Ramblings, musings and generally boring stuff. Mostly about bikes...

Monday, October 15, 2012

First 10K!

Yesterday was the GO! St. Louis Halloween 10K.

I thought it would make a nice "dress rehearsal" for the 1/2 marathon next Sunday so I signed up and encouraged Big Ring to do the same. SK also signed up, which was cool because we've been running 10K's every thursday for the past month. BR had to do 10 miles, per coaches orders, so she started out the morning early to get the first 4 out of the way. Needless to say, she did NOT don a costume for this one, but SK and I did!
We managed to both be Genie's of some sort too, without intentionally coordinating.

My Genie costume was midriff exposed and I soon discovered it was not too photogenic, but ay...whatever.

Somehow we managed to find each other, including BR, within 3 minutes of the start. We all crossed the start line together and then SK was off. She has a tendency to start fast, so I knew I needed to just settle in or it'd hurt to try to keep up with her. She got such a distance ahead, I didn't think we'd see her again until the finish.

BR and I helped pace one another, however, it was pace by feel because I switched Nike+ hardware right before this run and couldn't figure out how to check our pace as needed. We relied on the mile updates and tried to adjust from there.
Since I started my iphone/Nike+ before the start and we had to talk for a couple of minutes in the sea of people just to cross the start line, our first mile pace was SLOW (11:40) but I knew it was skewed a bit. The course was also fairly hilly, including a climb up Russell in Soulard.

My Genie costume included a coin belt (ala belly dancer belt) and jingled out my rhythm the whole way. It also apparently confused, surprised and annoyed some other runners because I fielded a few comments and strange looks.

BR proved to be incredible at the bob and weave through the crowd, finding one "hole shot" after another and keeping us on pace despite the variations in the crowd. I just followed her lead and directions and we stayed with one another for nearly the entire race.

I made jokes and silly comments about most of the costumes we saw and we focused on a couple of "rabbits" up the road.... Literally. We caught the first rabbit at around 4 miles and also managed to pass Buzz Lightyear and Woody (Who were ahead of us with a nice steady pace from mile 2). I set my sights on another rabbit and helped BR fall into a groove when she started to groan from the miles (she DID have 4 more miles under her feet already!)

Just as I commented that we couldn't even see SK, BR says "There she is" - about 50 feet ahead of us! I knew with that jingly belt that I couldn't sneak up on her but BR and I put her in our sights and caught up to her. We all ran together for about 1/4 mile and as we made the turn with about 1 mile to go, a power song came on the ipod and I just went with it. I was feeling great and settled in to the music groove (Beastie Boys - Professor Booty!)
I soon pulled ahead of BR and SK and unbeknownst to me, gathered a descent margin. As the finish line came into view, I was both excited and relieved to be finishing strong, but WAIT!.....
Instead of heading straight up the block to Chestnut, we had to turn right...away from the finish and head a couple more blocks up Market! Ugh.. A HUGE headwind from the East was there to greet us too! To make matters worse, my costume was hindered by cross winds, with pieces of fabric trying to hog tie me at the knees as I ran.
That last 1/4 mile was a challenge, but I still felt strong and managed to move past several more runners approaching the finish. I  managed to catch and pass 2 more "rabbits" but Wonder Woman nipped me at the finish line (She's SUPER strong :)

I finished with a time of 1:03:13.

The GPS on my Nike+ had us at 6.33 miles. My fastest 10K time yet! I guess if I continue with this running stuff, I'd like to shave off those 3+ minutes to come in under 1 hour, but we'll see.

BR and SK finished right behind me and I learned from the results that my long-time friends Deeds and Lisa finished right in front of me! I wish I had seen them!

I was sweaty and getting stinkier by the minute. That Polyester costume DOES NOT wick sweat or stink at all! In fact, I think it intensified the stink! That limited the amount of time I wanted to hang out in that costume and the distance I wanted to sit/stand from those around me!

SK headed out first, to Queeny Park for round 2 of adventures today. BR and I headed to grab a bite to eat and discuss some strategy for next weekend.

What a great way to start the morning! I am ready for next weekend!!! Come on 1/2 Marathon!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Cyclist goes running....

It sounds like the start of a joke, doesn't it...
I guess it could still turn out to be one. But it's true.

Back in July, on the first of our hiking adventures in Colorado (the 7 mile one with the rabid skunks, rattle snakes and black widow spiders, not the one where I broke my finger at 14,000 feet) Br offered up a challenge in the form of "Wanna run a 1/2 marathon with me?" I'm still not sure she actually meant to invite me. I think it was the exposure, lack of water and extreme conditions talking. After all, She had stepped off the trail at one point. But "Adventure" is her middle name (Big Adventure Ring?).

I think BR knows me well enough how obsessive I am. With a simple "ok", I committed. I was in for a penny, in for a pound.

Of course I kind of forgot about it for several days. The first challenge I had to survive was the 14'er the next day. I'd only done about 4-5 total hikes prior to this in my life!
I DID survive that, at the expense of my left ring finger being forever slightly bent. The rest of our Colorado adventures were timid comparatively (except for that one night.... I didn't know Ashley had moves like Jagger... I digress).

We returned to Sea level and regular life ensued. Then it dawned on me... I had committed to something, I'd better actually investigate it further. First, I double checked with Kate... Yes, she was serious. Second, registration....WHOA! $110?? Hmmm, I started on a work around for that one...
Thirdly, I'd never run more than 5 miles. I hadn't run more than 1-2 times a month at any given point since I discovered two wheels are inherently better than two heals.
Hmmm again... That presented a challenge, but not one I wasn't up for. After all, in the last two years, my fall training plan had included some running to prep for cyclocross.

So I set out on the trusty interwebs to find a training plan. Then, after finding several million, I systematically picked one (the first one that looked easy to follow and I could print out) and proceeded to gather advise from those who've done this crazy stuff before me.

Fast forward to today, 9.15.12. Five weeks in. some how, magically, I have managed to increase my mileage from 3.1 to 5 to 7 to 9 and today........ 10 Miles!
It still feels really slow and inefficient to run. My legs just don't move in the circles I long for. The breeze just doesn't feel the same. Granted, I AM slow. I managed a 9:30 minute average mile on one 5k run, but typically I am a 10-10 1/2 minute miler.

Who'd-a-thunk it. I might actually be a runner somewhere in there. But I can promise you this.... There will be NO swimming.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Chicago Run. Not from the Police...

Bad Blogger note: apparently I forgot to publish this back in May. I had forgotten about this blog all together.. I'm not even sure this post is finished but as Ashley would say "Whatevs"...... It's only 3 months later!! It's not like anyone really reads this, or if they do, cares... if they DO care, hmmm, well, then I'm sorry for that.
I've been a little toasted with the bike lately. Don't get me wrong! I LOVE the bike! I just needed some time off of it for a day or three. Training 5-7 days a week was starting to wear on me a little and my last crit didn't exactly end how I'd hoped. Our mini vacation to Chicago was perfectly timed.

I LOVE running in Chicago. For some reason I am faster there than I am here. I can also run longer without as much effort. The last time we were there, the Marathon happened to be that weekend (we were there for music!) We had gorgeous late summer weather and I felt like a rock star groupie running with all those marathoners around me, getting in their last short runs before the big day.

So this time around, we had gorgeous late spring weather and the NATO summit! Waa Hoo! While we weren't there for the NATO summit or protesting, it made for some interesting moments. (We were there for music again!!).

We arrived Thursday evening in time to check in, head to The Metro, grab dinner nearby (highly recommend the MotherKlucker at Rockit burger!). Friday morning came in lazy fashion after our rock n roll night on the town. By 9 am I was out of bed with running shoes on. I headed out to Millenium Park and FINALLY found Cloud Gate (How on EARTH did I miss that on three other run excursions there???). I ran all over the park and made my way to Lake Shore Drive and the running/cycling path along the lake. Even with some stops waiting for the cross walk, I managed to do 5k in exactly 30 minutes. I finished up by the hotel at 3.48 miles, with a stop in Dunkin Donuts for some French vanilla coffee to bring up the Mr Sleepyhead.

We managed to log many, many more walking miles on Friday - 3 to the Shedd aquarium and back, all over downtown/loop area, up to the Magnificent Mile and then back to our hotel. I am guessing we got in 5-7 miles of walking. Our dogs were barking!!

Saturday morning was a little harder to get going but I managed to get out and move the tired legs (after breakfast at The Corner Bakery!) I set my ipod for 3.5 miles and ran in the park, along the lake and river walk. The last 1/2 mile was challenging due to the increasing number of people on the streets as I headed back to the hotel. I think I did this one in 35 minutes.

Throughout the weekend, the police presence was intense. There were LARGE groups of police, usually in full riot gear, on every corner, every bridge, every subway stop and all points in between. Even the horses had riot gear on! The bike cops were out in Massive peletons (ok, maybe just groups of 6-12; They seem to have their own version of hand signals too).

Monday, March 5, 2012

Run for Chocolate 5k *Sunday February 12, 2012*

I am a little late with writing about the Run for Chocolate but looking back on my Halloween write up, I felt I should say something, for posterity. Disclaimer: I am NOT a runner person. I am a cyclist who runs occasionally.

My training schedule for February affords me some time for some cross training and fun non-bike stuff. I was interested in doing the truffle shuffle or this race and when I saw this was a 5k (not longer) and was scheduled for a Sunday (would not conflict with my weight lifting schedule), I was in.

I love all the "Stuff" you get with your registration fees for a running event. When you do a cycling race, you pay $30-$40 and get a number and some pins. When you register for a 5k, you tend to get a "goodie bag" and a t shirt. This race was no exception. The goodie bag included a whole chocolate bar, T shirt and coupons for stuff. Add to that the finishers medals made of solid Bissinger's chocolate!
I "convinced" my friend Suzanne to do this... actually by convince, I mean asked. She'd likely also say she's "not a runner person" but her running times and number of events may make you think otherwise! (She's consistently finishing on the podium in running events, just as she does with cycling events).
I was nervous but excited on Sunday morning. It was one of the coldest weekends we've seen in a while - in the mid to high teens but SUNNY!! I had to check out my friend Brent's pictures of the race the weekend before to see what people were wearing to these running things. (Thanks Brent!) I told him about this when we bumped into him before the start. Little did I know that this cold but bright day was his BIRTHDAY!
Anyhoo... I dressed myself in some versatile cycling gear- tights and a hooded fleece lined jersey, a wool baselayer, some warm socks my mom gave me for Christmas, hat, gloves. I think I looked very stealthy! I texted Suzanne and was on my way. She'd arrived and found a parking spot by the start. After driving around for a while looking for parking, I found a spot not too far away. I met up with Suzanne (whom I had not seen in months! She is getting soooo tiny!) We warmed up a bit and knowing she wanted to really run, I encouraged her to get a good place at the start while I shuffled to the back of the nearly 1000 person crowd. I was fumbling with my ipod and wanted to be able to get it started without being crowded in.

We were off.... sort of... I'd forgotten how you start running, only to do that run/walk thing to the line. Apparently it took over 1 minute for me to even get to the start line. The first half mile featured lots of bob and weave around slower runners and walkers stretched wide across the road. When we reached the overpass, the only little climb for the course, I was able to pick up the pace and move away from the slower walkers/runners. I fell in behind a guy with a sign on his back that said this was his first 5k. He provided a nice pace for the next mile or so.
I noticed the sides were lined with a few people from our cycling circles - mostly Big Shark racers as this was a Mike Weiss production. After the turn around, just as an awesome song came on my ipod, I picked up the pace and simulaneously hear Cristel cheering my name from the side! Waaaa Hoo!! that was some good motivation. I was feeling strong and happy.
I continued on, chasing some people dressed as MnMs and helping a lady chase down another who'd dropped her glove. This helped the remaining 3/4 mile go by quickly. I turned the onto the finishing stretch and picked up the pace a bit. As I crossed the finish, the time said 31:30. I was really pleased! I was even more pleased when I found Suzanne and she helped me realize my time was even less than that, since that was the clock time (and it'd taken me some time to get to the start line). Ultimately my time was 30:18! A Personal Record for me!! (Age/category results are here)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

It's PEEPS time!!

I thought I'd come out of blog hibernation with exciting news! If you haven't noticed already, It's PEEPS time.
I do love me some marshmallow peeps. They are so colorful and full of pure sugary goodness. I try to eat them in moderation and generally get burnt out on them after 6-8 weeks of indulgences. It helps that I am "one of those people" who prefers them stale. I have it down to a science. The best Peeps are purchased in early March, packages are slit open with a sharp knife and allowed to stale in a cool dry place for 1 week. This gives them a little snap when you bite into them. MMMMMMM!!!! GOOOOOD!!!!

There are so many things you can do with Peeps this time of year, including THIS!!