*Good/Bad (our family 5k review)*

Good:  A 7:00 AM start on what is forecasted to be a 100 degree day.

Bad:  Planning to run a 7:00 AM race the morning after a holiday that requires that you stay up past dark to enjoy it in its splendor.

Good:  Starbucks opening at 5:00 AM.

Bad:  That no amount of coffee is going to make cranky teenagers tolerable at 5:00 AM.

Good:  Our first family 5k!

Bad:  Our last family 5k. Not as in last forever, but since our oldest ships out for basic training at the end of the month, it will be our last for a long while.

Good:  A free beer or wine at the finish line.

Bad:  Being too hungover to desire drinking a beer or wine at 7:30 in the morning.

Good:  Having Nuun Hydration on the course!

Bad:  Dang! I ran out of bad stuff about our morning!

Good:  Easy day-of packet pickup and gear check, beautiful downtown course, plenty of volunteers and aid stations, medals for all finishers, a patriotic tech tee, live music at the finish… and everyone was in a way better mood by the time we finished! Hooray! One of the highlights for me was when a woman ran up along side of me and commented ” your little family is adorable”. Oh my. Heart explosion!

The Red, White, and Blues was a fun race this morning despite our rough start and being in a post-holiday daze for the first half of it! We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning in Portland! The Better Series did a great job, as usual, and I’m so thankful to my friends at Nuun for hooking me, and my family, up to run it!

I hope you all had a fantastic time celebrating the Fourth of July this weekend!!

*Our first family 5k*

This weekend, for the first time EVER, my family will run our first 5k together! As a mother-runner, I couldn’t be more excited, or proud, to share one of the things I love most with my family!

Over the last two years, the members of my family, one-by-one, have begun to run so it seems fitting that we run our first event together as a family. Thanks to my great friends at Nuun Hydration, and the Better Series, we will be running the Red, Whites, and Blues 5k this Sunday which is held in conjunction with the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, Oregon.

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Looking forward to returning to the Red, White, and Blues with the whole fam!

I had the privilege of sharing the experience last year with my son, then 12, when he ran this race as his first 5k. While my husband and daughter have both tackled longer distances, both having completed a half marathon, I love that we get to do it together. It is even more special since we are counting down the days (24!) until my daughter departs for basic training in South Carolina the end of the month.

The Red, White, and Blues 5k & 10k run and walk is still open for registration either online or on race day! A portion of each registration will go to support the Oregon Food Bank and runners will be treated to live music at the finish.

I need to give my friends at Nuun Hydration a super huge shout-out and high-five for hooking me up with this great event to share with my family!!! Thank you, Nuun!!!

*Unintentional absence*

Over the past 6 months, I’ve been working to *simplify* my life. Eliminate things… chores, responsibilities, stuff… that are taking up to much time, space, energy, etc., so that I can focus on what is most important to me and what fulfills me on the deepest level. So I’m absolutely baffled as to why I feel more unorganized and unproductive as ever!

Case in point. My website has not been getting the attention I wish I could give it. This site, sharing my love of running, is such a huge passion and while it is very important to me (and because it doesn’t pay the bills), it often gets pushed to the back burner.

That said, I’m not going anywhere, anytime soon and I’m thankful for my faithful followers and readers that continue to visit even when I’m absent. So THANK YOU! It’s a work in progress. As I continue to weed out things in my life that don’t serve me anymore, I’m hopeful that I’ll have more time to be present here.

Last week, I had planned a post-race write-up about my experience at the Hippie Chick Half Marathon. I had the entire post pretty much written in my head by the time the race was over. As much as I would have love to share an in-depth recap about that race, I’ll tell you this: I learned some very valuable lessons. I won’t go into as much detail as I originally planned but I will summarize my experience in an attempt to save you the same self-defeating pain I caused myself.

The condensed version is this:

A week or so before Boston, a friend offered me a free race entry. Not one to pass up anything free (seriously!), I signed up with the intention of taking it easy and running with her for fun. Fast forward to race day. On the trip to the race, she asked me (very politely) to NOT run with her. I get it. Her reasoning was legit and I respected her for sticking to her own race plan. But it left me wondering what the hell I was going to do. It was 19 days post-Boston. Do you think I was smart and stuck to my original plan to take it easy, stick to a slower pace, and basically just enjoy the event? Of course not! I lined up right where I would have had my legs been fresh and I wasn’t still in recovery from a marathon 19 days earlier.

I kept up with the 7:30 pace group for oh, a mile. And then I crashed and burned and hated running and hated life and hated sunshine and hated fast runners that made it all look so effortless and fun and pretty much just hated everything for an hour and 50 minutes.

Needless to say, not my best race. I will note that I cheered up when I got my free mimosa afterwards.

Barefoot Bubbly mimosa.

Some valuable lessons:

  • Honor your body and your body’s ability to perform in the days, weeks, and months after a major event. I was not ready to race. It’s different for everyone but do what is best for YOU!
  • If you have a race plan in mind, stick to it. Don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the energy and excitement of the event. I know I would have enjoyed it so much more had I not tried to “race”.
  • Due to my plan to take it easy, I did not prepare for race day like I typically would in the days leading up to the event. I ate poorly, probably consumed way too much wine, and didn’t take it seriously. Regardless of your goals, for the sake of enjoying the experience, treat the days leading up to an event like you would a goal race for the pure sake of making it pleasant.
  • Shake it off. (Shake it off, shake it off!). Once I crossed the finish line. I was over it. (The mimosa helped too!) I chose to not dwell on my performance and instead take note and learn from the lessons on the course that I thought were mistakes. It’s all a part of the process.

Despite my own performance, the Hippie Chick Half Marathon (they also offer a Quarter Marathon) is a great event. The weather has been nice all three years I’ve done it and I love the energy of the female-only event celebrating mother, daughters, sisters, friends, etc. This year was the first year the event was managed by the Better Series after purchasing several Run with Paula events and I thought they did a great job! (Especially because in years past they only offered a post-race beer. I much prefer the mimosas!)

*His first 5K*

Sharing the things that I love, with the ones that I love, makes my heart oh so happy! This morning my son and I ran the Red, White, and Blues 5K in Portland thanks to the fantastic peeps at Nuun Hydration and the Better Series. A huge THANKS for making this race possible and helping create a wonderful memory with my son!

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Red, White, and Blues 5K

We could not have asked for a better morning for a race!! It took place right in downtown Portland on the waterfront. The sun was shining, the temp was perfect, and it was great to see a good turnout for the inaugural event. Kuddo’s to the Better Series for putting on such a stellar race! Other than the course being a bit short (about a quarter-mile according to my watch), it was well-organized and the medals were fantastic for a 5k! The shirts are pretty sweet too!

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Ready, set, RACE!

If I recall correctly, I was 17 years old when I ran my first 5K. I find so much delight in watching my kids discover running at a way younger age than I was when I started. It is my hope that they will enjoy it as much as I have and will continue to run as they get older.

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Cooling off post-race!

I’m pretty proud of this guy!!

*Red White & Blues*

Just the day before yesterday I wrote that I didn’t have a race on my calendar until Hood to Coast in August. As is turns out, I spoke too soon because today I got hooked up with my next event!

A super huge THANKS to the rad peeps at Nuun Hydration and the Better Series (which is a part of the Hood to Coast family) for the opportunity to participate in the inaugural Red, White, and Blues 5k & 10k run and walk on July 6th. The event is being held in conjunction with the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland.

Red White & Blues

Red White & Blues

I haven’t decided if I’m going to run the 5k or the 10k… I haven’t run a 10k in a while so I’m leaning towards that if I go solo. However, I owe my son an event since he wasn’t able to run the Kid’s Marathon as part of the Vancouver USA Marathon weekend so depending on what he wants to do, I may opt to run the 5k with him. Either way, I’m looking forward to a fun event Independence Day weekend!

Prices are fantastic BTW… $35 for the 5K and $45 for the 10K until July 2nd. Fee’s include a finisher’s medal and a tech t-shirt.

*A PR for Mother’s Day*

Happy (belated) Mother’s Day!!

My weekend was wonderful and I hope yours was too! I am so blessed to have two amazing ladies in my life that we got to celebrate yesterday. And, my family made me feel so loved. I’m one lucky girl!!

On Saturday, I ran my second half marathon of the year, the Hippie Chick Half and Quarter Marathon in Hillsboro, Oregon.

The Hippie Chick is such a fun event and embodies the sweet bond of mothers, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and girlfriends. The race route takes you through rural farm country and past fields of flowering crimson clover. Despite the threat of rain, it held off and temperature was just about perfect.

I had the pleasure of sharing the morning with my friend, Kelcie. It was her second half marathon and she set a new PR by more than 16 minutes! I’m so grateful that I got to be there to witness her huge accomplishment! Way to go, Kelcie!!

So proud of this girl!

So proud of this girl!

My goals for the race included finishing with a sub 1:40 time, setting a new PR, finishing in the top 10 in my age division, and the top 25 overall.

NAILED IT!!!!

I’m really proud of my race. Everything came together the way you hope it does on race day. When we were heading to the starting line, Kelcie and I were talking about lining up according to pace. The “fastest” pace group was 7:55, right up in front. I commented to her that I didn’t feel like I deserved to be up in the front even though I was shooting for a 7:33-7:36 average pace. I don’t know why I said that. Or why I even felt that way. I’ll chalk it up to pre-race nerves I guess.

As usual, I started off way too fast. Which turned out to be a good thing because there were several miles that I could not seem to keep my pace under 7:40! The first few miles flew by. The course is pretty much all flat with just a couple very slight hills. There is also a section of the race that is a short out-and-back. As I was heading to the turnaround point, the leaders started passing by just after mile 8 (for them). I began to count them so I could get a sense of where I was in the pack. By my calculation, when I made the turn I was 24th, which I held for the last five miles. No one else passed me, nor did I pass anyone else the remainder of the race!

The last couple of miles are a little tricky because the quarter marathon merges with the half marathon. When the half marathon runners make it to that section, the quarter marathon participants are walking the event. Sometimes walking in groups that stretched across the entire road. I think it could easily be managed a little better by instructing walkers to stay to one side allowing runners to pass easier. I love seeing everyone out regardless of if they are running or walking but it just makes for some interesting maneuvering on the course.

Just like the Vernonia Marathon in April, I wasn’t paying attention to my overall time on the course. Rather, I had my pace displayed on my Garmin so I could try to keep around my target. It wasn’t until I made the last turn coming into the finish that I saw the race clock which displayed 1:39:xx. I was thrilled when I realized that I was finishing with the sub 1:40 I had hoped for. Not by much, but I’ll take it!!

After I finished I milled around and met up with a few people that I’ve been connected to online, but had not yet met in person. It was so fun to meet these ladies!!

I stuck around and watched the first few minutes of the awards ceremony but was starting to get cold so left before it was over. I was feeling a little bummed at that point too because I discovered that the race results weren’t accurate. From what I gathered by talking to a few people, some of the participants that had registered for the half decided to do the quarter instead. However, not all of them officially got transferred over to the quarter marathon which threw all of the results out of sync. While I’m happy with my PR and finishing 10th in my age group, the results placed me at 37th. I still believe I was pretty close to that top 25 but I suppose that’s just the way it goes and I need to get over it!

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Festivities at the finish line!

Overall, it truly is a great event and I had a great time! A huge thanks to Nuun Hydration and the Better Series for giving me the opportunity to do it! Initially, the Hippie Chick wasn’t on my racing calendar this spring so I’m grateful I got invited to do it and am already looking forward to next year!

Official results:     1:39:36 /  7:36 pace / 10th place age division / 37th place overall

*Giveaway winner*

A super HUGE thank you to Nuun Hydration and the Better Series for partnering up with me to giveaway one lucky reader a free entry into the Hippie Chick Half and Quarter Marathon next month!!

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And the winner is…      ANNIE D.

Congratulations, Annie! You will have a great time!!!

And thank you to everyone that entered!