*A look back at March*

March Review:

Total miles: 237

Longest run: 22

Total days running: 25

YTD mileage: 690

Some of my favorite March moments included:

  • So many adventures! Mid-week dinner out with friends, a shopping trip with my girl, camping at the Oregon coast, a belated birthday trip to Seattle, and an overnight excursion to my favorite hot springs retreat center with Mr. Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking.
  • Celebrating my sons 13th birthday (on which I ran 13 miles) and officially becoming the mother of two teenagers. Gah!
  • The opportunity to coach, as a sub, for one of my favorite volunteer organizations, Run Girl Run. I filled in on two of their training days and can’t wait to watch the girls run their first race later this month!
  • Spending an afternoon working in the Portland Marathon booth promoting the October marathon at the Shamrock Run fitness fair. I loved running the Portland Marathon in 2013 and was disappointed that I couldn’t fit it in last year. If you are looking for a beautiful course with tons of support and entertainment, not to mention tons of race swag, put the Portland Marathon on your racing calendar!
  • Setting a minor PR (only three seconds but better than nothing!) at the Portland Shamrock Run. It was a super wet and cold morning but it’s always a fun event and usually one of my first races of the year so I like to use it as a gauge to see where I’m at.
  • Watching my daughters first track meet of the season, which is also her last high school sport season before she graduates in June. This is the girl who just a few years ago claimed she hated running! Now, a team captain and both a sprinter and thrower (she got recruited to do shot-put), I am just in awe of her speed and dedication to training!
  • Finishing up the last of my Boston Marathon training before I started to taper. I maxed out with a 22 mile long run the last weekend of March and am now making the final decent towards race day.
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Time to break out my tapering notice!

March was such a busy month and April won’t be much different! I’m in full-on taper mode and just 17 days out from what will likely be the most amazing race experience of my life. Additionally, I have a lot of things going on behind the scenes here at Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking for some fun partnerships and opportunities in the weeks to come!

Happy April!!

*That awkward moment…*

… when you view your race photos.

What would a race be without some godawful photographs to capture those special moments when you feel like you are dying, wish you were dead, or look like a bloated, drowned rat?

Bad race photos happen to the best of us.

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Really? This very moment was caught on camera?

Hideous photographs aside, I think it’s super cool that the Portland Shamrock Run offers photos of each participant free of charge to use as they wish. I’ve seen race photo packages run upwards of $70. Honestly, if this is what I truly look like while I’m running, I wouldn’t pay $.70 to save that memory!

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This might be okay if there was a zombie chasing me.

The consolation prize is that there is at least one picture I sort of like. I may have been miserable but fortunately, I don’t look it in my final sprint to the finish line.

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The best of the bunch.

Note to self: be more mindful of photographers on the course and try to look like you’re having fun. A smile wouldn’t hurt!

*A PR is a PR…*

As the story goes, I PR’d today. By three seconds. Not the outcome I wanted but not too shabby either, right?

While I had high hopes for something a little more significant, I’m grateful that I managed to finish feeling good and shaving three seconds off last year’s time.

Overall, I finished the Portland Shamrock Run in 1:10:25. Resulting in a pace of 7:34, 23rd in my age division, and 87th out of 2959 female runners.

 

*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!!

*Feeling lucky?*

May the luck of the Irish be upon you!

Speaking of luck… you Portland-area peeps are in for a treat! If you are heading to the Portland Shamrock Run race expo/fitness fair, I’ll be working the event tomorrow representing another Portland-area race tradition. You can find me in the Portland Marathon booth from noon to 4 PM. In fact, I’ll be wearing my 2013 finishers shirt, seen below.

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Rockin’ my Portland Marathon finishers shirt at Ragnar Las Vegas.

The expo/fitness fair is open to the public so even if you’re not registered to run the Shamrock Run, anyone and everyone is invited to attend. No doubt, you’ll get in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit!

Be sure to come say hi and learn more about one of my favorite events, the Portland Marathon! It is a fantastic race for first-time marathoner’s, boasts scenic views of Portland, Mt. Hood, and the Willamette River, offers more swag to participants than any other marathon around, and is a fun, fast course with more than 85 entertainments groups along the course! The Portland Marathon will be held on October 4, 2015.

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*Weekly mileage and March review*

Mileage for the week of March 24th through March 31st:

Total weekly mileage: 52.5

Total March mileage (to-date): 218

Total year-to-date mileage: 580.25

Run review:

3/24      No run/rest day

3/25      56:44 min./7 mi./8:06 pace

3/26      36:36 min./4.5 mi./8:08 pace

3/27      56:41 min./7 mi./8:06 pace

3/28      1:25:49 min./10.75 mi./7:59 pace

3/29       50:56 min./5.19 mi./9:49 pace

3/30       2:30:07 min./18 mi./8:20 pace

Last week started off a little rough… the first couple of days I was just not feeling 100%. For about a week now I’ve been dealing with either a mild cold or seasonal allergies. I guess now that I think about it, half of the month of March has been rough!

Speaking of, since today is my rest day, I might as well go ahead and recap the month.

Total March miles: 218

Year-to-date mileage: 580.25

Longest run: 20 miles

Rest days: 5

Miles to goal: 1,433.75

Despite not feeling well, I accomplished a lot this month! In the day-to-day, I forget how much work I’ve done and how far I’ve come. At the end of February, I wrote down three goals for March. They were:

1. 15k PR at the Shamrock Run

2. 200 miles

3. One super awesome trail run

Not only did I PR the 15k, I also ran my first-ever sub 7-minute mile in that race. (Two of them actually, back-to-back!) I exceeded my mileage goal by 18 miles this month. And while I didn’t run a super awesome trail run in March, I did get invited to run a Ragnar Trail relay next month! (Details and logistics are still in the works so once things are a little more concrete, I’ll share the deets!)

Besides that, I raced a small 5k, set a new PR, and was the first place female and third place overall finisher! Marathon training continued and even though I struggled toward the end, I got in all of my needed long runs. Oh, and of course, the super awesome news that I’ll be running Hood to Coast this August on one of two Nuun Hydration teams!!!

Whew! What a month! I wonder what in the heck April will bring! ; )

*What about Bob*

File this one under “I tried something new”.

New shoes? New route? New pre-run breakfast concoction, you ask?

Nope, nope, and nope.

Today, I did my long run accompanied by *gasp* another runner! Whoa! I know. Totally outside of comfort zone territory there. Baby steps, right? (Get it??)

While it is true that I love to run with others for the social aspects, it has been years since I’ve done any significant mileage with another runner. Several years back, a friend and I trained for, and ran, a half marathon but that was the last time I really ran any kind of distance with someone.

I guess that I’ve felt that it is just easier for me to train alone. No need to coordinate schedules or worry about varying paces and goals. Or worse, feeling like I’m holding them back. I know misery loves company and all but no one needs to be subjected to me whining about it. Plus, I’ve enjoyed the fact that I’ve trained independently. It is kind of empowering to finish a long run solo, with only your determination pacing along side of you.

The brief back story is this: I met the runner whom accompanied me this morning a few months back at my running club. I knew who he was long before I really met him in person. Runner’s like “Bob” don’t go unnoticed. (That is not an assumed name, it is his real name. And I’m sure he’ll thank me later for the shout-out. Or hate me forever but that is a risk I’m willing to take.) Truly, Bob is an inspiration and I’ve enjoyed his company and conversation on some of our shorter, group runs the past few months. I’ve seen noticeable improvements in my racing and I give him some credit for that. I push harder when I run with him and it has paid off.

When he offered to join me a few weeks ago for a long run, I sort of blew him off. While I was grateful for his very kind offer, it just felt like too much pressure. See, Bob is fast. Most recently, he ran the Charleston Marathon in 3:07:35. Dude! That is a 7:09 pace average for 26.2 miles!! And last weekend, at the Shamrock Run, he ran the 15k in 1:02:32 which is a 6:43 pace!!

Fast forward. I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed as my mileage gets higher and I get closer to my upcoming marathon. (Which is three weeks away! EEK!!) After some careful reconsideration, I invited Bob to join me today. I started to wonder if having someone along would ensure that I’d go the distance and perhaps help distract me when I started to get fatigued. I told him after he accepted my invite that I was nervous about running that long with someone, but he assured me that I had no reason to be. He was right.

We met at 8 am and set off for 18-19 miles. I needed at least 18 but hoped that I would feel good enough for 19. Bob talked me into 20. This whole running partner thing is already a problem. ; )

A portion of our route included two roads I’d never run before. I try to stick to well populated rural roads since I’m usually by myself so it was neat to run alongside a desolate gravel back road with a creek running along side it. Except when we passed the location, as Bob pointed out, of where a local guy dumped his dead mothers body. That was just kind of creepy.

It was a hilly route and while my goal was simply getting the miles in, I was a little discouraged that my pace was slower than usual. Whenever you “want” to perform well… However, running 20 miles has restored my confidence that I will at least be ready for marathon #4. Maybe not qualify-for-Boston ready, but that’s okay. 

As for Bob, he ran two miles to meet me, ran all 20 with me, and then had to run the two miles back home. What a guy, right? Amazing! But here is what I’m thinking about hours later: while in conversation, talking about the Boston Marathon, he said “we’ll get you there”. This running friend, who I’m just starting to really get to know, has taken a vested interest of sorts in me and my dream and I’m so honored to have another member on my team of supporters.

Thanks for talking me into 20, Bob!