Fragrance Lake Half Marathon/10k 2017

In 2016, the Fragrance Lake Half Marathon/10k was my first race of the year AND my very first trail race! I chose it with six weeks to train, with majority of my runs having to be on a treadmill due to the magic of drop-in childcare. I ended doing much better than I had expected, in fact, I finished in 1:13:17 as the second place overall female! Even though I REALLY wanted to try the half marathon distance this year, it would’ve been silly to even attempt that challenge at my current fitness level.

Standing with the First and Second overall Females! Girl power!
A major difference this year was the ability to go run out on the trails, in addition to the gym, during my “extremely casual” training plan. We also had a family member spending time with us, so they could stay with Eisley during naptime while I could go running. I am very thankful! Another big difference was the weather this winter. We had icy conditions, below freezing temperatures, and tons of snow that seemed like it would never melt. I made the most of being snowed in by doing wall sits, kettle bell swings, lots of stretching, and jumping rope in the garage.

Photo by the infamous Takao Suzuki
The night before the race, sometime during the twilight zone, Eisley woke up crying and I coslept in her room until morning. After 2 ½ years of being on this motherhood journey, I am definitely used to functioning on interrupted sleep (sleep…what’s sleep?). I whipped together a delicious smoothie with banana, turmeric, blueberries, mango, oats, orange juice, and hemp protein powder. Reflecting back, I wish I had a piece of toast or bowl of oatmeal also. I made sure to have some Strawberry Lemonade Nuun in my pack to keep me hydrated and replenish my electrolytes. Of course I was running behind schedule (#momlife) and it took longer than anticipated to find parking, job 2/10 mile for my bib/check-in, and do a mini warm up. In the quick moments before the race start, I finally met two awesome ladies that are both inspirational ultra runners (hellooooooo!). 

We took off at 9:00am and runners were movin’ along fast for the first 1.2 miles on the Interurban Trail. We had this ‘relatively flat’ time to gain speed before the slow climb/power hike/jog up Cleator Rd. Even though it seemed like an eternity, I think Cleator was only ¾ mile before we jumped on the beautiful single track trails. I tried to ignore my watch and now I’m glad I did! The display was accidentally showing my average pace, not my current pace. I couldn’t figure out why it was barely changing when I was trying to push harder, ha! Fragrance Lake looked lovely for the short time we ran along it. There was one other female runner ahead of me for a while that I was struggling to pass. Between the zigzagging muddy trail, my downward momentum, and the random rocks/roots, I couldn’t get around! The melted snow helped me out by providing a huge mud puddle that we each went around on separate sides, allowing me to squeeze past! Now, I hauled tail down the trail, constantly imagining her right behind me. The best motivation is a good competition! My tingling legs heavily sprinted down Chuckanut Dr to the finish line and my time was 1:06:45! I managed to cut off 7 minutes from last year’s time and that felt amazing! I tried to stay warm while drinking coffee and walking around, waiting over an hour for the awards ceremony. I took third female overall and was lucky enough to take home a finisher medal and award that were wood crafted by Elevation Culture, a San Diego-based business. Full results can be found at Ultrasignup. Thanks to Destination Trail for putting together such a great trail running experience! Next year, MAAAAAAAYBE next year, I will actually do the half marathon! 


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