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Brain tumor survivor | triathlon & duathlon finisher | wife | cat mom | friend to many | supreme smart aleck. I'd like coffee and a book please.

Monday, September 29, 2014

North County Wine Run

Photo Credit: Get Bold Events
This past weekend we did the North County Wine run - Half Marathon. This was my third half since doing the Holiday Half in December. I was trying out this half marathon idea back in December and decided that I liked it - even though I was majorly sore the next day and the day after and so on.

A half marathon is great because training for it doesn't take over your life - if you mean to do well. Since I have adequate ability I figured that doing half marathons would be a nice challenge. After all I have already conquered Duathlons and have done a couple of Triathlons, as well as a Century bike ride - so I can suffer with the best of them. The other thing that is not necessarily unique to me, but I do suffer from exercise induced asthma and the longer distance races are harder for me to do, but I don't let that stop me! I figure I'll just keep doing all these things until something goes out of order and is not fixable.

Okay, so I grew up here in Clark County and I know what the terrain is like in east county and I have HEARD of the terrain in North Clark County, but had not in all my years experienced it up close and personal. Let's just say that the terrain is pretty similar. Hills are hills wherever you go...some are rolling, others are steep...short, looong...but in the end they are HILLS! Are you seeing the trend here...there were some hills :) check out the profile -
Photo Credit: Get Bold Events
I want to say that the original route might have been slightly better, but I don't know. The race venue changed a couple of weeks before the race so that meant that the route was re-vamped as well. Had I been on the ball I would have saved the profile for the original route, although I don't know that I would feel better about it or not. Hills are hills!

Tom and I ran our own races, which was good for him because he would have gotten some attitude from me and I was seriously not happy. Like I mentioned before I have adequate ability and if I were to actually do things that would give me more strength then I would probably do better (make mental note...). We'll have to try to work those into our non-running days. Anway, in all the activities I have done I don't think I have ever thought to myself, "Oh, I wish someone would just stop and pick me up and take me to the finish." This one was different, I felt a lot of tiredness and I actually thought that it would be nice to climb into one of the support vehicles and be whisked off to the finish. However, to do that would mean a DNF and no race bling. Which was pretty cool...
Oh yeah...wine bottle stopper!
In the end, as hard as this race was, I DID enjoy it, but I don't think that I would do it again. There were a few spots along the route where the shoulder was either very narrow or non-existent and many people in Battle Ground drive BIG pick-up trucks! They also don't slow down a whole lot AND some of them might be pulling a trailer of some sort. I don't want to be the person that gets clipped by a motorist that is probably unhappy that "their" road is being taken over by runners. I know what it is like in rural Clark County. 

Finish times - Tom was just over a minute fast than the Vancouver Half and I was 2 minutes slower than Vancouver. If the sun had not been beaming down on me while I was within a mile of the finish I might have come in under 3 hours. One of the cadets who volunteered to be a course marshal near the finish called out that I was really close to the finish and I had to tell him that it wasn't close enough for me. I wished at that point that I was done, but I did it I ran through the finish because I don't believe in walking through a finish arch - that's just wrong!  I'm not going to beat myself up over this. In fact, I'm sooo over this race now. However, now we can measure all other races (until the next hard race) against this one and we can say, "Nothing can be as hard as the North County Wine run" and it would be mostly true. 

We'll be taking a few days off and allowing our bodies to rest and repair themselves. Next up will be the Hot Buttered Run on November and I do believe that it will be our last run for the year. 

A selfie waaay before the race started - we are still all smiles!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Gazelles



Man, I'm slacking here lately!

The last couple of weeks have been a little busy. I did have a week off, but even then I was going the whole time!

So, to end my week off Tom and I traveled to Bellingham for a 15k race, the Fairhaven Waterfront 15k. Saturday is normally our long run day, and we had 8 on the schedule...so 9 would do! Goodness those people in Bellingham must run ALL. THE. TIME! They are fast, fast, FAST! Thus the post title of GAZELLES!

I started my race out too fast and didn't necessarily run out early, but I was tired when I got to the last couple of miles. The temperature was good, but the sun was out and the one thing that I do not enjoy is having the sun beating down on me while I run. So, I was feeling the heat, except when we were along the water. I love running along the water, it was a little cooler and very pleasant. My next favorite part of the route was in the last couple of miles it was a very steady climb - BUT in the shade. Running in the shade felt soooo good...I was able to run the majority of the trail - which was packed gravel - and made it through the park with what little umph I had left. Within a quarter mile of the finish there was more gravel path and I just couldn't get it together to run anymore...so I walked the rest of the gravel and ran through the finish. Hot and tired, but I did it AND actually posted a decent time for my second 15k - about 3 minutes faster than the Shamrock 15k.

The reality of the whole matter is that Bellingham has a pretty significant running thing going on there. Not just because there's a college there or anything, EVERYONE was posting pretty fast times with the averages being in the 6-8 minute per mile range. Tom was happy to have hit his goal of a 9 minute pace...I was happy to finish, even though it doesn't look like it. My official time was 2:01:44. I'm happy with that it was about 3 minutes faster than the Shamrock - tired legs, not enough sleep and not enough time to fuel up before heading from our room to the venue - which was only across the street :)

The other thing that I liked about this particular race is that the photos were available pretty quick AND free to download. That's how it should be! I'm not looking to frame any of these shots, so why would I want to pay for these? I have purchased a digital copy just for posting here though. I made an effort to look a little happy in the first photo, not bad!

In the end it was a fun race to do and it was pretty cool to be in the midst of some pretty athletic people. I am thrilled that I wasn't last in my age division or the race over all. Overall I was #552 out of 599 runners. If we do this again I know what to look forward to, nothing will be a surprise. Although the route could change and that would mess me up!

We were only in B-ham one full day, but it was fun! Maybe we'll go back for another race...who knows.

Next up - the North County Wine Run, Half Marathon!









Thursday, September 4, 2014

Beat

It's been a little while since I last posted. I'm not sure what happened...we have been a little busy and since my last post I really hadn't been feeling like much of a runner...more like a whiner.

We have been following the training plan and actually in the previous few weeks I think that some of the training runs were mixed up a little bit. Then just as I was feeling really good about running - BAM...I hit a streak of not so great training runs.

Which caused a lot of self-doubt on my part. Maybe I am not supposed to run...I can't hardly call myself a runner if everything feels like such an effort. The last time I felt pretty good was our last 8 mile run and it felt like everything clicked and by golly I AM a runner. In the week following that run (which was all last week) I felt cra-pee. Short runs, not so short runs...nothing was good. So all the feel-goodness from that Sunday run went right out the door! This past Monday (Labor Day) we had a piddly 2 miler and you wouldn't think that it would be so bad, but I didn't feel good at all. It was maddening to me, because with that many training runs in a row that were not that great, I really wanted to feel like I wasn't a total loser.

Yesterday morning was entirely different! I don't know what happened, but I felt good the whole way! We took walking breaks at every mile which helped to keep my legs fresh. The route is what I refer to the 139th/149th Street loop - which is basically what it is - A loop. It can be a little boring, because it is predictable, so that was good for me this morning. No surprises which is good if I need to feel good about this running habit again. So, nothing out of the ordinary all the way to 10th Avenue (YESSSS!!!) Then we zig-zag our way through a neighborhood to 149th Street. The best part was running 149th Street from East to West...which is a slight down grade pretty much all the way from 4th Avenue to 14th Avenue. I really needed this route this morning! It really is a slight downhill,  but I REALLY needed to feel like something was effortless...and this was it. AND - I actually made it down the weird hill past our friend's house and up the other side of that dip.

CRAZINESS!

In the end we killed it! The finish was awesome...once my watch chimed the 5th time I knew that I had made it to 5 miles! The .10 to the house would be a piece of cake, where last week it would have been a struggle.

SUCCESS!

What did I do differently? That is hard to say. I went to bed at a reasonable time, probably got to sleep between 9:00 and 9:30 last night. Melatonin helps and the fact that watching pretty much ANY show will lull me to sleep within 10-15 minutes. I know that nutrition is not a factor, but I am trying (again) to be more mindful and make better choices.

The whole getting stronger thing isn't going anywhere. I'll do Tabata if I feel that I need to do something extra. At least it comes up now and then.

Since I felt so great I'm going to share my numbers from this run - gotta love Nike+!

Time of Day:  5:05 A.M.
Distance:  5.10
Time:  1:05:15
Avg. Pace:  12:48