100 mi! Wheee! #chasing100

Do you see what that is just above “Jul ’11”? Oh yeah. That’s 100. 100-freaking-miles. One month. WOW. WOW. WOW.

I am still trying to grasp what I’ve accomplished (with your support and encouragement)! 100 miles!!! To think, just 11 days ago, I was at 48 miles for the month, and today I am celebrating my first ever 100 mile month.

2010 Amy thought that was a long ways off. 2011 Amy thinks her legs need a vaca.

As planned, I finished up my mileage during the Liver Life Walk yesterday morning with some friends. I was so excited and celebrated the milestone at Yo Mama‘s.

I’m working on a full writeup of the challenge – hope to post it this week. Thanks Tiffany for kicking my butt (errr legs).

5 miles!

Ohemgee. Tonight I had the most amazing run EVAR. Well, as amazing as it can be to run around in circles. I was dreading this run ALL DAY. When I got home from work, I even considered bailing on the run all together. Then I started thinking about how close I am to my 100mi goal. That was enough to guilt me into heading to the Pettit to run laps. It was very cold in there tonight, perfect running weather (indoors ha).

I went with the intention of doing 3 miles and calling it quits. But I got into a groove in the first half mile. I was in the zone. Left. Right. Left. Right. So after the first mile I decided I would go for 4 miles tonight.

As I approached 3mi, I realized I hadn’t yet seen my favorite Pettit walker – the #shakeweightlady*. Seriously, I love her. I was getting worried that I hadn’t yet seen her and told myself that I’d quit at 4 unless I saw her. If I saw her I would go for 5mi. Even thought the farthest I’ve ever ran without walking was 3.5 mi and that was on Saturday.

As I approached the 14th lap, guess who I saw?

The #shakeweightlady, wearing 80s floral hammer pants. I kid you not. It was a sign if I’ve ever seen one. So I powered on and rocked out 5 miles, doing negative splits for the last 2 laps. Fuck yeah.

Achievement, unlocked.

See also: long run for the week, complete.

* Background on #shakeweightlady: I see her just about EVERY time I run at the Pettit on a weeknight. She wears shape ups and carries not one, but two shakeweights as she walks around the track. Sometimes she holds them up above her head and shakes them. She kind of dresses like a trashy homeless person from the 80s. Lately, her attire of choice has included “juicy” sweats plus a tea-length stonewashed denim jacket. She has also upgraded from the women’s shakeweight to the men’s version. Here are a couple of pictures from when I saw her in April:

100 Mile Challenge, Accepted

One of my long-term fitness goals is to have a single month where I workout (run/walk/bike) 100 miles. This may be a small feat for some people I know who do that much in a week, but for me it’s a BFD.

Take a look at my previous 12 months of workouts on dailymile:

As you can see, I haven’t come close to 100 miles in the past year (the closest I have ever got was June of 2010, with 96 miles).

I know that if I got on my bike more I could probably hit the mileage, I just don’t bike as much as I did when I lived on the east side.

So this month, as I always do mid-month, I went to check my mileage. I saw 48, which is pretty good for me, based on the past 12 months.

I tweeted:

I figured it would be pretty difficult for me to accomplish 52 miles in 11 days. That’s like, 5 miles a day. And it’s like a billionty degrees out right now.

Then, I received the following from @tiffanyannweber:

See our following exchange:
Not one to turn down a challenge, I accepted Tiffany’s challenge to do 100 miles this month, not only to accomplish one of my personal goals, but to raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

Want to play along? Post a comment below and pledge to kick Crohn’s and Colitis in the ostomy bag. Pledge 1 penny, dime, quarter or dollar per mile – and you only have to fulfill your pledge if I break 100 miles this month.

Follow the journey at Dailymile!

C’mon, what are you waiting for?

Race Report: Dances With Dirt – Devil’s Lake

” I realize that my participation in this event entails the risk of injury or even death.”

Perhaps, just perhaps, I should have paid closer attention to the Dances with Dirt waiver.

“I realize that the course for the (DWD) presents a number of potential dangers to me and I hereby assume the risk arising from all of them. I realize that I will be running on a variety of surfaces, some of them far less than perfect, including but not limited to roads, unimproved trails, mud, swamps, cliffs, lumpy fields covered with waist high grass and river crossings. The roads are open to motor vehicle traffic that has the right of way. I know that broken bones, reactions to poison ivy, insect bites and bruising are common occurrences in this extreme event and that I will be far into the wilderness away from medical support. I realize that the danger of injury and even death exists as well and I hereby assume all the risks that may be present on the (DWD) course.”

Let’s move on to the race info that was emailed out to participants the week before the race:

  • DWD is an adventurous trail run with difficult and stupid sections. Crying is acceptable.
  • IF YOU’VE RUN FOR 3 MINUTES WITHOUT SEEING A RIBBON OR FLAG, YOUR DECISION TO CONTINUE FORWARD IS MORONIC.
  • 10K Virgin voyage 2011 (first year)

What in the HELL did I get myself into? Read on.

It all started Friday night when Rochelle, Annie, Tracey, Matt, Marty and I drove up to meet Krista and Evan at Devil’s Head Resort in Merrimac. Rochelle, Annie and Tracey headed to the resort to check in and the rest of us set up camp.

Me and Krista, representing Dailymile while beering and camping

We headed into Baraboo for some good ol’ fashioned spaghetti and meatballs. The Mama Mia’s staff were so sweet and stayed open late just for us!

Then it was back to camp for more beer and this awesome campfire:

Why yes, that IS two citronella candles chillin’ on a smokey joe. Don’t judge. You’re just jealous you didn’t think of it first.

I woke up early enough to see my friends off to their races. Annie, Rochelle, Tracey, Krista and Marty all did the marathon. Evan and Matt did the half marathon… then there was me. The lone 10k-er.

I wasn’t really worried or all that nervous before the race. This was just a fun run on the trails while my friends ran a marathon. I’d finish and head back to camp for beer.

I headed to the start line just before 8 a.m. Then I heard the announcer say, “Oh hey 10k-ers. By the way, you’re going to wish you signed up for the half marathon. This is the most difficult 10k I’ve ever seen.”

Um. No.

What?

Then the race started. So I ran. Then we got to the ski hill. You know, the one we had to RUN UP.

I know. Who in the hell runs up a ski hill?

The race bottle-necked at the base of the hill, which was fine with me. “I’m good with this pace. Carry on,” I proclaimed to much laughter.

After the initial incline, the pack began to thin out. I couldn’t help but wonder what I had gotten myself into. It was HOT.

It doesn’t look steep, but trust me, it’s not fun.

When I reached the top of the hill, I was pretty excited. I was only a little slower than I had planned and it was uphill. Winning! Just do a 5k up here then I get to head back down! Wheeee!

I picked up speed and ran through the woods. I passed two or three people. Hells yeah. I’m doing this. I’m rocking this.

Oh fuck.

Yep. I fell. Hard. Forward.

I cut up my legs, arms and even got a hole in my summer running tights. Oh, and I landed right on my left thumb. But more on that later.

I shook it off and kept going.

Then, I came to what can only be described as a steep steep hill (yes, double steep) with shoulder-high grass where race organizers  probably sent someone the day before to stomp a path down the hill. So there was this tiny itty bitty path on this double steep hill and the only path was slippery grass mixed with fresh mud. You see where this is going, right?

I basically fell down this hill. For more than half a mile. Every few steps I would slip and slide down further on my ass. It got pretty comical. Step step step step BOOM slide. Repeat. I counted seven falls down the hill. I grabbed anything and everything to maintain my balance, including thorny bushes. I even got my hair stuck in a small tree while the rest of my body tried to fall down the hill. I took baby steps, sideways down the hill to maintain balance. I went so slow. Then I reached the bottom. Yay! Water stop! Yay! Catching up with the other slow people.

Confession: I don’t know these ladies or their names. But we commiserated at 3.5 miles into the 10k. Notice the smiles? Those were gone in about 60 seconds.

Why? The colored flags denoting the race path started sneaking…. up. Yes, UP. UP ANOTHER DAMN SKI HILL. This one was so much worse than the first.

The heat and humidity were starting to hit me and my asthma… hard. Every 5-10 steps I had to stop to catch my breath and pray I didn’t die. I sent the ladies pictured above along with a nice man named Mark on ahead. I was overly dramatic and told them to “Save yourselves. Leave me be. I’m gonna puke. It’s not going to be pretty. I’ll catch up later.”

And now we come to the part of the day where I completely lost about 30 minutes of my life. Seriously. Somehow it took me 30  minutes to go half a mile up a hill. And I don’t really remember any of it. I was dizzy. I was hallucinating. I’m pretty sure it was heat exhaustion. I drank some of my water. Took a couple sport beans. I dreamed of laying down and passing out. I know that I never let myself sit down or lay down, but I really don’t know what happened. But then I got to (what I thought was) the top of the ski hill! WINNING! Here’s what the look down was like.

I entered a wooded area. Yay! Shade! Less than a quarter mile later, this is what I saw:

I was only half way up the damn ski hill. I started sobbing. I couldn’t believe what a tease the course was. I thought I was at the top of the hill. I wasn’t even close. Luckily, it wasn’t nearly as steep, but it was still UP.

I struggled to the top and then started to feel a bit better. I did some jogging as I headed back in and out of the wooded areas and down the “easy” ski hill. I didn’t push my speed because I really didn’t want to pass out. I knew I was going to be the last person to finish the 10k so there really wasn’t any type of time goal. Just finish. And, #dontdie.

Eventually, I heard some music. I heard cheering. I knew I was getting close to the finish line. I stumbled through the finish line and was given my medal. No one cheered. I don’t think anyone even knew I was running the race because I looked like a stumbling drunk.

How badass is this? EXTREME 10k indeed!

One of the volunteers gave me an ice cold bottle of water. That water was heaven. She asked how I was doing. I think she could tell something was off. I told her I didn’t know if I was ok. She offered to walk me to the med tent but I said I could do it. I didn’t know if I needed it though. So I kind of wandered like a crazy person at the finish, drinking gatorade, water, whatever I could get my hands on.

I saw Matt. He said he and Evan were worried about me because they thought I was going to finish an hour earlier. Yeah, me too. He offered to get me things. I just sort of mumbled and started throwing down my ipod, garmin, spibelt and kicked off my shoes. I walked straight to the make-shift shower near the finish line and stood under the cool stream of water for 5-10 minutes. That was the most amazing ghetto shower I’ve ever taken. It cooled me off enough I didn’t need to go to the med tent. I washed off all my cuts and scrapes and scrubbed off the mud. Then I stumbled to the food table and sloppily ate half a chocolate muffin. omg. chocolate. muffin.

I changed, grabbed my chair and the beer and chilled at the finish line with Evan and Matt to await our friends’ arrival. Mmmm beer.

No amount of training could have adequately prepared me for this race. Based on previous trail runs, I expected to finish in about 2:05 with an ultimate goal of 1:50. My official time: 2:41:26.

Injuries: countless bruises, cuts, scrapes, thorns, sunburn, a bunch of busted blood vessels and a sprained thumb.

SPLITS: 21:55, 22:03, 19:33, 48:31, 32:10, 17:15*

*NOTE: these are incorrect, as when I practically crawled up the ski hill (2nd) my garmin kept jacking up with the satellites, so it said I did 5.85 mi when it was really 6.2. I’m sure the trees didn’t help, either.

UPDATE: 28 things to do before 29

We’re 6.5 months into my 29th year of life and I figured it’s about time for an update on my 28 things to do before 29. Here’s a reminder:

  • um… I need to get on this pronto.
  • I moved. I’m now living in limbo.
  • see above
  • Yay! Beep can shake (left paw) and kick (right paw).
  • Officially postponed to year 30. But I’m doing like 3 or 4 half marathons, so that’s gotta count for something.
  • I have a couple of ideas… still pondering location
  • I have concepts but no formal proposal
  • I don’t think this is going to happen. I may need to change this goal to do 100 miles of activity in 1 month.
  • Working on this.
  • I have a couple of leads.
  • Something tells me this won’t happen any time soon. (sadsies)
  • Check! I took a Citizen’s Police Academy class!
  • Check! Just spent a long weekend visiting my sister, and my parents and brother and I have monthly game nights planned.
  • fail.
  • I still have time. Unless one of you guys wants to buy this for me.
  • Been doing pretty good at this as of late.
  • Check for acupuncture. Uncheck for yoga.
  • Check! Update for FitMilwaukee.com coming soon!
  • I need to do this more.
  • Checkity check!
  • Getting better at this – try to take SM breaks on weekends.
  • I’m so much better at saying NO to others and YES to me.
  • Check!
  • Check!
  • I’m so good at hacking, just not creating.
  • I don’t have the program to do this. But I really really really want to.
  • All my stuff is in boxes.
  • every.damn.day.

Update: I had this set up as OL (numbered list) but apparently, it doesn’t want to play that way. suck it.

My Secret 5k

My trainer has been wanting me to RUN a 5k without stopping to walk. This is the first step in the run-a-half-marathon-without-walking training plan.

So, while I was in Minnesota this weekend visiting my sister, I decided I would do a 5k. I didn’t know anyone there, which was weird. I always know at least someone at a race. Clearly, I wasn’t in Wisconsin anymore.

So about a week and a half ago, I registered for the Independence Races 5k in Minneapolis. The course was around Lake Harriet (and would have been beautiful if I was able to see the lake during the race… but more on this later).

This race was the epitome of how NOT to organize a race. Seriously. I was so angry I couldn’t even be happy about PRing by 3:15 or running this 5k without stopping to walk.

For example:

  • The only waterstop was at 2.67mi. In July. In the humid heat of Minnesota. WTF.
  • They ran out of water/gatorade at the finish line (and there were more than 100 10k-ers still on the course when I finished).
  • There wasn’t any food at the finish line. Well except for those stupid Flavor-Ice thingys.
  • I registered online last week. They specifically asked for sex-specific shirt size. I registered for a women’s XL. All they had were Men’s S. Clearly, this shirt isn’t going to fit me.
  • There was chip timing, but my “official” time was the gun time, and not the chip time. What’s the point of having chips if you’re not going to use them.
  • When you tell me I’m going to be running around a lake, I expect I will be able to see the lake during the run. This race was around the lake, but it was on the parkway around the lake – not the running trail around the lake. I saw short glimpses of the lake, but it was less than scenic. Hi trees. Hi houses. Hi cops keeping people from driving onto the parkway.

While I’m happy about PRing, I feel I could have done better, but the cards were just stacked against me Saturday. My calves were tight and this course was not as flat as I was told. And while I did run the whole race, there was about 20 sec where I think I might have walked up a steep hill. My lungs were on fire in the heat/humidity.

Splits: 15:14, 15:31, 14:40, 1:40 (12:08 pace for .14 mi)

Overall pace: 14:59
Distance: 3.15
Time: 47:05