*The “multipotentialite” athlete*

The term “multipotentialite” was recently added to my vocabulary after learning about it while listening to a Ted Talk a few weeks ago. It was coined by Emilie Wapnick whom describes multipotentialites as people with a wide-range of interests and jobs over a lifetime. Basically, it pretty much sums up my entire existence. Learning that there are others who jump from interest, to job, to career, to new hobby, etc., like I do, offered some sweet relief knowing that I’m not the only one. It also has given me a new perspective on what I once thought was laziness and lack of ambition.

Recognizing my patterns, I now realize it is because I love to learn and experience a multitude of things. Interestingly enough, I’ve also begun to recognize the same pattern in my athletic pursuits as a runner. So it got me thinking. Is it possible that there are athletes that are multipotentailites? Meaning that our curiosity and desire to learn, and be challenged, leads us to frequently try new sports, distances, events, etc.? I’m guessing that most triathletes could be multipotentialites in disguise.

For me, this year alone, I’ve bounced from marathons to half-marathons, shorter distances to cross-country. I’ve not given up on the idea that I could still excel at the marathon or break through my previous half marathon PR, but what else am I capable of? Maybe I could crush a 5k or kick ass at a 100-miler if I allowed them to become my focus. Even if only temporarily.

This whole concept explains why the phrase “Jack of all trades but a master of none” has always made me uncomfortable. I think I’ve always had the desire to excel at something but I’ve never excelled at one thing. At best, I’m mediocre at several little things. But according to Emilie, this is how I’m wired. Instead of seeing it as a road block, I’m going to explore the possibilities. One size does NOT fit all, yo!

Looking at it from the multipotentailite runner’s point-of-view, every run… every race I train for… it builds my athletic character. I came to this conclusion today while I was out for a run. I spent the morning planning my training strategy for my next race. A 5k next month. The last time I trained for a 5k was 20 years ago. It just so happens it was also my first race ever and my only objective was to run a 5k. This time around, I’ve got my sights set a bit higher. But that’s beside the point at the moment.

We don’t have to settle on any one distance or style of running. If one in particular suits you, then by all means, pursue it to your heart’s content. But if you’re a multipotentialite, like me, and want to experience a wide-range of distances and styles…. trail, road, cross-country, ultra, 4k, whatever, then have at it! Maybe something will stick and we’ll master it. Maybe we’ll be mediocre at it. Regardless of which direction we go, I’m guessing we’ll have a hell of a lot of fun in the process!

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*August was AWESOME*

August Review:

Total miles: 142

Longest run: 16

Total days running: 24

YTD mileage: 1,384.5

Some of my favorite August moments included:

  • Beginning the new month in Central Oregon with Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking, swimming, hiking at Smith Rock, sleeping under the stars, and enjoying some time together.
  • A fun packet pick-up adventure the day before the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon in wine country. Wine, snacks, new shoes… fun day!
  • Running the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon. No expectations except to enjoy myself and the event. Done and done!
  • While we couldn’t celebrate together, I did celebrate my daughters 18th birthday on 8/12 with 8.12 miles. I can’t believe my baby is 18!!!
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How is it possible that this sweet girl is 18? Heart explosion!

  • A crazy-fun two-day backpacking trip with my boys that turned into one rainy night of backpacking followed with the second night in a hotel and a day hike.
  • Hiking with my dad. We’d been talking about hiking Saddle Mountain, in the Oregon Coast range for at least a year. We finally did it a few weeks ago. It’s an intense hike but the view at the top is amazing!
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You can see nearly half of the Oregon coastline from atop Saddle Mountain.

  • A surprise overnight trip. On a Friday afternoon a few weeks ago I was told to “be ready to leave by 2:30 and pack an overnight bag.” Oh my. Mr. WJTWT surprised me with a trip, by train, up to Centralia, Washington were we stayed the night and explored the cute historic downtown area the next day before traveling back home. So fun and sweet!

There was running sprinkled in there throughout the month too! August was just so awesome! We really packed in some amazing adventures and I’m so grateful for that. The next few months are filled to the brim with work, school, cross-country… not a lot of play for a while so I’ll be holding these adventures close to my heart for many weeks to come!

September is here and in full-swing. The weather has started to turn (I considered turning on the heat this morning!) and while I’m a little sad to see summer go, I’m excited for the arrival of autumn too. Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend and best of luck to those of you that are shuffling little people back to school next week!

*Weekly mileage ~ August 3-9*

Mileage for the week of August 3rd – 9th

Total weekly mileage: 38

Total August mileage (to-date): 41

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,283.5

Run review:

8/3          No run/rest day

8/4          42:10 min./5 mi./8:25 pace

8/5          50:50 min./6 mi./8:28 pace

8/6          43:11 min./5 mi./8:37 pace

8/7          27:22 min./3 mi./9:06 pace

8/8          1:56:49 min./13.1 mi./8:55 pace (Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon)

8/9          53:26 min./6 mi./8:54 pace

This is me “easing back into it”. Ha! After a week off, 38 miles and a half marathon ain’t too shabby!

*From burnout to rebuilding*

Guys. If you don’t subscribe to Runner’s World, do yourself a favor and pick up the current issue. I’ve connected with several of you that have recently experienced some of the same things I have been… basically burnout… and there is a lot of good info in this months issue.

Intuitively, I sensed I was heading for trouble a couple of weeks ago. I found some comfort in seeing this:

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I was suffering from 5 out of 6 of these red flags!

Another article in the same issue has me fired up about making some revisions to my training plan! I’m taking it slow as I ease my way back, focusing first on building up my mileage before I work on getting some of my lost speed back, so with that in mind, I’m also revisiting Matt Fitzgerald’s book 80/20 Running. It feels like a good fit for where I’m at right now.

Yesterday, I ran my 12th half marathon. I did not “race” it but rather used it as a training run since I’m feeling a bit behind schedule in my training for the Portland Marathon. Honestly, it was pretty slow and the competitive spirit within me was feeling deflated. But on the plus side, I felt good for the most part, only having a few SI joint flare-ups the last half, and I have to give myself a little credit for knocking out 13 miles after a few rough months and a week off.

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How to achieve what you desire.

At any rate, I’m going to embrace this rebuilding phase. I’m plotting out what it is that I want and how I’m going to get there. And then I’m going to get to work!

*No running, no blogging*

Ha!

That’s a joke. It was not my intention to skip out on posting this week. Especially after I specifically said I’d still post regardless of my “break” from running. Life just got busy, ya know?

There has actually been a ton going on both in my personal world and my running world. Let me bring you up to speed.

First and foremost, this happened…

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Private Ridenour

My baby is at basic training. Across the country. It’s been quite a week adjusting to her absence but I’m beyond proud and excited to see what the future has in store for her!

I’m currently on day number 7 of my running break. It’s the longest number of consecutive days I’ve taken off in more than two-and-a-half years! I’ve been as active as possible but with two early morning trips to the airport (I also had family in town this week), a heat wave, and some travel, I didn’t get as much in as I had hoped. I’ve got two hikes planned for this weekend though and plan to resume running on Sunday. And boy, am I ready. It amazes me how dependent I’ve become on running. For so many reasons!

The “travel” I mentioned is somewhat running related. I’m currently in Central Oregon, home of the Cascade Lakes Relay. I’m not running it, nor have I run it in the past, but I hear it is a really great event! Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking actually got hired to come out and provide music overnight at one of the leg exchanges. So if you happen to be running the relay, I’ll be at the leg 18 exchange from 10 PM to 5 AM. Just look for the disco ball!

One of the perks of being a running writer is the opportunity to, well, run! As a writer for Run Oregon, team members are often offered race entries to events in which they write about their experience to share with Run Oregon readers. I recently wrote a race preview for the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon, which I ran two years ago, and LOVED! (You can read that preview HERE.) So I was super excited when I was contacted to see if I was interested in running it this year. Um, heck YEAH!

Hopefully, my break from running this week won’t hinder my ability to run the half marathon… which just so happens to be a week from tomorrow! I’m optimistic that it will be a great race no matter what and it comes at the perfect time to restart my marathon training because it’s coming up quick!

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Representin’!!

Speaking of, I mentioned a while back that I’m an ambassador for the Portland Marathon. This is the first year in its history that they’ve had an ambassador program so I’m honored to be a part of it as it kicks off! And, I’m pleased to be able to share a $10 discount with you should you be looking for the perfect autumn marathon. It’s filling up fast (and usually sells out about mid-August) so don’t wait to much longer to register. Plus, there will be a price increase soon. You can register HERE and use the discount code: HYLA10 to save you $10 bucks!

All for now. I’m hittin’ the trails for a hike I’ve been fantasizing about doing for about a year. Woo hoo!

*Pacific Crest Sports Festival*

Several months back, a good friend invited me to join her for the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival in Sunriver, Oregon. She was planning to register to walk the half marathon (her first!) and thought it might be fun to make a weekend out of it. I’d heard a lot of good things about the event and I LOVE Central Oregon so it sounded like the perfect weekend to me!

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Just a little warm…

Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking and I ventured down on Thursday afternoon, arriving to 100 degrees! The forecast was calling for upper 90’s to 100 degrees for the entire weekend. EEK!!

On Friday we got in a quick round of golf (my first time on a golf course in more than four years!) and then drove to Sunriver to hit packet pickup.

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I might not be a real golfer, but I look like one!

Friday afternoon was spent in the pool trying to stay cool, fueling up, and getting prepared for race day! We were also treated to a spectacular lightning storm and a fiery sunset over the Cascade Range mountains.

We were up bright and early Saturday morning to make the hour drive back to Sunriver from where we were staying. Despite concerns of not being able to find parking close to the event, we totally lucked out and found a spot near the start/finish. When we arrived, just before 7 AM, it was nearly 70 degrees with the temperatures anticipated to climb quickly as the morning progressed.

When I first registered, I had intended to train for it in hopes of securing a new PR. While I knew the altitude (4,200 feet) would play a role, I thought it was doable. And then life got busy. And I got sick and missed a key long run. And yada-yada. Long story short, the race, er, the running part, was not great. I went in knowing there were limitations (under-trained, the altitude, the heat, etc.) and decided to focus on enjoying the event and course without the pressure to perform.

It was a smart move and mindset. I struggled from the start but decided to make the best of it. I let my pace slow as I meandered along the tree-lined, paved bike path that passes vacation homes and rentals. Later, we ran alongside ponds and small lakes, passed the airport and a golf course, and back towards the Sunriver Village to the finish. It was probably near 85 degrees when I finished and I wasn’t the only one challenged by the heat. Thank goodness for the kind people with misters and hoses along the course! I felt for my friend who had nearly another hour and a half before she’d reach the finish line.

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Sweet relief! Done!

Regardless of how I felt and raced, I loved the event! There were numerous races going on throughout the weekend, they had tons of volunteers and even added extra aid stations when they learned of the forecast, the food at the finish line was the best spread I’ve ever seen at an event, and the course was beautiful and mostly flat the entire way!

My friend, and both of our men, decided that we’d like to take it on again next year and are already beginning to make plans! There are few events that I would recommend anyone travel to do but this one is totally worth it, in my opinion. And, the resort community of Sunriver is an athletes paradise and offers something for everyone!

In all honesty, I’m a little disappointed with my overall race results but that’s the way it goes. Not every race is going to be the greatest race ever. But I had a great weekend, with great friends, in one of my favorite areas so I’ll call it a win!

Hyla Ridenour St Helens, OR 2484 F 37 1:54:01 8:42 13 / 87
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Half marathon #11 in the books!

*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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