Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Albany Half 2014 Review

 Last year I did the Inaugural Albany Half, so this year it was on my list of races to do again.  Summer Halves aren't my favorite because of the heat, but they are good for training! 

The 2nd Albany Half Marathon was held at Timber Linn Park on Saturday Aug. 16th
Registration was $45 before July 1st,  $55 after....or $65 on race day.  Your fee included at dri-fit shirt and a medal at the finish line.
All race proceeds and sponsorships went back to the Albany schools. 
My FAVORITE, Dutch Bros was there!!!

This year there were some small changes that made the Albany Half even better than last year.  First of all, when I got to packet pick up the line seemed to flow better.  I was handed my bib number, a dri-fit shirt and a bag with coupons and advertisements in it.  There were more vendors than last year.  I always enjoy walking around looking at vendor booths at races.

This year instead of starting on the grass, we stared on the asphalt with chip timing. That's always a plus in my book! 

There were more porta potties this year.  I used them several times before the race started and never had to stand in line.  Last year I stood in line.  

There was plenty of road control out on the course as well. The Linn County Sheriff's Dept. and The Albany Police Dept. were out on course stopping cars when the runners needed to cross the streets.

There was Energy Gu and Gatorade out on the course along with plenty of water, much needed in summer races. The water was about every two miles with plenty of volunteers.   

Nice bright orange dri-fit shirt this yr!
They offered a walkers start at 7:00 am.  I started with the runners at 8:00 am.  The weather seemed cooler than last year (slightly, lol).  The first several miles were nice and flat.  We ran through local farm land. The course was a big loop.  Half way, our split time was taken.  There was a nice water station and a port a potty for those in need!  Thankfully, I was not in need!!!!!  

My stomach did begin hurting very badly around this time for some unknown reason.  I had to take it down a notch for some relief.  Had to slow down quite a bit!

About mile 7 began the rolling hills and I started seeing walkers.  I always enjoy a race when they start the walkers early so the runners can catch up with them.  Somehow this gives me something to look forward too! It was starting to get hot.

About mile 11 my stomach began to feel better and I was able to speed back up and finish pretty strong.  I like the changes made at the end of the race this year.  We ended on a better road this time and didn't have to run in a grass field.   Every finisher got to hear their named called as they crossed the finish line.  That's always fun.
Some good eats at the end of the race
Fun Raffles and Award.  Lots of Raffles were drawn making it fun at the end for the runners.
AdvoCare Advisor Jennifer Tress
(360) 635-8574
Albany Sport & Spine Physical Therapy
617 Hickory St NW Suite 160
Albany, OR 97321

Advanced Chiropractic
Keven M. Ross, DC
1117 Pacific Blvd SE
Albany, OR 97321

Mid Valley Physical Therapy
Gregory Pick
631 Elm St. SW, Suite 205
Albany, OR 97321

These are a few of the vendors I talked too!  There were MORE!  So fun!
 Ended at 1:55.27... 2nd place in age group.  10th women and 52nd runner overall.
If you have any questions about the Albany Half Marathon, please contact Bryce Bennett at 541-730-0413 or

Monday, August 4, 2014

Watkins Giveaway from Donita's Country Kitchen

Donita's Country Kitchen and Store has given me some fun stuff to share with you! 

If your not familiar with Watkins, you can check out products here including Home care, Remedies, Bath & Body and Gourmet.  If you wish to place and order, message Donita here!  She will answer all your questions and give you the latest deals.
Be sure and like Donita's Country Kitchen on facebook here.
You won't want to miss any of her delicious recipes.

Enter to win one Naturals Home Care All Purpose Wipes.  
One Menthol Relief Mist (one of my favorite products), 
One Natural Beeswax Lip Balm (peppermint).  
Simply enter below, good luck!  Winner will be picked Tuesday the 12th of August!
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Friday, July 25, 2014

A look at The Albany Half Marathon, Coming 8/16/2014

Are you looking for a good half marathon to run in August?  Join me for the 2nd Annual Albany Half Marathon  on August 16th.  

This 13.1 mile loop course starts and finishes at Timber Linn Park.  There will be plenty of parking and it's just off I-5 and easy to find!  This is a great beginners course.  It's a great Hood to Coast warm up.  Also, a quick course for the seasoned runner looking for a PR.  Feel free to register as a walker and bring your baby in a stroller and/or dog along for the walk/run! This race will have professional chip timing by Eclectic Edge.  All finishers will receive a dri-fit t-shirt and a medal at the finish line! 
There will be top ten male/female awards in each age group.  Last year a cool medal water bottle was the award.  
The course will take you through local farms and have a small incline about mile 6.  There is a section of rolling hills.  It is a beautiful course and all race proceeds and sponsorship go to Albany schools!
For more information on how to get involved with this race contact Bryce Bennett at (541) 730-0413 or

You will be want to know: water stations will be along the course about every two miles.  You will also find two nutrition stations and a porta potty at mile 6.5. 
You can come park as early at 5:30 am.  Pick up race packets as early at 6:00 am.  If your walking, your start time is 7:00 am and for runners, 8:00 am.  After the race, awards will be handed out at 10:30 am.  

Last year I ran this and struggled a bit when I got to the rolling hills.  I plan on going back this year to PR the course.  I hope to see you there supporting the Albany Schools! 
You can view the course map here.
An entry form can be found here.
From now until August 14th your can register for $55 (includes dri-fit shirt)
After that, price will go up to $65
Register on-line here

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Soxy Feet Giveaway!

Recently I became an "My Soxy Feet" Ambassador, meaning, I wear My Soxy Feet  Socks. I also help promote My Soxy Feet and get to offer you a discount. 10% off here.

I like how bright and fun "My Soxy Feet" Athletic Socks are.  They are not only fun to wear, but are awesome running socks  I have worn mine many times and never got a blister.  My Soxy Feet are a High Quality Athletic Sock that are securely woven with CoolMax, Ecomade fibers to keep feet dry and sweet, NOT sweat smelling!  They have a mesh top to allow ventilation and extra sole cushion for added comfort and durability.  The heel/toe cushion provides comforts and helps protect the foot on impact.

 Just this morning I wore My Soxy Feet Sock to run at the track!  Couldn't help, but stop and take a fun photo!  I am looking forward to adding to my collection of My Soxy Feet Socks!  

I am excited to announce Melissa, from My Soxy Feet has offered to let me give a pair out for one of you lucky readers to try!  I am sure you will love them as much as I do!

Simply enter below.  A winner will be announced on the July 29th!  Good luck!  Prize includes one pair of  low cut My Soxy Feet Athletic Socks of your choice (knee socks excluded).  US ONLY! Winner will have 48 hours to claim their prize after winner is picked. 

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Confessions of a Long Run Gone Bad!

Saturday morning I set out for a 17 mile training run at 8:00 am.  I was pretty tired from selling fireworks all week, but none-the-less, the long run was needed for my upcoming Portland Marathon! My husband Jerry is also training for the same race and joined me.  My Ultra runner friend Chris also came along.  He is always willing to run ten miles or so!
We headed out of town towards Baskett Slough.  Everything was going well for the most part.  As we came to Baskett Slough we stopped for a second.  We were almost to mile six and I was beginning to feel pretty warm.  By this time it was nearing the high 60's and felt humid.  We set off on a country road, one I've never been on.  It seemed like great Hood to Coast training.  Some rolling hills and lots of gravel.  

 By this time we were well into our run. As you can see from the pictures we were surrounded by hay fields.  Chris was having allergy issues, I was freaking out because I was almost out of water and was sure to overheat and die. Jerry was really tired from a week of long work hours.  As we ran along we heard an animal in the hay.  Could of been a fox, cougar, maybe just a snake.....who knows?  We just kept moving! It really was a beautiful day!  
Around mile ten or eleven we came to a house out in the middle of a field (the middle of nowhere) and an elderly lady was outside washing some berries off her dishes with the water hose.  One of the guys said, "hey....there's you some water!"  At first I kept going, then I couldn't help but think, "I only have about one slurp left and about five miles left."  I turned and ran up to her.  I asked if she would please fill my water bottle up.  I didn't really give her a choice, I was desperate for water!!!!  She turned the hose off, took my bottle and went inside!  She soon came back and handed me my bottle full of water.  I thanked her and ran off to catch up with the guys.  Chris informed me she probably went inside to slip something into my water but I took my chances!  I was so thirsty!  
We crossed back over Hwy 22 and were heading back on Kings Valley and I started to feel sick to my stomach when I would speed up.  I kept telling myself, only about 4.5 miles left, only about 3 miles left.  I would even say it out loud to the guys sometimes.  They seemed to be struggling too.  We walked a few times.  That helped. But the running felt terrible.  My legs were fine, just felt overheated and sick to my stomach.

The plan was to run back into Dallas and eat breakfast at El Pique.  That would put us at about 16 miles.  It was another 1.3 miles to my house.  That would make for a nice cool down walk after eating breakfast. 

As we got into town, we were really close to Chris's house.  He said, he needed to go home (he wasn't feeling well).  Jerry and I cut through Wal Mart parking lot and went to El Pique (exactly 16 miles).
It was about 11:00.  It was now in the 70's and I was so glad to go into the air conditioning.  Thankfully nobody was in El Pique eating because I needed to walk around.  I was overheated and just sitting down wasn't good.  The cook came out and said, "you guys look tired."   When I finally did sit down, I felt like I may throw up. 
I ordered an omelette with fresh strawberries on the side.  When it came out, I ate a bite.  It was so good, but I instantly felt like it was a very bad idea to eat right now.  I was really feeling ill.  
Instead of our cool down walk home, we packaged up our food in to-go boxes and Nancy (waitress at El Pique) took us home.  She let two sweaty, stinky, sickly runners into her car and drove us home! Now that's service like I've never seen before!  
I showered, got my body temperature down.  Drank some Vega Sport Recovery  and then felt like I could eat...finally a couple hours later!!!!!!  That omelet and fresh strawberries tasted wonderful, and I kept it down!  
Sometimes it's good to have a bad run.  I would prefer to never have a bad run, but it's a good reminder that running is hard. Those good runs come, and it's worth every bad run when you finally get to that race you've been training for! 
One of the joys of running is, you never know what's going to happen out there.  Running is an adventure! I'm looking forward to a good 18 miler next weekend and I plan on going out earlier than 8:00 am next time!    A long run in the summer heat isn't for me!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Epic Relay with Complete Strangers! AND Giveaway!

My EPIC Team at the finish line!

I came home Thursday evening to find a message on a facebook page asking me to run Epic Relay the next morning. Team "Tripping on Shoelaces" needed a runner.  I needed to let them know by 10:00 pm.  It was 9:00 pm!  YIKES!  With only a couple hours of sleep, I was in Keizer, OR standing in Lisa's living room with a team of people I didn't know.  

Meet my team:

Van one
Van two!

Chris, the Caption!
Anthony, the Elite!
Kim, the Rookie!
Melissa (Mel) the Cheerleader!
Alyssa the Beaver Fan!
Julie, just call me Jen!

Aaron, all Ducked out!
Lisa, the Go Get Er!
Simon the Great (59th relay)!
Garret, the Night Runner!
Matt, the Traffic Cone!
The invisible man!

Together, we are called, "Tripping on Shoelaces!"  

We loaded up.  I found out after we got on the road that I was runner 5.  I would run legs 5, 17 and 29.  They were easy legs so I sat back and tried to relax.  
MEET KIM the Rookie
Both van one and two went to the starting line in Beaverton.   Our first runner Kim, the Rookie took off running at 8:30 am. 

We all loaded up to drive to the first exchange.  I found out Chris, our Captain ran The Oregon Marathon with me last year. That was a stormy one!!!!  We were starting to chat and get to know each other.  
By the 2nd exchange we were all talking and seemed to be mixing well.

 It was starting to get fun!  Finally it was my turn to run!

My first leg started at 12:01 noon, on McKay Rd NE.  It was hot and humid and the runners were really spread out.  It was only a 2.78 mile run, so it wasn't that bad.  I came in at 22 minutes with no roadkill reports (a roadkill is when you pass another runner).  I did pass a dead deer, so I told my team, I kinda got a roadkill!

After we all finished our first legs, we handed off to van 2 and headed to Roth's to get food from the deli.  We all got to sit together, eat and chat.  We were all in a good mood and were starting to feel like we knew each other.  It was nice!

Leg 17 started at Stayon Scio Rd about 8:30 pm.  It was cooler now and I was feeling good.  I ran 3.7 miles in just over 30 minutes and reported 3 roadkill's!  Felt good to get some kills for the team! I did pass another dead deer too! 

After we handed off to van 2, we headed to Corvallis for the night, or should I say a few hours!  As we drove into Corvallis it was very dark.  We drove past a small park and saw a very scary human form, dressed in a hooded outfit with a bag. The best way our team could describe it was, "we saw a ghoul"  As we drove by in the dark, it stopped and slowly turned towards us. It was terrifying!  We were all very happy to be in the van together.  It really was freaky!  

We got to the school and most of us got an hour or two of light sleep.  Some of us in the van, some of us outside.  About 2:30/2:45am Kim jumped up and said, "I JUST SAW LISA GO BY."  Kim was supposed to be out at the exchange to take over for Lisa but nobody got her up.  Kim had her shoes on and was out at the exchange in seconds.  I just sat there in a daze!  

Kim quickly found out, the reason nobody got her up is there was a problem.  The race people told the runners we were going too fast and we needed to slow down.  Apparently volunteers weren't in place for the last leg until 3:00 am.  Kim had to stand in the cold until 3:00 am, before she could take off again. My team was like????? All we could do was get a good laugh out of it, we were too fast for the race, kinda funny really!

Kim had never ever ran in the dark before, and after seeing that ghoul, it was a little scary, but she rocked that 2nd leg. She ran it faster than ever!  Van one was so proud of Kim!

Leg 29, done!
It was my turn about 6:15am.  My favorite time of day to run! My last leg was 6.5 miles and I finished in 56 minutes!  It was a nice stretch of road, and hardly any traffic.  The temperature was  perfect!  A cute little black pug dog came out and watched runners go by!  I wanted to take him with me! So cute!  I passed two guys and a girl.  I had about two miles left and I could see a runner up about 1/4 mile or so.  I would think, I could catch her, then I would think, no way!  Then I would think...if I don't roadkill her, Anthony will get her and he doesn't need anymore!....(he's really really fast)!   As I ran along at a nice steady pace, I realized I was slowly getting closer!  Then, she walked! So, I ran faster!  With about a mile left, I passed her!  I couldn't wait to tell my team, 4 road-kills!  I passed off to Anthony and I was done!  

Then something amazing happened to my team!

Anthony, our elite runner started to get a cramp or something in his leg.  There wasn't much traffic, so we would drive up a little and ask him, are you ok? And then drive up a little and ask again.  With about two miles left he said, someone needs to run with me!  We all kinda paused, Ummmm, Anthony, we aren't fast like you!!!  I was ready to run and in the front of the van because I had just handed off to Anthony, so I said, "I'll do it!" (what was I thinking?)  I jumped out of the van, turned on my Garmin (these miles were gonna count!) and off I went with Anthony the Elite.  My legs were cramped, dog gone it! I made the mistake of looking at my watch!  We were running in the 6's and my first though was, I can't do speed work right now!  I looked over at my van driving slowly next to us and looked at them like, "help me."  I of course, couldn't hold that pace and Anthony went on ahead and I got back in the van!  I made it a half mile!  

We checked on Anthony again and he said, I need a runner!  Seriously Anthony! We all realized you are slowing down for us but yikes!  You are really fast and we aren't!  We came up with a plan.  We would take turns running a block or two with him until we reach the hand-off to van 2.  We did this until everyone of us had had a turn running with him, then we saw the exchange area.  Chris was out running with Anthony, and Kim said, lets all run him in together!  We pulled over and all six of us ran in together.  It was the coolest thing ever!  Our van really felt like a team and we were all done! I think we became a family at that moment! 

Watching the Elite mind at work is truly an amazing thing to witness.  Thank you Anthony for slowing down enough for us to each sprint with you.  You were in pain, but willing to go the distance!  You are an inspiration! By the way, Anthony's leg is ok. The muscle was tight and he runs so fast it cramped up for the moment.

Van one eating FOOD! VooDoo in Eugene!
We headed to Eugene, got some VooDoo donuts and some Starbucks.   Then headed to the park to chill out until van two came in for the grand finish!

When Elites eat hills for breakfast! 

A few stories:  Anthony's 2nd leg was full of hills, huge hills.  We drove ahead guessing how many people he would pass and then bet on the time he would come up over the biggest hill!  We were ALL wrong!  We guessed too slow by a lot!  The boy is fast!  Later he talked about how he ran those hills like they were nothing, just plowed up them!

 Kim, our Rookie Relay Racer got faster with every leg.  I think she surprised herself.  She almost canceled and didn't' come.  We are all so glad she came, and I know she is glad too! She is planning on running her first half marathon this Sept! We are proud of you Kim!

Alyssa is a bacon loving, doughnut loving girl who is passionate about her Beaver Football!  She is such a cheerful person and a joy to be on the team.  She ran some major hills and she seemed to like them!  I think she may be half crazy!  We love you Alyssa!

Here we have Mel.  Mel was the biggest cheerleader in my van.  Every time a runner was out, she would get water ready.  She was always the first to jump out and make sure our runner was ok.  She not only yelled and cheered for our runners, but for other runners she didn't even know.  Mel, made sure to get as many photos as she could of all of us before her phone went dead!  Thank you Mel, for cheering me on and getting some sweet hand-off photos for me!

After running a super hilly 2nd leg!
Our Captain Chris was a little hard on himself.  We were short a runner in van 2 and he took responsibility for it.  He took the hardest legs in van 1 in hopes that everyone would have a Epic time and come back next year.  He never made anyone feel bad if our times were off (course we were all smoking!).  He just wanted everyone to have fun and fun is what we had.  I think Captain Chris did a great job and it was an honor to run on his team!

In van two Lisa the Go Get Er was our recruiter.  She got so many people to join our team and did a good job! We all liked each other and had a great time!  Not everyone is good at recruiting, but Lisa gets it done! She was also our anchor runner and it was sure fun watching her run across that finish line!

Simon the Great is a guy who just likes to run.  Epic Relay '14 was his 59th relay.  I think that is amazing!

Garret, the Night Rider.  He was one of our fill in runners for the runner who never showed up!  Three of our guys took turns, taking one leg each.  For Garret's night run, he doubled up and ran a half marathon, actually more than a half. In the process, he took out 14 roadkill's! Watch out for Garret people!

Aaron, our all Ducked out Runner.  Need I say more?  He is a Oregon Duck Fan runner!  We finished in Eugene!  I think he was pretty happy about that!

Matt, the Traffic Cone Runner.  The photo tells all!  I will add, Matt loves his family!  I loved hearing him talk about his kids!  I have seen Matt at some area races! It was nice to see a familiar face when I first showed up at Lisa's house.

So who wants to win our invisible runner's shirt? Along with two SHOT Blocks for a training run.  Sign up below to win (Women's Large).  Contest ends July 14th! 

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They are opening Exclusive Registration on Monday June 30th During this time, 2014 Epic participants can register for 2015 race at a discounted price. This registration period will last for 1 month. Early Registration for new teams will also open on the 30th, but ONLY 2014 runners will get the discounted price. 

Watch your e-mail 2014 runners!  An Epic Photo Contest will be starting in the next day or so! Get ready to submit your EPIC Race Photos!

Win a FREE entry to theThe Oregon Marathon Full or Half  here!

Win a 13.1 or 26.2 temporary Tattoo from Marathon Tattoo here in a Shoefie Contest here.

Get 10% off at My Soxy Feet

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Julie's Clean Bars ~ A Delicious Treat!

 Last week at Circuit Training Class I brought my "Clean Bars" for everyone to try.  Here is the recipe I promised you!

Start with one cup Oatmeal (your favorite brand)
And ripe bananas.
Mix one banana=one cup Oats
This time, I used 3 banana's and 3 cups of oats
This is your base, now for the fun!

Add whatever you like.  Some examples are fruit, dried or fresh, cinnamon, peanut butter, nuts, seeds, coconut, you get the idea! Be creative 

This time I added, dried cranberries, chia seeds, flaxseed, raw sunflower seed, and peanut butter.  I didn't measure anything, just added it.

Now put the mix into a baking dish and cook at 350 for about 20 minutes.  I like to store these in the refrigerator or freezer (bigger batch).  You can make these into cookie form too, just cook about half the time if you do that. 

Ready to eat!

Comment below what you would add in to make these a tasty treat for your mouth!