Tag Archives: trail running

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

Fall Already?

I realized… ohhhh, probably last Friday… that I have a 10K at the end of this month, so it might behoove me to get out on the trail sometime really soon.  Mind you, I haven’t been sitting on my posterior this whole entire time… last week just so happened to have been filled with rainy days, so I kept my posterior inside on the treadmill.  Do you have any idea just how non-exciting writing about treadmill runs really is?  Not to the mention the pictures you would get:

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Borrrrring.  Yeah, that’s what the treadmill does for you… zaps all your creativity while you suffer endless minutes of mind-numbing drudgery.  But it has to be done, what can I say.

However, we got a break in the rain today, so out I went on the trail for a 5K.  And I saw this:

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Leaves on the ground!  Yes, I do believe autumn has begun here in the Pacific Northwest, if for no other reason than the week of rain we happened to have.  September is actually still supposed to be sunny here, with the rainy season not really starting until mid-to-late October, but things may be different this year… we’ll see.  I may not get my chance to go for the 50-mile bike ride to which I had given some serious thought.  Again… I guess we’ll see.  I do need to go tackle that dreadful hill though before winter just so I can get past it (and then probably follow that up with saying “never again”).

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I have to give a shout-out to the man in the above picture, in the orange shirt, bless him.  He’s probably 70 to 80 years old, and I see him out running every single day, just shuffling along. Sometimes alone.  Sometimes with his daughter.  Every.  Single.  Day.  He impresses the hell out of me.

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My picture… okay, AJ’s picture taken last week in Sequim, but this bear’s mannerism describes the people I’m admiring this week… fierce!

I would also like to give a shout-out to a blogger friend, “Lucy” from Losing Anonymously.  I started following her last year as she began on her healthy journey to lose weight and get in shape.  In that time, she lost 74 pounds and became a runner.  Today she completed her very first half-marathon, with a damn good time, I might add.  I am just thrilled for her.  She is proof-positive that with hard work and determination, one can achieve their goals.  Never give up… she never did.  She had personal challenges that she had to overcome, but she never quit.  She is truly an amazing person and such an inspiration.  Well done, “Lucy,” well done!!

‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired, you feel weak

And when you feel weak you feel like you want to just give up

But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength

And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up

And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you want to just fall flat on your face and collapse.

–Eminem, “Till I Collapse”

Hope you have a great week!!

 

 

 

 

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