Monday, December 31, 2012

A Look Back at 2012

2012 was a pretty awesome year.  I finished 6 classes towards my MLIS, ran a few races, race a few miles, traveled a few times, and spent a lot of time and love on my pug child.  Here's a look back through the year since I really left this blog neglected this year.

In January I rang in the new year with Kyle and some of his close friends.

February Kyle and I went to Minneapolis for a belated anniversary trip and Valentine's Day celebration.  Apparently zero photos were taken.  That's cool.

In March I decided to throw in the towel on training for the Brookings Marathon.  MLIS spring semester I, you win.  Decision had nothing to do with a 20 miler being scheduled on St. Patty's Day (yes it did).

May brought back to back race weekends and lots of runner BFF time with Megan and Jenn.  I ran the Brookings half marathon

followed shortly by the Green Bay half marathon.  Oh hai Laura.


The end of May I said goodbye to my lovely (tiny) one bedroom, and hello to a decent sized two bedroom, and cohabitation with Kyle.  And then came the addition of the love of my life, Ollie girl.

June, July and most of August saw me fall off the running wagon HARD as I sweated just thinking about putting on my running shoes.  And I learned the brutalness that is summer MLIS courses--one month long, 2 nights a week, 4 hours and 15 minutes a night.  Enter fastest summer of my life.

The end of June I rode my first ever half century.  It was fun slash hard slash super hot and humid.  Also, there was beer.

July brought back my favorite Jenn and some much needed sun and fun.  And sadly no adorable pictures.



July also took me to Mpls to celebrate Amanda's bachelorette party.


In August, I gave my notice at my job as a credit counselor and accepted a position as a library assistant at my alma mater.  Goooooooo VIKES!




And then I helped my old roomie celebrate her wedding.



 My eighth consecutive Sioux Falls Half Marathon happened in September.


And I met Scott Jurek.  Squeeeeeeeee!


Ollie attended her first ever Pug-O-Ween and took 3rd place in the costume contest as a ChiaPug.




And Megan and I traveled to San Francisco for the Nike Women's Marathon.  Thank goodness we had the best time ever, because the race was so not fun.



December reunited me with my favorite nephew, Harrison, and I also got to meet his beautiful little sister Harper.

While I was in Dallas, I toed the line of the Dallas Half Marathon (already sweating before the gun shot) with Dominique (long time blog buddy, first weekend meeting), my sister in law Toni (who ran her first half marathon!), and Shannon (Wild West Relay buddy who dominated the full!).



And then Kyle and I packed up the car and headed south to Kansas City to spend the weekend with his BFF and fiance.  Too much fun was had.


We celebrated Christmas with our families, and Ollie got spoiled rotten, just as it should be.




The end of the month saw me entering the last year in my 20s, but I have to say that 28 was one of the best years yet, and I can't wait to see what 29 will bring.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2013 Plan

As I've mentioned on here before, I'm VERY type A, plan in advance, hyper-in-control, Jerbear.  Turns out the amount of time required for grad school success + lingering injuries = suuuuuuuuuuuuckiness.  I love to plan races eons in advance, but that's not something I can do until I'm completely healthy and am able to devote the amount of time I find necessary to race at a quality level (aka somewhere near a PR).

I've been thinking a lot about what's next for my little legs, but it's hard to plan with these unknown (or I guess in some case, known) variables.  For spring 2013 I have decided that I won't be training for a marathon.  For the first time since 2009.  Whoa.  Granted, I didn't run a marathon in spring 2012, but I did spend a good 8 weeks training for one.  Hah, oops.


As mentioned in my previous post, I'm amped that I finally figured out what's wrong with me.  To shed more light on the subject--uber tight hip flexors and weak as shiz glutes.  My plan for much of January to May is to gradually build up my mileage, work on my speed (<--speed, what's that?  I currently haz none), and stretch and strengthen.  Until I'm done with school, training for a marathon is not feasible.  I was able to luck out with Philly last fall, because I had an incredible base going in to marathon training, and only had to actually TRAIN for 6 weeks before I tapered.  Will I run a marathon in 2013?  Meh.. I don't know.  Maybe.  I wouldn't put it past me.  But I sure as heck won't be training for it until I'm done with school.  August 3rd.  Who's counting?

I've found local-ish half marathons for January, March, April and May and am tentatively planning to have the March and May races be "goal" races depending on how quickly I'm able to get back on track.    I won't pull the trigger on a 26.2 race registration fee unless I'm soooo jealous of all of your 3 hour long runs (not likely), even if Jenn and Megan plan a BFFF race weekend and beg me to come (ok, I would have to think very hard about passing this up, let's be honest.  Someone just remind me of limping through NWM, k?).

I also want to get back in to yoga.  I can attend a free yoga class weekly at work, and I'd like to continue to keep that in my schedule.  Megan and I are planning a 30 day yoga challenge post-Dallas which includes some at home classes and meditation, and some meet ups at local yoga studios.


Hip flexor stretches, glute strengthening and ab work (apparently it helps keep your hips in alignment, so maybe I should focus on that instead of wanting Jessica Alba Abs, harumph) will be high on my priority list.

Falling back in love with running is priority one, but I realize that being able to run uninjured is at the root of my frustration.  Some goal-less, watch-less, runs are definitely in the cards as are lots of buddy runs.  Running buddies... hit me up!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Race Report: Dallas Half Marathon

The week leading up to the Dallas half I was a little nervous.  My long run the weekend before left me limping my way through the last 6 miles of 14.  Not exactly "peak" training.  I erred on the side of caution and ran zero the week of the race.

Toni and I woke up super early and made our way downtown to the race start.  When we left the house at 5:15 it was already 70 degrees.  Gulp.  That's about 40 degrees warmer than I've been running in the last few months.  And it was humid.  Eew.  We made our way to the start without a hitch and found Dominique.  We had planned to try to run together since we were both shooting for a 2:05 finish.


I said goodbye and good luck to my sister in law, and Dom and I made our way to the elite corral.  Jk, but we were in corral A which made us feel faaaaaaaaast.  While we were waiting in our corral, I heard a guy say my city and my head whipped around and I demanded to know if he was from here too.  Craziness and super small world.

The race started and we ran through the confetti to the start line.  I mega heart love the Dallas race start. Confetti is sweet.  I tried to snag a piece of the confetti to save (it was in the shape of Texas, how cool!) but they quickly realized it would disintegrate as it was paper mache.

We started and the first couple of miles were really congested.  And somewhat hilly (super hilly compared to what I'm used to, but I knew there'd be some rollers).  Within about a mile and a half I made Dominique ditch me, as my heart rate was sky high and we were only running 9:40s (her goal pace was 9:30, 6 months after having a baby.  NBD.)  She asked me a trillion times if I was okay with her leaving, and I was.  She was looking so bouncy and full of energy, and I looked like I was at the end of a race, soaked with sweat.  Hawt.

Soon after she left, my SF buddy came running up behind me.  He was running the full and was originally planning to break 4 hours.  He said he knew already that was out of the picture.  And then it was time for him to leave too.  Bai friends.

The first 3-4 miles I was REALLY nervous that my hip flexor was going to lock up again.  Because of the rolling hills, I was really freaking out.  Uphills tighten my hip flexor, downhills aggravate my IT band, and 95% of the course were rolling hills.  However, it was the perfect amount of variety for a "normal" runner, and I'd definitely recommend it.

Once I got past the first 45 minutes or so, I realized that my hip was going to cooperate, and I got really excited.  I knew I wasn't going to run a fast time by any means, but I was beyond thankful that I wasn't going to be running in the horrendous pain from the weekend before.  I soaked up the energy, chatted up random strangers, yelled and screamed for Dominique and Toni when I saw them on the out and back portions, and just enjoyed myself.

I finished half marathon #17 in my 17th slowest time.

But my first time making an appearance on television coming up on the finish line, so I guess that's a win?


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Welp It's December Already

Well hello there dearly neglected blog.  It has been 4 months since I have written words.  Well, words that relate to running in a published bloggy format.  I've done PLENTY of writing for school.

I just wrapped up my last class of the semester, turned in my final project, a portfolio, and gave a presentation.  One small 2 page final essay paper stands between me and Christmas vacation.  But before I give that essay a minute of thought, I will be jetting off to Dallas to MEET my baby niece Harper, and snuggle with my nephew Harrison on Friday.  Yes, my niece and nephew are cuter than yours, deal with it.

While there I will be running the Dallas half marathon (previously the Dallas White Rock) and yes I said half instead of the full.  That would be marathon #2 of the year that turned in to a half marathon.

After NWM, which I failed to do a race recap for because a) it blew and b) see a, I was battling continued injuries.  I ended up tweaking my knee the week before NWM, causing me to limp around work and home until Thursday when icing and rolling seemed to finally cause some relief.  Needless to say, when an injury appears in MILE TWO of a 26.2 race, it's going to be a rough one.  Should I have dropped out?  100%.  Did I?  No, because I'm stubborn as heck and couldn't fathom spending all the money that I did on the San Fran trip to not come home with that Tiffany's necklace.  So I shuffle/jog/walked/cried my way through the race, and snagged my Tiffany's necklace with a 66 minute PW.  Woof.

Fun fact:  I called Kyle while walking around mile 21 or 22, because I wanted him to tell me to quit the race.  He answered and I was all sniffly, and he asked how it went.  I told him I was at mile 21.  His response, "YOU'RE NOT FINISHED YET?!?!"  <---Not helping.

It should be no surprise, then, that I was in quite a bit of lingering pain after NWM.  I gave myself about a week and a half off, and still hurt on little casual runs.  I could suck it up during 5-6 milers, but would hurt the whole next day.  I spent all weekend putting off and dreading my long runs, only to put them off sooooo long that, POOF it was Monday.  No long run for this girl.  I finally emailed the race director about the change and was delighted when I got the a-ok.  Insert most expensive half marathon here with the original race fee $100 plus a race transfer fee of $15.  Blech.

My goals for Sunday.....

Finish.  Don't be in too much pain.  Run as hard as I can.  Celebrate my SIL's first half marathon.

The good news, is that I have finally FINALLY pinpointed my injury woes, so after Dallas I will be 100% committed to stretching, strengthening and getting back on track.  Running in pain is no fun, and I'm ready to be done with that.  I miss being fast (my version of fast, obvs not anywhere near fast, but compared to my current speed, call my has-been-self Kara Goucher!).  I miss finishing hard tempo runs hitting paces I never thought I'd be able to do for 5-8 consecutive miles.  I miss working hard for a PR and basking in its awesomeness when I nail it.

Can 2013 be the year of the Jerbear??