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).

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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That’s all for now, folks. Peace out.

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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.

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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.

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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!

Deck the Hall Ball 2011

Last night, Jodus and I did something ghastly: we went into the city on a school night. Scandalous, I know. We usually pride ourselves on being homebodies but it seems like the last couple months, we sure have been busy bodies! Between him going to Texas, my going to Hawaii, both of us going to Phoenix, date nights, trips to Port Townsend, family visits, a Warren Miller show in Seattle, guf. We’ve made up for lost time.

About a month ago, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she wanted to go to a concert in Seattle and was looking for people to go with. The line up for Deck the Hall Ball looked pretty decent (my eyes were on Death Cab for Cutie) but it was a Wednesday night right after a weekend away. We were pretty hesitant (weeknight, cost, etc.) but ended up saying, “Screw it, let’s do it.” Gotta live a little while we are young, right? So we bought three tickets – for the two of us and my friend, and called it a day. So a couple weeks later, my friend bails. Totally not her fault, she had a work trip come up. To California. Cry me a river. We tried to pawn off her ticket to other friends but apparently everyone else is saner than we are to pay $65 (cheap, IMO, for 7 bands) for a concert on a Wednesday night in the middle of the holiday season.

So here we are, just the two of us, roped into a concert that we were just kind of “meh” on to begin with. Jodus had to take a few hours off of work since the concert started at 4pm over in Seattle. We debated our options (walk across the ferry and bus or cab it to the arena, drive onto the ferry and try to find parking, or drive around the Sound and try to find parking), weighing the different costs and time and convenience factor. It was an ordeal. Many emails were exchanged. We were probably being slightly dramatic about transportation to and from the concert but in our defense, we were also aggravated by an unforeseen and very costly car repair (hello, new clutch!) on husbands car. We ended up driving onto the ferry, boating for an hour, then driving up to Queen Anne (Key Arena for you locals). We arrived at our seats around 4:30 and things still hadn’t gotten started which was fine.

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(Can we not talk about my freshly cut bangs, please? Ugh.)

The first band we saw was Group Love – I’d never heard of them. It was impossible to understand the lyrics but the lead singer had a really interesting voice. Overall, I was uninspired.

(I should mention here that I’m by no means a music connoisseur. If it isn’t on mainstream radio, I probably haven’t heard of it. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate good music or smaller, lesser known bands.)

The second band was Two Door Cinema Club. I really liked a couple of their songs and really didn’t like a couple of their songs but at least they elicited some emotion out of me. They had a lot of energy, maybe a little too much – the lead singer looked like he was having an epileptic fit with the tambourine.

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At this point (6pm), we decided to seek out some dinner. We debated the Arena food or leaving for a restaurant. Huz was in the mood for drinking and I wasn’t in the mood to pay $9 for a shitty beer at the arena so we left. We ended up at Buckley’s for a (not so) quick dinner. It was greasy and delicious and I downed two cosmos and a 5HE. Our dinner excursion ate up over an hour so we missed Young the Giant and Foster the People (major bummer because I know I actually like some of their stuff).

We came in at the start of Cage the Elephant and we were pleasantly surprised. I loved Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked and Shake Me Down. They were high energy and the lead singer was obviously a showman and did a fair share of crowd surfing. Occasionally, his voice was a little grating but overall, I was pretty stoked with the performance.

After a pretty long set change, Death Cab for Cutie made its appearance. This band was the one I was most familiar with and most excited about. And it fell totally flat. I was so disappointed. They were obviously having some technical difficulties but even still, the vocals were very weak and overall, it was a giant snoozefest. Everything sounded kinda the same. I did enjoy Summer Skin and Soul Meets Body but other than that? Um, no. It’s a shame too because we were riding the high from Cage the Elephant and by this time, almost 10pm, we felt like the life was just being sucked out of us. And it was our bedtime. But we toughed it out.

Mumford and Sons came on just after 10pm. I liked them a lot but I must say, it was quite the adjustment going from indie/American rock to a more folk rock. It seemed better suited for an Irish Pub than a large arena. That being said, we really enjoyed them, they were quite harmonious, it was just didn’t seem to quite flow with the rest of the evening. I should have known when they started pulling out fiddles and cellos and had trombones!

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Overall, I give the night a C+. Worth nearly $200 after all costs on a Wednesday night? Not particularly. And we were hurting today, running on only 4 hours of sleep. Oh well, only live once, right?

Date Night

Last night, Jodus and I made our way into the city for a much needed date night – after me ditching him for a week for sunshine, we needed some quality time together doing something fun.

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We got into the city around 3pm and had the munchies so we stopped in at Pike Place Brewery for a pint of beer (stout for me, ipa for him) and a side of nachos that were amazing and almost spoiled our appetite for dinner but was totally worth it.

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We walked the streets of the city a bit, pleasantly surprised with the Christmas lights already donned on trees lining the streets. We did a little shopping – I scored a couple pairs of boots and my first ever pair of skinny jeans. It was actually kind of epic because we so rarely go shopping.

For dinner, we went to Purple, a swanky wine bar with a delicious looking menu. We saddled up at the bar since the wait for a table was over an hour. It actually worked out in our favor because the bartender was fabulous and we could easily bend her ear about the wines we were tasting.

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We started with flights of red wine – I selected the “A What From Where” flight that was very strange.

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Husband selected the “Spain” flight and definitely liked a couple.

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He liked the last one so much that we ended up ordering a bottle to go with our dinner.

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For dinner, I ordered the Gorgonzola and Pancetta pasta. It was very rich and amazing and makes me want to put walnuts in my pasta dishes.

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Huz ordered the Radicchio Pizza. He actually didn’t care for the flavor, no fault of the kitchen, so we switched.

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We finished off our meals by indulging in an Amaretto Flourless Chocolate Torte that was extremely decadent and I polished off most of the dish myself.

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Sufficiently stuffed to the gills, we slowly made our way back towards the ferry terminal. We had a little time to kill so we swung into fado for a drink and it just so happened to be 80’s night so now I have Tainted Love stuck in my head.

 

Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage 2011 Recap

Hands down, last weekend rocked! It was unlike anything I’ve experienced before! I have hundreds of pictures and thousands of details I want to share with you! But first, if you don’t know what Ragnar Relay is, check out this post.

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Thursday Night

4 car rides.
1 ferry ride.
2 wrong turns.
1 pit stop.
3 glasses of wine.
1 huge plate of spaghetti.
1 plunger turned hat.
5 hours of sleep.

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Friday Morning

5am wakeup call.
1 PBJ.
1.5 hour drive.
1 huge orange arch.
287 Team Number.
12 11 runners.
2 vans.
300+ teams.
100+ ridiculous costumes.
1 award for our “Double O’s” theme. {James Bond}

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The Beginning

9:15am.
6 legs.
5 runners.
5.4 miles for me.
56 minutes running straight into the wind.
1 roadkill.
1 sidewalk chalk message.
4 awesome cheerleaders.
2 horns acquired.
1 van decorated.

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Break One

1 beer.
2 fish tacos.
0 showers.
10 minute cat nap in the sun.

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The Middle

7:30pm.
6 legs.
5 runners.
4.1 miles for me.
42 minutes of twists and turns at dusk.
1 scary underpass.
3 roadkills.
1 sexy reflective vest and headlamp.

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Break Two

1 larabar.
2 girls in van.
3 boys in sleeping bags outside.
2 hours of “sleep”.

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The End

4:00am.
1 PBJ.
6 legs.
5 runners.
2.9 miles for me.
34 minutes of uphill.
1 roadkill.

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The Final Exchange

9:30am.
1 hot shower.
1 mimosa.
1 huge breakfast.
1 beer run.
4 awesome vanmates.
1 Van #2 runner sighting.

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The Finish Line

11 happy runners, reunited.
11 plastic martini glasses.
11 awesome medals.
2 crappy beers.
1 ridiculous husband Goldfinger.
1 sunburned wife Dr. Christmas Jones.
104 total roadkills for Van #1.

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Heading Home

2 ferry rides.
5 car rides.
1 bout of laughing until you cry.
1 handle of stout.
1 Milky Way Dark.
1 Dairy Queen Run.
1 pizza to go.
3 new friends (at least).

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Totals

197 miles – Blaine to Whidbey Island.
27:45:17 time running.
8:54 team pace.
12.4 personal miles in 2:12.
1 phenomenal experience.

See Jane Run–Seattle Half Marathon

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When I decided that I wanted to give a half marathon, and running, a real shot and was looking for a race that would be a good first race, the inaugural See Jane Run Seattle Half Marathon fit the bill – it wasn’t huge, the course was pretty flat, it was local, and at a time of year that decent running weather could be expected.

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Basically, I was looking for everything that Husband’s first half marathon was not. After spectating that event, I knew that running in Seattle, in November was not for me.

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Race day started out like all race days do: with an obscenely early wake-up call.

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To get to the race on time, we had to drive 45 minutes to the Bainbridge Island ferry, take the 5:20 boat across the water, then grab a cab up to Gasworks to be there for the suggested 6:30 packet-pickup time. The race didn’t start until 8 so I held off on eating breakfast until we were on the ferry.

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Breakfast on the go: PBJ + hard boiled egg. It did me good all through training and I wasn’t about to mess with a good thing.

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The ride over to the city was gorgeous and calming.

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We easily caught a cab and headed to the park. We were definitely early, but that’s fine by me. Less stress!

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We picked up our packets, checked our bag, pottied, then just hung out.

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Good thing we got the toilet out of the way…

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Yep, check out that line! The bathroom situation was the biggest complaint about this race but SJR has already taken note and promised to remedy the situation for next time.

The start came pretty quickly – no corrals or anything, just a big free for all. We hunkered in the middle somewhere.

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The first part of the race was really fast for me. Part of it was getting stuck in the mob of people on a pretty narrow path (maybe 5’ wide?) and part of it was dodging walkers. A couple miles in, I seemed to find my stride and kept a decent pace.

I had a shadow for the first 6 miles which was interesting. When we started out, Trina asked what we were planning on pacing at (I said 11:00 even though I was really shooting for 11:30) and she asked if we were running the whole thing (I said yes, even though I knew I would end up taking walking breaks). She asked if it was ok if she shadowed us – she liked hearing Huz rattle off our pace/time updates periodically. It definitely motivated me to stay strong longer, having her follow! I had a Gu at 5 miles and had a tummy ache at 6 so I started walking a bit and she took off and wished us luck. We jockeyed back and forth a bit but eventually, a blister got the best of her so she finished a few minutes behind us.

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The miles ticked by pretty quickly, even when my pace slowed by a bit. I noticed that when I run, I am looking at the ground in front of me a lot. I don’t take in my surroundings. I had no idea where we were when I would look up and would have husband help me get my bearings. Just thought that was interesting about myself.

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Mile 8, it started sprinkling. The rain kept pretty light until after I finished, then it started pouring. I was okay with that. Even with the rain, I poured water on myself at nearly every water station past the halfway point.

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{Last .1! Eye on the prize!}

I definitely started to hurt towards the end, but I think I was doing pretty good, considering. My hips started to ache first. Then my toes started to hurt (the tips of them).

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While I didn’t really care either way that it was a predominantly women’s race, I did find myself feeling really inspired by being surrounded by hundreds of women, all shapes, sizes, ages, abilities, personalities, all doing the same thing for their own reasons.

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In the entire race (a supposed 2,400 participants), there were only a dozen or so men running, and countless others spectating. And I am so incredibly thankful for this guy.

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I can say, with 100% confidence, that I would not have done as well as I did without him. Not only just on race day but for nearly every single training run (186 miles!). And for rest days. For literally pushing me up hills. For massaging my feet. For hitting the pavement at 5am with me. For giving me words of encouragement. And for giving me an ass kicking when I needed it.

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Mile splits:

1:10:45
2:9:55 (!)
3:10:16
4:10:34
5:10:33
{Gu shot}
6:11:06
7:11:21
8:12:16
9:11:38
10:11:47
11:12:09
12:11:52
13+.16: 13:35

Official finish time: 2:27:54, average pace: 11:15

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My super secret goal for this race was 2:30. When we ran 11.69 miles a couple weeks ago, I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it. When we ran 7 miles last week, I knew I could.

And I did.

And I’m really proud.

So what’s next?

Yes, I would do a half marathon again. Full marathon? Um, no thanks. Not now anyway. I would like to get some shorter distances in as well. I think I really like the 10k distance.

Would I do this half marathon again? Maybe. But right now, I’m leaning towards probably not unless some things change.

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There were a couple of out and backs on the course with a very narrow path. You could hardly have 4 people abreast (so 2 each direction) which made it difficult for passing. And that’s a shame too, because I really liked the lack of hills on the route. But we never ran on a fully closed road like we did at Rhody. That was pretty sweet.

But ending with champagne and chocolate? That’s pretty sweet too.

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Or just a giant pile of meat.

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Huz and I hit up Ipanema’s Brazilian grill place for all-you-can-eat meat and salads.  I definitely had about 5 of those plates worth.

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Don’t worry. I ate some veggies too. And drank beer.

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Heading home was bittersweet. All that hard work and training was over so quickly.

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How am I feeling afterward? A little beat up. My quads and hips hurt walking upstairs. My toes hurt which is probably the strangest thing. I had some very minor chafing on my inner arm. Mostly, I’m just tired but I guess a day like that will do it to you. The game plan right now is to rest up hard until Ragnar which starts on Friday… but more on that later.

I’m a Half Marathoner!

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Well, I didn’t die! I actually did pretty darn good! I’m pretty beat at the moment but I’ll be back in a day or two with a full recap. (Also want to wait to see how long the official pictures will take to be up!)

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Psst! I tweeted the results already!