Monday, October 24, 2016

Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon 2016~The Gift of Running

To run or not to run? What a silly question! 
 On the "stormy" morning of Saturday October 15th I ran the Runaway Pumpkin Half marathon.  This was the morning Oregon was going to get hit with big pacific northwest storm.  Many people were concerned about the race Saturday morning, including the Runaway Pumpkin Half race director and staff.  They did such a good job posting and e-mailing updates for race day morning. Safety was certainly a concern!  At 5:00 am Saturday morning, they sent out one last email....the race was happening!!!!! 

  As I drove to the race that morning, I didn't feel the weather was too bad. After I got to the race it wasn't too bad either.  As I ran that morning, I thought, "this is perfect running weather."  It was 55 degrees with a very light mist in the air.  As I ran that morning we were hit with a little bit of wind in areas. 7 mph to be exact! It was an awesome time! 
Ready to run with Tonya! Tonya has run this race all 8 years!

  This was Runaway Pumpkin Half's 8th year.  I have run this race every year except one, when my daughter was in her Senior year of cross country!  It's one of my favorite half marathons.  I love the loop course and I love the atmosphere of this race.  It is really fun to dress up for this one, but you aren't required to do so.  The course is FULL of volunteers who are happy to be helping. I love the bikers who come help out on the course every year!  They are a great bunch of guys who help with traffic and help keep up runners/walkers safe.

  The course was pretty! We started and ended at Cheadle Lake Park in Lebanon, OR.  We ran through the park on a paved path and then turn off into a friendly neighborhood.  There were people out on their porches cheering as we ran by.  After running through the neighborhood we headed towards a country road and ran along a river for several miles.  It's was so calming and beautiful with all the Fall leaves. I loved every minute of it! As we turned and ran across a bridge, a band was playing.  I love running to the beat of the drums! 

Olivia and her husband Brandon who ran his first
half TODAY!!!!!
The yummy food at the end. They even had it safely
covered to stay dry in this "stormy" weather.
This was a special race to me because 5.5 weeks before this race I sprained my ankle helping with high school cross country.  I was unsure if I would be able to finish this race running, or even at all.  Every day I would test my foot.  Some days it was just getting through the work day.  Some days running a mile or two very slowly, and some days nothing because it needed to rest and heal.  I had already missed Uberthons Fall Half and I didn't want to miss this one too.  I planned on running with friends, and many showed up that morning.  It was fun to see everyone out, even in the midst of a "storm."  I ran every step of the Runaway Pumpkin Half with my friend Tonya who hadn't ran a half in over a year!  It was a special race to her too.
We did it!!!! 

Congratulations to Lacey
I plan on running this again next year and coming back to "race."  I am ready to PR this course but my foot needs to finish healing first.  I am just happy I got to be there and run!  Helps me remember that running really is a gift.  

This is a great race to put on your 2017 calendar.  100% profits goes to ABC House.  Founded in 1997, they help abused and neglected children in the Benton and Linn Counties. 

Congratulations to Melissa, running her first half
marathon today!

Congratulations Caric!

If you're not ready to run or walk a half marathon, you can choose the 8k.  The 8k was new this year and a great add on.  I had two friends do this race and they loved being able to take part in this fun time.

Follow Runaway Pumpkin Half on facebook here
Follow ABC House on facebook here
Follow my fitness page ZaoFit here

Monday, September 12, 2016

Hood to Coast 2016 ~ Team Uberthons ~ Coming in HOT!

A few months ago I was asked to run on Team Uberthons for Hood to Coast! I said yes!  I don't even like running relays! 
Van one! Time to dive up to Timberline!
Relays are a different kind of beast then a road race.  For a road race, I get up on a Saturday or Sunday and run, get it over and go home!  A relay takes a couple days with lack of sleep, lack of food, lack of rest-rooms, lack of showers, lack of cell-service, and  lack of sanity over the whole weekend! You do this with a van full of people, some you proably have never meet before! It's pretty messed up! 
And here we are, van one...ready to get this thing started!
2016 was my fourth time running on a Hood to Coast team. This year, Team Uberthons! I was the fourth runner in van one! Hood to Coast teams are made up of twelve runners, six in each van.  Van one (my van) started at Timberline on Mt. Hood at 9:45 am.  It was a beautiful morning. The sky was clear and it was in the 60's.  You could see for miles! I knew three people in my van. Two I didn't know.  We quickly became close friends.  You have no choice but to bond when you are riding up the Mountain with one common
DuWayne, Alan, and Moe...#TeamUberthons

 goal, running 199 miles together without injury or trouble. 
Our first runner, Moe took off fast, leading the pack in our starting time. We loaded up and headed to the first exchange spot, checking on Moe as we went by.  He was looking good! 
Next runner was Alan, our team captain. Alan is also in charge of Uberthons 

Spritzing runners in the HOT weather

 Next we had runner Elisa who I was meeting today for the first time.  I have seen her at races, but never have talked to her.  She paces many Uberthons Half Marathons and does an incredible job. Next was me.  When it was my turn it was up to 89 degrees.  It was the bottom part of Mt Hood, a nice little decline in elevation, just over seven miles.  I was excited about this leg until I started running it and felt the burning heat!  My first two miles were good, mile three was still ok.  At mile four and on, I struggled. I was feeling overheated and there was no longer shade like when we drove up that morning. My team stopped a couple times, spritzing me with water and handing me extra fluids to drink.  I got sprayed by a person who was in their yard watching people run by.  I tried to talk to other runners to get my mind off the heat.  I thought about how embarrassing it was going to be to face my team when I got to the next hand-off. 
I finally got to my exchange, handed off to Jerry our fifth runner and faced my team. They were wonderful!  They all understood.  Afterall, they all know what it's like to run in the heat! I loved all of them instantly after that moment. 
Nice job Brent!
Jerry is my husband and had never got to experience van one. He was running a leg I had run, so I knew the course.  I knew he was running a hard first leg, but also knew he could handle it! He is a very strong runner and does better in the heat than most people. 
Jerry handed off to DuWayne, our sixth and final runner for van one.  DuWayne is a new friend.  I had only meet him at a Hood to Coast planning potluck.  He specialized in Tri races.

DuWayne came in strong and handed off to van two.  
We were hot, tired and hungry.
In van two we had team members 
Brent (turning 40 during H2C)
Eileen (the beauty who let us shower and dig for snacks at her house)
Lora (a super fast energetic runner)
Jeff (a fast runner with a super awesome dog).
  Josh (a super fast runner)
Michelle (a really awesome Uberthons Ambassador) 
Unfortunately I didn't get to spend much time with this great group, as we were split up.  We exchanged some quick info with them and as they started running for our team.  We went to Eileen's for showers and then to grab a bit to eat.
Michelle #TeamUberthons 
We ate at the Safeway by Eileen's house.  Half of us started at the Safeway Starbucks with a Lime Refresher.  We tried to talk the guy working into joining our team and running one of our legs.  He was not interested!  We then made our way over to the deli area.  For some reason rice seemed to be the pick.  I got some sushi, and others got fruit.  Rice was the one thing everyone was excited about. We bought our food and sat over in the Starbucks area.  If you came to that Safeway Friday evening, I apologize. You heard things like, "This is the BEST. RICE. EVER." Someone singing "Ice Ice Baby". Someone giving pressure to so the sushi dance.  Lots of laughter. Talk of "where did that Sprite come from?" Talk of how  the Starbucks guy should join our team! And again, BEST. RICE. EVER.  I know, you had to be there, but it was hilarious. Not even kidding!
Right after leg five, super HOT right now! 
We quickly got back on the road still in awe over the rice.  We needed to get to the next major exchange to rest before van two arrived. Traffic was annoying, but that's to be expected in the Portland area.
We didn't rest much, we parked and then walked down under Hawthorne bridge and
 enjoyed the port-a-potties and the fun going on around us. We got a hilarious team photo at the GNC booth.  I saw Lisa from my Epic Relay team.  We watched hundreds of runners go by. It was a beautiful Portland evening.
Made it to Portland
About 7:00 pm van two, handed off to us and we were running our second legs.  The sun was going down, and it was starting to cool off but it was still warm. I ran at 10:00 pm and it was still 81 degrees out.  This leg was just under four miles for me.  Most of my team struggle some with leg two because of the heat we had been in all day.  This was a hard leg for most of us.  We all pulled together and cared for each other.  Making sure water was available, making sure we had time to rest before taking off in the van again.  Giving out iced towels.  We had entered "survival mode." 
In Portland, waiting for Michelle to come in! 

We  managed to make it, and handed off to van two around

11:30 or so.  We headed to a race directors house name Molly that Alan knows.  She feed us the BEST Spaghetti in the whole world, let us cuddle her new baby kittens, take showers and crash in her living room for a bit.  It was wonderful!  Thank you Molly for your wonderful hospitality. We had to get going to drive to our next major exchange point.  We made it to Mist safe and sound.  If felt like a very long dark drive.  DuWayne drove us into the night and I was so thankful the team hadn't asked me to drive.  We got to sleep for about 1.5-2 very short hours. Since we were in a 15 passenger van (thank you Kim), we all just slept in there.  None of us rested in the sleeping field. 
EARLY Saturday morning, about 4:00 am Alan rudely awoke us with the lights turning on, and a, "are you ready to run?"  Moe and Alan needed to switch legs so Alan was running first.  Moe volunteered to go with him to the handoff to connect with the other half of our team and get the hand off times.  
It was very dark out and we were in a huge field full of large vans.  We had just been rudely awaken and all just sat in a daze while Moe and Alan walked off.
After a moment Elisa, Jerry and I realized we better go to the Honey Pots now or we would miss out.  DuWayne still just sat there in a daze. While standing in line, we heard 6-1-0 being called out (meaning our runner was in).  We knew this was a shorter leg, and so in a panic we went back to our van and decided we could wait for the next exchange.  
Elisa is DONE and I am off!
We got to our van and Moe was nowhere to be found!  DuWayne hadn't seen him!  It was very dark out and I don't think he was hardly even awake yet.  We did all we could at the moment, just sat there, waiting!  After a good ten minutes Moe opens the van door all worked up!  "I couldn't find you!!!" It was horrible and hilarious all at the same time.  There were just rows and rows of crazy Hood to Coast vans in a dark field.  Moe wasn't even sure what way they had gone.  I'm so glad he found us! We had to go now! We saw Alan running down that dark country road as we went by.  We made it to the exchange before him, despite the confusion on where the van was parked in that dark overflowing field. 
We took our turns in the Honey Pot and we were back in business, we were running again! It wasn't hot like it was for day one.  It was a beautiful summer morning and we were out on beautiful (hilly) country roads. The sun was rising, it was a new day! 

I'm DONE and Jerry is off!
 I started running my last leg about 7:00 am and it was 57 degrees.  Most days, I would call this warm running, but it was now cool running!  It felt so good to be running in cooler temps and in the morning air!  I had lots of rollers (small hills) to run over but it was only 4.09 miles.  I had run faster for leg two but felt the best for this leg.  I handed off to Jerry and was so so so happy! Three more runners in our van and then we got to head to the beach.  Jerry, Elisa, and DuWayne all finished very strong that morning! Moe, Alan and I had a few struggles but all made it!!!
We got to talk with van two for a little longer this time.  I saw several running friends at this exchange. That's always fun! 
Van two took off strong and we drove to the beach! 
We did it! #TeamUberthons "Coming in HOT"
My van was able to take showers again at a teammates beach house. I've never had so many showers for a relay!  It was nice! 
After van two made it in, we all joined together for the finish line and finish photos!  What a great adventure we all had! 
2016 Hood to Coast Team Uberthons
A few fun moments from the team (and it was 100 times more funny if you were there)
~"Put the van in PARK Brent"  ~Eileen (never a dull moment)
~Lora and Eileen getting bombarded by other women asking about our "awesome team shirts" and how to get them. Sorry girls, you have to be on #TeamUberthons.
~Van two losing our team flag twice and the guys having to chase it down!
~Bugs in Jerry's pistachios
~Sprinklers on in people's yards to cool off the runners (thank you folks who live along the route)
~A lady handing out Gatorade at 1:30 am.  Yes, it was still warm out and extra fluids were what we needed!
~Where did Jerry's body go?????
~Experiencing the BEST. RICE. EVER.
~The best spaghetti in the word and kitten cuddles.
~And of course, making new friends!
Thank you Uberthons, for letting me run with you and your team! It was an honor and a memory I'll never forget!

Find Uberthon Races HERE
Follow Uberthons on 
Facebook HERE
The Oregon Marathon HERE
The Oregon Half Marathon Series HERE
Uberthons on Twitter HERE
Uberthons on Instagram HERE
Find me on Facebook at ZaoFit HERE

Well done team!!!! 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Runaway Pumpkin Half 2016 ~ October 15th ~ Race Preview

You can chose to dress up if you like! There is
a costume contest! 
The Runaway Pumpkin Half is one of my favorite half marathons every year. It's cooler weather, a great course and a super fun atmosphere.  I hope you can join me for this great run.  If a half marathon isn't what you're looking for, Runaway Pumpkin is adding a new 8k race this year!  It will be open to runners and walkers!  
2015 before the start! 

If you have been thinking about it, register today! Next price increase will be September 1st!

100% proceeds go to the ABC House.  The ABC House is a Child Abuse Intervention Center serving Benton and Linn Counties.  
Cool medals from 2015! 
The race will is held in Lebanon, OR at Cheadle Lake Park.  The finish will be close to Weirich Drive. 
Currently you can register for the half for $65.00.  On September 1st it will go up to $75.00. Currently the 8k is $40.00 and will go up to $45.00 on September 1st.  

Register HERE and check out more details about the Runaway Pumpkin Half & 8k HERE!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hood to Coast 2016 ~ Team UBERTHONS ~ Relay Packing List

I have lots of mixed emotions about Hood to Coast.  I've run it three times and made some great memories and gotten some great running friends out of it.  It's it's own beast and very different than  running a morning race!  I also have memories of puking my guts out because I over exerted myself and then drank chocolate milk that didn't agree with me....but that's another story! 

This year I got invited to be on Team Uberthons .  It's Uberthons first year of having a H2C team and I am honored to be on the team. 

2016 is the 35th year for Hood To Coast.  All teams will start on the top of Mt. Hood and end in Seaside.  My team will have two vans, six runners in each van for a total of twelve.  My team also has three wonderful volunteers who will be helping out on the course. 
This year I am in van one and am the fourth runner.  Leg 4 is 7.18 miles.  Leg 16, 3.92 miles. Leg 28, 4.9 miles.  Out of the 12 legs, this is ranked 11th hardest.  I am beyond thrilled. In years passed, I've done the harder legs. I'm hoping to relax a little more this time! Haha, if you have done H2C you know there isn't much "relax" time, yet I still have hope! 

In my van will be two Rookies on this Hood to Coast experience.
  I thought it would be good to send them a packing list and include you too, just in case you need a reminder.  I have used this every year I have done H2C.  It was wrote up by a good friend of mine, who after running H2C for the first time, forgot clean underwear for her final change at the beach (how tragic).  You may not want to pack everything on this list.  You may want to add to this list, but either way, it will help get you started! 
Happy Running Friends!

Hood To Coast packing list. 
 Made by my good friend in 2010 and still good in 2016! 
Gear for the Road:
3 running outfits in gallon ziplocks-shorts, shirt, socks, underwear, bra (take clean clothes out, put sweaty clothing in and zip shut)
1 ziplocked outfit for after last run
2 pairs running shoes (it may rain and it's nice to have dry shoes)
flip flops
body glide and foot glide
 fuel belt or handheld 
shot bloks
baby wipes
travel pillow
sleeping bag rated for very low temps
stocking hat
warm gloves 
warm winter jacket 
band aids
cash for food stands along the roadside
ear plugs
hand hotties 
electrolyte pills 

Food in cooler: 
3 starbucks coffees in glass bottles
3 electrolyte drinks
water bottles
6 cheese sticks
small box triscuits
cliff bars
1 peanut butter & jelly sandwich
1 turkey sandwich
trail mix
thermos for hot coffee
frozen water bottles to keep things cold
(other food was purchased along the way)
Beach Bag for the end of H2C:
body wash
blow dryer
phone charger 
extra underwear - forgot in 2010-not recommended
lightweight pants
clean shirt
Expenses on the road:
Gas money (depending on if we paid it already or not)
H2C gear at the beach $20-$50
Food on the road $20-$30

One thing I would add is toilet paper.  I have seen port-a-potties run out (oh the horror!)

Who else out there is on a Hood To Coast team this year?  I would love to here from you over on facebook at ZaoFit

Monday, July 18, 2016

The Oregon Marathon ~ July 16 2016 ~ An Uberthons Event

Saturday (July 16 '16) was my 10th marathon and 4th attempt for a

BQ (Boston Qualifier). I choose The Oregon Marathon on the Banks to Vernonia trail. This marathon is put on by Uberthons

 Uberthons races are my favorite! I ran this race 2013. It was the year of the Typoonathon. It was a very stormy race!  I have always wanted to go back and run that trail again under better training and better weather!  That did happened Saturday! 

Uberthons offered a bib pick up on Thursday before the race.  My husband and I went to this and helped hand out goody bags, shirts, and answer questions the runner had.  I was so glad to be able to do this.  It was fun to talk to people and learn where they were from.  It helped me get pumped for Saturday's race.

The finish line, early Saturday morning! 

Saturday came. Jerry and I were up early! We arrived at Greenville Park in Banks, OR about 5:20 am.  We saw the finish line sitting there just waiting! It was so calm! It was a beautiful Oregon morning! 

We decided to get loaded onto a bus and get to the starting line as soon as possible.  

The early marathon start 6:30 am
The bus ride wasn't bad. We arrived at Vernonia High School around 6:15am.  It was light out, 51 degrees with a very light mist! I went into the school and used the restrooms. I sat outside and talked to a guy who was running his 69th marathon today! He said he is five states away from running a marathon in every state.  He took off with the early starters at 6:30am.  I used the restroom again and then got my stuff to bag check.  There was a wonderful group of kids helping with bag check.  I was so impressed with them, they were so excited to help! Before long, it was almost 7:00 am and time to line up. All I felt was, I'm ready for this! 
We were off.....

As we took off I felt 
comfortable.  I remembered lots of the course from 2013 and I felt calm. We ran a short loop around the front of the school and then out on the road.

Miles 1 to 3 
Soon we were running around Vernonia lake. I had split the race up in my head.  I knew by the end of the lake we would be at about mile three.  This was just the beginning of the marathon.  A warm up before heading out onto the Banks to Vernonia Trail. The plan was to get comfortable and run my tempo pace. My tempo pace is suppose to be between a 8:10 and an 8:15 min/mi.  I was going a little fast, but I didn't feel stressed.  It was only mile three!  I did need to slow it down a little.

Next break up in my head, mile four to eight.  This would be fairly flat miles.  I could just run a comfortable tempo and stay calm. These miles should be very simple and non stressful. 
I continued to go slightly too fast, then got it under control about mile seven. I was feeling very very good.  I was excited to know I was a little ahead on pace because I knew the hard part of the course was coming up.

Miles nine to thirteen/fourteen I knew could give me problems.  At mile eight the course started going uphill slightly for several miles ending with two steep switchback, crossing a road then heading up a pretty steep section for about three-fourths of a mile.  I knew I would be slowing down for some of this. 
As I started into mile eight I tried to really focus in. The mental part of running is so important and can make or break a race.  Mile after mile, I was surprised at how well I was holding it together. I saw a penny.  My rule is to never stop for #foundchange while racing.  I kept going! I continued to feel really good.  My pace slipped slightly from mile ten to twelve as expected, but I was prepared for that.  It was up-hill after all.  Mile thirteen was the steeper uphill right after the switchbacks.  My heart was pounding going up the steep part of the hill.  I needed to add some carb-pro to my water bottle and get a salt pill to take at the next water station.  I walked for a second for the first time.  I got my heart rate back down, and got adjusted and started running again at the top of the hill. I was feeling great!!!! I knew the faster part of the course was just ahead! 

I was looking forward to miles fifteen to twenty!  This was a gradual downhill.  It should be easy to get back to my tempo marathon pace!  Maybe even make up some of that up-hill lost time.  As I begin to speed back up I felt good for the most part.  I was back on track and feeling like I was going to make my goal of 3:40.  I even had thoughts of possibly beating my goal time.  I was really happy. I saw another penny!  I ran on passed it!  Wasn't worth the seconds to stop for it!  By this time the runners had spread out. I was pretty alone on the course.  I was passing an occasional early starter and tried to say hello to each and every one of them.  Everyone seemed to be doing well, and in good spirits.  My plan right now was just to run to mile twenty.  I knew around twenty would be a water/nuun/ice towel station, followed by a short out and back on Sell road.  
At mile nineteen I started for feel off.  It worried me slightly.  I had to remind myself, I was almost there, just make it to twenty...then,  just run it in!  If only it were that easy!!!!

As I went past the aid station, I quickly added water to my hand-held and took a ice towel. The cold towel felt so good on the back of my neck, then I dropped it!  There was no way I was stopping to pick it up, so I ran on.  I was starting to hurt! I headed out onto sell road.  I saw a person or two going the other way on the out-and-back.  All men!  An early marathon starter had told me I was third female a few miles back.  The first two females were too far ahead to see.  

Mile twenty-one! I began to hurt even worse.  My legs!  I heard some heavy breathing coming up on my tail.  Nobody had passed me for miles!  It was a tall lady in red.  She, was so excited as she came up on me. She said, "I've been chasing you since mile two! I finally caught up with you!"  I told her she was now the third women and I struggled on.  I couldn't go.  Shortly later, one more person passed me, another women!  

Things began to get painfully worse.  I felt as if I needed to puke.  I stopped for a second and just dry heaved.  There were blackberries along the trail.  I wanted to stop and eat them but I knew better.   I was hungry and thirsty.  I had water but when I drank, I mostly just spit it out.  I didn't feel dehydrated, just exhausted.  It had gotten rather muggy out.  A few men passed me coming out of the trail onto the sidewalk in Banks.  One was really nice and encouraged me to finish under four hours.  By this time, there were lots of walkers. They were either from the early marathon start or the half marathon.  It didn't matter, it was just was nice seeing other people out there trucking away, making their way to the finish line! Miles 24, 25, and 26 were extremely painful.  Those miles not only were painful to my body, but to my mind as well.  I just didn't have it in me!  The painful truth hit.  I was very well trained for a good 20 mile race, but very under trained for a 26.2 mile race.  
In distance running there is no "luck." You get what you train for.  I knew where I fell short over the last four-five months.  I know what I have to improve on!  
I ended The Oregon Marathon with a 3:57:04 (9:02 pace) time.  I came in fifth overall female, and first in my age group.  I PRed the course but It was NOT a lifetime PR.  I have ran two other marathons faster.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed.  I was disappointed. I was also happy.  Many people want to run and can't.  I enjoyed the course and the people out there. I got to run a Summer Marathon for the first time.  I ran on one of the most beautiful courses in Oregon.  I finished my tenth marathon! 
I got to train with some of the most awesome and encouraging friends. So, in that, I feel I gained more than I lost.  I didn't BQ, but I WILL try again next year! 

Thank you Eileen! 
My family was waiting for me at the finish line.  I sat in the grass for a long time.  My friend Eileen had made me cookies. I got up and picked them up from the timing tent and found out my official time. Then I had to sit again.  Soon I was able to get up and enchange my race shirt for a different size, then I sat again.  I felt a bit nauseous.

I decided to go to the other side of the finish line where the chairs and shade were and get some iced lemonade. My 12 year old Rylan and I sat and drank the delicious lemonade.  We both got up to use the port-a-potties and I started puking and puking.  My poor Rylan just stood there not knowing if he should
 help me or pretend he doesn't know me!  I felt so bad for him!  My Mom got worried and came over with water and told me I needed to drink.  I was fine, really!  Just tired!  My family ate burgers and ice cream and I sat and drank my water, just happy to be done!

Rylan and I sat and sat, then I puked and puked! 
Uberthons out did themselves for this race!  They did an excellent job making this race enjoyable for locals and out of state runners.  They set up a family friendly finish line with plenty of food for finishers and family.  They started promptly on time and had volunteers available to answer questions. I used the ice towels at three aid stations.  There was nuun and water readily available numerous times on the course.  I look forward to coming back on July 15th 2017 to PR that course again!!!!  

Will you join me? Check out details for 

Follow me on facebook at ZaoFit HERE
I would love to here your story!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Marathon Training ~ Week 16 ~ The Final Six Days!

The final week of marathon training has finally arrived.  Six short days until The Oregon Marathon on July 16th!
  The biggest question from people this week, "ARE YOU READY?" Whenever asked that, I'm not really sure what to say.  For a marathon, you put yourself through months of training and, if done correctly, your body is ready! Being ready and feeling ready are two different things!  I've never "felt ready" to race a marathon. I could indeed run a marathon most any weekend, but racing it is different.  The lies in our head, the weather, stomach issues, fueling...all of this plays a part.  Most people who train could use some help in at least one area.  So, to answer the question, "are you ready?" Yes I do believe I'm ready but I'm also very nervous I won't be able to handle my own thoughts out there on the course.  There will be good times and bad times on Saturday during that 26.2 miles.  There will be times I feel like I can do this and then it will get hard and I will have to push my mind and body to a different place to keep pace.  This is the hard part.  This is what make the marathon worth it.  When you push your mind and body to do this and finish, you feel like you can do anything!  It's worth the pain and it's worth the struggle.  
Start of The OR Marathon in 2013
Heading down the switchbacks, The OR Marathon 2013
I do have a couple of goals.  I like to make an A goal, a B goal and a C goal for most of my races.  I usually only share my B goal.  This time, I will share them all.  My A goal is a 3:40 marathon.  This has been my goal for the last three marathon and I haven't been able to do it.  I need a 12:43 minute PR in order to do this. My B goal is to run a 3:42.  This time would still qualify me for Boston with 3 minutes to spare.  To actually get into Boston you need a cushion on your qualifying time because the faster times get in first.   My C goal, this time, there isn't one.  It's time to do this! 
Getting close to the end, The Oregon Marathon 2013
Last time I ran this course it was the year of the Typhoonathon. September of 2013.  I was trying to qualify for Boston for the first time and really struggled out on the course.  I finished with a very wet, windy, disappointing 4:08:38. Not even a PR.
Last year I ran my fastest to date marathon at Newport Marathon (June '15) clocking in at 3:53:17.  I really struggled at mile 17 and never regained my pace.  I walked away knowing I will try again.  It was disappointing. 
I am excited about Saturday.  I remember the course, what I liked about it, what I didn't like.  Some changes have been made to the end and that makes it much better.  I seriously want to "own" that course on Saturday! 
Last Monday (4th of July) I ran a 5k with my 12 year old.  It was a perfect 4th of July morning! Great job on your PR Rylan!

Last week's training and again for this week, it will be very low key.  Going out for a little less milage, mostly all slow and easy.  Just trying to keep what I have trained for and stay loose.  
Looking forward to Saturday! 
Final week of Marathon training. 
Run with me July 11th to the 17th
Monday - Friday will all me afternoon easy runs.
Saturday, 7:00 am The Oregon Marathon.
Let me know if you can run! ‪#‎ZaoFit‬

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