Eat Drink Run Woman

Musings from a Seattle personal chef with a fitness problem

Archive for the ‘13 in 12’

Published May 8th, 2010

Playing catch-up

Oh my — has it REALLY been more than two months since I’ve blogged? So much for my vow to document my “13-in-12” journey (not that I have anyone left reading.) Suffice it to say I’m now a 7-star Maniac who managed to complete the stunt injury-free. I’ve included more info below, but wanted to summarize the highlights from the past two months.

The biggest news? We’re going back to Boston in 2011!!! Unfortunately I don’t have an invite to the party (yet), but my darling — after two years and several attempts — ran a BQ race this past Sunday at the Tacoma City Marathon, finishing in 3:18:28 (he needed 3:20). This was a surprise to us both as he’s run even more races this year that I have. But his Achilles heel (so to speak) has been the long run; he starts off strong but fades toward the end. By getting in so many long runs he built up his endurance and it’s paid off. Now I need to get my butt in gear.

Tacoma was not only the capper to my 13-in-12 streak, it also was my 50th race of marathon distance or longer (I even got to wear bib #50). It also was my fastest marathon since Portland.

The Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge was fantastically fun, albeit not particularly challenging given I had already been running a marathon a week. Going in to Boston I toyed with trying to beat last year’s time (4:15:48), but my darling encouraged me to try for a more challenging goal: a BQ. I figured it would be an incredible long-shot, but I also thought I would know when to dial it back once it became clear I wouldn’t reach that goal. Fortunately that happened with the first 5K. In order to make 4 hours I’d have to run each 5K in under 29 minutes; when I hit the first in 29:30, I decided I’d run the rest of the race for fun. I finished in 4:25:19 feeling great.

The next week we headed to Monterey for the Big Sur Marathon where I met up with a woman from the Runner’s World online forum. She’s a speedy runner (she BQ’d at Boston), but this would be her first back-to-back race. Therefore, we decided to run together. It’s an absolutely stunning course, and fortunately we didn’t get as much wind as in other years (in fact, the little wind we had helped cool me down). We ran up ALL the hills — including the 2-mile Hurricane Point — and celebrated our accomplishment with a snort of Laphroaig 10-year single malt scotch at the grand piano just after the Bixbey Bridge (it was surprisingly tasty!)

The other big news? We’re parents again! We welcomed Jasper and Luna into our hearts and home this past Sunday (we rushed home from the marathon to shower and then head north to pick them up). They’re from the same litter and they not only keep themselves entertained, they fill us with happiness and joy. We still miss our sweet Xanthe terribly, but are so thrilled to have the pitter-patter of little paws running around.



As for future plans, now that the pressure is on for me to BQ again I’ve made some adjustments to my schedule. I was signed up to run the Rainier to Ruston 50-mile (my first) on June 5, but now that I want to try to BQ at Seattle Rock ‘n Roll on June 26 I’d like to get in some more recovery time. So I’ve switched to the 50K for R2R and will attempt to run 50 miles during the Redmond Watershed 12-hour next Saturday, May 15. This takes some weight off my shoulders as my darling wouldn’t have been available to crew me on the 5th (although one of our running friends offered to do it). And since the Watershed race is a 12-hour, there’s no DNF — I’ll simply run as many miles as I can.

Should I not BQ at Seattle Rock ‘n Roll I may try again at Missoula on July 11, however, it’s only three weeks later and the race can get pretty hot. My last-ditch back-up plan will be Skagit Flats in September, however, that too can get quite hot. Given how quickly Boston filled up last year I doubt it will still be open for an October race (but if it is, perhaps I can try again during the Nike Women’s Marathon). If all else fails then I’ll simply go to Boston as a spectator and will perhaps take over the Hopkinton Hop.


Published March 2nd, 2010

Four down… nine to go? (gulp)

It’s bonus time in EDRW land — you get THREE race reports in one!

Woolley Trail Marathon, February 20
This was a grief run for me as we had to put our kitty down the day before. Since my darling had a photo shoot in the afternoon we opted for the 6 a.m. early start, which meant we had to leave our house about 4:15 for the hour and a half drive to Sedro-Woolley. We had a rough start to the morning as our kitty’s absence set in; there’d be no strident meowing for breakfast. I broke down in sobs several times, plus I found it hard to concentrate on what I should be packing. As a result we got a late start, but figured the race director would understand. Besides, it wasn’t as if we’d be competing for the top spots.

The early starters took off just as we pulled into the parking lot. We checked in and confirmed with the RD that we could use the time on our Garmins. It was still dark, so my darling decided to run with me for the first few miles until it was light enough to put away the headlamps. Even though it was going to be a sunny day, I fortunately made the wise decision to wear a long-sleeved shirt; however, I forgot to throw on gloves. BRRRR.

This was the inaugural year for the race, which follows the Cascade Trail from Sedro-Woolley to Hamilton and back. It’s a nice wide, flat course that offers great views of the Cascades and local farmland. I started my run listening to a podcast about gastro-intestinal distress in long distance runners, and the eau de cow provided an appropriate olfactory accompaniment.

Although he had intended to start running at his own pace once the sun came up, my darling decided to stick with me. After all, we had another race the next day and there was no need to go fast. Besides, it would only mean he’d have to wait around for me at the end. While we didn’t talk much (I had my iPod, he did not), it was comforting having him close. After my podcast ended the sad songs started (I was in a melancholy mood), as did the tears. We stopped to hug several times. Fortunately the pain in our hearts was the only pain we suffered that day, as the run was quite cathartic. We crossed the finish in 4:51:12, and after an aprés race lunch of chili and hotdogs we headed home, where once again we were overcome with grief from her absence.


Published February 16th, 2010

And in the beginning…

If Sunday’s race portends what’s to come in my “13 in 12” streak I’ve got a LONG road (and sometimes trail) ahead of me.

As I was putting together my list of 13 races (marathon distance or farther) I gravitated toward the free ones.  After all, I’ve already shelled out a bunch of money for Boston and Big Sur (not to mention the Goofy Challenge), so free or almost-free were ideal.  So when I saw the Poulsbo Running Club was hosting the free Fishline 50K on Valentine’s Day, I knew it was the race for me.  How better to celebrate the Hallmark holiday than running the trails with my sweetie?

The race is held on a privately owned tree farm in Port Gamble on the Kitsap Peninsula.  We had run a similar course in August for the Port Gamble half marathon, however, this race started at a different point.  It’s moderately challenging with a mix of single track and forest service roads, with a few hills thrown in (most are fairly runnable).

While we’ve been having some great weather of late, the week leading up the race was quite damp.  In fact, I got caught in a squall while running around Green Lake two days prior (at one point the wind and rain were so strong I could barely move forward).  In addition, my work week was particularly busy (regular clients Monday-Friday, Valentine’s dinner Saturday evening) so I wasn’t as well-rested as I would have liked.   Still, I was looking forward to hitting the trail.

The morning got off to an interesting start.  We’ve been having to give our kitty subcutaneous fluids — not an easy task by any means — but by doing it ourselves we eliminate the traumatic trip to the vet.  While I wrapped her in a towel to keep her from squirming too much, my darling readied the 18-gauge hypodermic needle.  Just as he was about to stick it into her she managed to free her front paws from the towel.  As we once again attempted to get her confined I felt a sharp pin-prick on my left forefinger.  Yee-ouch!  (My darling hadn’t placed the cap back on the needle while I was re-wrapping kitty).  As I fished through our first-aid kit for the antibiotic ointment and a bandage, I noticed two spots of blood on my finger.  Turns out the needle had gone clean through!  (Medical professionals, we are not).

We took that as a sign to abandon the task until we returned from the race and got to packing our race gear.  I also packed a cooler with the fixings for chicken Caesar salad wraps to share afterwards (along with a couple of beers, natch).  I also tossed in a 1-pound box of Sees nuts & chews and a bag of salt & vinegar potato chips (we figured we’d burn our fair share of calories on the trail).