02 March 2014

2014 Q1 Race Recap and Life Review

Oh, the pressure of writing a post when you hardly write posts anymore! Fuck it, here goes.

My running plan for 2014 is to run one 5k a month. Yesterday I ran my third one, so it seems like an appropriate moment to do some recapping. I have some other goals related to this one: first, run every 5k faster than the last, and second, break 24:00 this year.

Getting to 23:xx will be tough, but I think running each race faster than the last might be tougher. For example, April's 5k is much hillier than the first three, which were all around Green Lake and flat as a pancake. So I'll really have to Bring It if I want to break my time from yesterdays' effort (24:45).

My January race was a very small race called the Inclement Sprint. Before the race they took a group picture of all the runners - I think there were about 50 of us. There was some confusion about the course. The Race Director, a very sweet guy, announced before the race, "Since a 5k race is actually 3.2 miles, you'll have to run this short out and back section." I figured he misspoke and that the course was actually 3.1 as expected, but when I got to the finish, my Garmin read 3.2 on the dot. My time was 25:37, which I supposed was a good January sandbagger of sorts.

My February race was the Love 'Em or Leave 'Em 5k. This was a fun one because a whole slew of Oiselle ladies were there. The race was huge and legit, with tons of speedy runners. I came in dead last among our team at 25:01, but since I'd registered as a "couple" with our fastest lady Stacy who ran a zippy 17:41, I had the distinct pleasure of coming in first in our division of "couples with summed ages from 60-79."

For my third race of the year, I decided to run March Forth, which was oddly on March first, at the urging of my teammate Lauren. I'm so glad I did! It was a smallish race and very relaxed. There was no specific lineup procedure for the start, but for some reason I didn't mind dodging the strollers and dogs. It was also mostly on the gravel path on the outside of Green Lake, and I typically hate gravel, but this didn't bother me either. I ran the race with Lauren and Andrea, and we also saw Sarah and Jen afterwards. It's pretty amazing to be part of this group of gals on the Oiselle Team. I love seeing familiar faces at all the local races. It's starting to feel like I have sisters! As someone who has no actual sisters, I can't tell you how awesome this is.

For 2014 I had some non-running-related goals too. The big one? Be less negative. Maybe I should start with rephrasing this one: Be more positive. This is going very well, with a few annoying exceptions. Most of my indulgence in "nagativity" was directed to (or at least witnessed by) my husband, who has been sweetly cajoling me for years to look on the bright side. Apparently this is my year, because despite the fact that life isn't that much different than it was last year, I'm loving it all. Initially I used the "fake it till you make it" strategy and just acted more positive than I actually felt, and guess what? That shit works.

I also wanted to spend less time on the internet and more time with paper. That's going well too. I've been doing a fair bit of writing offline; a lot in January, less in February, so I need to pick it back up. As for less internet, I'm focusing mostly on Instagram these days, and catching up on Twitter and blogs only when I'm on the toilet. That's a great rule, you should try it. Although it may increase your time spent in the bathroom.

I even reactivated my Facebook account recently for work, because I needed to keep up with my company's FB posts. It was fun for five minutes to see what people were up to, but I mostly I fucking hate FB. Although now that it's become a place for old people to hang out, it seems a little cooler to me. Old people, Unite! I am one of you now!

So what else is going on in my life? In late January, I visited some old friends who were in San Diego for a work trip, and it was nice to take a solo trip in a new place. I even got to run with my favorite running partner Lynne, who now lives 3000 miles away in snow-encrusted New England. We're cooking up a plan to run a half marathon on the same day this summer, and virtually train together. In February my mom came for a visit during Maple's winter break. We had a great time eating and museuming and downtowning. She also helped us with some much needed furniture shopping. I'm grateful to her for coming out for an extended stay, and also to my dad for holding down the fort (and walking the crazy dog seven times a day) while she was gone.

In two weeks, Sean is running the Chuckanut 50k in Fairhaven, WA. This was one of the first ultras I knew about, and I'm beyond excited to spectate this race and to cheer for Sean. He took some time off after being injured during last year's Zion 100, fully embracing his rehab and doing a shitload of cross-training. Even though he hasn't had a lot of time on his feet this winter because they were all kinds of broken last fall, he has a better mental game for racing than anyone I know. Dude is a survivor, with almost 10 years clean and sober, and that mental toughness gets him through anything he puts his mind to. I believe he will finish this race smart and healthy and be ready to run longer ultras later this year.

Maple is enjoying school, reading voraciously, and is all about her Rainbow Loom. We have so many tiny rubber bands around the house, and although this used to drive me insane, now I smile when I see those errant little rubber bands because I know she is focused on her craft. I love to see her focused, as she has a bit of an attention deficit. Not enough to be disorderly, just enough to worry me.

On February 2, I "celebrated" ten years with multiple sclerosis. Maybe it's weird to celebrate such a wrenching diagnosis, but I can definitely celebrate the fact that I'm still living life on my terms. Here's to another ten years of that!


  1. Congrats? on your ten years, and yes, MANY more to come.

    I'm so excited that you wrote this post! I love the idea of running a 5K each month, and I have no doubt that you'll reach your goal. You're already so close, and March has just begun! Good luck, and keep posting! :)

    I'm happy you're enjoying life out there. :)

  2. Thanks Kristy! Your sad face post made me laugh. I hope you are feeling better soon and back to running full-time!

  3. Hey there PenPalPortia! Glad to see you posted! I've been sitting on my update for some time, so maybe this will be the catalyst to write into the ethers again... and an analog letter is coming to you soon soon SOON! Happy anniversary to both of you- both survivors and inspirations!!! xoxoxo