November Roundup

November has come and gone.  This year has flown by so quickly.  In case you want to catch up on my monthly roundups, you can read them here: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October.  I wrote a post last December with my goals for 2015; my main running goal for this year was to run 950 miles.

For November, I finished the month with 78 miles.  My year to date prior to November was 816, meaning I am heading into December with 894 miles!! My reach goal was to get to quadruple digits with my first 1000 mile year, so to get to that point, I need 106 miles in December.  To reach my initial goal of 950 miles, I need just 56 more miles in December.  I’m going to try really hard to get 106 miles in December!

In November, I had 3 races. On November 1, I ran the Cliffhanger 8k with Amy, and had a beautiful race along a gorgeous cliff-side road.  The Cliffhanger race was my first 8k, which is just a hair under 5 miles.

Photo Nov 01, 10 13 03 AM

Also in November was the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas 5k and then the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon the next night.  I traveled to Las Vegas with Mom and Kristen, and we had a great weekend together exploring and running.  We met up with Mark at both races, and represented KC Running Co!

 

Photo Nov 14, 7 40 34 PM

Photo Nov 15, 5 23 57 PM

I only managed to run with the KC Running Co Groupies 4 times.  Between starting a new job, traveling to Las Vegas, and traveling to Hays for Thanksgiving, there were just a lot of evenings I either couldn’t run, or ran  solo when time permitted.  My longest run, besides the Las Vegas Half Marathon, was 5 miles, which happened three different times throughout the month.

I volunteered one race in November, the RWB 5k, with Amy.  After volunteering the race, Amy and I met up with Mark at Shawnee Mission Park for a run.  It was a gorgeous day.

Photo Nov 30, 7 56 56 PM

The last week or so of November has gotten really cold and rainy and wet.  And dark too.  It’s dark so early in the evenings.  I had my first treadmill run of the fall, while in Hays for Thanksgiving.  It had rained and drizzled for a couple days, and then froze everything into a slick mess.  Mom, Kristen, and I went to HRC to run and lift.

Since coming back to KC after Thanksgiving, I’ve signed up for a gym membership at the Overland Park Athletic Club, which is partially paid for by my employer, making my monthly dues very low.  I see lots of treadmill runs in my future for this dark and cold winter to come.

Photo Nov 27, 2 15 28 PM

Looking forward to December, my biggest goal is to run at least 106 miles to get my yearly total to 1000 miles or more!!  I have one race, the Great Santa Run 5k.  Other than that, my goals are to develop a routine at the gym with some weight lifting and group classes at least a couple times a week, get to a few yoga classes, and finish the year healthy and happy!

How was your November? Any goals for December?

Monday Mentionings: November 9

It’s Vegas week!  I’m looking forward to going to Las Vegas with Mom and Kristen later this week!! We are going to ROCK and ROLL this weekend!

Last Monday evening, I killed two birds with one stone, and ran to Walgreens to pick up my prescription! It was a great idea, until I had to listen to the pills in my buddy pouch, chicka chicka chicka chicka with every step.  Also, Monday was the first time I had to run in the dark at 5:30pm this fall.  Be sure to stay safe in the dark, runners.

Photo Nov 02, 6 23 09 PM

Jasper has taken over the spare bed.  It’s his, now.  I’ve kind of started packing for Vegas, and he’s protesting by trying to lay all over everything.  I hope he’ll forgive me for leaving him for several days.  Poor bear.

Photo Nov 05, 8 31 35 PM

Of course, Tuesday was ROYALS DAY!  I was so happy to be able to partake in the parade, celebrating the Royals win the World Series.  I had a great day with Amy and Mark!

Photo Nov 08, 5 45 18 PM

Saturday morning, Amy and I volunteered the inaugural RBW 5k in Independence.  It was such a perfect morning for a race! We ran into Philip, too… but of course we did, he is in charge of the KC Chapter of RWB!

Photo Nov 07, 7 57 56 AM

Photo Nov 07, 8 14 37 AM

After the race, Amy and I met Mark at Shawnee Mission Park for a late morning run.  I can’t even begin to explain how beautiful it is at Shawnee Mission Park, and even more so in the gorgeous fall we are having.  GROUPIES, UNITE!

Photo Nov 07, 10 38 21 AM

Photo Nov 07, 11 27 32 AM

Yesterday morning, I ran a solo 5 miles.  Amy has been having some pretty severe back pain, and couldn’t meet to run with the Groupies early, so I slept in (yay!) and ran later.  I have been dealing with some strange knee/hamstring/IT pain, and it really bothered me yesterday.  In better news, my glute pain has been much better – I think my chiropractor has fixed that part of me!

Photo Nov 08, 12 20 14 PM

Jazzy and I had lots of chill time on the balcony after my run.  This November weather, though… insanely beautiful.  Shortly after this picture, he bit me.  Haha, he likes his bubble just as much as I do.

Photo Nov 08, 12 42 21 PM

I’ve also started watching Parenthood, after watching a few episodes in Milwaukee with Kristen and Thayne.  I finished / got caught up with Scandal, and with baseball over, I have to watch something else now!   Have a great week, and I’ll try to post next Monday from Fabulous Las Vegas!

Photo Nov 08, 2 27 24 PM

Rock the Crossroads 5k Race Recap

It’s amazing how I can pull off a 2+ minute 5k PR at the beginning of July, and struggle through a 5k at the end of July.  On the 4th of July, I ran the Wild West 5k, and it was a super hard race, I pushed myself hard, and I was rewarded with a shiny new PR.  Last night, I ran the Rock the Crossroads 5k, and it was a tough race for me!

The race was in the evening, which is uncommon for a race.  I definitely would not want to run a long race, or try to PR in an evening/night race.  I prepared for the race spectacularly… HAH! I spent the hours before the race swimming at the pool in 95+ degree weather.  Not the ideal way to prep for a race, but I had an opportunity to go to the pool with Amy and her son, and knew I wasn’t going for a PR on this race, so I had fun Saturday, but definitely felt the effects of the energy sap from the pool.

Amy and I got to the race about an hour before the race started.  The race was held in the Crossroads District of downtown KC, and had a “Rock n Roll” theme, and included a Rock concert at Grinders after the race.  KC Running Co. hosted the race, and did a wonderful job at pre and post race activities, and everything was run very smoothly, as always.

We met up with several Groupies before the race, and it sprinkled a bit in the hour before the race.  I’m not sure if “sprinkled” is the right word.  It was more like it was SO humid that the air just turned into water randomly for a while because it couldn’t handle it’s humid-ness any more.

Photo courtesy of Bambi Kline.

Photo courtesy of Bambi Kline.

We took our obligatory pre-race photos, and were ready to start so we could finish.  Amy and I were pretty tired, and not used to racing in the evening.  I don’t know how many times we asked each other if we could just go home and lay on the couch!

Photo Jul 25, 6 39 15 PM (1)

Photo Jul 25, 6 40 10 PM

I had a chance to talk to Derek Mitchell a bit before the race too.  As I said in my interview with him, I’ve seen him at many local races, but hadn’t actually introduced myself.  It was great to have some of his energy and enthusiasm rub off on me!

Photo Jul 25, 6 44 18 PM (1)

After a beautiful National Anthem, the race started.  Wouldn’t you know, the rain/mist/sprinkles stopped when we started running, but the humidity was just as strong.  There wasn’t any air moving, it was overcast, but HOT and HUMID.  Ugh.

Photo Jul 25, 7 21 01 PM

The first mile went well, I was booking it, and clocked a quick mile (fast for me!).  The effort I put forth for that first mile was way too hard.  I knew it by about a quarter mile in, that between being in the sun all afternoon, the humidity, lack of hydrating during the day, and non-morning race, that the Rock the Crossroads would be more like Try to Survive the Crossroads.

I had to walk and focus on breathing after the first mile, which happened to coincide with the hill up to the Sprint Center.  Lately, I’ve been focusing on making myself run the uphills, and rest/walk/slow down on the downhills if need be.  I just couldn’t do it this time.  I walked on and off through the rest of the 5k Saturday night.  The rain held off, but I wish it would have just poured, because the sweat and moisture from the humid night just sat on my skin.  It had nowhere to go, couldn’t evaporate, and there was no wind to make it feel cooler.  By mile 2, I just wanted to be done!

I finished the race over 4 minutes slower than my PR, which was a bummer.  The more I thought about it though, with walking as much as I did (which almost never happens any more during a 5k), my pace has definitely increased, because my overall time was in-line with a year ago when I would run the whole thing, at a slower pace.

Photo courtesy of Ben Chan.

Photo courtesy of Ben Chan.

I’ve been working on having a more positive mindset.  Though I didn’t PR, and didn’t have a great race, in terms of running it all, PRing, feeling strong and fast, etc, my body did what it could do on that night.  I am learning to accept my runs for what they are, and not focus on what they could have been.  I’m learning to appreciate my body, my strong legs, my strong lungs, my strong heart, for pushing me through each of these runs and races, and appreciating that my body has taken me further than I ever thought.  When I started running, I said it’s impossible for me to run a half marathon, and now I’ve done 5.  I only dreamed of breaking 30 minutes in the 5k, and now I have accomplished it.  I need to stop limiting my body and mind, and encourage myself to push further, farther, faster, and be happy and thankful that my body is doing what it can on any particular day.

Photo Jul 26, 6 53 55 PM

After our post-raced photos, waters, and high-fives, we changed our shirts (they were soaked) and headed home.  We weren’t really in the mood to stand around at the concert after the race, especially all sweaty and tired.   It was a fun race, a fun venue, and another learning experience.

My next race isn’t until late August, so I have about 5 weeks until the Heartland 30k (3 10k’s in 4 weeks) series kicks off.

Photo Jul 26, 6 41 54 PM