A Runner’s Log: Marathon Edition

Wow oh wow those words still feel strange to say or type- I am a MARATHONER!!! I cannot believe I ran and finished a marathon. But this race report really doesn’t mean anything unless we start at the beginning, and no I don’t mean back to 2009 when I ran my first (untrained for) half marathon. Let’s start with the decision…

It was a rainy May afternoon…JK. It was in May, but I don’t remember the weather,  when I decided that I just needed to bite the bullet and register. Since I joined Seattle Green Lake Running Group, it’s kind of been on the back of my mind, that one day, I would run a marathon. My 2014 didn’t end on a very high note nor did my 2015 start on a very high note and I needed to set a goal for myself to help me get out of a “not-so-good” place. I started striving for a lifestyle known at Oola, which started in February and their concept focuses on setting goals, both short term and long term goals. They teach about balancing our lives to reach OOLA! And let’s face it when you end a year/start a new year on a really shitty note, there is nothing better for your soul then to focus on a goal that strives to keep you healthy and fit.

There had been quite a bit of chatter within the group about the “Fall Marathon Training” group and that many people were training for the Portland Marathon in October. 5 months away was plenty (more than plenty) of time to train for 26.2 miles. And the decision was made. I was alleady in training for the Seattle Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon, which was at the beginning of the training session and I had plenty of runs/races between that race and the actual marathon to keep me on track. So I did it. I registered for the Portland Marathon on October 4th, 2015.

Training was a long and exhausting 18-week program that ran throughout the summer. If you know Seattle, well the Pacific Northwest, then you know that we don’t get a very long summer, but our summers are BEAUTIFUL! The first few weeks were quite simple, nothing grueling…6-13.1 miles (Seattle RnR Half) for our long runs, which we did most every Saturday. Then Ragnar in July…then the true build up began. 15…16….18 milers, and that’s all at once. That wasn’t including the 3-7 miler runs during the week. Due to past knee issues and newly developing issues during training, by body really can only handle 3-4 runs a week so trying to keep on a building milage track was difficulty. Luckily I had an amazing uncle, who provided me with some guidance on maintaining leg strength and endurance without fully damaging my knees. It was hard to follow his long run schedule with additional 15+ mile bike rides but I was able to get 1-2 in along with hikes following the runs. There is nothing better during training then cross training! Plus, for 4-5 weeks, I was being seen by a chiropractor and physical therapist to keep my injuries and knee pain at a bare minimum (which worked). The 18 miler caused me foot pain, which disappeared within a couple weeks!

Before I knew it…the end of September was upon me and my race was a merely 4 days away and my mom was flying into Seattle! My mom, if you don’t know, has run many, many marathons and I knew she would be provide me with a plethora of information on race day to keep me positive and strong (I was right!). There was a little hiccup in our plans due to some unexpected medical concerns that arose with my dad (everything’s okay now), but she was still able to join me!

We headed down to Portland on Friday, where we headed to the expo for packet pick-up. Talk about reality hitting me solid on the forehead. Holding that bib, number 3981, in my hand made everything become more real. We spent a solid hour wandering the expo and getting some new apparel and goodies (including my 26.2 sticker for Misty, my car). What I didn’t realize, was Portland doesn’t give ‘participation’ t-shirts. You ACTUALLY have to finish the race to get your shirt- motivation at it’s finest!

We explored a little bit more of downtown Portland, but as it was nighttime, we didn’t really see too much. We grabbed a bit to eat including a beer and headed back to the hotel, which made us feel like we were in a European hotel/hostel! Once at the hotel, we proceeded to fix my bike with new tubes, as we were hoping my mom would be able to bike over to mile 20 for some support (didn’t work).

Saturday morning came quickly, but I managed to get a decent amount of rem sleep. This was the very important, two nights before the race, sleep that’s needed. I knew Portland had an amazing Saturday Market and it was the one thing I really wanted my mom to see before her time was over. What I didn’t realize was our distance to the Saturday Morning Farmers Market on Portland State’s campus. We were only two blocks away so before heading to the Saturday Market, we headed to the farmers market. It was an hour of wandering and I could tell my mom was fascinated. I don’t think Phoenix has anything in comparison to the farmers markets in the Pacific Northwest, though even I was blown away. It was off to the Saturday Market, which is mostly known for more arts and crafts vs. farmer style. We spent probably 3 hours exploring the market, where we got matching necklaces to mark our Mother-Daughter Adventure and I was able to finish my Christmas shopping!

We laid low for most of the afternoon to keep me off my feet and finalized all my gear/wardrobe. Let’s face it, I’m a female and I like known what I’m going to wear! My best friend Sydney drove down from Olympia to join me for this occasion and I feel so blessed to have a friend, who is so supportive of this milestone event. She comes from two parents, who are both runners, so she knows all the hard work i’ve put into this challenge and has provided me nothing but ongoing love and support. Talk about true friendship!

After she arrived, we jetted off to meet the other 50+ SGLRG racers, who are all in town for the race, at our pre race pasta dinner. It was quite the group of runner gathering in a semi small restaurant, but overall it was a great dinner. Shortly afterwards for some final prep work including day of race outfit set up and some K-Tape situation on both knees and right foot (thank you YouTube for the guidance).

The morning came more quickly than I would have hoped for, but I’ve came this far and there’s really no turning back now. I’m blessed to have been with my two support gals became they helped me with my morning routine including making breakfast and going over my check list. Before I knew it, I was dressed, laced up, backpack on, watch ready and we were out the door.

The race-day SGLRG photo occurred around the start/finish line of the race and then it was off to the corrals. I ended up staying with a friend of mine in her corral as to have a partner to run with for part of the race. Then…all of the sudden the race began. I ran with my friend Emily for the first three miles through downtown and were met by my mother and the SGLRG Support Team at miles 1.5 and 4, which included a slight incline and a massive overload of runners. It was fairly chilly in the morning, but quickly became warm and I was pulling layers off.

The first 6 miles went by without a glitch but coming into the 7th mile, the heat started to wear down on me. It was at this point that I was very happy with my decision to wear my 50mL water backpack because I could run through the water stations. It was also the flat out and back portion of the course so there were runners in ever direction. The coming back was directly into the sunlight and directly in the heat…but I was met at the end of this portion by my friend Sydney and just a little bit further until I saw my mom for the second time, who provided me with more K-Tape for the knees.

I was still feeling strong going into mile 13, but knew the worst was yet to come. I was running at a fairly decent pace but needed to through some walking moments in (possibly due to the heat). By the time mile 16 came, I just remember thinking…”Why am I doing this?” and then I looked up. Ahead of me was the dreaded St. John’s Bridge on-ramp/hill. It might not seem like it, but running UPHILL to get onto a bridge is just plain mean at 17 miles into a marathon. I proudly walk this sucker until the halfway point. It was at 18 miles that I continued to run again but could tell my body was not happy. My knees felt good, but my hips felt tight.

Through the neighborhood on the east side of Portland downhill, uphill for the next couple miles which required some walk/run intervals. The sun wasn’t letting up and just barreled down on me and the other runners this entire time, as there was NO cloud coverage.

I started getting that 20-mile slump and all I could remember was my friend Tom, who told me after my last 6 mile run to “think about how it felt, and keep telling that to your self at mile 20”, and that’s exactly what I tried to do. At this point however, my hips were in full lockdown mode and occasional shooting pain was sent down my left leg. But I kept going.

Between my family texting me to keep going and several friends doing the same, I felt so supported during my time of need. And then my lifesaver came to the rescue, my friend Dallas. Dallas is a friend from high school who resides in Portland and was at the 21 mile marker cheering me on. He happily joined me in my walk/run style (more like gimp) from 21-24 and just by him talking with me and supporting me meant more than these words could say. We came by the SGLRG Support Crew at mile 22, who provided me with a flat coca-cola. And I know what your thinking…sounds gross, but to me this was liquid gold.

We made it through to mile 24 when Dallas and I parted ways and I was on my way back over the river to downtown Portland, up a little hill might I add. Another lifesaver came to my rescue at 24-25 mile, my friend Jonny, who stood on a corner cheering me loudly and capturing the moment. I looked worn down but I was still smiling!

I continued to walk/run through the last mile and that’s when I saw it…the finish line corral. Lined with people screaming loudly and the last burst of energy I had came through and pushed me to run through to the finish line. I never did see my mom or Sydney at the finishline but tunnel vision was in full force. I crossed the line with a clock time of  5:30 something and a chip time at 5:17. I AM A MARATHONER. Crossing that finish, getting that medal placed around my neck, putting on the finisher jacket, getting my finisher coin and pendent and finally receiving that Porland Marathon 2015 Finisher long sleeve shirt was one of the greatest feelings ever. I continued to just proceed through the finish line corral to find my mother and friend. I could hardly stand up so I proceeded to locate a curb and SAT down. I know it probably isn’t the smartest idea to sit after running/walking 26.2 miles but my legs just couldn’t stand up any longer. I loved being at that finish line with my mom and friend and although we didn’t stay long after I finished, it was still a great feeling.

We headed back to the hotel so that I could place these recovery compression pants on that my father gave me to prevent cramping and stiffness. And boy oh boy were those pants the tightest pants I have ever worn. Shocking that my DAD can put them on, though the stories I’ve heard about how he gets them on…well let’s just say I was crying from laughing. Then it was FOOD. All I wanted to do was inhale a beer and burger, which is exactly what we proceeded to do.

We didn’t stay long after we ate and we parted ways with Sydney as we headed back north to Seattle. All and all, I’d say I had an amazing race report and although I’m not totally sure I’ll be running another one, I am happy to say that I am proud of this accomplishment and my finish time of 5:17!

A Runner’s Log: Ragnar NWP Worst Pace Scenarios

When I started running with Seattle Green Lake Running Group back in 2014, I honestly had no idea what my life would become. The amount of great friends and lifetime of memories that have came from this group are limitless, but this particular weekend topped my list- Ragnar Northwest Passage weekend.

Do you know what Ragnar Relay is? Well, let me explain. Ragnar is an overnight 2000ish running relay consisting of 12 team members broken into two separate vans. Each runner runs 3 legs ranging from 2-13 miles per leg totaling approximately 10-24 miles over the course of 24-36 hours (depending on how long it takes your team).

I was honored to be asked to join one of the SGLRG teams, Worst Pace Scenarios, which was voted the “Favorite Ragnar Team” by the group last year, for 2015 Ragnar Northwest Passage (NWP). This particular Ragnar adventure starts in Blaine, WA, which is as close to the Canadian border as you can get without crossing and ends in a town on Whidbey Island. The relay passes iconic sights highlighting the true nature of the Pacific Northwest, including the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges, Deception Pass, and the Puget Sounds, and has us running along rolling countrysides and through small towns.

I was a part of van 2, which basically means we started later in the day at the 1st major exchange and ran the last set of 6. Here’s the breakdown:

Van 1 (leg 1-6): Blaine to Bellingham- 33.2 miles

Van 2 (leg 7-12): Bellingham to Burlington- 29.7 miles

Van 1 (leg 13-18): Burlington to La Conner- 32.8 miles

Van 2 (leg 19-24): La Conner to Oak Harbor- 39.2 miles

Van 1 (leg 25-30): Oak Harbor to Coupeville- 24.2 miles

Van 2 (leg 31-36): Coupeville to Langley- 33.1 miles

Total: 192.2 miles

I ran leg 10, which was one of the easier legs only running a total of 10.9 miles total with legs at 3.10 miles, 2.0 miles and 5.8 miles. Now don’t get me wrong when I say “easier leg”. Ragnar is not for the weak hearted. Even though I may not have ran as much as the others in my van, I still had the same barriers. The HEAT for one thing. It was a scorcher during both our first legs and our last legs. Plus the second legs were ran between 11:30 PM and 4 AM. Not the easiest time of the night to run and the heat, oh the heat. I hadn’t ran in heat like that since I ran in high school track in Phoenix.

BUT, I survived as did the rest of my team and our results were quite amazing. Worst Pace Scenarios came in 12th in the Mixed Open division with a finisher time of 26:19:47.0 and finished 38th overall. Did I mention that their were 355 teams in the Mixed Open division and 543 total teams participating in Ragnar Northwest Passage. I’d say we did pretty good.

I knew several of the runners in Van 2 and I couldn’t imagine my first Ragnar experience without them. Although I may have been a little extrovert for them, I think they appreciated my outgoing nature and the 100s of pictures I was capturing during the runs. Plus, they were so supportive getting me through this race and I’m pretty sure 4 of the 5 of them have qualified for Boston. You can imagine how fast they ran but they never made me feel slow. That is true team work!!

I cannot wait until next year or maybe I won’t have to wait that long…Maybe Ragnar Del Sol in Arizona?!?!?!

Daddy-Daughter Adventure #3

If you would have asked me that when I agreed to go on the back of my dad’s Harley Davidson cycle, we’d continue that tradition, I probably would have laughed. I never thought that we’d be blessed with opportunity after opportunity to spend quality time together. This adventure however kept me at home as my dad decided that since mom was in Nashville, TN, he’d venture to the PNW to visit me! It was a quick weekend but it was packed full of fun and adventure.

It started with a jog around my favorite location, Green Lake, which is also where I spend majority of my time with my running group, Seattle Green Lake Running Group. We didn’t go very far because as a spontaneous purchase, my dad and I decided to run the Rock-n-Roll Seattle Half Marathon. We weren’t alone in our short jaunt. My roommate had one of his good friends from college in for the RnR Seattle, though he was running to win it, and he decided to come join us. There was a “HUGE” pace differences: my dad and I were closing in at 10:30 minute miles; he was at like 5:10 minute miles (or some crazy fast pace). You can imagine our faces when moments after we arrive he took off like a deer. My dad and I just started laughing because in less than 10 steps we couldn’t even see him. After our run, we grabbed some breakfast and coffee before heading home to get ready.

I knew Friday was going to be our one main day to spend in and around downtown but it was also our only chance to pick up our race packets. So that’s exactly what we did. I don’t drive into downtown because, well, driving a manual into the hilly center of Seattle is not a fun or easy combination. My dad didn’t mind taking the metro system and walking a little. We walked near the stadiums, took a few selfies with my new selfie stick (laughing while doing so), and wandered around the Expo enjoying the loves of runners.

After the expo, we headed through Pioneer Square, which was a first for him, and enjoyed a “Pre-Race” beverage at the Oldest Saloon, “The Central”. From there, it was to Pike’s Market Place for another selfie, then up towards Capitol Hill to the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, a first for the both of us.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room opened in January 2015, located 9 blocks from the original Starbucks, and is a place for people to come and enjoy/taste/learn about unique blends of coffee.  Starbuck Reserve are rare and exotic micro live coffees that are unique to this location. I really had no idea what to expect, but I did learn that this roastery is responsible for roasting all of the Reserve label beans sold in all Starbucks. My dad and I did get to try two of the reserve labels, which in his words “the most expensive cup of coffee” and yes, he would be correct. This isn’t for the cheap at heart person, but it does offer a unique experience. We headed home for an early night after our tasting, but it wasn’t over yet.

A few days prior to my dad arriving, I received a WhatsApp message from my high school friend Blaine, who was going to be in town this same weekend and on a spur of a moment, decided he wanted to run the RnR Seattle Half Marathon too. So, after he landed at SeaTac, he taxied to my place to join myself, my dad, my roommate, and my roommate’s friend. Talk about a house full of runners.

We were able to catch some ZZZ’s before waking up and beginning our race day prep. This half marathon took me on a different training plan, which included adjusting my nutritional aspect to add a few supplements and this morning was nothing different. Luckily, my dad is the one helping me with my supplement/nutritional changes and so our mornings are fairly similar.

We made it to the meet up location for the SGLRG RnR crew for our typical race day photo before heading to the start line. I was pretty excited as this would be Blaine’s first official half marathon and my dad’s first big adventure through Seattle. My dad and I had a plan to run the first 5 miles at 9:30 pace then change to a 3 min. run/1 min. walk. However, at mile 5, I was feeling great and my dad told me to rock it. Which I did. I PR’d by 6 minutes finishing at 2hr 13minutes, a 10:13 minute mile pace. I was so extremely happy with this finish time and proud of my dad who didn’t finish to far behind me (2hr 27 minutes). Blaine finished at 1:54, my roommate came in at a 1:35, and his friend Roosevelt rocked it with a second place finish at 1:09. Do you know what it feels like to be standing at the start line knowing someone who is half way done before you even start? Let’s just say it provided some early morning laughter for my dad and I.

After the race and after-race party, we headed home to shower and re-get ready for another afternoon on the town before the Sounders game. I mean my dad couldn’t come to Seattle without experience a Sounders game. Blaine and Roosevelt joined us for a Ballard experience (one of my personal favorite). We enjoyed some good brews, good food and good company. Blaine parted ways with us as we head back to Pioneer Square for the ECS March to the Match experience.

One of my favorite parts of traveling with my dad is watching his face during new experiences. This was one of them. Between him and Roosevelt’s facial expressions, I was quite entertained. I think the biggest shock for my dad was the amount of people and the fact that we STOOD the ENTIRE game. We won 3-0 and the night still wasn’t over. It was time for dinner and we headed to another neighborhood close to home for some pizza and ice cream.

We crashed that night and woke the next morning a little stiff but ready for another adventure. We headed north to Mt. Vernon, joined by Roosevelt, where we were blessed with the chance to meet up with our Mexico/Canadian friends and spent the morning catching up. Instead of heading directly back to Seattle, we took a road trip detour to Lake Stevens. Reason is because this is the place of the Lake Stevens Half Ironman hosted in August of each year. I’m trying to convince my dad and his tri-group to race it. Another new place checked off for my dad and I together.

The night was less busy. We spent it relaxing, BBQ’ing, and enjoying each other’s company. It was a semi early night for both my dad and I, as he was jetting back home dark and early (like 3AM). I was absolutely blessed to be able to spend this weekend with not only my dad for our #3 adventure, but with my friend Blaine, and new friend Roosevelt. These are the moments in my life I cherish and love. AND my dad is already registered for next year’s RnR half marathon. Maybe I can convince my brother, sister, and mom to join in :-).

Stay tuned for my next mapless adventures.

Exploring Vancouver, BC…A city that I love.

In October, I ventured north across the US/Canada border to race in the Inaugural Rock N Roll Vancouver Half Marathon, which ultimately means “MINI VACATION”. (You can read about the race here).

I’ve been planning on running this race since mid June just shortly after accepting a new position. Thankfully, I was able to get several days off to take a long 5 day weekend. Like the times before, I selected to stay at the Samesun Hostel right on Granville Street, located in the heart of downtown. Now, I know what you’re thinking…”why on earth would you stay at a hostel if you’re there to run a race?” Well, that’s simple. It’s great for solo individuals on a budget. You get to meet so many people from all over the world (new friends), you have a bed (sleep) with roommates (new friends), and you are close to the action (fun). How does that not sound like a win-win. I know it does tend to get noisy in hostels but that’s what headphones and earplugs are use for.

Vancouver can be tricky to get to if you don’t know where you are going, and since I’ve been before once I entered downtown I was able to locate the parking garage immediately. Once checked into the hostel, I immediately connected with one of my hostel mates who I noticed getting ready and asked to tag along (which you can’t be afraid to do at hostels). She said yes and I’m glad she did. We ended up enjoying a great night out on the town with several other hostel mates (and we may have stayed out too late and drank a few beers). I knew I wasn’t going to be able to go out very much during my first few nights here and I don’t do well just sitting at the hostel, so I’m glad I started on such a high.

The next day was a day I was looking forward to for sometime. There had always been one tourist attraction that I felt I was missing every time I’d come to Vancouver and since it was only Friday (2 days till the half), I knew I had the perfect opportunity to go there. Where’s there? I’m taking about Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (CSBP) is located approximately 30 minutes outside of the city center and can be accessed easily by car or bus. In fact, CSBP offers free shuttle services (times vary depending on season) that pick up and drop off at several locations around downtown, providing easy access to/from the park. Utilizing this service, I didn’t have to stress much on transportation and could spend a little extra time researching about the park. Here’s a quick summary taken from Capilano Suspension Bridge‘s homepage:

“Capilano Suspension Bridge crosses to towering evergreens, cedar-scented rainforest air and Treetops Adventure, 7 suspended footbridges offering views 100 feet above the forest floor. The new Cliffwalk follows a granite precipice along Capilano River with a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms and only 16 anchor points in the cliff supporting the structure!”

The suspension bridge itself was built in 1898 and is Vancouver’s most popular tourist attraction. It stretches 450 feet across and 230 feet above the forest floor and Capilano River. The park is 27 acres large  and new attractions being added since it’s opening. Other attractions around the park include the Treetop Adventures, Cliffwalk, Kia’palano (BC’s first nation people history), and the park even offers live guided nature tours. During the winter months, don’t forget to stop by the nighttime Canyon Lights attraction. This is a MUST DO activity when visiting…and it’s fun for all ages.

I ended up spending several hours around the park and was in complete “ahhh” walking over the suspension bridge multiple times. The weather was perfect so speed wasn’t a factor. I have this thing with nature; whether it’s simply just walking around the wilderness or exploring a park, nature has this way of bringing me back to my center. This park has much to offer someone who enjoys experiencing new adventures.

After exploring for hours, I made my way back to the hostel where I met up with my roommates for an exciting night out on the town. I knew I wouldn’t have much time to go out because I was there for a race, so I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to spend a night out in Vancouver.

The next day, Saturday, I was able to meet up with a friend I met during my first trip to Seattle nearly three years ago. She has been living in Vancouver for about a year. Today was a bit rainy but it didn’t stop us from enjoying a delicious brunch, and venturing around downtown and to Granville Island. Of course, we decided to do a little Granville Island Brewery tasting, which I haven’t been to Vancouver without drinking there.

I decided to take it easy this night because the next morning, Sunday, was my big race. The evening included getting dinner with Adrienne and enjoying some hilarious time with all my hostel mates, who were all drinking and getting ready for the big night out. There was quite a bit of alcohol consumed and many drinking games, which from a bystanders opinion was entertaining and quite enjoyable. I hit the sack early and was blessed with amazing roommates, who were kind enough to be very quiet when they arrived home in the early morning hours (2 AM) to allow me to get a good night’s sleep. Talk about support.

The next morning was the race. You can read all about it here on another blog post.  After the race, feeling exhausted and finally having a shower, a fellow hostel runner Donnie and myself ventured out for some food. I always feel like a massive burger after exercising and that’s exactly what we ate. We ventured down Granville Street to a local restaurant called Stackhouse Burger Bar and enjoyed a very juicy and meaty burger and fries.

Following lunch, we headed back to the hostel to relax and enjoy many beverages (as well as icing several body parts). The night continued with some entertaining moments and resulted in a semi-early bedtime as dehydration kicked in.

I knew my time in Vancouver would be short and sweet, but I couldn’t have imagined the weekend I had experienced. The amount of fun, laughter, memories, and friendships I made was more than I could have asked. The race, although injured, was still an amazing experience and I am happy that I was able to be apart of the Inaugural year for the Vancouver RnR Half Marathon.

Stay tuned for the next Mapless Adventure…

A Runner’s Log: From Injury to Completing 13.1 Miles

When I came home from Mexico in April, I knew things were going to change. Mostly because over Christmas 2013, I decided it was time to sign up for another half marathon (read about it here), which was planned for June. I was doing some running before Mexico and continued to train through the half marathon but what I wasn’t expecting was to actually enjoy/fall in love with it. I ended up signing up for ANOTHER half marathon that was scheduled for end of October and ran 2 more 5Ks between August and October.

I use to hate running and these races kept me going…until one fateful weekend. It was Saturday morning and time for the Saturday Morning Rise and Shine run with Seattle Green Lake Running Group (SGLRG). I planned on running the 12 miler course that day and felt great along the way. I have 2 other runners keeping me in line and I was making great time. Of course this 12 miler ended up turning in to 14 miles and the last mile or two I started feeling a little soreness/pain in my left knee. For those of you who don’t know me very well then you probably don’t know about my lovely left knee injury. It includes 7 dislocations with 1 surgery at the age of 15.

I’ve been dealing with a little pain in my knee since then but this pain was something different and I knew something bad was going on. In hindsight, I probably should have stopped running when I felt pain but I kept going anyways. I learned a several days later (after 2 doctor visits, a PT consult and a MRI), that I was experiencing SEVERE patellar chrondromalcia a.k.a severe runner’s knee. This put a huge damper in my spirits right when I was getting into a good groove. I started eating WAY healthier, gave up drinking for a month, and was running 4-5 days a week. Now, I felt like I was back at square 1 and wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to run the Rock’n’Roll Vancouver Inaugural Half Marathon (I’ll write a separate post about it).

I stopped caring what I ate, began drinking socially again, and honestly thought all was lost. My doctor  did tell me I should be able to run the half marathon but it’d be painful. The race went from being a race I wanted to PR in to a race I didn’t even care to do. I even considered switching from the half marathon to the 10K. It was one of those things that I knew could have happened with running but still didn’t make it any easier.

I ended up going to Vancouver and it was at the expo that I decided it was time to shape up and run the race I set my heart out for…the HALF MARATHON. The goal however was to finish, no matter the time, no matter how I make it…I was crossing that finish line and getting that Inaugural Metal! Can you guess what happened?

I finished. I crossed that finishing line. I got the metal. AND I even beat my first ever half marathon time (2009) by 3 minutes while being injured and walking the last approximately 3-4 miles. I am stronger and fast than I’ve ever been before and I did it, pain and all. This would become my last race for 2014.

It’s been 8 weeks since that day and I’m happy to announce that I’m finally able to run again and am setting my goals high for 2015. I’m determined to beat my 5-race year (3 5Ks and 2 half marathons) by committing to running ONE race a month regardless of size (5K, 10K, 15K, halts). It doesn’t matter. I even am looking into signing up for my very first TRIATHLON. I don’t know exactly what 2015 will bring but I remain HOPEFUL! This knee injury took a lot out of me in the last 8 weeks and threw my entire life upside down, but I won’t let it defeat me. I need to let it drive me and push me to become something bigger and stronger. THIS IS IT.