It’s been nearly a month, 4 weeks, 30 days since I completed my second full marathon. I’ve started to put the words together to share with you all, but they just aren’t coming. I’m working at it, when I have the time. It’ll be a big post…pictures and stories and such of my adventures in Chicago.
Just thought I’d let ya’ll know, between two jobs, 3 volleyball leagues, and attempting to get back to a regular fitness and running routine, finding the words to convey the one million feelings I had during the Chicago marathon is not coming easily!
Last year a bus full of my fellow gym members loaded up a coach bus to head just over the boarder into Wisconsin to join a bajillion crazy people for the Tough Mudder!
I thought that they were all crazy and total maniacs! I at the time I didn’t see myself doing something like that, EVER. After some running buddy peer pressure I signed up!
Last Saturday was the day!! Somerset Wisconsin 10-ish miles and 18 obstacles later I earned my orange headband!
Let’s talk obstacles shall we? There were 18 total, if I remember correctly. We had an obstacle even before we crossed the start line! We all had to get over a 6 foot wall to get into the coral and get pumped up!
My friends at the wedding knew that I was doing the tough mudder in the morning and I brougt my headband with to show off during the dance! I got some strange looks but my friends knew and were proud! 🙂
A day later my legs looked better than the felt after I got home yesterday! + my delayed ( because I don’t drink and drive, and there was free wine at the wedding DUH!) celebratory drink post-mudder.
Last night my friend Dawn ask me if I thought I’d want to do the tough mudder next year, I responded with “ask me tomorrow”. It was fun, it was hard, and it was exciting to complete! I just wasn’t sure.
(Edited Note: Don’t ask me why this was sitting in my drafts for 2 months. The tough mudder MN was the weeeknd of July 22, and I am just posting now!? Don’t ask why!!)
(Edited: I wrote this post the day of the race, labor day, but posted much later…I’m a bad blogger! )
As I just wrote the title for this blog post I realized that a goal that I had for the summer. a plan that started off well, then life happened and my dedication waivered and my 1 mile per day through the summer or #amyrunsthesummer plan fell apart at the seams. But I don’t need to focus on that right now because there were so many good things about this summer other than that one thing.
I am still training for the Chicago Marathon that is coming up in just about 6 weeks! I still can’t believe it! I went to Colorado and ran there, and hiked a 14er with Heidi and did all sorts of running as well as getting a new to me bike to start riding and eventually start training for a sprint triathalon next summer!
But I digress, this post is not about my summer re-cap or failures or sucesses of the summer, but rather about my last weekend of the summer. This last weekend of the summer I spend running it out. Just like I did last summer. On Saturday I completed the Women Rock Half Marathon for the second year.
I kept thinking of this race as another training run in my marathon training for a few reasons – one because it was hot, I mean HOT leading up to the race day, like nearly 90 degrees, sunny and so humid, and two because while I really wanted to PR (this race is my current PR), I knew I should listen to my body and not to anything too crazy. Well I didn’t Pr, so there goes that spoiler.
I bought a fuel belt for the first time and tried that out for the run. It went pretty well once I finally adjusted it up to my natural waist, and cinched it up. In the first 100 yards, one of my bottles fell out. Thankfully I got it back. through out the race my glasses fell off my head, my headband slipped off any my tank rode up under my fuel belt. It wasn’t until about mile 6 when things finally settled down. My two friends and I started off together, but split up along the way. I eventually caught up with the one out ahead of my at about mile 8 or so and we pretty much finished the race together, her about a minute or so ahead.
Another new thing that I tried out for this race, because it was just a training run, was UCAN. They started selling it at my gym a while ago and some of my fellow run-clubbers have talked about trying it and how good it worked for them, so I gave it and bought it too (thankfully at a discount since I am now a gym employee!). At the suggestion of my running buddies I put a scoop in my shaker bottle and drank that just before I checked my bag, and also had one of my water bottles filled with a scoop+water for during the run.
Good news is that I had no tummy troubles, or any weird side effects from the UCAN before, during or after the run! Woo! I realized at about mile 4 or so that I was not hydrated enough for the heat, humidity and hills of this particular day and course! I always aim for drinking 100oz of water a day, but Friday I just had other things on my mind at work, so unfortunately, I didn’t get in my 100oz. In the morning I tried to make up for it on my way to the race, but I guess that just didn’t quite happen.
The bad news of the day came at about mile 10 when my friend Crystal and I cross what is the 10 miler finish line for another race that I have done before. I told her, you know if they had a 10 milers today, we would be done right here. That was of little comfort to either of us! 😉 We just had a little 5k left, and it was tough, over the river and over passes up hills and all in the sun. To make matters worse for me was my TI band and or hip flexor was acting up. I hadn’t had any real issues with either of those things in the last month, but that day they decided to show up again! I blame the hills. (Chicago is flat right!? I hope so!) We had past the last aid tent, and next was the finish line my dang I hurt! The pain was shooting from my hip and down through my knee something fierce!
Then about a quarter of a mile away was Angie, my cheering section for the day! She ran in the last little bit with me and help me forget about the pain, which really, I don’t remember it hurting that much when I was running with her. #thankfulforrunningbuddiesagain We passed Crystal’s husband and kids who were beyond excited to see and cheer for me (they kiddos, not so much the husband ;)).
Finally came the finish! Nik was there again helping to pass out the post-race snacks and I got my new necklace by a “hot fireman” and then my favorite person (just some guy) was passing out iced down wet towels. That was my favorite thing. We sat and stretched a bit took our post race pictures and then headed over to the post race party for our free glass of bubbly (I had sprite) and enjoyed some live music by GB Leighton. It was a much better post race party than last year! The band is local but very popular around here. We enjoyed some tunes in the sun and then shortly headed out.
Thankfully my IT band wasn’t hurting nearly as much after we got back to the car because I had a 3.5 hour car trip up north a head of me! I went up to stay with my sister a brother in-law at their camper up north for the long weekend.
Of course about 1.5 hours into the trip I got hangry and wanted Arby’s (which I haven’t eaten in about 6 years). I passed one and decided I would stop at the next one I saw. Well little did I know they were few and far between once you got out of the metro! Dang it! I finally got about half way and settled on a Culvers, well, because they rock, and got a little snack pack lunch. And low and behold about 45 minutes later TWO Arby’s about 15 mins apart from each other! Oh my luck!
Well I made it up to the camper and spent some time on the beach with my sister and nephews before the storm hit that evening.
It was a long, but fun day and I have a feeling the rest of the weekend will follow suit! Hopefully the sun will come out again soon!
It’s been quite some time since I have actually taken the time to sit down and write a post. Life has been busy with softball, volleyball, marathon training, working two jobs, and the little time left over that I have left over for life!
There are have been SO many things happening since I have last sat down to write. The most colorful was the Color run in St. Paul on the Minnesota State Fair Grounds. It was a really fun and well organized race! Thanks to my trusty zip lock bag I took my phone along for the ride and was able to get some fun pictures with my friends Crystal and Linda during the run!
All done! Woo!
I sweat the rainbow!
My run club group is notorious for a
expensive wonderful habit of having a big bandwagon affect on us members. I guess we’re a little sheepish. One person says they are going to do a race and then before a few days go by 5 more people have signed up!
This was the case for Lake Waconia’s Lola’s half marathon/10 mile yesterday. Last month there was lots of chatter in the facebook group about signing up for this race and before I knew it there a number of people signed up! I did not sign up as my 2013 racing budget is pretty much maxed out with all of the races I have signed up for so far, and the Chicago Marathon that is taking a big chunk of change! But I always said that I would be there to cheer on all of my run club peeps!
So anyway, my friend Linda was amongst the people who signed up. She registered for the 10 miler. Then a short time later she boarded a flight to Africa for ~2 weeks! When she got back the time change got the best of her so she
recruited asked if I wanted to run in her place on Thursday. I’ve been running, not in any way shape or form actually training for anything, but I’ve been running. So I said yes thinking it would be a fun race with the run club people!
I’ve never done this race before (I heard it was just the second time they’ve put it on) and it was great! The course was
freaking hilly well marked and the lake and houses were pretty to look at!
The sun was out and hot in the first 3 miles or so and that made me nervous but eventually we got into some shade and the clouds came out for a bit.
I wanted to run a good time since I almost PR’d last Friday, I thought maybe I had it in me. The stars didn’t quite align for me, but I did much better than my last 10 mile race by around 20 minutes and just over my PR by about 7 minutes! For not knowing that I was running this race until Thursday for a Saturday race I thought I did pretty well! My chip time was 1:53:01 and my PR is somewhere around 144/145.
As I walked back to where Linda and her kids were standing and cheering, there was a half marathoner laying on the ground in pretty rough shape! Linda told me that she was wobbly on her feet and went down just after I finished.
The woman’s dad came over and eventually the paramedics took her to the ER, but luckily the medical staff took really good care of her and she was conscious the entire time she was laying on the ground. You can see her sweaty body marks on the street! I would imagine she was extremely dehydrated. The staff was SO great taking care of her and making sure the other runners took care to run around her (she was in the middle of the course). I felt so bad for her since the finish line was JUST 100 yards away! She didn’t get to finish! 😦
After the race Lola’s had a great post race party for us – beer and burgers and pork sandwiches! Yum!
Once I finally made it home it was time for an icy bubble bath, and a movie night!
One one thing that I am not so sure about is my bling…It says half marathon, but I only did 10 miles. I have no idea if they had separate medals for the two races, but that is what the 8 year old gave me at the finish line so that’s what I took! Oh well!
It turned out to be a great race, with wonderful weather and great friends! I’m glad that I had the opportunity to do this race and I think I will do it again next year!
Day two Night two of my Colorado trip went like this! If you missed day one check it out here!
Friday night Heidi, Lynne and I met up at the Denver Zoo for the Underwearness 5k race. Last year I went out to visit Heidi for the first time and she talked me into running this race for the first time. So when I heard about this race again, I decided what better reason to go out and visit Heidi and Friends!?
Last year I ran this race in 33:14 which given the elevation (exactly a mile high!), I was ok with. This year I finish in 30:55! According to my Garmin my miles came out like this:
Mile 1: 9:54
Mile 2: 11:11 (stopped for water and fix the shoe)
Mile 3: 9:47
Average Pace: 10:18
The course was short, my garmin had exactly 3.0 miles, but my pace is faster than last year so I am happy! And bonus, if I would have not stopped to fix the shoe I could have PR’d (maybe) and beat my old 5K pr of 29:49 set way back in 2009! Then Heidi and I would have both busted our 2009 PR’s in the same year (and a mile high!). But alas, it was not my day. It was a run race, and I walked away happy. Also, knowing that there was free wine in my future made me happy as well!
Traditional finish line picture above, and below is a jumping shot, because Lynne and Heidi do them, and I wanted to join in the fun!
Lynne was so kind to share some post race pictures that she took with her phone, since Heidi’s isn’t great, and I didn’t have mine!
After we all finished the race and took lots of finish pictures (and I got my camera and phone) we headed over the zoo to see all of the animals!
By the time the three of us saw all the animals/ran out of free drinks/ the sun went down, it was pretty late and Heidi and I were pretty hangry so she decided that I needed to experience Little Caesars for the first time. Yes, I have not ever (I don’t think) eaten Little Caesars. I did and it was yummy especially after the 5 drinks I had at the zoo! woo!
We headed home and promptly sat on the couch watched an episode or two of Bones and hit the hay! Saturday was trail running day so we needed our rest! Stay tuned for that!
I made it! Half marathon numero ocho is complete! I was looking at the forecast for Morehead City for the week or so leading up to me leaving for vacation and as soon as Saturday was with in range, it called for rain! First 50% then 60% then %90, then 100% chance of rain! Boo!
(Edit/Update: I just read on facebook that there were only 337 people who actaully ran the half marathon, but I recall my aunt saying that the paper in NC said almost 600 people registered…whoa. I think I look pretty tough compared to the rest! Commitment day in the 0 degrees, Grandmas in 90 degress and then this half in the rain. I can do anything!)
Saturday I got up and raining! Great way to start out the day right!? Well thankfully for me the start line was literally about 200 yards from my aunt and uncle’s home, so I didn’t have to get going until about 7:45! (But I got up at 6am anyway…there are so many things to do…eat, drink, poop, dress).
This picture was from Thursday afternoon. You can see THE BRIDGE as well as the blue sign for The Sanitary (just above the light pole almost dead center). This is how close I was to the start! Too bad the race couldn’t have been like this!!We headed over to the Sanitary for the start line and hung out for a bit, I used the biffs again, and waited for the start. The crowd running was small. Like really small for a half marathon, maybe 600 people. My aunt told me that most of the locals probably backed out of the run due to the rain. Apparently us Minnesotans are pretty tough, because it wasn’t bad for me at all really.
On a mission to find the biff…yea I said it. All race course photos are courtesy of my Aunt!
We started off and I started slow. Really slow, like about a 10:30/11 pace. I didn’t want to burn out especially with my aunt and mom tailing me and taking pictures! It was a good idea. It was sort of easy.
I was really really worried because of my 11 miler that was just awful, and my 12 miler that was cut about in half, during my training cycle for this race! I went out and did a 3 miler down the coast the day before and discovered my beloved Saucony’s had torn in the heal and created a blister problem for me! Duct tape to the rescue thanks to Kat and Annie!!
The course was a 3 mile loop on the Morehead City side, through the start/finish, then across THE BRIDGE then and out and back to Fort Macon on the Atlantic Beach side, back over THE BRIDGE and a mile down the main drag to the finish.
I didn’t bring any rain gear with because, well, I don’t have any. Aside from possibly a hefty bag for an impromptu poncho. But I didn’t want to go that far. My uncle gave me one of his golf jackets that was sort of water proof. So I wore that but by mile 1 I was hot! It was about 55 degrees after all! I had a long sleeve, t-shirt, jacket and my uncles jacket on. So I stripped off the monster Dash jacket and when I saw my aunt and mom at mile 3 I tossed over my jacket and kept truckin.
Costume change #1. I was telling my mom to come closer because there was a HUGE puddle between us and I didn’t want her to drop the only jacket I brought with on vacation. (She doesn’t have my stellar athletic abilities…ha!)
Then came the bridge, it really wasn’t so bad. In fact I passed three people going up that sucker! Yes! The night before my uncle told me how in high school his CC coach (who also happened to by my high school gym teacher – yay Kugs!!) told him to always “pass ‘em on the hills! If you pass ‘em on the hills they’ll never catch you!”. So I did. I passed them, and only one woman caught me, but I eventually passed her and beat her to the finish! Woop!
My aunt and mom said they’d meet me on the other side of the bridge but I never saw them. Oh well. I was too quick for them! 🙂 They caught me coming back though.
There I go up the effin bridge again. The second time was tough peeps! I may or may have walked up that sucker. Costume change #2…on the far side of the bridge I told my aunt I was getting cold (I was SOAKED for realz) so when I saw them on the finish line side she gave me her yellow slicker. I was telling here that I felt like the Gorden’s Fisherman. I did! Also, notice the Minnesota shirt! Hell ya!
It was about at this point when I mentally gave up the idea of a PR. I was close to getting a 2:30 (my 2013 goal from Commitment day). My knee was tight and painful (it was oddly sore and painful for the last week or so…:( ) So the last mile was tough. I got ticked at my self, but well…I didn’t train so great this cycle so, I’m getting what I get. I got through the last mile with a run walk situation. The ibprophen that my mom finally gave me at 11 didn’t really help much until after I crossed the finish unfortunately!
Then came costume change #3. I had intended all along to run the race in my Minnesota t-shirt. Since the rain ruined that idea I knew I needed to at least FINISH the race in my Minnesota t-shirt! I did travel the farthest to run this race after all! (The t-shirt was circa 5th grade, when boys basketball won sections. Some things you just don’t throw way people!)
Here I come down the straight away! My aunt and uncle live behind the building that I am in front of. Best location ever! Finish line at 2:35!! Woop! Not too shabby for poor training. I should always run at sea level! Of course the traditional finish line excited picture with Heidi in spirit! Me and my mama!
I’m crazy. I’m impulsive. I’m easily persuaded. I’m surrounded by runner friends. I’m a runner. I’m registered for the CHICAGO freaking MARATHON!!
Back in October when my friend Linda told me she was going to run the Chicago marathon with her friend Jamie, I thought, “well good luck to you lady, I’m out”! I did not want to go through another summer of
not really training to have my inaugural marathon experience almost be cancelled due to heat!
(Let’s take you back to my first marathon – Grandma’s Marathon 2009: 90 degrees, 70% humidity and not a cloud in the sky for all of my 26.2 miles! I barely made it the first 5 miles with out walking. It was disappointing to say the least, but in the end I got what I paid for, and what I got was a finishing time of 6:15 and a sweet tan line!. 2013 Goal: 5:45. The key for me is getting out there any doing the training, I know this now, but I have to make it happen for myself!)
Check out this sweet sweet tan line! The pic below is about 15 minutes later…Stick a fork in me I am D-U-N! I
couldn’t didn’t want to walk the mile back to Heidi’s car, so I laid down behind bar…perfectly normal… The BF at the time decided this is when I was most photogenic, I disagree.I did it! Woo Hedi and her bestest sign ever!
But back to now…I kept thinking about it and kept hearing that some other blogger ladies that ran the TC Marathon last fall were all going to run Chicago too! It all convinced me. I should do it. Heidi did amaze-balls at her redemption marathon last year in Fargo! I could do just as good for myself! I would have people to hang out with.
Peer pressure (in the best way) got to me and I figured that I should. I wanted to. So today at noon I tried to register…try being the key word. I tried every little while for about 3 hours (which is not good for productivity during my 2 day work week this week…) Finally at about 3pm I got registered! Lucky me, lots of other people were not so lucky including my friend Linda and Julia! 😦 The website now says that there are 15,000 spots left (out of 45,000!) and they will re-open registration on Thursday night. YIKES! How nerve racking!!
I am glad that I got in, I am hopefully that all of my friends who want to get in will! Come Thursday at 5 there will be LOTS of traffic on the Chicago Marathon website!
For all of my 11.5 miles yesterday I was thinking about how much Minnesota winters and android weather apps suck! My weather app told me that it was supposed to be about 35 degrees and sunny by about 11 am Saturday afternoon. But was it? No, of course not! It was overcast, and windy and like 30 degrees (but felt like 16) awesome!
Two weeks from yesterday I will be running my 8th half marathon, and first in 2013 and let me tell you, training for a half marathon during a Minnesota winter it just about one of the hardest things I’ve attempted lately. Physically, not so much, I mean I’ve don’t enough half marathons before; I know what I’m getting into. But mentally preparing myself for the cold and snow and wind is another story! It so much easier to skip a run in the winter because it’s cold and dark and icy outside! I know, I know, I could run on the dreadmill, but I seriously hate them. I have not ran more than 6 miles on one, ever. Thankfully my run club at the gym still meets every Saturday morning for runs, and sometimes they are outside!
So back to yesterday, since my lying weather app told me that it was supposed to be so nice out I decided that I’d venture up to Minneapolis to run the lakes (it is my blog’s namesake after all! Thanks Heidi!) The three lakes are about 9 miles, then depending on where you start/finish/park your car you can easily make up the last two miles. I did that for sure!
I go out of the car and it was freezing! But the wind wasn’t as bad as it was when I left home so I was thankful for that! I immediately had to use the bathroom, but of course the little shop by the lake was all locked up so I had to high-tail it over to another lake where I knew there were some biffy’s. I ran my usual way over to the lake and it was snow covered, not plowed at all. Great, this is the way my morning is starting out? Super. Thankfully that only lasted a short time and by the time I got to the actual lake trail we were good to go!
I made it half way around and walked, then the wind got fierce around the south side of the lake, and I cried, well I had tears due to the wind anyway! I got all turned around because I went backwards from my usual way, and winter snow changes everything! So between running and walking I made the first 3.5 miles in about 38 minutes. Not the worse thing in the world. Then it was on to lake number two! But before I started that one there was all of this!
There were all these snow carvings (?) for the Minnesota Winter Carnival just sitting there! So of course I had to wander a bit an snap a few pics. The old timey camera was pretty cool!
So lake two, the worse one. The north east side of the lake (which I ran down twice) SUCKED! The wind was blowing in my face just the second I stepped on the path. There were a surprising number of people out running, who were all crazy like me! There were even people out with huge kites – “kite skiing” on the lakes? Not sure if that’s really what you’d call it, but if it were the summer they would be kite surfing on the water, so I’ll go with it!
This is lake two. It was as miserable as it looks.
Because of where I parked my car, and where I started at this lake I made it around the lake about 1.5 times. With another potty break in between (seriously something is way wrong with my stomach, even now! ) and an SOS out to anyone who was possibly paying attention to my tweets. Thanks to Kat and Miss Angela (who I have not yet to meet by the by!) for their encouraging words!
@AmyMarie58 Keep moving! And think of the hardest miles you have ever run.
Well I made it around the lake again, and again the same area with the wind in my face and I felt sad and defeated, but kept moving. After all forward is a pace right!?
Then lake 2.5 was done. I moved on to lake #3 and the wind was worse!! I made it about 1.5 mile around then turned back thinking I would have clocked it correctly to get exactly 11 miles back to my car. Well no. I hit 11 miles, then had almost a mile walk back to my car, but I stopped Garmin at 11.25, so I dont’t know the exact distance of the “cool/freeze down”.
I made it back to the car, ate my apple and drank my water. And felt like this… defeated, deflated, tired and exhausted. and Cold!
I made it home, cleaned up and ate and ran my errands and stopped in my tracks in Target when I saw this:
I think this will be a soon purchase and new decoration for my bedroom, or living room. Anyway I think it really belongs in my house. It hit me right in the heart right when I need to see something like this!
Thing don’t always make sense, but everything happens for a reason, and everything happens the way it’s supposed to.
I think I need this as a daily reminder.
Maybe I’ll have to return the set of three frying pans to Kohl’s that I bought yesterday and use the money to pick this up at Target instead!
And just for randomness…they have torn down all of the woods across the highway from my house around this old house and barn, and it looks really sad now. 😦 I think that house is going to be demoed soon. I bet they’re going to put up a bank…ugh The three other corners of the intersection have a CVS, Holiday and a Subway. What is happening to my little hometown!?