Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Workout Recap and Weekly Goals: Wenatchee River Run

Hi all!

Hope you had a great weekend! I'm a day late with this training recap and race update because I only have a couple days left in Washington, so I'm trying to prioritize family time and sleep over blogging.

I spent the weekend on the "other" side of the Cascades (the east), in Wenatchee and Winthrop, WA. It's really stunning over there, and it was a great weekend with my parents. Even better, I was able to run my dad's first half marathon with him!!

Here's how it went down. After feeling pretty disheartened about my bum hamstring on Friday morning, I ran two miles with only discomfort, no pain. The physical therapist said that was the sign that I could attempt a half marathon with my dad on Saturday, as long as the pain never went above a "1-2" on a 1-10 scale. The PT checked me out post-run and gave me the OK to attempt the half.

As my parents and I headed to Wenatchee, I knew I'd start with my dad, but I wasn't sure how much I'd be able to complete with him. My dad's main goal was to finish, but he was hoping to come in under 2 hours and 30 minutes.

We got to Wenatchee around 7:00 in the evening, after crossing the mountains and seeing a great sunset, and proceeded to a well-rated sushi restaurant, Iwa Sushi and Grill, for pre-race fueling. The restaurant definitely deserved its four-star Yelp -- it was delicious!

My parents and I split the sushi for three dinner, then headed back to the hotel so my dad could do a mile shakeout run and I could log 20 minutes of cycling in the hotel's fitness center.

Saturday morning was the most relaxed pre-race morning I've ever had since the race didn't start until 10:00 AM. We were able to wake up at 8:00! Love small local races with late start times.

We picked up our packets in 5 minutes, then walked around Pybus Public Market until 9:45. The race started by the Market and ended in the heart of the Taste of Wenatchee food festival!

The Public Market has produce stalls, restaurants, and artisan wares; it's similar to Pike Place Market in Seattle, just smaller. It was a fun place to browse, and even better from a racing perspective -- real bathrooms with heat and running water!

About ten minutes before the start, the race coordinator asked everyone to line up at the start line, with those running the 5K and 10K getting in front and those running the half in back.

Can you tell I was a tad bit excited to be running a race with my dad? I took about five million pictures while we ran. Perks of not racing!! I can't wait to run a race with my mom next year -- she's gotten the OK to start running in two weeks from her doctor, after her minor surgery a few weeks ago.

After a megaphone countdown, we were off! I immediately had to hold my dad back as he wanted to run off with the 5K and 10Kers. I've so been there before... you've been waiting for a race, you're rested, and shooting off feels great -- you're easily able to hit that amazing pace! Of course, while that might work in a 5K, it definitely doesn't work in a half marathon, so I reeled him in, and we set off at a more sensible pace.

Have I mentioned that I'll never trust a western race/trail description again? Because I won't. Described as "gently rolling," this course had a LOT of hills. It was pretty similar to Central Park, with some mega inclines leading up to bridges when you crossed the Columbia River. Since it was an out and back that crossed the river four times altogether, there were quite a few steep hills.

Of course, we were running with views like that, and the weather was fantastic -- high 60s to low 70s with a cool breeze off the Columbia River. It got a bit hot near the end, but overall racing conditions were pretty optimal.

My hamstring wasn't 100% by any means, and it never felt comfortable during the race, but since the physical therapist said I could run as long as my hamstring didn't hurt, I was determined to keep going with my dad as long as it felt okay. And thankfully, my hamstring felt okay the whole time!

I was SO proud of how my dad toughed out the course! It was a total elevation gain of roughly 400 feet, compared to 500 for two loops of Central Park, so it was a tough first half marathon.

And to add to the difficulty, the half marathon ended with an uphill over a pedestrian footbridge into Wenatchee. But at least it meant you could sprint downhill to the finish! The finish line area had pretzels, bananas, orange slices, cookies, bagels, twizzlers, gatorade, and water. Quite the spread!

Thumbs-up for River Run Wenatchee!! I would definitely recommend the race, although it's not necessarily PR-friendly because of the hills. It's an awesome local race that doesn't skimp on the post-race festivities. And since Wenatchee gets 300 days of sunshine a year (yep, Eastern Washington is a lot sunnier than Western Washington!), you have a pretty good chance of a sunny race!

After the race, we showered then headed off to Winthrop, a cowboy town two hours north of Wenatchee, nestled in the North Cascades. The drive takes you along the Columbia River, past vineyards and apple orchards.

We had dinner up at the Sun Mountain Lodge, which is perched atop a mountain overlooking the Methow Valley and Cascade Mountains. The views were crazy gorgeous. I'd been to Winthrop before, but never up to the Sun Mountain Lodge, and seeing the area from that vantage point made me appreciate the Methow Valley so much more.

Also, Winthrop is adorable. We had breakfast in town and walked a bit around the downtown, then drove out to see Falls Creek Falls (yes, the name is slightly repetitive, I know). 

Finally, we headed back over the mountains and toward home! Highway 20 is an incredible drive through the Cascades, but unfortunately it was rainy, so we didn't get to see most of the peaks. 

Diablo Lake was still its brilliant turquoise color, though. I've always wondered why it's so green, so I looked it up (the internet is magic): "Ten percent of the glaciers in the lower forty-eight states grind rock into a fine powder that stays suspended in the lake. Light reflecting off those rock particles causes the intense turquoise lake color." (source) Cool, right??

Chicago Marathon Training Recap: Week 14

Since I was dealing with a bum hamstring, I did not quite have the ideal peak week of training. I'm not even going to bother posting what my assigned workouts were, since it'll just depress me. Here's what I was able to get done.

Monday: 2.75 miles around Green Lake in Seattle, WA

Hamstring pain got worse instead of better as I tried to log 10 miles around the lake. When I texted Coach Jess about the pain, she texted back that I should stop and not risk straining my hamstring further. Was so bummed that I didn't bother taking a picture of gorgeous Green Lake.

Tuesday: 75 minute gentle yoga class at 8 Limbs Yoga in Seattle, WA.

This class was a great deep stretching class, but unfortunately it just set off my hamstring further. Pain when I stretched confirmed to me I had an injury rather than just tight muscles, though, so... a good thing? At least the class helped me stretch out my oh-so-tight hips and calves!

Wednesday: Rest day / Physical Therapy appointment. 

Thursday: Rest day. Did 3 rounds of physical therapy exercises and walked 2 miles.

Friday: (1) 2 easy miles. (2) 20 minutes easy cycling. + Physical Therapy appointment.

Ran down the street by my house. No pictures, again. Apparently when I'm bummed about pulled muscles, I don't take pictures?

Flushed out legs with a quick cycling session after the four hour drive to Wenatchee. 

Saturday: 13.11 miles in Wenatchee, WA for River Run Half Marathon. 

I'm not going to lie, I'm kind of shocked/amazed at the lack of over-running. How did we manage to pretty much perfectly run the course??

Sunday: 60 minutes moderate cycling (20.5 miles)

I texted friends throughout this ride because sitting on a bike at the gym for an hour is extremely boring. But I did see a gorgeous sunset on my way to the gym, so... it balanced out? 

Total Mileage = 17.86 

Next Week's Training Schedule

Since I have to be extra cautious with this hamstring going forward, this week won't be full of high mileage. Instead, the priority is getting in a long run on healthy legs this Sunday. Here are the workouts Jess has on deck for me: 

• 2 strength workouts
• 1 yoga class
• 2 easy runs (60 minutes each)
• 1 cycling session (class or outside)
• 1 long run (20 miles -- crossing my fingers this goes okay!!)

Of course, in addition to this, I have to keep up with my physical therapy exercises and sleep a lot to make sure my body can heal itself as quickly as possible, to have me at 100% for race day. Which is less than 20 days away! AHH!!

How was your weekend? Have you ever raced with a parent or relative before? 


  1. Hey, if you got some swimming in there ... you know where I'm going with this. ;) Love the pictures from the half-marathon! It looks like you and your dad had a great time and really enjoyed the experience. I've done a few races with my dad, but he always feels bad and tells me to go ahead--but then I get to cheer him on when he approaches the finish line. :)

    1. Haha I clearly need to start triathloning! ;)

      It worked out great, actually, that I was injured... I didn't feel like I wanted to go any faster since I couldn't!

  2. Beautiful!!!! I want to go to there.

    1. I say that way too often. Best 30 Rock quote ever?

  3. I am seriously about to throw myself on the next flight out west to get to some mountains! Keep healing! I know how bummed you are. Best to work on getting better than pushing it and still having the nagging injury come race day.

  4. Oh my goodness, the pictures in this post are amazing. That's so awesome that you got to run with your dad, seems like a great race! Rest up and can't wait to get you back in NYC!