Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Body by Vi Challenge- Day 1.
Yesterday I came home to find a box on my front door step. My shake had arrived!  Ok so let me back up and tell you why I decided to do this. I’ve tried many workout challenges before, Insanity, Turbofire, Running xxx miles, but my nutrition would always fall below ideal. I have a total love/hate relationship with the kitchen, but I enjoy working out. So I decided that I should focus on my weaknesses more than my strengths to get me to my goals. “Focus on change and you will see results, focus on results and you will never change.” Don’t know whose quote that is but I love it. At my old desk I used to have it printed out and taped to my monitor. So my friend Yolanda contacted me because she is recently became a distributor. At first I looked at this as a calorie restricted diet and said “no thank you, I’m training for a marathon and can’t live off of this.” Then I started thinking about it and realized A. It wasn’t going to be every meal, B. It’s an easy grab and go meal/snack for when I’m lazy and C. I like shakes! So I signed up.
I intended just to have the shake once a day but last night I had to pick my husband and baby girl up from the airport at midnight so my schedule was all thrown off whack. I didn’t want to spend forever packing a fancy lunch so I made 2 shakes, one for breakfast and one of lunch. The powder is a tri-sorb protein blend flavored “sweet cream” which I was told tastes like cake batter, and I kind of agree. Five flavoring packets came with it but I decided to just make it plain. I think a few chocolate chips blended up in it would be really good in the future :P  I poured  2 servings into one huge water bottle so I could just sip it all day long and stay full. For breakfast I also had watermelon and some pretzels, an apple and string cheese for an early snack, then later in the day beef jerky and another apple. I’m going to take my “I want it” Project 10 video tonight.  Essentially that means I will video tape myself weighing in and documenting my goals, then I’ll do the same thing when I lose 10 lbs and I’ll get entered to win $1000. 10 winners are picked each week so wish me luck!
On another note I saw the Dr. yesterday to get my ankle looked at due to a weird pain that develops on the inside of my right ankle every time I run  more than 2 miles. Turns out I have posterior tibial ligament strain.  I’ve been experiencing pain for the last 2 months or so but just kind of run on it anyway because it doesn’t get any worse, and within about 2-3 days the pain disappears…until I run again, oops.  The doctor said that it’ll be fine, I can still run I’m just going to either reduce my mileage or pace- or both, until I don’t get that sharp pain anymore. My marathon is far enough out (April) that this won’t ruin my plans.  I also went to Poulsbo Running to get new shoes since I have so many miles on my old Brooks Ravenna 3’s (400ish) and my new shoes should be coming in later this week. I’m really excited; they finally started making the Ravenna’s in different colors. What color do you think I ordered? ;)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tukwila to Alki Half Marathon

Half Marathon #6- Check.

I heard about this free half marathon; no bibs, no aide stations, no medals, awards or after party. Just 13.1 miles of fun for people who love to run. The plan was to for runners meet up in Alki Beach at 8 am and then carpool to the start line because the course started in Tukwila and ended in Alki, no out and back or loop. So in order to be in Alki at 8 I woke up at 5 am so I could pick up Tabatha at 6 and then swing by Port Orchard and pick up Rosanna at 6:20. We squished into my husbands little 2 door sports car and headed towards Seattle.

We were parked by 7:40 and waiting to see runners accumulating on the street so we could find a ride. The streets were pretty empty right away so while we waited wanted to use the restroom. I find before ever race my bladder magically fills, a nervous thing I guess. The only open place was Tully's coffee, and their bathroom was locked and for customers only but we promised them our business after the race and they were gracious enough to give us the bathroom key :) When we came out of the coffee shop there were a few runners mingling but not quite as many as I expected. Rosanna was getting really nervous that we weren't going to find a ride. We almost didn't. We asked a few people but none had room for 3 so we were on the verge of calling a cab when two guys in a truck rolled up and asked if we needed a lift to the start line. Whew. Normally it'd be scary to hop into a car with strangers, but since there were three of us I figured there was safety in numbers, and they seemed legit. Don't remember their names but we were so thankful they gave us a ride. It was the drivers first half. I told him if he picked a no-aide race for his first half, he's pretty hardcore.

View of Seattle from Alki Beach
Got all checked in at the start line. 74 runners braved the cold misty morning for a 9 am start along the Green River trail. Rosanna and I had agreed to stay together, Tabatha who is a little faster than us went ahead. Right away we took off waaaaay too fast. Rosanna had said that she wanted to finish in at least 2:08 (as she had every race), I've only finished in 2:08 once, normally I was finishing around 2:20, so I wanted to push the pace and do the best I could. We were going to run 3/1 intervals (running 3, walking 1). I ALWAYS follow my "rest" intervals in training, but in my race I take them when needed and skip when feeling good. I don't think we took any for the first 2 miles, and mile split 1 was 9:03, mile 2 was 8:55- holy moly. How was I going to keep that up for 11 more miles? Miles 3, 4 and 5 were 9:02, 9:44 and 9:38. Uh oh, slowing down. We had started taking about every other walk break though so our running pace was still in the upper 8's, lower 9's though it already was taking more effort to move. At this point we were right next to the Green River and I looked at Rosanna and said "I wonder where he dumped the bodies." I'm sick I know.

 Mile 6 was 9:36, Rosanna said she thought this was a recipe for disaster. I was afraid that if I slowed down at all that we were going to fall behind the group in front of us. A lot of these runners were speedy, and while I knew there were people behind us it was nice to see where the runners in front of us were heading, just in case we missed the orange arrows on the ground. I think both Rosanna and I were scared that we were going to be hating life the last 3 miles and be running 11's or 12's by the time we reached the finish line. Mile 7 and 8 were 9:50 and 9:32. Then it happened, BAM 10:20 for mile 9. Was this the end of our amazing streak? We actually didn't even see this mile split until after the race so mentally it wasn't able to affect us, thank goodness. Miles 10 and 11 were back to 9:45, 9:45. We were running the BEAUTIFUL Alki Beach Jogging path. What a wonderful view of the Seattle skyline. I told Rosanna she could take off, I knew she wanted to get as best time as she could. I looked at my watch and realized I had enough time to comfortably make it to the finish line and PR. Ok, I say comfortably but then that's when a HUGE headwind hit me. Two girls running next to me actually yelled, "Is that all you got?!" Gave me a good chuckle cause it sucked running into the wind for the last mile. I was just wishing it were at my back pushing me along instead of slowing me down and punching me in the face. My last 1.1 miles I don't have the specific split for, but I was running around 9:40's and did take 2 short walk breaks (like 10 secs) just to mentally referesh and not let the wind get to me. No finish line marker, arch, or electronic timing board. Just the race director, two volunteers, a table with cups of water and a few onlookers marked the end of 6th Half. I crossed the finish line at 2:06:43, wooohoo, PR'd by about a minute and half. My time was marked down in a notebook, I shut off my watch, downed some water and the three of us, Tabatha, Rosanna and I headed to my car to peel off our running clothes, grab our money and get some grub.

My friend Brittany recommended Spuds as the best fish and chips place around so we got our Tully's, as we promised (a chocolate chai tea latte for me), and ate some delicious, much deserved fish and chips. I'm going to plan on this race again next year, can't beat the overall flat course, scenery, and a good time with friends. I'm looking forward to going back to Alki this summer with my family for a mini staycation.

Friday, January 25, 2013

17 miles- Holy SH*IT!

Ran the furthest I've ever ran last Saturday morning. Two weeks ago I completed the same feat at 14 miles, last week it was 17!!
The morning started off CRAZY. I couldn't find my hydration belt, when I did I realized I only had 1 clean bottle for it; the others must have been buried underneath the dishes in the sink (most hated chore). I grabbed 1 GU- espresso flavored (the only flavor I really like),1 Vanilla yogurt NuGo bar, and some Juicy Fruit gum.

I was so tired when I got up I really debated not going but then decided I didn’t have enough time to back out on Tabatha on facebook; if she never saw it and waited for me at the park I would have felt terrible. Tabatha is a new running friend I just made on the Just Us Girls and Guys forum on FB, it’s a local group that means every Saturday morning rain or shine. Some of those ladies are just straight up AMAZING! I’m normally one of the youngest every time I go but those ladies bring it, and I can only hope I’m as hardcore as they are when I reach my 40’s, 50’s and 60’s! Anyway so I sucked it up and met Tabatha at the waterfront park. She had this crazy route planned where we were literally running from one town to another and back. The way the route looked on a map actually intimated me more than the fact that it was 20 miles and going to cost me over 3 hours of my life. I totally want to blab all about the cool thing we talked about and about how she just ran her first marathon, has 6 kids, and can run crazy distances without water, but I don’t want to tell someone else’s’ story so I’ll stick to the details of the run :P

Bremerton. Running over the further bridge was part of my route.
The first couple miles were really good, the pace was comfortable and the route fairly flat. I was introducing her to intervals though, so it was kind of weird because I live and die by my watch and I know not everyone likes taking “breaks” but it really has in all honesty increased my stamina and speed. Before intervals I would NEVER have thought of running further than a half! Probably about 6 miles into the run we starting hitting some hills and I started to just not feel it. some days I feel really powerful and kill my run, other days I drag through complaining the entire time. Three miles later I mentally was in a rut. We stopped at a mini mart for me to refill my water and the asshole behind the counter turned us away. He gave us some shit because we didn’t say “please” but I wasn’t rude, I just simply walked in and said “Hi. We’ve just run almost 10 miles; do you have a fountain we can refill my water bottle with?” If he had said yes then of course I would have thanked him. Instead I walked out of the store saying I would never stop there for anything EVER. We then ran down to a Chevron? I don’t remember it was some chain gas station and the lady there let me refill even though she gave me the stink eye. I don’t get it, what’s wrong with free water…my bottle was like 6 oz! Tabatha really had to use the restroom but they had a big huge sign no public restrooms so we just moved on to our next stop, The Tracyton tavern. They were super sweet and let us use the bathroom no problem. I noticed they have $1 taco Thursdays so I will be trying that out sometime as my own little way to say thank you, support a local business (even if it is a bar), and satiate my constant appetite for Mexican food.
Route and Elevation Profile
After that I’d like to say I felt better but motivation was still a little in the dumps. We were getting closer to my neighborhood but were still several miles from where the car was parked. I remember looking at mywatch at 14.25 miles and having a mini celebration that I had beat my previous distance, and then at 15.25 I was less than 1/2 a mile from my house with almost 2 miles to go. I just kept thinking the last mile is almost all downhill or flat, "I can do that!" and I did! At exactly 17 miles I told Tabatha I wanted to do a cooldown walk. Whew, COMPLETE!

Then in true Marissa fashion I couldn't find my keys and had to call James to come get me. And in true James fashion he pulled my keys right out of my hydration pack, oops :)  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

2012 Racing Collage

I'm looking ahead at all the races I will be running in 2013 and looking back at all the amazing races I experienced in 2012. I say "experienced" instead of "ran" because it really is an experience. There is so much energy, excitement, and friendship at these events that it becomes so much more than putting one foot in front of the other. Running really is a community just as much as it is a sport. I didn't learn that until I stopped worrying about the fact that I wasn't the fastest person out there, and just embraced my own personal victories and opened up to those around me for advice, companionship and an ass-kickin'!

This is just a little collage that includes some of my favorite races from the past year. I loved running Rock N Roll HM with my sister, meeting so many new friends when I joined a Ragnar team full of strangers, watching my husband run a local 5k, seeing the joy on my daughters face when she ran a kids dash, crossing the Poulsbo finish line with my oldest daughter running across the track to finish by my side, and finally PR'ing by 9 minutes at the Yukon Do It HM on NYE.

I look forward to creating my 2013 collage....I promise you it will be much bigger!

Monday, January 14, 2013

First 14 miler

Knocked my first long run out of the way for marathon training, woohooo! It's funny how "long" a long run is these days. A few years ago anything over 3 miles was a long run. Now that I've ran 5 half marathons and am training for the big 26.2 I tend to think of long runs as further than 9 miles. So yesterdays run was 14 miles, furthest I've ever run at one single time. When I did Ragnar Relay I ran 16 miles in one day but it was split between 3 different legs. I was extremely happy with my run. I kept a pretty even pace, stuck with my 3/1 intervals (Run 3, Walk 1) and finished with a 10:55 average pace. When you factor in the walk breaks that means I was running just a little over 10 min miles on average (10:10ish?) Not too shabby for my first 14 miler!! I was lucky enough to have company for 10 of those miles, my friend Sara, came out to join me. I had run a little before she had met up with me and then we finished together at 12.9 miles so I had a little over 1 more to go. I was really proud of myself for finishing that mile and not calling it "close enough." It was hard though, it was 26 degrees out, and the Seahawks were in the playoffs and the game had started while I was out running so I wanted to get home as fast as possible but I knew I would regret it if my watch didn't read 14 so I pushed on.

Today I feel REALLY good. My legs have just enough soreness that I know I ran yesterday but feel good enough to run again today if I had time. Unfortunately my oldest daughter is sick so I'm playing nurse now. She woke up last night at 10 pm and puked ALL OVER, from that point on it was an hourly occurance but she seems better now. She's keeping some liquids down at least. It's so hard to watch her laying here so miserable. On a happier parenting note my almost 2 year old just went peepee on the potty twice in a row tonight! Victories!

Getting ready to watch The Biggest Loser in a bit....any TBL fans? I love watching people change their lives! Plus this season is so cute with the kids. I find myself already looking forward to make-over week and this is only the third episode :P

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Forgive the dis-jointedness of this blog. I'm sitting down to right it while watching "Ted" with the husband, and it's pretty darn distracting! lol.

My new bondibands <3
Tonight I did my first aquafit class and I figured it was blog worthy. First of all I don't like the whole pool environment; the humid locker rooms, sticky floors, creepy men or nosey old ladies walking around with their waterwings on, kids splashing and screaming while their parents gossip on their cell phones. I walked into the Y tonight and the first person to see me was this little old man with a sweatband on his head and a towel wrapped around his shoulders. He tried to sell me on the working out with weights class, which I would love to try, however Brittany and I had plans to do water aerobics. We signed up for the Lazy Ironman which started Jan 5th. It requires us to complete an ironman (26.2 mile run, 112 mile bike ride, 2.4 mile swim (or 5 aqua classes), however we have 5 weeks to complete it instead of just one day. That brings me to the swimming. Anyway back to Mike, the old man at the Y, when I told him that I was going to water aerobics he laughed and told me I was too young for that. EEeek, wondered what I was in for, water ballet with ladies bused over from the retirement home? Yeah it pretty much was.....BUT it was a decent workout too. My arms started to feel it after using those water weights. Lots of water running and kicking and squats, it's funny how uncoordinated I felt doing them in the pool compared to on land. After the class I had a hard time getting my lock to open so I was standing wrapped in a towel contemplating asking the front desk for bolt cutters. Even Brittany tried the lock, no luck. Finally realized I switched the first two numbers, whooopsies!

Got home and my wonderful husband had dinner all done and the girls' plates dished up. I found a new box of Lia Sophia jewelry (always fun) and my bondibands. Can't wait to use them a few times and write a review. I've heard only good things and I love that they are affordable and have so many design options.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Yukon Do It Race Recap

I ended the year in an amazing way- I ran my 5th Half Marathon!

I woke up at 6:45 to eat breakfast, slip into my clothes and actually let myself wake up before the 9 am start. I left the house at 7:30 to arrive in Port Orchard (race location) by 8 am. Luckily I got there when I did because parking was nearly non-existent. Someone must have just left because I found the only spot let in the strip mall lot. The race started behind a strip mall/brewery. I heard after the race that several people got their cars spit on by the owners of a local store because he was pissed that the runners took up all his customer parking. Oops. Lines were short to get race bibs. The marathon runners took off at 8 am, half marathoners at 9am so I think that cut back on the congestion of the check in a little. Porta pottie lines were a different story entirely though. I had gone back to wait in my car for my friends to arrive, Rosanna and Krissy were both running the half as well, when they arrived we all piled into my car to keep warm, the temperature outside was in the low to mid 30’s. About 15 minutes before race time we decided to get in line to empty our bladders, what we thought were just people milling around were really porta potty lines. Going to the bathroom before a race is a tricky thing. When you get nervous you want to use the bathroom, go too early and you might have to go again when the gun goes off, or wait too late and risk missing the start of the race. I made it into the porta potty when I hear the announcer say “30 seconds” OMG!! People outside started yelling at us to “hurry up” I dashed out  and headed right to the start line. I found Krissy right away but Rosanna had disappeared and we had agreed to run the race together. Rosanna is a little faster than me, her PR was 2:08 something, mine was 2:17:03, but she had been slacking on training so wanted to take it a little easy. I found her at the last minute, whew. Our watches were still locating when we took off, missed about 20 seconds of the start. This was a BEAUTIFUL race, a lot of it along the water. The parts that didn’t have a waterfront view were on back roads with horses and camels, yes camels, to entertain us as we ran by. I was expecting a nearly completely flat route but there were a few surprise hills thrown in. One hill in particular going down into the state park looked long and depressing, but I found that on the way back up it wasn’t as bad as I had expected so it didn’t slow me down much. The shoulders were the only other thing that surprised me. The shoulders to the road were very narrow, and policemen kept driving up and down the roads yelling “single file.” I ran in the road when they weren’t looking. There is nothing worse than being stuck behind someone whose pace makes yours all awkward as you trip over your own feet.

I felt really strong coming into the last couple miles. I told Rosanna at the start of the race my goal was to PR and to hit 2:15:00. To do that I had to keep my pace under a 10:30 mile. At mile 7 we knew we were golden, Rosanna went so far as to tell me I might finish under 2:10:00. I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much and struggle at the last minute so we just kept a steady pace.  She asked me if I wanted to pick it up but that last mile I was still running 9:45’s which is good for me so I told her no, lol. The finish line came into  view and I looked down at my watch which said 2:06, I told Rosanna, cause I knew if she took off then she could PR. She gave me a half way sympathetic look and said “see ya!” She finished in 2:08:08 and PR’d! I wasn’t far behind though, I heard a running buddy (Jill) cheering for me, which was an unexpected surprise, I didn’t know she’d be there, and I quickened my pace a little flying through the finish line at 2:08:23!  I PR’d by almost 9 (count that 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9)  minutes!!! My average pace was 9:48, unheard of for me over such a long distance.

I finished feeling great, I was so excited I didn’t even get a medal for a few minutes. I just stood there blabbering to Rosanna about how I wanted to cry but wasn’t going to, lol. I stuck around to watch our other friend Krissy finish, she PR’d too 2:56 I believe. PR’s all around, nice!

The next day I knew I wanted to do a shakeout run. Ran 5 miles with some friends, including Jill who cheered me on at the finish. Our route was pretty hilly too…not the best for recovery but I was so psyched that I felt good enough to do it the day after a half.

Can’t wait for Yukon Do It 2013- see ya there!