Well friends, last week was the first week in 2013 that I failed to blog and catch you up on training news. The reason you didn’t hear from me is that I spent Friday (my usual blogging day) rushing around town (Costco, Haggens, equipment pick-up at the city) in preparation for our annual Wind Horse Half Marathon. The race was on Saturday, and by Sunday I was too wiped out to put two words together.

If you’ve never run the distance in Bellingham between Fairhaven Park and Clayton Beach, you don’t know what you’re missing.¬† The course travels along the Interurban Trail right above the shoreline of the bay. You can’t beat the views of the San Juan Islands or the aroma of “woods”—green ferns and moss—that follow you the whole distance. We Bellinghamsters sometimes take for granted the number of gorgeous trails we have to run on. But because the Wind Horse run had a lot of out-of-towners running the route this year, we heard “What a beautiful course!” so often that I had to pause and give thanks on Saturday and promise myself to really appreciate the view the next time I run the trail.

As you may know, we created the race to raise funds for The Blue Sky Education Project, a local non-profit that raises funds to send children to school in Bellingham’s Mongolian sister city (Tsetserleg). Only $50 buys a child everything she needs (school supplies and clothing) to go to school for a year. This year we’ll be sending at least 50 children off to school. One of the things I love about our little race is that it has a very Mongolian flavor. We give out “khadags” to winners and serve barbequed meat at the finish line. It’s true that meat is not usually your typical recovery food (we have bananas, bagels, and oranges, too), but in Mongolia, meat is the primary food source. Many people are still nomadic, traveling with their herds and taking all their sustenance from them—milk and meat (we stop short of serving milk at the aid stations—runners just get water).

Our racers seemed unusually happy this year; we agreed there were more smiles than usual coming across the finish line. The weather was perfect, after all.

Bolor, Andrea, and I (the three race directors) want to extend our heartfelt thanks to EVERYONE who participated in our event on Saturday: Volunteers, runners, and our significant others (Eric, Janna, and Bill—they support us in our craziness every year).

(You can check out in the video below with pics from previous years.)


As you might imagine, my training has been a bit disrupted this week. I was sore after last Sunday’s See Jane Run half marathon, so I took Monday off and only walked on Tuesday. Wednesday I took a slow three-mile run, and Thursday and Friday I did 4-mile pace runs.

Because I’m running another half-marathon on Saturday (the Anacortes Art Dash) to try once again to meet my goal of getting in under 2:15, I won’t be running hard this week either—a little tapering never hurt anyone. I’m excited about the race this coming weekend because I really think the hard race last week was good preparation. My strategy in Anacortes will be different than it was in Seattle. I’ll be wearing my Garmin and will work at starting out slower so that I have something left in the last part of the race. (Is anyone out there going to the race? I’d love to say hey if you are.)

The Art Dash will be my last race for a few weeks. There’ll be a bit of a disruption in my training through the first part of August because I’ll be traveling to Japan to accompany Bill as he celebrates 25 years with the program he directs AND as he celebrates his impending retirement!!!! I’ll be traveling around Japan to work on some research for my next book, so I’ll be doing a ton of walking, but I may not get much running in. The urban planners who envisioned Tokyo didn’t exactly take runners into consideration, so there aren’t terrific places to get long runs in. There are parks with trails, and I’m sure I’ll get some shorties done in the mornings before the humidity hits 200%, but these will serve only to help me keep my fitness level intact. I WILL be blogging (and posting pictures) from Japan, so be sure to check in during the first two weeks of August if you’re a fan of virtual travel.

See you soon.


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