Did It

October 5, 2014 § 2 Comments

It was a chilly race, but I had a great time and loved the experience of running the Twin Cities 10 Mile this morning. It’s been a race I’ve wanted to do for years, and it finally became a reality.

I had a smile plastered on my face for the last mile. The runners, volunteers, race organizers and friends and family who came out to watch got me through it. I couldn’t have done it without them.

My time was perfect for me. A 9:27 pace, which was at least 30 seconds faster than I was able to do three months ago and a minute faster than last winter/spring. Legs are a little sore tonight, but hoping that a good rest these next several weeks helps.

A few photos from the day — from the start, the finish, and the marathon. It really is one of the most beautiful races in the country. So glad I had the chance to experience my city in this new (to me) way.

Helmets Required

February 22, 2014 § 10 Comments

It’s not an Olympic sport (yet), but downhill skating is all the rage, at least in St. Paul.

This is the start of the Crashed Ice course. Nope. Wouldn't do it.

This is the start (of the end of your life).

While our recent winter storm has made all downhill streets in the Twin Cities a Crashed Ice course, St. Paul actually spent major dollars to construct a gigantic frozen Slip ‘N Slide for adrenaline junkies.

This is the view from the back of the starting gate. Notice how the Cathedral is strategically placed at the beginning so the racers can pray they make it to the bottom in one piece.

This is the view from the back of the starting gate. Notice how the Cathedral is strategically placed at the beginning so the racers can pray they make it to the bottom in one piece.

I’m not quite sure how to explain the Crashed Ice race. It’s certainly not for the faint- or vertigo-hearted (i.e., me). Rather it’s the illegitimate child of ski cross and roller derby, all speed and rebellion with the requisite agony (i.e., broken fibulas and tibias and tarsals) of defeat.

I’ve never seen the race live. I simply enjoy checking out the scene beforehand, taking in the vibe of diehard fans, camera crews, and miserably cold police officers who just want to go home.

Nope. Wouldn't do this either, even if it was 80 degrees and sunny.

Get this guy an electric blanket and flask of bourbon.

The sponsor, Red Bull, is everywhere at this event. You can’t even buy any food or warm drinks. Just refreshment stands offering ice-cold Red Bull for sale. Which is all well and proper, for Minnesotans don’t need cocoa in sub-zero temps. We like our temperatures on the inside and outside to match.

The finish -- sponsored by Red Bull.

The finish. Which, actually, wouldn’t it be a better race if the athletes had to make it back to the top the same way they came down?

Seven Down

November 29, 2013 § 4 Comments

I’ve noted several times that I injured my ankle/calf/Achilles tendon in the spring, blowing a chance to successfully complete my running challenge of 13 races in 2013. I took more than three months off from running, slowly starting back in September. With only six races completed through May, there’s really no chance I’ll run another seven before December 31.

However, before preparing the Thanksgiving meal yesterday, I rose early and ran my first race since May, the inaugural Turkey Trot in downtown St. Paul along the Mississippi River (just the 5K).

Turkeys getting ready to trot

Turkeys getting ready to trot

I had a great race. No problems with pain. Dad came to cheer me on, standing out in the cold from start to finish. And remarkably, my time was one of my best ever. So I guess I’m doing okay, though I still have some problems with irritation when I don’t run. Strange.

The 5K facts:

  • Time: 26:56 (8:41 pace)
  • Overall place: 307/2473
  • Female: 110/unknown
  • Division (F40-49): 16/289
Before the race with Dad (Mom wanted to avoid the early hour and the cold)

Before the race with Dad (Mom wanted to avoid the early hour and the cold)

Three-Hundred-Thirty-Two

November 28, 2013 § 1 Comment

Three-Hundred-Thirty-Two

A good race morning

Meet My Frenemy GIG

April 27, 2013 § 2 Comments

Ahhhh — Get in Gear (GIG) — the official kickoff to Minnesota running season. Nerves often get the best of me before a race, and considering last week’s fiasco, I was extra jumpy even though this was a totally different course and conditions (flatter, sunnier, warmer, iceless).

GIG and I are not BFFs. I ran the 2K in 1992 (I thought it was for all ages and didn’t realize until the start that it was for kids only — major humiliation, especially considering most of the rascals beat me). And I ran the 10K in 1995 as part of my marathon training and remember not particularly feeling great on that run.

Image

Happy runners waiting for the start of Get in Gear

This time it started out fine. Then between miles one and two, my energy crashed. This was beyond an I’ve-hit-the-wall moment. The urge to stop (i.e., pass out) was great, so I kept promising myself presents post race if I could just make it to the end — water, Gatorade, sparkling wine, a new couch.

Each mile after that was a struggle, especially the huge uphill on the East River Road, which is never a fun one unless you’re hurtling down it. I just wanted to collapse in the street and nap while I waited for the ambulance to come and scrape me off the pavement. Kudos to my mind for getting me over the matter and discomfort.

I somehow miraculously made it to the end. After I crossed the finish line, a woman in front of me started puking. I nodded my head in agreement. That was a tough one, sister. As her boyfriend tended to her, I headed out in search of Gatorade to keep from meeting the same fate.

My friend Connie came out to cheer on her husband Greg (5K), her niece Becky (10K), and me. That was awesome. And I saw my friend Tami on the course wearing perfect pink knee-highs and envied her for it.

Image

Becky, Greg, and Connie

Miraculously, despite my low energy, my pace was the best I’ve had all year (and several minutes faster than when I ran the GIG 10K in my mid-20s). What? I crack myself up.

The 10K facts:

  • Time: 53:50 (8:40 pace)
  • Overall place: 957/3424
  • Female: 272/1917
  • Division (F40-44): 31/258

Holy Crap

April 21, 2013 § 6 Comments

The MDRA Mudball Classic trail run — race number four out of 13 — took place this morning. I talked my friend Laura (who ran under an alias) into doing it, and she hesitantly (but cheerfully) came along (even brought snowshoes, just in case).

For some reason I wasn’t spooked by the foot of snow we received a couple of days ago. I’ve run outside all winter and done well in all of my races so far this year, all below freezing. I seriously thought this race would be a breeze.

Reality? A slippery, snow-packed trail with intense hills. Holy crap, it was hard. It took forever.

The grim facts:

  • Time: 41:21 (11:01 pace)
  • Overall place: 50/69
  • Female: 8/21
  • Division (F40-49): 3/7

In hindsight I’m pleased I hung in there. Laura was a trooper and kept me going. If she hadn’t run with me, I would have ditched this popsicle stand after the first mile. But the organizers were kind and cheerful, many spectators brought magnificent dogs to cheer us on, the kid’s run was inspiring and adorable, and everyone stuck with it despite the conditions. Always nice to hang with a crew like that. One couldn’t help but smile.

Happy photos from the crazy day, including gleeful leaps over a mud pit:

Next up: Get in Gear 10k. A non-trail, ice-free (hopefully) course.

One-Hundred-Eleven

April 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

One-Hundred-Eleven

Post worst-race-ever mimosas

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