Saturday, May 13, 2017

No. 24

No. 24: David Baldacci's The Guilty on audiobook.

I've now read or listened to all of Baldacci's books. It was so quiet in my car this morning :(

Friday, May 12, 2017

Willamette Mission Trail Challenge (4/29/17)

OMG - I'm almost caught up on my race reports! Except I have ANOTHER race tomorrow.... I just need to stop doing fun stuff :)

Last year, I ran the Willamette Mission Trail Challenge with Lindsey and had a blast getting muddy and sweaty. This year, Dad joined me for the super-cheap, no-frills race outside Keizer.

Earlier in the week, the Willamette River overflowed its banks, almost forcing organizers to cancel. But at the last minute, they rerouted the course so the show could go on! The 10K was now a 5.5-mile double loop - not my favorite, but I was glad they didn't cancel.

The whole event was moved, as the parking area was also flooded. Still, they made the most of it, parking us along the road a short walk from the start/finish line. Bib pickup was quick and easy, and soon we were ready to run!

The "5K" and "10K" started at the same time, heading around the parking lot loop, down the road and finally onto a dirt trail. These higher trails were in good condition, and I was hardly dirty by the end. Bummer! :)

This race came at the end of a long week, and my legs just weren't up for running fast. I struggled to maintain speed in the second loop and just finish. In the final stretch, the course went past the finish line, looped down the road and back up the field before looping around the parking lot one more time to the end:
LOVE 99-cent downloads :)
This was the little hill right before the finish.

I was disappointed to poop out so much toward the end. But I still managed to finish 5.33 miles in 49:58, a 9:22 average.

Dad did his slow run the whole race and finished first in his age group!
1st-place medal!!!
Father/daughter trail running :)
Oh, and he won a raffle prize, too - free socks! AND... he snagged a pair thrown into the crowd, too :)
First place and a prize = happy dad :)

My time was good for 5/8 in females 40-44 and 70/103 overall.

Organizers did great at adjusting and going with the flow so we could have a fun event! :)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Discovery Run: Dad's streak continues in 2017

Discovery Runs are back!

One a month, our local Road Runner Sports store hosts a FREE scavenger hunt run through Tualatin. You hit as many spots as you can in an hour, collecting raffle tickets as you go. Then there's a drawing for rad prizes (free shoes!) while runners/walkers drink free beer or root beer floats.

Before the April 27 run:
Eryn, recovering from back surgery, isn't released to run until mid-August. But she came to walk!
Dad has come with us for several years now... and hasn't won a thing in the raffle. Brad and I win regularly, including a new muscle roller stick thingy this time. Dad was really excited to announce to the world that his no-winning streak continues into 2017!!!!
Maybe next month :)

(Join us for the next Discovery Run on May 25!)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

CASA Super Hero Race (4/22/17)... and a protest

Way back in the fall, some union friends and I thought it would be fun to run a race together. We settled on the CASA Super Hero Race in April in Salem.

The day finally came, and it was pouring. Of course.

Lesly, Brad, Soren and I met up in the bib line, snapped a couple pictures, said some good lucks and ran back to our cars to hide from the rain for a bit.
We finally got out of the car, did a little warm-up lap around Riverfront Park and walked to the starting area. The rain stopped, and the sun was even poking out a bit.

We were off right on time, heading toward the bridge across the Willamette River and into Wallace Marine Park. It was basically the same course as our Thanksgiving race, except the loop in Wallace Marine was counterclockwise this time.

Brad and I ran the 10K, a double loop. Soren and Lesly ran the 5K, and we never saw them again! I sure hope they had a good time :)

I was running by feel and decided to push it a little bit. By my second lap, the sun was OUT, and I was HOT in my black T-shirt. (Should have gone with the tank!) The woman in front of me took off her shirt. I hesitated for a few moments and then said, "what the heck... let's do this!" and ripped off my shirt, too. I've never raced shirtless before, and it felt so empowering! I read a blog by an AMAZING woman who champions running in a sports bra, flaws and all.  I thought of her as I powered through the end of my race, crossing the finish line with my shirt in my hands.
A short time later, a woman finished behind me - also with her shirt off! 

I found the first woman and thanked her for doing that so I could do that - and the woman behind me could do that. GIRL POWER! I felt so strong at that moment.

So according to the official stats, I killed that race. BUT... the course was short... WAY short. My GPS had it at 5.77 miles. (A 10K is supposed to be 6.2 miles)

I finished in 52:25, a 9:04 average, which was good enough for 14/44 overall, 6/20 female and 3/6 F 40-49! YAY for small races :) ALSO - this means that of the top six finishers, three were 40-49. That's impressive.

(my official average based on the 6.2 distance was 8:28!)

The race was a fund raiser for CASA of Marion County, Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children. Everyone was incredibly nice and supportive, and aside from some minor issues when we first arrived, the whole event was great! 

Bikers Again Child Abuse was on hand volunteering at the start/finish line and also along the course. It was so wonderful to see these bikers out there teaming up for such a great cause! 

I would definitely do this little fund-raiser race again!

After, Brad and I changed into warm, dry clothes and grabbed lunch from one of the food trucks selling yummies at the finish line:
Since we were in Salem, and it was the April 22, we drove the few blocks to the capitol and joined the March for Science! I was sad to miss the giant one in Portland, but I was so glad the timing worked out that we could be part of the Salem event!
A large crowd gathered on the capitol steps.
After the rally, we took to the streets sidewalks and walked for many blocks around downtown.
It was a day filled with my favorite things: racing and resisting. Someday, hopefully I can let up on the resisting and focus on the running. But for now, political activism is my duty. #resist

No. 23

No. 23: James Patterson's Pop Goes the Weasel. Finished while listening to the waves crash outside my grandparents' beach house. :)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Shamrock Run (3/19/17) - PR!!!

Way back in March, Brad and I ran our fifth Shamrock Run - on a brand-new course!

Because of Portland police cutbacks, organizers were forced to alter the course. We still ran Terwilliger, but it was backwards this year. I felt that it was just as hilly, but the race was front loaded with lots of opportunity to run fast in the second part.

Since Brad's company sponsors a team, he's been running the half the past few years (he's too cheap to pay for it himself!) I stick to the 15K since it's unique to this race and a fun distance to race.

It was coolish at the start - but DRY!!!!!!! We arrived early, parked on the east side, hit the potties and scored some free McDonald's coffee for Brad and half a hashbrowns for me. It tasted so good, but I only ate part, fearing greasy belly on the course :)
Tutu, of course!!
Soon it was time to ditch the warmups and head into the corral. I didn't study the map ahead of time, so I just followed the crowd. Speaking of, it didn't feel as crowded as in past years. That's a good thing for this giant race!

They didn't have free photo downloads this year, so no action shots :(
I didn't train specifically for this race, and I planned to just run by feel and push when it felt right. I ended up running steadily on the long initial inclines and hard on the downs. It's fun to run hard in a bright green tutu!

The sun came out, and it got hot! (for me - I'm a wuss!) What a nice change for the last few years of soaking rain.

I finished in 1:27:33, a 9:20 pace for 9.36 miles. PR!!!! My previous PR, from 2016, was 9:45 average! HOWEVER, since the course was changed, it's really hard to compare. Still, I'll take it ;)

My stats: 1521/3891 overall, 532/2081 female, 86/320 F 40-44

Not too shabby!

My splits:
  • Mile 1: 10:23
  • Mile 2: 10:10
  • Mile 3: 9:56
  • Mile 4: 10:27
  • Mile 5: 8:38
  • Mile 6: 8:40
  • Mile 7: 8:40
  • Mile 8: 9:11
  • Mile 9: 8:23
  • Mile 9.36: 7:45 

I wrapped up in my Mylar blanket and waited at the finish line for Brad. The sun felt great, but I'm such a disgusting sweater that I cool down really fast.
He did it! We both enjoyed the new course, and while organizers vowed to return to the original course for next year's 40th anniversary, we thought the redesigned might be better. Also, we thought the whole event just ran better this year. Nice job, guys!
This year's 15K medal was super cute:
My Shamrock collection:

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Exploring Phoenix, protesting Trump

OK, I know that I'm the worst blogger ever. Fortunately, I mostly do it as a diary for myself so I remember my life :)

Remember when I ran that marathon in Phoenix in February? The next day, we did a little sightseeing before our afternoon flight.

Our good friend, Sean, lives in Phoenix and suggested we check out South Mountain Park.
We drove up and up and up to a hilltop far above the city.
I was completely exhausted (I wonder why?!?) and had zero energy or leg muscles to hike around the many trails. Next time.

After, we drove to the statehouse just to check it out. And we stumbled on an anti-Trump/anti-deportation rally!!!! Of course, we parked and joined in!

After the rally, a short parade around the grounds:
I was so proud of these young people who shared their stories and were out fighting for their beliefs! I'm also thrilled that we could join in their fight!

Cactus selfie:
Next door was a neat mining museum. We read some plaques and climbed in the massive scoop!
A good day to end our brief Phoenix adventure :)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Disneyland getaway: Day 2

Good morning, Disneyland! (Day 1)
My morning Mickey fix :)

Waiting for the rope drop:

Then we went straight for the Fantasyland rides!
King Arthur Carrousel:

Storybook Land Canal Boats:

Matterhorn Bobsleds:

Carnation Cafe:
Star Wars: Path of the Jedi:
Disneyland Monorail:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:
Mark Twain Riverboat:
A must :)
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh:
Disneyland Railroad:
Tarzan's Treehouse:
Enchanted Tiki Room:
Hmm.... Fantasyland... can't remember which:
Hyperspace Mountain:
Eryn was asleep:
My favorite Disney photo:
Walt Disney's Dream:
Remember, this was the weekend before the inauguration of 45. We tried to keep politics out of the weekend, but Great Moments by Mr. Lincoln left me in tears, mourning for our country. And then we saw this man's portrait in the lobby:
And then this man:
It's a Small World:
Pirates of the Caribbean: 
That was it for Day 2.

Because I knew there was still snow on the ground at home, I couldn't pass up the chance to run in the sun. We had a morning flight, so Day 3 called for an early wake up and some miles around the parks.

I stopped to gawk at the construction:
Much different view than at home:
Outside the hotel:
Shorts and T-shirts!
What a nice little break from reality :)