Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My cheezhead haz a sad.

Yesterday as I was boppin' around twitter, I happened on a registration announcement from the Cellcom Marathon, and a notice of the course changing.  Naturally I clicked on it and was saddened to read this:

"The courses have not been finalized for 2012, but the course has typically had a net elevation change around four feet. There is one major change planned for the route this season. Due to the construction scheduled for the south end zone of Lambeau Field, the 2012 Cellcom Green Bay Marathon routes need to be altered and will not take a lap around Lambeau Field during the final mile.

“The Cellcom Green Bay Marathon is an event that draws in the whole community and the Packer organization really enjoys being a part of the excitement,” said Aaron Popkey, manager of corporate communications for the Green Bay Packers, “We worked hard to find a way with the construction to get the runners through the stadium and weren’t successful for 2012. We look forward to having the course return to the inside of Lambeau Field in 2013.”

So I'm bummed, but I won't be running Green Bay in 2012.  But it's on the schedule for 2013.

Now here is the time when you tell me what spring race you're running and bribe me with ice cream to come run with you............. and GO!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Philly Training + Running Buddy

Since I’m planning to run Philly with these two fine ladies, I’m making it a point to try to run with people.  News flash:  I really like running alone.  Running with people is hard for me.  Even in high school track when there were girls that were similar speed as me, I just preferred to chase the boys (real shocker there) than run with the girls.  It’s hard.  I’m always concerned that I’m slowing them down.  Or I’m concerned that I’m not getting the most out of a long run if it’s not the exact pace I want to be/feel like I should be running.  Unless you’re running with your exact pace twin, it just ends up being too much stress.
Well last weekend, I had a date for my 16 miler, but because of our alma mater’s homecoming festivities, and my need to sleep in, plans didn’t work out.  Which brought me to this past weekend.  I had 18 on the schedule, and had emailed Karla to see if she wanted to join me for part of it.  Karla and I have pretty similar race times, and she just destroyed her first full in the Twin Cities a few weeks ago.  She usually runs her long runs a smidge faster than me, but since she’s not actually training for anything, I hoped she’d be ok running a little pokier.  J  Of course I was surprised when she said she’d be up for the whole shebang!  I was doubly thrilled when she was on board for a late morning start!  Dear Fall, Your cool temps are amazing.  Don’t ever leave me.
When we started off, it was 37 degrees, and I knew I looked like a fool in a tank and shorts, but I also knew I’d warm up quickly.  Karla’s daughter recently joined the Dailymile and wanted to log some miles, so she joined us on her bike.  Around mile 4, her daughter got picked up by her hubby and we continued to just run and chat and chat and run.  We navigated through some construction to get down to the Falls, and the miles were just flying by.  Turns out, the nice part about a running buddy, is your brain has other stimulation outside of looking at your pace/time/distance/heart rate.  Who would’ve thought!?!?!  The first time I feel like I really looked at my watch was 13.33 miles.  That’s not a bad distance to zone out for!
Normally when I run with somebody, I run a lot slower, because talking throws off my breathing rhythm, and I pretty much feel like I’m going to die.  But not Saturday.  I’m not sure who the one pushing the pace was, but we were comfortably in the 9:15-9:25 range for most of the run.
Around mile 14 we both started feeling a little tired.  Luckily for me I had a GU to take at mile 12, and it kicked in around mile 15.  Not so luckily for Karla, she left her GU with her daughter’s bike.  She also started to have some tummy problems.  Poor thing.  At mile 16, we parted ways, and I took off like a cannon.  I have never had a second wind like that in a long run, and I owe it all to the GU Roctane.  Blueberry Pomegranite, my fave.  Mmmmm.
Since I was feeling strong, I decided to do a “faster finish” long run.  It felt great to run that strong after having 16 miles on your legs.  8:58 and 8:41.  Whoo!
Sadly, due to our weaving through the construction areas to get to Falls Park, I must’ve over estimated how much distance we had left, because I finished my run a half mile from home.  I like to cool down, and all, but I was out of water and thirsty.  And I swear to you, a G.D. horsefly followed me the entire ½  mile home, landing on me and annoying the poo out of me.
I did 18 miles in 2:48:33 for a pace of 9:21.  Other than our mile walk/running through construction areas (9:56) and our slowed down pace to fight Karla’s tummy issue (9:32) we were cruisin’!

After logging my 3 mile recovery run on Sunday (which sucked, hard), I was so thrilled to see that I was on the top of my dailymile board!  I know a lot of my friends a lot more miles than me, but I think the ones doing monster training are running NYC and have started their taper, so I win by default.  And I'll take it.  To be honest, 40+ mile weeks are a big deal for me, because my body always seems to start breaking down at the 40 mile point.  So three cheers to 45 and no issues (**knocks on wood**).

And just for fun, I was trying out a new filter for a camera app I downloaded and managed to get this gem of a photo after it's 27 rapid fire flashes.  I kind of love how terribly great it is.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Weekly Wishlist: All That Glitters is Gold

When I woke up yesterday I could not drag myself out of bed.  It was 22 degrees with wind chill, and the winds were a-blowin'.  Plus I had already convinced myself that my tempo run was hard/scary.  I rolled back over, vowing that I would hit the gym after work to do it.  As you've witnessed by my spill running with Susan, I'm a klutz.  And I will not allow myself to run fast at night when it's dark.  Much too high of chance of falling and breaking a hip. 

After work I hit the gym in tempo workout appropriate gear.

What is that?  You might ask.

Black tank top, and green shorts with various shades of green.  Meaning:  I can have the worst swass and swoob, and NO ONE WILL KNOW IT.

Definitely necessary, as I could've wrung out my top and bottom when I was done.

Anyway, I scoured the magazine rack for trashy mags, as I like to read them during my warm up and cool down miles and there WERE NONE.  Ugh, this run is going to suck.

I had 8 miles to do, with the middle 4 at tempo/15k pace.

The start of the warm up....sucked.  I haven't ran on a treadmill for awhile, and I was reminded that I don't really like it.  My knees felt creaky and I was annoyed I didn't have any trashy gossip mags!

But then it got better.  When I started my tempo miles, I started on the low end of the goal pace (8:08-8:29).  And then kept bumping up the speed every 1/2 mile or so.  I was shocked when I had a mile and a half left and wasn't dying, and my HR was only a couple of beats higher than it was during the warm up miles.  YIPPEE!  During the last mile I bumped up the speed faster than pace, just to get my HR up to where it should be for tempo runs.  I had Jason's voice in my ear, "Your tempo runs should only be about 4 miles, but FASTER!"  Ok fine.  Faster it is.

I finished and I was grinning ear to ear.  Usually I'm hunched over trying to get my breath back after struggling to hit the slow end of my tempo pace.  I felt like I could've run a few more miles at that pace (which duh, if I can run a 10k at a faster pace than that, I don't know WHY tempo runs freak me out so much.  D-u-m-b.)

Then I had a leisurely 2 mile cool down.  And continued to shower the treadmill with sweat.

I did 8 miles in 1:10:54 for a pace of 8:51.
My tempo miles were:  8:24, 8:17, 8:09, 7:55.  For an average of 8:11.
And my average HR was 160!

Cloud 9?  I iz a-ridin' on it.
I would not consider myself much of a "girly girl" but my goodness, do I love a good sparkleWith that being said, I was the little girl who would put on every single broach and clip-on earring of my gradnma's and wear it around the house.  Hmmm... I wonder if those broaches are still around somewhere.  They were kind of fab.  Anywho.....I thought I'd do a fun "themed" weekly wishlist to show off some cute sparkley/glittery goodness.

Not full on sparkle, but just enough to make it cute.
I think this is just the perfect amount of sparkle to wear over a cardi or sweater....
If I wasn't still carrying around a coin purse that I got as a birthday party favor in 2nd grade, this would be an instant buy.  Ok, jk, I wouldn't pay $55 for a coin purse.  The thought is nice though.

Ignore the price tag, this is obviously something I'll never get. ($8k!)  But the designer's name is JERI, which is so uncommon, that I think it's a sign that I need a pug asap  I may have taken this as a "sign from the universe."  More on that later...perhaps.

Not sure in what world this would be a good accent pillow, maybe a super glitzy little girls room, but it totally has my attention.

While an "all over" glitter handbag would be a BIT much for me.  I like that this has just the hint of awesomeness and pizazz.

I originally had a sequin mini from Express on this list, but it sold out, and made me sad.  So this one is way out of my price range, but equally as cute.  P.S.  Where was all this cute gold stuff when I was desperately searching for my golden birthday?!?!?  Harumph.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Signs From the Universe: A Pug Tale

A couple of weeks ago, I was going through my facebook feed , trying to make myself tired enough to fall asleep.  While doing so, I happened upon the most adorable creature on the planet.  His name is Joey.  Of course, I woke Kyle up from a dead slumber to show him pictures of my new love.

Love at first sight?
I now know it exists.
I put the little puggle bug out of my mind, because I told myself NO PUG until I finish with grad school.  I do not have the time.
But the more pictures they posted of him (he’s at a pug shelter in Nebraska) the more my heart melted.  I started to scheme.  My apartment doesn’t allow pets, could I find one that would?  Yes!  And it’s owned by the same company as the one I live in, so I wouldn’t have to pay a fee to break the lease.
But it’s more expensive.  And a major deposit for the dog.  Plus the adoption fee for the dog.  Plus the cost of owning a dog.  No problem!  Kyle and I will just move in together.  What better reason for co-habitation!  Come to me my puggle friend.
In case you were wondering, this is exactly how my mind works when someone suggests I come run a race with them.  I work out HOW it can all come to be, without looking at any of the downsides.
After sending my mom pictures of her new grandpug, I started realizing the flaws.  And I got extremely sad.  “I shouldn’t adopt Joey, should I?” I said to Kyle with crocodile sized tears running down my face.  “Probably not….”
And then came the signs from the universe.  Do any of you pay attention to these?  The silly little signs that URGE you to make major life decisions (yes, I know.  I lead a SUPER tough life, in that my MAJOR life decision is pug ownership.  EAD. J) 
First was the ring.  The adorable pug ring I saw on outblush.  With the designer JERI.  I mean really. 
Next, I went to my local library to grab some books, and there was a wall of magazines to take for free.  Naturally there was one all about PUGS, that I snatched up.
While on my 18 mile run on Saturday, I ran by the dog park, and there were not one, but two pugs running around having the greatest afternoon of their lives.  I wish I would’ve been doing a non-important run, I would’ve gone and played with them.
And the fact that I realized that our pups names would rhyme, that pretty much sealed the deal, eh?  (Kyle’s dog is Zooey).
Le sigh.  So no pug.  For now.  But I think I’ve realized that I can’t wait until I’m done with school, so the wheels have been set in motion.  Not to mention that Joey’s picture is still the background on my Droid…. And the screensaver on Kyle’s iPhone (that I put on there, but that’s neither here nor there).
Why you no adopt me Jerbear?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Marathon Training: Occasionally, I'm dumb.

This marathon training cycle is….interesting.
a)      It’s 6 weeks long
b)      It’s a modification of the Pfitz 55 plan (I’m usually a VERY loyal Runners World training program for 26.2)
c)       It’s not a ZOMG I MUST PR effort
d)      And my Tuesdays and Thursdays are pretty much maxed out for time
With all these variables factored in, it was pretty interesting and challenging to create my marathon training program.  First attempt  I threw in Pfitz training runs around my 5k and 10k races I had scheduled for October and called it good.  My co-worker took one look at it, (I had a 5k on Saturday and 18 miler on Sunday, then the following week a 10k on Saturday and a 20 miler on Sunday) and said, “I thought your goal for this training cycle was to NOT get injured???”  Uh… oh.  Ooops!  But I’ll run the long runs sloooooooooooooooow, I promise.
I then forwarded my training program to Jason.  The all knowing runner buddy/coach/friend.  He usually can edit my training program to minimize my odds of getting hurt, AND  I get my way.  Sadly, this time…. Was a no go.  He didn’t outright call me an idiot, but he could’ve, and I wouldn’t have been mad.  So sadly I scrapped my races for October.  Sniffle.  There are so few 10ks around here when it’s not a bazillion degrees and eleventy million percent humidity.  I had a single tear.  L
With past training schedules, I like to have a rest day before my long runs and after.  But I’m not allowed as much “freedom” with my training with grad school thrown in.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays I work from 8am-5pm, hustle booty home, and have class from 6-9pm.  I could run SUPER early before work, or late after work, but they’d need to be on the treadmill for safety.  And I’m banking all my treadmill runs for the arctic tundra weather.  So I’ve included 2-4 mile “sanity runs” for those days, or just opted for a rest day.
Of course, this means that my Mondays and Wednesdays have the bulk of my mileage.  Like this past Monday.  Approximately 48 hours after doing my 16 mile, I had an 11 mile on my schedule.  Uff.  Since this training program is SHORT, I thought some mid-long runs would be key to help me build up my endurance (which is, admittedly, my weakness).  I figured as long as I kept the pace and the heart rate slow and low, I would be a-ok.
And slow I did (for me, nothing wrong with a 10mm, for the record).  The first 5 miles were right around a ten minute pace.  And my heart rate was in the higher range of where it should be for my mid and long runs.  Magically (or what felt like magically) at about 4.5/5 miles my legs started to feel great, and my heart rate dropped (by a good 15-20 beats).  And with that my pace dropped easily in to the 9:20s and lower.  I smile-ran the last 6 miles like you had just treated me with a big bowl of my favorite ice cream and told me it was lactose free.  It didn’t hurt that it was chilly (aka my favorite running weather) at 41 degrees.  Also, there's something very b.a. about running a double digit run before work on a weekday.
I ended up with 11 miles in 1:45:42 for a pace of 9:36.  Average HR: 155.
And on the injury front, I feel like I am making significant strides (heh…. Running joke….. heh… punny) towards staying injury free.  Kyle is officially jealous of the quality time I’m spending with Frank (my foam roller) and I am constantly focusing on my form during my training runs.  With the exception of speed workouts when the only thought I can entertain is “OMG please don’t die.  This hurts.  Heart, don’t explode!”  But yeah, other than that…. Totally concentrating on my form.
And I think it’s working/helping.  After my long run, I had some soreness in my IT bands and quads, but a teeny tiny fraction in comparison to previous long runs.  And my hamstrings and calves seem to be tired, which I’m deeming a good thing, as apparently I never really used those muscles previously for running.  Uh… ooops.
To solidify my already stellar day, I got a package from a giveaway I won from Kimi!  Naturally I had to wear it as soon as I got done with work.  And a photo shoot had to take place.  Mostly because Kyle thought it was funny to pretend to take pictures of the tv rather than me.  Too bad he didn't get a shot of the death glare I was giving him 75% of the time. 
**I knocked on wood while writing this post, please do me a favor and knock on wood while/after reading as well.  Thanks. **

Monday, October 17, 2011

Weekend Musings

This weekend was… intense.  And fun.  And stressful.  Ok, mostly intense and stressful.
Friday I skidaddled out of my office at 5 bells to go hit the bike trails to get in my 6 miler.  It was cold, and my legs felt amazing.  I ran a speedy (for me) “easy” pace at a nice and low HR INTO THE WIND (well the last 3 miles of it were anyway).  I was on cloud 9 a bit.  I brought my handheld along…. I know… I know… on a SIX MILER, but I have been insanely dehydrated all week long, and I figured this would help me get a jump start on hydrating for my long run the next day. 
I did 6 miles in 56:30 for a pace of 9:25.  Average HR: 151.
And then I got to meet up with Miss Megan and a bunch of her lady friends for drinks and dinner.  Ok, drink.  Singular.  Sad.  And because it was National Dessert Day, I had to celebrate it.  Sadly the dessert was pretty hohum.  I didn’t finish it.  (This happens approx. never in my life.  Or now, has happened approx. once.)
After downing twice as much water as beer (again, tear) I headed home to watch some Shrek with Kyle.  Interesting fun fact:  I think Kyle looks like Shrek on occasion.  He doesn’t like this comparison, but I think it’s HILARIOUS.  7am came and went, and I was still a-snoozin’.  Good thing it’s finally cool around here, because I didn’t head out for my run until almost noon.  Oops.
Attention:  16 miles is a long freakin’ way to run.  Last time I ran that far was during the Fargo Marathon.  And it sucked.  J
When I started out running my heart rate was crazy high, and my breathing was all wonky.  I’ve been feeling not quite 100% lately, so I’m not sure if it’s a cold/allergies/whatev.  I stopped to walk during my GU breaks, and had to refill my handheld 3 times (that’s 55 oz of liquid in 2 ½ hours if anyone is keeping track at home) trying to get my heart rate down.  Finally about halfway through the run, my breathing seemed to get “normal” and my HR chilled the eff out.  And it was pretty enjoyable.
I did 16 miles in 2:33:55 for a pace of 9:37.  Average HR: 160.  (High end of my long run range).
And then I planted myself in my chair and studied.  And took breaks to get Redrossa pizza and a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte because I was nodding off in said chair.  And then I had to take my first midterm of my grad school career.  And I think it went well, but my brain was shot for the rest of the weekend.
And I watched zero football this weekend, which makes me want to punch a kitten.  And I love kittens.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fargo Race Photos

For some reason I totally forgot that I should be waiting and excited for race pics from Saturday's race.  The Sioux Falls half pics were so attrocious (not me obvs, but the quality of pics) I've pushed them out of my mind.  But I was excited to see some come through last night.  So without further ado.

New. Favorite. Obnoxious. Running. Photo.
This was before my bonk. Can you have a bonk in a half? Because I'm certain that's what it would feel like.

This is in the 11-12 mile range I think.  So that means the smile is fake.
But ZOMG how cute are my new emergency tempo shorts? 
Answer:  super cute.
The guy in blue pulled away in the last mile, but I caught him during my 25 second kick. Bahah.

At the finish line with Megan.

This weekend I have my first long run that's over a half marathon, since.... oh... the Fargo Marathon.  NBD.  I'm hoping the weather's nice and I can just zone and enjoy the great fall weather for 16 miles.  Or I'll cry and curse Jenn's name for tricking me in to signing up for Philly.  jk.  She didn't trick me at all, I just prefer to have a scapegoat. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hello lover....

I learned a very important lesson last Friday night.  No it was not, “do not eat any form of seafood the night before races,” but I should also file that one away in my cranium.  I learned that the stick (or in my case the rolling pin) and the foam roller are not created equal.  WTF!  I started using my rolling pin over 2 years ago to help work out the issues in my IT band, assuming it did the same thing the foam roller did. 
Until I tried out Megan’s on Friday.  I’ve been rolling like a crazy person since the Sioux Falls half, because I’m just so. GD. Sick. Of. being. Hurt.  After rolling religiously all week long, I hopped on her foam roller and was shocked that I still had muscles to roll out!  There were even a couple of spots near my knee that I’ve never been able to get a response out of from the rolling pin that were causing TEARS with the foam roller.  I rolled until I could roll no more (ok, really, I just couldn’t handle the pain anymore).
After completing Fargo pain free, my mission was to procure a new foam roller—stat! 
I hit up the local sporting goods store, and after hitting on some hottie in the hunting and fishing section (hubba hubba!) I had my new love!

We’ve already gotten in a couple of fights (meaning I’ve rolled twice and she made me cry.  Yes.  A she.  I imagine my foam roller to be a bit of an S&M chick with a whip!) but I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep me from getting hurt every time I turn around.
So with my big ZOMG MARATHON announcement out, I started marathon training on Monday.  I’m doing a 6 week Pfitz inspired plan that’ll hopefully get me 26.2 miles in one piece.  Wednesday’s workout was one I’d never done before 1,000m intervals.  Seems easy enough, right?  I mean, at least it’s not 1600m intervals, because those are a bigger B than my whip-crackin’ foam roller!
I was wrong.
They weren’t fun.
I had 9 miles to do with 5x1000m.  The recovery was stated at 50-90% of the time it takes you to complete your interval.  So naturally I skewed on the 90% side.
I did a 2 mile warm up and then got to work on some repeats.
4:50 - Felt like I was playing “catch up.” Usually I go out to fast and struggle to maintain. For some reason an 8:15 pace “felt” like 7:30s.
4:50 - Much better.
4:43 - Cruisin’ along.  What’s that?  Sideache.  Noooooooooooo!  I only have 48 seconds to go! That’s not long. Let’s countdown.  Pinching my stride while hauling now.  Longest 48 seconds of my life.
5:05 - From the first steps my sideache was back.  I toggled between slowing down to 8ish pace to get it to subside, and then hustling back, where it’d return.
Thought about calling it a day but decided I’d attempt to “toughen up” and do my 5th one.
5:10 - Apparently I was pooped.  No energy.  No speed left.
And a two mile cooldown.  Who’s bright idea was it to put a speed workout in a 9 mile run?!?!? 
I did 9 miles in 1:25:22 for a pace of 9:29.
My repeats averaged a pace of 7:49.
The three that I didn’t die during averaged 7:39.
I was pretty ok with the workout until I calculated my total time for the 5k of speedwork and realized that it’s slower than almost all my 5k times for the past two years.  AND THOSE ARE WITHOUT 4ISH MINUTE BREAKS IN BETWEEN.  SHEESH.  Granted I was having my garmin clock .63 miles instead of .625, so that totally makes it ok right?!?!  :P
Oh well.  Guess I’m glad I’m running a marathon and not a 5k, eh?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


What seems like a thousand years ago, Jenn had asked if I was interested in running the Philadelphia Marathon.  Since (at this time) I was pretty committed to the Mankato Marathon, and knowing my high incidence of injury after marathons I had to decline.  And then her trip back home ended up getting cancelled.

Well imagine my surprise when she decided she'd come back anyway to run the race, and ZOMG I SHOULD TOTALLY COME!  I was in!  To spectate!  Because 26.2 miles hurts.

But of course my brain wasn't satisfied with that, so before I knew it.........


So I guess I'm training for a marathon now.....

Yes, it was shouted...  Or that's just the volume of my mom's voice.  Also mine.  Oh hai genes. :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fargo Weekend

Megan and I got in to Fargo after being pushed north the entire drive by the wind.  What's that 50mph winds?  Thanks for being today and yesterday instead of tomorrow.  Sweet Louisiana!  We headed straight to pick up our packets at the Civic Center.  It was a smaller pick up, but they did have some running clothes and GUs for sale, thankfully since I only had one at home.  When we realized the clothes was 50% off, we really got to work.  I found a sweet saucony tank for $9 and a pair of saucony (I think... I've already forgotten) nice heavy running tights (eew, I want to forget winter is coming) for $22--originally $90!
From there we checked in to our hotel, and laughed when we realized that the finish line was literally next to our hotel parking lot.  Next stop was our romantic pre-race restaurant Toscano.  We went there before Fargooooooooooo Marathon last spring, and we were seated in our "usual" booth.  

I ordered a delicious looking mix of asparagus, artichokes, mushrooms and tomatoes in a white wine sauce with shrimp, scallops, and lobster tail.  It came with a super gross flaky puff pastry which I didn't eat.  It. Was. Amazing.  (It also almost killed my intestines.)

Before I knew it'd destroy my soul.

Next it was back to the hotel to chill and get ready for the race.  After puttzing around getting my playlist ready, I decided to lay out (and still pick out) my race day outfit.  I pulled out my 3 shirts, and started to worry when I couldn't find my shorts.  Uh yeah... I didn't pack them.  A quick call to Scheels, and we had approximately 40 minutes to succeed in Operation: Nike Tempo Short Recon.  Megan may have shouted out, "Out of our way!  We're on a very important tempo short mission!"

I took a minute to ooh and ahh over the ferris wheel in the middle of the store, and then found the tempo shorts of my dreams.  Or close enough.  And I found a super sweet green and gold sparkly head band for Packers spectating.  WIN!

And then it was time to relax and put my feet up.  For real.  My legs were swollen.  Compression socks on!  Legs up on the wall!  Twitter feed catch up!

Saturday after the race, we showered up and sought out some delicious mexican food.  We tried to keep the consumption on the low end so we'd have room for delicious beers during the pub crawl.  Yes, this race was centered around Oktoberfest in Fargo, and we were all about that.  We started walking for downtown and could not figure out where we were supposed to go to start the pub crawl.  We finally found the center of the Oktoberfest and the bar nearby and learned that we were supposed to end our night there.  Well poop.  We grabbed a beer, and watched the weiner dog races.

We started hoofing it to the other bars on the list.... realizing that we had circled around most of them on our quest to find the pub crawl.  GD it!  There were a number of times that we remarked that we wish we had our garmins with us to track our walking miles.  Surprise!  We learned that bar #5 was actually the bar IN OUR HOTEL.  Meaning WE COULD'VE STARTED THERE!  AND HIT ALL THE OTHER BARS IN THE CORRECT ORDER ON THE WAY TO THE FINISHING BAR.  Ugh... failures.  At least we were getting some walking in to loosen up our legs!

At the very last bar (well second to last, but last bar we needed "punched" on our card), the bartender casually said, "you know they've been out of medals for the last few hours right?"  




Anger.  Until we learned there was a sweet dance party going on, and we were delighted to join in.  Everyone else was dressed in traditional German garb, and it was all sorts of swell.  Again, I must note:  It's REALLY nice not to feel injured after a race.  :D

A pub crawl "medaler" let us borrow his medal so we could take a "double medal" photo.  Apparently we just get a completion grade.  Wah.  At about 11pm we decided to find some food and call it a night. At one point, someone ran through a chained off area and didn't realize that there was a chain around her waist, and pulling posts along behind her for...quite... a while.  It may or may not have been me.  Don't ask why I was running.  I couldn't tell you.  Oh wait... RACE WEEKEND DUH!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Race Report: Fargo FM Half Marathon

We started our Saturday morning at 6:45am (yay late start and starting line literally outside our door).  Instead of jumping out of bed, I wanted to go back to sleep and not run.  Making matters worse, I had been having serious GI issues all night long, and the morning was even worse.  I tried to eat some toast and a luna bar, but they were making me gag.  This should be fun!  :)

We headed to the start and I continued to feel like crap.  TMI alert:  If there was an award for most bathroom visits in a 12 hour span, the award would've gone to me.  I laid down for awhile, rubbing my stomach, hoping it'd chill out.  I started to get worried..... there's NO WAY I could race with my stomach as upset as it was, and the clock was ticking.  I was concerned I was going to post my first DNS......
This is my "please don't poop yourself" smile.

Finally with about 10 minutes to the race start, I made my last bathroom visit, and the stomach cramps subsided.  Praise the Lord!  (is it wrong the praise the lord for pooping to stop?  that's a little weird, I must say....)  Megan and I lined up at the start line and discussed our race plans.  I decided I'd run "comfortably hard" for the first 8-10 miles, and then all out BTTW race the final 3-5 miles.  That's usually my best strategy for races.  Apparently we lined up WAY TOO FAR BACK because there was some massive dodging and weaving for most of the first mile.  I settled in to a comfortable pace, and at first glance, I realized that comfortable was 8:30.  Hell ya!  Maybe a PR would be a possibility!  I did some quick math and realized that if I could run 8:30s for the first 8 miles, and 8 for the last 5 I could have my sub 1:50.  Work time!

There were a TON OF TURNS on the course.  I knew it was going to be hard to not run WAAAAAAAY over 13.1, so I tried to run the best tangents that I could.  I was randomly getting side stitches very frequently for the first hour of the race.  I'd get one, control my breathing and get it to go away, run for another couple minutes and I'd have another.  Whenever I'm dehydrated running, I tend to get side stitches.  Given my dehydrated state, I knew I had to do some serious water gulping at the water stations.
1. 8:30
2. 8:29
3. 8:31 

Around mile 3 I realized I was starving.  I took my first GU a mile and a half early and was worried that I was going to screw myself over for the rest of the race, but since I had nothing in my stomach I was on the verge of E... at mile 3.  Oy.  Luckily for me, there was a surprise GU station at mile 5 to replenish my stash.  I've probably never thanked a volunteer as profusely as I did there.
4. 8:37
5. 8:27
6. 8:41 

About an hour in to the race, my side stitches subsided, but I started to lose some steam big time.  I took another GU at 6.5 hoping that'd help (I normally GU about every 5 or so miles, so I hoped it wouldn't mess with my stomach further).  I tried to just zone out and keeping on truckin'.
7. 8:45
8. 8:53
9. 9:00 

I continued on, counting down to the next GU break at mile 10, hoping that would give me the final boost I'd need to finish strong.  I knew that we'd be running right by the finish line at mile 11, and that'd be slightly disheartening.  I kept my brain busy calculating what I'd need to run the remaining miles in to get a skin-of-my-teeth-PR.  At mile 12 I did get a little surge and picked it up slightly (presumably from the GU).  I started calculating the minutes I had left of running (usually helps me mentally) and kept telling my body to "PLEASE START YOUR KICK NOW!"  Spoiler alert:  my body didn't listen.
10. 8:58
11. 9:13 

There was an out and back section around 11 and 12 miles were I looked for Megan.  I didn't see her, so I was worried she might be having some issues with her knee.  She was looking for me, and was afraid I was in a port a potty somewhere along the course.  We're worriers apparently.  Good news was that we weren't very far apart so that's why we weren't seeing each other.  The final mile was in to the wind, and that made me lose my will to live slightly.  Especially when I noticed there was a dude behind me using me as a wind block.  He passed me at the finish.  You're welcome for that dude.  My watch hit 13 and I still didn't see the finish line.  WTF?!?!?  I turned the corner and BAM!  There it was.  Oh.  Insert 15 seconds of hauling ass here.
12. 8:59
13. 9:21
.11 :46 (7:01 pace)

Yes, I posted my slowest mile of the day last.  Oops!

I ran 13.11 miles in 1:55:17.

Field Placement:254 / 727 (34.9%)
Age group:25 – 29
Group Placement:14 / 76 (18.4%)
Gender Placement:90 / 411 (21.9%)

Before too long Megan was in with her 2nd fastest half marathon time and grinning ear to ear.  Yayzies!  We both remarked about how nice it was to finish a race and not be limping with an injury.  WIN US!
Definitely not my best race, or my best effort, but I'm happy enough given how the previous 12 hours played out.  The race could've been a mess (quite literally).  I ran really well and just ran out of fuel way way early.  But I finished the race, and did so injury free, so that's good enough for now.  :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

September in Review + Devil's Workout

September In Review
Total Miles: 121.2 up from 114.5 last month. (86.1 miles from September 2010.)  Oh hai similar injury post SF half.... we see each other again....
Total Time: 18:56:33 up from 18:04:30 last month. (13:18:55 last September.)
Total Runs: 19 for an average of 6.38/run.
Highest weekly mileage:
9/26/2011 — 10/2/2011:35.1 Mi5:28:01
Favorite run: My 13.1 training run where my time was almost the same as the SF half time.  :P  It felt effortless and the weather was gorgeous.  And I ran through my old stomping grounds, which is always fun. 
Most hardcore run:  I always loathe mile repeats and tempo runs that are longer than about 4 miles, so I felt pretty b.a. when I knocked out my 3 x1600 m repeats and 7 mile run with 5 at tempo (in which I hit 1000 miles for the year without realizing it... so yeah... that's fun...)
Favorite race:  It didn't turn out at all like I expected, and in hindsight, I probably should've dropped out of the race, but I finished my 7th consecutive Sioux Falls half marathon, and only 3rd time going sub-2.  So I'll take it.
Bike Miles: 25.  Yay.  Only because of semi-injury.  Boo.
Favorite Jams: My heart's a stereo.  I've been listening to it on repeat for interval workouts.  LOVE.

Speaking of mile repeats, I had more to take care of on Monday.  When I was looking at my training program before starting the run I realized, "neat-o I haven't taken a rest day in a week, this should be fun!"  Luckily because it's race week I only had 2 x1600 m repeats on the schedule which doesn't seem as scary as 3+.  The goal pace of 7:37 was slightly daunting, however.

Not sure what's got in to me lately, but I knocked those puppies out in 7:30 and 7:29, and definitely had enough gas for more.  Bring on Fargo!  Oh yeah... I'm racing tomorrow.  So fingers crossed for me, eh?

And in horribly bad race photo news, here are some of the train wreck shots from the Sioux Falls half. 

So yeah........ it was just a smidge warm...........

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Twin Cities Marathon: Spectating Report

Sunday morning arrived quickly and with the BLARING of Susan's cell phone alarm.  It was...jarring... to say the least, but it's her rodeo.  <--that was my motto for the weekend.  We were up and at 'em and ready to get on the road before too long. 

True story:  I was almost as nervous about driving Susan to the Metrodome as she was about running a super speedy 26.2!  Ok not really, but I was super nervous about me getting us lost and her being late/rushed.  YIKES!  PRESSURE!  Naturally we got there with no problem, but I did manage to get turned around on my way back to the house.  ahhh yes.... that's more like it Jerbear.

I had time to sip some Caribou while waiting for Erika's mom to return, and soon we were off to Lake Calhoun to spectate around 4.5 miles.  It was such a gorgeous crisp fall morning, and for about 26 seconds I was jealous of those runners.  But then I remembered.... 26.2 miles is a LONG WAY TO RUN!

We chatted with some of the spectators around us and soon enough the lead runners were upon us.  I love watching elite runners because they just look so effortless!  And not too far behind were the women.  Girl power---channeling my inner spice girl, NBD.

I was concerned that I was going to miss Susan, until I heard her yelling and waving wildly in the distance.  I started screaming my face off while trying to take as many pics as possible.  FYI this is difficult.  She looked like she was flying, but was running just as effortless of the speedy mcspeederson’s leading the race.

From there I tried to keep my eyes peeled for some other runners I knew racing, but stupid me, I had no idea what they were wearing, and it’s freakin’ hard to pick someone out of those crowds of people.  Before long, I heard my name and realized Karla was cruising through, well ahead of the 4 hour group, and was looking good!  I was too slow to snag a pic of her.
Next it was time to meet up with Erika to stake out mile 17 of the course.  At first we thought we could see Susan at the halfway mark, but the girl is so fast you don’t have a lot of time to get from point A to point B!  When we got to the course, I realized that we had chosen a spectating spot along with another crew of Green Bay Packer fans.  Yes….this is where I belong.  :)
While looking for Susan, I saw Christopher, another DailyMile friend looking strong and bright (your yellow was easy to pick out!). 
Finally we saw Susan jazz-handing it up down the slight decline.  She was flyyyyyyyyyyyying.

Next we tried to go near mile 21/22 to hopefully see her again before the finish, but they were so packed with cars that we couldn’t find anywhere to park.  With some quick mental math, we knew we wouldn’t have much time to sprint to the course to see her, so we sadly, carried on to the finish line.  As we were walking up to the finish line, we heard the announcer cheering on the ladies who were shooting for an OT qualifying time.  INSANE!  We found a decent spot to spectate and yelled and screamed for all the runners.
It was getting close to 3:15:00 and we realized we didn’t know what time Susan actually started the race!  The text I had gotten confirming she started was at 8:13am.  Surely it hadn’t taken her that long, had it??  The thought bubble was still hovering over my head when we saw her flyyyyyyyyying down the finishing stretch.  Depending on when she started, I knew she’d be close to a PR and couldn’t help but to scream my face off for her (duh, SHE CAN’T HEAR YOU!) and then silently cursed the volunteer who was obstructing my finishing photos. :) 

Shortly after Susan came through I saw Chris cruising in to the finish line.  YAY!  Go Chris! 

We met up with Susan and got to hear all about her race (make sure to check out her race report!). 

As I was logging on to the tracking page to see how Karla did I heard the announcer over the loud speaker saying her name as she finished.  I see a sub-4 marathon chaser/running buddy for the spring!
I think one of the coolest things about watching the finish of a marathon is seeing all the chicas who don't have the "typical teeny tiny runner body" crushing 3:10 marathons.  Granted, I'll never be that fast, but to see someone who's essentially built like me cruise through in 3:30 gives me hope that I can keep working my booty off (although not literally) and be that speedy someday too.

After some chillin’ and a shower for the marathoner, it was time for me to hit the road and bid the gals adieu.  I’m already plotting when we can meet up for another race weekend! 
Busted out my ol' cheerleading skillz to make this sweet sign. :)
When I rolled in to town, I just wanted to curl up in my bed and sleep.  Snuggling sleeping on a futon with a buddy all weekend as a very light sleeper, I was tired, to say the least.  But I laced up my shoes and hit the bike trail for my run.
a)       My legs, particularly my ankles, were very swollen from spectating.  For some reason when I walk/stand a lot I get massive cankles.  It’s so freakin’ weird.  I’m guessing that driving home probably didn’t help.
b)      My knee was super swollen (from my spill).  The fluid would bounce up and down with every step I took.  It didn’t hurt but it felt weird.  I almost felt like I needed a sports bra for my knee!
It wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had while running, but managed to make it through 5 miles in 48:52 for a pace of 9:47.