TC Summit Challenge

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

I’m not letting my calf injury get in the way of planning 2017 races. Just today I signed up for the 2017 TC Summit Challenge (the MNy version). It consist of 4 races: 
- Valentine's Day TC 5K on February 11
- Hot Dash 5K on March 18
- Red, White & Boom! 5K on July 4
- Medtronic TC 10 Mile on October 1
In the past, the thought of running the TC 10 miler was an unrealistic dream. My coworker and I talked about doing it 6 or 7 years ago but it never happened. Back then, I honestly didn’t think I could do it…wow how times have changed! I have completed 7 races in the last year that were 10 miles or longer!
I signed Eric up for the TC Ultra Summit Challenge. He has the same races as me except his distances are longer. He is doing the Hot Dash 10 mile, Red White & Boom Half marathon (half marathon in July, no thank you!) and the Twin Cities Marathon. 
Also on the race schedule…
So far, with the registration today, we have six official races in 2017. The other two are Goldy’s 5K, 4th annual for us, and our third running on the Hot Chocolate 15K. 
I haven’t signed up for any half marathons yet but I’m eye up five of them including the Mankato Half in October. I have professed my love for the Mankato 10K race for the last three years so it seems odd that I’m switching. But watching Phil, Byron and Paula run the last part of the full marathon made me a little jealous and I want to run that course (just not the full marathon). So that is in the plans for next year. Also I would like to run the Oshkosh Half Marathon in late April. I haven’t registered yet, but I should. I have our hotels booked already so I don’t know why I’m dragging my feet on registering. Maybe because I spent $500+ this morning on our challenges? Running is expensive!

Gastrocnemius Tear (aka my poor calf)

Friday, October 21, 2016

So I came off the high of a great running weekend…3 amazing races. And feeling great! I decided to do my speed work out on Tuesday at the wildlife refuge since it is a fairly straight, flat road. My work out called for 2 x 1 mile sprints at 12:15 pace with a minute rest between. Those went great. I was supposed to follow that up with 2 x half mile sprints at 6:00. Well that didn’t happen. Nope, I didn’t get hurt, just tired and I thought to myself I’m not going to get hurt trying to do something I just couldn’t do today. So I walked to cool down and went home. I was happy with my mile sprints and was feeling good.

I ate dinner and went to my 9:15pm volleyball game. I hate 9:15 games. Ugh. So I got there and felt fine with a twinge of pain in my hip but that always happens to me after speed workouts. It was in the first game, actually I think it was the first point. I jumped and pop goes my calf. I struggled through that point and had to walk off the court. I had the worse searing pain in my calf that I have ever felt before. It was incredible. I tried walking and it wasn’t happening. I thought crap, I just blew out my calf…how am I going to run in Vegas in 25 days?

Even though I felt like crying, I held it in. I was devastated. The other team gave me an ice pack and I iced it the rest of the first game but after getting up, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to play at all. I drove home and Eric helped me up the stairs and I elevated it and iced it all night off and on. I was miserable. Damn you volleyball!

The next day, I was pissed. I went to work and elevated my leg and iced it every 2 hours. I could walk but it was painful. I was starting my long painful recovery. Eric told me absolutely no running for at least 2 weeks. That was such a blow but I could barely walk so I understand no running. I was so depressed I actually suggested we go to Pizza Ranch for dinner buffet. As I told Eric, I can’t run so I might as well gorge myself and gain 100 pounds. I’m so dramatic. LOL!

Yesterday was a little better, I continued to ice it every two hours but also wore my compression sleeve. That helped a lot with walking. I am slowly making strides to heal this dang thing. I have done so much research and I have a plan to get back to running. I looked at the Rock N Roll Las Vegas website and saw the time limit for the half marathon is 4 hours. That is little over an 18 minute mile. I might not be able to run but DAMMIT, I’m walking the half and getting my damn glow-in-the-dark medal. I paid a lot for this race and I want my bling!!

Today is much better. I’m still wearing the compression sleeve and I can barely tell my calf hurts. Occasionally when I walk, I’ll feel a tug. I’m going to listen to Eric and everybody else on the web and no run, even though it feels fine.

I’m going for a sports massage tomorrow and I might do that a couple more times before Vegas to break up any of the scar tissue while my calf heals. I’m going try and get out for a nice walk on Sunday. I think I’m ok to walk if I don’t have pain. I hope so as that is my “training” plan for the next 23 days.

So to all the various people at work who kept telling me that running isn’t good for me and I was going to hurt myself…F&(K Y0U people, running didn’t hurt me VOLLEYBALL DID!!
Can you tell I’m annoyed? :)

Running Weekend

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

I’m very late in my reviews of the races this weekend. I had 3 races and they were all fun!

Running the River 5K
The first race was the inaugural Runnin’ the River 10 Mile and 5K. Since we had to pick up Phil at the airport, we had to do the 5K for the sake of time. It was in Huber Park in Shakopee at 9 am so we felt like we had to do it since it was down the road from our house. The run was supposed to go towards Chaska but with all the recent rain, the river was flood and the course had to move to plan b which was running towards Valleyfair on my normal running course. Awesome! The 5K race ran from Huber Park to Memorial Park and then back. When we had to run up to the bridge, I almost ran down under the bridge (my normal training route). Oops!  My goal with this race was to run it sort of fast but not too fast for the other 5K later in the day. As long as I was under 39 minutes, I was happy. On the way back to the finish we had to run on a portion of grass. Of course I found the one large rock and snap, my ankle was on the ground. Crap that hurt, what did I just do?? It hurt like heck but I was pretty sure it wasn’t broken, just sprained maybe so I ran to the finish. I went up to the chiropractor who massaged it and then taped me up for my other races this weekend!  My time was 38:32, a 12:26 pace.

We made it to the airport in time to pick up Phil, ok we were a little bit late thanks to my injury. We stopped for some breakfast before making it home so he could take a nap. After an hour or so we drove down to Mankato. We checked into our hotel, went to the expo and got ready for the 5k.

Pork Power 5K
This is my second pig related race in less than a month. Again my goal for this race was to keep it under 39 minutes and not kill myself for the 10k on Sunday. This is the third year of running this event but my first time actually running it. I walked with Mike the last two years so this was going to be a PR for this race no matter what. My ankle felt ok so I decided to run it. I did struggle a little bit and had to walk some but overall it was a good race. Alec ran it and of course he took off at the beginning. I caught up to him after mile 1.3. He was telling me how he was beating Eric by 15 minutes. Funny kid. I told him we had only been running 15 minutes so he could have done that. He was also saying he was a faster runner than me. Oh those are fighting words boy. He may be able to run faster than me but I have endurance and can run longer. I beat him by over 10 minutes and when was coming into the finish I asked him what happened to him since he was so much faster than me. Haha! My time was slower than the first one, 38:55, a 12:33 pace. I kept to my goal of finishing under 39 minutes…barely!


After the race we had a birthday party for Byron. His birthday was the next day. We got pizza from Pagliai's, the best pizza in Mankato! Most of my family was there, including Danielle. And DJ, Abbie, Byron, Paula and Phil from Eric’s side. There were 14 of us. It was a nice dinner. Mom made Byron a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for his birthday. There was also a decorated cookie that Paula bought. I found a card that said “Tomorrow I will start running” at work on Friday and thought it was the perfect card since he was running a marathon tomorrow. We all signed it. It was a good time. After everybody left I went into the hotel for a bit. It was nice. There was a guy in there bragging that he was going to finish the marathon in 3:15. Well he didn’t finish. He got the half way point but never finish. Haha! I love braggers that get it in the end. Ha!

Mankato 10K
This is by far my favorite race of all time. This was my third time running and I just love the nice long downhill at mile 3.75. I just struggle through the housing development until we pop out on Stolzmann Drive for the long (half mile) downhill sprint. DJ, Eric and I ran this race. Eric was long gone and so was DJ. I eventually caught DJ before the hill. It took me almost 4 miles to catch her. I went back to the 45 seconds running /15 seconds walking intervals. They seem to work the best for me at this point. I kept a very consistent pace for the first 3 miles: 12:40, 12:36 and 12:38. Most of mile 4 is down the hill so my pace was 12:05 and some of the mile 5 is also on the hill but I slowed down once I reached the bottom 12:28. Mile 6 was terrible but at this point I was just wanted to be done. Mile 6 is the worse of this race because I sprint so fast down the hill because I don’t hold back and I get to the bottom and I’m dead. It took me 13:27 minutes to run mile 6. DJ and I sprinted to the finish, I managed to beat her by one second! Ha! My time was 1:16:05, a 12:15 pace according to the official results. My watch said the course was short and my pace was 12:36. Either way all three races this weekend were very consistent. A success in my book!

After our race, Mike picked us up and we went to Cub for some donuts and back to the hotel to pack up our stuff. We dropped DJ off at mile 11 of the marathon where Abbie was volunteering. After eating donuts and saying our good byes, we picked up DJ and went looking for our marathoners. We saw Phil running around mile while we were driving to our first stop, Mile 17. Soon after we got there we saw Byron and Paula. They looked good, keeping a 10 minute pace. I wish I could run that fast! Ha! Phil came by 15 minutes later. He didn’t look as great as Byron and Paula but was still trucking. We stopped again by mile 21. Abbie met us there. We saw Byron and Paula and gave them some water. Abbie ran with them for a while. Not long after that Phil came by. I got a video from Susan to show him and we gave him Gatorade and water. Abbie ran with him for a while. Almost to the finish line! I think he appreciated it. He looked better at mile 21 than he did at mile 17 so that is good! Eric and I got the finish line in time to see them all finish. It was a great day!


Monday, October 10, 2016

Meh! Everything about this race screams a great time. The weather was cool, there was no wind, and it is a course I know well as this was my third time running it. But I just wasn’t feeling it on race day. I made sure to line up in front of the kids (which caused me problems last year). I didn’t think about all the walkers too. Doh! This race has a lot of walkers, which, as I have said many times before is GREAT! But don’t line up close to the front and don’t take up the whole damn road! ARGH! The first mile of this race is tough. Besides weaving around walkers, kids, and strollers, there is the BIG hill. You run from the Minnesota Capitol up to the top of Cathedral Hill. It is a half mile up hill. It sucks…literally the wind right out of you. I got to the top of the hill and I could not find my stride. I thought I was giving it my all but my pace doesn’t reflect it at all. There were more ups than down during mile 2 but not nearly as bad as that hill in the first mile. I’m not sure what happened to me but mile 2 was worse than mile 1! I just couldn’t run and spent a bunch of time walking. But like I said, I know this course. And it is an out and back which mean what goes up, must go down. I hit the two mile marker and I put on the gas. This time I know that I was cruising as my pace finally reflects it. It was slower than I wanted but I was still happy that I was well under 13 minutes for mile 3. Once I hit the downhill, my pace never got slower than 12 minute mile pace and I even sprinted to the finish with a pace around 9:35. That is fast for me. I saw that I was close to hitting 39 minutes and I said to myself, I’m not getting a time over 38:59! I’m not getting into the 39s. And I didn’t. 38:56.
I started slow, got slower but finished strong and fast. I look forward to next weekend’s races, we have three! A 5K Saturday morning in Shakopee, a 5K Saturday afternoon in Mankato and the annual 10K in Mankato on Sunday morning. I love this 10K course as it has a nice long downhill. Hopefully I do well but based on recent poor performances, I don’t expect much.

The Neti Pot Saved Me

Thursday, October 6, 2016

So it started on Sunday morning…sore throat and feeling spacey. Thankfully I had nothing on the agenda for Sunday so I mostly just watched TV on the couch and we went for a ride. I started to feel stuffed up Sunday night so I pulled out my trusty old Neti Pot and rinsed out my sinuses. It is a gross process but it really helps me breathe. I took some Nyquil and went to bed. I woke up feeling not so great on Monday, again I used the Neti Pot and went to work. In hindsight, I probably should have stayed home. Tuesday morning I felt like crap, the worse yet. I could breathe, thanks to the Neti pot, but my body ached and was exhausted. This time I stayed home. It was so nice to sleep in, Swirl didn’t wake me up until 9am. Again I just sat on the couch and did nothing but watch TV. I finally started to feel better by Tuesday afternoon. I truly believe the Neti Pot saved me and is the reason why my cold only lasted 3 days. 

Vikings 5K

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Me and 5,000 of my closest friends ran from Lake Street to the new Viking stadium. It was a great day for a run. The weather was perfect the course was flat, I should of had a stellar day. But it was a week after a half marathon so I wasn't quite ready for a 5k race. My first two miles were great. Both were under 12 minutes. Mile 3 was a bit of a challenge but still under 12:30. I had a nice fast sprint to the finish. My overall time 37:32. My overall pace was under 12. That always makes me happy! I finished in the bottom 35%. After the run, we toured the Vikings locker room. Raided the food line and went home. I also had a classic moment on the Vikings phone slipped out of my running pouch and of course it landed face down on the concrete. Shattered. ARGH! Not cool!