Monday, January 31, 2011


The Triathlon Club helped time the University of Michigan swimming and diving teams at a meet this weekend. They are amazing athletes. The women can swim 1000m in the same time it takes me to swim 500 yards. We even got to see some platform diving, which takes more guts than I'll ever have.

My first half marathon this year is coming up in a few weeks, and I wanted to bring attention to a challenge I signed up for towards the end of last year, half2run. Members of half2run have a common goal of running a 1/2 marathon (13.1 Miles) in at least half of the states. I expect it will take me 6 or 7 years to finish, but it's a fun goal, and a good way to explore more of the country. This year I should be taking care of Florida, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. For the other races I'm going to focus on the coasts and west, basically places with mountains. Two races I will certainly be doing are the Pikes Peak Accent and the Humboldt Redwoods half marathon. I attempted the Pikes Peak half in 2008 and was not allowed to summit, due to bad weather. I want a rematch. I've been dreaming of running between the redwoods since I first saw the race profiled in Runners World many years ago. Hopefully I'll have the resources to get to Hawaii and Alaska during this mission as well.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bigfoot Snowshoe 10k

It was a beautiful race this morning. The temperature about 10ºF and there was over a foot of snow on the ground. I stayed comfortable though, only my feet were slightly cold. I was glad a wore my Gore-Tex® pants over my tights as they protected me from all the snow I was flicking up my legs with the snowshoes.

When I first put on the snowshoes I was afraid I wouldn't be able to run in them at all, but it turned out running was easier than walking. I fell twice, but since it was in nice fluffy snow it was no big deal. It was a 2 loop 10k course, and mostly single track, so I walked a good portion of the first lap as I was stuck behind slower runners. Once the 5k participants finished, the course was empty and you could enjoy the scenery while running rather than focusing on not stepping on somebody else's snowshoes.

My time was 1:21:20 which made my place 4 of 5 in my age group (AG), 17 of 48 for sex, and 60 of 105 overall. I awarded a mug with Hersey kisses for finishing in the top 5 in my AG. There may have only been 6 runners in my AG (the woman winner was also in my age group, but they don't count the winners when determining AG awards), but you can't win unless you show up to play. The picture above is myself and two other women from the PR Fitness Livestrong Running Group with our AG awards.

Unfortunately, the race experience ended poorly. During what should have been a 15 minute ride back to Greg's parents, our car went off the road into a large ditch. Luckily the car was fine and we could run the heat while waiting for a tow, because at that point my socks were soaking wet. I spent the remainder of the day in front of the fireplace with a blanket.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A is for Awesome

The super exciting news this week is that I started working with a running coach (the lovely Marie Wolfgram) at PR Fitness. She is going to help me a) stay injury free and b) pick up my long distance speed. I did my first assigned workout last night, a 3 mile tempo (a difficult but sustainable speed) and ended up going faster than expected, the cross training must be paying off.

I registered for several of my A priority races yesterday in case the sell out early. "A" priority races are those in which you are aiming for your best times. For long events, in order to be at your peak performance on race day, you reach your highest mileage several weeks before the event and then start decreasing distance so that your legs feel fresh for the race. This year my "A" races are the Trail Marathon, The Pterodactyl sprint triathlon, The Legend half marathon, and an ultra at Dances with Dirt Hell. I'm most excited for the Legend. The 10 mile there was my absolute favorite race in 2010, and it's really great they are adding a half marathon this year.

I just got myself a balaclava (ninja mask) and some long socks (thanks for the Running Fit gift card Mom & Dad) to prepare for chilly weather in Traverse City this weekend. Look for the results in my next update.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Up and Down

Some weeks are better than others. As you can see from the graph above, which shows my weekly running milage since July 2007, down weeks are pretty regular for me. If it's not homework or research deadlines, it's illness or travel. I got a nasty cold last week, which resulted in me only getting a few workouts in, and only one run.

This week has been much better. It's the first full week of classes at Michigan, which means new U-Move classes and new Triathlon Club workouts. I enjoyed my first yoga class on Wednesday and tonight I got in a much needed track workout.

I've added a new race to my bucket list. After watching Hood To Coast (trailer below) with Greg on Tuesday, we are ready eager to join the insanity. However, as registration fills on the first day (10 months before the event) our first chance wont be until 2012. Let me know if your interested in being on our team!

Hood To Coast Movie Trailer from HoodToCoastMovie on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I donated all but one of my marathon/half marathon metals today to the Metals4Mettle organization. At first I was reluctant to relinquish my bling, but I quickly realized that this was something I wanted to do. When I tell people I run marathons, a frequent reply is, "I could never do that," which usually isn't the case. My metals will be awarded to people who may truly never be able to run a marathon. The Detroit Metals4Mettle chapter visits the Mott Children's Hospital yearly and tries to have enough metals to give one to every child. A metal is a small consolation for the ordeals these children go through, but hopefully it offers a momentary distraction.

Here are the metals I donated:

Sunburst Marathon (2004)
Trail Marathon (2005)
Estes Park Marathon (2008)
Leadville Marathon (2008)
Dexter-Ann Arbor 1/2 Marathon (2010)
Run Woodstock Marathon (2010)
Detroit Marathon (2010)

The one metal I saved? It's from the 2008 Boulder Marathon. It's was not my best time, or my first marathon, or my favorite race, but special in the fact that I was one month pregnant with Cedric. He certainly deserves a share in those spoils.

The notable training accomplishment for the week was swimming a 1/2 mile. I started the beginner 2 swim class offered by U-Move last September and I couldn't swim more than 25 yd. I vividly recall stopping to cling to the wall with every lap at the first Triathlon Club swim practice. Now I can swim a continuous 1/2 mile in less than 20 minutes! I'm proceeding into the intermediate U-Move class this semester and looking forward to improving my stroke.