Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Toys, and one Baaad Afternoon

Wow, two posts in under a week? Who am I?

Well, in all the schmaltz and schmoopy-ness that was Monday's post, I didn't talk about a few things that went down last week. Now, I have a few more things to add to that list. So, a lot to talk about, 1 2 3 go!

Remember back in this post when I talked about the Saucony Mirage? Well, after 5 long months and lots of fawning over them at work, look who finally came home to Mama last week?
Aren't they gorgeous? 

I was thinking I'd use these instead of the DS Racers for Marquette, so I wore them on my 14 miler on Saturday morning. They worked wonderfully! My feet and my legs felt great throughout, and I only had a little bit of knee pain going in to the last few miles.
However, that 14 as a whole is a saga in and of itself... I ran it with the Marathon Training Group from my store, which is great because it gives me a group to be with so I'm not alone, and the run is supported with water stops and whatnot. However, I foolishly forgot to bring my own nutrition, and then forgot to grab something at the first stop, since he warned us out front that he might not see us again until around 9. So, I had nothing until 9, where I took another Gu. I don't know what it was, but I actually felt worse after that. My pace dropped off from around 8:15-8:20 to around 9:20-9:30, and I started feeling nauseous. I finished the run, though, in 2:01:33, so all in all I'll take it. Afterwards, I tried ignoring the nausea as much as I could, and rushed home to clean up and get back to the store for my shift. Once there, no more ignoring it. I sipped on water and tried eating something to see if that would help, but I was getting worse (and very dizzy to boot), and after my system rejected everything I put in it after the run, I sent myself home, where I promptly slept for an hour and then spent the rest of the day with what felt like the third worst hangover of my life.
So, now I'm left wondering if it was the Gu itself that caused it, or was it the fact I took it too late? Either way, I need to restock all of my running nutrition, as every last piece of it was at least a month past expiration. Oooops. Coach Mom suggested Endurolytes, so I think I might give those a whirl on my next long run. Regardless, I need to rethink my plan, as I don't want to relive last week ever again.

In other news, after too many months of fighting with MapMyFitness (who doesn't have all of my usual routes on their database, nor does it work well with the SuperMac and the Magic Mouse (which I dislike anyway but that's another white whine for another time)), and being told it was way past time for this running store manager to know what the heck she's talking about while selling them, I gave in and pulled the trigger. This little guy came home to his Mama yesterday:

 Love. Love love love. Forerunner 110, let's run away together.
And that's exactly what we did this morning.
In other news, I'm too busy being a runner and a manager to be a good "housewife" and make sure our apartment is clean. You know what? I'm OK with that.

And, the result of our rendezvous today?

So much information! So many little details! So much to analyze! Eeeeeeee!!! My favorite parts were actually the map (which I am not posting for safety reasons, sorry), and the "player", which took me through my route and showed me how fast I was going where and how the elevation changed. I was bouncing everywhere from a 5:49 pace somewhere in the first 200 yards to a 13:00 minute pace (I think that was when I slowed down to see if I could cross a street safely), but for the most part stayed between 8:00 and 8:30 somewhere. Hm, need to work on that just a bit.

So, aside from the schmaltz, that's what's up. The last few weeks of Marquette training, and looking onward past that to Whistlestop... and there might be one more big thing in the works here, too, but I'll disclose that once I have a few more details. :)
So, with that, it's time to clean up and head BACK to the store. It's sad when you have more food in your work fridge than you do in your home fridge, it really is.

Monday, August 15, 2011

525,600 minutes...

A year ago today, I loaded up my truck to the gills with most of my possessions. I then jumped in and drove 100 miles north to the rest of my life.

To say that a lot has changed in the last year is the understatement of the century.

To say that it all hasn't been easy or fun is also true. But, would I change a thing? Probably not.
Here's to the year that was, and here's to the year to come!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Work talks, and gearing up for M2 2011


August is here, and I'm in the process of gearing up for Marquette next month. I am so excited for this race, for a few different reasons:
1. My family is taking this thing over! All 4 of us--me, Coach Mom, Assistant Coach Little Sister, and Little Bro are all running it together.
2. When I've been on lately, I've been ON. I've done a few runs where hitting my target pace (around 8:00min/mi) was quite doable. I'm really working on not getting too ahead of myself, but I really feel that a 1:45 could be in my grasp here, as long as I stay healthy and focused.
3. Watching one of my friends (and former co-bandgeek)  and her husband run their first half marathon. I've been creeping on their training via Facebook, and they are rocking it. :)
4. A 4 day weekend in the UP with my family and Brandon, with possible visits with friends? Yes, please.
5. Going "home" again for a few days? YES, PLEASE.

Not that I'm rushing the rest of summer out of here, nor am I willing and able to skip the rest of training... but if September 2nd-5th could hurry up and get here, I'd be quite a happy woman, let me tell you.

I've also had the privilege lately of working with my running store's newest edition of their marathon/half marathon training group. I helped out while our GM, who usually runs it, was out of town for a few days, and it was nothing short of really awesome. If nothing else, it really confirmed to me that I'd like to run the Whistlestop Half Marathon in October (the race this group is geared toward), if nothing else just to keep meeting up with this group. They're great, and it would be nice to have more some friends in this town.
Yes, sadly, despite being here for 7 months now, I'm still feeling very much like the new girl in school, and I don't really know that many people. I have been trying to make friends at work, but the majority of them are college students and on the local university cross/track teams, so they very much have their own group going on. We did just hire some new people, though, so I'm hoping this dynamic shifts, because I'm starting to feel like that 7th grader eating her lunch in the bathroom stall here.
So... if any of you know of some cool people in the Duluth area who wouldn't mind hanging out with some crazy runner/hockey nerd/recovering bandgeek, let me know!  ;)
Aside from the social end of things, work has been going very well. My promotion became official this morning, and I could not be more excited. I have a ton on my plate, so to speak, but I feel so fortunate. Not only do I finally have a consistent job, but it's doing something I absolutely love. Plus, it's just plain fun sometimes:
The photo we sent to the rest of the management staff while they were out of town, with the caption, "When the cat's away, the mice will play." We put on tri suits and all these party hats/props one of the workers brought in, and were cracking up so hard. Good times
In all seriousness, though, if you would have told me a year ago that any of this would have happened--the relocation, the engagement, the job, the running improvement--I wouldn't have believed you. Well, probably the relocation and maybe the engagement, but other than that? No, I would not have believed you one bit.

So, that's all I have for this post. Have a great rest of your week, everyone!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Well, hello!

So, I hit the big 2-6 later this week. However, I have already received a few birthday gifts of note from the ever-awesome Coach Mom.

The first: I was registered to run the National Cherry Festival of Races 15K. I've ran their 5K plenty of times, but never made the jump to the big one until this year.

The 15K is most notorious for the climb up "Mount McKinley". Not the real one, obviously, but this is a nearly mile-long climb up the hill on McKinley road, and it just happens to fall right around the halfway point of the race. Oddly enough, this is where I felt the best during this event. I took off like a rocket at the start (yay, forgetting my watch!) and was starting to bonk just a little at this point. Got to the hill, didn't walk at all, felt OK on the climb, threw up 2 rock on fists when I hit the top, coasted down... and then the bonk hit hard. Oh, and did I mention that it was already pushing 80 at this point and humid as heck? Considering the lack of summer we had to that point in Duluth, I wasn't ready for that. I took water and was sprayed with it every chance I had, but I way missed my goal of breaking 1:15 and finished in what was a disappointing 1:19:28.
Yes, I did just say I was disappointed with a race where I averaged an 8:33 pace. What a difference a year makes, eh?
The second came a few days later. I've now run 2 half marathons and earned this, so it was time to get my feet:
Yup! I went and got inked! Coach Mom and Assistant Coach Little Sister both have the same tattoo on the same spot of their right leg, so we all match. It stung a bit, but it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be.
And, the third present?
Another half, another go at the course that started it all, another shot to break 1:45. 9/3/11. Let's do this! Also doing this: Coach Mom, Assistant Coach Little Sister, and my Little Bro! It will be his first, and I'm so proud of him!! :)

In other news, in my ongoing quest to "race the crap" out of the summer (as one of my co-workers put it), I took on Northern Minnesota's oldest road race, the Park Point 5 Miler

This race should not have gone as well as it did. For starters, I had spent 11 hours the day before on planes and buses coming back from Traverse City to Duluth. While I was in TC, I had been running with the newly formed Traverse Area Running Club, and had just done a 9.5 mile interval workout the morning before flying home. Then, after a short night's sleep, I spent race day at work. Finally, just as race time approached, the cool day turned warm and sticky. I told Brandon to start watching for me around 7:10PM, or around the 40:00 minute mark, as I wasn't expecting things to go well.
37 minutes and 52 seconds later, I crossed the finish line. Boom. Despite the negatives, I feel that I sufficiently rocked that race's face right off. I didn't feel awesome at all, but I'm quite proud of that time all things considered. 
So, yeah. I'm thinking I'm going to take a bit of a hiatus on the racing front until Marquette (though it is hard to turn down a comped entry, believe you me.) I want to break 1:45 so bad I can taste it, and I want to be as fresh and well trained as I can. If there's anywhere that I can hit that, it's Marquette. Here's hoping the weather is a bit nicer this year.

That's all I've got for now. Have fun, kids!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Checking in...

Hello, blogland!

I know, it's been another extended hiatus. However, June has been just a bit crazy for me. For part of that, I have one thing to blame:

No, not running it, but working it. Working at a running store during an event like that = 60 hour work week. We had a series of booths at the Expo. While those were some long days, they were super fun and I enjoyed them and talking with a lot of really interesting people and telling them about some interesting shoes. (Vibram Five Fingers and Newtons.) And, for my trouble, I may or may not have walked away with a pair of slick shoes of my very own:
(Thanks, Justin!)
The Newton Distancia U Lightweight Universal Trainer. Or, as I've started calling them, my "Holy crap are these things bright pink" shoes. I've only taken them out once so far, as Newtons usually require a bit of an adjustment period, but so far? Not a bad shoe.
Speaking of shoes, I think things are starting to get a bit out of hand here: 
Clockwise from top: my current trainers (Mizuno Wave Inspire 7), my on-deck trainers (same), my Nikes I was given to try (Lunarglide+), the aforementioned Newtons, my now-retired Asics Foundations, and my racing shoes (Asics DS Racer 8). 

Yeah. Three I have been given as part of my job, one was a gift, and the other two I have purchased myself (like when I found out the Foundations were causing me to supinate and giving me IT band issues). But in 6 months time, I've gone from hoping I'll get shoes for Christmas because otherwise I wouldn't be able to afford them to having shoes coming out of my ears. Do I remind myself how lucky I am? Every freaking day, multiple times a day.
Anyway, Grandma's, between the Expo, the store, and the race watching party we held there was a crazy weekend. I'm glad I've finally witnessed the hullabaloo, and I think I'm going to throw my name in the hat for the half next year, despite the whole "Oh, hey, I'm getting married the following weekend" thing.

In other news, I spent a bit of time this month recovering from the awesomeness that was Bayshore. I'm starting to pick things back up a bit in prep for the Cherry Fest 15K. My first 15! Usually I do the 5K--it'll be a nice change of pace, and I'm excited.
I was curious what I could do for a 5K these days though, so last weekend I did one-- the Midnight Sun Midnight Run. This was SO much fun! It was a perfect summer night--clear, a little cool but comfortable outside. It was right along the Lakewalk, my primary training grounds, so my familiarity with the terrain made up for the lack of light. I felt fantastic, even with the odd start time completely throwing off my pre-race groove, and I ran a HUGE PR. My official race time (gun time, not chip time) was 22:58, but my watch time was 22:43. Either time is a massive PR and my first 22. :) I'm pretty excited.

So, that's what's going on here. What's up with you all?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

So, uh... hi

Hi, everyone.

Yes, I know it has been just over 2 months since I have posted anything besides an absurd number of tweets and DailyMile posts. I've lost count of the number of times I have thought, "OK, today's the day--I will dust off the blog and get back to it," and then found myself otherwise distracted. (And, if it is another 2 months before you see another post from me, blame Angry Birds Chrome. Eeeegad is that addicting.)

So... what has gone down in the last 2 months and change here?

For one, a couple of awesome races:

The top one is the Goldy's Run 10 miler in Minneapolis, MN on April 9. Brandon and I were in the Cities for the 2011 College Hockey Frozen Four, and this was my little way of making sure I still got my run in while I was there. I also treated it as a tempo run, trying to see if I could hang at an 8:30 pace. I did that and then some--my official chip time was 1:22:44. I was just a bit happy. :) The finish was awesome--they brought you around TCF Bank Stadium (Home of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers), and you crossed the finish line at the 50 yard line, with your finish shown up on the JumboTron and your name announced. So, awesome... even if my finish line shot got blocked by some lady.
The bottom one is me coming down the home stretch for the Bayshore Half. If you remember, my goal was to take 10 minutes off my Marquette time, so 1:52:55. I DESTROYED that--1:48:51. The best part of that race? Running with my mom for the first 8 miles. If you would have told me a year ago that would have happened, I wouldn't have believed it. Despite being wet and slightly cold, it was an absolutely amazing morning.

Oh, and the awesome singlet I'm wearing in those photos? Well, the store I work at has a all-inclusive racing team, and the staff is included on this team (the main objective is to be represented by people who reflect the sport positively by being active and a positive presence at racing events.) . :) So, I'm on a racing team.

And, that job at the store? Well, I had my first review after about 2 months (usually that happens at 3, but they wanted to get mine taken care of). The long and short of it: I nailed the training and probationary period. Now, I'm in the process of being trained to be an assistant manager, taking over that around 8/1. I'll be taking on a lot of new roles, including employee training, community outreach and marketing, coordinating clinics and "spike nights" with local high school teams, among other things. Pretty excited? You bet. :)

And, to close--the numbers:
March mileage total: 103 miles
April mileage total: 110.4 miles
May mileage total: 102.4 miles

Yeah, my first 3 triple-digit months. :)
2011 mileage total to date: 435.7 miles. Yes, I am 15 miles shy of matching my 2010 total.

So, if there's anyone who still is following this little bloggy-guy... what's new and good with you?

Monday, March 28, 2011

8 days a week...

Hi, all!

As most of you know, my training plan was written by my mom, referred to on the blog as Coach Mom. The key to my training plan was flexibility--there's one day on my plan per week that is just blank. That day can be a day to make up a missed run, or to cross train, or to rest, whatever I need to do.

Sometimes, though, I burn through all the flex days, and I'm left with mileage to make up. This week is an example of one of those times.
It comes with a pretty interesting story, though!

Last week, my fiance's alma mater made the Women's Division II Basketball national championship game. He was a big follower of the team for the majority of his time in undergrad, and has still followed them post-graduation. When they won the semi's, I knew he would try to go to Missouri for the game.
Sure enough, I got a text as I was getting off work Thursday night telling me he hadn't found anyone to go with him, but he was going anyway. A voice in the back of my head started yelling at me to go with him, just in case something happened along the way, so he wouldn't be alone. 2 hours later, we were on the road headed to Ames, IA to stay with a friend along the way.
3 hours later, just north of Albert Lea, MN, my premonition started to come true. One by one, the electronics in the car began to shut off, and the next thing we knew we were dead along the side of Interstate 35. As far as he knew, his insurance didn't have roadside assistance. Thank goodness for my AAA--he called them and we got towed in to town and taken to a cheap but thankfully warm and clean hotel. We learned the next morning that the alternator needed replacing, and the guys at the repair shop got us fixed and on the road very quickly! 6 hours, and 1 stop in Ames to pick up our friend (who now was coming with us), we made it to St. Joseph, MO to watch the game.
While Tech lost the game, the environment was incredible. SO many alums, families, friends, and even current students made the trip--it was like being back in Houghton again!
After the sad defeat, we hit the road to make the trip straight through back to Duluth. We tried to switch off drivers and sleep, but neither of us slept much. We made it home at 6:30am, I took a brief nap, then I was off to work at 10. All in all, it was a 36 hour, 4 state, 1 new alternator, 1 new battery, and 3 bags of Swedish Fish adventure. Despite the lack of a national championship, it was completely worth it. We won't always be able to make spontaneous plans like this, so we need to do it while we can!

Now, to tie this back in to running: my original plan was to run my long run on Friday (10 miles) and my last short run (4 miles) on Saturday. Obviously, there wasn't a chance to get 10 in on Friday (or, at least I didn't think there would be--I never banked on our random stop!) While I brought running clothes with me to work and meant to run on Saturday, it just wasn't going to happen. On an hour and a half of sleep and having just worked a 7 hour non-stop shift, I looked and felt kind of like this:
It just wouldn't have been smart, so I went home and crashed.
I did make up the 10 miler yesterday, but that left the 4 mile run... what to do with that? Well, I have just decided that today is the 8th day of the week, and I made up the 4 this morning. It doesn't matter WHEN I get the runs in. What matters is that I get them in, and after today, I have. Now, on to next/this week!

Sunday 3/27: What. A. Beautiful. Morning! After nearly 12 hours of sleep, I felt rested and recovered from the road trip. I was having some stomach issues, though, so I opted to walk to the Lakewalk and run from there, rather than driving to my starting point from my last long run. That way, if I had to call off the run, Brandon would have the car to come pick me up. Thankfully, once I got out and going I felt fine. The run felt great, the sunshine felt great, and it was awesome to get another 10 under my belt. You know what else felt great? A hot shower and compression socks after the fact. I am officially in love with those ugly socks. 10 miles, untimed.
Monday 3/28: Make up day! I made up the missed 4 on the Y treadmill. Nothing really spectacular, just 3.5 miles easy, and then a practice kick, where I gradually increased the speed. 4 miles in 35:47.

Time to get some food and head in to work! Have a great day, all!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...