Friday, November 14, 2014

What gets your rear in gear?

I know I'm not the first person to ever ask this question, but I've been thinking about it a lot lately: What motivates you? I'm finally starting to find the motivation I've been lacking most of this year when it comes to running and fitness. I'm trying to figure out what the factors are that turned the light on for me, but I think it's a combination of a few things:

1. A new running group. In the beginning of October I started running with a Pub Run group that meets every Tuesday night. Ever since the first time I joined I haven't missed a week and I look forward to every Tuesday evening. This also means I get a 6 mile run done early in the week, and that motivates me to get more miles as the week goes on. Also, I really enjoy everyone's company no matter who shows up from week to week. Runners are (for the most part) really awesome people to talk to! (One more perk - you don't feel like you're bragging when you talk about all the races you've done, because they've all done a ton of them too!)

2. Being sick of being mediocre (for me). Now, I have nothing against running for fun, winging a training plan and not having goals for races. The majority of my races are for fun and if I was constantly chasing goals I know I would get burned out. BUT. I haven't chased a goal in quite a while. In early 2013 I consistently trained and knocked out some big PRs in the 5k, 5 mile, 10k and 1/2 marathon distances. AND THAT WAS REALLY FUN! I still feel a sense of pride over the times I ran, but also a sense of sadness that I didn't keep my training going. I'd like to have pride in a new race time that isn't over a year and a half old!

3. Summer is over. I love summer and doing all of the summer things: Boating, tubing, canoeing, camping, fishing, hiking, going to baseball games, sitting outside drinking beers etc, etc etc. I don't make running my priority and I'm really ok with that because I don't want to be a slave to my fitness routine. I WANT to do all the fun things and make new memories. But now my schedule is clearing up and my weeknights aren't as busy. I can make running more of a priority because I'm not as tempted to skip my workouts. I also joined back up at my local gym which has 24 hour access, so I really have no reason to make excuses!


So, I think that's big chunk of the reasons that I'm finding my running mojo again. It's time to kick my lazy butt in the face!





So, what are the things that motivate you? Cooler weather? Warmer weather? Running buddies? A running coach? Signing up for a race? Pants don't fit?


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tyranena Beer Run Race Recap

Helllloooooooooo!

This past Saturday was one of my favorite races of the year - the Tyranena Beer Run! This was the 4th year in a row that I've been able to do this race and each year I get the opportunity to run it with some awesome people. The post race party in a heated tent with free beer and lasagna the size of your face is pretty cool too.

Remember my Rangar Chicago team, The Panty Raiders? Over 2 years later and we still all like each other a whole lot!

Kim, Mattie, Lish and I all decided to take it easy and run the race together. It's no secret that my favorite part of running is to be with friends, so this was a PERFECT plan!

Where's Mattie? Oh, he's too good to be in a pic with us. Hah.

The weather was a bit windy, but other than that the temps were nice and the sun came out just before the race started! We spent the first part of the race looking forward to the 'unofficial beer stop' at mile 5ish, which just happens to be the #1 reason to do this race:

Why, yes, I'd love to slam my choice of Tyranena beers mid-run!
 

Life Rule #17: Stopping for a beer selfie with the best running buddies is 1,000,000 times more important than a fast race time.

The rest of the race we enjoyed the scenery, each other's company and the sweet, sweet feeling of beer sloshing in our bellies.



Our official time was 2:18:46 and I love, love, LOVE that it was an 'easy' run. I would have killed for a half marathon under 2:20 when I first started running that distance. Now it's a walk in the park.

Enough of this easy bullshit though - it's time to start some winter training! More on that later (yeah, I'm actually going to try to blog more than once a month...)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Three Things Thursday


1. RUNNING: I joined a new running group this week! Each week they run from a different Great Dane Brew Pub location in the Madison area and have either a 3 or 6 mile route planned. I had been invited to try it out this summer by a friend, but had never made the effort to join. Finally, on Tuesday I was able to make it. I got a bit nervous because I wouldn't know anyone there, but they were so welcoming and I was invited to stick with two similar paced runners for the 6 mile route. I had only planned on doing the 3 as I already ran during lunch that day, but since I never turn down running company, I joined them. We chatted it up the whole time and the 6 miles flew by! I'll definitely be back next Tuesday!

Oh, and I've run everyday so far this week and have plans to run with a friend tonight. Hello, motivation! Where have you been?


2. FAMILY+BEER=FUN: We visited my sister and her boyfriend this past weekend and had a great time! The highlight of the weekend was going to a Wood Barrel Aged Beer Fest that we have attended the past three years. It was HUGE this year and even though the weather was cold and rainy, we had so much fun. And so much delicious beer.

They had a photo booth!
 

 

Between the 4 of us we were able to taste pretty much every beer they offered. Afterwards we went into the brewery and enjoyed a delicious dinner. They really have it going on at Brewery Vivant.


3. AH-NOLD: You want to know what 4 adults full of beer and good food decide to do for fun on a Saturday night? Watch this:

 
 
It was awesome. They followed Arnold, Louie Ferringo (who later became The Hulk) and other bodybuilders as they prepped and competed. I never knew Arnold was such a dick. I mean, I didn't really think he was a great dude or anything, but they way he intimidates his competition is entertaining. He has so many good quotes in this film:

 



Hah. It's definitely worth a watch for some good laughs and insight into the bodybuilding world of the 1970's.



Have you seen any good documentaries lately?



Friday, September 26, 2014

Get your towels ready, it's about to go down

We bought a boat!
 
It's just an old beater fishing boat, but the tricked out fishing platform and 70 hp Evinrude are perfect for what we need. And what we need is the wind in our hair and fresh fish in our bellies!
 
It's like mother nature knew we wanted to enjoy our new purchase, so she is giving us a warm, sunny fall weekend. If you need us, we will be in the middle of Lake Koshkonong. Have a great wekeend!

 
 
 
P.S. I love what the wind does to Kevin's hair. Instant douchey fauxhawk.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fox Cities Marathon 2014

Marathon #5 is done!
 
Long story short - it was ideal (for me) conditions and I got a new PR. It was the best I've ever felt in a marathon from beginning to end. (Which doesn't mean I felt GREAT through the whole thing, but let me know if you believe someone who says they felt great throughout their whole marathon and I'll sell you some oceanfront property in Arizona.)
 
 
 
The silly thing is, I probably had the worst training prep I've had for any of my marathons yet I still managed to pull this off. I totally don't condone being an idiot like me and going into a marathon undertrained. I'm extremely lucky that I'm on the other side of it uninjured and still in love with running. I SWEAR next time I will train better. (Have I said that before? Hmmmm.) And honestly, I'd really like to see what I can do with a decent training cycle. I have a lot of planning to do for spring races apparently!
 
Oh, hey, I was writing about a marathon and not all my shortcomings, right?
 
Going into race morning I had low expectations: have fun, don't go out too fast, don't eat too much GU or drink too much Gatorade to give myself an upset stomach, and hopefully finish the damn thing under 5 hours. I did all those things! GOLD STAR FOR ME.
 
It was dark and rainy before the start, but the rain lightened up to sprinkles that continued on and off the whole race and the sun only peeked out for maybe 5 minutes total. It was about 55 degrees and there was a nice breeze that only seemed to hit me in the face between miles 17-18. The rest of the race the breeze kept me comfy - I was never too hot or too cold. It really was great conditions for the race, but I was surprised how many people were complaining about it afterwards. I guess runners all have different preferences.
 
The half marathon and full marathon both started together at 7am. It was nice to be able to line up with all my buddies who were doing the half and I ran with Lishy the first 2.5 miles before the marathon split off from the half. It was a great way to settle in, not worry about the first few miles and not dwell about how I would be alone until the last miles of the race.
 
It never even bugged me that I was running this race without a buddy. I got lost in my own thoughts and the first 10+ miles went by extremely quickly. I chatted with other runners and joked with volunteers. I sometimes forget how enjoyable solo running is, and I think I often do a better job of laying down the miles when I'm alone. I'm a loner, Dottie. A rebel. (name that movie)
 
Besides the fact that I am the only runner in this incredibly scenic portion of the course, do you think I was easy enough to spot?
 
Believe it or not, I saw some outfits even louder than this.
 
Mattie's mom was all over the course snapping pictures and cheering for me. She caught me daydreaming a few times too! Kimmy (on zero sleep from working the night before) was out cheering for me too. She yelled at me at mile 9 for going out too fast (hahah) and then was at 16 all dressed up in her hobo spectating costume: 
 
 
Just kidding - she was keeping warm until it was time to run with me! She met me again at mile 20 and gave me all the distractions and encouragement I needed in the last 10k. We did the math at the 20 mile mark and figured I had 1:13 to finish with a PR. While I was starting to get tired, I knew I felt good enough to make that cut off.
 
 
The only real 'low' point I had in the race was at about mile 22. I just started to feel draggy and was ready to be done. I took half a GU to get some energy and then the greatest thing happened. A group of 4 teenage boys who were volunteering as crossing guards were going NUTS for each runner who went by them. As we approached they got real quiet and lined up in a formation. As soon as we got to them, one jumped on another's back and they all yelled so loudly that it was exhilarating and a little frightening! Hahah. I don't know how they had the energy to do that for each runner. I bet they were tired when it was over. Anyways - thanks teenage boys for the boost of energy.
 
Once we got to mile 24 I found another gear and knew I would finish this thing with a PR and that was a great feeling. I wasn't dragging my ass over that finish - I was running it!

 
 
 


 

This might be my new favorite race picture - my feet are off the ground! It actually looks like I'm running...at the end of a marathon! Hooray!



I crossed at 4:34:39. A 4+ minute PR. Phew. A couple things I want to remember about this race are:

-The only times I stopped to walk were at some aid stations (cause I choke when I drink and run) and to walk the two big overpasses towards the end of the race. They were all planned walk breaks and I never stopped to walk when I just felt tired. Most of my walk breaks were very, very short. WIN.

- Only 4 miles were over the 11 minute pace and none were over 12. That's a first in the marathon for me!

- My first half was 2:12 and second half was 2:22. I'd like to get that a little more even, but I'll take only a 10 minute difference!

- I was ahead of the 4:25 pace group until mile 18. I tried to stay with them at that point, but I couldn't hang on. Damn that Oprah, I'll get her next time!

- I didn't carry any hydration system because there are so many aid stations on this course. I am really happy with that decision. I carried my GUs in the back pocket of my shorts and while I have a bruise on the small of my back now, it was still worth not fumbling with a belt or backpack.


All the successful marathoners and half marathoners! A great day for everyone! (We were all smiling because we knew we were off to get celebratory beers as soon as this picture was done!)
 
 
 
My splits and stats if you like numbers:
 
 
 Stats:
4:34:39  10:29 pace
45/83 F 30-34
210/421 F
532/888 Overall
 
 
One last thing about this race. IT IS SO AMAZING.  I say it about a lot of races, but I think of all the races I have done this one has every single little thing right. There was never one point of the race where I was thinking something should be done differently.  The community support has to be the biggest attraction of this marathon. It's a small town race, but there is nothing small about it. Thanks to the race directors, volunteers and fellow runners for another great day in the Fox Cities!
 
 
 
 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

OMG Becky, Look at her Vag (aka Tuesday Randomness)


Running: Last week was my, uh, last week of training before Fox Cities Marathon this Sunday. I feel pretty good about these miles and the cooler weather that made them so enjoyable:

 
I just hope it's not 'too little, too late' and I have a good day on Sunday. This summer has been so back and forth in training and if I do have a terrible race I have no one to blame but myself. I guess it's a good plan to go in with low expectations. Or even no expectations. My body feels good though!
 
 
Is your crotch hungry girl, cause it's eating your bike: Can they make a running outfit like this cycling jersey? I'd wear the shit out of it.
 
 
 
 Spectators would be like "OMG Becky, look at her vag. She's just so FAST!"
 
 
NFL Drama:  I know you've heard about everything going on recently, even if you're not a fan. (Because it's all the news effing talks about lately.) I have been a diehard since childhood, but this year is making it really hard for me to be enthusiastic about a bunch of abusers, losers and the people who enable them. I know there are a lot of good guys in the league too, but wow. I also realize that this is not the first time bad people have played in the NFL, but in the social media age the exposure of it has exploded. And it's ridiculous. Can we just play some football?
 
 
 
I wish this were funny, but it's not.
 
 
Palate Cleanser:  Indoor cat reactions to going outdoors. So many great faces.
 
 
 
 
My cats actually love going outside on their harnesses. And yes, I realize typing that sentence makes my coolness factor go up 10 points. Cat Ladiez for Lyfe.
 
 
 
 
Your thoughts?
 
Naked cycling jerseys - yay or nay?
 
NFL is still legit - yay or nay?
 
Cats on harnesses - yay or nay?
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Worthless Wednesday

 
(I was going to call it Wordless Wednesday, but then I added words so, new post title.)
 
 
I ran a tiny 5k in my hometown Saturday morning. The temps were sublimely cool. (Hallelujah!) The course was fun - there was a candy stop at mile 1 and a bead necklace stop at mile 2. I wore my 'I Run for Beer' shirt and planned to run easy, but I found a long lost gear and busted my ass to finish in 25:37 and 4th woman overall. It was just the confidence boost I needed at the end of this slow, inconsistent summer.
 
I hope it was a good turning point for my dedication and determination as the cooler weather moves in!