Race Schedule

2015 Races…TBD!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Rolling With My Homies

I was on the floor doing my morning planks this morning when I suddenly remembered...I have a blog!  There has been a lot of life happening since my last post in February.  It's a little bit crazy to consider where I was physically and emotionally when I last wrote here, and where I am now, almost five months later.  

Well, let's get up to speed, shall we?

I continued to walk at least two miles/day, sometimes venturing onto the trails as my growing belly allowed me.  Then I began working in March.  I was LOVING my work.  It felt so good to finally do my thing.  I was bouncing around to multiple outpatient clinics for the company I work for, waiting for my "home clinic" to get things ready for me to join them for good.  It was a lot of fun to meet so many different therapists and staff around the valley and to learn something different from each one.  I met so many awesome patients and was hitting my stride.  

My belly was growing beautifully, and I was also LOVING that!  Baby Dunmore was getting more and more active and prepping for his/her arrival quite vigorously.  We ventured over to Healdsburg for the Lake Sonoma 50 (Geof was running, not me :)) and stayed with friends, John and Lisa for a long weekend.  It was fantastic.  Events transpired at this point that led my midwife to believe that Baby Dunmore was likely to make an early appearance.  She wasn't 100% confident in that statement, but she wanted us to be ready, just in case.  So we set about finalizing things and finishing up the nursery. I had a sneaking suspicion that she was right, but didn't fully believe it either. 

I left work one Saturday in April, books strewn about my desk, open to specific pages to remind me to research a new technique for a patient when I was back in the clinic the coming Tuesday.

Sunday, we spent the ENTIRE day nesting...without realizing that was what we were doing.  I mean seriously intense nesting...cleaning, organizing, purging, more cleaning, more organizing.  It was so awesome.  How did we not see it coming?

Monday early afternoon I was standing in line at Target, waiting to purchase some last minute items for myself in prep for baby's arrival.  And I felt a trickle.  'Oh my.  That's unfortunate.  Did I just wet my pants a little?'  This happened several more times that afternoon.  I never thought twice about it.  I just chalked it up to a little bit of late pregnancy incontinence.  I was only barely more than 35 weeks along.

I finished up errands for the day, and then we were sitting down to dinner.  About 15 minutes into our meal, I started to describe what happened that day when I suddenly felt a gush that stopped me mid-sentence.  I ran to the bathroom, unsuccessfully.  'WHOA, what was that?!'  I gathered myself and returned to the table to pick up where I left off.  And then WUSH!  Just like the freaking movies!  And of course I couldn't sit still and let it happen, I had to pee-pee dance my way back to the bathroom, spreading the love, as it were, the entire way!  Sorry, TMI, but it's true.  I shouted to Geof that I think perhaps my water just broke.   Uh, ya think?!

So, anyway, here we are a full month before my due date and we are rushing off to the hospital after a call to the midwife where she urged me to get to the hospital in the next three hours.  

I guess I wouldn't be heading into work the next day after all :)

Long story short, it was an amazing birth experience.  I mean amazing.  Sure, it was scary because the little tike was showing up 4 weeks early, but it was obviously time.  Baby Dunmore was ready to come and meet us!  We were waiting to find out what our little bundle of joy was, and I highly recommend it.  Talk about a sweet surprise!  We got a girl!!  It was even more of a surprise as I was completely convinced we were having a boy, ha!

Everything went without a hitch and I was lucky enough to be able to have the unmedicated birth that I had hoped for.  I wouldn't say that anything about it felt good, but it was a challenge I was most definitely up for and I'm really glad I was able to follow through.  From check-in to delivery it was about 13 hours total, but thankfully the uncomfortable phase was very short lived, just a few of those hours.  

After just a couple of days we all headed home.  We felt enormously grateful and very lucky to have had the experience we had.  

Presenting Miss Ellery!  This was a month or so after she was born, but I just love this photo :)

Life was taking a whole new direction much earlier than expected, but the only option was to roll with it.  To be honest, I was sad to miss out on that last month of pregnancy as I had enjoyed it so much; sad to miss out on that last month of prep, nesting, and enjoying our final days of just us two.  Strangely, I had trouble adjusting to my rapidly flattening belly.  I loved that big pregnant belly! :) But then I got over it and am now back in runner mode :) 

Yes, I can run again!!  Once the Chariot arrived from Geof's mom and step-dad we were excited to get out for our first spin.  Ellery LOVES her new ride!  She only fusses when I stop or slow down.  I may have to start calling her Coach ;)  

Check out those rims!  Rolling with my homies...Geof and Ellery :)

Adjusting to life as parents is a trip and definitely not for the faint of heart.  We are just two months in and life is completely different, barely resembling any part of what it once was.  But it's a pretty darn good trade.  Ellery is our tiny little dreamboat :)

It's good to be back running.  I feel like I've got a blank slate, which is kind of cool.  I'm keeping my runs short and sweet, and including plenty of walk breaks as dictated by our 100 degree weather, in addition to my decreased fitness.  I'm thinking I'll sign up for something fun, like a 1/2 marathon, this fall, to keep me honest.  Why not?

Paige, out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

It's All About That...Journey

I don't know where I'm going with this post, but while I lay foam rolling on the office floor just moments ago I suddenly was motivated to log-in here and type something.

Over dinner last night, Geof was recounting an interview he heard on NPR with Bradley Cooper, from American Sniper.  Cooper talked about how he completely transformed his body in order to become the roll and how strange it was for him.  At the end of the day, he couldn't go home and take off his 'suit' and relax.  His 'work clothes' were now a part of him; he was living in someone else's body, within his own body.

What a strange experience to have.  And yet, in my mind I immediately compared it to being pregnant.  I am wearing another body atop my own.  Even though it's all me, it's this transformed version of me that I walk around in.  I can still see the remnants of my previous self: my runners' legs that are surprisingly still very runner-ish, gangly arms that are slightly less gangly, the uppermost portion of my rectus abdominis is still very much ab-like when I flex, and my feet remain tendinous and flexy.  That's not a word, but it is right now.

Early on, this was a difficult reality...so much change and more to come, 'how will I ever get my running body back?', everyday something new and totally unpredictable.

But, thankfully, that phase passed very quickly.  I feel extremely fortunate because I LOVE EVERY MOMENT OF THIS.  I wake up each day excited to see if my belly has expanded further or to see if my clothes fit a little tighter.  I admire my new shape constantly...borderline obsessively? :)  While there is a little extra cushion appearing in a few key places, enough to ban me from certain pre-pregnancy jeans at this point, 23 1/2 weeks in, I hardly notice these things.  It's the belly I marvel at.  And what a marvelous thing it is!  When is it ever exciting to hear your husband proclaim, 'You're huge!' or 'You're really pregnant!'

Those words are music to my ears.  I smile every time he remarks on my bump :)

Once the belly really began to pop, the excitement compounded.  It's such an amazing thing.  We're growing a human in here!  And when the kicks began to occur consistently and predictably, that took things up a notch.  This is one heck of an active baby.  Being able to not only feel but also see their antics from the outside is pretty amazing.  I love it so much.  I laid on the couch for an hour yesterday and just watched my abdomen bounce about, smiling and laughing like a nutcase.  Cadence even walked over at one point to see what all the fuss was.  She didn't quite get it and went back to her bed.

While I still step into my running shoes daily, I have downgraded the pace a bit...from a runners' pace to that of a walker's.  And while that was difficult at first, I feel like I've really grown into my new mode of exercise.  I like to do at least 2 miles a day, and my bladder won't let me go much beyond 4-5 miles.  I log my walks, just as I did when I was running.  That small act makes me feel surprisingly happy.  I heart my log.  And I live vicariously through Geof's running.  I feel really good.  It's going to be hard to ease back into running after the baby arrives, but such is life.  It will be good to get back to it, but I'm in no rush.  I'm working on something a lot more important right now :)

*Insert Awkward Segue*

With all the academic excitement of late...graduating, sitting for my boards, passing said boards, acquiring three job offers in the span of one week, receiving my license to practice...there were some brief periods of quiet contemplation.

There's a blog that I've followed for a number of years now, titled It's Not the Destination, It's the Journey.  I've always loved the name of it.  But, I never really thought much about why I love the name.

We recently spent a long weekend in Santa Barbara and on a long walk with Cadence up the canyon it suddenly came to me.  My most recent extended journey being school and becoming a PTA, I was thinking in terms of this, but it applies to becoming a parent as well.

A goal is set, the groundwork is laid, you take the steps to begin, and then you're off.  It's hard; it's exciting; it's pure joy; it's intense, however short-lived, let downs; roller coaster ride after roller coaster ride.  But the end goal is always in sight.  You never lose sight of that.  Keeping your eyes on the prize.  Each day is another day closer to achieving that goal.  The goal is concrete, tangible, definite; just enough out of reach that you need to work for it.  You're becoming stronger and stronger with each passing day, slowly morphing into this new version of you.  And then one day, on a set date that you knew was coming all along, it happens.  You achieve your goal.  You have reached your destination.  You did the work, you survived the gauntlet, and now you emerge victorious.  And holy moly, what a victory it is!

But...now what?

It's not to say that the destination was a letdown.  It was anything but that.  I am now a PTA!  I get to do the thing I've been dreaming about doing for more than seven years now.  I freaking did it!  It's a strange thing to workandworkandwork towards something for so darn long and then suddenly it all happens, exactly as you imagined it.  But is that the end of the line?

No, it's just the beginning.

I reminded myself not to look at the destination I had reached.  Instead I reflected on the journey I took to get there.  It was an incredible journey, people!  I marvel at it.  I marvel at myself, at my fellow classmates (my second family, really).  Every single day was worth it.  It's a badge of honor having survived everything we did in order to be where we are now.  I am thankful for the journey I had.  Reaching this destination is merely one stopover in the longer journey.  And now I stand on the cusp looking ahead and I get goosebumps considering all the possibilities.

Goals are good.  They're great.  Destinations are necessary.  They get us on the road; they get us to begin and sustain the journey, even when it sucks at times.  Especially when it sucks.  And then one day we get to look back and marvel, then look ahead and get goosebump-y with excitement.  Can you imagine setting out on a course having no idea what the end goal is, what you're heading towards?  A destination allows for primitive structure, and that structure grows and morphs as you pick your way along the course.  It's sort of like a choose-your-own-adventure book :)

So I guess I'm just writing all of this as a reminder to never forget where you've come from.  Appreciate the journey and look forward to the next.

Parenthood is going to be one heck of a journey.  Pregnancy has been a journey already!  It's terrifying, exhilarating, and I have no idea what to expect.  And I couldn't imagine it being any other way, or experiencing it with anyone else.  Geof is going to be an amazing dad.  People happily share their experiences, but let's be real here.  Those are their journeys, not ours.  I don't want to internalize others' journeys.  I want to live and experience ours.  Whatever it may be.

A 21 week beach bum-p

I'm now realizing the irony of this post.  I set out composing it having no idea what my destination was.  And, yet, I managed to arrive at one :)

Paige, out.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014, The Year of Exchange

I remember writing my wrap-up post for 2013 and thinking in my head, 'I'm going to publish this goal, but I also have a super secret whisper goal.'  

Make a baby :)

Turns out the kind of running I love to do is not conducive to baby-making.  So, as a result, my numbers suffered a little bit in 2014, but my body flourished!  Here we go:

I ran 1,120.8 miles in 185 hours and198 runs averaging 5.6 miles per run in 2014...slightly more than half my mileage of 2013, half the number of runs, but 1/10th longer per run.  Numbers are sometimes fun :)

My midwife asked me to back off the running a smidge, up my weight a tad, and decrease stress.  Thus, after July and the Speedgoat 50k+, I seriously cut back on my mileage, declined signing up for a hundred miler, and began drinking whole milk and upping my red meat intake (two things I have no issues with).

I was able to pack on a whole 3 lbs in about two months :)  But, it worked!

More than two years ago, when we first decided we wanted to expand our family, I really struggled internally with exchanging who I've been (a feathery ultra runner) for who I will be (a less feathery short distance runner).  Even though it's not a forever change, it still took me a year and a half to feel really, really good about that.  Best decision ever.  I LOVE BEING PREGNANT!  Though my running is almost non-existent (it is so uncomfortable right now!) I am thrilled with all of the amazing changes that are happening.  Building a human is so cool!  At 19 weeks I can feel our little babe dancing around gingerly in my abdomen and it makes my heart sing.

Hikes in the mountains with the pup have more or less replaced my runs, and I'm good with that.  I graduated from my program three weeks ago and it's been so amazing to have some downtime, nap whenever I like, play with Cadence, and study for my licensing exam.  All good things for a growing babe.  I feel a heavy guilt over barely running but that guilt is balanced out by a true enjoyment of other things right now.  Prenatal yoga is on the agenda, and lots more mountain hikes, so it's not like I'm a total bump on a log :)

Speaking of 'bump', I also love my bump.  Never have I ever outwardly relished watching my weight slowly climb upward.

The year 2014 was a very good year to me.  Lots of great things: getting a puppy, little bit of travel, great runs early on, getting pregnant, graduating, spending time with family, great friends.  However, 2015 is going to be tough to beat...we are going to be parents this year!  And, I'll get to begin my PTA career, finally!  I'm not going to lay out any goals here now, but I do wish for all of you a happy, healthy 2015!

Paige, out.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

News Bulletin: Serious Case of the Runs Expanding

*Screeeeech* *Taptaptap*

Is this thing on?  Oh, good :)

It's the end of November and I have SO MUCH TO TELL YOU!  In less than two weeks' time I will graduate from my program and begin preparing to sit for my boards to become a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant in January.  This has been a really long journey.  Mostly fun and amazing, also quite frustrating and difficult at times, but alwaysalwaysalways worth it.  This all began back in 2009 when I first began taking prerequisite courses in anticipation of going to PT or PTA school.  And now it's finally all coming to a delightful close, the next door waiting to be opened.

On that note, we've expanded our family!  We got a puppy!  A vizsla to be exact!  Back in August we took the plunge and boy what a ride it has been!  

Introducing Cadence June Dunmore...

A mere 7 weeks old in this photo, and less than 9 pounds...

And, really, she looks a lot more like this now...

Now five months old and just under 30 pounds of raw energy and puppy love! And not so easy to curl up in our laps these days!

Cadence is going to be an amazing running dog when the time comes (around 1.5-2 years of age), but in the meantime it's a lot of walking, pooping, loving on her parents, and playing puppy pinball in circles around the house :)

Speaking of expanding our family...we're doing it again!  Go figure, we get a puppy and two months later we find out I'm almost two months pregnant!  What an absolutely thrilling surprise!!

Introducing "Blueberry" Dunmore...

Those are arms and legs!  How freaking cool is that?!  This is a 13 week shot of both of us :)

So, needless to say, things have changed a bit here at Serious Case of the Runs headquarters.  Lots less running (mostly because my midwife had charged me with gaining 10lbs back in July, but also because I have been so tired), so much napping, and so many cheeseburger cravings.  Once school shuts down in a couple of weeks, I'll ramp the running back up.  We are now in the second trimester and energy levels are supposed to peak, so I plan to take advantage of this little window of opportunity and get in some delicious pregnancy miles :)

I cannot begin to express how EXCITED we are about all of this.  And deliriously happy.  And terrified all at the same time!

We just got our first snow here in the valley.  So I think we need to get in our first snow run of the year.  Just wanted to pop in and share all the big news!

Paige, out.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014 Speedgoat 50k…Sweet Lemonade

Knock, knock.  Who's there?  It's me! :)

I feel like I have partially emerged from a long hibernation, observing the world through a clouded mind and creaky body.  Smells are all new, flavors unfamiliar, light…so bright.  But, alas, I've simply emerged from the most intense 4 weeks of my entire education.  My head is filled with so much information and knowledge I surely thought it would spill out as soon as exams were done.  But it's still in there, thankfully :)

And so, it was time to celebrate!

With the Drs. Lewis and my G…pre-race smiles!

The 2014 Speedgoat 50k was my celebratory dance for surviving the juggernaut of my summer semester.  And celebrate I did.  If by 'celebration' you mean eat a lot of popsicles, drink a lot of warm Coke, and consume enough Gu to make me gaggy :)

This year's race took it up a notch.  Some course changes were in order and Karl certainly didn't hold back when re-routing the final few miles.  He originally stated it would be about 250-300 feet of additional vert added at the end, but my Garmin would say otherwise…  I think he had his fingers crossed behind his back when he said that ;)  The day would prove to be exceptionally warm with full sun all day long (quite the contrast to last year's race!), and an absolutely brutal final few miles.  But, of course, it was astonishingly beautiful.  The wildflowers were out en masse and I couldn't help but smile just about every step of the way.  I kept thinking,"I am so freaking lucky to live here.  I get to do this!"

That said, it was hard!  I finished just over an hour slower than last year, and that seemed to be the case for most everyone else, across the board.  I recorded over 11,500 feet of vertical climbing (and an equal amount of descent) in just over 33 miles.  The new ending boasted 4 new smaller climbs and barely even the suggestion of a trail…just little blue flags to follow.  At the end of a long and tough day, it was a little demoralizing, but at the same time it made me hungry.  In the same thought I said to myself, 'eff you, Karl, eff you…' and then, 'bring it on!'  Then I laughed at the crazy.  Then I laughed because I realized that I think of the weirdest things during races.

Easily, the hardest race I have ever done, even The Bear.  I love races like this because they put everything into perspective.  If I can do that, I can do anything.  Speedgoat makes me feel like a real mountain runner, and watching Speedgoaters finish is very close to watching Hardrockers finish.  I can't get enough of it.

So the day started out as any other race day, and continued on that way for me.  Geof and I ran our own races this time, just as we did last year.  I think overall I felt really good all day long.  There were never really any high highs and certainly not any lows.  Just a lot of evenness.  Which was weird, and cool.  I listened to music on the climbs; it helped me get and maintain a good cadence so that I could just power up rather than dilly dally.  The climbs were the only points at which I actually passed people.  I yucked it up on the downhills as they just aren't my strong suit to begin with, and then add in unstable footing, super steep terrain, and lots of rocks, and I'm pussyfooting it all the way down.  Better safe than sorry!  So I resolved to kick it into gear on the climbs to make up for what I lost on the downs.

Once I realized I wasn't even going to match my time from last year, I cut myself some slack.  I took quick breaks in the shade when it was convenient, I eased up on my pace, put ice in my bra, and I gave myself permission to just enjoy the day.  I never realized I needed permission to do that, but yesterday I did, and it was fabulous once I granted it.

You know what else was fabulous?  The salted watermelon flavored Gu that I ate.  It was like eating a watermelon Jolly Rancher, and I love those!

It's funny how when you have a really even keel kind of day there isn't really much to report on.  I feel about as beat up as I have after any 100 miler, which is so weird.  My mind was all sorts of fuzzy today, and my appetite didn't return until about 6:30 this evening.  Um, hello, it was a dang 50k!  And I kind of love it.  I live in the sort of place where 33 miles can knock you flat, and then have you asking for more before you know it :)

As I very rhythmically made my way straight up the face of 11,067 ft. Mt. Baldy yesterday, my carotid arteries pulsating in my neck, my heart pounding in my ears, Coldplay's "Paradise" blasting through my ear buds, I couldn't think of anywhere else I'd rather be.  I felt like somehow I had arrived.  Often during hard times, especially races, I find myself wishing I were somewhere else, and then I miss out on all the awesome that surrounds me.  I let myself become consumed by the difficulty of the challenge.  Yesterday I embraced it and loved it for what it was.  Something that would make me tougher, make me more appreciative.  The face of Baldy is so steep that your heels don't touch the ground, it's a calf-burner.  As I neared the summit, I wobbled a little when I set my foot slightly askew of a rock and I reached out my right hand, setting it into a mound of dusty dirt and debris.  It was warm and stuck to my sweaty hand, and it was real.  I connected with what I was navigating.  And I smiled.

I guess that's what heat, a belly full of Gu, and sleep deprivation will do to you ;)

I rounded a switchback in the final descent down to the finish after a gal that I'd been running behind for quite some time cried uncle and asked me to pass her (she said I was making her work too hard and that she just wanted to walk :)), and came upon another gal picking her way down.  The trail opened up to a jeep road and I pulled up beside her and said hello.  She said 'good job', and I replied, 'don't just let me pass you, c'mon!'  She switched it into high gear and we battled it out, smiling, side by side down to the final straightaway.  My legs felt like rockets and I pulled ahead of her in the end.  I found her afterward and apologized (I felt a little bad), but she just smiled and said, "Thank you!  You made me work harder than I had all day; I needed that!"  What a good sport :)

After some thought, and a little bit of food, I'm pretty sure I'll be back again next year to test my mettle in the Wasatch once again.  For us mortals, it is not a race; it is a test of one's ability to just deal…taking those lemons and making some killer lemonade.  Speaking of which, I had the most amazing lemonade flavor popsicle at Larry's Hole AS2.  I made that sucker last all the way to the base of Baldy.  It was AMAZING.

I think I need to go and fix this whole sleep deprivation thing I've got going on ;)

Paige, out.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Running Around

'Tis the season to run!  Wait, 'tisnt it always the season to run?  Of course it is!

We have slowly been creeping up the mileage ladder over the last month or so and it feels good.  Our long runs are still, um, short, relatively speaking, but they are still just as rewarding.  A few weeks ago, we headed out from downtown, through Memory Grove, to the City Creek trailhead and shortly thereafter began to yo-yo with an older fellow running with his dog.  When we came to a T at the stop of the long climb, we stopped and the gentleman, Jim, asked us which way we were going.  We didn't really have a plan, other than a number goal, so he offered up a route that would bring us back to the TH.  He said he was enjoying our pace, that we were keeping him moving.  He seemed nice enough (and he was wearing a San Juan Solstice tee so he was obviously awesome :)) so we headed along he proposed route.  It was fun to just go with the flow, meet someone new, run with an awesome dog (a labradoodle named Molsen), and learn a new running route.  Jim and Geof got a little ahead of me on a downhill portion, and Molsen hung back with me, running just behind me.  A few times the trail widened out and I moved to one side to let the dog pass, but he stuck behind me, waiting for me when I  stopped to adjust something, or take in the views.  I love running with dogs.  Eventually, once the guys were back in view, Molsen ran ahead to greet them, then stopped and waited for me to catch up to him.

That was a good run.

We've started meeting once a week with a small group of super fasties and it has been going really well.      A few weeks ago, we did a hill repeat workout, in which I didn't get totally smoked, woot!  The following week we did bonafide speed work on the track: 16x200 meter sprints, with 200 meter recoveries.  It was FANTASTIC!  I can handle short sprints, and I think I managed quite well.  I didn't know I had that kind of movement in my legs…I felt a little bit fast :)  This week, we met back on the trail and did a progression run up Dry Creek Canyon.  I think that may be my new favorite workout.  Even though I didn't really follow the progression 'rules', I did do what I could and I maintained a solid pace all the way up, breaking into a walk only once for a short, steep stretch.  Geof was leading our pack and basing the progressions off of HR, increasing "pace" by 5 bpm every 5 minutes.  He did awesome.  Once we turned around, it was all glorious downhill running from there.  I really pushed it here, running on the razor thin edge between control and total absence of control.  It was an instant reminder that running downhill can actually be really taxing; you can push beyond just merely allowing gravity to do it's thing and really get a workout from it.  I felt free, and untethered.  A cramp started to form in my abdomen but I just ignored it and kept pushing.  It felt good.  Reaching the TH we all regrouped and closed it out with a nice and easy cool down back to our cars.

That was also a good run.

It's starting to get hot, and the sun is hanging out more these days.  It feels great to get a little more natural vitamin D, to hit the trails with some regularity, and to have two weeks off before my first clinical internship begins!

And, oh, the wildflowers!!

Paige, out.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Dunmores Are At It Again!

Yep, we're biking for MS again this year!  One ride wasn't enough, so Geof and I are headed back up to Northern Utah on June 28-29 for another little 100-mile ride around the stunningly beautiful Cache Valley, doing our part to raise money for multiple sclerosis research.

This all means I have a goal!  I'm upping the ante to $600.  Fundraising has always made me squeamish (asking for money, yikes!), but I figure I may as well raise the bar for myself this year :)

So, if you feel so inclined, I would be awesomely thankful for any and all donations.  No donation is too small, and everything is appreciated.  A link to my fundraising page is below, and I've even added pictures this year, woohoo!

Sponsor me HERE

Donating to Bike MS is the equivalent of telling MS to "kiss it"!

Thankyouthankyouthankyou, and for all those who can't say it themselves, THANK YOU!

Paige, out.

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