Monday, June 25, 2012

Vancouver USA Half Marathon Race Report

It's been awhile since I've set a big goal for myself and took the time and dedication to achieve that goal. When I say that, it makes me sound like I've been some sort of lazy person the last few years. I admit I haven't been the most motivated person with big major goals but that changed when I found my love for running. With that being said, I challenged myself to a 12 week training program in hopes to complete a half marathon. I didn't worry how I was going to follow and dedicate myself to this program but with my mind set that I was just going to do it (Nike says to just do it, right?), I just did it. I received advice from more seasoned runners that as a beginning runner, I had to trust the program, respect the distance, and follow the program with no serious modifications. This was important to do if I wanted to be successful on race day. Well, I did just that and completed my first half marathon last Sunday. I asked one of my friends if she wanted to run the race with me and she gladly said yes which I was so excited about!

Getting our bibs at the race expo. I was the lucky winner of the Nike+ Sportwatch GPS drawing they had!
The night before the race, I didn't get much sleep. I had nervous jitters and had trouble falling asleep. I barely got 5 hours which was a bad thing. I had to get up at 6am and get myself ready to run over 13 miles with thousands of people. I had planned on getting a full 8 hours of sleep and to be well-rested. I'm sure this had a lot to do with one of the reasons why I lacked energy during the race.

It started at 9am and my husband decided to come with me and to stay for the whole race. I was concerned about how he would entertain our son for over 2 hours but thankfully, it was at Esther Short Park where the farmer's market is located and plentiful park and playground for Everett. On the morning of race day, my husband got up early with me and cooked me the breakfast of champions. And no, it wasn't Wheaties. It was my favorite, egg on top of whole wheat toast. I pretty much eat that every morning.

I had to fight a bit of anxiety and mentally ward off panic attacks with being around so many people but I managed to focus on the race ahead of me and relaxed myself into the excitement that was in the air. You could feel how excited and hyped up everyone was so that helped and motivated me. 

Just a countdown away from gun start. Can you see me?!

I look excited but I was just really nervous.

Well, the race itself was tough. Much tougher than I anticipated. My goal finish time was 2:10 but I came in at 2:27:28. Far from my goal. I contribute this to 3 factors. These factors were conditions that I did not train in. The weather that day was hot. The sun was out and it didn't help that the course had us running right at it. I didn't have a hat or sunglasses so the sun just beamed into my face pretty much the whole time. Secondly, it was very humid. We don't get a lot of humidity here in the Pacific Northwest but this day, we had it. Thirdly, the course had hills. Hills and hills and hills. As I approached them, I convinced myself that walking was not option. Well, it obviously was. Walking the first hill, I was disappointed because one of my biggest goals for the race was not to walk. As I looked around me, everyone but a few were walking all the hills. You can tell a seasoned runner from a beginning runner and even these seasoned runners were walking. Seeing that made me realize I wasn't just being a wimp. Aside from the hills, I walked here and there between miles 8-12 and you could tell the heat had gotten to everyone. 

I've learned a lot of things I will do differently for my next half marathon but one of the main things I will do would be to wear a fuel belt. I slowed down and even walked through some of the water stations due to the lines but if I had had my own water on me, I could've shaved off a minute or two off my finish time. 

I spoke to a guy after the race who was an avid marathon runner and I was telling him how tough this race was for me and he admitted that this course was one of the toughest he had ever done. I thought to myself, "so, it wasn't just me?!" I had fun and enjoyed the post race atmosphere and was excited to have completed my first half but I was a bit down for not reaching the finish time I had set myself for and for having to walk parts of it. You live and you learn though. I've definitely learned what things I'll do and not do for my next race and I'm already itching to run another one. A lot of people have told me that marathons are addictive and I didn't quite understand what was so addicting about them. Just run one and you'll know why. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Little Snippers

When we lived in Oregon City, we found the perfect children's hair salon called Sit Still Salon near our home. Not only was it very accommodating for children but the stylist that we had was absolutely wonderful. She cut Everett's hair perfectly and interacted with him so well. Since our move, I have found a local children's salon, Little Snippers. It doesn't compare to Sit Still Salon but the stylist who now cuts Everett's hair is just about as good. He got his hair cut this past Monday and she did well in keeping the tears away til right at the end. All in all, he did great.

He's always had a longer cut but with a little reluctance, I decided to have it cut pretty short for the Summer weather. I didn't want his long, soft baby hair cut! He's 2 and a half years old and I still feel like he's my little newborn. Umbilical cord still attached? Yup.

He got a little concerned when the buzzer was brought out so I had to convince him that it was harmless.

I love this picture. They brought the bubbles out and he got quite amused by them.

He enjoyed the play area for a bit afterwards. This is the shortest he's ever had his hair. Doesn't he look like such a big, handsome boy?!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Garden Plotting

My parents have graciously offered some of their land so we can plant a garden this year. My main reason for wanting to garden this year is so that I can can a lot of food for winter and to be frugal too of course.. It's been pretty rainy here and you need a handful of days for the soil to dry up but it's been raining about every 2-4 days so it was a cycle that didn't ever give us any dry land. In the meantime, we admired my parent's garden and used the abundance of their early produce and worked on figuring out our garden layout.

My mom is the master gardener and I just love hers!

Everett loves spending time out there and is a pro at dirt shoveling.

My parent's lent us the lower half of their gardening area.

Thankfully, it was dry for a few consecutive days and we were able to get part of it planted this past Saturday. It was so hot that day and I was a bit worried about Everett getting overheated so we got half of it done. He was such a wonderful helper. Helped shovel soil with his cute, little hoe and helped poke the beans down into the ground.

It rained today so now we have to wait until the ground dries up again. Thank you Mother Nature!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pepperoni Pizza Pita

I've always wanted to try my hand at making homemade pizza but have never had the patience to make the dough and wait for it to rise and all that good stuff. I found a recipe for Pepperoni Pizza Pita and we all loved it! It took 10 minutes to prepare and was on the table ready to eat 6 minutes later! My husband will pretty much eat anything but he especially loved the mini pizzas and told me to put it on the weekly menu.

Here's the simple recipe:

2 tablespoons pizza sauce
1 whole pita bread
6 slices pepperoni sausage
2 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Spread pizza sauce over pita bread. Top with pepperoni, mushrooms, and cheese.
Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 4-6 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serving size is 1.

*I diced up and added green peppers. I imagine you can add whatever toppings you'd like.

Not only did I love them because they were delicious and were so quick and easy to make but they weren't greasy like your typical take out pizza. It tasted fresh and light.

If you try this recipe, I hope you enjoy them just as much as we did!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Everett and the Wheelbarrow

We've been spending a lot of time out at my parents' farm lately. If Everett could spend every waking moment outside, he'd be one happy camper. Because we don't have a very functional yard or neighborhood (I dearly miss our Oregon City neighborhood!), we spend a few days a week roaming my parents' 20 acres. Recently, Everett has become very close to this wheelbarrow that my mom got him a handful of months back. At first, he didn't want anything to do with it but recently, he'll take it everywhere as if it's his old time buddy or something.

Anything he sees along his path, he'll place it inside.

It goes in the greenhouse...

In the pump house...

And anywhere and everywhere else he'd like it to go...

More adventures at the farm to come...