Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Addicted to Running and loving it!

There are so many things people can be addicted to that are bad.  I don't think running would be one of those "Bad" addictions.  But I don't know, you tell me.

Here's my running story:

6 years ago my sister and I decided to train for a half marathon in Columbus, Ohio.  My sister had run a marathon a few month prior to us deciding to do this Columbus race, so I figured a half marathon was totally doable.  I started to train, as best as I knew how.  I didn't know what I was doing, but ran anyway.  I developed horrible shin splints in both legs and running was massively painful.  When I arrived in Ohio a few days before the race, both my sister and I decided that changing our race to the 5K would be best for both of us.  For her it was best because she hadn't trained much and didn't feel ready.  For me, the decision to change races was because of my shin splints.  Race day arrived and it was super cold out.  It was 32 degrees and snowing of all things the first weekend in April of 2005.  Both my sister and I were miserable and the rain/snow was hard to run in.  Neither of us had proper clothing, but we ran the race anyway.  After the race I said I'd never do it again.

5 Years went by and I didn't run at all.

Then in February of 2010, my friend Stephany  asked me to do a 5K in her hometown of Burlington, Iowa and I told her I wasn't a runner, I didn't enjoy running and didn't want to ever do it again.

She asked me why.  I told her the story above.

She didn't take No for an answer, instead she said that we could train slowly so I wouldn't get injured and she would teach me how to love it.  We ran 3 days a week usually and within a couple months of training we did our first 5K together.  I loved the race and couldn't wait to do another race.

This I would say would be where the addiction to running started.  I signed up for a couple races a month, but craved many more.  By the end of the year I had run in all kinds of weather conditions (rain, snow, extreme hot and extreme cold)  I did 17 races in 2010.  I ran in many 5K's, then I even did an 8K, 3 10K's the 7 miler Bix race and two half marathons.  I was sad come December because I really didn't want to run outside in the cold, so the last race I did in 2010 was a Turkey Trot in November.

I figured I wouldn't be running again until Spring because of the weather, however the bug of running bit me once again.  I was at my parent's home in Ohio visiting when an e-mail came through on my computer about a race on New Year's Day.  First on the First.  I checked the weather and it was due to be in the 50 degree range.  So I signed up for the race.

The weather ended up being perfect.  Cool and misty out.  Perfect day for a run.  I ran a great race and placed 4th out of 44 in my age group.  From that moment on I decided to do at least 25 races this year.  I'm at 14 so far, but have several scheduled for July.

On July 2nd I will be running with my son Brenden a 5K in Dixon, Illinois. This race is on our way to Midway airport.  I just happened to stumble across this race online and it's perfect because it's right off the freeway and we have time to do the race, stick around for the post parties, take a shower at the local YMCA and still make it to the airport with plenty of time to spare.

Then on July 4th I have race in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  It's an 8K race.  (5 miles if you want to really know).

July 9th I have a 5K race in Mt. Vernon, Iowa.
This same weekend I have a mini triathlon that I'm doing which consists of 5 laps in an outdoor pool, 6 mile bike ride and a 2 mile run.  It's a Mini Sprint Triathlon.  Super excited to try this out.

July 16th a 5K race in Solon, Iowa

July 23rd a 5K in Coralville, Iowa  (for only $5.00)  This is the cheapest race I've ever signed up for and it's only 2 miles down the road!!!

Then lastly for July on the 30th the Pickle Days 5K race in Walker, Iowa.  I did this one last year and it was so fun.  My friend Stephany and I even went to a Pancake breakfast after.

You may ask, how do you find all the money to do all these races?  Well if you really care that much.  I donate plasma twice a week.  At the first donation of the week I am paid $20 and the 2nd donation of the week I get $40.  My first donation of the week pays for my entires to races.  The 2nd donation goes to the family.  When you donate plasma you are getting paid for your time (according to them), that's why you get money when it's really a donation.  Since plasma regenerates within 24 hours, that's why you can donate twice a week.  I'm glad I'm healthy enough to both donate plasma to earn extra money, and also healthy to run.

So there you have it.  I have officially signed up for a race every single week in July.  What a great month this will be!  I guess because of signing up for a race every week means I'm addicted to running!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Two Races in One Day

I met the challenge of two races in one day. My day started early at 12:30 a.m. when I did a Zumba class as the Entertainment for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. I did a 1 hour class and had around 50 dancers in the beginning and around 30 at the end of the hour. I arrived home around 1:50a.m. and was so wound up that sleeping was super difficult. I went straight to bed for I knew I had a race in the morning, but sleep didn't come easy. My heart was racing and all I could think about was Zumba and how much fun that last class had just been. I had at least 4 Zumba dreams and at one point woke up to my feet dancing. At 6:10a.m. the alarm went off. I got up, but it was extremely difficult. At 6:40a.m. Stephany and I were leaving for our first race to Kalona, Iowa. This was a 5K Race called the Hymn Sing Hustle. I thought it was just a cute name for a race, instead we really sang hymns that were the tunes of church hymns, but songs about running. Too funny.

The race was  partially a trail run in the woods. The other part was mostly on gravel roads.  I've trained on gravel roads before, but I don't ever remember gravel so large. I slipped a few times and once almost rolled my ankle. In the woods there were spots of mud, standing water, slippery grass, rough terrain, sticks, rocks and branches in our way. I took it easy and careful so I wouldn't fall. As a result of this "taking it easy while running" my race time was a disappointing 30:29 I'm pretty sure that is. They did the results in a weird way, they didn't record times, they yelled out your time to you and then they placed your tag from your racing bib in the order in your age group. So your age group results are correct, but no times will be listed.

I came home from this race and took a long nap. I think the nap was 2 or more hours. I even inserted ear plugs in so I wouldn't hear anything. I slept well!

That afternoon I packed my gym bag for yet another race. This time I went with my daughter Alyssa. Alyssa did the 1K Children's race and I did a 5K race. This race was in Monticello, Iowa.  A very small town in Eastern Iowa.  It was pouring rain when we left the house, but by the time my race started at 5p.m. the weather had cleared.  It was overcast and a tiny bit breezy, yet beautiful.  It was 64 degrees and the sun peaked out occasionally, but not a bit of humidity.  This race had cash prizes and some of the best runners in the state were attending this one.  I was in the biggest age group there.  There were many amazing runners with super fast times of 20 minutes to 24 minutes.  My time was 29:28 I felt super lucky to finish since I was so tired by mile 3.  Mile 1 I did in 8:44, then by mile 2 my time was 17:30 so I was on track for a personal record of 27 minutes something.  However in that third mile I slowed down by a couple minutes.  It took all I could to finish and I felt my tired body saying No.  I ran anyway and finished, but not with the time I had hoped for.  Would I do two races in a day again.  YES you bet, however I would not do Zumba in the middle of the night before doing such a thing.  My overall time for both races was 59:57 for 6.2 miles, so doing a 10K under an hour is possible.

Next race is July 4th at 7a.m.!
Stephany and I before the Hymn Sing Hustle 5K Race in Kalona, Iowa

The shirt

My race number

Stephany and I sipping on smoothies right after the race.  YUM!

The top three women in the 30-39 age group.  I placed 3rd.  The lady in the grey placed 2nd and I was just behind her the entire time.  If only I knew she was in my age group I may have pushed myself to catch her.

Both Stephany and I placed 3rd in our age groups.  Here we are sporting our medals!

After our race I took Stephany to the Scratch and Dent Grocery store called Central Discount.  She  had never been there and wanted to see what kind of store would sell food like a garage sale.  Too funny.  Here is her stash of goods!

After Central Discount I took her to the Cheese Factory and had to get this "Cheesy" picture after she bought her cheese.

Ok so call us Nerds or whatever, I don't care, but our race medal sashes said "Super Stars" on them, so we were trying to do the Super Star thing from Saturday Night Live.  However it looks like we are signaling "Looser"

Several hours later, after I took a 2 hour nap, Alyssa and I left for my next race.  She decided she wanted to do the 1K Children's race.  Here is a picture of her before the race.

This is Alyssa running in for the finish.  She looks amazing!

Alyssa right after her race.  She told me she was really tired.  She is showing off her finishing medal.  Her first one.

Alyssa and I taking a picture of ourselves before my race.

If you look to the left of the picture it is me running in to the finish.  My official time was 29:28.  I'm the one in the pink shorts.

Alyssa grabbed this picture of me after my race.  I was completely exhausted.

Since the results were posted, I took a picture of them.  In case they are still too small, here is a better description of them--Time 29:28  9:29 Mile pace.  Placed 18 out of 32 in my age group of 30-39, placed 121 of 177 total runners.  Placed 55 out of 93 females.  I was hoping for even better results since the weather was PERFECT out.  64 degrees and breezy and overcast.  It had been raining on our way there, but stopped for my race.  I know my time would have been better had I not been so tired.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Challenge

I want to see how I will do with two races in the same day, so this Saturday the 25th of June I will be doing a 5K race in the morning at 8a.m.

then at 5p.m. that night I will be doing another 5K race.

I'm hoping that both are around 28 minutes or less so that when added together I could say that my 10K time is under an hour.

Only problem with this particular day is the night before I won't get much sleep because at 6:30p.m. I will be teaching Zumba at the North Liberty Recreation Center, then at 12:30a.m. I will be teaching Zumba again to a huge group that will be doing the American Cancer Society Relay for Life that goes for 24 hours.  I was asked to do an hour of Zumba as part of the entertainment.  When I agreed to do this I forgot that I had a race on the 25th and now I have two races.  Crazy me, but the entire day will be fun!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

2011 Burlington, IA YMCA/YWCA 5K Race

On Friday, June 17th Stephany and I left for Burlington, IA. This is her hometown and we were going to do a race the next morning. It was a beautiful day out without any storms.
The next morning we woke to extremely high humidity, in fact said it was 100% humidity, not sure how that could be because that would mean it's raining out and it wasn't raining, but there was fog everywhere. The temperature was 72 degrees out with a ESE Wind of 3 m.p.h. and it was extremely muggy. At the start of the race we met Stephany's parents who took some pictures of us. I got 3 bug bites in just a couple minutes and I was super warm. I wasn't sure how I would run 3 miles. However, I did run it because I had already decided to do it when I registered for the race.

The first mile I did in 8:45, by 1.5 miles I was at 13:51 so I had slowed down a lot. Mile 2 I was at 18:45. My breathing didn't seem to be in control today and I heard a little bit of wheezing going on so I hope I'm okay. I did walk at some parts of this race, but only to catch my breath and bring my breathing back to a comfortable/normal level to run again.

In the end I ended up 51 out of almost 100 people. I was 5th in my age group of 30-39 which I was told was the largest age group there of 22 people, so 5 out of 22 isn't bad at all.

My final time was 28:27 which beat last year's time by 46 seconds.

A picture that Stephany and I took of ourselves.  We were on a crazy ride at the Steamboat Days Carnival in Downtown Burlington, Iowa.  That ride made us both sick and we were dizzy for about an hour after.

Stephany and I before the 5K race. 

Another picture, this time closer up, taken from Stephany's parents before the race.

The race start

Me at mile 1.5

Running in for the finish.

Stephany with her 3rd place medal for her age group!

Friday, June 3, 2011

2011 Freedom Run 5K in Williamsburg, IA

This past Monday my friend Stephany and I started Memorial Day with a race. The day was 70 degrees with humidity, wind gusts of 20 m.p.h. or more and the course was hilly. Despite those three H's (Hills, Humidity and Hot) we still had a great race!

Here are my stats:
My time was 29:04, not a personal best, but for the conditions I felt great to be under 30 mintues.

I was 4th out of 11 in my age group of 30-39.
I placed 42nd out of 87 total people.
I placed 19 out of 51 females!

Stephany placed 6th out of 12th in her age group.

Before the race.  Stephany and I taking a picture of ourselves!

Stephany and Tracy before the race.

A picture of our shirt.

Tracy, Stephany and I before the race.

Another picture of us.  Tracy wasn't racing that day due to not feeling well.

Somebody's really cool looking running shoes.

Almost ready to race.

Running towards the finish.

A close up of me running to the finish.  It looks like I'm eating ice cream.  Must be a sun glare.  I need a better camera.  Look I'm not touching the ground!