Monday, July 11, 2016

Race Recap: Rock 'n Roll Seattle Half Marathon

I can't believe Seattle was almost two weeks ago. After playing all day in the city on Friday, we grabbed food on the way back from the Space Needle, chowed down and got ready for the morning. With the forecast of rain still lingering, we were totally uncertain about what to pack for the morning! Long sleeves? Jacket? Shorts? Gah! Stupid crazy weather. 

I set out my tank and shorts and had my running jacket packed just in case, but lo and behold when we woke up in the morning and headed out - no rain! It had clearly poured that night, but it seemed to have all gotten out of its system by the time we woke up at 5:30. It was almost humid outside - 50-something degrees, but it felt warmer than that, so I had zero complaints. I walked to the start in my jacket, just in case.

A few of us rocked our rainbows to #StandwithOrlando.
We decided to walk the mile up to the Space Needle and found ourselves very quickly in the throes of all the other runners getting ready. We walked over to the start line and played around with photos and shenanigans before we decided to find our way to Solutions to grab my VIP bracelet. We caught one of the staff members and asked when the wheelchair start was, as I'd never seen the start line that empty, save for the four wheelchair athletes starting to line up. He told us the start was delayed until 7:15 (it was about 6:35 at this point) due to traffic.

Yes, that's Libby in a onesie. Loved it.
Hearing that, we headed back towards the Seattle Center to find Solutions and get my wristband for a little post-race action. After hopping in the longest Solutions line ever (downside to a Saturday morning race, I think, is that a Thursday-Friday expo is hard for folks to get to sometimes), I learned I could just check in at VIP after the race and get squared away up there. Woot. We headed back toward the start line so we could catch the wheelchair start.

Apparently Seattle is one of RnR's largest events, as it offers an 8K, half and full. With 40-something corrals, you could tell it is certainly huge! Tons of people not following their corrals and jumping wherever - though I was assigned 13, I ditched my jacket with Lindsay and figured I'd take the risk and see how weather turned out. I headed back to 16 to hang out with Libby and try and find Briana in the midst of it. No such luck, but we were in the middle of 16 at that point and decided just to hang.

Libby and I got started and contemplated the idea of her running a PR that day. She wasn't sure, but she had a 2:21 to beat and maybe - just maybe - this could be the place to do it. My only goals for the race were to enjoy it, take it all in, and just have a better day than I had at San Diego. Easy goals, right? We caught up with Briana and Andrew about a mile and a half in, and ran with them for a bit and then carried on!

I LOVED getting to run through the sights of Seattle - it made me wish I had stayed an extra day to play in the city and take it all in, but such is life! We had a little fun as we ran through Pioneer Square, by the cruise ship terminals and down and around CenturyLink in the background. A 10K split PR for Libby, and we were on to good things! Boom! Libby split for a restroom stop and I carried on, trying to keep steady so she could catch me. I found this guy about mile 8:

Andrew and Briana caught up to me about there, and I continued with them through the last tunnels and back into the city. About mile 10, we caught up with one of the wheelchair athlete who was going backwards up the last incline - can you say inspiration? My legs were tired, but certainly not any more tired than his arms. I fought harder just to be sure I really tired myself out by the end.

It got really humid inside the tunnel - certainly mostly thanks to all of us sweaty folks - but also for the impending rain outside. When we came out of the tunnel, it started to mist... and then rain a little harder. Never a full on rain, but at mile 12, it was a nice little repreive from the humidity and the rain just teasing us. At that point, I actually really liked it. 

You come down up and over the offramp that leads back towards CenturyField and SafeCo Field. It's a nice gradual downhill, just to climb a little bit up and around the stadium, which was a little cruel, but whatever. The rain started to come down just a little bit harder but actually felt pretty good - at least for a little while!

And just like that, that was it! My goal of just having a better day than San Diego was more than achieved, and my 2:17 finish was pretty on point with how I felt. I walked when I wanted, enjoyed the course, took photos and had a great day. Zero complaints. I will note that I think this new course is totally worth of a PR kind of day - a few gradual inclines but more than enough decline to make up for it. Fast and flat otherwise and a beautiful one, to boot! 

Overall, I loved this race. The course is definitely quieter than San Diego, but that's not a fair comparison by any means! Gorgeous scenery, a fun run through a new state for this girl and I have zero complaints overall. I am glad the rain didn't totally pull through and the mist at the end was just enough to cool me off and feel nice (again, for a little bit). 

I was lucky to have access to the VIP area, but more on that soon in an upcoming post!

Where will I see you rock this year?

Want to rock with me at an upcoming race? Use code RUNMEGANRUN to save!

Disclosure: I am a member of Rock 'n Blog and was given a 2016 Global Tour Pass from the folks at Rock 'n Roll and Competitor. The opinions expressed herein are my own and represent my experience at the race and over the weekend as a whole. Otherwise, no compensation was given for this review. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Weekly Workout Recap Roundup #26

June 26 - July 2

Happy Fourth of July, all! I hope your holiday weekend has been amazing and filled with food, friends, fireworks and lots of good times! This week wraps up the last FULL week of the 2016 #RWRunStreak - amazing!

Started off the week with a too-late run in the morning. I had to work this day, but got to sleep in still and unfortunately, that just meant the heat took advantage too. These were slower than I'd have liked but the first 2 miles are straight uphill and then got to blitz right back down, so I think I made up for some of it. A decently long run to start the week - boom!

5.60 miles 

Woke up Monday morning ready to roll! Doug was back from Vegas after a weekend away, so I was feeling a little more in my zone and ready to get this week started. A Monday morning 5K is never a bad way to start the week either. :)

3.17 miles

Somehow I jumped back on this run-in-the-morning streak, which is nice, given that my days are also getting crazier. Tuesday and Thursday nights for the next several weeks, I'm on campus until 9 pm doing workshops as part of our orientation program for our early starter students. This means for a) longer days and b) runs are mandatory in the morning, otherwise they will definitely not be happening! Sooo... morning mileage it is. Not gonna lie though, running with the sunrise is pretty fantastic.

4.4  miles

Yoga was cancelled today, which was sad, but it left me a little flexibility with how fast I had to get home from work and how long I could run. Jacky was hurting a little bit from a calf workout, so we went for some easy miles and repeated most of the route I had done on Sunday - 2 miles up, 2 miles down and some extra. I need to stop wimping out on this incline and get some solid runs in - time to get back into marathon shape! 

6.54 miles 

Thursday was going to be the longest day ever - at work by 6:30 am, hosting our last transfer student orientation of the summer, taking an hour break for dinner and catching up on the rest of work, and then one of our late-night workshops. Whew! Can you say a bit much? Me too. To boot, my boss was out on jury duty from Tuesday on, so it got even a little crazier because it was just me running the show. Done and done. Morning miles, therefore, were the only option, so ya gotta make it work!

6.8 miles 

FRIDAY! Off day! Yay summer! I also let myself sleep in a little bit, which also meant then that it was hot, and that was dumb, so I paid for it. My legs were also quite tired from Thursday, so I figured one quick lap around the block was enough - besides, I had a haircut + color appointment and a massage waiting for me, so I had better things to be doing. ;)

However, I finally got to debut my new Abundant Heart tank Jenna had made for me. Is it perfect, or is it perfect? Madly in love - keep an eye on her FitBride collection and it'll be posted there soon too if you need it for yourself. :)

1.36 miles 

I was supposed to meet up with Arlene for 12 miles but by the end of the day Friday, my lower back was killing me. Honestly, I think the massage was a little hard and did me in - can you say first world problems? Sorry. Anyway, so come Saturday morning when my first alarm went off, I couldn't even fathom getting out of bed - what's one more day to sleep in, right? So I let myself, and then naturally, when I saw everyone's Saturday morning exercise posts, I felt lazy. Blaaaah.

So later in the evening, I headed out for 5 miles on a loop that would take me up to the dog park to meet Doug and Molly and then if  I was still feeling okay, I'd run home and get a little more in. The 5.5 to the park were hot and kinda lousy, but the 4  home were freakin' fantastic and a sub-9 pace for all 4 splits. So I guess that's an evened-out win! Woo!

9.56 miles 

Total for the week: 37.43. Booyah.

How was your week? Make sure you link up below!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Weekly Workout Recap Roundup #25

June 19 - 25

I swear that as I get deeper into summer, it's harder and harder to get these posts done on Sundays! I promise I'm working on it, but for now, you get this today which just means I'm going to keep being lazy on my actual race recap from Seattle. But you can check my Emerald City fun here if you want in the meanwhile!

I got in from Seattle and home about 8:30 on Saturday night, so not too bad, but I slept in all I could on Sunday and took my time. Laundry, catching up on life and things with the fiance (I still love saying that so much) <3 that eventually, I headed out for a easy little recovery 5K on Sunday afternoon. It was still quite warm but manageable, and it actually felt just dang good to stretch out my legs.

3.11 miles 

Monday morning was a different story though. I had broken out in hives or a terrible rash or reaction to something, so instead of a morning run, I bolted straight to Urgent Care to get looked at. I've never had an allergic reaction to anything so it was a) uncomfortable, b) annoying and c) kinda trippy. Not a fan - and I hope that never happens again! A lot of folks suggested it might be heat rash, but ugh! No bueno. By the time I was headed home from work, the fires in Azusa were full-on and there was ash and smoke everywhere, so I hopped on the treadmill for a few quick miles to get it in for the day.

2.25 miles

I was feeling extra motivated  on Tuesday and did a double day - which I had hoped to do a few times this week to pick up some extra miles to try and catch up to the girls who are kicking our run streak butt! 4.26 miles in the morning and 3 more to wrap up the day - what a high! This is the feeling I'd been missing. Yes.

7.26  miles

I think I ran so hard and slept so hard on Tuesday night, I popped up Wednesday morning for more miles and was ready to go. I went up to the PET, our trail, which I've not been on in what felt like forever for a morning run.

I stayed later than I'd planned at work, just trying to catch up on things and simultaneously get ahead, and found myself scrambling to leave and uncertain if I'd actually make it to work on time. Thankfully, I bolted home, changed and got to have a much-needed deep breathing session with the fabulous Veronica. Aaaah. 

4.25 miles + 60 minutes yoga 

Three treadmill miles. This was the point in the week where I was finally feeling that it got hard - treadmill miles at the end of the day were just tough. But I was itching to get more than just one mile in, so ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

3 miles 

Doug left for Vegas on Friday morning and I spent the entire day running errands, trying on dresses (!), and trying to get ish done. Molly and I headed out for an easy run-walk to end the evening. Easy is even an understatement, as that seemed tough at some point, too, but miles in the bank and easy ones to save my legs a little for Saturday morning!

3.30 miles 

I finally got to head out to the run club - I haven't been in close to two months - and run with two of my favorite girls, Arlene and Monica. It was an amazing 90 minutes of catch up time on Arlene's new job, moving adventures, boy drama, wedding planning and all kinds of fun.

And naturally, when it's a billion degrees, 10 miles gets followed by all the watermelon you can eat. Mmmm .

10 miles 

Total for the week: 33.17. Booyah.

How was your week? Make sure you link up below!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Emerald City Fun

 It was during Rock ‘n Roll San Diego that Linz and I discovered we were actually on the same flight up to Seattle. Convenient, yes? Yes. Since I was picking up my dad the night before at SNA, and we were flying out of Long Beach, I stayed in Chino, and got picked up at o’dark thirty for our 9 am flight up to Seattle! (Big thanks to Jet Blue for my airline ticket! Through my ambassadorship with Run Racing for the Holiday Half, I was able to earn a free flight on Jet Blue! Hello racecation!)

We were up in Seattle by 11:30 and quickly met up with Briana, Libby and Libby’s friend Lindsey – this weekend can begin! We knew Friday would be a whirlwind and with all of 30ish hours in the Emerald City, we needed to hit the ground running (pun intended) - we were all staying in different places, so Linz and Paul took off and we knew we'd catch up with them at the We Run Social later in the day anyhow. Briana hopped off the Link and Libby, Lindsey and I made our way to our score of a hotel (Paramount Hotel near the Space Needle. We super lucked out). 

After checking in and getting situated and our phones charged a bit, we headed back down to Pioneer Square to meet up with Briana and Andrew for lunch. Briana called dibs on Tat's Deli and holy wow - delicious. A must-eat if you're back up in Seattle any time soon! Half the crew had Tat's noteworthy pastrami, and I devoured a massive meatball sub, because you can never go wrong with meatballs!
Finish line going up near Century Link! See you tomorrow, finish line! 
After lunch, we hopped back on the Link to make our way down to CenturyLink field to get our bibs and packet pick up done before the meet up. Easy peasy - the expo had started Thursday, so Friday afternoon was just quiet enough to get in through bibs, shirts, and the front store pretty quickly.
 Briana's #poseoftheday: group tree pose!
And then meet up fun! Linz, Carlee and I got to host the WRS meet up in conjunction with the super fab folks at ProCompression. New friends, reconnecting with old friends, putting faces to Instagram handles - SO. MUCH. FUN. Thank you to everyone that joined us and we hope you a) had a blast b) won some socks or hats or visors and c) will come back again soon! I had a blast meeting you all!

Thank you everyone! <3

PC love. 
Rock 'n Bloggers. 
Me, Linz & Carlee. Love these two!
  After the meet up, we took some time to wander through the entire expo itself, including playing on Brooks riding shoes, trying to win some free shoes, filling in for Sparkly Soul just a little bit, and then getting on with the rest of the fun! And by then... we were beat. It was nearly 5:30 already! And we had a city to go see! Both Libby and Shelby hadn't been to Seattle before, and while I had, it'd been a solid 15 years since I had, so I still wanted to poke around a little bit too!

In keeping up with my run streak though, I still had a mile to get in. Libby and I deeply contemplated taking the monorail to the Space Needle (and then we could run a mile back), or do we just do the treadmill in the hotel? We eventually settled on the 'mill and busted out a quick mile so we could get on with dinner and on with our short touristing time! We were literally a mile from the Needle, so we took the monorail up and spent our evening playing around the famed landmark. 

Despite some slight rain earlier, the sky had broken up a bit and our trip to the top of the Space Needle totally lucked out: pretty clear, gorgeous evening, sunset in progress. It couldn't have gotten any better.

We also purchased a combo ticket to get into the Chihuly Gardens & Glass exhibit which I'd been dying to go through. Gorgeous, breathtaking and to think... it's all glass. I was totally and completly blown away! 
Could. Not. Get enough! 
Me, Libby, & Lindsey!
After nearly three hours up in the park, we decided it was a much needed end to our day - grabbed dinner, ate back in our room, got race day ready and hit the hay about 11 for our early wake up. Thankfully, since we were so close to the start, we didn't have to head out super duper early - especially with that rain forecast, we were a little uncertain about what the morning would actually have in store for us!

Hoping #FlatMegan would be enough - please don't rain!
Race day recap coming soon - but  I can't wait to share how much fun I had! 

What are other must-sees or dos in Seattle for next time I'm there?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Weekly Workout Recap Roundup #24

June 12 - June 18

I'm so grateful for the #RWrunstreak. At the same time, I hate that I'm so stubborn that I won't quit even though the last few days, even running one mile has been hard. But whatever, we're on Day 15 now and that's just shy of halfway through, so why quit now? I'm in fourth place amongst our challengers, but hopefully I can jump back up with some decent runs (and #RnRSEA on Saturday!).

I don't even remember what Sunday was. Wait! I think it was finally getting to sleep in, enjoy the morning in bed, and do a lot of nothing. Doug and I went down to my parents' house to take care of the yards (they've been in Ireland for two and a half weeks), then stopped by his family's house to see our niece, and other random errands. This mile literally was me hopping out of the car at the red light at the freeway offramp and running home. Literally one mile from the freeway to our front door - win!

1.01 miles, 9:45 pace

After work, I headed out to get groceries because you know, it's halfway through the month and I hadn't yet. Got home, unpacked, started making the lasagna for dinner, went to the gym, ran enough to feel statisfied (because finally more than just one mile!) and got home to put the lasagna together and get it in the oven so it'd be ready when Doug was home. Success.

1.63 miles 

Quick miles after work. Nothing to write home about. :)

1.25 miles

Because I went to bed semi-early on Tuesday and despite waking up at midnight for an hour, I popped out of bed at 5:30 am with my alarm and figured I'd get started on my day. I had already scheduled a continuation of trail Wednesdays with Jacky, but why not get some more in?

After work, I bolted home, changed, and bolted out to Claremont to meet Jacky for our trail run before yoga. Maybe I do too much on Wednesdays... at any rate, Jacky and I trekked through our favorite 5 mile loop, got it done in just under an hour, and then we both bolted over to Fleet Feet for yoga. THAT hurt. Whew! I could tell I hadn't really practiced in three weeks. Yowch. Looking forward to a session this week and hopefully a little at-home practice time. Aaaaaah.

3.26 miles, treadmill
5.00 miles, trail at Claremont Loop

Thursday ws crazy. I needed to sleep past my alarm, so I allowed myself to. Got up, packed for Seattle (because there's nothing like waiting until the last minute!), worked, bolted home, grabbed the pup and headed down to Orange County to pick up my dad from the airport! Woo! Molly was real excited to have him home. :) After I got back home with him, I ran a quick sprint-like mile around the block before calling it a day. Success.

1 mile 

My flight to Seattle was at 9 am out of Long Beach (an hour away, at least, on any given Friday morning that early) so I intended to be up at the crack of dawn... but we all know how that works out. So, instead, after a full day of travel and traipsing around Seattle, Libby and I actually made it to our hotel's treadmills before dinner and bolted out one, quick mile before making our way here:

We played at the Space Needle and the Chihuly Gardens & Glass exhibits before calling it a night - with nearly 9 miles on the day, it was time to call it done!

Yesterday I got to run the super fabulous, super fun Rock 'n Roll Seattle. Washington is officially half marathon state #10 done on my list. I had an awesome 36 hours up in the PNW - race recap coming Monday, pending that I can get unpacked, get laundry done and still breathe some today! Coming home from a race-cation (no matter how short!) is exhausting!

I can't recommend RnR Seattle enough, but more on that this week! I had a great day and a half playing in the city, running a gorgeous course and even enjoying a little rain! Aaaaah. What a relief.

How was your week? Make sure you link up below!