Insane Inflatable 5K

Monday, June 30, 2014

All I can say is OUCH! That is my one word race report for this race. Let’s start with the start. The start requires you to climb up a plastic jumping house thing to a slide. I had my hand and wrist stepped on. It hurt! Then we slide down and started a run. It went ok in the beginning but there were 3 obstacles in the first 6/10ths of a mile. We had to move balls that were taller than us out of the way, then the tire ring thing and finally a maze. Then we went for a little run and then more obstacles. I’m not sure how many obstacles there were but they seemed to get harder and harder as we went along. It took us 47 minutes to get through the course. Oh and it was very muddy too. Overall it was a painful, miserable experience. I’m not sure if I’d do it again. Like I said after the Zombie Run. I like straight races. So no Tough Mudder for me.

I fell over…twice.
Last Tuesday we went for a bike ride and I fell over twice in a minute. When I got my new bike in March, I had the fancy clip-in pedals installed (for some reason they are called clipless pedals which I think is stupid because you do actually clip-in). Everybody told me that I would fall over in the beginhing because everybody falls over when they start using these pedals because they take some getting used to. I went 4 months and didn’t fall over so I thought I’d be one of the few that didn’t fall. Well that idea/thought came crashing down Tuesday. We went for a bike ride to check out the flood and we went around the city. We had to bike on grass since the trail is flooded. That was fine. We stopped to check out the flooding and when I tried to start pedaling on the grass, I fell over the first time because I couldn’t get going. That resulted in a sore ankle and knee.  I walked my bike up to the blacktop path and started going and fell over a second time. This time I couldn’t clip my other pedal in and I was on a hill. It was embarrassing. That one did a number on my elbow and wrist. I had some scratches which disappeared after a few days but the bruise is still there. I got back on my bike and biked home all dejected.

Centennial Lakes and the Flood
Wednesday we had our first concert of the summer season. It was a beautiful night. We played a round of mini golf beforehand and I did pretty good. The concert went well too. It was a good evening. On our way home we stopped by the flooding to see how it was and this was the band shell…we play there in 2 weeks. I guess we will see!

The rest of the week

Thursday was band practice and Swirl was naughty. I bonked him on the head for chewing on my sunglasses and this was the look he gave. Bad kitty:

Friday we went down to Rochester for the night. Saturday after the run and lunch at DJ’s friend’s house we headed to Mankato for the night. We went out for some Mexican food and hung out around the DJ’s house.  Sunday was Abbie’s Graduation party. That was our week. Oh and I gain 5 pounds in 5 days. All the activities didn’t counteract all the bad food I ate. :(

What is wrong with me?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Well I’ve really been failing in the running department this month. It seems I’m not out of my funk. May was bad with the long vacation but I ran 3 out of the 10 days and I ran over 4 miles each time. I came back from that vacation and did the Zombie Run which I didn’t really like and then the marathon on June 1st got cancelled and my motivation went out the window.  My longest run so far this month was a measly 3.25 miles. I haven’t even gone 4 miles and I did that 3 times while on vacation in May. What is wrong with me!

Aches and Pains
I think part of my problem is ever since I did that 7 mile run back in May, I haven’t been the same since. I used to be able out and run with no pain, no aches. It was great. But lately I have been having pain. And not just when I run, walking too. My big toes hurt (same problem as before), my knees hurt, my inner thigh hurts. My legs just hurt. I go out and I barely can finish 3 miles before my legs say no more. I tried to suffer through the pain but after 40 minutes of pain I can’t take anymore! I don’t have the IT band issues anymore (thanks to running outside and not around a continuous circle, I think.)

Motivation Problems
Like I said, after the marathon was cancelled my motivation went way down. I have lots of 5ks but nothing longer. I should sign up for another 10K so I get off of the 3 mile training kick. I considered doing the Elysian Triathlon but to be honest I’m not sure I could run 4 miles right now, especially after a bike ride. We (Eric, DJ and I) are doing it as a team instead. I’m doing the biking again. I really need to break through my biking fear. It really is what is holding me back from my own triathlon. It is a silly fear but I don’t want to do the walk of shame! (ie. Walking my bike up a hill.) I have a trainer and I’m going to pound miles on the bike this winter so hopefully I will have the confidence to bike longer and faster.

Heat and Humidity and Flooding
As much as I complained about this winter and how cold it was. I really want some of that back. My last couple runs have been horrible time wise and I felt horrible afterwards. It has been hot and humid and I’ve been suffering. Another problem is the flooding has really limited my shady places to run. My normal hot/humid route is down by the river under cover of trees. Well that isn’t happening anytime soon. The foot bridge to get to the path is completely submerged in a river/lake. You wouldn’t even know it was there. The last few runs I have gone over to the park but left in despair. That leaves me the paths around the house which are mostly exposed to the sun.

I’ll get back on the wagon again. Right now, I’m just having more running blues.

Olympic National Park

Thursday, June 19, 2014

After the sort of bust of Mt. Rainier National Park (which I finally got to see it from the plane window on our way home), Olympic made up for it.

Hurricane Ridge
We started our day going the opposite direction I had planned and I‘m sure glad we did. We headed up US Hwy 101 to Port Angeles, WA. Our first stop was the Hurricane Ridge Visitor center. The drive up to Hurricane Ridge didn’t look that promising. We drove through rain, rain and more rain and eventually snow too. When we stopped at the ranger’s station, he promised it was better on top of the mountain.  I didn’t know if I should believe him, especially since we drove through rain, fog and snow on our way. But he was right. The sun was actually shining on top. I got amazing pictures but this one is probably one of the best and I took it with my phone on panorama mode.
Hurricane Ridge - Olympic National Park

There were a ton of deer up there too.

Deer - Hurricane Ridge - Olympic National Park

Sol Duc Falls 
After walking around a bit we decided to head to the next stop, Sol Duc Falls. Along the way we drove past Lake Crescent. Very beautiful!  To get to Sol Duc Falls was a bit of a hike but the scenery on our way there was amazing. It wasn’t a terribly long hike (about a mile out to the falls) but well worth it when we saw this:

Sol Duc Falls - Olympic National Park

Rialto Beach at Sunset
Our next stop was the town of Forks. Forks is apparently famous because of the Twilight series of books. I guess the books take place in the town. The town is small, about three thousand people and some of the places seem to have catered to the Twilight fans but it seems like that fizzled out. A lot of empty store fronts. Anyways, Forks was our stop for the night. We stayed at this hotel/motel/apartment place. Nothing to exciting and very unorganized but I guess that is what happens out here in the sticks! Forks is about 15 miles from Mora and Rialto Beach. Rialto Beach is amazing. We went out there for the sunset and sat on the driftwood and watched the waves crashed…amazing: 
 Sunset - Rialto Beach - Olympic National Park
Sunset - Rialto Beach - Olympic National Park

Rialto Beach at Low Tide
The next morning we went back out to Rialto Beach to hike out to the Hole-in-the-wall. It is about 1.5 miles up the beach. I hate walking on sand so it really was a lot of work but worth. Along the way we stopped at some tidal pools where we saw a bunch of starfish and sea anemones. They are so colorful.
 Tidal Pools - Rialto Beach - Olympic National Park
 Tidal Pools - Rialto Beach - Olympic National Park
 Tidal Pools - Rialto Beach - Olympic National Park
That is really the main reason to walk out there. The Hole-in-the-wall is cool but the tidal pools are cooler!
Hole-in-the-Wall - Rialto Beach - Olympic National Park

Hoh Rainforest
Once we left the beach behind, we went to a rainforest…yes a rainforest. Hoh Rainforest to be exact. It was very interesting going from the beach to the rainforest but even more interesting is it never rained! LOL!

Hoh Rainforest - Olympic National Park
Little Guy - Hoh Rainforest - Olympic National Park
Hoh Rainforest - Olympic National Park
Ruby Beach
We finished the loop at Ruby Beach before heading back towards Seattle. 

Ruby Beach - Olympic National Park

 There was so much to see at Olympic, it definitely made up for foggy Mt. Rainier.

See more pictures here!

Where is this BIG mountain?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

So today was the day we left Seattle behind to go on an adventure into the wilderness. And what we got was rain, rain, and more rain oh and some snow. Yep at Paradise Visitor center it was sleeting/snowing. It was awesome.

Waterfalls everywhere!
We headed south from Seattle to Enumclaw, WA, the start of the Mt. Rainier road. It was raining and the sun was shining at the same time. The rain would win out and the rest of the day was rain and snow. We stopped at the first “view point” and only saw clouds. Bummer. Next stop was Skookum Falls, a 250 foot waterfall along the side of the mountain. It was really beautiful next to the White River. 
Skookum Falls
Next we tried to go to Tipsoo Lake but it was froze over still. Ugh! But we saw another waterfall:
Nickel Creek
Box Canyon was next up the road it was very cool. It wasn’t raining when we got there (surprisingly) so we had a nice look hike out to see the canyon. It was over 100 feet below but only about 15 feet across. The water was rushing through the canyon.
Walking to Box Canyon

Box Canyon

Martha Falls was just a short drive up the road. Thankfully there were tons of waterfalls to keep me excited. Martha Falls is 150 feet fall.
Martha Falls
Frozen Lakes and Snow
We swung around Lake Louise and Reflection Lakes which both still had ice. No reflections today. Heck there wasn’t even a mountain today! 
Reflection Lakes
We made the 2 mile trek up to Paradise where we were greeted with sleet and failing snow. At Paradise, we were the closest to Mt. Rainier that would could get to and we still couldn’t see it. We got our passport cancelation stamp and had some lunch before heading back down the mountain.

Two More Falls
The last two falls on our trip around Mt. Rainier were Narada and Christine. Narada was a bit of a hike down. Normally it wouldn’t bother me but we were hiking on ice and snow…yes snow. Oh and it was pouring raining. Not a fun hike down but the view of this 168 foot waterfall was worth it. I think I rather hike up than down thought. 
Narada Falls
We finished up out visit to Mount Rainier with a stop at Christine Falls. It was only 40 feet but well worth the stop.
Christine Falls
Overall it was as good of day as can be expected with rain, sleet, snow and endless fog. Someday I may be back and can actually see the crowning jewel, Mount Rainer! 


Saturday, June 14, 2014

And then there was one…
Well the first day is in the book for Seattle. And I have officially been to 49 states. The only state missing is Hawaii. We had a very early morning flight. We barely made it to our gate thanks to MSP security nightmare. In case you weren’t aware, MSP airport went from 6 checkpoints to 2. We stood in line for almost an hour between dropping our bag and getting through security. The lines were ridiculous. TSA says it is because of cut backs. I think it is because they want everybody to sign up for TSA Pre check and pay the $99 to join. It sucks. We got on our flight for a fairly uneventful 3 hour flight. We got our bags and hopped on the light rail to downtown Seattle.

Hyatt Olive 8
We had planned on just dropping our bags and run but thankfully we were able to get into our room. At 9:30am!  Amazing! Our room at the Hyatt Olive 8 is great. I love it. The bed is comfy and the view isn’t bad. We relaxed for a bit and then we headed up to Pike’s Place Market. We got to see them throw some fish which is the thing to do. We walked around the market and grabbed some lunch at the cheese place and watch them make cheese. After lunch, we walked down to the waterfront and checked out the piers and took a harbor cruise. It was a nice cruise, we got to see cruise ships, the coast guard perform a water drill and a big cargo ship.

Safeco Field 
Last night we went to Safeco Field for a Mariners game. It was a close game. King Felix was pitching. They were a lively crowd. The stadium reminds me of Miller Park in Milwaukee. Nothing special but it was nice to visit. We got home and crashed. It was an early morning.

Run, Swim, Bike
This morning I went for a 3 mile run up to the Space Needle (the line was huge) and down to the water front and back to our hotel. It was a nice run. But there were hills! Eric did some work…yes he has turned into one of those…working on vacation. This afternoon we did a bike tour of the city. It was interesting. The guide really liked to talk and talk and talk. We covered the city and mostly went downhill. We took the bikes on 2 elevators! I am so glad we did! There were some hills by the Space Needle (which I ran on early today). It was a very active day for me because I also went swimming. Now we are heading out for some dinner and a sunset view of the city in Kerry Park.

Lola’s Lake Waconia 5K

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I am race day curse. Another thunderstorm on race day. Great! We arrived at Lola’s about an hour before race time. The line for bib pick up was crazy. And it was pour rain so we were soaked before we even start the race…and I had a rain jacket on! As we were standing in line there was an announcement that the race was on and if there was any lightning there would be an automatic 30 minute rain delay. About 15 seconds after that <Boom>, <crack>, <flash>.

Yep, 30 minute delay.
It is probably a good thing because the wifi went down so all of us standing in line to get our bibs had to just stand there until they could register us. Not cool but I guess not their fault. We got our bib and ran back to the car to warm up. It was also cold. We eventually made our way to the start and we were on our way. 

The first part was downhill which is awesome but of course what goes down must go up and so after the first downhill we immediately had to go back up. Argh. The first mile was great. I finished under 11 minutes. I was so happy especially since my runs lately have been terrible.

Mile 2 was much slower but still under 12 so that is good. I don’t really remember much about mile 2 other than being passed by some of the dogs, the Dog Day 5K started 10 minutes after us so these people seriously were booking it. I know there were more hills.

Mile 3 was even slower than 2 but it was still under 12:30 so I guess I’m ok with this. Again more hills. This course had way more hills than I had planned for. But a good thing is I never walked any of them. The only place I walked was during the water break.  My time was 36:04. Yep…If I would have just myself a little bit more I would have cracked in to the 35s. I was disappointed by that but it gives me something to strive for on the next 5K.

The rain went away before the race started and pretty much stayed away for the run. It was drizzling a bit but that was it. After the race we got out bananas, Salted Nut Roll, shirt and medal:

After Race Crash
We stopped at Mc Donald’s for some breakfast. We were starving because we didn’t plan on the delay so we didn’t eat breakfast. We got home and I crashed. I started falling asleep on the couch and couldn’t warm up so I went up to bed and crawled under the covers with the heated mattress pad ON!  I couldn’t believe how cold I was. About 2 hours later Eric woke me up. I want to stay sleeping. I think standing in the rain for almost an hour and then running knocked me out.

We went to 4:30 Mass and found out we are losing two of our priests in July. Thankfully Father Boedy, the retired Jesuit, is staying around. I like him…and he seems to be the only priest we ever see.

I made a quick dinner and did laundry the rest of the night and that was it.

Abbie’s Graduation

Friday, June 6, 2014

We have had one busy week. Eric had his running test on Tuesday. Which he passed of course. He always stresses about it and says he isn’t going to pass and then he comes home all cocky and said yeah I passed. Every year!

Abbie's Graduation
After work on Wednesday we headed to Mankato for Abbie’s Graduation. We meet the family, including Eric’s parents, at the high school for some pictures. We eventually went to the big arena on MSU campus. There were about 270 graduates. Thanks to Danielle’s mathematics abilities she figured out that if the top 10% of the class was 27 that the class had 270 kids. I would have done it the slow, dumb approach by counting how many names were in the program. I have to keep her around. Surprisingly the graduation was done in an hour and 15 minutes. I was impressed. However, considering the graduation started at 8pm, we didn’t get home until almost 11. Not a problem for me, but Eric had to work. 

Day Off
I took yesterday off because Danielle came up after the graduation to spend the night. We played Frisbee golf were if we would have kept score she would have killed me. I’m not very good at the sport! It was a beautiful day to be outside but the wind played a factor on our game. I have to blame my poor performance on something!

Wedding Planning
After the Frisbee golf we retreated back to the house to watch old tv shows and search Pinterest for wedding table decoration ideas. We have a few ideas but it is hard to imagine it, it is much easier to go to Michael’s craft store and play. We spent a lot of time walking around look for ideas. I think we came up with a good one. People will just have to wait and see.  We also went shopping for shoes. Danielle found her wedding shoes and a new pair of hiking shoes. Shockingly all I bought was inserts for my running shoes. Amazing…I know!

A grand slam wasn't enough...
We took the 5pm bus to the Twins/Brewers game downtown. I was anxious to get to the game because it was Kirby Puckett Jersey Night. I wanted a jersey. We got there just in time, they were running out fast. The game was good. We had a grand slam but that wasn't enough. Twins lost, Eric was mad and we left early. It was a long night. We get to do the Twins game again tonight. Back-to-back nights with great promotions means 2 games in a row for us. Tomorrow is another early morning race. I sure hope the rain holds off this time!

Zombie Run & Minneapolis non-Marathon

Monday, June 2, 2014

This weekend was filled with adventure and family. Friday night we drove down to Mankato to pick up our packet for the Zombie Run. We had pizza at the house with DJ and kids and Danielle. We spent the night at DJ because we had to be at the Zombie Run in the morning.

Zombie Run Mankato
Well this race wasn’t really about time and as such I’m not even sure what my time was. I think my pace was like 19:00 per mile and I think we did 1.25 miles. I’m not really sure. This was a challenge. The course was entirely on grass, mud and sand. There were zombies all over that you had to dodge so you did more side stepping then running. It was really a sprint through the zombie field, then walk to the next one and sprint again. So I guess it was more like a speed workout. Ha!  We had to run through 2 buildings, one had a maze and it was dark and there were zombies. The killer was the steep hill that had no really path and we were walking sideways trying not to slide down it. Pulling on trees to make sure we can get to the top. Oh and through brambles. It wasn’t the best part. On top there was a water stop. I never imagined I’d need a water stop on such a short run but it was really hot and it was more of a workout than I had expected. We finished with flags so we all got a corny “medal” that says we survived.

Packet Pick up!
After the Zombie Run we headed for Downtown Minneapolis to pick up our Minneapolis Marathon Relay packet. It was a busy place. We also pick up our stuff for Women Rock and Monster Dash. We got some stuff. I got a nice headband for Women Rock and we got the nice gray Marathon Training tee. It was a fun time. We drove the race course and checked out the exchange areas and our plan for picking people up and picked up some Chinese food and meet Beth, Abbie and Abbie’s teammate at our house. We had a fun house! We called it an early night since we had an early walk up call. The race started at 6:30 so we had to leave the house by 5:30 at the latest.

Minneapolis non-Marathon
I was rudely awaken at 4:15 am by the National Weather Service because there was a flash flood warning for my location. Really?  You had to call me? Where did I sign up for this?  I was mad! I tried getting back to sleep, even though it would only be for an hour at most. But then the rain came. And it was the type of rain that I probably would have slept through if I was sleeping but since I was up there was no way I was getting back to sleep. So I grabbed my nook and started surfing. At some point the marathon time was delayed an hour. I changed the alarm clock up an hour since Eric was still sleeping. Man he can sleep through anything! I went downstairs to let Brenda and DJ that the race was delayed an hour. They were already ready to go so we went to Caribou for our morning fix. It was pouring when we ran out to the car but when we got to Caribou, which is less than 2 miles away. It was not raining. We sat around there for a while talking about the day and I kept checking for a cancellation. I forgot to mention we were getting a lot of lightning too. Nothing was being updated. So we went home I put on my race gear and got Eric up. We headed out the door and made our way to the drop off point for the start. We wished Eric good luck and said we would see him later. We drove to place along the route at mile 2 or so and hunkered down for the runners. Well they never came. The course marshal said that she didn’t hear anything about cancellation so we waited. Then there was a car that was driving down the parkway. She stopped him and said he had to get off because there was a race coming through very soon. The driver said there was no race and the first water station was already taken down. Poor communication! Well we got in our car and started driving down a different street and then we saw the hordes of runners. Some of them decided there were going to do the course anyways. We panicked because we didn’t think Eric would have decided to run but we were not sure. So I jumped out of the car and ran toward the start line to see if I could find Eric. I never saw him. HE wasn’t anywhere to be found. Thankfully Eric and DJ share the Williams’ brain and DJ instinctively knew where he was. Very bizarre! So we found Eric on a park bench about a half of mile down the road from the start line. I never would have thought of that. We drove downtown to get our medals (I earned it!), stopped at Caribou again and drove down the last part of the race route. There were runners running it. Good for them. We drove. LOL!

Minnehaha Falls
We stopped at Minnehaha Falls. With all this rain I was figuring it was going pretty good. It was!  It was busting its banks!  Crazy! 

So we got home and DJ and the kids went home. Abbie’s soccer games were cancelled too. Eric and I just lounged on the coach watching movies the rest of the day. I never did go for my run. 

May 2014 Recap

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Runs: 11
Miles: 43.8
Races: 2 (Gorilla Run 5K 36:58 & San Francisco 10K - 1:33)
Outdoors: All!
Indoors: None
Longest: 7 miles
Average Pace: 13:16

The progress I made in April was washed away in May as my average pace dropped from 12:40 to 13:16. I started out strong in May with a PR at the Gorilla run and finally breaking the 37 minute mark with a strong finish. But from there it went downhill. My longest run was on May 5th where I did 7 miles in 1:36 for a 13:41 pace. That run killed me for a while and I could barely walk for a couple days. I got back at it with a short run before our trip. While in Aurora, CO we did two 4 mile runs on back-to-back days. I did ok on those but the elevation was hard. It took a mile to get used to it and not feel like I’m being suffocated to death. The next run was the San Francisco 10K which was really 6.75 miles. That was a hard race and I was not prepared for it. I walked a lot of it mostly because it had a 600 ft. elevation gain. Once back from vacation I went for a relatively quick 3 mile run and to top off the month was the Zombie Run. It was more of a hike because it was so hilly and there was no path. My pace with that run was over 19 minutes per mile so I’m sure that explains some of why my pace plummeted. I am disappointed with this month’s performance and it is the first month all year that I didn’t reach 50 miles.

Trophies for May

La Fiesta was for running on Cinco de Mayo.