Sunday, January 24, 2016

Amana Freezer 5K - Amana, Iowa - Saturday, January 23, 2016

It started as a super cold morning, like in the teens for temperatures. However, it was the warmest day of the entire week and there was no wind and the sun was shining.  So it could have been so much worse.  Three of my awesome friends decided to run this race too.  Susan, Amy and Lorna

We left the house around 8:30 a.m. and arrived in Amana just before 9 a.m.  We picked up our packets, warmed up for the race, put our timing chips on our shoes, took lots of pictures, found bathrooms and lined up for the race.

The whistle went off and the race started.

I started out way too fast like around a 6:30-7 minute mile, but seemed to be able to keep up the pace for at least a half mile.  Then I slowed down to an 8:30 mile pace.  That was way more doable.  I don't know why I bolt out of the gate.  I seriously can't go that fast on a treadmill ever so I'm not sure how I do it in a race.

The first mile seemed to pass quickly and I started to shed layers by the end of mile 1.  My hood of my shirt came off first.  Then shortly after that the hood of the mask came off.  The cold air outside didn't seem to bother me and I didn't seem to need the mask over my mouth.  Thank goodness for that.

By mile 1.5 my mask was completely off and I was carrying it, along with the gloves they were off too because my hands were so hot.  By mile 2 my headband that covers my ears was off the ears.  Couldn't believe I warmed up that much.  I was never too hot anywhere else except at my head.  I had slowed down a little in mile 2 and there was a train going by that was squealing a high pitched sound that really bothered me.  I pressed on, but was starting to feel that I really couldn't hold this pace.

My 2nd mile showed that I had slowed a little, my pace for that mile was 9:07.  I knew that I wanted a time that I could be proud of, which is anything below 30 minutes, but really wanted under 28 minutes so I knew then I needed to kick it up a notch and run faster.  As people would come up beside me I would try to run with them.  Finally I found a pace I liked but that was well into mile 2.  This is the thing that really bothers me about a 5K, you don't really find your pace until mile 2 and then it's really too late.    I passed this guy, then he passed me, then I passed him, then we ran together.   He tried to talk to me, but I wasn't able to speak back which proved that I was giving my entire effort.  He pulled ahead and I wasn't able to catch him, but I tried really hard.  The last .12 of a mile I kicked it.  I kicked it hard.  According to my Garmin I was doing a 7:30 pace with tiny spurts of 6:30 pace.  Not bad for the finish of the race, but this proved I could have done a little more in mile 2 or 3.  I need to learn to evenly pace myself and give my all the entire race.

I am super proud of how I did for it was a huge improvement over the last time I ran this course 5 years ago.  In 2011 my time on this course was 29:30  and today 27:30!  Wow 2 whole minutes shaved off 5 years later.  Pretty awesome.

Here are my splits and stats:

Pace for race
Mile 1  8:33
Mile 2  9:07
Mile 3  8:55
.12 of a mile  7:53
Best pace was a 6:07 minute mile pace.  Funny.  Now if only I could hold that.

I placed 108 out of 297 Overall
39 out of 167 Women
11 of 29 in my age group of 40-49

The full results are here if you want to see them:  RESULTS

Here are some pictures from the morning:
Lorna, Amy, Susan and Me.  We were bundled up super thick before the race started.  I shed a couple layers when the race was about to start so I wouldn't go out too warm.
Inside the building where we picked up our packet there were bags with meat in them you could buy for $5.00 if you wanted.  My friends bought me a bag.  I thought the sign on the wall was funny.

Right before the race started.  Left to right:  Me, Susan, Lorna and Amy.

Feet of friends.  Here we are with our timing chips on.
A picture taken of me running.  I'm totally posing!

My Garmin with my time!

Susan almost to the finish line.

Lorna almost to the finish line


Amy almost to the finish line.

My race bib and finishing results
Front of shirt

Back of shirt

Stuff in meat bag.

My official results.  I was happy except for the 11th place, but when I found out that was out of 29 I was okay about that.  Just felt I had placed more like 7th.

Food we received after the race.

One last selfie!  We are awesome.

New Year 2016- Week 1-3 of Training

Week 1
Friday 1-1-2016 : Ran 3.10 miles, Biked indoors 30 minutes.
Saturday: Ran 10 miles, Swam 2000 yards
Sunday:  Rest
Monday Ran 3.10 miles, Les Mills Body Flow class, Sculpt class, walked .5 mile
Tuesday:  Ran 3 miles, Sculpt class, walked .5 mile
Wednesday:Swam 2800 Yards,  Sculpt Class, walked .5 mile
Thursday: Rest, walked .5 mile

Totals for week 1
Ran: 19.2 miles
Biked: 30 minutes indoors
Swam: 4800 Yards (2.73 miles)
Sculpt classes:  3
Les Mills Body Flow class:  1
Walked:  2 miles

Week 2
Friday:  Rest, walked .5 mile
Saturday:  Ran 26.41 miles in the Mississippi Blues Marathon, then walked a bunch that day.
Sunday:  Rest, some water walking, some hot tub, foam rolling, stretching.
Monday:  Ran 1.13 mile, Biked 22 minutes indoors, Sculpt class, walked .5 mile
Tuesday:  Ran 2.5 miles, Sculpt Class, Les Mills Body Flow Class, walked .5 mile
Wednesday: Swam 1100 Yards Ran 4.50 miles, Sculpt Class, walked .5 mile
Thursday:Ran 5.15 miles, walked .5 mile

Totals for week 2
Ran:  39.69 miles
Biked: 22 minutes indoors
Swam: 1100 Yards
Sculpt classes: 3
walking:  2.5 miles
Body Flow Class: 1

Total for 2016
Running:  58.89 miles
Biking indoors:  52 minutes
Swimming:  5900 Yards
Sculpt classes:  6
Walking:  4.5 miles
Body Flow Class:  2

Week 3:
Friday:  Sculpt class, walked .5 mile
Saturday:Swam 3000 yards, Ran 8 miles on treadmill then 3.18 miles outside
Sunday: Rest
Monday:Les Mills Body Flow class, Swam 2000 yards, Ran 3.20 miles, then ran 3.02 miles outside, walked .5 mile. Sculpt class
Tuesday:Sculpt class, Ran 3.20 miles, Les Mills Body Flow class, walked .5 mile.
Wednesday:Swam 2000 yards, Ran 3.27 miles, walked .5 mile, Sculpt class
Thursday:Ran 5.15 miles, walked .5 mile

Totals for week 3
Ran:  29.02 miles
Biked: 0
Swam: 7000 Yards
Sculpt classes: 4
walking:  2.5 miles
Body Flow Class: 2

Total for 2016
Ran: 87.91 miles
Biked: 52 minutes indoors
Swam:  12,900 Yards (7.33 miles)
Sculpt classes:  10 classes
Walking:  7 miles
Body Flow Classes:  4

Notes for first 3 weeks:
Swimming is going really well and I'm ahead of my goal.  Biking could be going better.  I need to get on that bike twice a week, problem is it has hurting my back so I don't enjoy it.  Running is going okay  I should be at 116 miles so far so I have some to make up.  I had a foot problem right after the marathon so I haven't put in the amount of miles that I thought I would have up to this point.  That will change since all is well with my foot now.  If the mileage isn't able to increase, then I'll re-evaluate my running goal for the year and makes some changes.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mississippi Blues Marathon - Jackson, Mississippi - Saturday, January 9, 2015

I heard that the Mississippi Blues race was the best one in Mississippi to go do, so back in June of 2015 when I was planning some of my future races out, I booked this one:  Mississippi Blues Race Website Here!

Since the drive was 10.5 hours and since we may have needed to do a detour due to rising flood waters in Missouri, we (Jason and I), decided to leave on Thursday right after work to get a head start on driving.

Jason picked me up at work at 3:40 p.m. and we drove almost 5 hours south to a town named Ste Genevieve, MO which is a tiny town.  The hotel we stayed in was a very cheap/no frills hotel.  I didn't like it, but it was clean and good for the price.  After sleeping in Friday morning and a quick breakfast we headed to Jackson, MS.    As we continued South the weather became warmer and warmer, so very nice for a January day.  We stopped at one gas station and the temps were 75 degrees!  The grass was green, birds were singing and everyone seemed so happy.  Jason and I laid in the grass for a picture.

We arrived in Ridgeland, MS around  4p.m. at our hotel called Drury Inn and Suites, which by the way is an awesome hotel.  I love Drury Inns and will stay at them whenever possible.  The first thing I asked upon checking in was, "Can I have late check out tomorrow?"  They were totally awesome about it and let me have that.

We settled in and then went to Jackson to pick up our race packets.  The expo was smaller than I was hoping, but it was enough.  We were given a great laminated race bag with several things in it.  I would say it was the best swag ever given out at a marathon so far.  We stayed to listen to a great band and then Jason and I headed back to the hotel for dinner.

Drury Inn has this managers reception every night, some times it's just snacks and stuff, but this particular Friday night had baked potatoes, pasta and many other things.  I eat baked potatoes and pasta before every marathon so dinner was perfect and we didn't need to go out to dinner.

After a nice hot tub dip and setting out our stuff for the race, I went to bed early.  I was really worried that the race was going to be either delayed or cancelled because thunderstorms were predicted for the morning.  The radar looked bad.  I said a prayer that the storm would go around and that the race would start on time and that I wouldn't get pulled off the course.  I was very stressed about it and tried to put the thought of traveling all that way and not being able to race out of my mind.

Race morning.  I got up early and ate my half plain bagel with peanut butter and 2 electrolyte pills with a little water.  After taping up my knees, hip and ankle with my miracle tape called KT tape, Jason and I left for the race.

We found parking right away, which is expected when you go an hour early to a race.  And for a while we just waited in the car.  It was raining so we didn't want to get too wet before we had to.  After a half hour or so I needed to find a bathroom.  There were lots of port-a-potties, but  seriously for a large race I think they should always triple whatever they rent because the lines are always too long for the bathrooms.

We got through the lines to the bathroom within 10 minutes, and then hid underneath the side of a building to stay dry before the race started.

When it was almost time to start, after the National Anthem was played on a guitar, I lined up to start with the other racers in the rain.  The gun went off and I started to run.  I felt good from the start and decided to try and stay with the 4 hour 30 minute pacer dude.

The first 3 miles went well and fast, well fast for me.   We started down John R. Lynch street for quite a while. The rain even stopped completely and it was cloudy and cool out.  A perfect temperature to run in.  We ran through the city and had a lot of curves, ran on some brick  and came back through the starting line which was weird to me. Staying with the 4:30 pacer quickly ended and I then tried to stay with the 4:40 pacer and did for a while like through mile 9 then I lost him.

The hills seemed to be coming over and over.  I have ran hills a lot, but these were just killing me.  At this point I could care less if I was with a pacer or not, by mile 10 which is early on in the race all I cared about was finishing this hard race.  I felt the course was hard.  I started to wonder if I could handle any more hills.  Why was it so bad?  I don't know.  I kept running, but not at a pace I wanted to.

The first 18 miles the weather stayed nice.  We ran through beautiful neighborhoods on Meadowbrook Lake Drive, Twin Lakes Circle, and Eastover Drive.  I wanted to take pictures of all of the homes there, but knew I was there to run and not walk.  I did get a couple pictures as you will see below, because they were too awesome.  So obviously I was taking a fuel break to eat one of my BOOM nutrition packs and a couple more electrolyte pills.

At mile 18 the rain started, at first it felt nice until it poured on everyone at mile 20.  It was buckets of rain that continued to get worse.  By mile 21 there was thunder and lightening.  I received a text from Jason asking me if we were going to get pulled off the course.  I wrote him that I hoped not because I was going to finish the race since I was already this far.   I kept wondering with every step if I would get pulled off the course.  I wasn't sure and just kept running, but wondered if I had ran that far for nothing.  It was stressful and not fun.  My shoes were filled with water, my socks were soaked, my entire body was so wet.  It was really hard to run in the rain that heavy.  I've never experienced anything like it.

At mile 23.5 a car drove really close to me and splashed a huge puddle on me.  It was so much on purpose that others around me noticed and ran over to me to see if I was alright.  Something to remember for sure.  Funny, well not really, but I just couldn't believe it happened.  I was now muddy, very wet, tired and done.  Ok, not done, but I was feeling like I wanted to be done.

Just when I really wanted to give up and everything hurt, the sun peaked out over some clouds.  It was beautiful.  The rain slowed down and eventually stopped at mile 24.  I pushed through.  At mile 25.8 ish I wanted to stop so bad.  My legs felt like stubs on my feet.  I really hurt.  I think what made this marathon different were these things:  I only did a 21 mile run as my longest run in preparation for this marathon and I knew better.  For all the others I ran a 23 mile long run as my longest run and that is really what you should aim for in my opinion, and I should have trained for hills more. I still pushed on and finished, not in the time I wanted at all, but I feel that with more hills than I was truly ready for and the super heavy rain I did well.
Marathon #10 in State #10 done!
The Mississippi road sign announcing we were there!

Laying on the grass in the warm Mississippi weather.
At the expo with my race bib checking out the marathon route.

Both of our race bibs.

Some race loot.
An awesome house I ran by.
Another fabulous house I "ran by".  Ok walked by.  I had to have a picture.
Jason right after he finished the race.

Jason and I together for a quick selfie right after I finished the race.
Here I am soaking wet and super sore, but I did it!  10th marathon completed in my 10th state.
The beautiful finishing medal honoring B.B. King.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Week 53 - The final week of 2015 Training and NEW GOALS for 2016

This is my final week of 2015 recorded.  Plus a comparison of 2014 miles along with goals for 2016 written out.

Monday :  Ran 7.19 miles, walked .25
Tuesday : Swam 1500, Ran 2.00 miles, walked .75, Sculpt class, Zumba class
Wednesday : Swam 1550 yards, Ran 4.5 miles, Sculpt class, walked .6 miles
Thursday :Ran 3.55 miles, Swam 2500 yards, walked .5. PLUS 880 YARDS AND 1.03 MILES AND .5 MILE WALKING

Funny story.  So I had added all my mileage together last week and knew I had 17.21 miles to reach my running goal for the year which was do 600 more than last year.  Well I added wrong, but didn't realize it until after I had done my final run this morning.  I actually needed 18.21 miles.  Since I also needed more swimming to hit another goal of 85 miles for the year that I had set, I immediately went to the Rec center after work to complete these two goals.

Total for week 53:

Walked 2.6 miles
Ran 18.27 miles
6430 yards swam
1 Zumba class
2 Sculpt classes

Excellent week of swimming, especially since this is only for Monday through Thursday.  However biking didn't happen again.  I need to do better with biking in 2016.

Totals for Year 2015 
Swimming:  149,662 Yards= 85.04 miles
Running:   1434.66 miles 
Biking inside: 562 minutes 
Biking Outside:  444.64 miles
Elliptical :    14.45 miles
Zumba class:  6.5 classes
Sculpt classes: 219 classes
Les Mills Body Pump:  1 class
Les Mills Body Flow class:    48 classes
Walking:  139.15 miles
Running:   1434.66 miles 
Vinyasa Yoga:  1 class
Hiked 2 miles with stairs
1 Jazzercise class
Completed 7 marathons!

Totals for the year 2014
Totals for 2014:
Swimming 25,387.30 yards =14.42 miles
Running 834.60 miles
Biking Indoors 762 minutes
Biking Outdoors 311.09 miles
Elliptical 28.47 miles
Body Sculpt classes 174
Zumba classes 31.5
Step classes 2
Yoga classes 6
Nia classes 1
Cross Fit class 1
I didn't measure walking miles for 2014.
Completed 1 marathon


Goals for 2016:
Complete a Half Ironman, 7 marathons and stay healthy and injury free. Run 2016 miles, bike 1000 miles and swim 100 miles.   This means hundreds of mornings at 4 a.m.