Tag Archives: running

Top 3 Past & Future

Let me be honest. I SUCK AT BLOGGING! I have at least one blog post in my brain each day and I just don’t prioritize blogging. I also don’t prioritize putting away clean laundry.

I did 3 things I never thought I’d do in 2011 and barely touched on them on the blog. Maybe a recap of each will be in my future. But don’t hold your breath. In chronological order:

– Ran across the Mackinaw Bridge! My fear of heights was kicked to the curb to accomplish this feat and it was awesome! Even more spectacular was the rainbow we saw.

– Went to watch the Detroit Tiger’s play the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series! The Tiger’s won the game we attended but lost the series ūüė¶


– Went on a 5 day Western Caribbean cruise! It was an awesome vacation!!

In 2012 there are a few things I hope to accomplish, but I’m not really ready to go public with 2 of them (and no, babies are not on the list!).

#1 is related to my professional (haha)/career

#2 is related to my relationship with Brent

and the third I am making public in hopes that I’ll stick with it…

#3 Run a 2 hour (or less!) half-marathon!!!!!¬†This seems crazy far-fetched¬†right now and I’ll have to shave about 12 minutes off my time. I’ll need to actually complete¬†speed work¬†¬†(gag!) and push myself to keep my pace up. But I’m looking forward to completing a half-marathon with a goal beyond simply finishing.


Running Errands

Lately, I’ve taken to literally running errands. I’m fortunate to live in a SMALL town and running errands is a fun way to sneak in some running.

Running and hitting the ATM with Hannah

A couple of weeks ago¬†I had mil.es that I wanted to complete and the heat was BRUTAL! After 3 miles I was SPENT and had gone through 10 oz of fluid. I felt terrible. I cut the run short. While stretching and berating myself for being weak, I was thinking of the errands I had to get done. I needed to hit the ATM, get the mail and an iced coffee sounded great. Then it dawned on me…

I stuck the debit card in my pocket and ran another 3 miles, with the ATM my end point. I got cash, crossed the road for an iced coffee and enjoyed a cool down walk home after hitting the post office.

Yeah, I go into public places looking like that!

Today I ran 1 mile after a quick change in the work bathroom and before picking up Brent at work. Once home, I did another quick mile, to and from the post office. Running home with a curled up magazine in hand, I imagined it as a relay baton and me dashing to hand it off to my team mate.

I’ve run through town clutching an envelope in my hand and deposited a sweaty city bill through the drop slot as the sun sets. I’ve stood in line at the bank drive-thru, waiting to deposit a check. I’ve been asked if I was running or simply having a major hot flash, as I paid for an iced coffee. I’ve been stared at and probably smelled too.

But its okay, I love getting quick, fast runs in. I love not driving to do errands. I love fitting running into my life, not trying to squeeze my life around running.

Beautiful Night

The minute I got out the door tonight, I knew it was the perfect weather run.

Sunny, but not blistering. Breezy but not windy. Warm but not hot. Shady but not cool. The kind of night that I’ll long for come the dead of winter, when it is dark by 6 pm, the wind roars at 20 mph, snow is blowing and it is 7 degrees out. When I’ll lovingly recall wearing my running skirt and hot pink tank top instead of 2 pairs of pants, wool socks, 3 tops, scarf, gloves and hat. When I my eyes sting from the snow and wind and my breath creates an icy layer on my scarf.

So instead of the 3 miles I had planned I did 4.35 miles. Just to take in the perfect night a little longer.

I averaged a 9:29 pace, which I’m more than pleased about, given that music keeps my pace up and I didn’t listen to music. Just the sounds of water, my foot steps,¬† snippets of conversation and my thoughts to keep me company.

The Half-Marathon that wasn’t

I’ve wanted to do a fall half marathon for a couple months now. I’ve weighed my options and this is what I came up with:

Grand Rapids Half-Marathon: Nope, I run the Riverbank Run 25k in the spring and it covers a similar course, too boring to run the similar course twice a year.

Detroit Free Press Half-Marathon: Nope, too far to travel and too big to handle.

Capital City River Run: A great half-marathon but the date is too soon (Sept 18)  for me to SLOWLY build my mileage and not anger my shin.

Capital City River Run finishers!

Betsie Vally Half-Marathon: Very small, rough mentally due to lack of other runners and crowd support, morning after  a wedding.

So when a girl in my TRX class, who is a local news anchor, said that the station was partnering with the Traverse City Visitor’s Bureau for a half-marathon at the end of the October it sounded perfect.

I hopped on-line, scooped out the website and decided that the Grand Traverse half-marathon would be the perfect fall half-marathon. Close enough to home (no hotel!) and in a beautiful location.

A few days later,¬† I was looking to register for this race and the website was gone. I googled and searched and nothing.** ¬†I was thinking I was going crazy, when I finally found the link on active.com for the race. Scrolling down I read warnings to not register as the race director was a fraud. I quickly googled his name and the results confirmed the warnings: multiple lawsuits¬†are pending against this man, who partners with visitor’s bureaus to hold these races and then takes the registration fees and doesn’t hold the races! I was almost had!

So currently there is no half-marathon in the books for me, but I’m still working on upping my mileage VERY slowly. Saturday was 6.5 miles in 1:01, which is pretty quick for me.

**So the half-marathon website is back up!!! Is the race on? What the heck??

Pizza fueled run

After an afternoon of strawberry picking and shopping, we decided that stopping by our favorite Traverse City pizza place was a must. So we headed downtown to Pangea’s Pizza Pub!

They have a lot of pizzas with a whole slew of unique combinations and toppings. Last time we were there we tried the Caribbean Jerk pizza that had red onion, green peppers, red peppers, chicken, pineapple and jerk seasoning.

This time we couldn’t decide, so we ended up getting 2 smalls and enjoying the leftovers for lunch today. We got a China Cherry Chicken Pizza
that had chicken, pineapple, green peppers, carrot, mozzarella cheese and sweet & sour sauce and a Mexican Pizza that had chorizo, green onion, avocado, cilantro, red peppers and corn. Both were really good, but I think I liked the China Cherry Chicken a smidge better.

Also cool about Pangea’s is that they serve Northwoods Soda and Great Lakes Potato Chips, both local companies!

So after a busy Saturday, which concluded with a walk around Grand Traverse Commons, I came home, drank a lot of water and went to sleep.

I’m hoping to run a fall half-marathon and am aware that I should begin some sort of training (official or not) should I decide upon a race. So I woke up this morning with thoughts of a wretched 2 miler on Friday fresh in my mind.

I made a PB&J, drank some water and mapped a 7 mile route and set a goal of 1:15 to finish it in. Maybe it was the pizza, my low expectations or the perfect weather but I cranked out 7.02 miles in 1:10:03!! I took a couple very brief walk breaks and a bathroom break (paused my time). It was a wonderful run that I enjoyed! I really pushed the last 1/2 mile or so when I calculated I could finish in about 1:10 and sprinted the last block. I even walk around the block to cool down, stretched, drank chocolate milk and rolled my legs!

Check one off!

Confession: I don’t have a bucket list, because I don’t like doing things that scare me. I’m a pretty fearful person. I often let the fear of failure, the unknown, of being scared keep me from doing things.

But this time it is different. On Labor Day, I’ll be facing my fear of heights head on, when I’ll be running 5 miles. Not just any 5 miler¬†(heck, it’s not even timed!), but I’ll be running with 399 other strangers all selected in a lottery. And we’ll be running on this:


The Mackinac Bridge!!!!!!

I’ve ridden over this numerous times, often slightly afraid of being in the car on this bridge. There is annual Bridge Walk (the bridge is not regularly open to pedestrians) on Labor Day and I couldn’t imagine doing that. But for some reason, when I saw that running the 5/3 River Bank Run qualified¬† me to enter the lottery to run it, I jumped at the chance, sure my odds of winning would be low.

But I was chosen! I’ll be running it with the Governor to kick-off the Bridge Walk.

Race Recap – 5/3 Riverbank Run

I’ll do another post about the expo, hotel, course, aid stations, etc. This is MY story of finishing the race.

This was a struggle. Literally from the time I registered I hit every road block possible.¬†Horrible weather hampered a number of long runs. Shin splints/stress fracture caused me to miss runs of varying lengths and cut other runs short. Mental demons plagued me and made me question my self every time I thought about putting my running shoes on. It seemed like this race wasn’t meant to be.

But somehow through the encouragement of friends (especially Brent), things coming together that were out of my control (free race entry, a room in the sold out race hotel, miraculous 12 miles without pain), I got to the start.

Sure I finished, but once I crossed the starting line, that was never the question. Getting there was the battle, I know I could go the distance, even if it took  me all day.

The morning was rainy. I watched live pre-race coverage as I ate my PB & J and drank a 1/2 cup of coffee. Both 5k heats and the 10k started out in the rain. Brent and I chilled in the Devos Place lobby before I went out to line up.


The first few miles went by without a hitch. I missed the mile 1 marker, so was thrilled when I passed mile 2. I was incredibly hungry and thirsty throughout the race. I drank 2 – 3 cups of fluid at each aid station and ate an orange segment at the ones later in the race. The 1st half of the course is slightly downhill, so that was really nice. I knew I was going slower than I had wanted to (pre-injury goals), but was with a group going the same pace and just stuck with them.

I walked a bit and took 1/2 a GU at mile 4.5 and almost instantly felt a surge of strength. I walked again around mile 7.25 and made the decision to walk most of the up hills. This slowed my time considerably (especially because that meant walking most of mile 11) but I knew that my lack of training and the pain the hills would inflict on my shin it was the best decision. And it allowed me to run more towards the finish.

The crowds between miles 6 Р7 were great! I think my FAVORITE thing to see while running are dogs and there were  a number of dogs in the crowd. I even saw a corgie (favorite dog)!

Around mile 12, I started getting really depressed. I just wanted to finish and was doing a lot of walking, making my time until finish that much longer. The 11:00 pace group passed me and my spirits really dropped. I was so tired (like wanting to sleep), thirty and hungry. I ate all my jelly beans and was carrying a cup of water with me for as long as I could, but nothing took the edge off my thirst or hunger.


I finally saw the finish line and gave it all I had. Hearing Brent cheering for me was amazing, it was like pure energy injected into my veins and I was able to check a dude!


Brent found me right away and I was able to hobble back to the room, shower and check-out on time.

Am I thrilled with my time? HECK NO! Was I thrilled that I finished? YES! Just like what we emphasize at Girls on Track, it isn’t about time, it is about doing the best you can on that day. And I did.