Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the beginning

I returned from Club Cross a humbled woman. It was an honor to don a uniform and run for the Oiselle Team as VoleƩ member. And as for my performance...I finished! That's all she wrote.

For the past eight weeks I've been living out a suitcase, traveling like a gypsy nomad around the northwest and finding a new place to rest my head every few days. (Admittedly, I have yet to find a suitable dresser for my room so technically I've been living out of a suitcase even at home, but I digress.) To save time and effort, I'll give you the short-hand version...

10/27/13: Fresno, CA [moved to] Auburn, WA (900 miles)
12/01/13: Auburn, WA [moved to] Seattle, WA (30 miles)
12/13/13: Seattle, WA [drive to] Bend, OR [and back again] Seattle, WA (660 miles)

*Insert 5 days of dog-sitting at a place near U-Village in Seattle*

12/23/13: Seattle, WA [flight to] San Francisco, CA [drive to] Clovis, CA (1,000 miles)

12/28/13: Clovis, CA [drive to] Auburn, CA (200 miles)
12/29/13: Auburn, CA [drive to] San Francisco, CA [fly to] Seattle, WA (930 miles)

That is a grand total of 3,720 miles. That is essentially the distance from San Francisco, CA to Caribou, ME with some change left over...

The point of this pity party was to justify the fact that I haven't run since I got back from Bend. But now the day is upon us, my runstreak of gargantuan proportions begins tomorrow, January 1st, 2014.

365 days of running 1 mile or more; a 5k PR, a 5:10 mile TT in my underwear, and an ultra marathon are all on the agenda for 2014.

To put my money where my legs are, I have officially signed up for the American River 50 miler.
I have 3 months and 5 days to ready myself for what will surely be the most grueling thing I have done to date.

Happy New Year! Let the fun begin.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

bend or break

This week was one of exploration and discovery. New to my surroundings, I made it a point to branch out and see what sort of running gems my little slice of Seattle heaven has to offer. With my plans for 2014 looming in the not-so-distant future, it is imperative that I familiarize myself with some routes that I will surely come to know, love, and despise over the next 365 days...

My goal in the days preceding the new year is to revive some muscle memory, seeing as my runner's legs have been dormant for the better part of a year, and establish a routine. Luckily it's like riding a bike, I remember vividly what it feels like to run fast so the embarrassment of my sub-nothing mile pace is fully realized.

In the past, this type of performance would usually serve as the perfect excuse to throw my hands in the air and call it a year. However, I find each hindrance more motivating that the last. The spark that I felt had been snuffed out long ago has apparently reignited, and my desire for greatness finally awoken.

For now, time is no longer my enemy. I'll take to running with the intention of finding purity in my love for the sport. So I laced up and shot out the door headed west, chasing the beauty of the sun setting over the horizon.

After five days of running I took my first rest day, mostly a result of my gorging on sandwiches at an office party. Perhaps I will have to address my lack of restraint when it comes to food handouts as I amp up for the new year.

With a whole week of training under my belt, naturally I'm ready to race this weekend in Bend, OR at Club XC Nationals. A 6k in freezing temps with the possibility of snow. Sure. Aggressive hills and exceptionally uneven terrain. Absolutely. Complete with 8 hay bales and a trench jump per 2k lap. Say what now? I'm going to have to channel my inner-steeplechaser to survive this quintessential XC event.

Nonetheless, I look forward to feeling the adrenaline flow through my veins as the spirit of competition consumes me (note: I said the "spirit" of competition being that my pace will be anything but competitive). More to come on my adventures in Bend.

Friday, December 6, 2013

cali in the wash

Long story short: I quit my job in early October, stuffed my meager life into my car, kissed my family goodbye, and drove 1,000 miles from Armpit, California to Seattle in hopes of finding the life I had always dreamt of.

For the most part, I've executed my plan without a hitch. I landed my dream job working in marketing at Oiselle, found the world's smallest house to call home, and am embracing the weather change with open arms. And yet, something is missing...

Amidst all the hustle and bustle of my transition into "dream life", running has become a neglected verb in recent months.  Finding the motivation to get off my ass and out the door is a struggle now more than ever. I'm a runner, through and through, did I mention that? I won't bother the masses with arbitrary details, but running has always been a driving force for me. 

Yet I've all but disowned it... Running and I rarely play nice, in fact it's kind of like that friend who only calls you when it's convenient and always manages to kick you when you're down... Regardless, my love is unconditional.

In an effort to regain some perspective and effectively catapult myself back into the running scene, I have developed a plan - the mother of all resolutions - for 2014. 

I am, by my own free will, electing to run the year in its entirety. That's right, 365 days of placing one foot in front of the other for a mile or more. But wait! That's not all...

In addition to running all 365 days, I will attempt to meet three additional goals.

1. Set a new 5k PR.
My nemesis, the 5k has always proved unconquerable. Nearly every attempt to finish in good rapport has left me humbled and breathless, barely clinging to dignity. Not this year. 

2. Run a 1 mile time trial in under 5 minutes, 10 seconds...wearing nothing but randies and a sports bra.
Why? Because I'm needing a giant leap out of my comfort zone. Running a sub-5:10 mile will usher in my return to race-ready fitness, and doing it in my underwear will keep it spicy. 

3. Complete and ultra-marathon.
How many marathons have I run? Valid question. None. But I'm determined to do this anyway. 

My goals are ambitious, my expectations absurd, and my point irrelevant...but I am determined to rekindle my running flame even if it kills me. For accountability purposes - mostly for myself - I intend to document my progress of successes and failures. 

Keep a weather eye out, this is bound to get interesting...