Tag Archives: Half Marathon

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!

 

5K Crate Product Review

Disclaimer: I received a box from 5K Crate to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I’ve always loved the idea of subscription boxes.  No matter what your interest may be (quilting, make-up, clothes, gaming, running), subscription boxes are a fun way to go to guarantee trying something new, or discovering a product you may have not known about otherwise.

5K Crate is a quarterly subscription box that “curates premium apparel and accessories for runners of all types and fitness levels. Each box is carefully hand curated to include 5-6 items that you will use over and over again. We do not want to be just another box full of snacks and gels!”  (Love the personalized note that was inserted in my box!)

The box I received contained:

  • 1 Mission Vaporactive Running Shirt ($25)
  • 1 Mission Hydroactive Cooling Towel ($19.99)
  • 1 pair of Spigen Wireless Bluetooth Headphones ($49.99)
  • 1 pair of Zensah Compression Socks ($14.99)
  • 2 Epic Full-Size Body Wipes ($3 each)
  • 3 La Fresh Travel Sunscreen Samples

Who doesn’t love getting such a menagerie of goodies?!  I know I do!  Every single one of these items is of high quality and absolutely something I can use.  I took the body wipes and sunscreen on my trip this past weekend when I ran my half marathon, and the cooling towel helped me out on some very warmish runs I had.

I can’t praise this company enough.  I feel the products that you get are well worth the subscription price, not to mention… again… everything is usable!!  Their next box is set to be sent out October 16th, and rumor has it that there is Momentum Jewelry in it, saying “Be Awesome Today.”  See?  Totally worth it!

I did not receive any financial compensation for this review and all opinions rendered are my own. If you would like to see some other reviews on 5K Crate, please check out what some of my BRP friends have to say:

Tedrick; Jenna; Mai; Ang; Vanessa; Heather.

Have you ever tried a subscription box before?  Go ahead, don’t be shy… tell me your experience!

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!!

 

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

Busy Much?

The last couple of weeks have been an absolute blur and I think my brain is fried.  It’s only been 3 weeks since I ran my last race, 2 weeks since my mother-in-law Janet went back to the UK, 1 week since AJ began summer break, and yet all events seem like forever ago.  In that time, I’ve had a huge fundraiser gala to contend with, a hubby with a hurt back (who is thankfully on the mend… see here), and I’m trying really hard to wrap my head around marathon training 6 days a week.  This will now be my life for the next 4 months… work and training.  I’ve come to the conclusion that something has to give, so I won’t be doing the cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, etc., anymore.  Besides, I’d much rather keep in touch with my blogging friends than do all that other mindless nonsense… and now that James is healing, he can clean and do laundry and…  lol, sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me back up…

Fundraiser Gala:  One week after Janet left, the rescue and rehab center where I work held a huge fundraiser gala with dinner, entertainment, and a silent auction.  The director and I were working like mad the week before to get everything together for the event, and now I’m still quite busy tracking donors and silent auction winners and all the stuff that follows an event such as this.  No matter… we had a great time, and I’m happy to say it was a great success.

This was actually supposed to be an adults-only evening, but I was able to sneak AJ in to watch the raptor presentation.  He hung out in our room afterwards for the rest of the night.

All the tables were decorated with cute little stuffed animals that anyone could adopt (raccoons, opossums, coyotes, owls, eagles, squirrels, etc.).  They even came with their own adoption certificates.  Below are the two we adopted.  All of them were dressed up with little tulle “bow ties” for their gala evening.

Below is a video that was made in 2015.  Back then, we needed help with refurbishing the hospital area.  We were able to raise all the funds for that; however we are now in need of new eagle flights.  While the video that was shown last Saturday night is not available publicly yet, I thought you might enjoy seeing where I spend a lot of my days.  When the other video becomes available, I’ll show that one to you as well, then you can see the difference in the hospital… a little inside look of a rescue center, so to speak.  (By the way… the raccoons at the beginning really are just hanging upside down.  They were babies when they came to us and learned how to climb the chain links… all were happily released back into the wild).

Training:  Yeah, I’ve been doing that too.  I’ve had to start getting up before the sun to avoid the heat and mugginess of the season, but we all do what we gotta do.  I’m just thankful I don’t have mom duties first thing anymore (you know… making lunches, giving rides, and the biggie of waking up a child).  I won’t go much into detail about the runs right now (only because this post is getting too long), but I am hitting them as scheduled… not so much on the cross training yet… but the runs are extremely important. You can’t fake your way through a marathon if you want to beat the sweeper, haha.

Up next:  Queen with Adam Lambert!  This Saturday!  I cannot wait!

Have a great week, my friends!

North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon

As some of you may know by now, James wasn’t able to run this marathon Sunday (June 4).  If you’re perplexed, you can read about his unfortunate outcome/circumstances here, which means I was on my own. As history dictates, James usually passes me during these events, so I missed him greatly on the course.

That being said, virtually he was with me the whole way.  He was a great cheerleader… even if I did stop talking to him during mile 10 (details to come, 😀 )

Pre-race, he got me super close to the start line, dropped me off 1/2-mile away.  Definitely much better than a shuttle bus, and I needed a warm-up, so I jogged to the field where the race started.  I immediately went to the portaloo line.  Pretty standard in that line… not enough potties, and by the time I reached them, the Star-Bangled Banner was being played.  Then it became a race all in itself to get to the start line.

The gun sounded, and all went well until 5K, never mind the powerful head wind.

I texted James at 5K and informed him I just ran into an evil hill.  I said some mighty nasty words… then I soon realized that mile 3 to 4 was all uphill, which is about when I also realized that this was actually a trail race and not just a road race.  Huge difference.  I didn’t train for a trail race, and I didn’t train on hills, especially the gut-wrenching hills I was running up.  I thought I was just going to run a nice trail/pathway next to the ocean… but noooo… that wasn’t the case.  My bad.

Eventually I texted James and asked when my pain was going to end.  He did a quick reconnaissance and informed me I was in hill hell until after mile 8.  Awesome.

Shortly after mile 8, maybe mile 9 (I’ve lost my senses at this point, so I can’t remember), it became a nice downhill path.  I was so relieved.  Down I went… until the shift at mile 10.  All uphill.  I was spent.  I texted James and said, “Not going to make my time.  5K left. Head wind. Gassed.  Still going.”

Up, up, up we go!

Despite the course “description” on the website of being flat, the last 3 miles were a painful and gradual uphill climb.  I kept saying to myself, “Okay, once I get past this hill, I’ll take off again and redeem myself.”  It never happened because the hill never ended.

I was very thankful to see James at about 12.75 miles as he ran a little bit with me to keep me going, at least until we reached the finisher’s chute, and then the crowd cheered me in across the finish line.  Such great support for an extremely challenging course.

The bottom line…  beautiful scenery, beautiful people, really hard course.  But I finished.  At the end of the day, I clocked in over 15 miles/24 km (over 32,000 steps on the FitBit).

As for the The Whole 30 having an effect… I believe it helped.  I still felt strong and ready to go, even after miles 8 and 9… it was only after the mile 10 hill that I had a bit of an emotional breakdown and just couldn’t handle any more hills.

The elevation profile. The drop from 220 to 0 was at about mile 8 or 9. The tiny (but huge) bump towards the end left me deflated.

It was a great day, a great race, and quite frankly, it was my own “un”doing by not training properly for an extremely hilly course.  If you ever run this race… do 10 to 20 miles on a mountain trail for training (numerous times), and you’ll be fully prepared.

Now on to enjoy the beautiful town and area of Port Angeles…  I think there was talk of a hike up to Hurricane Ridge tomorrow, or something stupid like that… 😀

From Sequim to Port Angeles

Day 30… Hallelujah!

Today marked the last day of me being on The Whole 30 (you can read about the beginning here).  I started the program so I could detox my body from all the sweets, cakes and chips I had been eating, and I started it with enough time to complete it before my next half-marathon, which just happens to be this Sunday.  I wanted to see if detoxing could possibly help with my running.

The program was a total success.  I stayed true blue the entire 30 days, but I won’t lie, it wasn’t easy.

I had to dig deep to fight the overwhelming cravings in the first week.

By the third week, I had lost interest in cooking and food and all the planning required.  But I persevered.

By the fourth week, I was starting to look forward to all the food that was about to open up to me again.

However, by day 28, when I would think about eating bread or dairy or even sweets, I felt no desire to add these things back into my diet.  The thought of eating a donut or a piece of cake made my tummy hurt.

On day 30, I had the best peach ever for dessert which signaled my eating shut-off valve.  I have won my battle.

So let me break down some of the good for you:

  • No more cravings.  I only “want” something nowadays; however, with a small amount of willpower, I can say no.  I don’t have to have it.
  • No tummy issues.  No heartburn, no stomachaches, no nausea, nothing.
  • Increased energy.
  • I never feel bloated.
  • I don’t have to measure my food, nor do I have to count calories.  I eat as much as I want and whatever my body requires, sometimes an entire cookie sheet of roast veggies.  Even if I reach the level of “full,” I never feel “stuffed,” as if I ate too much.
  • I can eat fruit again without any GI issues!

I mentioned before that I would share a couple of numbers.  The third week of the diet, I went to my doctor and had some labs drawn.

  • While I was in the normal range to begin with, I still managed to take another 5 points off my total cholesterol.  All other values are also within normal.
  • My glucose remains in the normal range (a biggie for me because of the hypoglycemia).
  • And the final important number that you might be wondering about… yes, I lost weight…14.6 pounds to be exact, which is 6.6 kg, or just over 1 stone.

Me with a baby squirrel. They eat all the time too, 😀

I’m ready to stop obsessing about food now.  Moving forward, I’ll follow the program to the letter every other month and I’ll relax a bit in between, although I’ll still follow the principles (at the very least up until my marathon).  At the suggestion of a fellow blogger, Chocolate Runs Judy, I’ll give my next Whole 30 update in 6 months.  Will I stick to it?  Will I lose more weight? Will I finish my very first 26 point 2?  Does The Whole 30 have staying power?  Stay tuned…

In the meantime…

It’s a new dawn; it’s a new day; it’s a new life for me… and I’m feeling good…