Thursday, May 31, 2012

she's a hurricane

Did I tell you? I'm getting married in 37 days in Vermont. Yes. I live in Seattle. But my parents are born Vermonters. Well, my dad is. 4th or 5th generation. My mom is only 1st generation so Vermonters don't count her. They live in Massachusetts now, where I spent my childhood on and off. Long story for another day. 

Owen is from Tacoma. It's a bi-coastal love affair. I can't even tell you the communication confusion early on. East Coast ladies and N. West Coast dudes speak completely different languages. But now we have a good translation dictionary to help us. Handwritten. Maybe we should publish it?

Anyway, we are getting married in Vermont for many reasons. It's my soul's home (yes, I'm down with that hippie stuff). And because when I took Owen there three years ago, after spending the day swimming in the river, lolling around fields and stealing hot, plump July strawberries we both agreed if we got married we'd do it in Vermont. In a field. Under a mountain. And we'd throw our wedding party in a barn. 

Here are some pictures of said romantic trip, three years ago. Literally to the date the weekend we'll be getting married this summer. 

cows are terrible strawberry guards
they'll never catch this strawberry thief

strawberry fields made possible with color swap camera tricks (and pink nail polish)
I wish we could have booked the von trapp chapel
the hills are alive!!!
Recently the bridal bonanza has been ramping up. Including two bridal showers in one weekend (May 19 + 20). And the meeting of the parents. It all went well! Phew. 

mac parents have landed

my dad's iPad camera. subtle.
Of course I needed to test my stress and sanity limits during this already hurricane-level-emotion filled weekend. So I signed up to chase some Nordstrom dollar bills at Beat the Bridge (gun time 8:30am, bridal shower in Tacoma start time 11am)

picking up my number after Saturday bridal shower 
Sunday AM: questioning my sanity

snagging the last of the cash by the skin of my teeth (8k in 28:03) I couldn't find my extra gear I think it fell off somewhere along the course. someday I will have a kick. thank gawd for the blur on this one. I know what my face was doing: ARGHARGH!

now for the race to tacoma for Sunday bridal shower! (red faced and make-up-less, nice)
In the midst of something so exciting, foreign and full of change (marriage and planning a wedding across the country) it's "nice" to feel the familiar pain of racing. Running has always been where I sort through my hurricane brain.

Maybe I should race right up to the alter on July 7th in the running wedding dress... 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

breaking up with daily mile

For the past 12 years I've logged my mileage and workouts in the Vermont Life Engagement Book. Each week has it's own page accompanied by a random picture of Vermont. Why? Because I get one every single Christmas, that's why. And actually that unlined space is perfect for mileage and notes. I have about half a book shelf at home with those books filled with workouts. Some half blank because of injury.
This sport has been a very personal thing to me for years because... well... no one gave a flying eff about it. But every day I got out there anyway, even when my friends thought I was crazy. "You're running 9 miles?!?!" So to find all you people and the 100,000,000,000,000,000,054 running blogs out there I was excited to revel in all the running community goodness. I wanted to go digital! Social! 

But Daily Mile is over for me because...
  1. I'm sick of updating it
  2. I miss adding up my mileage the old school way
  3. The features are lacking
    • No app?
    • When I try to look back at weekly mileage from over 28 weeks ago I can't (I have to go and add it up)
    • It's not easy to look at the past in a useful way in general. I want to know at a glance what each week was made of. 
  4. I'm not very social on it. I just post my workouts. I barely ever talk to anyone else...I don't do daily challenges. So I'm not really using it "right".
  5. I think #runstreaks are meh. (Not really here nor there)
What will I miss
  1. Socializing (I did when I had time!)
  2. Seeing how many donuts I burned or TVs I powered
I know this is riveting, edge of your seat blogging. But really it leads me to questions I have for running/blogging community. 

Do you like seeing other people's training? Why? Not?
Do you use Daily Mile? Why? Not?
Do you want to see my training on this blog? (All about me! ;)

As for me, I'm going to start a combination of Believe I Am (more for racing/goal setting) and Vermont Life (for day to day) training tracking...

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Win Tickets to the Olympic Track and Field Trials!

Okay I love a good contest, and Oiselle is running the mother of all track nerd contests. Win tickets for you and your best running buddy to watch 3 days of the Olympic Trials in Eugene this June! The days include the Steeple (1st and finals) the 5000m, 1500... ! So much track goodness! AND a place to stay at the Oiselle nest AND VIP tickets to the Oiselle Track and Fun party featuring MC Hammer. YES! Friggin' Olympic Track mania AND MC Hammer!! 

Oh and Oiselle will fly you and your buddy there. Seriously, the best contest. 
these tickets give me chills!!
To win you just have to pick your best running buddy (that's the hardest part) and create an application. I'm not allowed to apply, being a Oiselle employee/model/blogger/runner/lifer but I can't stop brainstorming how I'd enter if I could. 

Get out your rubber cement and all those running mags you have laying around. And get to clipping! Who are women that inspire you? Whether they are in the trials or now, clip 'em! Paste 'em! Go USA!
seriously old magazines for oly trials dreams? perfect trade.

Get on the track
Get on the track with your buddy, or splice them into your video. Enact some of the events you're looking forward to, throwing the hammer gets you extra points. Or make them run and enjoy a beverage; show Oiselle what a real spectator is made of. 

Make cheer signs and accost strangers
Show how effing amped you'd be for the trials. Make awesome signs, get your buddy to video tape and go cheer for random runners around your town.

Get ready
Show your spectator training! How are you preparing to perform at your top spectator level for three days of sun, track and fun? 

The contest ends on 29th so you have all Memorial Day Weekend to get your entry in!! 

this could be YOU!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

i love my mama

I'm off to camp at Maryhill this weekend with Owen. One last weekend of hanging out stressfree before plunging into the last crazy (fun) weeks before our July nuptials in Vermont. 

As you know Sunday is mama day!! So here's a little running love letter to my fast, strong mama on Oiselle's running blog. Plus a contest to win matching tees for you and your mom! 
mac mama

mac mini

Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 11, 2012

showerpill winners

Using Random Number I have two winners: @Kaprian Jillian Keeps Moving Forward

Contact me at to get hooked up with a 10 pack of ShowerPill

All you other dirty runners, use RUNNERS2 to get 10% ShowerPill on Amazon (valid through May 17th). 

Thanks for "playing" my first contest.

Note: I'm not looking to make this blog into some giveaway bonaza, but if there's a product I already love I want to share it with you all if I can! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

showerpill giveaway

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw my excessive shout-outs to ShowerPill when I was thick in the half marathon training. And at least a handful of thankful tweets from @oiselle_sally directed at me, the otherwise stinky runner sitting just a few feet in front of her.

I am also now known in Super Jock n Jill for my regular order: two Honey Stinger Waffles (one vanilla, one honey) and one ShowerPill. I was in there every other day, and will be again once I'm back into my heavy training.

If you don't know what a ShowerPill is, it's not really a pill. It's an 'Athletic Body Wipe' created by Seattle Seahawk Justin Forsett (and his former college teammates at Cal-Berkley, Wendell Hunter and Wale Forrester). Yes people, runners have something in common with football players. We work out a lot and sometimes end our workout in a place that doesn't have a shower at the ready OR we don't have time to mess with it. And obviously I can bench as much as all three dudes put together. Mac HULK!... wait, that's not true.
ShowerPill on the beach after running over 9 miles to Bainbridge during yesterday's #runlove

tip: first use on face, neck, chest and stomach, then flip to use other side on legs and feet.
 I was hooked after my first ShowerPill and here's why:
  • I do a lot of midday running and a couple double workouts a week, but Oiselle HQ doesn't have a shower.
  • Sink baths suck.
  • ShowerPill literally is what it says, it's a shower in an on-the-go-packet. Easy!
  • I actually felt fresh, not sticky and not all dried out (that's because ShowerPill is alcohol free and yet pumped up with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E + has Benzalkonium Chloride which means it's antibacterial. So important.)
  • It's the perfect size, easy to pack, just enough "shower".
Okay so this is my first giveaway! Holy what the what!? My over-the-top love for ShowerPill turned into rewards for you. Two lucky readers can win a 10 pack of ShowerPill.

How to Win
1. Like ShowerPill on Facebook
2. Follow @ShowerPill on Twitter, extra karma bonus points for following Justin Forsett and cheering for the Seahawks this year (even if for some reason he leaves this rainy wonderland).

Bonus Entries (one for each action):
1. Follow @oiselle_mac on Twitter and RT this blog/contest announcement.  #stayfreshteam
2. Follow Running Starfish blog.

Contest ends midnight pst, 5/10/12. 

I finally see why bloggers ask for these in separate comments, then it's easy to use random number generator!! So please separate comments for each 'action'.
enjoying the beach after 9 mile run and showerpill . #runlove adventure

Monday, May 7, 2012

celebrate > recover

I ran for the first time since Eugene on Saturday (5 days off) and my calves were like concrete by mile 3. I took it easy, enjoyed the views around Alki, stretched from time to time. I know that it's not uncommon to need a solid week off after a big race, but I think I could minimize the 'come back' discomfort.

I never have a recovery plan after a race. I only have a celebration plan. But lately my race feels like the celebration, and I want to race more. Rather than put everything on two races a year, then take weeks months off to sloth around why not get a few more good races in?

Next time I cross an important finish line, I'll have a recovery drink, an ice bath and/or a massage scheduled. And make sure I roll and stretch throughout the next few days. Then I'll sit around and eat fried food and have drinks. Because that's important too.

How do you recover/celebrate after a race? Do you think about races as part of a bigger season or does each stand alone?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

highlights + post race depression

I've been dealing with post race depression big time this last week. The Eugene race/weekend has loomed large on the horizon for months. The training, anxiety, excitement, anticipation all boiled down to two days. And it went by so fast! (I am clearly ill prepared for how fast the wedding weekend is going fly if Eugene took me for a ride.) 

I could barely leave Hayward on Sunday. I was just loitering, up and down the bleachers, over to the post-race area, back to the bleachers. Owen was so patient for a man who'd been there over four hours and was happy to leave. He just followed me around in my weird haunting of Hayward.

Finally I did tear myself away and rewarded myself with a Klondike bar on the way back to the hotel. BUT before I leave Eugene in the past. Here are the moments that made this weekend so awesome!

1. PR + 3rd woman

2. Overcoming my side stab thanks to advice from THE Lauren Fleshman.
I've tried and tried to deal with the side stab, making myself so nervous because it's the only pain that can end my race. Everything else I can push through. My breathing was getting better thanks to my inhalers, but the closer I got to race day the more side stab showed up. Lauren said it might be acid and that in the NYC Marathon she took a little Picky Bar packet of Maalox. So on race day so did I. When side stab showed up I bit the bag and drank straight Maalox. If you are wondering how gross Maalox in a bag looks like and tastes like. I can tell you, gross. But comforting. The side stab didn't take me out. My future of racing with Maalox... weird.

3. A banana cheering. (This could have easily competed for #1)
 A series of tweets starting with the fact that Sally's bib would read Bananas so people would cheer, "go bananas" during her 26.2... ended in Meghan in a banana suit. People in banana suits are easily one of my favorite things in the world. I laugh every time I see one. I'll let her tell the rest... the story is awesome. Plus she has some great footage/summaries of Emily, Sarah, Sally ... race days.

4. Beers with friends, and beers with down-to-earth superstars.
First stop: Nikasi brewery with Owen (obvs) my buddy Jason (if you are in college you might know of ShadyPeeps. That's Jason.), then joined by bloggers (Sarah, Sarah, Emily) and Mason ...then Sean stopped by. Patio with prime sun + beers + new and old friends = awesome afternoon. 

Then it was off to dinner with the Flomas' (Lauren and Jesse), Meggie, Sally, Lesko, Mason.
meggie, sally, lesko, lauren fleshman! me enjoying post-dinner beers

4b. Meeting people in real life, like Meggie!
5. The road trip with Owen. During which I saw this speedy gma.
grannies got wheels!

And finally made Siri my bitch. 
that's right.

 It was a great weekend, and now it's time to look ahead to new running goals and wedding-bonanza!! July 7th is coming right up :D

Thursday, May 3, 2012

turns out honey badger does give a sh*t...

Sunday's half marathon was surrounded by sense of importance, a sense that I needed to define my running. Exactly why Sunday, and that race, I can't tell you. Maybe it's because I have a blog and I wanted to show a picture of my mind leading up to the race but everytime I tried to get my mental state to stand still it would morph. The snapshot was impossible. Why couldn't I just sum it up? It's only running.

I kept thinking back to September when I realized I didn't want to try and pass for nothing anymore. But something else stuck with me over the weeks, and I'm a little apprehensive to say what it is... it's a quote from Without Limits one of the Pre movies (Crudup not Leto). Bowerman looks up at the team on the first day of the season and says,

"Running, one might say, is basically an absurd past-time upon which to be exhausting ourselves. But if you can find meaning, in the kind of running you have to do to stay on this team, chances are you will be able to find meaning in another absurd past-time: Life." 

Who the hell knows if Bowerman, or anyone ever said this about running in real life. But those words have been hanging around me. And today, as my car crawled across the viaduct, it clicked. That might be the most accurate reason that it's hard to sum up the importance of running or the bigness of it. It's as ridiculous as life.
When I was younger, my grandfather told me a story. He told me when he woke up one morning, around the time he'd turned 25, he understood life. He understood his place in it, his role and the cause and affect of things. He just simply understood. The whole mess lined up.

Maybe that happens for white men. I'm kidding. But really when he told me this story I was 22 and my whole life felt like it was blowing up in some crazy quarter life crisis. I had no idea what life was or even what I wanted it to be. And I still don't. 25 came and went without any epiphany. But once in awhile I put a couple pieces together.

I'm 28 going on 29 and I'm running again after I had finally being able to turn my back on the sport for a few years. Of course now I realize I never walked away. Although last year if you'd asked me if I'd be gunning for a sub 1:20 half I'd have laughed. 1:20 is some sort of tipping point for me. It's an arbitrary number really, but it makes me feel full of possibility now that I've cracked it. And I didn't have to go to hell and back to do it. It wasn't effortless, but I didn't dig all the way down to the pain place to find it.

So basically I haven't figured out what running will be for me, but I know I care. And maybe that's all I need to know for now.