mind over matter

Hi friends!

I am still on cloud nine from this past weekend. Friday night John and I had a nice evening on our front porch. The weather has been unbelievable. I keep waiting for the clouds to roll in but they have managed to stay away for over a week; very uncharacteristic for this time of the year.

Saturday morning I left my house just after 5am to get in 2 hours of running then met the girls for 2 more hours of trails. It wasn’t too bad. My legs began to fatigue during the last hour so I was thankful to have some company. I cannot sing their praises enough, they are so supportive and accommodating to help me get my training done. I am still struggling with my nutrition, learning how much of ‘what’ to eat and drink ‘when’ is actually harder than I thought it would be to figure out.

That afternoon I picked up Tom and Nicki from the airport. They are two of my favorite people and I am so glad they made it out here to enjoy this nice spring weather in Portland.

On Sunday I knew I had to do 3 hours and I really wanted to keep it all on trails so I tried a new area of Forest Park that I hadn’t been to yet –a flat portion of the Wildwood trail. I pulled up to the trailhead around 6:30am, it was a little eerie. Not sure if it was because it was so early and deserted (other than a few parked cars) or just a new, unfamiliar area for me. Whatever, I am a big girl so I got my things together and hit the trail. It took me about 45 minutes to become comfortable with my surroundings. My legs felt OK. Not great but OK. It seemed like an entire day had passed before I hit the halfway point. I pressed on and finished 14 miles in 3 hours.

We spent the rest of the day taking Tom and Nicki wine tasting in the Willamette Valley then came home and cooked a delicious meal and sat on our porch until the sun went down. I love, love, love the company of good friends.

Four Graces

Wine tasting at Four Graces with Tom and Nicki.

When I crawled in bed last night I started thinking about my run that morning. Analyzing every decision I made leading up to it, through it’s duration and my recovery process. I must have suppressed it because I started to remember how much I struggled to get between miles 9 and 13- I kept having to repeat to myself out loud: this WILL get easier, back to back long runs WILL GET EASIER. And I remembered how my stomach was growling at two and half hours and I should have brought more fuel with me, and how difficult it was to eat on the way home because I was all out of fluids to wash it down. I still have so much to learn.

One year ago yesterday I ran my 5th marathon. One month ago I ran my first 50K. Last week I ran a total of 60 miles -37 of those within 24 hours. On Sunday I realized that my body actually can do this. It will get easier. Mind over matter, I will run 50 miles.

I will probably go ahead and start packing tonight… we leave for Tulum in FIVE DAYS!!! More updates later this week before we leave the country. Love to you all.

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seven

Last week was a strange one for me. Strange in that I was super unmotivated before every single workout, run or yoga class I went to. Negative Nancy at her finest. For example, a few thoughts that ran through my head:

“Great, I didn’t pack my good socks. MAYBE if I would just get more socks I wouldn’t have this problem.”

“It’s 4:45am and it’s kind of raining and it’s still dark and I am tired of running that same road.”

“I hate this playlist. I do not want to teach this class. I am starving.”

“So over doing laundry and washing my hair twice a day.”

“Seriously, how is it already 4:45am again? Same road. Uggghhhh.”

“STILL HUNGRY….where are all the Clif Builder Bars? Am I really out of Gu? I just bought Gu…”

“Shouldn’t have had that second… errr, wait…. third glass of wine last night, Casey. These hills are going to be BRUTAL.” (as I chug water and slam a peanut butter and banana sandwich down)

Turns out every last workout was incredible. I nailed my Crane pose on Monday, I taught four great spin classes and had multiple requests for my playlists, and my run on Sunday was SEVEN MINUTES FASTER than the previous 3 weeks. SEVEN!

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It will always be too early, too dark, and too cold to get out of bed and the easy way out will always be there. Thankful for some strong-will and determination last week and hoping for another solid week of training ahead… 4 hour run on Saturday/3.5 on Sunday. Channeling my inner “Cheerful Casey.”

Ready. Set. Go.

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the road ahead

It has taken me a few days to muster up a post after the tragedy in Boston.

I’ve been running for years. I have gotten up at 4:30am to be on a dark track for speedwork, negative split 800 repeats until the sun came up–and one time until my breakfast came up (sorry). I’ve logged every mile for months. What I had to eat, if I was fast or slow, if I had company or ran alone, which route I took, and how I felt. The closest I have come to qualifying for the Boston Marathon is 7 minutes and 42 seconds, and now I can add on an additional five minutes since they have increased the difficulty to qualify.

It takes a lot of work to make it to Beantown, to run up Heartbreak Hill and down Boylston Street. I had many friends run this year. Several of my girlfriend’s husbands finished over an hour prior to the first bomb but the fact that they were already back in their hotel rooms didn’t make any of us feel better. We just wanted them home.

girls

Aoife, Kelly, me and Katy carbo loading before the Eugene Marathon (April 2012).

The camaraderie you find in the sport of running is what keeps me coming back. The solidarity. The commitment. No BS allowed. I love that I don’t know what half of them look like in regular, everyday wear or with their hair down, not dripping with sweat and covered in mud from the trails. We could talk nonstop for hours or be completely silent– it’s simply our presence that matters. We are better friends, wives, girlfriends, and mothers because of the company we keep.

Here’s an excerpt from something I read on Monday. I can’t help but think about it any other way now…

“We cannot undo the evil that was done. But we can inhibit the goal of division. Let’s do that. Let’s not give them the pleasure of our division, the foothold of our futility.

Let’s instead do what runners do best. Let’s be strong. Let’s be patient as information comes in. Let’s pace ourselves. Let’s endure. Let’s close the gap and tighten up the pack. Let’s recover together.

The road ahead is long. But little do they know, we’re good with that.”

boston

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race recap

HAPPY FRIDAY Y’ALL!

I bet you have been losing sleep, checking your email and the blog daily just to get a race recap, right? First I want to thank all of you for the texts, phone calls, gifts in the mail, and good thoughts on Saturday. Whatever you did, however big those prayers were, they worked.

Gorge 50K

I woke up early and drove out to Benson State Park just as the sun was coming up over Mt. Hood.  The race started promptly at 8:05 at a chilly 45* – shorts, tank, gloves, my trusty water bottle (what my dad likes to call, Wilson), and a few Gu’s tucked away here and there was all I took with me. If I have learned anything about running, it’s to keep it simple. Of course other people were layered up–Nathan running packs strapped on, compression socks, sunglasses, layers… I was breaking a sweat just looking at them. Partially due to intimidation, partially because I knew it was going to reach 70* by noon.

I started too fast but was having too much fun to notice. I made friends with a guy from Tennessee who was on number 40 of 50 ultras in 50 states. I spent miles 10-15 with another novice like myself who had more energy than me on a good day (which is a lot). The last half was mostly just me passing a few people and getting passed a few times. I fought off some pain on the downhills and walked the ups.

It was tough. My GPS clocked me at a 6,500 foot elevation gain, a little short of 31 miles, in a total of 6 hours and 5 minutes. So yes, it was tough, but it was also the most fun I have ever had in a race. I am officially hooked on trail running.

adamsIt was a gorgeous Easter Sunday so we couldn’t resist not being outside. I took some ibuprofen and we hiked up Hamilton Mountain for some scenic views of the Gorge (like I hadn’t already gotten my fill the day before). It took me forever to get down 🙂

On Wednesday I learned that I made it off the wait list for the Mt. Hood 50 (miler). I grabbed my credit card, took one deep breath in and clicked register. July 13 is going to be a much bigger deal. HOW IN THE WORLD AM I SUPPOSED TO RUN 50 MILES??? Guess I have 14 weeks to figure it out!

If you need me between now and then you will most likely find me somewhere on the Oregon trails. Big ‘ole smile on my face.

Have a lovely weekend!
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