Fair Weather Runner No More! … Or Not

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On Tuesday last week, after my first weekday run, I decided I had finally succeeded as a runner: I no longer shy away from running in uncomfortable weather!   Tuesday morning was cold and wet … very wet.  I felt proud of myself for getting out, completing five miles in heavy rain, and rather enjoying myself.

Puddle jumping with the Geese!
Puddle jumping with the Geese!

I was ready to declare to the world: I am no longer a fair weather runner!

… and then I woke up Wednesday morning to a sunrise blackened by heavy cloud-cover and the sound of hail hitting my windows…  And the only thought going through my mind was: “I can run at work today”.
On the treadmill.

Immediately I was upset with myself.  It felt like I was cheating!  And that was not the end of it… when I decided to do my run – on the treadmill – the sun broke through the black sky and taunted me as I looked out the window from my stationary running machine.  I nearly got off the track and got outside, but the threat of hail and heavy rain kept me sequestered indoors.

I run in the rain all the time!  It seems rather silly (or dare I say, shameful!) that I would avoid the outdoors simply due to the threat of inclement weather.

Do you find yourself avoiding your outdoor workouts when the conditions are less than favorable?  

Fortunately, this week the weather has turned and given a nod to Summer… into the eighties, beyond my wildest imaginations for end-of-April in Oregon.  Unbelievable.  I ran at sunrise without a hat for the first time this week, and in a t-shirt this morning!  (I like to stay warm, generally that means long sleeves, hat and gloves in the wee hours of sun-rising).

And it has been so Beautiful!

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I am loving the early sunrise, heavy foot traffic on the waterfront, and reflections in the river I have come to know so well in the last six months.

This weekend, we return to rain, and I resolve to get out and run!

Happy running!
~Alaina

A month of firsts: marathon training, pace runs, and … swollen feet?

Sunny Day!
Joyful, sunny day!

Tomorrow morning, I’ll get out in what will probably be a very wet and rainy morning to get my 6 miles, and near one hour, of ‘pace’ running in for the week.  As a runner who is new to training for a race, and with no goal time in mind for this event, I do not really know what to aim for in a pace.  I’ve read something about doing a 5K and taking that time and doing some math… and in the end you end up with a marathon “goal time and pace”…

How have you trained to a ‘pace’ for your races?

Over the past week, I have found that wearing my favorite pair of shoes is becoming… uncomfortable.  It seems that I am either sliding around in the shoe more on the downhill, or suddenly, my feet are larger than they were previously.

Have you found that your feet swell (and stay swollen) when running with greater frequency?  (and more importantly… will none of my summer heels fit, either?)

This weekend I was able to get out and run – not with the usual group of gals, we were all off on our own due to schedule conflicts this week, but I ran on my own on one of my favorite routes, taking my time, taking pictures… Catching all the lovely I could spot and giving it immortality in the digitized world:

Absolutely gorgeous river views...
Absolutely gorgeous river views…
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Little one, singing me a song ‘hello!’
Can you see the big bird?
Can you see the big bird?
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Here he is; I love his frosted, fluffy feather beard.
One last glance back down the river.
One last glance back down the river.

A big thanks to all the runners out there sharing their knowledge and experience.  I really appreciate your openness, and the time you have spent researching to determine what works for you.  I feel so lucky to be a part of a community that is so willing to teach one another about our sport!

I have run 57.9 miles for the month of June (thus far), and filled about 20 of those in the past week.  I plan to do weekly updates from now on as I continue this marathon training adventure… Look for a post this weekend for the end of training week 4!

with joy in running (and all things),
~Alaina

When There’s Sun, Go for a Run!

As the end of March in the Pacific Northwest brings in a new season and runners rejoice in knowing they will no longer need to layer up to head outdoors, I remain hesitant, frequently checking the forecast prior to each outdoor adventure, unsure whether I will need to don my hat, long sleeve, pants and gloves.

Spring in Portland is rarely predictable.  When I glanced at the temperature prior to yesterday’s after-work hike/run uphill I was a little shocked.  64 degrees … The first thought to pop into my mind, “Wool certainly is not necessary today.”  I have become entirely dependent on my Icebreaker Wool long sleeve half-zips over the course of this chilly winter, and was rather dubious to think that I could get by without.  In fact, I dared to go bare-armed in a tank top!  Wind swept over my arms and brushed the hairs until they stood up, a phenomenal feeling I have not experienced during months of dark, damp, and cold.

Tank weather!
Tank weather!
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Fremont bridge at a distance.
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Industrial area just beyond the river.
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Flower waiting to be captured on film.
Tank weather!
My View.

Thursday evening was a beautiful time for a run.  To tell you the truth, I have enjoyed running in the cold enormously!  I did not know until this year how much fun I have while running.  Nevertheless, photographs usually turn out better in Portland when there’s a little sunshine.  🙂

The Saturday long run is on the docket to tackle in the morning.  The weather is supposed to be amazing, and we are starting from the Farmers market… Saturday is definitely getting a good start out the door on the right foot!

One last order of business: Marathon update!  I am planning to run the St. George marathon with my Grampa this year, allowing that we both get in to the race (it is a lottery entry).  Date set for October 5th, in Utah.  Now I need to get serious about my training schedule…

Happy running!
~Alaina

Spring

As days warm and we head toward Spring

there is no knowing what life will bring.

A joyous dance, or a sunlit flower

but greatness found in every hour.

 

Life brings us troubles, it gets us down,

and at times, we’re left with a frown.

My wish for you, may it come true,

Is bright skies of deep, deep blue.