30 July 2012

Anniversary Half

This past weekend I ran my 5th half marathon when I completed See Jane Run Half again! It marked the anniversary of my very first half and I wanted to try out the same course with a new perspective.

I've been training and was hoping to best my original time of 2:05:31 by 13:10, meaning I'd take off one minute per mile. I knew finishing in 1:52:21 would be a challenge, especially considering my most recent time in San Diego was 1:55:35, but I was hopeful the flat course would be in my favor. I made sure to get lots of sleep and put good fuel in my body for the week leading up to the race (beer counts as fuel, right??? Carbo loading!).

The weather was almost identical to last year: overcast and about 60 degrees - perfect for running! I could have done without the 10mph winds though....

For races like these, your official time doesn't start until you cross the start line. Well apparently not everyone knows that, and the start was a bit of a cluster. The race "officials" were trying to tell people to wait, so we could go in waves, but walk/runners will start when they want dammit! So I just went with the flow until it go overly annoying and I took off on the grass.

You go. No you go. No *I"ll* go!
I set my new Garmin 610 watch pacer to an 8:34 mile and set off. I tried to keep it slow in the beginning, but kept creeping closer to the 8:30 mile pace, and decided just to go with it. The weather was good, and I was feeling great!

Powered by my shirt - it reads: Does this shirt make my butt look fast?

About mile 6 my watch said that I had passed my pacer. Really? I thought. Aight, SWEET!

I picked it up about 12 miles out, and just enjoyed crossing the finish line without anything left. According to my fancy pants watch, I peaked near the finish line at a 6:13 pace on flat ground. If you had told me a year ago I would be doing that I'd call you crazy!

Finish line baby!

I crossed and was completely gassed, but recovered quickly and was feeling absolutely fantastic. So what's the final verdict? How'd I do?

Awwe yeah! 1:50:12!!!! I surpassed even my wildest expectations and completely surprised myself! The official results were just posted, and it looks like I was 13th of 132 in my age group (25-29) and 92/895 overall! This result was shocking, and I'm just elated about it. Here is my Garmin race tracker if you're interested. 

A huge shout out needs to go to the Seattle Anti-Freeze Runners, who inspire me to run and come out to the Thursday gatherings every week! I raise this champagne glass to you!

Champagne and chocolate. Delicious at 10am!

And yes, I could barely walk on Tuesday, but that was probably more due to playing catcher in a softball double-header than running the half marathon...or at least that's what I choose to tell myself.

26 July 2012

Happy Seafair!

Seafair is Seattle's traditional summer festival, complete with parades, hydroplane races, fun runs, air shows, and lots and lots of boating! This month-long, region-wide bbq bring the entire community of Seattle together. Looks like good ole' Freddy's is already celebrating! Wasn't I just wondering about this? Ask and ye shall receive!

Happy Seafair Seattle!

23 July 2012

Taking Spidey Up Spiderman

In May The Group traveled to Smith Rock for another epic weekend of climbing. My main partner for the weekend was Jere, who is an impressive trad leader. He had his eye on a 3-pitch 5.7 classic crack called Spiderman as a sort of warm up to the summer:

Spiderman Buttress

One morning we got up very early, climbed over the daunting Asterix Pass, and got to the wall before anyone else. The view on the other side was pretty spectacular.

Asterix Pass - a dicey, unroped 5.6, with a huge pack. Not fun.

View made it worth it - pretty sunrise

Spidey came along, of course, and he warmed up with some completely "cliffhanger" moves, all 100% unroped.

Spidey = Captain Showoff

Jere led the whole thing, linking the first two pitches where I followed cleaning gear to join him on the top of the 2nd pitch. The climbing was beautiful, solid, clean - very easy to see why it's a Smith classic.

Classic Smith

Spidey at the belay ledge

We swapped gear when I made it to the belay ledge, and Jere sent the 3rd pitch like a champ, throwing the final roof moves with impressive style and grace. I gained some great beta from watching him, and was able to send the roof with equal ease. It helps when you have bomber holds at the top!

Jere's Happy Face

When you aren't the rope gun, you've gotta be the rope flake

More Smith photos to come! Thanks for the great climb Jere!

Great partners make for great weekends

12 July 2012

Happy 4th - Space Needle

I *love* Fred Meyer - they always have such fun displays for the holidays. First Halloween, then Thanksgiving and Christmas, and now a summer 4th celebration. I wonder what's next? We need more summer holidays!

09 July 2012

July Awesomeness

Another item on my 30 Before 30 list was to go 30 days without drinking. I've done this before, and for whatever reason it was MUCH harder this time! But, I made it (kicking and screaming) and celebrated July 1st with a glass of my all time favourite beer, Iron Horse Brewery's Irish Death.

Full disclosure: I bought a case of it. What? Jere and I went climbing in Vantage and we just so happened to be driving through Ellensburg on the way back....so we stopped. Not like that was by design or anything.....

Happy Beer Face
In July, I also checked out a new restaurant, the Little Water Cantina, which not only has the best guacaMOLE I've ever had in my life, but it makes a mouth-watering Duck Confit taco which will change your life. Seriously, just go have one. Why are you still reading this - GO!

Beautiful AND delicious

To celebrate America's burfday, I spent the day reading, sunning, and yes, drinking, on a boat yacht in Lake Union. Not to brag, but it was everything you would imagine it to be and more. The last two years I've climbed in Smith Rock on the 4th, and since I'm unable to do that this year, this was a nice change of pace.

Sunshine. In Seattle. Not an optical illusion

Sweet houseboats. One of them has a slide. No I did not try it, but I did take a drink from a shotski on the roof!

Yes, that IS a giant Statue of Liberty head on Gasworks. Why? Because this is 'Merica dammit!

Best show they've done in years!

Love my camera!

And the grand finale!
Happy 'Merica Day everyone!

05 July 2012

Skiing Rainier

After my 28th birthday, I decided to start a 30 Before 30 List inspired by my friend Ginger. It lists 30 things I want to do before I turn 30, including things like: run a full marathon (which I'm signed up for!), travel to see my favourite band in concert, and eat at all the restaurants in my new neighbourhood.

I also want to ski from the summit of 3 Pacific NW volcanoes AND get in turns for 12 consecutive months. That means skiing in June! Thus - a trip up to Muir. A little training if you will.

James and Ben joined me and we had absolutely perfect weather. There's nothing better than skiing in a tank top.

Fog cleared just as we arrived

Looking back into the foggy abyss

It was warm at 9am when we set off and the mountain was shrouded in fog. Very mysterious. Luckily the fog burned off creating a pretty neat effect as we started our skin.

Skinning to the left, hiking to the right. Left lane was the fast lane!

Skinning is much faster than hiking, as I discovered on this trip. The last (and first!) time I hiked up to Muir was in 2008 (I was such a baby) and it took me a little over 5 hours to gain camp. This time, it took just under 4! I'm glad I wasn't this guy below...he was carrying his platoon-mate's gear up, as he was a double amputee and the entire platoon was trying to get him to the summit. Now that's team work.

Double the load and still faster than most

The Highway

Adams in the background - my next adventure!

For the last hour or so you can see Muir. It seems so close and yet it is still so very far.
Camp Muir - hut on the left houses climbers heading to the summit

The day was fantastic giving us clear views of some other volcanoes I'm planning to stand on/have stood on.

Adams, Helen's, Hood
Of course, Grandpa Max came with me to the summit. Spidey came too. Gpa was a little winded, but very happy to be out of the house. He got a sunburn because he wouldn't listen to me about the sunscreen (I think his hearing is going...). Oh well that's what aloe is for.

Gpa and Spidey

Tiny Bathroom Door just right for Grandpa!

Grandpa on the top of Adams

The ski down was a little sticky, but that's to be expected when you have 80 degree temperatures. In all, we had a great time and I hope to eventually ski from the summit! Or at least stand on it! Here's a little video for you. And some more pictures. Because frankly skiing in June is awesome and needs to be celebrated.

Skied down the face right
Tatoosh!!!! That's Castle Rock on the left.

Next objective - Mt. Adams! Thanks for a great day James and Ben (and Spidey and Grandpa Max!)