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Getting my run on.

Archives for August, 2009

Minneapolis Duathlon Race Report

I did it. My third duathlon if the summer. The 1st Annual Minneapolis Duathlon is in the books. Did you know it was America’s Largest Duathlon this year? And that if you register for the 2010 event before September 12th (and are one of the first 750 to register) that you can get a Minneapolis Duathlon bike jersey? Even though my racing wasn’t very good yesterday (see below) I’m thinking of signing up for next year’s race now just to get the jersey! It’s a $50 jersey and the race entry fee is $65. That’s practically a steal!

Anyway, race day. It was an early morning. And I had to get the kids up early too. They came along to the race and Gimpy, I mean Kris (I shouldn’t be mean to Kris. He was so sad yesterday to not be able to race. I felt so bad for him.), watched them while Dusty and I were racing. We left the house shortly before 6:30am and arrived on site, found a nearby parking spot (score!) and I was getting my timing chip by 7:10am. Parked my bike in the transition area, used the restroom and was ready to race at 7:15am. My wave went out at 8:15am. I, uh, had some time to kill. So I danced with the kids to the music.

Around 8am Kris and the kids went to the start line to stake out their spot. Dusty found me and we chatted for a bit then Dusty’s wave started at 8:10am. There were 1200 registered participants so they started us in waves of 100. At 8:15am my wave of women took off (age 30-34). Um, they were all faster than me. All of them. I was last of the pack for the first mile or so. Maybe they just started fast because it’s race day and there’s adrenaline and whatever. I chased down a few of them. At least I wasn’t the last of the women when the wave of men that started 5 minutes after me caught up to me and passed me as if I was standing still! Ugh. I was a little slow on the first run. I blame it on all the eating I did the night before at a party. No drinking of course but enough corn and ribs and chips and dessert to slow me down!

Run 1 (5K) time: 33:59 (10:57 pace)

Kris and the kids were waiting to cheer Dusty and I on at each transition. That was so great! As I ran into T1, I had to search for my bike for a bit. There were 1200 registered racers after all! And hey, there were a lot of bikes still there waiting for their riders when I arrived! (At least that’s what I’m going with, not that those bikes were done racing for the day and their rides were off running again…)

I found my bike, grabbed my helmet, took a swig of Gatorade and speed-walked my bike the 1/4 mile to the bike mount area. It was a big transition area.

T1 time: 2:38

And off I went on the bike. Now, I haven’t been on my bike, on the streets, since the last Duathlon in June. Since then I had been training for the half marathon. I’ve been running all summer! After the half marathon I did two or three training sessions on the bike trainer indoors but never rode outdoors. Let’s just say it took me a bit to get the hang of it again. I couldn’t figure out how to place my hands so my wrists wouldn’t hurt. My butt hurt after 5 or so miles. I had 13 more to go! It was exciting watching all the fast people sail by me though on the out and back route. Even more exciting? My slow ass passing other really slow people! I did indeed catch a few! I liked the route – West River Parkway from Broadway to almost Fort Snelling and back. There were a couple hills but I made it up them easy. Shocking really! I even passed one woman on the biggest hill of the course! Score! By mile 10 though I was ready for this bike ride to be done. My butt was sore. I was standing on my pedals whenever I’d hit a small downhill to ease my poor butt. I just wasn’t really enjoying this anymore. But what was I going to do, give up? Unlikely. So I kept pedaling, trying to keep my pace up, my cadence up, hearing Kris in my ear coaching me. I was really glad to see the orange flags up ahead though marking the end of the bike course. I waved hello to the kids and then dismounted and walked my bike back to the rack.

Bike (18 miles): 1:14:47 (14.4mph)

I took my time in the second transition. I walked my bike back. Racked it. Took off my helmet. Took another swig of Gatorade and then walked back out to the start of the run.

T2: 3:25

I could tell this run was not going to go well. My legs were shot after that bike ride. I was not prepared for this race. But as soon as I hit the start line I started jogging. I had to at least try. I jogged for the first mile, hoping my legs would recover from the bike and figure out hey, we’re running again! And I did feel a bit better after that first mile. The first mile is always the hardest. But I was still shot. My right ankle was hurting. My left knee was hurting. My legs were jelly-like. I just didn’t have anything left. So I just jogged. Just keep jogging. Don’t worry about time. I was so happy to see the orange flags marking the finish line. I was so happy to see Kris and the kids and Dusty and even Jon there cheering me on. And I was so glad I was done.

Run 2 (5K) time: 35:23 (11:24 pace)

Overall time: 2:30:09

After the race was over I sat down to stretch my butt (ouch!) and then we grabbed my bike, loaded up the truck and got out of there. I was done and seriously needed a nap!

Hopefully next year I can do a little better. There’s plenty of room to PR this race!

(And Kris did take pictures but I don’t have them off the camera yet and I can’t be bothered tonight to do it. I’d much rather sit on the couch next to Kris and watch the Vikings. Sue me.)

Emergency

Guess what? Kris had his appendix out tonight. Guess who’s not racing in the duathlon on Sunday? Kris!

Guess who will be? Me (probably), Dusty, and Kris’s surgeon! Funny coincidence, no?

Ha!

I say probably for me because I haven’t trained at all this week and am feeling very unprepared. Kris still wants me to do it though and, well, I did pay the $65 entrance fee (so did he) so I might as well. I’m just not feeling it right now.

Reasons! Excuses!

I’ve slacked off lately. I admit it. I haven’t exercised since last Thursday. Wrong! Bad! Lazy! OK, but there’s also reasons! Last Friday was spent new vehicle shopping. And Saturday morning was spent new vehicle purchasing! And then Saturday afternoon was spent driving to Iowa in said new vehicle. And then Saturday night was spent spending quality time with family in Iowa. And then Sunday morning was spent getting the kids ready for church (and nephew’s baptism – our reason for being in Iowa) while Kris went out running and then going to said baptism. Sunday afternoon was spent celebrating said baptism with said family. Sunday evening was spent driving home where we arrived at 9pm and finally got kids in bed by 10pm. There was no time for exercising then!

I could have exercised last night. I didn’t though with no real good excuse. Is being tired an excuse? Well, it is although probably not a good one. What can I say? It was a late night Sunday and an early morning Monday with disrupted sleep due to the two year old. By Monday night I was tired.

I got decent sleep last night though so tonight I will get a bike or run in. Probably a bike on the trainer after the kids are in bed. That’s the plan anyway. I think I’ll go for a run tomorrow and probably another bike on Thursday and then rest Friday and Saturday in preparation for race day on Sunday! Third duathlon of the season coming up!

Hungry

The past couple days I have been hungry. HUNGRY! Who knows why but it’s a deep in my stomach “I’m really hungry and not just bored, emotional, etc.” hunger. So, I’ve been indulging. Maybe a little too much – there was a going away party at work today and I did indulge in two small brownies plus some crackers and cheese. OK, and a few chips. Just a few though! And the past couple days I’ve brought extra food with me to work to eat throughout the day too. Yesterday it was an extra fruit cup (no corn syrup – real fruit juice! Yay!) and a granola bar on top of the string cheese, oatmeal, frozen lunch and yogurt that I usually eat. Sure, that only adds up to a couple hundred extra calories but it was just what my body needed. When I got home from work I wasn’t super starving. Sure, both nights I’ve been eating more than just dinner – having a couple small snacks at night too.

I wonder if it’s because of the increased workouts I’ve been doing lately. No, they haven’t been all that long or strenuous but it’s more than I’ve done lately. The couple weeks before the half marathon were rather light, exercise-wise and the couple weeks after were just as light. Then last Saturday there was the easy 3 mile run, Monday was a 35 minute spin and Tuesday was another 3 mile run. Yesterday I rested and tonight I’m going to spin again – as soon as I’m done here. See? Could that be it? More exercise = more hunger? Probably. I just need to keep this from getting out of control. No, Kristina – you do not need another cookie…

Casual

Training lately has been casual, at best. I kind of like it that way. This weekend I was away on a girls weekend and six of the seven of us are runners. How awesome is it that so many of my friends run? Saturday morning after we ate breakfast, we all changed into running clothes and went out for a run together. We even got our non-running friend out there for a ½ mile jaunt before she slowed down to a walk. Another friend joined her and they did a long walk while the rest of us continued on. Since we didn’t know our way around the area very well we ran until the road came to a T and then turned around and went back to the cabin. We totaled about 3 miles at about an 11 min/mile pace I think. I didn’t have Scarlett with me. Jen had her 305 and I think our pace may have been slightly slower than 11min/mile. It was also warm and sticky out so we took it slow. It was so nice to run without an agenda. I wasn’t worried about pace or heart rate or mileage. We just ran for fun. Loved it.

Last night I popped in a movie, set up the bike trainer (well, Kris set up the trainer for me before he left for work because he’s sweet like that – I just had to get my water bottle and tv remote set up on a nearby stool) and spun for 35 minutes. I haven’t been on my bike since the Coon Rapids Duathlon in June. The Minneapolis Duathlon is less than two weeks away so I really need to get some bike sessions in. However, last night I was reminded why I haven’t biked since June. I don’t really like it. I’d rather run every day of the week than bike. I don’t understand how Kris can like it so much. But, so I don’t suck in the duathlon, I’ll get a few more bike sessions in during the next couple weeks and then I’ll probably go back to ignoring the bike again. Heh.

When is your optimal time during the day to exercise? For me it’s definitely in the mornings. I feel great in the morning. I have energy. I have motivation. This morning I was antsy. I wanted to get out there for a run. The sun was shining. It wasn’t hot out yet. And I was stuck inside at work staring at it all outside. I could feel it in my legs – they wanted to run.

Usually when I get home from work in the evenings I am so tired from my day (of meetings) and from the long car ride home (I fall asleep while riding in cars very easily). And it’s even worse before bed. I’m exhausted. My patience is short. All I want to do is sit, veg out, no thinking, no activity.

So, in a perfect world I would get up in the morning, get my work out in and go on with my day.

In the real world I’m up at 5:45am, out the door at 6:20am, at work by 7:00am, home by 4:15pm, exercise if I can (have to alternate days with Kris) or if I can make myself, dinner around 5-6pm and then single parenting for the evening while Kris is at work. Kids are usually in bed sleeping by 9pm although that’s been variable this summer – sometimes it’s 8:30, sometimes it’s 10pm. I need to be in bed by 10pm so I can get adequate sleep (for me) to get up by 5:45am the next morning.

I’m struggling lately with motivation and fatigue at that 4:30pm hour. By that time I don’t want to work out anymore. Anyone have any suggestions to help me?

And please don’t say get up earlier. I don’t have a treadmill or a gym membership and it’s starting to get dark out in the mornings. I don’t want to run or bike outside in the dark. I could elliptical in the basement but, well, that’s just not the same. But it is an option.

Kris and I have talked about getting a gym membership where I could go use a treadmill in the morning (24 Hour Fitness or something like that). We’ve also talked about getting a membership to the YMCA opening near us soon. There the kids could go to the daycare while I used the treadmills. That would be more expensive and more time away from the kids (although I’m doing that now with working out after work). Maybe I should just bite the bullet and join an inexpensive 24 hour gym? Man, that would be an early morning. Yuck.

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!