Vacay in Vancouver

I'm visiting Vancouver (Washington, not BC) - my home away from home, away from home. Its just across the Columbia River from Portland and about three hours south of Seattle. Total suburbs but beautiful area. Lacamas Lake with Mt Hood in the background

I got in late Friday and was supposed to do a 7-mile run on Saturday, but instead, spent the entire day being totally lazy with my cousin Lauren.

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So this morning, I forced her to get up early to go on a run with me. She's a sprinter at UW and reminded me that she doesn't run for more than 15-20 minutes at time. So to compromise, we decided to take Chip, the family's Jack Russ, with us so she could walk him while I ran.

Chip knew we were going out at the mere mention of the word "run." When we asked him if he wanted to come with us, he went ballistic and couldn't contain his excitement.

She took me to the trail that runs along Lacamas Lake. I think its probably the best route I've ever run on. Ever. Seriously.

* The scenery is breathtaking * The terrain is all train (no pavement) * Gently rolling hills * Marked every quarter mile * Fellow runners are friendly * No mean bikers. Actually no bikers at all.

The weather was a little muggy, but we started out early enough where it was still manageable.

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Mile 1 Chip started out running along side with me, but I knew it wasn't going to last. Lalers would eventually pull him back. But man that dog can run - he started out at a full sprint!

For some reason, whenever I know I'm going to be running longer than five miles, the first two always feels like I'm going to die. Today was no exception. The first mile and a half was murderous. It'd only been two days since my last run but I couldn't believe how much I was dragging. But when I hit Mile 2, I started to get into my groove and found a really nice stride.

I was really enjoying myself. The fellow runners (and walkers) were so nice. Everyone nodded or waved at each other (especially the grandpa's). Running is so much more pleasant when people acknowledge each other.

Mile 3.25 So I'm coasting along, going over some hills, listening to my tunes. Then all of a sudden, my right foot buckles under me. I mean, it almost took me down. My chronic plantars fasciitis loudly announced that it was back. Miraculously, it hadn't bothered me since last October, so I guess it was time. And of course, wearing heels and havianas didn't help. I should have expected this and I'm surprised it didn't come back sooner.

It was so painful but as if on queue, my playlist started playing "Eye of the Tiger."

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight Risin' up to the challenge of our rival And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night And he's watchin' us all with the eye of the tiger

Never underestimate the power of music and visualization. I pictured Rocky running on the beach and working out in the snow (Rocky IV I think) and it was all I needed to keep going and push through the pain. For the rest of the time I blocked out the pain and just ran.

Mile 6 Mile 6 was a perfect last mile. Keane's "Something Only We Know" (my most favorite running song ever) came on and I met Lauren and Chip.

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I took Chip from her and ran with him the rest of the way. That dog has so much energy and was dragging me behind him! I swear he was running a 7-minute mile!

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When we finished, I took a quick assessment and determined I felt good. Hamstring was good, hips were ok, and foot wasn't too bad.

Distance: 7 miles Time: 1 hr 10 min Avg Pace: 10:19 mile/min

The Aftermath When we got home my foot started to hurt again. In fact, as the day progressed, it got worse to where I'm now limping around like an old lady...a cane would actually be pretty helpful. So I've been elevating, rolling and stretching all day. I'm about to pop some Aleve and have decided that tomorrow's workout will be dedicated to swimming.

A couple of more things... I downloaded an iPhone app called "Fitnio." Its like MapMyRun but is a little better because it integrates with your playlist. As soon as I start the timer, it starts playing the playlist I associated it with in the settings. And it automatically syncs your results to your account on www.fitnio.com. But I didn't use it for my whole run today because I kept stopping to take photos and I guess it doesn't like that. It would pause and ask me to restart. Luckily, I wore my Garmin, which is the main way I track my results anyway...but its always fun to discover something new.

And please indulge me to share more of Chippy. He's the baby of our family and gets all the love!