Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Little Bit of Yoga

I've never been a huge fan of yoga. I'm pretty flexible from all my years of gymnastics, but I don't care for the yoga class that is offered at my gym.

Lately, A has been asking me to teach her yoga. Well, I just don't know that much of it to be of any use, so when I found out that the Lululemon in Boulder offers a free yoga class on Sundays, and that kids are welcome to attend, I figured I would take her to one and see if she liked it.


I'll admit that I was a bit nervous since I didn't see any other kids show up. The instructor came over and introduced herself, and that took off some of the edge. A set up our mats towards the back, and class started. It wasn't a very technical yoga class, and A made it about 45 minutes into it before she didn't want to do anymore. We started doing more complicated balance moves and she was having a hard time figuring them out. She very quietly sat on her mat until it was time for the meditation. Overall, she did GREAT. She didn't talk, she did most of the poses well, and she allowed me and the instructor to adjust her legs/hands as necessary.


The main problem with this class? During all the moves I was looking around the store wanting to try stuff on. I guess that's probably the point. Anyway, A says she wants to go back, so I figure as long as she is interested, we will go.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Country Music Half Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, April 28
Nashville, TN
State #45
Weather - HOT. HUMID.


We had originally planned to run the Country Music half marathon last year, but decided to postpone a year due to all the time we were going to be gone in May. This year, we really lucked out that the other L was going to be running also. It would have likely been a total disaster had she not been there to help us out.

We left the hotel a bit late for the airport. By the time we got there, we only had an hour until our flight left. OF COURSE the security line would be crazy long for the first time in ages. It took as a half hour to get through, we literally walked up to the gate right as "B" was boarding. Once on the plane, turns out there was some weather issues and we sat on the runway for 45 minutes before we left. Obviously we landed late as a result.


Originally we were going to take the shuttle to our hotel, but L just came and picked us up since it wasn't that far away. We dropped off our stuff at the hotel and then headed downtown to pick up our packets. We parked kind of far away so we didn't have to pay for parking. Gave me a chance to see part of the city:

AT&T "batman" building
Downtown
The expo was a cluster. Holy cow. I have never been to such a crowded place IN MY LIFE. We had to wait in a line outside just to get in. Then it was one long winding line through the building, down a few escalators, into the hall. Luckily, we seemed to be in the only corral with no line for bibs, so that was nice. I was pretty psyched to get a red shirt. I really don't like the white ones they have been doing for all other races. It was way too chaotic to go too thoroughly through the expo, but I headed over to see Cheryl at Razzy Roo. She wasn't working, but her sister was there. I did notice that she changed some of her advertising... Look familiar??

I'm a celebrity! 
After leaving the expo, we headed over to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner. We were really happy that there was no wait to be seated. Turns out that makes NO difference. Still took over an hour to get food. RIDICULOUS.

BUT IT WAS TASTY!
We walked around downtown for a few minutes, stopped at an ice cream parlor (where I shared a brownie with L)

And posed for a picture in front of a giant boot:


We were back at the hotel by 8, and we needed to head to bed early since L warned that there would be a lot of traffic and we had to take a shuttle from the finish line to the start. We decided to leave at 5 with a 7 am start.

RACE DAY


Woke up around 4:20, and got ready. I had slept really well, but I felt tired. It seemed like we were leaving crazy early. Within 10 minutes, I knew we had probably not left enough time. Again, it was a good thing L was with us, because we would not have known alternate ways to get anywhere. Traffic was a standstill on the highway, she took us a back way into the city, and we managed to find FREE parking (all public lots were charging $20... crooks). We booked over to the stadium - the city looked pretty from the pedestrian bridge:


We found the line for the shuttle, and I checked the weather. The app lies, it was already over 60 degrees before we were even out of the car.


LP Field
So. Turns out we were in the VIP line, but we didn't know it for a few minutes. Then we had to run to the other side of the stadium for the "regular people" shuttle. The line was RIDICULOUS. We probably waited in line for 20 minutes. By the time we got dropped off at the starting area, it was already 6:25. We ran to the Parthenon for the half fanatic picture - and we were only one minute late!




Dave, L, Me
Pre-race, matchy matchy
Right after taking the picture, the other L ran into her speedy friend from work and they headed to the start line since we only had about 15 minutes until the start. L and I needed to use the bathroom. We were in line by where we took the picture for about 5 minutes and didn't move an inch. I called the other L and found out there were more bathrooms at the start, so we ran over there. This picture was taken AFTER the gun went off. Look how long all the lines still are. C'MON ROCK N' ROLL. AT OVER $100 A PERSON YOU CAN'T HAVE MORE BATHROOMS?????


As a result of the bathroom situation, we were not able to start in our corral. We had to start way back in corral 14. It was insanely crowded:


We started out slow, but that was fine by me since it was going to be a hot and humid day. And thanks to the other L having run it before, we also knew it was going to be HILLY.

Mile 1 - Already ROASTING
The first few miles were hot, but not too hard. L and I were chatting a bit and I didn't even turn on my iPod until probably mile 2. I heated up QUICK. With as much as I was sweating, I knew that I was sweating and wiping the sunscreen right off my face. I hate getting that stuff in my eyes, it burns so bad!!

The course got a lot harder after we passed mile 2. Miles 3 & 4 were probably the hardest on the course. We were looking for the other B who said she was cheering around mile 3, but we never saw her. She probably thought she missed us since we started over 15 minutes late.

We finally caught up to Dave around mile 4.5. He got a few pictures of us, then we went on ahead. I am pretty sure I have never run such a crowded race. It was really hard to keep a steady pace because people were running together and/or stopping to walk at every hill. Even the downhills!


Every once in a while, there was shade, and THAT was really nice:

About halfway
I really don't remember that much of the race itself. I did stop at three different tables for beer. I put ice down my bra because I was so hot. I dumped water over my head at every aid station after the first one. I did not walk a SINGLE hill. I got annoyed at the sheer masses of people that gave up and yet chose to walk in the middle of the course. I complained about the heat. A LOT. I will say that the course was challenging, but the first half was MUCH worse. Until about mile 12.5. At that point, L dug deep and was able to have a strong finish (like she always does). My legs were DONE, and it took every ounce of energy in me to NOT walk. Even the downhill finish didn't do much to improve my pace. I was wasted.

Typical for a rock n' roll race, it was a cluster finish that lasted about a quarter mile and took probably 15 minutes to walk through. We did get a wet, cold towel at the end, but other than that, I wasn't too impressed with this race. It seemed really disorganized and way too crowded. I did, however, enjoy that the course has AWESOME crowd support. I think just about every inch of the course had people cheering. That was really neat. The rest? Meh.



Bib #6595
Official Time - 2:18:11
Official 5K - 32:16
Official 10K - 1:04:57
Official Pace - 10:33
Overall Place - 8059/22326
Gender Place - 3897/14212
Division Place - 784/2518
Garmin Time - 2:18:12
Garmin Distance - 13.23 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:27
Mile 1 - 9:50
Mile 2 - 9:53
Mile 3 - 10:48
Mile 4 - 10:42
Mile 5 - 10:39
Mile 6 - 10:23
Mile 7 - 10:40
Mile 8 - 10:35
Mile 9 - 10:43
Mile 10 - 10:05
Mile 11 - 10:19
Mile 12 - 10:33
Mile 13 - 10:42
Mile 13.1ish - 9:42


We found the other L without TOO much trouble, then walked back to the car and headed to the hotel to shower. We drove back into the city, and met B for lunch at Pharmacy - a burger and beer garden. I had a delicious burger and sweet potato fries. YUM!!


Right after lunch, we had to head to the airport. Uneventful flight to Denver. We landed a few minutes early, got on the shuttle right away, and then we were the SECOND people dropped off. Awesome.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

SoCal Ragnar Relay (Part 3)

If you have read Part 1 and Part 2, then continue on :D

So I survived my second run, and for most of us, this was our longest leg. Heather followed me with an almost 9 miler. I was getting a bit tired, and knew I would have to be up early to run my last leg. I don't even know when this picture was taken, but we are awfully smiley for being in the dark:


I am pretty certain that I started to fall asleep before we even made it to the exchange point with van 2. I don't even think I got out of the car except to use the bathroom. I probably was able to get a few hours of sleep, which I think is more than most people got. I'll take it.

I vaguely remember getting up when Shannon left for her last run since I had to change clothes and get ready. Not sure what time it was when I headed out. It was still sort of dark, I think around 5:30 am? I had another longish leg, over 7 miles, and I knew that there were some super tough hills in there.

The first few miles weren't too bad, it was humid though, and I was sweating. I had only brought along my little handheld water bottle, so had less water than usual, but I had figured that it would be ok since it was cooler/dark out. I also had forgotten my GU. Good thing I managed to eat a strawberry pop tart before heading out.

I spent most of the run obsessing about my forgotten GU. Around mile 4 I got stuck at a traffic light crossing the highway for almost three minutes. During that time, I managed to whine to the runners waiting with me about forgetting my GU. A super nice runner from the "Rangry Birds" gave me a package of chomps. Seriously saved me!

I ran out of water halfway up the first hill. Made me super cranky for the rest of my run. I kept hoping to see my van so they could throw water at me, but they must have headed right to the exchange. The biggest hill of all, seriously looked liked | for a quarter mile on the profile, and I walked the whole thing. I was tired and thirsty and NOT feeling it. The downhill was great and I smoked a few people heading into my final exchange. I come up to the exchange and see Sandy, but Heather was missing... she had run back to the van to get her map because she was afraid of getting lost. Due to the fog, the night hours were extended until 7:30. Considering ALL THE WALKING and the time spent at the stop light, my time is pretty dang amazing.

Leg 3 - 7.44 miles, 1:20:58 (10:52 pace)

While driving to the next exchange, we took a detour by the ACTUAL RUNNINGSKIRTS STORE:


The Heather/Julie exchange... chaotic. There had been a wedding proposal RIGHT before Heather got there, and in our hurry to go see it, Julie forgot her bib. Here you can see her taking Heather's. Good thing we weren't going for time. We really sucked at the exchanges.


Julie hands off to Sandy.


Look, Sandy is happy and PUMPED to run. Again. Love her!


Madison anxiously awaiting her last leg, and the final run for our van. I tried to warn her that it was a billion degrees, but she didn't listen and headed out in the sweatshirt anyway.


Hand off is a success!


Go, go, go!!


Madison rocked her last leg, passing 20ish people. Crazy!! Meanwhile, Shannon and Julie were reading "Ragmag" to an illiterate monkey. Or so they said...


When we were all done we headed to breakfast and I had the biggest omelet ever in the whole world. Plus pancakes. And part of Heather's food. And some of Sandy's bacon waffles. I'm a pig :(


Our van rocked. Especially Madison!


After we were done eating, we headed to Shannon's house, where we were able to take HOT showers and change clothes. Also meant we had to clean the van, inside and out. Turns out that black window paint is REALLY HARD to get off white paint. FYI, don't do it. If you do, you'll likely have to use a magic eraser to get it off. We even had time to do a little shopping at Lululemon in La Jolla (sorry, Sandy, for bringing you to the dark side). I dozed off again on the drive to the finish line.

We finished on the beach. And it was FREEZING.


Our well-deserved beer. Cheers to Van of Awesome!!


And then I found the tallest guy EVER.

The final picture of the nerd herd in our finish line "costumes"


The medal is ginormous:


We were going to stick around to watch the ultra team finish, but we were exhausted and still had a LONG drive back up to Orange County.

Honestly, this was the most fun EVER. I had the best ladies ever in my van, and other than my mild freak out before leg 2, I was enjoying myself the entire time. I remember thinking that other people didn't seem to be having as much fun as we were, and I felt bad for them. I don't think I'd change anything, other than maybe packing a bit more carefully. Although, I didn't bring anything I didn't use.

Monday, April 23, 2012

SoCal Ragnar Relay (Part 2)

Did you read Part 1 yet?

Obviously one of the first things I did was put on the magic pants from Aspaeris. Aren't they stunning?


I just LOVED the chaos of this race. Hurrying to get from one exchange to the next, waiting for the next runner to come in. SO. FUN.

Sandy was an adorable nerd
And SO pumped to run
Our last hand off of the first leg from Sandy to Madison:


We headed to our first major exchange point, where we would finally meet up with van 2 for the first time. It was getting CRAZY hot, and we were happy to be finishing up. We were getting hungry! Madison came in for a hand off to Ashley:


Every van got a FREE BOX OF KRISPY KREME donuts. I could hardly wait to eat them all.


Did I mention my van was the best? Because we all agreed that In-N-Out was the ideal place to refuel. So delicious. Not to mention, it was a super fantastic place to change clothes for the our next leg. (As opposed to trying to do it in the back seat of a van).



By the time we arrived near our next exchange point, it was STUPID HOT. We stopped at the grocery store to buy popsicles to hand out and to buy iced lattes from Starbucks.


We remembered to give popsicles to the awesome volunteers too:


I remembered that I hadn't shaved my legs lately and decided the parking lot was OBVIOUSLY the best place to do that:



Made friends by giving out popsicles. Then they were willing to share their shade with us:


It was at least a billion degrees by the time Shannon headed out for her second run:


We stopped at a Rite Aid along the course and handed out more popsicles and wrote some messages on the sidewalk:


Shannon still looking strong
Sandy and I were experts at properly using the orange flags to safely cross the street:


With the crazy heat, we knew people were going to take longer to finish. We were concerned that Shannon was going to miss the turn for the exchange since there was no sign, so Heather and I were dropped off (since I was on deck), and Madison and Sandy went to find her. During that time, I realized I forgot practically everything I needed to run (iPod, safety pins, vest, headlamp, blinky light). It was still crazy hot and I was getting panicky and tense. Luckily, Heather talked me down off the ledge. Sandy arrived in time to drop off all my things, and Shannon came in safely.


I headed out for my run, the longest of all my legs at over 9 miles. I almost immediately got stuck at a traffic light, but at least for only a minute or so. My legs were DEAD. The course went down a "street" - which was more like a barren, dirt packed, ATV course. There were "pot holes" (more like sink holes) that were big enough to swallow a car. I was moving slowish, and got passed a TON. I at least wasn't needing to walk as badly as the last leg, and I was psyched when I saw my team around 2 miles in. They told me they were getting gas and they would see me later.

Not too long after they left, the course moved onto paved roads. I was glad the course was well marked because I couldn't keep up with any of the other runners. But the temperatures dropped and it was finally bearable. There was a slight breeze even! There were some hills, but nothing too awful. I even had a few (very few) raindrops fall on me. Somewhere around mile 6 or 7, there was an AWESOME downhill that I was able to coast down at a crazy speed, averaging 8:15ish pace. And I *finally* passed some people. It got dark the last couple miles of the course, and running along the side of the road, I had a hard time seeing where I was going. I ran about 10 minutes faster than I had expected, which is probably why Heather wasn't ready at the exchange when I got there. Oops.

Leg 2 - 9.19 miles, 1:35:51 (10:27 pace)

Stay tuned for Part 3... 

Week in Review (July 11 - July 17)

Tuesday  (10,729 steps) - Barre with Gabi! Thankfully, it didn't feel quite as impossible as last week. Hopefully I have not lost ALL my...