Archive for the ‘Running’ Category

A Running Playlist

Posted by julie on Sunday, 19 October 2014, 21:19

Oregon Coast 30K. Photo by Glenn Tachiyama.

Because I was severely under-trained for my 30K trail race yesterday, I developed a running playlist of songs that I hoped might help me power through. On the last 2.5-mile uphill slog, this list definitely helped:

  1. We No Speak Americano, Yolanda Be Cool & Dcup
  2. Beautiful Day, U2
  3. Just Can’t Get Enough, Depeche Mode
  4. Around the World (la la la la La), A Touch of Class
  5. Pompeii, Bastille
  6. Heat of the Moment, Asia
  7. Stacy’s Mom, Fountains of Wayne
  8. Boom Boom Pow, The Black Eyed Peas
  9. Pour Some Sugar On Me, Def Leppard
  10. Low, Flo Rida (feat. T-Pain)
  11. Without Me, Eminem
  12. Dynamite, Taio Cruz
  13. Little Talks, Of Monsters and Men
  14. Wake Me Up, Avicii
  15. Say Hey (I Love You), Michael Franti & Spearhead (feat. Cherine Anderson)
  16. Glad You Came, The Wanted
  17. SexyBack, Justin Timberlake (feat. Timbaland)
  18. Timber, Pitbull ((feat. Ke$ha)

Because I borrowed liberally from other folks’ running playlists, I thought I would share this list, in case you’re wandering around the web, searching for music inspiration for a tough run. This list comprises about 67 minutes of music. I’m on the lookout for some good stuff to extend it a few more hours.

Last Road Marathon!

Posted by julie on Monday, 30 April 2012, 23:00

Okay, don’t quote me on that, but I’ve reached my goal of a sub-four hour marathon: 3:58:46 at yesterday’s Eugene Marathon (if you click on that link and enter my name in the search box, then scroll onto and click my name, you’ll find video of me finishing [with my name being announced] and a link to my average cumulative pace throughout the race).

I still felt GREAT at mile 17, regardless of the fact that when I run I look like a windmill (I notice my crazy legs in photos). I ran among my handful of fastest legs in the next mile because of the woman in the bikini behind me. She and her running partner passed me, and I convinced myself that I'd look like that if I ran that fast. It worked for two miles (keeping the pace, not looking like that).

My peanut gallery

I realized the night before the race that I must be getting older because I filled in the emergency information on the back of my race number.

Really, was I possessed by a marionette, or what? Mile 8.

I'm sorry, but there will be no performing for the camera anymore, not at mile 24. From a range of 8:46-9:09 previously, miles 22-25 then crept up to a max of 9:57, at which point I was perilously close to not running under 4 hours. I perked up a bit for mile 26, which I ran in 9:35 (while I said, out loud, more than once, "Push!").

At the end, after weaving a bit upon finishing, I quickly downed two ice-cold chocolate milks and lay on the turf, flat-out, for twenty minutes. Ahhh. Then a full can of Pepsi on the S-L-O-W walk home.

My favorite sign held by a cheering spectator, “I’m proud of you, Complete Stranger.” Runner-up: “Very creative cheering marathon sign.”

The Eugene Marathon is a great marathon to run: flat; lovely; great spots for spectators to cheer; nice T-shirts; plenty of volunteers, food, and water (at least for the four-hour pace). Highly recommended, if you’re looking for your next.

Just Don’t Call Me a Soccer Mom

Posted by julie on Friday, 27 April 2012, 23:19

If I ride my Xtracycle, with Burley trailer attached, to the soccer game—instead of, heaven forbid, my nonexistent mini-van—am I still considered a Soccer Mom? (I hate that term nearly as much as I hate Playdate. Ick.)

Sylvan’s first soccer game:

I've got it!

Looks like he just headed it to his teammate, doesn't it?

Scrappy player, Hawaiian board shorts and all.

Sylvan's coach, Bear (who once gave me a job teaching math that I didn't take), suggested that perhaps the grass didn't need as much defending as the red team did.

And did they win? This league doesn’t keep score for the 6-10-year-olds. But the boys knew—or at least they had an exaggerated score of something like 11-2. Who won? It’s more fun learning to dribble.

SOB snow day

Posted by julie on Thursday, 14 July 2011, 0:16

The plan had included a van, two preschoolers, a fast boy, and another family. The reality looked like this:

Julie is an SOB (finisher). You can't see my tiger-striped mini-gaiters, but you can see my awesome Run Pretty Far shirt. (really, go buy their stuff; it's beautiful)

I almost didn’t go. Chris couldn’t run, Ashland is 200 miles away (that’s $40 of gas, round-trip, even in my mini french fry-mobile), and the Siskiyou Outback 15K and 50K courses had been altered to be longer with much more climbing because there was too much snow on the regular courses (so I wouldn’t be able to compare my time to last year’s time–and beat it!). Yes, too much snow. For you folks suffering through a heat index of 109, I’m sure that’s unthinkable.

But then I recognized the potential: sleeping under the stars in the Mount Ashland ski area parking lot, bundled in my sleeping bag; hours and hours of Fresh Air podcasts; writing in my journal; seeing how well I could do on a 16-kilometer, 1800-foot elevation gain course; drinking a well-earned milkshake after the race–all this without arbitrating any feuds about magic markers or board books.

At 2 a.m., the stars made sleeping without a tent worthwhile. I ate dinner to hermit thrush song and awoke to nuthatch calls. Thrush (hermit, wood, and Swainson’s) are my favorite avian singers, and nuthatch, while their song isn’t particularly lovely, always remind me of the mountains. A well-behaved but curious border collie woke me up at 5:24 by coming to lie down next to my pillow (I should say I was parked only twenty or so feet from the next nearest runners). When I whispered to him to go home, he slunk back and lay on his mat.

Usually, the 15K heads south-ish on the Pacific Crest Trail before returning to the ski area, largely on dirt roads. The course is rolling, with only one serious, short climb. Not this time. As my quads made clear on Monday, I ran downhill from the start, downhill for 1800 feet. And do you know how I got back up to the start? I ran there. Except when I walked. Chris has tried to tell me for a few years now that I have to learn how to walk up the hills. Usually, I don’t buy it: I’m not as fast as people with longer legs on the downhills, so I have to make up time on the uphills. This time, though, with 1200 feet of climbing in 2 1/2 miles, I found I couldn’t run the whole thing (and the 50K’ers, besides running for 31 miles, had a much worse hill between miles 23 and 26).

The 15K race was fun and fast, and I felt great throughout it. I didn’t go out too fast; I averaged 9:11 per mile for the first 7.4 miles. Then I hit the hill, and I averaged 14:35 for the last 2.4 miles. I finished in 1:43, three minutes behind last year’s time (my goal had been 1:33 on the regular course). In any other age group, I would have finished in the top 4, but I had no such luck among the 30-something women. Darn fast 30s (you can click “15K by class” to see how fast the women 30-39 were).

This trail race was my first after which I thought, “Hmmm, maybe ultramarathons aren’t so crazy.” I need something to do for my 40th birthday, right?

Some Things to Do Before I Go

Posted by julie on Sunday, 17 April 2011, 1:17

I’m in no rush, because I plan to last a century, but I might as well get started. My ongoing “bucket list” has some overlap with the Top Ten Natural Places I Want to Visit. In brainstorming order, my undoubtedly incomplete list:

  1. Learn to surf (someplace warm, without sharks)
  2. Learn to play at least a dozen songs on the guitar and participate in a campfire sing-along
  3. Learn to skateboard (maybe from my daughter or son)
  4. Visit Machu Picchu
  5. Get a nice digital SLR and be proud of my photographs again Accomplished with a Sony Nex5, August 2011. No one paid me anything to say, “Get this camera. You won’t regret it.”
  6. Publish some of my writing in a real magazine
  7. Dance with Ghanaians in Ghana
  8. Make a video that is good enough to give away
  9. See elephants and lions where they live
  10. Spend more than two weeks enjoying/relaxing in Bali (or someplace equally buoyant, warm, and surrounded by ocean)
  11. Climb to the highest point in each of the 50 states (continental 48?): Gannett Peak in WY, Mt. Washington in NH, Mt. Marcy in NY down; that leaves 47! (Oh, gosh, does this really mean I have to go back to Florida?) November 2011 update: Frissell in CT, Graylock in MA, Ebright Azimuth in DE, Jerimoth Hill in RI (This one doesn’t really count, since I only made it to the highway near the high point, which is a couple of feet higher and a few hundred feet from the road. We arrived at 4:45, and it closes at 4.). June 2013: Hood in Oregon. August 2014: Mansfield in Vermont.
  12. Visit each of the 50 states: only Michigan, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Nebraska left
  13. Become a better listener
  14. Live in the Dolomites for at least a school year
  15. Hike the Continental Divide Trail
  16. Live near the beach and spend each morning walking with the waves
  17. Climb in Yosemite
  18. Finish a quilt
  19. Catch fireflies with my grandchildren (or someone else’s grandchildren)
  20. Learn another language well enough to have a conversation on the phone
  21. Hike the 52-mile Torres del Paine circuit in Patagonia
  22. Go on an epic bike trip, maybe in Sweden
  23. Lead a multi-pitch, maybe the Beckey route on Liberty Bell
  24. Visit Rocky Mountain National Park. August 2014: The cousins reunion was just outside RMNP this August, so we hiked there nearly every day. I’ll have to go back to climb Longs Peak, though. Anyone interested?
  25. Backpack in the Brooks Range
  26. Run a marathon in under 4 hours November 2011 update: I’m signed up for the Eugene Marathon in April. This is the one!; April 2012 update: 3:58:46 at April 30, 2012 Eugene Marathon
  27. Read Moby-Dick
  28. Take my kids to a drive-in, maybe at the Spud in Driggs. August 2014: Mom and I took the kids to see Popeye, in honor of Robin Williams, at the new and decidedly awesome drive-in in Amenia, just blocks from where I went to elementary school (my kids particularly liked how the bathrooms were designated with a moustache and some pouty lips). We also passed three(!) working drive-ins on the drive back from Washington last week—one somewhere north of Coupeville on Whidbey Island, one south of Port Townsend, and one northwest of Olympia. So many possibilities…
  29. Introduce my children to drinking milk through a Tim Tam (I learned it with red wine, but that’s a few years down the road)
  30. Teach my nephew something naughty but benign
  31. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
  32. Go horsepacking
  33. Visit Walden Pond
  34. Ride a rollercoaster with my children and eventually with my grandchildren (my Gram set a high standard)
  35. Go on a women’s only yoga/canyoneering retreat (or meditation/surfing, or some equally active and calm combo)
  36. Write every day for a year
  37. Draw every day for a year
  38. Take my children to see a meteor shower in Arizona, Montana, Kiribati, or someplace equally dark. Lie in the road and see 60 or more shooting stars in an hour.
  39. Go to the top of the Rifle Tower (okay, Eiffel, but Sylvan said this the other day and it made me smile)
  40. Climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty
  41. Take a Valium and take my kids to Disney Land. No Valium required. I couldn’t believe how much fun I had, and, at 6 and 9, the kids were really great ages to both take in the magic and appreciate the thrill rides. After Space Mountain, Elena said, “Let’s go again!” When it’s not even 9 a.m., and there’s not much of a line, we could say, “Why not?” Halloween 2014.
  42. Take my Mom and daughter to a fancy tea somewhere
  43. Sell my silkscreened stuff
  44. Learn to play chess from Sylvan April 2012 update: Sylvan’s taught me how to play, and he reminds me every time we play of how each piece can move. We are currently similarly matched; he will be beating me in just a few months.
  45. Sing karaoke in front of people (this one scares me more than any other, I think)

I’m a bit distressed by the amount of fossil fuel that the travel on my list would consume. I have considered biking to the base of the highest points in each of the 50 states, then hiking…


A Few Things I’ve Already Done That Would Be On My Bucket List Otherwise

  1. Hot air ballooned (a stroke of absolute genius on my Mom’s part; this was the world’s best high school graduation present)
  2. SCUBA dived at the Great Barrier Reef
  3. Swum with dolphins in New Zealand
  4. Become a NOLS instructor
  5. Danced in a semi-professional company
  6. Studied abroad
  7. Fallen in love, more than once (More than once wasn’t on my list, but those people have made my life richer.)
  8. Run into a grizzly. Or two. (This wasn’t on my list either, but I’m glad it happened.)
  9. Run a marathon. Or three. Four actually, as of April 2012.
  10. Ridden in a helicopter. Or two.
  11. Been to a concert at Carnegie Hall
  12. Been on TV (a few times)
  13. Climbed at least 10 of Oregon’s volcanoes: South Sister, Bachelor, McLoughlin, Bailey, Cowhorn, Diamond Peak, Washington, Maiden Peak, Lava Butte, Mt. Scott November 2011 update: Thielsen. Summer 2012: Three-Fingered Jack, Broken Top. Summer 2013: Hood, Black Crater, Little Belknap.

Good News: CPR really can help

Posted by julie on Sunday, 20 February 2011, 23:20

The good news: The young woman who had a heart attack while we were at Bounce last week is alive and recovering. CPR really does perfuse bodily tissues with oxygen. When definitive care is close, it can buy you enough time. It bought her enough time.

More good news: A woman, a first grade teacher, retired after 30 years, told me the other day at the pool that she appreciated the way I was speaking to my children. I smiled and thanked her. “No, thank YOU,” she said. I have my naturopath, Dr. Bove, to thank for my newly discovered calm.

Even more good news: My goal for the 25K Hagg Lake mud run today was between 2:43-3 hours and to place within the top half of my age group and gender. My time? 2:42. I placed 8th of 32 women aged 35-39, and 117 of 267 overall. Can I tell you how much ankle-deep mud can slow a person down? I should have run in cleats. Or crampons. I only fell three times. The winner fell five. See, he was going for it more than I.

I didn't lose my shoes! Good gaiters.

And, finally, 1974. My love and I went to Rita Honka’s 50th! birthday party on Friday. We decided that 70s attire wasn’t optional.

Polyester Couple