Thursday, March 20, 2014

Double Bridge Run

Race: Double Bridge Run
Distance: 15k
Location: Pensacola, FL
Date: February 1st, 2014
Time: 7 am
Bib: 905
Time:1:20:02
Place:  514/(overall),  35/205(div)
Race: 23 (ever), 2 (year)

Way better beer than last year! Less cool shirt :) PR for me!







Thursday, February 27, 2014

Un-prioritized

I have not been on top of my running as of late.
Partly, this is due to my crazy busy-ness. This year is my first opportunity to move up to Assistant Professor at work, so I have spent a bunch of time organizing what I've done the years I've worked here, taking workshops, looking through my student evaluations. I also am taking a grad class this semester, but it is a 3.5 hour commute (each way) from my house. It's totally crazy, but there are just no good graduate programs anywhere close to me. Even though this sounds like complaining, I love the class I'm taking and it's worth every drive. My personal life is also going well, and I want to make sure I have enough time to put into the people I love!
What does all that mean? I'm very tired :)
Via running- I am drifting in terms of goals. I can't decide whether to focus on speed or distance. I was considering the Hatfield-McCoy Marathon in June, but my last experience was so terrible I'm hesitant. In addition, I have trouble making my long runs fit into the crazy schedule. Speedwork seems like a good idea, but I'm finding my muscles tight lately. In order to get faster, I know I will have to put time into dropping pounds and strength training.
Basically, I'm hoping that I get a burst of energy so I can do everything I want. Unlikely, so I'm going to drift a little longer and then try to make some decisions.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mississippi Blues Half-Marathon

Race: Mississippi Blues Half-Marathon
Distance: 13.1
Location: Jackson, MS
Date: January 11, 2014
Time: 7 am
Bib: 4289
Time: 1:59:37
Place: 246/1605 (overall),  14/111(AG) 83/953 (gender)
Race: 22 (ever), 1 (year)

I had originally registered for the full, but since my marathon in November had been so terrible, I decided it'd be best to drop down. Everyone in the blogosphere raves about this race, so I registered for it the day it opened last year. I've got to say, I think it lived up to the hype!

We stayed at the host hotel, the Marriott. Though there was construction on the sidewalks, it was an easy walk to the convention center and packet pick-up. I've never been to a major race before and I have to say I was delighted with the expo. I didn't realize how much stuff there'd be and I wish we'd arrived earlier.

We ate dinner at Bravo. Many restaurants (including Bravo) had race specials. Every place looked pretty crowded, so we made the decision to drive and ended up at delicious Bravo. 

The actual race itself started on time, was an easy walk from the hotel, and had a mostly nice course. The national anthem was played via blues guitar, which I really loved. 

Not having been in Jackson before, I was super surprised at all the hills. I was struggling to maintain my pace (lost the pacer before the halfway point) with my Garmin. they were mostly small, but up and down and up and down they went.

Volunteers and spectators were amazing, with cheers from all and volunteers thanking us for coming to Jackson. They were basically on every corner. 

The after party had tons of food, there was free beer, and the bling was great. I highly recommend this fantastic race!

The night after the race, there was a trolley to take everyone bar-hopping. We went to a blues club and had an amazing time!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ho Ho Hustle 2013

Race: Ho Ho Hustle
Distance: 5K
Location: Pensacola, FL
Date: December 14th, 2013
Time:  25:02
Bib: 856
Time: 25:02
Place:  88/420(overall),  3/22 (AG)  18/248 (gender)
Race: 21 (ever), 16 (year)


A thousand times warmer than last year, I sweat my butt off by over-dressing. They also changed the course this year, to include MORE HILLS. Or, what we call hills in the panhandle, anyway. 


 I have taken to watching my new Garmin (Thanks, Mom!) to 5ks, rather than measuring with my phone. For shorter distances, it seems like lack of music really helps me.

Good enough for 3rd in AG, yay!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pensacola International Airport Runway 5k

Race: Pensacola International Airport Runway 5k
Distance: 5K
Location: Pensacola, FL
Date: December 7th, 2013
Time: 4 pm
Bib: 213
Time: 23:58
Place: 121/575 (overall),  6/39(AG) 34/318 (gender)
Race: 20 (ever), 15 (year)

So, the hook of this race was running on the airport tarmac.
That was a neat, albeit windy, idea. The novel wore off quickly as we started and I realized that without planes in sight, we were basically running around a big, ugly track in freezing weather.



However, the track atmosphere obviously helped me, because I had a big PR.  This is probably due to the flatness! I was terribly excited and I made M wait for 1.5 hours after the race had ended, sure that I had gotten an award (since 25 minutes usually places), in the cold and dark parking lot as the post-race party dwindled. Usually they post sheets with prelims, so you know whether to stay, but not this time. So silly, as I ended up being 6th!



In any case, a cool t-shirt and a shiny new PR!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Books: The best of my 2013 reading

Fiction:

The StorytellerFreedomSharp Objects
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult - I've loved Picoult since forever, but even if you haven't liked some of her other stuff, try this.
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen - This book is literary fiction that takes investment. If you have the will and the time to dedicate, it pays off.
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - Creepy and dark are understatements.

Young Adult:

The Historian
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova - Far better than your typical teen vampire book.

Non-Fiction:

Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's PrisonBonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and SexSaltwater Buddha: A Surfer's Quest to Find Zen on the Sea
Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman- People who watched the show first say they don't like the book, but I read the book first and thought it was fantastic and killed the show!
Bonk by Mary Roach - Anything by Mary Roach is good. This is the one I read this year, but if you've never read her before, go with Stiff.
Saltwater Buddha by Jaimal Yogis - On the surface about surfing, but good advice for life also.

Classics:

The Bell Jar
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath - Sometimes, I hate classics... Or maybe I just feel that way because I absolutely can't make it through Lolita this year. This was surprisingly good and had a nice flow.

Running:

Once a Runner
Once a Runner by John L. Parker Jr. - A old-school running novel.

Gender:

F 'em!: Goo Goo, Gaga, and Some Thoughts on BallsHow to Be a Woman
F'em by Jennifer Baumgardner - A great intro to feminism and good list of related reading.
How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran - Another feministy pick, but Caitlin Moran is hilarious!

Audio:

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls
This, or anything by David Sedaris. David Sedaris has short, funny stories. They'll make you laugh out loud, but you can still pay attention on your long run.

All images from Goodreads.com

Monday, December 2, 2013

Jingle Bell Run

Race: Jingle Bell Run 
Distance: 10K
Location: Pensacola Beach, FL
Date: November 30th, 2013
Time: 8 am
Bib: 835
Time: 54:40
Place: 34/123 (overall),  2/10(AG) 11/72 (gender)
Race: 19 (ever), 14 (year)

I ran this race last year, I was still healing from PF. My review was rather lacking. 

Packet pick-up was easy, done in the 20 minutes before the race began.
Temps were cold!
The course was pretty, the best part of this run, and so close to home. Since we had a storm the other day, sections of the road were covered in sand, making it a little harder to run on.



I had partied for ten hours the day before, but still felt confident enough for a PR. I started off fast, my legs feeling heavy but good. I opted for music, which typically hurts my 5k, and might have here as well, but I felt it was too far and too cold for me to manage without. I needed distraction! 
I pretty much stuck a little bit behind one woman the entire time, until the last half to quarter mile. I had enough to kick it and leave her behind. The last mile was also pretty crowded, though. A lot of the walkers were bringing it in around then. 



The after-party... lacked booze. WHAT?! I thought that they had mimosas or something last year. But no. They had chili which was good. They had posted results and I saw that I placed second in my age group, so we waited, and waited and waited for the awards to start. THEN, after all that time and all the freezing... First place awards only. It sucked.



The t shirt is pretty lack-luster, the lack of booze horrid and I can complain and say I won't run this race next year... But, I probably will. It is only a little bit from my house and I love the course and the opportunity to run off turkey and pie. All I can do is hope next year is better :)