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

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2011 IMT Des Moines Half Marathon, Des Moines, Iowa

I thought I was done running half marathons for the year, but my friend Tracy found this great race in Des Moines, Iowa, which is only 1.5 hours from her home. So I traveled to her house and then Tracy and I traveled together to Des Moines. When we arrived at only 10:30 in the morning we stopped at our hotel first to see if we could check in and to our surprise Holiday Inn Express said they had a room for us so we got to check in and dump all our stuff before going to the running expo. Soon after checking in we went to the running expo. This was a SUPER AWESOME expo. We received lots and lots of freebies there along with our race number, race shirts and timing chip for the race.  If you care about results then go here.   Here are some pictures to enjoy!

Tracy and I taking a picture of ourselves right before we left on our trip.
I had to have a picture of her little convertible car.  But this picture doesn't really show her car well.

We hadn't even been upstairs to the expo yet and I had to have a picture with a sign.

Tracy and I just outside the expo.

At our hotel you could order what type of pillows you wanted, there were soft and firm pillows. 

For lunch we went to an excellent restaurant call Dos Rios.  It was an upscale Mexican restaurant.  Loved the food, loved the service and I will visit this restaurant again the next time I'm in Des Moines, it is that great.

One of the booths had a great deal on socks and hats, only $2.50 each.  The black visor is for Jason.

Front of the race shirt.

back of the race shirt.

My race number

After the expo, Tracy got a picture of me with all my freebies.

A close up of all the goodies, along with my race number.

We watched the Hawkeye game on a huge screen tv.  Great game.

The timing chips and emergency information on our shoes.

We arrived super early for the race, around 6:30a.m.  It was still dark out.

Our spaghetti dinner with breadsticks.  It was great.

My race pace.  Maybe next year it will be 10:00

Massive amounts of port-a-potties everywhere, as far as the eyes could see.  Thank goodness for that.

One more picture before I checked in my camera with my coat at the baggage check. 

Tracy and I after the race with our finishing medal on.

A close up of us after the race.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

2011 CVRA Timber Trek

Call me crazy if you want after you read this post.   I am totally addicted to running and when I saw on a few weeks back that there was an afternoon race, my first thought was this, "GREAT, now I can do two races in a day again."   So I did just that, first I did the Ponsetti Race with my daughter Alyssa and friend Amber at 9a.m.  then came home had about an hour to relax, eat some yogart and then left with Jason for the Timber Trek in Amana around 12 noon.

The race started at 1p.m. so we were cutting it close. When we got there we had plenty of time for a packet pick up, bathroom stop, and preparing to run. Jason did NOT run, he had wished he had running clothes on to run, but he decided his knee was still bothering him so he didn't register for the race.   That ended up being so nice because he could take pictures of me during the race for my blog.
The race was suppossed to be 4.3 miles and was suppossed to be a Timber Trek, meaning a race through woods, maybe a creek to cross and basically a rough trail to run and some hills. Well this is how it went in past years, INSTEAD it was like this:

4.89 miles, obstacles like HUGE hay bales to climb over (the great big round massive bales that you have to put your hands in the netting just to climb and then pull yourself up on top and somehow jump down, then through a creek, through sand, up a hill, through the woods on a very bad trail with fallen trees, broken off corn stalks, big rocks, holes, etc. etc. then another creek to cross and this time at the edge of the creek you had to climb a rope to pull your body up over the 10 foot ledge. I thought I'd surely die by this point. I was super muddy and felt exhausted and wasn't sure how I'd finish the race.

Then more of the same hard trail running that went on for a while.  It seemed the trail curved over and over and was the worst trail in the woods you could possibly pick.   After the second creek crossing, it  seemed like I was running up a mountain forever up up up and the trail was rough. Everyone by this point was power walking the mountain trail, but really we live in Iowa, so there are NO mountains here, just really steep hills.  It was so hard, my breathing was feeling harsh, but I did it. Then down a small hill and we had to crawl through tunnels half filled with mud and water. That almost felt refreshing, but it was cold water, thank goodness it was a perfect day for this. The weather was in the low 60's with bright sunshine.  After crawling through the tunnels there was gatorade or water to choose from and they said we were almost halfway.

I'm thinking by this point, "Really we aren't even half way, how will I ever finish this, I'm exhausted" I told myself that I'd come too far to quit and I didn't quit anything so I proceeded on. There was a balance beam to walk across that was super skinny and you had to balance yourself and walk across and not fall or you would be in DEEP mud. Then more rough forest trail for a while.  Then a pile of tires and the only way to get through this obstacle is to go through them, that must have taken me a few minutes.  The pile of tires was huge.  Then we run down this enourmous hill for what seemed like a half mile and it was semi steep and you couldn't bolt it, you had to be careful.

Then the big creek again, but before you could cross it, you had to turn your body around and use the rope to get down the 10 or more feet. When you ran out of rope you had to get on your butt and slide in the mud down the steep edge of the creek, run through the creek and continue on.

Then more running for what seemed like a mile or so in the rough forest trail and it was bad news, lots of holes and rough running spots. Then the sand, then the creek, then the hay bales one last time and then about a  1/3 mile run to the finish. Wow was I wiped out and could hardly walk and fell against the fence when I got through the finish line.

That seemed harder than any running thing or anything I've ever done. I wiped myself completely out.  My final time for the 4.89 miles was 1 hour and 11 seconds.  I was so relieved to finish.  I really didn't think I'd make it.   If you want to see all the results go RESULTS.

 Here are pictures to enjoy from before, during and after the race:

Before the race in my warm clothes since it felt a little chilly out.  I had no idea what I was about to go through.

My AWESOME race number.  I actually got a 13!!!  My lucky number is 13.

The race start, can you find me?

The beginning of the forest trail.  This part was out in the open and Jason happened to get a picture of me.

This is me behind Ed, another runner I had been running with for about a mile.  Ed also helped me at the creek by catching me when I had to let go of the rope.

I'm in the last 1.5 miles of the race.  If you double click on the picture you can see I'm quite muddy by this point.  I'm very tired in this picture.

A close up of my muddy clothes.  I was trying to point out my muddy clothes to Jason as he snapped the picture.

Almost to the finish.  I was so happy to see the finish line by this point.

A side view of my muddy self.  My backside was the muddiest.  Thank goodness for hoses to wash off with.

I found this picture of me on the CVRA's running website.  This is me running down the large hill after I had  ran  about 3 miles of the race.  Edward Green from Anamosa, Iowa is right behind me.  We ran a good portion of the race side by side and he helped me go down that muddy hill at the creek, he caught me when I had to let go of the rope.  Thank you Edward for keeping me motivated to finish this run, it was super hard for me.  Talking to you during our running in the woods helped me to continue to run and finish this race.

A picture of some of the results.  I placed 7th of 13 in my age group.  I was place 89 of 107 total people and 37th of 50 females.  I feel great with my 1 hour 11 second time.  The feeling of finishing this race was amazing. 

2011 Ponsetti Races 5 & 10K, Iowa City, Iowa

Saturday, October 1st started out as a very cold yet sunny day. The weather was around 45 degrees and the air was crisp. My friend Amber showed up at my house at around 8a.m. and brought Alyssa and I to the race. This year the race started at the Sports Medicine clinic so we parked over near that. Everything started out well, there were activities for children. Herky the Hawk arrived and then the opening ceremony was amazing.   This race was dedicated to Caroline Found, see this link There were doves released at the beginning of the race with her teammates all standing around the doves.  I have a picture of that below.  Then there were a few announcements and we were going to start the race.  However then an announcement came that said, "There are people that are running the 10K race that haven't found parking yet so we have to push the race start back."  My friend and I both discussed this and this is what I think, when you come to do a race you get there an hour early like the rest of us so we can start the race on time and if you miss the start of the race because YOU got there late, that is YOUR fault and you should miss it.  So as a result of this the 10K race started late, then the 5K races lined up, but NO ONE in the back heard go, so all of a sudden I noticed a bunch of people were moving and said to those around me, "It looks like the race started, guess we go.  I ran fast and got a pretty good start, but wasn't happy that I missed the starting gun and wondered if I missed valuable time.  We were chiped timed, however the starting mats were gone so we didn't have a starting time.  Last year there were starting mats that we had to pass over and we were being chip timed by the same company as last year so I don't understand where the mats were.

 There was only one clock going and that was for the 10K racers and no one seemed to know how long after the 10K people started that the 5K people started.  It was so disorganized and both my friend and I were frustrated.  At the end of the race I tried to find someone in charge. Finally I located a woman dressed in purple and I asked her this, "Do you know where the instant result machine is so I can find out my time or do you know where the results will be posted?"  She snapped at me and said, "We don't have one this year and that guy over there is doing the timing" as she pointed to some random guy over by the finishing line.

I walked over to this guy and asked about the results and if there was an instant results machine like last year.  He said, "We couldn't have the instant results machine because we don't have an internet connection."  Now this is where I was totally confused because we were at the Sports Medicine clinic that HAS INTERNET and the building was open so people could go inside and use their bathrooms so he could go in there and use their internet.

The other thing about this race that was completely annoying was that the course changed completely from last year.  Last year we started at the University of Iowa over by the stadium and we ran West on Melrose Street all the way to Mormon Trek Blvd. and then on some trail that led us back to the University.  My time last year was 28:02 and I hoped to finish faster this year.  However, the course was changed to running through the cross country course on grass and up hills and the grass was rough and had some holes and was uneven.  The water stop was poorly placed so you couldn't get to it unless you went out of your way, off the race course, to get water.  I just skipped it.  Then we had to run on sidewalks back to the sports medicine clinic. 

The race officials let people run with their dogs and people run with strollers and that creates problems everytime race directors allow this.  Try running with dogs chasing you, or dogs crossing in front of you on their leashes.  I almost tripped twice.  There were many people that obviously never ran with their dog until this race and obviously didn't know what to do to keep their dog beside them and not let their dog cross out in front of others.  People with strollers I don't mind, but they shouldn't be allowed to be in the middle of the race, only in the back with the walkers.  I feel this way because the back wheels of the strollers sometimes trip people up if the runner with the stroller isn't paying attention.  I once got sideswiped by a stroller when running, so I'm very opposed to strollers up with the runners.

Lastly, by the time all the 10K runners finished, most of the food was gone.  The race people didn't plan well for all the racers to get food.  This was one instance I was grateful that I did the 5k race so I could get a bagel.

Here are some results for us, however there won't be all the results because whoever is in charge of posting those to the Ponsetti website still hasn't done that.

I had a time of 29:08 and placed 3rd in my age group.  When you finally go to the results on the website you will see that I'm 4th of 15 of the 35-39 year olds.  However this is what I found out after the race.  The person listed before me on the results named Elisabeth Erickson didn't really run.  A friend of hers that is 12 years younger ran for her since she couldn't be there.  This means Elisabeth Erickson was a no show and wasn't the person that was really 3rd.  Kelsey, who is 27, was the person who ran for her and she would be in two age groups ahead of me.  This threw off the results.  But it didn't matter in the end because the person in charge of the race said this, "We aren't doing age group awards anyway so it doesn't matter.  We are only doing awards for top 3 Overall."

Alyssa's time was 37 minutes on the dot and she placed 6th of 16 in her age group of 14 and Under.  The most awesome thing about this is, her last 5K time was 38:29 so she beat her time by 1 minute 29 seconds.

You can see how sunny it was from how we were squinting.  In this picture is Amber, Alyssa and Me.

Amber and I taking a picture of ourselves.

The timing chips on our shoes.

Hawkeye cheerleaders.

Some doves being released before the race.

Alyssa with Herky.

Amber playing checkers on the giant checkerboard.

Alyssa and i right before the race started.

Another picture with Alyssa.

Alyssa about to cross the finish line.  She beat her last 5K time.

Amber just crossed the finish line.
My results, to see them better double click on the picture to enlarge it.