Tag Archives: Missoula Marathon

Missoula Half-Marathon

Many of you know I just completed the Missoula Half-Marathon this past Sunday and James completed the full.  What a great little racecation!  It was a whirlwind, but totally worth every moment we spent there and on the road.


To recap, we left the Seattle area on Friday afternoon and drove to Spokane to stay the night, meeting up with fellow blogger Renee on Saturday morning.  We then drove the rest of the way to Missoula, just in time for the expo and to see Jeff Galloway.  Dinner was at 7 and sleep for me came at midnight.


Rocks! In a river!! Apparently great for fishing!

RACE DAY:  We woke up at 3:30 for a 6 a.m. start time… mind you, this was Montana time.  In Seattle time, it was only 2:30 a.m.  Ack!  And we all know sleep doesn’t come easy the night before a race.

Logistics were easy… we walked across the bridge right behind the hotel and there were the shuttle buses hauling people to the start line.  Once at the start line, it was port-a-loo heaven! And I’m not kidding.  They were everywhere.  No one had to suffer or stress.  Kudos to the race director on the potties!  (For those who don’t race, port-a-loos are a super important part of the start line, which is why every runner will report on them!)

As well, they had fireworks going off about every 6 to 7 minutes.  Okay, that was a little unnerving and unnecessary, but it was entertaining.


Then at 6 a.m., the cannon fired (yes, a booming cannon, just in case the fireworks didn’t wake you up) and the finale of the fireworks were set off (for those of us who had to wait a couple of minutes to cross the start line).  By the way, Jeff Galloway was running the half with his 90-year-old friend. How’s that for inspiring?!!  If I would’ve known they were behind me, I totally would’ve backed up and ran with them.


THE COURSE:  Gorgeous.  Farms, trees, rivers, historic neighborhoods, and basically flat.  Loved it.  I ran out of air at about mile 9 or 10, but that’s what happens when you train at sea level.  I’m thinking James and I probably need to go hike up one of the mountains here to get some practice with breathing at different elevations.


An entertainer playing a violin on the side while we went past. There were also bands, drums, people with stereos to keep us going.

THE PEOPLE AND VOLUNTEERS:  So very nice, so friendly, so helpful.  I didn’t run into one single person who wasn’t encouraging and uplifting throughout the race.  I wasn’t too impressed at mile 11 when people were saying, “you’re almost there” (because I wasn’t anywhere near the finish line), but that was my emotional breakdown, not theirs, so I really appreciated their support regardless of my state of mind.


THE FINISH LINE:  Again, fabulous!  For recovery food, they had a lovely quinoa salad, bananas, oranges, watermelon, frozen fruit bars, nuts, bagels, fig newtons… a great spread!  At the family meetup area, all racers got a free beer and a free finisher picture, and they were selling fry bread and other things, just in case the food at the finish line didn’t quite get it done for you.


A moose with running shoes on the bling… too cute.

POST-RACE CELEBRATION:  I think I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.  After sleeping for a couple of hours, we went out and enjoyed.  Our eyes were much bigger than our stomachs, but it was nice having a sample of everything.


Chicken strips, quesadilla, and nachos.


James and his father Rick, who came to watch and celebrate, and who also brought AJ back after he spent the previous week in Boise.


This was a fabulous race and a fabulous time, and I felt it was very well organized.  Thankfully we didn’t run into even one snafu, and that’s always bonus.  This race may actually have moved to the very top of my favorites list, so I highly recommend it if you’re looking to run in Montana!!


I think this bike totally works for the treasure hunt!

Be sure to stay tuned to 50 in 50 Marathon Quest to see his full race report.  He had a nasty mountain to climb that forced practically everyone to walk…

Time To Rock and Roll!


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!)


Maui bound! 50 in 50


The Motivator, a.k.a. James, a.k.a. my husband, has come up with the idea that we’ll join the “50 in 50” club… 50 marathons in 50 states.  I don’t run 26.2 miles yet, so while he’s doing the marathon part of it, I’ll be doing the half-marathon part of it.  The bling is equally nice in both. And oh yes indeedy, that is one of the big factors for which race we run… whether or not the bling is worth it.  We (okay, he, it was all him) have compiled a lovely spreadsheet full of races, states, and the time of year so that we can plan accordingly.  We figure we can pull off maybe 4 or 5 per year, so it’ll take us about 10 to 15 years to complete this little goal.  We have the next 3 already planned… Maui, Olathe, and Missoula.

wpid-image001.jpg  wpid-image002.jpg

I should mention that James is already 2 states ahead of me.  He has Washington, Oregon and Arizona, and after running the Chicago Marathon in October, he will have Illinois.  Right now, I only have Washington and Oregon.  After September, I’ll have Idaho, so I’ll still need Arizona and Illinois, and he’ll still need Idaho… but I digress…

We have officially registered for the Maui Oceanfront Marathon for January, about 12 weeks out from Chicago, just enough time to lather, rinse, repeat.  While the bling probably isn’t my favorite, who can resist 26.2 miles (or 13.2 miles) of whales, beautiful oceanfront, and mountain vistas?!  While I was registering for it, the online form clearly said, “You are not registered until you click this button.”  I hesitated for about 5 minutes, closed my eyes, then clicked.  It’s set in stone now… no backing out.  But actually I look forward to it… okay, not the actual running part, but more “I’m going to Maui, yay!”

In April, I insisted we do the Garmin Marathon in Olathe, Kansas, “The Land of Oz.”  Every bling has something to do with The Wizard of Oz.  I missed out on the Cowardly Lion this past year, but I can’t wait to see what they’ll have for next year!  Looking forward to it!

After April, will come the Missoula Marathon in July… flat and fast, so they boast.  Gawd, I hope so.  The bling hasn’t been pre-approved yet, so I don’t have a clue as to what it is, but James really wanted to do this one, so I guess sometimes I have to concede, bling or no bling.

The real beauty about this 50-in-50 idea is that we will be visiting every single state.  We plan on making most of these little trips fun little run-cations where we get to do a little sight-seeing as well.  It seems families don’t get to spend much quality time together these days with our overly busy lives, and this will allow us that much needed time to just be together (and get a little exercise as well).  Yeah, I think this is a good idea.

I leave you with this oh-so-true marathon training tip from The Onion:

Visualize your success and how good it will feel to accomplish something hundreds of other people will accomplish before you that day.

Happy running!  🙂