Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm a Yuppy

My boyfriend, Andy, calls everything that doesn't have to do with getting yourself dirty, "yuppy."  He even goes as far as calling tent camping "yuppy".  Now I'd probably disagree with him on most of the things he calls "yuppy" but I have to agree with him on my latest adventure.  I've joined a fancy gym.  I left Anytime Fitness (another battle I don't want to cry about) and joined Lifetime Fitness.  I call them a fancy gym because they have fancy wood lockers and marble-like counters.  They have towels for every member. They have a sauna and a whirlpool in their locker rooms.  But let me defend myself here.  They have an indoor track.  And lots of equipment.  And that is the real reason I joined (the other stuff is pretty sweet though!) 

If you haven't figure it out, I finally finished student teaching.  I have time to run again.  Woohoo!  I've already run into a few former students at the gym.  Kind of nice to see them--although probably not my preferred way to run into them.  Anyways, after my running hiatus, it has been interesting trying to get started again.  I gained some weight while not running- go figure!  So I'm now running with some extra poundage slowing me down.  Not cool.  Hopefully it will come off fast...

I'm hoping to try to run the Marine Corps Marathon next year.  Also thinking about the Rock N Roll in St. Louis.  I'll get a more definite list up as the new year rolls around.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Quick Update

Sorry folks that I haven't updated in forever. Hopefully I still have some followers that aren't spammers.  Student teaching has been a little more than I bargained for.  I've been up late every night working on lesson plans and grading and then wake up at 5 every morning.  As you can see, I have had no time for running.  However, I have run two races since I last blogged.  I ran the Twin Cities 10 mile earlier this month and then the Kansas City Half Marathon last weekend.  Both went well considering the fact that I had absolutely no training under my belt.  At least I now know that I can run a half marathon w/o any sort of training.  LOL.  My time was pretty bad-- 2 hrs 30 min or 2 hrs 40 min.  One or the other.  I didn't bother to check.  Anyways, I've barely remembered to put a shirt on in the morning so you can imagine that I didn't remember to bring a camera to either of these races either.  So just pretend that I've posted a not so flattering running picture here.  Both races were beautiful.  KC ran out of medals at the end.  I was pretty upset but loved the race itself so I couldn't hold too many grudges.

Anyways, we have a 4 day weekend so I'll have lots of time to get stuff done.  My student teaching isn't up until December so don't expect a lot of updates until then.  Hope you all are doing great!

Monday, August 16, 2010

One Run and Lots of Random

So I'll be honest.  I haven't gotten much running done lately.  My next race isn't until the Twin Cities 10 mile and I just haven't had the time lately.  I was trying to finish up my last class before student teaching and it was monopolozing every minute of my time.  Now it's been nothing but worrying about student teaching.  Sooo nervous!!  I feel so unprepared.

Needless to say, I did get a short run in on Saturday morning.  It was a bit cooler when I set out with Duke (our dog).  If you've been following my blog for awhile, you know that Duke is hit and miss.  He has his good days and his bad days.  I kind of gave up on him this summer because it has been so hot that he can barely even make it a mile before he slows way down.  Since it was cooler on Saturday morning, I decided to give him a try again.  Well, Duke and I made it about a mile and a half before I could really feel the sun heating up.  Duke started to show some signs of fatigue and I figured I should turn around to try to avoid having to pull Duke back home.  Duke was really starting to put on the brakes when I decided to try something new.  I decided to pace with Duke, as in to run Duke's pace and stop trying to get him to run my pace.  This seemed to work miracles.  Duke was smiling and seemed to enjoy running beside me rather than behind me.  We only needed one walk break to get him up a hill....otherwise he ran the whole way back.  I kept telling him what a good dog he was and he kept charging ahead.

In other news, I would LOVE to see some of you out at the Team Highlighter's Party in the Park this weekend if you have the time.  We are having a lunch and photo scavenger hunt (see past post).  The scavenger hunt starts at 10:00 and the rest of the event begins around 10:30-11:00 (Fridley's Spring Brook Nature Center). All proceeds benefit the Children's Tumor Foundation.  This event was planned by my cousin and I.  We have tons of raffle prizes as well!!!  See more info here http://teamhighlightersscavengerhunt.weebly.com/

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rock N Roll Chicago 2010 Race Report

Okay I'll add photos to this post later as I don't have access to them now.  Bare with me here as this may be a very long race repot.

The Journey to Chicago

I left Friday afternoon via Greyhound bus to Chicago.  Long story short, the Greyhound was the best way for me to get there in the evening when my cousin would be getting in.  If I flew, I would have to leave early morning as that is when the reasonably priced flights took off and there is no way I wanted to spend the entire day in Chicago all by myself.  So I boarded the bus.  I had read tons and tons of bad reviews of Greyhound so I was very wary of all of the warnings. Initially, a teenage boy who was very polite sat down next to me so I was doing alright.  Then, he went to sit with his mom when another seat opened up and a different lady got on and occupied the seat.  She was alright as well but then left at an earlier stop.  Somewhere in Wisconsin, I was graced with the smelliest dude ever to sit next to me.  It smelled so bad my eyes started to water.  I wanted off the bus but I had at least another 2 hours to go (which turned into 4).  As we got into Chicago, the traffic was very thick and we ended up spending an additional 2 hours just getting to our destination.  I was supposed to arrive at 7:30 but didn't get in until 9:00!  The bus dropped us in an area that seemed to be a bit sketchy and I was hassled right away after getting off the bus.  I hate traveling in a city that I don't know in the dark.  I ended up finding the train where I needed exact change and didn't have it.  I ended up finding a pizza place, sitting down and eating a few slices to calm my nerves before heading back out (I was starving by this time!) I headed back to the train station and got yelled at by the attendant because I didn't know that I needed to place my card in before going through the gate.  In Minneapolis our train runs on somewhat of a trust policy and if you get caught then you get fined.  Anyways, I figured out the whole bus system and finally made it the Congress Hotel where we were staying.

Saturday in Chicago
Saturday, Stephanie (my cousin) and I went to McCormick place to pick up our packets.  We had to walk a very long distance from our hotel to get to the packet pickup.  We ended up buying some IRunLikeAGirl shirts and browsed around before we left.  We then proceeded to walk all over the city.  We found a nice place to eat lunch before heading back to the hotel to drop off our packets.  Then, we hailed a cab to the Navy Pier but we only had 40 minutes there before we had to head off to the pasta dinner with the NF Endurance Team for this event.  We hailed another cab over to the pasta dinner and met up with the team.  Everyone was really nice and we had a great meal.  We took a quick group photo and then
Steph and I headed off to see the set from Transformers 3.  Then, we stopped for ice cream and bought some reduced fat muffins from Dunkin Donuts for in the morning.  By the time that we made it back home, it was 9:00 at night and we were completely exhausted.  We were both regretting our decision to walk all over the city on the day before our big race.

Race Morning
My alarm went off at 5:15 AM and I got up and threw my outfit on and ate my muffin while Stephanie continued to sleep.  Her alarm went off sometime around 5:45.  She quickly got ready and we were out the door around 6:15 and headed over to the race just a few blocks up.  I lost Stephanie as I had to run back to get my hat and sunglasses in the hotel.  I returned to the start line and found carral 20 which is where I needed to start. Steph was in carral 27.  The national anthem was being sung as I was trying to get into place and then before I knew it, the horn blasted and the first carral was let loose.  I'd never actually been to a race where they let each carral out with a separate start so I was suprised when we weren't moving shortly after.  It took about 30 minutes for them to finally get to carral 20 and let us loose.  They had announced that Jake from the first Bachelor was a few carrals ahead of me and Al Roker was also up there somewhere.  After waiting so long at the start, I needed to use the restroom right away but there were no porto-potties to be found until Mile 2.  I was trying hard to take in all of scenery but it was really difficult with a full bladder.  When I finally got to a Porto-Potty, there was a decent sized line.  The way the race was going so far, I didn't want to risk waiting for another one to show up down the road so I stood in line. 

After a quick visit in the John, I was off. The race was looking up from here. I held a steady pace and just took in all of the bands and fans along the course. I enjoyed running through the city and seeing all of the people who came out to watch.  They were giving out a product called Cytomax on the course instead of Gatorade or Powerade and I actually seemed to enjoy it at first.  Gatorade always leaves a gross taste in my mouth and I have to take lots of water along with it but the Cytomax seemed to be a little lighter.  However, I would later find out that my stomach didn't enjoy drinking too much of it.

Around mile 5 or 6, I realized that my face seemed to be beat red.  I was burning up hot.  I also kept getting stuck behind a bunch of people running really slow or walking.  It seemed like I was doing a lot of dodging during this race.

We started to head up to Soldier Field and the specatorship started to dwindle a bit.  There was hardly anyone on the stretch out there and back.  We went through a few dark tunnels and I was bit afraid that I might step onto a sewer plate that I couldn't see or something.  It also seemed to be pretty warm in the tunnels as there wasn't a breeze.  The nice thing about this race is they did provide a misters, ice, and cool wet sponges on the course to keep you cool. 

Mile 11 was the very last water stop.  I was a little shocked when they announced that it would be our last one.  The last few miles are always the hardest!!  Mile 12, indeed, ended up being my hardest mile of the entire 13.1.  I was exhausted and the Cytomax was not sitting too well in my stomach.  I started to get the goosebumps and I felt like I was going to puke.  I walked for a few minutes and then trying to push through.  I started to get frustrated with every spectator who told me that it was "Only a 1/2 mile up" or "Only around the bend" because they all seemed to be telling me that even though they were at least a 1/2 mile apart from one another!!  I ended up needing to walk about in the last 1/4 mile of the race as my body felt like it hit a halt.  Soon, I could actually see the finish line ahead and I started to run (rather slowly) towards the finish.  I made it through, heard my name screamed out from the sidelines and saw Martha and Bill from the NF Endurance Chicago team.  I said hello to them briefly and then continued on to get my medal, an ice cold wet towel, and some post race food. 

I knew that Stephanie would be a little ways behind me but wasn't sure exactly when she might come through because of the carral starts.  I headed back over to where I had gotten my medal and waited for her.  So grateful that our jerseys are bright because there were so many people going through.  I was worried I wouldn't spot her anywhere.  Eventually, Steph came through and said she wasn't doing so hot.  Her quad was killing her.  We both hobbled over to the beer tent and got our 2 free beers but neither of us could really drink more than a cup.  We then headed back to the hotel because we needed to shower and get checked out.

We got all cleaned up and packed up and Steph kept saying she wasn't feeling so great.  We both decided we just needed to get something to eat and then she should be better.  We headed out of our hotel room and over to the elevators.  One elevator came down and it was very full.  The people on the elevator kept trying to get us to go in and then Stephanie just took off and bolted back to the hotel room.  I wasn't sure what was up.  I watched another full elevator go by and then headed back to the room.  Stephanie was in the bathroom and had just puked all over the floor.  She said she never wanted to drink Cytomax again. She said she felt better and then we headed back down to check out and place our luggage in a holding place until our flights out that evening.  We went to eat lunch and Steph still wasn't feeling well so it took her awhile to eat.  We both agreed that we didn't feel like adventuring too much further our into the city as we were sore and tired.  We went back to the hotel and took a nap in the hotel lobby on the couches.  Then, we went to get ice cream and headed off to the airport.  I was so happy to be flying out this time instead of taking that bus!!!

Feeling a little sore today...and my face is a bit burnt.  Overall, I think this race needs to get a few kinks out before we will ever attempt it again.  Mainly being they could have used an extra water stop in the last mile.  They also really need to limit down the number of people they let in or work out their carral system a little better.  I was constantly getting jammed up in this race.

Chip Time: 2:27:14
Gender Place: 1686 / 2980
Age Grade: 44.7%

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lindstrom Loppet 2010

This weekend I went "home" to visit my parents in Lindstrom and attend the annual Karl Oscar Days events.  Saturday morning, I ran the Lindstrom Loppet.  I've been trying to catch up to my PR for this race for years but have yet to do so.  I still didn't catch it this year, but had a great time running.

This year, nobody was running with me.  Usually at least my dad runs with me.  But he said he was out of shape.  Andy had wanted to run this race with me but he had class so he couldn't come.  Dad dropped me off at the registration area early and then went home as the race runs right by the front of my parent's house.

I registered and then looked around for people I knew.  My old boss found me in the crowd and we chatted for a bit.  Then, I left her to go line up--realizing that I didn't have any place to put the Tshirt that they gave me at regisration.  I had to hold on to it until I got to my parent's house just a little past the 1 mile mark.

It was a bit drizzly for this race which was kind of nice because I didn't have to deal with the heat that hit us later that day.   I started out the race pretty good--finishing my first mile in 8:45.  There are a few big hills near the halfway point in this race that I charged up as I'm quite used to hills along my regular training route. 

As I came around to 2nd mile, I could feel my time slipping  a little.  I was starting to get a bit tired but pushed through it.  I came through the finish in 28:47.  This was 83 out of 347 females and 23rd out of 50 people in my age division.  A bit slower than last year's loppet but faster than my previous 5k for this year which was the Run of the Mills.  It appears that I just keep getting slower and slower.  I need to figure out someway to reverse this pattern!

I promise that is mostly rain glistening my skin--although I was pretty sweaty and stinky!

Also ran a 10 miler on Sunday--it went pretty good.  85 degrees at the start of the run but the clouds came out and I started to feel great!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Next Year

Some may say I'm absolutely crazy.  I've already begun to think about next year's races.  Honestly, there is good reason to this.  I put the limit on myself this year that I would not run a full marathon because I needed to dedicate my time and energy to student teaching and finishing up my classes.  So, I'm getting a bit antsy and dreaming a little. 

So far my dreaming has led me to the following races :

-Marine Corps Marathon  (Would LOVE to do this one next year)
-Grandma's Marathon
-Nike Women's Marathon

In other news...

I smacked my knee yet again and have some bruising and tenderness upon movement.  Yes...it should be clear by now that I am clutzy.  I ran a 5 miler yesterday that turned out alright.  A little bit of pain in the knee in the first mile but good after.

I will be running the Lindstrom Loppet this weekend (5k).  I run this race every year but have yet to beat my first year's PR of 26 minutes. I highly doubt I will beat it this year as I am more out of shape than ever.  BUT I hope to at least do better than my time for the Run of the Mills this year.

I'm assuming my little bro has made it down to Fort Sill and will be doing plenty of running of his own.  Perhaps he will run some races with me next summer if he isn't deployed...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Busy Busy Weekend

This weekend I said goodbye to my little brother as he left for basic training for the Army yesterday.  Kind of wierd to think that I won't see him until Christmas.  Kind of makes me sick to my stomach actually.

This weekend was really hot and humid here in Minnesota.  I ran a 4 mile on Saturday in the middle of the day and I felt like I was going to faint.  Not cool.  I had also planned on trying to fit a 10 miler in somewhere but only managed a little over 7 on Monday.  The run felt about like I was running in a rainforest but was definetly needed as I am a little behind in training for Chicago.

Speaking of Chicago.  We will be running in a little less than a month.  I booked my transportation yesterday and am kind of regretting one of my decisions.  I decided to take the Greyhound out there and then fly back.  Well...I should have read the reviews on Greyhound beforehand.  Just reading the reviews makes me extremely nervous.  Have any of you road Greyhound?  Please someone tell me the horror stories aren't true.  I may be just forfitting my 28 bucks and forgoing another method if I don't hear anything better.  I guess people are mugged and harrassed on these buses frequently according to reviews all over the internet.  I mean I can deal with a little discomfort...but you throw in robbery and craziness and I want out.

Monday, June 28, 2010

So so sleepy

Sorry I've been slacking lately.  I started up a summer class right after I finished the Minneapolis Half and I've really been short on time.  I missed two weeks of long runs and finally got a long run in this weekend.  I didn't take my Nike + or Garmin but I'm guessing it was somewhere around 9 miles.  The first part of the run was great--the last 2 miles were horrid.  I ended up with a mean side stitch that was also hurting my clavicle and it wasn't going away.  At one point, I thought it might be my fuel belt since I haven't really worn it this season but it continued to hurt after I took it off.  I haven't really had side stitches in awhle so I was getting really frustrated. 

My energy lately has been zapped.  Every morning I've had to try to keep myself awake on the drive in by singing to myself.  This might be due to the sudden change in running levels because of the class that is taking up all my time.  Thank goodness it is over this week!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

2010 Minneapolis Marathon (Half Marathon) Race Report

The picture is of my cousin, Stephanie and I before the race started.  Steph's longest training run for this half marathon was 5 miles so I was a bit concerned as to whether she would be able to pull through.  It was her first half marathon and she had never run a distance longer than 7 miles in her entire life.

Steph, Andy (my bf), and I left the house around 5:25 AM.  I told Steph the night before that we needed to leave by 5:15 but that didn't quite happen.  Needless to say, we still made it down to the Depot with plenty of time to spare.  As soon as we parked the car, I needed to use the restroom pretty bad.  We made it over to the Depot and I spotted an enormous line for the porto pottie.  Steph and Andy spotted Brian, another NF Endurance Team runner, and chatted with him while I waited in line.

After using the restroom, I joined Steph and the other NF Endurance Team members that were starting to arrive.  We chatted for a bit, took a team photo, and then headed over to the start of the race. I had been battling a cold since Friday and decided to start the race with Steph (who runs about 2 minute/mile slower than me) seeing as I didn't think it was going to be my best race with the nasal congestion.  We agreed on a middle ground and started just before the 11 min/mile pace group.  A few more NF team members showed up in the same pace area and we chatted for a bit before the start of the race.  As soon as the race started, Steph put earplugs in her ears for her Ipod.  I tried to stay back with her for awhile but I found myself consistently pulling ahead.  I finally realized that it wasn't really worth staying back since she was in her own music world anyway.  I eventually just charged ahead as I was having a hard time running at her pace anyway...

It was rather inconvenient, but I had to use the restroom really bad again.  I don't believe we had even made it to the first mile!  There was a row of porto potties with no line and I dived into one of them.  I quickly got back on course and found Steph just ahead of me.  I came up behind her and patted her on the back and she said, "How'd you get back there?"  I told her I stopped for the porto pottie and she waved me on.

The first 5 miles of the race seemed to fly by.  I had no idea what pace I was running at because I didn't bring any of my pacing tools (Garmin or Ipod).  The course was beautiful and I was just taking in all of the scenery.  Right around mile 3, we went over a bridge near Broadway Ave.  This is where I saw Andy's parents standing.  I gave them some quick hi-fives and thanked them for coming out.  Andy's dad said, "Get back out there!"

Somewhere around miles 4-6 the sun decided to come out from behind the clouds.  Steph had convinced me to wear a shirt underneath my NF jersey and I was really starting to regret it.  I was burning up!!  I kept envisioning a maneuver of taking off my shirt while still somehow keeping my jersey on.  It never happened.

The sun finally ducked behind some clouds as we crossed over the Stone Arch Bridge.  This was also an area where lots of spectators were gathered.  I seemed to get renewed energy somewhere around this area.

We went back past the Guthrie and race announcers were shouting "Next time by, you will be finishing".  (We crossed the Guthrie 3 times during this course).  It seemed like there were a few miles of downhill right after we crossed the Guthrie.  Shortly after, we saw the lead motorcycle for the race with the half marathoners coming behind it.  My first thought was, "Oh no, someone was hurt."  Then everyone kept clapping as the lead runner passed us.  I still didn't put two and two together.  It wasn't until the 2nd runner passed that I realized that the lead runners of the half marathoner had already made the turn around on the course and were headed back (there was a turn around at mile 9).

Eventually the downhill went away and it seemed like were climbing uphill for miles and miles.  I think this really only amounted to about 2 miles of uphill but I thought it seemed like forever.  I took a sports bean on one of the uphills to try to keep up my energy.  There were water stops at what seemed liked every half mile or mile and I took in as many as I could while still running the entire way.  I kept telling myself, just make it to mile 9, you saw the lead guys running downhill--it will be a nice downhill run to the finish.  Boy was I wrong on this.

I was so happy when we reached the turn around at mile 9.  We had a few uphills and downhills through here but I had a new thing to focus on.  I was looking for my cousin Stephanie in the crowd that was still coming out.  I saw Brian and high fived him.  Still kept looking for Steph.  About 10-15 minutes passed after I'd made the turn around and finally I saw Steph.   I gave her a quick high five.  She looked like she was in the zone but not quite hurting yet. 

After passing Stephanie, we had a short distance of downhills.  I pushed all of my energy into the downhill to maximize on the advantage.  I thought for sure that the entire rest of the race was downhill.  (This is what you get for not looking at the race elevation map!)  At the end of our glorious gift of downhill which lasted about a mile, we started to head uphill.  The hill was steep and windy but I figured it should be short lived.  I was wrong here.  I pushed through, wanting so badly to walk.  A man on the sidelines was shouting "Only half a mile left...you can do it!"  I felt weak and started to walk a bit.  A woman came up behind me and said, "Don't walk now, you can pull through!"  I started slowly running again.  I saw the 2 hr 20 min pacer pass me.  She was booking it and looking at her watch.  I wondered if she might have been a little off on her pace as she seemed to be really speedy all of a sudden....

I continued to try to run up the hill.  This was the most brutal hill for the end of a race.  People were shouting "Don't let the hill win!  Don't give in!"  I had had enough of that hill.  Eventually I ended up walking for about 10 seconds again before I trudged ahead.  The spectators were shouting "Just around the corner, you'll see the flags!"

"Just around the corner" seemed like forever!!  Eventually I saw the finish line but I had no energy left to do any sort of sprinting.  I passed Andy and my Aunt Ellen cheering me on and waved.  I passed Murray, Kari, and the rest of the NF Endurance Team on the right and gave them a wave.  Then I heard a shout from the left from a coworker who had come to watch some friends.  "Rachel!!!"  I quickly gave her a wave and went into the finish.  The clock read 2 hrs 26 min but I knew that my chip time would be much better because we didn't start the race til a while after the clock.

The food line was pretty far away from the finish line so I circled back to try to find Andy and my aunt.  I never did find them but I did run into my coworker and talked to her briefly.  Murray came over and talked to me as well.  He asked when I would be expecting Steph to come through the finish line and I said I wasn't entirely sure since she hadn't ever run this distance.  She looked okay when I saw her earlier but that was before the massive hill...

Murray returned to the NF Endurance group right across the road and I sat down with Kristia and watched for Steph to come through.  Kristia let me use her phone to call Andy and told him where we were located.  Before long, I heard Murray shouting, "Rachel, she's coming!!"  I looked up and Steph was coming around the bend.  I ran up to meet her and high fived her.  She came through just before the 3 hour mark.  Way to go Steph!

Andy and I tracked Steph down in the finishing chute.  We went down to the food line and rested at a picnic table for a short while.  Overall....a great race and so glad to have taken a part in this race with my cousin!!!

Chip Time: 2 hrs 22 min  (No PR....but still a good time considering the course and the cold I had!)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

12 Splendid Miles

This weekend was jam packed and I still managed to get all of my runs in.

Friday, we went to the races in Montevideo. Andy's dad drives a dirt late model and he won both his heat race and his feature!

Saturday, I had a nice short 3 mile run in the morning. It was hot out but I was doing alright. Duke (the dog) was not doing so great and I had to drag him through the last mile or so of this run.

Sunday was the big 12 miler. It had been cloudy and threatening rain all day. The weather man made it look like it was going to rain around noon so I put off my run until later that evening. Well, it didn't start raining until about 6:15 when I finally set out for my run. It wasn't a bad rain though. I actually kind of enjoyed it. Andy was biking alongside me though and he "dreamed of a nice cozy dry place." Anyways, the weather was just perfect for a long run and I didn't hit that nasty wall that I've been hitting on all of my other long runs lately. YAY!

Next weekend...my little brother graduates from high school!! That and my cousin and I will be running the Minneapolis Half Marathon!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Party in the Park

To all Minnesotans (and those who don't mind travelling to Minnesota):

My cousin and I, "Team Highlighters", will be hosting a "Party in the Park" on August 21st at Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley. There will be a photographic scavenger hunt at the start of the event. We are also gathering raffle items and so far have an autograph from Kevin Williams of the Minnesota Vikings!
Cost for meal tickets (no scavenger hunt): $10 adults, $5 children (12 and under)
Cost for scavenger hunt pre-registration (includes meal): $12 adults, $6 children (12 and under)
Get together a team of 2-6 people for the scavenger hunt! Register on Active.com or by emailing me for a registration form. http://www.active.com/community-services/fridley-mn/team-highlighters-scavenger-hunt-2010
All proceeds will benefit the Children's Tumor Foundation to help find a cure for Neurofibromatosis (NF)!
Email me heim0117@gmail.com if you would like to purchase meal tickets or if you have any questions!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Busy Bee

First, let's do some backtracking to last weeks smaller runs. They all went fantastic! I finished every single one of them feeling great!

Then came the weekend. I had a 5 mile and 11 mile run scheduled for the weekend. We were in Kansas City for a graduation and I knew it was going to be difficult to get these done but had faith I would be able to. Well, I never did get the runs done while we were in KC. Saturday was the graduation and I was stranded as my mom drove us to the grad party and I didn't know that it was going to take so long. I figured I would just push to get the 11 miler done when we got back to Minneapolis yesterday. However, Andy (the bf), needed to pick me up when we got to Minneapolis to drive me home as my parents live over an hour from our house. Well, it turns out that he had a graduation to go to in Burnsville during the same time that we were driving in to the city. So, he picked me up in Burnsville and took me to the graduation party. It turns out that I didn't end up having time for an 11 mile run by the time that we got back.

I did, however, manage to get 5 miles done on the treadmill. I was hoping to just try to get the 11 miler done today but now I'm starting to even doubt that. It is really really hot and humid here in Minnesota today. Almost 90 degrees and really humid. And I'm already sunburned from this weekend. But...I NEVER miss long runs so this has me worried. I do have a 12 miler scheduled for next weekend before the half marathon the following weekend. It might even be best to skip it to prepare for those big runs. I guess we'll see whether it gets cool enough this afternoon.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wake Up

Yesterday my long run consisted of 9 miles. 9 miles that were a little better than last week's 10 miles but still not quite up to par. I was really dragging towards the end again. I felt really light headed once again and like my legs needed to be pulled along. I want my old long runs back--the ones where I didn't feel like passing out at any minute!

This weekend I will be headed down to KC for my cousin's graduation. I have an 11 miler on the schedule. Not sure when I'll be able to get that one done...I may have to rearrange my schedule and do it on Monday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

TC 1 Mile Race Report

I signed up for this race merely because it gives you better chances at getting into the 10 mile in October but actually had a pretty good time with it.

This was my first completely solo race with no supporters and nobody else running with me. I drove over to the Minneapolis Central Public Library before the race and parked in the ramp to pick up my packet. We got a bright neon colored Tech T and some Fitsocks (totally worth the $25 registration fee!).

I bummed around the library for an hour or so before the race started and then headed down to the starting gate to line up. I was running in the Friends and Family wave because it started earlier and I could get out earlier.

I decided to start a little ahead of the midway pack knowing that there might be some traffic jams to get through in this wave. I probably could have lined up even closer to the start line in this wave...

The start horn when off and I took off. There were many kids and families around me and it was difficult to get going. I found every gap that I could and sped through. I realize that I had a choice to sign up for my age group and avoid some of this traffic jam--so don't think I'm criticizing it. :-) Midway through the race I could hear a dad yell to his kid, "We're halfway through!" This is when I knew I really wanted to pick up the pace if I wanted a decent time. I tried to speed up but many of the people who started out too fast in the beginning were putting on their brakes. Literally. I almost hit a woman because she just stopped right in the middle of the race. For safety's sake...I think this is where an announcement might need to be made about getting over before you just randomly stop. I realize there were a lot of people not accustomed to races in this event, but that can get dangerous! Anyways, onward I flew....There were a few more people to dodge in the last 1/4 mile of the race. I could see the finish line ahead and it seemed to be crammed. I was really worried that I wasn't going to make it through the crowd.

When I got closer I realized that the crowd had some holes in it that I could get through. The clock read "8:06" as I saw it coming into the finish line. I picked up my pace and finished as the clock read "8:30". Not a bad time for all the weaving I had to do. I was really hoping for 8 minutes but I'll settle for this.

There were lot of people at this race cheering runners on. Such a fun atmosphere! I told Andy that I'm going to drag him to this race next year and we'll run in our age division.

Final chip time 8:17. Overall 1284 out of 2340. 437 out of 1226 Females. 138 out of 348 females in my age group.

Monday, May 10, 2010

10 Achy Breaky Miles

Saturday I had an awesome 5 mile run on the treadmill at the gym (it was cold here!).

Sunday I had a not so great 10 miler outside. I needed to do my 10 miler in the morning so that I could make the trek out to see my mom for mother's day. It was 40 degrees outside when I woke up at 8 am and I wasn't looking forward to braving the cold. I put on a sweatshirt and some athletic pants, attached my Ipod and headed out the door. I neglected to bring water because I didn't think I'd get my fuel belt on over my sweatshirt. That and there is a water fountain on my route that HAD been working a month ago (when we were in the 70's...more on this later).

After the first mile, I could tell this was not going to be a great run. My mind was all there. I was pumped for this run. My body wasn't quite feeling it. I felt completely drained of energy. I had eaten a FiberOne bar before I left...this wasn't anything out of the ordinary for a long run. I didn't quite understand what was going on but I thought it would maybe wear off. I kept running...and actually telling myself to keep running.

Right around mile 3.5 there is a water fountain at the nearby high school. This happened to be a water fountain with no water. Evidently they shut it off because of the cold temps we have had this week. Not good. I had brought a gel along but clearly couldn't take that because I had no water. I continued on my way. Around mile 4-5 I got a little bit of energy on a downhill. I started to really feel great. But that was short lived.

A little bit past my turn around point at mile 5, I started to feel like my energy was slipping away again. My whole body felt like I'd been hit with a 2 x 4 and my legs were barely trudging along. I was getting so frustrated. I kept telling myself just to keep running.

The last 2 miles were brutal. My body was dragging and I found myself walking when I really didn't want to. It was a run/walk situation for the last 2 miles.

When I finally made it back home, I felt like a truck had literally hit me. I heated up a bagel hoping that would get rid of the feeling. I found myself not even wanting to eat anything because I was so exhausted. I ate the bagel, drank lots of water, and then rested for 20 minutes or so before heading out to see my mom. The whole rest of the day I felt like I'd been drained of energy.

This seems to be a common theme lately and I'm not sure why. Normally I can bounce back from a long run pretty easily and I don't usually completely wear out of energy that quickly! So frustrating. I was thinking about heading to a dietician to see if maybe there is something I could/should be eating/not eating to help this. I haven't really changed much in my diet from previous years so I don't know exactly what is going on. Perhaps it just stress and it will go away.

I have a 1 mile race schedule for Thursday evening. The shortest distance I've ever raced! It should be interesting...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

9 Miler on the Luce

Last weekend I finished up with a 9 miler on the Luce Line (See previous post for more info on Luce Line). This time we hopped on the Luce Line near Maple Plain so that we would get to see a little bit more of it. Andy rode his bike alongside me again which is nice because then I don't have to carry a pack of water. I started out pretty slow because my legs were really tight from the previous day's race. It was a tad bit windy and chilly but as long as I was running--I was fine.

Halfway through the run I needed to stop for at a restroom. Just as I was slowing to a walk, a snake jumped right out in front of me and I made some funny noises. I LOVE running out in the middle of nowhere with nature but I hate it when creepy crawly creatures scare me! Haha.

The middle part of my run was probably the best as that is when I finally seemed to get my groove. Towards the end of the run, I started to get really tired and Andy was trying to push me along as best as he could.

This weekend I have a 10 miler planned. 30 Days out until the Minneapolis Half Marathon!!

In other news...Go check out Julie's Running Blog for a giveaway. She is another Twin Cities area blogger!

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Run of the Mills 5k 2010

I ran this race last year with my dad and brother. It is a General Mills sponsored run for employees and their families. This year my dad "adopted" my cousin Stephanie for this run as well.

My dad told us that the race started at 8:00 AM and we planned to meet them in the parking lot at 7:30. Stephanie, Andy and I got to the parking lot at about 7:20 and there was like three cars in the entire lot. The year before the lot had been completely full. I had a feeling dad was wrong on the start time so I gave him a call. He said, "No, I'm sure it was at 8:00.". Dad arrives, we get our race numbers on and go in to the General Mills campus. Dad runs off to talk to some of his coworkers and then returns to say, "I made a mistake. The race starts at 9:00." Turns out we had to stand around for a while before the race actually started. This gave us ample time to get pictures with all of the General Mills cereal characters.

Steph and I wore our NF jerseys to this run. We were actually suprised to see another NF runner in the crowd so we ran over to her and talked to her. She had cycled the MS 100 the year before and her daughter had NF. We took a photo with her and then parted ways as the race director was asking everyone to line up.

As Steph and I lined up for the race, another woman came up to me and said, "I like your shirt!". She then asked me where I'd "run that race"? I told her I ran the Twin Cities Marathon and then she said, "No, where did you run the NF race?" I explained that I was a part of the NF Endurance Team that runs for NF and she said, "Thank you for doing that. I have NF." Truly inspiring.

It wasn't long before the race started and I had lost Steph and my brother Joe. Joe had sped ahead of me but I never realized it and thought he had somehow fallen behind me. I knew Steph was behind me because she wanted to run/walk with my dad. The wind was realllllly strong for this race but I just kept charging through it. I made it to the first mile at 9:15 clock time. I felt amazing and was really hoping for a PR (at least on this course!). The race winds through quite a few trails and you never really know when the winding will end and you will see a new mile marker. I started to slow a bit towards the end as I was battling the wind and some side stitches but kept telling myself to push forward for that PR.

When I saw the finish line, I bolted. I couldn't remember my time from last year but I felt like maybe I was faster? It turns out I was a minute slower! My time was 29:09 and last year I ran it in 28 something. GRRR! Anyways, I don't know what the deal is lately. I've been speed training this year and somehow my race times are coming up soooo slow! Well, at least it is the beginning of the year and I still have some time to improve. My little brother Joe, who doesn't run regurarly, finished in 25 minutes! So proud of him!

My dad and cousin Steph came through the finish somewhere around 37 minutes.

Dad,me, Steph, Joe before the race.

Friday, April 30, 2010

SORE Muscles

I don't know what it is about last weekend but the pain seems to keep carrying through...

After the race my legs were pretty sore on Saturday. Sunday I helped my parents tear down a shed.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday my legs felt as stiff as a board. I realize I forgot to stretch after the race (which is somewhat unusual for me) but I wasn't expecting this kind of soreness to last for so long!!

Finally last night I did intervals on the treadmill and the soreness in my legs seemed to have finally gone away. Only to realize I had a new sort of soreness. In my arms! I thought I would start adding some Wii Fit on top of my regular training on Wednesday night and I've been paying for it ever since. My arms feel like they can barely stretch out straight.

I was thinking about investing in a Stick or a roller. I don't know how well that might help with these sorts of issues because I've never had stiffness or soreness impede future workouts. Whenever I get sore, it never seems to slow me down too much but this week the legs would barely move!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Get in Gear 10k Race Report

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I wouldn't exactly say it was my best race ever. I woke up on Saturday morning to rain and it continued all the way until after I crossed the finish line. I wasn't entirely sure how I wanted to dress for the rain and made my first mistake with this race before I even stepped foot out of my front door. I decided to wear a pair of athletic pants instead of shorts and would later regret it. Mistake #2 was not leaving enough time to drive down to the race. The race was held in Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis and there was parking at the nearby Vet Medical Center and shuttles to take people to the park (1 mile). Unfortunately, there were 8,500 other people trying to get parked and ready for this race. I had no idea that this race was so large. I was supposed to be in the park at 8:30 to meet up with the rest of the NF Endurance Team but we were stuck in traffic on the way to the parking lot. We parked right around 8:30 and I figured if I ran the entire way instead of taking the shuttle (and waiting in the massive line for the shuttle), I might make it to the park by 8:40 when the team took a picture. However, that didn't quite happen. I barely made it before they started announcing to get behind the start line. I lost Andy during my race to the start line as well. The start line shoot was packed and I had to stand to the side of the crowd to let everyone by before I joined the crowd.

The beginning of the race was really packed. I found myself doing a lot of weaving in and out of people just to try to find my own pace. Somehow I think I got carried away and ended up starting out a little fast (yes--again!). I was feeling great up until about the 4 mile mark. It was somewhere around that point that I felt a great loss of energy. I felt like I'd just finished 10 miles instead of 4 and had to keep telling myself to keep moving. I was not
going to let myself stop but my speed was steadily decreasing as everyone zipped past me. I felt like my stomach was going to eat itself and like the bagel I had eaten that morning had somehow quickly burned away during the first 4. I kept on trucking though--knowing that the finish is what mattered and not the way my legs were burning or the way I felt like I could take a nice nap at any moment. Eventually I saw the park up ahead and we ducked through a tunnel where the half marathoners and 10k runners parted ways. I was surprised to see Andy standing in the tunnel to cheer me on. He took my jacket from me and I tol
d him I'd see him at the finish. This is where I should have actually told Andy exactly where to meet him as we ended up playing a nice game of "Where's Waldo" at the finish area.

As I came through the finish, I saw multiple NF Endurance Team members in the shoot and was really happy to see them there! There was so much neon y
ellow walking around--absolutely awesome! Anyways, I made it through the finish and got in line for the food where I ran into our team captain- Murray. Talked to him for a little bit and continued searching for Andy. I was starting to get really cold as I was just wearing my NF singlet with no sleeves (and the sopping wet pants). It wasn't too long before Andy found me and we started the 1 mile walk back to the car. Overall-- a fun race with a beautiful course along the river!

Next weekend my cousin is headed up to run the Run of the Mills 5k with my dad, brother and me.

Here is a water logged Rachel...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Biking, Running, and the love of baseball

This weekend Andy and I made the decision to go on a 23 mile bike ride on the Luce Line Trail that goes starts in Plymouth and goes 63 miles west. The portion that we rode was crushed limestone. The ride was quite enjoyable on the way out but at about 18 miles we both needed some extra energy. Andy's speed dropped considerably and by the time we got back he was freezing cold (even though it was warm outside). I told him we needed to get some food in him and that really seemed to help. Next time I think we'll be packing a little snack.
Anyways, the next day I had a scheduled 8 mile run. My legs were still pretty sore from Saturday's bike ride and I dreaded the run all day long. Finally it hit about 5:00 and I knew I needed to just get out there. Once I started moving, the 8 miles flew right by. My knees were bugging me on Monday though so I decided to take it easy and not force an extra run in on Monday.

Last night I got out of class early and managed to get my 4 miler done at the gym (as it was dark outside). My speed has improved greatly and that run felt awesome. I guess I haven't really been paying much attention to my speed lately because I've been relying on Andy's bike computer to tell me the distance as he rides along while I run. I may have to get out my Garmin and actually try to figure out how to work it soon.

This weekend is my very first 10k--the Get in Gear 10k. Kind of ironic that I've run practically every other distance but never ran a 10k. I am definetly well prepared for this race so not too concerned. I will be running with the NF Endurance Team--always a good time running w/ my NF teammates!

And tonight....going to see my favorite catcher play in our new ballpark...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Runs are Getting a Little Longer

I actually started writing this blog on Monday and wiped it all out.

7 mile run completed on Sunday. It was actually a great run--beautiful day outside and overall a lovely run.

4 miles on Monday which was also a wonderful run.

Today I'm feeling pretty blah. I have this sore throat/nasal issue that has been going on since November or before winter started. It seems to have gotten worse lately and comes with instant shooting headaches. I went to the doc back in November or whenever it was and she told me it was the changing of the seasons (at that time it was changing to winter). Now I'm not sure whether I still believe this but I don't want to go back in and make a big deal of nothing. The headaches are the worst of it but I can deal.

On another note--I think I'm going to kick up this whole idea of weight loss again. I feel really out of whack lately because of a little bit of weight gain. Classes are finally winding down and I have time to focus on this issue...hopefully.

On a side note--I had a large chunk of metal fly out from somewhere on the road on Monday. Busted up my windshield and then bounced off the top of my car. Very lucky it didn't actually go through my windshield. Nothing like another stresser to add to my already stress filled life!

Oh and....I have some other news. It looks like our efforts at organizing a race in Kansas City is going to be put on hault until next year as my cousin doesn't have the time to invest in it. We are still going to host some sort of appreciation dinner/benefit dinner in Minnesota.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Registered! (Again!)

There is nothing like the feeling you get when you hit the "Register" button on a race. I just finished registering for the Kansas City Half Marathon. I can't seem to stay away from the KC Marathon race series! October is going to be packed. The first weekend I have to attend a wedding. The second weekend is the Twin Cities Marathon in which I am hoping to get into the 10 mile. The third weekend then would be this race. My cousin and I had talked about running the Monster Dash on the last weekend but I really think that might be a bit much. Plus we have to fit the 5k race we are planning in Kansas City in either September or October.

The weather here is really getting nice and I've really enjoyed being able to run outside. My crazy class schedule is also taming down so it seems as though I have found more time to fit my runs in!

I know this blog is really short. Sorry! I hope to blog about something more organized soon!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Return of My Running Partner-Duke

Some of you who have followed my blog may remember good and bad discussions about my running partner, Duke, aka "Dukas", "Dukey, "Dukas the Mukas".

This year, Andy has been riding his bike alongside me and together we have been training Duke to go the distance. This weekend, Duke broke new ground. He made it through a 6 mile run!! Granted, there was still some cheerleading to get him to the finish point towards the end. He started to lag right around the 4 mile mark and we had to keep telling him to focus.

Hopefully we will be able to get him to run even further this summer. How far do your dogs run with you?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Max Moto and Me

Let me introduce you to...my new kicks. Nothing really suprising here. They are the new Max Moto +7. I actually liked my old Max Motos and they were starting to really wear down so it was time to invest in some new ones. I had a hard time tracking them down after going to a few stores that were sold out of my size--but finally hunted them down at Sports Authority. I usually buy my shoes from local running stores but they had them on sale and actually had my size!
This weekend's runs went pretty well. I had a 3 miler on Friday and Saturday and then a 5 miler on Sunday. My knee is starting to bug me a bit when I'm not running (the one that I hit when I took the tumble up the stairs). It is a pain I haven't really felt before--more on the interior right side of my knee. I'm hoping it just goes away because it doesn't seem to bug me too much when I'm running--just when I'm walking or getting up and down.
This week is going to be a bit of a challenge with fitting my runs in as I have night class 3 days this week. Tonight it supposed to be a "strength and stretch" night but I was thinking about doing tomm's 3 miler tonight so I don't have to worry about it tomm when I have class. On the other hand, I really want to allow some time for this knee to recoup from the 3 runs this weekend so I don't know what I'm going to do. I may just need to try to squeeze me 3 miler in on my lunch break tomm....

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Wonderful Start

Tuesday's Workout: 3 miles-30 min, 150 crunches
Wednesday's Workout: 3 miles (5 x 400 intervals) 28 minutes, arm lifts

There is nothing like spring break to kickstart the running season. This week I haven't had class at all because both of the colleges that I attend are on spring break! How lucky am I? It just so happens to be Week 1 of my half marathon training as well.

I've decided to step up the training a little this year to increase speed since I am only doing half marathons. I will be following Hal Higdon's Intermediate training plan for the most part. I will be substituting a few of my slow runs with some cross training on the bike since Hal doesn't really call for cross training in this plan and that is where he suggests it fall if I integrate it.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday's runs felt amazing. I think not having class really has attributed to the great runs this week so I am a little scared about next week's runs when I am for a lack of a better way of saying it, "run down" again. But we'll worry about that day when it comes. For right now--I couldn't feel better. I had a great interval run yesterday and I'm thinking that I might actually meet my goal of getting faster this year.

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here lately--in the 60's. I've gotten a few outdoor runs in and am really excited for the spring/summer where I can actually enjoy running outside!

Hope you all have an amazing weekend!

Monday, March 15, 2010

On Your Left

Andy and I headed out for a bike ride this weekend. First, we took Duke (the dog) for a short 4 mile ride (he ran) before he got pooped out and we needed to return him to the house. It was in the 60's yesterday in Minnesota and Andy and I really couldn't resist riding just a little more so we decided to load our bikes up and head down to the Southwest LRT Trail going from Hopkins to Lake Calhoun (approx. 16 miles). All in all--it was a good ride. However, it was extremely busy around Lake Calhoun and every 30 seconds I heard "On your left" in my left ear. In fact, one time there was clearly a pack of people on my right when this woman came up behind me shouting, "On your left!" I wanted to scream back, "People on my right!!". I don't mind getting over but clearly when I don't have the option--then why shout at me to do so?

Anyways, this also brought up the point that either I am really slow or my bike is not equipped to go fast. I was pedaling at a consistent speed the entire ride in the highest gear I could (very flat trails). Everyone was passing us. Andy had to frequently coast because I was evidently not fast enough. Granted, I am still riding a mtn bike and most of them were on road bikes. Andy said we averaged about 13 miles per hour (he has a bike computer). I really don't know if that is slow--but it appeared like it was when everyone was shouting "on your left" at us.

I really do enjoy biking because it allows me to do some cross training with Andy. But I think I still tend to fare better in my old running shoes. :-)

Day 1 of half marathon training starts today!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Busy Season

This year looks like it will be a very busy running season. I just signed up for another half marathon--the Minneapolis Half-- and will start training next week. I have also signed up for the Get in Gear 10k to run with the NF Endurance Team in April. The rest of the season has at least 2 other half marathons (possibly a third), the Twin Cities 10 mile if I make the lottery, and a few other 5k races. I'll post the full schedule soon.

I did get a run in on Monday but it wasn't the greatest run. My left foot and calf were killing me right away and I tried to run through it but was having some difficulty. I ended up running 2 miles before I hit the eliptical for 15 minutes. I was really frustrated and just wanted to go home but somehow convinced myself to hop back on the treadmill for another mile. I didn't get a run in yesterday because I had class until 10 and still have yet to manage waking up at 5 am. Tonight is Andy's birthday so I will be spending quality time with him and hoping that there is some time somewhere to get a workout in--but not entirely counting on it. If not, I hope to at least attempt the 5 am workout as I have night class tomm and Friday. If you haven't figured it out--this training for the half marathon is going to be a bit like a rubix cube with my time. Hopefully I'll figure it all out.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Organizing a RACE!!!

Yesterday's Mileage in the Bank: 3 miles
3/12 abductors and adductors, 30 min on the "half-eliptical"

I've come up with some crazy ideas for fundraising for the NF Endurance Team this year. My cousin, Stephanie, has joined the team this year as well and we will be completing a few races together as "Team Highlighters". I'm hoping I find some snazzy bright yellow shoes to go with our highlighter theme...

Anyways, back to the fundraising. I thought up this crazy idea to actually organize a race. I presented it to my cousin and she thought it was a great idea. It turns out though--she doesn't want to do it up here in the TC but down in Kansas City (where she lives) because she has more pull with the city down there (she is a lawyer). With the whole student teaching thing looming over my head these days--I decided that perhaps she was right and we should just start with the KC area for now. This makes planning a little more difficult from a distance but I will figure it out. I don't want to divulge too much but we are really hoping to make this race a unique one. I'd love your input, what do you think makes a good race?

Spring is almost in the air. It has been 40 degrees here this week. I've seen many posts on facebook about outdoor runs lately--love it! I, myself, have not made it outside to run. I'm hoping I get one run in outside tomm. We'll see what happens.

OH! Almost forgot to tell you--I have updated my fundraising link on the left for this year's fundraiser. I am hoping to do raffles again this year for those people who donate and I will announce those as they come in.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

5 Mile Ride

Andy recently bought a new Trek hybrid bike for his upcoming birthday so yesterday we decided to take it out for a spin. I am still riding a cheap-o mountain Schwinn but it all works. It was almost 40 degrees yesterday so I figured it was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the warmer weather.

We must have been going at tortoise speed because somehow we only made it about 5 miles in an hour--this is slower than what I run! Not entirely sure what is to blame for our tortoise speed other than a few occasional breaks and the fact that my bike was a bit rickety. The first break that we took was because my ears were killing me from the cold (I was not smart enough to actually put on a hat). I had to put my hood up over my head which made the task of looking for cars all that more interesting.

I tried to stand on my bike and ride a few times and the pedals were moving pretty stiff so I decided that wasn't working out so well.

Overall it was a good ride. For some reason--I never imagined hills would be difficult on a bike--but even in the lowest gear they were challenging on my bike. Andy came back to the house feeling like he didn't have much of a workout while my legs were tired from all of the hills.

Anyways, hopefully we continue biking as the weather gets nicer so I can actually put reason to buying a better bike.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon Race Report

Results: 13.5 Swim Lengths, 13.6 miles on bike, 1.97 miles running

On Sunday, my cousin and I completed the Fridley Lifetime Indoor Triathlon with the NF Endurance Team. I'll break it down by event:

Swim- We had 10 minutes to swim. Neither Steph or I trained in the pool--at all. I used to really suck at swimming in high school and I don't think that has changed. Steph kept swimming ahead of me and then saying, "Come on Rachel...you can do it." It was tough. If I ever do another triathlon, I will need some serious time in the pool. I was exhausted by the time that we got out of the pool and still had 2 more events to go!

Bike- We had 30 minutes to complete the bike portion. Steph spent a little too much time in transition and we were late hitting the bikes. Everyone had already started. I was really thrown off and didn't take the time to adjust my bike. BIG mistake! I had a rather painful ride due to the seat riding up by butt and the awkward leaning that I was doing. Midway through the ride, I got confused and thought the instructors were telling us to get off the bikes. I stopped pedaling and lost some time there. Steph put on her crazy face in this room and was drumming to the songs they were playing and singing. When we only had 5 minutes left, one of the facilitator dudes came over to tell us we had 5 minutes by putting up his hand--Steph thought that he was trying to high five her so he high fived him. He then high fived me as well and then made sure he put his hand on the other people's bikes to tell them they had 5 minutes left. We were also the only ones to get high fives at the end of our bike portion--thanks to my crazy cousin.

Run- We had 20 minutes to run. I wanted to finish this portion strong because all of the other events really did not go so well. I started out running way too fast (around a 9 min mile) as I was trying to make up points and quickly lost my energy. I had to crank my speed way down for a minute to get my breath back before moving it back to 10 min mile.

All in all--it was a fun event. The jury is still out on whether I will actually complete a "real" triathlon someday.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I'm Running, Running, Running!

Distance: 5.85 miles, Time: 1 hour



Finally I got a run in! Albeit slow, it was a run!! Nearly 6 miles in an hour. The trick was taking the risk and pushing past the "bone crunching noise" that was inhibiting me before. I was afraid of causing further damage and stopped every other time I tried to run. This time I pushed through and hoped for the best. The crunching noise stopped after about a minute and then I was golden! I kept the pace low and wound up finishing up 5.85 miles.

Sooo excited!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Two Wheels Stuck in Neutral

Bike Time: 20 min 58 sec, Bike Distance: 5 miles, Eliptical Time: 30 min

Unfortunately, my knee is still in what I like to call "crummy condition". I have an indoor triathlon on Sunday and it is looking more like I will be walking the treadmill portion than anything. How embarrassing! We will see what happens before then though. Right now I can't run. It feels sort of like two bones jamming into one another when I even attempt it. I did make it about 4 strides the other day on the treadmill while I was testing the knee out--it didn't go so well.

Yesterday I figured I would try to build up my bike skills on the stationary bike at the gym. Something about being on a bike sitting in neutral is just not real exciting to me. But somehow I made it more exciting by trying to go as fast as I could maintain speed. I completed 5 miles in under 21 minutes and I'm not entirely sure whether that is good or not. When I hopped off the bike, my knee felt like it was stuck in one large cramp. I figured I must have done a decent job at working the muscles in my knee but this is just me estimating things as I don't know the first thing about how to heal a bruised knee. I didn't even know a bruised knee could affect mobility until I took my stumble up the stairs.

I also have not done any training in a pool. This is the downside of belonging to an Anytime Fitness. So...that portion will be rather intersting. I figure it is only 10 minutes and if I make a fool of myself--then it is only for 10 minutes, right?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Adventures of a Klutz: Falling Up

So...Sunday night I had a bit of an accident. These things tend to happen when I am super hyper and in the best of moods as was the case on Sunday. I was in search of a missing Diet Coke. I had just gone out to the garage in my socks to see if I could spot it in my car. It had not been in my car so I started up the stairs. Somehow my footing wasn't right. My sock slipped on the step and I came crashing down. It wasn't a small crash either. My knee banged into the step with a great force. The pain was intense and Andy rushed down the steps to rescue me. He helped me up the stairs as I was having a hard time walking. I sat down on the couch and sitting on the floor next to the couch was my darn Diet Coke.

Anyhow...I had a hard time walking on it all night Sunday night. I figured I should go into the doc Monday to make sure all was okay. The doc said my knee was just very badly bruised and sent me on my way. He said it is so swollen that he couldn't really see a lot but if it isn't 90% better in 2 weeks to go back in. Well, today I can walk on it better but going up and down stairs still hurts pretty bad. I haven't attempted a serious run on it (I'll admit that right after it happened I tried to just run in the living room to see if I could). The doc said to stick to the bike for now. I have the triathlon in less than 2 weeks so I'm hoping that it heals quickly.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Mental Mind Games

Run Time: 32 minutes, Run Distance: 3 miles

Yesterday I managed to make it to the gym in between work and class and only had enough time to run for half an hour. Which was okay because the gym was packed. It was another struggle of a run but I played some mental mind tricks to keep myself going. You wouldn't even believe some of the thoughts and slogans that were going through my head. Humor me...here are the "tricks" I played to push my mind through--

First I started thinking about all the people walking on the treadmills around me and imagined that I was winning a race. This was especially helpful when the old dude 2 treadmills over decided that if I could run--he could to.

I then envisioned myself as a motivator. I could tell this poor guy running was not a runner and had not intended to run before he saw me running. I only know this because he only lasted about a minute before he decided that he didn't like it too much--that and he kept watching me. Anyways, I envisioned myself as a motivator beyond the moment at which this guy had stopped and was clearly no longer motivated (if he ever was). I thought of the way my dad tells me that I am inspiring and the way that he picked up running as a result of my own running adventures.

Then these thoughts weren't working anymore. I had to think of something else. Somehow I got the "John Jingleheimer Schmidt" song stuck in my head because that appeared to be a similiar rhythym to what everyone was thumping the treadmill at. Don't ask me. Quickly this song wore out and I didn't like the idea of getting it stuck in my head. So what better song to start singing in your head than, "Tearin Up My Heart" by NSync. This one makes more sense because I used to be an insane Nsync fan back in the day. But of course, I could only remember the chorus. So...that got old fast.

Next I started throwing running slogans out there. "Blast those hips" and "Rachel you can do this", or the one I find the most humurous..."I'm so proud of you." Proud...of myself? Where did I get this nonsense?

Somehow I made it to the end of my run. And I'm thinking that I need to charge my Ipod soon. Because my creativity in mental mind games is going to wear thin!!

What are your mental mind games???

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Something to Report!

Run Distance: 3 miles, Run time: 32:00, Eliptical: 20 minutes, Bike: 5 minutes, 3/10 Above Arm

I'm going back to the log at the top of my posts just so I have something that I can look back to. Yes, I finally have something that I can actually report. The run went as well as I could expect for missing almost 2 weeks. I seem to be having a bit of a respiratory issue that kind of effected this run. I've actually had it much of the winter and went into the doctor about it but they kept telling me that it was dry air. It was focused primarily in my nose so I believed them. But it really is starting to make my throat hurt. And not just in the morning--all day. Anyways, nevertheless my throat was burning midway through my run and I was having a hard time ignoring it. I did stop and walk for 2 minutes so thus the slow time.

I was hoping for a little longer of a run but settled with 3 miles and decided that perhaps the eliptical would be better. I was still having the same symptoms. Anyways, spent 20 minutes there and then decided to finish off with 5 on the bike. Despite all of this...I really was happy to just be at the gym.

I am hoping to get a work out in tonight in between work and class. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Better Run and a Failed Snowboarder

I had yesterday off (woohoo!) and headed to the gym in the morning. Evidently everyone else got the same great idea and the gym was again packed. I didn't know so many people got MLK day off! Anyways, I managed to get on my favorite treadmill and hammered out 3 miles. I was actually feeling great and wanted to run further but the gym was crowded and I didn't want to get yelled at for being on the treadmill longer than the allowed time. I put in another 15 minutes on the eliptical but again had foot pad pain and decided to jump off. Finished up my hour at home on the Wii Fit.

I am backtracking a bit here...but the day before this wonderful run...we went snowboarding. This was my first trip snowboarding and I'm not entirely sure I can actually claim that I snowboarded since I spent most of my time on my bum. We didn't take any lessons, just had a friend kind of show us what to do before we plunged down the hill. It didn't fair to well with me because I spent most of the time falling and then contemplating getting back up. The runs were packed that day and I spent most of the time waiting for the perfect opportunity to go so that I wouldn't take out a small child while trying to get down the hill (since I still do not have a clue how you stop other than fall down). Anyways, my butt is still pretty sore (didn't help that I slipped on our front step this morning either). Strangely, my arms are sore too--Andy says from catching my fall so many times. I think I'll stick to running.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Losing Mileage

I really don't know what my deal is lately. A few weeks ago I was running 6 milers and intervals and loving it. The last two weeks have really sucked. I've barely cranked out 3 milers and in fact, Monday I could only muster out 2.5 miles. So, so frustrating.

I don't think I can even tell you the cause of this problem. One day it was the fact that my legs were really really tight and in pain. The next day it seemed to be that I had no energy. The next day it was that my breathing was off. Yea that one was Monday. All of these factors make me feel like I did when I first started running years ago. So frustrating.

I have class tonight so there will be no gym time. However, I am going to take on this problem on Friday and hopefully see some sort of improvement in my endurance. Seriously.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

And the Chaos Begins

I guess everyone was scared of the below zero temps last week and that is why the gym was empty. Just merely making assumptions. Yesterday I went to the gym and it was a madhouse. The parking lot was packed so I knew it was going to be bad before I ever even stepped foot into the door. Every treadmill was taken. There were two elipticals open so I hopped on one. I don't mind the eliptical--I just would much rather be on the treadmill. Elipticals hurt the balls of my feet and I have yet to figure out why after many years of using them. Anyways, I did the eliptical for half an hour and got off because there was an enormous line for both the treadmills and the elipticals. Biked for about 10 minutes before I started to get bored. Hopped off the bike and went home to the Wii Fit where I don't have to compete for machines.

I think I may have to start going to the gym later so I can avoid this madness. At least for the month of January.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ranting Post

Yikes. Anyone else get a calendar in the mail from Runner's World? No thanks! They sent me a calendar in the mail and then billed me 21.95 for it and I never asked for one! Then they want me to send this calendar back on my dime! They sent it to me without me requesting it! Grr.

Anyways, I don't have much positive to report about my workout yesterday. I ran 3 miles and it wasn't the best run I've ever had. My legs were really tight and I never really got into the right rhythm. I biked for 20 minutes afterwords and have decided that biking on a stationary bike deems little rewards. According to the machine, I only burned 90 calories in 20 minutes. This just seems crazy. I was going at about 85 rpm, perhaps that is slow? I don't even know as I'm not really much of a cyclist. Anyways, I'm probably going to have to work on that more before the triathlon.

I plan to get a better run in tonight. We'll see how it goes.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Addicted to Events

Yep...I've signed up for another one already. Get this--my first "kind of" triathlon. I say, "kind of" because it is indoors and not what I would typically envision as a triathlon. I will be participating in the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon on Feb. 21st with the NF Endurance Team and my cousin!

Considering I am not much of a swimmer, this is going to be a bit of a challenge. I actually try to avoid swimming at all costs. I am going to have to actually go out and buy a swimsuit that I can swim in. We will see how this challenge wraps up in February!

Hope that all of you had a wonderful New Year's Day! It has gotten bitter cold here. -10 this morning. We are expected to stay bone chilling cold all the rest of the week. Yuck.