Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Race and the Pace: St. Jude Give. Hope.Run. 5K

After last weekend's PR, I was fully not anticipating one for this race (aaannndd I was right).  It is super hilly and difficult, plus I got in some more miles by meeting a friend/co-worker at her house and we ran from there and ran back to her house after the race for a grand total of about 7.5 miles.

It is important to match your socks to your nuun
As hard as this race is, it is a really neat race to do.  This is the second year for it, and with around 1200 people last year and at least 1300 this year it is the largest St. Jude 5K in the country, which is pretty cool since we aren't that big of a city.  The atmosphere is pretty festive, they have music and bouncy houses, a kids run and a balloon release before the race.  Along the course there are pictures of actual St. Judes patients, so it is easier to keep pushing  (even as you tear up) when you see pictures of all these little kids that are fighting to stay alive.

99 Red Luftballoons

Kristy, Ashley, Me:)

Kristy and I had a good run over, and once we saw the huge line of cars waiting to get in, we were pretty happy with the running decision.  Once Ashley got there we took the obligatory photos of the fun socks we were wearing and watched the festivities until the run began.  The run starts straight up a big hill, then down a bigger hill then pretty flat until some fun little hillage at the end of the race.  I finished in 29:48, better than last year.  I was fairly happy considering sun + hills + hotness+ extra miles= not so fast.

Scientifically proven good post race food
After the race we refueled responsibly with boneless wings, orange sherbet, and cupcakes before taking off for home.  Sounds like a good nutrition plan to me!

We are heading to Chicago tomorrow for a trade show for work and taking the train.  Hopefully we will get to run at some point and I will give Chicago updates sometime next week.

Did anyone else run any fun races this weekend?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

She's crafty and she knows it (race shirt redo)

Definitely not talking about myself, by the way.  I like to pretend I'm going to be crafty someday, but it's so much easier when my mom is crafty right now!  I always see ideas on Pinterest and I want to see when people I know try them to see if it really works, so I thought I'd share this race shirt redo from crafterhours that I found on Pinterest and my mom made for me (Note, I apologize to any men reading this, because you probably don't care).

I have a crap-ton of t-shirts laying around.  Three high school sports, sorority shirts, college shirts, and now racing shirts completely inundate my closet.  However, I belong on Hoarders:T-shirts and refuse to get rid of any of them.
This is about 30% of the T-shirts.  The labels are from when the husband  organized for me, I didn't do so well keeping it that way.
 I have a few that I like well enough, but not necessarily the fit, so when I saw the redo on Pinterest I had to try it tell my mom about it.  Plus it would be a unique tank top for the summer for free (minus the registration fee).

I was really happy with the finished product and will be shortly giving her more to do.  Plus my little sister saw it hanging in the basement and commissioned one on the spot for her as well.  She has a similar shirt problem.

To save face as a domestic wonder (riiiiiight), i will point out that even though I don't sew/craft very well, at least the recipes I find on Pinterest seem to be appreciated.

I'm always up for new ways to wear old shirts, so if anyone has ideas, let me know!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Race and the Pace: Tri Fest 5K (PR edition)

It's 5K season!  As much as I love longer races and training for them, it's nice to have a break from the long runs and to just focus on getting a little un-turtlelike faster. This was my first 5K since the Jingle-Bell run in December, so I had no clue what to expect.  Last week I ran an 8K at a 9 minute pace, and I knew I would need around an 8:45 to PR this 5K, so I knew it was possible.

Pretty excited about the shirt:)

Chilling in the car and playing Angry Birds.  It was cold out there!

I am usually running right on time for races (also known as slightly late, but still making it to the starting line).  For some reason, I managed to get to this one an hour and 20 minutes early.  It was cold so I chilled (literally) in the car until it was Porta-Pottie time. I was worried how my legs were going to feel since it was cold and I had been sitting in the car for 45 minutes.  I found some E-ville racers I knew and we took a lap around the park to get warmed up.  Everything felt great, and we stayed loose with some Cupid Shuffle and Wobbling before the race finally started.

Ready to Run!
I don't have a Garmin, I just run with a stopwatch and hope that the course is marked.  Unfortunately this one wasn't, and you would think after running long enough I could guess what pace I was running by how I felt, but I just can't.  I did luck out at mile 1 and pass by someone who's Garmin chirped the first mile, so I know I did the first mile at an 8:40, but after that I had no idea until I got close to the end.

My main goal was to run well, with a sub goal of PR-ing (former PR was a 27:14 last November). My secret goal* was to break 27.  When I saw the finish line around the corner I was at 26:13 so I booked it and made it under 27 (26:47)!!!  I then tried not to puke on the chip cutting lady, but you'll have that...

The official time was a 26:47, disregard the fact that my watch  is somehow 5 hours slow.
Since my ultimate 5K goal is a 25, I've still got a ways to go, this race really boosted my confidence and I feel like I can probably do it.  My goal now is try actually working in some speedwork and see where that gets me.

Speaking of speedwork, I found this on and it made me laugh.

*Secret goal: the goal you kind of want to do in your head, but don't tell anyone because you don't think you will hit it but it will make you look kind of BA (in your mind anyway) if you do.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Internal iPod Sucks

I meant to post this yesterday, but I also needed to grill steaks and burn sticks last night

Fire is priority over computer time!
Anyway, I almost never run with an iPod.  I get annoyed with the cords and like the time to think.  This does however, leave me with whatever songs are stuck in my head at the moment to play incessantly until I get done running.  When a song or songs get stuck in my head they will play over and over until I feel like I might go crazy.  This can happen faster than normal depending on the song.  Yesterday was particularly awful and since no one likes to suffer alone, I will give my internal playlist so everyone can suffer with me :)

First song:  Soft Kitty, from the Big Bang Theory (please disregard the random French subtitles, unless you are French.  In that case, you're welcome!)

Next up..this gem "Chicken Fat" by Robert Preston.  I'm sorry.

Since these two were in a continuous loop and I couldn't take it any more, I had to pull out the secret weapon.


The old John Denver trick, from that moment on my run became this:
Not certain it was an improvement, but at least it was a change!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Race and the Pace: Southern Indiana Classic 8K

Due to some issues earlier in the year, I had to miss out on some of the local races earlier this year that I usually do, as well as one or two new ones that I would have liked to have done.  As a result I was really ready to do a race!

I am not fast, so I don't do races with the intent of  winning anything (although I found once that being the only one in my age group means I can actually win it!).  I love races for the chance to push myself, they give me something to work towards, and I like being around so many other people that like running as much as I do.
Starting/finishing line
The Southern Indiana Classic (SIC) is in it's third year, and historically has been a marathon and a half marathon.  This year they added an 8K option.  I trained for the marathon last year, but the day before it was scheduled, they had to drop the marathon due to the heat, so I did the half.  This course is pretty freakin' hilly and has a lot of roads surrounded by open fields which always seem to have a headwind, so all the races are a challenge!  I knew I wouldn't be ready to tackle this half and get any kind of time I'd be happy with, so I decided to do the 8K with my friend Lauren.  This was her longest race, so I was excited for both of us.

Waiting to start

They started the races all at the same time, and it suprisingly was not all that crowded at the start, I didn't really have to do any   weaving or get in anyone's way.

Still waiting to start, but happy to be here!

Down the first hill
Overall, I thought the 8K went great!  I heard the half course had some douche-nuggets that came out and stole water and graffiti'd the course, which makes me sad.  Other than that it seemed like everything went over pretty well.  The race started at 7 a.m. and it was around 55 degrees and cloudy, perfect!  It got warmer, windier and randomly rained a few times as the marathon progressed, but it was better than last year!

I finished in 44:57, and Lauren finished in 45:51.  I was really happy with my time, especially for my first race back and I thought Lauren rocked it out!  She doesn't get to run on hills very much since she lives on the other side of town, and this course is hard enough even when you get to run hills all the time.
Go Lauren Go!

We got met after by Mr. Lauren and Dega, their Great Dane.  Dega quickly became the most popular person at the race.

I love these local races, because as the afternoon progressed I got to see a lot of friends and co-workers cross the finish line, several of them after their first marathons!  Seeing them do it really made me anxious to find another half or full to do. Probably in the fall though, It's getting more into 5K season right now and I do have some goals for the shorter races.

It was a pretty good day, and it definitely gave me the racing bug again.  I'm going to have to make room for more t-shirts!

Lauren's 120 pound puppy, Dega.  He was more concerned with trying to steal some beer.

Ladies love them some Dega!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Smooth(ies), like Keith Stone...


I got a new blender the Christmas before last because I had all kinds of great plans to make smoothies and shakes and other blendable treats.  And then it sat on my counter for a year.
My stepdaughter goes on kicks of not wanting regular (cow) milk when she comes down.  Usually she goes for soy (not a fan).  This time she was fooled into the Silk Pure Coconut vanilla milk.  She saw the Silk and thought it was soy (she's only 6, so still impressive that she read some of the carton).  She liked it, so all was well. I tried it and it was ok, but I could never just drink a glass of it.  Thus, a few days later she's back home and I have half a carton of coconut milk.  So my blender looked at me and said "over here stupid!" and I decided now was the time for smoothies.  I've been making them for several weeks now and I wanted to record my favorites so far for posterity, and so when I forgot what I put in them I could look in a place where I couldn't misplace the random piece of paper I wrote it on.
*Note, I use all frozen fruit instead of ice, and I've been going back and forth between the Silk PureCoconut Vanilla, and Silk Unsweetened Vanilla PureAlmond.  And regular milk when I run out of everything else.

My smoothie on an outdoor a beer glass.   Sometimes the dishes don't all get done.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Berries
Frozen Strawberries
Frozen Cherries
Frozen Blueberries
About half to 1 tablespoon of Dark Chocolate Dreams PB from Peanut Butter and Co. (or Nutella, or regular PB and cocoa powder) plus a dash of cocoa powder
Half-1 tablespoon of flax seed (optional)
8-12 oz. Milk of Choice (see note above)-I like the Silk PureCoconut vanilla best

Blend! Add fruit or milk to get desired consistency, I like mine thicker

If you take this to work, be prepared for a lot of "WTF are you drinking"?
My Green Monster Smoothie
*For more info on green monsters, go to this site.

Big ol' handful of spinach or baby spinach, put this in first so it is by the blades!
Nut butter o'choice (see above)
flax seed (optional)
1/2 a banana
Frozen Mango
Frozen Pineapple
Frozen blueberries
8-12 oz. of Milk o'choice

Blend it like Beckham! (yay for stupid puns!)

The first of the smoothies.  Love this one!

The I woke up the husband and made him try this smoothie Smoothie
Nut Butter of Choice, I really recommend either the chocolate or the Nutella for this one.
Flaxseed if you like
Frozen mango
Milk o' choice, the coconut vanilla one is awesome in this!

Blend and drink!

These are my favorites so far, and I really like the idea of getting a couple of servings of fruits and even veggies in before 8 in the morning.  I think they give me more energy and help me cope with the majorly less amounts of Diet Coke I've been drinking of late.  If anyone has ideas to share or suggestions, leave a comment, I like trying new ones!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Off the road and up the hills

One of my co-workers/friends moved to Wisconsin a little while ago, but she comes back every few months to work from our headquarters.  She told another runner at work that she wanted to go trail running while she was down, so a few of us decided to go after work.

As a primer, we ran a 5K on these trails last year and it took everyone (except the super fast i.e. not me) about 10-15 minutes longer to finish than on the road.  I live in a hilly neighborhood and these hills make the ones by me look like a fun frolic through the meadow.  I imagine running through the foothills of a mountain range would be much worse than this, but for our area it's pretty hilly.  It is a beautiful park though, and a lot of people like to run out there for the great workout and scenery.

Off we go!
It keeps going and going...
 So we set off, and quickly encountered a hill that was the Energizer Bunny of hills.  It finally ends and one arrives at a little hut that I always imagined housed a hobbit when I was younger.

Hobbit hut

 A little less than a mile into it we came upon the steps to the lake.  The funny thing about this trail is you would think going down the two sets of stairs would be a good thing.  You would be incorrect.  The hills are much suckier going that direction.  The lake is really pretty and as long as you don't fall in it is pretty enjoyable to run around.

This's a lie!
After the lake, it's about a mile and a half of big hills, small hills and trying not to twist an ankle.  I always feel pretty BA when I'm running on these trails, even if I sound like a dying animal.
Oh look, another hill!
Down the steps to the road, one hill left!
Sure... I can do this...maybe

 All in all good times, we might go again this week.  It's nice to get off the road occasionally, even if I run through the woods more like a dying buffalo than a graceful deer.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Things I irrationally fear will attack me while running...

If you ask my co-workers or family, you would find I have a list of irrational fears.  Birds are pretty much at the top of this list, seeing as they are demon spawns from Hades.  Mold, ET, and the Lollipop Guild from Wizard of Oz (creepy creepy creepy) round out the list.

I tend to think about random crap when I run, so as I go I manage to come up with new neurotically irrational fear of things I think will probably someday attack me as I run (this is probably a work in progress)

1. Birds! Still #1. They have sharp beaks, and beady evil eyes, and they poop.  Enough said.
He's plotting your demise as we speak

2. The tiger from the zoo.  I run by our local zoo during my run and I have a feeling the tiger will someday come leaping over the fence after me.  How this tiger is going to get out of his cage I have no idea, but I never said these would make sense.

3. Worse than the tiger from the zoo... the free roaming peacocks at the zoo.  My bird fearing little mind just can't fathom why peacocks are allowed to roam free where there are children (and me) running amok.

4. Transformer pieces.  Mostly Decepticons, but either one could put the hurt on someone.  OK, actually just the transformers on the power lines.  One blew the other day and rained pieces down near me, so maybe not so irrational.  

5.  Golf balls from holes 10, 11, and 12 from the golf course I run by.  Which is across from the zoo.  So maybe the golf balls could hit the peacocks that are pecking my eyes out.  This one might not be so bad.

6. The Lollipop Guild...because you just never know.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Never thought I'd be this excited for a long run...

I'm pretty sure this has been my best running week since the marathon in November.  Not the best for speed by any stretch of the imagination, but as far as my mental state and runs that are a good confidence boost this week has been pretty BA.

Starting with the run on Wednesday in my last post, I wanted to try to run the whole hilly 4 again on Thursday to make sure it wasn't a fluke.  I did it again and improved my time by 40 seconds (yay!).  Once again, nowhere near where I was a couple months ago, but I have to start somewhere!

There was a group training run scheduled put on by a local marathon, half marathon, and 8K coming up the Southern Indiana Classic.  The half marathon route was supposed to be 11 miles, and I wanted to able to run with Martha and see Julie, since I haven't been able to go in over a month.  Julie has been doing a quicker pace than I can do right now (rockstar!), so Martha and I got to run together.  We ended up with about 9.55 miles, I don't know if we missed a turn somewhere or what happened, but I was pretty happy with it considering my longest run all year was 6 miles last weekend.

Not that 9 and a half miles is a long run compared to what we did last fall in marathon training, I think we peaked at about 22 or 23, but it felt good to get out and challenge myself again.  As painful as the longer runs can sometimes be, the sense of accomplishment (and the allowing myself to not pay super close attention to what I eat for the rest of the day!) is always more than enough to make up for it.  It has to be, otherwise I don't think anyone would purposefully put themselves through marathons more than once!

I topped out at around 26 miles this week, and I'm feeling pretty good.  I'm looking forward to start working on getting some of the speed back!