*Weekly mileage ~ Oct. 17-23*

Mileage for the week of October 17th – October 23rd

Total weekly mileage: 28.25

Total October mileage: 79.75

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 1,171

Week in review:

10/17     No run/rest day

10/18     35:16 min./4 mi./8:48 pace

10/19     28:40 min./3 mi./9:20 pace (+hill repeats at November Project)

10/20     36:40 min./4 mi./9:06 pace

10/21     47:24 min.5.25 mi./9:01 pace

10/22     53:07 min./5 mi./10:36 pace (*mostly on trail)

10/23     1:12:15 min./7 mi./10:18 pace (*mostly on trail)

Last week was truly a transition week as I returned to my regular running schedule, began to carefully increase my mileage while keeping the pace easy, and got out on trail for two runs over the weekend. I also did one 30 minute yoga session (on my own), attended a November Project workout, and did a couple of strength training sessions.

I was challenged by some lingering psoas discomfort on my right side but besides that, I’m feeling pretty decent. The two trail runs over the weekend were both really hilly so I’m glad I was feeling good enough to tackle them.

This week will be similar, structure wise, though I’ll up the mileage a tiny bit and hopefully add some form of a speed workout in somewhere. As I mentioned in a post or two back, I’m really feeling the need to incorporate more of both yoga/stretching and strength training. The strength training comes so much easier.

Enjoy the final week of October! (I can’t believe we are a week away from November already!!)

*Ready to go!*

It’s official! My next race will be the Griffith Park Trail 10k on Sunday, November 13th!

I’m really excited to get back to trail running! My intention this year was to make the switch from predominately road running/racing to trail. However, having moved into the heart of the city, it hasn’t worked out the way I’d hoped. While I’m super grateful for the abundance of mountain trails neighboring the urban landscape, it’s been tricky to get out as much as I’d like. The nearest trail is about three miles from my place and while it’s better than nothing, it’s not very long and way too congested for my taste. (The user demographic seems to be primarily twenty-something-year-old girls that are more interested in showing off their latest Victoria Secret Pink “workout” wear than actually working out. But that’s LA for ya.)

Anyway, there are options and I need to make it a bigger priority to get out and explore. Now that I’m not immediately training for any big distances… that could change soon though… ; ) I’m looking forward to switching gears and hitting the trails a bit more frequently!


Breaking in new trail shoes!

Today was my first day back on the dirt and it went better than I expected! Being just 13 days post-marathon, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve been taking it pretty easy the past week but felt pretty good overall and feel like I’m ready to transition back into training mode.


My fancy training plan.

I’m still tweaking my plan but I’ve got a basic outline. As long as our family schedule works in my favor, I’m hoping to hit the November Project each week. I was successful this past Wednesday and hope I can continue to go on a regular basis. My other cross-training goal is to get at least one solid yoga session in, ideally a class, weekly. Last Monday I opted to hit my mat at home for 30 minutes but I really feel a class would do me some good so I’m going to try to make a bigger effort in the coming weeks.

It’s coming together and I’m ready to go!

*Weekly mileage ~ Oct. 10-16*

Mileage for the week of October 10th – October 16th

Total weekly mileage: 8

Total October mileage: 59.5

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 1,142.75

Week in review:

10/10     No run/recovery day

10/11     No run/recovery day

10/12     No run/recovery day

10/13     No run/ active recovery day (2 mile walk)

10/14     No run/ active recovery day (2 mile walk)

10/15     36:27 min./4 mi./9:07 pace

10/16     38:40 min./4 mi./9:31 pace

I think it’s safe to say that last week was a pretty typical recovery week. Taking five full days off is a big deal for me. By Thursday I was getting antsy (and kind of gloomy)!  However, I really knew it would be in my very best interest to give myself those five days off and I’m proud of myself for riding it out.

Waking up Saturday morning I was in such good spirits and so ready to run! It took about a mile for my legs to really get moving and I limited myself to just four miles but it felt so good to move! Minus a little bit of lingering discomfort located in my right glute/SI joint region, I was ecstatic to be back at it. I repeated the same distance Sunday with less discomfort which is a good sign that I’m on the right track.

This week will be a recovery to training transition. A big part of my glum disposition is what I would described as post-event letdown. Not because I was disappointed with the outcome of the race, but rather because I didn’t know what was next. I really thrive on having a focus and it’s hard for me to deal with an empty racing calendar.

A big part of my excitement to return to running Saturday stemmed from discovering an upcoming race that I REALLY want to do in about four weeks. (That in addition to becoming an official Oiselle Volée team member which I shared yesterday.) Thus, the transition this week. I’m not 100% committed yet… ie: registered, so I’ll save the details for after that happens but I’m currently creating my training plan as if I’ve already locked it in. Since it will be quite a change from marathon training, I’m making a few tweaks to mix it up a little and looking forward to some added cross training.

More to come. In the meantime, have a fantastic week!

*Come fly with me*

As a young girl, I longed to be a part of the “in” crowd. Specifically, I wanted to be a part of a small group of girls that were the best of friends. We were all friends really and I got invited to their homes for sleepovers and birthday parties and such, but I always felt like I was slightly on the outside craving a deeper connection.


#flystyle back in grade school!

This very much summarizes the way I have also felt in recent years watching the sisterhood of the Oiselle Volée team flourish. (In French,oiselle means female bird and volée means birds or a flock flying or in flight.) I’ve been in love with the company, and what they stand for, for a number of years now and have yearned to be a part of it even though I didn’t want to admit it. I am drawn to the comradery of the membership and to the endless amount of inspiration.

A few months ago, and I believe it is directly tied to my move and my desire to create new relationships with like-minded kindred spirits, that I decided I’d join the Volée team at the next opportunity. The timing could not have been better either. After coming down off of my marathon high last weekend, I was feeling really disoriented without having a goal to focus on and the uncertainty about where I’m heading next. This team is exactly what I need.

Whether it’s meeting other local runners, connecting online more broadly, or simply making a friend or two, the people we surround ourselves with weave into our beliefs of what we think is possible, and how we view ourselves and our potential. ~ Lauren Fleshman

This week, I became an official member of the Oiselle Volée Team and I’m so excited to get to know my fellow birds and fly with them!volee

*Magical unicorn rainbow stardust shit*

For pretty much the entire duration of my training cycle leading up to the Portland Marathon, I let self-doubt rule. Slow training runs plagued with discomfort, a random knee ailment that forced me to miss several days, lack of training supplemental to my long runs (ie: hill repeats, track work, etc.), and not feeling as fit as I could have been in general lead me to feel that I wasn’t up for a rockstar race performance or that I deserved to line up in the B coral.


In the days leading up to the race, I shared my wish list of what I hoped could happen if for some reason, and I quote “magical unicorn rainbow stardust shit” shows up the morning of the event. Given the mounting insecurity, especially with the travel, on-the-go eating, time on my feet at the expo, and cramming in as much time as I could with family and friends while I was in Portland, I really was just hoping I’d be able to run the whole damn thing without a DNF (did  not finish).

On Saturday afternoon I pretty much thought I was screwed. I was exhausted while I worked a few hours in the Portland Marathon information booth at the packet pickup and expo. I bailed a little bit early because my legs were tired from standing and I was getting hungry. I found a bite and browsed a few stores to kill some time and take my mind off the marathon. Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking was working just a few blocks away so I was planning to make my way to his location but wasn’t in a huge hurry because I’d be basically just waiting around until he finished his day.

I finally made my way there but was feeling a little cranky and was getting hungry again so I toured the set and watched some of the filming before I went out in search of food again. When I returned, I found a distant corner in a hallway and set up camp. I napped for about an hour before someone woke me up apparently concerned whether or not I was okay. Not long after filming wrapped for the day, Mr. WJTWT and I walked around the corner to a bar. I was so groggy, and exhausted, and emotional that I was literally crying into my wine glass with worry about the race. (Yes, I drank a little wine the evening before.) Mr. WJTWT proceeded to give me a pep talk which helped and promised me a chill evening and early bedtime.

We picked up Thai food as we made our way to where we’d be staying for the night. (I had Thai for dinner the night before I ran the Boston Marathon so I was hoping for some good juju.) Another glass of wine was consumed with dinner and then I started getting ready for bed.

Originally, the weather was forecasted to be perfect! Around 55° at the start with a high of 77° for the day and dry and sunny! Reports Saturday starting indicating a turn and sure enough, I woke on Sunday to pouring rain. Considering I’ve probably run the majority of my runs over the course of my life in some sort of precipitation, the rain itself wasn’t too much of concern. However, for the past four months, I’ve been training in a warmer, dryer climate so of course, this was cause for added anxiety about how things would unfold.


The pre-race look of terror while trying to fake a smile…

Mr. WJTWT drove me to downtown Portland and dropped me off just a few blocks from where I needed to enter the coral holding area. I immediately jumped in the porta potty line and then found shelter in a doorway where I waited right up until they moved the coral toward the starting line. My relentless and optimistic ambition had me join the 3:30 pace group. I wasn’t cold but I should have probably made some effort to warm up… which I didn’t. Fortunately, the rain had become more of a light mist and restored hope that maybe we’d have a dry morning.

Soon we were off in a congested glob of sogginess. I immediately was several yards behind the pace group and then found myself among the 3:35 group. That was fine with me. I hung with them for a little while but they pulled ahead and again I was separated by a mass of bodies rhythmically prodding forward.

It took me a couple of miles until I caught back up to the 3:35 group, somewhere between mile four and five. The pace felt too easy so I sped up and set my sights on catching up with the 3:30 group. I believe it was around mile 7 that I settled in with the 3:30 pacers. That lasted until about mile 12 when my pace dropped back and I once again found myself among the 3:35 pack.

Somewhere along the way the rain returned. And then the wind picked up. I started to get chilled and aware of the increasing numbness is my legs and fingers along with psoas discomfort on my right side. Good times. I had a few mantras on rotation that I kept running through my head which I believe was ultimately what got me to the finish line.

Similar to the first year I ran Portland, the approach to the St. Johns Bridge proved to be a setback. The elevation at the peak of the bridge is about 150 feet. My strategy was to take it easy but stick close to the pace group. As I started to ascend, I struck up a conversation with a runner who commented that it was steeper than he thought. We used each other as a distraction from the hill, up and over the bridge, and into the residential neighborhood of St. Johns. While the distraction was nice, my pace slowed more than I wanted it to and now I was further from the 3:35 pace group. I started to fear that the 3:40’s would be hot on my heels soon.

I never really got back to the low 8:00 pace I desired. I settled into a roughly 8:25 pace and decided that from mile 19 to 23 I’d hang there and then pick it up for the last 5k. I could no longer feel anything from my hips down and marveled at how I could still actually be moving with no feeling. But despite that, I didn’t feel like I was completely falling apart. I kept repeating my mantras over and over. I smiled at the spectators that braved the rain to cheer for us and loved hearing people yell out at me, by name since it was printed on my bib, that I looked strong, had a great stride, etc. (That made a huge difference.) I talked with a few runners as we briefly paced side by side. I just kept moving forward.

Those last few miles were tough. They always are. But I was able to pick up my pace slightly. The 3:35 pace group was long gone but the 3:40’s hadn’t caught up yet so I found some hope that I still might make it to the finish line in under 3:40. I gave it everything I had left the last mile and when I rounded the final corner and saw the time, I knew I’d have a Boston qualifying time, even if a squeaker.

I finished in 3:37:40.

It wasn’t a PR but I walked (slowly and painfully) away completely satisfied with my performance. Given the conditions and how I felt leading up to race day, staying mentally strong was a HUGE win for me!


Good enough for a BQ! Even if only by a 2:20 margin!

You just never really know what you’re going to get on race day. Months of preparation can be affected by so many variables… whether or not you’re in a good mental state, the weather, how rested you are, what you consumed in the days leading up to the event… a lot of it is truly chance. And maybe some magical unicorn rainbow stardust shit.

*Weekly mileage ~ Oct. 3-9*

Mileage for the week of October 3rd – October 9th

Total weekly mileage: 39.5

Total October mileage: 51.5

Total year-to-date (2016) mileage: 1,134.75

Week in review:

10/3      No run/rest day

10/4     35:18 min./4 mi./8:50 pace

10/5     34:52 min./4.25 mi./8:11 pace

10/6     26:56 min./3 mi./8:59 pace

10/7     No run/rest day

10/8     2 miles (easy on treadmill)

10/9     3:37:40 min./26.2 mi./8:19 pace

I literally just arrived home about an hour ago from my trip home to Portland. I cannot even begin to describe the whirlwind that the past six days have been. I’m completely exhausted and completely content. It was a magical combination of all of the things that I love most: my family, my friends, running, and the Pacific Northwest.

The coming days will yield a somewhat proper race recap… though I admit that writing recaps is not my strong suit… even as a writer, I find that it’s hard to explain the emotional and mental aspects of racing. I’ll try anyway (and for now, give you a small glimmer of what’s to come…) because even though it wasn’t a PR, it was a pretty incredible run for me for several reasons and the result was meeting one of my goals. I’m still surprised to be honest but I somehow managed to cross the finish line with a BQ!

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes and congratulatory notes on Instagram! Now to relax and enjoy a little down time to recover (because I’m hella sore!) before I get back to the grind!

*Good, Better, Best – Marathon #9*

In a little under 24 hours, I will be landing in Portland for a whirlwind weekend of catching up with my loves, representing the Portland Marathon at the Sports and Fitness Expo, running the marathon on Sunday, and spending as much time as I can with family and friends. I have a feeling it’s going to be a doozy.

So with that, here is my outline of goals for my 9th marathon this Sunday.

Good: show up at the starting line feeling fresh, ready (mentally and physically), and confident.

I’ve had a headache for about four days now along with some mild sinus pressure and an overall feeling of tiredness. I’m assuming it’s some sort of allergy but it’s driving me a bit bonkers. I’ve been getting less sleep than I had hoped due to an overactive mind and on several occasions, waking up in the early morning hours and not being able to return to sleep. I’ve been busy with projects that have cut into time I’d hoped to utilize for more stretching, rest, and relaxation.

On top of all that, I’m starting to find myself in a bit of a panic about the few days leading up to the marathon with working the expo and some crazy-ass logistics that are still being sorted out. Oh, and believe it or not, one of my biggest worries is about food. Trying to maintain consistency with your diet prior to racing when traveling and inevitably eating out (and celebrating your birthday no less) I’m sure is going to be challenging.

There is nothing I can do about it at this point except make the best of it and pray that despite being busy and running around crazy in the days leading up to the race, I toe the line knowing that I’ve done everything in my power to show up prepared to the best of my ability.

Better: a Boston Marathon qualifying race

There is a little part (okay, big part) of me that fears being a “one hit wonder.” Which essentially means that I often wonder if qualifying for the Boston Marathon was a fluke. (Technically, I’ve qualified twice since I requalified with my finish time at Boston in 2015, but still…) I’d really like to see if I’m capable of knocking out another sub-3:40 finish. Walking (crawling?) away from the finish line with a BQ would be pretty dang amazeballs!

Best: a 3:30 (or under) finish

A PR would be nice but my ultimate desire is to run a 3:30 (or under) marathon. Truthfully, I’m not sure this marathon is the one. But I can still dream for some magical unicorn rainbow stardust shit on race day! If only my dreams matched my actual ability.

Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, I’m excited for the opportunity to run a great race in a city that I love and call home.

If you happen to be running the Portland Marathon, I’ll be working at the information booth during packet pickup on Friday 10/7 from 11-3:30 and Saturday 10/8 from 9-2. Please come by and say hello!

With my focus on my family and the race this weekend, I’ll be absent here but check out my Instagram account for updates on the festivities. And to those of you running Portland or any event this weekend….Chicago… what else? The very best of luck to you for a fantastic race!