Chicago in 48 hours or less

It’s been hard to concentrate on work today… I’m about to leave for my whirlwind trip to Chicago. I’ve got a lot of stuff on the schedule considering I’ll be there less than 48 hours. I arrive late tonight around 11:30 and my flight takes off Sunday around 2pm.

I’m a bit worried because there’s a 30% chance of rain tomorrow and I have a lot of walking to do. My hotel is very centrally located (just a few minutes away from the start and finish) so I’m not renting a car for the weekend. At least the forecast is awesome for Sunday… no rain, low of 66, and high of 81. Perfect running weather!

I started running as an excuse to visit Disney. I never realized that it would become a reason for visiting other cities as well. I’m almost more excited about my plans for tomorrow than the race itself. It sounds silly, but I can’t wait to visit Chinatown and pick up some yummy pastries that I just can’t get here in Phoenix. Also tomorrow night I’m meeting a couple college friends for dinner. We always had a great time hanging out in college and it’ll be tons of fun to catch up on the past few years.

I’m still debating my exact plans for the race on Sunday morning. I was going to treat it more like a fun run and bring my camera. But now I’m starting to change my mind and wonder whether I should try for a PR. If I do that, then maybe I won’t bother with the camera. Well, I’ve still got a day to decide!

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Inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon – Race Report

I’ve been working on this race report for a few days, trying to get it done before leaving for Chicago. Get ready… it’s a long post!

I grew up in Northwest Washington and my parents still live there. When I heard there was an inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll race in Seattle I was super excited. I was due for a visit home anyway, so I figured why not plan a trip for the same time as the race. I flew out Thursday night after work and my cousin picked me up at Seatac Airport. My parents live about 90 minutes away so I stayed with my cousin and aunt in Seattle for a couple days.

Their house isn’t too far away from Quest field where the RnR Seattle Expo was being held. They offered to let me borrow a car, but I didn’t want to pay for parking so I walked instead. It was a little over two miles and mostly downhill. On my way there I had a nice view of my target destination. Safeco field is on the left, and Quest field is on the right.

Safeco and Quest Fields - Seattle

The Expo was at the Quest field event center.

Quest Field Event Center - Seattle

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Expo

There were a ton of volunteers at the Expo and I didn’t have to wait at all to pick up my race packet, t-shirt, and goody bag. In terms of organization, the Rock ‘n’ Roll events are top notch. (At least based on my experiences for RnR AZ and Seattle.) The series recently switched over to tech shirts instead of cotton shirts, but unfortunately they only have unisex sizing right now. I love the shirt for Seattle, but as usual it’s too big.

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon - free participant shirt

Next I headed into the official merchandise area. I saw this t-shirt and knew immediately that I had to have it. Not only is it super cute, but it’s a perfect fit. Even though it was a bit pricey at $24, I know I’ll be wearing it a lot.

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle - everyday cotton shirt

I’ve been collecting pins from the races that have them. Here’s a peek at the medals, and the pins which are a mini replica. I have to admit that I’m glad I was doing the half; I prefer the blue over the green.

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle medals and pins

At this point I met up Troy’s mom who was also doing the half marathon. We slowly wandered the aisles checking out all the different booths. I love these large expos because of the opportunity to see and sample all sorts of new products. I’m shameless about grabbing freebies.

I decided to bite the bullet and sign up for the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon. I was hoping for a free t-shirt for signing up at the Expo, but they weren’t doing that promotion for the Vegas race. At least I got a $10 discount and didn’t have to pay any online processing fees. I was tempted to sign up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose 1/2 Marathon, just to get the t-shirt, but I still haven’t made my mind up on that one.

After the Expo, I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon playing tourist. I walked from Quest Field over to Pike Place Market. It was like Seattle had been overtaken by the marathon. Everywhere I looked, I saw people carrying RnR goody bags and/or wearing race shirts. I also saw two athletic stores offering discounts for race participants, which was really neat.

On the way I stopped in for a quick look around the Wyland Gallery. His work is amazing, and of course being a Disney fan I love the pieces that incorporate Disney characters.

Seattle - Wyland Gallery

Strolling around Pike Place Market was so fun. It made me wish I lived in Seattle.

Seattle - Pike Place Market entrance

 Of course there was the fresh seafood.

Seattle - Pike Place Market seafood

And there were tons of flowers for sale. Unfortunately this picture doesn’t really do the flowers justice at all.

Seattle - Pike Place Market flowers

I liked the contrast between the colorful dried chiles and fresh produce.

Seattle - Pike Place Market fresh produce dried chili peppers

This is the very first Starbucks location. I decided to pass on getting a drink there (look at the line!) and instead bought a cup of clam chowder and a yummy-smelling chocolate hazlenut pastry.

Seattle - first Starbucks

I ate my snacks outside at a little picnic area with a view of the bay. The weather was perfect… sunny and just warm enough. Definitely a good break from the Arizona heat. On the way in I snapped this photo of the back of the market.

Seattle - back of Pike Place Market

After a full day of exploring, my cousin picked me up again. Back at “home” I sorted through everything I picked up at the Expo earlier. Here’s all my edible loot. I liked the Cascadian Farm organic granola and granola bar so much that I’ve already gone out and bought more. The Nuun has also been working out pretty well for me, but I’m still working my way through the samples.

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon - loot from goody bag and expo

I found it amusing that this was in the race goody bag. I mean, I know some people run with their dogs but it seems like kind of a stretch to give dog treats to every participant. Plus it’s weird that it’s a 100 calorie pack… is there a recommended daily calorie intake for dogs?

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon - dog treats?

Before going to bed Friday night, I laid out all my gear for the morning. Surprisingly I slept pretty well that night despite not being in my own bed. I guess I tired myself out with all the walking earlier in the day.

clothes and gear for Rock 'n' Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon

I woke up bright and early Saturday morning. Once again my cousin played chauffeur and drove me out to the start line just a few miles south of Seattle in Tukwila. We left the house at 5:30am thinking that with a 15-20 minute drive that still left me over an hour to get settled before the race started at 7am. What we didn’t count on was the traffic. There were really only two main roads that led into the start area and both were horribly backed up for over a mile. I think it was about 6:30 when we reached the participant drop-off area. I ended up leaving my camera and sweatshirt with my cousin because I was afraid I wouldn’t have enough time to stop at the gear check.

From the drop-off area, there was a short walk to the start line village. I grabbed a bottle of water to wash down the Clif Bar I ate in the car. Then I looked for the shortest port-a-potty line, but they were all long so I just hopped in a random line not too far away from my corral. Everyone was nervous and anxious because it was so close to starting time and there were no signs that the start would be delayed despite the traffic problems and the hundreds of people still waiting in port-a-potty lines. I was a bit worried, but figured it was better to go and start late than be uncomfortable out on the course. Plus I knew from past experience at RnR AZ that with the wave start it would be quite some time before the last person crossed the start line.

After the port-a-potty stop, there was just enough time that if I wanted to I could have run over and started with my assigned corral (number 9). But instead of rushing, I took the time to stretch and eat my usual pre-race GU. One of these days I’d love to do a race with friends, but at times like these it’s nice to have the freedom to go with the flow and do my own thing. Once I felt ready to go, I hopped into corral 12 which was just about to take off and crossed the start line around 7:15.

Both the full and 1/2 marathons started together and followed the same course for the first nine miles. Obviously there were a lot of people, but it never felt crowded and I was able to settle into my own pace easily without much weaving back and forth. For the first six miles the course wound through a suburban area and there wasn’t a lot to see. As with RnR AZ I enjoyed the cheerleaders on the course more than the bands, but both were nice diversions.

Even though I should be used to it by now, I continue to be surprised by how much faster I run in races compared to my usual training pace.

  • Mile 1 – 9:23
  • Mile 2 – 9:42
  • Mile 3 – 9:57
  • Mile 4 – 9:30

My strategy for this race was to only slow down slightly through the water stops. Just enough to grab the water and drink it without spilling too much. I saved my walk breaks for the hills instead. The first big uphill was during mile 5. I think I took my first four GU Chomps somewhere in here. Then we hit the downhill during mile 6 and I let gravity pull me along for my fastest mile of the race.

  • Mile 5 – 11:19
  • Mile 6 – 9:01

Up until this point I had been looking for someone to run and chat with but no one seemed to be running at my pace. Then when my Garmin beeped to signal the end of mile 6, a woman next to me asked if that was six miles and we struck up a conversation from there. I was happy to hear that the next few miles along Lake Washington would be nice and flat. She asked what my goal time was for the race and I said I didn’t have one, but that my PR was about 2:08. She said something about being on track for an under 2:00 finish and it wasn’t until later that I realized she must have started in a later corral than me. Anyway, we ran together for awhile. Even though we didn’t talk much after the initial conversation, she pushed me to pick up my pace for the next mile before I dropped back and let her continue on toward her goal.

It was really pretty running along Lake Washington. I know people tend to think of Seattle as gray and cloudy, but that morning it was bright and sunny. I’m not 100% sure, but I think these official race photos were taken at the 9 mile split. I also had the rest of my GU Chomps somewhere around here.

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon - along Lake Washington

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon - along Lake Washington

  • Mile 7 – 9:04
  • Mile 8 – 10:06
  • Mile 9 – 10:32

After that the course turned west as we headed toward Seattle and the finish line at Quest Field. There was another uphill stretch here to get onto I-90. I don’t quite know why, but I think it’s really cool that we got to run on an Interstate highway. During mile 10 we ran through a pretty long tunnel and it was very stuffy inside. Up until then I hadn’t even been sweating hard. A bunch of people were doing “tunnel shoutouts”. I didn’t have anything in particular to say so I just let out a big scream which felt really good. My Garmin lost the satellite signal in the tunnel so the rest of my numbers from here forward may be off.

  • Mile 10 – 11:01
  • Mile 11 – 10:35

After emerging from the tunnel, I could see Quest Field off in the distance. It was neat to sort of have a landmark to run towards. But then instead of a straight line to the finish, the course circled around so we ran past Quest Field then doubled back. Then right after we passed the marker for mile 12, there was a hill. It wasn’t a big hill, but still who wants to hit a hill during the last mile of the race? I have no idea why my times for these last couple miles are so fast because I felt really tired. I guess I was just ready to be finished with the race.

  • Mile 12 – 9:24
  • Mile 13 – 9:23
  • Last .34 miles – 3:13 (9:26 pace)

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon finish line

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon finish line

I was expecting the finish line to take us right to the middle of Quest Field. But instead the finish was just on a side street. Other than the Expo at the Event Center, we never actually entered Quest Field once during the weekend.

Based on the extra .24 miles I ran according to my Garmin, my overall pace was 9:54. The official results have my finishing time at 2:12:01 and my pace at 10:05. Not a PR, but my second best 1/2 marathon time so far. I’m happy with how I did, all things considered.

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle 1/2 Marathon - finisher photo

Negative splits

July 25 – 6.46 mile run, 11:26 pace (Saucony)
A good long run out on the trails at Reach 11. I slept in Saturday morning and went out running at dusk instead.

July 26 – 13.99 mile bike ride in 1:15:48 and .36 mile run
I did a test ride out to where I work and back. When the weather cools down I may try biking to work every once in awhile. Afterward the bike ride I went out on a whim for a short run. I was right, the new Running Room water bottle holder bounces too much while running.

July 27 – 3.32 mile run, 12:59 pace (Asics 6.5)
I exchanged my size 6 Asics for a size 6.5 wide at Road Runner Sports on Sunday. It was super easy to do the exchange. I purposely took it really slow on this run to break in the new shoes. Unfortunately I’m still having the tingly/numb foot problem, but it wasn’t quite as bad as usual.

July 29 – 4.44 mile run, 12:08 pace (Asics 6.5)
I was feeling really strong today. Before RnR Seattle I didn’t feel well prepared. But after tonight’s run I’m ready to go for RnR Chicago. I think for the race I’m going to shoot for an average 10 minute pace and try to finish under 2:11. I even managed negative splits tonight. Yay!

  • Lap 1 – 1.35 miles, 12:57 pace
  • Lap 2 – 1.35 miles, 12: 14 pace
  • Lap 3 – 1.35 miles, 11:44 pace
  • Lap 4 – .38 miles, 10:19 pace

Erica at the blog I Run Because I Can is doing a Fuel Belt giveaway. It would be awesome to win because I need something that holds more water for my long runs. But even if I don’t, I’ll still look into a Fuel Belt as an option because I really like the idea of the removable race pocket. It looks roomy enough for everything I would want to carry, plus it’s nice that I would be able to decide if I want to use it or not.

Disneyland Duathlon – Part 3 – The Race!

(Go to Part 2)

The structure of the race was 1.5 mile run, 10 mile bike, 2 mile run. (View the course map.) Since it was my first duathlon, and it was at Disneyland (!!!), my overall goal for the race was just to have fun. I had a general idea that I wanted to finish under 1 hour and 30 minutes. That seemed achievable based on my training. But I didn’t have any larger “reach” goals in my mind.

1.5 mile run

I started off at my “regular” race pace around 10 min/mile or a little under. Since I started right at the front of the corral, I was getting passed left and right at the start. There was a girl in my corral dressed as Alice in Wonderland (I think). She was the only one I saw in costume, although there were some people with princess accessories. Now I wish I had thought to dress up, but at the time I was just focused on all the details of the race itself. I used “Alice” to pace myself for the first mile or so before I finally passed her.

From Main Street, the course took us behind the castle then wound around most of Disneyland Park. After seeing me off at the start, Troy walked over to the park exit to snap this photo of me (in the pink skirt). After leaving the park we ran down the street back to the transition area.

Disneyland Duathlon - run

I wore my Garmin for the race. It was helpful to get a general idea of my pace during the race, but I didn’t do a great job hitting the buttons right at the timing mats. So I’ll go with my times from the official results…

Run 1 – 14:29 (9:39 pace) – rank 205/560 finishers

Looking back, it was only 1.5 miles and I probably should have pushed myself to run faster. But that day I was more concerned about not tiring myself out with a 10 mile bike ride still to come. Oh, well. It will be something to work on for the next race.

Transition 1

I ran into transition and continued to jog over to my bike rack while adjusting my Garmin. When I run I like to wear it with the face on the underside of my wrist, but when I bike I wear it like a regular watch. The first and most important step was to put on my helmet. I decided to pass on my sunglasses because it was still early and not that bright out. I took a few gulps of water, un-racked my bike, and I was off.

Transition 1 – 1:32

10 mile bike

We had to walk/run our bikes out of the transition area before getting on. There was quite a crowd and I got stuck behind a lady who was having trouble clipping into her pedals.  That was frustrating, but once I was finally able to start riding I had a blast. It was awesome zooming along so fast on the bike (as compared to my running speed).

I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet that this was definitely a great race for beginners. I saw all sorts of bikes from full suspension mountain bikes to fancy racing bikes with covered wheels.

Before the race one of my biggest concerns was the no drafting rule. I’d never been out riding with a group of people and had no idea what to expect. But it turned out that I had worried for nothing. Some of the roads were closed for traffic, and those that weren’t had at least 2-3 lanes blocked off for us. With about 600 participants, there was always someone near me or at least within eyesight during the bike ride. But it wasn’t so many people that the roads were crowded. There was plenty of room for all of us to spread out across the road.

No one was really following the rule to ride on the right, and I have to admit I didn’t either. At first I tried to swerve back and forth as I passed people (yes, I was actually speedy enough to pass some people!), but then I gave up and just sort of stayed to the middle of the road.

The course was two loops around the parks and through the nearby streets of Anaheim. It was mostly flat except for a small dip where the road went under Downtown Disney and a larger hill up an overpass to cross I-5. The first time around I forgot how to shift correctly and struggled a bit climbing uphill. I was glad that there were two laps so I had a chance to do everything right the second time.

After the first lap I pulled out my GU Chomps and ate four… yummy! Troy took this photo of me starting out on my second lap of the course.

Disneyland Duathlon - bike

I have no idea where this official photo was taken. I look very focused. I feel as though there’s something wrong with my form on the bike, but I don’t know exactly what it is that seems off.

Disneyland Duathlon - bike

After 9 miles I was starting to get tired but kept telling myself “just keep going… you’re almost done… less than 5 minutes to go”. Even though I hadn’t planned on it, I decided to take two more GU Chomps just for the heck of it. Finally I reached the turn in from the road to the transition area and slowed down in anticipation, but it turned out I wasn’t quite done yet.

I hadn’t looked at the course map closely enough and assumed that we would enter transition from the front and exit from the back, just like the first time after the run. That way everyone would have almost the same distance to cover in transition. Instead we did a big loop around the parking lot and entered the transition area from the back. That ended up working nicely for me since my assigned bike rack was third from the back.

Bike – 42:20 (14.1 mph) – rank 283/560 finishers

Transition 2

Disneyland Duathlon - transition

I was happy to see Troy waiting for me when I got back to the transition area, and it was a good thing he was there. I racked my bike and grabbed my water bottle, ready to take off for the final run. I was so eager to get going that I forgot something very important… I almost ran out of transition with my bike helmet still on! Luckily before I got too far Troy yelled at me to take it off. Whew, that would have been embarassing.

Transition 2 – 00:44

2 mile 1.6 mile run

As we ran out of transition, there were volunteers handing out packs of Sport Beans. I didn’t take any since I had already fueled up with my GU Chomps. For this segment we ran over to California Adventure, through the park, then back to the finish line which was set up just in front of the transition area.

My legs felt heavy coming off the bike, but I knew that was normal since I experienced the same feeling during my brick workouts. It seemed like I was moving in slow motion, but I was actually going at a pretty decent pace. I passed quite a walkers. And I even managed to smile for the photographer!

Disneyland Duathlon - run

It was neat running through California Adventure. It was actually my first time ever in the park. Hmmm, maybe the walkers had the right idea after all – a slower pace means more time to enjoy the sights and theming. The only thing that I really remember seeing was the Hyperion Theater where the Aladdin stage show plays.

As we left the park and ran back up the road to the finish, I remember looking at my Garmin and thinking we still had about 1/2 mile to go. Then out of nowhere I realized I had reached the finish chute. Even though it was a bit too late to matter, I made a last minute sprint to the finish.

Disneyland Duathlon - running to the finish

Run 2 – 15:41 (9:48 pace) – rank 190/560 finishers

I’m pretty sure the race results were adjusted to take into account the shortened course, which is how I figured that it was 1.6 miles instead of 2.

Finished!

Disneyland Duathlon - at the finish

I was so thrilled to have finished my first duathlon. My overall time was 1:14:48, well within my goal. (Although it would have been closer to 1:20:00 if the second run had been the full distance.) It felt like I had been out on the course for much longer than that, probably because of the distance we’d covered. A one hour bike ride always seems to feel longer than a one hour run.

The low point of the event was the crappy medal. I wasn’t expecting anything along the lines of a Disney or Rock ‘n’ Roll medal. But I would have appreciated something more than this to mark my achievement.

Disneyland Duathlon - medal

Afterward Troy and I stuck around awhile and I snacked on the various refreshments – oranges, pretzels, and animal crackers among other stuff. Helzberg Diamonds was one of the race sponsors, and periodically they would announce giveaway winners. I didn’t win any diamonds, but my name did get called for a prize from another race sponsor – MassMutual Financial Group. I got a Vera Bradley bag and some random books about female athletes and financial planning. It was a nice gift to wrap up the morning.

Disneyland Duathlon - raffle prize

So with that, it was time to leave and head back home to Phoenix. It was a short, but very fun trip. In regards to the race, I think it was a good choice for my first duathlon. If I lived closer to Anaheim I might consider doing it again, but as of now I don’t have any plans to repeat it. I do plan to keep doing duathlons though. There’s one nice and close in North Scottsdale on October 18…

Eeek!

July 23  – 3.1 mile run (Adidas)
A pretty crappy run. I wanted to do 4 miles, but my feet went numb and I just didn’t feel like continuing on for another mile. I think I’m going to put a visit to Road Runner Sports on the agenda for the weekend.

July 24 – 13.64 mile bike ride in 1:08:20
I had a good bike ride tonight though. I haven’t been doing enough cross training the last couple weeks. I went out by myself and explored some new paved paths. It’s nice to keep discovering all these places to ride that are close to home. It’s cooled down a bit (I think the temperature is somewhere in the 90s), but I figured I better still bring along some water since I was planning to ride for an hour. I decided to use my new water bottle holder that I won at the Canada Day Rock 10k.

showing off my water bottle holder

showing off my water bottle holder

These photos are actually from the first time I used the water bottle holder a few weeks ago, but I never had a chance to blog about it. For biking, I like it better than Troy’s water pack that I’ve been using. It seems like the tube from the water pack is always in my way. It’s hard to see in the photo, but there’s a good-sized pocket on the left that’s big enough for my cell phone and a few gels or gummies. I haven’t taken the water bottle holder out on a run yet, but I get the feeling that it will bounce too much to be comfortable.

So this has nothing to do with training, but check out the ginormous bug that was crawling around our driveway. Wow! I’m glad it was outside and not inside!

Giant big

Heavy medal

I came home from work today and this was sitting on top of the mail pile. I knew immediately what it was…

Package from the Competitor Group

My first heavy medal from the Rock ‘n’ Roll series!

Rock 'n' Roll Heavy Medal - 26.2 Musical Miles

“Congratulations! You’ve completed two half marathons. To reward your efforts we would like to present you with the 26.2 Mile Award as a testament of your ‘rockin’ accomplishment.”

It’s a nice large, hefty medal. I was excited to add it to my medal collection, but didn’t feel quite the same thrill as when receiving a medal after finishing a race.

July 21 – 3 miles (Asics)

So I went to the track tonight for a mini speed workout. I started with a one mile run, then a set of 4 x 400s, then another one mile run.

  • Mile 1 – 11:26
  • 1st  400 – 1:57
  • 2nd 400 – 2:05
  • 3rd 400 – 2:00
  • 4th 400 – 2:06
  • Mile 3 – 11:31

It’s been a while since I pushed myself like that. It was a good reminder of what it feels like to really work hard.

Early morning long run

July 16 – 4.05 miles (Asics)
I wasn’t sure how my legs would hold up, but the run went relatively well. I created a new course around the neighborhood and it works out almost perfectly that 3 laps = 4 miles.

July 18 – 9 miles (Adidas)
For my long run, I wanted to give my legs a break from running on roads and sidewalks. So the obvious choice was the dirt trails at Reach 11. I stumbled out of bed around 6:3oam and it took almost an hour before I got out the door. (I can’t believe how dedicated I am to running. Most of the time I don’t even wake up for work until 7:30.) It was like getting ready for a race. Among other things, I had to charge my iPod and slather on a nice thick layer of sunscreen. Before leaving the house, I fueled up with a chocolate brownie Clif Bar and a shot of Verve.

Verve! Energy Shots

Remember back when I won a case of Verve energy drink? I got a follow up call from Donna asking how I liked it. I explained that it was okay, but I just don’t like carbonated drinks in general. She very kindly offered to swap out any of my remaining cans with Verve energy shots instead (they’re not carbonated). Since caffeine keeps me from a good night’s sleep if I have it too late in the day, this morning was the first opportunity I had to try out my new Verve energy shots. I like the small, sleek size of the 3 oz bottles. The taste was sharp but not horrible, especially since I downed it all in 2 1/2 gulps. Next time I’ll have to plan ahead and remember to refrigerate it beforehand to improve the taste.

Anyway, I finally started my run at 7:45. Supposedly the temperature is cooler in the morning because the ground hasn’t soaked up the day’s heat yet. But it was still hot, hot, hot outside. There was a lot less shade on the trail than I was hoping for. I had my water belt with one bottle of water and one bottle of Nuun again and alternated between them every mile or two. If I start doing even longer training runs, especially in the summer, I’m going to have to figure out another hydration option because 18 oz of fluids isn’t enough. At the turnaround point, about 4 miles in, I ate some Jelly Belly sport beans. I didn’t really want to, but knew that I probably needed the fuel to get through the rest of the run.

Somehow I managed to run the entire 9 miles in 1:48:32 (12:03 pace). I’m pretty sure the caffeine in the Verve shot helped with my energy level. I kept thinking maybe I’ll take a walk break at the next mile alert, but then just kept running, although I did slow slightly here and there. It was definitely a struggle to keep going at the end. I thought about stopping at 8 miles. But I kept going because walking back to the trailhead would take twice as long as running. I was so happy to be done. Thank goodness I had another bottle of cool water waiting for me in the car. I did my cool down by circling the picnic table in the shade from the nearby ramada.

Overall it was a really good run. The best part is that my feet didn’t go numb at all. (Although I do have a new blister and a sore toenail.) I don’t know what did it because there are too many possible variables. Was it wearing my Adidas shoes without orthodics? The cushioned Balega socks? The dirt trail? The combination of all three? I’ll have to keep experimenting.

After RnR Seattle, I couldn’t imagine attempting to run a marathon. But after my run this morning I’m starting to think again that I can do it. Ideally I think a spring marathon would be best so I can train through the winter. But I’m still considering the Disney Marathon in January just because it’s Disney.

On the way home, I was feeling good thinking about what I’d already accomplished by 10 in the morning. Then I realized I was actually up early on a Saturday morning and decided to take a short detour to the Farmers Market. I picked up all this great produce for under $20.

Successful day at the Roadrunner Farmers Market

The greens in the back are ong choy and choy sum. I love that I can get Asian vegetables at the local Farmers Market. I’m hoping that Troy will grill up the zucchini and eggplant for me (on the new grill we bought last weekend!). And the fruit is my attempt to eat healthier snacks this week.

Unfortunately I wasn’t quite as productive the rest of the day. My tumbly wasn’t feeling well so I spent most of the day on the couch curled up with a book.