Sunday, July 25, 2010

The 5K Race That Never Happened!

Hi everyone! It is me MIA and bad blogger Julie:) This past week was a little crazy due to getting back into groove after our trip to San Francisco and wine country. My plans this weekend included a local 5K race. I was going to run the Crystal Frolics 5K with my daughter. The race was scheduled for 8 AM on Saturday morning. I had every intention of running this race! For real:) Well, sadly, it never happened:( I have been running a little ragged for the past few days. Work has been really busy and I have been coming home with headaches and complete exhaustion. I went to bed at 9 PM on Thursday and I fell asleep on Friday at 5:30PM! I slept until 9 PM and ate a bowl of soup. I ended up going right back to bed. I set my alarm for 5:30 and slept right through it! (So did my hubby!) Oh crap! By the time I got up it was 7:30 AM and it was too late to make it to the race. Maybe I just needed to take this weekend off:) My daughter and I ended up going on a four mile run in one of Maple Grove's Park Preserves on Saturday afternoon. It kicked our butts! It was so hot and humid and we were both looking like death:) We toughed it out and finished our challenging and hilly run. I also went out this morning and did a five miler.....this run also kicked my ass:)

Here are a few pictures from my trip.....

San Francisco has such a fantastic Farmer's Market! I really think that Minneapolis has a great one....but...San Fran's puts Minneapolis's to shame! Did I really just type this?

The day that we went to the Golden Gate Bridge it was super foggy but it was so fun to walk around and check things out:) It made me think about all of the runners who would be crossing this bridge today during the San Francisco Marathon!

On the way back from wine country we stopped off at one of my favorite spots in California! The Muir Woods were spectacular and we ended up walking three and a half miles through the park:)
Well, this is all that I have for now:) Happy running, biking, swimming and lifting! Cheers to you all!
Rad Runner is hosting a Reed's Ginger Chew giveaway!
MissZippy is hosting a Kara Goucher signed t-shirt giveaway!
Lindsay is hosting a Breakfast and Truvia giveaway!
Always A Reason To Run is hosting a $40 CSN giftcard giveaway!
Racing Dawn is hosting a $15 iTunes giftcard giveaway!
MissZippy is hosting a Ryder sunglasses giveaway!
Oz is hosting a $50 CSN giftcard giveaway!
James is hosting a $40 CSN giftcard giveaway!
Adam is hosting a $40 CSN giftcard giveaway!
Holly is hosting a $40 CSN giftcard giveaway!
Molly is hosting a Run Like A Girl giveaway!
Marcia is hosting a $60 CSN giftcard giveaway!
Angie is hosting a mantra t-shirt giveaway!
MissZippy is hosting a $40 CSN giftcard giveaway!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Napa To Sonoma Half Marathon Race Report!

Hi everyone! It just took me 45 minutes to upload all of my pictures into this post! I will try to keep this short and sweet:) Do you believe me? Sunday morning I got up at 3:45 and got ready for my Napa to Sonoma half. Mr. Julie drove me to the Sonoma high school where the bus would drive me to the Cuvaision Carneros Estate start in Napa. Mr. Julie pulled into the parking lot and we were the first car....shocker, I know! I noticed that there were several people walking on the streets, making their way to the line of buses. I ended up taking a seat on the first bus and after sitting there for 5 minutes it took off with all ten of us:) It was still dark outside at 5:15 AM but I could still see the light layer of fog dancing over rows and rows of grape vines. It was so pretty to look at. The bus ride to the start was so much faster than the drive to the start of Grandma's half marathon in Duluth. The bus driver let us out and we walked up the very long driveway. It was so calm and peaceful. I started to take a few pictures but my camera was having issues with not having enough light.
You can see more people making their way up the long driveway.

These first pictures were taken early in the morning. If you look real close you can see blogger Tim in the right hand side of this picture. I was busy snapping pictures and when I turned around he said, "Hi, are you Julie?" I said, "Yes, I am Julie." I was so excited to see my blogger friend Tim who lives in the bay area of California!

I told him that I wanted a picture of us. I looked around and spotted a woman who looked like she was just standing around. I asked her if she wouldn't mind taking a picture of us. She was not happy and I knew that I made a mistake by picking her. She told me that she was busy waiting for someone and that she didn't want to walk around to take a picture. I told her that she could just take it right here. I gave her my camera and started to explain how to take the picture. She snapped at me saying, "I know how to work a camera....I don't need instructions!" I said, "Alrighty then...just take the picture." I looked at Tim giving him the I can't believe she just got snippy with me look! He smiled and said nothing:) She took the picture and I said thank you. Actually, if you look at my face in this picture you can tell that I am annoyed as hell:)
Tim was kind enough to take this one of me:)

Tim and I had at least 30 minutes to chat and just take in the breathtaking views! It was about 55 degrees early on but I would say it got up to 60 degrees by the start.

This was taken about 20 minutes before the start.
Tim and I decided to walk down to where the start line was. We were both curious if there were pace time markers so we would have an idea where to start. Tim knew that he was going to try to do about a 1:50 half and I was thinking of running a 2:10 finish.
This is about 15 minutes before the start. The area that is shown in this picture filled in later and we were packed in pretty tight.

This is a picture of all of the people in back of us. There was supposed to be 3,000 runners...there were actually 2,634 finishers. Tim and I started off together slowly making our way to the start line. The first portion of the run was a steep down hill followed by a sharp left hand turn and a daddy of a hill. Since there were no pace markers there were several different running abilities scattered all over. The hill was a little tough as I am not great at the people zig zagging and passing. Tim was an expert at this and I saw him making his way up the hill so much faster than me. After Tim made it up the hill that was the last time that I saw him until the finish. Once I was up the hill things got a little better and the runners started to thin out.
I have to tell you all that the feeling that I had when running this race was calm and safe. I was in awe of the beauty around me and just tried to soak it all in. It was very quiet running those first few miles and I was in heaven!
I was running not really caring about my pace. I felt fine and I ran smart by listening to my body. I did look down at my garmin several times within the first three miles. Most of the time my garmin read 7:40 to 8:30. I thought to myself, you better watch are going to crash and not have the energy to finish strong.

Looking out ahead of me there was a sea of runners making their way down and up the road. This course was full of rollers but they were totally doable to me. Maple Grove is full of hills so they didn't bother me.
I think this was about somewhere between mile two and three. I love this picture....I stopped , turned around and took this amazing view of the runners behind me. If you enlarge this picture you can see that this road winds and turns. Look at all of the runners so far back down this windy road. It made me feel pretty good to know that even if I wasn't a front runner, I still considered myself to be somewhere in the front of the pack:)

I stopped and walked through every water station. I took my fuel gel at mile four and mile nine. I never felt like I was pushing myself, I just ran steady and easy. I was a little worried because my miles have been cut back so much. I felt fantastic when I was running and I was happy!

Shortly after hitting water stop number five, we were all at a stand still. We had to wait for traffic to move across the highway. I really don't know how long we were standing there. I was just taking it all in. People were chatting with the police officers and watching the cars drive by. A woman behind me was getting a little restless and said we have been waiting here for almost a minute. I really didn't care:) Finally we were off running again.

The temperature was perfect for running. Living in Minnesota I am so used to the heat and humidity. Yuck! Running in wine country was a dream compared to what I normally have to put up with! I was in heaven:)
It was mile ten where I saw my hubby taking my picture and cheering for me:) He asked me if I felt okay and I nodded. He then said, "Don't you think you are going a little fast?" I said, "No way, I am feeling great!" I had a huge smile on my face and Mr. Julie just shook his head:)

I ran the last three miles with this woman from Canada. We chatted and the time just flew by:)

When there was about a mile left I looked at my garmin and knew that I was going to come in under the two hour mark! I was elated:) I took that last right hand turn and headed down the final stretch. I passed my new friend from Canada and continued on steady and strong. When I saw the clock I threw up my arms in joy and smiled like a fool! I was happy! I heard the announcer say, " Here is runner Julie from Maple Grove, Minnesota!" People were cheering and I got the biggest running high of my life! This was even better then when I got my half marathon PR! I ran a half marathon a few minutes shy of my PR and I felt flipping fantastic every step of the way! I didn't feel like getting sick, I never had to use the Biffy and my feet didn't hurt! I was fine.....I was better than fine:) I am pretty sure that a tear drop fell down my cheek and that has never happened during a finish....ever!
Okay, my booty looks like Jay Lo's! Look what running does...I got my track ghetto booty back:) I am wearing my new Asics running singlet and skirt. I took a chance and wore it for the first time during this race. It was so comfy and I was flipping lucky! I broke a very important runner's law by wearing something brand new to a race:)

Tim was able to see me finish and was surprised...he was expecting to see me in about twelve minutes:) I introduced him to my hubby and had him take a post race picture of us:) We all chatted for a few minutes. I have been so blessed to meet so many of my blogger friends at races:) Tim, it was great to meet you...who knows...maybe I will see you next year!

Here I am with my wine glass! Did I drink any wine you may ask? Hell yes!

Here I am sporting the race t-shirt:)

Okay, so here are my official stats....
Final time...1:58:45 with an average pace of 9:00.
I placed 615 out of 2634 overall! Yes, this means that over 2,000 people finished after me:)
I placed 296 out of 1,863 women:)
I placed 53 out of 311 for my age group!
I absolutely loved this race! If there is anyone who is maybe thinking about doing it but not sure....I say flipping sign up! You will not be sorry! This race took place in one of the most beautiful places in California! This race is not crazy big so it is enjoyable! There is just something about it....something almost spiritual:) It is hard to explain but I can tell you that I am already bugging my hubby about next year! If I run this again next year I am going out with Anne Marie after the that I can drink:) Anne Marie just did the Vineman should check out her blog and read her race report! She did awesome:)
After the race we went back to the hotel to get cleaned up. We then went vineyard hopping and had a blast:) I love California and can really see myself living in wine country someday!
Happy running, biking, swimming and lifting! Cheers to you all!
MissZippy is hosting a Ryder's sunglasses giveaway!
Oz is hosting a $50 CSN giftcard giveaway!
Aimee is hosting her first all of her favorite things giveaway....very cool!
James is hosting a $40 GSN giftcard giveaway!
Adam is hosting a $40 CSN giftcard giveaway!
Holly is hosting a $40 CSN giftcard giveaway!
Molly is hosting a Run Like A Girl giveaway!
Marcia is hosting a $60 CSN giftcard giveaway!
Angie is hosting a mantra t-shirt giveaway!
Rad Runner is hosting an ALO clothing giveaway!
Thomas is hosting a ROAD ID giveaway!
MissZippy is hosting a $40 CSN giftcard giveaway!

Monday, July 19, 2010

I Am Back From California....Napa To Sonoma Half Race Report Coming Soon!

Hi everyone, I just got back about a hour ago and I am pretty tired. I just wanted to let everyone know that I had such a great time in California! Wine country was gorgeous and the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon is currently ranking as my favorite half marathon to date:)
I will have a full race report tomorrow evening after work! Here is a hint of how I did....faster than I hoped and I felt fantastic the entire race! I am still sporting the biggest smile on my face! I feel like I have been disconnected from the blogger world and I can't wait to see what everyone has been up to! I will be spending a few hours tomorrow playing catch up:)
Happy running, biking, swimming and lifting! Cheers to you all!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

San Francisco and Wine Country Here I Come!

I just wanted everyone to know that I will be MIA until late Monday afternoon. Mr. Julie and I are heading out tomorrow morning for San Francisco. We will be picking up my race packet early and then have an exciting night out on the town planned:) Saturday we are driving to Sonoma to get settled into our very nice hotel. My plan is to hit the expo and then just relax. After the half marathon on Sunday morning we are off to go vineyard hopping! My wish for this half marathon is to run a relaxed and slower than pace run. I am thinking about coming in at 2:10 or so...we will see. I know that I will really piss my hubby off if I go faster than that and my co-worker will kill me! I value my life so I am just going to have a fun and enjoyable run through wine country:) I have two cameras ready to roll!

Anne Marie, I wish that we could do a meet up...maybe another time. Good luck with your race, I am sure you are going to do great! Good luck to all of the other people racing this weekend! I am looking forward to reading all of the race reports:)

Happy running, biking, swimming and lifting! Cheers to you all!
Pam is hosting a Sweaty Bands giveaway!
Rad Runner is hosting an ALO clothing giveaway!
Adam is hosting a CEP sock/sleeve and $60 giveaway!
Thomas is hosting a ROAD ID giveaway!
MissZippy is hosting a $40 CSN giftcard giveaway!
Anne is hosting a $60 CSN giftcard giveaway!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Taking It Easy....Well Sort Of

Hi everyone! I am happy to report that I have been behaving myself and taking it easy.....well, taking it easy according to me. Earlier this week I was able to do a bloggie meet up with one of my blogger friends from New York! I met Suzy and her husband ADP for a nice dinner in Minneapolis. We met at a cute and charming bar & grill called Eli's. I would highly recommend it to everyone! It is known as the Loring Park area's best kept secret! I found it to be a diamond in the rough. The service was outstanding and the food absolutely delicious!

Suzy and me:)
Suzy and me again:)

This is ADP and Suzy. We met and enjoyed a drink together before sitting down to eat dinner. Suzy and her husband are both very charming, we enjoyed fantastic & stimulating conversation! They are both very outgoing and charismatic:) Suzy, if you ever come to my neck of the woods again, please let me know! I would love to do a meet-up again! ADP, you are invited too:)
I really wanted to tone down my workouts for the week and take it easy on myself. I think that I did a pretty good job. This week's training schedule looked like this.
Sunday....Red White and Boom Half Marathon 13.2 miles.
Monday, off. easy 2.5 miler at a 9 minute pace. easy 4 miler at a 9 minute pace.
Thursday, I will call this cross training day. I cut my lawn and this task takes one hour:)
Friday, off.
Saturday, an 8 miler at a 9:10 minute pace.
This morning I headed up to St. Cloud to run with my running group. Today's breakfast run was hosted by Denny, (AKA my running dad) and his wife Carol. They have a lovely home on the river with breathtaking views:) I met Deb at the park and we ventured out on a four miler, running on the trails next to the river. We headed back to Denny and Carol's house for our group picture. After chatting a bit with the group we started out on our second run. Deb and I ran another four miler. This second run was a little more challenging than the first because it was getting so darn hot. We ran by Whitney Park and Deb spotted that the baseball field had sprinklers on! Oh happy day:) We stopped to run through the sprinklers and cooled down! I was loving it and felt refreshed enough to continue on! I told Deb that I was bummed that my camera's battery died...this was definitely a Kodak moment:) After our run, I quick got into my van. I drove down the street to the nearest gas station to purchase batteries for my camera. Julie and a camera that doesn't work is just wrong! You all know how much I love taking pictures:)
After we all got back from our runs we returned to Denny's house for our breakfast! Here are several pictures that I took this morning.

Nikki and Deb.

Deb and me.

Nikki and me.

I took a few pictures of this amazing view of the river! This was taken just off of Denny's deck.... Denny and Carol get to look at every single day:)

So beautiful and peaceful:)

My running folks....Denny and Carol:)

Denny, me and Carol.
Next weekend my hubby and I are heading out to California! I am running in the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon and looking forward to it:) Hopefully if everything works out I will be running a few shorter races with my blogger pals Average A and Julie. The MDRA is hosting Wednesday evening races in the month of July! We get to run by Minnehaha of my favorite spots to run in Minnesota:) With in the next few days I will also be signing up for a few 5Ks to run for the months of July and August. I know of two races that I will be running in September. I did both of these runs last year and had a blast. The first is the Bolder Dash 10K and the other is Women Run the Cities 10 miler. Don't worry, I promise that I am not going to go all gang busters with these runs! I am going to listen to my body and use them as training runs. I still need to wait for clearance from my doctor to run full force. So far I have not had any other GI episodes but will continue to remain cautious when running.
Happy running, biking, swimming and lifting! Cheers to you all!
Rad Runner is hosting an ALO clothing giveaway!
Adam is hosting a CEP sock/sleeve and $60 giveaway!
Thomas is hosting a ROAD ID giveaway!
MissZippy is hosting a $40 CSN giftcard giveaway!
Pam is hosting a Sweaty Bands giveaway!
Anne is hosting a $60 CSN giftcard giveaway!
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