Tuesday, August 31, 2010

List #11 What I Love About Fall

Since it is looking and feeling more and more like fall, I'm going to celebrate with another list!  I really do love fall.  The colorful leaves, the crispness of the air.  I could go on but then I wouldn't need a list! :)
  1. Husky Football!!
  2. Pumpkin Spice Lattes
  3. Pumpkin Pie
  4. Oh, heck!  Anything pumpkin really...
  5. Leaves changing colors
  6. Crisp fall days
  7. Buying school supplies (yes I am a nerd, but there is something about buying a new notebook & pens during the back to school sales)
  8. Snuggling under the blankets (especially when it is raining outside)
  9. The new fall TV season

Friday, August 27, 2010

Five Senses Friday

  • A marriage proposal at the table next to mine
  • Spice Girls - sometimes you need to Spice Up Your Life with a little zigazigah!
  • Brie & basil waffle at Sweet Iron
  • Banana Ice Cream
  • Sore from helping my brother move
  • The wind in my hair as I took a spin in Diane's new convertible with the top down
  • White Flour Oil

Want more Five Senses?  Check out Mandi's!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

List #10 What I Love About Summer

As I was on my bike racing against the setting sun (and the dark rain cloud) I came to the realization that summer is coming to an end (and quickly at that!).  While I love fall, there is something to be said for summer and all of its wonderfulness.  And here are a few of the reasons why I love summer!
  1. It stays light until almost 10 pm!
  2. Drinking iced coffee
  3. Drinking iced coffee that I bought with a treat receipt
  4. Outdoor seating at restaurants
  5. Running outside after work
  6. Swim & biking outside for that matter
  7. Outdoor movies
  8. Beautiful blue skies
  9. Picnics
  10. Triathlons
  11. T-shirt weather

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Covey Run 5K & Lake Union 10K

Aren't you lucky?  Two!  Two race reports!  Ahahahaha!!  (My tribute to the Count, my favorite Sesame Street character.  Hm, does this explain why I'm an accountant?)

This is really turning out to be the summer of races!  Both of these had been on my calendar for awhile, but I wasn't sure which one I was going to end up doing.  Little did I know I was going to end up doing both.

My 33 Things goal of 12 5Ks led my to choose the Covey Run.  I showed up bright and early, got my t-shirt and race number.  The one complaint I have about this race was the start.  No pace markers, no division between runners, walkers or strollers.  It was a giant mass of people all trying to cross the start line at the same time.  I tried to start towards the back, but not too far back.  I still had quite a few of people to navigate around and through but it did finally start to thin out. 

The course was out and back on a section of the Woodinville Redmond road and basically flat.  The sun was out, but it wasn't too hot yet.  I had my usual goal of running, and only walking through the water stop(s).  Once I made my out of the mass of people I found one woman who I thought I could keep pace with.  Key word being thought.  It wasn't too long before I realized she was a little too fast for me and so I backed off.  I kept going, slow and steady.  There was one water stop, however since it was an out and back, there were technically two!  I skipped the first one, feeling pretty good, but stopped at it on the way back.  The back part seemed way longer than the out part.  Funny how that works! :)  But finally I was back to the Redhook entrance and the 3 mile sign.  As I rounded the corner I saw the finish line and that the clock said 37 minutes.  Holy cow!!  Was I going to PR??  I knew I had a few seconds to play with, so it would be close.  But yes, yes I did PR!  I finished in 37:13 (my previous best being 37:24).  Does that count as improving my 5K time?  I'm going to count it! :)  Check that off the 33 Things list!

I'd somewhat decided against the Lake Union 10K but hadn't officially closed the door and got talked into doing it when I found out two of my co-workers were going to do it.  The race started at 7:30 in the morning.  Ugh!  My alarm went off too early for a Sunday morning and what is the first thing I heard when I woke up?  Rain.  Double ugh!  At least it was more of a sprinkling mist than actual rain.  But I now had the dilemma of whether or not to change my race outfit...  I decided against changing, but did add a hat to my ensemble.  I met Teresa & Nilufer at the designated rendezvous (the office) and we headed across the bridge.

The rain had picked up a little, but still not too bad.  We got our race numbers & t-shirts and used the real bathroom before heading to the start line.  It was looking like it might be a messy start again, but then the race director started putting people into their pace.  And they started us in waves, which made for a nice start.  I wished Nilufer & Teresa good race and we were off!  Once again I started off a little fast, but settled in fairly quickly. 

Nilufer passed me by fairly early on.  I knew this was going to be a challenge, running with people I knew.  I know and accept that I am not the fastest and that is okay.  But I still judge myself and compare myself to others.  I knew I had to let it go.  I tried to keep Nilufer in sight, which I did up until the bridge.  At that point, I couldn't see her anymore and it was actually for the best.  I was able to focus back on myself and my race.

My goal for this race, which I wasn't completely set on since the longest distance I have run lately is half this, was the same - run, only walking through the water stops.  The race was marked in kilometers and as I passed 5K, I was still feeling strong.  Okay, I might be able to make my goal! 

I have done this course before, except in reverse.  And I must say I liked this way a lot better.  The many uphills were now downhills!  Except the one very steep downhill, which was now a very steep uphill.  I made it part way up before walking the remainder.  I picked it back up and was soon rewarded with the 7K sign!  Hallelujah!!  I can so do 3Ks.  I could say the next 3Ks passed by quickly, but they didn't.  However, as I turned one corner the Space Needle came into view, which put a smile on my face.  I knew I was going to make it, even if I had to grit out the last few Ks, which I did.  But as it always happens, the finish line came in to view and I turned on the afterburners.  Done!!

Wow, my PRs are falling right and left!  My official time for this race?  1:16:48!!  Beating my last 10K PR by 4 minutes.  Maybe I am a runner after all!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Five Senses Friday

  • Lots of fishies in the lake
  • Roasted corn & avocado dip
  • Summertime
  • BBQ
  • The chill of the clouds followed by the heat of the sun

Want more Five Senses?  Head over to: Abby Try Again.  Happy Weekend!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sensational Green Machine

Shall we cut to the chase?  I not only beat my best time, I also came in under 2 hours!!  Barely (at 1:59:43), but it still counts! :)

Okay, rewind back to Saturday...  I got to the check in a little later hoping the crowds would have died down.  But no such luck - the line was going down the block.  I had just gotten in line when the volunteer came by to tell us we could bypass this line if we knew our race number.  Wait, was it 2568 or 2658?  I looked it up on my phone - 2658!  Whew!  Bypass this line and on to the next line, and another line, and another and finally I was checked in and numbered.

On to the bike racking.  I parked, grabbed my bike & helmet and headed to transition.  Once I got to transition I made the discovery that somewhere between the parking lot and transition I lost my bike helmet number.  Boo!  I retraced my steps but no sticker.  The volunteer I asked said to stop by tomorrow and pick up a blank name tag as a substitute bike helmet number.  Well, okay then.  Nothing left to do now but go home and get a good night's sleep.

Thanks to my fan I did get a decent night's sleep, even with it being super hot.  And while 90+ might not be that hot elsewhere, this is Seattle and we melt, or at least I melt.  I was up bright & early, ate my banana and half a bagel and was ready to go. 

I got my name tag / bike helmet number and set up my transition area before making my way down to the water.  The good thing about the soaring temperatures - the water wasn't quite as chilly!  In fact, as I was waiting with my green caps to enter the water, one person remarked that it was much hotter than last year to which I responded that it only helps in the swim! 

We entered the water and the cheers began.  Our word was "sensational" and then it was time to count down.  And we were off!!  The sun was almost directly in my eyes and it was hard to see the first buoy.  I tried to follow the feet in front of me but they were not going as fast as I would like so I passed them and tried to find a new set of feet.  The wind had picked and the waves were coming in strong.  Keep going.  Each stroke was a fight until I finally rounded the first buoy.  Past the first buoy it was a whole new swim!  The waves weren't nearly as strong and the sun wasn't in my eyes.  I kept going and was about to get out of the water when the girl in front of me kicked me in the chest and then the nose.  Ouch!  Oh well.

I made it back to my transition area, threw on my clothes and shoes, grabbed my bike and was off.  There is one hill that I normally get off and walk up - it is short, steep and quite narrow and I'm not confident in my bike skills in such a narrow place so it is easier to get off and walk it up.  There wasn't a lot of people near me when I started up so I shifted down and started climbing.  I made it about halfway up before jumping off my bike and walking the rest of the way up. 

I love the energy of this race, especially in the tunnel where the yells and cheers echo off the walls.  I surprised myself with how many people I was passing on the bike.  I reached the turn around and started back.  The views from the bridge deck were amazing - Mt. Rainier and the very blue water.  It was beautiful!  I made it back and jumped off my bike and somehow got it back on the rack.

I was feeling quite spent at this point.  The heat was starting to get to me.  But I was still determined to run as much as possible, and only walking through the water stops.  Thank the Lord there were 4 water stops!  I stopped at all of them but on the second and fourth I just dumped the water on my head.  The hill rose up in front of me and I hung on until I was half way up before stopping for what I hoped was my last walk break.  At the top of the hill was one spectator who I swear I'd seen several times before.  He was ringing a cowbell and yelling for us.  "Go get your downhill - you earned it!"  That's right, I did earn a downhill and I'm taking it!  Down, down, down to the finish line.  More and more spectators lined the streets and the cheers were getting louder.  Come on!  My feet seemed to have a mind of their own and carried me across the finish line!!  Yay!!

Between the waves and heat I wasn't expecting to beat my time so imagine my surprise when I saw my time!  Where did I make up time?  A little here and a little there - I shaved time off the swim, bike & run.

Two down, two more to go!! 


Post race (with my newest medal)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Five Senses Friday

Wow, can it already be time for triathlon #2?  That went fast.  The training that I meant to keep up with?  Yeah, not so much.  But I did cram a lot into the past couple of days - pool swim, brick & a lake swim.  This is my "A" race so hopefully I am ready.  I am ready.  I am ready.  I just need to keep telling myself that! :)

  • An email come across that I had been waiting for
  • Cars, lots of cars zooming past
  • Birthday cupcakes!!
  • Vanilla soap
  • Waves crashing into me

For more Five Senses head over to Mandi or Abby Try Again.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Skirt Chaser 5K

I am fairly fortunate to live in an area where there are lots of 5Ks, all within an easy distance of my house.  And then I saw Skirt Sports was sponsoring a fun 5K in Vancouver, WA (about a 3 hour drive, give or take).  So I got some wild hair and decided to drive down and run the 5K.  I left in plenty of time to arrive early, but traffic had other ideas.  A couple accidents, some roadwork, and a slow down later all my cushion time disappeared.  It became a game - could I make up enough time?  I seriously hate being late.  I am such an early bird, I was stressing at this point, but not enough to turn around and give up.  I had come to far at this point.  I arrived with 2 minutes to spare.  Whew!! 

I ran to check in and to my dismay they had just packed up.  Was I going to be thwarted after all?  But the nice volunteers unpacked enough to give me a race number and send me on my way.  I didn't get a chip timer but at this point I was just happy to make the race.  I missed the girls' start but was able to start 3 minutes later with the boys.  Eh, we knew I was going to be passed by the boys, this way they started in front of me instead of blowing past me! :)

I was a little worried at this point that my fear of being the last one to cross the finish line was really going to come true this race.  But before long, I had caught up with some walkers, and then another set of walkers, and then some runners!  My goal was once again to run, only walking through the water stop.  Oh, and the hill.  Stupid hill.  I got most of the way up it, but as it circled around a corner and continued to climb, I lost my momentum and slowed to a walk, but then picked it back up again.  Best part about the hill?  After that it was pretty much all downhill from there!  I crossed the finish line and looked up to see what might possibly have been very close to my best time ever in a 5K, but with no timing chip we will never know... 

I hung around the post race party for a bit before climbing in my car and heading home.  It was a fun race - although I don't know if I would drive all the way down there for a 5K again (a longer distance - possibly).  But they are currently allowing people to vote for cities to host a Skirt Chaser 5K so go out there and vote!!  For Seattle of course! :) 

Sunday, August 08, 2010


My week of activity continued with Drinks for Drinks a benefit (really a party) on Friday night for charity: water.  After a long week of activity, I wasn't sure about another night out (I am somewhat of a homebody) but it was a chance to hang out with Diane & Nikki, plus water charities are very close to my heart.  Maybe because I drink so much water myself (at work they joke I am part camel due to my water consumption), I think clean drinking water is so important.  So I decided to go, and I was really glad I did.  The price of admission went directly to the charity and got you a drink, hot dog & the chance to listen to a great cover band.  A good time was had by me & the benefit raised over $140K.  Amazing!!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Five Senses Friday

This has been a week chock full of activity! I think I had all of summer in one week. I am so ready for a nap right about now! :) My plans for the weekend – nothing! Well nothing, with a little swimbikerun thrown in, next triathlon is a week from Sunday!

  • The Hangover at Redhook's moonlight cinema
  • The Mariners win!!
  • Take me out to the ballgame
  • Blue Angels!
  • Hot dogs, fish tacos, kettle corn, princess snacks & beer ice cream (but not all at the same time!)
  • The sun on my face (thankfully I had sunscreen on!)
  • Stressed, trying to find a spot for 7 people to watch The Hangover (it was super crowded) & in typical Emily fashion, I couldn’t decide so tried to save several spots (choice #2 was the winner!).
  • Popcorn & crackerjacks 

Want more Five Senses?  Check out Mandi's!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Mid Summer All Womens Triathlon

This particular triathlon had caught my eye a few years ago, but had never worked out for me to do it until this year.  It was in Portland (about a 3 hr drive from Seattle) and my mom decided to come along for the ride.  Car loaded up, it was time to start the long, very long drive with just me and my mom in the car.  Did I mention it was a 3 hour drive?  Agatha Christie (and Hercule Poirot) to the rescue!  My mom was and is the queen of books on tape.  I remember listening to books on tape all throughout my childhood and on many family vacations.  So we popped in Death on the Nile and were off.   (You know I love you Mom - and you did get an A- for the trip!)

Traffic wasn't too horrible, many miles and several slow downs later we were in Portland.  After picking up the race packet and checking into the hotel, we drove out to the race site to look around.  Thank goodness the buoys were not up in the water because I think I would have had nightmares if I had seen where they were placed.  What did greet us at the race site were mosquitoes, lots and lots of mosquitoes.  Given a choice of Person A or Emily, mosquitoes will undoubtedly choose Emily.  I must have sweet blood or something.  The tour of the race site did not last long, but by the time I got back into the car I was sporting a handful of mosquito bites.  Which called for an emergency stop at Target for bug spray and calamine lotion. 

Dinner ended up being room service at the hotel as by the time we got back it was getting late and I needed sleep.  I was debating between margherita pizza and crab gnocchi and guess what I choose?  Wrong!  I did not choose margherita pizza, although I really wanted to, but instead had the gnocchi.  It was quite delicious.

I passed quite a restless night, which is usual in a new bed and the night before a race.  Breakfast was half a bagel and a banana.  The drive to the race site was much faster at 6 a.m.  I set up, listened to the race instructions and before you knew it, the race was about to start.  I took a quick dip in the water to test out the temp.  Oh my word, it was warm!!  This was definitely not Lake Washington! 

As I might have mentioned previously as I was starting to feel a slight bit complacent about this distance.  All that went out the window on the swim!!  This distance can still kick by butt!  Just looking at the buoys way out there started freaking me out.  Is that really how far I have to swim?  I started off to the side and near the back.  My wave started with the windmill of arms and legs thrashing through the water.  I apparently did not adjust my goggles quite right as they started to fill up with water.  I tried to ignore and keep going.  The distance to the first buoy seemed to get longer, not shorter.  One thing I do need to work on - sighting.  Finally I passed by the first buoy.  The next several buoys passed by much quicker and then I was almost to the shore.   

Coming out of the water, I ripped off my goggles.  My eyes were so happy!  And then I spotted the steep hill leading back to transition.  I literally tripped my way up the hill, somehow managing to stay on my feet.  Socks, shoes, shirt, sunglasses, race number, helmet & I was off.

The description of the bike course was flat and fast.  Flat, definitely, with a couple of baby hills.  And so began the portion which I like to call "Where Emily gets passed by a lot of people, but manages to pass a few".  I did try not to draft, however in these small races, sometimes you can't avoid it!  Girls were flying by me left and well, left.  Although one did call out "on your right" before she passed on the left.  Then, for a time, no one was passing me and I started to wonder if everyone had already passed me and I was the last one on the course.  But surely I had not been passed by 300+ women?  It is funny what your mind will think.  I decided that while I was going to continue getting passed, I might as well get in on the action.  I picked one rider ahead of me and slowly reeled her in, and did the same with another and another.  I played leapfrog with one rider - I passed her, she passed me, I passed her, she passed me and as we were nearing the end and I wasn't sure I had enough time to repass, but I did!

I swear the ins and outs of this course were super long!  I dismounted and made my way to my transition area.  Putting the bike back on the rack has to be one of the hardest parts of a race for me, however due to the size of this race, the racks were fairly open and easier to navigate.  I took off towards the run when suddenly I realized I still had my helmet on.  Oops!  Back to my transition area and off with the helmet.  Now I was really ready to run.

My goal for the run is increasingly becoming run as much as I can, walking through water stops.  The first part of the run was through the park, with lots of spectators.  Their cheering helped keep me running at first.  And then it was the fact that no one else was walking.  Since no one else was walking, I had to keep running, didn't I?  Or so I told myself.  It was at the Mile 1 sign where I really wished I had my iPod because then it would only be 7 or 8 more songs.  But they are not allowed so it was just me and my thoughts.  And then the hill appeared.  There still wasn't anyone walking, so I still couldn't walk either.  But the girls coming from the other direction called out encouragement saying the turn around was just up the hill!  And a water stop!  I walked through the water stop and then started back up.  Mile 2 passed and I kept running.  One more to go!  This I can do!  Especially since there was another water stop, which I walked through.  And a steep downhill, which I walked down, as I was pretty sure if I didn't I would fall flat on my face.  Less than a mile now, I can do it.  I came around the corner and there was the finish chute.  The cheers were amazing and gave me energy to sprint to the end. 

And there you have it!  A new personal record for yours truly.  Where did I pick up my time?  Why in the run!  And while the elusive sub 2 hr race still eludes me, I am that much closer.  This was a fun race!  I would do it again. 

We headed back to the hotel, checked out and were back on the road towards home, trying to figure out who done it (and we guessed right!).