Saturday, October 29, 2011

redemption! chapter 2

I'm just in it for the hardware
Monster Dash today and I did NOT walk through the finish chute!  Goal met!!

I have to say, I got up this morning and I was just not feelin' it for this run.  My ankle has been barking a little bit and frankly, I was kind of worried that I haven't been running much, and my longest run since Grandma's (Really? I haven't put in ANY long runs since June 18??? Holy shit!) was 5.2 miles.  So to go out and run 10 miles seemed a little, uh, daunting.  Plus, I wanted some form of redemption, remember?  My fear was that I was going to completely hit the wall around mile 6 and lose the will to live.  But then I figured, well, at least I'll be out there. And I paid for the race. And I want that medal.  Plus, I'd have to own up to not showing up and I didn't want to have to do that.  So off I went.

My saucy mask
But let me back up a little bit.  Even though I was going to run this one solo, I thought it would be fun to wear some type of costume.  I think I over-thought things.... I was all worried about finding something that would be comfortable, not too warm, wouldn't flap all around, wasn't going to pose a chafing threat....too much criteria.  I found a really cute bumblebee costume that would have worked except the sleeves were too restrictive.  So that was out.  Oh, and have I mentioned that I don't have a creative bone in my body?  Making something from scratch was not going to happen.  So anyway, I finally settled on a hot pink Mardi Gras-type mask.  Very low key and I could rip it off my head and throw it away if it bugged me too much.

So this morning as I was getting ready, I thought, "Hey, I should put on some bright pink lipstick to go with the mask!"  I mixed a couple of my long-wearing lipsticks together and ended up with a pink that was really quite striking, especially against my pasty white skin.  This lipstick is amazing folks, I could be in hurricane force winds, pelted with sheets of water and still emerge with my lipstick intact.  It's that good.

Anywhoo, between the half marathon and the 10 mile, I think there were about 5000 people in this race.  The starting area was complete chaos.  I was heading to the bag drop when a group of women asked me to take their picture.  As soon as I said, ok they all started pulling cameras out of every orifice and I ended up taking about 18 million pictures, two with each camera, "Just to be sure!"  Back to my quest for the proper bag drop bin when I ran into a friend and chatted with her for a couple of minutes.  Then back to the quest....finally located where I needed to leave my bag.  Did I mention how cold it was this morning?  29 degrees!  So I had to take off my gloves and my warm coat and put them in the bag....grab my chapstick and kleenex and honey stingers....then I hear, "Get to the starting area, the race will begin in 5 minutes!"  Crap!! Stuffed everything in the bag and headed to the start.

In the starting area, I noticed people look at me with a quick double-take and I'm wondering WTF?  Do I have something on my face?  Hanging out of my nose??  Then I realize, damn, I forgot my mask!  And I also realize, shit, I'm wearing scary-ass bright pink lipstick.  With no matching mask. Or costume of any sort, for that matter.  I'm just looking like the aging crazy woman who is getting ready for her close-up.  And if you recall, that lipstick possesses incredible staying power so removing it at this point is not an option.  <insert effenheimer outburst here>  As with my poor race-day wardrobe choices (e.g. the jacket tied around my waist for about 23 miles during Grandma's marathon), I had to just put the unfortunate lipstick choice out of my helped that I couldn't see it.

On to the race....
Here's me with Jane after the race.  Can
you see the pink lipstick?
And do I not have the world's
most ginormous melon-head ever?
Despite a pretty chilly start, it was a beautiful day for a race!  Sunny skies, no wind, and we started on Summit Avenue in St. Paul right by the cathedral.....the fall colors were glorious and spectators lined the streets.  Due to my history of low mileage, I decided I would just go nice and slow and see how things went.  I had no intention of pushing things at all.  I was wearing GarminElectra and as usual, she had to pull something just to let me know she runs the show.  After the start gun went off and we were shuffling to the actual start mats, I looked down and saw that she had shut herself off again.  Beyoch!  Got her up and running just as I ran over the mat.

This was a super easy run for me.  The course was awesome.  With the exception of one steady climb right after mile 7, it was all flat or downhill.  Gotta like that!  I just ran along, happy as could be and the miles went by pretty easily.  I didn't bother looking at GarminElectra, as long as I heard her beep with each passing mile, I was happy. I have pretty low expectations where she's concerned.

Husband bonus: I didn't think he was going to make it to this one because DSD had hockey practice and SS had play rehearsal but there he was, with Jane, just after mile 7.  It's always such a treat to see him at my races!  He also found me at the finish line.  I think he likes me.

Back to the race.....Get this: I beat my previous PR (Women Run the Cities 2010) by 8 minutes 41 seconds!!  How the hell did that happen??  My official time for the 10 miles was 1:40:07. That's 0.01 FASTER than GarminElectra had me at 9.93 miles.  Su-WEET redemption!!

So it was a good day for me. And no serious ankle pain. Yay!!  I have a couple more 5Ks to round out the year and then I start training for Grandma's.  I can't wait!

Here are my splits.  Again, I came up short in the mileage - I must ride those tangents like they're Secretariat.

Avg Pace

Happy fall to y'all!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

redemption! chapter 1

Turns out apples right after running don't seem to agree
with my delicate ecosystem.  But the half-eaten apple
looks cool on the shirt, doesn't it?
Ah, sweet redemption. The Run for the Apples 5 mile race was today, and I did it - I showed up for the race!!  <cue the choir> It probably helped that the husband ran the race, too.  That always increases my odds of getting where I'm supposed to be on time.  Last year, if you recall, I was running it solo and my dipshit tendencies trumped any organizational skills I may possess.

So anywhoo, showing up was my only goal for today and I'm pleased to say that not only did I show up for the race, I ran it as well.  So I think that means I exceeded my own expectations.  Well done, Nora, well done!

I wore my snazzy trail shoes and I could see the other runners looking at me so enviously, all of them thinking to themselves "Man, a chick with shoes that awesome just has to be crazy fast."  But you know me, I like to keep 'em guessing, and I think it's bad form to be a show-off, so I went at my usual pace.  Garmin Electra (despite being the temperamental and untrustworthy beyoch that she can be) showed up too, and managed to stay awake for the entire run.  Here are my splits:

Avg Pace

Not too bad, eh?  And those splits are negative, princess!  I'll take it, especially since I've done lots of fast walking but very little actual running over the last few months.

With the husband after the race.
Eyes open and my nose is clean as a whistle!
The course was fun, back and forth through the orchard, pumpkin patch, strawberry fields, the corn maze, and some short bursts on the nearby road.  The only thing I didn't like was - because there was so much back-and-forthing - we could see all the runners waaaaayyyy ahead of us.  (I like my position in the pack to be a little more of a mystery to me.)  But it was an absolutely PERFECT Minnesota October morning, deep blue sunny skies, no wind, temps in the high 30's...... a fantastic day for a run.  I was freezing before the race started but warmed up right away and had stripped down to my tank top before the end of the second mile.

So that's it peeps! redemption! chapter 2 (Monster Dash 10 mile, where my goal is to NOT walk through the finish chute) coming up next weekend....  I'm running it solo so here's hoping I show up for it.

Oh, one more thing.  Remember my envy of the woman who could blow snot rockets?  And that, despite my envy, there was no way I would EVER do that in public?  Well, never say never, people.....desperate times call for desperate measures.  My nose was running like a faucet out there today - after four uses my one tired little kleenex was spent so I was blowing snot rockets like a pro.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

grandma's marathon, round 2

Well, I did it.  I signed up for Grandma's 2012!  Nothing like a little jog in my future to get me blogging again!

I'm assuming my ankle will get over itself by then.  I hope so.  I just started running again and I have races on the calendar for this weekend and next (remember, it's redemption time for me!) so we'll see what happens.  I'll be going nice and slow and have no big goals for either race, other than to show up for the damn thing (Run for the Apples) and NOT walk through the finish chute (Monster Dash 10 mile).  Here's hoping the ankle doesn't complain too much.

My snazzy new trail shoes!
Oh, and my gear whore tendencies continue.  I now own trail shoes! I still have to write a report on the trail race the husband and I did in September.  I'm loving the trail running.

More to come but just thought I'd let you know I'm baaaaaaaaccckkkkkkk!!!