Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Holy MIA Batman

Sorry loves, I have been teetering on the verge of the non-living the last few days.  Monday mid-way through my morning, I started dry heaving in my trash can in my office.  Uh...not cute.  I high-tailed it out of work, and have spent the last 2 days curled up in the fetal position at home.  I couldn't eat and I couldn't drink.  And I'm 99% certain it was from the torturous death march from Saturday.  I didn't exactly treat my body the best on Saturday with refueling with beers instead of water, and I think it just hit me....HARD.  Luckily today, I feel a wee bit better.  This afternoon at work I started to crave a snickers.  That's sheer proof that I'm almost back to normal, no?  And my urine is almost no longer bright neon yellow.... so there's that.  Overshare?  My bad. ;)

The worst part about being sick and not being able to stomach anything is that I can't run.  In the word's of Snooki:  Waaaah.  I go a bit nutty without my running.  Also, I have a 5k this weekend in my hometown that I would like to do well in, but that would probably necessitate some actual running so we'll see.  I plan to do an easy few miles tonight after the ECLIPSE PREMIER and some speed work tomorrow morning.  Then rest up until Saturday.

My co-worker (Twihard partner in crime) got diagnosed with mono tonight, so I had to coerce another friend to come with me.  What's with my friends not having super sweet vamp/werewolf taste?!?!  Are you all Team Jacob or Team Edward?  I was 100% Team Edward when I read the books, but my gawd how can you not convert to Team Jacob when it's Taylor Lautner?  He has my heart. Fo sho.  Give me the man with a tan anyday.  Mmmmm.

Otherwise the last few days have been spent moping/groaning/catching up on crappy reality TV/Gossip Girl/Dear John (to see my #2 man Channing.....mmmmm)/and eating bananas.  Sadly they were the only thing my stomach could handle.  But I would have to throw away the peel asap because the smell of it would make me nauseous as soon as I was done eating it.  Barf.

This is a random ass post, so my apologies.  Gotta go get gussied up for my dream man! ;)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Race Report: Salute to the Troops Half Marathon

Race Goals
(written the night before race day)

The half marathon is my undisputed favorite race distance (with the 5k shortly behind it).  With this Saturday's race, I will have toed the line at 7 half marathons over the past 5 years.  In the past 9 months, I've ran 2 and PR'd in both of them (whoo!).  Without further adieu I would like to discuss race goals for Saturday.

Goal A:  Sub 1:50.  A year ago, I started training for the Sioux Falls Half Marathon for the 5th time in hopes of finally breaking 2 hours.  I ran a 1:54.  I think it'd be pretty neat-o to see a 1:4X next to my name.  To execute I would need to average 8:30 pace for the first 10 miles then 8:15 for the last 5k.  Totally doable.

Goal B:  PR (current PR is 1:53:09/8:39 pace).  Given the weather forecast for Saturday (low 90s, insane humidity, race start of 9AM--idiots), this may actually be the smarter goal for the day.  I would like start the race in the 8:40-8:45 range, and try to negative split the puppy.

Goal C:  Get through the race without being miserable.  Given the race conditions, this might not be possible. But I'm strong and healthy enough to wake up and do something I love. 

Subsequently, I also really want to shoot to win my age group and top 5 for females.  I've only done really big half marathons, so this has never been even a possibility, but it would be stellar to pull off this weekend.  Since I won the 5k they put on last year, it'd be nice to walk away with some hardware this time around as well. ;)  I may have checked out some race times, and there are a couple of girls who have done some higher 1:40 halfs, so it will definitely help to push me towards my goal times to stick with them.

Grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up, this might be long winded loves.  I woke up at 7am and started putzing around my apartment getting ready.  For some reason I had a great night of sleep and none of the normal insane nerves I typically suffer from.  When I woke up, I started to feel the nerves a little bit, but not for the race, instead for the race conditions.  The last I had checked the weather (before bed) it was supposed to be 71 at the start with 90% humidity.  Yes the humidity would suck, but at least it'd be cooler at the start.  Also, it said cloudy.  When I woke up to the sun streaming into my windows, I thought...uh oh.  The weather report had also changed it's tune:  mid 80s at the start with 80+% humidity.  FML.  I was still optimistic at this point, because everyone had to run in the same weather I was running in, so we were all at the same disadvantage.  Still wanted to PR.

I got to the race and quickly learned that no one there knew what was going on.  The people at the check in didn't know where the race started, where the turn around point was, where and how many water stations there would be, etc, etc.  Looking back, this is the point I should've dropped from the half to the 5k.  There was one port a potty.  I was sweating my ass off chilling in the sun waiting for the race to start.  They called us over to the start line AT 9am, and stood us there for 15-20 minutes.  The guy who was giving us the starting directions and doing the timing for the race (there was no chips) is actually the President of the area running club and is no way affiliated with this race.  I believe he was hired by the race to do the "hard part."  With his instructions, he warned us that we needed to be extremely careful because of the conditions and repeated several times to "not go for time today" and to try to enjoy the run.  As soon as he said this, I took it to heart and realized that even if I was in great shape, it could be unsafe to go for a ballsy time goal.

Finally when it couldn't get any hotter out (or so it seems) the race started.  I was all smiles taking off on half marathon #7.  I tried to take the pace at a conservative (or so I thought) 8:40 pace, thinking that maybe I could still eek out a 3 second PR.  I was sitting in about 7th place for women, and was happy with that, judging that 2-3 of them had started to fast and would die out.  My first mile came in at 8:44, and I was pretty happy with that.  It was here that I noticed that the course was already off for mileage.  I started with my foot maybe 6" behind the start line in the second row, and the 1 mile marker was at 1.1 according to my garmin.  I also noticed that the 12 mile marker was on the backside, so I thought maybe the mileage would even itself out somehow around the turn around.
1.  8:44

One mile in and I was soaked.  Literally spraying sweat as I ran, and I was thirsty.  I needed water NOW.  Since no one could divulge the great secret as to where and when the water stops would be or how many, I had started to freak out a little bit.  The part of the bike trail that we were running on is the absolute worst part of the trail.  Runners (and most cyclists) avoid that part of the trail like the plague.  It is ugly, there is no shade, there is no trees in the fields to block any wind, and it just plain sucks.  It is suuuuper flat.  So on a different day (or at a normal start time ie: 6am or 7am) it could've been blazin' fast, instead of just blazing hot.

The next few miles I slowed down a bit and thought about making a sub 2 hour finish my goal.  I trotted along passing a few people who were running out of gas, and prayed for water.  At one point I saw an orange flag in the distance and thought it HAD to be the water stop.  Until it started moving closer to me, and I realized it was a crazy restructured inclined bike with a flag on it.  FML.  I saw my buddy Jeff zoom by us as the first place guy for the 10K and cheered super loud for him.  And at mile 3 there was the glorious water stop.  They were handing out dixie cups.  One dixie cup.  To be exact.  I apologized and said, "Sorry, I need both."  And I really did feel bad because I knew there were people close behind me, and they didn't have a table full of water cups, they were filling them up (2 of them) individually and handing them out.  After two shots of water, I was back out there.

2.  9:06
3.  9:12

And straight in to the wind.  Since the course was just on a field with no tree in sight, the wind was intense.  Since the field of runners was so small, I had no one to tuck down in to.  In hindsight, I should've started to run walk with some sort of strategy here to save myself.  Scratch that, in hindsight I should've said Eff you and quit. :p  At mile 5 I started to lose my hearing which is always a sign to me that I'm getting ready to pass out, so I freaked out a bit and slowed down even more.  This is the first time in a race I thought about a DNF.  The conditions had become scary and without another water station in sight, I didn't know what would happen.  However, I also knew that there was no access to the bike trails from the roads, and there was no one from the race course on bikes to check on the runners to see if they were ok.  So if I did stop, I would just have to walk the 5 miles back to the start anyway.  So I trekked on.  At mile 6.1 there was water stop #2 and also the turnaround.  Um.... 6.1+6.1 does not = 13.1.  I stopped and took a GU, and chugged a lot of water.  And dumped some water on me.  And grabbed too more cups of water to go.  I probably stopped for at least 2-3 minutes but at this point time was no longer relevant and survival was.

4.  9:28
5.  9:52
6.  10:05

I started walking with the guy who was at the water stop with me as we were finishing up the last of our water.  After awhile I left him behind and continued on.  When I came up to the next mile marker (8) and my watch was at 7.1 I knew the course was going to be waaaaaay short.  I praised the Lord for their inability to do math, because I was barely surviving as it was.  However, if it had been a day with good weather, I would've been pissed if I had ran a rockin' race, and then have it be one whole mile short.  I would still count a race as a PR being .1 short or maaaybe even .2, but a whole mile would be another story.  I was doing a major walk run strategy for these next few miles, trying to allow myself only 30 seconds of walking whenever I felt like it (which was a lot because I was effin' zapped).

During one of the many walk breaks, a guy caught up to me and walked for a while and we had Bitch Fest 2010 about the race.  He was actually going for a 1:40 finish so I didn't feel nearly as bad anymore. We walked and jogged and walked and jogged together for awhile.  I was basically counting down to mile 9 and it's glorious H2O that I would consume.  We got there together and sucked down a lot of water.  Hung out there for probably 6 dixie cups of water.  I told the lady on a walky talky that she needed to get someone on a bike to be out on the course with a walky talky because I knew there were a lot of people at the back of the pack and a lot of non-runners out there who would surely be struggling much worse than me.  She never responded to me.  I'm not sure if she was ignoring me or what, but honestly, it's this kind of poor planning that equates to runners getting seriously sick or even dying during races.

7.  11:16 (water stop)
8.  10:20
9.  11:31

My new buddy and I continued on and picked up some more road kill along the way.  She was touting a camelbak and also looked like she was on the verge of death, so that was neat.  Go team road kill!  We walk ran together for awhile until I started to get a cramp so I told them that I would hopefully see them at the finish!

It was close to this time that I saw a florescent orange beacon in the distance.  I started waving my arms and got some energy to run.  JENN!!  She was spectating the race, and was going to watch our friends finish the 5k then the 10k, then she was going to walk/jog along the course to bring me water.  I caught up to her and immediately started walking.  Apparently I said something along the lines of, "My life is effing (not censored in real life) $h!t right now!"  Haha.  Sometimes I tell it like it is, you know?  I told her Goal A was to cross the finish line, and that I was extremely close to my PW which happened when I was 30 lbs. heavier and decided to run a 1/2 after doing maybe 5 training runs over a 3 month span.  Yikes.

Once I found my buddy to talk to, I walked a lot more.  I kind of forgot I was running a race, to be honest, so every once in awhile I'd be like, "Oh hey, maybe I should run for a little bit!"  She told me how our friends did (first in the 5k and first in the 10k! Way to go boys!)  And that everyone looked like trash.  She also said that when the 5k-ers got done there was no water for them.  WTF?  There was an overpass that we were supposed to run up on to get back on the road towards the finish, and of course they all look the same, and I was delirious, and they weren't marked (obviously) so I had to slow way down (meaning stop walking, ha) and ask the dude behind me which one we were to go up on.

Once we did I realized that my good friend Melissa and her two little boys were waiting at the top for me:  TEAM GREEN!!!  YAY.  I had started running moments before since I had realized we were 1/2 mile from the finish, and they all started running with me.  It was pretty stinkin' cute.  I crossed the finish line just shy of my PW (would've been a PW if it had been the full 1/2 distance) and grabbed an ice cold water and started to chug it (probably not the best idea, but it was just so fabulously cold!!!).  I immediately felt like I was going to vomit and tried to decide if I was classy enough to do that in public or not.  :p  I think I finished in 9th for women, but have yet to see the official results.

10.  13:58 (water stop)
11.  13:53
12.  13:45
.15  1:23 (9:26 pace)

12.15 miles in 2:12:39 (10:55 pace)
Just a reminder that my marathon pace was 9:37 for well over twice the distance. :p

I think I finished in 9th for women, but have yet to see the official results.

I was super annoyed, but so happy that my family and friends had come out to cheer me on, and hadn't given up on me when I came in 20+ minutes after I thought I would.  Of course a photo shoot had to occur.

My grandparents and Great Aunt Dee.

Jenn and I were getting ready to take a picture but I started to feel really sick.  Here she's asking me if I'm going to puke, and I'm trying to decide the answer to that question.  FUNNIEST PICTURE EVER.
Jenn & I since I'm not going to puke apparently.
Me and TEAM GREEN!  How stinking cute, yes?

Negatives of the race:
  • 9am start time. This is the time we should've been done.  Better yet, 6am start time because unless you're an idiot you know that it's effin' hot and humid in SoDak AT THE END OF JUNE.
  • 3 water stops.  You've gotta be kidding me. Most races have them every 1 1/2 - 2 and those are the races that start at an intelligent time.  Water stops could've been every mile and that wouldn't have been enough.
  • No one knew what was going on.  I couldn't find anyone to answer my questions about where the race started, what the course was, where the turn around, where and how many water stations where there.  I even sent an email to the "contact" person on the website at the start of the week with the same questions with no response back.
  • The race cost $40 for early bird and $50 for anyone registering late.  That is very expensive for this area.  The major one I do in the fall is only $35.  For $40 we got a crappy cotton t-shirt and water at the finish.  No timing chip, no nice shirt, no food at the finish, no sports drink at the finish.  I've yet to see what they spent their money on.
  • Since no one knew what the race route was, there was zero support on the course.  Not a single spectator to cheer us on.
  • The course was a mile short.  This was fine since I was on the verge of death anyway, but like I said, if I would've been on pace for a 1:50 finish and had to have a PR* distinction for the race I would've been pisssssssssed.
Positives of the race:  
  • I got a nice tan.
  • I got to catch up with Jenn on a leisurely 3 mile walk.
  • I am not sore in the slightest today so my legs should be 100% for my hometown 5k next weekend.
  • I lost so much water weight during the race I was able to see my hip bones for the first time since 2001. :p

My text message response to how the race went pretty much sums up the day, "It was a brutal mind fuck shit show."  Well put, Jerbear.

Editted to add:  Yes, I look sickly in these pics.  I am not making myself sick, that's how dehydrated I was.  Really scary, and I've been eating cookies for the past 24 hours to beef back up. ;) Seriously check out the pre and post photos.  Siiiiick.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Treadmill Tempo Run = Torture

I'm such a wuss.  There.  I said it.  I can not handle the heat (so get out of the kitchen, yes I know!).  Tuesday it was so hot I couldn't focus on life.  My car had enough of the heat (on the 12 minute drive home from work) and decided I didn't need A/C.  So by the time I got home, I was sweating.  Cute.  I marched in to my apartment and grabbed a Snickers ice cream bar.  And then another.  And possibly another.  While hating my oh so hot existance, I might have eating some Doritos and enjoyed some drama aka RHONJ.  All the while not even slightly concerned about my tough ass tempo run that I was to endure later in the evening.

Turns out multiple ice cream bars + doritos do not make for awesome pre-speedwork fuel.  I had 4 miles to do with 3 at 7:54-8:15 pace.  While I was doing my warm up mile, I realized that that pace is kind of tough.  My 5k pace is maybe that's a bit too hard.  I decided to shoot for the lower end of the spectrum since I'm racing this weekend (again... YIPPEE!!) and would like my legs to be fresh as daisies for the event.  Other than being able to feel my ice cream pouch (much cuter visual than gut, right) bounce while I was running, it was a darn good run.  When I was walking on the treadmill after the run, I realized there wasn't a dry spot left on my shirt.  Also, I was rockin' some significant swass.  Yes yes, I realize how hot that is.  Boyfriend applications, send em in! :p  The fact that it was at least 20 degrees cooler in my A/C controlled gym makes me positive I would've died on the side of the trail running outside.  Global warming:  1 Jeri + swass:  0

I did 4 miles in 33:51 for a pace of 8:28.  Tempo pace=8:08.
1. 9:24

2. 8:08
3. 8:10
4. 8:08

Mental note:  Leave the trifecta of ice cream bars for post-runs. (dumb ass)

I also did a super awesome fabulous ab workout after Skinny McPerfect-Abs trotted by my apartment on her run sans shirt.  Two can play at this game, lady! ;)

When I was updating my Race Reports and Results Page I noticed something super exciting!  The last 4 races I've run have all been my PRs in those race distances.  Granted the 5 mile and the marathon were both the first times I've raced those distances, but I've done tons of 5ks and a lot of half marathons.  It's pretty sweet when these things randomly line up like that. :)

In other random-no-one-cares-but-me-statistics, I also realized that I've had car issues before all 3 of my last 3 major races.  Dallas White Rock half marathon = rear ended.  Green Bay Marathon = tire blow out the day before I left.  Beresford 5k = tire blow out en route.  The universe's way of telling me to ditch the car for Miss Polly as transportation?  Probably. :)

Thursday night I had an easy 5 miler planned.  I managed to get next to no sleep on Wednesday night, and was concerned that I may literally die from tiredness, so I opted to shorten it to 3.  I extended an invite to a guy friend who's in town with the disclaimer that I would be running slooooowly, and he agreed.  Yay.  I love running with people.  The run was great, but the humidity made it a little difficult to breathe.  When I checked the humidity levels post-run, I realized they were mild compared to the forecast for Saturday's half marathon.  FML.  I also set a new record:  longest hair brushing post-run post-shower in Jeri history.  I've learned my lesson on a number of occasions to not wear my hair in a straight pony if I'm planning on sweating (which is 100% of the time) or if the humidity level is over 50%.  Smart me used my brain and braided my hair up and thought I was good to go.  When I looked in the mirror after the run, I realized that my braid had swelled to 3 times its normal width.  No idea how that happened, but my scalp still hurts, and it's a good thing I have a ton of hair, because I ripped out at least 1/2 of it last night. :(

I'm running a half marathon tomorrow.  And if you follow me on twitter you're aware it's going to be a shit show.  9am start time (because they want us to die apparently) 77 degrees at start w/77% humidity, and it's only getting warmer.  Hold me.  But seriously, don't.  Because we'll be so sweaty it'll be awkward.

Check out Beth's giveaway.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Post-Race Fun + Hottttt Runs

I was feeling overly optimistic about how my hip would feel during last Saturday's 5k, and decided a recovery run with my new running buddy Jenn was in order for Sunday.

Me:  Do you have a recovery run scheduled for Sunday?
Jenn:  Ugh no.  Rest.  Let's get drunk Saturday afternoon.
Me:  I'm in.  Wild Water West has a swim up bar and my fave beer on tap.

And so it was.  We took a bunch of pictures, but Jenn is holding them hostage, so this one will have to do.  Sun + running buddy - running = darn good day (and night, but who's counting).

Sunday I got out for an easy 3 miler and almost died of heat stroke.  Even if you're only doing an easy/slow/recovery/short distance, it's still not smart to go at 5pm....with a hangover.  Just a little FYI there.  Somehow the run did seem to cure my hangover.  Riddle me that one.

  I did 3 miles in 29:05 for a pace of 9:42.  My right IT band was mighty tight until about 1/2 of a mile in, and then seemed to be pretty a-ok.

Monday I had an easy 5-6 miles on the schedule.  Walking out of my apartment, I felt like I was being wrapped in a giant warm and damp washcloth.  Awesome.  I immediately talked myself into the 5 miles.  Once I got running I decided I'd do the 6.  I took the run really easy.  I stopped for a sip of water to combat the 14 gallons of sweat I had already gone through at mile 2, and when I started up again there was a gal in front of me, running a little slower than me.  Whenever I'd get close to her, she'd hustle to get further ahead of me.  When I finally was ready to pass her again, she had to run step for step with me.  It was bizarre.  After I did pass her, she fell way behind me.  No shame in getting passed when you're on a run people.  It's noooo big deal.

Anywho, during mile 4, I started seeing all of these guys flyyyyyy past me and wondered what the heck was going on.  Until I realized they had bibs on.  And then I saw Joseph.  And then I realized that it was the Monday night 5k.  It was pretty entertaining when a couple of them that passed me, looked to see if I had a bib on because they didn't want to be getting beat by a girl.  Heh heh.  The last 2 miles of the run I was s-t-r-u-g-g-l-i-n-g.  I was sooo hot and soooo dehydrated.  I honestly don't know how those guys were hauling booty like they were in that heat.  Stronger runners than I am for sure.

I did 6 miles in 56:22 for a pace of 9:24.
1.  9:43
2.  9:21
3.  8:39
4.  9:12
5.  9:44
6.  9:40

Wanna guess which mile I was faux racing?  Ha.  Funny that 9:12 mile after it felt slow, and miles 5 and 6 felt like the most difficult miles of my life.  So that's neat.
My mom called me after one of her walks this week and was complaining about how buggy it is outside.  (We've gotten a poop ton of rain lately, so the bugs are insane, especially back home where they don't spray for mosquitoes.)  She wanted to know how I didn't get eaten alive while I run.
Me:  Mother you've seen me after races, right?
Mom:  Well ya...
Me:  The bugs don't stand a chance.  They drown on impact!
And then I had to send her the picture from a few posts back where I had ~47 dead/drown gnats on my chest and neck.  Seksi. ;)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beresford 125th Celebration 5k

Pre-Race Goals
(goals written pre-race)
*Run a pain free race.  This is honestly the only goal I truly care about.  If I have no hip pain, I know the time goals are 100% possible.

A) 22:xx  Danielle and I both have a goal to hit in the 22's for the summer on a 5k.  Why not do it out of the gate right?  I know it's possible for me to get this time, I honestly don't know if it's possible in this race given the little speed work I was able to do post marathon pre-hip pain.  We'll see!

B)  23:30  After reading through my race report from my PR race from last summer (yes my PR is almost a year old, no fun!) I was shooting for this time (7:30 pace), for that race.  Since I didn't get it, why not shoot for it!

C) Sub 24.  My current PR is 24:02.  So. Darn. Close. I'd like to say adios to the 24's.

D) Place in the top 10 for women, and top 3 for my age group.  If the field is as slim as last year, top 5 for women, and win my age group.  Winners of age groups get gift certificates to my favorite running store in town...uh score!


I woke up early on Saturday morning knowing I had to go to the grocery store to by my pre-race banana, and get picture frames to complete gifts to my parents.  Since the race wasn't until 10:30am, I had a ton of time.  After getting all of my errands done, I headed down south to the race (about 40 miles away).  Roughly about halfway there my car started shaking uncontrollably and making a horrible sound, so I pulled over to the side of the interstate.  I also started to smell burnt rubber, so I had a feeling I knew what was going on.  Holy blown tire Batman!  It was seriously shredded.  I'm not sure if I ran something over, or what, but that puppy was destroyed.  Of course I started freaking out, because I don't know how to change a tire.  Now, I know if I *had* to do it, I could.  The time frame for completion would be hours.  At least.  So I did the logical thing:  started flagging down help.  Thank God that I chose to wear the electric green shirt, right?

Luckily a guy and his family pulled over, and he got to work helping me change my tire changing my tire.  I paid insanely good attention, so next time it will not be as big of a crisis.  After he got my spare tire on there, and lowered the car back down, we realized that the spare was very very low.  As in, too low to drive on.  So Mr. Savior jacked the car back up, put my tire in his vehicle, and drove it to the nearest gas station (probably 10 miles away) to fill up with air.  Meanwhile I'm tweeting like a fool, and text Jenn to not bother to come to my race because I'm stuck on the side of the road and am not sure if I'm going to make it.  She had ran a 10k at 8am in Iowa, and was going to trek to Beresford to watch me run before we started our day of post-run awesomeness.  I told her where I was, and it was at that moment that she crossed the Iowa/SoDak border and realized she was just north of me.  We decided she'd come get me, and we'd leave my car on the interstate to pick up later.  Super nice dude came back, put my tire on, I professed my undying thanks to him and he left.  And I chilled in my car waiting for Savior #2.  After Jenn got there, we hauled ass to get to my race so I would have time to stretch.  (I had left ridiculously early for the race so I could stretch TONS to hopefully make the hips feel a-ok.)  Somehow we still got to the packet pick up with 30 minutes to stretch and get ready for the race!  Yay.

The race was super small, and looking at the competition there were a few young pups (aka skinny HS XC b's :P).  I taught my dad how to use my digital camera 15 minutes before the race, so I had double the paparazzi as normal.  Whoo!  We started off and there were about 5 guys ahead of me and one girl.  I was thrilled that my hip did not hurt at all.  Thrilled and shocked, but I'll go with it (because I was up so early, I did an awesome yoga for runners podcast I've been trying to do regularly that emphasizes stretching the hips, and I think it's working, hurrah!).  About half of a mile into the race a girl that was about one step behind me, starting running along side of me.

Mile 1 7:24

I got to mile 1 on pace for Goal A but knew I didn't have it in me to keep that up for another 2.1 miles.  At this point I was about 15-20 seconds behind the first place girl, and another youngster and dude passed me and the other chica by.  I told the girl running with me, that she couldn't let that chick beat her, so she sped up.  Hah.  Don't leave me!  The middle mile was pretty wide open, and without anyone around it was a smidge windy.  I tried to just focus on my stride and keep pushing.  I glanced at my garminPop's photographing me in the background.)

Mile 2 8:02

Poop nuggets.  After analyzing my last 3 5k's, I noticed that I always run over 8 minutes for my 2nd mile, and was really shooting to run under that for this race.  At least I was barely over.  The third mile Jenn was there waiting for me, and was going to try to push me to keep going strong.  She put herself just a ways in front of me to push me, and I was dead freakin' tired.  There was times I just wanted to quit the race and claim that my hip hurt.  I forgot how bad 5ks hurt!  Holy crap.  I kept pushing, and trying to figure out if I could catch the chica in front of me or not.  When we got to the 1/4 mile mark Jenn yelled out that I needed to use my sprinter skills and kick it in (or something to that effect!).  I pushed it as hard as I could into the finish.

Mile 3 7:53
.1  :35 (6:48 pace)

5k in 23:55 for a pace of 7:43.

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I stopped my watch, glanced at it, and yelled out a YIPPEE (seriously.... I'm the biggest dork evah!).  A PR by the skin of my teeth is still a PR in my book.  :)  So a review of the goals, Goal C:  check!  PR for the day.  I finished 9th place overall, 4th place female, and 1st place in my age group (20-29).  Goal D:  check!  And most importantly I was pain free.  Mega Goal:  Check!  My cardio level definitely struggled in this race.  Looking at my training, I've only had about 2 weeks (once you take out all the rest days for semi-injury) of training post-marathon, so I shouldn't expect my body to be in speed work shape.  But I love that it gives me a goal to keep working toward, because 22:xx will happen this summer, yo.  Hopefully this will only be my PR for a couple of weeks!!

Post race we had a photo shoot, obviously.

Absolutely super fans:  my parents.  I was bummed.  I bought them bright green TEAM GREEN shirts that I was giving them for Father's Day/madre's birthday, and they didn't come in quick enough. :( Good thing I race a lot, they'll still get some use out of em. ;)  They were at 4 different place along the course route, and in a 5k that is legit, let me tell you!  Love that they support me as much as they do. :D

And Miss Jenn who saved me in a thousand ways before 11am.  Impressive fo sho.  Love her.  She rocked her 10k btw, but I don't want to steal her thunder, so you'll have to check out her blog for her report. :p

Post race, off to pick my car up off the side of the interstate and then enjoy some sun and Skinny Dip beers at the waterpark.  I heart race days. :D

Friday, June 18, 2010

Cruisin' with Miss Polly + Crafty Mo Fo

Thursday I had plans to hit the gym for some stationary bike-age, until I realized that I should hit the bike trails with Miss Polly instead.  Duh!  I was short on daylight, so I tried to go at a quicker clip than normal - HA!  There is no such thing as quick on this puppy.  Although, at one point, I was creeping up on a young guy on a mountain bike, and as soon as he saw me he promptly started to haul ass to keep me from catching up to him.  I did manage to pass 3 people biking, so I'm not the slowest person on the trail (ok, maybe I am and they were just humoring me, which is totally fine if that's the case).  Also, every time I get on my bike I'm half tempted to put on a cutesy sundress and put flowers in my hair.  Polly just brings up the inner girly girl in me I guess.  So random.  I ended up biking 10 miles in 56 minutes, for an insanely slow 10.7 mph.  Look out Lance I'm coming for you!

After the bike ride, I meant to do yoga, but it was closely creeping up on 10pm, and I still hadn't had dinner.  Horrible habit I'm getting in to.  When I got home from my bike ride, I tore in to the pictures I had gotten in the mail from Shutterfly.  Ooooooh race photos, random Green Bay photos, and pics of my adorable nephew from my work trip to Dallas.  I think this photo is adorable and thought the black and white version would compliment this frame perfectly.  When I first saw this as a DIY project, I knew I had to make it.  You can't tell from afar, but it's actually a mosaic created out of different shapes of credit cards/debit cards/gift cards!  For those of you who don't know, I'm a credit counselor, so I deal with people's finances and particularly credit card debt on a daily basis.  I've been wanting to have the perfect picture to take this to work.  Thanks H-Bomb!  But seriously he's sooooooo cute, right?

To make the frame:  collect 10-15 expired debit cards/expired credit cards/gift cards/promo credit cards you get in the mail.  Tip:  Before the holidays, ask your co-workers to save their gift cards after they've used them.  Someone getting hitched or knocked up in the office?  Ditto.  Next spend 1100 hours cutting up cards until your fingers have the scissor marks imprinted in them.  Use mod podge to glue them down in whatever manner is aesthetically pleasing to you.  Realize you haven't cut up nearly enough cards.  Spend another 1100 hours cutting.  Put the project aside for two months (seriously, I did).  Finish up on a rainy day.

It's fun because you could use different color schemes if you were super patient about collecting the cards to use.  You could actually plot out a specific color pattern.  Either of these options will likely add years to the project completion time, so it's best to not even think about doing them.  But whatever.

And thus concludes craft time with Jerbear.

5k on Saturday!  PR or BUST.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bah Hum Bug

[Crickets chirping]

Sorry for my absence but I hate writing when I'm crabby, and crabby I have been.  After my long run on Sunday, my left hip ended up hurting a lot.  And I was annoyed.  It's a weird sort of pain because it's not pain per se but a random dull ache.  I had to take some ibuprofen to get it to shut up so I could sleep on Sunday.  GRRR!

Luckily Monday was an off day, since I tend to chill the day after long runs to let my body recover.  I
did my ab workout (yay for me for being back on track with Operation: Alba Abs btw) and decided to try Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred.  I know everyone and their dog has done this workout already, but it was my first.  I stuck with the Level 1 because I'm not much of a strength trainer.  As you may remember from my new years resolutions, one of them was to strength train once this year.  That's how ambitious that is. ;)  I actually really enjoyed the workout.  For anyone who hasn't done it (and yes, I hope that rock you live under is everything you hoped it would be) there are 3 Levels of 20 minute workouts.  Each 20 minute workout consists of 3 minutes of strength training + 2 minutes of cardio + 1 minute abs x 3.  Yes, I realize that equals 18 minutes.  I imagine they're counting the warm up and cooldown to get the 20 minutes.

I was actually pretty impressed by how well Level 1 got my heart rate up.  I would imagine this would be a tough workout for someone who's not in very good shape.  And I can only imagine what Level 2 & 3 are like.  Since I don't strength train (as we've established) I don't have weights, so I used water bottles.  It actually worked perfect.  My co-worker said she did it with 5 lb weights and almost died.

Tuesday I decided to do an easy run instead of the speedwork I had planned.  The weather was gorgeous.  It has been so rainy and cruddy out, that I was literally driving home from work all smily and excited to run.  It didn't take too long for the smile to wipe off my face.  Holy hellacious run.  First of all, I ate crap all day Tuesday.  We had a potluck at work, so of course I ate garbage.  Ugh.  My hips didn't hurt, but they didn't feel awesome either.  They felt stiff and I know my stride was short and choppy because of it.  I kept the pace slow deliberately but many times throughout the run I almost convinced myself to stop and just walk home.

During the run, I decided that on Saturday I would not be running the one mile race :'( and would only be doing the 5k.  I was so excited to do the one mile, but I know that speed work has been a contributing factor in my hip problems, and there's no use hurting myself in the mile and not even getting to try the 5k.  I also decided I'd be taking the rest of the week off and hoping for the best on Saturday.

I did 6 miles in 58:18 for a pace of 9:43.

In more exciting news, I got to attend one of our local baseball team's games after the craptastic run.  I have now watched more Canaries Pheasants baseball this season than every other season combined (with two viewings this year, ha).  Dedicated fan fo sho. ;)  I'm also close to breaking my record for total games seen of any baseball team in my lifetime.  So there's that.  I would have a bunch of super sweet pictures, but apparently some folks are anti-photos.  I seriously need to start hanging with people that aren't so lame.  Heh heh...just kidding.... kind of.

I had a small epiphany this evening while doing a life changing yoga podcast for runners.  I've been so bummed out about not being able to run to my potential because of my hips, but it's not the end of the world (insert duh here).  But honestly, I didn't get hurt during marathon training.  I didn't get injured while running a marathon.  Having some fairly minor hip problems post-marathon while training for some "for fun" 5ks is not the end of the world.  If I have to stop training for the next 3 weeks and only race on Saturdays (yes I have races for the next 3 Saturdays), it won't kill me.  My next primary race isn't until mid-September which gives me PLENTY of time to get healthy and get fast. ;)  So peace out funky attitude.

And so I will leave you with some funny convos from a family lunch from this weekend.  1st my Dad and I sitting on the couch.

Me:  Dad check out my gross toenails!
Dad:  Yeah, your mom had mentioned that you were "losing some of them"?  Is that normal?  Have you talked to other people about that?  That's seriously something that happens to runners?  And they'll be ok?  And they just "fall off"?  Huh.......
Me:  Yup.

Gotta love the super protective Dad, right?

And later on, my Mom was asking me questions about my love life, because she likes to be nosy like that.  She was asking about some ex's and where I was at with them in terms of being friends/still hanging out/cutting them out of my life etc.  She brought up a certain ex, whom I said I wasn't sure if we were going to be friends or not, expressing her distaste in him based on the demise of the relationship and my Grandma piped up with, "They never pick the ones you want them to end up with!"

To which my Dad and Uncle just started cracking up because apparently she wasn't super fond of my Dad in the beginning.  I swear I had tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard.  Grandma's flexible (and must have flexible hips too!)....she can put her foot in her mouth quite easily. ;)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Peace Out Hip Pain

Saturday I woke up and wanted nothing more than to head out for a long run.  Honestly, what did I do on Saturdays before long runs entered my life????  I couldn't tell you.  After some twitter friends told me to take another rest day (jerks! jk.), I decided to listen.  If I'm not able to run, what's the next best thing?  Shopping for running stuff.  I headed to TJ Maxx and found 2 new shirts for $10!  They are the exact same as my pink shirt I wore for the marathon, which I looooooove.  Check out that obnoxious green.  TEAM GREEN fo sho!  I also found a New Balance shirt similar to the race shirt I got from the Dallas White Rock 1/2 marathon.  If you guys knew how much I "recycled" running shirts without washing, you would probably unfollow my blog, and unfriend me in real life (I have the smelly kid in class?!?  How did I not know he was the smelly kid in class?!?!)  I'm hoping that the addition of great running shirts will help out my cause.  :)

After some time shopping, I headed to the gym to get in some time on the stationary bike.  I did 60 minutes of rolling hills on a fairly easy setting for 12.15 miles.  No hip pain, but some pain in the lower booty/upper hamstring.  Uff da!  Apparently those muscles aren't used in running!  After I got done, and stretched really well, I decided to hop on the treadmill just to see how my hip felt.  It has been tight for the last few days, but none of the pain that I had on Tuesday.

When I first got going my legs were d-e-a-d.  Hey look at me!  I'm doing my first legit brick!! ;)  No hip pain, but my hip did feel a little tight, presumably from the hip strengthening exercises I've been doing all week.  After a half mile my legs finally loosened up, and the last 1/2 mile was enjoyable.  I decided not to press my luck and call it good at one mile.  1 mile in 9:40.

Saturday night I had one of the coolest drinks ever.  I may have been quoted as saying, "This is the most fun that's gone on in my mouth in awhile!"  It was a pomegranite/passion fruit martini.  And the glass was rimmed with pineapple flavored Pop Rocks.  Now hold on to your seats folks:  I have never had Pop Rocks.  No joke.  I was seriously freaking out.  Everyone at the bar was so entertained that the bartender gave me a spoonful of the Pop Rocks to enjoy.  Craziness.  And how beautiful??  Yum yum.

After an evening of proper fueling and hydration, I was up with the sun to take on my long run with miss Jenn!  We've been friends for about a month now, so I was pretty stoked to actually start our Run-mance.  Yes, I came up with that on my own.  And I think it's 100% clever and witty.

She had warned me that she was to do her long run within a certain heart rate range, and I was a-ok with that, since I know I should be running my long runs at a slower pace than I typically do.  We started off the run and were immediately soaked.  That 96% humidity?  It wasn't kidding.  Luckily it was only mid-60s out or I would've died.

After not running with anyone in almost a year, I was shocked how hard it was to talk and run.  I was freaked out at first thinking that I had lost that much fitness since taking off 4 days, but luckily it didn't take too long to get into the groove.

There were a ton of flooded spots on the trail.  Some were so bad that we had to off road it onto a super muddy path, and other parts where we had to run through some seriously water logged grass.  Alright rain, I get the picture!

The best news about the run = no hip pain.  It definitely helped that we were taking the pace nice and slow, and I think the 4 days of rest did my hips some good.  At times they felt somewhat tight, but no pain.  At mile 11, it was time to bid Jenn adieu, but not before taking a ridiculous sweaty picture.  Please keep in mind the humidity levels as well as the rain for the last few miles.  Some how she still manages to look cute.  Whatev.  I much prefer the drowned rat look. ;)  Next time, perhaps we should take a before picture????  Heh heh.  Also, I wish we would've taken a before and after picture of my ponytail.  When we left, it was a sleek and super straight pony (from the night before, I don't do my hair before runs, trust!).  My hair grew exponentially based on the amount of miles we ran.  Mental note:  When humidity is 65%+ go with the braids yo!

After saying buh bye to Jenn, I took off for the remaining 3 miles on my own.  I was supposed to pick up to half marathon race pace (8:15-8:23) but the extra speed plus extremely hilly route made my hips not so happy.  Interesting enough, my left hip was the one that gave me some trouble during the final 3 miles.  Luckily it was just uncomfortable and not painful.  I'll just keep stretching, rolling, and strengthening and I should be a-ok!

I did 14 miles in 2:19:04 for a pace of 9:56.
1. 10:26
2. 10:25
3. 10:10
4. 10:20
5. 10:03
6. 10:06
7. 9:56
8. 10:13
9. 9:49
10: 10:28
11. 9:20
12. 9:17
13. 9:19
14. 9:17

We had a family lunch at my grandparents post-run, and my mom mentioned that she was considering training for and doing our hometown 5k and surprising me, but was disappointed to see the couch to 5k was 9 weeks long, and she'd only have 3 weeks to prepare.  Every year after I do the Sioux Falls 1/2 marathon, she always says that she'd like to walk it someday, so I brought up that as an option.  Of course I've spent the afternoon learning a bunch about the Galway walk/run program, and shooting off emails to her. :)

She walks 3-4 miles regularly right now, and has been jogging briefly while doing it for the last few weeks.  I think she could totally do it.  If anyone has any suggestions for her (particularly those that do the walk-run programs) please weigh in.  My mom is not the athletic type at all, so it would be such a HUGE accomplishment for her, and I know she'd be soooooooo proud of herself.  Her one concern about doing it is that I wouldn't have my normal fan club to cheer me on and take pictures.  Oh mothers... :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010


You know that all of my happy posts had to lead up to a bummer one, right?  I think I might've tweaked my hip a bit.  During my speed work out from yesterday I had some hip pain, but it wasn't too bad.  All day Wednesday, my hip felt like it was popping out of place as I was walking around.  I decided to see how it'd fair on a run (because I'm dumb?).

Since I was in Chamberlain (which is gorgeous, btw) I brought my camera along to take some shots.  After about the first half mile, my hip starting hurting a lot.  I ended up running a mile and walking the remaining 1/2 mile home.  For most of the running and walking I had my hand on my hip to keep it from popping.  As soon as I got back to the hotel, I grabbed a bag of ice and started googling.  It seems to be stemming from my IT band issues from post-marathon and recommended some hip adductor strengthening exercises.  I'll be taking tomorrow off, and probably Friday, and hopefully back to normal by Saturday.  I'm running 2 races next weekend, so I definitely want that puppy at 100%!

It's interesting, because I actually had this issue in track in 7th grade, and the doctor was never able to tell me what it was.  Then as a sophomore I majorly pulled my right quad coming out of the blocks in the 100 m dash.  More recently I realized that it was actually my IT band, so it make sense that my hips would be to blame yet again.  I shall live. :)

Thursday I decided to take out Miss Polly provided biking didn't hurt my hip, for a little stroll.  One of my buddies who's a big (big = way better and more legit) biker, offered to come with me.  Somehow a bike ride to him means biking to a bar downtown for a beer.  I could get used to cycling! ;)  Luckily my hip stayed in tact and didn't bother me unless I stood up to peddle (which I did maybe once).  We managed to go 16 miles, which is quite the feat on my one speed bike.  Heh heh.  He also refused to let me bring my camera because (and I quote), "I do not want to end up on your blog!"  Well, aren't you a lame friend. :P  Of course we ended up seeing a ton of hot air balloons which would've been fun to photograph--next time I won't be so accommodating. ;)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Very Special Date

......with the track.  Duh!  As I have mentioned before, I loooooved track back in the day.  I decided to break down and find a track to do my speedwork on for my workout Monday.  I've done some searching in the past, and everything within running distance is locked up tight.  I finally got the head's up from Joseph that there was a 4 lane track near-ish to where I lived.  Heck ya!  The funny thing is, I used to run by this track everyday when I first started running (it was on my regular running route) and always thought it was locked up tight.  Nada.

I had 5 miles to do with a one mile warm up and 8 x 400, with recovery jogs of 400 m. in between.  My goal pace for the 400's were 1:42-1:48 (6:48-7:12).  The weather was GORGEOUS.  We're talking low 60's, barely any humidity, crazy overcast, and a slight breeze.  This would've been perfect track meet weather back in the day. ;)  [btw, just went to insert a pic from high school track here for nostalgia sake and realized that facebook deleted the album of random HS pics.  A-holes. :(]

I did a nice warm up mile on the track, and quickly remembered why I hated running distance in track.  You want me to run how many laps?!?!?!  Haha, ok not quite that bad, but I definitely preferred to run 1/4 of the track or 1/2 of the track vs. 4 laps.  ;)  After the warm up I stretched really well and then got ready for some speed!

I started out a bit too fast on the first repeat, but didn't fade too much.  After the first couple of 400's, I felt the pace pretty easily and stopped looking at the pace on my Garmin altogether.  It's so much easier to get into a groove pace-wise when you're going fast.  After the 4th 400 I took a quick water break for a sip.  On #5 there was a guy who started 150-175 m. ahead of me, that I decided to chase down.  Heh, competitive little B.  The last lap I ran a really hard final 150 to see how fast I could get it done in.

I finished the 5 miles in 42:24 for a pace of 8:29.  My avg. pace for 400 was 1:40.  Maybe I'll move my goal pace up a little bit next time I do these. ;)

Recovery1 Mi9:379:379:37
Interval0.25 Mi1:3911:166:36
Recovery0.25 Mi2:2013:369:20
Interval0.25 Mi1:4215:186:48
Recovery0.25 Mi2:2517:439:40
Interval0.25 Mi1:4119:246:44
Recovery0.25 Mi2:2921:539:56
Interval0.25 Mi1:4823:417:12
Recovery0.25 Mi2:2626:079:44
Interval0.25 Mi1:3727:446:28
Recovery0.25 Mi2:2130:059:24
Interval0.25 Mi1:3931:446:36
Recovery0.25 Mi2:2834:129:52
Interval0.25 Mi1:4135:536:44
Recovery0.25 Mi2:3338:2610:12
Interval0.25 Mi1:3339:596:12
Recovery0.25 Mi2:2542:249:40

I really wanted to take some sweet pictures of my new love, but there were quite a few people walking/jogging/rollerblading w/their dogs (wtf?), so I felt silly.  Good thing I see there being many many more dates to come!

The best part of the track is that it's totally bike-able distance from my apartment, just not tonight as I a Mexican food date with one of my best guy friends from college.  I think I'm in looooooooooove.*

*With the track, for clarification purposes. ;)