Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Breaking the law: all in a days run

Just starting out my run
A pretty complete run in Coupeville at the Kettle Trails: windy, cold, got in trouble with a park ranger, and got lost!  I wanted to run the trails just north of Coupeville as I had not run up there for long run since high school, other than a few short fun runs with a friend.  I gave myself enough time for a 1 to 2 hour run, not quite as long as I wanted, but I was able to go for a swim before running, so it was worth the shorter run.  I brought Lucy the dog with me to keep me company because I know how dark and lonely those woods can be.  She's sure to scare away any big bad wolves or at least keep little red riding hood company.

I was about a half hour out on the trail, following the bluff and enjoying the strong wind blowing me around when I came to the campground area and a large field.  There in the field was a park ranger.  Uh oh.  Forgot the dog leash!  Um, on purpose, but still, a problem now.  The man called me over and scolded me, a bit relentlessly actually, until I said, hey I understand you don't have to keep repeating yourself.  He took down my name and number and told me for the fifth time that it was a $87 dollar fine.  See I remembered!  So I promised to head right back to my car and get the 'ol leash.  Then I got lost.  For another hour.  On the up side, I was able to run for 90 minutes, which was what I wanted.  And I didn't have any more run ins with the state park police.  Whew.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I am the water and the fish

People seem to enjoy watching me swim.  At least that's what they tell me.  I float like a fish on the surface and glide quickly through the water.  Up to this point you have probably been wondering why my blog is called Run Eat Swim.  No, not because I do triathlons, but rather because I love swimming.  Like most people I swam as a kid, in the lake and in the pool.  Swimming was a side effect of playing with the other kids rather than the purpose of getting in the water.  I certainly never did laps back then.

In high school I was an unusually exercise-motivated kid.  I ran in track and cross country and in my spare time I liked to run in the woods or bike what I called the killer lollipop.  It was a out and back with a loop at the end that hit up all the big hills, all on the road, with me on my mountain bike.  I'd swim at the local athletic club in the evenings.  Most of the time I'd go swimming after dinner and come home and do my homework.  I taught myself to do the crawl (freestyle) by watching other swimmers and before my fist month of swimming was done, I was doing a mile at a time.  Learning the flip turn took a little longer, but I also figured that one out.  Swimming was a moving meditation for me.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Will it stop you?

An excuse won't keep me from getting outside and doing some running.  At any given time I can come up with at least a handful of reasons not to run.  I can also think of at least as many reasons to run.  So what's one to do?  Run of course.  Today my list was as follows:
Excuses not to run
legs tired from 3 hours of dancing last night
sleep deprived
still having tired legs from last Saturday's race
heel pain that's aggravated by running, but is getting better each day.
it's dark
it's raining
it's dinnertime
I'm late to pick up my car

blah blah blah blah!

So I ran anyway and yes it was harder than usual for many reasons, but it felt so good!  I'm starting to enjoy running at night too, which is a big step for me.  What will tomorrow's excuses be?  It won't really matter.

Happy Running, get out there even when it's not convenient or easy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pigtails 50k Race Report

Candice and Genia, 2nd and 1st place respectively at Pigtails 50K 2010

I signed up for Pigtails 50K in Renton so that I would have a race in December.  I had not raced since early October and was itching to see how my training would play out.  50K is my favorite distance: it's long enough to feel like you have really put out an effort, but short enough to do, well, everyday.  Or every weekend anyway.  Another nice thing is that I was able to sleep at home the night before and drive to the race in the morning, no major travel arrangements.  I did have to get up at 4:30 AM, but I'm not complaining.

The day before the race, race director Van Phan considered canceling the race due to high wind and storm warnings for Saturday morning.  Enough of us protested, after all a good stormy run is fun too... And the weather turned out to be quite accommodating, but a bit cold.   We began the race with a light sprinkling of snow that stopped for most of the run and began again a short while after I finished and then turned into a heavy downpour.   I ended up running in a t-shirt, gloves and my long running tights, thanks to the fast course.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Running on Orcas Island

View from Mt. Constitution, Orcas Island
Mr. Rainshadow and I spent last weekend on the lovely Orcas Island.  It seemed like everywhere we went there were magnificent views: ocean, San Juan Islands, lakes, forests.  Orcas is a special place, like a miniature Whidbey Island without Oak Harbor's Walmart, Kmart, Home Depot, and McDonald's sprawl.  It was James' and my last weekend together before he left for the East Coast on a mapping and family visiting trip.  We planned to run James' Orcas Island 50K course on Saturday, which he had never run in one go.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


thundered down tonight
and I ate a whole onion
one layer at a time

Monday, December 6, 2010

Small miracles of balance and strength

Snow run in the mountains near Winthrop, WA
Who knew snow running was so hard?  From the first few steps in the 6-8 inch+ snow I knew I was in for an epic 21 miler. Or really I thought, okay I am ready to stop!  Such silly thoughts... must be ignored.    Each step was a small miracle of balance and strength.  My legs felt tired from the previous days run (11 miles), a regular lack of sleep, and a few months of almost weekly 50Ks.  On top of that, I came into the run a bit unprepared coming from Western Washington's coastal Whidbey Island.  I wore my minimal Inov-8 shoes and just barely kept my feet warm enough during the run.  I admit, I KNEW this was not a good idea.  I still did it.  At one point I asked William and James, so what are the signs of frost bite?  My toes did finally warm up after I put on an extra jacket (thank god) that I brought with me.