Hot Chocolate Race Recap

On Sunday I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k in Seattle. This is a large race, 7,000 in the 5k and 5,500 in the 15k. I have run this race the past 3 years and each year say I’m not going to run it again. It is a hard, hilly course. You are going up or down the whole 9 miles nothing is flat. But the chocolate is always a draw for someone I know. Last year my sister, Pam came from Boston to run. This year my friend, Devri and her husband, Barry came up from Oregon to run the race.

Devri and I

Devri and I

The 5k has a very early start of 6:45, the 15k 7:55. The only issue was the traffic off Mercer St. But we headed up a side street and got free parking about 3 blocks from the start. Devri even had time for a bathroom stop before her corral started. For a big race it’s very well-organized. Easy gear check, plenty of port-a-potties and you can wait inside at the Armory.

The weather was about 40 and beautiful blue sunny sky. We started on time and the first bit is a few very steep downhills. I like to go all out on the downhills, and it was still pretty crowded so I was also weaving in and out a bit.  There is not a lot of crowd support but the volunteers are awesome. Most had cow bells and shouted cheers along the way. About mile 3 my friend Rebecca comes up beside me, what a great surprise. I didn’t know she was running this race. We ending up running the rest of the race together. We chatted very little as we were both running at a very good pace for us. I told her she was going to be my rabbit, but to run at her pace. She ended up pulling slightly ahead in the last third of a mile, which was up hill, and I was running out of steam. Finish time 1:23:29 a PR and top 10% in my new age group. Thank you Rebecca for pushing me!

Rebecca and I

Rebecca and I

At the finish there are cups of Gatorade and bottles of water. We also got metals this year. The finish shoot is organized and quick. You have a ticket on your bib for your mug of goodies. Everyone gets one. There is no taking 8 for your whole family and leaving none for the runners behind you.

Hot Chocolate mug

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Thanks Devri for the pictures!

This is a great race, anyone from Boston want to come out to run it next year?

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2 Years!

Sunday, February 22 will be 2 years since my last radiation treatment for breast cancer. It seems longer that. I consider it my survivorship day. I don’t talk or dwell on the fact that I had breast cancer often. I prefer to put it in the past and move on with my life. But I will celebrate this day. Each week, month and visit to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance that goes by with a positive result puts me further away from the disease.

For anyone reading this going through cancer treatment, I’m proof that is gets better. You can get through it and lead a better life. I’m much more aware that life is short and can be taken from you at any time. In the past 2 years I have done things, I never would have before, that were out of my comfort zone. I’m not afraid of doing something that may be hard or scary, because I already did the hardest thing in my life, beat cancer.

Life is a gift and should be a bit of an adventure. Cancer gave me the courage to put me first. Yes, I have a job and family to consider, but I’m going to run fast and take chances.

Up in 2015:

Eugene Marathon #7

Trip to Beijing and Shanghai

Ragnar Relay NWP #3

Hood to Coast????? I would love to run this relay if anyone has a spot on their team PLEASE!!!!

Marathon #8 NYC or California International Marathon or maybe an Ultra?

 

 

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Tavern Hall Review and Marathon Training

Larry and I have gone to Tavern Hall in Bellevue twice and both times the food and service were great. It’s casual bar food, but done very well. The burgers are very good, although they are thin. I prefer the burger at Cheesecake Factory or Ruth Chris, they both have thick burgers that they will cook medium rare, but Larry raves about the burgers here. What we both loved were the sesame wings. These were the best wings I’ve had in a long time. Although I think $10 for 5 wings is steep. I had the chicken and waffles. The waffles were sweet and the chicken was delicious. They brine the chicken first and you could tell. The coating was slightly salty. the combination was great.

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Marathon training is starting to build. I have a mid-week 7 miles to run, these are always so hard for me. 7 or 8 miles before work is rough. My mid-week runs are definitely getting faster. I’m averaging about 9:15 minute miles which is great. I’m thinking about running a 10k to see how I do. I have had very good luck with weekend running buddies, thanks to Linda, Danelle and Laine. Hopefully that will continue as the big miles are just beginning, this weekend I will be running 15.

My next race is the Hot Chocolate 15k. It’s very large due to the chocolate handed out and the great swag. No shirts for this race, each year it has been a nice sweatshirt/jacket of some kind.

Any tips for long mid-week runs? What’s your next race?

 

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What I’m loving now.

Marathon training is going well. I have not hit any big miles yet. If I was really following the plan I would still be running less than normal.

One of the reason I hesitated about writing a blog is what do you write about when you have no races, no new restaurants, no travel and your life is routine. So here are a few of the things I’m loving now.

I love my new Vans. It has been a long time since I owed a pair and I love the color. Also in this picture are leggings from the Gap that I love. They are not thin and fit me very well. I bought them in black and grey.

Vans Classic Slip on

Vans Classic Slip on

Lunches are always tough for me, but I have been eating Safeway individual salads and wraps that are very good. This and a piece of fruit is a great lunch. They are $2.99 each if you buy 3 or more.

This Dunkin Donuts creamer is awesome! It’s slightly sweet, so I don’t have to add sugar to my coffee. And it feels like a piece of home.

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And this happened on Sunday
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It has been 10 long years since the Pat’s won a Super Bowl. As a huge Pat’s fan it has not been easy living in Seahawk’s territory. It was a great, nail-biting, edge of your seat game. Even with the snow, I wish I could be in Boston on Wednesday for the parade.

Are you going to the parade? Send me pictures!

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Fitbit Surge Early Review

I love my Garmin 220, but the Garmin Vivofit (pedometer) was only ok. Garmin Connect has had many issues the past few months. When Fitbit announced the Surge in the fall I knew it would be on my birthday list. Yes, it’s a very early birthday present. I have worn the Surge for a week and on 6 runs Four of those runs I also used my Garmin 220 to get a good comparison. Here are my pros and cons.

PROS:

Love being part of the Fitbit community and having friends to challenge.

Fitbit is very user-friendly and I was able to quickly figure out all I needed to know.

The GPS is very accurate. On the runs that I used both devices they were within .05 on miles and pace.

I have never used a heart rate monitor, this one is built-in and automatically gives me my BPM all day.

I do not have my phone on my body, so it’s nice to get the text message notifications.

CONS:

All of this has to do with the Running application.

On the running screen it’s average pace, not instant.

You can’t change the fields on the running screen. I would like the miles to be the largest field.

Run Screen

Run Screen

I also would like auto lap vibration alerts and auto pause, which I have on the Garmin.

There is no menu, so you can not go back and see your run on the watch, only on the Fitbit App, once you close this screen.

Summary screen

Summary screen

I’m hoping that Fitbit will change some of these features in an update. Overall I think it is a good watch, but could be made better with a few changes. I will not be giving up my Garmin 220, and will use it for races.

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Hello 2015!

Guess what starts today? Marathon training! On January 1st I committed to running the Eugene Marathon, May 10th. I had been debating if I should run a spring marathon, or tackle a 50k or just contentrate on shorter races. The marathon is such a big draw for me. It’s a huge challenge, not just the day of the race, but all the training that goes into preparing for the marathon. For Chicago I ran over 600 miles in 18 weeks. That’s not including all the cross training. So Eugene it is.

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Here are some of my other goals:

1. Continue to find more people to run with, my pace. I have put myself out there all year, and have made a few runner friends, but I need to keep working on this.

2. Train smart and well for Eugene.

3. Plan a Fall Marathon or 50k. I turn 50 this year and was thinking about running a 50k but have not committed to any.

4. Learn a few words in Mandarin. We are going to Beijing in April and I would like to know a few basic words and phrases.

5. Read more books. Since I purchased my tablet in February I have read 16 books. That is about 12 more than 2013.

Any favorite books? Has anyone been to Beijing and if you have what are your top 5 things to do?

 

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2014 Running Review

2014 Running Review

2 Full Marathons, 7 Half Marathons and 1 15K. Total mileage 1652.

Worst race

The Boston Marathon, my first and only DNF. The full report is here. It was so disappointing and maybe the only time I was ready to leave Boston.

Best Race Weekend

The Chicago Marathon hands down it was awesome! The race itself was pretty good, no PR but a sub 4:30 and the crown support was great. I stayed with my friend, Jamie and we would be as big as houses if we were together all the time. We both love food. Food report here. My sister Pam and niece Manami were also in Chicago. It is always great to see family and we had a great day at the Chicago Art Institute.

medal

Favorite Race

The Frosty Half Marathon. This race was only a few weeks ago and it was very cold and hilly, but it was run by CRR, my running club in MA and I got to see so many of my old running friends. I was also less than 30 second off my PR, which keeps me hopeful for a PR in 2015.

Race I will not run again

Beat the Blerch This race had some good things going for it, but the gravel trail for 12 miles made my ankles hurt for days.

Next post goals and races for 2015.

Do you have any races on the calendar?

 

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