Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fall 50

This weekend may have been one of my favorite weekends in racing history.   It was new experience for me to be part of a relay and now I can officially understand why people love them so much.   Fall 50 is held in Door County, WI and is a 50 mile race that can be done by solo's, pairs, or teams.   It's a very hilly course for the first half and then after that it settles down a bit.   The weather that we were given was nearly ideal.   When we were near the open lake, the wind would pick up, but it wasn't felt for most of the race.  

Team Hill Billy

Our group started at 8 am and I was leading the group off with Leg 1.   While everyone else in our group was excited, I was nervous about how the day would go.   None of us had planned breakfast so we all ate an RxBar on the drive to the start and called it a day.   BTW these things are amazing.   Everyone sort of loved them and they are Paleo approved and all real ingredients.  

After peeing, and sitting in the car until a few minutes before the start, we all headed out toward the start line where the wind was insane and it was freezing cold.


Lined up and waiting for the race to start.   Wanting to puke. 

Before I had a chance to puke, the race started.   I hold pride in the fact that I was #1 female in the race for the first quarter mile.   I kept thinking...where is everyone?   There was only one male ahead of me and he was way ahead of me so I started to worry I wouldn't know where I was going.   Unfortunately, shortly after, all the speedy people that started off smartly and conservatively started to pass me.  


I quickly realized just how hilly this course was on the very first leg.   It was constantly up and down and rolling hills.   Next year I will know better and plan accordingly.

After the first leg, it felt like the day went by so quickly.   As soon as we would get to an exchange point, another team member would be off and we would be quickly driving off to get to the next exchange.   It seemed we had just enough time in between for the last runner to grab some food and for the next runner to pee.

Handing off for my last leg of the day.  Leg 9 of 10
Because we had a team of 4, the legs weren't exactly evenly split but I am completely happy with how it all worked out.   I ended up with 3 legs and about 13 miles total for the day.  



After it was all done, of course we drink beer.   It's just what we do.   They had unlimited beer at the finish along with pizza so we had a couple there and then headed back to our hotels and got ready to go out to a bar after.  

Big Ass Beers
I already know I am going to have to do this race again next year.   It was so much fun and such a change of pace from a non-relay race.   It also helps that I felt like I knew half of the people there.   Every exchange had people we knew at it.   I kept seeing more and more people that I knew and am really surprised by how many people I have met through running.  

Do you run with running groups?  If you don't, you need to!

So what's in the outfit?

Headbands - Bolder Bands headbands.   These were really really nice.   Better quality then I've seen in comparable headbands

Shorts - Ink N Burn Shorts.  These were the denim look running shorts.   We had endless compliments on these.   People kept asking if they were really running shorts and commenting on how they loved our shorts.  

Sock - ProCompression.   Need to keep it tight with all those hills.  Calves feet great.   Quads are a different story.

Shirts - Goodwill.   They were easy to alter throughout the day.  Started as a long sleeve and quickly moved to a tank top to really stick with that hill billy theme!

In the handheld - Cocogo.   I will forever use this stuff.   So much better than Gatorade.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1.   I ran a 5k this weekend and did...not so well!   It was actually pretty disappointing for me.  It was right around 27 minutes and not even close to a PR.   The real struggle I had was that it was just a bad race.  I felt terrible during it.   I have found that if conditions are too cool and I run hard, my throat will hurt like hell and my esophagus burns like crazy.   What can you even do about that when you live in Wisconsin?




2.  In a week I will be doing my first relay.   It's the Fall 50 and it is pretty hilly.  


We have a team of 4 and I am really looking forward to the entire experience.   I'll update a lot on that race after it is done.  



3.  I am Stiiiilll lifting.   I can't believe I've kept it up this long.   Normally if I am seeing little results I give up but here I still am.   This week I feel like I haven't gained or have maybe lost muscle but maybe it's all in my head.   I am lifting regularly and if I am not gaining, it's my own fault with not enough calories.   To gain muscle you have to have a surplus of calories and that is just so hard for me to do.   I feel like I am eating all of the time.


I feel like with being 5 feet 9 inches it's going to take me years to get to where I would like to be.  

Do you gain muscle easily?  

Some people barely have to lift to gain muscle.   I'm jealous.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fox Cities Half Marathon and Coming Back from and Injury

As I've previously mentioned on this blog, I had an injury this summer that sidelined me for about a month and a half.   During that time off, I sort of sat in my sadness and did nothing cardio.   I continued to lift weights, and that in its own is beneficial, but it doesn't help much when you attempt to get back to running again.   The first few weeks were frustrating to say the least.   The first day back to running, I was able to go one mile before having to take a walk break.   Thankfully I have an understanding running partner and he dealt with me bitching and complaining even more then I normally do, which is a lot.  

Slowly I started to gain some progress.  It was painfully slow though.   We had both originally registered for the full marathon but after my injury and him getting burnt out,  we both decided to change our registration to the half marathon.   Even with the long run miles cut in half, I found it very hard to get through the training runs.   Prior to the injury my easy pace was in the 9's and now I found 10's to be hard to keep up with.   That is so very hard to accept.

Week by week we ran through the miles. Week by week I was let down by my ability to feel good during a run.   Week by week I felt helpless.

I never did have a good training run this cycle.   Not once.   They all felt very hard.  

And then race day arrived.  

I had put the miles in, although not pretty.   I decided to go into this and just see how I was doing.   To see how much I had lost.   I didn't feel very nervous on race day.   I really seem to have this "Don't take it serious" mentality down.   Almost all of our running friends were running as well and oddly enough, we were all in a similar mind set.  

As soon as the race started, I stuck with what I know.   When you run with the same people all of the time, you really do get comfortable with that.   The first few miles felt a bit hard.   We were trying to all stick together and when the first mile went by, I was happy to hear that it was a sub 9 pace.   The same for the next few miles.   That's when our faster friend took off ahead of us and we got into our pace.  I was really surprised at how good I felt.   I felt comfortable.   I had not felt this good during a run since June.   It was amazing.  

Heeeeyyyy!!!


We were still early in the race though and I figured it would catch up to me.   It just never did.   At points of the race that I remembered being a mental struggle previously, I felt great still.   I let Matt set the pace and when he needed to walk or eat, I'd walk or eat.   It just worked.  

Busted eating and walking.  Chews really get stuck in those teeth.

I never did get overly tired.  By the end, I knew that I was going to be happy with our time.   We were on track to be right in the range of my "typical" half marathon time and with the way that training had gone, this was awesome for me.


We finished in 2:08 and while it isn't my fastest half, it's not my worst either.   I now feel like my sub 2 is still completely reachable next spring.  



Afterwards we got in warm clothes (brr it was cold when not running), got massages, and hung out watching the full marathoners finish (Yay Rachel!).   Then we went down to the bar for the free tacos and beers that the PaceSetters members get and watch the Packer game.   Perfect ending.  

But wait!   I need to brag just a little bit here.   See this cutie?


The girl, not the guy.   That's Katelyn doing the 5k the day prior.   She set a new PR for herself and ran so strong to get herself a time of 26:39.   That's almost a full minute faster than her previous PR.  The girl doesn't train.  She just goes out there and runs.  

She also placed for her age group!  

She is amazing.  

More amazing than me :)  

Friday, September 5, 2014

Five for Friday

1.   Back to this.



  It's only the first week and I actually just said out loud to myself "Go away book!" and threw it on the ottoman after reading only 15 pages into it.


2.  I took this before my lifting workout this morning.   I'm pretty sure I could have been considered under the influence of drugs.   This shit is for real and we'll see how it works out for me.   I'm slightly scared of being in public after drinking it.



3.  Drunk pictures.   Went to the bar.  Drank too much.   And then you find random pictures on your phone the next day.  

I don't know this guy but apparently he was worthy of a picture.   He looks lonely.  


Creepy Sarah!


4.  WHOA DOUBLE RAINBOW OH MY GOD



5.  This bathroom at my gym takes the best muscle pictures!   And I guess I'm finally getting some to take pictures of!


Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Last Weekend of Summer

As I sit here on the last weekend before school starts up again, I can't help but reflect on the summer as a whole.   It has been a good summer.   While my kids are now ready to get back to school (and lets be honest, I'm ready for them to get back) I feel a pit in my stomach because I am so nervous for school to start back up again for me.   I have a pretty full schedule and as I flipped the calendar page to September this morning I can't help but notice how much is on there.   I am still working at the hospital/clinic, although my availability is less and then to top it off, the comedy club has won me back and I'll be picking up a few shifts a month there as well.

   Katelyn is on a traveling soccer team now and we will have many days of soccer ahead of us.   Kenzie is starting back at gymnastics and will be going to a new place this fall because I failed to sign her up at 6am on the day of registration and all classes were filled by the time I remembered it was registration day.   It will probably benefit her but my checking account is gonna be pissed as the price is four times more expensive then the previous location.   Live and learn.  

Fall is also racing season again.   I am no where near the place I was prior to my foot issues.   I'm slow as fuck and every run feels terrible.    Last weekend I did a 5k in the must humid weather I may have ever experienced.   I finished in 27:41 which is no where near a PR for me but also not as bad as I had expected myself to do so there is always that.   Katelyn also ran it and they got some pretty good pictures of her and one of me sleeping.  She got second in her age group and won some cheese and a nice mug for my coffee.



I have sort of given up on speed for the fall.   I am just going to struggle through it and then come winter/spring I'm going to start back up with speed work and I'm determined to get my pace back.   I am going to train for a spring half marathon for the first time in a long time.   I was always marathon training and not able to focus on speed for a half because of it.  That will all change this spring and I'm finally going to force a sub 2:00 half.   I can't believe I don't have one yet.  

There are still a few more races on the schedule for this fall.   September is Fox Cities Half Marathon.   October is Fall 50 and St. Joes 5k, November is Turkey Trot (5 miles), and December is Race for the light 5k.   We will see if I can get any others in there or not.  

As for now, I'm going to miss summer.   It was full of ups and downs and wonderful memorable moments.  





Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Thigh Gap.

I've made mention of the thigh gap previously on my blog and how to fake the thigh gap for pictures but I feel as though Pinterest is flooded with the thigh gap right now.   I can't go to Pinterest without being bombarded with image after image of cute outfits on women who wear a girls size 8 jeans and have an insane thigh gap.   Yes, the outfit is adorable.   Will the outfit look like that on me?  God no.   I'll have muffin tops, thick thighs, and my real size B boobs to accompany the top.




Now, I'm not necessarily a hater of the thigh gap.   I just find that it's become such over kill.   It's so rare to see an outfit on Pinterest put on a woman that looks just like that.   A woman.   A woman with some curves.   A woman with some muscle.  A woman with big thighs.   A woman with love handles.   When will the love handles become a thing?  I can't wait for that day.   I'm all set.


Women come in all shapes and sizes so why are the images of the outfits we buy in all the same shaped women?   I understand some women are naturally thin and naturally have the thigh gap and I'm not hatin' on you!  I just wish that every time I opened my Pinterest I didn't have to see 50 pictures of you and would see some images more like this:

Yes I have a tramp stamp.   I got it illegally at 16 years old with my sisters stolen ID.  Not my proudest moment. 
Now obviously I care about my body too.   I work hard to keep my body looking some what healthy but at the same time I'm realistic with what I can achieve with my body type.   Right now I'm focusing on upper body strength because when I run, I sometimes look like this:


I'm extremely bony up top and it's not a great look.    People then assume I don't eat food because I wear loose tops and you  can see my collar bones and you can't see the love handles hanging over my shorts.   I eat.   A lot.  

Now it's has become my mission to just randomly search the internet and find women that are realistically shaped.  And get this.   In cute outfits too!   I'm determined.   I'm even going to hashtag that shit out with #RealWomen on my realistic outfits board.    I'm sure by the end of the week I'll have maybe 3 pins in there.
Disclaimer:   I don't hate skinny women with a thigh gap.  Many would consider me skinny as well.   I am just sick of our society making it look like the only acceptable body type out there are the ones that have no fat or muscle on them.   This isn't healthy or realistic and I'm just really over it right now.  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The run that you almost couldn't call a run.

After 4 extremely long and grumpy weeks I finally decided to give my foot a good try at running and see how it would go.   The good news is that it didn't really hurt during the run.   The bad news is that it hurts after the run again and felt pretty much like it did previously.    At this point.   Oh well.   I am over it.   I can't get a straight diagnosis to save my life, even with an MRI in there.   I have decided I'm just going to run for a while and see how that goes.   Obviously if the pain gets to "this sucks a lot" point, I might have to reassess.

We did 5 miles to ease back into running and it was just as bad as you would expect after dropping cardio out of your life entirely for 4 weeks.   .75 of a mile in and I was begging for the watch to sound for 1 mile.   I was breathing heavy and bitching the entire time and pretty much was the whiniest I've been in a long long time.    I just truly hate being the one that makes someone elses run suck that bad.

What I looked like the entire time.

I did a whole lot of nothing this weekend.   My plan was to be outside as much as possible and that was sort of a success as I went to a bar outside and then I also went to a restaurant outside.    Besides that, I planned to go to the pool with the kids on Saturday and Sunday and they ditched me both days to hang out with their grandmas.   There's possibly something wrong with that picture but whatevs.


This week I also finished my Anatomy and Physiology class.   It feels great that I will get enough time off to enjoy some of the summer.   Not that I don't love learning A&P.   It's fun....


If A&P did anything, it made me more nervous for what's to come.  

This week I only work two days and I plan on getting to the pool at least two of the other days.   No taking no for an answer this time!   They are stuck with me.  The summer is so short that I want to be outside the entire time as long as it's warm.