Tuesday, May 28, 2013

2013 Girls on the Run Spring 5k

The Girls on the Run of Puget Sound Spring 5k was on May 18 and this 5k was my 3rd 5k with them as the course lead. 

ABOUT: Girls on the Run of Puget Sound reached about 500 girls during their Spring season this year.  Each elementary school girl goes to an after school program at her school two days a week.  Along with getting to know other girls they learn valuable lessons in self esteem and how to honor themselves and find their greatest strengths.  Another valuable part of the curriculum is physical activity! They practice running and their graduation is the 5k event put on just for them!

I really had NO idea how much work goes into setting up a 5k and this one begins with various committee meetings in the few months leading up to the race and then a very early race morning. 

Seward Park BEFORE!
I set out when we arrived to mark the course so the cheerleaders for each mile knew where to go during the race. We keep it pretty simple with some cones with arrows tapped to them and lots of sidewalk chalk (thank goodness it didn't rain!) Once I got back it was straight to course setup and thanks to some awesome volunteers we marked the course and set up the water station in record time.  Then the fun part...setting up the finish line!

Meanwhile, the festival area is coming together, vendors are starting to arrive and volunteers keep coming in.

festival area taking shape!
SIDENOTE: Volunteers are literally the backbone of this organization. There are only a very small handful of paid employees and volunteers basically run the 5k, the annual auction, are running buddies, and coaches at each school. There are TONS of ways you can get involved in Girls on the Run!  

All the girls arrive, get situated with their shirts, race bibs, colorful hair, costumes, etc and warm up before heading over to the start line.  I organize all the course volunteers and send everyone on their way to post up along the course.  The girls get a little "prize" at each mile so when they cross the finish line they are decorated with things like necklaces, bracelets and stickers...it's fun!  

No matter how busy I am I make it a point to head to the start to watch the girls take off, it is so fun to see how excited they are.  Plus this year I was handed the air horn and man I took advantage of that...I blew every last sound out of that thing!

Once the race got going we moved the balloon arch from the start to the finish and waited for the first girls to run through. The finish line chute is LINED with parents and coaches cheering for every single girl, it is truly heartwarming and inspirational to watch. After the race the festival got busy! Girls stuck around to celebrate their amazing accomplishment, check out vendor booths and of course...DANCE!

The festival in full swing!
Duh, of course Nuun is there :)
Dance party on the stage, cutest thing I've ever seen!
After the party ends everything must come down.  Thanks to the help of volunteers again the festival and course were cleaned up in record time and just like that we left the park empty again.  I got home a little after 1PM and crashed HARD.
Pictures and words truly do not do this event justice and I hope every one of my readers will find some way to get involved with this awesome organization!  I'm hoping to put together a big group of people to be running buddies for the fall 5k so stay tuned for how to get involved, I can promise you it will be an experience of a lifetime.

Question: Who is going to be a running buddy at the fall 5k? Save the date for December  7!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Race Recap: Beat the Bridge 8K

Happy Monday all!  I ran the annual Beat the Bridge race here in Seattle yesterday...it starts down the street from where I live and the price was very right at only $25 without a t-shirt so I decided to incorporate it into my long run for the day.

Before we dive into the race let's recap my week...the plan was:

putting this sticky note on my coffee table acted as good motivation!

What happened was:

Monday - Barre class - CHECK
Tuesday - 6 miles with Molly - CHECK
Wednesday - NO check, but I ended up doing a tabata circuit at my gym with some short treadmill sprints and left a sweaty mess so still exercise success!
Thursday - 8.3 miles with Carol - it was warm and sunny and these miles were hard, I need to start fueling better on runs longer than 6 miles

Beautiful Gasworks park and downtown Seattle
Friday - REST I did
Saturday - REST and Girls on the Run 5k (post about that coming soon!)
Sunday - 11 total miles with Beat the Bridge 8k - CHECK!

So, Sunday morning rolls around and sleeping in sounded like the best idea ever but the weather looked decent and I paid for the race so I better just suck it up and go.

Could that bib BE any bigger? I modified it (see pic below) ;)

I ran the 2.5ish miles to Husky Stadium area to meet up with Rira (newest member of my Ragnar Ultra team BTW!) and some of her friends.  Rira and her friends are SUPER speedy so we lined up around 8:00/mile sign and I was already nervous that was too fast for me.  Oh, but no worries, there were people running 12:00 miles in that group which made it REALLY fun to navigate for the first two miles.  But I shouldn't judge I suppose since I was in the wrong group too..oopsie! 

I wasn't trying to "race" the 8k but of course putting on that bib and lining up at the start pretty much amps you up to try your hardest.  We were off right at 8:30 and made the 2 mile trek to the University Bridge which is the "beat the bridge" part. They open it 20 minutes after the last runner so I knew I would have NO problem beating it.  And I found out why all the slow runners were up front...they were determined to beat the bridge because after they did most people starting walking which I thought was pretty odd.  

The rest of the 8k winds you around the edge of the University of Washington campus then out and back on Montlake Blvd.  They take you into the stadium areas and you finish on the UW practice football field. There was a terrible bottleneck curve right before the finish so any sprint to the finish was completely out of the question.  

8K RESULTS - 45:41 for a 9:12 pace

It was a fun race and a good course, most of which I run pretty regularly, but the crowds were just too much!  The finish line area was CRAZY and it took me almost 25 minutes to be herded back to the main parking lot where I would start running again.  

I really had no fuel minus some plain water and half a banana and those last 3 miles home were really really tough! I did see Mason from Nuun on the Burke Gilman trail so that brightened my spirits a bit, he was on mile 14 of his long run and looked like he was out for a walk in the park :).  

Rira and I before the race & 11 total miles for the morning!
After I hit 11 miles I walked the rest of the way home and stopped for some much needed chocolate milk at 7-Eleven.  After showering, eating and passing out for a couple hours I went out and stocked up on long run fuel so I don't feel depleted ever again!  With many many long training runs in my future I need to get back in the habit of fueling during runs. I even bought some gels to try...which I usually gag at the taste of but I really want to try and see if I can handle them again since they are just so darn easy to eat!

And the plan for this week so I actually stick to it:

Monday - Walk with the pup - the weather was just too nice to do anything else!
Tuesday - Tabata Boot Camp class in the AM, 6 miles in the PM
Wednesday - 9 miles with Jessey (another fellow Ragnar team member)
Thursday - Tabata Boot Camp in the AM
Friday - REST
Saturday - long hike with Jessey (location TBD)
Sunday - 12 mile long run

Anyone want to run 12 miles with me Sunday morning?? Pretty please!!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Let's Start Trainin - Ultra Style

I have no idea what I am doing. I have never really followed any subscribed to any plan before and I don't intend on starting, but I really have no clue what to do to prepare myself to run 34.4 miles over a 24 hour period, many of those miles of which are pretty hilly.  I'll be sure to bore you all with maps of all my runs in the near future so we can break them down together :).

I've trained (using that term loosely) for 10 half marathons and 1 full marathon and haven't died trying yet or even hit any significant walls so I figure my general running plan or just getting out there at least 3 days a week works pretty well for me. BUT, I have never run this kind of mileage before so I'm going to set weekly plans for myself to get me to July 19-20.

I also can't forget I'm running the See Jane Run half marathon the week before Ragnar on July 14. I'm  excited to be one of their newest ambassadors so I want to do them proud by giving it my all.  I don't think there is going to be a PR attempt but I still want to run my best before giving myself a short break before Ragnar.

So...I'm just going to take this training on a weekly basis depending on my schedule for each week.  I plan on getting up to a 16 mile long run and incorporating some twice a day runs to prep.

Let the countdown begin...


Here is what is on tap for this week - May 13-19

I already went to Barre class so I'm 1 for 1 for the week so far...yahoo!

This post is pretty boring picture wise so please enjoy a picture of Stacey before she got out of bed this morning, I can't stand the cuteness and especially when she lays with all her paws in a pile like that :).

QUESTION: Any suggestions for Ragnar Ultra training?  Should I run longer than 16 miles at one time? My longest run during Ragnar is 12.3 miles with a total mileage of 34.4.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Jumping on the Bloglovin Train

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I LOVE Google Reader and I've been protesting it going away by not even thinking about switching to something else, but I suppose I have to! Bloglovin seems to be the most like Reader so I guess I'll be switching to that.

This post is really nothing except to tell you to follow my blog with Bloglovin :).

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Miles, Margs and a Ragnar Ultra Team

How do you like that title! So much exciting running stuff happened over the weekend, all of the sudden I'm super motivated to actually start running a decent amount...which is probably a good thing considering I did this on Monday:

Yep, Ragnar Northwest Passage ULTRA is happening!  I have recruited 5 other insane ladies to join me on the journey.  My good friend Jessey (who doesn't blog or twitter...the horror!), Rebecca, Robyn, Bethany and most recently Rira! Right now our team name is temporarily "Too Lazy to Find 6 More Runners" but we need to come up with something more awesome than that so if you have any ideas throw em at me!!

I absolutely love how this team came together!  My friend Jessey and I thought of the crazy idea and I immediately went to twitter and recruited Rebecca and Robyn.  After another twitter callout, Bethany answered...we have never met but I'm certain she will be fun if she want to be stuck in a van with 5 other sweaty ladies she doesn't know for 24+ hours.  And then finally, Rira...who I met for the first time at the 2nd annual Miles and Margs event hosted by Stacie!

the whole gang (stolen from Stacie)
The whole group did a run on the West Seattle waterfront and I had the pleasure of completing 6 miles with Rira (along with Becky, Lauren, and Robyn).  We went to brunch after at Cactus and discovered that Rira wanted to run Ragnar.  After only a few seconds of convincing she whipped out her checkbook and committed to the team...TEAM FULL <---CHECK!

I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing with this whole ultra business and have no idea how to train for it...any ideas?  I'm thinking back to back long runs will be a good start.  Maybe I'll draw up a training plan and share it so I do it, but then again maybe I'll be too lazy...we shall see.

Question: WHO else is running Ragnar Northwest Passage? 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I am a Jane! 2013 See Jane Run Sports Ambassador!

I received some exciting news over the weekend! On Saturday morning I woke up to an email that I've been chosen as a 2013 See Jane Run Sports Ambassador...how exciting!

I was introduced to See Jane Run last year at their yearly half marathon/5K here in Seattle.  I worked the Nuun tent and was so inspired just watching the event from the sidelines I knew 1) that I would definitely be running this race next year and 2) I wanted to see how else I could get involved with See Jane Run.  They had ridiculously energetic race announcers, a fun warm-up, champagne and chocolate at the end and they make a big deal out of the last person to finish...which I love!

I identify with Jane because she is simply your average lady trying to be awesome in ways that she wants!  This mantra is posted on their website and I can totally relate to every single bit of it!


Broad-shouldered - CHECK
High heels in back of closet - CHECK
Run a mile then a marathon - CHECK
Chocolate - CHECK all the time!

I know I'll never be super skinny, win races, or probably even my age group, but I'm ok with that because if being a part of this awesome fitness community (bloggers, twitterers, Janes, Nuunies, etc.) has taught me anything it is that everyone is a winner in their own journey and beating yourself is really all that matters...at least to me anyways ;).  Honestly, I never knew I had such a competitive side with myself until I started running and chasing PR's every chance I could get!

post sub 2-hour half marathon...thinking about chasing a new PR...

See Jane Run is all about inspiring the average Jane to just get out there and do something good for yourself.  They have races all around the country and the Seattle half marathon and 5k event is scheduled for July 14!  They also have a pretty awesome website that sells all things running and includes all the best brands...although I didn't spy Nuun in there yet...I'm gonna have to change that ;).

SJR is all about community and without the running community I know I would have never even ran a 5k, let alone 10 half marathons, 1 marathon and relays galore!

These ladies started it all, my go-to running gals in the beginning at the 2008 Las Vegas half marathon
Ragnar craziness ensued starting in 2009
1st marathon with my original running ladies!
Then of course becoming obsessed and immersed in the online running blogging community, I can't even begin to tell you how amazing each and every person and company I have met along way is!


Mustache Dashe 5K

I could probably show you photos all day long of my inspiration to keep running and getting faster but I want you to keep reading so I wont ;). And this post is getting too long and emotional so I'll stop here!

BUT, stay tuned for how you can get involved with SJR...I'm hoping and betting there are some discounts in this deal for you too!
QUESTION: Who is saving the date for the July 14 See Jane Run event this year?  Should I train for a new half mary PR?