Sunday, September 17, 2017

Week 15 of Chicago marathon Training

I kind of knew it in my gut that I wouldn't just be running one 20 miler this go around.  My coach loads my running sessions in one week at a time, per my request, and BAM, here you go, another 20 miler and another big week.  I can do this right?  Here are also some random pictures of my life to break up the words, since we run in the dark most days and daylight is getting later and later.

Lego train we got at Legoland.  Over 200 pieces and it took him maybe 30 minutes!
Monday:  Rest day.  My first day of coaching Girls on the Run.  We have 6 girls, and after the first lesson, I am already super excited for this season.  While the first session was a little rough due to it being my very first time with the girls (and having to do stuff alone because our head coach had to leave), we made it through and I already have some new buddies that I can't wait to see on Thursday. My plan was to just coach on Mondays, but I can't not help twice a week!!!  Guess Monday and Thursdays might have to be my Coleman Electric days, and I will have to do work once I get home.

Three cheeseburgers later and he can barely keep his eyes open

Tuesday:  Speed work.  Did my marathon pace speed work session today, instead of my big speed work session of 3 mile repeats.  Felt great even despite waking up to almost 100 percent humidity. Stupid Kansas and it's beautiful low morning temps and 100 % humidity complete with humidity fog. I am so done with humidity.  Actually was cold during my run, but my arm sleeves were being held captive in the guest bedroom.  My hubby has a chest cold the man flu, and has been sleeping down stairs as to not keep andrew and I up, which means if I don't get all of my gear out before morning, I risk waking him up getting it out. I want him to get over this cold near death flu but only if you are a man that we are all passing around, so trying to let him sleep as much as possible.

Not feeling great, but got his homework done anyway
Wednesday:  another rest day.  I had one sick little boy post school to take care of.  High fever was the main symptom, but he has been battling a little head cold and a tummy issues previously.  He had been building more lego creations but complaining of pain in his neck, which I totally thought was maybe growing pains.  Felt of him while rubbing his neck and boom, 101.5 degree fever.  When he is sick, he wants to be held, so there was lots of holding and loving and i don't regret one minute (although I miss my bike and am not looking forward to riding only on the weekend for daylight).

Some days at the end of the day, you just need a beer.  Abita Purple Haze

Thursday:  Speed work.  After a long night of andrew waking up and crying most likely due to pain from fever, I called off our morning run.  I had some hopes that he would be okay to go to school in the morning, but when we got up, he still had a very low grade fever and technically had not been 24 hours post the original fever.  I had planned on taking the day off due to him having an afternoon dental appointment anyway, but wanted to get some stuff done for Coleman Electric at the house and check out the co working space. Post taking care of andrew all day and then coaching for Girls on the Run, I was toast for the night.  I think I should get to count the walking/running/skipping/strength training we do for GOTR as cross training!

Tony, Andrew, and I looking at the stars
Friday:  2nd attempt at Speed work.  Something about seeing  2 mile repeats on my schedule just scares the hell out of me.  Give me 400s or 800s and I got this.  1 mile repeats and 2 mile repeats equals YIKES!  I almost went back to sleep and said forget about it, but with my marathon schedule post work friday, I knew if I didn't get up to do this work out that it wouldn't get done period.  Stella and I headed out to do 9 miles of 2 mile repeats, with warm up and and cool down.  Thanks to the humidity being super low, I was able to master these repeats easily and stay within the pace prescribed by coach.  I really wish the humidity didn't zap me so, because nailing this work out gave me so much confidence!

Post work and seeing one of my bosses do his tenure talk, I headed over to talk to the local Girl Scout Troop.  They are trying to design and implement a dog park in Wamego, and I am eager to help them see their dream come true.  They had great ideas, had done their homework on other dog parks nearby, and had some GREAT ideas on things to make and sell dog themed items to raise money.  I also encouraged them to get donations from local businesses (they have a grant as well) and give those businesses due credit on benches or on signs in or around the dog park.  The city seems really behind this idea, so I think in the near future, this idea will be a reality.

Goober fish
Saturday:  Easy 4 and soccer.  My goal was to go to bed early and sleep in and then go out for a run.  Of course Andrew was wide awake at 7 am ready to go, so up we went.  I finally made it out of the door to run around 9 am, which is super late for me.  It was hot, but the humidity was manageable.  Soccer was eh.  Andrew sort of tried, didn't cry, but did leave the field for an unscheduled water break which got us in trouble.  My whole team was kind of on the edge of not bad but not great.  The other team was actually playing positions, having two forwards and one defender who was parking him or herself in front of our goal.  While technically it wasn't playing goalie, my kids had never had someone just camp out near the goal so all attempts at getting a goal were met with great resistance by a player who had basically had been standing in one spot resting.  While I commend the coaches on having a strategy and wished i would have thought of it myself, I am pretty sure the kiddos playing "defender" were in the goal box which technically makes them goalie.  Oh well, we learned something new and may have to try this next game (minus being in the goal box or goal area since that is technically not allowed).

Sunday:  Long run.  Last 20 miler before Chicago!  I was kind of excited, because when I woke up, the temps were in the low 50s.  Unfortunately, as I scrolled down, I saw 100% humidity.  NOOOOOO!  It was so humid it was misty outside.  I started out with arm sleeves, but quickly shucked them as the humidity kept me from enjoying that cool air.  I started out with Stella with plans to get 15-16 with her before trading off with Deuce, since he got to do mileage yesterday.  I really would have enjoyed this run if the humidity had been manageable and my tummy had been nicer to me.  I still haven't fully gotten my tummy issues under control, and they were super bad during this run.  Add in day 2 of my period and well, I won't elaborate, but it wasn't pretty.  After picking deuce up at mile 15, I was suppose to have a fast finish, but the last 3 or 4 miles were just me trying not to quit.  My hip was tight and not 100% and my left upper back toward the end started having spasms (probably thanks to my hip).  I was trying to restrict my walking to fueling only, but towards the end it was when I needed it.  Thank goodness I have been doing this long enough to know that the taper heals the body, and that one truly bad run doesn't mean anything in the long run.

Total mileage for the week:  40


Have a good week!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Week 14 of Chicago Marathon Training...5 ish weeks till go time!

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Monday:  Rest day.  Well, I was feeling froggy and the day was beautiful, so to give myself a break from all the cleaning/reorganizing I was doing, I hit my bike for a bliss free hour of pedaling.  Labor day for the win!

Tuesday:  Speed work.  My body was unfortunately not up for speedwork at all.  Mel had run her long run late monday, so she wasn't feeling it either, so we dropped back to just 8 miles, no speed.  I was shocked that my body felt as good as it did actually.  I had some little niggles under my left calf muscle and my right hip felt a tiny bit tight, but that was it.  We took a couple of walk breaks as needed.

This is most nights.  Out by 5:30 or 6:00 pm.  Gets up around 8:00.  Back out by 9:30!
Wednesday:  Rest day since I rode my bike monday. I should have gotten in a strength training, but I didn't.  Sigh. Someone please grab me and throw me back on the diet/strength training wagon, PLEASE!

Thursday:  6 easy miles.  Well, we went back and forth about doing this run pre work or post work.  We decided to try and get up because the weather is so cold in the morning lately (and I LOVE it).  Well, we both got up and said, nope, under the covers is nice, so we decided to run post work.  Well, that would have been fine except it was 87 degrees at that point.  We took water, took stella and her water bowl, and took walk breaks when needed.

Friday:  Cross and Strength. I found out that KSU had their band Pub Crawl scheduled Friday night, so we headed into town to pub crawl with the band and meet up with Willie.  We had SO much fun!  I so love band and cheering and being a huge band nerd!  Willie even picked andrew up and held him, but I was taking a video so couldn't take pictures! I couldn't get my phone to switch over and had to take a screen shot of the video!

Saturday:  soccer and easy run.  Hubby had to get up and go to work first thing, so no morning run.  No problem, we had stayed out late after the pub crawl and getting up at 4 am didn't sound like a good idea at all.  Hubby ended up getting back in time for me to do a quick 5 before the game.

A little bit about the game.  This was our second game and it went much much better.  We were evenly matched with a team as small and on the same level as we were, which was super nice.  It wasn't a goal fest at all, so we got to really practice skills like ball control and defense.  I think there was a total of 6 goals scored the whole game and four from my team.  While passing really didn't happen at all, there were so many good parts that I had to walk away happy.  Andrew got kicked in the butt with a cleat and cried, got a ball to the face and cried BUT scored a goal and that erased it all. Plus he was tough on defense, actually getting in there and trying to get the ball back or hanging back and intercepting passes.  That is the kiddo I know and for playing hard, we are going to check out lego land on sunday!

Post soccer and resting, we headed out to the Huff and Puff festival in Topeka. While it was too windy for the balloons to fly, they did blow them up and tether them, and we could all see them in their full glory. I highly recommend this festival as it is free parking and lots of amazing food and activities. I don't recommend this festival IF you have no patience for post event traffic.  Geez.  We sat in crawling traffic for over an hour until we got to a main road.

Sunday:  16 miles.  Why does 16 feel like nothing after 20?  We didn't get in from the festival till after 10 and then my brain wouldn't shut off.  I knew 4 am was going to be painful and boy was it.  I was drowning myself in pumpkin coffee.  The run itself, while super slow thanks to 90% humidity, was pretty good. I limited most of the run to walk breaks to fuel only.  I really didn't have to stop and give deuce or stella much water thanks to the lower temps.  Deuce did 15 or so with me and stella did the final 1 ish.  She was NOT happy about getting 1 but I am still trying to be careful with her running mileage totals.  I am still not happy with the easy run numbers I am seeing but I am hoping that the healing my body will do during the taper and the decrease in humidity will help that number change.  It better or I am screwed with my 50 K in 6 hours plan.

This ride went way to high for those little seat belts.  Let's just say I kind of hung on to andrew the whole time!

Post running, we headed to KC to visit Lego Land and Sea Life.  I could write a whole post on this place as we loved it!  I will just leave a few pics here and save words:)

Watching the 4 D movie.  We got wet!

Master builder class

Total mileage for the week:  35

I am getting SO excited for Chicago!  It won't be as fast as I would like for it to be, but I am fine with my PR being my first time I ran Chicago.  I was hoping the fall temps would stay around, but it looks like warmer temps are coming back to stay.  I also am starting to coach Girls on the Run with Rocking Robin this coming week and I can't wait to meet my girls!

Have a great week!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Runfessions September

I had to laugh, I have so many of these in my draft's box that were started by never finished.  I love getting my thoughts out on the screen, I just hate hitting publish apparently.  Grab a beer, some coffee, or whatever your poison is, and pull up a chair while I spill the beans!

I runfess, while sipping some nice pumpkin beer, that I am really thinking about going to one full or ultra a year.  This year was an experiment to see how it felt to do two marathons and two ultras and I think the results are in.  This training cycle, while injury free (knock on a giant piece of wood), has just been tough for me.  I am not enjoying like I normally do, and have had several longer runs where I honestly just didn't want to do them at all for no reason.  I don't want to loose my joy for running, and I don't want to wear my body out.  I was thinking about doing a spring marathon and or ultra, and then just doing some half marathons next fall.  We shall see, because that basically does not give me the break I think I mentally and physically need, if I do the race I want to do this spring.  I hate going to bed before everyone else and missing out on pretty much everything, because I am either sleeping or running, or exhausted from running.

I also runfess that while I am super enjoying coaching kiddos in soccer, I think we can safely say that Andrew is not a soccer player.  It doesn't break my heart that he doesn't love the sport like i had hoped, but it does break my heart to not see him trying, especially when the WHOLE TEAM is trying but him.  I can't focus on one kid, so I have to just keep going and ignore the crying and theatrics, but it is kind of embarrassing in a way that the coach's kid is sitting on the ground while the rest of the team is playing their heart out.  He was the one that wanted to play this year, so he has to finish out the season no matter what.  It may be a long couple of months for him, but we will make it through (i hope:).  After yesterday's game, we were walking to the park to play a bit.  He looked up at me and said the following:  "Mom, I want to wrestle.  Big boys wrestle.  Big boys don't play soccer. " Sigh.  Yes they do andrew.  I guess we need to go to a professional soccer game to show him that big boys do indeed play soccer.

I also runfess that while school is great at wearing him out, that means he lives in a constant state of tiredness and whiny-ness.  School has helped us get him in bed much, much earlier, but it seems like no matter the time, it still isn't early enough.  Practice is usually after school, and short of giving the child caffeine, i don't know how we are going to make it till his little body adjusts.  I also think that this is creating his issues at school. Yes, it has only been a few weeks, and I already have a parent teacher meeting scheduled.  It's nothing major, more like issues with not respecting personal space, not keeping his hands to himself, and not behaving in the bathroom, but I have no clue how to correct those things at home when he doesn't do them at home.  I have talked to him on several occasions, but I am not sure that our talks are doing anything, since he basically denies any accusations of things that happen at school.  I am super excited that the color chart will be starting next week because at least we have consequences for specific colors already in place thanks to his daycare and their color chart. I know this is another phase and this to shall pass, so let's hope the pumpkin beer stays in stock so I can make it through :)

Okay last runfession.  Sorry, I shouldn't hold these all in :) . This is my last week working full time at KSU.  After this week, I will work part time in my original lab that I have worked in for 13 years and part time for my hubby's business.  Just to remind you, I had been working part time in my normal lab and part time in another professor's lab that works with algae.  I will be working enough at KSU to retain my health benefits and retirement, and I am super scared/excited about the change.  I hate leaving my kiddos in my other lab.  My hubby's business is booming, but there will also be down time,  plus, we haven't had a steady stream of clients in my service center at the lab, so that could dry up at any moment too.  So many variables up in the air, but I am trusting my gut and going with what it is telling me.  At some point, I am hoping to be a full time employee with my hubby's business, as we want this to be a family endeavor.  I am looking forward to having more free time to do some stuff with andrew at school and the school system (like coaching girls on the run and helping with the middle school track meets), since I can do my hubby's work at any time of the day or the weekends.

Whew.  I feel better already!  Here's to a new and exciting month of fun!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Week 13 of 18 Chicago Marathon training

Come on body, just a few more week!  You've got this!

Monday:  Rest day.

Tuesday:  Speed work 2 mile repeats with 400 meter recovery.  I almost didn't get this one done. Warning:  excuses coming.  I woke up with a pounding sinus headache.  Mel and I had already figured out we couldn't get the full 10 miles done that coach wanted us to do pre work, and I have no week nights free this week to get any runs done post work.  Coach had already said we could shorten our recovery times (she had us at 800 meter recovery), and we could also shorten our cool down mile.  We headed out at 4:15ish and we battled with 100% humidity, cars that wouldn't move over and tried to run us down, skunks, and me trying not to puke thanks to my headache.  I just couldn't get the paces coach wanted, but I am proud that I didn't give up and I gave what I could.

Wednesday:  Cross and strength.  Came home to hubby cooking.  He hasn't cooked in forever, so even though I had plans for working out, I quietly took my plate and had my dinner and enjoyed it!  I rested for a bit and then grabbed my bike, messaged Robin, and headed out for at least an hour of riding.  It's getting so dark so early :(

Thursday:  Speed work (5 minutes at MP and 3 minutes easy x 4 for a total of 8 miles).  Mel and I just weren't feeling this work out.  In fact even though it was so cool outside, yet again the damn humidity was at 96%. I am getting really tired of running with a humidity fog hanging on.  I am ready for a wind chill!!!!

Friday:  Cross and strength.  Rest day happened instead. I did not feel well all day and felt on the verge of coming down with something.  I chose to take it easy and rest instead of working out.

Saturday:   5 miles easy.  Let me tell you about saturday and the marathon day we had.   I got up early and got in an easy 5 with both puppers.

Post running i took a quick shower (which was stupid) and got dressed for coaching soccer.  We had our very first game and the Silver Sharks did very well.  We don't keep score, the other team clearly got more goals than us, but I am love how well my team did with only 2 practices under out belt.   Post the game in which I think I ran 5 more miles, Andrew and I went and rode the train and played on the playground.

After that, we headed to the library to play and get some books.  We managed to also sneak over to the doughnut shop and get some doughnuts.  I wanted to carb up for lunch so we then headed out to manhattan to Old Chicago for some carbs.  While in town, we also hit up yet another playground before heading back to Wamego.  Then I somehow got a third or fourth wind and cleaned the living room and organized all of andrew's train stuff.  Sigh. I am one tired puppy as I type this!  Probably going to regret doing so much the day before my 20 miler!

Sunday:  20 miles.  Somehow I didn't set my alarm for the right time, but my body luckily woke itself up right at 4 am.  My plan was to do two ten mile loops, so each dog got 10 miles in with me. 

 Stella was up first and we just felt good, so we kept going till about mile 15.  I switched out dogs and Deuce and I finished strong.  It was amazingly humid, as it has been all summer, so they cooler temperatures got canceled out thanks to the stupid humidity.  I ran for two hours in his humidity fog that left me with a coating of water droplets on my arms and eye lashes.  I wish I could have gotten it to take in the pictures well because it looked like I had frost on my arm hairs.  

Total mileage for the week:  41 miles give or take a few tenths

I am so ready for the Marathon!  While I know my coach and I know she might throw another 20 miler or even 22 miler in the mix, I have a slight hope that this is my last super long run.  She only gives me a week at a time so we shall see!!!!

Have a great week and enjoy your Labor day!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Week 12 of 18 Chicago Marathon training

Enjoy a few more pictures from the race.  I keep getting more and more emailed to me and posted on facebook!  Two things I LOVE are pics of me and stella ella and pics of my kiddo!

Monday:  Rest day.  Hip still not very happy about me doing anything with it.  I tried every hip opening stretch i know.  What scares me is that this is totally different than the other hip niggles that I have had.  This is the front of my hip and it feels more like a strain.  I don't like strains.

Tuesday:  Speed work, 1.5 mile repeats.  10 miles total.  ICKY.  I woke up to lingering lightening.   I had already decided this work out was going to have to be an after work kind of work out, due to the number of miles and how slow I am.  I had thought if it wasn't storming that I would run my 6 and then switch this till Thursday.  I ended up having to cancel soccer, so I had a night free, but my hip was like, don't even think about it crazy lady.  I settled for just doing 10 or 9.65, as I passed the house at that time, and the sudden urge to pee hit me so hard that I almost peed in my pants! I had to sprint for the bathroom and barley made it:)

Wednesday:  Cross training.  A nice long bike ride and therapy session with Rocking Robin.

Thursday:  Speed work or an easy 6.  Since I had to bail on my original speed work, my coach had come up with a fun variation on my 6 miler.  One mile warm up and then 2 x 2 mile repeats with a 400 meter recovery, one mile cool down.  I liked it and looked forward to trying again.  My hip felt better, but still not 100%.  I warmed up nicely and then started into my first 2 mile repeat.  I hit the gas and got nothing.  My body didn't respond at all.  I pushed as hard as I could and still nothing.

I got really down.  I haven't had a bad run in a long time.  My body had nothing to give.  I kept trying and nothing.  I went through the whole woe is me, I am so slow, I will never be able to run a 50K in 6 hours, what the hell was I thinking, why do I run, this sucks thought train.  I even tried some walking and nothing.  I may be smiling in the pic, but I was pissed as hell on the inside.  I keep seeing slower and slower paces, and it is starting to really wear on me.  Not from a PR standpoint, because I know those days have passed, but more from a I have to run really, really far and I would like for this to not be an all day adventure.  I know I am so close to the peak of my training and am more than half way in this training cycle, so dealing with some fatigue, but damn body, come on.  Okay rant over :)

Friday:  Cross training and strength.  Well, I ended up volunteering for packet pick up and race registration for one of my favorite local races, the speedy PD.  The money raised goes back to our community to increase programs for people with Parkinson's disease.  I either run this race or help, and I am so glad I did.  Anyway, I ended up staying till after 7 pm helping, and by the time I got home, I had dinner and went to bed.  Little man had already crashed, so I used that opportunity to crash early as well.  In my defense, I did do about a million squats helping put all the papers together for the packets for people who registered that day.

I am going to have to run this 10 K next year!  Flat and fast and stella can run with me!
Saturday:  Race day volunteering and an easy five.  I woke up around 4:20 to get my run done pre race. I got to see Lindsey from livinglovingrunner, and we got to direct traffic at a crucial part of the course.  We had so much fun and I got some loving time on her cute little boy!  He reminds me so much of andrew at that age.  Post race, we headed back to town to restock my fuel and to get another head lamp.  Dang headlamp was dead AGAIN this morning, and I had to run with my phone light.  I can't do that on a long run and expect my phone to not die, so I bought a battery powered head lamp to have in reserve just in case.  

I love this pic of stella even if it is blurry!

Sunday:  Long run.  Okay so confession.  Stayed out late to hear some local bands play at the Columbian, our local theater.  #Sorrynotsorry.  I had one little tiny beer and tons of water.  When I woke up at 4 am, I had my coffee and fuel, and then went back to bed.  Had intended on sleeping till closer till 6, but my hubby's phone went off at 5:30 am, and would not stop and I couldn't find it.  Okay fine, got up and got ready to head out.  Had a close encounter with a skunk (thank god for good recalls on my Western Hill's dogs), had to make 3!!!! pit stops due to my tummy hating on me, and had to head home around 10 miles in due to lightening.  Waited and waited on the storms to pass by.  

Finally took a shower and ate something while waiting.  I figured that would make the storms leave and it did somewhat.

Deuce and I headed out for the final 8 miles.  It was a bit humid and as the clouds parted, it got a little hot, but I had plenty of water for Deuce, and there were some small puddles for him to cool off in.  

It was an odd day and an odd way to do a long run, but we got the miles done.  As I type this now, I am fighting sleep and trying to stay awake to watch the mid season finale of GOT.

Total Miles for the week:  38.89

Okay, peak week can't come quick enough.  While my hip feels much better, other normal things are bothering me, so I am rolling, drinking tart cherry juice and doing my MYRTL like crazy!!!  Have a great week!  I will be attending my first parent's night at Andrew's school, and I can't wait!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 11 Chicago Marathon Training

A sort of cut back week!  YIPEEEE!  Shorter long runs this weekend, but longer runs during the week.  Two days of speed work this week, but manageable paces.   Also, soccer starts and so does school.  I may be a crying mess ALL week!!!!

Monday:  Rest day.  Dentist appointment day.  Back to school day.  I found out today that my sweet baby angel has FOUR cavities!!!!  What the what????  His back teeth are super tight and so post x rays, we discovered two on each of his back teeth where they have been sitting together tightly incubating fun stuff.  My dentist said he could knock them out fairly quickly, but he would have to use the shot to numb him, and with my newly minted needle phobic kiddo, I said no thanks.  We got a referral to a pediatric dentist that uses gas.  I may need it just as badly as he does :)

Okay bear with me a moment as I do a major photo dump of my kiddo.
With one of his dear LLB friends Bridgette

His class room looks out at the playground and this is the view from his desk. Heaven help his teacher!

Chilling in the reading area


She had him at super minion
All in all I think the night went well.  Andrew doesn't know anyone in his class, but very quickly he was down in the lego area playing with several of the boys.  Two of his little love bug classmates were in the classroom next to his, so hopefully he will get to see them at recess or lunch or something.  His school is so cute and small that I have faith he will be fine. I am the one that will be a mess!!!!!

Tuesday:  Mile repeats 10-10:15 pace x 5 (8 total miles).   I wasn't looking forward to the repeats but the pace was much nicer than the previous paces.  While the 96% humidity at 4 am made it a little tough, we managed with the help of some 90s hits.  Always looking for the next earworm for our next tough ultra.  Baby got Back anyone?

Wednesday:  Strength and cross.  Got the strength, but not the cross.  First day of school.  I was an emotional mess all day but I never fully cried.  I wrote a separate post about his first day and how it didn't end well.  I am hoping Thursday will be better.  I think the school part was fine but the after school was not. I am willing to give it a week but  am exploring other options just in case.

Thursday:  7 miles with sets of 5 min hard 3 minute easy in the middle.  Sort of speed work sort of not. Got out the door a little later due to Melly being on vacation.  While I thought I would have plenty of time, I did not and had to cut my suppose to be 7 mile run short at 6.5 something.  I can add half a mile to some other run later this weekend.  Got to see one of the foxes and had a bat swoop right in front of my head lamp and almost scare the crap out of me.  I don't know why I encounter so much wild life when Melly is gone.  Andrew and I headed out to walk to school post run.  We had so much fun walking, and I hope it stays that way.

Friday:  Cross. An hour on my bike.  I needed it.  Andrew has been coming home super tired, which equals super crabby and whiny.  Even though we celebrated the first week with mini milk shakes from Sonic, he was still tired and on edge.  We have been struggling to keep him awake till bed time, which is a very good problem to have.  Anyway, the hour on my bike was what I needed to reset my brain.  

Saturday:  Race day + 3.  I needed to get an extra 3 in, so I woke up extra early to fuel and coffee and eliminate, since I was also working the race.  3 miles in the dark with the kiddos pre race.  It's always odd just doing 3 miles, as 3 mile is kind of when my body wakes up and accepts what we are doing lol!  After heading home and sitting for a few minutes, I had decided to head back up to the school and be early, in hopes that I could help people get ready.  When I got there, it was just me and the bouncy house guy.  Slowly, others arrived an we started set up.  I was suppose to help at the registration /t shirt/packet pick up.  Most people had picked their stuff up the day before, but many wanted to do day of registration, mainly for the kid's 1 miler or the the fun run, so we had periods of pure chaos.  I will write a separate blog post about the race but here is two of my favorite pictures:

Sunday:  Long run.  Coach gave me a shorter long run this week and I was glad.  I woke up super sore and not sure why (probably racing on concrete for three miles).  I also woke up to lightning and storms all around.  This was one day that I HAD to start on time and had to get finished as quick as I could, because the day was jam packed.  I had to get to the grocery store and I had to get to Girls on the Run training (5 hours, gasp).  When I woke up, it was feels like 86 outside.  YIKES!  I was hoping the storms would cool down the temps and take the humidity under control.  It did slightly, but when the sun got around the clouds, it was back to being horrible out.  I finally got started around 6:30, which was an hour and a half after I had planned on getting started.  I decided to take Deuce and let Stella rest, and then if he was too hot, I would loop by the house.  I took one large bottle of water for him, and one of my bottles for me.  He was doing so well despite the heat, that I decided to just finish the entire mileage and keep him with me.  

New moo moos in the feedlot!

This picture is funny and has a story.  The irrigation system was on, and the end spout was spraying on the tarmac of the airport and making lots of noise.  Deuce was fascinated by it, so I sent him out to check it out.  Deuce is my shadow dog, so the fact that he went that far away from me is very crazy.  He did always have a great out in agility LOL!  He didn't really play in it, he just kind of watched it and followed it and then returned back to me.  We did do lots of walk breaks during this run and it is what it is.  I am not going to get down that I was sore and tired and needed walk breaks anymore.

Total mileage for the week: 34.75 miles

SO close to taper time!  I am ready!  Hoping for a couple more weeks of hard and then some nice easy before Chicago.   Come on body, hold it together for just a little longer!

Have a great week!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Run Back to School 2017

I love this race!  There is nothing better than a home town race that benefits the very school your kiddo goes to!  This year was even more special because a) andrew is actually now in school there b) i was part of the committee to help run it and c)stella got to run it after over a year of battling IMPA.  

This is a race I like to do every year.  I love being able to step outside of my door and walk to the start line in 5 minutes.  I love that I know the course like the back of my hand, and that it is a fun and challenging course with up and down hill.  I love that the residents around the course get out and cheer, and that there are so many activities for the kids to do pre and post race.  Plus, how cute are kid races????

I love that for the kiddos, the theme is super heroes, but for the t shirts, every year has a different feel.  Last year it was back to the future and this year it was Star Wars.  I did purchase a few of these shirts extra:)

Plus this was the first year for Coleman Electric to be a corporate sponsor.  I am super proud that Tony's company can give back to the community!

Add in that the packets have stuff in them that I will actually use!

They have been using the same course for the past couple of years, and I love it.  There are some parts where there is side walk and it is challenging to pass but otherwise, nice down hill to complement the uphill parts.

Mile 1:  9:01.  My goal for this race was even mile splits.  I never ever have run a race where all of my mile splits were even. I usually go out WAY too fast and then die the second half of the course. I honestly wasn't really sure what pace I could even muster as it was super humid and not quite what I would call cool.   Mile one starts at the school and goes down 8th street hill to the rec complex.  You head around the rec complex and exit out onto Balderson for your first mile.   Other than Stella trying to pull me the entire first mile as hard as she could, this mile was good. I usually go out WAY to fast and pay for it later.  I liked this pace and was able to maintain my cool and keep some good breathing and not let the people around me influence my race.

Mile 2:  9:10.  I had hoped to get this mile a little faster but I did stop for water for stella at this mile.  I quickly drank one big gulp and then let her finish the rest.  She had pulled pretty much for two straight miles, and she was hot and tired.  Mile two has you cruise down 6th street to the park, through the park and up 4th, across 4th and up some side walks.  Side walks in this part of town are not the greatest, so most people were walking and paying attention to their feet.  I passed several people at this point.  Again, my goal was even, and I felt like we were doing a good job.

Mile 3.  9:39.    Ah, the only uphill part, but at least it is mostly shaded.  You are heading across to 8th street again to go back down to the finish.  Stella was majorly lagging at this point.  She had been mad pulling for 2 straight miles, and I figured we were probably going to have to walk.  This is where I normally crash as well, but as we were heading up those hills, I honestly felt fine for once.  I just tried to keep an easy steady beat, and control my breathing.  People were dropping like flies, and we passed a huge chunk of the people that were ahead of us at this point.  Stella seemed to get her third wind, and we headed for home.  Except one tiny problem.  We had a small section down 8th street where we were on side walk again and we were stuck behind a guy.  He would NOT let us get by.  Every time I would move to one side to pass him, he would move that way.  He seriously did this several times, and I finally just gave up.  I knew we had a portion back on the street for the finish, so I was hoping we could pass him there.  He ended up finishing ahead of us by 2 seconds.  It was just kind of weird that he wouldn't let us pass at all.  Oh well, not in my age division or the same sex!

I ended up finishing in 28:48, which is probably my worst time for this course, but I am really proud of it because it was a very even effort versus my normal go out way to fast at the beginning and die at the end.  We never walked and I probably would not have stopped for water if I had not had stella.  My stomach behaved, which is always a bonus.  We ended up 2nd in our age group, fourth overall woman, and 10th overall runner.  You have to LOVE little tiny races because this will never happen again LOL!

Post race the kiddos got ready for their races by making capes, painting masks, and just generally having fun!  There was even two bounces houses this year, one regular castle one and one that had water and was shaped like a shark!

All in all, this is a SUPER FUN race!  SO much for the kids to do while you run your race, and the money goes to a great cause!  I love the super hero theme and love all the picture ops.  I will be back to help with it next year, as it is a smoothly oiled machine.  I wish we could get runner participation up, but it is what it is. I think the committee did an amazing job advertising, I think that running in all races is down this year for whatever reason.  The kid's races are always well stocked with kiddos, and I am hoping Andrew might be ready for the 1 mile next year.  I was pleased with my effort, especially after doing 3 miles prior to the race (and having to run back home to get stella in order to run with her, long story).  I am so so glad that stella is back to running and is happy and healthy again.  This is one of the few dog friendly races we do a year, and I want to say a huge thank you to the RD for letting us run together since we train together.