Well I guess I am pretty predictable. I went out and ran my little legs off this morning. I managed to finish ahead of WV, unfortunately I was the only one to chick him today so he won the bet. Luckily for me I still scored breakfast out of it. But I had to pay up on the bet I lost (to run a 3:25 full this year) so it was a wash.

1:35:35 for 13 miles today. About 7:21 pace, a hair faster than my current half marathon PR pace. I'll count it as an unofficial PR :) Good way to end the year.

1757 miles this year, about 600 more than last year. Official 5K, 4 mile, 5 mile, 5.25 mile, 50k, and 50 mile PRs this year. Not too shabby.

Hope everyone has enjoyed reflecting on 2007 and is ready to jump into 2008 with vigor. I'll be literally jumping into 2008 by taking a dip in Lake Erie. If I take the plunge it will be my second annual polar plunge. As an added bonus at my new trim weight I will even look good in my bathing suit for this one!

Happy birthday to my hubby. He turns 33 today. Hopefully he will have a nice birthday this year. We're hanging out with friends tonight and having everyone over for games tomorrow. Should be a good time.

Happy New Year Everybody!

2007 Race Reports

  • Winter Buckeye 50K

  • Chili Bowl 5K

  • Youngstown Half

  • Spring Classic Half

  • Bedford Pancake Run 5 Miler

  • Flying Pig Marathon

  • Cleveland Marathon

  • Blossom 5.25 Mile Run

  • GMR 190 Relay

  • Flag Day 5K

  • Summer BT50K

  • Shot in The Dark 4 Mile

  • Twilight Trail 8K

  • NERC Cross Country Series 5K

  • Punxsutawney 50K

  • North Country Trail Marathon

  • Akron Marathon

  • San Francisco Marathon

  • Running With Scissors FA 60K

  • JFK 50 Mile Race

  • Reindeer Run 5K
  • Last Race of 2007?

    The guys in our running club have a tendency or running out of things to talk about on Sunday's at the bagel shop and once that happens it's time for the betting to begin. I've only been suckered into one bet which I lost. I'm not tempted to ever bet away a free meal again. But this is their way of keeping each other motivated to run well throughout the year.

    Today is our New Years Eve Run. Approximately 13 miles. I had told Daisy we would be taking this run easy today since we both ran 21 and 22 miles respectively on Saturday. Well the bagel shop betters have another plan. They have made the bet that 3 women will beat WV back to the cars today. Then they realized that most of the fast women may not show. Leaving them to grab me and ask all about how fast I can run 13 miles. Of course not clarifying that they meant to propose that I beat WV today. So now the pressure is on, should I encourage this behavior and race my little legs to death today, or should I be smart and stick to my original plan of an easy day?

    *Note that last night was girls night out and our three potentials for helping to win the bet all consumed copious amounts of appetizers, desserts, and red wine.*

    So I may come back today with an unofficial 13 mile PR or I may come back having been smart and taken it easy and enjoyed a talkative run with my gals to end the 2007 season. Either way I bet I'll have had fun!

    Christmas with the Hansens

    Paivi seeing if she likes pretzels. Girl went crazy the other night when we made tater tots, would not leave us or our plates alone.

    Amenti pretending to be a glass of milk.

    In retrospect this was a bad idea. In my defense I thought it looked so nice. Now I know though that my kitties just cannot resist windowsills and now I lost the glass frame on the left and all the glass panels in the frame in the middle. Got to love coming home to shards of glass everywhere.

    Our mini tree and our collection of holiday photos. I started running out of room by Christmas but managed to get all the photos on there.

    One of these socks doesn't quite fit in. Monte climbed in the sock basket as I was folding and made it all the way through the trip upstairs before finally bailing.

    I was excited about this gift. We had a good photo of my sis at one of her Crew meets in Cleveland that I got blown up and framed for her.

    Other gifts I was excited about giving this year included a family photo album for David's grandma with photos from the past 4-5 years, necklaces for both moms, a mug with a photo of me and the FIL after the Cleveland marathon, and disc golf equipment for David. I had a lot of fun giving the more personalized gifts this year, what can I say I am a photo hound and love sharing the photos as much as I do taking them! I have one more gift I am excited about giving but won't be giving it until mid January when we go to Phoenix.

    My mom got us all "the claw" AKA window scrapers that keep our hands warm.

    This cute puppy thinks he is a cat!

    Mom and Dad got us a digital thermostat, with installation! Can't beat that!

    We made out like bandits this year as usual. I got my Advanced Marathoning book from David, smart wool socks from my parents, a new watch, new kicks, two sweet new necklaces from my siblings, Scrubs season 5!, Lots of new long sleeved tops (thankfully both my mothers have good taste, as I do not, they hook up my wardrobe every year!), a deep fryer for David, and quite a few new games to add to our collection. Spoiled rotten. Hope you all were able to enjoy the season and were treated to some fun goodies. I am not big on the commercialization of Christmas but sometimes it is just plain fun to shower and be showered with goodies from your loved ones.

    I'm off for my first 20+ miler in a while. My legs are still a wreck from Sore Bodies Thursday so this could be an interesting run!

    Holiday Pies

    My First Pies!

    Realized after making the dough that we have no roller pin. Had to improvise!

    My snowman didn't fit so I had to eat him

    Finished product. They tasted great! Who knew baking was so easy?

    Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas. We certainly did!

    5 Days Off

    I have not run formally since Sunday. Decided it was about time I gave myself a break. Only workouts this week have been a 1400 meter swim and an hour of sore bodies class (and boy is my body sore!) I am glad I took the time off to recover but I am so ready to run again. Even if it is just a slog. My butt has been dragging by 4 PM every day this week. It is obvious that working out each day keeps my energy high and makes me a more productive person!

    I asked for the Pfitzinger book for Christmas so hopefully by Tuesday I will come up with a plan for the year! So far it is looking like a lot of long events again. I've been asked to pace the 4 hour group in Tampa in February. I'm signed up for Winter Buckeye 50k and Boston, and I plan on racing Cinci again. I've got a half iron on tap in the fall, and I'm even thinking of travelling in December next year for a more arid 50 miler! No real rest for the crazy :)

    Hope everyone has a great weekend! I know I will. Lots of family time and I will even squeeze in a trail run tomorrow morning!

    Reindeer Photos

    A 5K in December? Oh My!

    Haaaay Who's ready to run a 5k PR?

    *Note that both of us in addition to Daisy, Salty, and JT ran 5k PRs!

    *Edited to add links to the race reports in case you missed it! These were from December 1st. Obviously on this rest week I have a lot to talk about with the candy and old race photos popping up :)*

    Thanks Daisy for the fun photos. Apparently sometimes I should be scaring myself. But all I know is I have a helluva lot of fun!

    Candy Making

    Enough with all the training talk. Bring on the holiday Candy :)

    Making Turtles

    No Bud Light was used in the candy chocolate. It was for turtle roller consumption only. We upgraded to Merlot for light painting.

    Molds, and Buckeyes, and Turtles Oh My

    Painting Lights (The lights are made in a mold and we use white chocolate for the tips and green or red chocolate for the lights, then we "paint" them with edible sparkles to make them shine) They look great and taste great too!

    No Lights

    Well we got half way to Columbus before the snow storm hit. The roads were terrible but we made it down and had a nice lunch and chat with one of my dear friends from my younger life. Lights were out of the questions as by that time it was slushing. Thankfully the slushy ride back was better than the snowy one there. The run this morning in the rain will be interesting. And the drive home in 50 mph winds and snow should be even more interesting.

    Run yesterday went great. Legs are feeling peppier. Still think I will bag the 20 this morning and go for a more reasonable 12-17 though.

    The things we do in the name of endurance, fitness, craziness...

    Worn Down

    But no worries I'll bounce back. My energy levels are fine but my last 3 workouts my legs have been ticked off. Just that zapped feeling. I can't figure out if it is because I pushed too hard on my Wednesday swim or if three workouts was one too many Wednesday and the good nights sleep Wednesday night was not enough to recover for a spin class and hard bodies the next day.

    Today I just have an easy 4 miles so hopefully I will be fully recovered and ready to roll Sunday for 20. But if not I am not worrying about it. I'll just half the run. I think I'll be fine in time for the winter Buckeye 50k whether I hit that 20 this weekend or not. Hell last year I think my longest run was 13 between JFK and the 50k.

    The crazy VTC competition has had me swimming laps, running circles, and even getting on the dreaded trainer and spin bikes. Spin class kicked my a$$ yesterday. I have some serious bike work to do guys. It was ugly! On a positive note my arms and legs are getting more tone and I can now easily do some of my strength exercises with heavier (for me) weights. I'm getting excited! 2008 will be the year of no arm flab and a six pack :)

    This week was actually a back off from last week and here's what I've done:

    Monday- Rest
    Tuesday- Run 5.5 miles 8:15 pace
    Wednesday- Easy morning run 4 miles, swim 1600 meters, Easy 5 miles, had to back off the pace because of dead legs ~9 min miles
    Thursday- Spin Class 50 minutes, Hard Bodies Class (60 minutes) Stairs and Suicide drills about killed my legs

    Friday- 4 easy miles
    Saturday- 10 miles trail
    Sunday- 20 miles trail

    Last week was just nuts:
    Monday- Swim 1600 meters
    Tuesday- Run 2.5 miles treadmill, swim 1100 meters
    Wednesday- Swim 1600 meters, run 5 miles ~9 min pace
    Thursday- Swim 1400 meters, Hard Bodies (60 minutes)
    Friday- Run 4 miles easy, Pilates/Yoga Class (60 minutes)
    Saturday- 10 miles trails
    Sunday- 18 miles trails

    I guess the run mileage is a good sign, I'm hitting 40+ without even trying to. Don't really need the miles right now but it will be good to know that my new slightly higher base plans are achievable.

    Going to see I am Legend tonight with Daisy and her man. Should be fun!

    Have a great weekend!

    Busy Busy Busy

    Looking back at this month a year ago I was a bit depressed and just generally down. I think that's one of the major reasons I love having a blog. I was looking to see if my SIL helped with our annual holiday candy making day last year and while finding that I also found details about how post JFK I was just generally down last year. Recovery took forever and the winter had me singing the blues.

    What a difference a year makes! I am in such a better place this year than last year. Mentally and physically. My recovery is going swimmingly. I've hit 40 miles the past two weeks with no issue and even added in a lot of swimming, one bike session, strength training, and yoga/Pilate's! My outlook has been great. I've just generally been excited to face each day and have been riding a high since JFK and Reindeer Run.

    Candy making day went great. We started late again but we still finished by 10 PM even though this year we had to add in Christmas to the mix since my SIL and her fiancee would not be able to get back up to Cleveland on the official date. Since we celebrated so early I have most of my shopping already done. Two gifts arrived today which I need to wrap and then I just have one gift left to purchase and one gift left to make. I think I can handle that :) We sent out over 90 holiday letters this year, I still have a few I'd like to send but addresses are MIA so I may have to settle for being done on that front. Already passed out 7 boxes of candy. Only 15 left. This one may be tricky as some of our friends are not on my regular weekly "route" but there's still plenty of time.

    Work has been nuts. I have been working my butt off, hopefully it will pay off and the clients will be pleased. We will see.

    I'm trying to get a new website started for my running club as well as get all the addresses in order to send out banquet invites and requests for runner of the year votes. This task may take me a bit more time than I would like it to.

    Meanwhile I am trying to keep my mileage up to compete in our tri clubs virtual tri competition and the USAT virtual competition. I'm slacking on the bike, and realized yesterday I need to take it easy as this month really should be a recovery month. That competitive girl within is so hard to shut down sometimes though!

    This weekend I am looking forward to getting down to Columbus to see some buddies and going out to see the holiday lights at the zoo. I can't wait! It's so nice to have a weekend day to just relax :) Don't worry though I'll follow it up with a 20 miler on Sunday ;)

    I lost my contact on N. Marginal

    Got out tonight for a windy frostbitten run with my pal B. It was a bit windier than I like but we made it through a comfortable 45 minutes in it. I had a bit of trouble with the wind on the way back and eventually lost a contact to it. At first it shifted, then it froze, then it fell out. Thankfully it was my right which I have a spare of :) I'm running low on contacts, hopefully I have an eye check up soon!

    Workouts have been going well. I felt the starts of something sickish yesterday with a sore throat and sinus drainage but I feel better today so hopefully I can keep on trucking. I've been focusing more on cross training with the CTC Virtual Tri competition going on, but still trying to keep my run base up to stay in shape for the Winter Buckeye 50K, managed to hit 40 miles last week without really trying. I've swam 3 days in a row this week and plan on making tomorrow a 4th so that has been good, although my skin is not as happy about it. I got on the trainer once. Hopefully my ladies will have a group trainer gig to get my butt back on the bike again. It's so much easier to run! :)

    I'm super busy at work right now and trying to get some stuff together for my running club, as well as get holiday letters written and sent, and gifts bought and wrapped. Time's a bit tight but my workouts are keeping me sane! I have plans underway for 2008. Major thoughts are on the CTC Beast series, Boston, and another spring marathon. Hopefully I'll get a plan lined up soon! Right now I am flying by the seat of my pants and that is okay by me.

    Hope everyone is having a great Wednesday!

    A VR Plug

    After spending over 3 hours, going through two separate malls, spending 30 minutes at Dicks to find out how much the last pair of (ladies) mittens in the entire store cost, and finding they only carried youth mittens at Marc's I had pretty much given up all hope on finding my father in law a pair of mittens to use while running for his Birthday. Apparently mittens are not fashionable right now. I was resolved to getting a gift card to one of the local running shops when thankfully my buddy SH from the local running store Vertical Runner was at our Sunday morning run and informed me that yes their store did indeed carry men's mittens. A 30 minute drive later and I left with a pair of extremely nice men's mittens. Dad loves them, unfortunately I bought the wrong size. But hey it's the effort and thought that count right?

    Thanks Vertical Runner for rescuing the day! ;)

    It was on this trip that I was offered Free Roasted Chestnuts. Thank goodness I waited until I was in my car before biting into one as I promptly spit it back in the cup. I tried really hard to chew it all up but uggh, the taste and texture did not agree with me!


    So I have been doing a lot of thinking about being pretty consistently top 10% of females every race I do. Doesn't seem to matter the distance or even event, tris, ultras, marathons, 5ks you can pretty much bet on me being top 10% exactly in women. I've decided that enough is enough I want to break into the top 10%, enough of being exactly 10!

    So with that in mind and a good fartlek workout on Wednesday I signed up for the Reindeer Run 5k in Lakewood this morning. I had no idea what pace I ran on Wednesday but I figured it was decent and if the weather played along I'd give it one more go to achieve sub 20.

    Salty picked me up this morning and I was nervous but I felt good. My left hamstring is a bit sore and my quad was a bit out of sorts but considering I ran a 50 mile race two weeks ago I felt pretty good. Got in a good 30 minute warm up with Daisy and Salty and threw in some strides to remind my legs what fast feels like.

    It was cold this morning but the sun was shining and there was hardly any wind. I'd been told this was a fast out and back course, no hairpin turns. If I was going to break 20 this was the day to do it. Lined up with Daisy and JP. I wanted to cling to JP as long as possible as she has been consistently running 19:50s this year. Unfortunately she told me beforehand her goal was to cling to Salty who was going for something under 19. Yikes. So I decided I'd just go out and see what happened.

    The bell went off and we made our way around a slight curve before the crowd thinned down. JP didn't seem to be too close to Salty so I decided to just stick with her, she is a smart racer and if I could keep on her for 2 miles I'd have a shot at sub 20. I felt pretty good. Breathing was good, none of the residual exhaustion from JFK which I had Wednesday in the later Fartleks. I had Daisy right with me but there was no talking this morning. In a 5k there isn't much room for error.

    The first mile seemed to take forever but I just kept my eyes on JP and tried to literally follow her footsteps, keeping my foot strikes in line with hers. No looking at the watch except at the mile markers today. I tried to tune out time and just run strong. First mile 6:14. Sweet. I was happy and wasn't worried that it was about 12 seconds faster than the overall pace I wanted. I knew if I just held onto JP my pace wouldn't falter.

    The second mile brings your around the only turn and the sun made it a bit hard to see. The roads were a bit messy here but we navigated it fine. JP and I went back and forth with a gal I knew from Tri swimming here. I just stuck to JP like glue knowing I needed to keep with her through 2 to have a shot at sub 20. Mile 2 6:23.

    I did the math and knew that meant I could run a 6:40 my last mile and still go sub 20. That made me extremely happy. The pace still felt good. I had to step it up a notch to hold onto JP. I let her pull a bit ahead but anytime the gap opened up I pulled myself forward to close it. We could still see Salty in the distance so I knew we were doing well. I kept telling myself that 6:40 was very doable. The pace started to feel difficult but I knew I could hold on for one mile. I didn't feel beat and knew I just had to keep my head together. I figured I had slowed down a little bit because the pace felt harder. I assumed the lactic acid was starting to take it's toll.

    I was shocked when we came to a man shouting out the 3 mile split and my mile was 6:07. Holy crap I thought. Just hold on and you've done it. It seemed like a long .1 miles and I knew since there was no actual 3 mile marker that I needed to keep pushing in case mile 3 was actually farther ahead. I didn't have much of a kick but I held my pace and tried my best to push a bit harder. I looked up at the clock and saw 19 and what I thought was a 5 and pushed it over the line hoping I had made it. I looked down at my watch 19:28. Holy crap! Ecstatic I gave out a holler.

    10 years later and I finally got that 20:03 monkey off my back. It feels damn good. I have no idea if I was in the top 10% but I am so pleased with the day. Official time was 19:23. 5th overall, 1st in age (by 2 seconds!). I had no idea my swim pal was so close. All my gals pr'ed or had exceptional days including age group or overall awards for Salty, JP, Daisy, and JT! It feels so good to go out on a bang like this for the year. PRing in distances from 5K to 50 Miles. Now I just need to take down that half and full marathon next year!

    I am so glad Salty convinced me to go out to this race. Thanks girl!