Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Recap - PR Mania+Blogger Friends+Nuun!

I'm pretty sure the unofficial blogger handbook says you MUST do a yearly recap and since I follow all the rules ;) I will do one!

But seriously, I was thinking back on 2012 and couldn't believe all the awesome things I got to do as a result of this tiny little piece of internet real estate I take up as marathonlar.  I honestly just started this blog to documented my training for my first marathon and had NO idea what an awesome community I was joining.  Countless "blog" friends have turned into real life friends and many of my favorite memories of 2012 come from these ladies.

I actually made some 2012 goals and posted them here for all to see and try to hold me somewhat accountable...let's discuss how I did:

1. NO fast food - Okay, I didn't follow this 100% all year but I can count on ONE hand how many times I rolled up to the McDonald's drive through to get a McFlurry or some french fries and that is a good enough success for me.

2. NO bread of pasta products - Oopsie, that didn't last either but I still try not to buy this stuff to have in the house.  I've found a good balance with my love for carbs :).

3. Run a sub 2-hour half - DID IT!!  I clocked in at 1:56:31 at the 2012 Mercer Island Half Marathon.  This was  HUGE accomplishment for me, especially since my first half was over 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Could I look any happier?!
4. Do a pullup - DARNIT, I still can't do one unassisted.  I have really focused on strength training for the entire year and I'm pretty certain my faster run times are a direct result of that.

5. Get more involved with Girls on the Run - BIG CHECK!  I am on the 5K committee and was in charge of setting up the course for the Spring and Fall 5K's.  I love this organization and the ladies I work with involved in it.  I plan on continuing my participation with Girls on the Run for a long long time!
Most of the 5K committee classing it up at the races
And since I had 5 goals for 2012 let's keep that pattern going and talk about amazing things I did this year that were all thanks to this blog and the friendships I've formed from it:

1. Mt. Si Relay with Kerrie, Zoe, Lindsay and Nicole - This was the first sort of "event" I did with local bloggers and we had the best day ever driving around in a van chasing after our runner, laughing, getting to know each other and having a generally awesome time.  Part 1 and part 2 recaps!

2. Rock and Roll Half Marathon - Oh man, blog lady overload at this event!  At this point I had been chosen for the Nuun Ragnar team so I got to meet many of my teammates and went to THREE meetups to meet even more ladies.  You can see all the ladies that were there on my recap page.  While this race itself wasn't very memorable (stomach issues...ugh!) I loved seeing all my friends along the course.

3. Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage with NUUN! - After my depression over not getting picked for the Nuun Hood to Coast team ;) wore off I received an email asking to run the Ragnar relay with them.  I was honestly more excited about this than Hood to Coast since Ragnar is my first relay love and I couldn't wait to share it with Nuun.  Running Ragnar with Nuun ignited a love for Nuun as a product and a company and as a result I have become friends with many of the employees and actually work for them myself at events.

I could go on and on about how much fun this relay was but you can just go read for yourself in three parts (part 1, part 2, part 3)!  Every member of Nuun Kids on the Block will remain a friend for life.

And the best news of 2012? Evidently Nuun didn't find me extremely annoying during Ragnar and wants me to continue to be their best friend ever...I was chosen as a 2013 Nuun Ambassador!  I was pretty much pretending I was one already, so I'm glad they finally recognized it ;).

4. Discovering Flywheel with my flygirls - I really have no idea how we first came up with the idea of trying Flywheel but think Twitter was involved.  I look forward to my occasional Flywheel dates with flygirls - Sarah, Rebecca, Stacie, and more recently Megan! Of course our tradition of hitting up the Veggie Grill after doesn't suck either!

5. Setting new personal records in the 10K and 5K distances - Pretty sure I wouldn't have run either of these races without the encouragement from some bloggers, but I am glad I did!  After achieving my sub 2-hour half I knew I had some new speed in me so I tested that first at the Lake Union 10K where I came away with a new 10K PR of 53:45.  Next, enter the Mustache Dash where I was just planning on having a fun time running with friends that turned into a new 5K PR of 26:52.
#nuunkotb reunion at the Lake Union 10K

Whoa, what a year!! What will 2013 bring? I have some new goals swimming around in my head and I'll share them with you all in the new year.

Question: What was your biggest accomplishment in 2012?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

6 Weeks Til Sedona Half Marathon

Last week's recap coming way late since I enjoyed being unplugged for Christmas! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Here is what was tentatively planned:

Week of December 17th - 7 weeks till Sedona Half Marathon!
Monday - REST - my body it TIRED from last week, plus I need to make cookies!
Tuesday - Treadmill hill run
Wednesday - Boot camp
Thursday - Boot camp
Friday - Short run
Saturday - Might do an AM gym class or Flywheel...but maybe not :)... and travel home for Christmas!!
Sunday - 8-9 mile long run

Here is what I did!

Monday - REST

Tuesday - 3 mile treadmill run
1 mile warmup at 0% incline
.25 run at 3.0% incline
.25 run at -0.5%
Repeat until I reached 3 miles

Wednesday - Boot Camp
30 seconds work/15 seconds rest x4 each superset with one minute rest between supersets.  For example: do 1a for 45 seconds, rest 15, then do 1b for 45 seconds, rest 15.  Do 4 rounds before your 1 minute rest and do the same circuit for 2, 3 and 4.

1a Split Squat - Right leg
1b Split Squat - Left leg

2a Pull up
2b Kettlebell Row

3a Cable hold
3b Med ball tosses

4a Pilates ball roll out
4b Sled pull

Thursday - Boot Camp
45 seconds work/15 seconds rest - 4 rounds total
  • Dumbbell deadlift - I started with about 65 pounds but the trainer made me try 95 and just do them really really slowly
  • Dumbbell rows from a plank - I used 20 pound dumbbells
  • Side plank with cable pullout - get into a side plank next to a cable machine.  Pick up the cable with your free arm and extend over your head with your arm straight out - you need really really light weight for this.
  • Battlerope on your knees - YIKES this one was really hard
  • Pushups to knees to chest - we did this with a slider board but you can also put your feet in the TRX straps and do a pushup then bring your knees to your chest to work your abs
  • TRX rows - keep your elbows in as you row up
  • Jump rope
  • REST
Man, I'm tired just typing that, I can't believe I did that!  45 seconds may not seem like a lot but when doing these types of workouts where the trainer always encourages us to "lift heavy"it seems like an eternity!

Friday - REST
I was too sore from boot camp to run on Friday so I pushed it to Saturday.

Saturday - 4 mile treadmill run
Pretty boring treadmill run but I did increase the speed every time a commercial came on :).

Sunday - 8 mile long run

Ran at home in Eastern Washington.  It look quite a few miles before I warmed up and felt good running but after a few miles I got in my groove and actually enjoyed the fact that I had more than 6 miles on the schedule...I think I'm beginning to love this running thing again :).

Since we are pretty much done with this week already I'm not going to make a plan but I did run on Christmas a blizzard!  No idea what I was thinking but the pup and I enjoyed a little 3 mile jog and none of my toes fell off even though they were cold and wet.

Question: Did you run on Christmas? Was your Christmas white?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

7 Weeks Til Sedona Half Marathon

I can honestly tell you the ONLY reason I did all my workouts last week was because I posted the workouts online, accountability works for me!  Warning: this post is super boring and has no at your own risk.

Here is what was scheduled:

Week of December 10th - 8 weeks till Sedona Half Marathon!
Monday - Boot camp
Tuesday - Treadmill hill workout - gotta find one to do!
Wednesday - Easy run plus boot camp
Thursday - Boot camp
Friday - REST
Saturday - Boot camp
Sunday - 6-7 mile long run

Here is what I did!

Monday - Riley Athletics Boot Camp

20 - 15 - 10 - 5 for time - Pretty simple, quick workout that leaves you in a puddle of your own sweat at the end and catching your breathe for about an hour after.  Do 20 reps of everything, then 15 reps, then 10, then 5...all for time.

Pull Ups - I used a band for assistance of did TRX rows
Medicine Ball Slams
Jump Rope
Squat to Press - I used 12.5lb weights
Weighted Sit Up with med ball
Kettlebell Swing - I've never done these before and was surprised how much technique is actually involved, I think I got the hang of them by the last round of 5 reps ;)

I completed the circuit in about 22 minutes.

Tuesday - Hill Tabata Sprints

I had to really really really push myself to go to the gym after work instead of taking a nap but I did and like they (not sure who "they" is) never regret a workout...FACT! I basically did my own version of Blonde Ponytail's hill tabata workout that I've mentioned before. I covered about 4 miles in about 37:00 minutes.

Wednesday - Boot Camp no run (it was raining and I'm a weather baby!)

In honor of 12/12/12 we did a circuit tabata type workout.  We did various exercises for 24 seconds of work and 12 seconds rest.  At the end of the circuit we did 12 weighted sled runs...BRUTAL!

Thursday - 4 mile run (was WAY too sore from boot camp to go again)

I took this run outside and barely completed the 4 miles before it was almost pitch black dark for winter.  But I did have safety first and wore my reflective vest for the run.  I ran a loop with a pretty long hill towards the end of the run in a small attempt to train for the hills of Sedona.

Friday - REST - yep...did that!

Saturday - Boot camp style class at gym

I went to a class at my gym instead of Riley Athletics and we did lots of pushups, mountain climbers, tricep pushups, plyometric moves and more.

Sunday - 6 mile long run

I literally sat in my winter running clothes for almost an hour before convincing myself to just get outside and GO!  It was cold and raining the whole time but I did it.  My legs never really warmed up and I felt like I was running super super slow but I got the miles in.  I think all the strength stuff I did during the week really tired out my legs!

And now for this week...

Week of December 17th - 7 weeks till Sedona Half Marathon!
Monday - REST - my body it TIRED from last week, plus I need to make cookies!
Tuesday - Treadmill hill run
Wednesday - Boot camp
Thursday - Boot camp
Friday - Short run
Saturday - Might do an AM gym class or Flywheel...but maybe not :)... and travel home for Christmas!!
Sunday - 8-9 mile long run

Question: What are your exercise plans this week? 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

This Just In...Nuun Holiday Discount

WHOA...two blog posts in one day...unheard of.  This will never happen again, but I got an email from Nuun with a discount to share and since it is only good until this Sunday I had to share right away.

I know that I definitely don't need to remind you of my love for Nuun as a product and Nuun as a company but if you are new to my blog you can check out all my love here:

Okay, on to the good stuff!  Between now and this Sunday, December 16 you all can get 20% of all Nuun goodness with the coupon code:


Just think of the hydration you could give to your loved ones and yourself. I think the perfect gift pack for someone you love (or yourself...whatever) would be:
  • A four pack of Kona Cola for some hydration and caffeine - this stuff literally kept me alive during Ragnar :)
  • A four pack of Nuun All Day for when you just want some flavored water with a vitamin kick.
  • How about a fancy new hat to sweat in? 
  • And don't forget that water bottle to enjoy your new beverages in!
With your 20% discount the total comes to around $50 buckeroos!

Okay, enough bragging about Nuun...go check out their STORE right now and order something already!

Three Things Thursday - Portland Girls Weekend Edition

I have to admit, I wasn't really feeling the Christmas Spirit yet this year...until I took a trip to Portland and saw all the wonderful Christmas happenings down there!

My fellow blog/ragnar/mustache dash friend, Becky, and I headed down to Portland last weekend for a girls weekend with tax free Christmas shopping fun.

Becky is one of those girls that can crack you up in one minute and then wow you with her super smartness in another minute. I don't think we ever had a minute when we weren't chatting it up about something.  Here are three of my highlights from the trip!

1. Portland Saturday Market - I've been to Portland many many times but had never visited this amazing event.  I would argue it has some of the best people watching in the world here and we saw everything from a giant group of Santas to a man on a unicycle playing the bagpipe.

That is ALOT of Santas, they were going on a pub crawl
2. Pioneer Square Christmas Celebration - Pioneer Square is right in the middle of downtown and the whole square was ready for Christmas.  One giant decorated tree, a house to visit Santa, and tons of entertainment.  We walked by just in time to see a tuba Christmas performance which was basically hundreds of tubas playing Christmas music.  It was kind of somber sounding but still pretty magical.

3. Food and Relaxin - We got a great deal on a hotel just blocks from Pioneer Square. Hotel Fifty was recently renovated and it was pretty nice.  It is right on the Portland riverfront and I was kicking myself for not bringing some running shoes to enjoy it a little more. We even ate at the hotel restaurant, H5O, before heading to our train on Sunday and it was pretty delicious.  Other deliciousness included dinner at Oba and treats at Saint Cupcake - I would HIGHLY recommend both.

The allure of having multiple channels to watch on TV (we both don't have cable) brought us back to our room early Saturday night and I enjoyed a nice leisurely Sunday morning with coffee in bed.  Becky doesn't share my affinity for coffee and had to open all the windows to make the "bad" smell go away...she might literally be the only person I know who doesn't love the smell of fresh coffee!

Of course there was also LOTS of shopping and I may have bought more for myself than others...oopsie!  I introduced Becky to the wonder that is Powell Books and the ease and fun of taking the train to Portland.  I really love Portland and I've already planned my next trip down in January.
Sea lion kisses!
Question: Have you ever been to Portland? Wanna come with me sometime?

Friday, December 7, 2012

So...That Running Thing!

I'm sure many of you are wondering why I haven't been posting about running or much of anything lately?  I know you are terribly worried about my lack of running so I'm here to tell you that you can stop worrying because I signed up for another race and I will be running again...starting next week :).
Sonia - my pacer to a sub 2 hour half last year!
My awesome used to be Seattle friend but left me for miserable Minnesota winters friend, Sonia, has decided to run a marathon on her 35th birthday and I'm going to join her.  Don't get excited, I'm NOT running a marathon, no way...still not ready for that training commitment again.  But I'm going to run the half marathon!

The 2013 Sedona Marathon is on February 2 and I can't wait!  I've never been to Sedona or even Arizona so I'm excited to run somewhere totally new to me.  The course is a an out and back so I'll get to run with Sonia for the first 6ish miles before saying goodbye and making my way back to the Start/Finish.  The course looks hilly and it is at nearly 4500 feet elevation, but that's ok...cause this race isn't about's about supporting my friend running a freakin marathon!

enlarge to see elevation
So...maybe I should start running again so I don't have to walk the whole race?  I'm confident that I can go out and run 6 miles today no problem, but I would like to enjoy this race and not feel like death during or after so I'm going to get my act together.

Here is my "8 week half marathon plan so I can at least keep up with Sonia for the first half of the race" plan:
  • Run 3x a week
  • Incorporate one treadmill hill or interval workout per week
  • One long run per week
  • One fun 3-5 miler per week
Hopefully this won't be too hard, but I have to fit it in with my latest fitness obsession...boot camp at Riley Athletics.  I won a free month awhile back at a Road Runner Adventure Run and have cashed it in for the month of December.  The classes are about 30 minutes and incorporate lots of circuit work including strength and plyometric type moves.  I think it is actually a great compliment to running, but I just have to figure out how to do them both for December at least. 

And so you can all hold me accountable here is what next week will "hopefully" look like:

Week of December 10th - 8 weeks till Sedona Half Marathon!
Monday - Boot camp
Tuesday - Treadmill hill workout - gotta find one to do!
Wednesday - Easy run plus boot camp
Thursday - Boot camp
Friday - REST
Saturday - Boot camp
Sunday - 6-7 mile long run

I get to run here!! source

If any of my Seattle friends want to help hold me accountable come run with me!

Question: Have you ever run a race at elevation? Did you notice a difference?  Sonia and I do plan on getting there the day before the race so hopefully we have time to acclimatize!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Girls on the Run 2012 Winter 5K

While many of you were probably hiding in your homes this weekend because of the nasty weather on the West Coast (besides those who swam the CIM marathon of course) I dragged myself out of bed at 5AM on Saturday morning to continue my volunteering as Course Lead for the Puget Sound chapter of Girls on the Run.  As the rain poured down on the drive to Seward Park that morning I thought how I would rather be in my bed but as soon as I arrived to the dark park along with tons of other eager volunteers and the 5K celebration began to take form I remembered that this has NOTHING to do with me but everything to do with over 400 girls graduating from this inspirational after school program.

SIDENOTE: You can read about Girls on the Run from some of my previous posts (running buddy, info, 2012 Spring 5K) and make sure you get involved if they have a chapter in your neck of the woods!

Luckily, the weather gods shined upon us and it barely rained the entire time and the sun even came out as we were cleaning up.  I had some fabulous volunteers who made setting up the course go by in a flash and awesome cheerleaders that set up on the course and cheered on every last runner and walker.

Start line!
Last year I was so busy I forgot to go to the finish line and watch the girls but this year I didn't want to miss it.  Seeing each of girls cross the finish line with their running buddy and a HUGE smile across their face brought tears to my eyes...literally...I had to leave because I was afraid I would make a huge crying fool of myself!

The after party didn't last too long with the weather and by noon we had the whole thing cleaned up.

Today the whole 5K committee received an email from the executive director of Girls on the Run with some amazing stats from the winter 5K that I just had to brag about:

  • 405 girls ran <---MOST EVER
  • 219 community runners <---MOST EVER
  • 92 volunteers <--- MOST EVER
  • 1200 people in attendance <---MOST EVER
And most importantly we raised enough money to expand the program to 2 more schools to reach 30 more girls this Spring!

I'm so happy to get the chance to be a part of this amazing organization and even happier I found it and get to share it with you.  Getting to combine my love of running and helping this girls doesn't ever feel like "work" or "volunteering" at all.

After the new year Girls on the Run will be recruiting for Spring coaches and running buddies again.  I hope you all will consider joining me and helping out!