Lincoln Hills - Missoula, MT (photo by Myke Hermsmeyer)

Lincoln Hills - Missoula, MT (photo by Myke Hermsmeyer)
Photo by Myke Hermsmeyer -

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Patience & the Pubis

It's been a while since I've checked in with a blog. That's because I've been busy! Busy healing and doing fun summer things: friends, family & food.

It was Memorial Day weekend, and I had headed out for my last long run of 16 miles. Ten miles in, I started to get some side stitches, not all that uncommon, but as I got to 13 miles, I noticed the pain was moving south as was my pace. By mile 15 I had run a 9:26... not a good sign. The pain was so severe in my lower abdomen, it was making my hip flexors, butt muscles, upper hamstrings and of course my stomach muscles all cramp and hurt. I walked it home certain something in my belly was creating all this mayhem. Everyone on my moms side of her family including my brother has had their appendix removed, so this seemed like the most logical answer for me. That or perhaps an alien baby. 

You're not having an appendicitis," Andy told me adding "that's not the right spot, and it would feel different. You probably pulled a muscle." Whatever the diagnosis was, I knew it wasn't going to be good and my hopes of running a marathon in 8 days were slipping sideways. 

A few hours later, I still had the soreness in the lower abdomen, but the bulk of the pain had stopped when I stopped running. I tried to stretch the area. Ouch. And I checked to see if there was any strength left in my ab muscles, by lying on my back and lifting my legs. Crap, I couldn't and it hurt. The next morning, I went out for 4 easy miles with Andy. It felt like a gut punch. Every. Single. Step. That "oh shit" feeling pulsed through my body. I knew deep down something was really wrong. But, being the ever optimist, I truly hoped it was a pulled muscle (or alien baby) and that the race in Calgary June 1 would still be on. 

Before I get to the diagnosis, I should back up a little.

Post Boston recovery was going very well. I took some time off, drank a lot of wine and slowly returned to the roads. After about two and a half weeks I was the little kid on the bench demanding "Put me in coach! I'm ready to play!" With his hesitation, I persuaded my coach to let me run the Riverbank Run, a spring classic here in Missoula. Because of other spring races (and also some strong feelings about the disorganization of this event), I hadn't raced since 2008. I signed up for the Tri-Fecta race, which combines all three distances 10K, 5K & mile which are spaced out enough so that you can race all three. 

My coach had to set boundaries for these races. He didn't want me just blowing out of the start and hurting myself or falling apart a few miles in. We decided these would be progression runs. Starting out slow and building to unleash in the final mile (... which isn't much for this one-speed pony). The 10K was good, not great, but after a slow start, I jumped from a 6:10 to a 5:55 mile too soon. I missed the 6:05 and 6:00 miles. I think I was a bit too excited. So for the 5K I really focused on staying on the paces given to me. I ran a 6:01, 5:53, 5:44. So success! (Regarding one small part of the disorganization comment above, the "5K" course isn't even 3 miles. The last mile my watch said .94 but 5:44 pace.) The mile I just wanted to go sub 5:40, which I did, but I'm not certain if that mile is really a mile either. Either way, I was happy to be back racing and feeling solid!

Last mile of the 10K course. Photo from the Missoulian

The next weekend was one of my favorite trail races, 11 Miles to Paradise. Although this race is not quite 11 miles or finish in Paradise, it's still extremely well organized, beautiful and fun!  There's a reason this one sells out quickly. Who doesn't want to run fast trails which finish with a meal and a soak in the hot springs? This race was two weeks from the Calgary marathon, so I was really looking to get in a hard effort. The competition was stiff and at mile 9.5 I found myself duking it out with Nicole Hunt again. She passed me on the final climb and went on to best me by 25 seconds. It was still a good effort and the top 3 women were all under the course record time. I had started my period the day before the race, so the sharp pains in my female parts during the final mile of the race, I attributed to my monthly friend. I even told Nicole after the race as we chatted "I felt like someone was stabbing me in the vagina!"

The top three women hit the single track. Photo by Vo-Tography

Had I only know then that the pubis getting angry.

That following Saturday was the back long run as I previously mentioned. So what the heck was wrong with me?!?

I was able to get an appointment the Tuesday after the holiday with the local sports doctor. I told him I thought I pulled a muscle and I hoped he could clear me for the race later that week. He did a few tests and it didn't take long. OSTEITIS PUBIS aka inflammation of the pubis symphysis. Or a stress reaction on my pubis symphysis.

Huh? Giggle, giggle, pubis what? He busted out the pelvis skeleton and gave me an anatomy lesson.  It's the hard cartilage right in the center of your pelvic bone. What causes it? Overuse. (Insert sex joke here). But really, overuse by training. 
See it? Pubis Symphysis.

An MRI the following day confirmed his findings that this girl's pubis was angry! Lots of inflammation.
  • No race.
  • No running.
  • $#!T!!!
  • PUBIS!!! (It truly is fun to say)

So for the last 7 weeks, I've become very familiar with telling my pubis story and pointing to my lady parts, riding my bike, I spent a wonderful week with family in Oregon, indulged myself in some other activities than running (say what?), helped beginners train for their first marathon and relaxed... a lot. It's been surprisingly nice! Then I feel gross and get irritated that I can't train... then I sit on a patio and drink a beer with a friend I haven't spent enough time with and it's nice again. ....But then I see my friends racing, ahhhh! It's just up and down. I'm practicing patience, something that doesn't come very easily to me.

I do have to say 'injured Trisha' is WAY better than 'taper Trisha' for two reasons. #1) No scary important race looming. #2) Red wine. Plus, mix the red wine and me talking about my pubis all the time... just good, clean fun. 

After 10 day of zero running, I started adding back tiny runs. First week back - 8 miles, wohoo! Then the next week 12. Biking didn't hurt the pubis at all, so I've been bike commuting a lot to and from work (20 miles round trip). It's not a workout... but helps me feel like I'm doing something productive. I ventured out to try pool running, which might be the more boring than watching women's basketball. (I didn't think that was possible.) I have friends who have been pool running for months due to stress fractures. I don't know how they do it, much respect. 

A lot of people have asked me why I came back to running so fast... 10 dasy off? Why didn't I let the pubis heal completely? Both my doctor and coach (and me and my husband) agree active recovery is best. As long as the pubis didn't hurt after a run or during the activity it was ok to continue to run (or jog actually). No speed, no hills (uphill seemed especially bad) and no yoga or any weird strength training that made the pubis shift. It was a slow and gradual build up, continuing to run and continuing to let the area heal. First time in a very long time I was under 100 miles for a month.

Missoula Aquajogging Team - L to R: stress fracture & angry pubis


This weekend is the 8th Running of the MISSOULA MARATHON! Christmas in July for runners :) I love this race. I am so incredibly proud and bursting with excitement over my hometown marathon. We do it up right! I've been involved with the Marathon for 3+ years now. I've sold sponsorship for the race, been a vocal member of the race committee and consider myself a running ambassador for the city of Missoula the second weekend in July. Although, I've raced the marathon 4 times, the half once and 5K twice... last year I dove in and gave pacing a try. I paced the 3:20 group. I didn't think I could have more fun than I did race day in 2013... it was pretty incredible. I was a bit nervous I wouldn't hold the pace or would be erratic with my splits, but once I got into the groove, the miles clicked off. My core group of guys (pictured here) all made it very close to the 3:20 mark, some a little before, most a minute or so back. I think I received more cheers as a pacer than as the first female in previous years. I actually hear "Go Balloons!" from one spectator. 

The question I get asked the most about pacing is "are the balloons annoying to carry?"... and the answer is no, I really didn't notice them. However I did use them as a baton like I was the conductor of my own 3:20 band. So this year, BP (or before pubis), I made the commitment to pace again. I had dreams of going to Calgary, getting my OTQ (sub 2:43) and pacing in my home town 6 weeks later to the cheers and congratulatory hi-fives from my running community. I probably jinxed by thinking about it so much! I'm good on my word this year. I'm going to pace again. I ran 17 miles last Sunday... so I'm hoping that plus my endurance from the previous years of running will carry me to the finish line. I do know there is a good chance I can hurt bad too. Dropping out will break my heart and would be tough for me to get over, but breaking my pubis officially would ruin any chance I have of running a fast late fall marathon. 

Some where on the hill of the marathon course 2013,
 I'm guessing mile 14 or so. I love this picture. I'm pretty
sure the guys were making painful faces on purpose.... I hope.

So what did I do with all that free time? 
Here's some pics of my mini-adventures!

With limited running, I took to my trust steed!
A lot of bike rides these past few weeks.
 I never got good at the biking selfie though.... 

Awe.... the Missoula Marathon training class - LOVE these people. 
This is only about 40 who showed up on a nasty, cold rainy June day. 
There's more than 300 signed up for the class.
 I'm going to miss them. Tear!

We gathered on the last day to share words of wisdom
and to hopefully get everyone pumped up. I shared you never
forget your first... marathon, that is. But really, so much of
marathon training isn't about running. It's about setting a
goal and seeing it though. I can not wait to celebrate with all
my new friends at the finish line!!! It's been a rewarding and
inspiring 18 weeks with the 300+ class.

Biking took me to some beautiful places!
Including the Deschutes River with
Mt Bachelor peaking out in the background

Golfing with my friend Holly on the Summer Solstice. 
We are both really good at golf... I mean driving the golf cart.

In Central OR visiting my family helping this 
adorable 7 year old make his way to
 a top 5 finish in the Kid's Splash, Pedal & Dash!
The day after the Kids race, Andy kicked butt 
in a close finish for the Long Course Tri at Pacific Crest.

I practiced my pacing skills and helped my mom finish
her 5K with a 4 second gap to clinch
her age group victory!  And Evan crushed the Kid's Mile.

Cross Training.... MT style ... on the Fourth of July
And of course! Cuddling and taking 
LOTS of photos of the monkeys :)
What can I say... they are a good looking pride. 
It was a real shocker to come home one day 
and all four chillin' together.
 I don't think that happens too often! 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Trisha in Wonderland - Boston Marathon 2014

Its been a week and a half since I raced at the 118th Boston Marathon. This time was a far cry from my running of the 108th a decade earlier. My experience was charmed in 2014 mostly because I was able to run with the elite women's start, 28 minutes ahead of the other 35,000 participants. I was bib number 41 in the open women's division selected to run in this group (there were also a dozen masters women too.) 

I finished 38th female in 2:46:28.

Back by popular demand (you know who you are), I am interviewing myself for my Boston 2014 recap with the most common questions I've received over the past week. 

Were you feelin’ the love before you left?
Oh my gosh, YES! I can’t put into words the effect all the emails, texts, cards, fb messages, hugs and hi-fives meant to me over the few weeks leading up to the marathon and of course after my return. Although this was my 25th race at this distance, it was by far the most significant and important for reasons other than me running. But, being that I was able to start with the elite women in World Majors, this was a big deal to me. So THANK YOU to all my Missoula running friends and of course to my family near and far. It makes me choke up thinking about all the well wishes. Even the local paper hyped me up. 

I received this picture on Sunday before the race from the Missoula Marathon training group I help out with. It made me blubber like a baby! I LOVE helping out with the class and meeting all the new, excited and ambitious runners. Watching them improve and find a bit of joy with their new goals reminds me of how great running is for the soul. I feel so lucky to be a part of their journey to the finish line.

How was Boston? 
This is a pretty generic question, but I've been asked it 204 times since I've been back. A few words come to mind: Inspiring. Epic. Courageous. Crowded. Proud. Organized. Meb. Boston Strong. Loud. On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this race about a 30. What they were able to do in the way of hosting almost a third more runners and a significant increase in spectators was beyond incredible. On the Sunday before the race, I attended an elite technical meeting. The best part of the 40 minute briefing was listening to Dave McGillivray speak. You could see the effect of the 2013 race in his face and demeanor. He told us things were different this year. Not worse in any way, just different. The race has changed. Sporting events have forever changed. He said there will be 3,500 security personnel this year (cops, military, security, etc), double from 2013. Almost the entire course is barricaded. And there's dogs, bomb-sniffing dogs everywhere. No one is allowed in the finish area without a badge. He assured everyone would be safe. And it was. Incredibly safe, but no one seemed scared on April 21 and no one acted any different. It was still Boston after all. The greatest marathon on the planet. 
                                         B  O  S  T  O  N  !
This town, I mean, this town! Wow. So welcoming. This town LOVES their sporting events. I was listening to a gal from NYC talk about how in New York, people live a block from the marathon course and won’t come out and watch or cheer. They just go about their day, feeling inconvenienced if they can’t cross the street.  In Boston, not so much. Bostonian's live for Patriots day (I mean it is genius that they get the day off.) The families, the crowds, the energy - it’s a marriage of insanity and chaos at its finest. The spectators of Boston own this race. I heard a statistic that 1 million people were out to watch that fine Monday - that’s 38,000+ people per mile. Beyond being supportive on race day, most everyone we interacted with were gracious and excited about the weekend’s events. They were happy we were there! I really appreciated that and can say for certain I don’t feel this wanted in too many places.

My mom and I at the finish line a few days before I would run. You see that mass of people? It was like this all weekend - packed!

Expo madness! Kath lasted all of by 7 minutes after this picture was taken. The expo was too crowded to enjoy. I guess that's what I get for going Saturday at noon.

This old lady jabbed me with her elbow to get ahead of me in line. It was every runner for them selves at the expo. I visited a few booth, but then couldn't take it any more.
I got my bib! I was just a number... Hopefully someday my dream of having my name on a bib will come true. #1-37 had their names on their bib.

Did you meet Shalane?
The Boston Marathon does a really good job of keeping the John Hancock Elite separate from the BAA elite athletes. And well they should. The JH Elite are the contenders, for women at least a sub 2:30. These are the pros; this is their job. They are here to work to make money. They have coaches, trainers, sponsors and an entourage who travels with them. They have to do press conferences, make appearance for sponsors then bust out a ridiculously fast race to make some money. I can only fathom the pressure. I saw Shalane once. I was coming down the stairs to get some nasty Dunkin Donuts coffee (what is the deal with DD?) a few hours before the start, and Shalane was headed up. She was alone and a part of me wanted to say something stupid like I was meeting my favorite pop star. Things like 'I love you!' and 'I'm rooting for you today!' or the ever popular 'You inspire me!' sat at the tip of my tongue. I fought back the enormous urge to be that person.... So I just smiled while inside I was thinking 'OMG, OMG I just saw Shalane Flanagan!!!' 

What famous runners did you meet/see?
After getting off the buss at the church, I was tipped off by my bus-mate to go upstairs out of the gymnasium because it was warmer. She was right. I found a music room with chairs and claimed my spot. The room was soon filled by some pretty cool peeps! Legend and hero Joan Benoit Samuelson was debating over what shoes to wear. Mary Whittenberg, ever the race director, was asking if any runners wanted some water.  Easy on the eyes sitting right across from me was Nick Archinaga and Brett Gotcher (speed goggles maybe?) Don't tell Andh - ha! Former Romanian national runner Adriana Nelson was cracking jokes next to me with her husband and other Romanian masters runners. And a pack of speedy gals from the NYAC were trying to figure out how to get the giant bib number to fit on a tiny sports bra. I spied Desi while I was warming up on the 200M driveway that's open for warm-ups. As much as I love Shalane, I think I like the less exposed (now) Linden even more. I was rooting for her too. Not only does she rock the singlet and loose shorts (no booty shorts and bra for her!) but she's overcome a HUGE injury over the past few years and just missed the Boston victory in 2011. Right before the start, I quickly hit the bathroom one more time. The bathroom was busy, so I started a line. Soon I found myself next to Dibaba, Deba and Jeptoo. ...strangely enough, they stood in that order too. I was acutely aware that my 5' 5" frame was massive. Big white girl in the house! Those ladies are slight. Holy cow. I was in the presence of greatness. 

What was it like running in the elite field?
Imagine getting back stage passes to your favorite band, then getting to meet the band, then getting to party with the band. Pretty cool, right? Beyond words. You know your fiends are standing in line outside the hotel to get a glimpse of the band, maybe a high five...  while you just rubbed shoulders with the lead singer and grabbed a beverage at the same time as the drummer. 

In the morning, while the masses were piling onto school buses next to the Boston Common, I walked across the street from our hotel to the Copley Plaza Hotel to board a motor coach with the other BAA elites. The JH elites met elsewhere. When it was time to go, police escorts drove us through town to meet up with the JH elites bus. After that our caravan of about 6 motor coaches made it's way to Hopkinton. We had police motorcycles buzzing around us and we were flanked by blacked-out Suburbans. Motorcycle cops drove ahead and blocked the on ramps before we drove by so we had a clear and uninhabited freeway ride in the center lane to the First Korean Presbyterian Church. Now THAT was cool. And I could tell everyone around me thought so too. I tried to take some pictures of this... but they didn't turn out too well. 

Do you see me? Green Hammer visor, green top. 

Beyond just getting to hob-nob with the best, I was treated to a wide open route to Boston. I didn't have to fight for water at the aid stations or worry about getting stepped on. I was also able to give hi-fives and thumbs up the some of the most inspirational runners at Boston. Rick & Dick HoytJuli Windsor and countless other amputees, blind or special athletes. But after mile 13, I ran alone. Being the only one on the course, I knew all the cheers from spectators were for me which was pretty cool - thank you ladies of Wellesley! However, this was a both a blessing and a curse. I wasn't pressured by other runners to move faster. I don't have too much of a problem running alone - I do must of my speed work alone and many easy miles too. But when racing, having others to push with always helps. Especially though the hills of Newton. It was too easy to slow down. 

Although, on the flip side, I had the BEST seat in the house to see Meb in the lead. It was magical!! I was climbing Heart Break Hill (very slowly might I add) and a bicycle pulled up next to me. She tried to tell me something three times. The cheering was so deafening, I couldn't hear her. On the final try, she said to stay right, the men's lead pack was on its way. I knew this would be good show. A few police motorcycles buzzed up the hill, followed by the clock truck; the press trucks followed then some more cops on motorcycles and bicycles were in pursuit. Then Meb. 'Holy shit I thought, he going for it!' The crowd was going nuts for the American. I couldn't help but clap and scream (while trying to run) at Meb as he went flying by me at the crest of the hill. I counted to see how far back the chase pack was. Then I knew I needed to refocus and race! That's what I was there to do. So my final 5 miles were better than 21. I knew I would be on Boyleston soon. 

Treated like a queen! Some great perks to being in the elite women's start - 
1) I was able to take a bag to the start. 
2) When I crossed the finish line, I was escorted to a special tent where I was brought above mentioned bag. 
3) I was treated to a post-race rub down by masseur Chuck. He was is from the NW too! 

Did you poop you pants?
We've all seen this photo. My co-workers seem to think this common stance at races, so that's subsequently the number one question when I return from a race. (Thankfully it doesn't happen, but I would secretly be excited if it did... To someone else of course...) For this race the gut was good. I was able to eat 4 Hammer Gels along the course. I was also able to take in a lot of water and course electrolytes. Bib numbers 1-40 were able to have bottles, so I just missed out on having my own bottles every 5k. It was fine though, one less thing to worry about and there was aid on both sides of the road every mile. So I was certainly never wanting or without! 

Were you happy with your time?
I was gunning for a PR and a trials time and I came up short. I didn't run the smartest race, but at the same time, I went for it and based on my training I don't think I was too reckless in my first half pace. (Half split was 1:19:47) Overall, it's my second fastest marathon ever. I ran hard. Sure I'm disappointed, but I know I'm stronger and faster than the last time I raced. The clock might not have reflected it and a piece of my soul was left in Newton, but I'm pleased with how I felt completing this tough course. One thing I've been working with my coach on over the last 6 months is my form. Now we aren't talking form when I do 800s on the track or strides to warm up, although that's important, don't get me wrong. We are talking form when the rest of you is shut down and your mind is negative and numb. Mile 23 form. In the past, I lean back, cock my head to the side and flail my arms a bit. Not efficient in any way! In Boston, even though my turnover wasn't what I wanted in the last few miles, I still held form and focused. That's a big step for me. 

Even though I may have been sad about falling short of my goals, I was over the moon for Kath who CRUSHED her PR and ran an amazing race. Kath worked her arse off this winter. She moved away in January and as much as I hate to admit, (because I do wished she still lived nearby) Boston looks good on her!  She's not only running well, but professional is rocking too! She's pretty much winning at life. I am so proud to call her my friend! I'm not sure how many glasses of sangria were consumed before this picture was taken... But dammit we were celebrating! 

Pam and I having some post race day beves! 

What's next?
Since I've crossed the finish line, I've probably consumed 5 (who am I kidding, probably 7) bottles of red wine and sustained myself off of Cadbury Eggs and reduced fat potato chips (this way I can eat twice as many). I took five days off of running and I've gained 3 lbs. I'm feeling pretty gross, so its time and I want to start moving again. I have a trail race in 2 weeks that I'm amped for.. one of my favorites. There is fall marathon planning to do, but I think this summer is going to fun one! There will be some shorter races and some long miles logged in the MT sun capped off with a Hood to Coast weekend with a fabulous team of fast MT women. 

Some other pics from my trip to Boston - Enjoy!

Celebrity sighting! Ms. Massachusetts on Boyleston St! I think she was 8 feet tall and I'm not 100% sure which pageant she is in affiliation with, but her crown looked legit! 

The Dear Boston exhibit at the public library was somber and heart-wrenching. 

Boston Duck tour for some super-tourists! We followed this up with a few glasses of vino on the 52nd floor of the Prudential building.

Our awesome home base. The Lenox is a boutique style hotel practically on the finish line. The staff was so awesome! Every night they brought us a treat like a running shoe shaped cookies and Easter candy on Easter. When I walked in after finishing they all applauded me! Every runner was given the star treatment. They even gave me a Sam Adams when I was done! 

My supportive co-workers decorated my cube for my return. Be sure to note the picture on the 'G'. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Haaaaaaaaaaave you met Taper Trisha?

           (Disclaimer: this is incredibly long winded report. Enjoy!)

Well if you haven't you may consider yourself lucky. Taper Trisha is needy, emotionally erratic, at times mean, impulsive and scared. Coined by my ever patient husband, Taper Trisha is a slight resemblance of my former 80+ mile per week self. In-training Trisha is too tired to walk downstairs and clean the litter boxes (yes there are 3!) and just hungry enough to convince my husband to drive me to Dairy Queen on Sunday night. Taper Trisha usually appears about 8-10 days prior to an 'A' race, but due to the enormity of the 118th running of the Boston Marathon next week, she reared her ugly head a bit early this. 

Examples from this past week:

  • My two week out Sunday long run had a minor setback when I found myself in someone's yard crying because I didn't hit my splits. I know I was tired. It was windy. I know it wasn't that bad. I know the pitch was steeper than that of Boston. I'm not an idiot! I am just irrational. (There is a difference people!) I just couldn't keep the dark thoughts of doubt from creeping in. I needed a good cry to release some pressure. After a few minutes, I composed myself and ran back to my car. 
  • Disagreement with my boss an which I ended the conversation with slamming the phone down to hang up. Not good on any level.
  • Road rage! On my morning commute, a minivan drifted over the white line into my lane, only to erratically swerve back into her lane. I thought it may have just been an over site, but as I drive by her, I saw her texting on her phone on her steering wheel. Not even hiding it! I hung out the window, honking and pointing at her to not text and drive. If the cars had been stopped, I am sure I would have knocked on her window. 
  • I cut my hair.... For the first time it's short in more than six years. Not just cut, chopped. About 7 inches! No more ponytail whipping me in the eye. 

Who is this impulsive person? Unfortunately, I have to admit it's me. An emotional hot-mess. So, what gives? I don't remember being this unruly before my race last fall. Probably selective memory. I think it all comes down to pressure and fear. A wise (and British!) woman told me only I can control the pressure I put on myself.... And I have laid it on thick here in the early parts of 2014 leading up to Boston.

Fear is also a powerful motivator in life, good or bad. I have had a lot of people ask me if I'm afraid for my safety or my mom's as she spectates. And my answer to that is no. I truly believe last years attack was an opportunistic one that won't be duplicated. The BAA is organized and prepared for the new security measures it will have to endure in our new era of marathoning. 

My fear is failure. I would be lying if I said I didn't think about failing as much as succeeding. I have no excuses, no outs if I fail. I have trained hard, remained injury free and now I just have to stay calm and rested. Easier said than done... Clearly as demonstrated by previously noted actions! (Perhaps my 'No alcohol for six weeks before race day' challenge I issued myself, should be revisited as a big glass of Cabernet would really nice right now!) But, I also know, deep down, the biggest failure would be not to give it my all. If I go for it, give it my all and come up short, is that a failure? No. Just fuel for the fire I suppose. 

But, as I approach the final week, I am feeling much better than the last, more calm anyways. My nerves are lessening as my body regains some freshness. There's still a bit of panic as the legs are still fatigued, but I know I have seven more very easy days to recover. (Again, not an idiot, just irrational.) 

Ok, so enough about my mental state, let's get down to crunching some numbers (for you Taco Bell Timmy) and other fun stuff that's happened in the past few months. 

Let's talk build ups. Here's a breakdown of the past three race marathons and then Boston's build up. (For consistency - 10 weeks total for each, not including race week or prior week, so starts 12 weeks from race) 

California International Marathon 12/2/12
719 miles
Half marathon 10 weeks out
One 5k in there and an 8K 10 days before race
No over-distance runs

Cleveland Marathon 5/19/13
764 miles
25K trail race 4 weeks prior to race
No over-distance runs

Twin Cities Marathon 10/6/13
804 miles
Half marathon 4 weeks out
2 over-distance runs

Boston Marathon 4/21/14
809 miles
Half marathon 8 weeks out
4 over-distance runs

Although its the same miles almost for Twin Cities and Boston, logging miles in August and September is a whole lot easier than February and March. If I go add up a 16-18 week build up, there are almost 100 more miles for the Boston build. 
Total mileage for 2014 = 1,163 (average about 79/wk)
March was also a big mileage month for me, I think my most miles in a single month to date. 392! And I had two back to back mid-90s weeks just recently. That's new! Makes me think this summer I will have my first 100 mile week! Now I know this is baby stuff for pros and much more dedicated and experienced runners alike. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it was just shy of three years ago that I broke thee hours for the first time and was running about 50-60 miles a week. So this is big for me!

Here are some highlights to training this year so far!

Seaside Half Marathon 
2/23/14 PR! 1:18:22
So not to be overly dramatic (which is an every day occurrence for me- see above taper rant), but February or Snowbruary, in Missoula was out of hand. Yep, 26 of the 28 days had snow accumulation. The last week of this month was just straight up ridiculous. I was so freaking excited to go to Ventura, CA! It wasn't a very long trip, but a productive one and a much warmer one to boot.

Jenn and I left the snowpocolypse on Friday afternoon and arrived in 70 degree Burbank later that evening. We switched to flip flops and grabbed the keys to our sick (POS) Crystler 200. We hit the road heading west, not stopping until we hit the Pacific. (Only one near death experience on some giant CA highway.) It was dark by the time we arrived, but I could smell it. Salt. Ocean. Humidity. Green. Blue. Life. Yay!

Both Jenn and I scored PR's and it was Jenn's B-day!
Fairly good race, can't be bummed about a PR in the middle of training!

Indoor 26 miler 3/2/14
Sunday long run inside because Missoula got four feet of snow in 3 days! Damn you SNARCH! 13 on the treadmill and 13 on the 200M track. It really wasn't that bad! And it was nice having all my Hammer fuels right there on the t-mill or nearby, not digging through a pocket or dealing with a frozen water bottle.

Thanks to my buddy David for keeping me company on the last half! 

Run For the Luck of It 7 miler 
3/15/14  42:02 (ran faster in 2012)
This was probably the worst I have ever felt racing. I should have slept in. Culmination of exhaustion from work travel, then Seattle weekend for the stair climb, hard training, worst female cramps of my life and did I mention lack of sleep? It was a grind. 
Bright spot: I had a sweet cat/leprechaun shirt that said 'I feel so lucky right meow.' 

I can't finish this talk about training without mentioning my Hammer fuels.
They keep me on point, help me recover and train harder!

Daily: 3 Premium Insurance Caps 
          2 AO Booster
Pre-workout: Hammer bars 2 hrs before
              Anti-fatigue cap one hour before
During run: Tropical, orange, huckleberry, apple-cinnamon gel
              Anti-fatigue cap half way through
Post-workout: Recoverite with extra scoop of whey if necessary
I did try Race Day Boost for my half marathon in Cali, I don't think it effected me and it was a hassle to take it so much. Not going to try it for Boston. I will maybe try it again this summer for another race. 

Looking forward to Boston!  

Getting to see me moms! It was a decade ago the Miller women descended upon Bean Town. It was my third marathon. My time was 4:27...something. It was 86 degrees, started at noon with no wave start. And it was AWESOME! We had the best time. I can't wait to spend some QT with my mom in the city again.

Me on the way to the finish line in 2004 - my number was 8,XXX something!
Baby face at the finish line - I was 23! Thanks to my mom for texting me these pics and making me laugh!

KATH! Yay Kath. My lovely and brilliant friend who keeps me laughing and understands my neurosis, because she's crazy too! She's running Boston and is primed for a great performance. 

Elite start! By the skin of my teeth, I get to run with the big dogs! Elite Women's Start is a HUGE honor and I am going to be star struck being in close proximity to American's Flanagan and  Linden and last years winner Jeptoo. I can't even begin to talk about the talent in this years competition. Hashtag epic.

Well, I think that's enough for now. I hope you enjoyed hearing about the ups and downs, both physically and mentally, of my training. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Meet the Pride

I recently took a Buzzfeed test "What kind of cat Are You?"   I immediately thought, duh!, Orange. (This is totally a type of cat, I swear, someone once told me 'Once you go orange you never go back!' - I did not make that up!) Ok, so if not orange, maybe some kind of fluffy, girl cat? 


I got Hairless. Hairless! That's not a cat! I'm sorry, but it looks more like a bald rat or ferret. I'm disappointed buzzfeed... But I do have to say their description is a bit spot on:

You love the simple things in life and this can sometimes make you misunderstood. You’re actually really sweet, which can make it infuriating when people judge you right off the bat. You keep doing you!

That's right, I do. Haters gonna hate! (Only one person I know will think that's funny)

So back to the purpose of this rant. Meet my furry friends! As promised, all cat post. Boom.

Full Name: Harls B. Not-so-slim
Female / 14
Aliases: The Beast, Fatty, Garden City Turkey
Weight: 14 lbs (this is down from a previous 20+, then about 18 for a while - Fatty is getting old :()
Nemesis: Roscoe (RIP), Beaver
In her 14 years, Harley has lived in 9 different houses/apartments.
Her favorite food is anything wet or seafood and she does enjoy a bit of the weed, particularly licking and rolling in catnip. She will (surprisingly) fiercely defend her territory outside to intruding cats or dogs. HATES dogs. 
Motto: Big IS Beautiful or I Will Cut a Bitch (mainly if you take her shrimp)

Harley has been told she has a 'pretty face' .... And she's ok with that because she can claw your eyes out. 

 Harley is crazy smart. Probably smarter than the other three combined and doubled. If she had opposable thumbs and a work ethic, I would be scared.

Full Name: Stephen Colbert
Male / 3
Aliases: Stinkles, Little Bear, Little Stinks, Monkey Man
Weight: 8 lbs (he's soooo little)
Friends: Harley, Beaver, Wylie, Alex, Natalie (Steve's been known to have a play date)
Enjoys: Chasing shadows and his tail, playing with shoe laces and licking Andy’s armpit. 
Like a 5’ 9” running back, Steve can bully his way into any room he’s not supposed to enter. He’s low to the ground and tough to catch.
Steve never fully learned to cry like a normal cat... then again, not much is normal about the little man.
 Failure. To. Thrive.
Medicine: Stinks is the only cat who takes daily 'roids to help with his autoimmune disease (yah, he's allergic to his own teeth or gingivitis on his teeth or something). He also is on prescription food because he has a calcified bladder (that stumped all the vets in town.) So it's about $3 extra a day to keep Steve around... We'd pay $100 if we had to. 

He's so little. 
I love this photo because it show his missing row of bottom teeth since the rotted out due to his autoimmune disease.

Full Name: Wylie E. Boots
Male / 3
Aliases: Bootsie, Boots, Floppsy
Weight:11 lbs
Enjoys: Laser pointers, belly rubs and laps. He will immediately zero in on anyone who hates cats and want to be their bestie.
Signature moves: Sprinting out of the litter box after doing his business, and when finding himself alone in an empty room, screaming until someone answers him.
Wylie has no concept of 'Stranger Danger' - he loves everyone!  

This cat loves to play. Thank goodness the automatic laser keeps him busy for minutes. 
Wylie sleeps in a sink (and a drawer too.)

Wylie has a 'thing' for Kory Burgess' shoes. Not sure why, but he can't get enough! If I could figure out how to post a video, it shows Wylie going circles with his head in the shoe.

Full Name: Mr. Beaver Las Vegas
Male / 4-ish?
Aliases: The Beav, Beavie, Jerk-face
Weight:17 lbs
Enjoys: Hunting/taunting Harley, looking out the window & eating French fries
Clearly Beaver sufferers from OCD, if you move or sit in ‘his’ chair, he can’t function until it’s in the right place or he’s sitting in it. He also has his ‘own’ counter that the other smaller and/or fatter cats can’t reach.
Although he can be frisky at times and enjoys showing off his hunting prowess, he won't play with any cat toys. He will only play with a twistie-tie like you would use on a garbage bag. 
Beaver enjoys fresh running water. Once we bought him a continuous fountain of fresh drinking water... he wouldn't use it.
I wanted a good pic of the Beav showing his size. He's a big boy. An athlete. 
Chillin' and airing out his man parts.

Hope you enjoyed meeting the pride!