Sunday, September 8, 2013

Summer Races Recap

Working full time has put a damper on my blogging so in an effort to play catch up, here is ONE blog with all the races I haven't reported on this summer.

Taylor Mountain Marathon: 6/29/13

It was hot. It was hilly. That's the summation! My coworker decided to run this as his FIRST marathon. I can say for certain he learned A LOT of lessons about trail racing the hard way. He did go on to finish an hour after me and you can rest assured I never gloated about it in the office (ahem). Sadly there was no finisher's medal.  I had been warned about the difficulty of the course and the possibility of very muddy, buggy conditions. We were fortunate that neither were an issue. I self-supported with a camel back and loved the race despite the difficulty. This was an out and back course for the marathon and I was just running it to finish, not race, after the prior weekend's double marathon adventure.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel - July 14, 2013

Bright and early, Lori and I left the Albertson's parking lot and carpooled to North Bend, the finish line of the marathon. Time passed quickly (except when coffee finally hit us and we needed a bathroom). It seems people don't pee between Federal Way and North Bend due to the lack of restroom opportunities. There was plenty of time for us to catch a 6:45 bus to the start.

The skies were clear with sunshine forecast all day. I had my gators on and opted to try out my Moving Comfort shorts and sports bra. I loved them! They are a Brooks owned company and have super cute clothing.

Bill can always sneak a hug from me!
This is by far one of my favorite races. The time of year is perfect, it has an elevation loss and the scenery is spectacular!  The first 2 miles run through the pitch-black Hyak Tunnel. I used a headlamp and flashlight with great success. There were patches of water through the old train tunnel but the terrain is easy running. A volunteer took my extra gear as I exited the tunnel and runners were greeted with a beautiful day for running.

My pace felt good, comfortably hard, and my goal was to keep my rhythm as long as possible.  I ran this last year in 3:21 and although I knew I wasn't in that kind of racing shape, I felt confident I could bring my time down from earlier marathons in the year.

I finished strong with 3:29 and more confidence in my future races.  You MUST do this race!

Northwest Passage Ragnar Relay 2013

12 runners, 2 vans, 2 drivers, 197 miles to the finish line!  Pain Now, Beer Later’s team captain, Jeff, had a last minute opening in his Ragnar Relay team and since this was filled with friends, the coercion to run was overwhelming and welcomed. Suddenly I found myself squished into a vehicle with runners amidst bags of running essentials and non-essentials (are angel food cake, raw cookie dough, or tequila (consumed AFTER the run, of course!) essentials in running?).
Friday, 7:00 a.m., van 1 started their legs while van 2 drove to Bellingham High School to wait for Marie, runner #6, to pass the wrist bracelet. Technology allowed us instant results as each runner posted times, quotes, pictures and musings to Facebook.
Each runner has 3 “legs” during the relay varying in distance and elevation. After all the runners in the van complete a leg, we get to rest (ha!) while the other van does the next 6 legs. Repeat. Repeat again.

Do you remember slumber parties? That’s about as close to how it feels running Ragnar except you can add in cow bells, chafing, sweating like a pig (do they really sweat?), and not having to check in with your parents.  We danced, broke out in old-school hip hop montages, told bad jokes and ate whatever we could reach. We made fun of each other, yelled for each other, accidentally touched each other because how can you not in a squishy van. Strangers became instant friends through a relay of silliness, costumes, twinkly lights, FOOD, running, more food, running some more…did I mention food?  Oh yeah, pain (another HILL??) and beer at the finish!  29.5 hours never went by so fast. I had all that fun AND our team raised money for a great charity through 

Seafair Torchlight 8k

My good friend, Sharon, and I caught the ferry to Seattle and hoofed it to Seattle Center for a night of running the Seafair Torchlight Parade route. The weather was warm, the crowd was buzzing, and we had plenty of time to enjoy our time in Seattle before and after the run. The route follows the parade route and runners get the boost of energy from countless spectators.  Sharon and I had a super fun time and at just under 5 miles, my $15 entry fee was well worth it.

Riding the ferry home and being silly like we do :)

Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon 8/3/13

I love this race! We start at the airport in Gig Harbor, cross the Narrows Bridge and make our way to downtown Tacoma's Tollefson Center.  The last 2 miles are super fast!  I wanted to finish under 1:40 and barely made it but I got it!  I am slowly getting some speed back in these legs.

That's it! All the races I've done but haven't share with you. There are so many details I've left out but just know I have been LOVING this year getting back to the roads and trails, but most importantly, spending time with my running friends and feeling heathy.

Cle Elum Ridge 50k is up next in 2 weeks (it was cancelled last year due to fires).