Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Silver Falls Half Marathon 2013, Birthday Fun Run!

Saturday came quickly. 7:00 am sharp my friend Tonya came to pick me up!  We were off to Silver Falls State Park to run a Half Marathon.  Last year we ran Silver Falls Full Marathon as a fundraiser for our little Superhero Lincoln Jones.  Lincoln is in a battle with cancer so we used the marathon to raised funds for his family and helped raise awareness.  It was an amazing experience.  After it was all over I said I would never run Silver Falls Full for myself.  It was the hardest most terrible marathon I have ever run, but worth it for Lincoln.

I did want to come back and run the half.  I liked the half course. Tonya knew this, and on August 1st, registration opened at 8:00 am. I was already at work, but Tonya registered herself and I for my birthday in November.  This would be a birthday fun run.  The half filled up within ten minutes.  The full, only 3 days!

We got to Silver Falls, picked up our packets and t-shirt.  Used the bathroom and went to say hi to our friend Kelleigh who was volunteering over in the food area.  There was a nice fire going but we went to sit in Tonya's car with the heater going.  With about 5 minutes to start, we headed over to the wet soggy grass to join the other runners.  It felt cold, but not too cold.  Our plan was to stay together and have fun!  That's just what we did!!!!!

The gun went off and we ran across the wet soggy grass.  We started in the back since we weren't really running for time.  I don't think that was the best idea.  As we made our way through the parking lot, we passed several people.  Soon we came to the narrow path.  Now we were pretty much stuck where we were in the pack.
It's time to start!

Every once in a while we could pass a person or two, but on this narrow trail, that didn't happen much.  Every once in awhile a runner would come up behind us and try to pass.  For the most part, we just ran single file for a mile or so.  

Last year we had to cross a creek, it was very cold and I was really not happy about having to do this again. I kept telling Tonya, the creek is coming, I know it!  I was getting a little worked up about this.

We did some sort of loop and came back into the park (South Falls day use area).  I told Tonya to remember all the people are there to cheer for US!  I tossed my gloves at the first aid station.  I was now good and warmed up.  We were about three miles in.  

We had gone through the campground and were now on the bike path heading to the rim trail.  As we came to aid station #2 we took a sharp turn onto the narrow canyon trail. I realized we didn't have to cross that creek this year! I guess that's only for the full marathon! I was really happy. 
One of the falls we ran behind

We ran behind our first waterfall.  It was so beautiful.  We ran down a few stairs. Lots of mud, gravel and many bridges. The path was really rocky.  My foot began to hurt about mile ten from large rocks poking my foot.  I even had trail shoes on with a rock plate built in! We ran under a couple more large waterfalls.  One was so large and loud.  I yelled, Tonya..listen!"  I loved the sound of the waterfall.  It was slick.  We had to slow down so we didn't fall down the cliff.  As I looked in front of us and back behind us, I realized everyone was slowing down.  

We ran by many more waterfalls.  Tonya and I would get tired and then remember how we felt at this point last year for the full and then laughed. We didn't feel so bad after all! When we realized we were more than half way done already, we just enjoyed the run! We talked about how beautiful it was, how we were glad we weren't running the full and how good pizza sounded. 

We started to climb out of the canyon about mile 9.  The stair climb is brutal.  We ran right up the first three sets of three stairs, then said forget this!  We walked and walked and walked up the endless flight.  Everyone around us was also walking.  It was just awesome!  

We got to the top and knew the climb wasn't over.  We still had a trail up before we came out on the top.  We made it and started down the bike path back to South Falls.  We still had about 2.5 miles left with the hardest climb left for just before the finish line (at least that's how it feels at the end like that).  We headed up that last mountain in the mud and again, had to walk along with everyone else around us.  We said, hummm, this seemed steeper last year!  Hah, it's only because we had ran an extra 13.1 miles...it does make a difference.   We hit the cross-back and went up the 2nd half.  As we came to the top, I was so excited.  We ran as fast as we could down the muddy mountain without falling or taking someone out.   
After the race!  Still smiling 

We had about a half mile left, if that!  I could see a few people in front of us that were going slow.  I told, Tonya, okay...lets do this! She knew exactly what I meant.  We passed person number one!  I said, okay, again!  We passed person number two and crossed the bridge.  The finish line was only about 60 meters in front of us.  Tonya, then said, okay and we went into a sprint to pass the last guy!  As we came up on him, he could hear us and took off himself!  All three of us crossed the finish line laughing.  I think the people standing around got a good laugh too.  I was handed a medal and pushed over into a narrow finishing shoot. I was still laughing.  

We walked over to get some food and say hi to Kelleigh.  There was chili, great harvest bread, hot chocolate and apples.  The bread was really good.  Hot chocolate sounded gross!

We both won a prize.  I caught a cheap water bottle and Tonya got a new pair of New Balance gloves in the drawing.  

We went to the car and realized there was a women in a tutu changing in the parking lot. I guess she thought if she kept the tutu on, it was ok...it wasn't!  I tried to get a photo but Tonya was having a fit.  She was sure I would get kicked off of facebook for having such a photo! The park bathroom was right there! This lady was really silly!

It started hailing and it seemed to be getting colder.  We were glad to be done.  It was the best birthday run ever!  Thanks Tonya!!!!
Another half, in the books!  2:17.12
Be sure and check out my running page! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Inaugural Oregon Marathon '13

Marathon running for me, has so much meaning. I have learned so much about myself and grown as a person by training and running these races.  Three days before I ran The Oregon Marathon, I found out my dear friend who taught me to love the marathon, has cancer!  This 26.2 miles was ran for her!  Love you friend! You will beat this!
As soon as I found out Uberthons was having their first Marathon, I decided this one was for me! The Marathon started in Vernonia, and finished in Banks on September 28th 2013.
The 28th came.  Several of my friends were doing the half marathon, so we we rode together.  We left Dallas at 4:00 am and drove in the dark and the rain to the finish line.  We parked, then walked in the dark, rain and wind to the shuttle buses.  I rode a separate shuttle than my friends since we would be starting in different locations. The half marathon started at a park while the full marathon started at a school in Vernonia.
The bus ride felt like it was taking forever!  I guess 26.2 miles is kind of a long ways...ha! I talked to a few people to help the time pass and calm my nerves.  I was feeling great!

We arrived in Vernonia at the school.  I jumped off the bus and headed into the school to stay warm and use the bathroom.  As I walked to the school someone said, "Hi Julie."  It was Darwin, the owner of Uberthons.  It was really nice to see someone I knew.  There were people standing everywhere.  I decided to walk around and find a quiet spot upstairs to stretch and start my warm up.  I really didn't want to talk to anyone at all right now.  I needed to be alone. With ten minutes to go, I headed outside to start my jog warm up.  It was raining so I put on a poncho to keep as dry and warm as possible before I started.
As we got in line to start, Darwin announced my name like I was someone important.  Was funny to me, but was kinda nice!  I found my friend Tonya's brother (Justin) who was there doing his very first marathon.  We took off together with the others.  Just as we started it felt like the wind and rain started up again.
Around mile 11 
We ran around the parking lot and up the road, turned and went around a lake.  After a few miles we headed onto the trail head.   It was a wide paved trail.  Very nice and very pretty.  Lots of trees and bridges.  I felt like I was pretty settled into my race pace and was paying attention to the runners close to me.  I used the other runners to help keep me on track.

I was feeling pretty good for the most part.  It was very wet, but the rain doesn't really bother me when it's warmer out.  It was high 50's/low 60's so I was fine.  We were under trees now, so I didn't really feel the wind too much at this point.  Around mile 8 my stomach started to hurt and my pace started to slowly slip.  I knew it would start slipping when I started up the hill.  As you can see in the elevation chart I was starting to climb at mile 8.  It was a gradual climb so I didn't really feel like I was moving up, but I was.  A gradual climb like that really messes with your mind.

I began to get a little tired and discouraged.  I knew my pace would start to slip but reminded myself, all that will be made up on the backside, going downhill on the 2nd half.
My stomach still ached, and it was making me mad.  I have ran through aches like this before, but it's not the funnest thing to do.  The best way I can describe it is, the inside of my right rib cage felt like someone had scraped it with a spatula.  Not a side stitch, just an ache.  I remembered my friend Chris had given me some ginger candies to chew if something like this happened.  I had tried one on a training run and thought they would be worth a try.  If not, my stomach already hurt anyway, so why not give it a try?!
The candy helped and I continued to run uphill...in the rain!
About mile 12 or so the runner about 50 feet in front of me let out a happy yell!!!!  Oh, we must be at the top!!!!!  As I came to where he was, I could hear yells/cheers down below.  I was at the switchbacks.  I was planning on making up some time here, but as I started down the steep hill, I realized it was harder than I thought it would be.  Because of the steepness, I had to brace myself from falling.  My legs were tried from running uphill so my legs were stiff.  As I came to the bottom,  I crossed a road and there were people and an aid station.
Then we headed up another hill.  This was a steep hill.  My legs felt like jello now.  It was annoying.  
I realized I was getting really close to the halfway point where my friends would of started their half marathon.  It was fun to think the rest of the way is where they had ran too, but I couldn't help but think, they were either done, or close to done and I wasn't even halfway done!!!  They were probably saying, sure glad I didn't do the full...ha ha ha!!!!
I was looking forward to the 2nd half because it was mostly either flat, or downhill.  My plan was to bring back up my pace (on the downhill) and race out the last five mile, into the finish for a really nice PR and qualify for Boston.  Sounded like such a good idea and so doable before I started!
As I ran on, I realized getting back on pace wasn't working like planned.  My right leg was aching really bad. The switchbacks had aggravated an injury I thought was going to be fine.  My stomach continued to hurt off and on (I took 2 more candies).  I soon realized that a PR simply wasn't going to happen today, but I could still break 4 hours.  I tried to stay positive.  It got hard to stay positive when someone would pass me or my leg would hurt and I would want to cry and give up.  There were times I could of just walked of the course.  I could of asked a volunteer or spectator to take me back....but I just couldn't do that.  I still had hope.
The trail I ran on for The Oregon Marathon
There were other times when I would pass people who had cramped up and had to walk.    Passing people is fun!
As a lady and myself came to another aid station we crossed a road together then back onto the trail.  Only the trail was completely covered in a huge puddle.  People were standing on both sides of the
 trail, so our only option was to go right into the small lake...lol.  We stepped into it right at the same time, didn't even slow down.  We made a huge splash and were both like, "it doesn't really matter anyway...lol." and ran on.  It was so wet and rainy.  We were heading into a headwind as well.  Such fun...grrrr!  It was so bad, all you can really do is laugh and go with it!
I had started to slow down a lot, my leg was still aching really bad and I just couldn't get my speed back up so I just held on.  I thought about my friends and husband at the finish line.  I knew they were probably all dry and full with food by know.  
I played some mental games to count the miles off the trail.  I knew once I was off the trail, it was just 1.5 miles to the finish!
As I came off the trail head and into Banks, all I could smell was car exhaust.  It was very nasty and made me feel sick.  There seemed to be lots of people all over and all the people were annoying to me.  All I could think of, was getting to the finish.  There were lots of twists and turns this last bit.  We ran by a little league football game and people were walking all over the path and in my way!  This was annoying but the volunteers were there to tell me where to turn. Nobody cared I was running a marathon..in the rain, wind and wet...they just wanted to watch their kid play football...go figure...hahaha!
Alan from Uberthons was out there at one of the turns filling in for a no-show volunteer.  When he saw me, he asked are you wet?  I yelled, "YES, I"m soaked!!!!"   I somehow found this hilarious.  I think I was beginning to loose my mind.  The wind was also blowing so hard right at my face.  I was so tired and wet and so done!!!!  I knew I only had about a half mile to go.  I rounded that corner and saw the park.  We had to run half way around the park before we went into the
Keeping up with the guys....lol!
finish shoot.  I knew ahead of time I would have to run around the park and thought I would enjoy this part.  Now, reality had set in and I really wanted to cut through the park and end it with a small cheat!!!  In other words, I wanted to be done!
I heard my name and looked up, there was Raelee.  I handed her my water bottle and it felt like I took off ten pounds.  It was such a relief.  I had to keep going...there was Kelleigh...I had to keep going!  I followed the orange flags all the way around and finally got to turn into the paved path to the finish line! There was Jerry and Tonya!  My time was 4:08.38.  I didn't PR, or even break 4 hours.  I was 15 minutes off my PR (personal record) and about 30 minutes off my goal time.  All I have to say is, that was really hard!  
Almost to the finish!!!
I was handed a huge medal.  Uberthons is cool like that!!!!  I was greeted by my friends and family and I was in search for food! Raelee handed me a Big Town Hero sandwich provided by Uberthons and I started to eat it standing there all soaked in shorts and a tank top with the wind blowing all around me.  The back of my mouth hurt when I ate from breathing so hard and for so long (this often happens to me in a longer race).  I got about 1/4 sandwich done and suddenly felt very ill and very cold!  I handed Raelee the rest of the food and said, "I need to go to the van."  I went through an area I wasn't even supposed to be and made a straight shot to my van.  I needed to just sit alone for awhile.  My wonderful husband could tell what was going on and told everyone to let me be.  Thanks Jerry!!!!

A marathon isn't just a physical race.  It is more mental than you know, unless you experience one for yourself.  When you run that far, for that long, your mind does some pretty crazy things.  Your body is pushed to the limit (if you allow it too).  You feel great pain and you feel great happiness. You want it to be over, yet you want to do it again.
I have already started a plan/goals for next year!

My awesome sponsor for The Oregon Marathon!
Thank you Tony Nunes Construction, Inc.for being my sponsor for The Inaugural Oregon Marathon 2013!  Rain, wind, hills and typhoon pabuk, it was a great experience and I continue to learn from each marathon I run.  I learned a lot from this one!  Thank you Jerry Mullins, for running so many long runs with me, even though you were only training for a half marathon and only did them, to support me.  Thank you Chris Owens for all the time you spent working on getting my workouts right, down to the last detail.  Thank you Jeanne Burbank and Raelee Mullins for being road crew on long runs and meeting me for post long run meals! You guys are the best!

I have been in heavy training since January.  I am taking the next three months (rest of 2013) off from training.  I will be doing a half for fun with my friend Tonya.  A trail mud run for fun with my husband, and whatever else I can find to do, just to enjoy the run!  It's time for a mental break.  Come January, I will be ready to get back to some hard training!

Still a goal and dream! 

Less than a year ago, my friend Tonya and I joked about "qualifying for Boston!" Seemed so far off, it was a funny joke!  Now, 9 months later...after some hard work that has paid off, I can taste it!  I know I could qualify.  It will take some hard work in 2014, but it's not a joke anymore...it's something exciting that could become my reality! Looking forward to what the new year will bring!
This short video tells it all! 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Hood to Coast 2013~My Van 2, Leg 9, Lactose Intolerant Adventure!

My first experience with HTC was in 2011.  Runner five, in van one.  I was so excited to get the opportunity and said, it would be fun to do that again someday. I was also okay just knowing I got to do it once. 
A month or so, Jerry (my husband) and I were asked by our friend Chris if we would be interested in filling in two spots on his team this year.  Jerry had been talking about how cool it would be to get to be on a team and I was happy to do it again.  This time in the other van (van two). So we said, sure...lets do it!
We loaded up Friday about 1:15 pm and headed to Sandy, OR.  Our first six runners (van 1) was already up on Mt. Hood ready to run at our start time, 2:00pm.  It felt strange to just be leaving town at 1:15 seeing posts all over facebook that morning of other teams starting.  HTC has a staggered start.  Teams go out all day Friday because there are so many runners and vans.
Van 1 and van 2....Manic "8" Balls!

We got to Safeway parking lot (the first van exchange), decorated our van and waited and waited and waited for van 1 to come in. All of us were dragging so we went into Safeway's Starbucks and got some coffee.  We got good and caffeinated and now we're ready to run.  We grabbed last minute things like chocolate milk, coffee and water for the cooler and went out to make the big first exchange! 
Ernesto (black and green) just handed off to Mindy (pink)
We talked to our friends in van 1 and waited for runner 6 to come in (Ernesto).  He would be handing off to Mindy, the first runner in van 2.  Then the fun began!  We drove to our next exchange and waited for Mindy, then it was Dave's turn. It was just getting dark and it was my turn. Leg 9.  
My first leg went into Boring, OR.  It was going to be 7.73 miles and was ranked hard. I wasn't worried about this leg.  It was my first leg, I was fresh and ready to go.  I don't mind the dark. It would be cooler and that's good with me! I ran along Hwy 174 (Hwy 212) for a while.  Went from Clackamas to Boring, then turned off onto Springwater Trail for several miles.  It was nice.  I had a few runners ahead of me and a few behind me, but for the most part I was alone in the dark with just my headlamp and water.   The van would not be able to check on me half way since I was on a trail.  I passed a couple runners and saw two volunteers on bikes riding by.  Out of nowhere two runners came up behind me and passed me like I was standing still.  It was the Adidas team! I crossed a few intersections and did a couple switchbacks down back onto the trail and before I knew it, I was at my first exchange.  I handed off to Jerry and I was done with my first leg!  I finished leg 9 with a 7:43 pace per mile and felt really good!  I couldn't wait to eat.  I had a turkey sandwich and knew I had some time to sit back for a bit! 
I had bought chocolate milk at Safeway.  Three of them.  One for after each leg.  I drank one about an hour after I had ran and got back in the van for our next exchange. Then I began for feel very ill.  My runners high turned into a flu like feeling.  I was not doing well and I was stuck in the back of a minivan with six other people in the middle of the night somewhere in the Portland area, but really not sure.  I didn't say anything, just put my head down.  I was sure this 
Jerry being awesome! (runner 10)
would help.  Nope, it actually made me feel worse. Did I have to flu??? What was going on?  I asked for someone to hand me the Safeway bag that was up front.  Someone did, but everyone suddenly realized this could be really bad!  They said, you aren't doing that in here! Our awesome driver/navigator Jeanne drove into a parking lot so I could do my business.  I have never been able to force myself to throw up and so I just kind of stood there realizing I had to do more than throw up.  I walked back over to my van and told them I needed a bathroom now! Jeanne quickly got us a few blocks down to McDonald's.  They wouldn't let me in, just the drive thru was open!  We had to drive a little, but soon came to a gas station/mini mart in Portland.  My van was busy discussing if we should get gas or not and I ran inside and sat in the bathroom for a very long time.  
Mindy, Jeanne, Chris, Jerry and Me
I knew there were people out waiting in line, but I didn't really care. The bathroom was MINE!  I was starting to feel better and went back out to my van and realized I'm still sick!  Over to the bushes I went and threw up over and over again. Nobody came to check on me, they just sat in the van and watched.  That was ok with me, please don't come watch closely!  Finally, after what seemed like hours. I composed myself, walked back over to my team and told them I was ready to move on!  It was that chocolate milk!  It messed my whole system up and we still had two more legs to run!  My body now had nothing in it, and I was scared to eat much of anything.  

It was now time to drive to "HTC van 2 rest stop" I am not sure where that was, but I didn't really care!  There were lots of people and vans in a large open field.  Three of my team members stayed in the van to rest.  Four of us got our sleeping bags and walked over the the grassy area we were suppose to sleep in.  As I got over to the grass, I
Jeanne sharing with us some of our options for rest vs. showers.  She was our glue!
realized it was raining.  Well, it is what it is and I was too tired to care.  We had to get up at 3:45 (1:45 minutes from right then) so I crawled into my sleeping bag expecting to fall fast asleep.   The rain really wasn't bad, I just put the sleeping bag up over my head and it ended up stopping.  It wasn't very cold out. I was surprised at how good it felt to stretch out on the ground
 but, I didn't sleep much.  I slept about 1/2 hour then had to go stand in line at the port-a-potties again. I slept maybe another 20-30 minutes and it was time to get up!  
We got Mindy off and drove to Dave's exchange. We were having a blast and we're going to be at the finish line by the end of the day.
2nd leg (leg 21), the dusty road!
My 2nd leg was Saturday morning.  I think I started around 6:30am or so.  As we drove to my exchange, we looked for our runner Dave.  I was so glad I wasn't running his leg, it was a brutal uphill and gravel run. We passed what we thought was Dave.  Gave out some hoots and hollers then realized it wasn't Dave.  We later passed the real Dave....hahaha! 
After we parked, I headed over to the port-a-potties and Chris yells...there he is! I didn't get to use the port-a-potty...I had to run, now!  I was glad this was just a five miler, but was worried about this one a little.  It was on gravel and I knew it would be very dusty, plus now I had to run knowing I may mess my pants.  I took off and it was raining a little.  It felt great and was keeping the dust down a little.  I had a bandana over my nose and face but I started to feel overheated with it on and had to keep pulling it off.  About half way, my van went by and cheered for me.  I just love them for that! 

We do a lot of this for HTC!
I was doing pretty good.  Just kept reminding myself I get to use the port-a-potty soon. The rain stopped about half-way and the gravel got thicker. I was glad I had taken my contacts out for this leg with the thick dust every time a van went by.  I soon realized I was at the exchange, handed off to Jerry and boom...leg 2 was done! 7:53 pace!  I thought it would be really cool to break 8 for all three legs but I also knew my next leg, would be hardest of all!!!! I used the port-a-potty and grabbed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and passed on the chocolate milk!!!   My body was low on fuel and I was feeling it!  
Everyone in my van was coming in above projected times, we were all getting along and having a great time.  It was soon time for our second "van 2 rest stop."  It was now the middle of the afternoon on Saturday.  Nobody really wanted to sleep.  We pulled our mini van in the grass parking lot, put out a tarp and sat around whining about wanting to get on with leg 3 and get to the beach.  We started plotting out a way to cheat our way to the beach and beat van one to the beach house.  Seems silly? Well when you haven't slept in 24 hours and you still aren't done, there seems to be some logic to this!  But, we decided to make it count and "earn" our medals!  Jerry got Jeanne's trusty binder out and we plotted ways to "beat" our own times and honestly make our way to the beach faster!  We now had a plan! Time passed and Mindy was up to run very soon now!  We went up to the leg shoot to wait for our exchange from van one.  It was now hot in the afternoon. 
Dave handing off to me.
I was up against what I knew would be my biggest challenge for Hood to Coast this year. Leg 33. Ranked hard. 7.72  miles on rollings hills on narrow country roads...in the heat to add to it!
I took the baton from Dave and started off up a hill. My plan...to hold an even slow pace up and glide down, over and over and over again.  The first four miles this worked really good.  I even passed a few people.  My van passed me about this time.  I was getting hot and tired but was ok.  Very soon the sadness hit me.  I felt like my nine year old jumped on my back.  From head to toe my body was done.  I felt so weighted down and hot I wanted to quit.  My pace began slipping and I no longer cared about my plan.  All I wanted was to finish and be done with this already!!!!  I was thirsty but water was
Waiting at an exchange, Jerry and I
no longer good. I was hungry but couldn't eat until I was done.  I was hot and had no shower.  (BTW, my buddies in my van were playing in the creek around this time..I was SOOO happy for them!)  I was lonely, so I started talking to people.  A guy I had passed came up behind me and I told him I was going to run with him for awhile.  I have no idea if he cared or not, but I wanted company.  Later I talked to a lady around my age.  Then it got so hard, I decided to take some walk breaks.  This is something I rarely do anymore, but at this point, my friends were just going to have to wait for me longer. 

A few kids were out spaying runners with water, I was happy to have a spray down.  A girl gave me an orange gatorade about 1.5 miles from my finish. Even though I knew I better not drink it now, I took it so I could drink it after.  It got to be such a bother to carry, but all I could think about was the end!  I finally made a turn and started up another stupid hill, knowing I only had about .5 miles to go.  
Chris and Shannon (runners 11 and 12)
There it was...up ahead.  My exchange!  I could cry, but why?  I was freaking DONE! I was able to pull off a 9:45 pace.  Not at all what I had in mind for that leg, but it didn't matter.  I handed off to Jerry and drank my gatorade then went to the port-a-potty again! We drove on and finished all our legs.  After we dropped off Shannon (our closer, leg 12) we drove on to the beach to meet up with our other van and run in together for the finish. 

The sunset after the big finish
The beach was awesome.  Nice sunny day with music playing and good food (again, I was soooo hungry).   We went through the finish shoot as a team, was handed our finish medals and got our team photo taken.  I was really excited to run into my friend Jerrilynn who had run HTC with an Elvis team!  Yeah Jerrilynn!  I was looking for my friend Kelleigh, but I knew her team came in earlier and was most likely gone by now.  
My team rented a beach house only four blocks from the finish line so we had easy access to showers! 
It was fun telling stories that night between both vans.  We laughed and laughed.  The next morning Paul made us breakfast.  Some of us ran, and some walked the beach before packing up and heading home.  
Walking the beach the morning after HTC!
The whole team
Jerry and I were new to this team of friends, but they welcomed us and treated us as if we had been part of the team for years.  They are a great group of people and I was so happy to run with them.  Thank you Manic "8" balls! 
Van 1 and van 2 next to the beach house

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Newport Marathon 2013

Sub 4 on the mind!!!!!!!!

At the start!!!! So exciting, 7:00am Saturday June 1, 2013 Newport OR
Yesterday I ran Newport Marathon.  It was my 5th marathon, 3rd time doing Newport.  Last year, I was pretty sure I was running at my fastest.  I was fine with being a 4.5 hour marathon runner and didn't expect much more than that in 2013...maybe a 4:15, but knew I would never be faster than that....and again, I was ok with that. 

 The marathon is 26.2 miles.  They say the first half of a marathon is miles 1-20.  The second half is miles 21-26.2.  If you have ever run this distance, you know this is true.  It is a mental game after mile 20.

As I started into Newport training 4-5 months ago I realized (while out running with my running buddy Tonya one day)...I need to change my long runs for Newport.  I wasn't exactly sure how, but I just felt I needed too.

Around this time in training, a local ultra runner found my running group on facebook (Dallas, OR Run the Open Road) and started running with Jerry, and me on weekends...and who-ever else we could get to join...Tonya, Jenny, Brian, Raelee.  Chris, the ultra was doing Newport too and seemed happy just to have people to run with.  As we got to know him a little better I found out he worked with a running coach, has been running for 10+ years and really seemed to know what he was talking about.  I began to ask lots of questions and decided, what do I have to loose?  I want to change some things...why not give his advice a try.  
I just had to have Faith: 

“belief plus unbelief and acting on the belief part.” Every
 blessing is available to those who put their faith to work by “acting on the belief part,” moment by moment, day by day, one little step at a time.

So, I did just that....took my training moment by moment, day by 
day, one little step at a time and acted on the belief part.  Chris and 
Jerry kept me positive and kept giving me reason's why I could do 
this. After awhile, I started to believe it myself...then things 
started getting good.  
I had to be willing to take some constructive criticism. 
I was told some things I was doing wrong and some things I
needed to work on.
I also, started a challenge with my Running group and Uberthons 
Running.  It was an "eating healthy for a month" challenge. It 
showed me how to get my eating under control, even during 
marathon training when you can be hungry all the time.  It was 
I really started to believe I could do a sub-four marathon.  Chris and 
Jerry had faith in me but it took me a little longer to have faith in 
myself.  I am sure glad I took the constructive criticism and ran 
with it.....it paid off!!!!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Newport Marathon Goals and Stuff

Newport is only 7 short days away.  I have never blogged about my goals but I think I will this time around.  It can be scary to tell the world your goals.  Last year I did it! My goal was sub 4:30 and I ran a 4:29:18.  Talk about close.  I also really struggled the last several miles, but none-the-less...I did it!

As I started into training for this year I realized, If I want the same results..fine, train the same way!  But, am I really capable of more? After last year I thought I had reached my potential.  I had ran my perfect marathon time and I was completely satisfied with that.  

But this year is a NEW year!  

After I realized I needed to change things in my training and diet I went with it.  I met Ultra Runner Chris and started picking his brain.  Jerry (my husband) had also decided to run Newport this year (for the first time) and was doing all kinds of running research.  I was getting all kinds of good training tips.  It was like I was a new runner again learning how to train different.  I decided, "what do I have to lose?" and went with a new training plan.  Chris works with a coach and gave me some tips, lots of tips and constructive criticism.  Over the next month or so I started to see a difference.  I enjoyed all the different types of running workouts I had to do.  I had very hard running days, and very enjoyable running training days.  But, I never burnt out...I typically have a burn out sometime in training....interesting!

I also changed my eating and fueling for the first time in marathon training.  The change in food made a huge difference in the stomach issues I have dealt with over the last two years.  I also lost six
pounds the right way and am going to run Newport at my goal weight.  This is something I've wanted since I started running 4.5 years ago.  I have more energy and feel so much better with just simple changes.  

As I embraced the changes and had a couple guys (Jerry and Chris) saying, you CAN do this...I started to believe I could indeed do it. I realized it was really working when I ran The Biggest Loser 15k in April with a nice PR.  Then I ran the Hippie Chick Half with a  pretty PR only two weeks ago.  

I set my Newport Goal at sub 4:00:00.  I know I can do this.  It won't be easy, but I have done the work.  All I need to do now is simmer for one more week and then give it my all for a pretty payday at the finish line.  I realize I may not make my goal, but I also realize I AM capable.  I will give it my best next week...can't what to see what happens!  

DCE Electric, Inc. PO Box 1146 Dallas, OR 97338.....my sponsor for Newport

Monday, May 13, 2013

Hippie Chick Half 2013

Just leaving town (Tonya and I)
I had no intentions of running Hippie Chick Half this year.  I love this race, full of women all ages shapes and sizes but last year was a bad race for me, and I didn't add this one to my wish list for 2013. My friend Tonya had other ideas!

Several months ago Tonya asked if I would do Hippie Chick '13.  I told her I hadn't planned on it but she just went ahead and registered the both of us anyway...lol.  She did ask first!  I have to say, I'm glad she did!  I really needed this race for a confidence builder for Newport Marathon in three weeks and to get over the disapointment of last year!

 Saturday morning Tonya and I drove off about 5:45am towards Hillsboro Stadium.  We got there with plenty of time to use the port-a-potty and gather our gear.  Then we did a little warm-up going towards the starting line while looking for people we know.  Sure enough, we saw our running friend Susan!

Tonya and I got in line and worked our way up to the pace group we wanted.  We had just a few minutes to start and Tonya kept saying she had to go pee again, so you guessed it....I needed to pee too!  The lines for the port-a-potties were WAY backed up at this point and there was no way to make it back in time for the big start.  I decided to "deal with it."

The gun went off and Tonya and I split up right away.  Usually we stay together for at least the first half but today we both had  different goals.  I felt really good.  I wanted to hold a 8:15 for the first ten miles but I was going faster.  I just went with it because I knew...as soon as it heats up I will slow down no matter what.

The first eight miles went super.  I knew the course this year and that was really nice.  I also remembered all the spots I broke down last year.  Thing is...I wasn't breaking down this year!  Even the "hill" we had to go up seemed very small this year.  I think it just seemed bigger last year because I was having a bad run.

At the top of the hill we did a turn-a-round.  The turn-a-round was about 1.5 miles out and back, so as the elites started coming back, I started counting them.  It gave me something to do.  1...2...3....4.  I kept counting until about 43. Then I got tired of it and stopped.

I got up to the turn-a-round and started looking for Tonya.  Soon I saw her and she looked really good.  I could tell she was happy! We gave each other a high five in passing! 

As I got to mile nine I began to really heat up.  It was getting very warm and I still had to pee.  There was port-a-potties along the course, but every time I came to one, I couldn't bring myself to stop...so I kept going.  

At mile ten, the plan was to speed up for the last 5k (3.1 miles).  I didn't have it in me at this point.  I just tried to maintain and keep my overall pace under a 8:15.  We ran on a road, gravel, and a blacktop.  As I came to the blacktop about mile 11-12 the heat was miserable.  I also now found myself with 100's of walkers finishing up their 1/4 marathon.  I weaved through them and got tired of my music.  I stopped my music and just tried to enjoy the race...I knew I was almost done!

I came to the dreaded corner that Jerry meet me at last year and just flew by...I was stronger this year and I reminded myself of that. I didn't need anyone to come talk me through the last mile or two...no, not this year! 

As I came to the "Luna Mile"  (Luna bar aid station and final mile to finish line) I was feeling that finish line.  I was very tired, but knew the end was near.  

As I passed more walkers a lady grabbed my arm and said, "JULIE."  I about peed my pants right then and there!  It was Tonya's Mom, Teresa!  "Hi, Teresa...I've been watching for you" I said as I went by!  I love seeing people I know out there!  

The final .1 mile

Just before I came into the stadium (the final .1 mile) Tina (another running friend) yelled my name as I ran by.  I turned the corner to step on the stadium grass and about took out the walker in front of me!  My goodness...sorry lady but you need to move!  

I looked up and there was Jerry!  Was so good to see him!  I took off and ran as fast as I could to the finish.  I stopped my Garmin and hoped that my chip time was what my Garmin said, cause I liked what my Garmin said!

I was given a bottle of water and my Hippie Chick 2013 necklace.  I went over to meet Jerry and Rylan (husband and 9 year old son).  I was so happy to see them.  Jerry has been a HUGE help in supporting me this last year with all my running goals.  
Tonya and I...finished at last!

I waited for my best friend to come in and then went over to check out the vendors.  I won a Brooks shirt and got some food.  I love the free food after a race!  

I really was glad to be done, the last four miles were really hard but I can tell my marathon training is working.  I PRed (personal record) by about 8 minutes from my last half in October.  I finished at 1:49:31 (1 sec. off of what my Garmin said).  29th in my age group out of 331 other women.  Overall I came in 100th out of 1860.  Pretty happy about all that.
Rylan (my 9 year old) and I after the race

I have Newport Marathon (26.2 miles) coming up on June 1st.  I have higher scarier goals this year.  Goals I didn't think I would ever even think about making for myself a year ago.  It's nice having people who believe in me and support me.  Looking forward to seeing what June 1st has in store for me!  I can hardly wait! 

Thank you Tonya!!!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

"The Biggest Loser 15k"

April 14th I got to run The Biggest Loser 15k in Springfield OR.  I was given this race from Laura at Girls Gone Sporty, because I'm a Sweat Pink Ambassador. She couldn't run this race.  Since I'm from the area, she offered it to me.  This was my 2nd 15k.

Sunday morning I rolled out of bed about 4:30, UGH!  I needed to get to Springfield early because I couldn't go get my race packet the day before.  Not too much traffic around 5:30am on a Sunday morning!  I got there with plenty of time to spare.  I got a good parking spot close to the start/finish line.  It was cold out!  I went inside to get my packet and see what the sports expo had going on.  I was happy to get my shirt and number without a long line.  I walked around and got a few photos and then sat down for a bit.  The gym area was starting to get busy and the lines were getting long.  I was glad I got there early.  I headed out to my car to wait until it was time to start.  I felt kind of weird to be all by myself, yet in a big crowd.  I knew Tori from Monmouth was coming but never did end up seeing her before the race started.

That's me in the yellow visor...lol!
About 10 minutes before 9:00am I decided I better go join the crowd.

I made my way into the gate.  We were all bunched together.  I stood by a lady from Alaska who was doing the 5k.  She was cold and couldn't believe I had short sleeves on...lol.  I was also by a guy from Roseburg who ended up coming in 1st for the 15k.  That's him in the yellow jacket.

We stood while Dan from Season 5 of The Biggest Loser sang the National Anthem.  A runner up front had an American Flag...how perfect!  The runners were all
Dan singing the National Anthem
asked to come to the front.  There were lots of walkers for this race.  I happily worked my way through the crowd and barley fit into the first wave of runners.  It was chipped timed, so they started us in waves.

The gun went off and so did I!  I was mixed with 5k runners and 15k runners.  We started on a wide road so I didn't feel like it was hard to make my way around people or stay out of faster runners way.  The road was nice and flat.  I knew it was an out and back course and I liked knowing, all I had to do is go out, and come  back!  I had my watch (Garmin), but had been given some advise to not take my watch.  I wore it only to be able to check my mile splits after the race.  I never looked at it.  The reason I did this?   Focusing on your pace can mess with your mind (your mental game).  I was told to just find my pace and go with it and that's what I chose to do.

We quickly made it to the 5k turn-a-round and many turned to go back.  A timer was set up, and I thought, wow, if I was doing the 5k I might PR...oh well!  I wondered if I should slow down, but just went with it.

I started passing people and kept my eyes on the man with the American flag.  I love it when someone runs with the flag!  We turned down a road headed to a park path.  Before I knew it, I was running with the guy with the flag.  He was talking with another runner about the Eugene Marathon.  I passed them and headed onto a more narrow path in the park area.

I think this path was my favorite part of the course.  We ran along water, but the creek was pretty low. I passed a man that looked about my age.  Up ahead was a man/lady couple.  I settled in behind them and just stayed awhile.  After awhile, I decided to give it a go and pass them.  They stayed right on my tail.  Then passed me back. We did this a few times, then the lady passed me and the man got left behind.  Never saw him again.  This lady and I started running together.  

Soon we came to the 15k turn-a-round.  I looked up at the timer and saw I was on target for a 1:15 finish time.  That would be a nice PR, but I would have to hold the pace I was at for another 4.6 miles...UGH!  I didn't know if that was possible, but I might as well keep going!  

I loved running back.  Since I got to start in the lead wave, there were lots of people behind me.  I decided to watch for Tori...this gave me something to do.  The lady I was playing passing games with started to chat with me a little.  I found out her name was Laurie and she had been running with her husband who wasn't feeling well. That's why he fell behind.  We continued to push each other and it was great.  As we got closer to the finish we got into the "walker" groups.  Some of the people made me laugh.

I saw a lady walking with her kindle..yes, she was reading while walking her 15k.  Several groups of women walking together...I think that's great, but in one group, one lady was turned around walking backwards so she could talk to her friends...lol!

I was happy to finally see Tori...she looked like she was doing great! 
Tori and me at the finish line

Finally I made my way out of the park and back onto the road.  I knew I had maybe two miles left.  I needed to dig deep at this point.  It was getting hard.  I would start to feel like really slowing it down, then realized I didn't want to let Laurie get way ahead, so I just kept steady with her even though my stomach was starting to feel it! Blaaaaa.....

As we came close to the finish line, lots of 5k walker were just
Me and Laurie (green) nearing the end
coming in.  The road was wide, but these walkers would make these walls you would have to go around and it was kind of annoying.  I just went around the walls of people and kept going.  I had no idea if I was at 1:15 or not.  All I knew was I had stayed with Laurie.  I did end up passing her just before the end, but her chip time was the same as mine when it was all over (we didn't start at the same time).

I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch.  I was handed a finishers medal and then looked at my watch.
Laurie (in green) and me stopping my watch
 It was right at 1:15.  NO WAY!  I wondered what place I had came in?  I knew I was near the front but I also new there were some women who were in front of me.

I went inside to get some food and wait for race results to come in.  At this point I was just happy to know I did PR by quite a bit.

I got a half of a bagel, a banana and a bottle of water, then stood with the other 15kers waiting to see how we all did.  When the times went up, I had to do a double take.  It said I came in first for my age-group.  This has never happened to me.  Overall I came in 14th place.  5th place in all women. 1st in my age group.  There were 142 15k finishers.  103 females, 39 males.  The average finish time was 1:41:41.  My finish time was 1:15:03 (8:04 pace).  I was pretty excited.  I knew I would get a certificate so I found a spot to sit.  Dan and Jackie Evans from Season 5 were there talking to people and letting people take photos.  Dan and some other guy sang to us up on the stage.  Finally certificates were given out along with ribbons to the top 3 in each age group and overall.  
It was a good race!
Dan and Jackie Evans from Season 5

I went to meet my brother in Eugene for a very nice lunch at one of his favorite places.  I was so hungry!!!

Next race is Hippie Chick Half Marathon,  coming May 11th!  In the meantime, I'm in training for Newport Marathon, coming June 1st!

Happy Running friends.....

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I CAN DO THIS Challenge-Julie Style

I am excited to announce that I have teamed up with Uberthon's Running for a Challenge giveaway. 

 This is how it works.....

You take on a four week Challenge with me, Julie... and earn yourself (along with 7 friends) a two night stay at a vacation home in Lincoln City, OR. Check it out here. The challenge will start on Wednesday April 10th and end as soon as one person completes the challenge according to the rules.  I will be in the challenge along with you because I want to win as well.
   I challenge YOU to join ME and lets get healthy TOGETHER!  In the end, what do you have to lose?...ok maybe some fat...lol!  Win or lose, we will all be working on building healthy habits together!

~Contest starts the morning of April 10th
~On April 10th (or whenever you decide to join the challenge) post a photo of yourself (a before photo) on our event page.  This photo enters you into the contest.
~Exercise - Run at least 30 minutes 3 times each week for 4 weeks in a row.  (you may use walk/run intervals if you are just a beginner runner)
                         -After you do your runs, you must post on our event                                             page.

~Eat Right
            -Fruits & vegetables:  At least 4.5 cups a day 
            -Fish:  At least two 3.5 ounce servings a week 
            -Fiber-rich whole grains:  At least three 1-ounce-equvalent servings a day
            -Sodium:  Reduce your salt intake
            -Sugar-sweetened beverages:  No more than 450 calories (36 ounces) a week.  (I really challenge you to be off of sugar sweetened drinks altogether by the end of the four week challenge)
            -Nuts, legumes and seeds:  At least 4 servings a week
            -Processed meats:  No more than 2 servings a week

Rules:   -Contest last four weeks. Starting date is April 10th and will last until someone follows these exercise and eating rules for four weeks straight.
             -To enter, send a BEFORE photo of yourself to our event page (link posted here).
             -Go to Uberthons, like their page and tell them Dallas, OR Run the Open Road sent you. 
             -Like Dallas, OR Run the Open Road and join the I CAN DO THIS CHALLENGE-Juie Style
             -Register for the upcoming community 10k (details to come)
             -Post every time you run on our event page or at least twice a week.  You must update your runs and eating for the week, photos will be fun to add too.  
             -At the end of your four weeks, post a AFTER photo of yourself.  
             -Winner will get to do a video with me, Julie talking about how the challenge was for you.  It will be posted on Uberthons website.
             -Winner will receive two night with a total of 8 people at the Lincoln City vacation home - Debbie's Place in Lincoln City, Vacation Rental
                   -In the event of a tie at the end of the four weeks, we will have a drawing to pick the winner.

Exercise challenge is from "Exercise is Medicine"  

Food Challenge is from"American Heart Association"

~Some helpful tips:
             -Use the App My Fitness Pal.  This a a great way to keep track of you food intake.  It's free and easy to use.  I'm on there, feel free to look me up and add me as a friend. Look for juliemullins1.
            -Use Daily Mile to track your running.  It's free and can be linked to facebook.  They have great maps you can use to plan out routes.  Look me up on there too....Julie M. Dallas, OR.