Thank You Mother Nature!

Yes, I know it’s been a while. The burning question you have in your head is nearly exploding!

“How did your half marathon go?”

Well, it didn’t.

See, Mother Nature must’ve felt pity for me because she sent some wicked thunderstorms to save the day!

Posted in response to people complaining that the race officials were delaying (and eventually canceling) the race.

Posted in response to people complaining that the race officials were delaying (and eventually canceling) the race.

When my alarm went off at 5am, the weather report was saying that there would be thunderstorms all morning. Emails/updates from the race officials were few and far between, so I decided at 5:45am (the time I would have needed to leave to get to the start on time) to stay home. I wasn’t going to risk electrocution to stubbornly finish a race.

Then the race officials said the start would be delayed an hour to 7:30am. Finally, officials and law enforcement cancelled the race right around the time of the start. Mainly because of the weather (which turned out to not be a problem after all) but mostly because of the permits that shut down streets throughout the city expired at 1pm, which was the cut off time for the marathon runners (had the race started at 6:30am).

There was a bunch of backlash over the decision, and mostly from whiny people who said things like “I wanted to put that ‘13.1’ sticker on my car.” Really? The months of training didn’t mean anything? So go run your 13.1 miles and put the sticker on your damn car!

*insert troll face here*

*insert troll face here*

Spoilers: those stickers drive me insane. I saw one at Road Runner Sports for a “0.0” sticker and I’m tempted to get one and put it on my car. Trolololo!

Which leads us to what am I up to now?

Since I’m moving, it seems all my free time is taken up with moving preparations. It also means that any friend I’ve ever made in Minneapolis has decided we “MUST GET TOGETHER” before we go. It sucks having to turn some of those down because I’m already booked that day or am out of town.

I’m also starting some weight lifting thanks to my bestie E. She’s a total meathead. I had taken some time off before WordCamp Philly to visit her last week for a much-needed vacation. She took me to the gym a couple of times and came up with a lower and upper body workout that I could get started with. Guess we’ll see how that works out. I cancelled my gym membership, but still can go until the end of this month, so I’ll have a month and a half of no gym access until we get to our new apartment in Oregon. It has a pretty nice (and brand new) fitness center, so hopefully I can bridge that gap without much trouble.

Expect more blathering nonsense in the future!

I Got Lucky!

Today was the Get Lucky 7k race!

Start time was 9am and the temperature was a “balmy” 22F. I wore one less set of layers than I did at the Polar Dash, and it seemed to work well.

In fact, since there was little to no breeze and it was nice and sunny, I ended up taking off my outer layer and ran with just my wicking undershirt and my lightweight running shirt for more than half of the race. Ended up with a respectable time of 47:26 (10:51/mi) – not too shabby since I only ran twice this week at two miles each and had to stop to take off my outer layer.

However, my morning pre-race routine was thrown into chaos since I started my grain-free/dairy-free diet yesterday. I had to figure out at 7am what I could eat and not 1) puke and/or 2) bonk out mid-race. My typical pre-race meals have been one of the following (with coffee):

  • Peanut butter on multigrain bread.
  • Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat with brown sugar.
  • Peanut butter and banana smoothie with vanilla protein powder.

See a pattern? Grains, grains, grains1!

Instead, I ended up having a fried egg and three clementines washed down with some green tea. I didn’t have coffee because my stomach was feeling a bit upset this morning so I didn’t want to make things worse by throwing coffee at it.

Overall, I think that the egg + fruit plan was a solid one. Although in hindsight, I would have had two eggs before leaving the house, then eating the fruit 45 min before the race start time so I can take full advantage of the sugars for race time. Also, if I had been thinking clearly, I could’ve done the smoothie using almond butter – but I was tired and I didn’t feel like waking up my husband2 by running the VitaMix3 at 7am.

If I stick to this eating plan after the 30 days are up, I’ll need to really assess my fueling strategy for the half marathon in June. I’m pretty sure the Tri-Berry Gu Energy Gel packets are out since it’s nothing but a packet of pure sugar (a no-no on this plan).

I also discovered that there are only two things available at a post-race food area that I can now consume: bananas and water. The rest of it is all chips/pretzels, yogurt, candy bars, etc. Well, those two things are better for me anyway!

Back to the race – I really liked the swag they gave out:

The only downside is that I’m wearing the hoodie now and every time I look down or see myself in the mirror, I get Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” stuck in my head.

And now you do too. You’re welcome.

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1 – well, technically “grains, grains, legumes!” but that didn’t sound as good. 😛

2 – he’s been sick most of the week and based upon the lack of warming tents at the last race by this organization, I thought it better he stay home and not get sicker. They have a great bag check system, so I wasn’t concerned about wrangling my stuff.

3 – it sounds like a jet engine revving up for takeoff. It’s not quiet. 🙂

Polar Dash 2014 Recap

I finished the 2014 Polar Dash! I even got the medal to prove it:

The temperature on race day was a “balmy” -7F with a wind. I read up on Runners World how to adequately layer for the conditions and had prepared to wear for the race three layers top and bottom, two pairs of Smartwool socks (one ultralight running and one light ski sock), my Buff to use as a neck gaiter, and my Smartwool headband. The two top layers on top had built-in hoods, so I used those and the headband to keep my head warm, but allow me to regulate my body temperature so I didn’t get too hot (and too sweaty). I also utilized some of those chemical toe warmers in my duct-taped1 shoes to further keep my tootsies warm.

My husband went with me, because the race said that there would be a “warming tent” and would give him a warm place to wait for me (while holding all my crap so I didn’t have to do a bag check) while I run my insanity off outside. Also would give me a place to not freeze prior to the race.

Apparently “warming tent” was secret code for “parking ramp with kerosene heaters” and by “warm” it was “barely skirting zero.” Not only that, the race started a half hour AFTER the posted start time. That meant I stood around way longer than planned before the race – I think I was turning into a popsicle! Here I am huddled around one of the kerosene heaters – which was being blocked approximately 95% by some jerk who was hogging all the heat:

Do I look cold? Because I am cold!

Do I look cold? Because I am cold!

Finally, we started the race. The course was an out-and-back that was slightly uphill out and slightly downhill back. I finished in 34:00 on the nose (10:56/mi pace) and by the end of the race, I very much looked like this:

polardash

No, really! I could see the icicles on eyelashes and my Buff was frozen solid from breathing through it. I also was starting to freeze solid once I stopped running.

I hightailed it to grab my finisher medal, skipped the after race food, and made a beeline to find my husband and the rest of the clothes I was wearing prior to the race.

The rest of the day I was wiped out. A hot shower and relaxing on the couch was my remedy for the brutal morning. The weirdest thing was the next morning my muscles were so sore from the race! It’s not like an 11 min/mi is fast – it’s actually right around my non-race running pace (I tend to go faster in a group). I wonder if the fact that it was so cold taxed my muscles more than if I was working out in normal, humane temperatures? Last time I was this sore was when I had my PR for the 10k two years ago (a sub-10 min/mi) and that was an effort!

Needless to say, I will not be running this race again – unless it’s above 20F. 🙂

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1 – Seriously! One of the recommendations is to put duct tape over the vents in your running shoes. The mesh at the front of your shoe is there to release heat during normal runs. But in the winter, you want to keep that heat in, so duct taping over the vents will keep heat from escaping and prevent the winter chill from getting in. It worked amazingly well!