To Yogurtopia We Go

It was one of those perfect mornings. The kind like in those cheesy cartoons where the birds are singing and that little ‘da-da-da-da-da’ interlude is playing in the background. We got butterflies flittering around, squirrels a’skittering around, the full shiznit. Oops, please disregard the cat that just attacked one of those squirrels.

Back on track; we cut to a slumbering princess. Princess Athletarian rises, greets the morning, gets out of bed and heads downstairs to find her hot Prince Dream…I mean Dean. He of course is in their palatial gym busting out pull-ups like a monster, she can’t help but smile at the enormity of his biceps, I mean, seriously?! Though she is equally as gorgeous, the two of them really should be a fitness model duo or something.

She hops on the treadmill as per usual and cranks out a few miles…er, I mean kilometers, dang that whole Canadian metric thing always throws me. That and they are always spelling favorite and color wrong. ;)

But she’s not feeling it, the whole treadmill things, the day is too perfect to be sweating it out inside. She takes it to the streets, waves at passersbys, but something is still off, something’s missing. She can’t quite place it but there is something that just won’t stop niggling at her.

AHA!! At last her stomach gives her the answer…it needs, it craves, it has an insatiable urge for fro-yo! Unfortunately, while her kingdom is amazing, the closest fro-yo stop is quite a trek. That’s okay, she has shoes, those darn shin splints aren’t acting up, and so she’s off to Yogurtopia!

It isn’t too long before she passes the front of Heels Delight, and who comes running out, well it’s Katy! How she manages to sprint in strappy cuties shoes is beyond me but she pulls it off, be careful not to be blinded by the awesome view she presents from behind. “Princess Athletarian, where are you going?”

“To Yogurtopia of course, are you in?”

“He** ya I’m in!” Katy exclaims. She ditches the swanky heels, changes into her running shoes and the two are off in a dash. Well, she does bust out into a New Kids on the Block song as they go, but we’ll let that one slide…she switches to a Bieber tune later.

A few kilometer-miles later they come to the front of Cafe Rio and who do they find face-first in a mountain of produce/salad ginormous deliciousness? Well Hungry Runner Girl of course! “Hey guys, where are you off too?” she asks wiping the guac from the tip of her nose. Astonishingly she’s still able to make anything look cute…don’t hate, appreciate! :)

“Off to Yogurtopia,” the two harriers answer back not missing a step.

“Hold on…I’m in!” HRG quickly replies. Splickity split she licks her fingers clean and in a second falls right in stride. Thankfully in this kingdom everyone is blessed with titanium femurs so HRG can run for eternity and never have to worry about any stupid bone troubles.

A while later they spy a fleet footed friend approaching running in the opposite direction. As they get closer they see she’s with a too cute little pup and know it must be Julia and Riley! (How Riley’s tiny little legs are able to move so fast is again beyond me, sort of like one of those hummingbird wing things I guess.) “Hey guys, where are you off to?” Julia the biped of the duo questions.

“Off to Yogurtopia of course, are you in?” the trio answer in unison. There obviously is no need for an answer and soon the trio becomes a quad, or whatever that would be. Actually I guess it more correctly becomes a quartet with little Riley.

Talk naturally comes to that of reality TV and The Bachelorette. “Thankfully that a-hole Bentley finally got the f-you he deserved!” states Julia.

Suddenly at that, from out of nowhere comes another voice, “Holy crap you don’t even know! I was SOO pumped when Ashely let him have it!” Why it’s Margs…apparently talk of The Bachelorette was something akin to her sailor’s siren song. (Just messing, Margs, you know I love obsessing over that stuff with you just as much! hehe.)

Well, Margs was on her training run for some kind of relay or whatever that’s getting all this hoopla. ;) She finds out that that Yogurtopia is the quartet’s destination and naturally finds it necessary that a course change is in order. And so these six awesome runners are off.

This kingdom is quite expansive and it’s also one hot destination for anyone and everyone. It’s not too long until they turn onto the block that’s one of the biggest celeb draws around; by night it’s got the spread of all the best bars, clubs and restaurants. By day you can shop until you’re more broke than a childhood star has-been on the Surreal Life and of course lounge by the pool and soak up some rays.

It’s here they find one particular fit fashionista on a lounge chair, frap in hand and laptop on, well, her lap. As the runners get closer they can clearly see what is displayed on the screen that has her so enraptured. “SkinnyRunner! What’s up?!” Margs shouts.

“Wow, Elle MacPherson and her pencil perfect legs just isn’t right. But don’t get me started on Audrina over there at the other end of the pool,” SR greets the runners nodding to the abstatic Aud indeed at the opposite end. Ironically, the celeb is engaged in one of fete or another and cutting a massive cake…one she probably won’t eat as it surely can’t be on her 1,100 calorie diet plan.

“Off to Yogurtopia,” Princess Athletarian says and adds, “You have to come with!”

“Well, I already ran 20 miles this morning but it’s no big thang. Ya, I’m in! But just so long as it’s not like that lame knock-off Yogurt Bar.” With that, SR joins the growing group and off they go. If it’s any consultation, they are able to run much faster than Aud ever could, as her newly enhanced breastestes bouncing around would never allow for such a pace.

So, what are we up to six now, six fab chicas and a pooch? You figure out what that would be, I’m pretty sure it’s a sextet but that just sounds too dirty to keep using. Don’t worry, because I’m sure there are more characters to bee added to this little fairy tale…and thus I must say…TO BE CONTINUED…

**Photo credits due to the fine ladies at their respective blogs. Also, this thing was getting to be epic, I have other peeps soon to be included, so don’t worry there are other targets out there. You’ve been warned and don’t think there’s any love lost to my other fav’s. :)

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The Everest Mile and Track/Cross-Training Intervals II

I remember the day when I first ran an entire mile. An. Entire. Mile. I thought I was the shiznit, the boomdiggity. I mapped out a plan for myself, I thought that if I ran a mile every single day I could be one of the fastest people in the world. I remembered learning in grammar school math 101 that one mile was 5,280 feet, so what did i do? I busted out a ruler and set to measuring a circuit I could run inside my house. (I guess I couldn’t just find a tape measurer?) I figured out that if I ran around the dining room table and then looped around the perimeter of the living room it would only take me something like a billions laps to a mile. I told myself I should just do that every single night and soon I’d be setting world records.

Clearly I was idiotic, living inside a little fantasy world bubble, and going to be really dizzy. This little confession is made all the worse because it’s not like I hadn’t grown up seeing my parents run. How did it not dawn on me that every day my mom was gone for an hour plus, did I think she was running only one mile and then shooting the sh** the rest of the time?

The only point of my little moronic previous past story is that everything is relative. Then I though a whole mile was a great feat of strength (bust out the Festivus pole!) and now flash-forward and there are days I feel lazy for only putting in an hour and doing 8 miles. Funny how that works.

But it’s really easy to get sucked in. Running, and other things too, has a kind of snowball effect. One day you’re one cloud nine for finished a 5k the next you’d count that as a warm-up. One day you’re watching Two and a Half Men, the next you’re running around half naked dodging Sheen sh**. The snowball effect.

Personally, Im one speed Chock and like me the longer stuff. That slow build of pain is much better than the full on bodyslam of lactic acid straight from the get-go in my book. Well, that and probably in my entire body I’ve got about one fast twitch muscle fiber total.

Still, it’s always good to get back to your roots and not lose touch with those shorter distances. Even if you’re a marathon runner it’s good to toss yourself into a shorter 5k or *gasp* even a mile every now and again. The same goes with training, and I’m as guilty as anyone for avoiding short speed stuff like it’s the devil. But often times it’s what we hate the most that is the best for us, right?! hehe.

Anyways, this workout has the best of both worlds if you please. Awhile ago I did a post on how boring cross-training can get and talked about a pyramid interval workout. Here’s another one and I’ll map it out both to be done as a running workout on on the elliptical/bike/swim/your choice of cross-training here.

Running Style- 800/300′s

*Start with a warm-up

*800 meters hard (This is a half-mile for anyone who has yet to figure out that whole metric thing; two lappers for the track school flunkies.)

*400 meter recovery (take a slow lap to regroup)

*300 meter sprint (3/4 of the track people. I’m sure you know this but just to be extra sure…lol) *400 meter recovery jog

*Repeat. Do a total of 4-7 sets. 4 if you’re on the shorter race end of the spectrum and 7 if you’re planning on going longer. The 800′s should be at or a little faster than your 5k race pace but you want those 300′s to be as fast as you can get them. Working on your base speed will make those 800′s feel comparatively much ‘easier’ or ‘slower.’

*Finish with a good cool-down and

NOTE: if you don’t have access to a track, you can do them on a treadmill (Though those 300′s might put that baby thorough a decent pounding! A 300 would be 0.18 miles if you go that route. But you can also take it to the streets and if you know about your pace just go for time.)

Cross-training version- 3 minutes/1 minute

*Warm-up 10-15 minutes easy

*3 minutes hard interval- try and ramp-up the resistance a notch or two as well and work on getting that heart rate up; you want it to be hard but controlled, feeling like an 800 meter effort
*2 minutes easy pedaling- lower the resistance a couple notches and keep moving but allow yourself to recover

*1 minute power interval- ramp the resistance back up and really motor that minute; should feel like a sprint

*2 minutes easy pedaling

*Repeat 4-7 times. Finish with a cool-down.

That’s all she wrote for today folks! But think back to when you thought one whole mile was the equivalent to climbing Mount Everest and look to where you are today. It’s usually pretty funny. I remember the day I came home from my mile effort (at that point I’d taken my mile outside and did a loop around the block, I meant laps in the house, what was I thinking?!) and was talking to my mom. She asked me how far I went, I told her and then I asked her how far she had run that morning. Her answer was a nice slap or reality. That and later on that summer the Oly Trials were in Sacto, CA and being that I lived there I was able to beg my way to a seat for one of the days. It was inspiring and helped put that whole mile=a marathon thing in perspective….hehe. Hey, at least I wasn’t as bad as the dude sitting next to me, he turned and asked, “So one lap around this track thing, that’s like a mile right?”

1) Do you remember the first time you were able to run a full mile and thought you were the boomdiggity?

2) How long until the snowball effect took you over and what do you think a ‘shorter’ run is for you today?

3) Favorite running, workout, or pump-up song?

Has been and will forever be The Distance by Cake.

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Some Food For Thought…But Mostly Humor

So toady I thought I’d throw up a few graphic designs I made as marketing suggestions for a local grocery store. They are only in the Northwest, US so chances are you don’t have one close to you. New Seasons is an awesome place, you can get sucked in for hours if you are a foodie, and they make it a point to support local farmers and businesses. They also have lots of organics and are green minded. This isn’t a sales pitch at all, I have no paid deal with the store, I’m only giving you some background so that you ‘get’ some of the jokes. They’re like a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods.

Who said healthy isn’t sexy? :)

This one wasn’t for New Seasons…but who can get enough shrimp and poop jokes? jk.

Okay, you may or may not find Pop-Tarts there. I know they aren’t organic or local, but in posting up food things I couldn’t resist showering the toaster tarts with love! :)

At any rate, yay for funny foods! Hope you enjoyed and because I don’t have my name on each and every one of them, yes, they are mine and if you swipe my original work I will hunt you down and pummel you. ;)

Don’t sweat, there may be a little lacking of running related material today BUT being as every other post is dripping sweaty with such things I implore you to get your endorphin fix there for today. However, yes running is the best and we should all be getting our sweat on. :)

1) Favorite fruit or veggie?

Wow, I love I think them all. But especially apples, kiwis, broccoli, and carrots.

2) Favorite protein?


3) Do you agree that food is costing WAY too much these days?

Yes, it’s scary. I have thought about opening up a shrimp farm in my bathtub.

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Tackling Mt. Stank and Blister Woes

I may have broken by back carrying down that GINORMOUS load of laundry to be washed. Am I the only person who waits until there is an Everest of sweaty running clothes, stanky socks, and other clothing to do a load? I was almost going to take a picture because my leaning tower of filth was comical, how I had been strategically placing shorts and tanks just so to avoid an avalanche. But I didn’t because it is kinda gross and I didn’t want an undie or something to peek out.

When I was growing up I was spoiled and my mom would do all the laundry…I miss you Mommy-O. If I had my own washer/dryer in my apartment I would be much better, it’s just really that I’m lazy and don’t like to go down all the flights of stairs (all two of them…lol), plus I never seem to have an abundance of quarters.

So guys, when you DO get that clean laundry all nice and done do you 1) go straight for your favorite shorts and shirts right off the bat (you know, the running shorts that DON’T ride at all, the top that makes your arms look oh so good) or 2) save them until the end of your laundry cycle, sort of like saving dessert for the last bit of your meal? I tend to go the saving it until the end route. When I know I’m in my fav staples I know it’s almost time to break my back carrying down dirty clothes mountain.

Enough of this because it’s boring. Being that I’ve also got a nice blister taking over the greater part of my right big toe, no better time to bring this up. Blisters, we all get ‘em, some more than others. I’m pretty lucky and don’t get heinous ones all too often, and a part of that is because I make sure to always wear a GOOD pair of socks when I’m running and working out. Also, I don’t usually wear the kind of shoes in regular day life that cause blisters (read: I’m not a ‘shoe girl’…probably more because I’m fashionably defunked and thus never look cute enough in a pair of shoes to merit a blister).

But for people that DO get tons of blisters, those suckers can at times be H-E-Double hockey stick. Couple tips there:

*Avoidance: Like most things preventative measures are best here…you want a pair of running or workout specific socks. Chugging out some miles in a pair of K-Mart 6-pack count on discount isn’t a smart move. Plunk down the change for the real deal; I’m a little biased, but really like the Nike line, the Nike Cushion Noshows or Dri-Fit Noshows. I’ve also had good experiences with the Balga Line, and I know Asics and plenty other shoe lines have their counterparts out there. Double layer socks are one suggestions if you are really prone to getting blisters easily, the two layers rub against each other so that friction isn’t between your feet and the socks. Try a few, test them out, find a pair that works best for you.

*Shoe Savvy. Some shoes are going to give you blisters more than others; flip-flops, strappy sandals, basically the better it looks the more apt it is to give your feet trouble. There are products that you can buy to strategically pad the areas on your feet where the shoe will rub. Moleskin may sound old school but it works, and there are TONS of other new ‘techier’ materials out there. There are also blister blocking gels and glides.

*Pop goes the weasel. Some people are vehemently against popping a blister, they say it’ll lead to infection…yada yada yada. They can let it fester if that’s their thang but to me it’s not worth suffering with a big@$$ blister. Pop the sucker right off the bat and drain it. It will usually fill right up again, keep on popping and draining. You can put a band-aid or something on it to apply pressure to help keep it from filling up again, but usually you have to re-pop a few times. Be smart and don’t pop it with a rusty nail…obviously.

*Callous time. If you listen to those no-pop people what can sometimes happen is a callous can form OVER you blister. Then you’re really in for the hurt. If you have a callous over your blister it makes it harder to pop and drain, plus at that point that sucker is getting pretty big. My advice is to take a needle and dig down to the blister and drain the fluid.

Blisters suck. There are also plenty of blister aide products, band-aids, soothing gels, etc. to apply once you’ve got them. So, hope some of this jabber has helped…as for me, I’m off to put the Everest pile in the dryer and I’ve got some more popping and draining to do. :)

1) Do you do laundry pretty often or when you’re down to your last pair of skivvies? Are you a ‘use the fav clothing right away’ or ‘saving it for later’ type of person?

2) Are you blister prone?

3) Blisters or a mad case of chaffing…you have to go with one or the other?

Hmmmm…probably the chaffing, but that first shower is a b****!!

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The Wildest Most Exciting Weekend in the World and Then the Truth

Hey there! Okay, so sorry for being a bit lame as of late. Totally was MIA here on the blog yesterday (well, I guess technically my Friday late night post ended in the wee hours of Saturday morning) and then things were kind of touch and go towards the end of last week.

I was just feeling pretty tired and run down and things came to a nice crashing halt yesterday. So what has my exciting, living it up twenty-something lifestyle kept be busy doing the past two days? A whole lotta nothing exciting…namely sleeping. I can usually get a good sense of how I’m doing/feeling by my workouts and on Saturday I had wanted to do a harder workout and get in more miles than ended up happening.

But it was one of those times when the first five minutes feel like a sucker punch to the face, the first mile passes and you just tell yourself you’ll get into the ‘groove’ and feel better as you keep going. That does happen a lot, I mean I do always tell people the hardest part of working out is usually getting going and the first few steps. That five minute benchmark is a funny one, before that you can feel like death but then 5:01 ticks by and you say, ‘Hey this isn’t so bad.’

But after three miles rolled by and that would usually be the end of my warm-up I knew there wasn’t going to be a tempo effort in me for the day. I finished somewhere over 8 miles, did some arm weights, lunges, and called it a day. I just felt zapped and tired and hoped that a little extra rest day would leave me feeling fresher by the morning. I slothed around and made good friends with my pillow. If competitive sleeping were a real sport, then sign me up! So basically foodage and nappage. I know how to do my Saturdays up in full party fashion, right? Sad when I’m about as wild as the geriatric ward.

Well, today I’m still feeling in my little tired funk…but not as bad. It doesn’t really make total make sense, I was hoping I’d feel better and maybe that tempo would happen. I’m not gonna lie, I still feel guilty ‘skipping’ a hard workout even though I’m not actually training for a race. It’s still hard for me to cut myself a break and not feel like I’m just a complaining slacker. But being that those ‘easy’ 8 miles felt way harder than they should have I tried to tell myself that my legs felt like lead bricks and forcing a workout wasn’t smart, being that I knew it would have ended pretty ugly.

So I’m hoping that the old bod just needed some extra R and R and should be back to full strength soon. I don’t know if I’m a little sick or something. I put in my 8 miles and change, then some core and abs. And just laying low for the rest of the night.

Funny as it sounds, as long as I’m able to still get my run in I feel partially okay with just being a slug for the rest of the day. I figure I earned my right to be lazy. Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather be out and doing something fun with my friends or family but this weekend was going to be low-key whether I liked it or not. That’s okay, there were plenty of other blogs I could read where people were doing much more thrilling endeavors so I can vicariously live through them. There was also plenty of action to read about happening on the track at USA Nat’s. And if I watched a bunch of awesome athletes busting their @$$es, that’s gotta count for some kind of extra workout. I sweat just as much as I raised fork to lips as they did on the bell lap, right? Sure, Cait, whatever your irrational mind wants to fool you into thinking.

Well, all this tying is just a bit too much exertion for me, so I’ll be off. Sorry this is both a boring post and somewhat one with me just complaining. Something I really don’t like to do all that much of. I know there are days or stretches that we feel run down, and a few days ago the topic of denying that you’re sick was raised at Shut Up and Run. I think lots of us do that, or we don’t like to admit we’re tired; sometimes I think we do it to fool no one other than ourselves. I don’t think I’m alone in feeling that niggling ‘guilt’ if we don’t do a workout the way we had planned it to be and opt for an easy run instead. Or even take a rest day completely. In our sport we are constantly navigating the fine line between doing enough but not too much. Recognizing ‘normal’ pain of exertion versus the different pain of a potential injury. Being smart enough to back off when you should but being gritty enough to not back off and push to the finish if you’re just feeling the muscle burn of a hard race or workout.

So admitting to ourselves that we are sick or overly tired makes us feel lazy or like a complainer. But really it shouldn’t, I think that’s why having a coach or an outside person can help. They can be the one who ‘gives you permission’ to cut yourself some slack if it’s obvious you need it. It doesn’t make you a weak person and in the long run it’s for the better. So I’m hoping my few low-key days will leave me feeling a little fresher in the upcoming week and I’ll be able to get that dang tempo done so I won’t have it weighing on my conscious. And I mean I did still put in some miles. :)

1) What did you do this weekend? I’m sure even those at the Sun River Retirement Community must have outdone me this time. :)

2) Do you know the ‘guilt’ I’m talking about?

3) Did you have a race this weekend? Time to bust out the bragging…let’s hear it and don’t be shy!

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Races, "Really?" Moments, Da Biebs and Capris

Just a short one tonight, and before it’s officially over, Happy Friday. :) Running for me was just an easy run, worked out to be a little over 8.5 miles, followed by core and abs.

Update for anyone interested in more from the USA National Champs, (and who isn’t right?) today was Day 2 and I’d be lying if I didn’t just come out and say that it’s the distance events that interest me the most. So that was the 5k men’s and women’s finals that were the highlights. On the women’s side Molly Huddle took it in 15:10.01, Amy Hastings placed second in 15:14.31, and recent college grad Angela Bizzarri took third in 15:16.04. Watching the race on TV was nice as they had Vin Lananna announcing, he’s the coach at U of O now and has made quite a name for himself as one of the most renown coaches around. Before U of O he was there for Standford’s real juggernaut days. Anyways, it’s nice to see and hear an announcer who actually knows a lot about distance races, which isn’t always the case. No offense, because I know that they are GREAT athletes at their respective events, but hearing pole vaulters and 100 meter greats talking about 5k and 10k tactics doesn’t always ring so true. There’s been some flubs or things said that just make a distance chick laugh.

Back on topic, Huddle looked really strong and she should represent us well at World’s, last year she broke Shalane Falangan’s American Record in the 5k and that was a pretty big break-through for her and got her the recognition she deserved. On the men’s side the race was a tactical one, went out slow and came down to a kick. Bernard Lagat took the cake in 13:23.06, followed by Chris Solinsky in 13:23.65, and Galen Rupp taking third in 13:25.52. You know Lagat is getting down to business when you can see all the whites in his eyes. ;)

Like I said the 12.5 lappers were the biggest draw for me in Day 2 but I will say that I was more than a little happy to see Allyson Felix win her heat of the 400 meter semi-finals; she went to high school in California and I believe was a senior when I was a frosh. I was always in awe of not only her insane fastness (yes, that’s a word!) but poise and humble demeanor. So I’ve always loved seeing her kick some major booty. :)

You can find all the results here as well as more as they come in the following days. Thank you USATF. Also, Paul Merca has an awesome blog and does a WAY better job than I could ever try to (or many others for that matter…hehe) on full recaps and results, as well as some more inside scoop. He’s actually down in Eugene and trackside, so do check out his blog! :)

Totally veering onto another tangent, I think I’ve already professed by morbid fascination with celeb rag mags but every now and again even I have my limit and have to just say, “Really? Really?” This happened today in the check-out line at Winco when I saw the headline announcing that Selena Gomez is now pregnant with a Bieber love child. “Really?” Okay, hate me if you must but I adore that little Selena girl, how cute is she? And while I’m not about to pass out due to hypoxia screaming and yelling to J Biebs how much I love him like a tweenie, I’m pro-Bieber all the way. Plus, what, aren’t they like just now legal? I mean it’s not like she’s Jamie Lynn Spears. So leave this adorable little couple alone rag mags, there’s plenty other shenanigans to cover. In fact, lest you missed it, I made a fool of myself doing a poor rendition of one in particular. Please, if you must throw a tomato try and aim for my butt.

So that’s it for me tonight, I now see my ramblings have bled over into Saturday so I find it fitting that I opened the post with a Happy Friday and now I get to sign off with a Happy Saturday!


I also wanna send a shout out to one particularly peckish runner, The Hungry Runner Girl is giving away some pretty sweet looking running capri tights from a company named Anonya. I hadn’t heard of them before but they are San Fran based and gotta support my CA roots. So if you’d like to score some free tights, and who doesn’t like some SWAG, head on over and check her blog out. :)


1) Have you ever raced a 5k? Track or roads? Do you have one coming up and have a goal that you’d like to share? Also feel free to brag on yourself about your awesome 5k showings! :)

2) Do you have a “Really?” moment you’d like to share? Something that you saw or happened to you that was just too good not to mention?

3) Do you prefer running in full running tights or capris?

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Doubts Are Undoings and the Margin of the Unknown

Well are we ready for a running fueled posted? I’ll start out with the big guns. For anyone who doesn’t know, this weekend are the USA National Champs going on at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon. The town has fittingly been named Track Town USA and does everything it can to live up to the name. Not gonna lie it does well, the facilities are insanely awesome and the warm-up track alone is cool in and of itself.

I’m lame and haven’t made it there myself much but have fun the times that I do. There is also Track Town Pizza that’s been there for decades and because it’s just off the campus it has naturally been supplying coeds their late night munches fix for just as long. It boasts that it also serves up plenty of the track greats before and after some pretty fantastic showings (maybe even during…jk on that one) and has pictures of all of the U of O heavy hitters. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re around and their pizza isn’t too shabby either from what I recall.

Back on track, tonight kicked off the first day of events and was mostly prelims. There were some finals for field events but I’m not gonna lie I’m more of a track geek so the BIG draw for me were the 10k finals. Women’s first and there were plenty of big names on the starting line. All three of the fine ladies who represented the USA in the last Olympics, and the ones who went 1-2-3 in the Trials last time were there, along with plenty of other previous Team USA members and Olympic participants.

Though everyone comes to the tarting line as ‘equals’ in the sense that on any given day you never know what the body is going to give. I think anyone who’s raced or run long enough knows that there is always that little question mark going in, will it be one of ‘those’ days. The ones where it seems everything goes right, all is clicking, the stars align, and you feel ‘on.’ Or one where you have an off night and it seems like you’re lugging bricks from the gun. Then there’s everything in between those two extremes. The truth is that you put in all the work, do the whole tapper thing, training guide, race plan, rest, refuel, hydrate, etc before and prepare in the best way that you can. You do that because that swings the odds in your favor, it sets you up for the best possible outcome and hopefully success, but in our sport there is always the little margin of the unknown.

It’s the unexpected injuries. It’s the workouts that seem to feel much harder than they should. BUT it’s also the workouts where you blow it out of the park, the ones where you reach another level. The races where you run out of your mind and the whole way you keep thinking, ‘This can’t be ME running out here, MY body hitting those splits!’ The unknown is sweet, it’s cruel, and it’s everything in between. I think that’s one of the things that makes our sport the best. Ya, I’m partial I admit that. :)

The unknown is also scary, it can mess with our minds. It can implant those doubts, ‘Am I ready for this? Do I belong here? I didn’t do my warm-up right, will that mess me up? My prerace pizza had too much cheese on it. Should I have run one last hard workout? One last long run? Did I do enough?’ All of that. But we all think that to some degree. And not only during races, it’s in everything. In training, in just regular fitness working out. In life. Doubts are everywhere.

It’s also the times when you don’t really feel like going out and putting in those runs. Skipping a workout because you feel tired, stressed, or just plain would rather do something else. You wonder why in the world you keep doing this whole song and dance anyways. But we all have those times. Sometimes we don’t like to admit it because it makes us fear that we’re weak, wussies, complainers, excuse-makers, and at least for me I’m afraid it means that the day will come when I do just cave, throw in the towel, toss up my arms and delve into the world of slothdom.

But the reality is I won’t. I love this thing too much. Ya, maybe a day or two goes by and I don’t bust my sweat (and I mean these are FAR and few between…lol), but I get back into it. So eff that doubt because I know myself and I know this is what makes me happy. Running in circles is fun to me. Ya, I’m not fast or racing, but I like it too much to let it pass me up completely.

Wow, sorry for my long@$$ ramble there, where did that come from?!?! So the results are in, are you ready for the envelope to be read? Hehe. Shalane Flanagan won the 10k in 30:59.97. Kara Goucher took second in 31:16.65 and Jen Rhines placed third in 31:30.37. On the guys’ side Galen Rupp won in 28:38.17, Matt Tegenkamp got second in 28:39.97, and Scott Bauhs rounded out third in 28:40.51.

I think my point was that I keep reading about people who are nervous about their first race, or the longest race they’ve yet to do. They worry that they’re not doing things ‘right’ and have all these doubts. I think they are afraid they’re the only ones who have all these worries, like it means they aren’t ready for the challenge. But EVERYONE has doubts, so my best advice is to put in the work, do all the planning you can, and recognized that yes, there is always the little margin of the unknown. It CAN be scary, but it’s a good kind of scary. It doesn’t only mean you might have a bad race because it also means you could have an awesome race, the one of your life. It can also be a mediocre race, a funny race, a race with memories. Everyone races for different reasons but don’t psyche yourself out from starting and giving it your all because of the unknown.

Wrapping up my epicness, I think I’m trying to talk myself up too. Not just in running but in life too. I’ve got some stuff I’ve got to figure out there and have plenty of doubts. With the running though, I’m trying to do some more harder workouts and I do still get stuck in the comparing old times and how I felt then to today’s efforts. But that’s not doing me any favors, it only robs me of enjoying the present. So I did have fun out there today in my workout; I ran outside again and managed to stay vertical the whole way…haha! 3 miles warm-up to the track, 6 mile uptempo, 2.5 mile cool-down. That cool-down was butt slow, but I was pleased I averaged 5 secs/mile faster this week than last week on the tempo part. I even had some company out there, these blasted squirrels kept scurrying around on the track!

Alright, enough from me, hope all’s well for you guys! :)

1) Favorite pizza topping?

Cheese and lots of veggies.

2) Last challenge you did that scared you?

Lame as it sounds, today running outside because I thought for certain I’d fall bad again. haha.

3) What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

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Abs in Full Sluggy Glory

So I’ve become a slug. Not because I’m lazy (but, not gonna lie I’m guilty of not going to get my mail sometimes because I’m too lazy to walk down the two flights of stairs and down the hallway to get it) but because I’m leaving a nasty sweat trail behind me. Sorry, yes I’m gross too.

Finished my easy run of a bit over 8.5 miles and there was no drippier slug to be found. As I was doing my Pedestal core routine I was dripping my trail of sweat until it became a nice little slippery pool. I was even having trouble getting enough traction between my forearm and the ground to stay steady…I was a mess. Thankfully no one else was around to witness me in fully sluggy glory and I swear I mopped up after myself.

Standing in front of the fan for a few minutes did a nice job of airing me out before I moved to the bench to do my ab routine. I used to be really anal about doing abs every single day, mostly out of habit and my stomach area is my ‘thing.’ That thing you always compare to other peoples’. Anyways, I did them every day even though I KNEW you shouldn’t train the same muscle group day in and day out. They never get a chance to fully recover and then never build up as strong as they can be. In fact I knew I’d get better results AND they’d look better if I did them every other day, but still I did them my way. Well, I always know my way is the best way after all. ;)

Finally I got to the point in recognizing I’m a dork and so I do them every other day. I mean you don’t go to the weight room and train the same muscle groups (ie: shoulders, quads, etc) every day so why is it that abs are the exception to the rule? I know I’m not the only one guilty of this one, lots of people overdo the ab thing and I think that’s for the very same reason I did/do it, (I admit that on the days that I don’t do my full ab routine I still do a quick round of crunches on the stability ball…I’m only human after all) everyone wants a kick@$$ stomach.

The other big mistake people do with abs is that they assume working on ab specific exercises WILL get them the six pack. Well the bummer is that the ab muscles won’t even be seen if there is a that nice layer of adipose tissue covering them. Read: fat layer. So if you’ve got poundage to drop hit up the cardio baby and then worry about all them crunches. hehe.

Off of my tangent there and sorry if you don’t want a rambling on all things abs. But, so after blowing myself to a quasi-slug stain state I did my ab routine:

* 15 Butt Bridges: Lie on back, place feet about a foot and a half in front of your bum with your knees bent. Raise your bum up until your quads and torso are in a line and then lower back down. Repeat.

* 20 Leg Lifts: Lie on back, legs straight in front of you. Keeping your legs straight, raise them up into the air until they are perpendicular to the floor and then lower back down. Repeat. (this works on the lower abs; I’ve got some variations on this one I’ll share later)

* 30 Crunches

* 15 Butt Bridges

* 20 Leg Lifts

* 40 Bicycle Crunches: Alternate bringing your left elbow to your right knee and then your right elbow to your left knee as you crunch.

* 15 Butt Bridges

* 20 Leg Lifts

* 30 Crunches

* 30 Crunches on stability ball
(I move my slug train to the stability ball for these, you can get a little more out of your crunches on the ball but if you don’t have one ’tis okay)

* 30 Side Crunches on stability ball: Just crunch but alternate going to the left and right side as you go up.

* 30 Crunches on stability ball

* 15 Hamstring Ball Rolls:
Lie with your back flat on the ground and place your feet/ankles on top of the ball. Raise up like you were doing a butt bridge so that your legs are straight, your lower back is off the ground and balance on your shoulder blades. With your ankles resting on the ball, roll the ball in by pulling your feet towards you until the ball is by your bum and then roll it back out.

*10 Ball Bridges: Just like the butt bridge but this time your feet are on the ball, lift up until your legs are in alignment with your torso, you will go until your lower back is off the ground and only your shoulder blades are still flat on the floor. Lower back down and repeat. (you can modify this one to be a little easier by resting your knees on the ball and raising up)

* 15 Hamstring Ball Rolls

* 10 Ball Bridges

* 15 Hamstring Ball Rolls

Then the slug train wiped off the rest of the equipment. The last bit I do because of my darn adductor and so the hamstring rolls are supposed to help me with that problem. It’s not necessarily ab work but I do it because I’m there and the ball is ready, willing, and able.

That said, nothing much else to share for today. I hope you’re all doing just dandy on yet another hump day!

1) Have to pick: would you rather be a slug or a snail?

Snail. They have those cool houses. I guess slugs are really just hobo snails.

2) Favorite ab exercises?

I also really like pilates.

3) What do you do that you know is ‘wrong’ but you do it anyways? Or I guess you know that doing it a different way would get you better results but you do it your way just because?

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Littlest Bro Not So Little and Garmin Fever

Today’s going to be a wild mix-up match-up of things so here we go. First off gotta give a HUGE shout-out to my littlest bro as it’s his birthday. Isn’t he so freaking cute? :)

WARNING: This little bit may be a bit TMI so feel free to just skip down to the next paragraph if you’re squeamish. I was 11 when this little dude was born and I actually got to see him being born. Crazy, huh, and you may think it’s gross. But my family is really open about all this stuff and probably gross is a term that could be applied often. (cut to scene around dinner table when we have a fart-off) I learned about the birds and the bees, all that jazz, really young and my parents were really open and frank about things. So when my youngest sibling was about to pop, I was a freak and actually wanted to be there in the delivery room. Don’t worry the TMI won’t be so far as me giving a play-by-play, but I will say it was pretty surreal to see this little guy being born. That said, even though he’s one cute mo-fo now, babies right off the bat are usually pretty gross, slimy, and awkward looking. I adore Tina Fey and I think her whole little alien campaign is right on the dot, if you’re hot I think you grow into that.

So little Wes is the baby of the family and true to form he gets that special treatment from the folks. That kid could probably get away with murder but I’m guilty of letting him slide on things myself so those who live in glass houses shouldn’t be chucking boulders. Anyways, I also made him a little piece of art and I’ll share. If you like football feel free to print it out and hang it on your fridge. Jk. HAPPY BIRTHDAY WESLEY!!!

Next topic. Running today, I don’t want to use this space to overly vent and be a downer so I’m just going to be quick and short. Workout was not fun, not good, slower than I wanted and my legs feel like lead. The heat also left me feeling sort of sick, it’s just stuffy in that gym and I know I shouldn’t complain because I know for a FACT there are people busting their butts in way hotter and humid conditions, so if I have an issue I just need to grab a tissue. Anyways, total for the day came in a little over 11 miles, upper body weights and done. Let’s end it on a positive, Cait: there are people right now bumming with an injury and maybe can’t be running right now. Even a bad, junky, crummy-pants run is better than none at all in my book so I’m thankful I was able to put in the miles. :) Ya, that sounds corny but it’s true, so I need to stuff my sorries in a sack.

Also running related I’ve got some big news! I won my very first blog contest…woot woot!! I keep seeing people scoring some awesome swag and I’ve always been notoriously unlucky with winning anything so I was really surprised when I got to Emma’s awesome blog and found out that little ol’ me had won a contest! Okay, it’s a randomly selected thing, but I still like to think I’m special…lol. So what did I win? Well, I won a year’s supply of running shoes and Pop-Tarts! Jk, but no, but I DID get a Bondi Band which is a cool sweat band to tame my crazy@$$ hair. Which, if you recall I was complaining about not too long ago, so I thought the timing was a funny coincidence!

Next thing is a question for you guys. I’m anal about things, surprise huh, but I mean in terms wanting to know exactly how long my runs are. I’m just overly curious I guess. :P So, since I want to do more running outside and bust off the treadmill (which I like because I know exactly the miles/pace) I was thinking I’d hop on the Garmin train. I’m poor, I’m stingy with money, so for me even THINKING about buying something over $20 is a a big deal. But I don’t splurge on many things and darn it, I want one. So, suggestions, feedback, or anyone who has found a good price I’d love to hear from you! A quick Google has led me to Amazon where I found the Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS Receiver and Sports Watch for $117.13. What say you? Oh, and I don’t really care about all the fancy ‘extra’s,’ so long as I know the total miles of my run and the pace would be cool too.

1) Best birthday gift you ever got?

Hmmm, one that really sticks out in my mind was when I was 8 and I got an aquarium that was The Little Mermaid themed and had little Ariel and Sebastian in there and eight fish. My parents had yet to get me any kind of pet so fish were a big deal…lol.

2) Best prize you’ve ever won?

3) Any Garmin input would be awesome! Do you have one, do you like yours, now you can’t run with out it? hehe.

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Runner Friend Meet ‘n Greet and Fun Facts

Welcome to a Monday afternoon folks! How are you all doing? Well, I guess ‘all’ could be a relative term, it could be all one of you or maybe even all ten. That said, we’ll jump to the running stuff right off the bat. Today was an easy 8 miles and change, core work then abs. AND I’m happy to report that I ended with a little stretching…hurrah for me. Ya, I’m still no bonafide yogi or all the bendy but I at least did my muscles good.

Yesterday I forgot to write, got all wrapped up in showering the dad with praise, but I did my usual harder 5 miler workout. With a warm-up and cool-down it came out to being a bit over 11 miles total for the day. Chased by upper body weights.

BUT, what’s more exciting about yesterday (well, again it still comes in second to my dad but since he’s down in CA and I’m up in OR I wasn’t able to get down there to spend the day with the fam, so other plans were in order) was that I got to hang out with one cool chick-a-dee. Yes I did just use that term.

Actually, kinda random, I happened to literally run into Allie (well, not actually hit her but run by her in the opposite direction) and her friend at the track a few days ago. Back to the day of the bloody handed Cait’s a dork workout, and since she’s in town for a few more days we were able to meet up. (Allie’s far right and sporting some nice hardware)

She’s currently rocking the fast runnerchick status, and you should read all about her on her own blog. Do it, if for no other reason than because I said so. Jk. But since of course Beaverton, OR is the hip and happenin metropolis that it is, we really tore this city up. Please note the sarcasm there. But no, we had fun and I did learn a few things that I’d like to share:

* Best Buy greeters can’t hold a candle next to the greeters at Wal-Mart. That sorry (albeit hot) looking 20 something does not have the zeal or enthusiasm of a geriatric in a Rascal Scooter. Sorry. Also, Best Buy dude didn’t offer me a smiley face sticker, double deduction.

* My annoyance for Drew Barrymore is still burning strong. I don’t know why it is, but I think the side mouth talking thing has something to do with it.

* Normal people drink coffee and so naturally a Starbucks run was in order. Allie had coffee but I don’t drink coffee, I know I’m not normal, but me on caffeine is like a normal person taking crack. I’m way too high energy to begin with. I did once take a caffeine pill before a race just to see if the extra kick would do me good, I thought my heart was going to come careening out of my chest. I was eating some pre-race pancakes and literally couldn’t hold the fork steady. Whacko-cracko. (Above, Allie and Me. I’m the creepo on the left obviously mid-blink, she’s the purdy girl on the right. Now you know why you don’t see more pix of me.)

* Starbucks is catering to the diet conscious folks with their mini-bite cupcakes or whatever. This was the first time I’d seen then in person and I kid you not those things are about a bite and a half. Now I know my mouth is abnormally large, literally and figuratively, but in my humble opinion, while they look pretty, they aren’t even worth the two chews. I know some people who are able to satisfy a craving with a small smidge of the treat, but personally if I want a cupcake I’m gonna eat a freaking cupcake and more likely in multiples. Just saying. I wish I could be one of those people that can take a spoon to a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and later be left with contents still in the pint, but I’m not. Those sane minded folks mystify me and I want to study them like Jane Goodall and her chimps.

* I’m not the only runner who hates taking a break from running. Allie’s just starting her break after her track season, and she’s doing so in similar Cait begrudging fashion. (Read sneaking runs when she shouldn’t. Sorry if I call you out on this one Allie, but I’m going out on a limb and assuming it’s safe to say that your coach isn’t reading this…hehe) I know some runners who LOVE their breaks, but I’m not one of them. I know that it’s a mental thing and that physically the body needs a break every now and again, especially if you’re training hard, but knowing and doing are tricky. I have some funny ‘oops I’m caught doing what I shouldn’t be’ stories and they’re really only funny in their ridiculousness. Me being ridiculous that is. Older and wiser I’d like to think I’ve gotten a wee bit better at listening to sanity. Good news is, Allie at least is and as of yesterday abstaining from sneaky stealth runs. :)

Aight folks, I’m off for now! I hope the start of your weeks are going great!!

1) Coffee drinker? Coffee addict? Where do you fall?

2) Are you a two-bites and I’m satisfied kinda person who I’ll have to get tips from or are you like me and want to take your mondo bites and lots of them?

3) Do you look forward to or hate any kind of running/workout breaks? I know lots of people are going on vacation and some of them don’t exercise during those times, but I still keep my date with Mr. Sweat, do you?

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