Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Team Ortho Monster Dash Half Marathon Race Report!

This morning I ran in the Team Ortho Monster Dash half marathon. I woke up at 5AM to get ready and then drove into Minneapolis to the Lake Nokomis start.
I scored a parking spot right across from where the bag drop area was located.

I walked up to the start line about 20 minutes before the actual start to see if I could see another Minnesota blogger who would be starting with the speedy front runners. No luck, Gregg, hopefully I will see you at another future race:) I wasn't sure how today's race was going to go considering last weekend's training run was a big fail. I knew it would not be a PR day but hoped for the best.

I lined myself up with the 1:55 pacer Tim. I figured that I would try to stay with him as long as possible and then fall back and run with the 2 hour pacer if I needed. Eventually after a few minutes the race started. Within the first few minutes I had the same girl step on the back of my shoes three times. I know that I have accidentally done this to another runner too. I did not do it three times. I was a little annoyed and ended up speeding a little ahead of the pacer to avoid getting hit again. I think she wanted to be right next to Tim:)

I felt okay the first four or five miles. I didn't feel fantastic and I would never say that I was in my groove. I was moving and not in pain:)

After I hit mile six I was feeling that yucky feeling again. It wasn't as bad as last weekend but I could tell that I would need to slow down. I walked through a water stop and lost my pacer and pace group. I stayed a little behind them for about a mile.

The course was very scenic and I tried to stay focused on the gorgeous views and my fellow runners. Many runners dressed in costumes:) I was very impressed with many people's creativity! I found myself laughing several times! My favorite costume hands down was a pregnant guy wearing a pink dress and blond wig! He adjusted his tummy and wig many times. Great humor! I don't know how anyone was able to run in a wig for the entire 13 miles. Wearing a wig would of drove me bonkers!
Mile seven was a rough one for me. There was a pretty long and challenging hill that kicked my butt. I was sucking some big time air! Shortly after getting over this hill a very nice woman was running past me and asked me if I was Julie. I said, "Yes, I am Julie." She told me that she reads my blog. I asked her how she found it and she told me that she found it through Rambling Renee's blog:) Renee is a fellow St. Cloud River Runner who lives in Rochester. She is an amazing runner and has been a PR machine! Renee has been nursing a toe injury but is getting back in the groove! I am always so flattered when people recognize me from reading my blog. It also amazes me how many non-bloggers read it. Shortly after this nice woman Katy ran by me and wished me good luck, I started to struggle and feel the mental pain.

I took a very short 30 second walk break. I was feeling low on energy agian and honestly started to wonder if I would be able to finish. WTH! Really? I was feeling so down in the dumps that I was thinking about not finishing! I started to think about what my running dad Denny told me. He told me that when we struggle it is mostly mental and that we have to know that other people/runners are tired too. We have to tough it out and continue on:) I talked to Denny last weekend and we spoke about my marathon and those last 6 horrid miles. He told me that next time I run a marathon I will shorten my time by not walking as much and dealing with the mental challenges that come my way. He also mentioned to me that I better train more and get my long runs in:) He he! Isn't that just like a dad? Well, after thinking about this coversation I started running again.

These guys were awesome! I told them I liked their costumes and they told me never again!! It was hard to run in those bad boys:)

The last few miles were hard and I kept running. The 2 hour pacer never passed me...woo hoo! I finished but not in 1:55. Finishing is winning...right Jill! After I crossed the finish line I got my metal and got in line to get water. When I was waiting in line Beth came up to me and said hi! I was so excited to see her! We met at my very first half marathon. We both ran in the St. Paul Securian Half:)
Beth was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy at the end of September. This is something that she has posted in her blog. She is doing great and looks fantastic:) Both Beth and her husband Mike are the nicest people and I feel so fortunate to have met them. I am in awe of Beth's courage and strength! She was given the okay from her doctor to run and ran in the Monster 5K today! Go Beth!

After talking to Beth I went to the bag pick-up. I then walked around for a bit and took a few pictures. I was bummed that I didn't see Minnesota bloggers Heather and Julie:(

Oh, and one thing that I would like to mention is that I am using this race as my virtual Pink Dress Run hosted by my blogger friend Fran. October is breast cancer awareness month.....what a better way to show support than by sporting pink! The only rule was to wear pink and choose your distance. So I wore a pink shirt and a weird version of pink sweat shirt:) Fran is from Holland and lives close to Amsterdam. She and I have the same obsession with high heel shoes and perfume:) Stop by her blog and say hi!
Here are just a few random pictures of runners in their costumes.
I love this!

Okay, check out this line! I got in line for the shuttle bus at 11 AM. There must be some mistake! Seriously, there is no way that this is really the wasn't moving! If you enlarge this picture you can see that the line turns left and continues up the block and then some!

Still waiting and taking more pictures. I waited in line for almost two hours! We found out that there were only two buses!!!!! We were all so cranky and cold after waiting for that ridiculous amount of time! Finally...a bus!! Oh crap it is not my bus! Wait a little more....

These are the people behind me. Can you believe this? Many smart people had cell phones and were able to call taxi cabs. I was not one of those smart people:)

Woo hoo, this is my bus:) I finally made it home by 2:30. I stopped at Chipotle in Maple Grove for a post race meal! There is nothing like a little Chipotle after a longer run:)
I checked my final stats....
Final time..... 1:58:49.
I placed 1481 out of 3563 total runners.
I placed 636 out of 2122 female runners.
I placed 86 out of 282 for my age group.
Happy running, biking, swimming and lifting! Cheers to you all!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Still Recovering!

Hi everyone! I am playing a little catch up from the weekend. Saturday I drove into St. Cloud to run with my running group. I was really looking forward to it because it had been such a long time since I had ran with them. My plan was to run eight miles. I thought that I could break it up by running four before our 8 o'clock picture and then going out again and running another four. I pulled into the parking lot at 6:45 AM and spotted Deb and Paul. Deb asked me if I would be ready to go soon. I put on my visor, locked my car and was ready to roll! Deb and Paul are training for a marathon and it was their 20 mile day. This seemed perfect to me because I wanted to go at a slower pace. We started running and I knew it wasn't going to be a great run for me. I felt like total crap! I know that it takes time to recover from a marathon but I honestly thought I would be back to normal by now. Part of my problem was that I needed to use the bathroom and there was none. We ran by a grocery store and I was so tempted to make a pit-stop....I didn't want to make them stop so I continued on. Big mistake! The farther we went the worse I felt. My legs are feeling strong and I had no issues with them but I started to get that icky feeling again. It reminds me of when I ran Grandma's and the Team Ortho half. My stomach was messing with me and I hurt. Deb was chatting as usual:) I was not talking as much as I normally would because I was attempting to just big girl up and run through the yuck! The loop that we ran was seven miles....the longest seven miles I have run in a long time. I really needed to use a bathroom and so many times felt the urge to stop and walk. Well, that never happened because I toughed it out. We had less than a mile left when we stopped at a Perkin's to use the bathroom! Oh happy day! The joy of a bathroom:) We ran back to the Meeting Grounds for the group picture. I knew that my next run was not going to be long. Most people were planning on doing another seven to four. I started running again and felt no better. My plan was to turn around at the mile mark and make my way back. Yep, after mile one I turned around and slowly headed back to the parking lot. I was so done! I ran a total of nine miles on Saturday.

I went home and felt terrible the entire day. Seriously, I had been doing so good! I have had no real GI issues since July. I don't know, I feel like my body is telling me to slow down again! WTH! I have a half marathon on Saturday and I don't know how that is going to turn out! It could get ugly! I wil just have to play it my ear and see how I feel!

How long does it take to recover from a marathon? I am just a little frustrated and want my great running days back!

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

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What I Have To Look Forward To....Fall And Winter Racing Schedule!

I am back. We did get a new computer....woo hoo! We ended up getting another PC with the understanding that I would get a MAC...possibly for Christmas:) This whole having one computer thing is getting old. It is hard when there are three people in the family who would all like dibs on the internet for different reasons.

* As far as the running goes I have been taking it easy. This week I have had a four mile and six mile run. My legs feel great but my energy level is not back to 100%.

* Today was my day off and I went in a had my hair done. I am a happy girl:)

* Kay's cross country season is offically over. She had a great year and improved so much. She now currently has two fall b-ball leagues going on. Her high school try-outs are in November.

* This Saturday I am heading into St. Cloud to run with my running group! It has been at least two months since I have run with them. I am looking forward to a Saturday breakfast run with my St. Cloud River Runner peeps:)

* I have been putting my fall and winter racing schedule together. So far it looks like this.....

The Monster Dash Half...10-30-10
The Anoka Jingle Bell Run 5K 11-28-10
The Snow Flake Shuffle 5K 12-11-10
The Polar Dash 10K 01-01-11
The St. Paul Securian Half 01-23-11

I am hoping to catch up on blogs and see what everyone has been up to:) I have read a few amazing race reports! Congrats to all of you who ran like the wind:) Congrats to Slomo, Glenn, Johann, Judi, Adam, Aimee, Marcia, Anna Maria, The Boy Scout, Rad Runner, Lam, Anita, Nickie, Kate, P, Angie, Julie, Kellie, Henniemavis, Running Fox and Brett! I know that I am forgetting some runners. If I remember more I will come back and add to my list:)

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

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rest In Peace Personal Computer!

Hi Everyone! Just a quick post to let you all know that our computer has seen better days! We have been having issues with it for months. I am sitting at our library right now writing this post:) We are shopping for a new computer and it might be a few days until we make a final decision. I would love to go and get one right now but my hubby is one of those guys who needs to research everything:) Hopefully I will be able to post and comment in a few days. Until then, happy running, biking, swimming and lifting! Cheers to you all!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Autumn Woods Classic 5K Trail Run Race Report!

Today was my first run since my marathon. The only thing that I have done this week is yard work and one two mile walk. This morning Kay and I headed out to the Elm Creek Park Reserve in Maple Grove for the annual 5K, 10K and kids 1K races.

Kay's cross country team volunteered for today's races and she ended up working at the t-shirt distribution table:)
The Autumn Woods Classic 5K attracted 759 runners/walkers. Here is a picture of the people behind me just a few minutes before the start.
Here is the view of the runners in front of me. The 5K race starts out on a paved trail and then later turns onto a dirt and grass road. There is also a pretty big section of rolling grass hills before changing back to the paved trail. It is a tough course with many rolling hills. My time last year was 24:04. I knew there would be no PRing today and I just wanted to finish under 25 minutes. When we heard the horn....we were off! Oh my goodness, I started out way to fast! I got caught up in the excitement of the start and buzzed along with the front runners. Mistake! Mile one 7:10! My legs felt okay but my energy level was not up to snuff.

This portion of the race was a little before mile one. See Mike, my pictures can turn out blurry too:)

This is the portion of the run that was on the dirt and grass road. I was not feeling so great here. I was starting to get thirsty and really wanted to start walking! What the heck....walking before mile two and the water stop!?! Do you see that little boy in front of me? Yep, he was a great runner and super cute! This little super stud runner and I were neck and neck for about 400 meters. After the end of this road we turned to the left onto the grass portion of the course. This is where the water stop was and I needed water ASAP! I was feeling a little light headed and was so thirsty. I got in line for the water and had my eye on the cup. This little speed rocket charged in front of me and I ended up slowing down so I wouldn't run into him. I ended up biting the big one in the wet grass! I slid a few feet and have freaking got to be kidding! Thank God there was hardly anyone other than the two guys behind me and the water stop people that witnessed this:) I quickly got up grabbed another cup of water and went on my merry way! This was a tough run and I did not feel the greatest. The marathon must have taken so much out of me because this easy little 5K seemed so challenging to me. The last mile I was out of gas and running on empty. Just keep moving...keep your feet moving and you will eventually get to the finish line. The last portion of the race is up hill and not fun. Last year I charged up that hill...this year...not so much:) I will say that not one single woman passed me during the whole race. There were 6 guys that passed me including little super stud:) All of the speedy girls charged out before me in the beginning of the race.

This is what the entire park looked like. The trees were gorgeous and I enjoyed looking at all of the beautiful fall scenery.
After my race was over I found out that I actually took 2nd place for my age group! My time is about 40 seconds slower than last year. Here are my stats....
Final time 24:45.
I placed 72 out of 759.
My little man ran in the kids 1K race and was so excited to get his race bib! They seperated the age groups for the kids and he ran with the four year olds. They were expecting 400 kids to be running so I am very happy that they broke it down into age groups. I would say that there were maybe 40 to 50 four year olds running:)

Here he is right after the start:) He was in 3rd place for so much of the race! We think he might have taken fourth. It is hard to say because he ended up passing a few in the five year old age group and there were parents running with their kids. He had a blast and it was so much fun for us to watch him charging along!

Look at my little runner in his swim trunks:) He wanted to have shorts with the mesh inside like my running shorts do. He grabbed his swimming trunks and said they were now his running shorts:) After the race all of the kids got finish ribbons and a pumpkin! Score! What else does a kid need? Nothing:)

Last Saturday we met my college boy for a football game at the University of Minnesota! My college boy and I are both Gophers:) It had been some time since we had seen him. We texted him and met him in the concession area. My hubby purchased food for him and it was like Christmas morning:) The joy of free food for the college student! Oh, the little things in life!
Happy running, biking, swimming and lifting! Cheers to you all!
I want to let everyone know how sorry I am for my lack of commenting this week. I have been feeling a little bit of the post marathon blues. Hopefully I will be back to my cheerful self soon:)

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Twin Cities Marathon Race Report!

Hi Everyone! I slept like total crap last night and had to take some ibuprofen because my upper legs were screaming in protest! My calves felt great....other than being a little sore I think I am doing pretty well. I promised you a race report so here it is:)
I woke up at 4 Am Sunday morning to get ready for the marathon. I had all sorts of thoughts swimming through my mind. Many of them were on the lines of...OMG, I am running my first marathon today! I was both excited and nervous! As many of you know, I stopped marathon training in week five of my plan because of the GI issues I was having. I took several weeks off from hard training and toned back my 6 runs a week to 3 runs a week. I ran the Gopher to Badger half marathon in that crazy heat. I figured if I can do this....surely I can run a fall full marathon. I had already signed up for the Get Ready To Rock 20 mile race and planned to use that as a test. I had three weeks of long runs consisting of a 16, 17 and 18 mile run before my 2o mile race. I look at the original Hal's training plan that I was doing and see that I have missed so many miles of training:( I think if I had not been running so many half marathons my results yesterday would of been different. By becoming a half marathon junkie I gave myself a fantastic base for a marathon newbie.

I drove into Minneapolis and found a parking spot about three blocks from the Metrodome. I walked to the dome and walked around for a few minutes. I used the rest room and parked myself on the floor right across from it. I took out my marathon guide and looked at the map of the course and pace times. I found a few of my fellow SCRR peeps:) Paul, Rick, Cindy and Denise were just hanging out before their 10 mile race.

Cathy came along as a cheerleader:)

I ran into Jeri a South Dakota blogger who was running the TC 10 mile run:) I sat and talked to her for several minutes....she is such a sweetheart! Seeing Jeri made me feel very old as she is young and beautiful! Jeri, I hope that the race went well for you! I will be seeing you again at the Earth Day half marathon in 2011:)

I also ran into another SCRR (Curt) who was going to try his hardest to BQ in the TC marathon! Check out the corral #1 sticker in the corner of his bib! Fantastic news... he did it! Congrats to you Curt:)
I met Heather who is another blogger from Minnesota! We sat in the dome and talked until we heard the announcement that we needed to make our way to the start line. We had to laugh when we saw that we were both wearing old ugly race shirts. The plan was to just toss them once we were warm enough. My shirt is actually turned inside out...super ugly! Heather also made me feel old because yes, she is younger than me...she has gorgeous eyes, not a single wrinkle and she had a cooler race outfit:) Derek, just so you know, we walked around looking for you. We were bummed that we couldn't find you before the race:(
Heather and I made our way to the start line. I told her that I wanted to start somewhere between the 4:15 and 4:30 pacers. We walked up and positioned ourselves right next the the 4:15 pacers. This is a picture of the people behind us 10 minutes before the start.

Way over by the fence is the 4:15 pacer:)
The Metrodome.
Here is a picture of the people in front of us. I was pretty nervous those few minutes before the start. I kept on looking at Heather and she always had a smile on her face:) Thank you for keeping me calm Heather! I am so glad we were able to start out together. We slowly made out way to the start and I had my Garmin all ready to go. I run over the mats and hit start......I look down at my Garmin and the only thing that is displayed is the time! WTH! OMG! Why? Why can't I be like every other runner and not have issues with the Garmin. I had no distance or pace screen displayed. I would wait until I saw the first clock and then just start it again. I stayed with the pacer for the first mile. I just couldn't see myself running this pace and was feeling like I was holding back too much. I moved ahead of the pacer and ran nice and easy.

The crowds were awesome as I ran down the streets of Minneapolis! There was tons of cow-bell and all of the runners were happy and filled with positive energy:)

The one thing that drove me total bonkers was my spibelt was not cooperating! I had 5 gels and a powerbar flopping around and hitting me in the stomach! My bladder was telling me that I needed to stop! Crap! I am not even at mile 3 and I need to make a Biffy stop! I passed one set because they were in use but was able to snag another one a little later. In and out....most likely less than a minute:)
Once we were off of the streets Minneapolis we made our way around the lakes. OMG! I was in heaven, it is so beautiful! It was here where I got rid of my ugly shirt and tossed it aside. Running through this area was amazing! Not only was it pretty with the lakes and trees but it was full of fans cheering. I was in awe of the support that complete strangers were giving me:)

When I hit mile marker 9 I remembered that I was going to start my Garmin over again so I could know what pace I was going at. I turned off my Garmin and started it back took a few minutes for the thing to start working, grrrr! Miles 1 through 13 were a piece of cake. I ran easy and felt great.

The day was perfect for running, the sun was shining and the temperature was fantastic! I love running in 50 to 60 degree weather:)

I actually caught up with the 4:00 pacers and ran with them for miles 14 and 15. I was starting to get a little tired and I had several gels in my tummy that were starting to bother me. I knew that I would have to make a Biffy stop soon.
Score...Biffy sighting up ahead! Okay, so here Biffy number two story....are you ready? I stand in line with a few people in front of me and a few people behind me. I wait, wait and wait. Finally my turn! I run into the Biffy and lock the door. I am just about done when someone attempts to open my Biffy! He pulled on the door one more time and the door came flying open! OMG! Let's just say he did not get a butt shot...he got a full frontal! He slammed the door back shut and I started laughing! Only me...this crap only happens to me:) I heard him say..don't worry I didn't see anything! Yea, right! I finish up, put my sunglasses back on, open the door and hope to God I don't see him later:)
Miles 18, 19 and 20 seemed to take forever. I was feeling okay but not great. I was telling myself that I already ran a 20 mile run and that I could do this. Keep the feet moving!

Mile 20...just six miles left! Some where between mile 21 and 22 my right hammy started to scream. I was in serious pain and needed to pull over and stretch. It hurt so bad and I started to cry. Why now? I walked for a few minutes and decided to try running again. It still hurt and I must of looked pretty pathetic running with a limp.

The Summit Avenue stretch was amazing! The crowds were awesome and the positive energy was wonderful. Summit Avenue was also hard as hell and a mental challenge for me. The last few miles on Summit are uphill! Oh joy! I was hurting and not doing so great. I really wanted to keep running the whole way but I just couldn't. I promised myself that I would listen to my body. I needed to slow down. I walked so much of Summit Avenue:(

I am not happy here...yep, I am walking. I have heard from so many people about the big bad wall. As I walked I thought about my time and what it would be. I had no real goals in mind. Seriously, I just wanted to finish the race. Maybe it was the competitive athlete in me but deep down I guess I did care about my time. I wanted to finish in under 4:30 but knew in my heart that I could do it under 4:15. Okay Julie, time to suck it up! Just a four more miles and it is over! I started running again.
I am so glad that there was music playing from time to time because it helped me stay moving and motivated! I took water at all of the water stops and went through all of my gels. I ended up walking a few more times. I looked at my Garmin and said, "Okay you can walk for 30 seconds and then you have to start up again." When my Garmin reached 30 seconds, I said, "Okay 40 seconds:)" There was a man who saw me walking. He looked at me and looked at his watch. He said, "Now would be a good time to start running!" "Make it count!" Yep, you guessed it, I started running again:) I was hoping that I wouldn't have to use the Biffy again. Not so lucky:) One more quick stop and I was on the road again.

I saw this and thought....I have got to be getting closer. Just keep moving Julie! I felt like I was moving at snails pace...super slow! When I was at the top of the hill and saw the Capital I was so happy! I knew that I was going to finish soon!

You can see the Capital in the back and the big flag is the finish line! I was smiling when running that last stretch of the race! I still didn't have a clue what my time would end up being. It didn't matter...I was going to finish this race!
This last stretch was the most emotional part of the race for me! OMG! When I cross this line I am going to be able to call myself a marathoner! Never in a million years at this time last year would I have believed that I would ever run in a marathon!
People were screaming and I started to pick up my pace a little. I passed a few people but basically just ran in easy.

When I saw the clock it said 4:12 something but I have no idea what it said when I crossed the finish line! I ran those last few feet and through my arms up in the air! I did it! I finished! I finished my first marathon! I took a few steps and got my medal. The lady put it around my neck and I walked over to a fence, put my head down and started to cry. Big tears rolled down my cheeks. I was so thrilled:) Running a marathon is hard work! Not only was I physically tired, I felt emotionally drained too! I am so proud of my accomplishment and happy for finishing my first marathon. I was also very sad that no one from my family was there to share it with me. It was a bitter-sweet moment for me.

Shortly after I finished I ran into Katy. Katy is someone that I remember from the Get Ready To Rock 20 mile race. I asked her if she ran it and she said yes. She told me that she read my blog...I forgot to ask how she found it. Katy did great today and I would of never guessed that she just had a baby a few months ago:)

After the race I drank a cup of the blue stuff, two cups of chicken broth and a bottle of water. I also ate a banana. I walked over to where the bag check was and sat in the grass. I was hurting pretty bad. I got up and stretched my legs out but it was not helping. I thought about finding the massage tent to see if I could have someone work on my sore legs.

I did run into Kalli who is a SCRR...she finished with an awesome time of 3:17:) Go Kalli!
I walked around for a few minutes taking pictures. I then walked up to the Capital to catch a bus back to the Metrodome:) I was tired and really wanted to take a shower and go to bed.
Here are my final stats......
Final time 4:09:45.
I placed 3,843 out of 8,211 actual finishers.
I placed 1,145 out of 3,394 women.
I placed 143 out of 422 for my age group.
Will I ever run another marathon you ask? Hell yes! One thing that I will say is I can only see myself doing one of these bad boys a year:) Thanks again for all of your support and encouragement! Jill thanks for being a super fan! I am so glad that you were able to track my time because the computer wouldn't give me my information until this morning. It was almost like I didn't run the race. So many people attempted to get my stats and were not successful as well. You rock Jill!
Happy running, biking, swimming and lifting! Cheers to you all!
Next on my things to do...take care of my lawn and catch up on blogs:)
Free Hit Counter