Sunday, March 30, 2008

Friendly Sons of St. Patrick 10K Race Report

Today the Catholic boys were holding a race kind of in my neighborhood. I've been eyeing this one for awhile since I've never done a 10k (instant PR), it was close to home and pretty cheap, and I need the miles as I start to ramp up for Dam to Dam at the end of May (20k). How can you beat an 11am start and a t-shirt? Although I'm guessing they might have expected me to be in church beforehand. :P

I've been having some major GI issues the last couple of days. I'll spare the play by play, but suffice it to say that it was touch and go up until the end and heavy pharmaceuticals were on board. Thank you science.

Art heard I was running this and we arranged to meet up at registration. He told his group he was looking for a girl and they said, "well, maybe we can help, what does she look like?" Art said to look for red lipstick and one of them spotted me from across the parking lot. :D That's so much better than look for a girl with really wide hips. :P

I think the plan was loosely something like we'd love to run this in the 11's, but realistically we need to just keep each other going, and if someone is having a great day, don't be afraid to go with it. I secretly thought I'd be the lag behinder in the 12's.

We started out at a nice clip and did some chatting. I got a side stitch during mile 2 and Art had to one sidedly chat. After that, the gradual inclines started and kept going through mile 3, 4 and 5!! Those damn sons ain't so friendly. I was breathing heavier than normal but nothing hurt and we just kept going. I kept telling myself, this is a race, okay to push yourself and be breathing heavier. Art was really a dear, I know he could have gone a lot faster, but he claimed he really wanted to run about this pace and not over do it. He has been sick and was also concerned about breathing but he ran it seemingly effortlessly. Thanks, Art!!! You totally ROCK.

I had two pretty good lines for the sparse talking. "Jesus Christ!" (then, started thinking, is that weird to say J.C. during this race? It's probably not a very good thing.) My other one was, "I'd talk more, but all I can think of are cuss words." hee hee.

As we went on and we continued to keep it under 12, I was hoping to do it for every mile. You can see that the only water station during mile 5 kept me from that goal. Somewhere around 5.2, I set Art free and he moved out. He was yelling,
"run your race." ~ "you're doing great!" ~ "I'll be at the finish, you'll be right behind me."

1 ~ 11:02
2 ~ 11:34
3 ~ 11:50
4 ~ 11:37
5 ~ 12:01
6 ~ 11:56
.27 ~ 10:26
Garmin reads 6.27 miles ~ 1:12:49 ~ 11:37 pace
(wow - race site says 1:12:52 - for once my garmin trigger finger was right on.)

Once again it was one of those really bittersweet things. Absolutely great to be running, great to be running with someone, great to be running 6 miles and nothing hurts much, great to be running this pace for 6 miles, great to be experiencing improvement, beautiful day to be running. I'm still at the back of the back of the pack. (there were officially only 6 people behind me and I was 24th of 26 in my age group. Geez.) I just don't look back. I'm extremely pleased.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Thanks, everyone, for all your support. I am feeling quite a bit better. The truth is, it wasn't about running at all, it was about personal stuff. I think I may have confused some of you on that. I wish I could be as positive and die hard, never give up even after failure, on the personal stuff, like I am on the running. For some reason, the metaphorical club and beating back bad thoughts with it has worked well for me on the running stuff, but really, I just like being a runner (yes, I actually said that I am a runner!) and love to talk about it, love the sense of accomplishment and like to share it (stalk) with all of you. Many times I have run because of all of you, you keep me going.

The club we have built and all your support and encouragement mean a lot to me. Several of you mentioned wanting to be "in my club," or "going clubbing." It was cracking me up, and I really appreciate your support, especially on non-running related personal junk. Maybe we should start some sort of virtual official club? Any ideas? Cave People Unite?

Anyway, I'm working on the positivity and better attitude on the personal stuff, but I can get pretty down. I've at least hit the bottom and am started back up the other side. The first good sign is when I start joking about it.

You can turn painful situations around through laughter.
If you can find humor in anything, even poverty, you can survive it.
--Bill Cosby

I found this website after someone used it in a recent seminar (please don't think I was googling "despair" -- it wasn't quite that bad!) It's a take on those motivational posters. Here are a couple that made me chuckle.

I hope you are laughing and not thinking I am being a downer. :D

The truth is, failure is just information on what doesn't work. I look at my bad runs like this all the time - it was bad, oh well, what can I learn? Pick yourself up with a bit more information and try again. And as a friend told me when I really needed to hear it, "there is always hope." Thanks, friend. And thanks to ALL of you!

Now, regarding the running, I'm not exactly sure what is going on. I did a 5 miler last Saturday and while it beat me up in the snow, I was fine. After 5 on Wednesday, however, I am the sorest I have been in months. Any thoughts? I ran pretty slow, not sure why I am "race sore". I was hoping to do a 10k neighborhood race on Sunday, but now I'm not too sure...


This reminds me. I think someone asked me about that 6 word meme. Me in 6 words? Holy cow. I found this somewhere and decided to steal it for my own. It pretty much sums me up.

Some Hits. Some Runs. Some Errors.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Looking for a bigger club

Thanks for everyone's rockin support of my Tri. Part of me is still in the clouds. I didn't have too much problem recovering (does that mean I didn't push enough?) After the tri, I did a whirlwind tour on both sides of the family. I ran on Saturday in Glen Ellyn -- 5 miles with my SIL -- yes, after the snow storm in Chicagoland. It was possibly the worst run of my life. At least 5 inches of thick crusty snow on a trail. I had to go SO slow, the numbers were in the 14's, people, and mainly because of it beating me up physically, the cardiovascular was fine. At least I have that. My SIL ran out and backs (from me) and did 6 to my 5 but at least I did some miles. It was also gorgeous to see the heavy snow over everything.

I'm back from the whirlwind tour, but I haven't caught up on blogs and I've been really blue. Running and work are great. Some personal things seem to be a mess right now. When I started this blog, I was hoping for the positivity and energizer bunni-ness of my running attitude to spill over into my personal life. I mean really, someone who runs in the 14's (okay, okay, I did do 3 miles in the 10's, but still, I'm PAINFULLY slow) HAS to remain positive or they would quit. How is it that I continue to spring back from bad runs, back of the back of the pack races, stupid mistakes, being passed by the only other runner on the course? How do I keep coming back for more with a big energizer bunny spirit and lipstick smile?

Well, it's my club (my attitude), of course. I know this. Apparently, this does not yet translate so easily to the rest of my life like I had hoped. I'm working on it. Had a great chat with a friend today and also took Anthony Robbins out for a run with me. No one speaks to me like Anthony. Tears came for awhile after mile 2 but I straightened up. This was really hard emotionally and physically.

5.3 miles ~ 1:07 ~ 12:40 pace

I think I need a bigger club...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Fitness World West Indoor Triathlon Report

When I got the urge to swim last month and did a few workouts, I started to think that maybe someday I could do a triathlon. But, I don't really have the right bike gear and frankly I'm a little nervous about training on the roads. I thought it was probably in the distant future. Then Amy heard about an indoor tri on the race schedule and things changed in a hurry. I got excited and decided it would be fun and at .25m swim / 10 mile bike / 3 mile run I figured I could finish, it was just a matter of whether I'd be running, walking or crawling. :D

This race to benefit St. Jude's Hospital is running all week. You just sign up for a time and get assigned a trainer to count laps and keep time. I took a few pics but don't have them available yet.

Amy and I met up in the parking lot and talked about our craziness and excitement. After a few instructions we laid out our gear in the locker room. This tri was pretty lax about transitions so we could come in and change after the swim and just meet at the bikes. We took a headshot pic of us (bathroom shot for Marcy). I wear lots of lipstick for these types of events, keep your eyes on my face please (yeah, the racing suit is from another decade!). Turns out Amy uses red fingernail polish in much the same way. Great minds....

We hit the swim for 10 laps, I felt pretty good for about 4 or 5 and then Amy pulled away from me a bit. We still finished strong (my time was 8:00 ~ .25 mile) and Trainer Guy said he hadn't seen times that good yet. YIPPEE.

Amy had warned me about an interesting twist to the bike ~ they intended to have us start at level 6 and go UP 2 levels EVERY TWO MILES. omg.omg.omg.omg.omg. I told Trainer Guy I would likely be crying by the end. Has anyone ever tried this? Holy Torturous Trainers, Batman, that was BRUTAL. Despite Amy's lobbying, we ended at Level 14 for the last 2 miles. I mostly kept the RPMS in the 90's early on but that slipped away some in the late miles. Again, Amy pulled away from me a bit. Those last two miles were dang hard and I was proud to just finish. 10 miles ~ 37:46. I really wasn't sure I could run after that but Trainer Guy gave us a bit of a stretch break.

The run started out F.A.S.T. Amy asked me if it felt fast and I said I had no idea. I couldn't feel my legs!! :D It wasn't that bad, it just feels weird. We rocked out mile 1 in something like 10:10 and about both fainted. Amy thought our first .5 m was probably a pace in the 9's!! We were so elated that this carried us on. We were running and cheering at our splits and averting our eyes a lot from all those mirrors (oh man, I need to hit the diet again, and hard). I thought this would be much worse but suprisingly we just kept going.

I've never run this fast in my life so obviously I'm thrilled. (30:30 - 3 miles) Thrilled with the time, thrilled with the finish of my first Tri (both standing and running!), thrilled with the company, too. Amy was really a great partner (I'm sure she felt like she had on a tow rope at times). Very encouraging and positive and just what I needed to keep going.

We also did a little bit extra since we had a timer for an official event, to get a 5k time for the Shave Your 5k. I totally smashed my PR (OMG!OMG!) not so bright strategy, but who cares?

(Nancy and Amy, finished - with hard earned t-shirts. Pic borrowed from Amy)

Thoughts ~

  • No problem at all finishing YAY :D I was going to make out a will and leave all my earthly blogging blatherings to Scott, but turns out I didn't need to. Sorry, Scott, maybe next time.

  • The bike was brutal at the end but also, I'm guessing not typical, and I made it through.

  • I haven't biked or swam much so I'm sure improvement can be found.

  • I am capable of improving my running pace. Whoa.

  • If I had that many mirrors around all the time, I would never eat.

  • Level 14 at the end of a bike ride suuuuucks

  • I now tell strangers I ROCK. See Amy's post for explanation.

  • I cheer and scream like a kid when I hear 10:10 and it is about me

  • I.Like.Tri !

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tri Watch



Swim .25 mile ~ 8:00

Bike 10 miles ~ 37:46

Run 3 miles ~ 30:30

AMY IS THE BEST TRI PARTNER EVER and we have stories to tell !!!


Saturday 10 mile bike ride - check

Sunday 40 minute walk - check

Monday rest and have some carbs (read that green beer) - check to the rest, and check, check to the beer(s).

Gear - triple checked

Nerves - so far, in check

Friday, March 14, 2008


Thanks for the attitude everyone! My spirits are buoyed a bit. You people are simply the best. I carried you with me today. It was a joyous run.

I did 8 miles today.

I ran for 1 hr and 41 minutes.
(If you care about the pace, you'll have to do the math for yourself AND you're probably reading the wrong blog.)


Thursday, March 13, 2008

One Armed Wallpaper Hanger

I ran 3 yesterday on a trail that I thought would be easier on my feet than pavement. It was solid ice and snow that had melted and re-froze several times in the shape of everyone's feet (and bikes?) that had been there maybe all winter. Miserable and I got blood blisters on both feet. I'm no trail runner. Just call me Tenderfoot. I tried to enjoy the scenery but couldn't take my eyes off the footing for long. Still, there were gorgeous chunks of ice floating down the Raccoon River and the sun was making them sparkle.

Since I am slower than 99% of the population out there that choose to run, it also stands to reason that the only other foolish person out there was a chick who quickly passed me. I'm not in the best spirits right now, something to do with all the self-evaluation that occurred during a lone 6 hour car ride. Being so slow (and stupid for running on that stuff) just adds to it.

I'm busier than a one-armed wall paper hanger right now. Hope to get some work outs in but need to buckle down on a few things. Be back soon.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What do Paperbags, Bricks and Wills Have in Common?

Thanks, everyone, for your unbelievably supportive comments and (probably ill-placed) confidence in me to do my first Tri. I've had some great suggestions, too, many of which I have taken.

1. paperbag breathing ~ Zanne ~ definitely a, and took Friday off for good measure!

2. do a brick for some confidence building ~ Doug and Amy ~ a. Yippee!! I can do this.

3. make out a will ~ that zinger compliments of my arch nemesis ~ I better work on this one.

4. hire someone to do it for you ~ Jess, that is not totally out of the question yet! :D

5. My guess is that you will not regret this ~ Neese, I sure hope you are right.

4 miles ~ 47:23 ~ 11:51 pace

Signed up for my first indoor tri ~ mostly paper bag breathing :D

Brick -- ooos and ahs...
7 miles ~ 25:14
2 miles ~ 23:25 ~ 11:42 pace

Off - major Rock Band party, mostly overeating and belting out songs I have no business singing.

5 miles on the Treadmill with Oprah
1:00:20 ~ 12:04 pace'

Friday, March 7, 2008

Just Try

.25m ~ 10m ~ 3m

Do you remember just a few short days ago when I was answering questions about whether or not a tri was in my future, and I said I thought I needed some more time? Well apparently I need about 10 days. :P


Just a little lesson. When you make sort of absent claims or statements.... be prepared for the earth to rotate just enough that the stars align and the improbable becomes for really reals in a hurry.


So Java and I are chattin and she says something like, "no, no, do it now, you are ready, you should try it," and I say, "well, I'm really not equipped with the whole bike thing like I should be if I'm going to do a tri. If I could find a nice short safe indoor one, I think I'd do it in a heart beat." yep, I said that. And, you guessed it. A nice short safe indoor tri appeared, compliments of Amy. omg.omg.omg.what.have.i.done?omg.omg.omg.omg.

I'm scared, nervous and excited, but then I figured, it's not like life or death here, right? This will be fun, especially with Amy. It's about a mile or two from my house, in the pool I was doing some laps at!! You can schedule it to your own convenience during the week. And it's $25 for St. Jude's Hospital, for heaven's sake. How can I not do this, right? (it's like Marcy with free shipping and a coupon code, how can you not?) Let's just see if I can do all the legs and have some fun. (.25m swim, 10m bike, 3m run) I seriously don't even know if I CAN run 3 miles after 10 on the bike...omg.omg.omg.

My hub first said, "COOL!" and then said, "well, maybe this one is more of a 'TRY' " :D You got that right.

I signed up and the gal said there were quite a few "competitors." **GULP*** omg.omg. I told her I was more of a "participant" :P

So, tri-stars, what should I be doing for the next 10 days?? HELP!!!! omg.omg.omg.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Joints are a Talkin'

I did 35 minutes of elliptical and some weights on Monday. The cardio streak went to 8 days, if anyone was counting. I was pretty excited, but for the fact that I do not like how my knees are handling this. Truthfully, I am still having some of the same sensations in my joints when I use them a lot that I got with the Fifth Disease. My wrist and elbow still are getting sore and my knees are tweaky and give out occasionally (or feel like they will). Some people can have symptoms up to 6 months. crap. I guess I am some people.

So, I decided a streak is really not worth it. I only did some toning yesterday. My legs were still talking to me. I haven't done anything today and they seem slightly better. I think I am going to take today off and start a 1 day streak tomorrow!! :D

The Word Cloud. Everybody's doin it. Here's my version. I love it!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Quotes and Questions

Highlights of the weekend included 2 more cardio sessions. Class, can you say, SEVEN IN A ROW? That just doesn't happen in Non-Runner Land. :D

Saturday - 35 minutes on the bike - 12.6 miles and 20 minutes of weights. Oh yeah.
Sunday - Would you believe it made 60 degrees? I had the boys out doing hill sprints -- you can imagine the quality of these with a 3 and 5 year old. That kind of quality I like. :D Also got in a tough run as it cooled off and the rain started.

12:30 (this mile included lots of giant puddle and ice aversion which meant highstepping through snow banks. I thought I was going to die and never recover, especially since mile 3 contained a huge hill)
12:12 for .31
3.31 miles ~ 39:37 ~ 11:58 pace

By today, a major new blanket of snow. All right already. enough. That brings me to the Quotes and Questions - some highlights from the last few posts... Thank you all for your interest, support, encouragement, and all the laughs we share!!

Regarding some of the winter weather running and pictures
Marcy - Could this weather be done already?? apparently not.
Nitmos - Where are you running? It looks like you are running through every post card I have ever gotten! Mostly in Des Moines or West Des Moines, but also try to squeeze runs in whenever I travel. The picture of the bridge is at Gray's Lake in downtown Des Moines. This tells me a couple things, that I am working to enjoy my surroundings and apparently I am, and have been relaying that to you. Also, that I either take or look for pics of the area. I found a nice set of Gray's Lake pics on Flickr by turtlemoon. I try to give credit when the pics are not mine although most people will still comment as if they are?!
Megan Hall - Did it look like that when you ran? Well, yes to the snow cover and the bridge, but it was actually sunny when we ran.
akshaye - that's hardcore. tough as nails. I'd be the guy with the defrosters and heater on full blast. hee hee, thanks! I love being called hardcore!
Taryn - Good.Freaking.Goodness. You and Amy are hardcore. I would have met you and convinced you to grab coffee instead. One of my favorite lines lately!!

Meanest Thing
Shelley - We have daffodils popping up and down our street. okay, I'm not really bitter about winter, I've actually kind of enjoyed all the snow and this wasn't really mean. If that's the meanest thing I get, I'm pretty lucky!

Lily - when is your race? Dam to Dam is a 20k on May 31. This will be my first attempt!
Michelle - what is your usual daily mileage? HA HA HA HA - sorry, that just cracked me up.
Java, L*I*S*A, Lori, David, Mendy, Deene, Viv, Amy - Is there a tri in the future? well, I'm certainly starting to dream about them (and have been inspired by all of you!) but I've only been in the pool and on the bike 4 times. I might have a ways to go....

Four slow miles in Vegas
Jess - Just as long as you're spending your time in Vegas running and not high on crystal meth or whoring yourself out, I imagine that's a good thing, no matter that time. LMAO

On winning a couple trips and running with Wendy and Jess
Bill - I am so jealous that they get to run with you. Ahhhhhh, how nice is that? I consider myself the lucky one.
Nat - Did they have Ottawa as punishment? LMAO. Well, they don't actually "punish", but that might be good incentive to work really hard!!
Nitmos - My company gave us a coffee mug embossed with the company logo on it once. It was cool until the emblem washed away in the dishwasher. But still, the thought, right? Scotland sounds fine too. Another favorite line!

On husband and family
Thanks to everyone for the nice comments about the pics. I figured the cheeseburger would be the favorite. It's mine too!
Lily - I really did met my hub on a blind date on Valentine's Day. :D
Taryn - You are right, smiley eyes, kind heart. The hub is a really great guy with a very kind heart and this isn't the first time I've heard that you can see it in his eyes.
Bill - I am a little biased but I don't think there is any greater blessing in life than family. They make the best of times that much more enjoyable and the worst of times that much more bearable. Amen, brother.
Greg Johnson - God has blessed you, Nancy. Yes, yes, He has.