5-20 Bridge 10K race, er run, er jog, recap

The decision to not race the Go Long 5-20 Bridge 10K was made for me.

There was no way I could have raced the thing unless I had literally pushed my way to the front and toed the line with the guy who ended up winning the entire race!

I guess that’ll happen when you’re running the world’s longest floating bridge with 12,999 of your other friends.

For such a big race, it was unfortunately poorly organized.

There was no corrall distinctions by pace or even between runners and walkers (or, if there were signs, they were not visible to the majority of participants). My teammates and I got stuck behind many walkers. And, even at the start line when herds of people were trying to jog and shimmy their way through, people were straight-up stopping to talk selfies in the middle of the crowd! I felt like I was in an obstacle course. This spectacle contined for the majority of the race.


My wonderful team before the start of the race! [Photo courtesy of Rebecca Nelson]

I ran the entire 6.2 miles with two of my teammates, one I had actually just met that morning. It was fun talking and sticking together. But, it was draining to have to dodge people left and right.

I never got to anything remotely close to my race pace. Our first mile was done in about 10 minutes and 30 seconds if that gives you a better grasp on how this played out.

Oddly enough, even with all the people, I did see my friend Mo during the race, and ran into another friend after the race. I didn’t know that either of these friends were running the race that day!

But I did leave the race feeling unsatisfied and disappointed yet happy I did it just because it meant time well-spent with teammates. There is no way I would have survived the race under those conditions alone.

However, when you have to pay $10 extra in order to get a timing chip for the race, you expect that you should at least have the option to race, right? I sent an email to the race organization and we’ll see what they respond. I know putting on a big event like this one can’t be easy, but this wasn’t their first rodeo.

Needless to say, I ran more after the race. Because, marathon training stops for no one. — Even when 10Ks literally won’t let you run to your capacity.



My Halloween 5K check-up


With 25-30 mph winds and rain, it wasn’t poised to be a PR race.

But, the main reason I signed up for this race was because my Oiselle teammates would be running it, too. (If it weren’t for them, I probably would have gone back to sleep upon looking out the window race morning!)

I still decided to somewhat push myself to identify a “5K fitness” baseline.

[Image credit: Peter Clancy]

[Image credit: Peter Clancy]

Maybe starting toward the back of the starting line wasn’t the best decision, but oh well! I had to do a bit of weaving for the first quarter mile or so. If I had been seriously racing, I would have made sure to start a little more toward the front, especially since this was a small race.

My splits were all over the place. First mile at 7:10, second at 7:50 (eeeek!) and the last mile I brought it a bit down. My Garmin told me I clocked in at about 23:18.

I’m happy with this time. I would have been happy with under 24 and thrilled with sub-23. The only time I have ever sub-23’d in my life is my current PR of 22:34 set two years ago.

My one non-marathon goal is to get my 5K time in the low 22s.

Anyone know any good upcoming 5Ks in the greater Seattle area?


[Photo credit: Kaleigh Gerlich]

My race recap aside, it was so fun meeting up with my teammates, many of whom I had never met IRL before. I was very excited to meet my teammate Rebecca — someone I have exchanged tweets with for a while, but had never met in person. She’s just as wonderful offline as she is online!


The biggest victory of the morning was that those cat ears stayed on my head the entire race!

Until next Halloween, 23:18 will be my run-in-cat-ears-PR!

What I do after a marathon

What I do after a marathon — Portland Marathon edition.


1. Not run.

The aftermath of a marathon

The aftermath of a marathon


2. Hang out with Hello Kitty.

Hello, Hello Kitty!

Hello, Hello Kitty!


3. Go to happy hour.

Mac and cheese & a whiskey sour

Mac and cheese & a whiskey sour


4. Blow glass and make a vase.

No injuries or anything!

No injuries or anything!


5. Sign up for another race! (Seattle Half Marathon, specifically. I’m still pondering my next full marathon move).

To race or to blerch

I’ve never done a race that I didn’t race.

Sure, there have been a handful of races where I didn’t train beforehand (and was therefore in mediocre shape) so they were painful (in a bad way) yet “just for fun.” In the moment of each and every one of those races, I pushed myself to my limits as best as I could. (Note: none of these included full marathons … I’m not that crazy as to not train for a full!)

I am 18 days away from the Portland Marathon.

I am also four days away from Beat the Blerch.

I’m doing the 10k race for the Blerch, but I am of course not racing. (The race of my year is Portland!)

One of my friends — who is not a runner but could totally be if she wanted to — informed me a few weeks ago that she is going to walk all 10 kilometers of Beat the Blerch.

I’m pretty sure she is not kidding.

And, since I told her I would stay with her, I guess I will be walking (and jogging,) the race out in Carnation, Wash. this weekend.

I’m looking forward to the cake and purple soda “aid stations” and trying to avoid being attacked by a Blerch. (I am actually quite fearful now that I have seen the costumes.)

I’m also looking forward to convincing my friend to run a little. I know I can run a 10k but walking the entire thing seems exhausting.

But, I guess it’s all in the name of blerching and having fun!

I’ll just remind myself that each bite piece of cake I eat is just pre-carbo loading for my marathon.



A rockin’ and a rollin’ — and runnin’

The two weeks prior to the Seattle Rock ‘n Roll Half-Marathon looked like this for me:

6/8: 5K (birthday race) – the recap is here.

6/9: Rest/nothing

6/10: Rest/nothing

6/11: Rest/nothing

6/12: Rest/nothing

6/13: Rest/nothing/you get the idea

6/14: 5.5 mile run at Discovery Park

6/15: 30-min run

6/16: Rest/nothing

6/17: 20-min run

6/18: 35-min run

6/19: Decide to do a half-marathon in two days

6/20: 2.8-mile run around inner Green Lake

In the two weeks before the half-marathon, my longest run was only 5.5 miles. Prior to that, my longest run was my previous half-marathon in April (the Whidbey half!)

Jo and I before the race!

Jo and I before the race!

Somehow, I convinced Joanna to run Rock n’ Roll with me and we decided to just “see how it goes.” If we felt like pushing ourselves and racing, we would. If not, then we wouldn’t.

We started out going a little over 8 min/mile pace. We thought that that was a good place to be. Hey, if we kept up and went faster, maybe, just maybe we could get me a PR?


About two miles into the race, I felt like I needed to use the bathroom.

And, I wasn’t going to be able to just “sweat it out.”

We probably jinxed it because right before the race, Joanna and I had been talking about how lucky we had been for never having “to go” during a race — ever. (And we’ve done quite a handful of races!)

So, shortly after the 3-mile mark, I found a porta-potty tucked behind the stage of one of the musicians performing along the course.

After taking care of business, I felt much better.

And we continued running but sights of PR-ing, or even just pushing ourselves were now over.

“Portland Marathon training starts today!” I told Joanna.

And, to be honest, the first day of training sucked (for me).

I was dragging my feet and not feeling so great starting at maybe mile 8 or 9. Joanna (as always,) was a great cheerleader and running buddy. I told her to tell me some stories (specifically funny, but not too funny). She told me about the preparations for her friend’s upcoming wedding. She told me of her boyfriend’s travel experience in Jordan.

When we got onto the Alaskan Way Viaduct, as dead as my legs and feet felt, it was a pretty spectacular view. We had a full view of Puget Sound with ferries going in and out of the terminal. The ferris wheel was right below us. The sun was out and the skies were blue. It was perfect (Seattle running weather).

My body just did not feel perfect.

With three miles left to go, Joanna reminded me that all we had left to do was “a quick loop around Green Lake,” our neighborhood stomping grounds.

Those three miles seemed longer than three miles. And, my feet and legs felt like they were doing a full marathon rather than a half!

“What is this madness??” I thought to myself.

(Oh right, I did this to myself. I thought that it would be fun to do a half-marathon with no training).

Finally we were approaching the finish. Right before turning the corner onto Mercer (the finish line street,) I heard people yell my name. I turned to find two of my running friends! It was so nice to see them cheering!

I smiled (or at least I tried to,) and continued on. There was one last dip and uphill on Mercer (not to mention that the finish ends on an incline!!)

I am moving at a very slow speed. I am going up a hill (sure, it may not be steep but at this point, it doesn’t matter!) and a 10-year-old boy passes Joanna and I. We cringe, We can’t let him beat us!

But I didn’t have it in me to catch him.

“Joanna, go catch him and beat him!” I told her.

She asked me if I was sure and if it was really OK for her to leave me. (I told her “yes” as long as she beat the kid).

She did.

And, I eventually finished (like two minutes after her).

Jo and I after the race!

Jo and I after the race!

We clocked in sub-2 hours. For first-day-of-Portland Marathon, training I’d say that’s pretty good.

My final time was 1:56:08.

I feel like lately my motto has been: Just think how fast I’d be if I trained!

I want it to turn into: Look how fast I am since I trained!

So, everything I do between now and October will be for the Portland Marathon. (Sub-4 hours, I’m coming for you!!)

No plans for the weekend — except to run a half marathon

My weekend plans were pretty bare.

I usually have it packed with activity — especially during the sunny weather months days — but this weekend was calm.

My mom’s out of town on business. Bryce is going to be at an ultimate tourney in Oregon. Half of my roommates have moved out of our house already. (Our lease is up at the end of the month). I figured I would take this precious free time to tackle some tasks on my ever-long “to-do” list. (Research and book rental vans for my Ragnar team, purchase multiple wedding gifts, take care of “finance stuff,” etc. etc.)

But then I had a better idea.

Run a half marathon.

I’m not in “training mode” right now. Training for the Portland Marathon official begins the next weekend so I’ve only been going on a few runs here and there.

So, the Seattle Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon  is in two days, and yes, I think I will do it.

Will I full-on race it?

Probably not.

But, I convinced Joanna to do it with me so … who knows.

It’s so nice to have friends who will do a half marathon with you at a moment’s notice. (Two days before race day can be considered “a moment,” right?)

We have two sleeps to prepare to rock n’ roll come Saturday morning.

Let’s do this.