Sunday, June 19, 2011

iPhones and puppies.

I mentioned in my last post that I registered for the St. Pete Beach 5k series. I am starting to have buyers remorse. I have an unofficial goal of running some type of race each month. The series will help me fulfill that goal but 7pm in Florida is wickedly hot. Instead of running in this crazy heat I usually do the smart thing and avoid it by running in he morning or on the treadmill. So, I need some help from the bloggy world. How do you manage a hot run?

In nonrunning news, I am writing this post from my new iPhone. I feel like one of the cool kids, even though I'm a few years late. I am still learning all the cool things it does. So, I'm asking for iPhone tips too. Especially picture or blogging advice.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Come run with us.

After finishing the Stillwater Half Marathon, I've been able to reevaluate my running.  I'm going to spend the summer training to better my 5k time.  I've already registered for the St. Pete Beach 5k Series.  They are evening races along the beach.  I like running shorter distances in the summer when it is crazy hot.  I don't want to be out in the Florida sun any longer than necessary.  By registering for these races, I was able to join St. Pete Road Runners.  I think they will be able to help me explore new routes around my neighborhood.

As a way of making the short runs more fun and to keep me from bailing on my runs, I've started a running group at work.  RBK and I have already been running alot together and we have a few running coworkers who I thought would come run with us.  It would be a great way to help us fit our runs in.  A night shifter's schedule is not a flexible sometimes.  All we want to do after a 12 hour shift is hit the hay and to wait and run before work means running in 90+ degree weather.  No thank you, I am not that hard core. 

The first morning M. and I ran 2.5 miles.  I proved to myself that first day how important this was going to be for me.  If I hadn't made the commitment to this "group" I would have ditched.  Of course 1 minute into the run I was energized.  That is such a great feeling and one of my favorite parts of running. 

RBK was able to come to the second meet up and we ran 4.35 miles along Bayshore.  RBK runs at a faster pace, so it was helpful to have M. there because we run a very similar pace.  We finished this run with a great breakfast at Daily Eats.  Man, I love that place.

Today was the third meet up and 5 people came to run.  RBK had a speedy running partner and I ran with 2 others.  We ran at the park with the 1.25 mile loop and did 2 laps.  It is very close to work and has some shaded parts to help keep cool and bathrooms.  I've invited walkers to join us too.  I like this park because people can run or walk as many laps as they want as fast or slow as they want, but still feel like part of the group.   I'm excited for more and more people to come so that everyone can at least partner up and have a good run.

Someone recently FB messaged me and asked me about what motivates me to keep running.  It definitely isn't my talent, the ease at which a run, or that I feel I was born to do this.  It is getting messages asking me about running or having someone tell me I inspired her to register for a half marathon.  That is what keeps me going, being part of this running community. 

Are you part of a running club?

What keeps you running?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Half Fanatic #1124

Sorry this is so late, work took over my life for a little while there, but I have a sweet stretch off this weekend.

Ok, maybe it wasn't the greatest race I've run.  It was very painful, I was very slow.  I had to take a bunch of walk breaks.  But it was still a good race. 

We didn't sleep very good the night before and we were up and anxious to go at 5:30.

Ready to Run!

Uh, popping a squat before the race? 

RBK's dad was a great supporter.  He dropped us of near the starting line at about 6:30.  The race started at 7:00, so that was enough time to hit the honey buckets, take some pictures, stretch out a little, and walk to the start line.  Much better than parking far away and taking the shuttle bus to the start line.

I'm glad we didn't have to start at the bottom of that first hill.  There were a lot of hills to come later, no reason to start off that way.  RBK's dad and his girlfriend were waiting at about the 4th mile.  My first goal was just to make it all the way to them without a break.  I knew I was not prepared for this race, so I tried to stay smart.  Taking it easy and taking breaks before I was too exhausted. 

It took a while for my legs to get loosened up and to get my mind right.  Once I got in my zone, I became a little optimistic for second.  Once the hills started, I wasn't as optimistic, this was going to be hard.  I tried to stay focused and before I knew it I saw Papa Clyde cheering us on.  We stopped for a picture.

 We popped our tunes in our ears and we were off.  The course was very beautiful, well, Minnesota is very beautiful.  I tried to stay distracted from how hard this course was by enjoying the town and my music, but it wasn't easy.  RBK wanted to us to do the race together but she is so much faster than me it was hard for her to hold back.  She would run with me, run faster and get ahead of me, then turn around and come back and meet me again.  I started shooting eye daggers at her.  I hated holding her back but she wanted us to stay together and I just couldn't keep up. 

After about the 7th mile I thought the hills were finished.  Nope.  They were shorter hills, but they were still there.  My ankles started popping and I instantly changed my form.  Bad runner.  I couldn't push off with my left foot, I had to keep it completely parallel to prevent it from popping more.  I continued to take walk breaks and RBK kept running her circles around me.  I went to a very bad place.  I felt terrible about myself and my body.  But I made a vow with myself to never run a race so unprepared.  RBK yelled at me for being so negative but it didn't quite pull me out of my funk.

Thank goodness for Coheed and Cambria.  I got a second wind and I relaxed my form as much as I could.  I really felt like I got into a groove.  My pace didn't really get better and I was still taking walk breaks, but my shoulder were relaxed and I came out of my fog.  Just in time for photographer.

After mile 10, RBK was a good bit ahead of me.  I stopped to slip on my ankle brace.  Kristina didn't come back.  I ran/walked and focused on making it to Papa Clyde again, who was waiting at mile 12.  We had driven the course the day before and I knew that right before where he would be waiting was a long downhill.  I couldn't wait to reach it. 

Mile 12.
Thank goodness, only a mile to go.  I walked a good bit of that last mile so I would have the umph to finish the race running.  Before I knew it Stillwater came into view and I saw the finish line.  I wish I could say I finished "strong" but I'm happy enough just saying that I finished.  Uff da!!  I was so glad to be done.

Not long after I finished the first marathoner crossed the line.  I'm glad I beat that guy, just for my ego.  My goal for this race was just to finish with a better time than my first half marathon, and I did just that.  Finishing this race meant even more than usual because it qualified me for HALF FANATICS!!!!!!!  #1124 Right here baby!  That was my third half in 90 days.

After the race, RBK treated me to an awesome surprise.  My very first facial.  Wow, I had no idea what I had been missing.  I will definitely be doing that again.  I've also never had a pedicure, that's next.

We went to dinner with RBK's dad and his girlfriend and we took up the offer for free beers.  I will never turn down a free beer. 

As hard as the race was and as bad as I feel I did, I had a great time.  Minnesota is a beautiful state and Stillwater is just like a postcard.  I would love to live there, if it wasn't for those crazy winters.  I said I would summer in Minnesota and winter in Florida.