Happy New Year and 2013 In Review

Such a cliche’ title isn’t it! Today we say goodbye to another year. A year full of loss (for some), lessons, fun, PR’s, injuries, successes, sadness, and happiness.  We’ve all shared good races and bad races. Good runs and bad runs. It’s what we take away from those runs that counts. Some years are amazing, some are so-so, and some are pretty, well…rotten.  It is the lessons that we learn that matter, what we take away from the good, the bad, and the ugly. If 2013 was not your year, then make 2014 a better year! Set your goals, make a plan, and put in the work! …Onto a little running and fun 2013 year end review!

January

Photo courtesy of instagram
Courtesy of instagram

 

In January I finally added to my little corner of social media and joined instagram! January 24th was my blogs birthday! And I announced I would be training for and running Fargo Marathon in May!

February

Freeze Your Caboose Off!
Freeze Your Caboose Off!

In February I ran the local Freeze Your Caboose Off 4 mile fun run.  A few of us from work dressed in MN Vikings gear and literally froze our caboose’s off!! I also continued to train for Fargo Marathon.

March

Please excuse the cellulite on the thunder thigh.
Please excuse the cellulite on the thunder thigh.
Um…not sure what this is?
Um…not sure what this is?

March made me a little stir crazy with the weather, and some left patella pain that I experienced. I had to skip a long run and I got taped up!

April

Courtesy of instagram
Courtesy of instagram

Oh April, what runner can forget what happened this year at Boston? This tragedy brought our nation closer, and brought out the huge support system of the running community.

Also, April showers bring May flowers right? WRONG…not in MN. Or shall I say Minne-snow-ta.  April and May brought a lot of snow showers. These snow showers brought on my first 20 miler treadmill run. April also brought a shiny new half-marathon PR of 1:44:14 at the St. Cloud Earth Day Half Marathon.

May

instagram photo
instagram photo

In May I was able to purchase my first road bike! I love love love my Lexa!

Fargo Finisher!
Fargo Finisher!

I also finished my second marathon, Fargo Marathon, and set a new marathon PR of 3:51:08.  Not terribly speedy, but it certainly gives me room to improve! The only downfall of this marathon was the plantar fasciitis that developed during the race, and I didn’t notice until I tried to climb the stairs at the hotel. The best part about the weekend was I got to spend some time with my nephew and I got to see a great friend!

June

My first triathlon!
My first triathlon!
Tri transition area
Tri transition area

June brought my first triathlon! A very short distance tri, but it was fun! I even won a new bike!

Look what I won!
Look what I won!

 

June also brought an amazing opportunity to visit NYC and Fire Island. Simply amazing, and much needed!

Enjoying the beach!
Enjoying the beach!
On Broadway!
On Broadway!
China Town or real? You decide.
China Town or real? You decide.
Most amazing cupcake from Crumbs
Most amazing cupcake from Crumbs

I need to go back to NYC! Someday, for the marathon, I will be there!

July

courtesy of instagram
courtesy of instagram

I went to another town to run some trails and hills on July 4th! Other than that, July wasn’t a great month, but otherwise uneventful.  I recovered from the marathon and the triathlon, and tried to avoid roasting in the heat!

August

Best. Corndog. Ever.
Best. Corndog. Ever.
Play Ball!
Play Ball!

We had the opportunity to drive to Kansas City for a MN Twins game.

courtesy of instagram. Finisher gem!
courtesy of instagram. Finisher gem!

I finished another half mary. Women Rock Half Marathon with a time of 1:53:14. This was probably one of the hardest half marathons I’ve run! But I got to rehydrate and refuel at the great MN Get Together…or the MN State Fair!

Post half mary rehydration
Post half mary rehydration

We also celebrated our anniversary and my birthday on the same weekend!

September

Nashville shopping
Nashville shopping

In September I had the opportunity to travel to Nashville for a nursing conference. I got to learn a lot, eat a lot, shop a lot, and laugh a lot! Much needed!! More amazing cupcakes…Can you sense a theme here?!

Words cannot describe.
Words cannot describe.

 

I also ran a little 5 miler race nearby, and won this:

Race Swag
Race Swag

October

Post race!
Post race!
Photo credit to my sis
Photo credit to my sis

I ran the Mankato Half Marathon again this year. I had a great time running this race! I absolutely love this course and the course support! Best of all my sister ran the 10K and was at the finish line waiting for me!!

November

You little turkey
You little turkey

 

One. Great. Idea.
One. Great. Idea.

November brought me to give many thanks to all of the blessings in my life.  I am very grateful for each and every single blessing. There wasn’t a lot of running, but there was a lot of food, fun, and work. The six pack above is a neat little blessing I found at a local liquor store. Instead of committing to buying a whole six pack of beer you’re not sure you will like, you can make your own! You can pick your own individual beers and make your own six pack!

Courtesy of instagram
Courtesy of instagram

November also brought my Lexa indoors!!! I love love love the website studiosweatondemand.com and I am logging some amazing sweat sessions indoors!

December

courtesy of instagram
courtesy of instagram

This was me getting ready for my work’s holiday party! It was an 80’s themed party!

Courtesy of instagram
Courtesy of instagram

These arrived 🙂

Merry Christmas!
Merry Christmas! another photo from instagram

A picture from one little corner of my home! Merry Christmas! And Merry it was!

12-31-13 Phantom memories

I got to see this at the Orpheum Theatre in the Cities with an amazing group of friends!

12-31-13 Christmas surprise

 

This found its way into my stocking this year from Santa!

12-31-13 Christmas Lobster

Each year for Christmas dinner with my husband’s family, we try something new. This year, live, whole, lobster!

12-31-13 finally run outside

Temperatures and wind chills finally climbed above zero, allowing me to actually run outside!!! No worries though, we are back down below zero for the wind chills…I don’t mind running in cold, but if it’s below zero, you will not see me outside!

Today, of all days, I finally tallied up my yearly running total miles and I came short of 1,000 by 58 miles! I think I might’ve hit 1,000 because I didn’t log quite a few workouts. But, they don’t count if I didn’t write them down! I am also being super cool tonight, and I am already in my PJ’s, waiting for Hubs to get home. I will probably get really crazy and be in bed by 10pm. Crazy, I know!

How was your 2013? Did you write a year end review? If so, link it in my comments! 

Any big plans for the Happy New Year?!

 

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What’s Up 2014!

Looking back on this year, some pretty amazing things happened.  I will try to do a complete 2013 year in review! School is almost done for the semester so I should have time to actually write more. I had some races in mind for 2013 that  I did not run, but they are on my bucket list and will eventually get crossed off. NYC Marathon, Marine Corps Marathon, Chicago Marathon, Big Sur Marathon, Boston!, and Twin Cities Marathon are all on that bucket list! I would love to travel a little more in 2014, even if they are driveable distances. South Dakota has a late Spring marathon in the Black Hills in June that I would love to run! There are also a few races within MN that I would like to run. Aside from the small, local 5k’s and such, 2014 races on my calendar radar are still up in the air. 

So, what I have planned so far, just haven’t registered yet include Grandma’s Marathon in June! This marathon is my favorite. I  think just because it was my first half marathon race and my first full! You can read that recap here! Grandma’s Marathon is going to my goal race this year! I have yet to decide what training plan to follow. I would like to step up the training this time around so if you have any suggestions on good training plans, please let me know!

Poster made with love by my nieces!
Poster made with love by my nieces!

The other race I am 95% sure I will run (if I don’t run I will volunteer) is the Mankato Half Marathon. This is a local race and I have participated or volunteered every year it has been going on. 2014 will be it’s 5th year already! I’ve run the half marathon race three times and I absolutely love, love, love this race! My 2013 recap is here! 2012 recap here!

I will also be participating in the 2014 area triathlon. This is the same, local tri I did this year. It was also my first, and has me seriously considering longer distance triathlons! That recap is here! The only tricky part with this race is…it might be held the day AFTER Grandma’s…yep. You read that right. Call me crazy.

Tri transition area
Tri transition area

The next CRAZY thing I am 90% sure about is new to me, and includes a race on my bucket list. So, this fall when all the cool bloggers were running the Runner’s World hat trick, I was a little jealous…I thought, well, I could do that! 5k and 10k one day, and a half marathon the next? No big deal. Aaaaaaaaand then I read about the Twin Cities Marathon Ultra Loony Challenge. (Get it….the Loon is the MN State bird!). There are two challenges actually. The Loony Challenge is the 10k, followed by a 5k the day before the TC 10 miler.  The Ultra Loony Challenge is the 10k and 5k the day before the full marathon. Friends, I really really really want to do the Ultra Loony Challenge. I would not be running the full marathon for a time goal. I’ve heard amazing things about the entire course, and I want to soak it all up and enjoy the scenery.  I was > > close to signing up for it…and I need to do it soon because there are a limited amount of spots open. So, hopefully by this weekend I will be signed up for that crazy challenge!

Oh…and look what came in the mail today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Courtesy of instagram
Courtesy of instagram

What races are on your running bucket list?

Are you registered for any 2014 races yet?

Cheers!

Hello!! I just thought I would pop in and remind everyone that I am running the Women Rock Half Marathon this weekend!! We are in the middle of a lovely heat wave right now so I sure hope I don’t melt on Saturday morning. (I might melt. If I do, please note that I will actually be running a race with my Nathan handheld water bottle AND my phone. AND my ID. I NEVER run with them).  Please note: I am NOT complaining about this weather. I have not once complained about it simply because I promised myself earlier this year (um… after our 30,000th snow storm and we completely skipped spring and went right into summer) that I would not complain about the heat this summer.

Well…ask me on Sunday if I said one word about the heat and humidity. Simply because the race is Saturday morning and we are going to the Great MN Get Together aka…MN State Fair after the race. We are supposed to have about 80-90% humidity and the high for the day is 95F. I think I will wear my snow boots and parka swimsuit. Is it acceptable to wear moisture wicking, comfortable running clothes to a fair when its that hot and you’re surrounded by 200,000 other people? Seriously. I might. No matter what anyone tells me. Or if Hubs tells me it’s trashy.

I foresee this as my rehydration plans for after the race. I need to replace the sodium right? Um ok…I will alternate. One beer. One water. One beer. One water. At least I won’t feel guilty about consuming massive amounts of fair food.

I see a lot of this happening

Cheers peeps!!!

Good luck to everyone else racing this weekend and stay hydrated and healthy 🙂 If you are racing, where are you running?! Will I see you at Women Rock??!!

Don’t go away mad. Just go away.

SO…last week I did this…

Actually...I did Ripped in 30. Just wanted to show Jillian off.
Actually…I did Ripped in 30. Just wanted to show Jillian off.

Then…my hamstrings started to hurt. Bad. Like, really really really tight. I’ve done Ripped in 30 many times before. I did level 1 for cryin’ out loud. 1. ONE. I stretched. I went to work. and walked. So why, WHY the tight, sore hammys?? Running was slow the next couple of days and my speed workout at the track was nothing to be proud of. It went something like this:

 I was going to do Yasso 800’s, I opted for 400’s. Sounded easier. Yeah. Right. I ran my warm up of 1.5 miles (8:19/mile pace) to the track. Got there, realized the football team was practicing. On the infield though. I still had the track to myself. I did 10×400’s with 1:30 rest in between each lap. Here are my laps:

 1- 1:42 (6:50/mile)

2- 1:45 (7:00)

3- 1:48 (7:15)

4- 1:49 (7:17)

5- 1:48

6- 1:48

7- 1:46 (7:05)

8- 1:48

9- 1:46

10- 1:43 (6:54)

Cool down 1.4 miles with 8:49/mile pace.

Let me tell you a little bit about this workout. It was hard. I was hot. Drenched. Thirsty. hungry. Felt like vomiting. But by gosh, I got it done. And I felt amaze balls afterwards. I do wish I could’ve gone a little faster. That was last Thursday evening.. My hammy’s were still tight.

So…why not be a good little runner and throw in a long run on Friday morning. Just for good measure ya know. That long run was hell. It was hot. And I knew I would be slow. So I went into the run not worried about my pace. I just wanted to log the miles. 10 miles. No more. No less. I did it. SLOWLY. I even walked some. 10 miles in 1:32 (9:15/mile). Told ya I was slow. but guess what, I’m ok with that. I am proud of every.single.footstep. It was warm out, I carried my 20 oz. handheld with me with 1 Nuun in it. Drank that. Filled up at a water fountain 8 miles in. That was almost gone when I got home. Drank a 12 oz. glass of chocolate milk when I got home. And still managed to weigh in 3.1 lbs lighter than when I left home. NO Bueno. Dude, told ya I sweat a lot.

My hammy’s were still incredibly tight on Saturday, and by this time my lower back started to ache. So I did a little Jillian’s Yoga Meltdown level 2 before I went to work. That felt good. Wanted to run Sunday before work. Until I attempted to get out of bed. STIFF. My back was so sore I took a rest day. I don’t like to take rest days when I work that night. But, I did what I thought I needed to do. Monday was another rest day and “visit the chiropractor” day. Now, I have hardly ever had a chiro tell me I was hard to adjust. (I did when I was younger and much less active and had been in a car accident. This is different). He told me I hardly moved and he’d like to try again. ICE. Rest. See him again. So, I see him later today.

Tuesday I ran 5 miles in the lovely welcomed back humidity. Not too bad actually. My back felt good, but then when I sit down it starts up again. I have also been trying to convince this little thing called Plantar Fasciitis to go/stay away. I can feel it. It’s on the edge. It’s not painful. But it’s there. GO AWAY. More ice, lots of stretching. Don’t go away mad, just go away. Please. and Thank You.

  Maybe I just a little more love from this guy.

my pup and me

Next Half mary is in 10 days!!!!!

Earth Day Run Recap and Review

Howdy kids and happy Thursday! So I think spring is FINALLY arriving…Snow is almost gone, the sun has been shining all day, and I had a great 5 miler today!

This past Friday Hubs and I headed north and met his brother and his wife, and one of his college friends and his wife and their family. We all met up at the hotel, did a little shopping, and headed to the expo for the 2013 Earth Day Run Half Marathon to pick up our race packets. The expo was small, there was no wait to get our race packets and numbers. We got some nice race swag! A black string backpack and a long sleeved fitted technical shirt. Love the technical shirts!

Instagrammed Race Swag
Instagrammed Race Swag

We walked around the expo, I got a new headband, which will makes it’s appearance eventually! We left and went to Granite City for supper. I ordered some chicken pasta thing. It was good, but I wish I would’ve ordered something different. Then we headed back to the hotel and chatted for a bit and got things ready for the morning.

Ready to go!!
Ready to go!! Courtesy of Instagram

Race day weather was supposed to be colder than normal for this time of year. A whole 18 degrees when I woke up! I got up, got ready and went down to the continental breakfast to eat and get some java. I had the usual, english muffin with peanut butter and honey. I forgot to grab a banana, but for some reason I also had a little scoop of oatmeal with cinnamon. Enough to tide me over. I ate, had coffee, went back to the room to use the bathroom (thank goodness!! Sometimes I can’t “go” before a race), but my stomach was not happy. I think it had something to do with the chicken pasta thing from supper. Hubs got up and we all got ready to go downstairs and meet everyone to head to the starting line!

We got to the start and we got to wait inside with real bathrooms! Even though it was chilly outside, the sun was shining and the wind was very minimal. I can handle cold, I can’t handle the wind! We lined up, the announcer was gracious and gave a moment of silence for the Boston Marathon events. Then we were off!

Miles 1-6 went well. I thought I started out a little fast, but I was feeling really good and I wanted to push myself to see if I could keep my pace for the entire race. The race started out and went across the river and through some residential areas, then we ran down a little hill on a dirt path. I think it was a good thing the ground was frozen because otherwise it would’ve been really messy. Then we ran through part of a park and got onto a bike path. That path is where things got a little crowded. Not bad though. We went through more residential areas and then back towards the campus, around the campus, and then back onto a bike path.

Split
Time
istance
Avg Pace
Summary
1 7:43.9 1.00 7:44
2 7:45.8 1.00 7:46
3 7:55.6 1.00 7:56
4 7:48.8 1.00 7:49
5 7:49.3 1.00 7:49
6 7:37.5 1.00 7:38

Whose legs are these and where did they come from?? That’s been my saying lately. I don’t run that fast. Ever. This is slow for some of you, but I really wonder where these miles came from! I was planning on taking 3 Clif Shot Bloks at mile 5 and the other 3 at mile 10. My stomach had different plans. It was a little queasy so I just tried to take one at a time. I just kept reminding myself that I got this, I can do this, and I can finish strong. I am able to run, and that was what pushed me through. I wondered how everyone else was doing. This was my brother-in-law’s first half marathon and my hubs was pacing him to his goal time! I was so excited for them!

Miles 7-10 I was starting to slow down a bit. My left hamstring was getting a little tight, but my knee was feeling great! I really felt like I was starting to push myself too hard. My breathing was ok, but I was starting to slow down. Garmy shows how I was feeling.

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary
7 7:59.5 1.00 8:00
8 7:58.0 1.00 7:58
9 7:52.4 1.00 7:53
10 7:58.3 1.00 7:58

At this point in the race we went by a golf course and a lot of tangents and through another residential area.

Miles 11-13.1. Mile 11 was tough. I felt like I stopped sweating and I was thirsty even though I was taking a glass at each water station. But there weren’t many stations. I kinda wish I would’ve brought my own. I was ready to be done. Then I started thinking about my goals for Fargo in less than a month. I thought about how I want to run my last 20 miler, how I want to taper, do I want to do any speed work or keep my runs easy so I can go all out at Fargo? I thought about a lot of things during that long, grueling mile. Again, garmy shows how I was feeling. Then I got my head back in the game, was not going to get passed, was going to pass the guys in front of me, and was going for a strong finish. Well kids…for the final review…. Here are all of my splits and my finish time per Garmy, which is only a couple of seconds off from chip time…

Split
Time
Distance
Avg Pace
Summary 1:44:14.8 13.23 7:53
1 7:43.9 1.00 7:44
2 7:45.8 1.00 7:46
3 7:55.6 1.00 7:56
4 7:48.8 1.00 7:49
5 7:49.3 1.00 7:49
6 7:37.5 1.00 7:38
7 7:59.5 1.00 8:00
8 7:58.0 1.00 7:58
9 7:52.4 1.00 7:53
10 7:58.3 1.00 7:58
11 8:12.7 1.00 8:13
12 8:01.6 1.00 8:02
13 7:51.4 1.00 7:51
14 1:39.9 0.23 7:11

My final chip time per their website is 1:44:14 and they say it’s an 8:01/mile. I like Garmy’s time better 😉 Either way, I managed to pull a 6 minute PR!!!! I was so happy when I crossed that finish line! I grabbed a bottle of water and went to look for Hubs and his brother. They came in under his goal time at 1:58!!! I’m so proud of everyone we ran with!

The best part of running a half mary??!! The recovery part 😉

One helluva burger and fries
One helluva burger and fries

I have not ordered a burger from a restaurant in a very very long time. I can’t even remember when the time I did, since I never order them. But I ordered the fried egg and cheddar burger and sweet potato fries at the Boulder Tap House, and washed it all down with a couple Blue Moons. Well worth it!!

This is worth all the workouts ever done.
This is worth all the workouts ever done.

No meal should ever be complete until you have some fro yo. We earned it!

It's no Frozen Yogurt Creations, but it'll do.
It’s no Frozen Yogurt Creations, but it’ll do.

After a little nap time and supper, we were still incredibly lazy and went to bed. Such party peeps we are. The day after my long runs or races seems to be when my appetite is monstrous. So I indulged at the continental breakfast 🙂 Then we headed home 😦 I never want a fun weekend to end. It was great to see family and friends and run a great race!!! Hopefully we’ll be back next year!!!