Thursday, August 14, 2014

Plumbers and Pipefitters 5K

Last Saturday several people were talking about a 5K on Monday night.  I was kind of surprised because most of them are serious, competitive runners and don't usually do the funsy type races.  The race is the Plumbers and Pipefitters 5K.  It's put on by the Plumbers and Pipefitters union and raises money for wounded soldiers.  The Plumbers have to have education every year for their licenses and this past week was a big annual week-long plumbers convention type thingy. 
Sunday evening, my long time running group friend, Larry, texted asking if I was going to go.  He was going and said that I should go.  I looked up the details and ended up registering because, surprisingly, online registration was still open.  It rained all day Monday and I found myself wondering why I was so quick to register for this thing.  It rained all the way as I drove to downtown Ann Arbor before the race.  It stopped raining as I was pulling into the parking lot where I parked.  I walked a few blocks to where I picked up my number and shirt.  Bonus - a neon yellow shirt which I will wear for biking!  It started sprinkling while I was in the race area.  I walked back to my car with the shirt and to wait to hear from Larry.  I suddenly had my doubts that he would show up.  I was sitting in my car and it began raining again.  Lovely.  Larry called saying he was on his way and asked where I was parked so I told him and he arrived a few minutes later.  We walked in the rain to the race area.  He still had to register.  It did stop raining before the race started and didn't rain during the race.
I had a pretty good race!  I even won my age group!  When running a race put on by plumbers what would you expect as an award but a plumbing wrench!  Yep, age group awards were plumbing wrenches!
This is a real wrench! 
I came in at 26:40 for an 8:36 pace so this is counting as my tempo run for this week! 
Doug Kurtis, Detroit running celebrity who I talked about in my last post, was also at this race.  I was walking with Larry when they saw each other and talked for a few minutes before the race.  During the race, he was near the finish line with a portable PA system calling out to the runners.  It was a two loop course so we had to pass by the finish line on the first loop.  He said my name as I was coming up the street; I can't believe he remembered it!  He also put out his hand for a high five.  I found a picture in the race photos of me as I was putting my hand up to high five him!  I am pretty sure that both my feet are off of the ground in this picture!  I've always wanted a picture of me running where both feet are off the ground! 
High-fiving Doug Kurtis!  Both feet off the ground! 
When Larry was talking to Doug Kurtis I told him that I discovered his two page story in the July Runner's World magazine after the Red Carpet Run and said that I hope to get him to autograph my magazine article someday and he said he would love to!  He actually told Larry to bring it to the next meeting of the race that they are both on the staff of!  This could possibly be my first celebrity runner autograph! 

After the race it got chilly and I ended up driving home with the heat on in the car.  Yes, heat on August 11th.
After it was all said and done, I'm glad that I ran this race! I can't wait to find something to use my wrench on!

Runner Nerd
runs to win cool prizes

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Running in a Prom dress

Wednesday night was one of my favorite events every summer - the Red Carpet Run in West Bloomfield, Mi.  I wore the same prom dress that I wore last year because I just think it's that awesome!
Once again, it was a nice, hot night for running in a long dress!  I was drenched in sweat when I finished my 5K run.
I rode to the race with one of my running group friends.
Here we are upon arriving at the Prom, I mean race:
This is normal
He wore a suit jacket, dress shirt and tie with running shorts and running shoes!  I posted this picture to Facebook after it was taken and all his friends are commenting that he has no pants on!  It does kind of look that way!
I am in my sapphire blue sparkly prom dress with my running shoes!
This is what a person looks like running in a full length prom dress:
This is how it's done!

I was a sweaty mess after running in the dress!  I could feel sweat pouring out of me and running down myself inside the dress!  (sorry, that's really disgusting!)
sweaty prom queen!
Here is a group of us after the race.  This guy wears a dress every year!  It's so funny!
My friend, Jocelyn, always finds the best dresses!

Very strange picture!
And, of course, what would an event called the Red Carpet Run be without a running celebrity in attendance:
I got my picture with Doug Kurtis who was featured in an article in the July Runner's World magazine! He has a record for something (I'd have to look it up).  He's won a bunch of marathons and has run 200 sub 3 hr marathons.  He's run sub 3 hr marathons in every age group from 20's to 60-65.  I guess there are only a few people who have done that.
My running celebrity pic!  Doug Kurtis, Detroit famous runner.

Upon finishing this race, there are finisher champagne flutes.  You can see people holding them in a couple of the pictures above.
I placed second in my age group!!  I had a time of 27:26, pretty good for running with a dress swishing all over the place.  

Hard to believe that it's August already.  I start my new job in a little over a week. 

Runner Nerd
runs in a prom dress

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The BEST race photo ever

The photography company that was at the race I ran on Sunday posted this picture on Facebook today!  I am going to be paying for the picture once they have the race photos ready for sale on their website but I did "steal" this one from their Facebook page today. 
He had no idea I did this until he saw it on Facebook!
He had no idea that I did that until he saw it on Facebook today!  That is fellow running group member, Larry.  We've been running together since 2008, I think.  The photographer and the course marshalls who were in the same place were laughing and I thought they'd give it away that something was going on but he never knew.  It took everything I had to catch up to him when I saw the photographers; I was a little ways behind him.  It looks like I'm wearing shorts but I'm wearing a skirt.
The location is part of my favorite running route.  We had come through Argo Park and are heading into Riverside Park.  The pathway we are on is the headrace trail.  The headrace is the water barely visible to our left (on the right looking at the picture).  The headrace is like a canal; it is the path for canoes, kayaks, and row boats to get around the dam.  The Argo Dam is not visible in this picture but is behind us at the other end of this segment of trail.  The Huron River is to our right (on the left looking at the picture).  The bridge just behind us is over where the canoes get back on river after going around the dam. 

In other news, I ran "naked" tonight!!!!  Noooooooo, not that kind of naked!  I walked out of the house to go to the track workout without my Garmin or watch.  I had put Garmie on the counter so I wouldn't forget her just before going upstairs to change.  I see how well that worked!    Tonight was a combination of 200s and 400s. 

Runner Nerd
race photobomber

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pure Michigan

This is a post that I've been planning for a while but just haven't got it written.
The idea for this started one day last year when I went running around 9pm and got back around 9:30 pm and found a text message from my friend who lives in New York City.  My reply began, "I just saw this, I just got back from running."  My friend then asked if I had been running in the dark and I said that it's not dark yet.  He said that it was completely dark there.  I had to go outside and take a picture and send it to prove that it was still light out and then he thought that I must be in a different time zone!  I'm not; we're in the same time zone.  Michigan is on the Western edge of the eastern time zone so the sun sets later here than on the eastern edge of the time zone where New York is.
This is my favorite time of the year - when we have the most hours of daylight.  It's light until 9:45ish and you can still see at 9:55 pm.  I remember when I worked 6 pm - 6 am and it was full sunlight when I drove home at 6 am.  I hated it in the winter when it was dark when I drove into work at 5:30 pm and dark all night when I worked and still dark when I drove home at 6 am.  In the summer, I drove to work in the daylight and worked several hours in light and then it became light again before my shift was over.
I know I once read that Michigan either was or was supposed to be in the central time zone but someone with some authority, governor maybe, thought that it was important to be in the same time zone as Washington, DC and fought hard to get Michigan in the eastern time zone.  I can't remember all the details and I can't find this information now but I KNOW that I read that. 
Anyway, I wanted to take a series of pictures between 9:30 pm and 10 pm at the time of the year when we have the most daylight.   I took these on June 30th.  I'm already noticing a little difference around 9:30.  It's already getting dark earlier.
These were taken with my cell phone.  It's the barn across the road from the house.
This first picture was taken at 9:30 pm.  It's still fully light out and the barn is easy to see.  This is the time when my friend in NYC said it was completely dark there.
9:30 pm on June 30th in southeast Michigan
Next, 9:45 pm; it's beginning to get dark now.  Once it starts to get dark, it gets dark fast.  Most cars would  now have their lights on. 
9:45pm on June 30 in southeast Michigan
Now, 9:55 pm, it's almost dark but you can still see the barn. My solar lights are on now.  (that's what the little blue dot is.)
9:55 pm on June 30 in southeast Michigan
Finally, 10 pm.  It's pretty much dark.  You can just barely see the barn.
10 pm on June 30 in southeast Michigan
By 10:05 nothing showed when I took a picture.
So, that is late Spring/early Summer in Michigan!  It's my favorite time of the year!  It doesn't last long so I enjoy it while I can.  

Today I drove to workout class at the Y with the heat on in my car.  Huh?  At the end of July?  It was only 63 degrees.  This is so not fair.  I want my summer!   It looks like it's going to warm up for the rest of the week.

Runner Nerd
loves summer

Monday, July 28, 2014

Electric Bolt 8K

Yesterday I ran the Electric Bolt 8K.  It is put on by Ann Arbor Active Against ALS (A2A3) which is an organization that raises funds for research for a cure for ALS.  My Grandfather had ALS so it has affected my family.  They also put on the Twinkie Run on April 1st every year. 
This race was run on parts of my favorite running route in Riverside Park, Argo and Bandemer Parks! 
Since I had run my long run the day before, I was planning to just run easy.  I normally run three miles easy on Sundays.  Sometimes my legs are still sore or tired from the day before and my Sunday runs can be really slow. I thought that if I ran the race at a pace anywhere near 9 minutes that it was going to count as my tempo run for this week.  I usually do a tempo run on Mondays. 
My running group friend, Larry, was there and said that he was going to run with me since he hasn't been running much lately.  Of course, I went out way too fast.  My first mile was 8:14.  Mile two was also fast at 8:38. The remaining miles came in at:  9:12, 10:12, and 9:15.  That fourth mile was the hardest part of the race.  It ran along the boardwalk from Bandemer Park to Longshore Dr.  It's a gradual uphill rise and I'm usually running along it in the opposite direction which is downhill!  There was also a hill on Longshore that was part of the fourth mile.  I was very glad to be done.  The medals were nice.  I also got a glass for first place in my age group. 
I found this picture on their Facebook page.  I'm not sure what I'm doing with my hands!  I look like I'm going to grab something.  Maybe I'm in the process of bringing my hands together to shut off Garmie, who knows.  I also think I look huge in this picture.
I don't ask anyone for contributions but I do try to talk people into participating in the events.  I was able to get two friends to do this event! 
I did decide to use that as my tempo run for the week.  Today I had a dentist appointment in the morning and then I came home and have been trying to get some cleaning and organizing done around the house.  I'm starting a new job in two weeks (more details on that later) so I want to get some things done before I start.  I'm pretty excited about it but that's all I'm going to say right now. 

Runner Nerd
runs for a cause

Monday, July 14, 2014

Volunteering at races

I've volunteered for races quite a few times.  I usually do jobs that still allow me to run the race but there have been times that I volunteer during a race.  I used to put packets together and help with some of the office stuff for Running Fit races but then they moved all of that to one of the other locations.  I've volunteered for the Clark Lake Triathlon for the last four or five years.  Yesterday was this year's triathlon.  I reported for duty at 6am and it began raining.  I usually help with parking cars and this year I did that in the rain.  I'm so glad that I dug out my winter trail shoes because I was pretty sure it was going to rain.  I was soaked but my feet were dry!  It stopped raining about 15 minutes before the race began.  After the cars were all parked I was sent to the finish area where I found out that I was going to hand out medals!!  I was so excited!  I unpacked the medals out of boxes and got them all laid out.  Finally, the first finisher came around the corner and up the final stretch and crossed the finish line!  I put the medal around his neck!  I was told to be happy and congratulatory and to put the medals around the racers' necks.  Some people reached out and grabbed them but most let me put them over their head.  After the final finisher came through I was off to the transition area to take down bike racks as they became cleared.  I also picked up trash from ground - such glamorous work!
The medals ready for finishers:
medals for triathletes
A friend who had been out on the bike course walked by and took this picture of me being silly waiting for the next finisher to come through:
medal girl
Back on June 1st I volunteered at a water stop of a half marathon, the Dexter to Ann Arbor half marathon.  The Saturday running group does a water stop at mile 6.  It was the first time I'd ever volunteered at a water stop.  I had to learn how to hold the cups and let go of them at the moment that the runner takes hold.
We arrived at the location early to set up.  A truck had just dropped off the tables, cups, big jugs of water and Gatorade mix.  We filled the cups and set them in rows and then a thick piece of cardboard on top of each layer.  This is what it looked like when we were done:
aid station all set up
layers of cups
It was really neat to see the whole entire field of a half marathon from the first one to go through to the very last.  Once the runners slowed down to just a few at a time and were becoming spread out I went to picking up the cups from the road and sides of the road.  (once again, a trash picker upper!) 

A couple of Lululemon reps were also helping at the aid station.  One of them wore a lemon suit:
Lululemon rep dressed as Lulu the Lemon! 

Yesterday I was inspired to go for a long bike ride after I got home from the triathlon.  I rode 11 miles.  I haven't rode much since May 24th when I rode 30 miles around Mackinac Island which I fully intended to write about but never did.  I went up there with the same friend from school who I went up with during our break in the summer of 2012.  It was a lot of fun.  It was the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and was the first big weekend of the season for Mackinac Island but there weren't nearly as many people there will be once summer is in full swing.  I had a great time but I wasn't really ready to ride 30 miles!  We didn't ride 30 solid miles, we stopped at some of the sights such as the highest point on the island and an old fort, etc.  We also rode on some of the trails, both paved and dirt, that wind through the wooded parts of the island.  We had dinner in the late afternoon and then decided to do one more circle around the island because we had ridden 22 miles and the perimeter road is 8 miles.  It sounded like a good idea but I wasn't very far into the ride when my butt had had enough of the bike seat!  I was so glad to be done when we finally made it around the island.  We headed back to St. Ignace with enough time to sail under the Mackinac Bridge which was fun for me.

Tonight I attempted another tempo run.  It went much better than last week's sorry attempt.  I didn't have to walk!  Mile 1 and 2 were both under 9 minutes but then I slowed down but the 3rd mile did have a big hill.  I'm feeling much better about my half marathon training now.  My long run on Saturday also went much better than the one 2 weeks ago.  It got tough the last 2 miles but I never had to walk.

Well, that is about all for now.  Tempo runs make me tired!  It's time to go to bed.

Runner Nerd
race volunteer

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Catching Up - Races, Travelling, Training

I haven't posted since May 9th.  
I haven't been a very good blogger lately.  I haven't been doing anything out of the ordinary or anything; I just haven't been keeping up on blogging!  All of a sudden, my iPhone won't email pictures to me anymore and I have no idea why.  That makes it harder to get the pictures I take on the phone to use on the blog.
I've run a few races, volunteered at a race, taken a couple of short trips, tamed a feral kitten, had some great runs and had some really bad runs.
A week ago Saturday, June 28,  was one of the really bad ones.  I ran eleven miles but after mile 7 it got tough.  I walked a couple of times up hills.  I was so upset.  I don't know why it was so hard.  The next day, Sunday, I only ran three miles but that was very difficult.  I wasn't quite back to my car when I hit three miles and I just walked the rest of the way back; I never do that.  Monday I tried to do a tempo run but that didn't quite go as planned.  I ended up doing mile repeats.  I made it two miles then had to stop and rest about a minute and then again at the third mile before running the fourth mile.  I guess it's better than nothing!  I wasn't looking forward to Friday which was the Hanover Firecracker 5 miler at all.  I was very surprised that I ran good and never had to walk up any hills, and there are three big ones on this course!  I came in at 44:20 which is an 8:52 pace.  I even got third in my age group!!  After the race I changed in my "changing room" in the backseat of my car behind the tinted windows and raced over to Grass Lake where the rest of the family was getting lined up for the parade with our vintage tractors.  We pulled our church float with one of them and I walked along beside the float passing out invitations to the Vacation Bible School.  I still had Garmie on so I reset her and started it again and I walked 1.84 miles in the parade!
My cousin who lives in Alaska was home visiting his parents (my Aunt and Uncle) so we had a get together there yesterday so I didn't go to long run group.  My sister who lives in California was able to come and attend the party so I got to see her too!  My sister-in- law and I talked about our plans to run the Vegas Half Marathon in November!  She hasn't been running since we ran the Chicago Marathon but she's getting ready to start training again.
Today I was going to head to Chelsea to go for a run when I saw on Facebook that one of my running friends was running on my favorite route and posted a couple of pictures so I decided to drive 15 minutes more and run on my favorite trails!
Argo Pond was beautiful today with the sun shining on the water.
Argo Pond
I always love passing this sign:
Do not enter 
This is an old road that has been closed for a long time.  The do not enter sign is for cars.  It is ok to walk, run, or bike on it.  It's just kind of fun to run past the "do not enter" sign!  I only run through here occasionally; it adds about a mile to my run.
There is also an old leftover sign from when the road was still a road.  I love this sign:
sharp curve ahead

I'm now training for my four half marathons this fall.  I am training for my goal race which is the Women Run the D women's half in Detroit on Sept. 21.  It's 11 weeks away now!  I ordered a book called, "Run Less, Run Faster".  I somewhat followed the first week of training but had to make some changes because of the 4th of July race.  I also spent an entire day helping my very pregnant niece with  some things she needs to do before the baby comes so I missed the speed work out that day.

I can hardly believe that the 4th of July has passed.  After the 4th of July summers just seem to fly by.  After the winter we had I want this summer to last a very long time.
Tomorrow is back to normal life.  I have a corner piece of cake, too many pulled pork sliders, more cake, cookies, two oversized meals on the 4th, and ice cream twice to work off and recover from!  It's always a fun weekend when the 4th falls on a Friday!

A big storm is brewing; what great timing, right when the holiday weekend is over and it's time to go to bed!

Runner Nerd
celebrates the country's birthday