Race Review: Bridge of the Goddess (Year of the Fire)

To say fires have messed with the PNW is an understatement. Add on races getting canceled because of lack of runners and you have last weekend. I was originally suppose to run the Vancouver USA 5K and Half Marathon last weekend, however, a month ago (while on vacation no less) I got an email that it had been cancelled due to low registration. Apparently in 2016, the course route had been shortened unintentionally and registration numbers suffered. Because of that, I ended up finding the Bridge of the Goddess Half Marathon. Normally, the race is held at the Columbia River Gorge in the Cascades, and I figured I could knock Oregon off my half marathon list and get a CME course in Portland all in one swoop.

About a week before the race, organizers moved the race to Vancouver, Washington, just over the Oregon/Washington state lines. Fires in the area made for less than ideal situations for runners, so I went from planning an hour drive to the race and something somewhat hilly to driving 15 min, minimal hills and no Cascades.

I flew in early Friday morning and got situated with my conference. When we had a long enough lunch break, I took an Uber over to the Portland Running Company’s Downtown location to get my bib and shirt. They also had some freebies in the bag that we got. Nice thing about Oregon is there’s no sales tax and when the store is doing 50% off things, it means you buy capris that go down to $45. I found the Nike Outlet store close by and found some other unnecessary running stuff that I needed.

Saturday morning, I was up by 630 AM and changed. I grabbed some breakfast at the hotel and headed out to Vancouver, WA, about 15 min from Portland. I found some free street parking about a 5 min walk from the start. There were some pre race announcements before we were off. About half a mile into the race, we split from the 10K runners and headed into Ft. Vancouver after running some mild hills/incline. The hills weren’t terrible, but you saw them. At least they weren’t back to back. It’s always fun hitting miles 2-3 and seeing the leaders come back past you. We doubled back through Ft Vancouver and then took to the streets of Vancouver and then down along the banks of the Columbia River. The running paths were paved and it got to the point where we hit the turn around and came on back to Esther Park, where we started. The course had remained fairly flat after we got Ft Vancouver and the race was actually well marked. Only downside was that there was no timers on course, so I was banking on my Garmin. I ended up finishing in 1:57:41, 2 min off my PR and my second sub 2 hr half this year.

Post race, you had the option of a necklace or a medal. I opted for the necklace. I grabbed some water and looked at some of the vendors. I attempted to get food, but the lines were long enough where I didn’t feel like waiting. I headed back to the car and drove back to Portland and got the money shower before heading to my conference for the rest of the day.

Overall, it was a well run race. Kudos to race organizers for getting a race moved to a separate location in less than a month. Eventually, it’d be fun to go back and run it in the Cascades, where it’s suppose to be run. Anyone else get displaced last weekend from races??

Advertisements

Race Review: Colville Country Road Half Marathon

I’ve only lived in Washington State for 13-14 months and it took me that long to finally run a half marathon out here. Races in Eastern Washington were either weekends I worked or I when I had other plans. Labor Day weekend, I was able to hang around until Saturday. I worked out with my trainer Saturday morning, got some breakfast and went home to shower and watch some football. Since the race was only 90 min away, I drove up Saturday afternoon and stayed at a hotel in Colville. Colville is one of those towns where you blink and you miss it. I checked in and found a place to pick up dinner so I could take it back to the hotel and watch some football. Thankfully, I had a fridge in my room, so I ran to the store as well and picked up some small things for race day. Kind of hard to pay when you leave your wallet at the hotel and have to run back to get it and head back to the store. Whoops.

Race day, I was up around somewhere between 545 and 6 AM. The start was 2 miles from where I was staying. I got to the start at 640 and realized this was going to probably be the smallest half marathon I’ve ever run. It had an associated 10K with it and I nearly dropped down to that, but figured I didn’t stay overnight to run a 10K. I got my bib and shirt and put the rest of the freebies in my car. At 7 AM sharp, we were off (all less than 50 of us). There were a few turns early on, but then the race turned into a straight shot, literally, down one of their country roads. Registration read flat and fast. There were definitely hills. Sigh. Since the race was so small (and an inaugural race), there were no clocks on course and the miles were spray painted on the road. We also had to keep an eye on traffic, as the roads weren’t shut down. Traffic wasn’t much of a concern, but there were some parts where the roads got windy and you couldn’t see if anything was coming around a corner or over a hill. Once we got 6.55 miles out, we hit the turn around  and made our way back to the finish area. Considering it was my first race in 7 weeks, I hit 2:02:18 (on a course that was 13.25 miles long). Final half marathon finisher total: 28 people and I finished number 12. Had I done the 10K, probably would have hit 3 out of 8.

Aid Stations: every 2 miles with water and gatorade (and the occasional gels)

Packet pick up: Thursday/Friday before race day and race morning rom 6-7 AM

Medical: none that I could see, but a race truck drove back and forth on the course the entire course

Post Race: bananas, oranges, water and gatorade. They had a pizza party scheduled for 1130 AM after the race finished that I couldn’t stick around for

Overall: Small race. I feel like if they could have done some more PR in the Spokane area or in Idaho, they could have gotten some more runners up (and hey, bring a little more $$ to the area). People were very nice and things I think ran well. Definitely a good small town race if you’re ever looking for one

Craft Classic Phoenix

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Craft Classic Phoenix race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

In my continued quest to hit all 50 states in terms of half marathons, I’ll finally make it out to Arizona for the Road Runner Sports Craft Classic Phoenix race. So far, Craft Classic has been in Seattle, San Diego and Atlanta this year. I mean, getting down to somewhere warm when fall is taking hold in the rest of the country is always a good thing, right? With one month left before race day, what better time to start to get used to the course? Read, if you haven’t started doing some hills, might want to throw some into your  training sessions

Normally, I’m really good about getting hotels set up for races well in advance, but I just did mine a few weeks ago and ended up choosing a hotel closer to Scottsdale, but easily drivable to Fountain Hills. I figured being able to enjoy a bunch of Phoenix would be warranted while I’m there. If you’re in the Phoenix Area, be sure to check out their last social run on Sept. 28 (head over here for details!)

Still searching for reasons to run this race?

  1. Post race beer! And if you find me, you’ll probably get mine too
  2. Yes it’s October, but it won’t be fall like temperatures like the rest of the country
  3. FREE PHOTOS!
  4. Hills, but good bling afterwards
  5. Enough time for college football watching after the race.

Registration is still on going with the Half Marathon being $85 and the 5K being $55. Have no fear! $10 off with BIBRAVEHALF for the half marathon and $5 off the 5k with BIBRAVE5k.

Who’s coming to join me in Phoenix?!

Inside Tracker: The Results

A little over a week ago, I pulled the tricker and got my labs drawn for Inside Tracker. Miss my original post? In short, I knew of Inside Tracker from when Bibrave tested it back in 2015 and have wanted to try ever since. I pulled the trigger to purchase the Ultimate Package over Black Friday this past year, however, couldn’t pull myself to get things drawn because of weight I put on during med school and residency. Flash Forward 9 months, working with a trainer and watching the diet, with a bunch of weight (double digit) loss, I figured I’d see where I stood.

It took a few days for my results and analysis to come back (less than 5) and I got an email when the everything was posted on their website in my account. Did I mention I was at a wedding when this happened?

What I found out:

  • Electrolytes (Sodium and Potassium): Spot on and in my optimal range
  • Cognition (Magnesium, B12 and Folate): My magnesium and Folate were in optimal range, but my B12 was slightly above optimal range, but not abnormal
  • Inflammation (CBC, CRP): Bonus points for being spot on with the CBC (think white count, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, etc), but my CRP was outside my optimal zone, but not too high (and actually still normal)
  • Strength and Endurance (testosterone, Cortisol, Creatinine Kinase, SHGB): my CK was outside my optimal zone, but still normal. Everything else, spot on for me
  • Oxygen Transfer/Blood Function: Thankfully, not anemic with good blood counts and Iron stores
  • Metabolism and Weight Control: Where some good results came for me! My Cholesterol in 2014 was 214 (borderline), but now it’s down to 166. My HDL is 65 (a touch lower, but normal, not optimal though). My LDL (bad cholesterol) went from 129 to 87 (can’t complain about a 42 point drop). My Triglycerides have been good and my glucose was 86, stable from the prior 2 times I’ve had lab work done in my life

Where I need work on the most

  • My AST/ALT: the liver tests. In all fairness, only slightly elevated and I worked out 12 hrs prior to getting my blood drawn (and only a few points above normal). As much as I love a drink every once and awhile, I’ll lay off for a bit. And not get blood work 12 hrs after working out the next time

Recommendations for me depend on what I’m going for. Overall, I need to cut down the Diet Coke (which is my main caffeine source. This is sad) and increase my nut intake (as if I’m not nutty enough as it is). Some more vegetables would also help me out a bit. In terms of hormones, I should probably have more rest days than I do and do more low impact cross training to help the legs out and decrease some of the numbers a hair.

I’m hoping there’s a repeat Black Friday Deal in order to get this again. I have a bit of a unique view based off my profession (i.e, Doctor), so I can interpret my own results. The only thing that bothers me is the red/yellow/green system because there are results of mine that are in normal range for any lab or health care professional, but show up as out of my optimal range. For someone non medical, this could be interpreted the wrong way. I’d also add a BMP to get a baseline of Chloride and renal function (BUN/Creatinine), an A1C (your blood sugar over 3 months) and a TSH, as all can provide valuable information. Now to adjust and retest in a few months!

Inside Tracker….Taking the Plunge

Inside Tracker. I first heard of them in 2015 when they partnered with BibRave and participated in Bibchat. I didn’t get a chance to try them out at that point, but I always kept them in the back of my head.

It’s also worth saying that Physicians (who also happen to be runners) make the worst patients. I was telling patients to take care of themselves without necessarily doing it myself. After I finished residency, moved to Washington State and took my boards, I realized I had let myself go too much and put on some weight. My birthday present to myself last year involved signing on with a trainer and began working out with them 3 times a week minimum, upping the running and starting spin classes. Come Black Friday, I finally pulled the trigger on getting Inside Tracker’s Ultimate Package, I couldn’t pass up something that was upwards of 40-50% off (and hey, being in medicine, I can interpret my own results. Score!). With the Ultimate Package, you get a Lipid Panel, CK, Hormones, Iron Studies, a CBC, Electrolytes and some vitamins checked (41 markers total). After your results come in, the inside tracker team reviews them and comes up with recommendations as to what needs improved and what foods can help in each category. Not up for the Ultimate Package? There’s DIY, Home Kits and Essential Packages as well, but compare them to see what floats your boat.

However, I let the lab slip sit there, in my account. And it sat there for a good 9 months. I couldn’t bring myself to do it until I pulled off some weight. 30 lbs off, a better diet and more muscle on, I finally pulled the trigger to ‘get it over with’. It also helps that I happened to go in for a Grand Rounds lecture at work and the Quest Diagnostics lab is kitty corner to my job. It was quick and painless, though I think I had somewhere between 5-8 tubes of blood drawn. Quick, painless, in and out in less than 15 minutes with no appointment (and it was 8 AM because I was fasting). At this point, I’m waiting….and waiting is no fun. What will things show, only time will tell….

 

Bibrave Race Review: Missoula Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Missoula Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

By Sunday, it was run number 3 for me in Montana. I had done the Free Beer Run on Friday night (3 miles), followed by the Missoula 5K Saturday.  Saturday after the Missoula 5K, I picked up my bib and number for the Half Marathon. The way packet pick up worked meant that only 5K bibs/shirts could be picked up on Friday, so I couldn’t pick up both of my race bibs at the same time. I finished the 5K around 830 and walked around the expo a bit, which ran from 8-4 and was pretty packed up until 9/9:30 AM. It was pretty easy to get my bib (bibs were split into half or full and then alphabetically by last name), but I had to wait a few minutes to get my shirt. We also got a string bag with not a whole lot in it, but I was ok with that. It had an area on the front where you wrote your bib number in it if you were checking your bag at the start. They had an area at the expo with plenty of permanent markers to do it there (smart thinking!). The expo was small, had all of your basic stuff (race merchandise, running shops, small local things and Jeff Galloway had a booth as well). I ended up walking around a farmer’s market next door after I had all my stuff and then grabbed some brunch. I chilled out at the hotel for most of the day before going to church and then dinner on Saturday night.

 

Race day was an early morning. I keep saying I need to not do as many early start/point to point races because it’s tiring. I was up by 3:30/4 AM, which felt like 2:30/3 AM to me. I had all of my stuff out the night before and after getting changed and functioning, I was out the door with my protein shake and drove 10 minutes to the Univ. of Montana and the Adams Center. Since it was a 6 AM start, everyone had to be shuttled to either the half or full marathon start. There was plenty of parking and plenty of shuttles at 4:25 when I got there and parked. A little better differentiation between the half line and the full line would have been good, though there were volunteers there directing you. I was texting back and forth with fellow Bibrave Pro Justin, who was also at the race, but doing the full. Shortly after I had left for the start, the lines for the half got pretty long!

At the start, people were stretching or trying to get some shut eye. I got there around 5 AM and had time to have some breakfast, drink some fluids and use the porta potties twice (trust me, there were more than plenty). It was dark for at least the first half an hour before the sun came up. A little bit cool, but that changed too. We also had to deal with fireworks every 15 minutes to help figure out time or something along those lines. I checked my bag close to the start and made my way over to the start line.

Off we went, right at 7 AM and we were off via cannon. That’s enough to wake you up. The first 2.5 miles or so were on a rural road, though there was some down hill to it. After that, we were directed onto the main course, where the full marathon would join in somewhere between 15-16 miles into their race. They started at 6 AM as well, though further up the course. Overall, a fairly flat and scenic course that picked up some residential areas the further along you went. At one point, we passed a guy playing his Baby Grand Piano on his front lawn. I really want to know how he got it out there! I was keeping an OK pace, but hit a wall from miles 8-11. It’s been awhile since I’ve hit the running wall, but my legs weren’t feeling it and the lack of sleep caught up with me some. I was able to pick up the pace the last 2 miles or so and finish in 2:05:14.

Aid Stations: every 2-3 miles the first 7 miles of the race, then every mile the last 10K. Luckily it was cool while I was on course, so it was ok, but it definitely got hot for people who were on course until 12:30.

Post race: met with medals pretty quickly and medical if you needed it. Porta Potties in the shute area if you needed them. You were led around the block to water and family waiting area. Post race party was in Caras Park. The even had free pictures! Not much of line for me, but that picked up pretty quick.

There was also an area for post race food, post race massages and family meeting areas. You could exchange your shirt if you needed a different size (again, why can’t this be done at the expo??). Plenty of food trucks. One thing I wish they had was chocolate milk, I felt like I needed some sooner than waiting to get back to mine at my hotel.

Big 3 Challenge: since I did the Beer Run, the 5K and the Half, I got fun extra swag!

Only downside to this race is I ended up walking about a mile back to my car at Univ. Montana. There may have been shuttles, though I’m not sure. My legs were ok, but if I would have done the full, I would have been hurting a bit more.

Overall, please go do Missoula. It’s well run and well put together. The people are awesome and are willing to help the race out with whatever’s asked (including running their sprinklers for people to run through when it’s too hot). A must do race for anyone, and I hope I can get back next year!

Bibrave Race Review: Missoula 5K

Disclaimer: I received a free entry into the Missoula 5K as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews

I finally made it out to Missoula for the Missoula Race Weekend! I had signed up for the Missoula Half Marathon last year, however, due to moving disasters, I never made it to race weekend. This year, I went out and did the Big 3 Challenge: the Beer Run (completely free and a 3 mile shake out run on Friday), the 5K on Saturday and either the Half Marathon or Full Marathon on Sunday.

I got into town Friday afternoon and checked into my hotel. I headed over to Caras Park and was able to get my bib and shirt for the 5K on Saturday. They had pick up from 5-7 pm Friday and from 7-730 AM on Sunday. There were limited vendors at packet pick up on Friday night, as the beer run also happened. After running the beer run and looking around, I grabbed some dinner and went to the store to pick up a few things before calling it a night

 

Saturday Morning, I was up around 6 AM and out the door by 7 AM. I had time for a protein shake before hand (the joy of being able to drive 3 hrs to a race and throw whatever I want into my car!). It was easy enough to park downtown and walk to the start. I was able to meet up with fellow Bibrave Pro Justin at the start and we got to chat for a bit before the race started at 8 AM.

 

It was cool out, which was nice, compared to being in the 90s for the beer run. We were off at 8 AM and were sent through downtown Missoula. It was a fairly easy course to follow and took us through some residential areas, as well as some local parks. It was well marked, had some that was paved running routes, some that was road, etc. Missoula roads in general could use a little work! It was overall a fairly quick course that finished in Caras Park. You received your medal and then could explore the expo and relax some. There was water available at the finish, but none on course.

Overall, a good warm up for race day on Sunday. I do wish there was one water stop on course, as there wasn’t one. You could also exchange your shirt, but could only do it on Saturday after the 5K, so it really depended on how badly you wanted to lug the shirt back with you if picked up your stuff on Friday.

After the race, I got some brunch at a little place by the finish and explored the farmer’s market next to the finish. I hung out most of the day in the hotel since it got up into the 90s again. I called it an early night since it would be an early morning on Sunday!

 

50 in 50 Marathon Quest

A fun look at life and running in the Pacific Northwest and my journey to run a marathon in every State.

Daddy, Did You Win?

Juggling being a husband, a father, work, and running

franklyrunning

Follow my journey in running, hiking, biking, and the outdoors!

Out Running

outrunning our goals together

athlettuce

Eating Plants and Running the 50 States

Mountain Maven

My outdoor adventures in the Last Frontier

Angie Runs

3.1 - 6.2 - 13.1 - 26.2 - 50k

for the love of nike

for the love of nike

The Fit Wanderer.

forever wandering

Kara Runs

Wellness. Happiness. Balance. Motivation. Encouragement.

Keny'inz 2012

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6

the fight and flight response

running through the wall, one goal at a time

Simple Speedy Snacks

Recipes and stories about snacking

bearrunner

Just another WordPress.com site

Fear The Hat

Because I don't just report the news...No, actually, that's it. I just report sports news.

Run The Long Road

hard work, determination, and a little luck...

f my injury [dot] com

Screw being hurt. It's time to get healthy.