Saturday, May 18, 2013

Detroit Race for the Cure

Today was one of my favorite races.  It was the Detroit Race for the Cure.  The Detroit Race for the Cure is one of the largest Race for the Cure events in the country.  I believe I once read that it's the third largest behind Washington, DC and Phoenix, AZ.
They don't time this race, there are bibs with numbers and the first 100 women and 100 men get a medal at the finish line.  Back in the day, I was able to easily come in within the first 100 and get the medal but the last few years, I wasn't able to come close to it.  Now that I've lost the college weight gain and am back to running like I used to, I decided that I wanted to try for the medal this year.  I have been doing speedwork with the triathlon group from the Y.  My all time 5K PR, 23:39  is at this race.  I knew there was no way that I'd be able to run that fast right now but I figured that it would be my 50s PR!
When I got there, I picked up my bib and tshirt in front of the big Tiger in front of Comerica Park:
The Detroit Tiger decked out in a pink ribbon
They even let us use the restrooms inside the ball park! 
An empty Comerica Park
 After wandering a bit and taking my tshirt back to my car, I went to the starting area:
Start line
It was chilly and when I checked my jacket in gear check, I was cold and wishing that I had a long sleeve sihrt on but I did warm up for about 10 minutes which helped.  Just before the race started, the sun came out and it instantly felt warmer!  The race went well.  It got tough in the second mile but I tried to keep myself going.  I run the race for the cure in celebration of a gal who grew up down the road from us.  When my kids were babies and she was a teenager, she babysat for me.  In her early 30s, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and has been battling it for several years.  She is a survivor but still has problems.  I think of her and all she's gone through when it gets tough and I want to slow down.
The end results:
I got the medal!!
Did I mention that I got a medal?

My time was 24:30!!  I haven't run a 5K in the 24s in a long time!  My splits were:  7:39, 7:42, 7:45.  I can hardly believe that I kept it in the 7s! 
I picked up my jacket and wandered a bit after finishing the race.
Comerica Park

I saw this group of men in pink warming up for the race when I was warming up.  I spotted them just afterward and was able to sneak a picture!  How awesome that they are willing to get into the spirit of such an important cause!
Men in pink
 A UPS guy took my picture when I picked up my jacket.  (UPS is the gear check sponsor and gear is stored in UPS trucks)  I haven't been able to wear this skirt the last couple years because I had gained weight.  I am happy to say that it fits now!!  
Happy to be wearing this skirt
All too soon, it was time to head back to the Fox Theater parking garage and head home; another Detroit Race for the Cure is in the books!
Who's your Tiger??? 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's a Jeep Thing

About a month ago, my diesel Jeep Liberty and I were invited to a Jeep party!  I wasn't sure about going to a Jeep party because I've heard of Jeep gatherings and, from what I understand, this is for those hard-core, tricked-out Mud-bogging, rock climbing Jeeps and their owners.  I was told that they wanted to have a diesel Liberty in attendance.  I decided to go.  It was fun and interesting.  Many of the attendees did not know that there was such a thing as a diesel Jeep.
Wayyyyyy back before I had kids, I had a 1976 Jeep Wrangler and I just loved that thing but it was the first thing to go when the first kid came along!  I drove mini vans for 16 years while my kids were growing up but always longed for the day when I would once again be driving a Jeep!

My diesel Jeep Liberty on the left with a few of the other Jeeps at the Jeep party
Since this Jeep party was held at a Jeep dealership, there was several brand new fancy schmancy Jeeps on display.   The new Jeep Wrangler has a retractable roof.  Instead of just a little sunroof, a major portion of the roof above the front seats slides back into the framework of the roof.  I would love that!!  Maybe someday!

After the Jeep party, I drove to my usual parking place in the big parking lot behind the clock tower building, changed into my running clothes and took off on a 6 mile run.  It was 50 degrees and sunny.  I had a really good run and felt good.  My legs were really tired Thursday night at running group from Wednesday's speedwork session.  My run today seemed to just fly by!  I could hardly believe it when Garmy beeped for mile 4 and then before I knew it, she beeped for mile 5!  I picked up the pace for my last mile and ran it in 8:36!  Next Saturday is the Detroit Race for the Cure.  I'm hoping for a really good 5K! 

Runner Nerd
proud Jeep owner

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Best Ten Dollars I've Ever Spent

Mangos!!  I love mangos but they are a pain and a huge mess to cut up and eat.  I've watched Youtube videos of people very neatly cutting a mango but it never works for me and I usually think that the video was edited or something!
The other day, I was reading another blog called, "The Boring Runner", and he had bought a mango in the quest to eat more fruits but had no idea what to do with it.  In the comments to his post, someone posted a link to a handy-dandy mango cutter!  I never knew there was a kitchen tool for mangos.  The link was to Target's website and it also told me that my local store had them in stock!  Guess what I did the very next day!
This is the very best $10.00 that I've ever spent!!  (The mango cutter is actually $14.98 but I had $5.00 left on a gift card but I would have still been just as pleased had I spent $15.00!)

This is what it looks like:
Mango cutter and mango

You stand the mango on end so that the pitt inside will fit into the shape in the middle of the cutter and press down.
 Press it down all the way to the bottom.  It slides right over the pit.  Be careful not to squish the bottom of the mango, I did that once!  Just make sure you're pressing on the mango cutter and not on the mango itself, if that makes any sense.
almost there
 The result is the pitt in the cutter and two halves of mango.
two halves and a pitt
 There are two options for cutting the mango into pieces.  Cut a half into slices and peel the skin off as in the pieces on the right.  The other is to score the mango half in a criss-cross pattern and then turn the mango half inside out and the squares pop out and separate and you can cut them off of the skin.   
Two ways to cut up the mango
There is also some fruit on the ends of the pitt that you can cut off (or just bite off!).
I'm like a kid with a new toy!!  Since buying the mango cutter, I've eaten 4 mangos!  This thing has made cutting and eating a mango a much less messy process for me! 

Tonight is running group!  After running group, I'm heading to my niece's house so that I can be the nanny tomorrow while she is teaching a class.  At running group, I'm halfway to her house and I'd have to be on the road at 6:30 am to be there by 7:30 am so I might as well just go spend the night since I don't enjoy leaving my house at 6:30am!

Last week I had 33 miles!  That was even with 2 rest days, Monday and Friday.  On Tuesday, a friend and I ran 6 miles and then on Wednesday, the group workout was hills in two different places which ended up being 8 miles total.  On Saturday, I ran 10 miles on trails winding through 6 different parks.  I worked at my old job in the morning doing one of my old kid programs at a kids' health fair so I was in the Ann Arbor area.  After work, I drove over to Gallup and changed in the backseat of the car just like I used to all the time!  Gotta love tinted windows!  I started in Gallup Park and passed through the Arboretum, Riverside Park, Argo Park, Bandemer Park, and Furstenberg Park. It was a beautiful, sunny day; 64 degrees when I started and 66 when I finished, so not too hot but yet shorts weather! I even got a little sunburn on my face!!  I know that's not supposed to be a good thing but after a l-o-n-n-n-n-g, freezing winter, it's a welcome event!!  Saturday evening, I added up my miles for the week and ended up with.....29.9!  It was still light out when I discovered that and I almost went outside and ran to the neighbor's driveway, which is .1 mile!  Instead, I ran 3.1 miles on Sunday so I ended up with 33 miles even! 

It's only one month away from 18 weeks out from the Chicago Marathon! (June 9th is 18 weeks out).  I haven't chosen a training plan yet but some of them are 18 weeks and some are 16 weeks.  (June 23 is 16 weeks out)  It's getting close!!  I better choose a plan!

Runner Nerd
has a new toy

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Every Hill is an Opportunity

I ran cross country and track in high school and college (the first time, right after graduating from high school).  Don't be too impressed, it was a teeny tiny Christian college, not MSU or U of M!!  I've heard all the sayings, such as:  "no pain, no gain", "every hill is an opportunity", etc etc.  "Every hill is an opportunity" was a favorite of my cross country coaches in both high school and college.   I guess I had all kinds of opportunities this afternoon!   Hills were on the agenda today instead of a track workout for the triathlon group I work out with on Wednesdays.  My total mileage for this workout was 8.2 miles.  1 mile easy on the paved trail then about another half mile to the street where we confused many residents by running back and forth over and over like a bunch of weirdos!  This street is a complete hill from one end to the other so we would run fast uphill to the highest point and then slow downhill, turn around and run fast up the hill and slow downhill, if that makes any sense.  We did 5 times so we ended up at the other end of the street and then jogged over to a park with a HUGE sledding hill and proceeded to entertain even more people by picking the steepest place on the hill and running up and down 5 times!  It was a beautiful afternoon, sunny and 80 degrees so there were a lot of people at the park.  There was even 2 other people running up and down the hill at a place where it wasn't quite as steep!  After the sledding hill fun, we returned to the street we came from and did 5 more laps.  My legs were spent!  It was a very slow jog back to our cars, approx. 1/2 mile.  We had a group of 5 tonight.  One guy was always way out ahead of the rest of us but I wasn't always the last one to the top of the hill! (most of the time but not every time)  I did not fall as far behind the others like I did last summer; I was only a few seconds behind!  The sledding hill was ridiculous and my pace for those repeats were in the 10s and 11s but for the repeats on the street, I was doing them in the 8:50 - 9:20 range and I'm super happy with that!!
This is from Garmin Connect:
Lots of hills/opportunities
 The green line is elevation.  The first set of repeats is messed up because I was hitting the start/stop button instead of the lap button so only the uphills were recorded.  I got it right after that. 
This crazy workout took about an hour and a half'; it was after 8pm when we finished.  It was 8:30 pm when I got home and I was starving! 
I'm working toward a decent 5K time on May 18th at the Detroit Race for the Cure.  I know I won't PR but, hopefully, I will PR for 5Ks in my 50s!  The 5K I'm running is the race where my current PR was run.   I'm convinced that it's the flattest 5K course in the world!  If pain = gain then I should have made some major gains this evening!!! 
Well, I am exhausted! (gee, I wonder why!)  I'm sore and I even used my foam roller.  My right foot is just a bit sore so I will wear my splint tonight.  (that's the plantar fasciitis foot from last year)

Runner Nerd
runs up many hills because every one is an opportunity