Vancouver Half Marathon, Running with Manager John, and Zumba!

Inaugural Vancouver Marathon

Sunday, July 19 was the first ever Vancouver (Washington) Marathon, and I would say, a complete success, both as a community event and personally. I participated in the Half Marathon as it fit perfectly into my training plan for the October 9 Portland Marathon.

It really was a nice route, weaving through downtown, through the historic Fort Vancouver area to Evergreen Highlands, and back along the Columbia River. We shared this course with the last half of the Marathon course. The full marathon headed first out Mill Plain and Lower River Road to Frenchman’s Bar and back, a route Christine and I ran two weekends ago and is really not that pretty of a run, so I was glad the half marathon took the last half of the event.

The course was mostly flat, other than a hill at the halfway mark.

The weather was great, misty rain at the start, overcast and cool throughout, a bit humid, and a touch of sunshine on our backs for the last couple of miles.
I was really pleased with my run. I decided to go sans headphones again, as I seem to be running quite a bit faster without them, setting my own pace. I started out great with sub 9:30 minute miles for the first half, but slowed after the hill at the halfway point. No shin splint twang like I had at the Blue Lake tri (I made sure my shoe tongue was properly positioned) but I did have a right side ache the entire run! Another new something, argh! I don’t think I hydrated enough the day before. But, I ran though it and ended up with a new Personal Record of 2:13:14 for a 9:58 pace overall! Very excited about that!

Running with Manager John!

Manager John and GAG of the Gag the Manager podcast spent a few days with me this week while they visited the other Vancouver! He was beginning his taper for the Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon June 25th and wanted to know if we could run together while he was here—Absolutely!! He needed to do a 9 mile run, so I took him through Fort Vancouver and along the Columbia River trail. Great weather, high clouds, perfect temperature. We did a 9:58 minute mile pace, chatting up the sights on the way. I’m not used to running with someone, so that was a new experience for me! Thanks John!

Zumba!

From left to right, me, Mother Superior, Steven, “MrXinu” Klassen, GAG, and Manager John.

Manager John, GAG, Mother Superior, and I went to the most energized Zumba class I’ve ever attended! The class was led by Steven “MrXinu” Klassen of the GeekFit podcast at the Open House Ministries shelter here in Vancouver,  Washington. This whole event blew my mind! I seem to remember hearing about the GeekFit podcast in passing as another podcaster in the area but had never had a chance to listen to his show or meet MrXinu. Steven has been on a fitness journey, losing an amazing 150 pounds, and is now a licensed Zumba instructor. He has an infectious smile, great energy, and his class was fantastic! Check out his podcast and blog links above.

I am so impressed with Open House Ministries (OHM)! I have lived in Vancouver for 15 years and was shocked to just learn about this shelter and amazing resource. OHM is a shelter for families, providing residential apartments, daycare facilities, and on-site educational programs to transition parents and families from homelessness to independent, functional living. Volunteers with OHM gave us a tour of the facility and their program. Very inspiring and I am very proud of this organization working in my community. OHM has found that exercise programs, such as Zumba, are an important part of growth, confidence, and overall wellness for their residents. The class was full of women and girls of all ages, with amazing energy and spirit. I recommend that you check out their program to learn more. I went back a couple days later to make a donation to the program and would like to see how I can assist them more in the future. Kudos to you, Steven, for your work in our community!

That’s it for this week’s report. Wishing everyone a super week ahead!

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