Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yes, I Am Offically Nuts..Four Weekends In A Row!

First of all, welcome to my new followers Bryan, Lisbet, Jenni, Rachel, Heidi and Stacy!!

Well, it has been a week already. Sunday, I just rested....that means I did nothing:) I was a little sore from Saturday's rain run and thought that I deserved a day off. Monday night I got out and ran an easy three miler. I also did Jeff's 100 push-up challenge. I can now do 44 to 45 depending on the session and how tired I am. I sort of suck at this and might have to do an additional week to get to a respectable number. Congrats to James and Boomer! These two studs have already surpassed the 100 push-up goal:) I like them I will try not to be jealous! Tuesday Kay had a varsity track meet and we did not get home until after 8PM. I was not able to get a run in...bummer:( Today, I had every intention of running a ten miler. Yea, that did not happen. Sadly, I was not feeling energized or motivated. I ran eight miles at an 9:30 minute mile pace...that is one minute slower per mile than what I usually run on my training runs. I just didn't have it in me.

Tonight Kay had another track meet...this time JV. She rocked it:) She took first place in the 400 meter dash!! Last night at the varsity meet she ran the 400 and took fifth place. She also ran in the 4 by 400 meter relay and her relay team took first! Tomorrow she has another varsity meet and she has to run the 400 meter dash again.

I was looking forward to having a weekend off from racing. Jenn at Running Sane left me a comment about running again this weekend. I was thinking, Jenn, what and the hell are you talking about I have this weekend off? I quickly looked at my racing schedule and freaked out just a bit!! Holy cow!! I have another half marathon on Sunday!! Panic has officially sunk in! What and the hell was I thinking when I signed up for all of these races? Good Lord....I signed up to run in the Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon! I have heard from several runners that it is a tough course with several challenging hills!! Oh crap.....seriously, I am feeling a little beat and am wondering if I should just run it as a training run or if I should try like hell to go super fast and try to PR again. I don't know if I will be able to pull it off. The good news is that there are pacers again...the bad news is that there are no pacers working for the goal time of 1:55. I don't know what to do and probably won't know what to do until race day. I am open for suggestions...please:) I am hoping to make it up to St. Cloud on Saturday to run with my running group...possibly run an easy 4 to 5 miles! I don't want to do anything super crazy due to the half marathon on Sunday.

After my Golden Valley 10K a few weeks ago I was left a comment from Rocco at Run Minnesota. He has been kind enough to post the last three of my race recaps in his blog:) I have been able to find so many other cool Minnesota bloggers because of him! Thanks rock!

I have been shopping for things for my, Woo hoo, I have 100 followers giveaway!! I will have all of the details sometime next week:)

I hope that everyone enjoys the rest of their weeks! Happy running, swimming, biking, lifting or whatever makes you happy:) Cheers to you!

Lindsay is hosting a $15 iTunes gift card giveaway!

Rad Runner is hosting a Bradford Tonic giveaway!

Adam is hosting a Road Runner $50 gift card giveaway!

Angie is hosting a Whooha gear giveaway!

Erica is hosting a Banana Blossoms Press Card and t-shirt giveaway!

Molly is hosting a I Can't Believe It's Not Butter giveaway!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Get in Gear 10K...Another PR!

Here we are, race recap time again!! I actually survived three race weekends in a row!! This morning I ran the Get in Gear 10K in Minneapolis. This was my first time doing this race. Last September I ran in the Women Run the Cities 10 mile and it had some of the same running route. Friday evening I drove to Minneapolis to pick up my racing bib and t-shirt. I couldn't believe how packed it was!! My hubby and I went out for dinner:) Don't you worry....there was no wine for me last night! I learned my lesson the hard way:) I went to bed at 10PM and was up this morning at 5AM. I arrived in Minneapolis at about 7:15 AM because I wanted to find a good parking spot. I scored...I parked on Minnehaha Avenue and could see the Porta Pottys from my van:)
This is what it looked like outside! I was really struggling with what to wear for this race. I had a tank top on along with my water proof running jacket. I originally had my Nike shorts on but was feeling a little chilly so I covered up with running pants. I sat in my van for a bit just watching other runners park their cars and make their way to the park. I had my radio on and Bon Jovi's song, Living On A Prayer came on! I couldn't resist....I turned it up and loudly sang along attempting to get pumped up for today's race!

It was about 7:50 when I finally got enough nerve to venture out into the rain. See how excited I look...not so much. Getting out of my van I stepped into a huge puddle of water and basically drenched both of my shoes and socks! Yea, that sucked!! I was sloshing along and praying to God that I wouldn't end up with blisters.

Once I got into the Pavillion I was able to hit the indoor rest room. It is in there where I took off my running pants. They were soaking wet and I thought, screw it...I am wearing my shorts:) I took off my shoes and attempted to dry them out as best as I could. I then checked a few of my things and waited with tons of other people inside the Pavillion.

I am standing in line for one more bathroom break. It is still raining.

This was right before I headed to the start line. I met a nice woman who was running the half marathon and she was kind enough to take my picture:)

This picture was taken at the start line about 10 minutes before the official start. I was telling myself that this was going to be a great race despite the rain:)
As I was taking a few pictures Joe, another Minnesota blogger, asked me if I was Julie. I told him that yes I was and we were able to chat a little before the start. Joe is really nice guy. We both ran in the Golden Valley run a few weeks ago and will be running in the Minneapolis Medtronic 1 mile coming up in May. Once the race started it took some time to move up. The first mile was one of the hardest for me. I did not do a warm-up and my body was cold and wet. I really struggled with my ankles in the beginning...they felt tight and I felt like I pulled something. I was a little worried. It took at least one mile for the people to start to thin out...I always have issues with running so close to other runners. I need my personal space:) I did not look at Garmin until I hit the mile marker because there was a man calling out times. He yelled 8:15...I then remembered It was gun time. I looked at my Garmin and it read 7:32!! I needed to slow down a bit or I would have no energy for the end of the race.

This is the only picture of the race that I took due to the rain. I put my camera in my jacket and hoped that it wouldn't get wet. Miles two and three were okay, my ankles felt better and I was running on my toes again. I caught myself and tried to run by landing on my mid foot but it felt all wrong. I went back to my old form and figured, why fix it if it isn't broken? It was working so I went with it. The course was pretty and would of been better if it wasn't raining. I was already totally soaked. My shorts, jacket, tank and sport bra were wet and cold:( I almost took off my jacket and put it around my waist but I didn't want to waste needed energy. The course did have a few small hills and I found them doable. The 5k mark was our only water stop. I grabbed a water and walked to drink it. I also pulled out a vanilla GU and took one mouthful....note to self....don't purchase this flavor again. I threw it out with my water cup. This next mile, I am pretty darn sure I slowed down a little. At least I felt like I did. I did not look at my Garmin and didn't want to have it mess with my head so I just ran on how I felt. I wanted to focus on maintaining a steady pace and keeping my breathing regulated. At mile five there was another man calling out splits and he yelled, 42:16! I had one mile to go and I knew I could probably push myself to get a PR out of this 10k! I continued to run steady and kept my focus on the girl in front of me wearing the red shorts. She was in my view for the past two miles. I made the turn onto a bridge and I was feeling a little tired. Just keep your feet moving...don't you dare slow down....keep moving.....pick it up a little......suck it up, you can rest after your done! All of these random little thoughts started floating around and I wanted that damn finish line to be in my sight! After I crossed the bridge I turned left and I could see the people in front of me turning right. I knew that the finish line was up ahead. When I made that right turn I picked up the pace! I was running fast! I was running so fast that I was passing people:) I was sprinting and had the energy to kick up my heels! I saw the clock and it said 51 something!! I crossed the finish line taking a few steps and made my way to the left. I needed to grab the fence and balance myself. I caught my breath for a few seconds and said, "Oh crap, I forgot to stop my Garmin again!" I have not once remembered to stop that darn thing after a race!! I looked at my Garmin and it read 50:58! I wondered what my real finish time was! I took at least 1:30 off of my last 10K PR!

Okay, so I went home and checked the official race stats.....

Official time 50:31 @ 8:08 minute mile pace.

I finished 721 out of 3658 total runners.

I finished 170 out of 2040 females.

I finished 30 out of 441 women in my age group.
This was about a two minute Pr for me!! Now I am hungry for another one and want to get it to under 49 minutes:) For a cold and rainy was a good day!
Kay had basketball games all day and I am so tired! I am going to bed:) Happy running, biking, swimming and lifting!! I will link everyone's giveaways tomorrow morning. Enjoy the rest of your weekends!
Rad Runner is hosting a Bradford Tonic giveaway!
Adam is hosting a $50 Road Runner gift card!
Angie is hosting a Whooha gear giveaway!
Erica is hosting a Banana Blossoms Press Card and running t-shirt giveaway!
Jenn is hosting a KALYX Sport Bra giveaway!
Molly is hosting a I Can't Believe It's Not Butter giveaway!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Busy Week and 100 Followers!

Oh my goodness, has this been a week already!! I have been super busy and have been basically pulling my hair out! First of all, congrats to all of the Boston runners!! I have enjoyed reading all of your reports and loved looking at the fantastic pictures:)

Holy crap, I finally have over 100 followers!! Welcome Chad, Judi, Ultra Running Collie, Stacey, Lisa, Sean, SueMac, Nicole and Sarah:) Nicole, thank you so much for your kind comment....I will always think of you as my 100th follower! Well, it looks like I am going to host a giveaway!! I promised that when I would get my 100 followers that I would host a really nice giveaway...I will share more on this later:) Thank you to everyone who takes time to read my little blog! I started this blog to document my training, races and to communicate with other runners. I can't tell you how much I enjoy blogging and love the friendships that I have developed through blogging:) I appreciate every single comment that is left for me:)

In terms of workouts this week this is how it looks so far...
Sunday, easy two miler just to shake out the legs after Saturday's half marathon.
Monday, easy three miler and push-up challenge.
Tuesday, off due to Kay's track meet. Kay ran varsity again and is getting faster:) This is the second varsity meet where she has taken first place in her heats! She is running in another varsity meet next Tuesday:)
Wednesday, eight miles and push-up challenge.
I have another 10K on Saturday. I am running the Get in Gear 10K in Minneapolis and I am hoping to see a few other Minnesota bloggers there:) Keep your finger crossed for me that I can pull it together and finish faster than the last 10K that I ran!
I am feeling the pressure of a student who needs to get her homework done ASAP! I am running in Jamoosh's Last Mile Brewing Virtual Halfathon!! It is not a typical half marathon where we actually run the distance. Jamoosh wants to be amused and entertained with creative and stimulating race reports:) The winner gets a flipping awesome Last Mile Brewing T-shirt! I am so confident that his T-shirt will look great on me:) The only problem is that I have some tough competition! I have read both Adam and MCM Mama's race reports and they are excellent! Not to mention all of the other competitors who still have their race recaps to turn in! Crap! I havn't even started yet! The pressure is on and I am feeling the heat:) Jamoosh, if my race recap sucks, can I at least purchase a T-shirt? Just checking:)

Well, that is all I have for tonight:) Enjoy the rest of your week and happy running, biking, lifting or whatever type of training floats your boat:)
Erica is hosting a Thorlo socks giveaway!
Erica is also hosting a Banana Blossoms Press card and running t-shirt giveaway!
MCM Mama is hosting a Gu giveaway!
Tara is hosting a Ryder Eyewear giveaway!
Molly is hosting a Whole Food Energy Bars giveaway!
Angie is hosting a Nuun giveaway!
Marcia is hosting a Chia Seeds giveaway!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Earth Day Half Marathon Race Report....Did She PR?

First of all...good luck to the gang heading out to Boston!! Good luck to Meg, Jill, Jenn, Marcia, Ginny, Lindsay and Ana Maria...kick some butt ladies:) Also good luck to my St. Cloud River Runner Friends Nikki and both are going to rock it:)

Okay, here goes.....I woke up this morning at 4AM and got ready to drive into St. Cloud for today's Earth Day Half Marathon. I did not want to drive to St. Cloud last night to pick up my packet. I paid the St. Cloud Tech high school track team to pick it up for me. I was then able to pick it up this morning in St. Cloud State's field house. Totally worth the five bucks:) Packet pickup opened up at 6AM and my plan was to get there at about 6:15 to 6:30. I wanted find a nice parking place and not have to worry about rushing. I did good, I was there in the parking lot at 6:15AM:) Guess who was the first person to pick up her I then had time to just get organized and calm myself down. I was really nervous and wanted more than anything to PR in this half marathon.

Number 705, this has got to be a lucky number! My birthday is on the seventh and the first number is a I am going with lucky today:)

I walked down to the field house at around 7:45 and was elated when I saw these guys! Woo hoo, pacer dudes!! The guy kneeling in the front is Dave, he is one of the pacers that I met at the St. Paul Securian Half. I asked him what pace group he was leading and I think it was the 1:35 group. I told him that there was no way that I was running with him today:) I really wanted to have a pacer to follow. I just am not good with pacing the longer runs so this was a nice surprise.

Walking around the field house I ran into Wanda who is a St. Cloud River Runner and we talked for a minute. She told me that her husband Buddy was there too. I went over to chat with him for a few minutes. Here we are...look at how tall this man is! I feel so short next to him:)

When I saw the pacers leaving the field house to go outside and get set up by the start line...I followed. As I was making my way to the start line I ran into one of my college classmate friends. Katie lives in Sartell and this was her first half marathon. I then went and met my pacer Tanya. She asked me if I had run a half marathon before and I told her yes. I also told her that they were both hard as hell for me. She told me that I was going to do fine and not to worry:)

This is about 15 minutes before the start....this was the view behind me.
Here is the view in front of me.

I was just looking around and checking things out when I spotted these two friendly faces!! I was so excited to see them! This is Deb and Gene who are both St. Cloud River Runners. Both of them were running the twenty miler and just happened to be running near my pace group:) Deb and Gene are running in the Wobegon Marathon in May! I am volunteering for that marathon and can't wait to cheer them on:)

Here is a picture of me and Deb. I told her how nervous I was and she invited me to run with them. I would be with them for the first 12 miles of their 20 miles. I felt so much better about running with them and knew that they would help me to stay on task:)

It took us some time to shuffle forward but it went much faster than I thought. This was a few minutes after the start, we are crossing a bridge. It was a beautiful day with gorgeous temps and beautiful sunshine. We let Tanya lead the way and were behind her for some time. At one point we ended up pulling ahead and I felt fine. Deb was chatting and telling me about the course and what to expect. I was so glad to know what was coming ahead. Really no surprises:)

I have no idea where this was but it reminded me of running cross country as an eighth grader on the golf courses. Oh my goodness, I forgot to update everyone on my shoe issue. I decided to see if I could return the Nikes but the store representative said that I couldn't return them if I ran outside. Deal breaker...I am stuck with a pair of Nike running shoes. My daughter Kay put them on and might use them for track. If they work out for her it won't be a total loss. I ended up purchasing a new pair of Asics....basically the same shoe. Today was my first day wearing them but I was not really worried about it. They fit pretty darn good and I was confident that I would perform better in them than with the Nikes.
I have to confess, I did not look at my Garmin for the first four miles. I just followed the lead of Deb and Gene who are experienced runners. I felt like so much of the pressure was lifted because they set the pace. The first three miles just flew by and I was feeling great:) Tanya, our pacer girl was still behind us.
This was such a great course! It was pretty flat for the most part but there were a few hills...nothing to terrible:)
I loved the energy of the spectator crowds!! They were awesome! Everyone was cheering and at a few places there was music playing. It was really nice and kept my mind off of getting tired. I am convinced that Deb must know basically everyone living in St. Cloud. People were calling her name and cheering for her constantly:) Deb did a great job of keeping my mind off of running the miles. She chatted off and on the whole time we were together and that helped me more than anything. It is always a struggle for me running on my own because I tend to concentrate on the negative things. She talked about many different random things and the course. Hearing her voice was such a comfort and I needed that. Gene was a little quieter but every now and then he would crack a joke or say something funny and I would end up laughing or smiling:) The miles went by and I was doing pretty good. This was the first half marathon where I actually used fuel. I took a few sport beans before the race and at about mile four I started on my first pack of Strawberry Banana Power Bar GEL. I won a few of these packs from Adam and I used them on my 11 mile run on Wednesday. I loved them so much that I went to the Running Room and puchased about ten more. I also went home with a Spibelt that Sean from the Maple Grove Running Room talked me into:) It worked great and I will be using it for all of my longer runs.
Here is Deb happy as ever:)

This is Gene sporting a big smile:)
In this picture it is hard to tell but this is a hill. The only place were I started to feel a little tired was at mile eight. Deb just kept on chatting and within a few minutes I was fine. We stopped at every single water stop and walked. I think this helped me too:) The miles went by and it was at the last water stop where Deb told me to go on ahead and that she would catch up with me. I continued to keep Gene in my sight. I would say that it was another 400 to 600 meters before the split off came. A little after mile 12 was where the half marathon runners and the twenty miler runners went their seperate ways. I saw Gene turn right and I continued left. I was a little lonely without my running partners. A few minutes later I saw a few of the St. Cloud River Runners at a corner....I waved and they cheered, Go Julie! Thanks guys:) I said, "I sure wish I had someone to run with." There was a girl running next to me who told me that she would run with me! We ran side by side and chatted at bit. I could hear people cheering and knew that the finish line was up ahead!! I could see the finish line and just needed to turn left and make my way down the shoot! One thing that I never mentioned was that Tanya my pacer never passed me:) You know what that means that I PRd:) I finally got my damn PR!! I finished my half marathon with a time of.....1:56!!! I shaved almost six minutes off of my old PR and I pretty darn happy about it! I am hoping to get my time down to 1:50 to 1:45 by the end of the season. My official stats are... 581 out of 1494 overall....218 out of 863 for gender and 31 out of 89 for my age group. My offical pace was 8:55 minute miles:) For now, I will take it!
This picture is super blurry:( After I finished I hung out and saw my blogger friend Heather cross the finish line. We took a moment to talk and have a photo opportunity. I dropped my camera and screwed it up:( It is hard to see our faces but here is Heather, her little girl Sophie and me. I am so glad that I had the chance to meet Heather...she is really nice and her daughter is such a cutie:)
This is a picture of me and my friend Pam. Pam is the one who who gets credit for getting me to run in races. The first 5K that I ran was the Old Glory Run and she is the race director:) Pam rocked the race and finished it in 1:40 something!! Go Pam:) I hung out a little longer because I wanted to see Deb and Gene finish their 20 miler. I waited for a bit and saw Shannon making her way up the way to the finish shoot! Shannon is a River Runner who just started running last year. She did so great and made running twenty miles look effortless:) I later spotted Gene and cheered for him too! A little bit later I saw Deb making her way up the final stretch! I ran with her until the beginning of the shoot....she had a huge cheering section:)
This last picture is of Deb, me and Gene after their twenty miler. We are all glad to have it done:) I was so lucky to have had them to run with....they made this the best half marathon to date. I am running this one again next year:)
I will post links to current giveaways after my hubby and I get back from dinner. Date night:) When I return I will also catch up on a few blogs:) I can't wait to read the race reports!!
Erica is hosting a Thorlo socks giveaway!
MCM Mama is hosting a Gu giveaway!
Tara is hosting a Ryder Eyewear giveaway!
Molly is hosting a Green Super-food whole food energy bars and Vitalicious Vita Tops chocolate yummy things giveaway!
Angie is hosting a Nuun giveaway!
Marcia is hosting a Chia Seeds giveaway!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Please Send Me Some Run Fast Vibes!

First of all, welcome to all new followers! Leave me a comment and I promise I will make it to your blogs:) It has been a crazy week!! I have been MIA to blogger world in terms of posting. This week I have been out everyday and I am resting tonight:) This is what I have logged so far this week.

Sunday, 4 miles.
Monday, 5 miles and push-up challenge.
Tuesday, 6 miles and push-up challenge.
Wednesday, 11 miles. I purchased new Nike shoes and ran all eleven miles in them:( Bad idea! When I saw the shoes I really thought that they were going to be perfect for me. I tryed them on and they felt so light and fantastic. I usually wear Asics but I figured that I would try something new. I do not like them because the area by the toes is way to thick and I don't like how it feels when I am pushing off of them. Seriously, I am so mad that I spent the money on something that I will not wear running:) They are really expensive lawn mowing shoes:) So, how and the hell am I going to purchase another pair of Asics shoes without my hubby finding out? Ha ha, he will most definitely find out!

I am running on Saturday morning in The Earth Day Half Marathon in St. Cloud, Minnesota. I wish I could tell you that I am really excited and looking forward to it:) The truth is....I am nervous as hell!! I have run two half marathons before and they were both a disaster in terms of how I felt for the second half of the race. I would really like to have a time of 2:00 or less:) My problem is that I have not built up the stamina and endurance needed for the longer races. In both of my past half marathons I have tanked after mile ten. I have no energy and my body and mind want to stop. It is so frustrating and I know that it is going to be a mental challenge for me. I am trying to stay positive and hope that I can pull it together and have a successful race. The good thing is that this race is advertised as flat and fast...flast!! I love it, that is my kind of race:) I would really appreciate some positive run fast vibes for Saturday:) Also, would anyone like to give me advice on how to run this race and get the time that I want. I would love to hear what you all think. Hopefully I will get a chance to see Heather who is also running Earth Day on Saturday:) Heather, if I don't see you...good luck to you!!

Also, good luck to the gang who is heading out to Boston! Meg, Jill, Marcia, Jenn, Ginny, Lindsay and Ana Maria...kick some butt ladies:) I would love be there to cheer you on!! Jill have a wonderful birthday!

Good luck to my St. Cloud River runner pals who are also running Boston...Nikki and Renee I know you are both going to rock it!!

I will not be posting again until Saturday or Sunday after my race:) Good luck to any others who are running this weekend!! Woo hoo, the weekend is almost here! Cheers and happy running:)

Erica is hosting a Thorlo Socks giveaway!
Speedo Steve is hosting a Ryder Eyewear and Sugois Big-O-Bag giveaway!
Molly is hosting a Green Super-Food Whole Food Energy Bars Giveaway!
Molly is also hosting a Vitalicious Vita-Top Chocolate yummy things giveaway!
MCM Mama is hosting a GU giveaway!
Angie is hosting a Nuun giveaway!
Tara is hosting a Ryder Eyewear giveaway!
Marcia is hosting a Chia Seeds giveaway!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Race Report And A PR In My Own Mind!

Yesterday was Friday and it was a day of over indulgence in terms of my diet!! I am getting sick just thinking about it:( I have a new manager at work and he wanted to get the entire department together so we decided to do a potluck. Yea, you know....where everyone brings food that looks so good but maybe you wouldn't normally eat. I am still cursing my co-worker Laura for bringing those damn freaking chocolate brownies!! Anyway, let's just say I ate a crappy lunch. My daughter started her spring basketball league and there was a welcome party at one of her teammate's house last night. Yep, you guessed it...potluck again. This was a little different because it was a backyard BBQ. I am telling you that my hotdog tasted fabulous:) I ate some more of the normal potluck food and had a glass of red wine! I totally caved under the peer pressure:) I am a stupid woman!! I got up this morning at 5:30 AM to take a shower and get ready for my first official 10k of the season. I drove to Golden Valley by myself. I was a loner family decided to sleep in and let me fend for myself. I got there and walked right in and made my way to the pre-registered table to pick up my bib and t-shirt. Number 92...hmmm, I wonder if this is going to be lucky number 92? I pinned my bib to my running pants and walked to the bathroom...the first of about five times before the race started:( Let me just say that it was going to be that kind of day, if you know what I mean!! It totally sucked to be me today!!

I went back to my van and pulled my hair back into a pony tail and put on my running visor. I sat in my van for a few minutes but wanted to make it to the rest room one more time before the race started. The 5k people were already standing by the start line. I made it back and was able to watch the start of the 5k. As soon as the runners all made their way past the start line all of the 10k people slowly made the way to the start line too.

This was about ten minutes before the start. Here is a picture of the people standing behind me.

This was my view of the people in front of me. I was trying to chat with people to see what type of pace they were planning on running. I met this really nice thirty-three year old woman who told me she was going to try to run a seven minute mile pace. Yea, that wasn't going to work for me:( I then saw two women who looked like they were in their late 40's to early 50's. I asked them what pace they were going to run. They said 7:30 to 8:00 and I thought maybe I could keep them in my sight and shoot to run faster than my training 8:30 pace. I really don't know how long it took me to make it up to the start but it was here that I really wished we were chip timed. I just kept on thinking of the seconds that were ticking away as we shuffled up and ahead. I started my Garmin and ran right behind the ladies. Wowzer, did they start fast!! Okay, I guess I started out fast too because I was trying to keep up with these speedy chicks! I felt like I was going way out of my comfort zone! Mile one 7:15....WTH!! These ladies kicked my butt:) I had to slow down because my breathing was out of control. I was gasping for air and something was off. The start of mile two had some hills and I was so thrilled to be making my way up them. Just kidding...they sucked! It was at mile two where my stomach started to act up and my GI system decided to have a little fun with me. One thing that I didn't mention earlier was my last trip to the rest room included me grabbing a handful of TP. I was desperately looking for a place where I could pull over. My eyes scanned for a tree, bush or fence! God, just give me something..please!! I had to run for maybe 400 meters before I spotted a huge pine tree. I have never been so excited to see a pine tree in my life!!! I ran behind the pine tree. I really have no idea how long I was there. I was just hoping that no one was attempting to take a peek:) I was also praying that the owners of that nice big pine tree were not looking out of any of their windows during my little visit. I am now back in the race and really still struggling to keep my breathing regulated. This race was not feeling the greatest so far. Every time I looked down at my Garmin it was around 8:20 to 8:30. It was at mile four where there was a water stop. I grabbed two cups of water sucking them both down. I was so thirsty that I went back for one more. This is my own fault, I should of never ate like crap the day before a race or drank wine!!! Like I said, I am a stupid woman. I started to slowly jog and get my pace up to something respectable. Mile five was terrible because there was a very steep hill that wrapped around a parkway!! Oh my God, just flipping shoot me now!! Once I got up the hill I was totally out of breath again. I was telling myself that I just had a mile left and to suck it up and try to move faster. Where and the hell is Denny when I need him? Denny is my new runner dad who would of helped me to move my ass and finish strong! I was thinking that if he were there he would run faster and I would try like hell to keep up with him. I looked ahead of me...a few men and two younger twenty something girls. I passed the two girls and just kept on trying to get closer to the guys. Little by little I inched closer and closer. I pass guy number one!! I started to hear people cheering and a flit of joy bounced in my heart!! Thank you God!! This means that the finish line is coming and I will be done with this race! I turned the corner and started sprinting...I passed guy number two and kept on running as fast as my legs would take me. Right before the finish line there were six freaking walkers from the 5k in my way!!! There were two shoots, one for the 5k runners and walkers and the other for the 10k people! Excuse me runner coming need to move out of the way!!! I had to run around them to make it into my finish shoot!! This made me so crabby!! I think it is great that people are getting out and walking but someone needs to explain to the walkers how things work during timed races where people are attempting to run fast and possibly PR! My official time was 52:37 which is 11 seconds longer than my first 10k last summer. I ran my first and only 10k around Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis last summer. That course was a dream compared to this one!!It is flat and fast!! So here is what I am my own mind I think I PRd! I unofficially PRd because of the visit with the pine tree, the date with all of the hills, the little walk around the water table, the seconds that ticked away before I actually started, and the Homer walkers who got in my way:) This race sucked, I felt terrible during every part of it until the end! I am going to chalk this race up as character building and move on:) It is sort of funny now when I think about it!! I took fifth place for my age group and guess what my official pace was...8:30...shocker I know:) I am going to run the Bolder Dash 10k again this year on that beautiful flat and fast course!! I am going to seek redemtion and flipping PR...I promise you and I promise myself!!

After all of that I am still smiling:)

My daughter Kay wanted me to post this picture because she thinks that I am like this most of the time. She said that I look super dorky here and you can see my man arms:) I hope that everyone enjoys the rest of their weekends!! Happy running and keep smiling:)

Speedo Steve is hosting a Ryder Eyewear and Sugois Big-O-Bago giveaway!

Molly is hosting a Green Super-food Whole Food Energy Bars giveaway!

MCM Mamma is hosting a Gu giveaway!

Molly is hosting a Vitalicious Vita-tops chocolate yummy things giveaway!

Tara is hosting a Ryder eyewear giveaway!

Marcia is hosting a Chia Seeds giveaway!

Angie is hosting a Nuun giveaway!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Random Stuff and My Favorite Races!

I really can't believe that it has been so long since my last post! My super stud hubby called dibs on our computer due to yet another fantasy baseball draft!! I think he has like six teams and he has another draft tonight:) Good Lord! I was sort of complaining to him about how crazy he is when it comes to his fantasy drafts! He then turned things on me. He asked, "Jules, how many Saturday races do you have planned in April, May, June and July? How many times are you planning to run with your running group this summer?" This is when I got very quiet and let him have the computer:) Yes, I lost this argument! I think all of my races cost more than his little fantasy projects! Not to mention the time that is involved with running in general:)

I took Sunday off from running but continued on Monday. I ran seven miles and then ran another six on Tuesday evening. Yesterday was my day off from work but I did a three miler and worked on speed:) After I am done posting this I will go out and do an easy four or five miler. I did my push-up challenge for the week and I am done!!! Happy dance and jumping up and down for joy!! These push-ups are really hard and I am starting to get man arms....Jeff, I am not sure I am digging it anymore. Don't worry, I am not going to throw in the towel. I am just saying that I want girl arms...not boy arms:)

On Monday little Jill over at Finishing is Winning posted her Monday Brain Exchange. Jill wanted to know what everyone's favorite races were and why. I think we were supposed to cap it off with top three but I am going with four. It was hard to narrow it down:)

I will have to say that my favorite so far has been the Get Lucky! 7k in Minneapolis! This was the last race that I competed in. I had such a blast for many reasons! It was so well organized, the race officials and volunteers really had it together!! There was an awesome positive energy flowing for the entire time that I was there. My husband came with and cheered me on:) Thanks Babe!! I really liked my medal and special hoodie! My husband and I were able to have a beer after the race and listen to an Irish band! I was also able to meet my blogger buddy Chris!

My second favorite was the St. Paul Securian Half Marathon. Speedo Steve talked me into this one! I clearly told him that I was most likely not ready for it and that I didn't train enough. He basically told me that I could totally do it and to go for it! This was such a fun race! I was scared to death because I was a half marathon virgin and wasn't sure if I could do it. This race wasn't the most wonderful in terms of how I felt when I was running but it was great for other reasons. This was the biggest race that I had ran in up to that point and there were so many nice runners to chat with:) It was a hard race for me and I struggled through the second half of it but I made it:) I was so proud of myself for doing it and finishing! I met two blogger friends at this run too! Beth and Steve are both very nice!! Oh, and if you were not reading my blog when I posted this race recap...I did not run at a 7:38 minute mile pace:) Yea, that was a little joke...he he!! My finish time for my first half was 2:01!

The next race that comes to mind was my first ten mile! I ran Woman Run The Cities never ever running more than six or seven miles! I was not nervous because I had the attitude that I was doing it for fun!! I surprised myself and had a time of 1:23!! I was such a running rookie...check out my Timex watch:)

This is a picture of me and my daughter Kay. Kay started to run 5ks with me last summer and this was her favorite race:) We both ran in the Granite City 5k in St. Cloud. This was the first race that we ran together, so it will always be special to me!! I thought that the course was tough but she loved it:) Kay and I have been able to run in so many other 5k races together and it is so wonderful being able to share the passion for running. Kay ran in her first varsity track meet on Wednesday night and she did awesome:) The head coach asked to to run in the next varsity meet!! Go Kay:)

Good luck to Matt Patten and Brian W. who are both running the Zumbro 100 miler tomorrow!!

This Saturday I am running in the Run The Valley 10K in Golden Valley:) That is all that I have...I hope that everyone enjoys the rest of their week!! I need to catch up with everyone's blogs....the computer is all mine tonight! Happy running and keep smiling:)

MCM Mamma is hosting a GU giveaway!

Molly is hosting a Vitalicious Vita-Tops chocolate yummy things giveaway:)

Tara is hosting a Ryder Eyewear giveaway!

Marcia is hosting a Chia Seeds giveaway!

Angie is hosting a Nuun giveaway!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Mojo Is Back!

After my crappy running experience I am happy to report that I have moved on!! I headed out my door Thursday with a smile on my face, a new positive attitude and bells on my shoes! I went and busted out a six miler at a 8:30 minute mile pace!! The mojo is back...thank goodness:) After I got back from my run I did my push-up challenge. I wish that I could say that it is getting is not:( Friday I took off from running but completed my push-ups for the week!! I am done until Monday:) I drove into St. Cloud this morning to meet the St. Cloud River Runners for my Saturday morning group run. Above is the picture taken this here for a larger version. The run started off at The Meeting Grounds coffee shop in St. Cloud. I got there at about 6:30 with the help of Nikki. Map quest directions were a little off and I was having a hard time finding this place. I called Nikki and she met me at Perkins. I then followed her just a few blocks to where we needed to be:) I was so close! I wanted to get eleven to fourteen miles in for the day. I ran with Nikki and Heather for the first portion of my morning run:) I just wanted to run an easy pace and Nikki was a great leader. We ran three miles before we stopped at Coborns for a bathroom break:) Okay, it was me not we! I felt so much better after the break and we were off again. We just ran around St. Cloud on the roads and over bridges:) Nikki was a great leader/coach and kept Heather and I on task!! At about mile 8.25 we met Pam and Denny. They were going a little faster than what we were. Denny said, "Come on let's go!" Honestly, I was a little tired but I really attempted to pick up the pace and try to stay with Denny. Nikki and Pam wanted to run a little more and add a bit more to their run. This is where we seperated. Denny and I ran together for the last .75 of our nine mile run. Running with Denny was good for me. He is so much taller and faster but I wanted to keep up with him, darn it!! He challenged me and helped me to finish strong:) Thank you, Denny!
Here is Heather, Nikki and me. This is after we got back from the first part of our run.

This is a picture of Denny and me:)

I took a few random pictures of the group before we went out on our second run.

For the second part of our run there were two choices. Some people did seven miles and another group of us did five miles. Here is a picture of us heading out at 8 AM. For this portion of the run I ran with Cathy, Buddy, John, Paul and Judy. I was a little tired but was fine until about mile four. Mile five was a little tough...John and I ran back together. Thank God he was with me because I had no idea where we were:) After we got back we all had breakfast at The Meeting Grounds. I had a bowl of build your own oatmeal with blueberries and white chocolate:) Mmmm!
Here is another picture of me and Denny! We sat at the same table and were able to chat over breakfast. Denny is the nicest man and he has agreed to be my new running dad!

This is a picture of Wanda and Buddy. They are both pretty darn cool and each of them have run in so many marathons. Wanda's marathon PR is an amazing 3:11!! I love it that they are a married couple who both feel passionate about running:) You can see that Buddy is wearing a Little Falls Flyers sweatshirt...he was giving me crap about graduating from Rocori High School:) The Spartans and the Flyers were pretty big rivals:) Buddy, you can give me a hard time all you want...I have a good sense of humor!
This last pic. is of me and Nikki:) I had a great time this morning and was very happy to get my fourteen miles in! Thank you St. Cloud River all rock!! You have already helped me so much! When I got home I took a shower and took a two hour nap:) I did a few things around the house and went shopping. At five o'clock I went out on a easy three miler:) Total miles for the day...seventeen:) I am really proud of myself! Seventeen miles in one day is huge for me. I just need to keep it up and continue to build on the miles! Hopefully if I get my act together I will be ready for a marathon in the fall:)
I hope that everyone has a great weekend and Happy Easter!!
Tara is hosting a Ryder Eyewear giveaway..go check out her blog!!
Marcia is hosting a Chia Seed giveaway!
Misszippi is hosting a Runervals DVD giveaway!
Tricia is hosting a kettleworx giveaway!
Angie is hosting a Nuun giveaway!
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