iwillrunforfood

Twin Cities Marathon Recap

“It was a clear black night, a clear white moon.” Oh wait, that was Warren G, not me. Anyways, Twin Cities Marathon - feels like I ran that months ago now! Read more after the break because this is LONG. (Sorry if you’re using the app and breaks don’t work, this is the longest recap ever)

The day started around 5am, with a ritual pre-race shower. Heather, her husband, Nick, and LM were so gracious as to pick me up from my hotel and take me to the race. We were downtown at the Metrodome around 6:30am, and we snapped a few pre-race photos before Heather headed off to run the 10-mile event.

I sat alone in the Metrodome for awhile, eating breakfast while waiting for Susie to arrive. Susie arrived, we chatted out our nerves, washroom breaked, and finally headed out to our corral.

Unlike Chicago last year, the amount of runners in the Twin Cities Marathon is only around 12,000, meaning it was quick to cross the starting line - only about 11 minutes for me. Susie and I said our goodbyes, and the race began.

Mile 1: Feelin’ good. No hills.

Mile 2: No one told me about this hill. I am a little concerned about this hill. Scratch that. I am massively concerned about the hill at mile 21 if no one told me about the hill at mile 2.

Mile 3: Everything is beautiful. No really though, not in that rose coloured glasses sort of way, but the trees, the homes. Beautiful.

Mile 4: Still feeling good! No sign of any pesky hills recently. And I got to see my husband and company. Told them about the hill at mile 2. May have used f bombs around children. Whoops.

Miles 5-7: Feeling alright, some slight inclines, but nothing I could really call a hill. Crowd support was still going strong. I took my first Hammer gel.

Mile 8: Watch for Jordan. Jordan is planning to be at mile 8. After about a quarter of a mile, I resigned myself to the fact that I probably had missed Jordan, was sad, but kept on trucking. Little did I know, not much further up, the wonderfully amazing Becky was waiting to jump out from behind a tree and surprise me. I, in no way, had even a slight inkling that Becky would be in Minneapolis. I mean, she really set it up perfectly. She had a wedding in Indiana, she posted photos from the wedding on Instagram, She told me she was mailing me package via Heather. I truly believed she was in Indiana. Her being in Minneapolis was not even on my radar. The disbelief and shock in my voice on the video really capture the moment perfectly.

Miles 9-10: Got to chat with Becky and keep my mind off the race for awhile - it was so fantastic. I was supposed to see Andrew & company around Mile 10, but never spotted them (I later learned they didn’t make it to that spot due to company insisting on pee breaks and snacks - not cool people!)

Miles 10-13.1: During this stretch, I got passed by the 5:30 group. I was a little unnerved that they were passing me this early in the race, and vowed not to lose too much time. I ate another Hammer gel. I crossed the halfway mark at 2:46:33, which was actually slower than my half marathon time in Chicago last year. This got me really worried. I needed to finish in 6 hours, or by 2:15pm. My Chicago time was 6:03:44.

Miles 14-16: I was experiencing bad chaffing by this point under my right arm, and took the vasoline at an aid station. Although, I found it confusing that I didn’t get to keep the popsicle stick the vasoline was on, and that I had to just take it off with my hands. I had to take vasoline at a half marathon in June, and my hands were all lube-y, and wow, my hands were even worse this time. So MUCH vasoline. I rubbed it EVERYWHERE to just try and get it off my hands. I even stuck my hands up my shirt to get some in and around my sports bra. Unfortunately, I then realized that my sports bra had already betrayed me and I was cut up - nothing like the burn of vasoline on fresh wounds to help you realize that. It was also in these miles that I started seeing this hero. On the back of his shirt, he had an “80+” tag. 80+ and running a marathon. He was just sort of shuffling along, doing his own thing, I gave him a nod as I passed, but no words were exchanged. We went back and forth for many miles - I’d take a walk break, he’d pass, and then I’d pass him again once running. He was carrying a retro Twin Cities Marathon toque with him. His name is Roger Aiken, and from what I can find on him, he’s pretty much run ALL of the Twin Cities Marathons (except maybe a couple) in 32 years. Un-fricking-believable.

Miles 17-20: I picked Becky up again at Mile 16 or 17 (ha - I really should say Becky picked me up, because the wheels were coming off). My 30K split was slower than Chicago by nearly 3 minutes, meaning 6 hours was becoming a pipe dream. Becky helped keep my mind clear, I don’t remember many of our conversations, but I do remember running over the Mississippi, and thinking “this is amazing.” I might have even said that aloud. I ate a chunk of banana during this stretch, and a piece of a donut. It was the most amazing donut ever. I got to see my support crew again in this stretch, and I don’t doubt that they could see the struggle on my face.

Miles 20-26: Becky passed me off like a baton in a relay to Heather, who was left to pick up the pieces on a race that was slipping away from me. Those hills in mile 21-22 were the worst, awful, no-good thing that could have happened to me at that point, but I just kind of trucked up them with Heather, and just like that they were behind us. I thought that I might still finish in time at this stage in the game, but around mile 24, a volunteer yelled out “Beat the Bus!” OH GOD, the sweeper bus - I hadn’t even give that a thought up until that point. I wouldn’t say it lit a fire under my ass, but it definitely instilled a sense of panic. I felt like I was looking back a lot, to which Heather told me to stop looking. It was WAY back. There were a few moments in this stretch where the panic took over and I started vocalizing my fears to Heather. I remember her telling me “don’t go there, you are not going there. You are finishing this.” Heather also told me a story about this song. And in the height of my marathon haze, I saw a bag of what I decided was cocaine on the ground, and Heather and I laughed over other runners’ fueling choices. I remember conversations on Jamaica and running and losing weight. I ate part of a Trader Joe’s oat bar and some jelly beans during this stretch. Saw Sheila and Jessica, Becky and Jordan, as well as my support crew around miles 24-25!

The Finish: Finally we were at the cathedral and the descent to the Capitol buildings. I could see the finish line. Heather ducked off just before the chute, and I ran the last 0.2 miles as strong as my tired legs could muster. With a quick glance at my Garmin, I knew I was going to PR, but I also saw that I was DAMN close to sub 6 hours. I sprinted my heart out, and finished at 6:00:10. A 3 minute and 34 second PR.

11 seconds to sub 6. Sure, I really wanted sub 6 hours, I actually had anticipated finishing in 5:45, but not everything pans out. And I think it’s a victory that I PR’ed over my Chicago time, because I made up over 6 minutes of time between the 30k mark and the finish line at Twin Cities over Chicago. The hills in this race took me by surprise. I live in a city where elevation change simply does not exist naturally. I didn’t train appropriately as such. It was a lesson learned. Looking back, I also was pretty under-fueled during the race. I had gels on me, but in losing my cool over my splits, I stopped taking gels. This was a bad call, and I know my energy suffered as a result.

After I finished, I caught up with Susie, and was so glad to hear of her amazing, soak-it-all-in race.

You’ve all probably seen the “30 Amazing Ways People Crossed the Finish Line at the Twin Cities Marathon” that’s been floating around on Tumblr. The last 3-4 photos are of my people. 6 hour marathoners. The man in white (partial bib# 904) with anguish on his face crossed the finish line right after me - actually, in my finish line sprint, I ran past him steps before the finish line. The women hugging each other were maybe 30 seconds behind me. I remember their matching shirts. And finally, Roger Aiken, the 80 year old I saw through out, finishing in 6:16, just before they closed the course. It’s funny, because when I look at my finishing photos, you can actually see these people in my photos. And I love that.

Okay, so I’ve broken down how the race was for me, now let’s talk about the Twin Cities Marathon itself:

The Expo

Similar in size to Chicago, maybe a bit smaller, but lots of booths and places to empty your wallets at. Only downside: it’s in downtown St. Paul, traffic was nutty, and parking cost $10. Which didn’t seem worth it for the 30 minutes I was there. Next time, public transit!

The Race

It touts itself as “The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America” and the organizers did not lie. Gorgeous fall colours, the lakes, running over the Mississippi and finally past the mansions on Summit Avenue, this really is a gorgeous course (no industrial wasteland on this course like Chicago marathon!) And you get to run down a hill to the finish line!!

Starting at the Metrodome was perfect - you could stay inside up until about 15 mins before race time, staying warm and toasty!

Water stations were a little sparser than I expected, despite being warned by Heather. I wish I had worn my hand bottle, just for those stretches where it was close to 3 miles between.

Crowd support was generally awesome; there were some stretches where it was pretty quiet, but for the most part, I never felt like the course was lacking spectators. There were bands, music blaring, and many people out with signs and cowbells!

The finisher medals were great. Nothing too fancy, but a solid, well designed medal. One thing I really liked about the Twin Cities Marathon is that you don’t get a shirt until you finish the marathon. And the shirt boldly proclaims “MARATHON FINISHER”, which my other marathon shirt didn’t. I felt like I actually worked for the shirt, as opposed to showing up to the Expo and getting a shirt. It’s a nice, long-sleeved Brooks shirt and violently fluorescent green.

The post race food was good - there were plenty of options in soup, chips, Clif bars, salted nut rolls, fruit cups. Yum!

I also really liked the fact that there was on-site engraving for your medal. It was $20, but well worth it in my opinion. I actually never got around to engraving my Chicago medal because I’m lazy and it was never convenient enough for me to get it done.

The cost of the marathon was a big bonus for me. $100! I really appreciated that the TCM didn’t try to make me pay extra money for being from Canada (cough, Chicago, cough). I don’t like being punished for being awesome Canadian. Also, hotels in the Twin Cities area are a bargain compared with staying in Chicago!

Overall, I LOVED this marathon. I loved it way more than I loved Chicago. And though Chicago will always hold a special spot in my heart as my first, I would not hesitate to run another marathon in the Twin Cities and wholeheartedly recommend it to others. I’m not saying I’ll necessarily run a marathon next year, but if I do, it will be here. Hills and all.

In closing, I’d just like to take a moment to thank everyone who supported me during my training and on marathon day. Heather and Becky - you guys are my marathon saviors. Thank you for being there and thank you for keeping me sane. Sorry this was so long - almost as long as it took me to run the marathon! :)

2

After a 21 year engagement, Joe and I were married on Saturday. The pictures of the wedding are surfacing and no doubt I will post more soon. It was easily one of the best days of my life. I cannot express how humbling it was to turn around after receiving the blessing from our priest and see a church full of friends and family who have supported us all these years. Absolutely overwhelming.

It was an especially great pleasure having Heather (iwillrunforfood), Nick and Little Mister in attendance. People like them are the reason that we have marriage equity in Minnesota. Thank you guys for being part of our day!

Apparently July 26 was a big wedding day. Mrstrivialbob’s cousin was married, as was the pastor of one of Joe’s colleagues.

2

I have two pictures of the post-race Tumblr gathering because not all the Tumblrs were at our house at the same time.

Top picture: Ross (who got a PR), Jordan, Becky, Heather (holding Joss), me, Anh, Sheila (with Ella) and Jessica.

Bottom picture: Jessica, Anh and Joss got traded for Brooke (who PR’d) and two draft picks to be named later. Brooke is wearing a TC Marathon finisher shirt. The finisher shirts are even brighter in person than in that picture.

Ross and Jessica stayed the weekend at my house and we had a lot of laughs and pizza Saturday night.

Sunday evening was a lot of fun too. Near the end of the evening Jordan entertained us with a dramatic reading of her most disgusting Tumblr post ever.

I laughed until my stomach hurt as much as my legs.

9

My first ever trip to the Minnesota State Fair was amazing. I have lived here since I was 9 years old, but have never gone. I honestly had a blast and met so many fantastic Tumblr peeps today!!! 

My favorite foods were: the wine slushy, deep fried olives, the funnel cake, and the wild rice burger. Okay, I lied. It was all delicious. We walked over 5 miles, and had some great conversations. Tumblr is seriously such an inspiring community. It was an awesome time meeting you all! I definitely think we should do it again next year :) 

Thanks Bob for the great group shot! 

Sarah, Jason, and I also saw probably the best fireworks I’ve ever experienced. We were heading out and were literally right under them. The booming and vibrations just made it sweet! The best photo I got: 

8

Minnesota Tumblr meet-up tonight at the State Fair.

We ate, drank and were merry. The food at the fair is either deep fried or served on a stick. Often both.

Mac & Cheese? Available on a stick. Spaghetti? Also available on a pointed wooden stick. Pizza? Sure, on a stick if you want. Summit beer on a stick? Well, that’s what the sign said.

Sheila and I tried deep fried olives (on a stick). It was very rich but delicious. I had a deep fried Snickers (on a stick). I am not kidding. It was terrific though I won’t eat sugar again until 2014.

Thank you to Sarah (sarahspeaksnow) for organizing this.

I got to hang out with the most amazing tumblrs tonight, eat Jucy Lucy’s, talk about hipsters/hamsters (same difference, no?), and swoon over Heather’s adorable baby. I’m so glad I was able to see Dale and Susie again, and get to meet Heather. These people make me happy. And I wish I lived here. Though I’ll need to work on my Minnesota accent. Minne-SOTA. Am I doing better, guys? Thanks for an awesome night out!

3

Tonight was Minneapolis’ Runblr Meet-Up.

Holy-fricken load of awesomeness.

Katie and I met up before the rest of the gang got together. We’ve been phone friends for a while, texting and sharing pictures and the like… It was great to finally meet in person. She and I had planned on walking around one of the lakes and getting our chat on, but after feeling the Minnesota humidity, we voted for a Dunn Brothers’ stop instead. It was air-conditioned and we still got to talk for a solid 45 minutes :)

After meeting Heather and Melinda (and Lojo, out in Oregon) I’ve had high hopes for these meet-ups… I have yet to be disappointed. I got to meet DaleBob, Erin, and Jason for the first time tonight. All seriously cool people. 

I’m the youngest of the bunch, but there wasn’t a moment where I felt out of place due to my age. I think that’s part of the beauty of creating yourself online before meeting in person… Not that each of us is really that judgmental, but I’m guessing under normal circumstances I’d have had a hard time creating a relationship with such a diverse group of people. I feel honored to be part of this community, and I think that this meet-up was exactly what I needed to get my butt back in gear.

The people reading (and liking and commenting on) the things I post are unlike those who read what I post to Facebook. The people who I’m friends with on Facebook are there because I’ve met them, they’re there waiting for something interesting to happen, they’re keeping tabs on me. Tumblr is different. You’re not here because you have to be. You follow my blog because you’re interested in my successes. You want me to succeed. You want to hear about my journey and everything that comes with it.

I want to thank you all. Those of you who I’ve met, and those of you who I’ve yet to have that privilege. Thank you for giving me a chance. Thank you for supporting me, listening to me and pushing me. 

Tumblr fo’ lyf, bitches!

2

My friends who work or used to work in retail clothing sales tell me if you want the best clothes take from the bottom of the pile! I guess those are the freshest ones.

If you’re like me you unfold the garment to see it because it might not look exactly like the one on the nearby mannequin. But be nice. If you decide you don’t want it squeeze it back into place. Stuff it in the pile so it doesn’t fall on the floor.

It the stack doesn’t line up perfectly don’t worry! Employees do not mind this. They get to work late after the store closes making those stacks all neat again. It’s not overtime but it is extra money and who doesn’t need that around the holidays?

I still have a little shopping left to do. I’ll be back tomorrow :)

Slowly Resetting

Over the past few months, I have been anything but consistent with exercise and I’ve been quite inconsistent with my diet.  The result is not surprising – I’m a little bit out of shape and I’ve gained about ten pounds since the winter.  

So tonight, very uncharacteristically, I ran after work.  Uncharacteristic because I hate running after work, but it was hard to ignore how gorgeous it was outside with temps in the 60s and bright sunshine.  To my surprise, I managed a four mile run.  It wasn’t fast, but I ran the whole way and didn’t hate it, so I consider that a win.

Before I set out, I gave myself a little inducement to finish.  The other night, Joe and I had a tumblr couple over for dinner.  Heather made this fabulous bread with cranberries and almonds, and with it, homemade apple butter.

 I promised myself if I finished this run, I could have some.  I am no food stylist, obviously, but it was fantastic!  Little did Heather know that with the apple butter, she tapped into a childhood food I adored above all others.  

Who would have thought that starting a blog would lead me down such an amazing path? The internet is a beautiful place and I am honored to be a part of this incredible community. I can’t put into words how Tumblr has impacted my life in the last eight months. Instead, I’m going to do my best to describe one incredible experience that happened purely because I decided to open myself up.

The Ragnar Great River Relay: 198.5 miles, 12 people, 2 vans, 32 hours.

My Ragnar experience started at 9:30pm on Thursday night. I couldn’t sleep. I was nervous about the upcoming morning… Instead of spending an extra hour rolling around in bed I decided to drive over to target and get some extra food supplies. By the time I got home it was already 10:30 and I was doing the math in my head: Definitely not enough hours of sleep between me and the start line… 

I flipped back and forth until 3:30 when my alarm went off. Immediately up and feeling totally frazzled I zipped our bag, grabbed my pop-tarts and got in the car. We headed to Eagan to meet up with Heather, Nick, Melinda, Bobby and Megan. I was already buzzing… I don’t need coffee to get my day started, just 2 hours of sleep and knowledge of a race.

We loaded up our secret service vehicle and headed toward Winona. Some of the team got some sleep on the way over, but I couldn’t keep my eyes shut. I might as well have had some 5-hour energy… We got to Winona and decorated our van. Can you tell we’re from the internet?

(Heather, me and Melinda)

We zipped through our safety briefing, got our pre-race swag and headed to the start line. Being runner 1 I was extra nervous… I looked over my route, changed into my running clothes and we headed down to the start line.

We had quite a while as a team before I was set to begin, so we took a few pictures of our van and I got in the zone with my headphones…

At 9:00 I was off. Like a boss.

The whole leg is pretty much a blur. There were water stops and semi trucks and my teammates honking at me… I was wearing Heather’s garmin, so at least I have my stats to prove I actually ran it:

At 10:25/mile this was by far my slowest leg. Not knowing how little sleep I was about to get, I’m glad I didn’t push it any farther. The Ragnar shirts say: Run. Eat. Drive. Sleep? Repeat. They’re seriously not kidding when they put that question mark after sleep. Holy-tired-ness.

Anyway, my hand-offs were always to the beautiful Mrs. Heather. The first one was awkward… I fumbled with the relay bracelet and with the watch.

Whatever, though. I was proud to have finished:

In our van, we had 6 runners. I was first, then Heather, Megan, Nick, Brady and Melinda respectively. I have very few iPhone pictures of any of the others running except Brady… Most of the inbetween time was spent worrying about what I could eat without shitting myself and trying to fall asleep. Here’s Brady before his first run:

Before the race we’d all posted our projected 10k race times, Brady hasn’t done any competitive running in a very long time, so he assumed he’d be around a 9:00 mile. We took that into account when prepping Melinda for the first exchange. He got there FIFTEEN minutes before we expected him, and ended up standing awkwardly for a minute or two. Regardless, never trust this boy to estimate his pace. He ran 7:40s.

The time between Brady’s first leg and my second leg is pretty blurry. We exchanged with and met all the runners from van 2 and then headed off to exchange 12 where I’d be running my second run. I was incredibly tired at this point, having not slept well the night before the race. I laid out my sleeping pad and bag and absolutely passed out. There was a break-down and some stressing out before my second leg… but our team survived it. Our night runs were done with reflective vests, headlamps and flashing back lights. I wish I would have done a training run (or two…) to test out the gear, but in the end it all ended up fine.

I did have to stop and take a dump at mile 2.7’s water stop. The volunteers graciously gave me kleenex which I used as toilet paper. Seeing that I’d have to pass off the wristband to Heather at the next exchange, I stopped around mile 5 to ask for hand sanitizer. The whole team was thankful. I finished leg 13, 6.6 miles, in 1:05:40. An average pace of 9:57.

The night running was exhausting for everyone. We had tired legs and tired eyes. I managed to snap one picture while the sun was down:

While Melinda ran her second leg, the rest of our team had some time to hang out at one of the major exchanges. I was excited to have time with the rest of the team and tried to share the glory of the glow-in-the-dark necklaces we had… I happened break one of them INTO MY EYE at which point Bob’s paternal instinct kicked in. He poured a bottle of water on my face, to which I responded by spitting it back at him. Rather than being upset or complaining, my sleep deprived brain turned to laughter. I laughed uncontrollably until it was time to go see the first-aid tent and ask for saline. Of the moments our team spent together as a whole, this was definitely one of my favorite moments. Even if it hurt.

Between then and my next run we got a whole two-hours of rest at a local high-school. Two hours is not even a standard Jordan-nap… Needless to say, I was excited that we were planning on pancakes for breakfast.

My third leg was bright and early on Saturday morning. Our team, as a whole, was an entire hour ahead of schedule. Basically, we were kicking ass. 


My hand-off was with Stefan, and we attempted to make it as epic as possible:

 

I got on my hands and knees and worshipped Stefan (our fastest runner…) He definitely appreciated it. It’s great to see someone come in from a run like that and have a smile on their face. 

I took off Olympian-style and absolutely dominated my last 3.27 miles.

The route was primarily down hill, which made it fast even though I was incredibly tired. I came into the exchange hot. I was so proud of myself… 

Is that an epic shot, or what?

Anyway, I was the first one on our team to acquire all three tally marks. Who’s a proud runner?

(I mayyyy have sent this to some of the van 2 runners… They’d just finished their second legs and I was finished. Muahaha.)

By Brady’s last leg I was basically to a point of IDGAF. I was tired and sore, but then… so was the rest of my team. I stood at the exchanges and took as many pictures as I could. This one is one of my favorites:

And here’s Melinda taking off:

Between Melinda’s finish and the team’s finish Van 1 all had the luxury of heading home to shower and eat salt and vinegar chips (oh wait, was that just Brady and I?). I didn’t even feel bad about it since Van 2 got to meet in Eagan at 10, rather than 4:30 am.

Anyway, when Stefan came into the chute, it was awesome. We crossed the finish line as a team. Myself and 11 others became Ragnarians:

Running Amuck, 2012:

Tumblr made a great showing:

Heather and I with our bottle-opening medals:

And, finally… Ragnar: The day after:

TLDR; Ragnar-photo-spam, I ran fast, My team ran fast, we finished and it was awesome.

That was a lot of fun today. Running the Lucky 7k race on a beautiful, yet excruciatingly cold, Saturday morning. OK, it was up to 25 degrees but with the 67 waves of runners at the start line my toes got painfully cold waiting to just start the danged race. Then when I was running they just didn’t warm up.

Afterwards a group of us went to lunch at The Good Earth. It’s one of those places where I am sure Prius drivers get a 5% discount and sunflower seeds are used in everything including orange juice and the coffee beans are multi-grain. If you like your bacon dolphin-safe and tuna nitrate-free you’ll be right at home. I felt so naughty paying with plastic.

As for the race, if I had a running coach that person might say I did OK, or am lucky to be alive, with my alarming lack of preparation. I finished the 7k (4.3 mile) race in 41 minutes. I felt pretty good afterwards. The nice thing about starting a race with so little prep is that it’s impossible not to exceed expectations. Well, there is one expectation I have and I had no problem. Jordan would know what I’m talking about.

As for that picture, if I had a photography instructor that person might have told me a good ratio of cute girls to Bob is 2:1 or even 3:1. Hah! This is 4:1. The student has become the master.

Yoga in review

A couple of folks have asked how the yoga experience went for me yesterday and I’m happy to say it was wonderful. I did not in fact break in two and I was able to do most of the poses (or something that resembled the directed pose) and I felt great afterwards. I did learn that my left hamstring is particularly tight.

And I just remembered something that happened during class. There was one stretch where we were on our back and extending our legs and feet, and our arms stretching above our heads. Someone grabbed hold of my big toe and tweaked it the way someone would tweak your nose. In my yoga fog I didn’t look up to see who did it and by the time class was over I had forgotten. I couldn’t tell if they were being playful, flirty or pissed. I’ll go with playful, but it was kind of strange.

Thanks, Katie, for asking me to join you. It was bonus day, too, because Heather, Joost and a non-tumblr friend of Katie’s were there. All such kind, funny and charming people!

Happy Birthday to the fantastic lady on the left!!!

Heather - it was so great to get to run with you. My legs may have gotten me to the finish line but you are definitely responsible for getting me to the finish line mentally. So thanks!!

May this coming year be filled with running, meeting your goals, and all the happiness - you deserve it!! Happy birthday!

The internet is an amazing thing.

Somehow, it managed to bring a bunch of us to the same city.

I’m still trying to process the whole thing.

I will give you a quick run down before I slip into my comfy bed and sleep for 10 hours…

  1. Melinda has a stuffed owl named Hooey. She also likes beer. Like, a lot.
  2. Katie is a trooper. She slept on a ledge. And dealt with me. And we got lost/found together. It was pretty great.
  3. Heather has a being inside of her. She carried it 26.2 miles this weekend.
  4. “Ermagherd! Merathern!” was an intensely popular sign. 10/10 would do again.
  5. Chicago has way more people than Minneapolis.
  6. Canadians have (intense)psychic connections.
  7. The Internet, as a whole, has a crush on Lojo.
  8. Claire is just as talkative as you’d think. She also gives great hugs. And has pizza, apparently. Unfortunately I did not get to test this hypothesis. 
  9. Shortmom doesn’t love me as much as I love her.
  10. It is impossible to have casual conversation with people who know way too much about you from reading your blog. (I’m looking at you, Laura.)
  11. Next time Tumblr runs a race, we need to run in a rinky-dink town so that we can all stay in the same hotel like Becky, Bailee, Melissa and Betsy. Then we can actually find each other during/after the race. 

Brady just gave me “the look” that says, get the eff off the computer so we can go to bed. I guess I should listen.

Sleep well, Tumblrites

A+ Day.

I thought I would be super depressed to watch and not participate in the Twin Cities Marathon this year. Dead wrong. It was so fun. We saw a lot of runners. We cheered a lot of runners. There is such a thing as too much cowbell. Being at multiple points on a marathon course is surprisingly stressful and mildly difficult. 10/10 would do it again in a heartbeat though.

Big thanks to Snap for unknowingly being a lifesaver and posting the time updates.

CONGRATULATIONS runners! You’re all amazing and I’m so glad you’re in my life!

4

What a magical couple of days it has been.  I know I get a tad quiet on my blog when Sarah comes to town, but I do my best to enjoy every minute of time I have with her to the fullest extent. I know the blog suffers a bit but I am okay with that.  She is also great about posting all the fun stuff we are up to so if you follow her as well, you will be in the loop as much as I am, LOL.  But on that note I thought I would fire out a nice recap of the past couple days.

@ Wednesday
I picked up Sarah after work from the airport and we bolted to Red Robin for dinner with the kid. I was able to try the bun less burger and it was great. I loved the fact that I didn’t feel super stuffed afterwards like I do when I normally eat one of their massive bugers.

After dinner we dropped Daniel off at my sister’s house and then headed home, after a quick stop at Walmart for groceries, to get our race gear ready and also to try our hand at making Apple Pie Salsa. The salsa didn’t turn out too bad after I over cooked the apples a tad -  it smelled great and the cinnamon tortilla chips were awesome.

@ Thursday (Thanksgiving)
The air was nice and chilly as we headed to St. Paul for the inaugural run of the St. Paul Turkey Trot and our inaugural run together as well.  Sarah and I have kind of decided that this will probably be our yearly race since it was both our 1st race together and the 1st race for the location.

We met up with my sister (cookiegirlrunnergirl) and brother in law (theendguy) before the race and heading to the port-a-potties and start line.  En route we ran into Rachael (rachaelfightsback) but only for a moment and poof she disappeared.  Sarah was shivering from the start and I had a fear she was going to freeze solid in the frigid 20-something temps, LOL.  After emptying our bladders we walked over to the starting area and started moving around to keep warm.  The course for the 5k runs along Sheppard Road near the Mississippi River so there isn’t a ton of room to start with much less when you fire 4,000+ folks down the street.

We had to do a ton of bob and weaving, and the run felt like a Pole Position flashback more than a run. But we prevailed and ran true and finished and someone even PR’d.  I can only imagine how fast they would have been if there wasn’t so much congestion and flip flopping.

After the race, and after grabbing a couple bottles of chocolate milk for the kiddies, we ran into Jen (kickingupthepace), said a quick hello, and then raced our cold sweaty asses back to the car to head up to my parents’ house for turkey.

Shortly after we arrived and had our showers done, I didn’t exactly have time as I had to fire up the grill to get my turkey cooked and then seemed to find job after job to keep me busy until folks started showing up.

It was great to see everyone that made it and we probably had about 40ish at the house so it wasn’t too bad a showing.  I had fun introducing Sarah to all my relatives when I could although I wasn’t the best at it as many times she was just bouncing around and doing the meet and greet on her own. My gal is not a shy one in the least.  But all and all it was a ton of fun and I even got Sarah to walk out on a frozen lake.  Sure it was only about 20ft off shore, but she was not digging it at all, LOL.

After a nice drive home, we popped in “The Santa Clause” and worked on Sarah’s fleece blanket.  It was a nice way to end the day as watching the movie has been a tradition for Sarah for a while and I was glad to be a part of it this year.

@ Friday
Finally a day we could sleep in…  Once we dragged ourselves out of bed, we enjoyed lunch at World Buffet in Apple Valley and then ventured to Target and to Minnehaha Falls to check out a couple possible ceremony locations for the wedding.  The locations weren’t too bad and seeing the falls frozen was pretty cool as well.

After the falls, we headed over to IKEA and did a little house dreaming and wishing.  We ended up picking up a nice new pot rack for the kitchen and then went home to chill before the game. On the way home, we got an added surprise as Rachael (rachaelfightsback) was able to stop over for a while and chill out with us.  We enjoyed a cider and great conversation but before long it was time to go.  We took a couple famous Tumblr selfies and then we made our way out to the State Football Championship at the Metrodome.

I can’t express what a proud Uncle I was to get to root on my niece’s football team as she cheered her heart out on the sidelines during the game.  Although the outcome was not as we had hoped, she and her fellow cheerleaders never showed a frown and cheered on till the final gun sounded.  They all did their school proud.

When we got home, Sarah, I and the kid attempted to watch Hunger Games, but the old man (Me), ran outta gas halfway through and Sarah told me it was time for bed.

@ Saturday
Up with the crack of dawn we finished off the last half of Hunger Games and a light breakfast.  We then all piled in the Jeep and raced down to Lakeville for the 10:40am showing of Catching Fire and a massive bag of buttered popcorn.  The movie was GREAT and I would comment more but many still may want to see it so I will leave it there….GO SEE IT!!!

After the movie, we took another stab at Red Robin as once for this trip was not enough.  We again enjoyed different bun less burger and an endless supply of steak fries.  After we had our fill, it was time to drop Daniel off so we headed out to his mom’s and dropped the runt off and then headed back home.  We made a quick stop off ad Walmart again to get our groceries for Sunday (we really wanted to make nachos!), and then on to home where we got ready to head over and introduce Sarah to the neighbors.

We each cracked a Woodchuck Amber Cider and I packed a booze cooler and we headed next door.   We walked on in and had a blast.  The drinks and shots of Jameson were flowing and before we knew it we had ordered sandwiches and I was eating a tomato.  Before long, it was time to go and we trekked back across the driveway to our house and shortly thereafter called it a night.

@ Sunday
This was slated all along to be out mellow, do nothing but lounge in our PJ’s day.  This was going all well and dandy until the guilt trip police showed up and coaxed we out of our cave and to go to the evil know as “Hot Yoga."  I am kidding about the guilt trip as the arm wasn’t twisted very far at all to go.

We geared up, grabbed some water, and headed to Edina for class.  Heather (iwillrunforfood) was the ringleader and Sarah and I met her and Katie (katiegirlchasesinfinity) for class.  This class was crazy, the room alone has you sweating like crazy and that’s from just saying hello the person next to you.  Then you bend and twist all over the place and try not to slip and fall in the lake that has formed below you from all your juices dripping outta your body.  Somehow I managed to survive and then the four of us headed over to Starbucks for coffee/tea time.  It was so much fun and I am glad we went.

Afterwards, we headed back home, had a little dinner, and watched a little TV and then started on my fleece blanket.

@ Monday
We had a little breakfast and talked about January’s trip and the fact we still have not made the damn nachos we talk about every trip.  We then finished up my fleece blanket, snuggled a bit and then packed Sarah up and drove to the airport where I put the love of my life on a plane back to the coast where she will be until our next adventure in January.

anonymous asked:

Can you post some links to your favorite blogs? I'm always looking for more inspiration :)

The people I have currently been stalking following the most: 

  1. sarahspeaksnow
  2. iwillrunforfood
  3. iamrunner
  4. 26bytwentysix
  5. kat-rd2be
  6. lindsaydoeslife
  7. shortmom
  8. joshbuildshealth
  9. fromlazytolively

I can’t just pick my favorites. I love so many of these people and consider them friends. Some of them I have met in real life, some of them I talk to daily, and some of them I just admire from afar with casual communication. If I could, I’d visit them all. 

My workout plan for January, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is to take three spin classes a week, run twice a week, list twice a week (or lift once and climb once) and one yoga class.

So far, I have hit all my goals, having climbed, take spin twice, run and now tonight, yoga. So far so good and I can really feel it in my upper body, which is sorely needing this attention I’m giving it.

I attended a candlelit yoga flow class tonight with Katie and Heather. When I got there I went to hug them and Katie warned me off saying they were very sweaty. I wondered how you get sweaty walking from the car in minus 15 degree weather. Turns out they just finished a sculpt class, immediately followed by the candlelit class we were taking together. Holy crap these two are yoga machines! The sculpt class actually scares me and here that was just Act I for for them for the evening. Amazing.

Now it’s time for Downton Abbey so good night and stay warm!

6

I ran in the Ragnar Great River relay Friday and Saturday. 

[I know some of my readers haven’t heard of this.  Ragnar relays are ~200 mile foot races run by teams of 12 people.  The Great River relay starts in Winona, MN then goes through parts of western Wisconsin before finishing at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.]

It was a lot of fun though I’ve had about three hours of sleep in the last two days.  I’ve never run at night before and found that to be interesting.  It’s not something I’ll take up on my own but I will consider another Ragnar relay in the future.

Our team of twelve was divided into two groups.  I was in the second group.  I knew three of the people; the other two were strangers but turned out to be very funny and interesting people.  Having a team with a few people I didn’t know turned out to be fantastic.  We passed some of the down time by taking and getting to know each other.

I had never heard of keeping track of “kills” in a race.  I learned a kill is when you pass someone.  I had thirteen kills and was killed four times.  I guess that puts me ahead in the big game of relay foot racing.

We all got pretty slap happy by 4 AM on Saturday.  Teammate Jordan was in a festive mood and wanted to decorate us with glow in the dark necklaces.  When people didn’t show enough enthusiasm Jordan “accidentally” broke one of the liqud-filled necklaces and made the ceiling of a Chevy Suburban glow like a cheap motel bedspread under a black light. 

Not one to rest on her artistic achievements Michaelangelo Jordan took another liquid-filled necklace and - things get a little fuzzy to me at this point - did something with it resulting in the necklace bursting in Jordan’s face.  I was too tired to think of snapping a picture.  Trust me, it would have been awesome.

Jordan’s eyes glowed a golden hue.  It was a little frightening at that dark hour so I took a bottle of water and poured it in her face to wash out the glowing liquid.  Jordan thanked my prompt first aid by spitting water in my face.

A huge thank you to Heather who was our team captain and did a lot of work getting our team set up.