Monthly Archives: June 2012

Wisconsin

Happy Monday! Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

This weekend far exceeded my (admittedly low) expectations. After working from home Friday morning, we got on the road around 1 p.m. and headed towards Wisconsin. Just over 5 hours later, we pulled into my parents’ driveway.

My parents took us to dinner at one of my favorite places to get a classic Wisconsin fish fry. Except that they don’t fry the fish – they boil it! And I’m not kidding you, it tastes like lobster. The butter they “drizzle” over it doesn’t hurt, either : ) (The restaurant itself is in this odd, octagon-shaped house.) In the pot that they boil the fish, they also boil whole onions and potatoes. You also get coleslaw and an apple square dessert-thing. And while their meal doesn’t include a potato pancake (my favorite) it does include the most amazing rye bread ever – it’s soft and has salt on the crust. YUM.

After dinner my brother, husband and I went to my friend’s gorgeous house right on the lake to enjoy an evening on her patio with a little fire and we made s’mores.

(ooey gooey deliciousness!)

Fantastic. Before I knew it, it was midnight and I had a glass of wine or two too many so we headed home to try and get some sleep before a big day on Saturday!

After my brother and I moved out, my parents turned his room into a sewing room and mine into a guest room. My brother got home a few days before us, so he claimed the guest room. We then got an air mattress in the sewing room. While it’s a very nice air mattress, it’s not the queen sized bed I’m used to and my husband, dog and I were *quite* cozy. My alarm went off way too early and I was up for a cup of coffee before a run. I cut my planned 7 miles to only 3 because it was already pretty warm out at 9 a.m. and we had a lot to do before our party started at 1. I met my friend at her house for a run along the lake.

(holy hostas!)

(this was one of the nicer parts of the path)

The lake path is pretty treacherous. It’s only paved in a couple of spots. The rest of the path is uneven, rocky terrain or just worn down grass. It definitely felt good to keep my body guessing along the way.

(your typical Lake Geneva lake house)

Our reception was lovely filled with family and friends we haven’t seen in ages and also some that were at the wedding but wanted to come celebrate again!

(family!)

My mom outdid herself with a delicious spread and there were plenty of adult beverages too. The highlight was definitely the carrot cake and gluten free chocolate cupcakes my mom’s pastry chef friend made.

Sunday morning we had our last family meal at my absolute favorite place to get breakfast in Lake Geneva – Egg Harbor. It’s a place that started in Chicago in 1985 (the year I was born!) but opened in LG a few years ago.

I ordered the Cassie’s Crepes, which were stuffed with avocado and mushrooms –yummmmm.

On our way out of town we stopped by my grandparents’ farm. Both of my grandparents passed away a few years ago, but my aunt and uncle bought the farm and are now doing a lot of renovating and just got some chickens and adorable pygmy goats!

When we finally got back to the Cities, I headed to the gym for a sweaty 20 minutes on the step mill and then some upper body strength training. Today is all about getting my eating back under control and looks like it’ll be a nice evening for a run or bike ride (or both!)


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I must be doing something right.

In the past, when I’ve run races (especially longer distances) it’s taken me awhile to recover and many post-race runs have been painful. I was usually undertrained for these races. This time around it’s been totally different.

Sunday, the day after the race, I walked a bit on the treadmill and did some stretching and foam rolling. Monday I had off of work so I went for a noon hour swim which was glorious! The pool was pretty empty so I just zoned out for 45 minutes. That afternoon I went for a much-needed massage.

I ran a pretty quick three miles on Tuesday and really felt very good. It was pretty hot and humid out even though I waited until 8 p.m. to head out. I also was recovering from a pretty horrendous and random migraine. So I’m happy that it went so well. I did another two easy miles today on the treadmill over lunch and I felt no indication that I raced 13.1 miles less than a week ago. Nice!

This weekend I’m heading back to my parents’  house in Wisconsin for a wedding reception they are throwing my husband and I for all of my family who we were either unable to invite or couldn’t attend our wedding last fall. I plan to get a long-ish run in with a childhood friend on Saturday. What a great way to catch up!

Triathlon training has been on my mind a lot lately. Anyone I talk to that I know has done a tri before I instantly start drilling with questions. But it’s with good reason – it’s only a month away tomorrow! In addition to making sure I really start focusing on getting some more swimming and biking and bricks in, I want to make sure I’m prepped with the right gear, etc.

Speaking of the right gear, I may or may not have splurged on this, this week 🙂 and I got an email today that it has shipped!

Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon race recap: part two

There was something so cool about being on a bus full of runners and listening to them all talk about running the race in prior years, their training adventures, what other races they are currently training for, etc. I chatted briefly with the guy sitting next to me, but mostly just listened to the conversations around me.

After what seemed like forever, we pulled into a long line of buses and waited for our turn to unload. What awaited us was pure chaos. The starting line corral area is really only the width of a street, so all of the half marathoners were crammed in like sardines. I took off my long sleeve shirt I was wearing, stuffed it into my sweat bag and threw it into the truck. Then, I crossed my fingers that the bag (which also contained a pair of sandals and a clean, dry T-shirt) would make it to the finish line.

As I pushed my way through the crowd, I was keeping an eye out for the Clif Bar Pace Groups so I could at least line up by where I wanted to be.

(check out the cute little package I got in the mail from Clif!)

I knew there was a 2:00 and a 2:15 pace group but I still hadn’t decided which one I wanted to run with. Only because I was tired of shoving my way through the crowd, I decided to stop and line up near the 2:15 group. It was about 6:30 and the race started at 6:45. The national anthem was sung to kick off the Half Marathon Championship race and I tried to forget about the fact that I kind of had to pee (there was no way I was going to make it through the long line for the porta potties) and I decided that if needed, I’d duck into the woods after I got going.

I never heard them announce that the race was starting, but the huge crowd eventually began to lurch forward — and we were off! The first mile or so of the race was crowded — dodging runners left and right. But it really didn’t take long for me to settle in. The last few long runs I had done leading up to the race, it could be mile 3 even before I’d feel good and warmed up, but I really did feel great right from the beginning.

I didn’t pay too much attention to my split times throughout the race — mainly just kept an eye on my pace. I pretty much kept it under 10 min/mi the entire time. The sun was fully out for most of the race, but there was also a nice breeze that you could feel every so often. I took my first water at mile 3 and then sipped a bit of water every two miles after that. I also took half of my GU at mile 6 (I also saw my husband at mile 6!!) and then the rest at mile 10. Around mile 8, my feet started to bother me a little, but nothing too serious.

The last bit of the race is a total blur to me. The crowds thickened and I finally looked at my overall time and realized that I was definitely going to beat my PR and that while I wouldn’t do a sub-2:00 (which I never had planned to do) I’d possibly break 2:05!

(while not flattering, I look happy here!)

(along Superior street — only a little over a mile to go. The energy was awesome during this stretch!)

(rounding one of the final bends! I can almost see the finish line!)

I crossed the finish line feeling pretty strong!! But as soon as I started walking, a wave of nausea came over me and I could feel two blisters. While it would have been fun to stick around for the post-race festivities, all I wanted was some ice and a shower. and a nap.

(See my finish line video here — the side angle is easier to see me — I’m too short to be seen in the front angle 🙂 )

(Overall results)

(I love the green finisher shirts!)

The rest of the day I iced and napped and ate (once I stopped feeling nauseous).

(I improvised)

We spent a lot of the day in the car driving home yesterday but I took today off of work to recover and to go get a post-race massage. I can hardly wait!

Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon race recap: part one

Race weekend started at about 12:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon. I worked from home that morning and then we headed up north as soon as my husband got home from work. The Grandma’s half (technically called the Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon) is held in Duluth, but we were staying the weekend with my sister-in-law and her family in Esko, MN.

After some frustrating Friday afternoon “heading up north” traffic…

…we made it!

I  have to say, my sister-in-law was the best host ever. In fact, I now always want to run races in Duluth so she can take care of me 🙂 When we got there, she had already gone to the race expo since we didn’t know what time we’d make it there, and picked up my race packet and the shirt I won from Twin Cities in Motion Freebie Friday!

She then made us a fantastic spaghetti dinner on Friday night. Yay for carb loading!  After a much later night than I had planned, I laid out my race gear and was finally able to fall asleep around midnight.

My alarm went off at 3:30 a.m. and thanks again to my husband’s sister, waking up in someone else’s house before a race wasn’t stressful at all. We had written down a schedule the night before and she laid out everything I needed to make breakfast and had the coffee set to go off for me! She also set out a key for me to drive their car to the place where I needed to catch my shuttle to the starting line. I had my cup of coffee with two scrambled eggs and a piece of toast. I also drank a glass of water and then was out the door!

(early)

As I drove north towards Duluth I was feeling great. I had left plenty of time to make it to my shuttle and the weather was ideal. The forecast all week had been calling for thunderstorms but it looked pretty clear and the temperature was cool but not cold. However, as I saw the brake lights ahead of me as I neared my exit, I started getting nervous.

Minutes passed and I was barely moving in the line of cars. I started to see people jumping out of cars and running to the buses. My brother-in-law was running the full marathon and the start time was an hour later than mine, so the plan was that my husband was going to drop him off at his shuttle and then go find parking to cheer me on. Therefore, I had to drive myself and was going to have to wait to find parking and then try to make it to the bus. I watched the clock turned to 5:15 a.m. (when the last shuttle was scheduled to leave) and I was finally off of the freeway but not yet parked. I pulled into my parking spot (in the wrong lot) at 5:20 a.m. I joined a group of panicked runners in finding the right shuttle and was the last one on the bus before they closed the door behind me!

More to come…this post has gotten incredibly long!

Race day prep

It’s almost here! Two days from now I’ll have finished the Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon!

In preparation I’ve been starting to lay out all of my race gear and obsessively checking the weekend forecast for Duluth. (so far chance of thunderstorms and high of 69 degrees. OK by me!) This week I also have been eating pretty clean and have cut out alcohol (oh, except for Tuesday when I accidentally had a glass of wine. Oops — guess I forgot that wine is alcohol.) This was needed after a super fun bachelorette party weekend.

I got a new pillow on Monday which has really been improving my sleep quality!

It’s totally one of those infomercial things but my boss recommended it and I love it so far!

I’ve also sent my husband’s sister (who we’ll be staying with in their gorgeous new home!) my pre- and post-race meal requests! (pre-race request was two scrambled eggs and a cup of coffee.) I never know if I’m going to feel like eating much after a race or if I’m going to crave unhealthy food. It’s kind of a toss up.

Finally, I took a look, for my first time today, at the course map/elevation chart. Obviously I didn’t take this into account when training (I’m OK with that) but I was curious.

In terms of running, I ran an easy two miles last night and felt absolutely great. My legs felt very fresh so hopefully they’ll be good to go on Saturday. I just walked on the treadmill at the gym this morning and did some upper body work and have a rest day planned for tomorrow!

Besides running the race, I’m SUPER excited to see some familiar faces in Duluth! Let’s all MAKE SURE we meet up! Oh, and if you’re going to the Expo, grab me free stuff you think I’d like 🙂 I absolutely adore race expos and am bummed I will be missing it.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

When one rest day isn’t enough

As my half nears, I’m being extra cautious about making it to the start line injury-free. Because of this, earlier this week when I started noticing just how tired my legs were and some pain in my feet/ankles and knee, I decided to take a few days off from running…including National Running Day.

What’s the most surprising to me is that I’m actually OK with this decision. I’ve still be working out everyday, just not running. But tomorrow morning I’ll be heading out for my first run since Wednesday. Wish me luck! And it’ll be my last “long” run before the half.

Other plans for this week leading up to the race include abstaining from alcohol (after last night’s epic bachelorette party, I think this won’t be too difficult), getting lots of rest, and making smart running decisions.

Random question: has anyone ever gotten bruises from foam rolling?

Shut up!

I’ve calmed down a bit I think since last night but I’m still fuming. I got told to “shut up” last night. I don’t think this has happened since I was a child.

My workout got postponed until later than usual last night. Since I desperately needed new shoes, I had to run to Marathon Sports before they closed at 8 p.m. PS – I’m loving the new Aasics GT-2170s!

When I got home it was almost 8, so I hopped on my bike to get a few miles in before it got too late. Bike stats: 10:36 miles in 43:09.

Then, I quickly changed my shoes and headed back out the door.

About a half a mile into my run, the running/biking combined trail splits and there becomes two designated paths – one for biking and one for running/walking. Coming toward me on the trail was a mom and her daughter on their bikes. The daughter decided to take the running/walking trail.  While I was annoyed, I decided to ignore it and just run along the path on the grass to get out of her way. This would be fine, except she swerves and still almost hits me while on the WRONG path! I wouldn’t usually say anything, but I felt like this was really dangerous… So I look right at her and go “You do realize the bike path is over there (pointing), right?” She responded with a simple, “yeah.”

I went along my way and then I hear “Oh, shut up!” and it sounded like it came from the mom. Great parenting.

The only positive thing about this experience was that I ran out of anger which picked up my pace a bit the rest of the way!

Since it was getting late, I turned around and headed home just over a mile in. Run stats: 2.05 miles in 18:33.

The rest of this week I plan to get a few more runs in and some yoga this weekend. It’s a big week with some dinners with friends, the Girls on the Run silent auction on Thursday, and a bachelorette party that I’m hosting on Friday! Oh – looking forward to a bike ride on Saturday with Erin and Erica 🙂