Seattle Hot Chocolate 5k

Oh man, I’ve been terrible. I know. It’s been brought to my attention by multiple people. No update since January? Gah, sorry guys. In general, things are basically the same as they have been – still struggling with some hip issues, still doing physical therapy, and trying to be more well-rounded with my exercise. Running has been scaled back, biking has increased, and I am even trying to swim once a week.

Last month, I ran the Hot Chocolate 5k in Seattle. It wasn’t my best, thanks to my hip, but it went well. I ended up finishing in 32:53 (PR 31:33 in December 2012).

hotchoc2

I had actually registered for the 15k initially with my running bud, Ellen, but scaled it back thanks to the reduced mileage I’ve been logging. Mostly, the weekend was about hanging out in the city with friends. We went over the day before, did some serious shopping and eating, and had a grand time.

hotchoc3

Ellen and Nicole both ran the 15k so I headed out on my own for the 5k, bright and early. It was a FREEZING morning but it was cloudless and beautiful. The race organization was great, the course was fine (with some good hills), and the best part was the post-race cup of chocolate and fun dippings. It was hard to eat because it was so cold but it was worth it. And the hoodies are awesome compared to the typical race t-shirt. I highly recommend the Hot Chocolate series to anyone and plan to do it next year! Maybe the 15k next time.

hotchoc1

Some other random things to note:

Future running endeavors – the only thing I have lined up is the Electric Run in July. I’ve actually opted out of Ragnar this year and am not really running more than 3-4 miles at a time, 1-2x a week. Probably won’t be registering for anything else for a while, thanks to the impending furlough. *grumble*grumble*i-hate-politics*grumble*

I’ve started trying to commute to work on my bike. Roundtrip, it is 15 very hilly miles. My goal right now is 2x a week when the weather is decent enough. I managed to do it twice this week and boy is my butt feeling it. I’ve been doing spin class 1x a week for the past couple months but it really doesn’t prepare you for riding outdoors, especially in our area with all the hills and rough roads. Rain is in the forecast all next week so I’m playing it by ear. It takes a lot out of me and I’m pretty slow but I love the fact that I’m getting exercise in, saving on gas, and contributing to an overall better environment.

This past weekend we went to my dad’s in Port Townsend and took the kayak’s out for the first time! It was a gorgeous day and we had a blast. I cannot WAIT for summer to do more kayaking and hiking and soaking up that Vitamin D!

kayak

In the more near-term future, my mother-in-law and brother-in-law are coming to visit towards the end of the month and I’m very excited about that. I’m hoping the weather will be decent enough to do some fun things but we’ll have a good time regardless.

Ooh! And I saw Lady Gaga in concert (courtesy of my darling husband) back in January which was rad. She puts on such a good show!

gaga

And for your viewing pleasure, Pippin is still being a dog and hanging out, though she is starting to show her age and can’t hang with us quite like she used to.

pip

That’s all for now, folks. Peace out.

Advertisements

Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage 2012

Ragnar NWP 2012 245

And another Ragnar bites the dust! W00t!

For those of you that don’t know what Ragnar is, it is a 12-person (or 6 if you are Ultra Awesome), 200-mile relay race. Our race went from Blaine, WA (the border of Canada) to the south end of Whidbey Island. It took us about 29 hours total to complete!

This was our second year running and we had a blast. It was a little bit different of an experience since we weren’t rookies this time around and ended up fulfilling most team captain duties but it was just as much fun and just as challenging. (Last year can be found here!)

Ragnar NWP 2012 001

{Pre-race carb fest at our house with most of the team and our fabulous volunteers!}

Like last year, Huz and I were Van 1 but we were different runners than last time so we got to experience different legs. We were also in a van of all new vanmates and two of them were runners from our team last year but in Van 2. Then there were the two rookies!

Ragnar NWP 2012 005

{L to R: Ellen, Marissa, Me, Nicole, Blake, and Huz}

We ended up borrowing my dad’s F-150 for our “van” and boy was it cozy! But Ellen and Nicole swear it was better than using a Durango like they did last year – more leg room! Our team name was None of the Above and we were going with the Americana/political theme. (If you don’t get the reference, you need to watch Brewster’s Millions again.)

Friday morning was very gross out. Pouring down rain, thunder, windy, hot mess. It made trying to decorate the truck interesting. We buzzed through check-in then shivered in the rig until making our way to the start line.

{Ellen in full get-up!}

The rain let up a tiny bit and I got it all started!

My first leg was my longest. I thought it was going to be 6.8 for some reason but it was only 6.3 which was a pleasant surprise.

imageRagnar NWP 2012 028

It was pretty boring, actually. Flat, straight, highly trafficked, raining. Not all that much fun. I was glad to be done. I handed off to Ellen and got to enjoy spectating and supporting our runners for a few hours.

Ragnar NWP 2012 031

Ellen totally rocked her leg and while she was out running, we befriended a pirate who liked my pinwheel.

Ragnar NWP 2012 039Ragnar NWP 2012 041

Blake was our 3rd runner and is a total speed demon.

Ragnar NWP 2012 067

Fabio is jealous of that hair.

By this time, the rain had let up and it only sprinkled so no more super soggy runners!

Pretty quickly, he handed off to his sister, also a speed demon.

Ragnar NWP 2012 072

Marissa, one of the rookies, took over from there.

Ragnar NWP 2012 095

Then the Huz was up!

Ragnar NWP 2012 133

He was a little nervous about running (we all know what happened last time he pushed himself) but he did great and kept up an awesome pace.

Ragnar NWP 2012 148

When he pulled into the next major exchange, our van had a few hours to kill before gearing up for our next legs so we headed to Boundary Bay Brewery (again!) and met up with a couple of our Superstar Volunteers for a late lunch.

Ragnar NWP 2012 162Ragnar NWP 2012 164

Each team is required to have 3 volunteers or they have to pay extra. David and Shannon volunteered to help us out since they couldn’t actually run the event and they were totally great sports. Mucho thanks! (Our 3rd volunteer, Ben, was at the finish line!)

The down time went pretty quickly and before we knew it, night hours were approaching and Van 2 was telling us to get ready! My eyes were definitely starting to get tired – 5 hours of sleep the night before wasn’t the best.

Ragnar NWP 2012 180

I started us off again with a cranky 6-miler (almost). It was only supposed to be 5.1 miles but there was road construction so I had a detour and it ended up being 5.9.)

imageRagnar NWP 2012 192

My run was right at dusk. There was the one nice long hill climb that I cursed my way up and was so glad to see the “1-mile-to-go” sign.

At this point, it was pretty much dark and our energy levels were tapering off and the camera didn’t really get pulled out  but we continued in the same order and all did really well and didn’t sustain any injuries. Ellen almost puked sprinting at the end of her leg but that was the most excitement we had. And a few wrong turns that were a little stressful to navigate.

We finished off this segment of running in the early morning. I think 1:30ish? We headed to the next major exchange, rolled out sleeping bags on a gym floor, and got 2 hours of shut eye again before heading back out.

I was feeling like complete crap and didn’t know if I was going to make it but I felt better as soon as I started running. The last one was the shortest of my legs but had the gnarliest hill too.

image

It’s kind of funny… at the beginning of the race there was so much energy and chatter and excitement and towards the end, you are falling off, the van is quiet, tension is high, people are stiff and sore and (in my case) very nauseous.

Ragnar NWP 2012 220

Delirium sets in and you start to find everything very entertaining. Like slugs that are nearly a foot long. And twisted safety vests.

Ragnar NWP 2012 212

We were all thankful to be done by 11am. Jodus brought it home strong!

Ragnar NWP 2012 226

We all showered up, got some lunch, and headed to the finish line to party in the *gasp* sunshine! So glad that the sun decided to come out and play!

Ragnar NWP 2012 234

Van 2 definitely got the short end of the stick – they had the longest, hardest legs at the roughest times BUT they also happened to have the gorgeous runs. I was only a tiny bit jealous.

Ragnar NWP 2012 232

Meeting up at the finish with our other van was so great! You hardly get to interact with the other van at all except for 10-15 minutes at the major exchanges while you wait for the last runner to come in. We were blessed with such a great group of people, I wished we could have hung out more!

Ragnar NWP 2012 239Ragnar NWP 2012 243

We all ran across the finish line together, got team photos, then plopped our tired butts down in the grass for some mimosas! It was fabulous.

Ragnar NWP 2012 247

We made our way back to the ferry and headed home. It was an exhausting but really fun weekend that is so hard to translate into a blog post. You can find all of my pictures here and there is also a little slideshow that Marissa put together!

Yep, we are already thinking about next year. I’m addicted to Ragnar.

Firecracker 5000

I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July celebration! It was kind of strange having a day off in the middle of the week but I’m not complaining! We took advantage of the day off by staying out super late on Tuesday… We ran the Firecracker 5k at 11:55pm!

Hubs and Ellen and Nicole.

Before the 5k, we headed over to a friends house for BBQ then took the ferry into the city for the midnight run.

Me, Ellen and Nicole

Such a terrible picture, I’m sorry. Anyway, I made all the girls “running skirts” using stitch witchery, discount fabric, and some sport elastic. They are kind dorky but fun for the event. And we plan to reuse them for our political-themed Ragnar race coming up in a couple weeks. Whatevs, it was fun to get all dressed up in patriotic gear.

This was our first time doing the Firecracker 5k and going into it, I just wanted to have fun. Isn’t that what midnight runs are all about? There was a ton of amazing people watching.

I don’t know these people. I jacked this from the Firecracker 5000 facebook page.

The route took us around the Seattle Center and seemed to be uphill the entire time.

image

Nicole is a speed demon so she took off way ahead of us. Huz and Ellen hung back with me and let me set the pace. The road was pretty rough in patches and we had to dodge cones and turtles the entire time but getting cheered on by bar-goers was definitely the highlight.

The race was pretty awesomely organized. The pre-race stuff was cool – a few good booths with free samples, lots of people watching, plenty of facilities to use at Memorial Stadium. The start corrals were pretty informal. We hunkered down around the 10 min/mi marker knowing I wouldn’t be able to hang with that but starting out, it seemed good. It only took us a couple minutes to get over the start line and we were off! There was a little bit of congestion on the course but it wasn’t a huge deal.

1: 10:35
2: 10:55
3: 10:16
.14: 1:09 (8:02 pace!)

Final: 32:56 (Overall pace: 10:27)

I don’t really remember specifics about the course other than it was a little rough. I got grit in my eyes halfway through and couldn’t see anything for almost a mile. I even had to pull over for a minute to try and clean my eyes out. I just ended up squinting and trusting Jodus and Ellen to make sure I was going the right direction.

A couple of the hills were definitely challenging… I did say to Ellen at one point that I couldn’t maintain our current pace for the whole hill so we pulled back a little but it was hard to not get swept up in the energy. In the end, I still had a good kick in me and ended up passing a few people in the final stretch… and then felt like puking.

In the end, I ended up with a (small) PR and I was proud. Considering it was a night run on a non-ideal course, I know that I could do even better in the future and that was a rewarding feeling. (Which is a nice change of pace, no pun intended, from the demoralizing half marathon and long runs I have been doing.)

All in all, I’m not sure if this is a race I would do every year but it was really fun. We had to high tail it out of there to catch a cab to the last ferry home and we ended up sleeping in until 10a the next morning.

Our 4th was low-key – breakfast out, some yard work, and a grilled dinner. Happy 4th, all!

Rhody Run 12k – 2012

Yep, Hi! Still alive. I’m not going to apologize for being MIA lately. I wish I could say that it’s because we’ve been busy but we haven’t really. I just haven’t been cooking at all and, let’s face it, this is primarily a food/recipe blog. I haven’t been cooking because I’m being lazy. And I’m trying to clean up my diet which leads to some pretty boring chicken + broccoli kind of dinners. And the weather has been better so we’ve been grilling up burgers. I’ve also really taken a step back from the computer and rekindled my love of books. Pretty much every night of the week, you can find me curled up on the loveseat under our living room window with a library book in my lap. And I am loving it. I’m 56 books into this year and am showing no signs of slowing down.

But what has slowed down considerably is the amount of  running I’ve been doing this year compared to last year. Coping with a knee injury for the past 6 months has been tedious. It’s plummeted not only my cardiovascular conditions (which is pretty nonexistent to begin with) and taken my motivation along with it. The nicer weather lately has been helping but it’s hard to see how much of a hit my pace has taken. I’m trying not to let it get me down and to just make the most of this upcoming race season. The bright side is that my knees (and feet) are doing well for the time being so it’s time to get back into the running saddle.

image

And starting off this running season, we ran Rhody this morning. If you could call it running, really. More like shuffling for me. I was dreadfully sick this past week – fever, chills, coughing, runny nose. I actually called in sick to work 2 days. But I didn’t let that stop me from hustling across that start line. Rhody is a special run for me – not only is it my “Hometown” annual run, it’s also what I consider to be my first real race last year. It kick started my running bug so I was eager to revisit it, even though there would be nothing kicking about today’s run.

IMAG0244

It was cold and rainy at the start and I was miserable. A picture is worth a thousand words. So not thrilled.

My husband on the other hand, was rather chipper and optimistic!

husband

I forced him to run on his own this year and not suffer alongside me in my misery so he used the opportunity to try out his half marathon pacing in preparation for Rock n’ Roll next month. He killed it.

DSC_3540

Jodus finished in 1:02:25, then ran the 2 miles back to my dad’s house while I continued to plod along.

DSC_3547

Yep, that’s me trying to dig in. But I wasn’t the only one – look at all those other faces around me fighting their way up a mile long hill! Ok, Dad, I’ll smile for you.

DSC_3549

Yep, I need to lay off the beer.

I ended up crossing the finish line at 1:28:28, which is 6 minutes slower than last year. But considering the sickness and the whimpy miles I’ve been putting in,  whatever. I finished without hacking up a lung. (You can catch my splits and the route on Daily Mile if you are curious.)

We also enjoyed the Rhody Parade on Saturday, which happened to be a gorgeous day out and we even turned a little red. But this morning was dreary and gray. Boo hiss.

DSC_3360

(I’m overdue for a retarded picture of myself anyway. It’s usually husband that is so good at making an ass of himself!)

And one obligatory parade shot of my favorite chair ladies:

DSC_3524

We are now home sweet home and about to gorge on pizza. Peace out, Girl Scouts.

IMAG0249

NBK Turkey Trot 5k

CIMG9326

Today, Jodus and I joined some friends for the Naval Base Kitsap Turkey Trot 5k. It was a semi-impromptu race to sign up for. I think we registered on Tuesday? But it was cheap, and close (15 minute drive) so why the heck not?

CIMG9325

We had a few speed demons in the group, and a couple walkers and we were the happy medium. We went into the race trying not to think about time. We haven’t been doing a whole lot of running lately and Huz is still recovering from an injury.

CIMG9327

We had no clue what the route was going into the race so that was kind of fun! I couldn’t overthink it or psyche myself out and that third mile that happened to have a nice steady uphill.

image

Mile 1: 9:58
Mile 2: 10:16
Mile 3: 11:37
.13 at 10:43

Total time: 33:18:44

CIMG9334

It turned out to be a gorgeous but chilly day and the route was so pretty! I can’t believe that Jodus doesn’t take advantage of running on base after work. I would be all over that!

CIMG9329CIMG9331

After the last of our group came in, we headed inside and waited around through the awards ceremony.

CIMG9340

Nicole got 3rd in the 18-29 division!

CIMG9338

(Recognize the shirt? She ran Rhody too! And she was on our Ragnar team!)

And the money maker – after the awards ceremony, they raffled off turkeys and pumpkin pie! And guess who won one?

CIMG9343

Awwww, yeah!

CIMG9347

Happy trotting!

Poulsbo Half Marathon 2011

 014

(All photo creds to my Super Fan Husband! Chilly start, it was in the low 40’s. Eek!)

I still consider myself a running newbie. I’ve only done a handful of races and have only been running “seriously” for 8 months. But for some reason, going into this race, I expected to be more confident and less nervous and {spoiler alert} I really wasn’t.

 016

Training for this, I followed the same kind of idea as last time with doing a long run on Sundays, a couple shorter runs during the week. I definitely clocked in higher mileage than last time, which I’m proud of, and I’ve gotten a teensy bit faster, but nothing really of significance.

Weekly miles since my last half to last week.

image

Those 3 & 4 mile weeks were before I officially started training and just took a breather from running. It was nice. That 12 mile week was Ragnar and Ragnar alone.

This was only my second half marathon, the first being in July, in Seattle, and the course was flat as a pancake – perfect for a first half. Poulsbo does not resemble a pancake. It’s more like a bagel. Or a donut. Do you see it or am I crazy?

image

Yeah, see that last 2 miles? Jerks.

It didn’t come to a surprise to me. I’ve been obsessing studying the route for months. I even drove up to P-town for a 10 miler a month or so ago just to see how bad it really was. And it kicked my butt. We’re talking 13:00-14:00 minute miles there. But in my defense, it was a flippin’ hot day and we got started late.

And race day is different, right? You know, adrenaline and all.

 022

Just starting out.

028

About 1.5 miles in…

Race day started the same as any – an early wake-up call, toasted PBJ and a hard boiled egg, nerves rattled. I wasn’t really expecting to PR – the course was vastly different, significantly more challenging, and I didn’t have Husband to run with me and push me and motivate me since he has been sidelined with injury. I did plan on running with a friend but it’s different. Huz will tell me to pick my ass up when needed. Ellen is much nicer. And prettier but don’t tell my husband I said that. (She’s also super hardcore and ran the Portland Full Marathon last weekend!)

036

About the halfway point, running through downtown Poulsbo.

038

This was the 2nd Annual Poulsbo Marathon and it’s still a decently small local race – no closed off streets for us. I think I heard there was 400ish participants? No complaints from me!

043

About 8 miles in, running down the boardwalk.

045

This course was super hilly, much hillier than the elevation map appeared. But we kept on trucking. We had awesome views of the water for a few miles of the course.

046

As I predicted, the last two miles totally kicked my ass. Thank goodness Ellen was there to keep pushing me! She ran a couple paces ahead of me and that kept me going. At this point, I realized that a PR was actually within reach and that definitely helped me going – my hips were on fire at this point but I was otherwise in good shape.

055

The route ended at the high school, making almost a full lap around the track.

057

I can’t even take myself seriously with that ponytail flapping in the wind.

059

It wasn’t a chip timed race – the clock said 2:23:45, my Garmin was about 10 seconds behind that for when we actually crossed the start line. Either way, it’s a solid PR. (Last Half was 2:27:27)

061

Splits:

1: 10:18
2: 10:13
3: 10:16
4: 9:52
5: 10:59
6: 11:18 (Gu)
7: 10:29
8: 11:02
9: 11:07
10: 11:31 (Gu)
11: 10:58
12: 12:12
13: 11:56
.16: 1:30 (9:02 pace)

I definitely did a little better with pacing this time around and didn’t crash quite as hard at the end, even with the hills. I’m actually pretty proud of this performance. We’ll see how I feel later though! Also, I met the darling Allyson there! (Just when you want to meet someone for the first time – feeling and looking your worst. We must do lunch so I can redeem myself.) Her husband PRed too! Guess it was a good running day all around!

We headed out for trashy diner breakfast afterward (the nice thing about an early race!)

image

Devoured. All. Of. It.

And took an ice bath for the first time.

064

Brutal, but necessary.

Oly Run 10k

Alternate Title: How to PR Your First 10k …oh wait…

006

On Saturday, I participated in a small local race put on my Olympic Ambulance: The Oly Run 10k.

image

This race was awesome for a couple of reasons.

1) It was only $10 for the registration fee.

2) It is local so no ridiculously early wake-up call.

3) Its proceeds this year went to a local boy, Hunter Million, who is battling non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

image

Causes related to lymphoma hold a very special place in my heart. My former boss has been battling it for years and has escaped death a few times and is a walking miracle. And of course my dear friend, Susan, is currently kicking the crap out of it. It is so amazing that this kind of event can help someone local, one brave kid in our community. It is so amazing to see people pull together this level of support. And Hunter was there to witness it and start the race!

It was a typical Washington Fall day, gray, and dreary – such a shame because the location is gorgeous.

003

Fortunately, I was running with a friend that only lived a couple blocks away so we camped out at her house until just before the start.

Being that it was such a small race, about 200 participants between the 5k and 10k, the route obviously wasn’t closed to traffic and has us squirreling around East Bremerton. And it was hilly.

image

I was really thankful to get to run with Ellen (she was on my Ragnar team!), she definitely pushed me up those hills! It’s her typical running route so she’s pretty used to them. We only walked briefly through the 3 water stations but otherwise ran the entire time which is a pretty big accomplishment for me, especially considering those hills!

008

Splits:

1: 10:08
2: 10:30
3: 10:39
4: 10:58
5: 10:33
6: 9:48
.2: 1:17 (8:25 pace)

The race wasn’t chip timed but according to my Garmin, I finished in 1:03:53.

My super secret goal was 1:07. So I’m pretty proud. And it gives me hope that one day, I’ll be able to run a sub 1:00 10k.

***

Post race, I did what any girl would do – go to the gym! (I swear I’m not crazy.) Actually, first I went home and changed out of my wet clothes, ate a breakfast sandwich, then went to the gym. Ellen and I met there to do a sweaty weights session and the only reason I did it that day was so I didn’t have to on Sunday.

Then we checked out the new FroYo joint in town – zOMG I was so excited when Husband discovered it!

image

It was amazing. And it is dangerously close to my work. And the gym. And they have one of those frequent eater punch cards. uh oh. And they also have a delicious Mango Tango non-dairy flavor. Yep, I’m in trouble.

Dinner was also an unnecessary gorge fest that was absolutely fabulous and included a margarita the size of my head.

010

Yes, I do races, regardless of distance, just for the excuse to eat and drink in excess.

The real excuse was that my dad was in town doing errands and invited us to dinner. And who are we to deny the man of good eats?

019

Next race: Poulsbo Half Marathon in exactly 1 month. What’s Norwegian for Oy vey?