Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Heart of the Valley Team Duathlon Race Report

Driving over to meet Karey and her husband, Jeff, early Monday morning, S had some race plan criticism advice for me.  Apparently, he really does read my blog, and thought my 5k "double" race plan (warm up with the first one, then PR attempt the second) was a "rookie moron" mistake.  Now, with coaching advice delivered with that kind of diplomacy, how could I not reconsider my plan?

Then, with Jeff and Karey in the car, the conversation turned to Karey's inability to change a flat tire.  Hmmm...my previous plans were immediately scrapped and I would be going all out for the first 5k.  What if I didn't get the chance to run the second one?   (Note:  In a duathlon, the rider is responsible for any bike issues that come up.  For example, the woman whose chain fell off right after she went across the timing mat at the start of the bike leg, had to hop off her bike and get it back on herself.  If a spectator would have helped her, she would have been disqualified.)

No, we're not holding hands.
The Heart of the Valley Duathlon is a small, local event.  We parked right by the start, and headed to the transition area to drop off Karey's bike.  We weren't allowed in without getting inked, even though we wore race numbered bibs.  I've never done a duathlon before, but I thought this was kind of silly.  Great, just like everyone else, number on your left leg, age (gasp!) on your right.  I tried to get the girl to put my numbers underneath my awesome running socks, but she refused and improvised, putting them way up high.

We didn't swim, not sure why we had to get tagged.
I would be running a 5k first, then tagging Karey in the transition area to do the 11 mile bike ride.  At the last minute, the organizers took out the twelfth mile which had a wicked hill in it.  She would then be tagging me back (fingertips had to touch), and I would run the same 5k loop de loop again.

Bring it!
We started on the middle school track, next door to the pool.  The triathletes' first wave started simultaneously.  The starter dilly dallied, but finally got the go ahead.  The announcer counted down from 10 and we were off.

Dilly dallying at the start.
I went out way to fast, even for a PR attempt.  I came around the first corner of the track showing a 6:45 pace on Crash.  That start line excitement gets me every time, and I love the track.

The super fast leaders were way in front of me, but a cool picture anyway!
Exiting the track, we ran two big loops and a little loop through the neighborhood.  I got passed right away by a woman with 43 on her right leg.  Dang, I thought I could catch her, but she stayed ahead of me the whole way.

Out to the neighborhood
I watched my average pace drop, drop, drop as I finished the first two miles.  I wasn't near enough to reel anyone in for the last mile, but I did attempt to kick it up a notch.  I wish I could've stayed down at a 7:30 pace, but finished the first 5k averaging 7:40 pace.  Crash showed 22:56 for 2.99 miles.  The course was short!

Karey had her bike off the rack and was ready to go!  I touched fingertips and wished her good luck.

She got out of T1 just fine.
I hesitated before leaving the transition area to look for S and Jeff.  I didn't want to walk over a timing mat and mess up our stats.  What to do, what to do for about 50 minutes waiting?

Have a drink of water...
I did use the restroom...twice...during my break.  S gave me my jacket and I was warm enough watching the other cyclists come into the parking lot.  Jeff had an amazing camera (that's why I have so many awesome pics this time), so he could see Karey's bright green jacket coming down the main drag.  Unfortunately, there were a couple of false alarms, Karey wasn't the only one in neon green.

I ended up in the pool's lobby, where it was nice and warm, for the last 10 minutes of my wait.  I could see S at the street, who could see Jeff a little bit further up the street.  Those last 10 minutes of her ride, Karey got soaked in the rain.

Karey, wishing the rain had held off for my run!

I ran back to the transition area and cheered her through most of it.  I probably should have met her closer to her timing mat, since a designated exchange area wasn't noted.  She ran with her bike more than she should have.  Ah, tips for next year!

Another female duathlon team got out just ahead of us (they ended up taking first place).  My favorite part of T2 was cheering Karey through the transition, and hearing our competition cheering her, by name, as well.  Female athletes are the best.

Trying to stay dry at T2
I went out slower smarter for the second 5k.  Another female passed me right as we hit the neighborhood.  Finishing the first loop (when the rain stopped), I intended to spend the next loop attempting to catch her.  She veered off to the finish, though.  I asked a volunteer if it was two loops, she confirmed.  I am convinced that the woman in front of me skipped the second loop.  I hope I'm the one that is confused, and not only because I lost my rabbit.  She will be bummed if she screwed up the 5k course (she was a triathlete and didn't have the benefit of running it a second time, like me, who was only a little bit confused).

Crash was hovering at a little over 8:00 minute average pace.  I decided to chase after another woman, in blue, who was way in front of me.  I also wanted to finish under 8:00s.  Unfortunately, this woman in blue went straight with about 3/4 of a mile to go, instead of turning right.  The stupid volunteer was standing on the corner and let her go.  The big yellow sign that said runner, should have helped her know the right way (and I double checked, she was a duathlete too, so it WAS her second time on the course).  Too many turns, I tell ya.  By default, I went ahead of her, watching her double back out of the corner of my eye, poor thing.

Just follow the big yellow signs, not as easy as it sounds...
The finish was 3/4 of a lap on the track, backwards.  I hit the track and felt weird running clockwise.

Last lap
I finished the second 5k at a 7:59 pace, 23:44 for 2.97 miles on my Garmin.  I was hoping the second 5k would end up to be true, but it wasn't.  Oh well.

We knew there were only three duathlon teams, so we had to hang around and get our bling.  S wanted to skip it, but luckily Jeff was driving and wanted us to get the medals.  We were told it would be an hour wait, so we left and got some coffee.  I was amazed we could get in and out of the start area so easily.

When we returned, the finish times were posted.  Hey, second place isn't so bad.  The third place team were twenty somethings, so we had that going for us.  The award ceremony had already taken place, but we did get our medals, and they look good!

Woo hoo, second place!
We had a blast and have already agreed to do this event again next year.  Watch out first place team!


I had a few questions on my race day outfit.  Since most people were biking and swimming as well, no one else wore a running skirt or long socks.  I felt so special.  Here's the breakdown:

Running Skirts socks and skirt.
Ink N Burn arm sleeves
ALO tech tee from Family Fan Club (enter my giveaway HERE to win a gift card and make your own custom shirt)!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Plan for the Week 5/30/11

About last week...

Fine, I admit it, I just didn't want to do Yoga last week.  So I didn't.  I can usually psych myself up for it, promising treats during numerous breaks, of gummi bears and a chocolate peanut butter protein bar.  Not even the promise of treats could get me to do it last week.  I had planned for Thursday, then pushed it to Friday, then Saturday, then I just refused to do anything it on Sunday.

Getting past my sore throat and cough (no, it wasn't allergies, I have those on top of it all, bummer), I did complete three easy 3 mile runs.  I have a 3 mile loop that I love, and ran it each time.  When I get back into half marathon training, there aren't any runs that short, so I enjoyed the loop.  I took my camera along and caught some great duck pictures.  The babies are getting so big.

I was too quick and caught them before they could get away!

Plan for THIS week

Monday:  Heart of the Valley Duathlon (2- 5ks)
Tuesday:  Core Synergistics
Wednesday: 3 miles @ 9:47
Thursday:  4 miles @ 9:47
Friday:  Yoga 
Saturday: Run for the Roses Half Marathon, XStretch
Sunday: OFF

Happy Memorial Day!  I'll be back tomorrow with a full duathlon race report.  Looks like the rain is going to stay away for us this morning!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday 6 and a Winner

1.  Quick mammogram update...the process wasn't bad at all.  As I opened my garage door to head to the doctor's, I saw the weirdest thing.  A doe, a deer, a female deer...in the middle of my suburban street!  I ran back into the house to grab my camera, and caught the tail end of her before she headed across the subdivision.

Seeing a deer before a mammogram, a sign of good luck?
2.  At the big duathlon on Monday, I've decided to attempt a 5k PR.  I haven't been feeling the best this week, but I'm going to go for it anyway.  My plan is to run the first 5k as a warm up, 9 minute miles.  I'll have between 45 min. to an hour while Karey bikes 12 miles, then I run another 5k.  That second 5k will be the PR attempt, I need to run under 24:40.

Originally I had been looking at this race as a 10k, but have since realized that it really is two 5ks.  I won't be able to improve my 10k PR this time around.  Hopefully the weather cooperates.  Is it fair to hope that Karey is a bit slow to give me a longer break?

3.  Here's the whole outfit for the Du.  I decided to go with a red, white and blue theme for Memorial Day.

Why so shiny?

4.  I do love, love, love my duathlon shirt.  Family Fan Club did a great job helping me create it through their website.  Go HERE if you want the chance to win a Family Fan Club gift card so you can make your own special race shirt!

5. Good luck and run FAST to my buddies (and everyone else) that are racing this weekend!

Jill @ Run for the Hills in the Parke County Half Marathon
Courtney running the Soldier Field 10 Miler 
Laurie at her second marathon in a month, The Ridgeline Ramble

6.  And now, the moment you've been waiting for, the SkoobaWrap winner is:

Please email me, k2323 (at) comcast (dot) net, with your address by Thursday night!

I hope you all have a wonderful and fun Memorial Day Weekend.  Thank you to all who serve and have served in our Armed Forces.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Duathlon Preview and Family Fan Club Giveaway

On Memorial Day, my biking buddy Karey and I are competing as a team in the Heart of the Valley Duathlon.  We've been spinning together once a week and I thought it would be fun to do an event together.  I will be running two 5ks, with her 12 mile bike ride sandwiched in between. She is not a runner, and I'm not a cyclist, but together we've got this!

Since I'm ignorant about all things cycling, I came up with the brilliant idea to get team shirts made.  I found the perfect shirt for a runner, a technical T made by ALO, imprinted by Family Fan Club.

Family Fan Club has a triathlon design that I asked them to alter a bit for our du team.  One quick email to their website with my idea and I received an email back showing the design.  You can choose what type of shirt you want your design imprinted on.  I already have a couple of ALO tech tees and knew the women's large fit well. 

My cycling ignorance was evident to S, after I told him Karey was hesitant to purchase a shirt.  S reminded me that, when riding a bike, one doesn't wear JUST a "t-shirt".  Cyclists have shirts with cool pockets in the back to hold their fuel.  My bad, no big deal, we won't be matchy matchy on race day.  No problem.  I sent off my $32.95 (plus shipping) via Paypal to Family Fan Club and got my shirt in the mail within a week.

The front - I absolutely love it!
The back - Special K, get it?  Karey and Kim!
I sent a thank you email to Family Fan Club, I really am delighted with my "creation".  The folks there are so wonderful, they are offering a giveaway to you as well!  I'm sure you would like to customize your own race day shirt for that special race this summer.  The winner will receive a $30 promo code/gift card to Family Fan Club.

Here's how to enter.  Please leave a separate comment for each. 

1.  Follow Family Fan Club on Facebook! (Go HERE).  YOU MUST leave a comment there telling them your favorite shirt design or an idea for a new design. You can also mention that I sent you!  Then come back to (Just) Trying is for Little Girls and tell me in a comment. 

**When you win, you must blog about Family Fan Club and the shirt you create (I know you were going to do this anyway!)  If you don't have a blog, you can post a picture on their Facebook page after you get your prize.**
2.  "Like" (Just) Trying is for Little Girls on Facebook (HERE) and comment here to let me know.
3.  Post this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or Twitter, and comment here to let me know.
4.  Start following Family Fan Club (@familyfanclub) on twitter, and comment here to let me know.
5.  Become a follower of (Just) Trying is for Little Girls, through Google Friend Connect, and comment here to let me know. 

**I purchased my shirt, as noted in this post.  The promo code is supplied by Family Fan Club**

Good luck everybody (US addresses only)!  Contest ends on Thursday  6/2/11 at midnight.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Three Things Thursday

Hot tea, in my EWEB Half bling, to help a sore throat.
1.  I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Since I scheduled two days to be sick (Monday and Tuesday), I headed out for an easy 3 miles last night after work.  I dropped A off at open gym, came home and ran 3.06 in 28:44.  Not too fast, not too slow, just right.  My illness has been a sore throat and cough (no fever), so I was afraid I wouldn't be able to breathe easily while running.  Breathing wasn't a problem, no excuses for the the rest of this week's workouts.

2.  I ignored my doctor last year and didn't do it...she let me know last week I need to get it done this year.  What is it?  A mammogram.  This afternoon I'm doing it for the first time.  I need a baseline, apparently.  I know it's the right thing to do, and I shouldn't be nervous, but I really don't want to do this.  I can't believe I'm old enough to need to get one done.

3.  One more day to check out the SkoobaWrap giveaway (HERE).

Duathlon preview post tomorrow, Team Special K is prepared to bring it on Memorial Day.  Are you racing this weekend?  Let me know in a comment so I can wish you good luck!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blogger ABCs

Last month, Mel @ Tall Mom on the Run pulled together her bloggy ABCs.  She challenged us to do it as well.

With a bit of creativity (some of these letters are tough!), here goes!

The Average Woman's Running Blog

Because I Can

CAUTION:  Redhead Running

Discom-BOB-ulated Running

Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri

Free Julie

Greek Marathon, Our Big Fat 

50 Half Marathons in 50 States

Impossible is Nothing 

Jess(es) at Run with Jess and Blonde Ponytail

Kerrie at Mom vs. Marathon 

Little Fruit Fly in Rainbow Colored Socks 

The Misadventures of a Jogging Stroller Mom 

Neurosis of the Stay at Home Marathoner of 3 (Kids)

Out There, Adventure Is 

Pretend This is Real

Kim Q. @ to Dream the KIMpossible Dream (Kim doesn't have a middle name, so to fulfill my Q, I gave her one!)

Racing with Babes

Small Town Runner

Tall Mom on the Run

RUn for the Hills

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner

Welcome to Boston

EXile, Canadian Runner In

SanitY, Running to

Zaneta @ Runner's Luck

I follow way more than 27 blogs...I know I didn't include everybody...I can't believe I figured out someone for each letter!  Click on the blog name to check out each of these amazing women.

I have learned so much from you, my dear imaginary friends.  Over the last year, I've actually gotten to meet some of you IRL, what fun.  You inspire me...you encourage me...you teach me.  I am grateful for the support and advice.

Check out the SkoobaWrap giveaway (HERE).

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Plan for the Week 5/23/11

About last week...

Running last week went really well.  My 11 miler on Thursday was fantastic.  I went by myself, and the Oregon weather was awesome.  55 degrees, light breeze, not a cloud in the sky.  I wished I had my camera, the countryside was beautiful.

I flew (standby, ugh!) to my sister's wedding in Detroit, Michigan on Friday.  I got the last seat out of Eugene, then the last seat out of Salt Lake City and arrived Friday evening as planned.

Saturday afternoon, we went to have Tad and Ben updo our hair at "Just a Tad" salon in Windsor, Canada, where the wedding would take place.

The lovely bride, writing her vows 3 hours before the wedding.
I've never had an updo before.  I loved it and must find a date to the prom soon!
Isn't Madi the cutest flower girl?
After getting beautiful, we changed and went to the wedding.  The weather was warm and gorgeous, perfect for an outdoor wedding.

Me and my beautiful baby sister.
Us girls, with our mom in the middle.
Unfortunately, being "in" the wedding, I don't have any other pictures.  The ceremony was very special.  The groom is a great guy.  My sister is very lucky.

I attempted to fly home on Sunday, got into Salt Lake City, then "standby disaster" struck.  There was no room on the first flight to Eugene, then I tried to get out to Portland without luck.  It looked like I would be staying in Salt Lake for 10 hours, waiting for the 9:30pm flight to Eugene.  Until, my wonderful mom purchased a ticket for me to fly to Portland, via Boise on Southwest.  Thank goodness, I was lonely and bored and hating the Salt Lake City airport by 5pm when I flew out.

S picked me up in Portland, and we drove down to Eugene Monday morning to retrieve my car from the Eugene airport.  Hopefully, this is my sister's last wedding (smiles), because I am never flying standby again!

Plan for THIS week

Monday:  OFF -Sick
Tuesday:  OFF - Recovering, hopefully
Wednesday: 3 miles @ 9:47 - maybe
Thursday:  Yoga, Spin and row
Friday:  3 miles @ 9:47 
Saturday: 3 miles @ 9:47, XStretch
Sunday: OFF

To top off this whirlwind weekend, I've come down sick with the crud that S and A have had for the last few weeks.  I plan to run again on Wednesday, which will be 5 days off from running and working out.  That's a lot of days off for me!  The cold (I'm hoping that's all it is) has settled into my chest.  I believe that a runner should push through when the symptoms are above the neck, but below the neck is time to rest and recover.

This week is a "taper week" of sorts, as Monday is the Heart of the Valley Duathlon!  More details (and other surprises) regarding this event on Friday.


Traveling to a race this summer?  Check out the SkoobaWrap review and giveaway (HERE).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

SkoobaWrap Review and Giveaway

Packing for our trip to Fiji last month, I found lots of uses for Skooba Designs SkoobaWraps.  Their intended use is to wrap/protect your laptop or iPad while traveling.

22 in. x 22 in. SkoobaWrap
With a little help from S, I figured out how to wrap my laptop.
Ta da!  Safe and protected in my suitcase for the 10 hour flight to Fiji!
S used his iPad on the flight, so it didn't need to be wrapped up.  I had some other electronic odds and ends to pack in the 16 x 16 wrap.  My Garmin, iPod charger, camera charger and mouse usually just bang around in my suitcase.  Now, they all travel together in their own protected pouch.

I'll be taking the 12 x 12 pouch in July to San Francisco, for the half.  It will be used to carefully carry our half marathon medals home!

Pretend these are SF Half Medals...
All wrapped up
Aren't these wraps neat?  When we stayed in Eugene for the half, I tucked my race belt, Gu and Chocolate #9 into a wrap with my iPod and Garmin.  All my race day necessities in one place, safe and sound.  I didn't have to hunt through my bag for them race day morning.

I know a lot of you are traveling to races this summer and could put a 3-pak of Skooba Wraps to good use.  Especially if you come to run the Eugene Women's Half with me in September... 

Skooba Designs is offering a 3-pak (retail price $35.95) to one lucky winner!

Here's how to enter: 

1.  Follow Skooba Designs on Facebook! (Go HERE).  YOU MUST leave a comment on their page saying that (Just) Trying is for Little Girls sent you. Then come back to (Just) Trying is for Little Girls and tell me in a comment.
2.  Become a follower of this blog and leave a comment to let me know.
3.  "Like" (Just) Trying is for Little Girls on Facebook (HERE) and comment here to let me know.
4.  Post this giveaway on your blog, Facebook or Twitter, and comment here to let me know.

**I was given a SkoobaWrap 3-pak to test in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way**

Good luck everybody (US addresses only)!  Contest ends on Friday  5/27/11.

Three Things Thursday - LYG

1.  After completing the Eugene Half, my medal rack is full!

Starts and ends with Eugene 2010 and 2011
Twelve half marathons in exactly 12 months.  Two of the halfs I completed didn't have medals (EWEB and the Ghost of Seattle).  One of the medals is from the Oregon Wine Country Half that S and I did as a team.  Anyway,  11 medals crammed on the hanger.  I think I'll get a custom hanger made for the next ones...

2.  Somebody commented recently asking what I do with my race bibs.  Why, I made my own memory book (I am so not crafty!)  Instructions on how to make your own can be found (HERE).

Just another chance to show off my PR bib!
3.  Today is a big day at our house.  Hopefully S will read my blog post and remember what today is.

His eyes are closed, but it's still my favorite wedding picture...
Four years ago I married my best friend.

I had the letters L Y G inscribed on the inside of his wedding ring.

I still feel like the luckiest girl in the world.
Happy Anniversary, S!  LYG (love your guts!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tempo Monday - Fail?

Sunday night, as I was preparing my workout plan for the week, Speedy J texted me!  Could I run Monday morning 4-6 miles?  On paper, I moved my tempo run to Monday morning and told her yes.  I'm usually the one asking her to join me, what a treat to be invited.

Here's the deal, J is 20, she's training for a sub 1:45 half marathon in June without much of a plan.  I usually ask her to run my pace for the day.  What ALWAYS ends up happening (no matter what my pace plan), is she runs a few steps in front of me, chatting the whole way, unintentionally pushing me to a faster pace.  This is why I can't do an "easy for me" run with her.  She simply can't run as slow as I can!

We headed out yesterday morning and I told her my plan, slow for the first mile, 8:21s for the next 4 and cool down for the last one.  Six miles on a Monday morning, a day I don't normally run.  Also, I would never plan 6 miles before work on my own, so this was out of my comfort zone.

The first mile was just over 9 minutes.  J was chatting the whole run, and continued to do so for six miles.  This girl doesn't get tired!  At mile 2, I hit the lap/reset on Crash and picked up the pace.  I couldn't get my pace down below 8:40 and maintain my end of the conversation.  At mile 5, I gave up on the cool down plan (as J wasn't even considering slowing down) and maintained the 8:40 pace until we finished. 

6.09 miles- 53:28 - 8:46/pace

Initially, I felt like a failure, not executing my original plan.  Then I realized, this run was so much fun.  It didn't matter that I didn't hit the tempo goal.  I ran with a friend, the morning (we left at 6:30am) was gorgeous and the rain stayed away.  Does a run get much better than that?  Isn't having fun part of the plan too?

As we walked in the door, S was making protein shakes (chocolate protein, spinach, Greek yogurt, soy milk, strawberries and bananas, yummy!)

So, success or fail for a Monday morning?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Plan for the Week 5/16/11

About last week... 

My easy 3 miles on Wednesday was just that...easy.  I was up at 6am, the weather was perfect and I got it done before work.  I could run this loop every day...lost in my thoughts, no pressure.

My easy 3 on Friday, turned into a Speedy 4 with Miss Speedy J.  She texted on Thursday and invited me to run.  How could I say, "No, I just want to go 3 at close to 10 min. miles and I know that you are incapable of running that slow?"  We ran 4 @ 8:50s, that's as much as I could slow her down.  She's training for the Helvetia Half in June...

The weather forecast showed lots of rain for Sunday, so I moved my long run to Saturday morning and headed out by myself.  All of my sheep are gone!  They must have been moved to other pastures.  I did see some gorgeous horses, though.

The best view on my Sunday long run.
I have decided that my next "A" race is the Eugene Women's Half on 9/4/11.  I spent some time fiddling around with Run Less Run Faster and looking at my summer schedule.  Is it too much to ask to pull of another PR at the end of the summer?

Plan for THIS week

Monday:  6 miles total, with 4 miles @ 8:21
Tuesday:  3 miles @ 9:48, YogaX
Wednesday: Core Synergistics
Thursday:  11 miles @ 9:48, X Stretch
Friday:  OFF 
Saturday: OFF
Sunday: OFF

My little sister is getting married this weekend!  She lives in Michigan.  I will be attempting to fly "stand by" on Friday to get to the wedding and be a bridesmaid.  Hopefully I can sneak a short run in at her house, but I think she's got other priorities for me.  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Running Survey

Most importantly--

Good luck and run FAST! to everyone racing this weekend!

Go Jess @ Blonde Ponytail and Harmony @ Keep on Keeping On at the Windermere Marathon!


Zaneta at Runner's Luck shared this survey a few weeks ago.  I thought it would be fun to fill out too!

* what is your favorite type of cross training?
P90X Core Synergistics.  A great combo of weights and ab work.  One very well spent hour working out. 

* what is your favorite song to run to?
This month, it's Born This Way sung by the Glee Cast.
* what brand of shoes do you wear?
Saucony ProGrid Guide 3, in blue.  However, I noticed on line there are other color choices...hmmm....

* do you wear a hat when you run?
Always in the rain.  I'm working on getting used to wearing sunglasses without a hat this summer.  I finally found glasses I can run in.
* what temperature is your favorite for running?
55 degrees, cloudy skies, no rain 

* do you have any big races coming up?
A bunch.  I'm so glad that summer is finally here.

May 31- Heart of the Valley Duathlon Relay
July 31 - San Francisco (First) Half Marathon
Sept 4 - Eugene Women's Half Marathon

* what is your favorite distance?
The Half Marathon, of course, of course.  One mile, 13 times. 

* are you a morning, noon or evening runner?
Morning, in the summer, as the sun is rising and it's warm enough to wear a skirt and short sleeves. 

* do you run solo or with a buddy?
Solo most of the time.  I do try to find running buddies whenever I can.
* what's your favorite post run snack?
Gummi bears.  Okay, when I have self control, either a protein shake or Chobani greek yogurt with granola sprinkled on top. 

* what's your FAVORITE race?
The Eugene Half Marathon, since it was my first half and I've now run it twice.  However, I am drawn to all women's races and the camaraderie that usually goes with them.

* do you wear a garmin? If not how do you track your runs?
I wear a Garmin Forerunner 405, nicknamed Crash.  The only time I didn't run with it in a race, I crashed and burned (HERE).  I also track all my workouts on Daily Mile.

* what is your least favorite race?
The Fueled by Fine Wine Half, definitely.  It was my PW (personal worst) race.  I didn't have a handle on the hills on this course.  I was overwhelmed by them and could never get into a good rhythm.  The medal was awesome, but I won't run this one again. 

* what race is your favorite medal from?
The funniest one was the cowbell from the Holiday Half.

* who is your running idol? 
Other bloggers who are running moms.  Those with really little kids, I don't know how you fit it all in. 

* how long have you been a runner?
I ran track and cross country in high school, then took most of the next 20 years off.  I have run half marathons for a year now. 

* (ladies) do you run with your engagement/wedding ring on?
Of course.  I take it off to lift weights, then get in trouble when I forget to put it back on sometimes. 

* what's your favorite workout? repeats? long runs? tempo? fartleks?
Long, slow runs on Sunday mornings.  I didn't used to like to run long, away from the house.  I used to do two smaller loops.  Running long, around the farmland outside of my town, has become a real joy.
Ooh, llamas!
How about you?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1.  A big thank you to Run with Jess.  Remember the super fun Jelly Bean 5k?  She was the race director and I was a winner!  I received my winnings in the mail this week.  I can't wait to read this book, and I love the sticker Jess added in as a bonus prize.  I happen to know from experience, that fast girls DO have good times!

I love prizes!
2.  I have added a page here at (Just) Trying is for Little Girls listing the OBC.  I discussed the Oregon Blogger Connection recently, and some of you were wondering about it.  If you are an Oregon blogger and want to be added to the list, leave me a comment with your blog URL.

3.  We have been blessed with some gorgeous Oregon weather recently.  One of my favorite things to do when it's sunny and hovers around 70 degrees, is to lay out on our trampoline and read a good book.  Unfortunately, with the joys of the season, come the allergies of the season.  My eyes are itchy and red...dang!  I was feeling sorry for Caro in California and her allergies, and feeling thankful that I didn't have that problem yet this year.  My doctor says, hang in there until the 4th of July and they should pass.  Great!

I'm looking for some more good summer books to read.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Track Tuesday 4 x 800

Yesterday was the first track workout of my 10k Duathlon training cycle.  I told you that I was cutting back, easing off a bit, as it were.  That SmartCoach must have been laughing at me the other day when I said his plan was easier than Run Less Run Faster.

My 50 Halfs photo attempt...
The short midweek runs are slower and less mileage.  The track and tempo runs are almost the exact same times as my RLRF goal times.  How is that cutting back?  It isn't.

Before I left the house for my warm up run to the track, I checked my RLRF spreadsheet.  SmartCoach's plan-- 4x800 @ 3:43 with 400 jogs in between.  The first week of RLRF was 6x800 @ 3:42.  Ha!  Clearly there is some secret speed workout formula that requires me to run 800s at this pace, always.

I was blessed with mother nature's special gift this morning, so I wore my red Running Skirt just in case there were any issues.  I was a bit tired, and considered pushing my only speed workout until later in the week, then decided to just get the darn thing over with.

At the track, I believed (because I am a mathematical genius) that 3:43s equaled a 7:40 pace.  I finished the first 800 showing a 7:30 pace on Crash.


Hmmmm, jogging the 400 in between, I realized that I was wrong.  The pace needs to be 7:20, duh.  The second 800 was better.


I was a little light headed, but knew I could do four 800s.  Maybe I should have done the easy 3 mile run today.   However, I want to keep my speed workouts on Tuesdays, consistency for when I transition back to RLRF...

I fast forwarded my iPod to my newest song, "Go Your Own Way" by the Glee Cast.  Great Fleetwood Mac tune, perfect for running a third 800.


One more left, my body felt good.  My red running skirt was also being tested to see if it was Duathlon worthy.  During my one mile warm up, the skirt was slippy.  By the time I got my sweat on and hit the fourth 800, it was staying in place.


Wogging the last 400, I decided on a cool down song.  I put on my brand new waterproof jacket, drank some Gatorade from my handheld and searched the iPod.  "The Time of My Life" (Glee Cast version, from Dirty Dancing, one of my favorite movies) carried me home.  No matter how I feel at the start of a track workout, I am always happier when it is finished.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hippie Chick Half Marathon - Hillsboro, Oregon - May 8, 2011

The Expo for the Hippie Chick Half was at the Embassy Suites.  This happens to be one of my favorite hotels to stay in.  A separate room for the kids (sleeping on a couch bed, that they hated...oops), free breakfast with an omelet chef (if you aren't running a half marathon between 7:30-10:30am on a Sunday) and a manager's reception in the evening, with free drinks and chips!

After picking up my race number, shirt and bag, we moved into a second room where the pacers and vendors were set up.  Oh, 9:00 pace sign, little did I know how much time I would be spending with you during the race.

Mine, mine!

A and I wandered around the expo.  I should have preordered a Hippie Chick logo waterproof jacket ahead of time.  They didn't have my size on hand to purchase.  A found a different jacket that I did buy.  Most of the running apparel was 15% off.  I also wish I would have bought this pink patterned Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra skirt that was on sale.  I ended up running the first half of the race next to woman who was smarter than me, she bought the skirt and looked adorable!

T on the Twister at John's

We met friends for dinner at a new (to us) restaurant in Beaverton.  John's Incredible Pizza had the perfect carbo load dinner for me, with video games and indoor rides for the kids.  Better than Chuck E. Cheese (food and entertainment), I enjoyed the buffet, especially the breadsticks.  We sat in a room with 4 or 5 big screen TVs watching the Celtics defeat the Heat while the kids had a blast.


Up at 6am, amazingly the whole family was packed and ready to leave the Embassy Suites by 7.  Race day morning is so different with kids to accommodate.  They were good sports as we drove to Hillsboro Stadium in the rain.  Cars were backed up quite a ways on the exit.  S dropped A (who was a great photographer) and me off at the start, then went to park.

T, me and A (my willing photographer)
Most people were over at the stadium, so I took advantage and zoomed through the port a potty lines (the bathrooms at the stadium were open as well).  With just 15 minutes to the start, I texted Fruit Fly and found her and Biker Boy (with her wonderful mommy) just in time for a picture. 

Such a Hippie Chick!  So cute.

Festive start line
BJ the clown.  S and I found his presence ironic, at an all women's event.
I had just enough time to tell S and T that A was standing past the start line.  3000 runners crammed into the start area and I had to funnel in from the "sidelines" as the race started.  Looking back, I think I was expecting the National Anthem, the crack of a gun or some other significant race beginning.  Instead, the masses surged forward and I knew we were starting.

Thin out the crowd, and this was my view for the first 10k
My plan was to take it easy, run the first loop (10k) at a 9:09 pace, then speed up and see how far I could get under 2 hours without killing myself.  The excitement of the start, and the momentum of the starting pack, usually causes me to go out faster than I plan.  This time, I found myself too far back, briefly running around 10:00 pace.  I bobbed and weaved, picking up my pace and getting out of the crowd.  I approached the 9:00 pacers (A told me it was the biggest pace group).  My watch showed 8:50 average pace.  I vowed not to pass that white and black 9:00 sign until I saw my family again.

Luckily, the rain stayed away.  The course was a big square, with a little out and back at mile 4 and 10.  

Having never run with a pace group before, I enjoyed it.  It was funny to watch most of the group swerve to the right and get water at the first water stop.  A bunch of girls dropped off at the first porta potties too.  I didn't make any friends, or talk to the pace girls, but it was nice to let someone else "drive" for awhile.  The pacers were enthusiastic, joking about the "big hill" at mile 3.  Since I started so far behind them, my Garmin showed an average pace between 8:50-8:52, while I stayed in the backseat.

Here we come!
As we passed the start, at mile 6.5, I was looking, looking for my family.  I wondered if T would be on the course, or huddled in the car with S, freezing.  I knew A would be there with the camera, but where were they?

It was such a thrill to see all three of them waiting and cheering for me.  Best Mother's Day present ever!

Giving T a low 5, halfway done!
I should have thanked my 9:00 pacers as I left them behind.  Then again, it would have been embarrassing if they would've passed me back!  I decided to take my Blackberry Gu at the mile 8 water stop.  I was still feeling really good, but knew I still had about 45 minutes to run on my own.

My average pace was down to 8:45 as I approached the out and back.  Some guy moved the chair that showed the 10 mile mark to the other side of the road, right in front of me.  10 miles was the beginning of the "out", but he made it the end of the "back".  As I passed the chair coming back, I wanted to tell everyone that it was really 10.4 miles, hang in there!!

At mile 11, I started passing groups of walkers.  The road was wide and they were easy to get around.  I even told some of them, "nice job, you've got this!"

At mile 12, my quads started hurting, but I pushed through it.  I could see that a sub 1:55 was within my grasp.  That sub 1:55 was my goal last week at the Eugene Half, I was honestly surprised to feel good enough to attempt it again one week after Eugene.

Most of the last mile is the same as the Helvetia Half course that I ran last June.  I remember digging deep and kicking it in to get just under a sub 2 at Helvetia.  This time, I wanted to finish strong, but the walkers were now driving me crazy!  We were pushed over to the left side of the road only, and girls were walking 4 and 5 people across the road.  It was so frustrating!  I started going wide around them, weaving back in and doing it again.

With half a mile left, I decided that I had just as much right to be there as they did!  (We all paid the same entry fee, and were all walking/running our own races.)  I hoped they didn't mind when I would run between groups, when there was a bit of a gap.  I wish they all would have stayed to the right.  Maybe the organizers could address that next year.  A told me that the leaders had to bob and weave through walkers too, I found that more unfortunate than my middle of the pack problem.

Approaching the finishing arch, I could see the official clock just under 1:55!!!  Official finish time 1:54:18.  I did it, two halfs in 8 days and reverse splits for both of them.

Where are the mimosas?
Massages, mimosas, breakfast burritos and Jamba Juice samples were available after the finish.  I ran around and got my snacks, then the family was ready to head home.  I know it's boring to wait around for two hours, that's why we don't bring the kids to most events.  But, what a treat it was to have them there.

Shirt, medal and bib in my memory book already.