Labor Day Half Marathon Race Report

On Sunday I ran the Labor Day Half Marathon in Redmond. This was a last-minute decision. I had 13 miles on my training plan, and it was either a solo run at Cedar River or this race. The weather was near perfect for a race, cloudy and about 60. There was a little mist in the morning, but by the time I got to Marymoor Park is was dry.

I quickly parked, registered and waited for a running friend. We got in line for the porta potties and then it was time to get to the start. The race started right on time. Most of this race is on the Lake Sammamish Trail but some of it was on the roads. Everything was well-marked. I think there were 8 water stops which was plenty for me. Many of the volunteers were from my running club, Eastside Runners. It was great to see familiar races on the road.

I always want a sub 2 half. The last 2 half’s I ran in July and August were hot and humid and I did not meet that goal. I was thinking, maybe I can’t run a sub 2 half anymore. My plan was to run 9 minute miles for the whole race. It is a very flat course. And that is pretty much what I did. There were a couple of 8:45 and 9:12 miles but I finished in 1:58:20 and 12th in my age group.

At the finish they had bottles of water, bagels, bananas and Kind bars. There were a few vendors at the finish and I did snag a few chap sticks.

Overall this was a great race. Plenty of porta potties at the start, on time start, enough water stops, flat course, great volunteers. Long sleeve tech shirt and a nice medal.

Labor Day Half






Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Spokane to Sandpoint Race Recap!

Last weekend I ran my second relay of the summer, Spokane to Sandpoint. When I signed on for this race, I thought it was a way for me to see eastern Washington. I can’t say I saw a whole lot, but it was fun and I made it to Idaho. I was on team Sole Mates. The only person I knew was my friend, Amy. She knew a few of the team mates. Amy, Sophia and I left Seattle about 1 on Thursday. We stopped in Yakima to pick up our captain, Scott and drop off Sophia who was in van two, then headed to Spokane. It’s a very long drive.

We stopped in Moses Lake for dinner at Guido’s Pizza. The pizza was very good. And they had cannolis! They were the best cannolis I have had in WA.

Best cannolis in WA!

Best cannolis in WA!

We made it to Spokane, picked up our bibs and info. If you ever run this race, packet pickup is up the mountain about 30 minutes, pick up your stuff in the morning. We stayed at the Mirabeau Park hotel, which is the recommended hotel, but there is also a Holiday Inn and Motel 8 on the same road. We went to sleep too late for the 4:30 alarm. In the morning we met our 3 van mates. Rob and Katie are married and their friend Diane. We all headed over to Krispy Kream for he breakfast of champians.

Warm and delicious!

Warm and delicious!

Then we headed to the start line at Mount Spokane. Rob was our first runner, right at 6:30.

At the start line. Scott's picture

At the start line.
Scott’s picture

It was cloudy and about 60 in the morning both days. The afternoons did clear and got up to about 80. It was hot in the sun.
My first run was at 10:30 about 5 miles and I got lost. I am horrible with directions so I do look at all my legs and the turns. I got to one intersection and it did not feel right and turned around after about .25 mile and quickly got back on track. That was the worst thing that happened on a run.  All my runs went well. I had no issues. They were not in the best areas, a construction zone, a trail next to the highway and six miles on a highway with not a lot of shoulder.

After my first leg. Thanks Amy.

After my first leg. Thanks Amy.










A two van team has a ton of downtime. I liked being able to sleep at night, but the other two breaks were long. After eating there was not a lot to do. We actually watched a movie on the first break. We did not have a lot of time to get to know the people in the other van. It felt like 2 separate races, not one team.

I had a great time. Spokane is a long way from Seattle. It was about a 5 hour drive. I did get to see Eastern Washington and Idaho. It’s a small relay, 85 teams compared to 600+ for Ragnar. You spend most of your runs solo. I like to see runners, to make sure I’m going the right way. Like Ragnar the teams were awesome about cheer for each other. On my last run I ran out of water and another team filled my handheld and gave me some cheez-its and gummies.

Finish line! Thanks for the pic Scott.

Finish line! Thanks for the pic Scott.

Have you run a relay? 12 person team or 6?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon Recap

Last Saturday I ran the Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon. I ran it last year and got a PR. My running has not been great this summer, so I had no expectations for this race other than finishing. Amy, Sophia and I headed out at 5:20. We parked up the hill from the finish and took the shuttle to the start.

Sophia, Amy and I before the race. Amy's picture.

Sophia, Amy and I before the race. Amy’s picture.

One big complaint about this race is not enough Porta Potties at the start line. It is a small race about 1,000 runners, but there were only about 12 porta potties. The lines were super long. And the race started late by about 6 minutes. Once we started I felt good for the first few miles. It was warm  about 70 and humid. This is a hilly course but the last 2 miles are down hill. About mile 8 the sun came out and with that I went for a 9:30 pace to a 10:30. I was very hot and walked a few hills. I finished in 2:08 which is slow for me. I did the best I could for the heat. At the finish I got my medal and a bottle of water. Jamie, who had a PR, got me some ice for my neck, which helped a lot.

Me crossing the finish line. Thanks Jamie!

Me crossing the finish line. Thanks Jamie!

Sophia and Amy also had great races. We had brunch at the Renaissance Café, which was ok, the owner is different, but the eggs were good.

Jamie and I with our bling!

Jamie and I with our bling!

Next up Spokane to Sandpoint Relay, it is going to be about 100 degrees. Have you ever run in super hot weather?

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The wait is over!

Pizzeria Pulcinella! We have found great pizza in Seattle. It only took 2 years. Larry found this pizzeria on his Delta points site. And after looking at Yelp reviews, which we do not put a lot of credibility in, we decided to give it a try. It is a small, cozy place and everything about it reminds me of Antico Forno in the North End. They have a large brick oven, which give the pizza that smoky flavor. We ordered 3 pizzas, Margherita, eggplant and Giovanni, which had peppers, onions, pepperoni and sausage. It was all great. They are about 12 inch pizzas. The sauce had just the right amount of herbs and garlic. The crust is flavorful and thin on the bottom and chewy on the edges.



Eggplant & Margherita
Eggplant & Margherita









They also had cannolis! I was very leery about these, and they are no Mike’s but they were the best cannolis I have had in Seattle. They reminded me of the cannolis from Carlo’s Bakery. The shell was crunchy and full of vanilla flavor. The filling was ricotta, with a hint of orange flavor and chocolate chips. Much of this is a huge compromise on what I think is a great cannoli, but unless Mike’s opens a Seattle location, these are the best around.

Very good cannolis!

Very good cannolis!

We will be back. I also ran Tacoma Narrows Half this weekend. Race report coming.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

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?


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment

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.



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.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

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.



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?




Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment