On Saturday the plan was that I was going to spectate for the first time ever at a race! The race of choice: Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle.

But things unexpectedly changed. What was supposed to be a “viewing party,” at the Nuun headquarters (with some tables of Nuun set up for runners who may want it) became a super crazy hydration effort of excellence and chaos…to say the least.

We had a few tables set up with cups of Nuun at mile 2 along the route, figuring that maybe some people would want to stop…no biggy. Um. Except TONS of people stopped. They even waited in line because, well, we weren’t quite prepared for all that, so we were filling cups and handing them off immediately and feeling bad that we couldn’t fill them faster. We were trying to be speedy and we got covered in Nuun. Every time we thought it might be near the end of the crowd, we’d look up…and see huge masses of people still on the way. It was chaos! But fun chaos.

This is what it was like at the very END. I didn’t get a good picture of the chaos because, well, I was too busy crazily filling cups of Nuun.

I had hoped to see some of my NUUNKOTB teammates, but since I was filling cups and trying to keep up with the crazy demand for Nuun, I only saw Lauren. She looked great! Way to go on your 9th half-marathon, Lauren! I also looked up from my cup-filling long enough to see Nicole, and she was her energetic happy self! Way to go on a sub-4 marathon, Nicole!

Four of my NUUNKOTB teammates ran yesterday who I didn’t see at the race: Alanna, Holly, Stacie, and Dawn. BUT I did get to meet Alanna, Stacie, and Dawn at dinner on Friday night, which was exciting! (And they were nice to me too!). Tasha was also in Seattle cheering the ladies on, but I didn’t get to see her either. Hopefully she was able to see more of the ladies running than I was!

As the last few runners passed the Nuun headquarters, I realized: We may be to the end of the runners, but we have a bit of cleaning up to do:

We had created a bit of a cup problem in the streets of Seattle.

Crazy, huh?

I asked Caitlin, a Nuun employee, if there was a broom to sweep the cups with, when two huge Penske trucks pulled up. And guess what jumped out? Tons of guys with rakes! They cleaned up all the cups in a matter of minutes, while we stared at them in shock. It was a marathon miracle!

The amazing helper guys who magically appeared from a Penske truck!

Since we were at mile 2, the race was still going on, so I decided to go do some spectating.

I felt bad that the runners couldn’t see the beauty behind them. One elderly couple chose to run backwards for awhile so that they could see the skyline! It was so cute!

Most of the people I knew running the half were finished by this time, but I was hopeful that I would see Nicole from Ricole Runs, since she was running the full marathon. Unfortunately, before I saw her, my husband called; he was downtown and ready to pick me up. I was walking to find him when I saw Nicole. Guys, she was moving well and looked strong, except her face. (Remember how at mile 2 she was happy and energetic? Not anymore). Her face made it clear that she was miserable. It honestly kind of terrified me seeing her agony, and I questioned my ability to finish a marathon in a few months. I shouted for her, but she didn’t hear me. She was running with someone who was coaching her through. The coach was reassuring her of something; I’m sure telling her how close she was and that she would make it. What a nice coach!

I didn’t have my camera ready when I saw Nicole, so I only managed to snap this picture of Nicole and her coach:

What a good friend I was to snap this picture for them!
(I actually had really hoped to have been able to get a photo of her with the skyline from above, but the timing was off…)

I later learned that the coach was Robyn of Run Birdie Run. What a great friend! I’m sad that I didn’t get to meet her!

Were you racing or spectating this weekend? How’d it go? Is finishing 26.2 miles pure agony???


I just got home from the sports medicine doctor, and I’m still trying to process what he told me.

When you go to the sports medicine doctor in your work clothes, they give you special stretchy shorts to wear.

The good:

  • He doesn’t think I have a stress fracture. Due to my low amounts of pain, he said he’d be pretty surprised if it was a stress fracture, but if the pain doesn’t improve in 3-4 weeks, he’ll order an MRI
  • He seemed like a good doctor. He was nice, didn’t seem rushed, and really listened to me. He explained to me all about my muscle that was hurting and why.
  • He said I can bike! (Okay, that’s sarcasm).

The bad:

  • He said to keep resting…for a “few” weeks…and then he said a scarier thing “four” weeks. Um, Ragnar is in four weeks.
  • He said no elliptical until I go a “few” days with no pain. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I really hate the elliptical, it’s super boring. But it’s better than nothing.
  • I forgot to use my list (which is really not a surprise), so other than resting and orthotics, he didn’t give me much advice. I think this is probably because resting is so super important, but I am kicking myself that I forgot to ask him ANY of my questions.
  • He said that when I do run again, I need to start “gradual.” What the heck does that mean? I hate gradual.

In conclusion: Diagnosis dumb girl. Really. According to him, I got this by being dumb (no, he didn’t say that, but really, it’s true). I injured myself by pretending I am a better runner than I am and ignoring my body. Dumb girl.

People. Don’t be like me.

This is how I feel about the news.

I have very mixed feelings about all of this. I’m not sure how to feel. I’m glad it’s (most likely) not a stress fracture. But I’m sad that his rules are really close to encroaching on Ragnar. I kind of thought he might say, “It’s not a stress fracture, so go ahead and run!”

He did not say that.

Tell me a story of something dumb you did, so that I’ll feel better about my dumb thing. Ready? Go!

Tomorrow is the big day! The day when I will finally see the sports medicine doctor! I’m really hopeful that he’ll be able to help me. I want to make sure that I give him all accurate information, so I’m making him a list and checking it twice. Thankfully this blog has helped me keep track…even though I’ve been really bad about posting my workouts!

So here’s my journey:

April 5 – R shin started hurting – I mostly ignored it and kept running. Eventually the L shin started hurting too

April 23 – decided to not run for 1 week

April 26 – Ripping feeling in R shin during high impact workout

April 27 – Xray

May 6-16th – Ran slowly 3x/week-ish

May 16 – Last run; decided to not run until I had 2 pain-free days

As of today, I haven’t run for 5 weeks! My shins have slowly felt better and better, but I still have pain a few times everyday. I’m not sure what to make of it. The pain is so minor, but I’m scared that if I run, I’ll make things worse.

This is a rose from my yard. It has nothing to do with this post, but since I believe that every post needs a photo, this is it.

I’ve been having bad luck with doctors these days, so I want to go prepared with questions. Here’s what I’ve got:

  1. What’s my diagnosis? (Are we SURE it’s not a stress fracture?)
  2. How do I know when I can run again?
  3. What are some recommended cardio activities that I can do while I heal?
  4. When I do start running again, how should I build up my mileage?
  5. How do I know when I shouldn’t run anymore (pain-wise)?
  6. What can I do to prevent the pain?

That’s all I’ve got for now. My biggest fear is that he’ll tell me that I can’t run Ragnar. I would bawl my eyes out if he said that. My second biggest fear is that he won’t be helpful at all.

So, we wait. I’ll report back after I know more!

Is there anything else that I should ask the doctor? Do you ever bring lists to the doctor to make sure that you cover everything?

My Home Love

One of the first things I usually ask people when I meet them is, “Where are you from?”

For some people, this question really throws them off. Some people have moved around so much that they’re not sure what the answer is. Some people reject where they’re from, so they’ll answer my question, but their accent makes it clear to me that they are from someplace entirely different. Some people don’t understand why I would care about where they are from.

The reason I ask people where they’re from is because it means something to me.

I live in Washington State.

I’ve lived in South Florida.

I’ve lived in Southern California.

I’ve lived in New Zealand.

I’ve lived in Australia.

But I’m proudly from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

When I tell you this, I’m not just telling you about some silly point on the map. I’m telling you about who I am.

I’m from Minnesota. Translation:

–       I value hard work

–       I like my foods bland

–       I spent my summers at camp

–       I mix up my vowel sounds at times

–       I feel most at home at the lake

–       I am very concerned about never inconveniencing others

–       I’m loyal

–       I like the outdoors

–       I think snow is the best ever

I’m from Minneapolis. Translation:

–       I value diversity

–       I’ve never been rich

–       I’m artistic and creative

–       I’m liberal

–       I say things like they are

–       I really, really don’t like suburbs

So when I say that I’m from Minneapolis, I’m wearing my heart on my sleeve, and telling you who I am.

I really, truly love my hometown.

This past weekend was Grandma’s Marathon, which takes place in Duluth, MN, and got me lusting after my home.

Two weekends ago was a marathon I dream of completing: The Minneapolis Marathon.

The Minneapolis Marathon is new. It wasn’t even around when I lived in Minneapolis. I don’t even know what the route is. What I do know is that it takes place in the city of my heart. I also know how beautiful Minneapolis is in June, so I don’t doubt that the route is amazing, regardless of where it runs. I also know that the medal this year looked like this:

The medal of my dreams.

I realize that if you don’t love my city, you might not think that this is the most amazing medal in the world. But I do. It’s got a silhouette of downtown Minneapolis, and some beautiful Minneapolis water glistening in it.

I need this medal. I can’t stop thinking about how gorgeous it is.

Do you still love your hometown? Do you see where you’re from as somehow defining who you are? Is there a particular race medal that would be super meaningful to you?

Fact #1: I don’t like clams.

Fact #2: I like adventures and trying new things.

This weekend, fact #2 outweighed fact #1. I got the crazy idea in my head that we should go clamming.

I don’t know where I got the idea, but it was there. I somehow decided that clamming was great fun and I really wanted to try it!

It was quite the to-do. First we had to figure out where it was legal to clam. Then what size clams were legal. Then how to find clams. Then whether or not Ada the Dog was allowed to come with us. Then we had to get our shellfish licenses. Then we had to buy digging tools and a bucket.

And finally, after a ton of work, we found ourselves on a rocky beach surrounded by a bunch of other people with buckets, shovels, and rakes.

We had no idea what we were doing.

Here Husband Saign is, trying to figure out how to clam.

So we just watched everyone else…they seemed to just be digging. So that’s what we did. Soon enough, Husband Saign had his first clam!

Husband Saign found probably 6 more clams before I found my first:

My first clam!!!

Look at the size of that thing! (I had to put him back because he was too tiny).

Eventually I found a clam that was big enough to bring home. And I found one more after that.

My first appropriately sized clam.

After about 40 minutes, we were pretty bored with clamming. We had probably 10 clams or so.

Yep, all that hurrah and planning for 40 minutes of fun and 10 clams! What can I say? That’s the life of an impulsive adventurer, I get an idea in my head and must try, but I’m ready to try something else almost immediately after the first activity began.

So we walked around the woods a little at the State Park and then went home.

And that’s when the real adventure began. Guys, clams are super gross. I thought about taking a picture for you, but I honestly was scared that it might make someone puke. The clams were confused about where they were, so they began sticking their nasty tubey head-things out. And it was disgusting. And the last thing I wanted to do was eat that nastiness. But I really hate wasting food. We decided that we would wait and eat them on Sunday for dinner.

The next day, Saign’s uncle called and said that they were going clamming and asked us if we wanted to come. Of course we did! His uncle knew a great spot, and within 10 minutes we both had our limit of 40 clams! It was much easier than on Saturday. (We also brought our clams from Saturday and put them back into the water). Plus, his family convinced me that clams are super delicious and that I would really enjoy them.

Here’s the whole crew, tromping around in the water after we had spent approximately 10 minutes gathering our limit in clams.

When we got them home I had the task of trying to cook them. It was quite the process, and I might have done something wrong, but first I scrubbed the little monsters with a brush…which took me 2 episodes of Saved by the Bell. Then they sat in the fridge for a few hours. Then I steamed them in wine and butter. They smelled so good. Unfortunately they did not look as good as they smelled. Seriously, look:

This is what cooked clams look like. Would you like to eat that?


I was a little frightened to try one. I decided to have Ada the Dog eat one first. I knew that if she loved it, I’d probably feel better about it. So I gave her a clam.

She licked the butter off and then spit the clam out. Even though we encouraged her by saying, “take it!” (A command that she knows), she would not eat it.

Here Ada the dog is, with her spit-out clam.

I just want you to know that if a dog won’t eat something, it’s a bad sign.

Finally I braved it out and ate one. And that was it. I ate just one.

Guys, I’m really sorry. I really, really hate it that I was wasteful with those clams. But they were super gross. I know I could have forced myself to eat them. I’ve eaten plenty of disgusting things gracefully in the name of cultural kindness. But I was in my own home. Where the culture is my own. So I offended no one by not eating them.

We wasted our clams. And what’s worse: we couldn’t even feed them to Ada the Dog, since she was also disgusted by them.

We had frozen yogurt for dinner…after I spent hours preparing clams!!!

In conclusion:

Clamming = Fun fun fun!

Eating Clams = Not a good idea.

So, if you particularly like clams, I welcome you to come to my home and I will dig them for you, cook them for you, and feed them to you.

But I don’t recommend digging up 40 clams for yourself if you don’t enjoy the taste of clams.

WARNING WARNING: I seem to have gotten food poisoning from my great clamming adventure, so if you try it on your own, don’t clean them the way that I did!

Do you like clams? Do you think there’s something I could do in preparing them that would help them to taste better? Did you make anything delicious for dinner this weekend?

Full disclosure (I hope I don’t get clobbered for this): I’m not a huge fan of running skirts.

It’s not that I don’t like cutesy things. In fact, I LOVE cutesy things!

My main problem with running skirts is that, for the most part, they’re just not quite cutesy enough.

I mean, seriously, shorts are perfectly fine for running. So why add a skirt? Well, I would guess because it’s supposed to be cute! Well, if we’re trying to be cute, then let’s actually really truly be cute!

The majority of running skirts (of course not all) are a rather standard a-line style. It’s almost not even noticeable that it’s a skirt. And I have to admit…I find them kind of boring.

Now, don’t get me wrong, my running shorts are boring too. So I have nothing against you, or your boring running skirts. As long as you can comfortably run in your skirt, then it’s just fine…Or it would be if running skirts and running shorts cost the same amount of money. And that’s where running skirts have me confused. Why oh why do people pay $30+ for boring running skirts when they could just as easily buy running shorts that are $10 and just as boring?

So that’s kind of how my thinking has gone about running skirts. I just don’t get them…or I don’t get the standard a-line skirts that you so commonly see on women runners. They’re not significantly cuter than shorts, so why are women paying so much money for them?

Or…that’s what I thought. Then something happened:

I finally tried on a running skirt.

Trying on a running skirt for the first time.

I was at Target. It was on the clearance rack. I figured that I might as well try it on. So I did. It was one of the boring a-line styles that I just wrote about. And…I kind of understood running skirts a little more. It was cute. Now, don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t not cutesy enough for me to be willing to spend more than $10. But…it WAS cuter than my shorts (I think it helped that the hot pink stitching matched my hot pink compression socks). For $8, I figured it was worth it.

I am now the proud owner of a boring a-line running skirt.

(I think the skirt is a little more charming from behind…but maybe it’s that my behind is more charming than my front. I don’t know.

I modeled it for my husband, and he said it was “okay.” Then he saw the shorts underneath and told me that I should just wear the “booty shorts” since they were cuter than the skirt. Hmm…so, maybe this skirt is not cuter than shorts?

**I do think there are some noticeable exceptions to the boring a-line styles that are commonly seen. For example, Attica Athletic and Sparkle Skirts…they have a little fun flounce to them!

Do you love running skirts? Have I completely offended you by pointing out how blah a-line skirts are? Do you completely disagree with me? What do you prefer to wear on your bottom-half while you run?

Race Prices

You know, I like running, but I haven’t run in a whole lot of races. Why? Because they’re expensive! When I do choose a race, cost is the first thing I consider. I also consider the course, convenience, etc, but the cost is the bottom line. For this reason, I’m not sure that I’ll ever run a “big” race. Big races tend to be expensive!

Take the marathon I’m running in October. It’s the same weekend as the Portland Marathon. I heard the Portland Marathon is supposed to be one of the best, so I considered running it. But when I looked into it, it just didn’t make sense to me to go with Portland. Both the Portland and the Leavenworth marathon are a bit of a drive from where we live, but nothing overwhelming. Both would require us to stay at a hotel. Both have unique courses that sound fun. Yet there is one glaring difference between the two: The price. I’m not sure what the difference in price is now, but when I was considering which marathon to run, PDX was $130 and Leavenworth was $81. I am not sure why there is such a price difference. Do you think they’d give me $50 worth of GU at the Portland Marathon? Or is there $50 worth of trail mix at the end? Or is the rose that they give to each participant dipped in gold?

This is me with the new purse and new heels that I could by with the $50 I didn’t spend on the Portland Marathon.

I don’t want to be too sarcastic. It’s not that I don’t understand why it would cost more money to put on the Portland Marathon…as a city, there’s going to be more money put into blocking streets, security, etc. But I wonder what the value is to the runners that choose to run the more expensive races. Is the Portland Marathon really $50 more fun? I’m not sure that it would be. I look forward to having just as much fun at my $81 race as I would have at a $130 race!

Do you consider price when choosing races? What is your price limit? Are more expensive races better?