2014 Wine Country Half -Recap

Previously mentioned jitters aside, I knew going in that I was not feeling this race for some reason.   I was tired, I’ve had a crazy few weeks and I just wasn’t looking forward to that last hill.   I knew under 2 was a shot in the dark and was iffy about beating my previous PR of 2:05:57.   I managed to get to sleep at a decent hour last night but I hated my alarm this morning.  :)    I had everything laid out last night so getting ready was pretty easy.    A plus about this race is that it had an 8AM start but I didn’t have to leave my house until after 7:20.  And that was just so I could deal with parking.   I hung out in my car until about 5 minutes to start time.    Which was good because it was cold.

I look tired and I haven't even started running yet

I look tired and I haven’t even started running yet

I checked the weather yesterday and this morning and it said high 40′s to start, high 50′s at the end.  I thought about not wearing my arm sleeves, but I put them on anyways.   Which turned out to be a wise choice because the weather man lied!!!  It never made it to the 50′s and the sun never came out.   I never took my arm sleeves off; usually they feel too hot by mile 3.   My legs were cold to the touch the entire race.   When did I get so wimpy?  People are running in snow and ice and I have issues with the 40′s?  Sad, sad.

Took these the other day when it was sunny

Took these the other day when it was sunny

Miles 1-3 felt pretty good, I tried to keep my pace around 9:00.  I hit the first bigger hill around mile 2.5, it led with a down hill,  so I picked up the pace down it.   Mile 4 brought a slow down, I got stuck behind another runner and couldn’t pass due the line of cars driving by!  There must have been 6 or 7.  It was slower but I was still feeling pretty good.     Miles 5, 6, and 7 were another story.

Partway into mile 5, I noticed a tightness in my lungs.  Seriously again?  I was a little wheezy at City to Sea in October and then February’s Super Fun Run 5K was so cold, I had troubles breathing.    I don’t think I have used an inhaler since high school, I don’t even have one anymore. I hadn’t felt like I was pushing it and I felt like my breathing was under control but I slowed down anyways.    By mile 8 I was feeling a little better.  There was little out and back here that I swear felt longer than last year. winegarmin

In mile 9, my Garmin went wonky.  Every mile leading up to 9 I would pass the race mile marker and then my Garmin would beep about 1/10th of a mile later.  Mile 9 beeped but I never saw the mile marker.   They were on wine barrels so I didn’t think I had missed one.  Quarter of a mile later, I found it.    WTH- my pace was making sense for how I was feeling but nothing was lining up.    I was getting tired and my arms were chafing and it was making me fussy.   I wanted to take a walk break (or 2) but I had a feeling I was walking the hill at the end so I just kept running.    There was a man running with his dog, a big dog, so I used that to distract me.  The dog looked like he was out for a morning stroll, he was just trotting along in front of his owner, not even running.

coming up to the finish line

coming up to the finish line

Mile 12 and I hit the dreaded hill.  I managed to run 1/3 of the way up before saying F* it and walking.   Once at the top, I still needed to walk.  After about a minute of that i told myself I was almost done and to get a move on.   Mile 13 was the slowest over all at 10:44.    The finish line was in sight.  As I got closer, I could see my mom and Zoey at the finish line.   When I ran passed them, I gave her a thumbs down sign to show how I felt.   I crossed the line and received my medal, I then headed over to pick up my wine glass. Finishing time- 2:07:08.  Not a PR or sub-2 but it was a 7 minute course best.

IMG_3486Want to know what happens when you finish a race that you are half happy about, partially disappointed and just tired?  You hug random strangers at the finish line.  And I am not a hugger.   She wasn’t a complete stranger but now I feel like a total creeper.    She was a newer work colleague from another location who I have had a few meetings with in the past few weeks.    How’s that for a welcome to the team- here let me share my sweat with you.  Like I said- creeper status.IMG_3507

While a part of me wishes I had done better, but the course was nothing to be sad about.  I finished it and barring a few issues, I felt strong for at least 1/2 of it.   :)  I beat last years time of 2:14 and according to my Garmin, the overall elevation gain for the race was 1,617 feet.  How accurate are these things?    I celebrated with a tri-tip sandwich, and another trip to the theater to see Divergent again.  This time included movie popcorn, yum!  Oh and the sun finally came out-

relax and recovery

relax and recovery

Now it’s off to bed for me and I get to sleep in tomorrow!!!  I am taking a vacation day, which will hopefully be restful.. Except I have tons of laundry to do and I should work on a paper that is due soon.   And apparently I need to make an appointment to get another inhaler.

How was everyone’s weekend?

Who else raced this weekend?

A Twitchy Slacker

The Slacker in me is a little confused right now.   I decided to take it easy this week after the my painful race on Saturday.  Was that really just a few days ago?   Sunday was a puppy walk and Monday was an easy run.  What I didn’t mention before is that after that somewhat stiff 4.5 mile run, I went for another puppy walk.  Total miles for the day 7.5.  Not exactly low key.

So pretty!!!

So pretty!!!

Tuesday I did take a rest day, which I won’t lie was pretty nice.   By Wednesday I was itching to run.  The weather outside looked marvelous and I couldn’t wait for work to be done for the day.    I figured I could do an easy 3.5 miles in the 40ish minutes of daylight remaining.    This time I was prepared with my belt and my Garmin.   Just after starting my run I remembered what I had forgotten.   Wednesday was a high wind advisory day.  Holy crap, it turned a mild 58 into about 38.   My ears were so cold!!!!

same location, new angle

same location, new angle

I felt like I was crawling.  I was a little stiff and not loving that the route from work is pretty much all downhill and then uphill back.  I didn’t make it to the the 1.75 mark before turning around because I realized that would put me halfway down the blind curve-hill so I turned around just before.   Other than the wind, the weather was great and the views were awesome.  I stopped a few times to take pictures.   I stopped my Garmin around the 5k mark and walked the rest of the way back to my car.    Checked my Garmin while stretching- 29:14.   Big oops.



Like I said, a little confused.   I felt slower than that.   I made sure to stretch and foam roll really well last night.  At least as well as I could.  There’s something about the foam roller that makes me feel completely uncoordinated.  :)   My leg feels mostly ok today.  It doesn’t help that I have had a few meetings this week, so that has meant skirts and heels.  And I haven’t taken my comfy boots to the repair shop yet.  Even with a tall heel they felt like slippers.

Love the smell of eucalyptus

Love the smell of eucalyptus

Today was a rest day and tomorrow will be too.  I admit to feeling lazy and its making me antsy.  I know I need to rest a bit and it is annoying.  Luckily or not, next week will be really busy at work as well, so I am thinking maybe another step back week.  :(  My training should still be on track even with that.  My 2014 mileage goal is on track as well.  I was over what I needed in January and I should be above in February as well.   Now I just have to convince myself it’s not a bad thing to cut back next week.

Thanks for listening to my rambling twitchiness.   I should be working on a paper but I am channeling my inner Slacker and marathoning Netflix instead.   I’m on episode 4, I may have created a problem.  :)

How have your week’s been?

Can you believe there are only 8 days left in February?!

Super Fun Run 5K- Recap

After Thursday’s recap, I took Friday as another rest day.  Attempted Runner asked if I had thought about just doing the last 3ish that I needed to hit 80 on Friday.  But I don’t generally like running the day before a race plus work turned into a longer day than planned. After work I had the very exciting Friday night plans of making a new playlist and picking out the clothes for today’s race. I probably should have done laundry. Then I tried to get to sleep earlier. That never seems to go according to plan.   Instead it was spent tossing and turning.

hmmm, shorts or pants?

The Super Fun Run is a small 5k /10k that raises money for the local Boys and Girls Club. I ran it last year with a few friends and it was my official 5k PR and the first time that I know of that I age group placed. I was 1st!!! So I was excited going into this race.   I was torn between running the 5K or the 10K and I admit it was pride that made me choose the 5K.

My goals going in were-
A- beat official PR- 29:36
B- beat unofficial PR- 27:41  (during HOB 10K)
C- shot in the dark- sub 27

Apparently I can’t handle the cold.    My alarm went off and after turning it off I checked the temp.  Mid 20′s.   Ugh, so I went with the pants.   At the last minute I grabbed a headband to cover my ears.   Even though the race was within in walking distance of my house, I still drove down.  Why?  It was freakin’ cold and I had to have somewhere to put the shirt and goody bag after bib pick up.    I waited as long as I could in my car after getting my bib before heading to start line.

There were a few pre-race announcements, a count down and then it was go time.   We ran across a baseball field and up a driveway before hitting pavement.  From there it is an out and back course with a few turns to add mileage.   Knowing the course and the small hill in the middle, I was aiming for a 3 mile sandwich- fast, medium, fast.      My toes were so cold,  I could not feel them.  I felt like I was running awkwardly.  I kept hoping they would warm up but they never did.    :(  3/4 of a mile in, I had a tightness in my chest and breathing sucked.   It hurt to breath.  A little past the mile 1 marker and halfway up the hill, I had to walk.   Ugh!!!    The downhill that followed was great, though.

Mile 1 was actually a great pace but I felt like I was in trouble.  I kept pushing but had to take another walk break on the next incline.   Meanwhile, 2 women come flying past on the return and I think crap!   I wasn’t even halfway and they were already headed back.  The turn around point was about 50 yards past the only water station so I grabbed some on the way back.

I cranked it up and flew down the downhill.  However my lungs were so very angry and when I hit the return uphill there was no way I was running it.    Another walk.  After that it was mostly flat and I tried to push it but I just felt like I could not get enough air and that I was crawling.   I didn’t even look at my Garmin the last 1.5 miles.  My toes were still frozen, my chest hurt but my head was suddenly too hot.  I ripped off my headband and kept going.  I took 2 more walk breaks.   I rounded the final corner and crossed the finish line.    I stopped the Garmin at 27:56.

Untitled picture

Now I realize that more than half the country and Canada are dealing with sub zero temperatures, crazy windchill and mountains of snow, so today’s 30 should have been no big deal.     However, I would rather run in 115 weather than cold.  I have no training with cold running.  It is dark and cold when I leave for work, but then I get a nice warm car for the next 45 minutes.  I am always cold, I have a space heater under my desk that I run every day at work.  Seriously.  This race kicked my ass.  Overall I took 5 walk breaks and they weren’t just at the inclines.

photo 3

I met my mom and Zoey after crossing the finish line.   I drank some water and tried to catch my breath.   She and the puppy left and I hung around to try and get some clue of the official standings.  I couldn’t remember seeing that many people coming back before I hit the turn around, but I was kind of on my own planet.

Official Time- 27:54
8th finisher overall
3rd female finisher, 3rd female age group

photo 4

I have no reason to feel down.  I made my primary goal but missed B by 15 seconds.   I am proud of what I accomplished but wish I could run the course again about 15 degrees warmer.  It was 30 when we started and it was still 30 when I left the race.  The website said that only 1st age group finishers received a medal so I ending up leaving early.  I could not handle the cold anymore.   And those 2 women who flew past me?  They finished in 18 minutes.  Hot damn!   I wish I could be that fast!

I was supposed to run another 9 miles after the race to complete my long run for the week but I made it home and ended up sitting on the ground by the slider in the sun until I could feel my toes again.     I’m so weird, I know.    :)  My legs felt stiff all day so I decided to push my long run back to tomorrow.

photo 2 (2)

The shirt this year was actually really cute and much better than last years.  This was an actual dri-fit tee and last year’s was all cotton and not football themed at all.   I did treat myself to some post race frozen yogurt- 9 hours later when I was warmer.   :)

photo 5

How was everyone’s Saturday?

Am I just a big baby when it comes to the cold?

Oh, the fresh air!!

I made it to work on Friday, woo hoo!  Man, that was tiring.   My first phone call left me in a coughing fit.  Apparently I hadn’t said that many words together in a few days, ha!  :)  By the time work was over, I was done.    I made the drive home and was off to try and sleep more before work this morning.

Yesterday, I received a smile in the office mail.   I haven’t been able to see one of my friends since before Christmas as we haven’t been able to make our schedules work.  :(  Her Christmas present has been in my car for the last 4 weeks.    She sent mine on Friday.  Such an awesome surprise on a tiring day!!  Every runner’s dream, right?

Thanks, A!!!!

Thanks, A!!!!

Or one of them at least .  Now I just have to decide which race to use it on.  :)

Today was my Saturday to work so I was up early heading out the door.   Normally, this time of year the drive would be green and pretty.  Today was just shades of brown.  Seriously where is the rain?!!?!?!   And I know I will complain when it actually does happen but where is the cold?   It was 80 something when I left work and mid seventies when I got home.

After hitting Target and stocking up for the next week, it was time for a run.  I had to have a little conversation with myself about it.   I could use one more rest day right? No.   I was cold, even though if it was warm outside.  Wear layers.  What if I started coughing?  Take water.  It’s gonna be hard.  Take walk breaks.  The floor looks perfect for a nap.  Move it, lazy!!!   Plus, running today was about more than just me- #megsmiles.

I changed into my brightest clothing and went out for a run.  After a week of absolutely zero exercise and 4 days being sick, it was harder than I would have liked but I told myself I could walk anytime the going got tough.  And by that I mean my breathing, if I started huffing and puffing, slow down!!!!   Especially considering I am still slightly congested.   But then when am I not, stupid deviated septum.

A little puppy time

A little puppy time

It felt good to be outside and moving.  My legs were a little stiff but that was to be expected.  I initially planned for 3 but added in an extra loop.   Overall I think I took 4 walking breaks and was running slower than usual, but it was not the run I had been dreading.   Even just putting on my running clothes perked me up.   That’s not to say I wasn’t tired.  As shown by my complete lack of drive to fully complete 4 miles.

photo 5

Hmmm, so close to 4, but I was not doing that driveway again, nope, not happening.    For today, 3.92 was just fine.  I made sure to stretch really well after my run as I hadn’t done much moving lately.   Hopefully I can get in a few miles tomorrow as well, plus I still haven’t tested out my new shoes!  I’m such a Slacker!  I feel like they are taunting me from the box.

Who ran today?

Good luck to all those racing tomorrow! 

It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Normally I like Friday the 13th, and I can still say that even after my first car accident years ago that was on Friday the 13th.  But yesterday was rough.   It started out good, but then a very important piece of equipment broke.  Customers were stressed, I was stressed.  We called in a tech, then the back office, then the network provider and all 4 of us had a lovely little conference call trying to figure out what the heck went wrong and how to fix it.   This felt like it took forever but I think it was about an hour and a half.  We finally got it running but still have no idea why it went cuckoo.   :(  I’m saying trickster elves.

We’ve been running a toy and food drive since thanksgiving and look how amazing our customers are-

Look at all the toys!!!!

Look at all the toys!!!!

And this is the third time it has been emptied.   It’s been this awesome at all of our locations too. :)

Last week, my doctor suggested (ha!) a new diet to see if it helped.   I waited to start until this last Monday because I had good food in my fridge and cabinet that I refused to let go bad.  Like apples!  I will so miss those honeycrisp. :(    I have been so hungry all week, and after the stress of yesterday, I just wanted pizza, so I picked one up on the way home.  :)  Yummy.  And the ingredients are not on my bad list so I can lie to myself that way right?

Today was spent errand running with a little bit of Christmas shopping.  Prior to the shopping lunch was pizza again, but this time it was Red Brick, so totally acceptable. :)   After a little procrastinating of the presentation that I need to work on, it was over 60° so I went for a run.   I was slow (oops pizza) but it felt good.    I even threw in a couple of hills.   When I hit the bottom of my driveway, I was close to 5 miles so I did what us crazy runners do and ran another block and back.  Finished at 5.26.    While I was adding in that little bit extra, i ran passed a house that had an inflatable Santa in the yard.  There was also a girl with a bow and arrow.  No, Katniss, no!!!  Hehe, luckily the Santa was still standing on the return trip.

Tonight was a local holiday tradition, the Vine St Victorian Showcase.  It’s also always been a family tradition to go, but tonight it was just me and my mother.  We were able to walk there also, so yeah for extra miles.  Granted, these ones were a lot colder.  The street is blocked off, the houses are decorated, there are carolers and dancers and cotton candy, hot chocolate vendor’s, lots of fun.   So to finish out this post, here is what I saw tonight. Hope you enjoy them!


This house is my favorite! I love how the ornaments float between the trees :)

IMG_2596 IMG_2598 IMG_2614 IMG_2612 IMG_2594 1417514_578135418923571_198879485_o

Any local or family traditions of your own?

Anyone else get a warmer day?