Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Funny - Drunk Texts from Wisconsin

I don't normally post Friday Funnies, but a special Wisconsin friend shared this with me this morning and it's too funny not to pass along.

15 Drunk Texts You Could Only Receive In Wisconsin

Some of my favorites:

Thank goodness winter is on it's way out, but that just means it's festival season now. No reason to let up!

Money-saving solution: Find a cheap townie bar and become good friends with the bartender.

Mmmm brats. Is it football season yet?

Hahah. Yep, that's how it works.

I like this one because I pick up my  mom's accent very easily whenever I'm around her.
Have a good weekend! Drink Wisconsibly!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

How to Recover from an Ultramarathon like a PRO!

Well, this week is my recovery week from the Kal-Haven Trail Ultra and I'd like to pass along my tried-and-true tips for recovering from a long race. It's just three easy steps actually:

Step 1 - Eat all the greasy food you avoided in the weeks leading up to the race:


Step 2 - Drink all the beer to replenish those carbs you used up during the race:


Step 3 - Sign up for a half marathon that's in 3 days:

aaaand check.

Now, you too know how to recover like me. A pro. Obviously.

Any tips you'd like to add?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Kal-Haven Trail Ultra Race Recap 4.11.15

If I could paint a perfect race day for me it would be: to run for a long time in a beautiful place with a good friend where the weather is nice and we both feel great the whole way. I'm trying to pinch myself to see if Saturday was a dream because IT WAS A PERFECT RACE DAY!

Kim and I had the Kal-Haven Trail Race on our calendar since about the middle of last year.  She had never raced in Michigan, we wanted to run another trail ultramarathon together, and the course was close to where my sister lives - so it lined up well. Throughout the winter it seemed like the race was always so far away and then suddenly there we were: filling up drop bags and planning out our race day clothing and gear!

Race morning was about 35 degrees with clear blue skies and a slight breeze. It couldn't have been a better weather day for a long run!

Are we bright enough to spot on the trail?
(photo from Kim)

To better describe this race: it is a 33.5 mile course from Kalamazoo, MI to South Haven, MI on a fairly flat, straight, crushed limestone trail. They offered a solo run, a 2 person team relay and a 3-6 person team relay. Solo runners started at 8:00 (there was a 7am early start for those worried about the 7 hour cut off), 2 person teams started at 8:30 and the rest of the relay teams started at 9:00. Oh, there were also two crazy dude runners who started at the finish line at 1:30 am, ran to the start line and then ran back to the finish with the rest of us. (They were training for 100 mile races and it was really fun to chat with them for a bit about all things trail running!)

To make a long story short, we both felt good the entire race, kept our pacing really steady and really didn't have anything to complain about aside from getting tired towards the end. That kind of makes for a boring race report! Haha! (and honestly it's embarrassing to be like "Tee hee I am so goodz at thee Ultra Runningz" when I'm really just very lucky that all the stars aligned for me and that I can do races like this!)

Here are some of the highlights of our day:

  • We knew we wanted to put 'real food' in our drop bags (for miles 13 and 27) because the thought of surviving on gels and Gatorade for 6+ hours is just not appealing to us. The race website noted that there would be a few food items at aid stations, but nothing like the buffets we are used to from some of our previous trail running experiences. So, the night before the race we loaded up our 2 drop bags with the following: Lays potato chips, Swedish Fish candy, gum, Mountain Dew, Vitamin Water, pickles, and pickle juice.

  • Yep. Pickle juice.

And we each chugged some at mile 27.

  • At about mile 32 there was a sweet, friendly kitten on the trail! Nothing can perk up two crazy cat ladies like some kitty snuggles!

(photo from Kim)
  • What I ate/drank: I had a GU about every 45 minutes up until around 5 hours in. At the 13 mile drop bag I ate some pickles and a swig of Mountain Dew, at the mile 27 drop bag I ate more pickles, a gulp of pickle juice, a few gulps of Mountain Dew and about 5-10 potato chips. Overall, I drank about 1 liter of water out of my vest and probably about 2-3 8oz bottles of Gatorade (which I carried in the pocket of my vest). I also chewed multiple pieces of gum. A fresh piece of minty gum always makes me feel pretty darn good. :)
  • I only had one 'low' moment in this race and it was just after hitting the marathon distance and before we reached the mile 27 drop bag. It's not really surprising that it hit me then - I haven't run that far since September! Luckily, the drop bag and all the food I shoved into my mouth brought me out of it right away and I felt good to go for the rest of the race. (as good as one can be to go after 27 miles...) Oh, and we hit the marathon distance around 4:40ish - just 6 minutes slower than my marathon PR. Hahah. Yikes. I clearly need to race a marathon.

  • The trail was sooo flat (net decline actually). I don't think I've run any course, long or short, that flat before. Of course, the only decent incline of the race happened to be the last quarter mile! But we charged up the hill and were pretty happy to see the finish line immediately at the top!

  • The course ended up being longer than 33.5 and that's not me whining about my Garmin being off - they even admitted that it was about 33.9 at the finish line (my Garmin read 34.15).  I'm glad the guy at the last aid station at mile 30 told us we still had 3.9 to go. That mentally prepared us ahead of time instead of just finding out at 33.5 that we still had about 5 minutes to run! Hah!

6:17:31 - 11:16 pace
(based on 33.5 miles, but it was more like an 11:08 pace with real mileage)
4/8 Female 30-34
70/107 Overall
We were really pleased with our finish time! We thought we may be 'back of the pack' at this race, but as you can see we were right in the middle. We always had runners around us and met so many nice people to chat with. The race organization did a great job with everything: packet pick up, start line, drop bags, aid stations, finish line and transportation back to the start for solo runners. I'm already tempted to give it another try next year - as long as Kim is willing to join me again!

Friday, March 27, 2015

She set out to run a 5 mile race, what happens next will shock you!

Don't you hate those clickbait article titles everywhere? Hahah! Why not join in, right?

Ok, what I really want to do is write up a recap of the Point Bock Run 5 miler that I raced on March 7th - 'CAUSE I PRed! (That's supposed to be the part that shocks you. Are you shocked?)

I've reincorporated 1 day of speedwork into my training each week since the new year and to say it's paid off is an understatement. It's true: IF YOU WANT TO RUN FAST THEN YOU HAVE TO RUN FAST. I can talk more about that later though, this post is about the race.

We lucked out with the weather this year - it was about 35 degrees and glaringly sunny with a slight breeze. I was way overdressed in my tights and long sleeved top. I guess winter psyched me out. Haha! The pavement was dry since it hadn't snowed in a while and I was feeling good, so I wanted to try to beat my PR from 2013 of 42:08. I was just hoping to squeeze in under 42 minutes, but figured if all went well I'd be closer to 41:30 or so.

The gang all lined up, I popped in my ear buds and turned the music up high so that I could block everything out around me, and then we were off! I usually don't listen to music during a race because I like to take in everything around me, but when I'm actually racing it turns out to be a good strategy. I felt pretty steady throughout the run and nothing specific really stands out in my mind, so I don't have any particularly interesting stories to tell. When I was getting tired towards the end I chose runners in front of me to try to catch and that helped. Soon the finish line was in sight and I had a new PR - 41:11.

Time: 41:11   8:15 pace
17/166 Female 30-34
103/980 Female
413/1796 Overall
After the race we did the usual thing - drank far too much beer and celebrated another successful Point Bock Run with the most amazing friends ever! How lucky am I to have such a great group of running buddies?


Friday, February 27, 2015

How to...

How to:

Run on the treadmill: Get on it and run.

Run in the cold of the winter: Go outside and run.

Run in the snow: Go out in the snow and run. Maybe wear warm socks.

Run in the heat of the summer: Go outside and run.

Do a trail run: Run on some trails.

Run when you're injured: Don't run.

Join a group run: Find a group, introduce yourself, run with the group.

Survive a long run: Run far, eat some stuff.

PR a 5K: Run 3.1 miles faster than you have before.

PR at a Marathon: Run 26.2 miles faster than you have before. Don't forget to eat some stuff.

Run a destination race: Go somewhere, run a race. Maybe sleep in a hotel.

Find the perfect running shoe: Try on shoes, run in them. If they suck, get different ones.

Lose 10 pounds quickly: Chop off your arm.

Love your body: Just fucking love your awesome body. Wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze.

Be happy: Change your name to Happy.

I hope you've enjoyed my free expert advice. (yes, I'm an expert because I have a blog)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Denver Trip!

Earlier this week Kevin and I escaped reality and made an impromptu trip to Denver! We had been wanting to visit there for quite a while and with our upcoming anniversary and awesome prices on flights, it was meant to be!
When we booked our trip we had no idea that the weather would be so nice while we were there. It was in the 20's in Wisconsin and in the 60's in Denver! Hallelu! It was so nice to walk around in tees and sandals the whole time.
So, what did we do while we were there? Well, we walked EVERYWHERE including up to the top of the capitol building where we got to see amazing views!
The pics really don't do the mountains justice.
There is a marker on the steps of the capitol building that signifies exactly one mile above sea level. I was so excited that I got a Big Gulp to celebrate:
Haha, I feel like when Kev and I travel we inadvertently hit up as many 7-11s as possible. We went to at least three different ones over the course of 4 days. Call it Slurpie tourism...
I'm not even kidding - this was when we were in Philly last year.
Besides delicious frozen drinks, Denver has a pretty kick ass sunrise view:
 I could totally wake up to this every day!

There is also some cool art:

 Big bear, little bear. :)

And of course, no vacation is complete without a race! Sunday morning we took a short Uber ride to Washington Park so I could do the Valentine's Day 5k. I wanted to take it easy because I wasn't sure how I'd feel running at altitude, but it really didn't feel too hard besides some tired legs towards the end (which could have been from all the walking we'd been doing). I ended up finishing in 26:55 and the best part was racing in a tank in February!

Ok, you know the real reason we went to Denver - the breweries! We did a walking tour that included stops at 4 different breweries. The samples were all delicious and my favorite ended up being an Agave Wheat from Breckenridge Brewery.

 Our livers certainly got their workouts in while we were there. So. Much. Good. Beer.
Our last activity was going to a Denver Nuggets basketball game. It was fun, but I really wanted to be at a game here:

But alas, baseball season is still over a month away.

The slam dunks were pretty cool though.
Clearly, we had a really fun time and are already planning to go back some day. It was nice to unplug and spend some time exploring a new city with Kevin. This is the first time we've ever taken a vacation where it was just the two of us and there was no real 'reason' for the trip other than just getting away. We TOTALLY need to do it more often. And we will.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Running is Hard!

That was the thought that kept popping up in my head during my treadmill speedwork session on Monday night. (Though the actual thought probably had a curse or two added to it.) The workout on my plan was for 3 x 1 mile repeats. For anyone who doesn't talk runner language, that means I had to run 1 mile really fast, take a short break and then do that two more times.

I was pretty nervous going into it. Mile repeats are hard and long! (Yeah, yeah, that's what she said.) Also, I've been battling a cold/congestion for a week and I was tired after a busy day at work. I was so tempted to just curl up on the couch with the cats and call it a night. BUT! I know that if I get a good start to the week that I stay motivated as the week goes on. Monday workouts always leave me energized and wanting more.

It's really hard to pass up couch cuddles though...

So, I changed into my running clothes as soon as I walked in the door and 10 minutes later I was at the gym. There was a lady on my favorite treadmill so I hopped on the one farthest from her so as not to be the gym creeper (there are only 4 treadmills at my gym and I am usually the only person using one, so this is a rare conundrum). Well, not even 2 minutes in to my warm-up I noticed the treadmill had a very distinctive squeak each time my left foot hit the deck. I really didn't want to listen to that during my whole run and I figured this was more annoying to the lady than sidling up next to her on a neighboring treadmill, so I moved. It worked out for the best because my new treadmill had a TV within its summary screen, so I could watch Seinfeld reruns as I ran. (The two finale episodes were on, for anyone that cares)

See? Running is hard and I hadn't even really started running yet!

Ok. Onto the workout. Here's how it went:

1 mile warm up at 9:50
1 mile at 8:06 pace (7.4 on the treadmill)
.25 mile walking at 20:00 pace (3.0 on the treadmill)
1 mile at 8:00 pace (7.5)
.25 mile walking at 20:00 pace
1 mile at 7:53 pace (7.6)
1 mile cool down at 9:50

Yeah, this run was hard for me, but I never believed that I wouldn't be able to complete the intervals. I felt energized and happy when I was done, which really justified getting out the door after a stressful day. I wanted to type a post up about this workout to remind myself of a few things:

-Running is hard, but it's supposed to be if you want to become stronger

-No matter how much Monday was a Monday, just get your effing workout done

-I can do hard things (like run under an 8:00 pace)

I have some races coming up that I'd like to do well in, which is why I'm re-committing to speedwork. This post is already pretty long though, so I'll save outlining my goals for another day.

Have a good day!