Monday, December 12, 2016

Jingle Run recap (10k) - no photos, because ... life.

Since my mom can't travel to visit us any longer, I am trying to be more intentional about going to visit her as often as I can. Even though we were all just up there for Thanksgiving and we'll all be up there again for Christmas Eve, I needed a visit where it is just me and I don't have to worry about the rest of the family being bored. A week or so ago, I got an email about a Jingle Run going on the same morning I was going to drive up to Indianapolis ... what's that? A race? Sign me up! And since it's more than a 5k but was a fundraiser anyway, I went ahead and registered for the 10k and just planned to drive straight to the packet pick up that morning, run, then head back to Mom's house ... easy peasy.

And then ... winter.

It was so cold on Saturday. I didn't really know what to wear so I brought extras of everything, just in case. I started out wearing one pair of socks, running tights (capris on a normal-height person, hit above the ankle for me), a long sleeve tech shirt, a long sleeve pullover with thumbholes, and my running jacket that's lined with polar fleece. I also brought an ear-warmer thing to wear and gloves (cheap-o ones).

I get to the parking garage next to Bankers' Life Fieldhouse and check the weather app -- 20 degrees with a windchill of single digits. So I add a pair of socks (toe socks, but they're red/white striped for Christmas and I wore my Balega socks over them), another pair of running tights, and a Santa hat. It has a beard so if I needed the extra windbreak on my face, I could pull out the beard. I left it tucked up inside the hat though for additional head-warmth. Also smeared Aquaphor on my face to protect against windburn.

Packet pickup was that morning so I picked up bib and the t-shirt -- I thought it was going to be a tech shirt but it was a long-sleeve cotton T. Since I thought it would be a tech shirt though, I ordered a Large -- which as a cotton unisex size was way too big for me. I could either take it back out to the car or wear it for more festive colors ... so I was able to wear it OVER my jacket ... for those keeping count, that makes 4 layers up top. And the pros were wearing shorts and singlets. Freaks.

No one was heading outside until it was time for the race to start so there were a lot of people warming up inside -- pretty much everyone had on holiday attire or Santa hats or reindeer headbands. Everyone was given jingle bells to put on their shoes too. Quite fun, actually. There were only about 300 people doing the 10k so we got out there for the start. I brought my interval timer again and had left it on the 5 min/30 sec ... but didn't plan to start it until after running the first mile through.

Gosh, it was cold. Did I mention that? But the race started and it was fun looking at all the costumes people were wearing while we were running. Not many people were out and about in downtown Indianapolis and since this wasn't a big race, no spectators. Or maybe there would have been if it hadn't been so cold. Anyway, I settled into my pace and just wanted to get it over with so I could get to my mom's house.

And then ... toe socks. I've come to the conclusion that toe socks are NOT meant for running. I have worn these things a few times and don't really like them anyway ... I'm a mitten fan for hands and feet. I guess my toes don't like being separated from each other. I don't know ... but doggone it if this wasn't the third holiday race I've worn these things and also the third race where I've worn them AND got killer leg cramps. Before, I blamed going out too fast or not having trained sufficiently. Common denominator has been these socks. Killer leg cramps hit me at about mile 1.5 and I was thinking that I'd end up walking the rest of the 10k. When I finally got through those cramps, I started running the intervals and lived for those 30 second walk breaks.

Remember how cold it was? There was one water station but the route looped back to it so there were basically two water stops at the same table. I don't know when they set up the water but I'm sure it was that morning since the table was in the middle of the road. When I went through for my first water stop, the water was REALLY cold. When I circled back and made it to the 2nd water stop, there was a layer of ice I had to break before I could drink my water!

Also, right around mid-way through the race, I realized that two pairs of pants, 4 layers up top, and a non-breathable hat meant I had too many clothes on. And it was cold ... colder now that I was sweating through everything and the cold air was hitting it. Shazam was it cold. But I was able to finish in a decent time ... 1:10:04 -- not a PR but considering I had to walk about 1/2 mile at the beginning, I was surprised!

And as a fundraiser for the Arthritis Foundation, the race itself was sponsored by Eli Lilly and Meijers so there were loads of goodies at the finish line. I got one of everything and got back to the garage where I promptly forgot which floor I had parked on. Hello, hypothermia.

I really do like having a race to keep me motivated to keep running. Next up is a 10 mile race on New Year's Day. Kind of hoping for a PR there since the other 10 mile races I've done have been the Papa John's which includes Iroquois Mountain. We shall see ...

So I need suggestions on what are good articles of clothing for cold-weather running. Tips?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fast Freddie's Five Mile race - recap

I love this race. It's not even a race for me but it's a chance to do 5 miles with about 1000 of my closest friends (99.9% of them strangers) on Thanksgiving morning to make room for all the food I am about to ingest/inhale. I didn't even think about taking photos so we're just going to stick with the traditional pre-race selfie while I was in the line for the port-a-potty.

This is my 7th year participating and 5th year running. There's also a 2 mile walk option that goes up the hill from the Floyd County fairgrounds, loops around the lake at Community Park, and then back down. It's not timed but is still a great way to get people out and active on Thanksgiving morning.

The course. It is southern Indiana, so even though it's in town, there are a few hills.

After the marathon, I only ran one time and that was on the treadmill again. I'm pretty sick of that thing ... but it does get me moving when I don't feel like heading outside in the dark. That being said, I didn't expect to break any records this year ... but I was hoping to beat my time from last year. I have a post-it note up on the bulletin board at home with my times from previous years. I checked that before heading out the door -- all I could remember was 55:xx so I just wanted to finish within 55 minutes.

We got to the fairgrounds early -- the past couple years, we've gotten there too close for comfort and had to rush to get to the start line. Parking is minimal and for 1000+ runners, walkers, and non-participating spectators, there are two bathrooms inside with 2 stalls each and three port-a-potties outside. It's crazy small. I do remember last year still being in the port-a-potty line when the race started. There is a timing tag on the bib, but the time starts with the gun, not when you cross the start line. And then your time ends when you cross the timing mat -- so if you're wanting to beat your time, it's best to be in the crowd on the street when the gun goes off and not in the port-a-potty line.

For being on a holiday, there is a great turnout for runners and spectators and all the volunteers. The roads are closed for only an hour but there are police at major intersections throughout.

I knew I wouldn't be running with Matt since his goal was to make it on the shirt ... meaning, the top 500 finishers get their names put on the back of the shirt for next year's race. He finished at 495 or 496 in 2015 so we made certain to buy a shirt at registration this year. I did end up starting with him and one of his work buddies, but they took off with their freakishly long legs and I continued my plodding-on.

Even with not having done much running to prepare, I wasn't too worried because I brought my interval timer (changed the intervals to run 5 min, walk 30 sec) and since I knew I'd be able to run at least the first mile non-stop, that's what I did. They have timers at every mile marker and I was shocked to see I did the first mile in just over 10 minutes. Remember: goal was under 55 min so I just needed to do 11 min miles and push it at the end. I started up my interval timer after that and stuck with it through till the end. At each mile marker, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well I was doing and felt very comfortable! I didn't want to push it though because I didn't know how well I'd do towards the end if I was pushing myself in the middle and having not run much (at all) while recovering.

When I got to the final stretch, I decided to skip the last walk interval and run it in. Motivation - I wanted to finish in front of a guy who was wearing a 2016 NYC marathon shirt. Just wanted to get in front of him to say "yeah, I beat an old guy who ran the NYC marathon". Hey - whatever works. Once I did that, I was still a few blocks from the finish and was still feeling pretty good. Finish time: 52:48!!!

So ... after about 30 seconds of jubilation in beating my goal by 3 minutes ... I looked at my RunKeeper and it said this was my 2nd fastest 4-6 mile run. Wait ... what?? So while I'm still trying to catch my breath and find Matt, I'm scrolling through my old RunKeeper runs to find out which one was faster ... and it was my 2015 Fast Freddie result ... that I finished in 52:28. What the what??

Note to self: throw that old post-it note away or UPDATE it with all the times from past races. That 55:xx time I was trying to beat? yeah, that was my 2014 race result ...

So if you set running goals, do you count this as a goal achieved? I missed out on a PR by 20 seconds, but I thought I beat it by 3 minutes. What say you? I'm pretty ticked at myself and I'm determined to run that course on my own in the next 12 months to PROVE I can beat that 52 minutes. Then when 2017's race comes, I will be aiming to beat the mid-year time (assuming I can indeed beat the 52 minutes).

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What's New - December edition

Procrastination is still a top priority and I'm excelling, so there's that. I have a race recap to do and hope to get to before the week's end -- if only for my own benefit in keeping track of what I'm doing.

Just all day? More like all week, month, year ... 

December is here and that's just mind-blowing. I mean, don't blink!

So here's what's new with me, or rather what's on my mind ... (linking up with Kristen at See You in a Porridge)

Birthday - Another year down and I'm still alive. That's good! I must say that 44 was a bad year for me and I sincerely hope that 45 is kinder and gentler.

Yep - this is what the entire year felt like.

November mileage - well, I ran my first marathon (yay!) and did one treadmill trudge a couple weeks later and then a five mile race on Thanksgiving morning ... so I broke 30 miles in November, but barely. We're signing up for a race on New Year's Day to start 2017 off right. Hopefully the weather will be kind to me. If you're looking for something to do, it's the Hangover Classic and has a 5 mile or 10 mile option.

Yeah, so I looked up "winter running" and found "pugs on a sled" instead. Sorry, not sorry.

Job - found out in November that the best boss ever is leaving us. Her husband is being transferred to the US Virgin Islands for 3 years. In this day and age, why we can't figure out how to telecommute with her job (well, mine too, for that matter) I'll never understand. But even then, after the 3 years, they're moving back home to Kansas so it's not like she'll be coming back here. Now there's a bunch of unknowns - who will take her place? will they be as awesome? will they be easy to train? will they bring in their own staff and kick us out? is anyone else hiring so I can have a backup in case that happens?

Great ... 

House - still hate it and get anxiety attacks when I think of all the stuff that needs to be done before we can even think of selling it. We've been in it 13 years and bought it for what we thought our future would be rather than our then-current situation. Of course, our future plans didn't work out and now it's far too big for the four of us and is literally falling down around us so that the to-do list is longer than ever and time options are shorter than ever and everything costs money and and and  .... and there's another anxiety attack coming on.

I so love this movie, but haven't been able to watch it as it feels like real life now. #themoneypit

Books - I'm embarrassed. I checked Goodreads and still hadn't read anything since being on vacation the first week of October. I've pretty much given up on my Reading Challenge for the year ... unless I pick up some picture books to finish up the goal. I have started so many books since then but just never got into them enough to want to keep reading past the 1st chapter, if that long. THEN, I came to the conclusion that I hadn't been sleeping well because instead of reading before bed, I'd just play on my phone (Facebook, mind-numbing games, e-mail, etc.). Decided that needs to change so I'm back to reading and it feels good to go to sleep now and wake up fairly rested (still not sleeping enough but it's better than before).

Yeah, don't worry ... I'm on it!

Photos - I need to take more photos. Of the kids, of life, of anything. But closing out this post with photos from the month ...

I'm in the yellow and pushing toward the finish line of my first marathon! #BeMonumental

We had a Bring Your Dog To Work day and Frannie joined me. I love this girl! Spade would not have done well in an office setting ... 

This is what it takes to keep 2 pugs, 2 cats, and 15 chickens going ... #urbanfarming

This will also be on the race recap, if I get around to it. Fast Freddie's Five Miler on Thanksgiving morning and our traditional pre-race selfie. 

Went with these two to Adrienne's to get donuts while we were tooling around downtown New Albany for #SmallBusinessSaturday.

Gingerbread houses! 

And closing out with last night's photo - met up with Gena and her mom. High school friend who is a serious traveler -- she currently lives in Australia but was visiting the states for the holidays. She's been to something like 80 countries in the past 25 years. I'm a bit envious ...