Friday, December 30, 2011

Best of 2011

I've been thinking about writing a 2011 review of running, but hadn't figured out how I wanted to actually write it.  Miss Zippy did a great post so I thought I'd do the same too... so here it goes:

  • Best race experience? I've got two... (1) It would have to be the San Diego Rock 'n Roll 1/2 Marathon back in June.  I managed to PR by 20 minutes!  (2) Even though the Las Vegas RnR 1/2 marathon was not my best performance, watching my dad achieve a major PR was awesome!  We really push each other to be the best we can be.
  • Best run? I can't choose just one.... (1) I had the opportunity to run with my dad many times this summer when we traveled back to Minnesota/Wisconsin.  He is the best running partner I could ever ask for!  (2) Last week, I managed to maintain a sub-10 pace for each mile in my 6 mile run.  This is the longest run I've been able to sub-10.  I never thought I'd be able to do sub-10 for even a mile... but I did!
  • Best new piece of gear? My Garmin 305 that I received as my Mother's Day/Birthday gift from my husband and kiddos, as well as, my CEP Compression Socks I got as a birthday gift from my mom.  I cannot choose just one because both serve two very important purposes.
  • Most inspirational runner? I really enjoyed reading Marshall Ulrich's book this year.  His story is amazing, so I nominate him as most inspirational runner.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Life changing : )

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ouch!

I've been experiencing shin pain on the inside of my right leg.  I have felt this pain for some time now, but have been trying to ignore it.  The pain is tolerable, but annoying... most of the pain.  There have been runs (more lately) that the pain is just not good.  I know I should be resting my legs because of this pain, but I find it so difficult to do so because I have gained more weight during the holidays... more than I would like.  I know... not smart.  I had no idea what was wrong until one of my dailymile friends mentioned he was experiencing the same pain as me.  I did some research and figured out this annoying pain is called posterior shin splints.

I received a sample of KT Tape in one of my Christmas presents and thought I'd give it a try on today's run.  Running with Charlene raves about it.  The KT Tape website provides a million and one videos on how to apply the product... how awesome is that?!? This is the video I was (several times):


Here's my application:

Something I learned: When applying KT Tape, do not try to pull it off and reapply it.  It doesn't stick very well the second time around.

The directions stated to wait at least one hour before starting activity.  I pulled up my compression socks which was a little tricky, but I figured it out.  After the hour passed, I hit the asphalt.  I could feel a difference almost right away.  I decided to run 5 miles.  During these 5 miles, I did feel discomfort... some it was very little while other times it was the exact opposite.  Even with this discomfort, the KT Tape did make a difference throughout the run.

The "5" is for my 5 mile run.
Side note: Yes, it's December 29th and I wore a short sleeve shirt and shorts! 

5 miles = 48:46 minutes
Average pace = 9:46 min/mile... Excellent pace [for me]  even with the pain

I have been wondering if my [newer] Brooks Adrenaline 12's are just not right for me anymore.  Are they causing my posterior shin splints?  Is it time try another stability shoe?  Purchasing new shoes [again] will not be in the budget for a little while, so I need to figure out a way to minimize the pain.

I decided to hit up Big 5 Sporting Good stores to pick up some more KT Tape.  The box came with 20 strips for $12.99... which would last me about 2 weeks.  Hmm... this could get expensive.  I was looking around the store at other stuff when I stumbled upon a neoprene sleeve that helps alleviate shin splints priced at $16.99.  I tried it on and it felt good.  I decided to go with this instead of KT Tape because the sleeve can be reused over and over again.... I just hope it helps!  I asked about the return policy and they said as long as I save my receipt and return it in its original packaging, I can be refunded.  Good.  If it doesn't work, I'll return it and get the KT Tape.  So here I am...


I'm going to wear it during my run tomorrow (directions state this can be done).  Crossing my fingers it works!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

LVTC Low Key 5k/2M

As I was laying in bed this morning around 6am, I started to question if I was going to participate in the Las Vegas Track Club's low key 5k race this morning.  It was so cold outside!  But... I thought to myself... I better run now because I probably won't run later.  Fine.  I'll go.  I got ready and headed out the door. 

First stop: Albertsons.  I needed a couple of bananas.  [Yep, we already finished off all 6 lbs of bananas I purchased last week].  Next stop: 7-11.  I need coffee.  I arrived at Bunker Family Park and signed up for the 5k.  I ran into Teri (remember from last weekend's race).  We chatted for a few minutes before the race, then it was time to head to the start line.

I set a goal to sub-30:00 for this race.  I tried really hard... but finished in 30:10.  I still managed to sub-10:00 min/mile.  I stuck around for the awards ceremony to see where I ranked.
I tried taking a picture of myself a million times... and this is as good as it gets!

I managed to come in 2nd place in my age/gender group... out of 3!  It's still 2nd place!

Once I got home, I told my daughter to get ready to run.  She was so excited!  My older son decided to join us as well.  Here are some pictures I took:

Look at that form!


He's flying!




















Final results: .43 miles/7:14 minutes

I always enjoy running with my kiddos!

RnR Vegas 1/2 Marathon Race Day

I went to Costco the morning of race day to pick up bananas... 6 pounds of bananas!

In case you are wondering... we did not eat all 6 lbs on race day.


Pre-race food: I consume some eggs and potatoes for breakfast.  I ate several bananas and a couple of larabars throughout the day while hydrating on a TON of water. 

Dad, Julie, and I headed to Vdara (where they were staying) so my dad could get ready for the race... it only took him 20 years to get ready!  Geez! : )  We hopped on a shuttle that took us to the start line.  I hit the Brooks VIP porta potties right away.  I felt like a VIP walking through the entrance as everyone wished they could be as cool as me using these special bathrooms ; )

Time to head to the corrals... I tried looking for some fellow runners, but the place was a ZOO!  I couldn't find a single person I was looking for.  We headed into a corral and froze our butts off waiting for the race to start!  I was glad I wore my running tights!

We start running at 9:xx/mile... which is faster than we should have been going.  Shortly after the first mile, my dad had to stop and take out his inhaler because the cold weather was affecting his breathing.  I kept running knowing he'd catch up to me eventually. 

The first half of the race went really well.  I felt like I was flying!  I was running a 9:xx to 10:xx min/mile.  At mile 7, I saw my husband, son, and great friend, Emily, cheering on the sidelines.  It felt so great that they were able to come see me race. 

Once I hit the mile 8.5, I could feel my body getting tired.... and it kept getting worse.  I ate 2 larabars while running, but obviously that was not enough.  I bonked around the 9.5-10 mile marker.  I walked.  I tried running [really slowly].  Around mile 11 (that's just a guess), I hear someone screaming my name.  I look over and see Teri from the running club I run with.  It was so great to see her!  I kept running really slowly and in pain.  My hamstrings and glutes were tired and sore.  [It's so frustrating that I can't figure out the best way to fuel pre-race and during the race to make my energy levels stay throughout the race.]

Just before mile 13, I see my dad in front of me.  How the heck did he pass me and I didn't see him?  I zoomed up and ran next to him for just a little bit.  I couldn't keep up with him as he sprinted to the finish line.

This would be a great place to show a picture of me crossing the finish line... but there was SOOO MANY people that you can't even see me in my finish line photo!  Matter of fact, I didn't get any professional photos from the race.  I tried getting in front of a few photographers, but there were so many runners which made it impossible to get a picture snapped of me.  Lame.

I took two steps past the finish line and then hit the wall of people.  The Finisher's Village was so backed up!  I stood there... waiting to move.  That did not feel good.  I needed to keep moving or else I was going to fall over and puke.  My dad and I managed to get the mylar blankets to keep [a little] warm.  We picked up some drinks and snacks.  I was quite disappointed in the finisher food.  I've seen better at other RnR races. We quickly departed this area and headed over to the shuttles (apparently, many people could not find the shuttles, but we found them right away). 

After a very short wait, the shuttle was on its way.  Once we arrived at the Vdara, we chilled for a few minutes.  I was still very cold.  I decided to jump in the shower and warm up [luckily I brought a change of clothes].  I socialized a few more minutes afterwards and then it was time for me to head home. 

**After reading hundreds and hundreds of comments on FB regarding the event, I am so fortunate that my dad and I had very little problems with the race.  We were so lucky to not suffer some crazy stuff that happened.... we were one of the few who didn't.  Thousands of people got sick after the race.  I will really have to think about running another RnR race again... because I wouldn't want all that crap to happen to me.



RnR Vegas 1/2 Marathon Weekend


The fam and I woke up early to meet my dad and Julie for breakfast at the Egg and I.  After a little bit of a wait, we headed to our table to start grubbing.  All three children were on their best behavior (which makes it so much easier to enjoy our time out).  After we finished our breakfast, we headed over to the Expo.  It was confusing as to where we should park, but we eventually found where we were supposed to be.  Packet pickup was smooth sailing…. 
After a few attempts for pictures... this was the best one we got.
Then we enter the area to purchase things.  CHAOS and CROWDED!  Not easy to maneuver through with a double stroller.   
Another rotated picture that I can't seem to fix... this is annoying.

We stopped at a couple of booths… where I bought new arm sleeves.  I couldn’t decided between the pink sparkly stripper arm sleeves or the black and white pattern arm sleeves… I chose the latter because they will match with every outfit. 

[This would be a good place to insert a picture of my new purchase… if I was smart enough to take a picture!  Doh!]

My husband and I decided it was time to leave.  The little kids were getting tired and it was difficult to push the stroller through the crowded aisles.  We left my dad and Julie there to explore some more.

Yep.  He was tired.  He fell asleep within a few minutes.
That afternoon I was on facestalking all my friends… because that’s how I roll.  I remembered seeing that there was going to be a meetup at Mandalay Bay.  I contacted fellow runner and friend, Charlene, to see if she was going… and she was.  She let me tag along with her to the event : ) 

I had a great time meeting SO MANY new people and I was strongly encouraged to start using my Twitter account.  That’s where all the cool kids hang out… on Twitter : )
After a couple of hours of chatting it up, it was time to head home.  I had a big day coming up!



Friday Night Fun


My dad (and his new girlfriend) flew into Vegas on Thursday night for the weekend.  You see, my dad and I have made it a tradition to run the RnR Vegas ½ Marathon together.   

They came over Friday night for dinner.  I decided to Turkey Wild Rice Soup and Strawberry Spinach Salad as the main course and Queso Blanco Dip as an appetizer.  Holy smokes!  Everything tasted AMAZING!  It was a little time consuming to prep all the food… but it was SO WORTH IT!  Unfortunately, I am a lame blogger and totally forgot to take pictures of the food, but trust me… you need to try these recipes!  Here are the links:



Queso Blanco Dip (I warmed this up in the microwave, then put it in my mini crockpot to keep it warm)

I found one picture I took that night:
Why can't I rotate this picture? Ugh.


Happy [Belated] Birthday to...

My wonderful husband! 


Last Wednesday, November 30th was my husband’s 43th birthday!  He dreads every birthday ever single year.  I tell him the same thing every year… “Some people don’t make it to this age.  Be thankful you have.” 
The kids and I decided to take the husband to Famous Dave’s for his birthday dinner.  That man loves his BBQ!  Plus, I had a B1G1 free entrĂ©e there… that helps! 
Here is a picture I took that night…. 

It was a fun, relaxing evening.  We didn't have dessert at the restaurant because I made this delicious banana cake!
Why is the cake upside down?  Hmm...


I do not like making cakes in a 9 x 13 pan EVER.  The recipe I used was very unique.  I had to bake the cake at 275 degrees for an hour and then put it in the FREEZER for 45 minutes.  Crazy, right?  But it was worth it... so yummy!  Click here for the recipe.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What's to come...

Oh man... life has been CRAZY!  I have a few things I want to blog about...
  • The husband's birthday LAST Wednesday
  • Target clearance on running clothes?!?!
  • Dinner with the fam, dad, and new girlfriend last Friday night
  • Rock n Roll Vegas Expo and the infamous....
  • RnR Vegas 1/2 Marathon
I took Monday off from work to recover from the 1/2 marathon.  When a teacher takes a day off, it just makes for WAY more work when you return.  I have been nonstop busy at school trying to get caught up (which finally happened today!).  I [very] rarely take work home.  This is my time to spend with my family.... plus there's not much free time with three kids at home.

So anyways... I'm hoping to get some blogging done tomorrow : )

Thursday, November 24, 2011

LIfetime Turkey Day 5k-FAIL

Last weekend on the Groupon website, there was an offer for 50% off the race fee for the Lifetime Turkey Day 5k.  I couldn't pass up the deal! 


I'll be honest... I didn't get home until 11:30pm last night.  This girl was out shopping at Costco, Target, and Kohl's (with a small break to visit with some friends).  I finally headed to bed around 12:30am which is WAY past my bedtime (I know... I'm super lame).  The alarm clock was set for 6am.  Let it be known that my husband was certain I would not wake up for the race.  I proved him wrong.  I crawled out of bed at 6:10am (I hit snooze once).  My husband and I discussed that the whole family would come out to watch me race.  This rarely happens so I was really excited.  You see, it's very difficult to manage and keep all three kids (9, 3, and 18 months) happy and content (as well as keeping the arguing to a minimum). 

We left the house around 7am with an arrival time of 7:15am.  This was earlier than I planned to arrive, but it's a good thing.  The packet pickup was a disaster!  It was clear that it was poorly planned and organized.  I was not impressed.

Once I finally got my packet, I met back up with the fam so I could drop off the bag with them.  We chatted for a few minutes and I was off to the start line.  I haven't ran a [fun-low key] 5k race in a LONG time.  I was looking at everyone around me.  It looked like they were stretching and preparing to run a marathon!  I thought to myself, 'Do these people realize this is only 3.1 miles and will be over before they know it?'  I kept my giggles to myself : )

The race was supposed to start at 8am, but that didn't happen (annoying).  At 8:05am, the announcer brought forth a woman to sing the National Anthem.  As she began, I could hear the crowd behind me still talking amongst themselves.  As I was listening to hear sing, I swear I heard her screw up a word.  No... she couldn't have.  It is the freakin' National Anthem.  But then it happened.... the woman stopped singing... because she forgot the lyrics!  No joke!!  She proceeded to say she was going to start all over... to which she did.  So there we are.  At the beginning of the National Anthem again.  She screws up on a word again but it's clear she didn't even realize she did).  And then it happened.... she forgot the lyrics to the song at the same place as the first time!  At that time, the crowd started singing in an effort to help her.  She continued to sing, but screwed more words.  I couldn't help but smile and chuckle.  This wasn't a kid singing... this was a grown woman.  How embarrassing [for her]. 

Then we were off... I set into a pace around 9:10 minute/mile which is WAY faster than I normally run.  Everyone around me was running about the same pace... it was nice to have pacers (even if they didn't know it).  There were a few times I looked down at my watch and saw 8:xx min/miles!! 

Around the 1.5 mile marker, I saw my family on the sidewalk.  The course went through downtown Las Vegas.  The course just so happens to go right past the school my husband works at.  It was so nice to see them cheering me on : )  Shortly after that I had to slow my pace down a little bit to make sure I kept energy for the rest of the race.  I saw my family again around 2.5 miles.  They put a smile on my face : )  I knew I was almost done.  As I turned the corner on Fremont Street, I saw the finish line.  I tried to push it as hard as I could.  I crossed the finish line and stopped my garmin.  It read 28:44... but the distance said 3.03 miles!  Ugh... the course was short.  Whatever.  They did offer big bottles of Gatorade and water, as well as, bananas and bagels after the finish line.  Nice touch. 

I met up with the family and we tried to take pictures.  Here's one of Mom and Dad:

Husband is probably thinking, 'Man, she is really sweaty and smells pretty bad.' : )

I wanted to get a picture of me with my rugrats:

First attempt: FAIL!!
NOTE: My little ones knocked me over and I fell on the sidewalk... hence we are sitting down.

Second attempt: DOUBLE FAIL!!

Third attempt: OMG... these kids are SO heavy.  Ugh... I'm over it. 
Family picture time was obviously did not work as planned.  That's alright... there will be another time.  After this, we began walking to the car.  My 3-year-old daughter says to me [as we are walking], 

"Mama, you are the winner!  You win the GOLD!"


That warmed my heart <3

Overall, I was not impressed with the organization of the race.  I did like the course though.  The best of the event was having my family there to support me : )