Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thankful Thursday [on iced coffee, motivation, and running]

Whoop, whoop.  Today is my Friday. Because tomorrow I'll be running the Ragnar Chicago relay race with my coworkers!  Eek! I'm a mix of excited and nervous.  Not nervous about the running part, per say, but more about the being stuck in a van for an extended period of time with smelly coworkers.  I'll be tweeting about the event using #RagnarChi (p.s. You can follow me here on Twitter!)


After a few weeks of absence, Thankful Thursday is making a return.

I'm thankful for long weekends. The weekend before last was Memorial Day and I went back to Iowa to spend time with the family and hang out with my friends.  The weekend was filled with that as well as bike rides, runs, and other shenanigans.  This weekend will mostly be spend running, but hopefully Sunday will be filled with productivity.

 2 am shenanigans included Kristin throwing a whole deck of cards

And is it just me, or do 3-day weekends go faster than regular weekends?  How does this happen?

I'm thankful for iced coffee.  I can guarantee you that I will be consuming at least 1 Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffee this weekend.  Now that the weather is warmer these have been hitting the spot.  I'm becoming slightly obsessed, shall we say.  It isn't helping that I keep getting coupons in the mail for $1 Large Iced Coffees or that they have a $1 any sized Iced Coffee or Iced Tea Happy Hour from 3-6 pm everyday (your welcome for that info!).  Just the afternoon pick up I need.

I'm thankful for my motivation this week.  After really, really struggling to get in training sessions for the half Ironman last week, this week has been going 1000x better.  I'm officially done with the build phase and am starting in with more speed training while maintaining training volume.  The long workouts are still eating up my time though and, unfortunately, my apartment cleaning is taking the brunt of it.  It is embarrassingly messy and dirty.  Good thing I don't have any visitors coming or a mad cleaning rush would ensue.

I'm thankful for National Running Day!  I hope you didn't miss it because it was yesterday- 6/6/2012!  I celebrated with 3x800s sandwiched between a 1.5 mile warm-up and a 1 mile cool down.  I run because it's a stress-reliever!

Did you celebrate National Running Day?  What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Remember that one time when...softball stories

So during my little blogging hiatus my dear grandpa had a birthday.

He is now 11.


Or 92.  But age is only a number, right?

I am incredibly blessed to have my grandpa in my life.  And am very thankful for the time I've been able to spend with him over the last 24 years.  And I continue to learn things about him that I didn't know before!  Like the fact that he lived in Chicago and Detroit for a while.

He was also shared with me the secret to long life.  When he was young and in the army, there group would have to move the whole group.  Sometimes they would travel up to 20 miles in 8 hours with all their packs.

I'm taking that as advice to be more active.  Especially since I sit at a desk for most of the day at work.

So today I have a story for you about some times I remember with my grandpa.

Remember that one time when...softball stories.  Growing up in the same town as my grandparents meant that we got to see them and spent time with them often.  My brother and I played a lot of games when visiting too--The Roadrunner Game, Battletops,  the shooter-pool game, and many other games.  Those games were probably 20+ years old by then, but we still loved them.  Another thing we loved to do was play softball with my grandpa.

We would go to the empty lot by the house carrying the bat, the ball, and home plate.  Pretty sure we were still playing with a wiffle ball, but it's hard to remember all the details.  My grandpa would pitch the ball to one of us and we would try to hit it.  After a few hits, my brother and I would switch and the next person would be up to bat.  I loved playing this!  It's probably why through the years softball has always been my favorite sport to play.

We would always play this game near the neighbor lady's rickety, old garage.  The garage door had a gap underneath it and sometimes, if you weren't quick enough the ball would roll under the door.  Of course, this neighbor lady happened to be an old crank.  If the ball rolled under the door, we were done playing softball for the day.  My grandpa would tell us that he would have to wait to ask the lady to get the ball out some other time.  I don't think my brother and I ever understood why he couldn't just go and ask her to open the door, but we obliged anyways.  It was probably time for my grandparent's favorite show Jeopardy and we needed to go back to the house!

Another thing I remember about my grandpa is him to trying to play tricks on me.  At family get-togethers, a whole bunch of family would play games and sometimes we would play a round of softball.  The games were never very competitive as there was quite an age range of the people playing.

My grandpa was pitching and he had the ball in his glove.  I was on base and he wandered over to me and told me he needed to clean off the base so I needed to step off it.  Well as soon as I did, he would tag me out with his glove! Of course, I was never really "out", but I wised up pretty quickly and would call time or pick up the base myself to clean it off.

What's a favorite memory of your grandparents?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Outrun the Rays 5K Race Recap

For the month of May I participated in the Foodie Penpals program hosted by Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean Blog.  I was supposed to post my recap of what was in my penpals box on May 31, but unfortunately, my box still hasn't arrived.  Sigh.  Everyday I rush home hoping it will be there, but it's not.  My penpal sent it out on the 16th of May but I think it might have gotten lost in the mail.  It's either that or one of my apartment mates stole it from in front of my door.  If it's the latter, I hope they know that tampering with someone's mail is a federal offense and I want my goodies back!  I'll just keep my fingers crossed that it shows up on my doorstep one of these days!

I sent my box over to Katie at 2 Peas in a Blog so be sure to check out all the goodies I sent her from Trader Joe's!

If you are interested in the Foodie Penpals program, you can find more info here.  You don't have to be a blogger to sign up! 

Over the long Memorial Day weekend, I made the trek back to Iowa for a cousin's graduation party.  I ended up not getting there till about 10 pm because I made a rash decision to grab a drink with my coworkers for a little F.A.C., except now I suppose I should call it F.A.W.  It was such a beautiful day and I wanted to enjoy the sunshine a bit before being bottled up in the car for 3.5 hours.  Who can blame me, right?  

Of course, I am incredibly lazy and didn't get a card for my cousin.  After a few cold ones (Busch Light and Bud Light are the beers of choice in Dubuque County) and a round of card games, I had the bright idea to make my own card out of some notebook paper.  I wish I had taken a picture because it was hilarious looking.  Here's an idea of what it looked like.

I included my address as well since they couldn't send me an invitation since they didn't know my address.  I'm so thoughtful.  

My cousin Kristin somehow convinced both me and my mom to do a 5K with her in a nearby town the next morning.  This all seemed like a grand idea when it was 11 o'clock, but by the time 3 am rolled around and we were still at the graduation party shootin' the sh*t with my family, it seemed like a terrible idea.  Just imagine how bad it seemed at 7:30 am when Kristin called me to see if I was going or not! Blerg.  I seriously thought it was the middle of the night when she called me, not morning.  

At this point, I could already hear my mom moving around upstairs and since I just knew she would be coming down to wake me up any minute I made the decision to do the race.  Slowly dragging my sleep-deprived self upstairs, I somehow managed to put on a running outfit and slam down some water.  I definitely didn't feel very hungover but knew I was dehydrated.  

My mom and I drove up to the race and got all signed up.  This was a small local race and they ended up with a record busting 625 runners/walkers!  The race was a fundraiser for melanoma prevention and at the beginning of the race, the announcer listed off a few of the things they've done so far including putting covers over dugouts at little league softball and baseball fields, handing out sunscreen at pools and golf courses, and a "Ban the Tan" campaign to keep high schoolers out of tanning beds especially around Prom season.  Great ideas!

The race was only clock timed with no chips and I had no idea where to line up in the pack.  I was much to far back and ended up passing a lot of people within the first half mile.  Almost as soon as I started running I start ed feeling the effects from a night of drinking followed by very little sleep.  I didn't really start the race with a goal in mind except to finish under 30 minutes and survive.  I was trying to push my pace to be a little bit uncomfortable but my stomach was not really feeling it.  The course was set up to be fairly hilly.  No super bad inclines but you were either going up or down the whole time.

The first half mile was downhill and the remaining portion was uphill.  I was still passing quite a bit of people at this point and my first mile clocked in at 8:46.  Pretty good for how crappy I felt.  I was just trying to focus on keeping my breathing steady and controlled and pushing my pace a bit.  The second mile clocked in at just at 9 minutes (approximately, I was just glancing at my watch).

For the third mile I tried to pick up the pace a little bit, but my stomach still felt a little funky so I didn't end up going much faster.  Before you can climb the hill to the finish line they shoot you out into a little out-and-back that is further downhill.  The downhill was nice but I knew that I wasn't going to like hoofing it back uphill.

I didn't.

But I could see the finish line at the top of the hill and it was only a half mile away.  I chugged up the hill and tried to prevent myself from mentally giving up.  Apparently it worked a little bit.  I picked up the speed when I got close to the clock to try to beat the guy next to me.  He ended up coming in a second in front of me but I finished with a clock time of 27:07 which calculates out to an average pace of 8:41.  So I guess I did pick up my pace for the last 1.1 miles.

I'll call that my 5K PR since I've never ran a 5K race before.

After the race I ate half a banana and drank a whole bottle of water.  I was still thirsty.  I even got to chat with my high school golf coach for a bit.  It was nice to catch up with her.

One of these times, I am going to actually race without being sick or hungover.  Seriously.




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