A Big THANK YOU to Race Volunteers

You may not know it, but this week is National Volunteer’s Week (today is also Administrative Professionals Day, so don’t forget to to tell your favorite administrative professionals how much you appreciate them…or you know, buy them wine because they probably need it).

I work at a non-profit, so we do a lot of volunteer appreciation all the time, but I wanted to take a second to thank my other volunteers…RACE VOLUNTEERS.  Those who get up early on days off just to make sure that runners stay hydrated along the course, who make sure medals get placed with importance around sweaty necks, and who spend hours upon hours making sure every bib is placed in a bag with exactly 4 safety pins.

It definitely isn’t glamorous work.  They get sticky Gatorade thrown at them, they have frustrated runners yell at them when all of the size-small t-shirts are gone, they have to repeat the word “water” over and over and over again for hours at a time, and they have to keep enthusiastic (and sometimes drunk college-aged) spectators from running across the course during the race. But they do it, and they do it with amazing conviction.  I have seen plenty of volunteers frantically filling cups at an empty aid station but I have never seen one just stand there, waiting for someone else to do it.

Our running lives are greatly enhanced by the commitment of volunteers, and I would even venture to say that without the support they provide, the races that we train for and love so much would not exist.

So THANK YOU to anyone who has ever volunteered at a race to make my and my fellow runners’ experience better.  

You rock our little running world far more than you know.

And a special personal thanks to:

1) The aid station volunteers at the Bataan Memorial Death March who ALL sprung into immediate action to hand me snacks and drinks and cheers even though I was the only runner in the general area.

2) The nice MIT athletes who probably didn’t actually “volunteer” themselves to run the bus line to Hopkinton at 5:00 am on a school holiday, but still managed to keep everything flowing smoothly while helping poor little nervous runners like myself keep calm and collected with humor.

3) Actually, every single volunteer at the Boston Marathon this year. They saved lives, lifted spirits, and went above and beyond in various ways including handing out medals and gear bags long after the marathon was interrupted.

4) Anyone who has handed me a cup along the course.  I’m sorry for the amount of spillage I have caused.

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The nice and helpful MIT Boys (in the yellow jackets).  THANK YOU, BOYS! I am on the bus in the 2nd row checking my cell phone (Aaron had just sent me a text message.  Apparently everyone in this picture knew he was taking it (including Beth in the front row!) except for me. 

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Death by Race T-Shirt

Last weekend, my parents and sister headed to Austin (one sister is already there) for a visit and also to run events associated with the Austin Marathon.  My dad ran his second half marathon, and my sisters ran the 5-K.  Seeing all of them there running one of the bigger deal races the country while I was at home struggling through my uninspired mid-distance Sunday run KILLED me.  But I guess that’s neither here nor there.

My family is proudly nerdier than yours.

I’m so excited that my family is getting the racing bug.  I won’t begin to presume that I’ve inspired that hobby in any of them, but I love seeing people (my family and others) take the leap into running.  For me, running is the activity that gave me more confidence in myself than anything ever has before.  Plus, the running community is one of the most amazing and supportive groups of people.  If other people can discover that for themselves, then I’m happy!

But that’s not what this post is about.

If you’ll look at that picture, you’ll notice that all three of my family members are wearing THIS YEAR’S race t-shirt at the race.  In fact, they do this for every race.  Despite my best efforts, I can’t get them to stop (p.s., they love me.  Even when I write posts about them and their questionable race day fashion choices.  They have to.).

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AT Run for the Zoo

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AT The Shamrock Shuffle

AT The Turkey Trek

I have an irrational fear of wearing the race day t-shirt on race day.  Granted, most race shirts are cotton (I won’t run in cotton), so the only ones I’ve worn for training runs are from Rock n Roll Arizona and Chicago (both technical and made by either Brooks or Nike), but it has never even crossed my mind to wear a race t-shirt to the race because… SCARY.

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Pretty Chicago Race Shirt…I’ve worn it exactly once.

Potential reasons for this irrational fear:

1) Chaffing: Lord knows how that shirt will behave in the latter miles.  I like to wear clothes that I’ve tested.

2) Bad luck: I’ve heard that wearing this year’s t-shirt is along the same lines as breaking a mirror over a black cat on Friday the 13th.  The t-shirt is a memento for a race that you RAN. Past tense.  By putting it on before the race, you are making a mighty big assumption that you will actually finish.  Apparently this is a temptation of fate. I personally need all the good luck I can get for a race…tempting fate isn’t an option.

3) Runners start to all look the same anyway since there are only so many ways to style running shorts and a racer back tank.  Wearing the same t-shirt as half the other runners makes it harder for your cheerleaders to determine which of those sweaty people you are.  On the upside, maybe you’ll get some cheers that were meant for someone else?

But, much like those spirit days in high school where everyone gets giggly over wearing the same shirt and same school color face paint, there is something kind of cool in seeing a bunch of people collectively wearing the race t-shirt. Like, “Hey! We’re all in this together!” Kind of.

And it is quite possible that I am the only person who feels this way.

And it goes without saying that I’ll still love my family and be proud of them for getting out there and staying active (and likely even pose like weirdos in pictures with them) even if they continue with this trend!  I just don’t want them to experience death by race t-shirt!

What’s your take?  Do you wear the race t-shirt to run this year’s race?

Giuseppe’s First 5-K

Boy, what a weekend in the world of running.  First, New York was cancelled (I admit I was brought to tears when pictures of runners volunteering on Staten Island started getting posted) and then Toyko was added to the World Marathon Majors (joining Chicago, New York, Boston, London, and Berlin).

Meanwhile, in our neck of the woods, Giuseppe ran his first 5-K!

Our local Animal Humane Center organizes an annual race called the Doggie Dash and Dawdle 5-K that allows puppies to partake in the racing fun.

I mean, did we have any other option?

We put off signing up because I wasn’t sure I would be able to run much less keep up with a hyper puppy, but we registered on Thursday, picked up our packets, and I made Giuseppe his own little race bib.

We showed up on Sunday morning and got ourselves orientated.  Giuseppe was overwhelmed and excited with all of the dogs everywhere, but he was very well behaved.

The other dogs are about ready to fight.  Giuseppe is focused on getting to the start line on time. 

My parents and sister came to give Giuseppe moral support, and we ran into a few friends (including one of Aaron’s lifelong friends who does every race dressed as Batman) who were also dashing.  The race got off to a delayed start, but we eventually got lined up.  The runners without dogs got to start first, and it was a bit of a free for all for everyone else.

As anticipated, the first half mile was a major disaster.  I’m really good at weaving through people, but add in a puppy on a leash (and a bunch of other leashes just waiting to trip you), and it wasn’t quite as easy.

We were a little worried about Giuseppe because we haven’t been training him as much as we should since we’ve both been trying to recover from Chicago.  We got a pretty solid 2 mile run in with him on Friday just to make sure he wouldn’t collapse, but we didn’t know how it was going to turn out.

Turns out I’m the one we needed to worry about.

After a 2 week taper, the marathon, 3 weeks off of running, and a week of cautious attempts, I was in no condition to run a fast 5-K.

Meanwhile, Giuseppe was speeding along, completely focused.  I know he’s a smart puppy, but I’m positive he knew his goal was to run until he crossed the finish line.  Even as we passed my cheering family, he looked over, gave them a smile, and kept going (typically, he runs over and showers them with love and excitement).  We got to a steep hill and Aaron yelled out, “POWER UP IT SEPPE!” and he did.  I did not.

Meanwhile, we were averaging somewhere between 7:00 and 8:10 minute mile paces, passing the big dogs and doing just fine.  Giuseppe took a quick water stop (they had water stations for dogs and for humans), and then kept going.

I was DYING.  It took me one mile for my legs to warm up, but I just didn’t feel very good at all.  I  never do feel very good for 5-K’s, but I’m typically running faster than marathon pace.  OUT OF SHAPE.

But we kept running.  Giuseppe powered out a little bit, but he was determined to keep up.

We crossed the finish line together, giving us a finish time of 23:01!  Both my and Aaron’s Garmin showed the course was significantly short though.

We came in #31 and #32 out of people running with dogs, and I got a 3rd place age group medal!

I would like to point out for the record, that I finished faster than Aaron! 

After the race, Giuseppe was tired, but he seemed really happy, and overall not too bad off!

I LOVE 5-K’s! 

He got lots of treats and lots of hugs to celebrate his amazing accomplishment!

In other news, I joined athlinks this weekend on the encouragement of another friend we ran into at the race (he doesn’t have facebook, twitter, or instagram, so that was the only way he could keep track of our races).  I don’t really get it, but if you are on athlinks, you can be my friend and see my race times!

I hope you have a wonderful week! Happy 1 Day Until Political Ads are Over Day!

Weekly Race Shout-Outs and Defying Logic

Sending Fast Thoughts To:

New York Runners Dominick and Beth. I hope everything goes smoothly for you in the city! This is Dominick’s first marathon, and after following his training, I am probably just as excited for his race as I was for my own.

Lindsey who is running her first marathon this weekend!

Tracie who is running her marathon this weekend.  She’s incredibly prepared to dominate!

Shanterella who is running her first post-marathon half in South Africa!

Jac who is (hopefully) running a half marathon this weekend!

Rachel who is racing a 6 miler in Scotland (which makes something like race #6 in a month)

GOOD LUCK OUT THERE!!! And remember the time change! 

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Yesterday my sister called so she could figure out my estimated marathon finish time using linear algebra.  She’s a college senior/engineering major.  The variables (right? variables? factors?) were the average weekly mileage in the 8 weeks before the race, my height, and my weight.  According to her estimations, I should have run a 3:45 race.  Apparently I defy logic! AND math isn’t always right.

And the equation obviously didn’t take into account all of my miserable 800’s and the near perfect Chicago race conditions. I should have been a mathematician.

Meanwhile, after a few days of coldness last weekend, we’re back in perfect “springtime” type weather.  The biggest bummer has been that by the time we get to our evening runs after work, it’s pretty dark (I’m not looking forward to Monday).

(Oh, by the way, I appear to be pretty healed up! I’m still taking things slowly, but I can run without any issues.  Hooray!).

But, the sunsets at our run time have been amazing.  We decided to run along the river on Tuesday because it is the prettiest “most autumny” area right now (the majority of trees in the city are right along the river).  I  mean, I realize compared to most places with lots of trees, our fall isn’t quite so lovely, but I was excited to see our New Mexico version of fall this week.

Action shot!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! We’re initiating Giuseppe into the family racing tradition.  More on that on Monday!

Race Shout-Outs and Friday!

Sending Fast Thoughts to:

1) Laura is doing her first triathlon.  I’m excited to see how it turns out!

2) Rachel is doing a Tough Mudder.  I’m slightly jealous, and can’t wait to see her recap!

3) Tracie is running a 5 mile race.  Tracie is super speedy, so I’m sure she’ll do awesome!

4) Steena is doing her half Ironman this weekend which sounds scary and fun!

5) Twitter Caron is running the Spearfish Canyon South Dakota Half this weekend!

Good luck to you ladies and all others racing this weekend!

Bunch of stuff to discuss today!

First, one of the things I  like about blogging is the ability to go back and gain some perspective of myself and a situation I was in and what I thought about it.  Usually, I frantically write my posts in the hours before heading to work, or during my lunch break, so there is little time to edit my brain out.  What is going through my head at that moment is usually what ends up being written whether it is good or bad.  And most of the time, I don’t even realize what my thoughts were about something until I go back and read what I wrote.

I went back and looked at the post I wrote about participating in the Wild West relay and I realized that I didn’t really show any signs of actually wanting to do it.  I had a billion reasons for not going, but only 1 in support of it.

We’re not going to go.  It just wasn’t in the stars for us.  I would absolutely want to do a relay in the future, but this one just wasn’t it. Anyone up for it next year?

Second, on the note about writing my posts with what is in my head at that moment….my little sister has brought it to  my attention that I complain too much on my blog.  My first instinct was to say, well, maybe if you got off your butt and ran 800’s (or you know, ran at all), you’d complain too.  But then I thought about it a little bit.

I want this blog to show what it is like, good or bad, for a first timer training for a marathon with a ridiculous goal (but really, this is applicable to training for any distance).  There will be days when everything goes your way, and if feels great, and you want to celebrate your hard work paying off.   There will be days when you feel physically ill or when you fail at your goal, or when you just want to sleep in on Saturday for once, and you want to be able to let it all out.  I usually don’t relate very well to people who are always 100% positive and think marathons are SO GREAT and running is SO AMAZING ALL THE TIME And nothing EVER hurts or feels bad.  Mostly because I think they are liars.

BUT, I think it takes far more time and energy to complain than to do something productive about it,  and I really don’t want to become that person who does nothing but talk about how much I hate what I’m doing.  Because that’s dumb.

So, will I still let you know how much I want to punch 92 degrees in the face? Yup.  But I will try to be more mindful of not turning into someone who is one long list of complaints and negativity.

Third, a friend clued me into a new show on HBO called, The Newsroom.  Oh my goodness.  HBO shows are typically pretty good anyway, but this show is really well done.

I spent the first 3 years of college thinking I was going to be a journalist.  I changed my mind my senior year (too late to do that,by the way, if you want to graduate) because I realized that not only wasn’t I aggressive enough to keep pushing someone’s buttons until they gave me the answers I wanted, but I also realized that journalism and “the news” weren’t at all what I expected.  Advertisers run the news, and every news company is owned by other companies who own other companies.  Just try and do a “news” story on a scandal involving one of those other stepbrother companies.  It ain’t going to happen.  And news outlets will do just about anything for ratings. Like fire poor Ann Curry.  Don’t even get me started.

I remember studying the Jayson Blair/New York Times scandal and thinking, this is the New York effing Times.  A reputable news source.  And they made stuff up.

So, I became completely disenchanted.

The Newsroom gets me. Intelligent, well acted, I LOVE that they have powerful, smart women with emotions, and I’m learning a lot about some big “current” events that I kind of glossed over as they were happening.  AND cast includes THE “district attorney” from Law and Order, and THE Slumdog Millionaire.  And the threesome obsessed grad student from Magic Mike.

Fourth, blog friend Allison from Running Through Red Lights is starting FitStreak next Monday.  I know just about everyone and their brother did RunStreak this summer.  I didn’t because my goal is my marathon, and I value my rest days.  Allison got through RunStreak and was going for the extended version, and she broke it.  So, she decided to start her own streak (WITH PRIZES!) that just involves exercise everyday.  I do love running, but if I had to do it every single day, I’d probably not.  Her challenge lets you do whatever you want!  Her blog has all of the information.

Fifth, confession: I skipped my Tempo Run yesterday.  I came home, collapsed on the bed, took a nap, woke up, ordered Chinese Food (no gluten really limits the options), and watched The Newsroom.  I was just tired.  I never take naps.  So, I got up and did my tempo this morning.  I actually felt really guilty about the whole thing (and felt like I gained 10 pounds).  But I guess that goes to show you, not everything is going to work out 100% of the time.  And that’s ok (I think…)

I hope everyone has a spectacular weekend! See you back here on Monday!

{Yeah, I don’t know.  But’s she’s kind of cute for being a baby and all!}

To Relay or Not to Relay?

Yesterday I did my 2nd 800’s series of marathon training.  In half marathon land, we did 400’s and maybe 1 800 thrown in per workout.  I liked 400’s.  They made me feel fast! 800’s make me feel sick.  And while I know I’ll build up my endurance, I was DONE after 3 (I still finished out my last required two, but they were noticeably slower than the first three).

My fastest split was about 15 seconds faster than my fastest split a few weeks ago, so at least that’s progress! But man oh man do those 800’s not feel so good.  I was dreading them all day. Plus, that promised rain storm never came so I was once again running in the 6:30 p.m. heat.

Also, some jerk had the audacity to GRILL FOOD in one of the houses next to the track, so I got a major gag reflex every time I ran by that house.

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Yesterday I also got a phone call from an old co-worker of mine.  She’s training for the RnR Denver Half, and she knew that we’ve been training for a marathon. I guess a few people had dropped out of their 12 person relay team for the Wild West Relay Race that runs between Fort Collins and Steamboat Springs, Co, and she wanted to know if we were interested in taking their places. I have been wanting to do a relay just because everyone (like Erika) seems to really enjoy themselves at these relays!  But it is easier to say that you WANT to do something than to actually do it.

A few of my fears:

1) I am terrified of the dark.  I can’t help it.  Running by myself in the dark sounds kind of nightmarish.

2) Wild creatures like bears, bobcats, mountain lions, SNAKES, bugs live in the forest.  I don’t want to meet my demise because my headlamp didn’t illuminate the giant bear until it was too late.

3) I watch a lot of crime shows.  Criminal Minds has let me know that running in the dark in the forest surly means I will be abducted by some serial killer who will lock me up in a cave.  This doesn’t sound like much fun. Caves are dark.  See #1.

4) Spending lots of time in a van with people who I might want to punch in the face.  I only know 1 girl going in.  What if I have the worst weekend ever because I have to spend it with truly terrible people? OR, what if they all want to punch me in the face?  That’s pretty awkward too.

5) Getting lost.  They only have signs at points where the course changes direction.  The website literally says that they can’t be held responsible for signs that get turned the wrong way by some funny person, or if signs blow away.  If you miss a sign, or if it isn’t there, or if it is pointing the wrong direction, then you are lost in the forest.  See #’s 1-3.

6) Getting run over.  The roads aren’t closed.

We aren’t sure yet whether we’re going to do this or not.  It will disrupt our training schedule a bit (MUST FOLLOW THE PLAN), and at $135 a person plus travel and accommodations, it starts adding up.  With friends getting married here soon (and all the shower/bachelor(ette) parties going on with that), plus Chicago and all of those fancy stores and restaurants that the city must certainly contain, the next few months are going to be expensive enough already.  Plus, Fort Collins isn’t exactly anywhere near Albuquerque, so we’d have to take days off work (I’m running out of those), and spend a weekend driving for hours, sitting in a van for hours, running for a few hours, and then driving for more hours back home.  I could be doing a lot with those hours back home.

So, we’re trying to make up our mind by this afternoon.

I think it would be fun, but I also think it would be more fun if it was something that fit into our plan a little bit more.  We’ll see what happens.

Happy Wednesday!

Freedom Run 5-K

“You can do anything for 21 minutes.”

This is what I say to myself before every 5-K.

Forget for a minute that I’ve only pulled off a 21 minute once (and that I very seldom run 5-K’s).

Yesterday was the Freedom Run 5-K.  Aaron was injured, so it was me and my sister and friend Loren who ran this race.

Loren is a crossfit/martial arts type dude who I’ve known since high school, and yesterday he ran his first 5-K since his days on our high school cross-country team.  So, naturally, there was some smack talking on facebook before the race.

Loren and I started off the race together, and we reached our first mile in 6:54, pretty close to my goal time.  But I couldn’t keep it up.

Meanwhile, the elites were running some ridiculous finish times.

For this race, and the last 10-K, I’ve had a weird issue.  I’ve felt like I’ve had to pee so bad that I am literally putting all of my concentration toward not having an accident.  (P.S., I love that I can talk about things like peeing to you.  As runners, I feel like pee is the least offensive of all bodily fluids/excrements that might come out during a race).

I don’t know if it is all in my head since as soon as I finish running, everything calms down, but my pace is absolutely affected by it.  My concentration goes toward avoiding an accident, and I’m terrified that if I run faster, then all hell will break loose. A 7:47 pace for a .1 mile sprint at the end of a 5-K is not my norm.

I finished in 22:47, 78th overall and 6th in my age group (4th if you take out the 2 elite ladies who finished 1st and 2nd overall).

This is obviously not the time I was shooting for.  But, whatever.  The new “take a chill pill” Amy is ok with this finish time.  (This is such a lie…I’m seriously saying WHAT THE F******CK but with a lot less asterisk).

Loren ran with me for the first 2.75 miles, and then sprinted ahead to finish about 17 seconds before me.  Go, Loren! Go!

And yes, he was wearing the Vibrams.

Such an attractive photo.

My sister ran the entire time without stopping! As soon as she heard me cheering for her at the end (i.e. saying GO FASTER), she totally sprinted toward that finish line!

{My sister and I  post race}

Afterwards we went to the post race party hosted by my friend (and Loren’s girlfriend) Kay’s non-profit.  We got bubbles and yummy food.

{My mom and sister, and Giuseppe sniffing out the pole}

And the boys did their manly exercises on park equipment.

I also made my race t-shirt based on something I found on pinterest! I took a $16 t-shirt from the Nike Factory outlet and made a racerback! You can find the instructions HERE.

You can see the racer back part in this picture.

I hope your 4th was wonderful! We grilled and had our own little fireworks show.  And….today feels like a Monday, but only 2 days left till the weekend!

The Cherry Garcia 10-K is a Mean Kid

First, I am officially my own person! I am now WordPress free.  And by that, I mean my new web address is http://www.LavenderParking.com.  It looks like everything is redirecting just beautifully, but let me know if things start getting funky.

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Wow. I was re-reading my Monday Reflection Marathon post at lunch yesterday, and I felt so sad for early Monday morning Amy.  She was obviously quite grumpy.  I’m already in a much better mood today, and ready to take on the challenge of training for a marathon in the summertime! But THANK YOU again for all of your encouragement and positive energy!

So, a big part of the reason I was grumpy was because of a disappointing 10-K on Sunday night.  In still keeping with my “a race every month” bucket list item, June’s race was the Cherry Garcia 10-K held at 7:00 p.m.  My sister joined the fun and ran the 5-K!

{It was an ice cream race, so I wore the most ice cream looking shorts I could find! Also, how awesome are Aaron’s sunglasses?!}

I kind of view this whole running thing like school.  You work hard all semester, studying and soaking up information, and at the end you have a test to see how well you’ve prepared.  The learning part is wonderful (at least nerd Amy thought so), but it kind of all rests on how well you do on the test.  That is where you prove your abilities and show what you’re made of.

So, if you don’t do well for the test, then what makes you think you can ace the final exam?

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I don’t think I will be doing another evening race (MAYBE RnR Vegas once they get their shiznet together).  Sunday felt like a waste of a day.  We had this race looming over us, and our activity and food consumption were limited because of it.  Plus, running a 10-K before bed made me really wound up, so I couldn’t sleep to save my life (which probably also contributed to the grumpiness).

Oh, and Sunday at 7:00 p.m. was somewhere between 96-100 degrees.  The pavement was radiating heat because it had been baking in the sun all day.  Though I do realize that it is probably more miserable in places where it is that hot and humid (we have no moisture in the air at all), or in places like Scotland where Rachel and Danielle are freezing, it is definitely not ideal for exercise.

My goal going into this race was to come in under 48  minutes.  This would constitute a PR since both of my last 10-k’s were either the first time I’d ever run 6.2 miles in a row, or when I tripped and twisted an ankle.  Plus, if I can’t run slightly under 8 minute miles for 6.2, then I don’t have much hope to run 8 minute miles for 26.2  At least that was my reasoning going in.

I am still kind of bummed that I missed my goal time by over 2 minutes.

My legs felt great.  I didn’t feel dehydrated (thanks Nuun!).  I actually felt like I was running a fast race for the last 3 miles.

But I wasn’t. I couldn’t do it.

I couldn’t make myself hit 8 minute miles.  Even though I started passing people toward the end, I didn’t make it down to my goal time.

I also apparently started and then stopped my Garmin at the start line, and didn’t realize for half a mile in, so I don’t really have an accurate breakdown.  I need to get better at using that thing under pressure.

In retrospect, I do think aside from the heat, what slowed me down was stopping at water stations.  I never stop at water stations for 10-K’s, but I stopped at all 4 for this race to take a couple of sips and pour water down my back.

Also, the course and timing were not laid out very well.  The course was a loop twice around a block, so as the 10-kers made our way around for 2nd time, we came across the 5-k walkers.  They also didn’t have most of the major roads closed, so we were running in the bike lanes right next to traffic, trying to weave around the walkers walking 2-3 people deep.  Aside from being slightly dangerous, weaving through walkers can slow people down.

The course ended on a sharp 180 on grass into the sun where again I had to navigate my finish line sprint around walkers.

Would all of these factors cause me to go two minutes slower? I don’t really know.

Final time: 50:16.  30th overall, 3rd in age group.  Yay for small races!

There was an issue with the timing chips, so some 5-Kers were classified as 10-kers.  Right after the race I was listed as 4th in age group and didn’t get a medal (I’ve tried emailing the race director).  Also, they didn’t take out the top 3 finishers from age group awards, otherwise I would have been 2nd in age group. Victory!

Aaron also came in over his goal time, but he finished 9th overall (woot woot!), 1st in his new age group!

{Aaron and his age group medal.  Little did I know that I earned one too!}

I had wanted this race to be some sort of confirmation that the training I was doing for the last few weeks was working and that I was on track to hit my ambitious goals.  Not getting that confirmation made me uneasy.  But life goes on.  Really, a 10-K in June isn’t the most accurate indicator for a marathon in October.  I still have time to study for that big final!

The Cherry Garcia race lived up to its name, and we got some Cherry Garcia ice cream post-race! At least that part was awesome!

We celebrated with a post race beer celebration at our favorite microbrewery! Aaron, who has been avoiding beer because of the whole wheat thing, figured this was an occasion worth getting an upset stomach for.   Sometimes, a cold beer is the only cure for a hot hard race, gluten intolerant or not!

{Why yes, that is a Range Roller in the background.  You gotta do what you gotta do}

Shout Outs and Friday Rest Day Randoms

Sending Fast Thoughts To:

1) Hyedi is running the Gary Bjorkland Half Marathon!

2) Carly is competing in her first Tri this weekend!

3) Anna Catherine is running a 10 miler this weekend…her longest race yet!

4) Lauren, my friend since 6th grade who kicks my butt at every local race, is running her first marathon, Grandma’s Marathon, this weekend.  If anyone can qualify on her first try, it’s this girl!

Good luck to you ladies, and anyone else racing this weekend! 

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REST DAY! Woo hoo! Let the Randomness ensue!

Last night we spent a few hours in Amy and Aaron Heaven.

Our Natural History Museum hosts occasional “Margarita and a Movie Nights” with the movie portion being shown on an IMAX (or DynaMax as our museum calls it) screen.  At this moment in time, the IMAX theater at the museum is the only one in Albuquerque, so seeing something on the BIG big screen is pretty exciting around these parts. To me, anyway.

{I’m pointing to the ticket that says Margarita and a Movie so you know I’m not lying to you}

Before the movie, they get you all liquored up with a mini margarita! Then you proceed to theater to watch the movie.  (Also, since Friday night booze consumption is off limits to prevent miserable Saturday morning long runs, I figure a margarita on Thursday (the day before our designated rest day) is an acceptable substitute).

Yesterday the movie was BACK TO THE FUTURE.

We are crazy about Back to the Future.  On our first date, we realized we both had an unnatural love of that movie, could both probably quote the entire script, and would both gladly purchase a DeLorean if the opportunity arose.  After our first date dinner we headed over to Aaron’s apartment to watch it. And now we’re married. Back to the Future = Love.

So we have margaritas (+1 point), IMAX screen (+1 point), T-Rex sightings (+2 points), and BACK TO THE FUTURE (+10000 points).  It was a fabulous event!

Before the movie, we stopped by to visit Friend Peter at his newest restaurant endeavor, Q Burger downtown.  If you’re in Albuquerque, you should check this place out! The burgers are yummy and are made of local grass-fed beef, all the produce is local and seasonal, and the bread is baked here in town. The sweet potato tots are to die for, they have local brews on tap along with local wines AND THE ATMOSPHERE IS AMAZING! And I’m not just saying this because he’s our friend.  Completely Amy approved.

{Please ignore the red meat and bacon in this picture}

{Aaron’s gluten free version.  There is a turkey burger somewhere in there}

In other news, I wouldn’t be a true Disney diehard if I didn’t mention that CARS LAND opens at Disneyland’s California Adventure today and I am pretty much having a panic attack because I’m not there. In addition to Cars Land there are also some other park perk ups like the addition to mountain climbers on the Matterhorn and a new “Buena Vista Street” in California Adventure.  Ever since I ventured into the magical world of Disneyland on my 5th birthday, I have been obsessed.

{Everyone wears Minnie Mouse ears to their wedding, right?}

I introduced Aaron to Disneyland on his 27th birthday 3 years ago, but we haven’t been back since.  I think now is the perfect time to plan a vacation.

{Riding the Carousel in 2009.  I’m jealous of  younger Amy’s hair.}

Lululemon just announced that the headliner for the post Sea Wheeze Half Marathon in Vancouver is going to be FUN.  (The Sea Wheeze is the Lululemon sponsored race). This only makes me about 10,000 times more sad that I’m not going to be there.  Dear RnR Arizona, can you please secure Fun. as your concert headliner? Nate IS from Phoenix.

Also, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! I have a pretty cool dad as you can tell by the picture below! Thanks Dad, for: all your support, help with math homework (even though engineers make algebra 10X more complicated than it needs to be), making sure my taxes were always filed on time, fixing car problems, and financing things like college, my wedding, and that 90’s Nike wind suit that I just HAD to have (truly tragic).

And Happy Father’s Day to all you other dad’s out there! Happy Weekend to everyone else!

Race Shout Outs and The Kind of Randomness That Can Only Come From a Day Off

Sending Fast Thoughts To:

Sam with Operation Jack is running the Utah Valley Marathon this weekend, and hoping BQ for his 6th Boston Marathon!

Whitney, who seriously puts my racing schedule to shame, will be crossing Nebraska off her list at the Buffalo County Stampede Half Marathon!

Danielle who will be running the Montrose 10-K this weekend in Scotland!

Lindsey from Never Say Never will be running the Wounded Warrior 10-K this weekend!

Good luck to these lovely people and everyone else running!

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So, I am giving myself a 4 day weekend just for fun.  Nothing going on except playing real housewives of Albuquerque until Tuesday.  I hope to get a lot done like some organizing, yard work, housecleaning.  Or you know, drink my coffee, blog stalk, and watch the MTV movie awards on playback…. (P.S. Johnny Depp + Black Keys is AMAZING! And Russell Brand is actually pretty funny this time).

Today is also my first official marathon training rest day, so nothing too much going on in my corner!

So, here’s what’s going on in the rest of the world! (Amazing what you can learn when you have time to watch the Today Show and catch up on celebrity gossip!).

1)The Tony Awards are this weekend.  As a genuine GLEEer for life (I was in show choir from 7th grade until my senior year of high school), I’m all about the showtunes.  And even more about Neil Patrick Harris.  True story.  He’s from Albuquerque.  I’ve seen him at the mall before.  Highlight of my life.

{Show Choir Amy loved NPH and Glee before they were cool}

2) Mad Men Season Finale: What??? Don’t normal show seasons last longer than 2 months? They make us wait FOREVER and then only give us two months of episodes that Betty hardly appeared in? These people are tyring to ruin my life.

3) Miley and Liam: She’s 19 and takes iPhone mirror duck face photos in her underwear.  No judgement….BUT SERIOUSLY???. (This photo makes me severely uncomfortable by the way).

4) Hot Chocolate 15K: Albuquerque is getting its own Hot Chocolate race.  Has anyone done one of these races?  Apparently they’ve had some ridiculously disastrous races, but they DO have a chocolate party afterwards and I think they’ve gotten their act together.  But it is also $60 and 1 week before my marathon that I want to BQ for.  What do you guys think?

5) My picture on facebook: Always awkward when someone brings their phone up to you (or in this case Aaron), and shows you a picture of yourself at a beer festival that has been up on facebook for who knows how long.  This was in April 2011, and I honestly have no recollection of it being taken (and I don’t look tanked, so I don’t think that’s the explanation).  At least we don’t look completely ridiculous.  But still.  Surprise!

6) The Belmont Stakes is the last of the horse racing trifecta.  “I’ll Have Another” is going for the Triple Crown after winning both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, and I’m cheering for him.

On that note…is it too early for a mimosa? I think I could get used to this Real Housewives lifestyle! (just kidding about the mimosa by the way…kind of…)

HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!