Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Unbalanced

I am unbalanced. At least that is what my new Wii Fit keeps telling me. I was pretty skeptical about playing games on a gaming console in an attempt to "get fit" but my wonderful boyfriend bought me this device for Christmas so I figured I'd give it a go. I probably wouldn't feel comfortable soley relying on this device to keep up my fitness so of course I still have made it to the gym to run or do the eliptical.

I won't go into the details of every aspect of this system because there is just too much to talk about. That and some of the details are rather embarrasing. (Like how it adjusts your clothes so that they don't fit!) Every day after doing the Wii Fit, I end up really sore so I figure it must be doing something. Evidently I am really pretty bad at balancing. I haven't even tried the Yoga stuff yet but I'm assuming it will tell me that I suck at that too. It did, however, tell me that I was a "calorie roaster" in most of the aerobic exercises. It also has a few games where you can run (in place of course). It also said that I was strong with the strength exercises but I think it may be lying to me there.

Anyways, that is how I have been spending most of my hours after work this week. The gym has been rather empty and I'm just waiting for it to fill up with "New Year's Resolutioners". AH how I hate January at the gym...

Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 in a Wrap Up and Goals for 2010

In the Year 2009....

Added some new running partners to the mix--
Started the season with the Run of the Mills 5k with my brother and dad.
Tried to balance running with school and volunteering and didn't always succeed.
But most important--
Finished my goal of running the Twin Cities Marathon.
And then returned to Kansas City to run the marathon relay with my cousin and brother!


For the Year 2010...

I plan to resist the urge to run 26.2 this year. I don't have the time to do so. My goal is merely to run the Chicago Rock N Roll Half Marathon. It is also to finish up my classes and start student teaching in the fall! I may add a few extra races when I see that I have the time to do so. But they will be mostly shorter races. My ultimate running goal this year is to increase my speed.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

6 Stupendous Miles

My runs have felt soo good lately. I think that break really helped. I ran 6 miles in under an hour yesterday and felt awesome afterwards. YAY!

On a funny note. Yesterday when I was at the gym running--there was this dude behind grunting like he was on the toilet. At first I was concerned like perhaps there was something wrong and I was tempted to glance back. But his grunt continued every time I heard his weights lift from their setting, and I figured he was alright. Grunters usually bug me period--but this guy really sounded like he was straining over the lou. And the noise continued for the duration of my gym visit...Odd duckling.

The next few days will be bittersweet here in Minnesota. I'm really looking forward to the holidays but not looking forward to the Mammoth of a snow storm that is headed our way. I've heard estimates as high as 20"!!! And the tires on my car are really bad. Which really sucks because my car is only 2 years old.

Anyways, hope you all have the best of holidays!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Back and Ready to Rock It

Sorry for the extremely long delay in posts. It appears that I was hit with a whirlwind of "other stuff" to do and my workouts were really lacking. I have 3 weeks before school starts back up again and I'm going to make the most of it.

Yesterday I managed to turn something that I used to hate into something I now enjoy. Intervals! I really did despise them before and used to actually avoid them as much as I could. But this whole treadmill thing is starting to get boring real fast and I also wanted to try to up my speed before Chicago RNR. So....I rocked the intervals yesterday. I actually came out feeling really strong--ran a little over 3 miles and increased my speed by 2 minutes for the intervals. I'm hoping to get it up a little higher the next time that I do intervals.

Anyways, life has been hectic lately. Next semester is going to be even worse. In an attempt to student teach by next fall--I am cramming more classes than normal in. My work load has also been slightly stressful and I've just increased my commute. That and it is winter in Minnesota--so the snow storms usually leave me with 2-3 hour commutes. Ick.

Anyways, on a positive note--I've found a new love in intervals! Happy holidays to all of you!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Slacker

Just call me...the slacker. I've barely done any running lately. I had so much going on and just really lacked the motivation to hit the dreadmill (if you recall--I don't run when it is cold and we've reached cold temps).

Good news...I moved in with Andy. Bad news...It is an hour drive from my work. Better news...the triangle driving is over.

I did manage to get a run in last night. I swore I would never let myself "lose fitness" again. What a wierd way to phrase it--but I swear that is what they call it in the magazines. Somehow I lost fitness. My run was alright but definetly not what I expected it to be. I ran 3 miles and had to stop a few times. Lame. I just ran 26.2 less than a month ago and now I can't hammer out 3 miles without stopping. Hoping that it improves this week.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Team Starry-Eyed Schlepping Smugglers and 26.2 Miles in Kansas City

I know I promised more pictures from Twin Cities...but that was BEFORE I remembered that I would still have a race report for the Kansas City Marathon to write....


This weekend I headed down to Kansas City to run the relay with my cousin, brother, and cousins' friends. The race was on Saturday at 7 AM...


We arrived at 6:45 AM in seperate cars. Actually, my brother and I were still in the car at 6:45 AM and had to jump out at an intersection to hunt down the rest of our team. To say that I was a nervous wreck was an understatement. I have NEVER arrived at a race this late. I was the first runner and our team captain ( my cousin) had all of the safety pins. She wasn't answering her phone. They were singing the National Anthem on the loud speaker and the start line was packed. The idea of running around holding my number during the race did not sound like fun to me. I called my mom frantically yelling that I couldn't find Stephanie and I had no safety pins and my little brother was going to have to find his transition point all by himself in a city that he didn't know. My mom was angry that Joe (little bro) had gotten out of the car with me. I hung up and continued to look for Stephanie. I had given up after I saw the start line moving forward. I went to get behind the pack and by some miracle--I ran into Stephanie and the rest of our team. The first thing out of my mouth was "Safety pins!!!"

They quickly threw a number on me as I said "the line is taking off without me--I gotta go". Little did I know--the line wasn't going anywhere. The race actually didn't start until what seemed like 15 minutes after the anthem was sung. Of course, I was literally at the back of the pack so I had no clue what was going on. I kept thinking about how I hadn't even wished my teammates good luck before I disappeared.


Finally, the race took off. Well, kind of. Since I was at the back of the pack, I had a lot of weaving to do. There were actually walkers in this section because not only do they start the marathoners here--but the 5k, half marathon and us relay people. I quickly made it through the walkers but it took some time to get pass the mass amounts of 15 and 16 min/mile runners. After a mile of weaving, I was finally able to catch up to the pacers. First it was a 3 hr 30 min half marathon pacer. Which seemed like a very slow half marathon time to me. But I continued on my way, weaving through people. Now I know what it is like to literally start in the back of the pack. It wasn't all that bad because I was passing everyone rather than them passing me. Eventually I think I made it up to the 4:15 marathon pacer. The end of my run was up to Liberty Memorial--a very very long hill. I probably could have kept running but had to hand off to my brother at this point.

My mom and aunts were there at the transition point. I was extremely grateful because the buses only took you to the finish line. The original plan was that I would wait at the finish for everyone else to come in. And that would have been a very long wait. Anyways, we all waved Joe good bye and hopped into the car to try to get to his next transition point and get some Immodium to my cousin who was having some stomach issues. She was at the 4th transition point and Joe would be at the 3rd. It took us an hour just to get to Joe. He had already finished by the time we got to him and we spotted him in the street aimlessly wandering around looking for buses. We scooped him up and drove on to try to make to Stephanie with the Immodium.


We made it to Steph before she left--passed the Immodium and then waiting for her friend Jim to come in to the transition. Jim had a solid finish-we said bye to Steph and then Joe, Jim, and I hopped on the bus. The buses were quite packed...and sweaty. It took awhile to get us back to the start/finish.











I think I forgot to mention one crucial part in this whole thing. It was freezing cold most of the race. I actually don't know what the temp was--but it appeared chillier than Twin Cities a few weeks ago. Joe and I went to get some hot chocolate and we all sat around and waited for our final two runners.


Stephanie ended up almost vomiting on her portion of the run. She had the longest leg with 6.8 miles and it was tough with her stomach issues. That and I'm not entirely sure Steph has run this distance all that often. It was around the 4 hour mark when I called my mom to see whether we would be finishing anytime soon. She said that Steph had just handed off to Carolyn (our last runner). Her leg was still over 6 miles so I knew it would at least be another hour.







Around the 5 hour time, we headed to the finish line so that we could run in together. At around 5 hrs 15 minutes clock time, Carlyn came into the finish chute and we all joined her to the finish. My mom shot this picture and these two strange people must have thought my mom was taking a picture of them (we have no clue who they are).







Our final stats were a 5 hr 9 min chip time. I finished with a 9:35 min/mile. The rest of the bunch finished in the 11-14 min/mile range. Soo proud of the team for sticking through it despite our late arrival time and puky issues!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I Just May Be Crazy...

Well. I finished the Twin Cities Marathon. That nagging "what to do next" feeling was actually getting to me before I even crossed the finish line. And so it didn't suprise me when the very next day I found myself compulsively looking up races for next year. I will have no time to run a marathon as I will be getting ready to student teach for all of the fall marathons and I will have 3 classes during training for the spring marathons. Soooo...If you see me post something about thinking about a marathon--please discourage it. Because it may happen...

But the big news is...I've signed up for the Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon for August 2010!! And the best news of all--I will be running with my cousin, Stephanie! Actually it will be her first long distance race...and she is going to join the NF Endurance Team with me. Soooo...if anyone else wants to join in the fun--it would rock to run with you!

My plan for next year is to run a few halfs and maybe the TCM 10 mile if I get in. I'd like to work on my speed a bit and this will be the perfect opportunity to do it. I usually make these plans near the end of the year but I was feeling antsy and so there ya go--I'm already registered for a 2010 race.

Another piece of rockin awesome news--I have a GARMIN! Andy was so sweet and got me the Forerunner 405 for my Birthday yesterday.

Oh and I promise you--next post will include more pics of the Twin Cities Marathon. I just haven't had time!!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Twin Cities Marathon 2009

According to my cousin, that picture was taken around mile 21. Not sure how I managed to continue to smile that late in the race...but it happened. Oh yea...and I did carry those gloves the entire race because it seems that they weren't too cumbersome in my hands.

According to the media and many other racers, the weather was near "perfect". It actually felt pretty awesome at about 45 degrees, but I think the colder temps may have attributed to some later problems.

My relatives arrived Friday from Kansas City and joined me at the start line along with my parents, brother and beloved bf Andy. They all wore bright NF Tshirts so they were super easy to spot. They were also nice to be able to run into other NF Endurance team members and spectators. We actually met a few team members while standing around in the Metrodome before the race--what a great bunch of people!

The start of this race was a little different than most races I've been to. I lined up behind the 4:45 thinking that would be 5 minutes faster than last year's race and a good spot to start. I stood there chatting with my family when all of a sudden it appeared the crowd was moving but I had not heard a gun or horn or anything. I thought that the race surely had started but shortly after we started moving, I heard claps and cheers from people ahead of us to indicate the start of the race. I was off and feeling pretty good...

Or maybe too good? I started out pretty fast. I was running a 9:17 or so min/mile and I knew it seemed to be too fast. I thought I was still behind the 4:45 pacer so I trusted the pace I was at. It turns out that I had somehow passed the 4:45 pacer and was now approaching the 4:30. I caught up to the 4:30 pacer at about Mile 6 and this is when I realized I was truly going too fast. The wierd thing is--I didn't do anything to slow down because I had some wierd logic going on in my head. I thought if I could pass the 4:30 pacer, I'd have time to go to the bathroom and not be too far behind. I did pass the 4:30 pacer, got off the course at the porto-pottie and then saw that the line wasn't moving anywhere and hopped back on after I saw the 4:30 pacer re-pass me again.

I continued to try to catch up to the 4:30 pacer again but never saw her. I was dropping further and further back. We went through a few "crunches" in the course where it seemed like the streets could not hold all of the runners. People were spilling into the sidewalks and curbs. It was like traffic jam central and I just wanted to keep my pace.

Thinking I was still behind the 4:30 and in front of 4:45, I stopped at another restroom later on. There was a long line but I couldn't hold on any longer. This was mile 11 or 12. I probably waisted a good 10 minutes at this stop. I got back on course and hoped I was at least behind the 4:45. Somehow, I think that pacer had even passed me.

I continued on the course and my pace continued to slow down. The course was packed with spectators and I was loving it. I saw Andy and his family around mile 8 and was so happy to see all of them.

Around mile 12, it seemed that I was quickly losing energy. I was starting to get really frustrated. My stomach was telling me that I was starving hungry and I was trying to wait to take a gel because I had just taken one at the 7 mile mark when it was doing a similiar thing. Finally around the 12.5, I broke down and took the gel. Instantly I was feeling much better. Normally I don't feel such a drastic change so quickly but I was grateful. I kept on running and saw Andy and my cousin somewhere around there.

I continued on feeling pretty good and enjoying the scenery. I would later see my Aunt and parents around mile 18 and then Andy and my cousin a few more times. They were such troopers to travel around spectating!

I went through the "wall" just fine and seemed to be feeling quite well. It was at about mile 21 that I had something happen that has never happened to me while running. All of a sudden I felt a sharp pain around my right knee. I thought for sure I had pulled a muscle. I limped over to the sidelines and tried to stretch it out while the EMT's were just behind me. Not wanting them to pull me off the course, I tried to continue to walk. It seemed to subside some and then about five minutes later my other knee did the same thing. I quickly realized I was cramping and not pulling muscles because my entire leg seemed to seize up at times. I continued to stretch, run, walk, stretch, run, walk for the remaining 5 miles. It was during this cycle that I saw the 5 hr pacer pass me. This is when I knew that the rest of this race would be just trying to finish and enjoy the marathon.

The last 2 miles were pretty tough. I continued on, seemingly pulling my cramping legs through the course at times. The spectators were telling me that the last mile was easy. However, it was a downhill descent and my legs were not having it. My knees were in pain and I had to walk down the hill. I felt so silly as everyone else was running. Once I got closer to where I could see the Finish line, I began to run. The Finish line was amazing. The best Finish line I have ever crossed. You can see it for a good 1/4 of a mile before you cross it. It is lined with spetators and bleachers. I continued through the finishers shoot and was completely coherent when they placed the medal on my neck (as opposed to last year at KC when I was balling and forgot about the medal entirely). It felt amazing to continue to walk through the finish line out into the crowd. My family followed me on the other side of the gates (they were gated off from me). They made me stop for pictures along the way.

I met up with a few NF team members before emptying out into the family area. We gave each other congrats on the race, took some pictures and then were off to see our families. This is where things got to be a little strange. The finish area at this marathon was huge compared to that at Kansas City. There were people everywhere and I couldn't find my family anywhere. I spotted a series of flags with letters on them and stood by the "H" for my last name. I thought that if my family approached an official looking for me--they would probably point them in this direction. Just as I spotted my family really far away through a crowd, a classmate came up to congradulate me. I was happy to see the classmate, but quickly lost track of where the family went to again. I stayed in the same spot for another 5 minutes or so and then decided to walk back towards the vendors and "party tent" to see if I could find them. I found them waiting near the vendors and was so happy to see them except Andy was missing. They had sent Andy up to the "H" to find me after talking with a police officer who thought we were crazy for not having set up a meeting place.

All in all it was a good marathon. I will post more pictures when I get time. For now, you can see a video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QX0L64CVJo&feature=related I am at the 36 second mark in yellow NF shirt, black hat, and blue skirt.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Countdown to Race Day.

Here are my hopes and wishes for this week:

--That swine flu stays way, way, far away from me.
--That the rain does its thing earlier in the week and stops by Sunday.
--That work gets less stressful so I can bring this arm twitchy thing to a stop.

Race Day is Sunday. And I'm so ready to run.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Only 2 more weeks...

12 miler was a success! The weekends have been ultra busy lately now that school started back up again so I didn't get the chance to run until 5:30 pm on Sunday. Andy came to the rescue once again. He took out my girly light blue bike once again and rode alongside me for the entire 12 miles as it just barely started to get dark as we pulled in to his house. Actually having him there helped me keep up my pace and I finished in about 2 hours.

The Twin Cities Marathon is only 2 weeks away. My cousin and aunt are coming in to town to watch me (they live in Kansas City). So excited to have fans--hehe! Two weeks later, I will be travelling to Kansas City for the Kansas City Marathon Relay to team up with my cousin on a leg of that race.

My local hometown paper also printed a story about my fundraising efforts for NF and running the Twin Cities Marathon. Thought that was super cool. I don't know if I ever mentioned it--but Joe Mauer (Twins catcher) donated a signed bobblehead to the cause that will be raffled off to donors who donate $20 or more. If you are one who is a Mauer fan--you can find my donation page in the left margin of my blog.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Prince Charming on a Blue Bicycle

Monday evening I planned out my 20 mile run. I was a little scared because it was going to be dark by the time I finished up and the trail is wooded and you never know what/who might come out of the woods! I had barely mentioned to Andy while he was half asleep that perhaps he might be able to come down and bike alongside me. I honestly thought he wasn't listening though because he was so tired.

The run started out pretty good. I made it to mile 7 before I really needed to stop to get a drink of water. By then I was just entering Lake Calhoun (a portion of the Twin Cities Marathon route!). I made it almost all the way around the lake when I checked my I-Pod and it told me I had run what I thought I heard as "10.05" miles. Andy called me near this point to ask me whether I still wanted him to come out with my light blue bike so that he could ride next to me in the dark. I was suprised that he had actually heard me that morning and quickly gave him directions on how to find me on the trail.

It was getting dark pretty fast by the time Andy found me. I was sooo relieved and happy to see him. When he got to me, he told me how happy he was that he came out because he didn't like the idea of me running in the dark alone. That and the end of my run is in Hopkins--and there are parts of Hopkins that scare me in the daylight--let alone the dark. Andy got to experience the trail and told me that he now thinks he wants to take up biking--so perhaps next year I'll be biking more.

Anyways, Andy talked to me through the last 5 miles and all went pretty well. I had a few stomach issues in the last 2 miles that caused me to take a few extra breaks. But all in all--it was a good run. No knee pain--thank goodness!!!!

The shocking thing is--when I got back to the apartment--my I-Pod was telling me that I ran 21 miles. Not sure how that happened really. Unless perhaps when I turned around I heard "10.05" when it was really saying "10.50". Not sure. Either way...I'm sure I got the required 20 done which is good.


Taper time!!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sitting on Edge

Sooo...I had an AWESOME GREAT 10 miler on Wednesday night. I was supposed to do a 5 miler yesterday but by the end of the day I was experiencing something that I thought I would manage to successfully avoid this marathon training season....

KNEE PAIN!!

Yuck, Yuck, Yuck, Yuck.

Anyways, I took the day off of running yesterday, iced the knee, and prayed that my knee would pitter please hold up.

So far none of my home remedies have cured it. Although I will say...I have yet to actually try to run on it since the pain started. Sooo....maybe it will go away with a little run. I don't have time for one tonight...but I'm going to attempt tomm.

Also have a 20 miler scheduled this weekend. I will try to do it on Sunday but if knee pain proves to be detrimental--I will postpone to Monday. Then it will be taper so hopefully if I can just make it past the 20 miler--I can give my knee a little break.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

18 and Counting...

I finally finished the 18 miler on Sunday. I won't say it is the best run I've ever had. In fact, it was probably near the worst.

I started out on the run at about 11:00 AM. Yea, not a good time to start a long run. While the weather man said it was going to be a "pleasant" weekend, I wasn't thinking it was so pleasant. It was 79 degrees which I thought would be alright. But it was sooo hot. I think it was the way the sun was hitting me, in all honesty. I wore a black hat because I couldn't find my sunglasses and that was just trapping heat on my head. I was absolutely miserable through a good majority of my run.

Once I hit the 9 mile mark, I only had one bottle of water left and a bottle of gatorade. I brought the Gatorade to try to help with the lack of electrolyte problem I experienced on other long runs. Well, it turns out that Gatorade makes me more thirsty. I hate that sugary taste it leaves in your mouth so I kept having to follow it with water. Sooo...I think next time I'm going to have to try to mix it with water to make it less potent. Anyways, I very quickly went through my liquids and was starting to panick about how I was going to make it the 9 miles back.

I texted Andy to see when he was going to be back home (he was an hour away). He said he wasn't coming home anytime soon. At that moment, I really was frustrated. I tried to keep running but my mind just wasn't in it. I ended up walking a good distance, running some, walking some. Finally I reached the high school near Andy's house. They had just installed outdoor water fountains this summer and every time I stopped they had no water in them. I hoped that they would have water running through them this time since school is starting tomm. And thank goodness--they had water! Although one of the fountains seemed to have a taste of paint thinner or some kind of chemical--I assumed because they were new. Yuck. Anyways, I filled up my water bottles and went on my way.

The last few miles turned out to be okay--alot of running and then walking. I came back to the house with no chills this time--the Gatorade must have helped that problem. Also had sunburn on the back of my knees, arms, face, and neck. How fun....

I'm hoping the 20 miler this weekend is better than this one. I definetly will either be leaving earlier in the day or later to avoid the sun beating down on me.

Friday, September 4, 2009

One Month to the Big DAY

One month from today I will be standing at the start line of the Twin Cities Marathon!! I can't say that I'm near as nervous as last year's Kansas City Marathon. So far, my knees have held up quite well through training this year. I've had a few minor knee "warning" pains in my left knee the past few runs but nothing to be too worried about. The only thing I have been worried about is the fact that I have yet to get the 18 miler in. I will be doing it this weekend. I still have some chesty stuff from the cold I had last week but I'm ready to go.


My runs this week have been alright. Somehow I've managed to lose some speed lately which is slightly disappointing. My fastest pace on my 5 miler the other day was like 9:30 which was my normal pace last year. Not that I'm all that concerned with pace in my marathon but I do want to hopefully beat last years time. We'll see what happens.

Oh and I finally got pics back from the Run of Mills 5k that I did with my bro and dad back in May. See below.



Joe (brother) and I before the race.

Start Line


Dad is in the yellow Cheerios hat and Joe and I are to the side of this guy in the hat in the forefront. You can only see my hair but Joe is in front of me.


Crossing the Finish Line

Monday, August 31, 2009

Missed Opportunity

The weather looked gorgeous for a nice long 18 mile run this weekend. That is the mileage I was supposed to encounter. However, I didn't get anywhere close. In fact, I completed 0 miles this weekend and instead felt like I was going to lose a lung in the coughing spells that took over my days. Needless to say, I didn't leave the house much this weekend. Although I did try to take Duke for a walk later in the day Sunday when I thought I was feeling better--that ended in some icky coughing spells in which I was trying to control Duke (a strong German Shepherd) and my own body at the same time.

Anyways, if there is one lesson that can be learned from all of this, it would be to take the extra rest day early on rather than have to miss an entire weekend due to major coughing. I went to see the doc at MinuteClinic on Sunday and she told me that I should take some Claritin. So far that has made me extremely tired and somewhat stopped the crazy coughs. I'm hoping that I can get a run in tonight. We are only 5 weeks away from the Twin Cities Marathon and I need to get some runs in!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Enountering the SWAT Team

Well, I have an interesting story for you. But first, I will give you a brief synopsis on the development of sickness. Yesterday I wrote about how I was experiencing a cough and was a bit iffy about going out on a run but felt like I really needed to. Well the cough couldn't keep me in. I kept telling myself that perhaps I was overexaggerating my symptoms and I should be able to make it at least through my 5 miler. Well I made it through (with an interesting story to tell) and also now have a serious much worse cough going on. I thought I was going to cough up a lung this morning. So, word to wise--if your intuition says you shouldn't run--don't!

Now on with my interesting story.

I headed out from my apartment onto a 5 mile mile route that has a "turn around" in front of a private school in Hopkins. Just before I reach this private school, there is a small neighborhood with some fences that divide it from a rather busy road. For ordinary people, this area of the city probably doesn't scare them. But it typically puts me on high alert because I always seem to come across teenagers with baggy pants yelling wise remarks to me as I pass through this area. This time there were no teeenagers. A man in his late 50s emerged from one of the roads going into the neighborhood and followed behind me as I ran. I was slightly on alert just because of the way he suddenly appeared but wasn't too concerned. I had also seen an Edina cop car parked on the sidewalk with no cops in it. I thought it was kind of peculiar that a car from Edina would be here but figured maybe he was visiting someone.

Next thing I knew, I heard a "Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang!!" I nearly jumped out of my own skin and stopped in my tracks. I was standing directly in front of a wooden fence so I couldn't see what the loud noise had been but I was terrified. On the other side of the fence I could see gunsmoke rising and heard officers shouting. I slowly continued walking until I reached the end of the fence (not a very long fence). Police in full camouflage and helmets with large guns started running towards the end of the fence chasing a guy. They were shouting, "Get down, get down". They took the guy down on the edge of the fence just as I passed. I was terrified at this point. I continued to walk just because I didn't want the cops to think I was running away from them (although I was in running clothes...so I'm not sure why I was so afraid). I got past the fence and away from the noise and my heart was pounding so hard. I kept thinking, those cops were shooting towards the fence! I was on the other side of the fence...I could have been shot. This was probably the worst timing to have my turn around. I walked a very short distance over to the school and then realized I needed to turn around. My chest had already been bugging me because of the cold and there was no way I was going to prolong my run but I really didn't want to go back past the gun shots. I told myself that they had caught the guy. I witnessed it. I will be safe. Just walk past and get back to your run. So I turned around.

As I was walking back past the fence, I saw crowds of officers in camouflage all walking into the street that goes into the neighborhood. By the time I reached that latter end of the fence, many of them had hopped on a humvee looking vehicle and were all hanging off of it. I was standing at the end of the sidewalk, needing to cross the road that goes into the neighborhood to continue on my journey. They had large guns and were all decked out in camo. They looked at me like they wanted to say something but none of them did. I couldn't even see the driver because the windshield was tinted really dark so I didn't know if he was going to let me cross the street or not. I just waited for him to go with all of his men hanging off. Then I started to cross the street and looked down through the neighborhood. There sat a sign that I had missed because it wasn't on my path. It read, "Police Officer Training." There was no crazy fugitive on the run and whatever they were shooting was probably blanks. But I had been terrified. Perhaps a simple sign on the sidewalk that read "Police Officer Training on other side of fence" would have been nice. I completely respect the difficult job these guys have to do and it is easy to miss every single angle that someone could be affected by the things you do. At least it did put some excitement in my run.

Here I found an article with the police forces that were training (obviously not the training that took place yesterday--but I believe this is what they were doing). http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/07/16/2556/how_and_why_to_invite_a_swat_team_into_your_home

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Yet Again...Sick

Somewhere between Missouri and Minnesota, I captured a bug. It seems like I've been sick at least 3 times this year, highly abnormal for me. It isn't even winter!

Anyways, Monday I ran 4 miles despite feeling the sickness coming on.

Tuesday, the sickness got the better of me and I didn't run.

Wednesday was worse than Tuesday. Had a fever. Went to work still...but didn't run.

I have a mild fever now but feel a little better. The runny nose stuff has lightened up but it seems I now have a cough. Really, I have to get out and run. I know..."anything below the neck, don't run." Well...I have to. I have a 9 mile run that needs to get done. I probably won't make it the full 9 but I have to at least try to make it out there.

I have an 18 miler this weekend that I am really hoping I get better for. I missed last weeks 12 miler on vacation and so I NEED this one.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Revenge of the HILLS





Vacation was...okay. It was SO nice to sleep in a little, to not have to go to work. But it rained and rained and rained in the Ozarks. I'll show you some pics of us squeezing in some activities in between the rains. But how about the running eh?
Well first I should tell you about how I ran the morning we left for the Ozarks. I decided to fit in my last 4 miler for that week in at 5 am before we left. I now know that I am NOT a 5 am runner. I don't know how 5 AM runners do it. First, it was pitch dark outside when I left. I could barely see the road beneath my feet. That is enough to give me the creeps. Second, I couldn't see the bugs flying into my mouth. Yuck. Third, I was terrified someone was going to jump out of the following items: 1) cornfields, 2) scary looking van parked on side of road, 3) woods. Oh and it was hot and humid. Anyways, I was terrified through most of the run and decided that would be my first and only 5 am solo run.
After my run, we hopped into the car and headed down to the land of many hills. I wanted to take a picture of the hills that I was running up and down just to show you the pain I endured, but I never took a camera with me on a run. Anyways, if you've ever driven through the Ozarks, it is like riding on a roller coaster. You know, the whole belly flop feeling as you go up and down hills? Yea, I was running those monsters. I will say that I shaved about a mile off of the 8 miler and did that on a treadmill. That and I never got my long run in...I'm hoping to maybe fit it in today. Although I have an 18 miler later this week so I may decide to save energy for that one. Anyways, all that hill training really did a number on my calves. Every time I go to run they seem to seize up with a bad crampy feeling. I've done so much stretching to try to relieve the pain it is crazy. It actually takes 2 miles or so for the pain to go away. Oh well...as soon as I get a few more flat-moderate hill land runs in my legs should be back to normal. The good news--the weather was super nice outside later in the week so my hilly runs weren't unbearable. I think I was more afraid for my saftey of running on narrow windy, hilly roads as cars come flying down. Other good news--the doc cleared my lungs before we left and said it was probably the heat and lack of electrolytes that caused the funny chest pain.

Anyways, here are a few pics from our trip...enjoy!!


Hiking

Out to eat


Castle Ruins

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Aftermath of a 16 Mile Run

The 16 mile run went better than I expected it to go. It was 87 degrees when I left and I was dreading the heat but knew that it had to at least cool into the 70s near the end of my run. But overall, it was an alright run.

I started out the run pretty slow because I was paranoid of falling victim to the heat. Not entirely sure what I was afraid of--perhaps heat stroke? I got my two extra bottles for my Nathan belt yesterday and they worked great. Although it was a lot more water to carry around my waist than I was used to! I was fairly liberal with my water drinking because I knew there were water fountains on the route that I was taking. It felt pretty good to not have to ration out my water intake.

The run out to the turn-around point was great. Not many problems at all actually. And I would say I probably didn't have a lot of problems until the last 4. The last 4 miles, I started to feel a pain in my lungs while I was breathing. I've never really experienced that before and so I took lots of breaks to let my lungs recover. Anyways, it was alot of running .75 of a mile, walking 1-2 minutes, running another .75 mile. I kept trying to make it to at least a mile between stops but the pain in my breathing was bugging me. Anyways, I've made a doctor's appt to check this out just to be sure. I'm sure it was just the distance contributing to it...but whenever pain moves to my chest--I always worry more than I probably need to.

Anyways, I made it the 16 miles loving the fact that I still have no knee pain. LOVING IT! Although, getting to the apartment I realized that I had forgotten about the end of the long run--when you stop running and the pain starts. I felt like puking, my legs kept cramping up, and my lungs were hurting. Oh and I was shivering--but this always happens after my long runs no matter how much water I drink. I've read a ton that says it means you didn't drink enough water but I seriously say that is crazy. Because I drank 6-20 oz bottles of water on that run yesterday. Perhaps I drank too much water. Anyways, the stomach was not feeling well either and I knew I needed to eat something. That and I figured I might be needing salt since it was clearly all over my body. Drank some V8 hoping that would help. Then I tried to eat blueberries and my stomach was not having it. Waited a little bit and forced half a bowl of bran flakes down then gave up and went to bed. Well, tried to go to bed. My legs kept cramping and I swear I was up every 10 minutes trying to get them to stop.

Anyways, the 16 miler is done. Now I am going to have to figure out when I'm going to do the 4 miler and the 8 miler since my schedule is all messed up. I love going on vacation but it really does throw a wrench in your training plan!! Anyways, headed to Missouri Saturday morning...hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Heat, Humidty, and Trips Ahead

This weekend's long run went ok. I still have no apparent injuries so I'm pretty happy on that front. Last year at this time in my training I was cringing on the long runs. However, it seems I am dealing with a different dilemma altogether, weather. I don't remember running in the heat last year at all for some reason. I am sure I did, I just don't recall it. Don't get me wrong, we've had a cool summer. But this past week changed things up a bit. I set out for my 15 mile run when it was a bit cooler but still really humid. It was like 100% humidity here during parts of the weekend. I still only have the 2 bottle Nathan hydration belt. I've ordered 2 extra bottles to attach to it but haven't gotten them in the mail yet. The end of my run was pretty tough. I was completely out of water with 3 miles to go, hot and sweat stinging my eyes. That and I had a stomach ache that was causing some cramps. Needless to say, I was walking a good portion of the last 2 miles but still managed to run a bit. I'm just happy that I finished it though.

This weekend's long run is supposed to be 16 miles. I will be leaving for the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri on Saturday early morning and I really don't want to run it down there (very very hilly). So, I'm going to attempt to squeeze it in on Thursday or Friday night. The sad thing is that it is supposed to be 90 degrees both days with more humidity. So frustrating. And I can't run in the morning because I would literally have to wake up at 2:30 to do that. Anyways, as you can see, I am really dreading my long run this week.

Also, next week I am going to have to find spots to run down at the Lake of the Ozarks. Evidently people don't do a lot of running around that area because for the life of me, I could not find a running club or running trails. I tried Map My Run and came across some highway runs but I wanted so badly for there to be a trail around the area. Maybe I'll stumble across something when we go down there. If nothing else, there is an Anytime Fitness so I can go there for the shorter runs.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Day the Music Died

It was a blessing in disguise really. I set out for a 10 mile run. Somehow I've misplaced my Ipod headphones so I had grabbed a cheap pair of headphones that I used to use to listen to sound in the digital media lab back in my student reporting days. I was just leaving Andy's neighborhood (.5 mile into my run) when the sound went dead. I looked down and realized that the wires had come out of the plug and the headphones were completely detached from my ipod (with the plug still in). I didn't want to turn around as it was expected to be 80+ degrees that day and I was already headed out late. So, I continued on. For some people, music is a deal breaker, for me it is just an added bonus.

My run was actually going quite well. There was a slight breeze and I estimate it was in the higher 70s. Nothing too bad. The sun started to pound on me about mile 3 but nothing that I couldn't handle. The turn around was also pretty warm as I was running up hill on a black tar road. I trudged on letting my feet guide me and all of a sudden a nice breeze came by. I was pleasantly suprised by the breeze. The breeze continued with me and then all of a sudden I smelt a very familiar smell that I haven't smelled in years. The air smelled like my grandmother (the one who died from NF years ago). Yea, perhaps someone used the same detergent as my grandmother and they were doing laundry. But in all honesty, I was in the middle of farm land and I haven't smelled that smell at all since visiting her house years ago. I had just passed an old farm house but it was clear up a hill. I liked to think that my grandmother was there with me (even if it is a funny thought--it was comforting). I continued on my way thinking about her and wondering whether she really could be there watching out for me. Then I saw a monarch butterfly and asked myself whether she might show me a sign through that butterfly. Well, then the butterfly flew right into me. Perhaps it was another coincidence but it helped me run--thinking that my grandmother was there and she knew that I was running because I was inspired by her. The wind continued to blow whenever I needed it and I finished the run strong. I got back to Andy's house with tons of energy left which rarely happens on my longer runs these days. So grateful those headphones broke--it helped me focus on my surroundings.

Monday, July 27, 2009

13 Smooth Movin Miles

Saturday I completed a long 13 miler. I will be real honest here and tell ya that I was dreading this run all week. My long runs have been such a struggle lately and I've been trying my best to hammer out whatever factors are creating it and perhaps I've somewhat figured it out.

It was breezy and near 70 degrees when I started out on Saturday. The clouds were looming above and the sunshine was poking through. It was perfect running weather at the start of my run.

The first 5 miles blew right by. Mile 6 I needed a little bit of water but kept on trucking after. I took my GU at about mile 8 when I started to feel the energy slipping and it really seemed to help. It wasn't until about mile 12 that I had any sort of issue. I ran out of water around mile 11 (I need to upgrade my hydration belt to include more bottles!). Around mile 12, my stomach started to hurt. I took out my ear buds to my Ipod so that I could focus on my run a little more. I've found that if I can hear my feet on the ground it really allows me to focus more on my form and the way that my body moves and I usually get a 2nd wind. The 2nd wind lasted for maybe half a mile. The last half mile I was running to various landmarks and then walking, then running to the next landmark. At least I was still running though. It also started to warm up a bit by that last mile and I guess my face was burning (didn't realize til I got back). Anyways, overall it was a really good run.

Oh and another BIG announcement. I'm probably going to be running the Kansas City Marathon Relay just a few weeks after the Twin Cities Marathon. I've somehow convinced my dad and some uncles and cousins to join in the fun. My uncle has run quite a few marathons and now races in triathlons so I think we've got a good team. Not sure what leg I will be taking, but I'm kind of hoping for one of the medium length ones as I will be in recovery from TCM.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lights Out

Dark clouds and heavy rain were passing through the Roseville area when I entered the doors of Anytime Fitness. Just like any other day, I got changed and hopped on to a treadmill. My pace has been improving lately and I was so happy to find a groove in my scheduled 6 mile run. The gym was busier than usual, probably due to the droplets falling outside. The gym manager left the door wide open so that every time the atmosphere rumbled outside, many of us nearly jumped off our equipment in fright. I was watching Oprah on the TV, some special about the ranch with the men who have multiple wives. It was intriguing and I was lost in the moment of running and watching these women. Then it happened. BAM! Lightning and thunder outside and the lights went dark inside. My treadmill stopped underneath my feet. I am usually a pre-planner. Someone who thinks about every possible scenario before it happens. It is a part of my job as the "go to" for emergency situations at work. When it leaks you run for the plastic to cover the books. But I had never thought about a treadmill stopping underneath my feet because the lights went out. And I could have a hilarious story for you about how I tumbled forward because the treadmill stopping shocked me. But it didn't. It just stopped. And I stopped with it. And so did all of the other people on cardio equipment. We looked around at each other in the dark with wide eyes. What do we do? Make a mad rush for the weightlifting area? Leave this building and run for cover? That is what the lady next to me thought she should do. She kept turning to me with this concerned look on her face and saying, "Is it safe??" The lights came back on within a few minutes. The runners on the treadmills resumed with no concern. Except for me and the lady next to me. I was halted because my machine was reading "Error 562" and wouldn't restart. The lady next to me just kept looking at me and saying, "Is it safe? I don't think its safe. I am scared." I didn't know what to tell her, honestly. I mean there was the chance that a tornado could come through or perhaps the machines receive some sort of electric jolt from lightning striking but the chances of those things happening were not great. I just smiled and continued to hit the button on my treadmill hoping that "Error" would go away. Well, "Error" didn't go away and I moved down a treadmill. The lady is still asking me if it is safe. I continue to smile and start up the treadmill. I don't know what you say to that. Is it safe? I don't really have any sort of authority to answer that question in an establishment that I am not working at. I could tell you every emergency procedure in my own building but I had no clue for the gym.

I went on to finish the 6 miles. Not great, but at least I was dry and away from the lightening.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

12 Miles of Misery

I was so excited for this run. I had planned it perfectly as it was supposed to be unseasonly cool outside and I was ready to run the 12 miler. However, things never go quite as expected. I'm not really sure what is going on with my long runs lately but half of them have turned out pretty bad. I made it to mile 3 and I was thirsty. I think this is where I lost the groove. I stopped to take a drink of water quick and then kept on running. It felt like it was over 80 degrees when in fact it was only 77. The sun was hitting me just right that I was pouring sweat. Anyways, I trudged on and was doing okay up until about mile 5 when I had to incorporate walk breaks. I never had walk breaks when I was training last year. I felt like my body must be trying to convert me to Galloway and I was trying so hard to resist. I made it up past 6 miles for the turn around and my legs felt like lead weights. It was so hard to keep them moving. On top of that, I've been dealing with a bit of some throat/chest congestion in the past few months that I need to get checked out. I was having a harder time breathing than normal but I think that may be partially because my mind just wasn't in the run for some reason. I kept trying to throw all of these mantras through my head but none of them were sticking. The rest of my run consisted of running a mile, walking for a minute, running a mile, walking a minute. The last mile probably consisted of even more walking.

When I got back to the apartment, I was so exhausted. I just wanted to lay in the middle of the floor but I needed a shower bad because I was coated in salt. On the good news front--I had no knee pain. I do have this strange sore throat thing going on and nearly lost my voice after my long run. I think as a runner, I tend to notice these ailments more than I normally would because I am extra cautious about what might be inhibiting my run. Anyways, I am going to need to work harder so that these runs aren't so difficult!

In other news...I have a few sponsors for a raffle that I will be doing for the Children's Tumor Foundation and the NF Endurance Team. If you are around the area--I will raffling items from the Minnesota Twins and Rick Bronson's House of Comedy (at the Mall of America). All you have to do is sponsor me with a donation of $10 at the fundraising website on the left side of my blog. Each $10 will get you an entry into the drawing. So if you donate $20, you will get 2 entries...etc.

For those of you who are out of town, my cousin Marie will be doing some artwork. She is a beautiful artist and I will post some of her stuff as soon as I get some time. You will go into this raffle. Anyone who has already donated up until this point will be automatically entered.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lindstrom Loppet 2009

My goal this year was to beat last year's PR and while I didn't exactly succeed, I still had a great time! Andy had promised me that he would run the Lindstrom Loppet with me and he stuck to his word. I really wanted his first running race experience to be an enjoyable one so I started the first 3/4 of a mile with him. Eventually I just decided that my being there would probably make him push harder than he probably wanted and I wasn't going as fast as I wanted so I took off. I pushed pretty hard through the remainder of the race passing everyone in the back of the field. I ran up hills while everyone else was walking and eventually made it at least to somewhere near the middle of the pack. I finished in 28:13 so about 2 minutes slower than last years time. I was 90/309 women and 27/59 in my division.

I waited around the finish line hoping that Andy would cross it. I was a little worried that he might be running or walking along and thinking "what did she get me into??!" Anyways, Andy did an awesome job and I was so happy to see him go through the finish line. He finished in 36: 31 which is pretty good for his first 5k and not having ran much at all before this race.

I will post some pictures...someday. I still haven't posted pics from the last 5k either but I keep making the mistake of having my parents use their camera and they lost the connector cord to load them. Yikes.

Anyways, I was happy to run this race with Andy. He told me it would be his last one but I think that he really enjoyed it.

The weekend was packed with activity as it was Karl Oscar Days in my hometown (a small Swedish town that celebrates a fictional character named Karl Oscar). We went to the Twins game on Sunday and watched them beat the White Sox (yay!) then I had to go home and prepare for my 7 mile run. I was so exhausted by that point that I really didn't want to run but I pushed myself out the door. I didn't have my Ipod so I had to guesstimate at 7 miles but I'm pretty sure I came close. It was an amazing run because the weather was in the 70s and beautiful for once.

This week I plan to get my 12 mile run done early as I will be going to a friend's cabin on Saturday. We'll see how that goes...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Odd Duckling

I'm sure we all do a strange thing at the gym here and there. I like to think that whatever strange quirk that I might have is completely unintentional. But sometimes people do things intentionally that just make me turn my head to the side. Yesterday I witnessed a girl on the treadmill doing the strangest thing. She was holding herself up with both of her arms and perhaps flying?? on the treadmill. I'm not entirely sure what her intentions were...perhaps to do some sort of a half pushup/ half swing your legs in the air sort of thing. Yes, her feet were touching the treadmill slightly...but she was clearly not surfaced. Perhaps I'm missing the logic, but I wasn't understanding what she was trying to get out of that workout...Maybe some of you are air runners and can tell me what I'm missing??

Anyways, so Monday I had a wonderful amazing 5 mile run. It was supposed to be 3 miles but turned into 5 because I knew I was going to be crunched for time this week. I ran 3 last night with little problems. This weekend I am all set to run the Lindstrom Loppet 5k and hopefully PR on last year's time. We'll see what happens. And Andy is running it with me!! Yay!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Heat + Rachel= Miserable

As you can probably see, Sunday's long run didn't go so well. I was scheduled for a 10 miler and had the wise idea to attempt this in the middle of the day. In my defense, our weather has been fluky lately--a mixture of cool temps and rain and spotty sunshine. At the moment that I decided to head out the door--it was full sunshine and a nice 82 degrees. I was not wise enough to bring a hat and only had my huge gigantic Coach sunglasses that kept falling off of my nose (I don't normally wear these running!). Anyways, I made it the first 4.6 miles perfectly fine. And then I don't know what it was, but I just hit a point to where the heat was getting to me. I blame it on my blonde hair and the way the sun goes right through it and penetrates my scalp. Just me making excuses for why my run went downhill fast. Anyways, I stopped at 4.06 miles and drank some water (one wise thing I remembered to bring). I continued on shortly after but my body did not want to move the way it did previously. I kept on running. The last mile before my turn around seemed to take forever. I had to turn off into a neighborhood and was extremely frustrated by running in the heat while everyone else was outside washing their cars and playing in the sprinklers. Anyways, the remainder of my run consisted of alot of running and walking and trying to get my mind back on running. I also got sunburnt. The strange thing is...I was wearing a short sleeve Tshirt but I got burnt like I was wearing a tank top--I think it was around the sports bra straps. See:



Anyways, on the good news front. The 25 before 25 is off to a good start. I've decided to take the weight that I remember being 2 weeks ago because somehow my weight this week was lower than I expected. I don't think it would be wise to try to lose 25 from my weigh in on Friday.


25 Before 25 Friday Weigh In: -3 pounds

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

25 Before 25

I've got some exciting news to share! Yesterday I was on the treadmill and having a GREAT run for once when I thought of a new goal. I am entitling it 25 Before 25. What is this goal you ask? I hope to lose 25 pounds before I turn 25. My birthday is Oct.13 so this leaves me very little wiggle room. I would have to lose 2 pounds per week, which is reasonable and healthy yet no room for error. So, at the end of each of my running blogs I will put a tally towards my goal. Since I have no idea what my exact weight is right now...I think I will start implementing this on Friday. This will be a tough one just because I will still be training for a marathon for almost the entire duration and trying to calculate calories while making sure I get enough to run is going to be interesting. But I assure you, I will make sure I still have enough to run. (Andy's concern was that I'd go out for a 20 miler on few calories--I assure you this will not happen). And, yes, I do have 25 lbs to lose...probably exactly the number I'd like to be comfortable with.

On another note, my 3 miler yesterday was awesome. I don't know if it is because my long runs have become longer--but finally the 3 miler wasn't bad. Although it could also be because we had a dip in temperature and it was in the high 60's to low 70's yesterday.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The 9 mile mistake

This weeks runs went okay. Nothing really notable happened on the short runs--still a little bit of a struggle though some of them but I can't really complain. Started to experience some knee pain but nothing really bad.

The 9 miler started out okay. The wind was blowing pretty hard right at me on the way out but I kind of appreciated the fact that I wasn't drenched in sweat and looked forward to the return when the wind would be blowing behind me. Well, I don't think I was quite so lucky. The wind had died down quite a bit by the time that I was headed back. I also had thought that 9 miles was still short enough that I wouldn't need to bring a hydration belt. I was quite wrong. Around mile 6, I started to feel really weak and I attributed it to being low on water and fuel. I had eaten a Fiber One bar before I left but I don't think it was quite enough. I was completely exhausted around mile 7 and looking for a water fountain anywhere that I could find one. I found a brand new one--that had no water. All I had pushing me forward was the idea that the sooner I got home the faster I would get water. I called Andy while I was about a mile out and asked him to bring some water outside for me because I'd be home within 10 minutes. I've never been so happy to see a jug of water.

Anyways, I have a 10 miler this weekend that I definetly will be bringing my hydration belt for. And some gels. I never brought gels on a 10 miler last year and was fine, but I definetly was out of energy on my 9 miler this weekend so I think it would be a good idea. My legs were also killing me later in the day. Not sure what that was about because I did do tons of stretching.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I live in the land of extremes.

It's hot here. We are supposed to top 96 degrees today with a heat index around 101. Yesterday I think we topped out at about 93. I know, for some of you--this is average. But it's stinking hot here with this humidity.

Personally, I do enjoy the heat. Probably because my parents are Missourians. Or because I lived everywhere south of here prior to moving here. Or because we have bone-chilling winters that sometimes start early and always end late and I relish every single moment of warmth that I can get. But it is darn hot out today.

Anyways, I am scheduled to run a 3 miler tonight. And I am definetly not doing so outside. So I'm hoping and praying that Roseville-Anytime actually shuts the door instead of letting all the hot air in.

The runs have been going alright lately. I had a decent 5 miler on Sunday. Looking forward to this weekend's 9 miler. Although I think my I-Pod Nike Plus system has gone crazy. It told me I was running at 10:30 when I swear I was running moderately fast on my run this weekend. I even sprinted and it told me that I was running 9:30. I swear...I run much faster than that in a sprint. BLAH! Someday I will upgrade to the Garmin...until then the frustrations continue.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Quick Poll

So let's say it is 80+ degrees outside and oh-so-very humid. The air is so thick and wet it feels like you are in a sauna. You want to work out on a treadmill or other equipment. You have an air conditioning system that is on. Do you...

A) Keep all doors shut. And maybe the blinds too.
B)Keep one door propped all the way open.

I hope you all answered A. What the freak is Anytime-Roseville thinking?!! Yes, this is like complaint number 550 but seriously! Shut the door!! I'm not entirely sure what the reasoning is behind having the door open. Most people who go to the gym in the summer are trying to escape some sort of weather- albeit rain, extreme heat, humidity. Why in the world do you have the door open! Not to mention, it is a GYM! People are working out. Getting sweaty. Maybe I'm just envisioning that they have an air conditioner. I'm pretty sure they do because it feels like it when the door is shut, which is rarely these days (usually only when it is raining or the manager is actually not there). But if they don't have air, then that is an entirely different concern--no air in a gym would be ridiculous.

So now you can probably guess how my workout went yesterday. The running itself was awesome. However, I was drenched in sweat. Gross, I know. But it dripping in my eyes, dripping everywhere. My face looked like I had dunked my head into a faucet. Yuck!! So needless to say I was highly irritated.

I wish I could complain to the manager. Unfortunately, "I'm not a member of their gym" or so the lady says and won't listen to me. If you are thoroughly confused, I am now a member of Anytime-Rogers and therefore only a "guest" at Anytime-Roseville. But whatever, shut the door!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lovin the Long Runs

Tuesday: Crappy 3 miler
Thursday: Another crappy 3 miler
Saturday: Yet another crappy 3 miler
Sunday: AWESOME 7 miler

I don't quite understand it. the 3 milers this week were sub par. Saturday I made the mistake of taking Duke because I thought that he would be able to at least handle 3 miles. He handled it alright but he wanted to stop a million times to relieve himself. This starting and stopping method was not working so well for me. I nearly fainted as I rounded the corner to Andy's house on my way in. Not entirely sure what was going on there but it scared me enough to make me really dread my 7 miler the next day.

I procrastinated my 7 miler until the very end of the day because it was in the 80s and quite warm and I was terrified of fainting. Fortunately, the 7 miler started out awesome. And it ended awesome. I had to change my sensor out for my Nike+ system and was a little worried about that. It said that I was running an 8:30 min/mile in the beginning of my run and I thought that there was no way I was running that fast. But the distance was right on with what it should be. So I don't know what to think there. I need to recalibrate to be sure. Anyways, I overran my 7 miler by about .25 of a mile just to make sure that I indeed ran 7 miles. Towards the end of my run it said I was running about a 9:15 min/mile which is still a little fast for me but alot closer to what I usually run. I've been running about 9:30 on the treadmill and I know I run faster outside that I do on the TM so it could be possible that my Ipod was correct. Ah... the doubt! Anyways, the run went really well and I didn't have any problems. Hopefully the shorter runs start to get as good as my long runs have been.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

More Like a Runner

I'm starting to feel like my old self again--like a real runner. I went to the gym with Andy on Tuesday and cranked out the 3 miler that was on my schedule. I felt great during the entire run and probably could have run another 3 but I was considerate to both my schedule and Andy's desire to not spend so long in the gym.

The weather here has been abnormal--really kind of chilly and gloomy. I am excited to see the sun poking through the clouds today so that I can actually try to get a run in this afternoon.

I am starting to get really excited about my fundraising for Neurofibromatosis. The owner of Plastic Products Company, a corporate plastic company that I interned with in high school, has made a nice donation. My cousin who is an amazing artist has also agreed to create some artwork for a raffle. I have also been seeking out some other organizations for raffle items. It really is a motivator to think about the impact that my donators make even in the smallest amount. Yay!

Not much else to update you on right now....Happy Running!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rockin the Run

This week's training had its ups and downs. I had 3-3 milers and then a 6 miler. Nothing that I can't handle but I will say at least one of those 3 milers had its tough moments. My 6 miler went pretty smooth. I didn't really ever feel like stopping and my legs felt strong. It was probably one of the best runs I have had in awhile, despite the fact that it had to be on the treadmill because it was rainy and cold outside. Although, I will say that the end of the run was a little tough. When I finished, I was a bit dizzy and felt kind of weak. I think it might be the fact that I had not eaten anything yet that morning.

Anyways, looking forward to more training this week. I have a really busy schedule with school and work this week but I'll try to update a bit more so that I actually remember what happened on my earlier runs.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Week 1 of Training!!

It is now officially week 1 of training for the Twin Cities Marathon!! While very exciting, it is also rather nerve-wrecking. I am trying hard to balance like 10,000 plates on my pinky finger and hoping that they don't come crashing down. We'll see what happens. I will be following Hal Higdon's Novice 1 training plan, because I simply don't have the time or energy to put into anything more advanced. I feel kind of silly using it, kind of like when I had to have my parents put training wheels back on my bike when I was younger because I had forgotten how to ride it. But you do what you have to. I would have felt better had Hal described in his description of the Novice 1 plan, "This plan also includes someone who has run a marathon and wants a relaxed training plan ". Instead, I think his description clearly says "Rachel, you should be at least at Novice 2."

Anyways, this weekend I had two decent runs. I still don't know the distances because my Nike+ system has died on me and I have yet to invest in a new one. I have been looking at Garmins as well but I think I'll have to put that one off for a little bit. What Garmin do you all run with?

Back to the runs this weekend...They went swell. I found a new trail by Andy's house on Sunday and ended up taking him and Duke on a walk that way later in the day. I still have a little bit of yucky stuff in my chest from the cold almost 3 weeks ago. Hoping that goes away soon though...

Friday, May 29, 2009

Firing the Running Partner


Run Time: 1 hour...Distance: Unknown
Unfortunately, I am afraid I had to make a difficult decision yesterday. I think I have to fire my running partner, Duke (the dog). You see, he has been slagging lately. I thought that perhaps a few pep talks and some additional conditioning might get him in the mood, but nothing seems to be working. Every run that we head out on seems to be getting worse. At first we could make it more than halfway without him pooping out. Then it was barely halfway. Yesterday, we had made it 1/4 of the way before I started to see the signs. I thought surely I was just imagining things, that he was just distracted by the summer smells and wanting to slow down a bit. But I was wrong. We didn't even make it as far as we usually do before I had to turn around and head back because he just didn't want to run. The entire way back, we had to take a bazillion rest breaks. The mosquitoes and nats were out in full force though so I hated to walk. If you didn't know, the mosquitoes here are horrendous. I had not seen such evil mosquitoes until I moved to Minnesota. Anyways, back on topic. Duke got to the point to where he didn't even want to walk. He just kept pulling off into the grass and staring at it. I hate to tug on him too much because I can't imagine what I would do if I were exhausted during a run and someone was pulling my neck. But the bugs were bugging the crap out of me and Duke just kept staring at the grass. I tugged him a little bit and he at least did a sluggish run for awhile. Unfortunately, that run would have been amazing had I not had Duke. It was feeling great up until the point at which Duke got tired. It was in the 70s and the flowers were smelling beautiful. I just wanted to run.


Anyways, poor Dukie. I may still take him out on short runs around the block. Maybe some warm ups. But he definetly is not a fan of running long distances.


Duke, Andy, and I back in December.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Shoes-- Great Ride!











I couldn't tell you what day it was--but I finally tried out my new shoes sometime near the end of last week. The weekend was packed with events and this week hasn't really lightened up at all so I haven't gotten any runs in since trying my shoes out.


They actually seemed to work really well and I believe I had an awesome run at the gym. It is hard for me to remember last week so I'm sorry for the lack of detail. However, I do remember it was like 90 some degrees outside and the gym had the freaking door open. I was drenched in sweat and not too happy about that whole ordeal.



This weekend, Andy and I went camping at Great River Bluffs State Park in Southern Minnesota. It was absolutely gorgeous! We ended up hiking 10+ miles on Saturday clear up into the bluffs and were exhausted at the end of the day. Sunday we hiked up to the top of another bluff at nearby John Latsch State Park. Our new goal is to hit every MN State Park together.

I'm starting to think that training for the Twin Cities Marathon is really going to suck this year. I've had little time to do any pretraining and I am way out of shape. I can barely make it through 5 miles without totally wimping out these days. Anyways, I formally start training next week and I'm already dreading it. I have added in another class to my hectic schedule and so I won't be able to run on Mondays or Wednesdays because class goes until 9 pm after work. That and I still have Saturday class until the end of June. So, I guess I'm going to have to get creative with my runs and try to avoid getting burnt out.

On the GOOD news front, my roommate Amanda, (some of you may remember her as the blogger who never blogged) has decided to join the NF Endurance Team as well and has signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon as well. Sooo, hopefully we can keep each other in check there.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Summer is Here

I have so many announcements to make, I don't know where to start! I think I'll start with the weather. For those of you not in Minnesota, we are dealing with a bit of a heat spell. It was 97 degrees in the Twin Cities yesterday. According to Belinda and Jonathon Yuhas over at KARE11, that was the highest temp we've had since July 7, 2007 when it was 98 degrees. Anyways, I didn't get a chance to run in the heat yesterday for a number of reasons.

Somehow, I must be a magnet for getting sick these days. I acquired some sort of a cold near the tail end of last week. It doesn't appear to be too horrible of a cold because I haven't had a fever or anything. I've had a runny nose through the duration, but not even a bad runny nose. Yesterday, however, it decided to enter my throat and chest. Being that I do a decent amount of reading about running, I've seen a lot of advice that says you should rest if it is below the neck. So, I decided to take the day off running. It was extremely hard because I kept seeing runners out everywhere!!

Instead of running, I went to another running store, TC Running Company. I explained my situation with the Running Room and how they had thought I needed a low stability shoe. The guy looked at my shoes and quickly assessed that I should stay in a neutral shoe. I tried on the Vomero 3 and the Moto. As much as I really wanted to like the Vomero, it just seemed a little too soft for me. It was basically like I was running on a bed or something and it didn't feel quite right.
So I then tried on the Max Moto and it seemed to feel a lot better. Less cushion but not to the point where there is not enough. It fit to my foot well and I'm hoping it works out. It is not exactly the prettiest shoe in my opinion. I'm sure there are other colors available that would pop more but I didn't take the time to scope it all out. I don't really buy shoes on looks though so I can't really complain.
I'll hopefully be testing my new shoes out on the treadmill at the gym tonight. I still have an icky cough, but I figure I can at least get some running done inside. That and the treadmill would be a good place to try out my shoes and make sure they work right. Probably better since it is supposed to reach 90 degrees yet again today.
Update on Runs: I did manage to get a run in on Monday. It really wasn't pleasant. I'm not sure what my deal was. I had to walk like 2-3 times in a 4 mile run. My breathing was off and that could be because of my cold. My legs didn't seem to want to move at all either but I attribute that to having so many days off lately. I'm hoping I get some solid runs in next week because I am supposed to start training for the marathon on June 1.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"I've Never Seen That"

Sunday, I coerced Andy into stopping by the Running Room on our way to run some errands. I was hoping to scope out the new Nike Vomero +4 shoes as my shoes have been actually hurting my feet lately. Out of sheer curiosity, I asked the guy helping me if perhaps I might not be a neutral shoe like I was previously assessed. He had me take a few walks around the store and watched me bend at the knees. His face looked puzzled. He signaled to another coworker, "Come watch this. Tell me what you think." So I walked around the store again, this time 2 employees watching my gait. "Well, I haven't seen that before." "Me neither." I still have no clue what they are talking about. They decided that maybe I needed a low stability shoe. While looking for a low stability shoe, they signaled to a third, more experienced employee to help out with the analysis. I walked around the store, yet again. As I was turning back towards him, his head was turned to the side. "That's different. I haven't seen that before." He, then, said that I was somewhere between a neutral and a low stability shoe and threw a bunch of shoes at me to run around the store in. He watched me run in each pair of shoes and continued to hear, "That is definetly different." and then, "Those shoes aren't working." Meanwhile, I'm still clueless as to what is so strange about me. I eventually asked if it was something I could just fix instead of trying to find a shoe to fit my quirkiness. He said, no, probably not. He told me that I am evidently on the early stages of pronation. I'm not entirely sure what that means because I didn't know pronation could develop, I thought you either had it or you didn't. He didn't really specify whether I overpronate or underpronate either. Then, he said something like, "You pronate slightly and then turn back in at the last second of your pushoff." So I was thorougly confused. Anyways, they were attempting to correct this problem without overcorrecting the problem. He ended up telling me that out of all of their shoes, the Brooks Infiniti was the only shoe that would somewhat work for me. It just so happened that this shoe was also on clearance and not returnable. So, I put it on hold because I wasn't sure I wanted to purchase a $100 shoe without being able to return it, especially if it didn't even seem like a "perfect fit".

Now, I am going to have to visit another running store later to determine whether someone else sees this quirkiness that those 3 people saw.

I also went for a run on Sunday afternoon with Duke. It was probably my worst run with Duke ever. I had to pull him 3/4 of the way through our 4 mile run. He has run this route before with little pulling. I actually had to pull him up like 5 hills as well. And he isn't a light dog by any means. I actually enjoy hills these days, but pulling a heavy dog up the hill just made it so unenjoyable.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Rainy and Gloomy

Run Time: 30 min, 3 miles, Eliptical: 30 minutes, 150 crunches

Yesterday I was totally and completely dreading the Dreadmill. It was raining outside and ever since last year's incident with the hail and the storm, I've strayed away from the dark clouds on rainy days. I actually switched things up and ate before working out this time as well. Despite the fact that I was extremely motivated and mentally doing awesome on the Dreadmill, the meal I had eaten previously wasn't sitting so hot. I had pasta with marinara sauce and the marinara was stinging my chest. Anyways, I didn't want to let that stop me so I continued through until I at least finished 3 miles and then hopped on the eliptical which always seems to be a little easier on the stomach and other pains than running on the Dreadmill. I think I've decided that the whole eating prior to running thing isn't for me. It has to be at least 3 hours after a meal before I can even think about setting foot into my running shoes.

Anyways, today looks pretty gloomy as well. I know we need the rain, but I'm itching to actually get a nice outdoor run in. Every time it has been nice out, I've had other priorities calling me in other directions. I think I'm going to have to make out a "Rachel Doesn't Ever Stop" calendar just to be able to fit my marathon training in when it starts in June! But hey, I asked for it...and I'm at least starting to really enjoy my runs!

Oh and odd thing keeps occuring with MyPlate. It tells me that I need to eat like 1,000 more calories every day. I think the thing is a little off. Because I certainly don't feel like I'm starving. Maybe a little hungry every now and then but I eat a few carrots or some fruit and I'm good. At least it is a good way to track calories...not sure I believe their "calorie needs" computage though.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's a Small World

Run Distance: 3 miles. Eliptical 30 min. Abductors 3/15 @ 70 lbs, Adductors 3/15 @ 70 lbs

So, this morning I was in a hurry and didn't get the time to put any foundation on. I wasn't looking my best when I headed to the gym this afternoon and I certainly didn't look any better when I left after my workout. I was wearing the gigantic tech T that my dad picked out for me from last weeks race and a pair of running shorts. Anyways, even though I would have much rather avoided making a public appearance, I really needed to go to to Target. On the way, I discovered I needed gas. And this is where the small world starts.

Sighting #1: I pull up behind a white car at the gas pump and realize that the guy pumping his gas is a coworker so I say hello and hope that he doesn't notice that my shirt nearly covers my short running shorts so I look like I'm just wearing a gigantic shirt.

I'm off to Target after the strange sighting at the gas pump. I rarely ever see coworkers out and about so it throws me a little off.

Sighting #2:
I enter Target and scan the food section for something to eat for dinner. I see a familiar face in the food section, but not someone I've formally met. I believe that I saw Steve in a Speedo at Target with his wife. However, I did not feel like attracting attention to myself in an awkward situation post workout in the Enormous Tech T. So I moved on with my search for wrapping paper and food. I always figured I'd run in to Steve and his wife at some point because he does do quite a bit of racing around the area. However, I always thought it would be at a race, not Target.

Sighting #3
Anyways, as I'm contemplating whether or not this was really the pair I spoke about, another coworker from my department at the Libraries is standing in the front of a seafood cooler in a meat hat and greeting customers. He spots me and strikes up a conversation with me about work. He says he is working this part time job at Target. I take off once he has a new customer...

Sighting #4
So I'm walking around the clothing department in Target. I look over a few racks from where I am standing and I see a third coworker in the clothing department. This time I run away before she sees me because I figured this one might not even recognize me because we usually just talk on the phone.

Anyways, I thought it was kind of odd that I ran into that many people in the matter of an hour. Must have been a popular time to be out and about.




Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Tool

Workout Synopsis
Sunday I had a pretty good run with Duke. He wanted to stop and smell the flowers a bit more than I wanted to, but we covered a good 3 or 4 miles. I didn't bring my Nike plus to figure out the exact distance because Duke is kind of a hazard to run with and I wanted to be able to focus on him.

Yesterday I ended up going to the gym on a relatively full stomach due to some scheduling contsraints. This didn't go so well for running. I hopped on the eliptical first knowing that would be the better option. Made it half an hour and then hopped on the treadmill for about 10 minutes. Running on a full stomach was definetly not a good idea. My chest started burning and I got off after about a mile. Then headed for the bike and did another 15 min. I suppose this was a decent workout considering the full stomach situation.
New Tool!


Anyway, on to the more exciting stuff!! I recently signed up for Livestrong.com and I am loving the Daily Plate . I have decided to start logging my meals in an attempt to cut down some calories and shed some extra pounds. The format is much easier than any other food logs I've used so I think I may actually stick with this one. The Diary actually remembers previous foods you've eaten so you can just click those rather than searching every time. It also has some awesome charts laying out your calories and food types. The LiveStrong website also has running groups too. If any of you are on the website, you should let me know so I can add you as a buddy!! Anyways, I think in order to say accountable with my meals, I am going to start taking screen shots of my Food Diary on Fridays and posting them at the bottom of my blog.

Have a great Wed run today!! The weather is beautiful here in Minnesota!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Run of the Mills 5k Race Report

Saturday was my first race of this running season. I wasn't really expecting alot because my runs lately have been pretty whimpy. BUT, deep down I really hoped that I could run this 5k faster than my last 5k.


The race was open to all General Mills employees and their friends/family. I was running it with my dad (who works for General Mills) and my little brother Joe. Joe very recently took up running and did a fantastic job at it. The race was at the General Mills corporate campus and was very well organized. They had lots of yogurt, bread, oatmeal bars, etc. before the race even started. They also had a huge inflatable jumping thing (what do you call those?!) for little kids to play in.

Anyways, Joe, Dad, and I lined up at the start line and took off when it was time. Joe, sped ahead of all of us. I thought for sure he was going to tucker himself out early. I quickly left Dad behind as well so none of us really ran together. The course was a little bit hilly mixed with a few narrow trails. I went out kind of fast because we had started near the front half of the pack. I was trying to keep up with the fastest of the bunch and it wasn't happening. I got side stitches pretty quick from going out so fast. I started to slow down before we even hit the first mile. I hit the first mile in 9 minutes. This was slower than my first 5k, but at this point I really didn't care. I was having a hard time with the fact that I wasn't actually passing anyone and I was being passed instead. I thought that we had clearly started way too far up in the pack.


Anyways, somewhere around midpoint, the side stitches started to go away and I started to actually enjoy the run a little more. We ended up on a small trail that was nice for scenery but kind of bad for running. The people behind me were still passing me, and I kept trying to get over as far as I could to the right but some people still didn't get it. One girl was right behind my left shoulder breathing super loud. I've never heard someone breath so loud while running. But she just kept breathing on my shoulder and would not pass me. I was starting to get a little bothered and kept moving further over to the right to the point to where I was literally running almost off the trail. She still wouldn't pass me. Finally after a good 5 minutes of listening to her heavy breathing, she finally passed me. I ended up passing her again later because she ended up walking. I hoped she wouldn't start running again--luckily she didn't get close to me if she did.


Anyways, I finished the race in 29:09. I finished 250 out of nearly 500 runners. My little brother Joe finished in 26 minutes!! Dad came in somewhere around 35 minutes. I definetly didn't PR on this course, but it was a fun race to start the season with. I even got to see the Trix bunny and Cuckoo from Cocoa Puffs.


We got a really nice Tech shirt from this run...which I am going to love training in this season. I will have more pics of the race up soon as soon as my brother sends them to me.


Oh!! And you have to take a look at the saftey pins they gave us!! I ended up poking 3 giant holes in the pink shirt I ran because of these dudes. They were HUGE!!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Dose of Sunshine and a Lack of Treadmill

Run Time: 45 min
Run Distance: 4.88 miles

Finally!! This run was so much better than my last. I decided at the last minute to take a run around Lake Como in St.Paul after work. It turned out to be a wise decision. The weather was gorgeous in the 60's. A little bit breezy but not too bad. I did still have to deal with dodging lots of people on the path, but not too bad. I was enjoying the run in somewhat different territory. I've actually ran Lake Como many times and usually it results in a little bit of knee pain because of the uneven paths. This time I had no pain and actually felt great. Amazing!

I think I'm going to make it a goal to find new places to run this summer. It should really help with the boredem I started to experience.

We've got gloomy skies today so I'll probably be cooped up in the gym again. Yick.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Running Rut

Friday's Run : 3 miles
Monday's Run: 2.5 miles, Eliptical: 2 miles, 150 crunches

It seems that lately I rarely have a magnificent run to report. I think I'm in some sort of a running rut or something. Anyways, yesterday I went to the gym to work out because it was in the 40's outside and my skin doesn't do well with those chilly temps.

Of course, the gym this time of year is always a freaking sauna. I think that maybe they just lack good circulation but it wasn't pleasant. BUT...by no means as bad as when I went to Florida last year. So that is what I envision whenever I start to think about how warm it is in the gym. I just think about how much worse it could be!

Anyways, I probably started my run out a little hard. I was thinking about the fact that I missed 2 days in a row this weekend and that I needed to get caught up and pushed my speed up a little too hard at the start. My legs started to get this strange weak feeling at about mile 2. I've never really experienced the same feeling. My legs felt weak at the tail end of my marathon but never quite like this. It was like they were going to give out at the hip or something. I made it to 2.5 and jumped off. My hip was a little sore but I figured I just pushed a little too hard at the start and hopped on the half eliptical thing. I did alright on there but was incredibly bored. That and my toes started to hurt pretty bad. (The nails are still growing back in.) I'm not entirely sure whether they are supposed to hurt at this stage or not, but if they continue I may be back in the doc's office again and I'd like to avoid that.

I was actually just at the doctor not long ago. She diagnosed me with eczema. Which would explain the horrible burning sensation that occurs when my skin gets all sweaty. It is starting to get a little better now that we have seen some warmer temps, but those windy days really kick it back up. It has been rainy and in the high 40s-low 50s this week and that has caused a rehash of the ouchy skin syndrome. The doctor prescribed me some ointment to help out but it really doesn't seem to do alot other than make me feel like I'm doing something to help the situation.

Anyways, on a positive note....I am running a 5k this week with General Mills. Should be an exciting time because my lil bro and dad will be running it with me! Although, my dad got me a large TShirt...which I'm guessing is going to be a little big. And it is supposed to be a Technical T...so it would have been nice to be able to wear it in training but I figure it is probably going to become a sleep T. Oh wells. It's the race that really matters...because my little bro will be running!!

Hope you all had some good runs this weekend!!