Sunday, April 10, 2011

Vernonia Half Marathon Race Report

This is after the race.  We had lots to laugh about and were just happy to be done. 
Race:  Vernonia Half Marathon.
Where:  Vernonia, Oregon a.k.a  the backwoods.  Volunteers wearing hunting jackets were included.
Description:  This race was a half and full marathon course.  The marathon course would have been a perfect BQ course since the entire second half was almost all downhill!  We all met at Banks High School and took a 35 minute bus ride up into the woods for the starting line.  The half marathon course was mostly flat but the last 4-5 miles was a gradual uphill which wasn't the best.  The very last .2 was very steep switch backs that were actually kind of scary running on tired legs.  This race was small (only 200ish people in the half) and it was not chip timed which made for a not as accurate of a time.  There were faster runners at this race than I expected!

This was during our warm-up.  I was still freezing my buns off and hadn't decided if I would keep my pink top on or not.  As you can see, I chickened out on the short shorts.  Too Cold for me!  I thought the cows in the background give a good perspective of where we were.  

Goals: To run strong and enjoy myself!  My husband was running with me and he had a goal to PR and break 1:30 so I went along with him and decided to hold on to his goal until other plans came up.  Can you tell that I'm not a runner that plans my races these days.  In fact, I don't even know what this thing called a pace band is but I'm thinking it might do me good to be better at having a plan if I have any serious goals in the future. 

Celebrations/Random Bullets
My time at the 10k point was 42:42 or something like that. Maybe 42:40 but what is 2 seconds.  This is only 20 seconds off of my 10k race last week so this made me feel STRONG (goal #1)
*  I didn't PR but I ran 6 MINUTES faster than my most recent half marathon last June. 
* I'm going to go with my Garmin stats on this one because of the fact that the race was not chip timed.  However my Garmin time tells me that I ran the same time as the race time but it is with a turn around to the water station after dropping my cup.  My Garmin time for a 13.13 was 1:33:41.
*  My husband got first in age group and I got a 2nd place ribbon but I'm pretty sure that is because the overall winning woman with at time of 1:28 was in my age group so they didn't include her in the AG division for some reason.
*  I was 4th woman overall.  A woman my age with a nursing bra came flying past me at the very end.  She beat me by 20 seconds.  Again, darn water stop!  She had all these beeping sounds coming along with her so I'm thinking she had her Garmin set to pace her (I don't even know how to do that yet).
*  I met some really cool people from the Red Lizard Running Club and have decided that joining the Red Lizard running group might be good for me as a runner! 
*  I just realized that my half time qualifies me for the New York Marathon.  Does this mean that I'm a shoe in for the NY or is it still a waiting game or what??  I'd really love to run NY in November for my 33rd birthday present to myself! 

Having fun on the bus and making fun of myself

And more laughing at our mile 8 episode

Things I might have done differently and will learn from for next time:
* I really need to learn more about fueling properly AND how to efficiently get water at the water stops.  I don't want to wear my hydration belt in a race but I STINK at trying to get the water and electrolyes.  At mile 8 I was right at 7 min pace or a bit under and I dropped my cup.  Instead of going on, I stopped and went back and drank and then started up again.  (This did not make my hubby very happy).  Stupid me, I agree with him that this was not a very smart move if I was to stay on pace. 
*  After the cup drop, I had a hard time getting my sub 7/7:00 min pace back.  The pack of men we were running with took off and my husband said "come on!  Get your butt up here and back on pace!" I have to say that I had the Garmin and I was supposed to keep us on pace.  Poor guy, he never knows when to push me and when I'm not in the mood for pushing.  I said something like "shut it bitch!"  Okay, well, maybe just "shut it" but I think bitch makes me sound tougher.  After that, he put his earphones in, blasted his manly music and shot off like a rocket and made up for lost time!  He would have broken 1:30 if it were not for me slowing down. 
*  I would have probably taken a GU at mile 5 and then say 9 or 10 instead of only having one at mile 10. 

7:14 (cup spill that knocked my mojo off! A good 20 second delay)
7:15 (starting the gradual uphill climb.  bad timing)
6:13 pace for the last .13

Overall : 1:33:41

Second place.  Got beat by that nursing mama at the end.  I think she was dripping breast milk too. 
First place in his AG
And his look says it all to me. He is totally causing trouble here. 

Overall Feelings:  This was fun!  I feel great and my husband and I are having some great laughs about our experience.  In fact, he is having a little too much fun rubbing his blue ribbon for his AG win in my face.  I would have had one too if I would have stepped it up and had some balls!  I'm so excited to do this again!!  I'm confident that I'll get that sub 1:30 another time! 

I'll be annoucing the Hydration Belt winner tomorrow sometime!  Hope all of you that raced this weekend did well!  Eager to read your race reports.

Oh, tell me what you know about the NY Marathon.  If I made the qualifying time according to my half time does that mean I can apply and run no matter what??

P.s  I'll post this again on my next post since so many of you have already read this but here is the map of our course.  You can see the incline at the end and note mile 8 and how much I slowed things down. Darn!  Trying not to let it bother me.  ;) 


  1. Wow, amazing race!!! I think that means you can just sign up for NYC. That is awesome!! And that squat pic is really funny.

  2. I'm going to comment in a minute when I actually read this but so far I'm laughing out loud! Crazy girl!!!

  3. Hey - lets not knock nursing mama runners. I'm pretty sure my shirt was equally drenched in sweat and breastmilk by the end of my run tonight!!!

  4. Love the squat pic! Who amongst the running community hasn't had to do one of these at one time or another?! Congrats on such a great race to both you and your husband!

  5. I seriously scroll up to the top to start reading but I just keep laughing. My kid is standing over my shoulder and she's laughing too:)

    OK-first of all Great Race!! Not only is your time awesome but your whole attitude is just awesome! I wish I was a free spirit and could just run without a stupid pace band or gameplan. I used to be. Where did that go? Sub 1:30 is right around the corner for you-no doubt in my mind!

    And don't pretend you just said shut it. You definitely had bitch on the end:)

    Love all the pics! You are the happiest looking person. SO cute, SO fit, SO fun!

    Yes, you're guaranteed entry for NYC. I was planning to do that race this fall with my sister but she didn't qualify. It's definitely on my bucket list! What a fun 33rd b-day!!

    Again, great job Amanda! Proud of you! Congrats to Waylon and hope you celebrated with a little ice cream or something:)

  6. CONGRATS! AMAZING, Amanda, so happy for you! I think this is a post kids PR, no? I can't wait to see what you do in your marathon! You are doing so well! Superstar!

  7. Congrats to you and your husband!! Awesome times and glad you had so much fun :D

  8. I love love love this race recap! Congrats to you and your hubs...

  9. OMG, that squat pic is classic! It would have been funny anyway, but the big ol' thumbs up just MADE that picture.

    Congratulations on a killer race!

  10. Woohoo! You and your husband did awesome! Way to get 2nd place! You are a rockstar! And, I have to say that you look awesome in your don't even look like you ran a half marathon!

    About the hydration thing, have you tried a handheld water bottle? I use a Nathan handheld and love it! I use it for my 1/2marathons b/c I suck at drinking water at the aid stations. Plus, I like to use my own fuel. Anyways...just a thought!

  11. Register for NYC and you're in!!!! I have a post tomorrow a little about NYC. I would love to race this! Not fast enough to qualify so I have to wait but do not want to run it until next year! Great time both of you!!!!

  12. Great job for you and your husband both.
    GO NYC.
    Y'all look like you had a great time!

  13. Ahhh you make me laugh so so hard!!! Congrats gorgeous girl!! Yay for you and your hubby!!! I wanna do New York with you!

  14. Great job, Amanda! Only you would look cute peeing in the woods. Congratulations to you guys!

  15. That post was hysterical. ...NYC..this is what I found... The following groups are eligible for guaranteed entry to the ING New York City Marathon 2011:

    Members of New York Road Runners since January 31, 2010, who completed at least nine NYRR-scored, qualifying races, and who have volunteered for one event, during the calendar year 2010. NYRR members can check their member history by clicking here. Handcyclists seeking entry under this provision must also be active bona fide members of Achilles International since January 31, 2010.

    Members of New York Road Runners since January 31, 2010, who completed at least nine NYRR-scored, qualifying races, and who make a $1,000 USD donation in support of NYRR’s youth, community, and volunteer programs during the calendar year 2010. Learn more by clicking here.

    Entrants in the ING New York City Marathon 2010 who canceled prior to the race. Athletes with disabilities seeking entry under this provision must have been accepted in the 2010 marathon through a lottery.

    Those who have completed 15 or more New York City Marathons.

    Those who have applied but been denied entry for the last three years in a row (2008, 2009, and 2010), and who did not secure an entry through alternative methods in those years.

  16. Oh, and P.S. While you were shivering in your tights today, two weeks after we had snow on the ground they were shutting down the St. Louis marathon course early because of the heat index. Crazy spring!!

  17. awesome, amanda! All of it. Great pace, finish, and squat in the woods! Congrats! My husband will be glad to know that he isn't the only 'runner dude' that wears long shorts. He was a little puzzled at the last race that he was the only one with long shorts!! LOL. Congrats to your husband. Great race for both of you!!!

  18. That is so fabulous! I am sending you a huge hug! And I'm glad you had your hubby there to share the experience. Now I hope you are relaxing and enjoying your great time.

  19. So awesome on the peeing shot but I was already laughing out loud at you from the picture before. It looks like I present you with these cows and now I will pee!

    Your husband did awesome! That has got to be exciting for him! Fun for yal to do this together and laugh all the way through :)

  20. You are so awesome and so inspirational! I am in love with your times and your drive! I HAVE to know where you got that black tank. I SO want a long tank to pair with my tights. You look so beautiful and blissfully happy!

  21. I did Vernonia last year and ran through snow, rain and sleet. It was so miserable and so much fun! Now where near as fast as you!

  22. Great job Amanda!! And great job to your hubby too!

    I love all the pics! You can see how much fun you guys had! Such a great bonding time too I bet.

  23. Great job! You are so very speedy, and with what seems like little planning. I wonder what you will do when you figure out your fueling and other stuff.
    I got "yelled at" and dropped by my husband at the Seattle Half. Hey, it happens!
    Congrats on your ribbon...

  24. Wow! Amazing! You sound like you had an incredibly good time. I'm running my first 1/2 in June and I hope I have half that much fun!

  25. You are amazingly fast. Thanks for including the peeing shot. Hilarious. I suck at drinking at water stops too but it's probably a little easier for me since I'm WAY slower than you. Grabbing one at a 6:30 pace would be a little tricky. Glad you had fun and I have no idea how the NYC marathon thing works but that would be an AWESOME race so I hope it all works out.

  26. Thanks for stopping by...I know it's so hard to keep up with so many wonderful bloggers out there!
    Yes, that was my husband taking the pic in the gym in Fiji. We're having a wonderful time and head home tomorrow. I miss Oregon!

  27. you are amazing Amanda!!! sounds like an awesome race !! i can't believe you posted your pee picture (love it! lol) and that you went back for water?!! you crazy women! next time listen to your husband lol;) what a rockin' race! good job!xx

  28. WOW- you are SO FAST! I'm very impressed and think that you are fabulous. Nice job with the pee picture- looks like something that I would do...

  29. I'll have to come back and read the whole post later. I hit the photo of you peeing, and am laughing so much I can't keep reading. I've read a lot of runner's blog posts about peeing and pooping in the woods, just never actually seen anyone post a photo of it!!!! Awesome!

  30. Wow, second place! I'm always just happy to not come in last in my age group. Looks like you had a lot of fun and I love that you posted your squatting in the woods picture.

  31. That squatting pic is priceless!

    It sounds like you had a fantastic race even if you didn't quite get the time you wanted. Congrats on placing!

  32. Most runners try to be discreet when they are peeing in public. Not our Amanda. Yeah - as they other have already said, that one's priceless. Congratulations to you and your husband on your AG awards.

  33. Great job! You are awesome and I love the pictures! I had to laugh about you telling off your husband! I really do not liked to be "pushed" by my husband when we are running....until the very end when we race back to the car!

  34. You and the hubs smoked it!! Way to go. Love the pit stop pic--we all do it!

    On NY--I think it might be too late. I remember checking into it last year around this time and it seems like the deadline might be sometime in March for using a 1/2 time. But check into it.

  35. Congratulations to BOTH of you!! Ya'll rock!!!! Hopefully you can run NYC. How cool would that be!!

  36. Wowza's!!! Congrats to you both and even more so on being able to qualify for NY!!!!!! So exciting!!!!

    Also, that squat pic is priceless! YOu rock!

  37. Holy cow!!! Nice job and love the pics!

  38. Wow! Both of you did so great! You're such a speedy little thing! Love that t-shirt! That is a great explanation of why I run.
    Love all your pictures! And I hope New York happens for you!

  39. Super! I would have included the "pee in the woods" photo, too. It's all about keeping it real, right? Awesome that you and husband got to run it together!

  40. Congrats on a great race speedy girl!
    Yes youve auto qualified for NYC but I think yu need to hurry up and register because they announce the field toward the end of this month.

  41. Way to rock it, girl!!!! 6 minutes off of last fall is amazing, your marathon is going to be such an incredible experience for you...I'm already excited.

    LOVED all the pictures and the potty one was hillarous! (and jealous you text Jenn...she was one of my very first followers and meeting in Boston was so much fun!).

    Your kids are going to all end up on track scholarships, they have two of the fastest parents out there! Congrats to you both!

  42. You are my kind of woman! When you have to pee, you have to pee! I have popped a squat many a times!!
    I laughed at my computer at the "shut it bitch" Absolutely HYSTERICAL!

  43. speedy lady!!!!!

    way to kill that race. i mean seriously, FAST LIKE LIGHTENING!

    love all the pictures :)

  44. wow! what an awesome half marathon!! the squatting pic is hilarious!!!

  45. Congrats on an amazing race!!! Looks like a tough course!

  46. Okay so WHEN we both get in we are SOOOOOOOOO meeting up!!!

  47. Congrats on the PR! Lol at the potty pic-that takes talent. Yup you are in NYc you just have to sign up under the "I qualified" section. That's how I got in a couple years ago. Love that race!

  48. Great race no matter what - congrats to both of you.

  49. Congrats to BOTH of you!! Haha. Maybe don't tell him I said that though if he's going to cause more trouble. Hahaha. The pee stop picture cracks me up! You guys are too much fun! Oh...and duh you look hot. :) Tiny little thing.

  50. Just found your blog and love it!

    I too am a running mama of three kidalumps, and just ran a 1:33:53 half a few weeks ago :-)

    "set the gear shift to the high gear of your soul, and run like an antelope....out of control"

  51. Congrats on the half. That's awesome you 2 can run similar paces. Great times for you both!

  52. you guys smashed that race. and were also the best looking out there...they should give you guys medals for that.

  53. Great job! Even with the cup incident. The way I remember handling hydration back when I could run fast (lol) was to grab a cup at every stop that wasn't crowded, toss the contents toward my face and get some in my mouth and some on my face. Usually there were enough water stations that it provided me with enough of a hydration crutch... real or perceived. And I probably wouldn't have peed before... thought the 'crouch' pic is priceless :P I would have told myself that I would be wanting that fluid later ;-)
    It must be fun to be similarly fast as your husband. Mine has always been a good bit slower... even now! lol
    Congrats again, on a race well-run!

  54. Quinton, how do I respond to you?? No e-mail and no link to a blog? Do you have a blog?

  55. Congrats! What an awesome race!

  56. I love it that you & your husband both did so well!! Congrats to you guys! definitely not offended by the picture...mostly 'cause i can relate! Love how you're smiling in every picture! Way to go!

  57. AMANDA!! This is awesome!! You are such a stud--and hubs too! WOW! You are breeding some speed demons!!!! I'm sorry I'm so late on this report--I'm so so so so happy for you! Can you picture me smilig?????

    I remember the red lizards from the Portland marathon! You would be such an awesome pacer!! wow!!!! What a fab way to give back!

    You look very "Athleta" in your photos too my dear!!!

  58. Congrats on a great race!! I'm so glad you posted your squatting picture. It was necessary I think! ;) I'm so happy that it all seemed to just be effortless and fast for you. That's how every race should go! Next time that blue ribbon is YOURS!!

  59. Smoking fast times and that photo of the farm animals is hilarious!! Great race report. :)

    Gotta Run,

  60. Absolutely outstanding!!! I had heard that Vernonia was a trail.? Is it not??

    MAN...Woman, you are FAST!!! With a full stop and everything? You are going to have that sub 1:30 in no time!!

    Loved the random photos and that your hubby is as competetive at this as you are =D

    Amazing after a 5k race just last week!!

  61. Geez, see, this is what I miss when I don't stay up on Blogs. Holy Guacamole Amanda, that was great. You so got a 3:15 in you.

    Interesting take on fueling/hydration. I am training myself to carry a 20 oz hand bottle. I'll fill it with fuel and obviously water for my half this Sunday. I hope it's enough.

    Good job - your pics are cute, except for that one.

  62. Congratulations on the great race and on qualifying for NYC! The hills at the end, particularly those switchbacks sound brutal. Great job to your husband, too! I love the pics. It does look like you're having tons of fun.