Tag Archives: Seattle

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!

 

Week 6 of 16 Recap — August 7 through August 13

Ohhh, I’m so late with this.  I thought about foregoing this past week’s update, but I’m keeping track for myself, for future reference… you know, 1st marathon vs 5th marathon kind of thing… hahaha, yeah right.  In brief, this inadvertently became a step-back week for me.  I was tired and needed some rest, so I cut the mileage down.

Monday:  Nada.

Tuesday:  3 miles PLUS swimming!  Yeah baby, you read that right.  A morning and evening workout.  It has been years since I swam laps… amazing workout for the heart and lungs.  It’ll be interesting to see if my upper body gets some tone from it; however, I know for a fact I got a helluva workout.  This is a competition pool, so it’s kept cooler than others, and I was hot when I got out; it probably took me an hour to cool down completely.  Hence, bloody good workout.

Wednesday:  4 miles.

Thursday: Cross train with more swimming.  I’m starting to appreciate my Garmin Vivoactive a bit more… it measures the distance I swim.  New stats to analyze.  Fun stuff for this numbers geek.

Friday:  3 miles.

I’m thinking these poor leaves died from thirst, NOT signs of an early fall.

Saturday:  Rest day.  Nailed it.

Sunday:  7 miles.  Back to Green Lake in Seattle we went.  It was misty/sprinkly/rainy while we were going round and round, but oh how I welcomed feeling the rain on my face.  It had been 55 days of no rain, and we desperately needed it.

The 7 miles was so far my longest run in my new Hoka’s.  Can’t begin to tell you how much I just adore those shoes.  I love them so much that I ordered another pair so I can run in them for both my long and short runs.  You fly, I tell ya, just fly!

Weekly Total:  17 miles/27.4 km

Total Plan Mileage So Far:  131 miles/210.8 km

  • 25 days until Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon.
  • 37 days until North County Wine Run Half Marathon.
  • 67 days until Marine Corps Marathon.
  • 109 days until Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. Do you see that?  Texas!!  I’ll soon get a big color block on my 50-state map!
  • 131 days until Christmas.

Coming Up

We are headed to Whistler, BC, this weekend for a nice little getaway before school starts up again for AJ.  We have all sorts of fun stuff planned… hiking, bear watching, swimming, biking, horseback riding for me and AJ, gondola flying… but first thing’s first… a 17-mile run when I wake up there on Friday morning.  Nope, I’m not even going to think about it…

Have a great rest of the week!

Week 5 of 16 Recap — July 31 through August 6

British Columbia is on fire right now… literally… and the smoke has made its way down to Seattle and across Washington state.  God bless all those firefighters and everyone affected. The fires have made air quality very poor here, so training this past week had to be done indoors.  Sunday the wind picked up and started to move some of it out, so we managed a nice long run outdoors.

Monday:  3 miles.

A picture of Meeps… because treadmills are borrring.

Tuesday:  4 miles.  The boys finally came home from their trip to Idaho.  So endeth my girl time.

Wednesday:  Cross train.  (yeah, right… the boys just got home)

Thursday: 4 miles.  Is anyone catching that my mileage is a bit lower than it should be?  I hate the treadmill.  Not a good excuse, but the truth nonetheless.

Friday:  3 miles.  By now I was so sick of the treadmill, I really didn’t care.  Okay… bad attitude. Whatever.

I know of a lady who runs 14 miles on the treadmill every other day… no more, no less… every, other, day.  Never outside.  Treadmill only.  It blows my mind.

Saturday:  Rest day.

Sunday:  12 miles.  This was a great day out.  James and I headed south to Green Lake in Seattle to run laps around the lake.  It was fabulous.

It’s about a 3-mile loop, tons of people, and mostly flat.  Lots and lots of normal potties… a runner’s dream (actually, this runner’s dream).

I love my geese.

Weekly Total:  26 miles/41.84 km

Total Plan Mileage So Far:  114 miles/183.5 km

Bonus Notes!

The lake we were running around, Green Lake, just so happens to be within walking distance to Road Runner Sports, a fabulous store that specializes in running shoes.  My Brooks Glycerin 14’s are kind of past their sell-by date, having carried me through practically every race in 2016 (well, 8 of the 9 races), not to mention I ran my last half-marathon in June in them… so, yeah, well past their sell-by date.

My Brooks Glycerin… the 2nd pair I’ve retired since I started blogging.

Anyway, after we were finished with our runs, we made our way over to the shoe store, and guess what?!  Yes!!  New shoes!!  I have stepped outside my comfort zone of Brooks (tried and true) to the Hoka One One Clifton!  I tried them out on the treadmill at Road Runner and it was like running on air!  I’m absolutely thrilled and can’t wait to hit the trail in them.  Thank you, Donna, for helping me to realize it was time!

Hoka One One Cliftons

76 more days until Marine Corps, may the Good Lord have mercy on my soul.

Have a great week ya’all!

Queen + Adam Lambert

I believe it was 1977 when I first heard Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody playing on the radio.  I know the song was released earlier, but this is from my ancient memory banks.  My mother had a pink T-bird in 1977 (I kid you not); we used to cruise around Tucson and that song would come on all the time. The funny thing is Mom loved it. So at the ripe old age of 10, I was instantly in love with Queen and all things Freddie.

In and around 1980 when I was 12, I bought the piano sheet music to Bohemian Rhapsody so I could get to work on perfecting it.  It took me 10 years or more, but I managed to master it to the best of my ability.  If you’ve ever played any Queen music… on a musical instrument… you understand.  Freddie did not compose easy music.  And I am not an accomplished musician.

When I was 14, my father bought my sister and I a stereo for Christmas along with a couple of vinyl albums to get us started, one of which was Queen. Ahhh, that opened a whole new world to us by way of music. Money allowing for a teenager, I eventually owned everything Queen.

(By the way… July 3rd is my father’s birthday… he would’ve been 88 today!  Happy Birthday Dad!)

Fast forward to 1991 when devastation hit and Freddie died.  Gone were my chances of ever seeing Queen live in concert…

But then… enter Adam Lambert some 20 years later.  Brian May and Roger Taylor (the remaining members of Queen) for whatever reason took a chance on this kid to bring Queen back to life and give fans what they wanted… one last shot to see and hear their music.  And wow, I have to say, Adam rocked the house.

 

Adam doesn’t try to personalize Queen’s songs.  He sings them as Freddie would have sung them of which I was very appreciative.  And he sings them well.  Dr. Brian May still managed to make that guitar come to life just as he did 40 years ago, and Roger Taylor… well, how he doesn’t manage to lose 5 pounds every night from the workout he gets with every show is beyond me. The older boys definitely still have it!!

I can count at least 3 times during the show when I become so overwhelmed with emotion that tears flowed, as did the entire audience.  One moment in particular was during Love Of My Life. Brian sat down with his acoustic guitar and sang the song as Freddie would have, and towards the end, Freddie appeared on the big screen with Brian and took over the singing… then walked off at the end of the song as Brian waved goodbye.

Another tear jerker was when Adam sang Who Wants To Live Forever

By the by, Adam has a new single out, Two Fux.  I’m thinking this is one we will never hear on the radio, but he sang it during the concert and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  He deserves recognition for that catchy little tune and I will definitely be adding it to my playlist.

It was an amazing time.  This is one show I would see over and over again if I could, so if you love Queen and ever get the chance, do go see it.  You will not be disappointed.

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

17 Years

2000

Today is mine and 50 in 50 Marathon Quest’s 17th wedding anniversary, so in honor of this special day, I found some great words of advice for anyone who may be interested in having a loving, long-lasting relationship:

To keep your marriage brimming

With love in the loving cup,

Whenever you’re wrong — admit it, 

Whenever you’re right — shut up.

2017

Happy Anniversary James!

Just Another Day

Baby season is in full swing at the rescue and rehab center.  Things are kicking off a bit late this year because of our cold winter and cold spring.  But the cold ain’t gonna stop Mother Nature now, is it!  We currently have abandoned baby squirrels, abandoned baby bunnies, baby opossums who’ve lost their mom, even 2 little owlets being raised by our resident foster owl mama… and I just received my very first fawn call of the season today.  (“There is a fawn sitting in my yard that has been abandoned.” “No, it hasn’t been abandoned.  Please leave it alone.”)

That being said, I also received a call today that sent my blood pressure to stroke level.  If I could’ve gone through the phone to slap some sense into this a-hole, I would have:

HIM:  My dogs were in a fight with a raccoon a couple of days ago and they chased it up a tree. It’s been up there for 2 days and I would like it removed before it dies.

ME:  The raccoon is in the tree because he’s afraid of your dogs.  Where are the dogs now?

HIM:  Barking at the raccoon in the tree.

ME:  Can you place the dogs in their kennel?

HIM:  The kennel is right underneath the tree.  Should I put them in there?

ME:  No.  Can you bring the dogs inside for a few hours?

HIM:  No.  They’re outside dogs.

ME:  Can you put them in the garage to give this raccoon a chance to come down out of the tree?

HIM:  No.  I’m not willing to do that.

I had to put him on hold after that answer.

“No.  I’m not willing to do that.”  

Are you f’n kidding me?!  I was so not prepared for that response.  You can’t lock up your dogs?? To let another living being, one of God’s creatures, who is scared to death, come down out of a tree and have a chance at survival?? Then why the f*** did you call me?!!  Do you really think I’m going to track all the way out to your drug-infested meth-lab ‘home’ and remove a raccoon from a tree when you won’t even put your hell hounds up?? 

I was now done with this phone call.  I had to pass it off to my director as the veins in my head were frantically pulsating.

The director then proceeded to calmly explain the risk of diseases that a dead raccoon would pass onto his beloved outside dogs who were never allowed inside, if he didn’t remove his dogs from the area to let the raccoon down.

Alas… we will never know what happened to this poor raccoon, whether the above idiot decided to put his dogs up for a couple of hours or not.

I guess I’ll chalk it all up to another “day in the life of…”

Baby season is upon us.  Time for me to step up my game and get ahead of all that’s about to come…

 

 

Seahawks 12K At The Landing

One of the funnest races ever!

We had spirit.  We had a rockin’ atmosphere.  We had dogs everywhere.  We had bagels.

One does not run this for a PR… one runs this for fun.  And spirit.  Which we had (as stated above).

9 a.m. start time for James and the 12K.

As the race was in Renton, about an hour away from us, we opted to get up at 5 (on a Sunday… so I guess you know what I DIDN’T do last night… like drink).  Meep (cat) was none too impressed and didn’t understand why we weren’t following routine… like sleeping until 9.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to get through a morning when a half-Siamese cat is following you around and screaming at you the entire time, telling you to go back to bed??

Ignoring the cat and focusing on the task at hand, leaving promptly at 5:58, we arrived in Renton around 7 a.m.  Score! No traffic!  Empty parking lot!  Barely any people!  No line to the port-a-loos!!

A fabulously relaxing Sunday morning (#truth) as we sat in the Target Starbucks, warm and cozy, having coffee and tea, until it was time to head to the start line.  BTW… this was the line to the portables 20 minutes before my 5K race started at 9:20.  Somewhere in the distance you can see the potties (#runnersproblems).  Surprisingly, it only took me 15 minutes:

One Seahawks player, three Sea-Gal cheerleaders, and Blitz (the mascot) were on hand to send the runners off, along with the Seahawks Drum Line, Blue Thunder.  The energy was high.

Yes, it was cold at about 42 degrees.  I had my hoodie on, which I took off for the race, although I did have a warming long-sleeve underneath my Seahawks tee.

And oh yeah… a thermal warming blanket.

The start line looked like this:

And this:

And everywhere in between:

Faux-hawks, puppies, and 12th Man Spirit abound:

Somewhere amongst the 5000+ people out for a little run today, I earned this:

… the coveted 12th Man Bling!  The race tee was probably one of the best ever:

A lightweight hoodie.  The only shirt that even compares to this is Tulsa’s Route 66 Half-Marathon long-sleeved jacket, which I wear all the time:

Post race was a bagel, banana, and water.  Okay, I would’ve loved some chocolate milk AND water, but I won’t complain.

The race was great, the people were awesome,  swag amazing, and in the end, I got my chocolate milk once we got home.  That, and potato soup, courtesy of Subway.

A really great day!

Mind-Numbing

Having to be on a bike trainer is painfully mind-numbing.  I use one on XT days and because I need to build up for that 50-mile bike ride I want to accomplish this summer, you know, to celebrate turning the big 5-0 (nope, still can’t put those two numbers together… don’t want to, don’t have to).  Donna over at Running To Travel just confirmed that cycling makes one a better runner as well.  As I won’t be able to hit the trail on my bike until about July when it stops raining, I have to settle for the trainer right now (and as I said, it… is… mind-numbing):

Going for a bike ride in the great outdoors, however, is quite stimulating:

This, unfortunately, is mind-numbing:

But this is quite stimulating:

And this is positively stimulating:

Kinda stimulating too (and possibly a little cute?):

Mind-numbingly stimulating:

I think you get where I’m coming from.

AND… the song I’ve chosen for this week’s MMM is stimulating.  This post, however, is fantastically mind-numbing.

Anyway… on to the music… I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard that the drummer (Rick Allen) from Def Leppard had been in a serious car accident and had lost an arm. Okay, in reality, I don’t really remember what I was doing… it was the ’80s after all, but I do remember being devastated when I heard the news, thinking Def Leppard was done and/or would never be the same again.  But they came back… and with a vengeance I might add, bigger and better than before. I do actually remember seeing the following video and being awestruck, which was after that fateful accident.  Rick had learned how to adapt and improvise and succeed regardless of what life dealt him… and for that, he will forever be someone I admire.

This song has always been and will always be a mainstay on my workout playlists…

Race season is about to begin for me, with Sunday (09 April) being race #1 of 2017.  It’s going to be a fun little party with nothing but 12’s for miles and miles.  It is Seattle’s one and only Seahawks 12K Run At The Landing!  I’ll be running the 5K while James is running the 12K.  Okay, I won’t lie… I’m really hoping that a couple of the Seahawks football players come out to cheer us on.  OMG… that’s when all time goals go out the window…  “Seahawk spotted at aid-station 6K in the 12K… I’m there!!!  Doesn’t matter that I’m 0.1 miles from the finish line of the 5K!!!”

Hope you’re having a fantastical weekend!!  And for those of you racing (including my father-in-law Alan in the UK), I wish you a happy and healthy finish!!

Easy Wheatberries

It had been awhile since I made wheatberries and completely forgot how to do it, because, you know, I’m such a whiz when it comes to cooking… not.  So I turned to the internet for advice.  A simple recipe… that’s all I wanted.  Water-to-wheatberry ratio!  Length of boiling time!  Is that too much to ask?  Apparently.

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After searching and sorting through tons of worthless articles about how to boil wheatberries and getting incredibly frustrated in the process, I decided an easy recipe needed to be posted. No rubbish about how wonderful they are for you… just a simple wheatberry recipe.  Here ya go:

3 cups of water to 1 cup of wheatberries.  Boil water, add wheatberries and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer on low heat for 1 hour.  Eat them however your little heart desires.

Just so happens we eat them on our salad, which is what our dinner was tonight.  You know… New Year, running, upcoming races… no time like the present to get back to healthy. The holidays are over after all and it’s time to re-focus.  However, when I was preparing said salad, and because I’m such a rockstar in the kitchen, I forgot to peel the cucumber before I cut it up. The skin was too bitter to eat, so I took each piece of cucumber out of the salad and peeled them individually.  It’s been a banner night.

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That being said, at least we’re warming up now.  For the past few weeks, we’ve been under a sheet of ice and sometimes snow, getting down to 15 degrees F (-9C).  Today was actually the first day I’ve felt warm in a long time.  The house wouldn’t even heat properly during our cold spell.  I was making those pre-made, drop-dough cookies just so I could turn the oven on for extra warmth!

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Our turkey vulture at work had to have 2 heat lamps hanging for her.

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The trail… yeah, not happening…

But I know one person that the snow didn’t stop!  Such dedication!

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As for the first race of the year… it will be April 9th, The Seahawks 12K Run.  Cannot wait to have that hot little bling in my hands!!  After that, it’s Reno baby!  The Downtown River Run on April 30th!  Half marathon for me and the full for James!

And, so… the adventure continues…

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Happy Trails!