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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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.

Race Recap: Twilight Run 5K 2016—Tigard, OR

Yes, we are ready to run!

Yes, we are ready to run!

The Twilight Run in Tigard is such a great race. It has a really fun course through Cook Park, great post-race snacks, music, and even a raffle!

There is a reason I keep coming back —I ran it in 2013 and 2014 before taking a break from it last year (it was right before Jason’s first marathon and temperatures were super high

This was, however, the first time I ran a 5K the day after a long run. As part of my training for the similarly named Twilight Half marathon, I went on a rough 12-mile training run with Katie on Friday night. But even thought it wasn’t scheduled to be my short run weekend, I really wanted to do this race with Jason.

Jason and I treated this year’s Twilight Run as a kind of date night. It includes free admission to the Night Glow of the Tigard Balloon Festival, with live music, food, vendors, carnival rides and more.

For date night, we run in the heat... apparently.

For date night, we run in the heat… apparently.

Despite hurting during my run the day before, I felt pretty good. Once the race started, I concentrated on my pace, since I wasn’t running with anyone. I felt like I was doing really well, just based on how hard it felt like I was going. Halfway through, I spotted Mom, Dad and Taylor! They showed up just to cheer us on, which was such a treat. Since I was feeling tired, it was definitely a boost.

I started thinking I was going to get a good time, since I was feeling like I was working so hard, but alas, those 12 miles I ran the day before fooled me into thinking I was going faster than I was. Perhaps it was a similar effort to a PR pace, but after a long run, I was nowhere close to my better times.

Still, after consideration, I’m happy with my pace. It’s not that far out of my usual 5K times, and I’ve never done a 5K right after so many miles. Jason did well, although it was a hard race for him too. The start time (7pm) makes it a lot hotter than our usual morning races. But he did win second in his age group (only 15 seconds off the age-group winner)!

Every year Jason has run the Twilight Run, he's gotten second in his age group.

Every year Jason has run the Twilight Run, he’s gotten second in his age group.

It’s a really fun race. I loved the cherries they had this year post race, as well as the free Jamba Juice. I also loved the shirts! Post-race, we celebrated by hanging out at the Balloon Festival, browsing the stalls, listening to the band, and watching the balloon crews.

Ready for our post-race celebration!

Ready for our post-race celebration!

Time: 36:40
Ran With: Myself and only I
Best part of the course: I don’t remember liking it in previous years, but I loved the off-pavement trail section as we wound through the trees. It was cooler and very beautiful.

Race Recap: 2016 Luckython 5K—Aloha, OR

It was a wet and windy day on Saturday, but a group of us turned out in all our green gear for the 2016 Luckython.

Aren't we festive!

Aren’t we festive!

This was my second year doing the Luckython 5K, which is a good St. Patrick’s themed alternative run to the crazy, large Portland Shamrock Run. It’s run by uberthons, who generally put together a good race.

The course winds through a golf course pathway, making the scenery very green, if repetitive. We ran the opposite direction of last year, which mixed it up a little bit.

So cold before the start! But hey, we're here to run!

So cold before the start! But hey, we’re here to run!

It was rather cold and Taylor, Katie and I started together, but Taylor took off quickly to try to warm up faster. Katie and I caught up with him and then Katie kept going.

Taylor and I stuck together doing intervals with a 25 second walk and a 40 second run. I pushed myself hard the first mile to keep up with him and eventually warmed up by mile 2. Then Taylor had to keep up with me. And then we both were running the same, somewhat slower pace by the time we hit the third mile marker. Taylor, with his longer legs, sprinted ahead at the finish.

Kallen Luckython 2016 finish

(via uberthons)

I felt like I was putting in a really good effort, which makes my lackluster finishing time of 36 minutes a little disappointing.

He got a medal for third overall in addition to the luckython belt buckle/medal.

Jason got a medal for third overall in addition to the luckython belt buckle/medal.

The course did have lots of puddles to dodge, a lot of twists, turns and dips and there was a fierce headwind for part of it, but still, my time from the 2015 Luckython was 34:38 (running the same course in the opposite direction).

However, the time was good enough to win my age group!

I suspect the only reason is because the Luckython 5K was split into an 8am race and a 9am race, with the 8am race being a bit smaller…. But oh well!

It was still a blast to hear my name announced and receive a gold pin.

Katie and Taylor also both got third in their age group and Jason got first in his age group and third overall.

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Good job, guys. Now lets get out of the cold and into the tent with the heaters and the baked potatoes! (via uberthons)

Post-race, we enjoyed our baked potatoes with all the trimmings. They’re quite filling and there is no shortage of toppings to put on them. Delicious.

Overall, still a really fun race, but I think more of the runners could have dressed in green. I think we were the most festive group at the event!

Another fun race with friends!

Another fun race with friends!

Time: 36:05
Ran With: Taylor
Favorite Potato Topping: Bacon