Thursday, July 28, 2011
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
May 1st was the Vancouver Marathon weekend. They also included a half-marathon, 10K, and children's race. My "big goal" for this year was to run in the half-marathon -- 13.1 miles/21.1 km. My journey started 18 months ago. At the time, I couldn't run a mile. In fact, I had never run a mile in my entire life. I was the sorry girl walking around the track in 9th grade PE when we were supposed to run the mile. I really wanted to change that though, so I hired a trainer and told him that I wanted to be able to run a mile. It took about two months to get me there, then on February 14th, 2010, I ran my first 5K. And I mean that I ran the entire race. I'd been in several 5K's before, but this was the first time I had run the entire 3.1 miles. I was thrilled!
I then made the goal to do a sprint distance triathlon in August of 2010. I did that, and then another on the same course in September. It felt great to be able to finish those races and to continue to run 5K's. Then I needed another goal. I had several friends, including my physician, who all signed up for the Vancouver race. It was great to hear about everyone's training and progress along the way. I continued working with my trainer to help build my endurance, and Patrick ran with me all the way. He can run a lot faster than I can, but he still stays with me every time we run.
On Friday night, we headed out to Vancouver. It was an easy trip across the border and we arrived at our hotel around 9:30 that evening. On Saturday, we took a walk around China town and then headed to the expo to pick up our packets with bibs and timing chips. We ran into Kathleen and her family and Dr. Bowers and his wife. It was great to see them and share the excitement. After that, Patrick and I went and got dim sum for lunch and then did a little shopping before heading back to the hotel for some relaxation. We didn't do much, because Patrick was having a bad backache and we really wanted that to subside before the race. We had dinner at a fantastic Italian restaurant in Yaletown called Lupo. We walked there and enjoyed the lovely evening, wonderful food, and comfortable walk. We turned in early, because race time would be bright and early at 7:00.
On Sunday morning, we got up early and ate a light breakfast before heading to the race start. It was about a 10 minute walk from our hotel, which included a bunch of stairs. It was an easy walk there, but I realized it would be a killer hike back. We hung back at the start line because we (and when I say "we", I mean me) run pretty slow. The race actually started just a bit before 7:00 and we ran over the starting line right at 7:00. The first few kilometers were easy and we got in the groove of the run. There were bands every so often along the way and a lot of people cheering at different spots that were easy for spectators to get to. The first half of the race was great! When we hit the half-way point, it was 1:25 in and I was excited to think that I would come in under 3:00. Even though there was a big hill in front of us, I didn't think it would slow me down by more than 10 minutes.
That was before the G.I issues started. I've NEVER had any problems when running before, but I guess the excitement and stress of the first 1/2-marathon was just more than my body could take. The trouble started just after the half-way mark and right at the beginning of the uphill climb. By the time I got to the top of the hill, I'd walked most of the way up and was in distress. Fortunately, there were bathrooms (real public restrooms -- not port-o-potties!) and I ended up spending way too much time in there. Patrick waited for me by running back and forth so he wouldn't seize up. I, on the other hand, really lost my groove.
After I got back to the run, we had a steep downhill portion of the race. I found out that this is why I should have spent more time training on hills. By the time I got to the bottom of the hill, my hips were killing me and I was not doing well. I ended up having to walk a little more at that point (about 1/2 kilometer) then got back to the running. I had already lost so much time that I wanted to push myself, but there just wasn't much extra in the tank. I ran again until about the 18 km mark and walked another 100 meters there, then picked up the pace and ran the rest of the way in. I didn't push too hard until I could see the finish line. We came around a bend and the finish was less than a quarter mile away. At that point, I put on the gas and sprinted to the finish line. It felt awesome! I was so glad to be done. The final time was 3:14, so I definitely lost the momentum I had early on in the run.
After we left the finish line area, we ran into Dan and Holly who had both finished before us. That's when we took pictures of each other holding up our medals. That's one medal I'm really proud to have earned. It was so great to see friends at the finish line and share the joy. Once the running was over, the pain started though. Patrick and I started toward the hotel and both of us just laughed when we saw the steps. You would have laughed if you'd seen us too. We looked like a couple of 100-year old ladies climbing those silly steps. I think that may have been the hardest part of the race! After that, we got back to the hotel and did a lot of stretching before and after cleaning up. We really wanted to feel better, but 13.1 miles of pounding the pavement had taken its toll.
Later in the afternoon, we met up with our friends for a celebration lunch. It was great to hear everyone's stories of the race and talk about our next goals. Even though I said I would only do one 1/2-marathon, I really wanted to finish in less than 3 hours, so I feel like I need a do over. That's why, in spite of my better judgement, I'm signed up for another 1/2-marathon in June.
Friday, January 28, 2011
When I saw these I couldn't resist.
It's not quite the same as at Granny and Papa's house, but I think they look pretty cool on my bulletin board.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Friday, January 07, 2011
Neil Pasricha: The 3 A's of awesome | Video on TED.com
Let's hear it for attitude, awareness, and authenticity.
And, if that wasn't enough, check out the speaker's blog of Awesome. I dare you not to feel a little better about your day after reading a couple of entries.
Saturday, January 01, 2011
- Lost net 13 lbs
- Ran an entire 5k for the first time ever (at the Valentine's Day Dash) -- actually, I had never been able to run for a full mile when the year started, much less 3.1 miles
- Participated in two triathlons
- Had more training sessions than I can count
- Started participating in Saturday boot camp workouts
I'm thinking about other goals to focus on this year, but these are the ones that are easiest to share.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
On Christmas Eve, we both had the day off. We both slept in, then I went and worked out with my trainer and did some last minute shopping (though mostly for groceries, not gifts). For our Christmas Eve, we had Chinese food from Chef at Wok and watched a movie (Bounty Hunter and it was pretty good -- definite rental). We read the Christmas story from Luke 2 before going to bed and then called it a night.
On Christmas morning, we woke up fairly early (just after 6) and made sure Santa got the stockings filled. Then we both got up and went to open gifts. We were both excited to give our gifts to each other! It took us about an hour to open and look at everything.
Here's the low down on the loot:
I got 10 swimming lessons, and iPod touch, a cool ring, a bracelet made of Chinese tiles, a cool bee necklace, a blue paperweight, a painting from an Etsy artist with two birds on a wire with a cool background with gold in it, new running socks, a cool yoga top, a Gene Juarez gift card, and iTunes gift card, and various candies and toiletries from the DH. He did a great job finding just the things he knew I would love and going completely overboard in making me feel loved and pampered.All in all, we feel incredibly blessed by all that we received and the wonderful opportunities to give.
I also got a cool Space Needle lego set and an Etta's gift card from my parents; an Amazon gift card and star ornament (or sun catcher, depending on how I feel) from Colin, Sam, and Max; wonderful Hickory Farms food gifts from the Godfrey's; and a wonderful candle from one of my co-workers.
The DH got an overcoat, a Buck knife, a T-shirt that says "Meat is Murder, tasty, tasty murder" on it, an iTunes gift card, a pint glass with a skull and cross-bones etched in it, a Raiders mug for drinking tea at work, a bunch of handmade soap, and other candy and food items from me.
He also got a T-shirt from Colin, Sam, and Max that says "Bing in love is totally punk rock" that we both love, an iTunes gift card from my parents,
The two of us together got a Raiders blanket and stocking caps and pillow cases from his brother time, a couple of books that look really good from the DH's sister, some sparkling grape juice and candle from friends, a movie gift card from friends, and I'm sure I'm forgetting something here.
After opening gifts, I talked to my family in Boise and cooked for a good part of the day. I made rolls, pumpkin pie, cheesy potatoes, green bean casserole, and homemade stuffing. The DH bought a smoked turkey from Jensen's (about which I cannot say enough good things) and that topped of the most wonderful dinner. We shared dinner with some friends and then called it a night.
It was a very merry Christmas for both of us.
Dear Fiends and Family,
2010 has been a wonderful year for us! In January, Patrick got to take a photography class (part of his Christmas haul) and Noelle had the privilege of participating in jury duty. It may sound like a chore, but really was a unique experience getting to understand how our judicial process works. In February, we had the pleasure of flying out to Pensacola, Florida for a week to visit Patrick’s oldest son Daniel and his wife and three kids. It was one of the coldest winters on record, so we didn’t get as much beach time in as we’d hoped, but we had a wonderful time enjoying family for a few days.
February also marked the beginning of racing season for us. After starting workouts with a trainer, Noelle was able to run a full 5K for the first time in her life at the Valentine’s Day Dash. From there, we continued training and participated in several more runs. Noelle finally got to her big race, the Danskin Triathlon, in August. It was a sprint distance swim, bike, and run event and was a huge accomplishment for Noelle. She even felt so good about it that she did another triathlon a month later (also a sprint distance).
In May, Noelle headed off on her own to meet up with her mom and sisters in New York City to celebrate Whitney’s 40th birthday. They had a fantastic time seeing the sites, going to a Broadway show, eating great food, and shopping at fun stores. The activities were good, but the best part was the company!
In August, we enjoyed more time with the Robertson family at a reunion in Boise, ID. It was a great time to see all the nieces and nephews and catch up on what everyone is doing. We had fun with all the activities that mom and dad had planned, but again, the company was the best part. We also had a really nice trip to see Patrick's sister and brother-in-law just outside Hermiston, Oregon in the Fall. We came home with a car loaded with produce, much of which Patrick's brother-in-law grew organically on their land. We're still enjoying the home grown tomatoes and spuds!
In early October, we set off on a grand adventure with another couple and visited southern Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. Patrick had never been to any of these areas, so it was all new to him. Noelle had been to many of the places, but had a wonderful time seeing some of the wonderful places she has such fond memories of from past trips. The best news of all is that we’re still good friends with the couple we traveled with. They were wonderful travel companions and we all seemed to travel at about the same pace.
We spent some time in Boise again for Thanksgiving and enjoyed visiting with the relatives that live there (and Ann!) for a few days. It’s been a busy December, but we’re looking forward to a quiet Christmas at home and a wonderful new year with more plans for fun.
Noelle and Patrick McDonald