Category Archives: Race Recap

The Portland Marathon Race Recap

Settle in kids, this is going to be long. Really long.

The morning kicked off very early with the Team gathering at 5:45 downtown at a hotel a few blocked from the race. There were was a lot of pre-race jitters and excitement, as well as a lot of picture taking.

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At 6:30am we headed over to the start and headed our separate ways to our individual corrals. I was in corral F without any other TnTers so I was on my own. I bag checked a giant bag of clothing which I had planned on wearing at the start of the race and chucking once I got warm but it was warmer than I though it was going to be so I only wore some arm warmers and gloves. After that I got into the giant port-o-potty line. At 6:59 the announcer started talking and everyone ran to the front of the corral and suddenly the bathroom line was much shorter. The thing is, our corral wasn’t released for another 10 minutes so even though I stayed in the line and used the bathroom, I still caught up with my corral before they were anywhere close to the start line.

As I was standing the bathroom line I started chatting with a woman named Angela, who was also doing her first marathon. We compared training runs, exchanged stories, and basically kept talking to keep our minds off being nervous. We caught up with each other again as our corral starting moving towards the start line and as we crossed the start line we fell into a rhythm, chatting, taking in all the sights, and sharing our excitement about just how awesome it was.

The first few miles passed quickly, chatting with Angela made the time fly by and also ensured that I didn’t go out too fast because if I found myself unable to get a sentence out without huffing and puffing then I needed to reel it in a bit. Angela and I made our way down Natio Parkway and then headed onto Barbur Blvd. when I got a text from my mom.

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I missed her in the first mile and then in her silly mom brain she figured that I had been kidnapped. You know, kidnapped in a crowd of 12,000ish runners while I was wearing one of the brightest, hardest to miss outfits. I let her know that I was still alive and that I would find her on my way back though downtown.

Side note for decorating your marathon outfit-be sure to write your name in large visible letters on the front of your shirt so that spectators can cheer for you by name. It’s surprising how much of a boost you get from it. Between the ‘go Maddy’ and ‘go team’ cheers I felt like I had thousands of friends along the race course. Angela was curious about all the ‘go team’ cheers so we talked about Team in Training for a bit and she loved all the enthusiasm.

Around mile 4 I saw my mom and gave her a big hug. She was excited to confirm that I had indeed not been kidnapped. Angela and I continued on along Natio and around mile 7 I saw my favorite running buddy Kelley, and our friends and teammates for last season Jaime and Ken.

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I high fived Ken and nearly tackled Kelley when I hugged her. Kelley’s been so supportive and wonderful and getting to see her during the marathon meant so much to me, especially since she had surgery just 9 days before. Thank you so much Kelley! And thanks Ken and Jaime for taking care of her!

Around mile 8 I saw captain Laura. I started to have some knee pain at mile 6 so Laura gave me some Biofreeze to put on it. Unfortunately not soon after that it started to get pretty painful and I kept having to stop to stretch out my quad so I sent Angela on her way with the hope to be able to catch up with her later. While I would have liked to have been able to have spent the whole race with Angela I’m still so happy I got to spend the first 8 miles with her! Thanks for running with me Angela!

I ran through the Team in Training aid station right before the turn around and it was great to see so many familiar faces, thanks to everyone who volunteered! Soon after I hit the turn around on Front Ave. and was running straight into the sun. How the heck was it that sunny in Portland in October?! I continued on trying to get my knee to relax and focus on everything around me. There was some amazing musical entertainment along the course; a mariachi band, a drum line, a marching band playing Abba, and a group of pirates.

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Welcome to Portland.

Things started to go downhill at this point. I became frustrated with my knee since I was only able to run more than a few minutes without having to stop. I saw captain Mike just before the full and half marathon courses split, mile 10.5ish. He put some more Biofreeze gel on my knee and gave me a hug as I shed a few frustrated tears and sent me on my way.

The course wove it’s way through Northwest Portland and around my 12 I saw my mom and Kraig again. I scared the crap out of my mom because I ran up to her crying, hugged her, told her my knee hurt, and then ran off. Sorry mom!

The course continued out Highway 30 and I was thankful for having run Hood to Coast in August which got me used to running alongside high speed traffic. I was still struggling with the frustration of not being able to settle into a comfortable running place. Every time I wold have to stop running I’d have to hold back tears. At mile 14 my TnT and HTC teammate Debi ran a few strides with me and I was so thankful for the distraction!

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I continued north on Hwy. 30 and kept looking for the St. Johns bridge in the distance.

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As I started up the long hill to St. Johns Bridge captain Laura was on her way down to find me. I was a bit of a mess at this point, so frustrated about the way the race was going and still facing 10 miles more of knee pain. Laura reminded me about why we were out there, for all the people who couldn’t be out there, and about the cancer patients we’re run for. I reflected on the last two years with Astraea, her journey through chemo, and how just a month ago she had her last chemo appointment. We made it to the beginning of the bridge and she sent me on my away.

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I’ve been over the St. Johns Bridge a few time but I never paid attention to how hilly it is.

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About halfway across the bridge my teammate Bling caught up with me and we compared our injuries, my knee and his big toe cramps. After a little while he went ahead and the course turned off the bridge and into North Portland. There was a sharp right turn that had a very steep downhill for a block and then a steep up hill for a block. The downhill was the worst and my knee was very upset with it. The course then settled onto Willamette Blvd and made it’s way through some neighborhoods with families out in their yards cheering. I caught back up with Bling around mile 18.5ish and he stuck with me when I needed to run or when I needed to walk. He got me out of my frustrated funk and I was able to stop crying and start laughing.

Around mile 19.5 Bling’s friend and TnT Tri coach joined us for a mile or so. It was a great distraction.

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Bling at mile 20, don’t mind my finger in the photo, I wasn’t at my best. Also, at some point I got chocolate Gu all over my phone and it was really sticky, that’s my excuse. Around mile 21 when I needed to stop and stretch I told Bling to continue on since it seemed like he needed to keep moving. He gave me a big bear hug, seriously, he’s very tall and the top of my hear only comes up to his mid chest, and he went on his way. I kept him in my sights for awhile with the thought I might be able to catch up with him again but my knee wouldn’t let me run long enough to do that.

As I came upon the Team in Training aid station at mile 22 I was excited to see more familiar faces. As I ran through it coach Heidi asked me if I wanted her to run with me. My response, ‘PLEASE RUN WITH ME!’. At that point in the marathon some people don’t want anyone to talk to them but I needed the distraction. Coach Heidi ran alongside me and told me ‘when you want to run, we run, when you need to walk, we walk, just let me know’. We stared down the giant hill on Greely Ave. which is annoying long, steep and painful. We walked the whole way down which was frustrating but Heidi kept me distracted and moving forwarded as we talked about running, Hood to Coast, having kids, and all things in between.

The miles started to tick by. Somewhere along mile 23 we passed Widmer Brewery and there were some people outside with a ‘beer station’, which sounds great in theory but the smell of warm beer that had been spilled on the ground made me want to puke.

We continued up and over the Broadway Bridge, and the down off the bridge which was especially painful. When the road finally flattened out I could see the 25 mile marked and that’s when I started making distance deals. The first was to run to the mile marker. The next was to run a block and then walk a block, which was all my knee could take. I would tell Heidi my plan and she would be right there beside me. She kept talking to me and kept me laughing instead of crying. We made our way through Chinatown and out of nowhere popped out Gina to run with us, even in her jeans and Uggs in the blazing heat. We turned onto Natio Parway once again and sometimes we ran 2 blocks and then walked a block, sometimes we ran one.

Right before the turn onto Salmon St. I saw my mom, Kraig, Jen, and Jenny cheering me on. All I could do was wave since I just had to keep moving forward. Coach Wendy and Mike were there as well and they started running with me too.

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Yes, if you were wondering, Heidi and I got many comments on our sparkly skirts, they were a big hit.

Normally they don’t let anyone into the final chute if they don’t have a bib on but Heidi, Wendy, and Mike decided to ignore that since it was so late in the race and stayed with as we made the turn into Salmon. Right before the turn I asked them how close the finish was and they told me 2 blocks up and one block over, and I decided that once we made the turn onto Salmon there would be no more walking. I wanted to finish as strong as I could so I started to pick it up and Mike commented on it and I made a joke about throwing up, which came back to bite me in the ass. I saw my wonderful roommates Jenni and Ryan cheering me on and Jenni made a fabulous sign which I couldn’t fully read as I was running but enjoyed reading it later.

We made the final turn onto 3rd Ave. where Sam was, I waved to him and then made it across the finish line with my Heidi, Wendy, and Mike surrounding me and I couldn’t have been happier. Then just as Mike went to hug me from my left side I had to turn to my right and throw up. Yep, that’s right, I literally threw up at the finish. Heidi made sure that people gave me some space while Mike and Wendy found me some water and after a few moments I regained my composure enough to stumble over to medical tent to get some ice for my knee. I gave Heidi, Wendy, and Mike hugs and they headed back to the Team in Training tent.

After getting some ice taped to my knee I then slowly stumbled my way through the finishers chute where I got a bunch of stuff handed to me, a medal, a shirt, a rose, a coin, a pendent, a space blanket and a tree sapling, but not a bag, which would have been helpful. I chugged some chocolate milk, got my picture take with my arms full of stuff and then slowly made my way to the Team in Training tent to check out and find my friends and family. Pictures were taken, stories were exchanged, I got to finally sit down and take it all in.

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Jenni’s awesome sign.

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Since this is getting ridiculously long I will leave off here but I can’t thank everyone enough. All the people who came to cheer, everyone who donated to my fundraising, each person who listened to me complain about how tired I was during training, you mean so much to me, more than I can ever express.

In terms of the actual race, no, I didn’t have the race I planned to or thought I was going to have. It took me an hour and fifteen minutes longer than my goal but looking back on it, I wouldn’t change it. I fought through it, I didn’t quit, I got to experience more love and support from my friends, family, and teammates than I thought was possible. The memories that stick out the most for me are the miles when I was running with someone. From the first few miles with my new friend Angela, to running with and laughing with Bling, to the last 4 miles with Heidi when there was a lot more walking than running, to running the finishers chute surrounded by so much Team in Training love, I wouldn’t change any of it.

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Damn it, now I’m crying again.

Eugene Half Marathon Race Recap

We came.

We ran.

We ate.

We conquered Eugene.

Oh, that doesn’t count as a full recap? Fine, here are some a lot details.

The weekend kicked off with my lovely and wonderful bff Gina (who is such a good friend that she drove all the way down just to run with me and then drove all the way back to Seattle after the run) getting to my house Friday night and we proceeded to stay up way to late chatting, because that’s what girls do. Gina my have cursed me when my alarm went off at 7:00am but I made her come for the last TnT Saturday run, which was a short 2 mile shake out run.  Afterwards we packed all of our stuff, picked up my mom, and headed down to Eugene.

My coaches spent a lot of time telling us what not to do on the day before the race, which included spending a lot of time on our feet and exerting a lot of energy. Apparently my listening skills aren’t that good since we did both of those things. First we got lunch with our friend Joey.

Eating is a bit of contact sport in my world, it’s to be taken very seriously. Fortunately, Gina and Joey have similar feelings about it, which is probably why I’m such good friends with them.

Don't interrupt us, there's some important eating going on right now.
Alright, fine, we'll smile.
Eating is exhausting.

After lunch we went to the local and amazing ice cream place, Prince Pucklers.

It was delicious.

When I couldn’t finish mine I told Joey to hurry up with his so he could finish mine. His response was ‘I have 2 hands, what’s the problem?’

After dessert Gina and I went to visit our friend Erin and her gaggle of kids. Gina and I met when we were studying abroad in Paris, and Erin was my roommate there. It’s been years since we’ve seen Erin and it was wonderful to be able to catch up, even if we had limited time.

Then I put Joey in charge of babysitting Gina while my mom and I went to the Team in Training Inspiration dinner.

We heard from our awesome coaches, and were reminded why we run by our honored teammates. It’s hard for me to put into words how much I love being part of Team in Training, but it really is a group of amazing people who put their heart and soul into running and raising money to find a cure for cancer.

My wonderful teammates and coaches.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel to try to get everything ready,

Side note- I won that box of key lime bar mix at the expo by throwing a bean bag into a hole about 30 feet away. Boo yah.

and tried to get to bed early since our wake up call was a painful 4:45am, which came way too quickly.

Ready to race...?

The team gathered for one more group picture and then boarded the shuttle to the start line.

We got the start area with about 45 minutes until race time and had way too much nervous energy. Fortunately time moved quickly and after bag checking our stuff and navigating some crazy bathroom lines it was time to line up in our corral. My plan was to run with Gina and Kelley the whole way but Gina and I lost Kelley after our bathroom adventure so we started just the two of us.

While waiting in our corral someone tapped Gina on the shoulder and whispered ‘are you a Husky?’. Someone had noticed Gina’s University of Washington shorts. She quietly said yes, hoping any Duck fans didn’t hear. He then showed us a picture on his phone of him mooning the giant yellow O in front of the University of Oregon and said ‘me too’. As someone who doesn’t have a lot of school pride, all I could do was shake my head and laugh, while Gina thought it was awesome. And then the gun went off and we headed towards the starting line!

We saw my mom and Joey cheering for us a little bit after the start line and were excited to be running. We kept an eye out for Kelley hoping she started ahead of us and that we would catch her but it was crowded and there were a lot of people wearing purple. When Captain Kat started running with us around mile 1 we asked if Kelley had passed but Kat said she hadn’t seen her go by yet. Kat sent us on our way with some encouragement when Coach Julie, 8 months pregnant and all, jumped in to run with us for a bit. She checked in with us to make sure we were good, said she hadn’t seen Kelley either, and then sent us on our way. A few minutes later Coach Mike ran with us for a bit and sent us off with some high five. Around mile 3 Kelley and Jamie snuck up behind up and yelled ‘there you guys are!’. I can’t tell you how excited I was to see them. Kelley and I have done most of out long runs together, passing the miles talking about life, the universe, and everything in between and it just felt right to be running the race together. After we met up the miles started to fly by.

Jamie and Kelley sparkling.

Around mile 8 we saw a few of our Vancouver teammates that had driven down to cheer us on. Seeing them, and Cindy’s ‘go Maddy!’ sign, gave me a huge boost of energy and the smile on my face got even bigger. Thank you ladies, you are so wonderful!

A little bit after that there was the 1 hill of the race course. Captain Kat joined us for the first part of it, then Coach Julie run us up the middle part, and Coach Mike got us up the rest of the way. They were perfectly timed, I was so distracted with talking to them and telling them about the race so far that I didn’t even realize we were going up hill at all. And we got a bit of a photo shoot in.

Nice sparkles Coach Mike!

Coach Mike sent us off at the top of the hill yelling ‘you got this rockstars, kill it!’, and that’s just how I felt. We flew down the hill and right at the bottom just before the turn back through the University of Oregon campus we saw my mom and Joey cheering. They had also planned their cheering schedule perfectly and got breakfast (their second one of the day) at a place right on the race course.

Soon enough we passed mile 10 and headed away from campus towards the Willamette River. Things started to hurt a this point. My knee, which hasn’t hurt at all this season, started hurting like it did during the Chicago Half Marathon and periodically I had to stop and stretch my quad and rub my knee cap so that it would loosen up. Miles 10, 11, and 12 took us over a footbridge, along the river, and back over another foot bridge. We all starting to feel not so great, Gina’s knee was also bugging her and Kelley’s hamstring was getting tight. Kelley was afraid that if she slowed down that she wouldn’t be able to get going again so she went ahead. She rocked the last few miles and finished in 2:11. Gina hung with me while I stopped a couple more times for a few seconds and did her best to encourage me to keep running. Coach Julie ran with us for a few moments with about a 1/2 mile to go and when I told her that my knee hurt she told me that we were so close and to just hold on. We did and soon enough we saw my mom just before entering Hayward Field.

Then it was on to Hayward Field where the running legend Steve Prefontaine ran and where many a world recond has been set or broken.

Fortunately they don’t make you do a full lap around the track, just half a lap, you can see the finish line around the corner.

About 50 yards from the finish line I asked Gina if we were going to hold hands across the finish line. Her response was ‘of course!’. So we held hands, sprinted as much as we could and crossed the finish line, and then spent the next few minutes trying not to puke. It was a close call but after we both got some ice we started to feel better. They were handing out chocolate milk afterwards which I have decided is the best post run thing to have.

Our official time was 2:13:56, so the ‘under 2:15’ mission was accomplished! We quickly found Kelley and my mom and took the obligatory post race photos.

This race was such an amazing experience. It was so different compared to Chicago. Chicago will always be special to me, it was my first big race and my first half, but Eugene was a whole different world. Getting to run with people I love made it so much fun, and running with TnT brings it to a whole different level. I loved hearing random people yell ‘GO TEAM!’ to us and meeting people along the way that had either ran with TnT in the past or thanked us for being apart of it. Seeing our coaches and captains along the way that helped us achieve our goals brought a huge smile to my face, they are such amazing people. I can’t imagine doing another big race without being part of TnT.

Speaking of another race, I’ve signed up with TnT for the Portland Marathon. Yep, going for a full 26.2 this time. The countdown starts now, 160 days!

Heart Breaker 5k

You know me, breaking hearts left and right.

Jen and I ran the Heart Breaker 5k this morning!

After running 8 miles yesterday and having a very busy weekend I didn’t have any lofty time goals. I just wanted to get somewhere near my time from the New Years Eve run which was 28:19. I also wanted to practice starting off a race at a sustainable pace and not go busting out of the gate at lightening speed just to die half way through (hello bad race plan for the First Run). On a fashion note, I wore the same outfit from New Years, the sparkly skirt, matching head band, and I ❤ sweat shirt which always gets a lot of comments from people.

I accomplished my goal of starting off not blazing a little too well, I passed the first mile marker and looked at my watch to see 10:20 staring back at me. A little too slow there turtle, time to pick up the pace. It didn’t help the the first mile and a half was all up hill but we’ve been doing a lot of hill runs with TnT so I should have pushed myself a bit more. I picked up the pace for the second mile, passing the mile marker in under 20 minutes (I don’t have one of those fancy GPS watches, I just use a stop watch. It’s nice here in the 19th century). My legs were pretty mad at this point that I was making them work at all but the rest of the race was down hill so I told them to f off and to get their act together because there was no way we were going to have this 5k take longer than 30 minutes. They somewhat listened, probably while cursing me, and I crossed the finish line at 28:56.

So, I guess, mission accomplished? I’m not sure how I feel about this race. It’s the first race I’ve ran where I didn’t cross the finish line with a giant smile on my face and then spend the rest of the day (or night in the First Run’s case) being ecstatic about it. I’m hoping it’s just because I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck thanks to soccer on Friday and the 8 miles yesterday. Maybe sleeping would help too. Oh sleep, how I wish I could be better at you.

After I finished I walked back to get a photo of Jen finishing.

She totally rocked it and beat her goal. Great job Jen!

I was happy to add another bib to my racing wall, I’m quite happy with how it’s coming along.

I then spent the rest of my day studying. I started at 12:00 and it’s now 9:15 and I’m still at it.

I live an exciting life.

Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k Virtual Race Recap!

A free race that I can fit in with my regularly scheduled run? I’m definitely not going to pass that up. So today I participated in my first virtual race, the Freeze Your Thorns Off 5k hosted by Adam at The Boring Runner. (Also, hi Adam! I totally stalk your blog. But that’s how it works on the interwebs, right?) The weather cooperated perfectly with the theme of the race as it was a crisp 32ºF at 8:00am but at least it was dry which is quite surprising for Portland in the winter. I counted the first 3 miles of my 7 mile Team in Training run as the race but since I’m on a roll of being super forgetful lately I forgot to print out the bib or take a picture while running. So I did this instead:

Post run sweaty face.

I know, I’m soooooooo creative. I also don’t own a printer.

The run itself went well and included a bit of sprinting so that I didn’t get run over by a car. I forgot my watch so I’m not sure what my time was but my probably wrong guesstimate would be around 30 minutes for the 5k and 1:10:00-1:15:00 for the full 7. I then proceed to eat my weight in potato pancakes and pull pork. Sounds like a weird combo but it actually worked. (And no, I know what you’re thinking, but there’s no chance in hell that I’m pregnant, I just eat weird stuff)

Thanks Adam for putting this race together! Or, well, telling people to run and take pictures.

Running Head First into the New Year

Happy new year!!! I hope everyone had a fantastic and safe evening and that you’re ready to take on a new year. My Dec. 31, 2011 was was one of the best and sweatiest days of the entire year, let me tell you about it.

The first adventure of the day was our weekly Team in Training long run, which was 5 miles. We started at Duniway track, headed downtown through the park blocks, turned down to the waterfront and then headed back to the track for 3 miles. We took a quick water break and then headed up and back down Terwilliger Blvd.

Ouch.

This was my first time running up Terwilliger and boy did it hurt. I think Jen put it best when she said she always wondered who those crazy people were who would run up it and now we are those crazy people. But we made it! I was trying not to push too hard on the run since I had a couple other physical activities planned for the day but my competitiveness got the best of me on the hill and I pushed myself to pass anyone I could see. The pay off was definitely the view.

Jen, some teammates, and I then hit up Suki’s to get breakfast. Amaretto french toast= delicious.

Next up was my once-every-six-months hair cut.

Sorry about showing up sweaty Tasia.

Then it was time to sweat all over my nicely done hair at soccer with Sped. We had no girl subs, which was exhausting fun and we won so that means we finish the last few months of 2011 without losing a game. Great job Sped!

To ring in the new year it was time to get sparkly. Jen, Karla, Christine, Anna and I went to a fabric store a few weeks ago to pick out colors so that we could make skirts and headbands to run in.

Shiny ladies!

We spent the first part of the evening having a pot luck dinner and playing Cards Against Humanity, which is like an adult version of Apples to Apples. Leslie gave it to Jen for her birthday, well done Leslie. There was also a bit of sparkly fun.

Jen crying from laughter.

Around 10:00pm we headed downtown for the First Run 5k and luckily got to hang out inside before the race because it was pretty cold out.

Bundled up and waiting for the (free) bus. I love you Portland.

The race started right at midnight.

Race face.

We told Karla that we thought she had a good chance of placing in her age group since she’s Fasty McSpeederson and she did not let us down. She finished in 21:59 which was good enough for 2nd in her age group (25-29)!

Karla speeding by.

I should note here that getting good race photos during the day is pretty hard, but getting good race photos at night is extremely hard. Plus, Rigel didn’t know how to turn the flash on on my camera so please don’t mind the very blurry pictures.

Next up was Christine who finished in 26:58. That’s pretty awesome for someone who didn’t train at all for the race and has never raced a 5k.

Good thing we were wearing sparkles which made us easy to identify.

I came in next at 28:19 which means I beat my goal of under 30 minutes. I wasn’t sure what energy my legs would have left after every thing I made them do earlier in the day so I’m quite happy with it. I definitely started out way to fast  and started to die after the 1 1/2 turn around, which is about when Christine passed me. I sort of just waved my arm in her general direction as a form of encouragement and hoped she understood.

I'm re-enacting my running since Rigel and I mised each other on my way by.

Jen and Anna kicked some ass at 38:25. Jen’s back was a bit tender (not also forgetting the 5 miles she did earlier) and this was Anna’s first race ever. So proud of them!

What Rigel expertly cut out of the picture is Anna pretending to shoot herself. Well done Rigel.

For Karla’s medal collect we made sure to dress her up.

Great job Karla! We expect an overall win next year. Get training.

We then tried to catch the but it was so full since it was the last bus of the evening that only Christine’s mom, brother, and his fiance fit so Karla, Chistine, Rigel, Jen and I walked over the river to my house.

Sparkly.

I can’t think of a better way to have spent my new year’s eve, it was really a wonderful day that I got to spend with some of my closest friends. I’m also paying dearly for all of the exercise today. Everything is sore. My legs, my arms, my back, my butt. Everything. I also have quite the limp because I did something to my foot. What did I do you ask? Good question. I have no idea. My best guess is that I was walking weirdly after jamming toe (I stepped on the vacuum plug and tried to step back on my foot and jammed my toe into the ground, this is why I hate cleaning) and I angered something. I also have a bit of a swollen lip which came from Rigel accidentally smacking me in the face while trying to balance on my foam roller. I don’t know how I get so injured when I’m sober.

How was your new year’s eve?!

Best and Worst of the Weekend, and Run Like Hell

Best: Pumpkin bread pudding

Need I say more?

Worst: oh insomnia, I know we’ve been friends/enemies for most all of my 25 years of being alive but I’m really thinking it’s time to end our relationship. Letting me get less than 5 hours of sleep before a race is really not cool. We’re done.

Run Like Hell: Speaking of races, I ran the Run Like Hell 10k yesterday. Boy was it fun to roll out of bed less than an hour before the race, drive 5 minutes (thanks for being my chauffeur Jen!), run along roads I’ve run many times before, and then be able to go to breakfast at one of my favorite places. Yay for local races.

Running wise the race was pretty good for having run a total of 8 miles in the last month. Next time I sign up for a race someone please remind me to train for it. My goal was under an hour but ended up with 1:03:41, so not too bad. Maybe next time if I actually run a bit more before race day I’ll do a bit better…

Sprinting to the finish

I’m in the blue. That’s right, I wore my Chicago Half shirt. I earned that sucked and will wear it forever and ever.

Chicago Half Marathon Race Recap

I made it! I may have been a bit gimpy for the last 8 miles but I made it across the finish line in 2:24:56. The morning started off very early at 4:30am, which to us west coasters felt more like 2:30am.We caught the L to downtown and then got on the Metra.

Turns out the L and the Metra don’t take the same tickets. We didn’t find this out until the woman collecting tickets came around. She said it wouldn’t be a problem, it would just be $2.50 each. Well, between my mom and I, we only had $2. After a few tense moments a very nice gentleman in the seat behind us handed the lady a $5. Thank you kind sir!

We made it to the race with plenty of time to spare and stand in the very long port-o-potty line. Then it was time to find corral.

My mom wants to take a lot of pictures.

The first 5 miles of the race went great. I found the 2:10 pace group and hung with them. At 5 miles my average mile was under 10 minutes and then my body said ‘f you’. I got a shooting/cramping pain across the front of my left knee cap that lasted the rest of the race. I ended up having to stop every 1/4-1/2 mile to try to stretch it out. it would only help for a few steps before it started hurting again so my pace slowed a lot. My final average mile time was 11 minutes. not quite what I was hoping for but after a bit I reminded myself that I wasn’t doing this to qualify for anything, just to have fun and for my kiddo. That made me get a bit emotional for the rest of the race, anytime I thought of my kiddo or someone cheered my name tears would start to well up. There were a couple of close calls but I managed to not cry on the course. Thankfully there was a lot of water stations and misters on the course, plus a lot of people to cheer us along and soon enough I crossed the finish line.


Now it’s time for some ice and rest, then enjoying Chicago for the week.

All in all, it was a great time! Thank you to everyone who donated and supported me, you are all my heroes!

Burn It Up 5k!

Yesterday Jen and I drove out to Banks, OR to participate in the 2nd annual Burn It Up 5k.

It was such a cute little race! The only thing I don’t like about races is that they’re so early. Yes, it does mean you beat the heat but early and me are not the best of friends.

On the way to the race, the smile is fake energy

There was maybe 50 people who participated in the 10K/5K

The starting line

It was a nice loop through Banks, which is a quaint little town.

Main Street
City Hall

The course led us out along a country road which meant the cheerleaders were dogs

Summer has finally started in Portland (only a few months late…) so we were greeted with this view on our way back into town

On our way out of town, don't we look tall

Nicole and her mom came out to cheer us on, thank you ladies!

Jen did an awesome job in the her first race! It was also really fun running with someone, so any friends that want to go for a run, you know where to find me!

Crossing the finish line!

All in all, it was a great time! Much better than the 11 miles I did this morning, but more on that later. Congratulations to Jen on completing her first race!

Woot!