Monday, November 30, 2009

Recovery? What's that?

My idea of 1/2 marathon recovery:The patent-pending "Compression Cat." I think all athletes should have one to place on those legs after a long run. Plus, it's got a built in warming feature and subtle massaging vibration via "purring." Perfect companion to...Run, Zoë, Run!'s idea of compression/recovery socks! Stylish, yet supportive structure with durability and warmth. Found at any local Target, Ross, or TJ Maxx.

Add a LOT of H2O and you are set! Woohoo! Speedy Half Marathon Recovery! ;)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Seattle Half Marathon Recap

It all came down to today's 13.1Wow! What a day! My brain hasn't quite wrapped around what happened exactly, so this may be all over the place. First, I'm happy to report that I figured out how to do mile splits on Gus. It's actually pretty easy: Garmin Forerunner 305 --> Menu -->Training --> Training Options --> Auto Lap: Set by Distance @ 1 mile. Ta da! It is such an amazing feature, and I'm still wickedly grateful to Coach Fish for this cool gadget I call Gus. :)

I'll start from the beginning. Woke up this morning after having some really weird race dreams that had to do with spiders and pirates, and apparently me running away from them (Ok...throw in a couple of ninjas and it'd be a party). Quickly got changed and double-checked all my equipment batteries and made sure I had my post-run G2 (the lemon-lime is mighty tasty btw) from the fridge. Made myself some wheat toast but forgot I didn't have PB! Oh no! So, I used a little butter. Gave Murphy a goodbye/goodluck kiss thenTrav and I were off...

As we were driving to downtown, I was checking the two iPod earbuds that I brought along because both of them are a little wonky. Well, one pair had only one side that worked--garbage. The second pair I was just about to test out when my iPhone completely went blank. Um. What? Yeah... Tried holding down buttons, Travis tried calling my phone. Nothing. Completely blank. WTH?! I only mildly started to panic at this point (and we had just come up to the Mercer exit, which is always backed up and anxiety-inducing), then the iPhone was like "Sike! Tricked ya, didn't I?!" *&($@)*$#*()!! PHEW, crisis averted. This was the only little stress outbreak I had for the day; anxiety WIN.

We parked easily enough and the start line was less than a block away. Trav took a quick picture of me pre-race and kissed me goodbye. There was about 10 minutes until the Half Marathon start, so I just listened to my music (with one earbud shorting out...bummer!) and zoned out. I took a couple of iPhone pics (see Space Needle pic above) because it was so awesome being surrounded by runners and the city lights. Before I knew it we were off! I scanned the crowds for Trav after passing over the mats, and I found him and waved...he tried to take a pic of me, but there was a dude in the way (see me with my blue gloves, waving behind dude in white hat?). From here on out it was just me and my music. And perhaps a LOT of people watching. I saw a boy that looked no older than 9 running, a woman that seriously could have doubled as the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz...but with a strange/scary running gait, and a handful of people that kind of ran like Phoebe from Friends (and that made me giggle a little). I'm sure I looked like an idiot at some point too. :)

Mile 1: 8:27
Mile 2: 8:29

Mile 3: 8:24

These first three miles I was just so excited to be running, I went out a little fast. Not too bad though, if I could keep that pace the entire time! Then I'd run a 1:52 half...hmm, I guess that could be my goal for the next.

Mile 4: 11:45
Mile 5: 5:03

Mile 6: 8:43

Um, yeah. Miles 4 & 5 are waaaaay off because we ran through the I-90 tunnel and Gus freaked out and didn't have a signal. Speaking of freaking out, running in a tunnel is weird. Straight up Armageddon style, except without the abandoned cars and stuff. It was a very odd feeling. Oh, and so was getting stuck keeping pace with this mammoth of a dude that was literally dripping sweat (I dodged some!) and smelled funky. Yuck. Getting out of that tunnel was a breath of fresh air. At around mile 6 I grabbed two gu's (not to be confused with my trusty Gus) to try later. I didn't feel like getting an upset stomach during the race. Ugh. But apparently this one dude just couldn't wait for the mile Honey Buckets and dropped trou right off the road in the bushes. Gross!

Mile 7: 9:16
Mile 8: 9:53

Mile 9: 9:02

Ah yes, hills, I've met you before. Except I also was introduced to my good friend asthma. Thank goodness for my inhaler. I had to walk up a hill for a moment to take a puff. But I didn't walk for long at all!

Mile 10: 9:19
Mile 11: 8:54

Mile 12: 8:54

At this point all I was thinking was "almost there." Plus I saw a woman holding a sign that said "It's not supposed to be easy, but you're strong enough." Heck yes! And, there was a 70ish years young man running a good 9:00 pace that was just amazing. At roughly 2 miles to go I spotted my friend Luke in the crowd (of Quick Pickle fame), so I sprinted the 50 feet to smack him in the arm. He turned and was pretty surprised "GO Zoe!" he said. I told him that that quick sprint to catch up to him was brutal and to just keep going.

Mile 13: 8:36
SOOO CLOSE! I had to walk a little to take another puff at this mile, but then there was a crowd and I just tried to kick it in. I think the hot pink shirt/hat combo really worked.

Finishing strong! And HAPPY!
Luke was waiting for me right next to the finish and we were yelled at by Trav on the sidelines. And guess who was there? My in-laws! It was so awesome that Trav's parents came! This is the first time they've seen me race. :) Yay! Unfortunately I couldn't meet up with Kerrie or Amanda today because of the surprise in-law visit. But I saw their stats and they kicked major boo-tay!! Very proud of both of these women! :)

That's the race recap for now (it's late!). Tomorrow I'll go into my interesting recovery methods. ;) Be sure to stay tuned.

Mileage - 13.1 miles
Time - 1:58:01 (Chip), 1:59:07 (Gun), 1:57:28 (GUS)
Overall - 675 673 out of 4269 (Females)
Division Place - 131 out of 839 (F25-29)
Pace - 9:00

Saturday, November 28, 2009

I Think I Can, I Think I Can...

This week has been crazy busy with work, family dinners, non-training training and Half prep. I worked a double shift (overnight) on Wednesday to help decorate the store for the holidays. This was my third year helping out, and even though we don't leave until 4:30am, it's still a lot of fun. :) So my Thanksgiving was spent 1) sleeping in until 12:30 and 2) dressing up in crazy costumes and having dinner with my sisters, bro-in-laws and Dad.
My Dad, Travis, Bob (bro-in-law) and my sister Kristal

Sisters & I: Liza, me, Karrie

After work yesterday I met up with Kerrie to go grab our bibs and t-shirts from the Seattle Marathon Expo. She brought along T Junior, too! We checked out some booths, tasted some different juices/fuels and then tried out some crazy magnet bracelet:

Seeing if "magnet power" truly works...and it was crazy that it did!

So maybe we aren't running the Full...but it's still a rad sign.

Now the race is less than 24 hours away, and I'm getting anxious! Today is already a busy day with the Apple Cup going on and Trav & I in the stands (GO HUSKIES!). Don't worry, I will be sitting as much as possible today. ;)

SO EXCITED! I'm bib #4072!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Runner Profile: Meet Morgan

She's a speedy running fiend with a fantastic sense of humor and a fun writing style. Also known as the Redhead, she recently finished her first Marathon in Chicago last month (awesome finisher's photo above), and ran 3 legs of a Ragnar Relay in Florida on no sleep last weekend. Plus, she's always sending encouraging words to runners around the country. Could she be any more kick a$$? :)

1. What is your favorite stretch?
My fav stretches are for the ITB for obvious reasons. More specifically this one: Iliotibial band stretch: Standing: Cross one leg in front of the other leg and bend down and touch your toes. You can move your hands across the floor toward the front leg and you will feel more stretch on the outside of your thigh on the other side. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Return to the starting position. Repeat 3 times. Reverse the positions of your legs and repeat.

2. Do you have any pre-race rituals?
LOL! I have OCD so pre-race rituals are standard (except my recent Founders Day 10k when I went completely against the grain...) Pasta dinner, epsom salt bath before bed, foam roll & stretches, to bed early, up earlier still, pb & banana on a slice of wheat toast, stretches, pee 5,345,856,238,483,951 times pre-race. :)

3. What motivates you to run?
Running completes me. It makes me a happier more positive person, it helps burn up some of this excess energy I have, it keeps me in shape and healthy, I have made so many amazing friends through running and I have become a bit of an inspiration to family and friends.

4. When did you start running?
I ran my first 5k July 4th 2008 and that's when the running bug bit. I was hooked after that.

5. Running shoe of choice?
I'm in a committed relationship with my Asics GT-2140's

6. Best advice received?
To run your first marathon for YOU. No ambitious time goal, just to finish. The enjoy the experience. So that is exactly what I did and I had the best time ever. I heart Chicago Marathon. :)

7. What do you think about when running?
More like what don't I think about!? I have a slight case of A.D.D. so sometimes I'll be coming up with ways to end world hunger and then a butterfly will pass in front of me and I'll start singing "Reading Rainbow"

8. What is something you cannot run without?
Besides the obvious, I don't leave home without my wrist rockers because I sweat something fierce down here in Florida.

9. What race distance is your favorite?
I did a 10 miler race in the beginning of the year and it was perfect. You hit the double digits so there was a huge sense of accomplishment without the total @ss kicking of the higher miles. I also really love 10k's I've yet to have a bad experience running one.

10. Most outrageous running story you've heard or experienced?
Being addicted to the blogging world I've read all kinds of crazy running stories but I think the most outrageous I've ever experienced will probably happen this weekend during the Ragnar Relay, so stay tuned for the recap! :) [I say: Check out Leg 1, Leg 2, and Leg 3 for some extreme laughs]

Check out Morgan's running adventures at CAUTION: Redhead Running

A Little Awesome-ness

How sweet is this GoLite tote?
Do you want to win it?
Tall Mom Mel is giving it away on her blog.
(But don't enter the giveaway too much, because I want this bag! Heh heh!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Running Vampire Bite

No, it's not a hickey, or one of those pesky Running Vampire bites (because there are a lot of vampires here in the Northwest)'s a blister from my running vest. Ouch! I wanted to put a really cute Hello Kitty band-aid on it, but my coworker nixed the idea as "juvenile" and "silly." Oh well. Apparently I will be using Body Glide on my neck for the race on Sunday. :)
Today I purchased a new Nike running cap so that Trav can spot me easier amongst the half marathon craziness. It's white and a bright raspberry color. I originally purchased this top:

But it was vetoed by the hubby as being too pricey (even after the near hyperthermia I experienced after running Sunday). Bummer. So, it's officially on my wishlist for Christmas (*hint*hint* Trav!). It is such an awesome coworker said I would match a road cone. Woohoo! See how wicked cool I'd look? (Yeah, I'm the Headless Horseman).

Yowza! That's bright!

Anyway, yesterday was a lifting/stretching day according to training. Today is just a little 3-4 miler. I'm ready!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Like a True Washingtonian

...I ran in the pouring rain with Kerrie this morning! We met at 7am near the Cedar River Trail and we were the crazy ones going for a long run in the rain. Ah yes, in true Seattle style! So far, the 11 miler this morning is my longest run to date...and I have Kerrie to thank for keeping me motivated. Afterward, my body was like "um, that was harsh and I'm freezing," BUT the time seriously flew by. Sweetness!

We stopped briefly at Lake Washington to take a little breather before turning back, and Kerrie took our picture. Thank goodness for hats!It was seriously freezing outside, and the rain just did not let up once. The trail was nearly washed out when it was right next to the river, and it reminded me a lot of my Rome adventures. We saw some ducks, and one was contemplating running with us, but I think he was too fast, so we gracefully declined. He gave as a knowing "quack" and went for a swim instead. I wouldn't have gone in that off.

Towards the end of the run, we ran into another blogger that was in town for the weekend...yes, we're crazy runners that gravitate towards each other! L.B. was a few miles into his 18-miler for the day, and as a native of California, I'm sure this weather was a new experience for him. :) It was fun running into another blogger! Seriously, running with a buddy just makes the time fly.

So, right after I was telling Kerrie about my run with Liz & Amy a few weeks ago where Amy's pants were "foaming at the knees," guess what my capris did??? Foamed! HAHAHAHAHA! It was hilarious! I've only washed those suckers once, so apparently I need to use less detergent too. (Thanks for the pictures, Kerrie!) ;)

Rockin' the foamy knees!

The total time for the run was 1:58:09, 11 miles, 10:44/mile pace. Kerrie ROCKED the end and we were cruising a 9:15 pace for a good 3/4 mile. She's faster than she thinks, folks! I do need to learn how to get mile splits from Gus (Garmin Forerunner 305). Anyone know how?

A couple things:
* I need to invest in gloves, I had perma-claw hands after the run and had to start my car with my wrists! I just couldn't get warm! When I was 7 minutes from home, I called Trav and asked him to start a bath for me...perfection.
* My blue "superhero" compression shirt is actually for hot weather, and it is designed to keep you cool. Heh. Guess that's why I couldn't get warm? Go figure.
* Peanut butter toast is now my favorite pre-run food.
* My Nathan water bottle erupts from the straw regardless what liquid I put in it. Good thing I was running two hours in the rain, or else it would look like I peed my pants. WIN.

It seriously was a lot of fun, and now I'm definitely not as nervous for next week's Half. Bring it!

[Kerrie's recap is pretty hilarious, so be sure to check it out here]

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bust a Mile

Mile Time Trial #1

Trav wanted to see how fast he could run a mile, and so him, Jeff and I were on a mission today. First stop was the local HS track...but of course the gate was locked and the sign said "Jogging Only." HA HA! The track couldn't handle some sprints! :)

We lucked out and went to the HS that Trav, Luke & I played softball at over the summer. Fortunately the security guard was waiting for a soccer game that didn't look like it was happening. He let us in and the track was all ours for 20 minutes.

It's seriously been since Sr. year of high school cross-country since I ran a mile trial. I was NERVOUS this morning! Just thinking about it made my heart pound and palms sweat. But hey, I need to do some sprints. So, I stepped on that track with my game face on.

My time was 7:17. Woo hoo!

Trav started ahead of me, but walked twice. :( Jeff ran the first lap then walked the last three...but I made him jog with me the last 200 meters. Dude...we ALL needed the inhaler, I swear! I was wheezing hardcore. *phew*

However, I felt invincible! Now, tomorrow is an 11 miler with Kerrie. Yay! Can't wait to meet her! Happy Saturday!

Sprint finish!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Acronyms & Cucumbers

Let's talk random. While on my run last night I did three things and came up with acronyms for each:
B.A.D. = Bark At Dogs
G.L.A.D. = Growl Loudly At Dogs
S.A.D. = Speed Away (from) Dogs
I'm not a dog person, and quite frankly, when I'm running I get mad at owners that let their dogs chase me (even while on a leash!) and bark at me excessively. Some dogs are in their fenced backyard and when I run past....BARK BARK BARK! So what do I do? I bark back. Hmpf. And I growl back too. Apparently, it helps with my uneasiness with dogs. I only S.A.D.'d once last night from a dog on a leash that was not being restrained by its owner. SERIOUSLY? Seriously. Oh brother. I am getting used to some dogs though, and I have proof!

Liz's parent's puppy, Tally, back in February...she's HUGE now, but I love her

Me & my puppy "nephew," Cohete (back in May)
See? I'm getting better with dogs.

OK, now onto cucumbers....
My Dad is really into forwarding every random e-mail that finds its way into his inbox, so I usually just delete them without reading (sorry, Dad!). This e-mail caught my fancy because it was interesting, plus I like cucumbers.
This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.
1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5,Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!
6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!
7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam,
creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath. The phytochemcials will kill bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean.
13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Interesting, huh? Just thought I'd share. Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Runner Profile: Meet The Shabby Princess

She refers to herself as The Shabby Princess, but really, this girl is far from shabby. A Chanel quote frames the bottom of her page, which really sums up Miss SP: "A woman should be two things: classy & fabulous." She is classy AND extremely fabulous! She's got quite a few races in the cards, but one in particular is this coming weekend--a marathon! Be sure to check out her blog and send her some excellent race vibes. :)

1. What is your favorite stretch?
I do a lot of yoga and I won't get on my yoga soapbox, but, seriously, runners, spend some time with yoga--you will thank me for it later. I love any stretch for my hip flexors--they get super sore really easily (hills, perhaps?)--anyways, a really, really deep low lunge is the best I've found, as well as this yoga pose (I don't do the arm part) Say it with me now: "oohmmmm"

2. Do you have any pre-race rituals?
I have to buy a new top/shorts/something before my race--this isn't to say I race in it (that's a general no-no to race in something brand new), but, I always buy myself a little "running treat" to get me excited--for my last race, I bought a fun pink headband to keep my gummy hair off my face! (totally buying a blue one to match my marathon outfit) Ohh! And I always have a piece of whole wheat bread with peanut or almond butter and chocolate chips as my pre race meal. The chocolate chips are of real importance. Trust this.

3. What motivates you to run?
When I first started, it was to lose weight. I then signed up for a half marathon and then the motivation was fear--honest to goodness fear--I could not make a fool of myself. As time has gone on, I've found other reasons to run--for me, for charity (I'm running a full marathon and two half marathons in 2010 for OperationJack check it out, very close to my heart). Today when I was out in the cold, dark morning just plotting along, I thought to myself how glad I am to have that time. It's like my little spiritual time. I sort things out, I de-stress and I burn some calories. It's a win-win as far as I'm concerened. And Texas sunrises are gorgeous!

4. When did you start running?
I ran in college a bit, but more recreationally. I wanted to sign up for a half marathon the summer after my freshman year, but, chickened out. I got serious about a year ago when a bunch of co-workers convinced me to sign up to run a marathon relay with them--well, the team fell apart and I didn't race, but, I did keep running.

5. Running shoe of choice?
I'm currently rocking my New Balance 769 Susan G. Komen shoes--they're hot pink and a portion of the proceeds go to Susan G. Komen. They're a good mild stability shoe--I might look into something with more motion control--on anything over 16 miles, my ankles start to get wonky, but, I love my shoes--they're light and speedy! (and pink!)

6. Best advice received?
Ohhh, that's a toughie. I like to think that I've received a lot of advice over the years, and this will sound really cliche and corny, but, it never fails: "You can do it!". Cheesy, right? Yes, but, when I was gearing up for my first 20 miler, everyone in my running group (they were running 17) kept telling me that throughout our run and even though I had 3 miles to go it alone, they're inspiring words were still ringing in my ears. I firmly believe you must have faith in yourself. If you don't believe you can do it, why should anyone else? (of course, I will say that my husband is my biggest supporter and totally belives I can do things when I'm 100% sure I cannot, so, anyways)

7. What do you think about when running?
Everything and nothing. Sometimes it's "goodness I am going to die right here on the road" other times I'm admiring the scenery and noticing new things--often times, it's "mental note: look that house up when you get home" if I see a home for sale in my neighborhood. Sometimes I try to hash out work stresses or my grocery list (weird, right?), other times I will get to mile 3 and have no idea how I got there--I just zone out. Those are my favorite runs. But, lately, on my long runs that push me to the max, it's been about Jack (via OperationJack) because I cannot let him down--so, if I get tired or grumpy I think about how lucky I am--I can run, I can do this and I need to get over myself and just run!

8. What is something you cannot run without?
Hmm, probably my iPod. Even if I don't listen to it, I always have it with me. And on anything more than 8 miles, I must have my fuel belt. I tend to get spaz-tastic if I don't know where there is water and once I get into double digits, the water fountains on the path that I run get kind of sparse and I tend to freak if I'm not fully hydrated. It's probably mostly mental, but, I don't want to mess with it.

9. What race distance is your favorite?
I love the 15k because it's such an easy breakdown: 5k, 10k then 5k to go! The 10k was my first ever race, so, when I get to 5k on a 15k race I just tell myself that I only have a 10k left, and I can totally rock that. Plus, it's a nice distance because it doesn't take up your whole day and I'm usually not too sore afterwards. But, the half is gaining on me. I hated my first half, but, that's because the course sucked, I'm a fan of double digit runs, so, I think the half marathon will be replacing the 15k very soon.

10. Most outrageous running story you've heard or experienced?
Hmmm, well, these aren't nessecarily running stories, but, I was running when they happened, does that count? My husband is a cyclist and one day when I was running with my group, he and a friend were out riding, randomly, we ended up at the same place at the same time, and he rode past me and smacked me on my booty! Scared the bajeezus out of me--and I didn't really recognize him in his sunglasses, helment and jersey. It took a minute before I realized who it was--for a minute there, it was some creepy stranger. But, now I look back on it and think it's kind of cute. Another "while I was running" story actually just happened a few days ago. I was coming back through a parking lot and there was a guy changing out of his cycling shorts and into regular shorts to get into his car--OK, I understand not wanting to drive with padded bum shorts (which are probably sweaty)--but! But! But! Use a towel--or change in the car! More than I needed to see--EVER (if ya get my drift). Pretty sure that's indescent exposure! People.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Meaning to WORKout

I'll admit, I have an exercise ball in my cubicle (it's pretty, and purple, and ROUND). Sometimes I use it to sit on instead of my ergonomically incorrect office chair, but I'll end up bouncing and balancing on the ball instead of focusing 100% on work. Or sometimes I just use it to stretch out my back (goodness, you can hear my spine sighing with relief!). I've attempted a couple cube push-ups using the ball, but there's not enough room for that. Overall, it's nice to have around, especially for the occasional "hey, let's do some sit-ups" as a break from the computer monotony. I guess it's a great stress reliever. ;)

My coworker and I started this everyday stretching routine that would get us off our butts at 2pm. Just get up and stretch! It feels amazing after sitting for long periods of time. Also, we take the stairs as much as we can instead of the elevator (and yet, they never seem to get any easier...hmmm). Even the little things at work that get you up and moving are truly worth it.

On Monday, another coworker bought an Ab-Roller and we wanted to try it out at work. Let's just say that that little contraption is evil and after only three (really tough) "rolls" I was done...and my abs are still reminding me.
As I'm on the subject of work, do any of you run during your lunch break? I know some of you do and I give you major props, by the way. Today was too good of a beautiful day to pass up an outdoor run, so I gave it a try. This will be a little long-winded (ha ha, 'winded!' Pun intended! & you'll know why). Good grief, it felt great, but I was reminded of why I hate running in downtown Seattle:
As I ran along the waterfront, there were wind gusts of up to 30mph just pushing me every which way. My hair kept whipping me in the face and I was just getting pissed. At one point I was struggling so hard going against the wind (on my return route) that after I ran behind a tree I actually fell FORWARD because the wind was keeping me upright. Don't worry, I didn't brody in front of all the noon joggers and transients...but I'm sure they were laughing. Oh, and also my nose was running and I seriously think snot was on the verge of flying out my nose (sorry, gross visual, but it's true!). I had to walk during those moments to regain composure from laughing and wiping my nose. Since there's a bajillion new construction projects going on downtown, there's "Sidewalk Closed" signs all over the place. At one point I was running across a street just as the hand was blinking and apparently a cement truck was turning onto the road I was on, led by a hardhat contractor who proceeded to yell at me "What do you think you're doing?!?!" as I crossed. I yelled back "Shut up!" because I was sick of dodging & weaving pedestrians and dogs on leashes and slow walkers and wiping my nose on my sleeve and stopping at stupid stoplights and being blown around like a ragdoll. Just get me back to my cubicle. But hey, I ran 5.06 miles in 43:34...even after numerous walking stints and stoplights! (Dude, I must've been flying for a couple minutes!) To top it off, Gus decided that he didn't feel like finding a satellite today; he's a little picky lately. Stubborn Gus. So I opted for my good 'ol Trailguru iPhone app. Oh well.
At least I got my run on.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Runner Profile: Meet Kerrie

Kerrie is a lucky gal: she gets to run with that little cutie in the picture above (Hi T Junior!). Not only does she run while pushing a toddler/stroller/necessities, but she listens to Disney music and probably could sing every single line in any Disney Classic. You name it. Also, she's on day 121 with running! With a 10K under her belt, she's getting ready for the Seattle Half Marathon on Nov. 29th...and hopefully I'll get to meet this awesome chica in person. :)

1. What is your favorite stretch?
The calf stretch feels sooooo good.

2. Do you have any pre-race rituals?
I've only been in one race since my return to running, but I predict my ritual is going to have to do with long lines and Honey Buckets.

3. What motivates you to run?
When I got back into running in July, there were two motivating factors: continue to heal my herniated disc through exercise and to have a new adventure. These days, I rarely feel any back pain, which is a HUGE improvement considering I could barely walk in May. And, I'm definitely having my adventure. But now, I think my biggest motivation is having my blog to hold me accountable, plus all the encouragement and commiseration I receive from my "bloggy" and "real-life" friends and family.

4. When did you start running?
My interest in running started in junior high school. I caught the bug after a 6:54 mile in PE. I must've been having a good day because I would never, ever again be that fast -- not even in my cross country days in high school.

5. Running shoe of choice?
I'm still looking for the perfect shoe, but I like my New Balance 737s. In high school, I had to have my Nike Pegasus shoes.

6. Best advice received?
My cross country coach used to make us run holding potato chips in our fingers. The point was to keep our hands loose and not break the yummy, salted slices of junk food. Yeah, most of us ate the chips by the time we were done stretching. It worked, though, because I always think of that when I run, and it keeps my hands and arms relaxed.

7. What do you think about when running?
Mostly about what I'm going to write on my blog. I can't help it, I'm a writer.

8. What is something you cannot run without?
A hat or a headband -- something to keep my hair out of my face.

9. What race distance is your favorite?
This is something I hope to find out this year. I really liked the 10K and I'll be trying out 13.1 at the end of this month.

10. Most outrageous running story you've heard or experienced?
Well, I've heard (or read, rather) a lot of great stories on this blog and all of the other running blogs I read. But my recent encounter with a buck on the trail near my house got my heart rate up. I learned (afterward, of course), that holding up antler-like branches and making loud noises with your feet is the wrong thing to do... [I say: read about that encounter here]

Check out Kerrie's running adventures at Mom vs. Marathon

Coming Up...

*Special Announcer Voice*
A hem. Please stay tuned for some new runner profiles featuring some amazing running ladies! I'm talking inspiring, hardcore, fast and dedicated...these women have it all.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Winter Pineapple Classic 5K Recap

First of all, let me say that I had an absolute BLAST on this course and was just looking for dirt and mud and welcoming it for the race. I smiled the entire time and wasn't really thinking it actually was a race--it was just a cool morning run with three awesome friends. :) Yeah, I'm definitely signing up for it next year for sure. Oh, and BONUS: it was clear skies!
We got to the site early, so they were still setting up the tents.

It was freezing outside. The sun didn't really do much for the temperature. So Luke, Alison, Travis and I sat in Luke's huge diesel truck pre-race to stay warm and get "pumped up" by listening to random music and sipping energy drinks.

Travis drinking his "N.O. Xplode" - Alison & I - Luke doing his best "Venom Energy" impression
Alison & I pre-race...clean!
Luke & Travis pre-race

Let's just say that this race was a little on the unorganized side. Wait, just a little? Oh yeah, I mean A LOT. Even as the team captain for the Quick Pickles, I never got the e-mail with race day info...Alison got it and had to FWD it my direction. Seriously? What if no one on my team had received that important information? Really poorly executed. FAIL #1. Also, there was a lot of confusion on where the starting line formations were supposed to be. The e-mail didn't say anything about where each wave was going to meet, but luckily there was a person holding a piece of paper with our start time on a stick. Good thing that paper was neon green...

We were in the 2nd wave, starting at 9:10, and we had some interesting costumed teams in the bunch: some ninja turtles, publisher's clearinghouse people, and my favorite H1N-Run virus (they were dressed in pink with pig hats) clever is that?? They ended up running ahead of us, so Luke and I kept saying "catch those swine!" And, since Luke just got over a case of the H1N1 flu strain, I told him that he "beat it last week, now beat it again!" :) So back to the start of the wave...
When we got to the start line the announcer said that there were no timing mats and that people would have to use their own timing devices for this race. Um, WHAT?! Why did we pay $45 per person for a timed event and not have it timed? Seriously? FAIL #2. Oh, and we were also supposed to run with a whole pineapple and it had to cross the finish line with us. Ok...interesting, but that ended up being fun. [On a sidenote, running with a pineapple like a football is hard! It's prickly!]
The obstacles weren't too crazy: rope wall, tires, monkey bars, tubes, walls, yeah know. It was so much fun! While we were coming into the finish, Alison and I pulled ahead of Luke and Trav because we wanted to try and catch up to the H1N-Run ladies in pink...we tried, but to no avail. Our time according to Alison's watch was 28:59 (we walked a little with Trav when he had a side stitch). I didn't wear Gus because I thought that the event was going to be timed. There wasn't even a CLOCK at the finish line! FAIL #3.

We were tired, sweaty, muddy and I was a little bloody, but we headed to the Luau and beer garden for some grub. There was pulled pork, rice, macaroni salad and regular salad. After running a freezing race, we thought "warm food might be nice." Yeah, not warm. Cold. Ick. The food was a disappointment for sure. FAIL #4. :(
BUT, the beer garden was by donation and it featured Georgetown Brewery's finest. I'm not much of a beer fan, but it sounded appetizing, actually. My first was a pale ale, but my second was a porter (I actually like porters). Um, after running, not eating the food and drinking two beers...I was tipsy. But at least it warmed me up! WIN.

I'm not sure if John Curley ran this race or not, because I never saw him and his organization didn't have a booth like they normally do. All I can say is bummer. Next time...
Also, you can read my Racevine review here.

Overall, Team Quick Pickles raised $236 for blood cancer research! And that was the true meaning of the race. A very warmhearted thank you to the following donors for helping us reach our goal:
Amy F.
Kerrie T.
Scott & Amber


Coach Fish


Janna & Andy

Terri M.



Alvarita & Rick

Alison & I on the ride home...trying to warm up (notice my blue lips?)
My poor dirty/bruised/bloody knees.

Goals for next year:
Team shirts
Raise more $
Wear Gus
& knee pads

Friday, November 13, 2009

Alright, Diva Night!

Day 6: AM run only
...come on, I have a race tomorrow.

Last night's "Diva Night" at Fleet Feet Sports in Bonney Lake was wicked fun! I kidnapped Liz and we went on a windy road adventure to find the place. It took us about three tries, but we eventually found Fleet Feet! It was great meeting Tall Mom Mel (yes, she is tall!)--she's so much fun! Hopefully we'll get to meet up for some running soon. :)
I won a little prize from the drawing without even knowing the prizes were being given away at the time (but the room did get dead silent). Very beautiful smelling lotions. Mmmm.

The staff at Fleet Feet were super sweet and accomodating, and of course I had to support a local biz too. I got a pair of Exodus tights from Mizuno that are amazing. Going to try them out this weekend for sure!

There was this booth at Diva Night that had this gross, yellow, icky looking blob on the table. Turns out it was the equivalent to "5 Pounds of FAT." Here's Liz and I posing with said FAT:

GROSS, huh? But also pretty amazing...Liz has technically lost FIVE of these "blobs" these past few months! 25 lbs! [Damn, Liz...that's pretty wicked. ;) Love ya!]

Ok folks, it's off to bed again. Bright and early is the Winter Pineapple Classic: the race where I'm going to show John Curley who's boss...or at least attempt it...for the third time...but who's counting anyway? Heh heh. Oh yeah, I am. Bummer.
I'll leave with a pic of me and a "carb" of choice at dinner. Beer.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Non-Running Training: Elliptical!

Day 5: "rest" day

Couldn't pull myself out of bed this morning at a respectable running time, and when I did I realized my foot was a little sore. Ok then, back to bed for another miserable 30 minutes with the alarm going off every 9. Oh well. Iced the foot three times today just to give it a break and guess what? It works! Icing works! After work I used the elliptical for a good 33 minutes (because 30 was just not enough). At least I did something, right? For sure.

Tonight was the awesome event at Fleet Feet Sports in Bonney Lake, and I met Tall Mom Mel!! I'll tell you more about it tomorrow because I'm beat and I've got a pillow with my name on it. (No really, it says "Zoe")

Early AM run tomorrow: you know it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sneezing Snot Princess

Day 4; kinda sore.
(I betcha didn't know I was a poet!)
Yesterday's deadlifts made the phrase "pain in the butt" a reality today. Holy smokes. Taking the stairs at work in my lovely patent leather heels was not fun (but man, I looked cute). :D

Anyway, the AM run was a tiring one. My pace was steady, but I felt parched in the beginning and running with morning breath is the worst! My PM run was waaaaaaay better because I ran outside. Woo hoo! Oh, how I miss running outdoors! It was clear enough to do some neighborhood running, but it still was cold. My nose manages to magically turn into a faucet, and my sleeve turns into a Kleenex. I believe I am the Snot Princess when it comes to running, even in the summer. My nose hates me! But when I actually BRING Kleenex on a run, I don't need it and it just disintegrates in my clammy hands. Yuck. Overall, it was a great 3.7 miler with a good pace of 8:37. But, since I am the self-proclaimed Princess-o-Snot, I had some crazy sneezing fit that has lasted over two hours since I got home. I can't stop sneezing! What gives?

In other news, I purchased another Running Skirt the other day. I am so excited to get that envelope in the mail! is having a sale on some items (50% off?! Woot!), and so I had to get a hold of one of their athletic skirts. Since I love my navy/white skirt so much, why not? Look at how purdy that black and purple skirt'll look fantastic in my Seattle Half pictures in 2.5 weeks...

Tomorrow night I'm going to a local running store event for women only called Diva Night at Fleet Feet Sports. Liz and I are making it a girls' night! We haven't had the chance to hang out in a while, so I'm giddy. OH! and I get to meet Tall Mom, Mel! It should be a blast.
Bring it, Day 5.

**Team Quick Pickles Update: $150 raised, only $50 to go.**


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