October 2015 Recap

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Runs: 16
Walks: 19
Miles: 75.5
Races: 7 (TC 10K, TC 5K, Night Nation 5K, Mankato 5K, Mankato 10K, Marine Corps Marathon 10K and Terror Trot 5K)
Outdoors: 32
Indoors: 3
Longest: 6.3 miles (but I ran back to back 10K & 5K)
Average Running Pace: 12:28

October was a busy running month with 7 races, half of which were 10Ks. I have decided I like the 10K distance. As always I love the Mankato 10K. The TC 10K wasn’t bad either. I ran that pretty fast at 1:15. The MCM 10K was my slowest but it was a nice run in our Nation’s capital.

October had some awesome weather. Most of the races had beautiful weather. The Night Nation Run which obviously was at night was 66 degrees at start time. Crazy warm for October. The MCM 10K rained the whole time but thankfully not a soaking rain.

October was a bit faster than September so that was nice to see but it was slower than last year and earlier this year. I’m not really sure why I’ve lost so much speed.  It is very frustrating but I’m moving on, I have a lot of longer races coming up that I need to prepare for and I can’t stress over speed. As long as my 10K stays in the 1:15-1:20 range I’m not going to stress.

There are 3 races in November. The 15K in Chicago on Novermber 8th, the Williams Route 66 ½ marathon in Tulsa (yes I’m running a half in less than three weeks) and Turkey Trot 5K in Omaha.

Cornea Abrasions

Friday, October 30, 2015

Oh the pain!
So Wednesday night when I took my contact out I had a sharp pain in my eye. I couldn’t see for a bit and then I had a lot of pain. I thought my contact must have been dry. I didn’t think it was anything serious. My eye hurt the rest of the night but I fell asleep just fine. I woke up this morning with watery eyes that hurt. My first thought was pink eye…crap! No contacts for a week, annoying drops. 

So when I got to work I headed over the Target Clinic. I told her my symptoms and she sent me over to optical. Nope, not pink eye. Optical set me up with an appointment and oh sorry we don’t accept Medica until November 1st (it is October 29th). She sent me Visionworks in the skyway. I told the optical person there my symptoms and she said it sounds like you scratched your cornea. You have to see an ophthalmologist.  Oh crap, where am I going to get an ophthalmologist in Downtown Minneapolis? By this point I was in a lot of pain and needed something. Thankfully there is Eye Care Associates on the 20th floor of the Medical Arts Building. (The building is one of the oldest in downtown, built in 1923 and at 20 floors it was quite the building back then. It used to be a medical hub but I thought it was converted into offices. I guess I was wrong. The d├ęcor is very much 1920s haha!)

I called and got an appointment at 10am. Amazing! The offices were very strange. They had fireplaces in them. How cool?! The nurse or whatever she was took me back and put some numbing drops in my eye…that was fantastic! She asked a bunch of questions but she was Russian or Eastern European so it was hard to understand her but I think we figured each other out. She pushed some instrument into my eye. I’m a contact wearer and I had issues with this, I couldn’t imagine somebody going through this that isn’t used to putting things in their eye! My pressure is good…so no glaucoma for me. Yay!

I got ushered into the doctor’s office. The doctor is a young buck. He seemed to have a lack of words. He would stutter a lot before saying what he was going to say. It didn’t really give me confidence but I think that is just his style. He of course shined a very bright light into my eye which wasn’t to pleasant since my eye is sensitive to light right now. He hummed and hawed and finally told me the problem. I didn’t just scratch my cornea, it has multiple abrasions. Bad news! Good news is I don’t have an eye ulcer…that sounds terrible.

I wish I had pink eye!
NO CONTACTS FOR 2 WEEKS! Also I have to put this antibiotic/steroid ointment (it is like a cream) on my eye four times a day. That stuff is weird. I have to be reevaluated in two weeks. I got permission to wear NEW contacts for my 15K next weekend in Chicago but was given strict instructions to take them out immediately afterwards and discard them. I can’t imagine running almost 10 miles in my glasses. I did 3 tonight and it was ok but I had chafing on my nose from the nose pads. I bought some Band-Aids and see if that will reduce the pain on my nose. Other than that it was fine.

Well the problem could have come from a dirty contact lens (which I doubt because I’m very good about washing my hands before and cleaning the lens before I put it in) or more likely a buildup of calcium on my lens which can’t be rubbed off. They told me I had to use this new (of course more expensive) way for lens cleaning which should stop the buildup of calcium. I’m willing to do it because I don’t want to go blind.

What’s next?
Well I get to wear my wonderful glasses for 2 weeks straight. This should be interesting because glasses drive me crazy. I could get PRK Laser Eye Surgery which is not as easy as Lasik but I can’t do Lasik. The surgery would scrap my eye (doesn’t that sound awesome!) and I couldn’t be able to see for a few days but after 3-6 months I would have 20/20 vision. Also with PRK there is no “flap” to deal with so no complications afterwards. It is expensive so I have to think about it. The end result sounds awesome. I just don’t know if I want to do the painful part.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Just an average race with great monuments.

Getting to the start
This was by far the largest race I’ve ever been a part of. There were 10,000 runners in the 10K and 35,000 in the Marathon. It was crazy and busy. We were picked up at the hotel by Tom and Dianne (my sister-in-law, Libby’s dad and step mom) and they dropped us off at the Metro. The Crystal City Metro at 6:30am on race was crazy. 

Blue Metro Line to 10K start
We got off at the Smithsonian stop and walked to our start. I didn’t think about which metro train we got on and realized after the fact that we were on the blue which was not what I wanted but no worries we got there. From the Smithsonian stop it was about ¾ of a mile walk to the start. We got through security, checked our bag and made our way to the starting line.

The Start
We got in the 1:20 corral and waited for the “boom” of the cannon. The start was packed and there was no getting around people. We ran a half of block before we turned right and then ran a block and turned right again. I’m not sure why they started us that way. It seemed really silly. You would think they could have just started further down Jefferson Drive but whatever.  The first mile felt slow and was a bit slow but like I said before there a ton of people that just won’t get out of the way.  The race was packed and there was never a time in the 6 miles that it wasn’t packed it was a crazy amount of people. Mile 1 came in at 12:06 and was right in front of the Washington Monument. How cool is that? We turned left and headed across the bridge. Just before the bridge was a drumline that were really good. I was feeling good during mile2. The bridge was very anticlimactic. Considering the mantra of the MCM marathoners is “beat the bridge,” it was nothing more than an HOV lane of the interstate…how boring! Mile 2 was my fastest split at 11:51. Right after mile2 (on the bridge) I had to stop to tie my shoe. That is two races in row I had to stop tie my shoe. I guess I need the speed laces again. For some reason that stop messed with my head and my body and I had a horrible race after that. It could also have been the non-stop rain too.

The Middle
After the bridge we ran down the on ramp and shortly after that was the end of mile 3. My mile 3 split was one of my worse at 12:42 but I had to tie my shoe and I was  having a hard time doing it for some reason. The laces were wet and slippery and it took me three attempts to get it right. We had our only water stop just after mile 3. We lost Chris here as he had to use the Porta Potty.  I ate some beans and drank some water and kept moving. We spent mile 4 in Crystal City, near our hotel. It was nice to run there as there were some people cheering us on…or were they cheering on the first two wheel chair marathoners who passed us. Man, were they cruising! The sports beans must have helped because mile 4 was pretty good at 12:22. The crowd support was a big help as well.

The Finish
Mile 5 was lonely. We were running past the Pentagon and there were no spectators to cheer us on. It was a hard area for people to get to so I’m not surprised. But I was surprised at how fast it says I ran (12:18). My legs felt like lead and I was wanted to walk more than run. I think part of that was the loneliness because shortly after the mile 5 sign was a row of Marines. They were cheering us on, high fiving us and just gave me a boast…which is why I’m surprised my pace dropped so much and turned out to be my slowest mile of the whole race at 12:45. Mile 6 was mostly in Arlington National Cemetery. I was so focused on the road in front of me I didn’t even realize it. How sad is that? Somewhere near the end of mile 6 Chris caught up to me. He sprinted on to the finish but I had to walk for a bit. I tried to run to the finish but I had a couple things hindering me. One was the finish was up a hill…for real! I thought about all those marathoners coming behind me and they get to mile 26 and the .2 is up a hill...that is cruel! Any ways it also narrowed as we turned to go up the hill and like I said before, this race was packed from start to finish. There really were no open areas so when all these people turned to get up the hill it felt like all of them stopped to walk. I’m not kidding. How Chris managed to sprint to the finish is beyond me. I was stuck behind all the walkers. It really pissed me off. I knew this wasn’t a great race but I still wanted to sprint to the finish…I ALWAYS sprint to the finish. I managed to get around them but by that point the finish was less than 20 yards in front of me. I’m curious to see the pictures. I don’t think I’ll have a happy face as I wanted to sprint but couldn’t get around everybody. Also the pavement running up the hill was terrible. It was rutted and not smooth at all. Again, I felt bad for the marathoners.

Post Finish
After we got pasted the finish line, the waiting in line started. We waited at least 10 minutes for medals and then there were more lines up to the food. From the finish line to bag pick up was a half a mile, up a hill. Man, I don’t think I want to run this marathon. They are just cruel!  The first stop was the Iwo Jima Statute. 

And then food. I was so desperate for something to drink that I actually drank some Gatorade. If you know me, you know that is shocking because I hate that stuff but I need something. Water was the last thing they handed out. For real!!! I would say that was terrible planning. The post-race food was ok. The food boxes were not great. The animal crackers were good but who really wants Kale chips or a tub of cheese? How the heck are you supposed to eat that? I was relieved when I found the bananas.  Chris, Eric and I eventually made our way to bag pick up. Overall it was a good race. Not my best which I’m disappointed but not my worst either. It doesn’t help we were soaked. 

Pictures, Maps and Splits
A lot of people!

Mankato 5K and 10K

Monday, October 19, 2015

Pork Power 5K
Friday night was the Pork Power 5K. Like last year, I walked it with Mike. We were slower this year but he had a bum knee and hadn’t been walking much lately. It was ok, it was a nice walk. It was the same course as last year except they added a .15 of mile at the end so it was closer to a true 5K this time. I learned from last year and did not take any bacon. At the finish they had pork chops, they were pretty good. We stood in a long line for bananas and chips and then left for dinner. We celebrated our race finish with a nice dinner at Bonfire with Danielle, DJ and Abbie.

The Injury
So after Bonfire we went back to the hotel and use the hot tub. Well, silly me fell and hurt my foot.  It turned purple instantly. See…

I was so upset, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to run the 10K. It hurt so badly and the swelling was awful.  I iced it right away and on the way to DJ’s house we stopped at Walmart (it was 9pm, who else open at that time would have KT Tape?). We got some Advil, lime green KT Tape, ice pack and Band-Aids.  We got to DJs and I iced it one more time and watch the How To video for taping for foot pain. I only wasted a couple strips of the KT tape before I nailed it.

The 10K Start
DJ dropped us off at the start and took our car to volunteer at mile 10 of the marathon. The morning was cold like last year but not nearly as windy. It was almost the same course as last year except for one exception at the end. The beginning was flat and straight.  There is nothing exciting to report for the beginning of the run other than my foot didn’t hurt! It was amazing!  But tragedy struck at mile 1.5. My trusty Garmin shut off and restarted. When it came back on it was still tracking my run but it was freaking out. It was beeping for the intervals all wrong. And when I stopped it shortly after it said that I ran 2.5 miles in 16 minutes for a pace of 6:24…I wish!  I had no choice but to stop my watch and restart it. After I did that it worked fine the rest of the way.

The 10K Middle
So after the watch fiasco you would think I would be freaked out but I took it in stride. My foot felt good; there was nothing that was going to discourage me now! At the water stop, I took a couple of sport beans with the water.  At mile 3 my Band-Aid must have come off my toe. I knew it instantly as the pain was intense. I kept at it! I wasn’t going to stop because of my toe.  I wiggled my toes to see if I could get it to at least cover the open sore. It must have worked because the pain went away temporarily.  Right before mile 4 was the start of the long hill. Oh how I love this hill. My pace was under 10 for the hill, my half a mile split for the hill was under 5 minutes!  It was awesome. And the amazing thing is I ran that fast with my shoe untied. Yep, my shoe untied running down the hill. There was no way I was going to stop! I passed so many people and a few told me it was untied and I said I’m not stopping until I get to the bottom. Zoom, Zoom! As soon as I got to the bottom of the hill I tied my shoe.

The 10K Finish
Like I said this course was the same as last year except for the finish. They made us run up a hill…granted it was a short hill but it was at the end of mile 6. I walked it and sprinted to finish. My time was slower than last year but was my fastest this year!  1:11.04!


Sever’s Corn Maze 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

I know it has taken me a while to get around to this but I’ve been busy. On Sunday we had our annual visit to the Sever’s Corn Maze in our backyard. Well not really our backyard but less than a mile away.

This year we had quite the crew with Eric’s parents, Bonnie, Adam, DJ, Abbie, Mom, Mike and Mike’s friend, Linda and her son, Alec. Sadly this year we didn’t have Danielle and Bradley. :(

This year’s theme is Firefighters. Alec apparently loves firetrucks so that was cool. Most of us went through the maze. Mom and Terry stayed behind. It took us about 40 minutes to get through. We got lost a couple times. Oops! After the maze we made our way to the Petting Zoo. I went into the shelled corn pit with Alec and buried him. That lasted 5 seconds. Ha!

We met everybody by the pig races before calling it a day. It was a fun like always.

Eric’s Graduation

Monday, October 12, 2015

He has finally done it!  Eric has finally got his Master’s Degree.  

Friday Night
Eric’s parents got into town around 10pm. Judy and I worked on a jigsaw puzzle while Eric and Terry talked. Around midnight Bonnie and Adam showed up. I was very happy they were able to make.

The Ceremony
Eric’s graduation ceremony was at 10 am on Saturday. It was a small graduation with maybe a 100 people. There were some undergraduates. The ceremony lasted about an hour and half. The St. Mary’s University president is dull. I miss Brother Louis! Anyways, the new president is from Boston and during his entire speech all I could think about was he sounded like a Godfather in the mafia and when I listened to what he said, I imagined as if he was the Godfather. I started cracking up laughing and shared with DJ and Bonnie why I was laughing and then of course all three of us were laughing. The thing is he wasn’t saying anything funny! Oh that was fun. SMU provided snacks and refreshments afterwards.

The Lunch
When made our way home and it was time to eat. We had quite the menu for such a small gathering. Pork Roast sandwiches, cheese potatoes, chips, veggies, bars  etc. It was all great. Byron showed up in time to eat. Eventually the Stayers showed up too. It went well. My mom and brother also showed up just in time for church. We went to 5pm church.

Night Nation
Of course we had a run on Saturday. DJ’s kids came up and we ran (or walked) the 5K at Canterbury Park. It was huge event with over 10,000 people. It was dark and we had those light things around our neck. I wasn’t happy with my run/walk. I wasn’t in the mood to run. The start was on the dirt horse track. Then we ran on uneven gravel/cement/paved roads back by the horse barns. I’m not a party person, I don’t drink so this really wasn’t a run for me. DJ, Beth, Ethan and I walked. Abbie and Eric ran it. Good for them. Ha!


Sunday, October 4, 2015

The final race in the 5K Challenge series.

The Start
We did a quick change of bibs from the 10K race that we ran right before this race and got in the back of the line for the start…bad move. The 5K was full of school aged kids, and I don’t mean high school…I mean elementary kids in jeans and yellow shirts. I couldn’t get around them and running up that long hill was a problem. There were so many walkers in the 5K. Not that is bad, I think it is great that all these people came out and participated. I just wish they would all  move to side when they decided that they are going to walk. Before I take a walk break, I always check behind my shoulder to make sure that nobody is running right behind me. I move over to the side and get out of the way. These people don’t get out of the way. They will jog for a bit and then bam stop to walk and don’t look behind them to see if somebody was on their heels. It is very frustrating. I wish there was an etiquette course that is taught before 5k races.  Now back to the kids, I can forgive the kids for not knowing that when you need to tie your shoe you don’t stop, bend over and do it in the middle of a race course. It didn’t happen to me once, or twice…THREE TIMES in the first half mile, up the hill. I got behind this kid and bam, stopped to tie his shoe. Got around him only to have the same thing happen to me 2 more times. I was a bit annoyed and of course after running the 10K my legs were mad at me for this sudden stop and then running again that I gave up on running the hill and just walked. Once I got to the top, I started running again. My first mile was terrible, it came in at 13:22. But I did walk up the hill so I understand and I’m not upset. Eric of course was long gone before the troubles with the kids happened.

The Middle
This race never spread out like most races. It was a constant traffic jam with the stop and start. I got away from the kids in mile 2. Occasionally I’d catch up to one of them that sprinted out too fast and was barely walking now…I feel for the kid…he didn’t know. And of course the 2 girls that come running up behind me and was chatting with a boy who didn’t know them and they were giving him crap because they go to the same church and school, how do you not know me (in a little snotty girl voice). That cracked me up. I have to say those kids were annoying in the first mile and entertaining in the second. Ha! Mile 2 was faster at 13:11.

The Finish
Mile 3 was my fastest at 13:02. Like the 10k, the 5K finishes down the same hill. My last half a mile of the race was pretty good with my average pace under 12 minutes. That made me happy. My overall time was 40:59. I beat 41 minutes by a second! Yes! If I didn’t get caught up with the stopping and starting of the first half mile of the race, I’m sure I could have ran faster.  But no excuses!

We completed the 5K challenge and got an awesome medal, see below.

Photos, Maps, and Charts

2015 TC 5K Medal
2015 TC 5K Challenge Medal

See where all the kids tied their shoes...

TC 10K

The unexpected race.

The Registration
IF you would have asked me 2 years ago if I’d ever sign up on a whim to do a 10K on the same day as a planned 5K I would have laughed. But alas, here we are 2 years later and I did just that. The reason why…the 10K had a cooler t-shirt. Yes, I spent $50 to register the day before the TC 10K just so I could have the cooler shirt and of course another medal. It almost didn’t happen. We got our stuff for the 5K, walked around the expo, left the expo and were in the car about to leave the parking garage when out of the blue I said we should do the 10K. I thought Eric was going to say no since the 10K started at 7:30am and we would have to leave our house early to get to the State Capitol in time but he said sure. We sat in the car for about 5 minutes humming and hawing and finally said let’s do it.

The Start
This was the first cool race since the spring. The starting temp was about 40 degrees. No tank top for me this time. I wore my running jacket to keep myself warm. I was a little nervous as my speed workout on Thursday strained my groin and my leg wasn’t happy walking to the start. We started in the back like always. I ran up the first hill with not too much trouble. I told Eric I was definitely doing the run walk method so I have legs left for the 5K later. My first half mile was the slowest of the whole run but it was all up hill. The actually gain/loss on this course was very similar to the course last weekend in Michigan, the only difference is this was mostly rolling hills, there were no long down hills and long steep up hills. The biggest hill was in the beginning and end (obviously since it is an out-and-back). I stuck to the method and felt great. Eric was a trooper; he stayed with me and my crazy method for almost the entire race. The first mile, even with the long up hill to start came in at 12:09. Already a good sign! Mile 2 leveled off a bit and we got away from the crowded start. The time was slightly less at 12:06.

The Middle
The first water stop was just after mile 2. I knew this was going to be a long day of running so I had a few energy beans at the water stop. It was a pain in the butt to get the package open (note to self, open the bags before starting!). I think that is why mile 3 came in much slower at 12:39, my slowest pace of the 10K. My time at the 5K mark was just under 38 minutes. Obviously not my fastest but not bad considering I still had a 10K more to go. I made up for the lost time in mile 4 with an 11:38 time. I think those beans helped!

The Finish
I don’t remember much about mile 5. There was a water stop in there somewhere. This time I just had water, I’m thinking I should of have had more beans! My mile 5 time was back to the normal at around 12:09. Somewhere during mile 6 I lost Eric. I had a walk break and wanted to keep running. I said “Go, I’ll meet  you at the finish.” His leaving me didn’t really hurt my time as I still got mile 6 done in 12:11.  The last quarter of a mile I sprinted to the finish. It helped that we had that long downhill. My pace coming down the hill and across the finish was around 10:35. I’m proud that I had that much in me to finish so strong…but the hill helped. A guy in front of me tripped over the timing mat just as he crossed the finish. I shouldn't laugh but I did...that is why I'm laughing in my finishing pictures. 

My overall time was 1:15.25. I’m very happy with that…3 minutes faster than last week’s 10K. I got my medal, water and banana and hurried to bag check to swap out bibs and throw our medals into the bag to recheck under our new number.

Photos, Stats and Maps
The TC 10K Start!
TC 10K Finished
2015 TC 10K Finisher Medal

HealthPlus ​Brooksie Way 10K Race Day Photos

Friday, October 2, 2015

So the 10K we ran on Sunday (HealthPlus ​Brooksie Way 10K) offers free official photo downloads. How awesome is that?!?! The finish ones aren't great but these two are pretty nice (~ mile 5)!

September 2015 Recap

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Runs: 15
Walks: 16
Miles: 77.17
Races: 2 (Suds Run 5K; Brooksie Way 10K)
Outdoors: 32
Indoors: 0
Longest: 6.6 miles
Average Running Pace: 12:37

September meant cooler temps which made me very happy. I went on a lot of longer runs to prepare for the 15K and Half Marathon I have coming up later this year. My average run was 4.2 miles. On top of that, I generally had a 1/2 mile to 1 mile cool down walk. So I averaged almost 5 miles of running and walking each time I went out.

For many of my runs this month I used the run-walk method. I feel that the only way I can survive the half marathon at this point in time is by doing this method. After the half marathon, I’m going to try to go back to straight running with a few walk breaks thrown in.  

I only had 2 races this year and I realized I didn’t even write a blog about the Suds Run 5K. It wasn’t great. I was slower than last year and I had bronchitis last year. I was not thrilled with that race. The other race was the Brooksie Way 10K in Rochester, MI. That was a very hilly run. My time was slower than I had hoped but the course was very hilly. In retrospect, I did pretty good considering.

October is a big race month with 6 races in 5 weekends. I’m so excited!