Saturday, May 28, 2011

Vacation Run Big Island Hawaii

Sorry for the long break. I just got back from nine days on the big island of Hawaii. We stayed just 25 minutes North of Kona. My goal for the trip was to get in quite a few runs. I packed a ton of work out clothes. It did not happen like I thought it would. Either running in Hawaii is hard, or running while pregnant in Hawaii is really hard. I think both is probably true. I ended up only doing two runs, a three mile run and a two mile run. I also did some lap swimming in the pool and a few short walks. I decided that was more than good enough for a vacation week.

Unlike my Maui trip, this time I made sure to get up right away and get going on my runs before the sun got too intense. I knew if I waiting until the afternoon I would never make it. The first run I did was along the coast line. It stretched from the house we were staying in to the Fairmont Orchid Hotel. The run was flat, but pretty difficult due to having to run through several sandy beach trails. Besides my normal slowness, I had to stop to walk quite a few times. I just got too tired. The run is posted at the bottom of this post.

View of one of the beaches I ran through
 The second run I did ran along the road inside the resort area. The view consisted mostly of lava rocks and the golf course. The miles of lava rocks reminded me of when I watch the Iron Man race in Hawaii and everyone looks hot and near death during the marathon portion. I ran a mile before I decided to just turn around. The baby was just too uncomfortable. I decided her or she was right about the run needing to end.

I will miss Hawaii. This time I do not know when I will be back. I know I will be though. Until then, I will dream of being able to run there again and getting a good nap in by the pool afterward. Here is to a warm Seattle summer. Fingers crossed.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Race (Spectator) Report: Kirkland Half Marathon

Just to start out, I did not run the Kirkland Half Marathon/5k. I might have had I had an easier time running the begining part of my pregnancy, but I didn't so that is that. The course does pass near my house, though. One of my good friends was running it too, so I decided to take part in the fun.

It was a dreary, cold, Pacific Northwest morning. The start time for the race was 7:30 am. Talia (my friend running) set a goal to run about ten minute miles, so I set my alarm for 7:40. I got up and looked out the window. The walkers were just walking along the main road. I got dressed and started a pot of coffee. Then I grabbed my neon green "go talia" sign and walked out to the course. By the time I made it out there, most of the elite runners had passed and it was still mostly walkers passing by. (I should explain, you can walk the half marathon too, the walkers start before the runners... just in case you hadn't figured that out yet.) I am not the best cheerleader. I am good at making signs, but not so good at the yelling. Talia became popular with the people walking by, so they were doing the cheering for me. One man even declared that he was Talia. I think the real Talia would argue that.

I had to start looking really hard once the crowd of runners started to pass. There were a lot of white hats like hers running by. Talia saw me first and smiled. She loved her sign. I wish it was later in the race she ran into me, but I am sure it helped boast her over some of the hills she still had to run the next three miles of the course.

I went back inside, where it was warm and dry for the next hour. That coffee I made tasted sooo good. At 8:45am I started to make the walk down to the finish line. I met up with the course at the mile 12 marker. I debated on waiting there for Talia or to keep going for a little while. I decided to walk and knowing she would catch up with me soon. About a half mile down she did. I think I was almost more excited to see her than she was to see the finish. I ran with her a little ways and when I got too hot from all my layers I told her to go pass these girls 10 yards in front of her. I caught up with her at the finish line. Her time? 2:13 and some change! I'm so impressed. The Kirkland half is no easy course. I'm sure the next simpler course she does she will get under two hours.

We walked around the vendor booths to check them out. I bought a running skirt and some compression socks. (I will post a review for them soon.) I said goodbye to Talia and her husband. Then I walked my way back home. I was sad I could not be part of the race, but at least I got to participate in the way I could. I also got my exercise for the morning with the long walk to the finish. Sorry I don't have any pictures. I really need to get better at that for you guys. Talia, I hope you don't mind being part of my blog this week. :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Race Report: Spokane Bloomsday

Sunday was the 35th Annual Spokane Bloomsday Run. This year over 60,000 people signed up. I have not been able to find any data yet on how many finished. It doesn't matter any way. That is a lot of people. We made the trip over to the mountains in pretty good time. We made a stop at the Road House Grill for lunch in Ellensburg and our friend's mom made her annual home made lasagna for us to eat for our prerace dinner (yum!). All tired out from our journey, I went to bed at 9pm.

The weather was unseasonably cold for Spokane this time of year. The temperature at start time was 44 degrees. Knowing the forecast, I packed layers to wear, and my running gloves. I was really worried about, for lack of a better word, all my snot production due to my pregnancy. It is worse in the cold, which makes me more likely to gage and barf.

The next morning our wake up call was at 6:30am. I got up after an okay night's sleep and I had a major head ache. I forgot to pack my mouth guard and I had been grinding my teeth all night. My stomach also did not feel very good. I made sure to go upstairs and eat a small breakfast. I had oatmeal, a piece of toast, a banana, and some coffee. At that point I took some aspirin for my head ache. I went back downstairs to use the bathroom before we left. My stomach started doing flip flops. I barely made it to the bathroom when I lost my entire breakfast. I was so upset. I really needed the fuel for the morning. Not only that, I was really worried about how the race itself would go. On a normal day I probably would have gotten back in bed, but everyone was waiting for me to leave for the start line, so I collected myself and got in the car.

The entire car ride over I made sure to sip water. I contemplated the whole way whether or not I should run. It could be a really miserable 7.5 miles or it could be that my stomach would settle and all would be okay. I decided that I didn't go all the way to Spokane to just hang out and go home, so I kissed H good bye (he was sitting on the side lines due to his injury) and slowly walked to my green bib corral to wait for the start.

I love the race corals for large races. All the body heat kept me warm and the sun really helped too. It was amazing to look out to the sea of people in front and behind be. I made sure to line up at the end of the green pack, since I knew I would be much slower than the others in the corral. I was too stubborn to move back a corral from where I qualified last year. It turned out to be a really good choice to stay in the same corral. I think I must have just missed qualifying for yellow last year. Maybe next year I can "prove it" and move up a corral. :)

It was a long, cold, wait in my pin to cross the starting line, but 25 minutes later I finally did. It was hard to start out since I was so cold and stiff from waiting. I did a good job at staying at a slow and steady pace, despite the temptation to take off like all the others. I just laughed on the inside because I knew in about half a mile they would get tired from their sprint and I would start passing them.

Soon enough I did. I actually passed people! I also started to feel really good. I just took things slow and steady. I didn't have any problems with my stomach at all. I was feeling so good, It was hard to make myself stop from running the hills. The first three miles were awesome.

After that it felt like the baby woke up from what ever nap it was taking. It started to feel like I was getting poked. It didn't hurt, it was more like a "cut it out mom, I'm trying to chill out in here". It made me smile, and I kept on going. I knew as long as it didn't hurt the baby was fine. He or she needs to get used to running any way :)  We will be doing a lot of that together.

I got a lot of comments on my shirt. About five people taped me on the sholder and told me how awesome it was. One man said I was sending a really great message. I heard other people comment on it from behind me. A couple times even, when I passed guys, I heard them say common we need to get moving if she is passing us.

Doomsday Hill is right before the end of mile five. Last year that is what really tired me out. This year I knew better to even attempt to run it. As soon as I hit a decent incline I stopped to walk. It really helped me save my energy for the last two miles. I felt much better running them this year than the last. I was so thankful.

My finish time was 1:32:10, just a hair slower than my goal, but I really don't care. I finished the race, felt good, and didn't barf. Biggest thing of all, I had a blast! I love Bloomsday. It's so well organized it puts other larger races to shame. Race organizers should really mentor with the Bloomsday organizers. I can't wait until next year already. Below is my mile splits, if you are interested.

1         11:14
2         11:49
3         12:56
4         11:53
5         13:12
6         13:03
7         12:08
8         11:00