My Mid-Run Defense Mechanism

Aug 23

My Mid-Run Defense Mechanism

What happens when I’m in the running zone and someone disturbs me? Regardless of whether it’s a complete stranger or my partner of several years, the result is often flailing, screams, and a wild defense mechanism.

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The Dog Days of Summer

Jun 12

The Dog Days of Summer

The gap in my blogging can be attributed to the fact that I got a new job that is making me roughly 1,000% happier than my last one. I’ve been a bit busy getting settled into the new gig but it’s been a rewarding, exciting experience thus far. My coworkers are fun, my bosses provide great guidance, and I’ve been given a lot more responsibility. The job has a couple of notable perks, too: The CEO has completed several Ironman races (dude has an endless pool in his garage for training. for crissakes) and thus understands my dumb-ass hobby. The executive team is very encouraging of fitness, meaning I can come in a bit later if I’ve worked out in the morning, take a mid-afternoon break to run, or leave early if I’m meeting my team for a workout. This is great news for Moobecca as I am currently trying to get back on the training bandwagon, having signed up for a mid-September marathon in hopes of posting a respectable run time as well as shedding some of this flab that has suctioned itself onto my ass.  THE OFFICE IS DOG-FRIENDLY OMG YESSSSSSSSSSS I love dogs to the point of rescuing a milky-eyed derp dog during a hill repeat workout. Every time one of the office dogs strolls by, I am incapable of resisting the urge to scratch behind their ears and pet them for about four straight minutes. Since my grinch boyfriend won’t let me get a dog of my own, I’ve resorted to living vicariously through Skipper and Madison, the two pooches who come to work on a regular basis. Speaking of Skipper, this is him: He’s the CEO’s dog. Oftentimes Skipper looks very forlorn and sad, as if he just spent 10 hours listening to “Cat’s in the Cradle” on repeat. I always try to give him some good scratches to coax a smile out of him, but he is like an emo goth teenager trapped in a dog’s body. My boss, Brendan, casually mentioned one day that he took Skipper for a run around Lake Union. I perked up and said, “So he’s a running dog?” and Brendan said, “Oh yeah, he loves to run....

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Not Afraid to Run

Apr 17

Not Afraid to Run

I was at work on Monday sneak-watching a live feed of the Boston Marathon as the men’s leaders, a trio of Africans, battled against each other to be the first to cross the finish line and claim victory. For so long, qualifying for the Boston Marathon has felt like a pipe dream, a milestone I would be thrilled to hit but has always felt so far out of reach. When I first started running with Jason along the Burke-Gilman Trail, I would trot along at a 12:00/mile pace while he kept doubling back to me with a barely-concealed look of annoyance on his face. My first marathon was a 4:35, and my second marathon wasn’t much better (in fact, my off-the-bike marathons at both Ironmans I’ve raced have been close to my standalone marathon times). And then my BFG, who has always been a strong runner despite his height and his size, told me he was going to train for the Portland Marathon and try to qualify for Boston. He had run a handful of marathons, each time improving from the last, but for his age group he’d have to qualify with a 3:05 or faster. Jason, who’s always been a more dedicated and more focused athlete than me, hit all his workouts, dropped some weight, and showed up to the start line on a cool, sunny Portland morning looking slim and fit and ready to run his ass off for 26.2 miles. He crossed the finish line in 2:57, earning not only his spot at Boston but a much-admired place in the “Sub-3 Hour Marathon” club. I was inspired. Jason had just shed 22 minutes off his previous best marathon time. He encouraged me to try to qualify too, that I could get there with a little bit of dedication and perseverance. He even promised to not register for the 2013 Boston Marathon and wait until the 2014 signup opened up so we could register together if I were to qualify. So I made my 2013 season goal to run a marathon and hopefully be fast enough and in great enough shape to stamp my ticket to Boston. My training, however, has been frustratingly intermittent. I’ve been depressed....

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To the Stranger Who High-Fived Me During My Run

Mar 12

To the Stranger Who High-Fived Me During My Run

In an effort to get rid of my food baby, I went for a run “with” Jason last week (“with” meaning we left the house at the same time, then I promptly waved goodbye at his back as he shoomed away). I’m heavier and slower than my lean-yet-nightmarishly-tanned version from last summer, but I tried to stay positive as I set out to conquer the hilly 6.5 mile loop. My pace was slow but steady, and I settled into a decent groove, enjoying the crisp air that was warm enough to warrant running in a t-shirt, yet chilly enough so I wouldn’t overheat. I quickly zoned out into my “zen mode,” where I let the stresses of the day dissolve and let my thoughts wander to and from any number of topics. I used to run with my old iPod “Classic,” but after I left that bad boy on a plane, I got used to running without music and just let my inner monologue keep me company. I trudged on, totally zonked out, and soon approached the Pagliacci on 10th and Miller. I was staring straight ahead down the sidewalk and wiping some sweat off my nose when I noticed someone standing off to the side. I’m not sure if he was waiting for a bus or getting ready to cross the street, but when he saw me his face lit up and he shot his hand up in the air. Confused, I focused on him and my brain, thinking this guy knew me, searched its reserves for a name. Who is this dude? Is he a TN Multisports teammate? Have I worked with him? Brain: “Scanning for recognition…scanning…scanning…scanning…” Me: “…well? Do I know him?” Brain: “…scanning…” Me: “Ugh, brain, you are the worst.” Brain: “Don’t rush me! You’ve got a lot of useless shit in here. Do you really need to know the theme song to The Golden Girls?” Me: “I don’t need your judgment. And I will not thank you for being a friend right now because you’re seriously letting me down here. How the hell we got through college is beyond me.” Brain: “Whatever…anyway, yeahhhh, we don’t know this guy.” After finally establishing I did not...

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You Win This Round, Squak Mountain

Dec 31

You Win This Round, Squak Mountain

My BFG has taken an interest in trail running and has set his sights on tackling the White River 50 mile ultramarathon summer 2013. He’s been running with a teammate of ours who unfortunately was unavailable this past weekend for a trail running dude date with Jason, so I cautiously accepted my boyfriend’s invitation to run “with” him at Squak Mountain. Of course, by run “with” Jason, I mean “trudge far, far behind him” because he ran a 2:57 marathon in October and I have gained back a demoralizing chunk of the weight I lost earlier this year and have been intermittent with hitting my workouts lately. Nonetheless, I knew this excursion would make Jason very happy so I tagged along to tackle a 2 1/2 hour run in the wilderness. As far as trail running goes, I’ve only ever run at Cougar Mountain and Discovery Park (which isn’t really difficult trail running, but it does involve a lot of stairs), so I’m still a bit of a trail running noob. I do enjoy running on trails, though–I feel like a kid again, splashing through muddy puddles and trying to hurdle logs–so I’m making a half-ass New Year’s Resolution to do some more trail running in 2013. Unfortunately, I hate trail running just as much as I’m starting to enjoy it. It’s fun to feel like a child again, but I often forget how stupid and hard trail running can be. In Squak Mountain’s case, since I’ve been feeling down about feeling chunkier and less active lately, what better way to feel supremely dejected about how much fitness I’ve lost since Ironman Canada than to wheeze my way up a goddamn mountain at an average pace of 15 minutes/mile? Seriously, this mountain’s elevation profile is dumb. There were some hills so steep that I resorted to walking them since my walking pace was no slower than my sad attempt to jog. Jason, naturally, gazelled across the trail with his 8 ft long legs while I stub-legged a sad trot behind him, my heart rate in zone 4. I briefly thought of murdering my athletic, chipper boyfriend on numerous occasions as he’d make empty promises to me like “Take this...

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Slowly Getting Back into the Swing of Things with the Snohomish River Run

Oct 22

Slowly Getting Back into the Swing of Things with the Snohomish River Run

I’ve been trying to get back into training after Ironman Canada, but it’s been slow and infrequent. First I had to heal up from my Ironman Canada crash, and after that I’ve struggled with juggling my workouts with a demanding work schedule and the fact that Borderlands 2 came out, turning me into a gaming couch potato whenever I have a free moment. But now that I’m bigger, slower, and more lethargic, I figured it’s time to get off my ass and commit to training once again. The first thing on my schedule: the Snohomish River Run. The race is this Saturday, October 27th, at Rotary Park in Everett. There’s a 10k and a half marathon option available, but since I haven’t been running a whole lot lately, I’m just doing the 10k. I haven’t run an official 10k before but I imagine that it’s a pretty crappy distance–if the amount of misery I feel when running a 5k is any indication, the 10k should feel not-quite-as-shitty but over a longer distance. My stumpy legs and I are no good at these short-to-mid distance races. I’m all about duration: the longer you stretch out a race, the less mediocre I am thanks to sheer stubbornness. So yeah, I’m running the 10k on Saturday. I’m not going into the event with an “OMG gotta race this” mentality; I’ll likely just treat it as a training run since I’m planning to do either the Phoenix Rock ‘n Roll Marathon or the Arizona IMS Marathon this January or February. My goal at that point is to try and qualify for Boston since Jason qualified at the Portland Marathon a couple weeks ago (that way, when we travel to the race in 2014, I’ll be able to run it too instead of standing on the sidelines inhaling donuts like I did in Portland…which, admittedly, wasn’t a bad way to spend my morning, but it did make me feel like a guilty fat-ass). The Snohomish River Run is sold out, unfortunately, but if you’ve already registered and plan on running this weekend, hopefully I’ll see you there and will avoid collapsing before the race is over, gasping and asking for someone to bring me...

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