Sunday, April 22, 2012

50 Miles!!!

Today I updated my USMS Master's Swimming online fitness log for my progress on the Nike Go the Distance challenge.  I set my goal for this year to swim 150 miles in 2012! 

Today I made it past the 50 mile mark which means I am on track to make it to my goal this year.  Yeah!!! Today's Sunday Funday swim was a full group with all of Team Tininenko in attendance (Brent, Lauren, and Alexa) as well as myself and Carie.  Carie's friend Hannah also came but did her own workout. 

For the workout: we started with a 1000yd warmup ladder.  The ladder breaks down as 400yd swim, 300yd drills (75 per stroke), 200yd kick, 100yd IM or pull.  My friend Kyla and her son Karsten showed up during the drills portion of the warmup.  She normally swims with us for Sunday Funday but she was on baby duty today.  I had her watch some of my kick because lately when I've been doing breast stroke kick drills I feel off kilter.  It's as if one foot comes up higher than the other.  She thought it looked like my hips weren't even which makes sense.  I've been feeling like my hips were a mess lately while I run too.  I'm probably overdue for a visit to the chiropractor.

Next up was our main workout set.  The workout Carie had picked for today called for 6-8 x 200 with the odds IM and the evens all free descending pace.  They selected a 4:00min interval which would give them plenty of time to recover for the descending pace challenge.  I decided to go with a shorter distance of 150 on a 3:00 min interval and increase the number of reps.  I managed to get in just shy of 11 reps while the others did the 200's.  For the first 8, I did a 25yd stretch of backstroke in the middle on the odds and 25yds of breaststroke on the evens.  For reps 9 & 10, I did pull and then for the 11th and final I only got in 100yd of straight free. 

We did an easy cooldown and then hit the hot tub.  The hot tub was super crowded tonight with some other people plus our group of 6.  We might have exceeded the occupancy limit but the lifeguard didn't say anything to us. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Sunday morning was the Hogeye Marathon in Fayetteville.  Rush Running supports the race and hosts the best water stop on the whole course! We used the same theme this year as last year which was Hula.  One big change was our location...apparently we were too loud for the neighborhood near the trail last year so they moved us up the trail to a spot without any houses nearby. 

This weekend there were lots of weather warnings due to a strong line of storms moving across the country.  Saturday the race organizers put out a notice regarding inclement weather.  The race would go on as long as conditions were safe.  Below is a picture of the weather radar just before the race was going to be close!

As we started to set up our aid station, we had a major decision to make regarding the Rush arch.  The arch is a giant inflatable arch mainly used at finish lines.  For the aid station, it comes in handy because we hang lots of fun pool toys and things like inflatable palm trees and flamingos from it to add to the atmosphere.  With rain almost a certainty Mike decided not to put up the arch and that left us thinking of alternatives for our decorations.  We did the best we could to make our spot festive! 

The music was kept pumping and dry thanks to the Rush bus.  Mike was able to set up the sound system inside the bus so that it stayed dry and kept us dancing the whole time. 

We had a spot that was about 1/2 mile from the half marathon turn around point so we would see the half marathoners twice.  We were also at mile 21 for the full marathon.  This race has more half marathon runners than full or relay so we were busy pretty early on.  We set up tables on both sides of the trail with both water and Gatorade.  We also had Gu and Gu Chomps to share with the runners that we passed out but we started to run low and had to save some for the full marathoners.  Sorry to anyone that missed out:(

We kept our eye on the weather radar and as the storms got closer we moved our supplies under a nearby overpass.  It allowed us to keep out of the heavy rain that eventually came.  Our group never dropped our spirits and we cheered for each and every runner.  Mike was super generous and offered them all some Keystone Light for the road too! We actually had 5-10 runners stop for more than 1 minute at our beer table including 2 who did keg stands at mile 21 of their marathons! CRAZY, just like Mike Rush! More than a couple requested pictures with Mike in his hula glory!

Overall, another fun year at the Hogeye Marathon!!! Congrats to all who ran including my buddies Rhonda and Cathy! It was a tough day and you all did awesome!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fierce Biker Babes in Purple

Saturday mid-morning I met up with the girls for a bike ride.  We all met up at Kyla's house and didn't have any communication in advance other than deciding on the time via text.  I showed up first and Kyla came out in the driveway...she had on an orange long sleeve and a purple short sleeve shirt.  I was wearing a purple/pink shirt too.  AJ pulled up a few minutes later and had on a purple tank top too.  While we waited for Maja to get there, AJ and I headed inside to chat with Kyla's husband Kurt and see their 3 month old son. 

As we were talking, Kurt looked out the window and started to laugh.  Maja had pulled in and when she got out of her car she had on a purple jacket too.  We had a good laugh about it and then Kurt took our picture and sent out a tweet about us. 

We headed out on our favorite Bella Vista loop which includes several good sized hills.  The weather was overcast for most of the ride and we couldn't decided whether it was hot or cold.  The air just felt damp and humid which made it feel cooler than it actually was out.  Either way, we had fun chatting with each other and enjoying the day.  The headwind we encountered wasn't the most fun and made us realize how awesome the tailwind was earlier in the ride!

We got back and Kyla offered to cook some breakfast waffles.  AJ had a coffee date already scheduled with her son so she couldn't stay.  Maja helped Kyla make the waffles and I held the baby! I'm not a fan of waffles so I passed on them but from the looks of it Kyla and Maja enjoyed them!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Glow Run 5K Race Recap

The Children's Advocacy Center hosted a revamped 5K last Friday.  They have had a 5K fundraiser for a couple of years but this year they changed things up a bit and it was a lot of fun to participate.  The 5K was previously held on a Saturday morning just like every other race.  To spice things up, they hosted their race on a Friday evening and called it the Glow Run. 

I signed up to participate with some friends from the Rush Running crew.  About a week before the race I got an email from the race organizers that the start time had been delayed to allow for maximum glow! I met up with my friends after work and there were lots of activities for everyone at the race.  There was a BBQ cookout going on next to the registration tables.  They had some great bands playing on a stage in another area of the parking lot.  They had a firetruck for kids to visit and also a couple of bouncy houses.  My personal favorite were the mini-ponies.  There were dressed up 80's style for the occasion and had glow bracelets on their hooves. 

Several of my friends opted for the fun walk so we split up around 7:00 when their event started.  Jody and I were both doing the 5K run and we had our own fun walk to the start location for the run.  This was my only real complaint for the run was having a separate start and finish location.  It was almost 3/4 mile walk away but it I won't complain too much since it was an uphill walk which meant a nice downhill start for the race!

There wasn't much organization at the start location.  Just before 8:00PM the organizers brought out some lighted balloons to launch.  Well, right at 8:00 they launched the balloons with a small starting whistle and the race was off.  No one realized that it was the exact start of the race so there was a lot of confusion about whether to go through the parking lot, on the sidewalk, or on the road.  Gladly everyone figured it out eventually but Jody's fiance Shannon was quite surprised as the mass of runners came after him on the sidewalk. 

The race course went back down our warmup hill towards where we were parked and the finish line festivities were. 

You can see Jody and I in the middle with the black and red jerseys with white writing on the back. 
It then went onto the local trail system for an out and back.  The trail system was very nice but had a few rollers along the way.  As I was nearing the turn around point, the light was diminishing and it was quite trippy.  The organizers had given all of us fun glow necklaces and bracelets to wear and they also put glow sticks in the trees and along the path near the turn around point.  It was a fun way to light things up!
Nikki, Jody, Me, and Jon...representing Rush Running!

My goal for the race was to avoid walking and have fun.  I don't really feel ready for race season so I'm working my way back into that race mindset with non-time oriented goals.  I did really well and kept myself from walking the entire race.  And more importantly my glow necklaces stayed in place as did the glow mask that I had on like a headband! The race was a little short but my time was 30:55 for the distance.  Not a bad start for the season...definitely plenty of room for improvement!
Cathy, Maja, Rhonda, and Tammy...awesome volunteers!

And my friends who had done the walk ended up getting roped in to volunteer at the finish line cutting chips off shoes.  It was a great finish line to run up to with friends all around cheering me on! From there we headed to a nearby restuarant and had some snacks, drinks, and lots of laughs.  It was a great Friday night with running, friends, and fun!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

2012 Jelly Bean Recap

Happy Easter to all!

This year I participated in the Jelly Bean virtual races sponsored by Run with Jess.  Jess offered 4 different race distances for participants including 5K, 10K, and half marathon for runners and a 21K for cyclists.  Below are my results:

March 31st Bentonville Half Marathon (it was a day early but I wanted to include it anyway.) My time was 2:36:55.

April 2nd 5K - 32:21

I used my regular Monday track workout for my 5K distance.  I just included the first 3.1 miles as the race distance so this included nearly 1.6 miles of warmup and 1.5 miles of speed work.  The workout for the night was 2 x mile at 5K pace and 2 x 800 at faster than 5K pace.  There was rest between each repeat.  I decided to shorten the miles to 1200m repeats and it worked out perfect to get me to my 5K after the 1200's.  It was a good workout so soon after the half marathon. 
Jody and I after the track workout.

April 5th 21K Bike - 56:36
Bentonville bike ride - I'm in white...I missed the green memo for the night!

Thursday was the kickoff of the Bentonville Girls Ride.  We had a group of 9 head out for a social ride around the hills of Bentonville.  It was my first ride outside since October and I was worried about making it up some of the bigger hills on our route.  Luckily my legs remembered to keep pedaling and I made it up them.  My time and pace was a little slower than I would have liked but that is one of the growing pains of riding on a no drop ride with a new group. 

Afterwards we headed to the Pressroom for dinner.  The bike rack in front was full of bikes and it looked like a bike gang had invaded! Of course, we felt somewhat silly in our bike shoes but had a great dinner and enjoyed meeting new people. 

Thanks again to Jess for hosting such a fun event!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sweat and Surrender

A few months ago I saw a flyer on Facebook that read "No Foolin Lululemon Comes to Northwest Arkansas."  I quickly checked it out and saw that a local yoga group was hosting a Lululemon Ambassador for a 2 hour yoga workshop followed by a Lululemon trunk show.  The yoga workshop was on April 1st and No Foolin it was tough and fun!

I signed up for it because I knew that I would need some good stretching after the Bentonville Half Marathon.  I didn't realize at the time that the workshop would be a hot yoga class.  Thankfully, I noticed the wording "Warm Vinyasa Flow" in an email the day before class because I definitely needed my yoga towel to keep from slipping on my mat during the class. 
Jennifer opening the class

The instructor was Jennifer Skaggs who is based out of Tulsa.  She has a very calm and gentle voice for a very powerful style of yoga.  She began the workshop with the guidance to "Greet each pose like its your first time in it." What a great reminder to be open to the experience because your body is different each and every day in how it responds to the environment around us.  For me, there were some poses that my hamstrings were screaming for so I adjusted, used a block, and did the best I could. 
Me and Jennifer

Another great reminder Jennifer gave us was to find that point between compassion and pushing toward the edge.  I thought this was a unique thought and something I had never really considered before.  To do this, she reminded us more than once to make our own decisions regardless of what those around us were doing.  We are all different and the full pose is the one you are in.  It's hard to not compare yourself to those around you but if you can focus inward then you'll find the decision that is right for you.  This meant taking some poses a little easier than others but it also meant pushing myself through a two hour workshop.  We spent a good amount of time on pigeon pose near the end and it was just what I needed to talk to my hips and try to loosen them up. 
The workshop group...after class so we're just a little sweaty.

Besides the words of wisdom, the workshop was set up as a 90 minute sweat flow series and then 30 minutes of surrender poses.  I was shaking and sweating with the first few poses and worried that I wouldn't make it through the whole class...but I did!  Jennifer uses a non-traditional playlist and I loved it.  I don't remember all of the songs but there was some Alanis Morrisette and John Mayer in there and maybe even a little Snoop Dogg.  My favorite song Hallelujah was the final shavasana song and was the perfect way to end the workshop.  Overall, it was a great experience and something I hope the repeat. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bentonville Half Marathon Race Recap

On Saturday, Bentonville hosted its 3rd Bentonville Half Marathon and Running Festival. 

With over 1800 runners I was really surprised to find an easy parking space.  I got to the race site about an hour early which gave me plenty of time to get parked and meet up with friends.  I was a little disappointed to see that the race had just a few porta-potties set up.  I got in that line early and tried to not think about how I normally go to the bathroom 20 times before a race!

Weather this March has been warmer than normal and race morning was no exception.  Even though temps were warm I still saw a wide range of apparel choices from the other runners.  I went with some Nike half tights and my Nike Rush Running race team singlet.  This was my first time to wear the new singlet and it was actually much cooler than I thought it would be.  I also added my pink Headsweats visor since it was a sunny morning.
Rhonda and I before the race

The race was fairly uneventful...except for the fact that I mentally checked out of the race around mile 3.  It was warm and my right hip was feeling tweaked and I just didn't feel into the race.  I knew that pretty much at all times I was within one mile of the start/finish line and it was sooooo very tempting to get a DNF.  I've never had a DNF and thankfully my friends talked me out of that.  I joined up with Mandy and Pauline around mile 5 and we did a 4/1 run/walk ratio for the rest of the race.  I have no shame in admitting that I walked up the Crystal Bridges trail hill at mile 12.  It is a bugger of a hill and at the end of the race it is just rough!

It was fun to see so many people around the course and running the race.  Around mile 8 my friend Kyla was out spectating and ran a block with us.  I saw a former co-worker around mile 10 as he was spectating for someone on the course.  I got a kick out of 3 high school boys singing "Living on a Prayer" in a slightly off-key acappella style.  There were goofy signs all over the race course and then there were signs for the town's Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by Hersheys.  Unfortunately, there was no chocolate at the finish line:(
I definitely do Run for Chocolate!

Overall, my time was well within my range...not my best and not my worst.  The key accomplishment was that I finished my 15th half marathon.  I'm still a fan of the half marathon distance but maybe not a fan of the Bentonville course.  It always manages to kick my booty! I guess the medal was worth of the coolest medals I've gotten so far!
Pauline, Mandy, and Me showing off our new hardware!