Ready to dance with dirt

Next weekend, I’m headed to Devil’s Lake for Dances with Dirt. My friends are running the marathon, but I’m doing the 10k. I did my last trail training run on Thursday and am confident I will rock it!

It was wet, muddy, slippery, etc and so forth. But I did 6 miles, faster than I’ve ever done on the trails. Woohoo! I saw countless squirrels and chipmunks and three deer, including an 8pt buck. Only fell once, and took care of that in the first half mile, so I had it over and done with and didn’t need to worry about that anymore.

Oh, and a mosquito flew INTO MY MOUTH. Disgusting.

I really enjoyed myself and was SO happy I brought a change of clothes. Driving home in my water logged shoes and clothes would have been a disaster.

Ragnar Chicago Relay: Recapping Leg #25

This shall forever be known as the leg where Amy almost died.

I ran this leg on about 20 minutes of sleep. Yeah you read that right. 20.minutes.of.sleep. I was able to rest but only got about 20 minutes of actual sleep.

For the record, I do not recommend running 4 miles on 20 minutes of sleep when you have already ran 9 miles in the past 18 hours.

I did absolutely everything wrong prior to this run. I didn’t hydrate properly. I didn’t eat much. By 2am, we were exhausted and the thought of eating anything made me want to throw up. I knew I’d be relying on muscle memory and mental strength to pull this run off.

I got the slap bracelet from Marty and headed off in the misty fog for my final 4 miles through the City of Racine. The roads were quiet (it was 5 a.m. on a Saturday, after all) and I only encountered a handful of other Ragnar runners during this leg of the race. Most of the runners who did pass me looked about as good as I felt, which isn’t saying much. I saw (and did) much more walking on this leg of the race than any other. We were all running on empty. My legs felt like cement blocks. I had to will my legs to move. I walked more during this leg than the previous two legs combined, but I was still able to beat my pace goal for the race (and my recent half mary PR pace).

The course took us past the zoo and along the lakefront. I can’t tell you want a relief it was to see Lake Michigan! Yay! I’m almost done! I’m going to die! Wooot!

I couldn’t even tell you half the things I thought about during this run. I don’t remember. It was an out of body experience.

When I finished and passed off the bracelet to Matt J. I stopped dead in my tracks and bent over to catch my breath and stretch my hamstrings. Jordan H. put out his hand to give me a high five and I think I said something like, “I’m sorry, I can’t touch you right now.”

I couldn’t move. I needed to build up the mental strength to walk to the van. Tracey G. and Rochelle told me I looked so pale that they were afraid I was going to pass out or throw up.

I walked down the hill towards the van and made my dad take a picture of me. I have yet to see this photo, but I can assure you that it won’t be pretty. But it will probably be a favorite of all my race photos.

I got to the van and fell face first into the first row of seats (we had a 15-passenger van for the 6 of us plus driver). I passed out in that seat for at least an hour. I don’t really remember much. I know I told Tracey G. that I wasn’t able to move to send her off on her next leg and I also missed her passing things off to Anthony M Van H. for his last leg. At some point, the team stopped at McDonalds for some breakfast and I was able to talk long enough to ask my dad for a Sausage McMuffin with egg. He gave it to me and I ate it from my face in the seat position. I’m completely serious. I only turned my face far enough to eat the sandwich and only used my right had to open the package and feed myself. I was that exhausted.

The food helped revive me from my runner’s coma and I came to enough to wrap a blanket around me and cheer on Anthony M Van H. when he finished his final leg and passed things off to Jordan H. I was back to (almost) normal to see Rochelle off and meet up with the rest of our team at the final major exchange in Zion, Illinois.

Start Time: 5:10 am
Goal pace: 16min/mile
Splits: 15:17, 16:35, 15:47, 12:46 (.85mi 15:05 pace)
Average pace: 15:42
Total time: 1:00:23
Finish time: 6:10 am

Total distance: 12.82mi
Total time: 3:13:06
Average pace: 15:03
Goal pace: 16:00

Note: Read the rest of my Ragnar Journey here.

Note #2: This post will be updated with photos as soon as I can steal them from my dad!

Ragnar Chicago Relay: Recapping Leg #13

This was one of those ZOMG THIS IS AMAZING I LOVE RUNNING kind of runs. Seriously. This leg of the race MADE the weekend for me. Reaffirmed my LOVE of running. Not only did I KILL my projected pace, I enjoyed every minute of it, even if it was scary as all hell.

We were at exchange 12, where Marty would pass things off to me. It was misting, very foggy and very dark. Had all my reflective gear on – vest, headlamp, tail light and of course some red glowstick bracelets and necklace.

I headed out from Wales Community Park toward the Glacial Drumlin Trail. The first quarter to half mile or so was through the neighborhood near the park, so there were some streetlights. This did not at all prepare me for 4 miles of complete darkness on the trail.

Leg 13 was billed as a “non-support” leg, meaning the course made it too difficult for team vans to “leap frog” runners. So it was just me, my iPod, water and a pitch dark misty night.

I have to admit, I felt so badass on this leg of the run. I mean, really, who does that? Who SIGNS UP to run in the middle of nowhere on an unlit creepy trail in the middle of the night? WHO DOES THAT? This girl.

The only time I could see farther than 5 feet in front of me was when a fellow Ragnar runner came up behind me and passed me. The other runners were very cool on this leg. Many said, “Good job” or “This is freaking nuts” or “ohmigod this is scary” or the like. I noticed runners would sort of wave their hand in front of their headlights as they approached me, which was a nice heads up that someone was approaching (a tip I told my fellow runners when I got to the van).

I ran with a woman for a li’l bit and we were laughing at how ridiculous and scary this leg was. When I say I ran in complete darkness, I’m not kidding. The foggy mist didn’t help things. It was like a scene out of a horror flick.  “What if someone attacks me? I’m in the middle of nowhere. There are no lights out here and it isn’t like there are groups of people running. No one would ever know. GAH!”

On this leg, I stopped to walk only TWICE and each was for approximately 30-60 seconds. I felt so good on this run.

When I got to the next exchange point, I once again failed to properly hand off the reflective slap bracelet to Matt J. (seriously, I was horrible at the exchange).

As soon as I finished, Rochelle Tracey G. Jordan H. Anthony M Van H. and our driver (my dad) asked how the run was. The first thing I said was, “That was the most freaking ridiculous thing I’ve ever done in my entire life.”

And it was.

Start Time: 9:16 p.m.
Goal pace: 16min/mile
Splits: 14:27, 14:43, 15:06, 14:22, 3:09 (.22mi 14:08 pace)
Average pace: 14:38
Total time: 1:01:49
Finish time: 10:17 p.m.

Note: Read the rest of my Ragnar Journey here.

Ragnar Chicago Relay: Recapping Leg #1

I got to kick things off for Team 12 Sweaty Nuts for the Ragnar Relay Friday morning. We started at 10 a.m. and cut it VERY close for me to get to the start line in time. I got there with just minutes to spare before the countdown.

I threw my sweatshirt and all non-essential running gear at Rochelle and got ready to ROCK it.

I ran with the 10 a.m. start group for a few minutes, but they were all much faster than me and so I dropped back and ran the rest of the leg on my own.

After a half mile or so, I completely regretted not trying to get to a bathroom before the start of the race. Luckily, around 1.5 miles in I found a port-a-potty near some construction work. WINNING.

Got into a groove and had a blast running around Lake Monona (aka Krista‘s home turf). There was a detour during this leg, due to road construction, which added about a quarter mile to the leg, no big deal.

I only stopped to walk a couple times for a minute or two, and then near the end of the leg I stopped maybe 3 times to walk a block, to catch my breath.

I was amazed at how great I felt, despite a few moments of side stitches.

The course was pretty, mostly near the lake or through residential neighborhoods. Rolling hills, but nothing too bad.

I started getting passed by the 10:30 a.m. starters as I neared the last half mile of my leg. I got lots of “Hang in there” or “Nice job, you can do it!” comments, which were great, if not half condescending. Warning to “fast” runners: Just because I’m running extremely slow doesn’t mean I’m struggling. I’m just slow. No need to patronize me. Trust me, you’ll know when I’m dying (see write up for my third leg, coming soon to a blog near you).

I ran into the 1st exchange point and majorly failed slapping Matt J. with the slap bracelet. 😉

Felt great, good to get the nerves out right away!

Start Time: 10am
Goal pace: 16min/mile
Splits: 14:26, 16:03 (bathroom break), 15:30, 15:40, 10:00 (.72mi – 13:49 pace)
Average pace: 15:10
Total time: 1:11:37
Finish time: 11:11 am

Note: Read the rest of my Ragnar Journey here.

12 Sweaty Nuts

I’m joining 11 of my bestest running friends for the Ragnar Chicago Relay. That’s 200 miles, split 12 ways, in about 30ish hours.

The race starts Friday morning and our team will hit the road at 10 a.m.

Here’s our team logo/shirt:

I know, you’re jealous, right?

As you can see, we are sponsored by the one and only, AJ Bombers. Thanks, Joe and Angie for your support! We love you guys!

Wanna know what I’ll be running? Here are maps of my three legs:

Leg #1 - 10am Friday
Leg #13 - approximately 10pm Friday
Leg 25 - approximately 6:30am Saturday

 

If you want to follow along with the insanity, check out my twitter feed, @amykant, or the following hashtags: #ajbnutrun (my team) or #ragnarchi (the race).

Note: Read the rest of my Ragnar Journey here.

The one with the flat tire

Oh! Look at me! I'm soooo cute! I got new under armour gear! Wheeeee!

Today, my trainer told me to do 30-40 minutes of easy cardio: walk, eliptical, biking. I got to choose. Of course, I chose biking!

I put on my brand new workout gear – soooooo cute! Even the band of the bottoms match the color of the top!

Cool gloves? Check

Cool sunglasses? Check

Red helmet? Checkity check

I head out to the garage, lube up my chain (get yer mind out of the gutter) and head out for a 6-8 mile easy ride.

As I’m nearing the 1 mile mark, I get frustrated. Why is it sooooo hard to pedal? I have it on an easy gear, the road is relatively flat. What the heck?

I attempt to cross the busy intersection of 76th and Lincoln and wonder if I’ve completely lost any semblance of fitness.

Then I look.

My back tire was flat as a pancake.

Sad panda.

So then I got to walk my bike back home.

At least I looked fucking cute doing that, even if I did look absolutely ridiculous walking my bike for a mile.

Race Report: Laura’s Smile 5k – Girls on the Run

Girls On the Run plus their buddies - Bay View team

What a beautiful, hot and muggy day. LOL. Today was the big 5k run for the GOTR kids.

Pre-race cheer!
Me and Juliana pre-race

They looked a bit nervous before the race but we took off running at the start. Then the heat REALLY hit us. Juliana (Tracey G.‘s daughter) was hilarious, per always.

“Are we almost done?”

“No, Juli, we’ve only gone half a mile.”

“Ughhhhh. This isn’t fair. It’s so hot. I wish it was pouring or there was a big gust of wind.”

We did a lot of run/walking (emphasis on the walking) because of the heat and the fact there was only one water stop on the course. In this heat, with that many youngins, geeze, one more stop would have been nice.

We kept leap-frogging with Angela and her buddy, Nadia.

Nadia, Juli and Angela, Mile 1
Nadia, Me and Juliana - Mile 1

I’d give Juli little goals, like, “When we get to that big tree, we’re gonna run til the turn…” Basically, fartleks, which is my favorite word, evar.

When she saw the water stop, Juli took off running. Like, we’re talking a 10:15 pace. Which is hilarious, because we had been going at anywhere from a 15-17 pace. I could barely catch up with her. She dumped a cup of water on her head and we kept on trucking. Saw her parents Tracey G.Jason G. shortly after the water stop and kept on going.

Nadia and Juliana - Mile 2 "We're dying"
"Are we done?"

We made little goals and I started forcing her to run, reminding her that there was cake at the finish line (she’s a girl after my own heart).

By about mile 2 I realized my fingers had swelled up to the size of sausages. It was gross. I could hardly bend my fingers.

fat fingers

Mile 3!

As we walked during the last mile, I told Juli about a trick I like to use at races. When you see the finish line close, start running as fast as you can past everyone cheering, so they think you’ve been running that fast the whole time.

Sprinting to the finish!

We blasted through the last tenth of a mile at a 9:30 pace. Then Juliana got her medal (so cute!) and we found water, cake and fruit.

Yay! We did it!

GOTR is such a great program. Had a blast with Jane S. Chelsey F. Rochelle and all the girls.

3.1 miles in 52:08 – 16:55 pace

BTW, this time includes the water stop and stops to take photos at each mile marker. If we wouldn’t have done that, I think we could have shaved about 3 minutes off the time, giving us a 16 pace, which is exactly what we’ve been having at practices.