Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Loving It

Thoroughly enjoying this weather. Unbelievable that it's January. This morning I ran 10.19 miles. I wore capris, a l/s top and reflective jacket. I could have done without the jacket but wanted the visibility it provides. A decent workout. This afternoon, the thermometer on the north side of the house said 54. Yes, 54 degrees on January 31. So I decided to head out on my usual route for a six mile out-and-back. But it was soooo nice (but windy from the west) that I decided I'd go eight. (I go back and forth between 11th Ave SE/County 1 and Marion Road which is a one mile stretch). I looked at my watch and was running faster than this morning and was feeling really good so I decided to do the whole 10.19 once again. And when I determined I was running negative splits, kept at it as hard as my legs would allow. Was THRILLED to run the second 10.19 6:19 faster than the first 10.19. Yee ha!!

I woke up this morning after having one of those disturbing dreams ... that I was back in college (that was eons ago!) and it was finals and I hadn't been to class all semester, and didn't even know what classes I was taking. Thinking that means that getting behind on stuff at home is on my mind. But after yesterday and today, I'm feeling like I'm getting caught up. Still have a lot of work to do on taxes though.

It was so nice this afternoon that I decided to vacuum out my car and Eric's. Then I opened the garage door and swept out the garage. In January. Unreal.

All food donations for Lace-Up Against Breast Cancer have been confirmed. Culvers: Chicken Wild Rice Soup; AMPI: cheese sticks; Great Harvest: bread; Kwik Trip: bananas; Reichel Foods: Dippin' Stix; HyVee: water. Thank you sponsors!! We still need more runners to consume all this food. All race info on the Lace-Up website.

Guess that's all that's of interest today. Good night friends.

Monday, January 30, 2012


It was a weekend of banquets. Saturday brought the RTC annual banquet with guest speaker Ruth Brennan Morey. It was nice to catch up with running friends that I don't see too often any more. Unfortunately, I didn't even get my camera out of my purse. (Just prefered to relax after a long day at work I guess). Tom Woo (Thom Woo) has photos posted on Facebook though. Darald Bothun, his daughter, and Barry Knapp have the honor of recreating the historic ski at the Birkie this year. They will be in costume and leave before the rest of the skiers and will finish with the last skiers so everyone gets to see them.

Sunday brought a trip up to St. Cloud for the annual River Runners banquet. It's always so much fun to get together with these folks. What a wonderful group of runners that I am happy to call my friends.

Ron, Bonnie, Dave, Kathy, Tammie, Tag, Adam

Anne, Roxanne, Erin

Sharon and Nikki

Jodi, Bob, Kurt, George, Buddy

Cindy, Phil, Val

I was floored when Sharon Hobbs started talking about this year's recipient of their annual award, the Carey Burke award. The more she talked, I realized she was talking about me. I started shaking, then sobbing. I was so surprised, so humbled, so honored to be selected. As I've said in other forums today, the running communities that I am a part of have given me so much more than I have ever given back. You are all a blessing to me.

I've got to put in a plug for the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon (that's race director Sharon in three photos with me above). Sharon had the finishers' medals on display last night. They are BEAUTIFUL. Silk ribbons (not the usual grosgrain) screened on both sides, nice heavy medallion. EVERYTHING about this race is first rate, it's the fastest and flattest marathon I've ever run, and it's the best value out there!!

Workouts lately: 70.28 run miles last week. (Sun/26.42, Tues /6.04, Wed/6.25, Thurs/10.25, Fri/8.21, Sat/13.11). Monday: 1 hour bike. Tuesday 2.6 showshoe. Wed lift, 1 hr swim, 40 min bike. Yesterday and today, 6.01 mile run. Loving these wonderful winter temps!!

Well, here it is. My Ocala marathon finish photo complete with huge legs, bad hair and slow time.

It is what it is.

Go. Be. Do. And have a wonderful week!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ocala Marathon

Thursday was a GREAT day to escape the winter weather here in the north country (-7 air temp when I arrived at MSP) ... and land on Clearwater Beach, FL (air temp 78 degrees).

I can't seem to get rid of the spots on my camera lens : (

With a big 'ol ice cream cone for lunch. : )

Friday brought a wonderful lunch with dad and Ada at Texas Roadhouse hear Tampa, and Saturday, the wildlife at Silver Springs east of Ocala.

You won't believe this ... just before this photo was taken, the alligator twitched/flipped and jumped and ... I dropped it. Yes. I dropped a 2 1/2 year old alligator. The little gal doing the "show" (which wasn't really a show as she was brand new and wasn't authorized to do anything but hold a little gator) didn't know how to correctly hold the gator and she was doing a football hold. So I did something similar and the thing flipped out of my grasp. The official trainer came over and told us how to properly hold a gator (right behind the head/front legs and the tail ... and tightly). I felt awful. But I guess no harm was done. She said that gators experience much worse in the wild. :-\

Then it was time for some pasta ...

and thinking about running another 26.2 mile footrace on Sunday morning. Yikes. I get SO psyched out by marathons. I know they will always involve leg cramps and that never ceases to get me all worked up. Sunday would prove no different. Everyone was mentioning the hills and the forecast was for heat. I do a lot of training on hills, so that didn't bother me too much (though I'd prefer not to run too many of them during a marathon) but the heat I knew would do me in. I am not a hot weather runner. The forecast high for the day kept going up, and ending up being 80 degrees, exactly what it was at the finish line. But back to the start line. We lined up on the perimeter road of the Paddock Mall and within a couple of miles were out of town in the beautiful horse country that surrounds Ocala. Beautiful homes. Beautiful horses. Beautiful pastures. Abundant sunshine, which meant that it heated up quickly as the sun rose. The course was mostly two loops, though there was an out-and-back section in the early miles. There were also a lot of turns on the course. The early miles felt good. The temps were pleasant and my legs were fresh. : ) My miles were right around 8:00 minute pace. But at 6 miles I'd already felt twinges of cramps. YIKES. Way too early. So after my first bathroom break between miles 8 and 9 (I drank at every water stop, and they were every 1 to 2 miles), I backed off the pace as it would only get hotter and the cramps more severe. By about 16 miles I really had to back off. I ran through the cramps, but "ran" is like you see, in quotes. Lots of late miles at 10:00 pace, or slower. But for the most part I was able to keep "running" and that was certainly better than walking or stopping. When I got back to the mall, in the final mile, we turned off a busy road where there were two police officers and onto the mall property. About 1/8 mile later there was a tent sign with an arrow on it, so I turned. Then I second guessed my decision as I couldn't see a soul up ahead. So ... I turned around and ran back to the corner to double check the sign. Hey ... my brain was tired, there was no volunteer at the corner, ... At the finish, 26.42 miles on my GPS. Bottom line ... my time was 4:04:39. I'd really like to run a sub-4:00, but it didn't happen. Too many hills, too much heat, poor training. I did finish first in my age group (second place was a minute behind ... glad I didn't take more than 2 bathroom breaks!). The finisher's medals were great, the shirts were great, the bibs were personalized and the trophies were certainly unique. I'd certainly recommend this one, especially on a cooler day. Beautiful course. (Even the locals said that the temps were unusually warm for January. Last year it was 26 degrees!)

So. Marathon number 24 is in the books. Next up, for number 25? Napa Valley in March.

Good night friends.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Today at JCPenney, employees were able to purchase all the clearance merchandise they wanted ... for 50% off. PRETTY SWEET DEAL (thus ... PSD)!! So this is what I found ...

$7.49 each. I love a bargain! This last knit grey one looks like it's got some big black spots on it. Not. The spots are on my camera lens. : ( I picked up a couple of fun little purses too. The black one has fabric flowers all over one size. They're so fun!! I should have looked through the shoes. Ran out of time.

13.02 mile run this morning. 8 hour day at job #2. (Haven't had a day off since 1/1. Looking forward to Thursday ... a day off, and off to Ocala, FL for the marathon!) Then it was off to a Lace-Up Against Breast Cancer meeting. Then supper. More pix next post. Good night ... [yawn] ...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Same Old, Same Old

Again my apologies for the lack of posts. There just isn't much to post about. Still working weekends, which limits my time to spend with friends. After work today, I was able to celebrate Laura's big accomplishment ... earning her Master's degree ... with a fun potluck at her house. It was very enjoyable and relaxing. And delicious of course, as all potlucks are! Tomorrow I work all day, then have a Lace-Up Against Breast Cancer meeting in the evening. Then I think I'll make the green beans and potatoes with pesto that I didn't make for today's potluck (too tired ... made brownies instead) 'cuz I work 9 AM to 10 PM Monday, so it's not going to happen that day. Such is life.

I'll try to get around to posting last Monday's Cooking Light photos soon. Just haven't had the time though they are on Facebook. Now I'm posting on my laptop and the photos are on my desktop but I'm too lazy to get up and do anything about it. : )

Haven't run the last 3 days. I'm a wimp. It's been dark, cold, windy and slippery at the time I've been able to run (early AM before the sun comes up) so I've done 2 hours on the Stairmaster each day. Tomorrow I'm determined to run. Last "long run" before Ocala next weekend.

Congrats to our 2012 Olympic marathon team. I hope they do well, and stay healthy, and represent the U.S. well in London this summer. I enjoy Olympic years, whether it's summer or winter.

Well, that's all I know. I'll try try to check back in a little more often.

Take care.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Nothin' New

Hey there. Sorry for the paucity of posts, but there just isn't much to post about.

I worked all weekend, and no days off last week. (I do get Friday off this coming week ... hoorah.) Every day is pretty much the same ... get up, run, go to work, try to sleep. Repeat. Yesterday morning out on 20th St SE and Marion Road (it was nice to run with some daylight!) there were what looked to be recruits or something from the Armory out there. There was a van with a uniformed driver where they were to turn about ... maybe .75 miles from the armory. I came upon the last guy and he was really having trouble. Supposed to run but was walking. The driver got out, said a few words to him and got back in the van. I ran right past after saying good morning to both of them. Had I to do it over again, I'd have stopped and talked to him and tried to keep him going. Hope he didn't "flunk out" of something because he had to get a ride back in.

My cooking group meets tonight at Pam's house. Here's our menu:

Appetizer: Orange –Avocado Salsa with Spicy Tortilla Chips – Diane
Soup: Pasoli - Barbara
Salad: Green Salad – Kathryn
Entrée: Grilled Portobella and Poblano Tacos – Pam
2nd entree/accompaniment: Renee – Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce
Wine: Renee
Margaritas: Kathryn
Dessert: something chocolate! – Mary
Really enjoying these temps ... seeing 22, 32 on the thermometer at 6:00 AM, no snow, no ice. Gotta love it though I know we need moisture.
Have a great week.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Lots of "extreme"s this weekend. And I'll start with this morning ...

I met Dan, Jeff and Trevor at Panera at 7 bells for the second half of the third annual (?) two day new year's marathon. It started a couple of years ago at my house after a breakfast run. We ran 13 miles in extreme cold. As I remember it, -13. And it was cold last year too. I wasn't able to participate yesterday, which was a nice day, but today brought ice and wind. LOTS of wind. I knew I would't be able to keep up with these guys, especially since I wanted to run longer than 13.1 if possible. But I thought I'd hang on as long as possible (about 4 miles). We headed through Crossroads parking lot, through the fairgrounds, to Mayo High School and through Bear Creek on the trail. Not bad going SE with a 30 mph tail wind. At the corner of 20th St SE and Marion Road (my new daily run location), I let them go on up Marion Road into the wind (I just didn't have it in me at that point) and turned around and headed back through Bear Creek where there was some shelter from the winds. Stopped at Cub Foods for some water then continued north on the trail to Oakwood Cemetery where I turned east for a respite from the wind and to stretch out the mileage by going through Quarry Hill. I toyed with running up through Parkwood Hills but thought better of it. At this point, I'm glad I didn't do that! Then headed west to Silver Lake and stopped at Dunn Bros. for more water. I then headed west on Elton Hills Dr. It was a skating rink on both the sidewalk and the street. Just terrible and very slow going. Continued west to the RAC where I stopped for more water and another break from the wind. Headed west to county 22. This .5 mile stretch was brutal. They say the winds were to gust up to 50mph and it felt like it was a steady 50mph. These miles from Dunn Bros to county 22 were some of the toughest miles I'd ever run. Then I turned south on 22 thinking I'd be glad to have the wind mostly at my back. Well, it was better, but the wind was blowing so hard over highway 14 on the bridge that it blew me into the chain link fence TWICE. It was blowing so hard from behind that I had a hard time controlling the landing of my feet (if that makes any sense). At one point I just stopped and grabbed the fence to stay upright. I must say, this was one of the most extreme runs I've ever had. Took it in on 2nd SW (mostly on the road ... the paths were glare ice) and ended up with 21.30 miles. I was extremely hungry and extremely glad to be done. Glad it's behind me now. I'm exhausted but apparently none the worse for wear.

Last night, New Year's Eve, brought a wedding. An extremely elegant and formal one.

The old saying used to be that "you can't wear black to a wedding". Well, I'd had my doubts about what used to be. I'd chatted with a customer at work a few days ago and she'd said black was totally in for weddings now. And being this was "black tie optional" I knew it would be very formal and that black would mostly likely be "de rigeur". I was right. As you can see from the photo above, most everyone wore black. Any other color was in the minority. I wore a LBD with an INC. black jacket with a stand up ruffled collar. Totally appropriate so I was happy. It was just a beautiful wedding. Eric was there as were his best buds from high school. Here are three of them:

Eric, Rik and Brad
Eric brought his girlfriend Alley. She's adorable.

And her shoes are just about the cutest I've ever seen. Love them!!

Dinner was chicken, roast beef, asparagus, rice pilaf and a spinach salad. Dinner was cupcakes and a chocolate fountain with pound cake, strawberries, caramels, pretzels, rice krispie treats, cream puffs, ... for dipping. Totally fun. The dance band? Incognito. Sweet! What a coup. They do a great job.

They had one of those old-fashioned photo booths in the back where you pay a quarter and get 5 b/w photos, champagne bottles for the guests to sign and the wedding couple to open on their anniversaries, flip flops for guests, photos of the couple on all the tables ... every little detail was perfect. Seated next to me at table 24 was a gentleman from Norway. Very nice guy and I got to practice my Norwegian just a little bit. I left wishing him "Godt Nyt År" (Happy New Year). Lovely evening.

Here are the new asics 2170s I got at Running Room this week. Lighter than previous editions and I love the colors.

Well, I'd best do something productive with my only day off this week. Happy New Year!!