Not Fast But Not Last
My Love/Hate Relationship with Running

May
02

I was nominated to do this by Bekah Darling.

Read on for some insight into why I love to run.

20 Questions about Running

1. How long have you been running?
I ran track in high school until an injury sidelined me from running for a few years. I did not get back into running races or long distances until 2010.

2. Why did you start running?
For my health. I fell back in love with it quickly and progressed from my first 5K in November 2010 to running my first Half Marathon in April 2011!

3. What is the furthest distance you have ever ran?
15 miles for a training run was the longest distance.

4. What is your best running memory?
I have narrowed it down to 3:

a) My first real great running memory is the first time I completed 10 miles during a training run and experienced my first “runner’s high”. That was a great day.

b) Crossing the finish line with Paige and Maria at the Iron Girl Clearwater Half Marathon in 2013.  It was their first half marathon and we crossed the finish line together.  It was an awesome moment for all of us.

c) The day I set my current Half Marathon PR at the St. Pete Beach Classic Half in January 2013.  I had been doing more cross training than running  and was so surprised to see how fast I was going.  I smiled for a week straight about that one.

5. What shoes do you run in?
This season, I am running in the Brooks Ghost 6.

6. What are your favorite and least favorite distances to run or race?
I do not usually enjoy running anything less than 5 miles. I would rather not run than run 3 miles because I don’t seem to hit my stride and enjoy it until mile 4. I prefer to run anywhere from 6-10 miles at any given time.

7. Do you have a running partner?
At the moment, I do not have a running partner. I had several in Florida and I miss them all the time. Especially Paige!

8. What is your favorite place to run?
In Portland, I enjoy running anywhere, it seems.
In Florida, I enjoyed running near the water.

9. What is your favorite running accessory?
My Garmin Forerunner 220, as it helps me keep track of my time, distance and pace.

10. Do you like outdoor or indoor running?
I refuse to run on the “dreadmill”! I am an outdoor runner.

11. What is your favorite time of the day to run?
My favorite time to run is first thing in the morning, before everyone is awake. There is a peacefulness to running at the crack of dawn.

12. What races have you run in?
According to Athlinks:
7 Half Marathons
4 15Ks
4 10Ks
6 5Ks
1 10 mile trail run

13. What music do you listen to when running?
I only listen to music if I am really struggling. I prefer to run with my own thoughts and ideas. I have a very eclectic taste, so you never know what will pop up on my running playlist. I have everything from Pop and Alternative to Rap and even some EDM.

14. What is the coldest or hottest weather you have ever ran in?
Coldest: 9 degrees in Oregon
Warmest: 90+ degrees in Florida

15. What are some other exercises you love?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), cross training, strength training, and Hiking. I have found cross training enables me to run faster and further without injury.

16. Are you currently training for something?
I am about to begin training for the inaugural Beat The Blerch Half Marathon taking place in September.

17. What are your current or future goals?
My running goal this year is to break 2 hours for a half marathon. I came close last year with a PR of 02:03:22 but I want to break 2 hours.

18. Advice for new runners?
Slow and steady wins the race! Listen to your body, rest when you need to. Let yourself fall in love with it.

19. Why did you start a running blog?
When I started participating in races, my friends and family would ask how I was doing, so my husband suggested a blog so everyone could keep up with my running. Now its been a few years and it is still fun to write about my adventures in running, products I love and sharing stories.

20. Who will you tag?
Krystal from TheRunnerWithin.com

Mar
26

On Sunday, March 9th, I took part in my first trail run.

It was a 10 mile run on a mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Oregon.

The race is put on by Ascherl Industries. The race director, Rich, is a serious runner with a full-time job who also happens to be a race director, among other things. I am not sure when he sleeps, but he definitely has a lot on his plate.

You wouldn’t know that by the organization of the race, as there were no issues that I could come up with. The organization was there, the swag was great and the t-shirts were comfortable tech shirts with a simple logo and a good fit. There were plenty of volunteers and refreshments and everyone was cheerful and in a great mood.

Because this race is on a nature trail and people in Oregon care about preservation, this race is only open to about 50 people each year.

I happened to sign up right after we moved here, so I got in!

I had been looking forward to this race since it was something different from what I am used to.

I really had no idea what to expect, as I had been hiking on trails, but never have I run up a mountain.

Before the race

Before the race

What follows is my account of the best and worst run I have ever participated in.

This race was truly humbling.

I have run plenty of races longer than 10 miles, but this was just a different animal altogether.

First of all, I have never walked during a race. I have a very strong will and I always seem to push through and I do not need to walk unless I am injured.

The first mile in we had to use our hands and feet in order to get up on the trail next to a waterfall… yes you read that right. I wish I would have taken a photo. It was ridiculous, in a good way.

Within the first 2 miles, I texted my husband….

I was already out of steam!  Yikes!

I was already out of steam! Yikes!

By mile 2, we were on the main road, working our way up to the trail head.

This sign meant water was near.

This sign meant water was near.

By the time I made it to the first water stop at the trail head, I couldn’t believe I still had 7 miles to go!

I went back out on the trail and realized I was going to get very muddy. I knew there would be mud, but I did not realize I would be jumping into mud. I am a very clean person, so the thought of jumping into mud is not appealing.  I was up for the adventure, though, so I got muddy.

This was kind of what I am talking about, but worse.

This was kind of what I am talking about, but worse.

I was so glad I wore last seasons retired running shoes and full length running tights for this race.

The trail seemed never-ending and I kept wishing I had water with me.  The views were amazing, though!

Just a little waterfall on the trail, no big deal...

Just a little waterfall on the trail, no big deal…

I kept pace with a woman named Tammie and we talked to pass the time as we both were enjoying this race but wishing we were done at the same time.

We kept seeing people who had hit the end of the trail and turned back so we knew we were getting close!  Everyone was so nice, offering encouragement and warning us to be careful.

Because there were so many of us on this trail and running on the same narrow trail and jumping in and out of the same mud puddles, they became more like obstacles over time and we kept trying to find creative ways to get around the mud without actually stepping in it.

There was an air of danger as we were running on the edge of a cliff.  One wrong move or slip in the mud and it could quickly be a bad situation.  So we had to be careful.

The sights were amazing!

The sights were amazing!

Once we got to the turn around spot, we were directly over the Pacific Ocean. As you can see, there was fog and cloud cover so it appears as if I am in a cloud, but I am really overlooking a beautiful site. It was amazing and I wish the haze had cleared up so you could see what I experienced.

Halfway point!

Halfway point!

The return trip did not seem to take as long and once we made it back to the trail head, I took 2 cups of the electrolyte drink they were offering.

When I knew we were close to the trail head and “water”, I took my GU packet. It was the new salted caramel flavor. It is one of their best flavors yet, in my opinion, and it was the best thing ever at that moment!

The best flavor.  You need to try this.

The best flavor. You need to try this.

The last few miles were all downhill and now that I was refueled, it didn’t seem so bad.

So I texted my husband:

It is hard to text and run.  I have some typos here, but you get the point.

It is hard to text and run. I have some typos here, but you get the point. *Srxine = Serene

Note – I do not normally text while running, but since my pace was slowed to a walk at times during this race, I felt it necessary to keep my husband informed of my slow progress and that I had not fallen into the Pacific.

Tammie and I made our way back down that waterfall somehow without falling. Someone should have taken photos and/or video of us. It would have been very amusing.

About a mile from the finish line, we stopped for a photo and as I turned to check on Tammie, I fell flat on my butt in the mud!

As we crossed the finish line, everyone cheered and our husbands welcomed us back with high fives and warm clothes, as the volunteers placed our medals around our necks.

My muddy feet and legs.

My muddy feet and legs.

So much for staying clean!

So much for staying clean!

After I refueled with donuts and chips and whatever else I could stomach, my husband and I ventured to the beach.

I thought I had seen the best sites of the day…until then.

While I was racing, he had been exploring and waiting to show me what he had discovered.

Even though I was dead tired, soaked with rain, mud and sweat, I ran on that beach and through the water and climbed up next to another waterfall and just took it all in.

That waterfall empties right onto the beach!

That waterfall empties right on the beach!

Trees just dropping off on to the coast…..

Trees just dropping off on to the coast…..

So beautiful

So beautiful

Climbing obstacles on the coast of the Pacific

Climbing obstacles on the coast of the Pacific

Before we left for the day, I stopped to speak with Rich, the race director. It is not often you get to have a one on one with the race director. Rich was very friendly, offering advice for the tough spots and mentioning other upcoming opportunities he was hosting.

That was surely the toughest race I have ever completed.

My only goal was to not be the last one to finish and I am happy to report, I was not.

My official time was 02:36:44.

I finished number 41 out of 50 overall and 19 of 25 for the female group.

Not fast, but not last, indeed.

This 10 mile trail run took me longer than my slowest half marathon, but it was so worth it.

The elevation changes were crazy, but it made it the kind of challenge I am always up for.

Not Fast But Not Last

Not Fast But Not Last

This doesn't even look possible, right?

This doesn’t even look possible, right?

As I said before; it was the best, worst and most humbling experience.

Even though I almost didn’t make it to the finish and almost didn’t make it home without being sick and had trouble walking the next day….

I can’t wait to do it again!

Front and back of my hard earned medal.

Front and back of my hard earned medal.

Mar
20

I have been waiting for race season to finally begin in Oregon.

The Shamrock Run sponsored by Adidas is the kickoff event in this area as the official start of race season.

The race sells out every year weeks ahead of time and this year was no exception.

It is the second largest race on the West coast and there are over 35,000 participants running through downtown Portland for 3, 5 or 9 miles.

Only those who complete the 15K (9.3 miles) receive the coveted medal.

pretty awesome medal….

pretty awesome medal….

I, of course, had to have that medal…..

The packet pickup/expo was smaller than I expected but the amount of samples being given out and the quality of the vendors represented was better than expected.  There was no official “swag bag”, but almost every vendor had a fun prize wheel to spin for prizes and I left with a bag filled with all kinds of goodies.  There was an issue with the sizing of the women’s official race shirts, but I was able to swap mine out for a comfortable size with no issue during the expo.

The best “swag” type item was that we would not have to pay for our race photos!  This is a huge deal, as I usually like at least one of my race photos and they can be very expensive.  Thank you to GameFace media for working this out – it’s the best thing ever to be able to have these photos for free.  I would have paid for these, though, as I actually don’t look like I am dying in all of them.

The race was held this past Saturday, March 16th. It was 55 degrees and cloudy but I was comfortable in a tank top and shorts. I decided to get in the spirit by wearing crazy shamrock socks. I did have my fancy Thorlo Experia running socks underneath since I was running more than a few miles.

Waiting for the race to start

Waiting for the race to start

I waited among the sea of green runners waiting for my section to be released, as they do a “hold and release” system so that the course doesn’t get too crowded, which is nice. I was probably 10 sections from the start, so as we kept inching forward towards the start, we were all pretty anxious to cross the line to begin.

Within the first mile, there was a stinking train crossing!  We all had to stop for the train to pass.  I paused my Garmin while we all watched, dumbfounded, wondering how the race organizers let this happen to us.

A train…..really?? Way to ruin our times!

A train…..really?? Way to ruin our times!

After a brief minute to two, we were back on our way.  My “official” chip time did not account for this unfortunate delay.  I had paused my Garmin, so that is the time I think it should be.

I had heard there were hills, but I wasn’t too concerned.

I prefer not to look at a course map before I run a race because I don’t want to psych myself out and not perform as well. Every runner is different, but studying the course before the race is bad luck, in my opinion.

This blog is called Not Fast But Not Last for a reason; there will always be those ahead of me, so it would be a real surprise if I was ever at the head of a race and needed to know where I was going. I like to be surprised during the race.

Such a great photo!  I was even smiling! Probably because I had not seen that hill yet….

Such a great photo! I was even smiling! Probably because I had not seen that hill yet….

Around mile 3, I happened to look up and notice there were runners way up on a hill that we were running towards.  “Awesome”, I thought, as this large hill loomed in front of me.

That hill became an obstacle to be conquered.  We all ran straight up, it seemed, for 2 whole miles!  So many other runners had become walkers by this point, but I charged on, determined to get to the top.

Not a flattering photo, but you can see how hard I am working, while others are walking up this hill.

Not a flattering photo, but you can see how hard I am working, while others are walking up this hill.

At the top of the “hill”, there was a group of bagpipers and it was truly great to hear and see, as it meant we were beginning our descent to the finish line!

I wasn't joking about a huge elevation change!

I wasn’t joking about a huge elevation change!

Miles 6 and 7 went by so fast, I was at Mile 8 before I knew it.

I read somewhere that there was actually a “bacon station” table set up at mile 8, but I did not see such a thing.

My last mile, I was determined to fly and it was my fastest mile for this race.

Those hills cost me precious minutes….

Those hills cost me precious minutes….

I saw my husband right by the finish line and gave him a high five as I ran it in hard.

Finishing strong!

Finishing strong!

My only complaint has to do with the organization of the finish line. With most races, you are handed your medal and a water as soon as you cross the finish line or within a relatively short distance.

After I completed 9.3 crazy miles, I had to wait in a very long line to receive my medal. There were many complaints as we all huddled together, wondering where the water was and why we had to wait in this ridiculous line.

Thankfully, my husband had a warm zip up hoodie and a bottle of water waiting for me at the finish line!

Tired, but happy!

Tired, but happy!

I wish they would have had a better system and hopefully they will rethink this for next year.

Overall, it was great race. The water stops were manned well, the bands on the course were great, the volunteers were cheerful and the weather cooperated nicely so that it didn’t really rain on us during the race.

After each race, I do a little “body check” to be sure I feel ok. After this race, I had a few blisters (nothing new for the distance and the terrain) and a serious chafe burn on my left inner thigh. It is probably too graphic to post, as it has taken several days to be able to have any type of fabric touch it without feeling uncomfortable. It is almost completely healed now, though.

I surely earned this new piece of hardware, but it was worth the blisters and chafing and waiting in long lines to conquer that hill and say I went the distance.

And its a bottle opener!

And its a bottle opener!

Feb
17

For Valentine’s Day, I received one of the best gifts (for a runner); a new GPS running watch.

My new, fancy gear

My new, fancy gear

My Nike+ GPS watch has been acting temperamental and so my husband decided to be lovely and show his appreciation for my dedication to the sport with a new piece of gear instead of chocolates and flowers.

It is nice to have a partner that supports and encourages you to run and I am thankful he knows me well enough to be unconventional when it comes to gift giving.

The Garmin Forerunner 220 GPS Watch is a much fancier version of what I have been using.

It was ready to go right out of the box, with no need to charge it, which was nice. It took about 5 minutes to set it up and calibrate it to my preferences.

I downloaded the Garmin Connect App on my iPhone so my efforts would sync up to the Garmin server right away. This also means I can be tracked by loved ones during my runs or races, which is very cool.

Safety is definitely a concern when running alone and this makes me feel safer than the other methods I employ, such as wearing my Nathan Vitaband  and using the Road ID  lock screen image on my iPhone.  With my Garmin, I can now be tracked in real time.  My Nike+ GPS watch does not have this feature.

I decided to take for it for a 5 mile test run to feel it out.

It connected to the satellite almost instantly and I was off. At every mile, the watch vibrates to alert you. I like this feature, as my Nike watch has an audible alert that is easy to miss.

Pausing and restarting was easy.

Had to pause for this photo op

Had to pause for this photo-op

At the end of my run, my stats were readily available via the app on my iPhone and on the website.

Look at those times!

Look at those times!

Easy to read and understand

Easy to read and understand

The graphs are easy to read and there is plenty of information to keep you informed of your stats.

As much as I hate to disappoint Nike, I am looking forward to becoming more acquainted with this awesome new piece of gear.

That was a fast 5 mile run - look at how red my face is!

I felt like a super hero after that run!

Another pic of my cool, new shoes, just because....
Another pic of my cool, new shoes, just because….

 

Feb
11

The Portland Metro area received the most snow since 1993 in the last week.

I have tried to find totals to be accurate, but it seems we got between 6 and 8 inches here, which is not normal ever, but definitely not normal for February.

The snow started to fall on Thursday and didn’t really stop until Saturday.

It was fun to play in the snow and it was a great workout walking around the neighborhood, since the streets were not plowed. The city basically shut down for a few days.

snow 1

Look at all that snow! The streets were covered!

 

snow 2

View from my bedroom. Looks fake.

 

Snow Angels!

Snow Angels!

 

I am usually running over this bridge, not hiking in my rain boots!

I am usually running over this bridge, not hiking in my rain boots!

The only negative thing about all the snow was that running was out of the question. The snow was too high and then when it started to melt, it was too dangerous with the icy conditions. We are almost back to normal today, so I am hoping to get out there in the next few days to break in my new running shoes.

Even the local running groups cancelled their usual group runs, which is unheard of.

So my new Brooks Ghost 6’s sit quiet, shiny and new, waiting to be taken on a nice, long run….

Ghost window

They are so cute!

I love the colors!

I love the colors!

The ridges on the midsole remind me of feathers on wings.

The ridges on the midsole remind me of feathers on wings.

Hope everyone is staying safe and warm!

Feb
03

Saturday morning, I attended a launch party for the new Brooks Transcend running shoe at Portland Running Company, a local running specialty store.

PRC sign with a bright blue sky

PRC sign with a bright blue sky

They host cool events, such as group runs and product launches and more.

I found out about the event from PRC Facebook page. According to the event invite, we would run in the new Brooks Transcend to test them, there would be a raffle for awesome prizes, free food and lots of camaraderie.  The raffle prizes were a Super Bowl snack basket, a  $100 gift card to the NFL store, a pair of Brooks Transcend running shoes and the one I was hoping to win; a free entry into the Rock & Roll Portland Half Marathon.

Snacks, raffle items and fun times!

Snacks, raffle items and fun times!

I have been looking for new running friends and since it was time to upgrade my shoes for the new year and new race season, it seemed to be the perfect event for me.

I arrived on Saturday mooning, just before 9 am. It was a beautiful Oregon morning with a bright, blue sky and a temperature of  about 50 degrees.

We were instructed to arrive a few minutes early so that we could find our size and get the shoes on before we went on a group run.

I was hoping to try on a size 6.5 and a 7, since every shoe runs different. There was only a 7 left for the smaller sizes, so I grabbed it and tried it on. I really needed the 6.5 but I figured I could go a few miles in the bigger size.

So cute and bright!

So cute and bright!

The Brooks Transcend is the latest Brooks shoe to be released. It is very stable, supportive and provides maximum cushion for your feet, like being on a cloud. Hence, the name.

These colors are awesome!

These colors are awesome!

I am a neutral runner. What that means is that I don’t need a bunch of cushion and stability in my shoes. I prefer a more minimal feel to my run and I do not require much assistance with my form.

Once we were all geared up, photos were taken.  (I cannot seem to locate these photos online, unfortunately.)

Since I am short, I knelt down in front with another short, blonde woman. Her name is Gail.  Gail asked me what size I was wearing. as it turned out, she was wearing my 6.5! So we decided to trade shoes to be more comfortable.

There were several options for the distance being run in order to test the shoes; anywhere from 4 to 10 miles.

Since this was a brand new shoe and a different style than I was used to, I decided to take it easy with just 4 miles.

Gail and I ran together and started chatting about everything. She is really nice and I hope to run with her again.

Everyone was really nice, actually. I met so many people and they were all so friendly and welcoming to the girl with the Florida plates on her car.

At mile 3, I caught up with another woman, Fabiola. We ran the last mile together at a pretty fast pace. I chatted with her and exchanged email addresses so we might run together soon, as well.

I ran those 4 miles in 35 minutes, which is pretty fast considering I was chatting and trying to take it easy with the new shoes.  I am really surprised at these results.

Pretty fast!

Pretty fast!

As soon as we got back, there were donuts to be had.

I did not plan to run so quick, so I was glad to refuel with a cute donut.

Yes, I ate a donut and yes, it was delicious.  I looked like  mess, though!

Yes, I ate a donut and yes, it was delicious. I looked like a mess, though!

Once I had recovered enough, I started chatting with the staff about the shoes.

Since I am a neutral runner, the Transcend was not a good fit for me. I loved the color scheme but my foot did not love being in that shoe. My toes felt squished in the toe box but not front to back, as you would assume. My toes felt squished top to bottom from all the luxurious cushioning.

So I ventured into the store to try on several pairs of more neutral shoes. My current pair, my much-loved Saucony Cortanas, needed to be replaced. The tread was worn down and they had about 500 miles on them. It was time to retire them.

I love Nike and Saucony, so I gravitated towards those options.

My options

My options

Although I loved the color scheme of the Nike Zoom Pegasus 30 and it is a very popular shoe, it did not feel right on my foot. My heel did not feel supported enough.

One of the reps recommended I try the Ghost 6, so that was put into the equation as well. Holly, A PRC rep, assisted me with fitting and even showed me some cool lacing techniques to get a more snug fit in the heel.

The Saucony ProGrid Ride 6 and the Brooks Ghost 6 were both great. I tried both on and ran around the building in both. They were the same price, so there was no real deciding factor.

I am usually very decisive with my running purchases, especially shoes. It is usually a clear-cut decision after trying on 2 or 3 pairs which one is the winner. I was so torn that I decided to walk around the store to take my mind off of how similar they both felt and which one I wanted.

I kept chatting with new and interesting people and ended up meeting the owner of the store, Mark, without even knowing it. He made my decision easier with his input and I appreciated that.

I ended up with the Brooks Ghost 6!  The Brooks’ slogan is “Run Happy”, which is very fitting for me.

Although I did not win any of the raffle prizes, I had so much fun at this event and I hope to get more involved with Portland Running Company. The staff is friendly, knowledgable and all around awesome and the runners it attracts are great people, as well. Such a diverse mix. You feel welcome and part of the group right away.

Thanks to Portland Running Company and Brooks for putting on such a fun event! I had a blast!

Jan
26

I ran 6 miles this morning.

This is nothing extraordinary, as I have pushed further than that in the past.

This was the farthest I have ventured so far in Oregon, which is still new territory.

I love exploring on the run and the cold weather makes it easier to do that here than in Florida.

It does take time to get used to running in colder weather and I have become more prepared for that with my clothing choices, making sure my running tights are lined, so my muscles stay warm and that my top layer covers my neck, so the cold air doesn’t irritate my lungs as much.

In Florida, it is wise to run early in the day before it becomes too hot and humid to be as effective. I don’t have that problem in Oregon. I can run at 11 or 12 and although the sun is out, it is only in the 30’s or 40’s, so waking up at the crack of dawn on the weekend just doesn’t need to happen here. This is a nice change.

On today’s run, I went back to the park with the trails. I took some great photos. Today was very sunny and bright with the high temperature reaching 45 degrees.

The view was amazing

The view was amazing

You can see one of the inclines from today's run here.

You can see one of the inclines from today’s run here.

When I left the house at 10:15 this morning, the temperature was about 35 degrees.

I was hoping to run further, but since I have not been running as often as I would like, I did not want to run too far and end up with an injury.

My time was pretty decent considering I haven’t been running as much.

Snap shot of today's run

Snap shot of today’s run

There were a few hills this time and it was fun to have the added workout element involved.

When I returned home, I stretched for a while and even took my stick to my muscles just to be on the safe side.

I can’t wait to tackle longer distances, but I know I need to be cautious about increasing my mileage too quickly.

It was a nice day for a great run and I am glad it went so well.

Jan
22

I use Pinterest to piece together some of my workouts and get ideas.

Recently, while researching workout ideas, I came across a post about a “one song workout”. I traced the origin of the post to Buzzfeed, a popular website for articles that are funny, political, interesting and more. I am only slightly addicted.

So I found the original article on Buzzfeed here: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mackenziekruvant/5-one-song-workouts

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The song ended before I finished these, but I made up for it at the end.

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The beat was great to stay on track with reps.

I used the Bosu for the incline push-ups

I used the Bosu for the incline push-ups

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This is such a fun song. Great energy!

This one was my favorite

This one was my favorite

I completed all 5 songs/workouts today and it was great! There was a lot of sweat. I finished the recommended exercises right at the end of the song or just before it ended for 4 of the 5 songs.

My only complaint is that I ran out of time during the workout for the Sleigh Bells’ song. I still had 3 exercises to go when the song ended. I may switch out that song for another one that is longer by about half a minute.

Coincidentally, that is the only song that was unfamiliar to me.

The entire workout lasted about 20 minutes, so I may do this again combined with a few miles to get in more time.

Overall, it was a great, new, fun workout and I recommend it.

Jan
09

Naked as in no technology, not naked as in no clothing.

A few weeks ago, I stepped outside, ready to run a few miles and as I waited for my Nike+ Sportwatch GPS to connect to the TomTom satellite, I lightly stretched.

It usually take less than a minute for the connection to be made and I am usually off on my run.

After a considerable amount of time, I realized I had been waiting for my watch to connect to the satellites for far too long.  An error message eventually came up that informed me the satellite could not be found.

Were they down for maintenance?  Was there a UFO blocking the signal?

This is taking forever!

This is taking forever!

I went to my backup Nike+ Running app on my phone and the same thing happened. No connection could be established to the satellite.

I was destined to do this run technologically naked, with no idea how far or fast I was going.

Some runners prefer to do a naked run every once in a while for fun and to not feel pressure while running to hit certain times or speeds.

I am not that type of runner.

I like to know how far I have gone and how fast I got there. I thrive on stats.

Especially being in a new area, I have no idea how far a mile is based on my surroundings just yet. Even if I did, I am not sure I would enjoy it.

I did finish my run that day, but I have no idea exactly how far I went or how long it took me. It was frustrating.  I don’t like to estimate speed and distance.

It was the only time I have ever cursed my Nike Sportwatch. This is one of the easiest GPS watches to use on the market.

I even researched other potential GPS watches in case I decided to break up with Nike.

Too many options!

Too many options!

I know some GPS technology can be hard to use when there is increased cloud cover, as is the case in Portland, which is probably why my watch and phone would not connect to the satellite.  I hope this does not become a common occurrence.

It hasn’t happened since, so I am still using my beloved Nike Sportwatch and have no other complaints.

I did however, find out that running naked is not for me.

Jan
08

I have always believed that my running improved once I started cross training and strengthening all over, as opposed to just running.

With the new year, I am determined to set a new personal record (PR) for my half marathon time. My current PR is 02:03:22.

I want to finish a half marathon under 2 hours and I know I can do it this year.

With that in mind, I have decided to strength train at home with my own equipment in order to cut costs and stay accountable.

I am planning on strength training 3 days a week, with 2 days of cardio/HIIT/cross training and one long run each week. I will have one rest day each week with this plan.

I will also listen to my body and take time off if my body tells me to slow down.

I tackled arms today.

Today's Arm Workout

Today’s Arm Workout

I called it the “3 Quarters” workout since there were 3 different rounds and they all contained 25 reps.

I originally planned to do 3 rounds. After the second round, I was worried that another round might leave me too sore tomorrow, so I stuck with 2 rounds and called it a day.

Stay tuned for more homemade workouts and awesome running tales!

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