*One Boston Day*

Today marks the third anniversary of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. It is a day that no runner (any American for that matter), whether they’ve run the Boston Marathon or not, will ever forget.

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One Boston Day

2013 was the year that I set forth on my quest to qualify for Boston. The tragedy didn’t deter me in the slightest and I know I’m not the only one. Running the marathon last year was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and I hope that every runner that dreams of running the most prestigious race of its kind gets the opportunity to do so. It will always be held in my heart as the greatest accomplishments I’ve achieved and such an honor to toe the line with some of the best athletes in the world.

This website and blog where created from the dream that I had to run the Boston Marathon and with Patriots Day approaching Monday, I can’t help but be filled with awe and gratitude for the journey of the past three years. Even as I’m currently sidelined (by choice), running has been one of the greatest gifts I’ve received.

I’m sending out positive vibes for a fantastic race to everyone running (and spectating) on Monday (hopefully better weather this year) and for those still in pursuit of qualifying; don’t stop fighting to make that dream a reality!

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*Training when you’re NOT training*

The content of this post came to mind last week while I was out on a run. It was Wednesday afternoon and I was aiming for what I hoped would be at least 7 miles but ultimately, I ran 8.

Mid-run I was questioning myself as to why on earth I was pushing myself to run 7, or more, miles when I have NOTHING on my race calendar. With an imminent move out-of-state on the horizon, I’ve been reluctant to commit myself to an event for fear that I’ll not be able to fulfill the entry.

As I thought a bit deeper on the subject, I rationalized my mileage for two reasons:

  1. I want to be a stronger runner. The only way I will get stronger is by RUNNING. It may seem more like maintenance than training, per se, but as long as I feel like I’m working (and not slacking off), I know I’m contributing to my overall fitness.
  2. Should I have the opportunity to race in the  near future, it is going to be on very short notice. The better the shape I’m in will make a huge difference if I decide to jump in on an event that is a mere two weeks away.

With that in mind, I came up with a few tips for surviving a period in which you find yourself in the training mentality but you’re NOT actively training.

  • Get S T R O N G! Even if your mileage is high, it likely won’t be as high as if you had an actual race coming up. So use the extra time to build strength. It will make you a better runner and help prevent injury when you do ramp up your mileage again.It has become a higher priority for me in the past few weeks and I’m already seeing some improvement.
  • Switch gears. With my attention turning toward trail running and perhaps an ultra race at some later date, I’ve set a goal to run on a single-track, and somewhat technical, trail at least once a week. Additionally, instead of being concerned about my mileage or pace on those runs, I’m focusing on time spent on the trail. This could be applied in so many different ways but switch it up! Find some new routes, run with a friend or group you normally don’t, ditch the Garmin (I CAN’T BELIEVE I SAID THAT!), add a track workout, hit the trail… whatever offers some variety to your regular routine.
  • Focus on short-term goals. I just (finally!) received a copy of the Believe Training Journal and I’m so jazzed! One of the features I’m already in love with is that each week there is a space to write down your focus for the week. While long-term goals are so important, I think short-term goals have a bigger impact because they aren’t necessarily as lofty. They are more like the steps you are going to take to achieve the ultimate goal. I’m aiming to pick one or two things each week that will get me closer to the dream. For example, this week I set a goal to revise my standard strength training routine and incorporate some new exercises and combinations.
  • Embrace the space. I have a feeling that taking some time away from racing will reignite the competitive fire inside me. And when I do put something on my calendar, I’ll be ready to dive in and work.Take time to consider what it is that you love about training and racing. I think it’s a fairly safe assumption that it will become a priority again when the time is right. In the meantime, embrace the little bubble in which you don’t have to worry about getting a long run done every. single. weekend. Or, how you’re going to fund multiple race entry fees. Or how you are going to balance work, family, training, etc. Embrace the space!
  • Plan for the future (as best you can). My immediate future is so up-in-the-air that I don’t know what state I’ll be living in two months from now. But what I do know is that I’m going to run some great events at some point. In the meantime, I’m educating myself, staying focused on my goals, researching possible events, connecting with other runners in various circles, and holding onto the idea that the training I’m doing now, while I’m not actually training for something, will only better the outcome down the road.
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Using this time to plan for the future!

Everyone will have their own different approach to the “off-season” or a break from training or racing but it doesn’t mean that you can’t gain fitness and keep working toward whatever dreams you hope to achieve in the future.

Good luck!

*Blogger Bitch*

The scene in my head could be straight out of a Melissa McCarthy movie: mid-40’s woman arriving to her job as a filing clerk at the office of the Secretary of State. Flustered and irritable after finding that she has spilled some of her Starbucks pumpkin spice latte on her skirt during the commute, she flings herself down at her desk to begin the first task of the day. That task includes processing the electronically filed applications that were submitted overnight for assumed business name registrations. From the pile, filled with common, boring business names such as Joe’s Restaurant or Betty’s Boots and Bags, my applications appears…

Entity Name:

Blogger Bitch

To which the clerk begins to giggle and a smile breaks out across her face. Her day is no longer doomed to be gloomy and she has already forgotten about the stain on her skirt.

And scene.

One might have assumed from my sporadic posts here at Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking that I have grown weary of writing. On the contrary! My occasional absence has been the result of wanting to write MORE! (And, I might add, a busy fall season of cross-country!)

I may as well confess, because I’m not sure that I’ve ever shared what my ultimate professional goal is here, but my dream is to become a writer. While I’ve loved this outlet for sharing my passion for running (and I promise I’m not going anywhere!), honestly, it has been primarily a hobby. Hobby is code for doesn’t pay the bills. I’m ready to fulfill my dream of becoming a real writer. Real, as in money, baby!

I’ve been sitting on the Blogger Bitch business idea for many, many months. After plenty of thoughtful and careful consideration, I decided that life is just too short not to try. Is it risky? YES! (Starting any business is!) Will my business name offend a few people? SURE. Will I find any level of success if I don’t give it a shot? PROBABLY NOT.

While I’m still very much in the development phase of the process, I’ve made a few strides that have felt really good. I figure that since I’m now officially registered in the State of Oregon, and it is public record after all, I might as well share my news with the rest of the world.

Blogger Bitch is a blog-specific ghost writing service that provides relevant and creative content targeted to your ideal audience, staging you as the expert in your field. (Meaning I do not take any credit.) I can also offer traditional content creation for your website, such as this text that I wrote for Italstone. I will eventually provide blog management services such as brainstorming ideas, post planning, scheduling, maintenance and more. My ideal clients are small to medium-sized businesses that have a web presence but are unable to retain an in-house writer to create blog posts and would like to increase their visitor traffic by more than 50%.

There are still a lot of details to hammer out, like getting http://www.bloggerbitch.com up and running (yes, it does exist but forgive the fact that it is currently under construction) as well as several other administrative structures before I dive into the real guts of it.

Blogger Bitch is in business!

Blogger Bitch is in business!

Thank you for your patience with me when I occasionally disappear and if you know of someone that could use my service, please have them email me at hyla@bloggerbitch.com.

*The madness that was May*

May Review:

Total miles: 152.75

Longest run: 13.1

Total days running: 26

YTD mileage: 1,008.25

Some of my favorite May moments included:

  • Celebrated 19 years of marriage to Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking!
  • Commemorating said celebration with a “Cheese and Whiskey” night. Richard Cheese (Google him if you haven’t experienced the loungtastic stylings of Dick Cheese) and whiskey cocktails made for a fun night!
  • Oh, and then there was a new tattoo…
  • Wine night with my office mate. Someone who loves wine as much as I do? Salud!
  • A fun urban adventure run with a running community friend. I even won a pair of compression socks!
  • The worst run in my history of running (exaggerating? maybe.) but I still really enjoyed the Hippie Chick Half Marathon. Especially the post-race mimosa!
  • A fantastic day of hiking and exploring Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood with my loves to celebrate Mother’s Day!
  • Watching my daughter perform in her last state band competition. I bawled the entire time.
  • Spending some time representing one of my favorite local events, the Portland Marathon, at the Rock n’ Roll Half race expo.
  • Running my 10th half marathon with Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking, which was his first ever race! Automatic PR for him and we both won first place in our respective age divisions. The Youngberg Hill Half Marathon was a beautiful, albeit challenging, race and one I hope to run again!
  • A Monday afternoon mini-adventure to my favorite place on the planet! Spending an afternoon relaxing in hot springs, in the middle of nowhere, is pretty much my perfect day.
  • Drinks with my mom! We celebrated a belated Mother’s Day with a girls night out with drinks and dinner!
  • A visit to one of my other happy places, the farmers market! I scored some peonies, bee pollen, Oregon hazelnuts, and a few veggies for dinner.
  • Witnessing both of my kids wrap up their band seasons with awards.
  • And finally, a girls weekend with my own girl! Her graduation gift was a trip to watch her coach/mentor/friend compete in the Crossfit West Regionals. Regardless of the sport, it is so inspiring to witness an athlete pursue their dreams. Not only did she perform well, she finished in second place (out of 40 female competitors), and secured a spot at the Crossfit Games in July. Such a huge accomplishment and amazing to witness her achieve her dream!

June has started out with a bang! The Crossfit Kid is now licensed to drive and graduates this week. Whoa!

 

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*Life after Boston*

If it has appeared that I’ve been consumed by all things Boston Marathon related the past few weeks (months? years?), you are right. I have been. But as I begin to shift gears back to “normal life” (HA!) I can’t help but realize that it wasn’t just Boston. I’m still consumed by all things running. Because it is what I love. And I love to share it!

While the experience of Boston will forever be in my heart (and tattooed on my body… but more on that in a moment), I’m grateful for all of the amazing experiences, opportunities, fun, and friends I’ve had and met because of this crazy thing I do simply to stay healthy, fit, and to be the best possible version of myself that I can be.

This past weekend, I had such an opportunity when I got to participate with one of my favorite running programs. Run Girl Run is for elementary aged girls (9-11) who need a little extra guidance and a strong, athletic female role model in their lives. Over the course of a couple of months, the program trains them to run (in almost all cases) their first 5k. Since its inception in my community, I’ve been a “mobile cheerleader” for every season. It is one of the most rewarding programs I’ve ever volunteered for and am so grateful for the opportunity to share my love of running with someone who I know it will leave a life-long impression on.

And then, following the 5k Saturday, this happened:

I have a feeling I will be explaining this over and over for the remainder of my life. Any guesses as to what it is? I’ll give you a hint.

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It’s the Boston Marathon race course. The 2 inch version as opposed to the 26.2 mile version. But within its simplicity, there is a world of meaning and significance to me.

I knew that I wanted to commemorate my Boston experience with a tattoo and while I had a few variations of what it might become, I settled on this. A constant and visible reminder of not only what I accomplished on April 20, 2015, but the entire journey. It spanned nearly two years and culminated with the race of a lifetime! There is a lot of pride in what I did and I’m happy to have this symbol to carry with me as a reminder that I’m worthy of dreaming BIG.

Okay, enough of the ooey, gooey stuff. Super cool news from Nuun today! First of all, they made some awesome updates to their website! I love the new look and especially the photographs and bio’s of some real-life, kick-ass athletes. Including me!!!! (You can check out my profile HERE!)

But wait! There’s more! Nuun just released their latest and greatest product, Plus for Nuun. A faster absorbing source of carbohydrates and electrolytes to improve sports performance quick! The flavorless but convenient tabs can be added to your favorite Nuun Active or Nuun Energy flavor to enhance their attributes. Plus for Nuun is taking hydrating to a whole new level!

If that weren’t enough, Nuun is now offering mixed four-packs. You get to choose which four flavors you want on all of their flavored electrolyte enhancement products (excluding Plus for Nuun)! How cool is that? AND! Watermelon is back in stock!!!

Time to run. Not literally. I ran earlier. But it is time to get some dinner going and fuel this post-marathon recovering body. Tex-mex zoodles are on the menu tonight! (Have you tried zoodles? Zucchini noodles? So good and versatile!)

See ya!

*Boston Marathon eve*

“Thank you” just doesn’t seem enough sometimes, does it?

For several days now, I’ve had this post, or what I hoped this post would become, swirling around in my head. An endless list of people… family, friends, and in some cases, strangers… that have helped make this journey so incredibly awesome.

But in this moment, the evening before I fulfill this two (plus!) year journey, I’m at a loss for words. And even though “thank you” isn’t enough, I offer it anyway. THANK YOU!

From the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful to everyone that has played a part. It will never be forgotten!

I would be remiss to not say a special thank you to Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking for his support. None of this would have been possible without his unwavering dedication to making sure I fulfilled this dream. So, THANK YOU, Mr. WJTWT!!!!

I’m looking forward to sharing my journey and race recap in the days to come but I’ve got a race to get ready for! Eek!

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Just 26 miles and 385 yards left to fulfill this dream!