Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hello Lover! Introducing Polly Sunshine Light....

Cue Miss America Music.....Isn't she lovely???? :)

I have been looking on craigslist for a bike for over a year now. I knew I wanted a beach cruiser type bike, but didn't know whether I wanted one that looked old school or actually was old school. When I found this beauty I was in love. After a weekend without internet, I jumped online a week ago Monday to find that her listing was gone. I was heart broken. A few days later I had an email from the seller asking if I was still interested. It was destined to be. :) She joined my family on Monday and it's 2rue love 4ever 4 sure. When she first arrived I immediately started thinking of names: Sunshine, Banana Split (yes apparently I was taking names for My Little Ponys, whatev), when it hit me--Polly. My buddy Matt cued the middle name as Sunshine, and the rest is history. Of course Monday was 40 mph winds, and yesterday I didn't have time to take her out, and today is 30+ mph winds again. I still may take her for a short jaunt to the local library. I'm so happy. Heheh. :)

On Monday night I decided to say pooh-pah to an easy run and do my speed workout that I had scheduled for the week. I wanted to do 2 speed workouts this week, and thought my legs would be fresh to do them on a Monday, recovered enough to do another one Thursday, and then be good to go for the easy long run on Saturday. Plus I love me some speed work (have I mentioned that before :) ?)

I haded to the gym with my old running buddy Matt (who was doing his second gym work out of the day, crazy kid) for some 400 m. repeats. My fave. Sidenote: Absolutely NOT MY FAVE when I had to do them in high school, but I digress. I was to do 5 miles; 1 mile warm, 6 x 400 in 1:35 (6:20 pace) w/400 jogs in between, and 1 mile cool down.

Since I had the crazy bike purchase after work, and didn't hit the gym until 8pm, I was STARVING. Definitely not the way to start an intense workout. Uff. I started the workout at a very leisurely 10 min mile pace for the first mile. Then it was ON! After the first 400 sprint/jog, I did have to switch it from jogging 400's to walking .15 as I didn't want to waste any of my waining energy on jogging. Lame, I know.

1 mile warm up 10:00
Interval #1 1:34 (6:16 pace)
Recovery jog 2:35 (10:20 pace)
Interval #2 1:27 (5:48 pace)
Recovery walk 2:34
Interval #3 1:29 (5:56 pace)
Recovery walk 2:38
Interval #4 1:29 (5:56 pace)
Recovery walk 2:42
Interval #5 1:31 (6:04 pace)
Recovery walk 2:44
Interval #6 1:33 (6:12 pace)
Recovery walk 2:44
1/2 mile cool down 4:53 (9:46 pace)

Uff da, I was dead tired after the run, and ooooooooooh soooooooo hungry. But nothing feels better than running fast and hard, that's for sure. It is kind of crazy to think that in 7th & 8th grade (when I ran distance for our HS team, actual high school years, I sprinted) I ran my miles at those paces, only without .15 walk breaks. That's crazy. I think my best mile time was 6:07. I can't imagine doing that now. :p Although it would be fun to see what my mile time is now....hmm.... interesting... :)

Yesterday was a boring, I mean easy, 4 miler. I grabbed my gear after work, had the garmin look for the satellite and I was off. Whoa, Garmin is telling me I'm running a pace of :45. That's kinda of crazy. Then all hell broke loose, it was beeping all over the place, mile 1 clocked in at :02, mile 2 at :04. I stopped, walked back the 10 feet to my apartment, and by the time I got there it read 3.14 for the distance. Does that count as a new 5k PR? I think so! I tried to tinker with it, but decided it wasn't a big deal since it was just a junk mile run. I fished through an old drawer and pulled out the old running watch stand by. This baby has been with me since I started running in 2005. Looks so much cuter on my wrist than man watch aka Garmin. :) We made a good team.
The run was pretty boring, legs were a little tight/tired which is to be expected. Stretched really well post-run. I did the 4 miles in 39:15. I was keeping track of the splits, but gave up.

1. 9:57 ish
2. 9:40 ish
3. ???
4. 39:15-9:40-9:57-??? :)

I spent the evening running to Walmart to get a bike lock for Polly, dropping off the pics from the wedding (they're HILARIOUS!), get ingredients for cookies (nom), and stop by the grandparents for some supplies I was missing for an art project.

Last day without internet.  Can't WAIT for tomorrow.  :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

My Adventures to "The Cities"

Just a little background story: I hate to drive. In fact, I loathe it. I didn't own a car until I was 23. I didn't have my license until after I could legally drink. I drive to work and that's about it. Any time I can walk, I will. My longest "road trip" has been to home about 45 minutes away. After Taylor was no longer my date for my friend's wedding in Minneapolis, I started to freak out. Surely, I couldn't get there by myself. I sent text messages, I posted facebook messages and status updates begging for a ride. Nada. Then my best friend from college (who has been in Korea for the last year and a half) called to let me know that she was in Chi-town at her mom's and was going to bus up for the wedding. My new mantra in my new chapter of life is: Fearless. I decided to be fearless and go by myself. EEEEK!!!!
Friday night was spent reuniting with the college gang and college bestie over some Italian style pizza and beers followed by a dive bar where another college alum's band was playing. Unfortunately, both myself and Megan forgot our cameras at home, so no pics to document the evening.
Saturday we woke up and set out for a run along the river. My college buddy Rhode led the way, and I fell. in. love. Seriously, I am not putting it out of the question to movie to Minneapolis in the near future. And I am almost positive that I'm going to do the Twin Cities 10 mile next October, because I think 10 miles would be a fun racing distance. Again, I wished I'd had my camera because it was just a beautiful run, and I rarely get to have my friends come as running buddies. Imagine sweet bridges, sweaty smiles, and lots of catching up on each other's lives.
We did 4 miles in 36:37. Rhode was super obsessed with our mile times (obviously he fell in love with the Garmin a bit). We were pretty crazy consistent with the pace.
1. 9:09
2. 9:09
3. 9:16
4. 9:00
After the run we hauled our sweaty butts (literally in my case, light green shorts SHOW SWEAT, eew) to Chipotle. Eh, not that great. I think I prefer Qdoba. Then it was on to get beautified for our beautiful friend, Kathryn's wedding. Us three chicas were pretty much a packaged deal our senior year of college (randomly we didn't really meet/become friends til then). We did manage to miss the wedding, because of poor directions on how to get from the restaurant we ate dinner at to the wedding. I logged at least 10 miles (or what felt like it) in hooker-high high heels. At least they were cute I guess.

See? Tres cute shoes. :)

We did get disposable cameras, so hopefully I'll get some good ones to turn out, but in the meantime, we took full advantage of the photobooth that they had at the reception. Please enjoy. :)

It was easily the most fun I've ever had at a wedding, and it was a blast to be reunited with my college pals. My feet did NOT have nearly as good of a time as I spent most of the night carrying my heels and walking barefoot. Poor bruised foot pads. :( Totally worth it though.

Sunday was spent lying on the couch watch the Vikes game (boo!! Go Pack Go!) as Rhode is a huge fan, and procrastinating the trip home. I finally decided to get ready to go at 1. I started off for home and within a few minutes was confused as to why the speed limit signs were slowly waaaaay down, and then there were the random stop lights. Hmm...not sure why there would be stop lights on the freeway.... And then I realized a street marker indicating that I was NOT on the road I had thought I was and must have exited accidentally (who knows how long ago). No problem, I can just turn around and take the exit to get back on the free way, right? Wrong. I ended up in a residential area, in some quaint downtown looking area, all over the place.

I tried to use my Spidey-sense to figure out which direction I had come from and somehow made it back to the freeway, but the one that runs east-west instead of the north-south one that I was looking for. Something brilliant in side of me reminded me that the two must connect at some point. So I drove on. Eventually I ended up in St. Paul (ie: the WRONG way) and finally asked for directions. I stopped at a gas station, and after some heckling from the people inside (yes I was wearing a Packers shirt, it is Sunday for goodness sakes, I don't care if I AM in Minnesota, fools!) was finally turned in the right direction. After an hour detour, I was finally back on track and headed for home. :) Despite the detour, I still managed to make it home in 4 1/2 hours, and the way up was 4 hours, so not too bad. Hahah. I think I've put in my driving miles for 2009, I think I'll stick to my running miles now. :)

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Speedwork that Was (finally!) + Long (short) Run

Phew. I didn't ditch the speedwork on Thursday. Finally. Although it did take place at the gym. Oh well, I find it easier to do speed work on the treadmill because then I don't have to look down at my watch so stinkin' much. :)

I had 1 mile warm up, 3 x 800 m. in 3:43 (7:26 pace) with 400 m. jogs after, and 1 mile cool down on the agenda. While running, I positioned myself in front of a college football game. Suddenly I realized, I'm officially too old to chase after college football players. Sad. Unless they're 5th or 6th years, I suppose, but that either means they're dumb (boo!) or highly injury prone. Hah.

My legs felt pretty good during the run, and I was excited to finally speed things up a bit. I haven't done speed work since the week before my half (Sept. 4th!! geez!)

1 mile warm up 9:31
800 m. #1 3:33 (7:06 pace)
400 m. recovery 2:36 (10:24 pace)
800 m. #2 3:32 (7:04 pace)
400 m. recovery 2:33 (10:12 pace)
800 m. #3 3:36 (7:12 pace)
400 m. recovery 2:28 (9:52 pace)
1 mile cood down 9:48

Total time: 37:37 for 4.25 miles in 8:52 pace. Speedwork pace: 7:07 for 1.5 miles.

I had a bit of tightness in my IT Band during the cool down, but no real significant pain anywhere else. A little rolling pin action did the trick just fine post run. I do have to comment on the gym gawkers. FYI, when working out at the gym at night, the full length windows = mirrors. If you're staring at a girl's booty while she runs, she WILL be able to tell that you're ogling her goodies. Jeepers. It was almost comical how many people didn't realize I could tell exactly what they were looking at while ellipticallizing (make up word, pretty sure.)

Or is it a short LONG run.....?

Friday I got to scadaddle out of work at noon because I had come in on Saturday (blech). I was heading up to Minneapolis to one of my best friend's weddings, and was going to meet up with my best friend who is back from Korea before she heads to Cambodia, and to see a bunch of other college folks. Before I left I had to squeeze in a long run. By the time I got home, I realized there was no time for 9 miles, and down graded to 7. Who needs to run 9 miles when training for a 5k? Not this girl. :)

It was a pretty uneventful run as it had been raining most of the morning, so the trails were pretty dead. I hadn't eaten any food prior to the run, so I was definitely dragging until I took my first Gu at mile 2. I really don't remember much about the run except that I almost ditched my long sleeves to go in just my bra. Not sure how the weather can change in one hour from cold enough to need sleeves to too warm to wear a shirt. Icky.

1. 9:39
2. 9:38
3. 9:29
4. 9:25
5. 9:24
6. 9:13
7. 8:39

7 miles in 1:05:32 for a pace of 9:22.

I tried to keep my pace pretty conservative since I had a hard speed workout only 16 hours before, but couldn't help put push the last mile. I was on a time frame (I literally had an itinerary drawn up so that I could get everything done I needed to and get on the road by 3, my goodness!)

Still to come, why I want to move to Minneapolis, and pics from the most beautiful wedding ever. Also, if you would like some entertaining tales about my adventures driving to Minneapolis and getting lost, let me know, it could make it into the next post. Haha.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Just "running" some errands...

...NBD (no big deal). So my co-worker and I have this thing where we like to abbreviate absolutely everything. Hense, the NBD. It's getting to be quite ridic (ridiculous) but makes the work day much more comical.

Moving on. Tuesday I was a Slacker McSlackerson, and after a pal suggested I "take a rest day" because my legs were sore, I did. Even though my legs were no longer sore/tired. Grrr... Wednesday night I was set to do a speed workout, but a volleyball league meeting ran late, and it's hard to do a tempo run when you can't tell what pace your Garmin is showing you. Instead I did an easy 4 miler.

Silly me forgot to drop off the movie I checked out from the library. Why not run it there? Ok! I probably looked like a fool running with a DVD in my hand, but I got the job done. :) I ran a weird highly populated route, but knew that it would be well lit, so I dealt with the intense exhaust fumes. Blech. I ran TRES slow, as I had planned on waking up this morning to finally knock the speedwork out of the way. (What do you know, I decided to put it off until tonight!! You're killing me Jeri!!)

I don't have my exact splits but I know they ranged from 10:20 for the first one (running through lots of grass w/DVD in hand) to 9:58. My average pace was 10:10. At mile 3, I almost took a detour to look at Halloween costumes in a store that appears to have cropped up over night (as they often times do around Halloween season). I decided not to, but now totally wish I would've. Sweaty and all, looking at the most scandalous costumes they carry. Haha. Jk. Kinda.

Tonight I'm doing a speed sessions fo REALS. :) I decided to do the 3 x 800 with 400 jogs and mile warm up and cool down that my legs didn't feel up for on the schedule from last week, instead of the tempo run I (obviously) have been less than inspired to do. Hopefully all goes well. My apologies for the sporadic posting, but I'm finally getting cable and internet next Thursday, so I will be back in business. :)

Before I go, here are some official race pics I came across from my half. Sadly, there were no finish line pictures. :( Enjoy.

Did you miss me?

Sorry for the extreme neglect in the blog world. I've felt pretty uninspired to write, but luckily, extra inspired to run, so my apologies for that. My world's been a bit crazy. Anyway, moving on.

When we last met, I was limping through 1/2 mile. And pouting about it. After spending some time rolling my IT bands with a rolling pin, I felt soooo much better! Thursday morning I woke up, did some more rolling and stretching and headed out for a run. I did a 3 miler at an easy pace. When I first started out I had some pain, but once the legs warmed up I was golden. I was letting myself cut it short at 2 if I wanted to, but leggies wanted 3, so I gave it to them.

3 miles in 28:40 for a 9:34 pace.
1. 9:35
2. 9:29 (whoopsidaisy, need to pull the reigns in a bit)
3. 9:36

Friday I was toying with skipping my run after work, because I just didn't feel like running. Then I remembered how BADLY I wanted to run on Wednesday and couldn't, and decided to take advantage of my legs feeling good.

4 miles in 37:27 for a pace of 9:22.
1. 9:25
2. 9:25
3. 9:20
4. 9:16

Friday night was not-so-fun and resulted in me getting a whopping 2 hours of sleep before my Saturday shift. I may or may not have been prompted to sprint a 1/2 mile or so barefoot for reasons that shall not be revealed. The one thing I thought the next morning, "dang, I wish I would've had my Garmin on. I was bookin it." :p

Saturday was less than stellar and my stomach was KILLING ME. I couldn't eat or really even drink much, so doing a run was not even an option. I did go on a loverly walk with one of my favorite people in the world to talk/vent/brainstorm life ideas. We also may or may not have cut down fabulous spirally branches for her wedding centerpieces. I kept watch. :)

Sunday (is this play by play boring or what? this is what I get for not posting for a week. so sorry!) I finally had some food for fuel in preparation for my 9 miler. It was such a beautiful run. The leaves have started to fall so every step was a crunch-crunch. There is something just so blissfully beautiful and calming about fall. I think my 9 miler served as my therapy session for the weekend, and I'd be lying if I said some tears weren't shed. But there was also a lot of smiling and a lot of thinking.

I took the pace slower than I had been taking my long runs while training for the half, mostly because the legs still only feel about 95% and there's no sense getting hurt running 9 miles while training for a 5k. :p And yes, in case you were curious, it was happy couple evening on the bike trails apparently, and it was quite annoying. :)

I did 9 miles in 1:24:25 for a pace of 9:23.
1. 9:33
2. 9:23
3. 9:25
4. 9:31
5. 9:32
6. 9:27
7. 9:12 (chasing down a couple of runners here. stupid competitiveness. :p)
8. 9:14
9. 9:03

Somewhere in the aftermath of the long run, I forgot that I typically ice bath for runs longer than 8 miles, and just jumped in the shower instead. My legs were quite sore on Monday. Arrgh. Stupid Jeri.

Monday I did an easy 4 miles to loosen up the legs. I did a different route than normal and ended up doing a really hilly route. Lame-o for a recovery run. It helped me to keep my pace slooooow which I'm grateful for.

4 miles in 39:12 for a pace of 9:47.
1. 9:46
2. 9:51
3. 9:45
4. 9:44

It was ridiculously cold yesterday. Oh my. I had to bust out the running tights and a long sleeved shirt!! Unfortunately for me, I couldn't find my running underoos, so I spent the whole run freaking out about the possibility of splitting my running tights for the whole city to see. Ay ay ay, that would be no good. :) Beautiful fall weather, where did you go? The cold weather did prompt me to watch Elf, which always leads to a happy Jerbear. I love me some elf & Christmas.

Today the legs actually feel 100%. I might still do an easy run and then tackle a speed workout tomorrow. I've desperately missed my speed workouts. I feel the need for SPEED! Wow, that was the lamest thing ever.

In exciting news, I have a HUUUUUUUUGE list of crazy crafty-ish projects that I'm going to be working on in the near future, so keep your eyes out for some pics and sweet ideas. When life throws you lemons, make a list! :)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The First Run Back...That Wasn't

Today marked the day I was to get back to running.  WHOO!  2-3 miles at a snail's pace was on the schedule.  Um...I think I spent more time getting ready for the run and stretching then I did running.  :(  As soon as I started out I noticed a deep pain/tenderness/soreness in my right quad.  I decided to run for a couple of minutes to see if it needed to loosen up or what.  By the time I got to the end of the street (.33 miles) it was still pretty painful and I was starting to run with somewhat of a limp, although there wasn't any pain on the gradual uphill the last block.  I decided to head back for home and call it a day at .5 miles.  I hobbled the remaining .17 and then just walked the rest of the way home.  At one point, I actually realized that I was full on, bottom lip protruding, pouting.  Hah.  I guess I was looking forward to the run or something.  :p

.5 miles in 4:56 for a pace of 9:52.

I got home and stretched then decided to do some pushups and situps.  I haven't done pushups since the Sunday I got back from the Wild West Relay (whoops!) so over a full month ago, but I have been doing yoga fairly regularly.  I was excited to see where my upper body strength was.  I was able to knock out 20 in a row.  Heck ya!  I think the most I've done prior was 18.  I did my sit up routine (minus the ones that caused my leg to hurt ie:  bicycles, leg lifts, etc.).  Then I did another set of 20 pushups.  I felt STRONG.

After chowing on some dinner, I spotted something in my kitchen that I thought might help out my aches and pains--my rolling pin!  It felt so good/bad/good!  I just rolled out my thighs in all the areas that were sore.  I went back and forth between the right leg and the left leg until they felt 900% better.  I may or may not have packed the rolling pin in my bag to take with me to Taylor's tonight.  :)  Post-shower I coated the quads in a layer of the Biofreeze.  Oh.  So.  Good.

I'm supposed to do an easy 4 mile run tomorrow.  Hopefully I'll be able to get in at least a couple of miles pain free.  I'm itching to get back into training if you couldn't tell.  

Also, I signed up for the Run for Rita 5k on October 10th.  Oooh how I love to race.  Hopefully it hasn't snowed by then, that might hurt my chances to PR if I'm running through snow drifts!  :)  

In super sad news, part of the race photos from the half are uploaded to the website, and there isn't a finish line photo of me.  :'(  There are 2 pictures where you can see my shoulder sticking out behind a runner, but no finishing photo.  I'm so bummed.  Good thing I had such awesome photographers there to snap some great pics of me.

Hit up for details on how to win a $75 gift certificate for Zensah.  If you win, you can get me a sweet gift for telling you about it.  :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm a Television Star + Recovery

So I probably wasn't the smartest runner post-race.  I was so super crazy excited about how well the race went that I spent a long time just standing in the same place.  After the crowd cleared out a bit, I made my way to the line for the massages--bah!  More standing, no stretching.  Then, of course, as soon as I got home, I started looking at race results online, delaying the ice bath.  Because of that, my legs were a bit sore yesterday and still today, mainly my quads.  Given they are NOTHING compared to past races when I've wanted to die rather than walk up/down stairs.  :p

Yesterday I did a 30 minute Sun Salutation yoga routine.  I actually had to stop halfway through it to "regroup."  It did get my muscles nice and warmed so I could stretch them out some.

Today I had planned on doing some biking and yoga.  I went to the gym and did some easy rolling hills for 45 minutes at a low level of difficulty, we're talking 3-4 here.  I went 7.88 miles and when I was done my legs felt like jello.  Considering I haven't biked in probably 4-5 months, I suppose that's to be expected.  I stretched really well afterward, but the area of tenderness/soreness on the outside of my quads seems to be unstretchable.  I did try out some Biofreeze that I scored during the Wild West Relay and that seemed to help.  Hopefully I'll wake up tomorrow and be healed.  :)  I do have my first run post-race planned for tomorrow for an easy 2-3 miles.  I hope the legs are up for it, because I'm going a bit stir crazy without running.

In more half marathon news (yup, still riding a bit of a high from Sunday), I made the local news!  Yes, you officially "know" a celebrity.  If you'd like an autograph, please send a self address stamped envelope to me and I will send back an official finisher photo with my John Hancock on it.  Jk, I never buy my race pics, you think I'm going to buy one for you?  Heck no!  :p  Anyway, watch the video below (who's impressed that I was able to embed this video?  ME!).  I make my brief appearance around 8-10 seconds in on the far left side in green, obviously.

In other post races news, I do have some race statistics that I didn't report previously.
Division Place: 45 out of 148
Gender Place: 132 out of 559
Overall Place: 357 out of 971

winning the 5k earlier this summer, Taylor's friends have it in their heads that I'm this awesome runner.  One of them asked what my place was, and he was shocked that I didn't know.  #357 is not one that really sticks in your head.  :p

Also, the Vice President of my agency came down to my office today to see how my race went this weekend (!!!!).  I was shocked.  I had mentioned that I was running it at a potluck lunch we had about 2 months back and he said he used to be a runner back in the day.  I thought it was very sweet that he actually remembered and cared enough to seek me out to see how I had done.  :)

And finally, as I mentioned in my
half-marathon race report, I had tried to run BTTW for the final 5k of the race.  After quickly calculating my time for the last 5k, I realized that I had run in it 26:03 (or close to that, I don't feel like double checking my mental math).  When I got to looking at the 5ks I've done this year, I realized that the 5k I did in March, which was a PR by 45 seconds, was a 25:48.  In less than six months, I have improved my speed and endurance enough to run almost the equivalent after racing 10 miles immediately before.  I am shocked, but really just very proud of the dedication and effort that I have put in to training for 2009.  I'm excited to see what else these legs can do, hope you'll continue to join me for the journey.

Thanks sooooo much for all your comments, congrats, etc.  They are all greatly appreciated!  :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Race Report: Sioux Falls Half Marathon

This morning I ran the Sioux Falls Half Marathon for the 5th consecutive year.  This was the first road race I did to try to get back into shape while in college.  Prior to this race, the farthest distance i had competed at is the 1600 m. run for the Varsity team as an 8th grader (I became a sprinter in high school). Since the inaugural year of participation, I saw my times get slower and slower.  This year I vowed to break my PR that I set in 2005 of 2:07:39.

I woke up at 5:30am bright eyed and bushy tailed.  I set about making some peanut butter toast while watching my favorite movie, Elf.  I ate a banana and quickly through on my race day clothes that I had ever so gently laid out 2 nights before.  More elf.  Many bathroom breaks.  Until I was to meet my bus-riding buddy and one time running buddy at 6:30am.  When I left the apartment, I knew more bathroom breaks were in order, and was concerned about digestive issues similar to the trial run half marathon from two weeks ago.  Running buddy/gym buddy/bus riding buddy and I discussed our race goals on the way to the starting line.  

As soon as we got there, we broke for the bathrooms.  I did some jogging and some stretching while looking for my madre, but she was nowhere in site.  Knowing the stadium (it was where the South Dakota state track meet was held back in my day, along with another big track meet that required qualifying times for entrance, as well as the stadium that my college used for football games) I decided to be sly and use the "unknown" restrooms on the other side of the field.  Silly me, they were locked.  At this point I was concerned about getting through the super long bathroom line before the race started, but somehow I made it with a few minutes to spare.  Of course about a minute before the gun went off I started feeling some not so happy gurgling in my stomach.  :(  I convinced myself it was nerves and not potential poopiness.  :)  Bang, and we were off.

It was a beautiful morning.  High 50s, humid, no wind.  The first part of the race is a lap and a quarter around the track.  I saw my mom the second time around, some guy yelled out, "almost there!" and we carried on.  I was really concentrating on not getting swept up in the crowd and going out too fast, causing me to hate life later in the race.  I did a great job of it, (the congestion around the track for the first .38 miles helped).

We headed to a historical part of Sioux Falls, which has the most beautiful houses.  I quickly shedded my long sleeves and tied them around my race.  The spectators were AWESOME!  I was pretty jealous that all of them had a delicious Starbucks in their hands.

Next it was the downtown area, which is my favorite part of Sioux Falls.  I took my first Gu right around 3 miles and the water stop was shortly after that.  I felt like a rookie grabbing the water.  Wow, I think I caused two volunteers to drop the cups because I felt like they wouldn't let go, so I let go, while they let go at the same time.  I had a small swig and continued on.

Mile 1.  9:05
Mile 2.  8:54
Mile 3.  8:57

Towards the end of the downtown area, I got to see my first fan--Taylor!!  He was cheering extra loud for me, so I blew him a kiss.  Unfortunately that wasn't documented on camera, because how cute of a pic would that have been??  I tossed my shirt aside (apparently under a car that he later had to crawl under, sorry babe) and was on my way.  

Next up was Falls Park, which you may remember from the photo shoot post-mock half marathon, where my mom was going to be in her usual spot.  I saw her, she screamed cheered and tried to snap a pic, while I continued on.  The water stop at mile 5 was put on by my college's track and cross country team, and sadly, this is the first year I didn't know any kids.  Crap I'm getting old.  

I saw Taylor again shortly after this, but he wasn't at the spot that we had determined on our Saturday "trial run."  I was worried that he had thought he'd missed me and left or was too slow getting there (it was only about a mile from the last time I saw him).  I yelled out "Taylor!" and pouted for a bit, but kept going.  He surprised me by being just a ways up the trail with more words of encouragement.  After I saw him I quickly made my way to the 6.2 marker.  Of course, some lady manning the time table was yelling out "halfway there!" to everyone running by.  I had to check my garmin to see if she was right, because I would've been working for a 1:50-1:51 finish.  Too bad she was wrong!  :p  Oh ya, I took a Gu at about Mile 6 with no water.  After practicing taking them every 3 miles, I didn't want to screw things up because their water stops were 3, 5, 7, 9, 11.  It actually wasn't that bad with out water, but did take concentration, hence the slightly slower time.

Mile 4.  8:41
Mile 5.  8:51
Mile 6.  8:58
(10k time:  55:24 pace of 8:57)
The next few miles were on very pretty parts of the trail.  Lots of bridges overhead and fallen leaves covering the bike trail.  You know how it smells when fell has come?  That's how it smelled today, pretty much heavenly.  I surprised my mom, so we barely saw each other until I had run past.  **Yes I did have a phenomenal cheering section today, thanks for noticing!**  I felt really good at this point, and knew I had to start formulating a goal time.  At this point super secret goal was out of the question, and I couldn't quite remember what Goal A was (um, ya I'm an idiot) so I decided to shoot for 1:55.  I figured out what my mile times would have to be after the 8 mile point and thought it was totally doable.  I tried to pick up my pace at mile 8.  Honestly, I think I got caught up a bit in enjoying the run, and forgot to push myself for the first 2/3 of the race.  I took my last Gu at 9 miles.

Mile 7.  8:49
Mile 8.  8:49
Mile 9.  8:38

Now I'm going to complain for just a second about my super sweet awesome Garmin.  I've learned to pace myself by "feel" thanks in large part to the Garmin.  But I've noticed that when I run with someone, or if there's someone near me but slightly in front of me during a run, I will be very affected by their pace.  Oftentimes it's that competitiveness in me just wanting to BEAT THEM.  Usually I'm able to check my pace on my watch and scale back to the pace I'm supposed to be running at.  For the last month my watch hasn't been working properly.  I will be running an 8:30-9 minute pace, and the watch will say 10:30-11:30.  It was doing that today and was SO FRUSTRATING.  I'm in no way blaming my watch for poor pacing, that's all my fault, but I felt like I was lacking that advantage that it usually gives me.  End rant.

At mile 10, I knew I only had a 5k left and that it was BTTW time, my favorite.  :)  I knew I had a lot stored up and felt like I could run 8:30 pace to the finish.  I made a goal not to let anyone pass me to the end.  I started to pass a guy that I had been leap frogging with throughout most of the race, and he commented on my consistent pace.  I had talked to him and his buddy earlier in the run, and they had told me they were running the 1/2 as a training for the Twin Cities Marathon and had actually done 6 miles prior to the race.  I told him that the 5k was my favorite distance, so I was treating the half as a 10 mile race + 5k and was going to try to "win" the second race.  I told him to let me know if he saw an official photog because I wanted to make sure to get a pic with him, because he looked JUST like my dad probably 20 years ago.  It was creepy actually.  My dad couldn't make it to the race, so I was really bummed, but I had to laugh because it really was almost like I ran the majority of the race with him.  Hah.

Mile 10.  8:47

With about 1.75 left I saw the loverboy at his final cheering point.  I had promised myself that when I saw him I would start my kick.  Also, at this point, there was an announcer with music going who yelled out, "one mile once you get to the bridge!"  I wanted to yell at him, being super familiar with the course, and knowing we were 1.75 away, also knowing that there were SIX bridges between us and the bridge he was actually referring too.  :(  SOOOO many people were complaining about this post race.

Mile 11.  8:35

Right before Mile 12 was the horrible hill.  Ok, in actuality it wasn't that horrible, but every year that I've run this race except for the second year, I've had to walk up it.  There's just not a lot left at this point and the hill looks HUGE.  As many were walking up it, I powered up it like the energizer bunny.  :)  I started looking ahead at people and trying to pick them off one by one.

Mile 12.  8:33

Mile 13 felt like it took foooooorever.  I know this part of the trail like the back of my hand, which unfortunately means I know exactly how far I am from the finish without looking at the Garmin.  Talk about frustrating!  I tried to kick it in as much as my legs would allow at this point.  I rounded the corner with .25 to go and the cheering almost bowled me over.  I heard one of my old co-workers boys yell out "Go Zewi you're winning!" as I ran by.  I really wanted to all out sprint at the end by my stupid ab pain was back.  There was a group of 5 that I was trying to catch and had given up on being able to beat them until I saw the clock 1:54:5x and counting.  From nowhere I had a burst of speed (and I'm talking a BURST I was flying!!!) to make it in under 1:55.  Silly me, I had forgotten how far I was behind the start line, so I didn't need to sprint but it felt soooooooooo good.

Mile 13.  8:05
.12 :50 7:07 pace (6:00 max speed!)

Final distance/time:  1:54:38 for 13.12 for a pace of 8:44.
Official time:  1:54:39 for a 8:45 pace.

13 minute PR (down to the second...creepy!) and 26 minutes off of last year's horrendous time.
This is honestly the first time I can say that I had fun during a half marathon.  Every other year I've felt like death after the race.  This one, it felt good to be done, but I felt great while I was running (probably a sign I should run faster next time...there's always Dallas...:p).
Cute Superfan #1.

Team Green represent.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Race Goals + Yup, I Like Green

Race day is almost upon us folks.  Are you as nervous and excited as I am?  I hope not, because that would be we-ird.  :)

Race day outlook:  Patchy fog.  Temp ranging from 54-64 degrees from 7-9am.  Humidity ranging from 75-100%.  Swawesome.  (Sweaty+Awesome).  Wind, light 4 mph whisper.  Delightful?  Yes.  Covered in sweat/mist post-race.  Absolutely.

I laid out all my race clothes Friday night after work so I would have one less thing to worry about.  Then, I committed the cardinal sin, I grabbed my socks to wear out last night.  Silly girl.  So even though they aren't represented in the picture, they will be present on race day.  You may be thinking to yourself, my God, does this girl like green or what?  The answer would be, duh.  I figured I'd start with the sleeves and wear them for the first 3 ish miles, until I run into the loverboy.  I can then shed down into the tank top to continue on soaking it with my sweat.  I did learn my lesson after last years (or actually two years ago) when I didn't realize I'd need to ditch my top layer, I spent a good 1/2 mile unpinning my bib from my top layer and re-pinning to my bottom layer WHILE RUNNING.  We can blame that for my slow times, right?  :)  This year I'll be putting my bib on my shorts.  Should be interesting.  Or maybe I can just put it on my tank because there won't be a photog until the 5 mile point anyway.

Also, I will be sporting my Green Bay Packers sweat band throughout the race, per usual.  GO PACK GO!

Race Goals:  Um..This is somewhat tricky.  As I've mentioned before, I've always been chasing the elusive 2 hour time limit.  Technically, broke that in a training run, so I know it's doable and need to revamp my goals.
Goal D:  Faster than 2:07.  My current PR.  
Goal C:  Break 2 hours after 5 years of trying.
Goal B:  Run at a pace of 9 minute miles.  1:57 and some change.
Goal A:  Run an 8:45 minute mile pace.  1:54:37 (at the slowest).

I also have a super secret insanity level goal that will be a game time decision if I want to try to do.  If all the planets align, I think I could run it, but I will reveal that post-race.  If I don't succeed it will definitely be my goal for the Dallas White Rock half.  I just don't want that to be my ultimate goal and be bummed that I didn't get it after a VERY successful round of training.

Alright, if anyone is in Sioux Falls, and wants to cheer a lady on, look for the chica in green and tell her to get her booty in gear!  

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gym? Treadmill? What are those?

As I was getting ready to leave work on Tuesday, I checked the weather report. 85, 17 mph winds, 90% humidity. Thanks but no thanks. My runs are supposed to be easy peasy this week not sweat induced and hellacious.

I texted my running buddy, who's also conveniently the manager at my gym.
Me: You working today?
Running Buddy: Frickin' right I am!
Me: Sweet. I might use my membership. Whoa!
Running Buddy: No sh!t? You need directions to get here?

Funny funny guy. Apparently SOMEONE is monitoring my gym usage. To be honest, it's been pretty much nil the past few months. Who wants to run when it's amazing outdoors? And lifting? Eew. What's that? jk. I really need to start lifting. I think yoga is sufficing for now.

ANYWAY, I headed to the gym. I swear it wasn't much cooler than it was outside. After staring at the monitor for the first .4 miles I finally hopped off to grab some magazines to cover it up. Thought it might be a looooooong 4 miles otherwise. I even resorted to reading some of the RW that was blocking the monitor. GENIUS IDEA ALERT! They should make a treadmill-friendly issue for all gyms that subscribe. One that's as big as the ESPN mag is with ginormo font that you can read while running. Holy crap, I'm smart. End Rant. Otherwise running buddy provided some good distraction while we discussed our plan/neurosis about the race on Sunday, but then he had to go back to work--lame!

Talk about boring. Wow. After 2 1/2 miles of slogging along at a 9:22 pace, I finally had to bump up the speed. I was over this lame-o run (and was currently covering the treadmill, and possibly the two individuals on either side of me in run-off sweat). When I was done and stretching, I re-remembered why I only wear black shorts to the gym. "Hi everyone, no I didn't pee my pants. I just sweat that much. What? That's just as gross...erm...sorry."

I did 4 miles in 37:00 for a pace of 9:15. No idea what my splits were because a Runners World and Town & Country mags were covering up the monitor. :)

Tonight I did the most amazing yoga series from the Yoga Today podcast: Balancing and Backbends. Kicked my butt but in SUCH a good way.

Ok, on to the fun stuff. I'm currently creating the ever-important race playlist for Sunday, YES SUNDAY, Haven't you been paying attention!?!?!? jk. I would love, LOVE, l-o-v-e to hear what songs you're currently getting pumped up to. You know, that song that comes on that you immediately crank up and can't help but quicken your leg turnover. In turn I will share a few of my current jamz with you kids. See how that works. I call this a musical relationship. :)

Jay-Z--Run This Town (I've contemplated just listening to this on repeat for the whole race. Gotta love the running references)
The Veronicas--I Can't Stay Away (current love affair with the Veronicas)
Boys Like Girls--Punch Drunk Love
Black Eyed Peas--I Gotta Feeling
Ida Maria--I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked
Marz--Do What You Do
Pink--Ave Mary A
Kelly Clarkson--Long Shot
The All-American Rejects--I Wanna
Jimmy Eat World--Feeling Lucky
The Veronicas--Untouched

Clearly I need some more sweet music. Think booty shaking, ridiculous pop, whatever is going to get me across the finish line the fastest. :)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Running Hills with Glasses On

I've been the proud owner of an astigmatism since age 8, that's approximately 17 years. I grew up playing sports, starting basketball in the 4th grade. From 4th grade on, countless basketballs smashed into my face, crushing my glasses, and giving me black eyes. The summer before 7th grade (the year we could try out for the JV squad) the basketball coach approached my mom and TOLD her she needed to get me contacts. Even though money was pretty tight in my family, especially at that time with my bro just leaving for college, my mom somehow managed to make it work, and rid me of my 4-eyed ways.

Now since this time, 13 years ago, I have yet to wear my glasses to work out. After suffering through the poor peripheral vision and my over perspiration causing the glasses to slip down my nose and off my face, why would I go back? Well, a stupid eye infection. I get eye infections like no one's business. Just look at me funny and my eye will turn bright red and gunk up. (Sexy, no?) This current infection has been on again off again for the last 6 weeks. After wearing my contacts for a couple of hours on Monday, I knew there was no way I was going to shove them back in my eye for a run.

Since my last 3 training runs for the half marathon are all easy 4 milers, I decided to spice up Monday's run a bit by doing hills. Since I've neglected the hills since the horror that was the WWR, my legs were finally up for them. I started off running, and immediately started freaking out. I'm a bit...well..blind, and running at night, in glasses will FREAK YOU OUT! I couldn't see anything except for straight in front of me. One dude passed me on a bike, and I almost decked him for "sneaking" up on me. Peripheral vision, I miss you so!

At the one mile mark, I stopped to stretch out the legs, and also de-sweat the nose pad on the glasses and my nose, to cut down on the slippage. Well I didn't account for the extreme slippage of my sweaty hands and almost dropped them! I did some crazy ninja/globetrotter catch, but if I would've dropped them I would've been SCREWED. Down on all fours, feeling around in the grass/sidewalk at 9:30pm is not my idea of fun.

Throughout the run I got to practice the nerdy glass push up, exhibited in the above picture. Especially when I started doing the downhill portions of the extreme uphills. I must've looked liked a fool with my body going down, but my head leaning up. :p Luckily, there weren't too many other follies for the run and I (and my glasses) made it home safe. Safe to say that I won't be wearing them again (hopefully).

I did 4 miles of hills in 38:14 for a pace of 9:34. Not too shabby.
1. 10:01 
2. 9:31 
3. 9:30 
4. 9:09

When I walked in the door, the following convo ensued:

Taylor: How was your run?
Me: It was awesome. First time doing hills since the Wild West Relay.
Taylor: It kind of took you awhile didn't it? I thought you'd be back in about 28 minutes...
Me: You think I run 7 minute miles? You're so cute. :)

And that is why I love him....because he accidentally thinks I'm soooooo much faster than I really am.  :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

That's a LOT of Cleavage for a 12 mile run!

Happy Labor Day weekend kiddos!  I was at work Friday morning trying to figure out when I was going to fit in my long run for the weekend, when my runner-co-worker suggested that I run it after work.  A long run on a Friday night?  Could I be such an anti-social loser (JK!)?  Why yes, yes I can be.  Especially if it means sleeping in on Saturday.  It was a high of 72 on Friday, so I knew it would be perfect around 5ish for a long run.  And it would ensure that I would be OUT once bed time rolled around.  Thanks co-worker, you're so sa-mart.  :)

I started out on the long run by 5:30pm and had a completely different strategy for this long run compared to the rest.  Every long run up to this I've ran it in the same way I'm planning on running the race.  I also tried to end up with a 9 mm pace in those runs.  Since I know I can do a 9 mm pace for the race, I don't need the confidence builder that I was looking for on the previous runs.  That means, let's run this 12 mile at whatever pace my legs desire.

It was actually a really great run despite the fact that I way under-fueled.  Crappers.  I found myself longing for the points in the run where I would get to inhale some Gu.  

Some interesting points from the long run:
  • I raced a little boy and lost.  :)  There was a HUGE family of kids, parents, young adults all walking, biking on the bike trail near me.  One of the little boys, probably about 6, started running in place when he saw me coming, so I told him we should race.  He ran a couple of steps then stopped, so I started yelling that I was winning.  That got him going, he sprinted his little heart out (without shoes on!!) to the nearest bench (our designated finish line).  I could've beat him if I was trying, but not by very much, to be honest.  He might be a good runner in the near future!! :)
  • I saw 2 sets of ridiculous over the top cleavage shots.  I understand that girls with big boobs work out too, but I'm not quite sure why they would choose a deep V shirt with ta-tas hanging out while leaning over biking.  
  • I had the worst under arm chafing ever.  Oh my gosh, so much pain.  I'm not sure what it stemmed from.  The only thing I can think of is that I had my GU stored in my bra, and it must've shifted forward to agitate it.  The poor thing HURTS.  I might have to wear a big ol' bandaid for the race if it's not healed by then.  :(
I did the 12 miles in 1:52:21 for a pace of 9:22.
1. 9:32 
2. 9:22 
3. 9:32 
4. 9:22 
5. 9:24 
6. 9:28 
7. 9:24 
8. 9:26 
9. 9:20 
10: 9:21 
11. 9:09 
12. 8:56

Saturday I attended the first football game in my alma mater's new football stadium.  It was a blast to see the team take home a BIG W.  And the stadium is gorgeous.  I'm so jealous that we didn't have a field on campus when I went to school.  It was nice to hang with some old college pals to.  Plus, I do love me some football players.  :p

After the game I had the worst headache ever.  I think I must have been severely dehydrated.  I still have some remnants of it today, but not nearly as bad.  I do, however, think I have Taylor's awesome chest cold.  Thanks hon.  :(  It took him a good 2 weeks to get over it, so I'm hoping it'll clear up in the next 3 days.  I will NOT be sick for the race.  

I set out to do my 6 miles and was struggling.  My legs felt great and could've gone forever, but everything else was not feeling nearly as awesome.  My chest felt like an elephant was sitting on it.  My stomach felt like it was in my throat and every time I would breathe out I was certain I was going to barf.  Then about 2 miles in I started to feel really light headed/dizzy/woozy.  I decided to cut it short and do 4 instead of 6.  Definitely the least fun run I've had for a while.  Better today and not next Sunday, right?

I did 4 miles in 37:42 for a pace of 9:26.
1. 9:27 
2. 9:22 
3. 9:35 
4. 9:17

Sorry for the lack of exciting pictures in this post.  I purposely put off blogging until today so I could show off sweet pics of tailgating, the new stadium, fun from last night.  Somehow my camera never left my purse.  :(  Maybe I'll have some sweet water park pictures to share with you manana.  Enjoy the last day of summer!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Last day for Speed + Shrimp Fajitas

Wednesday night's tempo run marked the last speed workout of my training plan before the big day. Looking back at my training log, I noticed that the last 4 speed workouts resulted in:partial failure/mostly quitdid not dokind of bent the rules to allow myself a W, and didn't have because it was the week of the Wild West Relay. Ok, looking back at the training log, maybe wasn't the best idea to boost confidence prior to the run, but it did stir up some passion and fight. Speed workouts used to be my favorite run of the week. When I picked this training plan, I was nervous-scared (in a good way) for the last few speed workouts. I wanted to rock this one.

I joked with my co-worker prior to leaving work that as soon as I got out of my car at my apartment it would start raining (the sky looked gloomy all day). Sure enough, by the time I left my office it was sprinkling, by the time I got home, down pouring. Whatever, I love the rain. Then it magically disappeared. :)

I got started on the run: 7 miles, 5 at tempo pace of 8:13. I usually give myself a +/- 5 seconds, so I had a range of 8:08-8:18.

Warm up mile: 9:39

And then I got in to it. I noticed that when I concentrate on good running form, primarily with lifting my quads more, my paces fall significantly (I experimented with this a bit on the mock half last weekend. Whenever I saw my reflection in little shop windows I looked FAST!) I tried this approach with my tempo miles to see how it'd go.

Mile 1 of tempo: 8:14

Legs felt good, I felt good. Garmin was being DUMB. Seriously, my pace was at 10:30-12:30 on the front when clearly I wasn't running anywhere near that. Luckily my legs found the pace, I guess.

Mile 2 of tempo: 8:14

Um...ok, sweet consistency I guess.

Mile 3 of tempo: 8:11

Alright, someone informed the legs we are over halfway done, they're ready to go.

Mile 4 of tempo: 8:21

My quads got REALLY tight toward the end of this mile, I blame the abrupt downhill portion. At this point I stopped to get a drink of water because I was SO THIRSTY! And ran into a guy I went to college with. He said he'd been trying to catch me for about a mile, but I was cruising. Why yes, please keep stroking my ego..thank you. He asked if he could tag along for the last mile or so. I said yes, and we were off.

Mile 5 of tempo: 7:38!!!

I did NOT mean to run that fast, honestly. Again the watch wasn't showing me correct paces, and I typically slow down when talking with someone while running, so I was trying to push a little extra to compensate. Apparently I didn't need to. I was pretty pumped with the time, and the guy was pretty impressed with our pace. I was even more excited that after nailing 4 tempo miles, I was able to pull this pace out of my back pocket and still not be dead tired.

Final cool down mile: 8:52

Which honestly felt like a 9:30....I love speedwork.

I did the 7 miles in 59:12 for a pace of 8:28. The tempo miles were a pace of 8:07-8:08. WHOO!

Post run Taylor and I had plans to try a new recipe for shrimp fajitas. Chevy's shrimp fajitas are probably my favorite food in the world and this recipe promised to be close. Holy moly,amazingness. They were sooooooooooo good.

On my fajita I had refried beans, a lil sour cream, avocado, tomatoes, green & red peppers,shrimpies, and shredded cheese.
Not sure what I'm doing with my right hand...weird...

This morning I had an easy 6 mile recovery run that didn't feel easy, but I couldn't seem to get my legs to find a more relaxed pace. The strong winds and humidity didn't help. Oh well, I got through them. I did 6 miles in 57:00 for a 9:30 pace.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Training Programs :: Runners as Alcohol :: Alcoholic

I recently realized that half of the run of racing/running/training is to find/create the perfect training program. Since I'm rapidly approaching my half-marathon (September 13th to be exact, 11 days, but who's counting?) I'm starting to think, "What's next?"

Some of you may recall my last 5k being just shy of breaking 24 minutes (24:02 or 24:04 depending on who's watch you are going by :p). This race was done with a strained ab, and prior to doing it, I had a goal of 23:30 if healthy. Well, shocker, but I'd really like to see if I could get that time before the end of the year. Since it'll be snowing buckets probably by mid-October (why do I live in the Midwest again?) I need to get in a race asap-post-half-marathon. Lucky me, there's a race Oct. 10th here in town. I think it might be a small-ish race again, so I would also have a shot at placing, which would maybe give me just the extra push I need for speed. :) (cheesy alert, whoa).

I plugged in my last 5k time or my goal half marathon time, or was it my trial run half marathon time? Who knows it was a couple of days ago.... anyway, here's what Runners World spit out (along with some modifications from me of course). Check out the projected finish time..23:49.  Perfect-o!

What do you think? Dumb of me to want to race a 5k 4 weeks after my half-marathon? Cool as long as I can stay healthy? Stupid to only rest 3 days post-hm? I'm pretty excited about it, to be honest, and it helps to keep me motivated before I have to start training for the Dallas-White Rock Half Marathon which I just registered for!!!! (And purchased my plane ticket yesterday, double whoo!!!)

After going somewhat nutty over the length of this hm training schedule (12 weeks), I'm keeping this next one at 10 weeks. Isn't it magical how that 5k just bridges the gap? Yes yes, it is.

***P.S. The fact that the website shows people running in tanks and shorts in December has me giggling...simply CAN. NOT. WAIT.***

I'm currently revising the HM training schedule that RW spit out for me.  Based on my current mileage, it seems to think that I need to be doing 40+ miles the last few weeks of training.  Also, I'm eliminating the latter mile repeat workouts to sub in some 800 meter or 400 meter repeats.  And for the first time ever, I think I'd like to do a 14 mile long run (hello distance run PR).

Anyway, like I said, half the fun is creating the schedule that's going to get you from Day 1 to Race Day, so I'll probably stretch out the editing process until I have it down to perfection.  I'm excited already and I haven't even ran my September race yet!  :p

Go here for a super sweet yoga mat giveaway.  If you win, you can give it to me because you love me so much.  :)  But seriously, if you do go, let her know that I sent you, so I get an extra shot at winning.