*Ridiculous insane obsessiveness*

I’ve always considered myself to be just average talent and what I have is a ridiculous insane obsessiveness for practice and preparation.  ~ Will Smith

This quote found its way into my Instagram feed earlier today and something about it made me say YES! It summarizes my own obsessiveness when it comes to running because what I lack in talent or ability, I make up for it with my passion for working hard to achieve my goals.

I spend a ridiculous amount of time “running.” It’s true. While I only spend maybe 30-60 minutes a day, on average, actually doing the act that is running, I spend many more minutes, er, hours each day thinking about running, reading about running, planning my next run, fueling for a run, recovering from a run, hydrating before a run, talking about running, daydreaming about running, writing about running, researching races to run…  you get the idea, right?

While I was (you guessed it!) out running this morning, I was thinking about how I organize my life and it occurred to me that I plan my days, weeks, and months around running.

That all said, don’t dare think that I neglect my family or other responsibilities (unless you consider the laundry basket of clean clothes that I should fold but am ignoring instead). I was reflecting back over the past week and found myself satisfied with my mileage and my ability to structure my days around the things that matter most to me.  Especially since it was a busy week with the real job, the writing job, and another endeavor I’ve taken on (which I’m not quite yet ready to talk about publicly).

My priority this past week was spending as much time with Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking as possible before he headed out on his next adventure, a separation spanning several weeks. I still managed 41 miles in spite of moving my long run to tomorrow to maximize the little time we had this morning before he headed to the airport.

So back to my point, which is this: preparation is the key. Planning, organizing, and tweaking (as needed), I believe, is what makes us successful in achieving whatever it is that we want. (The practice part is right up there too but in order to get to the practice part, we need to prepare for it, no?)

Today marks five weeks out until the Portland Marathon. And because sometimes, no matter how much you prepare, organize, and tweak, you still may find yourself off track… ahem… as is my current situation. I’m two weeks behind on my long run mileage because of the knee debacle. But instead of allowing it to completely derail me, I’m back at the obsessive preparation stage and planning out the next few weeks leading up to race day. I’m ready to work hard.

The first task at hand is preparing for my long run tomorrow which will be an attempt at 18 miles and I really, really, REALLY need it to go well. (And I say “attempt” because I am basically skipping past 16 and 17. Eek! ) Preparation today includes TONS of water (because when your Mister is leaving for 6 weeks you live up your last day together!), clean eats and slightly increased carbs, no wine/alcohol, a midday siesta and an early bedtime this evening, stretching, planning and making a quick, easy breakfast of overnight oats, checking out route options, charging my watch and getting my gear in order. Wish me luck!

And just because I saw this the other day at lunch and it made me smile…

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See? It’s all running, all the time!!

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*Portland Marathon July Newsletter contributor*

There was a pleasant surprise in my email inbox this morning! The Portland Marathon July Newsletter was sent out featuring the latest news about the upcoming October marathon and highlights a few of the many fantastic reasons to add it to your racing calendar.

It was a complete honor when I was approached with a request to submit a short article related to my own marathon training. (Me? Write something about running? Gee… I don’t know… HA!) As I approach most things in life, I aim to be authentic and transparent. My regular readers know that I’ve had some ups and downs this year. Now, a very large running community will know about it too. And I’m completely okay with that. I believe that when we share our stories, our struggles, and our successes, we help build each other and build a stronger tribe.

You can read the entire article in the Portland Marathon July Newsletter but here is a little preview:

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Continue reading…

If you haven’t registered for the Portland Marathon but would like to, make sure you do it soon. It does fill up around this time of year so reserve your spot right away. I’ll even sweeten the deal and give you a $10.00 discount off your registration!! At checkout, use the code HYLA16 to apply the savings. Registration can be found HERE.

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Use discount code: HYLA16 to save $10.00 off registration!

*Weekly mileage ~ Oct. 12-18*

Mileage for the week of October 12th – October 18th

Total weekly mileage: 27.5

Total October mileage (to-date): 69.75

XC mileage (part of weekly total): 10.5

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,587

Run review:

10/12           5.25 miles w/XC

10/13           20:52 min./2.15 mi./9:42 pace     +2.35 mi. w/XC

10/14           52:51 min./6.25 mi./8:27 pace

10/15           21:25 min./2 mi./10:43 pace

10/16           8:07 min./1 mi./8:03 pace

23:21 min./2.5 mi./9:18 pace

+ 3 miles w/XC

10/17         26:24 min./3 mi./8:48 pace

10/18         No run

My intention last week was to run as much as I possibly could on soft surfaces to mimic cross-country style terrain. I was largely successful, running most of my runs on trails and in fields. It is interesting to watch my pace drop but I’m trying to ignore that, for now, and just focus on getting acclimated to running on a different surface than my body is accustom to.

While this week proves challenging with a three XC meets, jury duty (UGH!!), work, building a business, laundry (never-ending!), and a host of other odds and ends, my intention is to focus, not only on running on soft surfaces, but doing some speed work on them too. I made the mistake a few nights ago by looking at some of the previous meet results. Dang. These adult XC runners are speedy!

I’m in it for the experience of just doing it. But I don’t want to completely embarrass myself either!

In doing some related research, I found this article that discusses the benefits of taking a break from the road and switching over to trail to build strength and stamina. Honestly, it’s been nice to shift gears and approach training for a new angle. It has created a renewed sense of excitement for sure!

More to come! Have a great week!

*Unintentional absence*

Over the past 6 months, I’ve been working to *simplify* my life. Eliminate things… chores, responsibilities, stuff… that are taking up to much time, space, energy, etc., so that I can focus on what is most important to me and what fulfills me on the deepest level. So I’m absolutely baffled as to why I feel more unorganized and unproductive as ever!

Case in point. My website has not been getting the attention I wish I could give it. This site, sharing my love of running, is such a huge passion and while it is very important to me (and because it doesn’t pay the bills), it often gets pushed to the back burner.

That said, I’m not going anywhere, anytime soon and I’m thankful for my faithful followers and readers that continue to visit even when I’m absent. So THANK YOU! It’s a work in progress. As I continue to weed out things in my life that don’t serve me anymore, I’m hopeful that I’ll have more time to be present here.

Last week, I had planned a post-race write-up about my experience at the Hippie Chick Half Marathon. I had the entire post pretty much written in my head by the time the race was over. As much as I would have love to share an in-depth recap about that race, I’ll tell you this: I learned some very valuable lessons. I won’t go into as much detail as I originally planned but I will summarize my experience in an attempt to save you the same self-defeating pain I caused myself.

The condensed version is this:

A week or so before Boston, a friend offered me a free race entry. Not one to pass up anything free (seriously!), I signed up with the intention of taking it easy and running with her for fun. Fast forward to race day. On the trip to the race, she asked me (very politely) to NOT run with her. I get it. Her reasoning was legit and I respected her for sticking to her own race plan. But it left me wondering what the hell I was going to do. It was 19 days post-Boston. Do you think I was smart and stuck to my original plan to take it easy, stick to a slower pace, and basically just enjoy the event? Of course not! I lined up right where I would have had my legs been fresh and I wasn’t still in recovery from a marathon 19 days earlier.

I kept up with the 7:30 pace group for oh, a mile. And then I crashed and burned and hated running and hated life and hated sunshine and hated fast runners that made it all look so effortless and fun and pretty much just hated everything for an hour and 50 minutes.

Needless to say, not my best race. I will note that I cheered up when I got my free mimosa afterwards.

Barefoot Bubbly mimosa.

Some valuable lessons:

  • Honor your body and your body’s ability to perform in the days, weeks, and months after a major event. I was not ready to race. It’s different for everyone but do what is best for YOU!
  • If you have a race plan in mind, stick to it. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the energy and excitement of the event. I know I would have enjoyed it so much more had I not tried to “race”.
  • Due to my plan to take it easy, I did not prepare for race day like I typically would in the days leading up to the event. I ate poorly, probably consumed way too much wine, and didn’t take it seriously. Regardless of your goals, for the sake of enjoying the experience, treat the days leading up to an event like you would a goal race for the pure sake of making it pleasant.
  • Shake it off. (Shake it off, shake it off!). Once I crossed the finish line. I was over it. (The mimosa helped too!) I chose to not dwell on my performance and instead take note and learn from the lessons on the course that I thought were mistakes. It’s all a part of the process.

Despite my own performance, the Hippie Chick Half Marathon (they also offer a Quarter Marathon) is a great event. The weather has been nice all three years I’ve done it and I love the energy of the female-only event celebrating mother, daughters, sisters, friends, etc. This year was the first year the event was managed by the Better Series after purchasing several Run with Paula events and I thought they did a great job! (Especially because in years past they only offered a post-race beer. I much prefer the mimosas!)

*Weekly mileage*

Mileage for the week of April 6th – April 12th

Total weekly mileage: 48.25

Total April mileage (to-date): 94.75

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 784.75

Run review:

4/6           No run/rest day

4/7           45:59 min./5 mi./9:11 pace (plus 1 mile with Run Girl Run)

4/8           57:11 min./7 mi./8:10 pace

4/9           1:00:26 min./8 mi./8:38 pace

4/10         1:21:48 min./10 mi./8:11 pace

411           50:20 min./5.25 mi./9:35 pace

4/12         1:56:49 min./13 mi./8:55 pace

While my mileage was still somewhat high-ish last week, the intensity has come down a bit and will continue to as I move into my final week before the Boston Marathon. Seven days. SEVEN!

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Strong. Tough. Brave. Boston.

My focus this week is rest. As much extra rest as I can get (even with tons to do to prepare for the trip)! I’m looking forward to having a few days in Boston before the big day in which I can relax, get acclimated to the time difference, hopefully get to bed a decent hour, and sleep in a bit later than usual.

Coming up in the next few days: I will be posting my traditional Good, Better, Best goals, the Boston edition, and a heartfelt post about the outpouring of support for me and my endeavor to qualify and run the Boston Marathon. So stay tuned!

 

*GBB, Shamrock 2015 edition*

Tomorrow I will race for the first time in 6 months!

The Portland Shamrock Run is a racing tradition and I look forward to it each year. While it is a very energetic and festive event, and seemingly most runners attend for the party-like atmosphere, to me it is still a race and I treat it like such. This morning during a conversation about race prep, carb-loading to be exact, I had an ah-ha moment when I realized that my caliber of training and racing are in a totally different class than many of my running friends and counterparts. And there is NOTHING wrong with that! I mean, sure, I love St. Paddy’s Day and fun runs as much as the next gal, but a race… for this competition lovin’ girl, game on!

(You’re probably not surprised to learn that I have family and friends that hate playing cards and games with me because of my competitive nature.)

Anyway, I implemented my pre-race prep strategy this week which has resulted in a reduction of my weekly mileage by more than 20 miles! It was a really busy week and while I could always use a little more rest and sleep, I’ve been doing my best to take it a little easier the past few days to make up for it, as best I can at least. I made another trip to the chiropractor and have been stretching a ton and of course, eating well and hydrating have been a top priority too.

Yesterday afternoon I spent a few hours working in the Portland Marathon booth at the Portland Shamrock Run Fitness Fair/Expo. (Several times during the afternoon I snuck over to the Nuun booth to refill my water bottle. WIN!)

Speaking of Nuun, how about 20% off most items when you order between now and March 26th?! Use my friends and family discount code: LuckyNuunFriends at checkout to help you stay hydrated and healthy as we move into racing season!

Back to the race and my goal(s)! As usual, I’ve set three *good*, *better*, and *best* (GBB) goals for myself, which are:

GOOD :: Set a new PR for the course. In 2013, I ran the 15k in 1:13:47. In 2014, I set a PR with a time of 1:10:28. I’d be happy with anything under last years time.

BETTER :: What I’m really hoping for though is that I can at least run the 15k at my best 5k pace which was a 7:18 minute mile, allowing me to finish around 1:08:00.

BEST :: If I’m going for the gusto, I’d love to be hitting lower 7:00 minute miles which could potentially put me finishing within the top 10 in my age group. Last year, I was the 17th finishing female in the F35-39 division, out of 860. Top 10 would be, well, pretty dang rad!!!

With that, I’m off to refill my water bottle and settle in for a little siesta. Have a great weekend and best to luck to everyone racing this weekend!!

*The Oregon Marathon ~ training update*

You know what they say… time flies when you are… flying by the seat of your pants?

Gathering with a few of my running buddies this morning I was reminded that I am tapering. Say WHAT? How in the heck is it possible that The Oregon Marathon is already just 7 days away?!

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I’ve been so busy with the whirlwind of the start of a new school year, coaching cross-country, my children’s activities, the daily grind of laundry (and yes, I still feel like I’m being eaten alive by laundry!) and household management, etc., that I really hadn’t given much thought to the process of tapering for my upcoming marathon.

I guess if I were going to get technical, I’ve been tapering for a couple of weeks now.

My last long run, 20 miles, was three weeks ago. My original plan was to run another long one last weekend but the days were so full with activities and family fun that I didn’t do it. I didn’t feel bad about it either!

At any rate, I’m starting to embrace this whole taper thing and beginning to really mentally prepare for my race one week from today. While my calendar is still quite full, I’m blocking out time throughout the week to make sure I’m getting a little more rest and downtime. As I wrote before the Vancouver Marathon in June, here, my diet doesn’t change much but I will be introducing a few more high-carb meals to my routine mid-week. Of course, hydrating like a crazy lady will be a top priority, especially with the little heat wave we are currently having in the Pacific Northwest (it is predicted to hit 95 degrees today!).

Most important, I’m going to try really, really hard to not stress about what I hope/want to happen. There is a super slim chance, and I mean SUPER SLIM CHANCE, that if I PR that day, I might be able to make it into the third wave of entries for the Boston Marathon before it closes that evening. If you aren’t familiar with the registration process, this is how it works:

General registration for the 2015 Boston Marathon will open on Monday, September 8, 2014 at 10:00AM (ET) for those Qualifiers who have met the qualifying standard by 20 minutes, 00 seconds or faster.

  • If space remains, then registration will open on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 at 10:00AM (ET) for Qualifiers who have met the qualifying standard by 10 minutes, 00 seconds or faster.
  • If space remains, then registration will open on Friday, September 12, 2014 at 10:00AM (ET) for Qualifiers who have met the qualifying standard by 5 minutes, 00 seconds or faster.
  • Registration will close on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 10:00PM (ET).
  • If space remains, then registration will re-open on Monday, September 15, 2014 at 10:00AM (ET) through Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 5:00PM (ET) for all Qualifiers who have met the qualifying standard.
  • If space remains after this initial two-week period, then on Monday, September 22, 2014 at 10:00AM (ET) registration will re-open to anyone who meets the qualifying standards on a first come, first served basis. At that point, registration will remain open until the maximum field size is reached.

(Information taken from the Boston Athletics Association website: www.baa.org.)

If I don’t PR… well, I will just have to hope that there are still opening available on September 15th and be grateful that I qualified in the first place. (Which I totally am!!!)

Anyway, as of today, right now as I write this, there are still 16 entries available for The Oregon Marathon! If you’ve been waiting to register, wait no longer. If running alone doesn’t entice you, the race boasts access to Mt. Angel’s famous Oktoberfest (BEER!!!), where the event starts and finishes.  I’ve heard there is wine too! ; ) You can register here.