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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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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Running Log ~ March 17th Shamrock Run

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I hope everyone is pinch proof today and wearing green!  What a perfect day to share with you my experience in this weekend’s Shamrock Run.

A Runner

*click pic for source*


My very first race, and the one that made me an addict, was the Shamrock Run last year.  Last year I ran the 8k and was so happy that I was able to finish.  It took me an hour and I had to walk a couple of times, but I absolutely loved it.  However, only the 15k finishers got a medal, so after the race I said that the next year I would do the 15k and get that medal.

So after one year, one 5k, two 8k’s, one 12k and one half marathon I came back to the Shamrock Run and completed the 15k race.

Getting my gear ready

Getting my gear ready


The most daunting thing about the race wasn’t the distance, it is just under 10 miles and I try to do that on the weekend, but the hills.  Hills suck.  I just don’t have the lung power to maintain my speed, so I have to slow down, and I already run slow as it is.  They say you have to maintain a 14 min/mile pace for the 15k, or you will be rerouted because they have to open the roads up to traffic by a specific time.



One good thing about the course is that the longest hill is right by my work, so this year I decided to run that hill during my lunch break.  Or at least as much of it as I can in the time I had, since I had to back track to get back to work.  Since February I have been running 3-5 miles along the hill to train for the run, and you know what….it worked.  Am I better at hills? no.  Did I fly up the hill like I was on flat ground? no.  But what did happen was that my muscle memory kicked in.  And before I knew it I was on the downward side of the hill without having to stop.

OK, so that last part wasn’t exactly true.  They did stop us part way up to let a row of cars go through, some runners had issues with that and tried to go around, but got shuffled back in line.  Some others took this opportunity to get in front of those of us already waiting.  But really, come on, it was only a minute or less that we were waiting.  And if you were really competing in the race (like to place in a division or over all) you would have already been passed that point by then.  And if you really wanted a PR or some other personal goal, you could have made up the time on the down hill.  But I digress…

Course Map

Course Map

So back to the beginning.

We have had unseasonably warm weather the past two months with little or no rain fall, so how do you make it rain?  Plan a race.  It started raining hard on Sat and didn’t stop till Sunday evening, with a few pauses on Sun.  I don’t the have total rain fall numbers, but it was a lot.  There was lake puddles along the course.  But we are Portlanders, or at least Pacific Northwesterners, so the rain doesn’t bother us.  We donned our hats, running rain gear or, for some, just a garbage bag and set out on the course.  And it rained, and by rain I mean it poured.  It rained so much that when it stopped for a time I didn’t notice because my hat was still dripping water from the bill.  My toes squished in my shoes.  Which stressed me out because I didn’t want to ruin my running shoes, as they are the only ones I have.  My shirt was soaked, my sports bras were soaked, my pants were soaked.  I was soaked through.

Here is the start of the big hill during a training run

Here is the start of the big hill during a training run

Here is the same hill on race day. After it stopped raining

Here is the same hill on race day. After it stopped raining

It took a while to get going, the first two-three miles are the worst for me.  I really hit my groove somewhere after mile three, then I feel like I could go forever.  You get caught up in the fever of the race and all the people at the starting line so I really had to be careful and not run to fast at first.  The Map My Run app notifies me of my pace at ever quarter-mile.  When the first quarter-mile notice came on and said I was running a seven-something min/mile, I slowed way down!  Otherwise I would’ve keeled over in about ten minutes, I never would have been able to maintain that pace.

The road was filled with people, at all times.  After doing multiple smaller races, I had forgotten how many people attend the Shamrock run.  People passed me, I passed other people, I passed the people who passed me, then they passed me again.  I was never alone, or even with just a few runners, there was always a massive group of runners around me.  This made me feel good, because I never felt like I was at the back of the pack, it gave me encouragement that I can and will finish this race with a good time.

Let’s be honest here.  I always talk about how I am proud to just finish a race, but I never really doubt that I will.  Unless I get some major injury along the course, the races I have run so far have all been distances I have already ran, or almost ran (in the case of my first half, I think the most was 10 or 11 miles).  I do set a time goal, for this distance it was under two hours, which I did, I ran it in 1:52:54, with an average pace of 11:32.  I would have liked my average to be closer or sub 11 min/mile, but I really am happy with my pace.  I did have to stop twice for traffic, once for cars and once for a train.  I also paused three or four times to fill up my water bottle at the aid stations.

At the 8 mile water station on the 15k (about 12 miles for the half course) they also had beer and desserts.  I did not stop, I really wanted that shot of beer, but I was on such a roll I didn’t want to lose momentum.  I was running a sub 11 min/mile pace and didn’t want to ruin it.  I just kept running, because well, there was free beer at the end.

The rewards

The rewards


MSS 15k Shamrock Run

I will not be doing this run next year.  I did the 15k like I wanted to and got my medal, so now it is time to move on to another race.  Next year I am hoping to do the Hot Chocolate Run that is held in Seattle also in March.


Just. Keep. Running.

Just a reminder that with my running I am raising money for St. Jude’s Hospital, click on the picture below to donate.  You have about one month left to donate, and have your name added to my shirt!

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Be a HERO by clicking picture and donating today.

C25K interval information can be found here

Want to find out what races I’ll be doing next year?  Check out my list.

Dawn Marie

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