Orcas 25K: 1/27/18

Snow & drizzle⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Slosh, slosh, slosh through slush river ⠀

“You’re so small,” Nature whispers⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

But like a tree, my roots run deep

Growth hidden beneath the surface ⠀



Photo Credit: Glenn Tachiyama

Results:  14th Women
Time: 3:15:12
Ft Climbed: 4,400ish
Miles of Snow/Ice/Slush: Countless



Declaration of Goals: 2018

We are 4 days into the year and I have almost recovered from my marathon 32 days ago.  I am itching to start working towards 2018 goals but I am trying as patiently as possible to respect the healing process & time that my body needs.

Yesterday Becki and I defined what I want to work towards this year and I am so excited for what we feel I am capable of right now!! That said, I do want to stay present with the work I put in each day, recognizing the day’s purpose and not getting too caught up in the goal itself… Each workout & run represents one board that will eventually build the boat I use to sail towards my dreamy sunset.  If I make it there quickly -AWESOME – and if I spring a leak during the voyage, I’ll salvage what I can to get as far as possible on that journey, while using  the mending process as a learning for later.

Although we are working towards a number, I understand that I could come in faster or more conservative based on the ebb and flow of how my body reacts to stress or training.  This mindset has helped keep pressure off on race day, but still drives the hunger for specific results to keep me moving.

This year I will be running both trails and roads, but using the trail to build up endurance and cross training.  My trail races on the calendar will be used as long runs, knowing my focus will be to speed up on the roads.

Alright, so here they are…

2018 RACE Goals:

5K: Sub 20 minute 5K
Reasoning/Plan:  If I can run sub 7 minute miles at the end of a training  run during a half marathon, I should be able to belt out a fast 5K either late winter/early spring… This will also help lay the groundwork for training as I build up speed for my half marathon.
TBD on the race but looking at February or early March

1/2 Marathon: Part 1) 1:33-1:35  Part 2) 1:30-1:32
I ran 3 solid half marathons last year, each getting faster, with the last during a marathon training block.  We felt I could hit a sub 1:35 during the last 1/2 marathon but didn’t want to sacrifice the marathon as a result.  Now with a two part plan, I feel armed and ready to battle it out!

Marathon: 3:15-3:19
CIM was AWESOME, but I truly felt ready for 3:22… Becki told me a few times to dream of a sub 3:20 and it could happen given the right day… Honestly, everything went according to plan, though the stretch goal was to negative split and move faster in the last 5K – 10K… We now have 10 months to build more speed and endurance so this can happen in 2018!! And in the process, the 5K + 1/2 marathon(s) should lay a solid foundation for making the pain cave feel like home.

Currently on the Calendar:

January Orcas 25K: 
Goal: Fun Run – This will be used as a long endurance fun run, though given the vert (+4K ft of climbing), I assume the fun will be the beer and pizza at the finish line.

March 31st: Hop Hop Half 
Goal:  1:33-1:35 – Hoping to execute part one of the plan.

April 29th: Tillamook Burn 20 Mile Trail Race
Goal:  Training run for Ragnar ultra trail team + bonus of hanging with R.A.N (girl gang) & Territory runners.

May 11 & 12: Ragnar Ultra Trails ZION
Goal: Have all the fun & don’t get injured or dehydrated at altitude during the accumulative 28 miles.

June/July: TBD RACE
Goal:  Looking for additional 1/2 marathon to nail down the 1/2 A goal of 1:30-1:32

August 3rd & 4th: Cascade Lakes Ultra Team
Goal: Enjoy running 34 miles & celebrate EM’s engagement all weekend!  Use this for long run & speed work going into TC Marathon training.

GOAL: Victory lap in my hometown, see my mom at the finish line, hug my dad with every ounce of joy I have, keep my eyes peeled for Tim on his bike, and run a 3:15-3:19 marathon because I am GD capable of doing so.

Other fun stuff… 

  • Spring Coaching GOTR – March-May w/ prep work starting in February
  • Debating on June RRCA Coaching Certification
  • Continue to organize Territory Run Co. community events and runs
  • More travel, more running, more prehab work
  • Actual meal planning each week — Budget friendly and SO MUCH easier to eat healthy when the food is already made… because as a starving runner, I do not always make the best decisions (IE Fueling with choc. pretzels before my run today…oops!!).
  • More reading!!

… here we go!

Year in Review: 2017

Like most people I write out my goals around January 1st every year and check in on them periodically.  When we moved in June, I misplaced my journal that had my goals written down, and I didn’t review them for the balance of the year.

It was fun to look over them today and see where I came in.  Many of them were ingrained in me before 2017 even started and it felt so gratifying to mentally check them off the list as the months went on.

Below were my goals for 2017 and the results –

  1. Marathon PR:  SMASHED IT!
    A Goal: 3:30, B Goal: BQ (anything under 3:35:00), C Goal: Just PR
    Result:  Marathon PR in May 3:48:00, & major PR w/ BQ in December @ 3:24:52
  2. 1/2 Marathon PR: SMASHED IT!
    A Goal: Sub 1:40, B Goal: Sub 1:50
    Result: March 4th 1:43:25, July 4th 1:38:58, October 15th 1:37:45
  3. OR Coast 30K: Failed 
    Goal: Top 3 Female
    Result: Big DNS – I prioritized CIM over this race and transferred my bib
  4. 5K PR: Semi hit this goal
    Goal: Sub 22:00 5k
    Result: I didn’t run a 5K but I did hit an unofficial PR in the last 5K of my October half marathon, coming in at 21:54.  I know I have a fast 5K in me, I just need to sign up for one and blow the initial goal out of the water!
  5. Make crossing training a priority:  Semi Smashed it
    Goal: Strength work, core, and Yoga
    Result: I made core a priority and did a lot of yoga in the first half of the year.  The second half of the year I seemed to have slacked in yoga….
  6. No Days Off:  Failed it
    Goal: Dedicate at least 5 minutes a day to stretching, cross training, running, or PT
    Result: This was not realistic.  I did run, yoga, or core 6 days a week but I relished in my rest day.

Bonus highlights of 2017:  Working with Territory Run Co. to form the Monthly Sunrise Group & moving so close to Discovery Park.  In 2018, I would like to take advantage of the Disco trails at least once a week during easy days or for cross training.

Overall, a successful year and I am looking forward to cleaning up 2018 by adding more strength training and yoga as well as sprinkling in some shorter, fast races as fitness tests throughout the year.

CIM Race Recap

There is so much to say about the race but ultimately the best indicator of how my day would go began with the start line as I lined up feeling calm, confident, grateful, focused, and ready to fight if needed.

The plan was to focus on a 3:25 finish time for the first 20 miles, with hope I would have enough energy in the last 5-10K to pickup a couple extra minutes at the end & close with a negative split.  This is the same closing strategy as my recent half marathon and current training.  If that were to happen, we were aiming for a time of 3:20-3:23 as the A goal.

Day before the race: (I get this part is always boring to read but for my own documentation it’s here… feel free to skip ahead)

I woke up at 7:45AM, was dressed and out the door by 8:00AM to do a short 15 minute shakeout run, followed by 4 light strides.  I looped the capitol, ran through the neighborhoods, back down L street, and strided through the park.  The weather was a balmy 40, cloudy, with golden wisps of leaves fluttering around me.

Right after I came back from the run, Tim and I took off to grab breakfast at Cafeteria 15.  It was mediocre at best but the place is huge so grabbing a table was easy and they served a stack of pancakes – just what I was craving!

From breakfast we headed straight to the expo, picked up my race bib, swung by the Oiselle booth to say hi to Brenda and Dr. Lesko, and then jumped straight into my checklist of errands… 1) Pick up race day breakfast from co-op 2) Stop by Temple Coffee Roasters & 3) figure out lunch…

Lunch was amazing!!!  We ended up at this cute and semi-hippie-dippy deli –  Thrive (I think?).  I ordered a grilled almond butter, strawberry, banana, coconut sandwich (all the carbs!!!), and by 2:00 we were back at the hotel to rest and nail down the race outfit + focus on last minute meditations.

That evening we picked the easiest option possible for dinner —> Staying at the hotel and partaking in their race buffet.  It was surprisingly perfect and filled with unlimited sweet potatoes, pasta with vegan marinara, steamed veggies, and lots of garlic bread!

Knowing I would have to get up at 3:45AM and be on a bus at 5:00AM, I went to bed super early and turned the lights out around 8:15PM.  I don’t know how, but I miraculously fell asleep around 9:30PM.

Race Day:

My alarm went off and I felt wide awake, excited, & ready!!  I ate my overnight oats, drank a coffee, a glass of nuun and read a letter that Jess had written me for race morning.  I felt balanced and prepared!!

CIM is a point-to-point race that starts in Folsom and ends at the Capitol. I, along with many others, headed down at 4:50AM to take a shuttle from the hotel to the start line.  I didn’t have my phone with me and the bus was dark, so I just played through different scenarios in my head of how the day could go, focused on the positives, and tried to relax for the 45 minute drive.

I hopped off the bus at 6:00, stood in the bathroom line a million times (because I honestly just wanted something to do & didn’t want to think about the miles that were ahead), and then was in my coral by 6:45AM.

I kept waiting for nerves to set in but I just felt excited. I reminded myself to take it all in, savor it, enjoy it, work hard, and have fun!!

The trumpet player from Cake played the national anthem and then we were off and running!

I had a pace plan that was broken up into 5 segments, however, we knew that the course rolled and I would generally have to go off of effort.

Miles 1-10: Goal 7:45 – 7:50
Mile splits:  7:38, 7:44, 7:41, 7:48, 7:46, 7:42, 7:48, 7:48, 7:53, 7:39.

The first mile is downhill and it took everything in me to hold back and focus on patience.  I tried to stay present in these 10 miles, appreciate the energy around me, what we were accomplishing together, and let my pace be determined by effort.  I knew the hills would keep rolling for the first 16-20 miles and I didn’t want to burn through my energy too quickly.

I started taking fluids in early at mile 3, took a gel at mile 5.5 along with more water, nuun at mile 8, and then water again at mile 10.

Miles 11-15: Goal 7:45’s
Mile Splits:  7:42, 7:41, 7:40, 7:33, 7:49

I took another gel at mile 11 and alternated between water and nuun every two miles after this.  I felt relaxed and happy.  On the uphill I would take my time, appreciate the change in muscles being used & allow myself to use the downhill as a recovery… a recovery with faster paces but not exerting myself too much.  My initial instinct was to go faster but knew that could sacrifice the back half of the race.

I saw Tim at 13.5 and Sally Oiselle and Sarah Lesko at 13.6 (Hello, fastest mile of the race)!  I was having so much fun and hitting my goal splits with relative ease – ease only because those paces have been drilled into me these last two months & there was still a lot of race left.

Miles 16-20: Goal 7:40-7:45’s
Mile Splits: 7:44, 7:42, 7:42, 7:46, 7:45

It was sunny from the start of the race, and the temperatures started to pickup around mile 16 (42 at the start of the race, 50’s in the middle, and 58 at the end).  I threw my gloves away around mile 16.  At mile 17 I pulled off my arm warmers and planned on tossing them to Tim at mile 20.  Mile 18 I took another gel and a tums (side cramp).

As with the earlier miles, I continued to feel great, energetic, positive, and focused.  I saw Tim 20.5 and just like before, Lesko and Sally were a few feet after that!!



I ran through the fake brick wall at mile 21, smiled, and thought “Pain isn’t a wall its a door” (Thanks Meg Murray!!)…  I knew I had the BQ in the bag but wanted to have a solid strong finish and grind it out.

That’s also when my legs started to feel the 20 miles of rolling hills… I had loved the feeling of UP and the DOWN – switch between effort and ease!!  Obviously, it should come as no surprise to anyone but myself that my legs did not love the flat that followed…

Miles 21-23: Goal 7:40
Mile Splits: 7:44, 7:45, 8:01

I had expected the last 10K to be my fastest.  I would be close to the finish, and using different muscle groups, however, my quads were lacking their drive and I felt pretty toasty.  Although I was in a really good place mentally and nutritionally, I had a hard time turning my legs any faster.  I decided to just push as hard as I could, run as fast as possible, and not give up.

…pain is a door, not a wall.  You have felt this tired on training runs, don’t stop… Grind it out.

Miles 24-26.2: Goal – MOVE, no regrets, leave it all out there
Mile Splits:  8:03, 8;12, 8:03, 2:31 (7:50 pace)

On the flight to Sacramento I listened to a podcast with Deena Kastor.  Deena said something along the lines of…”We do not train for the perfect day or the perfect race, we train so that we know what to do when it gets hard…  When it is no longer easy, is when a race defines you.  You either give up or dig and give it your all… ”

Throughout the race I kept thinking, “What will define me?”  knowing it would get hard and things may not go exactly to the plan.  Over the last seven years, my race mantra use to be “This is what you came for…” On Sunday, that changed to, “This is what you TRAINED for.”

The last three point two miles, I didn’t look at my watch, I just pushed as hard as I possibly could, literally gritting my teeth as I moved.  I took in every single moment, every step, and savored it… The leaves, the sunshine, the crowd with their overwhelming voices, the love and energy from Oiselle’s cowbell corner, running down a brand new street, and just appreciating the months that led to this moment.  I felt unstoppable and while these were my slowest miles, my effort continued to increase.


I ran across the finish line with my arms lifted, a HUGE smile on my face, and a finish of 3:24:52… I PRed by 23 minutes and 8 seconds and BQed with a buffer of 10 minutes and 8 seconds!

The day went as perfect as it possibly could have, and I while I can think of things I could have done better, I have zero regrets and know I laid it all out there.

Finish Time:  3:24:52 / 7:50 per mile

Race Details

Mantras:  Be Brave, Dig Deep, Get Ugly.  This is what you trained for.  I can, I am, I will.

Unspoken mantras (is that a thing): Meditating on the love and support I felt and thought about as I ran those 26.2 miles – I am so grateful to have such an incredible husband, coach, team, friends, & especially for Jess and her genuine support, advice, shared miles, & kindness.  I could not have done this on my own.

A year ago I was injured, in May I missed my goal by quite a hefty margin, and on Sunday I not only had a redemptive race but one filled with so much gratitude.




Race week: Reflection & Delayed Recap

I am now 5 days away from my goal race and I feel calm.  Surprisingly calm. When the doubt starts to creep in I tell myself, “You’re ready, you’ve trained for this!  This is your party, your celebration dance! Your performance is almost here.  Enjoy it!”

Growing up I played piano. Correction, I looked at the sheet music, felt an incredible amount of musical dyslexia, and would clumsily tap through the song hoping I had started on the right notes. I hated practicing. Despised it. It was my daily reminder of not being good enough.  Of course I know now that I needed to invest time to get better, but as a child I would put in the minimal amount of time, and skip whenever possible.

Needless to say, recitals made me feel sick, crippling so. I hated showcasing my ability, or lack thereof, to an audience of people. The little skill I did have was usually crammed into the week leading up to my recital. Performance day would show up, like a guest that is expected but not welcome. I would sit on my parents bed, holding my stomach in pain and beg them to let me stay home. Without fail my parents would bargain with me and promise a slice of pie as my reward if I could sit on the bench and fight my way through my piece. Apparently that’s enough incentive for a sugar deprived kid to willingly battle with their performance anxiety, because it worked everytime.

The recitals were moments where I had to show my world what I had worked on (or more so didn’t) and a time where I felt stunted, observing how everyone else had grown and excelled since the prior show.  It wasn’t just performance anxiety I dealt with, it was comparison syndrome too.

All of this to say, I had expected to feel severe anxiety, maybe even nausea over my upcoming race, but I am just excited & confident. I have practiced and I have put in the work. The miles & workouts leading up to my day are all part of my success story.

I believe it will be a good day, and if my race results falls short of my expectations, that’s OK too. I have invested everything into this training cycle without considering shortcuts, and I will do the same on race day.

I wrote the below to my coach after my October “workout/fitness test” half marathon. I reread it this morning as a confidence booster, reminding myself that I am capable of doing hard things, and more importantly to trust the process, plan, and my abilities! In the spirit of race week, I thought I would share my half recap here too.


October 15, 2017

Lake Snohomish River Run.

1/2 Marathon

The week leading up to race day, Tim had been fighting a cold and it started to hit me on Thursday evening. Friday and Saturday I took SO much vitamin C via cold pressed juice, supplements, and way too much OJ. I was a little worried I would have tummy issues when Sunday came around from all the acidity, but it was worth the risk and I managed to clear out the congestion the morning of the race. In retrospect, I think this helped calm down my nerves – I knew I would put in my best effort on that day, no matter what happened but if the day didn’t go as planned, that it wouldn’t reflect my actual fitness (maybe just my health?). Regardless, I can’t choose if I am feeling 100% on marathon day, so it is good to know what I can push through if needed.

Warm up: I arrived early and ran a 1.75 mile warm up, ending slowly on a hill in the last quarter mile that gained 125ft (oopsy). I opted to skip the strides since my legs felt a little worked from the hill – Which was good because gear check took forever so I ended up sprinting to the start line with 3 minutes to spare.


Miles 1-5 – GOAL 7:30-7:35: I went out a little fast, cruising 7:14 the first 1/2 mile, and then reigned it back, forcing myself to slow down. Splits came in at 7:25, 7:34, 7:34, 7:30, 7:29. These all felt comfortably hard – But more so mentally. I kept wanting to go faster but told myself I would pass other people in the second half… Oiselle Sally and another friend were running right ahead of me but close to 7:20’s and part of me wanted to just run with them, while the other part of me knew I needed to execute my own plan.

I wised up and quickly let the notion go, focused on my music, and decided to keep trusting the plan, running my own race, and I held back knowing it was early.

I took in fluids at mile 4 and ate a spring energy gel from miles 4-5. From here I would grab a cup every 3ish miles and take a sip of water or swish nuun.

Miles 6-10, goal 7:25-7:30: At mile 6 you hit the bottom of the hill and run through a graveled parking lot for 1/2 a mile. The footing is tricky and really uncomfortable in racing flats (lol) – I thought this would slow me down, but it shook out just fine and I hit a 7:28 followed by 7:27, 7:21, 7:27 (took in my second gel here), 7:23.

I FELT AMAZING in these miles – Much of this time was spent alone but that was fine. There was a little headwind, but nothing notable. I had expected to feel the slight uphill and be discouraged or at the very least feel like I was working harder during this time; instead I felt warmed up, strong, and in control of the paces. The Oiselle cowbell corner was at mile 10.5 and I knew I wanted to look strong running past that, which helped keep my pace and form in check for the balance of these miles.

Miles 11-13.1, goal Sub 7:20: “Just wring out the rag” kept going through my head – you wrote this on a race plan for Eugene, and I wasn’t able to execute it then, but wanted to yesterday!!

With only 3ish miles left I knew I could grind out some speedy miles… After I received the race plan on Monday, I have been thinking that it would be amazing to drop a sub 7 mile as my last mile. I wasnt sure if that could happen BUT THEN IT DID!

7:05, 7:15, 6:58 and 6:33 – These miles felt hard and like I was pushing but I knew I could grind it out to the finish. I had a tiny side stitch during mile 12 but focused on changing my breathing and ran through it.

I was passing people left and right and still feeling strong and happy… bonus, no one passed me during this time!! I never hit a wall or thought WHERE IS THE FINISH – I focused on the task at hand.

Results: GARMIN 13.28 – 1:37:46 / 7:22 mile… ACTUAL RACE Results 1:37:46 / 7:28 mile & 3rd AG placement Women 30-34

Looking through Strava, EVERYONE’s results came in long, which makes me feel better about how I ran the tagents but a little bummed that maybe the course was too long and that I could have picked up 45 seconds to a minute had it been shorter. Oh well, next time.

Key Takeaways: WOW, I am still baffled that I pulled out a fast (for me) 5k finish at the end of a half marathon and on the uphill portions… WTF? Does this mean I should have pushed harder before that point or is that the confidence and mental state I want to be in at the end of a race? I gotta say, it felt good to trust the plan and gradually work more and more into the race… It felt awesome to run so strong in the last 3 miles too.

I know I cant be upset about the course length – that happens all the time, and in hindsight, I would rather it be long than short. I didn’t dwell on it during the race even though it was a noticeable difference from mile 3 on, I just kept moving and focusing on getting to the finish.

Fueling: Other races I have only taken “bites” of my gels and consumed 1/3-1/2 of a packet vs. this race I took in the whole gel over the course of a mile.

Mental state: The cowbell corner and mantras kept me moving and feeling really good. Fortune favors the brave, I can/I am/I will, and wring out the rag.

Training life hack: On my long runs I have been trying to feel good at the end and not just stop abruptly after my last mile. In some runs (mostly because I have ran too far with a friend) I have ran a tiny bit further than the plan or had to walk a little ways back to my car. I think this has helped with mental endurance for the tiny bit of distance that will come after 26 miles or 13 miles… I have also tried to run my last mile of speed workouts as my fastest mile – getting use to the feeling of running fast on tired legs and knowing I can do it even if it is hard.

Core: This was the first race in a long time I didn’t feel like my form was falling apart or I was bending over in the last few miles! CORE WORKS and it is worth allocating time to do it!

Progress is worth the Process

Progress is worth the process is a notion I have been focusing on lately.  A few factors in my day-to-day life feel mismatched & uncertain right now, but the constant mental refresher has been training & running.

Without divulging to much, my role at work is being elimanted companywide, with the last day announced as 1/15/18. Yet there are still other factors at play, (partially out of my control) in me staying or finding something new.   Needless to say, this pushes me into a daily spiral of maybes and seeps into my sleep at night… I am basically living in a nonconclusive yet swaying timetable.

My thoughts seem to break and the dull buzz of uncertainty subsides when I run and dive into things within my control.  Workouts have been key to feeling level and my upcoming race, now within arms reach, haunts me with wanting the outcome I know I am capable of.

As I watch parts of my life change and transition, the progress I have made in my training has helped me to feel empowered, strong, and still full of purpose.

Focusing on the next 18 days, I am choosing to dial into confidence & trust.  Confident that my career will be decided by what I want out of it and trusting my body to pull me to a very courageous and epic finish.

Stats of 249.2 miles last month, 65 miles two weeks ago, 49 miles for “taper” LW, strong race results in workouts, and lots of ah-ha moments of growth all will lead me to a moment that is so close!

18 days away… Trust. Trust. Trust .


Oh, I have a blog?

I am so very bad at blogging, so long story short, I’m running a lot.  Well, running/sleeping/eatting and declining almost every invite to go out on a Friday night but I LOVE IT!

I am 5ish weeks out from CIM and grinding out high mileage weeks like a champ – no complaining and just getting in the work!  I am thriving on checking off the (almost daily) run, nailing or learning from my workouts, and seeing progress and PRs like crazy.

I’ll update with actual detail this weekend but for now, here are two photos from a recent half marathon where I not only gutted out a sub 22 minute 5k & dropped sub 7 miles at the end of the race but I PRed by over a minute!

Now to stay injury free and keep putting in the work!