Soothing It All in Saltwater

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Psalm 139:17 Taken in Brookings, OR

I am thankful for vacations.  I am really thankful for vacations that seem to pop up JUST in the right time.  Summer is winding down.  School is starting back up.  The routine and schedule of fall and winter is starting. It’s that last little slice of the freedom of summer.

This came at just the right time for me, because rest was on my body’s mind.

Training has been going great!  Until, it wasn’t.  I had a very high mileage week, that started strong, came winding around the mid-week strong, feeling awesome and then….Saturday!!  My 10-miler turned into a 6-miler that was 12 minutes S L O W E R than the 7-miler I did the day before.  Huh?  Scratch your head and do that math!  TWELVE minutes slower!  I could tell when I left my house that things weren’t feeling “so great” and when it came time for me to turn around, I knew this run was &%$*!!!! I came home completely used up.  Sick.  In pain.  Total bonk!  I was irritated.  I pouted.  I even told the Hubs, “I know why people hate running.  If it feels like this I WOULD HATE IT TO”  In fact that day…I did.  I hated it.  Hubs sat dumfounded in hearing my words.  This man has been with me for over 19 years, I honestly don’t think he has ever heard those words leave my mouth before.

I showered, didn’t stretch, never do (hello, we may have a problem here) and sat down for about 30 minutes.  In silence.  I am a thinker.  A contemplate-er.  A talk-it-out’er.  A resolve-er.  And then…my optimism (ya know…the one that’s ALWAYS there) showed up.  I immediately thought, hmmm I am bound to have a bad running day here and there.

I’ll be back out again tomorrow!!!  (Dang optimism)

Didn’t happen.

**Side note**  I am not a “get sore” type of person.  It doesn’t matter the sport, the distance, if I’m doing yoga, lifting weights, doing Insanity, running, cycling, swimming….I don’t get sore.  Hubs hates this about me.  But it’s a fact Jack (yes I just watched an episode Duck Dynasty)

Well, the next morning when I woke up to run…I was sore.  Sore in weird spots like, my ankles.  My left hip.  My stomach.  I actually felt kind of sick.  Not the kind of sick you feel as in over training.  This was different.  This is where the vacay fits in, because we were leaving in 3 days.  I think I needed the rest.  From what, I have no clue.  But a rest none-the-less.

So off we went.  The hubs and I, on a little three state, coastal vacation.  It was perfect!  It was just the rest that I needed.  We left Idaho for Bend, OR on our first day.  We love Bend.  I could live in Bend, OR.  The next day, we headed to California.  It was nice being home, and seeing family and friends.  Even had a little sneaky-surprise party planned by my oh-so-sneaky best friend.  Good thing we have been friends for 100 years or she would’ve NEVER been able to pull it off.  And boy, did I make things difficult for her.  HAHA! (sorry K, I do love ya)

Sun Dial Bridge in Redding, CA

Leaving Redding, we headed for the coast, and just took our time driving the NorCal coast on Highway 101 and into OR and WA.  The Oregon coast by far, has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve seen.  I love all of the lighthouses.  I love just being ON the ocean.  There is a huge magnetic draw for me, towards the sea.  It’s when I am most happy, most at peace.   Along the way we stopped where we wanted, when we wanted.  Really had no agenda or itinerary, all the way to Seattle.  It was fabulous!  Life is extraordinary on no schedule.  Especially when you are on the coast, in the sand, with your best friend (this time referring to the hubs)  We laughed (a lot) prayed (a lot) read, talked, walked, visited breweries, hiked, ate amazing food, visited the memorial of Nirvana’s Curt Cobain, visited several lighthouses, picked sea glass and moon stones and some times, just sat in utter silence.  The weather was the best we have ever had driving the coast.  It rained one day, but the rest were blue skies and full of sun!  I didn’t think about running the whole time.  OK…that might have been a white lie…but I didn’t “stress” on the fact that I wasn’t running, and was just enjoying the moment.   I did wonder (for a split second) if taking that much time off was going to hinder fitness.

Along The Way Cannon Beach, Newport, Yaquina, Patricks Point, Pacific City, Sea Lion Caves, Gold Beach, Bandon, Coos Bay, Seaside, Astoria, Crescent City, Eureka, Arcata

One of my favorite pictures from the whole trip

Gorgeous Lift Bridge outside our room in Florence, OR

Gorgeous Lift Bridge outside our room in Florence, OR

Went to a glass blowing studio and Hubs made me a Glass Float in Lincoln City, OR

Went to a glass blowing studio and Hubs made me a Glass Float in Lincoln City, OR

Visiting the home town and Memorial of Nirvana's Curt Cobain.  Aberdeen, WA

Visiting the home town and Memorial of Nirvana’s Curt Cobain. Aberdeen, WA

Aracata, CA

Aracata, CA

Sea Cave

Sea Cave



So back home today, I went out in this wonderful fall-like rain, and did a nice casual run.  Just to see how the body was feeling.  It felt incredible.

I’m glad I listened.  Glad I took the rest.  Marathon is 8 weeks away.  And guess what?  I love running!  Even when I have a bad day, or sometimes a bad week.  It’s bound to happen.


You Have Me Swooning Over You

About three weeks ago I blogged about having a major break-up in my life.  It was tragic.  Devastating.  My heart was broken.


I scoured my home for break-up mix tapes from the 80’s.  I couldn’t believe the love had drained out of my life so quickly.  I barely had time to place Band-Aids over my heart…ahem, my heels.  This break up was with my trusty running shoes.  When you run in the same shoes for years, there really is a little romance that goes on.  It’s a relationship.  You’re excited each morning (or evening) to lace up.  You know they will fit just perfect.  You know what they have carried you through, and where you plan to go in your future.  You look forward to the nice, new, clean, pair that arrives.  They are with you mile after mile.  Through sweat, tears, sprinklers, streams, trails, the heat of the road, track workouts and race after race.  They are your partner in crime, and your beloved, companion for your therapy sessions (long run.)

Unfortunately, this had to come to an end.

GREAT news!! I found an awesome new pair that I am loving!  Altra zero drop shoes.  Zero drop, meaning they do not have an elevated heel, allowing for a more natural foot strike.  They align posture and reduce initial impact by 3-5x.  One of my favorite features is the foot-shaped toe box.  I have these tiny, little, narrow, feet.  But when I run I like my toe to feel free, to wiggle and spread out.  Hubs says I have monkey toes….  Just because I can spread all ten toes, pick up things and practically write my name with my feet, doesn’t mean I have monkey toes.  I have no idea what he is talking about. images-3  That being said, I LOVE this wide toe box.  They are also gender specific.  I think all shoe manufacturers should adopt this feature.  Men’s and women’s feet are just as different as everything else.  The women’s have a narrower heel, longer arch, and specific metatarsal positioning.  And they come in sweet colors (which I adore) like raspberry, fuchsia and, lime.  Totally swooning over these!!


I was so nervous to try a new shoe…but things happen.  I am in by no means knocking my old shoes.  They served me well for years.  I am just over-joyed that I found a new pair that I love.  No blisters, no pain, and really no transition time.  Although, I have been running in minimalist shoes for years, and if you haven’t, it will take you some time to get used to the Altras.

I feel like a kid…Do you remember when you were young, and you got new shoes and our Moms would say that the new shoes would make you run faster?  Maybe the shoes had lights, or sparkles, or lightening bolts…and they made you screaming fast!  That’s how I feel!!


I am 6-weeks into marathon training and feeling great!  I haven’t had any issues with knees, IT’s, ankles or shins.  Queue the halleluiah choir.

I am also looking forward to start training for my 3rd Ironman.  I didn’t tell a lot of people before registering.  I was unsure about which event I would do for 2014, but when Boulder opened as a new 140.6, I could NOT resist!!  So Aug 3rd next year…Ironman Boulder it is!!  Makes my stomach flip-flop out of excitement and anxiety!!  That’s how it is for every race I sign up for.  Hoping to get some pointers on higher altitude racing.  Thankful we are not even near sea level up here in the mountains of northern Idaho…but we aren’t 5400 feet!!  Can you say, “breathing through a straw?”

Gonna be a great challenge!!


The Break-Up

Summer has so far proved to be amazing…as usual. It’s my time of year. My season. It never disappoints. Well…OK, I retract that as sometimes living in the Pacific Northwest our summers are more of a quick blip on the calendar in August. I love the hot (sometimes but rarely humid) days. I love waking early, and getting in a run while the sun is rising. And some days like yesterday, absolutely killing it on a six-mile run in the blistering, heat of the afternoon. I love that feeling of sore, tired, muscles. Sweating so much you feel like you’ve had a complete detox or a good session in the sauna. Finishing off those miles wondering if your legs will give out on you altogether or if when you stop there will be a puke-explosion! Now….six-miles is not a lot to run mileage wise, but when your last mile is entirely uphill, it is 85 degrees, full sun, and you feel like you may collapse….that six-miles can feel like your twenty-sixth.


That hill I speak of, some days it’s my best friend. It’s my “cool down” and I walk that 1-mile hill to my house. Some days it’s my worst enemy, as I run it and do repeats on it…either way, I live at the top, and what runs down, must run up! Yesterday I felt like calling the Hubs for a pick-up at the bottom. Luckily I didn’t have my phone, so it was “tackle this B*tch!” Glad I did. The first thing that came out of my mouth, all exasperated, out of breath, sweating like a dog, used up completely, when I got back to the house, and Hubs was sitting on the front porch, in the shade, was “WHY ON EARTH DO WE LIVE AT THE TOP OF A GIANT HILL!!!??” After I grabbed some water, stretched and cooled out…all I had to do was look around. Enough said.

Not Such a Bad View Coming Up Our Hill

Not Such a Bad View Coming Up Our Hill

I have officially started training for my Fall marathon. I am excited! I of course scoured through different training plans *see last weeks blog post* and felt pretty good with my decision. Annnnd…. have since changed my mind. Go figure! Thank goodness we are only 2 weeks in. So switching gears a bit, I decided to use the Hanson Method. Their book, Hansons Marathon Method: A Renegade Path to Your Fastest Marathon, just made me laugh. And I thought, how apropos. I like the “renegade” part. Again…Go figure! Those who know me know that this word “renegade” alone would’ve sucked me in.

So I am starting this week (yesterday) 3 weeks into their plan. So far, so good, but it’s only been 2 days. It will be a completely different approach for me, as far as marathon training goes. My longest run will only be a 16-miler (which I will do 3 times during training) VS a 20 or 22-miler. They say they train you for the last 16 miles of the marathon and not the first 16. It’s a 6-day a week plan, that incorporates speed, strength and tempo workouts and trains your body to run on tired legs. From some of my Ultra friends, I hear this is a great approach. I will be putting in anywhere from 46-62 miles per week. The reviews are fantastic! So that’s settled….for good this time!



This is What My First 8-weeks Will Look Like (I Started on Week 3)

This is What My First 8-weeks Will Look Like (I Started on Week 3)


On another note, I am sad to say, I am going to be breaking up with my running shoes. This crushes and breaks my heart. I do not understand (well I do) why manufacturers need to change-up their shoe’s design. I know as technology and science betters with time, they need to make a change…but OH MY GOSH…do I love my shoes. Unfortunately since they made a small change, my last 2 pairs have been a little lackluster. Including my newest pair. I feel the tears welling up in my eyes as I type, and am now wishing I had been better at hoarding these shoes. As in buying up 25 pairs while they were so great! I would’ve had shoes for a few years. So now I am left in a quandary, trying to figure out what to switch to. LUCKILY, I am in early training and have some time to get this worked out. The break-up will be hard, and I will go through a mourning process, possibly locking myself in my room and listening to old Journey or some Total Eclipse of the Hearts for a few days. But like any other break-up, I know something better will come along.



I’d love to hear from you about training plans and shoes. Which plans have worked and which have not? Which running shoes have you had a love affair with? Have there been bad break-ups? How did you cope? And what was the “something better” that came along?? Was it hard saying Good-Bye?