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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gobble Gallop Race Report, plus some random musings

Gobble Gallop Race Report

This may be one of my favorite race shirts!  Isn't it cute?  And it's a tech fabric too, so very comfy.  The race was on Thanksgiving, and was very cold.  Windy too.  My car thermometer said 19 while I was on my way there, it was probably in the low 20's by the time the race started.

The Hendricks Regional Health YMCA in Avon sponsors this race, and it mostly takes place on the fitness trails at the Y, with a little bit being on the roads in the neighborhood just by the Y.  It's a completely flat course, and a very nice place to run.  The big Thanksgiving race in the Indy area is the Drumstick Dash in Broad Ripple, with thousands of people participating.  This one was still pretty big also, though.  The official results page says 526 people finished the race, and that doesn't count kids in strollers.

 Interesting side note: According to Runner's World, Thanksgiving is the most popular day for road racing in the U.S.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Makin' Room for Turkey Ride 2013

Another awesome MS Society Turkey ride has come and gone.  Every year has been different.  The first year I did it alone.  Last year I did it with my awesome friend Jen, who has MS.  She was not able to do it with me this year due to the extreme cold, but I wore my orange ribbon for her, and met up with her afterward.  But I rode with a new friend this year that I met at my run club.  The course started at a different location this year as well, but overlapped with what we have done in the past.

Just like big sis having an extremely cold day for volunteering on Sunday, I had the coldest cycling event for me ever.  The temps were around 30 when we started, with a wind chill in the low 20s.  The wind was so strong that sometimes going down a hill we were not able to coast.  Also, going fast down the hills made it that much colder.  My fingers were what bothered me the most.  I finally have gotten to where I can usually ride without my fingers getting tingly from the pressure put on the handlebars, but on Sunday they were numb and beyond tingly from the cold, even with my nice insulated biking gloves.  I was constantly moving and shaking them to keep the blood going.

What I am most proud about from this ride is how I did on the hills.  I knew it would be a hilly course, and knew some of the hills intimately from the last 2 years, and dreaded them.  Turns out they hardly bothered me.  I think it might be because of the running...even though I still don't feel a lot of improvement with my breathing when I run, it is obviously working!

The organizers of this event are awesome, with sponsors giving us pie and hot chocolate when we were done!  The hot chocolate was most welcome!  Didn't stick around a long time due to the cold.  My scatterbrained self left my helmet sitting on the table where we were eating.  I do hope someone has found it.  I am waiting for a response to an email I sent out.  So other than the helmet loss, I consider the ride very successful.  I truly hope the Tour de Toys event in December will be warmer, though!

Thanks for the support!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ugly Sweater Run

My one pitiful photo before my phone died
Sunday I volunteered at the Ugly Sweater Run in Indianapolis.  Those of you reading this who know me in real life know that I enjoy volunteering at various events.  There are so many fun races & events that I could never afford to participate in all of them, so volunteering allows me to still be a part of some without the entry fee.  Plus I still usually get some fun free stuff, and since I'm busy the whole time I don't feel like a dope for showing up by myself.

Photo by Megan Fetter
I'm glad I volunteered at this one instead of running it, because it definitely was the kind of race that would be more fun in a group.  And while I did have 2 co-workers participating, the sheer size meant that I probably wouldn't find them.  Especially since my phone quit working, because it was 14 degrees.  I didn't know before but I do now - that's actually a common issue with the iPhones.  I only managed to get one picture and it wasn't very good.  Luckily, my co-workers got a few more that they agreed to share.  Otherwise, this would be a pretty dull blog post.

Photo by Megan Fetter
When I first got there, they had me checking IDs and giving out wristbands for the post race beer garden.  Two problems:
  1. The wristbands weren't sticking because it was so cold.  Did I mention it was 14?
  2. People were so bundled up against the cold, and most were wearing their fake mustache tattoos, that no one looked like their ID picture.  
Photo by Deanna DeLong
Thankfully, the hired security arrived soon to take over checking IDs and I was moved to the hot chocolate station.  We were very popular, as you can imagine.  It really was pretty genius - they had two big turkey fryers set up, only instead of heating oil we were using them to boil water.  Once the water boiled we dumped it into a huge Gatorade cooler, added an entire can of hot chocolate mix, and stirred it all up. 

Photo by Deanna DeLong
The run was untimed, and went along the White River Greenway, first north on the east side of the river, then back along the west side and finishing at the end of the pedestrian bridge.  Since the Greenway is so narrow, they were starting people in waves to keep the path from getting too congested.  A good idea, but those people at the end of the line had to wait a long time in the cold.  There were still two more waves started after people from the beginning were already finished.  It's a great place to run, though, and was an absolutely gorgeous day.

Photo by Deanna DeLong
Photo by Deanna DeLong
We continued serving hot chocolate, and also served cold water to the few people who asked for it post-run, until the Lawn was empty save for the beer garden, then cleaned up our station & we were done.  I really had a great time, I only wish I could've taken pictures of some of the gorgeous, amazing, hideous, and/or hilarious Christmas sweaters and costumes.  Next year....
My 2014 New Year's Resolution is to find my real camera and replace the lost USB cable so I can download pics from it, and stop relying on my phone to be my camera.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cuddl Duds Review

Running in colder weather means layers, and my favorite base layer is Cuddl Duds. In this pic from the recent CareNet Feed the Need 5K, I am wearing the ActiveLayer Long Sleeve V Neck.  It's sweat-wicking so it keeps me dry, and has thumb holes on the cuff (which I love!). It's so thin, soft, warm, & comfy that it has become one of my favorite shirts for anytime layering, not just for running.

Actually, I could say that about all my Cuddl Duds.  I also own several of the Softwear Lace Edge with Smart Layer shirts, and Softwear with Smart Layer leggings.  They all help keep me warm without adding uncomfortable bulk, and they are perfect under other running clothes, or with sweaters and jeans. 

I've purchased Cuddl Duds at both Kohl's and Target at very affordable prices.  They are also available online, with free shipping.  The website also shows some cute suggestions about how to layer all their different products - all designed to make you want to buy more, I'm sure, but I enjoy cyber window shopping.

Finally, I was excited to notice when I pulled up the website to link to this review that their newest leggings have pockets!  Pockets are such an awesome feature, and I really don't understand why more clothes don't have them.  I'm not carrying a purse when I run, so please give me somewhere to stash some lip balm and my car key.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Eskenazi Health Stride 5K

Last weekend I ran in the Eskenazi Health Stride 5K in downtown Indy.  The course was really nice - starting at the old Wishard Hospital and finishing at the new Eskenazi Hospital.  Some of the course was the same as the Race for the Cure, so I was pretty familiar with it.

Race morning it was 48, cloudy, & fairly calm.  I had been expecting it to be chillier, so I was pleasantly surprised.  I headed downtown pretty early, because even though I knew exactly where I was going I had no idea where to park.  Parking downtown - especially around IUPUI & the hospitals - is always either expensive or inconvenient.  As of when I left home, the race website still said "Check back later for parking information."  I wound up parking on the street at a meter about a mile from the start line, after driving & circling several other areas and finding nothing. 

I did not have time after checking in to return to my car, so I had to put the event shirt on over what I was already wearing.  I didn't plan on wearing that extra layer, so by the end of the race I was quite uncomfortable.  Also, I started out way too fast.  Shame, shame, shame.  I know better.  Once I dropped back to the correct pace for me, I struggled for about a quarter-mile until I got my breath back.  As I approached the finish line (which was nowhere near the start line), I saw signs for the event parking.  Kind of irritating - I drove in from a different direction so there is no way I would've seen them earlier.  It would've been nice to be parked near the finish, instead of 2.3 miles away.  (But, since I needed to get in 11 miles on Saturday anyway, I also counted the walks to and from the car.)

I know all this sounds like I'm griping and I'm about to tell you I had a horrible race, blaming it on the parking, the extra shirt, and not pacing myself.  But I actually had a great race and yet another PR - 34:58 by my GPS watch!  So what I am actually going to tell you is that I am learning more and more just how much I am fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalms 139:14)  Outside irritations and my own mistakes did not trip me up - I was still able to accomplish what I set out to do  Good reminder for both running and life: I can't control everything and I shouldn't even try.  Just concentrate on the task God has given me and let Him handle all the rest.

Monday, November 11, 2013

CareNet Feed the Need 5K Recap

Left to Right: Mark, Cindy, Teresa, Laura, Josh
Since we were all going to be in town the first weekend of November for Laura's daughter Starr's bridal shower, we decided to find a fun 5K we could all run together.  We have done the Race for the Cure together, but Laura was the only one who ran back then - Cindy & I walked it.  This was the first race we would all be running together.

We decided to do the Feed the Need 5K (link goes to race results) in Franklin NC.  Great choice - it was on the Little Tennessee River Greenway and was a very pretty course.  The morning mist was rising off the river, and there was still a lot of fall color in the trees.  Our only complaint: we wish we had known it was not all paved - some of it was mud & some was gravel - so we would've worn different shoes.

We had a couple of extra family members joining us - Laura's husband Mark and Teresa's son Josh also ran, and our parents came to watch & cheer us on.  It was a chilly morning, but once we got running we warmed up quickly.

Winner winner chicken dinner

The course was an out-and-back, so we got to cheer each other on as we went by, which was nice.  First to finish was Mark, who placed 3rd overall for men with a time of 23:22.8.  Close behind was Laura, who was the female race winner with a time of 24:54.0!  Josh finished next with a time of 29:46.6 and 2nd in his age group.  Teresa and Cindy both achieved personal bests of 35:41.8 and 37:06.9 respectively.

We had to overcome a few technical issues:  Cindy's phone had no service so she couldn't stream music, but Laura had an MP3 player she wasn't using; and Teresa lost one of the tips of her cordless headphones, but had a backup pair of corded headphones.  We all had a lot of fun running together & rooting each other on.  Hopefully it is something we will be able to do again sometime soon.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's Official...MARATHON!!!!

I know I need to catch up on posts, especially about our first race together, so I will try to catch up this weekend.....but
I just registered for my first FULL MARATHON.  I've been training, but now its official.
January 18, 2014   Charleston, SC
I'm doing it for the free shrimp and grits at the end.  hahahahahahah