Race Recap: 2017 Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K— Pacific Grove, CA

We’re at the starting point, but the course is visible in the background along the shore.

I went to Monterey expecting to run a half marathon, but the Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K on November 11 looked so darn fun!

Jason and I took a road trip to San Francisco and Monterey for the Monterey Bay Half Marathon. We were going to run it with Jason2 and Melissa. Although we knew they were signed up for the Ocean View Challenge, we didn’t really think much of running a 5K and weren’t interested.

That, of course, was until we got there. The night before, we decided to dress in our extra running clothes just in case they had day-of-race sign-ups. The day of, we were dressed to run, but still unsure. I looked out at the ocean, with the sun shining and thought “I’d much rather be a part of the race than just watch.”

So Jason and I signed up and ran! It was a beautiful prelude to the half marathon, despite the fact that I missed seeing the lighthouse both times we ran past. We even got t-shirts that they had left over!

Later that day at the expo, they kindly upgraded our bibs to the Ocean View Challenge in light of the fact that we’d already run the 5K.

Ran With: Just me!
Time: 35:44

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Cancellation of 2018 Star Wars Half Marathon and RunDisney’s Disneyland Events

We got the email on October 18, but we’ve expected the news for months: the 2018 Star Wars Half Marathon: The Light Side was officially canceled by RunDisney.

Somewhat more surprising (to me, at least), was the news that all of their Disneyland location races are on hiatus for an undefined length of time. I would have thought an arrangement could have been worked out for at least their flagship Disneyland Half Marathon, but apparently not.

After the 2017 Star Wars Half Marathon, Kelly, Taylor and I all signed up for the Rebel Challenge and Jason signed up for the half again. After running at Disneyland during the same January weekend for four years in a row (2014 Tinker Bell, 2015 Star Wars, 2016 Star Wars and 2017 Star Wars), it’s a bit sad to see the race canceled. At least our registration fees were fully refunded.

This weekend was the one that started it all. After four years of running a half marathon at Disneyland over MLK weekend, it’s hard to let it go.

And although this weekend was always a significant race weekend because it always marked the anniversary of running my first long-distance race, I’m not too disappointed. For me personally, things worked out for the best.  I’m a bridesmaid that weekend and it’s a relief not to fly directly from the race to the wedding.

Hopefully RunDisney races will return to Disneyland in the future. In the meantime, maybe I need to set my sights on the Walt Disney World Marathon?

For now, the Monterey Bay Half Marathon is now the biggest race on my calendar.

Race Recap: 2017 Run Like Hell 10K—Portland, OR

After spending all my energy on a major project at work and working overtime hours, the Run Like Hell 10K on October 22nd was the perfect stress-buster of a race.

I didn’t have as much time to think about costumes and I wasn’t excited at all about the costume theme (rock stars). Nevertheless, we pulled together an outfit of sorts. Kelly, Mom and I pulled out our bright blue sparkle skirts (the legacy of the Hop Hop Half Marathon), wore some beads and in a nod to the theme, I wore my Rock ‘n’ Roll Vancouver running shirt.

We even avoided most of the rain, although it started coming down after the race.

The race was almost all gentle uphill for the first half, which meant the second half was entirely downhill. It takes me about 2 miles to warm up, but once I did, I felt pretty good. After being stuck behind a desk, it felt good to run fast. I enjoyed seeing all the costumes and Halloween spirit and there was entertainment on the course.

Considering the first half was entirely uphill, I was pretty happy with my time.

I flew to the finish, where I got a medal, and free cider! The blood orange cider was delicious, but the real surprise was the pumpkin cider which was way more delicious than expected.

Post-race fun at the 2017 Run Like Hell!

 

 

Ran With: Kelly, Mom
Time: 1:17:00

 

Spectating at the 2017 Portland Marathon

I admit it, although I ran the Portland Marathon in 2015 and 2016, I was pretty happy to be a spectator this year, cheering on my Mom as she completed her 3rd full marathon (and first solo) on October 8, 2017.

I did do a little running… alongside her as I cheered her on.

Just running alongside Mom to cheer her on… This was the only part of the marathon I did this year!

They changed the course significantly this year, which turned it into an out-and-back course, but it still went over the St. John’s Bridge. Mom blew her previous marathon PR out of the water, improving her time by a half hour.

Tired, but happy.

Race Recap: 2017 Greenway Park Trail Trial 10K— Beaverton, OR

Fast finish on a hot and humid day!

In a first attempt to get a fast 10K time, I ran the Greenway Park 10K on September 4th, 2017. Luckily, the weather wasn’t too hot, but smoke from the Columbia Gorge wildfire soon lowered the air quality. I think the poor air quality is the reason I had a headache the rest of the day.

The race went off in waves, in a time trial format, to prevent overcrowding on the narrow pathways.

I ran part of the race with Kelly, before peeling off to see if I could run faster. Overall, I wasn’t disappointed with my time, and it was awesome to get free loaves of bread.

Free bread! Truly the best part of the race.

Ran with: Kelly
Time: 1:13:42

 

Race Recap: 2017 Freedomthon 5K—Beaverton, OR

Running a race on the 4th of July just seems right, part of celebrating Independence Day. I also got to wear my Phoenix Half Marathon tank top for the first time, although I’ve never wanted a star-spangled Wonder Woman-style running skirt so badly.

Joining us were Kate and Nick who did his first run with a stroller.

Kate and I took the run super easy, just catching up and chatting. Since I woke up with a headache, I wasn’t interested in a fast time.

Ran With: Kate
Time: 42:12

Race Recap: 2017 Hippie Chick Half Marathon—Hillsboro, OR

To celebrate Mother’s Day, Mom and I ran the Hippie Chick Half Marathon on Saturday. This is the second time I’ve ran the race. At the 2015 race, I ran it with Katie and it was way too hot for me! This year was completely the opposite!

A little damp, but full of high spirits!

I was so happy the temperatures were forecasted to remain low on Saturday. It was raining before the race and at the last minute I pulled on a long-sleeve shirt and put my short sleeve on over top, a rarity for me. I was afraid I might regret it, because it was dry once we got to the start line, but that sure didn’t last!

Not too far into the race, it started pouring! For about an hour, we got completely soaked, and mom and I were strongly reminded of the very wet 2016 Portland Marathon.

The rain was pounding us so hard, the drops were almost painful. However, it really did look beautiful against the scenery of the fields green from the spring. Mom and I were dressed for the occasion, with daisies in our hair and cute little floral skirts Mom had made.

I felt much better than at Hop Hop, but we concentrated on enjoying ourselves, enjoying the course and having fun, rather than speed. This was more about the experience and being able to do it together!

The free photobooth really captured our playful spirits on Saturday. We took the photos pre-race and when we received them post-race, the last photo sent me into a fit of uncontrollable laughter.


The race was nice and flat and the country roads with the wide open fields were lovely this time around (since I was dying for shade in 2015). There were plenty of water stops and even gel stops. Mom and I had gotten up so early and ate breakfast so early, I increased what I normally have during a race to try and make up for it. The extra gels were certainly helpful.

They even had entertainment! Around mile 9ish, there were jugglers with batons on fire at turnaround point. Mom was so distracted by them, she nearly forgot to turnaround! But we did, and ran back down one of the few hills on the course.
Before too long, we were headed to the race finish! I run a really steady, but slow pace, so the last two miles I told myself that I wasn’t allowed to tell mom to slow down.

Once we got to the stadium, we waved to Jason who cheered us on. We ran around the edge of the stadium, spotting ourselves on the Jumbotron and then crossed the line, mother and daughter, holding hands and raising them high.

Hippie Chick Half Marathon complete!


Once finished, we collected our finisher necklaces and then made a beeline to the massage tent. We put our name on the waiting list for a free 10 minute massage and then met up with our cheerleader, Jason. He was able to point out all of the food options and even snag us a table! I won free chocolate donuts from Frang bakery. Mom and I enjoyed the pancake breakfast. Best of all, the mimosas and chocolate milk! Delicious. We listened to the live band and ate our post-race food happily.

Just about the time we had finished, we went down for our free massage. It may only be 10 minutes, but I know it made a huge difference! I recovered much faster and even felt energized right that moment.

In fact, when we started heading back to the parking lot, I couldn’t help it when i spotted the play structure nearby! Those weird blue rings spin like a merry-go-round. The weather kept the kids away, so us adults decided to play!

I’m not planning on doing any long races until the fall at least, giving me a break from high mileage. I really hate the running in warm weather and its really hard to run for hours at a time in the summer. I want to concentrate on improving my 10K times instead. This was a good race to start the break!

Time: 2:48:53
Ran with: Mom
Post-Race Highlight: Although the free massage was heavenly and relaxing, I’ll admit that the awkward merry-go-round was exhilarating! It was such ridiculous, giddy post-race fun.