Monday, December 26, 2016

Race Recap: 2016 races (August-December)

I did a great job keeping up with my blog during the first half of the year, but after I moved back to Washington I got too busy either hiking or running almost every day, and I didn't have time to write about my hikes or races. I'm too far behind to write about everything individually, so I'm going to do a recap of my races in the latter half of 2016.

Most of my progress was made in the first half of 2016. I reached the goal times I had set for myself by June, but after that I took a few steps backward in progress. I spent most of July and August hiking instead of running. From September through December, I was stressed out most of the time due to work and a frustrating living situation, and I either didn't have time to run or had other circumstances get in the way. I spent a lot of my time trying to find a new job and a new living situation, and it paid off as I now have a new job and am moving back to downtown Seattle (and most importantly back to my running trail!)

August races 

Cougar Mountain Trail Run Series - 5k
This was a trail race on Cougar Mountain with 5k, 14 mile, and half marathon options. The 5k course was mostly flat so it was easier than other trail races I've done. I got a 31:38, which isn't too bad for trail racing and for not running much lately. I later found out I placed 1st in my female age group. I also got negative splits at this race (11:09, 10:49, 9:14).


5k course

5k results


National Park Service 100th Birthday Virtual 5k
This was a virtual race in honor of the National Park Service's 100th birthday. A portion of the registration fee went to the National Park Foundation, and there was the opportunity to donate extra as well (I did - I love our parks system!) This was my first virtual race and I discovered they're fairly tough - it's hard to run fast without all the excitement of being in a race and having hundreds of other runners around you. It was hot and a bit humid the day I ran, so my time wasn't the best (30:26). I picked a great location though - scenic Gold Creek Pond.


Gold Creek Pond


Participation medal. It's a ranger hat!

Customized running bib


September races 

Beat the Blerch Half Marathon
Since this was my first half marathon, I'm taking the time to write about it in its own post. My time was 2:16:26. I hadn't trained for it at all and I had IT band issues for the last 8 miles, so I was pleased with my time! It's also the most fun race I've ever been in!



Savage Race
I traveled to Georgia to do this race with a good friend. It was my first obstacle course race and I wasn't excited about it, but it ended up being a lot of fun! It was about 6 miles of running and 26 obstacles. We successfully completed 22 of 26 obstacles and I finished with a time of 1:58:55. I placed 16th in my age group, and my friend placed a bit higher and finished a few minutes ahead of me. We made a great team throughout the race!





October races 

Kennesaw Challenge
This actually isn't a race - it's a challenge I made up for myself. I ran 7 miles on the Noonday Creek Trail in Kennesaw, Georgia, from the start of the trail to the end at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. Then, I hiked over Kennesaw Mountain and Little Kennesaw and back (6 miles), for a total of 13 miles of running/hiking.

Noonday Creek Trail to Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park



Hike over Kennesaw Mtn. and Little Kennesaw Mtn. and back

Run with the Kokanee 10k trail race
This race supported local Kokanee salmon recovery work. It took place at Lake Sammamish State Park and was half sidewalk half trail. We were supposed to get a big storm that day, but luckily it hadn't arrived yet. It was cold, wet, and muddy with a couple downed branches that we had to go around or jump over. The last half mile was difficult because I had picked up the pace a lot, thinking the finish was near, but the race ended up being slightly longer than a 10k at 6.4 miles instead of 6.2. I believe it was my slowest 10k time yet at 1:03:13.




Magnuson Series volunteering
I didn't race this time at my favorite local race series - I volunteered! I appreciate that the Magnuson Series exists and I was always grateful for all of the volunteers, so I wanted to volunteer myself. There is even more work that goes into it that I thought! I helped register day of participants, set up a water/snack table, set up decorations, run one of the obstacles in their obstacle course race, and then helped pick up cones and obstacle materials after the race was over. It was a fun experience and I recommend that anyone who races volunteer at a race at some point!

Runners lined up at the start line


November races 

Magnuson Series Turkey Trot 10k
Thanksgiving day race. The weather was cold and it rained the entire time, so I regretted not signing up for the 5k, but I had chosen the 10k in order to try to burn off some of my Thanksgiving dinner ahead of time! This ended up also being one of my slower 10k times because my IT band acted up 4.5 miles in. I had to stop to try to stretch it a few times, and I ended up doing the limp-run I've done in previous races when I was having IT band issues. My time was 1:03:10.

After the race - completely soaked!



December races 

Beat the Blerch Holiday Fun Run
This was another race put on by The Oatmeal. It was completely a fun run - everyone dressed up in Christmas outfits and wore lights. The race was untimed and was around Green Lake, which isn't quite 3.14 miles (my GPS watch logged 2.82 miles). My friend and I finished it in 27:38 with a pace of 9:48. The first mile was rough because there were so many people. We went from a 10:55 pace to a 9:03 pace once we broke out from the crowd. Even though it wasn't an official race, it was nice to run that quickly again - I don't think I've reached that pace since July. We got awesome pizza blankets at the end of the race.




Smokies Strong Virtual 5k
This was a virtual 5k for the purpose of raising money for those affected by the fires in the Smoky Mountains. I love the Smokies and had spent a weekend in June hiking there, so I was upset about the fires. I found out that the cabin my family stayed in one Christmas burned to the ground. :( The race proceeds were donated to funds for the Smokies, and we had the option to donate extra to any of the four fundraising organizations for the Smokies. I donated extra to two of the organizations. It was later announced that they had raised at least $11,000 for the Smokies. I went and ran my virtual race on the Lake Sammamish Trail. This race went better than my last virtual race in August (28:34 vs. 30:26).


Lake Sammamish

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