Monthly Archives: December 2013

ugly sweater run recap

Last week J and I drove up for an overnight trip to St. Louis.
We had a great time and have the pictures to prove it but came back to a disaster zone at home.
Something bit through the electrical cord to the washer as well as the water lines causing 2 to 3 inches of flooding throughout the entire first floor of our house on post. No bueno. Luckily, my friends stopped in to check on Rico. He was terrified and I’m told was doing something along the lines of this when he was found.
ricocrazy1Poor guy.
By the time we got home, emergency maintenance had been called, and the water had been sucked out of the house. The next day everything was damp and smelled a little off but once we get our washer and dryer replaced it should be OK? I’m hoping it is anyway. The damage was restricted to the first floor and all my boots and J’s electronics are OK for the most part. The boots are safe! Got to revel in the little things.
Anyway, home tragedies aside our St. Louis trip was sparked by an entry to The Ugly Sweater Run and my realization that I was just one race short of completing 13 races in 2013. With nothing else happening in the area for the rest of the month I had to jump on the chance.
We left for St. Louis super early on little sleep. For some reason I never leave for races well-rested. It rained the entire second half of our trip up but managed to stop pouring just before race start. And then it started drizzling again, Figures.
It was that annoying kind of drizzling that I don’t remember ever having in Florida. The kind that’s constant enough to get you wet eventually but not fast enough to really soak you quickly. Yeah. That kind. It drizzled throughout the entire race which coupled with sub-30 temps wasn’t too much fun. I did PR though with a 26:06. Probably because I couldn’t wait to get out of the rain, but also because J was running ahead of me the entire time.
uglysweater1 uglysweater2The race was organized well. There were hot chocolate stations throughout the course and at the finish line as well as Angry Orchard.
uglysweater3 uglysweater4uglysweater1
That always makes a race better in my book. I even appreciated the knit hat in place of yet another race T-shirt. I could have done without the puddles but you can’t control Mother Nature I guess.
Overall I’d do this one again with better weather. There were snow machines on the course which would have been so much fun had it not been raining! Maybe next year?

Disclosure: The Ugly Sweater Run provided me with an entry in exchange for review. All opinions are my own.

Have you ever done an Ugly Sweater Run?

ugly sweater run

Happy Hump Day!
I’m going on my third week of an actual monthly membership at a CrossFit box and it’s going great.
The last time I was doing anything but dropping in a few times a week was for about a month in the summer and before that it was for two months in Orlando. So does this mean I’ve been a Crossfitter for four months…or do I get to count the months I was a sometimes Crossfitter? Eh, I don’t know.
Either way, I’m having a great time at my newest box. My only wish is that it was closer/walkable/publictransportationable (I can make up words if I want to) but that’s not happening anytime soon. I’ll live.
I signed up for the 3x a month membership at $65/month. That’s crazy cheap compared to prices in Orlando so I willingly fork it over for the extra attention and camaraderie one gets at a box versus a traditional gym. Plus, I really want to tone up in 2014 so there’s that.
After coming off of my half marathon PR high and this new focus on CrossFit I haven’t been running as much lately. To make up for it I’m hoping to do The Ugly Sweater Run in St. Louis on Saturday with J.
sweater
Beer. Christmas. Awesome. Yes, please. This is finally a race I can convince him to do with me. There are quite a few freebies included in the entry fee that make it a race that isn’t just about “paying for something you can do for free.” J’s words not mine. I love races obviously.
What I’m not looking forward to is this.
stlouisweather
Not OK. I don’t understand why everything around here floods with a few inches of rain. It’s not even a hurricane. Sheesh.

Have you done any fun themed races lately? What should we see while in St. Louis? Also, does anyone have any tricks for double unders because I fail at them. Seriously.

how i got a 20 minute pr

halfmaryI’m coming off a really good running month and I’m not really sure how I feel about it.
I’m excited, proud and amazed at what my body was able to do but also anxious about whether I’ll be able to maintain that momentum and tired. Always tired.
I did take enough time off between the Nashville Half Marathon and I’m now OK to run more again (lots of RICE-rest, ice, compression, elevation). Even with all that pride about what I’ve done and pent-up worry about being “good enough” I still have hopes that I’ll get faster. I mean, I know I have to right? Practice makes perfect.
I got a few questions on Facebook about my awesome (and I can totally say that because 20 minutes is definitely AWESOME) PR at my last half. I crushed my previous PR from January of 2:28 with a 2:08 at the Nashville Half Marathon. That’s 20 freaking minutes!
I’ve had CrossFit coaches try and tell me it’s due to increasing my functional fitness. I did focus on adding a day or two of CrossFit in as my cross-training per the Hal Higdon half training plan but I don’t think I did enough to cause such a substantial decrease in my average run time. If I had to credit it to anything I’d say it had to be track workouts.
Running more didn’t hurt but I’ve always followed a plan for half marathons so it’s definitely got to be the speed work.
During the eight weeks I trained for this last half I followed a plan that incorporated speed work once a week. This was crucial.
I’d do mile repeats on the track for 2-3 miles. It’s where I saw my best mile times ever and I think knowing that I was able to get consistent sub-9 miles on a track made it a little easier to stay at a consistent sub 10 during a long run. It hurt a little, yeah, but it was possible.
Last week I also PRed my 5K time at the Hopkinsville Turkey Trot with a 26:46!
I credit that to speed workouts too.  So yeah, how in the world did I get a 20 minute PR on my half time? Mile repeats. Do them. They’re not fun and they may hurt, but they sure are effective.

What tricks do you have for speed?