Run Like Hell 2014 Race Report

I haven’t written a race report in lo! these many years (since January of 2013 in fact).

I’d gotten to the point where the thought of doing an official race with actual people would cause panic. And panic is no bueno. But, now I’m on some drugs which seem to be helping regulate the anxiety (between my lack o’ panic about doing an official race AND my easy-going attitude about flying last week, I feel that something has changed).

So. I did a race. A race in costume, even!

Fucking Valkyrie Ice Queen

I attempted to do packet pick-up the day before, but misread the website (or misremembered what I’d read) and thought it lasted until 4. I showed up at 3:05 and found out that it actually ended at 3 pm. They gave me my race bib, but not my swag.

Saturday night was my work’s holiday party (yeah, Autumn Social – I guess we’re frugal? Or really into Autumn) and I had a couple or three glasses of wine. There was almost nothing I was able to eat at the party, due to a medication-induced chocolate issue and the fact that most items appeared to be fungus-adjacent (I have weird food allergies), so when the architect and I got home, I ate Alvie’s leftover pizza.

I’d laid out my racing gear.

Chainmail Mitmunk running tights (which I’ve owned for months, due to the awesome), and my Fucking Valkyrie Ice Queen outfit that I’d cobbled together from a few very, very cheap costume sets. VERY cheap.

Instead of my awesomesauce winged helmet, I wore a little plastic horned helmet that actually was held onto my head with an elastic band.

I drank coffee. I woke up my Bean. He was alarmed by my costume until I told him he’d get to ride the (MAX light rail) train. Then nothing else mattered.

We drove to the station and made the train with a minute to spare. Once we got to the race site, I grabbed my shirt and pint glass (which sadly does NOT have a giant purple octopus on it) and then got ready to run.


Alvie wasn’t sure how he felt about all the costumed folk running about, but he was pretty sure that we should let him hold his own bumbrella (I love his mispronunciations) even if it wasn’t raining.

And then it was time. I lined up, and tried to get past all the people who looked like they might want to walk and everyone with strollers (although there was a stroller 10K land speed record set, so they’re not all slow) and then it was time.

It was the usual shuffle of hopeful jogging followed by slow walking to get everyone over the start line, but soon enough (thirty-nine seconds, according to the race site) we were off.

My A#1 goal was to run the whole thing and finish with a smile on my face. My secondary goals were to beat 35 minutes and break 30 minutes.

The first mile took us down to the waterfront and then along Naito to Couch (rhymes with hooch) where we hit mile 1.

Mile 1: 11:14

I knew at that point that a sub-30 5K was not in the cards. I hadn’t been terribly hopeful anyway. This was my third run in October. My first October run was 10/17. I ran once in September – right before the bronchitis set in. I think I ran 3 miles in August. None in July. My training was not top-notch, is what I’m saying.

I decided at that point to just enjoy myself and keep on running. It was right around mile 1.5 that I noticed I was feeling a bit…itchy. Every time a breeze came up, it was amazing. The cape and the costume were apparently too hot AND made out of some kind of awful irritant. I passed the first aid station, and didn’t stop, because there was another on the other side of the street, and I was positive that I’d be there soon.

Mile two really seemed to drag on. And on. And it was itchy. Finally, we started turning for the short loop that would get us headed back towards the finish and I hit mile 2.

Mile 2: 11:02

I got to the aid station and was so very, very thirsty now. I was a wee bit dehydrated apparently. I wouldn’t ordinarily stop for water on a 5K, but decided that it certainly wouldn’t hurt to do so now. I walked through the water station – my only walking in the race – and then trucked on again. The last mile seemed to go by pretty quickly. Before too long, I was turning onto Broadway, and then running by the 6 mile sign (for the 10K, obviously, I did not get lost).

I picked it up a bit again, and found I had a wee bit left in the tank as I hit the 3 mile marker.

Mile 3: 11:26 (water station + fatigue really slowed me down)

I kicked it across the finish line then, looking for my family. I didn’t see them (because they were further back), but I heard my name!

Mile 3.1: 0:50 (9:37 pace)

Total time: 34:30; official time: 34:29 (11:06 pace)

I grabbed some water and found my family. Alvie Bean was not a fan of the crowds, and was much more interested in getting back on the train than congratulating me for finishing my first official race in almost 2 years and only my 2nd since he was born. My first order of business was to get the costume off. The tights were AOK, since they were not made out of stinging nettles and poison ivy, but the rest had to go. I stripped down to my sports bra on the street and put on the conveniently acquired race shirt and my rain jacket. I was all rashy and itchy, but once the costume material (the labels on everything read: “do not wash, do not dry, do not dry clean”) was no longer in contact with my skin, I felt better.

Overall, this was my 7th official 5K, and my first in over 3 years. It fell smack dab in middle of my times.

Overall, I came in 505th of 1230 – well over the halfway mark. For my division, I was 63rd of 167 – top 40%. I’ll take it. It shouldn’t be too much work to bring my pace in under 11 minute miles (possibly being properly hydrated and fueled and uncostumed would be enough to get there), and I really believe I can get back to a race pace of under a 10 minute mile if I were to work at it. Whether or not I want to is a different question.

For now, though, I’m just happy that I did the race. And finished it. And had my family waiting at the end.

I might just have to register for something else. There’s a Thanksgiving 5K that looks pretty tempting…


Thirty (30!) Months with Alvie Bean

Oh, my dearest darling Bean (“I not a Bean, I a Banana!”),

I tried to give you away on Facebook this month. I didn’t get any takers. There were a couple trade-in offers, but that made me a leetle bit skeptical. You are such a wonderful child, but oh! you can be challenging. There is no end in sight to your barrier testing. You are mercurial. You will kick and hit and then say “sowwy” and offer unprompted kisses.

“You mad mommy? You mad and sad and angwy and fwustwated?”

Yes, Bean. I am all of those things.

Watching you figure out emotions – yours and others – is an interesting if occasionally (often?) frustrating process for me. I’m sure this isn’t the last time I’ll say this, but I have felt more like my bad mom days are outweighing my good mom days lately.

The Crankosaurus Rex does not WANT to go home.

The Crankosaurus Rex does not WANT to go home.

You follow up those challenging moments with such wonderful ones, though. Your sense of wonder is amazing.



You are delighted with the world around you. And you are so freaking smart. This morning as we were driving to daycare, you asked where my car keys were. When I said they were in the ignition and rattled them for effect, you said, “They make engine go, right? And engine makes car go.”

And then I was shocked. And awed. Which is pretty much how I always feel around you.

Of course you're already reading at a college level. Almost.

Of course you’re already reading at a college level. Almost.

You love words and spelling. You will spell out everything you see. “What’s that word, mommy?” You like to guess. Your bathroom stool is a Cosco brand, and you will spell it out and say, “That spell stool?” Logical guess, Bean, but no.

We were driving the other day, and you saw a billboard. “O-M-S-I. That spell OMSI, Mommy. I go OMSI.”

You have stars on your ceiling and planets dangling. You like to talk to (and about) the planets, and you recognize some of them in other places. When you see pictures of Jupiter or Saturn, you totally know what’s what.

You are, in short, amazing.




Of course, you’re also two. You have…quirks. We cut your hair last weekend. Or at least half of it. Then you declared that it hurt and would have no more of that. So you have half of an almost cute haircut.

Yeah...I don't know either.

Yeah…I don’t know either.

You love to build with your LEGOS

I build fire tower!

I build fire tower!

And play ball

I catch it!

I catch it!

And help around the house

I helping you eat them.

I help you eat them.

You hated me being sick, and would say, repeatedly (oh, so repeatedly), “Mommy, you not sick? You happy now, okay? Okay.” And then try to cheer me up by piling train tracks on me. When I took to my bed with a coughing induced migraine, you came up to check on me.

“Surprise! I came back! You happy now?”

Actually, I'm a little bit scared.

Actually, I’m a little bit scared.

We took you for a train ride on the Mt. Hood Railroad last weekend, and you had the time of your life. Trains! With whistles! And train crossings! And train crossing lights! It was amazing.

2014-10-05 11.29.06


You are a challenge, but so are most things worth doing, right? Who wants to have the easy life, anyway?

You are amazing. The last two and a half years have gone by so quickly and it frightens me a bit to think that in the same amount of time you’ll be five. So I’m not going to think about it too much. I’m going to try really hard to enjoy two and a half as much as possible. (And to try to figure out how to explain how an engine works, since I think I botched that this morning.)

I love you Mr. Bean. You’re my favorite banana.





Mommy too mean. Mommy a bad guy.

I know I am, because Alvie told me so. (Of course, this morning, he told me that Jupiter was the bad guy, so it’s possible I shouldn’t take his criticisms to heart.)

Yesterday I was a Bad Mom. I was home with Mr. Bean because he was up Sunday night vomiting. In the bed. On his mom. Everywhere. So I stayed home with him.

The only – ONLY – good thing about having a sick kid is the cuddles that come with a lethargic, poorly feeling child.

That was not what happened yesterday. Instead, he woke up ravenous and full of energy. I was not ravenous and full of energy. I was tired and run down. In addition to being on week four of the bronchitis that will not die, I’d been up with a sick kidlet much of the night.

He was the embodiment of Longfellow’s “There was a little girl…

He was the sweetest Bean until he wasn’t, and then it was hitting and kicking and throwing. And then kissing to make it all better.

A meltdown at lunch when he lost his cheese sandwich (he’d eaten it, and a second cheese sandwich was rejected; he wanted his cheese sandwich) was followed by a too short nap.

By four pm, after being hit, kicked, and having toys thrown at my head (kid’s got a good arm and some decent aim), I had to put myself in time out. But since I’m the only one who can be trusted to not kick the cats (yeah, that happened) or destroy the kitchen (don’t ask) that meant that my time out landed Bean in his room. He told me that he wanted me to go away and Daddy to come home because “Mommy too mean. Mommy a bad guy.”

He was not impressed with my time out. He did chill out fairly quickly, though, and started reading. And later, after the architect got home, I took myself out for a walk and a beer.

It was, to date, my roughest parenting day. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like I’d failed so very completely at being the mom I want to be.

This morning, though, it was all smiles and hugs and kisses. “I love you much, Mommy. I love me, too.”

2014-10-05 14.00.01

All Hallow’s Read – Book Giveaway!

It’s time! Time to enter this year’s All Hallow’s Read book giveaway contest.

There will be two winners this year (as usual). BUT, this year, I will be giving away a kid’s book and an adult book. (Yeah, my focus has changed…no idea why.)

Who doesn't love Edward Gorey?

Who doesn’t love Edward Gorey?

Past book giveaways have included:






There are three ways to garner entries for this contest. Contest is open between now (October 3) and noon Pacific time on October 17. Contest winners will be announced that afternoon and books will be sent out as soon as I have sending places!

1. Comment here and tell me your favorite spooky book.

2. Share the facebook post (just let me know you’ve done it)

3. Retweet this (again, drop me a note)

This year’s books (you can specify which you prefer):

For the kidlets:

And for the slightly older crowd:

The mellow autumn came

At last! I was beginning to think the mellow autumn was never going to show up. But apparently Autumn was really paying attention to the calendar this year and decided to not show up until the equinox. It was 94 on Saturday and nearly 90 on Sunday.  And then Monday? Gray. And then, the rains came. YAY!

Things that are not yay?

I have a terribly nasty chest cold with a horrific sounding cough. I spent three days at home last week, one doing nothing, the other two working from home. I wish I could work from home this week, too. I think I’m scaring people.

Alas! Work is busying up and I have been doing meetings. As of noon today (Wednesday), I have attended 13 meetings this week. Fortunately, it appears I have only four to go. As of noon Wednesday. Who knows what will happen in the next two and a half days. I might end up with 13 more meetings.

I haven’t been working out, due to the cough of death. However, I am going to run a 5K in about a month. I feel pretty good about this. I did run 2 miles last week. Slowly. I had to stop and cough a lot. I feel fairly confident that if I ever stop coughing (something I’m beginning to doubt will ever happen) I can absolutely run 3. I can probably even run 3.1. In costume.

As a Valkyrie. Because:

business card

That is my business card that I hand out at professional events. You never know when someone needs a chooser of the slain.

ANYWAY, I am sick. I would like to stop now.

BUT – the most important thing to announce is that this year’s All Hallow’s Read contest opens October 1 (one week from today) and goes for a week. You will have several ways to enter to win this year’s spooky book.

Past books have included:






If you want to throw out suggestions for this year’s book, you can do so in the comments here or on Twitter (@gazellesoncrack).

I’ll post on October first with the rules, and will announce the winner on October 10.

Happy most wonderful time of the year!