Friday, June 25, 2010

Mizuno Bag Winner!

Wanna know who won the fabulous Mizuno bag? helped me pick, and it was commenter nine (i excluded multiple comments to be fair).

MissZippy! Congrats. Just email me your address and I'll send it your way.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

rock and run 8K.

If you live in Kansas (or around the plains/midwest) this is a given. It. Is. Hot. I mean stupid hot. And as humid as a rain forest or jungle. And no, I'm not exaggerating (who says i EVER do that, come on now), native Kansans back me up here. The point is, it's hot and humid and just simply gross running weather. Period.

That said, the weather (despite the name of my blog) won't keep me from a race... well for the most part. Last Saturday, June 19, the YMCA was putting on a Rock and Run 8K, a distance I mentioned I had never done. Hello automatic PR, why yes I will welcome you into my life right now. I have to say, I loved this distance. It was a fun race, with bands every mile, that ran through a nice neighborhood then into a nature preserve along paved trails. Our YMCA's put on a few races every year, so they know what they're doing, which is nice.

I wasn't expecting a lot out of myself on this one, I just wanted an excuse to get to another race, because I love them. Especially shorter distances. It didn't disappoint. I even saw my personal trainer from last summer and then met up with some running buddies. I love seeing people at races, it's part of the fun for me. It was overall just a nice low-key happy racing morning. I loved it.

As for the actual race? I predicted my race time almost exactly. Now that's good! It's been established I don't run well in heat, humidity and when I'm tired. So I wasn't expecting much from myself. I predicted I'd run it in 40:00 and what do you know? I ran it in 40:05. Totally happy with that considering the lack of sleep I had leading up to the race and the weather. No complaints though. My new running attitude is really doing it for me, making me quite happy.

Other than the fact that it was hot, humid and a flat and pretty course, there isn't much to say. I did tell myself to focus on running through the water stops, which I did. That's something I've never been able to pull off in a race before, so I gave myself gold stars. I knew if I stopped I wouldn't start again, I was quite miserable from mile two on. I will say I think a LOT of runners out there were quite miserable Saturday, I passed quite a few people that last mile, and I'm not sure that would have happened if everyone was feeling great that day.

So yeah, it was pretty brutal out there. As I was finishing I had the pleasure of witnessing one of the super fast dudes stopped just yards before the finish line puking his guts out. Literally. It was disturbing. He must have felt awful to stop that close to the finish line and still be doing that when I was finishing. I felt horrible for him. But I won't lie, that was the first race where I can honestly say I myself felt like I was going to toss my cookies, something I've never done before during or after a race. I bet I just jinxed myself....

*the girls: liz, shelley, myself, the lawyer pre-race*

In the end my stats were:
OT 40:05
5th in my AG (30-34)

I'll take it. It was a fun (yet somehow miserable) race!

*side note: i was supposed to run the "hammer it 5K" this past weekend and meet up with oz runner there. i just didn't have it in me to do the race, i was exhausted and had a week and knew i wouldn't enjoy it. so instead of racing i got some much needed sleep and rest, and just ran five miles on my own later that day. at least i'm accepting my limits and didn't race. gold star no. 2 for this girl

Monday, June 21, 2010

things i heart: giveaway

One of the best things about the Storm the Dam Trail 1/2 Marathon a few weeks ago was meeting "Mizuno Mark." He is an ultra-runner, marathoner, trail runner and Mizuno rep (oh my how i want his job). Don't worry, since I knew that 'race' was shot for me, I sure did stop and talk to Mizuno Mark at miles 10 and 12. I've been hooked up with a bit of Mizuno swag the past year at various races, simply because I was wearing my beloved Mizunos, REPRESENT!

This time though, Mark offered up a little Mizuno love for my blahg, and it's pretty sweet. I present to you the Mizuno daypack. Made just for you my running friends. It even has a spot at the bottom for your precious Mizuno's (or other choice runners) and all manner of compartments and zippers! I mean who doesn't love zippers?! AND COMPARTMENTS? Plus it is, of course, sporting my favorite running logo. I'm not just saying that either, I really do love their logo.

It's simple. If you want it, come and get it. Just comment and you're good to go! I'll pick a random winner on Friday.

Random aside: it was my goal to write "Mizuno" 10 times in this post. MIZUNO. Just made it happen, now that's love.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

the summer races.

Now that I've gotten my crazy out for the world wide interweb to see, it's time to talk races. I had mentioned doing another half marathon this summer, I had been wavering on doing it. Last week I finally decided against doing the Lucky 13.1 race in Missouri, in the end I wasn't excited about it, and it sounded more miserable than anything. The heat and humidity are just dumb right now and the thought of trying to PR at a half marathon in it, well that's just a recipe for disaster and frustration. Then I considered doing a trail 5K in Kansas City instead of a half marathon. Seeing how my foot still feels pretty bruised up from the last trail race I did, that didn't sound appealing either.

Instead (drum roll please) I'm going to do a first as far as racing goes. I'm going to run an 8K, I've never done that race distance before. It's at a local YMCA and goes through a nice paved trail area in a nature preserve. Not to mention 4.98 miles (or whatever an 8K is) sounds so much more appealing in this weather than 13.1 or a 5K trail race. So that wins. I'm excited to do it with several of my running buddies, should be a good time. The best thing about it? The thought of doing this race makes me happy, and makes me want to run.

In addition to the 8K, I'm going to go and attempt to defend my somewhat pitiful title at a local 5K where I won my age group last year in the pouring rain. I'm not sure I'll actually defend my title, but it's a small race for a good cause in a suburb outside of Wichita. Plus, Oz Runner will be there and I haven't raced with him since the same race last year, so it's about time!

To cap off the summer races I have planned, I will most likely go and do the Fourth of July Firecracker Run in Rogers, Arkansas. Since I'll be there anyway and since it's a fun race (with awesome swag) that I've done the past two years, why not continue the tradition. It's a ridiculously hilly race near Beaver Lake, where I spend every July 4th with my family water skiing and eating. The eating part is very important. So why not go off on my own for a morning to run and get my butt kicked on monstrous hills? Sadistic fun, that's what that is.

That wraps up the extent of my summer races. August in Kansas is NOT good running/racing/doing anything but sitting inside drinking cold beverages weather. There aren't many races to speak of, so unless a 5K pops up somewhere randomly in August, I won't do any races.

I'm going to run these summer races because they sound fun and because shorter distances are sounding oh so appealing right now. I know I'll be doing long runs on the weekends as well but somehow that's different than trying to suck soup while racing 13.1 miles. I'm pretty satisfied with this summer race schedule. Cheers to hot, sweaty, disgusting summer running my friends.

Monday, June 14, 2010

my running.

I had a little "Come to Jesus" meeting with running Friday night. We've been swapping blows like nobody's business the past few years. Running would punch me in the gut, I would backhand it in return, and not to be outdone and always having to have the last word, running would then straight up sucker punch me. I was sitting on my front porch watching my dog run around the yard (read: waiting for him to poo) Friday night around 11p. I love doing this, not watching my dog poo, sitting on my front porch alone at night in the summer. I wouldn't say I had an epiphany, but I was sitting there and I kind of realized I have been making myself crazy and miserable in regard to running. No. I have been making myself crazy. Period.

I felt burnt out and defeated by my inability to accept the runner that I am. Someone prone to injury, who wants to get better and be better, but just can't do it. So I sat there on my porch watching my dog poo with tears rolling down my face in frustration and fatigue from all of it. And decided something needed to change. I give, FINE win. I am done being frustrated and pissed off about it. It just isn't worth it anymore. And yes, I'm fully aware that
a) i am crazy; and
2) i'm totally dramatic
I'm sure in the future I'll still get frustrated and pissed at running, I'll have ups and downs, but I think it will be different now. My running is what it is. And it will be whatever it's meant to be. Like I said. I give. But no, that doesn't mean I'm giving up.

So. To make a longish, drawn out, drama-filled story mostly short. I did the unthinkable (do you see a theme here lately, me doing unthinkable and shameless acts). I got on my laptop, closed my eyes, held my breath and deleted all my running plans. Then I got to work this morning, and again, I closed my eyes, held my breath and deleted my running plans off of my work computer. I then whipped out my printed-off Hal Higdon 18 week training plan for Chicago, walked by a smoker's desk and stole their lighter (yeah, add crime to my crazy) went to our loading dock, lit that mother effing training plan on fire and threw it in the (mostly) empty dumpster and walked away. While walking down the hall I passed some smokers, I smiled and went about my newly liberated way. And two minutes later I heard some commotion and something about a fire in the dumpster. Well thank sweet baby Jesus I had slipped the lighter back on the smoker's desk and no one was the wiser. So a few minutes more and some WTF's later, problem solved. Innocent eye blink...blink blink.

Moving on. So here I am, 17 weeks out from the Chicago Marathon. No training plan, a foot that feels like what can be described as badly bruised from that stupid trail race, and a little hope that I can finish another marathon. Is this a good idea? I have no idea. What I do know is that I've tried training plans, I've run the training runs too fast and too hard, or too slow and too easy. No matter what, I get injured. In my opinion, what do I have to lose? The answer is nothing. So yeah, I'm being totally dramatic about this, but hey, the training approach didn't seem to work out so well for me the last two times around. And don't get me wrong, I'm sure I will in the future use training plans again, I am ridiculously organized and anal. My no-plan is to run based on how I feel. Yeah, that could be disastrous and dangerous. I don't always feel like running, but this just feels right for now. I have four days a week set aside now where I have various people I could run with if I want/need to, that is motivation enough for now. I'll probably just run what they are running as long as my body agrees. Then show up on 10.10.10 hoping I finish.

I realize there is a lot to be said about how I let running rule me, I realize I've been THAT runner. I really do. I'm not going to get into it anymore than that, though. It's just too boring to expect people to read the whole ugly, long, drawn out process of me being THAT runner. To me, it's clear how I've been and I don't like it. My hope in the end is that I don't let running make me crazy, that I stop being THAT runner, like a rabid lemur bouncing around, freaking out, throwing up and pooping all over everything. I just can't do it anymore. I realize this might be a new brand of crazy, actually it is. I'm okay with that. I'll keep you all posted on how this new approach goes, and hopefully leave the crazy... well THAT specific crazy behind. That's it.

And the whole fire-at-work thing: I made that part up. The rest is straight up truth.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

storm the dam trail half marathon, year two.

Let's get something straight, right off the bat before I get into this post. Last year? I was 100% delusional about this trail half. I don't know why I thought it was so amazingly fun last year. I do have my theories, one being that I was better trained and prepared and wasn't psyched out for weeks ahead of time (because i didn't know what was in store). Reason two was that the weather was much cooler, like perhaps 15 - 20 degrees cooler. And probably the biggest reason was that I did the race with a gaggle of girlfriends (i realized i never posted pictures of last year's race, but below are a few). Last year I was all happy during the race, running along in my oblivious little world with Lea for most of the time. All dooop-de-doo just trottin' along on a trail for 13 miles. I want to slap last year's me in the face. Hard.

*last year, pre-dam trail 1/2 with the girls. lea, candace, myself, jessica, katie and liz*

*lea and i during the race last year*

This year? An entirely different experience. HOLY SNIZ did I have my ass handed to me at the dam trail half marathon. It was awful. And I won't make a bevvy of excuses, I just plain shouldn't have run the half. But guess what? Instead of following my gut and doing the 5K with my buddy Shelley, I decided to try and get another half marathon under my belt. That was a mistake. But in the end I finished, with a brutally huge personal worst. Another running lesson learned. I wasn't ready mentally or physically to handle it. I rolled my ankle during mile two and it was all just downhill and painful and ugly from there. I wanted to quit by mile five and get big fat DNF No. 2 for the year, seriously. I just didn't care, because I just didn't want to do it.

However...and yes there is a huge however. I am glad I ran the race in the end, even though I shouldn't have. And even though I will never do it again (if I do it will be the 5K) I'm happy I have another half marathon to my name, and learned quite a few lessons. Plus it was great to be there with some interwebs friends (or if you're hardcore, that would be interwebz with a 'z', i'm not that cool yet). Mark and Lacy were amazingly fast, per usual.

The only redeeming quality of yesterday was the fact that they, along with Shelley, were nice enough to wait around for me to finish and we socialized for quite awhile after the race. Which I was happy about. Honestly I was bummed I was going to the race with so few running buddies at my side. I just 'didn't wanna' without them all. Which made me realize I'm perhaps far too dependent and used to racing with at least three or four friends by my side. Most notably my security blanket The Lawyer. Pout. But maybe it's not such a bad thing that I'm used to running with so many people. Maybe that just means I'm running for the right reasons for ME, to socialize and spend time with my favorite people. So hanging out afterwards made me feel much better and not so alone at that race. Thanks fellow interwebers (and shelley). I like you guys, neat-o gang.

*i pilfered this from lacy. it's mark, myself and lacy after the race. um, they look so much less disgusting than me*

Now let's go ahead and forget about that trail race and look forward to a race I decided last week NOT to do. A half marathon in Peculiar, Mo., that I re-decided to do and focus on trying to not suck at it. Of course I decided to do it. I have a bad race, so I have to go and make up for it, or at least try. Plus I just plain want another half marathon to my name. There aren't that many in this area to do, so I have to capitalize when I can. It's how I roll.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

the unthinkable.

Oh my. I can't seem to get my blogging shiz together. But I'm going to try. First off, my running has been going well enough besides a few issues. Mainly the fact that after the River Run, and thanks to THAT marathon, I found CHINA in my left calf about a week and a half ago. Yes, CHINA. The country. In my calf. And it was awesome. And painful. Ever since the River Run my calf/shin/knee were driving me crazy and making running mind numbingly painful. Random note: if you have read my blog for any amount of time, you know I have a psychotic and extreme aversion to my own calves. Which means despite taking the best care I could of my calves, and using the almighty "Stick" on them, I wasn't digging hard enough or far enough with The Stick to find China. Amazing I know.

Now that China has been located and it has been nearly eliminated, I am moving beyond the calf pain and back into running. With a little additional help from my friends. My recovery socks. Brace yourselves interwebs, because I've been doing the unthinkable lately. Something I don't feel like I am fast enough to justify. Something I never thought I would do. Am I nerdy enough to pull it off? Yes. Shameless enough to do it? Of course. So here goes. I've been running in my recovery socks. I can't believe I'm admitting this, and offering proof!

I have to admit these suckers have been serving me well. I am running a few half marathons, one of which is a trail half marathon on Saturday (the same trail race i did and loved last year). Since my calves have been so grumpy, I got to the point where I thought, hmmmm those recovery socks look pretty. I want to run in them. And so I did, and it was bliss. Pain free bliss. So shamelessness, meh. I'll take cozy calves over my pride. This week anyway.

About those half marathons. Like I said I have one Saturday. Maybe. One I am not trained for, and one that will prove as pleasant as running through hell itself. But I can't resist doing it another year. It was hard and different and I loved it. So despite little training (something i also did last year, didn't train) I am going to give it a shot. See how it goes. I have no goal for it really. I just want to finish that sucker. Which brings me to my point, that last weekend I finally brought myself to run 10 miles. After running 5 miles at goal pace on Saturday. I have another confession to make, long distances have been scaring me runless since the marathon, I've been petrified to go further than six or seven miles. The thought of going through the pain I went through in the marathon again alone was enough leave me curled up in a ball in the corner of my living room. Ugly. Clearly I'm scarred from it, and clearly there was enough damage done that my calves aren't back to normal yet.

But I slapped on those recovery socks and hit a new to me running trail and ran 10 miles on Sunday. Success. So I'm going into this trail run Saturday with one long run behind me in the past six weeks. Oh this is a recipe for awesome. Pretty sure I'm going at it sans recovery socks though. Although I won't lie, I am torn 50/50 on just running the 5K trail race on Saturday instead. And I may decide last minute to do just that. Seriously. It will be a surprise!

So yes, I did the unthinkable. I started running in recovery socks. Thankfully all my running buddies are extremely good sports and find it quite entertaining and don't mind me wearing them a bit. I mean if I am running with girls who are perfectly fine busting out yoga moves to stretch out post 10 miler in the grass beside a major and busy street (and i happily join her), shame free? I know I'm in good company. I'll leave it at that.