Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Racerversary! Run in a race... Ha... I said I would never do that!

On September 8th, 2012... I ran in my very first race.  I had participated as a walker in some 5Ks before and even walked 60 miles in 3 days to raise money for Breast Cancer Research back in 2002. But actually run in a race... I would have laughed in your face if you had told me I would be doing this prior to 2012!   I had lost a lot of "baby weight" (about 65 pounds) after I had my 3rd baby in 2008 using Weight Watchers ... I had reached my goal weight without any exercise to speak of in September of 2009.  BUT... slowly over the next year I had gained back about half of that number.  So I knew I needed to do something... I wanted to make a life change!  I knew diet paired with exercise was the answer!  What was my motivation to even consider running and get started... originally it was to run in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland in January of 2013.  I was focused!  I could see that pink castle... I was going to do it!  

I can only dream that these were my legs and that is my backside... alas this is not me.

Now... looking back I probably should have picked a nice 5K... a cute short race with a fun t-shirt as a perk as my baptism into the world of running.   Nope... not me... I dove right into the deep end and registered for a 15K  (yes - that is 9.3 miles)!  So last September after just a few short months of training I showed up in the morning in Bellingham just north of where we live.   It was a nice cool morning and off we went.  As the race morning wore on the sun came out and it warmed up.  Fast forward to the last 2 miles... it was WARM... super warm for me.  I made it to that finish line but mentally I wanted to QUIT the last 2 or so miles.  BUT - I made it and successfully finished my first race as a REAL runner!
This is a photo of me after the finish of the Fairhaven 15K in 
Bellingham, WA on September 8th, 2012.  

I can't believe it was a year ago... crazy!   I have a lot more race experience under my belt now.  
2012 completed

Fairhaven Waterfront 15K - Bellingham, WA -  Sept 8, 2012

Poulsbo Marathon (I did the 10K) - Poulsbo, WA - October 14, 2012

Shoebox Run 10K  - Arlington, WA - October 20, 2012

Santa Dash 5K - Stanwood, WA - December 8, 2012

Toys for Tots 10K - Arlington, WA - December 8, 2012

2013 completed

runDisney - Neverland 5K - Anaheim, CA - January 19, 2013

runDisney - Tinkerbell Half Marathon - Anaheim, CA - January 20, 2013

River and Rails 10K/5K (doing the 10K) - Arlington, WA - March 23, 2013

Sandy Hook Run for the Families 5K - Virtual Runner - March 2012

River and Rails 10K/5K (10K) - Arlington, WA - March 23, 2013

Hippity Hop 5K - Stanwood, WA - March 30th, 2013

Super Hero 5K - Benefits Kids to summer camp - Bellingham, WA - April 13, 2013

Heroes Half Marathon - Everett, WA - April 28, 2013

Inspiring Hope 10K - Everett, WA - May 11, 2013

Walk and Roll 10K - Arlington, WA - May 18, 2013

Boston Solidarity 10K Run - Arlington, WA - June 8, 2013

See Jane Run Half Marathon - Seattle, WA -  July 14, 2013

Refuse to Abuse 5K - Seattle, WA - Safeco Field - July 20, 2013

Columbia Winery 10K - Woodinville, WA - Aug 17, 2013

Run A Muk 10K - Mukilteo, WA - Aug 24, 2013

I will definitely approach this race again with a different mind set.  I will most likely be a lot more calm at the start... have a little more fun as I run... and also be aware of the hills towards the end and not be intimidated by them.

Yep - on September 14th - I will run the Fairhaven 15K again.  Wow... a whole year has gone by!  

So on September 14th - Happy Racerversary to me!!!  I used to laugh out loud at people who ran... now I am one of those runners.  I am addicted to what running does for me... how I feel... my time for me.  I am actually grumpy when I don't get my run in when I had planned.  Who is this person?  Wow!

PS - I still have the Disney motivation... but some of my motivation is also... lifestyle, healthy body, good example for my children, and something for ME.

And... I did run the Tinkerbell Half Marathon and wrote about HERE and I am going back in 2014 to run it again!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Arrrr.... Run for yer lives Mateys! Run A Muk 10K August 24th 2013

DISNEY... not a big shock that I love all things Disney!  

Especially Disneyland!  If you were to ask me what one of my favorite attractions there... it would have to be Pirates of the Caribbean!  So... when I heard about this fun "pirate themed" race not too far from home... I was totally in!  The Run A Muk race takes place in Mukliteo, WA and is a part of the annual Lighthouse Festival.  

I regularly wear a sparkle skirt from Sparkle Athletic (newly renamed - used to be Team Sparkle) to my races but I have not braved a full costume at any races.  This race was different... pirates!   A white cotton t-shirt was provided with the race fee but for $10 additional I chose to upgrade to the tech shirt! It was a perfect choice... then I dug through my kids' costume boxes and came up with something simple that I thought would be fun and not "get in my way" of concentrating on just doing my best at the race.  I didn't end up running with the sword.  The hat did stay on the entire race... it was awesome!

My friend Carrie was running her FIRST 10K at this one as a part of her training for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland this January!  

We arrived fairly early at the beautiful waterfront area in Mukilteo (Muck - ill - tee - o) - it was about a 40 minute drive from up north where we live.  I had picked up our bibs the day before so we didn't need to check in.  The weather was overcast and cool.  After we arrived the Northwest "misters" began and the fine rain started to come down.  We had good company hovering under the eaves of the Community Center near where the start line was.

The race began at 8am and before we knew it we were lining up and ready to go!  The course itself was a bit more hilly than I prefer but overall it was a good course that was superbly supported by volunteers.  I think I counted 4 water stops and that is amazing for a 10K!  I was somewhat familiar with this area... about 10 years ago I participated in the Susan G Komen 3 Day 60 mile walk and many of the training walks I had participated in were in this area.

The weather stayed cool but the rain didn't stick around so that was a good thing.  I was able to finish in my standard 10K time frame that I felt good about considering the hilly course.  As soon as I crossed the finish line I turned in my timing chip and started to retrace the route and find Carrie!  I am so proud of her accomplishment and her positive attitude no matter what it took to cross that line!  She did it!

There were the awards following the finish for the more "elite" participants... after they were done I wanted to grab the microphone and announce my friend's finish of her FIRST 10K! She did awesome!

So proud of her! 

This is definitely a race I would do again!  Thanks Run A Muk!

Do you like to race in costume?  

Full on costume or just alter your regular running attire?

If you like to "dress up" for races... what has been your favorite costume so far?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Columbia Winery 5K and 10K for Seattle Children's Hospital

Bright and early on Saturday August 17th my friend Carrie and I headed down to Woodinville, WA to participate in a benefit run for Children's Hospital which was being held and hosted by the Columbia Winery.  Formally known as the the "Covey Run" this 10K / 5K event is now known as the Columbia Winery Run and Walk.  Click HERE to see their HOME page.

The weather promised perfection for running (cooler and overcast) on this August morning in the Northwest.  I was participating in the 10K and Carrie was ready for the 5K option.  We had taken one small wrong turn on the way and ended up arriving about 15 minutes prior to the 10K start. We opted for the race day pick up of our bibs and bags... we cut it rather close to the 10K start time and I was ready to pay $10 for someone's place in the potty line... but we made it.

 I didn't carry my camera on the run but I thought to myself a few times why anyone who lived in the area would be crazy not to use the beautiful trail that we followed for the 10K course.  HERE is the link to the 10K course.  The first mile and a half to the 5K turnaround was along Hwy 202 and basically followed an industrial park.  As I ran past the 5K turnaround sign I though how sad for the 5K participants to only have the industrial park as their scenery.  Sad.  On the flip side... here are some photos of the Sammamish River Trail compliments of Google Images.  Most of the 10K course followed along this beautiful trail.

The course was flat and I would like to say fast... maybe for some but I kept with my run/walk/run ratios and finished with a pretty predictable time that I have for my 10Ks.

Following the finish the race organizers held the kid's dash and drawings for many goodies that were donated by businesses and individuals.  I was drawn for a cute jar of hair ties that I knew my 6 year old daughter would be just giddy for!  We also noticed that every child that was there received a full size Disney stuffed animal... WOW!

We had a really fun time at this race.  Worth the extra drive time for sure!

 Participating in the race also included a discount inside the Winery if you desired. 

Coming up next Saturday... Run - A - Muk 10K in Mukilteo, WA!!!  (Carrie's 1st 10K)

Do you have a favorite place to run with beautiful scenery? 

Have you participated in a run at a unique place before?  Where was it?


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Throw Back - Remembering the runDisney Meet Up Tinkerbell Half Weekend - January 18, 2013

What is a runDisney Meet Up???

My friend Krissy explains and then shows how they work and how in the world you get to be a part of one of them...  CLICK  HERE to see what Krissy has to say!

I made what I think is a really cool slide show mixed with photos I personally took and some that were taken by runDisney the morning of this awesome Meet Up!  If you would like to watch it CLICK BELOW... the photos are in order of how it all went down...

Lots of running... and stopping... and photo taking... and talking... and tweeting... and eating... so much fun!

Have fun watching!  If you prefer to view it in a larger screen just click on the "Slidely" word on the lower left corner.

runDisney Meet Up Tinkerbell 2013 by Slidely - Slideshow maker

Monday, August 12, 2013

Excuses... I have a ton of them... well 3 to be exact. #motherrunner

Excuses... I have a lot of them.  An easy one to keep me from my running outside are my three kids... cute as they are (especially when they were babies) their mere presence can limit my running choices.  (I have included photos of them as babies below... to prove the cute factor.)

Wyatt - 15 months
Makenna - 17 months
Luke - 18 months

I noticed on my NIKE+ app (the way I track my running) that I had been quite heavy on the treadmill use lately. Now... the treadmill is nice... lots of advantages to my stage of life.  The kids can play and watch movies while I sweat it out with the A/C and fans blowing on me.  But... from time to time I do need to get outside... I probably should also mention that my awesome husband is a Seattle commuter... so getting up early most days is not really an option either because he leaves for work REALLY early... like East Coast early.    We live about an hour north of Seattle.

A few weeks back I had an idea... I could run at our church and let the kids play at the playground.  They are old enough now to be trusted when I can't see them the entire time.  It is a safe place to be for all of us... (no real strangers around).  It gets them outside for some exercise.  They can bring bikes and follow me for parts of my run.  Nice restrooms inside for all of us if needed... a win win.  All except for the repeated scenery for me and the killer hill that I would have to go up each time I rounded the back corner.  Oh well... I would just play Kelly Clarkson "Stronger" over and over if I needed to.  So I tried it out a few weeks ago and it worked great!  

So we went there again today.  This time though my kids were fighting more than normal and more than one time when I came down the hill from the upper parking lot I was met with one of them whining or crying that someone else had "wronged them" in some way and I needed to intervene.  UGH!  Really.  I lost it a couple of times and told them to work it out themselves.   One time I came down and they were no where to be seen... had to hit pause again on my app and found them inside hitting up the receptionist for chocolate.  Really?  More lecturing about obeying and staying outside unless someone had to use the restroom.

It is hard enough to keep a consistent running schedule and train for Half Marathons alone not to mention put 3 kids in the mix.  Don't get me wrong... I love my cherubs.  

We are blessed beyond measure... cup runneth over and all of that.  My older 2 will be back to school in 22 days but who is counting... that will make scheduling runs a little easier.   Not to mention my youngest will be in Preschool 2 mornings a week.  I remember stressing out last year when I had to use the treadmill more that I had expected and thought it would affect my Half training.  It was fine and I will be fine.  I have a 15K on September 14th, a Half on Sept 29th, and another Half on October 14th... so the running continues. 
  Sometimes it might have to be round and round at the church parking lot.  No excuses though... #getitdone !  There are a ton of other excuses I could have included here... rain, rain, and more rain... (I do live in the Pacific Northwest)... too dark, I want to sleep, too hot, too cold, I am lazy, I don't feel like it, I need to go to Costco... and more.

Click HERE if you want to see how many times I went "round and round" to get 6.2 miles in!

What things tend to get in your way when you need to plan a run?

For those of you that are parents... and don't have a full time nanny... how do you creatively solve the "I need to run" factor?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

runDisney Mommy guilt... trips to Disney without my kids...

Okay let me explain... rewind to December of 2011... we had a glorious family trip to Disneyland.  We had saved for 2 1/2 years!  We took our oldest niece (who is in her 20s) along with us so we wouldn't kill each other while in the midst of the magic.  We had two rooms at our perfect off property hotel!   It was a fantastic, magical, and unforgettable trip!   

The kids, at that time were 7, 5, and 3... perfect for the magic!  The saddest part of the whole trip was waiting for the shuttle bus at the end of the whole thing and looking at my kids faces as they watched other families scurrying for the turnstiles and we... we were on our way home.  

 Waiting for the shuttle bus on Harbor Blvd... to take us to the airport... sniff sniff.

We have 3 kids... and basically a one income household.  It took some amazing creativity to save up for this trip.  Especially considering what we had been through financially in the 3 years prior to this trip.  (long story)  So it was amazing that we made it there at all!  We headed home with fireworks  sparkles in our eyes to start saving up again!
This is our bank that sits on the bar in our kitchen!  Every piece of spare change goes in it!

Fast forward now to the Spring of 2012... I made a big change in my life and started running to get in shape and lose some weight.  I had discovered in the Fall of 2011 this little thing called runDisney!  My main motivation to keep running and do more races was the chance to possibly go to Disneyland and run in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  I hadn't given it a ton of thought as to whether we would bring the kids or not when I finally went.  In the summer of 2012 the registration opened for the 2013 race and I registered.  About a week later after I had talked to my husband about a hundred times about how excited I was... I went back to the runDisney web site and registered my husband and myself the Neverland 5K as well.  I couldn't imagine going and not experiencing EVERYTHING the weekend had to offer us!  We decided that it would be too much in so many ways to try and make this a family trip.  So we decided we were going but the kids were not.  

I didn't feel too badly about this at first... I mean don't get me wrong... I would LOVE to take my kids to Disneyland as often as possible but realistically we live north of Seattle... this = $$$ folks.  Plane fare, hotel, FOOD, etc... it adds up people!  We knew that with the two of us going alone... we could cut some corners and get by fairly cheaply (for Disney standards).  We stayed off property... we didn't eat 3 squares a day... that alone saved us a ton!

The trip was amazing but so many times during the trip I caught myself being so grateful they weren't with us... it was crowded... so crowded in the Parks.  Especially the days following the race.  They would have driven us nuts and been somewhat miserable... it was HOT for January... like in the 80s during the day.  As adults we were LOVING this... but my poor little children who are used to the Seattle January weather would have been overheating. (How am I doing making up reasons for feeling better they weren't there?)  On the other hand there were MANY moments that I wished they WERE there.  That first ride on Radiator Springs Racers... oh my babies are going to LOVE this I thought!  (I almost cried on the ride imagining their little eyes dancing with the amazement).   

Single Rider line for Radiator Springs Racers

Seeing Carsland light up at dusk... oh I thought... they are going to LOVE this!   I could go on and on with moments we had that were so much fun that I wished they were all with us!  Having a kid free 5 days in the middle of the magic though was on the flip side amazing!  We wore out the "single rider" option on many attractions... something we wouldn't have been able to do as much if the kids had been with us.  We relived a bit of our Disneyland honeymoon (13 years ago) and ate at the Blue Bayou... and a big splurge we ate at Carthay Circle at DCA the night before we came home.  

Blue Bayou

Oh ... but constantly that guilt hovered in the background.  Not that I took a vacation without children... I think couples with children NEED to do that from time to time... but that we went to Disneyland without them.  I KNOW we are not the only ones out there to do this!  In my runDisney social media connections I have "met" many who travel solo to the parks... sans kids I mean.

So... here I am again... the Fall is looming. (I dislike the Fall... because Winter is after that and I really dislike Winters in Seattle)  When we returned last January from our amazing Racecation to Disneyland... my husband told me he wanted me to register for Tinkerbell 2014.  Really?  He knew it was important for me that I keep that goal out in front of me and have something to work towards.  It took me about a half of a second to say "OKAY!"  But my next thought was... oh no... I can't go AGAIN without the kids?  Can I?  Is that fair to them... see Carsland AGAIN when they haven't even been once.  (The sad thing is my youngest son who is now 5 thinks he has been to Carsland because we watch the Carsland attractions on youtube a lot) Once again - we live north of Seattle... my oldest son (who is now 9) has been to Disneyland 3 times in his short 9 years.  

My oldest at 21 months with some friends... (circa Dec 2005)

My oldest at 3 yrs old and now sister who was 15 mos at the time... (circa July 2007) 

My oldest at 7 yrs old, daughter now 5, and youngest son 3 yrs old (circa Dec 2011) 

MANY of our Northwest friends think this is quite excessive!  They are shocked when they learn this and can't believe it really.  Are you kidding me?  I was born in Anaheim after all... I can't and wouldn't Disney deprive my own children.  I will take them at every opportunity!

BUT... here I am planning another Disneyland trip without them.  This time my husband is going to stay home in Washington with the kids and I am going with a group of other moms who are also participating in the Tinkerbell Half Marathon weekend.  (all of them leaving children at home too) I am sad the kids aren't going... but this isn't the right trip to take them.  Money wise at least... 

Crowds will be thick... we can't afford an entire family trip at this point... If we lived closer to Southern California it would make more sense... we would go more often and it wouldn't such a big deal to go once or even twice sans the kids.   So I deal with the Mommy guilt again... we WILL go again as a family... we are saving for it.  

Hoping for the Spring of 2015... seems like an eternity from now.

If you have children do you do "fun" vacations without them?  

If you have children and do runDisney races... do you go solo or make the race weekends a family affair?

Chime in if you go solo and leave your kiddos at home... I need to know I am not the only one doing this... and living with a bit of guilt!

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