Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Part three. Post half marathon

 So here are the things I have learned with my first half marathon in the books:

1.  Hotel near the start/finish line is a good thing.  I would rather stay near the start/finish than the expo.

2.  VIP toilettes are very nice and worth the extra dough although i only used them once.

3.  Planning a min vacation at the start of the race may not be a good idea.  Tons of walking to sight see may be too much for your legs.  I would prefer to stay in the city I am running at and near the start line the night before.  They shut down most of st. louis for this race and people had to be parked and in town by like 4 am!  We had a heck of a time getting out of town to go home because of the shut downs so I can't imagine how hard it would be and how stressful it would be to get in that morning.  I don't like extra stress so I will always stay in the city i am running in the night before.

4.  Trust in your training.  I was not nervous and I felt like I ran a good race.  Find a good plan or hook up with a running coach.  I LOVE my running coach.  Her advice through the whole training was awesome and i couldn't have done it without her.  Lots have people have asked me how I found her.  I found her through where I get my massages.  They had started a running program and were offering a running coach to runners.  I took them up on the offer and i was so pleasantly surprised.  She is also a degreed and certified nutritionist so she helped me figure out fueling pre race and during the race.

5.  Make sure you estimate your time better so you start in the right corral.  I would rather go backwards than to have to pass all the people i had to pass.  They do have corral change at the expo, I just didn't want to deal with the hassle of it.  It is worth it.

6.  Train your brain as much as you train  your body.  I had this covered since I do so much mental management in agility.

7.  When training, find a running partner.  They make you accountable and they make you train harder.  The first time I really "Trained" for races, I was by myself and skipped many runs, especially speed work runs because they are harder.  That is probably why I didn't do so well.  Also it forces you to eat better because you don't want the runner's trots in front of a partner.  Although farting is acceptable and ignored LOL. I could NOT have finished and ran as fast as I did without my BRF.  She and my running coach are what helped me accomplish this race.  I found my BRF through a work out class.  We had been taking together for a year or so and we always partnered up when we would do partner work outs.  She worked out at the same intensity I worked out at so I knew we were both competitive at the same level.  Getting our schedules to mesh is sometimes hard, especially when we run at night versus morning but it is so worth it.  Group runs are also great to go to.  Our running company has some and body first where i get my massages has group runs.  It is a great way to meet people and find a BRF.  Also there are usually give aways and I have much less stress about pacing or tempo runs in groups because there is always some speedy to help with that.

8.  Invest in some good running gear.  I know, running is suppose to be free and cheap but it is worth it to pay some bucks for some good shoes that fit and to replace old shoes when they need it.  It made me almost cry to pay 140 bucks for shoes since I am kind of cheap when it comes to shoes (example, I am still wearing some hiking boots from high school) but it will make your body and your feet very happy.  I also got some cool winter stuff last year on the clearance rack that came in handy on race day.  Cheaper =happy me.  Surprisingly for my summer training gear, walmart and target had some pretty good deals and their offerings worked great.  I LOVE the tank tops made by danskin at walmart and they were literally just a few bucks a piece and came in some super cute colors.

I am excited to train for and run some more halfs.  I am already signed up for Hospital Hill in KC in June of 2014 and am contemplating the heartland series which is three half marathons in KC in april and may.  Yep, been bitten by the bug:)

St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon Part 2

Now for Part 2 since part one was running a bit long:

Saturday we decided to devote to going to Forest Park.  Again on my FB poll, that was the second most mentioned idea of places to go and see.  We settled on the Zoo since andrew loves animals right now.  What we didn't know was that Saturday was Boo at the Zoo so there were thousands of kiddos dressed up in costumes trick or treating.  It made getting around the zoo super hard and we almost left a few times.  Glad we didn't.  We rode the train all around the park as Andrew is obsessed with trains right now.  He seemed to have a good time and no one stole our stroller while we were riding.
The first thing we did was get a build a bear or should I say build a hippo.  His name is Louis and yes, he is a cardinal's fan.  Andrew kissed and licked the heart before she put it in.  It was very touching and funny.  He even helped her with the stuffing.  It says "I love you" when you press on it's leg.  So funny.  We also rode the carousel.  Andrew was so excited to do so but once he was on it and we were going, i think he got motion sickness and decided he wanted OFF.  Of course we couldn't get off and they wouldn't let me hold him (my animal i was riding didn't move) so tony just had to hold him while he fussed.  
This was taken pre-movement.  The lady that took the picture literally took 50 of the same thing.  She kept saying she didn't think it was taking anything and when I got the phone back to check, yep, 50 pics of us smiling.  Oh well.  Kind of cute I think!  The St. louis zoo is interesting in that it is free to get in but EVERYTHING ELSE is a fee.  Oh well, it was fun.  The best part was the children's zoo.  They had a naked mole rat and andrew LOVED that dang nasty looking critter.  He was glued to it's cage while it motored around.  He also got to pet several goats and a guinea pig.  I got to pet a hedge hog as well and see a little armadillo running around.  Really neat even if it was yet another fee to enter.  Mom got there that night so I had some relief.  Was able to sit with my legs up and ice the sore spots a little bit, well when andrew wasn't trying to eat the ice out of the bag.  I also put on my compression socks for a while and I think that helped as well.  We ordered in dinner so we didn't have to worry about the St. Louis world series crowd.  I have to say, the traffic and crowds weren't as bad as I thought they would be.  We weren't super close to the stadium but we could see the lights.  

Morning of.  My outfit.  Running tights, my new nike volemero 8s.  Went with my hat instead of my new brook's band for my ears.  Mizuno breathe thermal shirt, gloves and my new rock and roll fuel belt, complete with my favorite watermelon chomps.  Stayed with my typical headphones and not my new wireless headphones.  Thank goodness I had made a play list as pandora was NOT working.  I kept it on low the whole time so I could enjoy the bands and the cheering.  Woke up not nervous.  Hmmmmm...Got nervous about not being nervous LOL.  Usually my nervous stomach is not a good thing but pre-long run, it is welcomed and needed.  TMI. I know.  Anyway, mom walked with me to the start line so the boys could get some extra sleep and stay warm.  I was told that no one other than the runners could be at the start.  I was wrong but the boys were there, I just didn't get to see them.  
mom and I before I loaded into the corral.  She had bought me a super warm, super cute coat at the thrift shop to throw away at the start.  Since she was there, I just gave it back to here about 10 minutes before the race.  Bonus:)  

My corral.  Not what I expected.  This is my first big race so i envisioned pens, like what animals would go it.  Not so.  Just a sign and two people eventually holding a rope in front of us.  I wisely chose to stand at the front of my corral.  I was in the wrong one (i estimated 6 months ago that i would finish in 2:40).  Based on my 12 miler, I was hoping to be done in 2:30 or less.  I learned quickly how important it was to be in the correct corral. I probably spent 10 or so miles passing people.  I was constantly weaving back and forth.  That took up a ton of energy.  I am sure there would still be people to pass even if I was in the correct corral because I am sure people over estimate their pace too.  Heck, I had no clue what I would be capable of except what my 12 miler was like which was a week before the race.  I usually stay around 11-11:15 on long runs but my last long run was in the 10:40 range so when that number kept popping up on my watch, I wasn't hugely surprised.  I did have trouble finding someone to pace with.  I found two ladies that were always ahead of me that were dressed in tutus and colorful shirts.  I kept them in my sights the whole race but they were faster the whole race.  I hung out with a group of ladies and briefly talked with them but lost them at a water stop and got ahead of them.  Caught up to the 2:30 pace around mile 10 but they felt slow so I went ahead and passed.  I was concerned that I was running too fast but I felt good so I went with it.  I kept my watch on pace instead of distance so I could monitor my speed since I hadn't found a pace partner.  I would latch on to someone briefly but never found anyone i could stick with the whole race other than the tutu ladies.  My mantra was "it's just a long run with a few thousand friends".  I told myself to enjoy it and take it all in and I did so.  Read every sign, high fived every cheerleading squad and kid and enjoyed the scenery.  Would have liked to talk with someone but I talked to myself in my head alot LOL so i wasn't totally alone.  My brain cooperated for the most part.  I had a side stitch about mile 12 as we were going down a huge downhill.  It took me by surprise ( i don't drink unless I am fueling) and I had to run painfully slow for a few tenths of a mile and lost some time.  There were several hills and they were all pleasant surprises.  I was told this course was hilly but I never studied the elevation maps. I like to be surprised i guess.  I knew I had done hill training enough that this shouldn't be an issue.  I liked the fact that there were so many people that when people walked or had issues, I wasn't able to focus on that, I could focus on the people that were still running.  At mile twelve, after the painful stitch that luckily went away, I was able to focus and get excited about the finish.  I still had gas left in the tank so I knew I was going to be able to get that last minute kick.  Unfortunately the last mile or so was straight up hill but I still was able to to get a pretty big kick in the last .2 of a mile.  Then the chaos started.

I finished in 2:20:06.  The photographers got some awesome shots.  I practiced:)  They still got my clicking off my garmin. URGH.  They did have people lining the finish and tony and mom and andrew were there but they didn't see me:(  I was in the finishers chute where I got a banana, medal, chocolate milk, power bar, gatorade, water and blanket all thrust at me.  I wanted to sit and cry but I couldn't because all I could do was shuffle forward and carry stuff with the hundreds of other finishers.  I shuffled my way out of the chute and then tried to find tony.  Our plan was to meet up at the family re union area by the letter C, but the only letter i could find was L.  So my euphoria turned into anger because I am so use to a pre race hug and I couldn't find anyone and my cell was not working.  Finally got a hold of tony and got reunited but by then we had to rush back to the hotel to make the 12 pm check out time.

Part three coming.  Thoughts, ideas, things learned.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rock and Roll St. Louis half marathon part 1

I should have taken today off.  My motivation to do anything is severely lacking so why not type out a blog?This happened yesterday.

I did it!  It was surreal and I was very emotional.  Let's back up and start on thursday.  Get ready for some photo dumping!

We drove down on thursday morning.  This was a mini-vacation for me and Tony as we were suppose to head to vegas this week for a work trip and that got canceled and then I was suppose to go to USDAA nationals in TN but that didn't happen because my dog had several one bar away from a Q runs.  SO we decided this was the Coleman family vacation/long weekend.

The view from our hotel.  Kind of glad we weren't smack down in the middle of downtown.  We had no traffic issues the whole weekend and free parking thanks to the hotel.  The start line of the race was a quick walk down market street (the street we were on).  The expo we had to drive to but there was a parking garage right across the road so that wasn't so bad after all.  I would stay here again if we do this race again next year.  Super nice rooms, free soda and  popcorn in the evening and free drinks and chips (which i got 0 of:).  We got there mid afternoon since we had to stop a few times and let the kiddo out to run off some steam.  We headed down to union station to explore.  We had been told it was a ghost town and it was but there was some pretty delicious food.  I had my first california chicken philly and it was so tasty.  
They had a little area with stuff the kids could ride on so andrew rode on the pony and then decided to sit in all the other cars/helicopters/riding thingies.  Our main goal was to let him burn off some steam and our mission was accomplished.  Andrew slept good that night, no problems, but he is pretty seasoned at hotel rooms and traveling thanks to going to dog shows.  
I had put a question out on FB about places we had to go while in St. Louis.  City museum came up again and again so off we went, first thing Friday morning.  All i can say is WOW.  That place was HUGE and we probably only saw a tiny bit of it in the 5 or so hours we were there.  The toddler only room was a huge success with andrew.  He loved the ball pit (i think he licked every ball) and he loved the pit with all the blocks and cars/trucks.  His new favorite thing is to look at something and go "ooooooo" and he just kept saying that over and over and over.  Plus, there was so much to see that Tony and I had a great time too.  You could seriously spend a week in that place, but we had to go to the expo.  Since i hate lines and crowds, I wanted to get there as soon as it opened up and get checked in.  

Once we found it and found parking, everything was easy.  They had it streamlined to a T.  Got my bib, shirt, swag bag and got into the expo.  This was my first runner's expo so didn't know what to expect. Tony and I walked through it all once, talked about what we were interested in and then went back through and made our purchases.  We spent alot of money, but tony has been working 12 hour days, 7 days a week so we had some saved up just for this occasion.  We had a list of things we needed to keep up our running addiction and we hit about every point on our list.  We got some new winter running gear and some wireless headphones, two of our biggest needs.  Tony also got some compression socks where he could get fitted for them and get the right type.  I also tried out for Team Refuel.  I did a video try out and I hope I was cute and witty and what they were looking for.  Used my southern charm and my smile so we shall see if that is enough.  You can get 500 bucks in sponsorship and lots of cool gear. I am already a huge proponent of chocolate milk as a recovery fuel so I think i should win, right????   I was told this was a pretty small expo.  I was hoping for more free samples so we could try stuff but the only samples we got were of biofreeze, snap peas and jamba juice.  Oh well still got some cool stuff. I think the highlight of the whole thing was this:

There was a lady at the expo that had dog/running themed stuff.  SO cute!  Got some dog print arm sleeves and this shirt.  I have two running partners but one of them is a dog:)  Miss stella has been a great running partner and look forward to continuing to run with her. The name of the lady's company is gypsy runners named after her BC gypsy.  I spent a little more money at this place getting some decals and some stuff for my BRF.  Never run in running sleeves but excited to do so.  I now feel like I have every season covered no matter how cold or warm!

Had dinner that night at the hotel restaurant.  Apparently it is the home of the Blue's hockey team and there was a game that night.  So glad we went down early .  Andrew actually tried coloring and not eating the colors.  Well, he still tried eating them but attempted to color some before eating the crayons.  So funny! He actually ate a good meal.  He loved the toasted ravioli and ate a whole plate of it!  We are currently battling his eating.  Some days are good and he eats like a horse and some days he just doesn't want to.  I try and not get freaked out about it because i figure when he is hungry he will eat and he won't starve to death, but it is still disconcerting.  

I ended the night with me feeling a little bit of pain in my legs.  I was getting a little scared.  I have been battling tight calf muscles no matter how hard I try to keep them stretched and I was starting to panic a little. I had had a massage the day before we left but I had also run 4 miles and was a bit speedy with my run, not because we were trying to, but because it felt good.   I wanted to sight see and take everything in yet still rest enough.  I didn't sleep too well that night because i was freaking out and I was in a little bit of pain. And on top of that, Andrew had a night terror luckily at about 10:30 that night, so not too late, but still.  His night terrors consist of him screaming bloody murder for 10 or so minutes.  I hate when he does this at hotels because I hate to disturb others but I have not found anything that prevents them or ends them quicker.  He basically has to cry it out and then he goes right back to sleep. In fact, I don't know if he even wakes up at all.  He doesn't respond to any calming or comforting. 

Okay breaking this into two parts!  This is too much for one blog post!

Monday, October 21, 2013

My very first double Q, with Deuce that is and a freaking 12 mile run!

I was feeling a little worried about this weekend.  I needed to get a 12 mile run done at some point, with tony working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week and also get to lawrence for the dog show. I also had to keep andrew entertained and my focus on the show at the same time which is super hard.  I never Q when he is there because I don't think my brain is ever fully in the game, but it is what it is.  I am a mommy so I just need to buck up and do it.  Let's start with my 12 mile run shall we?

I had decided the best idea was to be at daycare when it opened, drop andrew off and drive like mad to Linear Trial in manhattan to do a 12 miler.  I am pretty bored with our 6 mile loop and would rather not do it twice.  I needed a change of scenery and bad.  Since I would be by myself, i took miss stella along as she has been with me on most of my longer runs lately, well all of my runs lately since my BRF is just now getting back in the game after her 15 miler.  The sun was rising and it was beautiful in Wamego but as I got closer to manhattan, it was getting darker and darker.  WTH?  I guess i missed the memo that we were suppose to get rain and snow on friday.  Started out to grey over cast sky that quickly opened up, first to a gentle sprinkle at mile 4 and then to a downpour of sleet and rain at mile 7.  Mile 4-9 were under tree cover but the last 3 or so miles were just on open trail so stella and I got pounded with ice pellets.  See the white stuff on my shoulder on my pullover?  That is ice!!  Kind of funny though, my last 4 miles were the fastest I have ever run a long run at.  I did an out and back and my splits for every 2 miles were positive on the way back.  I ran a 10:46 overall pace which is way quicker than normal.  I tend to hover around 11 or 11:15.  I am thinking because of that and because of the fact that I felt like I had gas in my tank, I should be able to stay with the 2:30 pacer and then head out at the end if I feel good.  I didn't realize how truly cold I was ( i ran in leggings and a t shirt and my nike dri fit pullover) till I pulled off to get some chocolate milk and some carbs.  I literally could not grip the pen to sign my name to the credit card receipt.  I had to sign an X as that was the best I could muster!  I then drove like hell to get home and shower and head to lawrence.  It was a late start show so I got there in time to walk the first course.

Time to beat was a really straight forward course but I said turn in front of a jump and the turkey listened and turned and did not take the jump. No biggie in T2B but then he took back side of the jump and came towards me so NQ.  We had standard next and I was oddly ahead of him the whole course.  Not sure if I am just getting faster or if he is getting slower but he got the same amount of MACH points he normally gets on a course so I will go with me being faster.  I think it also is coming with the fact that I can trust that he will take stuff and I go get into position.  He did do one very naughty thing on this run.  He JUMPED off the a-frame.  It was towards the end of the run.  He had two a-frames in T2B, one that I had quick released him on (he was in 2 on 2 off) and then one I fought him on as he creeped down.  The angle was weird so he would have come off the side of the a-frame to get into position based on where I was located so I guess he just thought jumping was a necessity.  He has NEVER done this on a contact.  I got a verbal correction in but kept going.  I worked every contact after that and need to go back this week to working on you stay straight in your two on two off no matter where I am.  He got third on that run thanks to his running a-frame LOL.  Jumpers was next with a very tricky tunnel, tunnel discrimination and a very big lateral move away from the weaves to cue decel down the line for a nice tight 180 to set the line to the correct end of the tunnel.  He was a rock star and nailed everything.  That was our first QQ EVER!  We have been one bar away so many runs so this felt so awesome and on two tough courses to beat.  Considering he got his first Qs in excellent B in 2011 fall, this has been a LONG time coming.

Of course day 2, I had andrew all day so my mind was not where it needed to be i guess.  The runs were awesome but he missed his weave pole entry in all three courses.  All three were short collections, T2B was a pretty fast entrance in, he didn't even try to make it.  Standard was a-frame, jump, 90 degree turn to the weaves and I really felt like he could have tried and I gave him his weave cue before the dang jump.  He didn't even attempt it and I not sure why.  Jumpers was the same thing, not a ton of speed coming in and he just skipped the first few poles.  Wonder if he is sore in some way?  His jumping was good this weekend.  He knocked two bars total, one was the first one on a course and one was the double into nothing from the table.  I blame myself on both, probably set him up too close to the first jump and i sent him in full extension into no where on the double and turned and called to get up the the a-frame (was a 180 to the a-frame) so I blame myself. 

 Andrew and I stopped at Kmart and did some retail therapy.  It made us both feel better.  And we stopped at sonic in topeka and had a peanut butter fudge milkshake and he ate the cherry.  Didn't even know he liked them!  He even added sand as an ingredient.  Luckily the whipped cream on the top caught most of it and kept it out of the ice cream!

Sunday I had andrew again.  He was not letting anyone hold him on saturday so I had to hold him or chase him during walk throws and strap him into his stroller.  My arms and shoulders are pretty sore after this weekend.  Who needs gym when you have a 25 lb toddler to carry all day?  Sunday he was a little better, interacting with his agility aunts and grandmas.  and bonus, on the ride home, he took a two hour long nap!  Started out the day with a Q on T2B.  Thanks to a very creepy a-frame, I only got 8 points.  I was not letting him get away with jumping another a-frame but instead I am back to creeping. Freaking criteria and freaking me letting him get in the grey area of it.  In standard we had two backside to jumps.  Yeah for this judge to have the balls to include some actual challenges.  I loved it!  The first one was out of a tunnel and he had to serp into me to get the next part of the sequence.  We are good at this so I wasn't worried.  I wasn't worried about the next one which was a teeter to the backside of a jump at an angle, but that is what bit me in the butt.  He didn't trust me and had this really confused look on his face so he cut in front of me and took the jump the correct way (in his mind).  This was the run he also decimated the double in but the rest was good and I am happy.  Jumpers was a wrong course that I didn't even consider but again, pulling can be a weakness of his and I think if I would have said a simple here down the line that he would have gotten the correct line and not the tunnel sucking him in.  No bars and super fast even with the wrong course so once again, I am happy.

The best part of the whole weekend was that my bestie barb got her MACH with her whippet Chloe.  She is one of 10 MACH whippets in the country and I am betting it won't be her only MACH.  This is the woman who got me into this dang sport many, many years ago.  We have been together through loosing our first agility dogs (her whippet Haley and my aussie berry), through several failed relationships, through a marriage, the birth of my son,  her god son, and many great times.  I am so proud of her and love her so much.  Fitting that we both got our MACHs in this very building.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

playing catch up

Been a couple of weeks since my last post and boy do I have alot to talk about.  Andrew is a full fledged toddler now and pretty much makes my day full.  He is non stop, go until he goes to bed at night kiddo now.  Even our precious naps seem to be fading. He use to sleep at least an hour in the morning and usually two in the afternoon.  Now he is turning into a little boy and the naps are little to nothing.  Except the fact that his body didn't get the memo that he no longer wanted to nap so he is a cranky little boy some afternoons.  I am lucky if we get an hour in the morning if that.  So there goes any chance of catching up on my blog unless I am at work.  Work has been crazy busy again and i am very thankful.  I would much rather come in, work my butt off and go home versus sitting here passing the time.  I am one of those who views their self worth based on how hard i work.  So days when I do nothing makes me feel like a worthless slob.  I make up for it by going psycho at the house, cleaning, washing, grooming dogs, and picking up the yard.   I guess it is a good thing but I don't feel good about myself till i pass out in bed at night.

Speaking of the bed, yep, we are still full fledged co sleepers without an end in sight.  Most nights it is fine, we read a short story or a bible verse, watch two short episodes of curious george on my iphone and snuggle up.  I have to admit, while I have woke up with feet in my face or elbows in my back, I don't really mind him being in the bed.  I am a super light sleeper so I feel him shifting around some times but for the most part, it doesn't affect my sleeping.  I guess years of sleeping with dogs and or foster dogs that might need to go out and potty has trained me well.   I also have to this point (knock on wood) always awakened if he gets out of the bed (he can get out of the bed safely by himself already.  Sigh .  Where does the time go).  We have installed gates on every possible place and we have a door to the bedroom that is most always shut.  He hasn't figured out the door knobs yet, but it will only be a matter of time.  Daycare reported that he has gotten out of their portable play yard already (think giant expen) by opening the gate.  There are a handful of nights where he is not ready to go to bed at said bed time.  I usually have him in the bath at 8:30 and in the bed by 9 and he is usually asleep by 9:30.  Those nights are rough because we basically have to keep him in the bed no matter what.  Those are the nights where I would love to plop his little butt in the crib and walk away.  Anyway, this is still working for me, even though I am not getting up super early and needing to run.   Some day, I will put on my big girl panties, hook up the video monitor in his bedroom and walk out the door and leave him for the night.  That day has not come  yet:)

Run wise, I have run an 11 miler and an 8 miler.  My runs are getting more complicated to get in, due to my hubby's work schedule. I am okay with that, I would much rather him be working and me have to change around my activities.  I have had to hire baby sitters the past two weeks just so I can teach agility classes.  Kind of weird to pay people money so I can go make money but i digress.  Anyway, some of my runs have to be shifted to nights or weird times.  This week for example, I will have to do a long run friday morning after I take andrew to daycare and before I leave for the dog show.  So to say that some runs haven't been great kind of comes with the territory.  I am adjusting back to being a night runner and having to run with the stroller more which sucks, but is doable.  I have six more runs till my half.  Is it weird that i am already getting a nervous stomach, just reading the final details emails they are sending me?  Just like with agility nationals.  Yikes.  Speaking of agility, I am still taking my online class.  Got way better videos this time and finally had time to answer email discussion about the other runs I uploaded.  While I an undecided about whether or not I will take another class, I have learned alot through this class and i am hoping we will see an improvement in our skills on course this weekend.  I have a three day show this weekend in lawrence so will be driving back and forth.  It's going to be a long weekend.  Tony is working so me and andrew and deuce and 100s of other dogs packed in that tiny building at the fairgrounds.  Pray for good weather so I can keep him and I and deuce out of the dust.  I have such a love hate relationship with that building.  I always walk away sick from it yet it is so close and i can drive back and forth, saving me hotel and food bills.  URGH.

Lastly, did the Glow run 5 K this past weekend in lawrence.  Here is my finish photo.  I think i was confused at this point.  Was suppose to be a 5 K and my garmin and phone said 2.73.  Hmmmm.
 Pre race with my team.  We were the glorious gaiters.  Hence the gators on the shirts.  They made them, not me.  I am not that crafty.
Andrew playing with his new light saber.  They had everything that lit up and cheap too.  He loves this thing and it still glowing.  

This was my first real "fun" run that I have ever done since I missed the color run.  While the company was fun (all my running group ladies), I don't think I got into it as much as I should have.  I think alcohol needed to be involved.  Then maybe I would have let loose.  All said and done, it is a perfect race for those who are starting out or just want to have fun. Parts of the entry fee went to a good cause and like I said the glow stuff you could buy was very cheap and decent made.  It was fun to see the costumes and I guess after the run (we left because andrew was tired and getting cranky)they had a huge party with a DJ and contests and such.  I used this as a tempo run so didn't run directly with my group, just my BRF but we did enjoy the music and cheers on course.  They also had a black light tunnel that was fun to run under and black lights on course.  Should have taken more pics on the course but was needing to do speed work.

Lots of kids so maybe next year if we do it again, andrew can either run with or i can push him in the stroller.  He loves the medal I got it glows in the dark, so there is that.  

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Conquer the Konza!

What a full weekend I had!  My BRF had her half, which was actually longer than a half (15.5 miles versus 13.1 for you non runners), our little town had Oztoberfest, and I taught two classes and took my online class that turned into a private lesson because my trainer was in town.

First of was Oztoberfest.  It was oddly in september but they had planned it the only weekend KSU wasn't having a game.  Unfortunately every other organization planned something this weekend too (Jazz fest in JC, Pumpkin patch in Manhattan, HUGE consignment sale in manhattan among other things).  It was hard to just pick one thing but since Oztoberfest is 2 minutes away from our house, it was a no brainer.  I had another 10 miler planned for Saturday morning but when I got up at 7 (the sun now rises at 7:30), it was pouring rain.  I just am not that dedicated yet.  So andrew and I snuggled up and went back to sleep till 8ish.  Still raining.  Waited, waited, waited.  Finally at 9, the rain stopped.  It was still cool and drizzly but it was perfect for running.  Because of the rain, I was a little worried about the gravel roads being soggy and I am sorry, I paid way to much for these shoes to ruin them in mud:)  So I had to be creative on my route to get 10 miles in.  I was concerned about traffic coming into town for the festival so tried using old 24 and then looping onto new 24.  The problem was, the shoulder of new 24 was not very wide at the end of old 24 so I spent much of my time running in muddy loose gravel which was the very thing I was trying to avoid.  Also stella was with me (her first big mileage run) so was trying to keep her away from noisy truck traffic but succeeded in putting her in more than she has ever been.  Sigh.  Oh well, got it done.  Tony was watching me run live on the mapmyrun app and was wondering where the hell I was going.  Had my first squat in a cornfield moment.  I had been to the potty before heading out but it hit me and I had to go.  Was planning on ducking behind a big semi that was parked in the industrial area I sometimes run in but a cop showed up out of the blue for no reason so not wanting to get a public urination ticket,I kept trucking.  He turned out of the park and I booked it for the nearest corn field.  The funny part about the whole thing was, I got my shorts pulled back u p, no problem but my undies stuck to my sweaty butt and I couldn't get them up.  I was running and pulling, running and pulling.  I am certain that the guys working in the nearest shop were having a great time laughing at me. I was for sure laughing at me:)

 After my run, we headed to Manhattan for an information meeting on what my duties were for the conquer the konza.  I some how lucked out and got put at the highest hill on Konza.  I was the luckiest volunteer for sure!  I was located at the top of the radio tower hill as they called it at the top of the stairs.

This picture does not do it full justice.  They are coming from that trail way out by the trees, all the way up and the stairs start way at the bottom of this picture and wind around.  It was a killer and they had to do this twice!!!!
I figured we'd better hike up to the top just so i knew how early to get there in order to hike up in the dark.  It was a beautiful day!  Here is a pic of the big blue stem transitioning to little blue stem.

This is one of two sway bridges I had to cross.  The runners did not run across these thank goodness but I had to traverse these.  When I say sway, I mean SWAY.  One did not even have hand rails.  Let's just say my fear of heights and my fear of these exact bridges caused the race organizers to find a way to get my butt up to the top of the hill via a vehicle.  I told them I could crawl across them in the dark no problem.  They didn't believe me.  I am glad they didn't:)

After we hiked up and down, we headed back to wamego for Oztoberfest.  In true fashion, andrew went to sleep so we were stuck sitting in our van till he woke up.  Of course by the time he woke up, the festival was almost over so we caught the tail end of the events and vendors packing up.  We did however get one beer at the beer garden before it closed.  I think all of the original munchkins are dead now so I am not sure what they actually do at the festival now.  We use to have so much fun seeing the munchkins out and about the town after the festival.

an old pic of munchkins.  I think both of these have passed on now:(

Sunday dawned early with me having to be out at the prairie around 6ish.  Thank goodness I am use to getting up at o dark thirty.  As previously mentioned, I was escorted to my spot via mule and had to hike down a small hill.

This was before the sun rose.  It was beautiful.  The deer were out as were other wildlife.  I could see for miles.  The gun started the runners at 7:44 am.  It took the first place runner 26 minutes to get to my spot.  He was a beast.

See that little dot?  That orange dot?  That is the beast taming the stairs.  He ran up those things both times and never missed a beat.  Finished 15.5 in an hour 30ish.  He is a monster.  I had so much fun cheering the runners up these stairs.  I had a real cowbell and I ran it furiously for those runners.  I got so many compliments on my cheering.  I will be doing it again next year!
The runner's high I felt after watching all of my running buddies top this hill for the second time was amazing.  Would that be considered a contact high?  The best part was the hugs I got from the last place finishers.  They were so grateful for my cheering and staying for them.  I know what it means to be cheered for and helped verbally in a very tough part of a course. OF course none of my races were like this one but still, I had some semi tough hills for sure.  I am SO proud of all of my running buddies for doing this race.  It was the toughest races of all the ones in our area.  It was mentally and physically challenging and they all finished! 

After the race, I had to run home, shower and get my dog for teaching.  Lucky for me, Alice had the field set so all i had to do was drag a few pieces out of the beginners.  The best part was we had a live class for our online class.  I learned what a lap turn was and how to use it in a course.  I see some opportunities maybe in gamblers or snooker in the future.  Plus we got to address deuce's bar issue.  It still seems like lack of conditioning.  Sigh.  This never was an issue for miller so struggling to figure this out.  We don't have access to swimming and he isn't a ball dog.  I can take him running on slow short mileage but need to wear stella out too.  Thoughts, ideas????