Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 year in review and Dec. Races

2013 was a fantastic year for me with some challenges.  The highlight of the year was our wedding on the Vineyard in July with all of our family and friends present.  The day turned out perfect and was beyond what Jash and I could have ever expected.  

 In the same month of our wedding, just a few days before and after I helped us buy a new house and helped Rhiannon, my best woman, buy a house in OR where she relocated to from AZ.  Jash and I are thrilled to have her and Brad living so close now and we get to spend so much more time together.  We love our new house and the land, we are on over ½ acre with a creek that runs behind our house with a forest so it seems like it goes on forever and it is very private and quiet.

    We were also very fortunate to move out quickly with the help of wonderful friends and family and able to sell our other house immediately (only listed for 1 day) for our asking price which was on the top of the market.  Another huge event this year was Jash completing his executive MBA through the University of Oregon!  We are now a 2 MBA household and very appreciative of the time that Jash and I get back together now that he is done with school.  While Jash was back in school I also went back and got my OR real estate license which allowed me to buy and see houses this year so it was perfect timing and something that I have wanted to do since I used to have my RE license back in AZ.  Other big events this summer include me completing 100 marathon/ultra distances before turning 30!  These events alone made for a fantastic, busy, and very exciting summer!  Within a month of getting our house we also adopted 3 chicken girls (Betty, Peck, and Sweetie) as well as a Winterhawk!  Our house is very full now with and 18 year old ice hockey player and our 3 chicken girls but it is also a lot of fun and has been a really great experience.  A high and a low for this year was finding out dad had bladder cancer, but he is currently cancer free and continuing with the treatments, eating better, and getting out and exercising all which are great positives.  He is very strong and will battle whatever is thrown his way, we are just happy that he is healthy now and getting stronger and better every day.    Overall the year was pretty amazing and there was a lot going on but we are very thankful that we have so many great friends and family that supported us through everything.  Below are the highlight pictures we captured of our wonderful magical 2013!  Jash and I are looking forward to an exciting and even more amazing 2014!

December 2013 Marathons

This December I ran Seattle Marathon and Ghost of Birch Bay Marathon.  These are extremely different races and with the contrast just a weekend in between it really became clear to me which type of event I currently more enjoy.  Let me start by recapping both events. 

I ran Seattle on the last Sunday of our Thanksgiving break.  I drove up on a Saturday after having a wonderful holiday with the family.  I went this one solo so Jash could stay home with our kiddo and get some work done around the house.  The first thing that I really don’t like about Seattle is the price- for what you get it is insane.  The shirt is not so great, there is no finish food for vegetarians- at least nothing that you want to eat after running for many hours so I always find that really yucky.  The expo is also in the middle of the city at the most inconvenient location possible.  Traffic and people are always a problem because it is the busiest shopping weekend of the year.  Why they continue to hold it there is a mystery to me, but I dislike.   So I got that all taken care of on Saturday and headed back to my hotel- which this year I paid a bit more to have a hotel close to the expo and start so I could walk everywhere, but then come to realize that the high price hotel does not include parking so they hit you with that and it is really a terrible deal.  If I ever do this one again- which I really don’t think I will, I will opt for a hotel out of town and just drive in and snag free parking early on Sunday morning.  My downtown hotel was also really loud which is another reason in my book not to stay anywhere near the city.  What I did like on race morning was sleeping in.  I had a great dinner and early to bed but still was able to sleep for about 10 hours before the race, which was awesome!  Race day was not as cold or rainy as expected but the wind was terrible.  You really felt this later in the race which is not the time you want to.  I started out ok, but of course as it would be with a lot of big races I started to get pulled with the people and the crowd energy.  Not a great thing when you are really not in your PR shape and are just planning on a fun easy marathon.  A great part of my start was running into orange socks, I think the last race we ran together in and chatted was the Winthrop marathon, but we have talked at several events and I love catching up with him- such a happy running dude and always makes me smile and laugh and I just love his orange socks and gloves at every event. 

I was in an ok mood going into the half-way point of the race even though I-90 seems to keep getting longer and longer every year and I look at the super-fast people on their way back from the out and back and get angry!   Well not really angry, but I do start to wonder how much do these people actually eat to stay the size they are- do they eat at all?  Are they happy?  Do they want to be this thin so they can be fast or are they fast because they are this thin?  What does their training log look like?  Do they eat Halloween candy?  What about desert ever?  Usually I just end up wondering how I can get that thin.  Then I remember that I like food and being happy and move on with my thoughts to more productive thoughts.  This year they ran the gamut from thinking about work to the future to how much my back was hurting to why the heck does anyone think hills post mile 20 are a good idea on any race course.  I was not in a happy place for this race and the latter half.  I felt slow and I realized that that made me happy.  Not being slow in and of itself, but having that realization and being able to look at my fitness level at least once a month on the marathon course and test it.  I like having that feedback and knowing what I need to do to change it and also being ok with where I am based on what I have put into it.  Running is still fun, it is not a crazy pressure that the BQ times and lower were driving me to and making it not fun and something that I was going to avoid.  I also do want to get better, to stay healthy and need to consider that in the choices I make for training.  I am happy I can do at least a marathon a month and would like to continue that since I have been on that running streak since 2008. 

Birch Bay Ghost was again a fun race and the third time I ran it.  I really am enjoying the smaller races more and more.  This really allows me to run with myself and I like that a lot versus being surrounded by a ton of people with loud music, crazy talk, and the like.  We had unseasonably warm weather  for this event with it being just above 40 and not raining!  The day was really perfect for the run and although the rain did come it was on my 5 hour drive back home.  The only real downside of this race is the 5 hour drive back home for me which is why I have not done it since 2010.  Overall I would do this one again and try to plan a snowboard trip up in BC after it! 

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