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Getting my run on.

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Eek

So that last post? Got another friend excited for the Vegas fun. Hi Sara!

And now that I know of at least 4 people (Jen, Sara, Mark, Pam) who are interested I have to get serious and actually follow my training plan. What if, just what if, I actually can do this – run another marathon? I’m excited and scared at the same time.

I did 2 miles last week. I did 5 miles on Sunday (painfully slow in the hot, hot heat miles) and I ran a quarter mile today. I know – look at me going crazy with the miles, right? Kris is having to gently push me out the door to get some of these runs in. Thanks honey. I’ll try and do better about getting out there without the prodding.

Today’s 1/4 mile though was pure cuteness. When I got home from work Annika was in her “running” shirt (a pink shirt from the Nike outlet store’s clearance rack) and wanted to go on a quick run with Mommy. So I changed, she got her “running” shoes on (a cheap $10 pair of Nike sneakers from that same outlet store), we put Dagur’s leash on and then we ran around the block together. Girl does not have good form! Ha. She doesn’t use her arms at all. She doesn’t watch where she’s going. Once she tripped on the grass alongside the sidewalk and fell down. She speeds up, insisting to be first, and then slows down when she’s distracted by what’s around her. She’s a typical almost five year old. I do want to cultivate a love of running in her though so I made sure her first “run” was a fun experience. Hopefully we can go again soon. And maybe, if she wants to, we can sign her up for some kid fun runs next spring/summer.

What a crock

Remember when I said no more big races? How I was going to focus on running for fun, not time, not according to any set schedule and such? You knew that was a crock of shit, right?

So, about two months ago, when I was gearing up for the half marathon I started thinking. I’ve always wanted to do another marathon. And, well, I’m not getting any younger. Would now be the time to do it? So I started searching for marathons and found one that I thought sounded like a ton of fun and one that I could get Kris to rally around:

The inaugural Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in Las Vegas on December 6th.

I asked Kris about it back at the beginning of June and he asked if he could go play while I was running. Of course! Just be there at the finish! He was on board. I didn’t say anything here because well, it’s a lot to commit to and I wasn’t sure I had the time to commit to that sort of training schedule. I still don’t. So I didn’t say anything to anyone.

Then during the half marathon last weekend, during mile 2, I mentioned to Jen and Jeanette that maybe we should do this next. If we can do a half then surely four months later we could work up to a full marathon, right?

Jen took it to heart and is actually interested in doing it now. And I’ve got about 2-4 other friends who are contemplating either the full marathon or the accompanying half marathon. Who wouldn’t want to spend a long weekend in Vegas, right? Get a little running in, have some fun on the strip, hang with friends. It sounds fabulous to me!

But now I’m scared. And I haven’t committed one way or the other. Can I really do a full marathon? Do I have the time to train? Augh! Nerve-wracking!

So, in half marathon style, I’ve put together a training plan. Actually I did that back at the beginning of June when I put together the half marathon training plan. I just continued it on through November and kept increasing the mileage. And I’m going to keep training like I am going to run the race. Then, as it gets closer I’ll make a decision if we’re going at all, if I’m doing the full, dropping down to the half, flaking entirely, etc.

I did a two mile run on Tuesday. My right hamstring was still pretty tight and sore from Saturday’s fun. I have four miles scheduled for today but now we have plans tonight and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to fit it in. It will take some babysitting help late tonight to make that happen. I wonder if I can talk anybody in to that. Then I’ll do another 3 tomorrow, bike on Saturday and do a “long” run of 6 miles on Sunday. Back in the saddle!

Speaking of saddles – the Minneapolis Duathlon is August 30th. I’ll be signing Kris and I up today for that race. That’s why I have to get a bike ride in on Saturday. I haven’t biked in a long time. I’m out of practice. Must get back in that saddle literally!

Bad Ass

Today was the Urban Wildland 1/2 Marathon. I woke up this morning before my alarm went off. I was nervous. I got up and jumped in the shower (can’t run a race with hairy legs you know!), brushed my teeth, put my hair in silly ponytails, ate breakfast, gathered the last of my things, kissed Kris good-bye and good luck (he was doing the Tour de Tonka 38 mile ride today) and drove to the race. On the way I drank Gatorade, worried about what to do with my car keys and if I would find my friends. I stressed. It’s what I do.

Once there I managed to find the gang without any trouble.

l-r: me, Jen, Pam, Jeanette – The ASK runners!halfmarathon

(picture stolen from Jeanette’s facebook album – thanks Jeanette!)

This was all Jen’s fault.  She peer pressured Jeanette and I into running the 1/2 marathon.  Pam was going to run it too but battled a hamstring and ran the 5k race instead.  Next time Pam.

Once I found them I, you know, stressed some more.  I fidgeted, I ate a gu, I neglected to really warm up in any way (jumping in place and a couple dynamic stretches do not equal proper warm-up).  There wasn’t much time until the race started so I didn’t have too much time to get my stomach all worked up.  A couple pre-race announcements and then we were off.

For the first two miles I ran with Jen and Jeanette.  We fluctuated in our pace due to having so many people around us plus the adrenaline of the beginning of the race.  When we hit the two mile mark Jeanette said she wanted to go a little faster.  I didn’t want to blow my chance at running the whole race by going too fast so I cheered them on and told them to go on without me.  I don’t mind running by myself.  I just let my competitiveness take over, my mind wander, and off I go.

This time was no different.  I occasionally checked Scarlett (I had the 305 for this race – I called dibs over a month ago!).  I wanted my pace to be under a 10:45 so if I was going slower than that then I picked it up a bit.  If I was going faster than that then I’d check myself (lungs – check, knees – check, hip flexors – check) and I’d continue on if everything felt OK.

I have to say I thought this race was really well run.  There were tons of water stops, every 1.5-2 miles in the last half of the race.  Most water stops also had PowerAde and the second to last one had orange slices too.  There were race marshals all over the place to guide runners and the whole race was mapped out with cones every 10-15 feet.  You couldn’t have gotten lost on this course if you tried!  Plus the course is in a residential area and some parks and there are tons of mature trees everywhere.  No need to fight the sun on this course!  Well done Urban Wildland!

OK, back to my race.  At the 5 mile mark I felt remarkably well.  My body felt fine.  My lungs were fine.  It was a beautiful mid-60′s morning.  A-OK.  At mile 9 I could tell my knee caps and hip flexors were starting to get sore.  I hadn’t done anything over 6 miles since June 28th so it makes sense that my body would be getting tired.  I told myself that I only had 4 miles to go.  4 miles is nothing.  I can do 4 miles no problem!  That was kind of my motto for the last half of the race.  5 miles to go.  I can do that!  4 miles to go.  Cake!  5k to go.  A short run!  2 miles to go. Etc.

I also did my typical competitive cat and mouse game.  A few times I picked somebody ahead of me and made them my goal.  There was one skinny bitch early on that I needed to take out.  And I did.  I passed her at a water stop and didn’t see her again.  Later in the race I set my sights on a man in front of me.  Always feels good to pass a man!  So I set my sights on him and passed him too.  These little mini races always help keep my pace up.

Hitting mile 12 was exciting.  I was still running.  I only had a mile to go.  My body was feeling better than expected.  I compared myself to the 10 mile race from last fall and realized I felt so much better than at mile 9 of that race.  I’ve really come a long way since then.

Mile 13.  0.1 miles to go.  I was almost there and yet I couldn’t see the finish line anywhere!  I had to clear the trees first and then the finish line was still around a corner.  I didn’t see it until I was basically on top of it!  I caught sight of my friends cheering for me.  They are so great!  They cheered me across the finish line and I stopped my watch.  Official time?

2:19:13 – 10:38 pace

I am more of a bad ass than I give myself credit for sometimes!

My goal was sub 2:20 – around a 10:45 pace.

And I did it.  I fell short of my training goals in July and I still made my goal.  Yay me!

Jen and Jeanette did great too – finishing in 2:16:17.  See?  We’re all awesome!

1/2 marathon complete.  Goals met.  I couldn’t have asked for a better result!

Ready? No.

First I want to whine. I’ve had a headache for four days now. I’ve been sucking down as much water as possible. I’ve been getting as much sleep as I can (which hasn’t been enough thanks to a late night spent working and kids who don’t want to go to bed). I’m also going to start taking ibuprofen like candy if this thing doesn’t go away. It’s making me crabby. My poor kids.

Second, I’m stressed. (I wonder if #1 and #2 are linked?) The ½ marathon is this weekend and I’m feeling unprepared. Why do I seem to always go into races feeling unprepared! My longest run has been 10 miles and that was way back on 6/28/09. Over a month ago! I’ve done lots of shorter runs since then ranging from 4-6 miles. I hope that’s enough. I’m confident that I’ll finish the race. I’m just worried I won’t do as well as I wanted to. Maybe I’m putting too much pressure on myself again. Maybe I just sucked it up in July. (We were busy! Vacation! Wedding! Random things that were “more important” at the time!)

I think after this race is over I should focus on just getting some running in and doing it for fun and my love of running instead of some goal or race or something.

That said, there is this Minneapolis Duathlon (3, 18, 3) coming up at the end of August that I think Kris and I would like to do and then there’s the Women Run the Cities 10 mile race on September 27th…

(Weight? Back down to 148 this morning after a weekend of indulgences made their way on through…Yay!)

1/2 Marathon Goals

It’s time to set some goals for the 1/2 marathon on August 1st now that I’m officially signed up for it!

I’ve been thinking about this.  My marathon and half marathon that I’ve done in the past have both been very slow.  Once due to IT band issues in both knees (marathon) and once due to completely not preparing for the race (half marathon).  I’m determined this time to not let either of those slow (pun intended!) me down.

Here’s my certificate from the marathon:

img_9016

And here is my half marathon certificate:

img_9017

See?  Slow!  Painfully slow!

This time I’m going to focus on two things:

  1. Run the whole race – No walk breaks allowed
  2. Finish in under 2:20

2:20 is roughly a 10:45 pace.  I did my 8 mile run in a 11:05 pace.  I did my 10 mile run in a 10:59 pace.  I did my 4 mile run today in a 10:09 pace.  I’m confident if I keep up my training that I can inch down to that 10:45 long run pace.  At least that’s what I’m going to shoot for.

This won’t quite get me to that goal #3 up there in the right hand corner (run a 1/2 marathon in sub 10 minute miles).  That’s OK though.  That can be a future race.  This time I’ll focus on just making this about a 1000 times better than my last 1/2 marathon.  Although that one did have free beer waiting for me at the end…

Registered!

Yep, I’ve registered for the Urban Wildland Half Marathon on August 1st!  I figured since I completed my 8 mile run on Thursday (11:05 pace) and my 10 mile run this morning (10:59 pace) that in 5 weeks time I could do 13.1 miles.  Yippee!

I was nervous about this morning’s run.  I kept telling myself that I was attempting 10 miles this morning.  After all, I had just run 8 on Thursday and that was my longest run to date this year.  I then did 3 miles on Friday and rested yesterday.  Could I really do 10 this morning?  But then this morning when I finally rolled out of bed (I love it when the kids sleep until 8:30am!) I wasn’t tired at all and with the help of some positive self talk I was certain I could complete it.  And not once during the whole run did I even contemplate walking.  It was great out there!

I’m sure the weather helped that though.  Our high for today was supposed to be 79F.  Considering it’s been in the upper 80′s and lower 90′s for the past week, today’s weather was a welcome relief!  The only problem was the wind – THE WIND!  The gusts were up to 38mph (as reported on the news).  For most of my run it wasn’t so bad, I was in residential areas surrounded by houses and trees.  A few gusts here and there to push me off the paved trail but nothing too bad.  However, one part of my run (I did a 5 mile loop twice) is about a 3/4 mile length of road surrounded by prairie and gravel pit.  Let’s just say it’s flat and the wind loves to whip through there.  That area of road always has snow drifts on it during the winter.  And today’s wind was a very strong headwind the whole way down that stretch.  I decided it was my time to be strong -Wonder Woman! – so I just put my head down, tried to keep my pace up and barrelled through.  It did slow my pace to about a 12:00 minute mile and it did bring my heart rate up about 10 points but muscle through I did.

The rest of the run was fairly uneventful.  I kept a running dialogue in my head, composing blog posts and rants about this person or that (I was using the run to blow off some steam – some people were really annoying me this week) and just generally kept myself entertained.  Since about mid May I haven’t been listening to music when I run.  It’s just me out there running.  I kind of like it that way.

Anyway, I’m confident now that I can do the half marathon.  I think it’s time to set some half marathon goals!  I’ll think up some and make that my next post I think.

1st Annual Du at the Dam Race Report

Want to know how much I rock?  A whole bunch.  That’s how much!!

I got up yesterday morning not really feeling this whole torture-myself-for-two-hours thing.  I didn’t prepare anything the night before either.  I got up yesterday, got my water/gatorade bottles ready.  Grabbed a gu.  Kris had my helmet already in the truck and my bike on the rack.  I was set.  We loaded up the kids and headed to Dusty and Melanie’s house. (Melanie was watching the kids and Dusty was racing with us.)

An hour later we were at the park, unloading bikes, getting our registration – and body art!

6-13-09-1

6-13-09-2

And those are the only pictures you get this time.  Because I forgot my camera at home.  Sorry.  Hey – I flexed while I took the pictures at least.  Look at the muscles people!  Or at least pretend you can see them please.  Ha!

OK, back to the race.  We had some time to kill so I drank too much water, took a short jog, stretched out, etc.  Then there was a brief pre-race meeting and off to the start line we went.  And somehow I ended up at the very front.  This can’t be right.  I moved back (there were only 65 people registered) because well, that’s just silly.  Me at the front.

The countdown and we’re off!  Well, they’re all off.  I started my normal jog.  I just was not feeling it yesterday morning.  My legs felt tired.  I was getting a shoulder stitch (not my side – up in my shoulder – what is that?!).  So, to not come in last I focused on someone in front of me and tried to run her down.  I figured I’d let the competitor in me take over and just go.  I almost caught her too! I had a little mantra I kept running over and over in my head too.  It went something like this: negative split this fucker!  I think it worked.

My time into T1: 29:39 – 3 miles – 9:53 pace!!!  (Goal was sub 10!)

And I was #55 overall.  Um, yeah.  Anyway, I overtook 2 people in transition.  Slow pokes.  And was out of there in less than a minute.  Gu’d up and ready to ride.

Off I went.  Pedal, pedal, pedal.  The whole course was on a bike path, not a road so you had to be careful for pedestrians, pleasure cyclists, random kids on roller blades – and other competitors coming back since it was an out and back course.  I cheered on Kris and Dusty as they zoomed by me.  My legs felt really tired and I didn’t have any other competitors nearby so I just went as hard as I could.  I kept my resistance on a somewhat hard ring and tried to keep my cadence up as much as I could.  And I kept repeating my mantra over and over again.  I guess it worked…

My time into T2: 52:13 – 14 miles – 15.5mph!!!  (Goal was at least 15!)

I had no idea how the bike went because the time was on the run side of transition, not bike.  So I just threw my bike on the rack, finished my Gu, gulped down some gatorade and took off.  My legs felt like jelly.  I was so tired!  I ran the first 1/2 mile back to the woods and a nasty little incline.  I couldn’t take it.  I walked for about 15 feet, almost off the course and then started running again.  I just needed a second to give my legs a break and my heart to come back down from supery-beaty-zone.  I don’t know how fast it was going because Kris had Scarlett. (Again!  I told him that’s selfish and I call dibs for August 1st when we’ll both hopefully be at different races.  Heh.)  That short walk though and I was good to go.  This course was through the woods (pretty course) but it was pretty twisty/turny so I couldn’t really see anybody in front of me.  Until I got to about the 1-1/2 mile mark.  That’s when I saw them.  One man and two women running up ahead.  That’s it.  There’s my rabbit.  Off I went.  I picked up my pace little by little.  Each time I’d catch a glimpse of them I’d run a little bit faster.  When we came out of the woods we had about 1/2 mile until the finish.  By this time I had almost caught up to the man so I ran past him and set my sights on the two women.  Push, push, push.  A little faster.  You can do it Kristina!

And I did.  With less than 100 feet to go I overtook them on the last little hill before the finish line.  And then I sprinted to the finish – where no one was waiting to cheer for me!  (I finished 3 seconds before those two women.  Hee.)

Finish time: 1:54:16 – last 3 miles – 10:14 pace (not too bad!)  I was 51st overall out of 60 participants.  I was 4/4 in my age group (30-34).  First through third in each age group got a medal.  Shoot!  New goal – get a medal!

I took almost 5 minutes off my Oakdale Duathlon finishing time of 1:59:44.  And that, is how much I rock.  (Plus Oakdale is officially listed as a 3/13/3 so I biked 1 mile longer too!)

About that finishing alone thing.  I was pretty upset.  I walked over to the snacks, grabbed a water and a gardetto’s.  While chugging down water I walked over to Dusty and said Hi.  He was, ah, surprised to see me.  He was like “You finished already?”  No, no Dusty.  Just here hanging out.  Heh.  I said yes – about 1:55:00 and he gave me a big congratulations.  Then I stalked off and sulked while Kris tried to find me and probably congratulate me.  I don’t know.  I was angry that he wasn’t there cheering for me at the finish.  He – was off getting a dry shirt to wear.  He finished 19 minutes before me and has to dink around getting a dry shirt while I finish?  Yeah.  Still annoyed apparently.  Whatever.  He’s proud of me and my good race.  I’m super proud of me and my race.  That’s my first sub-10 3 mile race I can remember!  I did it!  Sub 10!

Du at the Dam in the books.  Two successful races done this season.  I have two – three more planned for this year.  Whee!

Training Like I Am

So, I’m still fence sitting.  And I’m still being peer pressured.  (Hi Jen!)  I’d really like to do the 1/2 marathon on August 1st but I’m scared I can’t get my body to cooperate.

So in order to make up my mind I’m training like I’m doing it and then when I feel confident, I’ll sign up.  So far, everything is going well.  The training schedule Jen sent me had us doing a 5 mile run this weekend (instead of long runs being on Saturdays I moved the entire schedule one day to the right so my long runs will be on Sundays – there’s too much scheduled for Saturdays this summer to plop that on top of everything).  And I did it.  I ran 5 miles on Sunday morning.  Granted it wasn’t the fastest five miles ever (averaged about an 11:30 pace) but I did it.  And you know what?

I sprinted to the end.  I could have gone farther – a mile or two.  My legs were fine.  My lungs were fine.  It was all good.

I was so happy!  Then I biked for 5 miles, got cold (it was misting out and in the 50′s) and went inside.  So much for that brick workout.

Today I had to do three miles according to the schedule.  Done!  I finished them with a 10:35 pace.  Not too bad!  I even threw in some sprints in there a couple times, sprinting for a block or a block and a half.  I was going as fast as a 7:08 mile at one point!  Too bad my heart rate was 180 during that!  I figure I have to add some fartleks into my training if I want to get faster.  I hate fartleks.  But, hopefully they and some other speed work will get me to those coveted sub 10:00 miles.  One can hope.

Bike day tomorrow (on the trainer) then 4 miles on Thursday then my second duathlon on Saturday!  If you’re not busy, I’d love some cheerleaders!

So, my friend Jen is doing a 1/2 marathon on August 1st.  I’ve expressed interest in doing it with her.  Another friend Jeanette facebooked (that is totally a verb!) that she’s feeling pressure to do it too.  (Side note:  You know what’s awesome?  Having a whole bunch of friends who run!)  Tuesday I put together a training plan and then immediately felt intimidated by the distances required and decided to sit this one out or wait for another run later in the summer or early fall.  Maybe I’d do a 10 miler instead of a 1/2.  But now with finding out Jen’s doing 3 or 4 mile runs (that’s my current capability too) and that Jeanette is thinking of doing it (running 4-5 miles I think right now) well then, why can’t I?

Because I’m not committed?  Scared?  Don’t want to come in last of the three?  (OK, there might be some truth in that last one.  Heh.)  Anyway, I’ve asked Jen for her training plan to see if the one I put together is anything like hers.  To see if I could follow hers without having to worry about my IT band issues resurfacing.  (too much distance too fast and I fear another flare up)

I think I might need to pep talk myself into this one.  Right now I don’t think I can do it.

Rough Week

Well, it’s kind of been a rough week for me.  After filing my race report, things went down hill.  I woke up Monday not feeling so great but went to work anyway.  And then I got worse.  Tuesday I stayed home and rested and still got worse (sore throat, full body aches, swollen lymph nodes, fever).  You know where this is going, right?  Yep.  Strep throat confirmed yesterday.  Finally got some good drugs.  Body aches and fever gone.  Sore throat not as bad today but still annoying.  Lymph nodes are still enormous (golf ball sized!) and sore.

All this means I haven’t worked out since the duathlon, of course.  I took a 4 hour nap yesterday instead!  I’m hoping by tomorrow I can get out for a run.  I have to keep training you know.  Kris and I are officially registered for the Du at the Dam.  (I did manage to do something between my naps!)  And my goal for that race is to personal best my duathlon time.  Maybe sub 10 min miles and over 15mph on the bike?  Based on my Oakdale results, that shouldn’t be too out of the question, right?  So, who’s joining us.  Come on!  The more, the merrier!