Friday, January 15, 2016

Coming up... Half Marathon # 20 The Rain Run

Yes... that is correct... Half Marathon # 20!!!  How in the world did I get here?   It really seems unreal but then real all at the same time!   

Yep... I signed up for my 20th Half Marathon!  I am participating in The Rain Run in Redmond, WA on January 23rd, 2015.   I participated in this race in 2015 and had a terrific time.   When I started to think about my 2016 race schedule The Rain Run was definitely one that came to mind as one I wanted to repeat.  The course is fairly flat... scenic... and has a really awesome medal!  That is what drew me in the first time and participating a 2nd time is a no brainer!  I am not a fast runner... in fact I walk a lot... I do what is called intervals... run... then walk... then run again. I use what is called an interval timer.   Looks like a little pager... it beeps to tell me to walk or run and I can program it to what ever intervals I want.   

The official website of The Rain Run lists these benefits to participating... I wholeheartedly agree!  (especially about the bragging rights and the finish line food!)

- Chip Timed Half Marathon
- A huge and shiny finisher's medal!
- Rain Run Umbrella
- Finish line food - which include cupcakes with SPRINKLES!
- Random prize giveaways from race sponsors
- Bragging rights that you kicked butt in the rain!

The Rain Run (so perfectly named for the Pacific Northwest) is about an hour of driving time (one way) from my home... about as far as I like to go for a local race.  The race begins at Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA very near Lake Sammamish.  The course begin at the Park and travels up the paved trail along the Sammamish River Trail between Redmond and Woodinville (just east of Seattle).  The out and back course is scenic and FLAT!  There will be aid stations at miles 3, 7, and 11.  The race is limited to 750 participants.

If you have read anything here before you might know that I haven't always been a "runner".  I used to laugh when people asked if I ran... and say "Me?  No Way!  The only place I run is to the shower when I am late!"  But in spite of that... one day in 2012 I just said... I want to do this!  I had seen a picture in a magazine ad for a Half Marathon at Disneyland.  I sat looking at the picture... thinking... "I want to do that!" but not knowing if I ever could or how I would ever get there.  The answer to... "How do you do that?"   It is making one big decision and then thousands of little decisions everyday after that.  You just keep making the decision to do it and then it happens.  I found some great advice and training tips through Jeff Galloway and set off on my training.  Then... Half Marathon #1 happened... in January of 2013 at DISNEYLAND... it was epic.  I never thought I would get there but I did!  Slowly... my mindset was changing!  It is possible and I can! 

Then I came home from that trip and I wondered... should I try again?  Maybe the miles at Disneyland weren't really real miles?  My husband encouraged me to sign up for another Half Marathon... one closer to home.  So I did.  I did that one...  I was so nervous at the start wondering If I could finish.  I did it and I didn't die. 

So I signed up for another one...

I finished that one too... and so on and so on... 

I have been back to Disneyland two more times to run the Tinker Bell Half Marathon and am going back for my 4th time this coming May!

This last picture is me at the finish of The Rain Run Half Marathon in January of 2015.  I try and think of actual races as a victory lap of all of the hard training I put in.  My victory lap!  I will toe the line at The Rain Run Half Marathon next Saturday the 23rd of January... wish me luck on my 20th Half Marathon!   I am sure I won't die but I might get a little wet... but have a lot of fun doing it!  I never thought this would be me... but it is!  

How many races have you participated in?

What is a challenge you never thought you could do but then surprised yourself and did it?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Biggest Loser Race Series RECAP

On October 25, 2015 I had the pleasure of participating in my 3rd Biggest Loser Half Marathon north of Seattle in Lake Stevens, Washington.  The Biggest Loser Run Walk Race Series is a special one and always a ton of fun!  All 3 years I have participated in this Seattle area race the location has been different.  In 2013 the event took place in north Seattle starting at Gas Works Park.  Click HERE to read my recap of that race.  I wrote that post in 2 parts with the Expo in Part !... Read about the Expo HERE.  In 2014, because of construction in Seattle, the event was moved to Everett, Washington.  I wrote about that race all about the 2014 event HERE.

My 1 EXPO shot... My daughter with Dan from Season 5 of the Biggest Loser

For 2015 the event was moved to Lake Stevens, Washington which is even farther north of Seattle.  Good for me because it meant a less then an hour drive the morning of the race.  I definitely took less pictures this year... thank goodness for the FREE photos that the Biggest Loser Run Walk offers.  YES... that is right... they have photographers on the course and at the finish snapping tons of photos and they are ALL yours for FREE!

 The medals for this race series are awesome!  Themes to each city they come to... even medals for the 5K Finishers too!
Half Marathon Medal Biggest Loser 2015 
Lake Stevens, WA - Oct 25, 2015

The pre race area for this race was set up great... vendors, tons of port of potties and a scenic setting there in Lake Stevens.   I did pay a little extra for the VIP Tent experience at this race... I had never done that before but thought the access sounded great and the snacks both before and after the race were included.  I was not disappointed about the food options... they had TONS of food both pre race and after... BUT the porta potty... the VIP one was a Handicap (a really big one) located right there in the VIP tented area.  I did enjoy the extra room but it would have been nice to have a couple more available at that location.  Just sayin... if you are going to take the extra  time to change clothes or whatever I shouldn't feel like I am holding up EVERYONE else from just going potty... I felt badly but oh well.

I will say that this race series is the MOST welcoming atmosphere for beginners and/or new runners (or walkers for that matter)... the generous time limit to finish is awesome and they CHEER you in at the finish!  Not to mention the BLING!  They have awesome medals!

Here I am showing off with ALL 3 of my Seattle Biggest Loser Half Medals and the Legacy Medal I received this year for completing all 3 Half Marathons in Seattle.

Pictures really tell the story... 

I had so much fun doing this race...  I was hoping for an under 2:30 time but oh well... with just a few hills (which I do not enjoy)  and I was happy with just finishing!   My chip time was 2:37 and I finished 6th in my age group!

I would definitely do this race again... I began doing this race thing in 2013... with my first Half Marathon in January of 2013.  I have now completed 19 Half Marathons to date and the Biggest Loser Half has been 3 of those.  My weight loss and fitness journey is ongoing but in a nutshell... I lost about 75 pounds between 2010 and 2012... with Weight Watchers... not really introducing much of a fitness plan.  I needed something to help me stay active and help me maintain the weight loss I had worked so hard to achieve.  I was introduced to the Run Walk Run program though Jeff Galloway and I was sold!    I complete all of my races using intervals... and use a little timer called a gymboss to alert me when to walk and run.  It works for me and I have never felt better!

The Biggest Loser Race Series is a great one and I would HIGHLY recommend it to any runner/walker... especially for newbies and or people who feel like they are slower then your average racer!  I seriously would have NEVER predicted I would be doing this 4 or 5 years ago... me a runner?  Really?  Yes - I am!  Get out there and participate... you won't regret it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...