Friday, August 6, 2010

Anacortes Half Results

Location: Anacortes, WA
Official time: 1:57:44
Chip time: 1:57:40
Pace/mile: 8:58/mile

Overall: 49/126
Gender Place: 21/71
Age Place: NA
Oh my gosh....can it be true? I am actually posting a half marathon race recap? YES IT IS! I still need to do recaps for the Kirkland Half and the Seattle Rock N Roll Half, but maybe that will be my goal for the upcoming week :) On to the race recap...

After spending the night at the Little Bro's place up North, we woke up early and drove to Anacortes, WA for the Anacortes Art Dash Half Marathon. For those of you unfamiliar with the area, Anacortes is very positioned between Bellingham and Whidbey Island, both of which are North of Seattle. It had been years since I was in Anacortes, but it was really a cute, small town. It was actually much, much nicer than I expected (I would even go back for a weekend, tons of small shops and views of the Puget Sound....but I digress) It was a quick drive and we found the start of the race quickly.

The packet pickup was situated right behind the Town Hall, and there was no line. I easily picked up my shirt and bib in no time. Unfortunately, I didnt READ the website well enough, and there was no timing chips for this race. WHAT? Luckily I had my Garmin with me, or else I would have been really pissed. The race was only $45, but still! I was surprised.
 Walking to the start
 Getting ready and standard shoe shot...

All of the runners walked 2 blocks to the start of the race. I again was very surprised to find out that the 5k, 10k and half marathon runners were all running on the same course at the same time. Yes, you heard that right. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem sharing the road with other runners, but a 5k is a totally different race than a half marathon. As the gun went off, I quickly found that I was running entirely too fast and I didn't want to get tired. Slowing down was difficult and luckily again, I had my Garmin to keep me on pace. As the Garmin beeped for the first mile, I actually had my fastest unofficial mile PR yet: 7:43 for the mile! At around mile 1.5 the 5Kers hit their dog-leg, and went back to the start line. It was a relief to not have sprinters running around me :)
Mile 2-4:

Mile 2 was along the Tommy Thompson Trail, which was a nice paved path along the waterfront. Luckily there were no other pedestrians in this area. It was really a nice run along the water, and reminded me of parts of the Bainbridge Island Half. We then reached a pedestrian foot bridge (or the tressel that is on the logo at the top of the page. It was really nice because it was REALLY long, and we had a cool breeze off the water on both sides of us. I have never run on such a long, low bridge before, but it was really scenic and beautiful.
Oh, did I mention that it was totally flat?? The 10kers had their dog-leg right before this tressel, so they didnt get to run anywhere along it. Too bad for them (haha)

Mile 4-5:

I purposely didnt look at the elevation for the half marathon. I figured I would be running the race no matter what, so I wasnt thinking about it :) Well, as it turns out, there is a HUGE LONG HILL at mile 4. I mean, it is really huge. It was one of those monster hills that even experienced runners walk up. As this was the case, I turned the corner and saw everyone walking. I made a point to not walk, and just power up the whole thing. I might have been going really slow, but I still managed to pass 2 people on the way up!
 As always, the picture doesn't do it justice!

At the top of the hill we then had a steady, long decline. My legs were really tired, so I was not going as fast as I could have on the descent. Oops.

Miles 6-9:

This part of the course was flat again, and all along the waterfront. Aside from the huge refinery, there were pastures and views of the Puget Sound. It was really pretty and relatively easy. Somehow I forgot to bring my GU! I kept thinking that it wasnt a big deal, and that there would probably be a GU booth somewhere along the race. Well, I was wrong. As I hit mile 8, I realized this and just kept thinking "I need more energy, I need more energy..." It was really not a good idea to dwell on this, and I was psyching myself out. I even ended up walking for about 1.5 minutes just to calm myself down. After that, I was okay, and just focused on finishing under the 2 hour mark.

Mile 9-10:

We circled back again and went back over the tressel. Luckily I knew the end was ahead and it was all flat from here. I also saw a huge seal swimming along with me while I ran above on the path. That is definately something you dont normally see on a half marathon!

I was passed (insert sad face here) buy a man who was pushing another handicapped man in a makeshift running wheelchair. I am not sure if it is the same person, but I have read about someone who does the same thing and brings their handicapped brother along in every race. I'll have to research this more....

Miles 10-13.1
From here on out we were back on the Tommy Thompson Trail and heading back into town. It was still really flat and had few pedestrians to avoid in our way. Since there were so few runners in this race, I was really running by myself for most of the rest of the race. It was a really wierd feeling.
I did run past an older guy in his 50's. He noticed my Garmin and asked how fast we were going. His goal was to break 2:00:00, and I let him know he was well on his way. I kept on cruising at that point and just focused on the finish.

Running through town was difficult because we actually ran past the start and went a few more blocks to the finish. The volunteers at the end of the race were mostly really nice, but there were a few towards the end that I had to ask which way to run since it wasnt clearly marked. 

The finish line was out on a pier at the point of the city. Luckily I finished in:

So much better than I expected! For feeling as drained as I did, I was thinking I wouldn't break 2 hours. This isn't my PR, but it is my second fastest race :)
 Well, its not a medal, but it IS a ribbon :)

At the end runners were presented with a finisher's ribbon, and had an awesome snack table (string cheese, yummy almonds, fresh plums, bagels, breads, bananas, etc!) The Art Walk was right next to the pier, so most runners went through that afterward.

 You cant tell, but the shirt is the color of a highlighter!

Overall it wasn't a bad race. I really enjoyed the snacks at the end and the finisher's ribbon, but running with the 5kers and 10kers was difficult. Also, psyching myself out with no GU was irritating. I will definately be prepared with my GU for this weekend at the Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon!

Happy Running and Racing!

Return of La Nina?


So I was reading an article on (Seattle's local news) and apparently we are in for a lousy, wet and cold winter. Last winter we had La Nina, which meant it was warmer and dry. I was particularly a fan of 55 degree farenheight average in January! Not good news for local outdoor runners:

Seriously, I really prefer El Nino to La Nina!

A recap of last week's Anacortes Art Dash Half Marathon on the way!

Friday, July 30, 2010

And another two...

Okay, okay.....I have been another bad blogger lately. I SWEAR this time it was not just me being lazy. So much has happened in the past 2 weeks. Aside from starting a new position (and I am up for interviews this week AGAIN as well! Yay!) my grandmother also passed away. Urgent family get-togethers and frequent trips home in addition to 2 weddings have made things quite busy. I promise to be a better bloggy buddy in August!

To start things off in the right direction, I signed up for 2 more half marathons! I am going for a new Half Fanatic moon level as well. Currently I am a "Neptune" and I am going for "Uranus" (haha, seriously, it is not my choice of a name!)

Neptune (my current achievement):
2 Half Marathons in 16 days or
3 Half Marathons in 3 consecutive calendar months

Uranus (next goal):
3 Half Marathons in 16 days or
6 Half Marathons in 6 consecutive calendar months or
8-10 Half Marathons in 365 days

After these two races I will be at Uranus and will have completed 6 half marathons in 6 consecutive calendar months! (Mercer Half, Whidbey Half, Bainbridge Half, Kirkland Half, Seattle RnR Half, and the next two.) Pretty exciting stuff :) So here are the next two half marathons I signed up for:

Anacortes Art Dash Half Marathon (Saturday, July 31, 2010):

This half is located in Anacortes, WA, and also includes a 10K and 5K race. Races fees are $45 and include a race shirt, goodie bag and finishers ribbon (not medal?) This looks to be a smaller race, but should be enjoyable. The course runs along the water at Anacortes and along some sort or bridge. I am hoping for pretty scenery and hopefully not too many hills!

Tacoma Narrows Half Marthon (Saturday, August 7, 2010):


This half is located in Tacoma, WA and runs across the famous Narrows Bridge, through Cheney Stadium and finishes in downtown Tacoma. The current race fee is $90 and includes a t-shirt, chip timer, goodie bag and commemorative finisher's glass. This race should be somewhat hilly, but probably and hopefully no more hilly than other races in the Puget Sound area. Should be another beautiful route.

I am really excited! Although I have not been blogging, I have been running, so I feel prepared for these races. I cant wait and a recap to come shortly! Are any of you running in these races?

Happy running racing!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2 years! ♥

Okay, this is only somewhat running related.....but today I am celebrating 2 years with my boyfriend :)

Ill skip most of the mushy stuff, but I am so happy with him (and to find someone that will put up with my running schedules, races, special meals, driving me to and from races, taking corny pictures of me while get the picture)!
He even knew I wanted to run after work, so we have later dinner reservations! Yep, he's a keeper :)

Beat the Bridge 8k, May 2008: our first race

Post Seattle Marathon 2009: My first half and his first full marathon

4th of July, 2010 (after the Fun Run)

Thanks for running with me, and always supporting me too!
Happy 2 years! ♥

Monday, July 19, 2010

Running Randoms.....

A few random things about running that I encoutered in the past week:

A HUGE deer: while running over the weekend, I came upon a HUGE deer. Now I have seen deer before, but nothing like the size of this one. I am guessing that it was young because it didnt have antlers (or it was a large female) but it was gigantic. I mean, it was the size of a cow! Are they normally that big? It just stood there while I ran up to it on the road. I tried to make a lot of noise to scare it away (from me, and out of traffic) but it just stared. Good thing no one else was around to hear me!

 Similar to this, but larger!!
I ran into a tree: yep, you heard it right. On my early morning run last week, I ran into a tree. Well, I was running and there was a large, low branch in my path. I went to duck my head, but I didnt duck enough. I smacked the top of my head into the branch. Whoops!

A crazy mumbling runner: while walking to work this morning, I saw a runner approaching me. As she got closer, I could see she was talking to herself, saying "....almost there! I'm almost there!" It was so strange....I sure hope I don't mumble out loud while running! I'm pretty sure that I don't.....

This list goes right up there with the cat on the leash. Have you seen anything strange while running??

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wait, what??

Hmmm….two things:
First, I somehow woke up extra early today to run 5 miles before I went to work. Anyone who knows me this is somewhat impossible since I am NOT a morning person and a complete night owl. I don’t know what motivated me to actually get up and run (vs my normal hitting the snooze button multiple times) but I’ll take it!

 Somehow my run was more groggy than normal. I thought I would have been more awake since I wake up early for races, but it just wasn’t happening :)
Second, I JUST realized that my time in the BYS Fun Run on the 4th of July was only 3 seconds off my PR from 2009! Wow?! How did I not realize this? I was seriously thinking my PR was faster, and I wonder if I would have pushed it harder in the race if I had known. Hmm??
Looks like I need to sign up for a few more 5ks soon…..I am NOT running at my potential! Has anything strange happened to you lately??

Sunday, July 11, 2010

4th of July Fun Run 5k Results

Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
Official time: 25:23
Chip time: 25:01
Pace/mile: 8:03/mile

Overall: 100/361
Gender Place: 22/177
Age Place: 3/19

On the 4th of July I decided to try to run in the annual Fun Run 5k on Bainbridge Island. I ran this race in 2008 and lets just say that it wasn't pretty. The course runs through downtown Winslow, has 2 major hills and is not for the out-of-shape. You can read my other recap here from 2008.

This is a rather small, local race, so I arrived about 15 minutes before the start of the race to register and get my t-shirt. The race was $25 and included a shirt, but no chip (they have never had chips). There was also an option to do the 1-mile Race as well for around $10. I registered and grabbed my shirt and headed to the start. 

While waiting for the gun, I noticed that there were around 400 runners already waiting. I weaved my way to the middle of the pack. There was one false start, but then the race started on-time at 9:15 am. As we started down the street, I realized that people with their dogs, small children and stroller were up at the front. Really? I ended up running through a few bushes and dodging people to get to where the runners where. Not what I was expecting. 

The first .2 of the race is downhill, then we start a slow decent until we reach the first mile. This is usually where people start dropping back. I was able to run and felt strong up the first long hill, and thankfully passed a lot of people too. We turned and went about .5 downhill. I used this as an excuse to run faster and try to get ahead of my normal pace. I was surprised again that most of the people around me were running slower on the downhill than on the uphill. Bad knees or something? I didn't get it...

There was a water station around mile 1.8 that was well stocked. At this point I was running at less than an 8:00 pace! I was pretty surprised...I was keeping pace with a girl who looked to be about 4-5 years older than me. Since there was few people in this race, it was awkward that we kept jockeying for position the rest of the race. More on her later...

We then started the dreaded HILL. Not only is this hill steep, but it is long and deceiving. You think you are at the top at one point, but really it is a false summit and you have to keep climbing. In 2008 I made it to the top but had to stop and catch my breath afterwards. It wasn't pretty! I just kept my head down and kept on going. It was nice to actually be the one who was passing others this time around! Unfortunately there was a little boy who was about 10 that flew by me....grr....

At the top of the hill there was a few people trying to catch their breath and sitting down! I even saw a guy puking at the top! I felt really bad for him, but it was pretty gross!! The last .5 was all downhill and I tried to catch my breath and go as fast as I could. I kept running back and forth with the girl that I saw earlier. I made my mind up that I would finish before matter what it took. 

As we turned the last little corner we start to run through the downtown again. I was able to see the end in sight just as the girl passed me. I kicked it into high gear and sprinted past her at the very end of the race. Unfortunately that pesky 10 year old cut me off at the end as well (he must have had it in his head to beat me, haha). 

My Garmin said that I was about 25:01! This is fairly close to my 5k PR!! My goal was to get around 27:00 because it is such a difficult race, and I blew that out of the water! While walking through the end of the race, I noticed that I came in 101st....that pesky little kid robbed me of the top 100! Grr..... (UPDATE: I actually placed 100th! Yes! That little bugger took 99th......and he was under 14 years old!)

While grabbing a water and waiting for my friends to finish, I overheard the girl that was running with me during the race talking about ME! She was taking to a guy about how this girl "cut her off at the end", no, I didn't do that and I just plain out beat her! Guess some people are sore losers  racers :)

Unfortunately there are no stats posted yet from the race. I was hoping to get this recap done earlier, but I was waiting on these results! Ill update if the results ever get posted.....I want to know my age group placing!

Also, on a side note, I went to a wedding later that day on the 4th of July. While talking with a group of people, one of my friends went around and introduced everyone. One of the girls looked at me and asked if I did the Fun Run earlier that day. I said yes, and she replied: 

 "you looked beat me by one second in the race!"

Haha, whoops! It was really awkward talking to her. Apparently she does a lot of races and runs often. I don't think she was too fond of me though :) Overall, it was a great race and I took over 6 minutes off my time from 2008. I celebrated with a margarita or two afterward at the street parade :)

Hope everyone had fun on the 4th!!

I placed 3rd in my age group! Woo Hoo!

Benefits: Boys & Girls Club of Bainbridge Island