I was assuming it was a full moon; now I have no explanation

Today was just one of those days that started off not so good and kept going in that direction.
Happily, I did find the reset button before it was all over.  Here's what happened

Middle of the night - I had this dream that a specific client of mine died.  It was very real.  So real that when I did wake up, I checked my work voice mail just in case.

6am - Why did I think this would be a good time to get up?  Reset alarm, plan on going to the gym after work at more civilized time.
8am - this is still waaay too early.
9:30 or so - finally stroll in to work.
Got a call from the people who keep telling me I closed someone's services, even though they can't find any actual record of anyone having closed the services, and my repeatedly telling anyone who would listen that I didn't close anything.  Got a call from the person who could fix the whole situation with one call but probably wont.
Got another this - every time I hear this person's voice the hair on the back of my neck stands up. That can't be good.
Went to an event where Senator Franken and Congresswoman McCollum spoke about Medicare, Medicaid, the affordable care act, and the changes resulting from the debt ceiling.  I found Senator Franken to be much more thoughtful and deliberate
Got this last call that may perpetuate the "Liz hangs up on her clients" stereotype for a while longer.  (Honestly people, it's much more complicated than that.)  That call was the final straw.

Found the reset button, went to the gym and had a great time on the elliptical and the rowing machine.  No one was at the gym. It's like a holiday weekend is coming up and everyone's going to the fair or getting ready for the new school year or something.

Found Krazy Kat Lady's reset button and convinced her she would not die if she drove to a restaurant in Minneapolis.  She still doesn't understand my wish to not eat meat.  Live with it.  But we had excellent Thai food and a relaxing evening.

After which I came home and worked for a couple hours to make up for leaving early.

Now, it's possible that I'm resurrecting an old iPod.  (Although it's an "I'll believe it when I see it" kind of thing.)


That was a really nice long run

I looked at the forecast this week and decided I didn't want to do a 14-mile run on a day when the low was supposed to be 70*. Call me a fusspot. Which meant my option was to do it this morning or suffer.

I had a really nice run. (Surprise!) I got up at the crack of dawn. (Oh that's right, the sun's not up at 5am anymore.) And headed out on my way.  I had some interesting ideas about pace on this run (you can go faster) so I did feel like I was pushing it in some places.  And then the little voice in my head would say, you know you ran an entire half marathon faster than this one time?  Great.  My $%*&#@!# phone crashed and restarted when I was about three blocks from home so I didn't get a total time on the run, but most of the laps looked really good.

Mile 1 - is always wonky because I was putting my phone in my pocket, walking at the beginning, etc.
Mile 2 - I really thought I was going faster but I might have still been in my "pace yourself" phase of the run.
Mile 3- that's better
Miles 4-6 - hell yeah I am!  The app, while it was running told me those splits were 11:38, 11:38 and 11:39.  Interesting.
Mile 7 - that's with a brief, um, stop, still doing fine
Mile 8 - that's with stopping to tie my shoe; I love that big downhill
Mile 9 - I am not freaked out about at all because it included both the big hill, me stopping for deer (that's a good excuse right?) and me stopping to refill my water bottles
Mile 10 and 11 - I must be getting a little tired, but that's still pretty good I think
Mile 12 - there was a stop light at either 28th ave or 34th ave, I think I was still on pace
Mile 13 - I refer you to mile 12 only this was the stoplight to cross Cedar Avenue so it took even longer
The rest - who knows, but I was still moving pretty good.

I have a minor mental block about running Lake Nokomis on long runs.  (That mental block usually extends to the marathon, which makes my life interesting.)  I did better with it today by trying to focus on my pace, and by remembering to feed myself once I got over the bridge.

Other things that went right on this run:
Hyrdration - I'm drinking more and more on runs, even "little" 14 milers like this, and it's clearly the right thing to be doing.
Not getting sick - I think the heat and hydration play an important role in this.  Win for me for hydrating correctly and Win for Minnesota for great running weather today.
Nutrition - I tried a new "night before a long run" meal of homemade spring rolls with lots and lots of rice noodles, fake chicken (because it's the protein source I had on hand, real chicken would've been good too) avocado, cilantro and cucumbers.  I felt great on my run today and it probably wasn't all the nutrition, but it couldn't have hurt.  I also had a Luna bar, or most of one, when I woke up this morning.

And then I killed all my awesome work by having KFC for lunch.  Side note: KFC was not at all the place I was expecting to get excellent customer service today, so I was pleasantly surprised by the young man in the drive through who took my order and encouraged me to try "pepsi max" because they didn't have diet pepsi.  What's the difference?

To further prove my lunacy, I totally went to Pilates after work and acted like I hadn't run 14 miles that morning.  Actually, Pilates was just the right thing for getting all the crappy lactic acid out of my legs.  They were stiff all day but they don't hurt at all anymore.

Now I'm sitting on the couch drinking a beer thinking, "I've got one more 20+ miler, this weekend and then I get to taper!" (Every marathoner knows there's a little part of me going "and then no more marathons, ever, you idiot!")  I was thinking of a spring marathon like The Pig so I could find out what fall/winter/spring training is like and if I'll really get sick less when it cools down.  Because like all runners, I'm nuts.


Saturday "Long Run"

This was a step back week so my "long run" was supposed to be around 8 miles.  A run around Lake Harriet and back is 7.5 miles which I decided was good enough.  (Actually I meant to do a 10-miler around Ft Snelling yesterday but I was too lazy to get up.  Then today I didn't wake up 'till 8:30 so I didn't really want to do a 10-miler.)


You know those runs that feel slow.  They're not actually that bad but they feel awful?  That was my day.  I think it had a lot to do with not eating dinner last night, having half a protein bar before running and not taking water.

Lake Harriet was packed as expected.  I decided not to let it get me down.  Apparently there's a Yoga Class at the Band Shell on Saturday mornings?  Also there was some race called the "diaper dash" going on.  (On the running path, but opposite the direction I was running.)

The run off the lake back home was really fun (and somehow awful at the same time?).  I did okay on the hills and had a blast running the down hill section between Bryant and Nicolette (always my favorite part of the course).  Although I was also really thirsty so that made seem things longer.

I had fun listening to my "Ragnar Relay" playlist.  Some of the highlights include:
99 Problems - Jay Z (definitely not for your children's enjoyment) but a good running song.
Airplanes - B.o.B featuring Haley Williams.  Came on at the end of my run today, "I could use a wish right now" too.  And my wish was for water.
I Know You Want Me - Pitbull.  This is one of those "only while running" songs. 
My First Kiss - 3oh!3 featuring Ke$ha.  Last year's Ragnar soundtrack featured a lot of Ke$ha, particularly Tik Tok so it's only fitting she show up again.


Lots of short runs this week

After surviving last weekend I promptly got a migraine and then had some other issues so there was no running Sunday or Monday.  Tuesday I grudgingly got on the elliptical for an hour.

Wednesday I started feeling more human.  (Thanks for the run Bethy!)  I got up at the crack of dawn and headed over to St Paul to run with one of the girls.  I refer to it as my speed workout.  I also knew that if I made a running date I'd go no matter what and if I was dateless I'd probably stay home and feel sorry for myself.

Wednesday night I ran with Team:Work and we took a new route.  I do not like this route.  Randolph is actually a good street for running until we cross West 7th.  Between West 7th and Shephard there's the double whammy of no sidewalks and live train tracks so I probably won't take people this way too many more times.

I've unilaterally decided that everyone who's still with Team:Work can run a 10K by the middle of September so that's what we're training for now. Maybe next time we'll just do an out and back on Shephard instead.

This is a step back week (yes, after a week of tapering for Ragnar) so I'm not doing too many miles. This morning I ran another 4-miler at a "fast for me" pace, which was especially fast without Beth around to help me move.

I've been fairly happy with Endomondo and running with my phone. (I have the free app but am considering an upgrade.) The main downside is my phone battery won't last long enough to use GPS and play music for long runs. (Yes, I am that slow.)
Every once in a while though, there's a weird quirk. Like today when one piece of information says my top speed was an 11:06 mile and another piece of information says I ran miles 2,3, and 4 all at under an 11:00 pace. (See the images above and below?)  No way was 11:06 my top speed.


193 Miles of crazy fun times

Ragnar started with a longer than usual weekend (yes, even for me).

Thursday night - we met in St Paul to pack the van, prepare decorations and other silliness and drive down to Winona.  When we arrived in Winona, we enjoyed the excellent pre-race food at Perkins.  (Mmmm, french fries) and then went to bed.

Preparing van decorations.

Fun at Perkins. It's been a long time since I've even been there.

Friday - before the race - we just got ready for the race because we had an 8am start time.
Getting our Pre-race meal on at the McDonald's by the hotel.

Friday - GO! - The start line is always a good time.  Tons and tons of people staring at us, asking for pictures, saying "oh, I saw your video on YouTube" and so on.  It's like being a rock star for a few minutes.
Graham, our first runner, getting ready with some stretches.

The whole team does calisthenics at the start line. Apparently this was a big deal last year.

The whole team. This is the last time all of us will be not sweaty and gross simultaneously.

Graham, showing the other teams how to really start a race.

It was hotter than hell as far as we could tell.  I saw signs ranging from 82* to 93*.  This year I was runner number four, so I got to experience the heat in my first run.   This was actually the hardest run of the three, because of the heat and my costume. The hill on this one wasn't even that bad.
Yes, the price I pay for being an early runner with low mileage is that all three legs are "hard". (The ratings are easy, moderate, hard and very hard. I had the only four miler that was 'hard', the rest were at least moderate.)
But then, boom, it's noon and I'm already done with my first leg.  Not like the first two years when I was waiting 'till nightfall to even run.

The rest of Friday was spent playing around and eating.  And eating.  And playing around while everybody took their turns in the hot hot sun.  This was actually the first year for us that runners 11 and 12 were starting before night time hours, meaning they did not have to run in vests.  It was actually runners number 1 and 2 who got to run in vests twice this year.

Tesha and Ryan practice the slap bracelet exchange. It's actually harder than it looks.

Officer Glen arresting someone for lord knows what. Probably telling him his shorts were too small.

Graham and Laura planking.

Kate - in costume.

Somewhere north of Lake Peppin, along the Mississippi River at nightfall.

I really loved my night leg.  There was a big ass hill that bothered me less than I think it bothered a lot of other people.  I knew going in that it was going to suck so I was emotionally prepared.  I also knew going in that was I going to get to run down the other side.  And it was fun as hell.  As predicted.  Once I got down the other side I knew I had another 1.5 miles.  So after a few minutes I started looking for the "one mile to go" sign.  I knew it was going to have a red flashing light on it.  Sadly, all the runners in front of me also had red flashing lights on their backs so I had a lot of fake sightings before seeing the actually sign.  By the way I passed a runner on this leg.  Somewhere along the top of the hill.  Boom!

The rest of the night was long.  I drove some, and got yelled at for driving too fast.  (Sorry, it's been a while since I've driven anything this big.)  We had a runner get sick.  And I didn't eat nearly as much as I should have.

Saturday morning - oh, that's right, two of my runs are done already.  I ran my last leg around 9am and it was the most awful leg, but not the hardest.  The hill that comes at the end, that I don't get to go down, was actually not as awful as I thought it would be, but it was not fun.  This leg was awful because, as mentioned, I didn't eat through the night on Friday night.  I was all "I run on an empty stomach at 8am all the time, this'll be fine" but when I run on an empty stomach in the morning, I've usually had post run food from the day before and I haven't been running eight hours earlier (at midnight).  I just didn't have enough juice to go.  Something to remember for next year.

Tesha showing off her Ragnar 911 tattoo.

At the last big exchange before the finish, we saw Bolder Options for a pancake breakfast.  We actually saw lots of people we knew at that exchange.  It had something of a carnival atmosphere becuase half the runners there were done with all three of their legs.  (The other half of the runners had a look of dread and impatience.  How well I remember.)

The finish line was fun.  It was in a different space from last year, the East River Flats park.  It seemed like a bigger area for the finish line and party, and there were a ton of people there.  It also was a flat finish as opposed to running the last 100 feet up an incline.

They call out each team as the final runner is about to finish, and all the teams cross the line together.  When our team was finishing, the announcer said something like "we really love this team, and here's a special song for them" so they were really playing our song as we finished.
At the finish! This may be the first time our whole team was at the finish line, the last couple years we had people who needed to leave early.  It was fun to celebrate with everyone.

After the race, I was so tired.  I called ahead for take out and grabbed it on my way home.  After eating, I remember laying down on the couch around 6pm, and moving to my bed around 8:30pm.  Sometime later I woke up, thinking it was the middle of the night.  Nope.  6am.  Guess I have to get up again now.


Recovery Saturday - is it time for more sleep yet?

After the run yesterday, I'm still exhausted.  (And still hungry.)  When I got up this morning I had a totally crappy (meaning awesome but unhealthy) breakfast.  Then, as per usual, I slept on my couch for a couple hours.  (Yes, I do this every Saturday.  Sunday too if I can manage it.)

It was such a beautiful day though, by the afternoon I just had to get outside.  I couldn't bear another day at Lake Nokomis or Hiawatha, as I've seen them too frequently on long runs.  For some reason, Lake of the Isles sounded nice.  (I was surprised as anyone.)

For dinner I made my Mexican-Asian meal of spring rolls with the following ingredients:
  • Spring roll wrapper - I'm awesome at wrapping them
  • Rice noodles
  • Spring onions
  • Lime juice and salt
  • Avocado - you thought the lime juice and salt was the Mexican part, didn't you?
  • Chicken, one strip per spring roll
As an after dinner celebration, I cleaned my house. And read what must have been two weeks worth of mail I'd been ignoring. Sorry, condo association, I'll get my parking registration to you shortly.

Friday rewind - old photo favorites

Minneapolis - Spoon Bridge

Minneapolis - from the sky

St Paul - The Cathedral

St Paul - Lake Street Bridge coming into Minneapolis (after a particularly impressive storm)

Lake Nokomis - looking good from several different angles.
Lake Nokomis - even in the winter it's a nice place. (Remind me of that when I'm outside running this year.)

Ft Snelling - of "my favorite running path ever" fame.

Lake Hiawatha - if you zoom and squint, you can see downtown Minneapolis in the background. (Yes, Lake Nokomis and Lake Hiawatha look different to me.)

What would this be without pictures of snow?
I got this reflection shot after spending way too long digging my car out of that snow pile.

Wow.  This was such a fun day.  This is some suburb north of the cities.  I made Jenna drive in that particular snow storm.