Here we are. Recapping weeks three and four.

UntitledPortland running, you are amazing.

The past two weeks have been an odd mix of highs and lows: adventures with new friends, emotional conversations about the future, my family coming to visit, having to miss a few workouts due to my hamstring and those stupid heels, and still grappling with this feeling of an extreme loss of running fitness.

As someone who relates physical wellbeing as the main indicator of overall health (I know, stupid), I tend to dismiss how emotions and this little internal dialogue regarding life’s decisions can affect all aspects of life. If it’s not bleeding, tearing and broken – you’re fine, right? Well, apparently not.

I’m not talking about sleep loss, weight gain or headaches that are clear indicators that the stress is building up, but rather the little, deep things inside that you try to brush off, but they keep building, building, building until you snap. That stuff. It’s bad man, real bad.

So here’s a brutal, and probably too open, dose of reality: life is scary, life is hard, and if you (I’m speaking to myself here) don’t find a way to handle it, it will continue to eat away at you. Today, it built up so much that I finally said, “Screw it.” I knew if I ran I’d just get more upset about the fact that my legs weren’t performing the way I’d like them to, so I marched myself over to the pool.

Not only is the pool at Nike rarely full, but it’s simply gorgeous and empowering. There’s something about gliding through the lane, by myself, with the bright window light shining in from my left that calms me. And yes, this is coming from a girl who could easily do without swimming. But boy oh boy that pool, I feel lucky even getting to look at it.


I swam 1,900 meters, the farthest I’ve swam since Ironman, just thinking about my arms. I don’t know why and it wasn’t in regards to appearance, but just the feeling of pushing through the water, fingers pointed to the bottom, trying to flipturn, pushing off the wall, and continuing to glide. They felt powerful, yet so weak at the same time.

I got out of the pool feeling more cleared than when I went in. It wasn’t gone, but my chattering mind had turned down.

It’s not a solution, but I know this much about myself: being physically active and moving is critical to some semblance of mental and emotional balance in my life. It’s not just about racing or weight or blogging; instead, it’s my version of meditation, clarity and reflection. It’s my sanity and I am so very thankful for my healthy legs, heart, lungs and, this little life of mine.

After moving, I come out of my slump feeling thankful for the amazing opportunities given to me and that yes, it’s hard, but I can handle it.


Mon., 8/26: McMillan Strides Workout (~5.5 mi)
Tues., 8/27: Crosstrain: Core, Upper & Yoga
Wed., 8/28: Recovery Run at the Nike track + Strength (~3.5 mi)
Thurs., 8/29: First PDX Run in the Rain (~7 mi)
Fri., 8/30: Injured! Spinning + Yoga + Rest
Sat., 8/31: Injured! Stand-Up Paddleboard + Rest

Sun., 9/1: Easy Run (4 mi.)

Mon., 9/2: Labor Day Jaunts with Jen (5.5 mi)
Wed., 9/3: Regular Run (6 mi)
Thurs., 9/4: Recovery Run (3.6 mi)
Fri., 9/5: Run to Work (12+ mi / Garmin you’re killin’ me)
Sat., 9/6: Recovery Run (4 mi.)

UntitledI love when carbs are the size of my face.

Sun., 9/7: Trail Steadystate Run (8 mi.)

UntitledLeif Erickson Trail in Forest Park.
I getting close to using the “L” word with Portland.

 Happy Running!

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  1. Colleen says:

    Thank you for this post. I feel like I could have written it myself (only not so eloquently). I haven’t really been running for over a month (other than the time I ran 8 miles when I shouldn’t have and made it worse…) and I feel so much like you. I told my friend the other day that I was trying to find a meaning to life that isn’t running! It’s hard. I’m trying to just be patient and have fun doing other things. That’s awesome that you got to try SUP, I totally want to do that someday. :). I hope you’re feeling better soon.

  2. Kerry says:

    As a swimmer that pool almost brings me to tears with jealousy. Water is my sanctuary, and I’d give anything to swim laps somewhere as beautiful as that.

  3. RoseRunner says:

    That pool looks unreal. I like what Kerry said, and I’m not really a swimmer…

    Your bay area friends and family are always here for you when life gets lifey. Just a phone call away or a short plane ride away. Thinking of you!

  4. Ashley says:

    Thank you for your honesty. I follow your blog as a loose way to check in on my ironman training, but agree with Colleen. I could have written this, but not so eloquently. Thank you for the contined inspiration.

  5. Oh Page, I completely feel your pain. I’ve been out with a torn hamstring tendon (high hamstring) since the end of April. It’s so emotionally taxing and hard t deal with. Good job resting your injury. I didn’t listen to my body for 5 months, and now I’m paying for it the hard way. I hope you’re on the mend!,

  6. JenJ says:

    Beautiful post and beautiful pix! How luck you are to be living somewhere this pretty. I feel your pain, having been out of running properly since February. The worst is that we can’t figure out what’s causing my knee pain and so there’s no end in sight. I agree with exercise being like meditation, it’s the only thing that helps me clear my head. Soldier on and you’ll be fine as you’ve already recognized the most vital facts: when something’s wrong, stop, sweat then re-assess.

  7. Kim says:

    Page, I know this is a very difficult time of transition for you, but STAY STRONG. I am rooting for you on the opposite coast, this time not in an ironman training, but life. Hang in there. I also love that you turned to the pool for a much needed head clearing workout! I find that some of my best “thinking” comes during swimming. It drives some people crazy, but I absolutely love it. I’m glad it was there for you when you needed it :)


  8. That pool is absolutely gorgeous! If I had a pool like that, I’d swim a lot more often.

  9. Kristen L says:

    That pool looks incredible! What a beautiful view to have while swimming laps.

    I totally understand how you feel about exercise / moving your body being a therapy of sorts. When I am frustrated, or upset doing something always makes me feel better. It takes some time to settle in to a new location and make new friends.

  10. Kathleen says:

    Hi Page, longtime (silent) reader. Keep your head up and stay strong. Long-distance relationships are tough. so is moving, starting a new job and recovering from an ironman. When things get tough, ask yourself ‘would you rather be a warrior or a baby?’ wishing you all the best. Just remember you’re hardworking, beautiful, have a supportive family, natural athleticism and brains!

    this too shall pass

  11. Kristin says:

    These words resonate so closely with me. I’ve been seeking movement outside of running recently too, and though it’s silly I am always surprised at how activities other than running can also be so clarifying.

  12. Hope you’re feeling better soon. It has to be tough to come off of such a huge training volume and suddenly have more time on your hands in a new city at a new job without your significant other there. Hugs.

  13. Emily says:

    I tend to let the little things fester and build up in my head until it becomes unbearable and I explode. I hear you that a good workout is sometimes all it takes to quiet the voices and regain a new sense of calm. Have you read “Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain” by John J. Ratey? It totally put a new perspective on why I want to and need to move, expecially in times of stress.

    Keep plugging along. You know from your racing that you are always stronger than you think you are!

  14. MILF Runner says:

    So true…life is hard. Whenever someone starts saying they just want easy, I always think “well, then you don’t want reality.” I’m so glad you were able to quiet the voices and find a place of peace. You’ve now got me thinking I should start swimming. And I fucking HATE swimming.

    Thinking of you and sending you love.

  15. I’ve been salivating over the pictures of your runs lately!!! But no run makes up for missing hubby, I know that all too well.

  16. The pool photo gives me goosebumps. The good kind. Running is my anger/stress reliever relaxer. Yoga is my relaxer and zen zone. Swimming is always my time of peace and figuring out my internal workings. It’s a happy place, a sad place, a balanced place. You truly are blessed to be swimming in that pool (I swim in the 24 hr gym variety haha).

    I’m sorry you are going though a rough time. I can’t imagine how it must be to pack up and move to a new place, leaving everything you know and love behind. But even that is temporary. You will be reunited, even in short visits, but eventually, everything will work out in the end. You’re strong, balanced and tenacious. You will get through this.

  17. Daniella says:

    As a swimmer I can totally relate to what you described. I haul myself to the pool on bad days and its almost like it washes away the stress. I’m a swimmer more than runner but I think both sports allow you to clear your mind and work through your thoughts. It’s always a great feeling to leave a workout emotionally reset.

  18. erin says:

    Life can be so hard… I’m feelin’ it today, and it isn’t pretty. Hang in there, friend. You’re strong and smart, positive and persistent… it’ll get better! Hugs from Minnesota. xo.

  19. I just found you thru Meghan (Little Girl in a Big World). Loving the wonderful pics you shared from the Nike pool AND those amazing lush trails. I had a friend who ran for Nike but just left and moved across the country. Good to know that I can still get my Portland fix from you. :) I really need to visit the area cuz it just seems amazing in every aspect.

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