Happy New Year and 2013 In Review

Posted on December 31, 2013. Filed under: running | Tags: , , , |

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!

Posted on December 6, 2013. Filed under: Races, running | Tags: , , , |

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?

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What Next?

Posted on November 9, 2013. Filed under: running | Tags: , , |

So after the Mankato Half Mary I knew I wanted to take it easy (not that I was really working that hard to have to take it easy…) for a little while.  My left foot has been a little sensitive. I say sensitive because it really hasn’t caused me any pain. Just a twinge here or there. The ‘ol left IT band has been a little sensitive too. I also have some goals set for next year, and I am going to take the winter (yes, I shudder at the thought of winter being here already) to strength train, cross train, and HOPEFULLY drop a few pounds.

WHAT?! This doesn't help when trying to drop extra lbs???

WHAT?! This doesn’t help when trying to drop extra lbs???

As much as I would rather run outside, unfortunately the city doesn’t plow or shovel the school track. When it snows, speedwork will be inside. Really for safety reasons. I don’t feel like slipping on a patch of black ice and cracking my noggen. No bueno. Also, hills…I need to work on hills. Those cannot be done on the flat land that surround me. So, those too will be done on the good ‘ol mill.  Strength and flexibility…my goal is to bring yoga into my life once a week, and either a Jillian DVD or Bob DVD a couple times a week.

This happened.

This happened.

And…guess what is now in my basement…aka workout room with a couch and a treadmill?

Lexa!

Lexa!

Lexa gets to roll…inside with her new trainer 🙂 She also got a new seat this fall because I couldn’t go 10 miles without my feet, legs, and girly parts going numb.  Hmmmm…guess it helps to have a seat that actually fits my rear! Turns out the original seat was wayyyyy too narrow for my sitz bones…Makes all the difference in the world! I can spend hours riding now! Century ride next year?! I think so.

I will give you a few more clues as far as what my goals are for next year. I haven’t decided if I really want to say (or write) them publicly yet.  I will tell you that Grandma’s Marathon is involved. NYC Marathon may be on that list as well. I would really really really like to travel to a marathon (or half mary…or hat trick…Runner’s World! Do you hear me?!)

What race plans or goals do you have for next year?

Are you taking it easy this winter? Cross training?

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Mankato Half Marathon Recap and Review

Posted on October 23, 2013. Filed under: Races, running | Tags: , , |

Good morning! I figured it would be best to get this down while it is still fresh in my head! This past Sunday I ran the Mankato Half Marathon. I am proud to say that I have been a part of this race since the beginning…ok, so this was only its fourth year, but still. The first year I ran the half, the second year I volunteered as a bike medic, and the third and fourth years I ran the half. Yes, I plan to have some part in this race every year! Whether I volunteer or run. Either way, count me in. Moving on…Saturday I went to the expo with my sister. Nothing too exciting. It was small but nice.  I think they do a great job! We stopped so she could look at the Scheels shop for a headband. Weather was supposed to be 36 at the start, 40 at the finish. We went to pick up our packets and race swag.  We wanted to listen to one of the speakers Dr. Cindra Kamphoff. She is an amazing marathoner and a sports psychologist. She gave a great presentation on mental toughness and went through positive self talk. What a way to get positive for crappy weather and hills!! Embrace them, because you can’t change them!

I am also a sucker for buying things at race expos. A Mankato Marathon coffee mug and a Punkeelove headband came home with me. Seriously, best headbands ever. They are adjustable and they do not slip. Every other headband slips off my head, but not these! We also ran into an older gentleman who has ran over 320 marathons all over the world!! What an inspiration! I asked if he was running the full. He said he doesn’t run full marathons anymore, but he was doing the half. He said “Just leave the lights on for me because I’m not speedy!” I wasn’t sure how old he was until I looked at some photos and captions. I saw the man and he is 88 years old! Amazing! Ok Ok….time for the race.

Throw away clothes

Throw away clothes

This was my best selfy at 0530am. My beautiful throw away outfit. My $2 thrift store wind pants from 1990 and a long sleeved white shirt I’ve had since 2003. Please don’t ask me why I remember the year and the place I got that shirt. It was chilly in the morning and I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to wear. It was either a long sleeved running shirt, or a tank with arm warmers.  I opted for a throw away shirt over my tank and arm warmers. I also bought a cheap pair of gloves so I could ditch them later. Anyhow, there is plenty of parking downtown so I parked with zero problems, hopped on a shuttle and arrived at the starting line. I saw my sister, who was running the 10K and they started a half hour before the half and full marathon. We tried to stay warm until it was time for her to run her very first 10K!!

I really had three goals for this race. Goal A. was a ridiculous ifeverythingfallsinplaceandifeelamazing goal. B. was finish better than last year goal. C. was just to finish. I knew the first few miles would be chilly with a head wind. I ditched the pants at the starting line (I should probably tell you I had shorts on under those pants!) and kept the shirt on for a few miles. I also wanted to start out slow and keep the first 3 miles at an easy pace, with the intention of the last 3.1 miles being faster.

The first three looked like this…8:03, 8:12, and 8:24. Oops. The first mile I always go way too fast. I didn’t feel like I had to dodge so many people this time! The first three were cold. I almost regretted not wearing something a little warmer but I reminded myself that as soon as we turned out of the head wind I would warm up.

I wanted to speed up after the first three, but I knew that I had a good downhill and some shorter, steep uphills to conquer the next few miles. Miles 4 through 9 look something like this…8:00, 7:52, 7:38, 7:49, 8:08, and 7:57. I felt really good through all of these miles. This course is really stunning. The fall colors and running on the Red Jacket Trail really makes the hills worth it. Now remember, my version of hill training (since where I run is all FLAT as a pancake), is wind training. So the wind ain’t got nothin on me! But those hills….This was my hill mantra, and yes, I did repeat it over and over…and yes, it worked wonders and got me through every single hill…”I eat hills for breakfast”. I remember hearing or reading it somewhere, but I have no idea where it came from. It came to me at the start, and it got me through to the finish.

After mile 9 my quads were sore and my legs were really starting to get heavy. I was trying a new fuel strategy…during the half mary I usually take 3 Clif Shot Bloks at mile 6 or 7 and the other 3 at mile 10 or 11. I remember that not working so well during Women Rock so I thought I would try 2 at mile 4, 2 at mile 8, and 2 at mile 10 or 11. Well, I dropped one at mile 4. Took 2 at mile 8, and 1 at mile 11 because I almost choked on 1 and wasn’t sure how close I was to the water stop. Whoops. Next time I should probably plan that better. I really wish I could just swallow and not gag on GU’s. I may have to try them again.

Anyhow, back to the miles. After mile 9 I thought to myself, “What?! Only 4 miles left? That is my normal easy distance. I got this.” I was feeling incredibly strong! As soon as I got into Sibley Park I knew there just a couple of short but steep inclines and then I could fly to the finish. Um….my legs had a different story. After I choked on the shot blok, I did go through a water stop and take in a Gatorade. I got to the next hill at about mile 11.5. I repeated my hills mantra, powered through, passed a guy (thought to myself, “You just got chicked….on a hill”), smiled, and embraced that I only had a little ways to go! My legs were tired, but my mind was going strong. The last few miles look like this…mile 10 was 7:43, 8:07, 7:59, 8:09, and the last .3 was 2:10 (7:22 avg pace). The last mile was the toughest. My legs hurt. I tried to push through that pain, reminded myself that it was temporary, and continued on. I tried to run fast to the finish but I just didn’t have much left in the tank. My mind was strong but my legs were about done.

According to Garmy my time was  13.3 miles in 1:46:15 with an average pace of 8:00/min miles. Official time 1:46:18. Not my best, not my worst. But, I beat last years time by about 5 minutes, and I finished!  My sis snapped a photo of me coming into the finish!

Photo credit to my sis

Photo credit to my sis. I am not the girl in purple on the right…But I am heel striking like a pro!

I absolutely love this race. I love the course, the course support, and the volunteers. The local Center for Sports Psychology team does a great job. They have motivational posters throughout at least the half marathon (I have not done or seen the full course, so I cannot vouch for the first half), and they have people throughout giving great mental support. Great job Mankato Marathon peeps!! And I would highly highly recommend this small, local race to everyone!

My sis and I had to take a few pics, and after we were done we went to go refuel…

Post race!

Post race!

Post race rehydration

Post race rehydration

There may have been some pumpkin Cold Stone Creamery in there too…but no picture because I ate it too fast.

Did anyone else race this past weekend??  Do you have any upcoming races?

 

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Cheers!

Posted on August 30, 2013. Filed under: Races, running | Tags: , , , |

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??!!

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    Wife. Daughter. Nurse. Student. Cupcake and cookie lover. Marathoner!!! Soon-to-be triathlete!

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