All Things October!

1 Nov

Well here we are November 1, 2015!! It is definitely fall here in Portland. It has started to rain again. I have put fenders on my bike and bribed Dan to let me use some of his light because somehow I break or lose all of my mine!

It was a pretty fun October.

Dan and I took a ravioli making class.
I had two great friends come to town. I had 3 surprise adventures in store for them. The theme: water, boats, river.

River rafting in Hood River!
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whitesalmon_10-2-15_husum (115)
Plus Double Mountain Brewery for dinner!

Brew-Barge tour on the river. (like a brew-cycle so we were still pedaling but we were on the river. You just bring your own drinks on and cruise around.)
Lastly, we did an 80s night on the Portland Spirit (river cruise).

We went to a Halloween party. I made this:
Peanut Butter Nutella Candy Bar Brownie. <—Recipe!
We were Supermarket Sweep contestants!! Who has watched that game show?? We watched an episode on YouTube right before the party. So funny!!!

We went to the corn maze and pumpkin patch!!

Chocolate chip chunk and cashew cookies to take to work.

Halloween brunch to talk about 2016 races.

Before trick or treating…
Why did the bumble bee, puppy, and chicken cross the road? To get to the other side of course!!
After about 3 pieces of candy each…
It was hysterical!!

What was the highlight of your October??

RNR Vancouver Race Weekend + RE-cap

29 Oct

Last weekend Dan and I went up to Vancouver BC. I had never been up there before. We had a super fun weekend filled with good food, sight seeing, and a half marathon.

Saturday: We had a leisurely morning. We did a 2.5 mile shake-out run. Nice and easy. We hit up the expo. It wasn’t too busy. Talked with some Nuun peeps and we were on our way!
We did some walking and exploring on the seawall and waterfront. What a gorgeous city. So clean and fresh.

We talked about goals for the race. I REALLY wanted to PR. I felt like I had put in a lot of great miles in the last couple of months. I was working on my speed, doing hill repeats, and running my long runs faster. I felt good. I didn’t want to sit and wait around for the race to happen. We were in a gorgeous city with lots to see!

Goals: A: 2:05; B: sub 2:06:23(current PR); C: Enjoy the gorgeous scenery and have fun
I had decided that I was not going to look at my Garmin for the entirety of the race. I just wanted to run on feel and let Dan push me.

We had take out Chinese food at this tiny/popular/almost divey place. It was delicious and the perfect amount of carbs, protein, and salt!!! A little different from my usual pizza the night before a race.

Sunday: RACE DAY: We woke up, ate breakfast, and walked around for far too long trying to find a coffee shop open. Both places we had googled the night before that said they would be open were not. We finally found a Starbucks open and it was full of runners!!

We made our way down to the start.
We had a few minutes to hang in the corral and we were off. Dan had planned to stay with me for the first 4 miles. He figured he would see how we were both feeling. I think we started off a little too fast but there is always that fine line with starting too fast and hoping not to blow up or starting fast enough that you are still going to go faster than your last race. If that makes any sense at all!! :)

(of course in Dan’s mind he wanted me to run a sub 2–I did not think there was anyway that was going to happen. I didn’t want to be negative but I wasn’t sure if I really had it in me. I would have to average 9:09s) You never know though. There is always that race magic!!

We start. We had read a race preview by the RunWestin guy. It made the course sound hilly but not bad. That was not the case. The course was hard. It was hilly and much hiller than I thought it would be. I do like hills especially the recovery aspect!!

The whole race flew by. We were definitely running comfortable hard. I had zero idea what pace we were running. At about mile 5 I wasn’t sure what would happen at 10 let alone 13. We just kept running. I did notice a lot of the same people who were around us in the corral (2:00 corral) were running with us for the duration of the race. That made me feel good. I felt like we had to be on track. :)

The course is gorgeous. The water, the buildings. We ran along the seawall for a while. It had a New Zealand feel. We headed into Stanley Park. The tall trees that are changing colors. At around mile 9 I told Dan that I wanted to try to keep up with him but it was time to put some music on.

It was getting hard. The course preview said the last hill was at mile 10. Got up and over it but that definitely wasn’t the last hill there were 2 more after. Dan had run a little ahead of me. I was trying to hold on as best as I could.

It was only getting tougher. At mile 11 I thought I better PR or this whole race will be a waste. At mile 12 I thought OMG this is never going to end. At about mile 12.5ish we could hear the finish line. When my watch beeped at mile 13 I was dying to look but I had enough self-control(surprisingly enough) not to look. The finish line was still not in sight. I had given it my all. I was definitely cooked. I finally saw the finish line and tried to speed up. It was so hard but it was almost done. Dan was standing there waiting for me(he finished 13 seconds before me)I couldn’t have been happier. I looked at my watch. 2:03:20. Dan said the look on my face was priceless. I was so pumped!!
It was so worth it not to look at my watch throughout the race. It made it that much more fun at the end!!

Dan wanted to hit up the beer garden and we received our world rocker medals.

We celebrated with donuts!! Cartems Donuterie was voted one of the BEST in Vancouver!! They were delicious!! I am not even a huge donut person.

We spent most of the afternoon at walking around Granville Island and the public market. Super cute area!!
This was a mural done by OSGEMEOS. It is a pretty cool story.
We were exhausted and took an Aquabus across False Creek.

Monday: We had an amazing breakfast and coffee at Medina Cafe. It was right down the street from our AirBnB. We walked passed it multiple times all weekend. We had decided we would wait until Monday to go. I couldn’t wait!!

I forgot my phone so no pictures. We had waffles and avocado/egg toast. I had a milk chocolate lavender mocha too! Amazing!!!

Vancouver BC! What an amazing place. We had a super fun trip. The race PR was the cherry on top!

Decision Time + Nuun Discount!

17 Oct

I know you have all been on the seat of your pants waiting for me to decide what I am going to do next year!!! Well I have finally come to a conclusion!!

I decided that I needed to figure out what BIG race I was doing and then I could work my way backwards. What BIG races were on the docket? Ironman Wisconsin, Maryland, Arizona, and Cozumel.

Dan and I talked it out on our run last weekend. It mostly came down to either a Pre-Ragnar Ironman or a Post-Ragnar Ironman. I really liked the idea of doing WI or MD because then I could go to Hawaii and not have to come home and still train for another 5-6 weeks.

It was Monday night and I literally had 5 minutes to decide before the price went up. I went with Wisconsin. I have only heard really good things about this race!! Go hard or go home! Right?! I couldn’t be more happy with my decision. Now to decide on coaching, bike transportation, lodging…all the hard things!! :)

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#330daycountdown #veryexcited

My favorite electrolyte company is turning 11! Go shop at Nuun for 11% off!!

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Next Year?! Already!!

30 Sep

I can’t believe tomorrow is October 1st!! My “fun” year really has flown by!! I am trying to make some decisions about next year but it literally changes!  I thought I would definitely do another Ironman in 2016. Well then I wasn’t sure that I really wanted to do one.  Was my heart really in it or was I just doing one to do one?!

I originally wanted to do one because Dan was starting a MBA program and I thought he would be busy enough that I could keep myself busy by training for an IM.

(Quite a few months ago) It started with doing IM Chattanooga.  That idea went out the door about as quick as it came in the door. I like the idea of the down stream fast swim. But I don’t like the idea of 4 extra miles on the bike. Isn’t 112 long enough? I have some friends that are “seasoned” IM that did Chat last weekend and sounds like a pretty hard run.

(August–through the end of August) When Chat went out the door, the idea of doing Victoria 70.3 or C’DA 70.3 was a good one. I could be more serious next year, train hard, and see what I could do. Then Dan mentioned Boulder 70.3 which is the same weekend as Victoria. That got me seriously interested!!

I saw Jenny one night and I mentioned Boulder. She mentioned IM Cozumel! Man I was in trouble!! Could I be back on the IM train? A salt water swim doesn’t sound appealing though!

Well just about the time I was looking into Boulder, Jen did IM Copenhagen and posted her race report. I was definitely back on the Ironman train, followed IM Cope on FB, and told Dan we were going to Europe for a race-cation.

After a few days of that settling in I thought well maybe I should go back to just doing halfs next year and build up to IM Cope for 2017. YES that is what I was going to do. Back to Boulder!!

(Beginning of Sept) On a walk with Erica one day, she mentioned that Nik was thinking about IMAZ.  Well I probably shouldn’t talk to anyone about any races ever!!  Literally the next day, Dan was studying and he hadn’t even started school yet, I wanted to go out. He needed to study.

I DECLARED I was definitely doing an Ironman next year. BUT which one. I love the idea of AZ because I could potentially PR. Timing is OK. AS much as I would love to go to Phoenix in November, there is ZERO chance I can go to volunteer/sign up.  So that pretty much leaves Community Fund which has gone up drastically since the payment I made for Ironman Canada in 2009!

After Erin’s amazing race in Wisconsin, I thought about that race for about 5 seconds!! I have heard Madison is awesome. But I need a race that has less gain on the bike. I love rolling courses. But Wisconsin is a little more than I want to swallow for 2016.

I have now begun to think about a spring marathon. If indeed I decide that I want to do a late IM, a spring marathon could be on the table. Run all winter and when the weather gets nice go outside. Sounds amazing right?!  Flying Pig is on my radar!!

What is wrong with me?? I need a hobby that can get me through the off-season so I stop thinking about races!! ;)

I have to think what is totally realistic for me in 2016. BUT who really wants to do that!! The only thing that is set for 2016 is RNR AZ 1/2 marathon (always) and Ragnar Hawaii!! Yes, you read that right, an ultra relay on the big island! Which brings up another bit of “how am I going to use my PTO” next year.

I thought it would be pretty awesome to go to Kona early for IM championship the weekend before and then Ragnar Hawaii is the weekend after! Perfect timing right!! Well that would be a huge chunk of my PTO! Decisions decisions!! I hate to fly all the way to Hawaii for just a few days! But it could be a nice run block going into IMAZ. Just sayin’!!

Just talking out loud here!! I will keep you posted on what I finally decide on! What are your plans for next year?

Pints To Pasta 10K Race Report!

27 Sep

#9 Pints to Pasta in the books!! I am going to try to make this short and sweet. It was a fun race but much different then years past!!

About 4 days before the race it came to my attention that the course had been modified. It was no longer downhill to flat with a few ups. Last years report had a good telling of the terrain. It was now flat with a few ups to long uphill with a few steep downhills to the end. Not exactly the fast and flat course it has been in the past. (more on this in a minute)

I find a few Oiselle birds to hang with while waiting for the shuttle. Now in years past there are what seem like 50 shuttles. This year we quickly found out there were literally only a few!! like 5!! for hundreds and hundreds of people to get across town!

Liz who went 6th Overall and Tammy 4th in her AG

Liz who went 6th Overall and Tammy 4th in her AG

We waiting over an hour for a shuttle. It was the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of/seen at a race. This is a pretty big race and one that has been going on for 15 years or so. Not sure what they were doing with the shuttles this year. They pushed back the start a few times. But finally let the first pack go at about 7:50. We were on the shuttle at that time and saw them go. It was really weird and funny!!!

I was meeting Erica at the start line. She waited for me so we could run together!
You can see the start line behind us with no one there. We walked to the start line and with a very anti-climatic start we went over the timing mat and started our Garmins! It was the weirdest start to any race I have ever run!!!

We ran and chatted and ran and chatted. It was some what fast. Erica had a baby about 10 weeks ago so this was her first race back!! She was just happy to be out there!! The sun was out and it was an awesome morning to be running!! I was happy to be running “fast.” I wasn’t looking at my watch. I wanted to run on feel. I had a hard running week because this wasn’t my big race. I am more focused on RNR Vancouver.

The long uphill I talked about before is part of the long downhill on the Shamrock run. We were talking about how we wished it was March and we were running down this stretch instead of up it!! :)

Erica took off at about 4.5 miles. I tried to keep her in my sights. I started my music and just tried to keep the pace up. I saw Dan at about mile 6. Told him I hated the new course!
Finished with a big smile on my face. It was fun as usual especially running it with Erica!! But I hope they change the course back!!

Met up with all the birds afterwards!!

Until next year OR MAYBE NOT!!


16 Sep

Funny thing about motivation is I am pretty good about having it!! But after Hood To Coast this year, I was seriously lacking it!

I sent this to Ilana:
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Luckily Dan and I went for a great run the night after I sent that text! Ilana and I had an awesome 10 miler that Saturday. It was the fastest 10 miles I have done in a while. AND it felt really good!!

I have been on fire since. Track work outs, hill repeats, a solo 12 miler before work. I just need to keep the motivation and momentum alive!! I have been using music more often. I do that more in the “off” season then when I am training for a triathlon. But sometimes that gets me out the door faster too! :)

Only 6 weeks until RNR Vancouver! Which I am super pumped about!!!

September is the bike commute challenge! I have biked every day but once!! Woot woot!!!
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I haven’t done much of anything else. No swimming since my last tri. Cycling is really only to work. Now that the new bridge is open I am in heaven! I don’t even know what it is. It is shorter but not by much. I went from 7.5 to 5.9 miles one way.

We have hit a cold front but good news for me the wind isn’t as bad as when its warm. Which I find really funny but its cold for more part of the year than it is warm so I will take it!

I need to start doing yoga more and I am thinking about a new masters swim which could be interesting. I think if I could get into a habit of those things I would be better off!! Who couldn’t use more yoga in their life?!

Do you listen to music while you run? How do you keep yourself motivated?

Hood TO Coast like NO other year!

31 Aug

I ran Hood To Coast for my 5th year in a row this weekend. It was super fun as usual! BUT very different from any other year!

We had a very early start time. Much earlier than any other year!! 6:15AM! I was in a slight predicament. I didn’t have the day off of work. I thought we would start at 9, 10 or 11. I was runner #11 so I figured I wouldn’t run until the evening anyway! We received our start times and I came to the realization that I would be running at about 3! Long long story short I got off work at 2. Took an Uber to exchange 10 right before Bird Legs was going to hand off to me!
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Just like that I’m with Stupid was on leg 11 and I was off running!
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Leg 11: 2:45pm. 4.51 Miles. 9:46 avg/miles. It was hot-ish and humid. It was sunny one minute and cloudy another. It was flat and boring. I talked to a few people which was fun. There was one particular guy who I ran with that I talked to for a bit but stayed with for quite a while. I was just trying to keep his pace. At the exchange he said thanks for pacing me. I thought he was pacing me! I just think he didn’t want me to pass him! :)

We headed to the Hawthrone bridge to pick up Tiffany and exchange with van 1!
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Meeting up with Van 1 at exchange 12!
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Saw David and had to get a picture!!!
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Went back to Jeff’s place for pizza, lounging, and game shows before it was time to head out again!!

We were back on the road and ready for the rain. Maybe!
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Leg 23: 1:50am. 4.2 miles. 9:28 avg/miles. NIGHT leg! Favorite leg. It was rolling hills. It was fun. I kept a good pace. It started to sprinkle the last couple of minutes and then really started to come down for a few, just as I was handing off to Tiffany!

The traffic is usually pretty heavy during these legs. In past years the runner would have to run up the exchange as the van was still sitting in traffic.
This year we had a lot of smooth sailing. The next test was getting to Jewel once we handing off to van 1 again.

I fell asleep almost immediately but we proceeding to get to Jewel faster than any other year. With time to catch a few winks before it was time to leave again!

It was raining but didn’t seem to be too bad. The lightening was crazy. I could see it with my eyes closed! It died off while we were asleep.

Just like that it was 8ish and we were off and running again. It started to rain right before Ashley(runner 7) and Jeff(8) exchanged. The clouds were moving FAST! It was pouring and felt bad for Jeff. It was super crazy. I was driving and the wind shield wipers were not moving fast enough!!

Dan went out for a long haul. This leg is always so awful because it is so HOT! Well not so much this year. It poured for the first couple of miles but then it was just windy!! Kara went out for a short but very windy run.

SHIT!!! It was my turn again and I was nervous!!!
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This was my longest leg. I felt good but I was waiting for Kara and the wind was absolutely bonkers!!

Leg 35. 11:30am. 6.9miles. 10:39 avg/miles. Rolling uphill/flat. I went off and I was immediately in a head wind. I am not talking a faint at heart little headwind. I am talking a headwind that is literally making you feel like you are on a treadmill with nowhere to go.

A gal had gone off a few minutes before me. I started off and thought maybe I will try to catch up to her. She was definitely right at my pace because I was not gaining on her at all. It was so hard. We eventually were on gravel which is not easy either. She stopped to a walk a few times and I gained just a bit those times.

I finally caught her about 2.5 miles to go. We chatted and she had music playing out loud. I secretly wished it was something I liked better!! :) It was a nice distraction though.

It could easily be the hardest leg I have ever run. EVER! I have no idea how fast the wind was blowing but somewhere between 29mph (when I checked hours later) to 80mph (what the news was saying). I felt like I was going nowhere. It was miserable! I am pretty sure I could have done that leg faster in the heat!!  I finished with my new friend who said lets “sprint” to the exchange with I don’t know 100 meters to go. WTF?! She gave me a hug afterwards and said thanks!! I was finished!! That is all that I cared about!!

We got word that the finish line was shut down at about leg 31. We heard it was crazy. These pictures don’t even do it justice!
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It certainly was different from any other years. BUT this “off the cuff” finish was so much easier. All the teams were just running through the finish with their runner. It was perfect. In years past we would have to stand around in corrals and wait to be called up to the finish line.

Van 1 decided to head back to Portland early! It was sad not to get a team picture. But I wouldn’t have wanted to wait around either!

Tiffany finished us off with a smile on her face and her first relay under her belt!
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We finished in 31 hours 10 minutes!! Another adventure in the books!!!
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Tired and delirious!
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Until next year!!


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