February 9, 2015

Bristow Trail Run ~ First race of 2015

I had some fun this weekend at a local race! 

My dad and husband were kind enough to shuffle the boys to their basketball games and practices so I could race in Dexter, OR, for the first time since September (first "real race effort" since last march!). Without their help I doubt I'd be able to do this thing that I love. As a mom, I hated missing the games, but since we have another month of them, I should be able to catch a few more :)

Since it was raining steadily for days and the forecast called for 100% chance of rain Saturday morning, I thought that it might scare some people away from doing the Bristow Trail Run (My usual race strategy: eliminate the competition). And it might have... 

It's hard to know for sure.

This lonely photo is the only proof I have that the parking lot had standing water up to the hubs on the pickups, and that the ordinarily lovely trails at Elijah Bristow State Park were flooded with rain and mud.

I'm pretty sure the race director looked for the highest, driest, island of land possible to place the finish line and refreshment tents.


Friends on strava can have a good laugh at my splits, but I assure you I worked pretty darned hard for them! My pace barely broke 8min/mile over 5.3 miles of trails, but my heart rate was equivalent to running 6:40/mile on the track during some recent workouts.






Whenever I race, I try to have as good a time as possible and also try to take something away for the next time.

This time I gleaned these nuggets of wisdom: 
  • Sometimes it's OK to pass early. You can't know what's in the other person's mind when you are considering a pass on muddy single track. With 3/5 of a race to go, sometimes it's a good move. In my head, I might be thinking "If I pass now, she's just going to pass me again later." But in her head, she might be thinking "I am going out too fast and need to run my own race". You don't know until you take the chance.
  • Mud is slow. Ordinarily "fast and flat" courses are not fast at all with standing water and thick mud. Ignore your Garmin. Really.
  • 5 mile racers have a better shot at post-race food than people running the 10 mile or the 50k (Some people were crazy enough to do the same loop I did 6 times). Go ahead and run your long races... I will help myself to the food :D (And then go change into my warm dry clothes before the unheated bathroom floors are covered in mud and sand.)



During the race I could have pushed my heart a bit harder at times, but probably not my legs. This was really just the sort of workout-race I needed to kick-start a new season!

***
Have you ever ran a race where you had to just forget about your pace?

Go read Camille Herron's post on ditching your GPS if you haven't yet!


January 15, 2015

Un-Ambassador

You might have noticed (if you're reading the desktop version) that a certain "Ambassador" label is missing from my site. 

After sporting a few different brands of footwear over the last 3 years, this year I chose not to apply for shoe sponsorship.

January 1, 2015

NYE Run ~ The Trail I Was Bound to Find


On New Year's eve we had some beautiful (but cold for here), weather. It only made sense to make the most of it, so I took my dog (I dog-share with my inlaws. It's complicated.), to a logging road I only recently discovered was any good for running.

This road is only minutes from my house. I have driven past the access road hundreds of times but never went up it until a few days ago, when I figured out it is actually pretty runnable!

You only have to hike or drive up 1600 ft in 2 miles before you start running ☺





The rolling nature of the gravel logging road made this a really fun workout.

I got some climbs, but nothing too serious. And the views were great!


Sorry! It's kind of blurry in macro mode, but I wanted to share what was up there. My hubby has come up here to hunt before and he was surprised the road gates were open.

This is a BLM public access road. A timber company is hard at work on week days, so I suspect they are keeping the gates unlocked for all the log trucks to come up and down.. Which means it's not a good choice for a midweek run.


 

We beat the sunset back to the car and I found I had left my lights on! Good thing I wasn't out too long.




 Runner safety reminder: Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.
***

Did you run on New Year's eve? 
What are your running goals for this year? 
I have one general goal: to stay uninjured. And if I don't make that goal, I'd better have a PR in something to excuse it!
***

Congratulations to the winners from the Orange Mud contest! 
Happy New Year!!


December 27, 2014

Nothing says "Merry Christmas" and "Happy New Year" like...

Kittens and Free Gear!?



Well.. maybe your answer was different. But, you have to admit, there's something special about a combo like that!

I hope your Christmas has been exceptionally full of joy. Ours has been!

We decided this year to fulfill our children's most desired material wish by bringing home (not one, but TWO) kittens.


Our ancient kitty passed away in October after having a seizure. She was 15 years old, and we knew it would happen some day. None of us realized just how big a hole she would leave in our family.

December 17, 2014

Tuvizo Reflective Vest Review


Safety is something all runners should think about. There are perils that come with running, whether you frequent the trails or stick to the pavement. 

I like excitement, but I also like to think that my last run isn't going to end because someone just didn't see me!

For years now, I have been running with the aim to be visible. My first running vest

December 4, 2014

Running when you are sick. TELL ME THE TRUTH!





This is NOT a bragging post. 

Garmin data reveals I have a hard time keeping under 140 average heart rate (my target for easy runs), especially with a cold.

Somehow the body knows, and any little jog seems to send my heart rate UP.

I try really hard to behave.

I do

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

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

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. 

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.