Tag Archives: 10K

BibRave Pro!

I have a fun announcement!  I’ve been selected to be a BibRave ambassador, otherwise known as a BibRave Pro!

What is BibRave?  BibRave is a website that provides a community forum for runners to research and review races.  Anyone can submit a race review and there are no fees to use the service.  There is already a great online community and a weekly twitter chat, #bibchat, hosted each Tuesday at 6pm PST.

What is a BibRave Pro?  BibRave Pros are run bloggers who help spread the word about BibRave and BibRave-partnered races and brands.

What does this mean?  It basically means I’ll be reviewing races and products right here on my blog and continue to write race reviews on BibRave.

I’ve updated my website to include some discount codes.  If you’re interested in a race discount code, such as any Rock N Roll or Hot Chocolate race, you can visit my Race Discounts tab, and for gear and product discounts, visit my Gear Discounts tab.  These discounts are for runners and non-runners alike!

If you’d like more information on BibRave, you can visit http://www.bibrave.com.

I’m super excited to be doing this!  Wish me luck!!  You may be seeing a lot of orange in my near future!!

 

Fall Already?

I realized… ohhhh, probably last Friday… that I have a 10K at the end of this month, so it might behoove me to get out on the trail sometime really soon.  Mind you, I haven’t been sitting on my posterior this whole entire time… last week just so happened to have been filled with rainy days, so I kept my posterior inside on the treadmill.  Do you have any idea just how non-exciting writing about treadmill runs really is?  Not to the mention the pictures you would get:

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Borrrrring.  Yeah, that’s what the treadmill does for you… zaps all your creativity while you suffer endless minutes of mind-numbing drudgery.  But it has to be done, what can I say.

However, we got a break in the rain today, so out I went on the trail for a 5K.  And I saw this:

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Leaves on the ground!  Yes, I do believe autumn has begun here in the Pacific Northwest, if for no other reason than the week of rain we happened to have.  September is actually still supposed to be sunny here, with the rainy season not really starting until mid-to-late October, but things may be different this year… we’ll see.  I may not get my chance to go for the 50-mile bike ride to which I had given some serious thought.  Again… I guess we’ll see.  I do need to go tackle that dreadful hill though before winter just so I can get past it (and then probably follow that up with saying “never again”).

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I have to give a shout-out to the man in the above picture, in the orange shirt, bless him.  He’s probably 70 to 80 years old, and I see him out running every single day, just shuffling along. Sometimes alone.  Sometimes with his daughter.  Every.  Single.  Day.  He impresses the hell out of me.

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My picture… okay, AJ’s picture taken last week in Sequim, but this bear’s mannerism describes the people I’m admiring this week… fierce!

I would also like to give a shout-out to a blogger friend, “Lucy” from Losing Anonymously.  I started following her last year as she began on her healthy journey to lose weight and get in shape.  In that time, she lost 74 pounds and became a runner.  Today she completed her very first half-marathon, with a damn good time, I might add.  I am just thrilled for her.  She is proof-positive that with hard work and determination, one can achieve their goals.  Never give up… she never did.  She had personal challenges that she had to overcome, but she never quit.  She is truly an amazing person and such an inspiration.  Well done, “Lucy,” well done!!

‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak

And when you feel weak you feel like you want to just give up

But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength

And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up

And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you want to just fall flat on your face and collapse.

–Eminem, “Till I Collapse”

Hope you have a great week!!

 

 

 

 

Maui Oceanfront Marathon

Can I just start by saying this race was an ass kicker?  No?  Okay then, I’ll just let you know how it went.

Our day started at 2 a.m.  James got up, showered, dressed, and prepped for the full marathon. I had to get up to take him to the place where he caught his shuttle bus.  He had to go a few miles up the road as his race was point-to-point, and his bus left around 3:15 a.m.  I was back in bed by 3:30.

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I wasn’t actually able to fall back to sleep after that, so I just laid there and rested until my alarm went off at 4:30.  James had a kick-off time of 5:30.  The half-marathon started at 6:35, and my in-laws came to pick me up at about 5:30 or so to take me to the start line (it’s not a proper race without numerous trips to the port-a-loo before gun time, so it’s important to get there plenty early to stand in the loo lines… over and over again). My father-in-law, Rick, was running the 10K, and his race started at 6:40.  We both had the same start line, both were an out-and-back, and no, we don’t understand why they sent out the faster-paced 10K group after the slower-paced half-marathon group, but whatever.

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Rick and I had a helluva time trying to get a selfie.  Neither one of us could work the camera that early in the morning and it was super dark.  OH!  Of special note… when you start a race in pitch black dark, DO NOT put the lid down on the port-a-loo!!  Just saying!

It all started off wonderfully… the sun eventually started to come up… there was a cruise ship docked with all its lights on that we could look out onto… there was a beautiful sunrise.  But then we got up to the highway with which we were to run our various distances… all 1550 or so runners… on one shoulder of the highway… the busy 2-lane highway.

Unfortunately, a 70-year-old man went down at mile 2.  He was running the 10K and had apparently passed me going out (I started at the back of the pack so as not to interfere with any of the fast runners).  And when the emergency vehicles come with their sirens and lights, what do all the cars on the busy highway do?  They pull over to the shoulder of the road, don’t they… where everyone was running.  But I didn’t have a clue there was a runner down… and this was wrong on so many levels.

I passed that man at mile 2… EMTs were doing CPR on him with chest compressions.  That’s enough to scare the hell out of anyone and disturb their mental game, especially as he was an experienced runner.  Try to shake that sight from your mind while you’re in the midst of a hard-ass run.  It ain’t easy… both my father-in-law and I had to pass him on the ground… and we both were shaken.

Back to the race, running on the slanted shoulder of the highway, I ran about 6 miles into the sun, as it got hotter and hotter (James passed me at his mile 20, my mile 6… we exchanged a kiss).  But no, I promised I wouldn’t complain about the heat, especially as they had aid stations about every 1 to 2 miles with misters to cool you off, although there came a point where the misters just didn’t work anymore, and the aid stations became far and few between.  But, again, I’m not going to complain about the heat because I haven’t been able to run outside for ages, and it’s been awesome…

The bottom line is… I didn’t do enough long runs in my training to pull me through strong (illness, sucky weather, rebelling against the treadmill), and I actually did realize this before the race even started, but this was probably my one and only chance to knock Hawai’i off my half-marathon state list, so I had to do it regardless.

By mile 10, I was struggling.  My feet were swollen and blistered from the heat of the highway.  I started to get super angry… angry with the race, the cars, my feet, the freaking hills, not being able to see any whales… you name it, I was pissed off about it.

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The outcome?  Eventually I crossed the finish line.  Smiling.  My time wasn’t good or pretty, but I made it and I crossed.  And now I get to enjoy a week of fun in the sun.  But I gotta tell you… it was hard as hell getting up the next morning to continue with my run streak… but I did… we both did, and it hurt… badly.

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My son AJ… he slept through it all.

The runner down at mile 2… so far as we know, and from what the race director has told all participants, he survived.  He had a heart attack but was successfully resuscitated.

Not a race I care to repeat… but really happy I did it just this once.

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Weekly Wrap–Mukilteo Turkey Trot

I’m linking up with Holly from HoHo Runs and Tricia from MissSippiPiddlin for the Weekly Wrap. You don’t have to be runnin’ to share your funnin’, so go visit them, link up, and join the party.

WeeklyWrap

Maui Half-Marathon Training, week 7

Monday:  Treadmill Torture.  After participating in the Redmond Turkey Trot the previous Saturday, I really wanted to try to beat my time for the upcoming Turkey Trot on Thursday.  So I forced myself to run on the treadmill at a faster pace that I knew would beat my previous time, assuming I could hold that pace for very long.  It was a good workout, and my legs got a feeling for what they needed to run to PR.  The plan was to channel that treadmill workout the whole entire race on Thursday.

Tuesday and Wednesday:  Total rest and relaxation and mentally preparing for Thursday, as well as trying to figure out Thanksgiving dinner.  As it was just the 3 of us, none of us were too fussed about what we were going to eat come Thursday, when we were going to it, etc.  I was really more concerned about what was going to be for breakfast post-race!

Thursday:  Mukilteo Turkey Trot in Mukilteo, WA.  Once again, we were up and at ’em way earlier than a normal weekday.  It was nicely below freezing (see that? feels like 22).  Oh yay.

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Luckily I was wearing 3 layers all over my entire body.  And I stayed in the heated car until it was time to go line up at the start line.

20151126_072536.jpgAlthough this race was sponsored by the same people who had put on the Redmond Turkey Trot the previous Saturday, I think more people showed up today.  They were offering prize money for the top place finishers, so that brought out some fast runners. They were still offering the yummy pies too for each age group.

James did the 10K, and I did the 5K, so James lined up with the elite group and headed out first.  Hehe, okay, he didn’t really go out with the elite as there weren’t any elite there, just some mighty fast runners of which he was one.  Anyway, off he went, and I went out with the back of the crowd per normal, but I was kind of pleased I actually passed some people along the way.  It’s usually the other way around!  We went a bit up the street, turned the corner, then BAM!  There it was! The first nasty hill of the run.  Yes, I’m sure you can guess what I was thinking… “I should’ve done more hill torture.”

20151126_085538.jpg20151126_085620.jpgIt was a rolling hill-type of a race, up and down and up and down, but it was all good.  Not too severe.  I didn’t get my PR like I wanted; however, I did run that hilly course at about the same pace I ran the other Turkey Trot which was mostly flat, so I consider it a success.  I’ll have other chances to PR my 5K, so it’s okay.  James nailed his 10K PR by 3 minutes but unfortunately came in 4th for his age group, so no pie for us on Thanksgiving Day.  The funny thing is, if he would’ve been 2 years younger, he would have won that particular age group by 4 minutes.  He gives a pretty decent race recap at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest, so go check it out.

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As for post-race breakfast, I found a fabulous slow cooker egg bake from My Fitness Pal that was ready by the time we got home.  Yes, there was bacon, 🙂

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Friday:  Trail run with Jamesy.  James felt it necessary to pace me on a 2-mile run post-Thanksgiving debauchery and 1 day post-race.  Ouchie.  He runs fast.  ‘Nuff said.  At least we waited until most of the ice had melted on the trail.

Saturday:  Total rest day.  I am so good at these rest days, I amaze myself.  We played games and James made a sinfully delightful chocolate-chip bread pudding.  It’ll probably be a good thing when this holiday weekend is over so we can get back to good.

screenshot_2015-11-29-10-01-51.pngSunday:  Long run day.  Another freezing cold day (I will never complain about the heat I again, I promise… okay, not really, I’ll still complain about the heat too). As it’s a step-down week (thanks to my Turkey Trotting), I just did an easy-peasy stretch around the block.  Today was the Seattle Marathon of which James had entertained the idea of running way back in July. I’m so glad he changed his mind. I would’ve been not too impressed having to go out in this freezing cold weather at a stupid-early time for one of the hilliest courses ever with all that ice out there. For those who did run it… kudos to you.  I’ll bet the portaloos were fun on your bum first thing.  Yikes!

Only 6 more weeks until Maui.  Holy cow, I’m looking forward to some warmth!  And I have a lot of work to do between now and then.  My pace has come down quite a bit, and I’m aiming for a 15-minute PR in Maui = 3:15.  Holiday season, ice, cold, snow or not… it’s time to get busy!

And how was your week?

For The Newbie Runner…

The infamous shaving incident

I’m the one with the cotton ball-looking things around my neck. I have no idea what my mother was thinking.

I come from an era when everyone had to do the Presidential Physical Fitness Test twice a year in PE. Remember that?!  I hated and dreaded it!  I was always last in the run part of the test, and at those crucial times in a child’s life, it can be humiliating.  My last year of PE was when I was in the 11th grade and I signed up for the weight class because I hated everything else… volleyball, softball, basketball.  I am not a natural-born athlete.  But I discovered I could lift weights. And I could do aerobics and Jazzercise. One of my grades in weights was figuring out an aerobics routine and teaching it to the class (yes, this was in the middle of the aerobics boom).  I nailed it, and the coach even told me that I was good at it.  I was chuffed.  But I digress…

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My sister Angela (left) and me; I was 15.

Even in weight class, we had to do that stupid physical fitness test, you know, the one with the running.  I couldn’t even make it around the track once without walking half of it.  I was tired of being humiliated, so I worked all year long on trying to get around that track without having to stop and walk, and I worked on trying to speed up.  I did this after school or whenever I could get to the track to practice.  By the end of the year when the test came, I made it around the track without walking.  I was still last, but I made it around that stupid track. I considered the run a success.

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Fast forward to now.  I’m closer to 50 than 40, and I am a runner.  I’m also in my 2nd year of racing.  And I go out and give it my all.  And I am not fast… although I am faster than I was last year.  And that’s so very encouraging and positive.  I see progress.  And I’ve just begun.

I read other blogs of newbie runners, too.  A lot of newbies (including me) struggle with how slow they run.  Sometimes it even discourages them… “Why do this?  I’m not going to get any better.  It’s never going to get any easier.  I’m so slow.” I want to tell you that you will get better, it will get easier, and you will get faster.  You just have to have patience and put in the effort if you really want to become a faster runner. Sometimes it’s discouraging to be slow, I know, but keep at it.  Your pace will come down, and with it, you will become more fit, or vice-versa.  Running has brought me a sense of good will, good health, empowerment, control, a major sense of accomplishment.  And I think it’s all worth it.  You will too.

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Me just before Thursday’s Turkey Trot, my 13th race.

Bridge of the Gods Run Video

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At the beginning of the race, there was a little drone high up in the sky to which we all waved.  Following is the video that the drone made.  If you want to see the beginning of the race and what it was like to cross that bridge, have a look.  The video is about 4 minutes long.  If Bridge of the Gods is something you will want to do in the future, or if you need a little inspiration to get pumped for your next race, this will help.  There’s something about watching a crowd of people leave the start line that gets my blood moving.  The drone narrows in on some people walking across the bridge… I can guarantee you I was not one of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bridge of the Gods Run… done and dusted! Race Summary…

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Right before kickoff! James is nicely calm and collected. I am in sheer panic mode. See that huge bridge behind us?

I’m doing something a little different this time… Jamesy is taking care of the race summary part for the half-marathon from his perspective.  My summary for the 10K follows after his… after all, he did cross the finish line before me.  🙂  Please give him lots of love… he’ll soon be starting his own blog about the 50-in-50 we are about to undertake.  By the way, the “PK” he’s referring to is me, my nickname.

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A thousand of our closest friends! The line to the portables was this long too!

JAMES, ON THE HALF-MARATHON:  Halfway through the Chicago training plan and time for the tune up half-marathon in Cascade Locks, OR…a hilly race that starts on the Washington bank of the Columbia River at the Bridge of the Gods.  It fit the calendar and gave us a chance to get away for a quick weekend break.  At the last minute, despite being terrified at even the thought of crossing a bridge, PK signed up for the 10K which was awesome!

Packet pickup on arrival the day before the race was conveniently located next to the fabulous Thunder Island Brewery at the park where the finish was line was being setup, a leisurely 10 minute stroll from our hotel.  The “expo” consisted of a tent where we were issued our bag, a bib, and a ticket to get on the shuttle in the morning!  No worries though…it was what we expected and the IPA at the brewery was awesome.

After an easy relaxing night at the hotel , race day morning arrived and it was time to go through the normal ritual of the pre-race shower (yeah weird but it’s what I do and it works for me), coffee and Gatorade while heading out in search of the magical race ring of easily digestible fuel, aka bagels.

A nice stretch followed with a walk to the shuttle to be bussed over the Bridge to the Washington side for the start.  Felt so bad for PK as she was clearly stressing on just the bus ride so did my best convince her that it would all be fine…just don’t look down, head up, and keep running…preferably fast (and turns out she did).

There were just over 800 runners in the half race and, with everyone doing the normal jostling for position, we were sent off to the melodic tunes of AC/DC, For Those About To Rock…perfect.  I was ready to go and ready to rock.  The Bridge required some patience because everyone was jammed in but moved up a few places before the hitting the trail in stride.

This course is advertised as hilly and very shady…and it didn’t disappoint, with “hilly” being an understatement.  We had checked the elevation profile prior to the run but it did not really reflect the difficulty level of this race.  Without a doubt, by far the hilliest course I have ever run…the climbs and descents were endless…climb, plateau for maybe a tenth, quarter mile at most, then down and climb, rinse and repeat, as the hills got progressively more difficult.

I’m not a good hill runner on the best of days, but today I just felt strong.  For the first time in as long as I can remember, I ran every single hill, never backed off and attacked each climb.  I won’t deny it hurt and the fatigue in my legs mounted with each undulation, but mentally, I felt great and wasn’t going to be beat.  I was aiming for 1:52…I needed 1:52:01 to qualify for a Wave 1 corral at Chicago, and at the half split, I was tracking perfectly right at 56 minutes, but more importantly was not feeling tired.  The hill up to the turnaround was insane for a half…in some sections, according my Strava elevation profile; we were running on 30-40% grades!  Not good for a weak hill runner.

The scenery was absolutely incredible…running on the trails way above the Columbia Gorge was awesome and the shade of the forest canopy provided a constant cooling effect.  I had no issues with heat or dehydration…in fact, by the final aid station around mile 12, I was pretty full, bordering on too much water, so dumped most of the cup on my head before attacking the final section through the town to the finish.

With hydration in check, I took a gel around mile 8 or 9 which seemed to kick-in on cue.  I knew I needed around 8:30-8:32 splits to hit my finish time, but with the hills, they were all over the place, although consistently under 9:00 and generally ranging from 8:15 to 8:50.  Managed to catch PK on one particularly brutal hill towards the finish…that thing was almost a 1 mile climb…we exchanged pleasantries as best as 2 breathless people can and I pushed on.  One more climb after that finally had me uttering some unmentionable phrases, and then it was around the final aid station and into town.

The final mile and a half through the small town was awesome.  I knew I was close but I had no late run fatigue at all as I emptied the tank.  Felt bad as I almost pushed past a couple of the 10k finishers on a narrow bridge walk-across the river in the park…well not really pushed past as much I encouraged them to keep moving quickly and faster if possible because I knew I was close – real close…around the turn, took 2 more people on the final stretch and ran the grassy track to the finish…for a final time of 1:52:22 and an average pace of 8:34!!!  22 seconds over my target…but overall, I’m not disappointed at all.  It was a great race…a super tough challenge that I handled really well…Chicago will have nowhere near this kind of elevation gain…it’s just twice as long ☺

Post-race was great cheering PK home and then grabbing some awesome post-run recovery food that the event had put on for the runners.

This was a great way to finish the first half of the training plan and while I didn’t achieve my Wave 1 corral, overall I don’t think it will make much difference in Chicago…I’m assigned the first corral in Wave 2 and it will be a completely different experience.

Final thoughts…I’m excited – this was a tough course and I never once cracked or wavered from my plan.  I almost pulled it off but it was probably just one hill too many.  Still, a 1:52:22 was good enough to place 78 out of 831 overall and 15 out of 76 in the Male 40-49 category.  We also had a super fun weekend and great time away together, doing what we love to do…Cheers!

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Our view pre-race. I could just die.

PAULA, ON THE 10K:  The bridge sucked… but gave me my fastest split of the whole race.  I wanted to take a picture through the metal grates down to the water, but I could not look down whatsoever.  The hills… I had no idea how painful all the freaking hills were going to be.  An elevation gain of 1824 and elevation loss of 1850.  Who the hell talked me into signing up for this race?!

Overall, it was a fabulous getaway and it was a super hard and fun race with lots of challenges to overcome.  It was put together well.  The important thing is that I did it.  Below are my results. And I didn’t finish DFL… I’m moving up in the world… at the very least, closer to the middle.  ‘Nuff said.  🙂

race results

 

Stay tuned… I have more to say about this fun weekend… 

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It is all about the bling!

Bridge-O-Phobia

I don’t understand why people are afraid of bridges. It just doesn’t make sense. One drives on a road and doesn’t fall off… isn’t a bridge just a road? One walks on a sidewalk and doesn’t fall off… isn’t a bridge wider than a sidewalk? I just don’t understand the phobia… and yet I am absolutely 100% terrified of bridges. There is something about being on a bridge that scares the ever-loving hell out of me.

Why do I bring this up? Good question, glad you asked. This coming weekend James is participating in the Bridge of the Gods Half-Marathon in Cascade Locks, Oregon. The race starts off in Washington, then you run over this hella big bridge on into Oregon, and continue the race from there. And I’ve been talked into participating in the 10K. “It’ll be a great bench mark for your race coming up in September.” “You’re going to run the course anyway, you might as well join the race and earn some bling.” “It’ll be fun.”

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I did it. I signed up. I feel sick. This bridge stands 140 feet above the water and is 0.3 miles long. For me, that is equivalent to 3 to 4 solid minutes of complete hysteria at the beginning of the race.  Guaranteed that it will be the fastest 0.3 miles I will ever run in the history of ever!  I plan to put my head down and just plow through… it’s a shame the road is actually metal grate that you can see through… down to the water below… 140 feet below.  I actually did try running with my eyes closed this morning.  That didn’t work too well.

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I also told my loving husband that I need to be sure to add new music to my iPod before the race, that was a priority.  He informed me, “Well, I have Bridge Over Troubled Water if that helps…”  He now sleeps on the couch…

Other than the bridge panic, it’s supposed to be a beautiful course.  I’ve created an Instagram account, hoping to take some pictures and have them post directly to it.  I’ve also created a Twitter account.  I don’t understand Twitter for the life of me or what to do with it, but I noticed on my Garmin watch that I can do Live Tracking and it can link with Twitter, so I thought I’d see how that worked.  The links to both are in the side-bar menu.

I also want to wish Dawn good luck with her race tomorrow.  No worries! We got this!! 

Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them.  You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have. –Norman Vincent Peale