F*@K Mother Nature


Happy Spring (?)!

It sure doesn’t feel like the first day of spring when our temps are single digits in the morning with double digit BELOW zero windchills.  Ugggg.  I have been super crabby the past few days and I have NO doubt that it is, in part, due to this sucky weather.  It’s funny, I can tolerate this type of weather in December and January and even February because it’s expected.  But when this crap happens at the end of March – in SPRING – I am not happy.  It makes me angry, actually.

So today after days of treadmill and/or skipping my run, I said NO MORE to Mother Nature.  Cold or not, I’m running.  Outside.  I can’t handle the treadmill.  And my body can’t handle not running – it makes me crabby and flabby when I don’t run.  So today I laced up the shoes and ran 8 miles with 4 x 800m at about 10k pace OUTSIDE, with temp of 15 and a windchill of 2 degrees.  But it felt fabulous.  It instantly lifted my spirits.  It made everything else that seems to be falling apart feel a tiny bit less sucky.

Deep breaths.


Just call me The Postman

I’m like the Postman – there isn’t any weather that will keep me from getting the job done.*

Facebook and twitter and the radio and newspapers were all FILLED with Minnesotans talking about how cold it was today.  The weather people were calling it “dangerously” cold and warning of frost bite occurring within minutes.  Well, the way I saw it today, I had two choices:  Run outside (-11 temp, with -33 windchill) or don’t run (I didn’t have a treadmill option today).  As I was listening/reading this cold weather talk and making my choice – I did think of my BFF’s Adam and Tim and their talk about the line between Tough and Stupid.  I didn’t want to run if doing so would jeopardize my safety or injure me.  Running is too important to me. But I DO have a marathon to race in just 6 weeks.  So I did what anyone training for two spring marathons would do – I chose running.   I just bundled up!


I’m under there somewhere!  The band on my forehead is light pink, it’s not my skin.  The only tiny bit of skin that was exposed was the bridge of my nose. I debated wearing ski goggles so that even that wouldn’t be exposed. 🙂 While I was running I had visions of that little patch of skin getting frost bitten and turning black and dying.  Blech.  I had on THREE layers of everything.  And after about a mile, I was seriously sweating my ass off.  It really wasn’t that bad – especially because the sun was out.  I had planned on 8 – 10 miles, but ended up stopping after 5 because I felt so HEAVY from all the layers of clothing.  (Though, I did start to freak myself out and think that maybe my body was feeling heavy because it had frozen solid and I was going to collapse and die on the side of the road.  Dramatic, I know).  Anyway – it’s all good.  I’m alive and well.  No decayed, frost bitten skin.  No aches, no pains. 🙂

And I wasn’t the only nut case out there today.  I saw two other runners and my daughter’s nordic ski team did a time trial in what she called “a million degrees below zero”.  Those crazy high school kids.

*Only today, the post man didn’t get the job done.  But that would be because of MLK day, not because of the 30 below windchill.

Attention CA runners: Quit Bitching About “Cold”

running weather comic

I was reading through blogs last night and ran across a post from a runner in San Diego – complaining about how hard it was to get up at 5:45 a.m. to run because it’s so cold and dark.  I know cold is relative.  But seriously???  If you live in San Diego you should not be allowed to bitch about running outdoors and it being cold.  You have clear footing.  And “cold” is probably 40 degrees.  So just stop.

On Monday we are supposed to have HIGH of -3, with -30 windchills.  And as long as the footing is clear, you will find me out on the streets.*  Without bitching.  Because it’s better than the treadmill.  And it’s running.

* I will admit that -3 is too cold for the 300m intervals that I had scheduled, so my miles will be slow and easy.

Kicking Off 2012 With a HM PR!

I ran the Polar Dash Half Marathon this morning, kicking off 2012 with a 4+ minute PR (sort of*).


  • 1:40:33 (7:41 pace)
  • 8/191 female
  • 4/34 female 40 – 44 age group
  • 53/396 overall

I wasn’t sure what to expect for this race today, given the last minute snow storm and the crazy wind that we woke up to.  I almost didn’t bother to go to the race, when I let Norah out this morning and the wind nearly blew her away.  But, I didn’t have anything else planned and I figured that I needed to get my long run in, so I could always just run it slow.

My plan, in ideal conditions, was to get a 1:42:44, which would have been a 2 minute PR (7:50).  Coach had suggested taking the first 2 miles slow, at 8:00, and picking it up from there.  BUT, when it ended up being so crazy slippery (seemingly) and windy, Coach posted on my FB page before the race that I should forget about trying to PR and just slow down and play it safe.

AWESOME start to the race when during the national anthem a bald eagle circled overhead and then flew off into the distance.  Very cool!

Weather at the start was 27 degrees, with 20 – 25 mph winds, windchill about 11 degrees.

When gun sounded, I went out with the 1:45 pace group (8:01).  I still wasn’t sure what I’d end up doing – being conservative or racing it.  I decided to see what the road conditions were like.  Turns out they were just fine.  No real slippery spots.  Snow in some areas, which made me have to slow down unless I could find a dry track to run in.  But overall, the roads themselves were pretty clear.  So, I stayed with the 1:45 pacer through mile 3.  Then I decided to pick it up a bit and see what I could do.

About mile 4 I saw my internet, now real life, runner friend Shawn  running on the sidewalk towards all the runners.  I shouted out to him and he joined me.  Thank goodness!    He reminded me that he is THE BEST pacer.  Ask Lora.  He asked if I wanted company.  Yes, please!  I was feeling good and speeding up, but Shawn reeled me in and kept me around 7:50, telling me I could wait til the second loop to speed up.  Guarantee if I was running on my own I would have crashed and burned.  It was so nice to have Shawn telling stories and distracting me on the uphills, and reminding me to pick it up on the downhills.  He left me at about mile 7, telling me he’d pick me up again about mile 10.

When I was on my own, from miles 7 – 10, I just kept reminding myself to take it one mile at a time and to try to stay right at 7:50.  During these miles I felt like I was working, but not like I was really RACING.

When Shawn found me again, about mile 10, I was starting to get tired.  My breathing was labored and maintaining 7:50 pace seemed much harder.  It was great to have him there to distract me and push me on the uphill though.  He commented several times that I look at my garmin alot while I run.  MUST start ignoring that thing, relaxing and just focusing on running by feel.  Part of the reason I was looking at it so much at this point though was because I did think the course measurements were off.  When we passed the 11 mile mark and my garmin said 10.75, it actually motivated me to really keep with it, kick it in a bit and hang in there, because I knew that no matter what I’d PR and that there was a potential for a monster PR.

During the last mile Shawn told me to reel in the woman in front of me in Vibrams.  Done.  Passed her.  During the last 1/4 mile I found another gear and sprinted past another lady.  Woot!  It felt so good to have energy at the end and be able to actually sprint towards the finish line (instead of the normal limp/crying that I do in marathons at the finish!).  Last mile was at 7:35 pace.

Crossing the finish line and seeing 1:40:33 was an awesome feeling and bodes well for races in 2012!  (That time predicts a 3:29 marathon finish; even when i account for the short course, the prediction tables say 3:33 for a marathon finish.  This is SO inspiring considering we are literally only in week #1 of marathon training.  Woot!)

* Although I’m not one to talk negative and put myself down, in the interest of full disclosure on this blog, my time really wasn’t this good.  The course measured short.  12.85 miles, rather than 13.1.   Not sure what the deal was, but I don’t think it was just my garmin, because others on the shuttle on the way back also said they were short.  However, it WAS a certified course, so I’m going with this as my new HM PR (especially because I think in decent weather conditions, I could easily do this time).  Still, even with the course measuring short, I would have had a 2+ minute PR, so I am very happy!


Even better than having a great race was having wings and beer with some of the running group later in the day.  I love me some wings.   And some beer.  Mix in good conversation and good running friends and it was a great way to end the day!

And, for the record, I got in my PJ’s at 7:15 last night and 5:15 tonight.  🙂   My favorite part about winter and cold stormy weather is not feeling guilty about early jammie time!

Starting on a New Ending . . .

It’s All About Me, week #2 did not go so well.  I focused on everyone BUT me, with a crazy busy week filled with holiday stuff, volunteer stuff, kid stuff and life headaches.  I had crappy nutrition – eating next to nothing one day and then binge eating peanut-butter balls and pizza the next day.   I let life craziness interfere with my planned return to lifting weights.  I am feeling really down.   I have isolated myself -cancelling plans that I had with a friend for dinner and with running peeps for group runs.

I KNOW all of this that I let happen this week is not good and that next week needs to be more about me, so that I am better able to handle life and make the holidays fun for the kids.  So I’m crossing my fingers that I can focus on myself this week!

Jeez, I’m sure my 5 readers will be dropping like flys and deleting me from their readers if I continue with this depressing attitude on the blog.  Enough!


I am happy that I was still able to maintain decent base-building mileage this week and have a few quality workouts.  My running week:

  • M: 6 miles w/ 5 x 2 min at 8:00 (8:49)
  • T:  pilates abs
  • W: 7.2 miles w/3 faster hill loops (8:00)
  • Th: 7.3 miles (8:18)
  • F:  3.7 miles (9:27)
  • Sa:  rest
  • Su:  14 miles (8:17)

I am also, as always, SO thankful that I am healthy and able to run.  Now, more than ever, I need running to clear my head, give me perspective and get me active.  Today was crazy beautiful out, for December 18th, with 40 degrees (wind though) and sun while I ran.  My 14 miles just flew by and did allow me to sort through some stuff that needed sorting through.  So so thankful for running and all that it does for me.  There is definitely truth to that saying “Running Is Cheaper Than Therapy”.

This next week is the last base building week and then Lansing Marathon training officially kicks off on December 26th!  I’m satisfied with my base building weeks, mileage and quality wise, but definitely know I need to add in some extras during training (as spelled out by my Coach MB in his most recent blog post).  I know if I try to incorporate all these extras right off the bat I will be setting myself up for failure, so I’m hoping to pick a few and work on them, and hopefully the other stuff will follow.  I’m thinking pilates, weights and sleep.  My mileage for the last 7 weeks of base building has been:  38.1; 33.7; 35.2; 40; 35.5; 41.8; 38.2.  My long runs haven’t been quite so great, with today’s 14 being the longest since Twin Cities.  However, I was pleased with it’s pace (8:17), that I did it without stopping (which I would have if I had been w/ the group) and that the last two miles of it were 7:55 and 7:44.


Finally, if you want to be inspired and think about what you shouldn’t be doing in your life (and, conversely, what you should be doing), take a look at this blog post that my sister sent me a link to today:  30 Things To Stop Doing To Yourself.  Holy crap!  When I read through this list, at least 1/2 of them applied to me in ways that are spot-on.   My guess is they apply to you too.  My favorite quote, from the beginning of the post, is “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  I hope I can take some of these things, and my New Year Resolutions, to heart and start NOW with making a new ending.  Here’s hoping for a happy ending!

Quit Your Bitching, Minnesotans!

Everywhere  you turn lately, Minnesotans are bitching about the heat.  YES, it sucks.  YES, it is insanely hot and HUMID (78 when I ran at 5:30 this morning; high later will be 97 with heat index making it feel like 115).  But it is what it is.  It doesn’t need to prevent you from getting  your workout in.

Cindi’s hot weather running tips:

  • Get up insanely early and get your run done before the sun rises.  It makes a HUGE difference.  It will make your run bearable.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  All day long.  Before your run.  During your run (carry water, even if you normally don’t).  After your run.  In the middle of the night.  And not just with water – use NUUN.  Drink gatorade.  Replace those electrolytes that you are losing like crazy when you sweat.
  • Adjust your workouts.  Slow the pace down.  Run easy.  If you are doing speed work, do shorter intervals or less intervals or rest longer between intervals.
  • Listen to your body. If you aren’t responding well to the heat, back off.
  • Change your attitude.  Instead of bitching about the heat, embrace the heat.  Think about how EASY your running is going to feel when the heat and humidity break.  Running in these conditions sucks now, but it will make you stronger.
If all else fails, think about those runs that you did in January and February, when you were bitching about how insanely COLD it was.  Better yet, go back and watch slide shows of running in the cold.  That should cool you down.  Here’s one for you:  my post-blizzard run, in pictures, from December 12 of last year.
This morning’s workout:  5.75 miles in 48:00 (8:23) with 2 of them hilly and at marathon pace (and since Coach ran with me, pace was pushed and the MP miles were 8:11 and 7:50;  Woot!)

The Good, The Bad and The Rainy

First track workout of the Grandma’s Marathon Advanced Training plan was scheduled for today.  Not ideal when the forecast called for 100% chance of rain and wind all day.  Uggggg!  Delay it til tomorrow?  Nope – tomorrow’s forecast calls for rain and snow.  Uggggg!  Plus, delaying it til later this week would stack an interval workout, tempo, medium effort and long run together, which didn’t sound too smart.  So I just decided to get track workout done today.

On tap:  10 miles, with ladder intervals 400m-800m-1200m-1600m-1200m-800m-400m, with 400m jog between intervals.  It didn’t say what pace to do.  From previous experience with intervals in Pfitz’ plan, I decided 5k pace.  Since I haven’t run a 5k for awhile, I decided to just go with what I’d LIKE my 5k pace to be (and it’s actually what I think I could run, on a good day).  So the goal was to have the intervals be around 7:00 minute mile pace.

The Good

  • I finished it!  Feels great to get one of the quality workouts done this early in the week.
  • It felt pretty good, given the conditions (see below)

The Bad

  • My paces were off of my goal of 7:00.  Not sure how much of it was due to overly ambitious hopes about the pace, and how much was due to the crappy conditions.  Paces:  400 (6:58), 800 (6:57), 1200 (7:11), 1600 (7:50), 1200 (7:38), 800 (7:45), 400 (7:09).
  • I didn’t plan right.  When it came time to do the mile interval, I was also at the end of the trail and needed to turn around INTO the wind.  For the whole mile.  Uggggg!
  • I didn’t do it on a track.  I did it on a trail instead.  This isn’t necessarily bad.  I was just hoping to use today’s first scheduled track workout to get over my fear/intimidation of the track.

The Ugly Rainy

  • It rained the entire time.  Moderate to heavy rain.
  • It was windy.  18 mph winds with 33 mph wind gusts.  33mph gusts nearly, literally, knocked this 120 pound girl to the ground!
  • My clothes (pants, long sleeve shirt, rain jacket) were literally DRENCHED and must have added 5 pounds to me, making the workout that much harder.

So there you have it.  Track workout #1.  Next week’s gotta be better, right?!

Love me some spring running!

I’m loving running this week.  The weather is PERFECT for running.  Not too cold.  Not too hot.  The snow has all melted, so the paved park trails are open again for running.  I love it!  I love that I don’t need to get up ultra-early on the weekends to get my long run in before the sun (and heat) come up.  I love that I can wear shorts and be comfortable – not sweaty and not chilly.

I’m mixed about how my long run went today.  If you look at just the numbers, it was decent.  16 miles in 2:25:19 (9:05) pace.  I was supposed to “pick up the pace” for the last three miles, and I did  (8:39, 8:39, 8:39)  (Weird!  I didn’t realize til I went to blog this that they were all the exact same.  To be exact they were 8:38.18, 8:38.61, 8:38.88).  My run was at Carver Park Reserve, which has rolling hills.  I could definitely feel them.  Fun to look at that graph of elevation and heartrate and see that my heart could feel the rolling hills too!

The part that didn’t go as well as I wanted on my long run today was my legs.  My right leg felt tight in the hammy and just felt weird.  I had to stop a few times and stretch it and re-tie my shoes.  I’m hoping that it was because I was dehydrated (I’ve noticed when I don’t bring enough water on runs, my legs start to tighten up and feel funky; I only had one handheld of water and ran out at about mile 9 of 16).  It also could be because the legs were not super fresh because I did a tempo yesterday (the plan called for an easier run today and long run tomorrow, but because of weather issues, I had to do the long run today).  Anyway, it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t a Kristy-like fabulous long run.

Meghan had her first track meet of the year this week.  She had to run the mile and was SO nervous because they were having her run what she thought was JV, but it was actually JV and Varsity together.  She ran it in 7 minutes even, which I thought was FABULOUS for her (she’s in 7th grade).  She wasn’t thrilled because she came in last place, but when I reminded her that they only asked 3 of the middle school kids to be on the JV team and she was one of them, she did feel a little better.  Plus it was on a little indoor track, where they had to do a total of 8 laps for a mile.  That would be super hard to pace correctly!  She is loving running though, which I am super happy to see!


Race Week!

I’m super excited for the Little Rock Marathon on Sunday!  I’m excited to travel somewhere I’ve never been (even if it is Arkansas), for the challenge, the pre-race excitement at the starting line, the pain (weird, I know!), the feeling of getting to mile 25 and knowing there is just one mile left, crossing the finish line and getting the JUMBO medal, and some delicious post-race beers and BBQ!

Yesterday’s sermon at church was very timely.  It was about not worrying about things, since worrying doesn’t do a bit of good.  Fitting, since I was worrying about my flight (whether it will make it without delays; I leave Saturday and was starting to second guess and think I should have booked a Friday flight), the weather (the weather reports yesterday said rain all weekend), my legs (I had a crappy “long” run yesterday with some minor issues with my left foot), what to pack (I already laid everything out because I want to fit it all into a carry on, but with the weather unknown I need to repack later this week), etc.  Even though I told myself not to worry about these things, I was.  I’m total Type-A.  I analyze and over think and worry.  But the pastor’s sermon made sense.   So the theme for this week is Don’t Worry, Since It Doesn’t Do You Any Good.*

Taper Week #2, recap:

Miles run: 29.6; Pilates: 2 times; Biking: 60 minutes

  • M: pilates
  • T: 4.5 miles (9:02; on TM w/ some hills)
  • W: 8.1 miles (8:49; w/ 3×1 mile intervals on hills 7:17; 7:30; 7:23)
  • Th: pilates
  • F: bike 1 hour
  • Sa: 7 miles (9:48)
  • Su: 10 miles (9:22)

*It’s alot easier not to worry after peeking at the Little Rock weather forecast this morning (even though I told myself not to do it), and it’s now forecast for 32/57 sunny.  🙂

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