Spring things

It’s mid-April but I keep forgetting it’s spring.

While I’m not wearing it daily, I’m still wearing my puffy-down jacket in rotation because the mornings and evenings are still cold.

Oddly enough, I usually rely heavily on Claritin because my allergies really flair up during this time of year but so far, nothing! I know, I know, this is a really good thing! But, a part of me makes me wonder if maybe my allergies aren’t bad since I’m not spending as much time outside since I’m not running.

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I have enjoyed the sun breaks we have seen. I have enjoyed the return of baseball and cheering on the Seattle Mariners and having hope since well, it’s the start of a new season 🙂

I’m looking forward to warmer weather and outdoor BBQs. I’m looking forward to next month when the neighborhood outdoor pool will open and I’ll be able to swim outside in the sun! I’m looking forward to putting my boots away and wearing my Birkenstock sandals.

Ok, so maybe those above items are more summer-related for Seattle.

Spring, are you really here?

Spring cleaning

During spring, a lot of people take it as a time to go through their cluttered basements or attics. They donate trash bags full of clothes to Goodwill. They do a thorough cleaning of the bathroom.

This is literal spring cleaning.

Don’t get me wrong, this is great. My house is in dire need of a spring cleaning.

But, it’s also a good time to do (not-so-physical) cleaning/prioritizing/organizing in other areas of your life. Are there friends who have gone off the wayside that you haven’t connected with in a month (or, let’s be real, a few or several)? Maybe it’s time to actually set a time to talk over the phone if they live far away, or actually hang out with them than just talking about it or posting the casual “Let’s get together soon!” on Facebook.

Maybe it’s time to reassess those New Year’s resolutions. Yeah, that one thing you spoke so keenly of on January 1st … what happened to it? Are you still doing what you intended to do at the beginning of the year? Or, are you currently working your way towards it? If so, good going! If not, make a plan to do so. (Or, just set new goals if the resolution is irrelevant now).

For my runners, now is also a good time to do a self check in. Are you following your training plan? Do you have a training plan?

We all get busy.

We all get caught up in everything we need to do.

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But, sometimes it’s good to stop and smell the flowers.

Or, stop and clean — or call your long-lost friend.

Road to Eugene: 7 weeks ’til race day

Road to Eugene: 7 weeks ’til race day

I’ve climbed to the first peak already. The long run for the week was 18 miles and this week I’ll go down to 14 miles for this Saturday’s long run. Here’s what the past week looked like:

Monday

A true rest day. I did not run. I did a lot of chores and other “boring” things.

Tuesday

A truly bad day for running. I made the poor choice of eating too many crackers before my run so my stomach felt wonky even though Joanna and I were going at snail’s pace. The run was supposed to be 40 minutes but we ended up just at 35 plus some walking. Yes, at one point I made us stop to walk for a bit while I tried to make the “funny feeling” go away. (Note: I walk during my runs, like NEVER).

The rest of the night was made better by popcorn and Kurios. If you have never seen a Cirque du Soleil show, let me just tell you: I cannot explain nor describe it. You just have to go see it for yourself. It was my first time ever seeing a Cirque du Soleil show and it did not disappoint. My jaw was practically dropped to the ground the entire night!

Wednesday

A truly good day for running. I surprised myself with not only negative split during this 6 miler but also keeping the entire thing at sub 9 minute overall pace. (When I run by myself, it is very difficult for me to run faster than like 9:30 pace!) It was a beautiful day and a beautiful run. When I arrived back home I was a sweaty, red-faced mess but I managed to do a bit of strength and core.

Thursday

An easy 5 miles with Joanna. This run was a little shakeout from my quicker run the day before. And, unlike my previous run with Joanna, I did not make us walk.

Friday

Rest day. Ate delicious vegetarian pho with Nikki after work and gossiped about our siblings. You know, typical Friday night.

Saturday

Long run Saturday! My trusty Eugene Marathon training partner, Shannon, and I switched it up and went to West Seattle for our 18-miler run. We did an out-and-back from Lincoln Park along Alki. Joanna met us at the turn-around point and ran 8 miles of it with us. I felt good since we kept having to try to run slower. We pretty much did the entire thing at my race pace … and I know you’re supposed to do your long runs a minute or so slower than your race pace. Do I have a problem?? (I’ll go more in depth about this in another post). After the run, we devoured brunch.

Sunday

Slept in and took a cutie of a dog for a walk. (I’m dog sitting for friends!) Then there was ultimate Frisbee in the afternoon. My right knee got bruised up a bit from a fall but, you know, I roll with the punches.

Dog walks, rain runs, and eating lots of calories. Yep, I’m seven weeks away and counting! Happy spring, everyone!

Road to Eugene: 8 weeks ’til race day

Spring-time miles

Spring-time miles

I welcomed some spring-time miles at the beginning of the week.

The UW cherry trees are in full bloom.

The sun was out nearly every day. (Never mind that it is rainy all weekend though!)

I ran in a t-shirt and shorts on Thursday and it was 60 degrees out!

Said Thursday run also happened to be my first hill workout of this training cycle. It was not fun. But, it was not miserable.

Saturday’s long run was 16 miles.

Shannon and I did two loops of Discovery Park followed by an out-and-back along the Elliot Bay Trail to the Sculpture Park/downtown waterfront.

Let me tell you, it was SO windy when we were along the water. And, because it was rainy, my eyes started stinging at one point because of all the sweat that had accumulated on my face.

I was relieved when we were done since I was starting to develop a small blister on my right foot. (Remember the gross one from the Portland Marathon? Yes, same place!)

It’s hard to believe we are 8 weeks away ’til race day.

Done with 16 miles before noon!

Done with 16 miles before noon!

We’re starting to run out of new places to run!

And, if that’s our only worry, I guess marathon training is going quite well!

More words, less flowers

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My sincere apologies for the radio silence.

I know it’s been (only) 4 days since I last wrote, but it feels much longer.

Just like it had been three days since my last run, but it felt like it had been weeks.

When I don’t run, I tend to feel more tired. (I know, it’s not logical but that’s just the way I am!)

For now, since I have to run (not literally,) I will leave you with a few more pretty photos of mine.

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Next time I will have more words for you.

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And, possibly less flowers.

Here, is where we belong

As I eagerly waited for my dentist appointment to finish — Did I ever mention my dentist is a very intelligent dentist? She could tell I am anemic just from looking at my gums! — I looked out the window and thought about where I wanted to run that afternoon.

The weather yesterday (and today) was bea-u-ti-ful. It’s been gorgeous! For Seattle standards (and, any other standards) they have been perfect running-weather days. Mid-60s, no rain, a few clouds and sunshine everywhere.

As I had my teeth prodded and cleaned, I knew exactly where I would run to.

The one place I always want to go at this time of year — especially on a sunny day.

I quickly (but safely) drove home and changed into a short-sleeved running shirt and shorts. Yep, no layers, folks! And, the iPod stayed on top of my dresser for this one. I wouldn’t need any podcasts or music to get me through this run. There would be no “getting through” involved at all.

I bolted down through Ravenna park and onto the Burke Gilman. The sun felt nice. I was actually sweating!

Finally I came to the curve where I abandoned the trail to run up onto my alma mater’s campus. And, I started sprinting up the hill. Yes, I was sprinting! Friends had been telling me that the cherry blossoms are now in bloom, but I hadn’t witnessed them myself. I couldn’t wait.

When I got to the Quad, the pinkish-white blossom-covered trees stood there, as they always do every year. And, even though I see them time and time again, they never get tiring to see.

 

 

And, it’s just not what you see. (Besides the trees, the people watching is pretty great this time of year … Photographers trying to position loving couples to not look so awkward in their engagement pictures, tourists taking a million photos from every angle possible, families with kids and puppies running around …) There’s also the smell. It just smells clean, refreshing. It feels like home.

I spent about 10 minutes walking about. Here, everything is wonderful. Nothing can go wrong. Everyone is happy.

 

I don’t know how UW always “plans” for students to return from spring break right when the trees are in full bloom but props to them for always making that happen. As a student, seeing the cherry blossoms always made going back to classes “easier.”

 

Now that I am no longer in school, they make everything seem easier. My run was easy.

 

A lot of people talk about having their “happy place.” You know, that place that they go to when they close their eyes when times are tough. Or, that place they go to just because they love it so much. I don’t think the Quad is my happy place. The Quad during springtime on a sunny day — during a run — sure does make me happy though.

 

 

Although I didn’t want to leave, I ran happily home. All of this will be here next year. And, we’re in for a sunny weekend so I’m sure I’ll be back soon. Like, tomorrow.