Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Lived Through the St. Paul Securian Half and Then got a Huge Surprise!

Hello fellow bloggers! Guess what? I lived!! I lived through my first half marathon!! There is a God and I am so thankful to have it finally over with! Oh my goodness, where do I begin? This first picture is me with my pacer poster, it is what I used when I led my fellow runners out into the sleet and rain, in hopes to help them with their finish time dreams!

Just kidding, he he! That was Dan's job to help me finish with my dream time of a 7:38 minute mile pace!

Just kidding again!! Dan was very nice and helped me to decide exactly what pacer that I should run with for my very first half marathon. He asked me several questions about my weekly miles and current pace. We then came to an agreement about my races time fate!

After I was done talking to Dan I finally was able to meet my blogger friend Beth! I was thrilled to see her there and enjoyed talking to her for a few minutes before the race. I told her that Speedo Steve was supposed to be there as well and then Beth said, "Steve is right over there with a few other of his blogger friends."

Woo hoo, I got to meet Speedo Steve in person and he is such a nice and funny guy! He has this giant contagious smile that never leaves his face! Check out his bright fancy red socks!!

Look at his gorgeous smile!

Okay, I should probably let everyone what my actual goal time was for my first half. My goal was to run a 2 hour half marathon. This is my real pacing coach Joanie. She told me that we were going to attempt to run the same pace the entire race unless for some weird reason we would need to adjust our speed. We all lined up and I started my Garmin patiently waiting for the runners in front of me to slowly shuffle up to the start line.

Finally, we were off and there was a very steep hill that we carefully jogged down. The first mile was a little challenging because there was such a clog of runners and at one point I lost Joanie and my group. It took a few minutes for me to get back in the groove. I must say that the first three miles were pretty easy. It was raining a little but the temperature was at least 33 degrees. It was pretty pleasant running weather and I would rather run in a little rain then to run in below zero temperatures.

Miles four and five were okay, I just kept thinking about what my new blogger friends had told me. D10's advice was to keep your legs moving, your breathing regulated and stay positive! I can't tell you how many times that went through my mind! On the way out it didn't seem that bad, there were several rolling hills that I felt were doable. At around mile five I pulled a little ahead of my group because I was moving a little faster and felt just fine.

I honestly don't remember when I started to see the elite runners finally making their way back but it was so exciting and I was cheering them on! I was wondering what it must feel like to be the first runner making the way down the back stretch and seeing the long sea of runners still behind them. At one point I heard Speedo Steve yell "Hey Julie!" He had his camera and was taking pictures being his normal goofy self:) I was so excited to see him and yelled back but I really don't remember what I said:) I kept on running thinking, the turn around is just ahead, it is coming up soon. And then a few more minutes I was like, where and the hell is the turn around? How much longer do I have to go? Finally the turn around!!! This is the moment that my toes started to burn like fire! Oh crap! Crap that hurts! My feet were possibly angry with me for my choice of socks. I don't know but it sucked and I was worried!

I continued at the same pace for the next few miles thinking positivly! I was giving myself pep talks. You can do this, just keep moving! Steve's words came into my mind, "Just suck it up Buttercup!" You can do this and don't be a baby! Just keep your feet moving! Move Julie, move your ass! Don't you dare stop, okay don't you dare slow down! Just keep moving! Don't you dare think about your feet! Stop thinking about your feet! Keep you feet moving, your breathing regulated and stay positive!

At mile ten a nice man started to run with me. We ran at least one mile together before I made casual conversation with him. I saw we had a mother of a hill coming up and I looked at him and said, "That looks like fun!" He smiled and said, "Sure it does...lots of fun." We ran the same pace and almost the same footing for a long time. He told me that his name was Ryan and he mentioned that he ran this half marathon last year. Ryan and I continued to be running partners hardly speaking after but remaining together. I heard voices behind us and thought, holy crap that is Joanie's voice and she caught up to me. My feet were still burning and I was tired! If I could of I would have been done at mile ten. Now we were at 11.5 and my legs and brain were telling me to stop. Joanie and part of my original group slowly ran past me and Ryan. She said, "Good job Julie, we are almost there. Try to stay with us if you can." I thought about a comment that Meg left me saying, "You will think, Wow that sure was short!" What and the hell was Meg talking about? This is taking forever! I attempted to speed up and stay going at Joanie's pace but I just couldn't. My feet were still burning and hurting so bad. I was tired and there was no way that my body was going to let me move faster. I felt like crying but I didn't. Ryan and I silently ran side by side. It was weird even though we didn't utter a word that last mile it was such a comfort having him by my side. Remember how I mentioned that I started off with this very long large hill that we carefully jogged down. Well, there was that same very large hill that I needed to go back up before I could cross the finish line! At the corner before this bad ass hill I heard someone yell, "Go Jules!" I looked up and saw my husband and my drive came back! I was so happy to see him and knew that I just needed to get my bootie up that hill and sprint to the finish line! It was at that corner that I looked at that mother of a hill and decided I was going to get up that dam thing and finish my race strong! I started moving up the hill and my thighs and calves were screaming in protest! I passed at least five or six people ! I made it up that big hill and then I heard a spectator yell, "Keep going your almost there, there is just a few more blocks!" What do you mean ,the finish line isn't just a few feet ahead? Oh my God, are you kidding me! I just want to be done! I kept running as fast as my legs would take me. I attempted to sprint with the finish line in sight! I could see it getting closer and closer and finially I crossed it! I finished! I am no longer a half marathon virgin! So, what was my final chip time? I came in at 2:01:59! No, it was not the time that I was hoping for but I will eventually get better. My goal is to run a 1:45 to 1:50 half! Obviously I have some work to do!

This is Beth's husband Mike, he finished way before me and was waiting at the finish line. I was so tired but he told me a funny story so I forgot about my burning feet. He said, "Hey Julie, I was running and I saw a girl with the same color jacket as you. She was way in front of me and I couldn't keep up with her. I thought God, that Julie sure does run fast!" I find this very funny! I told him that he was mistaken.....clearly mistaken...because there is no way in hell that I could run a seven minute mile pace! Ha ha, way to funny for me:) Beth your husband was hilarious and his little story just made my day!

This is another Minnesota blogger named Jenny...she also passed me at mile eleven or twelve. She was also very nice and I enjoyed meeting and talking with her!

This is another picture of Beth and I by the finish line! We were both so glad to be done:) I was sad that I didn't get to meet my blogger buddy Chad who also ran. Chad, I checked the results and see that you did so good! Congrats to you!! Speedo Steve you also kicked some big time butt! I am so happy for both of you:)

All runners received a coffee cup and a St. Paul Winter Carnival Button! We were told that our medals will be mailed to us! I went home, took a shower, ate and went to bed. I was tired and I had plans to go out with my family for a belated birthday dinner.

Surprise, it wasn't just my family! I have mentioned in a past blog post that I am a twin and that earlier this month I had a birthday. My family and I arrived at this little supper club and we were led back to a special room, I didn't think anything of it until they opened up the double doors. Behind those doors stood extended family and friends of both John's and mine! I was shocked! I was totally shocked! So I have included a few pictures from the surprise party. Unfortunately my camera's battery died early on so there are only a few.

This is Doug he was my brother's best friend all through high school.

This is a picture of me and Clare who is one of my best friends from high school!

This little honey is my God child Danny!

This is me and my twin brother John! Hey Texas mom, notice the margarita!

Here is my cousin Brenda, my friend Paul and me!

This is me and my lovely sister Judy:)

Here is a shot of my cousin Mary and me!

I will eventually forgive my family for this birthday cake that they decided to grace us with! They found the most embarrassing picture possible and put on our cake! Lovely! It is a good thing that I have a very good sense of humor:) That is all I have for today, but I am looking forward to reading many race reports from this weekend! Have a good week everyone:)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why am I Nervous?

I just got back from a five miler around the Rice Lake Trails. It went alright, my Garmin was being Goofy in terms of reporting my mile splits. I am pretty certain that I was probably running nine to ten minute miles. I was just going easy and I wasn't working on speed or doing anything crazy. It reported that I was anywhere from 7:24 to 9:00 minute miles. There are several hills that I must go up and I know I am slowing down for them. I just don't believe that two of my miles were in the seven in a half minute range. Does anyone else think that their Garmin gets screwy sometimes?

There are several bloggers who were fortunate enough to be asked to try the Champion brand of workout running gear. About two weeks ago I was at Target and found the running outfit that I am wearing in this picture. The two items that I purchased were on the sale rack. My Champion jacket was $9.99 and my running pants were $15.99. I was pretty happy with the price and considered it a steal when compared to some of the other name brand items that I have purchased in the past. I thought the running outfit did a good job in terms of both providing thermal warmth and comfort. The only thing that bothered me was the little flappy thing up by my chin. Occasionally it would rub into my neck and that was a little annoying. The running pants were great! They fit perfect and were comfy to run in:)

I put these Yaktrax on for every outside run. Notice how I string my key through my shoe laces:)

So why do you think that I am so nervous? Well, it is because I have registered for the St. Paul Frozen Half Marathon and it is this Saturday! Oh, and it will be my first! Yes, I am a virgin half marathon girl and I am just a wee bit frightened! Speedo Steve talked me into it:) I was planning on my first half marathon being the Lace Up in February but I am just going to do this one for fun:) So if I am just doing this for fun, why am I so nervous? This past September I ran the Women Run the Cities 10 mile and my time was 1:23. I am not running as much as I did back then and really feel like there is no way that I can keep up with that type of pace right now. My plan is to set myself up with the 10 minute mile pacers and just see what happens. Once I have this whole half marathon thing behind my belt I will work on improving my times:)

The weather for Saturday looks horrible, it is reported to possibly snow and sleet. My husband thinks that I am crazy for wanting to run in that type of weather and I am not thrilled about it either. Hopefully it will not be as bad as I think and everything will be fine:)

I am hoping to see Beth, Honky, Chad and Steve out there!! Good luck to you all:)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Tribute to my Favorite Blogs

Here is a picture of my kiddos, they look all happy and like they are best friends!! Don't let their sweet little smiles fool you! It is just the picture.....sadly, they tend to get on each others nerves but agreed to sit for a picture! My son is heading off to college tomorrow and I will miss him:(

I was so thrilled to get out yet again today and go on another longer run!!! Ten miles! The first four were honestly the hardest, I felt tired and my legs felt heavy. My best split was 7:43 and my slowest 10:03. It was a nice run with great temps so I was a happy runner girl:) Warning....I am having issues with the spacing...grrrr! I am attempting to fix!!

As promised in my last post it is my intention to share a few of my favorite blogs:) Okay, there may be more than just a few. I have been blogging for around six and a half weeks and have enjoyed it immensely. It has been an absolute pleasure reading and getting to know about everyone's unique stories!. There are truly so many wonderful blogs out there. You should know that there is no particular order for these blogs but I have seperated them into catergories. So here goes, the list of many outstanding blogs!
Blogs that are extremely entertaining and funny to me. Everyone needs a good laugh every now and then. Here is the list of a few that never disappoint.
1) Beth at Discombobulated Runner...Beth or B.O.B is freaking hilarious and something tells me that she is a riot to hang out with! It is really to bad that she doesn't live in Minnesota, I would love to hang out with her. Check out her blog and go back to her January 4th post titled, Sybil. It is her take on ready to laugh your ass off!:) She aslo features a thankful Thursday bleep where she lists a few things that she is thankful for. She then asks her readers to participate! B.O.B is a must see!
2)Steve at Steve in a Speedo?! Gross! Oh boy, where do I start on this one? I must admit that I wasn't sure what I was going to find when clicking on his blog. Actually, I am pretty sure that I was imagining an older, hairy, stocky man who was actually really wearing a super tight red speedo. The kind of man that you might see walking the beaches in Florida:) I was very surprised to find out that Steve was a younger fellow Minnesota athlete! Steve's posts are pretty funny and clearly he is a clown:) There have been many times that I have rolled my eyes and sighed at some of the material he chooses to discuss in his blog. Go to his blog and check out his January 12th post titled, My New Recovery Drink of Choice and you will see what I mean. I guess in short, I can say that Steve is a guy! I think it is the little boy in him that amuses me! Another thing that I love about his blog is that fact that he shares tons of very cool pictures:) I read his blog daily and hope to meet him someday in the future:)
3) Holly at Fat Girl Running...Holly is a fairly new blogger who is also pretty comical. Friday I was in a crabby mood, totally PMSing and just flat out tired! I went to her blog and read her post from January 15th, titled, Where the Hell are my Knees?? Very funny, I was giggling for a long time after. Her funny story is just what I needed to take care of my cranky mood! Check her blog out!
4) Beth at Shut Up and Run Beth always seems to entertain me with her funny stories, videos and pictures. Yes, Beth's blog is very amusing but she does have a softer and serious part of her as well. One of my favorites is the December 20th post titled, First Marathon Race Report. This particular report was from her last year's first marathon. Reading her report gave me the desire to want to put a marathon on my to do list. Also, check out this girl's killer abs, they are super impressive:) Take a look at her blog and see for your self!
My next category is stimulating and sophisticated writers. First, everyone should know that I am a complete sucker for intriguing, romantic, mysterious and extremley intelligent writers. I love anyone that can execute stellar creative writing! Here are my top three!
1) Lam at The Running Laminator I absolutely adore this blog! Lam is a kid doctor who doubles as a poet and a running coach. His writing inspires, shines with intelligence, and displays a unique class and sophistication! There is a politeness and charm to his writing that will be sure to delight any reader. He takes moments from his life as a doctor and parallels them with running. His blog is a necessity!
2)Jamoosh at Das Mixture Jamoosh is a blogger who is very funny, witty and extremely creative. I enjoy reading the comments that he leaves to other bloggers....very much a smart ass, but I think that is what I like about him!:) Jamoosh has in fact, never left me a comment but he was kind enough to introduce my blog to his readers by posting a little bleep about cool Minnesota moms! Thank you for that Jamoosh! The first post of his that I read was from January 6th, titled, Do Not Read This Post. I must admit that I was confused....this is a running blog???? Even though it might of seemed confusing to me, I was highly impressed with his unique intelligent writing style. It sparked a curiousity in me and I now read his blog every day!!
3) Chad at Running Minnesota Chad is a runner who also writes articles for MDRA Magazine and interviews local runners for his Running Minnesota blog. I love this blog that pays tribute to many of Minnesota's finest local runners. Chad does an excellent job letting his readers learn more about the uniuqe lives and history of every runner he interviews. I am crossing my fingers in hopes of seeing an updated blog and new Minnesota running subject:) Oh, another thing, Chad has another personal running blog called Simon Says Run!
My next category is blogs that I read because I like them! These blogs are friendly, cheerful, and genuine. These are some of the characteristics and qaulities that I look for in friends!
1) Slomo at Running for Happy Aches and Pain Let it be known that I just love Slomo to pieces because he is such a nice guy! He befriended me when I only had a few blogger friends and has been such a loyal follower! I am pretty sure that this man would take the shirt off of his back for a total stranger if he knew that he could help someone out. Slomo lives in Las Vegas with his wife and children. His life is crazy busy! Slomo also has like, I don't know twenty degrees or something like that! I love reading is blog because it is so conversational like and entertaining. He has a way of making me smile:) Slomo casually mentions other blogs that he reads and shares interesting things about them. I have started to read a few blogs due to Slomo. He also leaves the kindest comments! Running for Happy Aches and Pains is a blog that I read every single day:)
2) Meg at Meg Runs Meg is also a positive and cheerful blogger! I love her upbeat attitude and happy demeanor. Meg is going to Boston!! One thing that Meg and I have in common is that we both have a college boy!
3) Jill at Run With Jill Jill is also sweet and has a good sense of humor! I enjoy her daily postings and have to say that this girl appears to always be in a good mood:) I love happy people!! Oh, and I forgot to say that Jill is also going to Boston!!
4) Lisa at Early Morning Run Lisa lives in the big apple and always entertains me with her stories, trips and healthy recipes! She is one of the luckiest runners that I know because she is able to run in Central Park everyday if she chooses!! Running in Central Park is on my to do list:) Stop by Lisa's blog!
5) Kathy at Running, Life, Learning and Growing Kathy left a comment on someone else's blog and stated that she was a blogger newbie just like me. I left her a message and said, "Hey, lets be rookie blogger friends." Kathy has also been a loyal blogger friend:) She has already signed up for three marathons this year and one of them is in Missoula, Montana!! Montana is one of the most beautiful states and I am desperately wanting to go back:)
6) Katie at Fit to Wed Katie is getting hitched and she has vowed to live a healthy lifestyle. She is smart, funny and super nice. Katie is like me and hoping to run in a few half marathons! I love reading her blog!
7) Jon at SwiCycloRun...tales of an age group I am planning on adopting Jon but he doesn't know this yet. He will love having me for an older sister!! I will always have his back and eventually my craziness will win him over:) What do you think Jon? Are you game and will you take on the very important role as my bloggie kid brother? Jon lives in New York and enjoys running, swimming and cycling. I will not hold against him the fact that he loves to swim :) Swimming is yet another thing that I suck at! Check out his blog:)

8) Tim at Bay Area Runner Tim is fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful places in the nation. On the weekends Tim goes on his longer runs and shares with his readers the most incredible pictues! Something wonderful has happened to him recently that has changed his life forever. Yes, Tim became a daddy for the first time in December and has a beautiful baby girl:) Check out his cool blog!
My next list features fellow Minnesota Bloggers!
1) Heather at Junk Miles Heather is the reason that I began blogging. I found her blog by accident. I was looking for race results for a race that we both ran in and I stumbled across her blog. I was amazed that there was this entire blogging network available, and that runners could communicate with other runners, and form bloggie friendships! Heather is pretty funny and I love her blog and visit it daily:)
2) Jenn at Running Sane Jenn is going to Boston!! Jenn is another Minnesota mom who has a heart of gold! She is a little fireball with kick ass splits!! She is a super star!! Love her blog!
3) Beth at Running My Own Race I remember the first time I clicked on Beth's blog because I was elated that she was from Minnesota too!! Beth and I both ran the Polar Dash together and will hopefully run a few more of the same races together. Do you know that she actually finished a half marathon on her treadmill!!! Rock Star!! I am hoping to meet her sometime soon. Beth is very encouraging and has inspired me to run in a few more out of state races:)
4) Chris at Running to the Honky Tonk Honky is a fairly new blogger who enjoys honky tonk music! He shares old music clips with his viewers:) He is getting ready to run in several marathons this year. He is a super nice guy who was inspired to run by his girlfriend:) He is ramping up the miles and getting ready to race!! Check out his blog!
5)Renee at Renee's Ramblings Renee is the Minnesota runner that I wish to emulate. She started running in her late 30's and has a hell of a running career. She is super speedy and has some of the best times that I have ever seen for her age group! She just won the Zoom Yah Yah indoor track marathon! Yes, she ran a flipping marathon around a track!!! Her blog is a mixture of stories, race reports, recipes and other ruminations:) I love her blog and have been stalking it since August. She is a St. Cloud River Runner who lives in Rochester of all places. Some of you may remember when I started blogging I stated that the St. Cloud River Runners are stellar athletes who have race times that I could only dream of having. Well, Renee is one of them!
Next, I would like to share with you blog that have cool features.
1) Mel at Tall Mom on the Run Mel features Test Lab Tuesday and High Five Friday! Check her blog out!
2) Amanda at Run to the Finish Amanda has something called a Gratitude Journal. Every post she lists things that she is grateful for. I enjoy reading her list because she lists cool and unique things that I wouldn't normally think of:) It makes me appreciate the simple and pure things in life:)

My last category is blogs that I just recently started to visit.
1) Tony at Running Through Life Well, let it be know that Tony lives in one of my favorite cities....Chicago!!! When I was a flight attendant my husband and I were able to fly stand by. If I had a few days off in a row we would hop a plane and take a quick trip to Chicago!! Good times!! I just started to read Tony's blog and he is just starting to get back in the saddle after a knee injury. Give Tony's blog a look see!!
2) Paige at Serious Case of the Runs! I have to give Slomo credit for finding Paige...he had mentioned how she ran some crazy six hour run in the snow! I had to go check it out for myself and it is very clear that Paige is a flipping trooper for even attempting this particular run:) Paige is as cute as a button and uses word like Yeehaw and Bam!!!
3) Patrick at My new life on the run Patrick just finished his first marathon at Disney!!! Congrats to him!! I have to thank B.O.B for giving me the heads up about this new blogger:) Patrick lives in Buffalo, NewYork and works as a news anchor for an affiliate of ABC! Ladies, there is a reason this man is in television:)
And there you have it folks....a very long list of favorites:) There are many more great blogs out there that I didn't include on my list. I am hoping to maybe do a review of new blogs every other week. I would like to go off the beaten path and find a few more unique and interesting blogs and then share them with you:)
Alright, I give up, my computer wins! So sorry about the huge spacing problem!! I have attempted to correct but it is just not going to happen on my home computer. I will see if I can fix it tomorrow on my work computer:)

Saturday Outside 5 Miler

Greetings fellow bloggers!! Today I was able to get outside and go on a five miler!! It was absolutely beautiful with a temperature of 25 degrees!! I went to Rice Lake and ran around it once and then continued onto the connecting trail system.

This route is actually a little challenging due to all of the hills. There are several that kick my butt and occasionally make me swear under my breath:) I know that the hills are good for me and are an important element to training.

Tomorrow I will attempt to do a longer run and hopefully it will be just as nice out as it was today:) Good weather is great motivation for me:)
I would like to apologize, as I was to have my tribute to my favorite blogs posted today. Unfortunately, it is taking longer to draft than I had thought. I will be posting my tribute to these favorite blogs sometime tomorrow. So until then, keep smiling!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Training Like Crazy

It has been a few days since my last post. I have been running and really focusing on getting myself ready for my first half marathon. Last night was my first night of training at Velocity Sports. There I am with Kacie, my trainer for the evening. She is in her young twenties and is just this little thing, but let me tell you, she is all muscle! I introduced myself to her and explained why I was train my upper body and core for all of the half marathons that I have coming up in the future. I told her not to go easy on me and that I could handle it:) She just smiled and said, "Alright, but let me know if you need a break.......okay." I looked at her smiling and said, "I will not need a break, I am pretty sure that I can do this."

So myself and seven other adults lined up for our session of core, strength and endurance training. Yes, I was the newbie and the rest of the trainees were curious. I introduced myself and they were all so nice! Kacie explained what the hour session would consist of......1) You will be sprinting and running at least half of the session. 2) We will be using a eight pound exercise ball to do various drills.

So, here is the good news.....I kicked butt at the running! We ran so many 50 meter sprint repeats and I was finishing before the men:) I was very happy about this since I pretty much sucked at some of the other drills. I sucked it up, I never complained, and I put 100% effort into everything! Unfortunately, I did terrible at the push ups. I was able to do five push ups that were perfect. After push up number five my arms just couldn't handle my body weight (123 pounds)! Yes, I know this is pathetic, but I will get better! My favorite drill was the Russian twists using the eight pound ball! God, I actually enjoyed doing those:) We worked the entire time....sprinting and strength drills, and sprinting and strength drills! I was getting tired towards the end but I didn't show it. Fianlly, after our last v-frame freeze Kacie said that we were done! What did I do other than secretly thanking God for the end? I collapsed on the turf! I rested about a minute and stood up. Kacie said, "Good job Julie, you didn't do to bad for a first session:)

I woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed tying to get myself pepped up for my 10 miler. I had every intension to run ten miles on the track of my health club. Below is the before picture.....I am looking happy and ready to rumba:)

I did a few walk warm up laps and then continued to run. At first I liked it and I thought about how great it was not to have all the extra layers of clothing that I usually wear for my outside runs. Then after a few miles I was getting hot and the air was dry. There were also so many people just walking around the track and I found it difficult to run at a consistant pace. I wasn't feeling so hot....maybe I was just tired after last nights workout. I really didn't feel any soreness until mile six. I sucked it up for two more miles and I was done. I had every intention of running a few more on the mill way, I am done for the day:) As I am typing, I am feeling a little sore and tenderness ummm...everywhere!
Here I am after my last lap looking a little tired and worn, but still smiling:) Tomorrow I will try to either get into another Velocity class or run a five miler.

This has been my sixth week of blogging!!!! I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed it! I love reading everyone's blogs and it has been a pleasure getting to know other runners and their unique stories. In my next blog I would like to share with you a few of those blogs that I absolutely love. Everyone of these future feature blogs are different and they all posess that something special or that x-factor that I personally favor. Until then, keep smiling:)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Good news, I was tagged twice

It has been a few days since my last post. I have been running every day trying to increase my miles. Thank God for Yaktrax! My pacing seems to be consistant at 8.5 to 9.1 minute miles. I am pretty happy with that considering all of the extra layers of running gear I need to put on and the less than stellar running conditions of my paths and roads. Today I ran seven miles on the treadmill and it went fine. I didn't go all gang busters, I just ran 9 minute miles. I am very happy that my hip didn't flare-up:) I have also been getting caught up on reading my running magazines and started to read RUN FAST How to Beat Your Best Time Every Time by Hal Higdon. So far I am liking it:)

My husband gave me flowers for my birthday and they are starting to wilt just a little bit. I wanted to get a picture of them. My little guy saw that I had the camera and jumped on the counter:) He never passes down a photo opportunity.

Now on to the good news, I was tagged not once but twice!! I have never been tagged before so this is pretty exciting. I was first tagged by Katie at Fit to Wed ....she asked me to name seven fun facts about myself and then to tag some other blogger friends! So here fun facts about Julie.

1) I am a twin. I have a brother who was born about three minutes after me. When there are twins one usually takes on the leader role and the other the follower. I was the leader...and I made him do some pretty crazy things!

2) I am a country girl who grew up on a farm. Growing up I had a pet steer named Henry. I loved Henry and he let me ride him around the barn yard:) I was a total tom boy and played sports with my brothers and neighbor boys.

3) When I was in high school I had an independent study class where I would spend most of the time in the library. I attempted to leave the school early to run into Cold Spring to get a can of soda. Just as I was walking to the parking lot to get to my car, my principal, Mr. Peterson caught me. He said, "Julie, where do you think you are going? Don't you know that school doesn't end for another hour?" I looked at him smiling and said, "Oh crap, I guess this means I am busted!" He smiled back and said, "Yes Julie, you are busted." I told him that I just needed a soda and that I was planning on coming back. He put his arm around my shoulder and slowly escorted me back into the school. The entire time we were walking back into the school I was wondering how pissed off my dad was going to be after he found out that his daughter was caught ditching school early. Mr. Peterson walked me back to the teachers lounge and I was puzzled. He asked me what kind of soda I wanted. He then took some change out of his pocket, inserted it into the soda machine and handed me a Diet Coke!! He then smiled and told me to get back to the library where I belonged:)

4) My first degree was broadcast journalism and I worked as a radio announcer for five years. I worked for an easy listening, country and rock radio stations. My favorite part of my job was making the voice overs for commercials. My least favorite part of the job was getting the couple boxes of crazy people calling in and asking me what I looked like.

5) My second career was in the airline industry. I worked as a flight attendant for a charter and a major Minneapolis based Airline. The best part of the job was the traveling to different cities and countries. My least favorite part of the job was never getting enough sleep! The trip that will forever rank as the my best trip was a trip to L.A. My flight crew consisted of myself and three St. Louis based guys. It was by far, hands down, the funnest trip ever. The boys were a riot to work with! There are to many stories that go along with this...will possibly save for another post:)

6) I am a bit of a pack rat....not with clothing or big things that physically take up space. I am a sucker for things that are sentimental. That being said, I have saved all of the letters that I was given in both Jr. and Sr. High school. A few weeks ago I took a trip down memory lane and found a letter that was given to me by my first boy friend. In the letter he told me that going out with me was like dating a nun! The reason he felt compelled to say this is because I denied him opportunity to visit second base:) Very funny!

7) My parents didn't have a lot of money and therefore couldn't afford to send any of their four children to college. I put myself through college and paid for every red cent. I moved to St. Paul paid my own rent and everything else that goes along with being an adult. I have never borrowed money from anyone!! When I was going to college I had a full load of credits, worked full time and had an intership. I basically lived on three hours of sleep a night! There is no way in hell that I could do that now:) Now I will go ahead and tag....

Heather at Junk Miles

Tag number two came from Kathy at Running, Life, Learning and Growing. She asked me to name 10 things that make me happy! So here goes....

1) I am a sucker for handbags:) Show me a cute or funky handbag and I melt.

2) A new pair of Asics or a cute running outfit makes me happy.

3) Watching my children's sporting events!

4) When my husband tells me that I was right!

5) I experience joy by making other people happy!

6) When my little guy gives me a hug and tells me that he loves me:)

7) I am always happy if I can make it to a new destination with out getting lost.

8) I love it when I have a great run and I feel like I could run several more miles:)

9) I love reading good books, articles and blogs. If there is something that speaks to me or makes a positive impression, I am thrilled!

10) My favorite flower is the lilac. I am happy when my children bring me lilacs in the spring.

So there you have it....ten things that make me happy! I am now going to tag.....

Jenn at Running Sane

Well that is all that I have for tonight!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My "A" Game Plans Are Together

I am very happy to say that today was very productive! Today was my day off and I was able to get so much done. I had an appointment with my massage therapist this morning. The good news is that she was able to work out some problem areas in my hip! The bad news is that she basically told me that my body was a mess. My muscles were so tight and coiled....she said they felt like ropes. I have to tell you, it was not the most pleasurable massage that I have had. It hurt like hell and I was cringing about 60% of the session. My body really needed it and even though it wasn't as relaxing as I had hip feels much better. I was afraid that I was dealing with bursitis in my hip. I have been having issues with it ever since I ran my 10 mile in September. Dani said that it felt like a few of my muscle attachments just need to be worked out. I also got lectured on stretching before I go on my daily runs...especially the ones outside.

Today I made a trip to Velocity Sports Performance and signed up for training sessions! I am very thrilled to start strength, stability& abs (Core focus & lower inpact training). I will be training with other adult athletes who are there to improve their strength.

I met Linda, the long distance specialist who will be helping me with a training plan and schedule.

Linda knows her stuff, she has been running for years and has competed in countless half and full marathons.

I have watched my daughter Kay train and work out here over the past two years. Kay plays basketball and runs track. I also asked her run a few 5ks with me over the summer....she was awesome! She went home with more awards and medals than I did. She needed a little extra something to give her the finess needed for a "A" basketball game. It was such a good experience for her and I saw many groups of adults working out too. In the back of my mind I thought to myself that I could do the things that they were doing.

So this will be my home away from home for the next three months as I train and work my ass off to get in shape for my half marathons! That being first half marathon is the Lace Up For Breast Cancer on February 14th! My time may not be beautiful in my mind but I will finish!

I will also be doing speed training at our health club....working out on the track:) I have missed sprinting on a track. I love to watch my daughter run in the same sprints and relays that I did. She is a starter for all of her relays just like I was. Fast out of the blocks:)

Well, I have things to do! I would like the rest of the evening to drag out......I only have 12 more hours of being 39! Oh my me!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Polar Dash 5k Review and Hello 2010!

I got up this morning at 7:30 am and got ready for my first race of 2010! Yea baby!! This morning I ran in the Team Ortho Polar Dash 5k!! I was in a great mood and ready to go...despite the was 2 degrees. My husband was very generous and agreed to drop me off so that I wouldn't have to worry about parking and walking in this freezing tundra of a flipping morning. My daughter Kay did not run with me...she told me that she has a life and can't run in every race that I want company in:) Whatever....she had a party to go to with all of her girl friends...New Years eve sleep-over:) So I ran with my lonesome but had a great time anyway.
I arrived and check in went super fast, they were very organized and handled things in a timely fashion. I picked up my running bib and my Polar Dash hat and mittens:) Waiting in line I was able to meet another Minneapolis runner. Lois told me that her first half marathon was last year in Maple Grove.....she said it was a terrible day to run with the cold weather and wind....and oh my goodness the hills! Maple Grove does have alot of hills and I complain about them all the time. So maybe all of the hills in Maple Grove will help me when I am running in a super flat and fast half marathon this year:)

One thing that I thought was very cool was the fact that they had pacing groups for the 10k....I usually don't see that in the shorter races. I looked for the eight minute mile pace and moved up a little bit with the direction of Tim. Tim was the pacer for the 52 minute 10k.....he told me that I would want to move up because they would start out slower and there were over 2000 runners present. It had been some time since I had my 23:10 PR and I knew that today was in no way going to be a PR day. I did feel good and pretty energetic so I had every intention of just running a really good race.

The horn went off and it took about 30 seconds for me to move up to the start line....and I was off! I felt great and my feet were a little cold but I was to busy just taking in the sun and the good energy of the runners next to me. It seemed like only a few minutes before the turn around appeared. I thought, Wow, half way already! The coolest part was after the turn around I was able to see all of the other runners who were still behind me. I heard Tim (the 8:00 10k pacer) yell, "Go Julie"! I waved and gave him the thumbs up. I just kept moving at a steady pace and before I knew it the finish line was in sight. The crowd was cheering and I was smiling:) I looked down at my Garmin 24:03! Not a PR but I was still happy, after the last few crappy 5ks I will gladly take it.

I received my medal and had my picture taken with a friendly polar penguin...he asked me how it felt to be one of the first females to come in? I was like...what? He said, "Seriously, there have only been a few girls to come across so far". That was a huge ego booster for me:)

My first race of 2010 was a good one! I was a little sad that I wasn't able to see my blogger buddy Beth who also ran today. Beth was a rock star and ran in the 10k! I can't wait to hear what she thought about the race:)

The year 2009 was a good year for a first year of real running. (Does that sound right?) I never in a million years would of thought that I would of ran in 13 5ks, one 10k and a ten mile! Thank you to my friend Pam for introducing me to running. I love what it has done for me and look forward to my running future in 2010.


To be a better person, friend, mother and wife

To have more patience

To set good examples

To be a role model

To try not to swear as much...(nothing to terrible just a few Sh-- s)

Eat more fruits and veggies

Lay off the caffeine

Continue to take my vitamins and calcium.....and essential oils

Try more different foods

Purchase more organic foods

Try a few of my blogger buddy's recipes

Join a running group

Take at least one class per semester....(Yes, I am a Gopher and go to the University of Minnesota)

Sign up for photography classes at National Camera Exchange

Start running longer distances

Log at least 1000 miles in 2010

Smile into the camera when I am crossing the finish line so that I don't look like a total dork in pictures

To continue my never stop running philosophy during a race

Actually meet some of my blogger friends

Make more bloggie friends

Start to do strength training

Stay healthy and injury free

I will run in four to five half marathons.....with at least one race at 1:50: to 2:00 and live

Finally get rid of the cellulite that is camping on my ass

Cheers! Happy New Year!!
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