Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy New Year! Yes, I am still here!

Greetings fellow bloggers! I hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday. My Christmas holiday was fantastic! As much as I enjoyed Christmas, I am honestly looking forward to my life getting back to normal. The last few weeks have been nuts! I have been a huge slacker and a very bad blogger. Both running and blogging have been put on the back burner due to the busy holiday season. The good news is that is going to change starting January 1st:)
I did receive my secret Santa gift in the mail a few weeks ago! Thank you Adam!! Adam sent me the movie, Spirit Of The Marathon. I love my gift and have watched it twice! Thank you to Jill for setting up the blogger gift was an awesome idea and a wonderful way to share some blogger love:)
Good news! I have a race on January 1st called the Polar Dash. It is in the Team Ortho series of races and I ran this one last year. It was cold but fun:) Beth, I hope to see you there! Hopefully we will not get another snow storm like they are we need more snow:)
I have one more bit of news to share! I am pretty excited....I have decided to run a spring marathon! I am going to do the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon in May! One thing that I should mention is that Wobegon is not a true trail race. It is a ten foot wide asphalt bike trail. The course is flat and fast. Last year I was a volunteer for this marathon and know that several of the runners came from out of state hoping to BQ. Training will start in January. I have taken almost a month off from running and know that I have lost fitness. I am so not looking forward to those first few weeks of training! Can we say sore muscles and massive sucking air attacks!?! God, I can't wait:) I would really love to run this next marathon in four hours or less. I need to shave nine minutes off of my Twin Cities marathon time. Hopefully with proper training and a few more longer runs I will be able to pull it off. Wobegon is a smaller marathon and there will not be pacers. I am so fortunate to have found a personal pacer:) Thank you Mark! Mark is a St. Cloud River runner who has qualified for Boston and is using Wobegon as a longer training run for another marathon. My four hour goal will seem like a walk in the park for him:)
My next post will be the Polar Dash race report! Yay! It has been so long since I have posted a race report. I promise to take tons of pictures....keep your fingers crossed that Minnesota will not be blasted with another winter snow storm! I want to run:)
Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all! May you all have a fantastic New Year!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I Am Back With A Tag! A Reason To Post!

Greetings everyone! I am finally sitting down to post after a week of blogging vacation. Last week was nuts, I was left with limited computer time. This weekend the Minnesota metro area was pounded with 20 inches of snow! Holy cow! I was supposed to run in a 5K yesterday morning....never happened:) My hubby had to snowblow our driveway three times! Good news, I was able to get the heck out of my culdesac and go shopping today:) I did some serious damage...I have yet to tell Mr. Julie how much money I spent!

I was recently tagged by Misszippy to answer a few questions about running. I was pretty excited because now I have something to blog about!

1) Do you prefer winter or summer running? This is a tough one to answer. I enjoy running in the cooler temperatures but winter running in Minnesota is challenging because of the layering of running clothes. The snow and ice makes me go slower than normal...not falling on my ass is always good. Summer running is nice because I can go out with shorts, a running shirt and shoes. I do hate running in the heat and humidity....I really hate it! Yuck! However, running in the heat and humidity is good for conditioning and helps for when it is the perfect temperature. It makes me feel like I am kicking it:) Did I answer the question? Yea, I am not sure about that one.

2) What has been your toughest race to date? Hands down, the Gopher to Badger Half Marathon. It was so freaking hot and humid that day! I felt like total crap and wondered if I would ever finish. I did finish it with a time of 2:02:45...not too bad considering the crazy weather elements. Running this race and living through it made me realize that I could run a marathon and finish with a respectable time.

3) What are your running goals for 2011? I would like to run a sub 4 marathon. It would be great to PR in a few of the other distances too. I have raced in 21 races this year. I think that next year I will cut the number of my races down and train more. I hope to do more running with my running group....they will keep me honest and working hard:)

4) Do you have any other passions in life? I love to travel, learning about history and other cultures. I also love to meet people:) I consider myself a friendly and outgoing person. I love and enjoy stimulating conversation with just about anyone.

5) If you could live anywhere, where would it be? Oh, this is an easy one, I would love to live in California wine country or somewhere in Montana. I have been to wine country several times and always have a fabulous time. The weather is so nice and perfect for running. Montana is also so gorgeous and peaceful. We took a family vacation there a few years ago and had a blast...great memories! Internationally, I would love to live in Italy. I have always had a thing with Italy. When I was a little girl I would go to the library and spend hours looking at pictures of the beautiful places and sites to see. Currently, I love watching movies that are set in Italy:)

If there is anyone who would like to be tagged and do this too...knock yourself out! You are all tagged:)

Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all!

Monday, November 29, 2010

P And Stefano's Virtual Race Reports!

Hi everyone! I ran finally ran my two virtual races yesterday afternoon!! So I went out and had a little running action in Maple Grove:)
I ran in Stefano's Black Knight Army 10 K and P's not your average adventure virtual run.

Let's face it, I am a bit of a slacker lately. I ran both of them back to back:)
Stefano's race clothing consisted of black Nike running pants and a black running jacket. I also ran in a black hat and black is getting colder in Minnesota:)
I decided to go on the Rice Lake trails and head around the lake. First off I ran out of my neighborhood and across Weaver Lake Road.
I ran down Weaver Lake Road and turned onto the running trails that were still snow covered. It was 37 degrees and the trails were slushy in some spots....icy in others.

I ran almost two miles before heading up this hill. At the top of this hill I ran into a fellow Maple Grove runner who I met once before on a different run around this same lake. Joe and I met at the end of May...we both were running on these very trails and ended up chatting and running together. He spotted me and asked if I wanted to join him on a run. I agreed and we were off:)

Joe ran the Minneapolis Marathon the same day that I did the half. He ended up getting hurt and is still in recovery mode. We ran steady and slow....easy enough to hold a conversation without sucking air:)

We stopped at the half way point and I snapped a picture. Stefano, notice that Joe is wearing black too!

I snapped this picture of the sunset over Rice Lake. Beautiful and peaceful:)
We ran around the lake and enjoyed stimulating conversation....all about running. The time went by so fast that before we knew it we had to part ways. Joe turned up the path to take him home and I continued on my way around the last part of the lake.

When I reached my 10 K distance I ran for one more mile. I decided to run a mile for P's not your average adventure. I wish that I could say that I had all of this saved energy and that I was able to bust out a seven minute mile. Not so much....I did muster enough gusto to run a 8:30 last mile:) My theme for P's adventure was a party mile on the pavement! Yes, it was snowy and slushy but a party all the same! P's birthday was weeks ago...better late than never! Happy Birthday P!!
Once I got to my door step I checked out my Garmin for 10 K stats. I ran Stefano's Black Knight Army 10 K in 57 minutes. Not my fastest 10 K but memorable for sure:) I, Lady Julie enjoyed Stefano's 10 K without ever sucking air!! Yay! I have only ran in two 10 K races and both of them were high on the sucking air scale:) Lady Julie ran easy, steady, smooth and I didn't fall on my ass...success!!!
Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Anoka Jingle Bell Run 5K Race Report!

Hi everyone! I am back from a little blogging break. Thank you to everyone who left me kind comments on my last post. I appreciate it more than you know. Life has been so incredibly busy between work, kid's activities and everything else. I have not been running much because of the lack of time. I also think that I needed a little break to recharge and refresh. This morning I drove into Anoka to run in the Jingle Bell 5K. I ran this race last year and was able to pull a 2nd place age group win:) I knew that today would be challenging because of my lack of training and the colder temperatures.
This picture was taken in the field house where my bib and t-shirt pickup was. I was bib number 277!! Lucky girl, my favorite number is seven:) I attempted to take more pictures but my camera's battery died....nice ! Once I got home, I put a new battery in. I noticed that my almost five year old got a hold of my camera. There were several pictures of our computer.....he was watching Spiderman on Netflix:) There was also about 20 pictures of wonder the battery died!
The race started at 10 AM and it was about 15 degrees. I knew that I would warm up once I actually started running. There were a little over 300 runners and I positioned myself in the middle of the pack. Once we were off it took a few minutes to get positioned where I wanted to be. The course is a pretty one that runs along a river. We ran on dirt-snow packed and paved trails. There was snow on the ground and a few areas with icy patches. I felt alright running with a first mile time of 7:16. I was a little surprised because I felt like I was moving much slower than that. There were several rolling hills that I remembered well from last year:) Mile two was a little slower than the first because I was feeling kind of crappy. This is what I get for not running much over the past three weeks! Yuck, I felt a little like puking..and slowed down more. The good news is that only four people past me...all men:) The last half mile was the hardest and I felt like I was moving at snails pace. I saw the clock and it said 24:50 something. I stopped my Garmin and it read 24:40. I went online to check my stats and there were none for me! WTH! I am not sure what happened but it looks like I never ran! Bummer! The race was not chip timed and the volunteers had us tear off the bottom part of our bibs. I looked at the stats and noticed that according to the clock and my Garmin I took 2nd place for my age group:) It is a good thing that they did not give out medals or I would of been disappointed. Oh well, there are bigger tragedies in life.
Tomorrow I am running two virtual races. I am running P's birthday virtual run and Sefano's Black Knight Army 10K! Hopefully I will have those race reports posted soon:)
Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all!
Tomorrow I will catch up on reading blogs and commenting:)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quick Post......

Hi everyone! I know that I have not posted in a few days. I have not been able to keep up with my favorite blogs or have been commenting. I am sorry. Sadly, we had a sudden death in the family. Family life has been crazy and I have been getting home late every night this week. I will be posting tomorrow.

Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

We Finally Got The White Stuff!!

I woke up this morning and looked out my window....this was my view. We are supposed to get a total of 4 to 8 inches! It is still snowing. Kay and I shoveled the driveway because Mr. Julie is out of town. Sadly, I do not have a clue how to start the snowblower! Damn!
Here are a few more pictures. It looks like I will have to take out all of my winter running gear again.

Today Kay and I were planning on going to the mall to do some shopping:) Hopefully the roads will be clear...otherwise we are stuck in the house. I promise that I will get caught up on blogging sometime today:)

Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Running Group Lost In Big Lake!

Okay, so I didn't get around to posting last night:( Sorry, better late than never. So here goes....the story about a bunch of running group girls getting lost in Big Lake! Yes Jamoosh, Big Lake is an actual lake but it is also a town. We were not lost in the big body of water....we were lost in the town. By the way, your comment cracked me up:)
Saturday morning I drove about 30 minutes to the town of Big Lake, Minnesota. Valerie is one of my St. Cloud River Runner peeps (Isn't she adorable?) and she was kind enough to host this past Saturday's breakfast run. I made it to her house at about 7:35 AM and planned on getting in on the 8 O'clock run. When I walked into her house she was talking to Paul and Gary who were not running but showed up to chat and get in on the group picture. They were going to go to the state cross country meet to watch my running dad's (Denny's)grandsons run in the state meet. Apparently distance running runs in the family. Denny's grandsons are talented athletes who have had an impressive running season. Val is pictured above...she is taking time off from running due to a femur stress fracture. She ran an amazing Twin Cities marathon in 3:17....super fast PR!! Go Val!
This is Pat our official photographer:)

This is Al...another group runner.

A few of the gang before our run.

Linda and Denise:)

Me and Deb:)
After taking our group picture we headed off into Val's hood. Val lives basically across from Big Lake in a gorgeous area of the town Big Lake. There were so many charming houses and pretty scenery. We ran for about two miles before breaking into running groups. A few of the runners took a different route due to the miles that were needed for training. Many members of my running group are doing the Outer Banks marathon this weekend and are in taper mode. I was thinking about running an easy four miles. The group was going on a six mile run and I figured two extra miles wasn't going to kill me. When we hit the lake we broke away from a few of the other runners and hit the trail system. Val gave us a little map so all was good:) The trail system was really nice. We ran through areas with houses, ponds, woods and even old farmland.

This is Cindy, both Cindy and her husband Donnie share the job of presidency for the running club. Cindy is an amazing runner who has super speedy times! I dream of times like hers:) The trail system was full of little trails. There were plenty of opportunities to get on the wrong trail. Somewhere along the line we got messed up! We ran, ran and ran but didn't end up where we were supposed to:) Where and the heck are we? We took out the map and didn't have a clue! The map had several bodies of of them was Big Lake and we were not anywhere close to that. We ran past an old farm and figured something was not right. After running past the old farm we ran up to a highway that was not on the map. Oh crap! Hmm? What way do we go? I am so directionally challenged and have been lost before on a trail run:) Different story for a different day. Let's just say that my daughter Kay was just a little pissed at me for getting us lost and turning our little three miler into a seven miler! So back to this being lost thing.....we decided to run down that highway and then take a right . Surely that road would take us back to Val's.

This is where we ended up. Hmm, is this on the map? Do you see this road listed on the map...anywhere? Crap! I took this picture of Cathy, Linda, Aneta and Deb:)

Here is another picture of the girls comparing both maps. Deb, Cindy, Cathy, Aneta and Linda:)
We stayed on the road that took us into the new development that was shown on that billboard. Look what we cute is this? Cindy and Linda got into the car and took a moment for a photo opportunity:)

Looking good ladies! We contiunued on and ran for a ways and knew that we would have to turn soon. We did see the water tower and got pretty excited! Just follow the water tower. After running a little longer we lost the water tower!?! What the heck! Where did it go? Aneta wanted to turn left and Cindy wanted to turn right. We turned right and ran a little more before deciding to turn into another little neighborhood. I heard someone say, "I didn't know we were going to run a marathon today!" God, I hope not:) Eventually we ran into a nice man walking his dogs and asked for help. He looked at the map and scratched his head. He turned the map several times looking for something that looked familiar to him. Finally he said, "All you have to do is go straight ahead and hook back onto the trail system and that will take you back to Big Lake." Yay!! We were all pretty excited! We got back on the trail system and were back on track! Cathy noticed some interesting art (X-rated) that was painted on the trails and remembered it from before:) We finally made it to Big Lake (actual lake) and ran on the sidewalk next to the lake for a few miles. It was so pretty but very windy.
Once we saw this I knew that Val's house was just around the lake and to the left! Oh happy day....we made it! After making it back to Val's we enjoyed a nice breakfast:) I showed Val the pictures of our run. She looked at them and said, "Where and the heck were you? " Umm...lost somewhere in Big Lake but so glad to be back! My Garmin showed that we ran just under nine miles. We ran an extra three miles for the morning...not so could of been worse.

This is a picture of Amy, she ran with the other group....the group that didn't get lost:)

Deb and me:) I had a wonderful time with my running group...getting lost was a little adventure! I am so glad that I joined this running group because they are all awesome people, great athletes and wonderful friends. There is always good times, stimulating conversation and plenty of laughs on every breakfast run:) Good luck to everyone running this weekend!! Run fast and have fun! I can't wait to hear all about it:)
Happy running, biking, swimming, lifting and surfing! Cheers to you all!
Stacey is hosting a SIGVARIS Recovery Socks giveaway!
Historiadora on the Run is hosting a $60 CSN giftcard giveaway!
Marcia is hosting a SIGVARIS Recovery Socks giveaway!
Julie the Hotlegs Runner is hosting a Bondi Band giveaway!
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