Tag Archives: bling

Throwback Thursday – My First Half Marathon

I had run a 10K back in 10/2013, and it was then I decided I would start training for a half marathon.  I was aiming for the Lake Sammamish Half for March, but after a little discussion with The Motivator, we decided my first half should be Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle, 6/21/2014.

A month before RNR Seattle, we ran RNR Portland, with me running the 10K and James the half.  I remember during that race watching all the people make the turnoff to continue on with the half and thinking, “Oh how the hell am I going to pull this off in Seattle.  I’m already knackered.  I can’t imagine running another 6 miles.”

Pre-Seattle race, I remember being a basket case.  The nerves were out of this world.  And the RNR events are huge, so the amount of people that were there freaked me out as well.  But everyone else looked so calm.  Thankfully James stayed with me for as long as he could so I wouldn’t bail (lol, kidding).

It probably took me about 5 miles in before I relaxed.

The course was gorgeous (and super hilly), and I felt privileged to be able to run in areas I wouldn’t normally get to see.  Back then I didn’t carry my phone with me, just my iPod for music.  So, no pictures.  I made a mental note to carry a camera with me on the next race.  This was before blogging, so that didn’t happen.  There are a lot of races I missed out on taking pictures, and I’ve seen some amazing sights.  It’s also one of the reasons why I’m running the 50 states… for the sights.  Everyone else chases PRs… I’m there for aesthetics, lol.

And I’ll never forget the feeling of accomplishment I had when I finally crossed the finish line.  There is nothing that compares to it.  It’s why I’m addicted to racing… and, oh yeah, the bling.

I have since run 10 more half marathons and am now training for my first full.  I can imagine the above feelings are going to be escalated out of the stratosphere.

  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

Friday Thoughts

Hi!

big-teeth-smiley-emoticonI’m feeling quite overwhelmed at the moment so I haven’t been posting as regularly as I would like, but hey, life gets in the way of our blogging sometimes, doesn’t it.

Thank you to everyone with your kind thoughts for my mother.  She’s still very weak, but she’s a tough old gal and I’m sure will be fine in a week or so.  She still refuses to go to the doctor, but I am accepting and respecting her wishes.  (As if I have a choice, hehe).  So… moving on…

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Work:  A lovely little Mookee pigeon was brought to the facility this past week.  Mookees are actually domestic show pigeons originating from India.  Apparently this little guy was abandoned (dumped) and was just wandering around a construction site.  I’m so relieved that the people recognized him as an “out of place” pet and cared enough to want to save him.  He is such a sweetie.  I love him; I want to keep him.  He sits on my shoulder, coos in my ear, and gives me gentle pecks on the cheek.  I just love my job.

Oh, also, this was found hanging on a bush… not a tree, a bush:

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Can you tell what it is?  It’s a hornet’s nest!!  A big, huge, ginormous hornet’s nest!  Bigger than a basketball!  I had actually never seen one that big before, so I’m sure you can imagine the words that came out of my mouth.  James suggested we get a stick.  Ummm…. no.  But it is gone now, poor things.  If only they’d chosen a better place to build.

The 12th Man:  The American football season began last week, so I may throw some “Go ‘Hawks” in there every now and again to cheer on our beloved Seattle Seahawks.  As I live it, I don’t think much about it, but not everyone knows about The 12th Man.  The 12th man is actually considered to be the fans for 11-man sports teams.  In 1984, the Seattle Seahawks retired the #12 jersey in honor of their fans.  In 2003, they installed a huge flagpole at Century Link Field and started raising a giant flag with the number 12 on it to honor the fans.  This is when the earth moves in Seattle… literally.  You may see a lot of 12s on this site in the upcoming months as we Seattle fans take our job seriously. You can’t go anywhere in the Pacific Northwest without seeing a 12, including the Space Needle.  So in case you are wondering about the significance of the 12, there you have it!

Training:  Why, yes, I am, thank you.  Bellingham Bay race next weekend already.  My how time flies.  I don’t think I even put it on my sidebar.  At this point, I may just add my Tulsa race for November and be done with it, lol.

Motivational Music Monday:  Okay, so this is the real reason I’m here right now!  James posted a cool little ditty in honor of the opening week of football.  It’s the song that the Seahawks take the field to (yes, I dangled my participle and ended in a preposition, :D).  Anyway, to stick with his little theme…. nahhh…. I’m just going to stick to a common word… symphony. Or more specific, “Symphony of Destruction” by “Megadeth.”  Ohhh yeahhh… I do crunch too.

And that’s going to do it for me today!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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.

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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.

A Proper Send-Off…

There is no greater relationship a runner has than with their shoes.

This past Sunday, I had my weekly long run scheduled.  Ten miles was planned, but the weather was brutal.  It was absolutely tipping down, so I decided to cut out a couple of miles and only run 8.  Off I went in my good old Brooks Glycerin 11 running shoes.

By about mile 3.5 to 4, soaking wet from head to toe, I started to get a nagging little twinge in my foot.  Luckily I wasn’t too far from home as I was doing a couple of out and backs on the trail.  After mile 5, I ran on home to put on dry shoes and socks, a dry top, and then headed back out to finish up my last 3 miles, although I was somewhat concerned about what was going on with my foot.

However, once I got back out on the trail, it dawned on me… my good old faithful Brooks were past their mileage.  My feet started feeling much better in the dry pair of shoes I had put on that hadn’t even gone 100 miles yet and I was able to finish my run strong and relatively pain-free. Unfortunately, I realized it was now time for me to retire my beautiful 11’s.

The Brooks Glycerin’s and I go back to 2012 when I got my first pair of running shoes.  I had gone to the local Road Runner Sports store and was properly fitted.  It was determined the Glycerin style was best suited for me, and I’ve been wearing them ever since because, quite frankly, the people in the store were right.  I started with the Glycerin 9’s.  I’ve tried other brands and styles, all to be returned as they just don’t do for me what the Glycerin’s do.  wpid-20151102_210549.jpg

I got this current pair last year before I ran RNR Vancouver in October.  It is now time for me to bid this pair of Glycerin’s adieu.  Thank you, 11’s, for getting me through a year’s worth of races and helping me earn 6 medals.  Time for you to slow down and just walk from here on out… you’ve done your job well, and I am grateful. You will be missed.

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day…

…and I’m feeling good!

One week post race, and I have had a grand time recovering/resting!  I have slept in, eaten what I’ve wanted, read, relaxed, watched mindless You Tube videos with my son… drank too much wine… just a few “luxuries” I miss out on occasionally while I’m training for a race.

Alas… training resumes tomorrow.  Okay, well, not hard-core training, but pre-training training. And I’m happy about it.  Too weird, but it’s true.  The Maui Oceanfront Half-Marathon is approximately 15 weeks away, and there’s no time to waste.  I’ve enjoyed my 1-week down time, my vacation so to speak, but I’m also very happy to get back to routine.

There were a few things in Boise that I recognize I need to work extra hard on… such as my breathing… and I don’t want to lose momentum.  The sooner I address and correct these issues, the better.  One thing The Motivator and I are kind of religious about is analyzing our runs and races and talking about what needs improvement.  We have spreadsheets and notebooks full of data and formulas and plans for the future.  Seriously.

I won’t be starting this next training cycle from the beginning though… tomorrow’s run will be about 6 miles.  I ran just over 13 miles last Saturday… no reason to back track.  My long runs in this next cycle will look something like 10-11-12-13-14, lather, rinse, repeat.  Nope, there’s no going back, and remember, my goal is to improve my pace.  And how do we improve our pace? We run more miles… or so I’m told….

In the meantime, Jamesy and I are headed off to Chicago this coming Thursday, with his big race being The Chicago Marathon next Sunday.  He has worked so hard these past 6 months… he’s going to rock this race and get his sub-4-hour marathon like he wants (…and I know this). This is going to be the trip of a lifetime…

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We’ve also seen the bling people have been getting from Chicago’s Half-Marathon race from last weekend… it’s the size of a dinner plate!!  So guess where we’re going next year?!!  Oh hell yes! Here we come Chicago Half-Marathon 2016!!  Both of us!!  After all… it’s all about the bling!!! 😉

FitOne Boise Race Recap

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I started this blog back in July when I had just begun training for the FitOne Boise Half-Marathon.  There are quite a few of my blogging friends who have followed me through this journey from the beginning, and a few of you have come along at a later time, but I really want to thank all of you for the encouragement and keeping me going at even the worst of times!! This past Saturday was the day that I had been working towards for 12 long and trying weeks, and it was worth every minute of it!

wpid-img_0917.jpgI hadn’t got much sleep the night before, but I’m not sure anyone sleeps well the night before a race, do they!  We got to the start line without a hitch.  There were 4 of us running it… my husband James, my father-in-law Rick who just turned 70 four days before, his running partner Roberta, and me. This was Rick’s very first half-marathon, and having just turned 70, what a fabulous way to celebrate!!  Anyway, we were all lined up at the start line, I was doing my normal freaking out (per usual) and eating my Shot Bloks, but when I bit down on my Shot Blok, it completely lifted a crown off one of my back molars. Thankfully I wasn’t in any pain.  I was more shocked that it happened than anything… and really kind of irritated. Ten minutes before the gun was to go off!  Are you freaking kidding me?!!

No worries.  I sucked it up and put my crown in my belt to deal with later.  We all managed to cross the start line together, said our goodbyes, and off everyone went.  James was leading the pack, then Rick and Roberta, and I followed up from behind.  I’ve never really said how slow I actually run, but my goal was to get this done in 3-1/2 hours.wpid-19288.jpeg

The race was fabulous as I knew it would be. The scenery was gorgeous.  We started off in downtown Boise, ran through a few beautiful neighborhoods of big historic houses, through the Old Idaho Penitentiary Site, across the Boise River down to the Greenbelt (which I had run back in July), up through downtown Boise a different way near the capitol building, up a mother of a hill, and down on into Ann Morrison Park to finish it off.  Okay, so I’m not the best at details, but if you ever want to see the heart of a city, run a race to get a close look at the beauty.

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James and AJ at the finish line!

Jamesy finished in 1:47:57, a screaming finish and a great confidence boost for Chicago!  My father-in-law and Roberta, so proud, finished it in 2:22:03!!  And I came close to my 3-1/2 hour goal at 3:32:18.  I was only 2 minutes off, but I consider this race a huge success!!  First and foremost, I finished and got my bling!!  I’ve also knocked off another state in my “50 in 50” quest (James still needs Idaho for his marathon).

I know I still have some things I want and need to improve. My breathing for one… I need to increase my VO2 max so I can become a more efficient runner.  That is one of my downfalls, my breathing.  My legs are strong, but my breathing gets me in the end.  And I also need to work on getting stronger with hills.  But don’t we all, hehe!

Next up is Maui in January with a goal for me of 3:15:00!  And that’s going to be one helluva runcation!!  Bling, family time, and snorkeling all in the same trip!  I just don’t think life could be any better!

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Not only did Rick receive the normal bling, he placed 2nd in his age group and got extra bling for that! Wow!

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