03 April 2011

Drop Bag - Race for the Roses 2011

I've ran quite a few races that I avoided to use the Drop Bag section because more likely than not, they are unorganized but not for this year's Race for the Roses race organizers. I was very impressed at how organized their Drop Bag section was (see photo below).
This is how they did it - print 2 labels of the same number. (1) the volunteer gives you a numbered label that you'll stick on the back of your bib. (2) the volunteer peels and stick the same number that was given to you and stick it on a reusable paper bag where you put your stuff in. (3) the volunteer takes your bag and line them up according to your number.

It was a breeze leaving our stuff this morning!

I am raving about Race for the Roses's Drop Bag process because in most races, runners have to line up at a table to get a plastic bag and write their bib number on the plastic bag. Because they only provice a few markers on the table, runners have to wait in line for a while until the runners in front of them were done. With Race for the Roses, they already printed 2 labels with same numbers (not your bib number) - give you one and you take the other and Voila! You're off to do your pre-race business!

Kudos to Race for the Roses race organizers this year for their Drop Bag process because it was fast and green!

10 January 2011

New Year New Goals…. (SoloRunner)

I have been off the grid not so much running just these pages. It seems that my running took a back seat to the changes that were happening in my life and now that they have settled down I can put the focus back in to what I love running...I read some of my old post and reflected on why I was running at one point it was to get away from the part of my life that was not working. I found I could run and never had to think about what was not working. I also realized that my running friends are so important to have in my life, there is no greater frind then the ones you run with. They know better than anyone what a bad run feels like, the anxiety of not being able to run and the victory of a good run… I am very lucky to have found so many running friends. In the past 6 month I have met many new running friends who have given me new goals to set forth for myself… First on my list is to get back to running half marathons a distance I truly love, so the goal is to run one each month (even if it is not a race)... Next is to run a 50k, now if you read back to May of 09 you will see I said I may never run a marathon again...So what am I thinking? Like I said new friends new goals and it’s not a marathon, so I keep telling myself that. I am up for the challenge and part of me hopes this will help me get past the fear of a marathon. Makes no sense I know but since when has running a marathon made sense we all are a little crazy…. I will be training for some triathlons and maybe even toss in a Half Ironman if all goes well... Over all the entire goal is just to have fun…. Thanks for reading

Now Go Out and Run!

12 September 2010

10K Pints to Pasta

It's my first time to run Pints to Pasta this year and I am running it with my girlfriend, and she ran it a few times.  Her goal this time is to run 10:00 pace.  I ran 10 miles and hiked 5 miles yesterday so 10:00 pace is just about right.  Hubby's goal is to finish under 50 minutes.

It was in the low 50s and sunny when we were transported from Spaghetti Factory (which is the finish line) to the start line at adidas headquarters. I love being at the start line because I can feel the joy and excitement of all the runners and walkers around me.

start line

pre-race pic (L-R): my gf - me - my gf's gf - my gf's gf's gf

This part of the course is about past mile 23 of the Portland Marathon route.  I told my girlfriend, "How come it's much easier to run this part today than during the Portland Marathon?"  We both laughed.
under interstate bridge - past mile 1

I love downtown Portland.  Not too big, not too small.  Just perfect.
view of downtown PDX from Broadway Bridge - 2.5 miles

Seeing the banners up along the Waterfront are treat to me!  I look forward to running Portland Marathon.  It will be my 5th consecutive year to run it, and hubby too.  My goal for the Portland Marathon is to run 10:00 pace comfortably.
Portland Marathon banners are up along Waterfront - just past 4 miles

view of the finish line

well-organized drop bags

line to the beer garden

pints but no pasta. the pasta line was looooong.


post-race pics with the girls

post-race pic with my girlfriend, hubby

My girlfriend and I crossed the finish line together and accomplished my girlfriend's goal. We finished in 1:00:30.  Hubby also accomplished his goal and finished in 47:35.  Today was a great day!

02 August 2010

Number 45– Wildwood Trail Marathon Report

Number 45 is my favorite number of all time but I disliked number 45 during yesterday’s Wildwood Trail Marathon. I was being impulsive last Friday and signed up to run Wildwood Trail Marathon. It was my second trail marathon. My time was better than my first trail marathon (Bizz Johnson). It wasn’t my best marathon time but I had a great time. My goal in every race is to finish, have a great time, and don't be the last runner to finish. Before the race, an announcement was made that there were only 45 registrants for the marathon. I was like, "Holy s***t!!! " I’m not one of the fasties so chances are pretty high that I might be finisher number 45 if I don’t push myself even for a little bit.

I knew that trail runs involve hills and tons of them. The total elevation gain is 2,350'. My race strategy before the race was "5-min run then 1-min walk" but that did not materialize because of the hills. Instead I walked the hills and ran downhills and flats. At the half-way mark aid station, I asked the volunteers how many runners came by at the aid station, and I was told that I was probably the 25th or so runner. I felt somehow relieved when I heard that but after about 45 minutes of not seeing any runner going the opposite direction, I started to feel anxious and thought what the volunteers at the aid station told me, “Yeah, right. 25th runner or so... I am obviously more in or so.” All those time, it was only me and the 3 runners behind me though after 30 minutes, the two of them passed me. That left me and the one runner. Few more minutes passed and still no runners going the opposite direction. I finally told myself, “Finisher number 45 could either be me or that one runner behind me.” I kept going and that runner behind me finally caught up with me. I told her to go ahead of me but stayed with her. She and I eventually started chatting and she happened to be a DailyMile member too! How cool was that?!!! We chat, ran, walked, and repeat. And then finally! We came across a runner coming from the opposite direction! I told myself, “Okay, I can definitely relax.” After another 30 minutes, another one showed up. I made Debbie well aware that even though I’m slow, I don’t want to be finisher number 45. Debbie and I continued on... chat, ran, walked and repeat. My left hamstring was acting up towards the end of the race that going downhill was a little challenging. About mile 5 from the finish line, we caught up with this guy Brian who is doing his first marathon. Debbie and I joked with him that of all the marathons he could have chosen, he chose a trail marathon for his first. One thing the three of us had in common was we signed up on whim! Debbie signed up on Tuesday, Brian on Thursday, and I signed up on Friday. The three of us had a great time chipping away the remainder of the miles. Finally, we saw the wooden railings which reminded us that we were really getting close to the finish line so the three of made a loud cheer!!! Not too long after we cheered, I saw hubby waiting and he cheered us on! Seeing my hubby was a treat! Hubby, by the way, ran the half-marathon. He ran with me for about half a mile then he told me that he’ll meet me at the finish line because he just had lunch. I continued and Debbie and Brian were not too far behind me. I was finisher number 38 out of 43!!! Debbie was finisher number 39, and Brian was finisher number 40. Whew!

Finisher Number 38
It was a great experience running Wildwood Trail for the first time and also having company during those last grueling miles. The trail was so grand and gorgeous! It was humbling to be able to run in this gorgeous place. There were tons of slug-casualties on the trail, and one little mouse too. I was very good on not stepping on them, thankfully! Why is that some slugs love to lay straight on the trail?!! Do they have death wish or something? I also witness one runner slipped and fell. I offered her help but she said she was fine. I also saw one older gentleman with his knees bleeding and he was finisher number 26, by the way.

Debbie and I already agreed that she and I will definitely go for a long run at Wildwood Trail one of these days. Debbie is also thinking about doing the PCT 50-miler in July 2011 so that was exciting! In the end, my impulsiveness paid off. I will definitely do this run again and next year and be prepared for those hills!

17 July 2010

"You're a lucky man..." Fueled by Fine Wine Half Recap

This recaps the Fueled by Fine Wine Half-Marathon Inaugural Run on July 11, 2010 at Dundee, Oregon. It was hubby’s email to our friend who didn’t run the race. My unofficial time was 2:24:15. Not my best but not my worst either. It was definitely a challenging course but I would like to run it again next year and properly train for the hills. Hubby said, “I’ll cheer you on.” I’m sure he’ll change his mind.
Subject: you are a lucky man...

…for not having run the Fueled by Fine Wines ½. In a word it was “absolutelyf*ingbrutal.” I got the impression the organizers had never run a day in their lives, although they struck upon the idea of a “fun run through wine country” and perhaps a way to market local brands.

Miles 1-6 – mostly flat, scenic, pleasant. Miles 6-8 were a steady 7% climb. Few people were able to make it without walking at least once. But the hills didn’t stop there. At the top of 8 you dropped steeply down (reminding you that you had quads), then the hills continued up/down/up/down for the rest of the course. No one ran mile 11 to 12. No one. It was up hill, hot, and by then, most everyone’s legs were spent. There was even a brutal hill to the 13 mile mark, which then turned to a steep drop down to the finish line. Water stations seemed a little too far apart and understaffed.

I had hoped for a 1:50. Ha. 2:12:51. To further put the race in perspective, the winning overall time for Helvetia was 1:12. Here – 1:36.

Anyway, the worst day running is better than the best day of sitting around on the couch. The wine tasting afterwards was nice with lots of wines, a complimentary glass and, admittedly, the views were outstanding. It conceivably could be done again, but only after significant and dedicated hill training.
start and finish
the kind of sign you don't want to see at mile 12
the loot
Dundee hills
perspective of the altitude courtesy of my friend's heart rate monitor

enjoying some free wine with hubby!
Nancy, me, SoloRunner

22 May 2010

Gratification Comes In Many Forms

I was telling myself when I close to finishing my run that today's trail run at Leif Erikson (Forest Park) was probably one of my most ungratifying long runs.  First of all, I was tired from the get go.  Second, my Garmin lost the satellite signal at least four times which fouled up the distance (I was supposed to run 14 miles but ended up running 14.44 miles.)  Third, my Chi was totally whacked even though I was doing ChiRunning.  Fourth, I was frustrated how slow I was going even going downhill.  Ackk!  Today wasn't my day.

I was about less than half a mile to finish my run when I saw a guy and a lady (mid-20s) running in front me.  I caught up with them at the intersection of NW 23rd and Thurman waiting for the light to turn green.  When the light turned green, they started to move but the lady ropped her cellphone.  The guy told the lady that she dropped her cellphone but the lady wasn't paying attention.  Instead she was sort of walking backwards so I picked up her cellphone and gave it to the guy.  The lady was already sitting on the curb with her hands on her face telling her friend that she doesn't feel well.  I should have caught the green light but I didn't because I was convinced that she wasn't looking good.  The lady then start to fall and I wasn't quick enough to catch her but her head brushed on my hands that the impact wasn't that hard when she landed on the street.  Her friend was a little shocked and you can tell he doesn't know what to do.  I told the guy to elevate her feet and I rested her head on my lap.  I checked whether she was breathing, and she was, thank goodness!  I was amazed about how other people offered help.  One SUV driving by thew a bottled water towards us.  Another man stopped to offer help and he happense to be an EMT (another thank goodness!).  The EMT man checked her pulse and said her pulse was 90.  I don't know whether that was good or bad but the EMT man didn't seem alarm so I suppose it was good.  An ambulance was called amidst all of these.  We continued to elevate her feet and make sure she was breathing.  After a couple of minutes she regain consciousness and she was able to sit again.  I gave her the bottled water and another woman gave her a cookie.  Finally, the ambulance arrived!  Yay!  She was eating a cookie and sipping water by the time I left her.

After I finish my run and thought about the help I did for that lady, my being slow today had a purpose.  For what I thought was ungratifying run turned out to be my most gratifying runs.  It's true, gratification comes in many forms.

16 May 2010

SoloRunner Events Inaugural 10-Miler

I didn’t register for SoloRunner’s inaugural 10-miler this morning. Instead, I was a volunteer stationed at the intersection just past the 4-mile, 6-mile and 8-mile markers. It was 6:45 a.m. by the time I got to my designated spot. I got my Starbucks venti-soy-no water-chai and dreaded the fact that I didn’t bring a book. I’m glad I didn’t because I had a blast cheering the runners on, directing them, and especially taking their photos. I also had the opportunity to watch the fasties go zoom by effortless! I was on that spot for 3 hours and I enjoyed every moment of it.

Here's to all runners and walkers!

I tried to take as much photos as I can using my cell. Even without their bib numbers, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th placers were easy to identify. And of course, the Sweeper—she knows who she is. Otherwise, here are the runners and walkers with their bibs on: 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 24, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 41, 44, 49, 50, 56, 57, 59, 61, 62, 66, 67, 69, 71, 74, 75, 76, 79, 81, 84, 85, 83, 92, 93, 94, 97, 99, 100, 104, 111, 112, 117, 118, 121, 126, 136, 138, 139, 142, 143, 137, 145, 147, 148, 151, 154, 158, 159, 162, 168, 172.