Tuesday, August 31, 2010

State Fair Recap and Adios!

Milk Run Race Report
I crossed the finish line. Barely!

The course was nice even though it was all uphill!!! Again, I am not sure when all these hills popped up in Minnesota! It started and ended at the ground of the Minnesota State Fair and the route took us through the University of Minnesota-St. Paul Campus.
I started running and made it about a block, two tops before I was gasping for air. I couldn’t breathe. I wanted to cry because I was finally getting to run with Sarge and I couldn’t even muster up a jog. I walked. Then I would run a couple of steps, stop, then I would start walking. Sarge was a good sport about it and didn’t leave me in the dust. She stayed with me and said it was all for fun. I cannot even remember a time that I have felt so horrible running…..not even when I was a smoker.
Sarge and I running to the finish.  I actually look like I ran!

Walk. Run. Stumble. I finally finished the race in about 44 minutes. Thankfully my race depression quickly diminished with knowing I got to spend the extra time on the course with Sarge and the excitement of the fair. I forgot all about how horrible I ran after my first bite into a cheese curd. *drool*

The Fair

Once again the state fair did not disappoint me.

  • Beer
  • Cheese Curds
  • Strawberry Stuffed Scone with Cream Cheese
  • Cajun Style Deep Fried Pickles
  • Beer
  • Pork Chop on a Stick
  • Beer
  • Australian Battered Potatoes
  • Beer
  • Corn Dog
  • Scotch Egg
  • Garlic Fries
  • Pot Roast Sundae (mashed taters, pot roast, corn, BBQ sauce)
  • Tater Tot Hot Dish on a Stick
  • Deep Fried Mac and Cheese on a Stick

And that is all I had. Ha!
strawberry scone.

We actually had a pretty big group of people with us and we shared everything. That is the way to do it to cover the most ground. Really, a bite or two of each thing is about all I need. The only thing I didn’t share was the strawberry stuffed scone. It was heavenly! My favorite food item were the Cajun Deep Fried Pickles.  Sorry Diana, I couldn't find the deep fried Spam!

What would the fair be without a few people watching photos?  I cannot take credit for this, my brother was the official fair photographer.

I admit that this lady has a better body than I do.  But she didn't win this award on her figure.  Her keen sense of fashion wins this award.  The perfect State Fair outfit is skin tight jeans, a half shirt to show off the midriff, a fanny pack and a trucker cap to complete the look.  I know there is a hot seat in hell for me.

The Doctor
My dismal performance during the milk run as well as getting winded walking up a flight of stairs prompted me to get my butt back to the doctor. I am glad I did because I STILL have my double ear/sinus infection. The doctor told me that the breathing issues I experienced were a side effect from the infection my body was fighting. She prescribed more antibiotics, nasal spray, an inhaler, and some rest. I am starting to feel better about my health but worse about my race.

I have a month until my race and I have not had a decent run in over 2 weeks!!! My mantra is “just finish”. I don’t care about time. I don’t care if I have to crawl, I will finish this race. With that said I have a lot of work do to between now and October 3rd. This is where my mental training is going to be especially important.

I am leaving for Florida tomorrow! Wooo Hooo! I only have 4581241654 things to before I leave.

ADIOS AMIGOS!  See you in a week!  My pool lounger is calling me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  I bombed my run yesterday.  I don't know what I was thinking setting out to try and do 12 miles.  The meds clearly went to my head.  To quote Jillian Michaels, I was "gargling my heart" after only 5 minutes of running.  When my face started to pulsate, I took that as a sign to stop.  I ended up "Ralking" (run/walk) 3.5 miles.  I am going to let this current sinus infection be a lesson to use that damned Neti Pot since this is such a reoccurring problem.

2.  Because I am a complete attention whore, please go here.  I am this week's featured "Follow this Mother" at Run Like a Mother.  I know I have mentioned it before, but I LOVED the book.  It is a very entertaining read for any woman that loves to run.  Their blog is great too.  They always have great posts with tips, stories, and give-a-aways.

This is the only photo that I could scramble to take.  I am usually behind the camera so Chubby Hubby had to take one for the interview.  We kind of look like a group of Hillbillies.  Please excuse my little Diva's very ladylike pose, she is as dainty as I am.  Also, I really can afford a hair cut for oldest son.  He is adamant on growing it out.  Damn you Zach and Cody!!!

3.  Today is the first day of the Minnesota State Fair.  I know to some people, a state fair is just a dirty place, with crowds, carnies, and cows.  It is an annual event that our family looks forward to all year long.  We usually go at LEAST once.  In fact, I purchased admission tickets, ride passes, and a discount coupon book.  We are already planning our fair feasting starting with Cheese Curds.  It is an awesome way to say good-bye to Summer.

This year I have added an event to the regular line up.  I am running the Milk Run which winds through the fairground and the St. Paul University of Minnesota Campus.  Sarge is home and will be running with me.  For those of you that don't know, Sarge is my partner in crime at work and running buddy.  She is currently on active duty and will be home from Iraq just for the fair.  I am really looking forward to this weekend's events.  Since I am doing the run, that will make all the grease I eat guilt free, right?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Back at It

This past weekend was rough on the running front.  I unfused myself from the couch attributing my lack of energy to mini-funk.  As weekend wore on I was on my feet, I still didn't have any energy.  I was getting out of breath walking up the stairs and I would have to sit down because I kept getting dizzy.  I didn't have much in the tank.  I thought I if I ran, I would feel better.  I made it ONE BLOCK before my knuckles started dragging.  I turned around and ran that same block home.  I determined that I needed more rest.   Fast forward to Monday.  I went to the doctor to find out I had a Double Ear Infection and Sinus Infection.  I got some antibiotics, a couple of good sleeps, and now I am starting to feel like myself.

Now I have a little energy back,  I have a long run to deal with that got postponed.  I have carved out time today to get it done.  I still am not 100% but I am going to as much as I can.  My plan is 5 minutes of running with a minute or two walking right from the start....a modified Galloway Method.  My goal is to complete 12 miles this afternoon but I would be OK with 8 or 9.  I am OK with lowering the bar for this run.  If everything about this run is craptastic, at least the weather will not be.  It is a PERFECT running day.

How do you get through your runs when you don't feel 100%?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Retail Therapy

Friday I felt a HELL of a lot better.  I think my sick day was a bit of a bug paired with a funky mood.  The rest was just what the doctor ordered.

I was back on my feet on Friday and headed into work.  Then, I got a call at 9:00AM from the school nurse telling me I had to pick up my Middle Man.  My weekend was about to start early because of  Pink Eye.  As I said before, with three kids there is always some sort of crud floating around.   Thankfully,  I had some extra drops that the doctor prescribed just for times like these.   Pink Eye is the stupidest thing, it is gross and it spreads like wildfire but you feel fine.  I am putting bets down to see who will be the next person in this house to wake up with their eyes mattered shut.

Later that day, I took off to to so shopping.  I meant to shop for the kids but I ended up buying stuff for myself.  What a mood lifter!!!  I finally found shoes to replace my "maternity sandals" from three years ago that are worn to the core, not to mention ugly.  I found a few shirts for my trip, some new make-up, and best of all A RUNNING SKIRT!!  I am so excited that I found one that is flattering on me (flattering is a subjective term of course).  I bought it because it would be perfect for combing the beaches in Florida.  I am going to test it out on my run today (which I am postponing until this afternoon).  I got some amazing clearance deals and I do not feel guilty for buying a few things for myself.  I did manage to find few things for the boys too.  I think that rest I got from Thursday and my new loot that I got on Friday was enough to end my mini funk.
The Loot!

Happy Saturday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day of Rest

This whole week I have been feeling like I have been swimming against the current.  I have felt a bit worn out and all around not well.  I am not sure if it is a bug du jour (with three kids there is always some crud going around) or if it is just exhaustion.  Whatever the cause of my ills, I took myself out of life today.  I left work at 8AM and spent the rest of the day in my jammies.

Thoughts while I wasted an entire day on couch:
  • Holy crap, I watched 7 hours of Real Housewives
  • The Real Housewives are total bitches
  • I am addicted to the bitchy trashy housewives
  • I like the New Jersey series better than the NYC series
  • These back to school commercials are making me cry
  • I feel guilty for watching so much TV, I think I will pick up a book.
  • ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz
  • Oh I must have dozed off there is drool all over my book.
I clearly did nothing today and I think that is exactly what I needed.  Needless to say my streak didn't last very long (last week I declared a running streak).  Tonight I plan on hitting the hay early and getting another good night of sleep so I will be refreshed for tomorrow.  

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up-Death of an iPod

I have hit the part of my training schedule that makes me shake in my boots every time I see the latest mileage.  This past weekend's long run was 16 mile.   SIXTEEN MILES!  That is more than half way there and only ten fewer miles than the full marathon.

I set out to do it Saturday.  I got up, geared up, and had some oatmeal.  Something just didn't feel right.  Rather than heading out, I grabbed a cup of coffee and postponed the run.  I went about my day, I shopped from Diva's birthday and helped my in laws with a graduation party.  The feeling from earlier got worse.  I later realize that I was have some sort of anxiety attack.   I decided to go bed as I was not being productive.  I was in bed before the kids at 7:45.

The sleep worked and whatever I was fretting about disappeared.  I got up, geared up, and had a light breakfast.  This time I hit the bricks with a mapped out run and 16 miles on the brain.  I left my phone and I didn't bring cab fare.  I was going to get home using only my two feet. 

It wasn't hard to be outside.  The hell-like temps and humidity from the previous week were gone.  It was a PERFECT day for a long run.  Sunny and breezy with temps in the 70's.  It felt like a Fall day.  That didn't bother me one bit as it was nice to be out there.  

I ran and I ran and I ran.  I ran some hills, I walked some hills (I had no clue Minneapolis could be so hilly!!).  I felt great.  UNTIL...(cue evil foreshadowing music)  I dropped and killed Chubby Hubby's iPod. 

Bus 1, iPod 0
I was almost on to the homestretch and hitting mile 12.  I was running on a sidewalk and a biker who evidently couldn't see that there was a bike lane came up behind me and just about clipped me.  When I jumped out of the way, I knocked my iPod holder off and the iPod flew into the street.  I ran to get it and just as I was going to grab it a bus was turning.  The bus was missing it and I was jumping for joy...until the back wheels crushed the thing.
I watched in slow motion as a bus hit his iPod.  His parting words to me that morning were "Don't lose my iPod".  I felt horrible because I know how much he uses it.  I picked up the carcass and shoved it in to my water bag and continued my run home.   All the way home I thought of ways to gently tell him I killed his iPod. He was never going to believe that a bus ran over it.  I think this kind of stuff only happens to me.

I got home and was greeted by a smiley Chubby Hubby.  He asked about my run and said "I brought you some pancakes".  **GULP** I responed "I killed your iPod".  The smile quickly faded.  After a couple "I told you sos" and "Why didn't you use your own damned Shuffle" comments.  He was fine.  However, he did proclaim that this incident would lift the ban on a HD TV in this house (we have 2 older TVs that work just fine but they are older than dirt).  *SIGH*  Although we cannot enjoy listening to Barbie Girl on his Nano anymore, It is safely backed up on our computer and external hard drive.
I did finish the 16 mile run in 3:30 minutes.  I felt great despite the iPod mishap.   I was a great confidence booster to run more than half of the race.

Yesterday, Diva turned 3 years old.  I know I say this all the time, but I am amazed at how fast time flies.  We had our friends come over for dinner and had even more cake.  The hot gift this year was anything Dora.  She is a Dora fanatic.  She kept reminding me that it was also Dora's birthday yesterday.  So on the night of her 3rd birthday, she threw away her Nuk (don't judge me, yes...she had a nuk until she was 3), and went to bed with her new Dora doll.  This event marks the end of birthday mania in our house.  It is now time to burn off all the cake!
Diva with her birthday loot.  She was not having any part of me combing her hair for photos.   


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  A few weeks ago, I went to another reading of Run Like a Mother.  The Author, Dimity McDowell was in town and gave me a heads up about a group run with the Moving Soles Running Club to prior to the reading.  I debated going because I didn't know how awkward it would be jumping in and running with a group of women I have never met.  Being the type of person that loves meeting new people, I thought it could be fun and I ended up going.  I am glad I did because I found a  cool group of women that I would love to continue running with.  They were all so friendly and welcoming.  I ended up running 5+ miles with one girl and we chatted the whole way.

Now I am contemplating becoming an active member.  There are only a few members that are training for Twin Cities Marathon but I think I can adapt and jump in to complete my training.  I am more interested in what the group can offer after the race.  I want to become faster and an overall better runner.  I like that I can join the group for organized long runs but I can run by myself and not feel the pressure of running someone else's pace.

2.  I am going to be a complete copycat and be just like Jess at 21 Day Habit.  I am going streaking!!!  I am going to run for 21 days straight.  You might be scratching your heads wondering why I would do that while I am training for a marathon.  I should already have a pretty good grasp on running.  Well, I don't.  I do well on the long runs but fall short during the week.  I think having a little challenge will pull me out of training doldrums and keep me accountable for hitting my weekly goals.  I will run on rest days but probably not more than a mile or two.  I just need to keep the streak going.

3.   Speaking of 21 days, I will be in FLORIDA!!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Weekend-Wrap Up-DONE!

I did it!!!  I finished the Urban Wildland Half Marathon.  Official time 2:38:57.

Race reflections and tidbits:
  • The race FELT longer than 13.1 miles.  I felt that way, a few friends felt that way, and my Garmin felt that way (saying I ran 14.75 miles).
  • I am still wondering how my Garmin can be almost right on the nose with calculating the mileage of all the other runs I do, but be so far off on this race??  (I always double check the route prior to hitting the bricks).
  • I ran the whole way except through the water stops.  This is a first for me....I usually fall apart towards the end of a race.
  • This race was a nice mix of trails and road and it ran right outside of my house.
  • I got greeted by my family at mile 7.5.  My family cheered me on in the rain and my boys made a sign for me.
  • This race was not a personal best nor a personal worst as far as time goes, but this is one race that I felt great from start to finish.
  • There were a group of 3 girls that insisted on running 3 across even when the trail was very narrow.  They would run/walk and they would pass me, block the trail, I would pass them, and then they would ride my ass.  It was a vicious cycle for a few miles and I almost let the irritation get the best of me but then I left them in my dust.  ha!
  • This was a race with green initiatives.  I loved that the swag bag was reusable shopping bag with NO fliers or any sort of paper.  The cups at the water stops were all compostable.  The bibs were embedded with Black-eyed Susan seeds so you could plant them.
  • The bibs were a joke. People were losing them at mile #2 because card stock is no match for a sweaty runner.  I think our hood is going to be blooming next spring because I saw a lot of bibs flying around.
  • I was a bit irritated that we didn't get medals at the finish.  The website indicated that finisher medals would be in line with their green agenda by using a renewable wood source.  I guess they took the greener approach and didn't give any out. 
  • It started raining half way through and it was HEAVEN.  If the sun had been out, I would have dropped from the heat.
  • This race was a great way to get me to the half way hump of marathon training.
After the race, I headed home to finish getting ready for the kids' birthday party.  Since all of my kids have birthdays within 12 days of each other, it makes sense to do one big family party.  I got home at 10AM and my guests started coming at 1PM.  I didn't have any time to rest and by 8PM I was a complete pile.  The crazy week came to a head yesterday and today I am totally crashed out.  I am going to veg as much as I can before the work week starts again. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Foto Friday and Some Random Thoughts

Yeah Baby!  I found them!  I was too cheap to buy them so I posed with them instead.

 Friday's Mind Dump
  • I am running a half marathon TOMORROW!!!!!!!
  • Does funnel cake count as carbo loading?
  • I am bit freaked out about this race.
  • No, I am not.  I will be just fine.  Positive thoughts.
  • OK...really I am shitting bricks.
  • Run, walk, or crawl I will finish and my only goal is to finish before Tuesday
  • So tired today. The grande coffee is not cutting it this morning. 
  • I am still sick from yesterday's Valleyfair experience.  The kiddie rides kicked my ass.
  • I will never do rides again.
  • Birthdays are 2 down and 1 to go.....YAY BIRTHDAY MONTH!
  • Is it truly possible to be sick of cake? I am craving broccoli and the though of cake turns my stomach.
  • I can't remember the last time I had a vegetable.  I think I see a detox in my future.
  • Oh look at the time....I must get my tail into the office. 
  • Ugh.  It is going to be a long today.
Happy Friday!  Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Three Things Thursday

1.  Today is my oldest son's 8th birthday.  I know you are probably wondering how I could possibly have an eight year old child when I look so young.   I get it all the time.  We are celebrating the whole day.  Instead of having a party, he wanted to spend the day at Valleyfair.  I am excited to take him because he has never been to to a place with "wild rides".  I am also taking one of his buddies.  It should be interesting with 2 crazy boys and me who is terrified of heights and roller coasters.    I do hope to come home with a pair of shorts like these:
This is my friend Riana's rear end.  She really owns these shorts.  She saw my 4th of July recap and admitted that she had the same shorts as this lady.  She said she got them from the water park at Valleyfair.  So now I must find them!!!!

2.  Thank you for all the kind words and all the responses regarding my two questions yesterday.  I got some great ideas.  If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time you will know that:
  1. I am a terrible planner
  2. I set crazy goals (like doing a couch to marathon) and get completely out of sorts when I have a set back.

Aron from Runner's Rambles gave me this tidbit:
"i think with marathon training its important to look ahead and not back. don't try to "make up" things you missed, just move forward and adjust as necessary."

This is one thing is going to be the thing to help me get through my training.   "Just move forward....".   I have a tendency to get frustrated with failures and either quit or start over (as you may remember I dropped out of this race last year for the same reason....I never learn).  I am not quitting.  I have adjusted my goals for these races coming up and I have my runs on the calendar.

My goal is just to cross the finish line before they close the course.  There will be other races to work towards improving my time. 

3.  I got back up on the horse yesterday and ran.  The schedule said to run seven but because of my craptastic running streak, I was just going to do what I could and it was only 3 miles.  It was a great 3 miles.  I think 3 great miles are way better than 7 crappy ones. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Your Two Cents Requested

Twin Cities Marathon posted this question yesterday on Facebook:
Life doesn’t stop when you’re training for a marathon. What’s the best advice you have for managing your time?

There were a lot of interesting answers, but I want to know more. What do YOU do?

I always have the best intentions to follow a training schedule to the best of my ability, however, it is not always realistic.  As much as I love running, I don't always make it a priority even when I commit to training for a race.  Life demands, an injury, a streak of terrible runs, or a few poor choices (cough cough like cheeseburger and beer week) can really trip up the training plan. 

What do you do to get back on track when you fall behind on your training program?
I would love your opinions on both questions.
Speaking of life demands, we are in the middle of the busiest week of the year.....BIRTHDAY WEEK!  We have 1 down and 2 to go.  I am already exhausted and sick of cake!!  It is certainly a fun week but I am looking forward to things calming down a bit.  
My Google Reader is out of control and I miss reading and commenting on your blogs. I will be back stalking you all soon.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Weekend Wrap-Up-Humiliation

Humiliation is what I was feeling after my "long" run on Sunday morning.  I was staying with my parents and had to do an on location run.  Lucky for me (or so I thought), I had a running buddy in the neighborhood and she was willing to meet me at 6AM.  I was hoping to make up for the miserable week of running I had and I was shooting to do between 10-13 miles. 

As planned my friend showed up at 6AM on the seeds.  We stretched a bit and hit the road. Right from the start, I knew I was in trouble becase I was PANTING.  I could not get my breathing under control.  I was a little embarrassed because we weren't even a mile in and I was ready to walk.  Thankfully I made a whole mile before I had to break down and start a chain of walking events.  The girl I was running with slowed her pace to run with me but I just wanted her to go ahead.  I started feeling bad because she wasn't getting the quality of training she needed and truth be told, I really hate running with other people.  I hate when they have to slow down for me and don't like having to feel like I am struggling to keep up.  The longer I was running with her, the more annoyed I got.  The more annoyed I got, the harder the run was.  It was a vicious cycle.  I stumbled my way through 7.5 miles.  I was embarassed because the girl I was with barely broke a sweat and I was practically dry heaving.

I have a pretty good idea why I have been having crappy runs.  It all boils down to garbage in/garbage out.  The week that the kids were gone really caught up to me.  I don't know why I expected to have a great run after having a cold and a week of food that did not contain a fruit or vegetable.  To top it off, add in some nasty humidity and a running partner that claims she is slow but really runs a lot faster and it is a recipe for a shit run.  This was the first time I wanted to ditch the sport. 

Thankfully I am not ditching the sport.  All runs cannot be good ones and this one was by far one of the worst.  For as bad as I treated my body last week, I should have been happy just to cover the mileage that I did.  I learned that I run best with just me and my iPod.  While I still would like to join a running club for the organized runs, I don't ever plan on having a running buddy.  I am a lone wolf.

This week of training is going to be a challenge and I am going to have to get creative with where I fit my running in.  I may have hit my record for the number of activities that I can pack into a week.  It is really quite insane.  Here is a rundown:

Monday-My middle guy turns 6 years old.  We have a birthday party that evening.  Thankfully it is not at my house!

Tuesday-National Night Out and I got stuck holding the bag as block captain so the event  is at our house.

Wednesday- Hail Mary catch up day for cleaning

Thursday- My oldest son turns 8 years old and in leiu of a birthday party, he requested a day at Valley Fair.  I took the day off of work and we are going.

Friday- Race packet pick-up and my parents arrive for the weekend.

Saturday-  Urban Wild Land Half Marathon AND the combine birthday party for all 3 kids.

Today kicks off birthday mania in my house.  We have three August birthdays within 12 days of each other.

My little man turns 6!  He is the reason we have a wing at Children's Hospital named after us.  

We spend the weekend in Duluth and has a great weekend.  You would neve know that the kids were having fun from the photo below.  We spend the day at Canal Park and show the festival of Tall Ships.  It was pretty cool.  That is one place on earth I could never get sick of.  The shores of Lake Superior are just beautiful.
Another failed attempt to get a good photo of my 3 kids.