Friday, November 23, 2007

Inauspicious end to season

I haven't posted here for a while 'cause I *gasp* haven't been running very much. Yeah.

So after I ran pretty well in my last 5k I just lost the will. I was going to go and run one last one to try to get under 16:20, but I hadn't pre-registered, registration required cash, and I had no cash that morning. Oops.

So I've been focusing on weightlifting and learning how to swim so I can do triathlons. Weightlifting is what it is. Swimming is horrible. I am the worst swimmer ever. I go to the pool and get lapped by everyone, even the people that are splashing around like they don't even care. But I am going to take lessons, and I am going to gain the ability to smoothly swim the distance necessary, even if it's really slow, and I'll just catch the swimmers on the run.

I went out to the 'burbs to see my family for Thansksgiving and ran the Elmhurst Turkey Trot. Didn't quite get far enough up to the front for the start, so the first half-mile or so consisted of getting run into and kicked by non-runners trying to push ahead of people and cut over to the sidewalk to see how close they could get to the lead before running out of gas. After it cleared up I considered just sprinting and seeing if I could catch the leaders (we get lots of good runners out, guys who will run under 16 without even trying) at the mile, and then just jog it in. But I saw one of my friends from town running, like me, semi-seriously, and I just caught up with him and we ran a pretty fair remainder of the race. First mile was through in 6 minutes, second in 11:15. So the splits weren't close to accurate. I got passed by some people in the last mile, and then tried to latch on to some of them. I was reminded why big races are a good thing. Without those guys passing me I would have fallen apart, but by hanging on to the back of their pack for a half-mile I think I ran pretty respectably to the finish in 17:15. Considering the insanity of the first mile and my lack of training that's a lot better than I thought I'd do.

I went back after finishing to run the last few blocks with my dad, who finished in 22:49. He thought that the course must have been short until we went on and verified that it really was a full 5k. And then we stayed up until 3am talking about cross-country running. He's been running pretty well lately despite that his cholesterol medication makes his legs really sore, and that he has some other nagging injuries. So I was happy for his finish.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Living History Farms

We got to the race an hour and a half before the start - just enough time for some pre-gaming! I am horrible about taking pictures, so I am just going to steal photos from Katie and Jeff, the crayons:

A girl in my running group Kris bought hats for the event. I was planning on running like a normal person, but I couldn't resist a beer-drinking German chicken to wear on my head. It was a puppet to boot!Anyway, I warmed up with some, er, coffee, prior to the run and then a half hour before the start went to the portapotty line. Five minutes before the start, I am still in the portapotty line. I guess they didn't really plan that well for 7000 people!

So yeah, an insane amount of people run this cross country race (the largest in the country!). And I would say a good chunk of them would never consider signing up for a 7 mile road race, but apparently on a trail is okay. But really, this race is about having fun, so it's all good. The crowds never bothered me. Except for the posse of high school girls dressed as bees that would buzz.

I started out running with Kris, who runs at least a minute/mile faster than me. I knew that wasn't going to last. She dropped me at about mile 2 and I figured I would see someone else I knew, but I ended up running the whole thing alone (well with 6999 of my best friends!) but I had a good time anyways.

I am a "run through the river" kind of girl, so I plowed through all the water crossings. None of this pussyfooting around for me! I wore my marathon shoes from last year that were already shot, so this was their final swan song. Ah, purple Asic Nimbus gels, you had a good life! The first crossing wasn't so bad and a nice gentleman helped me up the muddy bank/cliff and I returned the favor and helped up the woman behind me. About the third crossing, I thought I was a pro at this and went plowing through the river, only to find it up to my thighs. No worries, that's why I wore shorts, right? About 10 m later there was another crossing and not only did I totally slide right in down the muddy bank, the river was high enough that my shorts got soaked. Now there is nothing like a nice cold river in November, let me tell ya! But that's the fun of it, right? Right?

Anyway, I mostly dried off as I ran, got my ass kicked by the big hill heading up to Mile 6, which I refused to walk (I wasn't even wearing the Garmin, but still, it was the principle of it!). The first four miles I came in at 41 minutes, but the last three took me another 39 for a total of 1:20 or so, which was pretty much what I was aiming for. Like I said before, that was miraculously in the top third of women and my age group - probably because of the large amount of non-runners who do this. Somehow I also finished this race bloody and bruised. Good times!

Afterwards, we tailgated some more:
Yay for breakfast burritos!
Note that neither of those drinks in my hand are non-alcoholic - nothing like double fisting it before noon! Also, you can clearly see where I spilled tomato juice on my shirt, and then tried to wash it off with mud covered hands. Classy! Also note that even the chicken has leaves in its feathers after the ordeal! Oh yeah, and that's Mike, who ran the thing almost twice as fast as me, in like 45 minutes. Crazy!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

This gives bike porn a whole new meaning...

"A man has been placed on the sex offenders’ register after being caught trying to have sex with a bicycle."

But the question remains: was the bicycle really offended by this? I mean gees, our bikes probably get more up close and personal than any other inanimate object during their regular approved use!

In other news, Living History Farms was a blast. I'll do a race report when I get pics. Even running between 11 and 12 minute miles I was still in the top third of women finishers and in my age group. I think it was the pre-race Irish coffees and the fact I ran the whole thing with a German chicken on my head.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

This post is brought to you by the letter D

So now that Audrey is back to posting on her own blog, I guess the rest of us are going to have to get back to posting - she made blogging easy!

Anyways, this doesn't even have to do with running, but I got to be the letter "D" last night at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner:

My friend Jaymi and I noted the irony of the fact that neither of us has ever been a letter during a sporting event, but we would gladly be a letter for a political candidate. Note that Jaymi and I also both learned our school's fight song at a taping of Hardball with Chris Matthews.

Last night was pretty much total political craziness. It started with JRE leading 500+ people with a drum line through the sky walks is Des Moines to the auditorium. Then lots of time spent trying to out-cheer other campaigns. Unfortunately, the most enthusiastic of our set of letters was the "W" so she would be raising the "W" when no one else had their letters up - the irony was not lost on us.

And while I will remain utterly faithful to my man, Barack really truly is a rock star. And you can't the deny the power of 4000 supporters (almost half the crowd) screaming "Fired up!" "Ready to Go!" across the arena to each other. If he had shown half the passion six months ago that he showed last night, I probably would have stuck with him (although pretty much his speech could have been "what John Edwards said"). But if I learned anything working on the Dean campaign four years ago, it's that you need a lot more than a bunch of activists to love you (and that betting on getting new people out to caucus is a losing bet).

Oh here is some running content! JRE ran a 3:30 marathon. And he runs every day while campaigning. He apparently was running in Ames a couple weeks ago. He also graced the cover of Runner's World in 2004.

Oh yeah, more running content - I totally didn't realize that Living History Farms is this weekend! I am totally not in shape to run a 7 mile trail race. The four mile race last weekend left my quads burning! I haven't run 7 miles since... July. Yeah. And that was on the road. I have always been injured during this race so I have never done it before, but I hear that the going is pretty slow because of all the runners, so hopefully I will be okay!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


Today is yet another glorious fall day.

I started it off with a four mile run, which included a graceful stumble on a major road in town. I totally bit it. I now have two scraped up bruised knees to show for that! But I kept running, since I am hardcore. And also, it was a long way home.

Then Chrissy and I did this event that the ISU Cycling Club was putting on. It was like bike bingo. You had a bingo card and they had all these locations all over campus where they had numbers written down and you had to sprint around to all of them to try and get bingo.

It was a blast. And I got a crapload of practice at clipping in and out quickly. And as luck would have it, I actually was one of the first people in. I was the fourth person to finish in the geared bike category and the first girl to finish (okay, there were only four of us). Of course, that had less to do with my biking skillz and more to do with the luck of the bingo card draw. They didn't have male/female categories, so I got no bling, but I did get free socks in the prize raffle, w00t!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I heart fall!

Fall is my favorite season. I love the leaves and the color and the weather and the smells. So I was excited to go down to the RCC Run The Woods 4-mile trail race this morning with someone from my running group. And it was a glorious fall day. The weather couldn't have been more perfect!

So I am going to admit that I even agonized over what to wear. I love my new running skirt, but I wasn't sure if that was too girly for a trail race. But then I decided maybe I could be badass getting all dirty in a skirt. So I wore it. It was good times.

Anyways, my PT told me I am not allowed to run more than four miles, unless I am running more consistently (4+ times per week). So this was the perfect distance! Even though she also told me hills were bad. And I am sure the unsteady rocks were not good for my foot either. But it was going to be fun!

There were something like 100+ runners out. The first half was pretty low key - running on gravel roads and through pastures (and around cow crap). I did the first two miles in 20:20. My travel companion Mike warned me that it gets harder so going out too fast would be bad, but I totally ignored him.

Then the fun began. Lots of hills and climbing. My quads were a-burning. Then at mile 3 or so, the creek crossings began. Mike told me they were all dry last year. So I was a bit surprised when I hit the first one and it was well above my ankles. But that't the fun of it, right?! I actually gained some ground here by running straight through the creek as opposed to trying to find a better place to cross (which several people did).

After the crossings, one woman was huffing behind me and she was on my tail the entire last mile. I hate that! I guess it made me hustle a bit. The end of the race was this painfully long hill. I thought I was going to die. And I managed to drop this chick on the hill, but then I got to the top and took a wrong turn. I managed to get back on track ahead of her, but I could hear her grunting behind me. At least I knew she wasn't keeping up with me easily! When the end was near, I managed to find something in order to sprint to the end and left her easily behind, finishing in 44 minutes or so, but feeling like I was going to throw up.

The race was sponsored by the Iowa Cattlemen's Association (or something like that) so after the race, there was beef stew. It was delicious. I spent the entire run thinking about it because they had all these little poems about beef along the course. My favorite ended with "Beef! It's what's for runners!"

Let's note the irony of this ex-vegetarian thinking about beef for four miles.

Think Poltergeist

I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaack.

Let the blogging commence.