Curacao 2017

I spent the last week in Curacao (which if you don’t know exactly where that is, join the club.  It’s in the Caribbean, next door to Aruba).  I’ll do an actual trip report at some point 🙂 but in the meantime, how about a few pictures?

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Lightening Round of Races Part II

How did it get to be June?   Must be time for another lightening round of races!!

#6 Hot Chocolate 15K – It has been awhile since I’ve done this race and I had blocked out the ridiculous route.  Up and back on 99 which means one giant uphill out and less of a downhill on the way back.  Sadly the M&M station was out of M&Ms by the time I got there.  Secret goal going into the race under 2 hours, actual time 2:01:08

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#7 Luckython 10K – This was at the golf course where last year’s Halloweenathon took place.  The course was the same, but in reveres, which I think I liked better.  Course options were 5K – 1 loop, 10K – 2 loops, or 15K – 3 loops.  I’m not a huge loop fan and so opted for the 10K.  But one of the draws of this race was a baked potato bar after the race!  Secret time goal going into the race: under 1:17, actual time 1:18:20.

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#8 Shamrock 15K

#9 Race for the Roses 10K – I came down with a cold right before this race and debated a DNS.  I was starting to feel slightly better the morning of and decided to go for it.  This race starts at the convention center, before heading over the river on the Broadway Bridge.  I didn’t want to push myself too hard but still tried to keep fairly regular intervals, skipping a few running intervals.  The weather was amazing – sunny but not too hot.  I had no time goals going in due to the cold, actual time 1:23:53.

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#10 Seahawks 12K – Another race I hadn’t done in a long time.  The start line isn’t too far from my parents house and so worked out perfect as I was up visiting.  The course is a nice rolling course by Lake Washington with the turn around at the VMAC (the Seahawks training facility).  My favorite part of the race!!  There are even Seahawks handing out water!  The first part of the race was going fantastic – I was ticking off miles in the 11s and 12s.   And then BAM!  When I turned around there was a headwind.  That was some tailwind on the first half of the course!  I started struggling around mile 7 but I kept telling myself I was so close to the end.  And there was the end!  Best part of the finish?  Seahawk Kevin Pierre-Louis was at the finish line and I got a picture with him!!  Actual time 1:38:40.

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That’s it for this round!!  Stay tuned for the next round!!

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Packing

Packing emotions in haiku format

Decisions to make
Frustration leading to joy
My journey begins

I love to travel.  Seeing new places excites me.  Learning about different cultures, stopping to enjoy a cup of coffee while taking in the new sights, exploring new places bring me such joy.

What I hate is packing.  Absolutely hate it.  Even though I know that if I’m packing, that means I get to so somewhere different.  Part of that stems from my hate of making decisions.  Can’t I cram everything into this suitcase so I don’t have to make a decision?  What if I change my mind later and want to wear something different?

All of this is because (dramatic pause) you guessed it, I’m procrastinating when I should be packing!  Watch this space for where I’m going this time!

Here’s a hint…there will be fruity drinks!!

 

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Lightening Round of Races 2017 Part I

Blink and its May!  My grand ideas of getting caught up are quickly going by the wayside, so we’re going to do a lightening round of recaps!  Partly due to my quest for 40, partly due to motivation, and partly due to time, it may seem as if I’m going from race to race.  You would be correct in that assumption.  Here we go:

#1 ORRC 10K – this was my first race of the new year (and it was my first race of 2016).  It was a race against the snow (it started snowing just after I finished).  I like this race because you can wait in the school before it starts and there is a pancake breakfast when you finish!  Secret goal going into the race: under 1:20, actual time: 1:16:57!

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Beat the snow!

#2 Race for Warmth 10K – nothing like a last minute race decision!  This was a smallish race on the Washington side of the river.  Work is generally crazy in January and add in a couple weeks of snow, so I wasn’t expecting much from this race.  Especially with a crazy hill at the end.  Secret goal going into the race: under 1:20, actual time 1:19:50 (whew, just snuck under 1:20).

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Brrr

#3 Chocolatathon 5K – another last minute race decision, but one that ended in lots and lots of chocolate!  And a medal!  This race took place in Cook Park, which I really should explore more!  I walked this race with Jessica so no time goals.

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Mmm Chocolate!

#4 Heartbreaker 10K – not to far from my house, and another race that starts outside a school which means real bathrooms and a warm place to wait!  This is definitely a hilly course!  But still a lot of fun, especially with the finish on the track!  Secret goal going into the race: under 1:20, actual time 1:20:41 (not quite under, but not quite over 1:20).

 

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Gotta love races that end with cookies

 

 

#5 Wurst Run 10K – how can you not love a race that bills itself as the wurst race?  This race was a bit of a drive, and involved several hills, but was great fun.  I had 9 miles on the calendar so arrived early and started exploring.  The starting point was right outside a Bavarian inspired hall which was hosting a Wurst festival later in the day!  I actually had great timing until all of a sudden I had to go the bathroom NOW!!  I made it to the start line literally seconds before the race started.  I hate being late, and prefer being super early so that was a bit difficult.  Secret goal going into the race: under 1:18 (surprised?), actual time 1:17:10.  Whew!

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Stay tuned for the next episode!!

 

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Tiptoe through the 2017 Tulips

One of my favorite Seattle activities!  I happened to be in Seattle in April and so decided to make the trek up to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.  Due to our wonderful weather this year (cough sarcasm cough) the tulips were delayed and just waking up for the season.  It was still so amazing to see the all the beautiful colors.  Tulips make me smile!!

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I love it when the tulips match my shoes!

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2017 Big Cottonwood Canyon 10K

My dear blog readers!!  And my poor neglected blog!  I keep having grand ideas of getting caught up, but no luck so far.  I’m going to skip around here, and you’ll soon see why this one is first!

 

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Brr!  Thank goodness for coffee!

 

Once upon a time, as in last year, I said to myself, I’d really like to PR my 10K.  And guess what?  I did just that!  The fact the race was mostly downhill may have played a teeny tiny roll in the PR.  By teeny tiny I mean it had everything to do with the fact the race was mostly DOWNHILL!  I really should do all my races downhill.  Ha!

What was this magical race?  Not only was it my 14th race of 2017, but it was in a new state (UT) and I got a PR!!  Can I say PR a few more times?

Jessica & I have talked about going to Utah for while to visit a national park or two.  Which is how this trip started.  Due to scheduling issues and other things the national parks were not going to be in the works this trip, but a race was!  Big Cottonwood Canyon lined up perfectly with our travel plans and I signed up!

 

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Beautiful scenery

 

It was a point to point race down Cottonwood Canyon, with a half, 10K, or 5K option.  Originally I was planning on the half but when it worked out I could do Tink (!!) I opted for the 10K.  Our hotel was literally across the street from the finish.  The finish was also where we were picked up and bussed up to the start line.

It was super dark when I caught the shuttle.  The start line was along the side of the road, however they had coffee and cocoa while we waited.  The views were amazing!  The sun was coming up by the time we started.

I didn’t have a real plan going into this race.  I knew it was downhill and  should take advantage of that.  In the end I decided to play it by ear – I wouldn’t go more than 3 intervals without taking a walk break.

 

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Almost go time!

 

GO!  We were off down the hill.  It was amazing!  The first mile went super fast, as did the second mile.  It was part way through the third mile that the thought of a PR entered my head and exited fairly quickly.  Apparently I had dropped my phone a ways back!  Oh no!  As I turned around to see if I could find it, another runner came up behind me and handed me my phone.  Hallelujah!!  PR attempt back on!

 

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Down the canyon

 

Soon we were out of the canyon and onto a trail near the river  I can’t say enough about the gorgeous course.  It had flattened out by then.  I tried not to keep watching my watch…but it was hard.   My current 10K PR was 1:14.   The time kept ticking down.  Race math is not my forte but I was starting to feel confident I was going to break 1:14.

And there it was!  The finish line!!  I went across the line with a huge smile on my face….and a time of 1:08:06!

 

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Done!!

 

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Matchy matchy is the best

 

 

 

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2017 Shamrock 15K

Hello dear readers!  My poor neglected blog.  Just when I think life can’t get more busy, the busy turns up a notch.  Although it is promising to be a slightly less chaotic summer.  Hallelujah!

Since I’m turning a very scary (to me anyway) number this year, I decided it would be a good idea to try to run 40 races.  Why I thought this was a good idea, I am not sure.  I finished race #11 earlier today and at some point I will try and do a lightning round of recaps.  But I thought I’d give an actual post to Shamrock since it is one of the premier events in Portland.

Last year, Shamrock was so wet!  Good news, it wasn’t wet this year.  It was freezing, but no rain!  But let’s back up a tick.  They rearranged the schedule and the 15K was no longer first!  Yay!  However the 5K was first, which turned out to be a good thing, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  I decided to take the Max into downtown to avoid and parking hassle.  Halfway there I realized I had forgotten my iPod and my watch!!  Oh snap!  What  to do?  Fortunately my friend Jessica was doing the 5K and offered to lend me her watch.  I was on my own for the iPod.  But what I’ve found is that every once in a while it is good to run without music.  I caught up with Jessica right before the start and grabbed the watch.

 

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The Great Watch Hand-off

 

Finally it was time for the 15Kers to line up.  They had changed the route slightly from the year before, but the route looked just as hilly, but backwards.

Going into the race I wasn’t expecting much – my training has really consisted of races and I had gotten back from Disney World the night before.  However, I like to have a goal.  Taking everything into consideration, I was hoping for anything under 2:05, but I would be happy with anything under 2:10.

 

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Go time!

 

The race started off on Naito Parkway towards Barbour Boulevard.  Since I had a watch (YES!) I was able to keep fairly consistent 1:1 intervals even up the giant hills.  Seriously, why do I put myself through this?

 

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Stupid hills

 

Finally I was at the top of Terwilliger!  All downhill from here, right?  Yeah, not quite.  There was another slow uphill before we turned around and finally headed back down towards Naito.

And done!!  Time?  2:03:09!!   Under 2:05!  I didn’t stick around too long at the after party since I was SO COLD.  As much as I complain about the hills, I really do enjoy this race.  And I really enjoyed the fact they had heat sheets this year!!

Stay tuned for details on my quest for 40!!

 

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Finished!!

 

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