Saturday, May 31, 2014

May Rewind & Run Galesburg Run Goals

I don't like to combine 2 different types of posts.  I think each one deserves it own, but I have limited time.  Tomorrow morning I am running the Run Galesburg Run half marathon.  After I finish I have to come home to shower & clean up then get back in time for awards (assuming I place) and from there get in the car with my 2 youngest teenagers & drive straight to Virginia.  In the mean time I have to clean house, pack and go to 4 soccer games (one of which I will coach) today.

First let me wrap up the month of May.  My mileage for the month totaled: 116 miles.  I don't know why I feel like that number is SO low.  I feel like I'm running a lot more than I did the first few months of 2015, but there isn't that big of a difference.  Well, it is what it is.  I know 100+ miles in any given month is pretty decent.  My running is good & strong, no hint of injury (KNOCK ON WOOD!!) so I'm happy with that!  I did continue to run every day and passed another year of running every.single. day.  May 27 was my 2 year anniversary of my running streak.  I had wanted to make a big deal about it, but it fell in the midst of all my recent stress so it quietly came & went.  The end of May takes my streak total to 734 days of completing at least 1 mile every single day. I do not foresee my streak coming to an end any time soon!  I ran 1 race in May, the CASA, Be a Super Hero 5k.  Overall it was a quiet month with a focus on getting good solid runs in to prep for the Run Galesburg Run half marathon.

Run Galesburg Run is being run for the 3rd time this year.  It happens right here where I live, just miles from my home.  Yet, I've never run this race.  I always hated to miss it, but it's just how it was.  I had been toying with the idea of running it this year no matter what.  I wanted to be able to say I've done it, even if only once.  I wanted to get past my marathon to make sure I was healthy enough to get it done.  It's not a cheap race (a little high priced compared to other halfs that I have done), but I do know it's a well run race.  My friends Nick & Tracy are the founders of this race.  They are top notch people who I know put on a very well organized and great event.  Once I got past my marathon and was still running healthy I committed to running this race.  In the meantime I was also contacted by a local friend to raise money and run for Team Asha for Life Community.

In a nutshell, I've very confident that I will run this race very well.  I have a home field advantage.  I know this course forward & backward & have ran it many times before.  My training for it was pretty good.  Being sick & completely stressed out the last 2 weeks put a small dent in some of my training plans, but I know it will all come together once the gun goes off.  I am also very comforted by knowing that 2 months ago I ran a much hillier half marathon with a lot less training and in conditions that near broke me.  And yet, despite my horrible half 2 months ago, I PRd with a 1:37.  So with all the positives in my favor, I'm planning to go out and crush this half marathon and make Galesburg proud of it's own 6packmomma!!  Here are my goals:

 My I FINISHED goal: 
To arrive on time. To start. To finish.  aka: finish feeling fine & having fun. Worse case scenario I just go out & have fun.  Not my plan, but I can always revert to this if I have to.

My I CAN goal:
Finish in 1:45:00
I picked this time because it means I average an 8 minute pace.  I can know I do this on any given day!

My I LOVE IT goal:
To beat my PR which is currently 1:37:34  that was set 2 months ago.  When I ran this I had a horrible race.  Horrible!  Ever since then, I've wondered what I could do if I have a really good race.  I've spent the last 2 months fixing some of the issues I struggled with.  This course is also not as challenging.  Yes, there are some hills, but in the big picture of things I've run some that are much worse.  So I've already prepared myself mentally that they are not a big deal.  Considering all of this should allow me to reach this goal no problem, even if it's just a little bit. 

My I DREAM IT goal:
To finish in 1:30:00.  

I set this goal back in January.  It's my big, be scared out of your mind, goal.  I've never ran this far at this pace before, but with a combination of my training and knowing the course inside and out should help me get a lot closer to this goal than before.  Racing where I live is possibly just the motivation I need to really push myself.  I want to represent well and crush this course!!

Since I'm leaving for vacation shortly after I finish I'm not sure when I'll get to update & write a race report.  It might not be until after I get back next week.  Follow me on instagram & facebook for updates.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Senior Moments

Well, I feel about *this* guilty about not blogging for the last few weeks.  Since you can't see my fingers, let me just say that they are pinched pretty tight when I do that.  I've had A LOT going on and I have been pretty stressed over several things.  Oh, and my body decided to be sick AGAIN!

Mostly what had consumed me was my oldest graduating from high school.

Aside from all the craziness, I was able to stop briefly....VERY briefly and enjoy the moments that really mattered.  In many ways, all the craziness was worth it.  Not only in terms of this big moment, but others that I've had recently's all a reminder that I'm living the big life.  It may not be full of fame & riches and it may not appear that great to many others.  But in terms of ME & MY life, I'm exactly where I want to be.  I could certainly do without some of the stress that goes in to it, but eh....that's life!!

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a post tomorrow (there has been plenty going on with my running to catch you up on), but then I have a few other big things coming up that will keep me from blogging in the next week or two.  Once I get past them though I'll be ready to get back in to things!!

Until then, here is a slideshow that was put together for my daughter's graduation party:

Angel Peterson Graduation Video from JC Studios Video Production on Vimeo.

A BIG thanks to JC Studios Video Production for doing a great job on this video!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

CASA Be A Super Hero 5k - Race Recap

Almost 2 weeks ago I ran a local 5k.  It's the first year the event was held.  Earlier in the week I was actually thinking I wouldn't run this race.  I had been planning on it for months, but then after my marathon the week before I was pretty sore.  I don't mind running a slower race, just for the heck of it, but I was really sore and miserable for a few days.  In hindsight I think I feel this way after almost any big race.  Once I get past day 3 or 4 things look much better.

I really hadn't decided 100% that I would run the race until that morning.  Since it had been at the back of my mind I kind of had an idea of what I'd wear, but didn't put anything together until the last moment.  It was known from the get go that super hero costumes were encouraged.  I'm one who will throw on a costume for no reason at all so I was glad that this was expected.  And even more excited to pull up and see a lot others in costume.  A time or two in the past, even though costumes were encouraged I was still the only one who actually did it.  So I was not the only "odd ball" that day.  Since I had mentally planned what to wear, but didn't actually try it on until right before I left I had to improvise some.  After all, I'm sure this was meant to be a family friendly event so I had to cover up more than what my original costume had to offer.  I don't have a full super hero costume, just a mix match of things, but here is what I came up with:
It was sort of a Wonder Woman-ish outfit.  Again, though, I wasn't the only one in costume:
With Kelly, a co worker & friend, from the Y.

There was a small turn out for the race.  I'm guessing about 50 people.   But lots of spirit and fun!  I didn't realize until right before the start that this was more of a cross country race.  Meaning it was mostly run on grassy & trail areas.  Yikes!  That made me worried, as I didn't want to do anything crazy like twist an ankle.  The course was very twisty and curvy.  When they described it I was confused and lost every easily and I know this park well.  They had an RV leading the way so that helped a little.  I also knew right away that a good fast time would not happen.  Not that I was expecting or planning to PR or anything, but grass/trail & unfamiliar course meant a slower time.  I accepted that even before the gun went off.

Once the gun went off a young pre-teen boy lead the way for about 200 yards and then I took over.  There was in a sense no competition for me.  Usually someone in front of me helps motivate me & pushes me to go faster.  All I had was the RV to follow and even then twice it couldn't go where I ran so it dropped off and then picked up the lead again later on.  It was different to be running hard and yet not really know where I was going.  They had some lines painted and pinwheels out to mark the course, but it had a wide margin of error so I did the best I could to go where I thought I was suppose to.  In the end my gps had it down as 2.96.  So pretty close, but that could have been from how I ran vs. where they marked the course.   Since it was a small, first time race I don't think anyone was being too picky.

I lead the entire race, which interestingly, I've never raced with a cape on before.  I finished with a time of 21:25.  Not too shabby considering all the factors and only being 1 week post marathon.  Overall I had a good, fun time and by racing helped raised some money for CASA.  Can't lose there.

Afterwards with my medal.

And a fun video that one of the sponsors made:

Friday, May 9, 2014

Illinois 5k - Race Recap

It would be easy to skip this race recap.  I don't feel like there isn't much to report.  But a race is a race and I know you're all on pins and needles waiting.  Ok, maybe not.

Something that I didn't really mention in my marathon recap was that I traveled by myself to this race.  In year's past I've always had someone to go with or ride along.  A few years my husband came along.  Other years girlfriends were there & we all shared hotel rooms, etc.  For the first time I had none of that.  I did know of other people running the race(s) that weekend, but had no plans to meet up or anything.

At first, it was kind of nice.  On the ride down I had the van to myself and I sang at the top of my lungs out loud to my heart's content.  I might have even had a conversation or two with myself.....yes, out loud.  I kind of enjoyed it since as a mom of 6 I don't have many moments to do whatever I want.  Eventually though it kinda sucked.  I was lonely.  Going through the expo and having no one to chat with, except a comment here and there to/from a vendor where I purchased things or picked up my race packet.  Now, I have a pretty out going personality I could have made a friend in a heart beat, but that wasn't my real reason for being there and I didn't want to work at having a friend, so I just kept to myself.  I'm not meaning to complain, not my intent at all.  Just noting that I don't like to be alone.  I know that.  I'm a people person.  And I like to talk.  It was nice for awhile, but I wouldn't want to do it all the time.

As I was walking from my car to the start line of the 5k I plugged in my headphones.  I hadn't planned to listen to music during the 5k, but I wanted something to keep me company & get my mojo flowing while I waited.  Music does that to me all the time.  It pumps me up!  I thought I heard my name, but the same thing had happened during the expo and it was just my imagination so I ignored what I thought I heard.  A few minutes later I saw a friend Nicole:

I hollered out to her & she told me I had just ran past her and she called my name.  Ah-ha, so I wasn't hearing things after all.  Sometimes it's nice to know you're not completely loosing it.  (Ok that's still debatable).  After a quick chat we went our separate ways and I moved in to the start corral.

This year they had seeded start corrals.  They didn't verify any times.  It was an honor system when you signed up for the race.  When I registered & saw this new system, I was excited because last year I had so many little kids in front of me.  Those little kids would take off like there is no tomorrow and then after a few hundred yards die off and suddenly slow down or turn around and look for mom/dad.  This frustrated me because there were several kids that I about slammed in to or tripped over.  I know it's just a 5k, but seriously kid...GET OUT OF MY WAY!  And I mostly mean that for their own safety. system. Seeded corral starts.  That should help the problem, assuming everyone is honest with their time and seed themselves appropriately.  I was still a little concerned because the cut off time for putting yourself in the first aka fastest corral was 27 minutes.  There's a pretty big difference in someone running with the goal of a 7 minute pace vs. someone aiming for a 9 minute pace.  And I seriously don't mean any of that to imply that I am faster and I deserve a better, more up close spot.  While I admit I take any of my races a little too seriously, I don't mean to be all holier than thou just because I can run faster than many, even on my slower days.  We're all runners and I love and respect any/all kinds of paces, finish times, reasons for being out there, etc.  Seriously.  But I want to run.  So.  Move.  *siiiiigh*, it's a tough balance!!

Anyway, I did my best to get to the front of the corral.  Although I lined up too soon and kept getting pushed further back into the corral than I wanted.  But, whatev.  Just relax & have fun.  My intent was not going to be go all out and try and PR.  Bigger picture I was running 26.2 the next day and I didn't want to mess that up by killing myself over a 5k.  This race was chipped timed so on the plus side it didn't matter how far back I was pushed, my time didn't start until I crossed the start line & my chip was activated.  And even though it felt like I was waaaay back in the corral, it actually only took me about 10 seconds to cross the start line once the gun went off.

Good news, while I was surrounded by plenty of younger runners (I'm guessing Jr. High, High School age) there were no little kids in front of me and I didn't have to worry about running someone over or muttering means things under my breath.  So the start went pretty smooth, just some congestion as several hundred runners took off at the same time.  Per usual I ran a good strong pace. It wasn't all out, but I wasn't taking it easy either.  I'm horrible at knowing what pace I'm going so I just went with it.  I felt good and strong most of the race.  A few times I felt tired and worried that I was going to fade out quickly.  In reality I probably let up on my pace just a little bit during those tired times.  I know the course well and they have mile marker flags out, so I know about how much is left to go.  If they provide splits I never hear them being yelled out, so my overall time is a guessing game until I see the finish clock.  The last mile or so I set my sights on a few people and vowed to keep up with them, that helped me from slowing too much.  And I kept thinking it's only a 5k or there is only 1 mile left,  you can do this!!

When I come through the tunnel and hit the field I saw the clock was running into the upper 20 minute range.  My PR is 20:41  & I knew even with the gun/actual start variance that I wouldn't beat that, but I wasn't ok with being all lotty dah and finishing whenever.  So I floored it and pushed hard to finish in under 21 minutes.  According to the clock I didn't, but my actual chip finish was 20:58. about cutting it close!!  I was very happy with that run & finish.  Not too shabby for taking it a little easy, but ok with a good steady pace.

Here are my overall stats:
79th out of 6,112 finishers
10th out of 3,919 women (first time to be listed on the leaders board)
1st out of 551 in my age group (35-39)

After I finished I was on my way out of the stadium and ran into Mario, a friend from my hometown of Muscatine, IA.

He didn't race that night, but was there with some Quad City friends and ran the marathon the next day.  So even though I was there kind of as a loner, I met some friends along with way and enjoyed a quick visit with them.

This turned out to be a pretty good 5k leading up to my marathon the next day!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

April Rewind

Better get my wrap up of April done before I get too far into May.  I also have 2 5ks to recap.  Eek!  It all just snuck up on me and it's made me realize the start of racing season is here!!

While it doesn't feel like April was full of races, here are the ones I ran:
Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon, Sprinfield, IL
Carl Sandburg College 2 mile Charger Challenge, Galesburg, IL
Illinois 5k, Champagin, IL
Illinois Marathon, Champaign, IL

My racing alone made up a good chunk of my mileage, but I managed a total of 121 miles for the month of April.  Highest month so far for 2014, again, largely due to racing.  I know I wouldn't have run those distances on my own.  However, I do feel like it's re-lit and fired up my desire to get out there more.  Enough of this cutting back & taking it easy.  Do I need to drastically up my mileage?  No, but, come on......I can do more than that!!

I have continued my streak and am coming up on the end of my 2nd year.  As of the end of April I have run (on rare occasion a fast walk due to injury) for 703 days in a row of at least 1 mile.  My ending the streak is not in sight, I have no idea when it will be.  I just take it one day, one step at a time.

I'm looking forward to May and ready to start putting in some more serious training as I have some summer races that I'm anxious to do well in.  I'll keep you posted!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Take the Plunge!

So there is this super popular thing going on right now where people are raising money for charity by participating in a Polar Plunge.  I do believe this has been around for quite some time.  I've known it to be mostly associate with the Special Olympics and it happens earlier in the year where people raise money & then run or plunge into icy cold water.  It seems to be trending on a whole new level and people everywhere are making videos of doing their polar plunge and they have to call out 3 people and dare them to do the same thing.  If a person completes the dare they owe a minimal amount of money, like $10.  If they don't then the stakes are higher and they are challenged to pay a larger amount like $100.

Of course, this is all in good fun.  No one will actually force you to pay these amounts, but it's a different approach to raising money for a cause or charity that someone cares about.

So I was called out and challenged to do a polar plunge.  Normally I'm up for any challenge, especially in the name of running.  Run 100 miles......OK!   Run in 100 degree weather.....OK!  Run in -30 weather......OK!  But jump into a pool or lake of freezing cold water.....whaaaaaat!  Are you crazy!?!?!?!  It got me thinking though because I don't like to back down from any challenge and I'm certainly willing to give money for charity.  So, I thought outside of the box and completed my version of a Polar Plunge.

However, before I share my video, my wheels didn't stop there.  I came up with a different version.....MY version of the challenge to start raising money for a charity that I am running a race for on June 1.  I had been approached by this charity awhile back to run for them, but I had not committed to the race.  And now, I've done both and as I was on the verge of telling you all and beginning to ask for sponsor donations I've come up with this super fun way to raise money.

I will be posting this video to several individuals, but if you know me & want to participate please consider donating to my fundraising efforts.  So, here is my video & then I will tell you the specifics of challenge & the charity that I am raising money for.

If you accept and participate in my Extreme Plunge, share your video and kindly donate $10 to my charity.  If you don't, please kindly donate $25 to my charity and I will let you off the hook on doing a fun, goof video of you taking the plunge!  (I will in no way force you to donate, but please consider donating to my team that I am racing for).

On June 1st, I am running the Galesburg Half Marathon and running for Team Asha for Life Community.   Asha for Life Community is an anti-human trafficking organization that was founded a couple of years ago by a friend Tom Colclasure & three other individuals.  Their mission is to combat human trafficking and sexual slavery.  Surprisingly, there are more slaves in the world today than during any other time in history.  Most are females and children being used as sex slaves.  In the past Asha has been funding organizations overseas who are doing the work or rescue and rehabilitation.  Now they are moving their focus to the U.S., where the problem is more underground, but shockingly prevalent.

Will you accept my challenge & do a fun, goofy Extreme Plunge? 

Will you donate and be a race sponsor as I run the Galesburg Half Marathon on June 1 for Team Asha for Life Community?