31 May 2013

Tacoma City Marathon

Love the shirt and LOVE the personalized bib!!
As the days leading up to the marathon on May 5th kept getting warmer and nicer I was starting to get a little worried- and irritated.  Seems each time I run a marathon we have unseasonably warm weather!  Not much I could do about it though so I just hydrated all week long and made a few tweaks to my race day outfit and was thankful that the race started at 7am (last time it was 9!). 

Our race course.  I live less than a mile from several points on this course!
I decided less was best and really wanted to just wear my shorts under my sparkle skirt but there were not enough pockets to hold all 6 gels so I had to go with my skirtsports skirt with its wonderfully large side pockets.  Dear companies that create clothing for runners- give us pockets!!!  Please and thank you.  Big pockets.  And pockets that ZIP (ahem, Nike that is for you- seriously a running jacket with pockets that don't close?!?).  Anyways...back to the marathon story.  Clothing choices- tank top, skort, sparkle skirt, short socks, hat and shoes.  I carried 6 gels and wore my garmin.  The end- no music, no water and no phone.  I hate fiddling with things lately and wanted to simply run and be as cool as possible.  I had a few moments where I regretted not carrying water, but overall I survived and was glad to not carry a handheld or have something strapped around my waist all morning.

Ready for 26.2!
I woke up around 4:30am which is not far off of my normal 4:45am wake up time for Sunday mornings to get to work so not a huge deal.  I laid in bed and ate a cliff bar and a banana while waking up and then hopped out of bed to get ready.  The plan was to be out the door by 6 at the latest and Will dropped me off at the starting area and took off.  That was weird for me- I had no phone and nobody with me so I headed over to check out the potty line situation and decided I better just get in line- it was sooooo long!!!  Christy got in line right behind me so we chatted the entire time and saw Zach and Steve also.  We finally used the bathroom literally 5 minutes before the race started so we went right over to get ready to run and before we knew it we were off and running!  I barely had time to get nervous I was so distracted waiting in line and talking so that was nice.

I knew I wanted to keep my pace average as close to 10:30 as possible, and I also knew that I was going to struggle as the temperature went up.  I ended up running with Christy for the first 2 miles and then at the water stop just before the bridge I took a bit longer than she did and I let her fade away- she was wanting a much faster time than me and I did not want to hold her back!  Over the bridge I felt strong- I smiled and waved at the photographer and really just tried to absorb the runner energy around me and enjoy my familiar surroundings.  If you have ever run over the Narrows Bridge you know what comes next- nearly 2 miles of uphill running! 

Photo credit: On the Run Events
Smiling on the Narrows Bridge!  Love this photo and
if I had an extra $70 I would buy it.
Mile 1- 10:27
Mile 2- 9:50
Mile 3- 10:16
Mile 4- 10:31
Mile 5- 11:53 (took a gel, water stop plus HILL)
Mile 6- 10:12

Christy and I running through Proctor by Fleet Feet! 
Look at my form- I have been working on that!
Running to Subway!
I tried to keep a nice easy pace since I knew exactly how far I had to go before leveling off again -one of the good things about knowing the course so well I suppose.  I caught back up to Christy just in front of the University of Puget Sound and we ran together again for many miles.  I told her to go on without me if she felt like it but she was ok with my pace and I welcomed the distraction.  We saw and passed Endorphin Dude just before entering the Proctor district and I waved to a few friends and saw my hubby as well.  He took some photos and asked if I needed anything but I was feeling good- this was mile 10 or so.  A few other friends were waiting down the road a bit and I gave them high fives and then we passed one of the local police officers that I know as a customer so I said hi to him as well.  Fun to see people you know while running!  At the halfway point I stopped at the water station and somebody yelled "Hi Tiffany!" and it was another customer of mine volunteering.

Photo credit:  Brian Jennings
Hello Brian, Megan, Maddie and Rydar thanks for the support!
Photo credit:  Brian Jennings
Oh HEY!!  Happy runners still!
Mile 7- 10:46
Mile 8- 10:20
Mile 9- 11:27 (gel, water stop)
Mile 10- 10:38
Mile 11- 10:02
Mile 12- 11:02 (hill- walked a bit)

At that point Christy again headed off and I walked for a minute or two drinking 2 cups of water to chase down my gel I had taken.  I was fueling every 4 miles just like I did in training and my energy level felt good.  My half marathon time was 2:22- I was still hoping to make my 'B' goal of 4:45 at that point but I knew that I had to keep very consistent.  Soon we entered the 5 mile drive loop at Point Defiance which was great because we were shaded from the sun and heat- but terrible because it is so hilly!  I literally could barely WALK up the steepest hill in the world just to get into the park!  I am not even joking, it was straight uphill and everyone was walking it.  At this point I was leap frogging a few other runners and we were in this run/walk/run pattern just trying to keep going.  Just before leaving the park I saw a girl off in the bushes getting sick.  Poor girl.

Leaving 5 mile drive- heading into the inferno aka the waterfront
Mile 13- 11:45 (water stop, gel)
Mile 14- 11:47 (I think this was the giant hill I walked up)
Mile 15- 11:41 (5 mile drive hills)
Mile 16- 11:03
Mile 17- 12:16 (water stop, gel)
Mile 18- 11:13

Chapstick, glorious chapstick!
Mile 18 we left the park and there was my hubby again with my bag of goodies I packed in case I needed anything.  I needed chapstick like nobody's business and had been dreaming about it for a few miles so I slathered that on and headed towards the inferno  waterfront.  I admit at this point I was feeling a bit defeated by the weather and my performance.  I was walking more than running and needed a kick in the butt to get moving.  Zach's wife Anne was on the side of the road and asked if I needed water or some of her iced coffee- I must have looked like hell lol!  I thanked her but said no -walking just felt way too good and then off I went.  We did a small out and back and then I heard from the other side (behind me at this point) Steve yell over to me!  I asked how in the heck I had passed him and apparently he had made a pit stop and I passed him.  Ok, well that meant I wasn't in too horrible of shape, if everyone was still pretty close by so I got my second wind if you can even call it that and I set off with a goal of not letting the 5 hour pacer pass me.

Oh the flat waterfront.  The flat, flat, hot, hot, never ending waterfront.  I was so thirsty I could barely stand it and up ahead I could see a water table.  But nobody was handing out water cups, it was a refill station for those with handhelds!  I was very tempted to just put my head under it but decided I could last until the next station.  I really think I was a bit delirious here- I remember very little except taking my gel around mile 20 and scanning the road for the sight of a water stop!

Finally just after mile 21 there was water so I stood and drank 2 cups like I hadn't had water in days then tried to get myself running again.  My body didn't hurt anywhere really but I just was really hot and I kept getting slightly dizzy if I ran too fast.  For some reason as I was plodding along I kept chanting the lyrics "anything you can do, I can do better.  I can do anything better than you" over and over.  The gel I took at mile 20 wore off quickly and by mile 22 I was feeling like I needed another one already.  Good thing I had thought to grab an extra one from an aid station just in case I needed it.  However it was a powerbar gel in vanilla and it was the nastiest thing ever.  It was super thin in consistency and of course it was hot from being in my pocket so it got all over my hands and when I tasted it it was almost sour.  Yuck, yuck, yuck but I took it anyways knowing I needed the energy. 

The fuel I brought with me, I ended up needing one more though
Mile 19- 12:27 (get chapstick from Will, need a kick in the butt)
Mile 20- 10:56 (a little mojo returns!)
Mile 21- 12:34 (water- finally water!!)
Mile 22- 13:41 (seriously contemplating a shortcut to the finish line, energy gone)
Mile 23- 12:16
Mile 24- 11:37

I was running, walking, running along and then all of a sudden towards the end of mile 24 the 5 hour pacer caught up to me and passed me.  "Oh hell no" I said to myself and kept right on her heels for about half a mile then I took my last gel, got some water to chase it down and had some lovely little kids pour some over my head.  I had my last mile to run and I immediately passed the 5 hour pacer (they cheered for me- thank you!) and did my best to run a final fastish mile hoping to not see the pacer again!  I saw my mom up ahead and that gave me a little bit of a kick to finish nice and strong, rounded the corner and crossed the line.  Done.  The first words out of my mouth were "can I stop running now?!?" and I was so happy to see my hubby, kiddos and mom! 

Mile 25- 12:54 (5 hour pace caught up to me.  Gee, wonder why?)
Mile 26- 11:08 (take that 5 hour pacer!!  Felt faster than that.  Must have been delirious)
Mile .24- 2:16 for a pace of 9:25 (BAM -take that finish line!)

Best moment EVER!!
"Can I stop running now?"
Oh wait, people are taking pictures, must be cheesy!
I felt pretty good at the end- the last marathon I felt much worse that is for sure.  I never reached the point where running was painful which makes me believe the weather really did slow me down and I would have had a better time if it wasn't nearly 80 degrees out.  I downed a bottle of water, took one bite of pizza which did not taste good to me at all, ate a banana and an orange to get some control over my suddenly plummeting blood sugar and walked around for a few minutes chatting with some friends.  Then we headed home and I showered, put on my comfy clothes and compression calf sleeves and laid down on the couch for a while.  Overall I am proud of myself- I finished the race even though my mind wanted to stop many, many times and I met my "C" goal- under 5 hours.  Marathon number 2- check! 

Post marathon glow.  Ok, maybe that is
dried sweat.  Whatever.
Finally vertical
Final results: 
Time- 4:57:07  
Overall place- 583/888
Female place- 254/426
Age group place- 47/68
Fun fact- this is exactly 44 SECONDS slower than my last marathon.  At least I am consistent!
The bling!  I got the special edition for sporting my half fanatic gear!

26 March 2013

St. Paddy Run Tacoma Recap

I will start this off by saying training for a marathon is time consuming.  I have had to eliminate a few things from my life in the last two months and blogging and reading for fun have taken the hardest hits.  Although I have plenty of time to play Candy Crush it seems.  Anyways- I have been diligently training for my marathon coming up on May 5th, and last Friday I actually popped over 300 miles of running for the year.  I will be trying to get a blog or two up about some of my actual training, but for now I wanted to let you know how my half marathon went!

Our tech shirts- each year they add a character to the shirt design
I did manage to fit a race into this training cycle- last weekend on March 16th I ran the St Paddy Day Half Marathon in Tacoma.  I registered way back on opening day using a volunteer credit I earned so basically this race was free for me.  I also registered Will for it as one of his Christmas presents- (haha, Merry Christmas...now go run!) and many local friends were running it as well.  This was my first race ever as a new runner in 2010 and I have run the 5K the last three years.  This was the first year they added the half marathon to the line up.

Devan made me this little collage. 
I tattoo'd myself up for the race!
Race morning Alyssa arrived at our house around 7am since her boyfriend Paul offered to watch the kids for us since we were suddenly without a babysitter Friday afternoon.  Very brave (and awesome) of him.  He stayed at the house and the three of us headed down to the start line about 10 minutes away.  I had 3 race packets to deliver and I like to be a bit early so we can get organized.  Parking was easy, I found Zoe quickly and gave her 2 of the packets and chatted for a few minutes.  Then we set off to find Steve which wasn't too difficult since he is so tall.  Found lots of friends, took a quick stop in the honey bucket, decided to check my stuff in at the coat check area and then stood there in the cold waiting for the race to start.  Will and Alyssa went to put their stuff in the car then Will handed me the keys to hold- I really didn't have a ton of pockets so I dashed to the coat check and by the time I got back the racers were all lined up and I could not find my friends -they had disappeared into the crowd.  Dang it- I was bummed I didn't get to tell Will good luck!

My little good luck charm I have worn the last 3 year's to the race. 
It is for my missing runner buddy Cynthia who loves butterflies.
I lined up just behind the 2:10 pacer, my ultimate goal was to finish under 2:10 so I figured that would be a good place to start.  The first mile is pretty fast since it is a downhill slope- after about 5 minutes I caught a glimpse of Alyssa's sparkle skirt ahead of me so I sped up to catch her.  We ran together the rest of the race, so I am glad I found her so quickly!  I passed the 2:10 pacer to catch Alyssa and we never saw him again the rest of the race.  There was a turn around with an out-and-back after mile 1 so I did see Will also and give him a high five as we passed which made me feel better.  The miles just ticked by pretty quickly after that.  My foot started falling asleep so I stopped quickly at the first water stop to loosen my laces on my left foot which helped.  I took a gel around mile 6, just before heading up the huge hill towards Pearl Street at the end of Ruston Way. 

Mile 1~ 9:15- downhill, found Alyssa, warming up
Mile 2~ 9:17- uphill, found Will and gave a high five
Mile 3~ 9:30- getting into the groove, my foot is falling asleep
Mile 4~ 9:53- over the overpass, quick water stop and loosen my laces
Mile 5~ 9:24- flat waterfront, foot comes back to life
Mile 6~ 9:33- take energy gel, water stop, rain starts, dreading the big hill
Mile 7~ 10:20- the big hill, rain stops

It also started raining about that time- it rained for about 3 minutes and it kind of felt good since I was warm.  The weather was pretty awesome overall- the temperature was mild, there was a bit of wind and the rain held off except for those couple of minutes!  Back to the hill.  We jogged/walked/jogged up that thing then headed off into the hilly neighborhood in Ruston.  I was thinking "it must be flat now" before every turn- only to face another hill.  Ugh.  Finally we were heading back down the massive hill onto the waterfront.  The lovely flat waterfront.  I took one more gel, one last cup of water and was ready to finish this race!  Over the overpass, then up Schuster Parkway, knowing the final mile is all uphill was mentally tough.  I caught sight of Steve after the overpass and in my mind I was hoping to pass him- it gave me a focus and something to think about besides being tired.  Finally, in the last half mile as we were running up the hill we passed him!  A quick moment of walking to catch our breath near the top of the hill and then we headed into the finish line.  That hill is pure evil. 

Mile 8~ 10:01- more hills with each turn, head back down big hill, water stop
Mile 9~ 9:31- aaaahhhh- the flat waterfront again
Mile 10~ 9:31- water stop, take a gel
Mile 11~ 9:47- over the overpass again, catch sight of Steve
Mile 12~ 9:51- just running to catch Steve and finish the race, tired legs
Mile 13~ 10:09- the UPHILL finish, pass Steve, then cross the line.  Done!

Just after finishing, still a little dazed!
I think this is my favorite medal ever.  It even
stands up on its own so you can display it!  Genius!
We grabbed our amazing finisher medal's and some water then chatted with Steve for a few minutes.  He races nearly every single weekend and recently earned his marathon maniac status.  We met last year when he ran Ragnar with us and I have seen him at a couple of races since then (Defiance 30K and Seattle Half).  We found Paul who had brought the kids down to the race for us so I could relieve him of his child watching duties.  Then we waited for Will to finish- I figured he would be in around 2:30 and sure enough- right at 2:29 he came up the hill for his big finish.  I was glad we could get a few pictures of him because literally 30 seconds before he finished a gust of wind knocked over several things including the photographer's stuff.  No finish photo for him!  Interestingly enough, this happened at the High Speed Pursuit race in Boise last year- the timing equipment was blown over just before he finished. 

Will coming up to the finish after that monster hill!
So proud of this guy- he just finished his 4th half marathon!
Overall, this was a fun race and I would do it again for sure.  It is hilly but hello- it is Tacoma.  Can't avoid hills around here!  I wasn't sure what to expect for my finish time- I have been intentionally running at a slower pace for marathon training.  I am pretty happy with my 2:06:05 finish time!  That is an average pace of 9:37 which is about a full minute faster per mile than I have been training at for my long runs.  Thanks Tacoma City Marathon Association for another fantastic race!     

25 January 2013

Warm Enough, But Not Too Hot

I have been meaning to sit and write out a blog for over a month now, and since I am procrastinating on heading out for my 13 mile training run I figure now is a great time to catch back up!  I finished out 2012 with 850 miles of running which I was pretty happy with considering I never set a specific goal.  I am now onto my 4th year as a runner and I am finding it harder and harder to remember a time in my life where I DIDN'T run several times each week.  It is just something I do now without really thinking about it. 

I was out on my long run last weekend and I got to thinking about how normal it is for me to go on a long run every weekend- and then I thought about how most people think that is far from normal.  How running 10 or more miles on a Saturday morning in 27 degree temperatures is actually weird to some people.  But it has been part of my week for several years now and it seems perfectly normal to me as I sit and ponder how many layers I need to be 'warm enough, but not too hot' as I head out the door.  

So what are my grand plans moving forward into 2013?  Well, currently I am signed up for the St. Paddy's Day  half marathon in Tacoma on March 16th.  Last year I placed 4th in my age group in the 5K after training really hard using the Run Less, Run Faster training guide.  It also was freezing cold and slightly snowing on race day- hope that doesn't happen again!  I love this race because the start line is about 10 minutes from my house and it has a fun holiday theme.  Will and Alyssa are signed up to run the half with me and I know there are a few other friends signed up as well for the other distances.  Are you signed up?  Tell me, tell me!  Thinking about running your first 5K?  This is a great one, in fact it was my first race EVER way back in 2010. 

Jaime, me and Cynthia
St Paddy Day 5K run 2010- our first race ever! 
And there was sunshine- hoping for that again this year!
I may have also decided to attempt the M word again.  Yes, it is true I signed up for the Tacoma City Marathon on May 5th.  AAAAHHHHH!!!  It will be nearly 2 years between marathons for me.  I think I am ready.  Well, not yet- but on May 5th I had better be ready!  I decided to use the Finish It plan from the book Train Like a Mother.  You can buy your own copy HERE from Amazon or check out some information from Sarah and Dimity HERE at Another Mother Runner.  I just love these two ladies, I have met them a couple of times and they are just amazing.  I listen to their podcast when I run on the treadmill and I own both of their books, I follow them on twitter and on facebook- they just make me laugh and offer tons of encouragement and advice to their fellow mother runners.  Ok, enough about my complete obsession with Sarah and Dimity...moving on...

The book I am using for my training plan
The training plan I am following is 20 weeks long.  I didn't realize that until I did the math but I was a couple of weeks behind so I jumped in at week 3 of the training plan and am currently finishing up week 6.  It has been going really well so far, it took me a couple of weeks to really build up my training base again since I really slacked off the last couple of months.  But I am going to hit a 100 mile month for January and I feel great!  I am hoping to blog 2-3 times a week so that I can look back on my marathon training and see what I did and how my training was.  Anyone else out there training for a marathon?  Which one?  I decided on a local one this time because it is so much easier (and cheaper) in many ways.  I just hope that on race day I am not bored running the same roads that I trained on.  I will find out soon enough!

This is what my workout plan looks like. 
I am about to head out the door for the 13 mile long run in week 6. 
I will do a training update on Monday- I better hit the pavement before I lose my motivation.  The good news is that it is 42 degrees out and not raining- but that could change any second.  So I need to go figure out my layers with the ultimate goal of being warm enough, but not too hot.  Happy running!

15 December 2012

Santa Runs Tacoma 2012 Race Recap

The family ready to run!
I love local, fun races!  This is my third year running the Santa Runs Tacoma 5K and this year my whole family decided to join in.  Of course I had to get creative with our costumes, and luckily everyone was a good sport about it.  This race doesn't give out shirts or medals- instead you get a stocking hat and gloves.  I think this years gloves are the best so far, and the hat is really cute also which is awesome.  Last year's hat was a bit too small (even though it was cute!) and the gloves were scratchy.  You do have the option to purchase a shirt if you want one- I personally do not need another cotton shirt to wear as pajamas lol.

Our race packet goodies- hat and fleece gloves!
Our race bibs!
So race morning we got ourselves up and organized and out the door by 8:05am or so.  The plan was 7:45am but with 4 people getting ready and 2 of them being kids that was the best we could do!  It was cold outside, about 37 degrees or so but the rain was holding off and I was hoping it would stay that way until the race was over (it did!). 

One is naughty, one is nice!
We parked down on Pacific Avenue and jogged our way down to the starting area to warm ourselves up, about 1/2 a mile away.  I quickly spotted Mel from www.tallmomontherun.com and went over to give her a hug and say hi.  We found some other friends and tried to stay warm waiting for the race to start.  The 10K started around 8:40am and then we lined up for our 9am start time.  We were soon joined by Alyssa (www.therandomnessofalyssa.blogspot.com), Paul, Meredith, Kallie, Brian, Rydar, Zoe (www.runzoerun.com) and her daughter, as well as Alma (www.averagewomanrunner.blogspot.com) and a couple of her friends!  Quite a large group of friends, but so great to know so many people out on the course.  And I know there were many more that I didn't list!

Mel and I before the race!
Devan, me and Mel waiting in the potty line!
The gun went off and we were shuffling towards the timing mats and then we were off and running!  It was a bit crowded in the beginning but we were able to keep together easily enough.  We made it up the initial hill without any problems and settled into a comfortable pace for the kids.  I didn't wear my garmin because there really wasn't a point- I wanted to have fun not stress about what time it was!  At the halfway point Niko was wanting to take lots of walking breaks which was fine with me but Devan was annoyed and wanted to keep running so I asked Will if he minded that we went ahead and he said no so off we went.  Devan kept a nice steady pace and I told her if she needed to walk to let me know.  We took maybe 3 walk breaks for about 15-20 seconds each and soon enough we were at the final little hill before heading down to the finish line! 

Cheesy smile for the camera
My elf hubby
We stopped and had our timing chip removed and grabbed a banana, bottle of water and a chocolate milk before walking down to watch for Will and Niko to finish.  We cheered on a few friends that finished right behind us and then Will and Niko came through- Niko didn't look too happy, I think he had gotten a bit too cold in the last mile.  Oops, should have dressed him in one more layer I guess.  But he finished and once he warmed up and had some chocolate milk he was as good as new!  We stood around and chatted for a few minutes and then made the trek back to our car.  It was FREEZING cold and raining for our walk back but I couldn't complain because the kids were with me and I had to pretend it was not that bad.  But it was cold and my hands and face were frozen and I was really happy to be back at our car!

Alyssa, Meredith and I
A tall elf and a short Santa!
If you are interested in running a race for the first time and want to have fun I highly recommend finding a local themed race.  These are less competitive and you will find people of every size, shape, age and fitness level there.  The kids had a good time- I asked Niko if he had fun and he said yes even though it didn't seem that way at the end.  It was a fun way to spend a Saturday morning with the family doing something active.  We finished up with a nice breakfast down at The Harmon hanging out with some friends and relaxing.  Good times.
Alyssa caught Devan and I finishing the race!
Niko and his buddy Rydar before the race.  I love this photo!


11 December 2012

Amica Seattle Half Marathon Recap

I signed up to run the Seattle half marathon last spring when there was a Zozi deal floating around for $39.  Too good to pass up right?  Several friends signed up as well, including Cynthia who was planning to come over from Boise and spend the holiday weekend with us before the race.  The Seattle half marathon is on the Sunday following Thanksgiving so typically the weather is horrible and I imagined I would have a pumpkin pie hangover but it would still be a fun race with friends no matter what happened!

As the date starting creeping up, I found out that Cynthia would not be able to make it over for the race after all (insert very sad face HERE) so I arranged for another friend Kate to use her race bib.  This would be Kate's very first half marathon- she had mentioned wanting to run a full marathon next year so I suggested that a half would probably be a good place to start.  And if you read my last post, you know that I was not going to set any PR's on this course due to my rough November training so I offered to run the whole race with her- that sounded like more fun anyways!  She was so relieved and happy that I knew I made the right decision to help her get across the finish line and just not worry about my time at all.

Seattle Space Needle- pretty fantastic view!
The day before the race my hubby, the kiddos and myself headed up to Seattle.  I had reserved a hotel room right across from the Space Needle (best decision EVER) so we walked down to the race expo and then met up with a group of friends for dinner.  After dinner we walked back to the hotel and tried to get some sleep.  I had laid out my race day outfit and made sure I could get ready quickly in the morning.  It was so nice knowing I could literally walk to the start line in about 5 minutes! 

Kate, me, Alyssa, Kerrie and Zoe looking all sparkly before the race!
I met Alyssa down in the hotel lobby and we walked to a quick meet up with Kerrie, Zoe and Kate.  We chatted for a few minutes, had a random guy snap our photo and then we headed out to the extremely packed start area.  Alyssa, Kate and I were starting together and I really had wanted to be ahead of the 2:15 pace group but it was impossible to move.  The only bonus was that we were staying warm since it was about 38 degrees outside.  No complaints though because it was not raining or snowing!!  Kate was looking pretty nervous and I assured her once we started moving she would be just fine. 

We were smashed in and couldn't move any more waiting for the race to start
It was kind of fun to relive the "first half marathon" experience through her.  Do you remember your first half marathon?  Did you get to run with somebody?  Mine was at the North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon in June 2010 and I started the race with Cynthia and Tiana.  Even though we didn't run together the entire race it was so nice to have friends at the start and the finish! 

Flashback!  Me, Cynthia and Tiana after finishing our
first half marathon in June 2010
Anyways, soon the gun sounded and we were off and running!  Not.  We were walking in a cluster and barely able to move for a few minutes and then we were running!  It was very, very crowded in the beginning of the race since we started so far back.  After about a mile it thinned a bit and we could pick the pace up a bit.  I was trying to keep as close to 10 minute miles as possible, but since I didn't do any training runs with Kate I didn't really know her pace- only her goal which was between 2:10 and 2:15.  I didn't want her to go out too fast and then be dying later in the race.  So we ran and chatted and Alyssa stayed with us for about 3 or so miles until Kate needed to take a little stretch/walk break and she went on ahead. 

I had kind of wanted to use the bathroom before the race started but the lines were very long so I decided to go out on the course after a few miles.  Well, literally every single time we passed a honey bucket there was a line!  I have never seen this before in a race.  And the weird thing is that I didn't really have to go that bad, but after you think about having to go you just can't get it out of your mind!  Finally we waited and spent a good 5 minutes in a line to go.  We multi-tasked and drank water and had a gel while we waited- this was around mile 5 or so.  This was Kate's first Gu (vanilla bean) by the way.  I would recommend trying Gu before race day, but I didn't realize she didn't even know what they were until I brought it up the week of the race!  Oops.  She thought it was really sweet and preferred the espresso one she had later at mile 9 but she liked them overall and said they helped her energy level.  I prefer espresso as well- I tend to buy them by the case.  Peanut butter is pretty tasty as well, if you haven't tried it you should!

One thing that is awesome about pacing somebody who is a bit slower than you is that you get to absorb the race course- the sights, the sounds, the other runners and the people cheering us on.  Pretty cool.  Kate was doing a great job, we were taking walk breaks about once or twice each mile but only for about 30-60 seconds and we took water at all of the water stops.  We ran along Lake Washington and then through the Arboretum before heading back into the Seattle Center.  I loved the Arboretum with all of the trees lining the streets- I felt like I was out in the woods it was really pretty!  And the neighborhoods we passed had the most beautiful, amazing houses to look at.  This course was much better than the Seattle Rock and Roll as far as scenery goes. 

The finish area
The last few miles were the toughest for Kate, she had built up to an 11 mile run during training but it was only one time.  I was talking her ear off, trying to keep encouraging her and make sure her mind was busy and not just focused on how badly she wanted to stop running!  Finally at 12 miles she told me she was going through the stages of grief.  I asked her which stage she was at and she said anger- I just laughed.  She knew she was going to finish though and she found a last surge of energy- I knew it would be very close but there was a possibility of finishing under 2:30 still.  When we finally saw the finish area Kate just took off for the finish line and I tried my very best to dodge people and keep up!  She has really long legs! 

Watch out- girl on a mission coming through!
Half marathon #14 in 2 1/2 years
Once we crossed the finish line she was just hugging me and so happy to be done- that was a great feeling, to be there when somebody completes a goal.  A huge goal- a half marathon is a big accomplishment.  Just because some people (myself included) are crazy and run half marathons like we are taking a stroll through the park does not mean that it is not something to be extremely proud about doing.  And like I told Kate, no sense killing yourself on your first one- you need a goal to beat for your second one!!  Our finish time was 2:31 and I think that is a pretty great first half marathon time.  I would definitely consider running this race again- and who knows maybe next year I will tackle the full marathon! 


30 November 2012

November Happened

View on my 10 mile run -Point Defiance
I almost (ALMOST!) went a whole month without a blog post.  I am not exactly consistent about blogging, but I am borderline slacker at the present moment.  So I am going to do a quick recap of my November happenings (hopefully you won't be bored to tears) and then maybe by Monday I will get my Seattle Half Marathon recap up.

I will start back on October 26th, thirteen days after my Defiance 30K race.  I decided to go for a long run that day and originally I thought about doing 15 miles.  Why?  No idea, it just seemed like a good number.  But it was raining, like pouring buckets of rain from the sky raining.  I set out with a new route in my head and my legs felt good- I wasn't pushing my pace, just nice and easy.  I was soaking wet and decided to cut it to 10 miles but then at the last minute took a route that led me to a nice 13.1 finish.  My own personal half marathon, in 2 hours and 14 minutes.  My shoes took 3 days to dry out, but in hindsight I am so glad I went the extra few miles this day because my training was about to take a nose dive.

Gotta love running in the fall!
The following week I did 2 training runs on my treadmill, one with some 800 meter sprints and one where I tried to hold a tempo pace thinking some speed work would be a good idea.  My left hip/lower back bothered me during both runs and I cut my Weds. run short because of this and did some strength work instead.  Friday I went outside for a 10 mile run, and my hip felt fine so I thought it was the treadmill irritating my hip.  On Sunday (11/4) I played indoor soccer for an hour and I could barely walk afterwards- my hip hurt really bad.  Not a good sign!

So on Monday I called up my chiropractor and went in for a visit.  My pelvis and hip bones were all jumbled up so she adjusted me and asked me for a follow up later that week.  Meanwhile, no running and definitely no soccer.  Ugh.

Jill, Chelsea, Zoe, me, Kerrie and Mel
On Thursday the 8th I went to Southcenter and had dinner with some friends that I have met through the blogging world.  I really enjoy hanging out with these ladies, it is a fun group to be a part of.  We ate at BJ's and sat around chatting for a couple of hours.  Good times.

Mel brought me my gold spike from our first place win at the
Rainier to Ruston relay last June!!  It is awesome!
On Friday the 9th we went to see the school production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  It was very cute, and afterwards a huge group of people went to The Spaghetti Factory to celebrate since lots of Devan's friends were in the play.  I was not feeling very good- a bit overheated and nauseous.  I stood up thinking I should get some fresh air but also thinking maybe I shouldn't head out alone since I felt very dizzy.  The last thing I remember is saying "I don't feel good" and then waking up to Will staring at me with a very concerned look on his face.  I had fainted, in front of about 40 friends and I just wanted to die.  How embarrassing. 

I have fainted many times, but it has not happened for 2 1/2 years.  I could tell it was happening but it was in such a weird environment I didn't know what to do.  I have been to doctors and what I do know is that I am not anemic but I do have very low blood pressure.  And possibly the combination of being hungry and warm just led to me fainting.  After that we went home and I went to bed.  Anyone else out there have fainting spells?     

Ok, so just to recap- I now have a bum hip and I have fainted- not exactly the ideal body to continue training for a half marathon!  I skipped soccer on Sunday -not that anybody would have let me play even if I wanted to.  I went in to see the chiropractor again on Monday- she assured me that after one more visit I should be good to go, so I made it for Friday the 16th after getting home from 5th grade camp.

We got the Eagle cabin- the only one right on the water!
Yes, November 14-16th I went with my daughter to 5th grade camp at Camp Seymour.  I spent 3 days and 2 nights hanging out with 10 year olds and going to science classes, dissecting squid and playing with snakes.  I spent both nights as a chaperon in a cabin with 7 girls and 1 other adult- wow oh wow are those girls loud!!  It was a lot of fun and I am so glad I decided to go.  Fifth graders are hilarious by the way, and if you get a chance to go with your child to camp- go!

Devan and her mad archery skills
I loved visiting the snakes!
Upon return I went to the chiropractor for the 4th time in 2 weeks- she gave me the all clear and to come back only if I needed it.  Hooray!  So on Saturday November 17th I went to Devan's soccer game in the morning,  saw Breaking Dawn in the afternoon and then finally that evening went for a 6 mile run that didn't hurt.  Except mentally- it was raining and dark so it was on the treadmill.  Yuck.  But I ran for the first time in 2 weeks and it didn't suck and I was hopeful that my hip would be ok.

The next day I played soccer in the evening- yes I am a glutton for punishment.  But my body held up and we didn't have any subs so I played the entire game.  I call that a WIN.  The week leading up to the half marathon I did 6 miles on Tuesday and then on Thanksgiving my hubby and I headed out for 4 miles around the neighborhood.  It is always a nice treat to run with him- my mom had the kids so we took advantage of that. 

We had a nice Thanksgiving dinner at my mom's house, it was very relaxing and the food was really good.  On black Friday I sat in my pajamas most of the day and watched it rain.  I did a bit of online shopping and had no desire to venture out into retail hell.  Next up- Amica Seattle Half Marathon recap!!!

Anybody score some amazing Black Friday deals?  I went one year and it was horrible so I swore to never do it again!  I had a shopping/sleep deprived hangover for about 3 days.  I did manage to get the one thing I wanted but I would rather pay the extra $40 and not have to deal with crazy madness!