2017 Kirkland Shamrock Run 5K Race Review

2017 Kirkland Shamrock Run 5K Race Review

My husband, who is going to hate this blog post, used to—and quite honestly still does—make fun of my running. So, you can probably imagine my surprise when he, himself, began running this winter…and then told me he wanted to sign up for a 5K. Remember how you felt when you found out Donald Trump was really, truly running for president and it was like a serious no-joke thing? That’s how I felt when the hubs asked me to sign us up.

A Little Background

As you may know, I have been immersed in the world of crazy runners since I started this blog in 2009. And by crazy, I mean obsessed people. My interests have bounced between 5Ks and marathons, and weightlifting and yoga. I even once considered an ultra. Once. Considered. So, I will say that I was sort of wondering how long it would take my husband to get on board the fitness train with me. Judging from his attitude about my running endeavors, I guessed the answer to that would be never. But then it happened. It was last year around this time, actually. Just 7 short years after I first began my health journey, he fully committed to his.

My husband started small—which is how everyone says to do it—something I, myself, completely ignored by jumping straight into training for half and full marathons before my body was ready (thus getting injured). He began walking on his lunch hour. He had a step goal. Not 10,000, but instead a number he thought was more achievable for his current fitness level. Then he started buying salads from the work café for lunch. Then he started bringing salads from home for lunch. (Full disclosure: I make these salads.)  Next, he increased his step goal to 10,000. Just by making those small changes, he lost nearly 60 pounds in about 9 months.

Next thing I knew, he began training for a 5K before Christmas, and he asked me to sign us up for a race so he could have a goal to motivate him. As it turned out, the 2107 Kirkland Shamrock Run was the exact right timing for his training, so I signed us up. (Full disclosure: As an ambassador for Orca Running, I had free entries. As always, I promise to be honest in my review of the race.)

The hubs confessed he was nervous the night before the race because he’d never run 3.1 miles consecutively. I reassured him since I knew he’d been running consistently—which, by the way, was much more than I could say about my own training. Beyond the Metabolic Effect weights workouts I like to do, I’d only been sprinting once or twice a week, and occasionally going for a longer, slow run on the weekend—and only if it was sunny out! He’d been running in the dark after work, in sleet and rain. He’d become a crazy runner.

The Day of the Race

The morning of the race was way calmer than it normally is when it’s just me, which is super surprising, since it was Jamey’s first time getting ready for one, and we also had to get our son up and ready to go over to a friend’s house. Probably because the race didn’t start till 9, which is in my opinion, about the perfect time for a race to start. And also, the hubs picked up our bibs ahead of time.

Another nice thing was that it wasn’t raining, and it had been (and has been) raining a lot here—even more than normal in the Pacific Northwest. Of course, after we arrived in Kirkland and found covered, free nearby parking in the metro transit parking garage, it started to rain. Luckily, it was just a light rain for our short walk to the start line at Kirkland Marina. (You may remember Kirkland Marina from me and my friend Chelsea’s stand-up paddleboard adventure…in a summertime downpour.)

The best thing about starting a race at Kirkland Marina is the public bathrooms. You KNOW us runners are port-o-potty connoisseurs, and when we luck out with public bathrooms at a race, it’s like we’re living a life of luxury. Oh, and the line was extremely short—and the bathroom had toilet paper and soap! I might as well have been carrying around a four-leaf clover.

Afterward, we wandered to the start line. We were excited to see bagpipers on stage, but they weren’t playing. (Fun fact: My husband is also a bagpiper.) I wanted a start-line photo, so I asked a random man to take our picture.

2017 Kirkland Shamrock Run 5K Race Review
The hubs wasn’t thrilled. Also, this is what you get when you ask a dude to take your photo. Next time, I’ll ask a woman. Sorry, dudes, but c’mon! The ladies behind us look cute, though.

Thanks…I guess. Dudes, you guys need to step up your photography game. In the age of Instagram, this is unacceptable! Then it was time to line up for the start of the race. I love small races, everything is so relaxed, and everyone is so nice. We found a spot in the back of the first wave since it was 11:15 pace and under. There were just two waves.

The Actual Race

Then it was time to count down and the bagpipers played us across the start. We set off like a typical race—slower since everyone is just trying not to trip, and even before we hit a quarter-mile, we were all spread out. There was plenty of room on the road to find your own pace. But we were about to hit the first hill. Being in Kirkland, we knew there’d be a couple hills—I think there were three in all. They were steep, but not super long. We took our time and we were smart about the hills, walking when we needed to. By now it was raining in earnest.

One thing I noticed, or did not notice, was mile markers…or rather, the absence of them. Now, that may have just been me not being very observant, but I didn’t see any, and I was looking. I did not wear my Garmin and it would have been helpful to know about how much of the race we had left. It is also useful for writing race reviews. So…I think it was after the first mile that we turned onto a flat dirt path.

The path was thinner than the road. I thought there may be some dodging and weaving, but it wasn’t bad. The only trouble we had was with people with dogs a couple of times. The race allows dogs, which I appreciate, but runners need to keep their doggies a little closer when they run so they don’t trip anyone—we had a couple of close calls.

The course wasn’t spectacularly scenic, but I enjoyed the cute neighborhoods we ran through. I also appreciated the police and volunteers who were standing in the rain and taking care of traffic along the course. We saw one driver who was not happy (and throwing a bit of a tantrum), but an officer calmly told her that there had been signs up about the race for a week. So, yeah. Calm down, lady.

There were a couple of short, steep uphills somewhere in the second mile…I think. Also, it might’ve been around the end of Mile 2 when my husband said to me, “You talk a lot.” Why he thought I would be different running than I am any other time, I don’t know.

2017 Kirkland Shamrock Run 5K Race Review
TBH I never thought I’d see a photo of us like this.

Mile 3 was great. It started (again, I think it was the beginning of Mile 3 because there were no mile markers), on a steep downhill. My shoe came untied, so I told the hubs to go ahead and I would catch up. This was great because I got to fly down the hill, which I love to do. I even got to sprint a little at the bottom. I am such a nerd.

Anyway, most of this mile was near the water, so we had a nice view of Lake Washington. It was really raining pretty hard now, but we were almost done.

2017 Kirkland Shamrock Run 5K Race Review

Soon enough, we were rounding a corner into the finish-line chute. Is it just me or do you love corners right before the finish chute? It feels awesome, right?

I told the hubs to go ahead and I would follow his lead because it was slightly crowded. And then, what does he do? Like father like son because he totally takes off in a sprint and cuts around a group of people, so I could not catch him. No cute finish line photo for us.

This might be a good time to talk abut the photos. As you can see in the hand-holding photo, the quality isn’t too great. I will cut them some slack on that because it was raining pretty hard. My biggest complaint is that there were only like four total photos of us (I am only in two of them), and we passed at least four photographers. There were no photos of us at the finish line. Not one—I even scanned through all of them in case our bibs weren’t visible. The nice thing, however, is that the photos are free. So, how can I complain? I’m just being nit-picky now, really.

One thing that I thought was really cool was that Orca Running had a PR bell set up near the finish line! I wish all races had that. Hubby got to ring it as it was his firt race and, hey, automatic PR!

2017 Kirkland Shamrock Run 5K Race Review
The hubs got to ring Orca Running’s PR bell! Yeah, I was jealous.

As you can see from the photo, it was very wet by the end, so we did not stick around for any festivities. We really only stayed long enough to get a quick picture in front of the backdrop, which I appreciated. (Again, age of Instagram, people.)

2017 Kirkland Shamrock Run 5K Race Review
The Shamrock Run medals were huge and awesome. The shamrock spins, too. Well done.

The medals also were really well done and very big, especially for a 5K. They have a cute shamrock in the middle that spins around. Very nice bling indeed! In addition, the race shirts came in both male and female cuts, so that’s a major plus because I hate unisex shirts, and I think most women would agree with me.

Overall, the race was very well organized. There were good snacks afterward, too (I had Red Vines!), and I also think there was an after-party in the pub nearby, but we had to get home to pick up our kid.

Thank you Kirkland Shamrock Run and Orca Running for a great first race for my hubs!

Our times:

  • Jamey: 33:13
  • Me: 33:16

7 Tricks for Running a Magical 5K

7 Tricks for Running a Magical 5K

I have shocking news, you guys. Are you sitting down?

Well, stand up.

My husband has been running…and he is training for a 5K…race.

For those of you who might not know, my husband has lost more than 60 pounds since this time last year by walking and by eating well. But he got to a point this winter where he wanted to challenge himself and he started running using the Couch to 5K program.

And then he asked me to sign him up for a race. After I picked myself up off of the floor, I registered us for the Kirkland Shamrock Run 5K on March 11. (Psst: You can use my code MOMVSMARATHON to save 10% on this race.)

All this 5K talk has inspired me and now I want to train for a fast 5K again. Running a fast 5K is like magic. When it’s over, you’re not sure what happened, but you enjoyed the hell out of it.

Last time I did that was in 2014 at the See Jane Run 5K with my friend Kim. We both killed it and came in 2nd in our age groups. It wasn’t a PR, though. I think my PR is still 23:45 from the St. Paddy’s Day 5K in Tacoma in 2012. I’m not entirely sure because I don’t care enough to look it up.

See Jane Run 5K Race Recap 2014
Me and Kim at See Jane Run in 2014.

I can beat that, though, right? That course had a huge hill at the end that was like a half a mile long. I mean, I’ll be 40 in September, so maybe I should try to crush it in my 35-39 age group one more time.

(This page may contain reference to products that are affiliate links. I may receive compensation when you click or purchase items through these links. Read my full disclosure.)

For this, I will have to call on my old “tricks,” to help me slay in a fast 5K either later this spring or this summer.

What are my tricks, you ask? Or maybe you didn’t ask, but I’m sharing them anyway.

Give myself time. If I really want to dominate in the 5K, I need to pick one that is far enough away that will allow me to get it right. I have to give myself adequate time to get lean and strong (see below), and then start my run training. In my experience, doing one thing at a time works best for me.

Get lean and strong. I am already doing this, as some of you may know. I work on strength 3-4 times/week. My favorite workouts are from Metabolic Effect and JillFit. The No. 1 factor in my ability to get stronger and stay on the leaner side is consistency. It’s my experience that one will not see resulst by working on strength one day a week. Ya need at least 3 days and ya need a plan or workouts that progress. I also recommend using heavy weights. The other part of the equation is eating well for leanness. That means lots of protein and fiber (fiber is vegetables, guys), and the right amount of carbs/starch for your body.

Run. This is crucial. I need to start doing this.

Find a training plan. Who has time to run every damn day? Not me. I have learned over the years to be realistic when I choose a training plan. Also, I’ve never had luck with free plans on the Internet (with the exception of Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk marathon training). The plan I’ve used twice to get/go after 5K PRs is from Run Less Run Faster by Bill Piece, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss. I love this book because it is tailored to my current running fitness. It forces me to be realistic. It focuses on speed. And I only have to run 3 days a week. I like to run, but not as much as I used to. I’ve read and tried MAAAAAANNNNNY running books, and this is my favorite for the 5K and half marathon distances.

Warm up on the day of the race. I think Kim was hating me in 2014 when I made her warm up, but I have to. I cannot run fast on cold legs even if it’s hot out. You’ve all done long training runs, right? Isn’t it like Mile 3 where you finally start to feel good? Well, a 5K isn’t long enough for that. I don’t have time! I have to do some running and stretching before the race. Allow time for that. Leg swings, squats and lunges, and light jogging with fartleks thrown in is how I do it.

Stay focused during the race. I use an old tactic I learned on the cross country team in high school. I focus on a back and then I aim to pass it. Then I pick another back. If there are not backs, I pick a landmark and try to get by it as fast as possible. I know music is controversial, but I use it. There are certain songs that make me feel like I can fly. If music helps you, use it. This isn’t the Olympics, people.

Think of a 5K as a sprint. If you don’t want to puke at the end, you’re not doing it right.

Go forth and slay.

Captain Jack’s Treasure Run 5K 2016 Race Report

Captain Jack's Treasure Run 5K Race Recap

Blimey! It’s 2017 and I still haven’t written a recap for the Halloween race I did last year. I also never cleaned my garage, but…

My son asked me over the summer if we could run a 5K together. He’s run kid races (like 1Ks and stuff), but never a 5K. I was not worried about him not having formal training since he is constantly moving, running and jumping around. The Captain Jack’s Treasure Run seemed to be the perfect race to do with my active 8-year-old.

A 5K option? Check. A pirate theme? Check. Dressing up encouraged? Check. Medals for every participant? Check. Free photos? Check. Beer garden? Check. (Okay, we passed on the last one. What do you think this is, Europe?)

Another reason I chose this race is for the later start time—a lovely 10 a.m. I know some of you parents drew the short straw and have kids that wake before the sun, but my kid sleeps in to a reasonable time. Getting him up early is actually chore. So, we rose at a normal time, put on our pirate costumes (my son wore his old Disney Captain Hook Halloween costume here) and headed out for the race, which is about 45 minutes from our house.

Parking was free and not too far from the venue—Red Hook Brewery—so we found a spot and walked to pick up our race bibs. It was a little chilly in the upper 40s/low 50s, so I wished I’d thought to bring warm jackets for before the race. Mom fail. But, hey, it’s all part of the experience, right? I’m usually standing around freezing before races, so my son was getting to see what the real deal is.

After we got our bibs, we jogged back to the car and warmed up. Along with the bibs, we got awesome race shirts, which I ended up wearing (wish they had a kids size, though, for my son) tattoos, stickers and eye patches.

Back at the pre-race festivities, pirates wandered around handing out treasure (free toys for kids), and a lively crew put on a fun and funny warm up that my son enjoyed and made me participate in.

Captain Jack's Treasure Run 5K Race Recap - start
Us with a random pirate.

The start area was a little narrow, I thought, but they started us in waves based on how fast we thought we’d run and so it didn’t up being that bad. Also, the race was small enough that it wasn’t that much of a factor. A pirate had an old pistol to shoot for the start, which was fun, but a little scary. It wouldn’t work and then, blammo! I thought he was gonna blow the man down for a sec.

But everyone was safe and running. We started in the back of our pack, so we had a slow start. Also, my son’s feet were cold and hurt with each step, so it took us a little bit to get warmed up. The course was nice and flat and paved if just a little narrow (simply a normal biking path). This would actually be a total PR course as long as you start in the front. Starting in the back will make it tough to get around people. The scenery was really pretty with the river and the valley’s green grass and fall foliage, and everyone was in good spirits (which is totally fitting since it’s at a brewery).

My son did the typical kid thing—sprint, then walk, sprint, then walk. And it worked for him. I gave him advice about running races, such as look before you pass someone since a runner might be coming up behind you, and don’t just stop running right in front of people, pull off to the side (that is my biggest pet peeve about races). He also ran the entire race with an eye patch on.

Toward the end of the race, he started to run more steadily. His pace was much quicker than I thought he could do for that long. Proud mom. He enjoyed racing a young girl maybe a year or two older than him for about a quarter mile till she gave in and walked. That made me laugh inside because I would’ve been that girl (No stinky boy is gonna beat me!). With the finish in sight, I asked, “Do you want to hold hands over the finish line or…” I didn’t get it all out because he took off in a sprint to beat me.

Finish Line - Captain Jack's Treasure Run 5K Race Recap
I mentioned the free photos, right? Love this one!

I had to run fast to catch up because I wanted to see my son get his medal. He looked so proud of himself. We then got some water and a banana. Another fun thing this race had was a treasure box. We lined up and then my son chose from three doors to reach into. He got an awesome Brooks trucker hat with a skull and cross bones that I immediately stole.

My son's prize that I wear now.
My son’s prize that I wear now.
Captain Jack's Treasure Run 5K Race Recap - medals
Our fun medals.

I loved this race and plan to do it again next year with my son and maybe even my husband because he started running last month. If you’re interested in signing up for the race on Oct. 29, 2017, don’t forget to use my code MOMVSMARATHON to save 10% on your entry. The earlier you sign up, the cheaper it is. Right now it’s only $30 for the 5K and $35 for the 8K. So worth it for all the free stuff you get, from swag to photos, and don’t forget the free beer ticket thanks to Red Hook!

Avast! Read my disclaimer: As an Orca Running Ambassador, I had free entry into this race. I’m not good at lying (clearly not a real pirate), however, so all my opinions are honest and truthful.

Captain Jack’s Treasure Run 5K and 8K

Captain Jack Treasure Run 5K and 8K
My son will wear his Capt. Hook costume and I will be Smee.

(This page may contain reference to products that are affiliate links. I may receive compensation when you click or purchase items through these links. Read my full disclosure.)

I’m so excited! My son is going to run his first 5K with me on Oct. 30 at Captain Jack’s Treaure Run in Woodinville.

He wasn’t sure at first, but I told him all about how fun running races are. (And that we could dress up as pirates, which is when he came on board.)

About Captain Jack’s Treasure Run

The race is partnering with Red Hook Brewery. There are two distances, 5k and 8k, to choose from. Everyone gets a finisher’s medal, a race shirt (long sleeve), FREE race photos, post-race grub, and access to the post-race shenanigans: beer garden, music, food trucks and the Treasure Chest.

Want to run with us? Go here to register and get 10% off of your entry with the code MOMVSMARATHON.

Note: I am an ambassador for Orca Running and am receiving entry to the race. Orca Running is excellent at putting on super fun races!

5 Things Friday: The Snoqualmie Valley Run, New Spartan Race Book, TreadLIFT and More

I gotta bunch of random stuff for you today!

1. RHODIOLA ROSEA: This is an herb that has helped me tremendously over the last couple of weeks. I purchased the one from Gaia right here. I was having a terrible time with anxiety and stress, and after a couple of days taking the herb—along with getting some extra R&R, it helped me feel…even. I also think it helped with my fat loss as it seemed to level out my cortisol, and let my body relax and shed a couple pounds. (I promise I will do a Metabolic Prime Update soon!)

2. SNOQUALMIE VALLEY RUN: Today is the last day to give $10 to a local charity when you register for the Snoqualmie Valley Run half marathon or 10K thanks to Orca Running. The race is coming up fast—June 11! Remember to use MOMVSMARATHON when you sign up and save 10% on your registration.

I wish I was running this beautiful course, but I have a relay the weekend before and a bachelorette party and race the weekend after, so I can’t. womp, womp

3. TREADLIFT: Today is also the last day to purchase Jill Coleman’s new program #treadLIFT. I did my first workout yesterday and, oh boy, I am sore today—especially my glutes. I have been doing Metabolic Prime for almost 3 months (literally thousands of squats and lunges), so I thought I’d be able to handle it, but whew! I was so sweaty and my legs were Jell-O afterward.

5 Things Friday - TreadLift | Mom vs. Marathon
The highest my incline gets is 10%!

I did a BUILD workout for legs called Sweet Sixteen. It consisted of walking on my treadmill for 6 minutes, bumping up the walking speed every minute while at a 10% incline (as high as mine goes). Then I did 20-second sprints/40-seconds rest until the timer got to 10 minutes. Next, I hopped off and it was time for circuits—as many rounds as I could get in 20 minutes of 10-rep weighted lunge/squat/lunges, Bulgarian split squats, bridges and deadlifts. I only made it 2.5 rounds, so I will use lighter weights next time and try to make it to four. Yikes!

If you decide to sign up, I encourage you to use ME coach Tara Ballard’s #treadLIFT link here, so you can be added to her private Facebook group. She has been extremely helpful—especially with nutrition advice and motivation during Metabolic Prime. You are basically getting a coach at your fingertips. Tara is super positive and is also a runner.

4. THE PUPPY RUN VIRTUAL 5K, 10K AND/OR HALF MARATHON: I really want to do the 5K! Registration closes May 11, so hurry and sign up for The Puppy Run here. FitFam, who is hosting the race, will be contributing $1 plus any additional donations to Valhalla Canine Rescue, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to help dogs and all animals in need.

5. SPARTAN FIT!: I have been wanting to do a Spartan Race for a while! (But I’m a chicken.) Once I get brave serious about it, I want to read this! Spartan Fit will teach you how to get in shape for a race. The book comes out in August, but you can pre-order it now through July 1 and save 25% by entering FIT25 at checkout. Click the ad below to pre-order!

2015 Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report


Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon
Me, Alyssa, Mel, Goober and Giblet, and Zoë at the Frosty 5K last Saturday.

It was weird not to feel nervous about a race.

Normally, I put a stupid amount of pressure on myself to run fast in races—especially at Santa Runs Tacoma’s Frosty 5K because (usually) you get a cool mug if you finish in the top 100 runners.

I knew that wasn’t going to happen this year. I haven’t run much more than a mile here or there since the marathon in September. And I’ve put on 5+ (okay fine, it’s closer to 10 pounds) by eating cookies and drinking eggnog every day since Thanksgiving.

Yes, I’ve been working out, but I have not been eating well, and so I’m putting on muscle…and fat. Good times.

Luckily for me, most of my friends have been on a running break, too, so we all planned to run together. Zoë even brought her kiddos (Goober, 5, and Giblet, 1) to ride in the double-jogger!

We didn’t have a specific theme this year for the race. Two years ago, we all dressed as snowmen.

Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon
Alyssa, Chelsea, Tiff and Me. Mel took the photo.

We have been running this race since 2010…

Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon
Total Santa race noobs.

…which was my son’s first race…

Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon
Little runner guy.

…in 2011, we matched and Kim was here…

Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon

…then I missed 2012…and Zoe missed last year…

Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon
Will and Tiff, Mel and Me. Where’s Alyssa? She was there, I promise!

…and, sadly, Tiffany missed this year. It happens.

Santa Runs Tacoma Frosty 5K Race Report | Mom vs. Marathon
Selfie credit: Mel’s amazing arm! 🙂

This year, we just Christmassed out. Nobody could’ve topped the ladies that dressed as nutcrackers. They had awesome costumes. It was raining a little, so I didn’t get to wear my Christmas tree glasses.

I ran with Zoë, Mel and Alyssa (and Goober and Giblet), and it was so much awesome. We took it pretty easy and chatted and joked for 30 minutes and 45 seconds, letting Zoë and her stroller set the pace.

The Frosty 5K is flat, except for one small overpass hill, which we had to walk about half of because of the heavy stroller, even though Goob let us know that we better get running again. Little coach in training!

I wasn’t pushing anything, but I definitely felt the extra weight I am carrying. Despite that, the pace was perfect and we even passed a lot of people, including some other strollers at the end of the race, and we finished four-wide across the finish line. (Hopefully there will be a cute picture.)

Afterward, we went to breakfast, of course, where I had about ¼ of my mimosa before getting buzzed, listened to Goober tell me hilarious nonsensical jokes, and then losing my Debit card (which I found in my wallet after Zoe paid for me—I swear I didn’t plan that!).

Pretty great morning. Running with friends it the absolute best—even better than PRs and mugs*.


*Our fasty friend told us no mugs this year. Hopefully, they’ll be back next year.

Do I Need a Running Coach?

Do I Need a Running Coach | Mom vs. Marathon

How far in advance do you plan your races?

I like to “sketch” them in about a year in advance, but it never ever goes the way I plan. I usually end up adjusting things every couple of months.

So, yeah, I planned my next goal before I ran the marathon last weekend. Planning my next adventure before I’ve done my current one helps me avoid the post-race blues. Since I already had something to look forward to, I wasn’t sad when the marathon journey was over!

My next goal is not a marathon. I am signed up to do another marathon, however, but it’s not until June. I registered for the Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon last month when it was like $60. I’m such a sucker for a cheap marathon!

I have not quite decided if I will run the full or downgrade to the half. Part of me wants to run 26.2 again. I want to see if I can do better. But part of my just wants to leave it alone.

It’s just that I feel the need for some marathon redemption. But not against the distance; against myself. Does that make sense?

Here are the reasons why I think I didn’t do as well as I could have at Beat the Blerch:

  • My training was not consistent. Afraid of injuring myself, I cut back my weekly mileage rather drastically. The plan I was using relied on weekly mileage, which is why my long run was only 18 miles—it was supposed to be about the accumulation of miles throughout the week. Consistency in running is huge. Whatever you do, be consistent.
  • My heart and mind weren’t in the race. I had sort of given up on the distance during the middle of my training, and then by the time I got back on board, it was too late to make up lost runs.
  • I underestimated the gravel trail. Out of my control, but I didn’t mentally plan for it to be a factor.
  • I underestimated a 9-mile long incline, even if it was only slightly inclined. Again, out of my control, but I should’ve mentally planned for it.
  • I got plantar fasciitis from running in too-small shoes (I think from trying the Hokas), and was trying to rest my foot. (See first bullet point.) Rookie mistake. I should know better.
  • I spoke negatively about the distance a lot. I wasn’t as positive as I should have been.

Besides inconsistency (which really is also a mental thing), the biggest factor in my race outcome was my mind. I recently heard about a book coming out called The Runner’s Brain by Dr. Jeff Brown. Listening to an interview with Dr. Brown, I realized that my brain wasn’t trained for the marathon. If I really had wanted to beat my time from my first marathon, I should’ve been more mentally prepared.

I’m not disappointed in my marathon at all. I didn’t deserve to PR. I didn’t do the work. I didn’t have the right attitude. I finished. And that’s all I was trained for. J

I do have a half marathon coming up on Oct. 11–the Snohomish River Run! But I plan to take it easy.

Now, for my next big adventure…

Do I Need a Running Coach | Mom vs. Marathon

I sat down with my Believe Training Journal the week before the marathon and thought about what I really want.

  1. I want to be fit.
  2. I want to be fast.
  3. I want to have fun.

As we have seen, the marathon distance does not help me achieve any of those things. LOL

What sort of distance aligns with my wants? The 5K, of course!

  • Here’s my goal: PR in the 5K. (My PR now is 23:45.)
  • Here’s my “Can I?” goal: Break 21:00 in the 5K. (My PR from high school.)
  • Here’s my “Scary” goal: Break 20:00 in the 5K!

The good news is that I love the 5K distance—takes me back to my cross country days, which I didn’t love at the time, but that I now look back at fondly.

5Ks are hard if you race them. And I also love that. I just went back and read my recap of the See Jane Run 5K I raced with Kim in 2014. It made me excited to race again.

These are big goals. PRing in a shorter distance takes work. But training for the distance is more manageable with work, family and other hobbies, like blogging.

I think I could reach my first goal on my own, but my other two goals are lofty and I don’t know that I could do it alone. So…

I might be in the market for a running coach. Have you ever hired a running coach? How would I go about finding one?

I’d be looking for three things in a coach:

  • Someone who believes in strength training (because I love strength training and I really want to incorporate it into my running better than I’ve been able to do by myself).
  • Someone who understands I can’t run more than four days a week. Because injuries.
  • Someone who is affordable! (This may mean they coach virtually over the Internets.)

Do you know someone? Hook me up!