Wednesday, August 31, 2011

More than Half Crazy?

So, I have seen a lot of things with the slogan "only  half crazy" in reference to half marathons, but I may have surpassed half crazy.  I think I may have caught the "bug."  While I was laid up last week resting my knee I spent my "free time" searching the internet for more half marathons that I wanted to run.  Yes, I am INSANE.  But, I have a huge list of races that I want to do.  I have races laid out until 2014 in some of the more "race heavy" months.

Obviously this is not set in stone or anything, but here is what I have laid out so far.  If all goes according to plan, I hope to do most of these races.  Its all very exciting! :) 

2011 -
Sept 3 - Parlor City Trot 10 miler - registered
Sept 10 - Defender Dash 5k - registered
Sept 18 - Pufferbelly Trail 5k - registered
September 24 - Fort 4 Fitness Half Marathon - registered
October 16 - Matt Reinke 5k
October 23 - St Louis Rock n Roll Half Marathon - registered
November 5 - WOOF
November 12 - Veterans 5k (?)
December 10 - Jingle Bell 5k (Indy)

2012 -
April 7- Oak Barrel Half Marathon
May 5- Indy Mini - registered
September - Indy Women's Half Marathon 
October - Nike Women's Half Marathon (if I get in... if not .. Detroit Free Press Half Marathon)
November: Fall Classic Half (Ohio)
December - St Jude Memphis

2013 -
January - Walt Disney World Full Marathon (will I ever be able to complete a full?!?)
March - Rock N Roll Half - New Orleans (?)
April - Rock N Roll Half - Nashville
May - Cleveland Half (?)
August  - Rock N Roll Half - Chicago
September - Rock N Roll Half - Philadelphia
October - Detroit Free Press Half Marathon (or Nike Women's Half if I dont get in 2012)
December - Rocket City Half (?)

2014 -
March - Run the Bluegrass Half
April - Kentucky Derby Half 
May - Flying Pig Half
September - Victory Junction Gang Half
October - Mackinaw Island Great Turtle Half

Other races I would like to run at some point:  (If you are interested in more info on these races, google... I am tired of adding links! haha)
January: Tinkerbell Half Marathon
February: Disney Princess Half Marathon
March: Little Rock Arkansas Half
March: NYC Half
March: DC National Half
March: Rock N Roll Half - DC
April: Crossroads Half
April: Martian Marathon Half Marathon
June: Charlevoix Half
September: Women's Half - Nashville
September: Emerald City Half
September: State to State Half
October: Halloween Half
October: Harbor Springs Half
October: Iron Horse Half
October: Myrtle Beach Mini
October: Disney Wine and Dine Half
October: Red, White and Blue 26.2 
October: Army 10 miler
November: Atlanta Half
November: Space Coast Half
December: Kiawah Island Half
Stomp the Grapes

Short Distance Races:
   10/30 - pumpkin run 5k
   10/15 - run for sleeping angels 5k
   10/6 - run for Riley 5 miler
   10/9 - salamander sprint 5k/10k
   11/19 - FWTC Turkey Trot 5k
   11/24 - galloping gobbler

If you have done any of these races, or have any input on any of them, PLEASE feel free to share, it would be greatly appreciated.  I realize that I may find there are too many races per year, but I wanted to lay out what I COULD do if my training went well.  These would technically work out together timing wise though.

Readers Poll Time:  How far in advance do you start planning out your future races?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Terrible Two Recap!

Train napkins - we had little matching plates for cake too.

Train chocolates - I made these all by myself, melted down the candy and molded them all.  Made both vanilla and chocolate, probably 400+ pieces of candy!

Awesome Train Decor made by my mom, Lora!  THANKS MOM!

Some of the food: raspberries, rice cakes, fruit tray (bananas, grapes, apples, strawberries), chips and dip, hummus and dippable items (carrots, celery, bagel chips, and pretzels), chex mix and popcorn!  (We also had burgers, hot dogs, bbq pulled pork, veggie pizza, and macaroni and cheese).

Yes, I had way too much food.  I always do that.

Conductor Daniel watching the popcorn being made

Opening Presents

Sibling Love - hugs like this make the "torture" of parenting worthwhile!

If you can't tell he LOVED his cake

Thank goodness he couldn't tell all the mistakes Mommy made while making this cake, he loved it all the same.

LOVE his face in this picture

"Yummy Cake Mommy!"


Hope you guys enjoyed my "terrible two" birthday party recap.  Sorry there isn't more to this post, not feeling very motivated to blog today.  Hopefully I will have something more on topic tomorrow!

I did do a 4 mile run yesterday, nothing too fast or exciting - but another 4 miles under my belt to prepare me for my first half marathon.  I do have a 10 mile race this weekend, so I am going to probably do some slower runs the rest of the week to make sure I am not too tired out on Saturday.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Well that sucked.

Sorry its been a while since I posted - I have been sick, had two sick kiddos, been getting ready for my son's second birthday party as well as nursing a sore knee.  I will probably post more about the party on Monday - I know its not running related, but its been fun to put together. 

I spent most of Thursday and Friday sitting on my butt icing/elevating my knee and taking ibuprofen.  Luckily, the knee held out for my run this morning. My stomach on the other hand - not so much.  Back to the drawing board.  I talked through things with my mom and may have identified some poor choices I made yesterday in diet so I am hoping that it will be better next time. 

I did 11 miles today, it wasn't pretty.  I had to stop at the bathroom twice - not fun.  I did manage to run a bit of a new route today.  I ran around some neighborhood trails by the Y and then on a main road here in Ft Wayne plus Pufferbelly and the Y trail.  I am counting it as a success because I got out there and did the mileage.  I ran 95% of it or more.  I had to take a few VERY short walk breaks because of my stomach, but it happens.  And as mentioned I had to stop at the bathroom twice which is what frustrates me the most.  I almost wish it had been my knee that caused me the problems. I mean, really... if my knee hurts I can walk, but what do I do when my stomach starts revolting?  I can't produce a bathroom out of thin air. :-/ 

As far as run analysis, I don't have much else because I am too busy running around getting stuff done for tomorrow's party.  I will note that I had my usual propel and water combo to stay hydrated and I used a new gel today: Chocolate #9 at about 3.7 miles and 7.5 miles.  Loved the performance, but of course I need to make sure that isn't what caused my tummy troubles before I give it two thumbs up.  However, here are my splits as well as the elevation/pace chart from today's run.

Hope everyone enjoys their weekend - expect a post Sunday or early in the week about the birthday party and then later this week I am going to post about some potential future races.  Fun stuff.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Double Digit Long Run - SUCCESS

I was super intimidated by the double digit long run this week.  In addition to the digestive issues and cramping issues, I knew it would be a huge mental challenge.  I have been searching for a running partner but so far haven't found anyone to accompany me on my long runs.  So, I knew it was going to be a challenge to keep from psyching myself out.   However, I successfully completed 10 miles at a fairly decent pace.

10.03 miles - time: 1:32:05 
279 foot climbed
1520 calories burned

Below is the boring "nitty gritty" of the run.  Feel free to skip this!  I was late getting myself up this morning, but I was ready to start my run about 6:55 am.  I ate an english muffin before hand, and I also took immodium to try to help with the cramping I have been experiencing.  

I haven't found any good long trails that I feel comfortable running alone, so I knew I was going to have to do alot of short laps (1.7-1.8 miles each "lap").  I think doing the short laps makes the miles drag on.  The good news is that I only needed one bathroom break and I only had one instance of slight cramping in my ribs.  I also didn't need any walk breaks.  I had a couple times when I felt like I had no control over my legs.  It was like there was something telling my legs to keep moving - I felt like I couldn't have stopped if I wanted to... strange feeling indeed.   Towards mile 8.5-9 I started having some slight pain and numbness in my arms/hands but nothing that was too difficult to manage.

Took fuel at about 3.5 miles (Gu Vanilla Bean Gel) when I stopped for a bathroom break and around 6.5-7 miles (Gu Roctane Raspberry Chocolate Gel).   Drank a combo of propel black cherry and water.

Elevation/Pace Diagram:

mile 1 -  9:16
mile 2 -  9:13
mile 3 -  9:11
mile 4 -  9:03
mile 5 -  9:24
mile 6 -  9:31
mile 7 -  9:23
mile 8 -  9:15
mile 9 -  9:06
mile 10 -  8:31

I decided that no better day to spend all day on my feet than the day of my longest run ever.  So, we packed up the kids and headed to the zoo - we spent 3 hours there (much longer than I had planned).  On the way home from the zoo we stopped for frozen yogurt - so yummy.  I probably ate more calories than I burned on my run this morning!  And of course, my day wasn't done there - my daughter and I spent over two hours grocery shopping.  I haven't uploaded most of my pictures from the zoo - but I love this one I captured of my daughter. She tends to be such a ham that we don't get decent pictures.  At least in this one she doesn't look overly cheesy.  She is rocking her sunglasses from Aunt Missy - she wore them the whole time we were at the zoo.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Crawfordsville, Indiana Warrior Dash Reflections

So, I posted in great detail about the warrior dash earlier this week but I wanted to do a post that was more about my thoughts of the race as well as the "official stats".

         (yes, I realize this has my full name on it, but you could find that info anyway!)

Finishing time: 41:14.45 (this is slow due to stopping for pics, a tangled camera, and eventually a camera lost in the mud)
Age Group: 98 of 723
Gender: 376 of 2795
Overall: 2024 of 6726

Overall, I was very happy with this race.  I was impressed at how smoothly things went on race day.  I wish I would have run a faster time, but I knew going in this race wasn't about setting a PR - it was all about having a good time.  That being said, I don't think I had as much fun as you could have at this race for several reasons.
1.  I did the race alone.  I wasn't able to find someone to go with me.  I think this is the type of race that is more fun run with a group of friends.  Plus, running partners would also double as great event photographers.  I think the pictures would have been much more awesome with two or three of us taking pictures (especially of each other). It was impossible to get pictures of myself doing the obstacles, which would have been awesome!
2.  I did the race at 8 am.  I signed up for the earliest wave available because I wanted to be done early to avoid the heat, plus we had a family get together we needed to be at, it was a 5 hour car ride away.  I also did this because I was afraid of some of the obstacles.  I figured the earlier I went, the less likely that the obstacles would be messy, and less muddy = less slippery!

While I was right about the lack of mud on the obstacles, I felt like I missed out by being in an early wave.  It was a VERY small group - maybe 60-75 people.  This was great because it meant that the course wasn't crowded, but it meant that the excitement wasn't nearly as high.  I think I missed out on a huge part of the event by being in that small wave.  Next time I will opt for a late morning time - say 10 am or so?  This would allow you to be done before it was terribly hot but you would also get the benefit of having more people in your wave.  As far as the obstacles, they may be more muddy later in the day but I didn't think they were that difficult to begin with, so I think I would be okay.   I also plan to make a day of it next time, I would have loved to have stayed around for the "after party."  I think when you do this type of race thats a huge part of it.  Ah well, live and learn.  Overall I would give the race 9/10 stars (they lose a star for an inadequate warrior wash station).  However, MY race experience was probably a 7/10 (due to my circumstances, nothing to do with the race). 

Luckily, I didn't have nearly the injuries or soreness that I was anticipating.  After a weekend in Michigan, I came back and had to get back on my half marathon training schedule.  I ran my 4 miles Monday evening, it did not go well and I was dreading the rest of the week.  However, I was able to redeem myself with a nice easy 5 mile run on Wednesday morning.  I was scheduled to run 4 miles and ended up running 5 and I probably could have run more without fatigue!

Thursday evening I did a run/walk combo with the half marathon class - we did 4 miles with about 1 mile of it being running.  This was a bit less running that I would have liked, but it was for great reason.  We were with the "north class" so we spent a ton of time chatting and getting to know them.  It was great to meet a few more runners who are trying to prep for the same race I am.  I would be thrilled if I could find someone to run with (at least for my long runs)!

I have 10 miles scheduled for tomorrow morning and I am absolutely petrified that it will not go well.  I am planning to go to bed early tonight so that I can get enough sleep but I have spent most of the last two days outside supervising the install of our association playground.  I am nursing sunburn and feel dehydrated!   I will be pumping the fluids tonight in the hopes of getting myself fully hydrated before my run tomorrow.   I plan a blog post for tomorrow to document how it goes.  Say a prayer for me?  Mentally, I really need a good long run to prove to myself that I can do this!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I am a Warrior

This will be a long winded and picture heavy post, I apologize in advance. All pictures are "clickable" if you want to see them larger.

We drove down to Crawfordsville Friday evening so that we would not have to wake up uber early to arrive for my 8 am wave. We went to bed kind of late, but I managed to drag my butt out of bed at about 5:20 so that I could run a mile on the treadmill to wake up and get my body moving in preparation for the race. After getting myself and the family ready we headed out around 6:30 to find the race location. We arrived just before 7 am which was perfect timing.

The parking was run very smoothly. There were no backups and they had tons of people directing you to where they wanted you to park. I was sort of annoyed that it cost $10 to park, but I knew about this in advance. It would be nice if they would just somehow build this into the fee they charge you online. After parking we got the stroller and kids all set and we were off to packet pickup. Again, everything was running VERY smoothly. This could be because it was early and there were so few people there, but from what I have heard, it ran smoothly all day. The race packet included a timing chip (which doubled as a free beer token), bib number, t-shirt, and a fuzzy warrior helmet. After picking this up we headed over to the Warrior Store because I wanted to buy some race gear. I know, lame! Falling for the merchandising, but oh well - won't need to buy next time. I ended up spending $50 to buy a track jacket, tank top, decal, and eye blacks. I honestly felt the prices were pretty reasonable for race memorabilia.

After spending hubby's money I decided to find him a place to sit with the kiddos. They had benches to sit on near the mudpit so that's where we stationed him and the kids. I wish that they would have had something between the mud pit and the fire so that he could have gotten photos of both obstacles. After putting on my bib and timing chip we took a few more pictures and it was time for me to head off. I visited the porta-potty and then went to the start corral. I knew there weren't many people in my wave, but I was sort of disappointed by how few people there were. I think there were maybe 50-60 people max. I talked with someone for a few minutes - it was her first time and she was about as nervous as I was. She said that she didn't want to finish last - I told her my strategy was that if I was slow enough it would just look like we were part of the next wave, haha. It ended up being that I didn't need to employ this strategy, but it was a nice back-up plan in my head.

(note: this pic is not my wave)

8:00 came and we were off. Because the wave was so small there wasn't a whole lot of crowding of the course which was nice, I decided to just take is slow and easy to start with. I wanted to make sure I could finish the race without walking except for at the obstacles. We ran for what felt like forever before we hit an actual obstacle. However, there were some massive up and down hills that I was not expecting. It was kind of funny to me that I was doing exactly the opposite of most people - most were walking the uphills and barreling down the hills. I was much more able to run up the hills but then practically slid down the hills on my butt for fear of injuring my knees. Well, thats not true but I was VERY slow and VERY careful. Now, they said there were only 12 obstacles in an interview I saw on tv, but I counted 14..?

Obstacle #1 - Cliffhanger (?)

I was terrified of this steep downhill, the pictures dont do it justice. For someone with bad knees, steep hills are bad enough, but ones that are dirt and crumble with each step are even worse. I finally got up the nerve and scooted on my butt and grabbed a rope and started my descent. Somehow I managed to get my camera looped around the rope here so I lost some time getting it untangled.

Obstacle #2 - Deadman's Drop

This was an unexpected obstacle and not on our course map. I banged up my shin on this one - my first and worst warrior injury.

Obstacle #3 - Blackout

This was easy, but this was the site of my second injury - a small cut on my knee.

Obstacle #4 - Chaotic Crossover

This was just a horizontal cargo net but it was harder than I was expecting. However I managed to get across pretty effectively and quickly.

Obstacle #5 - Arachnophobia

Not sure this was much of an obstacle, but hey, they call it one. The ropes were way too easy to get through, the "tangled" pattern was super easy to get through.

Obstacle #6 - Rio Dash

We actually crossed a river twice in addition to this "rio dash" but I am counting this as the official obstacle because we had to run down the stream for a longer distance.

Obstacle #7 - Not sure what this is called

Another unexpected obstacle, but it was easy peasy, didn't even use the ropes, ran right up.

Obstacle #8 - Shipwrecked

This obstacle wasn't terribly difficult but still a bit harder than I was expecting.

Obstacle #9 - Teetering Traverse

This was the final unexpected obstacle much easier than I would have expected, guess my balance is better than it used to be.

Obstacle #10 - Barricade Breakdown

Again, not terribly difficult, you had to go over the wall and then under then barbed wire. I managed to rip my bib on this obstacle so the number wasn't showing. Somehow in the middle of the race, I was aware enough to think about the fact that if my bib number wasn't showing it might be hard to find my pics, so I managed to re-pin it while running to the next obstacle.

Obstacle #11 - Great Warrior Wall

This was the obstacle I was most worried about. I am afraid of heights and after hearing about people getting hurt falling off this wall it made me even more nervous. I had hoped that i would be able to climb this wall using the footholds as hand holds too, but I quickly realized that wasn't possible so I grabbed the rope and scrambled up the wall much easier than I thought I would. I even stopped at the top to take a picture of myself, too bad you couldn't tell that I was on top of a 16 foot wall! Going down the back was super easy and I was off to the next obstacle.

Obstacle #12 - Cargo Climb

I was glad they had this back to back with the great warrior wall, I still had the courage from having just done the wall so I didn't even hesitate to climb right up. I felt like I went up this pretty quickly, but I did stop near the top to snap a picture. Again, its hard to tell I was at the top of the cargo net, but at least I have something to remember it by.

Obstacle #13 - Warrior Roast

I was really looking forward to this, I did a really high gazelle type leap over the first set of flames. I obviously didn't realize they took the picture of you jumping the second set of flames so I didn't do a cool jump the second time... oops. Thank goodness my running skirt has attached shorts underneath because it flew up when I leaped over the flames.

Obstacle #14 - Muddy Mayhem (lots of pictures because I couldn't decide!)

I wasn't really worried about this obstacle, I figured it would be hard, but not that difficult. Unfortunately I didn't get any tips from anyone before hand. I stepped into the mud pit and sank past my knee. I got scared when my second step had my sinking even further. Finally someone in the crowd screamed to swim not try to walk. That strategy worked well, but of course I had already lost quite a bit of time. Then near the end my camera slipped of my wrist. Now, this was a BRAND NEW camera so I wasn't about to leave it. Someone screamed at me to keep going because it was a race. I yelled back "my camera, I lost my camera" I started to panic when I couldn't find it. Someone yelled I hope its waterproof, I told them it was and they responded "what about mud proof" my response? "I sure hope so," Finally I found it and continued my trek out of the mud pit, It was harder to get out than I expected it would be.

FINALLY, I crossed the finish line, covered in mud and I couldn't have been happier.

Because this is so long I am going to end this post here, but I will post again tomorrow or Thursday about some of my post-race reflections and finishing stats. One last picture because it is ADORABLE (at least to me, but I am biased). Here is one of the reasons I am "running for my life." My little girl is so proud of her mommy and is already starting to talk about how she wants to run when she is bigger. And, to top it off, she
was super excited because she thought "Mommy won". Of course, we all know that I didn't but I couldn't bear to break her heart and tell her I didn't do that well.

Note: Pictures with the Warrior Dash logo on them are from the WD page on facebook, I added them to clarify areas where my pictures suck. :)