Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year End Totals

It's been a great year for running, at least I think so.  I ran a total of 405.72 miles.  Out of those miles 154.99 were racing miles  Here is a list of the races I did this year:

1--1 mile race
1--2 mile race
28--3.1 (5K) mile races
1--4 mile race
1--4.89 muddy obstacle race
3--5 mile (8K) races
3--13.1 mile (half marathon) races
1 Mini Sprint Triathlon race (330 yard swim, 6 mile bike, 2 mile run)
Total 39 races for 2011

My goals for the next year are these:
Run 500 miles or more for the year of 2012, 200 or more of those racing miles
4 Half Marathons
1 Warrior Dash
1 Sprint Triathlon (swim 500 yards, bike 15 miles, run 3.1 miles)
mixture of 5, 8 and 10K races

Furthest I traveled to a race was 600 miles to Columbus, Ohio in the Columbus Distance Classic Half Marathon.  I decided on that one because 6 years ago that was my first race, however it was only a 5K.  See post about that HERE.  After that race I never planned on running again since the race was a bad experience for me (weather, not knowing what I was doing or how to dress, etc) just read the link and you will understand.
Shortest distance I traveled to a race was 1.5 miles and I actually ran there, then did the race.
The worst race I did was the Downward Dog 5K race.  I just didn't like it for several reasons which you can read about HERE.  Mostly I really don't like it when these three things happen:
1.  Weather (you can't control that, but I really don't like heavy rain or super cold freezing snow and ice)  OH and Wind, not a fan of that either.
2.  No racing bib for my scrapbook--to me this is unorganized.
3.  No food.  Seriously race directors, what are you thinking?  If someone is really racing (giving it their all to finish a race) you should at least have bananas and water.
the Downward dog race was close to home, but the weather was awful and there were no racing bibs.
The best race is a toss up and I have so many great memories of so many races that I really can't pick a winner.  I would say though that my top three are my three Half Marathons. 
Half Marathon #1 of 2011
Half Marathon #2 of 2011
Half Marathon #3 of 2011

I prefer to go to races with friends, so I would have to say that Half Marathon #2 was my most favorite long race of the year since I had the most friends attend with me.

My most favorite small race was the Muddy Monster 5K.  The reasons:  It was well organized and they have something for everyone of all racing levels and it's a family event.  Now if only I could get my entire family to do this one with me.

Hardest race I did this past year was CVRA Timber Trek.  This race is the reason I will try even harder races and do more with my running this next year.  This race taught me that you can do anything.  So one of my goals this year is to do a Warrior Dash.  I will train by doing more pushups, learn to do pull ups, run more and lift more.  I will be the ultimate Warrior and finish this race proudly.  I'm planning on doing the Illinois Warrior Dash since that one is the closest to my house.

Anything is possible, now I better go start running.  Feel free to make comments on this or any post on this blog, if you are a runner then I would really like to hear from you, especially if you have a suggestion for a race I should do, please place a comment.

Monday, December 19, 2011

2011 Holiday Hustle 5K--Williamsburg, IA

Saturday morning I woke up at 6:30a.m. to get ready for the race. I met Stephany at Wal-Mart in Coralville, then we went to the Williamsburg High School to get registered for the race. Usually I sign up for races before the day of, but this one didn't have a registration form online so I had to wait. After registering, Stephany and I went to Tracy's home to get her so she could be at the race with us. Stephany hadn't seen Tracy's newly built home yet so she got a home tour. Around 8:40a.m. we all traveled back to the high school so the race could begin. It was only 27 degrees out and I wasn't feeling the greatest, had a little stomach ache, but ran anyway and I'm glad I did because in the end I did well and felt great about my run on this course. Here are some pictures:
Stephany and I before the race.  Freezing our tails off.

Stephany saw a girl at the race that had the same exact shirt on so I let Stephany borrow my hat because my hat matched her hat.  When they stood by each other they noticed they had the same exact shoes on.  Now how weird is that to find your twin at a race.  Too funny!

Stephany Tracy and I before the race began.  It was cold out.  I'm wearing thick gloves.

The race shirt.  Super cute I think, and one I will wear again.

My race number that I LOVE because my favorite number is 13 and my age is 39.  Super perfect number.

It was cold out, did I mention that anywhere?

Running in for a finish.  I didn't have a personal best time, however I did have a course best time.  The last time I ran this same course was Memorial Day and my time was 29:04.  Today it was 27:46 so I felt awesome about that.  This was an extremely hilly course and it was cold, did I mention that?

Here we are with Mike.  Mike is a man that I see at almost every race I do.  The last race in West Branch I went up to him and introduced myself because I had to know who he was.  Notice we are all holding metals.  Stephany placed 2nd in her age group.  Mike placed 4th in his age group and I placed 5 in my age group!  Go US!!!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lesson learned--must hydrate

Usually I post about happy races.  I actually had a race planned this morning, but chose to help my dear friend move into her new home and spend the day with her instead of running a race out of town.  So because I knew I'd miss my race and really wanted to run a significant amount.  I chose my favorite route, which is 5.70 miles and then dressed for the weather.

It was 7 degrees out and I knew I'd have to wear more than my usual shorts and a tank top.  I had two layers of running skins on for my legs, then a tank top, an under amour long sleeve shirt then another shirt. warm socks, gloves and a full running mask and a hat.  

I set out and the first mile I was cold, but I felt with each step that I was getting slightly warmer.  I was sure that by mile 2 my hands and legs would be warm like usual when I run in cold weather.

However by mile 3 I just wasn't getting warmer, in fact I was getting colder by the second.  I knew, just knew, something was super wrong.  My thighs and butt never warmed up and my fingers were so cold that they burned with pain.   Thank goodness I had my cell phone on me.  I got it out and took off my gloves to dial Jason to rescue me.  I was shaking and it was hard to dial the number.  I told him I was so cold and not getting warmer and I needed him to pick me up as soon as possible.

I should have, at this point, gone in the building I was by, which was the University Hospital and stayed there, instead I told him I'd be running up Melrose Street and to look for me there.  I then continued to run.  I was at mile 4 when he found me.  I was shaking so bad when I got in the car that I started to bawl.  I was so disappointed in myself for not being able to make it home and run my full loop of 5.70 miles.  

When I got home I was at the beginning stages of hypothermia and it scared me.  It took me well over a half an hour to warm up.  This was with a hot shower.  I couldn't understand why this all happened.

I found out later that I was dressed warm enough, but in the winter you have to extra hydrate because if you are under hydrated you will get cold no matter what you are wearing when you are exercising and because you are exercising it takes all your warmth out and you get colder and colder.  Crazy but true.  In my mind I thought that the more I ran the warmer I'd get, but I really was just hurting myself by running futher because I wasn't hydrated enough.

Thank goodness he saved me.

A running friend of mine posted this article for me and I'm so glad she did.  Running article

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2011 Frosty Frenzy 5K--West Branch, Iowa

Today's race started a bit later than most. It had an 11a.m. start time which was perfect because I wanted to go to a cookie walk.   I heard about the cookie walk through a friend of mine that takes my Body Sculpt class. Just before leaving the house I asked Alyssa if she wanted to come along. She agreed and off we went. Our first stop was the cookie walk on the East side of Iowa City. We picked up all sorts of cookies, see pictures HERE, and then left for the Frosty Frenzy race. When we arrived in West Branch it was 44 degrees and pouring down rain. Just like last week's racing weather. I wasn't happy, but was determined to race because I had signed up to do so.
The hat you got when you signed up for the race.

Alyssa and I huddled together in the car because it was cold,  and raining outside.

The front of the race shirt.

Back of the shirt

A picture of me just before going outside to start the race.

Almost at the finish.

Running in for the finish.  I didn't have my running watch on so I had no idea what my time would be.  I ended up running this hilly race in 29:33

Alyssa said I looked very wet and worn out after the race and that she needed a picture, so here I am within 5 minutes of finishing.

2011 Symphony of Lights 5K--Clinton, Iowa

I saw this race on The race appealed to me because it was a night time race where you would run through a park with thousands upon thousands of Christmas lights. I talked my friend Tracy into doing the race with me. Around 1:15 p.m. she came by my house and we left for Clinton, IA which is almost 2 hours from my house. A bit far for a race, but this was going to be a special race with pretty lights. We got a little lost on the way to the race because lead us to the South side of Clinton. We stopped at a gas station and a very kind police man told us how to get to Eagle Point park.

Unfortunately it was raining pretty hard and it was 44 degrees out so I knew it would be hard to run in these conditions. Either way, since I signed up for the race I was determined to complete it. Tracy and I arrived at the race and you couldn't park near packet pick up, you had to park outside of Eagle Point park so we had about 1/4 mile walk to the lodge to pick up our race number and shirt. I think had we realized how far the walk was, that we would have brought all of our stuff to the lodge and stayed up there, but instead we walked to the lodge to get our stuff, walked back to the car (by this time we were pretty wet), then we walked back to the lodge to start the race, then ran 3.1 miles in the rain. It was nice that by the time the race started the rain backed off a little bit and wasn't in a downpour like before. I wanted to bring my camera with me while running and get some awesome pictures of all the lights, however with the rain I was afraid I'd ruin my cheap camera so I left it in the car. Maybe next year when I do this race again, it will be better weather and I can get pictures of all the amazing lights we saw while running. If you want full results go here.  My personal results are these:  I placed 87th of 193 total people.  34th of 110 Women and 5th of 10 in my age group of 35-39.  My time was 29:24.  I considered the course hard because it was full of hills and they never stopped, the entire park was one hill after another.  I felt awesome to be able to accomplish this race in the cold rain.
Here are some pictures to enjoy:
This is a picture of Tracy and I huddled together in her car after we had walked to the lodge and back.  We were both super wet and cold.  Both of us were questioning if this was a good idea (running the race).  Since we both love running so much, we decided to run in the rain anyway.

Our race numbers.  179 is Tracy's number.  25 was mine.

After the race on the way home we stopped at the Iowa 80 truck stop to get some dinner at Wendy's.  We both had our race shirts on.

Friday, November 25, 2011

2011 Scott County Family Turkey Trot, Davenport, Iowa

One may be thinking this. Really a race on Thanksgiving, WHY? If you are not a runner, then you clearly just don't understand. If you are a runner, then you were probably doing a Turkey Trot as well, or wishing you were doing one. I prepared well for this day. I had several things to bring my friend's home for Thanksgiving dinner and since I knew I'd be gone most of the morning for my race I prepared in advance. The banana bread was made a couple weeks ago and was frozen. On Tuesday night I boiled all 24 eggs for the 48 deviled eggs and cooked the bacon for the broccoli salad. On Wednesday I assembled all the ingredients for the broccoli salad in a giant bowl, then in a separate bowl made the dressing. I then proceeded to make 4 pies from scratch. One chocolate cream pie, 2 pumpkin and one apple pie. This took me about 3 hours. Then I made the crust for the pretzel salad and baked it, chilled it and then put the next layer on and chilled it. Then I packed all the pickles, specials platters and serving utensils in a bag for the next day. I was almost ready.

Thursday morning at 5:15 I woke to my alarm. I was surprised that outside it was Perfect weather for a Thanksgiving day. 40 degrees out, cloudy and only a slight wind. I dressed for my race, then finished the top layer of the pretzel salad and put that in the fridge to chill. Then left for the race in Davenport around 5:50a.m. The drive there was quiet and peaceful, not a lot of cars or trucks on the road. I thought there would be more early morning traffic of people going to their Thanksgiving day celebrations.

I arrived bright and early to packet pickup around 6:50a.m. It would have been earlier, but I wasn't quite sure where I was going exactly or where to park since roads on my directions were already blocked off. As it is I pulled in the wrong way on a street that was being blocked off by volunteers, the one guy didn't look happy that I was pulling past the barricade that was half set up (now had it been fully set up I would have turned around and went around the block). However all was well because I found a spot right next to the YMCA and it was a perfect spot to just scoot right out of there after the race was finished.

I entered the YMCA building at 7a.m. and was thinking that things were way too quiet. I wondered for a bit if I was there too early, or if packet pickup was moved or something. I only saw about 5 people on the first floor and this race was expected to have 1800 participants, plus spectators. There were claw prints on the floor leading you to packet pickup. Someone did that with orange duck tape which you will see below in one of the pictures. Very cute idea by the way.

If you care about full results go HERE
My personal results are these:  I was 795th place of 1725 total people in the 5 mile run.  I placed 42nd of 124 in my age group of 35-39.  My final time was 48:17 and that is a 9:40 mile pace.

This race starts you out going up hill for almost an entire mile. The same nasty hill that Davenport run their famous BIX race in July.  My first mile time was close to 11 minutes.  My second mile was around 10 minutes, 3rd mile 9 minutes, 4th mile 10 minutes  I had walked through a water stop so I could drink and I had to fix my shoe that was becoming loosely tied and felt like it was falling off.  Last mile I wanted to do my very best so I ran as fast as I could handle and I was lucky that the last mile  was downhill on that crazy hill and it did the mile in only 8 minutes!

Here are some pictures to enjoy:

The claw prints on the floor leading you to packet pick up.

The back of my shirt.

The front of my shirt.

My race number

The starting and finishing arch.  It was so nice to see this when you turned the corner in your last 1/4 mile on 2nd Street.

Huge signs advertizing the race.

Beautiful awards. 

I ran into these ladies and loved their hats.  I asked them if I could have a picture of their hats, they insisted I get in the picture with them.  Their names are Jessica and Jennifer.

Cute turkey hats.

I loved this turkey costume and asked him if I could have a picture with him.

The back of the turkey cosutme.

Monday, November 21, 2011

North Dodge Athletic Club Indoor Triathlon

Registration for the 2nd annual NDAC Indoor Triathlon is now open. Go to either or to sign up. Like last year, all proceeds from this race will benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Iowa City. Last year we donated almost $200. We would like to hit $500 this year. If you have never done a triathlon, this is the perfect way to start.

10 minute swim
30 minute ride on a spin bike
20 minute run an a treadmill

The winners (male and female, overall and age group) will be determined by total distance traveled.

If you don't want to race but would like to be involved, we need volunteers to help with the race. The more the better. If you are interested, please send an email to

See you on race day.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2011 Girl's On the Run 5K--Iowa City, IA

The race was local, so local that I had the bright idea that I wouldn't waste fuel to drive there or time to park, that I would run there, then do the race and then run home. I mapped out the location of where the race was and decided that 1.58 miles wasn't a long distance to run so I did just that. However I left my house later than expected and ended up having to sprint there almost to make it in time to line up for the race. When I arrived at the place where I thought we were starting the race, I remembered that the actual race was starting in the cross country fields a half mile away. So I then ran another half mile to the starting place. I was tired when I got there.

I saw my friend Rhoni Jo, but couldn't get a picture since I hadn't carried my camera on me. All I had on me was my cell phone (which does take pictures but I have yet to figure out how to get those pictures from the phone to my computer) and chap stick.

Rhoni Jo was awesome and ran with me the entire time of this race, right by my side and when I seemed to be struggling (and I was) she asked if I was okay and she even walked with me when I stopped to walk.

By mile 2 of the 5K race I was having trouble breathing and my body was saying, "Stop and take a nap." That's exactly what I wanted to do, but kept on running, however not very fast. About a half mile before the race was finished Rhoni Jo and I came around a corner of the cross country field and the wind hit us so hard it about knocked us out. It felt like the wind picked up by at least 20 m.p.h. I had to close my eyes so my contacts wouldn't blow out of my eyes. I really had a super hard time finishing this race. At about .10 left of the race I said to Rhoni Jo, just go, finish! I walked a tiny bit to regain my breathing control and then ran in to the finish. The time clock said 32: something and seriously it didn't even matter what the time was by this point because I felt lucky to even finish. This 5K cross country course (which by the way was 3.19 according to Rhoni Jo's GPS running watch) was the HARDEST 5K I have EVER ran. I really had a hard time. Maybe it was because I ran 2 miles before the race and ran those two miles faster than I should have, maybe it was the wind, or the cold or those massive hills on the course. I'm not sure what the factors were exactly that lead to this being so hard yesterday, but it was hard and I feel that much more awesome that I finished. My regret is that I didn't have my real camera to get a picture of Rhoni Jo and I before and after the race.

A picture of the shirt we received for the run.

My race number

This is the finishing medal, which was reserved for all the little girls that do this run.  However there were a ton extra left over and I asked if Rhoni Jo and I could have one and the race director seemed super fine with that.  It will be a nice addition to my racing scrapbook that will say on the page, "Hardest cross country 5K ever"

Saturday, November 12, 2011

2011 Return of the Turkey Trot 8K--Marion, Iowa

A gorgeous day for a run.  The race started at 9a.m.  The weather was 41 degrees, slightly cloudy, with 8 m.p.h. winds from the South.  I had brought my gloves and ear headband and had layers on, however by mile 1 I had taken my first shirt off, then by mile 2 my second shirt was off leaving only my tank top to run in, but it was perfect.  I only felt cold after I had finished and since my shirts were tied on me I was able to put one back on right away.  I did this same race last year and liked how well organized it was.  The volunteers were awesome again this year, plenty of people to help out at all the turns in the race,and plenty of volunteers running the FREE pancake breakfast to all the runners after the race.

I signed up for this race mostly for the shirt and pancake breakfast.  This shirt design is one of the most awesome shirts EVER next to the pickle run shirt.

I traveled to the race with my friend Tracy.  She has this fun little tiny Mazda convertible that is just cute and she offered to pick me up.  It was great to spend time with just her since I hardly ever get to see her and yet some of my other running friends either take classes from me at the gym so I see them at least once a week or I see them almost every week at other races.  Anyway I'm grateful for my friendship with Tracy, she has taught me so much about running and how the purpose of running shouldn't always be "to beat everyone, to beat your personal best, to run till you puke, or focus on a time"  People run for so many different reasons.  I run and think about things in my life and think about how I can help and serve others during the week. 

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to run with a new running friend named Rhoni Jo.  I met her several months ago and I think I've been seeing her at local races for over a year, but it was just recently that we connected.  I decided today that I wanted to keep with her pace and run with her so we could talk and I could try and get to know her a little bit better.  She shares my love and addiction for running and she also believes that finishing is the most important part of a race.

I don't have a picture of Rhoni Jo today, but if you go back to one of my other running posts you will see her.  I hope to do many more races with her.

I also shared the race today with Tracy, Janeen (Bella's Mom)  Bella is the little girl I watched for almost 3 years of her life.  Stephany, Jennie and Bill were also there.  I should have had my camera out more, for I missed a lot of great pictures of my friends.

The pancake breakfast afterwards was really good and the freebies in our packets were nice too.

The race results are here if you care.

My personal results are these:  My time was 50:20  I was 520th place of 698 total people running the 8K.  I was 241st  of 381 females, 36th of 58 in my age group of 35-39  and my mile pace was 10:07.  I currently have no voice right now and have a slight cough that happens about once every hour and I felt like my chest was tight, so I feel that this race pace was perfect today.  Here are some pictures to enjoy:

This was a picture of our course map for the 8K race.

This is a picture of my shirt.  I think it's super cute and I'll wear it often.

This was someone's Turkey trot shirt from 9 years ago.  I love the cute designs, just wish I could have found more shirts to take pictures of for my blog.
Tracy and I with the turkey.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

2011 Muddy Monster 1 mile, 5K & 15K--Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Today was the race my children have waited for all year. Muddy Monster is truly a family event. It has something for all ages and all running abilities. This race was awesome for these reasons:

Chip timed so you get accurate results
Instant result machine so you have a paper to take home that says how you did that day at your race.
Costume contest with prizes for winners
Very cute shirts that you will wear even after the race
Little Monster Dash for the little children
Monster Mile for kids up to age 18
Massages after the race (unfortunately my wait was over 45 minutes and I had to leave before getting mine, but Jason got a great massage post race)
Lots of great samples and coupons in your race packet.
Activities for the children during the adult race
Massive amounts of food after the race to consume if wanted.

Here are a bunch of pictures to enjoy:
Alyssa dressed up as a pumpkin, Brenden decided to be Flash.

My friend Stephany was a fairy.  I was the bearded lady and Daniel behind us was too cool to dress up.  I won 4th place in the costume contest.

This is my friend Tracy (on the right of the picture) with her friend Denise and daughter Sydney.

Daniel was boasting he would be faster than all of us in the 5K.  I wasn't so sure since he never runs and hasn't practiced.  But he ended up getting 22:56 for his 5K time.

This is my friend Janeen and her sister Danyel.  They went as Dwayne "Dog" Chapman the bounty hunter and his wife Beth.  They won 2nd place in the contest.

A new running friend of mine named Rhoni Jo with her children Gabby and Grant.

Alyssa running her mile race in her pumpkin costume.  My friend Tracy and her son Eric are also running the mile race.

Another view of Alyssa, Tracy and Eric running their mile race.

Scott getting ready to race.

Scott just finished his race, he won first place overall!

Brenden running in for a fast finish.

Daniel, Jason and I posing for a picture just after the race was finished.

Alyssa, Scott, Brenden, Jason, Daniel and I at home with our race shirts on.

Post race food.  There was also hot dogs, popcorn, pop, animal crackers, pretzals and many other kinds of candy.

All of the items in our race packet.

All of our race numbers, except for Scott, he didn't have a race number since he did the Little Monster Dash.

Alyssa ran the mile race and got a time of 11:22

Last year my time was 31:03, this year my time was 28:59. I was very happy to beat my previous time. Last year I placed 6th of 20 in my age group, this year I placed 5th of 22 in my age group.

Last year Jason's time was 28:10 and this year it was 27:56 (this year he even has a very hurt knee that probably needs surgery).

Last year Brenden's time was 23:32 and this year it was 23:46 and he has a massive amount of stitches in his head from an injury he had just over a week ago. (I was surprised to see him run this race with his head injury, but he insisted he felt fine.)

Daniel ran the mile race last year and had a 6:25 time for the mile race. This year he boasted that he was faster than Jason and I and that he could beat us in a race. So he ran the 5K race. Daniel never runs that I see, or practices running, so I wasn't sure how he'd do, but he pulled off a finish of 30th place out of 382 people with a 5K (3.1 mile)time of 22:54 beating all of us. His mile pace was 7:23