2016 Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll 8K

I’ll let you in on a secret.  I hate going to the dentist.  However, I love my dentist.  How much do I love him?  I made trips from St. Louis to see him and keep my teeth happy.  Now that I’m in Portland, it is a much easier trip.

And if by chance, I happen to coordinate the weekend of Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll, all the better!  I was originally signed up for the half, and while I was officially allowed to run, I had not trained at all.  So I dropped down to the 8K.  By dropping down, I convinced Nilufer to do the race with me!

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Matchy Matchy

There was a course change this year!  Instead of starting and finishing at the Seattle Center, it started at the Seattle Center and finished at Century Link Field (home of the Seahawks!  #gohawks).  With the course change, they were offering the option of parking at Century Link & taking a shuttle to the start line.

Apparently no one test drove the shuttle option.  I flew across the I-90 bridge (fairly early) and came to a shuddering halt just past the exit to I-5.  And proceeded to sit.  And sit.  (All in all I was probably stuck on I-90 for close to an hour or more.)  I was not the only trapped in the gridlock as I’m guessing it was mostly runners and spectators at that early in the morning.  The closer the clock ticked to the start, the more I started seeing runners walking down the freeway to the shuttles.  I was tempted, although I don’t think my parents would appreciate me abandoning their car on the side of the road!:)

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So close yet sooooo far

Thank goodness for Twitter – Rock ‘n’ Roll finally tweeted out that they were delaying the start time.  I finally got off the freeway and parked.

I met up with Nilufer at the start line, just in time!  Even though I was allowed to run, we decided to walk most of it.  We did run a little at the beginning and the end and it felt so good!!  Both mentally and literally!

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Ready to run!

 

The 8K course was fairly straight-forward – somewhat a reverse of the old course, up until Century Link.  One of my complaints about the old course was the hill at the end.  Guess what?  There was still a hill at the end – but at least it was an uphill followed by a downhill, instead of the reverse.

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A little bit of running

 

And just like that we were finished!!

Overall, I think the course changes (that I saw) were good!  Except no iconic Space Needle at the end to take a medal picture with!:)  I hope they sort out the parking/shuttle option for next year.

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Love the medal!!

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2016 Bolder Boulder

This was my third time to do Bolder Boulder.  I really do love this race.  The energy, the crowd support, finishing in Folsom Field.  It is an all around amazing race!

I had registered for the race, reserved a hotel room, and bought plane tickets (being the planner that I am) before I had gone to the doctor who recommended I didn’t run for 4 weeks.  Of course Bolder Boulder was smack dab in the middle of my 4 week running hiatus.  What to do?

Walking wasn’t prohibited (I asked) and so I figured I would walk the race.  It would be hard, especially at the end, but I could do it.  Whew!

We had booked a hotel not too far from the finish (my travel companions were Jessica & Nilufer) but far enough away that we figured we should drive over.  That was not the best idea.  It took us forever to drive 2 miles to the parking lot.  But finally we were parked and made our way over to the start line where we met up with Jessica’s friend (who had recently moved to Denver).

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Ready to go!

 

We had missed our start wave, but jumped in with the next wave to leave (I think there are close to 90 waves).  We got separated from Jessica & her friend fairly early on.  (We knew this was a possibility and made arrangements to meet at the end if it happened.)

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Not sure what’s going on with my facial expression!

 

If you have to walk a race, this is the perfect race to do it.  It’s great people watching, plus the numerous entertainments.  The bands were all great!  Elvis was there, belly dancers, hula hoopers, slip ‘n’ slides, cotton candy, marshmallows, people spraying water – seriously, so many people, spectators and participants alike.  And such amazing energy!

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Slip’n’slide

 

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At the summit!!

 

Finally the stadium was in view.  There is nothing like coming into Folsom Stadium with thousands of people cheering you on.  I so badly wanted to run!  But I didn’t.  Across the finish line we went!

We collected our goody bag, Jessica & her friend and made our way back into the stadium to watch the elites and the Memorial Day celebration.

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Folsom Field

 

Such a great race!  If you are ever in Denver for Memorial Day – be sure to check out BolderBoulder!

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Memorial Day Celebration

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Accidental photo but I kinda liked it

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Firefighters

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Belly Dancers

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Brought to you by the Word Whole and the Number 30

Hello out there in blog land!  There are races to recap and foot issues to discuss but I’m not here to talk to you about any of that.

Instead I’m here to tell you that I am on Day 7 of Whole30!  I have been toying with the idea of Whole30 for a while now, mainly as an overall reset.  You may be asking – what finally prompted me to take the plunge?

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the last few years have been slightly stressful.  After all, I’m sure I’ve complained at least once or twice (or a hundred) times about it.  All the stress apparently caught up to me and manifested itself in some interesting ways.  The lack of sleep and the weight gain, while not welcome, were understandable.  Especially as I’m now learning sleep plays a huge part in weight loss.  The acid reflux and other GI issues were new, but if you consider everything, also very valid reactions.  What I can’t quite figure out is why now?  Now that the stress is less and I’m not longer in a super negative environment, why do I have all these symptoms?  (My guess is since I am no longer in survival mode my body decided it could rebel.)

As part of my GI issues, I did a food allergy test.  The result?  Eggs and whey (as in dairy).  Or as in Little Miss Muffet who sat on a tuffet eating her curds and whey.  Seriously?  No more ice cream?  No more pizza?  Let’s pause while I go cry.

My doctor thought it would be good to do an elimination diet to see how I feel after eliminating both dairy and eggs.  For whatever reason, an elimination diet seemed overwhelming to me.  I talked to her about the possibility of Whole30 and she thought it was a great idea (minus the eggs).  I bought the book and began reading up on the program.

My biggest stumbling blocks were 1) my kitchen is still in a lot of boxes and 2) finding the time (as I’m still working a decent amount of hours).  I scoured the interwebs for easy recipes that I would eat (and could easily make).  Confession: I am intimidated by cooking in general.

I will (try) and update  you on my progress, but if nothing else, share the results of my journey.  In the meantime, my instagram account will be sadly lacking in ice cream pictures for a while.

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One last ice cream pic…

 

One of my bigger worries heading into this (besides you know, no sugar at all) was drinking black coffee.  I like a little bit of coffee with milk and flavors!  However, I discovered Whole30 compliant coffee creamers!!  Hallelujah!

For those who have done Whole30 – feel free to share any favorite recipes or tips on surviving!!

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2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon

It’s only been what?  A little over a month since Tink?  Why, yes, yes it has.  And why is that so important?  Well, my running hiatus is now over.  That’s for another post, but I’ll sum it up here – my foot has been bothering me off and on for months.  I self diagnosed plantar faciitis and rested, iced, rolled – you name it, with some success but it would never completely go away.  Finally I went to an orthopedic doctor and he officially diagnosed me with plantar faciitis and recommended 4 weeks no running and seeing a physical therapist.  Of course, what I heard was 4 weeks no running AFTER Tinker Bell.  Another case of don’t necessarily do as I do.

Back to Tink!  As I mentioned, its been awhile so I don’t remember much.  I caught up with Abby & Adrienne (a reunion of last year!).  I just love running with these girls!  We were doing 1:1 intervals and spent a good deal of time catching up.  The weather was just about perfect as the sun didn’t really start making an appearance until later.

I will say around mile 5 the course intersected with mile 12.  I jokingly said we could totally cut the course (not that I would ever do that rule-follower that I am).  Apparently people actually did that.  Go figure.

And now for the pictures!!

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Cruising down Route 66

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Paradise Pier

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This picture cracks me up because I’m usually so aware of the photogs!!

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Over halfway!

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Loved the Red Hat Ladies!!

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Done!!  Love running with these ladies!

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Bling-tastic!

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2016 Tink 10K

I keep thinking I won’t sign up for these challenges, and then I find myself signing up!  However, I do love the Disneyland 10Ks as you spend so much time in the parks.  Plus not only was Jessica going to do it but we convinced Jessica’s mom (Susan) to run as well.  We went with an Alice in Wonderland theme and one of the best parts about Susan running was I had a built in costumer!  Why, yes, I had nothing to do with my pinafore – that was all Susan.

We stayed at the Paradise Pier hotel and literally walking outside to the corrals was pretty amazing.  Especially when it was raining.  Yes, raining!  I didn’t order rain!  We stayed inside as long as possible before braving the rain.  Fortunately the rain didn’t last long.

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Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat, Alice

And we were off!

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GO GO GO

 

Down and around a very long block (where I saw Jaime spectating!) before heading in Disneyland!  I won’t bore you too much with details of the course since I’ve probably recapped Disney races wy too much, except to say I really do love the Disneyland 10Ks!  Instead I’ll share some pictures!  And the best part about this being so late is I have official pictures!

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Go Susan Go!!  (one of my fave pics!)

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Paradise Pier

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Done!

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Feet Pic!

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Celebrating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2016 Cinco de Mayo 10K

One of the benefits of running #alltheraces in Portland is learning more and more about my new city street by street.  So far most of the races have been slightly different courses, giving me a different view each time.

Today’s race started in Pioneer Square (which sometimes trips me out because there is also a Pioneer Square in Seattle – I’m sure Portland and Seattle are not the only Pioneer Squares, but they are the only two I know).  I took the Max in (Portland’s light rail) which took me directly to Pioneer Square.  Score for no parking hassle!

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Feet pic!

 

One thing I learned about races starting in Pioneer Square (although this is a sweeping generalization) is that they start on a slight uphill.  Boo.  (And not to give away the ending, but they also end on an uphill.  Double boo.)  But aside from those hills the remaining course was fairly flat (with a few false flats thrown in).  I’m thinking those false flats are why I felt like I was working so hard and going nowhere.

We started off on Broadway before turning down towards the waterfront.  Just past the first mile, we turned back into downtown and headed toward the Pearl District.  As I mentioned above, I really felt like I was struggling (more than normal).

Through the Pearl District and into another area, which seemed to be full of warehouses.  The sun was beating down at this point.  This was also part of the giant out and back portion and it was great to see the steady stream of people on their way back, including folks dressed up as a taco!

I feel like saying this part of the course was slightly technical due to all the turns.  It literally felt like we were turning at the end of each block.

But then the turn around appeared!  Back through the stretch of zig zag streets, the Pearl District, and finally back onto Broadway!  I didn’t want to start my finishing kick too early so I deliberately held back, well at least held back a smidge.

Across the finish I went!  Normally this would be the time I would tell you my time.  However, the official results still haven’t been posted, so we will both have to wait for the official results!

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And done!

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2016 Spring Classic

What?  Another race?  Yes.  Another one.  But when you have zero motivation to run on your own, and there is a close (ish) race, why not?  I mean I should be able to run on my own without spectators, water stops, and medals, but if they are available, why not take advantage?

My Tink training (which I’ve somewhat followed up until the last few weeks) called for 12 miles.  I looked at the local race calendar, and as luck would have it, there was a half that weekend.  As I’ve done once or twice before, I decided to go for it, figuring the last mile would be a great cool down.  Considering my last two long runs have been piecemealed, the other thought behind doing the half was actually doing 12 miles continuously.

So I identified a race, what next?  Let’s dive into my race choosing process.

First step is to analyze the website for the time limit.  As I’ve mentioned probably ad nauseam at this point, I’ve been losing speed.  Whereas before I only worried a little if there was a 3:30 time limit, now I worry a lot if there is a 3:30 time limit.  There was no time limit, at least that I could find.

Second step in scoping races, depending on the length of the race and the time limit, is to look at prior year results.  Guess what?  While this was the 32nd annual Spring Classic , it was the inaugural year for the half.  Previously it was a duathlon only, but this year they expanded to include running events.  No obvious time limit, no prior year results.  What’s a time worrying girl to do?  Well, take into account that the half would start an hour and 15 minutes before the duathlon.  I can deal with an hour head start.  And then I looked at the prior year duathlon results of course!  Once I saw there were enough finishers in the 2 hour plus category, I felt safe in signing up.  Whew.  All that and I’m not even to the start line yet!

Looking at the race course, I realized this would be almost the exact opposite of the Hop Hop Half.  I knew I would be in for beautiful views and a mostly flat course.

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Start Line

 

At the start line I glanced nervously around.  This was probably one of the smallest races I’ve ever been in.  As in there were maybe 100 people running the half.  I mentally prepared to be last or at least the last “runner”.  I kept telling myself, most likely I wouldn’t be last overall as more likely than not there would still be duathletes finishing after me.  (So “more likely than not” is a term that is used in my job a decent amount and its basically a fancy way of saying more than 51%.)

And we were off!!  By mile 1, I was pretty much in last place (or so I thought).  I hit the first turn around mile 1.5 and was happy to see at least a few people behind me.

The first 5K was on Marine Drive (following the path of the actual 5K).  The 5K and the 10K started about 15 minutes after the half so it wasn’t long before the lead runners had caught up with me.  I finished up the first 5K and looped onto the bike path along the Columbia River.  One good thing about completing the 5K as the first part of the race was that I experienced the uphill that was the finish line.  Ugh.  Really?  But at least I would be prepared for it.

There were a decent amount of 10Kers passing me at this point but as they passed me, several called out encouraging comments, which was a definite plus.

Soon I was passing the 10K turn around point (and a water stop) and just like that, it was just me.  It really was like a training run!  I could barely make out the people in front of me.  My goal at this point was to pass mile 6 before the lead half marathoners came back through, which I did by the skin of my teeth.

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All by myself, but look at that view!

 

I was feeling pretty good with my 1:1 intervals.  The sun was starting to come out at this point, but being next to the river meant it wasn’t getting too hot.

Mile 7 left the river and without the river it started getting hot.  But finally I was at mile 8 and the turn around!  That stretch to the turn around was through a field and the heat was really starting to get to me.

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At one point I tried to do race math but failed miserably.  Going into this, I was going to be happy to finish.  And then I was thinking as long as I came in under 3:05 I would be happy.  I hit mile 11 at 2:30 ish and thought maybe, just maybe I might be able to come in under 3 hours.  Of course that would mean continuing intervals instead of treating the last mile as a cool down.

I hit the 10K turn around for the second time (and a water stop) and knew I had to be close.  1.5 ish miles close!  I kept trucking and came across a fork in the trail up to the road.  I didn’t think it was the right path, but I wasn’t sure.  I wish there had been a volunteer there.  I decided to keep going, hoping it was the right decision.

It was!  The bike trail looped up to the main road and just like that I was at mile 13.  Ready (or not) to take on the uphill to the finish.  I picked a spot in the road and started running.  Finished!!

Time check?  2:58!  It was so great to see a 2 instead of a 3.  I still have a lot of work to do, but I’ll enjoy this for a moment.

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I did it!

 

 

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