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!           


25 October 2012


This was our theme song for the weekend.  Play it while you read the post, then maybe you can feel like you were there with us and my ramblings won't seem so crazy! 

So this blog post has very little to do with running- but if you are interested in how to have an amazing girl weekend that involves a lot of laughing, chatting, walking and consuming of delicious food than look no further!

My girlfriends and I have been planning this "girl trip" for several months now and between all of our crazy schedules we settled on October 19th-21st in Portland. So we booked a hotel right downtown and decided to have one dressy go out night and then do a lot of shopping/eating/walking the rest of the time. It was perfect.

Sarah, Jaime, Kendra and me in our hotel lobby
We ate sushi, frozen yogurt, pumpkin pancakes, cheese plates, burgers, halibut, duck and fancy desserts. And truffles. And doughnuts. Oh, and pineapple fried rice and fresh spring rolls from a food cart at 2:30am. I think I need to run 50 miles to burn it all off but it was totally worth every bite!! Oh, and a chocolate dipped macaroon. Better make it 55 miles.

We shopped at the mall, the Portland open market and stores like Nike, Lush, Powell's book store, Paper Source and Prana. We parked the car when we arrived on Friday and never got in it again until we left on Sunday so we walked A LOT!!

Right across from our hotel.  By the way- don't drink that water. 
Here is a list of the places we went that I really enjoyed and suggest you visit if you are ever in Portland:

*Breakfast- Mother's Bistro (http://www.mothersbistro.com/) -we waited a very long time for a table on Saturday but it was worth it. I had pumpkin pancakes and chicken sausage links and a Bloody Mary (which was really, really good). The girls all enjoyed their food as well, no complaints other than the long wait.  Eat here and make your belly happy.

*Shopping- The Portland open market on Saturday was really nice. It is HUGE and has a lot of neat things to buy. I almost bought a duck tape wallet, but I did buy peacock earrings and some warm gloves that I LOVE. Also- go to Powell's book store. It is an independently owned bookstore that fills an entire city block (there are maps available!). I could have spent the day there. http://www.powells.com/

My fancy friends- Kendra, Sarah, me and Jaime
*Dinner- We had a really nice dinner at the Heathman Hotel. Sound familiar? We didn't see Fifty Shades there much to our dismay!! It is a classic french inspired restaurant -the presentation was really nice and the food was fantastic. After our meals we shared a cheese plate and then we each chose a different dessert so we could taste them all. It is pricey but overall I would say if you want to splurge on a meal you would not regret it here. http://portland.heathmanhotel.com/restaurants/restaurant-menus.aspx

My dinner at the Heathman.  Halibut, leeks and fingerling potatoes. 
*Entertainment- We decided to go see this show http://www.darcellexv.com/ on Saturday night and it was hilarious! We called and reserved a spot and they said to arrive by 10pm for the 10:30pm show and after a taxi incident we arrived at 10:05pm to be informed that we needed to wait in line they only take reservations up until 10pm. So make sure to get there very early!!! We still had decent seats but I would have been mad if we didn't get in to see the show. We stayed for the male centerfold show at midnight but to be honest it wasn't really much of a "show". Mostly the guys just took off their clothes and then went into the audience to give out touchy feely lap dances. Not really my scene! I was not really paying attention and suddenly one of the guys was right on me dancing and so I tucked my dollar bill in his undies and Kendra was just sitting by me chuckling knowing how uncomfortable I was. Then he moved on to her and it was my turn to laugh at her! Ha that was probably the best part for me. We left soon after that. So watch the Darcelle show, but I would say the centerfolds are not really worth it. Good thing we didn't pay extra for that part!

The cast of the Darcelle show.  I think the lady with the legs must be a runner!
*Dessert- Kendra talked about Papa Hadyn and their desserts so much we had to stop in and get something when we walked by. I wanted one of everything but I chose a chocolate dipped macaroon and it was amazing. Holy yum. Go eat dessert here http://www.papahaydn.com/ you will not be disappointed. And if you love chocolate half as much as I do, do yourself a favor and stop by one of the many Moonstruck Chocolate Co. cafe's and have a truffle. They also have drinking chocolate and many other amazing chocolate things to eat. http://www.moonstruckchocolate.com/ . We also went to Voodoo Doughnut on the way out of town -I am not a huge fan of doughnuts but I admit these are pretty creative and tasty. I ate a chocolate one that was dipped in crushed butterfingers. Maybe I need to run closer 100 miles to burn all of this off...

We may have re-enacted a little Gangnam Style in our elevator
Almost but not quite the same...
*If you are hungry at 2am then I recommend walking really far in the rain to wherever the food trucks are.  Totally worth it, and you get to meet fun people like Michael from Poland who made Sarah some french fries and a Gyro and watch really drunk people wander by several times in search of their hotel.  The food trucks are open during the daytime too, but we learned they stay open until 4-6am for the bar folks!  They literally made fried rice for me while I watched them, and rolled up my fresh tofu spring rolls.  Good stuff.
I was laughing so hard that I was crying here.  Good times with some silly friends. 
I recommend bringing a friend with a long arm -thanks Jaime!!  Push the button!
It was nice to get away from everyday life for a few days though. No long run to do, no kids to feed, no work, no bills, no chores! It was a nice way to recharge and spend time with friends I have know most of my life. I met Kendra when we were about 7, Jaime when we were 11 and Sarah and I met when we were about 16. I am thankful for good, lifelong friends. Cheers!

17 October 2012

Defiance 30K Recap

Ready for my 30K!
Saturday morning my alarm went off around 5am so I could get some breakfast in me before I started getting nervous.  I ate a blueberry bagel with some berry preserves and drank a glass of water before getting dressed- a peek outside told me it was raining but that didn't really suprise me.  At 6am I ate a cliff bar but by the last bite I was forcing it down so I threw my banana in my race bag and decided I could eat it while I waited for the race to start.  I decided to leave around 6:30am to make sure I got a good parking spot and have plenty of time to get myself ready to run.  I packed enough stuff so that if the world ended while I was running I could survive for about 3 weeks.  Seriously, I had extra clothes, tons of fuel and water, protein bars, coats and shoes plus garbage bags and my trusty banana (which I never did eat!).

The fuel!
The one thing I didn't bring that I wish I had?  My snuggie.  That would have been nice and cozy while I sat in my car freezing to death waiting for the race to start!  So since I live 2 miles from the start line I was way too early but it was nice to slowly get myself together and not stress about anything for that last hour before the race.  The rain was pretty solid off and on and I finally decided to get out of the car and use the bathroom and figure out where I would leave my drop bag.  While in line for the bathroom suddenly Nicole and Lindsay walked by and said hi.  Nicole was running the 15K (she was supposed to run the 50K but is coming back from an injury) and Lindsay really was running the 50K!  Lindsay did an awesome job and Nicole supported her by running the final lap with her.  Read their reports HERE and HERE if you want to hear some other perspectives on this race and the different distance options. 

I said hi to several people I knew, and then found my friend Zach.  I threw my drop bag down near his on a picnic table covered in plastic, reluctantly threw my jacket inside of it and went to get in line for the start gun.  Zach was running the 30K and his friend David was running the 50K so I decided to start out with them even though I figured they would be faster than me.  The race starts on a straight paved sidewalk, then goes up a large wooden staircase before heading into the trails.  I kept up with them for about a mile or so, but I knew if I stayed with them I would push myself too hard in the first few uphill miles and my race would suck.  I know my pace and it is the opposite of fast on those trails.  Slow and steady was my goal, so I just eased up and soon they were gone from sight but I didn't mind. 

I just finished my first trip up Achille's Hill and then back down!
Around the rhodedendron garden I was suddenly next to Steve from my Ragnar team so we chatted for a bit and then he was pulling ahead of me as well.  Then all of a sudden there were runners coming straight at us and telling us to "turn around, we were going the wrong way!" and I was like "are they serious?".  Yes, a group of 20-30 of us (including Steve but not Zach, Nicole or Lindsay) had indeed missed a turn and were going in the wrong direction.  Turns out somebody had flipped a sign around on the course- by the time I got back on track it was probably about an extra 2 miles.  I would really like to have a chat with that person. 

Devan joined me for a few minutes
So after that little episode I was trying to convince myself that 2 extra miles wasn't that big of a deal.  Even though I knew it was actually pretty significant.  And I could probably kiss my time goal goodbye.  But there wasn't anything I could do but keep on running so that is what I did!  I fueled with gels every 40 minutes or so and refilled my water at the aid station.  I passed a couple of walkers on a very narrow trail.  I saw a couple of runner's bite the dust.  I speed walked as fast as possible up Achille's Hill, and tried to make up time running back down (that was fun!).  Will and Devan found me down past the dog park and snapped some photos.  I chatted with a lady named Heidi that runs the Bee Hive massage at the YMCA for the last few miles before we headed back down to the Start/Finish line.

Speaking of heading back down to the starting area- so Nellie's Gnarly Descent was the last part of the course I was unsure of.  Basically you head off of the main road and hike down, down, down a cliff and there is a rope for you to hold onto for part of it so you don't die fall and hurt yourself.  The first trip down it wasn't too bad actually and I managed to be rather graceful.  Once at the bottom I hustled towards the timing matts and logged a stellar time of 2:15:56 and my garmin told me I had ran 12.6 miles (should have been 10.3) so I figure I had managed to add 2.3 miles to my first lap. 

See ya!
I used the bathroom really quick and like an idiot skipped past the aid station and didn't refill my water bottles.  I was keeping up with my fueling and I actually felt really good at that point still.  And then came the stairs, and the hills- those hills in the first couple miles are just never ending!  I know the exact point it finally levels off and every time I turn that corner it is like my heart stops beating out of my chest and I can breath!  This time there were volunteers standing in the pathway making sure we went the right way which was awesome.  No need to tack on any more miles thank you very much!  About a mile before I reached the aid station at Fort Nisqually I ran out of water completely.  Not a good sign, and I had been rationing my water after I realized I hadn't topped off so I was actually quite thirsty. 

Once I reached the aid station I refilled both water bottles and drank quite a bit.  I was feeling kind of yucky at that point- a little bit dizzy and a tad nauseated so I was grazing on a couple of chips and a piece of watermelon hoping it would magically make me feel better.  I had 5 miles to go and I think my garmin said I was close to 18 miles at that point.  I set off back down the hill and a few miles later I looked at my watch because it beeped at me that the battery was low and I noticed that it was on pause- and it still said 18 miles!  Great.  I must have bumped it at the aid station or stopped it out of habit and not realized it. 

The last mile of that race was the longest mile EVER in my life.  I could see the time on my watch and I knew if I hurried I could still possibly make it in under 4 hours and 15 minutes but it would be close.  Once I hit the road I tried to match pace with this guy in front of me, allowing him to pull me along until the climb back down to Owen's beach.  This time the descent was a little more difficult.  The dirt was looser and my legs were jello- I took a long miss-step at one point and by some miracle my left quad actually held me up.  There was a guy standing just below and he said "good save!" and I was like "I am just glad my legs still work!" cause that would have been a fine way to end my 30K by rolling down to the finish line!

The beautiful finish line
I finally broke free of the trail and headed out onto the pavement toward the beautiful sight of the finish line using every ounce of energy I had left.  I could hear Zach and Nicole cheering me on and that was so awesome and encouraging- thanks guys!  My time for lap 2 was 1:54:10 making my total time for the "30K" 4:10:07.  I still beat my C goal!  Zach took one look at my feet and declared me "too clean"- I guess I am a tidy runner.  My shoes were muddy around the bottom and I had a ton of dirt inside my shoes but my calf sleeves were clean.  Interesting.  I wandered around a bit and threw my gear in the car and grabbed a sandwich.  I sat with Nicole for a few minutes while she waited for Lindsay to come through on her second lap and then they both set off for one more loop.  I headed home so I could go watch my daughter play soccer at 1:30pm before finally settling down in my recliner and not moving for the remainder of the day!

My "too clean" legs and feet!
I absolutely loved everything about this race.  It was very different from a road race- the runners were much friendlier and easygoing.  There was just a different attitude in general.  I loved that we all just left our bags out on tables trusting that nobody would mess with them.  I loved chatting with random people along the way and being surrounded by nature the entire time.  I never felt dread during this race and I never wished it was over.  Those things are important to me- I do not want to spend money and time on something that I don't enjoy.  I distinctly remember reminding myself in those last 5 miles to relax and enjoy my race- the race that I spent the last 2 1/2 months training for.  And that is what I did.  Best race ever.  If you are interested in a trail race or an ultra in the Seattle/Tacoma area- THIS is the one you should do!!  I will be back next year.  Thank you Tacoma City Marathon Association for making me proud to live and race in Tacoma.     

12 October 2012

In Twelve Hours

In twelve hours...

I will be at the starting line of my first ever 30K trail race!  I am so ready to get the show on the road, I have taken my taper to the extreme this week and done ZERO running.  None.  I ran 8 miles last Friday and then life happened this week and a run just never happened.  I did one random session of P90X2 Yoga and some foam rolling on Tuesday and then I worked an extra shift on Wednesday and went to see Pitch Perfect with some friends that night instead of running.  So I am nice and tapered- my muscles should be ready to go in the morning!

And I have been carb loading all week too.  Skinny rules -what skinny rules?  White rice, white pasta, potatoes, bagels...a cookie here and there.  And M&M's.  Oh and a cupcake- but it was my birthday so that doesn't count right?  My diet has been carbolicious but I am ready to get back to my healthier eating next week.  After I consume the thousands of calories I am about to burn.  In twelve hours.

Blue Nike tech tee, Running Skirts skirtcamp camo athletic skirt, Zensah calf sleeves
I have my outfit laid out- I altered it just a bit since Fall has decided to arrive in a hurry.  The weather is supposed to be rather rainy- how ironic that the last time it rained was the day of my last race.  It poured on the first day of Ragnar in July and I don't think it has rained since.  I don't mind running in the rain- I  actually prefer the rain over heat and wind.  Kind of like that time I trained for a marathon in 40 and 50 degree weather and then on race day it was 70 and I wanted to die.  This is the opposite so I am hoping it works in my favor!  I trained in the warm weather and now I will run while it's cool and wet so it should feel easier right?

I helped out at packet pickup today at the brand new Fleet Feet store that opened up in the Proctor district in Tacoma.  It is so nice inside and I am really excited to have a running store so close to me- it is literally across the street from the school my kids attend.  Dangerous.  I was given a tour of the new Tacoma City Marathon Association office upstairs and the building is really nice.  They are also selling Skirt Sports and Oiselle clothing.  You should go check it out if you are in the area.

I have been playing with my fueling during training and I find that I feel much better if I take a gel or half of a pack of chews every 35-40 minutes or so.  I tried 45 minutes and it was too long and my energy starts to drop.  I also ate a kid size cliff bar during my 16 and 18 milers and my stomach was just fine.  I ate a honey stinger waffle one time and that did NOT go over well but I should probably have eaten bites of it instead of the whole thing.  So I am debating bringing a cut up cliff bar so I can eat a bite here and there if I want it. 

I am assuming the race will take me 4 hours but I really have no time goal in mind.  If I could finish in 3 hours 50 minutes I would be impressed and if it takes more than 4 hours 15 minutes I will be a bit disappointed.  The total distance works out to 20.6 trail miles with each loop being 10.3 miles.  The only time I have ever ran farther than this was at my marathon a year and a half ago!  I will keep you all posted sometime in the next few days.     

27 September 2012

Trail Running Rambles

View from the Salmon Beach area of the Defiance 30K course. 
That is the Narrows Bridge in the distance.
Well the time has almost arrived- in 15 days I will be tackling my big 30K trail race (race details HERE)!  I have been so focused on this race since Ragnar that I have not even entertained the idea of signing up for any other races.  Seriously, friends have been racing and posting pictures at events and I am just oddly content to quietly cheer them on from work or my couch.  I was a little sad to miss out on the local You Go Girl Half Marathon since I had done it for the last 2 years, but honestly I just didn't have the desire to do it. 

This is the course.  I mapped it out and carried one with me in
my pocket during my run.  I still got lost.
That, and the fact that up until last weekend I was a little bit nervous about how I would perform on race day.  I mean 30K is no joke, and the fact that it is all on trails makes it that much more challenging!  So I have been out on those trails every single Friday, spending hours just running and running and running to make sure that I am ready.  Since I last blogged I did go out and run 16 miles.  And then last Friday I attempted to follow the race course and ran 18 miles!!  I got lost and off course several times but I think I get the idea- and the race director promised me that the course would be well marked. 

I started my run here at Owen's Beach 
Yes, I know the race director for the Tacoma City Marathon Association- he happens to be a customer of mine and an extremely nice guy.  He is also one of the founders of the Marathon Maniacs- he is maniac number 3 Tony Phillippi.  I was chatting with him a couple of weeks ago and he encouraged me to get in an 18 mile training run and now that I have I am very thankful that I took his advice.  I feel very ready to run this race, and I know that I may be slow out there but I have what it takes to enjoy my run and be proud of my training. 

I thought these trees were really pretty.  I was also pretty sure I was completely lost at this
 moment but- suprise! I actually wasn't lost at this point.
When I signed up for this race it was an early birthday present to myself - my birthday is October 8th and the race is October 13th.  Other women buy themselves jewelry, I buy myself hours of running alone out on dirt trails.  Yep, never claimed to be normal!  Anyways, it will be my first race in my new age bracket since I am turning 35 I will be grouped with the 35-39 year olds.  I have no clue if that will help me, hinder me or make no difference whatsoever but I will find out soon enough!  HA!

I loved running through here, although it was really secluded and I had no
idea where I was or if I was going the right way!
My 18 mile run went really well.  It took me 3.5 hours to finish, which sounds like a really long time but remember that running on trails with rocks/loose dirt and HILLS galore (steep up and steep down) your pace is typically a couple of minutes slower.  Factor in that I have only done a handful of runs ever (and on pavement) over the 14 mile mark and my pace is just pretty slow out there.  I have learned to just turn that function off on my garmin because I don't care about pace when I am running 18 miles on trails- what matters more to me is that I am staying hydrated and fueled and enjoying myself. 

I popped out here not once, but TWICE! 
Definitely not in the right spot.  Oops.
I have learned that I love running the trails.  I love that there aren't any cars.  I love that there are trees and deer and nature sounds and chipmunks.  It is peaceful and my mind stays busy the entire time because the second I stop paying attention I get lost.  Oh, who am I fooling- that happens whether I am paying attention or not but I just don't care if I get lost anymore because when you are running 18 miles you have time to get lost and find your way again.  I love that I can run for hours without music and I don't miss it.  I love that when I get home and take off my shoes and socks it looks like I was actually running barefoot because my feet are caked in dirt.  Ok, I don't really love that part but it makes me feel like a bad ass.

Had to add one nice cheesy photo of me in for good measure!
This is how my run went- you can see I kind of went in the right direction. 
And you can see the lovely elevation chart as well!
I did go for a run down on the nice, flat, paved waterfront yesterday just to be sure there was some speed left in these legs of mine.  I managed to do 5.5 miles at an average pace of 8:53  so it is still in there somewhere!
Crunchy leaves- I think Fall has arrived! 
Don't tell anyone but it is my FAVORITE season.