Thursday, March 29, 2012

Three Things Thursday - Girls on the Run

Hey all! I've recently became more involved in the Girls on the Run organization and want to spread the good word to all my runner friends.  It really is the perfect organization to share your passion of running with while helping young girls gain mental and physical strength!

from the website:
Girls on the Run of Puget Sound is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Since 2002, GOTRPS has operated an after-school prevention program for 3rd through 5th grade girls throughout Puget Sound.

Basically girls have a ton of fun in an after school program all while gaining self confidence and learning to be healthy through running.  Each 10-week program ends with a cool is that. They get bibs, medals, t-shirts, the whole meal deal!

I was a running buddy last year and this year I've stepped it up a bit and I'm now the course lead on the 5K committee meaning I get to set up the 5K course on the day of the race.  We are brainstorming all sorts of cool ideas like having fun prizes/activities at each mile, cheerleaders along the course and of course a huge finish line festival just like a real race...well because it is real.

This Three Things Thursday is more geared toward my Washington readers in way to reach out (ok beg) to them to get involved in Girls on the Run Puget Sound.  But non-Washingtonians can check out the national website and see if there is a chapter near you...cause there probably is!

1. Attend the Auction:
disclaimer: no running occurs at this event...great chance to change out of those running clothes and dress up for once :)

Their annual No Sweat Event is being held on April 5 out at Shilshole Bay Beach Club in Ballard.  I went last year and was totally inspired to get more involved. I'll be volunteering at it this year so say HI if you attend.

2. Volunteer at the 5K - Saturday, May 19:
  • Be a running buddy - just like it sounds you run with an elementary aged girl to motivate her through the 5K course.  Time commitment isn't much as you only have to meet once before the 5K for their practice 5K and to meet your girl.  Just beware, your girl may run faster than you. 
my running girl smoking me!
3. Run the 5K as a community member:  Just come out and run the 5K on May 19, your registration fee goes to help the Girls on the Run Puget Sound chapter and I promised you will be super inspired! 

And of course you can always just donate some cold hard $$ to them if that is your game!

I hope to do more posts at GOTR in the future.  I have a friend who is actually a coach which is the ultimate volunteer opportunity...maybe I'll convince her to write a guest post ;)...Sonia??

Question: Do you share your passion of running with any great organizations?  Are you going to get involved with GOTR now?  Hit me up if you want more information!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Race Recap: Mercer Island Half Marathon

I won't hold you all in suspense any longer...I DID IT!  I crossed the line of the 2012 Mercer Island Half Marathon in 1 hour 56 minutes 31 seconds.  I owe a ton of credit to my awesome friend and official pacer, Sonia!  She wore the watch and kept us on pace and didn't tell me that I actually had almost 13 minutes to finish the last mile :).
This is Sonia, you should hire her as a pacer :)
Not only was Sonia my pacer she was also my breakfast cook, I know I'm a lucky friend!  We started the morning super early with a fuel filled breakfast of eggs and yogurt.  I also had one of my oatmeal pumpkin protein bars about an hour before the race.

Sonia and I met up with two of my friends from college, Carol and Lisa, and we hung out in the warm community center before lining up to start.  The weather was race PERFECT...sunny and in the 50's for the entire race.  We were in the shade most of the time so I never got too hot.  The race started promptly at 9AM and you literally run around the entire perimeter of Mercer Island.  There are HILLS, but there are also a lot of DOWN hills so I felt like they evened out for the most part with the exception of a doosy of a hill at mile 11, that just isn't cool.
That would be a hill from mile 11 almost to mile 12

The goal was to try and stay under 9:00 pace to leave room for slowing at the end and I used the time I built up during the first half to take it slower on some of the uphills and then used the downhills to kick it up a notch.  At mile 10 when Sonia told me I had over 30 minutes to finish the race in under 2 hours it finally felt real and totally doable.  She refrained from telling me my time for the rest of the race which was smart on her part...I probably would have slowed down :). I felt strong for the whole race and when I approached the finish line seeing 1:57 on the official clock I was SOO excited.  I had my doubts for sure but I knew I would disappointing in myself if I didn't at least try from the start and I'm really glad I did.

Instead of boring you with my thoughts during every mile I just break down some highlights/lowlights in bullet form:
  • This race is REALLY well organized for being on the "smaller" size as far as races go.  They have parking all over the island, packet pickup was a breeze, and the warm community center to wait in before the race is worth the price of registration alone.
  • I didn't run with any music or garmin...crazy I know!  I knew I would be running with Sonia the whole time and my garmin doesn't work anymore so I went sans technology.  
  • I love my Nike Free shoes more than ever now since they glided me through a sub 2 hour half with no pain!
  • Going uphill and downhill for 13.1 miles is ROUGH on your legs, quads burned on the uphill, knees burned on the downhill. If you don't train in the outdoors in Seattle you probably wouldn't be prepared for the hills in this race.
  • The finish line area was open to anyone so there were spectators getting samples and food which made it VERY crowded and I got pretty claustrophobic in the finish tent trying to find water.
I really don't have too many negative thoughts about this race...PERFECT weather, PERFECT running buddy, PERFECT PR!  I still can't believe I ran that fast for 13.1 miles, especially when only 4 short years ago I crossed the finish line of my first half in 2 hours 35 minutes.
    In totally unrelated news you MUST watch this video if you live or are from Seattle...HILARIOUS and they nail every stereotype pretty well!

    Question: Who else raced this past weekend? 

    Monday, March 19, 2012

    Taper Time?

    Is it really considered tapering when I really haven't been running much anyways?  Oops!  This Sunday is the Mercer Island half marathon that I've (up until recently) had high hopes of getting my sub 2 hour time at.  I'm going to be realistic here and not get my hopes up too high for this time because I have not trained properly.  Sure I've been running faster lately, but I've barely ran outside or run long distances for the past few months.  I'm confident I can complete the run without killing or injuring myself but I'm just going to run it as hard as I can and be happy with whatever result I get.

    Sonia - if you are reading this want to just run it together and chat the whole time?  Sound good?

    Plus Seattle weather has been unseasonably disappointing lately and the forecast for this week looks just as gloomy:

    There is no SUN in these pictures :(
    I'm not expecting to run 13.1 miles in gorgeous Spring weather but it would be nice to be above 40 and not pouring that asking too much?  Just 50 and lightly misting...that's ok!

    Since I don't have much to say about running lately want to see some amazing food I ate this past weekend when my friend from Portland was in town.  Don't worry I'm not turning into a food blogger.
    Pretzels with amazing dips from Brave Horse Tavern
    Pork enchiladas at Barrio
    What isn't pictured is lunch the next day at a vegan joint called Plum Bistro. I had the Stumptown coffee pancakes with vegan cream sauce and they were delicious.  I would highly recommend all the places I went to this past weekend and it was so much fun to try all new to me places!

    And then to try and get my stomach back to normal I made a detox salad on Sunday night inspired from here but mostly made with Trader Joes stuff - I'll post a recipe soon!
    This salad made in like 10 seconds with a food processor...GET ONE!
    Question: Any local bloggers/readers running the Mercer Island Half?  Please say HI to me if you see me!

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    A to Z

    I'm just stating for the record that I'm only doing this bloggy survey because it originated from one of my favorite bloggers, Janetha!  First her name is super cool and second her blog is a great mix of awesome workouts, delicious recipes, and just being real.

    And I don't have any motivation to talk about working out right now which isn't good for me considering my half marathon is in less than 2 weeks...but like I said I don't want to talk about it so here is me in A to Z!

    A is for age: I'm the big 3-0!  Actually almost 31 now which actually scares me more than turning 30.
    B is for breakfast today: 2 eggs scrambled and two sausage, sweet potato, apple fritters...make them!
    I've totally jumped on the pinterest bangwagon!
    C is for currently craving: I was craving my peppermint stick Luna bar so I ate it for a snack.
    D is for dinner tonight: I just pinned this chicken so I'm pretty sure I'm making that with roasted asparagus.
    E is for favorite type of exercise: Well right now it should be running but it's really weight lifting, especially my shoulders since that is where I've seen the most changes.
    F is for irrational fear: Being hit crossing the street.  Even if the road appears clear for miles I will still practically sprint across it.  I take crosswalks VERY seriously :).
    G is for gross food: MUSHROOMS...EWWW!!!!  I also don't eat bivalves (aka clams, muscles)....I dissected one to many in school.
    H is for hometown: Eastern washington since I was 2.5 years old.  I couldn't wait to leave the desert behind and find greener (and wetter) pastures.
    I guess E. WA isn't that bad lookin :)
    I is for something important: My family!  I'm kind of missing my parents right now even though they only live 3 hours away, it's been a while since I've seen that...that must change.
    J is for current favorite jam: I just posted about this and I still listen to all three songs all the time!
    K is for kids: One K-9 named Stacey, but she is more of an elderly roommate who just sleeps all day and greets me when I come home.

    L is for current location: Seattle, Washington! 
    M is for the most recent way you spent money: Super shopping at Trader Joes yesterday.
    N is for something you need: A massage...oh wait, I'm getting one...this weekend!
    O is for occupation: I am an outreach coordinator/run the front office at an oceanographic research job is fun most of the time! I got to meet a Senator this past weekend :).
    P is for pet peeve: People that are LATE and/or FLAKEY, typically these two types go together to make for one really annoying person.
    Q is for a quote: I'm not really one for quotes but I pinned "You can feel sore tomorrow or you can feel sorry tomorrow, your choice"...I like it!  Plus it was on a Nike ad and I'm a total Nike whore.
    R is for random fact about you: I used to figure skate and could probably just bust out a sit spin or single flip jump if you got me on the ice.  I wanted to be an Olympic figure skater after the whole Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal...who remembers that??
    S is for favorite healthy snack: Most days my snacks consist of veggies with hummus if I'm craving some savory or a banana with sunflower seed butter if I'm craving something sweet.
    T is for favorite treat: Cupcakes!
    FACT: This is the fourth time a picture of a cupcake has appeared on this blog
    U is for something that makes you unique:  I left this answer blank and actually thought about it all day and couldn't really think of that sad?  I'm going to have to say "I'll get back to you on that".
    V is for favorite vegetable: I could probably eat asparagus every night!
    W is for today's workout: Run run run
    X is for X-rays you've had: Arm when I broke it doing a running somersault when I was younger.  Chest when I was in a car wreck and head when I "fell" in college (that is all the info you are getting on that one).
    Y is for yesterday's highlight: Getting to see my best friends brand new baby for a entire afternoon.  I helped out at her newborn photo session and got peed on twice but didn't care at all!
    Z is for your timezone: Pacific

    Question:  Is answering the question "What makes you unique?" easy for you?  What does make you unique?

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Back to Running Business

    Okay, so I'm officially less than 3 weeks away from my first (well I guess second) attempt to achieve sub 2 hour half marathon success.  I'll be toeing the line at the Mercer Island half marathon on March 25 and I'm am actually pretty excited.  I've been running a lot faster these days and while I'm following no training plan what-so-ever I am following the "make every run count" plan.  Since I'm only running 3 times a week I make sure each run is challenging in some way (incorporates a hill, speed training, or a long run).  This works for ME since I'm currently obsessed with weight training...I can do BOTH!

    I had some speedy (for me!) runs last week that went down like this.  You can follow me on DailyMile if you just can't wait for my weekly reports.

    Tuesday: 6x400m on the treadmill
    This workout included a half mile warmup at 6.0 and then 400m at 7.0, back to 400m for 6.0 and repeat until I got 6 speedy intervals in there.  I covered 3.25 miles in about 31 minutes. 

    Friday: Treadmill Sprints!
    I really had no plan for this workout but I was feeling energetic so I went with it.  I warmed up for a mile at 6.0 then turned the treadmill up to 8.0mph.  I sprinted for 30 seconds then rested on the side of the treadmill for 30 seconds.  8.0 actually wasn't too dreadful so I made it more dreadful by turning it up to 8.5. I did 15-30 second sprints and then cooled down for 5 minutes.  The whole workout took 30 minutes.

    Sunday: Long Run
    I headed out on the Burke Gilman trail Sunday morning and reminisced about my marathon training nearly the entire time.  Mostly, how I didn't have to run 14, 16, 18, or 20 miles, which made 10 miles easy peasy!  I kept the pace comfortable and ended up running it in 1:35 about a 9:30 pace.  The best feeling was knowing that I could run faster and that I WILL in the half marathon.

    In case you don't want to do the math in order to come in at 1:59 at the half I have to maintain an average pace of 9:05 for the whole race which actually sounds very scary to me but I think I can manage sub 9 miles for a majority of the race giving me time to slow down towards the end.  I think I can I think I can...

    So, in an effort to act more like an runner I'm going to up the running to 4 days a week up to the half.  My legs were TIRED after the 10 yesterday and they are a little sore today which isn't usually the case for me so I think they need a little more time on the road.  Like the actual road, not the treadmill one I've become so accustomed too lately ;).

    Is this no picture post super boring already?  Here is some food porn for you:
    Okay, so my camera phone picture sucks
    But you can head over to PaleOMG and look at her 100% better photos and even better, make this dish: Honey Ginger Apple Shredded Pork.  AMAZING!  I ended up getting a 2.5lb pork roast from Whole Foods for 10 bucks and the other ingredients are super cheap and I had all the spices so this made one easy cheap meal and I'm pretty sure I'll be eating all week long.

    I don't mention too much what I eat on this blog because I have no intention of ever showing you a picture of everything I eat but I've been playing with the Paleo diet mostly because of how breads, pastas and other heavy carbs behave in my stomach.  I haven't fully committed yet and don't know if I'm going to but if I do I'll let you know what it's like if I do.

    Have a great week!

    Question: Any of my readers out there doing the paleo thing or have tried it?

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Three Things Thursday - Blog Lovin

    So, tomorrow is my 1 year blogiversary!  I meant to post this last Thursday...oops!  My 1 year blogiversary was on February 24, you can read my first post here.  Weird right?  I can't believe I've been up to this for a year and that I'm still doing it.

    I really had no intention for my blog other than to document training for my first marathon to try and hold me accountable for making sure I ran every week.  I had NO IDEA what kind of blog world was out there and the huge community of super awesome ladies (and some men!) that I would meet virtually and even in person.  After actually running a marathon I thought about just pulling the plug on the whole blog and going back to regularly scheduled life but I felt like I would be letting down my now 38 google followers and whoever else happened to read this little gem on the internet.  Plus I really feed off all the energy from other blogs and get REALLY excited when people comment on mine so I figured I would keep it going.
    My FIRST half marathon in 2008
    My FIRST marathon in 2011

    So, in honor of my 1 blogiversary I want to share some blog lovin to those blogs that I've fallen in love (is love too strong a word?  I promise I'm not a creepy stalker...) over the past year and you should read them if you already aren't.  Since there is NO possible way I can just pick 3 blogs for 3 Things Thursday I'll do three categories.

    1. Running Blogs
    • The Runner's Kitchen - literally the very first running blog I found and started following
    • Redonkulous Runner - another blog I followed early on and a person I would LOVE to meet in person
    • SkinnyRunner - mainly because I'm convinced she is actually a robot because of how much she runs every day
    • These Happy Miles - She ran Chicago too and helped me stay motivated
    • Hungry Runner Girl - because I wish I could eat like she does and stay that skinny :)
    • Blonde Ponytail - this Washington girl is a fitness guru and she has awesome workouts and videos to try new things
    • Losing Weight in the City - I just like how real this blog is and how finding time to workout and eat right is sometimes near impossible
    2. Food Blogs - evidence can be found under This is What I Eat
    • Meals & Moves - just read it, Janetha is awesome and she has some great recipes!
    • Daily Garnish - even though she is vegetarian I still love every single thing I've made of hers
    • Peas and Thank You - I'm not a vegan or a mom but this lady is hilarious and I've made MANY MANY things from her blog and cookbook and you should too!
    • Can You Stay For Dinner - food photography...enough said!  Plus I've made her lemon sugar roasted chicken about 10 times now and I never get sick of it.
    • Chocolate Covered Katie - if you are ever craving something sweet but want it to be on the healthy side head to Katie's blog for tons of inspiration. I've made these and these and this!
    3. New (to me) Blogs - these might not be new but they are new to me and they were all recently added to my google reader - add them NOW!
    • Running with Spatulas - I'm pretty sure Alie and I would be BFF's if we didn't live in different countries :(
    • paleOMG - Juli is hilarious!!!  And I've been thinking about going paleo for a while so her recipes are making it sound like a darn good time.
    • Clean Eating Chelsea - all around good readin
    • Once Upon a (L)ime - she makes cocktails with Nuun...enough said
    Oh wow, that is a lot of blogs and don't even think for one second this even covers a fraction of the list running down the side of my google reader.  I will never confess how many blogs I follow :). 
    FACT: I do love blogs and coffee and together they make for a great weekend morning or unproductive first hour at work...not that I do that!

    So, where is this blog going in the next year? I have no idea, but for right now I'm having fun in this blog world and I intend on staying for awhile.

    Question: What is a new to you blog you just started following and that I should follow too?