Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day weekend

Wow, what a truly lovely Memorial Day weekend. I would have been happy with one great day, but to get three great days? Fantastic!

Saturday morning I fit in a run before heading out for a few hours of shopping with a friend. I needed a few things from IKEA and my friend was more than happy to come along for the trip. Thankfully IKEA wasn't as insanely busy as I thought it would be on a Saturday. Maybe everyone was at home enjoying the sunshine? It was in the 70's in Seattle on Saturday!

Recently I decided the relatively low-cost and easy solution to our issue of not having enough (working) dressers in the house was to buy two Expedit 4x2 shelving units from IKEA and then 16 itso bins from Target to fit in them. I ended up ordering the bins from Target.com.

I got two white ones. 


Not my first choice of bin color, but it will work just fine. 
Even though I can be quite handy with IKEA stuff, I decided to leave it to our handyman to put the shelves together for us. He has lots of tricks to help keep things from falling apart.

After IKEA it was lunch at Panera then a quick stop at Target before heading home. When I got home the girls were ready to play in their kiddie pools and on the slip-n-slide. So much fun! I relaxed on the hammock and read my newest issue of Sunset magazine while keeping an eye on the girlies. Saturday night Matt grilled some chicken that I had been marinating overnight in homemade greek dressing. YUM. I served it with grilled veggies, buttered noodles and a huge helping of greek salad. I am still on a quest to make the perfect greek dressing, but this one was mighty tasty!

Sunday morning was my long run for the weekend. I put in 10.3 of a scheduled 11 since the route my friends and I picked just happened to be a little short. Well, I ran four miles on my own and then met my BRFs for the last 6.3. We ran on a lot of the same course as the Seattle's Best 15K from last weekend, but we ran it backwards. I hadn't run that far since the Heroes Half and I have to say, I was not happy with how sore and tired I was the rest of the day. My two running besties talked with me about training for my marathon-- they both want to do as much of the training (well, mostly the weekend long runs) with me as they can! We tried to wrap our heads around what sort of route a 20 mile run would have to take, especially since we live on a peninsula in a very hilly city! Hills on my long training runs? No thanks! I am blessed beyond imagination that I have these two amazing and supportive runners in my life.

I spent Sunday afternoon at home with Iris and a friend while Matt took Eloise down to the Seattle Center for the Folklife festival. Despite being a "music nerd" Matt hasn't ever (at least, as long as I've known him!) gone to Folklife. Apparently the biggest hit was Eloise going on a zipline in the kids' zone, alone, that was something like 100 feet up in the air. Some time during the afternoon Matt texted me to ask if Eloise weighed more than 45 pounds. I answered that I wasn't sure, but that she was very close to that mark. Here I thought he was asking to see if she was too heavy to go on some kiddie ride. Nope, he needed to know if she was big enough to go on the zipline! Good thing he didn't tell me that up front, I probably would have been the party pooper to say "NO WAY!" but I am glad I didn't. She had a blast, was totally safe, and was very proud of herself. 

Today, Monday, was about chores, playing, a little resting, and more grilling out. Kind of a perfect combo! No running for me, it was a rest day from running. In the morning the girls and I met friends at a neighborhood park, then Iris went off to a play date, and later we had a neighbor girl come over to play. For dinner we grilled marinated portabella mushrooms and hot dogs and veggies and served it all up with salad, baked beans, corn on the cob and mixed berries. Then Matt got a second (third? fourth?) wind on some yard work projects and did a few things that were sorely needing to be done in some jungle-like corners of our yard. 

I feel like I can honestly say these past three days were the perfect mix of house and yard work/playing/eating/sleeping/exercise/family time. 

Now off to a four day school week. Tuesday is our only full day of being at home for school as Wednesday we get to go see the King Tut exhibit, Thursday we have an appointment downtown that takes half the day and Friday Iris's babysitter comes in the morning before we spend the afternoon volunteering at Eloise's school! This is our last official week of doing lessons. Next Iris will wrap up her work and take her last test and then the following week we have to send our curriculum back. Not my choice, I don't want to stop using the curriculum yet since Eloise isn't even done with school until the 22nd, but the online school Iris is doing ends June 6th and they require the curriculum to be returned right away. 

Whew! Lots going on around here besides running, though it would be hard to know that from reading my blog! I guess my running is so easy to summarize and report on that everything else falls off the blogging radar. 


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Running wild: weekly wrap-up

This was a week of, um, consistency! Sheesh.

Total miles: 26.3

Monday: 4 miles
I took last Sunday off, when I usually run, so that meant I needed to do a run on Monday morning. I got up early and drove to the "main drag" of my big neighborhood and parked the car. I ran two miles north and then the two miles back south again to the car. The weather was actually lovely despite raining pretty good, but it was still warm.

Tuesday: 4 miles
Tuesday is intervals class. We had a nice workout, running 1x1600 m (1600 meters is a mile), 1x1200, 1x800 and 1x400 with a 400 meter warm-up and cool-down.

Wednesday: Yoga
Finally I found time to go back to my favorite yoga class! Ahhhhh. Yoga is always so humbling because it can be HARD!

Thursday: 4 miles and bootcamp
The bootcamp class is held at a park exactly two miles from my house, so I strapped on my water belt and ran there and back. It was a tough workout, but I realize I feel that way pretty much every week. I have decided that from now on I will take it easy on the sprinting and shuttle runs, pride be damned! They just wreck too much havoc on my legs.

Friday: rest

Saturday: 4 miles
I tried my first official tempo run! My goal was to warm-up for 1/2 of a mile then run 9:00 miles for three miles then cool-down for 1/2 mile. Well, my Garmin wasn't showing my me pace in real time, it was reading slow, so I kept speeding up and then all of a sudden it would say I was running an 8:15 pace or something. At the end I had an average 8:50 time, which included the one mile of going closer to a 10:00-10:30 mile. Grrr. It was quite hard to hit my paces, which is surprising since I can run that in a race without feeling like I am dying. Hello power of adrenaline!

Sunday: 10.3 miles (yay for breaking the 4 mile cycle!)
I did four miles on my own before meeting my running besties for 6.3 around Lake Union. It was the same course we ran for the Seattle's Best 15K without a little out and back on a path. We saw some adult geese leading their goslings across a very busy street to get back to Lake Union (I wonder where they were coming from?) and that was pretty cute! I love these long runs because they are about nothing but distance. We can run comfortably enough to actually chat!

Friday, May 25, 2012

#4882

On Tuesday night I did something that kind of scared the pants of me: I registered for the Portland Marathon. I had been mulling over the idea, in general, for a while, but it wasn't until I ran my half marathon, and loved every second of it, that I realized a full marathon might be in my future sooner rather than later.



The Portland Marathon does something I haven't run across before in my very limited racing career, which is give out bib numbers after registering. My official bib number is #4882! I like the number. I don't know why exactly, but it sits well with me. Even numbers, who knows. It's just good!

One day I casually threw out the idea to my BRF, what if we ran a full together? We unfortunately realized that a vacation I have planned for August and a half marathon that she was committed to in early October was going to make running a marathon together this fall basically impossible. I asked her what she thought about me running one now and maybe next Summer/Fall we could train for one together (ha, listen to me!). She said that sounded good . . . and then did one of the coolest things ever which was sign up to run as much of my long runs with me as she could. When talking to our other running friend he also said he wanted to do the long runs and so, lo and behold, I have people to train with! That was my biggest fear, that I would be out there putting in all of these miles totally alone. Actually running the marathon seems like a cake-walk compared to the miles upon miles upon miles I will be running in training.

I asked my running coach what she thought about me training for a marathon and she said go for it! The last piece of the puzzle was making sure my husband was okay with me signing up for this major time suck commitment . . . and he was! All systems go!

I decided to follow Hal Higdon's Marathon Novice 1 training program, with a few tweaks. I am only doing the last 14 weeks of the plan but I am going to take 16 weeks to do it. Two weeks in the middle will be lighter weeks as I travel. I also will continue to do one day of intervals work, so that will take the place of my shortest Tuesday runs. I will officially be in marathon training as of June 11th!

The race itself is on October 7th and I have already booked a nice hotel room for Friday and Saturday night so my family can really enjoy the whole weekend in Portland. That weekend is going to be so much fun!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Running wild: weekly wrap-up

Another decent week of running! It was fun to do another race this week. I think three days of running plus a fourth day for a race really works for me, too bad racing takes so much out of me! I spent most of my runs this week contemplating whether or not I am ready to train for a fall marathon.

Total miles: 20

Monday: rest day
I have generally taken to having a rest day on Monday, so there you go!

Tuesday: 4 miles at intervals class
Our instructor was out of town this week so some of us in the class got together to run anyways. We tackled a super, super steep hill that was .6 miles long (so, down and back up) and then I ran the rest of the miles on the track just trying to keep the pace up.

Wednesday: 4.7 miles
I was attempting to do a 5 mile early morning run but my stomach was not at all happy with me so I had to walk a lot of the last two miles. Cut the run short.

Thursday: 2 miles and bootcamp
The absolutely gorgeous sunny and warm day of course turned cool and rainy before outdoor bootcamp started! I ran the two miles to class and did the workout. We had to do a bunch of sprints which always kills my legs. The plan was to run the two miles back home, but I hitched a ride with a friend. I felt too sore and cold/wet to run.

Friday: rest day

Saturday: 9.3 miles
I ran the Seattle's Best 15K! Recap HERE.

Sunday: rest day
Too sore and tired to run so I swapped the rest day for Monday.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sharing instagram pictures

I have seen some blogs do a day where they share a week's worth of instagram photos and I always thought they were a great idea. It still seems incredibly daunting to have to email a link to the photo to myself from my phone then open the link from my email on my laptop and then save it to eventually post it here . . . but I will give it a try in an effort to share more photos here!

I think most people do an instragram Friday, but you, my friends, get in here on Monday!


Eloise looking on as Iris gets her teeth cleaned.


Last week Iris and I chaperoned Eloise's kindergarten class when they visited the Seattle Mounted Police Department's horse stables! It was so much fun. The horses were quite majestic and very friendly!


Today Iris and I chaperoned another field trip for Eloise's class. We checked out low tide on the Puget Sound. In the rain. We went to a beach I have never explored before and there were so many amazing creatures to see! Below is the first purple sea star I saw, but after a while, I stopped counting how many of them there were. Above is Eloise playing with her favorite part of the beach . . . the wet sand. Crazy kid!



On Saturday the girls were having a blast playing together for pretty much the whole day. Or so I was told. I was gone most of the morning then sick in bed most of the afternoon.


On Sunday I finally hung a bulletin board near my desk to display some of my running stuff. All of my bibs are in a stack on the top with my *favorite* one displayed below. And then my medals to the right and my training schedule to the left. Eloise added a little card for me, too.


This the most beautiful iris growing in my iris bed right now. I would say about 90% of my irises are yellow, a few are royal purple and white, then there is this beauty! Seeing as how I named my first born Iris, well, you can imagine how I feel about these flowers. That said, the bed is being totally over-run with weeds and I am so overwhelmed by them I walk by with my blinders on. If I don't get to the weeds soon I can leave them for the lawn service I recently hired to tackle them! 

I don't actually use instagram for any reason other than to take and share pictures on facebook, but if you want to follow me, I am sybilrra. My apologies in advance if I don't follow you back (I am not following anyone!)




Sunday, May 20, 2012

Seattle's Best 15K recap

Bright and early Saturday morning I got up to run another race. I signed up for the Seattle's Best 15K a loooong time ago knowing I could use it as a "training race" for the Seattle Rock-n-Roll half marathon. Luckily in the recent weeks I was able to talk my running besties in to signing up and running, too!

I picked up my friend B at 5:45 (also known as YAWN o'clock) and we headed up north to Seattle's Gasworks park. Parking was easy, we landed a spot right in the parking lot for Gasworks and packet pick-up was a breeze. We found our other friend, M, right away and hung out doing runnery things like stretching and running slow laps before the race started. As we were waiting around we ran in to a friend from our running class and it was nice to see another familiar face! I also made a last-minute decision to leave my ipod out of my fuel belt as the pocket was overflowing trying to hold a gel, my giant new car key and my ipod.

It was a small crowd, I think almost 400 people total. We lined up according to our anticipated pace, the gun sounded and we were off! I hoped to run the whole race with B, but she wasn't having any of me pushing her and told me to go on ahead, which I did just after the first mile. M had taken off from the beginning so I set my sights on catching up to him. We did a couple of 180* turns pretty early in the race and I caught up to M as well as watched my friend from class round a turn quite a ways in front of me. She told us the pace she planned to run so I didn't think I had a prayer of catching her, but in the back of my ever-competitive mind, I wanted to try!



I passed M at about the two mile mark and kept a fairly steady pace of about 8:50 min/mile (which, indeed, ended up being my overall pace for the run!). The course wound south along the bottom of Lake Union and then back north around the east side of the lake. I was feeling good but my stomach was on the verge of revolting a lot of the way. It also surprised me how easy it was to run without my ipod. I hoped I wouldn't need it if I was going to running along side my besties, but we didn't end up running together-- and I never really missed my ipod.

At around mile 6.5 I heard M's huffing and puffing coming up behind me, and then he passed me! Oh, man. It was game on at that point. We came up to a couple of short and very steep hills, the last one had a water station on it. I grabbed some water right as M stopped and then took off. I knew if I was going to beat him I needed to make my move! (I should note here that I don't think M was trying to race me as much as I was trying to race him. He just wanted to run a good race overall.) I blasted across the University Bridge and then turned left in to the home stretch. At this point I was averaging an 8:06 pace. Lo and behold, I aught our runner friend and passed her about 2k before the finish line. My last .3 mile was at a 7:28 pace, I was definitely booking it and I crossed the finish line strong.

I love this medal! It is very cool looking.

I finished in 1:22:26, M came in about a minute behind me and B came in about seven minutes later. We grabbed our post-race strawberry shortcake (!) and then took off for breakfast at my favorite breakfast spot. It was a perfect end to a fun race. B and M were chiding me a bit for being competitive, and I am beginning to realize that I definitely am. It is all friendly with my friends, of course, but I just want to keep getting faster during my races! This race I finished in the top third overall and in my division (just barely). I also finished 55/231 out of all the women running, which is the top 25%!

B and I had been kicking around the idea of running the See Jane Run half marathon in July that closely follows this course. It is a really expensive race so I *think* we mostly decided not to do it. I also wasn't too excited about running on the same course again. It was quite beautiful, though. We ran over two bridges, along the ship canal and then very close to Lake Union for the whole thing. It didn't hurt that it was a gorgeous and sunny day, too!

The only thing that was bad about the day was that, for some reason, by the time I got home my stomach was in full-on revolt mode. I ended up taking some medicine and curling in to the fetal position in bed for the next several hours. I was mostly fine by the time I got up at about 4:00, but I still don't know what was up. I wondered if my already sensitive tummy didn't like being refueled with a large coffee and mimosa with my breakfast . . . who knows!


Monday, May 14, 2012

I'm an SSM!*

Ahhhh, I think Mother Nature delivered the most amazing Mother's Day gift of all, which is a gorgeous, warm, sunny Seattle day. If you know anything about Seattle, it's that days like this during this time of year are pretty darn rare.

This mother's day I decided that what I wanted most was to do something active as a family, and since my new passion is running, a 5K would be the perfect activity! I signed us all up to do The Color Run knowing that the best way to get my two (kinda whiny) kids to do a 5K would be if it was really, really fun. Like, so fun they might not even realize they were running walking as far as they were.

The Color Run did not disappoint!

We talked it up for quite a while and I made sure to let the girls know the only gift I needed from them was for them to come and do this run. This morning we all got up early and dressed in our required white shirts. We mostly put on old clothes that we didn't mind getting ruined, but in retrospect it would have been pretty fun to dress up all crazy like many of the other runners did!

Ready to go!

Silly girlies under a sculpture in the Seattle Center.

Blue sky! Space Needle! Beautiful girls!




The crowd was HUGE! They kept announcing that there were 7,000 runners there. 

This was just a small portion of the crowd, it seemed there were white shirts as far as you could see.

Patiently waiting for our turn to go.

Our wave ready to start.

Eloise hi-fived about half of the crowd, I think. 

Perfect photo op right in front of the Pike's Place Market sign! 

Tired Eloise needed a boost. 

Sea of white headed down 2nd Ave. 

Finish line! 

Everyone had a packet of powdered color to throw at the end.

Happy color runners! 

Patiently waiting to run in to the fountain.

Attempting to rinse off. That color was persistant! 

We spent the rest of the day mostly out in the sun playing, reading, eating and relaxing. It was a wonderful Mother's Day!



*Super Super Mom!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Running wild: weekly wrap-up

I am not sure what is up with me this week. Every run felt like such a chore. The weather has been great, I am sleeping enough . . . my runs have even helped me have "me" time with Matt gone for a few days, but still I have felt kind of blah about running. My right hamstring is suddenly hating me again, too, so that doesn't really help matters much.

Total weekly miles: 21.7

Monday: rest day
After my 10+ miles on Sunday, including a PR in a 10K, no way was I running on Monday!

Tuesday: 3 miles
This was my overall total at intervals class. We did some warm-up laps and strength exercises before setting out on a 400 meter interval, an 800 meter interval and then finally our 1600 meter, or one mile, interval. I did my 400 WAY too fast and slowed down quite a bit on my 800. Despite feeling kind of flat that night I tied my one mile with my PR that I ran in March or April.

Wednesday: rest day
The babysitter was going to come so I could get a few miles in but I wasn't feeling super hot (my blahs were more like "ughs" that day) so I took the day off.

Thursday: 4 miles plus bootcamp
I ran both ways to bootcamp, which was a nice make-up for not running on Wednesday. Bootcamp was fun, a few of us in the class had our own class as our instructor was out of town! We still rocked it and had a lot of fun.

Friday: 3 miles
It was a gorgeous night so my family waited for me at the beach while I did a few miles along the waterfront.

Saturday: 8.6 miles
I was finally able to coordinate my schedule with my favoritest two running friends, M and B, so we could run together after a few weeks of having mis-matched schedules. I think it's going to be that kind of spring/summer! It was a gorgeous morning to be running on Alki with the sound, mountains, islands and downtown Seattle as our backdrop.

Sunday: 3.1 miles
The Color Run with my family! I mostly walked this, but we went far enough, so I am counting it!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Running wild: weekly wrap-up

It has been a phenomenal week post half-marathon!

Total miles: 19.3 (yes, just short of 20 miles AGAIN!)

Monday: rest day

Tuesday: rest and massage day! I needed that massage and by Wednesday morning I was back to normal.

Wednesday: 3 miles
I took the miles slowly. It is amazing and a little bit annoying when you have just done 13.1 miles at an average pace of 9:00 to kind of struggle with a 10:00 pace for three miles! Ah well. It felt good to get back out there.

Thursday: hour of bootcamp
Nothing special, but I did get over my complete disdain for jump-roping by competing in a jump-roping contest! I didn't win, but I still jumped more than I thought I would!

Friday: rest day
I was supposed to run but I didn't make the time for it.

Saturday: 6 miles
This was supposed to be a reunion with my BRF after not running with her for over a month but alas, she had to cancel due to illness. Boo hoo. I went out myself and had a decent six mile run.

Sunday: 10.3 miles
I was scheduled to run a 10K that was about four miles from my house, so I decided to "pull a Dean Karnazes" and run to the starting line (I always read about Dean getting in extra miles by running to the start lines, even running a full marathon to get to the Boston marathon start line!). I am not sure if that was a good idea or not, however. I ran the 10K, and even set a PR, but I was HURTING by the end. Like, trying to figure out if I was going to finish . . . or collapse. The second half of the race my right side was hurting, a side stitch, I suppose it was. It felt like I had a knife in my side. Stopping for a second, holding my arm above my head and breathing deep, none of it helped. It got progressively worse until the last 2K or so when my left side decided to join in the action. I even stopped to walk less than a minute before I finished, I just couldn't bear it. Ugh! Not sure what that was about. I ran the whole race with my buddy C from my classes-- and she rocked it. A couple of weeks ago she ran what was, I think, her first sub-hour 10K. Today she finished a couple of seconds behind my 53:23 time! She placed first in her age group and won a medal (um, did I mention she is 12 years older than me?! She is amazing!!!!). I had a pleasant surprise in that I won a medal, too! Third female 10K finisher overall. My first ever place medal in a race!

Three winners! I *think* we all set PRs, too! 
This picture cracks me up because I think you can see how
 excited I am in the goofy giant smile on my face! 
Lookin' strong! This was at about the 1 or 2K mark.
I think we should be a Nike ad!
Um, and check that out, I have visible muscle on my legs!

The girls ran in the kids' race, too. They were the only two who ran this time but every kid gets a medal in the kids' race. Iris ran so hard she almost threw up at the end. They each had a time of about 4:4x for the 1/2 mile which is really good! My little runners!!!!

Go! The girls ran with my friend/their babysitter, J, who was helping with the race.
Iris was very serious about beating her sister,
maybe because Eloise finished before her last weekend? 

Winners are grinners!

All in all, it was a lovely week of running. I maybe, sorta, probably sent my BRF a proposal to start a marathon training plan . . . . we'll see what she says. I know she wants to do one eventually but isn't quite sure if she will be ready by July 1st. I am crazy and naive enough to go for it! 

Friday, May 04, 2012

My awesome new half-marathon necklace

I was going to write about this in my previous post, but really, this necklace deserved its own post!

On Monday morning I was cruising around etsy just a bit looking for a necklace to commemorate my 13.1 experience. I just entered "13.1" as my search parameters and started digging through a few posts. Everything looked nice, but nothing was jumping out at me. I wanted something personal and a bit unique but still wanted it to be simple. My eye was caught by a listing from the seller Debbie, whose shop is called The Run Home. I liked the handcrafted, stamped metal jewelry she had for sale but still wanted something a bit more personal. I noticed there was a link to request a custom item. I thought for a moment about what I would get if I could get anything I wanted . . . . and then it came to me!

A long while ago at a track workout one night my running coach asked each of us what we tell ourselves to keep ourselves going when we are running our intervals. I had always played with words to pump myself up while out there (instead of saying things like "don't die, you are almost done!" I try to say things like "you are doing great!") so I blurted out "I am strong and I am awesome!" This phrase not only stuck with me for the past few months, but also my coach and some of my running friends. It is, well, an awesome phrase! So when I thought about what I would get on a custom necklace I picked the words strong and awesome with a 13.1 disc to go along with them. Running a half marathon at a pace I never thought I could run it was certainly one of the most strong and awesome experiences of my entire life!

I sent a message to Debbie asking if she could make this custom piece and she responded within half an hour or so. We then sent a few more messages back and forth and she created a listing for me and I paid for it all within a couple of hours of my initial inquiry. I got a message the next day saying my package was on its way! The whole time Debbie was so incredibly nice and seemed truly excited about making my custom necklace.

Well, the necklace arrived today! I can't even believe I placed a custom order on Monday and it was in my mailbox, all the way from Georgia to Seattle, on Friday. It is even better than I thought it would be! My ONLY (minor) complaint about the etsy site is that I didn't see any pictures of an actual person modelling the jewelry so I had a hard time visualizing what the necklace would look like on, but it is exactly perfect.

The packaging, complete with a personal note.
Definitely handled with care!

Cute black box inside the tissue paper.

Close up of my necklace. PERFECT!
I can even get more charms for it in the future if I want (maybe a 26.2 charm???)

Smiling me with a phone self-portait. I love the size of the necklace. 
The necklace came on a cardboard holder in a plastic bag that is supposed to help keep it from tarnishing. It also came with a little cloth to help clean it.

Overall I HIGHLY recommend The Run Home. Everything about my experience with this seller was perfect. Maybe there is a running necklace in your future, too?

More thoughts on my half marathon

Over the past few days I have just been riding a high off of Sunday. So much work, so much anticipation, so much trust went in to that race and I love just taking a second to think about it and smile and feel so darn proud and happy.

There have been some other little details that I keep remembering that I didn't post about on Sunday, so since this is my blog, I can keep posting all of the obnoxious and probably boring things I want to about it!

One thing is that I had asked Matt and each of the girls to give me a song, any song, to put on my ipod for the race. I had made a very specific half marathon playlist and carefully organized the songs and fit each of these songs in to a special spot. Iris picked Beyonce's "Single Ladies", Eloise picked The Wanted's "Glad You Came" and Matt picked LCD Soundsystem's "Tribulations". I was struggling a little to figure out a personal way to have them with me, so to speak, during the run, and I think this was a great way to do it since we are all such huge music fans.

Stay outta this girl's way! Eloise got some energy out while waiting for me :)
The other thing I have been thinking about is how grateful I am for my friends who gave me the courage to strive for my goal of a 2:00 half. It wasn't until I had several conversations with my BRF where she kept telling me I could do a 2:00 half "easy" that it even crossed my mind. I wasn't training for a specific time goal, I was just training to finish. She had run several half marathons and knew quite a bit more about pacing than I did, obviously. She knew how the speedwork and long runs we did every week would translate on race day where I didn't, not at all. I had another friend, S, who told me that the pace of my long runs were setting me up for something like an 8:45 pace on race again. I just thought "yeah right!" and filed that info away in the back of my mind. It wasn't until last week or so that I decided to put my 2:00 goal out in to the world and see what would come of it.

My girlies. Love them!
On the way up to Everett on Sunday morning I even told Matt the theory of how in training you never train at the pace and distance (at the same time, at least) that you run on race day, so I wasn't quite sure how it worked that you could magically pull it off. I shrugged and said a silent prayer that my friends were right, or I was about to set myself to crash and burn . . . hard. But it turns out, you should listen to wise running friends, because mine definitely did not let me down!

I keep going back and wistfully perusing the professional race photos of me finishing with the girls and the photos of the girls running their kids' race. I want so badly to order some, but professional photos are crazy expensive. Today I realized that my very favorite one-- the one I shared in the last blog post-- isn't actually in focus. I think the lens focused on something just behind me. The photographer got two shots of the girls and I, but the one I shared here is the better one. Kind of bummed and am trying to figure out if I want to drop $20 on an out-of-focus yet crazy-awesome race photo.

I found out Sunday night that Iris had been videoing me coming in to the finish line and when I grabbed the girls to run in with me she just held Matt's phone in her hand and took off. The video doesn't show much, but it's pretty cool to hear the audio of the commotion of crossing the line, hugging the girls, getting my timing chip off and then finding Matt. I can't say enough how much I love having some many mementos of that day!

Sizing up the punching bag.

My soreness has been surprising. My quads are pretty tender and it hurts a bit to walk up and down steps, but besides that I am actually in decent shape. The things that I was worrying about, namely my shins and right hamstring, are no more sore than they usually are, which is kind of amazing. Since I do so many things for my legs from stretching to icing to rolling to massages to arnica gel to compression socks to a stint with kinesiology tape . . . I don't know what exactly helped. I DO know I am happy my legs are not in worse shape after the race! I went in for my massage Tuesday night and my therapist said my legs are feeling stronger than even the first time I went in, so that's good news. Wednesday morning I did an easy three mile run and felt fine, though more tired than I wished I was. They say you taper down until the race . . . then taper back up when it is over! This weekend I have my sights set of lots of miles.

I special ordered a really cool necklace off of etsy to commemorate the experience and I can't wait to post a picture when it comes! I wanted something that was about running a half but was unique to ME and I think I came up with a cute idea. Will post about that separately since it was such an awesome experience working with this particular etsy seller.