Sunday, October 30, 2011

Simply Julie!: Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon, 2 hours or BUST!

Simply Julie!: Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon, 2 hours or BUST!: A MUST before you start a half marathon! Saturday I ran my second ever half marathon...the Runaway Pumpkin Half in Lebanon, OR. It ...

Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon, 2 hours or BUST!

A MUST before you start a half marathon!
  Saturday I ran my second ever half marathon...the Runaway Pumpkin Half in Lebanon, OR.  It all started as a idea from one of my ladies in Dallas, OR Running Club.  Several of the women were on board, but as training got more intense...the numbers trickled down.  Four of us ended up going.  Two walkers and two runners.
My goal was to break two hours.  To break two hours, it would require me to keep a average pace of 9:09 minutes per mile.  We will talk about that more later!
Myself and Tonya
Aunt Audrey, me and my Mom Donita.
 I do not consider myself a "fun" person.  I am pretty boring.  My idea of a good time is too do something low key that doesn't bring attention to myself. Today I decided to break my mold.  I DRESSED UP for the first time ever during a race.  Well, the event did encourage pumpkin costumes!  Tonya and I decided to be extra fun and go with a bright costume.  Let me tell you, we glowed out there!  People told me!

  My friend Tonya, her Mom Teresa and I started off early Saturday morning to Lebanon.  We parked and took a few pre-race photos.  We also hit the Best Pots, a MUST before you start a half marathon.  We then were shuttled to the start.  We caught up with my Mom, Donita and my Aunt Audrey to get a few photos and talk before the start.  Teresa, Mom and Audrey all were going to walk the half today.  8:30am quickly came and we all made our way to the start line along with about 800 other runners!  The air was perfect for running.  About 52 degree with a light mist and no wind!  Sadly the race started late, but soon we were off.

    I started off feeling great.  I passed a few people and then settled into a comfortable pace that was actually fast for me (8:50), but hey...while I felt good, I was going to take advantage of it.  I found myself playing passing games with these two men running together.  I would pass them, they would pass me.  This went on for like five miles.  They struck me funny because they talked and talked and talked...just like me and my running buddies do.   Usually when I see a man running a race, they are by themselves and very serious.

  I saw a nickle and didn't stop to pick it up.  There were too many people still clustered around me and it could of caused a pile-up.  Yes, I pick up coins when I run!  I am up to about $8.00!  Oh, bummer...I should of picked up the nickle!!!

  The half was described as "a beautiful scenic course, mostly flat, with all paved roads."  I read "mostly flat" as FLAT!  I should know better, but I wasn't expecting any hills.  I do regularly train on hills, but thought I was going to get out easy today.  Nope, there were small hills and they seem big when you are tired.  

  Around mile 6 here comes Tonya. We start and finish different when we race.  This was about the time I expected to see her, and there she was!  We ran together for a bit and then she took off.  The light mist was now gone and I was getting very hot.  Just me and my music.  I ran on.

  I knew I was getting close to the half way point and it was going to get harder.  I took a endurolyte pill and a goo.  Off down the road I went trying to enjoy the  mountain views, farm land, and fall colors along the course.  We ran along the  South Santiam river and I love running along water.  There is something so calming about the river!

  Soon up from behind me a lady runs by me and said, "Julie right?"  We had meet on the shuttle and she remembered fun!  She was in a orange tutu and looked adorable. 

  I ran on...getting rather tired and mad.  The race was now turning to stress and I didn't know if I would make it back in time to see my daughter run at districts for XC...ugh!  The race had started 10-15 minutes late and I knew I wouldn't be able to make up that time in my two hour goal was going to be hard as it was.  

  Soon I saw a group of women gathered around the back of a pick-up truck.  I soon realized there was a lady in the back of the truck lying down.  She was having problems from the race.  Oh I felt bad for her.  She was breathing really weird but there was lots of help, so I ran on.  You really never know how your body is going to react to running so hard, so long!  I have been very blessed to not have any major problems, lots of minor problems, no major!  

  Around mile 9-9.5 I started to noticed not only I was having a hard time keeping going, but others were too.  I paced up with a guy with a Portland Marathon shirt on.  I asked him what his goal was?  He said he didn't really know. I told him his goal is now to help me...that's right!  I told him I wanted to come in under 2 hours and get to my daughters XC meet and he was going to help me.   He had no choice but to listen to me, he was going to same pace, lol!  We got to the last 3.1 miles...he said "just 5k left."  Sounds great, wait..."we still have 5k left....UGH!"  Sure it doesn't sound like much compared to 13.1, but after running 10 already, it sounded like a long ways.  Soon I left the guy and ran by myself again.  
 Soon I saw the 1 mile sign...oh sweetness! This was the most beautiful sign I had ever seen!  Ok, I was just ready to be done!  My stomach was getting upset and my legs were tired.  I had to think, I will be done very soon, time to push it!  Problem being, I was really having a hard time pushing it.  My pace was now over a 9:09 and I was going to have to really run hard this last mile to make up the lost time.  I just didn't have it in me!  The last .25-.50 miles I hear my name again..."Hi Julie,"  It was Eve from my HTC team!  Seeing her gave me a quick burst of energy to finish strong.  We started to turn towards the crowd and I said something like, "lets finish strong Eve!"  I took off...we had to turn a few corners to get to the finish line and it was wet out.  I really tried to not slide and fall!  The last 100 meters seemed so long, but felt so good!  I could here my friend Debbie cheering for me, but I didn't look up!  I had to bet Eve!  I know, I have a little competitiveness in me. 
  I crossed the finish line with a time of 2:01:29.  Can you believe it?  1 minute and 29 seconds off my goal!  I did PR and that was good.  I was handed a awesome finishers metal and then looked for Tonya who had come in like two minutes before me...yah Tonya!  I hugged her, grabbed a water and a granola bar and took off down the trail to the car...time to race off to Albany to see my girl run at districts.  

  A little problem.  The trail back to the car was about a mile long!  Yes, it's good to walk out a 13.1 mile run, but I was in a hurry people!  There were lots of people walking both ways on the tail.  One man going the other direction yelled out to me," your costume is great!"  I was happy and kept going.  Soon another man asked me how long to the finish?  He was looking for his wife to finish the half.  I told him about 1/2 mile.  He decided to walk back to his car and try driving around.  He went on to tell me how I was in-front of his wife during the race and he had no problem seeing me out there on the course....hahaha!  I tried to run to the car, but I was starting to cramp up and I had to go to the bathroom!  Where's a Best Pot when you need one!  FINALLY I got to my van and took off to Albany!  I could almost cry now!  I knew at this time I was going to be late. After the late start and the mile long walk to the car, it just didn't work!  

  I soon arrived with a big bowl of cookies in hand.  The XC kids love my cookies and I love the XC kids!  I didn't have time to change out of costume (hehehe)....I found Raelee sitting at a bench changing out of her race shoes.  Thankfully she didn't seem embarrassed at my bright tutu presence.  I felt eyes starring at me.  Normally this would really bother me, but did't matter!  The Dallas girls all seemed to LOVE my costume!   I was only about five minutes late, can you believe it?  I enjoyed hearing all about her race.  Raelee had a great season and I am so very proud of her.  Was thankful for a few photos of Raelee's great finish! Go Dragons!  
  Finally, I got to go to the bathroom!!!  

My next planned run is Hippie Chick 2012 in May!  Two hours or bust!  That's right, I will get my goal!  The exciting thing is, Raelee is running this one with me!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Women can do more than they think they Can!"

"My goal has always been to introduce other people to running, they might accomplish something they never thought they could." ~Grete Waitz, Norwegian Marathon runner and former world record holder.
These women just ran their fist 5k (about 1.5 yrs. ago)

I found this quote today and it has been true for me the last two yrs.  I started Dallas.OR.Running.Club to help people see that they can do much more than they think they can.  I love working with the women that come.  I have had women come, walk, run, race, and drop out.  Even if it doesn't work out for everyone, it brings me great joy when a women comes and gets stronger and starts to realize she can do things she didn't think her body could.

I started running three years ago.  I have goon though lots of ups and lots of downs.  I have had more "bad" days and more "bad" races than "good."   I have had to work through several injuries from not always doing things right.  All-in-all, though the good and the bad, I just try and stay consistent and surround myself with people who keep me encouraged.  As I look back at the last three years on paper, I see how much stronger I have gotten from year to year.  It really does pay off!

Dallas.OR.Running.Club is open to all fitness levels, men and women (ages 13+ please).  We are currently meeting on Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm if you would like to check us out!  We are done by 8:00pm.  This is a free fitness club.  Be sure and bring a flashlight, it's dark out at this time now!

Julie's Pumpkin Banana Muffins or Bread

As Fall/Winter sets in, I get the urge to bake, bake, bake!  It drives me crazy because everything is so yummy.  I will have to freeze and give away some of my baked goods to get rid of temptation!  Today I was asked for this recipe...."Julie's Pumpkin Banana Muffins" Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

"Julie's Pumpkin Banana Muffins or Bread"

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tea. baking soda
1 tea. salt
1/2 tea. baking powder
1 tea. pumpkin pie spice*
1 cup chopped nuts of your choice 
1/2-1 cup chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine sugar, butter and eggs...mix in large mixing bowl.  Beat until light and fluffy (1 or 2 min).  Add in the pumpkin and bananas (1 or 2 more min).   Add remaining ingredients.

Pour into greased muffin pan or spread into 2 greased 8x4-inch loaf pans.  Muffins bake for 19 min.  Bread, bake for 50-60 min.

*Substitute 1/2 tea. ground cinnamon, 1/4 tea. ground ginger, 1/8 tea. each ground nutmeg and ground cloves.

If you would like to add a yummy glaze just combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 TBS milk, 1 TBS melted butter, and 1 tea. vanilla.  Blend until smooth and drizzle onto muffins/bread!

Eat with a good friend and a glass of milk!