Monday, October 26, 2009

Leavenworth Half-Marathon

Can you believe it? I ran my first half-marathon on October 3, 2009! It's hard to believe that I ran 13.1 miles. As with all of my running accomplishments, it's something I could have never imagined doing just a couple of years ago. But with determination and a strong support team (my running club), I was able to get all my training runs in and go into the race feeling ready and strong.

After the race (exhausted!) with members of the running club I belong to.

The weekend of my race was very busy and unfortunately didn't leave a lot of wiggle room for playing a tourist. Leavenworth is about 3 hours from where I live. It's a town in Washington that used to be all about the logging industry. As the industry petered out the town was about to die. In a desperate "Hail Mary" move, the town decided to re-make the entire town in the Bavarian style. Every single building in their downtown area looks like the buildings in a German village. (Even the Starbucks and gas stations - when I lived in Germany, I never saw a fast food joint or gas station look 'Bavarian,' so that part isn't truly authentic, but whatever, they're trying.) The entire town's livelihood is based on tourism. Elaborate festivals are sprinkled throughout the year to encourage tourists. The half-marathon I ran in was attached to Leavenworth's Oktoberfest. Friends from my running club were able to stick around and check out the festivities after the race - but I drove straight back to Seattle where I volunteered at a fundraising dinner. So, seeing as how I got to Leavenworth after dark Friday night and left early Saturday afternoon after my run, I didn't get to see the town the way I wanted to. But it is one of my goals to get back to Leavenworth and do the tourist and festival thing at some point. The reason for this trip was solely to run.

The course was beautiful and the weather was perfect. My time goal was to stay at 2 hours, 15 minutes or under. I finished the 13.1 mile run in 2:13:43. So my time goal was met! I felt strong and finished the race feeling like I could have gone a little bit faster if I had wanted to. I was also fairly pleased with my rankings.
Overall: 620 of 1149
Females, All: 342 of 775
Females, Ages 25-29: 76 of 175
I could not be happier with my first half-marathon. It was a truly memorable experience that I will always be proud of. And I'm pleased to report that I ran my second half-marathon (a club group run, but 13.1 miles nonetheless) just this past weekend. Two half-marathons in one month. I'm awesome. That is all.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Fremont Brew Ha-Ha, the Space Needle, and the Kilt

One of Robb's goals before he turned 30 was to run a 5K in his new kilt. I don't understand the man, I just married him. Luckily Robb chose to run his 5K in Fremont, the section of town that is the epitome of "do your own thing and no one will take a second glance at you." He ran the Fremont Brew Ha-Ha 5K, a celebration of Oktoberfest. It was a small and relaxed race; Robb ran in the Beer Belly Division, which meant he got about a minute head start ahead of the regular runners. He reports that he got lots of compliments from fellow runners on his kilt as he ran through Fremont. He finished the 5K without walking and wasn't last place - always the goal to shoot for in my book.

After the 5K we decided not to check out the beer tents and instead go to lunch at Gordito's Healthy Mexican restaurant in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood. This place was definitley a winner, with awesome burritos with amazing freshly grilled meat. (I don't know if the portions that we ate would qualify as "healthy", but whatever, that's why we run.) Always on the lookout for a good burrito, we've now got a few serious contendors in Seattle if the mood strikes us.

Our last stop of the day was the Space Needle. It was an absolutely beautiful day outside and we decided it was finally time to put out the money ($16 a ticket) to take the elevator to the top of the Space Needle, our city's iconic landmark. You don't want to spend that money on a cloudy day, but this day couldn't have been more perfect. We were expecting some decent views, but we were blown away by how amazing everything looked from 520 feet. We were more impressed than we thought we would be and a little less bummed about spending all that money.