Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Half Marathon and Other Business

The Team Ortho Monster Dash line-up of races was this past Saturday and to get one last good race in for the year, I signed up for the 1/2 Marathon. It was a perfect day for running, a slight breeze and cool temps. Awesome. Before the race I got to meet IronJenny and her son Bobby who went on to PR in the 5k. Way to go Speed Racer! Their whole family ran the race which I think is so great. I can't wait to have kids and bring them to the races because what better way to introduce your kids to a healthy lifestyle? Although, Mr. Fury and I have talked about this and I have decided we're having boys and they're all playing hockey and going to the U of M Twin Cities campus (GOPHERS!). He tries to reason with me and explain how that's not really how it works, but I think he just needs to give his "boys" a stern talking to so they understand the deal. I digress.

Back to the Monster Dash. It was awesome, and when the fabled gun went off (I say fabled because I never actually heard anything indicating the start of the race, we just started moving) I started out faster than my marathon pace. I wanted to run this at about a 10 min/mile pace because I haven't had too many long runs since Ironman. I felt pretty good, and I was keeping a 9:30 pace for the first 3 miles. I felt really good by mile 3.5 so I picked up the pace...a little too much. I wanted to see what I could do, so I pushed it pretty hard. By mile 10, I saw my friend Dana working the water stop. She told me I looked good, I told her I was pushing it too hard, and so to give me some encouragement she told me to be like a Cheetah. To "be like a Cheetah," I clawed my hands in the air and kept running. I think the guy behind me thought I lost my marbles. What he doesn't know is that I never had any in the first place...

The last three miles around Lake Calhoun were tough mentally. I have done that run a million times before with the team, and I knew exactly how long it took to get from one side to the other, and all I wanted to be was done! I haven't pushed myself at that pace all year, and to do it in a 1/2 Marathon probably wasn't the smartest thing I have ever done. I got around the lake (like a Cheetah!) and was on my way back to Lake Harriet. I saw my friend Erin walking back to her car after finishing the fun run 5k, and she yelled to me, "Remember when we had to run these hills 6 times for practice?!" Uh, yeah. That also hurt a lot! Oh memories... I was so happy to be rounding the corner to the finish line, and crossed it in 1:51. WOOHOO! Major PR averaging 8:28/mile. Awesome! Even though I was majorly sore the next day, it was a great way to end my racing season. Now, on to winter sports, and I hope to pick up skate skiing. Safety Bob has his work cut out for him teaching me how to skate ski...

On a different note, my friend T had her first chemo treatment yesterday, and she made a new friend in her IV drip named Benny. She bonded with Benny over their 2 1/2 hours together, and will continue to bond over the next few months. Pray her treatments are successful and the side effects of chemo are few! We're all very hopeful she'll be back on her feet and in her classroom teaching by spring.

In other news, I ate a gigantic brat last week. It was so big, I couldn't help myself but document it's immenseness. And I know you're wondering: Of course I ate it with extra sauerkraut and mustard!

It was sooooo good!

Happy Eating!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Or Maybe the Corn Maze?

I think I actually promised these pictures...

The start of the corn maze. J-Tub's not sure about this.
We walked straight all the way, and it brought us here. Rip off.
So we turned around and tried again.
Ryan and Sparky decided to go a different way than me,

and then I was by myself left to my own devices. I was getting hungry.

Never ending corn! I would like to get out of here, "MARCO!"
Maybe I should just eat some...

I finally found my way out and everyone was already picking their pumpkins. I think there's going to be a dance-off for the pumpkin in the middle.

My shirt matches the pumpkins. Isn't that festive?


Picture Goodness

Here are the pictures I promised from my "Adventure Run" with Mr. Fury:

Our run off the paved path begins and we're both all smiles.

I have no idea where this goes!

Mr. Fury: "I love adventure running so much!"
Ms. R: "I know, it's so great!"
The crew team passed us like we were standing still.

The path lead us under the railroad bridge. This must be where all the local artists hang out.

So we took a picture.
This is my favorite tag. Ispose we should keep running!

I always wondered how you got to this beach!

Taking a breather.

I love this run!

Thanks for sticking it out with me Mr. Fury! Fun times had by all, or at least me...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Up and Down and On Our Way Back Up

Today has been a rollercoaster of emotion. I received some shocking news just before lunch today, the kind that takes your breathe away. I'm still trying to digest it, but I am thankful that I train and race on behalf of such a wonderful organization. It is hard for me to find the words right now, but please keep my friends P & T in your thoughts as they are going through a rough patch. The outlook is bright and I am hoping they take up the amazing services and support the LLS provides. Not much more I can write at this point other than it's time to rally around our girl.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Adventure Running

Just a quick update today:

It's been pretty busy at work lately and my co-worker and I just found out yesterday that we have to really step up the work on a project that we've been working on the past few weeks. Turns out our deadline has been moved up and that means we really need to get things moving.

I went for a longer run last weekend and it was a ton of fun. I explored the trails down by the river on the Minneapolis side a little more and found they twist and turn all over the place. It was a great "adventure" run. My 9 miles quickly turned into 10-11, but I brought enough GU and water so I wasn't too worried about the additional mileage. I even got to meet a little 3 month old puppy named Wolfgang. He was very well behaved and sat down so I could pet him which is amazing at that age!

I went out to the apple orchard with some friends, which was great! We walked through the corn maze and I got lost by myself and was left to my own devices with my camera. I'll post the pictures later tonight or tomorrow. Hehe! I was so lost and just wanted to get out after about 5 minutes of wandering around aimlessly that I started yelling, "MARCO!" and thankfully Bridget's boyfriend Ryan yelled, "POLO!" back to me. We went back and forth until I found my way out. Thanks Ryan! We picked our pumpkins in the pumpkin patch, and then took a tractor ride back to the apple orchard. It started to rain when we got back to the orchard so we all decided it was time for some beer...which brings me to Saturday night...

We all met up at The Muddy Pig and had beer and some food. Ryan's friend Phil met us at the bar and he and Sean (aka Ass Pounder) started talking endurance sports. You would have thought these two were long-lost friends. Turns out Phil is quite the athlete. He qualified for Boston Marathon on his first try, just ran Twin Cities Marathon in 2:55 (or something equally as ridiculous), and hopes to qualify for Kona on his first try as well. I don't doubt he will do it. Wow! Good luck Phil! The Fury and I left soon after Phil's cousin joined us so we could meet up with some of his friends at The Shamrock. I had a couple more beers there, watched the rest of the victorious Wild game (GO WILD!), and we listened to a few songs from a cover band. We had enough of that and made our way down to the Liffy (I think we were at the Liffy...not so sure on that one). Mike's friends came back to the table with drinks, and I just wanted a water, but they were so kind to bring me a shot of Jag. Hm...they must know that I am my mother's daughter and I cannot let good liquor go to waste. My night was soon over, and The Fury got some good laughs out of how ridiculous I was. Sunday was (kind of) a welcome sight and I spent most of the day on the couch watching football and catching up on my ZZZzzzzs. Awesome.

I ran home from work with my friend Lindsay last night, and it was fun to catch up about non-work related things. Turns out she and her husband are planning on starting a family soon so she's not signing up for any races quite yet for next year. Exciting!! I told her the story of how I got passed running on the River Road by a pregnant lady this summer. Hopefully we can still go out and run/walk together if they strike it rich in that category beceause apparently I keep a slow enough pace. Ha!

Tonight the Fury and I are going to the U of M women's volleyball game. Woohoo! We've been addicted to the Big 10 Network since Comcast picked it up earlier this year, and that's why we decided we should just go to a game instead of watching them all on tv. M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A, Minnesota! Minnesota! YEEAAAHYEYEYEYEYEYEYEYY!!!!!!!!! GOOOPHERS!!!

I'm hoping to get a run in before we have to leave for the game, but we'll see how the timeline pans out. Have a happy (cloudy) day!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Back at it!

I went to get my knee checked out by an orthopedic surgeon at Tria a couple weeks ago. When the doctor walked into the room, he looked at my IM jacket and said, "I know why you knee pain! Did you qualify for Kona?" I laughed and said, "Um, no, but maybe someday, like when I'm 65 years old." We talked Ironman for a little bit, and it turns out that he volunteers at the World Championships every year in the med tent. It was nice to have a doctor that finally understood what I put my body through. I think most doctors have no clue what our training regiments are like, even if you try to explain, and don't always take that into consideration when treating endurance athletes. I digress. The doc went to town on my knee, twisting, bending, pushing, pulling and all that jazz to check out the major ligaments, and found nothing. Nothing. Nothing! Wahoo! The x-rays showed nothing as well. He concluded I have a bruised bone and it will take 4-6 weeks to heal, let pain be my guide, and to keep up the anti-inflammatory meds. Okey dokey, I can do that!

Week four came around and I was going bananas. I needed to move around, get some exercise, go swimming...or maybe for run? I couldn't help myself so I made the Fury go for a run with me. He was not happy. I dragged the poor guy around for 2.5 miles and his face was screaming, "HAVE MERCY ON ME!" So, I did and we called it a night. The run felt great, and I didn't have too much pain which was fabulous. I have ran a couple times over the past week and did a workout on the elliptical. I hate the elliptical. Yawn! It's so boring, but I survived.

In an effort to not have the post-race blues, I signed up for the Monster Dash 1/2 Marathon. Yipee! I'm really excited to race again even though it's not going to be much of a race for me. I'm sure it will be more of a wog than a run, but it will be fun to be in the atmosphere again. I heart races.

Speaking of races, the World Championships are this month. Guess what two lucky duckies are going to be in Kona for the big day? If you guessed the Fury and I you are dead wrong. Momma and Poppa Bear are going to be there, but purely on accident. They didn't really plan it this way, they just happen to be flying to the Big Island the day before the race so the Fury and I begged them to volunteer. If I can't be there to enjoy slathering sunscreen on all the hard bodies, then hopefully Momma Bear will. I am so excited to hear all about it, and I hope they bring pictures home of the pros. I told them to take a picture of anyone with their name on the butt of their tri-shorts. I figure that's the best way to decipher who's a pro and who's not at that race. Ha!

Other than trying to get back into working out and wallowing in jealousy that my parents are going to be in Kona for the World Championships, I have been busy with wedding stuff for my friend Jackie. She just got married last weekend and her bachelorette party was the weekend before that. It was a great time and I was completely worthless the day after the wedding. Here are a few pictures from the big day:

A double decker bus was our ride to the reception.

Stop for pictures.

I'm messy.

Serenading the bride's brother because he wouldn't dance.

Dancing with my best lady friends.

Tri On!