Monday Mentionings: February 29

Happy Leap Day! This last week was a petty boring week, followed by a pretty busy and fun weekend!  First, Michelle has been out of town for a couple days, and I think Jasper misses her. Such as sweet boy.

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Saturday morning, Amy and I cycled together at my normal Saturday cycle class.  What a workout! We conquered the hills and raced through the sprints.

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After cycle, we attempted a run.  It was derailed by a trip and fall by yours truly about a half mile into the run.

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Shortly after our failed run attempt, I was heading to meet up with Carmen for lunch, and had to stop in the middle of College Blvd. for the geese to cross the road.  They did not use the cross walk, and did not not heed to traffic.

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So I met Carmen for lunch at Joe’s KC, MMMM good!  We caught up on life, had some delicious BBQ, and definitely have to get together again soon.

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Carmen and I also stopped at Pottery Barn, and I scored this adorable pillow for my couch! I just fell in love with it!

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After I left Carmen, I watched Race, which was a great movie about Jesse Owens’ Olympic journey in the 1930s, it was very good, and made me want to get out and run! So after I got home, I ran a few miles to make up for my trip and fall from earlier on Saturday.

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Sunday, I ran with Amy, and then we went to brunch.  Later, I had an appointment to get the tattoo on my foot touched up, as the ink near my big toe kind of peeled when it healed.  I’ve been wanting to get it fixed for several months; after a conversation with a coworker, I made an appointment with her tattoo artist, and got it all taken care of.  He touched up the entire tattoo on my foot, as well as made the colors pop more brightly.  I also got a small tattoo on my wrist “with my brave wings,” that I’ve been thinking about for a while now.  I’m very pleased at how it all turned out!

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Here’s a picture of Jasper, because I think he’s the most popular on my blog.  😛  Have a wonderful week, friends!

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Tips for Traveling to a Race

I’m very excited to share some tips, written by my sister, Kristen, for traveling for a race!

Kristen is on a quest to run a half marathon in all 50 states and so far, she’s run in 11 states, and will be adding her 12th state this weekend, in Las Vegas, with Mom and I!  She has also completed a Half Ironman, and will be doing her first full Ironman and her second full marathon in 2016.  Because Kristen has been traveling for races for quite some time now, she has some expert tips to share with you for running and traveling.

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1.  Carry-on vs Checked Luggage:   When traveling for a race, luggage can definitely be a stressor. One tip would be to place any race day necessities into a carry-on bag instead of checked luggage. This way (just in case) if the checked luggage doesn’t make it to your destination you don’t have to be concerned about getting all new racing accessories for your big day. Any bag the size of a backpack should be able to fit your shoes, race day clothes, and accessories. Then, if you check a bag all your other vacation items can be there.

2.  Hydrate!:  When flying to a race, the different air pressures can really mess with your hydration. Carry a water bottle with you so that you can stay hydrated when the flight attendants are focusing to other guests or are seated. You can always ask them to refill it if you need. Many people also drink something with electrolytes like Gatorade, or Nuun. Maybe be sure to sit on the aisle too, because all that water is going to hit ya!

3.  Packing:  Set out all race day and other vacation essentials on your bed or floor. This will allow you to make sure you don’t forget anything for either part of your trip. This is something I have to do for pretty much every trip, just to make sure I have all my items! Of course, if you forget your GU packet or headband, most race expos will sell those items.

4.  Compression Socks:  Traveling, low cabin pressure, low humidity and dehydration can also cause a lot of lower leg swelling. Wearing compression socks can help keep your blood flowing and prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis. You can also be sure to wear looser clothing, drink plenty of fluids, and elevate your legs whenever possible to help prevent lower leg swelling. The easiest solution while traveling would be to wear those compression socks! (compression sock comparison)

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5.  Time Zones:  Even if you skip a time zone or two, try to immediately get on that new time zone’s schedule. You may be extra tired from traveling, but stay up until your normal bed time in that new time zone.  This will help you to regulate as quickly as possible and keep your routine in place before the big day.

Thanks, Kristen, for sharing!! Do you have any tips for traveling for races?  Good luck to all runners traveling this weekend, especially to VEGAS!

Kansas City Half Marathon

Last weekend was the Kansas City Marathon, and I completed my second half marathon! Mom and Kristen traveled to KC for the race, and we got to hang out all weekend! Thursday night, we had a chance to run with the KCRC Groupies at Martin City.  There was a fantastic turn out (the pic below is just a few of us at the end), and we had pizza and beer after.  Thanks KCRC and Martin City Pizza Co!

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Friday morning, we went to the Marathon Expo.  Mom and I had never been to a race expo before, so that was a ton of fun.  We got our packets and shirts, spent some time and money at the KCRC store and the “custom shirts” store.  Mom and I also signed up for our next half marathon, the Rock the Parkway half marathon next April.

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Once we finished up at the expo, we drove around the Plaza a bit, had some lunch, and went back to my apartment to rest our legs for the half marathon Saturday.  We also had to lay out our “flat runners” in preparation for Saturday morning.  I was proud and happy that we all wore KCRC shirts.

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Saturday morning, we were up at 5:00, and out the door by 5:30 ish, heading to Crown Center for the start of the race.  James was kind enough to come with us to spectate.  What a trooper, up at 5:00am on a Saturday morning to stand around waiting for us to run by him for 5 seconds.

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Kristen had written “For Dad” and “Cancer Sucks” on Mom’s calves, and I wrote “For Grandpa” on my hand by my watch.  It was very touching during the race, many people came up behind Mom and I and spoke to Mom, or placed their hands on her shoulders.  There were many kind words about sending prayers for Grandpa, all from fellow runners during the race.  It was really special to see.

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James saw us run by 3-4 times I think, in different parts of the course.  Our “official” race photos won’t be up until later this week, so I only have photos taken by James for this post.  If any of the professional photos turn out, I’ll put them in here too! This was around mile 2 or 3.  Still smiling.  🙂

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Mom and I tried to stick to our pre-race plan  of sticking together and running 2 miles at the beginning, then using a 4 minute run alternating with 2 minutes of walking to complete the rest of the race.  About halfway through the race, Mom convinced me to continue without her, as she was struggling a bit with the 4/2 plan.  I was feeling pretty good, so I went on without her.

Photo courtesy of SportsPhotos.com

Photo courtesy of SportsPhotos.com

Shortly after I left her, I started struggling too.  The hills, the lack of training properly, and just not being in the right shape to conquer the race got to me, and I ended up having to walk quite a bit more than I hoped. I was also battling being cold.  I thought I had dressed appropriately, but my hands and ears were cold the whole race.  I’m sure if I ran more, my  hands would have kept warm.  I nearly (x50) picked up a pair of throw away gloves that someone ditched, but just kept the forward progress as my goal.

At about the halfway mark, I thought a PR might be within reach, and I gave it a good effort to keep pushing, but by mile 8, I accepted that I wouldn’t PR, but wanted to finish as strong as I could.

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Photo courtesy of SportsPhotos.com

By the end of the race, I just wanted to be finished! The arches of my feet hurt more than anything, but I remember feeling decidedly stronger than my first half marathon this past April.  I saw Kristen and James at about mile 13, and  the finishing chute was lined with hundreds of spectators.  It was a really cool finish, lots of love and cheering.

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I was freezing after the race, and just could not get warm.  I’m so thankful the race had heat sheets.  I’d always thought they were a little silly, people wrapping up in shiny sheets, but it did help me stay warm!  Mom and Kristen both PR’d on this course, I’m so proud of both of them! Congrats Mom and congrats Kristen, you guys are amazing.

During the race, there were 4 or 5 areas that had either live music or DJ’s.  It was really cool to see people singing or dancing during the race.  The aid stations were also run so well, with gatorade or water, some had fruit, and there were restrooms too.  There was also countless random “GO ROYALS” cheers and signs on the course.  The volunteers, crowd, and spectators were amazing, all of it really made it the best atmosphere for a race.

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After the race, we walked around a little, got our free BBQ sandwich and beer (Kristen and I gave our beers to James), and changed out of our wet, cold, sweaty clothes.  There was live music, massage stations, and food at the finish festival.

Congratulations, especially to Erica Staab who completed her first half marathon in KC, and to Mom and Kristen for their shiny new PRs.  I had lots of friends who ran, and I’m so proud of all of you!  We saw a few friends and old classmates at the finish festival, had our picture taken, and headed home to shower.

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Photo courtesy of SportsPhotos.com

We all showered and laid around for a bit after the race, then went to dinner and got to bed early.

Sunday morning, we had a short shake out run, and I was stiff, but it felt pretty good, especially by the end.  Kristen and Mom headed home Sunday evening.  It was a really great weekend, I’m so thankful Mom and Kristen came to KC and that we ran together and CAN run together.

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Overall, the course was quite hilly, but also insanely beautiful.  This being my second half marathon, I can say I definitely loved the crowd support and running through the city, compared to the solo running and wide open spaces of the Eisenhower Half Marathon.  Both races have been so special to me, but I can confidently say I will conquer the KC Half Marathon again!

Now, 2 days after the race, I can say easily this half marathon was easier on my body than Eisenhower, but I am still pretty far away from the shape I need to be in for Rock the Parkway next April.  I plan to use the next 6 months to build a strong and true running base, increase my mileage to 10-12 miles for long runs, and get in some much needed speed work and tempo runs.

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Did you race last weekend? Do you like hilly courses?  Only 6 months until the Boston Marathon!