"Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

City of the Lakes 25K

This past Sunday was the 30th anniversary and my third run of the City of the Lakes 25K. I love doing this race because it is a part of the Twin Cities Marathon, it's put on by MDRA, and a great opportunity to test your fitness prior to TCM. Our MN weather has been interesting....the week leading up to the race was nice and cool; however, the temps warmed up just in time for the race. It wasn't horrible, but it was warmer than I'd prefer. The race started at about 66 degrees and was about 76 by the time I finished-again, not horrible, but warm enough to remind you of the work being done. Regardless, it was a great day for a race. It has been since January, that I have raced a longer distance, so I was excited for this race!

Paul Hurkman, Josh Iniguez, and Kevin Miles, all from Venture Expeditions (RunFree is a part of Venture Expeditions) came to cheer us on at the beginning of the race. I love that this organization encourages you to take a sport you already love, and positively impact the world through it. I still need to write a blog on Venture Expeditions and RunFree. It's coming soon-promise.

Trey and I toed the line, ready to see what we could leave out on the course. He had a great start. He looked strong and focused on the road ahead. For a good portion of the race, he was always a few yards in front of me. I kept trying to close the gap, but he was holding strong.
Trey running and representing Team World Vision

I ran in my new Brooks Launch, they were so much lighter! My legs still feel fatigued from all the mileage. I'm looking forward to this taper, and bringing some strength back to my legs. William Berry Parkway is the hill we had to run 3 times during this race. Normally, my parents are there, cheering me up the hill. They couldn't be here this year, but Jeremy was there on his bike, helping me climb.

My goal for this race was to beat my time from last year. I have made progress each year. In 2009, I ran 2:07:50. In 2010, I ran 2:00:22.
This year, 2011, I ran 1:57:45 (my half marathon split was 1:39:15). As long as I continue to improve, I will be pleased! I placed 5/61 in my age group.

It was also fun to know my friend Suzie was running this race. Although I didn't get to see her before the race started, I knew she was there, and I knew I'd see her at the finish. She is one of the strongest female athletes I know. She has such an incredibly hard working attitude, and knows how to bring her game face!
Suzie looking good, as always!

Post-race happiness:

And of course, my biggest fan/pacer/photographer, and love of my life:
Thanks for believing in me, Jeremy. I love you!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New Beginnings

I'm less than a month out from the Twin Cities Marathon. It has been so long since I have actually raced a long race. My last race was a 4K in July (yep, 2.5 miles). My last half marathon was in January. My last marathon (due to bowing out of Boston), was Chicago, last October. I feel out of the swing of racing. I have a 25K (15.5 miles) next weekend, and I'm full of nervous energy, yet excitement. Too be honest, I'm not certain how much ZOOM I will have. I have been training hard-very hard, and my body feels pretty fatigued. I've been logging about 60 miles a week, for the past two months, my legs feel dead tired, but I know the work I've put in will pay off after my taper, as I toe the line for TCM. I'm treating next weekend's race as a part of my training. This will be my third time racing the City of the Lakes 25K, and I'm hoping to break my course PR (which is 2:00:06).

Few new updates to my training. I am going to run the marathon in a lighter (weight) pair of shoes, than my beloved blue/black/silver Brooks--they are just too heavy for the long runs. They are still the most beautiful pair I've ever owned, and they are not ready to be retired. Here are the new kicks--beware, not nearly as pretty or exciting as the Glycerins, but much lighter:

Brooks Defyance

New shoes always make runs a little more exciting, especially when you feel faster.

This weekend I lost my first toenail! It had been purple for quite some time. I felt it lifting from the nail bed. I noticed that it had completely lifted from nail bed, except for on the sides and bottom. I was concerned that bacteria would grow underneath, so I carefully clipped the nail off. Here's the new skin:

So with less than a month until Twin Cities Marathon, here's to new beginnings. New shoes. New toenail. So excited for TCM!