Echo Valley 50K … err 60K Race Report

On Sunday, June 11th, I did Echo Valley 50K… but it turned into a 60K at 37.2 miles. The race course was a lot easier than my previous 2 50Ks, Deception Pass 50K and Sun Mountain 50K that I PR’ed both of those races even with the added 6 miles finishing in 6:58. I highly recommend this race if you want a much easier course or to PR! Evergreen Trail Runs is also awesome!

19113713_10209289984181793_6515445462048552726_n

I carpooled with Carol and Liz out to Lake Chelan. Two years ago Carol and our friend Venus took a trip out here when Carol did the 50K and I did the Half Marathon. This time the tables were turned, I was doing the 50K and Carol and Liz were doing the Half Marathon. We had an amazing weekend. It is a great get away. Dinner is served to the athletes for a discount at the Vin du Lac with a delicious wine selection to take the edge off the race evening jitters. Our hotel had a hot tub. And Lake Chelan is a very refreshing ice bath recovery for after the race. I also enjoyed a great big omelette breakfast the morning after the race at the Apple Cup Cafe.

19029653_10103188216335707_6643030199985239503_n

We got up to Echo Valley early for a nice race start of 8 AM. I was testing out wearing a running skort I had for this kind of distance since I think that’s what I’ll stick to for the 50M since it’s supposed to be hot. I’m worried about chafing with shorts for that kind of distance. It worked well – had no chafing except for from my sports bra so lesson learned for my 50 Miler to put some Vaseline under there since the Glide didn’t cut it for the whole 60K. The first mile and the last mile of the race are the same since you do the Kids Run 1 Mile. The next 3 miles I felt like I struggled. My heart rate was all over the place and I couldn’t settle into a pace. I realized later this was because this was the only spot where we were actually doing elevation and then everything pretty much leveled out except for a couple spots but everything was a very gradual incline, no need to ever hike. It was all completely runnable which after doing Sun Mountain 50K was just amazing and strange.

At Mile 9, Liz passed me for the Half Marathon (they started at 9 am). Speedy Gonzales. And I knew Carol wouldn’t be far behind. Both had some encouraging words and it was good to see them. At this point I saw and talked to a woman who would later sentence me to doing a 60K that day instead of a 50K. She said, “We’re almost done!” To which I responded, “Um, I have just 21 more miles to go.” Perhaps she thought I needed more miles that day later when I saw her volunteering at Mile 19 because of this comment.

The race went pretty fast. I was averaging around 5 miles per hour which to me for trail running is pretty awesome. I couldn’t believe it would be possible I would finish in 6 hours. I saw Jerry a lot on the course taking photographs. I got confused by the aid station at mile 10. I somehow missed seeing it come back from a loop and didn’t see another table with water until mile 16. I decided to fill up my pack again at this point just in case I had trouble finding aid stations or water tables for later, but of course I couldn’t miss the big aid station tent at mile 19/25 where I was happy to re-apply some glide and stick a blister bandaid over a callus on the ball of my foot that suddenly started hurting around mile 25. I had bad blisters on my foot from Sun Mountain 3 weeks prior that never really got to heal. The blister bandaids really helped. I only wished they were bigger. Where can I get some wider ones for the 50M in 2.5 weeks? 😉

19105671_10209289983541777_2204119580903454631_n

The view from the loop I did twice was pretty spectacular.

At Mile 19 at the aid station, there were 2 guys also refueling. The volunteer at the aid station said we didn’t need to come back to the aid station if we didn’t need to after finishing the loop. I took off before they did, but we leapfrogged for a bit heading up to this beautiful 4 mile loop with a great view of Lake Chelan in the distance, but I lost them after they started walking. I took a picture of the incredible view. That loop was completely flat and I sped through it, came on back down towards the aid station. The lady who must have run the 10K I saw on the course who said “We’re almost done!” was volunteering at the bottom. The arrows weren’t clear and I couldn’t figure out where to go next. She said, “You have to go up there.” I was confused. I wasn’t sure if that was the way I just went or if I had gone up a different way, but I listened to her and headed up. I did the entire loop again thinking it was a different loop with the same view … until I got to the sign to go back down with the same exact name I saw before and then I realized it – I just did the same loop again. Here I am at Mile 29 and I get down to the aid station and it was completely taken down, the water and nutrition were all packed up. My watch at 1:30 PM. I thought it wasn’t supposed to be taken down until 3:15 PM according to the race site. I told the 2 men there what happened and asked if I could have some water, which way to go, and how much further they estimated it to be. They estimated 3-4 miles. It was a bit more than that I later learned. Thankfully, one of them walked me up to show me where to go. Looking at that sign without the distance marker, I would have never figured that out.

19247788_10209338941765702_6559837260918685322_n

On the loop I did twice. Really loved that loop though!

At Mile 30, the sweeper came running up and high fived me. I told her what happened, that I did the loop twice and kept going. At Mile 31, I twisted my ankle. It hurt so bad. I couldn’t even bare weight for a while. Then I was finally able to walk again. I texted Carol to tell her what was going on cos I thought they must be wondering why it’s taking me so long and that I twisted my ankle. Finally, I was able to run again but it hurt like a motherf’er. Then my watch died. It somehow already powered down to 70% before the race started. Lesson learned: charge that thing all night before the race. Count on using both my Garmin and the cell phone for the 50M. I started tracking the miles with MapMyRun on my phone. At Mile 35, I see 2 volunteers cheering. I tell them what happened (I guess I was a bit annoyed and in some pain) and they said, “Your only about 7 minutes out!” 7 minutes my ass. It was 2 more miles. It was so frustrating at that point because I could see the parking lot, but couldn’t cut through if I didn’t want to DNF yet I knew I was well past the 50K mark. So whatever, I chalked up my pain, and kept going and then got to the 1 Mile Kids Fun run finish. There was a lot of cursing here. And a lot of pain. And then before I knew it, I was through the finish line with Carol and Liz’s cheers and got some ICE and BEER. Ice and beer is all you need when you hurt like that. I was pretty proud that I beat both of my 50K times on a 60K and with a twisted ankle the last 10K. Take that! I can pretty much do anything. Just not an Iron Man or a 100 Miler. Ok, maybe one day.

19059850_10103188218770827_3841215386179028409_n

With my ice and beer and Carol and Liz! I can care less if it’s PBR at this point.

 

Sun Mountain 50K Race Report


This past Saturday, May 20th, I finished Sun Mountain 50K. It was my 2nd 50K and I felt it was a lot harder than my 1st, which was Deception Pass 50K. Unlike my 1st 50K, everything went well before hand. I was well-rested even if I had to get a massage the Thursday before to work out some muscle pain in the back of my lower hamstring, upper calf, and tendons on the side of my right knee. I got a full night sleep because I got my own hotel room. And I had no stomach issues. I’d say that was all a win for getting me to the start. I was using this race as training for my 50 miler in July, Mt Hood, and plan to do another 50K or trail Marathon, Echo Valley on June 11th.

Start

The race started pretty quickly. One second I’m talking with friends, and the next they’re announcing we’re starting the race. I started out with my friend Katie, also part of Seattle Green Lake Running Group / Green Lake Ultra Group / Green Lakers. We had planned to run the race together and trained together some beforehand since we’re the same pace. My friend Ram who I met at Deception Pass 50K and is also part of the same running group(s) was out there too who was also our pace so I was happy I might see a familiar face along the course. I started out behind Eivind who’s also in our running and Seattle Green Lake Triathlon Group, and is a crazy Iron Man. He was chatting away, but I kept getting separated by people who’d get ahead or behind him, and they kept asking, “Are you talking to me?” Or “Is he talking to himself?” And I’d explain, “He’s talking to me. I’m way back here now.”

Aid Station 17

Katie and I ran the first 10 miles together which were gorgeous and easy to enjoy because they were a gradual uphill leading into a section covered in sunflowers and lilac flowers with majestic views. We saw Emily Ann at mile 5 who handed off potatoes to Sean earlier and snapped some awesome photos of us, “trail sisters”. At some point I remember saying “This is like running in heaven.” After the 8.6 mile Aid station, once we got up in a mountain bike trail, I lost her on the way down. I found it funny they kept putting us on the mountain bike trail options labeled “hard” instead of “easy.” As if we weren’t going to strain ourselves enough that day. Once I got to the bottom, I waited for Katie awhile thinking she’d catch up. I started walking up another semi-steep but gradual-ish incline. A lot of people were walking up it, but I found it runnable. I was hoping I’d see Katie again. I had a couple women ask me if I were ok cos I kept stopping and looking behind me. I explained I was waiting for my friend and they said you might not want to wait alluding to the time and cutoffs. So I started running again until I got to aid station 17. This section of the race and up to mile 19 I found went so quickly and was the easiest part of the race. At aid station 17, I did notice I was starting to get blisters from my sock on my right foot. I had ran with these socks before but most of my training was in wet muddy trail runs vs. dry dusty dirt trail runs so I didn’t really account for how that could rub in your shoes and socks and cause blisters though I did put Glide in between my toes and the insides of my soles (I got a few toe blisters when training and found this worked). I didn’t put any extra socks in my drop bag at that aid station though. I decided to take my socks off, brush the dry dirt off them, put a bandaid from my pack on my pinky toe and put them back on and hope for the best. I left Katie a message at some point — though I don’t know why because we didn’t really have any reception out there — to ask if I should wait for her at aid station 17 and then again at aid station 17 that I kept going. This was also why I made the decision at this point to fill my camelbak bladder with half electrolyte water at the aid station and half water plus 2 scoops of Hammer Heed. I thought if my brain’s not working quite right, I’m at risk of getting dehydrated plus it was getting hot and I have a volume depletion disorder. It definitely did the trick. Best decision made.

Miles 19 – 24: Sun Mountain & Out and Back

Hitting mile 19, we started our climb up Sun Mountain. Except I had no clue this was Sun Mountain. (I really should have studied the maps and course more. It’s funny on my Garmin data, it doesn’t look so bad.) Because I thought this was Patterson Mountain, I really hauled ass thinking this was it and got up there pretty quick. Eivind passed me on the way down and said, “See you at the finish!” This set a bad expectation that I wasn’t far from finishing or the rest was easy. There was a group of guys in bright colored wigs running the water spigot so I ran my head under the cold water to cool off. Then we headed out for an out and back bumping into runners going the opposite direction. It felt like it went forever when it was around 1.5-2 miles out. On the way back I saw Ram and told him the turnaround was in about .4 miles. I still held out hope for seeing Katie, but didn’t so at this point I thought she must have dropped. There was an older man who stopped at a bench and removed his shirt who Katie and I ran with earlier in the race. He was having a hard time and said, “I might pass out.” I got him to get going again and tried to crack some jokes. I said, “I can’t wait to get back to the lodge to the spigot. Then we can say, “Spigot me!” He started laughing and made it back the lodge. I didn’t see him after that so I assumed he dropped. Going back down Sun Mountain I got passed by people who were walking on the out and back. I had a hard time running down some sections and got the worst cramp in my side. I started clutching it in my hand to help ease it. Then I got back down to the bottom where Jordan from SGLRG was volunteering and directing traffic. I’m sure he could tell I was struggling a bit.

Aid Station Mile 25 to Patterson Mountain

Then we went onto a woodsy section. I didn’t see any trail markers for a while and got scared I missed a turn or something so stopped to look at the map. A woman came up to me in a yellow shirt who I kept piggybacking the race with since aid station 17.  I had mentioned to her before I lost my friend, and at this point I realized I’d been running 15 miles by myself. She said this must be the trail because she didn’t see anywhere else to turn so we kept going and soon we saw a trail marker. Before I knew it I was at aid station mile 25. A volunteer there told me I had 10 minutes before cut off. The blisters on my right foot had multiplied and I had fresh socks in my drop bag and another bandaid. I just said, “Give me 2 minutes, and I’m out of here.” After trying to stick a bandaid on and changing my socks, I stuffed ice cubes down my shirt and in my hat. Then I was off to misery…. err I mean Patterson Mountain. In my head I was thinking, 6 miles to the finish, it must be all down hill because we must be that high up and that far away from the finish. Boy, was I wrong. There was no way I could run miles 25 – 29. It was all up, and sun exposure. In hindsight, my watch data tells me it was 88 degrees at this point and the race average was 76 degrees. Yeah, that was a bit brutal for us Seattleites. I’ve run a trail marathon in 86 degrees in CA and it wasn’t easy so I think that’s why my body was like whatever, we’ve done this before, let’s just get this done. We hike up to around mile 26 and get to the ladder going over the barbed wire fence to keep cows at bay. Then just kept climbing all the way up to Patterson with that giant box at the top and a great view of the Cascade Mountains. I took a photo of it because I wanted to prove I made it! And then ran down to where Glenn was taking photos around mile 29.

To the Finish!

The next mile was a fairly steep downgrade and a bit rocky uneven ground. Some parts I had a difficult time running and started walking. When I got down to the road crossing, I didn’t feel too well and decided to walk too until I was about .5-1 mile from the finish. I thought about jumping in the lake there. I think everyone did. And then I shuffled my way in to the finish where my SGLRG buddies were cheering me in. I was so emotional because although this was not my first 50K, this was my hardest, and this was actually the hardest race I had ever done, even harder than Half Iron Man training. As I went through the finish line, I said, “This was the hardest *bleep* thing I’ve done.” (Pardon my language.) I started crying and Katie and Ram gave me big hugs. I was happy I finished! Emily Ann was amazing and asked if I wanted anything. I said some electrolytes and food. She brought me a glass of Nuun in water and a giant plate of mostly fruits and veggies which was exactly what I wanted actually. Ross was clicking away with photos and talked to me a bit about the race and having people to train with who are our pace. I was a bit worried about having photos of me being so emotional, but you know what, I’m proud of my accomplishment and happy to have shared it with friends. I know I am not a fast runner or a super lean runner, but I am a very determined runner and I know based on my history, I can pretty much get through anything. I am resilient.

I did take so many photos along the run. Some are posted here.

Time: 8:10:37 (for perspective, Deception Pass 50K took me 7:20:26)

My 2016 Most Memorable Events

Each year I write a reflection on the year. This year feels a bit different than 2012 through 2015 did. 2015 was super running and triathlon race heavy. Years before that were super event and growing new friendships heavy. This year was neither running and tri race heavy or event heavy. I set out to run another 50K in 2016 and that didn’t happen due to injury. This year I am happy I got to spend some quality time with my family on some trips. But, I am happy to say my biggest 2016 accomplishments were the following:

  1. I got promoted. I dreamed for years of managing a development team (14 years) and in March that finally happened. And I have to admit, it is what I dreamed of and is rewarding and enjoyable. In the past year, I’ve built a great team and I am really excited about what we’ve accomplished so far and what we plan to build.
  2. I got engaged to the man I love so very much in October on our 4 year anniversary! We are getting married next year on our anniversary.
  3. We bought a house together in November. This is our first house ever, and it is an amazing house in a great neighbourhood.

boughthouse

So in those ways, although Trump is president-elect (which horrifies me), I lost my cousin Tiffany, and Carrie Fisher, Leonard Cohen, Prince, David Bowie, and many other great celebrities died this year, this year blew other years out of the water.

Other than those 3 HUGE things, here are other amazing memories from my year:

  • Volunteering at Meredith Matthews YMCA Try a Triathlon

meredithmathews

  • Zion Trip and the Zion Half Marathon with my Tri/Running group friends
  • Hosted two fundraisers at my radio show at Hollow Earth Radio. One was for Hollow Earth Radio to raise funds for our GoFundMe campaign top become an on air station in the Central District in Aug 2017 (Future KHUH 100.3). The other was for Seattle Green Lake Triathlon Group’s fundraising for Seattle Children’s Emergency Room Fund.

hollow_earth_venuscarol

radio

  • Trip to NJ and Philadelphia with my brother, sister-in-law and nephews to see my Dad’s family in May. Our cousin Tiffany passed away in March following the Zion Half Marathon, right before I was driving everyone back to the airport in the rental car. I had a really hard time holding my shit together. I must have broken down crying I don’t know how many times. My brother and I spent a lot of time over at my Aunt’s and their house growing up playing with Tiffany. And it was insanely hard to imagine or comprehend she was gone. She was our age. She was going to get married this year. It was overbearingly horrifyingly sad. I could not imagine how her parents and her siblings feel. It was so good to see them all and as much as I hate NJ (the non-stop tolls, the massive crowdedness, the everyone drives 90 miles per our, the strip malls), I would really like to see them all again, so obviously I’m going back again in the future.  While in the area, we took my nephews to the Philadelphia Zoo and to Sesame Place where they got to see the Imagination Movers. They had a great time. It was so good to spend time with our family even if it was too short and we didn’t get to see everyone.
  • Inspire Conference in Orlando, FL. I always enjoy seeing my fellow insurance customers, Dan and Mary Kay every year.

orlandodanmillsmarykay.jpg

  • Trip to New Orleans for a conference and then with my parents (also got to celebrate my birthday with them!)
  • Followed by a trip to Mobile, AL with my sister, nephew, brother-in-law and parents. I can’t wait to see them again this April.

joe_mom_mobile_al

 

  • Skagit Valley Tulips at Roosengarde – I’ve been in Seattle 10 years now as of December and this was the first year I ever made it to see the tulips.

tulips

  • Multiple trips, trails runs, and a race at Chuckanut Mountain. I loved it so much I decided to run the 50K in March 2017.

chuckanut.jpg

  • I got to see Jen Q in Seattle (albeit super brief)! One of my childhood friends from Hillside, NJ. We went to high school together. She is awesome!

jenq

  • Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage with Two Dozen Legs!!!
  • Gene’s Graduation from University of Washington!
  • Co-hosted the DIY Holiday Fair at the Vera Project this year and it was awesome
  • Annual Rollerskating trip with Seattle Green Lake Triathlon Group

rollerskating2

rollerskating

  • San Francisco Conference
  • Trip to Orcas Island

orcas2orcas

  • Cycle the Wave Ride (and I didn’t die when my brakes failed me on a steep long hill going into traffic)

cyclewave

  • Trip to Puerto Rico

puertorico6
puertorico4

puertorico2

puertorico1

I’m sure there are many more memories than I can remember!

Here was 2015. 2014.

50K/50 Miler Training Plan

6 days after I wrote my last entry regarding 50K training for Baker Lake 50K, I rolled my ankle at the end of 24 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, sprained my foot and tore one of my ankle ligaments a little bit. It took 8 weeks to heal. I started running but could only run a mile at a time a few weeks ago and did some PT sessions. This past weekend I did my first trail run since my injury, 5 miles at Rattlesnake Ledge. It felt awesome. I thought I’d have lost a lot more fitness than I did but I guess biking and swimming helped. I followed it up with some trail runs on Orcas Island at Mt. Constitution and the Cascade Lake Loop Trail which also went well. So I am crossing my fingers that I am ready to begin 50K and my 50 miler training for next year.

I have 3 top race choices pending I get into any of them, 2 in May and 1 in July:

  1. Mt Hood 50 Miler – July 8th-9th – 5,630 ft elevation – This is my brother’s birthday which could mean super super good luck for me. It also gives me a little more time to make sure my foot/ankle are OK and continue working on my hip flexors/glutes – strength training, yay.
  2. Quad Rock 50 Miler – Fort Collins, CO – May 13th –  11,000 ft elevation sounds crazy but not impossible. My parents met in CO and I have been meaning to go there for a long time. It would be pretty incredible to run my first 50 Miler in CO and see the sights. It is quite possible a conference ends up falling on this time period and totally screws up this plan.
  3. Sun Mountain 100K – May 20th – 10,000 ft elevation – Not a 50 Miler and kind of nervous about doing a 62.1 Miler for my first 50 Miler but what’s another 12.1 miles? I really wanted to do the 25K or 50K last year and did not make it into the race. So I am betting on it selling out before I can even sign up.

Now here’s some plans:

trainingplan50miler1

50miletrainingplan2

And now to find a 50K along the way.

If a May 50 Miler:

  • Mar 18 – Chuckanut Mountain 50K – I did the Half this year and loved it
  • Apr 8 – Yakima Skyline Rim 50K – If I don’t have to travel for work then and I actually get into it

If a July 50 Miler:

  • June ? – Echo Valley 50K – I did Echo Valley Half the year before and loved it; I would totally do this one
  • June 10 – Beacon Rock 50K – Though I’ve wanted to do this one…

 

How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs – Erzébet Szekeres & Alliance for Rehabilitation

szb_20131211_053

Another one of my favorite stories from How to Change the World is about Erzébet Szekeres who developed a program to address 3 of the most difficult problems disabled adults in Hungary face – a lack of job training, few employment opportunities, and a housing shortage, sprung on by having her son who was disabled. She created Alliance for Rehabilitation offering members vocational training to prep them for real life. It turned around how Hungary treated disabled adults completely for the positive.

When Erzébet’s son was born disabled, she was told he would never be able to do anything in this world. She decided to prove everyone wrong. First she looked at resources currently available for disabled adults, and was shocked at how terrible the conditions were, how they were segregated from society, and were unable to take care of themselves. She decided to find other families in situations like hers and form a community. She bought a large farm and identified work that disabled individuals would be able to do including ceramics, farming, manufacturing, packaging, and construction. This community became Alliance, an official cooperative. Erzébet worked with an architect to design Alliance – she envisioned it to have spacious shared spaces for multiple tenants to share and cooperate, yet have their own space and rooms to have privacy, and time to re-charge. Greenery and animals roamed the cooperative. Those who were invited to work at Alliance could not have been familiar with the existing disabled housing and methods. Their minds needed to be free of that, and be able to accept disabled individuals as any other people, capable of being rehabilitated into a normal community. Alliance even organized dances where both members of the community and those of the surrounding towns look forward to attending and enjoying. It was a huge success and model for Hungary in changing how disabled and severely handicapped individuals are integrated into society.

“Today, 620 disabled individuals, including 300 who are severely handicapped, are employed in various fields throughout Hungary. The Alliance for Rehabilitation has numerous business relations, serves business clients and accepts jobs from distant locations like Holland and Italy. It generates about US$ 157,000 in revenue, more than half of which is distributed among the workers as salaries comparable to the pay of people in similar jobs in more accepted parts of society. In addition, the organization provides workers with housing to rent and is constructing new building blocks to keep up with increasing demand. The apartments have one nurse for every three units, and are affordably priced. Parents or older relatives may move into larger affordable apartments together with one of the workers to offer them more support.

Despite its revenues, the Alliance for Rehabilitation is 50% financed by the government under a law supporting disabled employment. In the event of grant failure, an emergency strategy has been developed to guarantee the organization remains sustainable and self-sufficient, although salary payments would go to providing free accommodation and food for all members.” – From http://www.schwabfound.org/content/erzs%C3%A9bet-szekeres.

 

How to Change the World – Social Entrepreneurs: Cordeiro & Renascer Reforming Healthcare

I’ve been reading How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas by David Bornstein and it’s really good. It highlights some really amazing stories of social entrepreneurs and how they are changing the world. These are the stories that need to be heard and shared more often to make a difference in the world. I’d love to share some of my favourites, so I’ll start with Cordeiro.

Cordeiro and Renascer – Assisting Children & Families, Reducing Recurrence in “At Risk” Children, Reforming Healthcare

Vera-Cordeiro_P2

An amazing woman, Vera Cordeiro in Lagoa, Brazil came up with the idea to provide assistance to children and families in need where their children were suffering from some medical issue. It started when a 1 year old boy arrived at her hospital whose hand required amputation. Cordeiro was called in to consult with the boy’s mother to prepare her for the amputation. The mother Pedrina told her that she had just lost her job as a maid, she didn’t know where she was going to live, how she was going to buy food, or how she would purchase a prosthesis for her son so he could live a normal life. Cordeiro sitting in her own living room with her 2 daughters that night couldn’t get Pedrina out of her head. She remembered how shaken she had been when 1 of her daughters contracted a serious infection and how she had all of this help, her mother, two maids, the best pediatricians. She thought how if these mothers and families had this help, it would be much easier to recover from illness and make sure they wouldn’t have a recurring need for medical assistance if they had access to basic knowledge and items such as blankets, water filters, fans, eyeglasses, wheelchairs, nebulizers, safety fences, and carriages.

That’s how the healthcare project at Renascer got started to stop the cycle of readmission among poor children. A group of personnel, including social workers, psychologists, nutritionists, volunteers gathered together to work with mothers to discuss treatment plans and one-on-one over 6 month periods. Lists of items that were needed were displayed on the bulletin board by the entrance. Each time mothers would visit the office to pick up food and medicine, they would discuss the progress of their treatment plans with Renascer’s volunteers. Cordeiro was brought on as a fellow of the organization Ashoka – Innovators for the Public after interviews with Bill Drayton, the CEO and Founder. Starting in 1996 – 1997, she started winning awards and was able to expand this idea to healthcare in Brazil to 3 more hospitals  and then nationally.

Stitch Fix Review: I kept the whole box again!

I don’t do stitch fix very often. This was my 5th stitch fix over 2 years. On box #3, I kept the whole box. Box #4 I kept a vest and a striped black and navy lightweight mid-length sleeve sweater. Everything I have kept from stitch fix, I wear a lot and I always receive complements on them. My stylist has certainly gotten my style! I do keep my Pinterest up-to-date with what I am looking for and give specific directions on what’s coming up, what I’m needing, what colors, types of clothes, and etc. I need. For example, this last fix I said, “I have 2 conferences with 3 presentations soon. I like the light pink trend for Spring; a cardigan or blouse in pink would be great. Another skirt or dress for work. I like the mid-length skirt trend I’ve pinned. Also pinned lots of dresses for ideas. A new romantic cute pastel tank blouse (like with ruffles, lace or polka dots). My social life is hectic lately and I don’t own many casual clothes. A t-shirt for rollerskating and team meetings and a pair of skinny jeans that fit big athletic legs would be great.”

Well what she sent me totally fit my needs. Everything fit great, loved the colors, and the styles.

20160316_184159

Item #1: Street Level Meyer Tassel Clutch

Item #2: Gilli Viola Jersey Dress

Item #3: Skies are Blue Sutro Crochet Detail Knit Top

Item #4: Mavi Freida Skinny Jean

Item #5: Dex Ramuz Lace Back Blouse

2016 Race Planning

I tried for a couple months not to plan any races, and then you know how that goes. Also adding in Seattle Green Lake Triathlon Group’s planned Training Preview Dates so I don’t forget obligations for this year.

Hot Pink = Race Plans
Blue = SGLTG Supported Race Preview Date

March 12 – Zion Half Marathon

April 10 – Everett Half Marathon

May 1 – Bloomsday

May 7 – Orcas Island Half?

May 13 – May 15 – Victoria 70.3 Race Preview with Karen

May 21 – Lake Meridian 1 SGLTG Race Preview 1

June 4 – Chukanaut Trail Run?
OR
June 5 – North Olympic Discovery Marathon?

June 12 – Echo Valley Half Marathon
OR
June 12 – Victoria 70.3?

June 18 – Lake Meridian Olympic Triathlon? (Conference that week in San Fran? Trying to send someone else)

June 26 – Couer D’Alene 70.3?

July 9 – Cougar Mountain Trail Event (10 or 20 miles)?

July 24 – Half Ironman 70.3 Calgary, AB, Canada?

July 31 – SGLTG Lake Meridian 2 Race Preview 1

August 6 – SGLTG Lake Meridian 2 Race Preview 2

Aug 13 – Lake Meridian Olympic Triathlon

August 20 – SGLTG Black Diamond Race Preview

Aug 28 – Iron Horse Half Marathon

September 10 – Black Diamond Triathlon Long Course?

September 26 – International Patagonia Trail Marathon? (Chile/Argentina trip?)

OR

November 26 – Bagan Temple Marathon? (Myanmar trip?) http://bagan-temple-marathon.com/node/19

 

 

My 2015 Most Memorable Events

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!

12314111_1005984056090238_2577041954895127962_n

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.

10991077_10205226128845732_2966247521208787904_n

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!LakeSamm

 

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.

BirchBayBirchBay2

Early Open Water Swims starting in April 2015 – Brr! We started OWS’s early this year with water temps at 58 degrees.

OWS_April2015

 

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.

Parents_VA

With my parents in Smithfield, VA

wash_dc

Ferris wheel at the Gaylord National Conference Center in D.C.

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.

May_Echo_Valleyechovalleylakechelanisbeautiful

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

Kendallcatwalk

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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!