Behind every great race are amazing volunteers. Those people who hand you cups of Powerade at the water stops? Volunteers. The medical personnel that treat your blisters, cramped calves, and chafed nipples? Volunteers. The incredibly helpful and happy people at packet pick up that make sure you get your chip, t-shirt, and that all you have to do on race day is show up and run/walk? Yep, they’re likely volunteers as well. Having run numerous races, I’ve come to realize just how important volunteers are when it comes to having great race experience.
Yesterday evening was spent in Minneapolis at the packet pick up for the Get Lucky 7k and 21k (half marathon). There’s just something about a race expo that gets me all pumped up to go out and run. I love meeting other fellow runners, whether this is their first or 50th race. Since this will be my first year not running the half marathon since it started, I love reminiscing about races of years past, like last year when we were running in shorts and tank tops thanks to record heat (seriously, it was 80 deg on St. Patty’s day last year. In Minnesota. I shit you not). This year looks to be a little more winter like with snow predicted into tonight and temps in the 20s for race time. Brrr!!!!
Put on by Team Ortho, over 10,000 runners are signed up to take to the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul tomorrow morning in their greenest St. Patrick’s Day running gear. I will be volunteering at the finish line med tent for the half marathon (21k) tomorrow morning. While I love chatting with other runners, I really really really hope not to see any of you there tomorrow, unless it’s grabbing a pint of Finnegans at the post race party!
For more information on how to become a volunteer for future Team Ortho events, click here. They offer great incentives, like bones to collect and use on race entries and awesome gear, as well as free gear like the awesome t-shirt I snagged that I plan on wearing Sunday when I get my BodyShred instructor certification. And ladies, the men of Women Rock are usually at the packet pick ups, providing lots of shirtless eye candy for your viewing pleasure at the Women Rock 10k and half marathon, which I ran last year.
Today I kicked off my 2013 race season with the Sweetheart Run 10 mile in Mathomedi, MN. This was my 2nd time running the race. The last time was in 2010. I’m attempting to reclaim my AG winner title in the White Bear Grand Prix this year. This was race #2 in the series, but something about running on a frozen lake for #1 just doesn’t appeal to me. I’d forgotten that A) the course was much hillier than I remembered. B) Country roads in the winter are typically not clear of ice and snow. C) Running a 10 mile race in February is generally a stupid idea.
I had Yaktrax. They were in my car. Which doesn’t help much when most of the out and back course was on snow-covered roads. When I did the race in 2010, I don’t remember the footing being such an issue. It was also much colder that year (no frozen eyelashes this year), so that probably helped keep the roads runable. I’m still nursing the hammy injury from my failed ultra attempt at the end of December (still need to write about that, maybe when my ego heals a bit more). Not the best conditions to be running under my first race back. Towards the end, I felt it start to fatigue and with marathon training underway, I slowed down way more than I would have liked to keep from re-tweaking it. I also got lost. I missed a turn right at the end. Luckily I wasn’t the only one who missed it and only one poor soul followed me. Sorry 😦 Even with everything, I still ran a minute faster than my attempt a few years ago. Ideally, I would have loved to have been in the 1:20-1:25 range, but looks like I’ll be saving that for the 10 mile race that I’m coaching runners for this summer Training starts at the end of the month if you want to join one of our weekend running groups. Email for more information 🙂 (Only shameless plug, I promise!) Next race is a few weeks away. A 5k that is also part of the Grand Prix. Last time I ran this one was in 2010 as well. While I probably won’t beat my PR set last year at the Minneapolis Duathlon, I should have no problem demolishing my old time for that course.
Official time 1:31:31
5th in my AG
13th place in the women’s division
If you want to see me have an anxiety attack, take me shopping on Black Friday. Irrational deal seekers, lacking basic parking lot navigation skills in mass quantities is something out of a horror movie. Zombies I can handle. An espresso-ed out soccer mom trying to get her hands on the last Wii U, you better stay out of the way of those perfectly french manicured nails unless you really love wearing a pirate patch every single day. So I avoid shopping on black Friday at all costs. Unless there is a running deal to be found.
So while the rest of America was camping out in the cold for a cheap tv, I was at home, snuggled up on my couch with a fire and glass of wine registering for next year’s races. FrontRunner, a company that hosts several races in Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as the White Bear Grand Prix, a series I was an age group winner in a few times a couple of years back, offers half off all their races black Friday until Cyber Monday. At $15 a pop for distances ranging from 5k to 10 miles, this is just too good a deal to let pass on by. Not only do they host the Grand Prix, but they also put on two of the races in the UMTR trail series, the Chippewa 10k and William O’Brien 10 mile. So I may not have any gifts bought yet for my daughter, but my 2013 racing calendar is coming along nicely.
I might have also bought myself a Polar FT4 heart rate monitor. I was given the task of selling them during the YMCA black Friday sale today at work. My brainwashing worked a little too well, since I ended up replacing the one I seem to have misplaced. But at the end of the day, all my races and watch were still less than a 32″ flat screen tv. I think I did pretty good on my black Friday shopping spree!
This weekend was a bit nuts, and I’ve fallen way behind on the blogging. Nothing like having to be up before 5 am for work on both Saturday and Sunday. A normal person would look for a regular 9-5 job with weekends, holidays, and vacation time. But I’m not a normal person, and having an actual set schedule sounds boring to me. So Saturday morning was spent working at the YMCA, chatting with members and working on exercises plans for my regular clients. Sunday was spent hanging out at a volleyball tryout for a club I provide athletic training services to. Mostly I got caught up on my kindle free downloads and ate way too many donuts. Hey, they were free. So I’ll be spending the next few days getting caught up in between shifts at the gym, meeting with potential training clients, and freezing my butt of at high school hockey. You wish your life were this glamorous.
On Saturday, Lisa at She’s Losing It! wrote about her fitness mentor and wanted to know who our fitness mentor is. Trying to think of someone who doesn’t read the blog since I don’t think anyone wants to take any credit for the craziness that’s ensued due to my love of fitness, I’m going to go with my high school track coach. Actually, he’s probably the one to blame for a lot of my running related insanity. He wasn’t the most sane guy himself. He put up with a lot of crap from me during those 4 years of being a distance runner for my high school team. Like me yelling how stupid running 8 laps around a track was, in the middle of the meet, each time I ran past the coaches area where he sat with his stop watch and clipboard, laughing and yelling out my splits. I’m pretty sure at one meet I screamed at him that I hope I was never reincarnated as a hamster. (more…)
SWF Searching for Long Term Running Partner. Can’t Be Afraid to Get a Little Dirty. – November Blogging Challenge #8
When I first started running, it was on the high school track team. I wasn’t really a runner. I just wanted to get in shape for the summer soccer season. I could run and was okay at it, but I’d much rather be goofing off with my teammates on the soccer field. So I joined the track team. Low and behold, I started to love running. I loved running with the team. We gossiped and chatted about boys. We would belt out songs while running down the road and play silly games. In the off-season, I could run on my own, but it was the group that kept me motivated to keep running. (more…)
On October 26th, one of my friends and fellow running moms, Sandra, was out for an early morning run with her good friend Amy when Amy was tragically stuck by a car and died almost instantly. They had taken all the precautions for running before dawn. They carried lights, obeyed the traffic laws. Some of my fellow running moms have organized a virtual run to raise awareness of runner safety and also to help support Amy’s family. My friend Hungrigyrl has written a great blog post with more information about the virtual run. I encourage you to check it out and help show support for a fellow runner and the family she was tragically taken from too soon. To sign up, go to Amy’s Awareness Run. You can make your donation through PayPal by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and stay safe!
If there was ever an argument against barefoot running, it would have to be “Have you ever looked at a runner’s feet?!?!?!” They’re disgusting. Blisters, calluses, blisters under calluses, and yes, a missing toenail or two. Nastier still, runners brag about losing toenails. It’s like a badge of honor. I didn’t feel like a real runner until I lost my first toenail after the Monster Dash Half Marathon last fall. How all my toenails survived 15+ years of running, a marathon, and a handful of halves at the point, I have no idea. So when I walked away from the KC Marathon this weekend without the slightest hint of black creeping up under one of my toenails, I wasn’t sure to be ecstatic or sad that yet another marathon passed without being able to brag about my ugly feet. So why do runners lose their toenails? And why hasn’t Bill Nye the Science Guy tackled this question? Or CSI? (more…)