Thursday, November 15, 2012

Crack Open a Beer, This is a Long One

**Discaimer.  I have no clue why the damn pictures are sideways. 

Ahhhhh, time to sit back, relax, and write my year in review.
Ask me if I care that it's before 1pm.
You might be thinking "Year in review?  It's only mid-November!".  You might be thinking "How did I land on this stupid blog?"  Well, my racing year is over and I had a spare 15 minutes to catalog my shirts and medals, so just shut your face hole and chill out.
Let's begin at the beginning, shall we?  I started marathon training January 1 on a crazily cold day.  It was good practice for my first race of the year, the Seroogy's Valentine Run 15K
A super cold race (seriously -5 at the start) run on snowy roads.  An ill-fitting shirt, a chocolate bar, some sub-standard cheese spread, and a cup of lukewarm cocoa.  Totally worth it.

Ah, the Dick Lytie.  I wrote a whole post on how much this race pissed me off.  Check the archives.  Just a cotton shirt in a color that looks slightly dirty.  I do dig the logo, though.  Much better than last year.

No clue why this thing is rotated.  Oh well.  March also held the Point Bock Run, which was super fun.  It snowed heavily the night before and the course was so damn sparkly.  I put up a PR for a 5 miler on this one, and smoked my husband.  Big winner all around.  Also free beer.

The Door County half marathon.  It's such a pretty race, even though it was kinda cruddy for me this year.  I was a tad overconfident.  The shirt is decent, but it's tech, and traditionally this race had cotton shirts.  I got some wear out of this one at least, and it won't end up in my throw away pile.

My failed Cellcom Green Bay marathon attempt.  Stupid heat.  Look at that kick ass medal.  Now it's a damn coaster.  Still don't know what to do with the thing.  I've decided that I'm going to volunteer at this one in 2013 instead of run.  Two bad years in a row = done running Cellcom for a while.  I've never volunteered a race before, and I might as well start at home!

Ragnar Chicago. The Panty Raiders.  The start of a serious Ragnar addiction.  I loved the experience of running this race with the women on our team, but the race itself did nothing for me.  It was brutally hot.  The lakeshore was pretty, but I didn't run on it so I didn't care, and the finish line was a total clusterfuck.  Still, Ragnar is a phenomenal experience.  Run one, okay?

Ragnar Great River.  The perfect Ragnar experience.  Beautiful weather, a busload of superfun teammates (all complete strangers), and a great finish time due to perfect performances by all team members.  Fuel for my Ragnar fire.  The fact that you get a sweet ass double medal for Chicago + GR was awesome too.  Look at that thing.  It's epic.

Oh yeah, between those Ragnars I ran a marathon.  I'd reorder the page, but that's a lot like work.  It was an inaugural-the HFM Maritime Marathon.  A wonderful event.  Run it.  You get a free brat, some good beer, and ice cream!  The shirt fits like a bag and the medal is a little flimsy, but hey, it was their first year.  I'm still happy I went for it and did this one.  I'll do it again.

I did the Packers 5K in here somewhere.  Can't find that shirt anywhere, which sucks becuase it's kind of a nice cotton shirt.  It's bright yellow, too. 

The Fox Citites Marathon Relay.  The Drug Dealin' Divas.  This was a great, great time.  We are all in the same department and we had a blast supporting each other.  It was my first marathon relay, but it won't be my last.  No beer at the finish, so boo on that, but the shirt is decent and the medal is really nice, too.  

The Cruisin' the Corridor (ie Whistlestop) 10K.  This pullover is actually really nice, but I wish the stitching was in a contrasting color.  The 5K and 10K aren't technically "Whistlestop" events, since they are run by a different group, but the happen simultaneously.  The 5 and 10K benefit the library.  I love to run, I love books.  Double win.  The day was gray for this one, and I had Cyprus Hill running through my head throughout:
"The sky up ahead's like a canvas of gray.  I don't know how much time I'll be given to stay.  From the first break of light to the end of the day, I'm just living my live 'til they come carry me away."
That is a great song.  And it touched something in me that morning.  

The Fall 50.  Love this race, in spite of the terrible parking and overcrowdedness.  One day I'm going to do this bitch as a solo.  Then that Mr. T starter kit of a medal?  Is gold, mofo.  I've been doing this race for 3 years with the same team of awesome, funny, kind, and ridiculously tall people.  Love you, Bonnies!

The Tyranena beer run.  Dude.  It says "Beer Run" on the shirt.  Win.  Brooks Cadence out for their inaugural half.  Verdict:  They felt good throughout.

Ragnar Tennessee.  Cold and hot and narrow and steep and uneven and dark and scary and hilarious and awesome and terrible.  We got some free swag from Glimmer Gear, we ate fantastic donuts, I consumed copious amounts of pork.  Personally I came out of it unscathed, with nothing more than a slightly achy left arch.  Note to self:  Brooks Cadence are not up to a quasi-ultra Ragnar when you are a "heavy runner" (which I am, being a whopping 162lbs).  I ran 4 legs for a total of around 21 miles on this one.  I was not sore, I was not stiff, I had no pain.  The same can't be said for everyone else!
So that's it.  That was my year.  Know what I learned?  I deeply, truly need to clean out my closet.  I have more running clothes and shoes than regular clothes and shoes.  The Athleta catalog causes a feeling I can only describe as lust in my heart.
Actually, what I learned is that I really love running.  I do.  It sparks something in me.  I feel alive when I'm running.  Free.  Even shitty runs are amazing.  I walk taller on days I've been out for a run, I feel healthier, happier.  My children can tell by my clothes that I'm headed out for a run and they say "You go run, Mommy?  I wave on the porch!" and as I run down the driveway, Charlie raises his little fist in the air and shouts "Run fast, Mommy!!".  When I come home, Lily asks me "Did you have a good run, Mommy?"  I love that I can set this example for them.  That physical activity for the love of it will be part of their normal. 
So far for next year I've got one half, two fulls, and a Ragnar on the calendar.  That seems a little thin...I'll have to flesh it out with a bunch of 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons.  I mean, I'm going to need some new shirts, right?
Anyone reading this-I have 4 spots still open on my Ragnar Niagara/Ontario team.  It's next June, and it's going to be amazeballs.  You know you want to.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Panty Raiders Reunion (and other sh*t)!

The Tyranena Beer Run.  A beautiful, rolling course through neighborhoods, down farm roads, and along the Glacial Drumlin trail.  An "unofficial" beer stop, a huge lasagna dinner, and two free pints of delicious Wisconsin beer.

Oh, and these bitches.

We are a group of awesome, aren't we?
I missed out on the slumber party aspect of the weekend, what with my bizarro work schedule and the need to find an all day sitter for my boat load of little kids.
Seriously, woman, this is all you got?
The medal was huge, and the post race meal was great.  It was super fun to see all my Ragnar ladies again.  We even planned another reunion in May at the Wisconsin half marathon!  I will do my best to make sure I can participate in ALL the weekend's hijinx for that one. 
So how did I do? 2:27:30.  I was happy with that.  I did the first 10 miles at a pretty good clip, then decided that I had no reason to leave it all out on the course (still had to go home and parent a crap load of little kids solo, after all) and finished out at a walk/run.  I was also grievously undertrained, so the fact that I felt good the whole time and finished under 2:30 was reason to celebrate.
So was the discounted take away beer at the finish line.
Overall, Tyranena is worth running.  Do it.  It fills up fast, so make sure you get on it right away!
In other running news, I competed in the Fox Cities Marathon Relay with a group of women from work.  We were the Drug Dealin' Divas and we had a great time.  I ran the anchor leg (because it was the longest one and "You do this all the time" even though there were several ladies on the team that routinely run half marathons!!!) in 1:02:?? and we finished as a team in 4:50:28.  I was very proud of my teammates, one of whom is a brand new runner who had never run 5 miles in a row before that day, one that had just recovered from a broken foot, and one that just went through a major medical issue.  We got custom shirts from My Race Ragz, the same company that provided the extra awesome Panty Raiders shirts displayed above.  We had so much fun that we'll probably do it again next year!

It was cooooooooold at the start!!
It was an ankle strap chip.  Getting some help with the hand off!
My loving husband and I took a trip to Ashland/Bayfield for the Whistlestop in October.  We just ran the 10K, because I needed a new PR (which I got with 1:01:33 gun time-no pad at the start) and played around in the area.  It was fun, beautiful, and very relaxing.
We played 18 holes in 31 degrees.  It was awesome.

We also did the Fall 50 (beautiful as always) without getting DQ'd this year.  In my opinion, that race is getting too big, but that's a post for another day.
Lesseee....what else?  Oh yeah, I ran another Ragnar.  I wrote a post about it, but it disappeared.  I have to get up the ambition to write it again, so stay tuned.
I am officially on running hiatus until February.  I never took my summer hiatus, so I'm ready for the break.  My goals for the interim are to CrossFit it up and go all Paleo crazy (my sister got a seasonal job at Neuske's...can you say DISCOUNT BACON?!?!?!?) until it's time to start marathon training.  I want to clean 125lbs and deadlift more than my bodyweight (170lbs would be 5lbs above my bodyweight, you nosey bitch) by Feb. 1.  I figure if I can get lean and mean, I can pick up some speed and finish my next marathon a hell of a lot faster than my first! 
I'm sure I will run.  I can't resist a cold snowy run, but I won't be specifically training for anything for a while.  In December, the hubs and I are going to to the 21 day sugar detox.  That should be interesting.  But hey, if I want to be a MILF, sacrifices must be made. 
I'm also thinking of organizing all my medals and race shirts from this year into a "My Year in Review" post.  Something tells me I won't get around to it, but you can't fail if you don't try :)
Do you take a yearly running hiatus, or do you train train train?