Monday, February 25, 2013

I'm In!

I got in to the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon! I'm actually not too surprised...I've gotten in every year I've registered and I actually wonder if everyone gets in. The fact that you have to enter the lottery might just be how they entice people to enter- because you might not get in! My sister got in and we'll see if Mr. B decides to run it. He would get "elite" status and a free hotel room! So I hope he does because hello free hotel! I just hope that he doesn't have to share a room with another runner because then I am out of luck!!

Mr. B loves chocolate chip cookies. He has been trying to perfect his recipe for a while. Here is his latest attempt:

Not great. The dough is delicious....but the cookies are so flat!!! I think it is because the recipe has butter and so the dough just spreads out. Any tips for making thicker, more substantial cookies???

Could I bring more stuff with me to the gym?? Two sports bras, two shirts (I change between my run and core work/stretching...I sweat a lot okay?!?! it is totally normal), a sweat towel (I'm serious....a lot), deodorant, sweatpants, sweatshirt, headphones, Ipod, tablet,  makeup remover, socks, headband....
Packing up

I ran about 6 miles outside yesterday- more ice hurdles and dodging slush. I ran hard up the hills on my route to give myself a little more of a workout. Tonight I went 6 miles in 44:20 on the treadmill. I felt bad because the gym was pretty full and there was a lady trolling the cardio machines, waiting for someone to get off their machine. But this gym doesn't have time limit signs or anything so...wait your turn!

I will leave you with one of the cutest Rodgy pics (of February):

So so cute!!! He is wiping his nose or something. Rodgy went a little too hard at the dog park yesterday and hurt his hip. He really exploits his injury and demands extra treats. What a lover.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Winter will never end.

I know I am being pessimistic, but I swear that every day it is more and more wintery, even though spring is allegedly one month away.

On Wednesday it was 15 degrees above zero when I went running. In the old days, when I was tough and young and forced to run outside, that would be no big deal. But I am older, and wiser, and have a gym membership, so it is hard to resist the siren call of the treadmill. But I did resist in favor of an outdoor run with my friend. She was done with clinic at noon and I don't work Wednesday afternoons anymore, so we got a nice 8 mile run in the sunshine! I think it took a little under an hour. We were slowed down because I guess no one in St. Paul shovels their sidewalk?! Lots of tiptoe running over ice patches and hurdling over snowbanks. I've seen people wearing those rubber straps on their shoes to help with the snow & ice but I've never tried them. Maybe they would help the slipping...

Tuesday's run was a treadmill run...I think I went about 6.5. I accidently hit the emergency stop button about one song in and I have no idea how far I had gone at that point, so I just ran 6 more miles. I took yesterday off because I had no time...I had book club to host! Our book this month was "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. Normally I am a bad book club member and don't read the book but wow this one was so so good! It is about is an Olympic runner and his WWII experiences. It is a biography and I was amazed by the terrible things this man went through. I highly recommend the book.

What is your favorite book about running?
Ever try the shoe strap things? Yay or nay?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The BEST cross training

As someone who has had her fair share of running injuries, I know that cross training is important to give your body a break from running, while maintaining fitness. I've spent countless hours on the elliptical, aqua jogging and biking. Most of that time was spent cursing or crying. I mean seriously, the elliptical sucks. Don't lie and say you like it.

However. There is one form of cross training that I love, and that I will willingly give up a run to do instead. OF COURSE I'm talking about cross country (Nordic) skiing.

Look at that form! Actually don't, it's not a good example. 
If you are lucky enough to live in a state that snows enough to groom trails, I seriously recommend trying this exercise! Or come to Minnesota and try one of our lovely trails (I recommend Giant's Ridge).

Skate skiing is hard- there is a lot of technique involved, and you have to be able to put almost all your weight on one foot and glide, without falling. Classic skiing is a little easier, especially for runners, because it seems to use similar muscles and movements. In both techniques you get a full body workout. My arms were always jacked at the end of ski season and my cardiovascular fitness was off the charts.

I pretty much gave up skiing to run in college, and I didn't get out to ski more than two or three times in the past 6 years (pathetic!!). But last week some friends invited me to go, and now I am hooked all over again! I even talked Mr. B into going today. He struggled through about 4k and then hung out in the chalet while I did 5 more on my own. It feels so so good, and is a great workout in place of a run. Skiing uphill is way harder than running uphill but I think the fact that you can fly downhill makes up for it. Of course my hips/butt/ arms will be fired up tomorrow. But it was so worth it!!!
Oh high school Julia...where are the photos of you skate skiing??

Oh and I had my second personal training session yesterday- another fun workout, but I think I'm going to cancel my third. Call me naive, but I didn't realize that the whole "you won three sessions" was basically a sales pitch to try to get me to purchase a one year personal training contract (only $130 per month, for one day per week!). I'll just run on my own, thank you very much.

After personal training I ran about 7 miles with my friend Katie. She is a total stud and we have run thousands of miles together...and only have 4 more months to run together until she moves to Pittsburgh to be a doctor. How selfish.

Have you ever tried cross country skiing? What did you think?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Oww my arms! My legs! My abs!

Soreness is all that I feel today and all that I felt yesterday. I am dreading going for a run after work.

Last week I won three free personal training sessions from my gym.I love personal training because the trainers usually have great ideas for new workouts and exercises that I can use to switch up my routine. This was no exception. The trainer and I talked a while about my goals (good thing I just made some...) and what I like and don't like about working out, and then we got to work.

Have you ever seen or done a rope workout?

I've only seen this at my current gym and always thought to myself, well that looks crazy, but also easy.

NO! It is not. Those ropes are heavy. The point, I believe, is to work on muscle endurance. You loop the rope around something heavy, and start moving your arms to make a wave pattern with the rope. I quickly learned that my left arm is a dud and sucks at rope exercises.

We moved on to core work with medicine balls, lunges with kettlebells, and hamstring exercises with my feet in these strap things hanging off a big metal frame ( I know that is super descriptive and technical, so I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about).

I got a pretty good workout in, and definitely felt tired at the end (I think it was thirty minutes?). I ran three miles and that was a struggle after the legwork. But wow, I was pretty creaky yesterday & today.

My next session is tomorrow. I want to get at least 7 miles in before and I hope that I don't regret that if I am supposed to do lunges during personal training....

Personal training: yay or nay?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Running Bucket List

Does anyone use Flotrack at all? I used to go to this site every single day- to log my runs and to get inspiration by watching the pros or top collegiate athletes in workouts. Although I don't go there as often I still get updates and the one today is a new blog post by Nick Symmonds.

He is not just a hot nutella spokesman...he is a hot & fast runner too.

The post is called "My Running Bucket List" and is a list of the goals he drew up when he started as a professional runner. While his list includes trivial things like make second Olympic team, win a world medal, and win an Olympic medal, he also includes some very legit goals, like run sub 5 for the beer mile. Seriously, the beer mile is a real thing.

Despite being nowhere near the caliber of a runner that Mr. Symmonds is, I thought I would write down my own running bucket list. So, here goes nothing:

1. PR in the 5k : My current PR is from an indoor race. I would LOVE to beat this time in a fast road race.
2. Run sub 1:25 half marathon. This is 6:39 pace... I think this one is for sure doable.
3. Run a marathon! I have always resisted the marathon because I *hate* when people assume that if you haven't run a marathon you aren't a "real runner". I have always considered myself a "real runner" despite never having run a marathon. But I am thinking about running Chicago this year. It is supposed to be a nice flat course so I could potentially run a good time....we will see! I only have 7 days to decide though because sign up starts on the 19th!
4. Run a destination race. College track trips do not count. When Mr. B and I were in Puerto Rico last month we found out about the World's Best fun would it be to run a race like that during vacation (okay maybe not fun...but still)? It would be a great way to experience the city and be part of the running world far from home.

I guess that completes my bucket list for now.... Although it would be fun to get my old beer 4x4 team together this summer to see if we could PR.

Have you ever run a beer mile (or 4x4)? Was it as fun or as terrible as you imagined it would be?
Do you have any big bucket list goals for running?

Monday, February 11, 2013

It's happening.

Well...that was a longer break than I intended!

My Birthday + The holidays + Family Problems+Winter + Living in Minnesota = not motivated for running.

But! That is all going to *have to* change....

My youngest sister Sarah and I are going to run the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon in June (if we get in)!!!!!

This is us at happier times at the start of the race....(don't hate on my not-purchased pictures...those bad boys are way too expensive!)

Sarah and I ran this together last year. It was her first half marathon ever! I think we finished in about 1:44 or so? The course is point to point- you basically take a bus from Duluth that drops you off 13.1 miles from the finish on the highway, and go. It is a cruel design in that you can see the finish about... 4 or so miles away? (that may be totally inaccurate but certainly it seems like that). Once you get into the actual city of Duluth, you go all the way through the little downtown area, and then you think you are turning to the finish...but again! No! It is a few more turns until you finally get there and get your free beer ticket.

Towards the end, by the big boat that means you are so close!

Running story time. The first year I ran this race was my first summer out of college. Even though I had taken a month or so off to let myself recover/celebrate entering the real world I decided to run the half. My friend Meg gave me a course description, and said, " once you are in town you just turn left and then it's the finish!" in such an authoritative voice that I believed her. Never again.

I made so many mistakes that race, and the first was listening to Meg. My second was not training, my third was ignoring most of the water stations (because I am TOUGH and did I mention it was a million degrees and humid that day??), and my fourth was being overall too confident. When I did get into town and turned left, I started to increase my tempo thinking I was close to done! Well I wasn't. To make a long story short...once I staggered across the finish line I collapsed, had to get wheeled away to the medical tent, and had to get an IV to cool off my 105 degree body. My very concerned boyfriend checked on me and took my free beer.

Don't worry. I bounced back, took a nap, drank my weight in water and Gatorade and rallied enough to hit up the after party (I sat and watched people make poor decisions).

Anyway. This year I think Sarah wants to run 1:35 so that would be a good PR for her! As her pacer, I am of course obligated to get in shape to run it with her. So that is my next Big Goal.

What are you next Big Goals?
Have you ever run the Grandma's Marathon or the Gary Bjorklund 1/2 marathon in Duluth? Thoughts?