Category Archives: Running

business trip

H went out of town last week, for four days.  A year ago, that would have sent me into a paroxysm.  In fairness, things used to be a lot harder.  For example, it used to be so hard to get the kids to bed because L would freak out if I left her alone to get B to bed, and she made too much noise if I took her in with me.  Nowadays, I put them to bed at the same time, in the same room, and everything typically goes very smoothly.  It’s so much easier!  My new TV after dinner when Daddy is out of town policy also makes things a heck of a lot easier.  B loves Masha the Bear and L loves the movie First Position.  In combination, I easily get 45 minutes of almost complete peace.  In any event, I was basically not stressed or anxious on this trip at all.  I feel like I’m 80 or 90% back to my normal self.  I also feel like things could go south at any time, but i mostly feel like I’m getting my life back.  Why this all happened to me, I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s something I’ll struggle with on some level for the rest of my life.  Life is good right now, though, and I’m not really thinking beyond that.

Sarah and her family visited last weekend.  As she put it on FB, “Thank you universe for putting my sister and one of my best college friends only minutes apart.”  Yes, thank you very much universe.  I really appreciate it.  It was great seeing Sarah and her whole family, and it was so cute watching the kids play together.  Now all I have to do is get my act together and develop the pictures.

I went cycling with a co-worker this weekend, a guy I’ve known for longer than a decade.  Ironically, I used to give him a hard time about cycling in the rain.  How times change.  We seemed to be quite well-matched in speed and general ride preferences, so it went quite well.  It was great, actually.  He hasn’t been cycling much, and I suspect if he were to cycle frequently, I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him, but for now, we’re in a similar place.  I had to push to keep up with him on the flats, and he had to push to keep up with me on the hills.  Overall, we went a good bit faster than I would have alone (though still slow by any reasonable standard.)

The STP was this weekend.  It’s a 200+ mile from Seattle to Portland.  A colleague of mine at work did it . . . in one day.  It took him 11 hours.  Crazy!  Part of me is thinking maybe I could do it next year.  Right now I can cycle 40 miles, and I figure I could do 60 if I had to.  I need to get to a place where I could cycle 100 – and then do it again the next day.  Honestly, my legs are usually in pretty good shape after 40 miles, but I’m still dealing with, ahem, chafing issues.   We’ll see.  I guess I should focus on getting through a triathlon this summer and then worry about next summer.

racing plans

At the end of last year, I laid out the following events tentatively for the year:

1.) 1/29 FFV 5K – Done, New PR!

2.) 2/26 FFV 5K #2 (Didn’t do – on vacation)

3.) 3/18 Magnuson Duathlon – Done, brutal!

4.) 4/30 Mt. Rainier Duathlon – Done

5.) 6/3 Lake Wilderness Triathlon – Decided to skip due to cold water temperatures

6.) 7/9 See Jane Run women’s 5K – Now planning to skip due to $75 registration fee

7.) 8/12 Lake Meridian Triathlon – Still planned

Now that the year is half over, it’s time to re-visit the plan for the rest of the year.  Here are my thoughts right now:

7/23: Seafair Duathlon

8/12: Lake Meridian Triathlon

9/10: Lake Stevens Triathlon (a big maybe – if Lake Meridian is fun)

9/24: Kitsap Color Classic cycle

10/7: Fall City 10K

10/26: Snohomish River Run 10K/Half Marathon

11/4: Lake Washington Half Marathon

11/26: Seattle Half Marathon

~12/18: 12Ks of Christmas

I’m sure I won’t end up doing all of these; I certainly won’t do two half marathons, but I am thinking maybe I’ll do one.  It’s not that hard to run 13 miles, right?

summer exercise clothes

I ended up staying home sick today.  I’m feeling much better now, but earlier my cold had turned into one of those colds that make you feel like you’re drowning.

I didn’t run today, so here’s my latest on running – and now general exercise – attire.

Tops

Nike Run Fast Short-Sleeve Shirt

I try to avoid sleeveless running tops if I can just because it’s that much more sun exposure.  The ideal running shirt, in my opinion, goes just to the waist, so that it’s just long enough to not expose skin at rest.  It’s loose-ish, not so loose that it’s flapping around, but loose enough for plenty of airflow.  Tops of this description are surprisingly rare – the Nike top above checks all the boxes.

Lululemon Long DIstance Short Sleeve Shirt

I splurged on this one as a reward for meeting some kind of athletic milestone or other.  It works best when the weather is a bit cooler.  I usually run in the morning, so it’s often in the low to mid 50s, and this top is a good option.

Sugoi Climber’s Jersey

I only own the one jersey, and I like it.  it’s comfy and flattering and basically a win.

Cycling shorts.  Any ideas, anyone?  i can’t find a pair of shorts that doesn’t start to seriously chafe after about 20 miles.  Actually I don’t know if it’s the shorts or the seat or what, but something is not working for me.

Running shorts

Adidas Performance Women’s Grete Shorts.  They don’t appear to sell them anymore, though perhaps these are similar.

Zoot Sports Ultra Run Icefil 3-Inch Short

I still like my Champion sports bras and my Balega socks.

These days, I’m running in Asics Kayano shoes.  They’re Asics most cushiony supportive shoe, and so far, they seems to be helping my feet a little bit.

this and that

I went cycling again on Sunday, this time with a co-worker.  I’m on the hunt for a cycling buddy, preferably another woman, but really, a guy would be fine, too.  We had a nice ride at what I think was a good pace for both of us.  However, when I got back, I found my front window smashed and my purse stolen from my car.  I’d put it under the front seat, but clearly I hadn’t concealed it carefully enough.  Also, clearly, I should have left it at home.  Oh well.  Lesson learned the hard way I guess.  The thief spent $1000 on my credit card before I could cancel it, but fortunately, Chase Visa offers excellent fraud protection.  Thank goodness for that!

Monday was a quiet day at the office, and then today, I woke up with a cold.  So did L and H.  B was already sick.  We are all kind of miserable today.  I was up with L last night, and H is out with the kids now.  I’m not really looking forward to this evening all that much at this point.  We’ve been lucky.  We’ve had a super long stretch of everyone being mostly healthy, so I guess it was bound to end.

I signed up for the cycling subscription on NBC Sports Gold (online), and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying watching the Tour de France.  Obviously, it’s much to long to watch all of it, but they have a nice interface that makes it possible to skip through to the more interesting bits.  There are very few Americans in the race, but there are a couple young ones that are interesting.

I’d been planning to run a 5K this Sunday, but I guess we’ll see.  At this point, I don’t feel like doing much of anything.

Maple Valley ride

I went on another long ride this morning, 38 miles with 2000 feet of elevation gain.  This time I did a tour of South King County, covering a lot of roads I’ve never driven on and towns I never visit.  It wasn’t my favorite ride ever.  Despite an advertised 1% chance of rain, I endured about 90 minutes of misting during the hardest, hilliest part of the ride.  It wasn’t bad, but I kept worrying that it would get worse.  In addition, the ride was quite remote.  There wasn’t that much traffic, but there were no other cyclists or runners around for most of it.  I like seeing other people out when I’m riding.  I like riding by myself, but I like seeing other cyclists around.

July1Ride

Flowers

SoosCreek

I did enjoy riding the Soos Creek Trail.  I used to do the vast majority of my runs there when I lived in Kent.  It’s just a beautiful spot; my photos don’t do it justice.

My triathlon is now just about a month away.  I feel more or less prepared, but I’ve decided to try and swim twice a week between now and the race.  I’d also like to swim in open water a minimum of two times.  More would obviously be better.  I haven’t done any bricks – bike then run – or any other type of combined training, but I’m not trying to win the thing, just finish it, so I figure doing long runs, long bike rides, and long swims should be sufficient from a pure endurance perspective.

wetsuits

I’ve only worn a wetsuit once.  I was kayaking in Ireland in the winter, and we were all required to wear wetsuits.  They were slimy and it was freezing, and my wetsuit associations are decidedly negative.  However, I finally decided to pull the trigger on buying a tri wetsuit.  These usually run $150 to $200, so it’s not a small purchase.  I could (and probably should) rent or buy used, but what the hell, in for a penny, in for a pound, right?  I’d been thinking of just swimming in a bathing suit since the water should be in the 70s on raceday, but what tipped me over the edge is that the open water swim practice sessions run by the local tri club and wetsuit mandatory, and there’s no way I’m going to swim with a wetsuit for the first time on the day of the race.  Also, the vast majority of races in this area are cold enough that a wetsuit is highly desirable, if not a necessity.  So.  The plan is to try on the wetsuits I ordered from Amazon (yes, plural – free returns!) and find one I can tolerate, send the rest back, and try to psych myself up for hitting the open water next week.  Or maybe the week after.  (Don’t wanna!  It’s gonna be cold.) Honestly, thinking about it is enough to make me switch exclusively to duathlons.

We’ll see if I get hooked on this tri thing.  Right now, I’m thinking next summer I’ll try and do more longer cycling and participate in some of the major events around here.  I can spend the rest of my time running, and swim only for exercise and amusement.  On the flip side, i am tempted to join a Master’s swim team just for fun.  Except that they meet at like 5:30 in the morning, so that’s probably not really going to happen.  Maybe when my kids are older, I can swim on a team with them.

running and horses

I read about the Strava mile on the Strava app and decided to give it a go.  My mile PR is 5:52 from high school when I was 17, had had no kids, weighed maybe 115, and did a lot of speed work.   I think it’s safe to say I’m not breaking 6 minutes any time soon, which makes me a little sad.  But, no matter.  Strava thinks my PR is 7:05 or something like that, so I decided to go after a sub-7.  I found my nearest track, less than 10 minutes from my house and is synthetic; there isn’t a track like that in the whole city of Roanoke.  I headed out there at 6:30 in the morning or so and had it to myself.  I wore my watch and decided to try and target 400s between 100 and 105 s — leading to a 1600 m between 6:40 and 7:00.

My splits for 1600 m ended up being 99.5, 102.3, 102.1, and 101.9.  That’s a 6:45 1600m.  Strava clocked me at 6:43 for my fastest mile (as I kept running since 1600m is just a bit short of 1 mile.)  Overall, I’m pleased, though honestly I thought I could run a few seconds faster.  I’m inspired now to do some speed work.

Saturday, I went out for a 38 miles bike ride around the lower half of Lake Washington.  1737 ft of elevation gain.  I’ve done the ride before, but it felt a little easier this time.  I’m always intimidated by a ride that long, but it’s better when I at least know the route.  I averaged 12.9 mph, which is pretty typical for me for this type of ride.

LakeWARide

After my ride, we headed to a birthday party with L – an equestrian party.  We live very near a beautiful area called the May Valley that has a lot of horse farms, and the party was at one of them.  L, as I’ve mentioned on here before, tends to be timid and afraid of most new things, and she has always been afraid to sit on a horse every time the opportunity has come up.  The people at the horse farm were so great.  They started with having the kids brush the horses.  L was initially afraid to touch the horse, but I eventually was able to talk her into it.  Then B got up on the horse they’d been brushing, and we all managed to talk L into getting up to.  What did it was the option to ride with her sister.  It was so sweet.  Unfortunately, I was so busy providing moral support to L that I got no photos, but I’m hoping I can get at least one from one of the other moms.