November 23, 2014

Over the Hill



Well, I guess it's all downhill from here, folks!

I hit the big 4 - 0 a few days ago.  





In running, that elevates me to "Master" status (which means I now might have twice as much luck bringing home a prize from the local 5k/10k with 40 people registered, but I still don't get my own porta potty, or even senior discount when I register for the Turkey Trot!).


Still, it is occasion enough to celebrate. 

And celebrate I did!





I know all three of you still reading this blog are sick and tired of my trail running photos, but I had to share a few more. Because my Birthday run was RAD. (And really, I enjoy taking pictures almost as much as running.)




Cooper Creek has some amazing colors in the fall. 
It is the one time of year where it is not "just" green! (but it's still mostly green)



A friend and I had a really fun run. 

Although I am trying to stay under 140 bpm with heart rate training, I let it go for the day and allowed myself to feel the push of running fairly hard (for me at the moment!) up and down the rolling hills.



She humored me and stopped several times on the way back while I took pictures and caught some video.

    And we laughed about things old ladies  "Master runners" talk about...
At one point, reviewing a photo on the trail, I mentioned, "Man. My butt got big!"
To which she replied, quite matter-of-factly, "You turned forty."
I consoled myself (celebrated the joy) of the 40 year old butt later with a second drive-through coffee for the day.


***
And what's a birthday without gifts?

Some cool new things...  

My husband bought me a tripod for $6.99. (He didn't realize that was his birthday gift to me- it just worked out that way!)


It's so cool, because it can wrap around branches or I can set it on the ground.


I also got a Garmin Forerunner 220 a few weeks ago as an "early gift" . This new toy did pretty well for GPS reception and distance on our wooded trail run. 

You can see where I forgot to turn it back on after we started running (straight line). I considered the Fenix2 because of the altimeter and battery life, But I just don't think I will ever be running 100 milers, so this works for me.


And, unexpectedly, a package arrived on my very birthday! 

I had entered a contest on Jeff Gallup's blog, (Which you all should be following!!), and won a pair of Pearl Izumi Flash shorts.

The style and fit are flattering (I think) . There's only one pocket, but that's all I need because of my hydration vest.



***

Do you drink drive though coffee? More than once a day? 

Are there any running gadgets on your wish list?

November 16, 2014

Getting back on the horse isn't that bad!

I was a little nervous about starting back into running after this layoff. Each time I take some time off for an injury, I find myself a bit fearful that I will jump back in too soon or too hard.

I did very little cardio during my 6 weeks off. Although I did get out on the bike a bit, my main focus was on hitting the gym and getting consistent with some strengthening and body balancing. 

Something new I have added into my strength routine (which was very inconsistent over the summer) is jumping rope. When I jump rope, it isn't for a long time, but the idea is to use the legs as a team, then each side independently (one legged jumps), and then do it all over again with the rope on the ground going side to side over the rope. I want both of my legs equally strong for the trail ( and the road !) ..and I believe this is making a difference!

I've also added in a variation of scorpions where the feet are a little elevated. This works each side of my core, and I am very challenged by a set of 10 for each side.

***

Since I really had no diagnosis for my foot besides some googled guesses, I've played it pretty safe. The first run back was only 10 minutes, the second 12.. after that I might have added a half of a mile. 

The main idea is to add time/distance incrementally and then reassess during (and the morning after) each run. If no big red warning lights go off, I feel free to add another 5 minutes or so, or hold it steady at the last distance I covered. I feel very confident to run ~ 4 miles/run this week, with 2-3 rest days.

I have had a bit of a cold with some congestion. Nothing terrible, but I'm sure it is playing in with my heart rate a bit.

My pace is incredibly sssssllllllloooooowwwww trying to stay under 140 BPM. It's made even slower with frequent stops to wrangle in my dog (who is turning to be a great running partner), when an occasional car passes on the gravel. 

The week before last, I even ventured to a "real" trail with a friend (Can you spot the trail above?)! 

I have some of the most patient and understanding running partners out there! Kristen ran at half her normal trail pace with me at a favorite nearby trail. 

 Brice Creek Trail


 Very Pretty! Kinda slick...


She's so sweet she wouldn't let me walk back so she could get some extra running in. (I think she either thought I would die from my cold, or slip on the rocks to my death, and then she'd be forced to drive my scary car with over 200k miles on it!)


Yeah.. hard on the eyes, isn't it?  



Another running partner, Emily, came out in the freezing rain to run Pre's trail at my heart rate. 
Bless her heart! She didn't know what she was in for. ☺

My heart rate would not settle down that day, and we went so slow it was hard to keep warm.


What a good friend! I will miss her when she moves.♥


So far, so good! Injury seems to be behind me. For now.. 
And, I'm happily on the horse again!



November 5, 2014

Life Outside The Oval Office ~ Book Review

I read a book!

Don't get all excited, but I don't do that nearly as much as I would like to.
(Unless you count children's fiction. If you put those into the equation, I've read many, many, many books in the last 7 years. Out loud, and usually with someone on each side of me, and on my lap.)

This book was a little different from my usual read.


I was pretty anxious to get a copy of Life Outside The Oval Office, because I had a feeling that it would be juicy. 

If you are not familiar with the author, Nick Symmonds, he currently runs for Brooks as an elite track athlete. Nick has established himself as a world-class 800M runner, and has competed at the Olympic level. His race times are mind-boggling.

While living in Eugene, I've had the honor of seeing him run some HOT races on Hayward Field as an athlete for OTCE (Oregon Track Club Elite). He always wears a smile, and is a favorite with the loyal Eugene track fans.

Nick has the reputation of a charmer, and after reading his autobiography, I believe he thinks the same of himself!


I wondered what the biography of a 30 year old might possibly include.

Obviously, there was quite a bit about track and field; but, it was not so centrally hinged on track that you have to be a huge fan of the sport to enjoy the book. (Some background on track would probably help though, and runners would be the target audience).

Without spoiling the book, the parts I read which I will remember for years to come will be those sections regarding :

  • the dynamics Nick has had with coaches and parents
  • his choices in lovers and roommates
  • his entrepreneurial endeavors. This is the man who split from Nike and tweeted a nude photo of himself to announce he was without a sponsor! 
The book provoked some good conversations between my husband and me on many topics, like college scholarships, alcohol and drug use, and promiscuity at the Olympic trials.

At times, I felt uncomfortable or pained for Nick, (knowing what really would happen in the future, but reading from his viewpoint before events took place). More than once I caught myself (cringing) thinking, "Oh no. Don't do that."

Please note: This book will NOT be accessible to my 9 year old until he is 30--  I would not want him to be influenced by Symmonds on some topics, (I may be a stick in the mud, but I am a mom--and that's my prerogative. Sorry Nick!).

Another note: If you are Catholic, you might be offended in the early chapters in the book, but the potentially offensive material is, of course, based on the author's experience and plays a big role in how he views many other things later on in his life.

Life Outside The Oval Office left me wondering what Symmonds will do with his next 30 years.

I hope he has no regrets from writing his autobiography. (After reading, I was struck with the reality I could never write my own and still keep it interesting.)

It will be a special lady- a very special lady - who will end up being Mrs.Nick Symmonds. ☺
*****


Here's my rating on key elements (out of ☆ )

  • Flow (easy to follow)  (I just got lost and had to re-read a few paragraphs.)
  • Entertaining  ½  (Sex, booze and running drama)
  • Editing (Mostly for wrong word choices "Toe the line/ Tow the line". It seems someone in editing was in a hurry to meet a PR deadline.)

Life Outside The Oval Office is listed at 25$, but is on sale for about 18$.

You can find Nick Symmonds on Twitter @NickSymmonds and his website nicksymmonds.com.

Have you read anything interesting lately?

October 31, 2014

First RUN in 6 weeks!

 Dressing up is fun!

I took my first run in 6 weeks at a local park today.

September 23, 2014

Recovery week and Brice Creek trail (Summer Adventures: part 2)


One of the best runs I did in prep for McKenzie river trail run was about a 1 hr drive from me. 

My hubby surprised me with wanting to spend a family day at a spot I had mentioned before to him. Unfortunately I had misplaced my trail map for the area, and it was Sunday, so the Forest service office was closed for getting a new one.