Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Monster Dash Half Marathon Recap

I love to run Halloween races! It gives me an excuse to wear a costume and run! The past couple years I dressed as a pirate for this race but this year I wanted to be something different. I really wanted to be Tinker Bell but questioned whether the wings would be a good idea for running. I decided to just go for it because I could ditch the wings mid-race if they were annoying.

My goal for the race was to finish in under 1:37 because I would like to run the New York City Marathon and this year is the last year to qualify with a 1:37 half. Next year, the qualifying time is 1:27. Yep, that is fast.

I picked up a friend's packet the day before so I had to meet up with her before the race. We planned to meet at 8:05 on the steps in front of the Cathedral. They ended up stuck in traffic trying to exit to the race so she didn't get there until 8:25. The race started at 8:30 so I raced off to the starting line. This is a large race so they try to have people line up by the pace they are going to run. I decided the 7:30 flag would be a good spot. I got there just as they were playing the national anthem. It finished and the gun went off. I was cutting it close. I am glad I made it toward the front because I was still weaving through people for the first few miles.

The pace felt comfortable. I saw a pacer sign ahead of me and I thought it was the 1:35 pace but I was wrong it was the 1:40 pacer. I weaved my way through the large group of runner to get in front of the them if I wanted to break 1:37. I learned during the marathon that I don't really like running with pacers. I think they are a great idea but I don't like being in the large group with people always jockeying for position. I don't want to keep getting cut off so I usually avoid running in pace groups.

The race was tons of fun. The crowd support was great! There were so many people out cheering! I heard lots of people yelling "Go Tinker Bell." I tended to speed up when people were cheering. A guy I was running near commented on this during the race. I can't help it that the excitement and enthusiasm from others makes me run faster!

I finished the race in under 1:37. It wasn't a PR but it was still a successful race. A bonus was that I didn't even notice the wings while I ran. I love getting outside and participating in running events with so many other people who love to run too!

Happy Running!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Autumn Trail Series

Fall is my favorite season! The leaves are changing! The weather is great for running! It is cross country season which means trail running. I haven't done much trail running since college so when I heard about the Autumn Trail Series, I knew I had to run it. It is a series of 4 races that are held at Hyland Park in Bloomington, MN. Every other Wednesday night we race a 5.7k loop on trails through the park.

The first race was held on August 31st and it was hot. I got there about 30 min before the start, picked up my race number and headed out for a 1.5 mile warm up. About a mile into the race, I realized that I had passed all the women. Scary...I was leading the women's race. With less than half mile to go a women passed me. I wanted to stay with her but my mind said oh well, 2nd place is still good. I finished 7 seconds behind her and scored 80 point in the series standing.

The second race was held on September 14th. The weather was perfect. Cool but not too cold. I did my warm up. The race started and I fell in behind a woman. I stayed just behind her the entire race. If she picked it up or slowed down, I followed. We had about a half mile to go so I was thinking I should try to pass her. She picked up the pace and I couldn't go with her. I told myself okay just hold on to 2nd. Then a minute later the women that beat me the week before cruises past me and the leader. I am in 3rd now...and that is were I finished. Three seconds out of 2nd and 7 seconds out of 1st. I scored 60 points for the series. After the 2 races, I was currently in 2nd place in the series with 140 points.

The third race was held on September 28th. The weather was okay. It was a little warmer than I was hoping for at the end of September but not too bad. I did my usual warm up and notice the women that had won the last 2 weeks wasn't there. The race started and I again took the lead about 1 mile into the race. I knew there was a women that was sticking pretty close to me. With about half mile to go a couple guys pass me running the other way and say "10 meters" so I know she is close. Just before the final hill she makes her move and takes the lead. I am bummed but think that 2nd place again is pretty good. We start the climb and I think 2nd isn't good enough, I want to win so I start kicking it in as hard as I can. I pass her with about 1/4 of the hill left. I crest the hill and just keep running as hard as I can around the final couple of curves to the finish line. I am running scared that she is going to coming flying past me. I cross the line in 1st place! Yeah! I have never won a race before so I am excited! I scored 100 point. I end the day with 240 points and the lead in the series.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Race Recap - Grandma's Marathon

Last week, I was on the fence about running Grandma's. My training was terrible for the race. I ran 1 time a week until the end of April then I stopped running and sat at my computer for 12 or more hours a day finishing my dissertation. Then I tried to follow my 18 day training plan but stuff happened. I ran a half marathon (I still need to recap that one). I ran a couple 5 milers after it then my IT band started bothering me. On Saturday, I slightly dislocated my spine. I took lots of Advil. I saw the best chiropractor on Tuesday and Thursday (side note she ran Grandma's too - only she ran really fast -like 2:40). Thursday evening...okay, I am just going to try running it. I can always drop out.

Race morning

Walking through the parking lot to catch the bus to the start. I hear my name and see a girl I ran cross country with in college. We catch up while waiting for the bus. She is planning to run a 3:30 so we part ways at the starting line. I line up between the 4:00 and 4:15 pacers. I figure I could probably run 9:20 miles or so for 26 miles. I started my garmin when I got to the starting line but didn't look at it once during the race. I didn't want to think about the time. I just wanted to run and enjoy the scenery. The marathon starts in Two Harbors and runs along lake Superior to Duluth. It was cold and rainy before the race but the rain stopped about 30 min before the marathon. We had a nice tailwind blowing us into Duluth and a great running temp 55 degrees.

I started running and passed the 4 hour pacer around mile 3. I felt good so I thought I would just keep going for as long as I could then I would stop and walk. Around mile 5, I hear a guy talking off to my right...Hey I know that voice. I turn and yell Mr. L. It was my high school history teacher. He yelled Julie...what are you doing? Ummm, running a marathon, same as you. Then I continued on. My knee started hurting on the inside from the slope of the road so I went to the middle and started running on the yellow lines. I just kept running and feeling pretty good. Around mile 10, I caught up to the 3:50 pacer. I think maybe I should just hang with these guys but I decided not to so I just keep running my own race.

Whenever I thought about how I was going to bonk and not be able to finish because I was trying to run to fast. I just told myself to think of something else and I could walk when that happened. I didn't know how much fuel I would need. I hadn't mentally prepared for the race because I wasn't planning to run it so I grabbed some Gu for the race. I didn't know how my stomach would handle them because I hadn't trained with them but I took them during the race and luckily didn't have any trouble...I was very lucky during the race.

My friend's husband and kids were working the mile 11 water station so I said hi to them. I was grabbing a cup of water and powerade at each water station. A few miles later, I hear someone yell my full name. It was the brother of a good friend. I keep running and wondering when I am going to blow up...I know it is going to happen. I am picking up the pace throughout the race but I keep doing it anyway.

The miles just kept clicking away. I had the water station to look forward to every 2 mile. Around mile 18, I saw the balloons for the 3:40 pacer and thought I wonder if I can catch up to them. If I catch the 3:40 pacer, I will just hang on to the group and let them pull me to the finish line. Mile 19 - I am closer to the 3:40 pacer but they seem so far away and I am starting to get tired. Just try to get on the back of the group and hold on I told myself. I caught the group just before mile 20. I hear the pacer start talking to the group, "once we hit mile 20 we will slow down" and then he told them to not pass the group and that they needed to stay with him. He kept talking about needing to stay with the group so they could make it to the finish line. I got tired of it so I slowly went off the front of the group.

I thought to myself...what did you just do. You just passed the 3:40 pacer do you really think that you can run the last 6.2 mile by yourself at your current pace? Yeah right. You are going to hit the wall. You know that lemon drop hill is coming up and you aren't going to be able to do it. Okay, so I will just walk when that time comes.

I keep pushing but I have stopped smiling at the spectator. I am just staring ahead. 5 miles to go...I want to be done. 4 miles to go...I only have 4 miles. 3 miles to go...It is just a 5k. You have run so many 5ks you can run another one. 2 mile to go...Is this going to be done soon? Why didn't I train more. 1 mile to go...I think I am going to finish this race and I think I might do it under 3:40. No way....

Turn the corner...stupid lady cuts right in front of me to cut the corner sharp. I almost trip. No way am I going to let her beat me...she almost made me fall with .2 miles to go in the marathon. I pick up the pace a little and pass her. I cross the finish line in 3:34:46.

I really can't complain about my time. In fact I feel pretty lucky that I ran that time. I am a little afraid to sign up and train for another marathon. What if I don't run any faster? What if I run slower with training?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ice Cream, Cake, Salt and Pepper

What do those 4 things have in common? They were a present from some fabulous friends!
Sorry for the sideways photo. I am too tired and lazy to try and figure out how to change it. My friends dropped off these ridiculously awesome salt and pepper shakers with notes on them that say "congrats" and "Dr. Julie." I like ridiculous and awesome so I might actually use them.

This has been a crazy busy weekend with a college roommate/fellow cross country runner visiting. We climbed the inside of the witches hat water tower, ran, went to the farmers market, went to her husbands choir concert, went on a tour de ice cream, hit up some garage sales (I love to buy books a garage sales and I found a bunch of awesome books this weekend - 11 to be exact), and ran a half marathon.

Race report tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

18 days to a marathon training plan

I am 18 days away from Grandma's Marathon. Since my last post a month ago, I haven't run more than 3 times not because of injury but dissertation stuff. Yes, I know how important exercise is at times like this but I just couldn't convince myself to let the work go even for a 3 mile jog.

Today, I successfully defended my dissertation so now I can think about something besides bones. A few minor corrections and formatting for the dissertation and I will be officially Dr. Julie.

I am still planning to jog Grandma's Marathon. I can't say run it because I am sure it will be slow and painful. So while everyone else tapers for the marathon, I will be starting my training program. I plan to chronicle the 18 day training plan here.

My kicked-off run was a 3 mile slow jog pre-defense to try to calm my nerves. I don't know if it calmed my nerves but it sure felt good and made me realize that I love to run.

Coming up this weekend is Tour de Ice idea ever. Ride bike with friends to ice cream shop, eat ice cream, ride bike to another ice cream shop, eat more ice cream. Perfect combination - Ice Cream and Bike!

I leave you with a quote. I am not sure where it came from but a friend sent it to me when I was starting grad school...

"Being a graduate student is like becoming all of the Seven Dwarfs. In the beginning you're Dopey and Bashful. In the middle, you are usually sick (Sneezy), tired (Sleepy), and irritable (Grumpy). But at the end, they call you Doc, and then you're Happy."

Friends - Today I am Happy!!!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How not to train for a marathon

Grandma's Marathon is 6 weeks and 2 days away. I have yet to start my training. I have been running about 1x per week. I am not injured. I just have not been making training a priority. As an Exercise Physiology grad student, you would think I would know the importance of training.

I was thinking about trying the 6 weeks training plan. Instead of tapering, I would start running but in reality my dissertation is not finished and I am freaking out that I only have 2 weeks left to finish it and then 2.5 weeks to prep for the presentation. That leaves me with about 1.5 weeks to train. Maybe, I will just run half of it and have a friend pick me up there.

I did a 10k last Saturday. It was a good learning experience. If you aren't training, you can't expect to run fast. I hit the 5k mark and just king of blew up...I could barely move. My left was bothering me and I started getting blisters on my feet. That is just crazy, blisters from a 6.2 mile run. I never get blisters. I suppose the rain didn't help with the blisters. I crossed the finish line and pulled my shoes off, walked to the food (mmm...chocolate milk), stretched and ran into an old cross country teammate. Which was the best part of the race!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Get Lucky 7k

On Saturday, Team Ortho hosted the 2nd annual Get Lucky 7k. It was tons of fun!

But before I get to the race recap, I have to tell you about the volunteer experience. I signed up to volunteer at the packet pick up. I love meeting all the other runners and chatting with them. I only signed up to work on Thursday because I didn't want to be standing for a long period of time the day before the race.

When I went to my station at the series table I was greeted by a fellow Minnesota runner and blogger Richelle. She is super sweet and has a great blog that you should go check out! I was so excited to meet her because I just found her blog a couple weeks before. Volunteering was fun. I was in charge of directing people to line up by size when picking up their sweatshirts. Yes, we got amazing zip front sweatshirt from this race! I will post a picture later of the sweatshirt.

Race Recap

No photos yet. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel at the race because I haven't gotten in as much running as I would like lately. It seems like I should have a bunch of time to run but this semester is kicking my butt (dissertation are stressful). In addition to that my heel has been bothering me for the past month (perhaps plantar fasciitis). I will talk about that another day.

The race started at 10am. I always overdress for this race so I told myself to wear less but it didn't work. I still wore tights, long sleeve shirt, pullover, hat and gloves. Bad idea because I was way too warm. I don't run with my ipod but I decided that I wanted to race with it because I figured I was going to need something to keep my mind off the fact that I was running and not actually racing.

I did a 1.5 mile warm up, some leg swings and a few strides. I position myself about 5 rows back from the starting line. There are about 5,000 runners at this race. The race starts. I tell myself to stay relaxed and hold back. Sometimes I go a little crazy the first mile and pay for it the rest of the race. Just before mile 1 a guy cuts me off and starts running right in front of me. I get annoyed because there was plenty of other places to go but instead he has to disrupt my stride. So i put in a quick surge and fly past him. Then I see 2 women in front of me and think I have to pass these 2 so I did. Mile 1 = 6:26. Then I settle into a rhythm and just go. I keep expecting to have some women come flying past me or to see one in front of me. I cross mile 2 in about 6:38. I start to think I better slow down. I am starting to hurt. Why is running to hard? Why do I do races? I just want to be done but I am not even halfway yet. Okay just run. I see 2 police officers at the corner. I am hoping that I will know one of them from the work that I have been doing with the MPD. Yeah, I do know them! They both cheer for me by name. It always helps to have someone yell for you in the middle of a race. Mile 3 = 6:40. I hit the 5k mark and think only 2k to go, I can do this. Just go and don't get passed. My headphone fall out of my ears...I am too tired to put them back in so I just keep running. I am starting to run scared. I really don't want to be passed by any women now. I have managed to not get passed yet so I want to keep it that way. Mile 4 was around 6:40. I decide I don't want to push it anymore but then I think how much I don't want to be passed so I go. I just wanted to be done running. I am not ready for this kind of effort. As I am coming up the finish line the announcer say we have our 2nd women finish. way! Awesome...don't get passed. I cross the finish line in 29:00 with 3rd place in 29:02 and 4th in 29:03. That was close. I am happy with my results and glad the I was able to convince myself to keep running hard. I would have been very disappoint if I had been passed right at the finish line.

29:00 (6:40 per mile)
41/5,107 overall
2/3,668 women
1/860 age group

All of the fast Twin Cities runners raced in the Human Race today. I wouldn't have even cracked the top 50 women with a 33:09 8k.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Get in Gear 2010!

I found this great photo of the 2010 Get in Gear when I was signing up for the Get in Gear 2011!

What make it extra great is the fact that I am in it! I am near the right bottom corner. I am wearing the purple long sleeve shirt.