Monday, December 17, 2012

Thoughts...

I'm still not signed up for a race... I've been contemplating either doing a triathlon or even another marathon. Half-marathons are getting pretty easy and I'm looking for something more challenging. My easy runs are 3-milers and I'm hoping to kick those up to 6 miles. I could easily do an hour run if I stop being so lazy.

Other thoughts... I've been pretty upset about my weight gain. I've gained a good 10 lbs since Dec 2010. I don't like this. I've been trying to cut down my food intake, but it's hard. I don't think I eat that bad to begin with; maybe I should start a food journal just to see, but I HATE those things. I hate counting calories. I just feel like I should be more fit since I'm running more, but it's just not the case. I've always worked out, either doing the elliptical, rowing, weight training. I'd do short 1-mile runs and I liked the way my body looked. Bah. Maybe it's my age?? lol.

Anyways, here is another favorite from Maui:

Three Palms.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Damn you, Nike!

I entered into the Nike Women's Inaugural Half-Marathon, DC lottery and found out yesterday that I got DECLINED. I'm pretty bummed, as I really wanted to run this race! So now I'm trying to lift my spirits and figure out another race to run. Hmmm...

Anyways, we just got back from Hawaii and it was pretty fantastic. Here are my favorite shots from the trip:

On top of Haleakala. Felt out of this world, like we were on Mars! Amazing.
Pretty palm at sunset.
Hibiscus, enjoying the afternoon sun.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lafayette Square Park


  • Shutter Speed 1/100 sec
  • Aperture f/13
  • ISO/Film 200
  • Taken November 22nd 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

2012 Turkey Run

What a beautiful day for a run!! Gorgeous weather, although I did dress a little too warm for this race. It's the end of November (obviously), so I expected some chill in the air.

You could sign up for two different distances, a 3- or 6-miler. I went ahead and signed up for the 6 mile since it was the same price as the 3 mile. The races didn't start at the same time, which I thought was stupid. But I guess it is a good way to control the congestion in the beginning. There were 1270 people running the 6 and approximately 3200 running the 3.

3 and 6 mile route.
I have never ran around Webster Groves, Kirkwood, or Glendale. I imagined some hills, but damn, it was a constant stream of hills. We had a really long downhill portion within the first 1/2 mile so I knew since we are going doooown, we were going to have to go back up at some point (the start and finish were at the exact same point). 

There were so many times I wanted to walk, but no one was walking around me. Finally around mile 4.8, I started to see some walkers (because of a huge hill). So after climbing that hill, I gave in and walked for 20 seconds or so. Bah.

About to hit another hill.
I finished with a time of 58:36, a pace of 9:46. I was really happy with my time, but when I looked at the overall results, I placed horrible. I think there were a lot of strong runners in this race. I mean, who else runs on a major holiday?

Placed 923/1269.
And the finish photos of me are awful. Here is one:

At the finish.
Oh well, it was a fun race. I loved all the homes around the race route, thinking maybe we should have bought around there instead of where we currently live. It's such a great community. But... I do love Soulard.

Crazy hills.
I skipped breakfast before the race and there was only one water stop (at 3 mile) on the route. I think this is why I had some struggles.

Pretty fall leaves on the walk back to the car.
We took the pups walking around Lafayette Square today and I saw the most gorgeous tree with bright yellow leaves.

Lafayette Square
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Store Front

I'm still working on HDR photography... I took this same picture last year and I think there are some improvements. This shop is located right by my house and they always have such fun window displays. It makes me sad that so many Americans only shop at big box stores and eat at chain restaurants. There are so many cute shops in Soulard and really good eats. I just wish the thugs would leave it alone.

R.EGE Antiques
Also, my fall leaves picture was highlighted in the gizmodo photo challenge, yay!
Gizmodo Photo Challenge

The Skippo

I was pretty pissed off when I first started the race because just before I was leaving, I noticed some asshole smashed one of my car windows. I also paid no attention to the weather so I dressed for typical November weather. Good thing I was wearing a tank under my long sleeve. I also rolled up my pants while I was running. I know I looked special, I just had my mind on other things. The race would have been more enjoyable if I dressed for high 60 degree temps.

Just another day in Soulard.
The Skippo was my first trail race. I have been out at Castelwood State Park to run the trails before, but I always took the easier route. The first two miles were very flat, but it was awkward because the trail was narrow at places and it was hard to pass. I just stayed on pace with the girl in front of me. I did see one lady trip about a mile in and she looked pretty banged up. So from then on, I kept my eyes on the ground to watch out for tripping hazards. I think I glanced at the Missouri River only once...

The stairs just after the 2 mile mark got the best of me... all 200+ of them. Everyone was walking the stairs, so I was relieved that I wasn't holding anyone up...because I'd for sure be walking them! The downhill portion was fun, I really felt like I was flying, but that wasn't really the case. It just felt exhilarating.

The stairs
Then that bitch hill...I guess people call is Cardiac Hill or something? What a nightmare!!! It lasted about a 4th of a mile and I seriously thought I was going to die. From there on, I walked the uphills and powered down the downhills. Even though I had to walk a lot, I was still having a lot of fun.

Started having troubles after 2 miles. Woah!
My official time was 1:14:31. I'm really happy with my time; it was a challenging course at times. Some people were running the route a second or third time. I do have to say...I'm so happy I only did one lap!!

My next race is a turkey trot on Thanksgiving Day, a 6-miler. I also entered the lotto for the DC Women's Half Marathon. I really hope I get selected, but I just have this feeling I won't be. I will find out mid-December if I'm lucky. I've also been contemplating running another full marathon. We'll see.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll St. Louis 2012

I was really nervous going into this race because I knew I was going to push my comfort level. I am one of those people that trail other runners. If I like your pace, I'm going to follow you for a while. My first mile pace was 9:42.7. I was actually feeling really good. I was a bit afraid I was going too fast, but I wanted to see what my body could do. I kept pushing my pace and then really started to feel it around mile 10. To be honest, I'm surprised I lasted that long!! I kept thinking about that asshole punk that robbed me at gunpoint while I was out running. Since that day I have been so scared on my runs and I definitely don't run as much as I would like because I'm afraid it will happen again. I think the anger really helped push myself.

Weeee!
My goal was to come in under 2:10 and my official time was 2:06:01!!! I really hope to come in under 2 hours during my next 1/2 marathon (tbd).


A new PR!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Beautiful Fall

A Tree's Shadow - October 16, 2012

I was walking around the St. Louis Arch grounds and snapped this picture. The lighting was just perfect and really showcased the yellow/red leaves on the trees. I loved the contrast against the green grass. I was using my Canon 7D (15-85mm wide angle lens), f/22, 1/40s, ISO 400, 31mm.  I edited the photo in Lightroom to bring out the shadows. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween 10k

I debated about running this race. I had a friend in town and we really hit it hard Friday night. I had a rather large headache most of Saturday and just wanted to sleep in on Sunday. But I got my butt moving and headed to the start line.

It had rained most of the night, so I thought it was going to be rather cool Sunday morning. Boy was I wrong. It was super humid and wiiiindy. I overdressed big time.

I started out pretty fast. I wanted to push my comfort level to see how long I could maintain faster speeds. There were many times when I wanted to walk, but I ran the entire race, even all of the hills. I'm really proud of myself.

My goal was to come in under an hour and I crossed the finish line with an official time of 58:59!

Here are my splits:


My goal is to run a 9:40 pace this weekend during the Rock -n- Roll Half Marathon. I'm just not sure I'll be able to push my comfort level for another 7ish miles.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Mo' Cowbell 2012

Well, I loved this race. I wasn't sure what to expect because Mo' Cowbell 2011 was my first half-marathon and it really kicked my butt. ...I also trained really hard (for a beginner) for that race. I live in Soulard and it's rather hilly, so I'm always running uphill, downhill. The Mo' Cowbell course is relatively flat. I find flats kind of boring. 

All bundled up, started out with 38° temps.
I didn't line up in any corral, I started in the back because it wasn't crowded. I found myself passing a lot of people, but it wasn't an issue. There was tons of space to pass. My first mile pace was 10:39. It was nice and slow and I liked that. I knew I'd have to pick it up if I wanted to PR. I wasn't pushing myself at all.  I was breathing comfortably, I wasn't too hot or too cold. There was a slight breeze, but it felt nice.

At mile 6. That girl next to me has got to be freezing!!!

At mile 7. Shedding my jacket.
The course finally gets challenging around 9.5 miles where there is this looooong uphill that lasts a little over a mile. This thing kicked my ass last year, I think I walked the majority of it. This year though, I ran the entire hill. It wasn't really that hard. I mean, I was plenty tired for already running over 1 hour and 40-ish minutes. There is a nice downhill segment after the bitch hill and then back to flats. I think the absolute worst part of the race is the steep downhill before mile 12. OUCH! The sucker killed my knees. I wanted to walk it, but I wanted to stay strong. After sprinting down the hill, I had to walk it. I walked maybe a tenth of a mile and then told myself to get going. But... then we hit the last water break and I extended my walk there too. I decided to suck it up and run to the finish, whew I was in a lot of pain!!!

Happy with a new PR!
I'm really proud of myself, I didn't train as hard as I should have. I only did three long training runs: a 7- and 9-miler back in August (after Sea Wheeze Half Marathon) and only one 10-miler in mid-September (all other runs were 5 miles or less). So I'm happy with my finish time: 02:12:55... a new PR!!! By like 7 minutes!!! My next race is in two weeks. My goal is to finish under 2 hours 10 minutes. Eeekkk! I'm going to have to push my comfort level.


I'm happy I was able to pick up my pace each 5k :o).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Warrior Dash 2012

This has to be my favorite dash yet!! I almost didn't sign up for it, since I had already done the Missouri dash in 2011. I figured it would be the same route, same obstacles. Although some parts were the same, there were a lot of new obstacles. I ran with my friend Greg and he didn't think he could run a lot of it. I got him to run the majority of it, we had some walking breaks now and then, but he did a really good job keeping up. I felt really strong and happy. My time was just under 47 minutes, which is about 4 minutes slower than the 2011 dash, but whatever. It was great to have someone to talk to.








Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fall Happenings!

I love October! It's such a fun month for runners. I have a lot of events to look forward to.

September 16: Lululemon Lemon Drop 5k
October 7: Mo' Cowbell Half-Marathon
October 14: Halloween 10k
October 21: Rock n Roll Half-Marathon
November 10: The Skippo 10k Trail Race

I'm debating about signing up for the Warrior Dash September 29.  ...it's a fun event, but I did the same course last year and I dunno, would like to do a different obstacles.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

SeaWheeze Half Marathon 2012

I met a good friend in Vancouver so of course we wanted to see and do a lot. We arrived Vancouver Thursday morning and spent the majority of the day walking and touring. On Friday, we went to the race expo around 9 am (opened at 8 am) and that was pretty crazy. I heard there was a line starting before 7 am to enter. We didn't get a race bib, instead got a bracelet and a shoe timing chip. We also received a free pair of flip flops. We then had to wait in a short line to enter the merchandise store. Wow, I saw some major Lulu addicts. They were only selling the special Lululemon Sea Wheeze gear at the expo and I saw some ladies with 10+ items. A lot of the cute stuff had already sold out, but somehow I managed to grab this colorful duffel bag. I gave it to my friend to see if she'd be interested in purchasing it. Two ladies approached her asking if she wanted to buy the bag. It's CRAZINESS. After spending a little over an hour at the store, we had to wait in line another 2 hours to check out. A couple before me spent $940 (well they tried to, their credit card wasn't approved. Tons of Americans were having issues with that b/c of the large out-of-country expense)!!!! We made it out a little after noon. We spent the rest of the day walking around the city and then hit the hay pretty early, around 8 pm. My legs were feeling pretty sore from all of the walking.

Craziness at the expo
I woke up well rested for the run. We only had a short distance to walk to the race start. We hopped in the 2:20 corral and started running about 15 minutes after the race start. The race started downtown on normal city streets. There were tons of people, but you expect that in the beginning. I wanted to keep a slow pace, but it almost seemed too slow b/c of the congestion. It didn't really matter to me because I did not sign up for this race to have a PR, I just really wanted to enjoy the event and the weather. (But you know, it would be nice to have a PR).

Ready for the race to start!
I started out feeling really good. I was breathing easy, my legs didn't feel heavy. I think I was smiling. There was a point where it got so congested, we had to walk! But...the scenery was beautiful, so it wasn't that big of a deal.

Gorgeous weather!
My iPod Shuffle crapped out around the 3 mile mark. I was a bit bummed, but I did have my iPhone w/ me with a limited playlist so I listened to a couple songs over and over again. I have a feeling I won't listen to that playlist for a long time. The water stops were kind of a joke. They were running out of cups so they were handing out these huge bottles of water! It was such a waste. Well, I guess it wasn't a waste if you had your own bottle.

Wasted water bottles
We ran over the Burrard Street Bridge and there was a slight incline. I didn't have any issues with it, it was probably the only hilly part of the course. There were a ton of people walking, which made passing difficult. Also, the travel lanes were so narrow so that didn't help any.

Burrard Street Bridge
We worked our way to the West End and then around Stanley Park. I really wanted to enjoy the view, but I kept looking down because I didn't want to trip (there was a bike lane and a walking lane, one lane was higher than the other). I was feeling really good, even started to pick up my pace some.

Running around Stanley Park
I finally started to crap out around mile 11.6. It happened just after a water break and I think I just drank too much. I got a tight pinch in my stomach, so I gave into temptation and started to walk it out. From here I did a run/walk to the finish line. People started yelling..."You only have 1 kilometer left!" The crowd support was really amazing around the finish line.

Me and my medal!
There are some things I loved about the race and some things I hated.

Pros: (1) The medal was kinda cool - it was a key chain linked to a bright pair of Lulu shoelaces. It's likely I won't ever use the shoelaces because I like to hang all of my medals. (2) It seemed like everyone (except me) was wearing Lulu. I think I was checking out all of the matching outfits more than the scenery at times. I'm not really sure if this is a pro or a con, but it definitely kept me entertained. (3) The weather was perfect. It felt so good to run in 60 degree weather again. (4) Although the race course wasn't very practical, it was a good change. Lulu did an excellent job showcasing Vancouver. (5) They served breakfast after the race (waffles/fruit) and they had the band .Fun there, but we didn't go. I just wanted to get back to the hotel and shower. (6) They gave us bracelets instead of a bib. I like this because pinning a bib to my shirt usually messes it up. However, this means no race pictures unless you are lucky and spot yourself in someone's picture.

Cons: (1) The congestion!!! How much can I bitch about this?? Maybe I just started in a slower corral than I should have, but I just felt like I couldn't move. (2) They ranked us by the official race start time, not by chip time. Well, I started a good 15 minutes after the start clock. Maybe some slower people started in the first corral and this is why it was bottleneck at some points (we literally had to walk at times). (3) There were tons of people walking and they weren't very polite about it. If you have to walk, please move over so the runners can pass you. (4) My biggest issue is that...this was my worst half marathon time yet!!! I even felt really good like 90% of the race. I ran all of the hills, I smiled. I high-fived. So why is this my worst time?? My first half (the Mo' Cowbell) I had to start run/walking around mile 6 and I still did 3 minutes better there. A lot of folks who ran the Sea Wheeze are saying that their GPS calculated the race a bit longer than a half marathon, as did mine (around 13.42 miles). I just can't believe that I did worse and felt so good, so frustrating. (5) I felt a little nauseous after I crossed the finish line. Do other people feel like they need to puke?? What is my deal? I really think it's motion sickness because I don't feel queasy until I stop moving. I really have no clue. But, I didn't puke so I call it a win. (6) This was my first destination race and I had trouble "being good" while on vacation. I wanted to stay up late, enjoy some drinks...you know, be on vacation.


My splits were pretty terrible...talk about being all over the place.

I did find the most perfect Bloody Mary in Vancouver. It's called the Caesar and they use clamato juice instead of tomato juice. It was pretty perfect and yummy.

The Caesar
Maybe that's why my run wasn't a success...I had too many Caesar's.

Monday, August 6, 2012

My Summer at a Glance

I haven't posted in a very long time. I figure it's because I've been less obsessed about my running. Anyways - a few updates. My husband and I ran the Benton Park 5k. I ran this race last year and it sort of kick-started my running hobby. I set a new 5k PR (27:15)!

Benton Park 5k. A new PR!
Then a couple days later, we set off for Italy and I took two weeks off from running (not that I'm complaining).

Venice
Florence: We took a bus up to Fiesole thinking we'd spend an hour there. Turns out we were on the last bus before they closed off the roads for a race. Of course, we didn't know this b/c we don't understand Italian. Anyways, we were stuck in Fiesole for 5 hours and watched the runners. I enjoyed watching instead of running b/c the route was straight uphill.
A more iconic view of Florence
Amalfi Coast, Positano
Pompeii
Rome
When we got back from Italy, I started my training for the Sea Wheeze...which is this Saturday!! I'm so excited. I'm meeting a girl friend there (Vancouver) and this will be her first half marathon! Training was going really well, doing a lot of my runs outside rather than on the treadmill...until I got robbed at gun point. It was a pretty scary event and therefore I don't run outdoors in the morning anymore (it happened at 6 am). The St. Louis City cops were pretty awesome, however, they were never able to recover my phone :o(. My husband took this picture of me after the robbery, and I think it's kind of funny.


Anyways, I've been making up my own training plan for the Sea Wheeze... doing what I can. I hope it's enough. I just really want to enjoy Vancouver and not really care about a PR.