Tuesday, July 30, 2013

And in other news...

So much has happened the past few weeks, other than Ragnar, I need to catch up. If you're interested please keep reading :)

I have a nephew! Baby Cash was born 7/17/13 around 12:15 pm, 8 lbs 3 oz (small for our family). He's is sooo cute and seems like a really good baby. I left for Ragnar the next day so he arrived just in time. We held a welcoming party for him Sunday and I was extremely happy with how the cake turned out.

My sister and Cash
I have to give special shout out to my good friend Rosanna (yes, the Ragnar Rosanna) for helping me make invitations and decoration for the welcoming party. She is an amazing Stampin Up distributor so if anyone has any SU needs I would recommend you search her out! She is fabulously crafty. I do plan on eventually hosting a scrapbooking party for my running friends. I thought it'd be neat to bring some race pics, bibs, stories etc and capture them all in a really cute way. Right now I have a race binder where I store all the course maps, bibs, finishers certificates etc but I'd like to have them in a book to display someday. Visit Rosanna's page here!
How stinkin' cute are these invitations?!!

I realized I completely forgot to blog about Macayla's latest race. I signed her up for the See Jane Kids run months ago thinking it was a Saturday race and it turned out to be Sunday the 14th of July. Well my husband works Sundays so we decided to still take her but we would have to rush back home right after the race vs. hanging out in Seattle like I originally wanted to do. The race was at Gas Works Park in Seattle- BEAUTIFUL park. I had never been there before while parking was a b*tch, the park itself was very spacious even with a half marathon going on. I had decided not to do the HM so that Macayla could have all the focus on her. I wanted it to be her special day :) So we caught and early ferry and got to the park by 8:30 am, two hours before the start of the kids race.

We picked a spot on the grass and hung out watching half marathoners finish while we waited for the kids dash check in to open. When check in finally opened it was a little crazy- they gave us Macayla's bib but didn't have any pins (I later raided another tent for them), and they didn't have any sz small shirts so she got a medium which might fit in 3 years? We took some pictures at the start line for the kids race and found out that the race was only 1/2 a mile, not the full mile advertised. Bummer, but I didn't feel like it was that big of deal I guess.

Before the race we had decided that James would be running with Macayla since I ran with her at the Armed Forces Day 1 miler in May. I have to admit I was a little jealous but it was fair. All the kids lined up, there were maybe 50 and then their parents and before we knew it they were off!

Macayla did great. She was all smiles the whole run and extremely excited to get a medal! Despite the craziness of the check in the race was very worth it- for $15 she got to run her own kids dash, received a bib, tshirt AND medal. The course was at a beautiful location and next year I will for sure plan to make a whole Seattle fun day out of the deal.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ragnar Relay NWP '13. Recap #3

Whew, finally a few minutes to sit down. The girls are coloring, dinner is in the oven cooking, James is getting ready for work so I'm jotting down my final thoughts on Ragnar I while I have a rare minute.
The memory of the excitement and fun I had at Ragnar will never fade but details already are. Ooops. I have a clear memory of hanging out at the final major exchange waiting for Van 1 runner Krissy to pass off to Tim. We had a good couple of hours to kill so most of us showered. Thank you Coupeville HS!! Everyone was really courteous took quick (hot) showers and kept moving along so the lines were pretty short and quick moving. After we got changed into our running outfits for our final legs Rosanna went off to find a spot to nap, Mike and Tim rested in the cab, and James and I crawled in the back of the truck and got comfortable amongst the piles of sleeping bags and blankets. I have no idea what Tyler did to be honest. I didn't really get to sleep but it was nice to just lay down and shut my eyes for awhile. After awhile I climbed out and made a turkey sandwich and attempted to organize the bed of the truck- a futile effort. I think I took about 5 bathroom trips since there were real bathrooms to utilitze. I also hit up the Brooks tent and got myself a free pair of sunglasses. I have to say they have been a life saver these past few days while I've been super sick. The lenses are super dark. Van 1 messaged us that Krissy wasn't too far out so we gathered for the final transition. It was bittersweet.
Tim's last leg was BEAUTIFUL. He got to run along the water for a big chunk of his route if not all of it. Don't get me wrong though, better him than I, it was 8+ miles and I planned for the distance of my legs to DECLINE. LOL.
I don't remember much of what Tyler's final leg looked like, but I do remember that he had a few more hills....poor Ty.
Mike's final leg was a ton of fun because his family was staying on Whidbey Island that weekend so they came out to cheer. He had about 15 cheerleaders and was all smiles. Oh, yeah in true Mike fashion..."Penis."
James took off with a huge smile on his face too. His final leg was the longest of his three - not the way I would choose to do it but he didn't let it stop him. Such a proud wifey :) We did see snow white at his exchange- she offered us an apple but I mentioned to my van-mates it might be poisoned.
My turn! Of my three legs this last one (leg 35) was my least favorite. It was only 3.8 miles so I was looking forward to a shorter distance and thinking that I was going to be able to fly through it. Didn't exactly happen the way I imagined it. So from the beginning; James finished his leg on wheels. He heard a runner coming up behind him and was NOT going to be road kill in the last 50 feet so he powered it out and finished first. It was an awesome finish everyone was cheering. Rosanna got an awesome pic of them afterward.
Since James had such an amazing finish and beat the Where's Waldo runner I wanted a strong start. I took off at a comfortable but not easy pace because I knew there was a pretty big hill coming up- we had to drive down it in order to get to the exchange. I felt the Where's Waldo runner on my heels to start but then as we started up the hill she slowly fell behind and I got a road kill as I passed another runner. I'd say the first 3/4 miles were uphill and then it kind of leveled off for a 1/4 of a mile before turning into rolling hills? This is all an estimate since I didn't have my Garmin. I have no idea what my pace was up the hill but I tried to push it without over-exerting myself. I guess stripes had held back a little more than I did because she overtook me at that point and charged ahead. The sun was beating down on me and as far as I could see we were just running on a highway with no shade in sight. I dumped so much water on my head- I was glad I had the handheld. I got a second road kill but stripes was still ahead of me and she stayed that way until the end. I started getting really tired and walking on and off. I was mad at myself and kept thinking that I was going to end up with a 11-12 minute pace :/ After a long straight stretch I saw a volunteer and she told me I was only 1/4 mile away. Whhhhaaat? I hadn't seen a mile to go marker!! I was psyching myself out because I thought I still had over a mile to go but yet I was almost done. I picked up the pace a little and saw Rosanna waiting for the final handoff. I know I came in smiling but I think I screamed, "Take it!" as I handed her the slap bracelet.
The girls' bringing it home! Turns out my pace was still under a 10 average. How that happened I'm not sure, it didn't feel that way but I'll take another 9:50! I worked for that pace baby! Rosanna had a pretty hard final leg. She had a long brutal hill but was still smiling...or at least had enough energy left to fake it for the camera :)
The remaining 5 of us drove ahead to the finish line, parked and met Van 1 where the runners come in so we could all finish together. It wasn't too long before Rosanna came barreling in and we fell behind her to finish. She apparently was all amped up because she came in at like a bullet and we had to yell at her to slow down so we could cross as a team. Crazy lady!
There it is. Team NOM NOM NOM. Official finish 33:50:16.
Can't wait to do it again next year! :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Ragnar Relay NWP '13. Recap #2

I got side-lined yesterday from posting the recap I was planning on because I seem to be a magnet for sinus infections lately. It always starts out as allergies and morphs into a week long adventure of hacking, sniffing, sneezing and losing my patience! 

But enough about me (oh wait this is MY blog)  and more about Ragnar. After filling our bellies some Red Robin we high tailed it back to the next major exchange to wait for van 1 and attempt to get some shut eye. Because it was after 8 pm we were instructed to put on our reflective vests and wear them anytime we were out of the vehicle. Essentially this equates to just living in it for the next 10.5 hours. Ragnar is very serious about your nighttime running gear. We were trying to dig our bags out of the back of the truck when we got 
Sleeping Area
warned again not even 10 minutes later- If you are out of your vehicle during the night time hours you MUST have your reflective vest on! We got suited up and the volunteer pointed us towards our accomdations for the evening, the high school gym or the soccer field. Since it was a nice evening Rosanna, Tyler and I all headed towards the field. I think the rest of the guys were off taking showers? All I remember is Mike very descriptively explaining what it feels like for him to run dirty and that he wasn't going to be doing that. So we picked a spot on the field far enough in to not be bothered by vehicle traffic. I have to say I was very surprised that there weren't more people outside "camping." I heard both the gymnasiums were filled with people. I did that last year- not the worst 2 hours of sleep I've ever had in my life but it was kind of gross waking up in a steamy room filled with 100+ runners still wearing sweaty clothes. The smell won't be bottled for retail anytime soon. Mike joined us in the field at somepoint but I quickly passed out and didn't wake up until the alarm went off at 11:30pm. I woke up to the wind whipping across the field, ok maybe not whipping, but it was cold enough that I was dreading crawling out of my sleeping bag for sure. We had a text that van 1 was a little behind schedule, as was to be expected down a runner. We packed up and headed back to the truck. I figured with about 45 minutes to go it was a good time to change into my running clothes for the next leg and freshen up a little.

Waiting for Krissy & Tim's exchange

Krissy came in a little while later and Tim shot off like a bullet again. I didn't take pictures during the night time legs because it was pitch black. I was expecting to run somewhere in the 3 o'clock hour but since we were a little behind it was actually starting to get light for my leg. We pulled up to the exchange where James would be coming in and I would be heading out for a second round and I had to go to the bathroom sooo bad. I don't know if it was nerves (yes, after all these years of racing I still get nervous) or if I legitamtely might pee my pants if I didn't hit the port-a-potties first, so even though James was less than a mile out I decided to go in search of a port-a-potty.....and I couldn't find one! I guess I should have taken note of the 3 other women squatting in the bushes but I couldn't believe they would have an exchange without a bathroom! So I did it- first time ever just doing my business in a bush on the side of the road. And yes I did legitamtely have to go the the restroom, it wasn't just nerves. I heard later on that the port-a-potties were back down a road where there was additional parking- so I'll know for next year! Side note: Ragnar had some of the cleanest port-a-potties I've ever had the "pleasure" of visiting. Either the racers are all really considerate or the crew did an amazing job with upkeep because I probably used them around 10 times over the weekend and not one single port-a-potty was dirty or out of toilet paper. Kudos Ragnar!

So after my visit with the bush I took off on my second leg (20) which was full of rolling hills. I took full
Deception Pass
advantage of the downhills, felt a little sluggish on some of the uphills but again maintained slightly under a 10 minute mile average overall. About 4 miles(?) into the run I got to cross Deception Pass and it was amazing! Definitely my favorite leg for this year. Even though I'm from WA state I've never just ventured through the Whidbey Island area so it was awesome to experience Deception Pass for the first time on foot. I saw several runners stopping to take pictures- and no, I did NOT count them as roadkills, felt like cheating. Since I was running without my garmin I had no idea how far into/away I was (6.5 mile leg), when a cute lady in a chevron skirt ran up next to me and offered some words of encouragement, "we're almost there!!" to which I replied, "Are we? How  far?" We were 5.6 mile in and I felt a rush of relief, less than a mile to go and just as I though that we ran across the mile marker. I learned my new running buddy's name is Bridgette and after van 2 was done running they were going to go back to her friends house who lives in Oak Harbor and shower/nap. I was only slightly jealous. No really, a hot shower sounded nice but I love that part of the experience of Ragnar is doing something out of the norm. I can run 3 times in 24 hours anytime I want, but doing it all while camping in a field, eating out of a cooler and living in your own sweat and filth- that's a once a year experience baby! (Ok two because I'm doing HTC in less than 30 days!) ;) Anyway, the last half mile we chugged along together up a slight hill and then she pointed out that the finish was right acround the corner and down a slight hill. I took off. Sorry Bridgette! LOL. Roadkill #5 that leg. I finished strong but was very happy to be done, and having Bridgette to talk to that last mile really made time go by much quicker than if I had been alone to get inside my own head.

Ragnar NWP Recap finale in a day or two...I got to draw this thing out ;)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ragnar Relay NWP '13. Recap #1

Team # 326 NOM NOM NOM.

Another epic Ragnar Relay! I was so excited to share it with my friends this year. Last year I joined a group I didn't know too well- it was a blast and I'm still in contact with a few of my previous teammates but it was fun to share this year with a few people I already knew. Meet my fantastic team:

  There is just something about a relay. It's so unlike any other kind of race. For one it takes running from a solo sport to a team activity, and it also teaches you to push yourself through 15+ miles on barely any sleep, after sitting in a vehicle for 8+ hours, and all while eating your meals out of a cooler. No really- it's fun, honest!! We met up Thursday night to head to Bellingham for a 1 night stay in luxury accomadations at the Days Inn Bellingham. It was clean and the beds were comfy so really that's all I could ask for. It didn't matter that there was an akward swimming pool in the parking lot or that I had to squats to get my head under the shower head- I'm only 5'5'', I have no idea how anyone taller than me managed. Four of us girls stayed in a room together (Luna, Krissy, Rosanna and myself) and I was a little worried about the whole "four girls sharing a bathroom thing" but it worked out very smoothly. Two took a shower before bed, the other two in the morning and we were not the last ones to meet in the lobby the next morning might I mention (ahem, the rest of you know who you are). A decent continental breakfast was out for us to munch on. I took a bagel for the road and devoured a Costco blueberry muffin- sooo good. Since I was in Van 2 I didn't worry too much about what I was immediately eating as I would have 8+ hours to digest before my leg started.

We headed to the start line and the weather was perfect for running. It was going to be a sunny day but there was a breeze, and since we had a slow team start time of 7:30 the sun wasn't at full power yet :P After all the check-in we all kind of scattered into our van groupings. I think Sara has some last minute preps to make because she headed back to the van and I caught a front line spot at the start line to cheer and take pictures. Those who were hanging out with me had temporary heartattacks when everyone starting lining up at the start and we didn't see Sara come back from the van yet. Then the announcer stated they were running about 3 minutes behind, whew. Sara appeared, we took the above team picture and she fell in line for the start.

My van had nothing to do until we started running at like 1 in the afternoon so we decided to cheer on van 1 for the first few hours. In a relay with 2 vans you spend more time split up than together because when it's your "off" hours you need to concentrate on refueling and catching whatever zzz's you can. We did one quick pit stop for Sara and then found a gas station to camp out at and wait for Luna to run by. Mike met some friends there who admired his mullet and once Luna ran by we drove to a new location to await Ryan. We didn't find Ryan immediately but we did find an absolute shit ton of trucks. I have never seen so many truck in my life- let alone of some back country road. Since we didn't have roadkills to tally yet we started keeping track of how many trucks we could get to blow their horn- 23 was our grand total and we didn't even track the first batch of trucks. As soon as we saw Ryan approaching we got distracted by a white van with flashing lights pulling up behind us. Apparently this was a non-support leg and we weren't even suppose to be out of the truck. We pleaded van 2 ignorance, cheered Ryan as he ran past, and loaded back into the truck to head to our exchange.

By this time it was pretty warm out upper 60's, but not a cloud in the sky. We secured a parking spot, did our safety brief, got all checked in and started lathering on the sunscreen. I think we had all ate our body weight in trailmix and bananas up to this point but decided to break open the cooler and make sandwichs. God Bless Rosanna who thought to bring mayo, cheese and onion- it really made the sandwich so much better. I was fully prepared to just rough it with bread and meat, ahhhh first world problems.

When it finally came to be time for our van to run Tim lined up in the chute to wait for Krissy. When you run a relay communication between the two vans is key, and they had told us she wasn't too far. Tim was itching to go. He was the bullet on our team and took off like a rocket. Leg 7: Tim, Leg 8: Tyler, Leg 9: Mike, Leg 10: James, Leg: 11: Moi, Leg 12: Rosanna.

Tim. Our team's speed demon
Tyler in his toe shoes at the top of a killer hill
Mike. Full disclosure- this pic is from leg 2 oops.
James. Trucking along- love the HUGE smile

Me on my 6.8 mile journey under the BLAZING sun

Passing off to Rosanna
Rosanna of the corn field? LOL

First round of legs complete. Baton passed back to van 1 so we could get a bite to eat in the form of Red Robin. I managed 6.8 miles at a 9:50ish pace. It was HOT, I kept dumping my water over my  head to cool down. I hate carrying water while running and had the van for backup but I did not want my throat to get dry with a mile to go so I succumbed to carrying my hand-held. Anyway, I don't have my exact pace because I let James use the garmin not even thinking that doh, he was the runner right before me. We kept good tally of take-off and return times on an excel spreadsheet so that is all I have to go off of but I'm pretty darn proud of that 9:40-9:50. Also, my elevation graph showed a downhill in the beginning of my leg- guessed I missed that part? It felt 99% flat.

 In the craziness of the day I can only determine we ate after our first leg based on the clothes I was wearing- I guess I was more tired than I thought :)

Our attempt at rest and the "overnight" legs will be re-capped in part 2 tomorrow!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Meeting Like-Minded People

Written Monday 7/8/13- uploaded late, whoops!

Had a pretty fun afternoon at work today. All this week I’m training a co-worker how to use a specific program. The weird thing about my job is that all the people that work in my code have offices in different locations. I can literally go weeks without seeing my boss or someone else who does my job. I have 7 other people in my office, but they all have entirely different functions and supervisors. Anyway so I only see this co-worker at our monthly meeting, therefore I do not know her personally whatsoever. We chit chatted yesterday while training about various work related qualms and it was fun to hear her perception of a lot of the work we do here. Well today she came back and somehow brought up the fact that she use to weigh 260 lbs.- small world, I weighed 250! We high fived like dorks. LOL. We spent the next hour working feverously sharing our stories of weight loss, discussing struggles and answering each other’s questions about our current diets and workout routines. Amazingly she is 125 lbs now and has never even set foot in the gym! I think I talked her into trying out insanity, I’m secretly hoping that we can do a challenge together to hold each other accountable  She also told me she has a 15 year old daughter who is starting to gain a little weight and needs to get active. I told my co-worker about fun runs like the foam run, color run, electric run and zombie run thinking maybe it’d be a fun thing for her and her daughter to do together. She seemed interested and wrote down a running website I frequent, runningintheusa.com.

I feel so thankful to have met so many like-minded people these last few years. And it’s amazing to discover that people aren’t afraid to share their stories- we’re all really proud of our success and can be proud of each other. There is no bragging, jealousy, or judgments. Just people lift each other up and cheer each other on, I love it! Of course there are people out there who want to drag others down, we’ve all experienced people like that but I’ve learned they truly are few and far between. People like that don’t deserve a second thought (or word in this blog!). Last nights workout was tough. I ran during the hottest part of the day (80+ degrees) on the track, AND I didn’t bring water. Dummy. I decided to work on speed because I didn’t have time for distance:
REST 150m- 1:50 - 19:55 pace
SPRINT 110m- 25.43- 6:09 pace
REST 100m- 1:06- 19:24 pace
SPRINT 110m- 21.37- 5:28 pace
REST 88m- 1:00- 18:11 pace
SPRINT 200m- 51.92- 6:44 pace
REST 200m- 2:10- 18:27 pace
SPRINT 200m-51.17- 6:39 pace
 REST- 200m- 2:11- 19:03 pace
SPRINT- 110m- 24.25- 5:55 pace
REST- 200m- 2:01- 18:43 pace

This workout also included a 1 mile warm up and .5 mile cool down. After I got home James had grilled chicken for dinner so I ate and then promptl headed out front to weed the garden before I took a shower so I could wash the sweat and red garden mulch all off at the same time. Pre-bedtime workout P90X Shoulder/Arms first 30 minutes. I got 10 wakeups until Ragnar- gotta work these glamour muscles to rock some tank tops!

Friday, July 5, 2013

4th of July in Pictures & Mileage Stats

First the business. I was looking over my dailymile this morning and reviewing my mileage statistics. In 2012 I ran a total of eeerrrrr, 424 miles? Something in that area, anyway so you'd think that half way into 2013 I should be happy with 329 miles already logged. BUT, I set a goal for 800 miles for the year. Of course I was on track while marathon training but now, while still running, I'm not logging nearly as many miles. Chalk it up to a busy schedule and no 18 mile Saturday morning runs I guess. June was the lowest month for me for the last year by one mile. However, July of last year I was dealing with a knee injury and was in physcial therapy two days a week. So that means June just really sucked and now I'm reving it up for July. The goal is 50+ miles for this month. I've got Ragnar coming up (7/19-7/20) so that will add 15 miles right there- BAM! Then in August I have a 5K and HTC. I don't know what my mileage will be for HTC yet but we have a team meeting on the 14th and I'm super excited!! :)

Now for the fun stuff. Here are a few pics from the Family 4th of July BBQ last night, enjoy!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy (early) 4th of July!

I won't be blogging tomorrow, I will spending the day with family and friends celebrating the good
ol US of A! Turbofire, an ice-cream birthday party social, and then BBQ and fireworks at the parents house are the plan. I love summer holidays- the sunshine, the badminton and volleyball games, cornhole, smores around the campfire and grilled foods, at least that's how we thrown down over here.

Steak Kabobs- red pepper & onion on mine, yum!

Last night I got in a 4 mile run before coming home and grilling some delicious steak kabobs from the new cookbook I picked up last week: Everyday Paleo. There are delicious recipes in there, I highly suggest anyone wanting delicious meals with minimal and easy to find ingredients should pick it up. I am kind of testing out the waters on the Paleo lifestyle, the main change I am making is more veggies as side vs. grains and not consuming much dairy. I love cheese so this is hard for me however I notice whenever I eat much dairy I bloat and start to breakout. Got to keep this face camera ready for race shots :p Just kidding- kind of. The first recipe I made was Apple Shallot Pork Chops and they were a hit. I was surprised to find I had all the ingredients I needed in the house already and the ending result was a meal that felt almost gourmet!

Back to my run, it was still in the 80's here and I wanted to run before dinner so I left about 4:45. My friend Krissy couldn't meet me right then so I devised a plan to just run at the track so she could meet me there. If you have never run on a black track in the summertime with no shade anywhere near let me just tell you it was like 100 degree out there. I didn't start with
Random picture of my adorable girls :)
intervals so I just ran 2-3 laps stopped at the bleachers and drank some water then got back to business. About 2.5 miles in I saw Krissy coming down the hill and we decided to do some road running to escape the suns punshining glare. Not lying I was hoping to soak up some sun and get tan but after 25 minutes shade sounded pretty enticing. My avg pace at that point was 9:50 which I was surprised by and thrilled with considering it was so hot. Krissy had ran to the track from her home so we kind of ran a little less than half way to her house and then I turned and headed back to mine while she continued her loop. 10:16 overall pace- still pretty darn happy with it. Sad to say this was the longest run I've had for um....3 weeks? I've mainly been fitting in 2 milers. Running Saturday is out of the quetsion due to family events so I'm hoping to maybe fit in an early morning long run Sunday then hit up yoga. Note: and when I say long right now I mean 6-8 miles, not like Marathon long when I considered anything under 10 short :)

Enjoy your holiday, remember it's about more than burgers and fireworks!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Insanity Day 5 - eerrrr.....wait

The weather got nice in WA state and I fell off the proverbial "Insanity wagon". Don't judge me! YOU try having Shaun T kick your ass in the living room when the thermostat reads 86 degrees indoors. We aren't use to the sunshine in WA- we're wimps! I did manage to get a short 2 mile run in Sunday morning. Even at 9 am it was hot and I came back home drenched in sweat. I almost killed the dog. Probably is rough to be black, and have your barefeet (ok paws) on the scorching ground. As I type this I'm feeling like a bad mom for taking her out in conditions like this. I should have checked her paws for heat blisters aftewards!! Jamba did get to come back home, drink some ice cold water and spend 30 minutes splayed out on the somewhat cool kitchen floor while the laundry, dishes, and my children all fought for my attention.

Post Run with the Pup

I'm figuring out a new plan. I love Insanity and want to do the full 60 days but at the same time I'm rethinking starting it in the summer. Once I get on a plan I hate jumping off or changing things up- despite how often I do it. EEEK- I suck. I promise tomorrow I'll have a more uplifting blog.....yes, tomorrow....

This past weeks weather- HOT!