Saturday, November 28, 2009

Race Report - Anoka Jingle Bell 5K

I finished out my 2009 racing year this morning with the Anoka Jingle Bell 5K. I've done this race a couple of times before and really like it. It's at my old high school (which I graduated from just a couple of years ago, of course), most of the race is on a paved trail along the Rum River, and it's just the right size - not too big, not too small. I set my current PR (24:45) at this race last year and was hoping for a new PR this morning.

Sophie and I were at my mom's after Thanksgiving, so instead of driving 70 miles to Anoka, I left her house at 9:20 and was at Anoka High School by 9:25. Registeration, bathroom, and about 8 minutes of easy jogging for a warmup and I was ready. I remembered my Garmin this weekend and was hoping a visual reminder of my pace would keep me moving.

What is up with race amnesia? I did not remember this course as hilly at all. And then we turned onto the path along the river and started with the rolling hills. I felt like I managed the hills well and ran the first mile strong at about 7:45. I started feeling it the second mile. This is an out and back course, so I felt a surge once we hit the turnaround point and I knew we were on the way back. But I still managed to slow down a bit in that second mile. The third mile, I was done. Less than a quarter mile from the finish, I walked. Seriously. Just stopped running and walked. When I realized what I was doing, I got my ass moving again. Ran up one final hill and saw the finish. Crossed the line at 25:28. So much for a new PR . . . but for my second 5K in less than a week, not too bad.

It's been a fun year of races. I'm looking forward to running some easy base miles in December and the first part of January, and then ramping up the runs for marathon training. 2010, here I come!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Race Report - Turkey Trot 5K

Sunday morning, I pulled on my turkey socks, yanked Sophie out of bed while it was still dark, and headed down to St. Paul for the Turkey Trot. This race as been my kick off to the holiday season for the last five years or so, and I was especially excited for it this year because the weather was awesome - capri weather!

We had to stop and pick up Mac on the way to the race. He wasn't up yet, so we had to wake him up and wait for him to get ready. So we were a little late. Note to Mac: no more karoke the night before a race. Thankfully the kid's race went a little long and we had time to get our bibs and use the bathroom before the race started.

With all the rushing in the morning to get Sophie out of the house, I sort of forgot my Garmin. Or any other timekeeping device. So I ran the race without any sense of time. Since I don't have mile splits to give you, I'll give you my "feel" splits. Mile one: I hate 5k's. Mile two: I think I'm having a heart attack. Mile three: That must have been awfully slow because I feel lik I can breathe again. Mile three point one: 25:35. Forty-ish seconds slower than my halloween race a couple of weeks ago. Apparently I need a cape on to run fast.

After the race, I had a chance to observed a few "What Not to Wear: Race Edition" samples. For the guys: just say no to super short (like peekaboo I see your penis short) with the polo shirt tucked in. And for the ladies: even if you are a teeny, tiny little lady in your late fifties, super tight tights and a sports bra that looks like a regular bra? Please, oh please, put a shirt on.

I'm hoping to get caught up on all of your blogs . . . jamming a week's worth of work into three days is making it difficult! On the upside, so happy to have a short week.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Secrets

Here's my bullet point confessional for the week:
  • I am so far behind on my laundry, Sophie had to wear jammies that are four inches too short to bed tonight. I'm not sure what either of us are going to wear tomorrow. It will probably be either dirty or nonmatching.
  • Hershey's Dark Chocolate chips? Delicious. Those same dark chocolate chips melted over cheesecake and topped with whipped cream? Therapy.
  • I've been a tad impatient at work this week. I may have busted out the lines "Half of zero is zero" and "Real life is not like TV, and this courtroom is not at all like Law and Order" at least once a day.
  • I'm on a bowling team. I started with some of my golf girls on Thursday nights in September. I am a terrible bowler. My team should probably fire me.

Things to make up for my week's worth of sins? I've either run, done a strength workout, or rode my bike on the trainer every day this week. Today I also walked to and from lunch. I've got a date with Billy Blanks tomorrow night for a little boot camp, yoga on Saturday, and a 5K race Sunday. Oh, and all that laundry piled up and waiting for me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Dear Jillian, Thanks for the Sore Abs

With my shut in status last week, I hit the workout videos pretty hard. After spending Friday night with Billy Blanks, power yoga Sunday, and doing as many rounds of the 30 Day Shred as I could handle, I decided I needed another video to spice things up. I stopped at Target and picked up Jillian's No More Trouble Zones Video.

All in all, I thought it was a good strength workout. It didn't get my heart pumping as much as the 30 Day Shred, but it's a longer video, so that's probably a good thing. Hello heart attack. What I really like about this video is the feature that allows you to select individual circuits. So you can do the whole thing (approximately 55 minutes total once you add warm up/cool down), or do one or more individual 5ish minute circuits. So last night, after spending an hour on my bike trainer, I added two core circuits. Abs? Burning.

In running news, I'm getting back on track. The weather was beautiful over the weekend, so I was able to get out with Sophie in the jogging stroller. And this afternoon, I may have breached a few rules of courtroom etiquette in order to bust out of there fast enough after my three and a half hour hearing to get a run in before I had to pick Sophie up. I do have priorities.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh Failure

Why is it that when I can't seem to get out to run, I also happen to completely pig out? A week of the flu (Sophie, not me) plus my husband working insane hours because of deer season apparently equals gain 100 pounds. The saddest part is that while I've been stuck in the house, we have been having the best weather we've had for at least the last month. And we probably won't see such nice weather again for 6 months. Sob.

Okay, pity party over. I'm going to call it a taper for my 5K next Sunday. Sophie is doing much better and is able to go back to daycare tomorrow. That means I'll be back to work and back to running. Thank God, because, you know what? I really like to run.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Own Personal Jail

The plan for this morning: bring Sophie over to my friend Jim's house, where his wife would watch her while we run 10 miles. What actually happened: stuck inside the house with a sick kid. The flu has decided to visit our house, and the son of a bitch decided it should come right when my husband is busiest because of the deer season opener (he is a DNR officer). I'm making lemonade out of lemons, though - I did Jillian's 30 Day Shred while Sophie laid on the couch watching Curioius George. Better than nothing, right?

Last night, I convinced my friend Erin to come over after Sophie went to bed and I had sufficiently disinfected the house and we did Tae Bo. Afterwards, we ate pizza and drank wine. It was like being in college again!

Hope you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Race Report - Freedom Run 10 Mile

So when we last left off, I was drinking a warm apple cider/Captain Morgan walktail and trick-or-treating with Curious George. After getting Sophie to come down off the candy high, I tried to take advantage of daylight savings time and get to bed early for some extra sleep.

Sunday I was at the door at 10:45 to get to White Bear Lake for the race. While I enjoy not having to rush in the morning for an early start, fueling before a 12:00 start is kind of difficult. I ate cereal at 6:45 with Sophie and then another little mini-breakfast at 10:00. This was a very small race (just over 100 people), so I had no trouble getting my chip and bib, and using the porta potty before the race started.

My legs were tired from the hard 5K Saturday. I wanted to use this race as a good, strong longer run and not worry about time too much. I had it in my head that I for sure needed to keep it under a 10:00/mile pace and if I could break 1:35 I would be happy. Although I've run a few 15K's, this was my first 10 mile race, so it was an automatic PR no matter what happened.

It ended up being a beautiful fall day for a race, and I am really proud of how I ran. I kept an even pace over a quite hilly course. I took two short breaks at water stops at the 3.5 and 7.5 mile markers, but otherwise, just kept chugging along. The finish was uphill and I really kicked it into gear, passing the girl right in front of me just before the mat. 1:34:03. I met my goal, and ran a strong race less than 24 hours after my 5K.

My legs were pretty achy Sunday night, so I took a much needed rest day Monday. Monday night, I was in bed by 8:00 (although this had more to do with being in the office by 4:30 Monday morning and working until 5:30 - yuck). Last night was back to kettlebells, and I've got 8 miles on the schedule tonight. Only two more 5K's left and my 2009 race calendar is finished! Where did the year go?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Race Report - Gray Ghost 5K

You know the old fairy tale, Little Red Riding Hood, Curious George, and the Two Freaks? Oh, wait, not a real story. Because of a little costume snafu on Saturday, I was wolf-less for the Anoka Gray Ghost 5K for the first time in five years. But I did have two mustached pervos chasing me around for three miles - you take what you can get. You'll be happy to know that I outran them both.
This race is special to me because I grew up in Anoka and, during the several years that I worked overnights at the Anoka Police Department, I had to work the Halloween race and parade. Running the 5K beats the hell out of standing on the street corner in my dispatch uniform telling people to stay out of the road.
The weather gods cooperated and, for the brief time of the race, the sun came out. It was a brisk, windy day and the sun was very welcome. We started off the race along the parade route. After the first five blocks, I saw my mom and Sophie. Shortly after the first mile marker, I performed a flying leap over the yahoo who decided to stop right in front of me to tie his shoe. I think the cape helped me get some air on that jump.
When I heard the splits at the second mile, I knew I was on track to beat my time from last year. I kept telling my feet to keep moving. We made the final turn and I knew it was one push up the last hill and then a downhill coast to the finish. I counted down the driveways and mailboxes coming up that hill - I was done. Finally I was at the top and could see the clock. I knew if I busted my butt I could make it under 25:00. I ran, ran, ran and crossed the line at 24:57. A new course PR! Pervo #1 (aka Jim) crossed the line about 45 seconds later. Pervo #2 (aka Mac) came in just under 30 minutes, meeting his goal.
The three of us then walked back to where my mom and Sophie were still enjoying the parade. Halloween version of post-race recovery? An hour at the parade, Chipotle, and sipping on a warm
"walk-tail" later while trick-or-treating with Sophie.
Stay tuned for another race report from my 10 miler this afternoon . . .