Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Boston Strong - Missoula

Wow!  I knew Montanans would come out for this, but the turn-out yesterday was incredible.  Together, with 850 participants in the group run, over $16,000 was raised for One Fund Boston.

Thanks go to The Runner's Edge and Run Wild Missoula for organizing this whole thing in barely three days.  You guys are amazing.

Here is a little picture post from yesterday's run:

Moseying around before the start at McCormick Park.

Thank you!

Getting ready to start!

Mike Foote speaking before the start.

And we're off!

Love this woman's Boston license plate!

Hi :)

Almost done.

My main man and photographer.

Runners for Boston <3

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

For the Love of Running

Why I Love Running, a response to the Boston Marathon bombing:

1. The camaraderie.

I ran my first half marathon last year.  I was really nervous so I got to the shuttle buses early (about 4 a.m.) and took the first one out to the starting line.  A woman sat next to me on the bus and we chatted like we'd known each other forever.  She told me about other races she'd done and we discussed goal times and the best trails to run in Missoula.  We ended up hanging out until the race started and then she found me in the crowd of thousands afterward to congratulate me.  It meant, and still means, so much that she took the effort to find me.

The finish line at the Missoula Marathon/Half Marathon.
2. We get to talk non-stop about running to each other.

Who else but another runner (or an amazing friend that doesn't mind me talking about it all the time) will willingly hang out to talk about pace or form or how badass Shalane Flanagan or Anton Krupicka are?

3. Runner's legs.

Need I say more?

4. All the happy people.

Not to say that we're all sunny, positive people, but I've found some of the most upbeat people at the starting line at 6 o'clock in the morning.  I've seen racers help someone up when they've fallen; I once saw a man carry his wife across the finish line. 

5. All the neon.

Where else can I wear neon pink shoes and have no one give me a strange look?

6. The "Jurek Yell."

Scott Jurek spoke in Missoula to a near-capacity crowd this past winter.  He taught us the "Jurek Yell" and we called it to him on stage.  I got to meet him afterward and was a rambling idiot.  It was awesome.

Tongue-tied while Sam talks ACL injuries.
7. The race organizers.

More goes into planning a race than I may ever know or understand.  Organizers work with businesses and restaurants, the police, the city, the racers, hotels, the media, and countless other people to give everyone the best experience possible.  And most are volunteers.  My hat (or my running shoes?) goes off to those who give up time with their family, friends, and themselves to do this for us.  Thank you.

8. Anyone can be a runner.

It knows no race or ethnicity, creed, gender, orientation, or age limit.  We all own the sport.
I guess mostly what I love is the people.  When the two bombs went off near the end of the Boston Marathon, spectators Carlos Arredondo, Joe Andruzzi, Allan Panter and others ran toward the chaos to help.  The first responders, who were only expecting to treat tired and injured runners, ended up saving lives.  Some of the runners finished the race and then donated blood.  Many residents of Boston are now offering their homes to those stranded.

Runners are a tribe, a community, and a family.  We came together in a time of intense crisis and we don't waver.  When the worst happened, I saw the best of people.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bad Days Make for Great Races

My best run was the 2012 Riverbank Run 5K.  It wasn't the best because I was in the zone, or had a good night's sleep the night before.

It was my best run for one reason - I was pissed the hell off. 

The first half of 2012 was full of ups and downs in my love life, and the week of the Riverbank Run was no different.  I was dating someone that I liked very much.  I wanted to be his girlfriend.  At the very least, I was hoping we were headed in that direction.*

*side note: Are these really the stages of dating for the new millennium: hooking up, casual dating, dating, and official-exclusive-dating?  It's exhausting.  And there are probably like, 27 stops in between that I don't even know about.

Anyway, we had the relationship talk.  During which, the guy I really wanted to be my boyfriend said this: "I can't say that I can be exclusive with you, what if I go out tomorrow and meet the love of my life?"

That propelled me to my current 5K PR.

A bad mood can't compete with a runner's high and a new PR.

It was cold and drizzly that day, which suited me fine.  There were hundreds of people in the race and I felt like I had road rage.

In retrospect, it's silly.  This guy was obviously not right for me.  But at the time I was hurt by the statement, so I took it out on the course.  And the rage-running worked.

I'm running this race again in a month.  This time, I'm hoping for better weather and a better mood.  And, just maybe, a happier PR.


Thanks to MissZippy for this blog idea!  See her best run recap and many more at this link:

What's your recent #bestrun?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Ticks and Training Updates

I'm officially registered for two half marathons this year, the Missoula Marathon/Half Marathon and the Big Sur Half Marathon (which I've been flirting with for months now).  The Big Sur half is in my home state of California, in a city I may very well be moving to in the next year.

Monterey, CA.  Oh, the pretty prettiness.
My next race is the YMCA Riverbank Run on May 11th.  I'm running the 5K and I don't want to say that I'm going for a PR, but I know I can run it faster than I ran Run For the Luck of It last month.

Since that race, my training has been going really well - nothing motivates quite like a couple of halfs in the pipeline.  I think (hope) I've rebounded at a good pace since my little (ahem: 5 month) training hiatus.  I did my first six mile run on Monday after work and, despite being tired and grouchy, I felt great afterward.  Because running does that.

My boyfriend, Sam, and I have also been hiking Waterworks Hill, Mt. Sentinel, and Mt. Jumbo (all Missoula based hiking trails) a couple of times a week and doing core work together.  Neither of us can stand to be indoors when the weather is nice; I think we're solar powered.

Hiking on Waterworks Hill
Anyway, what I didn't know was that spring is tick season.  Warning: having a tick fall out of your hair and onto your neck in the grocery store may cause nuclear meltdown.  Please take universal precautions.  Also, can humans use Frontline?  No?  What about Advantix?

I washed and combed through my hair like I was looking for lice (or greys), and then did the same to Sam (the combing, not the hair washing).  That night, nightmares about ticks on my pillow had me waking up every couple of hours to check.  Do I know how to make things into an event, or what?

Lesson: stay off Mt. Sentinel for the time being.  Also, don't use tick medication meant for your pets.