I think the best way to describe this experience is once in a life time.
Yesterday I had the honor of running 2 miles with the American Flag as part of the Old Glory Relay. Team RWB explains this best in their media kit.
From inspiration, strength, or freedom, each person who touches
this year’s Old Glory has their own story of CONNECTION to the symbol
of our great nation.
Throughout the 4,216-mile journey across the United States, the participants
and supporters of “America’s Relay” will come together to honor the sacrifice
of thousands of Americans who have fought for America’s freedom, and make
a public display of support for veterans as they return to their respective
communities. This amazing experience allows Team RWB to spread our mission
of enriching veterans’ lives, recruit new members into the organization,
and generate donations for our core programs focused on leadership
development and engaging veterans and civilians within their communities.
This is the first year the flag made an appearance in Oregon. The flag actually started on Sunday, September 11 at Microsoft headquarters in Seattle before making it to Joint Base Lewis-McChord and then Woodland Washington where my local Team RWB crew took charge.
Our smaller group of three runners picked up the responsibility at Ridgefield. Our group of three runners had decided to do the 6 miles in 2 mile solo increments with me taking the last handoff.
My handoff was at the top of a hill in the middle of farm land. I was really worried because I am on the slower side of running, and I am still getting my legs back under me a bit.
I took my handoff and I think it hit me at that point that this was not any ordinary running experience. I had saidbefore I was running for the people in my life who are veterans who especially in the last few years have been such a support system and helped me keep my head together when things did not seem possible. These people have done so much to support their country.
The two miles are insignificant at this point. So many cars honked, applauded, yelled their support. I was on one of the less crowded roads in terms of traffic but I think it gave me a chance to take in the entire experience more. The flag that I was holding is on a journey of 4,200 plus miles and will be in the hands of 62 teams that have come together for the same common cause.
Because I was dropping some of the social media coverage, I was able to get over to the Interstate Bridge and cover the runners crossing into their first state. Watching the flag come across the bridge up the hill on the interstate bridge was just truly an experience that I will not forget.
I have been trying to put into words what this whole thing means to me, but I don’t think words do it. I think the best way to talk about it is show the pictures. Thank you to my dad for getting some of these amazing moments.
My must do fall race is coming. But….
I thought way too big.
Last year after Seattle Marathon I was
I was OUT of my mind.
If you read my post race recap for the SF Marathon I made it no secret.
I got super sick after SF to the point I went two weeks without running, working out or for that matter wanting to do anything.
Whatever I ended up getting killed my cardio too.
By the time I got back to running late in August my legs felt crappy and heavy.
This was going to be a short training cycle anyhow, so I have made the decision quite quickly to downgrade to the half. I can already tell that it has been a good decision. The training cycle had gone a lot smoother and I have had a lot more fun then I would of if I was trying to push out a full on the cycle.I love the Seattle Marathon half marathon. It really gives you some of the best of Seattle. From traveling around Lake Washington to the famous #whathill at mile 8 to being able to come through Memorial Stadium to finish. It is truly a special event, the course support is truly second to almost any race.
But the thing is the race is super challenging. Anyone who has taken on mile 8 hill AKA “#whathill” knows what I am talking about. It also goes without saying how challenging the Arboritum
I have not decided on a goal yet for this race. Mother nature tends to throw her own challenges at this race. I tend to want to go into this race to have fun and really just enjoy it and use it to see what else needs to be worked on.
I encourage you to join me on any of the events. You will truly love your #BlackFriday weekend in Seattle. Let me know if you need a discount code.
If you have been a follower of my blog for any length of time, you know that the San Francisco Marathon means the absolute world to me. It is no secret when I decided to start taking my social media and running and making them work for me that they had been the first ones to see the power in my story and given me this amazing platform to be able to share my story. This is also the first time in over three years that my focus was not tied up other places and that I got to focus on my running.
The training cycle had been interesting for this. I dumped a lot of races that I would do just to do during the spring and early summer in Portland due to both personal reasons and I wanted to focus my energy on this race. I think this was a smart move, but towards the end of the cycle I was dealing with a super tight IT band.
So I was literally walking into this not knowing what would happen.
My adventure started at the expo. If you have ever been to a SF Marathon expo, this by far is one of the easiest most runner friendly expos ever. You start with the shopping area to have a chance to get any TSFM goodies that suit your fancy. Then you can head to the back to pick up your number and gear bag. Your shirt is located at the next table and I had zero wait.
The shirts are my favorite shirts every year and I am still wearing my first one pretty constantly. Long sleeve green layers and they fit so well.
Anyhow. Friday I worked the app both to tell runners about the runner tracking application. It was a mix of technical support and being an ear to some of the runners who came in a little nervous. I always have a blast working the expo as an ambassador because I get to talk to so many runners from all over the word and see some of the most inspiring people I have met, my fellow ambassadors.
Sunday’s race morning started with the very short walk from The Green Tortise which has played host to me for two of my three years. It is so simple to get to the start line from about half a mile up the road. I checked in at the ambassador tent and found one of my favorite people on the planet and got a long overdue hug. Then I made my way to drop my bag which was super easy; as all you have to do is look for the truck that corresponds to your bib number.
I found my wave rather quickly but was starting towards the back. It felt like it took forever to get to the start. But being back at the main start line this year is amazing. I ran the second half last year and the energy isn’t the same.
The first few miles went almost perfectly according to plan. Your first few miles are in the waterfront section; from the Ferry Building, past Pier 39 to Marine Park and into Crissy Fields. This is truly breathtaking as you can see the Golden Gate Bridge breaking through the fog.
The first major hill is leaving Crissy Field and I knew going in I was going to need to conserve energy so I took it slower, but I could tell that my having to pull back on training because of my IT band was going to hurt. But I did not loose that much time here.
Now, one of the landmarks of running this race is being on The Golden Gate Bridge. Please note, if you are looking to PR, sometimes the congestion is going to get to you. It did for me here. But it is worth seeing it. Even in the fog, it will truly be something you will never forget. I did end up getting my pace killed at this point but I was ready for it.
You can check out a video here:
After making the tour of the bridge you have to head to the part of the course I compare to almost all other courses, Baker Beach. The fog was pretty thick but being able to see the ocean from that angle is always something that sticks with me.
The course is very well supported and you barley have to look before you make a water stop. You do need to be patient at the water stops; some of the water stops got overwhelmed by runners. Just be patient, and you will still get your water.
I was struggling at this point of the course because of how my training got fouled up so I decided just to do what I could and peel back to enjoy the race more.
After Baker Beach you head into Sunset which is an up and down part of the course and pretty residential. I enjoy seeing the true nature of SF.
The finish line is in Golden Gate Park and it is stunning. I was 49 seconds off of where I had hoped to be on this course and I am perfectly okay with it. I was more emotionally tired then anything because this is the first time in a long time that I got to push myself and run for me. I pushed hard, I tried to fight back from loosing the time I had banked (and I had a good chunk of it)
I have tried for the last three years to sum up how much The SF Marathon means to me, but I have truly as they say left my heart in San Francisco. This race truly reminds me what I am capable of when I set my mind to it.
I am so honored to be part of the ambassador family. Please stop by and check out their recaps.
Sheena: The SF Marathon – a half marathon+ of emotion
Erin: the 2016 San Francisco Marathon race report – DNS
I have not ran away from this place.
I just have not been feeling all Zombie Running Princessey as of late.
But lets talk about a few things:
Dad’s home. If you have followed me on social media for any length of time you know my dads been in and out of hospitals for the past three years. I am excited to say he is home and doing pretty dang well. We have hit a few bumps in the road but its expected. Each day gets better.
Self Doubt Kills: I have been in a bit of a personal transition since dads been home and since I have been more focused on career and taking care of myself instead of taking care of the things that tend to take my attention. I have been saying no a lot more and been more focused on my goals instead of everyone elses. And I think that fear of letting other people down has been problematic.
I have always had an issue with self doubt in my head. I dont think the problem will ever quite go away. I think a lot of it is I never saw myself as the one pursuing success. I so love what I do at Mud Run Guide, I love what I do at PWF and I am driven to be better. But I always go back to the girl who was a secretary, who had no further vision.
I think that has been the biggest thing, despite coming so far, I will always see the before me. I know who I am, just sometimes I need to remember to embrace the hell out of it.
The thing is, I have had a lot of good help, especially from a few of my “brothers” to realize that I have the talent to take it forward even when I don’t see it.
I am getting there, but it will always be my biggest challenge.
I will talk more about running soon, but my plan to just focus on SF and Seattle was a SMART idea. think I am more focused on getting better on what makes sense. I am still pacing (actually pacing one of my faviorte races this weekend.)
More later, just wanted to throw out in the open why I haven’t been blogging all that much.
I am BACK.
You keep trying to beat me down. You keep trying to get me to say you are not worth it.
But you are.
I am back as the returning vet to the 2016 Seattle Marathon Ambassadors. IF you have read my blog for any length oftime; you know this is one of my favorite races. It is also such a challenging course. It is also ran by a group that is dedicated to running a top notch event for runners (even when its 23 or so degrees at the start).
And there is
If you have ran the event you know. It comes right around the mile 8 mark in the half. You turn the corner coming off of the amazing Lake Washington; you are hitting your groove.
And then smack.
It hits you like a ton of bricks.
It goes straight up.
Like a brick wall.
Reminding you that this course is not that easy.
But it is also quite tough.
So Thanksgiving weekend, #Whathill and I get to tango again, and my entire goal is to be ready for it. I was hoping for a PR last year but it did not happen. This year; I want to finish what I started.
And Seattle is the best place to do it.
I am coming for you. This time, it will be mile 18 something as I am running the full and shooting to beat my last dance in Seattle.
And I can’t wait.
Excuse me while I celebrate
After a ton of non-fun challenges
We are going dragon!
I have talked about this before. I love The Color Run, I love what they stand for and they just opened up registration for 17 more events in 2016. (I am counting down the hours to Portland)
The Color Run Baltimore
The Color Run Eau Claire
The Color Run Lafayette
The Color Run Night Lansing
The Color Run Madison
The Color Run Montreal
The Color Run Seattle
The Color Run Shreveport
The Color Run Twin Cities
The Color Run Birmingham, AL
The Color Run Chicago
The Color Run Nashville
The Color Run Omaha
The Color Run Philadelphia
The Color Run Pittsburgh
The Color Run Racine
The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, Presented by Nike
The Color Run San Diego
Make sure you register soon to get in on all the fun.
One thing I have had to learn as a pacer.
Sometimes you are going to get wet.
This one I got super wet.
I have always wanted to do the Hot Chocolate Races. Cost and travel made it less then cost effective. When Beast Pacing gave me the opportunity to be able be a pacer for the 15K I jumped all over it.
I got to the expo on Friday and it was small, but really well organized. If you did not have your information you could have a volunteer help look it up for you. Then you picked up your goodie bag which had your race jacket, which is a change from the normal hoodies that they had been doing. There had been a few vendor booths and a chance to purchase race gear.
Sunday morning started with finding my pacing crew and picking up my pacing kit. I have to thank Beast and Ram Racing for the nice shirt and the 2XU compression sleeves.
Bag check was very easy and simple to get through. The volunteers had been eager.
The start line corrals had been between Key Arena and the Armory which made it very narrow but still a well organized system. The only down side is I was pushed almost all away back to the corral behind me.
Now the course. This course is TOUGH. I thought Seattle Marathon was tough, that is actually a walk in the parkcompared to this. You start with a quick run through downtown before you hit the roads behind Pikes Market. This is one sharp down hill and one sharp up hill back to back before you hit the tunnels that take you to Aurora Avenue.
And Aurora itself?
If you live in Seattle you know what this entails. This was a series of up and down hills including a long climb right up after the bridge. I heard some people mention how the elevation map made it look like stairs, it had not been. It was a straight set of hills. I was not ready for how tough that side would be.
The course is well supported even in the pouring down rain. The volunteers went out of their way to encourage the runners and the pacers alike even though it was pouring down rain and windy. (We actually had thunderstorms)
I finished a few seconds back of pace, but still had runners coming up to me thanking me for running and holding my sign which meant a lot. I ran with Marie, who is one of my fellow Skirt Sports Ambassadors and she was truly a difference maker. It was nice to have a pacer with me and we kept each other in line all away through.
I finished and headed for the post race, which consisted of the famous food and chocolate finishers mug. We did not have much of a festival area so I was in and out quickly.
This is a fun race, its well organized and a bit of a challenge. I am actually excited for next year.
If you are like me this is the last news you want to see. Because this will hurt.
It is time for Ghost Busters.