Sunday, December 29, 2013

Santa's Snow Shuffle 5K ish Fun Run--Cedar Falls,Iowa--Saturday, December 14, 2013

A very cold morning, but not too cold and not as cold as the week before in that race. Santa's Snow Shuffle is put on by and it's a great Fun Run around Christmas. There were no times and it's not a certified course, but so much fun. Almost everyone dresses up. The run ended up being 3.45 miles. It was snowing just barely the entire run. Such a beautiful outside to run in.

We almost didn't go to the race, even though we had registered for it months ago, we thought we might not go due to cold temperatures and crappy weather lately.  There was predicted bad weather coming in Saturday morning.  We decided Friday night to just go.  Jason was driving.  Good thing we did because we each won free entries into the Fools 5K put on in April by Trekman Racing!  And at the very end of the drawings for prizes, I won a sweet running jacket for Jason.  This was in addition to the chocolate, gloves, santa hats and amazing food post race.  I just love getting stuff free and seeing great running friends.

 A very happy fun morning.
A picture taken before we went running.  There is Kyle, Lisa, their children, Jason and I.  What a fun morning.

Starting out on the cold run.  Lisa was snapping pictures.  I have my full running mask on.

Jason stopping during running.  Not sure why he is facing that direction, the racers were going the other way.

Glad I had this cute outfit to run it.  It was actually perfectly warm.  I had on white running tights underneath the striped red and white hose.  The red suit was great.

After the run, here is a picture of Kyle, Jason and and I with icicles on our faces.

My friend Lisa Flaherty and I before the race.  Always great to see her.

Cool Christmas costumes.  Wonder how those were to run in?

My good friend Lisa Helland.  I don't get to see her often.  So glad I did this day.  She is so fun to be around.

the winners of the group costume.  Santa, a sleigh and all the reindeer.  Funny.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2013 Jingle Bell 5k--Iowa City, IA

It was a super cold morning. The thermometer said 6 degrees and I knew I would be freezing.   However, since I paid for this race and I was healthy,  I decided to run it.  The race was chip timed and was a flat course.  It was hard to breathe but I ended up with a PR for the year.  29:01.  I have run a 5k faster but that was before my ankle injury.   Someday I'll see 27 minutes again.
This is the lake we ran around.  It was mostly frozen and so gorgeous. 

The shirt.

This is me about two minutes after finishing the race.  My eyelashes were frozen and had icecycles on them.

Great post race treats.  My company was a sponsor of the race.

Cute hats and glasses on these girls.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Return of the Turkey Trott 8K--Marion, Iowa

The weather was almost perfect for a run. It was about 50 degrees and misting out. The misting made some areas of the run slippery like the bricks we ran over on one part of the route and part of the cemetery we ran through and if you hit the paint on the road just right with your shoe you might slip a little, but for the most part, it was awesome.

 I started out running with Jason and planned on keeping up with him the entire time. I can almost run his pace which is around an 8:55 to 9:10 mile pace usually. However around 1.5 miles in I got a HUGE stomach cramp and told him to just go and do his best. He wanted to wait for me and stopped for a second but I waved him on. I know had it not been for that dang stomach cramp I would have done super awesome and been able to stay with him. Oh well. I jogged at a 10 minute mile pace, did some deep breathing until my stomach settled down and I went on my way again. I could see Jason way ahead and tried hard to catch him, but then lost sight of him. Bummer.

 Jason ended up getting a HUGE PR (personal record) for himself by over 6 minutes. His time was 44:20 which is an 8:55 average mile pace.

I came within a minute of my 8K PR. In 2010 I did 46:58, in 2011 I did 50:20, in 2012 I didn't race due to an injury, then today I did 47:55. I know with the training I'm currently doing that I'm on track for a 43 to 44 in the near future, so I'll keep working hard and hopefully can pull that off next year!

 My friend Tyler Sullivan pulled off an amazing 27:05 which is an average mile pace of 5:27! He WON the turkey trott! Sweet. I am impressed.

 We saw Dean and Jill Schwickerath and their daughter and got to spend a tiny bit of time with them.
 Dean pulled off an impressive time of 32:22 which is a 6:31 average minute mile pace and he won 2nd in his age group! Go Dean! He took home a medal and pumpkin pie. It was a fun morning and I saw so many friends. Here are a few pictures:

Dean, Jill, their daughter, Me and Jason

Jason and I with the turkey.  

Outside getting ready to run, we had just put our
race numbers on.

Lisa and I.  I hadn't seen Lisa in months, it was so great to see her again.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Screaming Pumpkin Race Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles) Peoria, Illinois--October 25, 2013

The weather was absolutely perfect for a night Halloween race. It was cold, but a perfect cold.  The wind was super light if there was any so it didn't blow our wigs off or our head decorations off.  You were only cold if you were standing still.   I wasn't ever too hot, or too cold.   The race started exactly on time of 5:50 p.m.

 We went to this race with our friends Kyle and Lisa. They picked us up and we went to Peoria. It's about a 2.5 hour drive from our house.  I'm really not sure how Lisa and I were able to talk our husbands into dressing into tu tu's or tights or anything they had on.  This is one reason how I know our husbands love us so very much because they dressed up in these ridiculous costumes to have fun with us.

Lisa and I are devils to show that "The devil made me do it."  Ha.  I made Jason's and my tu tu's and they turned out ok except they were a little long and were full of static.  Next time I will make them shorter and easier to run in.  I'm so grateful to Lisa for going to the Halloween store and getting not only fun wigs, but the tights for Jason and all the other fun stuff.  It was a great time.  During the race we would check out some of the really old gravestones.  It was fun to run some, walk some, goof off a bunch.  If you want to check out the website for this race go here.

This race has many good points:

  • Finishing medals--this year were gorgeous.
  • Great food after the event.  
  • Easy packet pickup 
  • Chip timing bib
  • Bib for your scrapbook
  • music before and after the event
  • medical tent
  • lots of parking close to the event
  • Marathon and marathon relay options.
  • lots of porta poties
  • You run through a cemetery and that is just fun.
  • plenty of water/gatorade stations in case you needed them.
The bad points are:
  • This year the course didn't seem as well lit as last year
  • The pavement had seriously deteriorated from last year so there were tons of pot holes and broken pavement everywhere so you really had to watch your step or you would roll an ankle or die. 

I took a few pictures so here they are.  I should have taken pictures of all the awesome costumes I saw because there were some great ones this year.

All of us.  Jason is showing some leg.

Lisa and I in our devil outfits.

Posing for another group picture with a giant cat.

The front of his costume.

The back of Jason's costume

Another great group picture.
The awesome finishing medal.

The race bibs.

Close up of the medal.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New goals

Over the last month I have been making some new goals in fitness.

One of these is to either bike or swim at least once every week.  This is harder as winter is approaching and that makes it harder to bike in the freezing cold.  Last week I biked a couple times and swam laps one day, however this week the biking and swimming didn't happen.  I plan on setting out my stuff tonight so I can bike into class at the Rec Center tomorrow and teach and then bike home.  It will be a cold ride, however I have a light on my bike so it will be possible.

Another goal is to get back on my elliptical and use it again.  It has been collecting a bit of dust and needs some love, so this week I got on it and did a mile.  Next week the goal is 1.10 miles.  I would like to increase my distance on the elliptical each week by 10%.

Another goal is to run more often and run more miles each week.  I have been running so much more in the last 3 months than I did all year because the first half of the year I was still fighting an ankle injury.

Last week I decided that I needed to be more consistent in my running and the only way to really do that is two fold:  Set goals each week and run a little bit further each week.

Last week I set my first running goal of the year and that was to run every single day except for Sunday.  This is something I've never done in my 3.5 years of running.

My sports medicine doctor who has done at least 10 Iron man competitions said that doing several short runs is very important in running.  Meaning.

Don't go out on Monday and do 5-8, then skip a day, Wednesday do 8, skip a day or two and then do 12 on a Saturday because it was your long run.

Instead spread that out a bit like this:

Monday 5, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 5, Thursday 3, Friday 2, Saturday 10.  This will be much easier on your body.

Since I'm still in the 15-20 miles a week point I ran my mileage this way:

Monday 1.16, Tuesday 2.06, Wednesday 4.10, Thursday 4.03, Friday 1.03 and Saturday 7.01 miles.

Total 19.39 miles for this past week.

My new goal for the next week is to run 10% further than this week and to also run every day again.  I feel absolutely amazing and look forward to running again.  It is easier to make time for a bunch of short runs than it is to squeeze in 2-3 longer runs.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Timber Trek 2013--Amana, Iowa

It was a perfect day to run. It was cloudy and 65 degrees. The obstacles seemed so much harder this year and CVRA lengthened the race to just over 5 miles long, but it was still awesome. I'm so glad my family all decided to run with me. Such a great day!  If you want to see the results go HERE !
All of our racing feet.  To me this picture means this:  Sharing your love of  running with those you care about the most. 

Here is a picture of most of my family.   There are two more children that belong here however they have moved out.  I was thrilled to have most of the family running together.   What a great day. 

Alyssa and her friend Sofia.

Finishing the long trail race.  I gave it everything and
wore myself out.  What a great race.

Alyssa finishing strong.

Scott and Jason finishing together!

Happy to be done.

All muddy and soaking wet.

Brenden in his muddy clothes before he changed.

Scott all wet and muddy.  He was not
happy at all.  He was super tired.
Brenden won 2nd in his age group.

Alyssa all muddy.

The front of Brenden's medal.

The back of Brenden's medal.

Jared showing off his new running shirt.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

2013 Air Force Half Marathon--Dayton, Ohio

On Friday, September 20th, Jason and I left for Dayton, Ohio at around 4:45 a.m.   It was dark and very cloudy out and had rained all night long.  Our drive to Dayton was great.  The weather was perfect, however bad weather was coming.  We picked up our packets, then checked out our hotel, then Jason had to have a last minute haircut, so we found a cheap place to go do that.  Then I got ready to go do the 5K and we went to go do that.  Bad weather started rolling in and it started raining super hard.  Lightening was in the area and after almost a 30 minute race delay the 5K race was cancelled.  People were bummed out.  I just prayed that if it had to rain that it wouldn't ruin the races the next day.

Jason and I went to Olive Garden to carb up before our race.  We had the best waitress we have ever had.  She was awesome.  We also got right in the restaurant with a 30 second wait, after being told it would be an hour wait because someone came out and said "Is there a Two Top out here?"  Jason said, we are a two top.  So they took us right in to be seated.

I didn't sleep much Friday night into Saturday morning.  I kept hearing rain and crickets outside our room.  I was super hydrated and must have gotten up at least 5 times in the night.

6 a.m. came, Jason and I dressed for the race.  We left by around 6:30 to get to the Air Force base by 7 a.m. ish.    It was raining pretty steady and I was worried that we would be running the entire race in pouring rain.  We finally got into the base at around 7:15 a.m. because the lines were so long and parked.  The rain stopped.  I couldn't believe it.  It stopped and stayed stopped.

The race started on the exact dot of 8:30 a.m.  Jason and I decided to run together.  I told him I was pretty sure I could keep up with him  for most of the race and I wanted to try because he is about a minute or more faster than me per mile and if I could just push a little then I could possibly get a personal record if I could just try super hard.  Jason said he'd stay with me the whole race.  We lined up between the 2 hour pacers and the 2:10 pacers.

In the first mile many things on my body hurt.  I was worried that this would be a rough race with pains already in mile one, but by mile 2 everything was fine.  Jason was complaining of knee pain so I was really worried about him.  We did our first 3 miles in just 27 minutes.  I knew if I could keep that pace up that things would go really well.  I did worry however that we had started too fast.  My hip flexor was hurting a little by mile 4.

We were keeping great time.  By mile 5 there was a timing mat.  I'm pretty sure we were at 48 minutes for the 5 mile time.  That felt awesome.  I slowed a little in the 6th mile and ate a little fuel stuff, but still managed to get a faster 10K time than I've ever had before.  It was right around 1 hour.  My best 10K was ran in 1:01:28.   Mile 8 was hard for me.  I was really struggling and kept looking at my watch for pacing.  Jason told me to quit looking at my watch and give it to him.  He wanted me to focus and I wasn't focusing.  So I took off my watch and dropped it.  So I had to stop and pick it up.  Thank goodness I didn't trip anyone or break the watch.  We started running again.  At mile 10 I realized I had just ran a faster 10 miles than I ever had before.  I was right at about 1 hour 39 minutes.  That was awesome since the last 10 mile race I did was in 1:45.  I knew if I could just keep up this pace we could finish in around 2:10 or less.

In the middle of mile 10 I kinda fell apart.  I just felt like I couldn't run so fast anymore.  Jason said he'd carry me if he had to and just to keep moving and keep trying.

Mile 11 went just fine, but by mile 12 my legs felt 3 times as big as they are, they felt hot and heavy and my head was hot.  I kept pouring water on myself to feel better.  I felt a little sick.  I kept going, but I'm sure mile 12 was the slowest mile of them all.  I saw my parents at mile 13 and only had .10 to run to the finish.

To my surprise I really did hit a personal record.  The printout said 2:16:30.  I couldn't believe it.  I knew I had a new personal record.  When I looked up my last PR it was 2:26:30 so I hit my new record by 10 minutes on the dot!  Sweet, what a great day.  I was sad that I couldn't give more and shave 7 more minutes off so that Jason could have had a personal record as well.  I seriously gave everything and ran as fast as I possibly could.   My new goal is to train really hard over the next couple months, lots of speed work and hopefully when Jason and I do our next half in November we will both PR again at something under 2:09.  I know I can do it, just need to keep believing and working hard.

Below are lots of pictures.  The results are here if you want to check them out.
On the way to the hotel after we picked up our packets,
we saw this road sign.  I thought it was funny.

My favorite number is 13 and so it was awesome that
our hotel number was this!

Both of my race bibs.  I had signed up for the 5k on Friday night
and the half marathon on Saturday morning.  However, the 5K
was cancelled due to a strong storm that came in right at race start
time and there was lightening.  I wish it would have only been
delayed since the lightening stopped after 45 minutes.

A stuffed New Balance shoe that I took a picture with
just before the 5k was about to start.

Jason and I posing for a picture an hour before the half marathon
was going to start.  It had just stopped raining as we pulled into
our parking spot.  For as gloomy as the skies looked they held
onto the rain.  The weather was low 60's and absolutely perfect.

Jason and I with our race shirts on and medals.

Front of shirt

Back of shirt.

Front of medal.

Back of medal.

Jason's race bib and finishing medal.

My race bib and finishing medal.
My Mom took this picture of me relaxing after the race.
I had been stretching on the ground on the silver blanket
they gave us in case we were cold.

Posing for pictures.  Thanks Mom for taking these.

Another cute picture.

I had to have a picture with the huge Air Force plane after the race.