Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Will run for bling...

This year Bill ran the Shamrocks and Shenanigans 5k in Ann Arbor and I volunteered. It was insanely cold and really hilly and I was quite happy to NOT be running :) Besides, in exchange for my time, I received a $35 voucher off a future Running Fit race. That was the plan again for this year.

At least it was until Randy sent his weekly email and shared a pic of the bling for runners in 2015. Yep, I'll do it just because I like the goodies :) Although it's in early March so it'll be either 20 degrees and snowing, or 70 and cloudy...

Friday, November 14, 2014

What's next? Part 2

After finishing the half at Columbia City last week, after the few minutes it took to drink a hot chai latte at BrewHa! and take a scalding hot shower at the Y, I had already decided on my next goal. I've finished 9 half marathons (granted two of them were done without any consideration of finishing time) and it seems like time to break 2 hours.

It'll take an average of 9:09. I can run this speed, but it's difficult, so I generally don't push it, because I'm basically lazy about running out of my comfort zone. Yet if I'm going to break 2 hours, I need to get used to discomfort. I got used to running 10:30s for 3 hours, so I know I'm capable of doing difficult things and it's time to woman up and make it happen!

I have the good sense to add in a little time cushion for water, wind, etc., so both runs this week my goal was to finish the last mile under 9:00. The first run I did 3 decent miles, then one sub-9. The second run I did one mile sub-10 as a warm up then two miles sub-9. The plan is to keep increasing the duration I'm running sub-9 until I can do the whole half as such.

The PR demolishing is set for the Rock CF half on Grosse Ile in March. It's where I ran a massive PR last spring, and I like the medal. Besides my friends Ethel and Bill will wave to me from their porch. Who doesn't love that?

Emily is raising $ to send running shoes to CF patients. Check out her video here:
She reminds me of Ellen DeGeneres :)

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Bill and I had a vacation-like day in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago - breakfast at Nick's House of Pancakes, a little window shopping, a little real shopping, burgers at Knight's. Obv all my purchases were running related :)

The socks aren't wool, and they aren't super compressed or padded in the feet, so I won't wear them for full marathons, but they're fun for shorter races. If it's not obvious, they're sloths, dinosaurs, and Starry Night. There was a pair I really liked that said F$%^ this S*#+ but alas they weren't knee socks. The message alone was perfect for so many races lol

The shoes... I'm still drooling over how pretty they are!!!!! They're Mizuno Rider 18s, so I skipped right from 13 to 18. I tried them on the treadmill in the store (shout out to Ann Arbor Running Company!) then immediately wore them outside on my next run. I had to make sure they will be an adequate replacement for my beloved gray 13s, so I can continually scour every website for a deal even close to when I bought 8 pairs of model 13 for around $50 each. I check Amazon for the right price ummm every day :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans (half) marathon

I've done the Veterans marathon in Columbia City, Indiana, twice. The first time I ran a PR that held for almost 2 years. The second time was miserable and no part of me wanted to finish that darn second loop of the course! This year I knew it was half or nothing. Besides, I had already run a marathon PR - what else did I need to prove?

The forecast was cold but dry and my half PR was in similar circumstances, so I registered on Wednesday and Bill and I set off after work on Friday.

Saturday morning was cold and gray, but luckily I've perfected my cold weather race outfit. We ran into his friends at the start, but I didn't see Mad Dog. Something nice about how small CC is, was that we didn't even leave the hotel until 7:40, for an 8:00 start and we still had a few minutes to wait.

The organizers counted down from 10 and we heard a tiny pop and we all kind of looked around, confused, then a few seconds later, BOOM!!!! went the cannon and we started.

My plan was to run consistent 9:45s to set a half PR. That strategy worked for about 4 miles then it got a little slower. It was cold, it was windy, I hadn't slept great, blah blah blah. Some days you PR, and somedays you're happy with a solid finish.

"Puke zone" ewww
Toward the end I was counting down the minutes until hot soup and coffee! At mile 12.9 a woman in pink materialized out of nowhere and I couldn't shake her off my shoulder! Then I saw Bill at the end of the road, right in front of the courthouse and knew it was only 3 very short blocks around the building and I would be done!

There was a woman in a Crohn's and Colitis team shirt who I had seen several times and she was one block ahead of me. She was all that stood between the finish line and me so I dug in, if only to beat her. She held on, but I had the good position on the inside of the last turn and I edged her out. Our times were 0.7 seconds apart.

Doing the half was absolutely the right decision for me. No part of me wanted to go back on the course for a second lap, especially after I felt a few rain drops. I was so happy to sit down with a warm bowl of chili and be done! I finally saw Mad Dog as he started his second lap and I jogged a few paces with him. He said he was doing the full as a taper run for his 100-mile run next Saturday. Amazing!!!!

When it was all said and done, I finished in 2:12:37, also known as my fastest half on the CC course, by over three minutes. I finished 21/41 in my age group, which is right about where I expected. Most halfs I'm right in the middle. It's 3:50 over my PR, and I'm not stressed about it one bit. In fact, I'm quite happy because I have ZERO race plans until March, and anything I do will certainly be far less than a half :D

Here's my medal. The volunteer gave me the full medal. I immediately said I had run the half, but he said they didn't have enough half medals. I wonder if it was consolation for not receiving my jacket, or if it was random. The jackets are great and something wonderful about the race is that they're placing a second jacket order and will mail them when available. It's my own fault for registering so late, but a great move on their part. Most races would have said "Sorry, you registered too late. No jacket for you!" CC said in an email, even before packet pickup, "Our bad! DON'T WORRY - we will get your jacket to you! At some point after the race, we will have the jackets available for pickup, or available for shipping if that is more convenient." Their willingness to make the jackets happen for us procrastinators pretty much guarantees I'll be back in 2015 because I like the swag and I like the people organizing the race.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

What's next?

I put a lot of thought into my running plans for the immediate future. What seemed perfectly reasonable was to run Cincinnati, because it's my absolute favorite spring race, then.... nothing. Maybe a few halfs, but a solid season off.

Then I wrote my recap of the Chicago marathon and I really really want to do it again!!!! Every single person who heard me say I'm retiring didn't believe me. They all said I'd change my mind in a few weeks. They were right. The day after the Detroit marathon, I wore my race shirt to work and another teacher - who has done five marathons - asked "You didn't run again, did you??" I finally admitted the truth: "I have a little bit of a problem with entering too many races."

Back in the lottery, back in the waiting game. Altho, what if Chicago doesn't pick me....? I  don't have a plan B.