Thursday, July 25, 2013

Want to go running sometime? Uh ... actually no.

Yep... it happened again today... a friend that is also a runner said to me... "We should go running sometime."  Almost immediately I had a lump in my throat and I was doing everything I could do to be polite and just nod... and say... "Yes... maybe sometime."

This is me in this photo...running a 10K near our home in Washington State.

I have been running consistently for over a year now and I have learned some things abut myself in my short time as a "real" runner.  I like to run alone.  Actually I LOVE to run alone.  I have a busy family with 3 young kids.  My running time (even if it is on my treadmill with my headphones on) is my escape... my "ME" time.   I know that running can be a very social activity.  I am addicted to formalized races and the atmosphere that surrounds them.  Running groups and organized runs are just about everywhere you look.  One of my sisters who has been a runner for most of her adult life almost always runs with at least one friend.  I have not found this to be helpful for me.  Actually it stresses me out.  I don't enjoy it.  I tend to be worrying all the time about my pace being too slow for the other runner or maybe I am too fast (probably not the case).  What if they don't like the route I chose ... what if I want to walk and they think I am a wussy... what if they want to walk and I don't... oh it just stresses me out!

 This is not me in the photo... hard to take a photo of yourself if you usually run alone.

 I LOVE doing organized races but I LOVE to do them alone.  Now... if you have done any organized races you would probably tell me that you are not alone when you participate in those.  Actually you are...  I don't feel like I have to talk to anyone I know and my only pace setter... is me.  I have done 2 races in my running career with other people.    I ran a 10K last October with one of my sisters.  We had never run or trained together ahead of time.  She does not run with walk/run intervals like I do.  She agreed she would stick with me and do the intervals with me for this one run.  It was fine... the race went well... she ran ahead at times and then finished about 5 minutes ahead of me.  All good. 

My husband ran with me at the Neverland 5K at Disneyland .  It was fun... again we had never really run together before.  (He doesn't really run at all) We learned pretty quickly that our strides are MILES apart.  I could not keep up with him stride for stride.  We figured out a system fairly quickly that worked for this short race.  He would run ahead until he needed a walk break where then I would catch up and run with him for just a little bit and then he would run ahead again.  We never really lost sight of each other and finished quickly.  We were able to get those pictures we wanted together.  As for the running part... we ran independently but finished strong together!  It was loads of fun! (How can you not have fun at Disneyland?) 

Doing the races as a one time thing was okay... but not my favorite.

I read an article recently that totally explained how I feel about solo running.  For lack of just retyping what this person said I will post it HERE.

So does this make me an incredibly antisocial person in the running world?  (if you ever see me at a race don't talk to me... ha ha)  I am actually quite an outgoing person and love talking and lots of friends in other areas of my life. 

But for running... I will just say it... I love the "alone time" - me and the open road or me and my treadmill with my earphones in and I can go to that place of being alone (even when all 3 of my kids are in the room).

Do you like to run with others?  What is your favorite part about it?

Are you a solo runner like me?  What do you love about running alone?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Play Ball! Run a 5K through a Baseball Stadium!

Last Saturday evening the 20th of July I got to do something not everyone gets to do!  Run a 5K through a major league baseball stadium!  SAFECO Field in Seattle was holding it's 2nd annual "Refuse to Abuse" 5K to benefit the Mariner's Care - Refuse to Abuse.  I missed last year's Inaugural running of the Refuse to Abuse 5K but I won't miss it again!  This race was so unique and fun!

I drove down to get to Seattle to get there with enough time to pick up my bib and get organized.  My 7 year old daughter came with me... she is too young to run this year (you have to be 8)... but friends of ours were also coming and had offered that she could hang out with her husband and younger son while we were participating.   

She would have to wait until next year.  We stopped at bib pick up and I easily got my bib, shirt, and goodie bag.  The gal that helped us even let my daughter have a goody bag too because she had wanted to run so badly.  So nice.  Below is a picture of the package pick up area.

We met our friends and waited around for the big line up!   So much fun to run into some runners I have met through the #teamrundisney group on Facebook and also from participating in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend last January at Disneyland.  If you want to read about the Tinkerbell Half... click HERE.  Especially fun to see my friend Rachel who lives here and I had met at Disneyland last January.  Here is fun split photo of the 2 of us.  One side is from last January in CARSLAND and the other from this race.  Isn't she adorable?!  Another friend - Kristi was there too but alas... no photo.

We gathered for some photos and waited around for the line up and the start.

The race started at 7pm... and we were off!   Here are some photos from the race...
Looking across to the parking structure.  I can't take the credit for this photo... I found it on Facebook.

Running this race was really unique... we began on the ground level on the south side of the parking structure... circled the stadium and then entered the stadium on the south side again and circle the concourse... felt so good running through the cool shade of the main part of the stadium.  Once we had circled the stadium once the route led us across the foot bridge to the parking structure.  The route then circled the 2nd to the top level of the parking garage and then proceeded to the top level.  It was warm and slightly humid that evening.  After completing the circles of the parking structure the route brought us back into the stadium and up to "Suite" level.  The route had us run right through the "Hit it Here" Cafe' and the through the hallways that lead through to the Suites.  Before we hit the hallway I was looking forward to air conditioning... nope... it was VERY stuffy and warm in the suite hallways.  Oh well.  We continued across the west side of the stadium and then down the spiral ramps to the field level.  The course then led us through the long wide hallway that is by the club level... past the team locker room and gym.  Then out on the warning track of the field by right field.   Led us along the warning track past home plate and then to the finish by 3rd base!  It was so awesome!

My friend Carrie finishing strong! 

A group of us after the finish!  This race was so much fun!   A nice medal for a 5K and a terrific time!  A sure thing for next year's race schedule!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

See Jane Run Half Marathon - July 14, 2013

Summertime Greetings All -

I have taken a bit of a summer hiatus from writing... not from running though.  
Coming back with a review of a terrific Half Marathon I participated in recently.  See Jane Run is a race series that visits many cities across our country.  On July 14th, 2013 the See Jane Run Race Series was in Seattle.
My friend Carrie and I had signed up!  Carrie for the 5K distance and I had signed up for Half Marathon.  (You might have seen Carrie in some of my other race posts and will see her in future posts... she is a friend and is also training to participate in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland in January 2014. You can read about my experiences at Tink Weekend in January of 2013 here, here, and here.)  
We made our way down to Seattle on Saturday the 13th to attend the Race Expo.  The Expo was held at a downtown hotel called the "W" Hotel.  Originally I had planned to make a family day of it and attend the Expo together.  A few days prior our plans changed and Carrie and I decided to just go down without our families.  I am so glad we did that.  The Expo was MUCH smaller than I had anticipated.  We had our bibs and shirts in about 5 minutes and were able to shop through the other booths quite quickly... seriously it took us about 10 minutes to see everything.  I didn't expect it to be like a runDisney run Expo but I did expect it to be bigger then it was.  Oh well.  Our tech shirts that we received for participating were really nice quality and a great color too.  This is a photo of the front of the shirt.
Carrie and I had also decided that driving all the way home on Saturday and then rising early on Sunday morning for the races would be much easier to execute if we were staying a bit closer to the action so we had made hotel reservations just a little north of Seattle to make our Sunday morning go a little more smoothly.  It was awesome!  After we had done our quick Expo stop we headed back up to our hotel and did a little shopping at the mall.  Both Carrie and I have busy young families so shopping with just the two of us with no children was a rare treat.

After our restful night at the hotel we were up early and headed south to Gas Works Park in Seattle for the Bag check and the start.  The weather was awesome and it staged the day to be great!   Below are some great shots we took prior to the race start.

There were quite a few people there and participating so as you can see from Carrie's photo ablove the lines for the porta pottys were long... but quick.  The 5K had 509 participants (502 females and 7 men)... The Half Marathon had 1,002 participants (976 females and 26 men)... obviously a race that was geared mostly towards women.  The Half Marathon began at 8am... soon it was time to line up and hear the start gun.  There were no formal corrals but they did have volunteers holding "wave signs" to have people line up with the appropriate sign that lined up with your anticipated minute per mile pace.  After the elites took off - it seemed it was a free for all... The second wave just kept going and I hope the 3 volunteers holding the wave signs didn't get carried away.  This Half course was beautiful and fairly flat.  The 5K start was at 8:30am and followed a bit of the same course as the first 3 miles of the Half course.  Here are some shots from the Half course.

The Half Marathon course basically circled Lake Union with sweeping views of Seattle and the Space Needle.   The finish line was back at Gas Works Park and was spectacular!  At the finish I received my finisher medal...
Carrie had run the 5K so she had been waiting for me (in the shade) at the Post Race Expo.  They had lots of fun things to see and do post race!  They had a photo booth that was FREE with props and fun! 
Besides the finisher medals and shirts... we also received a champagne glass with the See Jane Run logo etched on it.  And... they had a little fenced off "garden" area with one glass of free champagne for each participant!

We had a great time and enjoyed the SEE JANE RUN Race series!
Here are some photos to end it... definitely a race I would LOVE to do again!

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