Seattle Ghost Half Marathon

On Saturday I ran my 26th half marathon the Seattle Ghost Half. Thanksgiving weekend was a mixed bag for weather here. On Saturday it was raining all morning. The course could be beautiful with views of Seattle and the mountains, but not on this day. It’s a small race, about 300 runners,  but I was unsure about parking and arrived at 7 for a 8 am start. I have been sick most of November and finally went to a doctor. I had a sinus infection., so I was running this race on antibiotics. This year, not one race has gone as I wanted it to and this one was no exception.

The start was in a small park and the organizers had tents with heaters. We started a few minutes late and I was wet from the start. I think there were only 2 water stops, but this was an out and back so you could get water 4 times. I just carried water. We made our way around Seward Park and Lake Washington. I have to say this race had some of the friendliest runners. It’s part of series for Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics of 4 half’s or full’s in 4 days, crazy.  I got many shout outs and gave a bunch in return.

I finished in 2:03. The medal is cool and I love the hoodie instead of a shirt.

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Port Douglas, Australia

The second half of our trip was spent in Port Douglas. We took a plane to Cairns and drove about an hour north to this quaint town. The first thing I noticed when we landed was the heat and humidity. It was like Hawaii humid. The entire time we were there is was at least 75 with 100% humidity.

One of the reasons for heading to Port Douglas was to see the Great Barrier Reef. I was snorkeling and Larry was scuba diving. Unfortunately the day we went the water was very rough and I was seasick on the boat. I was great in the water, but could keep nothing down on the boat. It made for a long day and I was dreading the 90 minutes back to land. The reef was the most beautiful one I have seen. It is crystal clear, has amazing colors and tons of fish including Nemo and Dorys.

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The next day we drove to the Daintree Rain Forest. One of the things that I really wanted to do was zip lining. I had done this once before a long time ago and was scared, it was not fun. This time it was great! Sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone and let go.

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I also went to the Wildlife Habitat in Port Douglas. Most of the animals are free to roam where they want and the wallabies, kangaroos, and all kinds of birds come right up to you for food.  This is where I meet Sampson, one of the highlights of the trip. He was heavier than I thought he would be, but super soft and so cute.

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Our last day was spent in Cairns waking around the harbour and doing a little shopping.

Have you been to Australia? Highlights?

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Sydney!

Back in April Larry and I booked a cheap flight to Sydney! It was too good to pass up, even with our trip to Japan in the works. Life stuff got in the middle of things this summer, but we went anyway.

We had a connection in LA then on a 15 hour flight to Sydney. It was not as bad as I thought. We ate then slept, watch a few movies, slept, more movies and we were there.

We went with Airbnb for this trip, as hotels were super expensive. We stayed across the street from Hyde Park, which was a great location. There is a huge British influence in Sydney. At times I felt like I was in a warmer, sunnier London. We could walk to the Harbour and had many restaurants and awesome food trucks nearby.

Here were some of the highlights for me,

Running over the Sydney Harbour Bridge

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The Opera House, it is more beautiful and bigger in person than I expected.

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The Botanical Gardens

The Taronga Zoo

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The cliff walk from Bondi Beach to Coogee. The beaches are pristine and well used.

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Sydney did not disappoint in the food department. Great fish & chips, ramen and Thai food were some highlights.

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Fall City Half Race Report

On Saturday I ran my 25th half marathon. I don’t know why I had to run a half so soon after my marathon. I knew it was not the best idea for a PR, but off I went Saturday morning with high hopes.

This is a small race in a farm town about 20 miles outside of Seattle. I was going to have fun and enjoy the race. You picked up your bib and shirt before the race in a school gym. It was nice to have a warm dry place to wait. The only issue was, one bathroom was open which meant a long line. The weather was showers, about 50. The killer was the wind. The course was an out and back along some farm roads. Most of the way back was a strong head wind. The course was flat and had lots of horses, cows, and a few pumpkin patches.

I had a good pace through mile 8 then my tired legs got the better of me. I still had fun, thanked the volunteers and tried to pick it up at the end.

Not the time I hoped for, but the silver lining is first in my age group!

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The finish line had bottles of water, bagels, bananas and oranges. It’s a race I would consider again. Good course, great volunteers and easy to get to.

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Randomness from the last 5 months.

Hi! I’m still here in the PNW. I have not blogged in 5 months, sorry to the 5 people that read this. I have no real excuse. Life is always busy and I had a great vacation and ran some races, but just didn’t feel like writing about them. Here’s a recap of the last five months.

After Boston, I registered for the Tunnel Light Marathon in September. It‘s a small, local, race on an old railroad track that is net downhill and known for PR’s.

May was uneventful.

June I ran a half marathon, Lake Wilderness. It was horrible. It was hot and humid and I had my worst half time ever. The highlight of the summer was our trip to Japan. We went to Tokyo and Kyoto. I loved Tokyo. Amid all the temples and shrines are super modern areas like Akihabara, and Harajuku. The Japanese people could not have been more friendly and welcoming.

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July was Ragnar take 4. I was the captain this time and that took a little bit of the fun away. I think I’m too type A to do that again. I was in van one with my OR peeps. Van 2 was friends from WA. It was a good time, and probably the only time my huge house will be full. I also ran the West Seattle Beach Half. It was a small race and the weather was cloudy and not too hot, but no sub 2.

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OR Ragnar peeps

 

 

 

 

 

 

August was a busy month of training. I hit 220 miles for the month. Most weeks I was running 6 days with 2 work outs and a long run.

September was race month! My coach came up from OR for the race, Emily drove me and my friend, Marilyn was going to run the last 5 miles with me for a big PR. Well that didn’t happen. The plan was to follow the 4 hour pacer. A 4 hour marathon is about 9:10 pace. My first 5 miles were in the low 8’s. About miles 16 that caught up to me. It was a rough finish. Thank you to Robbie, Emily, Marilyn and Linda for supporting me. I’m still not over the disappointment. It’s hard when you feel like you did everything right during training and it all falls apart on race day.

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Linda’s picture from the finish line.

On to October we are heading to Sydney and Port Douglas, Australia for 10 days. Hopefully I’ll get a post in this month. Thanks for reading!

 

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I finished the Boston Marathon!

It was not the time goal I was hoping for but I finished the Boston Marathon! I was running for the Dana Farber Institute. My required minimum was met a few weeks before the marathon. I hired a coach for this training cycle who pushed me beyond what I thought I was able to do, thank you Robbie! I thought I was ready for a big PR, but the weather did not cooperate.

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All weekend I was telling myself that it was not going to be too warm and I love the sun. But starting in Hopkinton at 70+ and full sun was not good. I was sweating just walking to the corrals.

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Pam and I at the start

The first 3 miles I was holding on to about a 9:15 pace, but quickly realized that it was too hot and sunny for me to maintain that pace for 23 more miles. Crossing the finish line of this race was more important than a PR. Once I made that decision I began to enjoy the race, through the pain. I high-fived kids along the way. I read people’s signs, I chatted with other runners, mostly about the heat. I heard the women of Wellesley before I saw them and I kissed a girl from OR. I stopped to hug my family at mile 15. Stopped at the DFMC cheer section at mile 17 for tissues, and thought about taking a beer from the BC boys. Seeing the Citgo sign, knowing you are almost done. Running by the crowds in Kenmore Square just, well 2 hours, after the Red Sox game. At mile 25.5 just before the Boston Strong bridge I ran past Brett and Lori, I turned back to hug them.

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At mile 25.5 seeing family! Lori’s pic

On the other side of that bridge you see Hereford ST! Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston! The finish line is in sight, although .25 miles away.

Thank you to all my family and friends for donating to DFMC. And for supporting me during this training and race.

I feel like this is what running Boston is about, taking it all in, enjoying the crowds and runners.  I’m so proud to be from an amazing city that truly shines on Marathon Monday.

 

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Taper Time!

The Boston Marathon is 2 weeks from today! I feel like this training cycle flew by, even though it was by far the hardest I have ever trained for a marathon.

I know I will be looking for things to do, especially on Saturday, which is a rest day this week. I usually look forward to taper, this has been the most miles I have put in for marathon training, by about 100. Last week I ran 42 miles with 3 speed work outs. This week is 28 miles with 1 speed workout. My coach, Robbie has pushed me to a running level I did not think was possible. He has encouraged and challenged me and I’m very grateful for his help.

I guess the worst thing about the next 2 weeks is worrying about aches and pains, and getting a cold. I have become a pro about using hand sanitizer. I’m also getting good at applying KT tape, which has become my friend and I don’t care if it’s all in my head.

I caved and purchased these for marathon day! They are not as cute as the lobster ones last year, but they are my go to Adrenalines.

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Good luck to everyone running a race in the next few weeks. Rest, enjoy the taper and the agonizing about goals and the weather.

Thank you to everyone who has donated to my run! If you would like to make a donation here is the link and Thank you!

http://www.runDFMC.org/2016/bethanyn

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