*How my weekend went down*

On the heels of some pretty stellar race performances this weekend, I’m feeling very content with my own accomplishment yesterday. While a small town 5k fun run is worlds away from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathons (Kara kicked ass in San Antonio, FYI!) and CIM, I’m basking in my own little win yesterday. First place female.

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First place female 5k winner!

I’ll do a proper recap in the coming days but for now, I’m riding the high of my little win and new 5k PR!

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I hope your weekend was fantastic!

 

*Weekly mileage ~ Oct. 19-25*

Mileage for the week of October 19th – October 25th

Total weekly mileage: 17.25

Total October mileage (to-date): 87

XC mileage (part of weekly total): 1.75

Total year-to-date (2015) mileage: 1,604.25

Run review:

10/19           26:26 min./2.5 mi./10:35 pace      + .5 miles w/XC

10/20           33:57 min./4 mi./8:29 pace

10/21          18:22 min./2.53 mi./7:16 pace      + 1.25 miles (warm up/cool down)

10/22           No run

10/23          44:34 min./5.25 mi./8:28 pace     + 1.25 miles w/XC

10/24         No run

10/25         No run

My weekly mileage review from last week pretty much sums up my week. BUSY! Cross-country is officially over but not before three final meets sprinkled throughout the week. Our final one of the season was this past Sunday in which I got so wet and cold, it took me a day and a half to recover. After a skipped run yesterday, a mid-afternoon nap, miso soup, the wet sock remedy, various vitamins and minerals, and an extra early bedtime, I woke up feeling a ton better today. It’s just been one of those weeks.

Last week I shared a mini race recap about the 4k I ran on Wednesday. A couple of days later I came across my finish line photo. For laughs:

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Pain face at the finish.

*2015 Portland Marathon*

In the world of marathons, and in my opinion… based on my experience, the Portland Marathon ranks right up at the top of the best-of-the-best!

A week has already passed since I ran the Portland Marathon last Sunday, on October 4th. Truthfully, I’ve struggled to find the words to share my experience because it wasn’t really my experience. At least as far as running goes. While I loved being an ambassador for the Portland Marathon and the event itself, my heart wasn’t in it for myself. I ran the marathon with the intention of supporting my friend while she ran her first marathon. And honestly, it was SO great to run a marathon with no pressure on myself as far as performance goes. (High-fives for everyone!!)

What I didn’t expect was that my role as supporter, cheerleader, coach, and friend was going to be more challenging than I realized. The hardest part of the marathon was watching my friend suffer. Without sharing too many details for the sake of her privacy, she had been ill in the days leading up to the race and though she was well-trained, things took a turn in the wrong direction around mile 18 and it went a bit downhill from there. (Figuratively speaking. We ran in the right direction and there wasn’t really too much downhill. Hehe.)

Regardless, at 5:01:11, we crossed the finish line. Tears were shed. Orange juice was consumed. We collected our swag and staggered out of the finish area grateful to be done!

Despite the hiccups, it was a such a great day and race. The Portland Marathon goes above-and-beyond to make sure that every participant has a race experience that will be remembered. The on-course entertainment is such a welcome distraction and the aid stations, volunteers, and spectators along the route really make you feel that they are there for YOU.

I’m already looking forward to next year! So much so that this happened:

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The 2016 Portland Marathon is happening!!

Registration is open for the 2016 race, which marks the 45th year of the Portland Marathon, and prices are the lowest they’ll be all year. If you’ve been considering running it, 2016 is YOUR year to do it! Register HERE!

My friend has recovered and has already indicated that she will perhaps try running a marathon again in the future. It was such an honor to be there to support her and I was so moved when her man presented me with a thank-you. Gluten-free brownies with this note attached:

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Such a thoughtful gesture! And all I had to do was run 26.2 miles!

You can find a more in-depth race recap from my 2013 experience at the Portland Marathon. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

*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!)

*Two outta three… a few words about Boston*

When you set a lofty goal for yourself, you will either walk away with a euphoric sense of accomplishment once it is realized, or a devastating feeling of defeat if you fail.

The past week, I’ve been marinating in the post-Boston feeling of euphoric accomplishment. I’ve always sucked at writing witty race recaps and here it is, nearly a week later, and I’m finally sitting down to share a little bit of my experience. But it won’t be in the traditional form. For once, and it’s not very often, I’ll be a girl of few words.

The Boston Marathon… the experience in its entirety… was phenomenal. It was everything I imagined it would be and more.

Most amazing was that my race, despite the nasty weather (and truly not unlike what I’m use to training in at home)… well, I achieved two out of three of my Good, Better, Best goals!!

Apparently, the Boston Marathon course is not typically a PR kind of course, but the stars aligned just so and not only did I set a new PR, I also got a BQ!

My official race time was 3:33:06.

I’m sure more will surface over the next few weeks but I’m still basking in the afterglow and figuring out what’s next! Thank you for being a gigantic piece of this journey!!

 

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*Preface to my HTC recap*

The words are finally starting to surface. While this past week was crazy-busy, I spent a lot of time replaying my Hood to Coast experience with Nuun Hydration in my head. I think a part of me didn’t want to write a recap because it would force me to face the fact that it was over. The truth is, I never wanted it to end.

The past few weeks have been really stressful. I know everyone has their shit… health issues, failing relationships, financial trouble, debt, miserable jobs… so I know I’m not alone by a long shot. Many bloggers are often accused of only highlighting the positive aspects of their lives and I’m probably guilty of it too. But who really wants to come here to read about my problems? I wouldn’t want to.

My point is, leading up to HTC, I was in a rough place. The happy-go-lucky and upbeat Hyla that everyone knows and loves had been replaced by gloomy, bitter Hyla. I was not a lot of fun to be around. In the midst of feeling like I was being consumed by my troubles, I would find myself feeling twinges of excitement whenever I thought about my impending trip to Seattle to meet my  HTC teammates, who now feel more like family than just teammates, and take on the massive adventure of running 200 miles together.

The break in my regular routine, connecting with 28 fantastic fellow runners and Nuun employees (Nuun sponsored two teams and provided drivers for each van), and being a part of something bigger than I’ve ever experienced was so therapeutic. It was as if, for a few short days, I was extracted from the situations getting me down and I felt the weight of my burdens lift.

Reentry back into normal life, the regular routine, in addition to my new role as a cross-country coach, all while nursing the post-relay hangover that was intensified by the millions of posts, pictures, videos, and banter on social media made it all the more challenging. But now, a week later, I’ve finally started to organize my thoughts a bit better and look forward to sharing the tale of HTC from my perspective. Finding the time to sit down and write has been the biggest obstacle so bear with me. It’s coming.

In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying reading some of the recaps written by my teammates. I thought you might too. Here is a partial list that link to their stories.

Dirty Old Sneakers (Check out the super cool video!)

JPC Marathoner

Liz Glomb

The Weekend Warrior

Doug Cassaro

Running Backwards in High Heels

Nuun Blog

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Meet the team(s)! I love these people!! (Photo credit: http://www.nuun.com)

*His first 5K*

Sharing the things that I love, with the ones that I love, makes my heart oh so happy! This morning my son and I ran the Red, White, and Blues 5K in Portland thanks to the fantastic peeps at Nuun Hydration and the Better Series. A huge THANKS for making this race possible and helping create a wonderful memory with my son!

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Red, White, and Blues 5K

We could not have asked for a better morning for a race!! It took place right in downtown Portland on the waterfront. The sun was shining, the temp was perfect, and it was great to see a good turnout for the inaugural event. Kuddo’s to the Better Series for putting on such a stellar race! Other than the course being a bit short (about a quarter-mile according to my watch), it was well-organized and the medals were fantastic for a 5k! The shirts are pretty sweet too!

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Ready, set, RACE!

If I recall correctly, I was 17 years old when I ran my first 5K. I find so much delight in watching my kids discover running at a way younger age than I was when I started. It is my hope that they will enjoy it as much as I have and will continue to run as they get older.

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Cooling off post-race!

I’m pretty proud of this guy!!