August 2015 Recap

Monday, August 31, 2015

Runs: 16
Walks: 10
Miles: 60.62
Races: 6 (Minnesota Half Marathon 5K – 35:34, Chili 5K – 39:38, Gopher to Badger 5K – 36:57,
                Women Rock 2.5K – 16:05, Women Rock 10K – 1:22:19, & Women Rock 5K – 42:44)
Outdoors: 26
Indoors: 0
Longest: 9.34 miles (2 races on same day back-to-back)
Average Running Pace: 12:47

August saw improvement in pacing which makes me happy but it was slower than last year though. :( It wasn’t as hot and humid as July but we still had some toasty days. Since I stopped the streaking goal, I was able to go on longer runs and threw in some faster shorter runs as I had a day to recover. My body thanks me! I brought back speed workouts. I actually like doing them. Well I like doing the half marathon speed workouts because realistically my pace for those is slower than the 5K speed workout. The 5K speed workouts make me want to puke.

I had 6 races this month. But only had 4 race “days.”  I started out the month with the Minnesota Half Marathon 5K in St. Paul. The course was a bit short but nonetheless, I was happy to see a 35 again!  Later in the day I did the Chili 5K. My pace was slow for that. I was tired from the earlier race but more importantly, I was running with a girl who was doing her first 5K and she had a goal of beating 40 minutes and we did that! I was glad to keep her motivated for the entire lonely race. The next Saturday was Gopher to Badger 5K. My time may look slower but it was a bit long and my overall pace was actually faster than the week before. Yay! The Women Rock 2.5K made me very happy. For the first time since April, I had an almost 11:00 mile! And I maintained that pace for the additionally half mile we had to run! The 10K the following day wasn’t my best but I was running with DJ and I think we walked more than I probably would have otherwise. My goal for that day wasn’t to PR but to finish it well and have enough in the tank to get through the 5K which was basically right after the 10K. The break in between the two races must have messed with me because I didn’t feel like running any of the 5K. But we did run quite a bit of it so it wasn’t horrible. My worst 5K ever but I ran a 10K before so I’m not upset.

September should be a good month. The weather should be cooler. I have a 5K in a couple weeks and a 10K in Detroit near the end of the month. My goal is 60 miles again. If I stick to my half marathon training plan that should be attainable. I have a goal of 600 miles for 2015. I have 209 miles left to go in 121 days. I need to get at least 52.25 miles each of the last 4 months to reach my goal. Since I’m running the half marathon in December, I’m pretty sure I’ll reach my goal…fingers crossed!


Women Rock Starlet Challenge

2 Days, 3 Races, 4 Medals = Awesome!

2.5K at State Capitol
The first race of the challenge didn’t scare me, a 2.5 K or approximately 1.5 miles. Easy peasy! I ran the entire race, even the hills and there were hills! It was a great run to start this challenge. My time was 16:05, an 11:03 pace. DJ and I finished together. It was nice to have a race that was fast again. I know that it was a very short race but that was the fastest mile since April. I left happy! We stopped at Davanni’s for a late dinner before heading home for the night.

The first race yesterday was the 10K. I’m so relieved that the first race was the long one.  The start was cool but the humidity was very high. There were about 1,826 people doing the 10K. It seemed a bit crowded but I guess not. My goal for the 10K was to finish before 1:30 and finish with DJ. We did a lot of run/walk intervals which was good. The course was an out and back (my least favorite). It was very straight but had some hills, long hills. I didn’t realize that it was like that. We saw the first half marathon finisher on our way out. There were water stops in the right spots at miles 1, 3 and 5. But there wasn’t much crowd support. It was long stretches of loneliness. We ran it faster than I anticipated and finished in 1:22.19. We had short time to grab a banana and some nut rolls before it was off the 5K race.

The 5K race was so hard. The time between the two races was about 15 minutes. I switched shoes, I’m not sure if that helped or not. The 5K was actually smaller than the 10K with almost 1,500 runners. I would say a third of those were doing the Starlet Challenge. I noticed that there was a lot of walking by us challengers. I think the break was hard for us. If I had some food and was able to immediately start the 5K I would have been better. Seeing so many walkers really played on my brain and we walked a lot too. There was two water stops and I needed them both. Again it was an out and back course…the same course as the 10K except the turnaround point is obviously closer.  It was my worst 5K since I started running back in September 2013.

Overall and Pictures
My overall time for the 15K yesterday was 2:05 minutes…that is 8 and a half minutes slower than the 15K I ran in April. But again, there was the 15 minute break in the middle. My race Friday was great.

2.5 K at the State Capitol

10K done!
Only 5K to go!
Starting the 5K!
Challenge Completed!
Our Medals!

First Day of School

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Swirl was so excited for his first day of school he wore a bow tie and bowler hat. I can't believe we have a middle schooler!

Half Marathon Training

Monday, August 24, 2015

I still can’t believe I’m running a half marathon. I have been dragging my feet on this for a long time and I finally committed. I’m very nervous and scared to death. I saw a Facebook post recently that said 
If Your Goals Don't Scare You, 
              They Aren't BIG Enough 

...or something along those lines. I guess I picked a good goal then. :)

Week 2 - Complete Success!
I would say week 2 of training was very successful. I didn’t skip a run and covered 15.25 miles. I call that a good week. My pace for Monday’s run was slower than I would like but I got out there and ran the miles so that is progress. I had a nice speed workout where I ran 7 x 800 meters at my desired race pace (under 12:00 minute miles) and walked a 1:00 in between. All 7 sprints were under 12:00 but not by much. Thursday’s moderate run was also slower than I’d like but it was faster than Monday. The long run on Saturday was great. I did 5 miles and it took just over an hour.  My first mile was fastest and I lost about 10 second on each mile after that…except the last mile which was my fastest. The first 4 miles I ran straight with very little walking. The last mile I did intervals or the Galloway method. I ran 1:30 and walked for 30 seconds. I felt good after that. I know I keep saying this but I really think this Galloway method is legit, especially for long runs.

18 Weeks to go...
Today I start Week 3. I’m planning on doing 4 miles tonight and a 3 mile speed workout on Wednesday. This week will be a lighter week as I’m doing the Women Rock Starlet Challenge. The Challenge consists of a 2.5 K on Friday and a 10K and 5K on Saturday (almost 11 miles total). I don’t want to be totally spent for the race. I don’t have any goals for the race this weekend. I’m doing it with my sister-in-law. I’m hoping I have a good 2.5 K race on Friday and Saturday I just want to finish!

Here are the splits from my 5 mile run on Saturday. I would like to get my pace back down to the high 11:00s again. Maybe when the weather turns cooler I can run faster again. 

12 Years and Going Strong

Sunday, August 23, 2015

We have made it 12 years and we are still smiling! Our day wasn't too exciting. We went to my cousin's daughter's wedding in Eau Claire...that was interesting. ;) After that we drove home, went to Dairy Queen for a Strawberry Shake and played a round of mini golf were we tied. 

Valleyfair with the Patzlaffs

Eric’s got 4 Valleyfair tickets for placing 2nd in his age group in the 10K race back in May. We finally used them on today. We went to Valleyfair with the Patzlaffs. Jenny plays on my volleyball team and we are both in the EP Community Band. Eric has watched her kids numerous times and they love him. We got there a little before noon. Hailey is tall enough to do most rides but short enough to do the kids rides too. Nick was pretty much stuck with the kids rides. We took Hailey on the Corkscrew while Nathan took Nick on the Ferris Wheel. She loved it! I took the two kids on the Monster. Nick was a little freaked out but at the end he loved it. We took Hailey on most of the rollercoasters, even Wild Thing…she loved it! We spend most of the day there but we could see the storm coming in. We decided one more time on the Corkscrew but just as we were about to get on the ride they closed it down. We ended up getting a little wet walking to the car in the rain.  We had dinner at El Toro in Shakopee and called it a night. It was a great day!

A reunion of old friends

Monday, August 17, 2015

This weekend we camped at O’Neil Creek Campground in Chippewa Falls, WI. My friend from grade school/high school has a permanent site there. Our site was right across from hers on the creek. The site was small but it was very nice. It turned out to be a very hot weekend! We got to the campground around 7pm. Jenny came over immediately and gave me a hug. Her appearance hasn’t changed since school. I hadn’t seen her in 19 years; it has been way too long. We quickly put up the tent. I was a bucket of sweat since it was so hot and humid. I seriously considered jumping in the creek! We took a walk around the campground with her three year old, Natayla. The place is huge. There are over 270 permanent sites and 50 or so weekend sites. We caught up on the last 19 years of our lives. After the walk we just sat around the fire, well not around the fire, it was too stinking hot! My friend Dawn was there too. She is the one that got me into trouble!  Haha. She has MS so has a hard time getting around. Earlier this week a heavy industrial door shut on her Achilles heel and she required 7 staples! We finally called it a night at midnight and went to bed. By that time the air temp had cooled quite a bit. It was still very humid though. It wasn't too uncomfortable sleeping weather but our next door neighbors set up their party right next to our tent…and I mean right next to our tent. And they conversation was annoying. At one point they were describing the new Vacation movie and got a main plot wrong. I was tempted to unzip our window and tell them they were wrong but I didn’t. I finally feel asleep around 1am and was up at 2:30 to use the bathroom. The one thing that I hate about camping…having to pee at night. Ha! I feel back to sleep and didn’t get up until 8am.

Jenny made breakfast burritos for breakfast. It was delicious. I just had egg, cheese and bacon…no spicy stuff for me. But it was a mistake to eat that and then go for a run…not a smart move! Eric and I drove over to the Old Abe Trail for our run. It was such a struggle. It was hot (80’s) very humid (83%). It was so bad that I had to stop every half a mile to take a drink. The breakfast didn’t sit well with me; I wanted to puke the whole time. I think I would have felt better. I know now no breakfast burritos before my long runs. I’ll stick to my toast and Nutella! My pace was almost 13:30 for the run…not great.

After the run, we came back to the campground and waited for Mandi to arrive. She had planned on camping but her husband is suffering from gallstones and is actually having surgery on Monday to have it removed. But she didn’t want to miss out so she came up for the day. Once she got there we went tubing down the creek. The water was cold but felt so good with the 90 degree temps. We floated down the creek twice. It was so much fun! I love tubing!

After the second time we just put chairs in the creek and talked about the past. Around 4pm was the “train” ride. The train took us all around the campground.

Monica showed up about that time. We had hot dogs and cheddarwurst on the fire for dinner. We talked about where all our classmates are now. We took another walk around the campground. We found Noah’s bike at another site so Eric said he would ride it back to Jenny’s site (Noah is her son). I think Eric found himself some new wheels and helmet!

Mandi left shortly after that and Monica joined us for the lighted night “train.” Eric and I spent a lot of time talking with Jenny’s oldest daughter, Theresa about sports, mostly track and field. Once she got out of her shell and book, she had a lot to say! We spent the rest of the night around the fire. At midnight I was exhausted and went to bed. Monica went home shortly after that. She is a night owl! Again, the temperature cooled down that it was comfortable sleeping but again we had the annoying neighbors on top of our tent. Argh!

Sleeping last night was much better. I made sure not to drink too much water after 7pm. I have to remember to do this when I camp so I don't have to wake up at 3am to pee! This morning, after we put everything away, (I think the tearing down is so much hard then putting up. I again was a bucket of sweat) we had a big breakfast of blueberry pancakes, bacon, sausage, fried eggs and hash browns. It was all good. Natayla wanted to go for another walk. This time we covered the whole campground. Shortly after that we came home. It was a great weekend!

Somebody is glad I took the day off..

Ashley for the Arts

Sunday, August 9, 2015

After the Gopher to Badger 5K, Eric and I slowly made our way to Arcadia. We took a lot of different roads and many backroads that Eric had never been on Irving Coulee, Square Bluff and North Creek. We stoped at the Root Beer Stand in Whitehall for some ice cream. It was terrible. My twist cone didn't have any taste. It looked like chocolate and vanilla but had no flavor...really strange. Eric got a Flurry and it was full of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. That was pretty good. Once we got to Mike's house we took showers and got ready for the day. Mike got home from work and grilled hamburgers. My cousin Paula and her family came down. We had a nice dinner and eventually made our way to the park for some of the outdoor concerts.

Ashley for the Arts
Earlier in the day we set up our chairs by the main stage so we met there and then we all did our own thing. The sun was hot and bright so Mom, Bev, Eric and I went into the Pavilion to escape the heat and sun. There was a Mexican band playing in there. They were pretty good. We had no idea what they were saying but it was fun. Mom and Bev had had enough so Eric and I took them home and came back for The Fray.

The Fray
I knew one of their songs from a show I watched, Brothers and Sisters. But I actually recognized some of their other songs too. It was a good concert. We missed the first 20 minutes because we standing in line for mini donuts...42 minutes we stood in line for mini donuts. It was a bit ridiculous. While The Fray were playing their encore we sprinted to the car to throw the chairs in and got to Mike’s house before the fireworks display.

All seven of us piled into my mom’s Equinox (which is only supposed to seat 5). The short cut path to Mike’s house was closed because that is where the fireworks were being shot off from. So we all climbed into the car for the short ride to Mike’s. We set up the chairs for the amazing fireworks display. One of the last ones was right over his house! It was cool.

Gopher to Badger 5K

One race, two states.

The Start
We had a very early morning wake up for this race as parking was in Hudson, WI about an hour away from our house and we had to catch a shuttle bus to the start. The last shuttle bus left at 7:20. So we were up and on the road before 6. It was a cool morning but very humid! There were about 500 of us running the 5K. We started at mile 10 on the half marathon course. The start was very secluded and the timing mat was very small so we all had to funnel over this little mat to start the race. We ran about a mile before the first water stop. I didn’t need water but took some anyways. The mile one marker was just before the entrance ramp to the I-94 Bridge. The first mile split was 11:18 which is the fastest I’ve ran since April. I had a 11:19 at Torchlight. This race was very similar to Torchlight as I compare the two.

The Middle
The Middle of the race consisted of the I-94 Bridge. I am not a big fan of running over the bridge. I’m not sure why, maybe the semi’s whipping past us at 70 mph or something like that. And there isn’t much of a wall. Just the standard size concrete barrier that is what 2 feet tall tops. It is a bit frightening. In addition, other people were using this narrow pedestrian bridge. Like the two bikers who seemed annoyed that we were in their way. I actually stopped and moved over so they could ride past as they were kind of huffy. The total distance on the bridge was about 0.6 miles and it took me about 7 minutes to cross.  Mile 2 was just on the other side of the bridge after you run under it to get into Hudson. My time was 12:06...about 3 seconds faster than Torchlight.

The Finish
There was another water stop around the end of mile 2. This time I took water and put it on my Buff to keep me cool. Like I said in the beginning it was cool at about 65 degrees but 95% humidity which made it stuffy and sweaty.  Somewhere around this time Eric took off on me. That was fine with me. The last mile was along the St. Croix River to Lakefront Park. At the mile 3 marker we had to run up steps. It was a killer for me and I only ran 3 miles. I can’t imagine how demoralizing it is to see steps at the end of mile 13!  Mile 3 was 11:52 which was 21 seconds better than Torchlight! I tried my best to sprint to the finish. And I did ok. I finished under 37 minutes which was a relief and my average pace was 11:41. Not a major improvement from last week race or Torchlight but I’ll take it.

Photo, Splits and Maps

I forgot to stop my watch while I caught my breathe at the finish line so that is why it says 37:02.
I edited it to say the official time.

Minnesota Half Marathon 5K and Chili 5K

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Early this morning we ran the Minnesota Half Marathon 5K. It was a pretty nice morning it wasn’t too hot at 70 degrees but it was a bit humid. I didn’t expect much for this race as I’m nursing a sore calf muscle from the Torchlight 5K a couple weeks ago. It has been bugging me a lot the last couple days. I wore my compression sleeve to keep my calf stabilized. I think it helped. The race was an out, turn around, run back past the finish line, turn around and then finish. You know how much I love out and backs so this was just so much fun…NOT! It was an interesting race as the half marathon is either run or skate, as in rollerblading. I think the rollerblading part would be fun but I’m not sure I’m up to doing 13 miles on rollerblades…although it would be much easier than running 13 miles. Ha!

The Start
The 5k was kind of small with around 780 runners. The start wasn’t that exciting and my first mile was around 11:40, much slower than the Torchlight first mile but I was smarter about this race and didn’t go out too fast and my miles 2 and 3 were faster because of it.

The Middle
We ran out to the turnaround spot and came back. The first water stop was just before we ran past the finish line. What is very discouraging is when you run past the finish line and the first 5K runner were already done. :( Right after mile 2 I had to walk for a bit. My calf was angry at me!

The Finish
After the walk I started running slowly again, right around 12:00 but the last quarter of a mile I amped it up. I was glad that I had enough “gas” in the tank to “sprint” to the finish; my finishing pace was around 11:00. At Torchlight, I had nothing left and barely ran under 12:00s. So I call that a win! My finishing time was 35:34…but it was a bit short of a true 5K.

We got our awesome medal and made our way to get some food and slowly walked to the car. After a quick stop at Starbucks, we were on our way to our second run of the day in Wisconsin.

The Chili Race
The second race was in Chili, WI. Last year I struggled with the 10K. This year I only did the 5k. Eric still ran the 10K and was the only runner and finished first…and last and won $50! He got an escort into the finish line by the ambulance. Ha! My run was slow but I wanted to make sure that Jesse, a girl that work for Mike could finish in 40 minutes. That was her goal. So I stuck around her, doing the run/walk/run method. I was tired from the first race so that worked well. The race had about 50 people. Most were walkers; the young kids were runners and were gone right away so it really was only me and Jesse for most of the 5k. There was a water stop at just over a mile. I didn’t drink much of the water, but poured it over my head. It was really hot at 5:30pm. The first mile was on grass and dirt, the next mile was on gravel country roads and the final mile was a mix of gravel and pavement.  I crossed at 39:38. Jesse was right behind me at 39:45. We made her goal of 40 minutes!

Pictures, Maps and Splits

Minnesota Half Marathon 5K Map

Minnesota Half Marathon 5K Splits
Chili 5K Map

Chili 5K Splits