23 June 2011

Seattle RnR Half Marathon

Hi, my name is Tiffany and I am addicted to running races.  So yes, it is true-  I will be running the Seattle Rock and Roll half marathon in two days!!  This race was one that I was looking at for my first marathon but it just seemed too overwhelming to me.  There are 25,000 runners between the full and the half, and that just seemed a bit too much for me to take in while attempting my very first full marathon.  I thought it would be fun to run the half marathon, but the race filled up early and I was too unsure about how I would be feeling after running my marathon 3 weeks ago to take a chance and register.

Anyways, long story short I am going to use the race bib of somebody who actually registered for the race, then didn't train for it.  Who does that?  Apparently lots of people, take a gander at Craig's list if you don't believe me.  I know that some people are not able to run due to an injury as well, but if you want a last minute entry to the race and don't mind running under somebody else's name there is ample opportunity!  I guess this kind of thing is frowned on by the race officials, but I don't really see the harm.  I am racing in my correct age group and I am pretty sure I am not going to win any awards! 

Tomorrow morning I am heading up to the race expo to get all my awesome stuff and check out the fun gear.  I might be slightly addicted to running gear.  Ok fine.  Hi, my name is Tiffany and I am addicted to running gear and running races.  What is the harm in looking cute and sweaty at the same time? 

Then in the evening I am going to a dinner hosted by Tall Mom at The Spaghetti Factory in Tukwila.  She has organized this dinner for all of the blogger ladies who are either in the area or running the race this weekend.  I am going as Cynthia's date and I am actually a bit nervous to meet all of these fabulous ladies in real life!  I am kind of a quiet blogger- I read blogs but I don't leave a lot of comments.  I only have 19 followers (and I love you all!) although I know there are others who read and don't technically "follow"-hint, hint.  I don't participate in give aways because I don't have the patience for it.  But I do enjoy reading blogs of people who "get" running in the same way that I do. 

It's going to be a fun weekend!  And to top it all off I get to run with my long lost BRF (best running friend) Cynthia, even though she is running the full marathon.  I don't really have a goal time for this race, I just plan on giving it my all.  This will be a baseline for the many half marathons I have planned for the next few months, with the ultimate goal of running a sub 2 hour 1/2 marathon. 

I will leave you with one of my favorite sayings about running:

My sport is your sport's punishment


20 June 2011

6 + 4 + 4

That about summarizes what I did on Saturday!
As I have mentioned before, I have signed up to run the Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage with team "How the West Was Run" which will take place on July 22nd and 23rd.  I have never been part of a relay team, but I am looking forward to trying something new!  Our team will be running 187 miles starting in Blaine, WA and ending on Whidbey Island.  There are 12 runners and 2 vans, so basically van 1 will start (that is my van) and each of the 6 runners inside will take a turn running their "leg" of the race, then van 2 will take over while we rest.  Then it will be our turn again, then van 2.  Then our van will run a third time and van 2 will finish it off!  So each person has 3 "legs" of the race to run.  Sounds FUN right???  Well, I think so anyways.  I am lucky runner number 6- my race portions are 6.5 miles, 6.6 miles and then 5.5 miles for a total of 18.6 miles all together.  I will be running the most miles in our van (runner number 1 is close with 18.5) and the second most for the whole team! 
Our Ragnar van! 
So my training plan for Saturday had me running 3 separate times throughout the day to get my body used to running several times in a short period of time.  I was scheduled to run 6 miles, 4 miles and then 4 more miles.  Sounded easy enough, except when I added the numbers together and realized I would be running 14 miles for the day.  Farther than a half marathon!  I knew I was more than capable of the mileage and was kind of excited to see how my body would handle it.
I woke up Saturday morning to our standard weather these days- grey, drizzly skies and chilly temperatures.  I ate a cliff bar really quick, drank some espresso and geared up for my first 6 miler.  It was really raining at that point so I threw my hat on and headed out the door.  I also wore my arm sleeves instead of a jacket- love those things!  I felt a bit sluggish during the entire run, and I also didn't want to go all out knowing I still had 2 more runs to complete for the day! 

Run #1= 6 miles, 59 minutes, pace of 9:45

When I got home I layed out all of my wet clothes hoping they would dry so I could wear them for the next run (don't judge) and had a protein drink, a gatorade and some chicken with rice.  Then I hopped in the shower which seemed kind of pointless but I do have some hygiene standards!  I ran to Target for a bit, then came home and relaxed for an hour or so before gearing up for run #2.  I ate a banana, put on my running clothes from earlier (which were still damp by the way, including my shoes) and headed out for run #2, about 4 hours after finishing the first run!  It was not raining this time and my legs felt really good for the first mile, not so good for miles 2 and 3, then pretty good for mile 4.  Not sure how to explain that!

Run #2= 4 miles, 38 minutes, pace of 9:32

This time when I got home I tossed my running clothes in the dirty hamper.  They were feeling kind of crunchy and there was no way I was going to wear them again!  Although I joked that people around town would start to wonder if I had been running non stop all day long if I didn't change.  I can just imagine "Honey, didn't that girl run by our house about 6 hours ago?"  Haha!
Yummy granola and coconut milk! 

This time I decided to have a bowl of granola with some coconut milk and a couple of hard boiled eggs.  It was kind of tricky eating at the right times and keeping hydrated with all of this crazy running!  I changed into some comfy clothes and entertained myself by playing some 'words with friends' on my phone and attempting to take some photos of myself.  I decided that my new favorite things in the world are my calf sleeves- they felt so good, like a hug for my leg.  Then I decided to lay down in the recliner with my blanket and read my book Once a Runner.  I don't think I ended up reading too much of it :)
Entertaining myself. 
I think I need to work on my self photography skills a bit
Reading my book.  Ok fine- I guess I took a little nap!!
After my power nap it was time to face the music.  I really didn't feel like gearing up AGAIN and heading out for those last four miles.  But I changed anyways and decided to eat some energy jelly beans to get me going.  Devan decided she wanted to ride her bike with me- yay for some company!  She is a good pacer and would help keep my mind busy making sure she didn't get run over.  Four hours after my second run we were out the door.  I was going to do the exact same route as before so I could compare my times.  I assumed I would be slower with each run, but I was wrong!  My energy level was great and I found myself able to push the pace pretty easily.  Devan did a great job and I was glad to have her along for my final 4 miles.

Run #3= 4 miles, 37 minutes, pace of 9:09

I was a tired girl after this last run!  I made myself some Nuun and stretched/foam rolled really well.  I fixed myself some chicken, rice, cucumbers and hummus for dinner.  We had been out to dinner with some friends at a place called Mediterranean Kitchen in Bellevue Friday night, and I ended up eating my meal 3 seperate times and never finished it all.  That is a large portion of food!   
Love nuun!  Tastes better out of a candy cane striped straw too! 
Dinner!  Leftovers from the Mediterranean Kitchen in Bellevue.  I was starving but there was no way I could finish it all.
I think the hardest part was mentally getting ready to run for a second and third time.  I am used to just going out for my run, then being done and free to enjoy the rest of the day!  This was very time consuming but I am glad I did it and I know that it will make my Ragnar experience more enjoyable.  At least now I am confident that I CAN run 3 times in one day!

15 June 2011

I Liked It!

My new zensah compression calf sleeves for when I run in my Merrell's (I don't like to wear socks with them)!  Love them so far, they are very comfortable.
Today I made my first attempt at a "track" workout.  I want to start incorporating some speedwork into my weekly routine just to see what these legs are capable of, and apparently this is an effective way to do it.  I probably should do some research and find a few specific workouts to do, but for today I just winged it. 

I left the house and ran down to the junior high track, warming up for about 1.5 miles or so, then took an easy lap around the track.  I wasn't sure it was a 400 meter lap, but my Garmin assured me it was.  Sweet!  I then ran 5x400 as fast as I could go, with a recovery lap in between.  Then I ran back home, which is pretty much a steady climb the entire mile.  I am not techy enough to know what my lap times were using my garmin, but my run was 5.05 miles in 45 minutes for a pace of 9:03 overall. 

I liked the speed work.  It made the time go by pretty fast, and it was actually kind of fun.  I wore my Merrell Pace Gloves (without socks) and they seemed to be the perfect track type shoe.  I felt like throwing up a few times, and at the end my lungs burned a bit and my muscles were tired.  I also took a boxing class this morning so it was my second workout for the day.  I am trying to do as many double workouts as possible to prepare for the Ragnar Relay next month.  I am looking forward to this new type of run on Wednesdays!

14 June 2011

Goodbye Cupcakes, Hello Ragnar!!!

My daughters bday cupcakes
Ok, now that I have baked (and consumed) enough cupcakes in one weekend to last me for a few months, it is time to get back to business!  I started a training program for the Ragnar Relay yesterday and just completed my first official "run" post marathon.  I was scheduled for an 8 mile "hill" run so I hit the treadmill for some incline work, alternating between 1% and 4% with each mile.  I kept the pace nice and easy just to test that my body was back to normal and I think it is! 

I am following the intermediate training program the Ragnar site suggests (the beginner one was a bit easy for me) and just modified it a bit.  Well, mostly I took out the Monday and Friday 5 mile runs and will do cross training of some sort on Mondays and probably take a rest day on Fridays.  I think I will try and incorporate some interval/speed work on the Wednesday runs and see how that works out.

I am also getting my diet back in check.  I kind of let it go towards the end of my marathon training, but I am back to my 4 meals of 400 calories now.  Of course on those really hard training days I will probably up that a bit, but for the most part that should be sufficient.  I am hopeful summer might arrive one of these days, and a swim suit might be necessary at some point :)

So here is my agenda for the month of July:
July 4th- JBLM 8K mud run
July 9th- Top to Bottom 5K
July 22nd-23rd- Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage- Runner #6!!!

Last year at the JBLM 8K mud run.  What a blast!

12 June 2011

Happy-Happy Birthday-Birthday!!

The birthday duo
Yesterday (6/11) my baby girl turned 9 years old.  It doesn't quite seem possible that 9 years ago I was in a hospital room watching American Idol (the first season with Kelly Clarkson) because I could not fall asleep even though Will and Devan were peacefully sleeping.  She wasn't due until June 22nd, but on the morning of June 10th my water broke and around 9:30am on June 11th she finally arrived!
What, your kids read the dictionary too right??
She was not an easy baby in any way, but she kept us entertained and on our toes from day 1.  She is turning into quite the young lady these days.  She is almost done with 3rd grade and really enjoys school.  She loves science and art.  She is not a fan of math (much to my dismay) but I am hoping I can change that.  Somehow she knows nearly every adult that works at her school and has about a million friends.  She is sweet, caring and thoughtful.  She LOVES to play soccer and has been playing nonstop since she could kick a ball.  She plays indoor and outdoor and loves to play in the rain.  She scored a goal today (on her birthday!) at her last outdoor game for the season. 
Devan taking the ball upfield
She has a fantastic sense of humor and loves to be goofy and tell jokes.  She loves pancakes, watermelon, steak, shrimp and ribs.  She does not like sandwiches.  She is a rule follower and does not like to be in trouble.  She used to only wear skirts and dresses because shorts and pants were for boys.  Now she lives in shorts year round and loves the color green.  She loves dogs, horses, rollerskating, riding her bike, and her best friend Kara. 

This year for her birthday party she decided it was going to be a "rock star" party with music and dancing.  We had eleven 9 year old girls over to our house and they had an absolute blast.  What a fun age 9 is turning out to be.  Happy birthday my sweet baby girl, I love you lots.  Quit growing up so fast!  This video below is from her birthday party- those girls are a crack up!

Today (6/12) is my hubby's bday.  I won't tell you how old he is, but I will tell you he turned 30 the day after Devan was born.  That milestone was a bit overshadowed, and for several years he ended up with a pink princess cupcake.  Poor guy, he is a good sport about it though!  I have been attempting to separate the two occasions for the last few years, and tomorrow we have a group of friends going out to dinner with us to celebrate.  And he even gets his own cupcakes :)
My studly husband!
I met Will in my freshman year at college.  We started dating in January of 1997 and have been together ever since.  He is funny, caring and sweet.  He is an amazing father to our kids and is a total hands-on dad.  He gets up with them in the middle of the night.  Since we work opposite shifts he has always done the homework/bath/bedtime routine.  He takes care of our yard, does dishes, sweeps the floor and cleans the bathrooms.  He can play the guitar and has a nice singing voice. 

He loves camping, hiking, surfing, biking and playing soccer.  Somehow I convinced him to join my ragnar relay team- so he has been following the training plan and doing lots of running these days.  And he is a total stud by doing it all in his Vibram Five Fingers I bought him for Christmas!  He supports my running and allows me to take up some of our family time on Saturdays to go do my training.  Then takes care of me when I am done.  I am a lucky lady.  Happy Birthday Will, I love you! 

And an update on the marathon recovery- tonight I played our last soccer game for the session.  I played the field the entire game (instead of keeper) and am happy to report my legs felt perfect!  I was a little nervous that if I tried running they would just snap in half in revolt, but they held up great.   Runner girl is BACK!  Next week I will launch into full blown Ragnar Relay training. 
This is from a couple of games ago.  Don't worry boys- I will get the ball!!!  Our team is blue and I am in yellow.  Will is on the far right, Seth in the middle and Bennett on the left.  Notice how they are rushing to help me :) 

09 June 2011

My Marathon Story- The Extended Version

Super nervous, just about to head to the start line
Ok, so here is the wordy edition of my marathon experience.  I want to be able to remember as much as possible about the weekend, so more than anything this is just writing down a memory for me.  For some people it may be one of the most boring things you have ever read.  Others might at least learn a few things that a rookie marathon runner girl has to offer.  Who knows.  I am going to blog and be wordy anyways, so here is my story!

On Sunday morning (6/5) I woke up at 6:30am in order to have time to eat something, shower, gather all of my stuff and be out the door hopefully somewhere close to 7:45am.  The first thing I did was brew a pot of coffee and sit down to try and eat some food.  I stuck with the tried and true cliff bar/peanut butter/banana combination since it seems to always work for me.  I don't usually get nervous for races any more, but because this was a new distance for me and it would be the first time on a starting line ALONE I was having some serious butterflies in my tummy.  So I managed the cliff bar but not the banana.  I decided to just eat that in the car on the drive to the start line and hopped in the shower.  Yes, I shower before running for 5 hours.  Don't you? 

I made sure to apply tons of sunscreen (it said it would last at least 80 minutes.  hmmmm...) and applied body glide literally every place I could possibly think of that may chafe.  I got dressed in my running gear, fit all of my gels and energy chews into my pockets and we were out the door.  We ran into Alyssa and Paul in the hallway and I wished her luck (she looked pretty nervous) and we were off at around 8:10am.  Much later than I wanted, darn!

I tried to eat the banana in the car on the way to Sequim but my stomach was not really too happy with that plan.  I got about 2/3 of it eaten and gave up.  We parked and as we were walking across the field I was feeling really, really nervous and kind of ill.  It was pretty warm out already- not a good sign if you ask me.  I am pretty sure the temperature in Tacoma had not hit 70 degrees one time during my training, and now I was going to go run a freaking MARATHON in that heat?  Holy cow.  Granted, it isn't like 70 degrees is hot, but when you are used to running in cool, 50 degree weather and your body does not adjust well to sudden temperature changes it spells trouble! 
I am way behind all of those speedy looking people!
Anyways, I decided to use the bathroom really quick and while waiting Devan saw one of the teachers from her school there.  What a small world!  So Devan said hi to her really quick and apparently saw her running several times too.  After using the bathroom we found Jaime and Sarah, took a few pictures and I headed out to the starting line.  I headed back to the 10:00 group.  I noticed that this was the smallest starting group of any race I had been at.  I also noticed my shoes were tied a bit tight so I bent down and loosened the laces a bit.  Then the gun sounded and we were off!  The course took us on a 4 mile loop that went back by the start line so Will and the kids stayed there, and Jaime and Sarah took off to go find Alyssa at her halfway point.

I made sure to keep my pace just under 10 minutes.  That was my initial goal, to always be just under 10 minutes per mile, then towards the end if I felt good to maybe try some 9:30's.  Around mile 3 I noticed my feet starting to go a bit numb- my shoes were still tied too tightly!  So finally I stopped and loosened them up a bit and my feet went back to normal.  I was feeling pretty good, trying to just get into the rhythm and enjoy my race- but boy that sun was warm!  There was literally not a speck of shade and running on the pavement started to make me overheat.  As we ran down the main street in Sequim (Washington Ave I believe) one business owner had their sprinkler out so I ran through that.  It was then that I realized my arm sleeves would help keep me cool if I got them wet so at that point I started pouring one cup of water on me at the water stops.  Will and the kids drove past me and honked so I knew they would be up ahead somewhere waiting for me.
I like this picture- notice how we are all landing on our right feet?
At mile 6 I started feeling pretty bad.  My stomach was hurting a bit and I was just plain hot.  I was eating pretzels thinking they might help settle my tummy and give me some extra salt.  At that point I was not having fun and I was trying to not think about the TWENTY more miles I had in front of me.  By mile 8 I knew I was going to need a bathroom stop, and luckily at the 9 mile water station there was an actual bathroom.  I was able to wash my face off, drench my arm sleeves and kind of cool off.  I was feeling kind of dizzy and had that cold sweat feeling, which is probably not a great sign at mile 9 of a marathon.  I think what saved me was the next 2 miles that were pretty much all shade as we went through a section of trail with lots of trees overhead.  Thank goodness!  I got my body temperature somewhat back to normal and then Will and the kids were suddenly there at mile 12!  Devan ran over to give me a hug but by that point I was pretty wet- from sweat and water.  She just said "eeeewww" and I laughed- and off I went again. 
Pretzels in hand- not feeling too good here.
I knew Sarah and Jaime would be at mile 13 waiting for me so that was my next focus.  I kept trying to appreciate the scenery since it is such a pretty trail, but I just kept looking out at the snow capped mountains thinking how nice and cool it must be up there!  And then there it was, the mile 13 water stop as well as my BFF and Sarah with signs to cheer me on.  Love them.  Jaime ran with me a bit and then off I went.  She told me that Alyssa had just finished right before I got to them.  My time for the halfway point was 2:20.  My slowest half marathon EVER.  Ugh. 
The beautiful scenery.  I wanted to be on that mountain top in the snow :)
At this point the path for the marathon joins the path for the half marathon so I was in familiar territory.  Last year I did one training run on the trail as well as the half marathon.  It was also nice because more of it was shaded by trees so we weren't just running in the blaring sun as the afternoon kept getting warmer!  We were also encountering a few more hills here and there.  I walked a bit and ran when I could- at this point I just was happy that I felt good enough to continue running at all.  I remember running up one hill and passing 3 guys who had been just in front of me.  They were all walking and my ego needed a bit of a boost so I just jogged right on up past them all.  As I was walking up the very last (absolutely enormous) hill I was thinking to myself how hard just walking up it was.  I muttered the words "mother f*cker" in what I thought was a quiet voice, however the girl in front of me turned and looked so I guess I must have said it loudly haha.  I just said "sorry!" but I think she probably felt the same way. 

Right after that last hill the trail pops out next to hwy 101 where my whole crew was waiting for me.  I had made it to mile 20!  I begged them to take me with them, but they told me no.  I was almost done!  I kind of needed to use the bathroom but decided I just wanted to be finished running.  I had 6 miles left and then I was done.  I was going to finish, I had complete faith in my body at that point.  I also had a new focus- finish in less than 5 hours!  I did NOT want a 5 to be the first number in my time.  That meant I needed to RUN. 
Begging them to take me with them!!!
I headed down the last hill (yes, down was hard too) slowly because my legs were kind of feeling like jello and I was worried they would just crumble if I tried to run down the hill quickly.  Once I got down I had this sudden energry burst.  I felt pretty good and actually started passing a few people.  Around mile 21.5 a woman had her garden sprinkler out.  I ran at her with my arms out so she knew I wanted to be sprayed.  She got me good, then said "I am going to get your back too honey, don't you worry" and she did!  I was soaked but it felt amazing.  She was my hero. 

Around mile 22 we popped out of the trail and were running next to the water.  It was really pretty, but again we were in the direct sun the entire rest of the run.  We passed the 12th water stop and the ladies there had chips and salsa out, but I just grabbed my 2 water cups and my gatorade and continued on.  At this point I was starting to realize that running was less painful than walking, and if I did start walking getting back to a running stride was hard.  What a terrible cycle!  This is where the mental part of a marathon comes into play I suppose.  Trying to convince your body to keep running when every single muscle in your body is tired and hurts.

I remember passing the 23 mile sign and thinking I had only a 5K left.  I kept playing leap frog with this lady, and she was so nice every time I passed her she would encourage me and tell me to go for it.  I started passing a few people here and there, realizing that was somehow giving me the focus I needed.  So I just started picking people off here and there.  And nearly everyone I passed looked at me and told me "good job"- how nice is that?  When I knew there was only one mile left I shifted into the highest gear I could find.  I passed 3 girls I had been chasing for about 1/2 a mile, skipped the last water stop and just ran with all the energy I could find.  I passed quite a few people in that last stretch.  I slowed to a walk for about 5 seconds before I thought "what the heck are you doing- the finish line is RIGHT THERE!" 

Then all of a sudden I looked up and Jaime was walking towards me.  Somehow she knew I needed that last little push to get me over that finish line.  I have the best BFF in the world.  She ran with me for a minute or two while I told her that if I ever mentioned running a marathon again she should smack me and remind me of this very moment.  Then she stopped and let me finish my race.  I finished strong and crossed that finish line with a smile.  I think anyways, only the photos will tell :)
Just before the finish line- Alyssa and Sarah cheering me on.  Paul took the photo.  I passed all those people behind me :)
One of the volunteers greeted me with an FRS drink and my medal.  He was talking to me and asking questions probably to make sure I was somewhat coherent.  Then he realized I had several people waiting for me and he passed me off to Will and the kids.  I was in a daze for a while, and walking around was rather difficult.  Wow oh wow, I had never felt so sore in my life!  Words cannot describe what my legs and hips felt like.  But I wasn't injured in any way so that made me happy.  My ankle and knees held up just great.  I wandered over and signed up to get a massage and chatted with Jaime, Sarah, Paul and Alyssa.  Alyssa was feeling pretty good, she had also gone and showered in our hotel room so she was nice and clean.  We took a few photos together (I was starting to fade a bit at this point) and they all headed for home. 
Our shiny new medals.  Apparently I was too tired to open my eyes properly!
I kept drinking various things people handed me.  I also had a Hammer Recoverite that Will brought me.  It tasted nothing like Strawberry but it was bland and it seemed to perk me back up a bit.  I tried to eat a banana and some yogurt but could only manage a couple of bites.  The massage felt nice and then we walked back to the car- very slowly!  Once back in the hotel room I sat in a cold bath for about 10 minutes then showered and changed.  I laid down on the bed for quite a while until I started to feel hungry.

We went and had dinner at Applebee's- by then I finally had an appetite!  I had a steak dinner with a baked potato and steamed veggies.  I also had a well deserved beer, then we had some dessert.  It was a chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream.  Yum.  I was wearing my shirt and medal so people would know why I was walking like a 90 year old lady so a few people stopped to talk to me about the race, and our waitress was a runner so she chatted with me about it as well.  Then as we were heading out of the restaurant one of the workers was holding the door for us and she looks at me and says "M'am?"  and I said "yes?" She said "I just wanted to tell you that you are really pretty"- I told her thank you, that was nice of her to say.  Especially since I didn't feel all that glamorous after running for 5 hours!!
Well deserved dessert! 
Back at the hotel after dinner.
We stopped at Safeway on the way home- I just wanted a couple of magazines to read and to lay down on the bed and not move.  By the time we arrived back at the hotel I laid down and tried to read my magazine.  I actually ended up with a fever- my face was burning up but I felt cold.  I felt terrible for about an hour or so and just tried to fall asleep but couldn't.  I think my body was just completely out of whack, I kept drinking my vitamin water and hoped eventually I would feel a bit better.  The fever finally subsided and I was able to fall asleep.  Sleeping was a whole different issue though- who knew it would be so difficult to sleep when your legs are so sore!  It hurt to even just lay there. 

When I woke up the next morning I managed to get out of bed and hobble around getting ready for the day.  I felt pretty good (aside from the soreness) so we decided to eat breakfast at The Oak Table in Sequim, hit the ferry in Bremerton and hang out downtown Seattle at the market for the day!  We had a lot of fun, and it was a nice way to finish up my marathon weekend!
Riding the ferry to Seattle

Of course that sticker was put on immediately!!!
Hanging out at Pike Place Market

06 June 2011

North Olympic Discovery Marathon- A Picture Story

Moments after finishing the marathon.  I truly was that happy!
I will keep this one short and sweet, and write out my story in the next couple of days.  So here is the quick and dirty picture version of my first marathon!

After we arrived in Port Angeles we checked into our hotel and headed to the marathon expo.  I grabbed my race packet and a few stickers for the car and we set off to explore town and find some lunch.
The kiddos pretending they love each other downtown Port Angeles

Later that night we met up with Jaime, Sarah, Paul and Alyssa and headed to Sequim where I had made dinner reservations at an Italian restaurant.  It wasn't very busy there and the food was simple and carb-o-liscious.  I had spaghetti and lots of bread. 

We then drove to Carrie Blake Park where the marathon start was so we could find it easily in the morning.  The kids played for a bit then we headed back to the hotel.  I still needed to prepare everything for the morning.  I always set out my outfit, pin my bib on and gather things like my garmin, ipod and fuel sources so I don't have to stress about that and can try to sleep.

Hmmm...do I have all my stuff here???
I woke up at 6:30am and immediately drank some coffee and ate a cliff bar with peanut butter.  I was feeling nervous and couldn't quite get myself to consume the banana so I figured I could try to eat that in the car (I managed about 2/3 of it).  I hopped in the shower and got dressed and we were out the door at 8:05.
Must. Have. Coffee.
Ready to head out the door!

We ran into Alyssa in the hallway.  She ran her first half marathon yesterday!
As we walked towards the starting I had that feeling like I was going to be sick.  I knew once I started running it would go away, but the build up was really getting to me.  I headed to the 10:00 minute pace group and about 2 minutes later the gun sounded and we were off!
This is my "I am going to vomit" face.  Cute right?
The sun was out and it was already warm.  I was worried about hydration as I noticed how many of the runners around me were carrying their own water.  I started out and checked my garmin- it said 9:17 for my pace and I remembered that I should start slow...don't go out too fast.  So I slowed a bit, keeping each mile just under 10 minutes.
And I am off!
Mile 4- we repassed the start line.  I was feeling pretty good here still.
Mile 5 or so.  Will took this photo while driving.  That's safe and legal right???  And talented.
Mile 1- 9:53
Mile 2- 9:59
Mile 3- 9:40
Mile 4- 9:48
Mile 5- 10:56 (my feet had gone numb so I had to stop and loosen my shoelaces- DOH!)
Mile 6- 9:54 (started not feeling very good at this point)

I saw Will and the kids again around mile 6 and I was eating pretzels.  I was feeling kind of ill at that point since we had been in the beating down sun the entire time.  I was trying to get my stomach to stop feeling yucky.
I was starting to overheat.  You can see how red my face was.  The hug from Devan helped!
Mile 7- 11:11
Mile 8- 10:46
Mile 9- 11:09
Mile 10- 15:08 (had to make a bathroom pit stop.  I felt really sick, dizzy and terrible.  I was worried)
Mile 11- 10:47
Mile 12- 10:44
I was laughing here because Devan hugged me then said "EEEWWW, you are all wet!" this was mile 12
There was a bit of shade miles 11-12 and in the bathroom there had been a sink so I had rinsed my face and doused my arm sleeves with cold water.  I managed to lower my body temperature a bit and started feeling better.  I was taking 2 water cups and a Gatorade at each water station, dumping one on me and drinking the other 2.
And I was off again.  The guy in the white shirt is the same one from my starting photo.  He was taking photos while running- backwards at times.  That is some serious talent!
Mile 13- 11:34
Mile 14- 11:41
Mile 15- 11:27
Mile 16- 11:19
Mile 17- 13:17 (this is where the hills started and I did a bit of walking up them)
Mile 18- 11:31

I remember thinking somewhere around mile 18 that I was going to finish.  I could do this, I only had 8 miles left.  No problem.  I couldn't keep track of my fueling so I just kept forcing myself to eat things that were in my pockets to keep my energy up.   
My cheering squad at mile 20.  Sarah, Devan, Niko and Jaime (Will taking the photo).  They were amazing, I was so thankful to keep seeing them all over the place.
Mile 19- 11:10
Mile 20- 12:19
Mile 21- 13:47 (downhill was just as hard as uphill!  thought I might just tumble down it)
Mile 22- 10:46 (got a second wind here apparently)
Mile 23- 11:07 (at this point, walking was harder than running.  seriously!)
Mile 24- 11:32
Mile 25- 11:12
Mile 26- 10:12 (had to finish strong.  well, as much as I could muster)
Jaime, myself and Devan running at mile 20

Heading to the finish line! 
Official chip time- 4:56:23
Whatever, I RAN A MARATHON!  I did it.  Me.  It was hard and at times I wanted to quit, but I didn't.  I finished.  I am proud of myself.  I pushed myself harder than I ever have before and I succeeded.
Trying to eat some yogurt before my massage.  It wasn't tasting all that great.
Oh, and you didn't think I ran all that way without getting at least a couple of war wounds did you???  Here is proof of what water, sweat and 5 hours of running can do in the chaffing department!!!  I guess I shouldn't complain because other than this my only other "injury" was two water blisters on my pinky toes. 

Can you say OUCH?  Holy cow, this stung so bad in the shower I had to cover it with a wash cloth.  The other arm has it too, just not quite as bad.