Week 23—And Happy Birthday USA

Jul 6
Posted by Cami Ostman Filed in 2013 Challenge, Race Reports, Training

hot-sunI am absolutely in heaven during weeks like this one when every day is over 75 and we can see the stars at night. Each winter is hard for me because of the short dark days we have. I work to ward off depression between October and June. And then the sun comes out and the days grow long and… three months of happiness!

I’ve been especially happy this week because I got a little extra time with Bill and a little extra time outside running.

Sunday I took the day off and walked instead of ran.

Monday I warmed up by walking/jogging from my house to the Squalicum High School track (where I did my speed work—one minute hard and one minute recovery—for 26 minutes) before jogging/walking home for a total of 4 miles. The high school football team was there working out on the field in the center of the track. It was nice to have the company, but I swear those sweet boys have no awareness of anything other than what’s going on in their heads at any given moment. Several times I had to clap my hands and say, “Runner coming,” to get them to notice I was about to run them over.  I think I’ve got their schedule figured out now and will try not to overlap with them in the future. It is their track after all.

Tuesday I did 3 slow miles with Julie. I’ve missed running with her since she had her surgery last summer, and I’m glad she’s getting back in the swing of things.

Wednesday was easy, too. Fuji and I ran my favorite 4-mile loop with a stop at the pond in Whatcom Falls Park so she could soak her paws and get a drink.

Thursday Bill and I ran the Sedro Woolley July 4th Foot Race. It’s a 5.17 mile run partially along their parade route. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I did my student teaching at Sedro Woolley High School more than 20 years ago. It was fun to be back on my old stomping grounds. But the coolest thing about the race was that I averaged 9:24 per mile, finishing in 48:3!!! That’s a PR for sure. YAY!!! I’M GETTING STRONGER!!!!

Friday Fu and I took a 2-mile walk.

Today, Saturday, I took my last training run before next week’s See Jane Run Half Marathon in Seattle. Most of the 9 miles I ran at my target pace, which is 10:00/mile. I think I’m starting to feel normal at that pace, though I still love to glide at 11:30 on my easy days.

Wish me luck friends. This will be my THIRD try at beating 2:15 in the half marathon distance. If I make it, let’s throw a blog party! If I don’t, we’re back to the track (well, we’re back to the track either way).

By the way, is anyone else going to the See Jane Run race? I’d love to say hey if you are. Cheers.


Oh, one more thing:

My pal and coach, Carol Frazey, is launching her 6-month marathon or half-marathon challenge program. It’s a good program for a good price for anyone who wants extra support in their running. If you have friends who’ve said, “Running a marathon is on my bucket list,” this will be a great program for them. Check out the details here.

Week 22—Changes Afoot

Jun 29
Posted by Cami Ostman Filed in Preparations, Reflections, Training

I recently again saw the images of officials trying to stop Katherine Switzer from running the Boston marathon.


Remember how people used to think that women shouldn’t run long distance? It was commonly thought that if a woman ran, her uterus would fall out! We women had to fight for the right to run, had to prove that our bodies could handle it and that the world wouldn’t fall apart if we joined the race. Once these things were proven, the culture of running changed and women runners were no longer invisible.

Now women make up more than half of all marathon entrants! A woman (Mary Wittenberg) is even the race director of one of the biggest marathons in the world—New York.

This week, we’ve seen evidence of a shift in the culture of our country. The supreme court ruled that every marriage (where a state has sanctioned it) will be recognized by the federal government and afforded federal benefits. This is for the country what Switzer’s run was for women racers in that we have the chance to see that certain myths are unfounded, that they are based on misinformation and fear.

I rarely comment on political issues on my blog, but I feel like it’s important to acknowledge the DOMA ruling. A wrong against a specific woman—Edith Windsor, who brought the challenge—was righted in this decision. And many more people have had the burden of invisibility lifted and their relationships have been afforded dignity.

To my friends who are directly impacted by the decisions made this week: I’m celebrating with you.


My training this week:

I’m still working toward the Seattle See Jane Run half marathon on July 14, so I’m trying to get my 10 minute pace to feel consistent.

Sunday: Day off.

Monday: Speed work. 4 miles with 25 minutes of “ins and outs”—hard on the straight part of the track, recovery on the curves.

Tuesday: No running.

Wednesday: 3 easy miles.

Thursday: 4 easy miles

Friday: 10 miles with 8 miles of pace work. I did four 2-mile repeats aiming for 9:50 per mile. For the first four miles I was right on. The third repeat was slightly slower, and the fourth one slowed to an average of 10:15. The workout didn’t bode well for me reaching my pace goal in the upcoming race, BUT it’s still stronger running than I’ve ever done before, so I’m not discouraged. The fact is that if I even beat 2:15 in the See Jane Run half, I will have my PR.

Saturday: 6 mile trail run with The Fit School women.

Hope your week in running was good, friends. I’d love to hear about both your training and your reactions to the rulings this week. Hugs to all.

Week 21–And She Turns 90!

Jun 22
Posted by Cami Ostman Filed in 2013 Challenge, Training

It’s not very often that I get to attend a 90th birthday party. In fact, I can’t recall ever attending one–before this week. My mother-in-law Dora turned 90 years old earlier this month, and her family converged on her home in the Phoenix area to celebrate with her.

From left to right: Bill, Cami, Jim, Dora, Leiko, and Bob.

From left to right: Bill, Cami, son Jim, Dora, daughter-in-law Leiko, and son Bob.


When I posted the above picture on Facebook, friends said, “There’s no way that woman is 90!” We all feel that way. Dora is lively, bright, and opinionated–impossibly energetic (a lot like her son/my husband, come to think of it). When her second son Bob showed the DVD he’d put together of old family movies, Dora plunked herself down on the floor right in front of the screen and needed only a little help to get up again an hour and a half later.

We should all hope to be doing crossword puzzles every day and wearing heals at our birthday party when we’re Dora’s age (I hope to still be running, to tell you the truth). So three cheers for Dora. I appreciate being a part of her family.

That said, as wonderful and celebratory as this week was, I was worried about getting any training in because of the heat in Phoenix. It was 106 degrees. Even at the crack of dawn (which isn’t a time of day I’m typically in operation yet) the temp was over 80! Imagine my delight when I discovered a treadmill in the fitness room at the hotel (said sarcastically–kind of). There’s no shame in falling back on a treadmill now and again.

The air conditioner was set for about 75, which is still hotter than I’m used to, but what the heck? It was my best option. As much as I complain about the clouds in the Northwest, the moderate temperature is perfect for us runners.

This week’s training:

Sunday: We were in the air and traveling by car. No running.

Monday: Speed work. 25 mins of one minute hard/one minute of recovery. Put in a total of 6 miles, including the speed work. Entertainment: Good Morning America on the tele.

Tuesday: 8 miles. 5 of those were a bit faster (9:40) than my half marathon pace (which is 10:00). Entertainment: Dave Matthews Band on my mp3 player.

Wednesday: Pace work. 6 miles. 5 of them a bit faster than my half marathon pace. Entertainment: Disco playlist.

Thursday: Traveling. No running.

Friday: I was staffing the Red Wheelbarrow Writers’ table at the Chuckanut Writers’ Conference all day. No running.

Saturday: Trail running with the gals. 6 miles on the North Lake Whatcom Trail.

I’m guessing you didn’t attend a 90th birthday this week, but whatever your days held, I hope you were able to celebrate!

Week 20 in Training—And Getting Ready for the Wind Horse Half

Jun 14
Posted by Cami Ostman Filed in 2013 Challenge, Preparations, Training

Windhorse twitterheadIn addition to my training for races, I’m also getting ready to direct a half marathon in July. Have I mentioned this lately? This will be my third year as co-director (along with Bolor Smith and Andrea Gabriel) of the Wind Horse Half Marathon. We started this race, which follows along the Interurban Trail in Bellingham between Fairhaven Park and Clayton Beach, right after Tsetserleg, Mongolia became Bellingham’s seventh official Sister City.

Bolor, who is from the area of Tsetserleg, and Andrea, who traveled there a few years earlier, started a foundation called The Blue Sky Education Project to raise funds to buy supplies and uniforms for children in Tsetserleg so that they could attend school. One evening when Bolor and I were having dinner together, we had the sudden idea to put on a race to raise funds for Blue Sky and threw the first race together that first year in a matter of months. And we raised enough money to send 40 children to school!

The second year was just as successful, and this year, we hope to repeat the whole thing once again.

Join us if you can! It’s a low-key, low-cost race with a barbeque afterwards. If you can’t run, why not volunteer? We still need a handful of people to make the whole thing go off without a hitch.


So, as for my training this week:

Sunday: 10K PR. See previous post!!

Monday: Took it easy. Walked a couple of miles.

Tuesday: Pace work to start getting ready for the half marathon I’ll be running in July. I did a warm up and then 5 one-mile repeats at a 9:50 pace with a minute in between each to recover and reset my watch.

Wednesday: Three slow miles.

Thursday: Pace work. One-mile warm-up followed by 4 miles at my half marathon pace, followed by one mile of jogging.

Friday: Day off.

Saturday: Trail running on Galbraith Mountain.

Thanks to everyone who “liked” my post on Facebook or otherwise congratulated me for meeting my 10K goal! I was pretty excited to feel like I’m getting better! To read more thoughts on getting better, take a look at my latest Psychology Today post.

Cheers everyone!

Week 19—One More 10K

Jun 7
Posted by Cami Ostman Filed in 2013 Challenge, Preparations, Training

Well, this stupid cold is getting better. I’m still snotty, but my energy is coming back and the aches and pains are gone. Yay!

canadian-flagI forgot to mention last week that I’m giving my 10K goal (shooting for under 60 minutes!) another go this weekend. Sunday (June 9) I’ll be running the Sandcastle City Classic 10K Road Race in White Rock, BC. I’m excited about this. Although these last two weeks have been tainted by my cold, I’ve kept up the minimum training and I’m feeling positive.

Coach Carol and husband Bill are in agreement that I shouldn’t wear my Garmin OR my watch for this race. They both think that my watching my pace psyches me out, stresses me, and actually slows me down. Even though I suspect they might be right, at first I wouldn’t agree to leaving my Garmin behind because I still don’t really know the feel of my new paces yet, and I am afraid that I won’t know when to push harder (a 9:30 and a 9:40 both feel hard to me, so how will I know if I’ve slowed down?). But last week I made the decision to agree to leave my wrist naked during this upcoming run. I came back to something that’s anchored me since I started running: This is all about health, growth, and fun.

If I don’t make my one hour goal, there will be another chance. And another one after that. But if I’m stressed out while I’m trying to beat an hour, I lose that hour of my life to anxiety. Bill and Carol are right to urge me to listen to my body and try to get to know it without an outside measuring stick. We could all use a reminder now and again to do our best without judging our progress every step along the way, couldn’t we?

So here was my training this week, friends.

As I said, it’s been minimal as I’ve been blowing my nose and hacking up yuck (not to mention menstruating—when it rains it pours, sigh…):

Sunday: A slow walk. Still sick, but getting better.

Monday: Speed work. Carol had us doing “ins and outs” for 25 minutes after warming up.

Tuesday: A fast 3-mile walk with a friend.

Wednesday: Pace work. After warming up, we did 10 minutes at our 10K pace, recovered for 5 minutes, and then did another 10 minutes at the 10K pace.

Thursday: 4-miles. Great run in the sunshine.

Friday: 3-miles.

Saturday: Trail running with the Beginning Trail Running group I’m co-leading with Carol, and this week we’re running the Stimson Reserve trail. We’ll do two loops and it should be between 6 and 8 miles.

Stay tuned for a race report on Sunday or Monday.

What are you running this weekend? If you’re going to be at the 10K in White Rock, look for me and come say hey!