Sunday, October 31, 2010

10K Race Report: Santa Fund Run 10/31/10

10K Race #2: Completed.

The Santa Fund is a charity run by our local newspaper that works "to give area needy children a happy holiday."  Who can argue with that?  The Santa Fund Run is the kickoff to the fundraising season and for the first time I was a participant.

Almost immediately after the first 10K, C suggested we do another.  So just a few weeks later, we arrived at a local high school and lined up on the track for our second race.

I felt incredibly unprepared for this race.  After the first one, back on the 10th, I didn't run for a week.  And then I only half heartedlt trained for the next two weeks, the last few days of which were on the treadmill at the gym I joined (story for another day).  I was nervous and had low expectations of myself.

I had a serious issue deciding what to wear, changing my shirt at the car when we arrived, but it turned out to the be perfect day for some running capris and a long sleeve tech shirt.  This was a much, much bigger race than the Pumpkin Festival.  There were over 500 people running between the 5K and the 10K.  And lining up on the track with all of them was a little overwhelming.  Just getting across the finish line was a challenge, so many people funneling through.

The first mile flew by.  I was running with C, and my college roommate aka Spaz.  We were dodging in and out of people, trying to find a comfortable pace.  For the next few miles the race was on wooded trails along the river, which is really pretty this time of year.  I evened out my pace pretty early and felt strong through a majority of the race.  It helped that it was mostly flat too.

At mile four we ran through a back parking lot in the "millyard" and continued on a paved trail back through the park.  My knees weren't quite ready for that pavement.  There was a slight... and I mean slight and short, decline, and I wasn't totally confident both my knees wouldn't buckle completely.  But they didn't.

Mile five was spent telling myself I did not need to walk and to just keep going.  I followed behind a woman going about the same pace and tried to space out to my music.  At mile 6 my knees wanted to be done. Totally and completely done.  But I was soooo close.

And then Spaz and her boyfriend popped out and started cheering for me. (They had run the 5k). Fine.

I hit the track and gave it everything I had left.


To refresh your memory, the last one was 1:07:17. That's what... 4 minutes and 22 seconds faster?  Something like that.


C also had a PR (personal record) cutting her time by around 30 seconds.
Spaz had a PR in her 5K, which is also awesome.
Oh, and Spaz's boyfriend won his age group in the 5K.

Yea, he's good.

I had a good time, and surprising felt really good through most of it.  Just have to figure out what to do with these knees... they seem to be acting twice their age, and it's getting old...

Next scheduled challenge? PR the 5K on Thanksgiving.  "Training" to begin as soon as my knees stop aching.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10-10-10: 10K Race Report

I'm only a few days behind on my posts, no biggie.

Anyway, 10-10-10 was the big day. The one we spent 2 months training for - 10K Day!!!  The race was held in conjunction with our town's annual Pumpkin Festival and included both a 5K and 10K.

I made sure to get everything ready the night before, and get to bed at a decent hour - since the race started at 9. C and I drove to the high school to pick up our numbers together, and then had some serious time to kill.  We walked around the track a few times, stretched, and tried not to psych ourselves out with the fairly fit people walking around.

There was a significantly smaller number of runners for the 10K, but as my friend K says, that's because 10Ks are the worst distance and no one likes them. Figures.  We started near the back and let a majority of the pack go out ahead of us.  No use tiring ourselves out in the first half mile.

Frankly, we both felt like crap.  We kept a steady pace and were keeping up with a couple in front of us for a while, but lost them around a turn at one point.  And then there was this young girl, maybe 12, who was running the 5K and would go really slow right up until we were about to pass her, and then she'd take off.  She did this for about 10 minutes until I decided I couldn't take it anymore and sprinted by her. On a hill.  Poor decision.

By the time we split off from the 5K group, which was around 3 miles for us, I was seriously wishing we had run the 5K.  As we ran by the track, and woman started flailing her arms and whipped out her camera.

(All photo credit to my awesome mom)

I was not nearly as happy as this picture portrays me to be.  But seeing my parents did put a smile on my face and gave me a decent push to keep going.  The next mile was pretty awful.  About half of it was downhill and then flat, but then it was up, up, and then straight up.  My strategy in these cases is to put my head down, and turn my legs over as fast as I can, because otherwise, I won't make it.

The woman holding the sign at the top of the hill to turn was bubbly and encouraging, even though we knew we were the very back of the pack.  There was only one woman behind us.  Once my knees survived the steep downhill, I hit my stride.  Apparently my ipod knew just what I needed:

For whatever reason, this is my current favorite running song.  No idea, don't ask.  And it gave me the push I needed. For exactly the next mile and a half.  With about 3/4s of a mile left, there's a some short, but steep, uphill on the sidewalk.  I was able to run up it, but then was pretty sure I was going to throw up.  So there was some walking involved.

But then, I saw a person in front of me. Crap. My competitiveness got the best of me and I decided she needed to be passed.  The last half mile or so wraps around the middle school, and the takes you down this hill of drainage rocks - which I thought was just plain mean - and then across the field and back onto the track. About halfway across the field the woman who was in front of me and I were right next to each other. We exchanged a few encouraging words and I continued past.

So at this point, I just want to stop. Lay down. And take a nap. But you've gotta go around the stupid track.  And all the little high schoolers that had finished their 5K probably like, a half hour ago, were loitering around in the center field, and migrating ONTO THE TRACK.  Hi, please move, I'm freakin' tired get out of my way kthanks.

The announcer comes on and says "Here comes S - coming in strong! This is her very first 10K, great job!"  So my mom used to work for the middle school in town, and my stepdad for the school district - so they knew the announcer and had him throw in the part about it being my first 10K.  Sweet.

Much more accurate representation of how I was feeling.

Coming in, I could see the time.  I wasn't thrilled, but it was better than I thought.  See, even though I had "gotten everything ready the night before" I still forgot my watch.  So I wasn't sure were I was at.  About Mile 5 my playlist ended, and I have an approximate idea of how long it is, so I had estimated how I was doing.  At this point, I was just glad to be done, and not last.  (39 out of 42 isn't that bad right!? haha)

Official Time: 1:07:17 (Mom was a little early on the picture)

Good enough to be proud of, with enough room to improve.  Which is hopefully exactly what I'll do this weekend.

Oh, did I not mention we're crazy and are running another 10K on Halloween? Yup. With not nearly enough training having been done in between the two.

And I've also signed up for a 5K on Thanksgiving.  And have half committed to a 5K next weekend too.  Who am I?!!?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Anniversary Adventure

We're not very traditional about some stuff.  We opted out of the common beach or island vacation for our honeymoon and went to Glacier National Park for a week, and then spent a week at a dude ranch, riding horses, hiking, etc. - and it was "wine week", so we drank *alot* of wine as well.

And it was awesome.

For our first anniversary, we decided not to go away or anything for the weekend, and stick around locally.  Our actual anniversary was Sunday the 5th, but Saturday we traveled about an hour away to the Nashoba Valley Winery.  For only seven bucks a piece, we got a tour, a souvenir glass, and 4 tastings during the tour, with two additional ones of our choice after.  If you're looking for a fun date, I suggest checking out a local winery.  We left only buying two bottles, but if it had been up to me, we would have bought a lot more :)

We finished up the day with dinner at a nice restaurant in our town (although we weren't overly impressed with service).

The next morning, on our actual anniversary, B woke up early, apparently to go finish up some shopping (men!). I was instructed I was not to leave the bedroom. Hmm...  eventually, I was able to exit the bedroom, and found this in the kitchen:

A dozen red roses, and yes, a Lightening McQueen toy car.

I won't call it our first date, but it was the first night we stayed up and talked until 3 in the morning, and Cars was on.  I always call it "our movie".  Life is a Highway (the Rascal Flatts version) from the movie was the song the wedding party walked into at our wedding.  So yea, it's like our thing.  Don't judge.  Anyway, on the back of Lightening McQueen was a note that instructed me to go to the basement and look under the stairs.

Now, I don't think I've shown you any recent pictures of our basement.  But let's just say, since the kitchen was redone, it quite literally looks like a bomb went off.  Wires, ceiling tiles, insulation, etc everywhere.  So, I wasn't thrilled to have to go in that room, but I did it.  Hiding down there under the stairs?

A brand spankin' new 32 inch flat screen LCD TV.

We've been talking about getting a TV for the bedroom for a long time.  So this was a very welcome surprise!  Which I'm lucky I even got.  See, Friday I was at work and went into the purse to grab something and pulled out a set of keys.  And then another one.  I had taken B's keys when I left for work.  Luckily he works from home on Fridays.  Unluckily, he had been planning to finish his shopping.  He ended getting to spend some quality time with my mom who took him to the store, so it all worked out :)

What did I get him, you ask?  Well, I'm a little more traditional - or at least tend to be more creative when I have a theme.  The traditional 1st wedding gift: paper.  The "modern" 1st wedding gift: clock.

I ordered custom made coasters with maps (paper!) of some important towns in our relationship: where we currently live, where we went to school (and met), where the wedding was held, and Glacier National Park where we went for the honeymoon.  I also got him a "hunting" watch that has things like sunrise and sunset, vital information for a hunter.

Eventually we hit the road and headed up north where we took a tram ride (kind of like a gondola, but bigger) up to the top of Canon Mountain - a place where we skied together in the first few months of our relationship.  It was early September but had still be summer-y out.  I had one a sweatshirt and shorts.  Well, it wasn't quite so summer-y at the top of the mountain.  More like something like 35 degrees.  And windy.

Oh well.  There was a great view, and it was a neat experience, as B had never been up the tram before.

We grabbed lunch at the top of the mountain - which was surprisingly tasty - and then headed to "The Flume" which is pretty much a big gorge with wooden walkways.  I can remember going when I was little, and reminded us of some of the incredible sights we saw in Glacier last year.  There was even a glacial boulder!

It was a fun little date day.  And course there was this giant moose in the gift shop area:

We got home mid afternoon and after taking a look at the corner of the bedroom, we decided it needed another addition.

So, we headed out to Lowe's, then Home Depot for some price comparisons, and ended purchasing ourselves a nice little electric fireplace for the corner of the bedroom.  A great way to spruce up the room while providing a better solution for the TV.  AND, its been really helpful in keeping the bedroom warm, without having to turn on the whole house heat.

We finished up the night with some, surprisingly really good, year old wedding cake and some delicious wine.

It was the perfect, not too expensive, first anniversary celebration.  The next day, which was Labor Day, we both had off and headed up to my grandparents lake house to see my Nana for her birthday which was a few days earlier, and help get the camp closed up for the summer.  When we got home, some friends stopped by for an impromptu BBQ.  I couldn't have imagined a better weekend.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Good Stuff: September

  • Our Anniversary.  I have a whole post half finished devoted to what we did on our anniversary (which was, ya know, a whole MONTH ago now... yea.) so I won't say much about it now.  But it was awesome, although it feels totally crazy that its been over a year we've been married.
  • DD Pumpkin Coffee. How did I miss this last year? SERIOUSLY! So good. Addictive. And even though we only just recently started having what feel like actual fall days, its the absolutely perfect start to the day. Or midday treat. Or pick me up before night class. You get the idea. It's good anytime. I like it hot. But they have iced too.
  • Football.  I love football.  More specifically, I love the New England Patriots. Despite Tom Brady's current hair cut.
  • Old Friends.  There's nothing like reminiscing with two of the people who have known you the longest, and still know you the best.  Love them, and grateful the three of us got to hang out for bit Labor Day weekend.
  • And um THIS SONG.  I love it. It gets stuck in my head. I had to hear it SO BAD the other day on the way to class that I YouTube'd it on my cell phone in the car. (Yea, I know Mom, that's not safe, sorry.)  It's amazing, and reminds me how awesome Keith Urban really is. (There's a video out... but I couldn't find it on YouTube.)

What wasn't so good in the month of September?  My blogging.  I've realized that many days the last thing I want to do when I get home from work, after sitting in front of a computer all day, is to sit in front of the computer - sorry.  But, like I said, I've got a half written anniversary post, as well as some others, and have done some sprucing up around the house I'd love to share :) So, hopefully I can get myself back on track!!