Monday, September 24, 2012

Brewers Mini-Pacer

Saturday morning I woke up ready to roll for a great morning.  The temp was warmer than what I expected.  I headed to Miller Park to meet my fellow pacers for the Inaugural Brewers Mini Marathon.  I was excited and nervous, as this was my first time pacing a race. 

I even saw a star on the drive there, so I figured maybe the rain predicted would hold forward 20 minutes to the biggest bolt of lightning streaking across the sky.  Soon after we were all asked to move inside the stadium, and told the run start would be pushed back.  
We took a few pictures standing on top of the dugout (until we were kindly asked to get off).  The weather outside was a downpour, but we were told it was to move over quickly.  It did and soon we started the race.  I was pacing with 2 other lovely ladies, Anne and Liz. 

The rain subsided and I soon warmed up, shedding my long sleeve and tying my    rain jacket around my waist.  

We kept a consistant pace from the start.  It was great as we hit each mile and were able to tell the runners that they were right on track.  We toured some Milwaukee landmarks...Potowatomi, Palermo's, Harley Davidson, The Domes, through Marquette, down Miller Valley where the sausages were waiting with high fives.  We headed to Miller Park, yes there were some hills, yes there was some wind, but we were focused on time and keeping it.  That was all that mattered.  We came in through Miller Park ran around home plate, back out, all the while images of us were being showed on the big screen. 

We heard cheers for our 1:55 pace group. As we headed back outside, the wind attacked us again, but the finish was close.  My Garmin said 1:55:18 so we did a great job keeping us on track.  I heard someone yelling my name at the finish, still not sure who that was.

Unfortunately, I was chilled to the bone after.  I went and got into dry clothes, but didn't feel much like sticking around.

I loved the experience of pacing.  The runners thanking us for holding pace, telling us they wouldn't have been able to do it without us.   Holding the sign, I have to admit sucked in the wind.  Would I do it again? Absolutely!  Also, I think I would consider using a pacer sometime, too.   
Have you ever used a pacer in a race?  What did you like, dislike?  Would you do it again?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday

This morning as I was washing dishes, packing lunches, arguing with Z about what to eat for breakfast, N about what shoes matched.  I thought to myself-here is an awesome post about how hard it is to live a balanced life being a working mom, wife, runner, reader, etc.. etc..

Then Jason walked in after working two days and two nights straight (ok, he came home for a nap from 4-5 yesterday and then 8-10).  It was 6:30 a.m.  He will try to go back to sleep and wake up and go back in.  He is exhausted, tired, but smiling when he sees all of us.

So instead of bitching about how busy we are, because Really!?  We all are busy.
I decided to do what many bloggers do, write about what I am thankful for today.

1.    Most obviously, my husband and daughters.  They amaze me every day.

2.    My said job that takes me away from family and home.  I love my students, the hugs, laughter, the swag of the middle schoolers (hee-hee, they sure do think they are cool), the colleagues, a new one who LOVES reading-check her out Mrs. Heise, the fantastic library where I get to work.  The diversity of my students, the culture I get to learn, the language I get to sit in on. 
3.    My running.  This week I have gone out for a run way later than I ever would during the summer due to time.  It is awesome to run west towards home to the beautiful sun setting.  I’m working on getting back on the treadmill in the morning. 

4.    Technology. My parents are out of country, yet we can still chat on FB.  My niece rocked her last two cross country meets, and I am able to text and find out immediately.    Keeping track of old friends and meeting new friends has never been easier. 

5.    The weather.  I am the first to admit that Fall is usually a depressing time for me.  I have struggled in the past with its arrival.  This year, I am embracing it, enjoying it, and sweating a few liters less (although not much-damn I’m a sweat hog). 

6.    You.  Whether I know you or not, it’s nice to know you took the time out of your busy day to read about mine.  Thank you!

Note: I wrote this during my lunch break today, shortly after, I received a call from the company whom my parents are traveling with.  After playing phone tag, I found out their group was robbed today.  I don't know details only that all are ok.  The group was shaken.  I haven't heard from them yet, but am so THANKFUL they are fine.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tough Mudder 2012 Recap

Ok you've heard the hype "Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet" and it ain't no Warrior Dash...
Let's just say I was thankful that Friday night I was at a field trip with students and didn't get home until nearly 9:00.  It allowed me not think about it (ok at least not too much).
Saturday morning my GI tract was well aware of what day it was.  We got the girls off and took turns playing our favorite songs on the way to meet our other TM teammate, Jill.  I had all kinds of awesome coming through my texts from my cousin, Amy, who couldn't join us as originally planned.  Because she couldn't be there physically, and I knew she was with us mentally I decided to bring her along with us the best way I could think of....

I could probably write a whole blog post on what my fake tattoo of her real tattoo means, but she already did so if you are interested read about it here MED and fyi those two lovelys are my grandparents, too!

We met Jill at a gas station, she hopped in, and her mother-in-law gave us awesome directions which avoided traffic, and parked us close enough that we did not have to take the shuttle.

We were plenty early so we took in the sights and sounds.  I tried to get Jason to get a mohawk, but sadly he turned me down.   We watched people get shocked at the electro-shock therapy right at the finish.  I even ran into some some people from back home, who made reminded me of the bigger picture of the Tough Mudder. Wounded Warrior Project. RIP Jakob Roelli

Here we are pre-race, smiles and clean.  Ready or not!  One of the first obstacles was the Kiss of Mud, we were soon covered with mud.  I am pretty sure I had the biggest gob in my eye without a clean hand to wipe with.  Jill's friend saw us as were were coming out and caught this pic...
We are trying to stay upright, cause it was slick.
In a nutshell here is the rest of the 11 1/2 miles and obstacles.
My knee took a beating.  My fear of heights were tested, and my teammates were super encouraging.  My love of running helped me more than anything, our team really did not walk.  Monkey bars (incline up and back down) we own you.  Rings-not so much, kicked our asses.  
Jason truly amazed me, he is a freakin' monkey and made super hard things look easy. He did a flip off the Walk the Plank, scaled up Mt. Everest in one bound.  Hoisted us up time and time again.
Jill, one tough mama-she gave birth 6 months ago, her heart had an episode that she sometimes gets-did it slow her down-hell no!
Going through a dumpster of ice is freakin' cold.  I have a new respect for firefighters-the burning bales were tough to get though, eyes, throat, ugh!

At the end we got bottlenecked and that sucked.  It was hard to stop and wait when we wanted to keep going and be finished.  
Electroshock-I went through unscathed, Jason took a hit, and Jill took a hit that dropped her to the ground.  They both said it was intense and painful. 

Happy smiling finish faces.  We went to a stinking pond to wash up, found out the showers were back running.  Did a nice interpretation of Tommy Boy because they were COLD.
We learned many things...
What not to wear. What we would wear next year.  What time of day is better, size of team, etc. etc. etc.
My knee is feeling better, my upper body is not as sore.  

Tough?  Yes.  Awesome? Yes.  Would I do it again?  Hell yes!  Let me know if you are interested!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Fun Music Friday

On Friday mornings (well all day) we start the day out with requesting favorite songs we want to hear.  It is a great way to start the day.  Jamming to songs we love, and singing ridiculously loud.  This morning one of the girls mentioned that we hadn't played "Call Me Maybe" in a while.  So we did.  Then I got to school and saw my library bulletin board, and thought I need everyone to see this.  My friend had posted it on my wall over the summer, so I knew that would be the first one when we came back.  My assistant rocks and here it is!!
Happy Fun Music Friday to you!  What songs get you going in the morning?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Endings and beginnings

All good things must come to an end...

Wow what a whirl wind of a weekend.  My 3 day weekend started off a day early when I stayed out longer than anticipated at volleyball on Thursday night.  Let's say I was tired on Friday at work, but had no regrets!

Friday night after our standard Mexican fare at our local favorite restaurant, we enjoyed our coffee/tea while watching the sunset.
My friend who is training for her first marathon, invited me to join her on her 20 mile run.  So Saturday morning I met Yomarie and others as part of the Badgerland Striders build up run.  I have been a member of the Striders for a while, but haven't taken part in many of the great things they have to offer.  I enjoyed the 20 miles, chatting with her and two of her friends, and love, love, love running down by the lake.  The run went well, a little windy, but really ideal weather for the most part.  We finished our run, refueled and made plans to connect later in the evening.  
I love running in skirts, but have had some chafing before where the tagless information is.  However, this time I had this...
Not sure why I had such a major issue this time, I even glided the area first.  Frustrating, because I love them, so hoping to figure out what is causing this.

Saturday we started to take the pool down, sign of summer days coming to an end.  Cue cheesy Grease movie lyrics..."Summer lovin' had me a blast, summer lovin' happened so fast."
Saturday night we ventured to Estabrook Park to check out the Beer Garden they recently opened this summer.  What can I say?  It was awesome.  Very German, very warm fuzzy kind of feeling.

I definitely would recommend it, and will go back again! We met up with Yomarie as promised at World of Beer on Brady Street.  The bar itself was cool for people like ourselves who love to try different variites of beer, however, the service was less than desirable Yomarie on the receiving end of a spilled drink.  We made one more detour on our way home to say hi to my friends, but with a babysitter waiting at home, unfortunately that is all we really had time for was a quick hello. 

Sunday Jason was up early brewing beer.  After he finished we went for a four mile run together.  It was a hot one, and we were both happy to be finished.  A couple of coworkers stopped over in the late afternoon.  We enjoyed hanging out and visiting, enjoying the summer night.

Monday morning, the LAST day of my runstreak and officially my 100th day of running straight, we did a fast mile, cooled down and loaded up the girls and headed to Lapham Peak State Park.  We hiked up to the tower, which was super fun. 

After our hike we went and grabbed lunch and custard.  We tried out Wholly Cow Custard and since we were famished, I did not take any pictures, but let's just say it was delish!  J and the girls  thought I was laughing at lunch, which I was at first, but the tears coming to my eyes were happy/sad tears of the  summer slipping away.

Natia and I had to pick up a few last minute items for back to school and at last we were "the night before school" routine once again.  

This morning they were set, excited and ready to take on the next year.

I'm looking forward to the new school year and what it brings. 

My dear sweet love of summer, you leave me, but you will be back!

"It turned colder that's where it ends, so I told her we'd still be friends..." my runstreak, I thank you for getting me to run every day this summer from Memorial Day (technically the day before, w/Madison half) to Labor Day.  100 days in a row.  I'm bittersweet about it because I loved being accountable to myself daily, but know a body needs a rest.  Would I do it again?  Absolutely.  Did I take today off, yep.

Now on to the next challenge...Tough Mudder this weekend, keep you posted.  What's next for you?