Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Long Run + Frank the Tank

Because of the wedding on Friday night, there was no way I was crawling out of bed Saturday morning for a long run.  Although the temp at 6:30am was cold (=heaven) so I really wish I would've.  Saturday night I headed to a buddy's who was throwing a keg party (because we're 21 again apparently....jk love you!).  I decided to hang out for awhile whilst hydrating for my long run.  At one point the host complimented me on "really getting after it!" because I was chugging my drink.  And then minutes later, "waaaaait a second. Is that water!?!?"  Had you fooled fool. :)

Why yes, I did show up to the party in a Green Bay Packers shirt to watch the Vikings game.  And yes the host is a *huge* Vikes fan.  Heh heh.  That's how I roll.

Miss Amanda and I trying to not get carried away by bugs.

We totally could've been on Tool Time.

Melenade and I.

Sunday I was up insanely early.  I got out the door by 7am while it was still fairly cool out.  I'm always so pleasantly shocked when the bike trails are full of other happy runners and bikers on the weekends.  Makes the long run flyyyyy by.  I had wanted to do the 14 miles around 9:25-9:35 pace.

1. 9:37
2. 9:14
3. 9:34
4. 9:34
5. 9:44
6. 9:43
7. 9:35
8. 9:35
9. 9:43
10. 9:43
11. 9:41
12. 9:34
13. 9:25
14. 9:01

I took GUs at 3.5, 7, and 10 which seemed to work out perfectly.  Plus I didn't have to take my first drink of water until 2.5-3 miles in because it wasn't scorching out.  
I did the 14 in 2:13:50 for a pace of 9:34.
Mean:  9:34
Mode:  9:34
Median:  9:35
Jeri:  Giant Nerd.

I'd say it was a pretty consistent run overall, wouldn't you agree?  ;)  My only concern is that last year I pushed myself quite a bit harder on my log runs.  I tried to average 9-9:10 pace on all of them to be sure I would break 2 hours for the half marathon.  I was also running them as progression runs where I'd be running all out the final 2-3 miles.  This year I've been running them a lot more conservatively, but I'm concerned that I might be missing that mental edge of knowing that I can go bttw after running 10-11 miles.  We shall see I guess. :)

Monday I spent some time finalizing my marathon training program and posed some questions to my experienced twitter friends such as:

  • Which is the best speed work session to do for marathon training?  Tempo runs, 1600 m. repeats or 800 m. repeats?
  • Is it worth it to do a 22 mile long run?
  • Am I crazy to do another marathon?
Ok just kidding about the last one.  we already know I am loco.  But what are your thoughts?  I know you're all much wiser than I when it comes to MARATHON TRAINING so please weigh in.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Tempo Run with an Empty Tank

Coming off my Sicky McSickerness I decided to do my 8 mile tempo run with 6 miles at 8:05-8:15 pace.  My stomach was no longer a jumbled mess, but my throat was still screaming.  I figured it was going to scream whether I was on the couch watching tv or out running, so I chose to head out the door to save my sanity.  I was actually pleasantly surprised at how good I felt considering I had barely eaten (and kept down) any solid food for two days, but the cooler temps helped big time.  I put in my warm up mile, and while doing so, some dude screamed out, "on your left!" as he was passing me on foot.  Oh no he di-n't.  As soon as my warm up mile was done, it was go time.  Operation:  pass smug runner dude.  And success.

1.  7:48 (oops catch + pass smug dude = too fast)
2.  8:05  perfect-o.  I could run this pace forever.  (did I really just think that?!?!)
3.  8:16
4.  8:27  death.  slowly setting in.
5.  8:31  hold me.

During the 4th or 5th tempo mile I got to calculating my daily calories.... somewhere in the neighborhood of 400-500 (since I hadn't been able to keep anything down until late afternoon).  Uh... no wonder you're on E (not the party/rave/glowstick E, or the trashy celeb gossip channel E! but out of gas E).  I decided to just slog through a slow 2 mile cool down instead of attempting another poopy doopy tempo mile.

I did 8 miles in 1:11:57 for a pace of 8:57.  Avg. tempo pace = 8:13.  What?!?!?!  So I apparently failed to do the math on that until now.  I guess I hit my goal pace then even with the sucktastic miles.  Thank you smug runner guy for being my rabbit.

Friday night one of my co-workers got married and I took no short of one million photos of one of my other co-worker's baby.  I also took a pic with my office (ex) hubby, for Lauren, but we both look like FREAKS so I will spare the world wide web of those.  :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Do + I Don't (Enjoy Mile Repeats)

Another reason I went home over the weekend (other than to have legions of shenanigans with my BFFF) was one of my favorite classmates was tying the knot on Saturday!  It was hot hot hot out out but a beautiful ceremony and reception and an awesome wedding dance.  My madre was my date and we had a blast.

Before we left the house I realized that I looked like I was going to prom.  Of course we then had to take a photo of me in front of the corn field next to the house.  Nothing says prom like crops.
Me and the BFFF before the dancing shoes came out.  Literally.  I wore gorgeous (insanely tall) yellow heels for the wedding and reception and rocked my black Nike flip flops for the dance.  Classy I am.

Mini photo shoot in the town bar that's technically in a basement.
Besties with the groom.  Love that guy.
Taking a break from the dancing.

We looked like twins with almost matching dresses.
1/4 of our graduating class. Yes you read that correctly.  I was in charge or rounding up the rest of the classmates after this photo was taken to get a pic but I forgot until noon on Sunday.  Ooooops.

Upon returning home, I realized I was missing one Garmin ANT stick.  At this time primary suspects include dog and/or cat.  It appears to be an inside job.  If you can provide any information as to the whereabouts of this missing item, please contact me.  Also, if anyone has an extra/old ANT stick they want to just give me, I'll totally pay for the shipping.  Grrrrrr.

Tuesday night I had the scariest workout on my entire half marathon training program.  4x1600 m. repeats at 7:28-7:45 pace with 800 m. jogs in between.  I tend to have a hate-hate relationship with mile repeats.  I hate doing them.  and I hate that I almost always end up sucking at them.  The weather was a cool mid-70s and I knew I didn't have any excuse for failure.  I ran a warm up mile and then got to work.

1.  7:26.  Wow that was hard. (twss)
2.  7:35.  Wow that was even harder.
3.  7:39.  I swear that was faster than the last.  Don't fail me now legs!
4.  7:48.  Ooops.  Legs = bricks.  

Average mile pace:  7:37.
When I got done with the run I was a little bummed with my paces, so I decided to check my running log to see the results of my last mile repeat session.  And that's when I realized that I've done exactly one successful mile repeat session in the last 9 months.  And my average pace for 3x1600 was 7:40.  Progress.  I had joked all day long that my workout was going to make me puke, and I was pretty close.  All night I was nauseous and not hungry at all.  This is pretty typical with really difficult workouts for me.  Imagine my surprise when I get to work and I feel ever more sick.  After consulting with a co-worker, I realized I probably have the flu, so I'm lucky I didn't spew all over the bike trail.  Now it's just me and Glee chilling on the couch while I'm on the mend.  Good thing today is a rest day.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Run? More like a wet t-shirt contest.

Friday I skidaddled down to River Boat Days (RBD10) to spend the night with Sheana (BFFF).  I got to town, we gussied ourselves up, and hit the town.  It is tradition to destroy eat many disgusting items of fair food between the two of us.  This year we were classier than previous years, taking down some cheese curds and a funnel cake.  Last year we devoured funnel cake, gyros, deep-fried Snickers (and I'm sure some others that I don't remember).  There was also a bout with food poisoning.  This year was much more successful only in the sense that I didn't almost die. :P  
We got our annual powdered sugar mustache photo.  And throughout the night thought it would be a great idea to take many cheesy senior picture inspired photos.  Enjoy.  :)

After shaking our tail feathers for a spell. :)

The fireworks show was a.ma.zing.  So good!  I have a soft spot for fireworks, but they were really impressive.

Tonight I had an easy 6 miler on the schedule.  It had looked like it was going to rain for most of the afternoon, so I knew I needed to hustle otherwise I was going to get caught up in it.  I changed and ran out the door.  From the time it took me to change out of my work clothes and in to my running clothes, the temp had dropped at least 15 degrees, and the humidity had lifted majorly.  Hey-o!  It started to sprinkle and I was a-ok with that.

The first 3 miles were pretty slow and easy going.  My iPod was dead, so I left it at home, and it was beautiful listening to the rain hitting the trees/leaves covering my head.  When I got to the turn around point, the skies opened up and dumped down on me.  Within a minute I was drenched, and for once it wasn't from my profuse sweating....score!  There was a full mile where I was running in to the rain and wind and it was blinding me.  As much as I love running in the rain, it was kind of a pain in the ass.  My shoes were drenched and were at least 20 pounds each.

I finished up the 6 miles in 59:46.  

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Long Run Fail

Since I'm heading home this weekend for a wedding and other shenanigans that means long run shuffle-a-roo.  I had originally planned on running it this morning at 4:45am but then I realized that the sun doesn't show it's face until 6:30 and running on the trails for 9 miles in the dark is a bit frightening.  Then I decided I could just handle them after work.  No problem, right?  Tuesday night was beautiful, surely Thursday would be as well, right?  Wrong.

It was in the high 80's with high humidity, causing the heat index to be ~92.  Aaron agreed to run the first 3 with me and then be bike/pit crew for my last 10.  Yay for running buddies!  I slowed my pace down to accommodate for the heat, but didn't take any fluid until 4.5 miles in when I stopped to Gu and drink.  When I got going, I immediately felt light headed/pukey/ready to faint.  I decided just to walk the 1.5 miles home.  Long run fail.  :(

I ended up with 4.7 miles in 46:01.

I still have a 7 mile tempo run scheduled for Sunday night (hopefully post-hangover....yes it'll be one of *those* weekends.  Your good friends only get married once...hopefully.) and debated about doing the 13 instead of that.  I think at this point in my training, I'm confident in my endurance and would benefit more from the tempo work.  Plus I still have a 14 miler and 12 miler left before the Sioux Falls half.

Once we got back to the apartment, I wasn't ready to call it quits completely, so we grabbed Princess Leia and hit the trail for almost 14 miles.  I was out of g-a-s for the last 3-4 miles.  Holy cow.  But biking in the heat is not nearly as brutal as running in it is.  Ick.

And in other obsessive Dear-God-I-Love-my-car-news, I've been marking off "firsts" like most new mothers do with their newborns.  On Tuesday I had my "first" sweaty car ride after my speed work session at the track.  Incidentally, this was also the "first" time I sufficiently stunk up my car (won't be the last.... I'm a stinky/sweaty runner...).  Wednesday marked my "first" time getting and enjoying a starbucks.  This weekend will mark my "first" road trip in my baby.  If I purchase a baby book and try to convert it to a car book, someone please step in.......

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ladies Night Love + Yasso 800s

Alright just wanted to clarify a few things about my previous car post:

1)  I don't have a personal "banker."  Apparently my wording was incorrect.  Yes, Kovas, I have a driver, but he was off for the day, so he didn't have to take me to the bank. :p  But honestly, if I did have a driver I'd be the happiest chica in the world.  I loathe driving.  (But I do like it more and more in my sweet new car....obvs.)

2)  No my banker didn't come car shopping with me.  Hah.  And no my dad isn't my banker (although I sure wish he was!)  Why oh why couldn't I have been a trust fund baby?  Some people have all the luck. :)

Moving right along.  Tuesday I had a date with the track.  I <3 track.  Aaron offered to meet me at the track to gawk at me while I was running keep me company.  And it's a good thing that he did.  I had to work late, and ended up running 3/4 of the workout in the dark-dark.  It would've been super scary to do solo.  When I got to the track there were little munchkins having football practice.  Now I tend to make fun of soccer moms (in a good hearted sort of way, of course) but I will totally be *that* mom at my kid's football practices.  Almost makes me want to reproduce.  No wait.  It doesn't.  

There were also a couple of semi-attractive guys on the track when I got there.  All of my friends have been pushing me to date a runner for.ev.er. so I'm constantly on the look out just to see if there are any cute ones out there (not that I'm in the market, just for research sake, mind you).  For some reason, I'm just usually not attracted to skinny runner boys.  Maybe it's just because I don't want to date a boy who could beat me in a foot race... that's probably it.  :)  Speaking of, there was one cute one on the trails on Monday, so I suppose now I can take my eyes off of high alert for the next 6 months. ;)

I had 6 x 800 in 3:28-3:38 on the schedule.  For some reason I had 800 m. cool down jogs in between each 800, but I like to do closer to a 1/4 of a mile, so I changed that up real quick. :)  I did my warm up mile and I was off.

3:34 (7:08 pace)
3:41 (7:22 pace)
3:37 (7:14 pace)
3:31 (7:02 pace)
3:34 (7:08 pace)
3:31 (7:02 pace)

(I did my recovery laps slightly faster than the 800 pace, so I suppose we could technically call these Yassos).

It was so nice having Aaron along for the ride (literally he was biking laps with me at times) not only to make it a much safer run, but it was nice to have someone to babble to during my recovery laps.  I was pretty stoked with my times as well.  They were hard, but not impossible.  I definitely think I'll continue with Yassos for my MARATHON schedule.  After doing the last one in 3:31 (which felt really freaking HARD at that point) I pondered how I ever ran an 800 in 2:39.  Seriously, that seems barfiliciously fast.  Oh... it probably was... which is why I quit racing 800's in 8th grade. :p

And now to leave you with some adorable pictures of me and one of my favorite people slash life partner :p Jenn.
Drink in a pineapple?  Why not.

We tend to look even cuter when together. Yeah, I didn't realize it was possible either. :p

Jenn, me, and Jeff.  Runners represent!

I tend to enjoy embracing people in photos.  
Especially after a drink or two out of a pineapple.

And if your drink doesn't come in a pineapple, it's best to at least give it a pineapple topper.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Wheels

Saturday I had to hustle through my run because I had to go meet with my banker and do some car shopping.  I had been eyeing a car for a little while and my car has been on its last leg for a couple of months now.  (please see reasons I hate my car which hasn't been amended for awhile, mind you....)  After a full morning and afternoon of car shopping/test driving/mondo shmoozing I am now the proud owner of a 2006 Scion tC.  And yes...it is love....

So as to ease the jealousy that Princess Leia was throwing down, I decided to go on my longest bike ride to date.  I wanted to go between 20-30 miles, and wasn't sure how far I could get on the bike trails.  I tried to keep my speed up for the majority of the ride, but the first chunk of miles to the north, I was into an intense wind (according to weatherbug up to 25 mph wind gusts).  No biggie, since I would have those at my back on the way home (I was doing an out and back) right?  Wrong.  By the time I started heading in the direction of home, the winds had changed to the north west.  Sunnava.......  There were also some areas of the trail with BMX looking ramps for bikers to take to go over pipes/etc. that were leading to the river (I assume from the flooding).  You'd better believe I slowed waaaaay down for those puppies too. 

I did 23.65 miles in 1:41:02 for 14.2 mph.

Monday I hit the trails for an easy 6 miles.  I was shocked to see that the pace actually felt easy for once.  I feel like my legs have been dead tired lately.  Apparently they really needed the rest/easy runs from last week.  Also, the weather was GORG.  Mid to upper 70s with a breeze.  Low humidity.  Perhaps I've actually died and am now running in heaven.  Excellent.  I started out the run with 4 super consisted mid-9:20s miles.  Then when some dude thought he could pass me, I of course picked up the pace just a smidge.  I chased him down for the next 1.75 miles until he turned around, and I finished the miles right at 9:00.

I did the 6 miles in 55:39 for a pace of 9:18.

**Oh and for the record, I've still biked + ran more miles than I've driven in my new car.  And I'll probably keep it that way. ;)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Book Worm Inspired Photo Shoot + Boring Runs

I had taken Monday off from work, assuming that I would need some additional recovery time from racing + raging.  Lucky for me, one of my favorite people in the world, Kathryn, was in town from Michigan!!!  She has always been a huge inspiration to me artistically, especially with her photography.  She is actually part of my inspiration to start the Project 365 photo blog.  She had suggested that we do a super fun library photo shoot so she could get some more practice with her new camera.  Since I tend to l.o.v.e. the camera, of course I agreed.  I got dolled up in super cutesy, yet very Jeri clothes and we hit two of my favorite libs in town.  The future librarian in me felt right at home.

Here are some of my favorite shots she took.
My Harry Potter books and glasses taken while I was getting gussied up.  Seriously looove this picture. :)

It was super duper fun.  And of course I had to try my hand at some photography as well.  I had my little point and shoot, but it seemed to do the trick.  It doesn't hurt that Kathryn is seriously one of my most beautiful friends.  But you can see that for yourself.....yes.  Ok.

Can you tell she has a preference for b&w where as I crave the bright and bold?  ;)  To each their own.

After biking Monday with Aaron (and hauling some major ass *for me* in the middle miles of the ride), I couldn't get motivated to run on Tuesday.  Wednesday rolled around and I had planned on doing a tempo run.  Until I started running.

Dear IT Bands,

They were a'screamin' fo sho.  After the warm up mile I figured I would just do an easy run, and also decided that I wouldn't do any speed work for the rest of the week to let my legs recover.  I guess I didn't factor in that even though I didn't push to the point of pain during the race that I wouldn't still need recovery time.  Ie:  I'm a dummy head. :)

I did 5.25 in 53:27 for a pace of 10:11.

Thursday I did 6 miles in 59:42 for a pace of 9:52.

I also lost a dear dear friend on Monday.  As I was exiting the wave pool at our local waterpark with Miss Kathryn, I noticed a tiny sliver of pink hanging on to my toe for dear life.  It was....my toe nail.  :'(  First I had to calm Kathryn and explain that this was a completely normal occurrence for runners.  Then I detached the toe from its tiny dangling thread and gave it a proper burial.  I said a few words, and tossed it in the trash.  RIP pinky toe nail.  You will be missed.
Black Toenail

To be 17 again....

Friday night I had the pleasure of seeing one of my favorite bands:  Lifehouse.  They have been in my top 5 favorite bands for the last 9-10 years.  They also sing my all time favorite song:  Everything.  Oh. So. Good.  When I found out they were coming to our fair I freaked!  I got ahold of my partners in crime from high school and convinced them to go to the concert with me too.  One of them cancelled, but Denise and I still had a fabulous time.  The concert was even better because Spill Canvas, a local band that recently made it "big" was opening for Lifehouse.

It was so much fun.  I may have done too much dancing around for having a 12 mile long run 10 short hours later, but you can't win them all, right?  Denise and I were pretty bummed that they didn't play Everything, so we had to BLAST it on the drive home from the concert.  Totally works.  Also, Jason Wade?  Call me.  Still love you.  Mmmm..

I had originally made plans with Joel to meet up to do our long run together (at one point we realized we're running about the same pace and that !!! we should run together....not sure what happened because his training run times he posts on the daily mile are waaaaaay faster than mine...perhaps we should re-evaluate. :p).  Anywho, as I was checking the weather before I went to bed, I realized that it was going to be *gasp* cool in the morning.  And that I could technically sleep in an extra hour and run at 8 if I so choosed.  (Guess who so choosed???  This girl.)

When I crawled out of bed this morning my calves reminded me of my dancing escapades from Friday night.  Sidenote:  Last weekend, I was honestly more sore from dancing up a storm (aka raging) with Alyssa and crew than from running the half.  Clearly we know what muscles I'm working frequently.  Sad face.  I figured I'd take the pace slow, as I had been all week and call it a day.

I did the same 12 mile route from 2 weeks back, and was surprised to see that the trail was clear in parts that hadn't been in the last 2-3 weeks.  I'll have to explore it a bit farther on an easy run sometime this week.  I was sweating up a storm, but it was actually tolerable out.  Humid but cool and breezy.  Lurve.

My pace was pretty consistent until I hit some rolling hills.  I'm a weenie when it comes to hills, which just means I need to make myself do them more.  Blech.  During the last 2 miles I tried to pick up the pace to remind my legs what it feels like to run fast on fatigued legs.

I did 12 miles in 1:56:52 for a pace of 9:45.
1. 9:53
2. 9:41
3. 9:40
4. 9:45
5. 9:34
6. 9:49
7. 10:00
8. 10:07
9. 9: 57
10. 9:53
11. 9:32
12. 9:01

Post run I had to stretch suuuuuper fast, shower up, and head to my bank before going car shopping!!!  Ooooh.....

To Be Continued......

Monday, August 9, 2010

Race Report: Urban Wildland Half Marathon

Race weekend ensued Friday night by meeting up with Miss Alyssa.  Seriously, I'm not sure if there's a sweeter more fun gal in the world.  For the record.  We ate some food and called it a night since we had a 4:45am wake up call.  Alyssa's friend Amy rolled home from work at 4:30 and we were up and at em and ready to head to the race.  We got to the race after a couple of wrong turns ;) and immediately gave the race 5 stars out of a possible 5 for having sufficient parking extremely close to the starting line.  It was humid out, but cool temps, so it wasn't kill yourself hot.  Whoo!  I was shooting for a PR and Alyssa was planning on a training run, as her goal HM is in October, and technically she's just starting her training for that.  

We lined up and we were off.  The race start was *so* congested.  Right off the bat we were led to a 2-3 person width trail which doesn't work for a race start.  Alyssa and I tried to run on the grass dodging trees to jockey for position.  For some reason, the grass running made me super tired...yikes.  It took to about the 2.5 mile marker for it to feel like I had some breathing room to run in.  Alyssa and I ran together for about the first 4 miles, or I should clarify, I ran exactly one and one half feet behind her left shoulder for the first 4 miles.  I'm weird like that.  :)  My Garmin was showing baaaaad paces (10:30-11:30 minute miles) which was annoying.  I had planned to start the first few miles at 8:45 and progress from there, so when I saw my pace at 8:30, I decided to let Alyssa go ahead.  Run like the wind my friend! :p

1. 8:51
2. 8:36
3. 8:48
4. 8:46 

The course was beyond gorgeous.  We ran through some beautiful wooded areas and around some lakes.  I actually left my iPod off for the first few miles, because it was so calm and peaceful listening to all the hundreds of sneakers hitting the trail.  Very zen moment.  Ooops..... I'm racing...buh bye zen!  Since the race is pegged as a very green and eco-friendly race, the race bibs had seeds embedded in them, so you can plant them after the race and they grow in to black eyed susans.  I had joked that at mile 10, I had expected to be sprouting flowers since I sweat so much.  Uh...try mile 4 or 5.  That was the first time that the bib ripped and I had to re-safety pin it.  And again at mile 6.  And again at mile 8.  Finally at mile 11 I let it go.  Buh bye race bib. :'(

5. 8:39
6. 8:41
7. 8:39
8. 8:36 

At the halfway point (6.65) I knew that I had a PR in the bag as long as I didn't slow down the second half of the race.  Since I'm known to have a strong finish and run a negative split in races, I wasn't too concerned.  Unfortunately, I was unconcerned enough to continue pushing the pace.  For some reason, I kept thinking I would pick up the pace, and I didn't.  With 5 miles to go, I'll pick it up....nope.  4 miles.... you can run a 1:51 if you put in the effort....nada.  5k to go, this is where you shine....just kidding.  Seriously.... 2 miles?  Are you even racing?... hmmm... not sure.  One mile, seriously you should at least run a strong final mile....meh.

9. 8:45
10. 8:32
11. 8:32
12. 8:45
13. 8:21
.02 :05 (5:27 pace)

So as you can see the 8:45, 8:35, 8:25, 8:15 progression that I had planned did not happen, but I still PR'd.  Apparently I just wasn't in this race as mentally as I should have been.  I am still ECSTATIC that I PR'd, don't get me wrong, just bummed that I didn't seem to have any mental toughness.  Possibly because this isn't my goal HM race (that's coming in September) I didn't feel the need to push it, I'm not sure.  But it's definitely lit a fire under my booty to push hard at the Sioux Falls HM and to do whatever is necessary to get my legs and my brain on the same page in the meantime.  

I finished the 13.1 in 1:52:42 for a 27 second PR (so I ran the second half about 18 seconds faster than the first half :p).

This was a fabulous race.  Like I said, beautiful course.  Super flat course (even though I was convinced it was hilly until I looked at the elevation on my Garmin.... apparently I'm insane).  Awesome shirts.  Sweet recycled bags.  Great crowd support.  One failure = no finisher's medals.  This girl likes her bling, so I may have complained once a thousand times about the lack of medal. :(  But I would highly recommend this race to anyone in the Twin Cities area.  Make sure to check out Alyssa's race report to see how she did (no spoiler's here!).

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Someone's Been Bit by the Photo Bug + Race Goals

Since I didn't have a photo yet for my Project 365, I decided to take my camera with me on my run tonight.  Grrrrreat idea, I managed to get some awesome shots as the sun was thinking about setting.  To be honest I was way more concerned with taking pictures than I was with running, so it was a pretty slow and leisurely 5 miles, but that's a-ok because I have a half marathon on Saturday!

I always wish I had a camera when I run up on this spray painted smily face on the trail.  It always makes me smile.  :)

Urban Wildland Half Marathon Goals*

Goal C
Do not have as horrible of a race as the death march of 2010.  Also, Sub 1:55.  Assuming nothing terrible happens, this should be a given.

Goal B
PR.  My current PR is 1:53:09.  Totally doable.

Goal A
Sub 1:50.  Again this is doable.  If the weather is right and I'm feeling like a B.A., this will be the goal I will line up with in mind.

*I'm not feeling creative enough to come up with a special theme for these race goals.  Perhaps these will be reserved for MARATHON!!! goals. :)  Nothing will ever top the Dinosaur-themed goals, however.

I think my race strategy will be to split up the race into 4 sections and try to run it with negative splits (per usual).  I'm thinking 8:45, 8:35, 8:25, 8:15.  Should equate to a PR.  I did get an email today from the race director with "hot weather racing safety instructions."  Dude, this'll feel like running in Antarctica compared to the last 1/2 I did.  :p  I'm super excited to meet up with Alyssa and tear up the town afterward.  Look out TC I'm coming for you!  PR or puke.  Heh.

Randomly funny note worth mentioning:  I have "liked" Dallas White Rock Marathon on Facebook.  Today they posted some of their favorite photos from the race last December.  Of course I flicked through them to see if there would be any of yours truly (there wasn't).  I was shocked at how many of the photos had runners in sweats/pants/long sleeved shirts/hats/gloves!!!!!!  Please just glance (or scroll) to the sidebar here for my photo where I'm wearing my usually green tank and shorts.....and am soaked with sweat.  Unreal.  Crazy Texans. ;)

I <3 me a good bridge.

This bridge is a personal fave.

Gotta admit that SoDak does give some killer sunsets.

I'd be willing to bet that the extreme humidity is the magic behind it's beauty. 
It'd better be good for something.