It’s been tradition to do a “Most Memorable Events of the Year” post or write-up for each year. My 2015 was very race heavy, about 2 races a month and was very focused on completing my first 50K race. I think in 2016, I’d like it to be a little less race heavy, and a lot more fun and time with friends and family. Of course, as always, I’d like to accomplish something big in the next year, and I am thinking that is finally a Half Iron Man race, and I would like it to be in Canada (which I need to get on renewing my dang passport).
Highlights from 2015:
Blast from the Past Trail Race at Taylor Mountain in January – Loved this race. It was my first actual trail race, one of many in 2015. And it dumped half way through the race. If anyone knows me, they know how much I like to get muddy and we certainly got muddy!
Fort Ebey Kettles Trail Run on Whidbey Island in February – I love anytime I can get up Whidbey Island and around there. This race had gorgeous views and beautiful trails.
Lake Sammamish Half Marathon in March – I thought this would be my fastest Half (I think it was #27?) but it wasn’t. Seattle Half Marathon still beats it by 2 minutes. SGLRG and SGLTG sure did represent!
Birch Bay 30K – Another one of my favourites from the year and the first time I did this race. I ran the first 10 miles with Lorinda, an amazing Marathon Maniac and Iron Man. Then with a woman from Canada for quite a while in the race. I really do like this distance. I do a lot of Halfs, but it is nice to do something in between a Half Marathon and a Marathon.
Early Open Water Swims starting in April 2015 – Brr! We started OWS’s early this year with water temps at 58 degrees.
Conferences in April to May ending with Western Pacific Trail Marathon in Fremont, CA – Started in Washington, DC, following the conference, I rented a car and drove down to VA Beach area to spend time with my family.
Then flew to San Diego to Coronado Island for the 2nd conference, which was great to start adapting to the weather there for the race because my first run there, it was hard to breath, not used to the heat, 84+ degrees. But, by race day I was completely adjusted. Traveling for 3 weeks was hard being away from Gene – we didn’t like it one bit, and not being home. Thankfully in 2016, the 3 conferences are spread out a bit more, but that kind of impacts my Half Iron Man plans, not being able to race Victoria or Boulder with my friends and teammates because they fall on dates that the conferences are on.
The Western Pacific Trail Marathon was my first trail Marathon. It wasn’t as difficult as other trail races I did this year like Cougar Mountain, Grand Ridge and Deception Pass, but it did give me somewhat of an idea what it was like to do a trail Marathon. It was certainly more difficult than a road marathon and took me a whole 1/2 hour longer to do than a road marathon. It was a hot one too, 84+ degrees, so I’m proud of how I did on it. The scenery was also beautiful. We ran along a Quarry Lakes and the Alameda Flood Control Channel in Fremont, CA. Although the drought was so very apparent. Along the routes there were huge murals and painted signage about the drought. It was a huge wake up call to me how desperate CA and parts of the country near there were in, and what an impact we have had on our environment. That whole race was pretty gorgeous though. Brazen Racing puts on a good race. They are also really friendly and have a great spread of post-race food. I was all by myself, but I had several people talk with me after the race. They were kind of surprised someone came all the way from Seattle to run it. The only other 2 from out-of-state were from Colorado.
Echo Valley Trail Half Marathon – At the end of May, Carol, Venus, and I took a trip out to Echo Valley and Lake Chelan to do the Echo Valley Trail race. This was Carol’s I think 2nd 50K and she was following it up with a 50 Miler the next month. I wish in hindsight that I did the Marathon or I did this as my 50K. But, I signed up for the Half Marathon. It was also hot, 84-87 degrees F, but I had a great race. I also loved Chelan. We went to a winery that was hosting the pre-race meal for dinner. I wished we were able to enjoy the wineries more, but I don’t drink before big races. After the race we went swimming at Lake Chelan, which felt great and refreshing on our sore legs. I could have stayed there longer. It left me itching to go back again next year. Evergreen Trail Runs puts on great races too.
Issaquah Triathlon – Then I went right into Triathlon season. Starting with Issaquah Triathlon. It is sad that they will no longer be putting on this race. Also heard Lake Stevens Half Iron Man and Iron Girl are no longer being put on in 2016. But, that means I will have to try different Triathlons in 2016.
Lake Meridian Triathlon – This one I would like to do the Olympic distance on finally. It’s a really great race, well-supported, fun pancake breakfast, awards, and raffles afterwards.
Potluck and Meetups at Beaver Lake – Loved all the get together’s for the Tri group this past year. I need to make it out to Beaver Lake more for swims, but also runs, the road goes out to trails for Soaring Eagle Park among other trails which I ran to after a swim and bike ride one time last year. It’s a beautiful lake, area to bike, and nice park to run in.
Seafair Olympic Triathlon – This was my first Olympic triathlon and it was a good one. My favourite memory was having Kellina come in from the finish. It was also her first Olympic triathlon.
Vacation in Lake Tahoe – In July, Gene and I took vacation in Lake Tahoe. It wasn’t as awesome as I hoped (I think our Hawaii trip 2 years ago had totally spoiled us). But, the highlights of the vacation were definitely hiking Mount Tallac, kayaking Emerald Bay around Finette Island, and going to Vikingsholm.
August – Apparently, I just did a lot of hiking and trail running in August. And volunteered at Lake Stevens Half Iron Man. One memorable hike was the Kendall Catwalk Hike in late August with some friends.
September Trip to VA to Lurray Caverns and Shenandoah – In September I took another trip out to VA to spend time with my family. I have always wanted to go to Lurray Caverns, so my parents planned to rent a cabin out there, and we’d take a trip out there and to Shanandoah to do some hiking where my brother and Dad take Owen each summer for hiking and camping. Lurray Caverns are pretty spectacular and the hike was beautiful. My parents have been doing a lot more hiking this year, joining an online group.
September to November was a sea of races in preparation for Deception Pass 50K on December 12th. Sept 13th, I did Beat the Blerch. Then Bellingham Bay Half Marathon Sept 27th. In between that I had some big training runs and back-t0-back long runs at Cougar Mountain, West Seattle including Lincoln Park, and St. Edward’s Park and Big Finn. Then ran Lake Padden Trail Half on October 17th followed by Cougar Mountain 20 Miler on October 25th. Then Grand Ridge Trail Half Marathon Nov 19th (I downgraded from the Marathon to the Half when I realized how bad the weather was. Still ran 22 that day followed by 10 the next day. It was brutal, pouring rain, ran through lots of ice cold water.). Followed by Seattle Marathon on Nov 29th. I paced the first half with SGLRG and then finished the Marathon at my pace. It was a pretty awesome experience. I ended up bringing in some people from the 4:25 and 4:40 pace groups that fell back a little.
In between that was some non-running fun with a bachelorette party, a wedding of two amazing friends, Diana and Charley, and some pumpkin carving. As you can see next year I really need more fun and time with friends and loved ones, and less racing. 🙂 I am thankful for one of my new co-workers this year as she has broken me out of my shell at work and gotten me to spend more time with co-workers growing friendships with lunches and happy hours. A few of us took a class at the Pantry in Ballard. Highly recommend it!
Deception Pass 50K – I sort of trained all year for this thing. My first 50K. All that hard work paid off because I finished! And I still think a 50 Miler is possible in the future for me.
Best Books I read this year:
- Tracy Kidder’s Strength in What Remains – This was so good, and completely satisfied my need for an inspiring story like Mountains Beyond Mountains did.
- Timothy Egan’s The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest
- T.R. Reid’s Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care
- John L. Parker’s Again to Carthage
- Abraham Verghese’s Cutting for Stone – I have mixed feelings about this one though it was hard to put it down and one of my friends recommended it. I need to read a lot more in 2016!