Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Training and Working

Since September, I have been trying to balance my training and going back to teaching. This summer it was so easy to get my runs in, to stick to my training plan and to put my training first. I was having a great time and feeling very successful with my weekly training plan. Getting my weekly miles in were easy, I was able to jump out of bed at 4am on the weekend to get my long runs in, I felt like I had a lot of energy!

Then September hit!! It hit hard this year!! For those of you who don't know, I teach German at the high school level. I teach German levels 1-4, travel between 2 schools and teach an extra hour longer each day than most other teachers in my district! On top of that, I run our school's Link Crew program working with 65 junior and senior leaders, and 300 freshmen!! I am a busy girl!!

This year, I also hosted 20 German exchange students and 2 German exchange teachers at our school and in our homes for 3 weeks! Yes, I am that crazy!! :)

So, needless to say, September was a hard month to get my training in. In fact, I only ran 55 miles in the month of September and only 55 in October!! That is half of what I had been running each month all summer.

I felt really defeated. I was depressed about the lack of energy I had, and how easy it was for me to just pass up a training run.

I was still getting my long runs in, I did miss one 13 mile run due to a bad cut on the bottom of my foot/toe. I probably should have gotten stitches, it was that deep, but I didn't and it caused me to give up running for a full week!

Then I got sick, twice!!! Ugh!

It has been a rough couple of months. I ran two really good races in October, which did bring some of my confidence back (even with less training, I felt strong!), but I need to get more consistent with my training, and stick to the plan.

I need to stop making excuses!!


As November started, I decided that while many of the men in my life as participating in No Shave November, I am going to participate in my very own "No stop November". I am going to bump up my training this month and not make any excuses, I am not going to stop training.

My next race isn't until January 1st and I plan to make it a great race!! Then I have the Tinkerbell 10k and 1/2 a couple weeks later and then the Glass Slipper Challenge a few weeks later. Ahhh! Can't wait!

In true spirit of "No Stop November" I run 33 miles last week, including a very cold and windy 9 miler on Saturday!

I feel like that is a great start to this month's challenge!! :)

How do you balance your work and training?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Race Recap: Team Ortho Monster Dash 10 Miler

When I signed up to be part of the Team Ortho Race Series last December, I already knew that I would be running a 1/2 marathon just 6 days before the last race of the series: The Monster Dash. Because of this, I signed up for the 10 miler instead of the 1/2 marathon, thinking that I probably couldn't handle two 1/2's in less than a week!

I was surprisingly wrong!! I felt great after the Mankato 1/2 marathon, and was pumped to switch my bib from the 10 mile to the 1/2.

Then I got sick. Boo!

So, I decided to just stick with the 10 miler (which I later regretted for many reasons!).

Due to not feeling well, I decided against a costume, even though about 90% of all of the runners were going to be dressed up, I just wasn't feeling it. I think I was pretty much in denial that I was even running this race!

I stayed at my sister's house on Friday night, and we got up SUPER early to make it to the start of the race. At the time, I was pretty ticked off that Anne thought we needed to leave over 2 hours early, but after hearing about the traffic jams, lines for parking and the amount of people who missed the race, I was happy that Anne planned ahead and the extra hour and a half spent rocking out in the parking ramp wasn't bad!! lol!

The race started by the Minnesota State Capital building in St. Paul, more precisely put, it started about a 1/2 a mile away at the St. Paul Cathedral. We had about a 1/2 a mile walk from the parking ramp to the starting line. It was all up hill and my calfs were killing me just walking!! Grrrr!

We passed through the racer's "village" and admired all of the cleaver costume ideas! It was so much fun seeing all of the runners dressed up, it made me feel bad that I hadn't put more effort into a costume. :(

It was FREEZING!!!! There was a strong wind blowing and I was pretty uncomfortable waiting for the starting gun. Anne and I huddled together, to try and stay warm, and we waited, and waited and waited!!!!

An announcement was made stating that the race would start in 7 to 8 minutes, looking at my Garmin, I noticed that the race was supposed to have started 5 minutes ago!!! I was getting angry. And Anne was getting really nervous! -- It was her very first 1/2!!

One more race delay announcement, and we FINALLY started the race!! I think we started about 20 minutes late, but I didn't bother looking, I was just happy to finally get moving!

Anne, of course took off at her speedy pace, and I settled into a 10min/mile pace. The first 3 miles were rolling hills, heading down the beautiful Summit Ave. in St. Paul. I love driving down this street, the homes are HUGE and all from the 1920's. It is so beautiful. It was a real treat running, because the trees were at peak color!!

While the sights were great, my legs were acting up, cramping calves had me stop and stretch multiple times. I was actually pretty miserable, and if it had been a training run, I probably would have just walked home. But I pushed through. One bathroom stop (which is becoming a norm that I am NOT happy about!) made me loose about 10 minutes (the line was HUGE!!)

I got frustrated multiple times during this run, mainly because the water stops were poorly manned, and at one point I had to even wait in line for someone to pour water into my cup!! But overall the race went well, especially with 17, 000 runners!! The course was crowded the entire way, but that added to the fun of the race, and most runners were great about race etiquette, which isn't always the case with Team Ortho races!

Around mile 4 I started feeling stretched out and happy again, the sun was out and even though it was still chilly, I was having a good time! The course of this run was just gorgeous, as it turned to follow the Mississippi river valley. My nose was running like crazy, and my throat was burning, but I was still having fun!

By mile 7, I was wishing that I would have just sucked it up and switched to the 1/2. I was feeling great, and having a blast!

I finished the 10 miler in just under 2 hours. I felt pretty good about that, but was really upset with myself that I had not pushed to do the 1/2!

At the 10 mile point, the 1/2 marathoners break off and head towards the race finish line. The 10 milers then get on a bus and are shuttled to the end. This was awful for a few reasons:

1. I had to wait over 40 minutes to get on a bus (I could have finished the last 3 miles in that time!!!) Plus, who likes to stand in line after running? And it was FREEZING!!

2. The bus followed the 1/2 course, and I was kicking myself the entire time thinking I should just be running!

3. My sister finished her 1/2 in 2:16 and had to wait for me to arrive, she was not a happy camper! Cold and tired!

Series completed!! All 5 races!! :)
But I didn't have it as bad as the 1/2 marathoners, they ran out of food and were not given more than cups of water at the finish. Boo! There wasn't even a banana in sight, my sister says. And she finished before a great majority of the runners!! It was freezing and windy and there were no space blankets. It was kind of a mess!

When I finally reached my sister, we promptly headed to the warmth of the car, and headed home. There is an After Party, but we were both just too cold to even think about it.

Over all I give this race a B-. Would I run it again? Yes, I would! But I will be running the 1/2 next year!!!!!