Race Recap: 2017 HoHo 5K —Tigard, OR


Katie wore her penguin tights and I donned my holiday shirt and sparkle skirt for a fun holiday-themed run.
So many great races run through Cook Park and the HoHo 5K was another one.

Katie and I used the race as an excuse to catch up, and chatted our way through the course, not particularly worrying about our time or pace.

Unlike some holiday races, it was a small race with locals, but the post-race was awesome. They provided HoHos and Snowballs and never have ridiculous Hostess snack cakes ever tasted so good. I don’t think I ever had a snowball before though, and it was a bizarre food item. I’m still not sure what I think about it!

Ran With: Katie
Bizarre Holiday moment: Finding out that one of the raffle prizes is a fruitcake that you can return the following year for a free race entry. Some of them have circulated for nearly 10 years.

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Race Recap: 2017 Turkeython 5K—Tigard, OR


I never really take the annual Turkeython seriously as far as a race— I think my biggest goal is just to get the largest group I can to come walk or run! The secondary goal is to not feel so guilty about an extra slice of pie.

We reprised our costumes from 2015, with the addition of a tiny turkey.

Group Size:10
Ran With: Mom
Time: 35:59

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

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

2017 Heart to Start 5K (Heart Breaker Half) —Hillsboro, OR

Don't we look festive?!

Don’t we look festive?!

After weeks of torrential rain and snow/sleet/ice before that, we had glorious weather the weekend of the Heart to Start 5K. Even if it was a bit cold, it made for a nice change.

We signed up for the Heart to Start 5K fairly last minute when we heard Jason’s sister was planning to make it her first 5K. We had a long training run scheduled for the weekend already, our last one before the Phoenix Half Marathon, but we decided to go for it. She wasn’t able to attend, but Jason and I still enjoyed ourselves at this a festive Valentine-themed run on Feb 12. She donated her bib to my Mom, who was then able to run with me.

This was Jason’s second time running the race. While he ran the 5K in 2015, Mom and I both did the Heart Breaker Half Marathon. I was glad to do the shorter race this year—I can only handle so many hills!

After doing some intense interval training the previous weekend, I have been fighting pain in my shins, and I also knew that post-5K celebration, I had to run about 12 more miles to get in my last training run before the Phoenix Half. All of these things were swirling in my head as we prepared for the start at Liberty High School.

The start of the race was on the track, which was fun. Out on the roads, the course was windy and hilly, with lots of turn-arounds. Even though the course overlapped in places, we never did spot Jason among the faster runners.

Mom and I tried to stick to our intervals, but the warm up period was rough. We made sure to run downhill, and walked many of the uphills. I admit I wasn’t in the greatest headspace for a race— I was mostly thinking of the rest of my long run. A 5K feels so long! It takes me about 2 miles to feel warm up and get into a groove for a long race. Now that I mostly run longer distances, 5Ks are really painful. They are only 3.1 miles, so I already feel like I’m closer to the finish. I’m focused on that finish rather than running my race.

The course was well-supported and there was a lot of great spirit, with fun outfits and an abundance of red. The course ended with a half-lap around the track. Once finished, we grabbed our water and a Jamba Juice cowbell (free smoothie!) and went inside where it was warm.

Easily the stand-out feature of this race is the post-race experience. They used the large high school cafeteria, with lots of tables and seating and decorating. There was live music. There was a delicious oatmeal bar that included every topping you could think of (I melted chocolate chips into mine) and other food, including bagels, peanut butter, oranges, snack mix and more.

I also found out that Jason had a great 5K, placing second overall!

Jason placed second overall in this 5K!

Jason placed second overall in this 5K!

After we finished our post-race snacks, we hopped in the car to head into Portland. I was tired of my regular long-run routes, so we had planned a 12 mile run in Portland. We started by running across Tilikum Crossing, running down the Springwater Corridor for a while, then doubling back and heading down the Eastbank Esplanade, crossing the river and finishing up the loop by running through Waterfront park.

It was a nice day for a run, but I really think that adding a 5K to the beginning with such a long break in between runs really threw me off. I hit the wall way sooner, my legs were tired sooner and I really had trouble figuring out how to fuel for the run. I think in the future, I’ll strive to do my long run mileage all at once.

However, unlike the 5K, the long training run was flat!

Time: 36:31
Ran With: Mom
Best Memory: Mom saying we couldn’t blame our finish times on the course because it “wasn’t that hilly,” and then Jason turning around to say incredulously, “What race did you run?”

Race Recap: 2016 Turkeython—Tualatin, OR

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A small group of us joined together Thanksgiving morning to kick off the holiday season by running the Turkeython!
Having just come back from Thailand, it was my first run in nearly a month! It was also quite cold compared to the temperatures I had experienced in Thailand.

Before the start, Jason and I were so cold!

Before the start, Jason and I were so cold!

I ran with Taylor, whose training had also taken a hit, although for him, the culprit was grad school. My goal was to enjoy myself and have fun, rather than go for any particular time. Mom, on the other hand, had been training hard to try for a new 5K PR.

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Having fun is what doing races is all about!

The weather was due to be very wet, but at the start, it was merely windy. It started raining halfway through the race, but nothing like the downpour that came later that same day!

We turned on some very easy intervals (50 run, 35 walk, the intervals we plan to use for our upcoming half marathon) and chatted, just catching up with each other. It was a very relaxed run and quite enjoyable. Taylor and I are both looking forward to running the Rebel Challenge in January (Star Wars Half Marathon and 10K).

Of course, our times did reflect our relaxed attitude, but we still sprinted toward the finish line! Taylor has a much faster sprint than me, but he played cat-and-mouse with me, just letting me catch up, before subtly speeding up.

A slow race, but a fast finish!

A slow race, but a fast finish!

The best part, however, was finding out that Mom had smashed her 5K PR with a time of 30:54! Thats exactly a minute faster than my fastest 5K time!

As soon as all racers came in, we headed home…. on our way to TWO thanksgiving meals!

Time: 37:42
Ran With: Taylor
Number in Group: 6
Pieces of Pie consumed that Day: 1 mince, 2 pumpkin.. much more calories than I burned, for sure!

Race Recap: 2016 Freedomthon 5K

All smiles before the race!

All smiles before the race!

After temperatures reached into the 100s last Fourth of July, Jason and I were quite happy to wake up Monday morning to cool temperatures and overcast skies.

We decided to return to the Freedomthon 5K, a fast, local run where I got my 5K PR in 2014.

To make it even more fun, we rode our tandem to the start line at the city library.

As soon as I jogged over to a water fountain pre-race, I knew I wasn’t going to get a PR again– my shins were acting up and I was feeling sluggish.

But that wouldn’t cut into my fun! I revised my goal, hoping now to just be faster than my time last week at the Twilight Run.

The course is a pancake flat out-and-back course. Because it’s a holiday, everyone was festive and there seemed to be more people cheering than at other small 5Ks.

The atmosphere was really fun, even if I wasn’t having a great running day.

Dressed in a patriotic outfit, I got a lot of smiles from people as I ran by.

Because of the out-and-back, I got to cheer on the faster runners, including Jason, and see all of the fun outfits people were wearing.

I was having more fun than it looks like, sprinting the last bit with a flag.

I was having more fun than it looks like, sprinting the last bit with a flag.

The last couple of meters, they hand you an American flag to cross the finish line with. It’s a unique part of the Freedomthon and it really does provide a running boost.

After finishing the pancake flat course, we were rewarded with… pancakes!

Despite my shins and hip pain that flared up in the last mile, I did reach my goal. Jason ran a sub-20 5K and got 2nd place in his age group.

We had fun riding our tandem back home, medals clanking and all!

A great start to celebrating the Fourth of July!

A great start to celebrating the Fourth of July!

Time: 35:20
Ran With: Ran alone
Costume that made me smile the most: A lady about my speed was wearing a headband with two mini pinwheels that were spinning as she ran.