Sunday, March 30, 2014

Run the Bluegrass Review Part 1

First and foremost, how about them Badgers!? They earned a spot in the Final Four with a 1 point win over Arizona in OT last night! I still can't believe it! It's so exciting!


It has been such a busy week and I have so much to tell you! I guess I'll start at the beginning. In January, I was asked to fill in as a Pace Leader for the 2:45:00 Pace Group. You can read about that here. Our first job as Pacers was to attend a meeting on Wednesday night. We all met the race director at the start line and discussed the Start Line logistics and how the Wave Start was going to work. So there was 7 Waves and each would start 2 minutes after each other. So in other words, Wave 1 went off at 9:00am am, Wave 2 went off at 9:02am, Wave 3 at 9:04 and so on. Afterwards, we made our Pacer signs that we'd be carrying throughout the race. We were also given some pace bands to wear during the race which came in very handy!  The volunteer meeting was at the same time and it was kind of neat to get a different perspective of what all goes into hosting a big event. So many details, big and small, come into play.

Here's my free hand is not so appealing, but you get the idea. I like stencils. I'm not an artist. Sorry I'm not sorry.

The Expo began on Thursday and so did job number 2 for the Pacers. Each of us had to take a 3 hour shift at the Pacers table to answer questions and to introduce ourselves to the runners. I took a slot on Friday afternoon. It was really neat to meet people as they were coming in to pick up their racing packets and answer any questions they had.

Once I got home Friday night, I laid out all my gear and tried to relax.
The weather didn't look like it was going to cooperate, so I wasn't quite sure what I was going to wear, so I set out a few options. Long sleeve, short sleeve? Shorts or Capris? Decisions, decisions.

I'd been so nervous about being a Pace Leader, relaxing was no easy task. In training for this race, I had a lot of setbacks. First off, the Polar Vortex made running outside a challenge. Plus, I was in a car accident and was sick for almost two full weeks. I missed a few long runs and mid week runs, which just made me even more nervous. Was I really ready for this? I felt good about my last long run, but this is an exceptionally tough course, and the weather conditions were not going to help me in any way. Would I be a good leader? What if I couldn't deliver my projected pace time? What if I let a bunch of people down? What if this, what if that? All my questions and concerns would be answered in the morning. Sleep would not come easy, but I knew that I would give it my all out on the course.

Since I'm still wiped out from the race, and I'm watching some Elite 8 games, I'm going to cut this review into 2 parts.

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Day of Spring, International Happiness Day, and a Birthday!

Its here! It's finally here! The First Day of Spring! This winter weather has been driving me crazy. I love running outside, but with all the ice and snow I just couldn't bring myself to get outside. Ok enough of that. Spring is officially here and I am so excited!! Today is also International Happiness Day, whatever that means. I guess it just means it's a good day to be happy. And I'm happy because someone special is having a birthday today...ME!

I started this special day with a run of course! The best present to myself that I could think of.

The schedule called for 5 miles, but I didn't have enough time. I ended up running 3.4 miles to celebrate my 34th birthday.

I ended up having Chinese food for dinner. Yummy! And this little guy was my dinner date!

Liam says, "Happy Birthday mommy! That means I love you!". Awe, he just melts my heart!

Since it's almost bed time, we are watching one of out new favorite movies. Frozen! I love this movie!

Great day! Oh, and the Badgers won in their first game of the NCAA tournament! When you say Wisconsin, you've said it all!

You've said it all!

What are you happy for today?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Oh Spring, Where are You?

With Run the Bluegrass less than two weeks away, it's definitely crunch time!
The last couple of weeks have been less than spectacular. The weather has been crummy and I've been sick. Being sick put me out of commission for almost two full weeks. I was able to crank out 5 miles last weekend, but it was completely miserable since I struggled to breath the entire time. Now that I'm feeling better, I think everything is back on track. I may have to say good bye to the shiny PR that I was hoping for at the Derby mini in April, but I've got five weeks to train, so we'll see how it goes. 
Anyway, I had 9 miles on the schedule this morning and I was really nervous about making it the whole way. The weather forecast had me nervous too, calling for sleet, freezing rain, and more snow. When will it ever be spring!? Ahh! I can't stand this weather! Go away Polar Vortex!

Fortunately, I finished my run before the precipitation started, but it was really windy! That snowman has the right idea...stay inside and watch the crazies running outside...oh wait that's me, a crazy person! But you already knew that, so it's all good.

Remember how I said I was nervous about running 9 miles? Well, I felt really good so I ran 10! Actually, I ran about 10.25 miles, because I paused my watch while waiting to cross the street and forgot to start it right away. Fail! I'm a total numbers geek, so there is no way I could have finished with my watch saying 9.xx miles, so I had to add on a little extra to make it an even 10.

After being sick, this was a BIG confidence booster for Run the Bluegrass. 

One more week of training, and then it's race week! Yippee! I can't wait! As a pacer, there's lots of exciting things coming up before the race that I'm totally looking forward to! The only thing is, I need to come with a creative saying for my 2:45:00 pacer sign that I'll be carrying. The biggest problem is that I'm not creative in any sense of the word. So if you've got any ideas, give me a shout out! Is it weird that I'm more worried about making this sign than I am the actual race? My sources say yes. Oh well, that's how I roll.

What would you put on your pacer sign?

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

I Missed a Week of Training, So What!?

Last Saturday, I ran 8 miles. I wasn't really feeling the best, but I figured it just was because I had donated blood a week earlier. It wasn't until Sunday that I realized I had the plague. Enter in fever, chills, hot flashes and lungs full of crap. So now it's supposed to be my long run day and here I am parked on the couch with a box of tissues and a cup of coffee catching up on The Walking Dead. I'm not going to lie, it's really making me anxious that I haven't run or excercised in a whole week, but I know rest is the best thing for me right now and I also know that missing a run here and there isn't going to kill me either. Hopefully, I'll be back in action soon. 

So, what have I been doing since I haven't been running. Oh, I've been thinking about running, reading about running, looking at races I can sign up for and wishing that I was running. I think that about covers it. 
Actually, I've finally signed up for a 5k. I won a free entry for the Run for the Nun 5k in May.

There's another race I'm thinking about doing in June. It's called the Bourbon Derby. There's a 5k, 10 mile and 1/2 marathon option. The 10 mile and 1/2 courses travel through two local horse farms, which is totally awesome because the farms in this area are amazing! I just don't know if I can keep training through June, plus if it's real hot, the end of the race could be miserable. I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet, but it sounds fun!
Ha! See what I mean, I can't stop thinking about running. I'll spare you from any more rambling and daydreaming for now.
I'll leave you with some running humor.

Have a great weekend friends!