I'm going to try and bullet point these a little since I have a lot to cover! Lots of awesomeness will be contained in here!
*That watch (Bia!) I've been excited about?? It was funded! I kept refreshing the screen all last night and with 4 hours to go they hit the 400k goal. I can't tell you how awesome that is and I'll be rocking the watch next April and the t-shirt in about a month. A huge mass of runners came together and I felt so inspired watching the pledges fly up each time I hit refresh. I am a proud backer of this project.
*My insurance company sent a mobile glass company out to clean up my car and replace the glass while I was at work on Friday. I may have mentioned this already but the whole experience was wonderful. The girl who took care of it was cheery and she even gave me a set of brand new (nice) jumper cables that someone had given her as a tip. She didn't need them and I had mentioned something about how mine were so cheap that they didn't work. It was incredibly nice of her and now I have a set of working jumper cables!
*Today's run was 12.85 miles and our route included a few significant hills (520+ elevation gain total). I ran with Deb, my favorite pacer and while she usually is the 12 minute pacer we tend to average closer to 11:45. The last time I averaged 11:30 because I went ahead. We are still lacking a consistent 11-12 minute pacer though and after our group talked it over we all agreed 11:30 was a pace everyone was comfortable with. At mile 4 1/2 the half marathon ladies turned around to head back to the store and it was just myself, Deb and Laurie. Laurie dropped back on the next big hill and Deb and I ended up running solo for the rest of the run until we met up with Leslie (mentioned in more detail below!) around mile 11.
Deb is motivating, gives some helpful tips and I enjoy running with her. Over the past few weeks I've started to be able to hold a comfortable conversation through the duration of the runs and I've noticed it helps the miles fly by. We kicked up our pace to about 11 minute miles and chatted most of the way. Our overall time was 2 hours and 25 minutes, which was about an 11:10 pace. I feel more confident about Lacamas Lake next Sunday after all the hill workout's I've gotten in this week.
*I met someone in our pace group today that I am going to run with next week at Lacamas! I wrote her name down so I wouldn't forget it and I'm fairly certain it is Leslie. I'm excited to have someone to run with for a bulk of the race. A say a bulk because she was hitting the wall hard today and she hasn't run the course before so besides my warnings, she doesn't know how significant some of the elevation changes are.
*With that in mind though, it sounds like the pacers we run with on Saturday will also be running/pacing the race for us. After today's hilly run I may aim for 2:20 and if I need to go slower, no problem.
*I bought a hydration/fuel belt a couple weeks ago and have taken it on two long runs now. I've been fussing around with it quite a bit but after a few miles today I think I found my "sweet spot" for placement and it didn't bother me too much after that. Having the choice between water in one bottle and electrolytes in another plus enough room for whatever kind of gel or shot bloks I want to carry is helpful. I like having access to hydration when I feel like I need it vs only at aid stations. My coach, Jeremy, was on the route in two locations today which was very cool!
*Katrin, the nanny upstairs, is into rock climbing! We're going to go together on Tuesday night after work. If all goes well it looks like I may have a cross-training buddy for at least one day a week. My landlord is gone until about 9:30 on Tuesday night so it's just Katrin and I here. So far I think she seems pretty cool and I'm excited to start climbing again. She hasn't been in awhile either so I think we're both on fairly equal ground.
*I ran a little over 26 miles this week! This is my longest week yet (only by 2 extra miles) and I put in a lot of work. I feel really great with how far I've come.
*Tonight Aundria invited me to a block party about 20 blocks from my house. Her band was performing, along with some others, and it was a lot of fun. I'm really glad I went because I got to hear her solo song and having her own song in this band means a lot to her. Plus, there was a ton of food! (I was good; for sweets I only had one regular brownie and a mini-cupcake. I ate salad and veggies for the rest for my dinner). It was nice to see Sequoia and Chris too. I don't know Chris very well but I felt like I got to know him a little better tonight. Sequoia and I had fun dancing at the end of Aundria's set.
*Apparently after my race on the 4th, Sequoia told Aundria that she thought she could totally run a half - ha ha! I love kids. Next year Aundria said they will sign up for the Shamrock 5k, which is really awesome! Aundria isn't very interested in running but I think she might try a 5k or two and see how she feels. I'll forward her the Couch to 5k plan as it would be something she could do with Koi too. Also, if Sequoia takes to running, Anise will have someone closer to her age to run with.
*Yesterday I received the title to my car in the mail! Together my car and I will fight evil car villains for many years to come. (It's only at 61,000 miles) *happy dance* I own my car! Yay!!
*I'm almost 100% sure that I am going to register for the Big Sur Marathon which is April 28, 2013. If I'm going to run 26.2 miles I want the race to be spectacular. I say this now, and maybe I will change my mind, but I don't have any desire to be a regular marathoner. I've given the Portland Marathon some thought since I've been training this season and have the opportunity to stay with the marathon group runs (& the race isn't sold out yet) but I think I would be pretty miserable with that decision. I know the whole course and while it's exciting to cheer people on who are running the race, I just don't know if the Portland marathon is for me.
I've been doing a lot of research on Big Sur since I read about one runners account in her blog. The course is really challenging but it looks like it is one of the most scenic and pretty races. They also have a grand piano player on the course at the top of one of the peaks. I would bring my camera to this race and just breathe in the whole experience.
Registration opens tomorrow. I'd love to get Erin on board with me for this one. She seemed interested and I think sharing this with her would be something we'd never forget. The time limit is 6 hours, and while there are certainly some flatter spots and downhills, there are some steep climbs so that is a little concerning but with proper training I think we (I?) can conquer that. Something in my gut just says, "this is the one" and I certainly have the time to mentally and physically prepare myself and still give myself some downtime after this season.
Besides a few set-backs this week, along with a pretty stressful work week, I am very, very content right now. Things are falling into place in many aspects of my life (in positive ways) and I don't know how to describe it besides saying it just feels good.
Tomorrow I hope to sleep in past 9am. I hope to make myself a delicious waffle, work on my garden, read a little, relax and then later watch the season 5 opener of Breaking Bad. I'm SO excited for this! I'll probably watch the last couple episodes of season 4 if I have time tomorrow. Tonight after I post this it's all about the kitten cuddles and some blissful sleep. Goodnight friends, family and any other followers!