Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oh right, I have a blog...

I'm not sure about y'all, but some days it just seems really hard to write a blog post.  I guess I feel that no one really wants to read about what I'm doing - or not doing - and sometimes it's tough to come up with entertaining posts.  Not that this blog has much entertainment....but I do try to not sound like a complete idiot.  I know I've failed on that a time or two.

Anyhoo, since this is essentially a running blog, I'll start there....
  • Official race photo from Carlsbad Marathon.  I constantly have this smirk? on my face in every race photo.  For the life of me, I have no idea why, it is absolutely hideous, and I don't even know I do this when I run.   
Oh warm weather, how I miss you!
  • The illustrious PW 5k I ran a week after the marathon.  Same crooked smirk - nothing beats consistency, eh?  Now I also have the added perk of a lovely growth on my hip.  Mike, your hip goiter is nothing compared to this sucker!  And, isn't at least one foot suppose to be off the ground when we run?
  • Well, I thought that half marathon from hell in December was the coldest I've ever been in a race.  Oh no, I've manage to one up that race.  On Feb. 12th I ran a half marathon in 8 degrees.  Now, this probably wouldn't have been much of a problem when layered up except that I volunteered at race registration - which was OUTDOORS - for 2 hours before the race.  Aka: I shivered for 2 solid hours, despite popping about 14 hand warmers in every spot I could place them.  When I started the race, I was cold, and I never managed to warm up my core.  If your core is cold, YOU are cold.  Period!  Also got to run up this HILL at about mile 7.5 which had about 6 switchbacks ...  that's where I pretty much decided I was officially done with that race and just sandbagged the rest of it.  Another PW... well, that's not true, the one in December was worse - but not by much.  (notice the progression of more clothing with each race picture?  Um, yeah...and that's a first that I've ever actually kept a headband on my head for an entire race.  It was killing my ears with my headphones and sunglasses on.)

About the only saving grace of this race was that 1) it was actually a very pretty course - or would be if I wasn't shivering to death and could enjoy it, 2) it was very well organized for a first race, and 3) I have some of the best friends ever who came out in this crazy cold weather to cheer me on (and get delicious Mexican food after).
Tara drove about 45 minutes to listen to me whine, Julie's drive a was a tad less; she still got to listen to me whine though.  What awesome friends!
  • I think that's it for race updates, aside from the two I bailed on.  One was a 5k the end of January.  We got a whopping 18" of snow two days before and I didn't relish the idea of twisting my ankle and being on the another DL for 6 months.  Injury purgatory for 2 years was bad enough, I have no desire to descent to the inferno of re-injury.  Fellow post-injured runners understand this implicitly.  The other copped out race was a 5-miler last weekend.  Honestly, I wasn't feeling very hot the few days prior and when I woke up to race it, I knew it'd be a sucky race and I wasn't in the mood to be institutionalized as I knew it'd eat at my psyche.  This whole sloth-like process to get my fitness level back is ... well.... sucky!
  • I had my first official team meeting for the race team I'm running for: Team BRC.  What a great bunch of runners (about 30 of us, I believe).  What I especially love is that we're all at varying abilities from a couple professional tri-athletes to those who are just starting out running.  Here's a few of the freebies I've received from the team and Brooks:
Official team racing singlet; Brooks warm-up jacket; Brooks PureFlow shoes (not pictured: Brooks warm-up pants, running bra and some socks).
  • Anyone wearing the new Brooks PureFlow shoes?  I think I found the new love of my life.  Black isn't my favorite color in running shoes, but I guess I'll suffer though the miles in them beings they were free and all ;) (new color out: Pink.  I'll be all over those for the next pair!!).  Love the lightness and low-heel drop of these babies, plus they are just loaded with some great cushioning.  I have learned the hard way that my feet just need something between them and the pavement.
  • Because I have this little 50k race in a mere 3 weeks in Iowa, I plopped my body on the treadmill today and had one of the better long runs I've had in ... years!  21.4 miles.  And you know what?  I felt AWESOME.  I implemented a run/walk ratio thingie, only because that's how I want to run the 50k since I know my sorry out of shape bod will not be ideally prepared to run 31.something continuous miles in 3 weeks.  So I slowed the pace to a crawl (9:49) and did a 15:2 walk/run.  15 minutes running at 9:49 and then 2 minutes walking.  I've never done this before.  I have a brain dysfunctionalality, you see, and think that if I'm not out there killing myself at mile 1 then why bother and then I end up resorting to something similar to a shuffle at the end.  But the goal of this 50k is to finish, and nothing more, so I read a lot about pacing for a ultra and this walk/run thing was highly suggested if you want to finish strong.  I knew if I did this run on a treadmill, I'd be forced to keep the pace moving and not slow it down.  So that's what I did...and I have to say, aside from my feet being totally pissed at me when I was done, I felt really good.  This was a huge confidence 50k  boost.  Just not sure how I will endure 10 more miles on super angry, tired feet.  But somehow, I will (this angry feet thing has nothing to do with my heel - thankfully  This was just tired "you've been running long enough, Stupid, stop for heaven's sake" feet).

  • I have a 5k next weekend, a 7k the following weekend (love, love, love this race!!) and then...*gasp* that 50k the next weekend.  So yeah, my need for speed work is going to force itself into my running world, finally.  This is probably a good thing.  
  • Finally, my good friend and last year's Pikes Peak buddy, Too Slow for Boston, has put together this incredible running blog database.  I'm very impressed of all the work he's done to it, I'm sure my computer illiterate brain would still have me imputing data for the first entrant, but Jon's up to over 670.  It is the neatest thing ever, I can't believe he's developed such a cool database.  If you want to be a cool kid in the blog world and are not in the database, please contact Jon here to be added:
Running Blog Database

In snowshoeing news (because you all knew there was snowshoeing news)....

My son, Ryan, was up in the mountains a couple weekends ago for the high school state snowshoeing championships; several of those on the track team decided to participate and Ryan was all over this ....
He finished 9th overall and 2nd for his team ......
The tall one is Ryan.  The he-man guy in front is our top runner for the school and came in 2nd overall.   Yes, they are wearing Viking hats, their prized prize for placing.  Ryan thought this was the coolest thing on the planet .... he wears that thing around the house constantly!  :)
Yesterday those who placed from the state meet (Ryan!!) headed back to Summit County High School, up in the mountains, and competed in the National High School Snowshoeing competition.  Kids from all over the country were there - I was in total awe that this thing even existed and that Colorado was hosting such an event (next year it's in Bend, Oregon).
Ryan's towards the back in the orange jacket
Ryan knocked 7 minutes off his 5k snowshoe time this week and placed about 14th overall.  So cool!  What a great opportunity for these kids to get involved in snowshoeing, a great pre-season cardiovascular activity (it totally wipes my sorry out of shape butt out).

Of course, since we were off school Monday and Tuesday last week, Ryan wanted to go up to the mountains and practice some of his snowshoe skills to prep for the state meet.  Despite the fact I think I'm still thawing out from that little half marathon mid-February, I'll never pass on an opportunity to borrow a friend's gorgeous condo in Frisco and hit the trails....
Little lung-sucking trail run on day 1.  Gorgeous day!
Snowing a little on day 2 as we started out....
....but that doesn't stop the beauty.

Doesn't everyone end their chilly adventure in the snow for 3 hours with yummy frozen yogurt?  Especially when someone leaves their wallet at the condo and has no way to pay for such deliciousness.  
I think that brings y'all up to date on my exciting boring life.  I will be sure try to update more often...I bet you're all chomping at the bit to see if I can get yet another PW at my 5k next weekend.  I know I am!  :)

Until next time...

Run strong, my friends!

P.S.  My friend took the picture on my header, it's near Mayflower Gulch in the high country, where they winter camped.  My other son, Brendan, was suppose go to with them, but bailed because he wanted to go to the school dance with his date.  It's really tough living in Colorado sometimes!  ;)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Post-Carlsbad mindless chatter

It's been brought to my attention (ahem) that I haven't posted in a couple weeks.  Hum.  I have a valid excuse, really I do.  I've been computer-less.  Again.  About 3 weeks ago my laptop decided it didn't want to charge anymore.  I took it to the computer hospital and the doctor assured me it was a small fix, just needing a new jack.  Turns out a simple jack is really a whole circuit board and $450 to fix.  What!?!?  I decided it was best if the thing just died and I'd get a new one.  It hasn't arrived yet but I've pretty much stalked the Dell "Chat" center and am now on the watch list so that no one will chat with me there anymore.  I have been told the new laptop should arrive tomorrow.  We'll see.

It's not that I can't get on the desktop computer at home, I can, but I have limited time on it (sorry I haven't commented much) due to two 16-year olds who think they have priority doing homework combing social media sites.

But more so, ya all  know how much I like to include pictures and I'm too stupid to figure out how to upload pictures off my camera without taking the little memory card out and popping it in my laptop.  So pictures on today's blog are courtesy of Google Images (is that illegal?).

So, what's new since I returned home from that sweet marathon in Carlsbad....

  • Band geek son had a band thingie down in Colorado Springs a few days after I returned from CA and so I went for a nice run/hike at the Garden of the Gods.  Pictures from the event are on my camera but I'll steal a few for this post and re-post some later.  It was a gorgeous evening and I had a nice hike but no way the legs were going to run much.  

  • View of the Pikes Peak summit through some redstone rocks

    • I ran a 5k 6 days post marathon.  If anyone wants to know how to run a personal worst, just sign up for one 6 days after trashing their legs running 26.2 ill-prepared miles.  That will do it!  I ran the Yeti Chase 5K in 300 degrees below zero with hurricane-forced winds with tons of hills.  Race description said it was mostly flat.  They lied.  Or maybe it was my really tired legs which made me think the hills were actually mountains, who knows, but my Nike watch time of 25:59 is now officially my worst 5k ever.  I'm okay with this actually....I told Tara the night before when we were swimming I just wanted to run about 9 min/miles and use it as a little recovery run.  But we all know how that plays out once the gun goes off....when I hit the first mile in 7:37, I knew this was no easy recovery run....and my legs let me know at mile 2 when I hit a 8:40.  Woohoo!  Overall pace: 8:22.  I used this race as Adam's virtual Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K - I hope they have category for "soonest 5k after a marathon" and I win boatloads of cash!
    • I bailed on a Super Bowl 5K last weekend due to a crap load of this stuff the day before:
    No sense in making my PW even worse than last weekends'.  It was free so not a big deal...still, I wanted to use it as some much-needed speedwork.
    • Due to above white crap, I ran 15 miles on my treadmill today.  My legs finally felt good.  But I chaffed on my lower back where my shorts reside. the 300 years I've been running, I have NEVER chaffed here.  Huh?  Then I got the added pleasure to sit on a wooden seat at the library for 2 1/2 hours post-run while I used the library's computer to get some work done.  I received some interesting library patrons looks when I sat sideways in the seat and then again later when I stood and hunched over to type.
    • I have a 1/2 marathon this weekend.  I'm not sure why I signed up for it other than it was free and there was hardware involved.  Speedwork, free, hardware - I'm in!  I have no intention of "racing" it - I'll just use it as some tempo work - or perhaps ice skating lessons.  I am volunteering at registration before the race (thus the freebie entry...never hurts to ask the race director if you can have a comped entry for some volunteer work :)).  Today I got an email detailing my volunteer duties and the RD just happened to enclose this tidbit in the email:  We will fill the race shortly and we've even gotten some of our Olympic marathon team coming out to compete. Um...I will pull a SUAR if I happen to see Ryan or Kara or anyone from THE Olympic Marathon team...I'm guessing she means the Colorado team who ran the trials, which is still mighty impressive and pretty cool.  Unless, of course you're competing with them.  I wonder if I'll come in last place!?!  I'm so wishing I would have signed up for the "walking" division.
    • In a moment of temporary weakness, I signed up for the Chicago Marathon last Friday.  This absolutely does not mesh well with the Pikes Peak Marathon the end of August.  I received an email on Friday morning stating the race was almost full after opening 2 days earlier and all I could think of was how I didn't want to miss out on registration.  So I registered.  I obviously need some sort of racing interventionist to sit down and slap me.  I have no idea what I'm going to do about Pikes Peak and Chicago.
    • Speaking of moments of weaknesses....I'm doing a 50k in Iowa in a few weeks.  Um....this is sort of comical - I hope you're all laughing!
    • I am going to be a head coach for the Girls on the Run program.  We start training on March 5th and the girls' big 5k race will be May 12th.  I'm so excited about this opportunity.
    • Finally, I'll be running with the team I'm racing with this year, Team BRC, on Saturday morning and I've contacted the group coordinator and they are all IN on running for Beth's virtual run in honor of her cousin, Sherry, who was abducted while out for a run last month in Montana.  We'll all be sporting the bibs as we run....I hope you'll all be doing the same.

    Run strong, my friends!!