Tag Archives: Fitness

Luckython 10k – Mud, Medals, and Fully Loaded Potatoes

My first 10k is in the books! I may have a few half marathons under my belt but I’ve never done a proper 10k until this drizzly, breezy Oregon morning. This is the first race hubby and I have done together in years!



Luckython, organized by Uberthons, was a 5/10/15k held at the Reserve Golf Course. St. Patrick’s themed, of course. We ran along the golf cart paths, which were riddled with mud puddles. Mile 1 was slow going, since they started all three distances at the same time, but miles 2-6 felt decent. I managed to PR my 5k and 10k times! 



I stuck to my goal of not walking (except through aide stations…I was already soaked, I didn’t need to waste my opportunities hydration so I preferred actually drinking the cups of water to tossing them in the general direction of my mouth). I have never EVER run 6 miles without taking walking breaks before. Never. And I kept all my miles under 12 minutes! I’m steadily getting faster. Today was a personal victory for me (note smiling face in the photo below).



After the race, there was a baked potato bar. I didn’t complain. 



On a final note, the boyband mix on Rock My Run has proved to be a complete game changer. If you were a teen in the 2000s, you will NOT be disappointed. It has really upped the ante my last few runs, because something about Aaron Carter just keeps me motivated (and BSB, and Hanson, and BBMak). 

Your turn: What are you up to this weekend?

Favorite boy band throwback song?

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Weekend Recap: A Run, Some Sun, and Some Fun

I’m getting really tense watching the Bachelor finale, so I figured I would blog a little bit to release some tension. If Chris doesn’t pick Whitney, I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’LL DO. That’s clearly not true, my life will go on, but for some reason I’m super into this season. It’s gotta be my Iowa pride. 

It continues to be gorgeous in Oregon, and now we are all on pins and needles waiting for the inevitable rain to start pouring down. Our Runner Chick training run this weekend was 5 miles, which my legs were just not feeling, but hopefully the next few days of workouts will get them loosened up because hubby and I are signed up for a St. Patty’s 10k on Saturday morning. 

After our group run, my running buddy and I hit up Tom’s Pancake House for some much needed refueling. I’ve never been a huge pancake fan, but these bad boys are da bomb. I can eat them on their own, no syrup, no butter, just pure delicious fluffy semi-sweet pancakes. And they are even better when you pair them with some country sausage and two eggs fried over medium. 





Saturday night we hit up our first Timbers game…THE first Timbers game of the season. Beforehand we stopped at Laughing Planet, a local chain that serves healthy bowls and wraps with local ingredients and lots of veggies, and split some jambalaya. 



Then a whole plate of Tillamook cheese foods at the stadium. 



The match ended in a tie (lame) but it was fun, as always!



There’s still an hour left before After the Final Rose and I’m already binge-eating Trader Joes Brown Sugar Frosted Shredded Wheat (no milk, just tossing them back plain). 

Your turn: Are you dealing with Snowmageddon, or are you living it up in the sun?

What cereal do you find yourself snacking on?

Pancakes or waffles? Normally I’m #teamwaffle but Tom’s pancakes make me question all my life choices. 

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Tuesday Night Speedwork

Another Tuesday, another two mile track workout. It’s official: I NO LONGER HATE RUNNING! 

I don’t honestly have much to say except that I ran an 11:06 mile which is something that, last summer, didn’t seem achievable for me. I worked forever trying to break 12 minutes. Now I’m on the cusp of breaking 11. I’m hoping that continuing this speedwork in slightly longer stretches as I prep for my next half will help me meet my next big goal, which is breaking 3 hours on the big 13.1. 



You can see my interval laps on the graph. Love all that green!

Hubby and I are officially signed up for a 10k on the 14th so my five miler on Saturday will be a good indication of how that will go. 

Dang, maybe if I would have stuck to my training plan last time, I would have felt this good in September. 

Cheers to running!

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A Week of Runs, Beer, and Floral Happiness

I have a confession: I’m really starting to not hate running. Sometimes, I may even enjoy it. I’ve been loving my running group, which transitioned from Saturdays to Saturdays and Tuesdays. We took the track Tuesday night to do two miles of laps alternating between a light jog and fast jog, along with some stretching and triceps dips. The fact that we took to the track after someone who placed 5th in the Olympics wasn’t intimidating at ALL (we overheard a conversation which led to me internet stalking Olympic athletes in the area). I left feeling great! It’s nice to have a midweek meetup to keep me accountable. 

Then Thursday hit, and I had a nagging sore throat all day that I tried to ignore. We went to a new pub in the area for date night and tried some of their beers…I loved the golden!



I also had Scotch eggs for the first time. I always thought I would hate them, because I don’t like hard egg whites, but this was like a delicious bite sized breakfast! For those who don’t know, Scotch eggs are a soft boiled egg wrapped in sausage. This sausage really had lots of great savory flavor. 



Also the tables in the bar each had their own flat screen with a remote so you could watch whatever you wanted. I tried to convince hubby that he wanted to watch My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding but we settled on basketball. 

Friday I woke up congested and in the throes of a cold. But I sucked it up and took some DayQuil because I was looking forward to a 5k Saturday and I wasn’t about to miss out on my first race bling of the year. 

After an early night Friday, I woke up Saturday, still sick, but I went to the race anyway and am so glad I did. I PR-ed my 5k time! I was so excited, especially since I was sick. Imagine the gains I’ll see when I can breath again! My goal for the race was to keep my miles under 12 minutes, and I succeeded, so I was content. This serious hardware was just icing on the cake. 



After cleaning up, we went and dropped some serious money buying dahlias at the yard and garden show. Also, can someone build me this?



Panda Express made a great recovery meal Saturday afternoon. 



Though I’m not ready to start the workweek again, I AM ready to tackle this week’s runs and start building some distance. I’ve got my walk breaks down to a minimum, something I hope to stick to as my training mileage builds. 

You’re turn:

What did you guys do this weekend?

What’s your favorite flower?

Scotch eggs-gross or delicious?

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Random Rainy 5k

Sometimes your friends invite you to a random, free, early morning 5k fun run and you whine about it for hours and stay up late the night before and then just HAPPEN to wake up on time to go. So you go, hang out with some great people, and get a good run in that makes you feel great about your running goals for the year, because your mile splits were decent considering this was your second run since September.

This morning was one of those times.

The Roadrunner in NW Portland was celebrating their one year store-iversary this morning, and held a free 5k group run with goodies and giveaways and all that jazz. When I wrenched myself out of bed and out the door in time to pick up my friend Angie, there was a nice, cold, steady drizzle happening. I was wearing fleece, because I’m a total n00b when it comes to cold/wet weather running. But I sucked it up and used the thought of a scalding hot shower to motivate me. Running through NW when it was early and quiet was delightful even with the rain; this is one of my favorite neighborhoods and we ran some back streets so I found some new bars and coffee shops.

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We got back to Roadrunner, drenched but feeling good. Some friendly chaps saw us taking selfies and offered to take a picture for us “because we HAD to get one under the Roadrunner sign.” Then we went inside for free mimosas and beer and bagels and fruit and infused water and waffles shaped like Nikes with the signature swoosh, because Oregon = Nike. We refrained from the waffles because we had run past Stepping Stone Cafe earlier and decided we earned us a REAL breakfast.

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This is said real breakfast. And DAMN it was good. Angie had huevos rancheros, I had a veggie scramble, and we split a “mancake,” which was probably the best pancake I ever had. I had never been to Stepping Stone but I will for sure be returning soon because I wanted to devour their entire breakfast menu. Plus their motto was “You eat here because we let you,” and I like my breakfast to come with a little side of attitude. The cafe itself was tiny and cozy and I LOVED it because it wasn’t pretentious, like some breakfast places can be around here. It was just delicious food and good coffee on a rainy little corner of NW Portland. I’m excited to eat my leftovers tomorrow morning.

My scalding hot shower was worth the wait, by the way. Plus Husband had already showered so I got to hoard the hot water. Now I’m lounging in my bathrobe, cheering on my Seahawks (it’s a big week for northwest sports, with the college national championship game) and waiting impatiently for the beef curry I made to finish cooking low and slow in the oven. Perfect Saturday? Pretty close anyways. I’m still riding high on endorphins.

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Saturday Morning on the Trail

My friend Angie and I took the pups on a six-miler on the Banks-Vernonia Trail last Saturday morning. The Banks-Vernonia is part of the “rails to trails” initiative – it’s an old railroad track that runs 21 miles between two country towns off the highway to the Oregon coast. The fact that it was an old logging rail track means that it’s pretty straight, and pretty flat, and we were a-ok with that.

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We started at the first trailhead in Banks, and walked three miles in and turned around. Next time, I want to start farther in because you get to walk across old train trestles that have been converted to pedestrian bridges and for some reason I’ve ALWAYS wanted to walk across one.

We considered running a little, but my Ramsay has short little leggies and we could tell he was starting to get tired. So we were content to just walk and talk. For the most part, it was peaceful, though we had to hug the shoulder because apparently this is a super popular bike route as well. It would be fun to ride it all the way to the end – you can even rent bikes at the trailhead!

When we got our mileage in, we drove up the street to the Banks Trailhead Cafe for coffee and breakfast burritos.

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Though the lone employee who also happened to be the owner was clearly overwhelmed with a rush of customers, the coffee was much needed and the breakfast burrito was GOOD, especially because we added fresh roasted potatoes that she finished off for us. We topped off brunch with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Because yum.

I definitely recommend checking out the Banks-Vernonia Trail if you are local. It’s an easy walk/run/bike and you can go as far as you want! There’s a few little towns sprinkled along the trail, and a slightly bigger little town at the end of the 21 miles in which you can get food and beer and other delights.

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Sunday morning, Shayne and I had an early breakfast at one of our favorite close-by places. His birthday was on Monday, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to wake up earlier and make him pancakes. Not on a Monday. So he had blue corn pancakes and I had a tasty omelette and caffeine was had by all. Then we made our once-every-two-years trip to the outlet mall for clothes. JAM-PACKED WEEKEND OF FUN! I’m hoping for a repeat this weekend…only two more days!

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Bridge of the Goddesses – Race Recap

I’m just now getting around to posting this…sad but true. The race was last week, my training really tanked the last few weeks of the half training calendar I was using, and I was fighting the tail end of a cold, but I did it anyways, and finished. And then promptly picked my next race because I didn’t meet my “under 3” goal.

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The race itself was BEAUTIFUL, mostly on a paved path in the Columbia Gorge, winding in and out of the woods, up and down some stairs, up and down some MASSIVE hills. Like a LOT of effing hills, long, drawn out ones. The other two women I was with and I decided to walk the uphill portions and run the flat and downhill portions, which worked well for us.

My big problem was that horrible nemesis, post-nasal drip. There were some sections where I felt like my options were barf or walk, and I opted for walking so at least I was moving towards the finish line. Though I wasn’t thrilled with my overall time, I had fun AND I think I have the running big now. I don’t hate it like I used to.

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After the race was over, the girls and I drove east to Hood River to grab some lunch and celebratory beers. Oh my word, fish and chips and Mac & Jack’s never tasted so good.

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I did take away a few lessons learned from this race. The first is simple enough – learn how to use a neti pot. The second? Distance training runs make a BIG difference. This should have been obvious, but my first nine miles were on pace with what I was hoping for, and then miles 10-13 were considerably slower. The longest training run I did? Nine miles. Something to focus on for my next half (December). Also, I need to figure out how to fuel myself mid-race. I had a big bowl of oatmeal in the morning but I really could have used a supplement about halfway through and I kept missing the people at the aid stations that handed out gummy bears (fuel of champs).

I’m ready to get out and start running again. Fall weather is finally on the horizon, now that it’s almost October, and it’s the perfect time for outdoor adventures!

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Training for a Half – One Month Down

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I officially finished the first month of my 12 week half-marathon training, and I feel pretty great about how things are going so far. You can see from the calendar photo that I shifted around some rest days and modified things a little bit depending on how I was feeling (or how hot it was…it was really hot). But I ran 46 miles during the month of July, something I could never say before this.

I’m still doing a run/walk mix, which will most likely continue through race day, but I’m getting better at limiting walking breaks and pushing myself through running spurts. The last few couple of runs have been on the treadmill at the gym, so I experiment a little more with speed, which has helped me find a good pace. I keep surprising myself with how well I’m keeping my 12-13-ish minute/mile pace on my longer distance runs, and I hope that continues.

Now I’m dragging hubby to the gym so I can do my short three miles for the day. I slept in and now it’s too hot to run outside (I’m an Oregonian, what can I say?!).

Here’s to kicking off month two of training!

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The Three Rs: Random Risotto and Running

It is freakishly hot here in Oregon, which for us means anything over 85. The heat is swell during the day when I’m in the ice cube of an office, but when I get home to my hot, AC-less house, the heat makes me exhausted. I was finally able to get my rear out of bed at 5 this morning and beat the heat to get a few miles in. The day was already warming up. And then I PR-ed my mile time. For this training go around anyways. I feel like I walked a lot, but managed to shave 20 seconds off my pace. I’m still not where I want to be, but heck, I’ll take this little victory and use it for motivation. Since it’s been so hot, we’ve been doing minimal indoor cooking. No oven use, a little range, lots of grill. When I saw this recipe on Pioneer Woman’s blog the other day, it seemed great and summery and doable with what I had on hand, so I improvised my own version. I hadn’t been grocery shopping yet, so my risotto was onion-less and cream-less.

20140717-203327-74007883.jpg We have a ton of basil in our garden (pesto for dayyyyz), so I used a heavy hand with that. I seasoned my shrimp lightly with Greek seasoning, knowing it would go well with the lemon to be added later on.

20140717-203526-74126741.jpg I think I have a risotto obsession. No joke. I love loving arborio. I tended it carefully, first toasting it with butter, then adding half a cup of the low-cal white wine my husband found at Grocery Outlet, then adding a cup at a time of chicken stock until it was nice and creamy. Salt throughout.

20140717-203927-74367109.jpg I added the chopped up shrimp and about a cup or so of basil at the end, as well as a generous helping of pre-grated parm, which seems to multiply in our fridge. Garnish with a healthy squeeze of lemon. This was SO tasty. I love basil, and it really made this dish. I’m not kidding when I say that I’m seriously contemplating stashing basil in my car, not only because I’ve heard that it’s a good way to dry herbs, but because I want my entire Prius to smell like a basil plant. I love that I’m comfortable experimenting with risotto now, and Ree’s recipe provided perfect inspiration. Plus I drool when I so much as look at her recipes.

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One of *THOSE* days…

This morning, I did not go running. I woke up with The Cramps of Death and laid in bed on the couch, where we’ve been sleeping because our bedroom is ungodly hot, for a few extra minutes. “I’ll go tonight,” I told myself.

So here I am, with a glass of red wine, in my comfies, not running. It’s still hot, and I still have The Cramps of Death, and frankly, I would rather scavenge my pantry for chocolate chips than go put in my four miles today.

And that’s ok. It is. It may not feel ok to me right now, but I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in the last week. If my body wants to rest mid-week, I’m going to let it. Nike+ Running informed me yesterday that I’ve run 19 miles since I started my training last Tuesday, and that’s an accomplishment for me! I’m a lifelong running hater. So I’m choosing to celebrate my personal victory rather than lament about how lame I feel right now.

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This may not be a fast pace to you, but for me, this was thrilling. It was my best average mile time all week, even though it certainly didn’t feel like it when I was out there. Endurance has always been my biggest struggle when it comes to exercise, so I’m really focused on finding a sustainable pace to get me through this race. I want to minimize my speed variations and maximize my consistency.

In your training, how do you balance working on distance endurance and working on increasing speed? Does one come naturally from the other? Let me know what you think!

Back to my wine…cheers to tomorrow being Thursday (and rec softball playoffs)!

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