Winter Water Wonderland

Last Saturday I attempted to meet up with a group at S. Chagrin but turns out there is no group at that time (or at least there wasn't last Saturday) so I was left to my own devices. I was looking for an easy run anyways so I grabbed the camera and hit the trails for a photo run by myself. Only saw 4 hikers out on the trails even though it was a pretty nice morning. The trails were icy but not too slick and I had a great time getting down by the water and fooling around with the camera. And as a bonus I got in some miles. Good thing I got out on the run because this morning I was lazy and overslept and missed out on the annual falls run sown in the valley.
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A Speedy Merry Christmas

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! A quick pic of me sporting my new hat and my new favorite shirt. We got spoiled rotten this year and had a fabulous family Christmas at our house. Hope yours was wonderful too!
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Weekly Rundown December 8th through December 14th

Christmas came early to the Hansen household this year and it included a new Wii and Wii Fit. When the Wii Fit came out I was definitely a skeptic and a critic. How could a little white board possibly provide you with a good workout? But after trying it out at my parents house I am a convert. I really like all the yoga poses for a quick but effective stretch and balance workout. The strength exercises are great and I like that it tracks your balance and weight distribution during these exercises. And the balance and aerobic exercises are fun, get a bit of calorie burn while you "play" type games. At first I thought the running exercise was lame but then I realized I could use it as a tool to train barefoot and I am now using that to train my feet rather than as an aerobic exercise. So Solar you can call me lame, but I am having fun with my new toy and I really do think I will see fitness benefits from it. So since this gift was awful pricey I am doing my best to get up early every morning and do a yoga and strength routine for 10-30 minutes. And then if I have time in the evenings I have added in the balance and aerobic exercises. I am specifically hoping to get benefits from this for my calfs, feet, hips, abs, and upper body. We'll see! As an added benefit it seems the motivation to get this workout in has helped me to drag my butt out of bed earlier in the morning.

Monday- Rest
Wednesday- 7.25 miles at lunch with Daisy, felt good, peppy
Thursday-7.5 miles at lunch with Daisy, another great run that felt peppy
Friday-8 miles at lunch solo, windy and cold but held sub 8s
Saturday-8 miles easy in the morning with the SERC group at South Chagrin, snowy trails
Sunday-12 miles with SERC, 7:40 pace

42 miles for the week

Saturday was candy making day (photos to come later). I was beat by the end of it but still managed to get to the Sunday run (albeit a few minutes late) and had a really great workout running around 7:40 pace comfortably. I'm aiming to hit 40+ miles for the next few weeks until starting an official training program for Boston.

Detroit Turkey Trot 10k Race Report

Looks like this may have been my last race of the season. Due to poor planning on my part I was in no condition to race the reindeer run 5k this past weekend. Just as well, we'll leave the 5k PR chase to 2009. I've tried to do the turkey trot in Detroit every year since graduating from college but the past two years we have missed it so I was excited to go back, even if it was less than two weeks after the marathon and I had only run twice for a total of about 6 miles since Richmond.

As usual traffic was nuts, I guess that is what happens when around 10,000 runners plus their families and the parade traffic convene at one exit. Though we left with plenty of time we ended up having to bail on my dad in the car in search of a porta potty and the start. No real warmup and we made it to the new start line with a few minutes to spare. My goal considering that I hadn't done any sort of prep for this was to hopefully run sub 7s and come in the top 100 gals so I could get a prize to take home. My sister was convinced I had placed well here the last time we ran it but I had my doubts. It is a huge race and a lot of Hansons runners come out for it. This year they added a 5k to the 10k race which would follow the 10k course until a bit before mile 3 where it split off for the finish so we were sure to be running with some early speedsteers.

I lined up behind a girl with a 2008 Boston shirt towards the front of the pack and hoped for the best. A quick glance at the watch a few minutes in indicated a 7:20 something pace. That wasn't good, it felt like I was putting in a good effort. So I just did my best to tail the girl in the Boston shirt and ignore the watch. I counted girls in front of me at the only hair pin turn before mile 1. It looked like I was in top 20 which I figured was pretty good. As we made our way back somehow my sister spotted me in the crowd and said I was around 10th. Sweet. First mile check the watch, 6:03. Shit! Way too fast and I knew I would probably pay for that.

Just tried to settle in over the next mile, trailing a man in a cave man suit as the gal in the boston shirt pulled ahead. Mile 2 look down at my watch, still at 6:03, crap I had stopped my watch instead of hitting the split. Finally get it back to training mode and get it started again a bit after the 2 mile mark. I am now completely clueless to my pace. Hoping that I am still cranking out sub 7s.

As we neared the 5k turn off I got passed by a lady in an elf costume. Seriously, that's great for the morale, not! She looked fit though, so I won't begrudge her. I was secretly hoping that she and a girl in purple who passed by were in the 5k, but alas they made the turn onto the 10k route also. 3 mile split was around 6:35 so I figured that was closer to 7 and that I needed to step up the effort. (Photo of me making the turn) (sidenote: other photo places need to get on board with the prices this site is offering, I will totally pay $4 for a digital photo from a race, that is completely reasonable to me, but $100+ for less than 10 digital photos, give me a break!)

5k split according to the results was around 20:30 something. Not too shabby considering the rough start and no warm up. Too bad I was in a 10k! I tried to focus in my efforts on the back half. My left calf was acting up, likely residual from the marathon, and the back half of the course was barren. No spectators and pretty boring (the early half of the course runs along the parade route which was lined with people cheering who had set up early to get good spots for the parade later). I got passed by a few guys here but for the most part held my own. 4th mile split 6:51, could be worse. Took some water at the aid station and tried to focus on closing the gap on the girl in purple who had passed me. I wasn't going for a PR so I may as well try to "race" those around me.

I caught and passed her at mile 5 in a steady 6:42. I could see the stadium up ahead and could also see that we would have a bit of a hill to climb before the downhill ramp to the finish. Worked on catching the cave man in that final mile and successfully passed and held him off too. Tried my best to hammer the downhill and then through the tunnel to mile 6. 6:54, with the incline and the way my calf felt, not too shabby.

Hammered the home stretch glancing around for my dad, worried that he wouldn't realize that the course had changed and would still be on the 5k course. Saw the clock hovering over 41 and was pleased with the effort. Official time 41:31. My third fastest 10k this year and ever. Considering the effort put forth I can't complain. Scored a fun fleece scarf for my efforts. 4th in my age group and 18th female.

I walked inside to grab a water bottle and then headed back out to run in my sister. My calf was screaming at me even when I slowed it down to a walk. I stopped to stretch it a few times and then just suffered through it as I searched the course for KT. Found her a little before mile 5 and ran back in with her. We finally spotted my dad, he had indeed been on the 5k course. My sister finished up with no training and still did almost a pr for her, landing pretty much in between her two other turkey trot times.

Not a shabby way to start the morning of my favorite holiday! Lots of fun eating and catching up with the family in Michigan. The ladies once again lost trivia pursuit this year, but I managed to squeak out a ladies win for us taking on the boys in a round of lord of the rings trivia pursuit. Yes I am a geek. So we'll call it even this year ;)

Post Turkey Trot Photos

After pigging out at the family dinner. Love love love the tech shirts this year!

It's a bit cozy on the way to the family dinner!

Two Turkey Trottin Fools

Close Up

Weekly Rundown December 1st through the 7th

Slowly getting back into the swing of things. Work picked up this week so I didn't get in quite as much as I would have liked. I am still easing back in to things so that is okay. Friday night we did Scrooges night out and dancing after at Anatomy, up until 2:30 and indulged in too much liquor so the reindeer run Saturday morning just didn't happen. Oh well!

Monday- Rest
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- EZ 4.5 miles with MJ and Daisy at Lunch, 1 mile jog in the evening to play postman after getting mail for someone a few blocks down from us
Friday-6.73 miles with Daisy, EZ 9:20 pace
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- 9.89 slippery snowy miles with SERC in Solon, 8:25 pace

Hopefully this will be close to double that next week, but if not no worries for now. Just glad my legs seem to remember what running is still :)

Trail Envy

November 21st I headed down to Maryland with my Father in law and his running buddy to crew for them as they attempted to run the JFK 50 miler. Having run the race the past two years it was time to give back and be a part of the support group that helps the runners get through the very long day. Even if you don't end up giving them anything it is nice for them to know a familiar face is waiting for them every 10 miles or so.

It was an extremely cold day and while I didn't have a strong desire to be out in those cold temperatures (something like 19 at the start) I must admit I got pretty jealous as I drove to the first stop and took in the view of the Appalachian foothills. Having only done a short jog since the marathon I was having some serious trail envy!

I saw a ton of friends out on the course and tried my best to keep warm through the day by cheering and clapping on all the runners. My father in law unfortunately missed the cutoff at mile 27 so I had some company after that. I am guessing he was not happy about sitting in that cold but he took it all in stride and I have a feeling he will be back up and running and looking for an ultra to get revenge on soon. His buddy finished in 11:11 and it was off for dinner and bed.

I conned the guys into letting me hit the trails Sunday telling them I knew they really wanted to sleep in ;) And I headed out for a quick trip to the AT to remember my past two races there and soak up the outdoors. It was a great easy run. I headed to Weaverton Cliffs so I could reminisce about all the leaf covered rocks and small hills. It did not disappoint and was just as I recalled other than the hills seeming much less intimidating. Likely because I was only going to be on them for an hour rather than 3+ :) Took my camera along so I could goof off and get some photos of the rocks. This was a geologist and runners perfect morning if you ask me. Running and rocks, you just can't beat that!

Enjoy the slideshow below of some of the trail and me goofing off on a fun run on the AT. Those trails are seirously calling my name now, it is going to be hard to get back into road marathon mode for Boston. I think I am going to have to make an effort to try and get in more of my easy runs off road this time around!

Weekly Run Down- The Sloth Weeks of winter

Well instead of spending an ungodly amount of money to revenge my marathon attempt I decided to stick with the original plan of slothdom post marathon. Typically I jump right back into things so I figured after a pretty steady 2 years it was time for a few weeks of just doing whatever the heck I wanted. Turns out when left to my own devices and with no plan, that pretty much means being a lazy bum!

I'll slowly be getting back into the swing of things this month. I apparently injured my calf at some point between the marathon and now because it was thrashed after the turkey trot and had felt a little off on the Appalachian trail. It is getting better, but not 100%, so I'll have to be a bit more cautious ramping things up again. Nothing big on the horizon other than Boston so if I have to take time to heal, this is as good of a time as any.

November 17th-23rd
Tuesday- Short Crossfit workout- 55 pushups and 55 sit ups
Wednesday- ~2.5 mile run to and from hair appointment
Thursday-Saturday- Rest/Crewing for JFK
Sunday- 60 easy minutes on the Appalachian trail, took it slow and took some photos, great day to be out on the trail (unlike Saturday when I was freezing my butt off crewing for the race!)

November 24th-30th
Wednesday- Goofed around on my parents Wii Fit. Apparently I am unbalanced.
Thursday- Turkey Trot 10k, 41:29, 18th out of 2660 women, 4th in AG, calf seriously unhappy after this, ~2 mile cool down to run in my sister. More goofing around on the Wii Fit.
Friday- 30 minute walk at the park and about 45 minutes goofing around on the Wii Fit including yoga, pushups, lunges etc.
Saturday- A little less than an hour on the Wii Fit
Sunday- Rest