Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Bucket List

Today is my 43rd birthday. Not a major one, but a milestone nonetheless. I thought today's blog would be a good one to look back and look ahead.

A lot has happened in the last year:

* Celebrated my beautiful son's 5th birthday
* Ran the Jingle Bell Run for the first time
* Joined the North Area Family YMCA
* Sold crafts with my mom at the Liverpool HS, ESM HS, and Soule Rd craft shows
* Registered for my first triathlon
* Participated in the 8-Week Ride at the YMCA
* Participated in the triathlon swim clinic
* Traveled to Baltimore for the USA Lacrosse National Convention
* Traveled to Florida with my family
* Signed up for triathlon training with Coach Kelly
* Was laid off from my job
* Participated in my first practice triathlon which included my first open water swim
* Watched my beautiful son graduate from Kindergarten
* Accepted the fact that I may only have one child and was OK with that
* Ran in the Save the River run in Clayton, NY and smashed my time from last year
* Lost 20 pounds
* Came in 4th place (1 place off from winning a prize) in the YMCA's 12-Week Challenge
* Participated in my first triathlon
* Volunteered for the Cazenovia triathlon
* Ran in the Willow Bay Run for Women
* Signed up for personalized triathlon training with Coach Kelly
* Volunteered for the Syracuse 70.3
* Ran in the Arc 5K and set a PR
* Ran in the Festival of Races
* Ran in the LaFayette Apple Run and set another PR
* Celebrated my 9th wedding anniversary

I have a lot of things that I want to accomplish, so I made a list of some things and surprisingly, I think a lot of them can be accomplished in the next year. I think that I might just have to post them somewhere I can see them at all times so I have a constant reminder of what I want out of life. Here is my list. Anything with a * next to it is something I think I can do this year. Anything with a - next to it is something that I need more time.

* Run a 10K...already scheduled for Thanksgiving morning
* Run a 15K...the Boilermaker?
- Run a Half Marathon
* Start a sports/fitness themed craft business
- Purchase waterfront property
* Lose 10 more pounds
- Travel to Hawaii, out west (US or Canada) for a ski vacation, Alaska for a cruise, the Mediterranean for a cruise, Ireland, and Italy
* Take Alex to Yankee Stadium for a game
* or - Complete an Olympic distance tri
* Run a sub-10 minute mile
* Run a sub-30 minute 5K
* Learn to crochet
* Be a consistent "Clean Eater"
* Plant a really good veggie and herb garden
* Learn to preserve the veggies to use during the winter months
* Purchase a road bike
* Upgrade my Mac and/or purchase a laptop

Yup, I am definitely printing this list to remind me of my goals. Why go through life just drifting and waiting for things to happen? If I see this list constantly, I will make my dreams come true.

Happy birthday to me!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

LaFayette Apple Run Race Report


You just can't beat a beautiful Fall day in Central New York! Days like Sunday were the reason I wanted to get married in the Fall. Although there was frost on the car when the family left to head to the LaFayette Apple Festival Sunday, the weather turned out absolutely beautiful for the Apple Festival and 5K Run.

For some reason, I haven't been sleeping well and the night before the race was no different. I would think that all my training would make me sleep great, but something is going on that is making me wake up numerous times throughout the night. Hope it goes away soon.

This race was a bit different because the start line was about 1/2 to 3/4 mile away from the finish line. Runners could either walk/jog there on their own or take a shuttle bus. Didn't see the point in taking a shuttle, so I used this to warm up the legs with a jog. And boy did they need warming up because it was still pretty chilly. When I got to the start line, I ran into a triatlon friend Michelle and we chatted while we waited for the horn to sound. Next thing I knew we were off!


Although I had warmed up my legs, my legs seemed heavy the first part of the race. I noticed that they had marked the 1/2 mile mark and when I looked at my watch it read 6:00 even. What?!?!? That means I'm running at a 12:00 mile pace!!!! I want to make my 5Ks faster, not slower! But, then I remembered the race website not only had the race route, but also the change in elevation and I recalled that the first part was pretty much all uphill. I wasn't sure how much longer I would be going uphill and hoped I could overcome the slow pace. Next thing I know I'm sensing that we're going downhill and pretty soon I'm at the 1 mile marker. I prayed that the time would be good...and it was. My watch read 10:39 which meant I did the second 1/2 mile in 4:39 and a 9:18 pace. Cool!

When I got to the mid-way point, they were handing out water and Gatorade. My mouth was a little dry and I wanted to take something, but I felt pretty good and didn't want to slow. It was right around this point when I really took in some of the beautiful scenery surrounding us. There was a farm to our right that had 5 horses out and 2 of them were very excited by all the runners. They kept running up and down the fence looking like they wanted to join us.

After that, I looked in front of us and all I saw was this solid wall of red/orange/yellow/green trees. Just breathtaking! Another runner and I were talking for a minute about how beautiful it was and that it was nice to have that to keep our minds occupied.

This runner that I was talking with was someone I was with pretty much the first half of the race. Next thing I know, I'm pulling away from her. Then I start catching other runners ahead of me. The second half of the race I was only caught by one person which is rare for me. Usually people start blowing past me and I catch one if I'm lucky. Maybe things are starting to change for me!

Up ahead, I'm now seeing runners turn right into the parking lot to head to the finish line. And at that corner are Dan and Alex cheering me on. I gave Dan my camera hoping he could get a shot or two of me running. The second one below is Alex giving me a high five as I'm running past him.

As I crossed the finish line, I looked at the race timer and with that, I would have had a new PR. Since I timed using my own watch, I did even better: 31:19 for a 10:06 pace. Woo hoo! I would love to get under 30:00 soon, but my first goal is to get under a 10:00 pace. Shouldn't take me too long for that.


The nice thing about having a race associated with the LaFayette Apple Fest is that you get apples and cider as a post-race snack and then you get into the Fest free with your bib. So, we went in for awhile then headed home before the crowds got too crazy.

Well, that's it for today. Next race was supposed to be the Wounded Warrior on Nov 7, but that's the only day I could schedule Alex's friend b'day party. So, it looks like the Bruegger's Bagel Run on Oct 31 will be next.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Trek Breast Cancer Awareness Ride

I wanted to get one more bike "race" in before winter hit. Luckily, the Trek Breast Cancer Awareness Ride was scheduled for today. The ride was hosted by Syracuse Bicycle and was held at Green Lakes State Park. Not actually a race, but riders had a choice between a 10 mile ride on the Erie Canal path and a 25 mile ride through the park and on the surrounding roads. Since I am running the LaFayette Apple Run 5K tomorrow, I didn't want to overdue it, so I decided on the 10 mile ride.

As I pulled into the parking lot, I saw my friend Shawn from the YMCA and I waved her down.

She came over to the car and I was happy to hear she was also doing the 10 mile ride, so we decided to stick together. After the organizers addressed the crowd, they sent the 25 milers on their way and then it was our turn to head out.

The weather couldn't have been better. A perfect, cool Fall day. It's days like this that make me happy I live where I do. The ride was an out and back ride and it was smooth sailing without many obstacles except for an occasional pile of horse poop. Man, some of those piles were big!

I know this is gross, but I just had to take a picture! It looked like a dinosaur had been through!

At the half way point, we stopped for water and M&Ms, then we headed back to enjoy more of the scenery.

Toward the end of the ride I saw what I thought was the biggest pile of horse poop I've ever seen, but it ended up to be a snapping turtle.

After the ride, we were treated to some pasta and pizza. They ended the day recognizing some breast cancer survivors and handing out some door prizes. Shawn was lucky and won a nice Trek tech shirt. A fun day was had by all.

Next up, tomorrow's LaFayette Apple Run 5K. Can you say hills?

If things go as planned, this will be the site of my next tri (The Green Lakes Triathlon) in June 2011.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Festival of Races Race Report

The Day Before

On Saturday, I went to Dick's Sporting Goods in Shoppingtown Mall to pick up my race number and long sleeve technical shirt. I'm definitely starting to love technical shirts, especially long sleeve ones. Since I was in the neighborhood, I drove the race course to check it out. There was a small up hill climb at the beginning, but it wasn't too bad. Besides, the up hill climb at the beginning would mean a down hill toward the end of the race which was fine by me! The rest of the course was flat which definitely made me happy.

Saturday evening, I joined my husband at Labrador Ski Mountain to celebrate their National Ski Patrol's 50th anniversary. The plan was to have a couple glasses of wine at the beginning of the celebration then drink water the rest of the evening so I wouldn't be hurting on race morning. My mistake was drinking RED wine which will give me headaches on occasion. By the time I started drinking water, I already had a headache. After I drove my drunk husband home, I took some ibuprophen and crashed on the couch for awhile. I was in and out of sleep, but the headache wouldn't go away. Finally I headed for bed after taking some more ibuprophen. Unfortunately I felt a little nauseous when I laid down. How could I be feeling this way after only a couple glasses of wine?!?!?! I was not happy!!!!


Woke up and still had the headache. Crap!!! I took more ibuprophen with my home made iced mocha and PB&J toast and eventually the headache went away. Unfortunately, I was having trouble getting rid of the "I drank too much and just want to get back in bed and sleep all day" feeling. Not a feeling you want when you're about to run a 5K.

I had trouble figuring out what to wear. I love running when it's cool out, but I always seem to over- or under-dress. The temp was in the 40's, so I went with a long sleeve tech shirt that had a half zip front and also wore long leggings. When I got to the race site, I got out of the car and was freezing, but I knew that wouldn't last once I started running.

Race Time!

Coach Kelly's plan for the race was to do mile 1 in Zone 2, mile 2 in Zone 3, and mile 3 all out. After the gun sounded, it felt like all 3 miles were all out. Immediately my HR jumped to Zone 3 and I hoped there were ambulances throughout the course because I feared I might just need one. As best as I could, I stayed in a low-Zone 3 for mile 1. I reached the mile 1 marker at 10:29, which was OK and, considering the condition I was in, I was happy. After that, I upped my HR to a high-Zone 3. Unfortunately, they didn't have a sign at the mile 2 mile marker, so I didn't know when to really kick it up. They did have the km markers, so when I reached the km 4 marker, I kicked it into high gear. I had a couple of runners ahead of me in my sights to catch and I'm happy to report I caught one, but not the other. Again, considering how I felt, I was happy. Needless to say, I was never happier to see a finish line as I was today.

Post Race

According to my watch, my finish time was an even 32:00 for a pace of 10:19. I figured I would be no where close to getting a PR, but believe it or not, this was my second best time ever. Just think how well I could have done if I felt better. Note to self: if you've spent money on a race, there will be NO DRINKING ADULT BEVERAGES THE NIGHT BEFORE!!!!! Lesson learned!

I have to say, I was pretty impressed by the post-race grub they had at the race. Tops was there with bagels, bananas, sports drinks, chocolate milk, yogurt, etc. Salsarita's was there with chips and Salsa, and Applebee's was there with salad. No way you would go hungry after the race.

USA Track was there with some merchandise and I bought a nice short sleeve neon yellow tech shirt. I've wanted both short and long sleeve shirts in this color for better visibility.

Another booth that was there was a new company named I'm Faster Than Yesterday. They weren't selling shirts, but they had three women's short sleeve tech shirts and three men's short sleeve tech shirts on display. All had a running themed design on them and if you filled out a survey about your favorites, you might win one. I would love to do something like this and come up with cool triathlon designs and screen print them on tech shirts to sell. I'm making a killing selling my wine coasters to all my YMCA friends, so maybe I could be just as successful. Why not?!?!?! I've been thinking about getting a starter screen printing kit, so maybe I should do just that. Stay tuned!!

Well, that's about it from the 2010 Festival of Races. Next weekend is a busy one with the Breast Cancer Awareness Ride on Saturday and the LaFayette Apple Run on Sunday.