Week 5

  • Monday: 3.4 miles  - notes: holiday so daylight running!
  • Tuesday: Jillian Michaels
  • Wednesday: 5.9 miles – notes: for some odd reason my new TomTom watch died right after I found a signal so I used Strava on my iPhone. The Strava iPhone app worked very well and used very little battery!
  • Thursday: 3.2 miles plus Jillian Michaels  notes: I did a little hill work on this run just to make time go by quicker. For some odd reason these 3 milers are boring me to death.
  • Saturday: 12.3 miles  - notes: I had planned on a slightly different route but had to head home to pee halfway through which put me in direct line with a steep up and down hill to get to where I needed to be (67th on Phinney Ridge). I’d already planned to make this a hilly run but even with the “bonus” 67th hill added in I only managed 666ft. I never thought I’d have so much trouble finding hills in Seattle. Health note: The sesamoid bone in my right big toe joint has been bugging me on long runs. It might be time to check back with my podiatrist. 
  • Sunday: Yard work

Total miles ran: 24.7

Week 4

  • Tuesday: 3.4 miles followed by Jillian Michaels
  • Wednesday: 6.2 miles – notes: Another lunch time pace run. I skipped the hills because I wasn’t feeling very energetic and was having a little hip/hamstring pain (probably sciatic stuff). I hated every minute of this run (9:17 pace). Later that evening I did some yoga and foam rolling and the hip issue worked itself out. I was starting to worry!
  • Thursday: Tig Notaro at The Neptune with The Dot. Fun!
  • Friday: 3.4 miles  notes: I had the day off since it was The Boy’s last day in town. After my slow, easy run I ate 2 Dick’s cheeseburgers while The Boy and I walked and talk and enjoyed each others company.
  • Saturday: 11.1 miles  - notes: I ran up 66th again around mile 8. Unlike last time, this time wasn’t so bad. I didn’t feel like I had to barf and I had tons more energy on this run than on my 2 previous 6 milers. I also threw in a little bit of trail running in Woodland Park. Overall, I was very pleased with this run. The only things that bothered me were the balls of my feet. Not sure what’s up with them.
  • Sunday: Go Seahawks!!

Total miles ran: 24.1

I’ve been pretty hungry lately and eating whatever I want (mostly more cheese and butter). I’ve gained about 2 pounds and I like to think that it’s all muscle but I’m sure it’s not but if it’s what’s giving me all this energy on my long runs then I’ll take it!

I also got a new pair of running shoes. They are the exact shoes I already have 2 pairs of (the first have 373 miles on them, the second have 131). Why change what’s working, right?

Week 3

  • Tuesday: 3.3 miles followed by Jillian Michaels (switched over to 10lb weights for most of the lifting)
  • Wednesday: 5.1 miles – notes: This was a midday run. I started at UW, made my way across the Montlake Bridge and up, up, up a hill then made my way back down to the University Bridge and did my last 2 miles on campus, weaving through annoyed students. It felt good to get a hill in there and I hit my goal pace (9:40).
  • Thursday: 3.1 miles followed by Jillian Michaels. notes: This was my first run w/ my new TomTom GPS watch. I couldn’t really figure out how to use it and I also got lost on a run I’ve done a million times. Night running kind of sucks.
  • Saturday: 6.3 miles  - notes: I ran up 66th from Lenora to Dayton, then up and over to Greenwood (186ft to 327ft in 6 minutes). I’m trying to get in longer, steeper hills so that I’m more prepared for the marathon. Even though I ran up very slowly I still felt like I needed to throw up when I got to the top. Bleh.

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Total miles ran: 17.7

Next week will be my first double-digit long run in a long time. These next few weeks look pretty boring and do-able. Things get a little crazier in February.

Week 2

  • Tuesday: 3.2 miles (hills) followed by Jillian Michaels plus added squats and bridges
  • Wednesday: 5.5 miles – notes: I ran for about 5 minutes and noticed my watch didn’t have a signal so waited a ridiculous amount of time to find one and then restarted my 5 miler. My ankles and feet bugged me the entire run. Maybe it was the hills from Tuesday or possibly because I was running without arch supports.
  • Thursday: 3.1 miles followed by Jillian Michaels plus added squats and bridges
  • Saturday: 9.1 miles  - notes: for the past few months my Garmin 305 has spit out a low battery warning even on the shortest runs. I’ve ignored it because it’s continued to work for up to 1.5 more hours but it finally, for real, died around mile 7.5 of my long run. Time to get a new watch.
  • Sunday: Yoga for Runners (90 minutes) – notes: I’m so sore!

Total miles ran: 20.9


Speaking of total miles, I ran 818 miles in 2014. Best running year to date!

Week 1

Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year! Week 1 of marathon training is in the books.

  • Tuesday: 3 horrible rainy miles in the dark after work followed by lunges, squats and planks at home
  • Wednesday: 5 miles at race pace (I took off early from work and ran home (exactly 5 miles!); nice and flat and fun)
  • Thursday: 3 easy miles on Christmas day
  • Saturday: 9 miles easy (I intended to do 8 but planned my route poorly; also got completely drenched halfway through due to un-forecasted downpour)
  • Sunday: Cross-training (90 minute hike on the South ridge of Carkeek Park)

A few thoughts and notes:

When I used to finish my long runs I’d always feel exhausted and relieved to be finished. Now, a 9 miler doesn’t really feel like anything and I often ask myself, could I run another 5? And the answer is definitely!

I had a wonky pain in my right tibia a few weeks ago and just to be extra cautious before I increased mileage I had the doctor look at it. An X-ray showed nothing and the sports medicine doctor had me do a jump test. He ruled out a stress fracture and I was instructed to stretch more, re-strengthen my left hip (the one that always requires physical therapy), and to roll out my calf muscles. I have been kind of lazy about foam-rolling but I realize that it’s what keeps me from getting injured so I’m trying to make it a habit again. I was really good about it this past summer and duh, no injuries!

In other news, The Boy turned 21 yesterday! He’s home for winter break for about a month. It’s nice to have the family all together again and it’s especially nice to see The Dot and The Boy hanging out together as pals.


In just over 2 weeks I’m starting an 18 week marathon training plan.  I signed up for the Bend Marathon last weekend for no good reason except that a) I love Bend and I’m sure it will be beautiful at the end of April,  b) I didn’t have anything on my race calendar,  c) I haven’t been injured for a long while (which is weird) so, I guess why not run a marathon. It might be my only opportunity?

I’m still not convinced that I can run that far but I won’t know unless I try. A friend of mine has never run a marathon either and is signing up so hopefully we’ll be able to run together but I’m not fully convinced that she’ll stick with me the entire time. She’s kind of a beast at running. A natural. And she trains on trails and hills.

Okay, time to slap myself. If I’m going to run this thing I need to be confident and excited. I’m excited, I tell you! And I can do this!! I CAN!

Speaking of hills, check out the hill we’ll have to tackle in the middle of the race:


I’m using Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 Training Plan. I liked his half marathon intermediate plan that included intervals (intervals are my favorite) and tempos. This novice plan doesn’t include all the speed work (it only includes pace runs) but I’ll try to incorporate some speed work, hill work, and some trails now and then if I continue to feel strong and motivated (heh). Training in the winter and at night is going to be a beast.

Bold runs are pace* runs. Sundays are cross-training days.

1 12/22-12/28 3 5 3 8 19
2 12/29-1/4 3 5 3 9 20
3 1/5-1/11 3 5 3 6 17
4 1/12-1/18 3 6 3 11 23
5 1/19-1/25 3 6 3 12 24
6 1/26-2/1 3 6 3 9 21
7 2/2-2/8 4 7 4 14 29
8 2/9-2/15 4 7 4 15 30
9 2/16-2/22 4 7 4 13.1 28.1
10 2/23-3/1 4 8 4 17 33
11 3/2-3/8 5 8 5 18 36
12 3/9-3/15 5 8 5 13 31
13 3/16-3/22 5 5 5 19 34
14 3/23-3/29 5 8 5 12 30
15 3/30-4/5 5 5 5 20 35
16 4/6-4/12 5 4 5 12 26
17 4/13-4/19 4 3 4 8 19
18 4/20-4/26 3 2 2 26.2 33.2


*My goal pace is 9:41 based on my recent half marathon pace. Huh. That sounds hard.

BTW, I ran a 5K PR (26:25 which included 2 minutes of walking at the start) at the Seattle Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. It was mostly downhill and was so, so fun. I ran a few 7:50 minute miles!

October running events

Robert qualified for the Boston Marathon!

In early October Robert ran the Portland Marathon and finished in 3:22! He can’t sign up for Boston until next September but his time is good enough that it’s a sure thing so this is for sure happening in 2016!

p.s. He ran the marathon with his tank inside out which is so not Robert. Hilarious!

I ran my first 10K

I ran the Dawg Dash on October 19th. I’ve done the 5K a few times but somehow never managed to run a real 10K before. I wanted to race it and I was a little nervous going in but I hit my goal right on the mark (I told Robert I planned on coming in around a 55 minute mark).

I came in 28th in my division. It was really fun and an especially beautiful autumn day.

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Robert just got back from NYC. He and The Boy were able to watching the elite runners at the finish line of the New York City Marathon. Check out Wilson Kipsang’s stride length (he’s the guy in front and he won the marathon). Insane!



This is THE FINAL INSTALLMENT!!! of our London/Paris trip. Click the links for parts #1#2#3#4#5#6, & #7.

Catacombs of Paris

Robert, The Boy and I met up with boss lady and her husband to take the metro to the Catacombs of Paris. We arrived early, about 45 minutes before the opening. When we finally got in I was pretty excited but it got a little old after about 10 minutes of seeing room and after room of carefully stacked bones. I dunno. Would I suggest you not go? I don’t know about that. I’d suggest you go when they’re open and get in line if it’s a short line.

I’m a total idiot, btw. We’d brought one flashlight and I only realized AFTER we left the catacombs that my phone has a flashlight. I spent then next 15 minutes realizing my phone had all kinds of cool things it could do.

Rue Mouffetard

After emerging from the catacombs we all walked together towards Rue Mouffetard in the 5th. We were starving and a few of us (boss lady’s husband and I) were getting pretty grumpy due to hunger. The walk over was a bit boring. In my head I pictured every square foot of Paris to be magical. Nope. The 14th appears to be mainly residential (as was the 16th where The Boy lived). We eventually heard music and just like that we were transported into another world. As we entered the Rue Mouffetard area, everything came to life. Musicians were playing accordions and string instruments, while people of all ages danced; others sat on the edges of the dance area, eating delicious looking picnic lunches.

As we entered the street, the scene became even livelier. The shops! The bakeries! The wine! The color! At this point we split up with boss lady and her husband. They were planning a sit down cafe lunch, while we were trying to go more frugal. We ended up eating a gyro sandwich with fries and a coke in probably the least charming food establishment on the street but I didn’t care. It was so pretty and fun and I will go back there again and I will buy a picnic lunch. I will listen to music. And I might even dance.

I had one last place on my beer agenda I wanted to try out that we just off Rue Mouffetard. It was a place called Brewberry.

A true beer geek’s paradise, Cécile Delorme’s shop near the tourist- and student-friendly rue Mouffetard stocks hundreds of different beers from traditional Belgian and German to cult favorite Danish and Norwegian.  A rotating selection of beers are stocked cold for immediate consumption, but any bottle you like can be chilled in her fridge.  Bottle prices remain the same whether taken seated on the small patio or to go.  The collection here is deep, and staff are only too happy to advise and guide your selections. Reservations can be made on their website; sandwiches and snacks available.

Alas, it was closed. :(

Subway Fiasco

At this point, The Boy wanted to get back to his apartment and fetch a few items for us to take home, plus grab one last pile of laundry to do back at our apartment. I figured we’d go with him because I’d been wanting to get one last close-up of the Eiffel Tower and view it from across the river at the Trocadero near The Boy’s apartment. What I didn’t realize is we’d spend the next 2 hours going from one metro line to another in a zig-zag fashion all across the city because a major line was closed. On top of that the trains were all full and hot. I felt like Elaine and Kramer in that one episode of Seinfeld.


Last walk in The Marais

At last, after what seemed like a few days, we arrived back at our apartment. After doing some last minute shopping in the area and grabbing some baguette sandwiches, we came back to the apartment and enjoyed the last of our delicious beer and wine.  At dusk we headed back out for our last night in Paris. We walked all around the tiny streets of the Marais, peeking into windows and people watching.

Ice Cream and the City of Lights

After walking through the Marais we walked over to the Ile de la Cité once again to see Notre Dame at night. It really is a sight to see, all lit up at night. And looking back, you see the Eiffel Tower way off in the distance, all lit up. We then headed to the Ile Saint-Louis for one last viewing. We came upon an ice cream shop and I insisted we stop for wine and dessert. It turns out the ice cream shop is a famous one – Berthillon. And also expensive (unless you order to go at their ice cream stand). $13 for a scoop!! The Boy was in heaven (he’s the only one who got a scoop). No regrets. It was a wonderful way to end our trip!


The following morning we said goodbye to The Boy and we headed off to the airport via the metro. Everything went smoothly until we arrived inside the airport 3 hours before departure and found Icelandair’s check-in area unattended. It was filled with people waiting to check in for the 2 flights to Iceland that leave 5 minutes apart (so, like, 500 people). There was no signage (or rather, there was one small sign that obstructed), a lot of confusion, and 1/4th of the passengers (including us) waiting in the wrong line. When the staff finally showed up an hour later to start checking people in they kicked us to the back of the line. The back of the line was approximately 80 miles away. I’m only exaggerating a little. In the end, we were in line for nearly 2 hours and had to rush to grab food before boarding and our gate was changed at the very last minute. It was all unfun but the flight home went smoothly (I watched Pacific Rim which was a ridiculous movie but entertaining and enjoyed a little bottle of Jack Daniels). When we arrived in Seattle we took the light rail downtown and caught a bus to Ballard. After being in Paris for a week our city looked so drab and dirty and the people seemed so lifeless. The Dot “greeted” us at home and I would have wrapped my arms around her had she let me. I’d really missed her and I also wanted to share all our Paris stories with her. It’s a place I know she’d love to visit.


I really enjoyed many aspects of our trip but I know I could have gotten a lot more out of it had I not been so nervous and hadn’t over-planned. I hope that the next time I go back I have a little extra spending cash and a more open agenda. It really is a magical city and the people were all so kind.  I’d like to capture it in pictures a bit more because I can’t describe it in words.

The two memories that I will cherish the most were completely non-touristy. The first was walking to the 11th via Oberkampf and sitting in the tiny beer bar, La Fine Mousse on Ave Jean Aicard. The second was sitting in Parc Monceau in the 8th, eating my baguette sandwich, just chilling out and taking in the scenery. Robert probably has his favorite memories but I think he really enjoyed these two experiences as well and I’m so happy we got to spend them together.

Sunriver Half Marathon recap

I’ve been waiting for official photos to be posted so I can share what must have been a pained look on my face the entire race but apparently they’re really slow at releasing photos this year. I realized I’d better hurry and recap this race before I forget the details.

The most important detail is I PR’d!

We drove down to Bend the day before the race. I hydrated with Gatorade all along the 6 hour drive but couldn’t help but have a sour beer at Double Mountain Brewery in Hood River, and another one at Solera Brewery in Parkdale, Oregon.

Once we arrived in Bend, Chris & Robert headed over to the Little Woody Barrel-Aged beerfest and I stayed back at our rental house (conveniently located just down the road from the beerfest) so I could continue hydrating and preparing mentally for the morning race.

Robert told me I slept really peacefully and I probably did because I woke feeling fully rested. The race didn’t start until 8:15 but I got up at 6:30 to eat half a peanut butter bagel and a banana. We headed over at 7:30 so I could fetch my bib and t-shirt. Robert immediately headed off on a 20 mile training run. The plan was for him to finish his 20 miler just before I finished my half marathon. Naturally that didn’t work out the way we’d planned it. I sat in the car for about 15 minutes with the heat on (it was about 50 degrees outside; warmer than in previous years but also overcast; perfect running weather) and then headed into the Sunriver Lodge to use their luxurious facilities. I made my way to the start line with 2 minutes to spare. I’m a total pro at this event!

My goal was to maintain an overall 9:29 pace which would have me finishing at just over 2:04. I was pretty sure it was going to be tough to maintain that pace but I also knew I was capable of doing it based on my 10K and 15K mock-races I’d done earlier in the summer.

Nerdy Stats

The first few laps were warmup paces:

Mile 1: 9:42.1
Mile 2: 9:35.6
Mile 3: 9:31.2

I then attempted to hit target pace for the next 7 miles:

Mile 4: 9:24.1
Mile 5: 9:36.5 (which, according to my Garmin, was only .75 miles)
Mile 6: 9:24.9 (I grabbed and gagged down a Clif gel at the water stop)
Mile 7: 9:31.3
Mile 8: 9:34.5
Mile 9: 9:36.4
Mile 10: 9:37.8 (another short mile)

The last few miles were supposed to be slightly faster paces to even out the slower start:

Mile 11: 9:42.1 (nope)
Mile 12: 9:31.1 (a few deer ran in front of me…pretty!)
Mile 13: 9:24

My Garmin said I ran 12.76 miles for an overall 9:33 pace.

The official results say I ran 2:01:50 at a 9:27 pace. Clearly, the course was short. A 2:01:50 half marathon is a 9:18 pace.

So, yes. I’m super excited that I PR’d and ran so well but I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t run a full half marathon.

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Nerdy Notes

The course looks really flat when you’re standing there looking at it but there was clearly a hill at mile 10 and I really felt it; there was a lot of heavy breathing. I had to dig deep to maintain a sub 9:45 pace. I kept passing people who clearly didn’t care as much as I did about slowing down. As I neared the finish line I felt like I had given it 100%. My body was done!

I walked through all the water stops and mostly drank water vs. sports drink with a few exceptions (I learned my lesson from the rock and roll half that too much energy drink can be painful).

I passed a 12 year old and his mom and dad around mile 6. At mile 11 the 12 year old and his mom passed me. The kid was clearly hurting but his mom was cheering him on. She kept yelling at him (he was about 5 feet behind her): “Pass her! You can do it! Pass that yellow lady!” They passed me and finished about a minute ahead of me. Go mom!

When I got to the finish line there was no Robert in sight. I grabbed some food and a drink and walked around for a bit and still no Robert. After about 10 minutes I headed towards the car and he came running past me with a few more feet to run to get in his 20 miler. Somehow he thought I told him I was shooting for a 2:15 finish. Clearly, he’s tuning me out because I went into this whole boring story about my goal pace of 9:29 and my hoping to PR by as much as 10 minutes blah blah blah blah blah.

I came in 93rd place overall (181 finishers), 7th out of 18 in my age group, and 46th out of 112 women.

My feet never hurt me. Nothing really hurt. My psoas got a little tight but quickly recovered. Once I hit the finish line I was good to go. Ready to enjoy the beerfest (and that we did, plus 2 more days of beer festivities in both Bend and Portland).

My 2 favorite songs that played during my run: Starships by Nicki Manaj and Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

More photos from the weekend. I can’t wait to do this all over again next year!

3 Days

This is installment #7 of our London/Paris trip. Here are parts #1#2#3#4#5, & #6.

Part 1: Thursday

May 1st is France’s labor day and pretty much everything was closed. Also, it was pouring rain. We walked towards the Montmartre neighborhood and somehow walked directly up to the Sacre-Coeur. Despite all the rain it was crazy with tourists. We quickly walked around it and headed down the hill towards an area that I later found out was the home of Van Gogh and his brother Theo. Oddly enough we ran into Boss lady and her husband on Rue Lepic. We all decided we should get lunch and hoped that the rain would dissipate while we took a little break. It took a while to find a restaurant with room enough for 5 but we finally found a spot and enjoyed some wine and food. I have absolutely no idea what the name of the restaurant was or what street it was on (Le Colibri. On rue Véron) but it was nice to get out of the rain and enjoy some authentic food (omelets, in our case).

Once we set out again the skies had cleared up and we headed towards the Montmarte Cemetery. It’s not the most famous cemetery in Paris but it’s still really cool. The Boy spent much of his time tracking down feral cats. A few of the more interesting folks buried there include Edgar Degas and  Emile Zola. We split off from Boss lady and husband after the cemetery and made our way to beer destination #4: Le Supercoin. This place felt like it could have been a beer place down the road from my house and the thought was reinforced when I made my way to the bathroom and found a poster for Sub Pop Records. We encouraged The Boy to try a little beer, which he did, and pronounced that he prefers wine. That’s my boy!

As we left Le Supercoin we were caught in another downpour. We dashed into a market to grab food for dinner and made our way to the subway headed to Le Marais where we drank some really yummy (and fizzy) beer in our apartment and I enjoyed some time tucked away with Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life. Since so much of her food background came from her experiences living in Paris it was a perfect time to read it. I saw her outside Delancey a few days before I flew to Paris and I wanted to stick my head out the car window and tell her where I was headed and that I was reading her book. I wonder how she would have responded to that. Anyway, thank you Molly. I loved the book!

So yes. We went to Montmarte and we didn’t see the Moulin Rouge. We basically didn’t see much at all.

Part 2: Friday

Friday and Saturday were our museum days. The Boy had morning class so Robert and I headed to the Musee Rodin. I’m kind of dumb because I had no idea that when we walked into the garden we would immediately be standing next to The Thinker. We spent some time in the lovely gardens and also got to see quite a few photos of penises in the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit inside. Nothing like looking at a photo of a huge semi-erect penis while an 8 year old boy stands right next to you, with a a look of wonderment on his face.

After Rodin we walked to Musee d’Orsay. We were meeting The Boy there and we were a bit early so we sat down outside a cafe and ordered an espresso and a butter and ham sandwich. It was our first and only outdoor cafe sit down and I really enjoyed it despite it being on a very busy, touristy street. We could see the line forming at the museum and I wasn’t looking forward to the wait. One thing that really got to me was a group of American tourists (most likely coming from a cruise ship) walking down the road after their tour guide. I’m sorry to say this but so many of them were HUGE. And SLOW. Yikes! Finally The Boy showed up and we made our way to the line. It took quite a long time to get in (and we got caught in another soaker while we were out there). I couldn’t help but think that I’d rather be doing something else but when we finally got inside I enjoyed the art. We caught a special Van Gogh exhibit with many of his famous works and it was all very sad (the exhibit, I believe, was called The Man Suicided by Society). One could see the progression of his madness in his self portraits. The Boy really, really enjoyed it all and I was grateful to share it with him.

After the museum we walked across the famous passerelle Leopold-Sedar-Senghor (a pedestrian bridge) which took us back to the Tuileries and the Louvre. From there we walked back to our apartment, exhausted. I have absolutely no idea what we did for dinner that night.

Part 3: Saturday

On Saturday we went to Versailles. What can I say about Versailles? Cool train ride over. Long, long, long wait in line. Way too many tourists and way too many people blocking our views with their iPad cameras and such. Impossible to see anything at all. The walk in the gardens was nice but sadly they don’t allow you back in to the chateau once you’ve left it so after the place had cleared out a little you can’t go back in and try to enjoy it. A bit of a let down. I can check it off the list. And I won’t go back. I suggest you watch the forgettable movie Marie Antoinette instead.

Next up: our last day in Paris. Skeletons and a wonderful street market. Plus a horrible, terrible subway adventure soothed only by a late night walk viewing the City of Light from bridges, in search for expensive ice cream.

I run and stuff