Tag Archives: sequim

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

Hurricane Ridge

We’ve left the real world for a few days and have hopped on over to Port Angeles for a short break before school starts up again.  Port Angeles is about 100 miles from where we live (by ferry) and it’s right next to the Olympic National Park.  It sits  on the Strait of Juan de Fuca (the waterway that represents the border between the U.S. and Canada), and Victoria, B.C. is only 20 miles by ferry.

Okay, all that being said, we had a very full first day.  Before heading up to Hurricane Ridge, we stopped in Sequim (pronounced ‘skwim’) at this charming little ’50s diner to have lunch.  AJ wants to go back for the milkshakes alone:

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After lunch, we headed up to Hurricane Ridge for a little hike.  They call it that because of the 75+ mph winds that blow through there.  It was indeed a hike, and once again, I wish I hadn’t worn my running shoes (she will never, ever learn).

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The views at the top were just amazing:

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You can look down and see Port Angeles, as well as Victoria, B.C. on the other side of the water.

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Views of the strait:

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You can just see the hiking trail we used to get to the top of the mountain (there are fires burning on the range right now, hence, the haze):

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Going back down, James made a comment that the only exciting animal we got to see all day was a chipmunk.  Not 5 minutes later, we got to see this (can you see him?):

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James found a charming, 2-bedroom, vacation home to rent while we are here.  So after a long day of being out, tired and grimy, we got to come back to this (which was a very pleasant surprise as we hadn’t seen it yet):

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With fabulous views of the water (#spottedtheship):

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Next up, Lake Crescent… 🙂