My first trail race!

I ran my first trail race on Saturday. The Evergreen Trail Runs Squak Mountain 12k. I registered last week because a friend was running it and I thought it would be good training for Mt St Helens. I have not run a lot of trails, just a few runs on Cougar Mountain and at the Redmond Watershed.

The 12k started at 9:30. Laine and I got there about 8:45. it was chilly but they had a tent with a space heater which was toasty. The race started on time and we were off, up the first of many steep hills. It was an elevation gain of 2,550. It was a mix of very narrow trails and wide gravel road. It was hard. It was hard going up the steep hills and hard running down them.

Picture by Herb Purganan

Picture by Herb Purganan

Picture by Herb Purganan

Picture by Herb Purganan









I finished in 2:04, first in my age group, out of 2. The race was well supported for a trail race. On the top and bottom there was a table with chips, m&m, cookies, peanut butter sandwiches, water and Nuun. There was also soup and hot chocolate at the finish.

I think is was a well run race. I don’t know if I will race a trail again, but I will definitely start running on them more.


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Marathon Training and Hiking

The Eugene Marathon is about a month away. Last week was one of my highest mile weeks this training cycle, 43 miles, including a 20 miler. I’m looking forward to this week of only 35 miles. I’m using Hal Higdon’s Intermediate One plan. This is the same plan I have used to the past 5 marathons. I think I have to change it up on the next one, to get faster. I know a few people who have successfully followed Run Less Run Faster. I do have the book, but always found it difficult to following the paces. I either have to use that or hire a running coach.

Rattlesnake Cognac

I have added a hike into my weekend for the past 4 weeks. In the next month I will hike Mt. Si and a few other bigger hikes. I’m hoping that I will be ready for Mt. St. Helens in June. Permits have been purchased for June 1!


Top of Rattlesnake Ledge

I almost didn’t post this picture. Everyone was saying what a great picture of me it is (thanks for all the love on FB) and all I see is my belly flab. We all have body issues.  A friend was recently telling me how confident I am. I don’t know if it’s confidence or willingness to accept what I can’t change and craziness of wanting to live life to the fullest. After cancer I made an effort to do things out of my comfort zone. I’m still doing that. Run fast, take chances! And try not to care about my belly flab.

My first trail race is Saturday. It’s a 12k at Squak Mountain. What trail shoes to you run in?



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Sports doctor and new goals

I have been running for 5 years. This week was my first visit to a sports doctor. Immediately after the Tacoma St Paddy’s Day Half my right hip was hurting. I began icing, heat and taking ibuprofen. I also continued to run. Last week was one of my highest mileage weeks, 46 miles including a 20 miler. I can deal with a lot of aches, but my hip was bordering on 24/7 pain. I turned to Google over the weekend, which scared me enough to made a doctor’s appointment.

On Tuesday I saw Dr. Michael Allison at Proliance Orthopedic Associates. When I made the appointment I stressed that I was a runner training for a marathon. The scheduler said I have the perfect doctor for you and he was right. We immediately hit it off, talking about marathons we have both run. He asked me about my training and looked at my running shoes, which I was asked to bring. Diagnoses IT band inflammation. Really my IT band, everything you read about IT band has pain in the knee, not hip. Typical runner injury. He recommended fewer miles, ice, stretching, and strengthening my legs. I can continue to run! He also recommended taking the summer off from marathon training, still running just not so many miles. He prescribed a heavy-duty anti inflammatory which has worked wonders in 3 days.

I will be running the Eugene Marathon and my slightly longer taper, due to my Beijing trip should be better for my hip.

So that leads me to new goals. On Saturday I will be hiking Little Si. The goal is to hike Mount St Helens in September. It is not a technical hike but steep with lots of boulder fields. This has been in the works for a few weeks, but my running injury has made this more enticing.

My first pair of real hiking boots!

My first pair of real hiking boots!

Local friends, have you hiked Mount St. Helens? What are some of your favorite day hikes?

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St. Paddy’s Day Half Tacoma Race Report

Last Saturday I ran the St. Paddy’s Day Half in Tacoma.

Amy drove and we left about 6:15. We were super early. My friend, Rebecca was also there early, so we had time to chat. This is not a very big race but we were concerned about parking, which was a breeze. We also had to pick up our bibs, which was also easy once the volunteers were ready.

St Paddy

The weather was cloudy with drizzle. What I didn’t plan on was the brutal wind. This race is along the water and it was windy most of the race. Rebecca and I started together, she was planning on her first sub-2 and I told her I would run with her, but we could both take off at any point. The first six miles were pretty flat and we ran them too fast, then the hills start. I walked up a few hills and then would catch up with Rebecca on the down hill. We stayed together until the last water stop about mile 12, I stopped for water and Rebecca didn’t. This was also a big hill for about a mile. It never seemed to end. I could always see Rebecca just a bit ahead of me and knew she would have her sub 2.

I finished in 1:59:14, 7th out of 32, there were some speedy 50 year olds at this race.  At the finish you got your medal and a bottle of water. They had bananas, some granola bars and fruit snacks. I would have liked something salty.

I’m happy with my finish and know that I left it all on the course.

St Pats bling


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Things I’m loving now

For my birthday I got the Nathan Zephyr Fire light. I run mostly in the dark and this light is very bright. I also love that it has a blinking red light in the back that cars can see from behind me. I still love my Knuckle lights, but one died and I wanted something brighter. I have used this light on 5 runs and it works very well. I know many complaints were about the charging and I have not had any issues. Nathan attached an extra micro usb cable with 2 spacers.


I also purchased a pair of Dr. Martens boots that I have been eyeing for about a year. I have not been able to find them in the US in my size and did not want to risk shipping them from the UK. I finally found them on Hautelook, bonus on sale! I do wish they were black not burgundy, but I have worn them about 7 days in the past 2 weeks, love them.


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20150310_164240 (2)

I love stale peeps. When I buy them they are opened and pulled apart, this makes the get stale faster.

What are your favorite things right now?

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Hot Chocolate Race Recap

On Sunday I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k in Seattle. This is a large race, 7,000 in the 5k and 5,500 in the 15k. I have run this race the past 3 years and each year say I’m not going to run it again. It is a hard, hilly course. You are going up or down the whole 9 miles nothing is flat. But the chocolate is always a draw for someone I know. Last year my sister, Pam came from Boston to run. This year my friend, Devri and her husband, Barry came up from Oregon to run the race.

Devri and I

Devri and I

The 5k has a very early start of 6:45, the 15k 7:55. The only issue was the traffic off Mercer St. But we headed up a side street and got free parking about 3 blocks from the start. Devri even had time for a bathroom stop before her corral started. For a big race it’s very well-organized. Easy gear check, plenty of port-a-potties and you can wait inside at the Armory.

The weather was about 40 and beautiful blue sunny sky. We started on time and the first bit is a few very steep downhills. I like to go all out on the downhills, and it was still pretty crowded so I was also weaving in and out a bit.  There is not a lot of crowd support but the volunteers are awesome. Most had cow bells and shouted cheers along the way. About mile 3 my friend Rebecca comes up beside me, what a great surprise. I didn’t know she was running this race. We ending up running the rest of the race together. We chatted very little as we were both running at a very good pace for us. I told her she was going to be my rabbit, but to run at her pace. She ended up pulling slightly ahead in the last third of a mile, which was up hill, and I was running out of steam. Finish time 1:23:29 a PR and top 10% in my new age group. Thank you Rebecca for pushing me!

Rebecca and I

Rebecca and I

At the finish there are cups of Gatorade and bottles of water. We also got metals this year. The finish shoot is organized and quick. You have a ticket on your bib for your mug of goodies. Everyone gets one. There is no taking 8 for your whole family and leaving none for the runners behind you.

Hot Chocolate mug

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Thanks Devri for the pictures!

This is a great race, anyone from Boston want to come out to run it next year?

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2 Years!

Sunday, February 22 will be 2 years since my last radiation treatment for breast cancer. It seems longer that. I consider it my survivorship day. I don’t talk or dwell on the fact that I had breast cancer often. I prefer to put it in the past and move on with my life. But I will celebrate this day. Each week, month and visit to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance that goes by with a positive result puts me further away from the disease.

For anyone reading this going through cancer treatment, I’m proof that is gets better. You can get through it and lead a better life. I’m much more aware that life is short and can be taken from you at any time. In the past 2 years I have done things, I never would have before, that were out of my comfort zone. I’m not afraid of doing something that may be hard or scary, because I already did the hardest thing in my life, beat cancer.

Life is a gift and should be a bit of an adventure. Cancer gave me the courage to put me first. Yes, I have a job and family to consider, but I’m going to run fast and take chances.

Up in 2015:

Eugene Marathon #7

Trip to Beijing and Shanghai

Ragnar Relay NWP #3

Hood to Coast????? I would love to run this relay if anyone has a spot on their team PLEASE!!!!

Marathon #8 NYC or California International Marathon or maybe an Ultra?



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