19 August 2012

Volunteering, Camping and Training for a 30K!

"Gels!  Apple!  Vanilla!"  pretty much what I shouted for an hour straight!
I have definitely been keeping busy this summer and every weekend seems jam packed with activities from the time I wake up until the time I lay down again.  Which is fine, I really do prefer to be busy rather than bored and I do save a day here and there where doing NOTHING is what I have planned.  It balances out!  I have been really wanting to volunteer for a race since last October when I tried volunteering for the Race for a Soldier and they actually had too many so I ended up running it instead (of course I did right?).  So finally the timing worked out and I signed up to volunteer at a water station for the Tacoma Narrows Half on August 4th.  I tried to recruit a group of friends so we could just do the whole water station ourselves but it didn't work out this time.  Jill and one of her friends joined me though and we had a lot of fun!

Jill, Rachel and me being cheesy!
It was interesting to see the other side of a race- luckily us girls had lots of racing experience because we knew how to set up our station properly.  It turns out that we were at a gel station so not only were we passing out water and electrolytes, but also energy gels for those that needed one.  The three of us decided to pass out the gels -there were 4 flavors to choose from and I decided to pass out green apple and vanilla, Jill had kona punch and Rachel handed out chocolate.  It was tricky actually.  Shouting out the flavors, making sure the runner actually had hold of it before letting go, actually letting go.  A couple of runners asked me to open it for them and then I felt pressured to open it quickly and efficiently.  I take my volunteer duties seriously people!  Overall it was a lot of fun, it was cool to see the lead runners as they went zooming by and I saw a few friends pass through as well. 

Ready to pass out energy gels!
I did learn that it is very important to be very clear about what you need as a runner- believe it or not I couldn't read peoples minds and really appreciated those that specifically said "apple" or "vanilla" or "anything with caffeine!" and I was seriously wondering about those people who had never even heard of an energy gel- say what?!?  And 2 1/2 hours later, after the last runner came through we cleaned up our station and headed home around 9:45am.  I will definitely be volunteering more often, and if you volunteer for a Tacoma City Marathon race they even have a reward program- I chose to take $30 off of my next race entry!  Check it out HERE if you would like to volunteer at an upcoming race!

Fun around the campfire, a little college reunion 14 years later!
Last weekend my family went camping over in Cle Elum with a group of friends from Central Washington University (where Will and I went to college).  We spent two nights there and it was great to catch up with old friends and meet some of their spouses and children.  We went to the lake one day and it was beautiful there but the wind was so strong the sand was stinging our skin and I was too cold to get in the water! 

Windy Lake Cle Elum.  Jared, Scott, John, Mike, Will and me! 
Apperently we lined up tallest to shortest?
Roslyn Cafe.  Claire, John, Jeremy, me, Mike, Scott, Jared and Will
Will and I were able to go for a 5 mile trail run one morning- it was hilly but awesome.  The sad part was that 2 days after we left a bunch of wildfires have started in the area and are destroying so much land and homes all the way to Ellensburg.  I really hope the weather cooperates soon so that they can be contained.

Out for a trail run in Cle Elum
Beautiful scenery!
I am also realizing that I have a 30K trail run to train for 10 weeks from now!  Yikes!  Apparently it is closer to 21 miles than an actual 30K so I have been trying to figure out my training plan.  I took a basic "finish it" marathon training plan and altered it a bit so that I am still running 3 days a week but eliminated all speed work because pace really isn't going to be an issue out on the trails.  I am assuming it will take me about 4 hours to finish the race, but I will have a better idea once I get some longer trail runs in.  Also, when I do the trail runs I am running with a time goal rather than a mile goal which seems to make more sense to me.  I am trying to decide how long to make my "peak" training run.  Usually for a marathon it is a 20 miler, so I am thinking for me I will do a 3 hour run in trails and maybe try to do that twice.  Anybody have some helpful tips for trail race training?  This will be the longest distance I have trained for besides my one marathon last year.  And it is my first official trail race except for the mud runs. 

Niko having fun in the sand!
Who kisses frogs when there are so many crayfish around??
I am really excited to be running trails more often- it is such a different experience than hitting the pavement!  In fact- I am heading out in about an hour to run down at the Point Defiance trails with a friend of mine.  I have our route all mapped out, not that it matters because I will indefinitely get lost and end up taking a different route anyways!  One of these days I will know those trails like the back of my hand.  Meanwhile, I will just wander around until I end up back at my car!!


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  2. I have the same "time training" goals for my trail half marathon in Colorado next month. Last week I ran the pt. Defiance trails for nearly 2 hours. I am sticking to the blue square trails, twice. I imagine my half is going to be much longer than my normal, because it starts at 8,500 ft. Elevation and climbs. :) I am crazy. So just running long, not fast is my goal. Good job, girly.

    1. Holy cow you are crazy!! You will do great- but that elevation will be tricky. We need to hit the trails together- I ended up doing all 3 on sunday :) and i still owe you and Bill dinner- lets pick a date soon!