Friday, December 31, 2010

best part of my day. and happy new year!

The below pictured is hands down my favorite neighborhood street to run down during the holiday season. I always get a bit sad when the Christmas lights come down and I have to go back to running the bland, un-decorated streets. I think people should leave the happiness of lights up year round! Just for the runners sake of course.

*this just seemed like an appropriate picture to use in closing out the year out on this hur blahg*

My 2010 wasn't perfect, what year is? Perfect is relative anyway. Even though I met my running goals, my running in 2010 was clearly far from what I had hoped, hello sparkly and dramatic ambulance exit from marathon No. 2! But there were some pretty amazing highlights, and some pretty spectacular 'little' moments that will be forever ingrained in my fluffy head. That's what life is to me anyway, those spectacular and beautiful unexpected moments that occur on any normal day. It's not always just the 'big' stuff, in fact it's rarely the big stuff for me...

Cheers to 2011 blahgesphere! As an early celebration, I just ate an entire bag of sour skittles. At 10a. And that makes up spectacular little moment No. 251in 2010, just needed to share. Now onto moment No. 252. Cleaning up the cat vomit in my hallway, so beautiful.... so touching... We know how to really ring in the New Year 'round here.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

jingle bell 5K. 2010 running goals, check!

True to form as of late, I'm writing this race report and update a week and a half after the fact. Awesome. Meh, I've been busy eating. To start, I've had a very eventful two weeks. Namely the fact that I am now a real life aunt! Very exciting news in our family, my sister had a sweet baby girl December 22 and I couldn't be more thrilled for her and her husband. This precious baby girl has been a much anticipated blessing, sadly I won't get to meet her until February. I can't wait to snuggle her senseless when I finally meet her in person. I am already absolutely in love with her, I can't imagine how I'll feel when I get to hold her!

Moving on, this is supposed to be a race report! As I mentioned I ran the Reindeer 5K the week before Christmas. I was going for a PR to reach my 2010 race goals, and honestly also for the mere fact that I love pushing myself to PR all the time. Yes, I'm one of THOSE runners, no secret of course. It's a problem, I know. The good news is I did snag my PR and I met my 2010 race goal of PR'ing in every race distance. I'm a bit shocked I did this actually, but perhaps I shouldn't be. All I needed was an injury free year to really 'get there.'

Official Results:
30/243 OA

I don't have any stats other than those. This was a first year race and apparently they didn't do age groups or gender. Which is fine, but hopefully next year they add it in, because it was a really fun race on a good course.

A 5k is a 5k, in my opinion it's hard to report on. They are all lung-burning hard when you try and PR! What else is there to say other than I trained with some speedwork the weeks leading up to the race, and then went balls to the wall, tried my best, used the same race strategies I always do (start conservative, end with all out effort) and it paid off. It was a blast. Of course I found a little competition on the course, a girl who I kept going back and forth with over and over. Until mile 2 when I finally decided it was time to let loose and get after it. Not gonna lie, that is a fun feeling, leaving someone in the dust that you've been going head to head with for two miles. To her credit, she wasn't far behind me at the finish.

My oldest sister, brother in law, and father did this race as well, for all of them it was their first 5k and they did fantastically. My dad is 64 and just recently finished radiation treatments. How incredible is THAT? I was so proud! Of all of them. But mostly my dad. It was fun racing with the whole family. And while there are some great pictures of the race, they are all on my mother's camera. And seeing how she is currently in Los Angeles playing with her new granddaughter, I have a feeling I'm not going to get my insignificant racing pictures anytime soon. That niece of mine is already totally stealing my thunder...

I have so many posts I want to write. I am starting to train for my spring marathon, the Oz Marathon. I have high hopes for that race. I've even secured myself coaching help and a pacer in Coach Scott to help me reach my goal. And no, it is most definitely not a BQ. Much more on all of that later. We are currently finalizing my training plan, once that is done, I'll start the countdown and endless blather about my Oz 'm'. And everything else I want to blather about. I've really missed blogging lately, I have been all sporadic and spastic about it the last year. But I honestly am starting to miss it. A lot.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

fair weather runner indeed.

Hey, the name of the blog says it all. I absolutely bailed on going for that 5K PR on Sunday. I woke up at 6:30a to howling winds (21 mph, mind you that didn't include wind gusts) and 14 degree temps. I was warm, my bed was deliciously cozy, I just plain didn't wanna. So I texted Shelley to whine and we agreed to skip the 5K, sleep in and meet for some brekkie with friends later in the morning. And that we did. Best decision of the week.

I am however running a 5K this coming Saturday, the weather should be much more FWR friendly at a balmy 35 degrees or so. I should mention here that my oldest sister, and her husband, recently moved back home to the big dub. She has decided to do her first ever 5K on Saturday, and my dad is running the race as well, so it's a family affair. I am feeling somewhat confident that I'll shave a few seconds off of my current 5K PR to meet my 2010 goal. But more importantly I'm excited I'll be running with my family!

In other news, I'm really struggling to get out and get running this month. I've run a total of 26 miles so far. Pretty sure I'm not going to make it to that 100 for December unless I start pulling miles out of my ass. Wait. I wonder if that's an actual option...

Regardless, I just don't know what my deal is. I don't think I'm burnt out, and I wanted to keep a good base to start marathon training next month. I just choose Christmas cookies, going out with friends, cooking too much food (read: drinking wine while opening a cookbook pretending i'm going to make dinner and then going for take-out) and eating to my hearts content as opposed to running after work. Plus, it's chilly in the mornings so I don't feel like getting out of bed at a stupid hour to get a run in alone. Just not worth it right now. Oh the humanity! It's a rough life. I know.

I guess what I'm saying here is I need some December motivation. I have none. Please help accordingly Interwebs. I have a feeling part of it is that I am slightly competitive (so i hear anyway) and with all my big races over, I've got nothing to force me into higher mileage. Maybe I'm simply bored with running. Who knows. But if anyone has any thoughts on how to resolve this issue, please let me know.

I'm almost ready to start begging for someone to offer up any manner of competition to keep me motivated... Although meeting my 100 mile per month goal should be enough? Oh my, it is point of fact, not.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

gobbler grind. somewhere between a snake and a mongoose. and a panther.

Oh my, I never said I wasn't a procrastinator. So two weeks after the fact, here is my Gobbler Grind Half Marathon report. Per usual, I'm just going to list it out. But first the good stuff. PR secured.

Official Results:
AG 15/121
Overall Place 284/1323

*Indi and I pre-race, as you can see I fully embrace my northern European roots and keep it pasty white, year round. I love how it's especially noticeable next to Indi and her beautiful tan skin.... jerk*

*The girls pre-GG ready to go, Indi, Me, Shelley and Erin*

The race:
- It was a warmish, very windy morning in Overland Park, so I woke up dreading the race. I wasn't well rested, and was feeling worn down. Plus wind and I, historically, do not get along. I went ahead and got all typically dramatic. Oh there was drama oozing every direction. I got over it after I had a latte of course. I'm somewhat like a hungry infant before coffee...

- I headed to the race with Indi, who also ran the half, and our faithful spectators Edder and the Sherpa. Once at the race we found Shelley, and I felt instantly better, she's like my binky. I need her at races. Yes, I'm quite needy, I'm fine with that. And so is she. So once I saw her I was just ready to go. Screw the wind. And hills. And humidity. IN NOVEMBER. I was determined to get a PR.

- After a warbly set of announcements and a questionable rendition of our nations anthem we were off. My legs were suffering the first two miles. I sucked it up and braced myself, but after mile two my body started to cooperate and I got in a groove and started to feel much, much better. By mile three I was starting to pick up the pace and loosen up. I passed the next three miles by picking a person to pass, and doing just that. Not a bad method to occupy my mind, it worked pretty well.

- I made the last minute decision to try a new method of hydration, instead of fannying about with the water stops, I decided to carry hydration for the first time in any race. This was an excellent decision. I got two fuel belt bottles and a holder. I had one that I started with (filled with water) and I had finished that off by mile six, where Edder was waiting with my second bottle of Gatorade. I was worried I would drop the bottle he had for me, but managed to snag it seamlessly. This is a credit to the Edder, because anyone who knows me well knows that I am inept at anything involving depth perception. And balls (stop giggling) or grabbing things while moving (okay, giggle), or catching anything. ANYTHING. I duck when Edder tosses me house keys for goodness sake. But it was perfect. And I plan to do that at future races when Edder is there to be my pack mule.

- Miles 7 - 9ish were the hilliest I have ever done in a race. This is the part of the race that was a total mind screw (except insert grownup term that rhymes with truck here, keeping it friendly here people). We had to run uphill for nearly two miles, but it was also into the wind. And you couldn't see all that glorious hill waiting for you. Oh no. You would get to the top of one, turn the corner and HEYOOO, there's another one. That went on three times. It. Was. Awesome. Or made me want to cry. Either way.

- I always semi-believed in taking Cliff shots during my races, but after GG I am a firm believer it can make all the difference in the world. I was bombing at mile 9 (right after the hills), so I took a Cliff Shot (and here is where i don't recommend trying a new flavor for the caffeine factor, although the caffeine worked it's magic, it tasted horrid) and I got my stride and energy back. It was a total relief.

- I had fantastic splits for miles 10 and 11 (8:13 and 8:07 respectively), but by mile 12 the hills and the exhaustion caught up. And I was getting angry as I was slowing down. The fact that my iPod was seriously screwed up (skipping and scrubbing songs for the last four miles) didn't help the angry factor. I got angrier as the time kept getting higher and higher and my pace kept slipping (that mile ended up being 8:36-ouch), and my iPod kept messing up. Even though at that point I knew I would finish in around 1:54. Amazing how irrational I can get during a race. However, finishing with a PR always feels fantastic. No matter what. And that it did when I crossed the line.

- I watched and waited with the boys as Shelley, Erin and Indi crossed the finish line. Shelley's finish line story is quite exciting and I'll just say for now she is an amazing person, I'll tell that story in another post.

-Overall it was a good race, it was hard, but not as hard as I assumed it would be. We were sheltered from a lot of wind, and the uphills weren't as horrific as I prepared myself for them to be. But it still sapped my flatlander energy and knocked me on my ass by the end. Clearly. All in all? I was quite satisfied, who wouldn't be with a nine minute PR?

*post GG PR smiles*
I'm really bad at letting myself be satisfied with a PR, but I've been trying really hard to enjoy this one, seeing how I've had to wait quite a few years to get it. I am of course already planning my next 1/2 PR. March. Oh you know you do it too. I'm already excited to do this race again next year. I really liked it, and glad I finally got to do it! And take my PR 1/2 revenge out on the good old Gobbler Grind.

One more race to go on Sunday to meet that 2010 PR goal. And I hope I get another Pee-My-Pants PR at that 5K!