*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!

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*Weekly mileage ~ Aug. 10-16*

Mileage for the week of August 10th – 16th

Total weekly mileage: 32.75

Total August mileage (to-date): 73.75

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,316.25

Run review:

8/10          No run/rest day

8/11          26:09 min./3 mi./8:41 pace

23:44 min./2.5 mi./9:30 pace

8/12          1:16:28 min./8.12 mi./9:24 pace

8/13          44:07 min./5.25 mi./8:24 pace

8/14          2:05:04 min./14 mi./8:56 pace

8/15          No run (backpacking)

8/16          No run (backpacking)

I’m still riding the high that made last week pretty dang awesome! (Minus getting harassed on one of my runs by a crazy lady! True story!) First, some quality runs! I only ran four days last week but pulled off more than 30 miles and brought my year-to-date total to a little over 1,300 for the year!

On Wednesday, my oldest baby turned 18. While I wasn’t able to run 18 miles in her honor, a friend joined me to commemorate her birthday with 8.12 miles on 8/12. (Thank you, Kelcie!)

Then on Friday, I ran my longest run since the Boston Marathon. Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking joined me for 14 wet, hilly miles. After several weeks of struggling to get my marathon training act together, I was grateful to know I’m still capable of running distance. I just need to keep building on that!

I took the weekend off from running to pursue one of my other greatest passions. What was going to be a two-day backpacking trip turned into a one-night adventure with the second night spent at a sweet little mountain inn. Sometimes you just gotta roll with it, right?! ; )

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Ready to hit the trail!

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t share much of my experience at the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon because I was on assignment for Run Oregon. While it’s not “my” race experience per se, it does highlight some of the features of the event that makes it a truly great race! You can read more about it HERE.

Alrighty. Short and sweet! Back at it this week as I continue to rebuild my base and my mileage in preparation for the Portland Marathon. Speaking of… you can see my little ambassador profile on the Portland Marathon website HERE.

I hope your week is off to a fantastic start!

*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!

*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!

*Exciting Nuun news!*

As if Nuun Hydration wasn’t already the coolest hydration company on the planet… their announcement today just elevated their superstar status… times like a trillion!

When I first heard about it just yesterday (ambassadors get all the juicy news first!), I think I literally squealed in delight! I’m super excited that we get to welcome the amazing two-time Olympian Kara Goucher to our team!!! Because you all know how much I love Kara… (Nothing says love like sharing the same picture over and over and over…)

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Meeting Kara at the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon in Sept. 2013.

And you all know how much I love Nuun. I can’t think of a better partnership and I’m honored to be able to represent the same company as Kara. How cool is that? Welcome, Kara!!!

Kara and Nuun! <3 (Photo courtesy of Nuun.)

Kara and Nuun!

You can read more about it on the Nuun blog here or on Kara’s website, here.

Speaking of Nuun, I’m off to get #electrolit before I head out to assist with coaching 16 girls with our local Run Girl Run program. I’m going to need all the energy I can get! ; )

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Some days you need a little boost!

*A look back at 2013*

Never in a million years would I have believed how this year would unfold for me. This time a year ago, there was no plan to run a marathon (or three!). No grand dream of running the Boston Marathon. No idea what a Ragnar Relay was. No sponsor offering support. No goals bigger than running a couple of races for fun. No website…

Crazy how things change and how our goals and dreams evolve over time.

It has certainly been one heck of a ride and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, the people I’ve met along the way, the things I’ve achieved… and even the things that didn’t go quite right because I’ve learned a lot this year.

My races in 2013 included:

3/17/13   Shamrock Run, Portland, Oregon   15k   1:13:47   7:55 pace

4/14/13   Vernonia Half Marathon, Vernonia, Oregon   13.1   1:43:55   7:56 pace

5/11/13   Hippie Chick Half Marathon, Hillsboro, Oregon 13.1   1:44:05   7:56 pace

7/4/13   Foot Traffic Flat Marathon, Sauvie Island, Oregon   26.2   3:49:04   8:44 pace

8/23-24/13   Hood to Coast, Oregon

9/1/13   Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon, Dundee, Oregon   13.1   1:43:58   7:56 pace

9/7/13   The Color Run, Portland Oregon   5k (no time or pace, just a heck of a lot of fun with my daughter!)

10/6/13   Portland Marathon, Portland, Oregon   26.2   3:42:42   8:30 pace

11/8-9/13   Ragnar Relay Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada

12/1/13   Seattle Marathon, Seattle, Washington   26.2   3:41:33   8:28 pace

Besides the racing (or relaying as the case may be), I was honored with some great opportunities throughout the year. Some of the highlights include:

  • Being featured on Oregon Live’s Run Oregon blog as their featured runner of the week.
  • Getting invited to be a VIP at the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon in September, which of course means that I got to drink more wine! That race also provided me the chance to meet one of my idols, Olympian Kara Goucher, which was beyond awesome!
  • Winning a race entry giveaway on Run Danielle Run, which allowed my daughter and I to run the Color Run. It was a totally new experience and my daughter and I had a blast. I have to tell you, almost four months later, I still have orange dyed powder in my left ear!!
  • Volunteering time to help Fit Right NW with set-up for their fashion show which yielded free passes to the event. It was such a great production and evening. I was really impressed with the whole experience and look forward to next years show.
  • Receiving one of the highlights of my year which was an invite to run a Ragnar Relay with Nuun Hydration and Pro Compression in November. I did not even know what Ragnar was before then. I had never traveled outside of Oregon for a run. It is hard to describe what an amazing weekend it was. I met so many wonderful people and loved representing two fantastic companies. Without a doubt, one of my favorite running adventures EVER!
  • Being gifted on of the most generous gifts ever: sponsorship. Nearly all of the races I ran after July were made possible by Z.P. Transport Inc. and two wonderful people who I am so grateful to have in my orbit. They have changed my life and given me the opportunity to take chances and reminded me that I can believe that dreams do come true.
  • Loving my first coaching gig. I had such a great time as an assistant cross-country coach for a local middle school team and I’m fairly certain that there will be more coaching in my future.
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So many great memories!

Besides those highlights, I also marvel at discovering what I, and my body, is capable of. I run faster in my mid-thirties than I did in my 20’s! I ran three marathons in five months and my time improved with each one. I’ve discovered things about myself… things I didn’t know I wanted, or could do… until I dove into my training and began to follow my heart.

More so, I found so much joy in witnessing both of my children discover running this year. My daughter ran her first half-marathon in July and my son ran his first season of cross-country. As a parent, when your children begin to follow your lead, you can’t help but feel like you’ve done something right!

I ran my final run of the year this morning bringing my yearly total to 1,510. (125 miles for the month of December.) While I didn’t track the first two months of 2012, I roughly finished the previous year with around 800 miles. That increase shows how much of myself I have dedicated to running this year. It also reflects a passion that sometimes surprises me but continues to grow. I can’t wait to see where it takes me.

Then there are the people who have support me this year. And there are so many! But I just want to thank a few here. From the bottom of my heart, please know how thankful I am for you Ron, Makenna, Russell, Mom, Dad, Omma, Papa, Trudi, Allison, Meredith, Woody, and Linda! Thank you for believing in me, encouraging me, cheering for me, driving me, funding me, holding me up when my legs wanted to fail… whatever your role, please know how grateful I am!

I’m super excited about what is to come. Without a doubt, 2014 is going to be a great year and I look forward to sharing my vision with you soon!

Until then, have a wonderful New Year’s Eve. Make time today to reflect and take stock while you celebrate the passing year and all that you have to look forward to in the coming one. Above all, please be safe!

Cheers!! xo

*Now what?*

Just before I began to compose this post, I was reading comments from readers and found a congratulatory message from a guy named Dan. He mentioned that he had finished just 6 minutes behind me on Sunday, despite his situation. Hmmm.

So being the stalker that I am, I had to know what his “situation” was. As it turns out, the guy is a beast! The day before the Portland Marathon, he ran the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon. Is he a special kind of crazy or what?

Upon a little more research, I discovered that he is working toward a goal of racing in every state and writing about it on his site: dan’s marathon. How cool of a goal is that? And it got me thinking about my next goal(s)…  not to mention my current goal that is still alive and well: qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

My race calendar for the remainder of the year is pretty light. In just under a month I’ll be heading to Las Vegas to run the Ragnar Relay with Nuun Hydration. Beyond that though, I’m not committed to any event or race. I think I’d like to do one longer race before the end of the year. Perhaps a half-marathon in December… but at the same time, I sure would like to check that BQ off the list for 2013…

I have started making a list of races that I want to consider for next year. A few of my faves from this year are on the list including the Vernonia Half-Marathon, the Hippie Chick Half, and the Oregon Wine Country Half. Aiming to run a half marathon each month of 2014 has crossed my mind a couple of times!

There is no real rush to pin it all down at this point. Just a few thoughts swirling around as I find inspiration from others, like Dan, out there setting awesome goals and making sh*t happen.