Seeing red

Tonight’s stupid-fast run is brought to you by blind rage:

I should have done an easy run to recover from my 22-miler, but I had so much adrenaline pumping through me due to anger and frustration that this run felt effortless.

Seriously. I was a gazelle. I was a mermaid. I did not feel my legs. I just ran.

Without getting into details, there is someone on our block who is breaking the law and causing major safety concerns. We (and many of our neighbors) have the police on speed dial and have called in many, many reports over the past several months.

Today, while walking home from the bus stop, I saw something that caused me to call the police again, and I became extremely frustrated by what I perceive as lack of urgency/downright apathy on their part. Nothing is being done, and I feel like it will take someone actually getting hurt in order to elicit any helpful response from the police.


It felt good to fly tonight. I’m pretty sure I need to get a massage after every long run (ha! I wish), because I had zero soreness after the 22 miles + 90-minute massage extravaganza on Sunday — just some creakiness in my knees when walking up and down stairs.

I will take it easy during tomorrow’s run. Tonight, I just needed to crush some miles because I needed to feel like I was at least in control of something.

Jordan Hasay’s friend cheering for her (by Ryan Bickerstaff)

My Hood to Coast teammate Meg shared this video with our van during the relay. If you need a running mantra, just watch this video of Alexi Pappas cheering for Jordan Hasay during a 10K and choose your favorite.

I told myself, “YOU ARE A MERMAID!” over and over during my super-rainy 22-miler on Sunday. It totally worked.


22 miles



I didn’t drink a drop of alcohol at the wedding yesterday, was in bed by 11, got a solid nine hours of sleep, and then destroyed this run.

My legs, lungs, and stomach felt amazing. No issues whatsover! The only slight downer was that it absolutely poured for the last 11 miles, so I was compleeeeetely soaked! It made me feel like a badass, though. And if I get pneumonia, then I’ll just be a badass with pneumonia.

I could have run 4.2 more miles. This makes me very excited for the Chicago Marathon in three short weeks!!!

Now, it’s taper time! And what better way to kick off a taper than with a 90-minute deep-tissue massage?? Oh yes, it’s happening in a few hours. I’ve strategically saved a birthday gift card from Aaron’s mom and stepdad for this exact moment!

Are you in the brown heels in that pic? If so, what brand are they? I have such a problem finding heels that don’t look weird.

Why yes, I am in the brown heels, and they are the Banana Republic Roia t-strap sandal in dark amber. Here’s the front view:

I bought the last pair in the store on sale at the same time I bought the dress (a few months ago), so I don’t think they’re available anymore. BUT, if you do find them somewhere, I really recommend them — they’re quite comfortable for 4" heels with a ½" platform!

A mountaintop engagement!

I met up with my new running buddy, Karen, this morning for another 8-miler that flew by as she told me all about her ENGAGEMENT!!!

Look. At. This. RING!

Remember how I mentioned that on our last run together, Karen was doing 17 miles before work on a Friday? That’s because she was heading off on a backpacking trip with her boyfriend, Matt, for the weekend. And guess where he proposed?

At the top of a mountain, of course!!!

(I got Karen’s permission to steal/post these beautiful pics!)

What a lovely, romantic proposal! We had such fun chatting about it and wedding plans on our run. Karen wanted to “pick my brain” about wedding planning, but I was like… ummm… we’re just kind of winging it over here. I’m probably the last person to ask!

Food. Booze. White dress. Am I missing anything?

I barely remember the actual run because I was so caught up in our conversation, but I’m happy to see we held a fairly consistent pace while chatting!

And now I’m riding on a combo of runner’s high and vicarious engagement happiness. I am so thrilled for my new friend.

Congratulations, Karen and Matt!!! ❤


1. Tonight’s run.

Seattle has SO MUCH AIR to breathe compared to Colorado!!! Sea-level lungs are happy lungs!

2. Dr. Harvey Longback.

Dr. Longback is a Bassador — that’s a Basset/labrador mix — with whom Aaron and I were roommates for two days in Boulder (I highly recommend booking a room in this house on Airbnb if you ever visit!).

Aaron doesn’t like dogs that much (the horror!!!), but even he had a soft spot for Harvey. He made me really, really, really want a dog.

We watched the rain together. Aww.

3. I registered for the Eugene Marathon.

Umm… yeah. I tend to register for future marathons while I’m already in the middle of training for a marathon, and then right after I run that marathon, I’m like, “WHY DID I PAY MONEY FOR ANOTHER FOUR HOURS OF HELL.”

It’s a problem.

But, it’s Eugene — iconic, you know — and the race was moved from April to July, so I don’t have to train through the winter for it. Seriously, I am taking a training break after Chicago and becoming a gym rat hamster for the winter. Then I’ll train for Eugene, run the damn thing, and then take another break for the home stretch of wedding planning and actually getting married.

4. Speaking of getting married…

Last night, I searched Etsy for “bicycle cake toppers” on a whim, and look what appeared in the search results:

Um, WHAT. I’ll be damned if that is not the spitting image of Aaron and me (but more Aaron) with Voldemort non-noses.

Right? RIGHT??

The cake topper was custom-made for another couple, so clearly we have some doppelgangers tandem-biking around somewhere on this planet. Make that doppelgangers who shelled out $205 for a cake topper.

5. More pictures from Colorado? Oh, if you insist.

Mid-run river selfie. Acceptable because nature.

Beaver Lake hike. I perfected my squat on this adventure, not because of my devotion to good athletic form, but because of my desire to not pee on my shoes.

I wear the pants (and feathered caps) in this relationship.

6. Aaron is the best man…

…in his best friend’s wedding on Saturday. I have a 22-mile run on Sunday. I will wear heels and dance (but not drink) anyway, because YOLO and all that.

7. Speaking of that…

Direct, unprovoked quote from Aaron in Colorado: “I think the girl wearing Juicy sweatpants with a denim jacket is taking YOLO a little too seriously.”


The end.

Rocky Mountain running

Helllllloooo! Aaron and I are lounging at the Denver airport, awaiting our flight to Seattle. We missed all the flooding, thank goodness, and had a great trip!

I’ll start off by humblebragging about the fact that I did every one of my Chicago Marathon training runs and didn’t skip a single mile!!! That’s five runs for a total of 35 miles, people.

It was easy to fit them in because Aaron was off doing his mountain-biking thing every morning, so I had plenty of time to do my running thing. Then we’d join forces to eat breakfast, sight-see, hike, etc. Fitness first, yo!



On my first run in Boulder, I was blown away by the incredible network of paved, multi-use paths that run all over the city. I didn’t even have to wait at stoplights because all the paths feature underpasses that allow you to continue running/biking uninterrupted. You pretty much don’t have to have a car in Boulder if you don’t want one!

I ran five glorious miles:

Did you know that Kara Goucher went to the University of Colorado and probably ran on these same trails?? That was a cool thought during this run. 🙂

And later, we went for an easy hike (that ended in a killer city view) with Aaron’s stepsister, Erin, who lives in Boulder.

Aaron Pass and Erin Pass — it never gets old!


Nothing like a family of deer crossing the path to remind you that you’re in Colorado! In Washington, I’ll occasionally see a deer out in the woody suburbs, but this sighting happened right in the heart of Boulder. Pretty cool.

Another fiver:

This run was very gray and a bit rainy — a sign of things to come. The rest of the day was extremely wet and stormy, but luckily we headed two hours away in the afternoon and weren’t impacted by the flooding. (Erin is OK, too!)



We spent the rest of our trip in Avon, a town just outside of Vail. Thanks to a member of Aaron’s family who is in the hotel biz, we stayed at a beautiful resort that overlooked mountains and the Eagle River.

An awesome, paved trail ran right between the resort and the river, so it hosted my remaining three runs and spoiled me with spectacular views.

OMFG. Not bad, Colorado!!!

One last fiver:

I was surprised that I ran this one a tiny bit faster than my Boulder runs, considering that Boulder’s elevation is 5,200 ft. and Avon’s is 7,400 ft. (For reference, in Seattle, I usually run between 0 ft. and 200 ft. of elevation!!)

Yes, it was hard to run at such high elevation, and yes, I drank a shit-ton of Nuun to help me power through!

We also went for a little 3.5-mile hike that, at one point, led us through a magical grove of aspen trees. So pretty.


Rest day! But instead of resting, let’s go for a 6-mile hike.

We did the moderately difficult hike to Beaver Lake, then circumvented the lake on a trail that supposedly existed (?) but appeared to be trashed by rock slides in various places. Cue fun rock-scrambling action.

I am also too much of a chicken to walk across a log over ankle-deep water and decided to bear-crawl instead. SURVIVAL TACTICS.

Later, we recovered in the infinity hot tub. Yes.


Did an 8-miler. Not much to say about this one, other than I stopped at this 9/11 memorial about halfway through and got some serious dust in my eyes.

This year, I didn’t have the typical sads that I usually have on the anniversary of 9/11 since I was in vacation mode, but unexpectedly finding this memorial a few days later allowed me to feel all those feels.

This run was a little tougher. Hard to breathe that thin air. But it was nothing compared to my long run…


Stupid, sucky, horrible run of horribleness. Awful, awful, awful. Make it go away and never come back.

Hey, pretty river!

I was hoping to run 6 miles out along the trail and 6 miles back, but the trail is only like 4.5 miles long, so I was stuck doing that awkward “where can I go??” thing where I circled around the town of Edwards before I could head back toward the resort. It was gray and cold and lightly raining. My gels were hard to choke down. It was just a mess.

BUT I did it, and I rejoiced when I found a foam roller at the resort’s fitness center and rolled out 35 miles’ worth of Colorado running tightness.

AND THEN Aaron and I rejoiced at Oktoberfest in Vail. Prost!!

The perfect way to recover from a long run. 🙂

And that brings us to right now, at the airport. Our flight is about to board… see you back in Seattle!

First Chicago Marathon 20-miler DONE

Oh yes, I said the FIRST 20-miler. There will be a second in two weeks. Or maybe I’ll make it a 22-miler? I know I can run the shit out of 20 miles in a marathon (*cough* Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll *cough*), but it’s kinda definitely the last 6.2 miles that really matter!

My goal for this run was to do the first 10 miles between 9:30 and 9:45 pace, and the last 10 between 9:15 and 9:30.


First 10: 1:35:42 (9:34 pace)
Last 10: 1:34:21 (9:26 pace)

The deets:


Notice my fastest mile was 19, due to the fact that there was a DACHSHUND (wiener dog) CONVENTION at Green Lake and there were like 50 wiener dogs all walking around in one spot. Literally, this is a real thing, and that is a link to a blog post about the original Green Lake wiener dog convention in 2011.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. There was a friggin’ Westie convention happening, too!!!


So, imagine you’ve been running for three hours, and you’re pretty tired and ready to be done. Then you encounter a GANG OF WIENER DOGS, followed by a GANG OF WESTIES, and your mind cannot compute what your eyes are seeing. Is it real? Is it a mirage? Did someone spike my Nuun with LSD?

What’s more, the two gangs were about to collide! I was picturing some real West Side Story shit!

Long story long, I got really excited about all the dogs and ran fast.

Zoe could not meet up with me after all, but that was totally fine because I was A-OK physically and mentally through this whole run. My legs were super-tired and dragging at the beginning, but I somehow picked up energy and speed the more I ran. That is like… the opposite of logic. But I won’t question it!

I’ve gotten really sick of my chocolate Clif shots lately, so I bought a variety of Gu flavors to try. Probably not the best idea to try a completely different brand of gel and new flavors on a 20-miler, but I don’t even pretend to make good decisions.


I had the vanilla bean at mile 4.5 (tasty, but very sweet), an unpictured chocolate outrage at mile 9 (tastier than the Clif chocolate), the mint chocolate at mile 13.5 (made my stomach feel iffy for about a minute, then I was fine), and never ate the salted caramel. We shall dance another day.

The verdict? Gu has a thinner consistency that makes it much easier to get down than Clif Shots. I think it’s time for me to switch! Plus, I liked having a variety of flavors on such a long run rather than eating the same flavor over and over. Marathon strategy, perhaps?

Also, I never listen to music while running, but I actually found myself singing to myself (in my brain) during this run. I mentally sang everything from John Denver’s Take Me Home, Country Roads to Katy Perry’s Roar. I’ve been on a big John Denver kick lately; I grew up listening to him, as my mom is a big fan, so it’s not THAT random. Whatever works, right?

While I was running running running, Aaron was relaying! He crushed the mountain bike leg of the Iron Horse Relay, and his team — which I believe was called Black Thunder? ha! — finished SECOND overall!


From left to right: the trail runner, the kayaker, the cute one that I am marrying, the road runner, and the road cyclist. 

Black Thunder actually held the lead for most of the race, but the road runner of the second-place team absolutely crushed the final leg with a 5:XX pace and won the whole thing!

So, Aaron and I are both done with pretty intense athletic events and are now officially on vacation! We leave for Colorado first thing tomorrow morning.

The mountains are calling, and I must go!


I have a new running buddy / partner in sweat!


Karen, who reads my blog for reasons I have not yet discovered, emailed me about a month ago after I posted about running Green Lake in my bright yellow Lululemon shirt. She had run by me that morning! She was training for the Portland Marathon on Oct. 6, and did I want to run together sometime?

Heck. Yes.

So we met up for our first run two weeks ago and ran just over eight miles together. It was really fun to make a new friend completely out of the blue and get to know her through running and chatting!


Blue moon sunrise, ya’ll.

We intended to run together again last week, but I called her at 4:45 a.m. (we planned to meet at 5:15) and was like “NOPE” because it was absolutely pouring rain. I can handle darkness, and I can handle rain, but I can’t yet justify running in the darkness AND the rain when I have the opportunity to run in the daylight after work instead (which is totally what I did).

Alas, our schedules did not line up again until yesterday morning, with eight miles on tap for me and 17 miles for Karen. That’s 17 MILES BEFORE WORK ON A FRIDAY. WHAT.

Again, we met at 5:15, but this time, the sun didn’t rise during our run. It was still fairly dark when I finished (and she kept going) at 6:30 because the sun doesn’t officially rise until 6:35. Yayyy for running buddies who make it safer for each other to run in the morning!


Karen is really fast, with years and years of cross-country and track under her belt, but she’s doing her marathon training at an easier pace that I can hang with. (I think she holds back a bit for the miles she runs with me, but that’s cool! Thanks, Karen!)

She is super-cute and we have lots in common, with just enough differences to make our conversations interesting. The miles fly by as we chat, which is fantastic, and I’m already looking forward to our next run.

Today, Karen is off backpacking with her boyfriend, and I have 20 miles to run. Thankfully Zoe (of Nuun and Labor Day Half Marathon fame) is going to run with me for six miles near the end! Score!

Do you like how I went from zero running buddies to ALL THE RUNNING BUDDIES?? Yeah, I do, too.

OK. Time to stop run-crastinating. 20, here I come!

(My Hood to Coast recap is still in the works… yeah, I know.)