Jump to content
The Loop

Leaderboard

Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/19/2020 in all areas

  1. I'll give you my first race recap in forever and then I'll try to say why I've been so absent. If you remember me, you know I'm one for brevity but this one may stretch just a bit. A colleague and friend has been working on getting his fitness back and we do virtual check-ins with FB messages a few mornings a week to report on running and mental health status. A local 5K I've been wanting to do was a "go" for this year and was held last Saturday. it's called the Higgins Lake Sunrise Run and is always around the time of the summer solstice. They run the 5K through the state park and campground and the smell of bacon from so many campsites at 9 am is both incredible and torturous! I promised to run the whole way with him and be his pacer to get him under his goal of 40 minutes and we did! 37:19 across the finish line for him and like a good pacer, I let him through on his own and held back a few steps. He was incredibly grateful. We took a much-needed swim in the lake after the awards were over and it was the perfect cap on a great morning with the running community. A few weeks ago I ran my own 5K time trial on a very, very flat bike path near my house and did it under 30 minutes and was thrilled with myself so I know what I'm capable of and the Sunrise 5K was all about helping a friend get their confidence back. I may run it next year and see if I can place in my AG. My next event is as a volunteer at another local 5K for a festival in mid-July and then I'm registered for a 50K trail race in south-central Tennessee in mid-October with my trail partner, Joy. Going to be a blast of a lady's adventure weekend for us! On to the "why I haven't been around much" topic: My mental health took a nasty nosedive after teetering on a cliff for years and years. I started seeing a therapist and that helped me open my eyes to things I didn't know weren't part of everyone's lives. I never knew what I dealt with was debilitating anxiety, massive mental stress, and deep depression. With the help of my health insurance provider and a great person on the other end, I was connected to a therapist and continued with remote visits during the pandemic. Early this year I "graduated" from regular therapy visits and now only set an appointment when I can't pick an issue apart on my own. I have an incredible nurse practitioner as my primary care physician, and she agreed to try me on Prozac under my suggestion and approval of the therapist. I never knew life could be like this. Relaxed, happy, no short-temper, calm, focused. I had my recheck with my NP on Tuesday and I'm down 32 lbs in 2 years and I may be on some level of anti-depressant for quite a while or forever. I take care of myself; I get solid nutrition, I rest when I need to, I run, I paddle board, I x-c ski all winter, etc. Where am I now? I love my life. I'm so grateful for what I have and what may lie ahead. I'm forever grateful for this group. I have amazing friends just because of the Loop. The end of July I'm set to take off on a covid tested flight via Delta airlines to stay 9 days with "Moose" and "Countess FiFi (Davide and Fiona) in northern Italy. They're going to hike one part of the Dolomites with me and I get to see Davide speak at a race and run it, too! They're helping to have a much-needed mental health break from my husband Chris's chronic spinal arthritis issues and constant medical needs. I've learned a lot the past 2 years and I'm grabbing on every adventure that comes my way (as long as I can afford it!). Be ready for some incredible race pictures from Italy in late July and early August!
    14 points
  2. Guys, it happened. I was doing four sets of five minutes, in the hopes of eventually stringing along enough minutes to ditch the walk breaks all together, and it happened! It was my third set. I was chugging along, listening to “Nice White Parents,” and fretting about the world, when I realized that I wasn’t struggling. I looked at my garmin, assuming that I must have slowed down, but no! I was at my normal pace. It just didn’t suck. I didn’t feel like all I wanted to do in the whole world was stop. For the first time, in over a year, I was in that space. I could keep doing this. I wasn’t dying. My lungs felt okay. My legs felt okay. I was just... running. I am so relieved. I was starting to think that it was never going to happen again. I was just feeling defeated. I could run. It’s not that I couldn’t. I had even built up some small mileage last year. It’s that it never got any easier. It never felt easy no matter how slow or short. It was always hard work and I never got into a groove. It was making me lose that passion that I had for running. It was just a taste but it’s enough to keep me going for now. Just a tiny bit of encouragement to build off. A little flame to start fanning and see what happens. I am excited.
    10 points
  3. I signed up for Ironman Atlantic City 70.3 at the end of 2019. Like every other race it was Covid cancelled for 2020. Immediately following my 2 marathons earlier this year (Tidewater at the end of April & Jim Thorpe at the end of May) I found myself on the injured list. I got a calf strain from pushing WAY too hard. I've come to realize I am not someone who can run multiple races hard and come out okay. Sigh. Once my calf got better I hurt my hamstring deadlifting. And then I followed that up with an achilles/plantar fascia issue. To say my running was severely under-trained for this race would be a gross UNDERSTATEMENT! My cycling and swimming however (and CrossFitting) were well trained. My speed on the bike went from approximately 16.5 mph to 18.5 mph and my swimming had nowhere to go but up! LOL! I completed a 2.4 mile swim 3 weeks before IMAC. That swim turned out to be my fastest ever even with my panic attack and my horrible sighting skills. (1:43/100 yds) As race day approached I tried to think about the race and the logistics. If you have never done a Tri before the sheer amount of gear needed is overwhelming! I then started to try to figure out how long the race would take me. 1.2 mile swim - 40 minutes, transition 1 - 5 minutes, 56 mile bike - 3 hours 15 minutes, transition 2 - 5 minutes, 13.1 mile run - 2 hours 10 minutes. Add it all up and that's approximately 6 hours and 15 minutes!! Combine that with having to get to the race at 4:30 am to set up and start at 6:30 am I then realized nutrition would have to also be added into the logistics! I went to packet pick up on Friday before the race. I listened to the pre-race meeting 2 times. I studied my athlete guide. I did NOT want to get penalized. I ended up buying an Ironman cap because the run had no shade. Best purchase ever! I slept fairly well Saturday night and was out the door by 4:15 am. I went and set up all of my gear for transition. Towel, helmet, sunglasses, bike shoes, bike socks, bike jersey that I had prestuffed with food (2 Gu, a Honey Stinger Waffle, a Clif Bar and a homemade peanut butter banana muffin with extra peanut butter), sneakers, handheld with 2 more Gu, Ironman ball cap, bib with pins. Phew! I then went back to my car and ate some oatmeal for breakfast. Before long it was time to put on my wetsuit and goggles to line up for the swim. I placed myself in the 35 - 37 minute swim group and reminded myself to go out calm and smooth. (At AC Tri and the Cedar Island swim I had panic attacks and spent most of my time telling myself to CALM THE F DOWN! Lots of self talk happens when you are under water! Lol) We went out in groups of 5 from a boat ramp. Volunteers were there telling us to be careful. As I walked down the ramp I didn't realize that the ramp wasn't a smooth transition to the ground so I literally fell into the water. The swim went well for the 1st 500 yards. I was calm, cool and collected. Not a panic attack in sight! Yahoo! When we made the turn to swim across the bay all of a sudden it seemed like I couldn't make progress. I looked up to see why there was so much turbulence in the water. There were people standing up and walking! WTF?? The tide was so low that we could stand (and sink into the muck!) I got up and followed my fellow competitors. It was crazy! I was very worried about what might be on the bottom of the bay that we could step on - The race was in Atlantic City after all! -- ditched guns, knives used in homicides?? As we made the turn to head back on the 3rd side of the box I went back to swimming because it was actually faster than walking in the muck. My stroke was something more like pull the water, claw the mud, push the water. Soon enough the water became deep enough just to swim. I finished the swim in 36:32 (1:53/100 m) 10th in my AG Lapped my watch for T1. Felt good enough to run into transition while pulling off my wetsuit. The swim photos of me and everyoneare truly terrible with bay muck covering our faces. I stripped off the wetsuit, pulled on my socks, cycling shoes, bike jersey, helmet and sunglasses. I managed to run/jog out of transition as fast as I could. As I mounted my bike I hit my watch to lap it for the bike portion. My watch showed a screen I've never seen so I tapped it again and now it read T2. Ugh! I didn't panic. I just stopped the Triathlon function on the watch and changed it to the cycling function. Transition 1 actually included 1 "bonus" mile of riding so I still have all of the data recorded for the ride. T1 - 7:03. The bike ride was a loop. We had to ride the loop 2.5 times to complete the 56 mile ride. The wind was out of the southwest at 20-22 mph. Ugh. As soon as I got up onto the Atlantic City Expressway I took my first Gu. I was going to make myself drink and eat. On the forums the day before people were saying they drink up to 4 bottles on 50 mile rides. 😲 I maybe drink 1 bottle. It was around 80* so I knew I needed to stay hydrated. My bike splits were good until my last time coming out of Atlantic City. The wind had picked up and it was a battle. I ate 2 more times - one honey stinger waffle and my pb banana muffin. I skipped all of the on course aid stations. Bike splits per 5 miles -- 19, 19.2, 19.2. 18.2, 18, 18.2, 19.7, 17.6, 17.4, 17.4, 18.6. Overall average pace of 18.4 mph. 13th in my AG We still had a one mile "bonus" to bike back to transition. People were actually slowing down here. I couldn't believe it. I passed so many people who were just cruising in. I dismounted my bike and re-racked it, put on my calf sleeve, running shoes and hat as fast as I could. I grabbed my handheld, hat and bib number and then made a pit stop at the port-a-potties. Even though I still only managed to drink about one bottle on the bike I guess I was well hydrated. I had to pin on my bib number because my race belt broke at my last Tri. T2 - 8:54 (ugh!) I shuffled out of transition for the half mile out and back that we had to do in the festival area before heading down to the boardwalk. My plan for the run was to run 1/2 a mile and walk 30 seconds or so since I was so under-trained. Let me tell you my foot/achilles was killing from step 1! I had no idea if I was going to be able to handle the run. My 1st mile was an 8:47... No idea. As we left Bader field we made a left to head down to the boardwalk. The traffic the race caused that day was epic! The poor police officers were being yelled at by all of the motorists. The first aid station was right before the 2 mile mark. I filled up my handheld with some of the ice and water, but then I didn't get the lid on correctly. It was spilling everywhere! I saw 2 of my friends as I came up on the boardwalk and then quickly I saw one more. The guy behind me said that I knew everyone. I told him it paid to race local! I continued my run/walk strategy and grabbed water/ice and or Gatorade at every rest stop. Mile 2 - 5: 9:20, 9:06, 10:14, 10:07. I took a Gu around mile 4. I was so happy when we made the u turn to start running back north. I saw another friend volunteering around mile 6. She was directing everyone to run out on the fishing pier. Perfect photo op spot! Mile 6 - 7: 9:35, 9:55. We had to go out around the Pier at Caesars (a shopping mall). It was the only shaded spot on the whole course! mile 8 & 9 - 9:36, 10:50. I took a Gu in the shade. When I made the turn to continue north on the boardwalk I saw Nicole and then Cathy and Cathy's friend!!! Cathy drove all the way from CT to see me race! I tossed my handheld to them and continued on with a tiny bit more pep in my step. Mile 10 10:01. I came up to an aid station that was manned with all of my Tri club friends. They cheered for me. Yay! They said the turn around was just ahead so I decided to keep going and grab some water/Gatorade on the way back. The turn around was not right around the corner! It felt forever away! Mile 11 - 10:21. I wasn't going fast but I just kept going happy to be finally headed for the finish line. I tried to pick up my pace as we rounded the Pier at Caesars one final time. Mile 12 & 13 10:00, 9:24. I could hear Cathy and Nicole screaming for me. As I left the boardwalk to run to the finish through the soft sand I tried to go as fast as I could ... which wasn't fast at all! I was so happy to be done! 13.1 - 2:06:54 (9:36 pace). 6th in AG What an epic day! So many good friends helped me make it to race day! I finished with a time of 6:01:57. 7th out of 38 in my AG. 10 minutes out of 4th and 30 minutes out of 3rd. I went into this race not knowing what to expect. I left this race with goals. Heaven help my friends. Lol!
    8 points
  4. Tomorrow California opens up. I'm calling it VC day (Victory over Covid). It's been 15 months where our lives changed in many, many ways. But this is a running blog, so I'll just focus on that. The biggest change was the loss of in-person racing. I still ran. Even more than normal, actually. Last year was a record high for mileage. With no vacations, no work (I quit uber driving), no going out anywhere, the highlight of my calendar was my running schedule. So I stepped up to 5 days a week and maintained it for most of the last year. There were a few virtual races, but those were really just fast workouts. Without races to look forward to, training got a little bit monotonous. I was avoiding the beach paths because of crowds, and because I didn't want to run with a mask, so the alternate routes on streets were, shall we say, less inspiring. My running group stopped all regular workouts for about a year. Finally, some of us started regrouping on Saturdays for long runs a few months ago. Official group runs just started in May with Long run Saturdays and Monday tempos. The track is still closed but we hope to be back to real speedwork in the next few weeks, now that school is over. It was great to get back to running with friends in the last month. I don't mind running alone, but the group runs are a lot easier to get excited about. And now racing is coming back! The July 4th 5K is on with no restrictions, so I will be out there suffering with a few thousand others just like normal. Later this year I'm excited to do the Chicago marathon in October, a local half marathon in November, and another half in Rehoboth in December. So it feels like a new day is dawning. I'm happy to be healthy and running well (although not as fast as I used to be - damn aging). But I do have one more story to tell from the past year. In February I got a message from a running friend that there was a group she knew looking for volunteer coach/runners. The group is called Strides In Recovery, and they work with recovery centers for people getting over addictions. They set up regular runs to motivate people to stay healthy, set goals, etc. I got set up with a place called Beacon House that has maybe 60 men in various stages of recovery. The running group was 5-10 guys (it varied) and I ran with them every Tuesday. We were training for a half marathon in May. Most of these guys were not athletes and had never run except maybe for other sports or military. They were coming from poverty, from prison, from heroin addictions, you name it - lots of sad stories. But most were dedicated and so, so positive and grateful. We would run 3-4 miles. Some guys would walk about half of it. Some were faster than me, most were slower. But they kept at it and started improving. The runs got longer. They were running 3 days a week and for the last six weeks I joined them on their Saturday long runs as well. Those built up to 12 miles. It was impressive to watch them keep gutting through those long ones. Many were doing 10-12 minute miles but they kept plugging. Sometimes I would hear a little of a life story, like "I used to have a big house like that and a family. Before I drank it all away...". Or The guy who said he was 50, but really only 33 because the 17 years in prison don't count. But usually we just ran or talked running. So we made it to race day. Due to Covid it was just a private unofficial race, 13.1 miles measured by MapMyRun that ran along the Palos Verdes coast and finished at Beacon House. The guys got vanned over to the start, and I met them there along with my fabulous support crew. We were also joined by the Skid Row Marathon group of about 30 runners and a few other friends, so there were maybe 60 runners altogether. Skid Row Marathon is a movie you should watch on Amazon Prime. It is led by a running judge who trains with actual skid row residents in downtown LA. I was pleased and excited to meet the judge and we chatted before the race. My running buddy Bart also joined so I had someone to run with (and race!). I planned to go out conservatively, but I still wanted to throw down a decent time on this hilly course. I also hoped to "inspire" my guys by catching and passing the fast ones. So after a few little speeches, we just started heading on to the course. No start line, no gun, not even a "Go!". Of course I used my Garmin, but there was no official times or places. As expected, most of the guys went out too fast, so I spent the first few miles catching the slower ones and encouraging them as Bart and I went by. "Long way to go! Relax and just run." DW took lots of pictures which we later sent to Beacon House and they printed them out for the guys. Here are Bart and I in mile 3. . I eventually did manage to catch all my guys, the last in mile ten. Forty years of race experience counts for something. I also pulled away from Bart at about mile 9 on a big downhill and managed to beat him by a minute. It was a good hard run. My time was 1:46:27, but it was a little short (I had 12.96 miles). No matter. It was all about seeing all the other guys finish their first half marathon (See photos) We hung around the finish for an hour as everyone got to the finish. It was joyous and inspiring and heart-warming. Three months ago these guys probably couldn't imagine doing 13 miles. But hard work, commitment and dedication got them there. Good lessons for guys going through recovery, and something positive to hang on to. Since then we have restarted the weekly runs and added 6-8 new guys starting from scratch, as well as retaining some of the "veterans". It's a great program that I am proud to be part of.
    8 points
  5. Hey there. It's been over six months since I've felt like I had anything good to write about. But I'm back. Still running. More than ever actually. Last year I ran 1,647 miles which is a 40-year high. That was made possible by the lack of any significant injuries, as well as the lack of tapering or downtime for racing! I spent the summer thinking (foolishly) I was training for a Fall marathon, but when that went away I just kept putting in miles at a slightly lower rate. So it turned out to be a good year despite the lack of races and race road trips (after Atlanta anyway). I did manage to add a few rows to my racing tab on the spreadsheet; Four "virtual" races which were really just glorified time trials, but I'm counting them. They were all my local traditional races that I do every year. I ran them all on the traditional start date and time and on the actual course. And I pushed as hard as I could manage without any one to chase or any results to motivate me. July 4th I did a 5K in 22:23 which was a minute slower than last year but a solid effort. There were a handful of others on the course at about the same time doing the same thing. In October I did the local 10K, and about a dozen people were there at the start and even more hanging at the finish after maneuvering the course.48:46 was a good 3-4 minutes slower than I figured to be capable of. It was more of a tempo run than a race. But fun to see some other runners. Thanksgiving I did the Turkey Trot 3 mile in 22:20 and again there were a few others walking and jogging the course. None of these had official timers, but they all had virtual race options. I refuse to pay $30 just for a t-shirt so I was a virtual bandit, guilt-free because I wasn't using up any race resources like water or or food or police, because there were none of those things. The fourth race actually had results. It was a new idea. A course was mapped out on the beach bike path and added to Strava. To race, one just had to do that course (marked on the path as well) any time in a 7-day window, and then upload your results to Strava. I did pay for that one, because it supported the high school cross country program, and they had come cool Covid medals. It was a 5K in 22:14 which got me 32nd place. So that brings me to this week, when I virtually bandited our Super Bowl 10K, the race which I have run more than any other. This would be the 25th time over the past 36 years. It figured to be like the others but I invited my friend and rival to join and he surprised me by accepting on Saturday night. So now it was a real race! No more being happy running sub-8 miles and giving an "honest" effort. No, I would need to try and beat this guy. He usually beats me by very small margins but we are about even, and I think I am in better shape at the moment. He also brought his 19-year old daughter who I have ran with before and is about the same speed. I jogged down to the start and found some other runners from our club who had started earlier and were just finishing. Got to chat a little. It was all the fast old guys that would have beat me anyway so I'm glad I wasn't aware of their race. I would have been dead last. So anyway, we waited for a green light at one of the few intersections at the start and off we went. My rival, B, went out fast, as expected. He always goes out fast and tries to hang on. I usually catch up to him in the second half. He mocks my negative splits like they are a bad thing - silly man. So when my pace showed 7:02 in the first 100 yards I had to let him slip ahead and I eased back. Young C stayed with me and we ran side-by-side almost the whole race. She runs track and CC and sensibly understands the whole negative split concept. My A goal (besides beating B) was sub 7:30 pace and sub-47. But I wasn't sure I was capable as I haven't run that fast for that long in 18 months. My "plan" was maybe 7:50 first mile and work it down to sub 7:30 by mile 3. So B is pulling away from us and we are trucking along at a hard pace just to stay close. We hit mile 1 in 7:24 (with uphill) and B is maybe 40 yards ahead. At this point he looks back, unsure of a turn. Ha! He has only run this race once or twice and doesn't know the course! Advantage me. I shout some directions to him, but it costs him a few seconds anyway on about four turns. Mile two we are maintaining pace and he isn't getting too far ahead. Mile two is 7:30 with more hill and he is 50-60 yards ahead. Mile three is straight and slightly down and usually where I start to pick it up. Sure enough, he starts to come back to us. I am working pretty damn hard though. Feels pretty much like a normal race; Locked in on someone to catch. On the edge of my body's limits. (My HR averaged 178 for the race and was about 180 or more the last 4 miles) Mile 3 is 7:20 and he is 20 yards ahead. One last confusing turn that he misses by a few steps and we catch him on the corner. My racer instinct keeps the foot on the gas to keep him from hanging on. Sure enough, he has dropped back and a block later I turn to look and he is a good 20 yards back. Beaten. I know that it is virtually impossible to come back from that but I need to keep the pressure on anyway. I don't want a last mile surprise. But the adrenaline of the chase is gone and that little voice in my head says "It's OK to slow down now, the race is won". But I tell him to shut up. Mile 4 is 7:11, but now there are more hills ahead. Still I feel pretty good and I have C with me which helps. We keep pushing and mile 5 is 7:23. One more look and B is out of sight. So I just need to get to the finish and post a good time. I am breathing pretty hard by now and Mile 6 has the nasty steep hill which always crushes me. I slow to a crawl (9 min pace?) to get over it and C pulls ahead with her young lungs and legs, damn her. But I don't care if she beats me. I get to the final half mile downhill and regain life and crank it up. I get mile 6 down to 7:27, and cover the last .21 at 6:24 pace, nearly catching the whippersnapper. I'm in at 45:38, and only 3 seconds off my time from two years ago. Phew! Quite happy with that. We wait and wait and finally C calls her Dad. Apparently his calf was cramping so he walked it in. But he acknowledged that I had him beat well before that. Victory is sweet. All day long I felt good - not just the endorphins, but just that great feeling of racing again, putting it all out there and reaching a goal and exceeding expectations. It's Monday night and I'm still smiling. Life is good.
    8 points
  6. "Magic beans, baby. Magic beans." -- the prophet barack obama -- A blank running log. A road stretching out with no end in sight. Hope on the horizon. You ponder making a New Year's Resolution. Sure, you never came anywhere close to keeping the past 63. But maybe This Year Will Be Different. What is it about January 1 that makes us evaluate our lives, reassess things, pretend we can change? An exercise in futility is still exercise, I suppose. You consider the possibilities as the day goes by. Through the 3 miles on the canal, trudging along at chemo pace. While nervously trying to get your friend's attention through the outside window at the rehab center as she sleeps. At least you hope she's sleeping. She hasn't touched her pie, but the joint is locked down because of COVID, so you can't steal it. You add it to your mental checklist of reasons you hated 2020. The hours march by too quickly. And then, the day is almost over, the chance for a clean slate for a new year slipping past. What to do? Running resolutions are a pipe dream. Be a better person? That seems like a lot of work. But then, Mo wants to go see the stars. So you drive out on US 87 to a little spot an hour out of town. As you step out of the car in the tiny area made for stargazers and crack deals, you barely contain a gasp. The stellar panorama goes on forever. So many stars. The Boscoe Bob, the Trenchcoat, the Flamingo Frenzy. Yes, you dropped out of Boy Scouts before learning the proper names of the constellations. Whatever. The sky is glorious nonetheless. You stand in the icy darkness in your shorts and T-shirt, braving the bone-chilling 58 degree weather. Lordy, you hate chilly bones. And you realize. It's not about a new year. It's about somewhere between an eternity and a day. You can't do much in a year. The universe won't notice it at all, a nanosecond on the cosmic stopwatch. But a day? A day is something you can work with. So you make your resolution. You will celebrate the coming day. Walk or run or sashay as best as the running gods will allow. Put out a few newspapers, pretending "Florida" is a real place. Eat pie. Take care of your friends, and know they will take care of you. Life is a team sport. Take nothing for granted. Run the mile you're in, the old saying goes. Maybe that goes for life as well. Dancing in our heads, the prophet Ani said. It's all about dancing in our heads. Make tomorrow the best day you can. Don't look too far past that. Except maybe for magic beans. Never turn down a magic bean. Or pie. Celebrate life. One day at a time. Best resolution ever. Bud don't forget about the pie.
    8 points
  7. I swear I posted this yesterday but it never posted... I never thought I would go this long without posting. I guess it kind of snowballed. Or the opposite of snowballed, I guess. More and more of life happened but the less I had to say about it, I guess. But I made so many friends here. And I am still bitter that RW purged everything while I was on vacation and I lost years worth of posts. So, for as long as Cliff will allow it, I will do my best to post somewhat regularly.
    8 points
  8. A little background on me, I rarely post. About 15 years ago I did 0 exercise. I was in my early 40s and weighed about 250. Then I slowly started eating a little better and adding in light exercise. About 12 years ago I bought a hybrid, and on the maiden voyage, likely a whopping 2 miles, I thought I was going to die. Fast forward to about 5 years ago, I was at about 175, and running my first Mt Washington Hill run, I've done it a total of 4 times, and I use the word run, very liberally. I've also ridden it once. I bought a real road bike in 2012 and recently bought my dream bike. A 2021 Trek Madone, a bit more aggressive than I thought I could ride, but a great bike. Sadly since those days when I went down to 175, I've crept back to 210 (in the pic above - me on the left). I run about 500 miles a year. In January I got my NordicTrack treadmill. The treadmill is great, the iFit software and the 32 inch monitor are amazing. At 57 I find I prefer the cushion of the base of the treadmill over the road. So, where is all this going? I ran one timed 5k once. I road my bike about 15 miles to get to it, changed in the bathroom, and was determined to do it in less than 30 minutes. I did. Today I started a program on the treadmill from Runners World, 8 weeks to a 5k in under 25 minutes. I've done over 50 runs on the treadmill, all have been amazing programs. This one leaves a lot to be desired. Most have a trainer talking you through it, great scenery as you run in fun places across the planet. This one is just a manual workout. A little disappointing. I know for a lot of you, a 25 minute 5k is more like a cool down run, for me, that would be really fast, especially at my current weight. Let's see what the next 8 weeks brings. I'll post an occasional update.
    7 points
  9. YAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!! I get to write a race report again!!!!😍😁 My training has been inconsistent at best. There are some weeks I get in 15 miles with 1 workout and other weeks where I get 0 miles. So, I didn’t have much in the way of expectations, but my Mother’s Day present to myself was to race in person (without the stroller thanks to my mom sacrificing racing herself to watch DD and DS). Plus, an excuse to go to Cape May and the beach is always good! My goal was under 24 minutes (nothing like the 21 minutes I ran when I won the race in 2019), and I was partially worried that 24 minutes might not even happen. I run outside pushing the double stroller typically struggling for 9-10-minutes/mile, and I have “sprinted” a mile on the treadmill a few times in the past two months. The treadmill sprints have been a struggle to get a them done in 7 minutes, so I pretty much knew anywhere close to 22 minutes was out of the question. It was a chilly and windy morning. Luckily the rain was gone, and the sun had come out, but it was still cold. My car thermometer said 48 and my Garmin says it was 14 MPH winds. So, definitely not extreme, but cold to me. I wore a “thick” short-sleeved t-shirt, long pants and my detached sleeves (I love those things). For COVID reasons, they planned on starting then 10K at 8:30 and the 5K at 8:40. I stood off to the side while the 10K lined up. I have to admit, I might have teared up a bit waiting for them to start…It’s been awhile, but this felt “normal.” It was AWESOME! The 10K was off! And the crowd disappeared…wait, what? More then half of the participants were signed up for the 5K, where’d everybody go? I walked up to the line and asked, “was that everyone, or just the 10K?” The response was that it was everyone with a little attitude, like “why would you ask that?” Ummm maybe because the last email and the online flyer said 5K was at 8:40, but whatever. I wasn’t the only one. There were several people that read the final instructions and did not get the memo that it was changed on race morning. Did the majority of people not read the final instructions, or did I miss the announcement? I took off “sprinting.” There was a slight incline and some weaving that I didn’t even notice in trying to get back to where I should have been. Good way to not pay much attention to the first half mile or so at least. I had no idea what pace I was running (Garmin wasn’t really ready to go), or where I was in the field. About the time I settled into my pace, a strong-looking woman passed me in bright pink shorts and a tank top (my guess is that she reads instructions and missed the start too). We were clearly running a race in different weather conditions.😆 I did get a little warm as we did the out-and-back mile, where the wind was at our backs going out, but was quite happy that my skin was covered when we turned back into the head wind. There was little to note once I settled into pace. I may have been passed by one guy. I just kept plugging along at an uncomfortably hard pace. We turned around and I counted that I was fourth woman – Why didn’t Pink Shorts stay straight for the 10K? As I said, she looked strong, so I thought she might be going longer. There was no way I could catch her and although first looked like she was struggling bad, she was too far ahead to do anything about it. No worries, I had no hopes of placing overall going into the race. Fourth would be amazing! Maintaining fourth and holding pace as well as possible into the wind was my goal. I had no idea if anyone was behind me or not and it didn’t really matter. With about a quarter mile left, you could see the finish arch, and I tried to speed up. That didn’t really work. There was nobody around to race to the line, so I waved at DD and DS with my mom and crossed the line 23:23! Much faster than my goal and my Garmin (on the wrong settling for viewing, but still captured the data said I went about 0.05 too far), so under 7:30 pace, which makes me very happy! When I am well-trained, I could have probably placed, or won the race, but that’s the fun of winning – it isn’t easy! There’s now a goal for next year! My mile splits do not look good 7:03, 7:24, 7:49 and 7:40 for the “speed-up” – I’ll blame the wind. I was running by effort and am clearly under trained for maintaining a pace for 3 miles. After the race DD rolled around fully clothed in the cold sand and made “sand angels.” She can’t wait for real beach days!! Congrats to Pink Shorts on third place! – I was pretty sure I knew who she was but was too out of breath during the race to say anything, and not 100% sure I was right when I was with my family after the race. Once I saw the results list, I felt bad for not introducing myself – Next time, I will say “hi.” I am almost completely sure we will run some of the same races in the future.
    7 points
  10. If you read my last blog -- Confident -- you know I'm not a super confident runner .... or apparently person as several people have pointed out lately. I'm a work in progress, I suppose. I did however feel super confident in my training leading up to the marathon. The 1 mile PR, the amazing last 20 mile run and an 8 mile bridge run where I ran an 8:07 mile without trying (unheard of for me). As I was driving the 6 hours down to Chesapeke, VA, I had my music cranked and was getting more amped as I drove. I figured I had done everything physically possible to get ready so it really was now or never. Barn is full! LFG! We had a group of about 12 local runners who had made the trip down to the race. Eight of us gathered to have a pre race dinner. A couple of us received a text from a guy who was supposed to run that said to have 2 beers pre race for luck. I messaged back that I would only have one and if the race went well that I would celebrate with 2 the next day. My pre race dinner was a salad with salmon on it ( pre Steamtown dinner was a buffalo chicken salad). My alarm went off at 4:45 am the next morning. Ugh! But surprisingly I had managed to sleep well -- really, really well! I choked down some hotel coffee and made a packet of oatmeal. Another runner and I made our way to the start and got there approximately an hour before the start. @Slow_Running would be so pleased with me. I choked down a 2nd package of oatmeal that I had brought (so roughly 450 calories total). The course was on the Dismal Swamp Trail -- not really a trail -- more a bike path. It was a double out and back - 6.55 straight out and 6.55 back, repeat. The weather people had been predicting 20-30 mph winds with rain. We lucked out as the rain had cleared as well as most of the wind (maybe 10-15 mph?) We did however have 90% humidity and 60* temperatures. We gathered as many of our local runners as possible for a pre race photo. A colorful bunch! I made the decision to run with an arm band so I could play music -- great decision, carry a small handheld with Gatorade --great decision, and wear a belt that had loops to hold the Gu -- worst decision. The race started in waves based on your predicted finish time. Fast runners first. I was in the middle group. Took 1 pre-race Gu. The gun went off. I felt like I was running well, but was disappointed to see a 9:00 on my watch. Ugh. I know I shouldn't have let that bother me so early on, but I was expecting an 8:xx from the taper. I pushed myself to get the pace down and I knew that it could be a huge mistake with the humidity. The miles went along well. I was bee-boping to my American Top 40 music and waving to all of our other local runners. I also was Galloway-ing -- 1 mile run, 30 second walk. Doing that helped to make me be able to break the marathon down into manageable chunks. The 4 x 6.55 was also a nice way to break up the 26.2. There were 9 aid stations total that had pretty much just water and the weakest electrolyte mix ever! No Gu. First 7 miles were -- 8:56, 8:53, 8:58, 9:00, 8:37, 8:31, 8:39. I did feel like the wind was in our face for the first 6.55, but then at points on the way back I felt like sometimes it was in our face. It was weird because the course was straight. LOL Gu at mile 5. I got to see Tom and Harlen crushing their first quarter of the race before I turned. I was after them with Bob close behind me. On the way back I felt like I was in a groove and my pace picked up. Miles 7-13 - 8:31, 8:24, 8:39, 8:29, 8:21, 8:31. I definitely raced this marathon. I felt comfortable but I definitely was working and was worried that I would run out of gas. Gu around 9.5-10. The turn around point for the marathoners was a bit confusing. I managed to go through the little U-turn and to grab a cup of water at the aid station. It was filled to the brim. I spilled it all over myself and it went down my wind pipe. OMG! I was choking. I threw the cup of water and just tried to not stop running. Such a graceful runner! My mathematical brain knew that there were only 2 parts of 4 left. My runner brain knew I wasn't close to the half way point of mile 20. I changed my run walk strategy after the 1/2 turn around to run 1.5 miles, walk 30 seconds. Miles 14-16 - 8:34, 8:29, 8:53. Gu at 14.5. As I was finishing up mile 16 I knew I only had a Tuesday morning left. Every Tuesday = a 10 miler before work. I was feeling confident that I had a good Tuesday run left in me. I had passed a port-a-potty at 17 and thought I was good. At mile 18 I was no longer good. Quick detour out into the woods. Mile 17-18 -- 8:44, 9:29 At the last turn around I was still jockeying places with one female runner who I had been with from the beginning. I know she had tried to drop me a couple of times and was probably super annoyed with my run walk method. I decided it was time to get rid of her. No more walking unless it was at one of the 2 aid stations. Last Gu around mile 19.5-20. From mile 19-22 I was still feeling strong -- 8:39, 8:24, 8:43, 8:37. At 22 I felt like I wanted to be done, but I also knew I was not quitting and still had gas in the tank. I just had to dig a little deeper for it. 8:37, 8:55, 8:58, 8:55 As I was almost to the finish line I was catching up to 2 runners. I came up on one gentleman who tried to drop me. Ummm, not today, sir. We managed to catch the other runner and then I surged ahead of both with a final .2 at 8:26. My not so photogenic race finish. (There are much worse ones that I am not posting!) Yippee! Final time of 3:48:13 One of the other runners who was so excited for me grabbed me for a hug. All I could think was let me go change and then we can hug because I'm a hot mess! It was a flipping fabulous day to be a runner! PR of 5:28 (prior PR was from 2015 when @BANGLEtrained me). BQ of -16:44 (4:05). I hit everyone of my A,B,C,D goals! A) BQ, B) sub 4:00, C) PR, D) 3:49. Everyone in our group had an amazing day. 3 BQs, lots of PRs and many 1st time marathoners. One gentleman did DNF due to a knee injury at around mile 22. I won my age group and got the 3rd OA female masters award. Back row -- J-first marathon, C- PRd and had a helluva fun time doing it, H- BQ at 3:18, J- 1:30:55 half front row- T-5th OA, BQ at 3:03, me, T- 1st marathon, B- knee injury We had a fun time that night doing shots and playing Crimes Against Humanity. What a fantastic group of people! Love ya, SJ Runners! Love, OCrunnergirl
    7 points
  11. So... I quit my job. It really was killing me and my boss didn’t believe me when, after months of working six day weeks, I told him that I couldn’t absorb anymore. I really couldn’t. And he expected me to keep my staff in the office through several covid outbreaks. None of my employees were making enough money to risk their life for. So... I jumped at something that came my way. Turns out I went from one extreme to the other. This job is so much more junior than they lead me to believe. The title has no reflection on the responsibilities and my direct boss is an obnoxious, jobworth, little pissant. He has no idea how to utilize me so I have spent three weeks reading 20 years if financials and trying not to sleep in my cube. So... I am trying to jump again so I can just leave this one off my resume entirely and find somewhere I can stay. But... there are good things about it too, mostly not related to the job, like I have time to start running again, I am back in Manhattan, I don’t have to drive to work, and I haven’t had to work past 5:30 or on any weekend yet. Did I tell you guys that I drive now? I own a car and everything! A 2009 Mini Cooper S. She’s leaky, has a temperament, and a trick trunk that only stays closed if you follow extremely specific instructions. She’s everything that I could have hoped for in a first car and I love her. Still hate driving, but if I am forced, she is the only car I want. I honestly can’t wait to start taking her to races that I used to have to pass on! You know, once there are races again. I’m on my 409th attempt to start running again. After getting covid a year ago this week, my lungs were shit (can we say shit here? Should I say poop?) my lungs were poop and while I was fine day-to-day, I struggled on all of my runs, no matter how short or how easy. I decided to decide to try again a few weeks ago. Slowly run/walking like the first time all over again. Fingers crossed. I am living with my partner which is amazing and weird. I never thought that I would meet someone that I could tolerate in my space for more than a few hours at a time, let alone enjoy them being there and missing them when they are gone. We are moving to Queens next month which is gross but loving someone sometimes means you have to do things you hate like moving to Queens or sticking to a budget, because you hate those things less than you like supporting your partner and your future together. Other than that (I guess that’s more or less everything, though) all is the same.
    7 points
  12. Success! I ran every day in January (at least 1 mile) and ran a total of 62 miles, so an average of 2 miles/day. I was quite proud of that. Most days I'd get myself outside with saying, "just one mile" and I would end up with more, and even did a day of 4 miles! Other days, the "just one mile" would be "just one mile" typically "sprinted" on the treadmill in 8 minutes to "get er done." Goal met! More miles in January than the past two years! Since January, not so much. Goals are good. I set a goal and accomplished it. Yay!! Now what?? 3.5 miles so far in February. I'd like to race a 10K in May... or maybe a 5K, but who knows if any will happen. I have a goal race in mind, so I am planning to start a 12-week training program on February 15th. However, motivation is still lacking. Virtual races/runs do not appeal to me. It's cold out and icy and I can't get the stroller down the sidewalks. Treadmill works, but DH has to be home for me to use it right now and I rather spend time together with the kids when he's home. Once I get the house set up better with some more monitors, I could get everyone to nap and then jump on for a workout, but naptime = work time. Maybe DS will start to sleep through the night, then I could get up early to run... maybe someday, but I doubt before the 15th. But, really, who knows if the May race will happen, so the 15th starting date for a 12-week plan is just a hope for 3 months from now to be more normal. I didn't get outside today... no ability to get both kids around with me. I like snow. It just needs to be on grass only, or not freeze hard. The stroller can handle going over snow and ice, it's just the hard ice when the path is not wide enough that doesn't work and roads are too busy to not be on the sidewalk. Bleh. Spring is coming - 5 weeks left, or so the groundhog said...
    7 points
  13. Who let the dogs out? Who, who, who, who, who? -- the prophets gurley and douglas -- I get a lot of Running Warehouse ads at this joint, which I rarely notice. Until today. I'm not sure what to make of these shorts. A bonfire, possibly. Not only are they dogs (which offends my cat greatly), but they're a one-inch split inseam. How could anyone fast enough to be worthy of one-inch split inseams think this was a good idea? Although to be fair, they're marked down six dollars and five centavos, just in time for Groundhog Day giving. I can't imagine anyone running in these. Which, of course, means I likely will order them immediately. x Weirdly, in the Christmas classic "Who Let The Dogs Out," the lyrics are as follows: Me and my white short shorts And I can't see color, any color will do. No mention of dogs being let out on the shorts. But music is complicated. What's YOUR ugliest running apparel? It will be our secret. Confession is good for the soul, the psalm says. Or maybe that was in the 14th verse of the dog song. I never actually made it that far. This would make an excellent blog post if you're looking for something to write about and are a glutton for public embarrassment. Just curious ... (ps if you happen to own these short, i think they're magnifico and I applaud your excellent taste. Sorry.) (pss the legs on the left in the feature photo belong to the mythical El Señor Runner. Yes, I still get tingly.) (pssssssss I JUST CHECKED THE RW SITE AND THEY'RE NOW Clearance: $26.88. ACT FAST THEY WON'T LAST LONG AT THIS INCREDIBLE PRICE!!!!!! (pssssssssssssssssss Now they're down to XS and XL, so never mind unless you're a fan of X-rated shorts, which is a different post entirely.
    7 points
  14. I wrote out some resolutions for the year. Nothing crazy. 1. Spend 20 minutes a day studying Hungarian. 2. Run at least 3 times a week (even if I am slow). 3. Eat better. 4. Start backpacking (this spring). 5. Spend less time at the office. Well, I am writing this from my desk at the office on a Sunday, while eating peppermint bark, my run tomorrow and probably for the week is postponed due to an emergency oral surgery first thing in the morning and Magyar nagyon nehéz. Aki tudta? So all in all it’s going better than 2020, I guess? I have to admit, the oral surgery thing was a nice surprise. I went from scared that I had gotten Covid again, to mad that I must have been careless if I had gotten sick and it wasn’t Covid, to relieved that all my mask wearing, social hermitting, and hand washing weren’t in vain, they are just useless when a 20 year old root canal decides it wants to take you out. Although, I am not looking forward to having my jaw scooped out. That’s what they said, that they would make a little window on the side of my jaw to “scoop out” the infection and now all I can think of is my oral surgeon using a tiny little ice cream scoop to clean out my jaw while I writhe around the chair in agony. And who decided that oral surgery is something you should be awake for? There are some things that you shouldn’t have to know about and the feeling of someone scooping out your jaw with a tiny ice cream scoop is one of them. Okay, I don’t really have an end to this post, which is one of the things that has keep me from posting my posts this past year so I’m just going to stop typing.
    7 points
  15. Hi All! I don't want to see this place go away, and I know that requires contributing more regularly. Thus, New Year's Resolution #1 - (setting an achievable goal) - post something (anything - even if it is to check in with a "no runs" update) at least twice a month. I'm hoping #1 helps with accountability for #2 - Run consistently. Now for the title of this post- I can never run well in December. It is a fact that I know exists, and I don't try to do anything about. In a typical year, I train through the fall and then Thanksgiving hits like a wall and I stop pretty much any running/training and mentally focus/spend my free time on Christmas and Christmas fun. However, most years I at least complete a marathon in January, so I do a little "crash training" at the end of December to "revive" my previous training. This year is different of course. I have no "previous training" to speak of and no marathon to complete in January. My "previous training" pretty much ended after my last post. My motivation went away, so I just walked. No running at all. Since I wasn't far into getting back in shape after having DS, I lost all running ability over the more than a month of "Christmassing." <--- I'm going with, "that's a word and it means the act of forgetting everything else and enjoying all that the Christmas season has to offer - baking - YUM! plus snuggling with DD and DS all of the time!" I wouldn't change that for anything, but now I'm staring at January in pretty poor running shape, which is normal, but worse this year compared to any other year since I started running. Bleh. On to resolution #2 - consistent running. Small, achievable goals is always my mentality. (I like high fiving myself! 😆) I'm aiming for at least 6 miles a week, and hoping for an average of 2 miles a day. So far, so good. I ran 2.5 miles, 2.2 miles and 2.3 miles this month and today, I'm hoping for another approx. 2 miles. 2 miles (at any speed) is easy for my out-of-shape body, so I can always talk myself into "it's just a quick 20 minutes." Mostly that is just to stop psyching myself out of doing any run because I think it will be hard, which was happening with 3 and 4 mile runs (oh how I miss when 6 miles was an "easy" distance). The 6 mile/week goal let's me be flexible to some extent and to give my bones/joints some rest if needed, so I think it is doable - I will reassess at the beginning of February - hoping for an increase. I look forward to updating the Loop with my 2 mile/day progress soon! As for this week, I also have the motivation and excitement of a first date with a new pair of shoes! 😍
    7 points
  16. "Does he have a motorcycle? If you're going to throw your life away, he better have a motorcycle." -- the prophet lorelai gilmore -- I have a moral dilemma. I found the perfect shoes. They're incredibly comfortable, impossibly lightweight, and come in an array of weird designs and colors. They're dirt cheap ($55 -- are you serious?) and they automatically mail them to me every three months in a nondescript bag as to not alarm the neighbors. The "company" is just a few goofballs in an empty warehouse in Austin, making the shoes they always wanted, and they're sharing their leftovers. I Will Never Have To Think About Buying Shoes Again. This makes me sad. I've been buying running shoes since that Bowerman guy started making them in his garage. I owned the prototype Nike Pancake Racers before he swiped his wife's waffle iron. I have gone through the spectrum of innovations, from Vibram to Hoka. I was a big fan of Old Balance shoes before they started the New ones. The search for the Perfect Shoe has spanned decades. And now it's over. Now what? Uncertainty might be the Secret to Running. Can I cover this distance? Can I survive this pace? Am I lost? Is there any chance of making it to the restroom at the bird park without a Code Abby? And the eternal question: Could THIS be the perfect shoe? Our friend is in rehab after what may or may not have been a stroke. She may be totally faking it so I am forced to fetch her things. But peering at her through a window in the COVID era, it makes me realize the Joy of Uncertainty. You go along at the same pace, a comfortable routine. Mile after mile, autopilot on, not paying attention. When everything gets upended, you appreciate the highs and the lows. The desperation when you see her there frail and comatose. The euphoria when she's sitting up, glaring at you because you forgot her Sunday paper. And the happiness of remembering not to take things for granted, even for a day. The uncertainty of living. If you're going to throw your life away, you better have a motorcycle. Or a carbon plate. New shoes are like Christmas morning for a 4-year-old. When you try on a shoe for the first time, you don't know. Will it be too tight? Is there a seam that rubs? How's the tongue? How's the cushioning? And then that first run. Are you feeling your big toe? Do they disappear as the miles go by? Why didn't Rory end up with Jess? There's something about that first run in shoes you've never worn before. It's like a first date. The joy of uncertainty. I've been thinking about that as I pull on these shoes each day. They're just right. And maybe that's just wrong. I miss those Pancake Racers.
    7 points
  17. I meant to write more often – I really did…Since I wrote in April I have run a couple in person races and some virtual races. I did an in person 10k that I also counted as a virtual 10k (because to me, virtual races barely count, and it isn’t as though I don’t cover that distance regularly anyway…) The in person 10k was the “Jim Schoemehl Run” to fundraise for ALS research. I also counted this for my virtual Flying Pig 10k, mainly because it was that weekend. I did the 3-way challenge, so as soon as I finished that race I did my 5k. The Sunday of that weekend I ran my half, and got it done before church which is an accomplishment. That was the first weekend in May. The medals came in the mail mid-June, picture included. I’m running with no actual plan right now. 3-5 miles (usually 4 or 5) on weekdays. 8-12 on Saturday. 3-8 on Sundays. One or two days off from running but I cross train or walk on my off days. Overall mileage cycles up and down. It’s mostly hot and very humid so the motivation to do more isn’t there. So in general, my running has been consistent, but not exciting. I also ran another 10k in May. This was the Ferguson Twilight 10k. An evening race, but close to home. I always think about doing it, but I’m not a fan of evening races so I usually don’t. This time I decided I would. I knew a PR was probably out of the question. I ran hard, had fun, and did better than expected by visually latching on to runners a head of me. One lady in a white shirt was a particularly helpful pacer, and I let her know at the end of the race. I had helped her some too, and we exchanged the first post-pandemic (or not so much, thanks Missouri…) high fives we each had. My time was well off my PR, but I feel like the race was solid overall. There was one moment of big running excitement and that came last week. I had always in the past considered signing up for the big local summer mile race – The Macklind Mile. It’s advertised as the fastest (road) mile in St. Louis. So it always seemed like a good place to shoot for a mile PR. But I never felt like I was really in shape to try. Including this year. But after last year when everything was cancelled, I decided to try and do more of these things I’ve been saying “well, maybe next time”. Because, who knows? So I signed up. It was a warm, sticky June morning. Typical. They do this race in waves every year, so there were no changes for COVID (and local restrictions have now been lifted, and despite MO now surging again in cases it’s unlikely they will be reinstated.) The waves were Men’s Competitive, Women’s Competitive, Recreational, Dog Mile, Elite, and Kids ¼ mile dash. Competitive in this case just means eligible for age group and overall awards. You have to apply to be in the Elite wave and it’s limited to 5 or 10 each men and women. No women ran the elite wave this year. The dog mile is really fun to watch and the top 3 this year all broke the course record for dog/person pairs - they were all in the 4:30s. After the men’s wave took off it was 15 minutes until my wave (women’s competitive). I had warmed up, sort of haphazardly. About 2 miles of running with a few surges thrown in but nothing that serious. I lined up at the start and we were off. The race isn’t quite all downhill. The first quarter mile is, but then there is a slight uphill from ¼ to the halfway point. My goal was to PR if possible – time to beat for that was 8:04. Better yet, sub 8. I hadn’t run that fast for more than a ¼ mile in over a year. I wasn’t sure at all if I could, but I was going to try. I was ahead of pace that first ¼ but then as we temporarily went uphill (just a little, when I’m not trying to run gut bustingly fast it would have been no big deal…) I slowed way down and I was off PR pace at the ½ mile mark. But then we had the downhill again and I was able to pick up the pace. I knew I was doing better, but I didn’t know if I could hold on. Besides being downhill, the race is almost without turns, so you can see the finish for a long way before you get there. It seemed like it was never going to come, but as I got closer and stole quick glances at my watch, I could see I just might make it. If didn’t fall down or pass out first…closer, closer, and BEEP…I stopped my watch. I had done it! Not only did I beat my PR, but by about 9 seconds. 7:55! It’s worth noting a similar effort level (though less willingly undertaken) in high school meant around a 10:30 mile…I was and still am pretty excited. Even so, I was 17th in my AG. (Which is too bad, because this race has really cool street signs for the AG awards…) Tomorrow, I’m running a 3k (yes, 3). Usually it’s on the 4th, but since the 4th is a Sunday, the race and parade that follows is on the 5th. I have a shot at an AG award here, but it’s not quite as cool. But it’s still motivating. I’m trying to pick a fall marathon (or even two) and I had wanted to make it a real vacation, but with my current circumstances as they are, I don’t feel like I can plan that. Eventually I will find that job I’m looking for and I’ll be less than 3 months into it by the time that race likely rolls around, so taking multiple days off is unlikely to be a good idea, or even possible. So I have to stay closer to home… On the on-going job search…yes, I am still looking. It’s been frustrating even finding the type of job I want, although as a look, I’m getting a clearer idea of what that is. I had one interview about 6 weeks ago, but it didn’t go well. I learned from it. But I’m disappointed in myself because I could have done better. Oh well, I’ll just take it that it wasn’t the job for me anyway. Flying Pig medals. Post Twilight 10k Men's start for the Macklind Mile. Just before the Women's start So happy with my PR. 7:54 is a lie. Even the watch says 7:54.9 when you actually look at it.
    6 points
  18. Wow! 2 Loopettes at the same race! We will meet one day! My friend H has been trying to get me to race more. He's convinced that I'm way faster than I think I am. I hemmed and hawed about signing up for this 5k because it was only 2 weeks after the marathon. After the marathon I've been having some left calf pain/tightness. I think it's just fatigue so have been trying to give it some time to heal without completely sitting myself down (*shudder*). I ran fast on the trails with H on the Wednesday before the Saturday race. Meant to keep it easy but he's fast so I think I didn't want to look slow. (Facepalm) I tried running Thursday but the calf wouldn't have it - went to CrossFit. Friday I took a complete rest day and prayed it would magically heal up. Saturday morning my friend N and I drove to the race together. As SandiBeach said it was cold and windy! The race was held in the southernmost point of NJ along the beach. We got there in plenty of time to pick up our bibs from the LRS. As I was walking down the street I saw so many people I knew! All the different groups that I've run with were there -- NJ Shore Run, South Jersey Runners, Run Vineland and the Wild Harbor Tri Club. I kid you not my name was called out so many times I felt like I knew everyone! South Jersey Runners: I did a little out and back to test my calf. It was grumpy. I had stretched and rolled it and stretched it some more. I figured my race wasn't going to go well because I can't hurt myself with another marathon on May 23rd. I stood on the curb talking to H and N and stretched some more. N and I walked back to the car to drop off our warm clothing. At 8:29 I decided to hit the POP one last time so I kept my sweatshirt on. As I was in the POP line I thought the 10k which was starting at 8:30 was lining up. The LRS employee was walking to the start and said, "Aren't rolling starts the best? You don't have to worry about not being able to use the bathroom in time." Me: "?? Isn't the 5k starting at 8:40?" LRS: "No, the governor allowed more people to gather so everyone is going at once. Great, right?" Me: "Ummmmm, NO! I don't know the route!" I hurried and did my business. Ran to N's car and threw my sweatshirt. Yelled to N and H about the mass start. We were all starting from the rear and playing catch up! The race went to the south first (into the wind), then inland, south, back to the ocean and then headed north (wind at our backs) before turning for 8/10 of a mile into a really, really strong headwind to the finish line. I caught up to the rear of the pack as we headed inland and had to play dodge and weave. I caught my one friend K for a couple of steps. At this point H had taken to the sidewalk and was busting a move. He yelled out to K, but says he didn't see me. Interesting because my hot pink shorts don't really blend in. LOL We turned the corner and headed south again and I was hoofing it the best I could. I cut past a few people as we turned the corner to head back towards the beach. I knew once we made the left and headed north along the beach that the wind would be at our backs. Mile 1 chimed in at 7:13. I was moving well and felt good about my pace. The calf was not giving me any issue. Wahoo! With the wind at my back I tried to settle in and not push too hard because I knew I needed to save something for the windfest that awaited in the last mile. Mile 2 7:08. I saw H as he was heading towards the finish line and yelled to him. We ran down to a cone in the middle of the street and made a U-turn to head for home on the Promenade. I saw one of the guys that ran Tidewater 2 weeks ago close on my heels. I willed myself to not slow down. The wind was just killing me. When you look at my splits you would think I was dying. It was 100% wind - I was dying but in a 5k sort of way. Lol. The bummer about the last 8/10 of a mile was that I was running solo. Not a soul in front of me to try to catch. As I got closer to the finish line H was yelling "Pick it up! How bad do you wat that PR?" Me: Evil glare. Lol This is literally ALL I have! Mile 3 - 7:39 I did pick it up slightly for the last .14 miles (a little long - weaving? Everyone's watch said 3.14/3.15) to a 7:22 pace. Set a new shiny PR of 22:59! (Old PR was a 24:01 - I feel a little bad about totally skipping over the 23s..... but not really.) H finished in 19:07 and N finished in 29:24 (1st run back since a meniscus repair that has taken forever to heal) It didn't seem that anyone was hanging around so N and I hopped in the car and headed out before we got cold. My friend C asked if we'd won anything. I was like "Hmmm, let me check...." And then's when I found out I'd placed 3rd overall and had won a $25 gift card. I called H and asked him to grab it. Guess I should start checking results before I leave. This is the second time a guy friend has picked up my award. LOL Calf update: It's still an a$$. Ugh
    6 points
  19. “The true runner is a very fortunate person. He has found something in him that is just perfect.” ― the prophet sheehan -- I became a runner on May 19, 1979. The Run for Life in San Angelo, Texas. A 5 miler, back when there were such things. 34 minutes and change. I was hooked. My Uncle Bob was an addict. Old Onitsuka Tigers and tattered shirts, a True Believer back in the days of Fixx and Sheehan, of flour starting lines and popsicle-stick finishing systems, of DMSO and Pearl Light. I never had a chance; I was hooked. I knew my life would never be the same. I had been in search of an identity growing up, and just before my 24th birthday, I found it. I was a runner. And that's been my life since. Run, eat, do other stuff, sleep, repeat as necessary. Things came and went. But running was the thing I built my life around, my sense of self, my reason for living. My wardrobe consisted of race shirts, old jeans and retired running shoes. My greatest compliment was when people were concerned for my health because I looked too thin. Standing by the mailbox waiting for Ultramarathon magazine to arrive; a life of vacations in which I never saw the cities because walking wasn't allowed during race weekend. My life has since then has always revolved around running. I was a very fortunate person. I found something in me that was just perfect. My game plan was to make it to retirement, and then finally get serious. With unlimited time and no distractions, I could finally test the theory: What if you just ran all the time? I had dreams of hitting the 24-hour run circuit, sleeping in the back of the Honda and crushing other geezers. Run eat, sleep. Become Cassidy in the cabin. And now. Just as I'm about to hit 65, my body has decided to retire. I think my heart is finally giving out, the byproduct of too many desert summers and chocolate Frostys. Getting old isn't as much fun as the brochure would indicate. I'm now at the point where walking 2 miles at a turtle pace reduces me to toast. My dreams are toast as well. In the book "Being Mortal," Atul Gawande ponders when it's time to pull the plug; what quality of life you require before deciding that if you're not really living anymore, then what's the point. I was always in the Maude camp (if you have never seen "Harold and Maude," you must. you must.) Maude said you should check out while you're on top, because it's all downhill from there. But I suppose Gawande's point is well taken. Figure out what you need in life for it to be worthwhile, and continue to live as long as you can sustain that level. He had the talk with his dad, who replied: "Well, if I'm able to eat chocolate ice cream and watch football on TV, then I'm willing to stay alive." For me, running was always the one essential. As long as I was able to run, no matter how slowly, nothing else much mattered. Running was all I wanted to do for the rest of my life. And now I can't. And it increasingly feels like I never will again. "The mind's first step to self-awareness must be through the body," Dr. Sheehan wrote. What happens when the body won't let you take that step? Life is all about recalibrating, plotting a new course after you've been following Google Maps and it's led you into the middle of the lake. But I'm sinking, and I was never much of a swimmer. There's no good answer. "From the moment you become a spectator, everything is downhill," Dr. Sheehan wrote. "It is a life that ends before the cheering and the shouting die." His words haunt me. Running is what I have always lived for. And now ... I can no longer run. And I likely never will again. I suppose the solution is glaringly obvious, if a bit terrifying. Watch football and eat chocolate ice cream. Does a Medium Chocolate Frosty count? May 19, 1979. I was a very fortunate person ...
    6 points
  20. "Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky. One can only assume that this has something to do with not smoking enough." -- the prophet lebowitz -- He's standing at the red light. Oh, how I hate him. I'm sitting in the car, waiting for Mo to return from her run. I'm still at the point where a slow 2 mile walk is a near-death experience, so she finishes up her masked-miles marathon while I read a book of essays by a crabby New Yorker (if that isn't redundant, and I think it might be. Sorry, KRG). I look up, and there he is. These are hard times, and our fuses are all a bit short, so I try to be tolerant. Storm the Capitol? Meh. No mask? Whatever. Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke? Hmm. Getting close. But he is doing the One Thing I Absolutely Cannot Stand. There are basically two types of runners in the world: Those I approve of, and those I do not. He falls squarely into the second camp, an aficionado of the Worst Thing you can possibly do as a runner. Worse than snot rockets, worse than running with music blasting out of a speaker, worse than waving hello and forcing me to be friendly, even worse than matching socks. That's right. He is The Guy Who Jogs in Place at the Traffic Light. Why? WHY? WHY??? The running gods have rewarded your run with a brief respite, a chance to take a nap while waiting for the cars on Hayden Road to run over you despite the blessings of the pedestrian crossing gods. It's a get-out-of-jail free card without the weird Monopoly Monocle Mustache guy. You can just stand there guilt-free, basking in the sun, enjoying the afternoon, catching your breath, not worrying one bit that your HR will drop 10 beats a second. Does jogging in place even help? If so, why is he out there mostly NOT jogging in place? Save the trouble and jog in the living room. And yet, he continues. Arms churning, legs pumping up and down, a futile aerobic endeavor that his Garmin will not acknowledge. And if your Garmin doesn't record your exercise, is it truly exercise at all? Mo is standing near him, also waiting for the light. I try to call her, as she appears to have a clean shot at his jaw, to request that she punch him out. Alas, the phone rings in the passenger seat next to me, having taken the day off. Or maybe it is just ringing in place. The wait goes on forever, the byproduct of a traffic light that only changes a few times a day since it's for pedestrians, and who cares about pedestrians in Scottsdale? Otherwise, what's the point of owning a Tesla? I seethe, I fume, I plot mayhem, I ponder whatever happened to the wonderful blogger who wrote "Your baby smells like my cat." And then, finally, here they come. The guy runs past, oblivious to my rage, too far away for me to accidentally open my door and nail him. I consider running over him in the car, but I drive a Honda Fit and he would likely win. Sure, Dave could replace my sun visors, but Idaho is so far away. And Michigan isn't even a real place. Mo gets in the car. I ask her about the guy. "Oh, yeah. I HATE those people," she says. This is why we are married. There are only a few absolute truths in life. Babies smell funny. Marathons are exactly 24.85 miles long. There is no Stink Eye like a cat's Stink Eye. And jogging in place at traffic lights should be a Capitol Offense, with a Capitol O. I redouble my vow to avoid annoying runners. And sticky babies. I should probably smoke more. that's him on the left and mo, wearing her bulletproof running vest, on the right, after the light eventually changed. p.s. If you jog in place at traffic lights, please know I'm just kidding. You're OK by me. No, that's not true. actually I hate you.
    6 points
  21. As much as I love working from home, there was a part of me that struggled through 2020, like many. Covid-19 sucked, but I got over it, mostly. I still seem to be having some issues. Running is harder than it should be. I just got back from what was supposed to be an easy 5 miler that just didn't feel easy. And like always, I can't tell if it's that or just that I'm about to turn 62 and the pages are turning. By the end of the year, I was done with half of the country. Between the election and the pandemic, I'm convinced that 50% of Americans are either ignorant beyond reason or purposely callous. I always prided myself on having friends from all backgrounds. Seeing many of them reposting absolute (and obviously) garbage online made me so angry. Since I'd been there before, I recognized the signs that I was slipping into depression as I tried to reconcile the niceness of the people I thought I knew with the behavior I was seeing. Never thought I would do it, but I unfriended several. We weren't good enough friends for me to want to maintain contact. I hope they don't miss me. I will miss some of them. By October, I had to stop watching the news and social media. I was able to avoid going back on medication, but it was a close thing. And I still get angrier than I ought to when I see some things. I'm hopeful that by the end of this week at least one of the major problems will have finally been put to rest. Anyway, I'm running about 25-30 miles a week. I've also decided that the risk of injury from running in bad weather is too high for me to run outside on some days, so there will be regular runs on the treadmill. The week of Christmas I ran on it 3 days in a rows. It was bleh. About an inch of wet snow fell yesterday. Most of it was cleared from the running surfaces today, but not all. My feet are now cold. In other news, T-Rex made it through the semester with As and Bs. It wasn't easy, but life isn't either, so we hope she'll gain some confidence from this success. There were a few minor miracles like having two of her finals cancelled. She also got engaged to her boyfriend. He's a nerdy little guy, but he makes no demands on her, is 100% patient, calm and the kindest kid I've ever met. We expect they'll be poor the rest of their lives, but there are more important things than money. In homage to Sara, these are the books I read in November/December: Let the Great World Spin - Colum McCann (outstanding) The Communist Manifesto - Karl Marx (out of curiosity - not impressed) The Oregon Trail: Francis Parkman's Famous History of the 1846 Expedition (not bad, but issues with some of his historical and geographical "facts" - 19th century history is notoriously inaccurate) The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5) - Stephen King
    6 points
  22. December 2020 in review! Total mileage for the month: 327.3 Nov. 30-Dec. 6: 75.1 Dec. 7-13: 70.7 Dec. 14-20: 73.8 Dec. 21-27: 77.4 Dec. 28-Jan. 3: projected at 72 Races: None this month, but I think there will be some 2021 racing! Workouts: Dec. 2: An unstructured faster day that included 5 moderate miles and about (I lost count) 12 x telephone pole pickups within a 10.2 mile run. I didn't time anything involved in this but my average for the entire run was 7:33. Dec. 5: Light progression long run (see long runs below) Dec. 15: 10 x 45" hill sprints at 6:00-6:18 pace with 281 total elevation gain per Strava, towards the end of a 10 mile run. This was my first "real" workout since October, and when I wrote it I thought it was a good starter workout, but during it I really questioned why I didn't make it about 6 reps instead of 10. Short hill reps are one of the hardest workouts for me because I do not have good power or speed - which is why I need to do them! This workout is only 7.5 minutes of hard running but I would have an easier time running a 1 hour tempo. Claudio and Colin ran this with me, which gave me people to chase and kept me honest with running all 10. I've written a training schedule of workouts and long runs for our group that started Dec. 14, and I have a feeling I'm really going to enjoy this plan (everyone's mileage is individualized but hard efforts and long runs are mostly coordinated). Dec. 18: 6 mile progression, well, a planned light progression of 7:15 -> 6:45, but Casey and Ik started out too fast so it was more steady and then picking up the final mile. I am usually good at pacing but after 2 months off of workouts I completely failed during mile 1 of this run (for most of it I was running 6:48 pace before pulling back towards the end). Even though I didn't really do any of the workout as planned, I was good with how it ended up because I wasn't at all sure where my fitness was at and thought it was going to take everything I had to run the 6:45 at the end, but most of my miles were close to 6:45 and I dipped under 6:30 for the final one so yay: 6:56, 6:52, 6:46, 6:49, 6:52, 6:28 (2 warm up, 2.2 cool down). Dec. 23: 10 x 60" hill sprints at 6:XX pace within a 10 mile run (666 ft elevation gain per Strava), also known as the best way to make a mere 10 minutes of running extremely hard - at least for me based on my strengths and weaknesses. Elise, Rebecca, Casey, and David ran this with me, and again I really appreciated the group workout. Dec. 26: 2 x 2 mile tempo with 2:00 standing recovery between in 6:38, 6:32, 6:26, 6:12 (2 warm up, 3.2 cool down). Based on the Dec. 18 progression run my goal was to keep my pace in the 6:30s for this workout and to negative split, so I was happy with how this went. Although I had to work harder than I hoped, I don't think anyone completely nails a workout the day after holiday eating and when away from home (if you do, tell me your secrets!). I was at my in-laws house in Kansas and the flatness of this run almost felt like cheating, plus the weather was really nice at 30 degrees and light wind. It had been a long time since I'd run a workout solo, which I am uber-thankful for, so it's nice to know I can still manage it! Dec. 29: 15 miles with 5 easy then 0.1 pick up/0.9 easy for the remaining 10. 9 of the 10 pickups were sub-6:00, which was a pleasant surprise because they felt like about 6:15. I had my Garmin under my sleeve for this entire run so just picked up when it beeped/vibrated at me (I had the workout programmed in). We had rain, sleet, and snow during this run, but thanks to good gear I stayed warm enough - and thanks to good company I made all of the planned miles happen. Casey and I both said we wouldn't have done it without the other one! Jack ran 13.1 with us for his first ever half marathon! His 15-year-old brother Ben also joined us for the first 6, and I am so impressed with him joining our group at 5:30 a.m. in winter weather - I would not have done that in high school. Strides: Dec. 1, 4, 7, 9, 11 17, 22, 25. Doubles (running): Dec. 1, 8, 9, 15, 17, 22, 25, 26, 28. GO-ing: total miles of 14.8 - pretty weak, but I only took 2 days off running this month and on one of those I did nothing (I needed it!). I'm also just not interested in doubling on the ElliptiGO after work when it's pitch dark and cold, but this will increase in the spring. Strength Training: weekly totals of 3:00, 2:40, 2:50, 2:35. All of our weekly runs look like this (dark and cold) Long Runs: Dec. 5: 14.2 miles (7:42) with a light progression dropping from an 8:14 first mile to a 6:47 final mile. One of my running buddies wanted to run this and I was just along for the ride, but it wasn't super well-thought out because early on we kept holding back from "too much" progression too early, then we realized at mile 11 we weren't really going to finish as fast as we thought, so then we started dropping 20 seconds/mile instead of 5. I didn't want to run super hard on this day so I was fine with it all! Dec. 6: 12 miles easy (8:10) to kick off back-to-back long runs! Abby did her long run on Sunday this week so I had company the entire run (Christian, Casey, and Rebecca also started with us but ran shorter distances). Dec. 12: 14.1 miles easy (8:05) that was one of the most random runs of my life, in a good way! Casey, Colin, and I started running around 7:00 a.m. and made our way towards downtown Springfield to watch Abby and Rebecca run the Santa Run 5k at 8:00 a.m. The race start was delayed and we kept running up and down 4 blocks of the same road for a couple of miles (the U-turning got old but we didn't know how long the delay was and didn't want to stop running). Then we ran around the course cheering and back to our cars. It was all planned out pretty well to get in a 12 mile run, but since they started the race so late we ran 14 instead. Casey showed us about 5 different locations she lived in during college at MSU, we ran part of the Run for the Ranch course to give Colin a tour, we told some of the weirdest stories that ended up with a drug theme (people we had known at some point using, not us!), and of course we also watched hundreds of people wearing Santa suits race a "5k" (the course was long, but Rebecca and Abby went 1-2 females). Dec. 13: 12 miles easy (8:05). Abby again ran her long run on Sunday so I had company the whole way, plus Colin was also easily talked into running 12 with us (Christian and Casey ran the first half with us). 14 followed by 12 is pretty comfortable. I did 21 with a half marathon race then 14 one weekend when training for Indy Monumental Marathon 2019, plus another weekend of some long Saturday workout plus a 12 mile Sunday, and those scared me in advance but went really well so I haven't been scared of these easy paced ones. Dec. 20: 14.4 miles easy (8:03). This was my group's ugly sweater run, and therefore the farthest I've ever run in an ugly Christmas sweater (I did 12 a couple of years ago in one). We ran on a trail and passed several others who complimented us on our Christmas cheer. I was dragging and kept thinking it was my second long run instead of my first. Dec. 21: 11.2 easy (8:00), which felt fantastic and like I was holding back the entire way! This was a Monday before work or I would have probably run farther. I have no idea why I felt so much better than the day before, but it was a nice surprise because I started it thinking I might split the mileage 7 and 4 instead. Dec. 29: 15 miles (7:34) with 10 x 0.1 pick ups during the last 10 miles, described above. I always feel better and run faster overall with less effort when I do these little pick ups! Dec. 31: 12.3 miles (7:55) a day late, because Dec. 30 it was 35 degrees and pouring. I had planned to take off Dec. 31 so just swapped days. Running in gross winter weather can take a lot out of me, and the Dec. 29 run beat me up more than I'd expected so I think this worked out even though it wasn't a back-to-back long run. Sean ran the whole way with me so that was also nice! Rebecca & Abby ran the Santa run; Casey, Colin, & I long run cheered Annual ugly Christmas sweater run (the man on the right runs with another group on the same trail & gave us cookies!) Running Highlights: I am trying a 9-day training schedule, effective Dec. 13, through early March. I have wanted to do this for awhile, but it means weekday long runs and I wasn't ready to try that until now. I may have some long runs without company for the entire distance, but any given weekday I think I will have someone willing to run at least 10-12 with me, so I'm going to give it a go. Each 9 days looks like this: easy, easy, workout, easy, easy, workout, easy, easy, long run. I can run from 5:00-7:00 a.m. and be at work by 8:00 a.m., and I think I'll only be up to 16 milers during this trial period, so it's more doable than during the peaks of marathon training. My running group did a Christmas lights run followed by a soup and side dinner around a bonfire in Casey's backyard. It ended up being a decently warm day and with the fire and bundling up afterwards we didn't even freeze. I volunteered at Run for the Ranch, helping with COVID forms and screenings. People did really well wearing masks before the races! I did a meters challenge from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve to help my crazy friend Missy's team (it's more of a Cross Fit thing), and I fared pretty well overall but was bounds behind Missy with my 70-some mile weeks (she was working out about 6 hours a day!). I ran 293 miles total during the contest, and I got the results on Christmas Day right after I finished a 7 mile run which would have put me at an even 300 - I'll keep better track next year but I knew I couldn't get too into it or I'd do too much. I was mentioned on episode 34 of the 1609 Podcast, about 2:25 in - the whole episode is worth listening to, even though I'd already watched and listened to a lot of Marathon Project content by the time I heard it. I wanted Sara Hall to set the American Record so bad, but I still think it is in her! If you're obsessed with interested in a marathon OTQ, read this. Christmas lights run More Christmas lights run Pretty sure we should get Noxgear royalties 100,000 meter challenge Life Highlights: December was busy! In addition to holiday stuff, work got really crazy for a bit and I put in several 12 hour days. A haiku I wrote mostly as a joke was shared here (second from bottom), and I won a great sports bra and pair shorts from it! I mailed a record number of Christmas cards. It seemed like a good year for this! I did the 12 days of letter writing project, which was fun but also a sad reminder that I don't handwrite anything anymore; my handwriting muscles are out of shape! We did a lot of drive-by Christmas lights and a drive-through live nativity, which it also seemed like a good year for! I took a couple of days off work in order to have 5-days off in a row for "Christmas vacation." We did a short visit to my parents, and a few days at my in-law's. We decorated our lemon tree It works! Cats' stockings Albani's virtual Christmas concert (that's a bagged clarinet) Christmas Eve with my parents Because everyone needs socks with their cats' faces on them! 2020 My teen Chiefs fans Ibbetson cousins Books: Restart by Gordon Korman Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger Anxious People by Fredrick Backman The Testaments (The Handmaid's Tale #2) by Margaret Atwood Night Road by Kristin Hannah Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven Theme for the month: Celebrating Jesus's birth.
    6 points
  23. A whole year in review. Most people would say that Covid was the most impactful thing of their 2020, but really that didn’t affect me too much. I was pregnant again! Yay! So, working from home (was already doing that with my toddler), not racing, and avoiding people really wasn’t a big deal. Pregnancy – not as easy as the first time. Birth – much, MUCH, easier than the first time. Now recovery – so far, so good, but its slow, which is difficult. I waited the recommended 6-weeks to start running…nope, not really, I went for a couple short (like a quarter mile) jogs at 4 weeks, but I was feeling good, no harm, no foul, I guess. So for 2020, 1- had baby, 2 – bought and sold house, 3 - moved 2 weeks post-partum, probably not a great idea, but not the worst since DH had 4 weeks paid leave. Very eventful (and good!) 2020 for me personally. Now for the running-related update. Exactly one year ago today I attempted to BQ at the Atlantic City Marathon, which didn’t quite happen. This year, I ran up THE HILL by our new house without stopping. Success! This hill has been my nemesis since I began running again now pushing a double stroller. Side note – double stroller plus kids equals approximately 90 pounds, which makes me feel better about my paces. It didn’t help that DH (who doesn’t really run) was able to run pushing the stroller up it on his first try, but good for him! For me, post-partum recovery is a difficult mental exercise as much as it is physical. You have to pretty much start from scratch and work back. It’s probably similar to a severe injury (I didn’t run anything for over 4 months), but (knock-on-wood) I have not had one of those, so I really can’t say. So, starting from scratch, coupled with new running routes that all have rolling hills (moving to PA from S. NJ is quite a change to the elevation profile of what I can run from my front door) and it’s a recipe for feeling down about running especially comparing (and trying to beat) what I did after DD was born. My answer is making small reachable goals – Run 1 mile without stopping, then 2 miles, then run a faster pace than the week before, then 3 miles, then a 5K, which is where I am at now, but there was always THE HILL in each of these goals. I could not continuously run any of those distances from my house because of THE HILL. It’s about 60 feet of elevation change over 0.14 miles, so not much for some of you, but from my flatland experience, it is a MOUNTAIN! Ha! Anyway, I could not run up it pushing the double stroller. I felt like my legs just couldn’t go up any more and that I was just going to trip or not move forward, so I would break to a walk. Every run (2 times a week) I would try to get a little farther before walking and I was generally successful at that. Well today, exactly 1 year since running a BQ attempt marathon, and after 5.5 weeks of trying, I made it all the way up the hill without stopping and finished a 5K running with no walking breaks! I feel like I’ve dropped so much running ability over the past year, but I can see/feel it coming back and that gives me motivation to keep working at it, and hopefully be ready for a BQ attempt when marathons are more back to normal, AND I am stronger than ever (Yay hills and double stroller!!), which I am hoping is next fall – maybe Steamtown! The best part about it all, DD and new DS both love to ride in the stroller and be outside every day! There’s no greater motivation than that! 😍
    6 points
  24. Where to start with this? I went to Italy and rubbed elbows with Loopster stars, Davide and Fiona. Basically, they have always let me know if I want to come visit them in Milan, Italy, I could. I did just that 5 years ago and then I grabbed an opening in the pandemic after Italy approved arrivals for tourists and I arrived in northern Italy on July 28th to stay with them until August 6th. We hatched a plan to hike in the Dolomites for a chunk of my visit because I had been wanting to start exploring that area. They were totally game and if you follow either of them on social media you'll know that they are no strangers to having incredible mountain adventures. They are also amazingly generous and kind hosts and fun people to hang out with. It wasn't an ideal time to travel and without their help to get a covid test to return to the USA (despite being vaccinated), I'd probably still be in Italy. A piece of my soul was hoping I'd fail the test just so I could stay another 2 weeks. 😁 I know they were both concerned that a flatlander living at sea level her whole life was going to slow things down incredibly. I'm sure I did but it wasn't too drastic. The humid air was exactly what I deal with all summer in northern Michigan so that didn't phase me and there was altitude but not extremes. I've been running around 20-23 miles a week for the past 6-8 months so I had some decent fitness. I didn't run the trails except to catch up to them after taking pictures but I could have done some of the flat portions if I wanted to. Davide even boosted my confidence one morning when he said how surprised he was by how well I was doing considering I can't hike mountains where I live. 🤩 Here's a simplified run down of the adventures we had in chronological order: Hiked 5 miles to the top of the church steps in Montevecchia, northeast of Milan and had a fun dinner with their friends and laughed a great deal. Here's a view from the top looking over the countryside. Hiked 5 miles to this incredible lake in Courmayeur on the far west corner of Italy and my mouth was hanging open in awe the whole time. Davide and a friend of his were volunteers as course sweepers at a mountain trail race starting in Courmayeur the next day. Hiked 3 miles up part of a mountain with Fiona and her friends and got this picture of me ... sigh... We watched some of the trail racers go buy while taking break at the hiking hut (refugio). Then we got ready for the rest of the adventure to the Dolomites in the northeast part of the country. We stayed at a "unique" Italian tourist hotel in Andalo that left me with hilarious and head shaking memories and not a great deal of sleep but who cares!? August 3rd we hiked trails near Molveno and I covered 14.4 miles and nearly 5,000 feet of elevation gain and I could still walk to dinner that night! This day was a "bucket list" type of adventure. Something I dreamed of but never thought I could actually accomplish it in my life. Incredibly challenging and rewarding. (The trail is in that picture below....it's narrow) The next day we got up and moving (and I was barely sore!) and went to the Molveno area again to a different set of trails. Heavy rain was expected later in the day so we were hoping we could beat the worst of it and we did! We covered 10.5 miles and 2,700 feet of elevation gain on some steep and heavily forested trails. I felt right at home in the forests there. Davide got this downhill action shot of me and Fiona (she's in the green shirt). Poles are indispensable there! I did some stuff on my own and we did some tourist type stuff together but I'm a terrible tourist and I just want to be out in nature and have nothing to do with crowds of people. I did visit Padua near Venice and went to the Botanic Garden there started in 1545 and is a UNESCO world heritage site. Very cool for anyone who is deeply interested in plants. I leave you with pictures of most of the desserts I ate while I was there. I ate a lot of delicious food. Still lost 4 lbs in 10 days, though! Gelato and I have quite a love affair going. Currently my go-to flavors are pistachio and hazelnut. I will say that my absolute pinnacle food moment was the super thick hot chocolate (upper right corner of the picture) that is ubiquitous to the mountain culture and I've seen it on travel shows. It's so thick the bubbles didn't pop when I stirred a little sugar in. Think of it like heavy cream with super dark chocolate melted in. With that, I shall close out this update on what Brenda did on her summer vacation. 😎
    5 points
  25. I had signed up for 2 triathlons in 2020 .... hence I am now signed up for 2 triathlons in 2021. The first one is on 8/7 and is an olympic distance - swim 1 mile, bike 22 miles and run 10k. The other one is a half Ironman - swim 1.2, bike 55, run 13.1. My training has been ALL over the place with the one constant being CrossFit. 😅 Running has been pretty much shut down since Jim Thorpe in May due to a calf strain. I've slowly started adding in a very few miles. Swimming has been pretty good. I'm not the best swimmer but I'm also not the worst. It is pretty darn relaxing! I did my 1st open water swim "race" (ie. just finish) on July 4th. The day was beautiful and I knew many others who were also participating. I am not going to lie I was totally freaked out by so many people running into me and me into them. The first 500' I was literally yelling inside my head "Calm the F down! You are fine!" There is a very fine line between mild panic and hysteria. Hysteria in the water is NOT good! Totally messes with your breathing as you gulp in big mouthfuls of water! LOL I finished the mile swim in 33:33 good enough for 3/9 in my AG. Sighting is still a huge issue for me! As I started to get back to running ever so slightly I decided that it would be a good idea to sign up for a small tri in my local town. I went for the "long" distance tri - 1/2 mile swim, 17 mile bike, 4.5 mile trail run. The registration fee came with a free campsite. I decided that I would spend the night at the county park and that way race morning would be easy peasy and no stress. My friends pretty much thought I was crazy, but I have to tell you despite the 100* temperatures my night was pretty peaceful once I finally fell asleep. I got to catch a sunrise on the lake. My friend N brought me coffee and then we headed to transition to set up my area. Being such a noobie at this I had made a list of things I needed to do race morning. It worked pretty well! Other than the heat race morning was picture perfect! We were sent into the lake 2 by 2 and the buoys were huge so i had no problem with sighting. I swam the 2 laps of the course and exited feeling that I had done okay. 19:32 for the 1/2 mile (1:53/100 yd) N was my official photographer and also helped volunteer at the race. I was told by a triathlete friend that I could ride and run without socks but decided to wear them so i wouldn't get blisters. (I couldn't get blisters because somehow I got talked into being on a team for a 5k run the next day. They needed a female runner to compete. Oy!) I ran to my set up and quickly dried my feet, slapped on my socks, shoes, helmet and sunglasses. Totally forgot to put on my race belt with number, but I had the chip timer on my ankle. I took off on my bike like a banshee. I looked at my watch and it said I was going over 21 mph! I knew I couldn't sustain that so I backed off. The ride course was very nice. Not the smoothest of roads but no major potholes either. I caught some people and got caught by others. Managed 18.3 mph for the 17 miles. Wahoo! My fastest ride ever! I ran my bike into transition and slapped on my sneakers and put on my race belt (better late than never??). Grabbed my handheld and took off at a moderate pace. I knew the run was going to be all about managing the heat and humidity with my pace and breathing. We made 3 loops of the sandy road and park trails. I ran out 3/4 of a mile and then walked 30-45 seconds and then back 3/4 and repeated the walking. I passed many other runners and only got passed by one female. As I came into the finish line I was wheezing so hard from trying to do a little sprint at the end. N pretty much pushed me under some trees to get a little shade. Phew! So f'n hot!! My results were really good! First in my AG and 5th out of 19 females. Someone told me the woman who finished seconds before me is a tri coach. It was a fun day for sure! I drank every beverage that I packed to try to recover for the next day's 5k. I showed up to the 5k not knowing what to expect. I knew with 99% certainty that a PR was off of the table (22:59) and I was pretty sure that I wouldn't be running a 30:00 5k but other than that ?? As the sole female I was kind of freaking out because my time mattered! If I had a bad race I could lose the trophy for the team. The temperatures had dropped a bit overnight so that was nice. As we lined up I debated giving my shirt to someone to hold, but in the end (much to my regret) I kept it on because it had our team's name on it. The gun went off and we all sprinted out like normal. I saw 7:10 pace on my watch and tried to slow a bit. One of the guys in our group passed me (every one else had started up further). I managed to pass him back in the 1st mile. I was running hard but knew a PR was out of the question. I just couldn't let myself quit. We mad a few quick turns to get to the u-turn. Apparently there was a hill in there somewhere. All of my other teammates were talking about it, but I have NO recollection running it. NONE! My pace and elevation chart on Garmin show it, but it didn't even register. (Not sure if i was just in a zone or because at CrossFit we run a mile loop that has a nasty climb so this little bump was nothing more than a blip). The guys were racing really well so I knew I had to stay in the game. The final mile was into the wind. Not very strong but noticeable. One of the guys tried to help run me in for the last 4/10 of a mile. I kind of gave him the hand because I was doing all I could. I had nothing left. finally I crossed the finish line in 24:48. Phew! (The course was .1 long. Apparently the fire department moved the turn around.) I won my AG. We got the Avalon Yacht Club Family Cup for fastest team! (guy in blue next to me ran a 19:13 (3.2). Day before he had run a 18:13.) (Guy in gray ran a 20:17 (3.2)) We are all masters except for the guy on the far left. Faster as a Master!
    5 points
  26. How has it been so long? I meant to do better…honestly although my running has been decent, most everything else has been a struggle. I talked to a career counselor and I have changed some things about how I’m doing my job search, but I still have had no interviews and I haven’t seen a job that just jumps out at me as what I really want – a couple that combine elements of research/human health/nutrition were the best, but nothing has worked out…between days of monotonous data entry and the job search my mental energy is pretty sapped when I’ve had the time to write. Excuses, Excuses…it’s been over two weeks and I haven’t written that race report… The night before I was debating which socks to wear – I usually wear compression socks and I have a couple pairs that could go with my Team in Training shirt. Purple or Green was the question on Facebook and Instagram. I got a lot (for me anyway – around 40 total) of votes and green and purple were neck and neck almost the whole time. Finally green pulled ahead…I was half dared to wear one of each but green came out several votes ahead and I just wasn’t feeling that bold. Green Socks won out... GO St. Louis half marathon race report…It was a very rainy Saturday morning. Because of continuing restrictions they had many small waves of about 50 people starting every 10 or 15 minutes. Overall the race was about 10% of normal. It was a point to point course and we were bused to the start (which didn’t really seem to follow social distancing, but everyone did have to wear a mask.) With such small waves port-o-potty lines were not an issue. The start and the first part of the race were in a park along the Mississippi River. From there we ran south toward downtown St. Louis. We spent time running on top of one of the levees and along a lot of industrial areas that were next to the “greenway” though about half of what we ran was more industrial than green. In a way the rain was good, because other parts of the race were right next to the concrete flood wall, and we would have been cooking on a warm, sunny day. The best part was being around other runners and being able to chat and get a little of that race day social aspect again. The worst part might have been the smells of the industrial area (I think we ran past a sewage plant among other things…) or the pouring rain combined with strong winds on top of the levees or between the buildings downtown at the end of the race. We also had to run up the really steep hill from the riverfront to downtown twice. I ran the whole race with my friend John (who is a TNT teammate, running in honor of his daughter who died of Leukemia several years ago and would be about my age). The wind really blasted the rain in our faces as we ran the last mile downtown. I’m totally looking at the ground in all my finish line photos – I blame the rain and wind…my final time was 2:21:12 by my watch. Not great, or what I would have liked, but if I’m fair, it’s about as good as I could ask for. I haven’t tried to run a fast half marathon (or any long race) for a long time. Nothing like pouring rain and strong winds blasting it in your face...still should have looked up as I crossed the finish...at least I'm not also reaching to stop my watch? Still soaking wet, but riding with John back to his house where I left my car (to avoid parking downtown and trying to find him there) Love the medals this year, they are suncatchers (and not ridiculously large like so many races were doing pre-pandemic at least, I mean it was fun once, but come on, come up with something else...)
    5 points
  27. There are many adjectives that describe me. Stubborn -- just ask my mom she'll tell you. Diligent -- haven't missed any runs on my training plan Adventuresome -- remember the Triple Trailfest and 50k on a whim Shy -- OMG! Do you know how long it took me to walk into the CrossFit gym BY MYSELF?? or to meet my internet running friends? But Confident is not a word that I would use to describe myself - especially in running. I shy away from group runs because what if I have a bad day? I shy away from racing because I'm afraid of failing. Really it probably all comes down to failing or not "looking perfect" and not meeting expectations. One of the guys from my local running group who does not know me all that well told me "We need to work on your confidence." Ya think?? So here goes: I am confident that I trained my butt off for this marathon. I've run 675 miles Y-T-D I am confident that I increased my overall strength by attending CrossFit 3 times per week since mid November. I am confident that I hit all of my speedwork and tempo runs and all but one hill run (where I just ran a hilly route). I am confident that I nailed my last 20 mile run with negative splits. (There was a 2 mile warm up before 18.) I am confident that I just ran a PR mile by over 20 seconds. I am confident that I am going to the start line of this marathon knowing that I have done everything that I possibly could.
    5 points
  28. A little background, when I first started running consistently, training to run my first marathon I ran in Asics Cumulus shoes which have quite a bit of cushioning. Back then I was a heel striker and since I am somewhat bowlegged and supinate as well I ended up always wearing out my shoes on the outside of the heals. It turned out back then the Cumulus cushioning would eventually not bounce back after repeated outside heel strikes making the supination even more pronounced. I believe this was a one cause for my repeated bouts with the dreaded PF (plantar fasciitis), sometimes in both feet a the same time. So I decided to switch to running shoes with a lower heal drop and less cushioning which coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally) happened about the same time when the book "Born to Run" came out and the ensuing minimalist running shoe movement. So I switched to shoes with a low heel to toe drop, and with not much cushioning. These changes resulted in me changing from having a heel strike to a having forefoot running strike. Now since I have wide feet I sometimes wear holes in my shoes on the outside of my forefoot which is due to a combination of my supination, my wide feet and not always being able to find a particular running shoe in a wide width. Although I still sometimes get PF, I feel my running stride is more comfortable and efficient. I have replaced my 2 pairs of running shoes; Topo Athletic Flylite 3 and Saucony ISO 2 Freedom in the beginning of this February. I have heard that it is better to alternate running in at least two different types of shoes to reduce wear and tear on your shoes and feet. My two new pairs of shoes are the Topo Athletic Flylite 3 (3rd pair) and the Altra Torin 4.5 Plush (first pair). The Flylite shoes have 3mm heal to toe drop, are fairly light, have a wide toe box, and some but not a lot of cushioning. I like the Flylite's but on some of my longer (>6mi), faster (tempo pace) runs my feet become sore. Now that cushioning is all the rage I decided to try the Torin Plush which like all Altra's have 0mm of heal drop, are a little heavier than the Flylite's, also have a wide toe box, but have a lot more cushioning than the Flylite's. I have been running a little over month in Torin Plush's which I typically run in 2 days a week for about 5 and 12 miles. They have been a pleasure to run in as they seem to conform to my feet, my feet stay comfortable during my longer runs, and my legs also seem to stay fresh. I also run 2 days a week in the Flylite's; 5 miles each day which definitely feel harsher to my feet on impact with the road. Well I am really like running in the Torin Plush's, but I will have to see how they hold up over time. Since I have been putting a greater percentage of my weekly miles on the Plush's I would end up replacing them long before the Flylite's so I am going to alternate my weekly long run between the Plush's and Flylite's to better balance out the mileage. I will have to see how my feet and legs hold up.
    5 points
  29. There's this book. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan. More about food than you could even imagine. Do you know what koalas eat? Eucalyptus leaves. That's it. Their entire diet is made up of nothing but eucalyptus leaves. On the other extreme, there's us. We eat everything. Seeds, fruits, grass, the flesh of other mammals, fungus, mold. Some of it the way it grows in nature, some we've altered recently, some we've altered over hundreds - even thousands - of years. Sometimes we add stuff to what we eat. Sometimes we combine different foods together. Sometimes we process it with heat or cold. While there are other species that do this, none of them to the extent we do. Complicated. A koala never gives his next meal a second thought. Eucalytus. Breakfast? Eucalytus. Lunch? Eucalytus. Dinner? Evening snack? You guessed it. Eucalytus. No so, the human race. We have to decide. Every single time. And that decision can fraught with not just uncertainty, but danger. At the most basic level, we have to ask, "Could this possibly kill me?" We've gotten a little better at that since we left the trees and caves and starting building houses and controlling more of our foodstuffs. But we've also added (fairly recently) additional questions? Is it environmentally sustainable? Is it organic? Will it increase my risk of cancer? Does my social group approve? What do the Kardashians think? I bought that treadmill a couple of years ago. It was for Mrs. Dave. She wanted to be able to walk when it was dark or wet or cold. I swear to you - that's what she told me. As it happens, she's not walked on it once. I tried treadmill running the winter before I ran Boston. I was so determined to give Beantown my very best effort, I signed up at Planet Fitness. No amount of ice or storm that winter was going to stop me putting in the miles. I sucked it up and ran a few times there when it was especially nasty. Then my hip had problems and I was happy to blame it on the wheel. No more treadmill for me. And I meant it. Until this season. Like everyone else, I have no marathon on my schedule because there's no marathons to schedule. Motivation is a little low. What's high is the fear that - at 62 - a slip and fall would put me on the IR for an extended period. What's the big deal, since there's no marathons on the schedule? I ask myself that question. 2020 has reinforced how much I need running. Forget racing. That's a nice bonus, but putting miles on these old legs does important things for what happens inside the old noggin. It's not a cure-all, but it helps tremendously. On the other hand, you all have this to look forward to: The older you get, the easier it is for the various body parts to be injured. And the road to recovery is longer and slower. I seem to have reached a point where I worry about it more than it happens. Not every single day, but often enough. Whenever the weather's bad. But I still must run. So I'm using Mrs. Dave's treadmill. It's in a corner of the family room with its deck folded up. When it's too cold for my taste or looks to be slippery or there's enough snow I imagine I'll slip sliding away, then I twist it to face the TV and start an episode of Vikings. That usually gets me through about 4 miles. I watched 2 last Saturday. I will not admit to liking it. Here's the problem. Since winter weather has arrived fully and completely, I have to decide - every single day - if I'm going to layer up and hope the sidewalks are passable, or do I need to play it safe in deference to my aging infrastructure and have another session with Ragnar and Lagertha. The treadmill runner's dilemma. With my history of war against the treadmill, I always feel like I'm wimping out. Lazy. Soft. Weak. But I don't want to spend winter on the couch. Or have to rebuild from an ice/snow generated injury when spring arrives.
    5 points
  30. Not a running post, but running adjacent. I should be at the Millrose Games today, but I'm not, and I'm thinking about last year's Millrose, which was probably our last big day out before everything shut down. Allyson Felix was there. Donavan Brazier set an 800m men's US indoor record. Ajee Wilson set an 800m women's US indoor record. Elle Purrier set a women's USA indoor mile record. People were getting excited about Tokyo. After the meet ended, we hightailed it over to Coogan's to get a table before the runners started to trickle in. My brother-in-law, Jim, who has followed track and field since he was a kid in the 1960s, was excited to see one of his running heroes, Eamonn Coghlan, walk in. Later, when Elle Purrier entered, the entire place broke into cheers. Then Peter Walsh, the co-owner, stopped by the table, as he did with all the tables, and talked to us as though he had known us for years. Soon after that, Jim excused himself to go the bathroom, which is best described as intimate, and we at the table watched with a mixture of humor/fascination, as Eamonn Coghlan headed in right behind him. Jim walked out of the bathroom, and immediately made eye contact with us across the room with a look on his face that showed that he had just met one of his heroes in the can, and that he knew that we knew he had just met one of his heroes in the can. Jim said Coghlan walked in, looked at him, and said, "Hi! How are ya?" And this year, no Millrose, and Coogan's has closed for good. After it closed, Peter Walsh made a video about the bar's influence on its neighborhood, Washington Heights. About a minute and half in, there's a segment where the camera sweeps to Elle Purrier reacting to the cheers that greeted her when she walked in. Freeze that sweep at the right moment, and you catch a blurred image of me (part of me, anyway), my wife, my brother-in-law, and my nephew. It was a big day out. On a different note, I was reading a description of one of the first distance races in the US, a 25-mile race in September 1896. About 30 runners started enthusiastically enough, but about 5 miles in, some of them realized what they were up against. A reporter for the New York Herald described these runners as beginning to think that "their early hopes were not warranted by the facts.” That's how I'm going to describe every bad run I have from now on.
    5 points
  31. I got my lab tests done and got a nasty surprise. Despite running 6+ hours a week, and a mostly decent diet, they came back with high cholesterol. (Everything else was pretty much normal). The doctor said we could start with lifestyle changes, but I’m already super active, and I’m not sure I can run much more. So that leaves diet. I have gained ~10lbs in the last year or so. Mainly related to working from the kitchen table at home. Not good. I’m hoping getting back to where I was weight-wise will help. Although my diet is “mostly decent” I’ve been snacking more, and some of those snacks have been higher calorie (too much cheese, too much chocolate). The doctor didn’t think we needed to retest before next year, but I’d kind of like to when I manage to lose the weight. I have visions of cholesterol collecting all over the inside of my arteries…The good news is that I found out 3 weeks ago, and I’m down around 3lbs, so those changes seem to be working. As someone who not only just earned a master’s degree in nutrition but also did my big final research paper on calorie balance in female runners, I know very well that weight loss as a (female) runner is a tricky thing. But in this situation it is a positive. Also, although it feels frustratingly slow, one pound a week is about the perfect amount to lose – low enough not to disturb metabolism and cause issues. I’ve been getting to run in a lot of “interesting” weather lately. Three of my runs in the last 10 days have been in the 30s with rain. Two or three more have been in falling snow or over snowy ground. Today was just cold, but not cold compared to where we are headed. If we were still doing the winter bacon points I’d have earned a few, but when the weather is bad here, it is always worse somewhere else. It also started snowing again about 10 or 15 minutes ago. Not very hard, and it may not amount to much, but the forecast is for 1-3 inches. Then it gets super cold so the snow won’t melt right away like it usually does. If it gets too icy I may brave the gym for the first time in a year. I did a mile “test” this week to see where I was and ran it in 9:01. Not awesome by my standards, but actually a little better than I expected. I plan on doing a test every month or so. My parents got their first dose of their COVID vaccinations today. I’m so glad. More and more people I know have been getting sick. My parents still need to get through the next 5-6 weeks before they have fully immunity from the shots, but we’re getting somewhere. My sister is a teacher, but it’s looking like it will be weeks (and maybe months) before our state gets around to the teachers. For me – I would be waiting until the end, but because I participated in the Pfizer trial I actually got my vaccine back in August and September. This is one reason why I’m in any way willing to walk into the gym – though I do have concerns that if the immunity wears off quicker than we hope it could be a problem. I will wear a mask (technically I have to, but I would anyway). I’ve gotten no where in the job search – the good news is I still have my current job, so there is no crisis but I haven’t even seen much I want to apply to. I though of a new job category that might work and did a preliminary search the day before yesterday and there were more jobs I hadn’t seen yet, but I was too tired to do a deep dive at the time (and after 12 miles this morning I’m tired again – I told myself I either had to do that, or do this. So, I chose this. I’m hoping I’ll know the right job when I see it – I have an ideal in mind, but I’ve found is quite like it, and I’m not even sure I’d meet the qualifications for the job if I did. Recent run photos... Recent pet photos...
    5 points
  32. The short: "Happiness is reality minus expectation." I always realize how true this quote is when I run a race that exceeds my expectations, even if it's not a top performance. I chose the local Cabin Fever Reliever 20k as a rust buster, and after running the difficult course in training I figured if I could run in the 6:30s it would be a great day - as in, anything under 6:40 pace would be a success. I ran by feel because I always seem to race best that way, and as I neared the finish line I saw the clock still in the 1:19s so I kicked hard to get in excitedly at 1:19:47, which is 6:25 average pace (6:16 grade adjusted) and technically a PR. I was the 1st overall female and broke the Missouri state road racing record for 20k for age 40; plus only two women in Missouri of any age have ever run faster 20ks. I was most pumped by how strong I felt throughout the race in spite of sub-par conditions (hills, wind, running solo). It was a great reminder of how much I love racing. and I can't wait to do it again! Official results are here, although they are all about 2:15 too fast for the 20k. State 20k records are here, although updates aren't posted yet. Colin was 2nd OA male in the 20k, Casey was 1st OA female in the 10k The long: I busted the rust after over a year away from racing (my last was the Houston Marathon on 1/19/20)! The Cabin Fever Reliever was the perfect way to ease back into competition, because it is a small event, it takes place less than 10 minutes from my home, and it is an uncommon distance. For a related bonus, the Missouri State single age road racing records for the 20k distance are soft, as was my actual 20k PR, although I wasn't exactly sure what it was. I ran a 20k time trial in September 2020, but time trials definitely have asterisks in my book, plus I didn't think I could beat that time anyway, hah. I didn't taper for this race, mostly just because I was in a groove with training and didn't want to, but also because the weather was decent and my season goal races are in March and April. I ran 87 miles the week of the race, but I ran my workout on Tuesday instead of Wednesday to try to give my legs a little extra pop. Several of my running buddies ran this event, which also included 5k and 10k races, and it's put on by our local running club, so I knew a lot of people. It was easy to be relaxed and excited, and I was pretty much jumping-out-of-my-skin excited after such a long racing hiatus! Leading up to this race, my husband can attest that I talked about it far more than I ever have about any local low-key event. I'd run the course twice in training recently, and I've biked and elliptigoed around the area a ton, so I knew what I was in for as far as hills. This would be a difficult course to negative split on! I always perform best in races when I disregard my watch, so I did just that, also knowing that my splits would fluctuate based on the hills in each mile. The first 4.5 miles are a net downhill, then the rest of the race is a net uphill. To add insult to injury, on race day we had a pretty powerful east wind to contend with during the second half of the race. After the gun, the field spread out and I settled into the appropriate effort level for 12 miles (a 20k is 12.43 miles, but the last bit always takes care of itself!). For the first 4 miles I eyed men in front of me and picked a few off, but from then on I was solo. Six men finished in front of me, but not close enough to help me much, although I could see the slowest of the six for the whole race and kept trying to catch him, but he was pretty steadily the same distance in front of me. I went into this race knowing it was unlikely I'd have any female competition, and I was excited about running a race I had a chance to win (vs. all those big races I've run trying for times in the past several years), but I can never go quite as far to the well without women competitors around me (which is why I ran those big races when I was trying for times!). Find me in pink & wearing the least clothing! The course miles were not marked so I paid attention to my watch beeping/vibrating, and with each beep I'd tell myself, "starting an 11 mile tempo", "starting a 10 mile tempo", etc. Mile 6 was the first with a couple of very noticeable uphills, one of which has caused me a lot of trauma when biking the area (as in, I almost have to get off the bike and walk it up, lol). I was feeling good and kept pressing though, and I also took a gel between 6 and 7. I usually don't take in anything during half marathons since they are less than 90 minutes of running, but since I was running 20 miles total I thought I'd need more fuel, plus I love a good caffeine boost during a race! During mile 7 I started feeling fatigued, but that's not unusual for halves so I embraced it. I tried to maintain focus and keep the pedal to the metal, but it is harder to do that when running alone. Solo I knew the stretch from about 7.5-9.5 was going to be tough because it's all incline, and on race day it was also against the wind. It isn't steep but 2 miles is a long way to race an incline. I shed my arm warmers and tossed them into a field entrance about halfway through, partially just to give myself a way to mentally break it up (also because I'd had them pushed down since mile 2)! We also had to cross highway 125 during that stretch, which the race organizers can't stop traffic on. They warned us about this ahead of time, and living in that area I knew it'd be hit or miss on whether we'd have to stop (it's not super busy but it is a highway!). There were volunteers at the intersection yelling at runners when traffic was coming. They were yelling at me to stop, and I came really close to just going because I thought I could make it, but in the end I did stop for a car. I only lost a few seconds, but it was more the losing my rhythm part that was annoying. A friend who was course marshalling at highway 125 sent me this shot - caption it "I think I can beat that car..." Once I got through the long incline part I was relieved, but still running into the wind until the final mile. We were passing through slower 10k runners at this time, which mostly helped but at times was a trick because they were blocking the road. I tried to push and enjoy, and I really loved this race experience, but of course was also ready to be done. During the final mile I kept telling myself, "You have more to give" and pushing. After the final steep uphill about a quarter mile from the finish, I really tried to kick, even more so once I realized I could be under 1:20! I ran a 20k time trial in 1:20:35 in September on a better course, and did not expect to beat that time, so seeing the 1:19 was really exciting! I came through in 1:19:47 with a smile on my face. The course is certified, meaning it is 12.43 miles on the tangents, making my average pace 6:25. Final stretch race face professional shots 20ks are not a common race distance, and I knew barring disaster I would break the existing age 40 record of 1:37:49, but I wanted to set a record I was proud of. I also set a 20k PR, even if you count the time trial I did 5 months ago! It's not quite as fast as my marathon PR pace (6:19), but for the circumstances I think it was solid. The finisher medals were adorable My running buddies made out well in the race too! Brad was overall male in the 20k, with Colin in second overall male. Casey was overall female in the 10k, I was overall female in the 20k, and Sarah (not pictured) was second overall female in the 20k. A solid day for our Miles from Mentor crew! Casey, Brad, Colin, me I had 20 miles total on tap for the day, which meant a 5 mile cool down (I'd run 2.9 miles to warm up before the race, so if I'd have done the math more precisely I'd have known I could do just 4.7 to cool down, hah!). I drank some Ucan after finishing the race and then took off with Colin, Trae, and Casey. Casey turned back after a mile since she'd already run quite a bit after her 10k to cheer for us 20kers, and Colin and Trae were kind enough to run with me back to pick up my arm warmers (note to self: they are not needed even in a 24 degree wind chill). About 2.5 miles into the cool down, I started bonking hard! I felt like I had zero glycogen and very low blood sugar. Around mile 3 we passed a course aid station that they were packing up and I stopped and asked them if they had gels, and they did! They gave me a package of fruit snacks, a package of chews, and a gel. I was laughing that I was going to have to eat 3 things to get through the final 2 miles of my cool down. Once I got the fruit snacks down I started feeling better, although I was still 100% ready to be done. But once we got to about 4.5 I guess the sugar was in my system and I felt okay again. This was definitely a lesson I needed to learn about fueling! I can run 20+ easy miles fasted without a problem (although I know that's not ideal, I have done it), but once fast running is thrown into the mix I need so much more fuel! Before the race I had a handful of Cheerios and most of a drink with 2 scoops of Ucan in water, during the race I had a gel, and then between the race and cool down I had the rest of the Ucan. That was not sufficient! Next month when I do a half marathon race with a lot of miles after I am definitely getting up early enough to eat a full meal for breakfast and taking Ucan and gels with me on my cool down. The final 2 miles of that cool down at 8:30ish pace was harder than the 12.4 miles at 6:25 pace! After finishing the cool down, we went inside to change, socialize, and eat the amazing post-race food! Chicken noodle soup, grilled cheese, and cake have never tasted so good. At the time I'm writing this, the official results have everyone in the 20k running about 2:15 faster than we actually did. If there is going to be a timing error, it's nice when it makes you faster, but with it being a record I'd sure like it to be correct! I've had timing errors in the other direction (i.e., slower) with this results company too, so in a way it feels like I'm getting all of that time I was cheated out of back, but in the interest of full disclosure my time and record should be 1:19:47ish! I would buy 1:19:40 for watch error, but definitely not 1:17:32, unless we are talking grade adjusted. I can't wait to do this race thing again!
    5 points
  33. I ran a virtual half marathon last week, sort of. I finally got to see (outside, mostly at a distance over 6 feet), many of my Team in Training friends who I haven’t seen since March. They were running their virtual Disney races. Since I wasn’t signed up for any of those, I didn’t really run a virtual race, but I did run the half distance. But I was a part of the larger fundraising team that had all planned on running races in the last year (that none of us got to run) and that fundraising team has raised $260,000+ so we got “Circle of Heroes” medals that I got after I finished my not Disney not virtual half. (I was a very small portion of that total). But really, it was just so good to see some more people again. I never thought of myself as a huge hugger, but wow, I miss having physical contact with people. So, I didn’t get that there, but just seeing people, in person, meant so much. Post half distance (so slow lately) The hat I'm wearing was crocheted by Aliphine Tuliamuck the US Women's 2020 Marathon trials winner. I’ve gotten nowhere on the job search. I have one more that I plan to apply to over the weekend when I have the brain space to reread the posting and make sure I actually want that job and that I’m doing everything that I need to do when I apply. I am probably overthinking these some of the time. I’m not doing enough networking either, I need to reach out to a few people, but that means figuring out how I want to say what I need to say. After 2 years of all that grad school writing my brain has decided thinking is too hard again. Also the anxiety about making such a huge life change is making it hard. Everything feels hard right now. I guess that’s not unusual. My running has felt harder too – I had my annual women’s health appointment today, and since I haven’t had blood work done in a while, I’m getting all of that done. Usually they can do it in office but I was one of the last appointments of the day and the phlebotomist had already gone home for the day when I was done with the rest of my appointment so I had to schedule with an outside lab (or I could have gone back to the office, but the Quest lab is a lot closer to home). I’ve gained weight thanks in part to my desk 3-5 days a week being at the kitchen table, less than 10 feet from the refrigerator. My nutrition education and my final project tell me losing weight in a healthy way is very tricky, especially for runners, but 5-10lbs would probably do me good (if I loose it SLOWLY). So I’m going to work on snacking less, and eating less sweets, things that increased significantly during the pandemic. A couple fun pictures from lately - By the Olympic Rings in St. Louis next the site of the 1904 Stadium (not sure how much of that stadium if any is still there - it is the current stadium/track for Washington University.) Read about that marathon sometime - it is in contention for the worst marathon ever. Maybe I'll write a post about it sometime, that could be fun... Everyone loves a pet picture. Izzie loves a snack. (I was eating a cookie I think - not something she could have, but the right look earns a cat treat which is even better in her book.)
    5 points
  34. They arrived. So much anticipation. Last year’s style, but hey, updates are not always better. Might as well try the older cheaper model. Green and gold (Launch - St. Patrick’s Day 2020). Cool colors in my opinion (DH thinks they're ugly though). Excitement growing. These might be awesome! They look awesome! I can’t wait to try them! Running will be so much easier in these shoes! I take off my right shoe instantly. Inserting foot into the new show. Hmmm. Seems short. Insert left foot. Ooooo this one feels slightly better! The right foot is always worse. So are the right knee and hip when it comes to injuries. I’m probably lopsided somehow, but I will forever blame years of soccer and kicking with my primary right leg. Let’s just ignore the right side. How do you feel left foot? Okay? Cool. These shoes are pretty, and on my feet. Yay pretty shoes! Gingerly, I walk around the house. Right big toe nail is hitting the top of the shoe and I can feel the end of the shoe when I push off. There’s a chance they’ll feel okay when I’m running, right? RIGHT??? I justify a short run in them to see if I like the style enough to try a bigger size. They feel just slightly better than okay. Nothing special. I roll my LEFT ankle. Come on left side, you’re the “good” side. Probably the roll was helped by the shoes being too short. Not the first time. Won’t be the last. I curse and keep going, it won’t be sore for a couple of days anyway. Back to the shoes - Okay enough to try a second run without rose-colored glasses of pretty new shoes. Second try doesn’t go any better than the first. The shoes are tolerable, but who wants to settle for “tolerable” running shoes? I doubt sizing will make a difference. Time to send them back and try a different style! They do not provide any excitement to be worn and I have my old (still have a lot of life left) racing shoes (NB fuel cell rebels) that provide some “speed excitement.” I’m just looking for my every day training match (thinking Glycerin in a size up - new model is coming soon, so discounts should be available on the leaving model). For my current short runs, I will stick with my “all day shoes” (Saucony Guide/Ride). That’s been working so far, but I do not like using my “all day shoes” for actual running. Upside to returning shoes – more future motivation and excitement from another first date next week!😁
    5 points
  35. I’ve had a hard time motivating myself to write. Once I finished my masters degree it felt like my brain just sort of shut off. I haven’t been successful in my job search either, but I haven’t been trying as hard as I should. A masters in nutrition isn’t opening doors the way I hoped it would. Most jobs that are directly related to nutrition require the RD, which I can’t get because doing the internship, while not technically impossible, is in practice impossible. It was still very worthwhile information, and having the masters still might help me get a research job. It could also be helpful if I ever pursue some kind of coaching certification. I won’t work on that until I can take some kind of in person classes. (Even if it is just RRCA) I ran my socially distanced but in person half the first weekend in November. It was a very warm and sunny day. The Innsbrook half was even hillier than I expected (and I expected the most hills I’ve ever had in a race.) The actually elevation gain varied depending on what I was looking at but I like to go with the highest which was 1,600 feet. But that was 1,600 up and 1,600 down because we started and ended at the same place. It was beautiful, but hard. It was my slowest half by around a minute, except for the trail half in the pouring rain. But this one was on those serious hills, plus most of it was rough gravel roads. Maybe the longest flat stretch in the entire race. I didn't pull the camera out at all except for this spot - it was very pretty, but most of the race was in pretty dense trees, so it would not have been all that impressive in a photograph. Same spot, looking out over all the hills. I felt like I ran up and down all of those hills. Now that I think about it - this wouldn't have been my slowest non-trail half if I hadn't stopped to take these pictures. Oh well. This picture is worth it I think. Free race photos! This was just after where I stopped to take the pictures. Finishing! Nice medal The back. More hills in this race than I realized were in this part of Missouri. The race is still going on in this picture - everyone was well spaced out. In fact the first person to finish, finished before I even started... It took a long time to recover from that race. My quad and ankle were bothering me going in and the quad in particular took almost a month to feel back to normal. I still feel like I’ve lost a TON of speed in the last couple years, with frequent injuries probably the biggest factor in that, but maybe age is too. I felt especially slow after this race, and it took more than a month before my heart rate settled back into a more normal state during my runs – at first it would spike much higher than normal at a given pace. Finally by about the middle of this month things were more normal. I don’t want the loop to go away, so I’ll try to be better about writing.
    5 points
  36. The Short: I ran in what I hope will be my first of many USATF Masters* Championship races! I also hope it is the worst race performance I produce in a competition like this; though I was able to hang on for a 2nd place finish in age group 40-44 and 5th overall female in the race, my time was a huge underperformance in relation to my fitness. I'm sure no one is surprised that it was hot and humid in Iowa on July 24. I went to compete without expecting a fast time, but I didn't expect to suffer as much as I did, finishing in 39:39. I think the heat slowed me down about 2:00, but my performance being equivalent to 37:39 in good weather doesn't really make me feel any better, especially because I couldn't dig to compete like I typically can. I really enjoyed training for this race - the day-to-day training was awesome! - so I'm still glad I did it, but it's going to take some time for my ego to recover from it. *I also learned that although masters division typically begins at age 40, USATF starts it at age 35, so I have missed 5 years of masters championship road racing. My medal was silver but my parents are gold The Long: As part of enjoying being a new masters runner, earlier this year I looked at the USATF masters championship race schedule. As part of being crazy, I love racing 10,000 m on the track and thought doing it at the end of July in Iowa seemed like a great idea! I didn't have a time goal going into this race, because I knew that weather and strategy could be big factors. However, my speed block leading up to the race went well - the best speed block I've ever had actually - and I felt fit and tapered leading into the race. The race day forecast was warmer every time I checked it, and by the time the race began at 8:45 a.m. the heat index was 90* with the sun radiating off the track. I told myself that I die less than most in the heat, shoved ice into the crop and shorts of my new rabbitELITE race kit, and went to the starting line hunting a national masters win. Shorts with the elite logo came a few days later! My heat of the 10,000 m had 4 women's age groups and 2 men's age groups in it, so there was a crowd! My plan was to run the first 2 miles conservatively to try to avoid overheating, then progress the pace downward from there. While I didn't have specific time goals, I thought I was in shape for a 35:59 in ideal weather on a good day with good pacing, so I figured high-36/low-37 in the conditions we had. I have been heat-adjusting my workout goal paces when it's been over 70* and humid, but by only 50-75% of the amount this heat calculator recommends. I came through each of the first 8 laps right around 1:30 (I ran by feel but it's very difficult not to look at the clock when it's a huge display in front of your face each lap), and it didn't feel fast but it also didn't feel good. I told myself I'd feel stronger as the race went on, and to reel in the women ahead of me. At that point I was leading my age group, with two women ahead of me in the 35-39 division. This is pretty much how the entire race felt Around 2 miles I started feeling worse, and a man who'd been running right behind me passed me. I told myself to latch onto him, which I did briefly, but I couldn't maintain contact. By the 5k I really started worrying, but I reminded myself that in most 10ks I've run I've passed the 5k thinking there was no way I could run that again, but I always did, often faster. At some point another woman passed me, and I tried to stay with her even harder than I'd tried to stay with the man, but much like earlier, I just couldn't. Our age groups were on our backs, so I knew she was in 45-49 and I was still leading age 40-44. I knew I was slowing despite my best efforts not to, and at that point my goal became hanging on to win my age division. I still kept telling myself I was going to feel better and speed up, and that everyone else was dying just as much. I was trying to take 1600 m splits on my watch to look at later, but I missed one of them and then started really struggling to remember what lap I was on. My brain felt foggy, my legs wouldn't move, and I just felt gassed. At some point a woman with AG 40-44 on her back passed me and I really tried to hang onto her but my body felt felt shut down and I couldn't respond. The possibility of a national championship slipped away and my goal mostly changed to just making it through, which is not a very inspiring race goal. About to get passed I was lapping people, some multiple times, plus two women and two men lapped me. With the number of people in the race, the officials had their work cut out for them with telling people what lap they were on, and several times they didn't tell me my lap count when I passed. My pace was so off what I'd expected to run and my brain was extremely cloudy, so the best I could do at times was "somewhere between 8 and 10 left" and "either 4 or 5 laps left!" It started to not really matter, as the race began feeling more like a survival thing than a competition. Finishing was a relief, though also a huge disappointment. New rabbit teammate! My official lap splits were: 1:29, 1:31, 1:29, 1:29, 1:30, 1:30, 1:31, 1:30, 1:32, 1:35, 1:36, 1:32, 1:36, 1:39, 1:39, 1:36, 1:35, 1:36, 1:40, 1:40, 1:38, 1:40, 1:40, 1:40, 1:33 (i.e., don't pace like this!). I thought that starting at 6:00 pace was conservative, but clearly it wasn't adequate for me that day. At the end of my 50k, I felt like it was the distance that got to me (not the pace), but in this race it felt completely like the pace! Oddly, 25 laps on the track didn't seem very far. I am really not sure what happened. Yes, 90 degrees and humid (dew point 72*) on a hot track is miserable, but surely that can't account for slowing down 37 seconds/mile from what my workouts indicated I could run; I am also generally really good at knowing what I'll realistically run in races. Most of the field ran about 2:00 slower than their seed times, but I was 3:05 off of mine (my heat calculator also gives me about +20 seconds/mile in the conditions, which is 2:00 - but remember, for hot workouts I've been using only 50-75% of the calculation). All of my track workouts and strength-based workouts this season were faster than when I ran 36:34 on the road, so even in the heat I thought I'd be in the 37s on the track; I also ran a 36:52 on the road in not ideal weather of 71*, dew point 68* when I was at similar fitness to what I am now (though now those conditions seem okay, haha!). I couldn't respond in a competitive situation, plus I felt awful and not at all strong, which I think is what makes this particularly discouraging. There was just nothing there. Maybe it's just time to retire from summer racing! I'm trying not to dwell on this too much, because I am really thankful for the opportunity to compete in this event, and to take home the silver in my age group. I'm thankful my parents came to the race with me, and for the vacationing we got to do along with it. I'm thankful that my training for this race went so well, and that I'm 100% healthy. But this was sure a hit to my confidence! I also had to laugh about it; it was like my body said, "You think an 18:09 5k wasn't good enough, I'll show you a bad race!" Related note: my HR was higher during this 10k than it was during that 5k time trial, showing that I was right about that 5k effort being more like 10k-half effort. This race was a 10k effort, it just wasn't the pace or place I thought that effort would produce! But! During my final tune up workout 4 days before the race, one of my running buddies was on a recovery when I was running a rep, and said "Go, coach!" (I coach several of my training buddies), which was the perfect reminder mid-400 that THAT was really what it's all about. I love running and competing, but that is the selfish piece and surely not the primary reason God gave me a passion for running - though I believe He wants us to be happy, and running certainly makes me that way! I love coaching, cheering for, supporting, and pacing others in this sport, and I really feel in my element when I'm doing those things. I don't think I'll ever be anywhere near content with how this race went, but it doesn't change how much I love running and everything associated with it. Now, onto a 5k, a half, a road 10k, and 26.2 between now and October 3!
    4 points
  37. As usual the summer is racing on by with entirely inadequate time spent in the high country. The first trip of the year went up into the shadow of Mt Evans. I'd planned to drive up and hike down to the lakes until discovering the road is now reservation-only, go to recreation.gov several weeks in advance to make a booking. Good grief. So, it's five miles and 1600ft up and in, from the bottom parking lot. This was full by 7:30am on a Saturday. Made myself a parking spot in a pullout a couple hundred yards away, just a slightly longer run then. I say 'run', what this means is 'go as you please', run when I can, walk when the air gets too thin. Photo opportunities make a good excuse to stop and pant. As always it makes me wonder why I'm wasting my life in a city. Earning my daily crust and raising a family, comes the dutiful response. A bit under an hour for the four miles and 1500ft to the lower lake. Most of a mile and another few hundred feet to the upper lake. Down in Denver it was 95deg, up here at nearly 12 000ft a strong cold wind and 40s, with the sun glowing faintly through the haze. Changed out of the sweaty Tshirt into a dry one and a puffy down jacket, went looking for fish. Around to the inlet, still no fishes. No signs of life at all, no bugs, no weed in water, no rises, no shoreline cruisers. The snow looked good though. Back to the lower lake. Tried a side trail hoping to get to the inlet and got cliffed. Thickets of willow defend the lake. There were a few faint trails through them, most with big moose hoofprints and even some scat. Saw midges as soon as I neared the water under the cliff, as well as weed and other encouraging signs. Here there were fish, pretty cutthroat trout, some in spawning colors and some in ordinary. Last cast before the run out was a bright spawner. Legs aching at this point so I foresaw more of a walk than a run. It went OK though with a couple of stops, once to chat to a couple of climbers walking down with their giant bouldering pads. The climbers are often such nice kids, open faces and clear eyes. I tell you, kids today ! they are alright. Another stop to gawk at a huge moose taking his rest in the willowy creek. I tried a picture but it shows only trees, you'll have to take my word for it. Another good day though as my backpacking e-spirit guide wrote recently, in these hazy hot fiery days we do wonder each time if it's the last journey. Having thoughts of trying the Devil on the Divide 22k, climbs up to the Continental Divide trail, gets to 13 200ft, then rattles down to a parking lot on I-70. My competitive goal will be to not be last..
    4 points
  38. This is the hardest part. Where you're running enough to know you're running. But not enough to feel good about it. Not long enough or far enough to feel the high, or even feel comfortable. Then there's that nagging hamstring or tight calf that keeps you from pushing the pace at all. You know if you could spend some time at a higher effort, then the easy will actually feel easy. But you've at least learned that lesson, so you keep it slow, constantly monitoring that left leg for signs of distress. Next thing you know, you're in the last half mile and barely remember the run. Hardly had a chance to enjoy running. This is where the first time runner quits. How do runners do this and call it fun? This isn't any fun. At all. Third week of 20 miles per week. Planning 6 tomorrow. No, it isn't fun yet. But I've done this before and I know it's going to be. Although if I'm being honest, I admit I have to remind myself of that every morning, especially in that first mile, when the hammy is sketchiest and the right knee is still cranky. The thought of, "It will get better," alternates with, "I guess my running days are all behind me now." "Which marathon do I train for?" vs. "How do I replace my IRUN262 license plate?" But you keep getting up and getting out and putting in the miles. Even if the first one every day is slow and that knee stings at every step. Even if once or twice you pray for a red light so you can stretch the calf. Runner.
    4 points
  39. The short: I kept saying “it’s not a real race” before the Hospital Hill Half Marathon, but I am also well-aware that when I get into a race I will not run easy! Now, when it’s a sunny 74-80 degrees, the course is very hilly, I'm 3 weeks off a marathon, I am just off a rest phase, and I am 3 days off of a major vacation, that doesn't mean I am going to knock it out of the park, but I'll give it all I've got on the day. That is exactly what I did at Hospital Hill, and I was very happy with my result all-considering. I was first overall female in 1:25:27 and set a new women's course record (it's a relatively new course). I also had a ton of fun in the process; running a race with no time expectations can be very freeing! I came home with a great finishing banner, a lot of joy, and a tan. Overall female results are here. My activity on Strava is here - check out that split variation based on the elevation, hah! My dad's video of the start is here. My dad's video of me breaking the tape at the finish is here. I love when races have & let you keep these finishing banners! Athlinks says it was 87*...maybe in direct sun? The long: I had no desire to run Hospital Hill this year until my friend Andrew started talking about pacing their 1:25 pace group. We both thought that it was odd to offer a 1:25 group because anyone who could run that kind of time on that course in typical Missouri June weather probably didn't need any pacing assistance, and we also agreed that it would be about max for both of us to do it, but if we could get a free entry to pace then we should do it (follow this logic at all?). I knew I could combine the race with a work trip, and my niece's high school graduation ceremony was 36 hours before the race in the same town, so it seemed like a no-brainer that I'd run it if I had a free entry. Andrew ended up getting me that free entry, but with no pacing duties (the 1:25 group was axed), and although I briefly retracted my willingness to run it when we scheduled our family vacation right before the race, I felt fine enough when the time came so I lined up on race morning. Missouri summers are very humid, and I was not yet heat adapted, so I knew race day with temperatures starting at 74 degrees and quickly rising was going to be uncomfortable. The course is very hilly, including the infamous Hospital Hill climb, so I had zero expectations for time; I just wanted to work with Andrew and compete with the other women in the field. My friend Laura was running the race, and I suspected she'd be my main competition (she'd won the race several times before). I knew I'd have to have a good day to beat her, but also figured we could work together. I wasn't in the mindset to throw down an extremely hard effort, but I knew I would if that's what it took. I started off very conservatively, running easier than marathon effort for the first 5k, which included the 160ish ft Hospital Hill Climb. I was with Andrew, his friend Josh, my friend Laura, and a man who wanted to break 1:30. There were a couple of women ahead of us, and it was hard for me not to try to chase them down, but I kept it easy through the 5k then upped the effort a little, thinking, "it's just a 10 mile race". Laura and I moved into the top two female positions around mile 4, and our group of 4 (Andrew, Josh, Laura, me) stayed pretty close, although we approached hills a bit differently. I just aimed to maintain equal effort. I don't race by my watch anymore regardless, but this race is definitely not one to run by split times because the elevation varies so much. Our group chatted and laughed quite a bit and everyone seemed to be enjoying the race. Laura and I got a lot of "go ladies" cheers, and Josh kept chiming in, "and men!" after them. Andrew was very familiar with the course and kept narrating it for us, particularly emphasizing how sucky miles 11-12 were going to be. Josh, Andrew, me The saving grace on the hot sunny day was the amount of shade from large trees on the course. If it had all been in open sun I am pretty sure I would have died! I felt really good and like I was holding back, and around miles 7-8 I felt like others were easing off a little, so around mile 9 I started pushing more, then Josh and I gapped Andrew and Laura. I knew that miles 11-12 were all uphill, then the last mile was downhill, so I gave effort accordingly. I passed several men between mile 10 and the finish, which kept my momentum going. At mile 11 I was definitely ready to get to mile 12 and the downhill, and Josh told me that I had a significant lead so I didn't plan to hammer the end, but the downhill propelled me to a 5:58 final mile. I never felt like I was running that hard during the race, but the heat snuck up on me so I also don't think I could have run really any faster, so I'm glad I didn't try to early on (though mindset probably played into this)! Overall I felt strong but not sharp, which is what I'd expect based on where I'm at right now. Smiling as the announcer stated first female I had a lead cyclist with and around me from when Laura and I took the female lead to the end, and he was great. We kept joking with him that he had to make sure I didn't cut the course. As I was coming down the final stretch I saw him waving frantically at the finish line staff to hold up the overall female finishing banner. It's always so fun to break a tape; I did so with a huge smile on my face and I even remembered not to stop my watch until I was through the line and stopped. The only disadvantage to that was that I didn't capture how fast my finishing sprint was, but we all know I'm not setting any speed records in anything, so... My parents said they announced that I set the female course record (the course has been changed since they used to give prize money), but I haven't found anything official about that anywhere yet. I also completely forgot to pick up my overall award, but I'm pretty happy with the banner. Professional finishing photo sequence Post-finish photos from race officials After I finished some of the race staff took my photo, my parents took pictures, and a race official asked me about the event and how easy the course was to follow (answer: it was great, except the runners behind us who were going out when we were coming back moved over to the shorter route lane of the road, so we ran the longer route going both out and back, which added a little distance). I met back up with Josh and Andrew, who both finished right behind me. Andrew was pleased to hit the 1:25 goal - pre-race we'd hypothesized that 1:25 on that course in the heat was like 1:20 on a good course in good weather, then post-race he determined that temperature calculators like this one give us 14-18 seconds/mile, and the course (based on Strava GAP) gives us 4 seconds/mile, so our performance probably is equivalent to a 1:19-1:20. This premium Strava user finished not far behind me, so you can look at his grade adjusted paces. I have enjoyed running races that I know I won't run super fast in this season though! I love PR-chasing, but it's also a joy to just go compete and do my best given the conditions, without worrying about seconds here and there. I also seem to also be doing well on long races with climbs towards the end (e.g., every single race I have run in 2021 aside from the Squirrel 5k), although I will not select courses like this for PR-chasing. The last mile was nice! My parents took a bunch of pics with this banner while I ran my cool down Aren't they the cutest? This summer I will be doing a little less mileage and a little more speed work before transitioning into marathon training. Speed stuff is not my forte but it will be good for me, and I am hoping to challenge my 5k PR. My next long race (another half) will be August 28, which seems really far away even though it's not, so I'm extra glad I got this one in. I continue to be amazed at the blessings God gives me through running, especially considering that a year ago I was highly skeptical that I would ever run well again. That was probably dramatic, but us runners are likely to defer to that when off running or not performing well, so if you are in that situation, don't stop believing! That time period has made me far less obsessive about times and finding "perfect" races, so I imagine that was part of the blessing in disguise. I've loved every race I've run this year, but a few years ago I don't think I'd have selected any of them! I bought this great top for a 4th of July race, but since I'm not running one I decided to wear it for Hospital Hill!
    4 points
  40. The short: I won a half marathon and set the Oklahoma female masters state record! I had an amazing race trip with my friends! Runners are the best people ever! Everything is wonderful! I didn't run quite as fast as I'd have liked at T-Town, but 60 degrees in March is much warmer than 60 degrees in September. I was proud of my even pacing and solid performance running solo on a course with some tricky elevation. As per usual, I'd have preferred a 30-40 degree day, pacing partners, and an easy course, but given the circumstances I don't really think this could have gone any better. And, I got to break the tape! Oh, also I ran 10 miles after the race for a 25.7 mile day (and had the restraint not to run 0.5 mile farther). Official results are here, with my details here. My Strava activity is here. My dad's video of my finish is here. The long: I hadn't raced a half since White River in November 2019, so to say I was incredibly excited about this one is an understatement. After I raced the Cabin Fever 20k in February and my workout paces came down throughout February and March, my anticipation kept growing, and by race week I fully in race intoxication! Several members of my Miles from Mentor running group made the trip down to Tulsa, including Elise, Sean, Colin, Casey, Abby, and Brad, and my friend Andrew from Kansas City joined us in Oklahoma. Several members of the crew were PR ready, which was extra exciting for me because I've been writing training schedules for several of them this season (proud "coaching" moments!). I'm going to write a seperate post with trip stories, because the getaway was amazing and I kind of felt like I was in college again, including getting very little sleep on Friday night. Spring weather in the Midwest is pretty unpredictable but almost always windy, so leading up to the race I'd been worried we would have a 20+ mph headwind for half of the out-and-back course, since I'd had several recent workouts in high winds. I didn't think about it being warm since we'd still been having cool overnight lows and the race started at 7:30 a.m., but somehow race morning managed to be the highest overnight low of the year so far at around 60 degrees. 60 degrees feels much warmer the first time you run hard in it each season, and even when I am used to it I never run as well in it as I do at 30-45, so I just decided to be thankful it wasn't windy. I race by effort, and one of the many perks of changing to that approach has been that I don't have to think about how much to adjust my goal pace for weather conditions; actually I don't have to think about my goal pace at all, although based on my workouts I knew 6:00-6:10 should be where I was at on a good day. I warmed up with my friends then we lined up with some extra space and masks until the last minute due to COVID protocols. After the gun, Brad was quick to take the lead, a few other men were out fast, a woman in buns took off, and Colin was following. I settled into a comfortably hard pace with Andrew and had a pretty relaxed first couple of miles, although I told him I definitely wanted to chase down the woman ahead of us. We caught up with her around mile 2, which was also when we moved from the road onto a running/bike trail, and then she hung onto us for maybe a quarter mile after that before I took the female lead. I felt like I'd gone out conservatively and also felt very strong, so I was confident with leading. I was hoping that Andrew and I could work together for most of the race, but he didn't have a good day and fell back by mile 4 (based on his recent workouts I fully expected him to beat me, but he had a little illness that cost him a good race). I could see a man in black significantly ahead of me, but there were also a lot of non-racers on the trail and it was a little confusing; the trail split into two sides at parts, which I later learned were the bike portion and the run side, but I was unclear on where I should be so looked ahead to others. I think the race assumed most entrants were local and knew what they should be doing, but everyone in our Missouri group was confused; our trails are nowhere near that advanced, hah! Me and Andrew on the bike path I mostly just focused on maintaining my effort and running the tangents on the curvy path. I did the calculations and figured I'd see Brad about 0.25 from the turn around, so when he came back the other way I knew I was getting close. I then saw Colin in second and two more men before I came upon an aid station. There'd been one every couple of miles on the trail and this one was no different, so I thought the turn around must be a little farther up. After I'd run maybe 10 seconds past, the lady at the aid station started yelling at me to turn around at the table. I immediately turned back at that point, but I lost some time and nicely told her that she should let people know to turn around sooner since it wasn't marked (I later found out that she told Casey but Elise did exactly what I did). I grabbed a water bottle off the table to take with a gel. I usually don't take anything in halves, but since I was running so far on the day I knew I needed to stay on top of fueling, plus I always appreciate a mid-race caffeine boost. Once I turned around, the race became even more enjoyable. A cyclist with the race began riding with me as I navigated the "back" against the rest of the racers. I saw Andrew and encouraged him to come get me. I saw Casey in second female position not far behind. I saw Elise in fifth female rapidly gaining on fourth. I then saw the rest of the field at some point between miles 6.5 and about 10. So many people cheered for and encouraged me; it was amazing! I had a huge grin on my face, which I think then made more people yell "first female", "you're moving!", etc. Runners are really the most encouraging and supportive people on the earth. The race didn't have mile markers so each time I heard my watch beep I made sure to mentally note where I was at, and I was doing a countdown on miles left to 12 (because the final mile takes care of itself). I also budgeted my energy for the final 2.5 miles with a lot of climbing - it had been hard to enjoy the downhill at the beginning knowing I had to go back up it! This is not much elevation overall, but the way it was distributed was a bit of a trick Around mile 10 my lead cyclist handed me off to a police motorcycle escort. Once we got off the trail I was really thankful for him, because the course was kind of confusing and not well-marked (Casey actually got off the course at that point because no one directed her, although she ended up getting back on the course in a different spot that was a little longer). I was gaining on the man in front of me, and around mile 11.5 he turned around and asked my police escort where to go. Trying to catch him kept me pushing in the final couple of miles in spite of the hills, and grade-adjusted the final mile was my fastest of the race. Toward the end I continued to feel really strong, but not necessary speedy, which is unsurprising given I've been doing strength-based training and high mileage (that I probably didn't cut back as much as I should have for this race - it was a 90 mile week). Police motorcycle escort (lights were flashing but you can't tell here) Coming down the finishing stretch with the motorcycle was fun, and as I got closer I saw a finishing ribbon held out for me to "break", which was great! The announcer said my name, town, and overall female place while I raised my arms through the tape with a huge smile on my face. I also saw 1:21 on the clock, which I was pleased with on the day. Before the race I'd predicted 1:19-1:21 as my range, although if I'd have known how warm it was going to be I'd have changed that to 1:21-1:23. Finish! I smiled for some photos, found friends, changed shoes, and grabbed a lot of nutrition to tackle 10 more miles for the day (I've been calling it a "10 mile cool down", but that is a bit of a misnomer). Colin is also 50k training and was in for the extra 10, Abby made the trip with us in order to visit and cheer so did this for her main run, and my friend Liz who lives in Tulsa joined us as part of her long run. I wasn't quite sure how the extra distance would go, but I'd learned from my Cabin Fever cool down bonk that I needed a lot of nutrition so I felt like I was eating much of the run but that definitely helped (2 gels, a bottle of UCAN, a pack of chews). I could have used more water and thought the fountains on the trail would work to refill the small bottle I had, but they were turned off (thanks, COVID). I actually only needed 9.3 miles to hit 25 total, but Colin hadn't warmed up quite as long as I had and I felt great so I ran until he hit 25. I was then of course tempted to just go to 26.2 since I was a half mile away, but there really wasn't any reason to. Amazing crew All in all, it was a wonderful experience. My friends are amazing, and my race was my best on the day. I'm proud of my 25.7 mile day and of my even pacing. Everyone in the group was 2-4 minutes off the times expected, which I didn't like for anyone but made me feel like I'd have definitely run faster in different weather, since I'm 100% sure they all have faster times in them right now. Finish times with predicted times in ( 😞 Brad was 1st overall male in 1:15 (1:12), Colin was 3rd overall male in 1:20 (1:17), Andrew won his age group with 1:24 (1:19), Casey was 2nd overall female in 1:27/really 1:26 (1:23), and Elise won her age group with 1:34 (1:31) - Sean was a bit injured so was more off but it was for a different reason. I've been very guilty of chasing the perfect race and being unsatisfied with anything less, but I think I'm finally learning that I can be very happy with my race AND know that I have a faster one in me. I also appreciate the running community more than words can express. Miles from Mentor group (minus Brad) The masters state record was a wonderful surprise, because it wasn't even on my radar...I kind of think I'm still 29, bahaha! The man in charge of maintaining the records said they are working on updating the website - link coming soon - but he sent me the files of the records for age groups. Masters is 40+, so I'm including applicable age groups here - Joan Benoit Samuelson actually had the record at 1:21:57 before me, so it's sure a good thing that I didn't run any farther past that turn around! This is definitely the first time I've broken a record held by a marathon Olympic gold medalist (1984 marathon), although her 1:21 at age 51 is astronomically more impressive. In regards to my pacing, Strava doesn't do grade-adjusted pace on free accounts any more, but my latest hack has been looking at the race on someone else's paid account and converting my own mile paces to GAP. It takes a little effort, but it's worth my monthly Strava savings considering that's the only paid account feature I want. Here are my splits: I could use a little work on miles 10-11 I am so thankful for the joy God brings me through the running community and racing. And now I have a half master's PR to beat!
    4 points
  41. The short: I ran a 5k, you know, because those fit so well with half marathon and 50k training. I actually did it for $100 cash and a cute porcelain squirrel trophy, although driving to the race in the pouring rain I had second thoughts. Luckily it was 50 degrees so being soaked wasn't torturous, and I was able to win overall female for said cash and squirrel, with an 18:36 via splits of 5:57, 6:03, 5:57 (5:26 final 0.12). I then ran the course again at marathon effort (6:28 average) and an 8.2 mile cool down, which along with a 3.4 mile warm up gave me a 17.7 mile long run. My race on Strava is here. I loved this prop! The long: Things that will get me to race a 5k: Prize money The ability to make the race part of a long run workout Porcelain squirrel trophies Running of the Squirrels on March 13 had all of the above, so I was in! What I wasn't in for was the very rainy race morning, but I'd pre-registered so what was I to do but still run it? Plus my running group canceled their run that morning due to heavy rain... I was excited for this race (because, a race!!), but I wasn't sure how much pep my legs would have with the miles they had on them; 2 days before the race my rolling 7 day mileage was 102 and the day before it was 97 (I was also coming off 3 days of work travel). I only ran 4 miles plus strides the day before the race, so that had to help some but this obviously wasn't a goal race (because, 5k!) and I did not anticipate that it would be competitive (because, small town Missouri). My plan was just to run by effort and go for the win, and I also hoped I didn't have to go too deep since I wanted to get in many more miles after the race. It rained for over 24 hours straight before the race, and the hourly forecast showed 100% chance of rain each hour all race morning, so I knew there was no hope of staying dry but when Colin, Derek, and I ran the course for a warm up I also realized we were going to be running through a lot of standing water! It turns out that Marionville doesn't have the best drainage... But, the rain stayed moderate (not heavy) while we were running, and it was 50 degrees so it could have been much worse! We also saw a real white squirrel during our warm up. After our warm up, some drills, and strides, we lined up in a pretty small field. I think the rain scared a lot of people away, because the last time I ran this race it was much bigger. After the gun, 6 men took off ahead of me, and I settled into pace and began working on closing the gap to the closest. I focused on giving a good effort for 3.1 miles, but leaving a little in the tank because I wanted to finish the rest of my running for the day without dying. As is typical when I'm running high mileage, I felt strong but not fast. I'd passed half of the men by the mile mark, and the next was fading so I focused on working up to him, which I did around halfway. I then worked on reeling the second place male in, and I gained a lot of ground but ran out of time and he finished about 15 seconds in front of me (he had been with my running buddy Colin at the mile in 5:30ish). After I finished and looked at my splits, and I was really happy to see how well I paced. I have learned that I typically do best when I don't look at my watch during races, and this race was no different. Pre-race I thought I was in shape to run about 5:50 pace for a 5k, and I still think I am but I need no rain or water crossings to do it. 🙂 I am not quite in shape to break 18 right now, but I am also doing primarily strength-based training (tempos, hills, progressions - not straight speed), so I'm happy that I can run sub-6:00 in sub-par conditions. My PR was 18:25 for a very long time, which also gives me perspective here. Splits I cheered a few friends in after I finished, then changed my shoes and Colin and I were off for another loop of the course at marathon effort. I was aiming to run 6:25, and we averaged 6:28 via 6:26, 6:40, 6:20...I felt good but just lost focus and talked too much during mile 2. We then went to check on the awards, which of course were supposed to start "any moment" but took 20 minutes to begin and then started with 10 and under, so we stood around waiting for longer than I'd have liked for our overall awards that were presented last. I was also freezing since I was in soaking wet clothes! Colin was first male overall & Derek first masters male! Not my best photography, but good race stuff You can kind of tell how soaked I was here Professional race photo, hah After getting a $100 bills and porcelain squirrels, Colin and I were off for 7.5-8 more miles that ended up being 8.2 and giving me 17.7 for the day (I was planning 17 so this was real close). Those miles started draggy and slow (8:43 first), but after warming back up we were back to 7:30ish. It rained the entire cool down too, so I got in a lot of very wet miles! I wore 3 different shirts and 3 pairs of shoes during the course of the event, and my car's hatchback was filled with wet apparel by the end of it all. I'm happy to report I had no chafing or blisters, which was perhaps the biggest victory of the day! I'm thankful to be back to racing, even 5ks (which we all know are not my forte)! I ran this race in 2015 so now I have two porcelain squirrels, and Albani says I need to get a papa squirrel next year! They're so cute!
    4 points
  42. Patrick’s Day 5k RR I was very tempted to give this a Friends style title “The One Where…" but it would give away the best part of the story so you’ll just have to read Last year this was the first local race cancelled, just 3 days out. Normally this is a 5 mile race held in downtown St. Louis, but this year it was shortened to a 5k and held at Forest Park. I had not signed up for the race last year because I felt like it was too close to the Asheville Marathon. This year it was set up to run in spaced out waves of no more than 50 runners every 15 minutes from 8am to 10am. Within each wave they started two people every 10-20 seconds. They were not time based (any pace could sign up for any wave). I was in the second wave. I really am not feeling speedy right now, and 5ks are not my strongest distance anyway, but it was nice to have another opportunity to race in person, and it was time I tried a 5k again. My goal was under 28 minutes. I lined up when they told us to, and was in about the 10th pair of runners to start. The start was downhill and I felt pretty good, but the 5k burn set in quickly. The race started at the upper Muny parking lot, and then went down and back up again toward the Jewel Box on an out and back. I was gradually passing people who had started ahead of me. After the out and back we ran along the upper ball fields which have recently be redone, and have a really nice year-round bathroom but there was no stopping today! I continued to pass people one or two at a time – which surprised me a little since we started so spread out, but I wasn’t complaining. My pace wasn’t great for me, I already knew I was going to be way off my PR (26:36) and that going under 28 was still possible but going to be really close at best. We did another out and back toward the Science Center and I passed a pair of walkers (from the first wave, maybe?) and after that I could only see one more pair of runners in front of me. I was pretty far back but slowly closing the distance. Just after mile 2 I was able to pass them, and I found myself in a position that has never happened to me in a 5k, there was absolutely no one in front of me anywhere in sight. (It has happened in a couple of smaller marathons where at my pace it gets very spread out, which was unnerving in South Dakota, when the gravel rails to trails trail was under construction and I wasn’t even sure where the course went…) This time the route was well enough marked I was confident I was in the right place, but it also felt much more like…actually leading a race. For someone who was running around a 9mm and knew it, it was very weird. And it got weirder…as I passed around the 2.5 mile mark the course turned and there were two course marshals sitting there, one of them on one of those little mini-bikes the Shriner’s use in parades (I think he probably was a Shriner, it looked like he was wearing one of their “Police” costumes they use in parades sometimes). He started up his mini-bike and…became my lead vehicle! And it wasn’t just because he decided he wanted to move to another spot to course marshal – he actually looked back and drove at my pace in front of me until I made the turn for the finish. As I turned for the finish the course went back uphill (it’s the “Upper” Muny Parking lot for a reason) I heard someone running behind me. I thought, poop, this person is going to be the only person (I think) to pass me this whole race and they are going to do it at the finish. I didn’t have enough in me to speed up, and sure enough, just before we got the finishing chutes, they guy ran past me, very casually, he didn’t even seem to be running that hard. I finished in 28:02. JUST missed my goal…it was that uphill finish (and possibly having no one to chase for over half a mile). I was 26th in my AG. 10 year AGs, but of the top 3 women ALL of them were 30-39. Of the top 6, 5 were 30-39. So it was a weird but fun race. And really nice to do a real race again. To round out my miles for the day I ran a 2 mile cool down. I also ran almost 3 miles as warm up to get almost 8 for the day. Still a cutback week, but I was as tired after those miles as the 12 the week before.
    4 points
  43. ...you'll be very disappointed today. I skipped my long run last weekend because I fell asleep in the afternoon and felt all groggy when I woke up until it was later than I wanted to go. And by "go" I mean get on the treadmill and run for an hour and a half. Mrs. Dave and I spent the early part of the day looking at Home Depot and Menard's for vinyl plank to re-do the entry, main hall and kitchen floors. Not really in love with any of what we found. Next stage is to visit some flooring stores in town. We're the worst at deciding things like colors and styles and whatever, but we don't have enough money to pay someone else to do it. Then we helped move a woman from church move apartments. She's a senior, mentally challenged but fairly independent. The move was just across the parking lot, but it was the work of 4 hours with ab half dozen or so people. When we had gotten the washer and dryer moved, we then had to re-connect the gas dryer in the new place. Except the exhaust was vented in a different location, so we had to do some routing changes to set it up. The pipe from the ceiling came through directly above where the washer hook-ups were instead of over the dryer location. Quick trip to the hardware store for 4 feet of conduit and to the house for my drill and some other supplies. It did spare me helping move the heaviest furniture. Win. Anyway, by the time we were done, being an old guy now, I needed a short break before I felt like tackling a 10-miler. Trouble was, the 15 minutes I had planned turned into 90 minutes and it just takes too long to wake up after an hour and a half nap. So I called it a cross training day and we had dinner. Still, 20 miles for the week, and it looks like we're getting a thaw for the next several days, so I'll be outside again this week. Marathon plans: No real plans yet, but there is a strategy. There are a few races that are going to happen later in the spring (or so it seems from a quick check of FindMyMarathon). Going to have to wait until after the wedding, so I'm thinking first or second week of June. Going to be warmer than I like for a marathon, but whatever. This isn't a BQ-chasing year, so I'm not over-stressing on any training. Just going to out in some miles and run a marathon or two or three in 2021. Got results back from my recent convalescent plasma donation to the Red Cross. Still positive for anti-bodies. So someone in need will get them, and it means I still have them after almost ten months post-covid. Now if my running energy would return to 100%, that'd be great.
    4 points
  44. New try with Brooks – Ravenna - half a size up. I like a little support. Helps to prevent rolling ankles, which I tend to do more often than I should. It hurts. These were a little less loud fun in color - blue and an orangey-pink. Insert right foot – feels pretty good! Insert left foot – feels pretty good too! Now for a test run. Out with DH, so a nice short jaunt for a test drive. Everything is comfortable, this is good, not AMAZING, but good! Uh oh. Is my heel slipping? I think my heel is slipping. Hmmm. 1 mile down. 0.5 to go, everything feels good again. Yay! I think, I will have to test them again. Or Not. Something about shopping with another runner (my mom) at a shoe store. We went to the LRS where I could return my online purchase and try some things on in store first thing at opening to avoid as many people as possible. Not sure why I wanted Brooks to work so much, but since I was there, I tried on a few New Balance (the brand of my racing shoes) and everything felt better than Brooks for me! I tend to be in between sizes in Brooks and Nike (I know this, but still try them every so often). Good thing I brought the Ravennas with me (to show my mom the color), back they went! Years ago, I had found THE shoes – Brooks Pureflows – they made me feel fast (and seemed to help me run a little faster too). Nothing has been close to how they felt. The shoes I race in (New Balance Rebel are as close as anything has been) and the NB Beacon 3 are even closer. Yay!! After a few runs these feel great, not absolutely perfect, but the best I’ve had in a long time! The best thing- I am excited to run in them again! I’m saving them for days I want to go slightly harder for that little bit of extra motivation! At Applepie's request - I will try to add some shoe porn soon!
    4 points
  45. . weird. my dress shoes fit exactly the same. maybe the problem is with your dresses.
    4 points
  46. Forgot to mention that I was leaving town last week. Not my idea. Mrs. Dave and T-Rex were worried about her getting the semester started and wanted me on hand just in case. I'm conflicted. While the work from home gig makes it 100% seamless to transfer from my dining room to my Dad's basement in Idaho, I prefer my own set up. The bathroom is a few steps closer and I have a much better view at the trees through the window. Worse was probably that the old TV serves as my second monitor. I worked Friday with just the laptop and I was less of a fan than I even thought I'd be. Fortunately the future SIL had an extra HDMI cable at his apartment and Dad had a TV in the basement that he doesn't use. So, except for the view things are OK now. I do miss being able to pop into the kitchen four steps away for a snack whenever I feel like it. There has been one "just in case" incident. The day after T-Rex got here she complained about a clunking noise from Cosmo (her car). Clunking noises are rarely good in the automotive world. This one was from somewhere in the front end. Had my brother give it a quick look and he didn't see anything serious, but I took a look myself on Saturday. The noise had stopped, so she likely had a rock or chunk of ice get caught up in the wheel for a few miles. I noticed that my repair on her sun visor wasn't holding up well, so I fixed that, although I didn't like the way it turned out. A replacement on the old machine from the interweb was anywhere from $40-150. Then I thought I'd try a salvage yard. The first one wanted $30, but the second one only $5. Well within budget. Honda uses pretty 2 colors for their interiors - tan and gray. If I was lucky, I'd find one in tan, if not, gray would look at least as good as the black I'd used for the repair I'd done last summer. Armed with a couple of screwdrivers and pliers, I wandered through the yard, looking for the six 2001-05 Civics they had. #3 had a couple that were in good shape, but in gray. So I kept looking at all the others, hoping for the tan which would give Cosmo an original look. No luck on that, in fact the others were either gone or looked nastier than the one I was trying to replace. So I went back to #3 and took both driver and passenger side - $10.58, including tax. At least they matched each other. I have two brothers who live in/near Rexburg, and one of them has a big garage and a bucket load of tools. Not that I'd need any for what I had planned. At this point it seemed wise to take advantage of the facilities and have a closer look for the source of the mystery clunk. Didn't find anything that would clunk, but did see that she needed new front brakes. That took a trip to O'Reilly's, $30 and 20 more minutes. Guess it was a good thing I came out here. Sure, the bros could have changed her brakes, but this way I'm the hero dad and I could use the street cred. Checked on the weather for eastern Idaho before I left and most days were forecast to have highs in the low to mid 20s. With snow on the ground and not much in the way of sidewalk where I usually run when I'm up here, I was a little reluctant to plan any mileage for the week. Plus there was a space issue with my single carry on. Since I'm not training, I figured I'd just take the week off. I did get 3 runs last week before I left MI. And there's the running part of this post. I'm conflicted just being here. I see the Covid numbers around the country climbing and climbing and wonder why no one seems to care unless they work in healthcare or have a close family member who died or is dying from it. So many pictures of people who gathered with family for Christmas and New Year's, took trips to Mexico or the Carribean or wherever. I still have antibodies from my own bout last spring, so I'm reasonably confident that I'm both safe and not likely to be spreading anything, but I sort of feel hypocritical, judging everyone else for what seems like cavalier behavior relative to the pandemic. Funny, I had just mentioned Wednesday morning to a friend that every time I felt like things couldn't get any worse, something else happened. By Wednesday afternoon it wasn't funny anymore. God help us.
    4 points
  47. Let's leave things as they are until life returns. Keep posting. Thanks all.
    4 points
  48. This past Sunday, Oct 25th I ran the Blarney Stone & Screaming Banshee Mashup Half Marathon which was a reschedule of the Blarney Stone Half Marathon that was cancelled in the Spring and combining it with the Screaming Banshee Half Marathon scheduled for Oct 25th. 3 friends and I from our running group had originally signed up for the spring Blarney Stone Half. The race had 3 start windows; 9-9:40am, 9:40-10:20am for the Half Marathon/10K/5K and an additional start window of 10:20-11am for the 10K and 5K. We had go online and enter our name on one of the start window tabs of a Google spreadsheet a week before the race or be randomly assigned to a start window. There was also a tab to sign up as a virtual participant. Due to health restrictions there was no packet pickup, no bibs, and you were to self report your time when you finished, or you could check in with a race official just to before your start and at the finish and they would record your start and finish times. The race took place in Pottersville, MI which is a little south of Lansing, about 1 and half hour drive from our homes in Metro Detroit. We all signed up for the 9:40-10:20am start window with 3 of us running the half marathon, and one (who had knee surgery this summer) running the 10K. We decided to meet at one runner's house at 8:30am Sunday morning. We caravanned with each of us driving solo up to the race. Sunday morning traffic was light and with one bathroom stop we arrived at the start area in a park a little after 10am. I had been gradually increasing my mileage after recovering from a hip injury/strain, running 4x per week including 10 miles on Saturday for the previous 3 weeks, averaging 20-25 miles/week. I have been running most of my runs easily, with 3-5 pickups during my runs to incorporate a little speed work, averaging 9-10 minutes per mile. My hope was to break 2 hours for the Half, averaging 9 minute miles. I decided to run this race based on effort and not look at my watch until I finished. The half marathon is probably my favorite race distance as I find I usually can maintain a consistent pace and can recover a lot more quickly than after a marathon. At the start of the race the temperature was in the upper 30s with partly sunny skies, I was running in shorts and long sleeve zip top, and had consumed a gel just before the start. Our group of four runner started running on a mostly flat dirt and gravel road around a lake for the first mile. I quickly went ahead of my friends but was then passed by one of them (who is usually a little faster than me) at about the 1 mile mark, 9:04 for the first mile and establishing an effort-level that I hope to maintain for the rest of the half. The second mile took us onto the side of the main highway, up a hill and into the small town of Potterville; 9:05 for the second mile. The third mile took us through town and up a hill over railroad tracks and onto a asphalt path with rolling hills into a subdivision where a young lady in a red long sleeve top and shorts shot pass me (I later learned ran under 1:40 for the half). I ran 8:46 for the third mile. The fourth mile took us out of the subdivision onto a two lane paved road with a mostly downhill grade; 8:46 for mile 4. The fifth mile was mostly a long uphill grade that felt a little grueling, especially watching other runners coasting down the other side of the road; mile 5 in 8:51. Mile 6 started off flat with the turn-around and water station at about 6.5 miles. Water and Gatorade were available in 8 oz bottles. I gratefully grabbed a bottle of water at the turn-around and headed back now on the downhill grade,recovering from the long uphill and sipping water; mile 6 in 9:10. Mile 7 was mostly downhill and I opened a gel and gradually consumed it; mile 7 in 9:01. Mile 8 was a gradual uphill. I felt I was maintaining a consistent effort; 8:59 for mile 8. Mile 9 took us into a park initially on a dirt road. I was a little uncertain about where to go after the dirt road and ended up cutting off a little bit off the route before I found the marked grass path that went around a lake. It was then back on a dirt road out of the park and onto the two-way paved road; mile 9 for 9:19. Mile 10 took us uphill on the two-lane road and back into the subdivision road with some rolling hills, mile 10 in 9:14 and only about a 5K to the finish (yeah!). Mile 11 continued through the subdivision road and onto the mostly uphill asphalt path; 9:13 for mile 11. I still felt I was maintaining a consistent effort although I was focusing more to maintain it. Mile 12 took us up some hills, back up the bridge over the railroad tracks and into town; 8:54 for mile 12. The last mile took us through town to a asphalt bike path that entered the back of the park (where we started) and onto the dirt gravel road. I passed a few people and could see my running buddy (he had passed me earlier) but he is too far ahead for me catch him. I finished the race about 25 seconds behind him in 1:56:53 with 13.01 miles on my watch, averaging 8:59/mile, and with mile 13 in 8:27. I feel tired, but good with a little soreness in my left foot. Our other friend who ran the 10K greeted us at the finish and I gave my finish time to the race official, got a food bag, and shirt. Another friend who was using the run/walk method of 4 minutes running followed by 1 minute walking finished about 15 minutes later in 2:11:27. He and another friend had run a marathon virtually the previous weekend using the same run/walk method finishing in 4:25. It felt really good to get out and race, pushing myself for the first time in a long time, and be to able to maintain a fairly consistent effort and finish strong.
    4 points
  49. Woke up this morning, determined to be more diligent in my efforts to fix this Achilles. Did a little more stretching while we were in Idaho for the wedding. Twice a day most days. Didn't see see much improvement, and of course getting more and more discouraged. Knowing that I'm going to need a new pair of shoes when I (hopefully) start again. Not even going to complain about starting from ground zero. Running is running, after all. But what's the point of spending $100+ on running shoes if I can't run? We had a really tight connection in Houston on the flight home. Walking quickly down the concourse was pretty painful. No chance of running even a few steps. I'll never run again. That was the thought, anyway. Can't seem to help that my mind goes there all the time. This morning, I thought (like most days) I really needed to stretch more, maybe suck it up and get some PT, do the cross massaging, etc. Reached down to do a little pull .... nothing. No pain, no tightness, no sore spot. Nada. I'll be using my old Hokas for the first week, then ordering a new pair if all goes well. Still plenty of time for a fall marathon. Ready to paint the baseboard trim. Then I can install it and the floor project will be officially done. Next up will be a new light for the front lawn. We have no street lights in the neighborhood, so these are important. Our old gas one gave out long ago and I've had a solar powered one for several years. But it's old tech and our front lawn gets almost no sun since we have a huge maple next to the street. Not much light. So it'll get an upgrade to a wired fixture, which will involve digging a small trench to bury an electrical line to the post. Got those crazy kids married last weekend.
    3 points
  50. Then I'll write about something else. (let me know if you can see the pics now) Went for my annual physical last Friday. As usual, it was a ho hum affair. Fortunately, because of covid (I think) there was no rectal prostate exam. And since I'm still active for a guy "my age", the fact that I'm not on any medications, my blood pressure and HR are optimal, and my cholesterol and other heart disease indicators are excellent, he didn't have much to say. Until the blood test results came back. The last couple of years my blood sugar numbers have been slowly rising. This time I finally hit the threshold for diabetes. Yes, I am a diabetic. At the low end still, but solidly in there. He didn't prescribe any medication or say I have to monitor my sugar levels every day (although Mrs. Dave thinks that might be a good idea), but the days of pretty much ignoring what I eat are behind me now. I have another couple of tests to do to set baseline numbers for the future. Consult with an ophthalmologist to make sure the extra sugar in my system isn't going to give me glaucoma or make me blind. Check for kidney disease because excess sugar is hard on the kidneys. How did this happen? No clue. Doc has no clue. Waiting on some more results to indicate if my cells are resisting insulin or if my pancreas isn't putting enough out there to do the job. The Achilles is feeling better after a week off, but I can't call it 100%. Anyway, I'm going to wait until I get the floor finished before I take time to run again (more on that in a minute). Maybe the time off will be good anyway. Don't think I was over training with the piddly mileage I was doing. Sure hate missing the best spring weather. Not happy at all with the new shoes I got when my Rincon's mileaged out at 600 miles, the most I've gotten on a pair of shoes in a long time. I went back to my old standby Cumulus. But they felt stiff and hard and heavy. After just 60 miles, at the end of another of those crappy 4-milers I'd been doing, the Achilles just said, "Nope." Another reason besides the floor I'm not running right now. Drove into Detroit on Tuesday for my first Pfizer vaccine. Arm hurt yesterday. To be honest, almost everything hurt yesterday. I've been thinking about the floor for the last two weeks and worrying that I'm screwing it up and will find out when they come to install the new one and it's going to cost me thousands of dollars and another month to get it finished. Woke up Tuesday and Wednesday morning unable to go back to sleep so I got up and worked on the floor before work. Then we got on the plane and the seats were less than comfortable. By the time we arrived in Idaho Falls, I was in some serious pain and tired from being up for 20 hours, 3 of it cutting and screwing plywood, and 8-1/2 hours in airports and airplanes. I'd have slept in this morning except I'm working from here and the 2 hours time difference meant I had to get up at 4:30 am to synch up with my meetings in the east. Nap today? Hope so. Enough whining about that. Let's talk floor. After two weeks, I'm nearing completion of my commitment to have the floors ready for the vinyl plank installers. They actually wanted to come this weekend, but we're in Idaho, so... Two and even three layers of subfloor (depending on the room), three to five layers of linoleum sheets and/or tile squares, toilet and vanity - all gone. There's a big nasty pile of refuse on my back patio I have to figure out how to get rid of soon. Moved the washer and dryer twice - once for removal and again to install the first layer of plywood. Did I mention that the final layer I had to take out was 3/4" plywood fastened with 12D nails every 4-6 inches? I ruined my shingle scraper and had to borrow another one from a friend. Also borrowed a couple of large prybars. Even with all the leveraging tools, I still had to cut the sheets into smaller pieces on the floor and then crank with all my might to get them up. The kitchen cabinets from the previous owners' remodeling were placed directly on top of the first subfloor and tile. That tile was then overlaid with some 1/4" plywood attached with 1" staples every 2-4 inches. Literally hundreds of staples that tore through the thin wood when it was pulled up. And since we aren't remodeling the kitchen this year (or ever), I had to trim the plywood (and 2 layers of tile) up to the edge of the cabinets. That called for a new multi-tool from Home Depot. At least they had one that used the same batteries as my drill. It was slow work, so I borrowed a grinding tool from my friend with the prybars and bought a framing blade. That at least made short work of the trimming. Underneath those final two layers of tile and 3/4" plywood was, of course, the original floor decking on top of the floor joists. Fifty year old, not very good quality, 1/2" plywood. There were a few spots that were spongey and a couple that showed a clear view of the basement. Let me pause here to mention another disaster we can blame on covid-19. Anyone check the price of 3/4" plywood (actually, any type of wood product) in the last year? Before covid shut down construction and everyone and their dog started doing at home projects, 3/4" plywood was $15-20 for a 4 x 8 sheet. It's $45-50 today. Since I had committed to have the floor install ready, I was on the hook for 400+ square feet of 3/4" plywood. You can do the math or just believe me that it's $650-700. Instead of closing my eyes and just throwing my wallet at Home Depot, I found a guy who sold recycled plywood. He gets it from shipping companies that use it once to separate freight once, then toss them. They were not full sheets and only 1/2" thick, but with all the corners I would have to cut around doors, closets and whatever, that didn't matter much. $180 to replace the worst of the base layer and cover the rest of the floor. Then I found regular 1/4" underlayment for another $150, making my new base the 3/4" I needed to get my floor up to the level of the cabinets. Had a little mishap when the refrigerator fell over when we were moving it from the kitchen into the family room. One of the hinges bent a little, but I was able to bent it back and nothing inside was broken. Thank goodness for tempered glass. I'm about a third of the way finished with the final layer and the new floor is scheduled for next Friday. They wanted to come this weekend, but since I'm out of town (and not ready anyway), that works out perfectly. How about some pics? First, the top layer that we've lived with since 1998. There some of the layers underneath and a sample of what the very first floor looked like. Look at those nails! Finally got it all up. We never liked this half wall between the kitchen and family room. Gone! I wasn't lying when I said we could see into the basement. There were some scary moments at this point, feeling like we might fall through if we stepped in the wrong place. I added some cross bracing in a couple of spots between the joists. First new layer down. I'll post some more when I finish the second layer and then when we have a new floor.
    3 points
×
×
  • Create New...