*My introduction to the M.E.L.T. Method*

My long-time yoga teacher/mentor/friend became a certified M.E.L.T. Method instructor a while back and has been teaching classes for at least a year now. She had invited me several times to come check out a class and experience the benefits of the practice, commonly known as self-myofascial release (runners call it “foam rolling”), but I never made the time for it until today!

Honestly, I was really wanting a straight-up yoga class. I’m in some serious need of some mind/body/breath recalibration, if you will. But on Wednesdays, she teaches the M.E.L.T. class and knowing that it would probably do me some good too, decided to go (finally!) check it out.

So before I share any further, I have a confession to make. I sort of… kind of… had NEVER foam rolled before. *GASP*

I know. I know. I preach about the importance of self-care and I know how beneficial rolling is. Especially for runners. I truly have no real excuse other than I don’t own a roller. And, well maybe I just assumed that my yoga practice was good enough.

Anyway, this rolling is good stuff. Damn good stuff I tell you! I definitely had some blockages that were pretty intense when I rolled over them. But overall, it felt really wonderful and post-class, I felt like I had just had a full-body massage!

Even though I learned about fascia (the connective tissue that supports muscles and surrounding structures) years ago, I never really gave it much thought in terms of how it may play a role in some of my ongoing issues. Today really opened my eyes and I’m not going to miss an opportunity to add foam rolling, in whatever form it takes, to my regular self-care practices!

Looking around online, I found a few links that have some more information about the M.E.L.T. Method and foam rolling that I think will be helpful as I get started exploring them on a deeper level.

Learn more about the M.E.L.T. Method here.

10 Self-Myofascial Release Exercises for Runners from Active.com

Self-Myofascial Release Techniques from Perform Better

And, if you so happen to reside in my neck of the woods and are looking for a class or instructor, check out the Yoga Loft in Scappoose.

*Weekly mileage ~ catching up*

Mileage for the week of July 7th through July 20th:

Total weekly(x2) mileage: 62.5

Total July mileage (to-date): 95.5

Total year-to-date mileage: 1,231.5

Run review:

7/7      38:44 min./4.75 mi./8:09 pace

7/8       31:54 min./4 mi./7:58 pace

7/9      49:25 min./6 mi./8:14 pace

7/10    25:40 min./3.25 mi./7:54 pace

7/11     17:42 min./1.9 mi./9:19 pace (Smith Rock)

37:44 min./3.6 mi./10:29 pace

7/12     1:10:13 min./8 mi./8:47 pace

7/13     35:38 min./4.25 mi./8:23 pace

7/14     56:09 min./6 mi./9:21 pace

7/15      No run/x-trained – 6 mile bike ride

7/16     26:25 min./3 mi./8:49 pace

7/17     26:58 min./3.25 mi./8:18 pace

7/18      1:25:16 min./10.25 mi./8:19 pace

7/19      45:20 min./4.25 mi./10:40 pace

7/20      No run/rest day

Whew. I’m caught up on my mileage posts! It was easiest to just lump it all together so this reflects the past two weeks of training. If you can call it training since I’m not really training right now. After the Vancouver USA Marathon, I was planning to take it easy for about a month so between recovering from VUM, and a busy first half of July, it has worked out perfectly.

I’m a little behind schedule on jumping back into marathon training for The Oregon Marathon in September so this week I’ll be putting the finishing touches on my training plan and then it is GO time!!

*Returning to the routine*

Oh my!!! I haven’t posted in 11 days! It is hard to believe how quickly time passes sometimes, isn’t it? I’m glad to be back though!!

I was off adventuring for a portion of those 11 days… spending lots of time with family and friends (including a birthday celebration), exploring natural wonders, running, and drinking lots of wine.  I am a blessed girl!

One of the highlights of my trip was visiting the stunning Smith Rock in Central Oregon. As a kid, whenever we passed through the area, my dad would joke that Smith Rock (Smith is my maiden name) was name after our family. I’ve felt its magical pull ever since. Last Friday, I headed over  there and ran 5.5 solo, and very hot, miles on trail along the Crooked River. I also hiked a challenging route that takes you to the famous rock formation, Monkey Face. I was totally blissed out every single second!!

I ran all but one day while I was off playing. It was so nice to have a change in scenery! I love Central Oregon and would live there in a heartbeat if the right opportunity came along. Just sayin’! ; ) I’m already ready to go back!

Central Oregon sunset.

Central Oregon sunset.

In the two days I’ve been home, it has been a whirlwind of getting back into the usual routine. While we are already halfway through the month, I’m looking forward to making the most of the second half. All of my recent runs have been fantastic and fun but I’m kind of feeling ready to train again. Ready to push myself a bit harder than I have been. I find comfort in the structure of working towards a goal so I’m excited to see what the next few weeks bring!

*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of June 30th through July 6th:

Total weekly mileage: 33

Total June mileage (to-date): 178.5

Total July mileage (to-date): 33

Total year-to-date mileage: 1,169

Run review:

6/30     No run/rest day

7/1       52:11 min./5 mi./10:25

7/2       42:55 min./5.25 mi./8:10

7/3      32:39 min./4 mi./8:10 pace

26:04 min./2.75 mi./9:27 pace (Fit Right NW Urban Adventure Run)

7/4       1:22:09 min./10 mi./8:13 pace

7/5       3 miles (no stats, dead Garmin)

7/6      Red, White, and Blues 5K

With a race yesterday, instead of a long run, my weekly mileage was considerably lower last week. So much so that after a really low mileage weekend, 6 miles in all, I decided I couldn’t justify a rest day today. HA! Some weeks are just like that I suppose. Actually, I may rearrange my schedule a little later in the week to accommodate some adventuring so I think it will work out perfectly.

My intention to get in two speed work sessions and/or some hill repeats failed this past week. This week might prove to be challenging as well with said adventuring but I’m going to the best I can do and not worry too much about it. A little break in the routine is nice and I’ve got some fun runs planned this weekend. It’s all good!

*His first 5K*

Sharing the things that I love, with the ones that I love, makes my heart oh so happy! This morning my son and I ran the Red, White, and Blues 5K in Portland thanks to the fantastic peeps at Nuun Hydration and the Better Series. A huge THANKS for making this race possible and helping create a wonderful memory with my son!

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Red, White, and Blues 5K

We could not have asked for a better morning for a race!! It took place right in downtown Portland on the waterfront. The sun was shining, the temp was perfect, and it was great to see a good turnout for the inaugural event. Kuddo’s to the Better Series for putting on such a stellar race! Other than the course being a bit short (about a quarter-mile according to my watch), it was well-organized and the medals were fantastic for a 5k! The shirts are pretty sweet too!

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Ready, set, RACE!

If I recall correctly, I was 17 years old when I ran my first 5K. I find so much delight in watching my kids discover running at a way younger age than I was when I started. It is my hope that they will enjoy it as much as I have and will continue to run as they get older.

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Cooling off post-race!

I’m pretty proud of this guy!!

*Happy 4th of July!*

However you are celebrating Independence Day today, have a fantastic 4th and stay safe, friends!!

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*My new gig*

One of the highlights of last year was the opportunity to volunteer some of my time as an assistant coach for a local middle school cross-country club. I fell in love with coaching instantly and knew that there would be more of it in my future!

Due to budget cuts in our school district a few years ago, middle school sports were cut due to lack of funding. Other recreational programs, such as the one I volunteered for through our 4-H program, helped fill the gap and provided kids an opportunity to be active. However, the school-based sports were missed.This past spring, the district was able to find enough funding to bring some of the sports back, including cross-country, this fall.

Long story short: A few weeks ago I found out that they were looking for a coach for the upcoming season and applied for the position. Last week I interviewed. And, well, this past Monday morning, at exactly 9:37 AM, the athletic director called to offer me the job which I immediately accepted. Upon hanging up, I jumped up and down several times and squealed with delight. ; )

I’m so excited to take on this new role and honored that I was selected! Though I’ve done various youth coaching over the years, this will be a whole new experience and I can’t wait to dive in later this summer!

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