So, I have this bucketlist goal of running another marathon before I turn 30 (I've run 3 already, and that leaves me about 2 years to do another one). I've been trying to decide on a marathon for 2014, because that way if it doesn't go well, I can do another in 2015 before I turn the big 3-0. I've looked at and pondered a couple of different races and hadn't been able to decide on one...
Until today. When it got decided for me.
I was at the Vancouver Marathon What? free group training run. Enjoying a beer with some new friends, totally not expecting to win anything, because I NEVER win raffle prizes. So they (Brian, Energy Events director) calls out that the next prize is a free entry to the Vancouver Marathon. And so I joke to my table that if my number gets called, that it's a sign.
And then my number gets called.
And then I freeze and think I must have misheard.
And then the gal next to me yells that it's my number.
And then I think, ME AND MY BIG MOUTH.
Yeah, they give away a lot of goodies at the What? runs, including race entries. But only 1 full marathon entry per What? run. And it happened to be the same time I opened my mouth and asked for a sign. So I'm pretty sure it's a sign. Not sure how I feel about that sign, but it's a sign. Vancouver Marathon is a great event, Energy Events does a great job putting on events, and it's local. It's pretty flat, and a familiar course.
234 days to go. I guess I should start training.
The weekend before last, Smashbox was promoting their Wondervision holiday value set by doing complimentary makeovers at Sephora inside JC Penney locations for Beauty Insiders only. So I grabbed my friend (and fellow We Heart This writer) Holly and signed up!
It was a fun thing to do, but I was a little underwhelmed with how my makeup turned out. I gave the makeup artist free reign and she did a really subtle look (she put a fairly sheer gloss on as well). And I'm pretty sure we were supposed to receive a "free gift" but the sales associate insisted that was only with the purchase of the Wondervision set. Oh well. I did buy the Too Faced A Few of My Favorite Things Palette
, Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso
(I've been wanting this ever since I saw it on Stef on WeHeartThis A YEAR AGO
!!!) and the Sephora Favorites MakeupMust-Haves Beauty Essentials (I couldn't find this on Sephora's website... I think it's a Sephora inside JCP exclusive--It has a Smashbox BB cream, UD eyeshadow, OCC Lip Tar, Sephora liquid liner, Benefit They're Real! mascara, and NARS blush/bronzer duo for $36).
Have you ever been to a Sephora inside JC Penney makeover event? Were you impressed?
Believe it or not, I actually did stuff besides running this weekend!
It involved beer and pumpkins. <3
Mid-day Saturday, my BFF Cari and I went to the 3rd Annual Killer Pumpkin Fest
, which we'd never been to before. But we LOVE pumpkin beers, and there were going to be TWELVE Elysian pumpkin beers... since we're obsessed with the two Elysian pumpkin beers we've tried, it was pretty much guaranteed that we were going the second we found out about it! There were nearly forty pumpkin beers on tap... Cari and I tried almost all of them (we shared 3oz samples!).
We ate some delicious crab artichoke dip (soooo goooooood), bought some fudge, and smashed a few pumpkins ($1 per pumpkin, and it went to a charity for a camp for kids with cancer).
I can't wait for next year's Killer Pumpkin Fest...
After KPF, I met up with some other friends to go to the Kruger Farms pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island. It was a GORGEOUS day to be outside, and we had tons of fun riding the hay ride, finding the perfect pumpkins, drinking beer and just enjoying the day :)
It was a pumpkin-tastic day for sure!
Do you like pumpkin beer? Have you been to the pumpkin patch this year?
I've been pretty excited about running the Run Like Hell 10k for awhile--I'd heard it was a fun race, but unfortunately, this week I've been dealing with knee/foot issues, and wasn't really sure how it would go. And I decided on my costume the day before (forest fairy? a lot of Pinterest and Google image searching went into it haha). I bought yards and yards of fabric at Walmart the night before and spent awhile cutting strips of netting and fabric (thank goodness for rotary cutters and self-healing mats. If you're going to DIY a tutu, invest the $20 in these tools. You'll be glad you did).
Clockwise from top left: Tom, Juliet & I waiting to start the race; my DIY Pinterest-inspired tutu; at the 10k starting line in downtown Portland; my glittery fairy wings; fairy makeup
In the morning I threw on some glittery makeup (as much as I thought would stay on).
Here's how the race went: Cold. Fairly fast (except for the train, which we all knew would happen). And fun. And then really cold.
The race started a bit late due to train issues, but not much. It was COLD and foggy outside. Once we started, I loved the cool temp--it was perfect. And I felt pretty good even though I didn't fuel my body very well the day before (um crab and artichoke dip and pumpkin beer are not the best pre-race dinner, although they are DELICIOUS).
We did have to stop for the train for maybe 5-10 minutes, but SERIOUSLY, it says that there will be a train crossing on the race info page! And that the times will be adjusted accordingly! CHILL OUT, or don't run the race! The guy next to me was whining the ENTIRE TIME about how he had a really good groove going and how this totally was going to throw him off, blah blah blah. And later I heard that some half marathon runners were yelling at a volunteer because they had to stop for the train. WTF?! Stopping for a train during a race is a bummer. I get it. But that's running. That's life. A person can make up all the excuses in the world about how this or that threw them off, OR they can decide that they'll take on the challenge and come out on top.
I pinned this awhile ago and I think it pretty much sums it up:
I finished a little slower than my 10k PR but I'm still waiting on my "official" adjusted time to see exactly how much longer.
The post-race area (Pioneer Square) was fun. There was food (vegan chili, bread, bananas, and candy), live music, and lots of tables for hanging out. Each participant could get two free beers from Lagunitas... I only drank 1 1/2 of mine before I was too cold to keep standing out there, and we all headed back to the car.
Overall, I'd say it's a fun race and I'd consider doing it again. It'd be nice if they changed the course to avoid the train, but if they didn't, I just wouldn't count on it being a PR course.
Did you race this weekend?
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This is a fairly neutral smelling lotion with a nice texture to it. It doesn't seem extraordinary, but I like keeping it in my purse because it's
"Better Than Sex" is a bit overdramatic. But this mascara is pretty fabulous. The hourglass-ish shaped brush seemed odd and a little weird to use at first, but WOW it deposits mascara on your lashes perfectly, getting the inner and outer corners. I didn't have an
I was excited to try this, and I liked using it on the ends of my hair, but even a small amount made my roots look greasy. Also, I wish it were in a re-sealable container! It doesn't seem like much product, but you only need a few drops (and I have TONS of hair).
This eye primer worked well and kept my eyeshadow looking great all day long! It had a subtle color-neutralizing effect on my lids, making me look a bit more awake.
This is one of those things that I like to try once in awhile, just for kicks! While I'm not sure that one treatment did anything, it felt nice and cool on my skin. It has a faint spa-like scent to it. Unfortunately, it did seem to irritate my eyes just a bit. Serious Skincare Glycolic Gommage Exfoliating Facial
I am usually pretty leery of trying new skincare products, because I finally seem to have my acne more or less under control. But I really like this! Benefit The POREfessional Pore Primer
I love Benefit, and this stuff is great. It helps even out your skin's texture and works well under foundation. I'm a huge fan. It's just really basic stuff but it does the job!
This looked a little dark and shimmery in the pot but it blends well and practically disappears. It didn't seem to do a whole lot for evening out my skin, but it still is a good product--didn't get shiny or oily skin later in the day!
I'm only 28, so I don't think this did much for me in terms of skin tightening after only a few uses--maybe preventatively? But it's still a good product--no breakouts or irritation, felt nice on my skin.
I love this collection. It has some GREAT brands, a nice variety of products that I'd actually use, and there was a decent amount of product! I was really pleased that even the products that aren't super-effective for me are still good products that I can use. AND you get a $10 off a full-sized item! (well, a $29 purchase. But still great!).
Seriously, treat yourself to this collection, or buy one as a gift! (Get your Christmas shopping done early for the makeup-lover in your life!)
I love this race. I can't say enough good things about it. Every year, it's been amazing. And we lucked out with the weather!!! :)
Sherri McMillan and the NW Personal Training Team really make this a spectacular event, because not only did the race raise over $20,000 for Susan G. Komen and $5000 for the Children's Center, they also made each and every one of the 1,800 participants feel pampered every mile of the way! It's incredible. This is truly one of my favorite races because there's a lot of support for one another, even complete strangers.
Pre-race: there's snacks and water, awesome volunteers doing bag check efficiently and quickly, and an amazing warmup led by Sherri!
During the race: tons of volunteers cheering you on and pointing out the way, a well marked course (almost every mile is marked with an inspirational note!), water/gel stations every two miles, tons of bathrooms.
Post-race: Firefighters handing you a necklace "medal", volunteers handing out filled reusable water bottles, volunteers cutting off your timing chip, tons of snacks (popcorn, soup, bananas, oranges, bagels, Power Bars), massages, fudge, cupcakes, an awesome awards ceremony and live music. There are also tons of great vendors selling some really cute stuff (I totally bought three headbands and a t-shirt...)
I can't say enough positive things about this race. It's fantastic. My only small complaint is that the long sleeved event shirt doesn't fit me very well in the arms (although I don't think I've gotten a long-sleeved race shirt that fits... so maybe my arms are just weird)!
Thank you to Sherri and NW Personal Training and to all of the amazing sponsors and volunteers for putting on an amazing event. <3
The Great Bacon Race
. I wanted
to love this event. I loved the idea of it and had been talking about it nonstop since the moment I found out about it. It was in Vancouver WA, it was for a good cause, it was the inaugural race, it was a fun theme, there was promise of lots of swag, and I loved the irony of being a vegetarian (okay, a lacto-ovo-pescitarian) running in a race centered around BACON, with all you can eat bacon at the finish. I was incredibly over-the-top excited about this event, and I loved that the event organizers had a lot of interaction with their facebook fans to build up the event.
However, my excitement turned into disappointment on race day. The Great Bacon Race was one of the most poorly put together events that I've ever signed up for. Before I go on, I would like to say two things:
#1. I understand that this event is for charity
. And that's wonderful
. But that's not an excuse for lack of planning. There are LOTS of GREAT races for charity (I actually can't think of many races that DON'T benefit a charity these days), and
they're also GREAT events
for runners to participate in as well.
#2. I know that it was the first year
for the Great Bacon Race, and there's usually some growing pains, but I really hope that they understand that this is constructive criticism, because I would love to run this race again next year and be just blown away by its awesomeness.
Here's what happened:
- Apparently people didn't pick up their packets at packet pickup and then there were hundreds of people trying to do so the morning of.
- Volunteers didn't show up.
- Bag check hadn't been set up.
- Nobody seemed to know anything about VIP bag check or VIP goody bags.
- The race didn't start on time because people were still picking up their packets.
- At 9am, half an hour after the race was supposed to start, there were no volunteers on the course and the course was still unmarked.
- The "10k" course was less than 6 miles.
- There weren't VIP lines for beer, bacon or tacos (there were supposed to be).
- The beer and wine servers got stuck carding people.
- Get an event coordinator. Energy Events does a great job.
- Don't promise what you can't do--REQUIRE packet pickup, limit the race to fewer runners, and follow through on your VIP stuff.
- Plan on having more volunteers than you need.
- Don't rely on volunteers for things that race officials need to be in charge of, like marking the course. Do it early--either the night before, or EARLY EARLY EARLY the morning of. And check it for accuracy.
- Order enough stuff. People who register first should get first dibs.
- Start the race on time. It's chip timed--you'll still get a chip time even if you personally do not cross the starting line at the "gun time." Participants need to take responsibility for picking up their packet. Responsible participants should not have to wait on hundreds of people who waited until the morning of to pick up their packet.
- Have people IDing those 21 and over ahead of time, and mark bibs or give out wristbands.
You don't want people to feel like this after your event...
Here's what I did like:
I really, really, really hope that the Great Bacon Race actually becomes a GREAT RACE next year.
Excited for two amazing races this weekend... also a little apprehensive to be doing a total of 19.3 miles this weekend!
So all summer long, I was basically running races every weekend. There were so many fun events--I even did two in one day (Huckleberry 10k and Cosmo 7k)! I figured that as we rolled into fall, things would slow down just a bit, with just an occasional holiday run here or there.
WRONG. hahahaha... But I'm really glad I was wrong. There are a TON of great races in the Portland/Vancouver area this fall and winter! There are some returning races, and several inaugural races too:
Girlfriends Half Marathon--October 13, 2013
Run Like Hell Half, 10k & 5k--October 20, 2013
Mustache Dache Portland--November 16, 2013
Are you signed up for any fun races?!