Thursday, June 14, 2018

My Quest to 50- 16 Down 34 to go, Washington

My Quest to 50+1, 16 Down 34 to go

June 9-10, 2018
Seattle Rock N Roll Half Marathon & 5k

This weekend I completed my 16th state race toward my Quest to 50. This was my first runcation that I traveled by myself and was also my birthday weekend. Can I tell you that Seattle is super hilly, didn’t realize how much it was until I had to run or walk some steep streets and it was about every other block. Oh and what I also noticed was the homeless situation which is everywhere but in Seattle they sleep in tents, you see tents all over the city in parks. 

Day 1- I arrived Friday morning, I checked into my Airbnb, had lunch and went to check out Pike Place Market which by then had started to drizzle. You don’t go to Seattle and not expect rain, it wasn’t too hard that I needed an umbrella. The Market Place was cool, lots of different foods and produce and just fun to people watch. I saw the infamous Gum Wall also and watched the Fish Mongers toss the fish.

Day 2- The race weekend started with a 5k on Saturday on my birthday, we ran through the Museum of Flight and the course took us running under planes, which was pretty cool.  I did really well in this race and after I toured through the museum. After the race I was a bit stranded because the buses weren’t running, after waiting for over 40 minutes I ended up calling an UBER to get back to town. I went for breakfast and tried Biscuit Bitch, which is a place I had on my list. I am a big time foodie especially when it comes to traveling. The 20 min wait on line and 15 min wait for food was totally worth it. I then took the bus back to my Airbnb which I was greeted by their dog Gus with lots of barking then he was good lol. The bus systems over in Seattle are so slow, google says its arriving at one time and 20-30 min later I’m still waiting

Day 3- Sunday morning woke up at 5am for my half marathon that started at 6:30am, took an Uber to the start since buses weren’t running. It was a bit chilly at first but then the sun came out and no rain which was good. There was a wave start because there were so many people and they wanted to give runners some space, by the time I started at 6:45 the course still felt a bit congested, I had people walking up the first hill at mile 2 in front of me and I was constantly zigzagging. By mile 4 it was a bit better than mile 6 it became crowded again. Mile 9 was a big hill and everyone including myself started walking half way through, after that hill my legs became a bit tight and had to stop and stretch. At mile 12 was downhill on a street full of construction, was hard to go fast when you had to watch your footing because I saw a couple of people fall. After the race I stopped in the park to take pictures and stretch, tried to get an Uber and non-available and waited about 40 min for the bus. I went back to my room, took a quick power nap and met my friend for lunch and we went to another place on my list Marination Mai Ka in West Seattle which was a Hawaiian place. When we go to the restaurant there a bit of a line and started to drizzle. We got our food and sat outside since it was still nice weather despite the rain, eventually it stopped and were able to enjoy the view and our food which was delicious by the way. Afterwards we did some touristy stuff, went to check out Ballard Locks which was pretty cool although we missed the passing of the salmon and then we checked out GasWorks Park and started to rain again.

Day 4- I knew when I came to Seattle I wanted to plan a hike, since it was still early June a lot of the trails were closed due to Snow, yes snow in June. The day before my hike it was 22 degrees and snowing in Mt. Rainier which is where I hiked. I went with a tour group and drive was a couple of hours, we arrived at Mt. Rainier national park , we stopped to see Narada Falls on the way up the mountain, when we arrived to the top we put on our snowshoes and hiked up, this was a lot of fun. The cloud coverage was covering the peak of the mountain so every time we got a glimpse we took pictures, the scenery all around was just breathtaking. I am so glad I did this tour and was able to enjoy nature. We all sat for lunch afterwards which was delicious and then we made our way for a short hike in the forest and learned about the trees and had some edible plants also, which was pretty cool.


Overall my Seattle Birthday Runcation was great and another state closer to my goal. Next state is Illinois where I will be running the Chicago Marathon in October.

Until next time Happy Running, Biking, Hiking, Swimming Boxing!

Monday, April 23, 2018

My Quest to 50 +1 , 15 Down 35 to Go (West Virginia)

 My Quest to 50 +1
 15 Down 35 More to Go

                       Charleston, West Virgin
                       April 7, 2018

Earlier this month I completed my 27th Half Marathon and my 15th state toward my Quest to 50. I haven’t ran in a couple of years and my last half was April 2017. The last 2 years I was focusing on triathlon training, the sport can be very expensive and the training is a lot more than just running.

Day before the Race
Drove down to West Virginia with 2 friends that also have a goal of running 50 states, it was a long 8 plus hour drive. When we finally arrived to Charleston we went straight to the University that was hosting the race to pick up our race packet, the weather was really nice and after we went to get some dinner. We ended up at a place called Burrito and Brews, not my first choice to have Mexican food a day before the race but there weren’t a lot of options. I wasn’t a fan of my dish but everyone else liked their dish, guess I’m just very picky when it comes to food lol. After our meal we went to check in to our hotel to only find out we were booted to another hotel across the street. After we had settled in, we prepared our gear for race morning and relaxed.


Race Day
Race morning we woke up and it was 30 degrees and flurries out, when you sign up for a race down south you would think the weather would be somewhat warm. We arrived at the start line with about 10 minutes to spare. At the start of the race I ran with my 2 friends for about a mile, after feeling good I decided let me push the pace and run ahead and try and make good time. After half way through the race I thought to myself I should have stood with the girls, the course was very residential, I ran by myself for a while and it was very boring, running through the same area about 3 times.  Although mostly flat I could have pushed for PR but kind of gave up once I knew I wouldn’t beat my time so took it easy after that instead of giving it all I have, which I definitely had more to give. I think if I would have pushed more I could have come in 3rd place in my age group which was kind of a bummer also after realizing that so came in 7th.  Lately I have been struggling mentally in my races which I am working on, it’s been about 3 years since my best half marathon. I know concentrating on my triathlons I have focused more on that then although I do feel like I have gotten faster. Overall I think it’s more of a mental struggle then physical and I need to get over that hump.
I watched the girls cross the finish line and then we went to enjoy the post-race festivities which included a live music and yummy food after, we even tried maple syrup cotton candy which was interesting.

We then went back to the hotel showered and wanted to head out to check out the town. We went and found a market which was actually an old train station to walk around and then went to the Capitol building where they had a museum but we got there 15 minutes before closing.



Day after Race
We are now heading back home but not before we have a good hearty breakfast before the long drive back. I found this place called First Watch which was delicious, was hoping to try local WV food but found out this is actually a chain restaurant. I had a bowl with potatoes, eggs, chicken, chorizo and chimichurri sauce yum, this was the best thing I ate the whole weekend oh and let’s not forget a side of biscuits with gravy.


I completed my 15th state and hoping to do a few more this year if finances work out. My next state is Seattle, WA but may have to cancel due to finances but we shall see.

Until next time Happy Swim, Bike, Run, Box, Hike!!

Monday, December 11, 2017

My Quest to 50+1, 2017 Race Year!

14 Down 36 More to Go
2017 Comeback Season

As we are coming to the end of 2017, it’s time for me to reflect on my race year and the goals that I made for myself. Last year around this time I made a list of race goals and I’m happy to say completed each one, injury free.  My 2017 plan was to complete a triathlon a marathon and a couple of half marathons and that’s just what I did. I did travel to some states but they were states that I have already raced in so my quest to 50 still remains at 14 states completed.

This year my biggest goal and my main goal was to complete a half iron triathlon which is a total of 70.3 miles (1.2m swim, 56m bike and 13.1m run) and yes I finished. Although I finished almost last in all the legs I still finished and that is what counts. I say this now but it took me a while to let it sink in and not be so disappointed in myself with my performance and my accomplishment.  
major accomplishment I had this year was a swim race, it was a 1.2 mile swim in a river in NJ and I did really well, I sighted well and finished at my goal time.

My next goal was MCM marathon in DC 26.2 miles, I felt good  until mile 16 where I became dehydrated and the water stations were too far apart, don’t usually run well in the heat either and the temps were mid 70s which i need to work on dealing with the heat better. I am happy to have marathon #5 under my belt.

My last half was the Rocky Challenge, which was a 5k followed by a 10 miler, the temps were really cold 24 degrees and I was sick with a  sinus infection but it didn’t stop me from running this race which has been on my bucket list for a while. The race turned out well and it was an amazing day in Philly.

I completed 2 more races coming this month December Jingle Bell Jog and a 15k. The Jingle Bell Jog was my friends first race which I was super excited about, one was coming from retiring from obstacle course races and the other one was her very first race and they both did amazing.

My race goals for 2018, I plan on going back to the Adirondacks to complete a half iron again and doing better than I did this year, NYC Tri July 1 and a half ironman later in the summer. I’m hoping to complete 3 states and 2 marathons one of which is NYC Marathon.

2017 was an epic race year and met new friends along the way, looking forward to see what 2018 brings.

Until next time Happy Swim, Bike, Hike, Box, Run!!!