6'0 tall, former athlete, mother of 3, struggling to keep up on the RUN of daily life.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


This has been a WICKED week...I will go with the theme...

WICKED- The Musical
Going to plays/musicals is a healthy addiction of mine and it has been far too long since my last fix.. I have always wanted to see the musical WICKED. I often listen to the songs on Pandora and have always loved the Wizard of Oz.  I have not read the book, but I know that I will truly enjoy the show.  Thanks to Craigslist, Tall Sister and I will be seeing the show in Seattle on Saturday!!  So excited.  Think I may need to go purchase the musical sound track to get ready for the fun..

WICKED- Blister
Holy WOW!  I have lost toenails before but my big toe, never.  I blame a Half Marathon in wet sneakers, my Big Toe is wicked ugly, wicked blue and wicked painful.  I am not sure what to do to help it heal faster, in the mean time I am going to take it easy this week.. which is not good because I have a hard time passing up the Halloween Fun-sized candies.  I would post a photo, but I have a strict rule against showing people my ugly toes/feet.  I am sure you can use your imagination, wicked gross folks..

WICKED- Weather
My thoughts and prayers go out to those on the East Coast in the wake of Sandy.  I have a friend who was planning to run the NYC Marathon this weekend and has cancelled her trip.  I am curious if the Marathon will be cancelled.  How can they host a Marathon in a city that has gone through so much? 

The weather here has been WET WET WET!  Rivers are starting to fill and I am thinking that I will need to make friends with the dusty treadmill if this keeps up.  Nothing to complain about compared to others for sure...

WICKED- New Shoes
The wonderful folks at Brooks sent me a pair of the NEW Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13's to test.  I was hoping to wear them for the Half, but with the wet weather I did not want to ruin sparkly new shoes.  Look at these beauties.  I took them for a 3 mile test run and will have a full review soon..

WICKED- Cool Boots
If you follow me on Facebook HERE you may have seen my posts about the Brianna ll Northface Boots from Onlineshoes.com.  I was sent these boots for review and I was so excited!  I would not have picked the style myself, but adding this style to my wardrobe has been pretty cool.  I was so inspired by these boots that I wore them for mini Fall photo shoot.  here are some of my favorite pictures...

Tall Likes:
Full length zipper- easy to put on and take off
Great Quality.

What Northface says:
 Tall Gripes:
The cost is a little high for my not-so-tall budget
Suede is not the ideal fabric for wet WA weather

*****I recommend these boots, if you want to purchase your own pair visit Onlineshoes.com HERE

WICKED- Bad Race pictures
These race photos from Snohomish River Run (which disappeared) make me want to drop 15 pounds stat.. generally I am not overly critical, but I feel like I am starting to look less than athletic...which bums me out.  I have not intentionally 'let myself go' but I also have not focused on diet and exercise and this Puffy Tall Mom is the result.. BUMMER!!

WICKED- Awesome
I am still over-the-moon excited for Stacie and her 11 year old daughter and her 1st Half Marathon!!!  The Race Report is great and warrants readers/comments, head to Impossible is Nothing HERE and read/comment if you can.. Pretty Please!!

WICKED- Inconsistent Mileage
I think that I may be burnt out (or lazy?), based on the crazy inconsistent mileage on Dailymile.com.  Look at this....

Hmmmmm.. Thankfully I have Muscle Man to keep me moving, he is so motivated and excited.  I have been tired and lacked the running spark...there are reasons which I may share someday.  I know that what I really need is a schedule to keep me going.  But I also want to take a break.. I am torn... will see what happens.  If we are not friends on Dailymile hit me up HERE, would love to share in the doughnut burning adventure together.

Happy Halloween!!  Our Little studs will be Mario and Luigi tonight and it is going to be adorable!!  What will you or your kiddos be??

  • Anything WICKED in your life right now??  Leave a comment :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Snohomish River Run Half Marathon 2012

I woke up to the rain POURING on my roof!!  If not for Alma and my 6 Halfs in 6 Months goal, I probably would have gone back to bed.  A Half in the rain did not sound like fun.  Out the door by 5:45AM!!  Arrived at Alma’s and we set out to the Race along with her buddy.  I am a horrible co-pilot and got us slightly off track, Iphone to the rescue.  The parking was ideal so we ventured off to check out the start area.  Lots going on!!  I saw the CRAZY lines near the start and knew that the Honey Bucket near the parking lot would be a better choice.. Stripped off my toss-aways and tried to mentally prepare for the cold/wind/running for 2 hours.

The race started late due to the porta-potty line, but it was good because I got to meet some new people and see my friends.  Including Stacie who was there with her 11 year old daughter, they were running the half together.  I was amazed at how poised and confident her daughter was approaching such a feat, other than some goose bumps she was READY!

I was not sure what to expect for this Half, I had not felt great all week and had some strange aches and pains. My goals were A- Sub 2:00 and B- No 9 minute miles.  The race started and we were off…

1- 7:57- I carpooled with Alma and tried to keep up with her buddy who was going for a 1:44. The wind was gusting and my hat flew off, I quickly turned to grab it, guess my French braid was not the best to hold it on my head.  A guy in a Ninja Turtles shirt passed me, I used him as a pacer with hopes of taking him over in the later miles.  The road was LONG and straight, it was slightly drizzling at this point with wind gusts on an off.  Overall my body seemed good.

2- 8:08- Feeling strong so I settled in to people watching and enjoying the views of the river. I loved the gals with "Sexy Legs" written in sharpie on their legs.  I admired their effortless mid-foot stride as my right Achilles started to hurt.  I have had strange pains all over my body lately, I feel like an old lady.  I shook it off and planted myself next to the white line on the road, it was more level there and I didn’t want to waste effort.

3- 8:21- The LONG straight-aways were a bit BORING, I tried to focus on my music and keep my legs turning over quickly.  I knew that if I wanted to beat my PB for the year I would need to keep the pace below 8:18, somehow I knew that was not going to happen on this day.

4- 8:17- I got a surge of energy and Passed Ninja Turtle guy, I was hoping to stay in front of the costume folks (spoiler alert didn't happen).  I believe it was about this mile when the race stunk, literally there was a manure farm or something and it smelled bad.  I tried to pick up the pace and decrease breathing through my nose.

5- 8:36- I loved seeing the leading runners and looked forward to the return trip.   The gal in second place was cheering on the slower pack, very classy!! (it just so happened that she graduated with Alma, small world)  This mile Karen, a blog reader and Tall Mom herself, introduced herself, I love this!!  It is uplifting to me when people take the time to tell me that they read my Blog.  I tried to keep up with her, but she was on a mission for a sub 1:50 and I didn’t have it in me. 

6- 8:24- I got a little boost of speed/energy as we turned back toward the Finish and I could see loads of people.  Seeing my buddies on the course on the return trip was a highlight for sure.  I saw Stacie and her daughter, Danielle, Jen and got waved at by a few people yelling out “Tall Mom!”  About this time I thought it probably would have been smarter to switch to the 10K since I have not put in many long runs beyond a 10 miler, but I wanted the 6 in 6, so I was in for the LONG haul.

7-8:41- I took a Gu and was hoping it would kick in, no such luck, I started to fade as D passed me in her purple spandex.  Ninja Turtle had faded into the distance by now and I was in preservation mode.  Training, coupled with the rain picking up was taking a toll on my mental toughness..

8- 8:45- This mile my left bicep started to cramp horribly.. I had to switch my Garmin to the other wrist it hurt so bad. This really messed with the stride and cadence. I grabbed my arm, shook it out but nothing helped...it would continue to hurt the rest of the race.  I have had cramps in the typical places before, calves, hamstring, arch, etc… but bicep??  I tried holding my arm in any position I could find, if only to get some comfort from the pain.    

9- 9:11- In twinging-pain, with the rain picking up I started to lose it mentally.. I really wanted to be DONE. I was freezing and I hurt. I cursed myself for my lack of LONG training runs.  I stopped and walked through the water stop.. I was really thirsty and hoped that the electrolytes would help with the cramping.  I knew I should not walk for long or I may not start up again.  I tried to do the mental math and guess my finish time, but my brain was off.  At that point I gave up on pace and Finish Time, my new goal was to FINISH period!!

10-8:58- The little break helped get my legs moving again.  Next I got passed by a gal in a full wonder woman costume and shortly after 2 more wonder women... UGH! I wanted to keep pace, but it wasn't happening.  With 5K to go I knew that if I stayed sub 10min miles I would finish in about 1:55, which was OK by me.  I started to shiver which made my bicep hurt worse, I wished for a sling to hold up my arm.

 11- 9:26- On to the trail and my legs were done, coupled with the heavy rain and the bicep cramp and I was not in a good place. I loved seeing the other runners, but I did not love getting passed over and over and over.  Everyone seemed like they were full of energy and enjoying themselves, I wished I had a buddy with me to help me through the tough spot.  Getting through the next 20 minutes was not fun…the scenery was beautiful and on a normal day I would have been smiling.  I was NOT SMILING!!  “This is what you get, you should have trained more.”  There were little inclines and I slowed significantly with the topography, shuffle shuffle..

12- 9:57- At the turn I stopped and drank electrolytes and hoped I could make it the rest of the race without having to walk again.  The volunteers at the water stop and throughout the race were amazing so positive and happy although they were soaked and cold too.  I tried to massage my arm and to warm up, but it wasn't happening.  My clothes were soaked, body was shutting down, I could not warm up… This mile seemed to last forever.  I weaved around the 10K walkers and tried not to run into the Halfers coming the other direction.  It was like a busy obstacle course.

13- 9:39- Feeling deflated and upset with myself.. I tried to spot people in front of me to mimic their legs so I could just keep moving. I saw the car and knew that the Finish was not far away.  Just 1 lap around the track…..come on body!!

.11- 7:50- I saw the Finish and found one last burst of energy.  I could see Alma cheering for me, which was AWESOME!! The guy I had leapfrogged the last 5K passed me at the very end, good for him J


Crossed the line, got my medal and bent over…my legs felt like 300lbs of dead weight.  I saw a line for water?? I never use bottled water at home, but after I finish a race I would like to have something to drink without waiting in line.  If they did not want to do bottles, OK but have a water table separate from the food line.. just a thought.

Made my way to the food line, when Alma and her buddy showed up.. He set a new PR, and Alma placed 2nd in her age group, celebration all around!!  I downed a couple oranges, grabbed a slice of bread and ordered lentil from the list of soups.  The warm soup tasted amazing.. We wandered around for a bit chatting with folks then gave in to the rain and cold.  Thankfully on our way back to the car we saw Stacie and her daughter smiling about to Finish, this was a highlight of the day.  I worried that the cold and rain would make for a tough race for a young one, but she rallied through like a champ!!  And just before we got in the car Jen was “Wogging” by, I blew her a kiss, she is training to walk the 3 day for Breast Cancer which is AWESOME! One thing about Jen, she always has a beautiful smile, regardless..

Got to the car, changed in the parking lot, and set out.. Overall I am pretty proud of my time, but if I want to do another Half I really need to train better. It is painful to lose steam and have to tough it out for 5 miles. Not sure what is next. I sort of want to hibernate for the winter but I doubt hubby will let me.  Sorry for the complete lack of pictures, the rain makes camera’s disappear..

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I am a Half Fanatic

I ran 3 Marathons in 90 days to earn Marathon Maniac status...however I never joined the club because I knew that I was not truly a Marathon Maniac, I am not made to run 26.2 over and over. This year when we were registered for 3 Halfs in 3 months I got excited, I could earn Half Fanatic status... Learn more about Half Fanatics HERE
 Half Fanatics Criteria- 3 Halfs in 3 Months- Neptune Status, 1 moon. 
Sweet, we were already registered so I would get to check the Half Fanatic box too.  I (we) started our journey in May.
5-17- Capital City Half (#9)- 1:56:11
This was Muscle Man's first Half Marathon and he was a ROCKSTAR!!  He paced us to a speedy first Half.  I ended up getting very very sick following the race and for the next 2 weeks.
 6-23- Seattle RNR Half (#10)- 2:06:24
This was not my day.  There was so much going on leading up to the race that I didn't prepare myself mentally or physically.  I ran with Tiffany for 9 miles, then sped ahead, then lost my steam and she passed me.  I walked most of the last 5K of the race.

7-15- Fueled by Fine Wine Half (#11)- 2:20:50
I was worried about this race and the HILLS!!  As we set off I was worried, but I quickly decided that I cared more about enjoying myself than I did about Finish time.  We journeyed through several Vinyards in Oregon Wine country and I loved every minutes of it!!!

8-4- Tacoma Narrows Half (#12)- 3:12:45 *walking
My High School friend Sarah was in town from New York, we had never run together.  When I heard that she was running the Half I knew I had to join her!!  We started the race with high hopes but by mile 7 Sarah was ready to stop running.  So we walked the rest of the race.  My sole goal was to get her to the Finish Line.  And we did!!
 9-16-You Go Girl Half (#13)- 1:49:23- 5th AG

This was my race...for me...alone!!  As you see in most of my previous Halfs I usually run with someone.  I was curious to see how I would do alone.  I set out WAY TOO FAST but recovered and held strong.  It was not easy, but I pushed through and got a GREAT finish time.  I met my goal for this race which gave me huge confidence.

So what is next???

This Saturday I will run the (Sold Out) Snomish River Run Half Marathon.  Special Thanks to Alma because I may have skipped out on the race without her offering to carpool :)  I am unsure what my plan is.  We have been running but nowhere near speedy Half mileage.  But the course is flat, so if my legs/body show up it could be a good day...

And what will I earn?
Uranus- 2 Moon level

Sorry that makes me laugh :) This is not a Goal I set out the year to achieve, but I am pretty excited about it.  Excited enough to pay the fee and join the club??  We'll see.  What I know is that I truly love the Half Marathon distance, fast or slow it is a distance I can commit to and still enjoy my time with my family.  Yes I can run a Marathon, but I prefer to Half it :)  For now anyway....

  • What goal are you reaching for this year?  How are you doing?
  • Are you a Half Fanatic?  Tell me about how you earned your status.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Swagnar- Clif Prize Pack Winner

The WINNER of the Clif Prize pack from Ragnar Relays is:

Congrats Shay- Please email me tallmomontherun (@) hotmail with your details..

Don't forget that the Swagnar Giveaways will continue all month!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ragnar Swagnar Giveaway

In June I ran a relay with my buddies.. I had been sick the 2 weeks prior to the relay and was very low energy.  I ran my first leg, 5 miles and felt OK.. with just 4 runners the transitions are pretty fast.  I was in and out of the van, taking pictures, cheering on my teammates, and having a blast.  Before I knew it I was up again....the next 6 miles were painful, I had forgotten something very crucial- Nutrition, I did not take care of myself and refuel in between legs.
On any Long Training run or Relay it is important to refuel before it is too late.  Running on fumes is not a good place to be.  When I got back to the van I told my teammates that I was light headed and about ready to cramp up.  Thankfully Tiffany had a Clif Bar which I chomped down in short order. I followed it up with some Clif Shot Blocks Margarita flavor with a little bit of salt.  Within 5 minutes I felt like myself again, I only wish that I would have taken these steps between Leg #1 and Leg #2.  There is so much going on during a Running Relay, that it can be hard to remember the most basic steps.
-Replenish Fuel
-Bring easy to digest foods that won't upset your stomach.
-Help your teammates remember to EAT!
-Carry items with you to refuel on the Run
When the Ragnar Relay HERE folks asked me to be a part of the Ragnar Swagnar Blogger Giveaway I was EXCITED to find out that the prize was centered around my major fail in relays past.

Clif Bar nutrition pack ($50 value)
Pack includes: Shot bloks, Gels, Clif bars, Clif Crunch, the MoJo bars and Luna bars.
Leave a comment for each entry.
1- Like the Ragnar Relay Page on Facebook HERE
2-Tweet about the Giveaway using the #Swagnar hashtag and @Ragnarrelay in the Tweet. Check out the Ragnar Relay Tweets HERE
3- Post a Comment telling me why you would like to WIN.
***This Giveaway will last 48 hours...so enter now for your chance to WIN... if you don't win on my blog, be sure to check out the next blogger as I pass the baton on October 22nd...
The Next Blogger in the Swagnar Giveaway is

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

2 Years ago...

When the phone rings at 7AM on a Saturday morning you know it is not good news.  2 years ago- It was my younger brother saying that my Dad (age 59) had a heart attack.  What he didn’t say on the phone was that he had tried to perform CPR and that the EMT folks could not revive Dad.  I got dressed quickly and grabbed a water bottle. I figured we would be at the hospital for a while, in my mind I thought heart attacks are common, I was worried but hopeful.  My older sister and I headed to the hospital.

When we walked in we were directed to private family room. UMMMMMM, I knew exactly what that meant.  “Why are they taking us in here?”  From the look my Mom and Brother’s faces I knew…. I didn’t want it to be real.  My Dad had passed away from an undiagnosed heart condition that was worsened by Pneumonia.  The minutes, hours, days, weeks that followed were a blurry maze of tears, confusion, anger, questioning, denial, pain, weakness… there were so many things to take care of and all I wanted to do was pull the covers over my head and pretend like it wasn’t real.  I remember how strong my Mom was, she had lost a man she was married to for over 35 years just when they were going to start living in Retirement together and she was holding it together better than I was.

I did what I could to be strong and put on a brave face.  Then would go home and cry in the arms of my husband.  MM was hurting to, my Dad was his closest friend, he immediately felt the void and still does at family functions. 

Now 2 years later the pain is still real, I am tearing up as I type this post.  I think about Dad every day, all positive things.  I was blessed to have a Father who left a legacy of kindness, and love.  My hope is that I can pass on a smile, the smile that I got from him.  I feel his presence often when I run, the most vivid experience was at the Boston Marathon when my body gave out at mile 4, he helped me through, post HERE.

I wish so much that my Mom had her husband.  I wish my sister, brother and I had our Dad.  That my husband had his friend.  I wish that our Boys could have their Grandpa.. It does not matter how hard I wish/hope/want for this.  The reality is that he has been gone for 2 years and we are all left with wonderful memories and the pain of missing him more than words can express..

I am not sure what the protocol is for the Anniversary of the death of someone?  Do I visit the grave?  Do I spend all day in bed?  Do I go out and celebrate his life?  I am not sure, all I know is that I miss my Dad and 10/16 will always hold a special/haunting place in my heart.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Stein Dash 5K 2012

At the last minute I decided to run this race since it was an 11:30 start time and I felt like sleeping in on the weekend.  I volunteered at packet pickup to help with the entry fee. Turned out to be a Fun day to hang with my Big Sister and her friends at the race and Octoberfest. We got to the race pretty early, picked up our hard plastic Beer Steins and took some pre-race pictures.  I left Tall Sister and her friends to get a spot toward the front, I had not run much last week so wanted to get in a good sweat.
Tall Sister, Erin, Me and Chris.. good times!  Empty Steins Before

Before the race while waiting near the start a Blog reader (Brandi) introduced herself, we chatted for a bit which was nice.  I love it when people introduce themselves, makes me feel good, especially when I am solo at the start line.  I could tell that she was very fit.  I pointed out that we all had on Brooks Pure Connect line shoes.  The Octoberfest host, a 6’2 gal in high high heels welcomed us all and even ran a little at the start..

This is how it went:

Mile 1: 7:13 -  I felt great but tried to keep my pace in check so I wouldn't burn out or get a side ache. I tried to keep Brandi and her purple tank top in site. Just then my Sister’s friend Chris passed me, this was his first chip-timed race and he did GREAT taking 5th in his age group. My stride felt strong as I passed a pretty redhead. As I turned the corner near the football stadium a spectator said I was the 3rd overall female.  This made my legs want to go even faster..

Mile 2: 7:37 – I kept passing folks, mostly men, one guy said “I should not have drank so much last night,” I guess he partook in Octoberfest the prior night. As I passed a couple guys they complimented my gunmetal Team Sparkle skirt.  My body started to SLOW and my right calf had a sharp pain. I tried everything not to think about it, but it hurt!   I didn't want the cramp to turn to something worse.

Mile 3: 7:59 - My goal was to end the race with sub 8's overall pace.  This last mile was a struggle, I got passed by a couple young-looking ladies.  I wanted to maintain my 3rd place status, but I didn’t have the steam and my right calf was on fire.. UGH!!  I really was giving it all I could, not sure why my leg did not co-operate.

.12: 7:35 -  I tried to pick up the pace, smile for the photog and Finish Strong.  I didn’t have anyone to chase down, but I saw the clock at 23:XX and sprinted to finish under 24 minutes, which would be my faster 5K Finish time this year (still minutes off my 2012 PR).

23:40- 7:38 pace
1st Place Age group out of 73
5th Overall Female out of 296

32nd Overall Finisher out of 511
I checked the results and I took 1st in my age group!!  SCORE!!  Also helped Chris decipher the results, he took 5th in his age group. we then went to get our ribbons, which are very cute the the race logo, mine was blue his was pink.

After the race we celebrated with a beer and toured the event including eating a Piroshky, taking photos at a Seahawks booth, watching Weiner Dog racing and more…

I really enjoyed the race and plan to return next year. This flat course would be ideal for a PR with some training prior to the race.  Spending the day with my Big Sister was GREAT and I even got some Christmas Shopping done at Octoberfest.  Funny story, at the t-shirt booth the guys working asked me “Did you win?” I replied “Well, I won my age group.”  The guy seemed amazed that I did win and gave me a free sticker of a guy with a handlebar mustache.. I LOVE IT!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I have been a self-proclaimed Athlete since 6th grade.  In that time I have had ups and downs, not only in performance, but in self confidence.  Confidence in HUGE when it comes to athletics.  It can make or break you!  Believing that you can and will do something is the first step to success. 

The first week of volleyball was great, my confidence was high, especially since I hadn’t played in a long time and was playing pretty good.  Last night was different.  I felt like my legs weren’t under; I could not get my timing right.  We played a very talented team, leaving me a little befuddled.  After the first game, which we lost, I went to get my water and heard one of the best gals on the opposing team say, “I thought you had a secret weapon.  Where is she?”  She was talking about me.  Apparently my team has a rivalry with the other team, I am new to the team and know nothing about the history of the rivalry.  The comment hit me hard…. My Mom was there, so I went to stand by her and tell her what the gal had said.  Bless her heart she said “She is trying to get in your head.  Play your game.  They are a good team, but you can play with them.”

It was true, I am convinced she was trying to knock down my confidence in hopes that I never hit my stride in the game.  This seemed childish to me, we aren’t in High School.  As I walked by I had to say something, for myself, I said “I didn’t ask to be called a Secret Weapon.”  The gal and her husband just looked at me, didn’t really reply.  I understand where my team was coming from, the week prior I was very effective on the court and we had won both matches.  But that is a little too much pressure to put on someone.  I went on to play OK, but my legs felt weak making my performance at the net less than par.


Did I let her get in my head and mess with my game?
Or was I just having an OFF night?

I battle these demons often on the Run.  I get in my own head, letting pain and tiredness take over.  It slows my pace, pulls me down, and hinders my performance.  Days when I can quiet the demons, and believe in myself, amazing things happen. 

Confidence is something I have been blessed with (most days).

Funny lately I feel more like a “Fat-hlete” than an Athlete, but that does not mean I can’t have confidence in myself.  Quiet the demons and just have fun.  When I am relaxed and enjoying myself amazing things happen. 
Back Sweat in the shape of Mickey Mouse.. FUNNY!!