Sunday, April 27, 2014

Beartrax Brownie Shuffle (4.2K)

Beartrax Brownie Shuffle (4.2K) - April 27th, 2014
time = 21:48
pace = 8:10 average
placed 1st in my age group (40-49) out of 29
placed 3rd in women out of 110
placed 8th overall out of 163

i was much slower this year than last.  my time last year was 19:53 but given i was uninjured, running consistently, and the weather was nice enough for shorts... well, i think i'll take my time today and be happy with it.  i should mention that i was signed up for the 20k but given the way my leg has been feeling i went early this morning and changed my registration to the 4.2k to be safe.  i'd rather finish well in something short than have a DNF in something long that i'm ill prepared for.

kellie, me, and amanda pre-race
it was raining this morning and the wind is really gusting something fierce.  makes for a cold and clammy day in spite of the temperature being in the upper 30's low 40's.  last year at this time i was lamenting running in lapham peak as i could not call myself a trail runner yet.  i hated trail running because it was hard and i simply wasn't up for the challenge.  this year... i LOVE it.  i was so happy to be on the trails.  i wasn't pushing myself very hard because as of this race it had been 12 days since my last run.  so i was running comfortably and not balls to the wall as i had suspected i might run.  my foot had gone numb pretty quickly into the run and i was just being cautious of any pain that might arise.  thankfully there was no pain... just the numbness.  so i powered on.  i started near the middle of the pack so as to not take off too quickly (plus it makes me feel faster if i pass people which is always a bonus).  so i started passing people right away and continued to do so most of the race until there was only one large teenager in front of me.  he was so gross!  he kept stopping (in the middle of the trail i might add) to spit and then he'd lope off like a lanky golden retriever who hasn't quite mastered his legs yet... only to stop dead in his tracks and spit again.  seemed like maybe he was fighting a cold.  i caught up to him pretty quickly.  then i got passed by a woman in blue.  i stayed on her heels for awhile and then passed her on a downhill to be quickly overcome a moment later.  i assessed her age and determined that she was  younger than me and therefore not worth killing myself to beat so i held my pace as she quickly became a speck ahead of me.  yes... i actually had that conversation with myself about whether or not she was in my age group because all that matters is that i place in my age group because i'm freaking old.

the course (as recorded by my garmin)
about mid-way through the race the beautiful trail gives way to pavement and that's about where the gap between the woman in blue and i got too large to close and for what it's worth... she was fast.  the golden snot boy on the other hand... had he just held his pace and figured out how to spit WHILE running probably could have stayed ahead of me.  no such luck for him and i was in front of him in no time.  i like to think that i rocketed past him at light speed but it was more of a gaining akin to a snail overtaking another snail.

in the final downhill stretch another teenage girl passed me and i made the decision to not try and get ahead of her because again... not in my age group and for fuck's sake... my leg was numb.  the whole time i was trying to figure out how many people were ahead of me because well... that's how i roll.  why is it that running looks so effortless for these kids?  i mean... i'm busting my ass out there and this girl just glides past me like she's doing a little waltz.  when i look at the stats tho' it looks like i came in just before her not exactly beating her as we both have the same 21:48 time... our milliseconds must be different tho'... i really pulled it out around the last bend but i didn't notice where she was at that point as i was looking at the finish.  no matter how hard i try i simply cannot shrug off my competitive bug.

lastly, a little kid passed me up around the same time that teenage girl did.  earlier on i passed him and 2 others who were 3 deep, but man, those little kids get that second wind and they are fast.  again... no effort was made in this 10 year old's passing me.  none... he just slid right past me like he was on some of those heely shoes or something.  *sigh*  that kid beat me by 3 seconds!  i wish i could get a second wind like that but no dice... i was simply glad that i was still on my feet given that i have no endurance from all NON-running i've been doing lately.

i really love this race.  it is really short and always beautiful.  it is well organized and if you're not a trail runner per se it's a good way to get your feet wet (or muddy or dusty as the case may be) considering that only 1/2 of the race is on the trails.  today could have been muddy given the rain this morning but the beauty of a forest is that it protects the trail from a lot of the rain and the trail was totally dry.  i can't wait to get out in lapham again for my weekly runs.  i miss it so much.  all that nature just wrapping it's arms around me.  also, once in the woods the wind was mostly nonexistent which helps a lot. the only thing i don't like about this race is that they don't do age group awards.  i'm guessing because it's so short of a race.  the after race foods are awesome!  this is the only race i've ever been to that makes fresh oatmeal.  i cannot say enough good things about this race, lapham peak, or my community.

if you get a chance to come out and run this next year please do.  it is so worth it.  if not... there's always the colorama which is in fall.

the finish as photographed by my husband

obviously i need to work on my "finish face"

Friday, April 25, 2014

liebster blog award nominee and subsequent nominees

the week i was in florida i was nominated by my friend sun over at for this thingie called a liebster blog award. 

below is an excerpt from sun's blog about what that is:
"Anyhow, for those of you not familiar with the award, it's an online award that is given to bloggers from other bloggers. It's meant to help generate attention for new and upcoming bloggers, generally those with 200 followers or less. Here are the rules for participating:  
You must link back to the person who nominated you You must answer the 10 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you. You must pick 10 bloggers to be nominated for the award (with a small following) You must create 10 questions for your nominees You must go to your nominees' blogs and notify them of the award." ~ sun
so now that i'm home from sunny florida (sigh) i've finally got some time to sit on my keister and figure this thing out.

here are sun's questions for me:

1. What is your favorite type of pie?
french silk from baker's square hand's down

2. Tell me about your favorite pair of jeans - the ones you'll wear forever.
my favorite jeans are big star casey or haley cut from a few years ago.  i liked them so much i bought about 15 pairs and will not need to buy jeans again for a very very long time.  i'm short waisted (and also short short) so i have to get my pants in the teen department most of the time otherwise the tailor is my best friend.

3. What is your favorite place to eat in MKE? 
transfer pizza... no doubt about it

4. Are you always early or never on time?
i am and forever will be early.  i am never late unless there's some catastrophic accident of some sort.

5. What's your favorite workout?
running and i am IN LOVE with the squat machine at the ymca.  other than that i really like the rowing machine for an upper body work out.  

6. What type of shoes do you workout/race in?
i only ever wear new balance.  i run in the 1400's and am testing out some other ones for the gym but plan to not buy them again after they wear out.  i really love my 1400's.

7. What is your typical coffee shop order? 
i don't go to coffee shops.  i don't drink coffee.

8. Who is the first person you call when you have good news?
my husband

9. What are three words your best friend would use to describe you?
compassionate, loyal, sassy

10. What is one current fashion trend you would like to see disappear?
 high waisted bikini swimsuits


now then... i'm supposed to nominate 10 blogs for this task but i don't really have that many that i'm interested in nominating so here are the couple that i AM interested in nominating:

1.  there's always someone faster
2.  the fat runner
3.  the boring runner
4.  left-right-repeat
5.  backstage balance

and here are the questions for them:

1.  how did you get started running?

2.  are you always nervous for races?

3.  do you have race "outfits"?

4.  is there something special that you have to have with you for a race?  like a talisman of sorts?

5.  do you always have a cheering section when you race or do you go to races alone?

6.  would you still train or run as hard if you didn't enter races?

7.  what's your favorite food?

8.  favorite thing to do besides running?

9.  do you have any pets?

10.  what's your dream job?

beartrax on sunday

"and one has to understand that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear." - Paulo Coelho
 on sunday i'm running in the beartrax brownie shuffle.  i originally signed up for the 20K but given the state of my leg these past few months i've decided it would be in my (and my ego's) best interest to take it down a notch and run the shuffle instead.  i'm really hoping that given that i've not run in 12 days by the time sunday rolls around things should be feeling a bit better.  maybe wishful thinking but who knows.  all i know for certain is that all this NOT running has taken it's toll on my endurance and i pretty much have none at all so that is what concerns me at this point.  the shuffle is only a 4.3K but since it is on the trails i won't kid myself into thinking it will be a piece of cake.  to add to that it is supposed to rain.

i've never run a race where i haven't placed in the top of my age group.  given my purchase for competition i'm guessing that i will go balls to the wall and kill myself trying to win.  it is, after all, what i do.  i would rather not compete if i can't compete to my fullest potential and even without running consistently i think i can still pull it out for a win.  maybe not 1st place like last year but still... top 3?

the difference between this year and last year is that i've grown to love lapham peak so much that i am devastated by this issue with my leg.  i've not run in lapham since february 19th.  man, that feels like such a lifetime ago!  i keep hoping that the time off of my leg will give the pinch time to unpinch if that makes sense.

i'm just waiting for the new insurance to kick in so that i can go to a physical therapist and maybe get an MRI too.  i need to find out what is going on with this leg and get it rectified.  it is so frustrating.  the frustration is leading to some mild depression i think.  i'm not very good at recognizing that in myself so i'm not sure if that's what i'm feeling.  i just really need to run.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

oh, the possibilities...

running has become a very arduous venture as of late.  so much so that i've practically given it up in my mind.  i've almost written it off as a thing of the past and have actively been getting rid of or downgrading my spring/summer races.  i am having the most challenging time completing anything more than 3 miles without numerous walk breaks which makes me alternately overwhelmed with disappointment (to tears in fact), and seething with anger.  on wednesday i ran in one of the most beautiful places i can think of... vero beach, florida.  part of the run is paved and then part of the run is on a protected sandy road that skims the river.  the entire run is breathtakingly beautiful and yet... the entire time i'm running my focus is on my pain.  where, how much, what kind, and the severity of it.  my focus is also on how long i can force myself to go before i simply have to take a walk break.  my walk breaks are timed and are never more than .05 on my garmin.  however... there are a lot of them.  each break makes me more and more incensed which brings on the tears because the anger has nowhere to go.

yesterday we went to miami overnight for a heat game and while walking around miami i kept getting these shooting dull pains in my leg.  not encouraging in the least.  *sigh*

i have no idea how i'm going to rectify this situation.  i have no idea what is wrong or how to fix it so i keep thinking that i'm simply going to have to stop running altogether.  this makes me so disconsolate.  what am i going to do if i can't run?  how will i find that happy place?

today i saw this:

this makes me feel better and less downtrodden.  makes me feel like i should give it some time and try to figure this mess out before i just give up completely.  what i'm going to do in the interim is beyond me... i simply do not know.  i have all these races i've scheduled that i really really want to do.  the most important is the lakefront marathon so maybe i'll just give up all the others and focus on that one?  maybe i will lay off the running for a month or two and then try again?  i honestly have no idea what will work and i'm afraid that no matter what i try nothing will change and then i will feel so much more defeated.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

couple more days...

florida is a couple of days away and the hibiscus festival 5K is the saturday (at 7am mind you) after we arrive. as in... we arrive somewhere between 9pm and 12pm on friday night after having driven 21-24 hours fairly straight and i may or may not be inclined to sign up for the 5K.  i'm leaning towards running it.

last year i did pretty well.  i'd really like to see how well i could do this year.  too bad i'm not at 100% with this stupid thing that's going on with my leg.  to compound that i'll be coming off of having driven for 20some odd hours and not have gotten a very good night's sleep so that may effect my results too.  in fact, i'm quite certain that would effect my results.

so the question becomes... is it worth doing the race?

last year i won first in my age group (5th overall) which i'm pretty proud of.  i'm a year older (not so much wiser) and it might not be quite the same or quite as easy to finish that fast.  it was really hard to do last year, i was uninjured, AND in prime shape.

i'm so looking forward to a break.  job hunting and being unemployed is really stressful.  it's humbling and awful.  i will be really pleased when i am employed again.  i did buy a lottery ticket yesterday for the drawing tomorrow so maybe i'll win the jackpot and not need to worry about it.

i'll keep ya posted.