Medals Revealed for 2018 Eugene Half Marathon and 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half

2018 Eugene Half Marathon Medal

Yesterday, on #MedalMonday, Eugene Marathon hosted a Facebook live reveal of the Eugene Marathon weekend medals!

A terrible screenshot from their live video, but it still gives you a bit of a preview of the 2018 Eugene Marathon (half) Medal!

Sadly, it looks like a better quality photo will have to wait. However, just looking at it initially, I really love that it is the shape of Oregon, with the Eugene Marathon logo on it. The full marathon medal is similar, with a gold color. Both the half and full marathon have the course on the back.

2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon Medal

The Rock ‘n’ Roll race series always loves to promote its medal designs, which change every year. I’m running Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle in June, which will be my second Rock n’ Roll race after Vancouver Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Luckily, while not my favorite design, the 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon medal is looking pretty good!

Their medal designs are polarizing— I either love them or despise them. I loved the one I earned at Rock ‘n’ Roll Vancouver, but I despised the one Jason earned at Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle in 2014. It a design of a latte. I know someone who ran the 2014 race as their first full marathon, and was a little sad at the tiny cup of joe he received to celebrate the achievement.

I’m excited to earn this one and am already brainstorming an outfit for that race.

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 Winter/Spring Training for 2018 races

Races are so much fun and I love sharing them, but the thing about long distance running is you spend much more time training than racing. For me, it can be tedious, hard and sometimes painful work without any of the glory of race day. I need the races to keep me motivated.

With the cancelation of the Star Wars Half weekend, my race schedule was pretty empty after the Monterey Bay Half Marathon and I definitely took a break from running.

I did have fun traveling to Phoenix, AZ for Perrin’s Wedding, another running buddy and longtime friend. Of course there was some running involved—aside from the company, it was also sunny in the middle of winter!

Running in the desert, what could go wrong?

Too hot, too much sun!

Pretty soon, I convinced another friend to sign up for his first half marathon. Jason loved running the Eugene Marathon in 2016, but neither of us wanted to commit to training for that distance this year. However, I look forward to running the Eugene (Half) Marathon and celebrating Ryan’s first finish.

Training for this race has been pretty bumpy.

For starters, late winter/early spring was particularly wet and nasty. A 9 mile run in pouring rain that turns to sleet and then to snow is no fun.

It got cold, and snowy! By the time we finished our 9 miles, there was a light coating of white everywhere.

Luckily, Mom signed up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle, so I have an excuse to beg her to run with me. Nothing makes a miserable long run better than a partner.

And then, on Pi Day (March 14), I fell hard on a regular mid-week training run, hitting the pavement hard with both knees and ripping holes in my tights. In addition to the road rash, both knees turned deep purple with some of the worst bruising I’ve ever had. Running since then has been a challenge, not just because of the injury, but because of how demoralizing the fall was. It’s a stupid way to get injured.

I did manage to join a friend over spring break for an incredibly hilly run up a fire trail behind UC Berkeley in California. The views of San Francisco Bay were great, but it was a good reminder that although the scrapes had healed, my knees were not 100% yet.

Jason and Stephanie ran ahead of me, so I was free to take a break from the hill climb to snap photos of the view.

This past weekend, I finished my last training run before the Eugene Half, although I had to cut it shorter because of continued knee issues. I’ve had to cut several long runs short or skip them entirely, and I’ve gone through more KT tape since then than I usually do in a year.

Gotta capture that false enthusiasm… and the liberal application of KT tape on my knees and shins.

It poured rain, but we took it slow, just trying to finish the distance. A big shout-out to Mom for being a rock of encouragement. So far, 2018 has not been a great running year and I wasn’t feeling it. I don’t think I’ve gotten this wet on a run since the 2016 Portland Marathon.

Not the loveliest day. We got very wet.

Just about the time my knees were feeling really bad, Dad pulled up with drinks from a coffee shop and a towel. The short break was enough for my knees to recover so that I could finish the run and despite cutting it shorter, I felt a little more optimistic about the coming race.

What really helped was Boston Marathon day.  I tracked Lili, sometime running partner of Jason, while she ran an amazing race. It was exciting getting her splits texted to me throughout the morning, as she was blazing through at a PR pace. Finally, I got to see her cross the finish line on the livestream.

It was inspiring seeing all the runners finishing and helped me to realize that I’m ready to put the challenging training behind me. My knees are nearly healed and my races sound like they’ll be really fun! After a rough start to the year, I’m finally looking forward to running my upcoming races.

Bunny Ears at the ready for Easter Weekend and the Hop Hop Half Marathon

judy hopps running costume

I had a blast running as bunny cop Judy Hopps (Zootopia) at the 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon.

Easter weekend is fast approaching and I’m getting ready to break out my bunny running ears for the 2017 Hop Hop Half Marathon!

I’ve been wanting to do this half marathon for a couple of years now, but it never quite worked out. But when Mom wanted to find a half to run with me, I was excited to suggest this race, which seems like it will be full of springtime fun, with a post-race brunch as well.

The 2017 Hop Hop Half medals (which change every year) feature one adorable bunny. Added bonus!

I’ve been so busy remodeling a room in my house this spring that I’ve hardly had time to train, much less think about a race day outfit. All I knew was that I had a great pair of bunny ears that had already served me well in a half marathon. Luckily, Mom was ready to pick up the slack.

Foot Traffic did something a bit unusual and held packet pick-up last weekend. It was really nice to get it over with it and not have to worry about it now. We also got to see our shirts a full week ahead of the race!

Mom fell in love with the shirt and took it to the fabric store with her and ended up finding sparkle fabric in the perfect color of blue. In addition, she offered to sew skirts for herself, me and Kelly.

 

With a shirt this cute and sparkle fabric that perfectly matches, how could we resist?

I plan to add the great pair of race-tested ears comes from my Judy Hopps costume I wore at the 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon to the outfit. After I spent so long making them and after they worked so well on race day, I’m really glad I get another opportunity to wear the bunny ears and other elements of that costume. This will be a perfect Easter/springtime running costume!

My Hop Hop Half Race Day Outfit

  • Official Race shirt
  • New Robin’s Egg Blue sparkle skirt
  • Bunny Ears (all three of us will wear ears, although all three will be different)
  • Bunny Tail
  • Carrot Earrings

Although I usually avoid wearing new clothing on race day, I’m not worried about wearing a simple shirt. I’ve worn a lot of bizarre things in while running a half marathon. Just to be safe, I’ll apply a little extra body glide.

I’m planning to run the race at a slower pace than I ran the Phoenix Half Marathon, with 50 second run/30 second walk intervals. Kelly, Mom and I plan to start together, but Kelly is planning run slower because of her interrupted training schedule. After just missing a PR time at Phoenix, Jason is hoping to run a PR at this event. Finally, Kelly’s dad is also running the race— he and Kelly actually signed up months before we did.

I’m looking forward to the race and Easter weekend!

Costume reveal for the 2017 Star Wars Rebel Challenge

Well, I’m packed and ready to fly to California, but it came as quite a surprise this week when we got 10 inches of snow here in the Willamette Valley. It certainly changed my last minute plans and hopefully we have no problems catching our flight!

The snow is quite pretty and it did mean I got some extra time off. But I must say, I am looking forward to the warmer California weather! Although all of Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend is fun, I am particularly excited by our costumes this year.

2017 Star Wars 10K Costume

Since Kelly, Taylor, Jason and I signed up for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, the costume focus was solely on the longer race. However, Taylor and I are also running the 10K as part of the rebel challenge.

We spent many months thinking up and discarding ideas. Some were too complicated to make as a second costume. Others just failed to capture our excitement.

But then, on a long training run, shortly after seeing Rogue One, we finally got excited. Imperial officers!

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Since most of our time was dedicated to creating the four costumes for the Half Marathon, we already owned or bought most of the costume elements.

After a brief tussle over what color, we quickly set about getting the costume elements put together.

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I’ll be honest, we chose black almost entirely based on the fact that the officers appeared to have an imperial patch on their shoulder. Too cool!

Costume elements:

  • Black running tights
  • Black running shirt
  • Tunic extension made from running skirt pattern
  • Imperial patch (sewn on sleeve)
  • Belt made from 2-inch elastic
  • Handcrafted pin-on belt buckle
  • Handcrafted rank bar
  • Purchased imperial hat

Taylor did an amazing job crafting the belt buckles and rank bars, while I sewed the elastic belts and tunic extensions.

We’re pleased with the result, considering how last minute the costume came together. My only concern is it might be too warm. I run extremely hot even when I’m not in California. But it’s a shorter race and the costume is cool enough I’m happy to put up with it.

2017 Star Wars Half Marathon Costume

When we signed up for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, Kelly instantly knew she wanted to run as a rebel x-wing pilot, and I have to say, we all pretty much agreed with her.

Kelly models the completed costume!

Kelly models the completed costume!

It took a lot of effort and time to finally put the costume together, but it really is amazing how it all turned out.

Costume elements

  • Modified running hat with rebel patches and raised ridge
  • Amber safety glasses
  • Orange running shirt
  • Orange running shorts/skirt sewn from pattern
  • White flak vests (handmade)
  • Chest box and straps (handmade)
  • Grey ejection straps (sewn)
Rebel pilots running through the hanger on Yavin IV during Rogue One. I love how this picture shows our heroes just strutting confidently through the hanger instead.

Rebel pilots running through the hanger on Yavin IV during Rogue One. I love how this picture shows our heroes just strutting confidently through the hanger instead.

It was truly a group effort putting it all together and everyone worked on different pieces. I cant wait to wear both of my costumes this weekend!

Countdown to the 2017 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend

Corrals and course maps for the 2017 Star Wars Half Marathon were released during the holidays and now the official start of the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend (The Light Side) is only a week away!

Running.. very carefully... just make sure you avoid the ice!

Luckily, most of this 12-mile run was on a clear pathway, but the icy bits were still quite scary! Our next long run had no snow, but the frozen puddles were very slick.

I’ll especially enjoy the race location this year… it’s been a cold winter this year and my last two long training runs were in below freezing weather. They’re forecasting snow again this weekend! I’m looking forward to the southern California climate.

Corrals

We’re very happy about our corral placements! Unlike last year, Star Wars will have an increased number of corrals, just like the Disneyland Half. I couldn’t use my awesome 10K PR time anymore, but I still got into G corral (I was placed in E corral for the Disneyland Half). Looking at bib numbers, that puts 8,500 of the 16,000 runners in corrals behind us. The earlier corrals are smaller— Jason is in A corral with only 810 total runners.

Corral assignments are split into two categories, Star Wars Half Marathon (shown above) and Rebel Challenge runners. Kelly and Jason are running the half only, but Taylor and I are running the Rebel Challenge (both the 10K and the half).

Corral assignments are split into two categories, Star Wars Half Marathon (shown above) and Rebel Challenge runners. Kelly and Jason are running the half only, but Taylor and I are running the Rebel Challenge (both the 10K and the half).

Kelly worked her butt off to get a good 10K time before the proof-of-time deadline and despite being new to long distance running, got a great time and also was placed in G corral. Taylor worked to improved his PR 10K time all year and moved up from corral H in the Disneyland Half to corral F.

Costumes

I’ve been hard at work sewing costumes for our races. I’m pretty excited about how they are turning out.

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Sewing up the flak vest for a rebel pilot outfit!

For the half marathon, Jason, Taylor, Kelly and I are all running as Rebel pilots. The costumes have a lot of pieces, but so far they are turning out amazing! For the 10K, Taylor and I are running as imperial officers.

It’s a group effort putting the costumes together and a lot of work, but I can’t wait to try them out!

This weekend, I plan to follow all the excitement of the Walt Disney World Marathon, sew up the costumes, go on a short training run, pack my bags for my trip and binge watch Star Wars Rebels, Season 2!

Race day feels so close now!

2017 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Medals Revealed!

Since the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend isn’t until January 2017, I wasn’t expecting the medals to be revealed so early!

I also wasn’t expecting that there would be any significant changes to the half marathon medal itself. Although the 10K medals change every year, traditionally, runDisney half marathon medals stay fairly consistent for the four years, with a special anniversary medal, followed by a redesign.

Not true anymore! For the past two years, the Star Wars Half medal was a replica of the Medal of Bravery, the medals presented to Han and Luke at the end of Star Wars: A New Hope.

Now, that image has been replaced with Han and Leia. I think if I had never run the Star Wars Half and earned the Medal of Bravery before, I would be disappointed. Since I’ve already earned it twice, I’m rather excited for a change, although it’s not my favorite medal design ever. It’s big and it’s gold and that makes me happy.

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Looking at the image closely, it looks like this may be a spinner medal. If so, there is an image on the other side we haven’t seen yet. I wonder what it could be….

I’ll also be earning the 10K BB-8 medal, which looks cute! Last year’s x-wing was the coolest, but this is way better than the stormtroopers of 2015. BB-8 is a favorite of mine, so I’m totally excited he’s on a medal.
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Conspicuously absent from the photos is the Rebel Challenge medal. Is it because it will be almost exactly the same as previous years? Or are they just saving the reveal for the pièce de résistance?

UPDATE:

Yes! It’s totally a spinner. I’m so glad they kept the Medal of Bravery design.

Related: Race Recap: 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon
Race Recap: 2016 Star Wars 10K
Medals Revealed For The 2016 Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend!

2016 Portland Marathon Medals Revealed!

The 45th Portland Marathon is coming up quickly and in my inbox yesterday was a preview and description of the medals!

2016 Portland Marathon & Half Medals

2016 Portland Marathon & Half Medals

While I was very excited for the preview, I was somewhat disappointed to find that the front of the double-sided medal is practically unchanged from last year. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the medal, pendant and coin I earned last year, but previously, the Portland Marathon has had all-new medal designs each year. I would have especially expected something unique for an anniversary year and was looking forward to seeing what they would come up with.

Mom and I show off our medals at the finish of the 2015 Portland Marathon.

Mom and I show off our medals at the finish of the 2015 Portland Marathon.

Even the ribbon is the same design, with just a different coloring.

However, Portland Marathon medals are unique in that they are double-sided, and it does sound like the reverse side of the medal is completely new.

The reverse is an adaptation of the famous St Gauden’s gold $20 coin. The changes are as follows: Liberty is Portlandia; Portlandia carries a trident rather than a torch; she holds a fir tree rather than a laurel spray; there is an outline of the City of Portland under Mt. Hood rather than the Washington DC Capitol Building; there are roses and rose leaves rather than acorns and oak leaves; and, there are 45 stars for our 45th Anniversary rather than 48 stars for the 48 states.

Excerpt from “2016 Medals, Pendants & Coins” by Yakihiko Yamaoki

I’ll look forward to seeing this side when I earn it after running 26.2 miles!