Running Challenge: Day 16-18, a recap

Oh goodness! It’s been a weekend, I’ll tell ‘ya.

Friday: I took the afternoon off of work for no other reason than I needed to use the PTO before the end of the year and I thought having an afternoon to do whatever I pleased sounded perfect. It turned out to be a lovely afternoon! I went for a 6 mile trail run… in the day light! Amazing. I really hate these dark days of winter. It’s tough to maintain motivation when it feels like a challenge to even get out the door. Going for a brisk trail run in the day was a much needed reset after an intense week. But you know, it’s been insanely cold here in Portland. There was a thick layer of frost on the ground even into the afternoon.

Photo by "Patrick D" of Portland

Friday’s run started out so cold, but as I ran up the hill and away from the creek the air got warmer, and so did my legs. Not a bad way to start the weekend, I’d say.

Saturday, the BIG running day: My running friend Eric picked me up at 8AM.  We drove out to Hagg Lake for an epic trail run. Hagg Lake is never super high on my places to go, but both Eric and I will be competing in the Hagg Lake 50K in just a few months. It seems appropriate to do some training runs on the course.

I’m so sad that I didn’t take any photos of the weather or us. It was SO cold. Are you noticing a theme? Thick frost covered just about everything. Our plan was to complete on lap of the lake (14 miles) and if we were feeling awesome, we’d tack on an out-n-back hill climb that would round out our run to 17 miles.  We found a place to park and shivered while we readied our affairs. Once we were all set, we took off down a field and found the single track. The run started out awesome. We were both so full of energy. We chatted about this and that, and kept commenting on the low temperature. It was really cold! Eric had gigantic gloves on in the beginning, big wooly things that I got a big kick out of. Apparently Eric doesn’t like cold hands.

We put in the first 4 or 5 miles in high spirits. Then the trail got harder. We continued our journey around the lake and with every passing mile our chatter decreased. We were just doing one lap, but for the 50k we’ll complete 2 laps. It’s a very big lake and two laps around it seems a bit silly, but that’s what we’ll do.

It seemed like we took forever, but eventually we completed the lap and headed out for the uphill out-n-back. It was lethally steep and a total gut buster. We finished the run in silence, both exhausted and hungry.

We decided to refuel at the McMenamin’s Grand Lodge. Despite the weather, we both agreed that milkshakes were in order.

Yum.

 

Sunday: “Recovery” run with dog! It took a lot of motivation, but we did get the 25 minute run in and we both feel better for it.

 

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Running Challenge Day #13 and #14

Day 13: Run to work with my dog

Day #14: After three years of running, I still think it’s amazing how much running balances me. Bad day at work? Troubling hair day? Confusing talks with an ex-boyfriend. All of that melts away during a good run. Of course, it can be extremely difficult to actually get out the door on those rough days, but I’ve very rarely regretted going for a run, even on terrible, terrible, no good days.

Today’s run was certainly awesome for two reasons:

1. I ran 8 miles in 1:04 (8 min/mile, give or take).  I haven’t been wearing my GPS lately, so nothing is very accurate.

2. My hat and shirt matched totally matched! Wow!

Matchy matchy hat and shirt. This never happens.

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Running Challenge Day #12: Short

Really short post today. It’s Monday and it was one of those Monday’s where it took 3 cups of coffee and 3 trips back into the apartment for things I had forgotten.

Day #12: 26:00

Terrain: Frosty

Thoughts: Glad to fit this run in. Almost didn’t happen. It turns out  that you really can fit in 25 minutes of exercise with a bit of will power.

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Running Challenge: Day #11 Long

When I woke up this morning I realized I had a problem. It was solvable but significant problem. No coffee beans. I would not be able to start a long run until this problem was addressed.  It wasn’t all bad because I had a punch card for Stumptown that was full, which meant that if I could get myself to the Stumptown, my beans would be FREE! Whooppeee! I returned from the  coffee beans excursion, started up the galaxy’s best burr grinder and promptly prepared a gigantic pot of coffee. Nothing gets me ready for running like a bloodstream full of caffeine.

I was excited for today’s long run for 2 reasons:

1. It’s a long trail run and I love those.

2. I’d get to test out a new pair of shoes. The Montrail Rogue Racer

Montrail Rogue Racers - the cleanest they will ever be

I tidied up my place, procrastinated for 20 minutes and then hit the trail. I live about 45 seconds from a trail runners paradise. Which means that I can get to 30+ miles of singletrack and never even have to get on a paved street! There are literally no excuses for not getting out there and enjoying it at least a couple of times a week.

Anyway, me and my Montrails hit the trail. It didn’t take long, I would say about 7 minutes, for me to realize I was completely pooped! Between yesterday’s race and my slow accumulation of miles, today’s run was pretty lackluster. It took a good 45 minutes to even convince my legs to get working. That is a long time to suffer through a bad run. I did turn it around eventually and the second half of the run was better than the first. I came home exhausted but satisfied.

Run #11: 2:09, 13.5 miles

Terrain: Firelanes, single track, forest service roads.

Thoughts: This felt like the slowest run ever. Will I ever be fast again?

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Ridgefield Holiday 10k 2011

This morning I raced the Ridgefield Holiday 10K.  My neighbor raced too which made for an extra fun day.

I was pleasantly surprised by my results. Certainly I wasn’t breaking any records, but I ran a nice race nonetheless!

Happy Holiday Fun Run Runners

 

Age Group Winner

Results: 45:25, 7:20 min/mile pace

Fourth woman overall, first in my age group (!)

Thoughts: There were mighty fierce women out there today! So nice to be racing and feeling like I’m going to barf with nervousness. Love that feeling! Oh yeah, the 10k also counts for day #10 of my holiday run challenge. Keeping the streak alive.

 

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Running Challenge: Day #9 TGIF

Last night I didn’t even bother with dinner. I went straight to bed where I curled up with a mug of tea and my dog. Really a lovely end to the evening. I ignored my alarm clocks this morning and slept in pretty late. No time for a run or even a lengthy dog walk. It wasn’t a big deal because my neighbors watched her today (because they are awesome and they love my dog, rightly so!).

Today was whirlwind between client meetings, a brown-bag lunch presentation and a bunch of other little project-y stuff that kept me rocking at work. There was no time to sneak in a lunch-time run. So, tonight I squeezed in a run around the block and to the co-op. I picked up some juice and a bunch of quarters for laundry. See, I said I’d do some laundry finally.

It was a short run, but that’s A-OK. I’ve got a 10K race tomorrow and a long run on Sunday. Let the holiday running streak continue.

Day#9: 20 minutes. Easy

Terrain: Dark, cold, pavement

Thoughts: You know what’s really great about being single? I can eat as much pickled garlic as I damn well please. And that’s what I’m doing right now, along with a plate of sauteed chicked and veggies.  Perfect pre-race dinner.

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Holiday Run Challenge: Day #8

It is sooooo chilly in Portland these days! I kind of love it, but I really really hate that I tried to go running this morning without gloves. Total fail on my part. I vetoed the run and decided to make coffee instead. It was that cold.

When I got home tonight, the conditions were very similar to this morning. Dark. Cold. Cold. Dark. Can you believe that we have another 3 weeks of even more darkness before things start to get better. Really looking forward to the Winter Solstice!

Tonight I ran downtown around the bridges. Hardly anyone was out and about. I was happy to get the run done. This weekend I have much to look forward to. I’m going to race a 10k with my neighbor. And I’m going to do laundry. I promise.

Day #8: 7.75 miles in 64 minutes

Terrain: Bridges and asphalt

Thoughts: Good socks are a must. I recommend SmartWool and Swiftwick

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