Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Timing is Everything

At least for me it is, I like to have a general idea each day what I plan on getting day and what training is in store. Somebody has really thrown a wrench my way lately because I can't seem accomplish things I plan on.

I apparently wore myself out running 17 miles on Wed. last week that whatever bug my body was trying to fight won. I have been sick since Thursday and I'm not stuck with this horrible cough that without the aid of medication induces puking.

I did not get in my practice trial run doing all 3 this past weekend so I have not exactly practiced the transition from swim to bike, which is probably the biggest transition of them all. Great planning on my part to only attempt it once and leave it to the week before to do it.

Thanks to Sarah for texting me on Sunday and getting me out of the house, I managed to make it 10 miles with her and got in a great run. Looking forward to not hacking up some random stuff next time and hopefully my knee isn't cranky.

So I'm stressing out a little over here since this cough is lingering and my very first Sprint TRI is only 4 freaking days away!! I have had energy the last few days so that has helped me but I've heard rumors from people they got this and their cough lasted weeks....WEEKS? ugghhhhh...guess I just have to live with this.

I decided to check out the race details again today so I can start to get my plan of attack together for the weekend, I stumbled upon the fact that the youth race starts at 8:15am with the Short and Long (which I'm doing) Courses will be starting at 9am. All fine and dandy normally at this time of year but it's been ridiculously warm. So I checked out the weather and it's supposed to be partly sunny with a high of 89. AWESOME!! At least it's better than the scattered thunderstorms when I looked earlier this week. Looks like I'll be baking in the sun by the time I finish this thing, thinking i need to find some spray sunscreen to apply in transition.

So at this point I am really just flying by the seat of my pants and taking what is thrown at me and I'm hoping that I'm able to finish this TRI, not drown, and with a somewhat respectable time. I like they cap it at 225 participants for each course and in the past it's been up to about 350 overall so it shouldn't be too busy in the water or other parts of the course.

To this cold...I will kick you in the nuts!

Hope everyone's weeks are going fabulously well.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Who/what motivates you? I've been reflecting these past few weeks about how far I have come. I started out my journey 4 years ago after meeting the man I will be marrying in 2 short months. This person came into my life and inspired me to shoot for the moon, challenge myself and change things in my life without fear.

4 years ago I was miserable about how I let myself go and let stress & fear consume me. I was so afraid to say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing that I could not just be myself alot of the time, at least without the help of a little alcohol. With a little motivation, I began a journey to improve myself and my body. I began to pay more attention to what I was eating and began the Couch to 5K program. I was never a runner in my life and this seemed like a very daunting task, but she assured me that I could do it and I trusted in her wisdom...and sure enough 3 months later I ran my very first 5K race without having to stop and walk and caught the runners high.

The next year I tackled a 10K, the year after that the half marathon and this year I am attempting my very first Sprint Triathlon (only 8 days away...eek).

Yesterday I witnessed the most incredible feat and will never forget the feeling of pushing yourself to do something unimaginable with courage. Kim and Rachel completed a 16 hour relay raising money for Alzheimer's. Every hour they traded off running circles around the track.

Can you imagine going in circles all day around a track...insane right?

After watching this take place yesterday this doesn't even seem crazy at all. These ladies both inspire me to push beyond mental boundaries and challenge yourself no matter what you are facing. No matter what your life is like, there will always be a struggle and you just need to tackle it head on.

I just want to say THANK YOU to Kim for getting me going and keep doing what you do. You are only making those around you inspired.

I want to be able to pass their motivation forward and help others. I have had the opportunity to run with others and help them try to achieve their goal during a race. I really feel that is my key because I completely focus on them, I can really struggle mentally during races and this allows me to free that demon and I enjoy helping others achieve their goals. This was my role yesterday as I jumped in anytime I could to run with Kim or Rachel when they were on their own. I tried to keep them company while running in circles and keep them distracted at times. In doing so I myself managed to run/walk farther than I ever have before and completed 17.63 miles around the track.

My title has now become...The Motivating Bitch...so if you want someone to push you I will gladly step right up.

Do you have someone in your life that inspires you?

What keeps you to constantly push yourself for growth?

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's my turn, really?? REALLY!

So this pretty much sums up my feelings right now. Tomorrow is going to be the biggest day of my life...at least for the next 2 months. Tomorrow is my Briday Shower, which starts at 3:30 in an awesome bonus room at a bar. We are following that up with my Bachelorette Party and hitting up Waupaca, which is my second home during the summer.

I come from a very large family, my dad has 6 sisters and 5 brothers and my mom has 6 sisters (2 of which have passed away) and 2 brothers. So you can just imagine how big that ends up getting once you count their spouses and their kids, most of which had 2 to 4 kids themselves. I am about in the middle when it comes to ages so I've been to about 15 of my cousins weddings and since I'm 29 I've attended most of my friends weddings already too. Since the shower is less than 24 hours away and receiving a few shower gifts via the mail ...Love when random presents show up at my door...it really is starting to sink in.

According to my counter the BIG DAY is 70 Days away. I have meetings schedule in the next two weeks with all of the vendors (Reception w/ taste test, officiant, florist, cake baker). We have to contact the DJ to book an appointment yet but I'm sure that will fall soon too. I am also making my own printing & sprucing ready made invitations and I think I have everything ready with the exception of the reply card. I want to have people rsvp on our wedding website and I'm looking for a quirky way to say "help us save postage cause it's expense" 'cause that wouldn't go over very well. Any ideas??  I am basically going to make the reply card all the same and include postage on my grandma's and the older generations. Anybody else if they want to can actually use the reply card if they can put their own postage on it.

Here is to having a fabulous day tomorrow and just enjoying it, I know it will fly by and the wedding day will be here before I know it.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Race Recap: Bellin Run 10K

I was excited to be revisiting my very first 10K race and looking forward to another year of improvement. This year was my 4th year completing this race and I'm beginning to feel very comfortable with this course. Here is a little history of my experiences.

The first year I completed this I was just beginning to run using the Couch to 5K program and did the first 20 minutes with our run/walk combo and finished the rest of the race walking. We started with the walker group and started about the same time that the elites were finishing. My group finished in about 1:42:32. The weather for this race was very warm and a full sunny day.

I ran my first 5K in 2009 so I decided that I would run the race this year even though nobody I knew was going to do the race I still wanted to conquer it and made Chris wake up early and drive me there so I wouldn't have to worry about it. I trained for this by adding 0.5 mile each weekend to my long run. I ran the very worst 5 mile race ever during my training, as in the hilliest 2.5 mile loop in blistering heat with absolutely no crowd support. Thankfully Kim was there to push me along. I ran the entire Bellin and finished with a time of 1:11:32. The weather was about 60 degrees at the start and got only a little warmer, there was a slight drizzle for most of the race and it felt great!

I wanted to PR this year's race, the distance felt easily doable as I just ran my first half marathon about 4 weeks earlier. I did not exactly train for this race as I had taken a week off to rest after the half marathon and I had only done runs about 3 miles in the following weeks. A friend was signed up for the race so I decided to do it and threw in a run of 4 miles the weekend before and 5 miles two nights before the race to make sure I could actually still run that far. I did end up having to stop to walk a few times after the 5K mark as my legs felt tired. At that point in time I beat my previous 5K PR at the split and was feeling it. I finished in 1:05:37. The weather was really nice this year as it was not too hot, no rain and a slight breeze.

I wasn't sure if I would end up doing this race but when Sarah mentioned she was doing it and we could ride up together, that was all the push I needed to sign up. I wanted to get a new PR in this distance as I knew I was faster. We were both in Corral 4 and we had decided we would run with each other as long as we could as we both had the same time goal. This was by far the hottest year, when you are sweating in shorts and a tank at the start line at 7:55 you know it is going to be a brutal run. I tried not to think about the heat so it would stay out of my mind. The first water stop was 2 miles in and I knew that so I used what I had on me, 1/2 nuun and 1/2 water out of my 4 bottles in my fuel belt. I planned on dumping water on my head at every water stop, the first one I grabbed 2 and one went down my back since the sun had been beating on it. Then came the neighborhoods and we ran through as many sprinklers as we could to keep ourselves cool. We managed to make it to the 5K split without walking but did so immediately after. The 3.2 mile waterstop I grabbed a cup of ice and put that in my bra (which managed to not melt until about mile 5.5). Sarah and I ran  weaved through people together until mile 5 and I had planned to run it out. I was able to do it once I found a little bit of breathing room and I didn't have to weave around so much.

printradius9237AliciaKons   F2529  4527235/1030  1616/888429:58  1:01:579:59

I finished and got myself a new PR. It wasn't under an hour like I was hoping but with the heat I was only hoping to finish and feel like I was not going to pass out. My dear friend Flo helped me out for this run as I had retained all the water I drank in the last few days!! For a person that is very susceptible to heat I felt great during most of the race. I finished probably about the same weight due to the extra water I was carrying on my clothes. I literally wrung water out of my shirt and bondiband (which read "Find your happy pace") and my shorts were completely stuck to me. I never felt overly warm during this entire race and I can only thank the lovely neighborhood sprinklers and volunteers for that!!

I will gladly do this race again any year. It is probably one of the few races that I will ever be able to compete against Kenyans!! And here are some of the actually decent photos from the race. Thanks to the photographer for stopping us pre-race so we could get a nice picture.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Strawberries Galore

I love this time of year, it's just the beginning of summer with so many promises....and the best part is that it's Strawberry Season here in WI. I absolutely love this fruit and went out picking tonight and did 2 flats, which ended up being 14 quarts once I got everything de-stemmed and cleaned up. I think that should cover me for the year since my man doesn't eat them, so they are all mine!

Best part about it is the local farm I go to has them for $1.25 a pound if you pick. I enjoy picking them myself because of all the ones you get to eat for free. I remember as a kid getting one of the little quarts to fill up and mine would only ever get to be about half full. I literally put in 1 out of every 4 I picked into the quart and the rest went in my belly.

This week started off our summer challenge at work and we have to log our "active" minutes each day. It doesn't matter exactly what you do as you can even log gardening, weeding, cleaning, etc. so it's kinda fun since I normally track by distance and I get to include other activities outside of swimming, biking and running. Thank you to yours truly for inspiring this idea at our work as the goal of this challenge is to complete a 5K at the end of this. I really wish I could be part of the wellness team but for now I will take just giving them great ideas to inspire others.

Looking forward to running in my 4th Bellin 10K run this weekend and really hoping to get a PR under 1 hour despite the heat they are predicting. This weather really is throwing me off as it's only June and it feels like the end of July around here. Really glad I don't have many races on the schedule this year with the wedding coming up, so I just need to keep my training up and work around the heat as much as possible.

Good luck to all of you running the Madison - Chicago Ragnar this weekend and try not to melt!! I am hopeful that some day I can complete this one.

Friday, June 1, 2012

What to expect in June

As I was filling out my monthly dry-erase calendar I realized I have alot on my plate this month. Sometimes I wonder why I decided to pick a wedding date at the end of August, because I am going to be stressing about wedding planning during most of the months I should be relaxing and enjoying my time. I just need to take plenty of trips to my cottage for some getaway time for sure! Here are the major events on tap for this month:

1. Bellin 10K run on June 9th - This is one of the top 10 largest 10K races in the county and is a great course. I will be doing this for my 4th year in a row and I looking to get a 8 minute PR or so. Last years time was about 1:07 just look at my PR's on the side if you really want an exact time, and I am really wanting to break the 1 hour mark. I know if I have a good day I can do it.

2. Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Party on June 16th. I found a smokin' dress that I cannot wait to rock and show off my curves. Celebrating losing almost 20 lbs in the last year and 30lbs overall in the last few years feels great. This dress just tops it off and why shouldn't I look hot on such a special day. I am a little nervous but I really think it will be a great time thanks to my awesome bridesmaids and their fabulous ideas!

3. I will be out supporting Kim and Rachel on June 20th in their 16 hour relay to raise awareness for Alzheimer's that just the 2 of them are doing, I know they are nuts!! But I love these ladies and took the day off of work to be there for whatever they need, yes I will be their bitch. Please think about supporting them in their endeavor by competing in their virtual race or by donating to the cause. Just use the link with their names to get all the details.

4. Mighty Wolf Sprint Triathlon on June 30th - This will be my first triathlon and I am extremely nervous about this one. I have not done an open water swim yet (although hoping to accomplish that this weekend at my cottage) and I just don't want to stick out as the newbie and screw up. There are alot of rules that I've recently learned and I hope I don't forget about them in the heat of competition. I really feel like if I can get through the swim I will finish, I am just really hoping to be able to have a strong race in all areas. I am confident on a bike and running has become a surprising love for me lately, it just keeps getting easier physically and mentally.

On top of these major events going on and continuing training, I have several things to accomplish with Wedding Planning this month including:

  • Meet with our photographer on the 10th to narrow down shots we are looking for, details, etc.
  • Figure out our ceremony with the officiant (who happens to be my future mother-in-law)
  • Figure out wording for the invitation & finish up wedding website for use of RSVP. Love saving postage on this part, thank you internet!!
  • Print, assemble and mail our wedding invitiations by the 24th, giving us only 2 months left
  • Complete our DJ form including what songs we are doing for our first dance, father/daughter, mother/son dances and our disapproval/favorites list. Any help on these would be appreciated!!
  • Call the reception to setup a time to taste and finalize our menu options. All we know at this point is we are doing a buffet. I don't care for plated dinners and there is no family style option at our site unfortunately.
  • Call florist to setup a time to finalize the designs.
  • Call cake lady to setup a time to do testing and finalize the design.
  • Find my wedding jewelry & attendants jewelry
Who wants to become my wedding planner?? What, no takers...I can't see why. I think I'm exhausted just thinking about all of this and unfortunately July is only going to get worse I think.

I was a little busy with life this past week, I did manage to get in an 8.3 mile run last week Saturday with the local Fleet Feet fun run group and I'm planning on getting out there again tomorrow morning. It truly helps us non-morning people get ourselves out of bed. That was my longest run (without stopping) since April last year during my half marathon training. Hoping to at least do the same amount tomorrow and if I'm feeling good I'm going for 10!! I also got to spend a little time with my aforementioned bridesmaids and they had some great ideas. I can't wait for all the girl bonding time we are going to have before the wedding.