Sunday, June 26, 2011

How to accidentally run a Half Marathon

Yup.  You read the title correctly.  I didn't intend on running 13.1 miles today, it just happened. 

About two weeks ago the organizers of the Grand Rapids Marathon decided to put together a benefit run for Joplin, Missouri.  Joplin was supposed to have a half marathon on June 11, but mother nature apparently had other plans for Joplin.  Thus, an idea was born to hold a Benefit for Boomtown run.  Anyone wishing to donate funds would be registered to run 13.1 miles in support of Joplin United Way.  The best part is that the first 153 people registered also got to wear Boomtown bibs and received the Boomtown finisher's medal.  You can read more about the event HERE.

So I convinced my husband (a non-runner) that it would be something fun to do together -- and of course we will NOT be running the whole 13.1 miles.  Maybe 3 or 5.  If we made it to 6 I would have been happy.  I was not going to push him (a non-runner) into going further than he wanted.  Well........I lied.  I didn't intend to, it is just that it was such a beautiful morning and I knew he could do at least 8.  When we got to 8, I knew he could do 10....then 10 came and I was like, what is 3.1 more miles?  Apparently, a hell of a lot to a non-runner.   Oops.

Let me say that we did a run/walk sort of thing after about mile 4.  He knew I wanted to run ahead of him so badly but we were in this together and so I stayed by his side.  In the last 0.2 miles I tried to encourage him to finish strong and not to get chicked as there was this girl coming in strong behind us.  You will be happy to know that he did NOT get chicked.  Our time was a respectable 2:36 and the distance was actually 13.4 due to some construction!  Just think if he actually trained!!  I can not say how proud I am of him and I think he actually had a little bit of fun.  By the way, there were a total of about 200 runners and we raised $6755!!

Here are some pictures from the Benefit for Boomtown:

I am never doing this again

the medal is huge!

I took the opportunity to use this run also as Adam's Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K, although I should change that to Sweat Your Sunscreen Off 5K.  Seriously, sunscreen just melts off my face.  Our 5K time was 31:15.

check out my bib

still smiling after 3.1

Thanks for hosting the SYTO 5K Adam. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

I need your help

in naming this little guy

Thompson Male

I have mentioned several times how much we have wanted a dog.  Since I over analyze EVERYTHING it took us me a while to finally say yes.  We pick him up on Wednesday.  

So I need your help naming him.  Here are a few names in the running:

Cooper (copying Blonde Ponytail and her beautiful Cooper)

Feel free to throw in some suggestions.

In other news:

I am a huge Detroit Tigers baseball fan.  For our 7th anniversary my husband took me to a game.  It was such a nice day even though they lost.

And we ate here:

You betcha that is Five Guys, and it was not just was FABULOUS!

We headed west to Colorado for a wedding this past week.  Guess what we just happened upon?  Yup, the Detroit Tigers were in town playing the Colorado Rockies.  We pestered the ticket office for a good 20 minutes, but the only tickets that were available were single tickets.  As we were walking away, a young couple asked us if we were looking for tickets.  Just so happened they had extra as their friends backed out.  Let me just tell you these seats were awesome--behind the Tigers dugout, 9th row.  That is nose hair seeing close.  It was so much fun, perhaps even better than Comerica park the week earlier.  Coors Field is beautiful and big!  And the Tigers won!  High five. 

I have the chance to attend this Saturday's game too, but I have to pass. That would be 3 games in 3 weeks.  Darn it.

As I mentioned we went to a wedding which was held at a golf course.  I don't play golf but this course made me want to hit the links.

On our last day we hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park and had a picnic lunch.

In running news

I have to confess I have not done a whole lot of running lately.  I think I am just tired.  After the 25K I vowed to keep a long run base of at least 10 miles.  Well.....I haven't really done that.  Sometimes I just lose my running mojo. 

Anyway, I will be running Adam's Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K tomorrow.  It will be part of a longer run.  Not sure how long I will go as a group of us are meeting to do a trail run.  Trail runs = hills = slow pace.  It will be fun though.

Sunday I will be running a half marathon.  Well, the supported distance is a half marathon, but I can tell you I will not be running the 13.1.  The organizers of the Grand Rapids Marathon put together a rather impromptu half marathon in order to raise funds to help Joplin, Missouri, which was hit with that awful tornado in May.  

Here is the link in case you want to read about the run: Benefit for Boomtown  My husband is joining me and it will be a fun Sunday morning knowing that we are helping others in need.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So Happy!

Michigan strawberries.

Nothing like 'em.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Switching Gears

This is my next race

and I am freaking excited for it.

What is Adventure Racing?
Multi-sport team event in which racers navigate their way through an open course using a map, compass and route strategy within a set time length.  It is usually a wilderness event but it can also be an urban race.

Typical Disciplines:

  • Mountain biking
  • Orienteering (using a map and compass to get from one point to another)
  • Canoeing
  • Trekking/Trail running
  • Climbing/ropes
  • Swimming (possible) 

Why Adventure Race?

  • Multi-sport: Allows your body to handle much longer races than if you were just running or biking
  • Blend of Smarts and Speed: Navigation, orienteering, map reading can help slower teams compete with more athletic teams
  • Wilderness Experience: Compete on rivers, lakes and forests
  • Teamwork:  Teammates must work together, make decisions together, encourage each other.
  • Challenge and Self Discovery:  Allows you to push yourself and find your limits.  Takes you out of your comfort zone by putting you in unfamiliar surroundings while testing your physical limits.
  • Act like a kid:  Finding hidden checkpoints is like an adult Easter egg hunt.  There are 30+ moments of elation in every race.

What to expect
  • Pre-race briefing: Explain the course, rules and hand out maps and passports
  • Passport: Must get punched at every checkpoint
  • Checkpoints:  All teams must locate CPs.  Some may have additional challenges at specific CPs.
  • Transition areas:  Where teams change disciplines and have a chance to replenish supplies
  • Gear check:  Most races have random locations throughout the course to check if the team and individuals have all mandatory gear.
  • Finish:  Your performance is based on how many checkpoints you get within a set time limit.  If you get 30 checkpoints in 3 hours by another team gets 31 checkpoints in 3:59, they finish above you.

This is what is what is involved for the g.r. urban adventure race:

Bike in and around downtown Grand Rapids
Run through woods and buildings, conquer challenges
Climb hills, stairs and walls
Search for hidden checkpoints with a map and clues
Length: 4 hours (8-12 miles biking, mostly paved; 3-5 miles on foot)

My husband got out some of his Army wilderness navigation resources and his compass.  He gave me a quick tutorial on how to use a compass and topographical maps.  

This is gonna be fun!

  • Have you ever done an adventure race?

  • Do you know how to use a compass?