Just Another Training Week

I had a goal in mind this week and I fell short. I’m told this happens sometimes, that I can get it next week, and that I still did some really good work, but of course my harshest critic is myself. I was really disappointed in myself on Saturday. Here’s how my week turned out, though:

Monday, 4/21: Rest

Tuesday, 4/22: 8.0 miles along the Springwater Corridor. I was feeling really great on this run and my stats showed really consistent miles. Plus, the scenery is hard to beat for an urban run!

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Wednesday, 4/23: 4.6 miles with a friend in NW/Forest Park. I love this loop with her – a little climbing, a little descending, a little trail, and a little urban. She’s also a great running buddy and I always love our catch-ups.

Thursday, 4/24: Rest/heavy lifting. Our good friends are selling their house and moving out of state so I reluctantly helped her clean and stage their home for photos.

Friday, 4/25: 5.6 miles around downtown Portland. It ended up being a convoluted bridge loop and I just missed the downpour(s).

Saturday, 4/26: 13.1 miles on Wildwood with Jesse. It was a good distance, but I won’t talk about performance. Still feeling down about it…

Sunday, 4/27: Rest/more moving assistance.

Total weekly miles = 31.3

I suppose I can’t complain too much about that number. I’m still getting stronger, setting goals and PRs, all while remaining realistic and accepting that bad runs and bad weeks happen. I need to remember to embrace the good runs and be proud of my progress no matter what. This week is supposed to be like summer in PDX – looking forward to taking advantage!

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Easter 2014

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This past week has been really quiet on the running front, as we’ve been incredibly busy with other things [insert gasps from the running community here].

Wednesday night we were at the Blazers v. Clippers game at the Rose Garden. NOT the Moda Center. Let’s be clear on that. They won and everything was wonderful – except the kids behind us kicking the seats and the dude who spilled his drink on Jesse. So it goes.

Thursday night we were going to head to Idaho for Easter weekend with my family but ended up staying the night at home due to some work emergencies and we ended up getting a good amount of wedding planning done.

Friday was spent in the beloved Subaru with a whiney, whiney Riley. Seven hours later we arrived at my parents house just in time for dinner. The next few days were spent in a tiny Idaho town doing Easter-y things with my niece, Sheridan. There was an Easter egg “hunt”:

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We colored eggs and Riley got a haircut:

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Jesse and I ran 10 miles on Saturday (it was grueling…we don’t have to talk about it) and then my sister hosted a girl’s only party at her house so Jesse and my dad refinished our new coffee table in the meantime.

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On Sunday we had a big breakfast, took the dogs to the park to run and play, enjoyed some stencil fun with Sheridan, and then Jesse and I drove back to Portland.

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Jesse is off to Canada this week for work so last night we really committed to getting our invitations done. This is how things ended up:

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The plan is to get some good runs in this week and plan some sort of epic weekend adventure, per usual!

Harder/Better/Faster/Stronger

Okay, so I’m not actually a fan of Kanye West but sometimes that line gets stuck in my head and it seems applicable for this weekend.

The top weekend priority was wedding planning. And that was great…we made a little progress. Second priority was a big long run in the hot, hot sun.

Here’s the ‘before’ photo:

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Yes, we’re both wearing our SOB shirts. In Jesse’s defense, he had his on first and I decided on mine second. There was much discussion about this and we finally concluded that…well…who the heck cares?

Anyways, it was 70 degrees and gorgeous in Portland and we mapped out a 16 mile section on Wildwood to conquer. And basically we dominated it. It was extremely hard work and took a really long time, but at this point I am setting distance PRs every weekend and I am thoroughly enjoying seeing my progress. Of course this run might as well have been a 5k for Jesse, but I am forever grateful for his support and his company. And, per Kanye, I am certainly getting “…better, faster, stronger!”

Here’s the after photo:

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With sore toes and a slight limp, we went out for some dinner afterwards. This is always a must for Jesse and a baaaaad idea for me, as I still get really queasy after running. Anyone have tips on how to get over this? It’s a real bummer…

Gorge Waterfalls 50K – 3/31/14

Last Saturday was yet another gray and rainy day in Oregon and Jesse was signed up to run the Gorge Waterfalls 50K. But let me tell you a secret: I wanted to do it.

A couple months ago I decided to just skip the marathon distance and go right into the ultra distance. If I’m keeping up with Jesse in spirit, I might as well try to keep up in body as well, right? This event happened to be an entry by lottery only type so I decided to let “fate” (or something like it) determine whether or not this would be my first. So I secretly put my name in the hat, as you will, and encouraged Jesse to as well (“This one looks gorgeous, you should run it, blah blah blah”). Naturally, he was picked and I wasn’t. Pretty much sums up my luck, I’d say!

It turned out to be for the best, as I was battling hip flexor issues or whatever the heck that was and was out of proper training commission for a while anyways. So there you go.

This event seemed to be highly disorganized in general. There was no pre-race day packet pick up, so we drove out to the Gorge super early and Jesse encountered some confused volunteers with packets and bib numbers, which it then became obvious the race wasn’t chip timed. We then drove an additional 20 miles up the freeway to the start line (rather than taking the shuttle bus. Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that!). Sadly I had some vehicle troubles so I drove straight back to Portland and missed his start, though.

While Jesse was running, I met up with L to do some running of my very own on the comfort of the oh-so-familiar Leif Erickson Drive. We ran together for 6 miles, per her training schedule, and I carried on, merging onto Wildwood, to do….wait for it………….

Fourteen. I’m absurdly proud of Jesse for running 50k but this day I was feeling particularly proud of myself as well. It was certainly hard work, muddy and rainy, and, well, the longest continuous distance I’ve run. Ever. (We did the 25k in November, but didn’t run the whole time. I think I cried for more miles than I ran that day.)

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After my run, I drove straight back out to the Gorge to watch Jesse finish. It was pouring down rain and I alternated between standing under the finish line tent and sitting in the car with the heater on, mainly trying to dry my socks! One couple, decked out in the beloved Salomon brand, finished together all cute and the guy bent down, right at the finish line, pulled out a ring and asked her to marry him. It may have been a bad time, I think she was too exhausted to do even simple math, let alone commit to him for life, but she smiled real big and said ‘yes’ nonetheless. It was very sweet. Not long after that, Jesse showed up, finishing strong. During his race recap, it turns out he ran with the newly engaged couple for several miles, discussing useful phone apps to curb childhood obesity. I won’t give any further details, in case one of these ultrarunners decides to patent the idea =]

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Also, Jesse may not be the original one, but he certainly is the better “ridiculously photogenic guy”. See how handsome he is?

While it was certainly a novel idea to have a wood-fired pizza station there, another disappointing aspect of the race was the wait time for food for these runners. It seemed to take AGES to get a slice. *sigh* We drove straight home and I think we both fell asleep around 6 PM.

Jesse’s race recap was interesting and I’m glad this run didn’t end up being my first ultra. It boasts countless waterfalls, which didn’t disappoint, but I guess the early miles were easily congested and the tight singletrack made it difficult to pass other runners. There were many miles that were on pavement and/or right next to the I-84 freeway, and then of course the finish line was basically in the middle of knee-deep swamp. Am I being too cynical? I feel cynical right now….

At the end of the day, he ran a freaking 50K! And that’s amazing. Race details aside, that accomplishment is still so so impressive and we’re lucky the Gorge is so close and accessible for these sorts of events (did I redeem myself there? I hope so).

In other news, spring has sprung in Portland. Here’s a view of downtown from the Eastbank Esplanade. Let’s just ignore the super muddy Willamette River for now, though.

photo-23We did a little bouldering on Tuesday night and a 4-mile Forest Park hike/run with Bear last night. He was a pretty good Bear this time, and I just love how happy he is when he’s not stressed about other dogs.