Tag Archive | run like a girl

2017 Whidbey Island Half-Marathon

April 23, 2017

On race day it was a very cold morning, but it wasn’t raining!  I was going to be doing my ninth half-marathon!

We huddled around trying not to freeze until race time, then got on our way.  The race does a wave start, meaning that you cue up according to your anticipated finish time, and they start groups in waves, every couple of minutes, in order to keep the course from getting overrun with too many people.

L to R: Kimi, Me, Katie and Shelley, pre-race

By the way, this is totally off topic, but I love how I look like I am the tallest one in that photo!  I’m not…
The first several miles of the race I was feeling pretty good and making decent time.  Pretty soon after the start, there is a section that is kind of a nature trail through the marshlands, and I realized why the wave start was important.  There is one big hill near the beginning too and then the course gets more mild for a bit.  Once I moved away from the water, the temperature warmed up as well, and I was actually pretty comfortable.  I was thinking, “I can do this!”

About mile 5 (I think it was mile 5), the course starts to do this big, rolling hill thing along the water, starting with a giant downhill stretch that you know you are going to have to come back up…  Yeah…  But I was still moving along at a pretty good clip and feeling pretty good; I reached the turn-around point still feeling pretty good about my progress.

It was that giant hill on the way back that was the problem…  Mile 8… My energy was really flagging and I was starting to feel really crummy again, dizzy and hurting.  By the time I got to the top of the hill I was really lightheaded and queasy, and was seriously considering throwing in the towel.  The problem was that I was in the middle of nowhere, with no water station and no one around.  Who would I even quit to?

So I slowed down a lot and just kept walking, trying not to let the lightheadedness get the better of me, thinking as soon as I got to a water station I would quit.  I was so exhausted!  Slowing down helped though, and by the time I got to the next water station, I was feeling a bit better.  So I decided to keep going…

Pretty soon, it was all downhill from there, because the last couple miles of the course is downhill or relatively flat.  I can’t say I was fast, but I was a little faster than mile 8 and 9!  My head cleared some, and a good bit of the nausea went away.  The last mile was pretty brutal though, because it was right on the water and there was a cold wind blowing sideways!  UGH! 

In the end, it was certainly not my best race or my best time…  And absolutely NOT my favorite course…  But I did realize I can still push my body further than I think I can go and be successful.  And it just made the post-race beer while bundled up in a blanket that much better… 

Feeling sassy after some beer

In the end, my official time was 3:07:16, which was actually WAY better than I was expecting it to be…  Not a personal best at any rate, but not too terrible either!  I really, really, really earned this swag!


Run Like a Girl Half Marathon 2013

Today was my second half marathon of the year, the Run Like a Girl Half Marathon.  This marathon is a non-competitive race, and it is only open to women.  It is my second year doing the race, which benefits the Girls on the Run program.

Shelley and I decided not to push ourselves for a personal best this race, and we walked most of it.  The volunteers for this race are great, and they have fun aid stations, with chocolate, tiaras, necklaces and a photo on a Harley!  We had a great time and ran into several friends before, during and after the race.

Check out the awesome swag!

Run Like a Girl Swag

Run Like a Girl Swag

We got a Brooks long sleeve logo tech shirt, a logo pint glass, a locally hand-made wire wrapped crystal necklace, a tiara, and a colorful, hippie, peace sign necklace.  A morning well-spent for a great cause!

And the Little Nubs Carried Me Home!

Today I had a quiet day nursing my sore back.  Yesterday I completed my third half marathon (a big accomplishment!) in three hours and thirteen minutes!  That’s a pace of 14 minutes and 44 seconds per mile.  Since I mostly walk my half marathons rather than run them – that’s a very good pace for me!

The day started off with my fellow gluttons for punishment half marathoners and I on Team $1 Sushi (more on the team name in a minute) queuing up before the race.  Katie, Shelley and I were in it for the entire 13.1 mile distance.  Bliss and JoAnne were planning a less insane more manageable goal of half of a half (6.55 miles).  The weather was cold, but the day had dawned bright and sunny and would be warming up quickly, so I didn’t want to overdress and overheat later in the race.  I opted for shorts and my long sleeve race shirt (a moisture wicking high performance shirt by Brooks).  I started out with another long sleeve cotton shirt over that.

Shelley, Me, Bliss, JoAnne and Katie, before the race!

So Team $1 Sushi, you ask?  Well, there’s a story behind that.  Shelley had emailed me about signing up for the Run Like a Girl Half Marathon a few days before Katie, Bliss, JoAnne and I (and a few other fabulous women who opted not to do the race) were to meet up for a Sushi Happy Hour that features $1 per piece sushi.  I pitched the idea to them – because they are all trying hard like me to stay fit.  They loved the idea (at least back then they did) and Team $1 Sushi was born.

So, back to race day.  The race kicked off with a serenade by the Firefighters Pipes and Drums band.  If we weren’t already awake from the cold air, we were now!  They play well, but let’s admit it, bagpipes and snare drums are loud!  And not really very soothing.  Then we all posed for a group picture (ladies are much more into group pics – this would be tougher in a co-ed race).  And then we lined up to begin the torture session race.

Firefighter Pipes and Drums Band

We set out at 9:10 am.  Bliss and JoAnne wanted to do a bit slower pace, so Katie and Shelley and I set out a bit ahead of them.  We chitter chattered, and soon ‘the rules’ were formed.  We would push ourselves to jog as much as we felt we could – anybody could call for a tiny little jog, and anyone could call for the end of it.  So the jogging stints became known as “Tinies.”  “Tiny On,” was the call to begin jogging, and “Tiny Off” was the call to stop. And we continued that tradition for the rest of the race.

Early on, Katie found her inspiration in the ‘Cool Pants Lady.’  It started out as doing a “Tiny On”, just until we caught up with Cool Pants Lady.  Cool Pants Lady was about 60 – so this seemed like a reasonable goal.  And we did catch up – but little did we know that Cool Pants Lady was just in her warm up phase – pretty soon she pulled away again and smoked us!  After we got smoked by Cool Pants Lady, we caught up to a girl I went to high school with named Renee and her friend – we were pretty neck and neck for awhile, but then we started pulling away!  We were their inspiration and setting the pace, and it was hysterical when Katie stopped to tie her shoe and Renee’s friend cried out, “One of them is down – one down!”  But nope, Katie was back up and doing a “Tiny” to catch up!

This half marathon was a blast, all the aid stations had fun themes – we got lei’d at mile 2, at mile four we got chocolate and a raffle ticket for a “Margarita” prize, the turnaround at mile 6.55 had a photo op with one of the boot camp trainers in town – and he was dressed in drag!  Mile 8 had more chocolate and another raffle ticket for a pedicure prize, and mile 11 had a tiara!  We were cheered on with cowbells, and the support of all the ladies we passed and were passed by.  And last by not least, the peek-a-boo views of the bay and the islands were fantastic!  Nothing like a view to take your mind off the misery.

I wanted to do my best to push as hard as I could for time, so towards the end I did some very long “Tinies.”  Katie started making whiny gutteral sounds during Mile 11, as her motivation was flagging – I was sure for a short period of time that I would die!  I’m not sure where I found the strength, but I ended up jogging most of mile twelve!  Not fast, but faster than a walk!   I am very proud of myself – and am excited about my 3 hour, 13 minute finish!

After the Finish – Shelley, Katie and Me! (And Katie’s Foot!)

At the finish line, we got a daisy necklace as a finisher medal, put on by a firefighter.  And we all finished – the sweetest success for Team $1 Sushi!

P.S. Some of you may be wondering about the title…  It is no secret that I’m short, and Jon calls my short arms and short legs ‘the nubs.’  So somehow it just seemed fitting…


In twelve hours I will be completing the first bit of a half marathon; a fundraiser that benefits Girls on the Run.  I signed up with four of my dearest friends, and then tonight at the pre-race dinner I learned that two ladies that I used to work with (two of the most fun, kind and supportive coworkers you could ask for ) are also doing the race.

I have all the usual problems…  Work is too stressful and I have way too much to do.  There’s never enough cash in the bank account to do everything I would like.  Jon and I argue and both get frustrated that the other is so damn stubborn.  All my animals are getting old and the vet bills are getting bigger (see above reference to the bank account!).  I would love to lose 10 pounds.  Those walls won’t paint themselves.  And wow, is it ever annoying when the smoke detector in the laundry room starts chirping every 5 seconds because the battery is dying – at 1:15 in the morning!  I didn’t even know that there was a smoke detector in the laundry room until last night, but that’s a topic for another post.

Tonight, at the fundraiser dinner, there were little paper circles at each place setting with responses from participants in the Girls on the Run program.  Girls that come from all races, backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses.  Girls who are in the program to have an experience that encourages them to value themselves.  Their bodies, their minds, and their hearts.  Whatever their fitness level, to learn that they can achieve.  The question posed on the card was, “What Inspires You?”  The response written on the card in front of me was,  “Merissa.”  (Merissa is her Girls on the Run coach.)  And then below, “To Not Be Like Erin (my mother).  I am ashamed of her.”

It brought tears to my eyes.  Because whatever trials I have, whatever frustrations, whatever makes me mad during the workday or at home, I am truly blessed.  I have parents who love me unconditionally and set a great example, who believe I can be whatever I want to be.  I have a husband who loves me, and is smart and funny and would do anything for the people he loves.  I have friends who take time out of their busy days to listen and support me, and laugh with me.  And push me to do my third half marathon!  I have extended family who love each other immensely.  I have pets who love me so much that they sit on my arms while I try to type this blog post (currently Martini)!  Whatever trials I have, they cannot compare to what that little girl must go through.

So, tomorrow… whoever that little girl is… tomorrow I run for her.

Boot Camp

I’m not sure how I manage to get talked into these things – but this is the third year in a row that I will be completing a half marathon.  And the third year in a row that it will not be the Wine Country Half Marathon in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.  I must be really dumb, because if I’m going to walk 13.1 miles in one fell swoop, there should at least be a wine tasting at the end.

The half marathon is next weekend, and it is a fundraiser for Girls on the Run, which is a non-profit program that supports girls in developing self-esteem and a feeling that they can be whatever they want to be, through healthy lifestyles and running.  I suppose if I’m going to torture myself – it might as well be for a good cause!  I do have high hopes that this will be a fun half marathon at least, because they are advertising the chocolate mile (where you get chocolate at a certain point!) and tiaras.

Yesterday after work my friend Shelley and I set out for our last long training walk before the race.  10 miles!  When we set out, it was sunny and warm.  I knew we’d be getting back after dark, so I brought my flashlight.  And we walked… We talked about all the usual subjects – work, kids, cats, spouses, friends, annoyances…  Somewhere around mile 5, we were all caught up on life and getting bored.  We tried coming up with entertaining things to talk about – but after 8 hours at work and 6 miles down, we were failing.

Somewhere around mile 7, we were getting tired.  During the same 7th mile, it got dark.  At least the moon was stunning – because the walk kind of sucked at that point.  We had an extensive discussion about what we would be eating, if only we weren’t stupid enough to walk 10 miles.  We went through our list of wants: beer, massage, chiropractor, hot bath… and wine of course!  Pumpkin bread was in there too.  The 8th mile we spent talking about how many miles we had left.

Mile 9 was that big hill!  And we talked about that one time I got attacked by the owl.  Yep!  Once when Shelley and I were walking, early in the morning before the sun came up, an owl swooped down and grabbed my head!  I was wearing a hat, so it didn’t hurt, but it sure scared me half to death!  So, that was a plus… last night I was not attacked by an owl!  And mile 10 – at least the end of it – was awesome!  Because we were done!

I would like to say next weekend will be different – that walking 13.1 miles will be a breeze.  But I’m sure we’ll be bored, tired and in pain.  But in the end I can say I did it again!