Monday, June 20, 2016

Weekend Bliss

I just had the most wonderful weekend. I was able to do all the things that I love with the people that I love! My weekend started off by my bouncing out of work a couple of hours early on Friday to head down to the Rock N Roll Seattle Marathon Expo! One of my favorite race expos but this year I got to volunteer at two booths. I started off at the Seattle Green Lake Running Group Pacer booth for an hour or so and I was very fascinated by how many runners didn't know what a pacer was. It was exciting to tell them what we did and how we did it. I absolutely love being a pacer, helping people reach their goals is so rewarding, it's indescribable! I highly recommend it! 
I then spent the last 3 hours of the expo at the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k booth! I love love love Chocolate, so why not share my love with other runners! It was a blast telling people about the race and how... there really are chocolate aid stations and chocolate at the finish and chocolate chocolate chocolate, did I mention there is chocolate? 
Free Swag Promo Code for Hot Chocolate 15k/5k! "SEATTLESWAG5"
One thing I didn't expect from the expo was how much my jaw would hurt from talking to much! But it was so worth it. 
My pace partner Amy and I at the top and my whole pace team in the bottom middle. 
Amy and I decided to head to our start line a little early and we got there... 2 hours early, OOPS! It was great though, we were able to meet several more pacers and got to know each other better before we ran 13 miles together! Amy was incredible, she completed a 1/2 Ironman the weekend before and she stuck through this race perfectly! Congrats on your Ironman and completing your first pacing event, way to go Amy!
Amy and I at the finish line, crossed exactly as predicted! 
We went through several runners before we finished but one, Eryn, made it the whole way with us! She was so amazing, she was ready to stop at mile 23 but we didn't let her and she ran so strong into the finish. It was worth every second just to see her complete strong and so happy ... <3 font="" nbsp="" pacing="">
After the race a few of us went out and attended the Solstice Parade and Party, which, due to the nature of the event, there are no photos. However, it is a blast if you have never attended!
Jessica and I on a puppy play date on the top of Mt Washington!
On Sunday, my new found friend Jessica and her beautiful husky Addy, Laddie and I went out and hiked Mt Washington. It was the perfect day for hiking! It was sunny and cool. We had a wonderful time just taking it easy and letting Laddie have his first hiking experience. It was a 8.5 mile round trip hike with 3250 elevation gain. Not too shabby. Laddie got tired on the way back but he was a trooper and made it through. 
Rainier from the top of Mt Washington.
I can feel beat down, stressed out, angry, stressed; anything that life can do to bring you down but as soon as I step foot into the forest, everything washes away. My whole life is set aside and it's just the mountains and I together for the day. All of my worries and stress are forgotten, it's as if the mountains are saying; "Thank you for being with me today, I will wash all things away for you." It's really heaven on Earth when you are out there with Mother Nature knowing she is in control of everything and you are just there for the ride. 
"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul." - John Muir
Keep on Running!


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Mt Zion Ragnar Trail Relay and the Grand Canyon!

I am sure that many of you have heard of the Ragnar Relays but have you heard of Ragnar Trail Relays? Same concept of a relay team but very different concept about traveling 200 miles. In a Ragnar Trail Relay there is a base camp where all of the teams camp out for a couple of days while each team member takes their turn running the three trail loops. Each runner still runs 3 separate times, just like a Road Ragnar but instead of all different legs, everyone on the team runs the same three legs. 
We did it! 
This race was a bit of a tough one, one of our teammates Lynne had an unfavorable run in with another very rude runner and ended up breaking a few bones in her right leg. We are all very grateful that she is up and about now, determined to be running again in the fall. She is an amazingly inspirational person who has shown us that there are no excuses! Here's to you Lynne! May you heal swiftly and kick all of our asses at our next meet up!
I look blah but was doing good. Was VERY hot out!
Other than that set back, we all had a really great time. We glamped and hiked around, and just had the best time running around the Mt Zion national park trails. This race is incredibly beautiful, the views are absolutely magnificent and the base camp is extremely nice with a huge shower area and a very fun pool and hot tub. 
  
This is a true trail race though, there are no aid stations (just one water cooler in the red loop) and you have to follow the markers on the ground for the path. There are tons of them though, so you can't get lost but you do have to pay attention! 
Brittany and I on the Bright Angel Trail.
After our Ragnar adventure was over Brittany and I headed down to the Grand Canyon to hike a bit of the Bright Angel Trail before heading to Vegas for some more fun. We made it to the mile three turnaround before heading back up. We were pretty beat from Ragnar, so we took it "easy" on this hike.
Loving life!
All in all quite a wonderful weekend get away! Loved every second of it! 
A HUGE Thank you to Brittany from flying out from the East Coast to volunteer for our Ragnar team, we all greatly appreciated it! 
Keep on Running! 


Whistler Half Marathon and Cheakamus Lake

June 4th I found myself in Whistler with my running pal Peter. We had decided to run this half marathon several months back without much thought put into the decision, it just sounded like fun at the time.
Peter and I at about mile 9
As it turns out the Whistler Half Marathon is very beautiful, the course is lined with all sorts of multi million dollar homes that you get to gawk at when you are running by with sneak peaks of a lake here and there and of course a few snow capped mountains. But, the race is anything but flat!! You just go up and up and up! Eventually towards the back half of the race the course did level out but EEPS!
The only negative about the race were the sections of the course that you have to cross through the people ahead of you who had already turned around. There were 4/5 spots like this on the course. Other than that, it was a very well put together race with an incredible finish area right at the Olympic rings! With tons of food and really great swag for the race perks. I highly recommend this race but maybe not as a beginner run with all of the hills.
On Sunday before heading back to Seattle Anne and I decided to get a small hike in at Cheakamus Lake, extremely easy hike (I just wanted to run the whole thing, perfect for trail running) with some of the best views I have ever seen. I didn't want to leave I fell so in love with this place.
Selfie time!
Those mountains...
 This hike is a must see if you are in the Whistler area, it is great for families, dogs, etc! Take your packs and spend a night or two beside the lake just soaking it all in.
Keep on Running!

Meet my new running buddy, Laddie!

This weekend I went and I did something that I never thought that I would do. I adopted a dog! Not just any dog, a 2 1/2 year old dalmatian named Laddie. 
Laddie giving some love :)
Laddie doesn't like to pose for photos! 
 I found Laddie by a random cold email to Patti and Rod Strand dalmatian breeders in Portland and helped me connect with Laddie. I was looking for a puppy but when Patti informed me that they had an older dog I was all about that! Laddie was previously a show dog and now he is ready for some grand adventures with me! 
Looking forward to what will come.

Monday, June 6, 2016

2016 Race Calendar

2016 Race Calendar
January 23rd Rain Run Half Marathon
March 5th Lake Sammamish Half Marathon
March 6th Hot Chocolate 15k
March 19th Beat the Bunny 5k
April 9th Blooms to Brews Marathon
April 30th Frisco Railroad 50 Mile
May 13th Ragnar Trail Zion
June 4th Whistler Half Marathon
June 9th Lululemon Golden Gardens 5k
June 18th Pace the second half of the Rock N Roll Seattle Marathon
July 15th Ragnar Northwest Passage
August 28th Iron Horse Half Marathon Unable to run due to injury 
September 16th Volunteer Ragnar Cascades
September 18th Tunnel Light Marathon Unable to run due to injury
October 30th Captain Jack's Treasure Run 8k
November 27th Seattle Marathon - Unable to run due to injury
December 10th Deception Pass 50k - Unable to run due to injury

So much for staying under 10 races this year! 

Keep on Running!

I am also trying to decide on which of these races I should do...