6 miles, 55:29, 9:15 pace.

DO YOU SEE THE SWEAT?

Yorba Linda’s El Cajon Trail has been very kind to me. Not to mention that the scenery is… interesting. Have YOU ever seen three women being pulled in mini, single-seater rickshaws by their mini horses? YEAH, didn’t think so.

Yay for actually getting 14 training miles in over these last three mornings! I didn’t know if I would actually do all those runs… but I want this marathon badly enough, so I did.

GPOYW: Hangin’ with Granddad edition.

My granddad’s memorial service tonight was lovely. My dad delivered a powerful eulogy that really reflected on what a kindhearted, loving and talented man my granddad was. He cared for his family more than anything. Good stuff.

Sadly, though, my dad no longer rocks that epic mustache.

4 miles with a side of palm trees.

I’m in Yorba Linda, California, for my granddad’s memorial service. I’ve got three runs on my schedule while I’m here, so I’m good for one of three at least.

Everybody I ran by this morning smiled and said hi to me! We all just kind of ignore each other in Seattle. Gotta live up to that grunge reputation, you know?

Going the distance

Before I say this, I’ll acknowledge that I know this is stupid and I have since corrected my attitude.

Here it is:

After my race on Sunday, I just didn’t feel the pride I used to feel when I ran a 5K. Back when 5K was the farthest distance I raced, it felt like an epic feat and it left me drained/in nap mode for the rest of the day.

Now, it seems like just another 3 miles. Just another 5K.

Never mind that I ran this race 1:21 faster than I’ve ever run a 5K before, or that I shaved 8:28 off my very first 5K time. I should be proud that I’m even freakin’ out there running, considering where I was a year and a half ago (not freakin’ out there running).

Many people will never run a 5K, so the distance is nothing to sneeze at. Many runners will never race farther than a 5K, and that’s totally fine. I don’t mean to belittle it at all.

But I live for challenges, and this race just made me realize that pushing for new PRs isn’t what I really want to do. What I really want to do is run my marathon. What I really want to do is longer triathlons. A half Ironman. An Ironman.

I really want to keep challenging myself with new events and distances.

And what made me proud about Sunday, on top of that 5K, was that I actually did what I planned to do and ran 10 miles afterward to complete the 13 miles on my training plan.

(Please note that after the same 5K last year, I ate a delicious, greasy lunch, drank a mimosa and then slipped into a restful coma.)

Runners constantly grow and change and become challenged by different things. What challenged me a year ago is now just a warmup. What was outright impossible a year ago is now just another day of marathon training.

I like this about running — that it’s easy to see how far you’ve come and to imagine how far you can go.

Oh, the possibilities.

Fremont Oktoberfest 5K success!

New PR: 25:04 (8:04 pace)

13/244 F18-29

21/500 females

118/844 overall

And I chicked a few guys at the finish line. : D

I couldn’t find Courtney before the race (but saw her after!), so I snapped this sweet self-pic as I waited to start. The only thing cooler than racing by yourself is taking pictures of yourself racing by yourself!

There’s another self-pic I took at mile 2.5 that really captures how this race went. The file name on my computer is “Dying.jpg.”

You’ll see it, along with my full recap, tomorrow.

Congrats to all the Tumblrites who killed races this weekend! That means you, Robin, Rach, Liz, Rob, Tana, Levi and others! WOOOOO!

Speedy three and a special anniversary

Thank you guys so much for your nice comments and messages about my granddad. They all made me smile. : )

Tonight was great. I ran a quick three miles and hit the gym for my first strength-training session in two weeks! I gave myself a free pass to skip strength-training the week of the half-marathon and triathlon, and then last week I was just lazy.

It felt good to hit the free weights again. I was the only girl curling fifteens! Actually, I was the only girl using the free weights. Actually, I was the only girl not on the elliptical.

Not that there’s anything wrong with the elliptical. It’s just never done anything for me.

I was happy with my run because I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary of running — yes, it’s only been ONE YEAR! — and I’m thinking about running the 5K that started it all. It’s the Fremont Oktoberfest Brew HA-HA 5K on Sunday.

I ran it last year in 33:32 (10:49 pace).

Yes, my shirt says “This Girl Can Party.” I look incredibly jolly here, but I can assure you I was DYING.

Compare that to tonight’s run:

Which — dare I say it, lest I jinx things and look like an idiot on Sunday — I did not run at race pace. I could probably run a bit faster and smoke my PR (26:25, set in February). It would just be cool to officially see how far I’ve come in a year, you know?

Oh, and then I would go run 10 miles to complete the 13 miles I have on my marathon training plan. So that would be different from last year as well. : )

I haven’t signed up for the race yet. It would be my first all-alone race. My parents are out of town, and I wouldn’t drag my friends out that early on a Sunday just to watch me run a distance I’ve already completed six times before.

Oh, well. Big girls run 5Ks by themselves, right? I can do it.

EDIT: I won’t be all alone because Courtney is running this 5K, too! WOO-HOO!

6 miles for Granddad Mills

My sweet granddad passed away very early this morning.

I woke up to a text message that relayed the news. I had known that message would be coming at any moment. Luckily, my uncle alerted us yesterday that his time was near, and I was able to say my goodbyes to him over the phone as he slept peacefully. Who knows if he actually heard me, but I like to believe that he did.

So this morning, I cried in my bed. I cried in the shower. I even cried a little at my desk, when no one at work could see my crumpled face. I was a very sad girl all day.

The six-mile run on my marathon training plan was just about the last thing I wanted to do tonight. I intended, instead, on crawling into bed and attempting to sleep for about three days straight.

But when I got off the bus and walked the few blocks back to my house, I realized what a beautiful evening it was, and thought that maybe a good run would make me feel better. A few minutes later, I quickly changed into my running clothes, grabbed my fuel belt and slammed a chocolate Clif Shot before I could change my mind.

You guys, this run was one of the best I’ve had in a long time.

Although I started out feeling sluggish, my pace picked up… and up… and up… and I achieved negative splits for each mile. It was one of those super-sweaty, soul-cleansing runs.

I thought about the choice I had made. One of my options was to mourn my granddad’s death by crawling into bed and crying, which would have made me feel very sad and small. The other option was to throw down six miles in celebration of his life, which made me feel strong and happy.

I’m very glad I chose to be strong and happy.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s perfectly fine to mourn, and I’ve spent my fair share of time feeling sick with sadness as I watched my granddad’s health decline over the past few years. I’m sad as I write this, and I’ll be sad about his passing for a long time.

But while his life ended this morning, mine goes on. He would want me to enjoy living it.

My granddad rocked his time on this planet for 92 years. I intend to keep on rocking mine in honor of him.