Thursday, June 28, 2012

InstaFriday!



Eloise's last circle of her last day of Kindergarten, sitting next to her BFF.

My current favorite drink: non-fat caramel macchiato with coconut instead of vanilla.
Holy cow it is amazing.

My yummy lunch post-half marathon.
Cheese and veggie sandwich, quinoa salad with avocado and NF greek yogurt and chips.

My awesome new shirt from Another Mother Runner. 
Just realized these look like I am balancing cigarette butts on my leg!
This is called moxa and it is like sticking a tiny piece of incense to a specific spot on your body and then lighting it on fire. It is supposed to help my hamstring, but might just be one of the weirdest things I have ever done in an effort to feel better. 

Yes, she really watched tv like this. Silly kid. 
The view from my workout tonight, overlooking Elliott Bay, off of the Puget Sound.
My friend and I did our own bootcamp since the instructor was sick and no one else could come!
My girlies braved the wading pool today, which opened because the forecast must have promised a day 70* or higher.
It was freezing when we were there.
The girls were all shivering and covered in goose bumps. Gotta love those Pacific Northwest kids!


On a side note, have you seen this weather map? Holy cow. I don't pay terribly close attention to the news, but when I started hearing about the fires in Colorado and the sweltering temperatures I decided to look in to it a little more. My. Goodness. Seattle is, probably not surprisingly, the coldest part of the country. In fact, too cold for kids to even put on a bathing suit and swim (or, more precisely, not freeze when they swim). I am not complaining, at all, though. I would rather have it 69* than 99* ANY day. We will have enough hot weather this summer when we go to Michigan! 

(Everywhere but Seattle)


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Some photos from the half

I was going to stick these in my race report, but since anyone who is going to read that post probably already has, I will put them here!

Still trying to decide which, if any, I will buy. This one below is my favorite and I can tell that it was taken early on in the race because my arm sleeves are still up. And I don't look like death warmed over. 


See that guy in the white next to me?

Totally "chicked" him.

And then I crossed the finish line and the photographer caught this lovely gem.

This is my second favorite one. I love the backdrop of the city.

And last but certainly not least, the shirtless dude with gloves! Too bad he wasn't displaying his bib properly, he has no way of knowing how rockin' his pictures turned out!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Running wild: weekly re-cap

It has been a really, really wonderful week. Training runs, taper and a big race! Not much more to say about the week other than the fact that while I really do enjoy racing, the taper is a little tough! Two days before and two days after a race is just a huge chunk of time to me!

Total miles: 21.29

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 3 miles

Intervals class night! I tried to take it a little easy. We ran 4x800s with a 400 cool down lap after each one. It was a good workout!

Wednesday: 5 miles

Warm and sunny 5 miles, my last training run before R-n-R! I felt really good through the whole thing and it helped me feel even more excited for race day.

Thursday: Rest

I actually didn't intend for this to be a rest/taper day, but life got extremely hectic on Thursday. I didn't go to my usual bootcamp class because I went to a party, instead (will blog about that soon!) and had literally no other time to run that day unless I wanted to get up extremely early, which I am NOT good at. I decided to call it a taper day and be okay with it.

Friday: Rest

Friday is typically a rest day, and it was also very busy, so I was fine taking it as a taper day.

Saturday: 13.29 miles

I already wrote just about all I could write about this race HERE so I won't re-hash it too much. The one thing I will say here is that my mileage was over by .2. That seems like nothing, I am sure, except when you are trying to gun for a PR on a very hilly course!

Sunday: Rest

I so, so wish I could have done some kind of exercise on Sunday besides run. My legs could not run. A swim in a pool or something would have felt nice!



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Seattle Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon race report!

(I wanted to get this up even though I don't have many pictures, yet. More pics will be added soon!)


What presented itself as a hugely stressful event ended up incredibly fun, yet unbelievably hard! I am I beyond happy I ran this race. Even though I am sitting here at my laptop with ice on my left knee, amazed how painful it is to even walk on.

The morning of the race I woke up at 4:30 a.m., ate, got my stuff together, got dressed and stretched a little. My friend Kathleen picked me up and we caravaned downtown with our friends Sarah and her husband Andy. We dropped Kathleen's car off downtown and then hopped in to Sarah's car and she dropped Andy, Kathleen and me off a couple of blocks from the starting line. I was so stressed, worried that getting to the race would be an absolute nightmare, but it wasn't. With all of that travelling and car-hopping, we were at the start line just after 6:00.

As we came in to the race area Kathleen and Andy stopped at the porta-potties and then we walked right up and saw our corrals, 11 and 12. I brought my bag to the gear check and then hit up the Brooks VIP porta-potties. I thought it was kind of cool I had my VIP sticker and I got some gum, tums and a gu out of the deal, but it wasn't that much better than the regular porta potties. I think I went at just the right time, though, because I was able to walk right in to a stall and when I came out there was already a long line. The regular porta-potties ended up with long lines, too.

Walking back to corral 11, where I had left Kathleen and Andy, I ran in to Ray, who is a friend from my intervals class running his first half marathon. He had been nervous about the race and had an aggressive time goal. We thought it would be fun to run together, but didn't make any promises. We waited to see Kathleen and Andy again, as Ray and Kathleen are good friends and had done many long runs together, but unfortunately we didn't see them again before the start. While we waited Ray told me his partner saw a water station filling cups with water from the fire hydrants and I kind of freaked out. I started remembering the scary stories of people getting sick at the Las Vegas Rock-n-Roll and many thought it was because of the fire hydrant water. I decided I didn't want to take the water, but I really didn't have a choice.

We stood in corral 11 waiting for the start as the corrals were getting let out about a minute apart. Once the first corral had taken off I removed my throwaway sweatshirt and set it on the fence. Luckily the weather, which was threatening rain at any moment, was dry and cool.  Right before it was our turn I saw my other friend Stacey and was so happy to get to say "hi" and "good luck" before we took off. Our corral left the start line at 7:12.

Ray and I had discussed running the half in 1:55, which was pretty aggressive for both of us. I only had one half under my belt, which I ran in 1:57:59, and Ray was a newbie. We knew the course was hilly, but it was difficult  to truly comprehend how it would affect our race. Luckily I had my pace chart from Taz Running for a 1:55 finish taped to the back of my bib and referred to it religiously, keeping Ray and I on pace the whole time.

Ray and I, so very, very naive at the start of the race.

Ray and I ended up running together the entire way, so when I say "we" below, that is referring to him.

Mile 0-1: 8:49 pace

I was ready for the race to be extremely crowded, but it wasn't. Yes, there were a lot of us on the road, but I never felt like I couldn't hit my pace goal or that the crowds were keeping me from moving.

Mile 1-2: 8:17 pace

We really picked up the pace as we hit Pioneer Square, knowing that we would need that buffer for the hills . . . . those effing hills! We were cruising down 2nd Ave at a decent clip and it was fun to see a few blog friends on the course and say "hi."  

Mile 2-3: 8:55 pace

We hit the turn on to Dearborn at the start of mile 2 and I felt the road heading slightly uphill. At the end of mile 2 we turned south on to Rainier and saw Ray's partner standing at the end of the water station. We waved and said "hi" before continuing on. I don't know why we slowed down here so much, I guess the road was more than "slightly" uphill. 


Mile 3-4: 8:28 pace


We cruised down Rainier at a decent clip. This mile really blended in to mile 4-5 for me. Rainier was a long, straight stretch.


Mile 4-5: 8:40 pace


My very favorite part of mile 4 was the cheerleading squad. They had a cheer that said something like "runners, go that way!" as they did choreographed moves and pointed down the street. It was hysterical. We also saw our friend, Sarah, the one who dropped us off earlier in the day. It was so nice to see another friendly face on the side cheering us on. I took my first gel right before the water station at the end of mile 4. 


Mile 5-6: 8:57 pace


The first hill. We were prepared for this one and cheered each other on, offering lots of "you got this" and "doing great" and whatnot. Ray and I had done a lot of hill repeats in intervals class and knew we were prepared for the challenge. Matt and the girls were stationed at the top of the hill to cheer us on, and I think that really helped me power through it knowing they were up there. Once we got to the top and said "hi" and got our high-fives, we got to sort of cruise down the other side. It was so steep that it was hard to really let myself take off. I kept saying to Ray "be careful! don't trip!" Ha, such a mom! 


Here is a video my 8 year old captured of Ray and I hitting the top of the Dakota hill.


At the end of mile 5 we rounded the turn on to Lake Washington Blvd. There were lots of people cheering on the turns from the backside of the Dakota hill down to the Lake Washington Blvd, so it was hard to know where to look to soak it all in.

Mile 6-7: 8:50 pace


I can't figure out why this mile was so slow. Maybe we were really starting to feel it... plus the course narrowed here. It was the first time I felt like I had to weave through a lot of people and work to stay next to Ray. We were on one lane of a narrow two lane road. It was beautiful running along Lake Washington, though, and the flags, pictures and group from Run to Remember made it a memorable stretch. The clouds were starting to break and the sun was peeking through, which actually wasn't a good sign. It needed to stay overcast-- but not rain. Even though it had a lovely view, I kind of hated this stretch. 


Mile 7-8: 9:25 pace


At the beginning of mile 7 we were basically forced in to an almost single-file line to get up in to the I-90 tunnel, which slowed us down. Once we got to the top we ran through the dark and stuffy tunnel. I thought it would be a cool experience to run through the tunnel, but no. It wasn't cool. At all. Inside the tunnel was another water station, and if I recall correctly, another band. We came out of the tunnel at the end of mile 8. 

Mile 8-9: 8:38 pace

Heading out of the tunnel and in to fresh air. Ahhhh. I was definitely starting to hurt here. It was fun to run on the express lane, though, and lots of cars on I-90 were honking as they drove by. Ray and I weren't speaking as much at this point, but we were doing okay. It was nice to be out of the tunnel and back in to the fresh air. A low group of clouds hung over the city, blanketing the tallest buildings, so it was a beautiful view from up on I-90. We started heading down hill at the end of mile 8. My right side began threatening to give me a cramp and I took deep breaths and shook out my arms. Luckily I never got a full on cramp. 

Mile 9-10: 8:40 pace

I remembered this being a lot of downhill, but it looks like we went back up a ramp right at the end. I took my second gel here, and I had to stop to choke it all down. Ray kept running and I sprinted to catch back up to him. Ouch. I am glad I did, though, I was starting to desperately need his company and encouragement.

Mile 10-11: 8:44 pace

We got our groove back as we went back through this stretch, turning south on 1st Ave and making a hairpin turn and going back north again. It was also slightly downhill or flat the whole mile until we hit the viaduct on-ramp at the end. It was nice to have the break before the hill that almost killed us . . . I don't remember exactly where it was, somewhere around the beginning of mile 10 maybe, that Ray and I decided we would cross the finish line together. Every once in a while during the second half of the race he would really pick up the pace and start pulling ahead and I would say "you are running really fast, go on ahead if you want to" and he would say no, and slow down a bit. I wanted so badly to pick it up to his pace, but I couldn't.

I do not know how we pulled off an 8:44 here. The viaduct on-ramp almost killed us. We were in pain. It sucked. I spewed a string of expletives and contemplated telling Ray to just leave me there to die. It was beyond hard. I keep looking at the elevation map from my Garmin and it doesn't even look that bad, but it felt like torture.

Mile 11-12: 8:38 pace

When we got to the top of the ramp we saw that the viaduct had a camber, which made the road difficult to run on. I stuck to the track in the road where the tires had worn down the pebbles in the cement. At this point I started counting my steps "1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3" I kept looking at my watch, counting down the minutes. I knew for sure we were on our goal pace so I knew exactly how many minutes until the finish line. I thought running on the viaduct would be incredibly novel, but I don't remember looking out at the view even once. I looked up at the spectators cheering from the Pike Place Market, but besides that, I only looked ahead and at my feet. My Garmin elevation map shows the viaduct being another hill. I can't believe I was oblivious to it at the time. It was just 1, 2, 3. That's how you finish a half marathon, people. Three steps at a time.

Mile 12-13: 8:06 pace

We went through the Battery Street tunnel and again I cursed the camber of the road, which was going the opposite direction of the viaduct. I didn't want to keep moving. I don't even know how I did. We came out on to Aurora, apparently went downhill (again, didn't really notice) and took a sharp left turn after the off ramp to Mercer St. I looked up, and, lo and behold, another ^%#&ing hill! Ray is awesome at giving it a final kick and he busted one out up that hill as we approached the finish line. I gave it all I had to weave through the runners after him. We had to cross the finish line together!

Mile 13-13.29: 7:53 pace

13.1 came and went on my Garmin. Crap. The finish line was still in front of us! Ray and I crossed together and then I basically saw stars. I bet if you looked closely at me, there were cartoon birds tweeting in a circle around my head.

EDITED TO ADD: Here is a Seattle Times video that caught Ray and I crossing the finish line! Check for the stars and birds over my head! You can see us at :40. Look for my red skirt/black shirt, I make a beeline to the left of the frame as soon as I cross and Ray is on the right in his white shirt.

My splits for the race:



Overall: 1972/14089
Division (F 30-34): 172/1772
Gender: 703/9470


Ray and I got our medals, high-fived, grabbed drinks and then he called his partner, who wasn't able to come in to the finishers' chute. Ray left to find him and thought he would be able to come back and wait with me for Kathleen to come through. I waited, saw some more blogging friends, and then Kathleen crossed the finish line. So proud of her, she finished her first half marathon! As we were contemplating leaving, Stacey came through and it was so amazing to see her as well. I made both of them take pictures with me in front of the R-n-R backdrops and we all made our way through the finishers' chute. I grabbed every food and drink offered, cradling piles of snacks like I hadn't had a meal in weeks. It was heavenly. I said goodbye to Stacey and made plans to meet Kathleen and her kids near the fountain before heading off to get my bag from gear check.

When I grabbed my phone out of my bag (I know, I know, you're not supposed to do that, but the bag area was pretty darn secure) and found a text from my running bestie. She had been tracking my race online and knew my official time. So fun. I texted with her and made my way back to find Kathleen, her kids, and Andy. As we were making our way out I ran in to my friend Jen and grabbed a photo with her. She also ran her first half marathon!

Jen and I after the race.

Kathleen, her girls, Andy and I made our way back through the crowd to the monorail, hopped right on and rode downtown so we could get back to Kathleen's car and head home.

I was seriously impressed with every aspect of the organization for this race. Everything seemed totally flawless, from getting to the race, to using the potties (at least, it was easier the earlier you used them), gear check, getting in our corrals, sending our corrals off, not being too terribly crowded on the course, plenty of water stations, the bands, the cool medals, the food at the end . . . . it was great. I could have done without so many hills, but this is Seattle. I think it would be pretty much impossible to run 13.1 miles without hitting a hill. I prepared myself for a nightmare so I was incredibly surprised.

I also ran the race without my ipod, which is something I have been trying out. I run about half my training runs without it and my last race, my 15K, I ran without it. I didn't miss it on the 15K and honestly, I never once wished I had it at R-n-R. I had Ray, and even without Ray, my ipod wouldn't have given me any motivation on the course. I was totally fine not having it on such a big and busy race.

Can't wait to do this one again next year. My friend Tara said she has a dream of running the Portland AND Seattle R-n-R so she can get a cool Pacific Peaks medal for doing both. I think that sounds like a great idea!

Friday, June 22, 2012

InstaFriday!

Trying to ignore the mounting stress by posting my favorite (and only) instagram pictures for the week! It has been an extremely fun, and extremely busy!, last seven days.

Eloise's teacher leading the class in singing "Happy Birthday!" (with the cha-chas and all the extras) to Iris.

The scenery on our drive to central Washington is so beautiful.

Iris's grandparents got her a new pair of Converse for her birthday.
I think she liked them.

Self-portrait at the end of a 10+ mile run in central Washington.
It was HOT, hilly and super windy, but I did it!

Iris's birthday shoes and birthday socks.

Eloise's new minifig, Evil Knievel.

Putting the very last piece in the birthday puzzle. 

Walking home from school with a friend for a playdate. 

Two amazing runner friends and I at a party on Thursday night. Love these ladies.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

When fun = stress

I am having one of those "good stress" kind of weeks. A week that is so so so busy, but it's all good stuff, stuff I am looking forward to doing.

This Saturday is the Rock-n-Roll Seattle Marathon and Half Marathon. The race is sort of reaching the tipping point for me where I am not sure if it is more work than it's worth! I think the expo will be fun, but I had to hire a babysitter because I wanted to enjoy myself without two squirrely children in tow. My original plan was to make a fun event out of it and go with a friend, but now she can't go as she can't get childcare for her young daughter. I think the Another Mother Runner party tonight (that Sarah invited me to, I feel so special!) will be fun, but we are having yet another babysitter so I could do that, too. Iris was just with a babysitter yesterday so I could go to an appointment and do some errands and a training run. It kind of takes a lot of work to plan fun things, I guess.

Friday I am home all day as it is Eloise's last day of school and Iris and I will be in the classroom to volunteer for the second half of the day. After school is a break before heading back out with the girls for the ice cream social and picnic. After that we are all going to go check out the R-n-R course again to find the perfect spot for my family to stand and cheer me on. And then I come home and go to bed so I can be up at what is likely the most ungodly hour ever.

And then Saturday is race day. You know what I am most concerned about on race day? It's not running 13.1 miles. It's not the hills. It's not the forecast of a high of 60 with chance of showers. It's not even getting up at the formentioned ungodly hour. It's getting to the race. My friends have sent a few dozen emails back and forth trying to figure out how early to leave West Seattle, where to get dropped off or where to park (I think the jury is still out on what option we will use). It is so stress-inducing for someone like me who likes, no needs, to have a specific plan and then have everything go according to said plan.

After Saturday summer vacation begins! Whew.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Someone turned eight . . .

. . . . without my permission. Hrmpf.

Oh, my sweet Iris. You are my big, amazing, constantly growing dear god please stop growing! eight year old.

Iris at her 8th birthday party. Photo by her dad.
At the end of last year's birthday post I predicted seven would be a great year for you. I had begun to see glimmers of independence as you rapidly approached seven. I had no idea how right I would end up being. Seven was a year of really figuring out who you are.

This past year has held so very much growth, but more than just physical. I probably say this every year, but I think you have changed more this year than in any other since you were just a wee baby. I have watched you work  incredibly hard through your year of homeschooling, through many weeks of therapy, through moving towards being more independent in so many areas and becoming a better friend and role model for your sister.

Iris and Eloise reading on the ipad. Photo by me.
I have had the tremendous honor of being your mom AND your teacher this year. It was quite a transition for the both of us, equally beautiful and tumultuous. You are brilliant, creative and stubborn. You are ready for public school next year and I think you're going to do an amazing job off on your new adventure! 

This year you have become so much more interested in technology, deftly navigating ipods, ipad, laptops and creating your own hilarious and smart videos.

You have grown to enjoy more mature books and have started writing more complex stories, illustrating them with detailed, thoughtful pictures.

Feeding ducks, Iris style. Photo by her dad.
You make up songs, working through the lyrics countless times until they are just right and fit the melody in your head. When you aren't in the mood to sing your own tunes, you belt out the lyrics to a huge number of songs in your repertoire. 


You have returned to becoming an adventurous eater. Your favorite foods are butter chicken and sushi. You can eat a whole bowl of brussels sprouts or homemade sweet potato/kale/sausage soup. 


This year for your birthday party, you asked to spend time with your family, your grandparents, great-grandma, aunt, uncle and cousin and a couple of friends. It was an absolutely perfect afternoon. 


Waiting for ducks and geese. Photo by her dad. 


You have one very best bestie, K, who you play with on the weekend as often as you can. I know you will really enjoy making more friends at school next year. 


Eight is going to be a year full of adventure, excitement and opportunities galore. We are going to have an incredible amount of fun. 


I love you. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Running wild: weekly re-cap

What a great week of running! Lots to share . . . 

Week one of marathon training.

Weekly total: 24.1 miles

Monday: 3 miles
This was my first run post-ablation. I was kinda terrified I would feel awful, but it was the exact opposite-- I felt great! I think having a decent recovery from surgery plus not running for four days left me with wonderfully rested legs that were ready to RUN!

Tuesday: 3 miles
Tuesday is intervals class day. I told myself do not push it if I don't feel like it AND I had to drag along my girls at the last minute. It would turn out, the instructor scheduled my favorite intervals session: 3 x 1 mile. I did my first interval in 8:45, the second in 8:15 and the last in . . . 7:22! My new mile PR! Needless to say, I felt pretty good. It was nice to be running fast during my favorite workout. 

Wednesday: 4 miles
An early morning 4 mile run. Nothin' fancy. These are going to end up being my second longest run of the week as marathon training progresses.

Thursday: bootcamp
I got acupuncture for my hamstring on Thursday morning, which was nice. It felt good in the moment, but sadly, I don't feel any different now (three days later). I know I am supposed to go back for more, that one treatment wasn't going to be enough. So, the acupuncturist told me not to run that day, which annoyed me. I didn't run to/from class like I usually do and tried to keep it on the easy side at class.

Friday: rest

Saturday: 3.9 miles
Tempo run near my in-laws house. I felt okay, just hate early morning on an empty stomach runs. 

Post 10+ miler strong girl pose! 


Sunday: 10.2 miles
Last long run before the Seattle Rock-n-Roll half marathon! It was a tough run, I won't lie. One thing I did new this time was switch up my early-morning eating. I put a peanut butter sandwich and banana next to my bed and set my alarm for 5:00 am. I woke up, ate the food, had some water, and fell back asleep. Next alarm went off at 7:00 am and I was ready to run. I felt great! Much better than on an empty stomach. The weather where my in-laws live was HOT and WINDY. Ugh. The wind helped with the heat, but it kicked my butt. Oh, I didn't mention the HILLS, either! My pace was very, very slow overall since I took lots of walking breaks for drinking water and I crossed a bazillion streets so there was lots of waiting. But I did it, I kicked booty, and I am ready for the Rock-n-Roll. Or so I think. Ha! I printed out a pace chart with a goal of (gulp) 1:55. We shall see. The course is hilly. Right now the forecast says 64* high for the day and a 40% chance of rain. Of course that can change enormously in seven days! Better than 70* at 8:00 a.m. and 15 mph wind! 

Friday, June 15, 2012

InstaFriday!



It has been fun to take pictures this week while thinking about what I could include in Instafriday.

Last Saturday I went on a fun hike at Twin Falls with my family and my sister-in-law, niece and my husband's uncle. It was a gorgeous, perfect day for a hike.

When we arrived, here is the first sign I took a picture of. I don't know why, just thought it was kind of, odd maybe?


The trees were dripping with moss, everywhere we looked was teaming with green.


Iris had an amazing amount of energy on the almost four mile hilly hike, but she did stop to take a break once in a while!


I was so excited that my peony started blooming this week. It smells heavenly!


Iris pulled her hair back in a clip one afternoon and I thought she looked so beautiful.


On Wednesday the girls got their haircut and styled. Braids and glitter, hurrah! I am not sure what Eloise is doing in this picture (posing with while biting her hand just seemed like a good idea, I guess?). She was so happy the stylist could braid her hair, since it is so short!


Iris got braids, as well. Hopefully she got a good haircut before the braids were put in, because I didn't get a chance to see it! Ha ha. She has pink glitter in her hair. The glitter will eventually be stuck to every nook and cranny in my house, but oh well.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Surgery recovery and running again

This week officially marks the first week of my marathon training. I ran on Monday despite it being scheduled as a rest day, because I had had a few days off in a row. Last week Thursday I had an operation, a relatively minor operation, an endometrial ablation. I wasn't specifically planning on writing about it, but I did think it was interesting (at least to me) how it has affected, and will continue to affect, my running.

I decided to get the ablation because of not only a personal history, but a family history, of menorrhagia. Nothing I tried was helping, so it was time to break out the big guns, so to speak. My main concern in getting the operation was the timing of it. I wanted it done as soon as I could after making the decision to do it, but I was concerned because I am now in the midst of training for, and running, races. Obviously my running is a hobby, so it isn't the end of the world to take time off if I need to, but I really didn't want to.

It was quite tricky to find information online about how running is affected during the recovery period for an endometrial ablation, or even what that recovery period could look like. I had read online everything from post-surgery being an easy few days and then being right back to running normally to it taking a few weeks of relatively brutal recovery. I decided to trust my doctor and take a bit of a gamble and do the surgery just a bit over two weeks out from the Seattle Rock-n-Roll half marathon. There was a possibility I wouldn't even be recovered in time to run.

I scheduled three days off from running post-surgery and and wanted to attempt to resume running on the fourth day, Monday. As far as my initial phase of recovery it would seem I was one of the luckier ones, for which I am grateful to the gods of surgery, or running, or maybe uteruses (uteri?) in general. I had little pain during my few days post-op. In fact, I never had to take any of the hydrocodone they sent me home with, and trust me when I say I am a huge wuss when it comes to pain or discomfort. I am quick to take medicine to rid myself of even the slightest ailment. What I did have plenty of was exhaustion. I was very tired and just overall achy most days. I am not sure if that was due to the procedure or working through the anesthesia or what. The worst I felt was after hiking four miles on Saturday, which in hindsight I probably shouldn't have done.

When I ran on Monday I planned to go slow and turn around early if I needed to. It turned out I actually felt great and set a pretty nice pace on a three mile run. On Tuesday I had my intervals class. I again intended to take it slow and again felt pretty great. I ended setting a PR for my timed mile that night! Wednesday was my third run in a row, and this one I was pretty tired for since I did it early in the morning.

All signs seem to point to me being just fine for the half marathon. In fact, the four days of rest I had from running probably did a world of good for my sore hamstring and tired legs! Of course, my hamstring is ticked off at me again now that I've resumed running. Today I tried acupuncture to help alleviate my hamstring pain. Crossing my fingers that it works! I will need to go back for at least one more treatment to know for sure if it is helping. The acupuncturist needled a few points while I laid on my back, then flipped me over to do a few points around my hamstring. He also put some concoction of oil, beeswax and a bunch of herbs on my leg, which he referred to as "marinating" my hamstring, which made me laugh. Then he told me not to run today, which made me secretly give him the finger.

Hopefully I will continue to heal well from my surgery, the surgery works as it should, and my leg responds to all of my efforts to make it happy, and I can go on running and running and running all the way to my finish line on October 7th!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Running wild: weekly re-cap

This was a very low-mileage week since I had minor surgery on Thursday. I am secretly glad about the low miles, though, because I think my sore legs needed a (forced) break. Crossing my fingers that next week I can start ramping back up my miles so I am ready for the Seattle Rock-n-Roll half marathon. I am starting to realize that I may not be able to run my goal of 1:55 in the R-n-R, though. My body may just not be ready to run a half marathon PR barely two weeks out of surgery.

Total miles: 11.5

Monday: 3 miles
Monday is supposed to be my rest day, but there were more exciting things to do than rest! Eloise's school was doing a fundraising run, and of course Iris and I had to join in! Kids and adults were running laps around the school yard, six laps equaled one mile. Iris and I did three miles and Eloise did close to five! So proud of those kids.

Tuesday: 3 miles
We were doing 400s all night at my intervals class, which I despise with a deep, burning passion. I also wasn't feeling totally well so I took it pretty easy.

Wednesday: 5.5 miles
This was a fantastic run. I did two laps around Greenlake at a 9:03 pace and felt great and strong the whole time. I didn't mean for it to be a tempo run, but since I wasn't dragging I just went with it.

Thursday: off
I had a relatively minor surgical procedure done on Thursday so that meant lots of rest from that day on. I was hoping to run in the morning but I had forgotten that I couldn't eat before the surgery and I didn't want to run and come home famished and then not really get to for the rest of the day.

Friday: off

Saturday: off from running, hiked 3.75 miles
We went for a hike at Twin Falls that I probably shouldn't have gone on. I didn't realize how hilly it would be, so I was really tired and sore by the end. Luckily I was able to go home and lay down and relax the rest of the day.

Sunday: off


Friday, June 08, 2012

InstaFriday!




Ah, being laid up on the couch at home gave me enough time to do this again this week! Yippee!


Eloise's kindergarten class is finishing up their unit on urban animals. Each child needed to do some sort of project around the theme of how they can protect urban animals. The first thing we thought of building was a bat house, but those were a wee bit complicated. We settled on a chickadee house! Eloise is amazing with nails and a hammer! On Wednesday night all of the children set out their projects and their families came to the classroom to check them all out eat snacks. After looking at the project all of the kids and families from the K and 1st grade classes met and the kids sung three songs about animals, including The Beatles' "Blackbird". It was crazy adorable!


Here is our poodle mix, Heidi. Instagram cropped this picture a little more than I wish it had, because her back legs are straight up in the air! She loves to lay against this wall and twist her body in to this shape. 


Iris and I participated in Eloise's school fundraising run for the Make-a-Wish foundation. Iris did three miles of laps and Eloise did just under five miles!


Peering in to the window of a storefront in our 'hood. It was big and empty except for the ocupants of the space set up a bunch of the animatronic animals called Rock-afire Exposion from an old Showbiz Pizza! I grew up going to Showbiz for my friends' birthday parties and so I thought it was pretty cool.


We had two very wet and soggy walks to school this week. Luckily Eloise thinks they are pretty fun!

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Running wild: weekly wrap-up

Another lovely week of running, capped off with my longest run of my training for the Rock-n-Roll Seattle Half Marathon. I am so looking forward to that race! It's going to be such a huge crowd and, I anticipate, a lot of fun.

Total miles: 21.6

Monday: REST
Mondays are my scheduled rest days now, Woo-Hoo!

Tuesday: 3 miles of hills!
What a tough intervals class, it was all about the hills. Earlier in the day I walked three separate times for a total of 3 miles, with 2 of them being up very steep hills. I show up at class at guess what, more hills! After a hilly warm-up we (tried to) sprint up a hill that was just under 400 meters or so six times. Well, I did six. Was supposed to do eight but I was D-O-N-E.

Wednesday: 3 miles
This was a nice, short, easy early morning run.

Thursday: 4 miles and bootcamp
I am sort of starting to follow the weekday runs for my marathon training plan even though I don't "officially" begin the plan until the 11th. My plan called for 4 miles on a weekend day, which I would have done Sunday. Since my long run was going to be on Saturday I decided to run to bootcamp this night and get the miles out of the way so I could have two rest days in a row Sunday and Monday. Ahhh. I am so smart! Bootcamp was a fun and tough workout, we did crazy things like this:


The first half was just a circuit of different exercises, but they were all tough! One of them was a push-up with our feet up on a ledge! I could only do five of those at a time before screaming "Uncle!" The second half was a relay where we ran through cones, then sprinted up a slight incline, then grabbed a weight and went down then back up a flight of stairs, dropped the weight and back down the stairs, then run through gravel, do ten mountain climbers and finish with a weighted ball pass. We did two relays in a row then had a break for one relay for a total of eight relays run. I was very, very sweaty at the end.

Friday: REST
Friday is my other scheduled rest day.

Saturday: 11.6 miles
I ran on the Burke-Gilman trail with a couple of acquaintances who are becoming friends. Super fun to chat non-stop for a two hour run! We kept our pace nice and slow (averaged 10:24 min/mile) which is just what I need to do for those long runs. We talked about all sorts of stuff, but since they had both run several marathons, including running the Portland Marathon, it was especially wonderful to chat about marathons with them!

Sunday: REST
Wasn't supposed to be a rest day, but I ran my 4 miles on Thursday. Yay, me!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

A field trip to the King Tut exhibit

On Wednesday Iris and I were fortunate enough to be included in the CVA (Iris's online public school) field trip to the King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center. I wrote a little bit about it on my other blog, The Schooling Bridge.

Too close to home

By now probably everyone in the country has heard about the horrific murders and subsequent man-hunt for the murderer that happened in Seattle on Wednesday. I have lived in Seattle for almost 11 years, for the past three years in what some would consider a less-than ideal neighborhood, but never have I felt as terrified or unsafe as I did Wednesday. I think that knowing the murderer ended his own life has definitely helped me rest a little easier, but the fact remains that senseless shootings, and murders, have been happening more frequently in our beautiful city, especially over the past week. Being that they are such random shootings makes it all the more terrifying, who is the next victim? How can it be stopped?

The killer took a seemingly random path through the city, starting in north Seattle, where he shot five (and killed four) people in a cafe before heading to a neighborhood called "First Hill", which is just east of downtown, up the hill. He then shot and killed a women before taking her SUV to West Seattle. He left the SUV a block from our house and fled the scene.

Here is where I say I am beyond grateful that Iris and I weren't home. We likely would have been, but we were at the King Tut exhibit at the Seattle Center for a few hours. I didn't have my phone on in the exhibit and when we got out I noticed I missed a call from our friend/handyman, J,  who was doing work at our house. I then checked facebook where I discovered all of the updates from our neighborhood's amazing blog. I then called my friend J. He said "don't panic, but here is what's going on". What was going on is that J was in our yard doing work. He noticed some helicopters overhead but didn't think much of them. Then several SWAT team members came through our gated fence, guns drawn, with a dog. I find it amazing that J was able to stay composed. He had no idea why they were there, his first thought is that someone thought he was trying to break in to our house or something. They told him to get in to the house immediately. J had to go around to the front yard to get in the house and then stayed inside surveying the action on the street for about 20 minutes. The SWAT team with their guns, dogs and black SUVS and vans with SWAT members hanging out the sides were driving back and forth down the street.

As this was happening I connected with Matt at work. He didn't have any info at the time because he had just gotten out of a meeting. After I got off the phone with him I figured out that Eloise's school was in lockdown. I later was told, by Eloise, that lockdown meant the doors were locked, the lights were turned off and they had to put paper over the windows of the school. The kindergartners in her classroom had to pee in a bucket since they couldn't leave the room-- as a side note, Eloise did think THAT part was pretty fun.

Iris and I finished up at the Seattle Center. I spent most of the time checking my phone and trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to hold back tears. I didn't want to scare Iris. We drove from there to Matt's work while we waited to hear when Eloise's school was releasing students and when we might be able to return home. I got a robocall from the school saying kids were being let out on time and we found out that Eloise's after-school program was running as scheduled so we didn't have to rush home. Matt, Iris and I made it back to West Seattle later in the afternoon to pick her up and head home. It was a little bizarre, nothing was amiss in our 'hood. I don't know what I was expecting. When I first read on the neighborhood blog that the police were "going through houses" I half expected to come home to find our house had been broken in to. It wasn't, and as far as I know, they didn't actually break in to anyone's house.

Shortly after we got home we read that the killer was found on the street about a mile and a half or so from our house and had shot himself in the head. First it was reported that he died, then that he actually survived the gunshot, then later, finally, that he ended up dying. With that news came some relief that we might be safe in our house, at least for the night. The reports began coming in that the same person was responsible for both the north Seattle and the First Hill shooting (at first no one thought they were connected) so we had no more reason to believe this dangerous killer was still at large in our 'hood. My caring and thoughtful sister-in-law and her husband got in touch with us to say we could come to their house for the night, which was so sweet. I have to say I was about ready to pack up and leave here for good.

The night brought exhaustion and relief . . . and tears. At bedtime Eloise began sobbing inconsolably for about half an hour. She said she wasn't scared about what happened that day, but she did have fears about being safe and bad things happening to her family. Seeing as how I have never seen Eloise fall apart like that, I believe that she was very scared about what she went through but didn't really have the words to verbalize her emotions.

Luckily in the morning she was fine, other than sleeping in a little later than usual. On the way to school she told me she thought that a bad guy with a gun had been outside of the school. Upon talking with a friend who has a child in Eloise's class, I found out that little girl thought the same thing. I don't know exactly what the kids were told, but am sad that they thought this person was literally right outside. As I write this I am watching my daughters play "lockdown" with the school of stuffies they are teaching. Play is important for processing, I know, but it hurts to hear and watch.

I have been following the news a bit and waiting, like everyone else, for the dots to start connecting in these murders, why this man did what he did and went where he went. And of course, what are the people in charge going to do to start keeping us safe. Little by little I read stories about the five people who lost their lives on Wednesday and struggle to imagine the gaping holes that have been left in the lives of those who loved them. The woman who was killed on First Hill was a mother of two. The loss is tremendous.


Friday, June 01, 2012

InstaFriday!



Look! I am on time and get to join in on this!

I am working on some other posts that are a bit, um, heavier, but I did take a handful of cute photos this week that I wanted to share.

Eloise in front of the very tall irises in our front yard. I love the colors of these!

The slug Eloise found in the backyard. 

At my bootcamp class on Thursday night this was one of the exercises, to just hold
this pose for around 45 seconds.
 I had my friend take a picture of me doing it because it was pretty fun!
 

Saturday it was so warm and sunny that the girls wanted to use the slip-n-slide! It is so much fun.