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.