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$5 5k- Laurelhurst Edition: Not my prettiest 5K, but the prettiest 5K

If you have been with my blog or any length of time you know I am a HUGE fan of the $5 5k Series that is put on by the Portland Parks and Recreation Team. It is meant to be a family friendly, all abilities friendly and more important budget friendly series of races that feature Portland’s pretty amazing parks system.

Laurelhurst was one of my favorites last year. This year I had every intent on running most of them but my schedule has been nuts. But I was not going to miss this one.

The 5K here actually is challenging. The course takes you from the cottages (and bathrooms) and you head up and around the lake. Going up and down some little climbers before you take a straight uphill jaunt by the street before coming back towards the cottages. And you complete the course 3 times. It is truly beautiful, but just be aware when you sign up for this one that it does have some challenging hills that some kids did not like.

The nice thing. Is this race offers a pretty flat kids dash which is completely free. And no matter what race you IMG_7644finish; you get a finisher ribbon.

I have not been focusing on my 5K time for awhile and I honestly have not ran since SF. I really just flat out have not felt like running all that much. So I went into this with zero expectations. I started off really solid but the hills got the better of me and I felt the fact I have not ran as much as I should be doing. I ran decent, but no where close to a PR, or where I could be if I had been focusing on a 5K speed run.

This event is so fun. After the event people stay and root for each other, adults without kids cheer on each other. There is indeed some competitiveness, but its a supported environment.

The thing to know about $5 5K’s is they are no frills, but fun races. You will get little treats from the vendors to keep you fed, but you will get a number, a finisher ribbon, a well organized family-friendly and well supported event.

The frusterations of fundrasing…

I hate fundraising

I always have. But when George passed away I decided I needed to do something in George’s honor after he passed e38077e83bdda17a9c04f52076c8159aaway; I found the Seattle Humane Society program and I fell in love with it. Its a program that dedicates every penny to the animals and making sure they find their forever homes.

Last year I was able to be one of the top fundraisers in the program, it took so much work but I feel like I really made a difference so I really wanted to do it this year.

The thing is the well has run dry.

I really do feel like giving up.

The thing is I started looking at George’s photos and I know we can help find others a forever home.

I will keep this open; and I will keep the cavort that any donations, I will do a physical/Funny/Goofy dare of your choosing (within reason, and we may have to modify) and I will do it on Periscope to boot.

Charity Athletes- Seattle Humane.

Join up with your favorite girls at the Girlfriends Half And Quarter Marathon this October

Note: Why Racing has been kind enough to offer me a free entry in trade for talking about their event. The thing is; I LOVE their event. Its my PR on a half marathon course and its by far one of the prettiest courses in the Portland/Vancouver area. So these opinions are my own.

Girlfriends Run for the Cure is a truly one of a kind event that will be taking place Sunday October 11, in the Portland/Vancouver area that brings together ladies (and some very brave and inspirational guys) to raise funds and awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness (Through Susan G. Komen). The event was founded by Sherri and the team at NW Personal Training in Vancouver WA. when one of her best friends was diagnosed. The team goes out of its way to make sure every lady who comes out for the half or the quarter marathon get pampered and honored for making the commitment to run.

The course, is AMAZING.

The half marathon takes you through the waterfront trails of downtown Vancouver. You turn around and head through the Ft. Vancouver (before you ask, the big hill is there but it gives you amazing views). Then you head through a gentle loop in the Grand Central before coming back to the finish line.

The quarter marathon takes you through downtown, down to the waterfront trail, back through Ft. Vancouver and Officers Row before making it back to the finish line.

When you come back towards the finish you will be met by the firefighters of the city of Vancouver who will present you with your finishers medal and you will have a chance to enjoy a massage, a stretch session, raffle prizes and one of the most positive encouraging finish environments you will find. I have ran it twice, and the support on the course is truly energizing, and the finish line is truly about ladies supporting each other.

And I mentioned the guys. This is a ladies only event unless you become part of the Pink Brigade. These are brave guys who go out of their way to raise 500 dollars for the cause; and that gives them the chance to be one of the only 50 guys who are allowed to run with the girls.

YES GUYS; 50 guys to 3,000 girls.

On top of all this; there is a kids mini marathon which makes it a perfect event for the entire family.

The amazing thing about Girlfriends is since they have started; they have raised over $350,000 dollars for Breast Cancer awareness; which makes it a one of a kind event in the NW.

I can’t encourage you enough to get involved with this event. It is truly a special event for a special cause.

Please check out the link for more details

Why Racing Presents: Girlfriends Half and Quarter Marathon

And check out the following video: You will get why this is so amazing.

#ExpressoBike #ExpressoStrong September Bike Challenge for the American Cancer Socitey (@PDXGym)

This will be Septembers challenge for the Expresso Bikes. Its not to early to start planning.

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#cosmo7K: Earning My Cosmos Through Volunteering

I love volunteering.

Running has done so much to help me, especially in the last three years as we have been dealing with dad being sick. Even when I can’t quite afford all the races I want to run, I try and volunteer as much as my freelance, blogging, and whatever life allows me to do. It is my way to give back to the running world.

I had the honor of being a Course Marshall in two different locations for the Energy Events Cosmo 7K in Vancouver Saturday night.

I have ran this event before, and it is a whole different creature. Its an all ladies event and I think the best

Selfie from my spot.

Selfie from my spot.

comment I have ever seen made about it; is it is the true “Running Ladies Happy Hour.” Energy Events does an amazing job with putting together great; runner friendly events.

But this is the first time I have volunteered for them.

I course marshalled at two of the key points on the course. The second turn as the ladies started to head into downtown Vancouver; and one of the final turns as the runners and walkers headed towards the final stretch. So it gave me some of the best views of the crowd.

The ladies who ran this event where amazing. You saw a lot of groups of people running/walking together inspiring each other and cheering each other on. I brought my little Storm MP3 player for an extra dose of music and a lot of ladies wanted to dance. (Dang the old school rock mixes I had loaded)

To me, being able to cheer people on and help a group that is so pro runner and runner friendly. I got into it. I had brought cowbell; I was feeding off the energy. And the ladies had been the most appreciative group of ladies that I have ever had the pleasure to volunteer for.

I just wanted to take some time and some blog space to congratulate the ladies for truly making the Cosmo 7K a spectacular event. And Energy Events for bringing us all together.

I can never say it enough, volunteering is awesome. I encourage you if you can to see the race from a different perspective and get out there and volunteer.

UV Half Buff Review: Where have you been all my life?

Note: I received mine UV Half Buff as part of the team at Bib Rave Pro. As always these opinions are opinions of my own. If you are active on social media you should join up with Bib Rave Bib Rave Pro

I hate hats.

I barley like headbands.

I have an abnormally large head. (I wear the biggest mens size hat, if that should give you any indication)

NOTHING EVER FITS.

If it does, it makes my head look bigger, or it gives me a headache because it barley its.

And my hair has paid the price. It is a common conversation with the people who do my hair that my scalp is sun InstagramCapture_6a03b40b-a62d-4fdb-b08b-b90a59df9df4burnt.

I was beyond cynical when the opportunity to do this review came up. But when it comes to the UV Half Buff. The title of this blog says it all.

Where have you been all my life?

The UV Half Buff is supposed to be for those of us who are more active. It weighs less, is made out of a less dense more breathable fabric.

Fit: It fits my head beautifully. I love wearing it not only when I am out running but it is perfect for when I am out and about doing chores. I can have it covering my scalp when I am out for a long run as it has UV protection. I can use it for a headband I have also used it as pony tail holder a couple times, and nothing has stretched. The bottom line is it fits well on my head and stays comfortable no matter what I do.

Comfort: Its been great for me in the awful heat that we have had in Oregon. Its been great about keeping sweat out of my eyes when I was finishing up training for SF. I have taken it on the Expresso bike and it helped me stay focused on the screen because it kept the sweat back. And it never moved. I never had to adjust.

Design: I WANT ALL OF THEM. I ordered the Arc Angel because the white and black goes with WP_20150807_003everything I like to wear. But there are so many designs no matter what your favorite things are. I think my next one is going to be the Oregon one.

Price: If you have followed my blog for any length of time you know one thing I am rather cautious of. At 15.00 it puts them on par with most of the sport headbands and hats that are on the market and they give you the versatility and sun protection of both at the price of one.

I am getting another one. There is no question. Buff USA is suffering fans of Bib Rave Pro Bloggers a 10 percent discount by using the discount code BIBRAVE. Check out all the UV Half Buffs at the following link.
UV Half Buffs

I am not the only one, here are the blogs of my fellow Bib Rave Pros
Rachel
Caroline
Jessica
Amy
Emily
Laura
Jenny
Jeremy
Sarah M.

#expressobikes #summersprint #WestCoastFitness 1st Sprint Down- 2 to go

West Coast Fitness People!

The first of the Expresso bike challenges are over for August. The second one comes this Tuesday August 11th.

I am the only one who finished the first one and honestly, it kicked my butt. I freely admit I am out of bike practice.

The second challenge is simple and something we can all do.

Ride Bent Spoke as fast as you can.

For everyone who completes Bent Spoke, we get 100 points. The gym with the most points wins a banner for the gym. And if you do it, you get the badge on your profile.

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Expresso Bike Challenge for August: August Sprints

These are special challenges that only take place on the following days. See the graphic for more details

August 4th
August 8th
August 11th

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Lesson Learned from @TheSFMarathon and what it means for my fall running. #bibchat #realwomenmove

I am stubborn.

Going into the end of June/first of July I had every intention to run the full marathon. I knew the heat was killing my training plan. Then my dad ended up in the hospital and by the time I got out to see him, got the bus back and got home I was wiped out (the heat had a lot to do with it).

But I will still intent on going for it even though my body was defiantly rebelling on the thought. Other then Vancouver USA, my longest run was about 3 miles (the heat was just getting to me). But I still thought I could handle it.

Even flying down there, I was still intent on pushing for the full. I worked the expo as an ambassador Friday and picked up my full bib ect.

But when I woke up Saturday for some reason my back was not happy.

I really was upset. But in the back of my head I knew that was my bodies way of saying that as much as my heart

I found this on Pintrest, it is true, because my body was being really clear.

I found this on Pintrest, it is true, because my body was being really clear.

wanted it, my body had no desire to be part of the equation. It was telling me very clearly that the full was not in my future and I should just downgrade.

So heartbroken, I downgraded to the 2nd half.

At the time, it felt like a really big let down. I really wanted to push through and prove I could do it.

But it ended up being the best decision I could of made. I really enjoyed the 2nd half course and I kept a good pace with the help of one of the pacers. I ended up with my best half marathon time of the year (and I have been pretty clear that I have been struggling with my half marathon times)

This is the first time I have ever been in this position. Originally I felt ashamed of it. I think we as runners naturally want to push through pain, we do not want to have to worry about injury.

What is next?

I think doing the 2nd half also helped me figure out what I needed to work on going into the fall before Seattle and IMG_7419I am already working on rebuilding plans. I also have a harsh realization that my body just does not get a lot with the stupid heat that seems to be strangling Portland and that I have to stop being so harsh on myself when I don’t get to run in the heat.

The SF Marathon turned out the be my 20th Half-Marathon which I could of never thought of a better place to do it. I said it last year that SF has been a good teacher to me, and it true. Last year it taught me how truly how tough I am, and this year it taught me that I needed to be good to my body and sometimes realize that the goal you are aiming for needs to be changed.

The San Francisco Marathon: Learning that pacing works and learning to listen to my body

Note: I had the pleasure and honor of being a San Francisco Marathon Ambassador for 2015; thus my event entry was comped. This a true reflection of my experiences.

This was supposed to be my 6th marathon. It was going to be my chance to fight back against the event that literally pushed me to my edge last year.

But alais, it turned into my 20th half marathon.

I had every intention this year to be able to better my performance from last year on the 26.2. But between the weather and my dad having another trip to the hospital my training took a huge hit. I really wanted to push through but I got to the point that every bone in my body was screaming no. I knew if I would of pushed it the consequences would of well sucked. It broke my heart to do it but it was by far the smartest thing I could of done.

I downgraded to the 2nd half which originally was not the one I wanted to do. I wanted to do the Golden Gate Bridge. But it was full. The 2nd is not as scenic (or so I thought, I was completely out of it when I ran the full last year) and if you ask runners it is not as good as the first.

But they are wrong.

My morning started off at the Lululemon “Get Quiet; Get Loud” lounge at the Sens restaurant that gave us a sky view

Entry to Get Quiet Loud Lounge.

Entry to Get Quiet Loud Lounge.

of the finish line. They offered us a small breakfast and a chance to sit down and watch the start of the race activities before grabbing the bus to the second half start line with my friends and fellow ambassadors Heather and Trica.

The bus system is awesome. You walk a few blocks from the start line to a bus that will literally drop you off right next to the start line for the 2nd half at Golden Gate Park. Golden Gate Park has everything that you need to get ready for the race right there; portta potties, bag check that will be waiting for you at the start line.

I did not have expectations going into this race after I let go of my big goal of being able to do the full. I just wanted to run strong and be able to really enjoy the run.

The 2nd half gives you a treat that no other race gets. You get the chance to run past the buffalo paddocks and WP_20150726_020around one of the lakes before joining the main event. Golden Gate Park is a great place to start the run but its also very challenging because of the fact a good chunk of the up hills are here. All that being said, its the best way to see some of the most amazing parts of SF. I caught up to the 2:45 pacer and decided based on Rock N Roll and Vancouver that this could possibly be a good plan.

The pacers had been amazing. I really wish I could reach out to our 2:45 pacers and say thank you because with their help I managed to rectify my huge mistake last year when I went out of the gate way too fast and it turned into a miserable experience. They had also been really willing to talk me through the pacing style.

Once you get out of the park you head into famous Ashbury Heights which is a fun area to run. There had been a ton of people on the roads cheering on runners. Ashbury Heights has some amazing downhill stretches where you can stretch your legs and you really get a feel for the more “hippie” side of SF. Once you head out of the Heights you get to see part of the Tenderloin and SOMA. It reminds me a lot of running down in Eugene, its like running through the best of SF that the tourists do not know about.

The pacer I was working with actually had pulled ahead of his partner. But I was with him and we had banked a small chunk of time so I really got the chance to enjoying the 2nd half which I didn’t last year. And I realized, it is underrated. It is a fun amazing event with its own more relaxed feel.

Right before we hit the water, the pacer told me that I was looking strong enough that I might want to consider jumping ahead which I did. I was feeling stronger then I had on the last two.

As we came back around by the water and AT&T stadium it became a bit chaotic as the Giants had a day game. But by the time we got through they mostly had the Giants fans on one side of the walk way and us on the other. I love being able to run by the game day stuff as it gives you such a great energy.

SF Marathon offers free photos. This is me finishing.

SF Marathon offers free photos. This is me finishing.

The finish line was amazing. Its one of the most well organized finish lines that I have seen. You got in, you got water and your medal, get your finishers photo taken for free and enjoy the huge finish line party that had food carts, a chance to get your last souvenirs and get goodies.

I came back to the VIP lounge and they had a small lunch laid out for us and we got the chance to take photos with the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge on the background.

The 2nd half was an amazing experience. I actually bested my half marathon times for the year and got a really good idea of what I need to work on going into my next events. I am so thankful to the pacers for helping me find my stride. As much as I hated it, dropping to the second half was the best decision I could of made. I had to learn to listen to my body and what it wants.

It has been an amazing experience to be an ambassador for the past two years. I have learned so much from being an ambassador and really found a confidence in sharing my story. I am thankful to the entire staff of the SF Marathon for their support and love. They will always have a fan in me. I am also thankful to my fellow ambassadors from the past two years worth of teams. They inspire me and teach me a lot, and without them I could not be where I want to be.