Sunday, January 25, 2009

50k is how far?

I did it, my first 'ultra' - I ran a 50k on Saturday morning! That is 31 miles. I ran 31 miles. I ran 31 miles. I ran 31 miles. I still don't believe it. Saturday morning was the Pigtails 50k around Lake Youngs in Renton. I made it to the early start and ran the entire way with Michelle and we finished in 7 hours 2o minutes. The first lap around the lake (it sounds so short, but was around 9.6 miles) we had a fairly large group, which was really nice because we started at 6:30 and ran with headlamps - who is this writing... I woke up early on a Saturday and started running at 6:30 am. We ran three loops around the lake, which is the Seattle watershed and then a short out and back with a huge hill to the finish. I am sore today and my giganto blister has been deflated and is doing fine, I am also still really tired today. Through all of this I am super proud of myself. I did it! And now on to bigger and better things!

Anyway this is a short and sweet post as I have some running fundraising to start. I've been thinking about this whole running thing lately and that while it has been amazing and life changing for me, there are surely others out there that I could help while running, so I joined Team in Training last week and I have been reviewing all of my information and getting ready to get some flyers out to everyone I know. It is a really great organization with 75% of the fundraising going toward research serving patients and families that are affected by blood cancer. Thankfully I have not had first hand experience with blood cancer, but I strongly believe in research and supporting a group that furthers that work. So that being said, take a look at my fundraising page and help if you can. I will be working on fun ways to raise money and posting them here - if anyone has any ideas, I'm game.

Also, please become a blood donor. It is easy, doesn't hurt and hey, what a way to instantly loose a pound. I've been donating every six weeks for over a year (that's over a gallon donated)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

where 'o where in the world has jessica been?

Ok, I’ve totally been slacking at keeping my blog updated. I’ve been really, really busy the past few months – whoa it really has been a while. So here is the long and short of it. I really will get better at posting – even if it is only a few words, such as ‘I finished’ or ‘Today I ran’ or ‘Yipee another size smaller’…. So here it goes (this starts in the year 2008 – again, yikes!).

On the 5th I ran the Portland Marathon – I had a wonderful time – my lo-o-o-ng overdue and long race report can be found through a link above. The short and sweet of it is that I finished 1 hour faster than my first marathon six months earlier! Oh yeah, I was 28 pounds lighter – that might have helped. It was a great experience and I will surely do it again – I was floating for days!

I hosted Elinor's baby shower in the middle of the month. If I didn't already have a day job, party planner would be my calling, I love getting everything ready for guests, and especially for Elinor and baby Owen. We have waited a long time to meet this little guy, so his party had to be big. I really enjoyed the day and I think baby Owen has a lot of 'aunties' to watch over him. How cute is pregnant Elinor - she was seriously glowing!

I also ran the Dawg Dash with my friend Lisa and her kids Brandon and Abby. Darby tagged along too, since this is one race that encourages the four-legged family members. Brandon was almost 5 and he ran the whole 5k - I was impressed. Lisa pushed the jogging stroller with Abby and was really fast (I'll have to weigh it down next time!). Abby even ran the kids dash! We had a great day and I will definitely put it on the schedule for next year!

My sister had baby girl Ashlyn Patricia – baby #3
Brian and I baby sat my niece and nephew for two nights so that my sister could recover and bond quietly with Ashlyn. We took the kids to the zoo for the first time and then got them dressed and went trick-o-treating – they had a ball. Brycen was Spidermand and Haylee was a princess (I even made her a magical wand). We were wiped after we took them home - I can't imagine how my sister does it.

Started working in retail – yikes! Worked, worked and worked – trying to keep my sanity, and trying to keep my schedules straight.
On November 29 I ran the Seattle Ghost Marathon after working a full week at job #1 (40+ hrs) and job #2 (3-4hrs each night). I ran with Michelle, Margaret with Steve and Robin joining us for the second half. This run was totally not about my time, but about keeping Michelle sane on her second of three marathons in a row, this in turn kept me preoccupied and I just ran and ran and we talked and started singing towards the end – this is what it is all about, running with friends on a beautiful day in along the shores of Lake Washington. It was a beautiful fall day – in the 50’s, overcast and not raining (I even picked up a few pretty leaves to hang on the wreath on the front door). My running high was quickly ruined by huge chaffing issues with my REI performance underwear (they were too big – argg) and was nearly in tears as I headed off to work retail for 4 hours after running a marathon – yes, I greeted people at the door of a retail store after running for six hours and having my thighs rubbed raw – how the heck did I do it – I still don’t know, guess I’m tougher than I thought.

I worked and worked some more. Working in retail was a whole new world for me – People are really rude sometimes, and others are so dang nice and easy to talk to and help it is amazing. If anything else I learned a lot about the Christmas spirit and I transferred it to our holiday – we went small this year, but meaningful. I pulled my sister’s name from the hat and I gave her some great gifts – some lotion for her (when she gets some quiet time), some photos of her kids at the zoo in an album and a framed collage of her family. Gifts that were unique and created just for her. I did not get a lot of runs in (but when I did they ended up being long runs), I did run the Pigtails Flat Ass Marathon on the 20th in the snow with screws in my shoes for 26.2 miles with Michelle. My camelback hose froze about 1 mile in it was in the teens – I’d never ran when the temperature was so low. I kept my small water bottles from freezing by putting them in my shirt and alternating them. My Starbucks hot chocolate turned into a Frappachino by the time I started drinking it, but it turned out to be delicious. This was another slow run (6 hours 29 minutes), but running 26.2 miles in the snow is no small feat. I was a little sore after this run, my hips were achy, but I really think that I was using different muscles to help keep my balance on the snow. There were a couple of blisters, but nothing too bad. I did find wonderful Patagonia underwear – no chaffing – yippee! This was my third marathon in three months which qualified me for Marathon maniac status! I am maniac #1255 – I did it.
I got my jersey on Christmas eve – I was stoked! I might have even worn it to dinner at my in-laws =)
I ran the First Call Marathon on January 1st hosted by Adrian and he and his volunteers did a wonderful job. This is the first race that has provided pancakes at the finish line – and boy were they delicious, I’m going to try and carry some on an upcoming race. They settled my upset stomach the instant they hit my mouth (I had way too much sugary items during the run). The trail still had some slush (as seen in my Maniac jersey photo above), but after about the first mile it was clear pavement. I ran on my own, Michelle was doing the second marathon of a double and I didn’t make it to the early start to run with her. I had a great time though –my i-pod was playing Bennie and the Jets by Elton John over and over and I talked to my friend Lisa and her daughter gave me a good luck shout (nothing better than a 3 year old cheering you on). I talked to my parents and they gave me some kudos and I left a message for Elinor to make Owen wait until I crossed the finish line to come into the world so I could meet him (today was her due date, but it was not like I could stop him). Along the trail I saw two bald eagles perched in a tree and the beautiful Woodinville valley with the all of the breweries and wineries – maybe next year they can host an aid station – hey I might have something here I finished in 5 hours 42 minutes – only 3 minutes slower than Portland (even with the slushy trail) so I was pretty proud of myself.

Brian and I have gone Cross Country Skiing a couple of times since Christmas and we learned to snowshoe with Darby the last time we were up, the weather has been beautiful each time we get to White Pass – we’ve been lucky

Elinor & Jack’s Baby Owen Arrived on January 5th. I was fortunate to be able to spend a day at home with Elinor as she was getting used to another man in her life. It is really amazing how such a small person is created – it was a blessing to be able to spend time with them. I made Elinor and Jack a wonderful (I’m hoping it was good) lasagna dinner and made up their plates and left them to enjoy a quiet dinner as a new family – it felt wonderful to do something for others and I’m sure they appreciated a good home cooked meal (and I’m sure the leftovers were a hit).

My Upcoming Plans:
Registered for the Yakima Marathon in April, 1st Annual Rock’n’Roll Marathon in late June. I have a lot more that I want to run – I’ll get the calendar out and start signing up!

Pigtails Flat Ass 50k this weekend, my first ultra!