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Category Archives: fitness

Race for the Roses


I ran this race (10k) and it was 97% fabulous. Also, those droplets on my medal aren’t sweat. I washed my face right after the race and the medal got splashed. Really!


I’ll explain the lacking 3% in a moment. For now, some details:



The night before, I ate pizza and ice cream. This menu is probably not pre-approved by elite runners, but it worked for me. Also, bib pick-up was the day before which I loved. Zero lines and I didn’t have to stress about getting to the race 3 hours early.


Sunday morning was an early wake-up call for a 7:20 am start. I fueled with a Kind bar and a Starbucks doubleshot but this wasn’t necessary because the buffet at the race (pre and post) was fully loaded with coffee, red bull, water, oranges, bananas, bagels, bread, bars, etc.

I was a little nervous (I always am), so I didn’t help myself but it was nice to know for future reference.

We started at the Oregon Convention Center which was awesome! Easy parking, lots of clean indoor bathrooms, and it was warm!

At 7:15 I stuck myself in the 9-10 minute mile pace group and at 7:20 on the dot we were off! I had a secret (well, I told Matty B but no one else) goal to run this 10k in less than an hour. That meant a pretty steady push from my usual pace. (Spoiler alert: I missed my goal, but not by much.)

Right away, I felt great. The weather was perfect, the other runners were friendly, and the miles flew by.


And then I hit mile 6. I was tired already and then there was a hill. An unexpected hill. And I knew that if I was going to make my goal, I’d have to own this hill.

Unfortunately, it owned me. I mean, I made it to the top running, (sort of) but just barely.

And when I was done, I got this text:


I’m not gonna lie, I was disappointed. But I still feel proud of my accomplishment and now I know that I definitely need to incorporate more hills into my training.


Now, the 3% of disappointment:

1. I didn’t hit my goal.
2. The last mile of the race, the 5kers (many of them walkers) merged with the 10kers and it wasn’t smooth. There were many groups of 5kers ambling their way along, all side by side, taking up the entire road. I don’t know how many times I said (gasped) “on your left!” as I tried to get past. Irritating.
3. There were many awesome services at the end. Drinks, free photos, free massages, etc. but the lines were so horrendous that I didn’t even try.



No matter. My real prize was breakfast at my favorite Crema.

I’ll run for quiche and Spanish lattes anyday.


Why is running a longer distance easier than a shorter distance?

I’ve been training for the Race for the Roses but I haven’t been talking about it.


Three reasons I’ve been avoiding the conversation:

1. A lot of it has been on the treadmill. I’m a big baby when it comes to running in the dark (I can only run early in the morning) and as soon as it started getting light around 6 am, along came daylight savings. Stupid daylight savings. Anyway, all that really means is that I’m caught up on The Voice because it’s the one thing that motivates me to get on the treadmill. I love Blake.

2. I was afraid you were getting bored. I mean, how much do you really care about the miles I ran?

That’s what I thought.

3. Finally, I haven’t been loving my training. My treadmill runs are boring (and that’s with Mr. Shelton) and my outside runs are cold. And whether or not I’m on the dreadmill or pounding out my time on the pavement, the miles have been hard. Hard.

My mom and dad bought me this book for Christmas. It’s not as much inspirational as it is funny and random, but the title affirms my latest thought process.


My schedule during the last month called for 2-3 mile runs. You’d think I’d prefer those over longer distances.


My most recent workouts have been 4-5 miles a piece. And they’ve been great! And when I’ve finished the prescribed miles I’ve thought, “Hey! I could keep going!”

My hypothesis is that once I break through that 3 mile “wall”, my body adjusts. My pace becomes automatic. My breathing becomes consistent. My heart isn’t racing. I just feel good.

This could all be completely anecdotal. It’s very possible that I’ve coincidentally had a few good runs and I’m crediting the higher mileage for my success. I don’t know.

Any thoughts? How could it be that a longer workout is easier than a shorter workout, if you’re at the same intensity either way?

My next race

I absolutely need a goal. It’s just part of my personality.

I heard someone talking about a challenge where the goal is to drink only water for 365 days (no other beverages). If it weren’t for my coffee obsession, I could totally do it. But, coffee obsession, so no.

I made a New Year’s resolution to tweet everyday. It’s the end of January and I haven’t tweeted once. Twitter still befuddles me.

It seems that the easiest goals for me to attain are race goals.

I’ve been pretty consistent with my treadmill running this winter. Part of the ease of my morning routine has to do with my Biggest Loser devotion, which I watch online while I run. I’m not proud of this devotion, but if it gets me out the door at 6 am, it’s acceptable.


But running on the treadmill is crazy easy compared to huffing it outside.


I ran 2.6 hard miles outside this morning and realized that if I don’t want to Iose my running fitness, I’ve gotta set a running goal and maybe add an incline on the treadmill…

I just signed up for the Race for the Roses in Portland on April 19 and I’m super excited!

Excited to have a goal.

Excited to have a Portland trip on the horizon.

Excited to not be sucking wind after 2 easy miles.

Excited to wear these running tights.


What do you think? Too flashy?

It’s Portland. I’ll fit right in.

6 tips for a 1/2 Marathon

Yesterday, Aunt B and I went for a run.

I wore my new Brooks Pureflow 3’s.




It’s possible highly doubtful that everyone in Walla Walla ate more soft peanut brittle than me, but for whatever reason, everyone was out running, walking, or biking.


Bruttle’s Soft Peanut Brittle is indescribable. Order some now.

It’s common practice that as people usher in the New Year, health and weight loss seem to be a big priority.

Running burns a ton of calories. Running is a great stress buster. Running clears my brain (and probably yours too).

Aunt B gets it. She’s training for a half marathon in March. I’m kinda proud of her.


(I was going to take a post-run selfie (runfie?) but I’m told my sweaty glow isn’t as appealing as I believe it to be. Instead, here’s a blurry pic of Aunt B and the munchkins.)


On our 5k route we discussed a lot of things:

1. Aunt B’s love life (very interesting)
2. Yoga (not as interesting)
3. 1/2 marathon training

I won’t pretend to be a 1/2 marathon expert, but I have a little bit of experience. So, if you too binged on soft peanut brittle and you’re contemplating a 1/2 marathon, here are my tips.

1. Clip your toenails before you run. Everytime.

2. Use Vaseline to avoid chafing. I put it right at the bottom of my sports bra, but use it anywhere that you need it!

3. For 6+ mile runs, carry water and fuel. I learned the hard way. You will hit a wall if you don’t hydrate yourself.

4. I like Clif Shots or Powerbar Gu, but use whatever doesn’t mess with your stomach. Some people do jelly beans or gummy bears. I personally had a hard time chewing, running, and breathing at the same time, so the Gu fuels worked better for me.

5. Definitely stretch afterward. I didn’t follow this advice as well as I should have and I still have hip pain.

6. It’s okay to walk.


As we say good-bye to the holiday season, a race might be just the thing to inspire you to get moving.

Any racers out there? What are you training for?

I need a good 10k…

Fight Like A Girl

I ran a 5k this morning. I’ve come to that place where I’m not nervous before most races. I know I can do it. I’ve already proven it to myself.

Today, however, was the first race that I truly ran in honor of someone.


I sure miss this lady. I really wish she could see me. See my beautiful babies (she would love them:), see how happy we are living in her house, see that I’m a mostly good person, who really tries to follow the amazing example she set.

For whatever reason, that sticker on my chest really kept me thinking about Grandma V as I was climbing the hills (only a few) and passing other runners (only a few;).


I “pinked it up” as best I could and got to the starting line with minutes to spare.

There was enough time, however, for a picture with some colleagues. Renee, don’t be mad at me for sharing this photo…


And we were off! I didn’t have a PR, but I was happy with my pace and, of course, happy to cross the finish line, especially with my kiddos and Matty B there to cheer me on.



And I’ve done all of these things…


And I know Grandma V would be proud.

Also, I didn’t break my ankle like last year so that’s a bonus…

Slow and Steady Wins the Race: Walla Walla 1/2 Marathon Recap

To be clear, I didn’t win but I did finish!

There were a number of cards stacked against me on this race, the most significant being that I was at work until 1:30 am the night (morning?) before.

Proof? This is what I was doing at 2:02 am, trying to get my brain settled down from a crazy night of volleyball/soccer tournaments.


You’ll notice that I won. Also, Subway is pretty adamant on their bacon opinions.

I had my clothes all laid out the night before, so even though I wasn’t asleep until 2:30, my 7 am wake-up call wasn’t too harsh.


1/2 cup of coffee with almond milk and a couple spoonfuls of oatmeal with hemp hearts, cacao nibs and chia seeds was all that I could stomach.

Right before I left, J Man said, “Will you win this race?”

“Probably not,” I answered, “but I will finish!”

“Oh,” he responded, obviously disappointed. “When will you win?”

I guess I should’ve shown him my solitaire skills.

Apparently 7 am was cutting it a little close. By the time I parked, used the bathroom and found the starting line, they were counting down “10-9-8-7…”

And we were off! At least I didn’t have time to sit around and get cold.


I took my first ever running selfie at mile 3. I ran the first three miles sans music, just being in the moment.

At mile 3 I listened to my friends Joy and Traci gab away on the Joy the Baker podcast. They got me through to mile 9 where I switched over to loud music. Loud music makes me run faster.

My 1/2 marathon playlist:

Best Day Of My Life, American Authors
Til I Collapse, Eminem
Sour Cherry, The Kills
Roar, Katy Perry
Radioactive, Imagine Dragons
Happy, Pharrell Williams
I’m All About That Bass, Im The One
Brave, Sara Bareilles

And then my phone died at mile 11. And I was scared. By this time there were a lot of people waaaaay ahead of me and a few people behind me and I felt alone.

And then someone yelled “Way to go, Holley!” (Or something like that).

It was my dad:) He was parked along the side of the course and just hearing that one shout of encouragement gave me enough oomph to go those last few miles.

As I got closer to the finish line, I could hear it before I could see it. And I got really emotional! I had been training for what seemed like so long and I was so tired and this was really hard…and then it was going to be all over. I had to purposely stop thinking about this “journey” (I hate that phrase, but it fits the best) because it was choking me up and making it hard to breathe.


And just like that it was over.


I did it! The official results aren’t posted yet, but I think I was between 2.10-2.20.


As soon as I saw these little cheerleaders I lost it. Luckily, they were too distracted by their (my) pretzels to notice.

Some final thoughts on the WW 1/2:

1. The course was well marked. There were 4 aid stations with water, Gatorade, and Gu. In general, great race.

2. I almost got hit by a car. Around mile 12.5, a volunteer directing traffic (wearing official garb and holding a giant stop sign) waved me across the street but a car ignored her stop sign and almost crashed into me. She would’ve if I hadn’t stopped short. Yikes.

3. My two goals were a) to finish and b) to run the whole way. I accomplished both of those goals, (I walked through water stations) but I think I could’ve been faster. I was so worried (based on poor sleep the night before) that I was going to hit a wall, so I kept checking my pace, seeing 9.33 or 9.45 and forcing myself to slow down.

4. Afterward I felt pretty nauseous. Is this normal? I really didn’t want to eat anything until about 5 hours later when I craved ketchup (probably for the salt) and satisfied that craving at Walla Walla’s very own greasy spoon, Clarette’s. So good.


Thanks to my mom, dad and Aunt Pam for coming out and cheering me on!

Thanks to Matty B for babysitting for hours while I ran 10-11-12 milers on Sundays.

Thanks to Unk C for really wanting to eat Clarette’s with me.

Thanks to J Man for believing that I could win:)

The Jogathon

I very rarely regret a run. It’s common for me to drag my feet on the way out the door (who wouldn’t at 5:30 am?) but once I get going and especially when I return I’m so glad I ran!


Today, I regretted my early run. I had three miles of hills this morning. Felt fine. No problem. I knew I was attending J Man’s jogathon later that morning, but the dude’s only 5, certainly he’d tire out after 4 laps.


4 laps=1 mile. We did 16 laps. Yes, my child ran (and I along with him) 4 miles this morning. Also, he’s fast! When you’re 5 and subliminally believe you’re the king of the world, you’re hugely motivated by classmates attempting to pass you. I could barely keep up.


(This pose is what I got when I asked him to show me how runners look. He must’ve used my running form as a model.)


Fearless Friend ran 18 laps (I told you, he’s a beast!) and I love this photo of them, post-race, full of pride!

I was pretty proud of my little runner too! Now I just need to go ice my hips…

P.S. Thanks to all our family and friends who sponsored these shenanigans!