Seattle Half Marathon Race Report

On Sunday I ran the Seattle Half Marathon. I have not heard many good things about this race, the brutal hills and crappy weather are usually the reasons, but after Chicago I had an empty race calendar and I had to fill it with something.

I went to the Expo on Friday, while we were downtown shopping. It’s a small expo and no matter what race you run, 5K thru marathon, you get the same unisex shirt. I was able to get an x-small though.

Amy and I went to the race together. We got stuck in traffic on the way and got to the start late. Thank you Jamie for taking our bags to bag drop! It was about 22 degrees at the start. Very cold and windy. I spent the first five miles weaving through the crowds of walkers and slower runners. This was my fault not theirs, but it is frustrating and takes a toll mentally. I was glad to pass the 2:15 pacers. Because of the late start I did not have my music ready. about mile 5 I walked and got my music on, I’m glad I did because I needed it for all the hills that were coming.

The course goes over I90 and then through some Seattle neighborhoods. Seattle is not flat. This was a hilly course. I did walk up a few of the very steep hills, and took advantage of the downhill.

We finished in the Stadium and were given our medal, a bottle of water, and a heat blanket. I wish there was a sign pointing to Bag Drop. I walked thru the recovery area and asked about 10 volunteers where it was and no one knew. I finally found it by asking other runners. In the recovery area there was the normal bananas and bagels. But also hot chocolate and Dole fruit cups.

Amy and I had planned to meet at Starbucks at the Armory, so I grabbed my clothes and headed there. I changed and had a coffee while I waited for her.

Official time 2:06:25. Not great but considering the cold, wind, hills and the fact that I am recovering from a cold I’ll take it. It’s not a race I have to run again. Thank you to the volunteers and spectators that came out in very cold weather.

Seattle Half

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Things I’m loving now

I stole this idea from a few other bloggers. I’m struggling to come up with things to write about. My life is a little boring and repetitive. But here are a few things I’m loving now:

Knuckle Lights


I’ve had my pair for 4 or 5 years. They are much better than a headlamp because you can shine the light where you need it, at a car or the sidewalk. Also when I fell during Ragnar this year I broke one of the clips, making the light useless. I emailed Knuckle Lights and they sent me 2 new clips no charge! Great customer service.

Dr. Martens Leyton boots


I had a few pairs of Dr. Martens in college, but they are very clunky. I found these and love them. They are super comfortable, almost like a sneaker than a boot.

Sephora Intensive Instant Moisturizer


I am not a make-up person. But I do try to take care of my skin. When if got cold here last week my skin was so dry. I purchased this because it had great reviews and was only $22 for a big jar. It works great! After 3 applications my skin was back to normal and it is not greasy.


I can’t believe I’m so late to this party. I have binged watched Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and now I’m on to Scandal. What should I watch next?

I’m running the Seattle Half on November 30. I have no goals for this race. I’ve been sick, with a cold, this week and my running has not been good. Hopefully I will be back to normal by then.

What are you loving now?



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Cognac’s DNA test

When we adopted Cognac from the Seattle Humane Society, we were told he was part lab and that is all they knew. Our only other dog, Jameson was a pure breed chocolate lab. At first we were happy just knowing he was part lab, but the more people ask and give their opinion of what breed of dog he was, we wanted to know for sure.

We decieded to do a DNA test. We used Wisdom Panel 2.0. We purchased the kit on Amazon based on reviews and the recommendation of a friend who recently used it. It was super easy. You just had to swab the inside of the dogs mouth twice, pack it up , mail it and wait. It took 2 weeks after they received the sample.

We got the results last week.

cognac for blog

The whole report is very detailed. I think it was worth the $60.

Cognac is getting big 28 lbs. We are going to puppy school. He is super cuddly, loves to run in the yard and go on walks. His favorite toy is the same as Jamesons, a grunting hedgehog.




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Eating my way through Chicago

Chicago did not disappoint me in the food department. Here is a run down of my favorite meals and snacks in Chicago.

It all started with a trip to a very beloved and missed place Dunkin Donuts!


I had asked Andrea for suggestions, and she was spot on. Friday night we went to Pequod’s for pan pizza and it was awesome!

Pequod's Pizza thanks Andrea!

Pequod’s Pizza thanks Andrea!

Pepperoni pan pizza

Pepperoni pan pizza






The next morning Jamie and I went to Yoke for breakfast. We also went on Monday. The food was great. The pancakes had a slight sweet flavor and the fruit was fresh and delicious.




Saturday Jamie and I went to D’amato’s an Italian Deli and Bakery. Jamie was super happy with the meats and cheeses and I loved the cookies and biscotti. The cannoli was not that great.

Our bounty from D'amato's

Our bounty from D’Amato’s

For dinner on Saturday we went to Pranzi. It is a small Italian restaurant and the food was great. My go to for pre race dinner is pasta with meatballs and these meatballs were very good.


Pre race pasta & meatballs

Pre race pasta & meatballs

After the race on Sunday Jamie and I went to Portillo’s (another suggestion from Andrea)for a wet beef sandwich. It is like a French dip, but the whole sandwich is dipped in au jus. I always crave beef after a long run and this was perfect.

Skip the fries, but the chocolate cake was great.

Skip the fries, but the chocolate cake was great.

On Monday Pam, Manami and I when to Sprinkle’ cupcake shop. And one of the last things I had in Chicago was Garrett’s popcorn and yes it is everything you have heard it will be.

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Loved, loved, loved Chicago! We need more good food like these in Seattle.









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Chicago Marathon Race Report

I arrived in Chicago Friday about noon. I met Jamie and Eddie, a Green Lake runner, and we headed to the Expo. We met my sister, Pam and niece Manami at the Expo. It’s always great to see family, when you live so far away.


Packet pick up was quick and easy. I’m disappointed in the shirt, they ran very small and I don’t love the gray. The Expo was large and had plenty of room to move around. All the big vendors were there. Not as many freebies as Boston and NYC. I was not thrilled with the official merch, but bought one sweatshirt that I have already worn 3 times, money well spent.

Meeting Bart Yasso for the second time, the first was in NYC.

Meeting Bart Yasso for the second time, the first was in NYC

On Sunday Jamie and I got up at 5:30 walked to Dunkies for coffee. After getting ready we took a taxi to the start. We met a few of her friends, used the porta potties and gear checked, wished each other luck and she was off to her corral. I had a little time to wait. I had a granola bar and water, and walked over to the corral.





My wave started at 8 and I crossed to start at 8:08. It was sunny and about 50. I do not like running in the sun. It was very crowded the first few miles. It was fun to run through the same areas that we had been walking through the past few days. There were lots of crowd support along the way. I had put my name on my shirt and really appreciate the shout outs. I saw my niece, Manami about mile 12 and that was awesome! The water stops were long and on both side of the street. Gatorade then water at each stop. The volunteers were great. I tried to thank a few at each stop.

This was the smartest marathon I have run. I kept a pretty even 10 minute pace for 22 miles. I did not go out too fast. This was not easy. my Garmin was all over the place for most of the race. I did use a pace band and that help, but I knew 4:20 was not happening pretty early. I fueled well and had fun. I tried to hug the shade as much as I could. I could not escape the sun the last 4 miles and my time slowed. My legs were tired. I finished 4:28. The race was long 26.66 on my Garmin and most others were in that range.

I was a little disappointed at first, but then I realized I had just run my 6th marathon. No PR but I had a great time.


I found Jamie (she had a PR and her second BQ!) and her friends. We stayed at the finish for about and hour then walked back to the condo.

I loved Chicago and if you have not run it you should. It is super flat. And the city is great.

I am not registered for any races. What should I run next?




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Chicago Goal

The Chicago Marathon is 5 days away! This is the week. When you register for these big races it seems so far away. But after 18 weeks of training and over 600 miles I think I’m ready.

I started stalking the weather last week and it is looking near perfect. I know it could still change and I can’t control it, but so far it looks great, partly cloudy 58.

My friend Marilyn did a very brave thing and let everyone know her goal for Portland last weekend. Marathons are a tough, long race. Anything can happen. You may start out feeling amazing, and at mile 20 your legs feel like lead.

Here goes My A goal is 4:20, My B goal is a PR which would be anything under 4:25:58, my NYC finish.

Wow it’s hard to see that in writing. We’ll see what the day brings.

Good luck to all the racers this weekend. Any must do, see, eat in Chicago?

He's getting big.

He’s getting big.



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Beat the Blerch Race Recap

On Saturday, September 20th I ran my 19th Half Marathon, Beat the Blerch in Carnation. Carnation is the boonies, with cows, horses and farms.

The website made it sound like parking was going to be crazy, so I got there at 8:10 for a 9:30 start time. I parked at the middle school which I didn’t realize was about a half mile from the start. There was no line at packet pick up or at the huge row of porta potties. I met the Half Fanatics for my first group picture then walked my stuff back to the car.

I met up with Lindsey at the start line. We chatted a few minutes wished each other luck then it was time to race.

Many people have raved about this race. I knew at the beginning I would not run this race again. 12 of the 13 miles were on a gravel trail. When you are used to running on pavement, gravel is not fun. I slowed my pace and tried to stay in the packed grooves. There would be no sub 2 today. Yes, there was cake and nutella sandwiches, which I did not have. I did take advantage of all 4 water stops. About 3 miles to the finish was the 10 K turn around and there were many people walking 3 and 4 wide. I was weaving in and out of many people for the last 3 miles, again not fun.

Awesome free race pictures!

Awesome free race pictures!



I finished in 2:03. At the finish they gave you got your medal, no water. My biggest pet peeve about races in the PNW, give me a bottle of water with my medal. Do not make me stand in line for a cup of water. The line for the food was massive. I got some water and began walking to my car.




This was just not the race for me. I do think the organizer’s had a fun atmosphere. I loved the number of porta potties, the shirt, medal and free races pictures. Not a fan of the gravel, 10k walkers the last 3 miles, cups of water and massive line for a banana.

Great half zip shirt.

Great half zip shirt.



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