So on I go... Oct. '10 Napa Valley Trail Marathon, Napa, Ca. My first traveling race of the 12. I was so excited for this one. My in-laws are in the Bay Area, so this race was a family trip. We love Cali. They have a race there every weekend. This race was also over Halloween weekend, so I got my race out of the way and then it was all about parties and trick-or-treating for the kids. Super fun.
This race was crazy hard, but so gorgeous. Lots of hoping over streams, logs, sliding down slick rock. It had just a little bit of everything. What I didn't love so much...the race is a loop that you do twice. So knowing how tough the first half was you come back through the start line and have to do it all again. Not that I'd quit a race, but I thought about it for a few seconds. ;)
Because of all the uphill and then the downhill that you really couldn't fly down and jumping over stuff, I was a bit slower than usual. But I felt great. Eeery tidbit - this was race #5, my finish time was 5:05:05. On my garmin and on official finish time!! This was the smallest race I'd ever done too. I want to say 50ish marathoners, only 8 women finishers I think. I'd have to go back and check, but that's about right!
November '10 - San Antonio Rock n Roll. I'm not exactly sure why I picked Texas. I wanted to go outside of the west coast, RNR's looked like fun and I have a super cute cousin that lives there that was going to run her first half marathon! This was the first time I had a 'blogger meet-up'. It was actually fun! And everyone turned out completely normal!! ;) That's always a fear, right? We had so much fun that the restraurant manager actually had to ask us to leave because we'd been there long enough.
I'm sure you recognize a few faces in there. :)
RNR's have turned out to be not my favorite races. Running with 30,000+ is not all it's cracked up to be. Also this was the race where a train came in the first mile, we stopped for about 3 minutes for it to pass and the corral start was all for nothing. I'd lift my arm to check my watch and end up elbowing someone in the gut. We were packed in pretty tight. 4:47 finish. Ugly race. Sorry San Antonio, you didn't put on a good show. Next time I go to Texas I'll go to Austin.
Fresh moose prints. Same canyon where we saw cougar prints just a month earlier.
December '10 - Holualoa Marathon, Tuscon, AZ. Of course I had to pick somewhere resorty and warm for December. Tuscon was the best choice ever... for a couple of reasons. First we stayed here:
Gorgeous resort, and we had perfect weather the whole weekend. I wore shorts and a t-shirt, in December!
Another blogger meet-up. I was fairly new to Emz's blog. But decided to meet her at the Expo. I remember Miss Zippy saying you should run AZ and meet Emz, you'll love her. Kinda funny.
After meeting her and her cute fam, they invited us to dinner with her parents. It was all over after that. I'll save all the gushing for when I get to May.
Biggest surprise... Em and her entire family waiting for me to come across the finish, over an hour of waiting. I'd met these people all of one day ago and they waited and cheered me on at the finish. So aweseome.
January '11 - RNR Pheonix, AZ. I know. I just said how I'm not a fan of RNR's. But it was Arizona, much better than a snowshoeing marathon for sure. And I got to hang out with Emz again. Not a hard choice.
Of course blogger meet-up... Lauren, Em, and Derek. We laughed all night. Derek probably thought we were some pretty silly blondes.
Found our girl at the Expo. RNR Expos are kinda like Costco. You can walk around and get a full meal of samples to fill you up.
Thanks to Pita, I got footage of me chicking Superman behind me. Thanks to Jamoosh for putting me in the know about all things chickage. Sorry hommie in the Superman tank.
I wasn't going to do any link-ups to past posts....but this is one of my favorites if I'm gonna toot my own horn. If you have an extra five check it out. And please view it knowing that it is laced with extremely heavy sarcasm. :)
February '11 - Surf City Marathon, Huntington Beach, CA. One of my favorite races. One I would go back and do again and again. Who doesn't love the coast?
Another blog meet-up... Patrick and Chris. Seriously two of the nicest people ever. Chris, if I'm back on the blog roll you should be too. C'mon.
Surf City was amazing. Running along the coast for most of the race. Overcast that day, perfect weather. I think I finished around 4:35ish. Gotta go down there again and meet Caroline next time!
One of the best part of these races is that I got to travel and have a weekend getaway with my husband. And with 5 kids heaven knows we need it. Having something to look forward to each month was awesome. Couldn't have done this without his support.
Beautiful country. Ran my first race in Yaktraks. Toughest thing I've ever done. Inclines were beyond intense, it was freezing, and lots of slushy snow puddles to run through. It would have been crazy hard without the snow!
Out on those mountains for 6 and a half hours!!! Yeah, not much running going on. More hiking, and trying not to fall in snow puddles.
Being with friends made up for it though.
These two chickas are my bf's from college. I think that was our first girl's trip since living together in college! Long overdue.
And I had to put an 'RD' up on the famous gum wall. I know. Gross.
April '11 - Skyline to Sea Marathon, Santa Cruz, CA. Another trail race. I love them so much not only for the scenery but the pressure it takes off from feeling like I have to get a PR. :) We started up at the top of the mountain and finished close to the beach. Another one I would love to do again.
Finished around 5 hours. Could've done better but had some stomach issues that day. I still had an awesome weekend. My sister came with me for this race and we had a blast playing in Santa Cruz. And we did not take one picture together. Ridiculous.
And you know what else is ridiculous? How long this post is. Sorry. Still a couple more parts to the saga.