Friday, May 17, 2013

Inspiring Hope 5K/10K Race Recap - May 11, 2013

Wow!!!  I recently participated in the 10K part of the Inspiring Hope Race on May 11, 2013 in Mukilteo, WA.  My friend Penny Kellam sure knows how to put on a top notch race! (I met Penny in 2002 when I was part of her Kindred Spirits Team and walked the Seattle Breast Cancer 3 Day).

Let me begin with package pick up... early package pick up was available at a small shoe store called Shoes and Feet in Everett - for a few days the week prior to the event.  What a great idea!   This was so convenient for my schedule to check the days the store would have the packets available and then zoom on down to pick up my packet a few days before the busy weekend.  They also had pick up available on race day but I like to pick up early if I can.  It is how I roll.   I neglected to take a picture of the contents (bad blogger) of the package but it was chock full of goodies.  Along with the race number and timing chip... there were valuable local coupons, fruit bar sample, sample deodorant (hint hint), and some flyers from some of the sponsors.  Good stuff.  I did manage one photo of the number, my shirt, and race day necessities...

Then came race morning... I live about 40 minutes driving time north of Mukilteo, WA... I got up about 6am, dressed and made the easy drive south.  I arrived to pink signs and ladies dressed up in lots of pink directing traffic at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo.  Plenty of parking!  I walked on over to the Commons building to where the little mini 'Expo" was being held. 

I had my race number already (of course) but if I had not there were tables set up and clearly marked where to get anything you were looking for. m I did still need to pay for my race shirt which was an extra $15 on top of the registration for the race.  Well worth it... a really nice tech shirt in a lovely blue color.  it went well with my Team Sparkle skirt!  I need to mention that most of the races I participate in near home... I am usually the lone sparkle skirt wearer.  Not this race!  I found some fellow runDisney runners (and walkers) and several gals sporting the Team Sparkle!  I made some new friends and it was awesome!

It was nearing 9am and it was time for the race to start... after a bit of warm up hosted by somebody from a nearby fitness business (sorry I don't remember who that was) the 10K runners were off.  Oh - that was me!  They started the 5K runners/walkers slightly after the 10K runners.  I appreciated this  - there were a lot of participants... strollers, dogs, people intending to walk.  It was nice to have them have their own pace group and the runners have their own group.  

We were off... the route was beautifully marked... fluorescent arrows showing us the way.  The uneven bumps in the sidewalk and pavement were marked with chalk and there were crossing guards at every street crossing... they had thought of everything!  This course was a little hillier than I am used to so that posed a little personal challenge at times but my finish time was still very similar to my other 10K finishes.  I felt good about that!  The course was pretty and the weather was perfect.  It had been a little overcast that morning and even spit a few raindrops... but at race time the sun was peeking out and it even got a bit warm towards the end.  The only real (little) complaint i would have about the course is that nearing the end the 10K route merged with the 5K route and I don't think a lot of the 5K walkers really realized they needed to stay to the right.  A few times I had to yell out "Please move to the right" as walkers (with dogs and strollers) were walking 4 and 5 abreast.  I was pouring on a little steam at the end and it was a little bothersome to come around a bend and have to slow beacuse of walkers blocking.   Not a huge deal overall but a little one for me.

This 10K had beautiful finisher medals for everyone (even the 5K walkers)!  Not any of the 10Ks I have done to date had that!  I was pleasantly surprised by that!

Thank you Penny for an amazing experience!  I had fun and was honored to help raise some funds for the cause!

Here are a few more photos from the event...

Penny and I after I finished!  Thanks again Penny!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Runnerversary - One year of running!

 One year of running!  Just about a year ago I saw this photo in a magazine...

photo courtesy of runDisney

 and I decided I was going to incorporate running into my life style...   In 2009 I had lost over 65 pounds with Weight Watchers (with little or no physical activity).  During 2010 & 2011 I had let some of that weight creep back (about 1/2 of it!)... I needed something to do - to be active!  I wanted to run the Tinkerbell Half 2013 Marathon at Disneyland and then just keep going after that!

So... about a year has gone by and as of TODAY - here are my race numbers and finisher medals.  I have finished - 1 - 15K race (9.3 miles), 1 - 5 miler, 5 - 5K races (3.1 miles each), 5 - 10K races (6.2 miles each), 2  - Half Marathons (13.1 miles each)!  WOW!

I am going to post a ton of photos and just let them speak for my accomplishment!  I am so proud of myself!  Thank you to my family for showing up at most of these and supporting "Mommy running on the treadmill and all over town"!  I love you!

This photo was taken before any of the races and one of the first times I "went for a run"!  Nice photo...

My first race - September 2012 - Fairhaven 15K

 Tinkerbell Half Marathon - January 2013

 My other Half Marathon - Heroes Half - April 2013
Neverland 5K at Disneyland in January 2013

I have lots of plans for more races and have registered for 2 more half Marathons and will be returning to California in January of 2014 for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon!  Can't wait!

** and with the activity came the 2nd weight loss... most of that "gain back" is gone now... just a few pounds to go!

Race Recap - Heroes Half - Everett, WA 04-28-13

Okay - I didn't finish last.  

On Sunday - April 28th - the morning began early (not as early as a runDisney Race but early all the same).  I woke up, got ready and drove down to Everett from our home which took me about 25 minutes (door to parking lot).  Lots of other participants were already there and making there way to the start area.  I parked and made my way to the nice flush toilet restrooms nearby.  It was a little cold and had rained a bit on my drive south.  The restroom even had a hand dryer which was a good warm up.    I had no idea what to expect on number of participants... I knew this would be bigger than any of the runs I had done in Arlington but would it rival Bellingham?  It did... big numbers... I think almost 800 people participated. 

It was cold... and had been raining.  I brought my hat but chose at the last minute to leave it in the car. (bad choice)  I did bring along my thin running jacket (not waterproof).  Note to self - buy a good water proof running jacket - you live and run in the Pacific Northwest silly!  

I walked the short distance to the staging area.  They did not organize anyone into corrals for this race.  They did ask for people who categorized themselves as "walkers" intending to walk the Half Marathon to begin at 7:30am.  

 Photo courtesy of Heroes Half Facebook page
After a little military fan fare and a pre-race warm up - (this race was benefiting Military Families and honoring First responders) - the walkers were off.  There were two distances represented... 10K and Half Marathoners... all of us began together.  This course was an out and back along the Everett waterfront and then down the flats on the Northbound side of Hwy 529 (which was closed for the race).  There were volunteers holding signs to stage the runners... per minute mile signs.  They asked for anyone who intended to run faster than a 7 minute mile to line up at the front and then the higher the number the farther back you should start.  It seemed like a free for all to me.  Whatever.  The 10K participants were all mixed in... at the 5K mark they turned and started back and the Half participants kept moving north until Marysville.  

When we reached Marysville they had a few loops through a few business parks and then a longer loop at the water treatment plant.  One of the groups of volunteers had constructed a balloon arch for the "half way point"... a really nice touch and good to know you were half way!

  Photo courtesy of Heroes Half Facebook page

I was also pleasantly surprised to see my family just before this arch... I wasn't expecting them to show up... it was cold and had been raining earlier.  The first half of the race the rain had stopped - so when I saw my husband - I gave him my jacket.  (mistake)

These are not the best photos but I was excited to see my kids and my great husband!  At this point of the race (half way) I was excited that I was doing it... running a "real" half marathon!  I had run the Tinkerbell Half at Disneyland in January but this was a real test - away from Disney and in the real world.  I had kind of convinced myself that maybe the Disney miles were not "real" miles.

As I started back towards Everett I began to regret the decision to hand my husband my jacket.  The rain began to come down again... not just a drizzle.  It was full on raining.  My hands were so cold that I just couldn't feel my fingers anymore.  At one point I was messing with my Gymboss interval timer... it clips on like a small pager.  I could not for the life of me even pinch it hard enough to clip it back on my arm band.  I had to ask a nice lady at one of the water stops to clip it back on.  Thanks - who ever you were.  

Other than being a bit cold... and swollen hands I was feeling alright.  I had changed my intervals to 1:30/1:00 by about mile 10... which was fine for me.  I had a goal to try and finish faster than I had done the Tinkerbell.  My time at the Tinkerbell had been 3 hours and 4 minutes.  So I would be happy with anything under 3 hours.  As I hit Mile 10 my music beeped in my ear... I had been using my music shuffle directly on my phone and realized that my battery was spent.  I hadn't thought about it but using the music along with my Nike+ app was too much for my battery.  My phone died at about 10.30 miles.  Dang... so much for recording my 2nd Half on my Nike+!  Oh well.  So I ran in the last 3 miles with no music.  

I paced myself with some other runners ahead of me and without their knowledge they "pulled" me in.  I felt great at the finish!  My family was there and yelling - Go MOM!  I had done it!  Half Marathon #2 in the record books!  The big news... my finish time - 2 hours and 42 minutes!  I had crushed my Tinkerbell time! 

After the finish they held a Kid's Race which all three of my kiddos participated in and loved.  It was a bit far for my 4 year old (I think they ran over a mile) but they all made it and received their medals too!

Loved running the Heroes half in Everett, WA!!!  I can't believe I have 2 Half Marathon Medals hanging in my house now!  I did that!
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