Wednesday morning sweat: CHECK!


I’ve been MIA from the ol’ blog lately, but only because I’ve been busy vacationing with Aaron’s family, running (except for those 7-mile and 14-mile runs I skipped while on vacation; whoops!), and hanging on every *most dramatic episode ever* of The Bachelorette.

Did you see part one of the finale on Monday?? Shit got real.

Anyway, I’ll do a catch-up post soon. For now I’m just saying hi and showing you my sweat.

– I’m having a good hair day.

– I’m having a relatively good outfit day. Anything that’s not a t-shirt is a big win.

– I ran four easy miles this morning (9:10 pace). Life still sucks from the moment I wake up to the moment I step out the front door to run, but then it’s glorious.

– Today is my last day of work this week, and then I’m on vacaaaaaation!!!

– In attempting to eat the fresh contents of our fridge before we leave tomorrow, I ate approximately my body weight in watermelon this morning. I’m not mad.

– For anyone who watched “The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All” last night: If Juan Pablo is not the next Bachelor, I will consider it a national tragedy.

That’s all for now.

Chicago Marathon Training: Week 6

Apparently moving my weekday runs to the morning has caused my run-blogging to fall off the map. I used to run after work, then blog about my run while I ate dinner. Now, by the time I would sit down to blog in the evening, my morning run feels like it was a bazillion years ago and who cares anyway?

For those who do care, here’s what went down this week, starting where I left off:


Five-mile easy run. I decided to try running without eating anything first, since I’m too impatient to eat a Larabar and then let it digest before running.

‘Twas fine. I think I can go without eating until I get up to seven or eight miles in the morning. We’ll see!


Three miles of speedwork that wound up being not super-speedy since I tried out some new shoes!

I’ve had these highlighter-yellow Saucony Kinvara 4s sitting around for a few months. Remember when the Kinvara 4s were released on May 1 and a million running bloggers reviewed them and raved about them? Was it just me who was immediately influenced to buy them? Well played, Saucony.

I didn’t want to test them while training for RnR Seattle, lest I tragically injure myself going from the 12 mm drop of the Brooks Ghost 6 to the 4 mm drop of the Kinvara 4, so I waited until Thursday to take them for a spin. 

I didn’t program my watch for intervals because I didn’t want to feel too tied to a speed workout if the shoes felt off, but I did a half-mile warmup, and then alternated 400 m of speedy running with 400 m of recovery, plus a half-mile cooldown.

I ran a bit conservatively, just in case, but the shoes felt good! I can’t give ’em a full review after just one short run, but I’ll keep them around for speedier runs and apprise you of any Kinvara revelations I experience.


Rest day! I went straight to my mom’s house after work and spent the night there, since I haven’t seen her in way too many weeks. I’m happy to report that she had her LAST chemo treatment about three weeks ago and is doing really well — WOO-HOO!!! I saved my marathon bib for her and was able to give it to her this weekend. 🙂


My mom, her fiance Don, and I got up early to get to the Maltby Cafe at 6:55 a.m. It opens at 7:00, and yes, there were other people walking in along with us. Maltby is always crazy-packed for breakfast/brunch, so we beat the crowd and had huge, delicious meals in our bellies before 8 a.m. Yum.

After my food settled, I managed to drag one of my oldest friends, Carly, away from her intense studies for the Washington Bar Exam for a little run around the neighborhood. Her parents live near my mom, and she’s home for the summer, so it worked out well!

I ran just over a mile to pick her up, we ran about three miles while doing some long-overdue catching up, and I ran two miles back home. Delight!

After my run, my mom and I did a great hour-long yoga DVD together. My mom just started getting into yoga before her diagnosis six months ago, and is now able to get back into it now that she has recovered from her surgery and is done with chemo.

It’s been years since I did yoga, and I forgot how much I like it! It’s just as good for mental health as it is for physical. ‘Twas a great way to get a good post-run stretch and spend quality time with my mom. 🙂


My long run was a little shorter this week — just nine miles.

It was a little tough, probably because Aaron and I not only went to Dairy Queen on Saturday night… but THEN WE WENT TO KRISPY KREME, TOO. Shaaaaame!

It wasn’t too crazy of a situation; I had a small Blizzard, and Aaron and I split one donut. Still, I was halfway through my donut half when I was like, “We’ve got to turn our lives around…”

I think that donut half was, like, piercing my internal organs today, since I had a pesky side cramp (which I never have) plaguing me throughout this run. Lesson learned. Well, until next time.

While I was running, Aaron rode a little over 50 miles on his bike, which was apparently a “cooldown” ride after riding 110 miles with a friend yesterday.

And then we rested like normal people we went stand up paddleboarding at Green Lake!!!

One can rent all manner of non-motorized water vessels at Green Lake, and yet Aaron and I had never done this. We vowed to rent stand up paddleboards the next time we had free time on a sunny weekend day, and HEY, that was today! (No pics because we didn’t want to lose our phones to the lake).

It was so fun. Like, WHY DON’T WE DO THIS EVERY WEEKEND? fun. It was easy to stay balanced, provided a good ab/upper body workout, and was fun to experience Green Lake from the lake itself, rather than the path surrounding it.

The highlight was when Aaron and I paddled to the center of the lake and lie down on our boards for a little while, just floating peacefully and soaking up the sun. Heaven.

And then Aaron made amazing strawberry coconut-milk ice cream.

Coconut milk, eggs, honey, strawberries, vanilla, salt. So good.

Aaron’s mom loaned us her ice-cream maker. She MAY not be getting it back.

And with that, week six of Chicago Marathon training comes to a close. I’m a THIRD of the way there, people!

Make time, no matter what

After Aaron’s amazing STP finish — he biked 204 miles in just over 10 hours, NO BIG DEAL — on Saturday, we went to lunch, I dragged him to the mall (because there’s no sales tax in Oregon!), and then we relaxed with drinks while watching the end of a stage of the Tour de France at our hotel bar.

I did not know the bartender would give me an entire mini bottle of champagne with my Bellini, but I’m sure glad she did.

Later in the evening, we proceeded to a super-hip, super-delicious tapas bar called Toro Bravo in NE Portland and stayed out till ELEVEN P.M. eating things like bacon-wrapped dates and duck liver pate and molten chocolate cake.

I emphasize ELEVEN P.M. because we were both practically falling asleep on the table waiting for the bill. Aaron and I are never out that late, especially when we’ve woken up at 3:00 and 5:00 a.m., respectively. It was fun, though. I forgot that people go out and stay out on Saturday nights. Huh.

We both slept solidly until 9 a.m. on Sunday, which annihilated my plan to do my 12-mile long run early. It was the right life decision, though.

During brunch at Mother’s, we focused on putting alarming amounts of food into our bodies, since we had a 3.5-hour (turned 4.5-hour) bus ride to Seattle ahead of us.

We each had a waffle, plus we split an order of pancakes. I was somehow still hungry, so I ordered scrambled eggs, and Aaron had a massive peach crisp. Mission accomplished.

Traffic on the way to Seattle was awful, so we got home much later than planned. I set out for 12 miles anyway, because you gotta do what you gotta do.

There was a lovely sunset, and then it got totally dark and I had no lights or reflective gear, so I ran verrrrrrry carefully for the last few miles so as not to trip on the sidewalk or get hit by a car. I finished at about 9:50 p.m.

Slower first half, faster second half, and an easy pace overall. Boom.

I scratched my Monday cross-training and made it a rest/ice/elevate day, since my right foot was a bit swollen and in pain. I think my shoe was tied too tightly on my long run.

Aaron helped me wake up earrrrrrly this morning so I could do my run. I still hate hate HATE waking up early, but I did three easy miles and then felt great, of course.

It’s supposed to be 90 degrees today, so I’m happy to have gotten my run out of the way while it was still 60-something. Thanks, Aaron! This* is why I’m marrying you!

*also because you’re cute.

Tempo run (kind of, not really)

The upside of doing most of my runs slowly is that it then feels so damn good when I get to run FAST!

It’s been discouraging to see splits well over 9:00 pop up on my watch mile after mile, even though I’m doing that on purpose and it’s supposed to help me run faster for longer in the end. For a minute there, I started to believe I couldn’t run faster than that anymore.

And then yesterday’s run happened. See that 8:05 mile? That felt SO good. Dropped it like it was hot.


The only problem was that this was supposed to be a three-mile tempo run, which I mistakenly defined in my brain as, “Run one mile easy, run the second mile fast (but not all-out), run the last mile easy.”

No. That’s not it.

Hal Higdon says:

“A tempo run is a continuous run with a buildup in the middle to near 10-K race pace. Notice I said ‘near’ 10-K race pace. Coach Jack Daniels defines the peak pace for tempo runs at the pace you might run if racing flat-out for about an hour. That’s fairly fast, particularly if the tempo run is 45 minutes long, but you’re only going to be near peak pace for 3-6 minutes in the middle of the run. Here’s how to do this workout: A tempo run of 30 to 40 minutes would begin with 10-15 minutes easy running, build to peak speed during the next 10-20 minutes, then finish with 5-10 minutes easy running. The pace buildup should be gradual, not sudden, with peak speed coming about two-thirds into the workout and only for those few minutes mentioned above. You can do tempo runs almost anywhere: on the road, on trails or even on a track. Tempo runs should not be punishing. You should finish refreshed, which will happen if you don’t push the pace too hard or too long.”

Noted! I’ve changed the tempo runs on my training plan to be time-based (30 minutes, 40 minutes, etc.) rather than mileage-based, since time seems to be more important for this workout. I don’t have a perfect idea of my current 10K pace since I haven’t raced a 10K in years, but my recent 15K race pace was 8:12, so I imagine my 10K pace would be a little faster. I’ll aim to gradually speed up to 8:10-8:15 to be “near” 10K pace in my tempo runs.

Anyway! I’m 3/3 on waking up early to run this week!!! Magic, I tell you.

However, I’ve discovered a few downsides to morning running:

1. I get tired during the workday (and I don’t drink coffee, so that’s not a solution). Maybe this is just due to waking up earlier, and I’ll get used to it. I went to bed at 9:00 — aka when it was still light out — on Wednesday because I was exhausted. I usually go to bed around 10:15-10:30. I like getting 7-8 hours of sleep, but going to bed at 9:00 is not super-fun.

2. Since I’ve already run, I feel like I have license to eat treats during the day — which is fine, in moderation — but it’s not fine to indulge multiple times a day, every day. The fit of my jeans tells me I’ve gotta rein it in.

3. I feel lazy in the evenings. I’m used to spending my evenings running, then eating dinner and watching TV with Aaron. Now I’m just eating dinner and watching TV, and I’ve practically forgotten about the fact that I already ran because it feels like million years ago. I think I’ll fix this by reintroducing strength training into my routine in the evenings, likely on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Maybe it’ll just take a bit for my body and brain to adjust to this whole morning running thing, so I’ll give it another week or two before I make a decision to go back to evenings.

Are you a morning runner, an evening runner, or a midday runner? Or do you just mix it up and fit in your runs whenever you feel like running?

4, 5, 6

Today I woke up naturally at 4:58, turned off my 5:00 alarm, and went for a 6-mile run. I might be a ninja.


My entire inner monologue for 55 minutes went like this: “SLOW DOWN SLOW DOWN SLOW DOWN.” I consider an “easy” run to be like 9:10 to 9:45 pace, so this was good enough for me, even with a few too-fast middle miles.


Sunrise action.

And last night, there was rooftop action. My company hosts a monthly happy hour to welcome new hires, which I usually do not attend, but this one was on the sunny rooftop of the Hard Rock Cafe, so I actually participated and socialized for once.  


Some of my co-workers were shocked to see me with a drink in hand, but I could probably drink a watermelon mojito every day for the rest of the summer. So much yum.

Workout catch-up

I haven’t been very timely with my blogging lately, so here’s a quick and exciting catch-up.

Sunday: 11-mile long run


I mistakenly believed that doing my long runs slower would make them easier. Nope. My knees and hips were crying at the end of this.

This possibly had something to do with running a marathon, then taking time off to recover from illness, then running 6 miles and 11 miles on back-to-back days. Possibly.

Monday: 60 minutes on the bike trainer

Cross-Training on the Spin Bike!

Download video: MP4 format

The bike trainer is tedious any time of year, but in the summer, it’s also HOT. I passed the sweaty time by making my first Instagram video (click the link if it won’t play).

I can’t figure out how to make it record sound, even though I made sure all my phone volume settings were up and stuff. Am I just dumb? Or is it my phone? Maybe it has something to do with the time I dropped it in a hot bowl of tomato soup….

Tuesday: 3-mile run


I woke up early (5:05, to be exact) to fit in this easy run before work. Aaron is now waking up around the same time to lift weights, so I asked him last night to help me wake up since I am terrible at getting out of bed, even at my normal wake-up time (6:15-ish).

My least favorite thing in the WORLD is to have the covers ripped off of me when I’m all cozy in bed, so he said he’d do that. I said I probably wouldn’t even have the covers on, since it’s so hot. He said he would just put the covers on me, THEN rip them off. You better believe I got my butt out of bed before he had the chance to do that!

Anyway, I hate waking up so early, but I love the peacefulness of running in the morning when it’s still cool and the sun is just starting to rise. I’m actually going to try to do my weekday runs in the morning now, since I won’t be able to this fall/winter when the mornings become dark again. It’ll just take some discipline.

And maybe threats of cover-ripping.

The end.