Training Widget

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Daily Mission

It's been a while since I posted one of these.  I like today's, and I'm totally stealing my response.

Today's #dailymission

What's Your Running/Biking/Swimming New Years Resolution?

To set higher goals and be willing to fail.  
We'll see how that goes...

Monday, November 28, 2011


As planned, my mentee and I had our second meeting (for lack of a better word) yesterday.  The plan had been to go swimming, but she called me in the morning to tell me she'd gotten her hair done and couldn't get it wet... but she still wanted to get together (insert sigh of relief here, because it's just kind of hard to tell if you're connecting with a 13 year old or not). 

Since swimming was off the table, we decided to hit some of the exercise machines at the Y.  We rode the bike, spent some time on the elliptical, and did some sort of recumbent stair stepper thing.  These are all things I would never do, but I told her she was in charge and that I'd do what she did.  

We also did a little exploring, as neither of us had been to that Y branch before.  We discovered the gym, an indoor track, and checked out the pool.  Upon seeing the pool, she asked, "Can we put our feet in?".  I said sure, and we dipped our feet in the hot tub.  

As we sat there chatting, she started dropping hints that she'd rather come back next Saturday and swim instead of the planned Reindeer Run 5k.  Argh!  Swimming is really not my favorite, and I'd really been looking forward to the 5k, as it was going to be our first chance to meet some of the other mentor/mentee pairs.  However, in my head, I could hear Chris saying, "It's not about you Anne."  Yes, I have a tendency to be a wee bit self-centered.  So, I questioned her a little bit:  You don't want to run?  Won't some of your friends be there?

After a couple of minutes, she was pretty torn.  She wasn't wanting to swim to get out of doing the run, she just REALLY likes to swim and really got the itch to hop in the pool once we were in the pool area.  Admittedly pushing my own agenda a bit, I explained that we've got a long winter ahead and that there would be lots of occasions to swim.  Long story short, the plan now is that we're going to get together on Friday and go for a QUICK swim, and will still do the run on Saturday.  Meeting twice a week is typically not a workable situation for me, but we'll go with it for this week.  

So... Friday swimming, Saturday 5k, and next Wednesday will be the holiday party.  

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bolder Options

Had a little post-mary blogging hiatus... survived the post marathon crash/depression... now blogging again... 'til the next hiatus...

The biggest news of late in my little running world is that I've completed the application process to be a mentor with Bolder Options.  In case you don't feel like clicking the link, here's the gist of it:

Bolder Options is an innovative program focused on healthy youth development. Uniting one-on-one mentoring with goal setting, physical activity, tutoring, and leadership opportunities the program builds confidence, maximizes potential, and encourages healthy life skills.

The application process consisted of filling out an online form, attending mentor orientation, an interview, and a background check.  I met my mentee (who will henceforth be referred to as mentee, so as to respect her privacy) last Monday.  

I definitely had a little anxiety surrounding meeting her.  Change/new experiences can be a challenge for me, and this was no different.  However, upon reaching her north Minneapolis home, I was quickly put at ease.  Although she has what I would consider to be typical 13 year old shyness, she's extremely sweet; and her parents are great.  

While the website describes the program as being for kids 'at risk for dropping out of school or becoming involved in delinquent or unhealthy behaviors,' I learned through the orientation process that it's also for kids who are on the right track and trying to stay that way.  Mentee is definitely in the latter category.  

Today we had our first outing.  I took her to buy shoes (provided as part of the Bolder program).  Considering that we could probably both be described as introverts, we did a good job of keeping awkward silences at a minimum on the 20 minute drive from her house to the shoe store.  That being said, she was likely getting a little fed up with all my typical lame adult inquiries:  siblings, favorite subject in school, least favorite subject in school, etc., etc.  But, she was a great sport and answered all my questions.  Math is her favorite subject because the teacher is great.  Science is not, because the teacher is lame.  

Upon picking out the shoes and heading back to NOMI, we continued to chat.  We got back to her house a little earlier than planned and no one was home.  So, off to Mickey D's we went.  We were cautioned in orientation about taking them for 'treats,' as they may come to expect it.  However, I don't see it being an issue with mentee, and I wasn't sure what else to do with her.  

I'm glad it worked out the way it did, because I learned quite a bit more about her, including that her family had to relocate after last summer's tornado.  While the house they were renting at the time still stands, the basement had massive water leakage and they lost quite a bit of property. Good to know...

All in all, it was a good first meeting.  We plan to meet again next Sunday afternoon for swimming at the Y.  The weekend after that we'll be participating in the Reindeer Run 5k (we're to do three 5k's throughout the year).  

My plan (famous last words) is to journal our year together on this blog.  Hopefully I'll be posting in a week!  

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Friday, October 7, 2011


F4940 Run
The end is in sight!

My best running bud

With Felipe, fellow member of the world's best run club

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Suit Man


Here's the dude that nearly took me out in the final 0.2 with his antics.  He got is picture in the strib.  I beat him.  Not that I'm obsessive enough to look up his results or anything.  Not that it matters.  But I did beat him.  Proof is here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Semi-Annual, Excessively Long Post Marathon Post

Twin Cities Marathon-- The Sequel

Yesterday I completed the Twin Cities Marathon for the second time.  When I entered for the 2010 event, it was with every intention of getting it done, checking it off the bucket list, and going back to shorter distances.  Yesterday marked my third marathon in a year's time, so I guess we have essentially chucked that plan out the window.  More on that later.

Anyhoo, let's talk about yesterday.  I once again completely hosed the lining up process.  In last year's post race report, I stressed that I had not gotten out to the starting corral early enough to line up where I wanted, which was kind of a bad, bad thing.  It was a mistake that I fully intended to NOT make again.  Well, I didn't, which is good.  But as a result, I did not have time for the all important pre-race emptying of the bladder, which is bad.  I had to pee pretty much from the get-go.  I did start with the four hour pace group as planned, though.  This marks my first experience of starting with a pace group that I actually intended to stick with for the duration of the race.  

I have to say, based on yesterday's experience, I'm not a fan of pace groups.  Here's why:
  1. 4:00 pacer man started us off like a bullet.  According to my Garmin, mile 1 and 2 splits were 8:37 and 8:33 respectively.  Four hour pace is 9:09.  Running is definitely an individual sport, and while we have a lot of common threads, no two runners are alike.  For this runner, that was simply not an ideal starting pace.  I'm all about getting a little time in the bank at some point, but not at miles one and two.  
  2. The pace group concept creates quite the cluster of runners, and for me, it was simply way too crowded.  When we hit the area around the lakes (miles 3-8), it was downright dreadful.   The roadway gets pretty narrow there.  Not pretty.  I think I thought I would be able to just go into cruise control and follow.  That's way easier said than done with SO MANY people around you.  
  3. I hesitate to write this one, because it's going to sound super snotty.  But, here goes.  You get a lot of folks in the area who don't have much business running with the group they've put themselves in (this admittedly would've been yours truly had I gotten lined up with the four hour pace group like I wanted to last year).  There are a lot of people around that simply cannot keep up, yet they won't give up, and they create congestion among congestion.  I'm not proud of writing this, but I'm also not going to delete it, so there ya go.  
I'm not sure exactly when it was (somewhere between miles 8 and 11, I believe), but I came across a biffy with no line, so I decided to fall out of the group and finally relieve my bladder.  I kind of regretted the decision when I got in there and the seat was half covered in crap, but I had to go.  Thank God I have about average hovering skills.  Upon finishing what was one of the most glorious pees of my life (I had to go SO badly), I took off.  I could still see the balloons, but I definitely had a little work to do to get caught up with them.  

This brings me to one of my prouder moments of the race.  Historically I likely would've half sprinted to get caught up with them.  I did a good job of telling myself that I could make up the ground little by little; and that's what I did.  The gentle surge method worked beautifully.  So well, in fact, that once I caught up with them, I was feeling so good that I went ahead of them.  HALLELUJAH!  It was so good to get out of that pace group, I can't even tell you.  Suddenly I had room to breathe, and I liked it!  

I was slightly concerned that the surge was going to come back to haunt me, but I decided to ride the wave; mainly because I couldn't stand the thought of rejoining the cluster around the four hour pacer.  It ultimately worked out for me.  I didn't see those balloons again, and it made for a far less stressful last two thirds of the race.  

Another perk of the surge was that upon passing those balloons, I came upon Chris.  We ran together for awhile, which was nice.  He may not agree, but I enjoyed it.  Miles 13-22 of this course are tough.  Well, hell, I suppose they're tough on any marathon course, but there are some pretty unfortunate hills.  Around 18 he told me he wasn't going to make it to the finish in four hours.  I made a meager attempt at a pep talk, but ultimately ended up leaving him behind.  Don't judge me... we have an agreement for such situations!

Miles 18-22 went pretty well for me.  I'm not saying they were super pleasant, mind you, but I was able to maintain a good pace.  I didn't exactly feel like a million bucks, but one perk of having previous marathon experience is knowing that you don't have to feel like a million bucks.  You just have to keep moving.  

From mile 22 on, I felt impending disaster.  My legs seemed to be on the verge of major cramping.  I was downing two cups of powerade and two cups of water at each water stop in an effort to keep the cramping at bay.  By the mile 25 water stop, the thought of more powerade was wretched, but I got the stuff down and managed to keep it down.  I guess the strategy worked, I definitely did not cramp the way I did at Grandma's.  Certainly not pleasant though!

And... we're to the end of the course (but don't be thinking you're at the end of my excessively long race report)!!  Mile 26 was strong.  Yeah!!!  I managed to clock a pace of 8:34.  I'm pretty sure that mile was more like 11 or 12 minutes last year, so I'm pretty stinking proud of the improvement.  My biggest issue with the end is that I finished near 'suit guy' who had run the entire race in a suit.  I'm happy for him, and he was a big hit with the crowd, but in an effort to garner more attention, he was weaving all over the place and taking up way too much of my personal space.  I was fully ready to punch him if he so much as brushed me.  Thankfully that didn't happen, because I was a little tired!

Now, for the less text intensive portion of the post:

The route:

Please note that I actually ran 26.59 miles (because 26.2 is for whimps).

The bling:

(This clearly is not a photography blog)

The pig (who I desperately did not want to get beat by... and DIDN'T!!):
You can read the full story on "Mudonna" here.  I'm not proud of having a goal of beating a pig running to raise money for Tsunami victims, but I'm also no good at lying.  I REALLY wanted to finish before the pig!

The stats:
back arrow 2011 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon - Marathon 
        ANNE HOLT        Age: 35             Residence: EDINA, MN 

Average Pace 9:01 per mile (view kilometer pace
Age Graded Percentage 58 percent (view time
Overall Place 2584 out of 8531 
Sex Place 715 out of 3676 Females 
Division Place 133 out of 570 Females in the F3539 Age Group
                                     (See complete F3539 results)

detailed results

LocationRace TimeTime of DayOverall PlaceDivision PlaceSex Place

graphic results

You placed 2584 out of 8531 runners overall
runner image
graphic results background
passed by24M to FINISHYou passed 192 runners in the overall categoryYou were passed by 5runners in the overallcategory