Category Archives: racecation

North County Wine Run Half Marathon Race Recap

As you may remember, I ran the North County Wine Run Half Marathon last weekend in Battle Ground, WA.  Battle Ground is a sweet little town in the midst of Clark County situated near the Washington-Oregon border.  It boasts 3 wineries and, yes, I ran through every single one of them.  We’re big geography geeks, so for those of you who are also GG, here’s a visual:

While this was my first official “BibRave Pro” race, I did pay for my entry.

I was extremely nervous about this race for some reason.  Maybe because it was an “open course” (meaning running in the midst of traffic), maybe it was because there were less than 200 people signed up.  Because of the nerves, I was unable to eat anything before the race.  I couldn’t even force down a couple of Belvita biscuits which is my normal pre-race breakfast.  Bad, huge, terrible mistake.

The horn blew and we were off, starting with a nice uphill climb.  No worries.  I got this.  What goes up, must come down.  I was still going along nicely amongst the farm land when we hit the first aid station at about 2.5 or 3 miles.  I took a shot of Gatorade as I hadn’t eaten anything and thought it would help me.  Mistake #2.  I’ve discovered I can’t eat or drink anything with sugar in it while I’m running unless it’s a quick-dissolve glucose tablet, which I actually had with me.  I did eventually end up with a tummyache.  *facepalm

Still going along nicely until about mile 7.  Miles 5 to 7 were all uphill, and by the time I reached the top of the hill, I was out of gas.  Normal story for me… no hill training which, on top of no fuel, equals the biggest breakdown I’ve ever had with tears and a near full-blown asthma attack.  I recovered my breath after about a mile.  Thankfully a fellow Half Fanatic was behind me who eventually caught up to me at mile 11 and she pulled me across the finish line.  Yay!  I finished!  I was so very grateful to see James there and thankful for all the wonderful support he provided me.  I know it was hard for him to have to sit this one out.

Let me break down the details of the event for you…

PACKET PICKUP:  Short and sweet and organized.  It took all of 5 minutes.

PARKING AND TRANSPORTATION:  We parked at a school and shuttle buses took us to the race start line which was at a winery.  There was no parking at the winery, but the buses were on point.

THE COURSE:  It was open and you ran facing traffic on busy rural roads.  This was the one downfall with the race.  Drivers could care less about your safety as they showed time and time again.  Cones had been knocked down that were marking the course, and there were zero policemen around to keep things in line.  Extremely unnerving.  Following is another visual.  The course was the white line to the cone.  For 13.1 miles.  The side of the road was a ditch.

And it was extremely hilly.  You’d think I would have learned from the Olympic Discovery Half to integrate some hills into my plan, but no.  It’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks.  Here’s the elevation profile for NCWR.

PEOPLE:  Super friendly and helpful.  Everyone was extremely nice at this race, great aura.

AID STATIONS:  There were 3, two of which were running through different wineries where they offered water, Gatorade, and shots of wine for those who wished to partake.  I chose not to and stuck with water.

POST-RACE PARTY:  Great pasta and bread to be coupled with some wine tasting.  When I was through with the race, I was so sick and nauseous I couldn’t even think about eating.  After about 30 minutes, I forced myself to have about 5 bites of the pasta, the first food I’d had all day.

THE BLING:  Lovely.  A fully-weighted bottle stop.  I could actually cut the ribbon off and use this.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:  Other than the course being amongst tons of crazy traffic, this race was well run, well organized, and well directed.  If they ever closed the course, I would consider going back to run this race again for the challenge alone, to redeem myself and to have a better race.

By the way… after my shower and nap, I was feeling my normal self again, well enough for mine and James’s traditional post-race celebration.  For the first time ever, I had fried Brussels sprouts topped with bacon… I highly suggest you try them.  They were da bomb!

Cheers!

 

Back To Normal

When I last left off, I had just finished a half-marathon and was mentally preparing myself for a hike the next day.  I’m happy to say that the hike didn’t happen as my legs were angry enough with me as it was.  We did, however, go up to Hurricane Ridge to check out the views.

There was lots of snow (yes, that’s my 12-year-old son dwarfing his grandmother and father):

Lots of wildlife:

A clear view of Mt. Baker, 180 miles away:

And lots of trees:

I even got to try the infamous Starbucks Mint Frappacino (it was heavenly and I earned it) while the boys had quite a bit of fun goofing around with the outback hats:

The view of Port Angeles at the base of the Olympics:

But alas, all good things and all holidays must eventually come to an end.  My mother-in-law went back to the Motherland this past Saturday… but not before we went out to dinner to celebrate both our milestone birthdays this year (we split this delicious morsel 3 ways):

And today was business as usual, or Week 0 Day 1 of marathon training, to which I went out and completed 5 miles plus 1.  James is still hurt, but he’s in the process of formulating my training plan as I write this.  He’s such a good sport.  He actually just gave me a breakdown of my long runs for August and September, including (but not limited to) the 2 back-to-back half-marathons I’m signed up for, preceded and followed by those gnarly 20-mile runs…  dear, oh dear, let the games begin…

Have a fabulous week!!

A Smidge of an Update

Downtown River Run in Reno

I’m not going to write a big recap about this race.  Just know it was hard.  Probably the hardest 10K I’ve ever completed.  Because of Reno’s higher elevation, I couldn’t catch my breath after the first mile (this happened in SLC as well, after mile 6).  James also spent most of his race in the Red Zone because of the lack of oxygen.  But that’s not important.  We went, ran a hard race, and had a fabulous time.

The Whole 30

A couple of weeks ago, I had looked into The Whole 30 food program.  Have you heard of it? Basically for 30 days, you eat nothing but whole foods, nothing processed and nothing with sugar.  I get that it’s a variant of the low-carb craze, but really not so much.  Potatoes are whole foods, pulled right out of the ground, so they work (but they don’t work in the low-carb diets).

The premise is to detox your body from all the food processing that goes on, and then slowly reintroduce foods back into your diet to see how your body reacts.  If a certain food doesn’t make you feel so good, then guess what!  You don’t eat that food no mo’!  I needed something to get me off all of the sweets, desserts, and chips I’d been getting in the habit of eating recently, so enter The Whole 30 program.

I had the start date written on the calendar and was 100% mentally prepared.  The mental part is important.  Your brain can talk you out of anything if you let it.  I started May 2nd, so I’ve been on it a whole 2 days now.  The cravings of chocolate and chips are strong, but I shut those thoughts down by asking myself, “Am I hungry enough to eat a plate of spinach?”  If the answer is no, I drink water.  If the answer is yes, then I eat something I’ve prepared in advance so I do not fail and give in.  Again, it’s only been 2 days, but I’m hoping that I will remain strong for the entire 30 days.  Okay, not hoping, I WILL remain strong for the entire 30 days.

The foods I’ll miss and crave most are oatmeal and peanut butter, every single form of chocolate, cookie and cake, chocolate milk (I already said chocolate, didn’t I), cheese, nuts, and chips/crisps.  For my pre-run carb load, it will be a baked potato with clarified butter, although I haven’t figured out how I’m going to fuel in the middle of my long runs yet.  Maybe I can make some banana mash, place it in a baggie, and I’ll have my own GU minus all the added sugar.  I don’t know.  (For those who don’t know, GU is a nasty gel a lot of runners are forced to consume in the midst of a long run to keep their energy levels up.)

Mmmm, tastes just like bacon!!

I’ve also had to give up my morning, mid-day, and afternoon cups of tea as I use sweetener.  I now start my day with a nice cold glass of iced tea.  Super glad it’s warming up or I’d be missing my cup of hot chocolate too!  (Seeeee!  Wayyy too much chocolate!!  It’s a good thing I don’t drink soda or I’d be hurtin’ for certain!)

My other goal during this time is to do something 6 days a week, not just on scheduled run days. Yesterday I ran.  Today I was supposed to go for a bike ride, but the heavens opened up and gave us a storm from hell, so I did nothing.  A minor set-back… I’ll start again tomorrow as I’m scheduled for another 3 miles.  (And for those who are anal about their numbers… yes, I should’ve ran around until my watch said 3.1.)

And finally…

The child is having a great time in Hawaii without his parents.  Am I the only one who thinks this is completely unfair?!!

I’ll leave you now with a song for MMM… this came on during my race in Reno.  Oh the irony.  “Sucker for Pain.”  Yes indeedy.

Have a happy weekend!!

We Have Arrived…

… in Reno, that is.  I probably mentioned it like once a long time ago, but we are here for the Reno 5000 Series Downtown River Run.  I may have even possibly mentioned (or not) that both James and I have dropped down in our categories… him to the half, me to the 10K… this won’t count towards our 50-state goal for either of us.  James wants a PR this spring, so we’re holding out for a race closer to home… the North Olympic Discovery Marathon and Half in Port Angeles; one that is at sea level as opposed to 4800 feet.  (Reno is in the mountains… I never knew!) We’ll go to Las Vegas to eventually conquer Nevada, but for now we’re just here to have a good time.

We’re staying at Harrah’s Downtown, right at the start line and super close to the river.  After getting off our little propeller plane (I kid you not) and checking in, we took a lovely walk to see what the downtown had to offer.

I’ll say this… Reno is clean.  The only other downtown that I’ve seen this clean is Tulsa.  But downtown Reno is a happening place.  It’s beautiful, and it’s so refreshing to see people and government officials taking pride in their city (as opposed to Seattle which… never mind, don’t even get me started).

Anyway, the river overfloweth.  A dam floodgate near Lake Tahoe has been released to allow for melting snow over the next couple of months; therefore, the river is flowing high, fast, and furious. Wouldn’t want to be on it, but it is a beautiful sight:

#spottedthebird!  He was patient and posed nicely for me until I was done taking his picture. I’m out of my element, so I don’t have a clue what he is… where is my Sibley bird-watching book when I need it (and if any of you actually know what that book is, you’re my new BFF)!

As for news from the home front… the child is leaving Sunday on his first trip without Mom or Dad. He’s going with a friend to Maui for the next 2 weeks. I think I forgot to tell him he’s not allowed to grow up.

Now I’m off to go explore Reno and the raging river some more.  After two leg cramps in the middle of the night last night from being poorly hydrated, I’m sucking down the Nuun and water, and need to stretch out the tightness.  I logged 4 miles yesterday… we’ll aim for another 4 today, then the race tomorrow.  Should be a great time!

#spottedthehusband 🙂