Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Bragging Rights

Hello! Remember that picture that I posted here. Well, It's now on the cover of the Soulard Directory!

I know it's not that great of a photo, but seriously happy that MY photo, that I captured, is at all of the major businesses in Soulard. However, I'm a bit perturbed that I'm not credited, boo. I did give the Soulard Restoration Group several of my photos, so it was free to use, but still, boo.

And..... I totally got to meet Jared Leto. It was only for like 5 seconds, but still amazing.

Jared Leto!
I continue to be lazy with my running, but I signed up for a January Yoga Bender. The goal is to do yoga every day, which I know I won't. But, I'm excited to start my yoga practice again. I've seriously missed it. I also signed up again with the Big River Running Training Team, which starts in January. I just need some motivation to get outside and off the treadmill.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fall Running

I've been sort of lazy with my running. I've been way too nervous to run outside after work because there continue to be muggings in my neighborhood (shitty way to live, I tell you) and I hate the treadmill. So I try to run on my lunch break when possible, but that doesn't work out so much. I did manage to sign up for the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon in July, and I'm really excited for the race (sold out in 40 minutes)!!!! Plus I finally get to try the Blondie Mary that I've been dreaming about for the last two or so years.

Bistro Don Giovanni's Blondie Mary
I entered in the NYC Marathon lottery, but I have a good feeling I won't get selected, and that's okay. I just wanted to see if I would get picked (which is in March), but I think I'll be relieved if I don't. It's an expensive race and with the travel costs... BLAH. But it would be a lot of fun too.

I do plan to sign up again for the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon, which is in August. It's just such a fun race!!!!! I love the atmosphere and the loot. Registration opens in January and I imagine it will sell out quick.

I'm contemplating running the Castlewood Cup again... It's in February, and it nearly killed me when I ran it early this year. It can be really cold in February. Registration should open soon. I'll probably try to nab a spot. I can always give up my spot if the weather looks too frigid.

I am also running again for Stray Rescue in the Go! St. Louis Relay on April 6. Lots of things to look forward to in 2014!!!

Here is a photo I took from the Anheuser-Busch Holiday Lights Tour over the weekend. They offer free beer and you get to walk around the brewery. Very cool!

Anheuser-Busch Holiday Lights
Oh... I got to meet Ree Drummond. That was pretty awesome!!! She was super nice and friendly. 

The Pioneer Woman

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Hungry Turkey

All I can really say about this race is brrrrrrrr. Weather app said it felt like 14° at race start. My legs were tingling. I almost thought about just giving in and leaving; home sounded so nice. But... I was excited to run over the Eads Bridge with several others, so I stuck it out.

Me and my boy Gus.
Once we started moving, it got better. I didn't care one bit about my pace, I just kept telling myself to keep moving so I can get back to my warm house.

Out and back across the Eads. Lovely city views.
I finished just under 30 minutes. I'm happy with that, and now I can rest and stay warm.

Looking like death at the finish.

Not bad...
Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Skippo 20k - 2013

What is the deal with pre-race jitters?? I haven't been this nervous about a race since my last (and only) marathon. I think I was nervous because of the Quivering Quads back in March. That race SUCKED... it really killed me and my ego.

Pre-Race Photo.
I ran the Skippo last year, only the 10k. I remember thinking at the time that the 20k'ers and 30k'ers were absolutely nuts. Walking the stairs and Cardiac Hill two or three times??? The first climb up the stairs wasn't too bad. I told myself to keep moving because there was a line of people and I didn't want to slow anyone down. The first time up Cardiac Hill, my heart was pounding. Whew, I felt tired. I was having some hip and leg issues, which was really hurting me. I was kinda irked because of a volunteer at one of the street crossings. I was walking because of some pain, and she literally yelled "RUN" to me. GRRRR. And then I started to run and she said, "THANKS." WTF is up with that????? Like, HEY SLACKER, GET YOUR BUTT MOVING so I can let this car through. I mean, if it's that big of a deal, let the car go first. Oh well...

First creek crossing, before Cardiac Hill.
The second lap wasn't too bad. I was getting lapped by the 30k'ers; they were really flying. The stairs killed me, and I really slowed it down up Cardiac Hill. I just tried to keep putting one foot in front of the other and finish this thing. I made sure to run across the street crossing so I didn't get scolded. Mission accomplished.

Not sure what was up with my hip, but all that downhill pounding really bothered it. I can tell I haven't been out on the trails since, ummm... July.

At the Finish Line!
Official time was 2:30:58!! I slightly wish this was a full 1/2 marathon because I would have a major trail PR. Not sure if I'll sign up for the Castlewood Cup. That race literally kicked my butt last time and I felt really sick afterwards.

My Goods.

Timing and Elevation Profile

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Rock -n- Roll Volunteer

Like I said in a previous post, $150 is just way too much to run a half marathon. Since I didn't want to pay the money to run, I still wanted to enjoy the event. I signed up to be a volunteer and it was SO MUCH FUN. I had no idea where I'd be volunteering until like 2 seconds before. The captain person told us we'd be handing out mylars. To be honest, I had no idea what a mylar even was.

The finish line is such a happy place. And it was crazy busy. So many runners. It's really cool to witness the waves of runners, tons of people finishing the half marathon. And then there is a lull, and then marathoners start coming in.

I can't even tell you how many runners I wrapped with a mylar, but I told each and every one 'congrats!' I know what an amazing feeling it is to finish a race. It doesn't matter if it was #1 or #10. That feeling never gets old. This is why I love running.

I chatted with a marathoner for a second and I asked him if he needed help with something. I mentioned I was craving chocolate milk, as he was drinking his Gatorade. I tell you, chocolate milk is the BEST post-race drink. After we said our goodbyes, he came back and surprised me with a chocolate milk. Some people are so nice!!

I've been a bit bummed since I'm not training for anything... But today I received an email stating that there is a spot open for the Skippo 20k!! I had joined the wait list since I forgot to register on time. I know it's going to be torture, but it's great to have a race to look forward to.

Anyways, a bit sad that the Cardinals didn't win the World Series, but I was able to go to game 5 and it was such a fun experience!!

Sara and I at Game 5 of World Series.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Halloween Half Marathon

Super happy with this race because I finally had a PR!! I finished in 2:03:57. I'm sooooo close to a sub-two hour half marathon. I'm not registered for any upcoming races... I need that sub-two hour finish!!

I was really excited for the Halloween Half because of the new race route. Usually, it's the same route (which is getting a bit boring), but they took us by the Arch, through Benton Park, around Anheuser Busch, through Soulard, and back downtown. There was a loooong uphill around mile 6, but I ran the whole sucker.

I knew around mile 10 that I might have a PR, so I kept telling myself to suck it up and not stop. Josh was waiting for me around mile 10.5, and I usually stop to say a quick hi, but not this time. I handed him my shirt and kept on running. He knew I was running fast!

Mile 10.5
I was feeling like death near the end, not going to lie. I also got a bit emotional because I finally got out of my 2:06 slump.

At the Finish!

This is the first half marathon where I did not have to walk!! Super proud of myself. Last week I ran a 2 hr 12 min half (and walked some) and this last half I did it in 2 hr 4ish min!!

Happy with a new PR!
I really want to do the Rock -n- Roll, but I hate to spend $115 to run it. That's just crazy expensive. I may do the St. Louis Track Club Half Marathon on November 3. That's only $65. Hoping to also do the Skippo again, but I'm on the waiting list and it doesn't look like I'll get a spot. Boo.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mo' Cowbell 2013

Well, I was supposed to do the full marathon. I signed up for the full back in April when I was more determined to do all of the training. I even joined a training team, ha! Ya.... the furthest I got in my training was 14 miles... I think? I did very little training during the month of September. I spent most of my time doing yoga and biking.

So I "downgraded" to the 1/2 marathon... no regrets. 

Enough time to snap a quick photo.
I got to the start line with literally 2 minutes to spare. I've never been that late to a race. I wanted to be in the back of the 9 min/mile pace group, but could only get to the 11 pace group. Therefore, there was a lot of passing and that was kind of annoying, but it was my fault. 

I had no expectations for this race. I just wanted to feel good, so I just kept checking in on my body and my pace. For the first two miles, I kept telling myself to slow it down. Third, fourth and fifth miles, I was starting to get a bit hot, but enjoyed the chilly wind at times. New Town, miles six, seven and eight, I enjoyed the houses and kept trying to find the lady who was handing out candy last year, but she wasn't out there. I was getting super hungry and started dreaming of chocolate milk, but I tried to take that off my mind. I only had two slices of toast in the AM. Reminder - eat MORE before a race. 

It was time to conquer mile ten, the dang hill. I was starting to feel the pain so I walked some. The only good thing about this hill is that you only have three miles left. Anyone can do three miles :). legs were tired and running became pretty difficult.

The marathon split was around mile 12. I smiled and felt relieved that I wasn't doing the full. Whew.

Almost to the finish line!!
There was no PR today, but I'm super happy with my time. I did a little under a minute faster than last year's Cowbell, so that's fine.

Finished: 02:12:02

I'm running the Halloween Half Marathon in a week, and I'm really looking forward to the new course! Dreaming of a 2 hour finish, but so not going to happen.

No negative splits for me!
Favorite song from race: Hey Brother - Avicii.

2012 Mo' Cowbell post
2011 Mo' Cowbell post

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Trails

Check out my new toy! I can't wait to get out on the trails. Eekk!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

Lemon Drop 5k

Lululemon puts on this free 5k every September. The route kinda sucks, but everything else about it is a lot of fun. The only reason the route really sucks is because it's hilly and the road isn't closed off so you do need to be cautious. Lots of energy from the lulu staff so that's fun.

The obligatory pre-race photo at home.
I didn't know how this run would go mainly because I've been super sore since Tough Mudder (imagine that). I must have pulled a chest muscle because it hurts so bad, whaaa. Maybe I did that in yoga, because it started hurting on Thursday (after yoga), but I just can't imagine yoga causing this type of pain. But then maybe I'm completely wrong.

I finished the race in 27:33. Super happy with my time. Since I dropped out of the Marathon, I haven't really been running so much. I've been doing more yoga and it makes me happy.

Complimentary yoga after the race.
I tried the yoga, but the instructor was moving a bit too fast and I felt lost because I couldn't hear her. Also, my breast muscle wasn't feeling it, so I left. I like my yoga instructor at Indigo, so I'll just stick to that.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tough Mudder

I was super nervous about this race... 11 miles plus obstacles. Scary obstacles, like jumping off a high platform, being submerged in ice cold water, get electrocuted in two separate obstacles, climbing, and lots of crawling.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous. I was afraid it was going to be a bit chilly (esp. to get into freezing water), but it was perfect.

Before photo.
We started in the 9:20 am wave and to even get to the start line, they make you climb over a wall. It was not easy, so it sort of set the tone for the rest of the day.

Ummm, not sure about this.
The first mile was pure running. I enjoyed the warm up because it eased my nerves. Then we started to play in the mud.

Having fun in the mud.
I most feared the "Walk the Plank" obstacle. I have a fear of heights and jumping into murky water. I hesitated for a good 10 seconds, and after the volunteer told me he'd push me off if I didn't jump, I went for it. My heart was pounding when I got out of the water.

Everyone was telling me I could do it.

Other obstacles that I feared was getting shocked. It hurt, but it was bearable. I feared "Everest", but I made it up on the first try. The only obstacle that I didn't even attempt was "Berlin". It's just a really tall wall that you have to climb over. You definitely need help to get over it, but it looked like it just hurt. Plus, the last thing that I want to do is sprain an ankle. There were two walls, and Josh climbed both. He said it sucked, so I'm glad I skipped it. The "Arctic Enema" was probably one of my favorites. The pain was so deep, but it just felt good for some odd reason.

Team Pawlak at the Finish!
We earned our Tough Mudder headband and finished in 3 hours 45 minutes or so. Two days later, I am still majorly sore. It was a blast though and such an amazing challenge.

After mudder, we attended a friend's wedding and spent most of the night dancing. I made sure to sport my new headband :).


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Marathon Dropout

I signed up for the Mo' Cowbell Marathon, but I switched my registration status to Half-Marathon. I have been way too stressed out to run 26.2 miles. I had planned on running 16-20 with the training team this morning, but I accidentally slept in... I only did 6 on my own (it was raining). I'm just so bored with running. I've been taking a beginner yoga workshop every Wednesday and I LOVE it. Just what I need. It's so calming and I really enjoy it. I also brought my bike out of the basement, shined it up and use that on short trips around Soulard. I feel so free!!! Love it. Hope to get myself a better bike one of these days.

I may be a one-time marathoner, and I'm okay with that. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pound the Pavement 10k

My friend Ann asked me to run this race with her... I thought it was last weekend, so I signed up without looking at the date. When I received the race confirmation, I realized that it was actually on August 24... the weekend I was out in Denver for my friend's bridal shower and bachelorette. Oops.

Partying in Denver!
Since I couldn't make it, my husband ran it for me!

I asked him how 'I' did, and he responded, "Well, you weren't in last place. But I'm afraid you didn't have a great day." hehe

He didn't enjoy the race, said it was hot and you had to run the 5k course twice. booooring.

Third to last:

Anyways, happy that I got Josh out there to run. 

Happy to finish!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The SeaWheeze lululemon Half Marathon 2013

Well folks... this is my FAVORITE race. Ever.

2012 was good. I wondered how lulu would top it, but they did. I told myself I wasn't going to Vancouver in 2014 (because of the cost), but now I feel like I have to. I'll let you know if I do sign up in January.

I love Vancouver. It's such a fresh city. Clean, active, beautiful.

SeaWheeze Poster.
My husband and I flew into Vancouver on the Wednesday before the race. I enjoyed several Caesars (which is Canada's fancy Bloody Mary)...

We spent a lot of time walking the sea wall...

Beautiful Vancouver Day.
Walked the Lions Gate Bridge. Basically spent a lot of time walking!!

I knew that packet pick-up would be packed because of the showcase store. We arrived at the Vancouver Convention Center around 7.30 am and the line was already long. This was so not like last year, where we arrived at 9 am and there was no line... The only line we saw that day was the checkout. Anyways, once the doors opened at 8 am, we were in there by 8.30. I found everything that I wanted in the store, and checkout moved relatively fast. 

My loot!
I woke up feeling pretty refreshed race morning. We stayed at the Westin Bayshore, so it was only a 10 minute walk to the race start. The weather was lovely!!! Overcast, 60s. 

Race Start.
I knew that this isn't a race where you can PR. It's a beautiful, flat course, but it's congested and you are running the majority of the time on bike paths and the sea wall. Passing is difficult. Since I had tired legs, I just went a comfortable pace and enjoyed myself. 

I took a picture here last time. Blue skies last year, much appreciated cloudy skies this year.
Saje had the best signs on the course!! I also loved their gift at the finish line!!! My favorite sign said this: 
"You have a running chance of living a longer life."
That sign made me smile.

I always love running around the sea wall... such a beautiful sight. We had cool winds as well, and that was nice.

The sea wall.
I got tired around mile 12. This makes me nervous for the October Marathon. I should be a lot further in my training. I didn't even push myself. I finished at 2:15:02. This is about 13 minutes faster than last year. I'm happy with myself, big improvement from last year. I had to laugh to myself when a lady told me that she thought that the course was hilly. Where does she live??? Must be a pancake or something. 

With my awesome medal.
I loved the race medal. So cool that it is made from local birch trees. Great to see something different, meaningful, and local. You can also open the "locket" and insert a picture. I didn't know that there was a photo booth near the finish line... I was a bit bummed that I missed out, but it worked out in the end. Josh and I were able to take a picture at the Sunset Festival and we only had to wait 5 minutes or so. I heard the line was an hour and a half at the finish line. I also got to get cleaned up for the picture, which was nice. 

My medal.
I don't know why people are complaining about the race medal. It's different and it's awesome. Such a great memory.

The Sunset Festival was also amazing. I joined in on the group yoga and it was such a great experience. I loved the yoga instructor. He had a great personality and makes me actually want to do yoga on a regular basis. 

There I am!!
If you are able to do the SeaWheeze... do it. They closed the Sunset Festival with a concert. I got to see Passenger and he is such a great entertainer. Funny dude. Xavier Rudd took that stage last. He is a bit hippy, but highly talented. 

Sunset Festy.
Thank you lululemon for an amazing weekend!

** You can read my 2012 post on the SeaWhere here

Not sure why the elevation is out of whack. 
My favorite song from the weekend:

Friday, August 2, 2013

Seventh Inning Stretch

Last night I had the opportunity to do yoga at Busch Stadium!! I typically don't do yoga, but last night was a magical experience. I definitely want to get more in to yoga, and can't wait to go to Vancouver next week to do more group yoga.

Ann and I at Busch Stadium
What a fun night!!

Loved stretching on the grass!