Tuesday, October 25, 2011

the prairie fire half marathon. in photograph.

It may be a few weeks after the fact, but here are pictures from the Prairie Fire Half Marathon. This is the first half where I ran mostly by myself, and without any goals. I wasn't running with anyone, or for any other reason other than to enjoy a half marathon. Which I did. I'm giving myself a gold star for that.

Now. For pictures.

*this would be me showing an example of what katie and i do before a race since we are far too impatient to wait for a port-a-potty. impatient + shameless = bad pre-race behavior.... i'll leave it at that. well... and thank goodness that kansans love their gigantic pickup trucks which are fantastic to use as 'squater' protection.*

*pre-race with the girls--shellers, me, katie and amy. we love to match, that's for sure. sheller found our outfits, loved it! because yeah, we are all in our 30's and we still go all matchsies with one another for races, what of it? HMMM?*

*this was around mile three, getting ready to head into my 'hood. i started the race with a hat and water bottle, that didn't last long. also, was totally soaked already by this time. this was pretty much where i was thinking 'maybe i'll just stop.*

*my fam, a neighbor and meggers and jakey out cheering me on from our house, see the mile 4 marker in the background?*

*milo found me and ran after, precious*

 *i'm running milo back home, he's such a happy little guy!*

*milo watching after me as i run back to the crowd, poor buddy just didn't understand why he couldn't go fur a run with mama*

*shellers husband took this, he was out spectating right by my neighborhood bookstore, i think this was around mile 6. happy runner!*

*this was before mile 9 and after mile 7, i only know this because i still have a gel tucked in my running shorts. i keep it classy! at least it's obvious how happy i was, just running...*

*coming off the keeper of the plains bridge, exactly around the time my calves started cramping up like nobody's bidness. rude, calves. very rude. pretty sure i'm concentrating on not making my calves any worse here.*

*soggy finish line! finished around 1:56.*

Friday, October 21, 2011

the detroit freepress half. in photograph.

As I mentioned, the Detroit Freepress Half was so much fun. It was a fantastic course, not bad weather (it was my kind of running weather, chilly and rainy) and it was wonderful to run alongside someone who was doing their first half marathon.

Experiencing someone's first big race with them made for one of the most enjoyable races I've ever done. I loved just running along, taking in the sites, stopping to take pictures whenever I wanted and chatting with my running pals. I had an absolute blast during the race. And before. And after. Perfection!

*kristen the canadian and i pre-race trying to stay warm*

*the start line*

*the ambassador bridge - the bridge between detroit and windsor, ontario. it was WIN.DY up on that sucker, i was running close to the caution tape and could have sworn it was going to blow over my head and strangle me. very dramatic, i know*

*a view from the bridge, one side of the river detroit, other side windsor*

*running along the detroit river on the windsor, ontario side looking onto the detroit skyline*

*starting the underwater mile into the border tunnel* 

*inside the tunnel right on the border, it was warm and had quite the deceptive hill in it. it kind of made me nervous being in there, got a lil bit claustrophobic, especially when i started hearing odd noises...*

*making it out of the tunnel into the US of A. my favorite was when we crossed to the canadian side the announcer was so chipper and delightful all "hey canada, show the american's how fun we are." and when we crossed back into the US the border guards were just standing there yelling "show your numbers, where is your number." they were terrifying.*

*finishing, finishing... happy*

*post race, killer medals, all smiles with my canadian running buddies*

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

best part of my day. the poutinery.

Uhhhh, yeah. Poutinery. It's a thing. It exists. I AM NOT KIDDING!!

And can I tell you first hand? It. Is. Killer. I about died when our friends suggested we go to a poutinery. I thought they were trying to be all, "hey gullible Americans, haha, let's go to a poutinery." Because, right. "THOSE EXIST, eh. wink, wink."... But really, they are too polite to pull one over on us. Poutinery's exist. WHO KNEW!


And, wait.

Random aside: speaking of gullible Americans. We are THOSE one's. The one's who happened to make the brilliant mistake of taking out American cash on our way to the airport to go to Canada. Right. You know, Canada, where they apparently ONLY accept Canadian money. It's a fact. Learn it. And there's your lesson for the day, interwebs.

Moving on. So. The first stop across the Canadian border Friday night was at the Poutinery (while waiting for our real dinner of sushi to be prepared). My SQUUEEEEEE was barely containable... I just stood in front of "Frenchy's Poutinery" in gleeful amazement.

*happily inhaling poutine, which is french fries smothered in delicious gravy and cheese curds*

Oh, Canada... I miss you already. I've already screamed twice this morning over the fact I couldn't have Tim Horton's coffee and 'Tim-Bits' to start my day.

Race report from Detroit Freepress Half and pictures coming soon. As a preview, I absolutely adored this race, it was incredibly fun. With the bonus that my hip, point of fact, didn't fall off!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

my first international race. and poutine.

Lot's of "firsts" for me this fall! Including, but not limited to, swimming my first mile, having a beer officially named in honor of me and my blog, trying venison, wearing bright green shoes, and of course running my first international race. That's right kids, I'm heading to O'Canada in a few days. I'll be pacing a friend through her first half marathon, come to think of it, I think it's her first race, period.

Of course the fact that this race partly takes place in the Edder's best friend's current home town (windsor, canada) doesn't hurt. It's the perfect trip for us. He gets to act like a 15 year old with his bestie, smoking cigars, drinking some kind of brown liquor, playing PS3, and setting off fireworks at midnight (this is their m.o.). While I get to mark off a running "wish" list item by running a race in a different country. And enjoying actual fall weather, wearing boots and scarves and saying 'eh'. A lot.

So. The cool thing about this race is that it actually goes through BOTH America and Canada. It's the Detroit Freepress Half Marathon, starts in Detroit, runs across the bridge to Windsor Canada, along the river, and back to Detroit through the tunnel. Can't beat that with a stick.

I have no doubt I will annoy the living-will-to-run out of my friend by taking pictures and being an annoying chipper little knat buzzing around her. Telling her how amazing it all is. And how OHHHHEMMMMGEEEEE we are running in CANADA AND AMERICA. Go team! So then there's that for her to look forward to. I'm also excited to partake in some Poutine again. Oh yes, and we go classy when we visit Canada. We don't get high end poutine, no. We go for PFK (KFC here) poutine. Yes.

Needless to say I'm looking forward to a much needed long weekend away, spending time with fantastic friends all while getting to run a race I can't wait to do. Clappity happy fun time!!

Now. Let's just hope my hip doesn't fall off before then, or during the race. The way it's feeling, it's likely it might. But after a little e-stim and PT love this morning, I think I'll be okay. Well... in terms that my hip will point of fact stay attached to my body.

Monday, October 10, 2011

the prairie fire half marathon. running happy.

The Prairie Fire half marathon went really well for me. As well as a race could go considering I had run a grand total of four times in the four weeks leading up to the race. Maybe that's the reason I am in a tinsy bit of pain today. Ouch. However, I am nothing but pleased about my race yesterday. I ran happy, I finished happy, and aside from getting a bit sick post race I stayed happy.

I have no idea what my average pace was, or even what my finish time was (the race results are being grumpy this morning so i can't get them) since I wasn't even running with my Garmin. I ran free of devices and junk (well I had a nathan handheld for awhile but tossed it in my yard when i ran past my house) and it felt fantastic. I ran at a pace that felt easy and the race felt like a breeze.

Although I won't lie. My injured cranky hip and I were ready to call it quits at mile 4, right where my house was planted on the course. I was going to run to my yard and join my family and friends (because meggers brought out baby jakey to cheer me and others on) and just be done. But when I saw them, it lifted my spirits. Made me smile and I felt like just... running. With some music. So I did.

The only downside to my race was that my calves began cramping up the last two miles. I had to slow down and take it easy there after mile 11. I think my biggest takeaway is this. My calves hate humidity. Plain and simple. At least they held up and allowed me to finish the race. Even if they are screaming expletives at me today.

To be perfectly honest, deep down I was dreading this race, even though I would only admit it to a few people. I didn't want to run it, I wanted to sleep in, cheer from my yard while eating homemade cinny rolls and drinking coffee. I was in no mood to run a half marathon. Injured. With no goal. However, I paid for the race, I committed to it and I don't back down when it comes to that business. So I ran. And ended up LOVING it. In fact, I can honestly say I had more fun running yesterdays half marathon than I have any other race. Plus it rained. A lot. And I loved that. I am one of those sickos who thrives while running in the rain. I was running and smiling and just plain happy. So happy. During the drizzles and occasional heavier rainy bits. Happy.

And you know what? That was refreshing. It will likely be my approach to most races in the near future. I'm tired of letting myself be a slave to my Garmin. To the next PR, to the next running goal. I'm tired of letting my hobby make me cry and make me feel frustrated. I'm done. It's stupid. And I let that go yesterday and man, was it ever worth it. I'm going to run only what feels good for awhile. All I want to do is run with my girlfriends on the weekends for no other reason than we simply WANT to. And because we can.

So. No PR. And I don't care. I think my finish time was around 1:56 - 1:57. I'll take it. Happily. It was a fantastic course, in my hometown, on my home turf, on streets in my neighborhood I run regularly. And I'm still smiling thinking about how much I just plain LOVED it. Refreshing indeed.

Lastly, I have to share my favorite part of the race. In fact, I think this is the cutest and best thing that's ever happened to me in a race period. As I ran by my house, Milo (my dog) picked me out of the crowd of runners and jumped into the race with me. Beyond precious. He saw mama running, and all he wanted was to run with me. I had to run him back to the Edder while people all around in the race were laughing. At least we provided some extra entertainment. My dad caught the rogue Milo on camera, can't wait to get my hands on those and share. Seriously. Best. Thing. Ever. And pretty stinkin' cute.

I ran happy. Still smiling.

sidenote: once i get race pictures (official and unofficial both)  i will do a post just for those. because one thing this blog needs is more pictures of my dog. and me. running. obviously..... chirp.... chirp chrip....

Thursday, October 6, 2011

best part of my day.

And that pretty much sums it all up. I'm such a huge sucker for little gestures like the note above. So small and easy, yet ridiculously meaningful. A girlfriend at work wrote that to me. Made. My. Week. Actually, made my month...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

not a goggles genius.

Right. Okay. So in my defense, I've never had any swim coaching, I never took a swim lesson in my life, and I had no idea what I was doing when I plodded into Dick's three and a half years ago to buy swim goggles, a swim cap and a swimsuit. And then proceeded to barely use said items for you know, three years.

Apparently, KIDS, I've been sporting my goggles a bit too tightly during my swimmings. As in my head starts to hurt and my eyes feel like they are going to bulge out about 20 minutes into my swim. Uh huh. It's awesome. And I just sort of assumed that was how it was supposed to be.

BUT. GET THIS. GET IT. Goggles aren't supposed to hurt your eyeballs. WHO KNEW! I will use 8,000 exclamation marks if I need to!!!!!  !!!!  !!!!!! Because during my one mile swim today, after loosening up my goggles I could not only see everything clearly without fog in my gogs, but I was also missing the sensation of my eyeballs beating in rythym with my heart. Is that normal, by the way? Actually, that part has been a bit disturbing the past few weeks. So there's the good news, I think I figure out how to actually wear goggles when swimming. Turns out you can actually SEE through those suckers when you wear them correctly...

Despite the new found goggle information (thank you world wide interwebs and your amazing search results and bevvy of information on swimming goggles, turns out i bought a pretty good pair on accident), I had a bit of an awful swim. At least I still swam a mile, and had the pool to myself for the most part, and shaved a whole minute off my mile from last week. SUCCESS!

Don't you love how I was all "writing and reading about swimming is lame" and this is my second post in a row about swimming? Me. Too.