I Just Signed Up for My First 50k. I am Not a Smart Person.

Sep 09

I Just Signed Up for My First 50k. I am Not a Smart Person.

Jason the BFG has gotten into trail running this past season. He’s been on a running roll all year, really — last October, he ran a 2:57 at the Portland Marathon and qualified for Boston, and in the past year he’s podiumed at a few small trail races. He ran his first 50k, Chuckanut, in the spring, and in July he tackled his first ever 50-miler, the White River 50. So as he continues to enjoy tackling the trails, his efforts to bully me into going trail running with him have increased noticeably. This morning, Jas egged me on to sign up for my first 50k, the Orcas Island race on February 1, 2014. I plunked down the money to register and forgot about it somewhat until it dawned on me that I should check out the actual course description and terrain for this race. So I did. And here’s what I saw: I’ve been reacting like this pretty much ever since I looked at the course and read that it will be the “hardest version of the course” since it used to be 55k years ago: I’ve made a huge...

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My Mid-Run Defense Mechanism

Aug 23

My Mid-Run Defense Mechanism

Sometimes Jason and I go running “together,” meaning we start from our house at the same time and he promptly leaves me in the dust. We have a 6.5 mile loop we do often, and there’s an option to tack on an extra mile by going around Volunteer Park. Occasionally he’ll run around the park while I’ll soldier on, and he’ll eventually catch up to me towards the end of the loop so we can finish back at the house together. One day, we took off at the same time and he said he was going to add on the Volunteer Park loop, so I waved goodbye and said I’d see him in a while. I went to my “zen” place and let my thoughts wander, having forgone running while listening to music a few years ago. By not listening to music, I feel as if I’m more in touch with my surroundings and more cognizant of cars, pedestrians, cyclists, and other things going on around me. Or so I thought. I was running up the last big hill of the 6.5 mile loop, a long stretch up 24th, while dodging overgrown thorny bushes and trying to keep my heart rate at a decent level. My sights were laser-focused on climbing, so when I heard a “Hey” and saw a huge, close presence coming up right next to me out of the corner of my eye, I was caught off-guard by the sudden appearance of a mystery run companion. So did I do what any rational, normal human being would do and say, “Hi” while moving over slightly so this runner could pass me? No, of course not. Instead, I uttered a breathy, gutteral noise that translated roughly to “WHARRGHHHHHHH!!!” and wound my right arm back to defensively slug this possible kidnapper/rapist/it puts the lotion on its skin dress maker square in the face. As I pivoted to land my punch, I realized I was about to hit my boyfriend in his surprised and equally startled head. Jason winced and blurted out an appropriate, “WHAT THE HELL IT’S ME DON’T PUNCH ME!!!!” I holstered my fist of fury and started laughing so hard, it took away what little breath...

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I Hate 5ks

Jul 25

I Hate 5ks

After threatening to sign up for three or four different marathons since last fall, I finally pulled the trigger and plunked down the registration fee for the Tunnel Lite Marathon September 15th. It’s a point-to-point with a net elevation loss, so pretty easy-peasy as far as marathon courses go. My running volume lately has thus increased as Coach T has started prepping me to haul my chubby ass 26.2 miles. Fitness-wise (and weight-wise) I’m still not where I was last season, but at least now I have a race to train for. My return to a regular training schedule got my coach’s seamless, sweat-wicking undies in a twist and she excitedly instructed me to find two 10ks to run as part of my marathon training. July has been a hectic month for me — Jason and I traveled to a wedding in Philadelphia earlier this month, plus he’s racing his first 50 mile ultramarathon this weekend — so I only had a couple weekends free to find a potential race. After informing Teresa of my dilemma, she said I could find a 5k to run this month and a 10k in August. Crap. 5ks suck for one reason: they hurt. If you’re intent on doing a 5k as a fun run, that’s fine, 3.1 miles is a fine distance for a walk or a jog or a combination of the two. But if your coach wants you to “race” the 5k, you’re essentially tasked with sprinting the entire distance and are a half-burp away from horking up one or both lungs at any given moment. There’s nothing “aerobic” about a 5k. From the moment you take off to the moment you cross the finish line, you feel like you’re going to die. Another reason I don’t like 5ks is because my SALS (Stumpy Asian Leg Syndrome) don’t make me much of a sprinter. I always tell people that I’m built for duration. I’m not terribly fast, but when you stretch out the distance long enough, my sheer stubbornness pushes me to maintain a somewhat decent pace until I manage to finish. For short distances, however, I’m no Usain Bolt. Whenever we do sprint work at track, teammates who I’m...

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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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