Tag Archives: races

Hamster Endurance Run

This past Saturday was the Hamster Endurance Run for us.  Wow.  Hard.  I wasn’t properly prepared as I am not used to running on a trail, or dirt, or rocks, or hills that one encounters while hiking.  What can I say other than I only completed 13.3 miles (21 km).  This is what my 13 miles of trail looked like:

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I usually run on the road, so I wore the shoes I’m most comfortable in… my road shoes.  Lesson learned… I won’t do that again, not for a trail run.  They don’t provide the cushion or stability one needs to run across rocks.  This is what James’s looked like at the end of the run; you can’t even tell that his shoes used to be black:

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Okay, with that being said, I loved this event.  The people, the food, the atmosphere.  It was the most relaxed I’ve ever felt, especially knowing I had a long, hot day ahead of me. We took our chairs and set up a place to hang out and relax when we wanted a break.  The whole covered part was our “aid station.”  There were only about 60 runners participating.

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Out on the trail, I met 2 older men, one who was 80 and one who was 69.  They both had accomplished running an ultra in all 50 states 4 times each!  The 80-year-old was signed up for the 32-hour event (!!) and was aiming for 100K.  He didn’t start running until he was 64.  See… there’s hope for me yet!!

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It was a great course, but like I said, it was hard.  The lake was beautiful that day and there was lots of activity going on.  At one point, I wanted to just go put my feet in the water as it felt like they were on fire.

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This is us with about an hour left to go (James lapped me a few times):

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And finally, the finisher’s award:

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We did have a really good time, but it left us wiped for the rest of the weekend. Even simple tasks were daunting, and we were sore in places we don’t usually get sore.  I won’t give away how far James went… that’s for him to share, so stay tuned to 50 in 50 Marathon Quest to find out.  He may give a full recap sometime in the near future, :).

My first trail run is now in the bag, and I would absolutely do more trail running if I could find a hiking trail on which to train!  In the meantime, I’ll have to stick to the road races. Next up for me is the Bellingham Bay 10K at the end of September… a tune-up race for my final half-marathon of the year in Tulsa!

Squirrel count for August so far:  13

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Chicken strips, quesadilla, and nachos.

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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.

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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!!

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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…

I went for a run today…

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… and it didn’t suck.  I might finally be on the mend after 2 months.  I now have a plan for Missoula in 2-1/2 weeks.

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And something super cool… James made the promo video for RNR Seattle.  He’s at about the 20 second mark flashing his rave green Seahawks shirt.

Have a great rest of your week!!

Pre-race Freak Out? Nahhhh….

Considering it’s the night before, I’m actually not suffering from my typical pre-race freak-out right now.  As a matter of fact, I couldn’t be more relaxed.  Which is odd.  Especially given how I felt last week.  But that could be because I totally lost it last weekend, and maybe once I resigned myself to “whatever will be, will be,” that totally wiped all my fears away.  It’s a great feeling!

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James and I took a selfie on the plane.  About an hour later, we ran into the worst turbulence we had ever experienced, in the history of ever!  Apparently we flew right into a snow storm, and wow, wow.  We were thrown all over the place.  We were totally ready for a drink when we landed, so that’s where we headed… straight to happy hour!  At Squatters!

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I have a lot of family in the Salt Lake City area, so today was a mini family reunion for me.  I spent the entire day in Temple Square with a few of my aunts and a couple of my cousins.  (I’m 5th from the left)

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It’s extremely cold here to me, so I won’t have any heat issues tomorrow on the course, which I think may be a good thing.  But the flowers are out and around the temple, looking so beautiful. I was told that last weekend was spring-like, and next weekend is supposed to be spring-like, but this weekend is supposed to be winter-like… and it is indeed that.  Still, the flowers add warmth.

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Have you ever seen the SLC Temple up close?  A fabulous piece of architecture.  I went to a building across the way and got an eye-level picture of it.  The sky was gorgeous.

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We then finished up the evening at The Spaghetti Factory in Trolley Square for our last major carb load before the gun goes off.

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As for Jamesy and I… mentally we’re doing great!  No need to really post the picture of Bill the Cat as we are ready to rock and roll!!  Next time I see you, I’ll be one sparkly bling richer and sore as hell!! 😉

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Have a great weekend!!

Lake Sammamish Half-Marathon Race Recap (Kinda Sorta)

Saturday morning, March 5th, my day started at 4 a.m.  (When I lived in Arizona, I was a morning person… these days, not so much.)  I hadn’t really gotten much sleep as the adrenaline and pre-race freak-out microbiomes surging through my body didn’t allow for such silly nonsense of a deep sleep.  So now I’m sleep deprived AND waking up at 4 a.m.  It took me at least 45 minutes to figure out my morning cup of tea.

Out the door at 5:45, we arrived at Redmond Town Center around 6:30, which was perfect timing… not a huge line at packet pickup yet (the expo part of it was set up at the finish line). The weather app said it was going to rain, rain, rain, but we were pleasantly surprised as there was zero rain in sight, and surprisingly, it was kind of warmish (if you think 50 is warm).  I was thankful I had layered with a short-sleeved and long-sleeved tee as opposed to two long-sleeved tees.

I’m sure no one is too interested about my choice for race gear, so I’ll just get to the pictures. Kick-off was at 7:30… this was taken about 5 minutes before.  (I started off in the back and I couldn’t see the start line or hear the gun go off).

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James and I took our pre-race selfie, then he headed to the front of the line.

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I had set my watch to pace me, which worked brilliantly if I do say so myself.  It’s shocking, but I’d never thought to do that before in the past.  So my watch started alerting me if I was going too fast or too slow, and I kept it at an even keel for the first 5 to 6 miles.  I was so pleased things were going so well.  Then I felt a pain in the center of my knee.  Kind of like my bones were grinding together?  Only not really?  This is about when we hit dirt and gravel, which I’m not accustomed to running on, so I don’t know if that made a difference or not with the knee issue. Regardless, I developed a painful knee, that got worse, and worse, and worse.  Whatever. I plowed on.

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By mile 10, I realized that I could still get a PR if I could suck it up enough to run through the pain.  Alas… I could not.  The pain was getting pretty bad and I don’t do pain in any shape or form, so I limped my way in, only to crawl across the finish line (okay, I didn’t really crawl, but you get the picture).  I finished, and that is always my “A” goal, to finish… and any goal I hit after that is just bonus.

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The weather stayed gorgeous the entire time.  Perfect running conditions, so the weather app was totally off on this.  At one time, the sun came out, and it started to get a touch hot and humid which caused me a tiny bit of concern, but there were enough clouds in the sky that I knew it wouldn’t last long.  Sure made for some great picture taking, especially as I had quite a few walk breaks in there.

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Oh, and I gotta give kudos to my favorite aid station!  These ladies were dressed as unicorns at about mile 7, the halfway point (Unicorn Power).  I was so grateful for their kindness and enthusiasm.  It was a huge pick-me-up!  Don’t know if you can see it, but the trail is now mud… long gone is the paved part, not to be seen again until about mile 11.

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This was an all-around fabulous race.  I can’t find fault with any of it.  There was an aid station every 2 to 3 miles with gels, water and Nuun.  The scenery was amazing.  Not only did we run along the lake the entire time, but holy cow, some of the lakeside houses we saw… jaw dropping!  Even the shuttle buses and the post-race festivities were fabulous.  Okay, well, I would rather have had chocolate milk than chocolate coconut water (WTF?), but they did have a yummy juice smoothie bar set up that was simply delish.  This was just a really good day, injury or no injury. Following is my Strava map so you can see where we ran… basically from Redmond to Issaquah.  Badass.

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As for my knee… I’m sore everywhere, so I’ll give it a few days and then reassess the pain level. Say adios to my streaking… it was a lovely 65 days, but it’s time to rest now as my racing is my primary goal.  Gotta tell ya though, running at least a mile every single day for those 2 months sure got me good at running a mile and I’m happy I was able to do it for that long.  As well, I recognize the knee owie as a subtle sign, telling me it’s now time to strengthen those hip flexors!!

… so endeth the run streak…

And finally… what’s it all about???  The bling, of course!!  No cardboard tennies for this girl, I got the real thing!

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Did you rock your race or run this weekend?  For those who don’t or didn’t run, what was the highlight of your weekend?

A huge shout-out to fellow bloggers Renee, Judy, and Sharon for the tweets!!  You made me smile!  Thank you!!

 

My Week In Review

20160121_082759.jpgOkay, really… it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’m doing a weekly summary!  I just ran a half-marathon last week!  Of course I’m going to put my mileage in black and white!  😉  But actually, have you ever noticed that when you go on vacation, it’s not truly restful?  You’re on the go all the time, so much to see, so much to do!  It’s probably the most active you’ll be all year!!  Hence, I’m documenting those miles because they totally count.  I wore my Garmin watch all the time as I wanted credit for all those steps I took!

20160123_022042.jpgJanuary 16 — Our first full day in Maui, the day before the race.  This is the day I wanted to stay off my feet.  I logged 7.85 miles… but only 1 of them was actually spent running.  I’m sure the rest of them were spent lollygagging.  My biggest mistake here was not wearing my running shoes the entire day.

img_1320.jpgJanuary 17Race day!  17.75 miles or 34,901 steps.  Cooool!  I kinda like the way the steps log. They look way impressive.  For those who don’t race or run, there is a lot of going to and fro’ on race day, so the set mileage of the race isn’t the only mileage you get.

20160121_161124.jpgJanuary 18 — (Monday, in case you’ve lost track).  Keeping in mind this is the day after the race, so with a lot of soreness and ouchies… 4.97 miles.  One mile was dedicated to running… the rest were dedicated to visiting the pool, bar, and whatever food we could find and get to easily. We also meandered around the resort to stretch… it only hurt when we stopped. 🙂

bestphoto_20160121_144106_1.jpgJanuary 195.49 miles.  We walked to Castaway Cafe to have brunch, then hung out by the pool, just as it should be!

img_1321.jpgJanuary 205.53 miles.  Really, more of the same… blah, blah, blah, pool.  🙂

20160121_160651.jpgJanuary 213.54 miles.  Okay… this kills me.  We spent the entire day on our feet at the Maui Ocean Center.  It felt like we walked for miles and miles.  This was the least amount of mileage recorded.

20160121_142627.jpgJanuary 222.5 miles… homeward bound.  Oh how sad.  One mile was dedicated to running, and I’m guessing 1.5 miles was from traipsing around the two airports!

20160121_153608_001.jpgJanuary 232 miles.  First day at home… I don’t even know how I got 2 miles to be honest! Only 1 was actually dedicated to running.

20160121_160356.jpgJanuary 243.31.  A 2-mile streak run with the rest of it being logged as doing normal, boring, everyday tasks, such as grocery shopping.

img_1347.jpgTotal miles (for the past 8 days):  52.94.  I kinda wish every week could be this productive!!  And if you want to get super technical, if I knock last Saturday’s mileage off, then total mileage for the 7 days would be 45.09.  Proof positive we are more active on vacation than not, 😀

23120.jpegGreat eateries in Maui:

  • Slappy Cakes — Fabulous breakfast/brunch food!  Make your own pancakes on the skillet at your table or have them made.  They also serve breakfast skillets and other breakfast items. 5 stars!
  • Castaway Cafe — I had biscuits and gravy with eggs.  To die for!  Best gravy ever! They’re a cafe on the boardwalk, so they serve everything. 4 stars!  But only 4 because the service was a bit slow.  They only had 1 person at noon helping the entire restaurant.
  • Maui Brewing Company — Home made chips/crisps!  The burgers are wonderful!  Apparently so is the Brisket Dip Sandwich!  It’s a brewing company… beer is home brewed, so quite delicious as well!  5 stars!
  • Coconut Fish Cafe —  With a name like that, how can you go wrong!  A favorite amongst the locals!  5 stars!  (I don’t usually eat my fries, but these I couldn’t resist).
  • Plantation House Golf Course — Views of the ocean were killer!  Fish and chips were fantastic! 5 stars!  Go there!  This is a must if you’re ever in Maui!  (Beware of very small parking spaces).

download_20160118_182037.jpegSadly, I think that’s it for Maui for this year.  Time to get back to reality as my training plan picks up again on Tuesday!  But then again, training is half the fun, so I look forward to the challenge, especially as I’ve learned a lot from running the Maui Oceanfront Half-Marathon!

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On a side note, I turned 49 today. Pretty soon my tag line is going to have to say “trials and tribulations of a 50-something novice runner…” Good thing my mind still thinks I’m only 21… and only 21 just so I can legally drink, 😀

Do you find that you’re more active on vacation than you are any other day of the year? 

 

50 in 50 Marathon Quest’s View on MOM

I’d like to start by saying thank you so very much for the encouragement and the kudos for this most recent race!  Your wonderful support really does carry me through all of the madness… from the first step of the training cycle right on through to the finish line.  I’m extremely grateful and appreciative for you!  I’ve made some great blogging friends, and I feel truly blessed.20160118_103842.jpg

Jamesy wrote a fun article detailing the Maui Oceanfront Marathon.  I know my “race recap” was brief and to the point… it was hard and it hurt.  But if you’re curious and would like a bit more of a detailed description, go visit his site.  He actually makes the pain sound somewhat humorous!

Speaking of pain, we suffered our worst about 48 hours after the race, per normal.  Neither of us could walk very well, which called for a great relaxing day hanging by the pool!  As of now, my feet have mostly recovered… I’ll lose a few toenails, but hey, it happens.  I’ve realized I need to stay with my Brooks Glycerin shoes for every race from here on out as I don’t have feet problems when I race in them, AND, I need to stay about a full size larger than what I normally wear because, yes, my feet do swell that much (the ones I wore in MOM were only 1/2-size larger).

As for James, his calves are still a bit tight, but he’s gradually getting better.  He has one more week of recovery before he starts his next training cycle, so he should survive as well.

Next race for us will be local… the Lake Sammamish Half-Marathon on March 5th, in 41 days… just enough time to lose all the weight we gained on vacation. 😀

50 in 50 Marathon Quest … Maui Oceanfront Marathon Recap

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Aloha! Echoes Of My Neighbourhood #6

Aloha from sunny Maui!

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While the race here wasn’t all that we hoped it would be, the recovery has been fantabulous! We’ve had lots of these to ease our pain…

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Fabulous views…

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Great pool time (for which I had to paint my nails as they are completely destroyed and black and blue from the race… it’s one of those silly foot photos so be glad I did, but you might still be able to see the bandaids)…

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Lots of fun and different sights…

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Gorgeous flowers…

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Lovely Koi…

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Breathtaking sunsets…

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And daily outside running… yes, the streak continues, blistered feet and all!

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It’s been a fabulous vacation!

Thanks to Jackie at A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales for the Echoes Of My Neighborhood challenge!  This is my special neighborhood for the 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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Pre-Race Jitters

Yes… pre-race jitters.  I have them.  James has them.  It’s that exact energy that propels us to the finish line.  In the meantime, I’m doing what I can to keep from freaking out.  Like sharing my pictures from today, 🙂

We did go for our streak run early this morning.  I wore the GoPro on my head to see how that would work.  It’ll be fun to see what it picked up, but I haven’t had a chance to even see yet.

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Three generations… they all walk the same and have the same leg build.

We wanted to stay off our feet as much as possible for most of the day, although that didn’t seem to happen.  We ended up walking to breakfast.  Did I mention my in-laws from Boise were here also?  James’s dad will be running the 10K.  (We all ran the FitOne Boise Half together in September).

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Breakfast at Slappy Cakes. Carb loading with pancakes!

Then we had to maneuver to downtown Lahaina for packet pickup, which was across from the famous Banyan Tree.  An amazing sight.  There was no expo as this is a relatively small race.

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After packet pickup, we went to the in-laws’ hotel for a small afternoon happy hour, then back to our hotel room to put our feet up.  By day’s end, we had put in just over 6 miles (per my watch).

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Flat me is all ready to run… Go Hawks!

James has arranged for a wake-up call at 2 a.m.  He has to catch the shuttle bus at 3:15 to take him to somewhere 26.2 miles down the road.  He has a start time of 5:00… mine starts at 6:30. And once again I ask myself… why, why, why do I do this… but then I remember… ah yes, it’s for the bling…