Thursday, October 2, 2014

Tacoma Marathon 5/4/14

This was my first marathon in about 14 months and so I was nervous about finishing. I had spent the last year out of shape and/or with my foot stress fracture issue and the motivation for running long was in part gone. This race has an RD that is a Marathon Maniac and so there is a special medal for Maniacs and a race entry discount, so I figured I would give it a try. We also had a family member's Flat Stanley to take pictures of, so we headed out a day early to spend the night at Cannon Beach, OR before heading up to Tacoma, WA.

We opted to do the spaghetti dinner since it was convenient but there were VERY FEW people there, and only 1 seating. So it was awkward but we had a good time, not having to deal with driving anywhere, particularly since it had been raining hard all day. I kept checking the weather forecast but there was more rain for the race the next day as well. We stayed at the host hotel in Downtown Tacoma, and we were there early so we went to the Glass Museum which was more interesting than we were expecting (and got some Flat Stanley pictures there) and to the UW-Tacoma bookstore.

The race turned out great, high point crossing the Tacoma Narrows Bridge with the low point as we ran through Pt Defiance park as it seemed like we were in the park for a really long time. HH was able to meet me every 3-5 miles along the course, and my parents were at one spot before heading to do town errands. The race organization was so-so, I was expecting more since the RD is a Maniac but oh well. Probably not do this one again unless it is super cheap.

Great confidence booster that I was able to finish this race even though I was slow.

Marathon or longer #52, no new state.

Foot Traffic Flat Marathon 7/4/14 Sauvie Island, OR

Marathon #54 or longer, no new state.

This race is held on the 4th of July every year on Sauvie Island, a small island accessible by bridge 30 minutes from downtown Portland, OR, located in a side channel of the Columbia River. There is primarily berry and pumpkin farms (along with some other produce) on the island along with houseboats in some areas. This was a well organized race that started and ended at one of these farms and took a big loop around the island with one out and back section. I fell apart at the end due to some mild dehydration, being out of shape combined with a long exposed section and the hot weather, there was a lot of walking the last 10k of the race.

Due to the bad ending of my race, I opted to not run the 2nd and 3rd marathons of the weekend that rounded out the Firecracker Triple in the Portland, OR area.

Long Play 33 1/3 3/3/13 State #32 Florida

I had been thinking about going to a conference in Florida and then started looking around at races so I could tag Florida while I was there. The only one I could find was an ultra that was a 4-5 hour drive from Ft Lauderdale. It looked like a good run and I signed up. I just needed to rent a car for the last few days of my stay in Florida. I ended up getting to rent a Prius which was interesting.

Matt Mahoney made a nice map of the trail from his run of the race. It was unusually cold and low humidity for Florida for the race which was awesome! Relatively flat, some sand in places, lots of aid stations. Later in the race at an aid station I was told I was 2nd place female, which I thought was odd but was motivating. When I finished a girl walked up to me and said "you finished 2nd but it isn't going to count because my friend was ahead of you she just got lost." This statement made me want to get out of there right away, as the race and finish area was a very casual setup. Finishers had their choice of LP record to take home out of a box for which I had no need or want for one. I didn't stick around for the BBQ and headed back to the hotel right away to shower and nap. I checked in for a 2nd night even though I was only going to stay until dinner-time where I planned to meet with Tigger, a thruhiker and trail angel that lived in a near by town. They live in an RV on a friend's property and after dinner we went to their RV (chuck norris was up in Hot Springs, NC helping to run the hostel there), and I napped until I had to leave at 1am to make it to my flight in Ft Lauderdale on time.

Great trip, lucky weather!
State #32, FL.

Myrtle Beach/Lost Dutchman Marathon Double - Third and Final Part

So things were going well and according to schedule up until this point. Until we hit our connecting airport, Charlotte, NC. As we had arrived at the Myrtle Beach airport it had dropped 10 degrees and had started to rain with forecasts calling for snow that night. If only the front had come through a day before they might have had a repeat of the marathon cancellation from snow 3 years ago.

There was a groundstop to air traffic at the airport delaying our departure. After arriving late in Phoenix and then to our hotel around 1am with the need to get up at 3 or 4 am to get to the race start, I decided to sleep in and start our drive to the Grand Canyon early for our short weekend there.

So that it what we did! Couldn't do much hiking due to my post marathon legs and lack of crampons/microspikes to deal with the ice on the upper part of the trails. But we could drive to either end of the Southern rim and got to show Hedgehog the park, as he had never been there before.