Sunday, March 23, 2014

Tacoma St. Patty's Day Half Marathon Race Report

Last Sunday I ran the Tacoma St. Patty's Day Half Marathon.  And if I don't write about it soon, it will be like it never happened at all!  Right?!?!

But there's not much to say about it.  I didn't train much.  It's ridiculous, because it wouldn't have taken much to train.  I had just done the Hot Chocolate 15k two weeks prior, so a few medium runs and one long run and I would have been good to go!  But oh no, no way would I do something so easy!  Instead I decided to run not ONCE in between the two races.  I'm so smart.

Baby J had a few rough nights at the beginning and somehow I was just sooooo tired and so lazy and then the weather was bad and.... excuses much?

Anyway, since Becky wasn't doing it any longer, if Lisa hadn't been doing it I probably would have bailed! Luckily for me, these races are a DREAM logistically.  Nice and close, free parking a few blocks from the start, Starbucks open with clean bathrooms with short waits, etc.  I only want to do races like this from now on.  Bye bye downtown Seattle events.

It was so good to see Lisa and spend the first 4 miles with her!  Neither of us were exactly ecstatic about the idea of running 13.1 miles, but poor Lisa was really hurting, and after 4 miles of run/walking, she decided to walk back to the start (the first section is a loop so we weren't that far away).

 Most of the race is a big out and back along the Tacoma waterfront Ruston area - very lovely views, although the drizzly cloudiness kind of hindered the loveliness. 

Lucky for me, although Becky couldn't run the whole race as originally planned because of her knee, she agreed to run 5ish miles with me in the middle of the race!  So after leaving Lisa at mile 4, I only had one mile alone before finding Becky at mile 5.  And apparently the one mile alone was my fastest of the whole race (8:55).

The lesson here is, maybe I should train next time.

Thanks to the out and back on the water, most of the race is lovely flatness.  But the elevation gain is actually a surprising 423 feet thanks to some large hills in the middle at the turnaround and a very nasty mean uphill to the finish.

Becky was not impressed with my attitude during the race, but somehow I still convinced her to keep running to the finish with me instead of stopping at 10.  Thanks Becky!

Final thoughts on the race:  Great logistics, love the free pizza at the end, adorable glittery medal.  But not having a water stop until mile 4?!  That's unacceptable in my book.  Not enough water overall.

But that's a wrap!  I need to find my running mojo again.  I really really want to train for a race, like REALLY train, and show what I can do.  I want a sub 2 (at least) this year.  I want to run a marathon.  I want a PR in SOMETHING.  I want to do a triathlon.  But I want all these things, but then I find it so hard to actually put in the work when push comes to shove.

Any motivation advice?

What would a post be without a picture of Baby J's bad hair day?!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Baby J 7 & 8 Month Update

Can you believe Baby J is 8 months old already?  I can't.  CRAZINESS.  I can't believe I have an EIGHT MONTH OLD!  It seems like just yesterday he was a teeny tiny baby coming home from the hospital:

So little

So far 8 months has been VERY bad for us, but that's a post for the future?  Spoiler alert, our sweet, happy baby that I'm going to tell you about during this post (who was sleeping MUCH better!) has been replaced by a screaming grouchy MONSTER who wakes up every hour at night.  Teething?  Separation anxiety?  The dreaded 8-9 month sleep regression?  I'm not sure yet but it's BAD.

But that's a story for another day.

7 months for Baby J brought sitting up like a champ!  He's sweet and happy and loves to play with anything and everything.  It's tricky to keep him entertained, but he's very very busy! 

Weight:  He's also a BIG boy.  At 6 months he was nearly 20 pounds, but his weight gain has slowed a LOT.  I would guess he's about 21-22 pounds now at 8 months.  While he flew through the newborn, 3 month, and 6 month clothes, his 9 month clothes have just now been 100% put away, and he still technically fits into most of them.  So now he's officially in 12 month clothes.  He's such a big boy!  I hold my friend's baby, who's the same age but at least 5 pounds lighter, and it's crazy what a difference that makes for carrying them around!

Health:  Early in January he had his one and only sickness (to date).  We've been really lucky in that department so far (knock on wood).  He had a fever and it was SO sad and horrible to hear his terrible crying that couldn't be comforted no matter what we did.  It was reminiscent of his little baby days but that hasn't happened for MONTHS, so you know he felt terrible.  It's so so hard to just be helpless to make him feel better.  Poor little guy.  He got baby tylenol for the very first time and man did that help!  But then it wears off and you can't give him more for another hour and even then it takes awhile to kick in and oh that time in between is just so so so sad!  I can bear the fussy crying - it's the full-on crying with REAL tears that are just the saddest thing in the world.  But it really only lasted one day, one doctor's visit, and then he was much better.

Eating: Eating is still hit or miss.  He usually wants to eat dinner, and will eat at least a few bites of the main vegetable / protein dish, followed by many many bites (usually the whole thing!) of the fruit "dessert".  AKA, he loves fruit, not that fond of veggies.  He also LOVES puffs, though he's still working on his dexterity so can't quite get them from the tray to his mouth yet.  Also - eating real food is MESSY. 

 It's especially messy because he loves to feed himself!

No crawling yet:  We're not even REMOTELY close to crawling!  I have a feeling it's going to be a lonnnggg time.  His belly is just too big!  But we are sitting up on our own like a champ and he loves to stand (with help, of course). 

Sleeping:  I've started a post about this that I'll probably never finish, but we finally did do one bout of cry it out (*gasp*) right after 6 months.  Although we'd been diligent about putting him to sleep "awake but drowsy" apparently it was always too drowsy and he did have some nursing to sleep associations.  It was one horrible night (really just one horrible 40 minutes really) but it helped TREMENDOUSLY.  It seriously changed my life.  It brought him immediately from 2-3 wake-ups per night to 1 wake-up (rarely 2) per night.  It was AMAZINGGGG!!  And it's been like that since - we've even been talking about doing it again in a few weeks to try and remove that one feeding... until 3 nights ago when for some reason things have DRASTICALLY changed for the worse, but again, that's a post for another day.

First snow:  I already told you about our fun in our first snow!  There was sledding (not such a hit?) and a snowman!

First kiss and first cart ride:  Baby J got his first kiss from his future wife!  He loved it.  He also got to ride in a cart for the first time and LOOVVVEEEDDD it.  He loves going places and looking at stuff (he LOVES Costco) so riding in the cart instead of the ergo or his car seat is like a dream for him!  It's also a lot easier for me.  Though sometimes he gets tired / fussy and it is rather difficult to both carry him and push a cart.  So that's why you see abandoned carts full of stuff in stores. 

First big boy bath:  He was way big for the infant bath since he's a monster baby and all, but not sitting up that well (when we started the big boy bath), so he needed spotting!  It's fun, he still LOVES baths so it's fun for the whole family.  Now we have bath toys and everything. 

Showing off his flexibility

Baby J's Favorite Things: pretty much everything!  Jumping, kicking his piano, playing his piano sitting up like a big boy, rolling around, playing in his car, stroller rides, bath time, talking.  His favorite words are "da" (that's the most popular one), "dee", "gee", "hee", "hey", "hi".  JMan swears he's said "Da-Dee" already but I have my doubts!  He's also obviously already said "hi" and I swear he's used it appropriately!  As you can tell there's no way he's saying "mama" anytime soon.  He also LOVES Cooper - he thinks he is HILARIOUS especially when he runs around and does tricks.  I have an adorable video of him laughing constantly at him but I couldn't get it to load. 

 He grabs EVERYTHING that's near by and will eat it if possible.  

 He loves to eat anything, including his feet, except food. 

 He loves to play "pick that up!" by knocking everything you put on the tray off as quickly as possible!

 Loves to swing!  I wish spring would hurry up and get here.

Loves to jump! 
Tummy time's not so bad either now that he can get out of it whenever he wants.

First trip to the zoo: We took our first trip(s!) to the zoo!  We went to the Oregon Zoo and then to the Pt. Defiance Zoo.  The Oregon Zoo was kind of disappointing because all the animals seemed to be sleeping or off hiding somewhere.  At Pt. Defiance there were baby leopard cubs that were playing and chasing each other and it was the cutest thing EVER! 

Watching the giraffes

And now we're a big 8 month old boy all of a sudden!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Seattle Hot Chocolate 15k Race Report: HILLS, HILLS, HILLS!

This morning I ran the Seattle Hot Chocolate 15k.  Thank you thank you THANK YOU to Andrea for being an AMAZING Hot Chocolate Ambassador, hosting a race entry giveaway on her blog, and then picking me to win!  I'm so grateful and thankful.  I'm so glad I got to do this race and I'm sure I wouldn't have if I hadn't won an entry!

The weekend started off on Friday GORGEOUS with freaking 60 degree sunny days.  You can bet Baby J got out in the sun to enjoy it!

He loves to swing!

But by Saturday the weather had taken a complete 180.  But we still made the best of it by accidentally joining the March Forth 5k around Greenlake (Baby J's first race?!) and then a lovely (but sad!) going away party for Robyn at Patty's Egg Nest. 

 Baby J had a lovely time.  Lindsay is a good sport!

Don't leave us Robyn!

And by Sunday morning the forecast was downright terrifying:

38 degrees (with winds up to 10 mph making the feels like temperature closer to 30), 90% chance of precipitation, and this precipitation being rain and snow?!  EEK!  Considering the longest I've run in any recent history is 5 miles, I knew today's 9.3 wasn't going to feel grand.  So coupled with the weather forecast and I was kind of dreading the race.  But, since I'm also running a freaking half marathon in just two weeks, I knew that running this distance was also required. 

Luckily the weather (for the race... dom dom DOM - more on this later) was amazing.  It drizzled at most, and although the entire first mile I couldn't stop shouting I'M FREEZING I'M FREEZING with the wind and the ice rain droplets, after that the weather was pretty much perfect.  I even took my jacket off pretty quickly - in mile 3 or so.  AND since I had put the race bib over the front of the zipper, that sure made it annoying to remove.

Lessons I never seem to learn no matter how many times I learn them: 1) I ALWAYS overdress.  I need to get dressed, and then remove one layer on top before I run.  ALWAYS.  2) The bib goes on the BOTTOM!  That or I need to get a bib belt.  I never think I'll take my top layer off and then I always do and then the bib is gone.  This time it was especially bad since there was a full zipper involved.  3) ALWAYS bring a ziploc bag for your phone, even when you plan to carry it zipped into said jacket's pocket (that even though you swear you won't take off you do).

 The start

We got there bright and early, parked without much trouble, got in a corral, and off we went!  I was kind of poo-pooing the out-and-back set-up before we started the race, but it was actually kind of nice, especially because I did absolutely zero researching about this race's elevation, aid stations, port-a-potty's, etc.  After about two miles easy with Jordanne, I felt like this was a good opportunity for a test of my current fitness, and I decided to go pretty medium-hard effort wise for the rest of the time, until the last 2 miles or so when I went all out hard effort.  And I felt great!  I mean, I wanted to be done at 7 miles, but I really loved how most of the uphill was in the first half of the race, saving the lovely downhill for the second half.  It was pretty darn evil to have the last half mile be uphill though!

And that's the one word description of this race - HILLS!  I swear you were either climbing them or going down them, there was practically no flat parts.  Which I actually kind of liked, though I bet I will feel them tomorrow. 

 Can YOU spot a flat part?!?!  Total elevation gain 679 feet.

And then I was done!  And I was immediately FREEZING.  Like FREEZING FREEZING.  Like I've never been so cold before.  And we had an hour to wait or so and it was just miserable.  I also wasn't feeling very well, like so often happens to me after a hard effort in a race.  I didn't even eat any of the chocolate treats they gave us (the hot chocolate would have been wonderful to make me warmer if it hadn't been sooooo chocolatey.  Way too rich for my taste, or at least for after a race!).  I wasn't really a fan of the fondue either. 

Total Time: 1:24:47  (Average Pace: 9:06)
Splits: 10:03, 9:41, 8:57, 9:21, 9:00, 9:43, 8:46, 8:44, 8:32, 8:40
Can you spot the hills?!

This is getting long!  Final thoughts: I have never been more proud of myself for not walking once (NOT ONCE!) during all of those huge hills.  I'm seriously so proud.  I'm also impressed with my fitness.  I mean, I had a good day, there's no doubt in that.  I felt good and I gave a good effort and this time was much more than I hoped for.  But it does give me hope that maybe I'll be fast again someday?  I hope???