about 20-min to make (after all the juicing) and are so yum.

Here are the simple instructions:
  • 1.5-2C beet, apple, carrot, ginger pulp
  • 1C gluten free flour (or normal flour)
  • 1C gluten free cornmeal (or normal cornmeal)
  • 1/4C olive oil
  • 1/4C apple sauce
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
Mix it all together, spread on a cookie sheet or in a muffin tin, and bake!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Weekend roundup: kid zone!

This is a couple days late ... last weekend we had a great kid-zone couple days.  Saturday I rose early to race, then beelined to the boys' soccer practice.  The are hilarious playing - they run around the field in near giggle-fits the entire time. 

Saturday afternoon we made our way to our friends' for their daughter's 2nd birthday.  The party was a great mix of babies, toddlers, "big kids," and "young gentlemen."  Cole and Wilson kept hanging with the older kids playing it cool.  They got especially caught up playing Star Wars legos and trying to ID each piece. 

Sunday the boys' friend Ella came over.  Matt got the kids cooking pancakes together which was a great way to keep them in one place for 10min.

Monday, May 20, 2013


I have been doing the same arm workout for over 15 years now - 3 sets of 15 curls, 3 sets of 15 presses, 3 sets of 15 extensions, and 3 sets of 15 lat pull downs.  I'm now bored of the workout ... the problem is I got so bored of it, I stopped doing arms.  I do not want arms that wave after me, though, so this weekend I invested in a kettlebell which I am now in love with. 

When I first got the Kettlebell I didn't fully know what to do with it.  I did a couple swinging movements and tried to mimic the pics on the box (dangerous).  Here's a great video that gives a good simple workout:

Good and simple but tiring!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Race Report: Seattl's Best 15K

Yesterday I ran the Seattle's Best 15K for the third year in a row.  The first year I ran I placed 2nd, last year I placed 1st, and this year I placed 5th.  I can't be too bummed, though - I ran just 20sec slower than I did last year.  The field was good! 

The race started at 7:30am and the field wasn't huge (I'd guess less than 500 people).  This year the race organizers introduced a new distance - the 10K - to be run in addition to the 15K.  The 15K had an extra out and back tacked on but the rest of the course was the same - around lake Union.  For the 10K, the organizers also had a costume contest which made the starting line entertaining (the man who started next to me was wearing hot pink women's running shorts with a neon green tank top).  When the race started I immediately went out too fast clocking a sub 6:30 for my first mile.  After that I fell off into the 7s and wound up averaging a sub 7 for the total 15K.  From going out too fast I was wrecked from mile 3 to mile 6 - then somehow I got a second wind.  Towards miles 7, 8, and 9 I was ready to be done - I knew if I finished up fast enough I'd be in time to see the boys' soccer game start and I was motivated to kick it into higher gear for the remaining distance.

All in, it was a fun race as usual.  I like either a bigger field or trails, I think, though - something about the masses or the trees motivates me a bit more.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekend roundup: kid time!

What a great and exhausting weekend.  Matt was out of town so the boys and I "hung."  Saturday we rose early and went for a walk around the neighborhood.  Then we were off to soccer and then play time at Ella's (the tree in her back yard feel down which turned into the best play structure ever). 

Saturday afternoon after a skipped nap hour, we packed up again and made our way to Little Gym for Jonny's birthday party (a buddy from school - it was the first event I've been to where I didn't know any of the adults, instead, I just knew all the kids).  At the party the kids went nuts on gym equipment and then played with their hipster glasses and fake mustache's they got as party prizes (at least I think hipster was the theme ... that or Groucho Marx).

Sunday we rose super early and headed out to run errands.  After hitting two markets and still managing to forget most of the things on my list, we went to Discovery Park for a "hike."  About 400 yards in we found a playground and zip line, so the hike was done, but we still had a blast.

Sunday afternoon was all about playing in the yard and gardening with our neighbors.  Just as the sun was setting we loaded up one more time to go pick Matt up downtown.  Driving down, we were lucky to enjoy an amazing sunset and view.  Loving Seattle in the Spring!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Race Report: Big Sur Marathon

Last weekend I ran the Big Sur Marathon and it was AMAZING.  This was hands down my favorite race (of any distance) ever.  It helps that I PR'd (which is nuts for Big Sur) with a marathon time of 3:19:54. 

The morning of the race at 5am (when we started getting ready at the Big Sur starting line) the coordinators said the weather was "Goldie Locks weather" - not too hot, and not too cold.  They were right, it was perfect.  Climbing up one of the hills, though, I got hit with a gust of freezing wind but at the time it felt great.  The morning and the prep were a little rough, but fun at the same time.  I had to get up at 3:30am to get on a 4am bus for a 1-hour ride from Carmel (where my mom and I were staying) to Big Sur (the race start).  On the bus I sat next to a woman from San Jose and we chatted about the course and running the entire time - there's always something to talk about with a fellow runner.  At the starting line area the thousands of us running had to wait for about an hour for the proper start.  The coordinators spoke about the tragedy in Boston from the week before, and many runners at Big Sur had run Boston as well.  It was an interesting mix of sorrow and paying tribute to the runners and fans there.  Then it was time ...

First - the course: the course was breathtaking running along highway 1 with no cars.  Prior to the race I was nervous because part of running a long race is having people cheering, it keeps the motivation up.  My mom came with me to Big Sur but she wasn't able to get on the course because the entire stretch of highway was closed off.  Turns out there was nothing to be scared of - the ocean was a great running partner.  Along the course there were some incredible volunteers every 2 miles or so.  Also, there were people playing music - my favorites were a group of drummers right before a big hill climb, and a man playing a grand piano next to the Big Sur bridge over the crashing waves.  The cliffs and beaches were pretty astounding, too.  I am not a religious
person but I seriously felt like God was on the course - or something incredible - I was in awe of nature's beauty here. 

The course really was hilly throughout, here's an elevation glance from my watch:

Second - my boogie man: when I run I tend to go out too fast, then have an internal voice pipe in at around mile 10 or 13 saying "it's OK to slow down, no-one will ever know."  Marathons are LONG and give plenty of time for head games.  The night before Big Sur I read an article about positive reinforcement while running.  At the starting line I promised myself to be positive - no excuses.  I went out at a 7:25 pace; instead of saying "too fast!" I said "it's OK - this is good, I can do this."  Throughout the race I kept an internal mantra going "I feel good, I'm doing good," and it helped!  There were a couple times when the little voice would pipe in "you're going to get tired" and I'd put my positive voice on loud internally yelling "I FEEL GOOD, I'M DOING GOOD."  Do I sound crazy with all the internal voices?  :) 

Third - the gear: I felt more prepared with the best setup for this race.  I ran in my Oiselle pink tank, my favorite Newton shoes (trail shoes - at the end of the race a shoe store owner was shocked I had run so fast in trail kicks), Lululemon capris, a Saucony running jacket, and my new Garmin Forerunner 10 watch (which I am now in love with). 
Big Sur marathon essentials

I have to say, finishing the race and seeing my time I felt pretty darn good.  I blew past my marathon PR by 15min.  I got to see my mom right at the finish which was awesome (and she looked like a complete paparazzi).  After getting my medal (or clay creation) and some water, I made my way to the massage tent where I could have just fallen asleep.

Building up to Big Sur, I promised myself this was my last marathon ever.  Now I want to do it again next year ...