Saturday, June 26, 2010

Week Three Of Marathon Training...Check!

Yes, I know that it has been one full week since my last post! Holy cow! This week went by so fast!

This morning I got up early to drive into St. Cloud to run with my running group. I arrived at the park at 6:30 AM and waited until 7 AM to meet Deb and Nikki. Deb and I waited a few minutes for Nikki and did not see her so we headed off down the road. A few minutes into our run we heard Nikki coming up from behind us....Nikki parked in a different parking lot and we missed her! Sorry Nikki! We continued on and my first run ended up being almost 4 miles.

After our first run we waited for the other runners to get there so that we could take our group picture. Here is Deb, Kathy and Denny.

This is Brian:)

I was so happy to see that Denny (AKA, my running dad) was also running this morning!

Our photographer Pat:)

After we took our group picture we headed out for our second run. I ran with Denny for the first part and then later with Deb and her friend Kathy. We ended up going about 3 and a half miles. My total for the morning was 7 and a half miles.

After our run we had an oatmeal pancake breakfast. Here is Chef Arvid sampling his creation:) They were so good!

Deb and I after eating those fantastic pancakes:)

I was really tired this week but I did get all of my workouts and runs in. There were a few days where I was moving just a little bit slower than normal. This is what my training plan looked like for the week. Keep in mind that there are modifications due to running Grandma's half last weekend.
Sat....Grandma's Half Marathon, 13.2 miles. I did cut our lawn:)
Monday...6 easy miles.
Tuesday...6 easy miles.
Wednesday...6 easy miles., I really needed a rest. I do believe that after work I enjoyed a nice glass of wine!
Saturday...7 and a half miles with my running group.
Sunday, I have an 11 miler on my schedule.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that it does not rain like crazy tomorrow. I am not thrilled about possibly doing 11 miles on my mill!
Oops, I forgot about this picture of me and Arvid:)
I have been very lucky over the past few weeks! First, I received a t-shirt from Italy in the mail:) Thank you Stefano! About one week later I received a P.F. CHANG'S giftcard from my blogger friend Pam:) We just happen to have a P.F. CHANG'S right here in Maple Grove! Thank you Pam! A few days later, another package came in the mail from Rad Runner! I was the winner of her Peaceful Mountain product giveaway:) Thank you Rad Runner! I love these products and so does my daughter...she is making me purchase some just for her! A few days after my Peaceful Mountain products came, I scored a Last Mile Brewing bottle opener from Jamoosh! Woo hoo, a bottle opener for sampling more unique kinds of beer:) Thanks Jamoosh! I love getting good stuff in the mail! I also really appreciate how lucky and blessed that I have been! I would like to take a moment to welcome all of my new followers! I now have over 200 followers:) I am in total awe that so many people are reading my blog...thank you!! I will be hosting another very cool blogger giveaway soon! Stay tuned:)

I am getting kicked off of the computer again! Happy running, biking, swimming and lifting! Cheers to you all!
Rad Runner is hosting a Wrist Cuff giveaway!
Age Group Rocks is hosting a Bondi Band giveaway!
MCM Mama is hosting a Ryder sunglasses giveaway!
Angie is hosting a Nuun hydration and Spibelt giveaway!
Marcia is hosting a Scape sunscreen giveaway!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grandma's Half Marathon Race Report!

I have officially experienced my first Grandma's Half Marathon race!! Warning to Jamoosh and Rock Star....this is most likely my longest race report to date:) Sorry! First, I want to say that I had a complete blast:) This past weekend was so much fun that I have decided to for sure try to do this race again. If I do not get into the half marathon I just might consider doing the full. Mr. Julie drove us to Duluth and took a back road to get there so we made it without any annoying grid lock:) The first thing on my agenda was to go to the race expo to see Kara Goucher! She was one of the guest speakers and we made it just in time:) Kara spoke to us all about her personal running story and experiences. She was amazing and it was really interesting to listen to her talk about her running history. She shared with us her feelings on her success and also her running challenges/demons. It was so refreshing to hear that even a super star runner like Kara has off days and running funks.
After Kara was done talking she sat at this table and welcomed any fans to come get autographs and pictures. You must know that I got in that line as fast as my legs would take me. I think I had to wait about ten minutes to meet her:) I forgot my running magazines with her picture on the covers so I had her sign my race program. She wrote.....Julie, Always Believe! Kara Goucher:) I forgot to take a picture of this but will maybe add to my next post.
Well, here we are! Yes, that is me standing next to an adorable pregnant Kara Goucher:) She is so down to earth and sweet. Meeting her was one of my highlights of this entire Grandma's experience.
After meeting Kara I was on my way to pick up my racing packet and bib when I ran into these cool runner dudes:) Arvid and Gary are in my St. Cloud River Runners running group. Arvid was there to cheer people on and to take pictures. Gary's son was running in the full marathon and he was there to show his support:) I was very surprised to see these guys...another highlight!
After leaving the expo Mr. Julie and I were very hungry so we decided to go to Old Chicago for dinner. The beer in the picture was a sampler that my hubby ordered. He made me try the first one on the left:) I fell in love!
This stuff was sooooo good! I was shocked that it was a tasted smooth and sweeter than a normal beer.
My new love is called Ace Pear Cider! Mr. Julie had a good laugh at this one because in his mind it really wasn't a beer. I went up to the bar and asked the bartender if it was a beer and he said yes:) I told my hubby that the bartender said it was a beer and he just shook his head:) What do you think Jamoosh and MCM Mama? I knew that I would be back post race for a few of these babies!
When we were still eating dinner my friend Pam and her hubby came up to our table to chat with us for a bit. Pam is my friend from high school who talked me into running my first 5K:)

As we were leaving Old Chicago I ran into Average A....I was shocked to see her! Average A just ran in the Minneapolis Marathon two weeks ago! She told me she was running the full marathon! WTH!! Can we say crazy running queen:) I was so happy to see her and hoped that I would be able to see her finish and talk to her after the race. After dinner we walked back to the hotel and I went to bed. I did not sleep well at all. I really have issues sleeping in hotel beds and never sleep soundly:( The transportation buses started to leave at 4:45 AM to take runners up to the start line. I made sure that I was up at 3:30 AM and ready to go.
Here I am with my race bib....number F 357! Woo hoo, there is a seven in the number and the F stands for fast:)
Here I am with Mr. Julie as I waited for the next bus to pull up.

Do I look nervous? I was starting to get nervous and I wasn't anywhere near the start line! On the bus ride I sat next to a young man who was running his first half marathon. We chatted for a little bit on the ride. The farther the bus drove the calmer the runners seemed to be. You could hear a pin drop that it was so quiet! That darn bus ride seemed to take forever! Finally I looked at my bus partner and said, "What the hell? We have been driving forever, there is no way that we have not been driving for thirteen miles!" He told me that he was thinking the same thing. Finally the bus turned on some little road and we pulled up to the starting point.
I got off of the bus and this was my view at 5:10 AM! This is Lake Superior before the sun decided to make an appearance.
This is the first portion of the road to the start. I walked up this road and took it all in. There were already hundreds of runners there. Several were stretching and others were checking their bags. It was calm and quiet....too quiet for me! I was starting to get nervous again.

Here is another picture of Lake Superior.
This was so early in the morning that there were no lines for the Biffys:) Believe me that changed in a hurry!
I was standing on the road when Pam came up to me:) I was so happy to see her and being able to talk to her calmed me down a little. I asked her if she knew how many people were running in the half and she told me 6,000. This is the biggest race that I have competed in to date!
I walked up to where I thought I should be standing for pacing. I placed myself between the 1:50 and 2:00 pace slots. There were no pacers to been seen at that time. This is a view of the people in front of me. Check out where the actual start is....way up there!
This is what I saw when I turned around! There were even people standing behind the balloons in the back.
There was a 1:50 pacer and his name was Andy. I really wanted there to be a 1:55 pacer but not today:( I decided to go with Andy and just try to keep up with him. We could see that the runners in front of us were moving forward and it was time to boogie! Things were crazy for the first few miles and it was so hard to stay with Andy! There were so many people moving slower and I struggled with staying with him from the get go! At about mile two I was running right behind him and I wanted to check our distance out on my Garmin. Holy crap! I flipping forgot to start my Garmin!! Grrr! Usually I forget to stop the darn thing after the race so this was a first for me. I was not happy with myself:( We were moving along pretty good and I tried to stay relaxed.
This picture was taken at about mile three. I was already warm and sticky and hoped for a nice breeze to cool me off. I stayed with Andy until mile five because I once again started to have GI issues. I also felt sick to my stomach! So here I am at mile five and feeling like total crap yet again! WTH is going on with me? I struggled until I spotted a Biffy....I had to wait in line:( It was right at this time where I started to doubt if I could ever run in a full marathon. I thought about not being able to run in a half without making Biffy stops and dealing with my stomach issues. I asked my radiologist what she thought about my stomach problems and she thinks that I am putting so much stress of my body that my organs are not getting enough oxygen. Because of the lack of oxygen my body wants to get rid of all of my toxins. This has been happening for sometime now and I think it is time for me to go and see a specialist. I want to train and race without dealing with the stress of having to make bathroom stops during all of my longer races. After my Biffy turn I continued on and my pacer Andy was no where to be seen:( I continued on solo. At the 10K point I was feeling sick again. I stopped and walked through every single water stop after this point. I felt like I was moving so slow. In my mind I told myself to keep moving at a steady pace and try to stay positive. This was very difficult to do. Here I was running in Grandma's Half of the most beautiful courses to date and I wasn't even enjoying the scenery. I was concentrating on just making it through another race. Mile eight, nine, and ten were unremarkable. I do not remember anything other than attempting to survive. There were spectators cheering and it was hard for me to smile. Lemon Drop Hill was not as bad as I thought that it would be but there was some nasty wind. There was one group of UMD college guys cheering runners on and they made me laugh:) I needed them...thanks guys! They were singing songs and cheering for the runners! Go runners! Beer here! Girl in pink Fila shirt, do you want a beer? No she can't have a beer...she is running! Go girl in pink Fila shirt! When I hit Fitger's I knew that there was about two miles left and I was feeling a little tired. I saw my hubby and he yelled, "Go Jules, you are hanging on to a 1:57 finish...keep up your pace and you will come in under two hours!" I looked at him and he was smiling as I was suffering through the last portion of my race. I told can do this...keep up this pace! Keep your feet moving and you will get through this tough time! Those last two miles were so hard for me! Just keep moving! Keep your feet moving! When I passed the Radisson hotel I saw that the finish line was near. I thought that it was close....I was warned about taking these crazy turns before the finish. Oh my God was that annoying! One more turn and I was on the home stretch:) Okay Julie, you need to pick up the pace! I started to run faster and I could hear the people cheering. I kept my eye on the balloons and the finish line until finally I crossed it! I didn't see the clocks so I had no idea what my finish time was. There was a guy in front of me who said he finished in 1:57 something. I was hoping that I was able to finish close to his time. I continued to walk forward and was presented with my medal:) I was so freaking hot and actually walked through this cool shower:) I have to tell you... it felt wonderful!
I then picked up my finishers t-shirt and walked into the after race food area. Absolutely nothing looked good. My stomach would not allow me to eat a thing directly after the race. I drank a bottle of water and then had a small cup of orange juice.
I slowly walked over to where the family members could meet up with the runners. It is there that I found my hubby waiting for me:)
I know that I look terrible but I was still not feeling the greatest.

Here I am sporting my new bling:)
We walked around for about thirty minutes and then waited for the marathon runners to come in.

I watched the winner come across and continued to cheer for runners until the 3:10 time mark. I was not feeling well and needed to take a shower. After my shower we went back and watched the finishers from the 3:55 to the 4:45 finish time. I was able to see a few of my fellow SCRRs come across the finish as well as Average A:)
When I was walking around I ran into someone that I went to high school with. He yelled, "Hey Julie!" This is my friend Dean who I met in seventh grade. We were in the same home economics class and made pancakes and muffins together:) My hubby took two pictures...Dean is not smiling in this picture.
Dean is smiling in this picture but my hair is hanging down in my face:) No such thing as perfect:)

When I was talking to Dean I saw Kalli and I had to take a photo opportunity:) Kalli is another SCRR who ran in the full marathon. Kalli was so excited because she PRd!! She ran this marathon with an amazing time of 3:14!! Woo hoo! Go Kalli:)

As I promised, we went back to Old Chicago for lunch and I enjoyed few of my new favorite beers:) No, there is not Bud Light in that is Ace Pear Cider:) I also really like the Killian's Irish Red:)
We then walked back to the results area to check out my time. WTH, 1:58 something! I was so bummed:( At that time I did not know that the times posted were gun times.
We walked around the canal and took in the sights.

It was about seven o'clock when we headed back to Old Chicago for more beer:) I spotted Renee sitting with her Rochester running group. I introduced Renee to Mr. Julie and he took our picture.

I then went over and got to meet her crazy running group! The scary thing was that they called me blogger girl! A few of them read my blog:) I know that they were being truthful because they knew that I adopted Denny as my new running dad! These guys are absolutely nuts...but in a good way:) I think that my hubby found them very entertaining and wanted to drink with them for the rest of the night.
The shirts say...Run, Eat, Drink. 2 Out of 3 Aint Bad! I love it!

The city of Duluth was one big party for the entire night! It was crazy! We purchased tickets for entry into the big tent where we could drink and listen to a few bands. Mr. Julie and I walked around and did listen to one of the bands. They were great and played really good rock music! I love my ACDC! It was getting pretty crowded so we left and went to Little Angie's for a late dinner. After we had dinner I was spent and needed to go to bed ASAP. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit my pillow:) This morning we ate breakfast outside of our hotel with gorgeous views of Lake Superior. We drove home after breakfast and made it back in two and a half hours.
When I got home I checked Grandma's web page for my official race stats......
Final time 1:56:48!
I placed 1706 out of 5828 runners.
I placed 618 out of 3308 female runners.
I placed 58 out of 295 women in my age group.
I did not get my 1:50 goal but for all of my stomach issues as of late, I am okay with my time.
Happy running, biking, swimming and lifting! Cheers to you all!
I know that I am behind on blogging and I am so sorry. I will try to get caught up on everyone's blogs:) Also, welcome to all new followers...leave me a comment and I will make a trip to your blogs as soon as I can!
MCM Mama is hosting a Ryder sunglasses giveaway!
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