Tuesday, October 21, 2014

605 Running Co. Club Member

A new running store, 605 Running Co.,  opened up in Sioux Falls this year downtown, and they have been doing a great job of hosting group runs for area runners to meet up with each other. And they carry Oiselle. So win-win, right?

Before the Sioux Falls half they announced an upcoming running team. YAY! I want to be on a team so badly. And then they announced the time requirements. Lololololz. Nope.

While flipping through instagram on the way home from the Bemidji Marathon, I saw a post announcing their Running Club! I hobbled downtown on still trashed legs Monday afternoon to sign up. I'm so excited to meet other runners in the community. Some of my favorite people are those that  I've met through running, and I'm excited to make new running buddies! I'm sure it'll only help my running as well!

When I signed up I was given a spike bag, and got to pick out a shirt to wear for races. They had adorable long sleeve and short sleeve options, and I was set on a grey one with GREEN logo when I realized, uh.. I never race in anything but a tank top. I asked if they had tank options, and they said they certainly could. So sweaty sisters thinking of signing up, you're welcome!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fitness Class Challenge

After my pre-marathon injury scare, I discovered a new yoga studio in town. They had so many cool classes I'd never even heard of, and couldn't wait until after the marathon to try them out. Now that the race is over, I'm excited to give them a try!

My challenge is to try every class they have to offer in the next 3-4 weeks. My biggest challenge when it comes to anxiety is the fear of the unknown, and this spills over into something as silly as a fitness class. Will I look weird, will I know what I'm doing, will I look weird... I'm hoping that by making myself go to a variety of classes in a short time period, I will be forced to step out of my comfort zone, learn about some new classes that I may LOVE and may help me with my running/strength/flexibility/injury prevention, and I'll get the "unknown" out of the way so I'll be excited to go more frequently.

The classes:

  • Indo Row
  • Yoga Sculpt
  • BarreAmped Fire
  • Tabata Row
  • BarreAmped Bootcamp
  • Fusion Yoga
  • Shockwave Express
  • Row & Core
  • Power Vinyasa Yoga
  • BarreAmped
  • Power Row
  • Row X
  • Restorative Yoga
  • Shake & Flow
  • STOTT Pilates Athletic Conditioning
  • Hot Pilates
Whoa, that's way more classes than I was expecting. Maybe I'll shoot for 75% of them by Thanksgiving. Has anyone ever done rowing classes before? They sound terrifying!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Houston Race Decision + Spring Race Plan

When I signed up for the Houston half marathon lottery, I was really torn about signing up for the half or the full. I was happy to see they had a transfer option for enough time after the Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon for me to determine if I needed to "OMG RUN ANOTHER MARATHON ASAP" or if I wanted to stick with the half marathon.

With some hip/knee issues cropping up toward the tail end of marathon training, the half marathon was the obvious choice. And since my number one priority for the race weekend, and trip down south is spending time with Jenn and Megan, this'll help keep me from being insane. :)

So right now the plan for the spring is to run a bunch of half marathons. Houston in January, maybe Get Lucky in March, and Brookings in May (Green Bay also in May TBD based on flight prices).

And a spring marathon?

Or a marathon in 2015 period....?

Is still under review.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bemidji Cabin Weekend

My race weekend started on Thursday. Kyle worked until noon, so I got to spend the morning running errands. And somehow managed to sneak in a manicure appointment and a trip to my favorite coffee shop. Hashtag priorities.

When Kyle was finally off work, I somehow managed to convince him to take me through the Starbucks drive thru for MOAR COFFEE PLZ and Ollie enjoyed the long long drive thru line.

Poor Ollie didn't realize she wasn't coming along with us, so she was really mad when we dropped her off with Kyle's brother for the weekend. Even though she loves her uncle.

The drive was long and boring, and I made a crucial and poor decision to deviate from the pre-determined dinner plan (I researched all nearby restaurants and menus for hours before the weekend, I heart food), and it ended up being a bust. Except for this monster beer. They were joking when they said tall. Geez.

We got to our lake cabin resort after dark, so we ended up just going to our cabin and playing some card games. At what felt like midnight, I told Kyle we had to crash so I could get some rest. Only to realize it was actually 9:15. Whoa, it gets dark out in the wilderness.

The next morning I woke up before the sun and had to snag some pics of the fog rolling over the lake.

Life goals: lake cabin.

Kyle and I set out to explore some of the surrounding communities, but not before some selfies on the dock. Obvs.

On our way to a sporting goods store (per Kyle's request, obviously), I had an inkling that Paul Bunyan was nearby and I made Kyle stop and take a picture with me.

After grabbing lunch, I decided we should do some more driving and head to Bemidji to the expo. The race started so late, I was planning to just pick up my bib the morning of the race.

I'm really thankful we went, because I was much more relaxed race morning knowing I was ready to go.

You all know how Saturday went, since a late start marathon and a slow time means that the race was all.i.did.all.day.long.

Sunday I sucked it up and walked down the giant staircase down to the dock to catch the sunrise. And my mom snapped this pic of us down there. Precious.

Sweet wooden "medal"(?) over the water during the sunrise.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Weekly Reads: Glory O'Brien's History of the Future

Glory O'Brien's History of the Future is A.S. King's newest YA book. She is such an amazing novelist, and I wish she had been writing books when I was a teen. I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, and a chance to promote it to my teens if I liked it. Spoiler alert: I loved it.

The premise of the book is a bit far fetched (Glory drinks bat dust one night and can see people's futures afterward) but it wasn't done in a way that made me obsess over the insanity of it. It deals with some typical teenager issues: sex, STDs, post-high school plans and obsessing, friendships, relationships, family issues, but it is so much more than a regular coming of age story.

Read this now. And then read it again. It's that good.

My rating: 5 stars.

Summary from goodreads:


Graduating from high school is a time of limitless possibilities—but not for Glory, who has no plan for what's next. Her mother committed suicide when Glory was only four years old, and she’s never stopped wondering if she will eventually go the same way...until a transformative night when she begins to experience an astonishing new power to see a person’s infinite past and future. From ancient ancestors to many generations forward, Glory is bombarded with visions—and what she sees ahead of her is terrifying.

A tyrannical new leader raises an army. Women’s rights disappear. A violent second civil war breaks out. And young girls vanish daily, sold off or interned in camps. Glory makes it her mission to record everything she sees, hoping her notes will somehow make a difference. She may not see a future for herself, but she’ll do everything in her power to make sure this one doesn’t come to pass.

In this masterpiece about freedom, feminism, and destiny, Printz Honor author A.S. King tells the epic story of a girl coping with devastating loss at long last—a girl who has no idea that the future needs her, and that the present needs her even more.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Race Report: Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon

I woke up race morning an hour before my alarm, and ready to rock. My stomach felt good (this never happens), I slept well (this never happens either), and my body felt good (this sometimes happens). The race didn't start until 9:40am, and we were staying an hour away from Bemidji. I had a ton of time to relax, drink water, choke down my pop tarts (pre-race is the only time I'm not starving, and have to force feed myself, it's annoying) and get ready to go.

Kyle and I hit the road, and two emergency potty stops later (I guess I did good on the hydration front!) and we were there. I did my warm ups and stretches inside, GU'd about 15 minutes before the race (I never do this, but since I only had 1.5 poptarts eaten, a late race start, and potentially a long day of running ahead of me, I thought it couldn't hurt!). I'll definitely plan to do this again for marathons, as normally I'm starving at mile 3 and throw off my whole GU ingestion plan.

Kyle's parents, my mom, and her friend Kristi joined us inside and before too long it was time to head outside for the race start! The field size was small: less than 200 total. The pace groups had 5-10 people around each of them. I lined up behind the 4:30 group and we were off! 

I wanted to start in the 10:30s and assess how I was feeling. Assessment: I feel like I'm walking. YAY! Legs feel great. It's cool, and I ditch my gloves at mile one. I expected it to be colder. Hmm. So did everyone else wearing parkas/pants/hats/long sleeves, etc.

The trees are beautiful and we're running on a pretty bike path with trees on either side of us. I check my garmin to see what this "easy" pace is clocking in at. 10:15-10:30. Yay! The first few miles were super flat, and exactly what I was expecting the race course to be like.

1. 10:22
2. 10:27
3. 10:20

I got to see my mom around mile 4 and that gave me a huge burst of energy. This is fun! I have spectators for a marathon. Yayzies!!

She snagged a bunch of great pics (foreshadowing: Thankfully she got these pics, because I wasn't having nearly as much fun the next time she saw me).

From here we took a slight gradual downhill to somewhere, I got really turned around in this section, and I started counting down to seeing Kyle and his family in about 2 miles. I focused on form on the downhill section and really spent the whole race up to this point making sure my booty was doing some of the work and I was rewarded with speedier miles than I'm used to seeing.

Mile 6 came and went without seeing Kyle and his family. We were treated to some HILLS and even some sandy/rocky miles that were also on hills. What the...??

4. 10:08
5. 10:22
6. 10:31
7. 10:08

We got to the turn around area around mile 8, hill after hill after hill, and finally a runner next to me said "I thought this course was supposed to be flat??" To which I thanked her for stating that, because I was beginning to think I was delusional.

When we hit the turn around and a little downhill stretch I realized my legs were starting to feel taxed. Uh oh. On another uphill, my right hip flexor started to smart a bit. When we got to the packed sand part of the course, on the uphill, everyone ahead of me started power walking up it, and I joined them.

8. 10:24
9. 11:00
10. 11:11

Mile 10 came and went with no Kyle and his family and I started freaking out that I wouldn't meet up with them on the course. I had Kyle set to give me round 2 of my GUs and some sport beans if my stomach was revolting. Ensue panic.

The next two miles were super hilly, and with my hip flexor stabbing me on the uphills, I was power walking up and running the downhills.

My overall pace started to slip and I started to freak out a bit.

I finally saw Kyle and his parents just before the halfway mark and I tossed my arm sleeves and grabbed my GUs. According to Kyle I looked really strong here, but I felt majorly defeated. ALREADY. Oy Jerbear. I saw my mom a few seconds later, and my collapsed form in the pictures says it all, uff.

11. 11:35
12. 11:57
13. 11:33

I think I went through the half around 2:20.

I started to feel really defeated at this point. Going in to the race, I thought I would finish in the low 4:40s. I knew there was no way I could replicate those early 8 mile paces and that I was fading fast and hurting. I threw myself a gorgeous fall foliage filled pity party for much of mile 14. :/

This stretch was a very long and very gradual uphill section, completely closed off from spectators. I was also at the back of the race pack, so there were very few in front of me or behind me. I decided to turn off my music and just enjoy the day the best I could. 

Around this point I got passed by a guy in a green shirt that said "Fear the turtle 26.2" on the back. He was walking and jogging and I decided to join him. Thank goodness for that man. We finally made it to the top of the long incline and started in to my favorite part of the course: a tree covered secluded trail. It was so stinking pretty, I wished that I was just out on a nature hike with my camera. I continued my run on flat/downhills, walk uphills through this few mile stretch, leap frogging with the turtle all the while. Does that make me the hare? Hmmm...

I was supposed to see my mom and Kyle and his family during this area, but silly me didn't realize I was asking them to spectate in a wildlife refuge area that would require a MN park pass. Oops. Good thing it was beautiful!

Around mile 16 we ended up on the shoulder of the road coming out of a camp site and stayed on the shoulder of a road through the rest of the race. Dislike. During my 17 I came barreling down a hill to find Kyle and his family there. Yay! I asked Kyle to walk with me for a bit, but he didn't quite understand me. I told him I was looking at running a 5 hour marathon, so not to be shocked by my slower paces, to which he replied "Well pick it up!" Ohhhhh I hadn't thought about doing that..... :P This comment will take second place to when I called him at mile 18 of NWM crying because I was in so much pain, and his reply was, "What?? You're not done YET??" Didn't help. :)

14. 13:23
15. 12:53
16. 14:07
17. 12:37

I left him and kept running only to run into my mom a short while later! 

She had been waiting forever to get a pic of me in front of the lake, and a car went in front of her just as I was in front of her. Here I am checking out the white caps on the water. It was windy!

To my surprise my mom jumped in to run with me for a bit! Again, I wish someone had gotten a picture of this! 

After this surge of energy, I started to really struggle again.

Miles 18 to 22 were a black pit of despair. My hip flexor pain had transferred into knee pain and I was struggling with a capital S. When I saw Kyle's mom at mile 21 I asked for ibuprofen but she didn't have any. I asked at the next aid station and they said they only had aspirin and could only give it out if I was experiencing chest pain.  Um... I have chest pain??

These miles were the worst because there was no one in front of me and no one behind me. Turtle guy passed me around mile 20 and he just kept trucking on, because I never saw him again. There weren't any runners or spectators, and the water stations were still a couple of miles apart.

A truck stopped during a particularly loooooong walk break and asked if I was doing ok. I said I was but that my knee was killing me, so I'd likely be walking it in, but I'd planned to finish. The lady said she didn't have any ibuprofen/tylenol/etc, but could get me a water. 

Like a beacon sent from the heavens, she returned what felt like days later, but in actuality was more like 10 minutes with Tylenol and water. I almost cried I was so happy. I was finally back to my run/walk strategy instead of my just long long long long walk strategy.

18. 13:04
19. 13:12
20. 14:18
21. 13:59
22. 16:27<--I may have walked this whole entire mile. :/

My mom caught up to me at mile 23 and asked if she should walk with me to the finish line. I told her, "nope! I have to run when I can!" And for the love of all things holy, I caught a second? third? twenty-seventh? wind.

I put my head down (the wind was really gusting, so this was a necessity), and just went. This was also the period that I calculated I was going to run a PW if I didn't do something immediately. It wasn't fast, but at least it resembled running!

Within a mile I ran into turtle! And I blew by him. The aid station at mile 24 asked how my knee was feeling when I was running by and I said, "great! Someone may have slipped me some stuff!" with a laugh and ran off. I heard one of the volunteers repeating what I said, and everyone laughing. Hey I can still tell jokes when almost dead, fun!

I did some more math and realized if I could run the rest of the way at my current pace, I could finish under 5:15. New last minute goal in place. Go Jerbear Go. 

I ran by the Bemidji football stadium and pretended everyone in the stands was cheering for me. I ran up to Paul and Babe and realized I only had a mile and a half to go! (Only.... lolz). 

24. 11:38
25. 11:38

I cranked up my music as loud as it would go and tried to zone out the pain. The last mile was particularly rough because there wasn't anything blocking the wind. Also I could see the Sanford Center but couldn't remember where the start/finish line was in relation to the building. I tried to "sprint" the final half mile in, but man it wasn't pretty. I started to feel like I was going to barf. I took to counting seconds left to get my mind off of things. Until I got to zero and still wasn't at the finish line yet. Ok, start back at 15!

I turned off my music for the final little stretch and heard my name over the loud speaker.

26. 10:47
.35  3:37 (10:02 pace)
I finished marathon seven in 5:14:41. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bemidji Blue Ox Marathon Goals

Going in to this marathon, I have the least clear understanding of what my current abilities are. Yes, this has been a particularly crazy-making taper, thank you for asking. On one hand my legs might be incredibly fresh and loose for the first time in ages (thanks mega taper, massages and yoga) on the other  hand, the bulk of my mileage was in July and August. And it's now... October.

With that being said, these may be more loose expectations instead of goals. Who knows, maybe I'll surprise myself. Every time I've been confident in a finishing time for a marathon I've been wrong anyway, so what does it matter. :)

A Goal: Low 4:20s. A ten minute pace would have me in the low 4:20s. If I don't have any injury niggles, no walk breaks, and feel strong forever this'll be my unicorn goal for the day. My second and third best marathon times are 4:25 and 4:26, so I could surely use those times to prevent me from taking walk breaks toward the end when even the ends of my hair hurt.

B Goal: Sub 4:30. 10:20 pace is pretty close to what I ran my long runs at. I'm hoping the cooler temps will make that pace doable. The pace teams are 4:00, 4:15 and 4:30 so I might start with this group in hopes I can pick it up.

C Goal: 4:35. 10:30 pace. Anything 4:35+ means that I either had to walk due to injury or my conditioning didn't hold up with my spotty training the last month or two. If that happens I'll implement the "just keep swimming" chant in my head, and be thankful that I get to see my mom, Kyle, and his parents super frequently on the course to help propel me forward, and just be happy that I'm able to go out and run 26.2 miles at a time. Even if it's not pretty.

As far as I know, there isn't any tracking for the race. The site is here. It looks like previous results were posted here, so maybe you can get some splits along the way! And if I have your number and you'd like, maybe I can convince Kyle to text you along the way. Although I'm sure the texts would be something along the lines of "just saw her, she's wearing green" or "she gave a wave, I think that means she's going to PR" or something equally as unhelpful (I'm thinking of Danielle's husband texting me during a marathon way back when with information that didn't help me know how she was doing AT ALL, lolz.)