Strides for Crohn’s

Do you walk? Do you run? Do you like to drink beer and eat food for a great cause? If you answered yes to any of these questions, Strides for Crohn’s is the event for you.

For just $25, you get to go for a fun run with some cool people, PLUS a t-shirt and a beer.

WHAT: 2(ish) fun run/walk, raffles, food, beer, etc
WHEN: Sunday, November 13. Packet pickup begins at 11 a.m., fun run to start around noon.
WHERE: Horny Goat Hideaway (2011 South 1st Street, Milwaukee, WI 53207)
HOW MUCH: $25 before 11:59 p.m. November 6th, $30 thereafter.

If you don’t feel like running or walking, you can still help the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Just head on down to the Horny Goat Hideaway from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. November 13th for some food, drinks and fun! A percentage of all drink and food sales will be donated to the CCFA.

Space is very limited for the run, so don’t delay! Register today!

Visit www.stridesforcrohns.com to register.

Mama & Papa Kant join the 5k club

Today was my parents very first 5k! When I started running last year, I think part of the “getting active” bug wore off on them. This winter, they asked if we could do a 5k walk sometime this spring, and of course I jumped at the chance to do it!

Lining up before the race

I was their pacer 😉 and I could tell that the first mile I took a little too fast so I slowed it down a li’l for the last 2. I’m so proud of my parents! I hope they catch the bug and do more 5ks soon! I know it won’t be running, but I’m happy to get them out there!

After the 5k! We Did It!

This race will always hold a special place in my heart – last year, the very first race I did was the Brown Deer Run. Now it’s my parents’ first 5k as well. YAY!

Oh, and a bunch of my coworkers came out and did the race too. They all ran or ran/walked so I caught up with them after the race for bloody marys. Don’t judge.

The Real Milwaukee/FOX6/Sara's Friends Gang

The Great Milwaukee Race

Last year I joined three friends in running The Great Milwaukee Race, an urban scavenger hunt across the city. This year, with my bigger role with FitMKE, I’m helping plan the race! In fact, I just designed the race website. Check it out!

So, what’s The Great Milwaukee Race? It’s an adventure for everyone. Teams of 2-4 people will get clues to seek locations throughout the city. They will travel on foot and perform fun tasks at each location then move on to the next. This is a team race that is part foot race, part trivia and part challenges. Teams of 2-4 players must solve clues to find checkpoints throughout the downtown area. Once the checkpoints are reached, the teams must complete the challenge before moving on. Each team must determine their own route to the checkpoints. Depending on the route chosen, the total course mileage should be 6-8 miles.

Registration opens March 1st at 9 a.m., so get your team together today!

3 dogs, 3 miles, 1 wedding, 5 burrs, 1 NEHOD, a little dog conference and countless bathroom breaks

Try taking three little dogs for a walk. I dare you.

I’m watching Gizmo and Bandit this weekend because my parents are in Minnesota visiting family. I knew I would have to get a 3-4 miler in with them and Beep sometime this weekend, so we went Saturday afternoon. What a beautiful day.

We started on Wahl near Lake Park and continued alone Lake Drive through Lake Park and then down the hill at Lincoln Memorial Drive. We did a few running intervals (never more than about .2 miles because the dogs would get tangled in their leashes). We had countless potty/poop breaks but overall it was good. Well, until we found the burrs. ugh. that was a mess.

We continued down Lincoln Memorial Drive to Bradford Beach and took the trail/bridge across LMD and up to Wahl or whatever that street is near the water tower. Along this path, which was paved but covered in leaves, so it was a bit slippery. It is also a pretty steep trek up the hill. Half way up, we ran into a couple walking a pug and a mini dauschund and it was a mess/tangle of little dogs on leashes. We all couldn’t stop laughing and the guy said, “It’s a little dog conference!”

We got to the top and continued north toward Lake Park. When we hit the car, we were at about 2.5 mi and since I really wanted to hit at least 3, we continued on the path toward the lighthouse… and encountered a HUGE wedding party taking pictures. So if you know someone who got married and took pictures at the lighthouse, please give them my best and my apologies for having 3 dogs walk through the scene. We continued to the parking lot by the golfing/lawn bowling and headed back to Lake Drive and south to the car.

By the end, Gizmo and Bandit were spent, but Beep looked like she could have gone another mile or two. That dog never ceases to amaze me. She’s 7.8 lbs! My goodness.

I thought I would have 3 tired-ass dogs when I got home but now there’s wrestling and taunting going on.

As for me, I felt great most of the run/walk. I never stopped my Garmin, so this pace isn’t really accurate when you take into account the bathroom stops, burrs and encounters with other dogs. My foot started to ache a bit around 2.8ish so I’m doing a lot of stretching and icing tonight… I have 6 miles on the schedule for tomorrow. I’ll be taking it slow tomorrow. The plan is just to cover the miles, not to worry about pace. I hope my foot holds up! Luckily, my cardio fitness has drastically improved this year and its so much easier for my body to get oxygen on these run/walks. I am much less reliant on my inhaler, which is AWESOME. In fact, today I didn’t take it before I went out and didn’t need it at all during the walk. 😉

Do as I say, not as I do

I’ve been struggling with something for awhile now and I can’t keep it bottled up anymore. I’ve tried to be upbeat and positive about this whole sprained foot fiasco. Oh wait, you don’t know about this do you?

Yeah, that’s right. I never blogged about it. Why? Well, I kept putting it off… and off… and off… until I started getting bitter today about he whole thing. Sure, I tweeted about it and made posts on DailyMile, but I never really blogged about how it made me feel. Here goes.

I was scared.

My left foot pain is getting worse, not better. I’m so scared something is wrong that will knock me out of training for Napa. Please send some healing thoughts/prayers my way. Pretty sure I’ll be going to the doctor today. 🙁

I was relieved.

FOOT UPDATE: It’s a sprain of sorts. I have to take it easy and I should be able to still run/walk the Wine Country Half Marathon. Basically, taper is starting a week early. 🙁

I was sad.

feeling like I won’t get to RUN a 5k… ever. #jth says I can jog or walk SLOWLY on thurs. #fitmke #sadmke

I was bitter.

all of you running the storm the bastille tomorrow can suck it.#bitter #sadface #norunningtilnapa

Last month, I had to “take it easy” for the Great Milwaukee Race. I wasn’t supposed to run. But, I didn’t want to let my teammates down so I ran a bit (this was before I knew the foot was sprained). Then I had my long build-up run/walks for training for the half marathon. I did 8 miles… then almost 9… then just over 10 miles. All on a sprained foot. Yep. I am pretty badass. Or stubborn. One of the two.

Luckily, the diagnosis came a week before my taper was to begin, so instead of doing my last long run/walk of 12 miles… I started taking it easy and tapering back early. On the one hand, awesome. On the other, crap.

I had a “come to Jesus” conversation with my trainer via text message the day I went to the doctor. Here’s how it went:

Me: This sucks.

John: Why? It will be fine!

Me: Because I want to do it all 🙁

John: U will just not this week, u wanna be fit for life, not just a couple of months, right?

Me: Yeah. You’re right. I know I need to listen I just don’t want to. Haven’t had an “easy” week since I began training for the half

John: That could be part of the reason u are hurt at the moment.

Me: Prolly. Guess I’m just afraid of going back to my old routine of nothing. Know what I mean?

John: I will drag ur punk ass out of ur house and make u workout if u do!

Me: Deal.

I have tried to accept the fact that I had to stop running. I have tried to accept the fact that I had to drop out of a 5k two weeks ago. I have tried (and failed) to accept the fact that I can’t run the Storm the Bastille 5k tomorrow. This race is especially hard for me to miss because back when I decided to start this journey, my goal race was to run the Storm the Bastille on July 8. Sure, I am freaking doing a half marathon next week, but I can’t help but feel like a complete failure. My one, measly goal – Run the Storm the Bastille – #amyfail. Yes, my goals have changed. I can do 3.1 miles in my sleep. But I haven’t actually RAN a full 5k yet. This has been a psychological barrier for me and I have been eagerly anticipating the chance to show myself I can RUN a 5k.

Then there’s this whole all-these-people-donated-money-for-charity-because-I-said-I-would-do-a-half-marathon-and-I-went-and-overdid-things-and-may-have-put-the-whole-race-at-risk factor. Yup. I’m doing this whole get healthy journey for me. And I am worried about what my family and friends will think if I fail miserably next weekend. When I started training, my goal was to be at a solid 15 minute mile pace (4mph). I’m quite certain if I was able to run more, I would have no problem maintaining this pace. However, due to all of my training setbacks (including the knee problems a few months ago), I have been logging a solid 16:30-17:30 walking pace. So now, my new time goal is in the 3:30-4:00 range. I know I shouldn’t compare myself to others… but I have friends who are in the sub-4:00 MARATHON time range. And I’m just praying I can do a sub-4:00 HALF MARATHON. It’s a kick to the ol’ ego, that’s for sure.

I need to stop putting myself through this, but I can’t help it. There was a time (just months ago), where I couldn’t understand why some of my friends were working out ALL the time. They were running 7-8 miles FOR FUN. My idea of a good time was ordering a pizza, drinking a 6-pack of beer and watching basic cable Law & Order: SVU marathons. My idea of a good time was certainly not training for a HALF MARATHON. SVU Marathons are much more entertaining.  Now, ordering a pizza, drinking beer and watching SVU Marathons is still high on my list of fun times… but the times I’ve been able to run – actually RUN – I can’t describe the feeling as anything short of euphoric. It’s amazing what the human body is capable of. And I know mine is capable of running.

I know I need to listen to my trainer, my coach, my doctors… but I can’t help feeling like I’m a failure. I feel like giving up. I feel like putting on my fat pants. I feel like burying my sorrow in peanut butter M&Ms, fruity cocktails, microbrews, high-carb, high-fat meals… (and trust me, I have done this in recent weeks). But I know that is giving in. I can’t fall back to the old Amy. I can’t let the old fat girl win. The new fat girl is so much more fun. She feels better. She can walk up flights of stairs without losing her breath. She is 10 days away from completing a half marathon (at 250 lbs, none the less). She needs to get over herself, put on her big-girl underwear and stop being such a baby.

I guess what I’m trying to say is… don’t be stupid like I’ve been. Be smart. Accept your setbacks. Grow a pair.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

First it was good. Then it was really good. Then it was ok. Then it was meh. Then it was bad. Then it was really bad. Then it was oh-my-god-I’m-going-to-die. Then it was over.

My left foot/ankle bothered me quite a bit yesterday. I’m not sure what happened. I iced it on and off all afternoon and evening, hoping it would feel better.

When I woke up today it was a little bit better, but not great. I did not have high expectations for today’s run/walk. I was completely prepared to do a couple of miles and go home.

Around the first half mile mark, Coach Anne asked if I was going to run down the hill (I like to run down the hill at Lincoln Memorial Drive cuz it makes me feel fast). I told her that I would probably run down the hill and how I felt at the end would determine if I’d run any more today.

Well I started running. And I kept running. Before I knew it, I was by the Northpoint custard stand which is the 2mi mark of the route. And I was running. woah. I walked for the next 3/4 of a mile. Then I started running again. And I kept running. My pace was slowing considerably but I just kept going because I was afraid of what would happen when I stopped. I continued running til I got to Lake Shore State Park and then walked the first half to 3/4 mi of the loop. Then I started running again. I continued running (ok at this point it was more like a shuffle) to Discovery World. Then I realized that the route I thought was 10 miles was actually going to be more like 9 and I got mad and I went up Michigan past Discovery World out onto the pier to add some mileage. It was about half a mile but whatever. It was some additional mileage.

By this point my foot was starting to hurt more, but I kept alternating between walking and running for a bit longer. As I passed the lagoon the pain started getting worse. My pace was slowing. And slowing. And slowing. I ran out of water and bought a bottle from a vendor at the entrance to Veterans Park. I kept going even though the pain was getting worse. I was determined to show the lakefront who’s boss. As I reached McKinley Marina, I knew there was no way I would be running any more. The pain was getting worse. I was glad I had sunglasses on because I’m pretty sure I was crying a bit.

I’ll be honest. There were times during the last couple of miles that all I wanted to do was sit down and cry and call someone to come pick me up. But I didn’t. I kept going, despite the pain.

When I got to the Lake Park Bistro stairs and stared up Lincoln Memorial I knew there was no way I was going to make the last mile of our normal loop. So I cut it short and practically crawled up the stairs. No joke. It was so painful going up those stairs. My knees were aching. My ankle/foot was throbbing. I made it to the top and collapsed near the picnic bench Becky was sitting at. I almost lost it then but managed to keep my shiz together as I talked about what happened.

The rest of the day I was really depressed about what happened today. I focused on the bad so much I forgot that I RAN 1.5 miles today. And then another mile. And then a half mile. And then another mile or so.

I’m going to spend the next couple of days resting my foot and hoping that some RICE action will get it better so I don’t throw off my training. Here’s hoping my workouts at the beginning of the week are more strength-focused than cardio. Cuz the treadmill and eliptical aren’t happening.

SPLITS: 15:51, 15:13, 18:08, 16:17, 18:03, 17:33, 18:10, 19:39

Another 8 miles down

Sunday’s 8 miles was felt so much better than last week. That’s partly because of the heat, but also because I rock. (Let’s be honest here). I was more into this mentally than I was last week. I had myself freaked out. This week, I kept a fairly consistent pace and was able to do a little running at the beginning, the middle and the end. In fact, I was so determined to do a sub 2:20 today that I ran the last quarter mile. 😉

Around mile 1.5, Marge caught up to me so we stuck together for the remainder of the training run/walk. I think it helped us both keep moving knowing that we couldn’t slow down too much because of the other. We did a couple li’l running intervals by the Art Museum. After the turnaround, we were both very pumped to realize we were leading the pack of walkers! So we were determined to keep that going and kept the pace going for the last 4 miles.

I realized that around mile 4-5, I’m definitely hurting, but once I push through that… by mile 6 or so it sort of goes numb and it isn’t until I stop moving that my legs hurt again. I’m sure that as I do more and more of these long distances, that my body will adjust and I will hit that pain max at a later mile. It is really funny though that by mile 6 it didn’t matter anymore. It was totally mental by that point.

Somehow I ended up with 8.1 so whatever, I’ll take it. Oh, and I crushed last week’s time for the 8 miles by more than 5 min!!! Sha-weeeet!

SPLITS: 16:33, 16:55, 17:35, 17:47, 17:37, 18:26, 18:06, 16:56

PS Can anyone tell me what the difference between Ave Pace and Ave Moving Pace on the Garmin means?

My first 5k!

Today I completed my very first 5k race! It was not without some hiccups along the way, but I feel such a sense of accomplishment! Here’s how it all went down.

Last night, I went to the Brewers game and tailgated heavily prior to the game. Got to bed super late, woke up with gutrot. Tried to eat some oatmeal but I was all sorts of nervous so it didn’t go over well. Got to the race in Brown Deer and received my race bib, timing chip and tshirt. Look!!! My first race bib!

I met up with some DailyMile and FitMilwaukee peeps before the race, but to be honest with you I don’t know what we talked about. I was so freaking nervous. My stomach was all over the place. I was praying I wouldn’t fall down, pass out or throw up. And you know what? I didn’t!

My goal was to finish in less than 55 min, with the super goal being to do it in 50 minutes or less (based on my current pace). And I DID IT!!! Of course, my knees hate me and my lungs were burning by the end, but I’m so happy with how this turned out. I was lucky enough to have the help of Rachel M as my “running” buddy. We’re both in a similar place weight and fitness-wise so we hoped our paces would mesh, which they did. It was nice to have the extra push. We ran the first 4 or 5 blocks then walked, ran a bit in the middle, and the ran the last 3 blocks or so. If you were only at the start/finish line, you would have thought we ran the whole thing, which was part of my secret plan. 😉 I was also happy to see more people behind us (even if they were doing the 10k)… because being the last person to finish would have been a bit difficult for me.

As it were, I was the second-to-last woman to finish the race. And you know what? I don’t care. I finished. I didn’t give up when it was tough. I didn’t say “oh this is too tough, I’m gonna sneak into this person’s house and hide til the race is over.” I finished with a consistent pace and couldn’t be more proud.

Here’s my official stats from the race results site:

I am so blessed to have you twitter/dailymile/facebook peeps. Anne and Rochelle came out along with Mike (who I just met today) to cheer us on. I held back tears as I was hitting the finish line because there were people CHEERING for ME! It’s so amazing to experience that. Thank you guys. Seriously, that meant the WORLD to me. #lovefest The only thing missing was my family and I know they’ll be there to cheer me on at many races to come. And, well, I may or may not have forgotten to ask them to come. LOL.

Stats according to my Garmin: 15:40, 16:54, 15:46 and the last .14 miles – 14:11.

Here are a few photos, courtesy Michael, Anne and Meghan:

PS – if you have a chance, congratulate my friend Tracey. She finished 2nd female overall and won her age bracket with a time of 22:52 finish. That means Tracey did the 5k in 27:08 minutes faster than me! Of course, to be fair, she’s been running for awhile and she’s the cutest li’l thing.

The one with the dog attack

Today was the most bizarre day of my life. First, I got to spend the afternoon with Danny Gokey, taking photos while he had a photo shoot and then shot a commercial for Wisconsin Vision… (see the pix here).

It ended up being almost an 11-hour workday. Whatevs, it happens. So then, I headed off to West Allis to have dinner with my parents and get my walk in for my half marathon training.

I changed into my workout gear and suited the dogs up in their harnesses and leashes and we were off. We kept a good pace going and even ran for a bit (which they LOVED). They were behaving so well. I was so proud of them. And then, it happened.

We were about 2/3 of a mile into the walk and this little french bulldog came barreling out of a house towards my dogs. He sort of tried to smell them and then he went right after Bandit. He had Bandit’s entire lower jaw IN HIS MOUTH. So of course, I’m FREAKING OUT trying to get Bandit out of his grip and keeping Gizmo from beating the shit out of this dog. Seriously, Gizmo looked like he was out to kill. All the while the owner just stood by the garage calling for the dog to come over. Finally I looked up at her and said, “would you come get your damn dog? He’s eating my Bandit!!!” It took both of us to get Bandit out of his grip. I have the battle wounds to prove it. I checked Bandit over and he wasn’t bleeding or anything so I grabbed him up and headed back home. And then I lost it. I called my dad to come meet us. I was sobbing uncontrollably for a few blocks on 84th street just south of Lincoln. My arm hurt so I pushed up my sleeve and I saw a pretty gross looking tooth mark but wasn’t really worried about me.

I sat on the sidewalk and cried and tried to tweet what happened (see above). My hands were shaking so much and my heart was racing (at least I got a decent heart rate going on my walk, right?). My parents came and then my mom took the dogs and my dad walked back with me to the house to get the owner’s info. The dog is fully vetted and she’s going to send me the paperwork to prove it tomorrow. The owner had the BALLS to ask me how I knew it was HER dog that bit me. I replied, “BECAUSE YOUR DOG HAD MY DOG IN HIS MOUTH.” Bitch.

I don’t need stitches or anything so I’m not calling the cops. If Bandit would have been bleeding or I needed stitches, I so would have busted her butt for the incident.

Hopefully tomorrow’s workout will be less eventful.

oh, so after this all happened, I cleaned up my wounds, my parents took me to Subway (we WERE going to grill chicken)… and then I went to Rodiez’s Running Store for a shoe clinic with Team Challenge. As I was headed home I got the most amazing phone call. My aunt is on the way to Mayo Clinic. They found her a liver!!! EEEEEK! Our prayers have been answered!

5 miles in 81 minutes

Remember when I walked on a treadmill at the RACC expo for 2 hours? I had a distance of 5.6 miles.

Today, I did 4.9 miles in 81 minutes.

In the past 6 weeks, I have increased my speed from 21.5 minute miles to 16.5 minute miles. I shaved off 5 minutes from my speed in 6 weeks. HOLLER.

Here’s some pictures from my walk today. It was gorgeous out. I couldn’t help but enjoy the sunshine!

If you’re viewing this blog in a reader, you’ll probably have to click through to the site to see the gallery above.