Hood to Coast fun starts TODAY!

The Hood to Coast relay is this Friday and Saturday, but the runners on Nuun’s three teams — Watermelon, Lemonade, and Cherry Limeade — are arriving in Seattle TODAY!!!

I’m runner #12 of 12 on team Watermelon, which means I get to run across the finish line on the beach in Seaside, Oregon! That makes me The Closer, according to this t-shirt:

“This is it — the last leg. If you want to keep going after this, you’re going to have to swim with the sharks. What awaits this runner? An easy three in Portland, an idyllic five along the Nehalem River in Mist (NOT from the German, BTW), and a sinuous downhill into Seaside and onto the beach for the big finish. Cue the showers of glory and warm leftover energy drink.”

I’m. SO. Excited! I painted my damn nails and everything.

Here are the combined stats of the three legs of the relay that I’ll run: 

– 13.22 miles
– Ranks 12th in mileage
– Ranks 12th in overall difficulty

That’s right, kids: I get to run the easiest legs of the race AND experience the glory of crossing the finish line on my final leg!

Originally, my three legs added up to just over 16 miles and my mileage/difficulty ratings were more middle-of-the-pack, but my first exchange had to be rerouted due to construction in Portland and runner #1 took on those three miles.

I ain’t mad. I didn’t go out of my way to choose the easiest position — it just happened to transpire that way — so I will take it and enjoy it!

I’ll be running legs 12, 24, and 36.

Here’s a closer look at ‘em:

My first leg: Leg 12

3.07 miles — rated “easy.” Mostly flat with a few rolling hills, trail and paved city streets. My predicted start time is between 9:45 p.m. on Friday (based on HTC’s calculations using my teammates’ 10K pace). A nice, short run to kick things off!

My second leg: Leg 24

4.92 miles — rated “easy.” Flat terrain along the Nehalem River and through pastoral setting on Hwy 47 and Hwy 202. My predicted start time is 7:17 a.m. on Saturday. Sounds pretty peaceful and uneventful!

My third leg: Leg 36

5.23 miles — rated “moderate.” Challenging and steep downhills on winding paved roads to finish on sand. My predicted start time is 4:15 p.m. on Saturday. This will be the most difficult leg physically, but also because I’ll be exhausted! I imagine I’ll be on that crazy endorphin high that you get when you haven’t slept but are doing something so awesome that it doesn’t even matter.

Tonight after work, I’ll meet up with all the ladies who have arrived so far and start getting to know them! I’m taking Thursday off so I can participate in all the activities Nuun has planned for us, including a visit to the Oiselle headquarters, an easy run around Green Lake, riding the Duck (which I’ve always wanted to do!!), decorating our vans, and more.

Psst… I’m WAY more nervous about meeting the other runners than I am about running the race! I’m sure everybody will be lovely and we’ll have tons of fun, but it feels like the first day of school! 🙂

I’ll be posting Tumblr updates as I can, but I’ll just have my phone — no laptop — so extensive recaps won’t happen until after the race. I’ll be tweeting up a storm (@devonamills) and Instagramming my face off (devonamills), so feel free to follow along there, too!

17 miles from Seattle to Woodinville



There happens to be an excellent cycling/running trail that goes from Seattle to Woodinville called the Burke-Gilman trail, so it was really convenient to run from the city I currently live in to my hometown. I miiiight have done this run just to be able to post the GPS screenshot on Facebook and impress/freak out all the people who know how far this is in real life.

It’s 17 miles (obviously). The whole trail runs about 27 miles, which would be quite convenient for running a marathon, don’t you think?

Perhaps another time. Yesterday, I stuck with 17.


I’m very happy that I maintained a relatively steady pace and was able to pick it up from mile 11 on! And mile 17 = 8:57 pace, woo-hoo!

I was nervous about this run because, even though I’ve run 17 miles several times now, I’m not familiar with the locations of drinking fountains and restrooms along this route. I like to have those places memorized and highly accessible. But, since the Burke-Gilman is so popular, there were lovely restrooms and drinking fountains available when I needed them, and I was juuuuust fine.

My first stop was less than three miles in at University Village (an outdoor mall). Don’t you hate it when you pee before leaving the house, but inexplicably have to pee again as soon as you start running??

Just outside of UVillage, a bunch of extremely fit and fast-looking women ran by me going the opposite direction. From the logos and birds on their clothes, I could tell they were Oiselle employees and/or team runners. I was too shy to say hello or anything, but perhaps I will meet some of them on Thursday when I visit Oiselle HQ with the Nuun Hood to Coast teams!

My second stop was 7.25 miles in at Matthews Beach Park — more to snap this view than to fill my water bottles, but I did that, too.


Lookin’ fine, Lake Washington!

I also got really excited at the 10-mile mark when I left the Seattle city limits.


Much of the Burke-Gilman is how you see it here: green and shady. However, after this point, I pretty much lost the shade and had to run in full sun. The shirt came off at mile 11 because it was completely sweat-soaked and useless. No shame!


Log Boom Park in Kenmore was a lovely place to refill/re-Nuun my water bottles, take a short shade break, and eat the rest of a Larabar that I’d started eating just before running.

Shortly after that, I ran into a Nuun-mobile parked right along the trail! It was unmanned, but luckily I had plenty of my favorite flavor — watermelon — to keep me going.


The miles just flew by on this run. I’ve biked this route but never run it, so there were all kinds of new-ish sights to hold my interest along the way. Every time I looked at my watch, it seemed like another mile had just magically ticked by.

My faster final mile was due to a combination of my legs still feeling strong and just wanting to be done/get out of the hot sun ASAP! My lovely mom was waiting for my at my final destination: Wilmot Gateway Park in downtown Woodinville.


We look a bit alike, huh??

We went straight to Panera, where we picked up lunch for everyone, then headed home to give the boys a break from building the workshop. Aaron, Don (my mom’s fiance), and Brandon (my brother) did a great job putting up the roof this weekend. Ta-daaaa!


The makings of a very eclectic boy band.

It was a great and very busy weekend! This week will be even busier, with Hood to Coast activities starting Wednesday night and the actual relay happening Friday and Saturday.

Bring. It. ON!

Chicago Marathon training: Week 10

I owe you a big catch-up post about this week! Let’s go real fast-like.

Saturday, post-migraine:

I rallied big-time after spending all afternoon on the pain train. Aaron and I had an extremely delicious dinner out at a Greek restaurant, and then celebrated his co-worker’s birthday at a bar. I had a beer and a half and was in bed by 10:30. Woo-hoo!!!


I woke up at 5 a.m. to fit in my 14-mile long run. I felt… totally fine!


No residual effects from the migraine, apparently. This was extremely encouraging.

Aaron and I met with a wedding officiant later (hence why I got up so early), and he was approximately 20 years older than the photo of him on his website. Which is fine. But weird? He was a nice guy, and his style/values lined up with what we want for our ceremony, but I think we’ll meet with a few other officiants before we decide.


I’m like 99% sure the migraine I had on Saturday was caused by the fact that I accidentally held my breath while doing push-ups, since the aura and headache came on immediately after I did that. And I Googled it, so it must be true.

I was hesitant about continuing with the push-up plan, but I really made sure to breathe correctly (in on the way down, out on the way up) and I got through the push-ups just fine without problems! So… just being smart can prevent crazy, painful things from happening to you? Good to know.


I ran four miles in the a.m. Can’t remember anything significant about this run, other than that I’m starting to recognize other runners who also regularly hit Green Lake in the mornings. Oh hai guys, I’m one of you now!



Behold, the glory of morning running.



8 miles with the sunrise for the win! This was a truly breathtaking run. I ❤ morning running (except for the waking-up part).


I also wore a fun new sweater to work, as it was a smidge chilly that day.


When I first saw this at J. Crew, I was like, “WOW, that is… a lot going on there.” Then I was like, “Hmm, I’ll try it on just for fun.” Then I was like, “Is it ugly? Is it cute? I’m not sure. But I think I like it.” I’m still not sure, but life is too short, so I own it now and y’all can just deal with it.


I tackled hill repeats for the first time in a while. 10 of ‘em. It was slow, but not too painful, BUT REALLY SWEATY because of the humidity.


Oh hey, see how my bright yellow shirt became purple? It turns out the yellow fabric reacts with some deodorants to turn the underarms of the shirt ORANGE. Not cute. So, I returned the yellow-with-orange-pits shirt and got purple instead. The Husky in me approves!

This run was slowwwww going because I don’t think I’ve done hill repeats since training for Seattle Rock ‘n Roll. I warmed up for a half-mile, did 10 repeats with a half-mile jog midway through, then ran a cool-down mile home. All the sweat.


Not sure why I sweat more on the left side than right? It’s a medical mystery.


Rest day! Let’s mold our bodies into the couch while binge-watching Orange Is The New Black! Seriously, y’all need to start watching that, like, yesterday.


I was up at 4:45 to run eight miles! The plan was to arrive at my mom’s house around 8:00 to help build the workshop, so Aaron and I both got up super-early to fit in our respective run/ride.

The awesome upside: Green Lake was EMPTY, and there was another gorgeous sunrise.


The geese know what’s up.

And the run was great, too!


A few days ago, I randomly signed up for a half-marathon that’s on Labor Day — aka two weeks from now! Mayyybe I’ll be able to PR? I ran my PR back in March: 1:55:22 — 8:48 pace. I’d like to think I can beat that, considering I ran 9.3 miles at 8:12 pace in May, but I haven’t exactly been training for speed lately. We’ll see! I’ll focus mostly on having fun.

And this epic recap brings me up to today!


We’re heading back to my mom’s house again this morning, but Aaron is going to drop me off 17 miles away so I can run there. That’s not weird, right? I’d say it’s an efficient way to do a long run.

Once I’m finished, I’ll have run 41 miles this week. Yowza! And it feels like marathon training is JUST getting started.

I have a few long posts in the works about this past week of training and Hood to Coast, which begins in LESS THAN ONE WEEK! I will post them soon-ish. I’m sorry for being a delinquent blogger, but I blame the incredible Netflix show Orange Is The New Black.

In the meantime, here is Aaron playing bow-and-arrow with a truss. He was helping my mom’s fiancé build a workshop today while my mom and I drank tea, ate ice cream, and “supervised” from the deck. We are so helpful.

I believe watching a man build things is second in attractiveness only to seeing a man wearing a baby in a front-pack. Swoon.


Yesterday was one of those days that was super awesome until it turned super shitty.

I slept in till 8:00, then ate a Larabar and was out for my run before 9. This was a big win because I usually procrastinate my weekend runs and don’t do them until 11 or noon or so!

‘Twas a lovely 7-mile run:


And I was done just before 10! I was so pumped to have the whole day still ahead of me!

I went home, stretched, hydrated, and ate a chicken sausage. Then I did the push-ups that I had skipped on Friday evening because I was too tired.

Set 1: 4 push-ups
Set 2: 5 push-ups
Set 3: 4 push-ups
Set 4: 4 push-ups
Set 5: Max (at least 5 push-ups)

I can do four now pretty easily, but five is pushing it! On the last set, my head kind of felt like it was going to explode, and when I was done, my vision was a little off. I could see just fine, but there was some kind of sparkly (not quite the right word, but I can’t really describe it) stuff happening toward the outside of my field of vision in my right eye that was really distracting.

I figured maybe I hadn’t eaten enough food to recover yet, so I went about making eggs with avocado and prepping a grapefruit. The sparkling continued and even got a little worse. I told Aaron I was getting freaked out about it, so he told me to lay down and that helped a bit.

As I ate my food, the sparkling subsided for a few minutes, only to be replaced by a splitting headache. I then took some Tylenol, retreated to the bedroom, and tried to nap away the pain, but wound up having to drape a black shirt over my eyes to block out the light. Only darkness would stop my head from pounding.

I fell asleep, but later the smell of Aaron cooking something made me feel really nauseous, as did the sound of him vacuuming and a baby crying in the next building over. Light, smells, and sounds = all no good!

I finally woke up feeling better at 3:45!! So much for having the whole day ahead of me. 😦

I’m pretty sure, after a bit of Googling, that was my very first migraine.


If so, I feel AWFUL for people who have chronic migraines, because that shit SUCKS.

I hope this was a one-time thing for me, possibly spurred by the combo of a doing fairly rigorous run + push-ups without enough fuel and/or hydration. I will certainly keep my runs and push-ups separate (run in the morning, push-ups at night) in the future.

Does anyone get migraines and have advice for dealing with them? I can’t imagine doing anything other than shutting myself in a dark room to take a nap!

Tomorrow is a rest day!!!

I am officially hungry all. the. time at this point in marathon training. Week 9 is nearly complete. That means I’ll soon be halfway there!

Wednesday five:

Thursday speed intervals in the Kinvara 4s:

I got a really bad side stitch in the middle of split 8, which was my last half-mile of speedy running. I couldn’t get rid of it and it really slowed me down, which was a bummer.

I used to never get side cramps, but since the RnR Seattle Marathon, I’ve noticed that I get them on practically every other run. I’ll go ahead and assume that’s due to the fact that I’ve been more lax with my diet lately and have started enjoying a beer or two every few days once again. I’ll probably have to cut that out once again in the weeks prior to Chicago. But… not quite yet!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I had lunch with mah boo today. ‘Tis the benefit of both working downtown!

How cute is he? So cute.

I generally think I’m a boring Instagrammer, since it seems that everyone else’s photos are super-stunning and awesome all the time. Mine are just kind of… interesting.

Let’s take my adventures and misadventures with fruit, for example.

Aaron gave me this apple and did not warn me of the CRAZINESS that awaited me inside. It’s called a Pink Pearl apple!

When one becomes frustrated while trying to open the blueberry package, one might fling blueberries all over the kitchen. Eh-hem, this was me.

And sometimes I just see exquisite personal style that must be shared with the world. These pants, for example, are elegant. Subtle. Timeless.

(She was speaking complete gibberish on her phone, which generally indicates excessive drug use, which might explain a lot.)

This has been a very random post.

Tomorrow is a rest day, THANK GOODNESS, which means I can sleep in an extra hour in the morning and spend the evening trying to meld my body into the couch. Meld, baby, meld.

Sweaty Wednesday #2

Sweaty Wednesday is a thing now.


I had a great five-mile sweat this morning in my new, blindingly bright Lululemon top.


I also ran four miles yesterday morning against all odds, as I was physically and emotionally exhausted by the THREE-HOUR finale of The Bachelorette on Monday night. All I have to say is, yeahhhhhhhhhhh Seattle!! (For you people with real lives, that means the bachelorette is engaged to a guy from Seattle, and she’s moving here this weekend. I will keep my eyes peeled for Des/Chris sightings, y’all.)

Anyway, somehow I ran Tuesday on very little sleep:


And I did both runs in the new shirt. I’m in loooooove! Many of you know I have a longstanding love of v-neck shirts, but it’s so hard to find good v-neck running shirts. This one is light as a feather and smooth as buttah. It’s also bright enough to keep me visible to cars as the days grow shorter.

I believe someone once sent me a Tumblr “ask” about where to find affordable running clothes. Lululemon is not the answer, and yet that’s where many of my staples come from, including the shorts I wear for every. single. run.

I’ve learned that it’s better to invest in a few high-quality pieces and wear them over and over than to buy a bunch of cheap, crappy stuff that feels crappy when you run and crappily fills your dresser drawers with crappiness. I read a great quote recently (on Twitter, maybe?) that was something like: “When you buy something cheap and low-quality, the best you’ll feel is when you buy it. When you buy something more expensive and high-quality, the worst you’ll feel is when you buy it.”

I don’t have a TON of running gear, but what I do have is nice stuff that doesn’t chafe, shrink, stretch, or pill — Lululemon, Brooks, Under Armour, and Road Runner Sports brands, mostly — and I don’t mind wearing the exact same clothes from race to race.

However, I think Target is awesome, and the Champion brand is good quality. All of my sports bras are Champion from Target — very affordable. (I realize that the bigger-chested ladies out there need to invest in stronger apparatuses that may also be more expensive, but that is your gift and your curse.)

What’s your favorite brand of running gear, whether it’s very affordable or more expensive? I’ve heard Oiselle is awesome for the ladies, but I haven’t tried it yet!

The 15-mile sweatfest

I have never been sweatier in my life than I was during this run. I could hardly keep my sunglasses on my face because they were so slippery due to intense sweat and sunscreen. That’s what I get for starting at 10 a.m. when I knew it was going to be hot out!

But I wound up with a decent pace overall, even though the last few miles were a hot, sweaty, hungry (whoops, should have brought more fuel) strugglefest.

Notable moments: I caught a nice little break at mile 7.6 on the University Bridge when it was raised for boat traffic. It’s Seafair weekend, whoop whoop!

At mile 9, I stopped to refill my water bottles at Gas Works Parks and happened upon a Crossfit WODfest!

I suddenly felt horribly out of shape standing next to a bunch of super-ripped men and women. I may not be able to deadlift, um, anything, BUT how many of them can run 15 miles at the drop of a hat? We’re all fit in different ways!

…at least that’s what I told myself as I ran away.

And then I took a silly photo because I needed a little shade break and I was ready to be doneeee.

15 miles. Man, sounds like a lot. It doesn’t feel like a lot anymore, but I guess that’s what back-to-back marathon training has done to me.

If you can’t tell (but I bet you can), I’m a little burned out on training and am not so intense about it this time around. I’ll do the training, but I’m not going to freak out over my times or be laser-focused on a goal time, like I was with the RnR Seattle Marathon. I just don’t have it in me to stress out so much this time around. I want to complete the Chicago Marathon (and, OK, PR), and then just relax and run for fun for a while!

I’m already trying out the “train slower, race faster" method… maybe “stress less, race faster" will turn out to be a thing, too? We shall see.

In other news, I’m about to embark on the 100 push-ups program tomorrow. I got a few weeks into it back in 2010, right around the time Aaron and I started hanging out together; you may recall I was able to do 10 during a push-up challenge at my mom’s house. My all-time record is 12, but that was after a few tequila shots, so I don’t think that counts?

As for the program: First, you do an initial test to see how many push-ups you can do. I can do THREE, which is actually three more than I thought I could do! Once you know your starting point, it’s easy to follow along with the program three times a week — Monday, Wednesday, Friday is the logical schedule — and be on your way to push-up glory in six weeks.

Check out the website for full details, and print this handy, one-page booklet like I did (see PocketMod for folding instructions). Or you can download the app, I guess. But why would you want to when you could fold some shit??

Let me know if you’re down to do some push-ups and we’ll be cool together. I should note that not only do I want to get stronger and therefore become a better runner, but I want my arms to look awesome for the engagement photos Aaron and I be taking in late September.

This is our photographer, by the way. Her work is just stunning. We so excited!