November 12, 2014

Volunteering and Cold Weather Running

Over the weekend, I volunteered for the Mud & Chocolate Run. They host a 4.5 mile trail run on Saturday, and a half marathon trail run on Sunday. I was looking for local volunteer opportunities and saw that they were in need of some, and I'm so glad I found them!

This boutique race is organized by NRG Running, and their founders, Jon and Nina, are the nicest and most laid back runners/race organizers I have met! They also host boutique race The Rain Run, and Nina told met they get some people who fly in just for that race!

For the 4.5 Mile run, there were 97 runners and I helped out at the finish line, passing out chocolate medals and bars to the finishers. For the half marathon, I was stationed at the check-in table, handing out t-shirts to those who had preordered them, and selling t-shirts to those who wanted some.

I'm so glad I picked Saturday to help out at the finish line and Sunday to be under the tent, because of course the first day it was bright, sunny, and beautiful - and Sunday it started to pour! I felt so bad for the trail runners, haha. Fortunately we all got chocolate in the end!

In other news... brrr it's getting so cold out now! Here are my runs since I last posted:

And then, it really started to get cold.

46 Degrees
At least it was beautiful, too!
43 Degrees
40 Degrees... eep!
Though it's been getting steadily colder in the mornings and not getting much warmer in the afternoons, when the sun is shining (contrary to popular belief, it's out a lot!) it's BEAUTIFUL.

Running in the cold is hard, but I kind of like it! It starts to feel nice and refreshing after about a mile.

Do you like mild weather or cold weather runs?

November 2, 2014

What I've Been Up To Lately

Man, I've really fallen off the wagon with this blog. I mean, considering this is a running blog and not much running has been going on..

So, what have I been up to? Well, I'm still trying to keep up my mileage by increasing it by percentage.

October 20:

October 23:

October 25 (in Austin, in 80 degree weather! Woof!):

We were there for the weekend to witness one of my best friends from high school get married!

Back in Bellevue, I used Mapmyrun because Nike+ kept crashing (and I kind of love how it shows splits!):

On Halloween, I ran my last run of October:

I went to a Halloween party, as Wednesday Addams (JW was Ace Ventura!):

I even made little witches' brooms (pretzels with string cheese) and "pumpkins" (oranges with celery sticks)!

Basically I've been cruising along and have really been surprised by how quickly time is passing. I mean, November? Hi. Long time no see. But still, wow. Can't believe you're here now. It's definitely fall now.

November also brings NaNoWriMo, the 50,000 word novel-in-a-month challenge of which I've made multiple attempts and always failed. It started yesterday and I realized within the first hour of working on my novel idea that it just wasn't going to work. Haha! I'll spend the next few days thinking of something else, but if nothing sticks, then I'll just try again next year. I'll crank out a novel one of these days. :)

October 20, 2014

Increasing Mileage by Percentage

Hello there! I've been really trying not to overdo it in the running department, though I've surprisingly kept up my running pretty frequent since I last posted!


October 13

This run felt wonderful- 58 degrees was really perfect and I wasn't worried about how slow I was going at all. I started listening to podcasts instead of Harry Potter and I think it's been a welcome change! Harry Potter rocks, don't get me wrong, but listening to it all the time gets a little monotonous!

I felt AMAZING during this run, as you can see by my paces! I just felt like I could fly. I loved that I stayed under 10 min/mile the whole time!

When I started this run, I was originally going to make it a 3 mile run. But it was so beautiful outside (62!!) that I just couldn't convince myself to stop. So, I just ran the extra .5 miles down my out-and-back path to make it an even 4 miles. However, I could tell that my body was fatigued (ended on a 12 minute/mile pace.. yikes) but again, I was just so happy it was sunny outside!

October 19

This run was after a weekend of debauchery, pictured below:

I went to two different shows to see two different friends perform, and then went to parties afterwards - basically, I ate too many sweets and drank a bit too much wine (how can a person resist cookies and wine, though??) so I didn't feel that great on Sunday. But, I forced myself to get outside for a run and felt a little better.

We go to Austin this weekend to attend the wedding of JW's college roommate (and high school friend as well!), and I couldn't be more excited! The high is supposed to be in the mid 80s, and though the Pacific Northwest weather has been more than forgiving, I'm ready for some good ol' Texas HEAT. 

Increasing Mileage by Percentage

I'm really focusing on keeping my running under a 20% increase (ideally a 10% increase) from the week before, and I'm doing well so far!

Week of the Bellingham Half Marathon - 15.1 Miles
10/5 - 10/11 - 7 Miles (had to recover!)
10/12 - 10/18 - 13 Miles (a little more than intended - an 86% increase)
10/19 - 10/25 - projected 14 miles (an 8% increase), to get back on track.

So, sure, I should have run a bit more the week after the Bellingham Half Marathon, but I just didn't feel like it.. so I made up for it in the week after that, with 13 miles total. I know the 10% rule really only applies when you run 20+ miles a week, but I figured it's a good starting off point now that I don't have a set goal in mind in terms of racing.

Congratulations to my sister-in-law, who ran her first half marathon with the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco!!

Holds a special place in my heart, since on this day last year, I ran my first marathon with Nike Women. Lots of feelings about that, that I'll maybe talk about later this week.

October 9, 2014

Trying Not to Overdo It

Ah, the calm after a race is over. Since Bellingham, I've been mainly relaxing and trying not to overdo working out. I do this thing where I put way too many things on my schedule - yoga, tap class, contemporary class, running, choir rehearsal, voice lesson - and then I get disappointed when I don't accomplish all of those things in one day. I have really crazy, unrealistic expectations sometimes.

For example, the Wednesday before the half marathon, one of my days included an advanced contemporary dance class, running 5 miles, an advanced tap class, and a choir rehearsal. And then I was surprised when I was super exhausted the next day. ?!? Sometimes I just get this feeling that I'm wasting my time if every single minute of every day is not filled with something to do.

So, I've been running some, sure - but if I haven't felt like it on the day I intended to do it, then I don't. No big deal. I just move it to the next day or delete it completely. I'm not training for any race right now, and I don't think I will for a while.

I've decided not to run in the Seattle Half Marathon this December, as I've done for the last two years. I would have had about 8 weeks to train, sure, but with how I was feeling during the last training cycle and not really giving myself a break... I decided it was in my best interest to just not do it. However, I did sign up to volunteer and I'm excited about that opportunity! I'm very interested to see what it's like to be on the other side of the race, so to speak.

Now, there is a possibility that I'll be running the 5K race the day before with the in-laws during their visit during Thanksgiving. It's kind of a tradition we have, running the Turkey Trot- and this race is one of the options we could do. However, this won't be a race like the previous years have been a race. I don't plan to train for this race, but to make it what it should be - a fun run.

As for how my runs have been since after Bellingham, here they are!

This run felt AWESOME. I felt like I could keep running forever and ever. It was great weather (in the 60s), sunny, and just all around a wonderful, wonderful fun. After this run I really had to control myself from immediately signing up for the Seattle Marathon.

I didn't run again until the next Monday - almost a week. A slightly less fun run. I ended up tripping right before finishing the first mile- on a downhill. I scraped up my leg pretty badly.

Ow. It really hurts. Anyways... the run was okay, but my calf muscle was really starting to just hurt since it was scraped so bad. Since the fall, yoga hasn't been great either, since I fell on the heel of my hand as well, so I can't put much pressure on it.

I ventured out again the next day for 3 miles, which went pretty well! Again, I'm not focused on time- just effort. Making it easy when I want to, and pushing when it feels okay to do so. My leg was still a little sore from the day before, but once I got in my groove it stopped hurting. It just looks pretty gnarly now.

So, it looks like running for the rest of the year will be mainly 5K fun runs and running around outside whenever the sun is out - which, surprisingly, it still is, even though it's October! I'm not complaining :)

October 8, 2014

My Wedding Day: The Exit and Aftermath

Catching up? Check out Pre-Ceremony, The Ceremony, The Formal Pictures, and The Reception: First Dances and Cake Cutting, and The Reception: Toasts and More Dancing.

Finally it was time for our grand exit at 6:50!

Taken by Sarah :)
Complete with silly faces by JW :)

Taken by Carly!
We took some selfies in the Bentley on the way to the drop off point to get into our limo, which would take us to the Gaylord Texan.

About 10 minutes later, we were dropped off at our limo! All limo photos taken by our iPhones :)

We were SUPER excited. I love limos!!

We got to the Gaylord around 7:40, where Kelly met up with us to take a few more pictures!

Funny story: we were obviously quite elaborately dressed, and while we were checking in, a woman and her young daughter got in line behind us. I had my back to them, and Kelly told me after we walked away from the check-in table that the little girl asked her mother, "Is that a princess?" and Kelly nodded her head as an answer. Awww!

We got up to the room and wanted to get the iconic "carry the bride over the threshold" picture -

"We ready?"

So fun!

Then we had to take some jumping-on-the-bed pictures, naturally.

The ceiling was a little low for jumping...

Then we took one last picture on our balcony.

Then, Kelly was done! Onto the rest of the night.

We decided to meet a few friends, which ended up being about 25 people, at a place called The Winewood Grill, a fantastic grill in Grapevine, not far from where the Gaylord Texan was. This place was fantastic and extremely accommodating and I couldn't recommend them enough!

Some of our friends wanted to buy us a bottle of nice wine, so my dear friend and college roommate Sarah chose this wine. It just so happened that I had visited Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape when I studied abroad. The year? 2009. It was so perfect and serendipitous, I was so moved!!

And here's the whole gang!

So much love! So much support! It was truly a wonderful night and I will never, ever forget it.

Next... The Honeymoon!