Tag Archives: races

Race Report: Hop Hop 5K

This is my first race report in over two years and my first race since May 2015. I didn’t really train for it the way I ought to have, and have the complete inability to move as a reward!

There was a time in my life when I could’ve raced a 5K with zero notice because I was regularly pounding out long runs of 10+ miles. That is not a place where I’m at right now.

I signed up for this 5K and a race at the end of next month while drinking in an airport waiting for a delayed flight in January. (TBH, most of my race sign-ups are drinking related.)

French 75s almost always lead to questionable decision-making.

I have been running off and on ever since. There was so much snow and moving in January, and then I got really, really sick. And finally I was better! So I started running again. And then I rolled my ankle and then it was 5K time!

I knew that I had to go and I had to finish. I’ve signed up for a lot of races I haven’t done, but I can’t do that anymore. Not only is it fiscally irresponsible, it’s not good for my brains. Every race I don’t do makes it easier to skip the next one.

I know that exercise will lower my stress levels, increase my healthy eating/drinking habits, and help me sleep better. It’s just that the lack of sleep, high stress levels, and poor eating/drinking habits make me not want to run!

But I fucking did it.

Chilly pre-race selfie. I was so pissed at myself for forgetting to leave my prescription sunglasses in the car. They are not comfy running glasses.

I got an early morning pep talk phone call from my friend and erstwhile coach, CC and then I was off.

Waiting at the start line

There were plenty of people in costumes (and there were a lot of kids’ activities – a bounce house, egg decorating, sidewalk chalking) and I felt happy that I wasn’t.

The race ended up starting about 15 minutes later than scheduled because they were waiting for the half marathoners to clear the 5K course before they let us start.

Scary rabbit leading us in warm-up exercises that we couldn’t really do because we were too packed in.

The course itself was fine. It was a flat out and back on asphalt. There was water, jelly beans, and peeps (wtf? no!) at the turn around. I had a plan of 1:1 walk/run intervals and I stuck to my plan pretty closely. I missed one walk interval at the beginning because my sound was wonky and one run interval towards the end because I wanted to, dammit.

It took a good 1.5 miles for my body to say, “hey! this isn’t so bad!” Before that, the connective tissue in the ankles/Achilles/shins hated me. This has been common while running lately. Every time. I’ve taped, I’ve iced, I’ve stretched…nothing seems to be helping.

ANYWAY – I ran across the finish line, hopefully smiling, and got my medal. I saw the line into the food tent and balked, but decided to investigate further. It was only for food. The line for mimosas was super short. I grabbed my mimosa in the commemorative glass and took my post-race selfie.

The mimosa was terrible, so I dumped it out. Then some nice guy gave me his drink ticket, so I went back for the requisite morning beer.

I talked to a stranger while she waited for her sister (who was doing the half marathon and was going to be doing her 100th half-mary the following day!) and a friend.

Then I packed it in and headed home. I’m not sure what distance I’ll do at the race in May, but at least now I know that I can do the 5K!

I was overly sore and extraordinarily exhausted Saturday night. I was weepy and cranky and had zero chill. I slept poorly that night and spent yesterday doing almost nothing. (Although I did go out for a 30 minute walk to keep things limber.)

Tomorrow morning, I’ll hit the trails post preschool drop off. (I tried to run today, but my ankles are still so sore that I was afraid I’d injure myself further by over-correcting my stance.)

I used to run regularly on Tuesdays/Thursdays/Saturdays. I’m planning on getting back to that schedule with a minor tweak: Monday (mornings)/Wednesday (evenings)/Saturdays (early on Alvie weekends/later on kidless weekends). Because of today’s no-go, I’ll do Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday this week and then get on schedule next week.

I will do this, because I am a

(Best .gif ever, courtesy my PSM.)

Three Things Thursday

  1. I have a 5K next weekend. I have sporadically trained for said 5K. Very sporadically. And then I twisted my ankle last week and it’s just now feeling better, as long as no one kicks it or drops heavy things on it or I wear shoes. I’m not going into it with any expectations of PR-ing, but I need to go, to walk/run that bitch, and finish, thus earning my mimosa in my commemorative running glass.

The finishing mimosas in 2015 before Jamie abandoned me for Boston

  1. I have another, longer race in six weeks. I’m hoping the success of crossing the finish line next weekend will spur me into being less sporadic. It’s weird when you get stuck in an endless loop of too stressed to run and have no long-acting stress relief. I know that once I get solidly back in the habit (and for me, that’s four-five weeks of 3x/week), I’ll love it. I’ll feel good (most of the time), sleep better, eat better, and have a significant reduction in stress levels. It’s just easier to stay home and not run or walk. Home is nice. No off-leash dogs, hardly anyone looks like a threat (solo trail running as a woman can be a bit nerve-wracking, regardless of how much I love it), and there’s wine. I have yet to come across a wine kiosk in Forest Park. (WAIT A MINUTE! NEW BUSINESS IDEA!)

I will set up a little wine stand in the middle of forest park. Like a lemonade stand, but for adults.

 

  1. Every time I start running, I get sick or injured. It’s like a curse. Maybe it is a curse! I read this morning that certain household objects invite demons into your home. And, since I have multiple tarot decks, a yoga mat, and–between the Beer Guy and me–two complete copies of the Harry Potter books as well as all the movies on DVD, we’re pretty much doomed. (That’s before we even look at the various religious studies books the two of us have. I’m sure all the non-Bible stuff is inviting all the demons in.)It’s nice having someone to blame. I finally get the Bean’s insistence that the Sugar Ghosts ate all the candy canes off the lower holiday tree branches one morning before I woke up.

    Earlier this week, the Sugar Ghosts struck again! I bought a Cadbury Creme Egg for myself the other day, and when I went to eat it, it was missing! It couldn’t have been the Bean–he was at school–and the Beer Guy swears it wasn’t him…must be Sugar Ghosts. They’re in league with the demons!

(You guys…I just spent way too long trying to find a font that screamed “exorcism” at me but was still legible. It’s way harder than I would’ve thought. I eventually gave up and just chose a font called “Sunday” because it made me laugh.)

Happy Thursday!

 

 

Enter the End

December 1. The beginning of the last month of 2015.

Overall, it’s been a decent year. There are some job things that aren’t quite as good as one might hope and I’m 23 books short of my 2015 reading goal. I should start counting re-reads, then I’d be kicking that goal in the ass.

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Speaking of asses – I do not have a yoga butt. The one thing I didn’t accomplish that makes me a little bummed (hee) is the exercising.

I got a lot of shit done this year.

I finished a book. I edited another book AND THEN SENT IT INTO THE WILD. I started yet another book and am, so far, 56K words into that one.

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I mommed and my child seems to be moving out of his sociopathic stage – at least for the time being.

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I spent time with friends (old and new) and the architect.

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I did two triathlons and two 5Ks.

I only race for medals.

I only race for medals.

5K post baby PR

5K post baby PR – and mimosas

I fought off a recurrence of my fairly significant anxiety disorder and am living happily drugged up and mentally balanced (most days).

I traveled to New Orleans.

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I’ve been working like a fiend on my Swedish and although I’ve a long ways to go, I’m getting there. I’m not ready for my new boyfriend Alex to come over and test me yet – at least not in Swedish. Heh.

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I got the beginnings of a new tattoo (which should mostly be done by the end of the month.

Teaser! No full pics until it's all done.

Teaser! No full pics until it’s all done.

So when I look at what I’ve done, why do I only see what I didn’t do? I’m not going to write that list, because I don’t think that’d help anything, but that’s where I get stuck.

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A looooong time ago, I used to do monthly goals. They were generally things like “run 100 miles” or “workout 35 hours” or “I obviously haven’t yet had a kid and am not currently in a management position [insert goal here].”

But I want to do that for this month, maybe just scaled down a bit for realism. I am yelling at myself in these goals, so forgive the third person.

  1. Go for a fucking run. Seriously. Get out on the trails and run three miles and remember why you like running. Do it Sunday morning. Now it’s a plan immortalized on the internet so there is no choice in the matter.
  2. Stick to about 80% of the December eating plan. If you have bacon and eggs for breakfast on Christmas, you get a pass. Also no one expects you to go 100% cold turkey on the cream in your coffee. This does not mean that you SKIP breakfast when you’re home just because you’re out of oatmeal.
  3. Write every day. It’s the best habit you have.
  4. Move most days. It’s the best habit you don’t have.
  5. Read 23 books, because you are not failing at a reading goal.

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Bonus goal: Just breathe. Shit happens. You lead a privileged life full of wonderful things and people and this, too, shall pass.


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Three (3!) Things Thursday – Pants on Fire Edition

1. Remember when I said on *checks calendar* that I was going to do a book review on Wednesday and one on Friday? Did you enjoy yesterday’s review? You did not? Because it wasn’t there? Yeah. About that…so I have pneumonia. Which is not the bronchitis I was afraid I had at this point last week. It’s been making it difficult to wake up in the morning because my body thinks sleep is more important than waking early to write. (It also thinks not coughing is more important than exercising, something I am supporting.)

This is how I feel now.

This is how I feel now.

2. Speaking of writing, I had promised to finish the draft of the novel I’m working on by the end of the month. I have written approximately 1300 words in the last week (damn you, pneumonia! and double damn to Alvie’s ear infection). That is not enough to finish this. I’m going to have to push hard over the next 9 days to make my goal.

Day 004

The writing cave

3. The five point action plan I mentioned last week? The one with breakfast and lunch and no wine for dinner? That’s been going quite well! Go me! The activity levels need to be bumped up, but as soon as I can hit a brisk walk without coughing up a lunch, I feel that I’ll be doing well. I have a 5K April 4, my first outdoor triathlon (sprint!) on 5/9, and an Olympic tri on June 7. I also need to run a 10K at some point in April. The one thing that all of these races have in common? Every single one has a medal for all finishers.

I only race for medals.

I only race for medals.

Race Report! Portland i55 Indoor Triathlon

I have an exciting race season planned for 2015 and the first race of the year, designed to get my feet wet and remind me what triathlons are like, was last Sunday.

I signed up for the Portland Indoor Triathlon a while ago. It’s the i55 – so named because it’s 55 minutes of…let’s go with fun.

Instead of being distance focused, it’s time focused. There’s a ten minute pool swim, a thirty minute bike (you bring your own bike and it’s set up for you on a pool side bike trainer) and then a 15 minute run.

I was a little nervous going into it because it was my first triathlon since 2012 (when I DNF’d due to a panic attack during the OWS portion) and then my body decided it would be super awesome to just hold off on that special lady time a few days so that I could start the day before my race. I spent Saturday curled up with some of the worst cramps in recent memories cursing my tri coach who’d told me that I was not allowed to have a bottle of wine. (Kidding, CC! I did not curse you. Much.)

I got my ass out of bed Sunday morning and remembered that I have a really hard time eating the morning before a race and wished that I had some Clif bars handy. I drank coffee, loaded my sexy MF into my car, and headed to Beaverton.

Once there, I went to the locker room to do my necessary pre-race business and then headed to the pool deck. Since I was in wave B, I got to set up my bike right away (they had room for two waves of bikes to be set up at once). They couldn’t get my bike in their trainer and had to switch out my spindle. I got my transition set up and then waited.

The first wave hopped in the pool, I ate a shot blok, and then before I knew it, the first wave was out of the pool and it was time to jump in. We had ten minutes in the pool before our wave started. However, there was only one person doing all the starts and stops for all the waves, so he was (understandably) a wee bit decapitated poultry-esque and tried to start us too soon. I did one lap and then waited to get going.

I started out a bit too fast on the swim, but I knew that it was going to be the strongest portion of my race and wanted to go hard. Alas! My early push meant I was running out of steam by the end and the fact that the swim center had been broken into the night before meant that we were listening for some guy’s voice to tell us when we finished and not a horn, so I was checking the clock every lap instead of just swimming my ass off. If I’d swam more consistently and not been checking the clock, I could’ve done at least one, probably two more laps. Doesnae matter (that’s my motto for this race).

Swim: 450 yards (.256 miles)

Next it was a five-minute transition and then on to the bike. That was plenty of time to pull my bike shorts on and get my socks and shoes on, as well as take a sip of my water (fortunately I’d brought water; a lot of people didn’t because we’d thought there would be water available during the race, but there wasn’t) and another Shot Blok.

The bike sucked. The trainers weren’t so great and my back wheel kept slipping. I put in a LOT of effort. A lot. The bike is definitely my weakest sport, but I was working really, really hard for what I was getting. And what I was getting was not much.

At the end of the thirty minutes, the bike computer showed that I’d logged 5.27 miles. That is…not much. Just for fun, this morning on my own bike trainer I did an easy spin. I didn’t push too hard, just kept up a nice easy casual pace after doing a 15 minute warm up of body-weight exercises. I wanted to see how long it would take me to get to 5.27 miles with minimal effort. 26 minutes. I know it sounds like excuses, but I’m having a hard time believing that with race-fueled adrenaline and huge amounts of effort, I only went 5.27 miles in 30 minutes. (I heard other people complaining about their bike set ups, too, so it wasn’t just me. Of course, one guy did go 11.1 miles in the 30 minutes, so he obviously was fine.

Bike total: 5.27 miles of suckage (10.54 mph)

The run course was outside, which I thought really made the whole “indoor tri” false advertising. It was raining, and the course looked like this:

Run-CourseThe run was on rough, mossy asphalt. You ran up one side of a little cone fence, turned around and ran back down the other, and then did that over and over and over. Forty-six times if you were me. Seventy-eight if you were the winner. It was a bit mind numbing.

I’d worked so hard for so little in the bike portion that my legs were not pleased by this time so my run was slower than I would’ve liked. I was passed a lot by the other people in my wave, but by this time we were all friends, so it was kind of nice. There was one person in my wave that I lapped several times, and a few people who were pretty close to the same pace.

Run: 1.31 miles (11:29 pace)

Total mileage: 6.83 miles

Overall Rank: 52/66

Gender Rank: 22/31

Age Group Place: 2

That’s right – I actually got an age group place. I think I get a certificate. Hopefully they’ll mail that to me.

Also, I completely crushed the 9 & under age group.

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I totally taunted all the kids with my faster times.

I exchanged texts with my coach after and was bitching a bit about my problems with the bike. She observed that it sounded like a rough morning, and parts of it were, but I countered with this happy selfie.

IMG_0301I actually had a great time and am so glad I did it. It was not my favorite race of all time and I probably wouldn’t do it again, but it was good to get my feet wet in a controlled environment. Plus, I got a medal.

I know what I’ll do differently next time (besides never do that kind of triathlon again).

  1. Make sure to have something I can eat on hand for pre-race fueling.
  2. Attach my bottle cages to my bike so that I can reach my water while peddling.
  3. Get a tri suit that fits to eliminate as much changing time as possible.
  4. Spend as much time in the saddle as I can between now and my goal races later this year. The swimming and running will come easily, but the bike? Not so much.

This morning, I got started on that last point.

The Sexy MF all set up and ready to go.

The Sexy MF all set up and ready to go.