Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Welcome to this week's installation of places I work out - Exhibit A: our local high school track. Our schools are on spring break this week, so there weren't any teams practicing on the track after work and I was able to get a nice ladder workout in. I have a few mental tricks to help me at the track. I like to count the big light poles down the straightaways (there are four of them). I also like to imagine the curves as a giant slingshot that will shoot me around to the straightaways. Whatever works, right? Anyhow, I enjoyed my first track workout of 2010!
Tonight's speed work helped me finish out my biggest mileage month since the spring of 2006. Seriously. So lame, I know. Anyhow. 123.6 miles. 12 cross training sessions. 28 hours. Good times. Here's to a bigger and better April!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Race Report - Human Race 8K

Just call me a streaker - today, for the fifth year in a row, I ran the Human Race 8K in St. Paul. I love this race. It always feels like the official start to spring. I was staying at my mom's this weekend, so it was an easy 20 minute drive to the race. My mom, aunt, and Sophie all came along to cheer me on. We met my running partner Jim and my friend Mac at the race.

My mom dropped me off at the packet pick up area so I had plenty of time to get my bib and wait in a LONG line for the porta potties. After finally getting my turn, I met up with Jim and Mac and we all walked the few blocks to the starting line. We got to the line right before the start, so we were way in the back - right with all the strollers and walkers. Lovely.

The race started and we were off. I decided I didn't want to waste a bunch of energy dodging people, so I just stuck to the edge of the left curb, passing on the grass when I needed to. This worked pretty well and I quickly found myself in a group that was running my pace.

This is basically an out and back course (with a brief detour around the block at William Mitchell - my law school). The first half of the race felt like it went really quick. It was really windy, but only occasional gusts threatened to blow me halfway down the street.

On the way back, I stopped and walked for a couple of seconds to drink some water. I was thirsty! I also wanted to put my iPod on to have a little music to push me through the second half. At about mile 3,5, I got a ridiculous cramp in my side. I stopped and stepped onto the grass, thinking I might need to roll around on the ground and cry for a little bit. Then I decided t suck it up and keep running. Thankfully after a few blocks the cramp went away.

I busted out the last few tenths of mile to Livin' on a Prayer and crossed the line. I was super confused because my clock time was 43-something, but my garmin said 42:44. I spent about five minutes trying to figure out this mystery. And then had a duh moment when I remembered chip time. Apparently oxygen was being diverted from my brain to keep my legs a moving. I just checked the race website and my chip time was 42:48. 17 seconds slower than the PR I set last year, but a good race for me.

Hope you all had great weekends - looking forward to catching up on race reports, long runs, and everything in between!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Last Friday

I always love Fridays because, well, what sort of freak doesn't get excited about the weekend? But today I am REALLY excited. It's my last Friday working! Starting next week I am cutting back to four days a week. I hesitate to call it part time because with meetings, bringing work home, etc., I'll probably still be working at least 40 hours. But Fridays! Not in the office! So happy.

I started off this morning with a great swim. I am already starting to notice improvements and am feeling really encouraged about the triathlon. After work, Sophie and I are headed to the cities to hang out with my mom and my aunt, who is in town visiting. And Sunday, I'll be in St. Paul for the Human Race 8k. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Little Piece of my Workout

I thought it would be really fun to start posting a pic from one of my runs each week. You know, some of my favorite spots, spots where I feel like I'm gonna die, spots where I've puked, that sort of thing. Then I realized everything is pretty ugly right now, so even my favorite places might look a little depressing. So here's my kettlebell gym - a whole group of us mid-snatch. I'm second from the left in the back row (black capris, pink top, kettlebell up in the air!). Appropriate pic for tonight, seeing as how I just came from another great kettlebells class. If only I didn't have to drive half an hour one way to get there - I would love to go more than once per week.

So that was my workout today . . . don't you feel like you just dropped in Minnesota and hung out with my sweaty, stinktastic self for a while?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Salvaging the Week

This week's marathon training started out okay:

Monday: 7 miles hills
Tuesday: 1 hr kettlebells (with 1 mile warmup and 1 mile cool down)
Wednesday: 1/2 hr swim, 5 mile tempo run

And then there was the black hole that was Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Wednesday night during my tempo run I just felt exhausted. I figured a rest day was in order for Thursday. I still felt worn out Thursday (and fell asleep at bowling Thursday night - whoops!). I planned on getting up early and swimming Friday morning, but turned my alarm off. And then Friday I went straight from work to judging college mock trial championships until 11:30 at night. And was back judging a second round at 9:00 Saturday morning. The rest of Saturday was spent at a birthday party and then later a benefit for one of my clients. Instead of riding on my bike last night like I planned, I went to bed at 9 p.m.

With three days of laziness, I wasn't sure how today's 16 miler would go. But it was GREAT. I felt really strong and kept a good pace. It was one of those runs where I felt like I was gaining energy throughout the run. A definite confidence builder!

I'm single parenting again until Wednesday this week (my husband is getting in one last ice fishing trip), so some workouts may have to be rearranged. Sophie and I are enjoying our girl's night - relaxing on the couch, eating ice cream and watching Cars.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Rest of the Story

A lot of times when I'm running a race or a training run, I think about how I'll report about the event on the blog. I'll tell myself I have to remember to include certain details. And then, when I get home and finally get around to writing up my post, I get too focused on the big picture and forget the little minute details. So I decided to share a couple of the small things with you that should have been included in some prior posts.

When I wrote about my 18 miler last Saturday, I really should have mentioned that I had to poop so bad during the second of my 6 mile loops I could hardly stand it. I stopped at my house, where Sophie was hanging out with her babysitter, for a much needed bathroom break. Sophie got all excited and started telling her babysitter she had to leave. I told her that I just had to go to the bathroom and I still had 6 more miles to run. Sophie ran down the hall and I could hear her tell the babysitter, "Chelsie, my mom is running 6 more miles. She just has to poop." The girl learns fast.

When I wrote about my adventures at the Mora Vasaloppet, I really should have told you about the last water stop. I skied up to the water stop and the volunteers (all men) immediately noticed my bleeding face. They asked if I wanted water and some Tylenol. I told them I would rather have a beer. One guy reached down into a cooler and produced a can of Bud Light. I stood there and chugged it. Now Jamoosh, don't go throwing a rock at my head all the way from Texas for saying this, but it actually tasted good at that moment. And it definitely made the last 10K of the race better.

When I wrote about my 5K in Center City back in January, I really should have included the fact that I peed my pants. I was working so hard coming up the last hill about half a mile from the finish, a little bit of pee came out. For a long time, I've peed myself whenever I do Jillian's 30 days shred, now apparently 5K races also bring on the pee. Note to self: do more kegels.

So there's the rest of the story. Hopefully that wasn't oversharing. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Sun is Shining, Must be a Rest Day

Isn't it weird how it can rain all week - every single training run in the rain and the mud - and then, on a day when the schedule says yoga and bike on trainer, the sun comes out? Oh well. Once Sophie gets up from her nap, I might take her into the park so we can enjoy the beautiful weather a little bit.

Even with the wet weather, I had a pretty decent week of marathon training:

Monday: 7 miles hills
Tuesday: 1 hr kettlebells
Wednesday: AM - 800 meter swim; PM - 5 miles (not quite tempo . . . worn out from a REALLY hard kettlebells workout Tuesday night)
Thursday: 3 miles easy
Saturday: 18 miles
Sunday: nothing yet, but planning on a 45 min bike & yoga later

I decided to do my 18 miler yesterday on a 6 mile loop by my house. Pros of a loop - I was able to ditch my jacket and my fuel belt in my mailbox, and stop at home after the first two loops for a bathroom break. It was hard to get out the door for the third loop, but definitely worth it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

First Swim

I was out the door at 5 a.m. this morning to meet a couple of my friends from kettlebells and go to the pool for my first swim. And by first swim, I mean first for real swim. This morning was the first time since middle school where "swimming" has meant more than hanging out in a hot tub or splashing around with a toddler. I was so nervous, I barely slept last night. What if I drown? What if I didn't do a good enough job shaving?

I was pleasantly surprised in that I felt I could maintain relatively good form doing a front crawl and breast stroke. I alternated - 25 meters front crawl, 25 meters breast stroke. I lost count, but I think I did 800 meters total. What I would like to know from all you swimmers out there is whether clinging to the side of the pool between laps and gasping for breath is normal. Or am I just that out of shape?

My plan is to try to get to the pool twice a week. I want to get strong enough to have some confidence going into the swim portion of the triathlon - I don't have to be fast, I just have to survive. It's pretty rainy here, so I may have a second chance for swimming after work on my tempo run. Rain + melting snow = massive puddles. Good thing I have my goggles in my car.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oh Capris, How I've Missed You

Gorgeous weather this weekend in Minnesota had me outside for my long run this afternoon in capris and a 3/4 sleeved shirt - YAY! I was so happy with the sun shining on my face and the breeze blowing through my leg hairs (guess it's time to shave), I barely noticed that I was running up 1800 ridiculously steep hills. My husband, on the other hand? Not so happy about spring. He almost cried when I told him the forecast is for 50 degrees tomorrow. The man really loves his ice fishing. Freak.

Week four of marathon training was all about flexibility - my husband was out of town (ice fishing, as if you needed to ask) and I had meetings three nights this week after work. But I still managed a pretty decent week:

Monday: 3 miles easy
Tuesday: 1 hr kettlebells, 45 min bike
Wednesday: 6 miles tempo
Thursday: bowling counts, right?
Friday: 4.6 miles hills
Sunday: 13 miles mega hills

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Look Ma, No Pants

That title might be a little misleading. Sorry. But today at 4:00 it was 42 degrees and I ran for the first time in recent memory in just one pair of pants and one long sleeved shirt. No thick Under Armour tights. No gloves. No three shirts and a wind jacket. And no hat. I felt sort of naked. And wonderful.

Apparently the lack of clothes helped me because I had an awesome tempo run. One mile warm up, four miles at mid-tempo pace (which actually turned into a little mini progressive run with each mile a little faster than the last) and one mile cooldown.

Now, I need your help. I got the e-mail today saying I didn't get picked in the lottery for Grandma's half marathon. So I'm trying to decide if I should run the full. The race is June 19th. I'm running the full in Madison Memorial Day weekend, so that would give me less then a month between the two. What do you think?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Triathlon 101

I may have mentioned that, due to a little bit of peer pressure, I'm planning on doing the Chisago Lakes Sprint Tri in July. The thought of doing a triathlon is a teensy bit terrifying for me, so when I saw that one of our local (and by local, I mean within an hour - that's what happens when you live in the boonies) hospitals was doing a Triathlon 101 class AND giving a discount to Chisago, I was all over it.

Last night was the class, and it definitely got me pumped up for the tri. Most of the information was stuff I already basically knew from reading blogs (thanks to all you smarty pants!), but it was reassuring to be in a room with other people who have no clue what they are doing. So now I am really looking forward to the triathlon and trying to figure out how I am going to get my butt in the pool. Must learn to swim NOW.

I also had a little happy surprise yesterday. While waiting for our taxes to get done, my hubby and I stopped into one of the big sports stores in the Twin Cities. I was thrilled to find my favorite Saucony shoes on sale for $50. That is so cheap! I picked those babies right up. I love the first run in the cushiony goodness of new shoes. My happiness was only somewhat dulled when I looked down and realized that the dress pants I was wearing had ripped and my entire ass was exposed for the world to see. Next stop: new pants.