Slow down you’re moving too fast…

When you have a 3-year-old and a 1-year-old you don’t expect to get to sleep in……. ever.  Something is going to happen by 7:00 am to get you out of bed, and this is the best case scenario.  It is also the reason Saturday morning cartoon were invented.  So, I did not bother to set the alarm for my morning Half Marathon today. There simply wasn’t a need, except today of course!

Through some incredible aligning of the stars I slept until 7:40 am, which was awesome.  Unfortunately, I slept until 7:40 am when I needed to leave the house at 8:00 am to get to the start of the “Half Fast” Half Marathon with enough time to do the normal pre-race things.  You know, stand in line for a bathroom/port-a-potty, warm up and get all your running gear situated (this takes way more time than it should, especially for a cold weather run).  I didn’t get out the door until about 8:15 and realized immediately I had to get gas, crap.  I was not going to make it to the start on time.

So, I drove fast, did a lot of lane changing, and said mean things about responsible drivers that dared cross my path.  I knew it was going to be tight, I knew I was not going to have time to do my pre-race things, I knew that “I am totally late for my Half Marathon officer” was not getting me out of a speeding ticket if I got pulled over.  At 8:57 am I pulled into the parking lot, three minutes to race time.  A brisk walk across the parking lot while putting on layers of cold weather gear and untangling headphones counted as my warm up.  I made it to the start line in time for the race countdown, but not for the bathroom break that I needed.

A quick tangent here, I run slow.  The worry about the bathroom break is not so much about winning my age group, or hitting my goal time as it is about not placing last in my age group, or hell last overall.  I checked the race times this evening and there were only 148 finishers.  When I run a half marathon in MN, in February, and only 148 people show up there is a strong chance I could be the slowest person (I was not, even with TWO bathroom breaks on the course I came in 121st, thanks for asking).  Point being, I know I am slow I just want to know I am not the slowest person there that day.  I need to potty before the race (yes I have a three-year old we call it “potty”) because I am not making that time up on the course.

The run itself was on an open course that twisted and turned its way through Vadnais Heights, MN (open course = cars on the road with you wondering why the F all these people are running down the side of the road).  The race director sent out a list of all the places you turn to help people prep, there were 23 turns listed and 2 turn arounds.  Some how I managed to stay on the course, not have any close encounters with cars and enjoy the run (win!).  It was cold but sunny (temp at the start was about 6 degrees but it was 20 by the time I finished so I was feeling good) the volunteers were cheerful and the route kept me on my toes.  All in all I would definitely recommend the Half Fast Half Marathon if you are looking for a cold weather run in MN (they also had a half of a half and a 5k).  I would sugguest setting your alarm to get there on time though.

To check if my wife actually reads these I will let you in on a secret (shh, don’t tell her).  When I went to the Grocery store this afternoon I bought myself a doughnut as a treat for completing my February Half Marathon.  I ate it on the way home and did not get one for her ( no she did not run today).  Is this a big deal?  Maybe not.  Will I get an exasperated look if/when she finds out?  Absolutely.  Doughnuts are serious business around here (Raspberry Bismark if you were wondering).

Two down, ten to go.

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It’s time to get away

There are days that aren’t your day.  Today was not my day, and maybe it wasn’t yours either (I hope it was).  Nothing terrible happened, but a lot of those little things that tend to go wrong on the same day, did.

Fortunately, I convinced myself to get a run in this evening (outside even!).  I usually don’t run at night as I subscribe to the theory that exercise too close to bed time makes it impossible to sleep (National Sleep foundation backs this one up http://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-facts-information/myths-and-facts).  So a run after 7:00 pm for me is not ideal.  I got out there just after 7:00 (late start as my wife was at happy hour and I was watching the kids, thanks for asking) and the repercussions on my sleeping are yet to be determined.

The effect on my stress levels however were immediate.  I could point you to numerous articles or studies that support that exercise reduces stress, instead just google “exercise and stress” if you are interested.  Even with some tense “is that ice or is the pavement wet” moments, I felt a lot better before I was even a mile in.  I managed a decent pace, I didn’t get hit by any cars and managed to not hit any ice patches in a way that caused a wipeout.  I put that down as a win.

Short run, short blog.  Now excuse me, I need to go tuck my daughter in for the fourth time.  She apparently needs to read the sleep article above and practice better bedtime habits.

 

 

 

That was a good run break….

They cancelled the half-marathon I was supposed to run today.  Well, first they shortened it to 10 miles, then they cancelled it.  So they cancelled the 10 mile run that was a half marathon that I was going to run today; totally the right call too.  Freezing rain, snow, sleet and awful road conditions are not your friend when running or driving 80ish miles to get to your run.

This is the first organized run I have been a part of that got cancelled.  I know the wording always says “We reserve the right to cancel this run and keep your cash…” but I never really paid attention to that until now.  In this case the run was “Lace Up Against Brest Cancer” in Rochester, MN.  And in this case I have no complaints that the organization and charity are keeping my entry fee (another reason to run events with a good charity or cause behind them, if you need more than “hey this is a good cause here, runner”).

On my quest to run an organized half marathon every month this year, February was looking bad.  In Minnesota finding winter runs is hard, and I don’t have much of a travel budget.  Needless to say (why do people say “needless to say” and then say something afterwards? clearly you needed to say it or you just wouldn’t, right?) I was bummed.  I got my January half in, I am signed up for halfs (do you use the plural “halves” in this situation? I say no) in March and April already but the February slot was empty.  Google search and fortunately for the low – low price of $35, I was able to find a Half Marathon next week.  The “Half Fast” half marathon in Vadnais Heights, MN.  Belive it or not Half Marathons in MN, in February don’t fill up! So I am back in the saddle (looking sunny with a high of 18 – low of 3, thanks for asking).

Today the weather and the cancelled run meant treadmill time, five miles of treadmill time -booooooo.  Boooooooo!  When people tell me they hate running I always ask if they run outside or on the treadmill.  If they say “treadmill at the gym” I usually agree with them.  “Yeah, I really don’t enjoy running on the treadmill at the gym either.  Try running outside, you may just dislike running instead of hating it then .”  I don’t think I have converted any non-runners to runners with this tactic but I will keep trying.

I ran for 5 treadmill miles, I wondered why the woman next to me kept getting off her treadmill and coming back 2 minutes later, I ate 3 free Tootsie rolls when I was done.  See, treadmill runs are boring.  Since I have not written anything for a long time I will ease back into it, don’t want to go out to strong and pull a hammy.