I Tri and Craft

thoughts from a mother of boys, a marathoner, a triathlete, a crafter, a wife, and a scientist

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Running Log ~ Welcome back

Forgive me readers, it has been months since my last post.

So much has happened this year, at least for me.

At the beginning of the year I got a new job that has taken up so much of my time and has made me slacking in my posting. I have still been crafting and running and meal planning but I haven’t had time to tell you about it.

I became a homeowner. For the very first time my husband and I bought our own house. There were a million reasons we had been renters for so long, but all that came to an end this spring.  So of course all that came with getting financed, finding a house and moving took up so much of my ‘free’ time.

I became a marathoner. Yep, I did it. I ran (well, ran/walked) my first marathon. While I am very proud of my accomplishment I am highly disappointed in my time. I will tell you all about it in another post.

I am of course ready to run my next marathon and wondering about one in Oct. There are a number of ones I would like to do in Aug or Sept but the timing just doesn’t work out.  Then there is nothing past Oct, until the next year. But I was hoping to beat my time this year….

As it has been working out, I have run at least one race every month this year.  Some months there are two and I have already participated in 3 virtual races with 2 more coming (those are not included in the monthly total!)  If I don’t do the marathon in Oct I will have to find another race to keep my streak going. I already have races planned for Nov & Dec.

I am trying to decide if I want to focus on a few big races next year or keep doing what I am doing and running all the races 🙂  I do know that there are a number of them that I have not run, that I would like to.  So next year may be the year for new races only.

I also bought my first fitness/GPS watch and couldn’t be more excited about it. It’s the Garmin Vivoactive HR. So if you are a Garmin owner and want to connect I am @MamaSonshine

I am finally on a Hood to Coast team this year! We decided to join as a fundraising team, so we are raising money for Providence Cancer Center. It has been a real challenge keeping a team of 12 people together and fundraising. Currently we are selling raffle tickets as a fundraiser and the proceeds from the running window decals I make and sell in my Etsy shop will go towards our fundraiser.




Here are the two new stickers I made to sell as a fundraiser.  You can purchase them through my Etsy shop.  And again the proceeds will go towards our fundraising goal.


I know there is more but I am tired and need to do some wall sits.  I just wanted to check in and let you know that while I haven’t been writing I am still running.

Just. Keep. Running.

Want to find out what is on my race calendar?  Check out my list.

Dawn Marie

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This year my running club and I will be participating in the Hood to Coast Relay Race as a fundraising team. We will be raising money for Providence Cancer Center to help #FINISHCANCER. Click on the picture below (or here) to donate today.


runnerboxFor my loyal readers RunnerBox is offering 10% your purchase by using the code RUNMSRUN so go start your subscription today, or go buy one for that runner in your life.

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Running Log ~ Trail Edition

The long run.

I really do love the long  run. And it’s even more important now that I will be running 26.2 miles coming up.

EEK. Did I just write that?

I did! I signed up for the Newport Marathon in June.

So I was in desperate need of double-digit mile weekends.  My cousin was training for a very long 20 mile trail race and also needed some miles.  So when she asked if I could do a 15 mile trail run with her I jumped at the chance.  Not too many people want to run 15 miles with you.

An experienced Forest Park runner friend dropped us at a starting point where we could run on Wildwood trail (see map) and end up on Old German Town road 15 miles later.

Forest Park Trails Printable Map

So it had been raining that week. And the week before, and the week before…..I mean this is the Pacific Northwest guys. It was raining that morning and I was not excited about that but since the trial is in the forest the trees would keep most of the rain off.

Even though I couldn’t feel much of the rain falling down I sure felt the aftermath on the ground. There was a little bit of mud on the trail.

MSS_TrailRun01I may have almost had my foot eaten my a mud monster no less than six times or almost drowned in quickmud.

We kept having to slow down to find a way around the mud. It wasn’t just like a little bit of water on the path, or a little mud. The mud was ankle deep in most places, our shoes would get stuck if we walked or ran through it.  It added at least an hour or more to our run.


The mud also made things very slippery, so if wasn’t for my natural grace and dexterity I probably would have fallen over the edge of the cliff to my demise on numerous occasions. Or maybe I would have just fallen to the ground and gotten muddy and hurt. Either way it wouldn’t have been fun.

I learned that on the trails even when you start at the top of the hill you still have to run up hill all the time. The whole run was up hill with a little down hill, then up hill again.


I need lots of water on my runs no matter how far, 1 mile or 10 I bring my water bottle.  As it turned out neither of us had enough water with us. We were in bad shape and found this beautiful little waterfall where we stopped for a fill up. I dropped some of my Nuun water purifying electrolyte tablets in the water and was good as gold! Ok, full disclaimer…Nuun is not a water purifier, but it is an electrolyte replacement tablet and is delightful.

So here is the thing about trail runs, it’s really hard to end them early. Cause you know, you are out in the middle of the trail. So my cousin wasn’t feeling well and needed to end the run early so we called our Expert and he said ‘don’t worry there is a bail out option.’

Turns out the bailout option was still two to three miles away and then we would still have a mile or two till the end. But I guess it was the shorter distance, and my cousin’s friend met us part way after we took the turn off and ran with us the rest of the way.

If we hadn’t had to take the bailout option I never would have come across this view:


After running what seemed like up hill all day the turn off finally took us down hill and at the bottom the trees opened up, the rain stopped and there was the St. Johns bridge in all it’s glory.

Our run wasn’t the full 15 miles but it was in the double digits, so that was good. Unfortunately I had poor cell service so the GPS on my phone (because it’s an iPhone, which doesn’t actually have GPS) so we don’t know our exact mileage.

I realized that day that while I love the woods, and I love being out in the woods, I am not a trail runner. I couldn’t really see any of the scenery around me because I was watching the ground to make sure the forest monsters don’t reach up to trip me. Every time we got up to pace we had slow down to a slow walk around the mud pits. When you get somewhere it’s a beautiful view, but I could walk there…

Next 15 mile run was in the city on a much nicer day and much easier to complete.

Just. Keep. Running.

Want to find out what is on my race calendar?  Check out my list.

Dawn Marie

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This year my running club and I will be participating in the Hood to Coast Relay Race as a fundraising team. We will be raising money for Providence Cancer Center to help #FINISHCANCER. Click on the picture below (or here) to donate today.


runnerboxFor my loyal readers RunnerBox is offering 10% your purchase by using the code RUNMSRUN so go start your subscription today, or go buy one for that runner in your life.

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Race Recap ~ Mustache Dace 2015

Mustache Dache


OK, so if you read my recap from last year I said I wouldn’t run this race again because of THE hill.

Do you want to hear about the hill?

The course is a 3.1 mile loop with over 400 feet (435 ft gain, to be exact) of elevation gain in the first 1.7 miles (aprox.).  That is about a 5% pitch for this race. When I ran the Wine Country Half Marathon there was only 328 foot elevation gain over the whole 13.1 miles.  The last hill though, that one was the killer.  At mile 0.91 were were at an elevation of 372 ft; at mile 1.73 we were at 660 ft.  That is 288 ft in less than a mile!

Yep, you read that right.

But the race is fun. The costumes are fun. The atmosphere is fun. I just couldn’t help but register again.  I called my friends and convinced them it would be a good idea to race it again too.  This year I also wanted Ian to enjoy the fun.  So I signed him up for the kids 1k race.  Because of when I signed up we also got a special ‘party pack.’ Ian rocked his and Sid stole mine.



The plan was to have my husband come and wait with Ian while I ran the 5k. Then Ian and I would do his race and we would all hang out together after.

Best laid plans…right?

So Hubby ended up having to work that day and while my mom was able to keep Sid, she couldn’t come out to the race.  Some of the races put on by Energy Events had a Kids Zone where they had paid child care for runners, but this race didn’t have that option.

It’s ok, I thought, I’ll just push Ian in the stroller. I’ve done it before, I can do it again.

(uh…remember THE hill!)

I came to terms with the fact that I will be walking up the first 1.5 miles of hill and that this will be no 35 min 5k.  My stroller is not a fancy jogging stroller, it is not even a good jogging stroller, but it is a stroller I bought used so that when I needed to I could run if I only had one kid.  It is a heavy stroller, and my kids are now heavy, well heavy for me.  Instead of me running slowly up this horrific hill, I will be walking slowly up this horrific hill while pushing 60 pounds of stroller + 5 year-old.

OK. OK. No big deal, I will just push the stroller, I’m not the only one who has to do this.

It had been raining, no pouring all week and the forecast called for inches of rain that Saturday. I was going to feel real bad for Ian if it rained on him the whole time.  I packed blankets, made him snacks packed us all up and dropped Sid off at my moms.  A couple of times on the way to the race our car got hit by rain but I didn’t use my wipers, so it wouldn’t last.

We got to Big Al’s, the race location, got the stroller all set up and Ian changed out of his jammies.  Ian asked if the cobwebs on the stroller’s wheels would be wiped off during the race.  Turns out, I haven’t used the stroller in a while and the two back tires were both flat.  One more than the other.  Also, the stroller has a fixed front wheel, but the alignment is off.  So it is extremely difficult to make small turns and it pulls to the left.  Oh well, we gotta roll with the punches.


Ian getting ready for the race, not really ready for pictures

We meet up with our friends and enjoyed the fun atmosphere until the race started.  I tried to take some pictures with Ian, but he wasn’t quite in the mood.  We hit the lucky streak with the weather and while it was a little windy there was no rain! And to be honest, that was just fine.  It was time to get in the staring line and my Super Fast Friend head out to the front of the line while I stayed in the back with my stroller.  Out other two friends, The Couple, hung out with me till the race started, but I knew I’d be making this slow hike without them.


Since the start is flat and the first hill isn’t that bad, I started at a slow jog off to the side, allowing runners to fly by me.  When we got to the hills I slowed down to a walk, I tried to walk fast, but that stroller was heavy!  I would run on the short downhills and any flats between the hills, but never uphill.  I just couldn’t do it.


I would show him the views from the top of the hill and he’d say ‘yep, ok, let’s go.’

up the hill

up the first hill

The course wove mostly through residential areas where there was not a lot of high traffic and in one spot I was outside the cones.  Ian was concerned, but with me pushing uphill and the fixed front wheel of the misaligned stroller, it was too hard to steer back to the right.  I told him he had to get out and walk for me to get back on course.  So he walked for a little bit up that hill, on the sidewalk.


He’d do quick little runs, so I’d have to run to catch up with him. After about a quarter of a mile he got back in the stroller.  When we got to the biggest, steepest hill I made him get out and walk after we were about half way.  He walked to the top, which was about the 1.5 or 1.7 mile spot and the start of the downhill portion of the race.

start of the downhill

start of the downhill

He had to take a water break at the aid station.  Because sitting in a stroller (with your own snacks and drinks available to you) is such thirsty work!

At this point the hardest part was steering the stroller.  While running downhill he kept telling me to ‘go! go! go!’ which didn’t necessarily mean go faster, it just meant don’t stop. Thanks kid.

I kept teasing him that I was going to just let go of the stroller and would meet him at the bottom, or that I would hop in and we would both ride down.

The last mile was pretty quick, as it was mostly downhill with some flat areas and at this point I could run them.  However I am still not that fast while pushing that damn stroller, but at least I wasn’t walking.  The very last portion of the race, before you get back to the parking lot and the finish line, goes along a running path with a little playground.  Ian wanted to stop and play, but I said no way, or we would be there all day.  I did let him get out and climb on the statues for a minute, then told him we had a race to finish!


A lot of times in order to turn a corner I would have to pop the front wheel up and this is how I came around the corner to the finish line. With the stroller doing a wheelie!

Pictures from Game Face Photo (free from the race!)

Pictures from GameFace Media (free from the race!)


I crossed the finish line in 48 minutes, pretty slow for a 5k, by my standards, but good under the circumstances.  We had sometime to kill before his race started, but I didn’t want my free beer yet, cause I still had to run with him for his 1k.  I tried to get him to take a picture with me and my friends in the PEMCO insurance booth, but he still wasn’t having it.

PEMCO Picture

As we go to the starting line for his race he is not feeling it. He hadn’t eaten any of his food, and now he is tired and hungry. Perfect mix for a race.


At least his age group goes first.  His race distance is 1k (0.6 miles) and is a loop that goes out and along the running path behind the restaurant.  We walk/run for the first half and then he is on my back.  I give him a piggie back ride up until we get back to the parking lot and tell him he has to run through the finish line.


picture taken by Energy Events, and it is my FAV!

At the finish line the racers and our friends are standing there giving high-fives to the kids as they run past.  The little kids loved it!


He crossed the finish line and got a medal just like mine, with a spinning mustache.


We promptly meet up with my friends went inside the restaurant to warm-up get food and our free booze.



Will I do this race again next year?  Who knows….It is still fun, even the horrible hill. OK maybe not the hill, but the whole event is fun.


To recap on the history of this event (also found on my race recap last year)

The Mustache Dache takes place in November (mostly), because it is also Movember.

 But what is Movemeber you might ask?  Don’t worry, I’ll tell you.

About a decade ago some Bros in Australia decided to challenge other men to a Mo* contest.

*A MO is a mustache, short for the English spelling of Moustache.

The Bros decided that during the month of November they would grow their mustaches for a cause, after some research they decide their cause would be prostate and testicular cancer, as well as depression.  After a couple of years donating their proceeds to local charities they ended up creating a charitable organization of their own.

Fast Forward to now:  Movember is a world-wide charity raising money and bringing awareness for men’s health.  You can go to the Movember website and donate, or participate in the Mo growing contest during the month of November.  You can also find tons of information on men’s health issues and look at pictures of men with awesome Mos.  You can also read the whole story behind the campaign.

Us women have October as breast cancer awareness month, and the men now have Movember because these guys wanted to change the face of men’s health.

picture from race site, click image for link

Last year the race was put together as one of the ways to raise money for the above mentioned charity.  It is a fun 5k, there are lots of costumes, booze, fun prizes, kids race, humor, awareness and mustaches everywhere; the real ones and fake.  This race is held in various location across the country.  It is a fun good time.

This year the Mustache Dache race is  partnered with the charity Zero, to help end prostate cancer.  Not sure why the change, but either way the money is going to help men’s health.


Just. Keep. Running.

runnerboxFor my loyal readers RunnerBox is offering 10% your purchase by using the code RUNMSRUN so go start your subscription today, or go buy one for that runner in your life.

Want to find out what is on my race calendar?  Check out my list.

Dawn Marie

This year my running club and I will be participating in the Hood to Coast Relay Race as a fundraising team. We will be raising money for Providence Cancer Center to help #FINISHCANCER. Click on the picture below (or here) to donate today.

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