Sunday, November 9, 2014

Year in Review, or What the Fuck is Wrong with Me?

I'm going to warn you that this will be long and probably not terribly interesting unless you are really into someone else's race shirts and medals.  I'll preface this with the fact that I am an extremely inconsistent runner.  Sometimes I train and sometimes I don't.  Sometimes I'm fast-ish and sometimes I'm really slow. I'm really lazy, which I believe is why I'm never injured (it hurts, I stops).  Some people have that "balls to the wall" mentality when racing...yeah, that's not me.  I've got a lot of shit going on in my life, and if going flat out on the race course means I'm going to spend 3 days working and managing 3 kids while exhausted and in pain?  I'm not going to do that.  It's not that I don't care about my finishing times, I think all runners do to a degree, but this year has taught me to let that go a little.  I turned in a couple of super-slow (for me, historically-they may not be slow for you and I make no judgement) half marathons this year and at first I was upset about it, but I'm realizing now that it really makes no difference.  Next year I'm going to refocus on my goal of a sub-2 hour half marathon, but a spring half so I can train in the winter.  I want to hit that one time, then I'll be content to run 2:30s forever.

So here it is, my crazy racing year in review.

The Seroogy's Valentine 5k.  I was hoping to PR this one, as I'd been speed training, but it was (as usual) about 5 below zero at the start and I couldn't feel my feet for the first mile.  The confounding factor in this race is the hill near St. Norbert's Abbey.  If it's icy, you're fucked.  I hit the first mile in this race in 8:50 and totally died on the hill.  Couldn't get my footing and there were too many people to dodge to get to the dry places.  The other odd thing about this course (aside from it's being a little long) is the last 1/4 mile or so is almost always covered with mushy churned up snow.  It's kind of like running in sand.  I got my chocolate bar and made for my car.  Did I mention this race was cold?  Because it was.  Cold. Finished in 30ish minutes.

Shirt was less crappy than two years ago.

The Point Bock Run (5miler) which is a personal favorite.  I was slow this year.  It was cold, but it usually is. This race is in my husband's home town, which is kind of cool, but starts at noon, which is kind of odd.  I have a hard time fueling for late races.  My guts don't know what the fuck is up.  One thing I love about this race that I hope they never change is the long sleeved cotton shirt.  I have so many goddamn tech shirts that every time I'm handed one I kind of sigh and wonder what the hell I'm going to do with it.

Purple this year.

The Drake Relays-on-the-Roads half marathon.  The race was delayed for about an hour because of a huge thunderstorm that rolled over Des Moines right before the start.  It was a little cold, which was fine, and once the storm blew over we didn't have any more rain.  I liked this course a lot.  It was a lovely tour of the city and the area around campus and finishing on the oval was pretty special for an alumna like me.  The shirt is pretty decent.  The sleeves are a little short, so I mostly just wear it as a warm up, but the back says "In it for the Long Run" which I like.

Cute medal, too.

Sweet Jesus, what the fuck was I thinking in May?  I raced every weekend and two of the weekends were out of town.  The other two?  Were after working third shift.  I will NOT be doing that again.

The Door County Half.  I really love this race.  It's so pretty.  This year following our crazy freezing winter there were still icebergs floating in the bay.  This race used to give out long sleeved cotton shirts, but went to tech a couple of years ago.  This one fits like a bag, but it's a decent warm up.  I ran this after a night shift (it's a 10am start).

No DC half in 2015. I'm trying to cut back.

The Cellcom Green Bay half.  I ran this one after a night shift as well (it's an 8am start).  I actually felt awesome for the first 5 miles but then spent a lot of time in line for the portolet around mile 6.  So I just kinda fucked around for the last half.  I really liked the new course.  I hope they keep it even after all the construction is done.  This one will be my "A" race for 2015-the one I try to sub-2.  It's local so I can sleep in my own bed, it's early so I know now to fuel, and it's pretty flat.  Plus it's my home town long as I don't get bottlenecked in Lambeau I think I can do this.

Decent shirt this year.  No stupid mock neck.

The Soldier Field 10-mile.  It was a gorgeous day and I managed to PR both my 5k and 10k before coming apart at mile 7ish.  I still finished in 1:45, so it was an official 10 mile race PR and running into Soldier Field was pretty neat.  I did wear the above GB half shirt for the run.  I stayed at the Essex Inn which was very comfortable and very close to the start.  I will do this one again, but not in 2015.


Ragnar Cape Cod.  Shirt and medal shot below.  I wrote a pretty extensive race report on this one earlier in the year.  Suffice it to say that I like this one quite a bit.

HFM Maritime Marathon Relay.  My husband and I did this one as a two person relay.  I turned in an okay time, but had another "OMG I FEEL AWESOME AND SHIT HOLY COW I'M KILLING IT wait now I feel kind of shitty and sweet chocolate Jesus I'm only at mile 8" race.  Ah well.  This race is really pretty when you only have to run it once.  As an out and back marathon it's kind of "WHERE IS THE FINISH?!? FUCK ME WHEN IS THIS OVER?!?!?".
The medals have gotten much cooler in the past couple years.

The GBRC Solstice Ultra.  What a nice race this is.  I ended up with more than 50K but did not do the full 15.5 hours.  I probably could have, but I just really didn't want to.  It was so hot.  I felt like my brains were cooking.  I'm going to volunteer in 2015 and then potentially try this shit again in 2016.  The shirt is pretty boss, and we got a full sized Jansport backpack with the logo stitched on.  You know I carry that shit everywhere.

This shirt actually fits!  Huzzah!
The Madison Mini.  We entered this race on a whim at kind of the last minute.  It was a nice excuse to see a Madison based friend and log another half.  This one was my slowest of the year at nearly 3 hours.  My guts revolted at around mile 5 and I walked A LOT of the rest of the race.  Basically I just had a baaaaaaad day. The race is great, though.  Tons of water stops to break it up, lots and lots of entertaining spectators, and a truly great finish party (with a band that was actually GOOD).  I like the shirt, too.  I've worn it as a base layer a few times.

Sparkly medals rule.

The Boring Half.  This was my second half of the weekend.  It was an inaugural event and I LOVED it.  A pretty course, super friendly volunteers.  The race director hugged me at the end.  How cool is that?  The husband and I ran/walked this one together and we had a really nice time.  It's an out and back, but not an annoying one.  The RD even sent me a track team t-shirt from the Orient school district (we ran by the elementary school) which I thought was fantastic. I hear that next year they are adding an Ultra Boring Ultra Marathon.

Nice fitting shirt.  

The Oregon Half.  It was hot as hell.  I had a super slow time because I felt like I was going to burst into flames.  The packet pick up was disorganized, but the host hotel was nice and the after party was basically the town of Mt. Angel's awesome fucking Oktoberfest.  The shitty thing was that apparently we were supposed to get a bunch of vouchers to spend on food and beer but no one told us that at packet pick-up and the place to get the vouchers was not well marked.  So we paid for our food and didn't get free drinks. NOT COOL OREGON HALF.

Pretty boss medal though.

Ragnar Adirondacks. What a gorgeous race this was.  We only had 9 runners, but it was pretty seamless in spite of that.  There was beautiful scenery, awesome teammates, fantastic food, and lots of laughs.  And a double medal, which is important to me because I am a total medal whore.

Only one Ragnar on next year's calendar.

The Mankato Half and Pork Power 5k.  The 5k shirt was a decent long sleeve, but it didn't fit me very well so I wore it as a warm up and tossed it away during the half.  I PRd this 5k.  27:21 which is more than 2 minutes faster than my previous PR.  Weird thing is?  I wasn't even trying.  I don't get my body.  When I feel like I'm really pushing I'm moving at a snail's pace.  Just bopping along looking for the bacon stop?  2 minute fucking PR.  The bacon stop was awesome by the way.  The half marathon was really nice as well.  Pretty course with varied terrain and good beer at the finish.  

Not a terrible shirt.

The Fall 50.  This was my 5th year running and I got to run the only 2 legs I hadn't done yet.  The weather was fucking perfect this year.  Sunny and 58?  What the fuck is that?  The leaves were beautiful, there were tons of fun teams with great costumes, it was the USATF 50 mile championships and there were a bunch of incredibly inspiring solos on the course.  The shirt is the same as last year, but red, and I like it.  The only sad moment?  The medal isn't on a Mr. T starter kit chain.  The last 5 years it's been a big as 50 on a big ass chain.  Tear. 

Still a nifty 50.

The Tyranena Beer Run half barrel.  This is my second time doing this race.  This year I ran it with one of my oldest friends (and by that I mean I've known her a long time, not that she's old) and we spent 2:38 yakking and whining at each other.  I didn't run a step between the Fall 50 and this race and it showed, big time. We stopped for the beer stop, discussed the virtues of having Muslim and Mormon running friends (they don't drink, so you get extra beer tickets), and ate lasagna as big as our faces.  The shirt is a nice cotton t-shirt.  Love it.  You can also buy discount beer, which we did.  There were also a bunch of my Panty Raiders teammates from my very first Ragnar present this year, which was cool.  It's kind of fun to know a bunch of people at a race. This was my last "real" half of the year.  I still have a virtual to do in December.

Oh yearh, I run for beer.
Beat the Blerch Virtual half.  I plan to do this in December so I have a reason to keep running for the next few weeks.

Next year I'm going to be scaling back pretty considerably as this year was just fucking insane.  I will probably not run during the summer and confine my half marathon efforts to the Cellcom and possibly the Whistlestop.  I have Hood to Coast and Ragnar Wasatch Back on the calendar already, and will probably do a few 5ks.  All this racing was pretty fun...but it gets expensive!

I've still got a few pounds to shed, so my focus will be on that for the next few months.  Running will be a part of that, but probably not super long distances as that tends to make me EAT ALL THE THINGS.

It's time to start getting my goals together for 2015.  Registrations for all sorts of things will start in the next few weeks.

Somebody hold me back? 

Friday, November 7, 2014

I Feel Like Bloggin' Tonight

Lurong is coming to a close and I'm not sad to see it go.  It's not like I've been cheating my face off, but I really didn't meet my "no cheats" goal.  I had a little booze, a little candy, a little cheese...I didn't derail, but I probably could've done a better job.  My husband?  That rat bastard lost 30 pounds.  I think I lost 7.  Not terrible, but not earthshattering either.  Meh.  I've got 3 months until I have to wear a bathing suit in public. Plenty of time to hit goals.

Tomorrow is the Tyranena half marathon, which is going to be a hoot as a ton of my friends from all sorts of places will be there.  And I'll get lasagna as big as my face and two (TWO!) Tyranena beers.  Tomorrow I'll probably also write my year in review, which is going to involve raiding my medal display and trying to remember what the bloody fuck I did this year.  I haven't kept a running log for a couple of years (well, since I started CrossFit and logging that) but I think I should.  I have no idea what my annual total is, and I'm guessing it's really fucking high.  I've probably raced more than 200 miles, with no mention of training.

Since I can't manage to blog without taking pictures of all my goddamn food, here you go.

Simple stuff. Pig, egg.  All the majors.

I went to Costco today to re-up our membership.  I'm lucky if I can make it out of that place without dropping 3 bills.  Good thing I got paid today.  For lunch I ate one of the beautiful red peppers I got in a highly economical pack of 6, and the better part of a cup of guacamole.  The first ingredient listed for this guac?  Motherfucking avocados. Have you picked up supermarket/deli "guacamole" and looked at the ingredients lately?  Most of them barely include avocado.  This shit?  Avocado, tomato, onion, and spices. Huge win.  I love Costco.  This is probably a substandard lunch, but it filled me right up.

There were a lot more pepper slices at the outset.

I also bought another flat of these delicious sons of bitches.  I've gotten into the habit of cuing up a show on Netflix, opening up a pomegranate and spending 25 minutes getting every last seed ohmygawd. Then I use a spoon to shovel them into my gaping face hole in 5 minutes flat.  It'd be faster, but you really have to chew this shit or you'll aspirate a seed.

My son calls these "jewels"

My current Netflix deseeding show is Rescue Me.  I can't decide if Dennis Leary is hot.  He's like Cameron Diaz.  From certain angles, hot.  Other angles holy shit so ugly.   Plus he's kind of old and has clearly lived a hard drinking/smoking/fucking life.  Good hair.  Piercing eyes.  Still, sometimes he looks like an old woman.  Which doesn't prevent his character from getting laid constantly.  Have you watched this show?  It's like a fucking porno with all the humping.  A weird point about the humping?  99% of the time it's our boy DL sitting on a couch with a hot chick riding him.  Which is fine to a degree, since he really kind of looks like an old woman without his shirt, and he has freaky chicken legs.  

But still, from certain angles?  Kinda hot.  

Maybe it's the uniform?

Dinner tonight was made by the fabulous husband.  A recipe from Well Fed 2 that we hadn't tried before. Chicken Nanking.  Verdict?  Delicious.  

Simple and tasty.

For dessert I chose a Mojito. Becky, this shit is pretty darn tasty.

Don't freak out, it's a tiny glass.

Early to bed tonight so I can be ridiculously well rested for the Tyranena.  Moreso because I haven't run a step since the Fall 50.  Whatever.  It was just a really long taper.  I managed to sleep through CrossFit on Thursday, so I need to get in on Sunday to finish my last Lurong retest.  So far both my retests have been better than the first time around, so that's positive.  Tomorrow is measurement day (eek).  I'm going to lay money my waist is 30.25, because the universe just can't give me that bloody 29.  Ah well.  I had an HRA at the husband's work and got a perfect score, so there's that. The nurse who had to call me to go over my results was really scrambling for something to review.  I almost felt bad for her.  She asked me how I maintain my health.  I told her I eat a lot of bacon.

The take home point here is that bacon is medicine.

Seriously.  Is Dennis Leary hot?