Thursday, June 3, 2010

Welcome to Wordpress!

I have decided to move my blog over to Wordpress. Basically, I was so frustrated with the fact that my version of blogger wouldn't allow me to upload and embed videos. I got so sick of posting the link to YouTube. So, I'm at Wordpress. You can change your subscription and find me at

I have a lot to learn about this interface. Does anyone want to give me a virtual tutorial? This is so different than blogger. I feel a little overwhelmed. Yikes. Anyway, I hope that I can figure it out and I'm anticipating that it will make my blog even better.

National Running Day recap

I hope everyone had a fun and active National Running Day.  I logged my 3 miles on the treadmill.  I would call my workout another recovery run.  I took it really easy.  As I started getting warmed up, I could feel my legs itching to go a bit faster.  So, I let them.  But not too fast.  It was kind of like riding a horse and the horse wants to take off in a gallop, but you know that you need to hold it back so that it doesn't over do it.  My legs wanted to gallop last night, but I knew that they still had a bit of recovering to do from my half marathon.  So I just let them out a little bit.  Tonight I have a 4 miler scheduled and I might let them go a bit harder.  Of course, my fast pace is most people's recovery pace.  :-)  But I'm okay with that.

Thereally newsworthy item from National Running Day was the surprise that Tim had for me when I got home.  His C25K program had him running 2.75 miles yesterday.  Monday he was also supposed to do 2.75, but he ended up doing 2.9 miles and I think he surprised himself.  Last night (wait for it....) he ran a 5K!!!  I am so stinkin' proud of him that I can't help but get a huge goofy grin on my face every time I think of it.  And, he ran it at a pretty decent pace.  I remember my first treadmill 5K (less than a year ago) and my pace was agonizingly slow.  He wants to finish his Cheese Days 5K in under 30 minutes (my time last year was 30:06) and I think he is going to smoke it!

So, the point of this post is that Tim actually ran further than I did yesterday.  And I'm okay with that!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pile on the miles

May was my highest mileage month so far.  I love that I keep track of my miles.  I started doing it last year when I first started running.  I can't believe that I have been a runner for not-quite-a-year, and I've already run in so many races.  When I stop to think about it, it's kinda crazy!  But I LOVE it!!

Because I also love statistics, here are some for you:
January: 62 miles run, 1 race (5K)
February: 85 miles run, 1 race (5K)
March: 101 miles run, 1 race (5mile)
April: 99 miles run, 2 races (6mile, 8K)
May: 106 miles run, 2 races (20K, half marathon)

This puts me well on my way to my 1000 mile goal for 2010.  June will be another high mileage month, as will every month leading up to September's marathon.  June will also see two more races.  The Bellin Run, which will be my very first 10K (!) and a small race in Auburndale to (hopefully) PR in a 5K.  But, I am most looking forward to Jaden's first race.  It will be my proudest blog post ever!

Tonight will bring an easy-ish 3-4 mile run.  My legs feel like they can handle a decent tempo run.  So, I"m just going to let them go and see what happens.  I was hoping to run outside, but it has been raining off and on with a chance for thunderstorms, so I will stick to the treadmill.

National Running Day

Happy National Running Day!!  I love that this day exists.  I am going to be partaking of the celebration, but I'll have to wait until tonight.  I'm stuck at work today (not really 'stuck' but you get the idea), so I will be running my 3 miles after dinner. 

Yesterday, I did a very easy three mile run on the treadmill just to see how my legs felt after Sunday's half marathon.  I actually felt better than I expected, but there was no way I was going to be increasing my pace.  Slow and steady was all I could handle.  I'm pretty sure the same thing will apply today.  My quads are starting to feel a bit better, but I really see no reason to go all-out at this point.  I'm just going to keep rocking my 'recovery' runs today and tomorrow. 

I am still waiting to hear about a permanent job possibility.  I am hoping to know for sure sometime this week.  I am getting anxious.  I would love to have some stability regarding employment.  While I would eventually love to find a full-time position, part-time will allow me the opportunity to continue my marathon training...and really, that's what I'm most looking forward to right now.  ;-)

I hope you are all enjoying your Wednesday!  I am all confused on what day it is.  Monday was the holiday and I was off yesterday, so I feel like today is Monday.  Oh well, makes for a short week.  I'm one day closer to heading to Colorado for the Hungry for Hope Conference!

Monday, May 31, 2010

The French have all the fun

I asked Tim what he wanted for lunch today.  He said grilled cheese.  Then changed his mind to french toast.  Then he said he wanted both....together.
May I present, the French Grilled Cheese:

Served with syrup.

I told you it was hot

I'm glad that I only ran the half marathon yesterday.  There is no way I would have been able to do the full marathon.  Race officials actually closed the course after 4 hours.  Check out this article for the details. 

I finally saw my official time on the website.

I will always remember my first half marathon.  And, I'm already looking forward to the next one.  (and that upcoming marathon)  :-)

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Madison Half Marathon

Today got off to a very early start with a 5:30 wake up call, quick shower and delicious oatmeal breakfast before Tim and I got int he car to drive to the start of my first half marathon.  We had a bit of a slow time finding a parking spot and by the time we got to the starting line, I was out of time for a bathroom stop.  This would prove to be problematic later.

The announcer told us that there were 5100 runners in the half marathon!  Wow.  That is a lot of people. 

There were pace groups lined up at the start.  I lined up between the 2:10 and 2:20 pace groups, but once the race started, I had no idea where the pacers were.  I'm glad I didn't sign up to run with the pace group.  It would have been very hard to know where they were.

The first couple miles went pretty well.  I felt good.  The roads were really crowded and that made it a little hard to get into a rhythm, but I just went with the flow.

I first saw Tim about 5.25 miles into the race.  As you can see, I am slightly behind the two guys dressed as ketchup and mustard.

Tim was kind enough to hand me a bottle of water.  There never seems to be enough water stops for me on these races.  I always feel like I need more and more water.  Today I was lucky to have a great 'crew' to support me with cheers and water bottles.

I took my GU around mile 6.5 and then saw my aunt Sharon (with another bottle of water) around mile seven.  I probably should have had another GU or some other form of fuel.  The weather was extremely warm and I was burning more calories than I usually do on my training runs.  I will definitely learn from this experience.

Just before mile 9, I HAD to stop at the porta potties.  There was just no way around it.  I had been passing them up for miles and I knew that I wasn't going to be able to make it another 4 miles without stopping.  So, I picked a line that only had one person in front of me and I was able to get back on the road in about 3 minutes.

I saw Tim again right after the bathroom stop and he had more water for me.  Unfortunately, the cap fell off and I drank some of the water, but then I didn't feel like carrying the empty bottle so I left it behind.

We ran along the Monona Terrace.  It was gorgeous, but because it was so hot, it really smelled like fish.

There go ketchup and mustard.

I saw Sharon again around mile 11, and after that I was on my own until the finish.  The last mile was uphill and really, really hard.  My legs felt like bricks.  I think I may have been slightly hyponatremic.  I was starting to get a little dizzy.  Another lesson learned: mix water with gatorade.  I'll remember that.

My mantra for running up that last hill was "I can do anything for one mile."  I must have said that a hundred times, and I'm still not quite sure how I actually made it to the finish line.  But I'm so glad I did.

But, I did get beat by condiments.  Humbling.

Here is the video of me crossing the finish line. (click here)

I tried to make it through the finish chute in somewhat of an orderly manner.  I remember some nice girl cut my timing chip off.  And someone else handed me water.  And I got my medal!  (It is my first one!)  They were also handing out chocolate milk.  It is supposed to be the perfect recovery drink.  The best blend of protein and carbs.  I took a couple sips and almost threw up.  It was so thick and disgusting.  I don't know how people were drinking that right after the race.

As far as the race course, I was pretty familiar with most of it.  The first few miles were basically like running Crazy Legs backwards.  So I knew that part.  After that, we ran a good section of the Lake Monona 20K race course; also backwards.  But I have to say that the uphill climb at the end was completely unnecessary.  And just plain mean.

I do have to give credit to the people who put on the race.  I can't even imagine how much work goes into the organization of this event.  The volunteers were great.  They were so friendly and encouraging.  Even the traffic cops at the intersections would take time to cheer on the competitors.

There were two times in the course where the full and half marathons converged in a way that allowed us to get passed by the men's leaders.  These guys are so impressive to watch.  They look so graceful and natural.  They make 26.2 miles look completely effortless.  It was inspiring to see that.

The other inspiring thing that I saw, that almost brought me to tears, was was leader of the wheelchair division.  He had a bicycle escort to get through the crowd.  As he was racing through, he just happened to be passing the apartment of a mentally and physically handicapped man who was also in a wheelchair.  It appeared that this man had been sitting on his patio for much of the morning watching the runners go by.  I had heard him clapping and cheering as I approached.  But when that wheelchair racer went by, this man yelled and whooped and cheered so loudly.  It was almost as if he was somehow living through the accomplishments of this handicapped athlete.  He was clapping and screaming and pounding his fists on his chair with so much excitement and vigor.  It was a very moving moment and one that I will probably never forget.

There were other moments too.  I saw an elderly couple sitting in lawn chairs at the end of their driveway.  They had an old card table between them on which sat their breakfast.  Cereal, fruit, juice and coffee.  They cheered and ate and read the newspaper, just like they probably do every weekend.  This time they just happened to be doing it at the end of their driveway while thousands of people ran by.

I have to also give credit to the people of Madison.  They are pretty used to people running through their streets.  (Zoo Run Run, Freeze for Food, Crazy Legs, Lake Monona 20K....and these are just the ones I have run in the past year.)  They are out in full force cheering on the runners.  They show up with beer and bloody mary stations at the ends of their driveways.  They come up with some very clever signs to motivate and encourage everyone to do their best.  But today, I appreciated them more than ever before.  Today there were many people who were standing at the end of their driveway spraying their garden hoses into the street.  Others had their sprinklers set up in the street.  I cannot even begin to tell you how much I LOVE these people.  I will say it one more time:  it was HOT today.  And those quick showers helped to cool down a rapidly rising body temperature.  I saw two different people who collapsed on the course, probably from a combination of the heat and dehydration.  I wasn't about to become another casualty of the heat.  I took advantage of every garden hose and sprinkler.  And I made sure to thank the people on the other end of the hose.  I think it is important to thank the volunteers and fans.

Here is what the course looked like:

You can see the spot in the middle where I had to stop to use the bathroom.  There are a few other spots where I had to walk the water stops.  And then there is that awful hill at the end.  Boo!
Here are the stats:
Mile 1: 9:43
Mile 2: 10:10
Mile 3: 9:54
Mile 4: 10:47
Mile 5: 10:41
Mile 6: 10:37
Mile 7: 10:21
Mile 8: 10:23
Mile 9: 12:00 (included bathroom break)
Mile 10: 10:42
Mile 11: 11:14
Mile 12: 11:22
Mile 13: 12:00
Mile 13-13.18: 1:59 (11:09 pace)

Total: 13.18 miles: 2:21:49.  10:45 pace.
I know that I put everything I had into this race.  But I also know that a couple weeks ago I ran 14 miles in 2:23 (10:14 pace).  Granted, that was Colby and there really aren't any discernible hills here.

So, I need to work on my endurance so that my pace doesn't completely take a nose dive.  I can't even imagine doubling this distance to run a full marathon.  But, ask me in a couple days and I'm sure I'll tell you that I am up to the challenge.  :-)

I need to thank my wonderful 'crew' for supporting me.  Thanks Tim and Sharon!!  You guys are the best.

Next race: Bellin 10K on June 12th.  It will also be Jaden's first ever race.