Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Writing these numbers down in my training log is scary #ultratraining #ultrachat #runwoodstock #50k #dreambig

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Our strawberries are looking good this year! #freshfruit #greenthumb

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My new running buddy Hunter, bringing him home to his forever home June30! #puppy #chocolatelab

We are a dog family, we had a wonderful yellow lab (originally the husband's dog, she hated me at first, chewed all my stuff, then realized I was cool and eventually she was my buddy) We said goodbye to Cheyenne on December 1 2011, it was awful and sad, it had been a sad 2 years leading up to then as well, watching her suffer, seeing the love of life fade from her eyes.  After that I did not even want to think about getting another dog, she couldn't be replaced and I was not going to do that again, it was heartbreaking.  As time has passed though I have realized that I really miss having a dog around, not only on my solo runs but daily the little things, and come to find out the little 2 who did not really have the opportunity to know Cheyenne, are dog kids and they love dogs.  Over the last 6 months we have been looking for the right dog, the right time, the right breeder, we even looked at rescues (but many would not adopt to us because we have small children and the dog is a large breed-well that ruled those out because one non negotiable was it has to be a pure breed lab). In just a few short weeks we get to bring Hunter home to his forever home.  He is a pure chocolate lab and is going to be a big dog (his daddy is 95 lbs and tall).  It will be a surprise for the kids as well since we will be picking him up on the way home from our last family vacation of the year.  Labs are amazing dogs and I am sure Hunter will live up to our expectations as a wonderful family dog!

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bayshore 1/2 Marathon 2013

The road to Bayshore started on December 1st 2012, when registration for the event opens up.  The draw of Bayshore (well at least for me) is that it is a beautiful course, small number of runners, well organized and in one of my favorite place ever-Traverse City! Since it is a small field which caps around 2000, registration needs to be done as soon as it opens at 8 am on December 1st.  Thankfully, even with all the Bayshorians crashing the registration I was able to register myself for the half and a friend for the full.  The half sold out in a record 1 and 20 minutes this year!

After getting registered our next step is to secure our reservations at Great Wolf Lodge for the weekend, and by booking early we do save a bit of money.  Bayshore is during the long weekend we have made it a family vacation for the last several years.

I have run Bayshore half marathon in 2011 and 2012.  In 2011 I was 26 weeks pregnant with my youngest and I visited every port o potty possible during those 13.1 miles!  In 2012, my littlest was 9 months old, we were still nursing and the return to training was less then stellar, so after putting it in perspective my 2:17 time was still a PR and still something to be proud of.

When I got in for 2013 my goal was a sub 2 half marathon, I planned to use and stick to the Run Less Run Faster plan.  Great in theory but, speed work in the winter in Michigan is tricky, getting strep throat 2 times and a week long vacation in Hawaii before the race made it a bit tougher then I thought.  I still trained and logged miles, including 2 13.1's on a trail, and one sub 2 13.1 in my neighborhood.  I was confident going into the race, not really nervous, mostly anxious.  I planned on running most of it solo, even though I was starting with fellow GP runners who were under strict instructions to stop me from going out to fast.

The day before the race we arrived at Great Wolf Lodge, swam for a bit, then headed to Pangeas downtown for pizza (Margarita Pesto Pizza with a pint of seasonal Right Brain).  After, it was off to packet pick up, which like usual is small.  I grabbed my race number and shirt and we were headed back to the hotel so I could head to bed early.

Race morning I kept things as normal as possible, and did not vary from any other log run morning.  Took my thyroid medicine, got dressed, had my coffee, had a banana, and about an hour before the start had a half a Honey Stinger Waffle (normally it would have been a whole one but the kids wanted some-mistake #1 because I was hungry around mile 4) and 16 oz of Nuun on the way to the start.  We got dropped off at the start about 6:50, had enough time for a stop at the port o potties, dropped our bags and headed towards the staging area.  We took our GP Runners picture, listened to the National Anthem and enjoyed the beauty of the course.  Weather was perfect for the race, around 40 degrees at the start, and plenty warm enough for my Under Armor Heat Gear tank, Brooks PR Mesh Skort, Pro compression socks, Brooks visor, and cheapie knit gloves.

Lap 1: 9:13.26 (John and Angela did a fantastic job of keeping me contained at this point)
Lap 2: 8:50.59
Lap 3: 8:57.64 (This is where I lost everyone and took off, I was feeling good)
Lap 4: 8:58.17
Lap 5: 8:44.09 (We started passing the marathoners on the bluff so that kept me occupied for a while looking for Dan and Megan)
Lap 6: 8:51.40
Lap 7: 8:38.11
Lap 8: 9:04.65 (This mile I slowed to eat a Honey Stinger Gel.  Looking back I waited to long, I had been feeling hungry starting around mile 4 but didn't want to eat to early)
Lap 9: 9:21.08
Lap 10: 8:51.21
Lap 11: 9:46.46 (This is where it started to fall apart, I kept trying to keep a decent pace and I would have to stop every so often to walk. Even though it was brief walk breaks it added up and cost me the race time I wanted)
Lap 12: 9:34.66
Lap 13: 9:52.31 (I literally was giving it everything I had at this point, my legs just didn't feel like they were moving, my hamstrings were screaming)
.1ish (GPS says .17): 1:22.97 (Entering the track I attempted to sprint to the finish, apparently my husband and kids were cheering for me, the announcer even called my name and I didn't hear a thing.) 

I stopped my Garmin and the elapsed time was over 2 so I knew it would be close.
Chip Time 2:00:04.6 Pace 9:09 

As I walked through the shoot I had 4 separate volunteers ask me if I was ok/needed the medics.  Clearly I was looking about as good as I felt.  After picking up my drop bag and finding my family I headed to our meeting place near Moomers Ice Cream tent. Yes, it was amazing ice cream!! 

4.6 seconds! So close, if I had just shorten the few walk breaks by a step, if I had ran a just a few seconds faster, cut a corner a little tighter.  Seriously there are a million what ifs, a million I could haves. As I sit here the day after, unbelievably sore (ok so maybe Bayshore is not as flat as I remember), I can honestly say I left everything out on the course yesterday. It will only be a matter of time before I crush the 2 hour half and I am choosing to focus on the positive from yesterday.  I PR'ed, I took 4 minutes and 4 seconds off my half time from just 2 months ago at Rock CF! I took 17 minutes off my time from last years Bayshore! I had a ton of fun, really I did, and I enjoyed the scenery and the awesome spectators along the course.  I pushed myself to a point of uncomfortable, a point where I really could not give anymore.  I came within 4.6 seconds of a time I never thought was possible if you would have talked to me 2 years ago when I was not running any faster then 11 minute miles.

Overall Bayshore is still one of my favorite races, always well organized and weather wise has the potential to be perfect (last year it was around 70 at the start to hot for this "sweater").  If anyone needs me December 1st at 8:00 am I will be at my computer attempting to get my golden ticket to 2014 Bayshore!

Why I won't be sleeping tonight #clowns #creepy #nightmares

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Simple yet classy #bayshore #halfmarathon

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Volunteering at #backtothebeach this am #medals4mettles #h20 #latergram

This morning was one of my favorite days of the running season, Back to the Beach 1/2 Marathon! I have never actually run the race though, I volunteer every year.  Throughout the year I participate in several races and in each and every one I take water, pick up a packet or in some way receive aide from a volunteer. So every year I volunteer at at least one race.  Back to the Beach is always on my volunteer list because it is a fun atmosphere and benefits a wonderful organization called Medals 4 Mettle which is a non-profit organization that:
 ...facilitates the gifting of marathon, half marathon, and triathlon finishers’ medals. Runners from around the world give their hard earned medals to Medals4Mettle. Our worldwide network of physicians and volunteers then awards these medals attached to a Medals4Mettle ribbon to children and adults fighting debilitating illnesses who might not be able to run a race, but are in a race of their own just to continue to live their life. It is in honor of this mettle and courage in bravely facing these challenges that they are awarded a medal.

Every medal I have ever earned has been donated to them in hopes that one day it will bring a smile to the face of someone that is fighting and continuing in the race of their own.

Aside from the fact that it benefits a great organization, Back to the Beach is a fun race to volunteer at, it includes a bright colored shirt every year, and this year we even got one of the pint glasses!

I had a wonderful time this morning helping at the water station and cheering on runners that I knew as they passed by.  Sign me up to be a 2014 Beach Bum again next year! 
All the medals donated by runners, volunteering with fellow runner and school friend Sara,  & high quality H2O!!

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Do you volunteer at any races throughout the year? If so what is your favorite "job"? (so far I really like water stops and packet pick up)

No longer clean #trailrunning #newbalance #newshoes

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Life seems to have gotten "busy"...

These last few weeks have flown by! Alvin started his Little League Coach Pitch so we have been shuttling him back and forth to practice and now games. On top of that the husband and I were headed to Hawaii for his annual work conference so I have been spending the last few weeks getting everything ready for everyone that was helping out taking care of the little ones. And because I was not worried enough about leaving the boys, Alvin had a fever of 102 only two days before we were leaving. Thankfully our family doctor has sick bay hours and it was only an ear infection, and the other 2 boys checked out just fine.
Then the husband and I were lucky enough to spend a week in Hawaii, seeing some amazing sights and spending some much needed time together to reconnect (it had been 2 years since we were able to get away together and only a handful of "dates" in between there). We even had the opportunity to renew our vows and spend sometime with Father Miles and talk about our strengths and struggles in our marriage to make it even better. I know I was worried when we left but the boys did wonderful in our absence and from the sounds of it they had a great time as well.
I look forward to going home reenergized and recharged, and I also recognize the importance of time with just the husband, we need to focus on our relationship just as much as we focus on work and the boys because our relationship is the backbone of it all.

Goodbye paradise! Thank you @texasroadhouse! #foreverstrong #lovemyjob

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After last night much need rehydration #foreverstrong #fun #latenight

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I will miss you paradise #foreverstrong

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

On a boat w/ flippy floppies in paradise #maui #foreverstrong #hawaii #fourwinds

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Vow renewal #hawaii #maui #foreverstrong #family

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Vow renewal #hawaii #maui #foreverstrong

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Race bling #foreverstrong #texasroadhouse #5k

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View at breakfast #hawaii #maui #foreverstrong

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Overwhelmed w/ emotion...as hard as it has been to close the chapter I look forward to my new place/role in our market ...Thank you to everyone! It means a great deal to me!

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