Flashback Friday: What Aaron looked like with 40 extra pounds.

2005: 215 pounds / size 38 waist / 19 years old

2013: 175 pounds / size 32 waist / 27 years old

I’ve only ever known Aaron to be the size he is now, so it’s fascinating for me to see photos of him when he was heavier (and when he wore saggy jeans and a goatee!).

Before I got to know him very well, I assumed he was one of those naturally skinny people. But then I realized that he actually works really, really hard in order to stay in shape. He’s very careful about what he eats and has a ridiculous, unwavering dedication to cycling.

I’ve come to realize that’s true for most “naturally skinny” people. Nothing comes for free.

I can recognize Aaron’s face in that old photo, but not much else. He really is a different person now.

Still loves his dad, though.

Marathon recovery (and Nuun giveaway!!!)

My legs may have hurt more than they’ve ever hurt before in the last 6.2 miles of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon, but I’m so happy with how quickly they recovered afterward!

I took three full days off from exercise, used my foam roller and stick each day, and seriously hydrated with Nuun and water — I couldn’t get enough to satiate my post-marathon thirst!

Yesterday, my legs felt completely normal again, which seems like a miracle since I think I couldn’t walk normally for a week after my first marathon. I even felt good enough to go for an easy two-mile recovery run last night…


…which felt great!

I’m excited to continue easing slowly back into running as I begin to train for the Chicago Marathon. I’ve given a lot of thought to how I’ll change my training this time around to become a better runner and avoid making the same mistake I made at RnR Seattle. More on that soon!


I’ve used and blogged about Nuun Active Hydration tablets for years. Aaron and I keep a drawer embarrassingly full of it at all times to aid our athletic pursuits.


I carried Nuun in my fuel belt during my first marathon in December 2011, and also drank it like crazy throughout my training, the race itself, and recovery this time around.

Here are the top three things I love about Nuun:

1. IT’S LIGHT: At one marathon aid station, I made the mistake of grabbing a cup full of Gatorade, and I nearly gagged when I took a sip! It tasted so sugary, artificial, and gross. I had to throw it away, and made sure to stick with the Nuun I had in my fuel belt and grab only water at the rest of the aid stations.

I also love being able to drink as much Nuun as I want to pre-hydrate (is that a thing?) before races and to rehydrate afterward because it’s packed with electrolytes, yet contains zero sugar and only 8 calories per tablet.

2. IT’S PORTABLE: It’s so easy to throw a tube of Nuun into my gear bag for a race and keep one in my purse for any other time I want to boost my water. For long runs, I fill my fuel-belt bottles with Nuun, and put extra tablets in a plastic baggie so I can refill and re-Nuun my bottles throughout the run. For those double-digit runs, there’s nothing better!

3. IT’S TASTY: I’m currently obsessed with the WATERMELON flavor! Since I’m on Team Watermelon for Hood to Coast, I bought a four-pack to try and wound up loving it so much that I used it during the marathon. It tastes juicy somehow — absolutely perfect for summer! My other faves are Strawberry Lemonade and Fruit Punch. I’m one of those people who always gravitates toward red and pink flavors of things. 🙂


There are a few ways to enter; choose one or all:

1. Reply to this post/leave a comment (via Tumblr or Disqus) telling me how you like to recover after a race (ice bath? long nap? beer?), and/or which flavor of Nuun you’d choose if you win.

2. “Like” this post (Tumblr only).

3. Reblog this post (Tumblr only).

Obviously there’s an advantage for Tumblr users here, but I gotta show love to my Tumblrs. You can always create a Tumblr if you want those extra chances. 🙂

Be sure to enter by 7 p.m. PST on Monday, July 1! I’ll announce a random winner on Tuesday. The winner must be able to provide a U.S. address for shipping.

Psst… if you want to get some Nuun, like, yesterday, you can use the discount code hydrateHTC to get 15% off Nuun products at shop.nuun.com through the end of September. This code is valid on all purchases, so you can use it more than once!

Prize sponsored by Nuun. No compensation was provided to me, and all Nuun-pinions are my own.

2013 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon Recap

Saturday began with my alarm at 3:40 a.m. I washed my face, put on sunscreen, ate a Paleo pancake topped with almond butter for breakfast, applied my PaceTat and a Nuun tattoo, and got dressed.


I thought the PaceTat was going to be my ticket to glory, but instead, I think it was part of my downfall. But I’ll get to that in a bit.

My future mother-in-law, Greta, arrived at 5:00 to pick me up, but I wasn’t ready until 5:15 because I was busy triple-checking that I had everything. And then we were off!

It took us only about 15 minutes to reach Seattle Center and park in the Mercer Street garage, thanks to the fact that I paid $40 for an InTune upgrade, which included a reserved parking spot right next to the finish line. There was no traffic. No jockeying for a parking spot. No running on the freeway to the start line. WIN WIN WIN.

The upgrade also gave us access to a special pre-race area, which included private porta-potties with hand-washing stations, private gear check, and warm, indoor seating with water, coffee, bagels and bananas. $40 well spent, in my opinion!



Greta and I arrived at the upgrade area around 5:45 and hung out there until 6:50 or so. It was great to be able to relax and chat with her! I drank lots of water, ate a Clif bar, and mayyyybe a banana? I honestly can’t remember.

Right before we headed to the start line, I applied another layer of sunscreen, used the porta-potties, and snapped a pic with Greta and the Space Needle peeking out from behind the trees.


One last pic before go time!


I wrote “I LOVE YOU, MOM” on my bib because my mom was so, so, so disappointed she couldn’t come to the race (treatment + race spectating = no bueno), and I wanted to let her know that she was still there with me in a way, through every step of every mile. This one was for you, Mommio.

The race had already started by the time I made my way to the corrals, but I was assigned to corral 11 (technically 12, but I bumped up at the expo) and had plenty of time to get to it. I noticed that the 3:55 pacer was in corral 10, so I actually jumped in there, even though I didn’t plan to keep up with the pacer.

And then we were off!


In the first mile, I actually had a little side stitch (whaaaaat) and had to pee a little, but I knew that feeling would go away. Sure enough, that first mile was 9:00 even — right on my goal pace — and I soon felt just fine.

Just after the mile two marker, we passed the Nuun headquarters! They had their own Nuun hydration station and were blasting fun music, but I didn’t pull over because I already had two bottles full of watermelon Nuun in my fuel belt. I’ll see all the Nuunies in August for Hood to Coast anyway!

I don’t have much to say about the rest of the miles through mile eight, since I just kept a steady pace and felt good.


Although, in hindsight, it’s clear that I was going too fast. Like, 10 seconds per mile too fast. I should have been running 9:00 miles at the fastest, and probably more like 9:05 to 9:10 miles to be safe and save my legs for the toughest miles later on.

But I was a little too addicted to checking the PaceTat every mile to see how I was doing based on my 3:55 goal, and every time, I was thrilled to see that I was ahead of the pace I needed to be running. Even though I knew I should slow down, and told myself I should, I just kept on going. Sighhhh.

We split off from the half-marathoners just after mile six, and headed down Lake Washington Boulevard toward Seward Park while the half runners headed the opposite way toward I-90. The course got a lot less crowded at this point, since there were about 12,400 half-marathoners and only 2,350 marathoners. This was both nice (less weaving around slower runners!) and not nice (fewer people = less energy to feed off of).

I saw my dad right at the mile eight marker, just before entering Seward Park. Hiiiii, Dad!


I yelled, “I’m right on pace!” I believe that is known as hubris — excessive ambition or self-confidence, ultimately causing ruin.


Nice pictures though, right? My dad did a great job! The weather was spectacular and the views of Lake Washington were amaaazing.

Miles nine through 11 around Seward Park were quiet and uneventful. I started to feel very minor, creaky pain in my right hip and knee, which I decided to pretend did not exist.


I saw my dad again right around mile 11 as we headed away from Seward Park and toward I-90!


You can see in this photo that I’m absolutely soaking wet, as I was for most of the race, since I started dumping water over my head at every aid station starting at mile 4.5 or so. It was getting HOT.


Thank goodness I Body Glide-d like a boss beforehand. Nothing chafes like soaking wet clothes!

I could see the I-90 bridge in the distance, and knew I had to get through mile 15 before I’d even start running across it… and then running back. It looked sooooo far away and sooooo long. I actually thought, “Well, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.” Literally.

I crossed the 13.1-mile timing mat in 1:56:19 (my half PR is 1:55:22, so… yeah) and felt good through mile 14.


At mile 14.5, I realized I had accidentally missed taking a Clif Shot at mile 13.5. I had taken my first two shots at miles 4.5 and 9, then totally fell off my plan of taking one every 4.5 miles. So I ate it, but a mile late!

I remember checking the PaceTat here and seeing I was more than a full minute ahead of my goal pace.

There was a pretty steep incline up and around a corner to get to I-90, but I kept powering up, refusing to walk. (Now knowing what happened later: Sighhhh.)

Miles 15 through 17 were the first miles I slowed down past 9:00 pace. It was cool to run across the I-90 bridge at first — beautiful views of Lake Washington, Bellevue, and Mercer Island! — but it got old really quickly. There was no shade and no spectator support, and the freeway felt harder on my legs than the roads we had been running on (although this was probably more due to already having run double-digit miles at sub-9:00 pace).


Eff this part of the course. Seriously. It is the sole reason why I would not run this race again.


Mile 18 went uphill, and that’s when things started going seriously downhill (see what I did there?). Lots of other runners started walking, my legs started hurting, and I really slowed down.

I thought the turnaround at the mile 18 marker would lift my spirits, but instead I just thought about how I still had three more miles to go before I’d be off the bridge. Mile 19 was stupid-fast because I promised myself that once I reached the mile 20 marker, I could take a walk break.


8:10. Stupid. Fast.

And then… ruin.


My legs were absolutely shot. My hips, my knees, my calves, and particularly my quads were shredded. Once I took a walk break, I realized it didn’t feel much better than running, but it was sort of a nice mental break. Of course, I thought I would only take one walk break and then keep running, but once I started walking, running seemed to hurt more and more.

I’d start running again and promise myself I wouldn’t walk again until I reached a water station, but then I’d see other people walking, realize no spectators were around to judge me anyway, and then walk. I think I ate a Clif Shot during mile 20.

3:55 slipped away pretty quickly. 4:00 was still in sight if I could run much more than I walked, but then my leg muscles started to feel like they were on the verge of cramping, so I stopped to stretch a few times and just stopped caring about my time.

I got very frustrated with myself and said a lot of F-words under my breath. I couldn’t believe everything went so well for the first 19 miles, and then completely fell apart — although looking back, it’s so obvious that I did this to myself by going out too fast!

There were plenty of medics on the bridge, and I did think about how easy it would be to stop and ask for a ride to the finish line. I never seriously considered it, but the fact that quitting even crossed my mind makes me sad.

(However, I’ve now read Skinny Runner’s recap of this race — she ran it as her 50th marathon — and don’t feel as bad now that I see she really struggled with the bridge, too. Even through struggling for her means finishing in 3:21, it still makes me feel better to know it wasn’t just me.)

I don’t know how I kept moving forward, other than through pure stubbornness. Even when I was done with the bridge, we still stayed on the freeway, which continued to be desolate and spectator-less. The marathon course rejoined the half-marathon course, and by that time, the half-marathon lane was filled with all walkers.


Walk walk walk. These miles felt like they took soooo much longer than they actually did.

I finally got off of I-90 in mile 24, regained some spectator support, and found the strength to run much more. Yayyy!


I even got a happy, strong-looking photo out of this mile!

And then right at the mile 24 marker, the course took a steep downhill turn onto Seneca Street, and my left IT band seized up when I tried to run down it. NOOOO!

Mile 25 was the worst by far. It sucked in every possible way. I ate half a Clif Shot, thinking it might help give me a burst of energy, and then put the rest of it back in my fuel belt in disgust.


Then I hit the mile 25 marker and somehow just ignored the pain and the misery and ran the whole damn mile 26 at my original goal pace. UM, WHAT?


I wish I had found that strength earlier, but I’m glad I did at the very end, at least!

The last stretch from the mile 26 marker to the finish line was up a bitch of an incline. I believe I stopped for a moment to walk and muttered something like, “You’ve got to be effing kidding me,” and then powered on up.

Not smiling through the finish chute. So much effort!

My dad caught a nice robot-like action shot of me crossing the first of the two finish-line mats! Notice how my soaking-wet ponytail ratted itself out throughout the race, ha!




Official chip time: 4:08:30 — 9:29 pace

I have never been so happy to be done with something in my life. I’ve been really lucky in that every single race I’ve run has gone really well, up until this one. Those last several miles sucked so much, but they also reminded me that the marathon is truly a physical and mental beast, and that just finishing one is a big, big deal.

I was disappointed that I made the rookie mistake of going out too fast and flaming out, disappointed that I walked so much, and disappointed that I missed my A and B goals when I knew I had them both in me. Truth be told, I was disappointed about this race up until right now, as I finish writing this recap.

But after going over this race in excruciating detail (sorry about that), I see what everyone else sees: that I made a mistake, yes, but that I ran an incredibly strong race most of the way through, never gave up, finished strong, and PR’d by almost six minutes. So fuck yeah!

Thank goodness for post-race massages.


And for my dad and Greta, who woke up ridiculously early, drove me around, took photos, waited for hours on end, and cheered me on from start to finish.


And for my mom and her fiance, Don, who cheered me on from home and let me know in so many ways they were proud of me; and for Aaron, who live-tracked me from Scotland! (He flew home on Sunday, and we ate lots and lots of food with my dad to celebrate!)


And thank goodness for the ability to take one not-ideal marathon and use it as fuel for the fire to kick all kinds of ass at the next one.


I’m looking at you, Chicago!!!

Marathon pre-cap

I am so, so, so happy to be sitting on my couch right now. Hopefully I will be very soon napping on this couch.

My legs hurt like they’ve never hurt before.

I’m two for two on spending time in the medical tent after a marathon. Luckily, this time I wasn’t dehydrated and vomiting nonstop, but just in a lot of leg pain. There was a medical tent right after the finish line and even before I could get my medal I saw the nice, comfy cots and was like I WANT TO GO TO THERE.

A nice medical dude grabbed a medal for me and delivered it to me on my cot. Now THAT’S service!

After resting for a smidge and getting my blood pressure, heart rate, and temp taken (all great), someone mentioned that they could take me in a wheelchair to another medical tent to have a free sports massage. SO MUCH YES!

I was able to borrow a phone to call my awesome spectators — my dad and future MIL Greta — and have them meet me there. They patiently waited as I received a heavenly back, leg, and foot massage, and then we finally got to celebrate.


More pics to come in my full recap when I can get them from my Dad and Greta. This is just a mini pre-cap before the obnoxiously exhaustive recap!

My official race stats are funny. The last timing mat I ran over on the course clocked me as reaching the 20-mile mark in 3:00:12, which is 9:01 pace. I was sooooo on track to go sub 4:00 if I could have kept it up for the last 10K!


So I’m really proud of that. But I’m also REALLY proud of my six-minute PR, because I honestly thought PRing was out of the question once I started walking so much.

I won’t lie — at first I was upset (lots of F-bombs) when I started walking, both because I have never been so physically and mentally broken down in a race before, and because I honestly thought, “I’m going to let down my Tumblr peeps!” Y’all believed in me so much to go sub-4:00, and even hit 3:55. But that just makes me want to work even harder for Chicago.

I knew my dad and Greta would be worried when they didn’t see me come in at 3:55 or 4:00 or for several more minutes after that. Apparently my dad said something like, “What if she stopped at a medical tent somewhere along the course? We’d have no way of knowing.”

And Greta’s reply was, “Nope. She won’t stop.”

Nope. She won’t.


Holy shitballs, that was hard!

I was right on pace for 3:55 through mile 19, and then my legs just hurt soooo badly!

20-26.2 were kind of a nightmare of walking, running, hurting, stopping to stretch, dumping water over my head, and just not caring about my time anymore. I even considered quitting at several points.

Somehow I slogged on and then ran the entire last mile and 0.2 to cross the line in 4:08:30.

I’m like 1% disappointed and 99% ecstatic to have finished and PR’d!

Pics and full recap to come. Now, FOOD.

All there’s left to do is run

Flat Devon is ready!


Real Devon is trying not to poop her pants!

My dad asked me what I’d be wearing so he could spot me. THAT!

My mom asked me what my race number was so she could track me. THAT! (12053)

I actually don’t know if live tracking will be available online, but it was for San Diego Rock ‘n Roll several weeks ago when I decided to stalk my friend’s little sister during her first marathon.

Let’s see, how about some GOALS?

A goal: 3:55

B goal: 3:59:59

C goal: PR (sub-4:15:10)

D goal: Finish with a smile!

I’ve got the smile part down already.


Totes wore that to work today, just in case any of my co-workers somehow didn’t know I’M RUNNING A MARATHON TOMORROW or they already knew and WANTED TO BE REMINDED.

Sorry so CAPS-LOCK-Y. I’m too excited.

Thank you for all of your good-luck messages and tweets and such. Thanks to my friends and family for the Facebook posts and texts and phone calls! ❤

The training was the hard work. The race is the CELEBRATION.


Sometimes you don’t get a choice

I honestly can’t remember the last time it rained in Seattle, but tonight it was POURING.

I believe the sky may be crying because rumor has it that Kim and Kanye named their baby North West, and the real Northwest is all like, “What is my life even?!?”

Anyway, I wasn’t too stoked to do my very last marathon training run in the rain. It’s only two miles… would it even matter if I skipped it? Probably not, but that’s not how I roll.

Throughout my training for this race, I’ve had times when I needed to run eight miles on a weeknight but wanted to bail at five… when I got a side stitch and wanted to stop running until it went away… when I really didn’t want to do that tenth hill repeat… when I wanted do anything but run in the wind and rain.

But every single time, I thought this: Sometimes you don’t get a choice. Push through the pain now. Get stronger. And when you’re stronger, you’ll be able to push through the exhaustion, the side stitch, the hill, and the weather when you’re running that marathon — when there is no other choice but to keep moving forward.

Make the tough choice now. Thank yourself later.

OK, so running two miles in the rain is not that tough. But I’m proud of myself for doing this run, even if it ultimately has zero influence on how I run on Saturday.

For one thing, I got mentally stronger. And for another, it was so exquisitely peaceful. I ran later than usual because I spent the early evening at the expo, so the normal rush hour traffic had subsided by the time I got home. The usual Green Lake crowd of runners and walkers was nowhere to be found due to the weather. I had 18 minutes to myself to reflect on these past 18 weeks of training and envision myself running the marathon just as smooth and strong as I was running right then. It was more than a run; it was a meditation.

I have worked hard. I have exceeded my expectations. I am in the best shape of my life. I am strong. I am ready.

Let’s run the shit out of this.

A running thing and a not-running thing

Tonight: Two miles!

I took it easy for my last run before my last run.

Tomorrow, I’ll hit up the expo to pick up my race shirt and number and shiz, and I’m also going to try to move up to the 3:55 corral. I originally gave 4:00 as my estimated finish time, but I’ma dream big. Then I’ll do my last easy two-miler before the big day. Feeling good!

I want to share a blog post that really affected me when I read it on my bus ride home and had me thinking all evening long. It’s a fairly short read, so I hope you’ll click over and give it a shot. Maybe it’ll get you thinking, too:

Be Kind To Your Parallels

The heavy truth is that we are only here for a short time. We arrive in this world and find quickly that love is better than hate; happy is better than sad and together is better than alone. We pass through on timelines parallel to one another, some shorter than others, some barely overlapping. And then, poof — we’re just as gone as when we started. 

Of all the times in all of the cities in all of human history we are here with each other. Even strangers are familiar in part — we’re all here dealing with the same shit, trying to make sense of it all … We might find that, just by being at the same time and place, we bear the responsibility of showing kindness toward one another, and that we, because of this, belong to each other in the quixotic sense.

The whole story is much better than just those pieces I pulled.

It got me thinking about how we’re all desperate to learn about other people’s lives (what are Facebook and Twitter and blogs, really?), yet we’re all much more comfortable doing this face-to-screen than face-to-face for some reason.

It got me thinking about how I see a lot of the same people on the bus each day, but have never spoken to any of them more than an “excuse me” or “thanks” mumbled under my breath. It got me thinking about who they really are, and what we could be talking about if we all weren’t glued to our phones and if it wasn’t considered weird to chat with complete strangers while commuting.

It got me thinking about how most people are good, and that I shouldn’t be so suspicious of strangers, or retract like a turtle into its shell when — gasp! — one tries to strike up a friendly conversation with me.

It got me thinking about how I share my life so openly online in writing, but don’t share nearly as much with friends and co-workers through conversation.

It got me thinking about how important it is to be kind and friendly, to be a lady or a gentleman, to be polite even when other people aren’t, to be helpful and compassionate, to be a gracious loser and an even more gracious winner, to encourage others, and to try to make your mother proud, even if she’s not there to see what you’ve said or done.

It made me want to change how I do things, to be friendlier and more open to people in general.

On my run, I found myself noticing other people who were out and about. I wondered what their names were and what their lives were like. I purposefully met the eyes of another runner and smiled, and he smiled back. I usually try my hardest to ignore everyone and practically pretend like they don’t exist. Why is that?

Anyway. Those are just some of the things I’ve thought about because of that post. Please do let me know what it makes you think about.