Tag Archives: weight loss

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

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!

London Marathon

I didn’t tell anyone this, but I put in for the London Marathon lottery last March… along with James… and along with my father-in-law Alan, who lives in the UK… with the drawing to be held in October.  Possibly a fun family event and get together in April, in London, amiright?

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Alan at Sandringham

Alan ran the London Marathon in the early 1990s, setting a personal record with a sub-3-hour marathon time.  He was the first to hear from them on Monday… rejected.  If he’s interested, he can still get a bib through his running club, or he can qualify with a sub-5-hour marathon as he is 70 and a citizen of the UK.  Oh… yeah… right… he could also join a charity and start fundraising for £1500 or so.

And by the way… yes… you read that right.  I entered the lottery as well.  For the marathon. Twenty-six point two miles.  26.2.  My first marathon, to be completed in April, after I turn 50. But I got this:

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I was rejected.  However, notice the last paragraph… if I use one of their worldwide “tour”companies, I could still obtain a bib… thousands of dollars later.

For the last 3 months, I’ve been receiving emails from London saying stuff like, “we notice you haven’t signed up with a charity yet,” or “guaranteed entry, check out these charities.”  I’m beginning to question the “unweighted” ballot system of the London Marathon.  Looking into it, they probably have 30 to 40 “tour” companies with bibs to offer worldwide, not to mention all these charities still have bibs to offer if you raise money for them.  Every single person who got rejected in the UK got a message saying, “sign up with this charity and still gain entry.”  Are you starting to understand where I’m going with this?

I don’t mind raising money for charity, but I would prefer to choose my own charity.  I work for a nonprofit organization and the only way we survive is by fundraising… so if I’m going to put forth fundraising efforts, it’s going to be for a cause I believe in, not what someone else dictates to me.

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Sorry London, you’re just not worth the hassle.

As for me… why yes… I am still entertaining the idea of running my first 26.2 after I turn 50. Now I just have to decide which one…

And as for Alan’s entrance fee that he paid in advance, only to be rejected by the London Marathon… the race kept the money and donated it to charity.

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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

Turkey Sandwich Anyone?

A couple of you already know that I don’t fare well in the kitchen… even after advanced study with 1 year of a home economics class and 1 year of a foods class.  (Have I ever told you about the time I was making cheese toast and I set the toaster oven on fire?!  True story… and I was 36 at the time.)  Anyway, every once in a long while I leave my comfort zone of the normal mac and cheese and attempt something new.  I did that today and achieved total success!  So, of course, I have to share it with you!  (Okay, so it was only a sandwich, but hey, it was a success.)

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James was perusing this cookbook when he stumbled upon something he wanted for lunch… a Hot Turkey and Strawberry Sandwich with Sweet Potato Fries and homemade Mint Limeade. Easy peasy.  I highly recommend it for a nice light lunch or dinner!

For the sandwich, spread cream cheese on the bread and put turkey slices on top.  Then broil it for about 4 minutes.  I had never used the broiler on my oven before so I was relieved that I actually figured out how to turn it on.

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When it comes out of the oven, add a layer of sliced strawberries.  Who would have thought that sliced strawberries on a turkey and cream cheese sandwich could be so yummilicious?!  It truly was… don’t knock it ’til you try it.

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For the Mint Limeade, I used our handy-dandy Nutribullet.  Puree 2 cups of water, 1/3-cup sugar, 1/4-cup mint leaves, and 1 lime, rind and all.  After it’s pureed, drain the mixture through a sieve and add 2 more cups of water.  Very refreshing on a hot day!

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The sandwich, depending on the bread that’s used, has about 263 calories, 20g of protein, and 23g of carbs.  The sweet potato fries are a runner’s friend, full to the brim of vitamin A, and one of those super foods a runner just shouldn’t go without.  The mint limeade drink is only 71 calories, 18g of carbs, with more vitamin C than you can shake a stick at!

And there you have it… my success in the kitchen for this month!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jamesy and I have had a wonderful child-less Valentine’s weekend!  As well, it’s been great for AJ to get out, get unplugged, and go play in the snow!  AJ is due back any moment now, and while James and I have very much enjoyed our alone time together, both of us are going to be very happy to give him a nice Valentine’s Day hug.

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Our special Valentine’s Day treat to ourselves… shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate! Happy Valentine’s Day to my forever sweetheart and the best husband ever!

There are only about 3 weekends left before the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon, and today was our normally scheduled long-run day.  After lazing around for most of the morning waiting for the rain to stop, we finally decided to suck it up and hit the trail; James for 12 miles, me for 10.  I was not thrilled about going for my run today for some reason.  Just one of those days, I guess. But then again, 10 miles is a long way to have to wrap your head around.

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Still, out I went.  The weather was beautiful, nice and misty, cool but not freezing, and not too many people on the trail… which was good as I just wasn’t in the mood for people.  However, I did run into a couple of teenagers/young adults who seemed like they were up to no good. There is a marijuana … store… that backs up onto one part of the trail, and these kids were peeking in the fence, almost casing the place really… I just had a bad feeling about them.  So I steered clear, pulled the headphones out of my ears so I could hear them and everything around me, and kept my eye on them until they were out of my line of sight.  What on earth do you do in a situation like that? Yes, I had a bad feeling, BUT, what if they were just being curious and really only looking around? They weren’t breaking any laws so I couldn’t justify a call to the police… or should I have called them just because?  They weren’t even trespassing… they were just… creepy.  <sigh>

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Anyway, the run went fairly well other than that little blip above.  I started to get tired at about mile 8, was going to make a loop around my house to give me that last mile, BUT, once I actually saw my house, my body and mind said, “oh hell no,” and that was that.  I officially ran 8.6… tsk, tsk. I’m feeling a bit bad about that as I only have 1 long run left, but hopefully if I nail my mid-week runs, there won’t be any serious repercussions from the setback of cutting today’s long run short.

To sum it up, I ran 19 miles this past week and am on day 45 of the 2016 run streak.

  • Favorite song on playlist today:  Charlie Puth — Marvin Gaye (pretty fitting for Valentine’s Day, ;D)
  • Number of cookies, pictured above, consumed thus far:  4
  • Number of calories per cookie:  200 (good thing I ran long today)
  • Number of fish that perished in my care this weekend:  2
  • Number of dinners I ruined this weekend: 1 (I’m getting better!)

James has written a wonderful little training update at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest… go check it out!  As well… a huge shout-out to Miss Dorothea of Wanderwolf Running for running a screaming fast marathon today, a BQ time (!), with some really cool bling!!  Well done Dorothea! Very proud of you!

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Would you have called the police had you been in my situation?  How did you “treat” yourself today?  What’s your favorite race bling?!  Have a great week!!

Vibrant: My new PR running shoes!

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My new running shoes arrived on my doorstep this afternoon… Brooks Glycerin 13!  I ordered them at the beginning of the week so I would have them in time for my long run this weekend! After melting my feet in Maui, I learned a huge lesson not to stray from the tried and true, and because of that, I believe these are going to give me a new PR at each and every race I run in 2016!  They shall now and forevermore be known as my 2016 PR Shoes!  Woo hoo!  They are, indeed, vibrant!!