Sunday, July 29, 2012

Why I've been a little MIA in blogging...

Sunday: 3hour bike workout
Monday: 8miles, swim and weights
Tuesday: hard bike workout, easy 3 miles
Wednesday: 8miles at 5am with the fiance -- loved every second of it
Thursday: 20mile bike (worst bike EVER), 7mile run
Friday: 6mile run, strides
Saturday: BTN Big10 10k
Sunday: planned 2 hour ride, 4 mile run

Saying this week was crazy would probably be an understatement.  Working out was really hard to squeeze in and I was just very tired, I'm thinking because of the "go-go-go" lifestyle I adopted.  Sorry in advance for this super long post, but I know I've been slacking on my blogging, so thought I'd give the best update I could! (each day is bolded and underlined in case you just want to skip around...for solely running recaps, Saturday is your best bet with a race:))

Sunday (the 22nd) was the day Ryan FINALLY came home from Minnesota after being gone for 10 freaking days.  I know, I know...that's not a long time to a lot of people, but for us it was the longest 10 days ever.  Luckily, we were both busy and I had the craziness of getting a job thrown in to make the 10 days just fly by.  Sunday I woke up to make cookies for our family reunion ("Hill Holiday") as I had volunteered to do so last weekend at my cousin's wedding.  After a long day on Saturday (6:15am long run with Joe, followed by a 9:30am wedding and reception for my lifelong friend Jenna, concluded with a 40th anniversary celebration for my Aunt and Uncle in central Illinois, arriving home just past midnight), the last thing I wanted to do was wake up early to make cookies.  Yes, that is strange considering baking is something I love almost as much as running, but Saturday was a long day!  Anyway, I must have gotten enough sleep because my bike workout ROCKED.  I really do think I'm getting stronger on the bike and hope to show that in September when I race Hy-Vee in Iowa.

Monday was a fairly low-key day consisting of hanging out with the kids I nanny in between working out.  After I left their house, I quickly bought some clothes for Ryan and my engagement pictures on Wednesday and then went home to cook dinner.  After Monday, things got a bit chaotic.

Tuesday, I took the kids to morning practice.  We had to rush a bit as the kids' dad (works at Sears in Hoffman Estates) invited us all to come see ADAM LEVINE from Maroon 5 perform a few songs.  Did I mention it was free?  It was awesome--Adam Levine is just as good in person as he is on the radio, if not better.  We quickly devoured lunch and then headed out to Buffalo Grove for me to sign my contract (yay!!!) and meet with the Athletic Director to discuss me coaching soccer.  Yes, you read that right.  Coaching soccer.  I actually played soccer for almost 12 years of my life and was decent (I am a runner after all), so I do know a thing or two about it.  Anyway, it's a COED soccer team--how fun is that?! I'm pretty pumped and am ready to start!

We got back to the kids' house in time to change and pack drinks before heading off to practice.  I took the younger (Justin) to practice and did my workout while he worked out with his team.  My workout was 4x10min with 3min seated hard, 2min standing climb, 5min seated hard with last :15 of each minute a standing climb.  WOW was this tougher than I thought.  When I do my workouts at Justin's practice, I just bring my trainer...and get crazy looks from the parents.  Tuesday was only 80-85 degrees, but I was sweating just as much as I did the week before when it was 100+ degrees.  This workout was INTENSE.  I love those kind though, so I was pretty happy when it was over, and even happier to come home to an incredible meal (thanks, Pinterest) that Ryan made for us:)

Wednesday, Ryan and I had to wake up early to run as I was in charge of administering the swim workout (yeah, it was a learning experience!) for the triathlon kids before we had our 11am engagement pictures before leaving for the Wisconsin Dells for our family reunion.  Thank God for coffee.  It was great once we got to the Dells, though.  I love catching up with my family and love watching them talk with Ryan as they are just so loving and welcoming....Ryan is truly one of the family:)

Thursday, Ryan, my dad and my cousin went out to ride our bikes.  For some reason, I didn't think the Dells would be as hilly as it was.  In addition to all of the hills, my legs finally started to feel the fatigue (most likely caused by the rushed Tues/Weds combo and Tuesdays' workout).  It was a struggle at times for me to keep up with my dad going up hills....and that's never been a problem.  I felt like my average would be a pathetic 15mph, so I didn't even bother looking.  We planned on riding for 2 hours, but once we hit Baraboo (10-11miles away), I told Ryan and my dad that I needed to turn around.  I have NEVER felt so awful on a bike in my life.  I told Ryan when we got back that I needed to go for a run to loosen up my legs.  7miles later, I felt a LOT better.  We then enjoyed the day with many of my aunts and cousins at the Wollersheim Winery. It was wonderful!

Friday, I woke up to run 6miles and do some strides...and felt incredible.  I felt like I could have run a full marathon no problem, which gave me confidence to race on Saturday.  A long time ago, Ryan and I had signed up for the Big10 10k on Saturday, July 28.  I knew our family reunion was July 22-28, but assumed that the 28 is just when everyone was leaving so it'd be okay if we left late Friday night.  Turns out, I was wrong on the dates.  The reunion went through the 29th (I always remembered them being Sunday-Saturday, so this one was new this year!).  SO, Ryan and I just figured our $60 registration fee would benefit the BTN and that would be that.  Until we started trying to plan his mom's birthday celebration.  Her birthday is July 20, but Ryan was working in MN through the 22nd.  So, we planned on going on the 22nd if he got home in time, which did not happen.  Our backup date was the 28th, so Ryan and I planned that we'd leave the Dells in time to be back for dinner....until we thought about changing it to a brunch as his dad had a golf outing.  To make a long story short, we left the Dells late Friday night, which gave us enough motivation to want to race in the morning...more on that soon.

Anyway, Friday was also the day of my first bridal shower.  Woooooohooooo!!! My Hill aunts plan amazing showers, full of fun games...and games that involve testing my knowledge of my future husband.  Ryan teased me all week that he knew all of the questions, and that he knew I'd get 3 wrong (at best).  See, when we first started dating, his older brother Jerry planned a ski trip in Galena.  Ryan and I were still at U of I, so had a LONG drive to get from Champaign to Galena.  During this time, we asked each other questions to get to know each other better.
awwwwww moment right here:
We had been hanging out and working out together for 3-4 months at this point, but just as friends and no real "deep" conversation.  Well, this all changed when I asked the question "how many times have you been in love?"....I knew Ryan had dated a girl (who was on the U of I team as well, so I knew her) for awhile in high school, so I knew he'd at least say once.  He also dated a girl for 8 months, so I wasn't sure if he'd say her.  When he replied, "2," I of course asked if he included the girl that he dated for 8 months.  When he said, "no," I about died.  It was pretty much the highlight of the trip for me.  In case you didn't get it, the second girl he loved was me:)

Anyway, this drive was 4.5 years ago, so I was hoping I'd remember most of the stuff we talked about so that I didn't fail this game of 20 questions.  Luckily, I did remember almost everything...the three questions I got wrong were (1) how many kids he wants (he said 3, I thought 4); (2) our favorite date (I knew it was in Europe but chose Italy instead of my other top choice Belgium that Ryan said); (3) his favorite song (if you know Ryan, you know he doesn't have many "favorites" so I honestly couldn't think of one...turns out his favorite song is "our" it).

The game was a lot of fun (even if I was super nervous!), the food was great, and the company (aka my aunts and female cousins) was incredible.

me and my sister (moh) before the shower

my Hill aunts and cousins at the Bridal Shower

To end the fun-filled day on Friday, my grandma took all of us out to eat at an Italian restaurant.  It was a great time with my family.  Ryan and I left shortly after so that we'd be home for birthday dinner and even the race....although timing wise, we did a horrible job.  We didn't get to his house in Schaumburg until 12:30am, and headed down to the city at 5:45am.  Oh well, sleep is overrated;)

Saturday was a great day.  Despite the lack of sleep, I still managed to race well.  Let me just say how COOL it was to see thousands of runners in their school shirts (props to the BTN coordinators for the sweet shirts).  I felt great from the start.  My first mile was 6:00 and it felt easy, which is always a good sign! My second mile was a 6:01 and didn't feel any harder than the first.  The third mile was a 6:02.  At the turnaround, I could see the next females were about a minute back.  I knew as soon as we turned around that I'd be running into the wind.  The fact that I was running solo (unless you count the lead biker) meant a harder effort, which was okay except that it wasn't necessarily needed.  So, I told myself that I'd rather not be sore on Sunday so that my workouts could go well for the week and if that meant slowing to tempo pace, then that was okay.  I was able to use a few guys as windblockers, but the wind slowed them down as well, so I eventually just slowed to almost tempo pace.  The fourth mile was a 6:04, fifth a 6;08 and 6th a 6:11.  Because it was an out and back course, I was able to see everyone coming my way and it was pretty cool to hear "go girl," "woo first place lady," and (my favorite) "I-L-L", to which I had to reply I-N-I.  I didn't hit a PR, but since I'm no longer racing Duathlon Worlds, that wasn't the goal.  I ran a 38:05 and was happy that the effort left me good.  The best part was that I got to break the tape!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hopefully I can post a picture of that soon, but WOW was it a cool feeling!  The second best part is that the third place female is also an Illinois grad AND the winners of the 5k and male 10k were all Illini fans/alums as well.  

biiiiiiiiig smile. Jill's shirt (far left) is the race tshirt--pretty freaking cool!

Well....hopefully I'll be able to post some pictures of the BTN Big10 10k soon (not on website at this time), but for now, it's time to bike for 2 hours.  After an awesome family reunion, incredible bridal shower and breaking the finishing tape, I'd say this was a pretty great week:)

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