Friday, March 20, 2015

Running Groups!

Over the last couple of years I have been officially a part of a couple of running groups in the Seattle area. One of which I officially joined this week, Eastside Runners. Over the last couple of years I've never really been able to attend any of the group runs held by Eastside Runners or the other running group I'm a part of, the Seattle Green Lake Running Group. So a few weeks ago I decided I had enough of the "left out feeling" that I was getting from all of their happy social media. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and I created a run that will be starting in April on Friday mornings which I can attend. It is a little bit nerve-racking creating something new not knowing if anyone actually partake. But I must say I'm not doing this alone, Liz, a member of East Side runners and the Seattle Green Lake Running Group has graciously volunteered to help me co host the Friday morning runs. I'm very excited about this and can't wait to get it up and running. 
But that's not all! At least not in the running group department. This morning after many attempts over the last couple of years to get there, I finally made it to the Seattle Greenlake Running Group, Friday Lake Union Run. Which is extremely exciting! Liz and I trekked over there early this morning, departed at 5:20 to be exact, in order to be there by the 6 o'clock start time. I'm so glad that I was finally able to get myself to this run, which I know wouldn't have happened if Liz hadn't been there to motivate me to get out of bed at the butt crack of dawn.
We show up to find only one runner at the start, which made me a little nervous but I knew this was a famous run and that there be more people. We were chit chatting and I kid-you-not within 5 minutes probably 40 people showed up! It was really exciting to see so many people just piling in all at once to go for a run in the dark around Seattle. There was a quick hi and then we were off! It turns out I ended up running with my pacer from the Seattle half marathon! Which was really cool. One we made our six mile loop around Lake Union we then all headed to coffee at the Milstead.  But before we headed over for coffee everyone stopped and waited for us to finish. Then we all head over as a group. I found that to be very special, I don't think just any running group would wait for the rest to finish before going in enjoying their coffee. Overall the experience was completely wonderful I'm just sorry that I've been missing out for so long. I only hope that Liz and I can create something as wonderful for our Friday morning runs.
So if you get the chance to join a running group in your area I highly recommended it, on top of that do not skip out on the group runs! I feel like I've been missing out on a huge part of the running world, and I regret not going sooner. Running is known transitionally as a solo sport but you know what? It doesn't have to be. Go out, have fun and make new friends. 
Keep on Running!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Do what you enjoy

What are some of the destination races that you have taken part in ? Or where would you like go ? There are a couple of places that I'd like to go, including the NYC Marathon and the London Marathon but I can't see that happening any time soon. I don't really want marathons to be my main race distance either, I am happy with 13.1 miles, that seems far enough for me most days. I feel like some people in the running world look down on me for not running fulls but I try to ignore them the best that I can. I think it is still an accomplishment to even get out there and try. Plus I enjoy the half marathons, anything longer than that and it usually stops being fun. Basically what I am trying to say is, do what you enjoy and not what others say you should do, but still get out there and be active!

Keep on Running!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

St. Patrick's Day Half Marathon in Tacoma

Wow, is pretty much the only way to describe today. Anthony and I woke up at the butt crack of dawn and headed down to the city of Tacoma for the St. Patrick's Day Half Marathon. After making a much needed pit stop at Starbucks for breakfast we arrived in plenty of time to pick up our race packets and get ready for the run. This run was especially memorable because it was Anthony's very first half marathon!

Looking forward to this day all week I kept checking the weather report only to be met with dismay. 100% chance of rain. The weather report didn't let me down. It seemed as if we were met with more than 100% chance of rain and were out matched by the crazy wind!
We were all lined up and ready for the race to begin and we were already thoroughly wet and my feet soaked. The weather didn't seem to phase Anthony, thankfully! He faced the run without hesitation.
We started off with the 2:10 pace team. I was pretty excited about running with them but my excitement quickly faded once I realized they were WAY off pace. We managed to stay with them for about 3 miles before I had to stop running with them. They were over 4 minutes ahead of pace and I just couldn't stay with them any longer. I was planning on the 2:10 being my PR. Not under 2! But it turned out to be ok. We even PRed our 5k, 10k and 15k times!
We had a bit of a mishap on mile 8. Anthony landed a bit hard on his left foot which slowed us down dramatically but it didn't stop us! We hobbled along a bit until we met up with the 2:30 pacer at mile 11 and we finished strong! She was great and was extremely encouraging for Anthony and cheered him on through to the end!
The second major feat that Anthony over came was the wind, it wasn't overly strong until we hit mile 5, the wind started to pick up and then miles 8-11 it seemed as if the steps we were taking into the wind were only mere inches of progress in each step. We some how managed to push through!
We finished at the same time 2:30:17, not too shabby for a first half with a mild injury and horrendous weather! I'm extremely proud of Anthony for getting out there and trying something new and at least half crazy!
As far as the race support went, I give it an A. There was plenty of water, Nuun and energy gels along the course. The after race support was also great. Plenty of coconut water, water, bananas and even fruit chews! I am not entirely sure I've ever seen fruit chews at the race finish before. But I am so not complaining! I would highly recommend this race if you like views of water, trains and don't mind a small up hill finish.
Thank you for reading!
Keep on Running!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Crash and Burn

That's definitely what happened last night when I went for a run after I got off work. So excited was I to be running in the sunlight after work and there I was not even a quarter mile into the run on the ground in pain. There was a crack in the sidewalk that I didn't see and when my toe met it I met the ground. 
I hit my knees first and then my hands and somehow also managed to hit my hip and smash my phone. Thankfully I was able to mostly walk it off and we still got another mile and a half of a walk in. And my knees only are missing a tiny bit of skin, so I think I faired alright.
Of all of the running that I've done I can't remember ever falling like that. But I guess it's bound to happen. I hear stories of people falling all the time. And with how clumsy I am I'm surprised that it doesn't happen we more often.
Well, it's the next morning and I'm feeling alright, just a bad bruise on my left knee but I'm walking fine and feeling fine which is the important part. Especially since I have a half marathon this weekend which I've been really looking forward to. 
Lesson learned, pay more attention when I'm running!
Stay safe and Keep on Running! 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Daylight Savings!

Night runs like this are a blast!
I am very excited for daylight savings. Why? I currently get off work at 6:15 pm and get home around 6:40. Meaning it is completely dark by the time I get home! Now the sun will be setting at 7:04 tonight and by the end of the month it'll be almost 8:00 by the time it sets. Which means that's time for me to go for a run after work when it's not completely dark! It also means less treadmill time and real pavement time. I am really excited for this! I get off early on Sundays so I will be able to hit the pavement by 6:20 tonight. :D 
How I wish I looked when running :D
Later this week I also have on the docket the St. Patrick's Day Half Marathon in Tacoma. I am really looking forward to this race too. I have a really fun outfit in the works for it.  
This finish line for the St. Patrick's Day Half. 
Keep on Running!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A Road Trip with a Run

This week Anthony had his first business trip with Amazon and I was able to tag along! We packed up and headed to Kennewick, WA. I was able to find what seemed like the perfect pass time while Anthony was busy working. A trail to run on! The Sacajawea Trail to be exact. I was pretty excited for a new place to run. When I got the chance I searched out the trail and headed out on my run. It was sunny and beautiful alone the Columbia River. But my run quickly turned a bit sour for me. It wasn't a trail like I am used to at all. It weaved back and forth from the waterfront (which was nice) to the road where I had to run on the shoulder and choke on the exhaust from passing vehicles. 
This was very discouraging for me, so much so I didn't take my second day there and spend it on the trail. Instead I went and road one of the most beautifully preserved carousels I have ever seen! The Carousel of Dreams in Kennewick was originally built in 1910 but looks like it is bran new. I am so glad that I was able to ride this beauty! 
Keep on Running!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Hot Chocolate 15k and 5k in Seattle

Where to begin... The very idea of running for Chocolate is a wonderful one! I saw this race and just had to sign up, there was no question. The expo was fun but considerably smaller than I thought it would be considering the size of the event. There were really great photo ops and they even had volunteers out helping race participants capture their Hot Chocolate memories. They also had a chocolate fondue station with mini hot cocoas as well. That was pretty nice.
The only thing negative about the expo was their lack of directions to get to it!

There weren't any signs around the Seattle Center either pointing towards the packet pick up despite the huge number of volunteers wandering around setting up for the big event. We had to make a full circle before we found the expo (under ground and only one sign saying packet pick up) but we did eventually find it!
The info that was distributed for race day said to be at the race area by 6:30 for a 7:55 start. I thought that was a bit early considering I knew they wouldn't have anything to do for an hour and a half before the race but that was a huge mistake! We got to the Mercer Street exit about 6:55 and ended up parking about 6 blocks away from the start and running to the Seattle Center because traffic came to a dead stand still and if we didn't ditch the car and make a run for it we would have missed the start of the run! So, next time I will definitely listen to the race infor advice a bit more. Because WoW! What a very stressful insane way to start a race!
Once we made it to the start, with a few minutes to spare, we found our corral and ended up waiting another 20 minutes anyway for our turn to run! lol So in reality we didn't have to rush at all but it was also Anthony's first race longer than 10k, so I am really glad that he was able to experience a huge race start with the 6,000 or so other racers in the 15k.
Once we were off it was Hills Hills Hills in this run, thankfully only a couple killers. Mostly they were gently rolling hills that just required a bit of effort. More mind over matter than anything.
The aid stations were a lot of fun, three gave out marshmallows, strawberry and chocolate flavored and one gave out Tootsie Rolls. The Marshmallows were awesome! I thought they were a great race treat, easy to eat on the run. But the Tootsie Rolls were hard and took too much concentration not to choke on them when trying to get back out on the run. But overall, they were a fun way to mix things up and keep with the Hot Cocoa theme.
The race finish was... interesting. There wasn't anything they could have done differently really, due to the lack of space. It was hard to navigate through the hoards of people to get to the Hot Chocolate stations. Then it turned into a juggle of Hot Cocoa, water, cell phone, etc but it worked out.
The weather for the run couldn't have been more perfect! The sun was shining and even though it was chilly it wasn't too cold. We were warmed up by mile three, so glad that we wore our sun glasses! And of course when we stopped running the cold set back in but the Hot Chocolate warmed us back up!    
Over all I'd say this race is a definite go! If it comes to a city near you, sign up! Then gorge yourself on chocolate, guilt free of course! It's a fun and delicious time!
Keep on Running!