Tonight I’m in Battle Ground, Washington, preparing to run, I believe, my 13th half-marathon Saturday morning. Battle Ground is about 200 miles south of where we live and about 20 miles north of Portland, Oregon.
One of the reasons James and I race is to explore new areas. We’d never heard of nor been near Battle Ground before, and as this event is in our home state, we needed to check this race and area out.
Unfortunately, on September 2nd and about 40 miles south from here, some careless teenagers were lighting off fireworks during a burn ban, which ultimately started the now infamous Eagle Creek Fire, a fire that has burned so massively we have got smoke and ash all the way up where I live.
As of September 20th, the fire has consumed over 48,000 acres and still is only about 50% contained.
The proceeds from the North County Wine Run will go to the Eagle Creek Fire Relief.
Thankfully, the air cleared enough this past week to where we could still run.
This is the first race I’ll be running representing BibRave as a BibRave Pro, but I did pay for my entry. I will be running through a winery, with wine offered at the aid stations and a wine truck coming up along the course… you know… just in case.
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 follow my blog regularly, you may already know that James and I ran Route 66 in Oklahoma last Sunday, November 20th (him the full, me the half). One word comes to mind… hilly. Okay… another word also comes to mind… fun. What a fabulous experience! We made a point to qualify for Marathon Maniacs/Half Fanatics earlier in the year specifically for this race and the VIP experience, and it did not disappoint. When you’ve had the extreme pleasure of standing in the never-ending portaloo lines pre-race, only then can you appreciate the serenity of a private row of blue cabins with zero wait time.
As I tend to suck at writing race recaps, I’m just going to stick to my little weekend summary with pictures, but do keep an eye on 50 in 50 Marathon Quest for the actual mile-by-mile breakdown.
Soooo… my first impression of Tulsa as we were flying over it on Friday was flat. Don’t laugh… it’s true, it looks flat. You can see forever, until the earth starts to curve again, kind of like a never-ending horizon. However, I discovered our first night there that Tulsa is anything BUT flat. And it has gorgeous sunsets.
On Saturday, we had the race expo and blogger’s forum with which we were invited to participate. The expo was great… lots of fun stuff to be had. We came away with a bag full of swag and stuff we probably didn’t really need, but it’s all part of the fun expo experience. I even found some shoe charms that James was gracious enough to buy for me.
The blogger’s forum was also a great experience. Everyone was so nice and so friendly, and the social media director for the race was just amazing… super sweet! I had a blast getting to know the other bloggers and talking with them, sharing notes and ideas, etc. If you ever have the chance to participate on a panel, I highly recommend it.
Okay, on to the race… we met up with the Maniacs and Fanatics beforehand (remember… our very own portaloos with no lines… okay, well, maybe a little line). This is the official picture of all the maniacs that were there:
In case you’re having issues picking James and I out in the crowd, here’s a little help:
It was cold… very cold. And windy (we later learned that the wind always blows in Tulsa). I tried to get some video at the start line with the music playing in the background, but my phone didn’t do a great job at picking up the music. However, if you’re interested in checking out the buildings down town and all the people, here ya go:
The course started out relatively flat… yay! But then we went around a corner, and it was all up and down from there. Long rolling hills. You were either going up, or you were going down. There was 1 mile out on the highway that was also relatively flat, but we ran mostly through neighborhoods, so up and down we went (but oh, the neighborhoods were gorgeous).
The support for this race was amazing. People were everywhere, having block parties and blasting music. The chickens even came out to cheer us on.
At about mile 9, beer shots were handed out at one of the aid stations. I don’t drink beer, and I certainly don’t drink it at 10 in the morning; however, I will admit I took a shot. After all those hills, I needed the sugar and carbs to keep me going. There were also beer shots at miles 10 and 11, and then somewhere in there, they had jello shots made with Fireball. What can I say? I had a great time.
The hill past the above sign really, really hurt… just saying.
Once we crossed the finish line, we hobbled on over to the Maniacs party tent to partake of the barbecue and pizza. We also received the medals specific for our club (Fanatic or Maniac).
And, with the Turkey Trot 5K we did 4 days later on Thanksgiving, so endeth the 2016 race year. Route 66 was a fabulous finale race and a fabulous time, with the best bling of the year. It made qualifying for the Fanatics worth every single painful mile.
After completing 8 races this year, 7 of them being half-marathons in 5 different states (including Washington), and after the heartache I endured this fall, I leave you with this pre-emptive Motivational Music Monday song:
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter Dancing through the fire ‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar Louder, louder than a lion ‘Cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!
And so training begins again, only this time I have a decent amount of time to get in shape for the Tulsa Half taking place in November, my 7th state.
Or wait… maybe I’m supposed to be getting ready for the Hamster Endurance Run in August… oh well… moving on…
I’m not sure I mentioned it before, but because of that crazy stint I pulled off with the SLC Half, RNR Seattle Half, and just recently Missoula (3 half-marathons in 90 days), I managed to qualify for Half Fanatics. I am now Half Fanatic #15164! For my friends across the pond and elsewhere that aren’t familiar with it, it’s a national running club here in the States which affords certain race “perks.” For example, in Tulsa, we will have access to the VIP tent. And yes, James qualified for Marathon Maniacs as well. We both have joined the Asylums!
Anyway, as I was saying, today was the first day of training for Tulsa… or Hamster… whatever. My feet are feeling much better (thanks Rob!), almost completely healed and normal again. Regardless, I kind of had a lazy run. Okay, not kind of, more like really really. But it’s all good. I haven’t been able to train properly since the PF started, so it was good to get out and just get ‘er done.
I opted to go ’round and ’round at the soccer fields. It was flat. And I was feeling lazy. And could the sky get any more beautiful?
So I completed 5 lazy miles going ’round and ’round. It got a bit warm with no shade, but I’m thinking I shouldn’t really complain about that as, last I heard, the rest of the country is melting.
We have arrived at Missoula! And it’s been a great day!
We left Lake Stevens Friday afternoon and stayed the night in Spokane, ate at one of our normal gastropubs and had a nice walk around the downtown.
Saturday morning before we left Spokane, we were very lucky to meet up with Renee (The Revenge Wogger) and her husband Keith for coffee. This lovely lady has been through so much the past 6 months… double mastectomy, chemo, and another laparoscopic surgery that she just barely had on Thursday. I was amazed she was willing and able to meet up 2 days after her surgery. What a strong woman, and such a positive attitude! Her and I became friends last year through our blogging. We discovered we had the same sense of humor and attitude, then we discovered we both are from Arizona… and the list goes on and on. She used to be totally anonymous… but not anymore. I introduce to you Renee, The Revenge Wogger, who is now a cancer survivor! (yay you!) What a beautiful smile!
After driving another couple hundred miles, we finally arrived in Missoula. We only had until 4 p.m. to pick up our bib and race packet, and we arrived around 3. The expo was outside under tents, quite small considering the popularity of this race. Still, I have no complaints. I wasn’t really in the mood for a big expo. We took a walk along the river while we were out and about.
We also got to see Jeff Galloway speak. And we ran drills with him! I actually got coached by one of the best running coaches ever! So now I have a plan for tomorrow! Total score!
And in about 5 hours, I get to wake up and head to the start line for my 5th half-marathon of 2016. When I see you next, hopefully I’ll be one bling richer!
For Slow Runner Girl… looky what I found today!! Does this count?!! (treasure hunting while running… it’s a great thing!)
Yes indeedy! It’s time for Motivational Music Monday from James over at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest. Everyone is encouraged to play, so please head on over to his site (even if it’s not Monday no mo’) and tell him a song that makes you happy!
In case you missed it, we just completed the RNR Seattle Half Marathon (well, James completed the full). They played some great wake-up music at the start line, stuff that made you want to get up and shake what your mama gave you! This was one of those songs! I also had this on my playlist, and when it finally came on somewhere down the road, it helped me to get one of my best splits of the race, plantar fasciitis pain and all.
Today is also #MoveItMonday!! What will you be doing to get up and get your blood flowing?!
It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t fun, but yes, I finished. One of the best ways to see a city is to run a race through it. I got some great shots of Seattle… shots I wouldn’t otherwise be able to get. Here is my day in pictures.
This is at the start. So many people, it took me over an hour to cross the starting mat once the first corral had gone. James hit the 5K mark before I even started.
We started at the Space Needle/Seattle Center.
Alaskan Way Viaduct… can you see the wall to wall people?
So majestic to see both stadiums… and knowing that is where the finish line is… so close yet so far away.
A nice shot of the Columbia Center. Remember I was recently at the top of that building?
The huge ferris wheel on the waterfront. Another landmark.
I love it when drum lines play on the course.
Mariachis serenading us from above. I was starving at this point and was ready for my Mexican food.
A group of pirates cheering us on and handing out water, mile 7.
This guy is always here at this particular point during the race, right next to Genesee Park heading to Lake Washington Blvd.
Lake Washington Blvd… a gorgeous stretch.
Close to 1/2-mile lined with American Flags, right after the memory mile, mile 9.
Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners, mile 12.
I ended up logging over 18 miles that day (love the worthless stats). Next up, Missoula Marathon and Half on July 10th.
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful dads out there and especially to my husband James over at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest! May you all have a beautiful day!
The holiday celebrations are over now as mum-in-law Janet has gone back to the UK. No more debauchery for us… we have races coming up… all… summer… long. With the first one being this Saturday. And by debauchery, I mean this:
Well, at least until Saturday night after Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle, then it’s Mexican Food and karaoke!
I haven’t been brutally honest with everyone about my foot health. After running SLC in April, I developed heel pain. And then I got the flu. And I was bed-bound for a week. And when I finally was able to get out of bed, I couldn’t stand on my feet because of the pain. Holy wow! So I’ve been hating life this past month (not really, but you know what I mean), and this is my new norm:
Ice baths. And rolling. And ice packs nearly every hour. And tape. And ibuprofen. A LOT of ibuprofen. I have good days and I have bad days, but I’m hoping for a good day on Saturday. I’m still going to participate in the race, and I am risking a DNF, but I just don’t have it in me to quit a race before I even start. I’ve tried 2 different types of shoe inserts and have a completely different type on the way now. At this point, it certainly can’t hurt. So stay tuned… will she finish or will she DNF?! (spoiler alert: she will finish)
And last but not least, my baby boy has now graduated from the 5th grade and is on to the middle school, although he looks like he should probably be in high school. We went to dinner the other night and we asked for a children’s menu. The hostess was confused. She looked behind us to see if we had a young child or if she missed counting somebody. I had to explain to her that the kid towering over her was only 11. Mind blown.
Anyway, what proud mom doesn’t want to show off her child’s accomplishments?! So here ya go… scenes from today (and he should be paying me big money for not posting the video of him #singingnotsinging).
This is his 5th grade teacher. She was in the 5th grade the year he was born, in 2004. Anyone feel old yet?
Yes indeedy! It’s time for Motivational Music Monday from Jamesy over at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest. Everyone is free to play, so please head on over to his site (even if it’s not Monday no mo’) and tell him a song that makes you happy. (You should go check it out anyway… he got new running shoes and I photo-bombed his picture… but he paid me back because he bloody well posted it!) :O
Anyway, James posted a song that was originally recorded in 1972, which was then re-mixed last year to include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. It’s really cool to put headphones on and listen to it. So, as the original recording took place in 1972, the song I’ve chosen is the one song that kept it out of the #1 spot for a week way back when. Yes, believe it or not, My Ding-A-Ling was #1 on the U.S. charts in 1972, as well as in the UK, Ireland, and Canada. And yes, believe it or not, this song really IS on one or two of my running playlists.
FYI, this was the only #1 song for Chuck Berry.
Chuck Berry, My Ding-A-Ling
In other news… on Sunday, I met up with Judy from Chocolate Runs Judy. She was visiting the Seattle area for the weekend, so we went and snatched her up and took her to lunch and to the mall! It was pouring of rain that day, so there wasn’t much else we could do (and stay dry), but we had great fun! What a wonderful person she is… I felt like we were long lost friends! #lifeisgreat #bloggersunite
Hope you’ve had a wonderful Monday and were able to start the week off with a smile!