Iron Horse Half Marathon

Gigi and I ran the Iron Horse Half Marathon on Sunday!  We were both a little sick and a little worried about the run, but we were determined that victory would be ours, and it was.  

This race was a little different.  Unlike other routes we’ve run, this one was all downhill which meant we parked, hopped on a school bus, rode up the mountain, got dropped off, hiked 1/4 a mile to the start and ran back to the car.  For 13.1 miles.  Downhill.  The whole way.  The course started on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, wove past the Rattlesnake Ridge trailhead, a myriad of bridges and so many beautiful views of valleys, rivers and old growth forest!  When we left for Disneyland, the trees were just beginning to shift colors and I was surprised at how very autumnal the entire run was; gorgeous!

Since we both felt under the weather, we decided to stick together.  She was feeling a little insecure and I was just fine with running alongside her the whole time, but then I said something awful: I’m might go slow.  Like, really slow kid.  We are the last wave and I’m slow, so we might actually sweep the race and take last place.  When we took off, she realized that this race was different from others: these runners were serious.  No one was going to start walking at the half mile- these were people who likely run 10 or more miles on the regular.  This wasn’t going to be an easy win.  Furthermore, there weren’t that many runners in our heat so we thinned out pretty quickly, and before we knew it we were in a fairly small clump of 4-5 people with no one else in sight.  I started to fall behind them as she stayed in pace with them.  She looked apologetically back and let me run on my own- and I preffered knowing that I wasn’t holding her back, honestly.  She quickly faded away from my view.  At that point, there wasn’t anyone in sight behind me.  I couldn’t see anyone in front of me, either, and I started enjoying myself like, Maria in Sound of Music, spinning around the trail with arms thrown wide.  It was that beautiful.  But then, I saw some other runners come around the bend behind me and realized I wasn’t last, nor did I want this to be my first-last place, so I buckled down and decided to keep my lead.  There were two out and backs, as well, so I realized that there were about 15 people behind me, so my big lead wasn’t anything to worry about too much.  (I actually finished over 100 people from last😉)

On the first out and back I came across my darling daughter who shared her woeful tale – she tripped, fell, landed on her phone, the heel of her hand went into the phone, breaking through the glass face, gouging her hand, plus she scraped her leg all up, but bruised and bloodied she continued on.  She didn’t know the aid station would help her with a bandaid and quick trip to the finish line, but armed with that information, she got a bandaid and finished the race like a little determined hero.  What a little stud.  

She finished before me in 2:31 with a split pace of 11:33.  I finished a bit later in 2:46 with a split pace of 12:42.  I’m proud of her, I’m proud of me.  Just proud.  I’d totally do that one again!

Tips and tricks:

  • I didn’t eat well and the gel was awful and made me sick again.  I’m confirmed that applesauce is the way to go for me with a protein boost (yogurt or cheese stick) right before the start.  So is eating something GOOD for breakfast.  I just had coffee and a granola bar and forgot the rest.  Since we had to get on the bus, there was no way to go back for my stuff and I had to tough it out.  Thankfully they had yummy, vegan hot dogs at the end!!!
  • I cut my toenails super short and had no problems this time.  None of my toenails turned blue or bruised and there’s no lifting.  Last time I lost two toenails!
  • Running gel (Glide) helps with thigh chafing but didn’t do anything for my under-bra-boob-on-belly chafing I get, which is a lovely, stinging, red line that shows where my bra sat and chaffed the whole time.  Ouch.
  • Shaved or not, how to maintain the female runner’s  bikini area is still a mystery to me.  I thought some decent growth in that zone would help things in the chaffing arena (last time I ran a half, I performed some bikini area shaving close to the long distance running date and it resulted in perfect, horrid, little circles of bare, raw, open, weeping flesh around each follicle), but it seems that the bikini zone is simply destined for difficulty.  I had significant chaffing this time, too, even though I did forgo the razor all during the swim suit season of August.  It seems I can’t win with that zone!  I’ll guess I’ll just require a recovery time and comfortable undies (aka ‘spanky pants’) the day or two after a long run!  And yes.  I tried waxing.  Some stories shouldn’t be published.  Let’s just say that bikini waxing is not my jam.  At all.  Or even in the general area of my jam.
  • I forgot to use my inhaler and did totally fine.  Phew.  I guess it really does have a whole lot to do with anxiety and weather, not just running.
  • Once again, I can make it ten miles, but beyond that gets really hard…  Except that this time it was only the last mile that was truly the worst one.  Doing it once before gave me so much confidence that it wasn’t quite as hard to finish it this time.
  • I used the toilet before I ran, but still had to pee by mile three.  I was worried the trend of peeing every mile was starting again, but I was just fine after that!  Phew!
  • I trained, practiced, and worked up to this run.  The night before I rolled out my muscles and the morning of I stretched out really well.  At the start line, I was that guy, hopping around on one foot, bending over, stretching as much as possible.  After I crossed the finish line, I stretched some more.  Guess who didn’t get any Charlie horse cramps on the way home, the next day or any other times?  This girl!  I’ve been rolling my legs every night and think I’m ready for a run, again, tomorrow!  

Bubble Run

I have to confess something: I signed up for the Bubble Run under duress.  I asked Gigi which runs she wanted to do this year and she named Beat the Blerch and the Bubble Run as her numbers one and two priorities.  I fear the water.  I rarely ride amusement park rides that get me wet for two reasons: I hate having a wet crotch that results in wet-thigh-rub-ouchie from running and or walking afterwards and I get overly worried about wet, blistery feet.  The Bubble Run has planned wetness for three miles.  Yikes!!!  Through a bubble bog every half mile!  Including the start line!  It sounded like a nightmare, so when I thought we were going to be in Disneyland for the race I was not disappointed. At all.  I asked a few friends if they wanted to run with our bibs and I got a loose commitment from a friend who said maybe and then never gave it another thought until Wednesday when the informational email came.  I realized that we had two races this weekend- a 5k and half marathon!  Oops!  I spent all day Friday trying to talk Bradley and Jude into using our bibs until Jude spiked a fever and Bradley worked in insulation all day and his lungs felt yucky.  Indeed, it was to be Guinevere and I running this one, so I decided to embrace the run and plan for the best.

Well, it was AWESOME!  We picked up our packets and modified our run shirts into tanks, which, I won’t lie, made us pretty stoked for the run.  Then we looked at videos and got even more amped.  We set our alarms, drank some coffee, ate a granola bar and hit the road.  As we stood at the start line, the crowd yelled and the foam started flowing.  We surged forward and, by the time we crossed the start, we were already knee high in bubbles!  Each bog was a different color and as we went though we’d get covered in a new dye.  Some of the bubble bogs were waist deep, but the blue one was over my head and I literally had to hang onto Gigi otherwise I’d have lost her!  It was terrific fun!  When we got close to the finish line, Gigi ran ahead to take pictures of her mom as she crossed it, which was so flattering to me.  How thoughtful was that? We totally want to do this again, next year, except we want to bring our boys to play along.  I think Jude would just love it, especially at the end where there was a bubble canon that shot bubbles like crazy into the air.  We got to play, make bubble angels and roll around in it to our heart’s content.  It was a fun and energizing way to prepare ourselves for the real race tomorrow: Iron Horse Half Marathon!  We both have a cold and this helped us to feel much more confident!


So…  I posted this the other day, while we were on vacation, and, like any other blog post, I posted it to Facebook and Donnie Wahlberg liked it.  The Donnie Wahlberg from NKOTB and Blue Bloods.  The Donnie Wahlberg who scored a fairly dedicated crush from me during my teenage years when I wasn’t ready for a real boyfriend yet.  At first I thought one of my friends was messing with me and had created a Donnie Wahlberg account to punk me (and wondered who the heck has that kind of time), then I thought it was a fan page, but I went and looked and…!!!  It was him!  Does it mean anything?  Nope.  But does it mean everything?  Yep.  

Sigh.  I will meet him one day.  Oh yes, it will be done.  It’s good to have goals, huh?

I’m not sure how he found me.  I didn’t tag him except on Instagram, so he may have followed that paper trail, and yes, I totally spazzed out.  The Donnie Osmond comment was great because I loved him, too.  Apparently I have a thing for guys named Donnie!  He he!  I still have my Donny Osmond doll I got for my fifth birthday!

(And that’s a skort- not my undies- it’s my favorite travel clothing ever!)

Amusement Parks

Last night, Bradley and I had the unique opportunity to visit Disneyland by ourselves, without the kids!  Gigi is finding her newfound responsibility as a babysitter to be intriguing, so last night when Bradley and I wanted to absorb every last drop of Disneyland, Gigi cited a cold as an excuse to stay in the hotel while Jude was just plain tired and found the allure of cable tv too exciting to pass up.  We don’t have cable at home, so the Disney channel is just as much a vacation treat as anything else.  We talked about safety, talked about what to do in case of an emergency, then took a ‘soft date’ at the hotel happy hour to try it out and after one more check on our kids, vegetating in our room, we took off to Disneyland!

It’s been 17 years since we first visited Disneyland on our honeymoon and every return we’ve made has had friends or family in tow.  The result has been a focus on the group dynamic and making everyone happy, but last night we just focused on us.  It was a weird and wonderful experience.  Without the kids, we became the kids.  We ran around, laughed out loud, kissed when we wanted, took too many selfies and rode on just a couple of rides.  We did manage to drink a few beers, too…  I don’t generally drink except in these kinds of situations and Bradley has gone dry over the past year, so we were prett loose and having a great time!   We shopped and impulsively and bought silly souvineers for ourselves like a Little Mermaid bubble wand (for me) and a stuffed octopus for him (Hank from Finding Dory reminds Bradley of himself and he got a little attached to the critter).😉

The other thing that happened was being able to notice the way my body works in an amusement park for me.  Because I’m always trying to point out reasons to myself to stay in shape and to avoid returning to a heavier weight, I decided to do a little reflection here:

  • Belts: Rides usually have some kind of safety belt or security bar.  I was always wedged in so tightly to every ride!  It was kind of nice- I rarely slid around while on a ride and felt safe in my spot.  That said, it was also a tremendous stressor.  While Disneyland does an extraordinary job of making most rides universally accessible to almost all riders (even at 340 pounds and a size 28/30, I fit on all the Disneyland rides, without question), other amusement parks don’t employ the same strategy.  Nobody wants to do the walk of shame for being too big to ride, but once it happens to you, the humiliation and anxiety that rises up as one approaches a new ride is intense.  During this trip to Disneyland, the bar never even touched my stomach unless I leaned up on it.  It was such a weird and oddly wonderful observation.
  • Walking around: The first time we took Gigi to Disneyland, she was 16 months old and I was almost at my heaviest, over 300 but not at my max.  We stayed at a hotel directly across the street, but by the time we got out of the park on any given return to the hotel, I could hardly handle it.  That I had to climb stairs to the second floor was torture.  I’d put Gigi down for a nap, then I’d crash too!  It was simply exhausting!  I ended up being one of those moms who sends the kid and hubs on the ride while I was really, honestly satisfied to sit back and take pictures  -my feet and body were so tired!!!  Now my feet don’t get tired at all.  My hips get sore from all the standing, but last night we were on day 7 of an intense trip and when the jazz band drove by, there were Bradley and I boogeying in the street and running through the park.  My body isn’t sore and I’ve got energy on reserve!  What a wonderful feeling, knowing that I can do this ‘life’ thing, now!
  • Clothing: Disneyland does a good job of merchandising to everyone- they’re going to make sure everyone who wants to spend a dollar has something to buy.  That said, when you’re bigger, things are more limited.  These days I wear a size large or extra large so I can try on pretty much everything in the park.  And if the shirt doesn’t fit, there’s always a size up or down, now, and I can actually get what I really want without settling.  Furthermore, I don’t feel like I have to dress to hide my body.  I saw so many bigger people walking around in black shirts and pants, long sleeved, long panted and I just remembered doing the same and being so hot.  I wore tank tops, this time, a strapless bra under a sundress, short shorts, dresses without leggings under them and even my workout capris.  I felt so free!  Furthermore, I can fit more clothes into my bag and they take up less space, just from the lack of fabric.  We used to marvel that my bag was jam packed while Bradley’s was practically empty, but my clothes simply took up more space than they do now.  Now I have room for important souvineers.  You know.  Like an Ariel bubble wand and stuffed octopus toy.  😋
  • Sweating:  The sweat factor is way different now.  I still sweat, of course, but not nearly to the degree that I once used to.  
  • Exhaustion: I used to nap daily during our excursions to the Magic Kingdom, but now I’ve got serious oomph.  We still come back to the hotel for a midday break, but now instead of sending the kids and daddy to the pool so mom could nap, I take the kids to the pool so dad can nap!  (He’s still dealing with that car accident injury that’s been exhausting him constantly.)  I feel like I get to participate more completely with my family by showing up consistently and not needing extensive recuperation time.  I feel like instead of Bradley always supporting me, I get to return the support to him.  This time it wasn’t just him carrying the backpack, running for fast passes or making bathroom runs with the kids.  This time it was me, too, who shouldered part of that burden.  You know.  Like a real partnership.
  • Heat: When I was heavy I was like a furnace.  I used to tell Bradley that once my core overheated, I needed either a dunk in the pool or a cool shower.  I lived in the pool and shower when I was in California.  In any water play place, I was in the thick of it, wetting my arms, seeking the mist, dipping my toes- anything to cool off!  Any theater was an oasis of air conditioning.  I’d shop in any store that would allow me to stand near an icy blast.  Now I have the opposite problem, funnily enough.  I actually carry a thin sweater with me at all times so I can slip it on in theaters, stores, rides or any other place that blasts that cold, freezing, arctic air!  I goosebump like a porcupine and shiver, almost uncontrollably and definitely instantly until I can return to the sun.  Sadly, this has extended to the pool, too, and I’m no longer the water woman I once was.  Swimming just looks like a chance to shiver, so I avoid it at all costs now.  Sitting by the pool and smiling, though?  I’ve got that jam down.
  • Food: I needed to support my body size and energy level with food, so I was always hungry in Disneyland when I was heavy.  Ice cream called, churros beckoned, the smell of anything reminded me that I needed to eat.  I didn’t want snacks, either.  I wanted a full-on, sit down meal for breakfast and dinner.  It was expensive, but red robin is down the street with AC, bottomless Diet Coke and fries and delicious burgers.  On one trip, I think we ate there five times!  These days we buy a microwave at Target, along with Lean Cuisine, oatmeal cups, vegetarian proteins, fruit, veggies, granola bars, cheese sticks…  We eat snacks (aka many small meals) all day long and only go out to eat a few times on the trip.  We always are fed and hydrated with decent enough food that we dont get too grumpy from being hungry.  (We give the microwave to the hotel, hotel employee or another thrifty family before we head out.You can usually rent a microwave for about 25 per night but they only cost 30ish to buy and we eat so much better with the ability to feed ourselves independently.)

    *Every once in a while I like to restate the purpose of  I started this blog as an accountability tool for myself.  I realized that I had such shame about my weight that I entirely hid my eating, exercise, dieting and depression from other people in order to keep up appearances.  I realized that transparency is really important to me in order to be successful.  While I share my blog with the world, it’s really, most often, a reflective moment when I own who I am and what I do to myself, sort of a diary.  As my website has grown over the years, in weaker moments I turn to particular posts to remind myself of my power and what I am capable of; I get inspired and find a pocket of determination based on what I was capable of doing before.  Sometimes I feel like I brag too much on here, then I remember, the ‘why’.  That others want to read about my body project is quite a bonus of support.  🙂

    **The Picture set up top is from the exit of the Roger Rabbit ride in Toontown.  Ever since our first visit to Disneyland on our honeymoon in 1999, Bradley has had me pose on that tire stack.  I was so self conscious the first time he made me do it, but now it’s just a tradition!  🙂

    Autumn Goals

    So, day bazillion in Disneyland.  Having kids that are bigger means we can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time.  It’s amazing that things have changed so significantly in the past two years with their growing up.  I used to say taking the kids to Disneyland was like trying to herd cats through the mall at Christmastime, slow and meandering- but now they are focused, fast and driven.  Both ways are fun and nice.  I’ve loved every single phase of parenthood- I have yet to get to a point where I’m ‘over’ being a mom and for them to ‘just grow up already.’  If anything I want to make them slow down, molasses them, make them stay little.  It was lovely when we were walking behind toddling Gigi down Winnie the Pooh’s path and just as lovely to be watching my big boy, Jude, look like one of the oldest kids in the Jedi Academy.  I can’t wait to bring grandkids, too.  Shhhhh….  Every phase, I’m telling you.  I had one day where I went over 20,000 steps and what got me there was going in the evening and morning.  To get a bunch of steps, at Disneyland, you really have to put in your time.  Line standing equals no steps.  Going home at 3:00 to swim in the pool and laze around the hotel room watching cable tv doesn’t help, either.  I suppose going fast and accomplishing a lot in that short period of time comes at a cost.  LOL!

    Gigi bought this dress as a bonus back to school outfit.  She got so much attention while wearing it that she turned to us at one point and said that she felt like she was little again and wearing a princess dress.  We called her Princess Guinevere, the Sky Princess.  Even if she won’t dress up for the park anymore, she will always be a princess when in the Magic Kingdom.❤️

    I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish as school starts, fitness and weightloss wise. 

    • First, I don’t think I’m going to become a certified Zumba instructor.  I was really excited about the prospect and was about half a second away from registering when I took a Zumba class this summer and instantly, the injuries I had recovered from during the prior month reappeared.  My back hurt.  My shoulders hurt.  My breast-support-muscle injuries started returning.  I don’t think dedicating a significant part of my life to that is a good idea.
    • I used to host bi-weekly Zumba workouts in my classroom after school, but I don’t know about that so much this year.  My son will be attending my school with me, which is a change, and I’d hate to make his day longer by adding two nights of Zumba to it.  I’m considering one day a week, but really I’m just hoping that another teacher might take it on and host sometimes, too.
    • I’m mad about running with Gigi.  Simply crazy about her!  I want to make sure we keep running and connecting.  That’s the most important thing for me right now- maintaining my relationship with her, helping to maintain her relationship with running and continuing to develop as a runner, myself.  I’m pretty serious about training for a whole, entire marathon, now.  It sounds so unappealing, but at the same time, it sounds thrilling and like such an accomplishment!  Imagine having that experience and memory of your own mother or father to hang onto.  I’d love to share that gift with her.
    • Fat, fat, fat.  Skinny Meg went and had a boob job AND lower body lift and looks simply AMAZING.  All of her hard work is right there, for all to see, now!  Abs are visible, tummy is flat, thighs look smooth- it’s been an amazing transformation.  While plastic surgery is, likely, something that I will never be able to afford, I do like the idea of getting to a place where, if the opportunity came up, I wouldn’t feel like I needed to lose more weight or get into better shape to have it.  While my entire motivation in the beginning was to ditch the skin after I lost the fat, now I feel pretty satisfied at the prospect of just getting that far.  To that end, I really want to focus on losing some fat this fall.  It’s going to be really hard, again.  I eat like a runner who runs a lot, because I do run a lot, so to lose some fat means I’m going to get a bit grumpy, frankly, as I dial the calories around and figure out a method.  First thing that needs to be adjusted is my night habit of ice cream.  It’s so hard for me to deny myself ice cream (seriously) but if I want the results I need to get my rear in gear.  Once I get to where I want to be I can eat like a runner again, as long as I keep running!


    Being on vacation is funny. It’s supposed to be all about relaxation and recharging your batteries, but theme park vacations are anything but relaxing! Since we left on Wednesday I haven’t slept in past 6:00 AM and haven’t gone to bed before 11:30! And guess what? It’s a fabulous vacation! Lol! Our vacations are almost always at Disneyland. We are just ‘those people’. Some like Hawaii, some go camping, we go to Disneyland. Never before have I been reminded of how much a creature of habit I am than this trip. Disneyland is relaxing to our family. I always just thought we liked it here and that’s why, but it really has more to do with our familiarity with the environment and straight up happiness than anything. This year we added the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios to our itinerary and oh my goodness if that wasn’t the most exhausting day on the books! We had to learn the map, see all new attractions and an entirely different method of processing entertainment.

    I won’t say we are uptight and pious, but we definitely shy away from cynicism, teasing, violence and, mayhaps, we’ve passed that onto our children because we had to keep coaching them- it’s ok! It’s funny to make fun of old people… Sometimes… Babies, too! Boogers are hilarious- so are farts! And it’s just fake blood! It’s not gross!  Don’t worry! They only pretended to cut her arm off! But they were chagrined and shocked by all the rude and insensitive humor! LOL! Psycho, with the motel, iconic house on the hill and actual, real life Norman Bates carrying his dead mother to the trunk of the car, then chasing us menacingly with a knife, freaked them out beyond the beyond and forget about Jaws. Straight up traumatic for my littles. They’re so not toughened up! By the time we walked around in the 85 degree heat in that environment with 10,000 other people for 15 hours, we were so ready for hotel and home-sweet-DISNEYLAND!

    The truly interesting part of this whole vacay thang this time ’round is that I always feel so authentically, entirely exhausted by the end of a theme park day, but I have yet to exceed 14,000 steps! Last time we vacationed in Disneyland we had a hotel walk to take every morning and night that resulted in a tremendous step boost to over 20,000 steps daily. I’ll be curious to see what actually shakes out as the average by the end of the trip. That said, my hips feel like I’ve been running ten miles a day. I realized that there’s a lot of standing in line and everywhere else and that definitely takes its toll on me. I’m planning a solid rest time upon our return home to insure I’ll be able to run the half marathon on the 28th!  The other interesting thing, regarding my body, is that my belt had to be tightened two notches since I got here.  Either I’m dehydrated or I’m losing some weight.  Hopefully it’s the latter and not the former.  😋

    High points from the trip so far:

    • The Live Frozen Musical in the Hyperion theater is just incredible- a parallel to the Aladdin show that lasted there for 14 years. I actually got teary a couple of times. I thought I’d heard Let it Go enough times to not get mushy about it, but it felt anthemic and girl powerish in a way that was pretty moving. Loved it!
    • Soarin’ was new! Before I’ve always soared over California, but they changed it to be worldwide. I saw the scope of the Great Wall of China and was able to show my kids specifically how the Bavarian castles of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau are just a hop and a skip across the forest from one another, just like when I saw them in real life. It allowed my family to see things, to travel the world in a super accessible way and it was fairly emotional to me as I love, Love, LOVE travel but can’t afford it on a grand scale often.  Last time I saw a different continent I was 23!
    • Turtle Talk with Crush (an interactive movie where a guy behind the scenes voices the character and talks with the audience while the turtle swims around on the screen) resulted in Jude being quizzed about his favorite food. Jude told Crush his favorite food is a banana because of its shape. 😳   Yep.  The audience literally gasped… Crush went silent….  And then he added because it’s shaped like the letter C. I was dying of silent laughter!  My sweetheart of a boy!
    • During our first morning at Disneyland, we cleaned up the entirety of Tomorrowland and also managed to ride Indiana Jones PLUS Thunder Mountain before 1:00! We were impressed!We learned to go to the opposite park as has the one that is hosting the Early Entry Magic Morning. The Disney Park (Disneyland or Disney’s California Adventure) with the early entry is PACKED while the other park has been comparably empty. We banked a lot of solid, low-crowd-impact playtime by taking advantage of the schedule. 😉
    • Chewbacca was the sweetest Wookie ever.  He lovingly caressed all of our faces, compared our hair color and lengths before hugging us the same way he hugs Han after he is released from the carbonite.  I’ll confess I may have cried a little.  The older I get the sappier (and happier) I get.


    All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun

    Today is Donnie Wahlberg’s birthday. My first major crush turned a yummy 47 distinguished years of age today so I just flew on down to Hollywood to canoodle with the NKOTB star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I curled up next to it, marveled at the star, maybe sang a quiet little ditty then moved on. But do you ever do one of those ‘just right’ things that makes you alarmingly happy in a fairly subtle kind of way? It just makes me so happy to do things for the 14 year old who lives within me, and she really wanted to say happy birthday to D-Dub today!

    After Donnie and I had our meeting of the minds on the hot and dirty Hollywood Boulevard, I got up, dusted off and went to see Robin Williams, Julie Andrews and all the other sights- weird and frightening to beautiful and sparky- we returned to our expensively, parking-ticketed car and headed to La Brea Tar Pits. We had planned on the Getty, too, but HA! By the time we were done looking at Dino bones it was 5:00 and time to drive in the traffic home to hotel. It’s no surprise that I hit my steps and even pushed past. Something tells me that this California vacay is going to be a busy one! I’m certain to get my steps in! It’s DISNEYLAND after all!

    But now? Today is long, starting at 3:45 and my droopy eyelids are sliding down… Harry Potter, tomorrow!

    Burke-Gilman Speed Queens

    Today we returned to the scene of the ten mile run to repeat half of that.  There we were, cruising along, and all of the sudden, the voice from the app that announces splits, miles and all the stats as one passes them came on and told me I ran my first mile in 8:13 or some such nonsense.  I was convinced that there was a glitch until it just continued for all five miles!  They weren’t all in the eight minute zone but they sure didn’t stray too far from it, either.  To finish all five miles with an astonishing 9:08 average pace is just mind boggling to me.  For me this is FAST.   I credit a few things: 

    1. My kid pulls me along.  She paces faster than I do and I want to chat with her so I run harder than usual.  Today was no exception.  I couldn’t figure out why I felt so tired at first and credited it to running the ten a couple of days ago.  When I started hearing the splits I totally got it!
    2. We’ve been running in some fairly significant heat.  Most of our runs, lately, are in the middle of the day because we both love sleeping in more than we love early morning runs.  Call us crazy.  Today we were at the Burke-Gilman trail by 9:00 and got to run in the cooler, shadier morning.  All of that running in the heat has actually trained us to be a little faster…  Maybe.  We will see if this trend holds.
    3. The Burke-Gilman is flat as a pancake.  You run along a swampy, slow river slough, where I run (from Wayne Golf Course to Redhook Brewery is just a tad over ten miles, we start at Wayne, always). I live, however, on a hill.  At the zenith of the hill, so I always run downhill at the beginning of the run and end it with a long, slow slog uphill.  While I don’t love it, it’s not as hard as it once was so I imagine it helps when I’m running downhill a lot or, in this case, completely flat.

    I may have promised Guinevere that I’ll train for a full marathon with her.  Shhhh.  Don’t tell anyone.  What have I gotten into?  I just want more opportunities to run and chat with her!  Today she thanked me for forcing her to go running a lot.  She said she gets it, now, why I want to go all the time.  She’s got the bug, now.  The one that itches at you every day until you go for a run becasue you know that no day is ever as good as the ones with running in them.  (Sigh of contentment.) This is a bug I’m proud to have passed on to her.  😉

    Ten Miles & Three Conversations

    • Mommy?  How much longer?
    • We are 2/10 of the way!  You’re amazing!
    • Wow!
    • Mommy?  How far is 2/10?  Can you just tell me?
    • Gigi!  You know it’s…  I meant to say 2/5.  You’ve gone 4 miles.  I was trying to be clever for my seventh grader.
    • Just tell me next time.  Your brain is not functioning properly right now.

    Oh how true.  Then:

    • I’m done, Mom.  Done, done, DONE!
    • Well…
    • Seriously.  How much longer?
    • We’ve gone 7 mi…
    • Oh good!  7 miles!  Just three more to go!  We can do that, it’s just a 5 K or three times around the smallest block…
    • MOMMY!  How much longer now?
    • We’ve gone 7.1 miles.  Stop asking.
    • I’m so over this run.


    • Are we there yet?
    • Seriously, Gi, does it look like we are there?  No car!  No parking lot!
    • I know, but how much longer!  I’M DONE!
    • Well, we have a few choices: I can baby you, coach you or bully you. Which do you choose?  I can call Daddy to come get you, we can walk and review how amazing this has been so far or I can turn into your drill sergeant and tell you that you have to get back to the car, one way or another, so hustle!  Help me help you.
    • You don’t have to do any of that.
    • No?
    • No.  It’s just fun to complain a little.  I’m having a great time.  I mean, I’m over it, but I am running ten miles today no matter what.

    And we did.

    Half-Marathon Season

    Didn’t you know? The seasons go: winter, spring, summer, half marathon, autumn… At least on my calendar it does.  Oi-vey, how do I get into these messes? These gorgeous, beautiful, awesome messes. The other day Gigi and I were on our long run for the week of seven miles and she confessed that she really wants to run a half marathon before school starts in the fall. Like, somehow finishing that distance was the thing she wanted to accomplish above all else this summer and shed feel proud to head back to school, knowing that she had that power. I got busy trying to create a route that we could run over Labor Day weekend when lo and behold, something landed in my inbox from Orca Running… Something about people who might benefit from a discounted race entry to the Iron Horse Half Marathon that takes place on August 28th and is all on a mild downhill grade! Guess who wrote right away on behalf of her daughter in hopes of making her wish come true? And guess who helped to fulfill that by offering not only Gigi a scholarship but her mama too? ORCA RUNNING! That’s right, we start out in North Bend, hop on a bus that takes us 13.1 miles up the mountain and then we get to run back to our cars, at a deep discount! 👍  I’m so excited. So ridiculously excited! Tomorrow we are running ten training miles in celebration and preparation. We are going on vacation soon and need to be ready to run upon our return. Guess who is excited about vacay running? Gigi. Sigh. Love that kid!

    Two weeks later we are heading right back out to Carnation for the Beat the Blerch Half Marathon, then I have the Snohomish River Run Half Marathon around October 8th or 9th. It’s going to be busy and SOMUCHFUN! Hopefully some muscle will build and fat will vacate in the process!