04/20/11

Krispy Kreme Donuts + Some Miles

Tonight didn’t go as planned. It went phenomenally better! The Pulse Fitness and Running store (one of the sponsors of my upcoming Lake Lowell Marathon and Half Marathon) was holding a Trail Running workshop this evening and I didn’t want to miss it. It was great to hear from the Ridge to Rivers Ranger Todd Graeff about his experiences and tips on the trails and then from Coach Mike Carlson who was there to introduce a 50K running plan and let us know about biweekly trail runs he’ll be leading on a brand new 50K race course in our very own Boise Foothills! It was an exciting night. To top it all off, everyone there got a really cool, free tech shirt! Mine is a neon yellow tank Brooks shirt that I can’t wait to wear this summer!

Several of my running pals were there tonight. There were lots of hugs and condolences shared with my good friend, Randy and his wife Patti, who’s precious dog had passed away earlier today. There was also lots of the usual joking and laughing that seems to happen when my running buddies get together. It really feels like an extended family that I’m so grateful to be a part of.

Two of my closest running gal pals sat with me during the talk. My friend, Julie is one of the most talented runners I know. She’s really fast! One of her feet has been giving her some trouble the last few months and after running a PR at Robie Creek on Saturday, it got worse. It was swollen and bothering her so much she even saw a doctor, who told her to take a little time off. I felt really bad for her and was glad she’d come to the event. She’d brought her adorable 7 year old daughter, Krista along and while the speeches were going on, I thought of a way we could spend a little fun time together. See, there’s a Krispy Kreme donut shop practically right next door to the running store! It was pouring rain outside and even though my buddy Billie and I’d shown up in running clothes, I just started thinking that hanging out with my gal pals and pigging out on donuts sounded even more fun than logging a couple of miles — so I offered to buy them all donuts if they’d join me next door after the workshop. They said yes! 🙂

Now, my buddy, Jon, caught me just as we were walking out and asked if I was planning to run. I explained that I was bailing on the run to get a sugar high and he said, “Great! We can run afterwards.” Now, with my background as the girt with the terrible stomach, I wasn’t sure that was a very good plan, and knowing full well that Jon runs a pace much faster than my own, I thought it might be a bad idea. But, in usual Christie Impulsiveness, I agreed.

We had our donuts and lots of laughs and I’m so glad we did. Then we hugged Julie goodbye for the day, I set the remainder of the dozen donuts I’d bought in the backseat of my car to surprise the five kids with later and we took off with Jon and his pal Robbie. I was really nervous I’d have a hard time keeping up, but much to my relief the guys were super gentlemen and kept the pace perfect for Billie and I. Billie’s faster than I am and she and Jon ran stride for stride and I ran next to Robbie, while we chatted about our families. It turns out Robbie helps homeschool his son, so we talked a lot about homeschooling and kids and that was really fun. I’m always amazed at how much I can learn about another friend when we run together. It was a blast!

The miles flew by, my stomach didn’t revolt and before we knew it, we were at Jon’s house being introduced to his chickens, his cows and pigs and – best of all — his beautiful wife! I had been hoping to meet Holly, so it was fun to get a chance to put a face with a name and I invited her to run with me soon. Billie and I were feeling good, so we turned down the offer of a ride back to our car and decided to run back instead. It was getting dark. We didnt’ have our head lamps or glow in the dark gear, but we were game for it. About half a mile away, Robbie pulled up and dropped Jon back off. See, my cousin Ben is training for Badwater and Jon is one of his pacers, so Jon’s trying to gobble up a ton of miles right now to train for that — so it was no big deal for him to add a few more by running us back, it turned out (Thanks Jon!) That also was nice since Jon did have on a headlamp and a bright hat, so he was very nice to escort us back the nearly 4.6 miles to our vehicle. We talked running and college and Badwater and it was a great time! I swear I run faster in the dark than I do in the light. That felt nice, too.

So, look at that! I had planned on going to my event and maybe getting in 5 miles afterwards. Instead, I got to do the event, eat donuts with my friends and get in nearly twice the mileage with some friends! Aint Life Grand?!

Stats: 9.24 miles. 9:46 ave pace. Time: 1:30 Felt: Happy

04/7/11

There’s a Pickup on the Train Tracks!

Today’s temps were 39 degrees with 10 mph winds and lots of sunshine in the blue sky! Perfect for a little run in the neighborhood! I decided to test out the ankle on the canal roads (aka – my “trail” near the house.) I ran from my neighborhood to the nearby tree farm, where I usually jump onto the dirt road leading to the canals. They were a mess! Trucks have been driving there while it was muddy and now it’s so rugged and rutted that you can hardly find your footing at all. I rolled my still-healing left ankle within three steps and quickly leaped to the grassy sides instead for that stretch to prevent actually spraining it again. Once I got onto the canal road, things were better. There’s still no water in the canal, so I amused myself by taking note of all the old tires, plastic bags and garbage lining the bottom. It really is a shame it looks like that! Shame on people for not being more responsible with their trash!

As I crossed the road for the next stretch of canal path, I heard the strangest sound. A metalic, screechy sound and looked up. There’s a train track that crosses over my “path” about a mile in and every now and then a train will be going past as I’m running and I’ll have to wait for it. But, today it wasn’t a train going by. It was a pickup truck! A white one, with flashing lights and some kind of oddball contraction on the tires to allow it to “drive” on the railroad tracks! Cool! Obviously, this guy worked for the railroad, but I’d never seen anything like his vehicle’s hybrid capability before. It looked fun! I wished I could take a ride. 🙂 But, not today…. I’m in the middle of a run.

After running over the railroad tracks, I jogged along the golf course, noting how many golfers and carts I saw out there today. It was really fun to see the golfers back at their game, smiling and having fun again. I always feel safer out running when there are plenty of other people around and today I felt extra safe.

I noticed something today. I’m starting to feel more like my old self again. My strength is returning and very gradually, so is my speed. The ankle injury and the weeks I had to take off definitely took their toll, but it’s exciting how fast it can all come back again once you start building the miles. My splits today showed how I gradually felt smoother and faster with each mile.

Mile 1: 10:44 (warm up)
Mile 2: 10:38 (took a gel and water break)
Mile 3: 10:12
Mile 4: 10:11
Mile 5: 9:20
final 30 feet: 7:52

I’m not where I was before Orcas just yet. My shorter runs then were almost all under 10 min/mil average. Today’s ave was 10:13, so I’m getting closer. I’m still about 5 lbs over what I was before the injury, so I need to work on that too. I’ve been enjoying way too much junk food and not enough salads and lean protein. I’m a work in progress. 🙂

Stats: 5.01 miles. Ave pace: 10:13. Total time: 51:09. Felt: Good

03/29/11

Brownie Attack!

You know the brownie attack has really gotten out of control, when you tear into the bakery box as soon as you get to the car and dig into the delicious cream cheesy frosting and chocolatey goodness with your bare hands and gobble down an entire brownie the size of your palm before a full minute has passed.

Maybe you’d understand this type of need if you, too, had five children who were home with Daddy while you were alone in the car with the treats. 😀