Thursday, September 25, 2014

Shaggin' Wagon

As soon as GG had asked me to be on the team for RGR, I was quick to volunteer my van for use.  Typically teams rent a big passenger van for these types of races.  I think they may even be required for the big races like Ragnar & Hood to Coast.  At least that is the impression I get from the many blogs that I read & pictures I see from said race recaps.

There was no reason to rent a passenger van when I own one!  Yes, 6packmomma here is always traveling in style with some sort of  "bus" and it's no stranger to being full of people and stuff going all over from place to place.  I think She Runs Everywhere also applies to my van!!

I've never been one to name my vehicle, but kinda wish I had a cute name for it right now.  Actually our last van was a big red passenger van & sometimes I'd call her big red.  And sometimes I do say big blue when talking about our current vehicle.  Other friends & family have certain names they call my bus, Peterson mobile, boat, stranger danger van, rapist van (don't ask, but it's all in innocent fun!) or just plain BUS!  And in my town everyone knows my van by sight and sees (or in the noise from the kids or perhaps screaming mother on occasion) it coming from miles away.  I do not have to have a special license to drive it since it's a personal vehicle.  However, I do have a class D commercial vehicle license (not a full blown CDL) which lets me drive an actual church or other business vehicle.  Anyway, I'm used to hauling it around.

I headed over to Muscatine with my van on Thursday morning.  I actually had a funeral to attend first (worked out to be perfect timing.....may you rest in peace Great Uncle John) then headed over to GG's house.  I actually have never decorated my vehicle windows so I wasn't sure what to do.  But GG had all the supplies, I just had to get creative & get decorating.

I didn't get as many pictures as I would've liked, but you get the idea.  We wrote all over the windows with our team name & other sentiments like #1 Iowa, Tiffin or Bust, our initials on the back & then a tally for each leg that we ran.

Then we drove half way across Iowa and then back like it was just your average Thursday & Friday.  So many stories and moments of fun were crammed into my van within the next 24+ hours.  Don't worry, I'll recount SOME of them, but some things stay between us team mates.

Somewhere along the way Patches came up with the idea of calling it the Shaggin' Wagon.  If she told the story then I don't remember it.  But we liked the name & it stuck.  As a team we were able to fit very comfortably into the van, plus had it loaded with ALL of our stuff.  It worked very well as our traveling headquarters since we had to eat, sleep (if you wanna call it that!), change clothes several times, be back seat drivers and navigators and who knows what else.  But it successfully got us from point A to point B with no problems and that's what we really needed!!

Do you name your vehicles?

Have you ever, more less, lived in your vehicle for a time while you traveled?

Monday, September 22, 2014

RGR - 4 Jillls and a Jack

This week I'm going to write a couple of posts to sum up my race experience with Rival Game Relay.  I feel it's too much to put all in 1 post.  And quite honestly I need to work on smaller, more efficient posts here on SRE because I just don't have time to write up big posts at this time.  Since there is SO MUCH to tell you about RGR, I wanted to start with the basics of telling you who my team mates were on this magical and unicorn filled journey.

Team Captain Terry contacted me months ago to ask if I was interested in doing this race.  He knows I love running and racing and most importantly Iowa, even if I've lived on the other side of the river for almost 20 years.  So, of course, I said YES!!!!

Terry is better known to me as the Gray Ghost or GG.   I met him 5 years ago when I first tagged along with the Muscatine Running Friends (MRF) to a race.  We've done many of the same races & always keep in touch.  Even though he hasn't been running all his life he has a vast experience with running & racing & I look to him as a great mentor full of wisdom.

Next is Kandice.  She is GG's running partner.  So he refers to her as her RP.  I've known Kandice mostly via GG, but she also lives in Muscatine and does events and race with the MRF.  She's very smart and technical when it comes to life and running.  But she also has a great sense of humor (she has to, right, being GG's RP) and loads of fun to be with.  I've had a few brief interactions with her, but  this was the first time I really got to know her.

Next is Teri.  She is the most genuine and wonderful person you could ever meet.  Her heart is so full of love and kindness!!  Even though she has lived in Muscatine her whole life, I've only personally known her for the last 6 or 7 years.  She is the heart and soul of MRF and always a joy to be with.  Teri has an extremely extensive running and racing career although had never done a relay such as RGR before.

Patches is a name that I had heard many, many times.  For a long time I actually thought Patches was a man.  Only because.....idk, it sounds like a man's name or nickname.  But it really is her first name.  And she is ah-mah-zing!!  And I think the funniest, spunkiest person alive.  RGR was the first time I had ever met her in person and she is all that and a bag of chips.  In years past she was a collegiate runner and still kicks butt in my book.

Last, but not least, there was ME on the team.
I'm not sure what the others would say about me and what I contributed to the team.  But I know that all together we made such an awesome team & had A LOT of fun!!!!  Even though (spoiler alert) I am not addicted to this type of racing (not that that's a bad thing, but I can see where it's just not my thing) my team mates still made every single moment of this race worth it!!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Boston Bound

On Wednesday I was eligible to register for the Boston Marathon.  Or so I thought.  I thought my BQ time was good for 2 years.  And for the last 2 years I have ran well below my BQ cutoff (which is 3:40).  My first one was 3:29:50 in April 2013 and then exactly 1 minute "slower" with 3:30:50 in April 2014.  One puts me 10:10 below my BQ time needed and the other 9:10.  Since I thought my time was good for 2 years I was going to register on Wednesday using my faster time.  Except, as I learned, my time from April 2013 was not any good.  Turns out your BQ is only good for about 18 months.

My bubble bursted a little because mentally I was all psyched out to get it done on Wednesday.  But I wasn't too worried.  Except for the realization that I would be on the road running RGR during that time.  Again, there should have been nothing to worry about.  But I, being Mrs. Worse Case Scenario, was envisioning waiting until I arrived home after being on the road and finding the marathon already full.  Oh, no, not that nightmare.  So there was no way around it.  I had to register on Friday when it came open for the next round of qualifiers.

While I was on the road, either literally running or riding in the shaggin' wagon (a term given to my van by another team mate) I knew I needed to save my precious phone battery power for 2 things.  My case anything went wrong and they really needed to get a hold of me (or vice versa) and registering for Boston.  I have a very low end smart phone, but it gets the job done when I really need it to...even if it's a pain in the rear.  As it turned out I wasn't running when registration opened that morning, but I was the next up runner so I made sure I was all ready to run with plenty of time to still mess with my phone & registration.  After nervously watching the clock inch toward 9 a.m., my team mate Patches, heard me declare my intentions and saw me starting to type on my phone. She graciously offered to let me use her iPad to get my registration done.  Yes, yes, yes!  That made things so much easier than me squinting and struggling over my itty bitty screen.

Once you fill out your registration form & submit payment (that is held until final authorization) you get this nice little email.

And then I had nothing to do, but wait.......  But I had PLENTY to keep me occupied.  Like finishing my relay race across Iowa with little to no sleep.  (I keep giving you details of RGR and I promise a full race report will happen).  According to the email I wasn't expecting to hear any official word until early October.

However, on Sunday I received this email:

I had my confirmation that I WAS GOING TO RUN THE BOSTON MARATHON!!!!

I don't think words can express how happy & excited I am to be doing this race next year.  So many emotions and thoughts constantly swirl through my head and even though it feels like forever away, I know it will come faster than I realize.  I'm already planning for this to be a marathon PR.  Come January I'll be bringing it on like Donkey Kong and for a change take on a serious training plan.  I'm not taking this lightly with hopes to do ok.  I'm going to blow it out of the water!

I'm sure you'll hear me talk about Boston off and on for the next 7 months.  For now I'm just busy telling every person I know, maybe even some strangers that HEY....I'M BOSTON BOUND!!!!

Are you planning to run the Boston Marathon in 2015?  I'd like to meet as many running friends as possible!!  Have you run the Boston Marathon before?  I'd love to hear about your experience!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Big Steps 5k

Today was the Knox County YMCA's Big Steps 5k.  Over 100 people signed up for either the 5k or 1 mile fun run.  Funds from the race were used to support Youth Development at the YMCA.  Most people that I know asked if I was running this race.  And, of course, there was a big shock when I said no, but that I would be there supporting the race as a volunteer.

I find it a little amusing that people think that I run EVERY SINGLE race that is out there.  Ok, granted my blog name & one of my hashtags is SHERUNSEVERYWHERE.  But really, people I don't run every race that is out there.  In fact, there are so many races that I don't do.  If money and other personal reasons were not a factor I would probably race a lot more than I currently do.  Oh yeah, there are races left and right that I would love to do, but I don't.

For this particular race I did not run because I had a hand in planning the race itself.  We had many of us from the Knox County YMCA who came together as a team to plan this inaugural 5k.  I had a large role in planning & laying out the race route.  I also picked out the finishers awards.  That doesn't mean that I can't pay the money and run the race, but I don't think it's fair.  Plus, I know what it's like to be at a race where the same person typically wins.  Where I live when I show up to a race people jokingly groan and say "oh great......we already know who won".  Which is not always true....I don't always win, but I'm a top contender.  So personally I think it's nice to step back & let others have their success at races.  It's not always about me and I don't have to win at everything (although I am really competitive).

So I didn't run.  I volunteered.  It's nice to be on the other side of the fence and watch the race happen.  Admittedly I got that feeling.....that itch to want to be out there racing and quite possibly winning.  But I was also so tired and sore from my Rival Game Relay (don't worry race recap will be written) that I knew it wasn't a good idea to be out there running.  No matter what I tell myself when it comes to a race I go all out.  Someone suggested I sign up, but just jog it or take it easy.  I'm sorry, I can't do that.  It's not possible.  If I'm out for a daily run, no problem.  But when I hear that gun go off and BAM!  I'm in race mode (told you I was competitive!!).

It was fun and an absolute joy to watch and cheer the other runners on.  Some met their goal, some set personal records, some didn't, but they finished and that in my book is such an accomplishment.

Kelly, one of my co-workers joked about my finish line pictures.  She says I always have the best ones and that they are always fun.  So even though I didn't run I hopped in to the finishers chute and showed them how I have fun when I finish my races.

I'm looking forward to future years of the Big Steps 5k.  It was a great race, with a lot of great people participating.  I foresee this race becoming popular and growing in size.  I can't wait to be a part of it in future years.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Let the Rival Begin

I grew up in Iowa.  More specifically I was born in Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa and the Hawkeyes, and then raised in Muscatine which is a short 40 minute drive away.  Anyway, all good girls from Iowa are Hawkeye fans!  Others are somehow tricked in to rooting for that other Iowa team, the Cyclones.  Naturally there is a little bit of a rivalry between the 2 schools.  Hawkeye fans KNOW they are the best, Cyclone fans THINK they are.

This Saturday is the annual rival game of the 2 schools and their football teams.  In Ragnar style fashion a race has been created to go along with this annual showdown of schools.  Tonight I'll be joining my team, a Jack & 4 Jills, as we run across Iowa in Rival Game Relay.  Specifically we will run 126 miles from Ames (home of the Cyclones) to Tiffin (which is outside of Iowa City, home of the Hawkeyes).

We're ready to run and represent the best team....the Hawkeyes, OF COURSE, in this fun and what I'm sure will be memory filled relay race.  It's my first time to ever run a race like this so I'm sure it'll be quite interesting!!  Check back for a full race report and don't forget to check out my instagram (She Runs Everywhere) to see pictures that I post along the way!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Back to "normal"/August Rewind

Almost every single day I think....ok....I got this.  School has started (finally!!  oh most of you don't even know the half of it!!) and I'm getting back on track to a new schedule & routine.  Things are going back to normal (whatever that is) and I'll be back on track with my regular blogging.  Annnnnnd almost every single day I go to bed (usually exhausted) and think....well, tomorrow.  Ha, I even started this yesterday & didn't get it done.  And right now, I really should be in bed.  Normal schmormal, it's clearly over rated!!

Anyway, I have a boat load of things I want to blog about, but figured that I'd start with an August rewind.  As many of you know I ran at Howl at the Moon and kicked butt with 47.5 miles.  I'm still pretty excited over that one.  Running wise that was my only "accomplishment".  As I'm getting advanced in my years aka getting old I can only handle a big accomplishment every once in awhile.  Otherwise it's a whole lot of running with out any restrictions or goals.  I mean, goals are always good, but I'm clearly going through a phase where it's not prominent in my running life.  And I'm ok with that.

Surprisingly enough though I ran 124.2 miles in the month of August.  I figured that aside from Howl I wouldn't be doing much else.  Yes, I continued my streak, but figured I'd have so many more days of just a mile here and mile there to sustain my now 826 day running streak.  While the effects of Howl and thus my recovery process was pretty harsh, I guess it's no surprise that I continue to work through that and keep on running.  I didn't set out to run that many miles.  I just ran and the rest fell in to place.

This takes my yearly mileage up to 939.87 miles.  I didn't realize I was that close to 1,000.  And I find it fascinating that last year I ran over 2,000 and yet with 4 months left I haven't even reached half of that.  And yet, I'm constantly being told that I run waaaaaaay to much.  You know, all that crazy running I do.  Yay, not really!

Ok, my bed is calling my name and my eyes are heavy.  I blogged.  Hooray, I did it!  Now if I can just keep at it.  I mean it's all up in my head I just need to get it down in writing.