Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015: A Year Of Rediscovery

Every year I swear I'm not going to do one of these posts, but somehow I always end up feeling compelled to write one.  Looking back at 2015, I feel like it's been all about rediscovering things that I'd forgotten about/let get away from me - and other adventures followed.

There was camping - which I hadn't done since April of 2013.

On that camping trip, I also rediscovered hiking - particularly the Ice Age Trail - which led to hiking a few more segments and trail running another!

Rediscovering the Ice Age Trail

Knocking off the second half of the Lapham Peak segment
Trail Running Perfection

I also rediscovered how much I like riding my bike: I hit up the Ozaukee InterUrban Trail and the Glacial Drumlin Trail.

InterUrban Selfie

I fell so in (back in) love with my bike that I decided to get back into multi-sport racing by entering the Lake Country Duathlon - and ended up acquiring some new wheels in the process!

Bringing Home The New Baby
This led to a nail-biting morning of learning to control my new ride and ride in aero - accompanied by Mr. R&R, YadaYada, and EuroGuy.  The rest of the summer was filled with long, fun rides with the guys and Texas.

Aero: The New Way To Ride

Pretty Rides All In A Row
Then came my return to multi-sport racing at the Lake Country Duathlon - and a finish I never would have dared to dream of!

The Closing Sprint To My First Age Group Win
I also rediscovered a friendship that had fallen by the wayside.  Having my once-upon-a-time BFF back in my life has been great.  We both agreed that it's a testament to our friendship that we didn't see each other for almost 4 years and yet somehow we picked up right where we left off (with the addition of her 2 kids)!

Two Key Symbols of Our Friendship
There was also rediscovering how damn good it feels to set a new running PR.  The The Firecracker 4 was an automatic PR since I'd never raced that distance - and I freakin' earned it at the The Last Call 5k.

Finally, there's music.  Mr. R&R recently acquired a vintage stereo receiver and we've both been rediscovering our love of music - particularly on vinyl.

Somebunnies have also been enjoying the tunes:

There were so many amazing things happened in 2015. I can't wait to see what I discover/rediscover in 2016!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Last Call 5k Race Recap

3 Series Races Down. 3 To Go.

Last night I realized that I was severely under-prepared to run a half marathon and in the interest of not injuring myself to the point of not being able to finish the series/being sick for days/limping for a week in the name of being stubborn, I opted to drop down from the half marathon to the 5k distance. I wanted to run a race I could be proud of, not one that made me question why the hell I run in the first place. It turned out to be a very good decision.

It's been a fairly warm winter so far - like 50 degrees yesterday, so Mr. R&R and I were a little surprised to wake up to 30 degrees and fog!  We did the usual coffee/water/choke down a Clif Bar on the way, parked, and headed for the timing table to make the switch from the half to the 5k.

We went back outside to do a quick warm up run before retreating to the nice, warm building to stretch and keep warm while the half marathoners took off.  3 minutes before the gun went off, we made our way to the start line, fired up the watches, and listened to another little kid count us down.

Off we went.  Mr. R&R was off like a shot and I was way too close behind him - meaning I went out waaaaaay too fast!  About .17 miles in, we hopped a curb and headed out onto the Glacial Drumlin Trail - yes the same trail I rode on a bunch of times over the summer.  The course was almost pancake flat and I let my ego run away from me for the first mile.  Mile 1: 8:40 (see what I mean about the ego?)

Of course I paid for that 8:40 big time.  I did my best to tuck myself behind a dude/human windshield at the turnaround, but he managed to drop me and I was on my own.  I passed the time watching the rear of the pack still heading out and ended up doing a little walking to catch my breath. My mile split showed it.  Mile 2: 9:33.

Somewhere after Mile 2 I remembered that I wanted to run a race I could be proud of - even if it wasn't a PR - and decided I was willing to hurt for it.  I picked it up and kept telling myself, 'It's okay to be uncomfortable' over and over again.  I stopped looking at my watch, knowing that if I did, whatever I saw would get in my head and screw with me.  I just pushed as hard as I could and when I saw the finish line, I pushed a little more.

Ready to die now.

I was all thumbs afterward and couldn't get my watch to stop immediately, so I wasn't really sure how I actually did.  All I really knew was that I ran something faster than a 27:39 - which is what my watch read when I finally got it to shut off.  I grabbed a cup of water and waited for the 'I'm going to yak/pass out/die feeling to pass and Mr. R&R and I walked back to the car to pile on a few more layers before heading back to check the results.

Mr. R&R turned in another amazing performance - taking 3rd in his age group and PR-ing by 36 seconds!  I ended up 4th in my age group - with a totally unplanned 8 second PR!  I wasn't happy about missing the podium by one spot, but I was over the moon about the PR.

We hung out through awards, gulping coffee and munching on Twizzlers, and then headed home - both of us having had races we were proud of.  What a way to end the year!

Time: 27:25 (8:49/mile pace)
Overall Place: 42/92
Gender Place: 19/53
Age Group Place: 4/8 (F35-39)

Up Next: JanBoree Frosty 5k