Ragnar Relay Recap

Last weekend I ran Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage. It was not the race I had hoped for, but it was still awesome. We met at Northgate very early Friday morning and drove up to the start in Blaine. We had a 9 am start. I was runner #6 and started my run at 6 pm. I was so excited to start my leg and thought I was eating during the day, but as I started my run I did not feel good. And at mile 5 I knew I did not have enough fuel. At the exchange my awesome team was there with water and met me down the road with some shot blocks. It was not a pretty run, but I finished.

Lauren, Robyn, Travis, Nicole and Jordanne

Lauren, Robyn, Travis, Nicole and Jordanne

My stomach still gave me problems on my next run at 2:30 am even though I held up in a Porta Pottie for 15 minutes. I had 2 other runs on Saturday, still not good. Total mileage 30.5.

Thank you Marilyn for the best running picture of me ever!

Thank you Marilyn for the best running picture of me ever!

None of my runs on this race were good. I can complain about them or tell you why I will run another relay.

My teammates ROCK! Lauren is the best captain ever. She is so organized and such a great support, even though she was not feeling well most of the race. Robyn is the youngest of the group and the most energetic. She was also cheering me up as I was complaining about my runs. Marilyn rocked her legs. She was a newbie to Relays and took it all in, never complaining. Nicole is super funny and smart. She had a rough first day, but totally turned it around on Saturday. Jordanne was funny and ran in great sparkly skirts each run. A big part of our team was Marilyn’s husband Travis. Not only was he our driver, he make sure we all had whatever we needed and was cheering us on from the driver’s seat.

Lauren's running.

Lauren’s running.

The other Ragnar teams rock! On my first tough run, I asked a total stranger for a drink and he offered me GU as well. On my night run, I missed a curb and fell hard. Two guys stopped an asked if I was okay, and if I needed anything. While being passed, many times, the other runners are encouraging, with a “great job”, “stay strong”.

There is a great camaraderie about runners being together for 35+ hours. You learn a lot about each other and get to talk all about races, shoes, running , training plans all the things your non running friends are bored with.

Thank you Ragnar for putting on a great well-organized race. Thank you to my awesome team mates for putting up with my complaining and slow runs.

Free finish photo

Free finish photo

Maybe a Ragnar road trip for Six Pack Rack?

 

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See Jane Run Race Recap

On Sunday I ran half marathon number 16. This is a small race, under 1,000 runners. I was not looking forward to it. It has been hot here for over a week and the weather was 75-80 and full sun, not a cloud in the sky. I met Jamie, we picked up our bibs and got ready. Mt friend, Marilyn was also running and we caught up with her in line for the porta potties.

Jamie and I before the race. Jamie's picture

Jamie and I before the race.
Jamie’s picture

The race started on time. I had no expectations, due to the weather. I was going to run about a 10 minute pace. I started a little faster 9:40 and keep that for most of the race. It was hot and sunny, but there was a good bit of shade on the course and a breeze here and there, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be. The course is pretty flat except for 2 hills in miles 7 and 8. The last 2 miles were hard. It was getting hotter and there was no shade. I finished 2:04, 15th in my age group! I felt pretty good and happy that I did so well in the heat. The course had about 8 water stops. I carried water and drank it all. They had an energy drink SOS Hydration which I hope was mixed badly, because I took it and spit it out twice, it tasted like salt water.  Once I turned back to get water.

Swag

Swag

The post race was small, you were given a bottle of water at the finish and your medal. They also had bananas, and bags with a Luna bar, pretzels and almond milk. We also had chocolate and champagne.

After the race Jamie, Marilyn, who had a PR, and I went to the Varsity Inn for brunch. Good, basic breakfast food. Sorry no picture. But I do have a picture of this

MIke's cannoli!

MIke’s cannoli!

Hannah was in Boston and brought back the cannoli kit, as well as biscotti and cookies!

Next up Ragnar Relay! I’m on the same Ultra team as last year with a few substitutions. It’s this Friday, if you want to follow us most of us tweet #sixpackrack. I can’t wait for the crazy 30+ hours.

 

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Pizza and Pancakes

A few weeks ago we went to a Red Sox game at Safeco Field. I’m not a fan of watching baseball, but I had heard that there was a great pizza place at the ball park. Apizza was awesome. I still love Italian Family Pizza, but this was real Connecticut style pizza. Perfect crust and sauce and it was only $5 for a giant slice.

Apizza sign Apizza

Oh and the Red Sox won

This weekend Larry and I went to Chace’s Pancake Corral. We have driven by it many times and finally decided to stop for breakfast. It looks like it has been there for 50 years and they changed nothing. The pancakes and eggs were very good. But I thought it was expensive for breakfast. I prefer the Pump House massive breakfast for 11 bucks.

Chace's

Chace’s

Pump House

Pump House

On the running front, I ran my first trail run at Cougar Mountain last week. I’m kind of embarrassed that I hadn’t tried it sooner. It was so much harder than road runner, but also a lot of fun.

Didn't love the mud

Didn’t love the mud

Do you like trail running? How often do you run on trails?

 

 

 

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Good Italian Food!

In my quest for good Italian food I have been avoiding chain restaurants. But on Sunday the need for some good red sauce won out and Hannah, Emily and I went to Maggiano’s in Bellevue. I had been to Maggiano’s once in Boston and it was good, but we had so many other options we never went again. Seattle may have good Asian and Mexican food but basic Italian food is hard to come by. Maggiano’s was a great.

We got there about 5:30 on  Sunday and were seated immediately. Our server, Brandon was attentive and helpful. The warm bread, was similar to Bertucci’s rolls. Hannah and Emily both had the chicken parmesan. It was very good. The chicken was seasoned and fried perfectly, with just the right amount of sauce and cheese.
chick parmziti

I had the baked ziti with italian sausage. The sausage was very good, just spicy enough. And to top it all off when I ordered the server told me I could pick another meal to take home! This was awesome. I picked the eggplant parmesan, which I had for dinner tonight. Great eggplant with pasta. The red sauce has chunks of tomatoes and garlic.

A second meal for $14.95!

A second meal for $14.95!

We will be back to Maggiano’s. It is good basic italian food which I love.

An update on Jameson – There is no real news to report he is not better or worse. We will have 2 more weeks of meds before we make any big changes. Some days he seems to be almost back to normal and others he seems so tired and sick. We are just happy he is hanging in there.

 

 

 

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Jameson, my buddy

My chocolate lab, Jameson is my buddy. He is the first dog I’ve had as an adult. We got him as a puppy. We were just going to look at dogs and came home with him.

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When we moved to Seattle he was my only friend, seriously I did not know anyone. He helped me through a really tough time. Moving and getting a cancer diagnosis was not a good time. Some days Jameson was the reason I got up and out of the house.

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For the past six weeks he has been sick. It started while I was in Boston in April. He has had numerous blood tests, an x-ray, an ultrasound, biopsy and 6 courses of antibiotics. Last week we were told it was most likely cancer, although none was found in the biopsy. The only other thing 3 vets thought it could be, without more exploratory surgery was eosinophilic gastroenteritis. He is being treated with 3 different meds and seems to be doing better than he has in a month. We also had to but him on an exclusive diet to rule out any allergies.

Jameson guarding Emily's welcome home treats.

Jameson guarding Emily’s welcome home treats.

Jameson in the sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are hoping for the best. We will have to wean him off the meds next week and will see what happens then.

Thank you for all the positive wishes for him. He is part of my family, and I can’t imagine him not jumping on me as I walk in the door.

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Jack’s Grill and Emily’s home

After the marathon I always take about a week off from running and I really needed it this time. I don’t know if it was the hills, cold rain or wind but this was the hardest recovery I have had after a marathon. My quads and hamstrings were so sore. I hated stairs for 2 days, but by Wednesday was doing better and I ran a slow 3 miles on Thursday.

On Friday night my husband and I went to Jack’s Grill in Issaquah. We had heard good things about this small, neighborhood steak house, but hadn’t tried it yet. I had the New York strip, with garlic mashed potatoes and mixed veggies. The steak was cooked perfectly and was very tasty. The meal also came with a green salad, which was a plate of lettuce, very uneventful. It is very casual but the steaks are very good. We will go back.

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My daughter, Emily came home from college on Thursday. She has been at UMASS this year. She did really well there, but I think the distance was a bit much. She is transferring to Western in the fall. I will be glad to have her a car ride away instead of a plane ride.

Jameson guarding Emily's welcome home treats.

Jameson guarding Emily’s welcome home treats.

I’m thinking about talking to a running coach. I got a few recommendations when I posted on the Eastside Runner’s facebook page. I want to do well in Chicago. It’s marathon number 6. I have used the same training plan for the past 4 marathons and think I need to change it up.

Have you ever hired a coach for anything?

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Redemption Race!

On the Tuesday, after my DNF at Boston I began looking for a redemption race. I was trained and had worked hard, I wanted number 5. The options were the BMO Vancouver Marathon, which was sold out, and the Tacoma City Marathon, which I could register for the day before the race. Both are hilly and the weather can go either way in both locations. I had heard how beautiful Vancouver is, but I haven’t been there. I filled out the waitlist application for Vancouver and made a phone call to explain my sad Boston story. Within a day I had a waitlist code and was registered.

My friends Marilyn and Travis let me travel up with them and share their room. THANK YOU guys! It was much more fun than going on my own. They had registered months ago for the race. We left on Saturday morning about 9 am. Travis’s mother Vickie also came as the support team.

Olympic Flame

Olympic Flame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had lunch at the Cactus Club Café, then we went to the Expo to pick up our bibs. The Expo was small but had all the basics. We had a great dinner at the Italian Kitchen. Sorry no food pictures this post.

I woke up feeling good and not throwing up! We left the hotel about 7 and took the TransLink to Queen Elizabeth Park where the race started at 8:30.

Ready for the rain. Vickie's picture

Ready for the rain. Vickie’s picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was raining all day and about 50 degrees, so it felt cold. Plenty of Porta Potties. The race started on time, O Canada and the first coral was off. I started about 15 minutes later. I made the rookie mistake of going out too fast,  for the first 15 miles. I kept telling myself to back off, but my legs didn’t listen. It was cold, windy and very wet the whole race. This is a hilly course, but the last miles are flat. It was not fun and the “beautiful” course I thought I would see was gray, wet and fogged in.

I finished in 4:35:51. It is my second fastest marathon. And after my mess in Boston I was so happy to have number 5 in the books. With only 5,000 marathoner’s the finish chute was quick. I got my medal, plastic wrap, water, banana and food box quickly. I did stop to have my picture taken. I could see the hotel at the end of the finisher chute. it wasn’t even a block away.

42.2

42.2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This has been my toughest recovery after a marathon. I don’t know if it was the hills, because NYC had a bigger elevation gain. I think it was the cold rain and never warming up the whole race. I will be taking a break from running this week. Marathon training for Chicago starts in June!

Vancouver bling

Vancouver bling

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