Thursday, June 26, 2014

My 10th Half and other things...

This might be a race review and some reflection...

This past weekend I finished my 10th Half Marathon... that is super crazy considering I had never even finished any sort of race before the Fall of 2012.  But... I did do that... finished 10. 

This race took place down in Carnation, WA... slightly over a hour drive from where I live.  I didn't know anyone else participating so I made the drive alone.  The Half was set to begin at 9am (with a 10K starting at 9:30) and this was the Inaugural year for this race so I had no idea what to expect.  I knew that this race wasn't set to be huge... the Seattle Rock and Roll Race series was happening the same morning.  I picked this one because it seemed to be much more up my alley.  Smaller... more of a country setting... and lets face it the medal was just much better then the Rock and Roll one (in my opinion).  Lets compare...
First ... here is the Rock and Roll medal

Then this is the Snoqualmie Valley Half medal I earned...

All a matter of opinion but I like the one I got better.  I feel a bit sorry for the folks earning this years medal at the Rock and Roll.  Other years the medal has been much more attractive.  I will give it clever but not super cool.

Back to the race.  I wasn't sure what to expect on arrival so I gave myself lots of extra time.  I actually arrived at the parking area over a hour before race time.   The hike to the staging area was significant but doable.   Most of this course took place on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail beginning at King County's Tolt MacDonald Park.  I believe the cap for the Half was 300... and the race was full.  No folks were allowed day of Race registration.    There weren't any corrals or anything fancy... no pacers... they just announced the line up about 10 minutes prior and then had a countdown.  We were off. 

The course was advertised as Flat and Fast.  Yeah... right.  It seemed like it should be but as my friend with a Garmin noted afterwards the first 7 miles had a significant uphill grade.  I was sure feeling that by mile 12.  I enjoyed this course though having it not be on any kind of open roads and mostly neatly tucked away on a Park Trail.  The course was wide and open... mostly covered by trees.  I missed a PR by a few minutes... and I am blaming that on the "gradual incline of the first 7 miles".  It was fun though and definitely a course I would consider again!

My friend Penny and I at the finish.  I have been doing this running thing for a little while now and even though I went down alone... I always seem to run into someone I know now.

I wore my Pro Compression socks for this race... during the race.  I think I did notice a difference in how my legs felt.  Especially the 2nd half of the race.  I think I my have to add to my collection of these.  I had previously only used them for post race recovery.  I like how they made me feel less fatigued.   

Do you go to races alone?  Or prefer to make it a fun outing with friends?

Compression Socks during a race?  Yes or no?

Friday, June 6, 2014

It is official! I am crazy... I signed up for my 10th Half Marathon!

So... I have been going back and forth over signing up for this next race... for a while now... there were lots of reasons not to sign up... 

- too far of a drive on race morning
- company in town for week prior (although they leave the day before)
- waited too long to register and now I have to pay the big bucks
- the half doesn't start until 9am and that is late in the morning for me... gonna be warm by the time I finish #iamslow
- no one I know is registered and going
- maybe I will die... ha ha
- blah blah blah

I finally just didn't let myself think about it... made sure it was okay with the husband (he has to be home with the kids) and pulled the trigger.

This is what finally sucked me in... 

Yep... I am a bling whore... (For those of you non running friends that just gasped at that title... it just means someone who is highly motivated by the medals... that is all.  I am not turning tricks at races.)

I actually had already signed up for my 10th Half Marathon... that race is in late September... now... that will be my 11th... I am officially crazy.  I am also now part of the Half Fanatics... I qualified for that crazy group last Fall when I did 2 half Marathons within 2 weeks of each other...  I haven't quite figured out all of the benefits of belonging to this group yet except for the shout outs you get from other fanatics when you wear their gear... Here I am (with my friend Melissa) at the last Half I did wearing the gear...I got a lot of high fives and shout outs!  Fun!

What a journey this has been so far... I have gone farther, run faster, (sometimes slower but who cares), accomplished distances I never thought I could, spent lots of hours on the treadmill, said no to lots of outings, lost a few pounds, and added a medal rack to my bedroom decor, inspired my children, impressed my husband, and yes... surprised myself!  There are lots more things I could say about where this running/walking journey is taking me.  It has opened up friendships with new people... but caused some old friendships to wither.  I am okay with that.  As we morph and change... life changes.  I like who I am becoming...  I don't want that to sound sad or mean or insensitive to my friends... I love them.  I just feel more like me when I spend the time running/walking and going to races... not to mention I am in way better physical shape.

I would be completely lost if it weren't for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram... all of the "friends" I have there that do share this crazy illness.  Thank you for encouraging me and inspiring me to push on!

This is me at the finish of my 1st Half Marathon - back in January 2013... (no big shock it is at Disneyland... right?!)

I have since gone on to finish 8 more Half Marathons and a ton of other shorter distance races.  You can look at my list I keep on my other page by clicking HERE.

Here are a few more of my Half Photos...

 Heroes Half - # 2

 See Jane Run Half - # 3

 Bellingham Bay Half - # 4

Biggest Loser Half - # 5

Tinker Bell Half 2014 - # 6

Lake Sammamish Half - # 8

So off I go in a few weekends to collect that cool medal and have some fun... at my 10th Half Marathon!  

What inspires you to keep at something... even when it is challenging?

Tell me about your accomplishments and what makes you proud of yourself!
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