Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thanking my Injury???

Most of you have probably heard about the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon fiasco during the race on Sunday. If you were following me from the beginning, this was the race that I started training for in October to get my base up for starting the real training in January. I did not sign up thanks to having an injury pop up in late December, after going to see a sports medicine doctor I had shin splints on the interior of my leg (don't remember the fancy medical term for it).

Looking back on the weekend of the events, all I can say is THANK YOU body for being messed. The following good things have come from this:

1. I was not running the marathon and stopped probably about halfway through my race due to the closure of the race

2. I don't even know if I would have ended up trying for the marathon, had I been able, as I don't do well in heat, may have switched to the half on the day of if I felt like it.

3. I've fallen in love with cross training and will be trying 2 sprint triathlon distances this summer

4. I have learned how to listen to my body better. It's not all about time but having fun, staying healthy and finishing.

So, my views on all of this. I would have handled the cancellation differently and given runners the option to finish if they were past a certain point and given them an official time. I realize that people are not used to running in the heat and the medical staff was overwhelmed but the sudden closure I don't think was the best option. I think it's definitely a learning experience and hope they learn from this.

Needless to say I think my first marathon next year may be the Wisconsin Marathon instead of Green Bay after the good race reports from this one and the handling of this year's GB.

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Race Recap - Soleburner 5K

This year was my 3rd year participating in this year because the meaning behind this holds a special place in my heart. This 5K is put on by the American Cancer Society and cancer affects so many people in our lives that I really hope they can begin to find a cure for this disease. Some forms of cancer have very good survivial rates and there are others that are basically a death sentence.

I was very unsure the night before of the race as I suddenly came down with a horrible headache and felt very nauseous. I am not the kind of the person that gets headaches so it kinda freaked me out. I was out trying to add some things on to our registries and barely made it home. I spent the next few hours lying in bed and not being able to fall asleep. I finally did and when I woke up the next morning I was feeling better but my energy level was pretty low.

The race was starting at 9am so thankfully I got to sleep in a little.....so not a morning person......and of course checked the weather almost immediately. It was looking to be around 65 at the start and sunny. Just my kind of weather...NOT!! Have I mentioned I'm such a fair skinned person that I would still burn with sunblock on through a light colored t-shirt as a kid....yeah that was me! So with the energy level issue and temps I just relaxed realizing I probably was not going to break 28 minutes (my A goal) but that as long as I could keep a decent pace I would still PR it. My old PR is from last year's Wildcat Run at 32:16. It was the most calm I've ever been on race morning because I was just going out there to finish and have a good time and I was OK with that!

The run begins and ends at City Park in downtown Appleton near the Lawrence University campus. Traditionally the course is run mostly along the Fox River on neighborhood streets but due to one of the bridges being under construction the route was changed this year. This year we wound our way through downtown and then the last mile was along the river and up the Hill of Hope. This hill is a very steep incline and lasts for quite awhile...at least it seems that way when you are running it. The good news is once you make it to the top it's only 3 blocks to the finish.

The hill represents all of cancer patients struggles and only pales in comparison to the challenges they face in their lives and that is the kind of inspiration needed to make it up. There is a bridge that also crosses over it and it's always lined full of people cheering you on. It seems that each year I'm so exhausted after the hill climb that the last 3 blocks my running mantra is .....don't fall on your face, don't fall on your face....as my legs feel like jelly.

I proceeded to almost pass out on the sidelines after the finish and then I went to go looking for my dad. He told me before the race he was not trained and to expect him at about 37 minutes. So I began to walk back a block or two from the finish so I could speed him along. I got about 25 steps and he was flying past me. He ended up finishing in 28:31 with his chip time, which is fantastic!! Apparently I had a faulty chip as mine did not register so no official PR but my Garmin said 28:08 and I stopped it a few seconds after the finish so I'm saying I did it in 28:03!! In the end I did almost end up with my A goal but the last stretch before the large uphill did me in for under 28, but there is always another race.

Afterwards we headed towards the downtown bars to throw back a few beers in true Wisconsin fashion. There is no better post-race food, yes it is a food group here.It helps relax the muscles and lets you put back the calories you just burned! I only got one attempt at a pic so you are just going to have to deal with this crappy pic of me and my dad.

I was wearing my "Will run for Beer" Bondiband!

Dislikes of this race:

1. The start - this year it changed, without them letting us know so with only about 3,000 runners it took me 5 minutes to start the race being only about halfway back. They had a starting mat that only fit about 5 people wide so the entire width of the street had to file down into this. Did not figure this out until it was actually in sight.

2. The course change - not very scenic and no shade

3. Start time change - even though it meant I got to sleep in the 9am start threw me off in the morning a little and it was much warmer at the start

4. Water stop - I wear my fuel belt with me at all races (like having water when i want and was also used to put on my head several times to cool me down) so I don't stop on a short race, they placed this right at the bottom of the steep downhill after Mile 2 and had no idea it was even coming until I was right on top of it. So i got stuck in the chaos and could not move out of the way.

5. Chip timing - Obviously since mine failed and did not give me an official time, heard of others with the same issue as well. It was just a white piece of tape on the back of our bibs.

They did have a survey which I completed and put all of this as my comments. I also noted for them to contact me about interest in being part of the committee next year as I feel this race could be run so much better and I'm also curious to learn the behind the scenes of planning such an event.

Okay, so looking at this post it got a little long but I guess when you have a week to think about what to put it ended up being a story. Congrats if you made it all the way through this...LOL!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Why Must I Be So Crafty

Sorry I have ignored you this week blogger friends, it's been a little hectic around here lately.

Most days I love that I can be crafty with just about anything and I enjoy making things unique, but it can be VERY boring when you are cranking out 60 shower invitations in a week. That is what I've spent my free time this past week on, outside of work and squeezing in workouts. So unfortunately blogging fell at the bottom of my list and was ignored for the last several days. I can happily say that they are finished thanks to our finaly assembly party tonight and I can finally mail them.

As I arrived home from said party, I find a box at the back door. Guess what's in the box??? That's right, the pieces for my wedding invitations. Ahhhh to start one project and move onto the next bigger one. Thankfully I found a kit online that all you need to do is print, assemble and stuff but after just finishing the shower invitations about an hour ago that chore just seem all that fun anymore. I don't think I have the energy or patience to make them all from scratch as I did for the shower invitations.

My next month looks like this:

1. Increase distances for triathlon training and incorporate BRICK workouts and hopefully get in 1 or 2 trial triathlon runs on a Saturday at my cottage so race day won't seem as crazy.

2. Print, assemble and mail about 100 wedding invitations

3. Find and purchase our wedding bands and also review all our vendors to make a timeline of when payments are due in...THE DAY is only 99 days away from today....YIKES!!

4. Pick out what we want to do for our ceremony and the style of ceremony we are going for. My future mother-in-law is an officiant, she will be marrying us at a local park.

5. Work in time to hang out friends and have some well deserved beers

6. I really need to fit in a day off work in here to help my sanity level, what i would day for a relaxing day laying on my chaise lounge and reading a book while working on getting rid of my running tan lines

Oh yeah, and I have to come up with a bridal shower game to play by tomorrow for my future sister-in-law who's shower is on Saturday. Anyone have any good ones they would like to share, or I can steal??

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

TRI this on for Size

I am officially signed up for 2 sprint triathlons this summer, I am excited to try something new but I'm also nervous about being a newbie again. Coming from someone who 4 years ago thought that running a mile was an impossible task it's amazing to look back on my journey and what I can dream of accomplishing now.

I went to a tri101 class last week Monday and when they asked how many people signed up, I was the only one who didn't have my hand raised. So I figured if I've made the commitment in my mind, I should tell my nerves to shutup and finally sign up so I took care of that last week. These are the 2 races that I'm currently signed up for:

Saturday - June 30th Mighty Wolf Triathlon
400yd swim - 15m bike - 3.1m run
I liked they capped it at 225 people per race and I'm actually doing the long course, even though this is a sprint distance. They also have a half sprint and a youth race.

Saturday - July 21st Fremont Triathlon
1/8m swim - 11.2m bike - 2m run
I liked the distance on this one since it's not quite the full sprint distance but close enough to get myself used to the sport and it looks to be small race field.

I definitely learned alot of good tips from the class and will put them to good use. I really am not afraid of the water and I think both of these races will be in man made lakes but I just don't know what is going to happen when you have 200-500 people trying to swim in the same place at once. I think I am going to start in the back, even though it will make for choppy waters just because I don't really want to get elbowed, kicked or swum over top of. I will let the crazy people ahead of me deal with each other.

I'm also curious to see how interesting the transitions end up being. I will be borrowing a bike for it since I only have a mountain bike so I should have no problems finding it after the swim...right??? I have heard how disorienting it will be when you come out of the water and I'm thinking I might try the balloon trick so I can find it instead of running around like a maniac trying to find my beach towel. Although I may just try that to throw some of the other runners off!!

I am pretty sure the transition area is just one spot for these races so I don't have to worry about 2 different locations and hauling my stuff with me. Hopefully I have some support out there for me to push me through it and also enjoy the experience. My man works on Saturdays so I'm disappointed he won't be able to see me compete in either of these. If all goes well I'm thinking of trying the 70.3 distance next year, but we'll see if running a marathon trumps that or maybe both..we'll see how crazy the fitness bug bites me.

On the racing front....I have a 5K coming up this Saturday that I'm hoping to demolish my old PR. If all goes well I will be able to shave off a few minutes from my time. That's right I will be able to shave off MINUTES from my 5K time! I've gotten that fast!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Scanner Fun

My fiance (Chris) and I went this morning to do our Wedding Registries and we had fun walking around the stores playing with the scanners, mostly trying to scan each other. It ended up being very difficult as we really don't need much. We are both 29 and have lived on our own for plenty of years and received plenty of good hand me downs and we did have a House Warming party 2 years ago for our house we bought so that helped out alot too.

We passed on by alot of things that people usually register for, we went mostly for camping/outdoor items, home decor, a bedding set, some kitchen accessories and some other random stuff. There was one item that gave us both a good laugh that we almost registered for....

That's right, we thought why not? Do you really think anybody would buy that? Try explaining that one to grandma and mom!! It would be pretty hilarious but we decided against it.

I never thought doing a registry would be so exhausting but after walking through 3 entire stores scanning stuff and only ending up with about 50 items I am feeling like we should register for a few more things since I will probably ending up having about that many people at the shower. I know there a few things we may add but I just don't know. I guess I can check in a few weeks to see how many things are left on the registries and if we need to go add some more things.

Is there anything that you didn't register for that you wish you had now?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Week of Reflection

This last week has been very trying for me mentally and is probably one of the toughest times I have faced yet. My parents divorce was official last week Tuesday after being married for 37 years. I know they will both be better off and this is good for them but things are not easy right now. On top of that they sold their house and the closing is tomorrow morning, as if dealing with the divorce was not bad enough now we have to go through everything that has been their lives.

I am the youngest of 3 kids, I have an older sister and brother who are 11 months apart and then I followed 2.5 years later. My sister is similar to my mom at the hip and my brother talks more to my dad leaving me to be stuck between the both of them. Needless to say I am very much a daddy's girl and my mother and I don't get along the greatest. Dealing with our strained relationship and the emotional issues with the divorce just has me on edge and I am so thankful that this part is done.

My wedding is about 3.5 months away right now and I have had a very hard time focusing on it. Trying to plan this while being in the middle of their divorce is just not easy. I feel like I am just beginning a new life and their world is crashing down. It's also caused a few bumps in the road with my relationship as well as we started to question if our own would work.

This past year I feel like I have been trying to keep my head above water and thankfully working out has been an outlet for me in that regard. Without it I don't really know what I would have done other than probably go back to eating horribly and gaining a ton of weight. That was the old me anyways and I have really become addicted to working out and the competetive and friendly atmosphere at races. I am currently 6.6 pounds away from my goal weight and I'm hoping to hit the magic number by the end of May so I can enjoy summer and be proud of my accomplishment.

Once I hit the weight I will have lost 35 pounds since my highest weight, which was a few years ago. The weight has been slowly coming off and I've hit the occasional bumps in the road where I couldn't seem to lose anything or even started gaining some of it back. I feel like I am on the edge of breaking through my mold and becoming slowly happy with myself in all areas and accepting my weaknesses and flaws. The last year has changed a lot in my life but without it I would not be the strong person that I am now.

Sorry for the long story but I really just needed to get it out so I can move forward with my life and live it to it's fullest.

What got you through a time point in your life?