“At first an ordeal and then an accomplishment, the daily run becomes a staple, like bread, or wine, a fine marriage, or air. It is also a free pass to friendship.”
~ Benjamin Cheever, Strides

Monday, December 17, 2012

Santa Hustle Recap

Race: Santa Hustle Half Marathon Cedar Pointe
Distance:  13.1 Miles
Date:  December 16, 2012, 9 am start
Finish time:  2:03:10, 9:26 min/mile*
What sets this race apart:  All the Santas, cookie stations 

*Official Stats.  
**Garmin distance and time: 12.88 miles, 2:03:11, 9:34 min/mile avg.

What a fun race and travel experience!  Drove up with Lynne, Laurie, and Leah on Saturday to make it in time for packet pick-up.  No picture of the goody bag because it would basically be a picture of an empty bag.  We got the shirts, but they were out of Santa hats and beards.  We did wind up scoring hats a bit later.
Lynne and I shmoozed with Snoopy during room check-in.
Then we met Melissa and Lynde at Olive Garden for a fun group pre-race meal.  We stopped at Meijer on the way back to the hotel for some pre-race essentials....Reese's Peanut Butter Trees, Brach's jelly bells and some milk for my granola cereal.

We chatted for a bit before bed.  The race started at the doorstep of our hotel, so there was no need to wake up extra early.  It was super nice.  We leisurely ate our pre-packed breakfasts, to which I added a Reese's Tree.  Best. Decision. Ever!  We got to do all our pre-race peeing in our hotel rooms with flush toilets and left our hotel room 15 minutes before the race start.  Awesome!

We still had time to pose for pictures with the Reindeer and with the rest of the gang before the start.
Leah, Laurie, Me and Lynne with the giant inflatable Reindeer.
Leah, Me, Laurie, Lynde, Lynne and Melissa in the starting corral
Lynne and I had decided pre-race to stay together for the first mile or so.  At the start we got caught up in the crowd and varied between 9:30 and 9:45 pace for the first mile, which was about a minute faster than we'd intended.  We both stripped and threw our Santa hats within the first half mile.  We both stripped off the Santa shirt within the first couple miles.  I wound up running this race in compression shorts and a short sleeve shirt.  In mid December.  In Ohio.  On Lake Erie.  Craziness!

Lynne and I stayed together for the first 6 miles.  We stayed round a 9:50 min/mile avg, and that was with me constantly trying to slow us down to match the original plan.  At the mile 6 aide station, Lynne said she needed to stop to switch shirts (she was wearing a turtleneck) and told me to keep going.  I intended to stay slower so that Lynne could catch up after stripping, but this is where I clocked my first 9:09 min/mile.  From there I tried to continue to hold back a bit, but still began stretching my legs a bit more.  I had to slow down because of course conditions a couple of times.  The first time was in a section of sand-covered path and a dirt road.  The second time was when I hit the 17mph headwinds about 4 miles from the end.

Regardless, splits were awesome.  For the first time EVER in a half marathon, I ran the second half of the race faster than the first half.  It only took me 6 half marathons to get that right!  HA!

Mile 1: 9:43
Mile 2: 9:48
Mile 3: 9:49
Mile 4: 9:51
Mile 5: 10:08
Mile 6: 9:46
Mile 7: 9:09
Mile 8: 9:23
Mile 9: 9:35
Mile 10: 9:09
Mile 11: 9:15
Mile 12: 9:33
Mile 13: 9:05
Of course, we had to pose with Santa post-race!
Best comment during the race - in the 10th mile, a couple of guys just in front of me accused me of drafting on them from the crazy headwinds.  HA!  So, naturally, after laughing, I told them I'd take the lead spot for a bit, and left them in my dust.  :D

My A goal for this race in the middle of Goofy training was to finish under 2:15.  I smashed it!!!  Not only that, but I still felt great afterwards.  I have all kinds of new goals for Spring races now.  LOL!  To top it off, my husband's PR is 2:09.  Not that we are competitive or anything.  Muwahaha.

Weather was fantastic.  Running without crowds or signs actually wasn't a big deal.  Running through the amusement park with all the twists and turns actually kept things interesting.
We also had to pose with Snoopy post-race.
This was a Half Marathon PR by 23 minutes and 38 seconds.  Even with the 0.2 miles the course was arguably short, this would still have been a massive PR.  I'm still a bit giddy about it actually.

More fun stats: 324th out of 1069 overall, 19th out 62 in my age group!  Best ever in a half marathon effort!

I'm also ready to put a sub-2 hour half marathon on my goal list for 2013.  Is that completely insane?

Anyone else race this past weekend?

Have you ever run a holiday gimmick race that you're SUPPOSED to wear the race shirt for the race?

Would you have kept the Santa hat on?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Awesome Confusion

I have come to the conclusion that my child will some day have a very difficult time with the true meaning of the word awesome.  Either that, or she will have an excellent understanding of sarcasm.

Lately, whenever she does the kinds of things that just make you want to give up the mother of the year awards, I simply say "Awesome."  

For example, in context.

Yesterday, Avery crawled through the cat gate in the laundry...
Taken after the fact - she's too quick through the gate
...so that she could open the dog food storage container...
Nothing to see here...
...and chow down on some delicious Eukanuba Senior Large Breed dog food.
I'm carb loading Mommy.

While I was doing some dishes, Avery used her now-patented climb on the chair to get access to the things on the kitchen table method to grab my fuel belt.  She began drinking the water in the water bottles.  I saw no problem with that, and continued doing dishes. Amateur.  

Next thing I knew, she was having oh so much fun with water.  
If I fill up these bowls, I can play some awesome splashing games.

While I was prepping dinner, Avery decided to be helpful and CLIMB INSIDE the measuring cup drawer.  
Just making sure you don't use the WRONG cup mommy!
Awesome.  Now you all know why I wash each measuring cup before using it to make food that we are eating.  Again, awesome.

This morning, Avery was enjoying checking out the tree, kicking ornaments, whatever.  And broke an ornament that was previously thought to be unbreakable.  
Don't mind me, I'm just enjoying the window seat.
An ornament that I have had in my possession for at least 12 years.  
My kid killed Bambi!

Avery has also discovered that the who-knows-how-old-they-are-because-I-reuse-them-every-year candy canes on the tree can be snapped in two and peppermint goes flying everywhere.  


Because I thought she'd gotten the candy cane she'd snapped from my box of new candy canes, I ate one of said candy canes after it was broken.
Duh Mommy.  That's why I went with the paci.  Years old candy canes are nasty.

My poor child will be forever confused.  On the other hand, here a couple of things from today that actually ARE awesome...

A $1 vanilla cone at McDonald's drive through after your child has done many of the previously mentioned "awesome things"
And it's all mine!
Lending your running wife money to use while at work because she forgot her purse at home.  (and I actually had cash to lend for the first time in ages).
She's becoming a real wife...taking my money.
Getting into the Nike Women's Marathon in DC via the lottery when I never thought I actually would.
I put in a good word for you mommy.
When your kid looks at you like that ^, and you realize that all this not-so-truly awesome stuff makes for good blog talk and isn't THAT bad.

Do you have any words like AWESOME that you use to mean something other than what Webster's Dictionary says they mean?

Any AWESOME things in your life lately?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Goofy Update and Shoe Trees

Week of December 3-9, 2012

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: Ran 5 miles, 9:56 min/mile
Wednesday: Ran 8 miles, 10:45 min/mile
Thursday: Ran 4 miles, 10:36 min/mile; 30 min ST with Brandon
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: Ran 10 miles, 11:00 min/mile
Sunday: Ran 20 miles, 11:20 min/mile
What a good training week, other than the whole sleep thing, but we'll get there.  Started off with a rest day on Monday, which was kind of lazy since I was coming off of a fallback week, but whatever.

Tuesday, I had that annual doctor thingee.  I didn't want to bring Avery, so I made reservations at the hourly daycare thing.  My doctor likes to deliver all the babies that come to his office, so he often runs late.  As a result, I made the reservation for 3.5 hours.  My doctor's office is also, coincidentally, across the street from one of my favorite places to run, Sharon Woods Metro Park.  So, yes, I went to the appointment in running clothes.  The appointment was actually on time.  Since, I pay for the full reservation whether or not I pick up the kiddo early, I simply HAD to go for a run at Sharon Woods before I picked her up.  It. Was. Awesome.  I wore short sleeves and ran in daylight.  Win-win!  No strength training that day because of the doctor's appointment timing though.  I think I'll live.

Wednesday was a nice 8 mile adventure with my running wife Lynne.  All the wooden bridges on the Orange Township trail had iced over and were extremely slick, so on the return of our out and back, we took a little detour to see if we could avoid them on the return.  Luckily, I always carry a phone with a map on it when I run.  So, we didn't get lost, but we also were unable to skip the bridges. We walked the bridges and still had an absolutely awesome run.

Thursday was another fun run with my running wife.  I also had a mediocre strength training session.  He really meant it when he said "we're starting slow to get you used to having strength training in your schedule again."  Very wise, but I also felt like I didn't do much work as a result.

Friday was a fun rest day spent at CoSI with some of my favorite people.
Going to CoSI with my friends and my kid basically means that I am in the same building as my friends while I get to chase THIS around.
Friday was also the first of two consecutive nights of obligatory hubby work parties.
Look!  I'm not in running clothes!  Gasp!
Despite a post midnight bedtime, I still got up to meet the gang for 10 miles at 8am on Saturday.

Saturday night brought a second obligatory work party and more hours in heals than I've spent in a LONG time.  On the way home, I informed my husband that he owed me for the work parties the same weekend as my 10-20 miler weekend.  As a result, I wasn't going to feel guilty about being gone for my 20 mile run in the morning followed by being a lazy bum the rest of the afternoon.  He's so lucky to have me in his life!  HA.

Sunday I met the RUNDMC group at 8am.
This was taken AFTER the first 10 miles.
All the guys ran 14 miles in the same time that Laurie and I did the first 10 miles.  Laurie and I were doing 20 miles, but we did them in two 10 mile loops.  Why?  Because my crazy running wife decided to join us for the second 10.  For the record, Lynne is not yet signed up for a Spring race, she's doing this for fun.  Gotta love that kind of crazy!!  (Lynne was our photographer, so she's not pictured).

One of the funnier trail stories we heard that morning was inspired by this sight as we ran by Thomas Worthington High School...
Shoe trees are the new Christmas trees.
This 20 mile run was tougher than the last 20 miler I did during Columbus training.  (Yes, I know that I didn't run 10 miles the day before during Columbus training.)  It was also tougher than the 18 miler on the 10-18 weekend.  Why?  Mostly, because I was tired.  I hadn't slept well in 5 days by that point, and it showed.  Nonetheless, I did it.   No post-run ice bath and no post-run ibuprofen either.  I'm badass like that.  Or something.

For the first time, I had a rubbing injury on my toe, just below the big toenail.  Never had that before, not even during the marathon in October.  (Same shoes even!).  It was less than pleasant in the shower, just saying.  It looks ever more picture worthy today than it did at the time.
This is for my friends who just LOVE injury photos.  
Taken this morning.
I had a few other things to talk about that are totally fantastic, but I'm saving them for the next post as this is already really long...and besides, who can top a shoe tree and a toe blister?

How was your training this past week??

Do you get blisters on your feet?

Have you ever contributed to a shoe tree?  Would you?

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Training Update, a few days late
Yup, I got blog-lazy this past week and didn't post anything since last week's training update.  I even failed to post a training update on Monday.  I'm blaming the fact that last week was a fallback week for my laziness.  

I was so lazy that I cut two mid-week runs short last week.  One because I was tired, and one because I was too lazy to get up early.  As a result, I felt like a ginormous slug last week.  Nonetheless, I ran a little over 27 miles, and worked out with a trainer twice.  Not terrible for a fallback week!

To make up for my slug-like nature that week, I took my low mileage Sunday run to the cliffs of insanity at High Banks Metro Park.  I may or may not have forgotten to warn my running wife about said cliffs of insanity when she said she'd meet me there.
But see, she still loves me.
Glutton for punishment?
Like Mother, Like Daughter
Apparently all this talk of mountain climbing makes an impression on the impressionable young mind in my household...
I was just helping you get the bag Mommy!
Reading, talking, the usual...
Avery is starting to say all kinds of fun things lately.  She says Cassie's name now.  Of course, two thirds of the time it comes out sounding like "ass-y".  I actually felt obligated to warn the ladies in the church nursery about her new favorite word.  

She also has started saying "A. B. C., A. B. C." over and over while flipping through the pages of her books. 
Dinosaur.  I'm saying DINOSAUR woman.
Anything new and exciting in your lives???

I'm running my first 10-20 weekend for Goofy this weekend.  Luckily, the lazy slug stuff from last week has worn off, I think.

Anyone racing this weekend???  Anyone else running a holiday race?  
I'll be running a Santa Hustle Half Marathon next weekend.

What's the funniest thing you've heard a child say?