August 1 2014

5-Mile Grand Ridge Trail Race Tomorrow!

Go Cougs

Go Cougs

So tomorrow is my first trail race! Have I mentioned that? I’m sooooo excited. Grand Ridge is sort of hilly, so my plan is to take it easy on the tough parts, but to run hard on the easy parts. And to have fun. And to not bite it. Simple enough, right?

It’s 5 miles and I’m hoping I finish in under an hour, but faster if possible. Excited to try something new and test myself.

I was going to wear my black Lulu Pacesetter skirt, but I think I will feel more comfortable in capris. Hopefully, I won’t be too hot. The trail is covered in trees, but it’ll be about mid-60s at the start, and tree canopies can create humidity. I’ve run on a warm day at Point Defiance in these capris and was okay.

So here’s how today’s (non) workout went down:

Waiting for the Blue Angels at the end of the Cedar River Trail.

Waiting for the Blue Angels at the end of the Cedar River Trail.

No run today. I promised Karsen we would watch the Blue Angels, who were in town as a part of Seafair.

I thought we’d just pop on down to a park on Lake Washington, about 30 minutes from us, and watch after picking up some sandwiches and a pair of shorts. I only own two pairs of shorts and they were both dirty and I need shorts anyway. Yes, I only own two pairs of shorts. I just don’t need them very often. So we stopped at Marshall’s first.

I ended up getting some New Balance running shorts because I couldn’t find any regular shorts that weren’t too…um…revealing. Basically, there were about 5 pairs of shorts in the whole store. Unless you were a dude. Tons of shorts.

Then we stopped at Jimmy Johns for sandwiches and a cookie, and headed over to the park. Guess what? The Seahawks practice right down the street from the park. Guess what? EVERYONE was in the area for either the air show or the ‘Hawks. Ugh. There was nowhere to park. I was nearly in tears. I’d promised. And now it was 12:30 and some jets were up in the air flying (the Blue Angels didn’t start till 1:45), and we were driving around in circles.

But then I remembered something…da da da-da!

The Cedar River Trail! My old stomping grounds. Sort of. I’ve run to the end of it a handful of times and I remembered it led to the very end of the lake and that it was sort of hidden behind Boeing. I also remembered it went right by the high school stadium nearby. Parking! I drove there and I was right. The only problem was that it was a mile from the stadium. So me and Karsen walked two miles today. It was good for us. Even on a rest day.

Of course, there is another way to get there…and to park closer, I learned. It’s just that I’ve never driven there before. Only run there. So, now I know for next time.

Kars running at the end of the Cedar River Trail.

Kars running at the end of the Cedar River Trail.

So running saved the day. I NEVER would’ve known about that spot if I hadn’t run there before.

It was a little windy

It was a little windy.

July 31 2014

2 Runs, 2 Strength Workouts, 1 Day

On tonight's 4+-mile trail run with Renee.

On tonight’s 4+-mile trail run with Renee. Testing out this outfit for Saturday’s race.

Holy sweat, Batman! I got in a bunch of workouts today even though I didn’t fall asleep fast enough last night to get up at 5 and exercise before work. But it all worked out. (Haha. Get it?)

My co-workers went running again today and so I tagged along again. We went at 11:30 a.m. and it was probably close to 80 degrees. We aren’t used to that kind of heat (I say that with a wink because I grew up in the Sacramento area where it gets up to the triple digits this time of year), so we ran pretty easy. Guys are funny because I feel like they are very concerned about their pace and if they are running fast enough. Or if they were faster than last time.

We ran 2.87 miles in just under 28 minutes or so.

Then I got home and it was too hot out to do anything with the kiddo outdoors (he’s a true Northwest kid: “I hate the sun!”). He LOVES, like LOVES, American Ninja Warrior. So we caught up with that and I got in my Metabolic Effect workout that I’d intended on doing at 5 a.m. This time I used 20-pound dumbbells and I didn’t die! Which is nice.

I did the circuit 5 times in 20 minutes:

  • 8 lunge/row
  • 8 chest press/crunch
  • 8 static squat/row/extension
  • 8 squat/curl/press

Then 5 minutes, AMRAP, of: push-ups and shoulder presses with 10-pound dumbbells.

After that, I did my running strength circuit because I knew I was going running later with my friend Renee and I didn’t know if I’d have time to do it when I got home. It goes like this:

It is Week 2, Day 2
Pedestal Routine:
20 sec prone (plank)
20 sec lateral (plank)
20 sec supine (plank)
20 sec lateral (plank) other side

Myrtl Routine:
Clamshells x 10 each side
Lateral leg raise x 4 (neutral toe, toe in, toe out) each side
Donkey kicks x 10 each side
Donkey whips x 5 each side
Knee circle forward x 10, Knee circle backward x 10 each side
Hurdle Trail Leg forward x 10, Hurdle trail leg backward x 10 each side
Lateral leg swing x 10 (keep hips and shoulders quiet), Linear Leg Swing x 10 bent knee each side

After that I played Jenga Angry Birds with Karsen and we ordered pizza! But I only had a breadstick because after the hubs got home, I headed out to the nearby trails with Renee!

Have I mentioned how much I love trails?!

These are in a new growth forest area like 5 minutes away. It is an area where I’ve seen a bear before. But our bears are more scared of us than we are of them (I doubt it). SOMETHING was moving in the bushes twice on the run and I about jumped out of my Lulu skirt. “Save me, Renee!”

I did have my pepper spray, but halfway through the run, discovered I’d put the strap on backwards and so if I’d try to spray it, I would’ve sprayed myself. Brilliant. Anyway…

Trail Selfie!

Renee, my trail guide, and me.

Renee, my trail guide, and me.

We ran 4.24 miles in about 53 minutes. I talked loud the whole way to scare away the bears. Really not that different than how it usually goes on runs with me…even without bears.

It's official. I have trail shoes. And also some scrapes from berry bushes on the trail tonight and some dust! Yah! Dirt!

It’s official. I have trail shoes. And also some scrapes from berry bushes on the trail tonight and some dust! Yah! Dirt!

I’m SO stoked for Saturday’s trail run.

July 30 2014

My First Trail Race is Saturday, Exclamation Point

First things first. I signed up for my first trail race last night! Before I could change my mind, I registered for the 5-mile Grand Ridge race, which is Saturday morning. Turns out a few friends will be there, too! I ran the course (in a different direction) a couple of weeks ago with Jen, and it was hilly! I’m excited! Can you tell! Use all the exclamation points!

The scenery along the Grand Ridge trail in Issaquah. Are you tired of pictures of trees yet?

The scenery along the Grand Ridge trail in Issaquah. Are you tired of pictures of trees yet?

But, seriously, I’m really into trail running right now. I’m like the Depeche Mode of trail running. I just can’t get enough.

On to today’s workout:

Today’s plan: Assuming I got 7 hours of sleep, I would get up and run before work.

What actually happened: My alarm went off at 5 a.m. I noticed it was sort of dark, I stumbled to the alarm clock and hit “snooze.” Then I went back to bed where I talked myself into getting up (win!). I fumbled around for running clothes, changed and went downstairs where I noticed the clock in my room is at least five minutes slow. Then I remembered I was going to go to work early so I could leave early to get to my dentist appointment on time this afternoon. Ugh.

I stood there, blinking, trying to do the math to see if I had enough time to run. It was 5:20. I needed to leave my house by 6:15. I wanted 3 miles. So that would have me back by 5:50ish, then I need to stretch. That’s almost 6. Then a quick rinse-off in the shower: 6:10. Getting dressed, throwing my lunch together…so a collapsed on the couch for 15 minutes instead (lose).

Okay, in retrospect, I might’ve been able to pull it off, especially if I’d planned. I should know better…but I was watching an episode of Boundless (which I’m hooked on thanks to my friend Michelle) Tuesday night in which they run the Caballo Blanco Ultra, and then I went to bed. I just sort of…forgot I was planning to run in the morning.

And you know what else. I’m also sort of afraid of running so early in the morning in the dark by myself. I will have to bring Mace and wear a headlamp or bring a flashlight. I need to get used to this. Also, I hope to get a gym membership so if I’m not feeling brave, I can go treadmill it up inside.

The actual workout:

Since my treadmill is still out of order, I had no running options this afternoon. It was hot anyway. So I rode my bike on my trainer in my air conditioned house while watching yet another episode of Boundless (this time it was endurance SUP–ouch). I wanted to get double the miles I would’ve gotten with a run, so I just aimed to get more than 6. I did 7.8 in 35 minutes and called it good.

Grilled chicken, broccoli and quinoa for dinner. And I did not gorge on Cheetos when I got home today! (Because they are all gone and the bag is in the trash.)