Lightening Round of Races 2017 Part VII

So I was caught up for a brief second!  And now I am not.  But let’s see if we can make a dent in the next round of races.  I thought I raced a lot in years past, but this goal of 40 races is a lot.  Especially with another summer of working a lot.

#27 Ladybug 10K – I really enjoy this race – it is well-organized, has a great post-race spread, and isn’t too far from my house.  Plus who doesn’t love ladybugs?  I had 12 miles on my calendar and so showed up early to pick up 6 miles before the race started.  Fortunately the sun was also up super early!  I finished my early miles with enough time to hit up packet pick up and use the bathroom before the start of the race.  The course was very similar to last year which meant the very steep hill was still there.  But parts of the course were lined with ladybug paper plates.  I finished and enjoyed my delicious chocolate milk!

 

#28 Garlic Festival 5K – Sometimes I know things (such as August 12th is the day before August 13th) but it doesn’t quite click.  At all.  Until I actually look at a calendar.  Which is how I ended up deciding to do the Garlic Festival 5K (as I had the Bridge of the Gods half the next day).  I really don’t remember much of this race, other than my legs felt super heavy and the reward for finishing was a giant clove of garlic.  Which reminds me…whatever happened to that garlic?

 

#29 Bridge of the Gods Half – This seemed like such a good idea at the beginning of the summer.  I was totally going to train more and be so ready for this race.  That did not quite happen.  However race day arrived and the weather looked beautiful, for racing that is.  Overcast with rain in the forecast.  I have a feeling it rained, but I can’t remember.  What I do remember is stairs!  Yes, this race had stairs!!  And switchbacks!!  A lot of switchbacks!  Which meant hills!  Lots of hills!  But the scenery was amazing.  I definitely struggled towards the end and was just so happy to be finished.  Did I mention there were stairs?

 

#30 Canby Dahlia Half – I really enjoyed this half last year, mainly stretch from mile 5 to mile 6 in the dahlia fields.  Since it was fairly close after Bridge of the Gods, I figured why not?  I was alone on the course for a lot of the race, which was okay with me.  The course wasn’t closed but a good portion was on bike trails.  And this year at the end of the race, they had plenty of water bottles!  Yay!

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Lightening Round of Races 2017 Part VI

Guess what!?  As of this blog post, I will be caught up!  For this minute, anyway.

#25 Summer Half – I may be the only crazy to use half marathons to train for half marathons…  What am I training for?  Besides more races?  This training cycle is leading up to the Bridge of the Gods Half.  Anyway, this week’s long run was curtesy of the Summer Half (not to be confused with the Summer Half Classic which was totally last week).  This one took place along the Banks Vernonia Trail.  It was a point to point, finishing in Banks.  I attempted to park close to the finish, but the designated parking lots were already full!  Fortunately I found street parking and hopped on the bus up to the start.  The course was advertised as downhill for several miles.  Well, it was definitely downhill for the first mile, but then the downhill was hardly noticeable.  The first part of the trail was also very shady!  I was doing well up until about mile 10 and then the heat got to me.  I kept up my intervals until about mile 11 and then slowed it down to :45 / 1:15 ish.  The last mile was pure struggle but finally the finish line was in sight!  I crossed in 2:47:32!!

 

#26 Beaverton Sun Run – When I originally signed up for this race, I completely forgot I was doing a half the day before (which is why I signed up for the 10K rather than the 5K).  Throw in the fact it was down the street from my house and I’m chasing this goal of 40 races in 2017, and it had to happen.  It was a smaller race, and a good portion of it took place on the Fanno Creek Trail, which I’ve been meaning to check out.  My legs were shot.  It was a definite struggle, however the course was decorated with a lot of chalk drawings which was fun to see.  I definitely was in the running for last place, but was able to chase down a few people to pull myself out of last.  Whew.  The trail was nice and wide and I’m excited to explore it later (when I’m not going from race to race).  Even with my legs not feeling it, I managed to finish in 1:22:31, which I definitely won’t complain about.

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Lightening Round of Races 2017 Part V

#21 Red, White, & Blues 10K – HILLS!  That is all I really have to say about this race.  Oh, except I did it with Heather (whom I met through runDisney).  I have a running friend in Portland!  I mention this because making friends is hard for me, always has been.  And it seems to me making friends in Portland has been even harder.  I was super excited when I found out Heather was running.  In the end we were matchy matchy without coordinating beforehand!  And there was a hot dog and chocolate milk at the end.

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#22 Freedomathon 5K – Guess what?  There are two Beaverton City Libraries.  Want to know how I know?  When we typed in Beaverton City Library into the GPS, it took us to a different one than where the race was!  Oh snap.  Good thing we left early and the other location wasn’t too far away.  Jokingly I asked Jessica (who for sure is a running friend in Portland, but she was my friend before Portland) what her 5K PR was before the race.  Spoiler alert – she totally PR’d this race!  The course was nice and flat and they had a race within a race – the last mile was timed.  My goal going into it was to make the last mile the fastest.  Somehow I ended up in charge of the intervals and I tried to push without over-pushing.  Which is super hard.  The first mile went by decently fast, the second definitely slower and we took an extra walk break right before the start of the third mile.  The last mile felt as if it was super long but we kept pushing.  Not only was the third mile the fastest, but Jessica did PR!!  And there was a pancake breakfast after!!

#23 Twilight 10K – HOT!!  Oh boy was this a hot one.  Jessica, Heather, and I all signed up for this one.  And as the name suggests it is a night race.  Night races are not my favorite.  The course is flat and takes place mainly on a bike / running trail.  The first stretch is on the road and allows everyone to thin out to their respective pace before turning onto the bike / running path.  The heat made this a struggle of a race.  But finally we were finished!!  And in line for tamales and cookies!!

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#24 Summer Half Classic – what happens when you 1) need a race and 2) have 10 miles on your training calendar?  If you are me, you sign up for a half of course.  Isn’t that what a normal person would do?  Ha!   My motto is a long run is much better if there are spectators, water stops and a medal.  Plus what’s another 5K after 10 miles?  It was definitely a small race and I did have a few slight worries about being last.  But there was a four hour time limit.  Whew.  It was definitely warm to start the race.  It was a fairly flat course, and not closed.  But there was not a lot of traffic, and it was well marked.  The scenery was a lot of farm land.  The first several miles were into the wind and I was so happy when we turned and it became a crosswind.  I couldn’t tell which was worse until I turned back into the wind.  Definitely the headwind was worse.  I kept thinking once we started heading back to the finish the tailwind would be amazing.  It wasn’t.  I hit mile 10 and dropped my intervals down to :45 / 1:15 ish and gradually kept dropping until by mile 12 I was doing :30 / 1:30.  I was so happy to see the finish!  And I finished with 2:53:28 on the clock.  Yes!!

 

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2017 Seattle Rock’n’Roll Half

Seattle Rock’n’Roll has become somewhat of a tradition since I left Seattle.  It is approximately 6 months from Christmas, which means it is about time for my 6 month dentist appointment.  Two birds, one trip to Seattle.  Oh, and Father’s Day.  Totally because it takes place on Father’s Day weekend.  Three birds, one trip to Seattle!  Fingers crossed they don’t change the date!

When I originally signed up, the event was still on a Saturday and only Saturday.  Lo and behold the half (and full) were moved to Sunday.  In the back of my mind, I wondered if this meant a 5K was coming on Saturday but somehow I missed the announcement that there actually was going to be a 5K!  Fortunately it did catch my eye they had added a 5K in time to sign up.

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I was at the tail end of a cold and so didn’t expect too much at the 5K.  It was an out and back starting at the Museum of Flight.  The course wasn’t anything to much to write home about except it was a very large street and no crowding to speak of.  My plan honestly was just to get through the race.  However as I started out, I felt okay.  In my opinion, racing a 5K is super hard because you push so hard due to the short distance!  I kept up my 1:1 intervals and came across the line at 37:07 which isn’t too far off my PR.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Might be time to focus on a 5K PR!

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My dad kindly offered to drop me off Sunday morning for the half.  The starting time had been bumped up and I had bad memories of parking last year.  I had purchased the pre-race VIP package, which did include parking, but it required being parked and on the shuttle bus by 4:30.  I gladly took my dad up on his offer and got a little bit more sleep.

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The course had changed this year and was a point to point from Husky Stadium to Century Link.  Or as I like to say from the Huskies to the Seahawks!  Could this course be any more perfect?!  It is still Seattle which means there were HILLS but its Seattle.

Buying the VIP package meant a private gear check, using Husky Stadium bathrooms, and my fave – a view down to the field!  Oh yeah, a place to sit and breakfast offerings.  I was sold with the real bathroom.

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I jumped into my corral and we were off.  Through the arboretum, along Lake Washington, Rainier Ave S, Dearborn, and then Century Link was in sight!!

As I was still getting over the cold, I didn’t push too much and was ecstatic to come across the finish line in 2:56:02.  Any time I come in under 3, I’m a happy camper!!

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Lightening Round of Races 2017 Part IV

One of my favorite movie quotes ever “someone call IX-I-I” from Hercules and I think of it every time I see Roman numerals.

#16 Queen of the High Road 10K – I struggled a bit with including this as one of my 40 races because there was no big and it was self timed.  But on the other hand, I signed up, paid a race fee, and got a tiara at the end.  So race, right?  A very low key event with a giant hill.  But did I mention I got a tiara?

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#17 Happy Girls Bend – I can honestly say I hated this race.  There were several factors that led to the hatred, and any on their own would have been fine, but it was the combination that led to disaster for me.  Let’s start with it was HOT.  So very HOT.  Second we didn’t start until 9.  If its going to be that hot, I’d much rather start earlier in the day, especially if its going to be hot.  Third, the bottlenecks at the beginning of the race (due to the mass start) and then again when the slow half’ers (me), the fast 10Kers, and the slow 5Kers all converged on the same narrow stretch of the sidewalk.  I kept yelling on your left but to no avail.  Throw in gravel roads, serious trails, ridiculous hills, and almost getting hit by a golf ball (yes a golf ball) and you have the makings of a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  The views, however, were amazing!!  If I ever did this race again (which is doubtful) I would do the 10K, rather than the half.  Time?  Well it was definitely one of my slower times at 3:07:31 but I finished!!

#18 Helvatia 15K – I was excited going into this race for two reasons.  The first being the hamburger at the end and the second was the hopes of seeing my physical therapist at the race (she was doing the half while I was doing the 15K).  The race started out promising with overcast skies but no rain.  Parts of the course were the same as Heartbreaker.  I was feeling strong and briefly thought I might be able to PR.  But then came mile 7 and a torrential downpour.  It was also around that time the half course caught back up to the 15K course and when I heard my name.  It was Katie (my PT)!  Seeing her friendly face gave me a boost.   The rain kept coming down and down and down.  I struggled those last two miles.  It was so wet.  Finally it was over and I was eating my hamburger!!  Secret goal going into the race – under 2; actual time: 1:59:42.  Whew!

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Lightening Round of Races 2017 Part III

Slowly but surely we are catching up!!  When I first decided to do 40 races in 2017, I hadn’t really thought through the dedication it would take.  I still feel as though I am going from race to race, but it keeps me motivated!!

#11 Hop Hop Half – I really wasn’t truly ready for a half, but my training plan called for 11 miles.  What’s another 2.1 after 11?  I figured I would slow down my intervals once I hit 11.  The course starts off with a short loop before passing the finish line and heading out onto a bike trail along the Columbia River.  The views were gorgeous!  It was also starting to get hot.  I held on to the 1:1 intervals for as long as possible.  Of course the Peeps at around Mile 8 helped with my energy!  Finally I was crossing the road for the last little stretch.  I backed off to 1:2 intervals.  And there it was – the finish line!  One of my favorite parts of this race is the after party, with mimosas!  Secret goal going into the race: under 3 hours, actual time 2:52:33.


#12 Top Pot 5K – This was a replacement race (another one I hadn’t done in awhile).  When I ended up in Seattle for a few weeks, I had to switch around a few races.  Fortunately Top Pot 5K was an option!  The course takes you around Green Lake and finishes with donuts!!  Top Pot donuts!!  Its been awhile since I’ve actually raced a 5K.  I hesitated slightly in my decision to actually race it.  The course was fairly crowded, but still manageable.  I came across in 38:14, which I was happy with.

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#13 Cinco de Mayo – Another replacement race!  Instead of Cinco de Mayo in Portland, I was doing Cinco de Mayo in Snoqualmie.  Slightly different!  I hadn’t really paid attention to the elevation knowing it was Snoqualmie and there would be hills.  The course started off with a loop before catching up to the 8K course.  The out was a slight downhill which meant a huge uphill on the way back.  Funny how that works!  The weather was perfect, overcast with a hint of rain.  It did start sprinkling towards the end.  I was slightly worried about the time limit, but at the first turn around I saw that I wasn’t last.  I kept my place for a long time before I started picking off runners one by one, for a total of 5!  I wasn’t sure about a time goal going into it, but I was hoping for under 2:55.  I came in at 2:49:24!!  Starting to move closer towards 2:45 again!

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Stay tuned for the next round!!

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2017 Tink Half Marathon

AKA race #15 in my quest for 40 races in 2017.  Long story short, but when my trip to UT changed from ending on Sunday to ending on Saturday AND I saw Tink still had openings, I decided to do my own Pixie Dust Challenge and sign up for Tink (since I was doing a 10K Saturday morning in UT).  It really made me happy to sign up since I hadn’t been able to do Princess earlier in the year.

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I arrived Saturday afternoon with just enough time to grab my bib and hit up the expo.  Not having a lot of time at the expo meant I didn’t spend a lot of money!  I should really do that more often!  I spent a little bit of time at the parks before retiring for the night.

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Sunday morning arrived bright and early and I headed for the corrals.  Security ended up being a bit of a mess – now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the extra security, but it was a giant bottleneck.  They finally started directing us over to the other entrance, by ESPN Zone which was much quicker.

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I wasn’t expecting much out of this race considering I went all out to get my PR the day before, not to mention I was in another state the day before!

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I don’t remember too much about the race other than it got HOT towards the end and they had CHOCOLATE MILK afterwards!!  Tink has replaced Princess as my favorite runDisney race.  Possibly because of the chocolate milk.  And I finished with a Disney PR (probably because I didn’t stop for too many photos!) of: 2:56:19!

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