Monday, March 25, 2013

Crash, boom ,bang

****WARNING****  Just giving you a heads up that I will be posting a picture that some may not want to see.  It's kinda icky and bloody.  *I* don't think it's bad at all, but hey, not everyone is me.  So if you don't want to see the picture, don't look.  You've been warned......

On Friday I was on my run, in broad daylight (I note that because I sometimes get flack for running in the early morning dark) and took a spill.  I was booking it along (7:50ish pace) and tripped and fell.  I went back later to look at the spot and I now see where the sidewalk meets the driveway and there is a little corner that sticks up.  It caught my foot and I went flying forward toward the ground.  I instinctively put my hands out to catch myself.  Yeah, I know, you are suppose to tuck and roll.  I have no idea if I would have done that or not (hence my above wording: instinctively), but in my defense I was on a very busy street.  I honestly can't tell you what kind of traffic was whizzing past me.  I know some was, I remember hearing cars zoom past me while this all went on.  However, I don't know if they were on my side of the street or going the opposite direction.  Either way, I was in no place to tuck and roll anywhere unless I wanted to do so out onto a main road (Fremont St.).  Yes, that's my defense and I'm sticking to it.

Anyway, I fell and right away I could feel that it was not good, at all.  My knee and both hands screamed out in pain.  I'm sure I screamed too, perhaps more out of frustration.  Runner down is never a good thing!!!!  When I turned myself around into a sitting position I first looked at my hands.  They were so on fire, I expected them to be raw and bleeding.  Nope, not a scratch.  I kept looking at them though.....they burned so bad!  Ouch!!!!  Next I took a look at my knee.  My first reaction????  Direct lying "I LOVE THESE PANTS!!!!"  Yeah I saw blood and it hurt, but maaaaaaaan, my favorite capri's had a hole in it!!  Yeah, HUGE deal to me!!!!

I worked myself up and took a few steps to make sure nothing was broken.  I was just a half block away from my church.  I told myself I would get myself up there and go into the office to use the phone to call home for my daughter to pick me up.  I was done!  As I moved along though, despite my knee and hands hurting really bad, everything else was feeling ok.  I never did get my pace back to what it was, but I picked the pace back up to an ok speed.  Besides I didn't want to hobble into the church office and attract the attention of others.  Yeah, pretty sure my ego was massive bruised at that point as well.  Not to mention feeling so embarrassed.  So I kept going and managed to get myself home ok.  Getting the run done is important, right?!?!?

The rest of my run gave me some time to get a little perspective.  First and most important I was ok.  Well, at least in a big picture point of view.  It really could have been so much worse.  I was able to realize that hey, these things happen.  Maybe not a lot, but it happens.  I'm not the first runner to have tripped and fallen.  I won't be the last (but let's hope it's a long while).  I'm a total tough chik anyway.  I can handle what happened and I'll survive!!  So I decided to embrace and deal with it!!

Upon further inspection of injuries I also scraped up my elbow.  Not really bad, but I'm sporting a nice scab there as well.  My right hand/wrist hurt really bad too.  Like, almost not in a good way.  It hurt to move it and forget about lifting anything, it wasn't going to happen without a lot of pain.  Guess what though, life had to move on and while I was extra careful I had to get the rest of my day done.  I took the kids to the Y to play and swim and I had my Y training that weekend, as well.  Life goes on, hurting or not.  I still have a teeny bit of hurt in that wrist, but it's improving a lot each day.  A bad sprain maybe???

Well, it's not a fall without some pictures (a gazillion of them) to document my injuries.  So I made you a nice little collage:
The ones across the top and first one on the bottom left were taken within an hour of the fall.  The bottom middle one was about 24 hours later.  It was very weepy and oozy!!  Bottom right was taken right before I sat down to post this.  Most appropriately wearing my new Tough Chik compression socks.  That's right, I'm tough.  Things hurt, I'm bruised in a few spots, but I'm going to be a-ok :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Three Things: 13.1, "stealing" & 0.0

1.  Yesterday I ran a half marathon (13.1 miles) for the Jelly Bean Virtual Race.  I had insanely signed up to do 3 of the 4 race options.  I might still add the 4th, it will depend on the weather.  For weeks I had told myself that this would be the day I would "race" this distance.  It was the first day of Spring so what better what to celebrate.  Except we were met with bitter cold temps and 24 mph winds.  Nothing to celebrate there!  I feel like I'm a good sport when it comes to running in the winter, but I've had enough.  I'm ready to move on into warmer temps.  Please know that mentally I do wane quite often.  Yeah, I'm tough and I typically make myself go out and get it done.  But the mentality of getting out the door can be brutal.

It helps that I had an exact route planned for my 13.1 and it started/stopped at my house.  Typically once I'm out the door, baring extreme circumstances, when I say I'm going so far or on a certain route I stick to it.  While en route I might mentally try to talk myself into cutting it short or going this way instead of that, but I usually just keep on going with what I had planned.  I had plenty of reasons to change routes, especially on some really tough stretches when I was running head strong into the wind.  I'm not talking some warm breeze either.  It felt ice cold and I had to bear down and push hard to keep going even at times where I felt like I was running in place.  Knowing I would be dealing with the wind I planned my route around those areas.  I had plenty of other places where I was protected from the wind or had it to my back.  The sun was also strong and it felt good shining on my face.

All in all I felt pretty good.  Not my fastest time, but not too shabby either.  One race down 2 (maybe 3) more to go, probably next week.  You can still sign up and join the Jelly Bean fun!  Let me know if you do!


 2. Last weekend when I ran with Amy we logged many miles along The Constitution Trail that goes in & around Bloomington-Normal.  What an awesome trail!  I don't want to be discontent with what I do have where I live, but it pales in comparison.  (We have a 2.5 mile trail along Lake Storey, better than nothing, I guess.)  Something else I saw all around were several large groups of people running.  Also, lots of liquid fuel (water, Gatorade, Powerade, etc....thing to keep you hydrated) was stashed every mile or so along the way.  I've heard of running/training groups like this, it's just not the norm around where I live.  (Technically I belong to the Muscatine Running Friends, but I don't live there so don't routinely run with them.)  We used to have it, like 15 years ago or so, but that died down and I know Go Outside and Play is trying to revive the concept again.  It was still amazing to see so many people out and about running & training.

Since Amy & I ended up going a little farther than planned we became thirsty.  We DID try and use a park fountain, but it did not work.  We just needed a little something to wet our whistle and hold us over until we finished.  We weren't dying and it wasn't 100 degrees out, but still, after an hour of running you need something.  We (it was really Amy's idea, but since I participated I will take blame credit too) decided to stop and borrow some water that was sitting out.  Except we couldn't really pay it back so then does that make it stealing?  To be clear we didn't directly drink from anyone's bottle. They had some jugs of water sitting out and cups next to them.  We purposely waited until the coast was clear and felt like complete bandits doing this.  She poured (quickly and nervously) a cup for each of us while I kept watch and then urgently telling her to hurry because I spotted a group coming.  It sounds so silly and funny, but we wasn't sure what reaction we would get.  We had hoped we would get some love & compassion, but you never know.  Technically the water is for club members who likely pay a monthly/yearly due.  Once we had our water we quickly took off like we knew exactly what we were doing & owned the place.  Then when we got safe enough away we stopped to gobble down the water.

We sure are thankful for that little bit of water.  Amy later (jokingly?) said she felt guilty so she might go volunteer at a race the group sponsors or something along that line to pay back what we took.  So I'm just curious, what do you think about what we did?  Was it ok?  Completely wrong? 

3. I knew, just knew, that someone would comment about yesterday's post and let me know they are in fact NOT a runner.  Even before I posted it I actually had my daughter in mind.  Yes, I have off spring (probably switched at birth) who has NOTHING to do with running.  When I ask her to run to the store, or run upstairs or do anything that contains the word run, she always responds with "do I have to run?"  Siiiigh!  Okay, so yes, despite my words of encouragement that the post was for EVERYONE I know that not everyone chooses to run.  In many cases, said person is still very fit and active.  That really is the big picture to me.  Doing what works best for YOU! I enjoy and get happy with anyone who is seeking physical fitness in many ways, shapes & form.  While my daughter may "never" run, she can sure dance circles around me for hours on end.  She does her thing, I do mine.  (Although, I'm secretly praying she's a later in life runner!)

I am still a firm believer that our bodies were uniquely made for running.  YES, YOU WERE MADE FOR RUNNING!  Even more broadly though, we were made to be physically fit & active.  So,  I'm not going to fuss and worry if you don't choose running for any number of reasons.  Or if your way of running is what I consider my way of walking.  You are out there, you are doing it and bettering yourself and your body!  So if you want a sticker like this....
that's ok with me.  You are still welcome here, I still love you no matter what!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

You ARE a Runner

This post if for EVERYONE! Based on the title you might think....oh, no...not me. Yes, YOU!  So watch & enjoy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hearts at Home & Host RP

I spent last weekend in Bloominton-Normal, IL for the annual Hearts at Home conference.  I started to attended this "mommy conference" many years ago.  Recently I had taken a few years off.  I missed going, not only for the great content and personal, emotional, spiritual refilling, but it also served as a moms/girls weekend away.  However, I really needed a break from my break (make sense?) so I stopped going.  I was ready and raring to go back this year.  As expected it was so awesome!  The conference speakers and the workshops I took....AMAZING!  God knew exactly what I was needed at this time and made sure I heard it all and tucked it away in my heart & mind to help me in this journey of motherhood.

Don't we look so relaxed and refreshed!

The conference theme was NO MORE PERFECT MOMS.
We still looked relaxed and refreshed (maybe giggly and crazy too, it was LATE and we had been having a ton of fun), but without the mask of nice clothes & make up, I hope you see that we are indeed not so perfect moms.

You can attend the HAH conference for 1 or 2 days depending on how many workshops you want to take.  I could have easily attended 2 days, but only chose 1.  I wanted the other day to relax and do what I wanted.  My friends that I went with was attending both days so while they jetted off to take more classes I made other plans.  Running plans, of course....what else do I do with my free time?!?!?

I contacted my friend Amy, whom, interestingly enough I met 8 years ago through the HAH bulletin board.  We both used to post there and even though we don't anymore, our friendship went beyond just the basic relationship formed there. (I actually have a handful of friendships that started there, but continued beyond and still go strong now).  We are a lot a like especially in the realm of running and fitness.  Knowing she is a maniac devoted runner like I, I knew she wouldn't pass up the chance to run with me.

Of course my non running friends are like "you're getting up at 6:30 a.m. to run when you are in a hotel away from your family?!?!  that's crazy!"  Why, yes, thank you it is!  I was slightly at the mercy of Amy & her schedule and what she could do for me.  Yes, I could have ran later in the day on my own.  However, it's always funner with someone else and I don't know the town/area that well.  So it made sense to hook up with Amy.  She's a great runner and great company.

When I got to her house she mentioned she was hoping for 7 miles.  Sounded good to me, anything beyond 5 was meeting my goal so off we went.  The pace was neither fast nor slow.  We easily chatted along and clocked away the miles.  She took me to several areas of town.  Around ISU campus, through the Constitution Trail, downtown Normal, some other business areas.  Not knowing where her house was in relation to where we were running I was confused, especially when we went well past the 7 mile mark.  I had no clue if we were close to her house or not.  I did not mind that we were going longer, it was just weird not knowing where I was going or when I was going to end.  11.5 miles later we were back at her house.  More than I was expecting, but the time, effort and miles were so enjoyable that I didn't mind at all!!!

Amy was a great running partner!  I only get to her town a few times a year, only once to stay over.  It would be fun to make it a yearly tradition, but we'll see.  For now, I'm thankful for the great run and host running partner to go along with me!  Thank you Amy!!

Us normal?  Naaaah, we don't think so either!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Work, work, work

Ahhhhh, it's a work week for me.  I don't talk about it too much, but I am a faculty trainer for YMCA of the USA.  I train & certify Y wellness employees in Y sanction courses.  I only hold these courses a couple of times a year.  I also have a trainer who works beside me & helps with the work load so that is always helpful.  For the most part I plan these courses when it works best with my schedule & availability.  I have a lot of flexibility with my personal schedule so as long as I get my work done I get to determine how often or how much I do at a time.

For this spring training we are holding the basic classes.  It's still a lot of work, but not quite as much.  We have over a dozen people coming for the two courses we are offering.  In the fall, we host a Regional Training Event. It's the same training classes, plus more, but on a bigger scale.  That is when then the faculty in my title comes into play. I not only teach and oversee the classes, but I have trainer candidates that I work with, supervise, evaluate their student teaching that I assign them and graduate them into trainers themselves.

It's a lot of work that I cram into short periods of time.  It always kind of throws me for a loop because I'm not a typical work full time outside the home mom.  Although even at it's peak I still don't work a full 40 hour week.  It sure feels like it.  It always makes me appreciate and be in awe of those moms who do work full time outside the home.  I'm not cut out to thrive or survive that life.  That's neither good or bad, it's just me.

My trainings are this weekend so I will be spending a lot more time in the office getting work down.  I'm trying to balance my work and my blogging by being prepared and knowing in advance what I want to blog about each day.  Also trying to keep it short & simple.  That doesn't even factor in my family/home life either.  It just means better than usual planning of my time.  Simpler meals.  Maybe not as much housecleaning & projects (I won't mind that at all).  I might need to go find my superwoman cape.  Sure, I secretly wear it all the time, but I need to bust it out from time to time and flash it for all to see :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

TTT: 1 week, 1 post

It's ALWAYS a tough balance in my life to get the necessary things done vs. what I want to get done.  Need and want are two different things that I'm constantly trying to teach to my children and embrace myself.  Quite honestly I never have time to blog.  NEVER.  So it's easy to let a few days go and not sit down and write out what I have on my mind.  It's neither good or bad one way or the other.  It's just my life.  Yet, knowing this is a big outlet for me I eventually I do take the time I go....

1.  What I wanted to name Monday's post: ├índele.  For those non Spanish speaking folks that means come on!  hurry up!  I wanted to discuss my lack of speed training which I do see a direct effect on my speed.  Sure, some of it is age, I'm no spring chicken anymore, but I'm slowing down in my running.  Don't get me wrong, it's not all about speed.  If you are a "slower" runner, that is fine and a-ok with me.  For me though, I have proven that I have it in me to run faster.  While it came a lot more naturally in my youth I have to really work on it now.  I'm guilty of not though and it shows.  So I'm adding speed workouts back into my running schedule.  For me these work best on a dreadmill where at the push of a button I have to go faster or else fly backward and create a scene for the whole gym to see.  I have passed out fallen off of a fast moving treadmill before, let me reassure you it's no fun.  Just take my word for it.  So while I'd rather go on long at my own pace runs I really must work on my speed.  I have it in me, I just need to work on it.  Hold me accountable people!!

2.  What I wanted to name Tuesday's post:  pumping iron.   Another area that I "hate" to work on is strength training.  We all have that one thing that we just hate to do, but need to do it anyway.  When I get busy, or lazy, lifting weights is the first thing I drop.  I could care less about doing it.  Again, it has shown that it really effects my running though.  I'm more prone to injury and my body easily begins to fall apart.  I think that is a large part to why my Hawkeye 50k felt so awful.  I have been ignoring both speed and strength training for MONTHS!  *shock*  *gasp*  I know....I KNOW!!  Again, hold me accountable peeps!  Yes, I know there is only so many hours in a day, there is only so much of everything that I can do.  It's no excuse for just letting it all go to the wayside and then wonder why my running is such a struggle.

3.  Wednesday's post?  That is my vlogging day and I still don't have a cable for my camera.  Yes, I did order one, it's just not here yet.  While I thought about making a super short, hey how ya doin' video on my ipod.  It just didn't happen and going on a 9 mile run didn't help with time either.  I wasn't sure what I was going to yap about, sometimes once I turn on the camera my inspiration comes, sometimes not.  It's nice to have that mid week I might post or not break.  If it happens, it happens.  If not, eh....not the end of the world or my blog.

That about wraps up my week.  Nothing too big or exciting.  I'm taking off early tomorrow morning for moms weekend away.  Yay!  That's what I'm talking about!!  Girl time, laughing, talking non stop, shopping and of course, running.  Duh, can't forget that!  Have a great weekend.  Hoping next week goes better with balancing it all.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Moving On & Looking Forward

Moving On:
 I'm so done and over the Hawkeye 50k.  No more rambling posts.  No more analyzing it to death.  No more what if or if only.  It is what it is.  IF you want to know something, comment, ask a question, etc. I'm more than happy to reply, otherwise I'm putting sock in it!

Looking forward:
Coming up in a few weeks I'm planning on racing 6 races, 5 weeks in a row.  As of now I'm only officially signed up for the Illinois Marathon, to do the I-Challenge.    This race has become a favorite of mine.  It's fast & flat & I love the finish line.  I'm kind of fond of this place now.  Not that that makes me any kind of Illini, no, no.  Sorry, never.  Forever a Hawkeye girl here.  I guess after living here for 18 years, something just begin to grow on you! 

I'm still planning on another half marathon and some other small local races (2 5k's and a 2 mile race that I've won several times).  Oh, and for "fun" I'm throwing in the Jelly Bean Virtual Race.    I signed up today.  I'm not sure what I was thinking, but I signed up to race all 3 distances (5k, 10k & half marathon.)  Sure, why not.  None of my other formal races will count toward the Jelly Bean so technically that takes me up to 9 races coming up.  Sometimes I think that sounds a little crazy, but naaaaaah.

Recovery this week has not been going that great.  I'm really dragging!!  My pace is down by several minutes and I'm lacking a ton of motivation.  My running streak is what's keeping me going.  Yes, it's very tempting to just stop, walk away and think "who cares".  Except that I do care, a lot!  I agree that I need rest & recovery, but listening to all other cues would have me walking away from it all and not coming back for awhile.  I did not bust my butt for the last 10 months for nothing.  So, I'm not bouncing back as well as I would have liked and that sucks.  But I'm here for the long haul and I have a lot to look forward to and work toward.

How does your spring racing calendar look?  Tell me what you have coming up!

Have you ever completed a virtual race/run?  You can still sign up for the Jelly Bean, click on the link above!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Another Hawkeye 50k race recap

It's another snow day here.  Wasn't expecting this one.  I'm not complaining one way or another.  It always has it's pros and cons.  Enjoying the kiddos while trying not to beat them or yell too much.  Getting a lot of things done, but not the things I planned/expected with no schedule restraint.  Getting to run whenever I want yet stalling to get it done.  Just roll with the punches, it's what I do.

I found some pictures on fb from the race.  I don't know this person, just followed the links provided.  From what I understand I need to give credit to Peter Konrad.  Whoever you are, thank you for taking & posting them.  Something is better than nothing.
These were taken as we headed down to cross the spillway.  I'm in the orange.

Going into the race I was hoping for a time around 5 hours.  I am more than capable of doing that.  My 25k time was roughly 2:56, based on that I was then shooting for 6 hours.  I was disappointed when I saw my finish time of 6:07:30. I finished 29th out of 48 who completed the 50k.  I haven't seen a break down of gender or age group.

The whole day & feel of the race just left me defeated, ashamed, humiliated, etc.  I know I have plenty to hold my head high about.  I bested my 50k time by 8 minutes, which considering how bad the run was is pretty darn good.  Sure I'm capable of doing so much better, but I have nothing to truly hang my head about.  Everyone there was very supportive, even people I didn't know.  A group of people said they remember me from Wildcat Den and congratulated me on my race.  Sure, they could have just been nice, but if you really know (most) runners they are honest & supportive to each other.

Yes, I used my baggies over the feet trick.  Mixed feelings on it.  I started the race with them on.  I didn't want to fuss with getting them on, etc.  After a few miles I realized how much I didn't need them.  Everything was frozen and the spillway was very easy to cross without getting wet.  (I've been told that is not always the case though).  While they weren't helping me, they weren't hurting either.  The one on my right foot did begin to bunch up a little which bugged me.  I made myself wait until I came to the start/finish to take them off. I was going to stop there anyway to fuel up, change my hat, etc.  After I took them off and part way through the second loop, then I wish I had them on.  I mean, I obviously survived, it wasn't that horrible.  There was a lot more mud and puddles to dodge the second loop.  Many spots were unavoidable so I just went through them.  My shoes were water resistant and have Gore Tex so it was not as bad as it could have been.  Anyway, the bags were kind of a fail, but oh well.  You live and learn.

I don't have much of an opinion of the race itself.  I don't want all my "bad" to label this a bad race.  The communications with the director leading up to the race was wonderful!  He was very on top of things and posted a lot of details.  Packet pickup was very easy, even though we got there with little time to check in and get going.  The course was very well marked, but a little confusing at some points.  The aid stations were very well stocked and the volunteers very supportive.  A large part of the crowd had cleared out by time I finished.  Everyone got a finishers medal, if you placed in your age group they just handed that to you.  I was only there about 10 minutes before we started and about 30 after I finished (with a good 10 minutes of that in the bathroom getting changed).  So it was hard to get a good feel of the race when most of it was spent running.

I probably won't do this race again.  Too many variables of the weather this time of year.  It makes Howl at the Moon look VERY manageable and easy.  At least I speak from experience though.  Better to have tried and "failed" than not have tried at all.  I didn't lose anything by doing this race, but I gained a whole lot of experience!

Want to know anything else about the race?  Just ask, I'll answer it for you!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hawkeye 50k race recap

Ohhhhh, where do I start?!?!  I have such mixed emotions about this race.  My first gut reaction:  IT SUCKED!  From beginning to end, it was just a plain awful race for me.

Well, on the plus side I rode up to the race with Daphne & Jean from Muscatine Running Friends.  I had only met Jean that day, but Daphne I've known and raced with several times.  She's a gem!  So I hitched a ride up with them and it's wonderful to be in great company.  Half way up there I realized I didn't pack my headphones.  And cue dramatic music *dun-dun-duuuuuuun!*  For me that is a big deal.  After 2 gas station stops we found some for me to buy.  Then began the fiasco of getting lost.  I had never been there before and even though GPS took us to Lake McBride, it turns out we were on the wrong side of the lake.  No wonder we couldn't find the right entrance.  So a lot of twist and turns, asking strangers for directions, going down wrong country roads, slipping and sliding out of control (thank goodness we had a good 4 wheel drive truck, otherwise we might have ended up on the side on the road).  Yeah, LOTS of fun stuff.

We FINALLY get to the race 10 minutes before it started.  I ran in, grabbed my race packet, went potty, thew my gear in the staging area, lined up and 2 minutes later we started.  That sounds rushed, but I was still pretty laid back about it all.  Crap happens.  Sure, I would have loved lots of time to prep, get ready, chat and hang out with other racers, but as a veteran racer I know how to roll with the punches and be ready to race as soon as we pulled in.

Within a few minutes of the gun going off and hitting the snow covered trail I knew this was not going to be a good run for me.  I struggled from almost the first step.  Seasoned runners know what I'm talking about.  Sometimes you are just not on your A game.  You don't have it in you to make it a good run.  Yet, you run anyway.  I mean, I was there, I paid for this race....of course I was going to run it.

Part of the course was on paved road.  That was about the only good part of the race for me, but even then my pace was lacking.  The trails were a whole other story.  Part of the trail was pea gravel.  During the first loop it was half ice covered, other half frozen solid.  I had to dodge and weave around the trail to skip around the icy areas.  The second loop, those same areas had thawed.  There were still minor ice patches, but I spent a good portion of the trail dodging mud and trying not to run right through the puddles.  The other parts of the trail were 100% snow covered.  A few times the snow was firm and packed down, but a majority of the snow areas were soft, fluffy snow that gave me no traction.  That wasn't too bad if I was on a flat surface.  For the most part these were steep winding trails going up and down around the lake.  For every step I took, I took a smaller one to make up for my foot sliding one direction or another.  Imagine running through sand for 25 miles or so.  No matter how hard I pushed or ran, etc. I just slid backwards a little bit with each step.  It was so frustrating and I was near tears on many occasions.  The downhills were challenging as well.  You had to carefully step your way down the many steep hills or risk falling or sliding down.  I slid several times and fell once.  It wasn't a bad fall, but I ended flat on my back.

Since I fell so far back from the pack I was alone a good portion of the time.  This did not help my morale at all.  I did have lots of good music to listen to and just keep plugging away, one foot in from of another.  I walked some and stopped once to change hats and take the bags off my feet.  The scenery along the way was beautiful & breath taking at many times.  Sure, I'm cursing away ever running in snow again, but a few times I had to stop, take a deep breath and just be thankful that I am alive and able to complete such a race.  Despite all the "bad" of my day, I am still so blessed and surrounded by good.

This is getting kind of long.  I try to stay away from long rambling posts.  For me, it was a bad race & running experience.  Horrible.  So, I've concluded I'm not a snow racer.  Not my forte.  I still finished and had my fastest 50k time.  Yeah, I PR'd despite it all!  BOO to the YAH!  I have plenty to hold my head high about and will take this as a learning experience.

I wish I had captured some pictures along the way, but I was so focused on just finishing I couldn't stop and do much else.  I had no time to take before pictures.  This one was snapped right after I finished:
That is a finishers medal around my neck.  I was in so much pain at this point.  Wonderful pain, mind you.  It's a runner's thing.  You either understand it or you don't.  Behind me is the start line.  Yes, we had a snowbank to get over/around right from the get go.

Standing on top of the start line.  Like my Animal socks?  I thought they seemed fitting for the occasion.

I know there is so much more to tell you.  I'll give you another post tomorrow.