Wednesday, July 16, 2008

John Kurtz 5k

Ever pay $10 for a race and win money from it? That was a first for me! We didn't really get to train too much on the Island (the longest loop we could make was .2miles), so my legs were still feeling a little tired from the race on Saturday/from not working out too much. Last year, top five won money, so that's all I was going for.

It was a windy/hot/humid day and I was not feeling well at all. I went out way too fast and paid for it at the end. Denisa C (from Michigan, comes and kicks butt and wins lots of money at all the races) was there and so was Karen Prisby from Fleet Feet, so I knew they'd beat me. Then I saw Kristin West from the Dick Pond racing team. She usually beats me by 1minute or so, so I locked in on getting fourth. After the first mile, I slowed up a bit (5:57 and not feeling well). I ran the next two miles at 6:27 pace and finished in fourth with a 19:57 time (the course was .1 long and hillly, not so much fun).

Good thing I got fourth because the awards only went three deep overall this year. I ended up winning my second money race ($150) by getting first in the 20-29 age group. Ryan's little brothers ran hard (and you could see it at the end!) but didn't get close to their PR's... it was a hard day for all of us:( Ryan's aunts and grandparents were there and cheering us on. It was nice to hear someone cheering for you the whole race, even when you are feeling bad, because it really did help me maintain focus and beat out that fifth place girl:)

Next race... FREEEEE DICK POND 5k on Saturday... GOTTA BREAK 19!

LifeTime Fitness Triathlon... my 2nd Olympic Distance Tri

I've been wanting to do the LifeTime Fitness Triathlon since Tiffany, Stephanie, and I talked about doing it as a team my sophomore year in high school. Most of the weekends that it's been on, I've been working so would watch it on tv. Well, this year, my triathlon loving boyfriend got me much more into tri's than I have been before, and I signed up for it the second we got back from Hy-Vee.

We left for Minneapolis on Friday at about 7am and got to the Expo a little after 1pm. We got our race packets and got a surprise... a NICE TYR/LifeTime Fitness backpack. I'm sure Ryan will have pictures of it up soon on his website, so be sure to look! Anyway, the Expo was pretty disappointing coming off of the great Expo at Hy-Vee. Ryan says I was spoiled by having Hy-Vee be my first tri, because normally they arent' all that great. Anyway, after we went to the Expo, we went to the race site and did a couple of loops from the course on the bike and by running. After, I had a thought... we were in MN, that's where LifeTime Fitness headquarters are, why not go to the main Corporate office LifeTime? We looked it up and saw that Chanhassen was only about 20minutes away from where we were, soooo drove there. Well, I'm not gonna lie... I was pretty disappointed to see that all it was was a fancier version (lighter material color on the outside of the building, darker colored wood on the inside) of the LifeTime I work at. Oh well, I guess I can say that I've been to the Corporate LifeTime.

Anyway, we were staying with my aunt and uncle so went to their house (which I wish I took pics of because it really is just such a unique house!). My aunt took us out to dinner...we went to the Cheesecake Factory (my alltime fave restaurant!) and got WAYYYY too much food! But of course it was all delicious:) We walked around the mall for awhile and noticed the super long line coming out of Apple (the new iPhone was just released). Well, when we got back to the car, we noticed that it was still really hot (I forgot to mention... it was 95 degrees and really sticky/humid out) but now it was really windy and the sky was yellowish. We drove to my aunts, unloaded my car, and got inside JUST in time. It started getting even windier and started raining just as we finished! Luckily, my uncle (who was flying in from yet another travel trip:)) made it in and was able to see us before we went to bed.

The morning came quickly as it always does before triathlons. We woke up at 445am to go get all of our stuff set up at the transition area (in this tri it was normal and only had one transition area). My race number was 640 and it was kind of nice because it was an easy location for me to find every time. The time that we had before the race flew by really fast! We had to fix the brakes on my bike, set things up, get our wetsuits on, make last minute bathroom breaks, etc. Before I knew it, Ryan (racing in the Elite division) was up! I had about 20minutes before his so just stood around watching. I was finally up! I raced in the age group race, 20-24 female. There were 36 females in my age group. This set up was different from Hy-Vee; we didn't all start at the same time. Rather, we started in number order. 639 went first, then 3 seconds later, I got my running start into the water. The swim was a triangle, and for the most part I swam straight, so that was nice. I came out of the water at 34:16 and in 19th place, yikes. I had a lot of catching up to do! I knew a lot of people passed me (I need a LOT of improving on my swim!) but didn't realize so many. My transition was SLOW... about 2:30. My bike felt awesome! There were a lot of sharp turns, so lots of slowing down, but the time was about the same as at Hy-Vee, which I was disappointed with until I realized how different the courses were. Onto the run... I ran about the same time as I did for the Barrington 10k, 41:54. I had the third fastest run split... and a girl who runs a 4:30 mile had the fastest, sooo I don't feel too bad about my time!

Overall, I finished 6th in my age group with a 2:41:54. I was planning on breaking 2:40 this race, so I was pretty bummed when I saw my finishing time. However, Ryan was there (as always:)) to comfort me at the end. He had been done for over 40 minutes (about 2:02, and he started 20mins before me) and was looking at the results and saw that everyone who competed at Hy-Vee was slower at LifeTime than Hy-Vee by over a minute, and I had improved by over 2! So that was much happier news than my time. Ryan didn't have the race he wanted, but still did really well for all of the hard training and racing he's been doing. We are for sure going back next year, only this time, we will go up earlier (so we aren't tired from a 6 1/2 hour drive the day before) and can shop at the Mall of America and go out with Andrea after the race!

After the race, we drove another six hours to go to The Island, an Island off of Door County, WI, for a family reunion type thing for Ryan's dad's side of the family. It was a LOT of fun:)

4th of July Weekend

I decided to do two races 4th of July weekend. The first race was the Run for the Arts Barrington 5k and 10k. I run a 4th of July race every year with my dad, and for the past couple years, we had been doing this one. Welllll, this year, he decided that he wanted to ride his road bike from Crystal Lake, IL to Henry, IL (small town by Peoria) with his buddy who is just as crazy as him. Luckily, my mom and I had a Chicago trip planned with my aunts and cousins for an aunt's 50th birthday and talked about running a 4th of July race together on our way down. Thanks to our train ride down, my mom and I decided that she would run in the race on Friday, making this run one of my first races ever with my mom since she "started running again."

Race morning comes and, after working a 10 hour day at LifeTime the day before, I was NOT ready at all. My legs were hurting a bit from a Brick workout Wednesday and from the standing at the Front Desk on Thursday. Buuuut, I decided to stop being a baby and run as fast as I had to in order to win. Luckily, it wasn't too fast. All of the super fast people decided to do the 5k (although after doin the 10k for the past two years, I can't imagine why... sarcastic, the 10k is SUPER hilly). My mom and I just stood around for awhile waiting for the race to start. When it did, I took off, determined to pass the boys with the blaring music on their iPods in front of me. The first mile was good, 625 just like Ry and I had talked about doing. The first mile is relatively flat, so I decided to save up a bit for the next five to come. Well, the next mile was a 645 and I looked behind me to find the second place girl and saw she was pretty far back. I decided, since I was running a 5k on Sunday and hoping to get out of my 19minute rut, I would save up a bit and just run to beat my time from last year and win. Basically, the rest of the miles, I pushed another guy with me and we finished pretty close together. I finished in a 41:30, 2 minutes faster thanmy 7minute pace last year (it was a training run). I went back and got my mom... she finished 17th female and 1st in her age group and beat my dad's time from last year... she had a great race!:)

On to the rest of the 4th festivities... Sunday was the First Annual Crystal Lake 4th of July run. It was to benefit the American Cancer Society as the person whose honor it was created in passed away from cancer. The race organizer is a family friend, so doing this race was a no brainer. Well, we get to the site (Lippold Park) and turns out, there were about as many volunteers (college kids!) as there were runners, which was sad to see:( But it was on a crushed limestone type path the whole way, not so much fun or easy to PR on. I went through the first mile on pace to break 19, but started falling off pace halfway through. It was pretty hot out again too, so I was just hoping to stay in the position I was (fifth overall at the first mile). Right after the first mile, I passed two guys (that got me going a bit!) and then again right before the two mile, one of the guys in front of me literally just stopped to walk. Did I mention Ryan ran this with me? Because he was the one to push me at about 2.5miles to go get the first place runner and WIN MY FIRST RACE OVERALL EVER! It was pretty exciting. I mean, even though it was a small race, it was still pretty exciting to WIN!:)

Next race to be recapped... LifeTime Fitness Triathlon July 12th.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

June races... well the last two weekends, anyway...

FIRST OLYMPIC DISTANCE TRIATHLON... June 22nd, HyVee Triathlon, West Des Moines, Iowa. For my birthday, Ryan registered me for this race (and did like five million other things for me:)) and trained me for it during the last semester of school (although I didn't find out til my birthday that I would actually be doing it). I've noticed that ever since Ry started training me, I haven'tbeen getting hurt! This is great news because I'm usually hurt like every other month from running (probably too much); so far I've made it three and a half months without being hurt! Anyway, so race weekend is finally here... I went with Ryan, his brothers (Jason, 10, and Alex, 7), and his dad. Jason and Alex were signed up to do the Kids Duathlon (long story short, the Triathlon was changed to a duathlon like two weeks before the race and then changed back three days before due to the terrrrrible flooding in Iowa). The Kids Duathlon was on Saturday, and they both did awesome! Jason came in fourth out of like sixty kids and Alex was ninth out of the sixty kids in his age group too. It definitely set the mood for the weekend and made me even more excited to race (and nervous too!). After their races (we were outside like all sister noticed when I went into work on Monday super tan!), we set up our bikes, worked out a little, and then headed back to the place we were staying for dinner and early bed.

330am wakeup call was NOT very fun on Sunday:( But usually once I'm up, I'm good to go for the day. So we drove over to "T2" (which means the second transition stop... in most triathlons there is only one transition, but due to the flooding, they had to basically redo the whole course and everything and it ended up having two transitions), set up things and headed back to make sure everything was fine in T1. Before I knew it, it was time for Ryan to head off.

As Ryan's wave went into the water, I was more nervous than ever. Four more waves then it was my turn... but something happened with the wave before us and that delayed our start, which of course made me more anxious than before. After I found out that it was goin to be a duathlon, I really stopped swimming, so when Ryan told me that the swim was back on, I wasn't too happy. But, for the 1500 swim, I made it the whole way in 35minutes, which was under the time Ryan thought of 40minutes!

My transitions were TERRIBLE... I have no idea what took me so long, but when we looked at the results, it was almost 3 minutes! Well, I finally got my bike and couldn't get my feet in the shoes that were already clipped in, so had to pull my bike over and unclip the shoes, put them on my feet, and clip them back in. I was NOT very happy going onto the bike. It stunk even more that the first thing we encountered was a STEEEEP hill (we biked down it the day before, so we knew what was coming!). But I ended up averaging 18.4mph on the bike!

Onto the strongest part:)... Well, I didn't see mile marker four or six, but the times that my watch split were 640-645... except that I had to stop to go to the bathroom, making my overall time a 7min average, yuck. BUT I finished the race with a lot of energy left and ready to do another one! My final time was 2hours 44minutes and 16seconds. Ryan thought I'd be in between 2:30 and 2:45. As soon as the race was over and we were back at Jimmy's house (where we were staying), I checked to see if the LifeTime Fitness Triathlon in Minnesota was full... luckfully (Ry's word) it wasn't! so I signed up right away!! I'm hoping to be under 2:40 at LifeTime (which I've wanted to do since Tiffany and Stephanie andI talked about it in high school!). That race is July 12th, so I'm training like crazy until then to be ready for it!

NEXT RACE... RACE TO TASTE... June 29, Chicago.
I've always gone to the Taste of Chicago, but oddly enough, I've never done the race... you'd think coming from a family of runners, SOMEONE would have known about the race, but nope, didn't know about it until Ryan told me he was going to do it. The last 5k I did before this one was the Jim Gibbons 5k on Thursday, June 19th, and I ran a 19:04...which I did at the Notre Dame 5k course when I was sick and couldn't talk... so really, I should be under 19 no problem. So I told Ryan that's what I wanted to do for my next 5k and he had me do some workouts to do that.

Race day came and it was a cold morning, so I thought for sure it'd be a great day to get a good time. Except that it started warming up. And then got really humid. The first mile was long (1.1 to be exact) so I just relied on my Garmin for the race. The first mile was a 5:50, just like it was at Jim Gibbons... oddly enough, my second mile (603) was the same as Jim Gibbons too! Right before the third mile, there was a slight uphill and I could really feel it was humid out... once again I felt like it was hard to breathe (but this time I didn't panic and cause my throat to close up!). John (Ryan's best friend) was having some chest pains going into this race so decided to hold back and run with me. Ryan caught back up to us at the end (you know, as a cooldown for after winning the race) and they were both encouraging me the whole way. We got to the third mile (616) at 1820 and I thought I'd for sure break 19 now! Ryan and John told me to pick it up and sprint, but at this point I just could NOT breathe will at all. Third place (this was a money race, top three places got money) was 13 seconds ahead:( I crossed the line in 19:01. It was not the highlight of my weekend to say the least, but on the bright side, this was a hillier course than Jim Gibbons! My next 5k will be under 19 for sure and I can't wait for that one to happen... my mom wants our family to do the Crystal Lake 4th of July 5k, so I'm thinking of doing that.

NEXT RACE: Barrington 10k on the 4th of July.

So I created a blog....

So today I decided to create a blog because, well, I really liked when Brittany had hers at school (until it was taken down for unknown reasons...) and also because I really like reading Ryan's so thought, well my life is pretty interesting (sometimes) so I can write about it too (yes I know this is a really long sentence, but if you know anything about me, you know that I talk in kind of long sentences anyway so it's fine).

Ryan's blog is a lot about his races, soooo here's a recap of June to start off my BLOG!